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Trump on socialism: Nailed it

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As always, I call it like I see it. When the President deserves criticism, I dish it out. Conversely, I’ll give kudos wherever and whenever it’s deserved. Addressing the United Nations, the President used 3 and a half minutes to rail against the failed political and economic ideology of socialism.

He absolutely nailed it.

“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented,” Trump said.

Should the kudos go to the President or his speech writers? Both.

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Economy

Nearly $5 billion being sent to Mexico while border wall languishes in political hell

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Nearly 5 billion being sent to Mexico while border wall languishes in political hell

Talk about adding insult to injury. Not only are we nowhere nearer to getting the wall built on our southern border, but now taxpayer dollars are actually being sent to Mexico to fund development.

This is not a joke, though it’s actually pretty funny.

Today, we learned the White House may be backing down on shutting down the government to get Congress to fund the down payment on the border wall.

Is the White House backing down on the government shutdown?

http://noqreport.com/2018/12/18/white-house-backing-government-shutdown/The White House seems to be in damage-control mode as it shifts from claiming the President will shut down the government if he doesn’t get $5 billion in wall funding to now saying the President could find other ways to get the money for the border wall if DHS budget isn’t sufficient.

This is a clear departure from the bold words during last week’s public standoff between the President and his friends on the Democratic side, Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi. At that point, the President was willing to “carry the mantle” of “Trump’s Shutdown” if he didn’t get a CR that included $5 billion for DHS.

Now we’re learning that the United States is sending over $10 billion to Central America and southern Mexico in an aid package designed to stimulate economic growth in the impoverished region, including $4.8 billion to Mexico.

US pledges $10.6B aid for Central America, southern Mexico

http://noqreport.com/2018/12/18/us-pledges-10-6b-aid-central-america-southern-mexico/The plan was announced in a joint U.S.-Mexican statement released by the State Department and read aloud by Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in the Mexican capital.

“In sum I think this is good news, very good news for Mexico,” Ebrard said.

Newly inaugurated President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador waxed poetic about the plan to provide jobs so people won’t have to emigrate.

I wasn’t one of those who fell for the idea that the President was going to get Mexico to pay for the border wall, but I never thought I’d see the wall languishing in political hell while we’re sending nearly the exact amount needed to start the wall to Mexico instead. This isn’t the type of change we were promised. This isn’t draining the swamp.

Drudge encapsulated it perfectly with their current top headlines.

Drudge Report

Whether this is some sort of poetic justice against those who thought things would be different or a cruel joke on the nation, one thing is certain. We’re not seeing the progress on stopping illegal immigration that we were promised. Not even close.

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Economy

US pledges $10.6B aid for Central America, southern Mexico

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US pledges 106B aid for Central America southern Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The United States pledged $5.8 billion in aid and investment Tuesday for strengthening government and economic development in Central America, and another $4.8 billion in development aid for southern Mexico.

The U.S aid aims to promote better security conditions and job opportunities as part of a regional plan to allow Central Americans and Mexicans to remain in their countries and not have to emigrate.

The plan was announced in a joint U.S.-Mexican statement released by the State Department and read aloud by Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in the Mexican capital.

“In sum I think this is good news, very good news for Mexico,” Ebrard said.

Newly inaugurated President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador waxed poetic about the plan to provide jobs so people won’t have to emigrate.

“I have a dream that I want to see become a reality … that nobody will want to go work in the United States anymore,” Lopez Obrador said at a morning news conference before the announcement.

The combination of public and private investment for the stay-at-home effort doesn’t require congressional approval, unlike Trump’s signature project to stem illegal immigration — a border wall.

The U.S. State Department issued a simultaneous statement saying “The United States is committing $5.8 billion through public and private investment to promote institutional reforms and development in the Northern Triangle,” a term that refers to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Lopez Obrador’s administration has said it is also interested in agricultural, forestry and tourism projects in southern Mexico, and the U.S. said it will contribute to those efforts.

The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation “is prepared to invest and mobilize $2 billion in additional funds for projects in southern Mexico that are viable and attract private sector investment,” according to the statement. “This amount is in addition to the $2.8 billion in projects for Mexico through OPIC’s current investment pipeline.”

Ebrard said “The commitments established here signify more than doubling foreign investment in southern Mexico starting in 2019.”

Southern states like Chiapas and Oaxaca are home to many of Mexico’s poorest communities. Lopez Obrador, who took office Dec. 1, has sought to make development in that region a priority, including plans for a “Mayan train” stretching from touristy parts of the Yucatan Peninsula down to Chiapas.

It was unclear if Mexico would give anything in return. A planned announcement about Mexico’s migration policy was postponed until Wednesday.

The United States has reportedly wanted Mexico to allow migrants seeking asylum in the United States to remain in Mexico while their applications are processed.

Ebrard had previously suggested that about $25 billion in U.S. investment would be an appropriate figure for what Mexicans and Central Americans have dubbed “The Alliance for Prosperity” in the region.

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Economy

Is the White House backing down on the government shutdown?

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Is the White House backing down on the government shutdown

The White House seems to be in damage-control mode as it shifts from claiming the President will shut down the government if he doesn’t get $5 billion in wall funding to now saying the President could find other ways to get the money for the border wall if DHS budget isn’t sufficient.

This is a clear departure from the bold words during last week’s public standoff between the President and his friends on the Democratic side, Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi. At that point, the President was willing to “carry the mantle” of “Trump’s Shutdown” if he didn’t get a CR that included $5 billion for DHS.

Today, the White House is singing a different tune:

White House suggests it will back down on $5 billion border wall demand

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/18/white-house-suggests-it-will-back-down-on-5-billion-border-wall-demand.html“We have other ways that we can get to that $5 billion” and will “work with Congress” to do so, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News on Tuesday morning. She added that the Trump administration could support $1.6 billion in border security funding proposed by Senate Democrats, as long as it can “couple that with other funding resources” to get to $5 billion.

My Take

The border wall should have been funded when the Republicans still had a year of control over the House of Representatives. They had just come off a major victory with tax cut. Sentiment was strong and businesses showed signs they were reacting to the cuts well. It was the perfect time to hit the ground running and start building the border wall in earnest.

Somewhere along the lines, both the President and Capitol Hill lost their appetite for a border wall fight. Perhaps someone thought it was prudent to avoid funding the wall before the midterm elections.

Or, maybe it was never a priority to begin with. Maybe it was just a sales pitch.

On the other hand, if the President really can use alternative funding sources, such as from the defense budget, to start building the wall, so be it. That would be very different from what we were originally promised; to go from “Mexico will pay for it” to pulling from our national defense budget is atrocious, but so be it. We need the wall.

In the next couple of days, we’ll find out if the President will stick to his guns or cave under pressure. One way or another, we need to get the wall going as soon as possible. Every day it doesn’t exist is another day of rampant border crossings.

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