Saturday, March 18, 2017

The week in Trump

If you went only by media accounts, this was the worst week ever for Donald Trump -- for the 98th consecutive week.

But you know better. So read on.
1. On Sunday, after President Trump fired 46 hack lawyers appointed by Obama as U.S. attorneys, the media canonized Preet Bharara -- Chuck Schumer's chief counsel who got promoted to U.S. attorney in lower Manhattan where he sent absolutely Zero CEOs to prison following the collapse of the economy in 2008 an 2009.

From Glenn Reynolds:
In the excellent Paul Newman legal thriller, Absence of Malice, Wilford Brimley faced a misbehaving Justice Department prosecutor who refused to resign. He fired him. It was Brimley’s breakthrough role, as a no-nonsense older guy there to fix a mess. In a way it prefigured what’s going on with President Trump and former U.S attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara. Bharara refused to resign, and Trump fired him.
Book deal, then a run for governor, right?


2. The stock market kept climbing. On Monday, Chris Buskirk reported:
It’s the economy, stupid. We’ve heard the phrase so many times over the past 25 years that it has descended into cliché if not outright parody. But it’s been repeated so often because it highlights a basic truth about politics: jobs matter. And since the election, the job growth has been extraordinary.
It’s been so strong that it prompted Jamie Dimon, president and CEO of Chase, the nation’s largest bank, a registered Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, to back President Trump’s economic agenda. Dimon declared it has “woken up the animal spirits” in the United States. His comments came in the midst of a spate of good economic news released this week.
Trump himself tweeted, “Great Again: +235,000” after the Labor Department reported a higher than expected 235,000 new jobs were created in February. This came on the heels of a report earlier in the week from ADP and Moody’s Analytics showing 298,000 new private sector jobs in the same month.
Better yet, the Labor Department report showed strong wage growth and that 340,000 workers who sensed better prospects came off the sidelines and re-entered the workforce. This addresses a key critique of the weak Obama era recovery after the 2008 financial panic: namely, that the low reported unemployment rate was misleading because of the large number of working age Americans who stopped looking for work and were therefore not counted in official government unemployment statistics.
And 28,000 of those new jobs were in manufacturing. And 8,000 were in mining. But hey, the media keeps telling us those jobs just ain't coming back.


3. Instead of chatting up the best economy in 10 years, the media obsessed with the long discredited story of Trump being a puppet of Putin.

From the Hill:
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said in an interview Sunday that the Russian ambassador who met with Trump campaign officials also met with “people working in think tanks advising Hillary or advising people working for Hillary.”
“Well, if you look at some people connected with Hillary Clinton during her campaign, you would probably see that he had lots of meetings of that kind,” Dmitry Peskov told CNN “GPS” host Fareed Zakaria. “There are lots of specialists in politology, people working in think tanks advising Hillary or advising people working for Hillary.”
Peskov said it is the job of Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to meet with officials on both sides to talk about “bilateral relations.”
Oops. How did that story get in there? We cannot undermine The Narrative with facts.


4. The New York Times reported: "Trump Lets Key Offices Gather Dust Amid ‘Slowest Transition in Decades’."

Chuck Schumer changed his name to Trump? The Senate are so slow approving appointments that the Cabinet won't be complete for another four years.


5. On Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow got a big scoop.
I didn't say what it was a scoop of.


6. Speaking of big scoops, the Washington Post reported: "Defunding Planned Parenthood would lead to thousands more births, CBO says."

That's the idea.


7. Meanwhile Trump went to Michigan to meet with auto executives and to Tennessee to commemorate the 250th birthday of Andrew Jackson, Then he held a big rally in Nashville.

This did not stop Vanderbilt from losing the next day in the NCAA tournament. I blame Trump. People were physically tired of winning in Tennessee.


8. On Thursday, Trump rolled out a skinny budget, eliminating 19 agencies and 61 programs within agencies.

From the Washington Post:
Trump and his advisers have said that they believe the federal workforce is too big, and that the federal government spends — and wastes — too much money. They have said that Washington — the federal workers and contractors, among others — has benefited from government largesse while many other Americans have suffered. Federal spending, they have argued, crowds the private sector and piles regulations and bureaucracy onto companies.
Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, has said Trump will lead a “deconstruction of the administrative state.” On Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Obama loyalists had “burrowed into government.” Last month, Trump said the government would have to “do more with less.”
Trump’s proposal comes at a time when the federal budget is facing massive structural shifts in society and the economy. Aging baby boomers are swelling the number of Americans collecting Social Security and Medicare benefits, and the costs of these programs will continue to grow faster for more than a decade, budget experts said. In addition, the expected rise in borrowing rates and the growing national debt are expected to push interest payments on the debt from $270 billion this year to $768 billion in 2027, out-pacing any growth in tax revenue.
Surprisingly, that makes the case for the cuts.


9. On Friday, the EPA announced: "EPA Awards $100 Million to Michigan for Flint Water Infrastructure Upgrades."

NPR freaked about "Trump's Budget Slashes Climate Change Funding."

That's Trump for you. Fixing real problems instead of imaginary ones.


10. Trump met with Chancellor Merkel to discuss disagreements on trade, immigration, and German's refusal to live up to its NATO commitments.

How did the press report this?

From Time: "Donald Trump Doesn't Shake Angela Merkel's Hand: Watch."

That is not her hand? Then is it her paw? Hoof? Talon?


11. A federal judge in Hawaii decided a president of the United States cannot obey Congress and restrict who can travel to the United States.

As David French put it: "To protect the feelings of some residents, a court unconstitutionally strips power from Congress and the president."

We live in a fiefdom run by judges.

Maybe we should just chuck the national anthem in favor of "Feelings."


12. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported:
The Trump administration wants to build a 30-foot-high border wall that looks good from the north side and is difficult to climb or cut through, according to a pair of contract notices posted to a government website further detailing President Donald Trump's promise to build a "big, beautiful wall" at the Mexican border.
The notices were made public late Friday by Customs and Border Protection, the Homeland Security Department agency that will oversee the project and eventually patrol and maintain the wall. The proposals are due to the government by March 29.
One of the CBP contract requests calls for a solid concrete wall, while the other asks for proposals for a see-through structure. Both require the wall to sunk at least six feet into the ground and include 25- and 50-foot automated gates for pedestrians and vehicles. The proposed wall must also be built in a such a way that it would take at least an hour to cut through it with a "sledgehammer, car jack, pick axe, chisel, battery operated impact tools, battery operated cutting tools, Oxy/acetylene torch or other similar hand-held tools."
Elections have consequences.

And a wall.

A big, beautiful wall.


13. Finally, today from Bloomberg:
G-20 Drops Anti-Protectionist Pledge as Trump Stance Goes Global
Finance chiefs of the world’s largest economies set aside a previous pledge to avoid protectionism and signed up to a fudged statement on trade instead, in response to the Trump administration’s call for a rethink of the global order for commerce.
The Group of 20 nations, meeting in Germany on Saturday, said in a communique that they are “working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies.” That’s a much pared-down formulation compared with the group’s statement last year, and also omits a promise to “avoid all forms of protectionism.”
In two days of meetings in Baden-Baden, delegates split under the pressure of the new U.S. rhetoric on the balance of global trade, with most favoring a multilateral, rules-based system as currently embodied in the World Trade Organization. The U.S., represented by Steven Mnuchin in his first appearance at an international forum as Treasury Secretary, argued that trade arrangements need to be made fairer, in line with the administration’s claims the U.S. has had a bad deal from the current setup.
The impasse reflects the atmosphere the previous day at the White House, where U.S. President Donald Trump met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and repeated his complaints that his country has been treated “very, very unfairly” in trade arrangements.

The United States is back.

And it is still the only 800-pound gorilla in the room.


Final score: GOOD 9, EVIL 4, as President Trump has his best week since last week.


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  1. Yea, with aging boomers the costs will increase. Funny that, because SS and Medicare funds were not invested/saved/given to the fed to loan to banks instead of QE-1-3. Instead it was all spend as revenue but we still had deficits. Both parties failed us. So we have a $100 trillion unfunded government pensions as well as SS and Medicare besides the $20 trillion of budgetary debt. I worked my butt off to save for retirement and not have to rely on SS, but the government sabotaged that effort with mortgage derivatives, since everyone really, really has a right to own a house. BS.
    On the bright side, SS is estimated to go down the tubes in 2035, way beyond my life expectancy.

  2. To steal from Emperor Misha, rope, lamp post, judge. Some assembly required.

  3. Gonna start calling yourself the scorekeeper again?

  4. And, the Mountaineers won today. All is well in my world.

  5. "Meanwhile Trump went ... to Tennessee to commemorate the 250th birthday of Andrew Jackson".

    Seems to me that might have been a shot fired across the judiciary's bow.

    "Mr Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it".

    1. Forget thee not the Dems have written off/out Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from their party rolls.

  6. I haven't read the Hawaii judge's decision. But the three panel judges of the nineth circuit should all be impeached, tried and stripped of their judgeships.

  7. Was I alone here in looking at the still of that looped Trump video, and thinking that it represented a hand-gesture symbolizing the efforts and effects of post-election Leftist propaganda?