A Week of Taming Lawless Regimes — Look At News Daily  (March 3-9/Day 43-49) Week 7

By Michael Hernandez


March 3 (Saturday): Day 43

Educators, school districts debating school discipline policies

The school discipline policy that may have allowed Nikolas Cruz to escape arrest by Broward County law enforcement and ultimately purchase the firearm he used to kill 17 people is in effect in over 50 school districts across the country.

“He probably wouldn’t have been able to buy the murder weapon if the school had referred him to law enforcement,” veteran FBI agent Michael Biasello told RealClearInvestigations (RCI).

In 2014, the Obama administration issued a “Dear Colleague” guidance that threatened school districts – whose disciplinary measures showed a disproportionately greater number of minority students affected – could be subject to investigation by the Departments of Justice and Education, regardless of whether the behaviors leading to the discipline were unacceptable.

Deborah York, now a retired teacher in Edina, Minnesota, says she sees “a lot of fear in schools, not only physical fear of being assaulted or violently abused, but ‘system fear’ that’s coming from the top down about gag orders and data privacy, where you can’t talk among your fellow teachers, even to share information.  If you do, you get into these lengthy investigations where they try to destroy you and – in a way – they’re trying to get rid of you,” she states.

York formed a coalition that worked with the Minnesota state legislature in 2016 to pass a bill that grants teachers a reinforced right to remove aggressive students and to be informed when students with violence in their histories are placed in their classrooms. Her group produced the video above titled, Silenced Classroom.

In December, York and her group met with U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, other Trump administration education officials, and the Human Rights Commission to address the rise in school violence – particularly since the Obama Dear Colleague letter – and to ask them to consider a campaign to make the recent Minnesota teacher protection law a national law.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has been supportive of the Obama school discipline policy. In fact, AFT is asking its members to register for a webinar about how to “protect the Obama-era school discipline guidance” that allows disruptive and even aggressive students to avoid disciplinary procedures “to help schools prevent and address discipline practices that discriminate against students of color.”

AFT is joining with the NAACP and The Dignity in Schools Campaign – which includes members such as affiliates of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU, Black Lives Matter, Mom’s Rising, and Girls for Gender Equity – to fight to maintain the Obama-era school discipline policy during what they call a “Week of Action to Protect the Federal School Discipline Guidance,” from March 16-22.

Dignity in Schools describes its mission as challenging “the systemic problem of pushout in our nation’s schools” and working “to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.  The Dignity in Schools Campaign builds power amongst parents, youth, organizers, advocates and educators to transform their own communities, support alternatives to a culture of zero-tolerance, punishment, criminalization and the dismantling of public schools, and fight racism and all forms of oppression,” the groups states.

In a letter to President Donald Trump, AFT president Randi Weingarten requested a meeting between the president and teacher union leaders. “Schools need to be safe sanctuaries, not armed fortresses,” she wrote. “Your proposal to arm teachers not only would make our children’s classrooms less safe, but also is not what educators and students want … Our first instinct is to protect kids, not engage in a shootout that would place more children in danger.”

In Broward County, superintendent Robert Runcie, who worked for Obama education secretary Arne Duncan in Chicago, put the school discipline policy into action in 2011, and later reaped millions in federal dollars for his district as a result. Duncan and Obama Attorney General Eric Holder then put the same policy into place nationally when they released the Dear Colleague letter several years later.

Within a year of Runcie’s arrival in the school district, school arrests dropped dramatically by 66 percent. Seeking to implement a similar nationwide policy, the Obama administration brought the Broward County officials to Washington to propose their plan as a possible model for school districts across the country.

Runcie and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel signed onto the PROMISE program. In Israel’s campaign video in 2012, the Democrat praised the ideology behind the lax school policy:  “I am the sheriff who will measure the success of the agency by the young people we’re able to keep out of jail and not put in jail, while keeping our neighborhoods secure and making sure that we’re doing things the right way. We’ll end racial profiling, not curtail it, but end racial profiling. We’ll diversify the county, we’ll look differently than each other, we’ll think differently than each other, we’ll have hybrid ideas, and most importantly we’ll bring a cultural change to an agency that’s in dire need of one.

At RCI, journalist Paul Sperry reviewed documents related to the Broward County Public Schools PROMISE program, the aim of which, he says, was to allow “thousands of troubled, often violent, students to commit crimes without legal consequence” in the name of saving minority and low-income students from the “school-to-prison pipeline.” In place of suspensions, expulsions, and arrests for delinquent and violent behavior, the policy called for interventions such as “teen court” and “restorative justice.”

“The Florida Legislature … has instructed school districts ‘that zero-tolerance policies are not intended to be rigorously applied to petty acts of misconduct and misdemeanors, including, but not limited to, minor fights or disturbances,’” says the PROMISE agreement, signed onto by the school district and law enforcement.

Broward County Public Schools adopted its PROMISE disparate impact policy after current superintendent Robert Runcie left Chicago. In 2015, during a panel of the National Urban League Conference, Runcie said Broward County Public Schools had “the determination and tenacity to become the national leader in closing the achievement gap, and we will get this done … helping our kids in our classrooms and not sending them to courtrooms.”

At the New York Post, Sperry also wrote in December that the Obama school policy has made schools more “dangerous.”

“Many teachers have been sent to the hospital by students emboldened by the lax discipline rules — which remain in full force, despite the change in administration, and have now been adopted by 53 of the nation’s largest school districts, including NYC,” Sperry wrote.  Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota adopted the Obama school discipline policy and, subsequently, saw a rise in school violence.

York asserts teachers and students are being harmed in classrooms across the Twin Cities and likely across the country. She says:  “After what happened to me in my classroom, I became a voice, because teachers are silenced, and retaliated against, and threatened with termination if they talk about what’s happening. Not only teachers but also parents have been calling me over the past five years asking for help, telling me, ‘My student or my child is being abused, and the principal or superintendent will not do anything to protect my child and the children in the classroom.’

“The Dear Colleague discipline practices – which we have learned are in direct conflict with our Minnesota Teacher/Student Protection Law –hurt those most needy students who were the targeted students the design of the program was created to meet the most,” York says. “Again and again, we have asked for revision of the Dear Colleague policy guidelines, to hold all students to the same set of behavior guidelines per local district discipline policy guidelines. We continue to wait.”

In March 2016, Katherine Kersten wrote at the Star Tribune about the increasing number of student assaults against St. Paul, Minnesota teachers, as well as student riots requiring police intervention since the adoption of the lax disciplinary practices. Kersten noted a comment from one teacher: “We have a segment of kids who consider themselves untouchable.”

“Most parents will tell you that if you eliminate consequences for kids’ bad behavior, you can expect a lot more of it,” Kersten observed. “It’s common sense.  But we’re not talking about common sense here,” she added. “We’re talking about a powerful ideology that has gripped the imagination of Twin Cities school officials — and far beyond. That’s the notion of ‘equity’ — a buzzword that is rapidly becoming the all-purpose justification for dubious policies not only in education but in many public arenas.”

President Trump threatens European Union with tax on cars

President Trump on Saturday threatened the European Union with a tax on cars made in Europe, responding to E.U. pushback against his proposed steel and aluminum tariffs — the latest fiery rhetoric in a brewing trade war.

“If the E.U. wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the U.S.,” Trump said on Twitter. Trump’s battle cry came after his announcement Thursday of a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent of aluminum imports roiled global markets and angered world leaders.


March 4 (Sunday): Day 44

Illegal alien activists blaming Democrats for lack of amnesty

Illegal alien activists shielded from deportation by the President Obama-created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and Democrats are blaming each other for unsuccessfully passing an amnesty.

In a report by Roll Call, Democrat aides blast illegal alien activists for going after Democrat members of Congress, such as when crowds of open borders activists stormed the New York City home of Senate Minority Chuck Schumer.

The report quoted a Democrat aide: “Advocates, turned the debate into a less successful endeavor potentially because they focused on congressional Democrats as opposed to the administration,” one aide said. “I don’t think anyone here doubts their intentions. The entire Democratic caucus in addition to the operative world thinks their intentions were good, but the tactic they choose was ill-fated.”

Likewise, Democrats turned on their illegal alien allies for going after liberals in Congress for not keeping the government shut down until an amnesty was passed.  “It was unfortunate. I very much appreciate the frustration, the fear, the anger that they have. But they needed to direct it to the people that are stopping this from happening, and it’s not Democrats,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, chairwoman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Center.

DACA illegal aliens, last month, stormed the offices of multiple congressmen and Senators, demanding that they pass an immediate amnesty that all 12 to 30 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. are entitled to.

Senator seeks bipartisan debate over gun control

With gun legislation at the forefront of recent debate, Senator Lindsey Graham weighed in Sunday, saying both parties would “suffer” if they did not address the issue. “If we don’t take this up and Democrats don’t work with us, we’ll all suffer and we should,” Graham said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” 

In the interview with CBS, Graham urged Republicans to reach across party line when it comes to the gun issue, saying that Congress would be affected if they don’t address problems most Americans are facing.  The remarks come after activists and members of Congress have spoken out for stricter gun laws after the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead. 

Graham also called on President Trump, who hosted a bipartisan group last week for televised meetings about guns, to put forward a proposal to Congress. 


March 5 (Monday): Day 45

Irish town required to absorb immigrants

A resident of a tiny Irish town having its population increased by a third by a new migrant center has said Ireland has become a “slave state” of the European Union (EU) and its immigration policies, leaving locals helpless.

“We don’t know where these people are going to be from. They won’t tell us what countries they’re from. What religion they’re from,” said Michael Walsh. He said the 300-strong rural community of Lisdoonvarna could be radically changed by such a large and sudden influx, and that many concerned locals were fearful of accusations of racism if they questioned it.”

Mr. Walsh – a screenwriter, author, filmmaker, and former Breitbart News editor – grew up in the U.S. but has roots in the isolated town of Lisdoonvarna in County Clare, which hosts a popular matchmaking festival in the summer, attracting many tourists. He returned to the area in his twenties to “reconnect” with his Irish roots and renovate a property there. Like others, he wanted to experience Irish culture and enjoy life in the traditional community, which he now fears will dramatically change.

Many asylum seekers in Ireland are not from worn torn nations, Walsh claimed, but many will stay in the country indefinitely, even if they are not in danger where they are from. “Ireland is under the impression that these people will all become Irish, pretty much overnight, and everything will just continue on to be terrific. But, in fact, as history is showing us – in Sweden, France, and Germany – this is not necessarily the case.  Very many people are concerned, but they’re also concerned about being called racist, and the town is in a real pickle right now,” he said.

The forced migration programme comes among revelations that the Irish government paid journalists to give positive coverage of their Ireland 2040 policy to dramatically grow the nation’s population through mass migration. “Apparently there’s no way to stop [the migrants coming to Lisdoonvarna]. The local [politicians] are all wringing their hands about it,” Mr. Walsh added, arguing that the pro-EU mainstream parties have a stranglehold on Irish politics, allowing for little dissent. “It’s a good example of how Ireland was a colony of England… and now it’s a slave state again, of Brussels. It’s a very sad commentary on what’s happening in Europe.”


March 8 (Tuesday): Day 48

Bay residents want local police to assist ICE

A majority of Bay Area residents—including majorities across all races—believes that local police should assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in its efforts to track down illegal immigrants who have committed violent crimes.

A Survey USA/KPIX poll conducted last week after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tipped off illegal immigrants about potential ICE raids found that 61% in the San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose area—including 65% of whites, 61% of blacks, 59% of Hispanics, and 53% of Asians—believe local police should help federal authorities detain illegal immigrants. The poll also found that 48%, though, agreed with Schaaf’s actions while 34% disapproved.

ICE detained more than 200 illegal immigrants last week in the Bay Area but at least 800 illegal immigrants, many of whom are criminals, could not be detained possibly due to Schaaf’s warning, according to ICE officials.

Trump official resigns over trade policies

Gary Cohn

Former Goldman Sachs COO Gary Cohn has decided to resign from the White House on Tuesday, after losing an internal battle on trade policy at the White House.  The news was first reported by the New York Times.

After helping usher massive tax cuts across the finish line, Cohn signaled interest in remaining at the White House — and even spoke to the president about possibly replacing Gen. John Kelly as chief of staff, according to the report. Instead, he is leaving in the face of Trump’s tough actions on trade.

“Gary has been my chief economic adviser and did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again,” Trump said in a statement. “He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.”

Although a Democrat, Cohn chose to the join the administration to advise the president on fostering good policy for business and the economy. “I am grateful to the President for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the Administration great success in the future,” Cohn said in a statement.


March 7 (Wednesday): Day 47

U.S. State Department announces North Korea sanctions

The U.S. State Department announced new sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday that are directly tied to the February 2017 murder of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of dictator Kim Jong-un.

The State Department referenced a finding reached a few weeks ago under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 that Kim Jong-nam was killed with VX chemical warfare agent at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, on the orders of the regime in Pyongyang.

“The United States strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons to conduct an assassination. This public display of contempt for universal norms against chemical weapons use further demonstrates the reckless nature of North Korea and underscores that we cannot afford to tolerate a North Korean WMD program of any kind,” the State Department said.

Attorney General files lawsuit against California “sanctuary state” laws

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions compared California’s “sanctuary state” laws to the historic defiance of the South against the federal government in a speech to law enforcement officials on Wednesday.

Sessions addressed the “legislative day” gathering of the California Peace Officers Association (CPOA), hours after the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against three of California’s “sanctuary state” laws in federal court Tuesday evening.

The CPOA had opposed one of those laws, SB 54, which restricts cooperation between state and local law enforcement with federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and which went into effect in January.

The Attorney General stridently made the case against California’s resistance to federal immigration law, making reference to the South’s stands against the federal government over tariffs and slavery:  “Immigration law is the province of the federal government.  This Administration and this Justice Department are determined to make it work effectively for the people.

“I understand that we have a wide variety of political opinions out there on immigration.  But the law is in the books and its purpose is clear. There is no nullification.  There is no secession.  Federal law is “the supreme law of the land.”  I would invite any doubters to Gettysburg, and to the graves of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln.

“A refusal to apprehend and deport those, especially the criminal element, effectively rejects all immigration law and creates an open borders system.  Open borders is a radical, irrational idea that cannot be accepted.”

Sessions also had harsh words for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who had warned illegal aliens of impending ICE raids late last month: “How dare you.  How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement just to promote your radical open borders agenda.”

In his speech, Sessions also declared that the state’s sanctuary laws were unconstitutional, and explained that he was not demanding that California enforce federal immigration laws. Rather, he said, “We are simply asking California and other sanctuary jurisdictions to stop actively obstructing federal law enforcement.”

Attorney Jeff Sessions

California Governor complains Trump is “going to war” against state

California Governor Jerry Brown complained Wednesday that the Trump administration “is basically going to war against the state of California” after Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed a lawsuit Tuesday evening against California’s “sanctuary state” laws.

The lawsuit targets three laws in particular: the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (HB 450), the Inspection and Review of Facilities Housing Federal Detainees law (AB 103); and the California Values Act (SB 54).

The Trump administration argues that California’s laws are unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause, which states that federal law “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”

Sessions flew to Sacramento to mark the occasion with a speech Wednesday morning to a meeting of the California Peace Officers Association, which had opposed SB 54. In his address, Sessions compared California’s resistance to federal immigration law to the efforts of the Old South and the Confederacy to resist the Union.

In response, Brown was enraged. “This is really unprecedented for the chief law enforcement officer of the United States to come out to California and act more like Fox News than a law enforcement officer. This is a political stunt,” he told reporters, as quoted by The Hill.

Ironically, the Obama administration, through Attorney General Eric Holder, challenged an Arizona immigration law on similar grounds to those that Sessions is using to confront California — and prevailed at the Supreme Court.

Nevertheless, Brown warned: “This is basically going to war against the state of California, the engine of the American economy. It’s not wise, it’s not right, and it will not stand.” In an additional swipe, the governor declared: “We know the Trump administration is full of liars. They’ve pled guilty already to the special counsel.”

Brown also attacked Sessions’s own Southern origins, saying that the Golden State did not need “a fellow from Alabama coming to talk to us about secession and protecting human and civil rights.”

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who represents the “sanctuary city” of San Francisco, chimed in as well, accusing the Trump administration of “brazen aggression and intimidation tactics. The people of California will not be bowed by the Trump Administration’s brazen aggression and intimidation tactics. We will fight this sham lawsuit and will fight all cowardly attacks on our immigrant communities.”


March 8 (Thursday): Day 48

Civil Rights Commissioners seek to reverse school leniency policies

Two members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights say the Obama-era school leniency policy that discourages reports of threatening behavior by minority students to law enforcement is dangerous.

“Many schools that have adopted lenient disciplinary policies – i.e., defining offenses down so that blacks and Hispanics aren’t suspended or expelled at significantly higher rates than whites and Asians—have seen marked increases in the number and severity of offenses,” said attorney Peter Kirsanow, a Republican member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

“Students (and teachers) have reported being fearful of going to school,” adds Kirsanow, who also chairs the board of directors of the Center for New Black Leadership. “One school principal stated unequivocally that the people that are most harmed are the good students who want to learn but are harmed by the chaotic environment.”

Peter Kirsanow – an African American conservative on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights – cited federal data that showed that, in just the first year of the new Obama-era policy, there were more than 160,000 “physical attacks” on teachers throughout the country, though fewer than 130,000 assailants were expelled.

Kirsanow reports that the literature on racial disparities in disciplinary rates often omits key data. “Much of the literature that focuses on racial disparities in disciplinary rates recites statistics showing that black and Hispanic students are 3—4 times more likely to be suspended than white and Asian students,” he explains. “But the same literature often leaves out data showing that black and Hispanic students are far more likely than white and Asian students to commit the types of offenses resulting in suspension.”

“There is some evidence that black students are more likely to be suspended than white students for some of the same infractions,” he adds. “But a closer look at the data shows that’s not necessarily due to discrimination, but rather, the disciplinary policies of specific schools or school administrators. Some black school administrators at majority-black schools punish black students more harshly than white school administrators punish white (or black) students at majority white schools.”

Similarly, in a paper released in January, U.S. Civil Rights commissioner Gail Heriot, an Independent and a professor of law at the University of San Diego, writes with her colleague, Alison Somin, of the dangers of the Obama-era policy:

“The danger should have been obvious. What if an important reason more African-American students were being disciplined than white or Asian students is that more African-American students were misbehaving? And what if the cost of failing to discipline those students primarily falls on their fellow African-American students who are trying to learn amid classroom disorder? Would unleashing OCR and its army of lawyers cause those schools to act carefully and precisely to eliminate only that portion of the discipline gap that was the result of race discrimination? Or—more likely—would schools react heavy-handedly by tolerating more classroom disorder, thus making it more difficult for students who share the classroom with unruly students to learn?

“The Department of Education’s disparate impact policy is encouraging discrimination rather than preventing it,” the authors further assert:  “When it comes to school discipline policy, the federal government has an unimpressive track record. In the past, it has pressed local schools to adopt tough “zero-tolerance” rules for guns (including things that appear to be guns), resulting in children being suspended for “guns” made out of a nibbled Pop Tart or a stick. Similarly, on too many occasions, its get- tough, policies on sexual harassment have led to disciplinary actions against kindergarteners and first-graders—children generally too young to spell “sexual harassment,” much less engage in it.

“More recently, we’ve been seeing an overcorrection. The federal government’s policy developed during the Obama Administration has been to press schools to lighten up on school discipline, specifically to benefit African Americans and other racial minorities. But both efforts to dictate broad discipline policy, while well-meaning, are wrongheaded. It’s time for the federal government to get out of the business of dictating broad discipline policy.”

The debate over the Obama administration’s policy comes as Nikolas Cruz is charged Wednesday with 17 counts of premeditated murder following his shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida.

Despite many warnings of Cruz’s propensity for violence and aggression while he was a student at the school, he was never arrested — and was ultimately able to purchase a firearm.

“The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held a hearing just a few months ago on the “School-to-Prison Pipeline,” Kirsanow said. “Many progressives start with the assumption that the profound disparities in disciplinary rates between the races must be caused, at least in substantial part, by racial discrimination. Maybe that is a cause of the disparities, but we’ve adduced no evidence of such alleged discrimination, other than the numerical disparities themselves.”

Kirsanow states some school officials may have adopted the Obama-era policies for the purpose of boosting graduation rates and reducing incarceration rates for black and Hispanic students. “But others have done so because they don’t want to be subjected to the heavy hand of the federal government,” he says. “They just ‘get their numbers right’ by keeping dangerous and disruptive students in class rather than suspending or expelling them, or reporting them to law enforcement.

“The goal should be issue nondiscriminatory discipline appropriate to the offense, not to lower disciplinary standards so racial disparities aren’t as great,” Kirsanow asserts. “We’re sacrificing good students (and teachers) on the altars of political correctness, racial bean counting, and misguided theories of social justice. This is both boneheaded and tragic. The guidance needs to be rescinded.”

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is composed of eight commissioners. Four are appointed by the president and four by Congress. The commissioners serve six-year terms and are not confirmed by the Senate.

Currently, four members of the commission are Democrats, three are independents, and one is a Republican. The four presidential appointees were all selected by former President Barack Obama.

Democrat billionaire says millennials are key to 2018 election

Progressive Democrat billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer believes California’s nearly 10 million millennials are the key to seeing a Democrat-controlled Congress, and he is reportedly prepared to spend at least $3.5 million of his own money to achieve it.

“We really believe in millennials being integral, involved American citizens in our political process,” Steyer told the Sacramento Bee interview in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. “Millennials have voted at half the rate of other American citizens and they’re also the biggest age demographic. So the opportunity to make a difference is clearly gigantic.”

Steyer’s group NextGen America reportedly has 15 full-time staff working on its millennial outreach program in the Golden State’s seven Republican congressional districts which voted for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016. Steyer’s goal is to bring at least 250,000 millennials to the polls in November.

Steyer has supported both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In January, Steyer told the Voice of OC, “This county [Orange County] is possibly the single most significant county in terms of controlling the House of Representatives.” He is focused on turning four at-risk red seats blue a.

This week, Steyer told the Bee that he believes he can replicate last fall’s Virginia statewide elections which saw turnout among millennials.

“I asked the people on our team, ‘is Virginia replicable?’ And they said ‘yes,’” Steyer told the Bee. But he reporteldy added, “The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.”

Tom Steyer

President Trump to meet with North Korean dictator

South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong announced Thursday night outside the White House that President Donald Trump accepted Kim’s invitation to meet by May.  White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that Trump accepted the invitation, but did not reveal details on when or where it might happen.

Military leaders have said Kim’s invitation was the result of Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign.” “On North Korea, he has moved the needle more than any President before him. The proof will be in the pudding. But this is a breakthrough. It’s significant,” one defense official said. Senior leaders at the Pentagon that Washington has welcomed North Korea’s invitation to meet saying that “there’s no downside to talking.” One senior U.S. military leader responsible for preparing for a possible military strike if needed told Fox News, “It’s good news. People should be happy.”

“Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze,” Trump tweeted. “Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!”

Kim Jong Un

March 9 (Friday): Day 49

Democratic Senator supports steel tariffs; supports separate trade treaties

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is thrilled that President Donald Trump is moving forward with tariffs of 25 percent on steel and ten percent on aluminum imports into the United States.  “I’m extremely happy. I really was—I mean, for the first time, I know what happened with NAFTA,” Manchin said in a phone interview. “I know what it did to West Virginia, to our steel industry, our aluminum industry, to good-paying jobs that you can support your family. Everybody just turned their backs on us and let it happen, but I’m very proud about that [Trump’s tariffs] and that we got people understanding it. If you look at the national security of our country, which everyone should look at, you can’t be the superpower of the world and not have the necessary building blocks. If you don’t have steel, aluminum, and high-alloy, you’re in trouble.”

Manchin noted that China has not only “been trying” but has “been successful” in supplanting the United States in terms of steel and aluminum production and that President Trump’s actions are necessary to stop and then reverse that trend. “How do you grow to be the largest manufacturer of steel in the world unless you’re infiltrating other markets?” Manchin said. “So, China produces 50 percent of the world’s steel. The United States is the largest importer of the world’s steel, from around the world, just to connect the dots. They’re going to come and tell me to try to make me believe that only 2 percent of our steel comes from China?

“If a country is charging us 20 percent to send our cars to their country, where they’re coming to our country for 2.5 percent, don’t you think we ought to equal that out a little bit to make it fair.’ They understand that completely. So, when the president is talking, he’s talking their language. We’ve been taken advantage of.”

Manchin also said he has spoken with Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro, the head of the National Trade Council, about his support for the tariffs—and that he has urged Navarro to eliminate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) altogether and instead replace it with two separate bilateral trade agreements, one with Canada and one with Mexico.  Manchin said blowing up NAFTA, and instead doing separate deals with Canada and Mexico respectively “would make much more sense.”

Advocates laud decision to sue state over “sanctuary” laws

Californians who have long fought illegal immigration are lauding U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s decision to sue their state over its “sanctuary” laws, despite backlash from state Democrats.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint on Tuesday that challenged three California “sanctuary state” laws under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. Those laws are SB54, HB 450, and HB 103.

Sessions traveled to California to give a speech to the California Peace Officers Association on Wednesday morning, during which he rebuked the state’s subversion of federal immigration laws.  “We believe that we cannot accept the kind of restrictions that California placed on federal law officers, and we believe that their actions exceeded the Constitution, and we will win in the courts eventually,”  said Sessions.

The California grassroots organization “Fight Sanctuary State” jumped in to support the move by Sessions and the DOJ as Democrat state elected officials slammed the U.S. Attorney General. “The repeated theme is that the people targeted are immigrants and law-abiding. The truth is they are neither,” said Fight Sanctuary State leader Don Rosenberg. “We have no problem with immigrants who want to come here and become citizens. Our problem is with those who first break the law to come here, then continue to break more laws. Our sanctuary state law has absolutely nothing to do with legal immigration.”

Rosenberg’s son Drew was killed by a foreign national who was illegally present in the United States.

The Defendants named in the lawsuit are the State of California, Gov. Jerry Brown, and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

Fellow Fight Sanctuary State Leader Agnes Gibboney remarked:  “I am incredibly pleased with President Donald Trump for keeping his word and putting Americans first. I am equally proud of AG Sessions for taking a stand against unruly and corrupt California politicians.  We have to show the nation and the world that legal, law-abiding people are now in control in our country. Illegal aliens cry for the cameras, worrying that their families will be separated. Real separation is what is endured by the Angel Moms, Dads and Families who had to bury their loved ones who were murdered by illegals. ENOUGH.”

Gibboney also had a son, Ron, who was killed by an illegal alien.

Wall Street economist: ‘American manufacturing enjoying a renaissance’

The American manufacturing renaissance is still defying expectations. Over the last 12 months, manufacturers have added 224,000 jobs. That’s the biggest annual gain since 1998, according to Wall Street economist Joe LaVorgna. Since the 2016 election, the economy has added 263,000 manufacturing jobs. Last month, 31,000 new manufacturing jobs came online.

Yet, one year ago, Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution wrote:  “Trump won’t be able to ‘make American great again’ by bringing back production jobs.  What happens when people realize they’ve been taken?”

Wharton emeritus professor of management Stephen J. Kobrin asked. “When people realize that he can’t bring back jobs and that they are not better off than they were two years ago, how does he use it–who does he blame it on?”

“Manufacturing jobs are never coming back,” Ben Casselman of FiveThirtyEight declared in the summer of 2016.  Instead of focusing on reviving the manufacturing sector, politicians should focus on managing its decline, the Very Wise People insisted.  “[R]ather than play to that anger [over lost manufacturing jobs], candidates ought to be talking about ways to ensure that the service sector can manufacturing’s former role as a provider of dependable decent-paying jobs,” Casselman wrote.  “The larger problem for Trump and his supporters is that there is very little reason to think that any set of policies could meaningfully reverse the long-term decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs,” Casselman wrote shortly after the election.

Yet, according to BloombergView, “The manufacturing sector is adding jobs at a faster pace than the rest of the economy, which hasn’t happened much over the past half-century.  It’s clear that a number of the Trump policies and Trump-related phenomenon are helping:

  • The massive tax cut on businesses appears to be helping a lot and may have even started helping before it was passed.
  • The perception that the regulatory environment will no longer be a drag on businesses, particularly manufacturing businesses.
  • The revival of domestic oil and gas, another key Trump campaign promise, contributes to manufacturing jobs.
  • Consumers sentiment and business optimism are at or near decades-long record highs.
  • Manufacturers know Trump has their back and will make efforts to aid their export efforts and fend off cheap imports.
  • Foreign manufacturers are moving jobs into the U.S. in hopes of avoiding tariffs they fear are coming.

There is still room for improvement as Alan Tonelson points out, wages remain flat for manufacturing. And manufacturing employment is still 8.24 percent below its pre-recession peak of 13.7 million jobs.


Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service, founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor.  He has worked 23 years as a middle school teacher.   Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email:  [email protected].

Mr. Hernandez is dedicated himself to advance the 13 spheres—as a “City Upon A Hill”; developing an interactive California citizens news platform as an alternative to mainstream media; while building local school-community partnerships and supporting constitutional awareness and active citizenship.

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