Trading Immigrants for a Wall, Fire and Fury

The Wall for Hostages: The Trump administration has presented Congress with a list of immigration demands, including $18 billion to build the President’s southern border wall in exchange for protecting the undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers,” who were brought to the US when they were children.

This means Trump is  threatening to deport hundreds of thousands of young people raised in the US if he doesn’t get his wall. The hard-nosed demand is likely to kill any cooperation the Republicans might have gotten from Democrats on immigration reform.

Trump wants $33 billion over 10 years for border security, including 10,000 additional immigration officers and denial of federal grants to so-called “sanctuary cities.”

Fire and Fury: As the bombshell book “Fire and Fury” flies out of bookstores, the national conversation has turned to whether President Trump is mentally fit for office.

Author Michael Wolff said yesterday on NBC News, “I will tell you the one description that everyone gave, everyone has in common: They all say he is like a child,” He went on, “And what they mean by that is, he has a need for immediate gratification. It is all about him.”

Wolff said 100 percent of the people around Trump, “senior advisers, family members, every single one of them, questions his intelligence and fitness for office.”

Despite having given Wolff access to the halls of the White House, both the press office and the President claim it’s all fiction. They don’t say whether they’ve read the book.

Trump tweeted, “Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book. He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job.”

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Fox News, “What I think is really mentally unstable is people that don’t see the positive impact that this president is having on the country.”

Other journalists have found factual errors in the book and one former White House aide says she never said what she was quoted as saying. Wolff told NBC,

“I work like every journalist works so I have recordings, I have notes. I am certainly and absolutely in every way comfortable with everything I’ve reported in this book.”

The question of Trump’s mental fitness has been lurking practically since he was inaugurated, but now it’s breaking out in open debate. A recent NY Daily News editorial said, “The President of the United States is profoundly unstable. He is mad. He is, by any honest layman’s definition, mentally unwell and viciously lashing out.”

Peter Baker writes in The NY Times, “In a way, what is shocking about the book is that its depiction of a capricious, uninformed and erratic president is not really all that shocking. Indeed, while the White House and various others challenge the accuracy of specific episodes in the book, its broader portrayal largely squares with the journalistic coverage of the past year based on the president’s own staff.”

Swamp Things: Amid calls from the President and other Republicans, FBI agents have renewed an investigation into whether then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traded contributions to the Clinton Foundation for political favors. It was during the campaign that President Trump labelled Clinton “Crooked Hillary” and led his crowds in chanting “Lock her up! Lock her up!” The foundation has been a repeated target of Republicans. — The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has recommended that the FBI investigate Michael Steele, the author of the infamous Trump Dossier digging into the President’s connections with Russia. Sen. Charles Grassley claims Steele previously lied to the FBI in their Russia investigation. It may be part of Republican efforts to discredit the FBI and the Russia investigation.

Jobs, Jobs: The economy added 148,000 new jobs in December, less than the monthly average for the rest of the year, but still a sign of healthy growth.

Down South: The Alabama home of one of the women who accused former Senate candidate of sexual impropriety was gutted by what is deemed to be a suspicious fire.

Tina Johnson, who claims Moore groped her 20 years ago, was at work when her Gadsden home burned.

The Big Chill: It’s 20 below in Duluth; Chicago, 0; St. Louis, 5; Saranac Lake, NY, -18; New York City, 8; Providence, 4; Caribou, ME, -7.

Remember, there’s no bad weather, only bad clothes.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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