Join Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America as they serve up the final martinis of the week. First, they welcome the whimpering conclusion of the pointless presidential campaign of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. They also pop the popcorn as as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says no senators support Beto O’Rourke’s mandatory buyback program for AR-15’s and other weapons and O’Rourke fires back by saying that Schumer has accomplished nothing on guns. And as the whistleblower story offers a few more details and now seems to feature Joe Biden, Jim expertly peels back the layers to discuss what Trump did, what Biden did and what it all means.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are cautiously optimistic that at least some border wall funding could be coming in the lame duck spending bill. They also applaud National Review’s David French for blasting the media’s perpetual outrage at President Trump, even as his administration carries out some actions and policies of the Obama administration, which the media adored. And they enjoy the GOP win in the Mississippi Senate race while also slamming MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace for suggesting that nooses found on the state capitol grounds were a form of racial intimidation until her own guest explained Democrats put them there to protest Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer up as they see new Senate polls showing Rick Scott with a healthy lead in Florida and Republicans within striking distance in Wisconsin. They also shake their heads as Sen. Elizabeth Warren issues perfunctory condolences to the family of Mollie Tibbetts but says we need to focus on our real immigration problems. And they marvel at Senate Democrats, who now insist that the consideration of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh must wait because Michael Cohen has accused President Trump of a campaign finance violation.
Listen to “Schumer’s Silly SCOTUS Strategy, Bernie’s $3.2 Trillion Single-Payer Scheme, TSA Monitors Sweaty People” on Spreaker.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America break down Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request that red-state Democrats remain neutral on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. They also cannot believe that some Democrats are seriously considering the idea of almost doubling the federal budget to pay for Sen. Bernie Sander’s Medicare-for-all program. And they cannot find any examples of malfeasance in the Boston Globe’s story about the TSA’s passenger-monitoring program that tracks people who sweat too much and urinate too often.
Listen to “Kennedy’s Legacy, Dems Suffer Meltdown, Wild Political Stereotyping” on Spreaker.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America review Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 30 years on the Supreme Court and anticipate President Trump’s second opportunity to nominate a justice to the nation’s highest court. They then laugh at the hysterics of Chuck Schumer and other Democrats following Kennedy’s retirement. They also look at a report that suggests both Democrats and Republicans tend to stereotype the other side and are wildly inaccurate.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombus of Radio America celebrate the Supreme Court upholding the Constitution in two separate cases. They agree with the court’s conclusion that President Trump’s travel ban is within his constitutional and statutory right. They are also glad to see the Court side with free speech in striking down a California law that required crisis pregnancy centers to advertise abortion services. They are also pleasantly surprised that Democratic leaders are condemning Maxine Waters’ calls for the harassment of Trump administration officials.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see the inspector general at the Justice Department taking his job seriously as reports surface that his forthcoming report will be highly critical of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. While they sympathize with President Trump’s desire to fix trade imbalances, they fear new steel and aluminum tariffs will have a negative impact on American consumers and the economy. And they slam Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for announcing his opposition to a judicial nominee because the nominee is white and President Obama’s previous nominees were black.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy seeing Democrats get accused of caving in the shutdown standoff and seeing the avalanche of leftist criticism aimed at Chuck Schumer. They also shake their heads as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules that the current congressional map is unconstitutional gerrymandering and a new map must be drawn, likely costing the Republicans at least two seats. And they’re disgusted as North Korea keeps finding ways to turn the Winter Olympics in South Korea into an opportunity to glorify its own communist dictatorship, and media figures like NBC’s Lester Holt seem only too happy to help.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the Interior Department for announcing open-air memorials and national parks not requiring staffing will stay open in the event of a partial government shutdown, a very different approach than the Obama administration barricading memorials to war veterans to make a political point. They also hammer Senate Democrats for planning to block a bill that would keep the government open and point out the blatant hypocrisy and deception being employed by the Democrats to justify their tactics. And they tell House Republicans that the FISA memo better be a massive bombshell or else the GOP is going to look pretty silly over the hype. They also tell the GOP that if they want it released to the public, they should just vote on it and be done with it.
President Trump and Democratic Party leaders in Congress say they are closing in on a deal that would have Congress enshrining the legal status of illegal immigrants who came here as children in exchange for what Trump calls “massive border security,” but a leading immigration activist thinks the president is getting snookered.
“I’m afraid the president is getting rolled,” said Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian. “He simply let (Senate Minority Leader) Chuck Schumer set the terms of this debate.”
Trump met with Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Wednesday night at the White House to discuss the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Following the meeting, Schumer and Pelosi released a statement suggesting a deal was done to approve legislation to give young people here illegally and enrolled in the program permanent legal status.
Trump later tweeted that there was not a done deal and all later said the details still needed to be worked out on border security, although the Democrats reiterated that they would not approve funding to build a wall on the southern border.
Krikorian says Schumer has the upper hand in this debate, as he’s been immersed in it for decades.
“Chuck Schumer has been doing immigration for 30 years. He was responsible for the 1986 amnesty, the last push to get it over. He was in the House of Representatives then,” said Krikorian. “He was the motivating force behind the Gang of Eight that passed the Senate.”
Krikorian says Trump is not well-versed at all in immigration policy and he can see Schumer winning Trump over in the language Trump is now using.
“President Trump doesn’t know anything about the immigration issue. So Schumer tells him, ‘This wouldn’t be an amnesty, Mr. President, because they wouldn’t get citizenship.’ Trump just mouths those cliches that we have been hearing now for years that are straight out false,” said Krikorian.
“The president has no idea about any of this stuff. I am happy to stipulate that he is good at real estate deals. That may well be the case. But dealing with mob and labor bosses and crooked building inspectors, those guys are much more reliable negotiating partners than Chuck Schumer. The president is like a babe in the woods. He’s getting taken for a ride,” said Krikorian.
Krikorian suspects the challenge for Trump is getting even steeper given the myriad of staff changes that leave very few immigration hawks in the White House.
“Everybody with a position of authority is either a liberal Democrat or is a non-political retired general who really don’t have strong political views. They just want to see things fixed and work better. And that’s a recipe for the president alienating himself from his base,” said Krikorian.
He says Trump and everyone else in the debate needs to see that granting permanent legal status to young illegal immigrants enrolled in DACA amounts to amnesty and they must proceed accordingly.
“Every amnesty – and that’s what this is is an amnesty, if you let illegals stay that’s an amnesty – every one always draws new illegal immigration into the country and then causes a surge of legal immigration down the stream as their relatives come in,” said Krikorian.
Krikorian believes Obama’s creation of DACA through the executive branch in 2012 was blatantly illegal, but he says that’s not the fault of the people who enrolled and the humanitarian thing to do is to make good on that promise.
However, he says only those actually enrolled in DACA, and not all illegal immigrants brought here as young children, should be considered for the legislation. He also urges businesses to use the E-Verify system to check the immigration status of job applicants and for the government to crack down on employers who knowingly hire people in the U.S. illegally.
Krikorian urges Trump to use this moment to make tough demands of Democrats in exchange for relenting on DACA.
“What kind of provisions do you include in a bill like that to make sure that an amnesty that may be 700,000 or 800,000 people doesn’t do more harm than good,” said Krikorian.
He strongly encourages Trump and congressional Republicans to insist that portions of the RAISE Act be included in any bill. In addition to favoring prospective immigrants with college educations and the ability to provide for themselves, the legislation would also tighten which family members could later be brought in by immigrants.
Krikorian says giving DACA enrollees the ability to confer legal status on their parents must be prevented.
“Their parents knew what they were doing when they came here. They weren’t children. They don’t deserve the benefit from this amnesty, so what we need is to change the family immigration system so that it only focuses on husbands, wives, and little kids and not all these other adult relative categories we have now,” said Krikorian.
And he says all of this must be included in the same legislation as the enactment of DACA or the Democrats will win everything they want in exchange for nothing.
“It absolutely has to be in one piece. If they get everything they want then it’ll be just like 1986, where they got their amnesty first and the enforcement never happened,” said Krikorian.