Looking at President-elect Trump’s 1st 100 Days part 3.2

 I found President-elect Trump’s plans for his first 100 days in office on npr.org. I will examine them and add commentary on them. I also encourage everyone to do their own research if they feel that they would like to learn more about the issues.This post will examine his remaining 4 actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law. (This is long. I’m warning you in advance)

SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States

1. Keith Blackwell
2. Charles Canady
3. Steven Colloton
4. Allison Eid
5. Neil Gorsuch
6. Raymond Gruender
7. Thomas Hardiman
8. Raymond Kethledge
9. Joan Larsen
10. Mike Lee
11. Thomas Lee
12. Edward Masfield
13. Federico Moreno
14. William Pryor
15. Margaret A. Ryan
16. Amul Thapar
17. Timothy Tymkovich
18. David Stras
19. Diane Sykes
20. Don Willet
21. Robert Young

Also, Forbes has a nice summary of them: http://www.forbes.com/…/trumps-supreme-court-nominees-wil…/…
CNN also has some commentary: http://edition.cnn.com/…/supreme-court-vacancy-donald-trump/.]

THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities

  • What exactly are sanctuary cities? Sanctuary cities are American cities that have policies protecting immigrants in the country illegally from federal immigration law, such as restricting police from turning them over to federal agents. Will President Trump be able to do this? I’m sure he can with an Executive Order. The reality is that Congress is already on this: http://gosar.house.gov/…/house-passes-gosar-amendment-block… .

Here are some articles about Sanctuary Cities:
~http://www.nytimes.com/…/2016/09/02/us/sanctuary-cities.html
~https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/what-exactly-are-sanctuar…/]

FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back

  • The biggest question with this one really comes down to, “where will the funding come from?” President-elect Trump has already made comments about controlling spending, and the amount of money this will take is more than I think he realizes. Sure, he can divert the money that he plans on keeping from sanctuary cities for this, but I still do not think this will be enough. To take a long quote from the Washington Post (sadly it seems you only get a few free articles a month before they want you to pay for it ;_;):

“Trump has said he wants to triple the number of ICE agents. Even so, rounding up millions of people, criminals or not, would require monumental expense and potentially expose Americans to all kinds of disruptions. Agents can’t simply break down the doors of homes, looking for illegal immigrants. And so there would have to be a surge in raids at farms and factories. New checkpoints might be established along roads. For those who are apprehended and awaiting deportation, the United States would also need to build new detention facilities — or pay private companies to do so.
Trump has also pledged to clamp down on so-called sanctuary cities, places in which local authorities decide not to proactively ask immigrants for paperwork, even if they believe they’re undocumented. Trump could pressure these cities by cutting off or reducing federal funding, a step for which he’d need support from Congress.

Tripling ICE’s immigration-agent core, which currently numbers about 7,000, would be “incredibly expensive” and unlikely to be approved by a Senate run by Republicans but with a large Democratic minority, Sandweg said.

“Think about all the downstream consequences of that,’’ he said. “You need more officers around the country. You need office space, you need all those guns, uniforms, slots at the academy for training. We’re talking about possibly close to $1 billion a year in increased costs.’’”

Now I will quote John Burnett, NPR’s Southwest Correspondent who covers immigration: “Trump has vowed to expand the definition of “criminal alien,” for example, to include immigrants in the U.S. illegally who are convicted of drunken driving. Without the approval of Congress, a President Trump could instruct his immigration agents to round up every immigrant convicted of a crime and deport them all. There are currently 23 countries considered “recalcitrant” by ICE because they will not accept criminal aliens sent home from the U.S. — among them Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran and Zimbabwe. Trump could instruct his State Department to withhold visas for the citizens of these countries unless they agree to accept their deportees.”

Most people would agree that keeping our cities safe from criminals is a good thing. My biggest concern here will be how he plans to pay for this (since he ran on cutting the deficit), and how these criminals are “rounded up”.

As for the denying visas, what exactly does he mean by “cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back”. Is he says that visas will no longer be issued to U.S. citizens who want to visit those countries? Business visas? Tourist visas? Here is the ICE memo that Trump referred to about the 23 recalcitrant (having an obstinately uncooperative attitude towards authority or discipline) countries: https://www.ice.gov/…/docum…/Speech/2016/ragsdale-160714.pdf . Not all the countries are listed, but China is. You need a visa in order to visit China from the U.S. I know; I’ve been there twice. Combine this with the economic posturing he wants to take with China… I’m not trying to sound like a conspiracy theory person, but I am going to want to follow how he deals with China.

Again, this is something to keep an eye on.

FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.

 

There are also 10 legislative measures that he wishes for Congress to pass. I will also examine them, though they may not come out as quickly or be in order. After all, as much fun as economics is (especially when you have to teach it to high school seniors…), I don’t think I can take on his tax plan in one post. Some of the others are a bit simpler.

I also plan on examining his picks for his staff and cabinet in later posts.

Looking at President-elect Trump’s 1st 100 Days part 3.1

I found President-elect Trump’s plans for his first 100 days in office on npr.org. I will examine them and add commentary on them. I also encourage everyone to do their own research if they feel that they would like to learn more about the issues.

This post will examine his first action to to restore security and the constitutional rule of law. (Yes, just the first… I’ll follow up with 2-5 in another post.)

FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama

  • “Every” is an absolute word, and is one that Trump might want to re-examine before taking office. After all, the key word in this phrase is “unconstitutional”. Something isn’t unconstitutional just because you don’t agree with it. Also, if it is truly unconstitutional, then the Supreme Court will strike it down. (Some orders and actions are being looked at by courts, so let’s leave those there.) That being said, can President Trump reverse executive orders and the like? Yes, he can. But to do all of them in one fell swoop might have more consequences than he may know. I’m sure there are some memorandums that even President Trump will agree with, or at least have a fun time in explaining why they aren’t good. Here are 5 that I found that most people would be okay with:

~https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/presidential-memorandum-establ…
~https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/presidential-memorandum-modern…
~https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/presidential-memorandum-creati…
~https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/presidential-memorandum-retire…
~https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/memorandum-establishing-white-…

There are even executive orders that make sense:
~ https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/executive-order-termination-em…
~ https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/executive-order-comprehensive-…
~ https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/executive-order-facilitation-p… (This deals with peaceful transition between presidents… does Trump think this is unconstitutional just because it was an executive order?)
~ https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/executive-order-amending-execu… (This talks about the Peace Corps logo: “ In section 1-1, a new section 1-113 is added to read as follows:
“1-113. The functions of adopting, altering, and using an official seal or emblem of the Peace Corps as set forth in section 19 of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2518) is hereby delegated to the Director of the Peace Corps.”)
~ https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/executive-order-blocking-prope… (I would advise that President Trump keeps this E.O. about North Korea in place.)
~ https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/executive-order-blocking-prope… (This explains our situation in Yemen…)

I could go on. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-ro…/presidential-actions. Read to your hearts content. Again, whether or not some of these are agreed with (there are a bunch just providing an order of succession within the cabinet departments), to eliminate them all will be ridiculous.

The biggest fear, and a legitimate one, is DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which was an executive action (Actually, it was a memo by former Secretary Janet Napolitano of Homeland Security. But since the cabinets operate under the Executive Branch, it is seen as an executive action). The Obama administration did try to pass a the DREAM Act back in 2011, but it went nowhere in the Senate, and I can’t even find it in the House (unless it had a different name?) (https://www.congress.gov/…/112th-congr…/senate-bill/952/text). This is about undocumented immigrants, but it allows illegal immigrants who came over as children to be protected from deportation and to be allowed to have work permits (for 2 years) (https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/deferred-action-childhood-arri…). Depending on what Trump wants to do with this, he can either let the permits expire or dissolve them.

Other foreign policy issues that can be reversed include Cuba, Iran (though the agreement would need to be ignored since agreements between 6 countries are difficult to just “dismantle”, but he could impose more economic sanctions), and anywhere we have drones.

Some interesting reads:
~http://www.forbes.com/…/this-inventory-of-obamas-dozens-o…/…
~ http://www.reuters.com/…/us-usa-election-obama-foreignpolic…
~ http://www.dailydot.com/…/number-of-executive-orders-per-p…/

Looking at President-elect Trump’s 1st 100 Days part 2

I found President-elect Trump’s plans for his first 100 days in office on npr.org. I will examine them and add commentary on them. I also encourage everyone to do their own research if they feel that they would like to learn more about the issues.

This post will examine his seven actions to preotect American workers.

FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205

SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership

THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator

FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately

  • This sounds like a good idea. After all, he uses the word “abuses” which we know has negative connotations. However, without knowing what he really has in mind it is hard to know if this will end up hurting us with trade or not. Is he addressing copyright violations in the age of the internet, or similar? From articles that I’ve been reading, it sounds like many economists are saying something along the lines of, “Manufacturing jobs have vanished everywhere. Blame the robots.”

FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.

As far as the energy reserves go, again, my inner environmentalist is crying. Are we energy independent yet? No. Are we getting closer? Yes. Could we be completely energy independent if we “drill, baby drill”? We could be… but at what cost? True, we will be better able to deal with the oil producing countries of the Middle East without worrying about how they may react by raising the price of oil. (http://money.cnn.com/…/inv…/us-energy-independence-oil-opec/) Unfortunately, Trump is willing to sacrifice the environment for this. I remember back in 2012 a coal company wanted to expand their production to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. (http://sierraclub.typepad.com/…/11/coal-strip-mine-utah.html) And if Trump does decide to appoint Sarah Palin to the cabinet position of Secretary of the Interior, then anything could be open for drilling. Also, the Keystone Pipeline will be started as soon as they can manage it, and fracking will be a possibility in any state that allows it (New York has outlawed it). Here is a good article from Forbes about energy production to come: http://www.forbes.com/…/energy-in-president-trumps-america/… . (I do believe that the frequent earthquake activity in Oklahoma is caused by fracking.)

“Who’s going to protect the environment?” asked host Chris Wallace.

“We’ll be fine with the environment,” Trump replied. “We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.”

President Theodore Roosevelt would not agree with this statement, and he was the Republican president that started the National Park Services.

“We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.” – Theodore Roosevelt

SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward

  • My concerns about this are mentioned above. (What is fracking? Here’s an article that explains it: http://www.livescience.com/34464-what-is-fracking.html). A couple of years ago I was able to find a video about hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and show it to my students. I seem to be unable to find it or I would share it here. I do believe that the risks involved do not outweigh the benefits. Again, Teddy Roosevelt will be very disappointed in the direction that his political party has taken in regards to the environment.

SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure

  •  After my comments on numbers 5 and 6, I have to point out the hypocrisy in this statement. The environment and water can be best fixed by keeping the energy companies out of it. Also, when I hear the number “billions”, I think billions all at once. How much did the U.S. give in 2015, at least to the Environmental Fund? $6.54 million. Yes, million with an “m”. And we were 5th behind Netherlands, Germany, France, and Finland. Even Russia gave $.90 million in 2015. If he wishes to scale back, I can understand. But to cancel everything? I suggest that he (and you) visits this webpage: http://www.unep.org/. Here is where I got the amounts of contributions: http://web.unep.org/…/top-contributions-environment-fund-20… ]

Also, If anyone is curious about U.S. Energy, here is the website for the U.S. Energy Information Administration: http://www.eia.gov/

Looking at President-elect Trump’s 1st 100 Days part 1

I found President-elect Trump’s plans for his first 100 days in office on npr.org. I will examine them and add commentary on them. I also encourage everyone to do their own research if they feel that they would like to learn more about the issues.

“Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC:”

FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;

  • As Senator Mitch McConnell, R Majority Leader –KY, says, “I would say we have term limits now — they’re called elections.” Senator McConnell is very much against this idea. Seeing how a Constitutional Amendments have to be introduced by either Congress or a constitutional convention, this most likely will not be happening. Personally, I am divided on this. It is a good idea in the age of partisan politics where congressmen and women are willing to vote against a good idea because they might not get re-elected if they support it (or the other way around). On the other hand, there are some amazing politicians on capital hill that have been around for a while and are doing a great job. In this I agree with Senator McConnell that the people can vote them out at the next election. Then why does Congress have such a low approval rating? Because everyone likes their person, it’s the other people we can’t vote out that we don’t like.

SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);

  • I’m going to quote Brian Naylor, NPR’s Washington Desk Correspondent for this one: “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are some 2.75 million civilian federal employees as of November. That includes 593,000 Postal Service workers. The number of federal workers has remained fairly stable during the Obama administration and is in fact as low as it has been since the mid-1960s. The federal workforce did grow a bit early on in the Obama administration, largely owing to increased hiring at the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs. Trump wants to exempt public safety employees from a freeze, and if he wants to hire more Immigration and Customs Enforcement patrol officers, it seems unlikely he will be able to shrink the federal workforce much through attrition, as retirement rates average around 3.5 percent a year, according to a Government Accountability Office report. Still, that report says some 600,000 federal employees will be eligible to retire as of next September.

Trump’s efforts to freeze the federal workforce are likely to find support on Capitol Hill. Republicans have proposed shrinking the number of federal employees by as much as 10 percent.”

Also… even government jobs are jobs… Not sure a hiring freeze is the best idea, but I can understand him wanting to greatly limit. Also, is this only for Washington, D.C.? Would this include NASA not being able to hire?

THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;

  • This is a tricky one. There are so many regulations that we don’t even know about. If he and Congress were to eliminate some older ones, how would we know? Except… that most likely isn’t what Trump has in mind. There are several EPA regulations that I’m sure the Republicans would like to gut. Also, anything with education, and even banks. The Dodd-Frank bill was put in place after the 2008 financial crises to make it so that banks cannot take the types of risky investments that helped to destabilize the economy, and Trump is promising to gut it. Now, Trump is also saying that he will bring back the Glass-Steagall Act (it was put in place in 1933 to prevent another financial crisis, but Congress began to chip away at it in the 1970s and continued through every administration until Clinton finally repealed the little that was left of it in 1999. http://www.politifact.com/…/bill-clinton-glass-steagall-ha…/ ). I do want to keep an eye on how he handles this one.

FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;

  • I agree with this. This is a part of the revolving-door of politics and lobbyists that he campaigned about that I do agree with. Lobbyists are people who act as middlemen between Congress and organizations such as advocacy groups, trade associations, companies, and state and local governments. This stance will not get rid of lobbyists (because good does come out of them), but it will help with preventing more of a quid pro quo relationship among lobbyists and congressmen.

FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government;

  • I can see this. Unsure what exactly he’s thinking with this though.

SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.

  • Keeping foreign money out of US elections is a good idea. Whether he is saying this to shame Clinton as a result of the wiki-leaks email hacks, or to divert the fact that Trump has been getting funding from Russia for years for the Trump Corporation, it is a good idea.

A Welcome Message

Hello and welcome to More Than Two Choices.

Despite the name, this blog is not a 3rd Party Platform.

Nor is it a lecture on the recent flaws we’ve seen in our political system.

Out of the acidity of the recent presidential election, my husband and I had a crazy idea: what if people actually sat down to look at and discuss politics with a reasonable mind? What if we could encourage people to engage with civility instead of resorting to verbal attacks on anything and everything that has nothing to do with the topic? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have a conversation with friends and family without it turning into a hashtag, headline, or re-tweeting competition?

I believe in looking pass the colors of Washington, and instead looking at the issues. It is the only way that we can move forward as a nation. Nonpartisan objectivity is something that is missing from modern politics. While I like to jokingly consider myself a Vulcan, I do in fact have opinions and emotions. However, I also understand the importance of being open-minded and objective when it comes to politics. The world is not black and white, and Washington, D.C. should not be red or blue. The purpose of this blog is to examine what is going on through an objective lens, cross-reference sources, and come to a reasoned conclusion.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read these posts. I hope you find them educational and enlightening. Since I will be taking the time and effort to find neutral media sources to support my claims, I implore you to do so as well if you believe something is being misrepresented. (As a History and Reading teacher, I will insist on source citations.)