Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies Jessica Vaughan Weighs in on the Seriousness of America’s Southern Border Surge

Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies Jessica Vaughan Weighs in on the Seriousness of America’s Southern Border Surge

 

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the Biden administration’s unofficial policy that has encouraged surge at the southern border and the urgency to fix it.

Leahy: We are joined now by our good friend Jessica Vaughn who is the director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies. Jessica, welcome.

Vaughan: Thank you good to be with you!

Leahy: I forced myself to listen to part of the talk or whatever that event was last night with President Joe Biden speaking. I didn’t hear him say anything about the border surge or his terrible immigration policy. Did I miss that?

Vaughan: No. I was not able to tune in but I have not seen any reports of anything mentioned although there are you know, I mean, obviously, this border crisis is certainly raging and threatening to become a disaster. And there are angles to the pandemic issue as well. But no, they want to distract from the border crisis. They want Americans to look at something else and not see the disaster that is brewing down there.

Leahy: And I think you’ve described it right at least from what I’ve been reading about. You’ve been with the center for immigration studies since 1992. You know your stuff. It looks to me like it is an utter disaster down there on the border. Tell us a little bit about the elements of that disaster.

Vaughan: What I was watching on my computer last night during the president’s speech were videos now circulating of streams of people coming across with the aid of smugglers in the areas of the border where there is no wall. And that is a huge problem. And the number of people coming has exploded. It started growing in November. We started getting reports from Central America.

And one of my colleagues went down to Central America and observed that the caravans forming because people expected that the Biden administration was going to reverse policies and allow people to come in again to stay indefinitely as long as they said that they feared return to their home country. That’s what Biden promised and that’s exactly what he’s done. And he’s also suspended enforcement in the interior of the country for all but a few of the worst criminal aliens.

And promising to push through a massive amnesty. All of these are a huge motivation for people to start to come now. And we saw the highest number in February that have tried to come in in one month, or I should say in the month of February in 10 years. This is getting much worse and it’s all because the policies have been reversed. When you promise people that they’re going to be able to come in, they’re going to come and who can blame them?

Leahy: Exactly.

Vaughan: And they say that the message that the president is sending is well, oh don’t come now. We’re going to make a way for you to come later. But the message they’re hearing from their friends and families who have tried this and succeeded and from the criminal smuggling organizations is now is the time because you’re going to get in. And that’s the truth.

Leahy: If you’re an American citizen, do you know and you want to I don’t know travel or do anything apparently now everybody needs to get tested for COVID-19 before they can move around the country is what I see developing. What kind of policy do they have for stopping people with COVID-19 from coming illegally into the country?

Vaughan: This is another area of inconsistency shall we say. The Biden administration says that they are testing new arrivals. That’s only partly true. They’re testing arrivals that they’re putting into the detention centers. And that is a lot of the families with kids who will stay there for a short period and some of the single adults that they’re catching. And they’ll test them before they release them.

These detention spaces are so overwhelmed and filled up with the record numbers of people coming they can’t detain everyone. So in many places, the border patrol is not turning them over to ICE. They’re simply releasing them into communities along the border it mostly in Texas and in Arizona. And saying well, it’s the responsibility of these communities to give tests that they think that’s appropriate. And some of the churches and NGOs are trying to do it. Once the border patrol releases somebody nobody has any control over them.

Leahy: They have no idea where they’re located. They have no idea where to go. So they’re bringing COVID-19 into the United States with illegal aliens.

Vaughan: One important thing to remember is our border patrol sources are saying that yeah, they’re catching a lot of people but they think about three are getting away for every one they catch. And obviously, those people are not tested or quarantined.

Leahy: Yeah, that exactly sounds more like the unofficial policy of the Biden Administration is let them all come in. Now Let me ask you this question. We got three years and 10 months and I don’t have two weeks left of this Biden-Harris administration at the federal level. It looks like they have a total open-door policy. I saw that in Texas governor Abbott sent down the National Guard. Is there a role for state governments in stopping this flood? or is there any hope to stop this flood of illegal immigration?

Vaughan: Well, absolutely. And what Governor Abbott has done is really smart. Texas has the resources and experienced law enforcement agencies that have dealt with these border crises before and know what to do. And that should be a big deterrent. I don’t think that’s going to happen in California and New Mexico. Possibly in Arizona.

But you know, the rest of America should be thanking Texas. But we can’t expect the state of Texas to do the federal government’s job. And in any event, the people who get through do not stay in Texas or in the border areas. They’re coming to communities all throughout the United States. And I think it’s incumbent on these communities and these state governments to release information about who is arriving, what they’re seeing, and what the impact and costs are for state and local communities.

And demand that the federal government deal with this at the federal level. I think when Democratic or more independent states, swing states or whatever, and purple and blue states start really complaining that’s the only way Biden and company are going to pay attention. Congress could do something about this.

State and local governments for example can refuse to accept large numbers of unaccompanied kids to be resettled. I think there are ways to push back. It’s going to take a lot of pushing to make the Biden administration respond. But when they feel it’s a political cost to this crisis that’s when they are going to act.

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Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe on Pelosi’s Iron Grip, the Media Hypocrisy on Biden Silence and Last Day as President

Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe on Pelosi’s Iron Grip, the Media Hypocrisy on Biden Silence and Last Day as President

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line who foresees Biden’s coming demise and how and when it will occur.

Leahy: We are joined on the line by the best national reporter in Washington DC for Star News Network Neil McCabe. Good Morning Neil, How you doing today?

McCabe: Very glad to be with you Michael.

Leahy: So Washington going crazy. They’re spending money like drunken sailors. They passed this one point nine trillion dollar coronavirus aid package that only contains nine percent for coronavirus. Nancy Pelosi that has an iron grip upon the brains and other parts of the Democrats in Congress, she says they’re going to spend more on covid relief spending. Ask the virus she says. What do you make of that Neil?

McCabe: Well, let me say this. And it’s pretty clear to me that the wheels are coming off the cart for the Biden administration. They are just saying we’re not even 100 days in we’re approaching the Ides of March. And it’s pretty much over for the Biden administration. I don’t think it’s any kind of victory for Biden that he was somehow able to convince people on Capitol Hill to vote for a two trillion dollars pork package. That seems pretty easy. I think if I was Speaker of the House I could get that. I could convince Congressman to send to spend two billion dollars on pork.

Pelosi’s basically got a lot of things that her progressive caucus wants her to do. She’s not going to get any of them done. And she can spend more money. But if she tries to do anything else she’s going to get into a world of hurt. Right now the calendar has kept against Biden and I just don’t see how he recovers anywhere and getting anything done in 2021. And then 2022 is going to be even worse for him.

Leahy: So he’s not held a press conference yet. How many days are we into this? 45, 46, 47. No press conferences yet. If this were a Republican president how would the mainstream media react to that silence from Joe legal but illegitimate Joe Biden?

McCabe: When you talk about Trump, there is no president in the history of this planet or any other planet in the universe that has given as much access to the press as Donald J. Trump. And reporters never had it so good. How many of these reporters became famous for their snarky questions and their back and forth with the president interrupting him, being so rude, and obnoxious? And now crickets. And, of course, it’s complete hypocrisy.

But what do you do? Joe Biden does not have the mental faculties to be president of the United States. Not only does he not remember the name of his defense secretary but he doesn’t remember both the name of the very large five-sided building that that man works in. He’s got a lot of problems. There was a gaffe the other day about four or five days ago where he’s doing a virtual tour some kind of call with NASA and he mentioned Joe, his vice president is of Indian descent.

His chief speechwriter is of Indian descent. There are more than 50 senior leaders in his administration who are of Indian descent. And Biden says wow, the Indians are taking over. Now forget Republican or Democrat. If anybody made that kind of ethnically charged gaffe, there will be hell to pay. The reason Biden gets a hall pass is that everyone knows he can’t be held responsible for what he says. It’s amazing.

And of course you look at the press coverage. How many articles did you read Mike about how great it is to have dogs in the White House again until one of the dogs attacked the secret service officer? (Leahy laughs) now, we’re being told it was the secret service. So now basically Major and Champ these two German Shepherds have been exiled to the Biden estate in Delaware. Biden was joking when he said the Indians were taking over. But Kamala Harris is going to be president of the United States sooner than he expects. He’ll have plenty of time to play with Major and Champ when he’s in private life back in Delaware.

Leahy: Give us a date. What is the last day Joe Biden serves as president of the United States?

McCabe: I really believe they have to take him out between Thanksgiving and Christmas because it’s all about the calendar. The major push for any kind of legislation on Capitol Hill from the state of the union and straight through Memorial Day. And after Memorial Day is going to be two or three things that you got to get done. And then there’s that final push for specific items to the Fourth of July.

From the Fourth of July to Labor Day nothing is done. Then you have a budget crisis. And the budget crisis then basically you hit all these holiday weekends, right? So you hit Columbus Day. You hit Veterans Day you had Thanksgiving and then you hit Christmas and then the cycle starts over again and it reboots with the state of the union. So they’ve got to take him out probably between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Leahy: And just remove him from the office of President is what you mean by that, right?

McCabe: Well, yes. I mean either it’s the 25th amendment or they sit him down and they say listen…

Leahy: It’s time to resign.

McCabe: (Inaudible talk) Hunter, or whatever we have to say or do to make him go away. And the question is, you know, will Biden’s team around him, this is the interesting dynamic. Because the Biden family in the Biden team obviously loves being in power like anyone else. That’s not a Republican or a Democratic thing.

That’s just people. So are they just going to how are they going to push back as Harris and Obama and that crowd basically try to push crazy Uncle Joe out the door. An interesting dynamic may develop where the Republicans actually sort of reach out to sort of keeping Joe in so that Kamala doesn’t become president of the United States. Let me ask you this Mike. When is the president’s State of the Union? When is he making his address?

Leahy: Supposedly he’s making an address this month sometime right? But is it a state of the union? I don’t know.

McCabe: No. He’s not going to do it. If you don’t know then join the club. Because no one knows. If Easter is April 4, it’s not going to be before Easter. You can’t do it in holy week. Then you have Greek Easter which pushes you to the 11th. The earliest he could do it is probably the week of April 18. So if I just said the hardest push for the legislation from a president of the United States is between (Inaudible talk) or Memorial Day. (Chuckling)

If he’s kicking off his administration on April 18th Well, well, how do you do sir? We have like three weeks. I think I think there are house votes scheduled for seven days in March. Eight days in April. Eight days in May. I think they’re in for 12 days of votes in June. On July 30th the House goes on recess from July 30th to September 20. So basically nothing’s getting done from August and then more than half of September.

Typically a president comes in and he does what’s called a skinny budget where you basically give the new president the chance to make his own personal amendments in the fiscal year budget that’s ongoing. They call it the skinny budget. How do you do a skinny budget when you don’t even have a director of the Office of Management and Budget? They dragged that out with Neera Tanden.

Leahy: And she’s gone right?

McCabe: (Inaudible talk) An Indian American by the way. And she pulls her nomination in March. She dragged that thing out. How do you go into March where you do not have an acting director? It’s not good for the Biden administration.

Leahy: Neil McCabe, you are on the record. March 10th, 2021. Come January first, 2022, Joe Biden will not be president of the United States. Neil, thanks for joining us today.

McCabe: Be good guys. Take care.

Listen to the full third hour here:


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Washington Correspondent Neil W. McCabe Weighs in on His Latest Exclusive and Outlines the Dangers of Biden’s Foreign Policy

Washington Correspondent Neil W. McCabe Weighs in on His Latest Exclusive and Outlines the Dangers of Biden’s Foreign Policy

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line weigh on his recent exclusive at The Tennessee Star and the different stylings on foreign policy between the Biden and Trump.

Leahy: We are joined by our good friend our longtime colleague the Washington correspondent for the Star News Network, which is The Tennessee Star, and five other state-based news sites. Neil McCabe with another breaking exclusive story on American foreign policy with the founder of the Gold Institute, Eli Gold. Neil, how do you keep getting breaking these exclusives? And what did Eli Gold tell you about Biden’s foreign policy?

McCabe: Eli Gold is an amazing guy who started the Gold Institute because after spending about 10 years in the sort of Washington think tank community he decided that nowhere was anybody actually doing things. They were creating a lot of policy, but nobody was ever getting anything done. And he wanted to create a place where there are practitioners, who are actually advising the decision-makers. And I guess I’ll let the cat out of the bag Mike. I am a media fellow at the Gold Institute. And so I just called Eli and I talked to him.

Leahy: Well, of course, that’s how you get these things. It is up now on The Tennessee Star. Exclusive: Gold Institute Founder Says Biden’s Foreign Policy Rejects Trump’s Successful Style, Substance. Tell us more about that Neil.

McCabe: Mike, if you look at it, I just made a quick list of 12 countries. Mexico, England, China, India, Japan, Canada, Russia, North Korea, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Afghanistan. And in every single instance, the Trump foreign policy was better than what was going on before Trump. And that’s not just Obama but Bush and everyone else that actually our posture towards those countries or with those countries was better under Trump.

And so what Eli was saying is that there are two things at play with the buying foreign policy vis-à-vis Trump. number one. He is bringing back sort of the left-wing establishment way of doing business. So the policies are going to be different. But almost more importantly the second thing is that Biden operates in a different way than Trump. Trump was revolutionary. Trump broke the mold.

And what he means by that is that is the Washington National Security foreign policy establishment believes or acts as if the rest of the world acts like they do in Washington. so the way you get things done in Washington is the way you get things done with the world. And so you talk to foreign leaders just like there are groups of congressmen trying to help you get through a farm bill. And it just doesn’t work.

And it never worked. and so what Trump did is Trump brought a personal one-on-one type of diplomacy. One that he honed as a New York City developer. He developed personal relationships. He got personally involved and he figured out how to get things done. And the key example for that in the article is what’s called mesa which was it was proposed as the Middle East Strategic Alliance.

And that was going to be sort of an Arab NATO and that came out of the Riyadh Summit which was you  Trump’s first trip to Saudi Arabia. Trump signed off on it. He talked about it at the Riyadh Summit. They got things going and then the state department just sort of muddled through it. And the state department basically was just telling these countries to sign on to this thing and then we’ll figure out later what it is.

And countries were saying no, we’re not going to sign something and then find out later what it is. Like Nancy Pelosi saying you have to pass Obamacare to figure out what it is. And Trump got personally involved. He saw what was good, what was bad, what was working and not working. And out of what was supposed to be the Middle East Strategic Alliance Trump’s personal involvement led to what’s called the Abraham Accords.

And that’s where you know he was able to get Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates to sign agreements recognizing Israel and sure of dropping that sort of War posture that these Arab countries have had with Israel. And in the second term, obviously, the big enchilada was going to be Saudi Arabia joining the Abraham Accords.

But this is sort of a result of Trump’s personal involvement. Whereas Biden is not personally involved. Biden wants to run everything by a committee. He wants to go back to the old ways and that’s why you’re seeing a sort of muddle through foreign policy. I think people can feel it where we are 40 days into a Biden administration and there just isn’t the speed and the action that we were used to in a Trump administration Mike.

Leahy: Well Neil, here’s my take on it. Just looking at it from afar. You are the expert on this. You deal with all these Washington foreign policy people. It strikes me that what we have now with the current occupant of the Oval Office the legal but not legitimate president of the United States Joe Biden. It looks to me like we have Neville Chamberlain with early-onset dementia surrounded by a bunch of third-rate lefty propagandists. Tell me where I’m wrong about that Neil.

McCabe: No. You’re absolutely right to the extent that I think you’re being a little unkind to Neville Chamberlain. (Leahy chuckles) I think he would stack up a little better next to Biden. But you know, this is one of the problems with a monarchy, right? Because the reason why is kind of like the son succeeds the father kind of monarchy because a civil war every time the King dies is not worth it.

And so sometimes you get a great king and sometimes you get a stooge but it’s better than a civil war and then maybe the next son will do alright. And we sort of watch this in England. But one of the problems is what if you have somebody who is not mentally functioning properly. And we saw that the other day maybe it was yesterday the day before yesterday Biden is doing this live stream with House Democrats and somebody says hey Mr. President will you take questions?

And he says, sure I’ll take questions. And as soon as he offered to take questions the White House shut the feed off. They just shut it off. Who knows what it’ll be like if you ever had to take a real press conference. We saw President Trump speak for 90 minutes with 150 international reporters from the U.S. And when he was in Europe, he would take all comers and he would keep taking questions until the reporters were tired.

And I’ve been in situations where Trump just keeps talking and talking and talking. Whatever questions are coming up he’ll take it. Even when someone’s nasty he’ll take the questions. Biden doesn’t take questions. It’s almost like those game shows where he’s in the soundproof booth. The president has to be protected from himself Mike

Leahy: Neil McCabe our Washington correspondent for the Star News Network. A big final question for you. How much damage will this somnambulant Biden administration’s foreign policy do to Americans’ interest? And will we survive it after the next three-plus years of the Biden/Harris administration?

McCabe: Yeah, Mike, I think that some severe damage can be done. If you look at the way President Biden’s administration is trying to reboot what was really becoming an American Iranian Alliance in the Middle East. You’ll see what he’s trying to do with China. Who knows what’ll happen the NAFTA. You have the negotiations for free trade with England. There’s a lot of things on the table. You have Germany, which is supposed to be like the heart of Europe is really absent without leave from NATO.

And Trump was pressuring Germany to step up and pay more for its defense. In the meantime, Germany got rid of its draft. Germany is giving billions of dollars to Russia, the country wearing NATO to defend Germany against. And these are the kinds of things that Biden is going to roll with. And if you go down that list of 12 countries, he’s every single one of them is postured to get worse. The Americans are going to lose out and it’s not good Mike. I’m not optimistic Mike.

Leahy: Neil McCabe the best investigative journalist in Washington, D.C. He’s our Washington correspondent for the Star News Network. We look forward to talking with you again next week on The Tennessee Star Report. Always look forward to your exclusive stories Neil. Thank you so much for joining us.

Listen to the full third hour here:


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IWF’s Sr. Policy Analyst Patrice Onwuka Talks Biden Rubber Stamped Policies, Trump at CPAC, and the Hypocrisy of the Left

IWF’s Sr. Policy Analyst Patrice Onwuka Talks Biden Rubber Stamped Policies, Trump at CPAC, and the Hypocrisy of the Left

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed the Independent Women’s Forum Senior Policy Analyst, Patrice Onwuka to the newsmakers line.

During the second hour, Onwuka reviewed the Biden administration’s COVID relief package that would essentially bail out blue cities and states and sweeping legislation not mentioned on the campaign trail. She also forewarned in the coming weeks of rubber-stamped legislation that would be detrimental to American workers and families and highlighted the hypocrisy of the left.

Leahy: We are joined once again by Patrice Onwuka of the Independent Women’s Forum a very important writer here. And she’s been tracking what’s been going on with the Biden administration. I think you’re perhaps less enthused about it than many in Washington D.C. are. Welcome, Patricia. Thanks so much for joining us today.

Onwuka: Absolutely. Thank you for having me, Michael Patrick.

Leahy: By Patrice that that is very common. People actually refer to me as Patrick sometimes because it’s in their mind that Senator Patrick Leahy my distant cousin whom I’ve never met. Distant cousin. Is perhaps the most famous Leahy of the world at the moment. And I have to say we’ve never met and although I did invite him to be on a Leahy Family Feud program back in 2009 when I was at the PJTV with a little Internet TV show.

He declined. We’re on opposites of the spectrum. But he does look a bit like my grandfather. (Chuckles) I’ll tell you that. You have been talking and writing a little bit about the Biden administration. What’s your current take on what they’re up to?

Onwuka: It’s distressful. Frankly all of the things that then-candidate Biden at the time hid. Everything from his energy policies to his labor policies that he didn’t cover on the campaign trail. But we’re now seeing between the sweeping executive orders that were passed within the first month to now this $1.9 trillion COVID relief package which has everything and the kitchen sink that Democrats have always wanted to pass through.

And that’s just the start. I think over the next few weeks we are going to see some major sweeping legislative proposals that he has been rubber-stamped. Everything from election changes to labor policies. It’s going to be scary for the American worker and the American family.

Leahy: Yes. I must agree with you about that. Many Republicans have said look this one point nine trillion-dollar coronavirus relief package as it’s called, only about nine percent of the one point nine trillion dollars actually goes for Coronavirus relief. About 350 billion goes to bailouts for fiscally irresponsible blue cities and blue states. There is a lot of other pork in that bill as well.

Onwuka: Oh absolutely. There’s money for union pension. Money for Planned Parenthood. For the universities for the arts. Even Nancy Pelosi, she’s going to be bringing home tens of billions of dollars to California for things like transit projects. So it’s not surprising that that that I think progressives or those on the left would try and use this massive sweeping spending bill to tuck their favorite pet projects in there and hope that because it has the name COVID relief that people will just pass it right off the bat.

We did see that the House passed the bill. Although there were there was enough pushback from Democrats. And the question is what’s going to happen when it comes up for a vote in the Senate either this week or next week? And not surprisingly it’s going to be a party-line vote. However, they’ve got to ensure that all 50 of their Democrats stay in line. If not, this bill could be sunk.

Leahy: So the two Democratic senators whose names come up most often as possible opponents to the bill are Manchin of West Virginia and Kristen Sinema of Arizona. Do you have any indications reading the tea leaves of where they stand?

Onwuka: Because the $15 minimum wage increases if not likely to be part of the final package. They’re more likely to vote Yes. Now that’s not guaranteed but that $15 federal minimum wage hike was going to be the death knell for this whole bill. Now thankfully we saw the parliamentarian the person who decides, what can and cannot be in a sweeping spending bill like this.

She said hey, no this can’t be in there. Unfortunately, Senator Bernie Sanders was very sad. I  insert the meme of him sitting with his legs folded and a sad face because this was really his pet that $15 minimum wage. So because it’s not likely to pass with that in there I think you’ll see Sinema and Manchin come on board. Now, that’s not to say that that something someone else may not hop out. I mean, it’s like a basket of kittens you put one in another one can come out if they don’t get some guarantees or something in that bill that they really want for their folks.

Leahy: I’d be curious as to your reaction to President Trump’s speech at CPAC over the weekend. Did you like it? Do you think he was on top of his game? And who reported on that? I didn’t see much of it in the mainstream media.

Onwuka: No, I think Fox News maybe and Newsmax and some of those more right leading Outlets or are actually independent leading outlets. They covered it. I watched a speech I thought I would have loved to have seen more of this President Trump on the campaign trail because he really number one touted a lot of the great accomplishments that his administration passed on everything from Immigration policies shoring up our borders to the robust economies we had going into the coronavirus pandemic.

And thank goodness the economy was as strong as it was because I think that has softened the blow for workers and I know we’ve got millions of people who are still unemployed. But I think it could have been worse. So he did a great job of laying out what he did when he was in office and then contrasting with what Joe Biden is doing.

His far swing to the left and the fact that a lot of these policies that he kept on the campaign trail and that the media did not ask him about we’re now seeing. And so I think it’s in its opening the eyes of many people. I wish you’d stayed away from the electoral stuff and kind of the campaign was stolen language.

But he absolutely did redefine that the Republican Party is a party based on ideas and policies of low taxes, leadership, America first policies that prioritize American workers and American businesses, and of secure safe borders and safe neighborhoods and communities. Those are really strong conservative topics and issues and I think he’s saying this is who we are.

Leahy: Patrice and woke us senior policy Analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum. One word comes to mind when I look at what Joe Biden is doing with the Biden administration is doing what all the Democrats in Congress are doing. That word is hypocrisy. (Laughter) and you know, there’s a case in point. Did you see the story about what the leader of the California teachers union has been doing?

Onwuka: Oh, yes. Oh yes. (Chuckles)

Leahy: Tell our audience about this because it just I mean I saw this and my eyes glazed over.

Onwuka: Oh this guy, he’s priceless. He’s a young man with a little girl and I think she was in Pre-K or a Kindergartner. He was walking her to Pre-K in the morning. Both of them wearing their masks crossing the street. And that should be fine right? Except he is the president of the teachers’ unions in one of the biggest I think cities or maybe the across the state of California and he is taking his daughter to a private institution where she’s able to learn and play.

Leahy: In person!

Onwuka: In person. But all of the kids in California in a lot of districts in public schools do not have that blessing or that benefit. And I think it highlights the hypocrisy of a lot of these leftist leaders and particularly teachers’ union folks who rail against school choice. Who rail against the idea that poor kids should be able to take the federal funds that go to public school and take those two private options, to parochial schools, to charter schools, or even homeschooling and giving them that choice these folks they have a choice they can afford to pay for private school.

They can afford to pay for private tutors, but they do not want to give that to you know, the poor black and brown kids. And hey, by the way, listeners, I’m a Black kid. I grew up in a poor neighborhood with an immigrant family and I made it. And thank goodness. I wish my story could be replicated because of school choice but the teachers’ unions will not allow it.

Leahy: Patrice Onwuka, senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum. Thanks so much for joining us again. And please come back and come visit us in Nashville.

Onwuka: Alright. Thank you, Mike.

Listen to the full third hour here:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Patrice Onwuka” by Independent Women’s Forum. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Washington Times Correspondent and Author Bill Gertz Weighs in on the Threat of China in a Biden Administration

The Washington Times Correspondent and Author Bill Gertz Weighs in on the Threat of China in a Biden Administration

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed author and The Washington Times correspondent on national security Bill Gertz to the newsmakers line to discuss the threat of China in a Biden administration.

Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by the man who I believe is the greatest correspondent on national security issues in America. The great Bill Gertz of The Washington Times. Bill, welcome to The Tennessee Star Report.

Gertz: Hi! It’s good to be on the program.

Leahy: You’ve written so much on this bill my big question for you is, we’re in the first full day of the Biden administration are we on a path now with Joe Biden as president where American foreign policy interests will be subverted to the interest of the Communist Chinese Party?

Gertz: Well, that’s the big question. The Biden administration is really kind of an Obama administration 2.0. But I think one area where they’re going to have a hard time going back to those Obama policies is the issue of China. I think it’s been made clear even by the people that President Biden has picked that China poses the greatest threat to U.S. National Security.

The difference will be from the Trump administration on how to handle that and how to respond to it. And I think we’ll get more conciliatory policies. I think the Wall Street influence again wanting to trade with China as opposed to confronted on a lot of these technology thefts and cyber issues. It’s going to be where the differences are that we’ll be seeing.

Leahy: One of the last acts of the Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a report about the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts. He called them crimes against humanity and genocide in placing one million Uyghurs in camps. And this was the main thrust of the last week of the Trump administration. What will the Biden administration do to help protect the human rights of Uyghurs in China?

Gertz: Well that’s going to be another issue looking at the new the incoming Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He has said in his confirmation hearing this week in the Senate that he supports the designation of genocide against China. The point I’m interested to see is how the Chinese will react. The designation has been underway and the process for an exhaustive investigation into the crimes that were committed.

And as you mentioned they’ve incarcerated over a million Uyghurs. They’ve conducted four sterilizations. They’re really trying to destroy an entire ethnic minority group in western China through these policies. The question is will the pressure on China be great enough for them to back down? And it doesn’t seem to be that way.

The current Chinese leader is Xi Jinping sees himself as kind of a reborn Mao Zedong, the founder of communist China. And he’s taking a hardline communist approach on all of these human rights issues. And it’s not just Jinping. Now we see that they’ve destroyed democracy in Hong Kong which the Chinese government promised to allow a separate legal system.

A separate Democratic legal system for another 40 years or so. But they’ve gone back on that. I think it remains to be seen. As I said, I think the Trump administration really put down the marker and it’s going to be hard to go back to the appeasement policies of the Obama administration and earlier administrations.

Leahy: But you know, I look at this and I see nothing but appeasement coming forward. I guess you’re you are a little bit more optimistic about the Biden administration responding strongly to these Chinese efforts. What will be the first test of the Biden administration will?

Gertz: Yeah, I think the situation regarding China is somewhat dangerous in my view and the Chinese could precipitate some crisis with the United States. And I think one of the biggest flashpoints right now in Taiwan. The Chinese have been threatening Taiwan. Threatening to use military force to retake the island which has a separate system. And the U.S. is somewhat obligated to defend Taiwan.

We have the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which says the U.S. will prevent or participate in preventing the forcible takeover of Taiwan by the mainland. The Chinese have been taking advantage of the political discord in the U.S. and they’ve been making a lot of threatening noises. They’ve been conducting very intrusive aerial surveillance of Taiwan. They could trigger some crisis by trying to steal some islands off the edge of China that belong to Taiwan now, I think that’s the place where everyone has to watch closely.

The sources that I talked to in the Trump administration just a few days ago said that the U.S. intelligence community is closely watching every tiny move by the Chinese military because if they do something militarily against Taiwan they have to prepare for it and there would be indications we could see with our spy satellites or aircraft.

Leahy: You know, I am not a foreign policy expert but I look at this and what you tell me here’s the scenario I see. I see China being very very aggressive in every area politically, militarily, and economically. And when the moment is right, I think it’s highly likely they will take those islands near Taiwan. And I think it is quite likely that the Biden administration will do nothing and let them take those islands and then let them take Taiwan. I don’t see the Biden administration pushing back. Tell me why my worst-case scenario might be wrong.

Gertz: Well in my Washington Times column today, I write a weekly column called Inside the Ring. I talked about this. And one preview that we saw is a recent article in a foreign policy journal by Jake Sullivan. He’s going to be the new White House National Security advisor under Biden. And he talked extensively about the need to strengthen alliances as something that he claims the Trump administration didn’t do which they actually did. And if we intend to have a policy with strong alliances, there’s no way the Biden administration could allow China to do anything toward the island of Taiwan.

Leahy: Well, we’ll see. I hope your more optimistic view of how the Biden administration will react is the one we end up with. But we’ll see. Again, I just look at this politically. How are you seeing the allies you mentioned that Jake Sullivan wants to develop ties with? How are they responding to this new Biden administration? And will they join with us if China becomes very aggressive?

Gertz: Yeah, that’s a big question. If the Biden administration adopts some form of the Obama policy which was characterized as leading from behind. In other words not taking the lead, then we’ll have real problems. If they continue the policy of taking the lead on confronting China and pressuring China. I think a good start has been what the Trump administration has done in creating the so-called quad.

India, Australia, Japan, and the United States are big regional powers that basically can encircle China and really show through their unity that they’re not going to allow China to become a regional hegemon that is to bully other nations. Whether it’s in the South China Sea or whether it’s Taiwan or whether it’s Japan or whether it’s the Senkaku Islands which are the small islands north of Taiwan. So I think that will be the key thing. If the U.S. can hold together this newly formed quad alliance, that will be a big step in really dealing with the China threat in my view.

Leahy: When was that quad alliance formed?

Gertz: It’s an informal alliance. It’s not a formal alliance like NATO. But it was something that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who I think has shown himself to be one of the best secretaries of state that the United States has ever had. he was able to get these together. And another point is that India and Japan and Australia could be much more concerned about the China threat and how to respond to it than a Biden administration which again may take a more appeasement-oriented policy. So in one sense, those three allies could push the Biden administration to do more on the China front.

Leahy: When we come back, we’ll have more with Bill Gertz the National Security correspondent with The Washington Times and the author of several fantastic books on China. We’ll talk more with Bill Gertz after the break.

Listen to the full interview here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio