The First 100 Days (Trump Briefs: March 18-24/Day 58-64) Week 9

By Michael Hernandez

 

Saturday, March 18 (Day 58):

U.S. and China will work together in confronting North Korea

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met in Bejing, China with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to put aside differences between the two nations in advance of a summit between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“We share a common view and a sense that tensions on the (Korean) peninsula are quite high right now and that things have reached a rather dangerous level, and we’ve committed ourselves to doing everything we can to prevent any type of conflict from breaking out,” Tillerson said.

 

Sunday, March 19 (Day 59):

Trump’s “America First” Budget targets California projects favored by Democrats

President Trump’s 62-page spending plan released three days ago includes:

  • Elimination of the California State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) which reimburses local sheriffs and police departments close to $210 million per year for detaining criminal aliens for more than four days in local jail. California is home to more criminal aliens than any other State and receives more funding than any other State.
  • President Trump’s enforcement of immigration laws will represent a dramatic increase in funding which will benefit California more than any other State. The proposed $4.8 billion in increased border infrastructure will include:  1)  $2.6 billion to fund building the wall  2) $314 million to hire 500 more U.S. Border Patrol agents and 1,000 additional U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents 3) $15 million to make the E-Verify work authorization program mandatory 4) $1.5 billon for detention and removal of unauthorized immigrants (such as larger detention centers such as the one in Adelanto in San Bernardino County.
  • President Trump’s proposed cut of 31 percent to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget will put states in charge of enforcing federal environmental laws. Currently, CalEPA receives 12 percent of its funding from the federal government.  The projected cuts would effect enforcement tactics of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).
  • President Trump has also proposed cutting $250 million for a California Teacher’s Training program that does not meet the approval of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
  • Last month the Federal Transit Administration delayed a decision on whether it would approve a $650 million federal grant meant to convert the Bay Area railway system, Caltrain, from diesel to electric.
  • The Administration will also review $66.8 billion in federal healthcare funds that were included in Governor Jerry Brown’s plan for the fiscal year starting July 1. The figure represents 63 percent of the federal funds allocated under California’s budget.

 

No evidence of collusion between Trump campaign and Russia

U.S. Representative Devin Nunes, the chairman of a US congressional committee on intelligence said that he has seen “no evidence” that President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

FBI Director James Comey

 

Monday, March 20 (Day 60):

FBI Director investigates Trump officials; but not classified security leaks

FBI Director James Comey testified Monday before the House Intelligence Committee, that the FBI is investigating possible links between Russia and President Trump’s campaign but not leaks of classified information “because I don’t want to confirm that it was classified information.”

“Mr. Comey, your announcement today—there is now a cloud that undermines our system,” said Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) as he argued that the FBI was hurting the political system by continuing an investigation of Trump officials.

Syndicated radio show conservative host Rush Limbaugh said that the hearing with FBI Director James Comey and National Security Administration Director Michael Rogers was meant to send a message to President Donald Trump and his administration.   “Look at how terrified they are in the Washington-New York establishment, of Donald Trump and draining the swamp.”

“Democrats hoped to hurt Trump, but raised more questions about Obama’s role,” wrote Joel Pollack of Breitbart News.

 

Tech companies file brief against Trump immigration order; argue for globalization

Some 58 technology companies have signed an amicus curiae brief against President Trump’s latest immigration order stating:  “It will inflict…irreparable harm upon U.S. companies and their employees…exceeds the authority granted to the Executive…discriminates on the basis of religion and deprives individuals of Due Process rights.”   The initial executive order has 127 Tech company signatures but now does not have the signatories of eBay, Intel, Netflix, Twitter, Apple, Alphabet, and Facebook.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal has reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook has been declaring that globalization is “great for the world” at the 2017 China Development Forum and that Apple will spend $507 million to open two additional research centers in China.  The Forum was advertised by its sponsors as “Engaging with the World for the Common Prosperity.”  CEOs were charged $465,000 donations to be seen sitting near top Chinese leaders according to India’s The Nation magazine.

The 9to5Mac blog reported that Apple has given the Chinese (Apple’s second biggest market) cybersecurity officials the ability to decrypt IOS products unlike the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s demands for the decryption of Apple devices.

 

Judge Neil Gorsuch

Tuesday, March 21 (Day 61):

Judge Neil Gorsuch promises Senators he will uphold the Constitution

Judge Neil Gorsuch began his testimony before the U.S. Senate on his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. The 49-year-old Gorsuch, born and raised in Colorado, said “that words matter, that the judge’s job is to follow the words that are in the law, not replace them with those that aren’t.  “When you become a judge, you fiercely defend only one client:  the law.” 

“Sometimes the answers we reach are not necessarily the ones we prefer.  Sometimes the answers follow us home at night, and keep us up.  That is because a federal judge must always rule based on ‘what the law requires.’”

“For all its imperfections, I believe the rule of law in this nation truly is a wonder, and that it’s no wonder that it’s the envy of the world.”

“I have no difficulty ruling against or for any party, other than based on what the law and the facts of a particular case.  There’s no such thing as a Republican judge or a Democratic judge, we just have judges in this country.”

Democrats are still angry over Senate Republicans’ refusal to consider former President Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland as a Supreme Court justice.

Christian leader:   “What would God say to America?”

“What would God say to America?” said Dr. Lance Wallnau, author, speaker, and political strategist speaking to Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Regent University and host of the 700 Club.

Wallnau says God revealed to him that candidate Donald J. Trump was like the Persian King Cyrus cited in the Bible (Isaiah 45).  Cyrus, the “political leader” decreed that the Jews living in captivity in ancient Babylon could return to Israel and rebuild their temple under their “spiritual leaders” Ezra and Nehemiah.

Wallnau was sharing from his best-selling book, “God’s Chaos Candidate:  Donald J. Trump and the American Unraveling.”  He said:  “I really believe that the mercy of God intervened in this last election cycle and gave us an individual who has he willpower and the tenacity to be able to do a reset.”

Wallnau says God spoke to him specifically about the president.  “I heard the Lord say, ‘Donald Trump is a wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness,’”  After I met him, I heard the Lord say ‘Isaiah 45 will be the 45th president.  I go check it out, Isaiah 45 is Cyrus.

“Isaiah says a hundred years before this was born ‘I will do this for Israel’s sake, though he knows me not,’ which means that Trump doesn’t have the experience with God that the evangelical typically would call, ‘knowing God.”

“But he’s got  a fear of God.  He’s anointed of God,” said Wallnau who says he believes Trump is a “secular reformer” who is going to establish an environment where Christians can bring about a “spiritual reformation.”

“I think this is the time when God is going to do something that is going to create a space for a reformational surge of Christian activity in America that’s going to retake institutional high places and occupy places that we virtually surrendered to secular culture.”

Anti-Trump college instructor nominated “faculty member of the year”

A panel of Orange Coast College administrators have nominated Olga Perez Stable-Cox, the professor who called President Trump’s election win an “act of terrorism” during class as “faculty member of the year.”  The award will give the professor a chance to speak at commencement ceremonies at the end of the year.

“The fact tha the faculty chose professor Cox for the faculty member of the year award speaks volumes to how blind they are about what she did last semester,” said Joshua Recalde-Martinez, president-emeritus of Orange Coast College Republicans, who was targeted with graffiti this past Saturday.  They wee the ones who posted the video of Cox’s comments on Facebook.  In her comments, Cox blamed the Electoral College for Trump’s win and said that the “act of terrorism” was committed by someone “among us.”  Cox said, “It’s an act of terrism.  One of the most frightening things for me, and most people in my life, is that the people committing the assault are among us.”

The college recently rescinded the suspension of the student who recorded Cox in class.

 

Wednesday, March 22 (Day 62):

President Trump’s transition team has been under surveillance by Obama administration

House Intelligence Committee chair Rep Devin Nunes (R-CA) announced that he had learned that members of President Donald Trump’s transition team had been under surveillance by the Obama administration, that individual names had been “unmasked” by the intelligence community, and that those names had been leaked to the media.

Nunez’s information vindicates the bulk of Trump’s claims earlier this month.  “I believe that it was all done legally, “Nunez told a Wednesday press conference.  But the leaking may have been illegal.   Most of the activity occurred during the transition period from November to January.   Nunez said the new information had come to light after Monday’s hearing with FBI Director James Comey, when he appealed to anyone with new information to come forward.  He said the new revelations had been “legally brought to me” by sources who thought that we should know it.

 

President Trump condemns London Parliament terrorist attack

The White House condemned the attacks today on London, adding that President Trump is continuing to monitor developments.  Spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump spoke with Prime Minister Theresa May and said that the White House applauds “the quick response of British police and first responders.”

The White House said Trump “pledged the full cooperation and support of the United States Government in responding to the attack and bringing those responsible to justice.”  The U.S. State Department urged Americans to avoid the area around Parliament.

The attacker was born in Britain and known to authorities who had once investigated him for links to religious extremism and the Islamic Sate claimed him as their “soldier.”  The death toll was four, including the attacker, a police officer and two civilians.  Another 29 people required hospitalization and seven were in critical condition with victims from 11 countries.

 

Thursday, March 23 (Day 63):

Newt Gingrich:  “Donald Trump Like Andrew Jackson”

“President Trump gave a historic speech last week honoring President Andrew Jackson.  True to current form, the media largely either missed or maligned it,” writes Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker from 1995-1999.

“During his visit to the Hermitage, Jackson’s home and final resting place in Nashville, Tennessee, President Trump paid respects to his predecessor on Jackson’s 250th birthday (March 15, 1767).  He was the first president to do so since Ronald Reagan in 1982.  And in his speech President Trump said something I have been saying for nearly a year now:  That Presidents Trump and Jackson have a tremendous amount in common.

“First, President Trump earned the respect of the Americans who elected him largely be being an outsider and a disruptive force chosen to break up existing Washington power structures.  He did this in the campaign by defeating long-time political power brokers in Republican circles.  He disrupted the general election by defeating Hillary Clinton – much to the dismay of the political establishment and the media.  And he has been working from the White House to further disrupt entrenched political interests and the pervasive, entrenched Washington bureaucracy.  It was during the Revolution that Jackson first confronted and defied an arrogant elite.  Does that sound familiar to you?”

“Second, both men are intensely  American figures who focus nearly all their energy on wrestling power away from the ruling class and returning it to normal Americans.  This is expressed in both men’s populist messages and actions. Finally, President Trump, like President Jackson, is heavily criticized by the elites of the day.

Trump recognized this and expressed it clearly at the Hermitage. “Andrew Jackson rejected authority that looked down on the common people.  First as a boy, when he bravely served the Revolutionary cause.  Next, as the heroic victor at New Orleans where his ragtag – and it was ragtag – militia … drove the British imperial forces from America in a triumphant end to the War of 1812.  He was a real general, that one,” President Trump said.

“And, finally, as President – when he reclaimed the people’s government from an emerging aristocracy.  Jackson’s victory shook the establishment like an earthquake.  Henry Clay, Secretary of State for the defeated President John Quincy Adams, called Jackson’s victory ‘mortifying and sickening’.  Oh, boy, does this sound familiar.   Have we heard this? This is terrible.  He said there had been ‘no greater calamity’ in the nation’s history.”

President Trump’s speech placed the movement that elected him into the context of American history. Over the nearly 250 years that our Republic has grown and changed, the American people have periodically rejected what they sensed as “an emerging aristocracy” and felt the need to elect someone like Trump or Jackson who can shake “the establishment like an earthquake.” You see this in the American Revolution, the Jacksonian Revolution and now the Trumpian Revolution.

 “As Trump’s administration continues to grow and change, I suspect President Trump will continue to be a disruptive force in Washington on behalf of normal Americans. And his presidency will be every bit as historic as President Jackson’s.”

 

Friday, March 24 (Day 64):

House GOP leaders pull Paul Ryan’s Obamacare 2.0 bill off floor

U.S. House of Representatives vote on the Obamacare replacement bill—the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was canceled despite earlier reports that the President wanted a vote—whether or not the bill had the votes to pass.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Thursday that if the House Leadership’s bill failed, Obamacare would remain.  The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation are warning Congress that health insurance premiums over the next two years will go up 15 to 20 percent, rather than drop like would have happened if there was an Obamacare repeal.

Critics of the Ryan bill argue for:  cost containment measures against skyrocketing premiums to help American families struggling with healthcare costs,  seek interstate health insurance competition that forces lower insurance prices, wish to change the focus of affordable healthcare away from welfare, and do not want a three-part or “three-pronged” plan to repeal Obamacare (despite an earlier push to use this reconciliation bill as a means to defund Planned Parenthood—eliminate federal tax money for abortions) with part two focused on burdensome regulations and part three “additional legislature” such as permitting health care to be sold across state lines and reforming malpractice insurance.

“I don’t believe this impacts President Trump’s reputation so much as it impacts those who have given the president bad advice and put him in this position,” said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Al).  “The simplest and smartest thing to do would have been to pull up the Obamacare repeal bill that passed the Republican House and passed the Republican Senate two years ago that was vetoed by President Obama. Pass that through the House.  Pass that through the Senate.  Have whatever effective date you want in the future to implement the free-enterprise market principles that we want to force competition into the marketplace.”

Maryland Judge considers removing limits on refugees entering U.S.

Judge Theodore Chuang of the U.S. District Court in Maryland, who issued a temporary restraining order on March 15, halting part of President Trump’s Executive Order 13780 (like Hawaii District Court Judge Derrick Watson) scheduled a hearing on March 28th to consider the merits of a request made in a complaint to revoke the section of the executive order that limited the maximum number of refugees authorized to enter the United States in 2017 to only 50,000. Judge Chuang previously served as deputy general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security in the Obama administration.

In November, President Donald Trump was elected president on a platform that called for a reduction in the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States and a suspension of refugees from Syria and other terror-prone countries into the United States.

The plaintiffs making their case before the Maryland District court are the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAD) and the International Refugee Assistant Project (IRAP),  HIAD is funded by Fortune 500 companies including 3M, General Electric, JP Morgan Chase and Microsoft and several dozen international law firms.

The reduction of refugees (a cut of almost 40 percent) for HIAD would impact the plaintiffs up to $2.2 million thus “denying crucial funding for operations” that is owed them by the federal government to pay for organizational operations and salaries.

 

(Editor’s Note:  Mr. Hernandez is dedicating himself to advance the 13 spheres; developing an interactive California citizens news platform as an alternative to mainstream media; while building local school-community partnerships.)

Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service, founder of History Makers International, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email: [email protected]. 


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