Waking the Dragon A Political Thriller Series by Pamela Martin

Waking The Dragon a Political Thriller by Pamela Martin

Nancy Pelosi has got to GO! Nancy Pelosi says she can’t work with ‘President Bush’

This woman is a crikety old bag.  She has got to go. When does someone of this stature not know who the current President is?   Nancy needs a memory test she may be facing an onset of a few elderly neuro issues.

A day after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was grilled by Meet The Press host Chuck Todd on whether her party’s leadership was out of touch with the current political climate, the nearly three-decade veteran of Congress mistakenly referred to President Trump as “President Bush.”

“While it’s only been a couple of weeks since the inauguration, we’ve seen nothing that I can work with President Bush on,” Pelosi said during a Monday press conference.

It appears that members standing behind Pelosi noticed the mistake but chose not to correct or interrupt her. It remains unclear, however, exactly which “President Bush” the minority leader was referring to.

Get the white straight jacket out please.

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The President Has Authority to Dictate Immigration

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate immigration. In 1952, Congress passed a law empowering the president to deny entry into the U.S. to “any class of aliens” considered to be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”  In other words, a threat to America and in the interests of national security.     Read Smith Act.

As I have pointed out on countless radio shows and on social media, The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that Congress and the president have “plenary power” to regulate immigration.  For more than a century, the high court has consistently upheld such authority and rejected constitutional challenges to presidential action banning entire groups of foreigners.  Even the 9th Circuit has endorsed this legal principle.  Past presidents, including Carter and Obama, have issued orders similar to Trump’s.

It is true that a subsequent 1965 immigration law prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, nationality, place of birth or place of residence. But that law says nothing about religion. And, more importantly, it applies only to the issuance of visas.  The president’s authority to deny entry to a large class of aliens is a broader power which supersedes individual visa considerations.

Trump’s Executive Order Is Temporary

Lost in all the legal tumult is the fact that President Trump’s executive order is only temporary: It applies for just 90 days for people in the seven designated countries that are sources of terrorism and 120 days for “refugees.” (The Syrian ban is “indefinite,” but that could change, too.)

By the time each side has had the opportunity to fully litigate the merits of the various cases and undertaken the usual course of appeals, the executive order will likely have expired. That may render most of the cases moot. Absent a legal controversy, there would be nothing for judges to resolve. The petitions and lawsuits would probably be dismissed.

For now, however, the Seattle case may head to a hearing before the full complement of judges on the 9th Circuit Court, known as an “en banc” session.  Or, the Department of Justice may seek an emergency application to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The latter action might be imprudent, since the current court has only eight sitting justices. A 4-4 tie would allow the 9th Circuit’s decision to stand.  It would make more sense to wait for the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to cast the ninth, and perhaps deciding, vote. Given the great weight of the law in favor of the president, the decision should be unanimous.

 

The law is on Trump’s side with his immigration ban

President Trump may have lost the early legal skirmishes over his executive order on immigration, but in the end he will likely win.

The overwhelming weight of history and the law is on his side. The president does have the authority to ban the entry of foreigners, as long as he has what is called a “rational basis” to believe they pose a threat to the nation’s security. He does, and his order is designed to accomplish precisely that.

The seven nations targeted by Trump in his immigration ban were originally identified in an anti-terrorism law signed by President Obama. Unlike other Muslim-majority nations that have a history of terrorism, these seven countries do not assist the U.S. in providing background checks and other vetting of immigrant applicants. Thus, it is not only “rational” to deny entry, it is imperative for the safety of Americans. The U.S. does not have the resources to properly vet all these individuals on its own.

Shortly after the executive order was put in place, several federal court judges issued temporary restraining orders. Most of those TROs halted the detention and deportation of foreigners who had already been issued legal immigration visas.  Many had already arrived in the U.S.

But that is a very small part of the president’s order. The merits of those TROs, not to mention the president’s order itself, have yet to be fully litigated.  The judicial rulings were issued “ex parte”.  That is, only one side was represented in court.  The Trump administration lawyers haven’t even been given a chance to appear in court to say, “good morning, your honor.” All of that may change once both sides are represented in court.

The Washington State Case

The ruling in Seattle by U.S. District Court Judge James Robart was different and far more expansive.  He issued a temporary hold on the immigration ban nationwide. Lawyers at the Department of Justice appealed to the 9th Circuit which refused to overturn Judge Robart’s ruling, although further briefs have been filed. Thereafter, the 9th Circuit could revisit its decision.

It is no surprise that the 9th Circuit got it wrong.  It is the most overturned appellate court in the nation.  There’s a joke among California lawyers: if you lose your case in the 9th Circuit, you’re assured of winning it before the Supreme Court.  Get the picture?

Nevertheless, the Seattle ruling is the case to watch, in part because Washington became the first state to sue. Take a look at judge Robart’s decision. It is largely devoid of any legal reasoning or sound analysis. Its brevity is exceeded only by its lack of logic as applied to the law.

Washington State does not have “standing” to sue on behalf of its residents because they have suffered no “actual harm” from Trump’s order.

In order to sustain a lawsuit, the plaintiffs must demonstrate their alleged injury is direct and real, not merely hypothetical.  The harm must be imminent and irreparable, not speculative.

So how have Washington residents been harmed?  Lawyers for the state suggest their economy will be adversely impacted because the ban may prevent immigrants from working for Washington-based companies. Taxes might be reduced and its education system could be affected.

However, all of that is pure conjecture.  It might happen, but it might not.  Hence, it does not constitute immediate “actual harm.” On that basis alone, the lawsuit should be dismissed.

Foreigners Do Not Enjoy Constitutional Rights!!! 

The vast majority of people affected by President Trump’s executive order are people who do not have legally valid immigration visas but are seeking entry to the United States by undertaking the lengthy application process. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of people.

The claim by Washington State that the immigration ban violates the First Amendment (freedom of religion) or the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments (equal protection clause) may seem, at first blush, like a reasonable argument.  Until you consider that our Constitution applies only to citizens and those on American soil.

A man in Somalia may wish to invoke our Constitution to claim his freedom of religion is being infringed, but until he arrives here he enjoys none of its privileges and protections.  He has no right to assert discrimination, religious or otherwise.  And the state of Washington has no legal right to represent him in court.  It can only represent its own residents.

Negative Media Stories Pile Up as Fake News!

Can anyone really doubt that President Trump, in these early weeks, is what George Bush used to call The Decider?  But the 45th president, reacting to a wave of negative media accounts about stumbles and staff screw-ups, tweeted yesterday morning:

“I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it. Some FAKE NEWS media in order to marginalize make up the lies and publish them where ever they have connections!” Trump also accused the “failing @nytimes” of writing “total fiction.”

This came after “Morning Joe” chatter about the sizable role of chief strategist Steve Bannon and a New York Times piece reporting on “Mr. Trump’s anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council where now President Trump would be looped in on the drafting of executive orders much earlier in the process.”

The “fake news” charge is now thrown around so often that its meaning has been diminished. The Times story, for instance, quotes Sean Spicer, Chris Christie and Ari Fleischer, among others. But Spicer yesterday called the piece “the epitome of fake news,” saying it was “so riddled with inaccuracies and lies that they owe the president an apology.”

He said the portrait of Trump wandering the White House at night in his bathrobe is untrue because the president doesn’t wear a bathrobe.

Another Trump tweet yesterday took issue with the polls: “Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.”  Keep in mind people these are the networks that lied to us about Bernie and the polls, covered up the Hillary beatdown on Bernie as well as the many fake stories about support for President Trump.

I think the polls actually help him on this point. A Gallup poll showed a 49 percent plurality supporting his temporary travel ban, a far different picture than the media coverage portraying the policy as a gargantuan mistake. (The rollout, however, has been undeniably rocky and is now tied up in court.)

Polls can be wrong, misleading or improperly weighted. But they are not fake. Major news organizations hire professional pollsters to do these surveys, and when a spate of polls show Trump’s popularity in the same range, it gives you a rough indication of public sentiment. I’ve argued that Trump’s numbers are depressed because he is fighting so many battles in what remains a divided country.

The president is also taking heat for calling the federal judge in Seattle who temporarily blocked his travel ban a “so-called judge.” That seems unduly dismissive. But he’s certainly entitled to say that the ruling is “ridiculous” and “will be overturned.”

Ultimately, the Trump administration will be judged on results, not tweets. But with so much focus on the early skirmishes involving the White House, he is pushing back increasingly hard against the press leaving me sitting here wondering why are the media not reporting the stock market and Trump effect?  The DOW has hit 20k for a few weeks straight now.  I suppose you just can’t create fake news about that.