Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein confirming that Attorney General Bill Barr is conducting due diligence in redacting classified information and grand jury information before releasing the Mueller report and that Barr’s letter to Congress accurately captured the conclusions in the report. They also scold Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for letting his personal animosity against former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli obstruct President Trump from possibly making a great choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security. And they react to former FBI Director Jim Comey’s pathetic claim that conducting electronic surveillance isn’t really spying.

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Welcome friends and lovers to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast number 219. (Whoa Nellie!) It is the Homeland Insecurity edition of the show with your rock-solid hosts radio guy Todd Feinburg and AI guy Mike Stopa. This week, rumblings (at last) in the department of homeland security and Kirstjen Nielsen is (at last!) out, out, OUT!!! She of the Bush ideology, the foot dragging, love-those-dreamers persuasion. And now in charge (for the moment) it appears to be the Red Cross Knight Stephen Miller. Is it possible that the Trump Administration is finally going to actually get serious about the issue that won him the White House? Hope so.

Then, we discuss the Dems plan for a nationwide $15 minimum wage. Oh how jolly. I’m sure that will go over really big in Mississippi. Good luck.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the Trump Administration for finally designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a “foreign terrorist organization” after the group has for years sponsored and participated in terrorism throughout the Middle East. They also worry that the revolving door of cabinet officials in the Trump administration is causing too much instability as Kirstjen Nielsen resigns as secretary of the Department Homeland Security. And they wonder if former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville has a chance to overcome one of the nation’s fiercest college football rivalries and win the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate race in Alabama.

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The Big Separation

 

As the folks in the PIT are well aware (because of my incessant yammering on the topic), over the last two or three weeks, other than keeping up with the news, I’ve watched almost nothing but classic episodes of Dragnet (nearly two hundred of them). Putting that together with the current situation at the border, I couldn’t help but think that Joe Friday would have that business whipped into shape in no time. What follows is 1970 Joe Friday, dealing with the current situation.

The Big Separation

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America worry that Republicans and Democrats are underestimating Sen. Bernie Sanders’ chances in 2020 after the 77-year-old socialist from Vermont blew his competition out of the water by raising $18 million in his first six weeks. They also remember that Julian Castro is running after the former DNC darling from Texas called for decriminalizing illegal border crossings. And they unload on CNN’s Christiane Amanpour after she asks former FBI Director James Comey whether the federal government should have clamped down on chants of “lock her up” against Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.

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SCOTUS Backs Trump on Immigration Issue

 

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that federal officials can detain immigrants at any time for possible deportation after they have served their time in the US for other crimes. The 5-4 decision reversed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which said officials have to detain these immigrants immediately or they are exempt from ever being detained.

This ruling had the classic conservative-liberal split, with Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Roberts, and Thomas siding with Trump in the majority. Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan dissented.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America recoil at the mass murder of 49 Muslims in New Zealand, the radical manifesto that came with it, and the aggravating tendency of politicians and activists to claim instantly that an attack vindicates their existing political positions. They also slam Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for mocking the idea of “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of these horrible events and then claiming she really said it to attack the NRA for carnage in New Zealand. And they have fun with Howard Schultz suggesting he would not sign any legislation as president that did not have bipartisan support or nominate any Supreme Court justice who couldn’t get two-thirds support in the Senate.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enthusiastically cheer the first two months of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and point out that good things can happen when a leader hits the ground running on the things they promised to do. They also wince as just six House Democrats agree that illegal immigrants shouldn’t be voting. And they wonder if millennials are really far to the left or whether they embrace labels they don’t quite understand as 73 percent favor the government instituting universal health care but 79 percent want to keep private insurance.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the news that tax refunds are now slightly outpacing the amounts issued last year by the IRS. They also examine the record of the latest Democrat to run for president – former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper – and whether he has any path to victory. And they get a kick out of New York Sen. Gillbrand insisting she’s not a flip-flopper after running for Congress as a moderate Democrat and now running for president as a ardent progressive.

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The Very Likely (And, If So, Very Regrettable) Nonexistence of Immigrant-Aspirant Blooper Reels

 

In 1986 (a very eventful year, for me anyway), an Argentine resident in Brazil told me things were so bad in his country that doctors and engineers couldn’t find jobs in their fields and had to drive taxis. I was not unsympathetic but I was also not appalled. Perhaps Argentina cranked out doctors and engineers. […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America criticize President Trump’s unusual press conference decision to declare a national emergency to work around Congress and free up $8 billion for a border wall – although they appreciate his desire to confront illegal immigration and smuggling. They also react to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cheering Amazon’s decision to scrap plans for a new headquarters in New York, agreeing that crony capitalism is bad but marveling at how little she seems to understand about basic economics. And they yawn and laugh as former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld launches a GOP primary challenge to President Trump.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to California Gov. Gavin Newsom greatly scaling back high-speed rail in the state, proving once again that the concept is not the dream solution that liberals think it is. They also slam New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez for being outraged that people entering the U.S. illegally and illegal immigrants caught driving drunk are treated like criminals. And they have fun with New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker declaring that meat consumption is destroying the planet and that he wants to make the existing model of the food system obsolete.

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Progress, Immigration, and the Question of Rule

 

One of the complaints in the Declaration of Independence addresses the king’s position on immigration. Let’s have a look, shall we?

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States, for that reason obstruction the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America review Jim’s trip to the Koch Seminar Network and how the billionaire brothers that Democrats and the media like to describe as evil are pouring money into charities so struggling Americans don’t have to depend solely on the government. They also sigh as reports make clear that Senate Republicans have no intention of allowing another government shutdown, meaning they aren’t prepared to play hardball over border wall funding. And they take aim at a Washington Post opinion column arguing that it’s somehow sexist to question whether Kamala Harris got help in launching her political career due to prominent appointments she received from a man she was having an affair with at the time.

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Possible Comprehensive Immigration Bill?

 

Will we get comprehensive immigration reform with a Democrat controlled House that was not possible when Republicans were in control? I know we must have some diverse viewpoints on Ricochet. More

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Immigration and the Census

 

Judge Jesse Furman of the District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a 277-page opinion last week in the watershed case of The State of New York v. United States Department of Commerce. At issue was the lawfulness of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s order to include a question in the 2020 census that asks all individuals whether or not they are citizens of the United States. That order was vehemently resisted by the Census Bureau and was promptly challenged in court by New York State, which assembled a coalition that included 17 other blue states, numerous cities and towns, and private organizations whose funding allocations depend on an accurate census count. They claimed that including the citizenship question on the census would reduce the size of the total population count as illegal aliens would decline to participate in the census, lest they be put in legal jeopardy. They further insisted that none of the customary follow-up procedures could remedy that structural undercount.

Judge Furman ruled against the Department of Commerce on a standard array of administrative law grounds. He found that the various plaintiffs had standing to challenge the order; that the Department offered pretextual grounds for the decision; and that its decision was not in accordance with law, because it both ignored specific mandates in the Census Act of 1976 and that its lack of factual foundation rendered it arbitrary and capricious. Furman denied, however, all constitutional challenges to the ruling, by finding that the Department did not engage in any form of invidious discrimination against immigrants and hispanics.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss President Trump’s latest offer to secure the border and end the partial government shutdown and how the tide is turning against Democrats for refusing to negotiate. They also roll their eyes as Kirsten Gillibrand and Joe Biden are profusely apologizing for holding positions years ago that anger the progressive base of the Democratic Party now. And they react to signs that Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan may be positioning himself for a primary challenge against President Trump.

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A Moment of Silence, Please

 

For all the Federal workers who don’t get MLK Jr. Day off because they’re already off for the government shutdown. More

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