Unilateral Withdrawal From the Open Thread

Trump disappointed me in deciding against moving the US Embassy officially to Jerusalem, but the withdrawal from Obama’s bogus Paris deal makes up for that quite a lot.

First off, the deal was unconstitutional: it was a treaty which Obama never submitted for ratification. And it was not submitted because it would have been swiftly voted down. Secondly, it didn’t do anything – even in theory, if all its provisions were carried out, the apparent supposed benefit was a mere 0.2 degree reduction from expected warming by 2100, or something. Finally, it appears to require us to shovel many buckets of money at foreign governments and progressive NGO’s. I don’t see any point to the agreement, folks.

It has been very revealing that many of the Never Trump Conservatives are taking exception to this action – including those who had called the agreement, when reached, a bad thing. All of a sudden, it is bad for our global leadership position to withdraw! This is absurd – and shows that Never Trump isn’t motivated by principal, but merely by animus towards Trump. Which is fine – but if you just hate the guy, say that: don’t try to tell me you’re trying to save Conservatism from Trump and then go off and defend something as anti-Conservative as the Paris deal.

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A Few Things About the Immigration Executive Order

Naturally, if Trump does something, liberals find some reason to express their faux outrage. I know I haven’t blogged here much–or at all–lately, but I thought I’d just compile some important information for everyone to consider before jumping to conclusions, and of course, to highlight the hypocrisy of those who claim to be outraged.

The list of countries covered by the executive order came from Obama

Contrary to claims that the countries covered were determined by which countries Trump has or doesn’t have business interests, the list actually comes from the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, which was signed by Obama.

The Executive Order allows for exemptions

All you have to do is read it.

(e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

The president has the authority to restrict travel

For those people who think the Executive Order exceeded presidential authority, they should read 8 U.S. Code § 1182 – Inadmissible aliens

(f)Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.

Every President since Carter has restricted travel from certain groups of immigrants

Alex Pfieffer at The Daily Caller goes into detail about what each president did with that authority, so give it a read.

 Obama “banned” Iraqi refugees for six months in 2011

ABC News reported back in 2013, “the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC News – even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets.” Does anyone recall outrage about this? Me neither. The action was clearly rooted in a legitimate security concern that was determined to outweigh other considerations.

As it is written, it is not supposed to cover current green-card holders

David French, hardly a Trump supporter, explains at National Review “The plain language of the order doesn’t apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S., and green-card holders have been through round after round of vetting and security checks.” Either the EO is being improperly implemented, or somehow, the Trump Administration is interpreting the EO differently. Regardless, I completely agree that green-card holders should not be targeted by the EO, and if they are, deliberately, or accidentally, it is wrong and needs to be remedied.

On that note, French’s piece as whole is worth reading.

Yes, Trump Can Talk to Taiwan

Trump spoke to the President of Taiwan and it set off a firestorm of criticism. A lot of people are worried about what effect this will have on US-China relations. I can only think it will work to an improvement. The best relations are maintained when both sides are firm and understand each others position.

First off, a little history lesson:

Over the past 121 years, mainland China has ruled Taiwan for a total of four (4) years. The Island was annexed by Japan after the Sino-Japanese War of 1895 and then stayed in Japanese hands until 1945. From 1945 to 1949, Taiwan was ruled from the mainland, but in 1949 the government of China was chased out and made itself a home in Taiwan. Officially, the government of Taiwan considers itself the legitimate government of all of China, while the Chinese government considers itself the rightful owner of Taiwan. Both positions are absurd. The writ of the People’s Republic of China has never run to Taiwan and the youngest Taiwanese who could possibly have been a part of a Chinese government would be about 90, now. About 87% of Taiwan’s population is native to Taiwan – wasn’t born in China, nor under the rule of the People’s Republic of China. While plenty of people in Taiwan still desire a theoretical reunification with China, no one wants to come under the rule of the current government in Beijing – and the younger generation is ever more Taiwanese. To say that Taiwan must be considered part of China is as silly as saying that Austria must be part of Germany, simply because for a brief while Germany ruled Austria and the people of Austria are ethnic Germans.

Also, China needs to know that for all their economic advancement and their desire for increased global power, the United States is still far ahead of China and that we much prefer the people of east Asia and the western Pacific rule their own destinies. Trump’s action will cause some shrieks from China’s leaders – but the bottom line is that it lets them know that the days of the United States playing the patsy to China are over. Trump did a good thing – an honest thing; the hypocrisy of our position vis a vis Taiwan has been a nauseating relic of the Cold War and it is past time it as done away with. If Taiwan ever freely decides to unite itself with China, all well and good – but unless and until such time, it is our duty as the premier free nation on Earth to ensure that the free people of Taiwan are not forced into Chinese servitude.

Misunderestimating Trump

I love to read Allahpundit’s articles over at Hot Air – one of the best writers out there; but this bit is, well, just wrong:

…That’s not the first clue we’ve gotten that Obama intends to run a charm offensive at Trump, at least at first, in hopes of getting a foot in the door for Democrats to influence him on policy. (It’s also not the first time we’ve heard that Trump was blown away upon learning what the job he just spent 16 months competing for actually entails. “He was nervous and jolted … by the 90-minute Oval Office meeting with Mr. Obama,” according to people close to Trump who spoke to the NYT, “and for the first time appeared to take in the enormousness of the job.”)…

First off, I’m astonished at people still lending credence to whatever the New York Times says – they are entirely devolved from a news organization to an arm of the DNC. Might as well believe DNC talking points. But I’m also amazed that anyone can believe the story that Trump was shocked about the job of being President…and that Obama, who came into the White House with zero executive experience, is some how some sort of elder statesman who can help Trump.

There is no way that Obama will want to in any way, shape or form help Trump. He will want Trump to fail in a spectacular fashion because only in such failure is there any chance of preserving Obama’s legacy. Also, after eight years in office, there is no indication that Obama has learned even the first clue about how to be a successful executive. He’s been surrounded by yes-men and sycophants, his hideous errors have been covered up by the press and his whole demeanor speaks of an attitude that he didn’t have and never will have anything to learn. If anything, Trump took the measure of Obama and figured, “just do the opposite of what this guy did, and I’m ok”. I can only guess that Allahpundit hasn’t read The Worst President in History (pick up your copy, today!). It details a man who relentlessly failed at every task he set himself. He’s not a mentor for anyone. Ever.

But it isn’t just Allahpundit – I see it all over the place among those who were flat-out Never Trump or at least highly skeptical of him. The idea is that Trump will surround himself with Pence and Romney and such people will “control” Trump and make it all ok. It won’t be like that, I think. Trump is building up a team of people he thinks will be effective at carrying out Trump’s policies. His people, if they are good (and his picks so far are good) will polish and strengthen his policies, but they will be Trump’s policies. And that is for good or ill.

I remember stories like this early on in the Reagan years – how he was really viewed as an amiable dunce whom his handlers had to keep control of. Many years afterwards, the truth emerged – mostly in Reagan’s own writings – that policy was Reagan’s and he pushed it all through and made it all happen. It is a rare genius in leadership to have the ability to make people think they are leading you when you are leading them. Lincoln had it. MacArthur had it. We’ll see if Trump has it. Right now, he’s acting like he does – even the mere consideration of fierce-critic Romney for Secretary of State or other high Cabinet position shows a man who is secure in his abilities. Trump may be deceiving himself, of course – only time will tell on that. But this idea that he’s malleable clay in the hands of his betters should be jettisoned by everyone. This is going to be Trump’s show.