Bill Owens: Confounding And Confusing Events 3/2/20 | WAMC

Bill Owens: Confounding And Confusing Events 3/2/20

Mar 2, 2020

Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney announced during a European visit that the US was anxious for legal immigrants in order to keep the economy moving.  This is an admission I was surprised to hear from a Trump administration official, yet they are not moving forward with any substantial immigration reform bills or other policies to implement same.  The Democrats should definitely pick-up this baton and present the administration with an immigration bill that will appeal to the needs of business and resolve other outstanding issues that currently plague our immigration system.

The Director of National Intelligence was recently removed from office, after giving a briefing to Congress in which he identified the fact that Russia was again meddling and doing so for the benefit of Mr. Trump.  Shortly after that presentation, it was announced that the Russians are also meddling on behalf of Bernie Sanders.  Bernie Sanders immediately condemned the action, POTUS is just angry that it was disclosed, but did not rebuke Russia.  The person appointed DNI is someone who is a political hack, lacks intelligence experience, and likely intelligence, and will simply do the President’s bidding rather than the country’s. 

Syria creates a dilemma for Mr. Trump.  Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdrogan are on opposites sides of the conflict.  POTUS likes them both and which dictator will he back or does he say, “my friends have differing opinions, and I’m for my friends.”  This is a paraphrase of one of my deceased partner’s favorite expressions Senator Ron Stafford.

On the trade front, still no action by Canada on approving the USMCA.  The EU and Boris Johnson remain at loggerheads on a trade deal.  China has not begun any significant AG purchases from US farmers.  In the same arena, the tariffs on Chinese goods largely remain in place and the burden continues to be borne by U.S. consumers and businesses.

We are now learning that at the quarantine bases government employees were without any protection.  At the same time CDC is saying they do not understand how infected individuals contracted the virus in most regions.  Talk about missing the mark.

Astronomers have discovered the biggest explosion in the universe.  It occurred in a black hole 390 million light years away in the center of a galaxy cluster.  My question is what does it mean, if you know, please contact me.

Corona is also impacting our military forces, however, POTUS has ignored the issue so far.  The Administration’s approach looks more like the Chinese Communist approach -_try and sell good news not the truth.  The military appears to be handling this professionally.

POTUS announced an agreement with the Taliban which envisions a troop draw down.  Whenever we move out of this war zone, chaos is likely to follow.  Our initial invasion made sense, 20 years later not so much.  It is painful to contemplate the brave lives lost, but we have done all we can.  

An appeal’s Court ruled that former White House Counsel Don McGahn will not be forced by the courts to testify.  This is a political question which has been answered correctly even in light of the Nixon tapes precedent.  The Court suggested the House use its other powers – looks like the Sargent at Arms with the Capital Police escorting, should be arriving at Mr. McGahn’s door shortly.

Bill Owens is a former member of Congress representing the New York 21st, a partner in Stafford Owens in Plattsburgh, NY and a Senior Advisor to Dentons to Washington, DC.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.