Patterico's Pontifications


“Sloppy Steve” Bannon Considering Lawsuit Against Trump

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:30 pm

Keep that popcorn a-poppin’! First President Donald J. Trump fired off a tweet with arguably his most awesome nickname yet — “Sloppy Steve,” referring to Breitbart News Chairman Stephen K. Bannon:

Oh yeah! Also Trump is gonna sue Bannon! Ya gonna take that, Sloppy Steve? Huh? Are ya?

Perhaps not:

The feud between President Trump and his ex-svengali Steve Bannon could see another courtroom escalation after a new hint that Bannon may sue for defamation.

The possible legal move comes after a Trump attorney fired off a cease-and-desist letter demanding Bannon cease disparaging comments about Trump, in possible violation of a non-disclosure agreement.

High-profile defense lawyer Mark Geragos floated the idea in an appearance on CNN, asked if Bannon might make a defamation case.

‘I have it on pretty good authority that he’s considering that,’ Geragos said, immediately referencing a Trump statement from Wednesday saying Bannon had ‘lost his mind.’

Hey, look. When a story is this good, Mark Geragos saying he has it on “pretty good authority” is good enough for me!

More popcorn!

And keep in mind that, as long as Trump is insulting Sloppy Steve, he’s insulting a guy who doesn’t have a nuclear button on his desk.

Not even a small one.

And that is a win, I say.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

The Coming Immigration and Spending Battle

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:44 pm

[guest post by JVW]

The Trump Administration has apparently signaled to Congress what horse trading it is willing to undertake in order to renew the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) act, controversially implemented via executive order by President Obama in 2012. All of this takes place in the context of the need to pass another stopgap measure to fund the government once the current extension expires on January 19. For their part, Congressional Republicans are insisting that the government funding measure needs to be authorized wholly apart from immigration reform, but the Democrats, gambling that a government shutdown will hurt the GOP more than it will hurt their own party and emboldened by their upset Senate win in Alabama last month, appear to have the stronger hand in demanding that immigration and the budget be linked. As is his wont, the President laid out his plans via Twitter:

According to Bloomberg, last fall the White House gave Congress a seven-page outline of what they felt would constitute effective immigration reform, so left unsaid is how much of those seven pages are encompassed by the President’s 268-character Tweet.

I’ve acknowledged before that I’m something of a squish on immigration, so I’m not really going to be spending any effort debating the notion that we should just send every single illegal immigrant home. President Trump himself has expressed sympathy for the DACA immigrants who were brought here as young children, so despite his reputation and his past rhetoric, he doesn’t appear to be all that interested in deporting the DACA crew (I loathe the mawkish and manipulative practice of referring to them as “DREAMers” after the acronym for the legislation seeking to legalize them), and upon announcing the new policy the administration generously gave the DACA recipients 30 days in which to apply to extend any work permits scheduled to expire before March 5.

But I fear that the President’s insistence upon a physical border wall — which strikes me as an expensive symbolic object designed to give the appearance of border security rather than necessarily securing anything — seems to me to be a huge waste of time. His demand for visa lottery reform and the end to chain-migration by family and by nationality would be far more effective in balancing our nation’s workforce needs with our traditional acceptance of hard-working and industrious newcomers, and would make immigration more palatable to many of us who are concerned that our policies have traditionally benefitted poor countries desperate to rid themselves of their unemployable citizens at the expense of our social fabric and national cohesion. It would also go a long way towards establishing the idea that U.S. immigration policy does not exist to solve other nations’ domestic instability and dysfunction. Beyond that, I would like immigration reform to require businesses who find it necessary to import workers from outside the country to pay a larger share of the cost of identifying and processing these new arrivals, as well as guaranteeing that they remain employed and law-abiding during their stay.

My guess is that a deal of some sort will emerge with Trump getting his expensive wall (hey, the Democrats love public works where union labor can be hired at the taxpayer expense), but the GOP will end up settling for something less than the full visa lottery reform. Perhaps Dems might agree that aunts and uncles and cousins no longer get priority consideration, but I’m betting we will continue to see each separate immigration lobby maintain its own quota on visas, and that of course will require us to bring in unskilled workers who aren’t necessarily needed in order to honor the proscribed ratios. And (here I am going to indulge in my persistent pessimism) this will all be packaged with a budget extension that not only maintains current untenable spending levels but adds in an expensive border wall that is not offset by budget reductions elsewhere. I hope to be wrong, and please convince me that I am, but I see the swamp winning this one decisively.


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