News announcement loud and clear: Congress returns on January 19, 2018

All members of the same body commenced their vacation just before Year 2017 drew to a close.
The United States citizenry's anticipation for the first part of Year 2018 is lucid: it invokes tremendous hopes and similar wishes for the immediate solution of increasingly growing problematical issues that have still to obtain resolves spurred by realistic moves.
Inevitably, the spotlight will be on Congress.
Two main subjects, already named by political analysts have been identified: the Budget Deal, and the shutdown deadline.
It was not just bruited about, but described as 'under much pressure;' how the nation's lawmakers to obtain that "deal" aimed at the increase of budget caps to stave off what has been identified as "across-the-board-spending cuts," otherwise known as "sequestration."
Reportedly, news coverage of negotiations has not been in the limelight, but two significant subjects continue to stand out: two-year budget agreement(s) that would aim to "cover the rest of the 2018 fiscal year (FY) and FY 2019."
Notes of cheer have surfaced: "Once a budget deal is enacted, appropriations can start work on a package known as an 'omnibus' that would fund the entire federal government through September 2019."
A disturbing note that has arisen anew: how to avert a January 19th government shutdown which was taken up earlier as news reports have warned.
However unpronounced the budget deal and the shutdown deadline have been, these two subjects have been marked as increasingly taking on their most vital roles.
There were two unresolved subjects when the country's lawmakers as proclaimed on Congress' holiday vacation: immigration and foreign surveillance.
The non-resolution of the aforementioned subjects is deemed to be very contentious.
Congress must solve the issue of "whether to protect young immigrants losing the protection beginning in March of 2018 of an Obama-era program shielding them from deportation."
What has been noted by observers on the same subject as the "Dreamers." Democrats may not agree to keep the government funded without a deal for the same group: the "Dreamers."
Already, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) the No. 2 Senate Republican, has been heard to say more about the resumption of the Senate's January return: "We get up and do the same thing over and over again. It's maddening."
The same voice identified their up and coming legislative January schedule as "Groundhog Day."
Another subject the legislators are bound to take up: Disaster Aid. It was reported how the Senate was known to have 'punted' a House-passed disaster aid bill after reports had shown how 'leadership' failed to get an agreement to hasten the debate of the legislation in December 2017.
Some salient points of the Disaster Aid $91-billion package: provides aid for communities affected by recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The same Aid Package likewise touched on the wildfires in California.
Highly expected to take up the foregoing by the Senate when the members return, two senators from Texas, Cornyn and his fellow Republican, Senator Ted Cruz have expressed their wishes for more funding in regard to their state's Hurricane Harvey efforts at recovery.
Senator Cruz explained how his state had suffered more than $180 billion in hurricane damage, as he voiced out his deep concerns that Texas would "only be eligible for a small portion of the money in the House bill."
Another subject of widespread uneasiness as the sounds of vacation were heard: Immigration will be taken up significantly by the Senate. Yes, it was made emphatic.
The Senate is 'eyeing a vote on an agreement linking a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and border security.'
Yet, it is anticipated that divisions might remain on such key issues, including those covered by DACA "should get citizenship; how many
individuals would be covered; and what security provisions would be part of the package."
It has always been a given re voices from House conservatives expressed their resistance on a legislative fix on DACA.
Notably, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) promised Conservatives as soon as he had assumed his post, that he would not bring up any immigration bill that lacked support from a majority, in other words, "any DACA border security deal is sure to face a tough path in the House."
As Year 2017 will soon be part of the past, 2018 will be highly watched by an anxious US citizenry.
Philippine News extends its New Year greetings to its readership as it moves forward in remembrance of its founding in 1961


Reading and listening between the Bush-Obama lines delivered prior to Veterans Day

"The state of our nation," was the subject aired just before November 11th, the day dedicated to memorializing the veteran, as known by her/his service to the United States of America, in war or in peace.
From the remarks of former presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, what they had espoused during their terms of service, each one focused on a similar intent, a common patriotic theme: whose spirit was remembered in line with today's America.
President Bush zeroed in on the past.
He did not disguise how he considered the 45th president, whom he did not refer to by name, as one who "promoted bigotry and falsehoods to the country's detriment."
The 44th president, Obama, who, for the rarest period since he left the White House, didn't make any mention of Trump himself, just like his predecessor did.
But the Obama message hit home: "Why are we deliberately trying to misunderstand each other and be cruel to each other and put each other down? That's not who we are."
Both of those who served as presidents before Trump, touched on the spirit of welcoming immigrants who came to these shores, replete with their gifts and skills to offer them to a future home.
In the POTUS' words, he touched every so often, to the unsavory extent of ridiculing immigrants.
"Maybe, some are rapists," were repeated by the Trump vocabulary described as "nasty words."
There is the Macarthur Foundation, one organization which, in every year, since 1961, has historically bestowed so-called "genius grants" on more than 20 of the country's "most accomplished and promising scientists, scholars, artists and writers."
Detailing the awards, the latter was considered "a huge deal," proclaimed by the media, their recipients remembered with pride by the Foundation itself.
The recipient-winners were identified as working on what they lent to the country, their pledged spirit, accompanied with humble resolve translated into their avowed principles that they would work hard as buoyed by the inspiration found in their new land.
Typically, in the middle of their careers, the winners would receive $625,000 each.
Why therefore, are MacArthur fellows honored so close to Veterans Day? Simply, because they are heroes too, serving their new home to the best of their skills and personal attributes.
Of the 965 geniuses (or, more fittingly, MacArthur fellows) the latest statistics on this very group, prove they were native-born, illustrating their status as immigrants. Very recent statistics furnished by Cecilia Conrad, who leads the fellowship program, 209 individuals were of international origin, comprising 21.7 percent.
Latest census figures have determined that less than 13 percent of the American population is foreign-born, breaking down their rich education obtained before arrival to the United States.
Conrad sought to find out whether MacArthur fellows are anomalies. They're not, per her research. She looked back over the past three-and-a-half decades (the life span of the fellowships), to see who did receive other top honors awarded solely to U.S. citizens and residents.
Likewise, Conrad learned how immigrants were overrepresented among the winners of the Pulitzer Prize for music, of the National Humanities Medal and particularly, the John Bates Clark Medal, recognizing "brilliant American economists under the age of 40, thirty-five percent of them," were foreign-born.
Both former presidents did not refer to the far-right paranoiacs and scaremongers who were identified by reliable news sources as principals who exerted heavy pressure on Trump to "end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)" but lent their praise and admiration to "many of this country's finest minds and brightest ideas forged when dreamers from elsewhere encounter an unfamiliar place with unimagined possibilities" they were more than glad to extend.
The Bush and Obama statements were described as having created a creative spark in their convergence which powered American greatness.
It is far from impossible that the bounty of immigrants, as gleaned from the foregoing remarks have served to exemplify how hard work and dedication have yielded boundless honor to America.
Based on the former presidents' remarks prior to Veterans Day, the wave of immigration skills and rare intellectual attributes cannot be shunted aside and ignored. The very useful contributions that have emerged from immigrants have given the U.S. insights, inventions, art and sciences which put America as a world leader.
"Embracing their genius is the genius of America," was what summed up the Bush and Obama declarations.
Presidents Bush and Obama urged their listeners to continue to live together under a climate and environment which will greatly help the people of America as they proceed to take their place in the family of nations.


The world-at-large as viewed by Chinese President Xi Jinping

Who considers itself as the world's other superpower?
Not one that prepared lengthily for that role, of course.
Yes, concrete signals have been coming from Chinese President Xi Jinping who has been heard by world observers who had the same, apt descriptions akin to aggrandizement to the maximum, entailed by articulating new leaders on whom much has been decried.
Verbiage akin to petty aggrandizement to the maximum on the new POTUS has been exposed by China's press in articulating their own position as a world power, zeroing in on their myriad beliefs about their sound economy.
Chinese leaders have not hesitated in having signaled that China" sees itself, to get to a more precise description: "sees itself as the other super power, positioning itself as an alternative, if not rival to the United States."
In addition, the Chinese president was heard to declare: "China can do so, says as much about America's decline as it does China's rise."
Other news reports zeroing in on President Jinping have indicated very strongly: "In part China's new stance toward the world, and the way it has been received, are a result of the continued strength of the Chinese economy; the growing political confidence of the party under its chief leader."
Yet, voices that contradict say: "changes are occurring against the backdrop of the total collapse of political and moral authority of the United States in today's world."
Historians and economists sensibly indicate: "China has aggressively sought to improve its image in the world." To make this point in its full strength, facts and figures were ascribed to China's having spent "billions on foreign aid, promising trade, investment, and opening Confucius Institutes to promote Chinese culture."
In the face of China's aggressive spending, U.S. economic analysts have been very vocal. The aforesaid experts insist that their country must "look now to the rest of the world."
How the U.S. is politically paralyzed seems to be a given, as exemplified by noted Republicans against their Republican chief-of- state.
Citing its major inability: how America is 'unable to make major decisions against the background of a ballooning debt; its investments in education; infrastructure; science and technology, are but a few of the pressing needs that confront the 50 states of the Union.
Politics, a vast many an unpleasant talk, has been largely to blame, according to former U.S. leaders of note.
Never in the nation's recent history has politics emerged as a primary branch of reality TV, almost day-in-to-day-out insults, degradations, colored by bias and racial overtones.
International statements coming from principal nations all over, admit how America's historical leadership role in the globe has been rudely pushed away by what has been known over the recent past eleven months or so, as the most narrow and cramped ideology meant to completely debunk and erase all that took place in the past eight years under former President Obama.
Truth to tell, foreign policy has been rendered to the back burner as a wholly partisan ridiculous game, foremost of which can be told: the White House's breaking agreements, shifting course and reversing policy in its entirety just for the sake of scoring what might not even be considered "political points" across the length and breadth of the U.S. nation itself.
The East Asia Summit seems evident to appear on the scene at what has been described by neutral observers as: "the very end of a long trip to Asia that features a robust agenda, designed to be a full demonstration of Washington's commitment to the region" it can no longer ignore the way it's been going on since Trump took over on January 20, 2017.
All astute political analysts who have chosen to stick to principle strongly aver to the summit as the sole opportunity for the current president of the U.S, to sit down and collectively engage his Asia-Pacific counterparts on the main political and security issues of today's pressing needs belonging to the world.
Stronger voices have lent their say: "Trump will actually be in the Philippines, where the summit is being held, as it gets underway.
"Departing as it begins can only be viewed in no other way as a snub and will undermine whatever else Trump may have achieved in the previous 11 days."
The Summit will reveal what it's supposed to be its intent: to be on the front burner and to stay on the same burner for the sake of universal peace as economies are anticipated to globalize and the centralization of national governments will be at the vanguard of international credibility.


POTUS continues to ignore the Constitution

Donald Trump, since he took over the reins of the executive branch of government, still remains and acts in the same manner by which he's regarded emoluments clauses to the point of totally casting such restrictions aside.
In simple verbiage, the once-obscure constitutional provisions adopted by the nation's founders were meant to prevent corruption of public officials.
One such clause has this to state: prohibits officials from accepting "any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever" from foreign governments unless Congress approves; another bars presidents from getting payments from federal or state governments other than their salaries.
Running through the contents of the emoluments clauses, all based on what's been determined as 'simple and sound,' --that the nation's security and well-being are threatened when those entrusted with acting in the public interest use their office for private gain.
There was no need to invoke the subject of emoluments until Trump was sworn into office on January 20.
Records indicate how past presidents were generally transparent about their financial holdings, i.e., placing their assets in blind trusts and releasing their income tax returns. The whole world knows how the 45th president has gone against the emoluments clauses.
Trump, as he has been known, has a global empire of hotels, real estate, golf courses and other businesses awash in foreign money. He has adamantly refused to follow the right steps as underscored in the constitution.
Instead, Trump has stepped away from the day-to-day management of the organization that carries his name as he retains his ownership in it.
Officialdom has not held its breath as circumstances continue to grow.
The Republican-led legislature seems to act like it has no interest in holding Trump to account for his empire. Therefore, the sole option left now belongs to the all-important role of the federal courts.
One central issue for the courts would be: how to determine the proper meaning of "emoluments." Does the term refer solely to those benefits given in exchange for an "official's personal services," just as what is the comprehension of the White House?
Or, does the term refer to "anything of value," an official receives while discharging his duties in office?
Although the case could be thrown out on certain grounds referring to Trump's official duties, as president, he exemplifies a walking emoluments-clause violation.
The well-known obstinacy of the Trump refusal to release his tax returns and other financial records will remain as general knowledge of the American public that their supposed leader has not acted in the nation's best interest.
The American populace will still hear from the courts.
And the plaintiffs will not rest until a decision about how to comprehend the emoluments clause will be regarded by the 45th president himself.
Who are the plaintiffs?
They, who made the first-ever lawsuit to accuse a president of violating the now well-publicized emoluments clause are the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, a bipartisan watchdog group that has highlighted the conflicts between Trump's duties as president and his "vast, complicated and secret" web of business interests.
The plaintiffs enumerated the Trump Tower in New York, where foreign-government-held entities, i.e., the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China hold leases that are expected to come up for renewal during Trump's term; there is the Trump International Hotel in Washington, where foreign diplomats are said to pay top dollar to sleep, eat and do business with the United States. Elected federal officials which term does not exclude Trump himself are prohibited from holding the lease to the hotel.
Since the emoluments suit's filing, plaintiffs who vigorously complained of unfair competition in the hospitality industry, have joined in.
Two separate federal suits have likewise charged Trump with violating the emoluments clauses -- one by close to 200 Democratic members of Congress and the other by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Granted the case would be thrown out on such grounds, i.e., whether the plaintiffs 'have standing to bring the lawsuit, because they had not shown concrete ways through which President Trump's actions had directly harmed them, it will still be an all-important marker that the Constitution cannot be shunted aside.
How the American people can ever be confident that Mr. Trump, who has, in his lifetime displayed fully his role as a money-obsessed deal maker, will be proven.
The case will be of virtual significance because of its being a first that involves the supposed Number One citizen of the United States.


Healthcare for majority of American middle-class still remains on front burner

Millions stand to lose their health care coverage, including those states reported as having supported President Trump in the 2016 election.
The above is not just speculation. It seems to be what is anticipated because of the action taken by Republicans in the U.S. legislature.
Evidently, should a compromise for Republicans and Democrats be reached, it would enable a single-payer system that could involve a government-funded insurance system that is run publicly.
Were the single-payer system now managed by the current employees of the private health insurance companies, the sole category of people who would be hurt would be the industry executives earning large salaries.
People's health should not be controlled by for-profit businesses.
Sadly, healthcare punditry has descended into mudslinging.
The right, the left, and the center are lost in the sea of regretful policy just proven to proceed well into the forces of moral and fiscal bankruptcy.
Physicians are burdened by documentation as no other country requires, especially with electronic records. A practical query that can be answered candidly by any patient: When was the last time your family physician had the time to talk with you in an uninterrupted manner?
What remains as the sole "beacon of hope" lies with price and profit controls in a single, transparent system apart from outside market forces. It is highly important that the role of the physician in further discussions for a healthcare public utility be removed sufficiently from government interference and politics.
Attempts have been made to equate Republicans hell-bent on stripping healthcare from millions of Americans with Democrats who propose: "Medicare for all."
How is a government-run system so extreme when it exists in some form, in practically every other developed economy and appears to deliver better results at lower costs? Are Americans incapable of rendering weighty, and all-significant things that matter to their lives?
The ever-incessant effort from the Republican legislators to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, likewise known as Obamacare is ostensibly rationalized as one that will "soften the financial blow on red states."
Do the GOP elected representatives continue to oppose having low-income Americans possessing medical insurance if it means the wealthy would have less money?
A compromise for both Republicans and Democrats that would enable a single-payer system could involve a government-funded insurance system that is run privately.
Should the single-payer system be managed by the current employees of the private health insurance companies, it is relatively easy to see that the only people who would be hurt would be the industry executives earning huge salaries.
Therefore, it stands to solid reasoning how those who advocate people's health away from for-profit businesses are on the right track.
People's health should never be controlled by for-profit businesses.
The attempt by Senate Republicans to take healthcare away from millions of Americans reminds those who follow an aspect of political history underscoring what U.S. attorney Joseph Welch strongly stated in 1954, as he directed his words toward the demagogic Republican from Wisconsin, Senator Joseph McCarthy. It was all about the McCarthy allegations of communism in the Army.
Welch's statements are, despite the many decades between, germane to today's Republican senators:
"Until this moment, Senator McCarthy, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness...Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
It augurs well for legislators who are bent on following their individual preferences to look into the cause of the majority of the population, not just those who have vowed to follow the dogma of their political parties.
How many party affiliates involved in the legislative process will manifest their true colors?
Republicans' repeated promises (made while they did not control the White House) constituted but one motive: to repeal Obamacare.
Hasn't that been reflected in so many areas of governance that threaten the American populace's lives?
Now that Republicans would actually take the reins of government, they should do so on behalf of all Americans, if they are to work for the haves and the have-nots.
Yet, proofs remain to be seen. This modest columnist, like the majority of American voters, await positive discourse, not its opposite, and often-minus-laden beliefs that have been proven to be on the markedly negative side of what is perceived as today's United States.


Historic fourth term for Chancellor Angela Merkel: A Triumph for Christian Democrats

The most recent German elections spoke eloquently of the work and dedication of Angela Merkel, a woman leader, elected to lead her country after having served three terms in the same capacity.
Chancellor Merkel had to surmount negativisms on the refugee policy voiced by her closest competitor, Martin Schulz, (accompanied by his exponents) representing center-left Social Democrats.
Instead of Merkel's fight for marriage equality becoming the chancellor's disadvantage, it proved how the issue was one that proved the opposite: large numbers of the electorate formidably brought out their say in voting to retain Merkel.
Just like her contemporaries in Europe, Merkel put up a struggle to contain what was identified as "surging far-right sentiments among her people," when she had to face the anti-Islam Alternative for Germany, or AfD, a new political party.
Flashback to Year 2015, when Merkel made the decision to "allow virtually uncontrolled immigration into her country." There was a mass exodus from Syria and other crisis-countries which was vigorously condemned by AfD supporters who loudly stated their "fear of a loss of German identity."
At the height of their political campaign, the AfD followers, as reported by the polls, were rated as gaining 15 percent of the proclaimed population figures of Germany.
The Merkel approach adopted a policy to deport the category of "denied asylum seekers." It illustrated how it opposed a deal made by AfD with Turkey, clearly, defined as a more hardline approach to those who entertained the thought of accommodating more refugees.
Thus, AfD's extreme right-wing views were considered as "unpalatable" to the average German voter.
What came to define the electorate's views as reported by Germany's Financial Times, was the reality of the effects of populism in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Germans, known for being "politically conscious," did not hesitate to side with "mainstays," as Merkel's record of service became her main governance tool.
Observers of the state of politics in Germany were known to favor the Merkel decision not to close the border to be a 'major humanitarian gesture.'
The ascent of populist parties in Germany and elsewhere, per geopolitical analysts, is not based on economics alone.
What comes as a raison d'etre re the role of rising political groups therefore, is less about economics, than it is about social anxieties.
Inequality has not been on the rise.
What is being translated is a common theme: there is an inevitable rise of all kinds of political parties across the Western world motivated by immigration.
Facts and figures become serious issues for the West to factor in immigration.
Analysts coming from their various research studies on geopolitics show how centrist parties might tend to recognize immigration, by citing the U.S.
For example, in 1970, foreign-born immigrants to the U.S. made up an approximately 4.5 percent of the population. Today's immigration figures show close to 13.5 percent, thus illustrating the dramatic shift.
In view of the rise in immigration, U.S.political parties on the center right and center left should be willing to have a discussion that should never commence with the assumption that a concern about immigration is automatically one which implies racism.
Yet, President Trump has been noted as focused on figuring out a way to capitalize on what he referred to as "the resentment that an older, whiter population feels about a changing country."
Isn't the aforesaid Trump interpretation a way to ward off further immigration from other countries whose nationals have already qualified to enter these shores legally?
Obviously, Trumpism has discounted what the U.S. is about.
The United States morphed into a nation of immigrants, they who came from their original homes in quest of a land where they could call it one that would represent their new horizons, where they could prove their worth as future citizens of a great nation.
In semblance of what immigrants mean to Germany, Joachim Stamp, the country's minister for refugees and integration in the North state of Westphalia said: "That is something that we can view positively, but it must also be clear that people don't automatically embark on a life of bliss the moment they touch German soil."
Interpreting the same opinion of the aforementioned German official, it does not indicate how "automatic" and how a "life of bliss" is anticipated by refugees. A great many of them are concerned with what they can do in a newly-found land where they can contribute their skills to its generosity.


On reaching the 200+ day of the Trump presidency

Each time a day or a month chronicles President Trump's term, drastic changes abound at a rate faster than the White House is capable of issuing timely announcements.
Democrats may have long been united against the 45th president, but the number of key Republicans publicly opposing him prominently is evidently getting larger.
Reviewing what news gathering has revealed: when Trump vehemently made emphatic that his attorney general should resign, his co-Republicans commenced their drive zeroing in on virtual opposition of the president's declaration.
Then, there was the highly-awaited Obamacare repeal bill, still to be accomplished, a decided minus on the Trump ledger which was supposed to be one of its premier changes, widely announced and covered at the presidential campaign rallies.
What came next was the Trump decision in reference to his policy on transgender individuals in the military. Thus far, the military has not implemented the aforementioned policy at all, although Trump has repeated it in a number of his pronouncements.
As badly as Trump wishes the Russia investigations to depart from the scene, ironically, it was a Republican committee chairman who went ahead.  He subpoenaed Trump's former campaign chief to testify in the investigation.
Evidently, Trump has not stifled the voice of some Republicans who, at the start of his administration, kept their opinions private, which indicated they wanted to keep their party's base away from revolt.
From the views of observers who claim they were waiting for proper action, the notion that Republicans have feared to cross the traditional lines in terms of Trumpism, no longer applies as the days go on.
Some Republicans still proceed to keep their views, as they claim they adhere deeply to established norms when it comes to party loyalty. 
 Yet, the month of August loomed differently.  Most of the 'quiet' Republicans joined the group who considered it "publicly acceptable" for them to rebuke their sitting president, resorted to sound off despite what they had known: their attitude could unleash one or more of those all-too-familiar Twitter denunciations by Trump himself.
A day after reluctantly signing Russian sanctions, Trump continued to blame Congress for "bad US-Russia relations."
The planned ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions which Trump aired publicly has not prospered at all . Trump's critics have been vocal: Trump chose the wrong fight. In spite of Trump's repeated, even humiliating efforts to force the Sessions resignation became fruitless. The attorney general stood his ground. Of course, it was up to Trump to fire Sessions outright. It has not happened at all.
Chuck Grassley, the Senate Judiciary Chairman stated that if Trump wanted to oust Sessions, he should understand that the committee would not hold confirmation hearings for a new attorney general in 2017.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested that if Trump entertained the thought that he could just fire Sessions and make a recess appointment for a new attorney general, then the Senate would not recess.
All members of the US populace continue to wonder how the presidency will proceed to unfold.
Elections of Year 2018 are vigorously awaited.    
The Trump policy on immigration will be highly tested. And so will other orders that bear the Trump signature.
What President Trump said: "I am the world's greatest person that does not want to let people into the country," will need a vast array of prompt action from a great many countries whose native daughters and sons contributed immensely to the technical growth of America. 
US Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) has not desisted in his criticism of Trump: "My party is in denial about Donald Trump.  We created him, and now we're rationalizing him.  When will it stop?"

POTUS' first tweet on DACA: Congress should ‘get ready to do your job’

What's clear: Trump is giving Congress six months to write a law
The first alarm pertaining to the 2012 Obama administration policy zeroing in on protection to youngsters who had been living illegally in the United States brought by their parents, was sounded off by President Trump who called the same order "horrible," as he made it one of his campaign promises that it would be "ended immediately."
However, after his assumption to the presidency, Trump was not heard to repeat that aforementioned promise. Observers were quick to point out that the post-election scene could have softened the Trump stance.
President Trump was quoted by news reports: he was "gonna deal with" those receiving deferrals "with heart." But when the fifth day of September arrived, Trump announced in a brief written statement that DACA was coming to its end.
President Obama, who has offered extremely rare public criticism of his successor, strongly disputed Republicans' assertion that he exceeded his presidential power, writing how he relied "on the well-established legal principle of prosecutorial discretion, deployed by Democratic and Republican presidents alike "to set priorities for immigration enforcement."
He called the Trump action "a political decision, and a moral question," adding: "Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we'd want our own kids to be treated."
The same Trump decision was called an act of 'pure cruelty' by numerous voices, one that threatened the well-being of at least 800,000 people who live in the country illegally through no fault of their own, traced to decisions made by their parents.
Trump did not make the announcement himself. He passed it on to Attorney General Jeff Sessions who made a brief speech on DACA. The gist of the pronouncement: those who have already been granted what is known as "deferred status" will not be immediately or suddenly cut off.
Part of the announcement: the administration will give Congress six months to decide whether to renew the protections legislatively before ending them. Although Sessions called it a "wind-down," what he declared, offered no comfort to hundreds of thousands of people raised as Americans.
There lies the possibility that as of a given date, the same DACA recipients will no longer be able to live and work legally on these shores where they were raised, educated, and imbued with the knowledge that the U.S. was the sole country they've known since childhood.
What is pathetic is how numbers of those protected by DACA, led productive lives after reaching the stage where they could find employment opportunities in line with their schooling and training, and now what faces them is the cloud of uncertainty.
Congress can work on the DREAM Act. It is not that hopeless.
There is the Alien Minors Act (identical to DACA), where participants can't have had a serious criminal past and must be in school, or have graduated or serve in the military. Owing to their status, they are far from posing a threat to public safety or national security. It is a comfort to learn that several versions of the DREAM Act have been introduced by both Democrats and Republicans.
Polls indicate that even a majority of Republican voters strongly believe the so-called Dreamers merit help and protection. In studying the reason behind the DACA availability, the youngsters came owing to family ties and wage and employment differentials between
their respective countries of origin and the U.S.
Were DACA to be rescinded, or if Congress were to deny it to proceed, it would be an assault on immigrant families and communities. It is therefore up to Congress to restore a huge measure of sanity and constructive purpose to immigration policymaking.
Should the Dream Act fail due to Republican obstruction or a presidential veto, GOP leaders will need to explain to the majority of Americans, who according to poll studies that approve of DACA, the rationale why Congress won't resort to establishing a humane act that would continue supporting the legalization of the promising youngsters who have proven themselves as worthy members of the U.S. population.
By state, the Department of Homeland Security has data on where most of the "Dreamers" live:
California.......... 222,795
Texas............... 124,300
Illinois............. 42,376
New York...... 41,970
Florida.......... 32,795
Arizona........ 27,865
North Carolina.... 27,385
New Jersey........ 22,024
Georgia.............. 24,135
Washington....... 17,843

Despite Trump's expressions of 'love' for Dreamers, in moving against DACA, it is clear that he is set in fulfilling the promise to end it, one that he made -- in much stronger and harsher terms during his presidential run.
The "now" scene remains: The DACA status will be honored by immigration authorities until current permits expire.
The delay is meant to give Congress time to pass a law that would solve the status of the DACA holders.


US pullout from Paris Climate Agreement of 2016 via Trump's avowal: What it defines

(Editor’s note: This is a sequel to the writer’s previous column on climate change)

Former VicePresident Al Gore authored An Inconvenient Truth in 2006: a warning to the world-at-large, in reference to the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change.
What follows, still traced to Mr. Gore, is his latest documentary, An Inconvenient Sequel, scheduled for showing in the Fall of 2017.
Unwittingly, the aforementioned subject has grabbed the front burner on extreme weather events, brought about by climate change, responsible in making more frequent and severe alterations.
The foregoing film is known to have the most jaw-dropping imagery that focuses on extreme weather events.
Reviews by weather experts mentioned the following: "there are shoes melting off people’s feet as they cross a street in India amid a heat wave; mass graves inthe Philippines for the 6,300 victims of Typhoon Haiyan (also known as Yolanda)," and which utterly leveled Leyte's Tacloban City in 2013.
Narrations described the destructive force of the 195-mile-per-hour winds that caused unspeakable devastation the Leyte population, not only physically, but affected the morale of the people who were fortunate enough to be survivors.
In the US, the referenced film has captured freak "rain bombs" in Arizona; likewise "fatal floods in Louisiana," the same experts pointed out.
Gore's commentary:"Future generations will say....Couldn't you hear what Mother Nature was screaming back at you?"
Although not all sights depicted are discouraging.
There are those that are attributed to city executives, i.e., an eloquent scene inGeorgetown, Texas, where Mayor Dale Ross, a Republican, has committed to make his city one of the first in the US to be 100 percent powered by renewable energy.
Politics is not the raison d'etre of the Gore presentation.
Sober statements follow the former vice president.
"Regardless of politics, the film makes a compelling case for action. We have to stop making this a partisan problem. It's a reality we all have to face together," Gore stated.
Gore was scheduled to speak with President Trump in December 2016. He did not touch on that particular conversation held with Trump.Yet, he talked about the significance of the Paris Accord in which 195 countries pledged to work toward the goal of net-zero carbon emissions, invest in renewable energy-powered economies so that global temperatures will rise no more than 2 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.
It should be recalled that the date on which the Paris Agreement went into effect: November4, 2016.
What followed: November 8, 2016, Trump was elected as the 45th US president.
Although numbers of people lobbied Trump to stay in the Paris Accord, fossil-fuel Trump influencers prevailed.
The story has not changed at all.
Trump announced immediately he was pulling the US out of the agreement.
Trump lived up to his pre-election promise.


How POTUS proceeds to bolster fiction naming PH as background: General Pershing's 1919 command post

News reports have called one of the latest Trump tweets about U.S. General John J. Pershing's command in the Philippines "an unsupported story." The gist of that same tweet was re-aired very recently although it was branded as nothing short of a tale when it was initially bruited about as "unconfirmed."
Trump was wont to quoting the same during the course of his 2016 presidential campaign heard about in several states.
"That we should study about General Pershing's executing prisoners for dealing with radical Islamic terror," was the prescription that Trump zeroed in on considerably.
"Pershing was reportedly responsible for putting down a militant Muslim group in the Philippines by executing its members with bullets dipped in pig's blood," per the Trump story. The same narration by the same narrator on numerous campaign was supposed to scare other militants into submission.
"You'll take a look at General Pershing in 1919 in the Philippines, how he stopped terrorism.
"He took 50 men, and he dipped 50 bullets in pig's blood. For 28 years, there was no terrorism," Trump continued to state.
SNOPES, the definitive fact-checking and internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation, in a published announcement did not support the Trump story.
The aforementioned source of a largely reliable fact-checking methodology has earned the reputation as the least-biased check source. Touching on the presidential campaign efforts, Trump was reported to have announced numerous promises.
The 45th U.S. president has been known to author his "contract with the American voter," pledging how he would continue to expand on other promises and vows he has sworn to uphold but still remain to happen.
He promised how he has the will to make, to highlight his accomplishments and "the world will note his progress," as "immediate."
The news story lines are telling about how the president has found himself increasingly isolated. Those who have been called all the president's mentors, include America's top military officers, corporate executives, and a few Republican leaders in Congress.
Foremost among those who have sent statements are the two living GOP ex-presidents and foreign leaders previously friendly to the current U.S. president sent a message: "Racial bigotry and extremism must be condemned. Some mentioned Trump by name; others didn't.
What sparked reaction to the Trump comments was the very one which suggested an "equivalence between neo-Nazi groups and their opponents."
Interestingly, those chief executive officers, identified as America's "corporate elite" who once stood by Trump tendered their resignations from the economic advisory and manufacturing councils that the president tweeted he was disbanding them. The truth has prevailed: those who resigned turned in their letters before Trump's action of disbanding the same councils.
For instance, the head of JP Morgan Chase and company stated that "the economic advisory council had already decided to end on its own."
A word of cheer on Obamacare which was one of the chief election vows that Trump has made emphatic:
The Trump administration backed away from causing an immediate crisis in healthcare marketplaces and consented to continue making payments to insurance companies. Much of America's corporate elite members who once stood by Trump to give him time to lead, have shown how that support has been waned and will continue to wane.
Likewise, the picture from that same group has been telling. Truth will ensue and the American electorate will do what will be expected of all its members: to vote wisely for the sake of the country they call home, to see the veritable return of democracy, for the people, of the people, and by the people.

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