They come from customers in the bars - sound critique, encouragement, warnings, pleas, evasions even - and from the howls of invective from over the hedge. The News - print and TV- even in Oz, has nothing good to say about The Donald, nor even about his fine looking and seemingly very presentable wife.
It is a source of amusement to see and hear all the nonebrities in America who threatened to leave for distant climes were he to win. I have yet to hear of one who did leave. No apologies either.
The Donald is a far more pleasant chap than I, it seems, as were I in his position I would be hauling their arses into the White House for one final gawp before handing them a ticket on a tramp steamer from Baltimore to Liberia.
But the Donald has a swampful of real nasty blighters to rid himself of, who are struggling to evade his nets, and he is taking his good time watching them scatter and howl. They predicted the end of the world: the sky was going to fall in: the stock market would crash: Trump would be a Dictator !! Cats and dogs would be sleeping together. The last bit was nearly right.
From we poor folk out in the Provinces of the Rest of the World, what we saw over the past near decade under the piebald muslim B.O. was a Great Nation steeing toward the rocks and going at great speed. The Donald has his work cut out turning this great ship before it founders and takes many other nations down with it.
Enough of the small Oz gloat, though. Personally I see him doing pretty well, so far, with a deft touch here and there and a very big tweet record that leaves many cringing. But my opinion matters little. What have other people to say?
The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal sit at their own table (leased, of course) in the US Room bar, whenever they can smeak in past the Bouncer, and were working on a 'statement'. In typical fashion they were as reticent and guarded with any praise as they are with paying their bar tab. One does not have to consult the runes to know which side of the hedge they are meant to be on.
About That Trump ‘Autocracy’Remember all those progressive predictions of looming fascism?As Donald Trump heads into his second year as President, we’re pleased to report that there hasn’t been a fascist coup in Washington. This must be terribly disappointing to the progressive elites who a year ago predicted an authoritarian America because...
Mr. Trump posed a unique threat to democratic norms.
But it looks like the U.S. will have to settle for James Madison’s boring checks and balances.
“How to stop an autocracy,” said a Feb. 7, 2017 headline on Vox, ruminating on a zillion-word essay in The Atlantic on how Donald Trump might impose authoritarian rule.
Academics and pundits mined analogies to Mussolini, Hitler and Vladimir Putin.Four political scientists even formed something called Bright Line Watch—with the help of foundation money— to “monitor the status of democratic practices and highlight potential threats to American democracy.”
Readers won’t be surprised to learn that the only graver threat than Mr. Trump is the Republican Congress that refuses to impeach him.One of the Bright Line Watch founders, University of Rochester professor Gretchen Helmke, wrote in the Washington Post on April 25, “Could Trump set off a constitutional crisis? Here’s what we can learn from Latin America.”A year later, where are we on the road to Venezuela?Far from rolling over Washington institutions like a tank, Mr. Trump seems as frustrated as other Presidents with the limits of his power. He achieved one major legislative goal in tax reform but failed on health care. His border wall isn’t built and he may have to legalize the “Dreamer” immigrants if he wants Congress to approve money for it.Mr. Trump’s political appointees still aren’t close to fully staffing the executive branch. He’s making more headway on judges, but that’s partly due to former Democratic leader Harry Reid’s decision in 2013 to eliminate the Senate filibuster for judicial nominees. The press cheered on that partisan, mid-session change of Senate rules to pack the courts.Mr. Trump’s rhetorical attacks on the media are excessive. But for all of his bluster, we haven’t seen a single case of Trump prosecutors seeking warrants to eavesdrop on journalists to discover their sources.
Barack Obama’s Justice Department surreptitiously did that to the Associated Press and James Rosen of Fox News in violation of Justice guidelines.As for legal checks and balances, progressive judges in the lower courts have overturned three versions of Mr. Trump’s travel ban. Their legal analysis is dubious given the Constitution’s grant of authority to the political branches on immigration and national security, and our guess is that the Supreme Court will eventually overrule the lower courts.
But the point is that judges are hardly deferring to the Trump Administration.
Oh, and since when do tyrants deregulate to take power away from the administrative state?Mr. Trump is also facing a special counsel investigation with essentially unchecked power to investigate him and his family.
Robert Mueller is ostensibly charged with looking into ties between Russians and the 2016 Trump campaign, but Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appears to have given Mr. Mueller carte blanche.Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe and seems unable to exert any discipline over the FBI. The Justice Department ultimately reports to Mr. Trump. Yet he can’t even get his nominees at the FBI and Justice to tell Congress what they used as evidence to get a FISA warrant against Trump campaign officials in 2016.
Who is the unaccountable authority here?The real story of the past year is that, despite the daily Trumpian melodrama, the U.S. political system is working more or less as usual. Mr. Trump has sometimes broken with familiar presidential decorum, especially in his public statements and attacks on individuals. But he is paying a considerable political price for that excess with an approval rating below 40% less than a year into his term.
Hmmmm. I suspect we are watching the typical democrat voters rising from the graves, as they have traditionally done for most left-wing parties everywhere. It is the walking dead, life imitating art.Voters rejected his preferred Senate candidates in Alabama twice. Republicans were routed in Virginia’s elections as Democrats came out in droves, and on present trend the GOP will lose its House majority in November. In other words, we are watching the typical back and forth of American democracy.
Democratic institutional norms are worth defending, which is why we called out the Obama IRS for bias against the tea party. We’ll do the same if Mr. Trump exceeds his constitutional power. But the lesson of the past year is that progressives should have more faith in the American system—whether they’re in power or not.
Friends Romans and countrymen. We come to damn with the faintest praise and a complete lack of any note of achievements.Losing an election isn’t the same as losing a democracy.
The Washington Reporters pull out everything to try to smear the Donald. Even seeking his tax returns (which are confidential twix him and the IRS, of course). They ask questions they never asked from Obama.
At a recent press conference, a reporter with MSNBC hollered from the press corps,“Where is President Trump hiding his tax returns?”Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, astutely responded, “We’ve found a very secure
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist filled in a few gaps for us.place and I’m certain they won’t be found.”“And just where is that?”, said the reporter, sarcastically.Mrs. Sanders grinned sardonically and said, “They are underneath Obama’s college records, his passport application, his immigration status as a student, his funding sources to pay for college, his college records, and his Selective Service registration.“Next question?”
Year One List:
81 major Trump achievements,
11 Obama legacy items repealedWith the passage of the GOP tax bill this week, the Trump administration has scored 81 major achievements in its first year, making good on campaign promises to provide significant tax cuts, boost U.S. energy production, and restore respect to the United States, according to the White House.
And along the way, President Trump even outdid his own expectations and slashed at least 11 major legacy items of former President Barack Obama, including cracking down on the open border, slowing recognition of communist Cuba and effectively killing Obamacare by ending the mandate that everyone have health insurance or face a tax.
According to the White House, the 81 accomplishments are in 12 major categories and include well over 100 other minor achievements.The unofficial list helps to counter the impression in the mainstream media and among congressional Democrats that outside the approval of Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch and passage of the tax reform bill little was done.Administrations typically tout their achievements broadly at the end of each year, but Trump plans to list jobs added, regulations killed, foreign policy victories won, and moves to help veterans and even drug addicts.And in a sign of support for conservatives, the White House also is highlighting achievements for the pro-life community.Below are the 12 categories and 81 wins cited by the White House.Jobs and the economyPassage of the tax reform bill providing $5.5 billion in cuts and repealing the Obamacare mandate.Increase of the GDP above 3 percent.Creation of 1.7 million new jobs, cutting unemployment to 4.1 percent.Saw the Dow Jones reach record highs.A rebound in economic confidence to a 17-year high.A new executive order to boost apprenticeships.A move to boost computer sciences in Education Department programs.Prioritizing women-owned businesses for some $500 million in SBA loans.Killing job-stifling regulationsSigned an Executive Order demanding that two regulations be killed for every new one creates. He beat that big and cut 16 rules and regulations for every one created, saving $8.1 billion.Signed 15 congressional regulatory cuts.Withdrew from the Obama-era Paris Climate Agreement, ending the threat of environmental regulations.Signed an Executive Order cutting the time for infrastructure permit approvals.Eliminated an Obama rule on streams that Trump felt unfairly targeted the coal industry.
Fair tradeMade good on his campaign promise to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.Opened up the North American Free Trade Agreement for talks to better the deal for the U.S.Worked to bring companies back to the U.S., and companies like Toyota, Mazda, Broadcom Limited, and Foxconn announced plans to open U.S. plants.Worked to promote the sale of U.S products abroad.Made enforcement of U.S. trade laws, especially those that involve national security, a priority.Ended Obama’s deal with Cuba.Boosting U.S. energy dominanceThe Department of Interior, which has led the way in cutting regulations, opened plans to lease 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling.Trump traveled the world to promote the sale and use of U.S. energy.Expanded energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline snubbed by Obama.Ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan.EPA is reconsidering Obama rules on methane emissions.Protecting the U.S. homelandLaid out new principles for reforming immigration and announced plan to end "chain migration," which lets one legal immigrant to bring in dozens of family members.Made progress to build the border wall with Mexico.Ended the Obama-era “catch and release” of illegal immigrants.Boosted the arrests of illegals inside the U.S.Doubled the number of counties participating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement charged with deporting illegals.
Removed 36 percent more criminal gang members than in fiscal 2016.Started the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.Ditto for other amnesty programs like Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.Cracking down on some 300 sanctuary cities that defy ICE but still get federal dollars.Added some 100 new immigration judges.Protecting communitiesJustice announced grants of $98 million to fund 802 new cops.Justice worked with Central American nations to arrest and charge 4,000 MS-13 members.Homeland rounded up nearly 800 MS-13 members, an 83 percent one-year increase.Signed three executive orders aimed at cracking down on international criminal organizations.Attorney General Jeff Sessions created new National Public Safety Partnership, a cooperative initiative with cities to reduce violent crimes.AccountabilityTrump has nominated 73 federal judges and won his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.Ordered ethical standards including a lobbying ban.Called for a comprehensive plan to reorganize the executive branch.Ordered an overhaul to modernize the digital government.Called for a full audit of the Pentagon and its spending.Combatting opioidsFirst, the president declared a Nationwide Public Health Emergency on opioids.His Council of Economic Advisors played a role in determining that overdoses are underreported by as much as 24 percent.The Department of Health and Human Services laid out a new five-point strategy to fight the crisis.Justice announced it was scheduling fentanyl substances as a drug class under the Controlled Substances Act.Justice started a fraud crackdown, arresting more than 400.The administration added $500 million to fight the crisis.On National Drug Take Back Day, the Drug Enforcement Agency collected 456 tons.Protecting lifeIn his first week, Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy that blocks some $9 billion in foreign aid being used for abortions.Worked with Congress on a bill overturning an Obama regulation that blocked states from defunding abortion providers.Published guidance to block Obamacare money from supporting abortion.Helping veteransSigned the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act to allow senior officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire failing employees and establish safeguards to protect whistleblowers.Signed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act.Signed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, to provide support.Signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 to authorize $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program.Created a VA hotline.
Here in Oz, our Leader the Great Turdball has managed to introduce and legislate Same Sex Marriage. And he has been on the toilet a lot longer than Trump. But that's not all of course. He has totally buggered our power industry and rid us of all facility for manufacturing. Not a great record.Had the VA launch an online “Access and Quality Tool,” providing veterans with a way to access wait time and quality of care data.With VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin, announced three initiatives to expand access to healthcare for veterans using telehealth technology.Promoting peace through strengthDirected the rebuilding of the military and ordered a new national strategy and nuclear posture review.Worked to increase defense spending.Empowered military leaders to “seize the initiative and win,” reducing the need for a White House sign off on every mission.Directed the revival of the National Space Council to develop space war strategies.Elevated U.S. Cyber Command into a major warfighting command.Withdrew from the U.N. Global Compact on Migration, which Trump saw as a threat to borders.Imposed a travel ban on nations that lack border and anti-terrorism security.Saw ISIS lose virtually all of its territory.Pushed for strong action against global outlaw North Korea and its development of nuclear weapons.Announced a new Afghanistan strategy that strengthens support for U.S. forces at war with terrorism.NATO increased support for the war in Afghanistan.Approved a new Iran strategy plan focused on neutralizing the country’s influence in the region.Ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airbase used in a chemical weapons attack.Prevented subsequent chemical attacks by announcing a plan to detect them better and warned of future strikes if they were used.Ordered new sanctions on the dictatorship in Venezuela.Restoring confidence in and respect for AmericaTrump won the release of Americans held abroad, often using his personal relationships with world leaders.Made good on a campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.Conducted a historic 12-day trip through Asia, winning new cooperative deals. On the trip, he attended three regional summits to promote American interests.He traveled to the Middle East and Europe to build new relationships with leaders.Traveled to Poland and on to Germany for the G-20 meeting where he pushed again for funding of women entrepreneurs.
I could go on, but there are many a thirsty customer waiting and I have pints to pull. I shall have to seek more views another time.
My best friend works in Public Health for the CDC in Atlanta - Neonatal care. They have had major funding cuts to their program, with more promised - plus the story about 7 words they could no long use like "science-based" and "fact-based"? They're 100% true. She sent me a text a day before the news story broke.ReplyDelete
There were/are also his threats to cut public educational television and national parks - and the only reason those weren't accomplished were because of lawsuits.
And you failed to mention the amount of times he tried (threatened) Congress to repeal entirely our healthcare. For a country that has public healthcare such as yours or the UK, not to have healthcare at all previously because you were self-employed or below a certain income, you can't imagine what it is like to not have this option.
The only reason Trump has been unable to accomplish these threats is because our checks and balances systems is working like its supposed to - despite their flaws, Congress blocks his efforts or lawsuits are filed by the legislative branch or the states themselves.
And some of the items you have on the above list aren't telling the full story. It is of no surprise to me that the stock market is happy with a CEO billionaire's decisions that has set up a new tax system that benefits them entirely, considering Goldman Sachs and others on Wall Street, as well as CEO outsourcing decisions, tanked us by October 2008. They are of course very happy with this billionaire CEO's decisions.
Additionally, we have had more mass shootings in single year than any year prior in history, plus more terrorist attempts - on what planet is that "keeping us safe?"
Perhaps if we'd focus on the funding of terrorism, rather than the poor refugees and immigrants recruited to do these deeds, we'd actually be safe.
And all of the funding cuts to finance one wall that protects one border for "evil Mexicans" instead of real terrorists is lunacy.
And let's not even get into his crazy Twitter accusations for which he never provides proof and pronounces guilt without investigation or due process of law, like a King - undermining our
the legislative branch of our government and the constitution completely.
Amfortas, there is a reason I don't comment about British or Australian politics. Not only do I not know the constitution of these countries, I do not live in the culture, nor do I have access to ALL news sources there.
I don't trust outside news sources these days to give me all the information in an unbiased fashion in my own country, anyway, so why would I trust them in a country I don't live in?
Of course you may give your opinion, free speech - but please understand that you truly are limited and biased in your understanding of what it is like to live in our country and relying on biased press and a few friends who already share your political opinions does not an informed opinion make.
I live here. I can tell you I have been accosted by Trump voters in the cardiac cath lab waiting room for my husband's testing, ranting about African Americans not standing for the flag and Muslims and drinking non-American beer. The rest of us tried to change the subject and this gentleman persisted. It also happens in grocery stores, in the park - people are unhappy and ranting and you have to walk away because if you reveal you disagree, there's trouble.
Just asking you to consider another perspective on what it's like to actually live here. Thanks
Consider another perspective, eh? That is why I let customers like you put their perspective. I am happy for all views here as long as they are polite. I do know what its like to have a disagreeable person ranting at you when you are in a waiting room. We have just been through the same sex marriage debate and one could barely look up without some ranting, spitting, arm's-flailing supporter of universal Lerve trying to put their perspective.Delete
There were/are also his threats to cut public educational televisionDelete
That sounds like a great idea. Educational television is an oxymoron.
It is of no surprise to me that the stock market is happy with a CEO billionaire's decisions that has set up a new tax system that benefits them entirely, considering Goldman Sachs and others on Wall Street, as well as CEO outsourcing decisions, tanked us by October 2008. They are of course very happy with this billionaire CEO's decisions.
I agree with you on that one. It's rather unfortunate that the Republicans have a reputation for not caring about anyone but the rich and then when they get power their first priority is to cut taxes for the rich.
For a country that has public healthcare such as yours or the UK, not to have healthcare at all previously because you were self-employed or below a certain income, you can't imagine what it is like to not have this option.
I agree with you on this as well. It's amazing that the US can't provide healthcare for its own citizens. It's also amazing just how expensive the US has allowed healthcare to become. It's a very profitable business for some.
Hmmmmm. The tax system does not 'benefit them (corporates) entirely', it seems to have benefitted pretty well everyone. The tax rates are better than in Oz, although the Americans still bolt-on State and city taxes.Delete
As for healthcare, the ObamaCare fiasco has set back sane thinking in health care in America by at least a decade. It leaves most western countries peoples incredulous that America has such an archaic system. Japan and Taiwan ought to be models for America.
By the way - a small point I should have made - Trumps twitteringa are unlikely to be only his. The sheer amount would leave him little time for anything else. Were I he, I would have a twitter office (or no twitter at all) and simply sign off or turn back on ones they suggested. Buggered if I would be twittering at four in the morning.
Thank you both for the useful and welcomed comments: drings at your table. :)
Well, I appreciate you gentlemen offering the parts you do agree on, but I am a bit surprised it wasn't the part about focusing more on the funding for terrorism rather than the poor sods they recruit to do it - I thought for sure we'd agree on that one lol - especially considering your new post, Amfortas. Ah well, I'll take common ground where it is offered, thank you :)Delete
In theory, ACA/Obamacare was brilliant - instead of the government regulating already out-of-control healthcare costs and insurance premiums, like Communists, they offered lower cost healthcare, through insurance corporations, giving an "incentive" (cough cough, entitlement) subsidy to companies who chose to participate in the government's "market." The idea was fair market competition continued, but it had to compete with the government's lower price.
However, in practice, reality was a different story and there were major loopholes. The middle-class got caught in the middle - they made too much for the subsidized insurance and too little too afford the health insurance through their employers.
Because what Obama should've anticipated and either didn't or didn't care was that just like gas prices who hike their rates at whim, insurance companies would do the same - hike employer premium rates even higher instead of lower to compete, blaming Obamacare, despite receiving ample government subsidies.
ACA/Obamacare has immense flaws. Even we Dems agreed with you on that. However, what the American people wanted was an amend, a fix, not a total repeal, and this is why Trump's efforts have not succeeded and Congress prevailed as the will of the American people. I had a high school friend die of pancreatic cancer who would've had no treatment at all, not even comfort treatment, if not for ACA/Obamacare, as her husband was self-employed. I myself didn't have health insurance for 10 years as I was self-employed (plus waited tables for supplemental income during the economic fall and they never offered insurance) and I couldn't afford it, though I was already paying double-taxes compared to everyone else. Thank God I was healthy. My heart grieves for people who weren't :(
The insurance corporations wanted to abolish it completely, not the people - and that is why Trump, as their puppet, has tried to kill it entirely and replace it with trash that again benefited the wealthy.
As for the Tweets, Amfortas, not only has Trump never denied he wrote them, he actually admitted making them himself, Amfortas, as has Melania. And he says much of the same thing in his speeches, Amfortas, which I'm sure you don't see all of in Oz, and it most likely depends on the news source, as it does here.
In fact, just before he was elected, Melania at first gave a speech in which she pledge to make cyberbullying her focus issue, and she publicly declared she'd taken his Twitter account away temporarily to make her point. He chilled for a while, then he got back on and we never heard from Melania again about that issue.
Sometimes what we want to believe about people - what we NEED to believe about others to justify our choices - is a separate thing from fact and truth.
Otherwise, I hesitated commenting about what goes on in Oz waiting rooms because my whole point was that I don't live in the culture so I can't (and shouldn't) presume or say lol.
However, I WILL say that I do believe you and I'm very sorry this happens to you. That has never happened to me here, we don't hear about LGBTQ much one way or the other, in fact. But that is my point - our perspective from our world, in our personal experiences, isn't the way it is in everyone's world perhaps. All of these experiences are valid and should be heard, IMO.
PS - "The sheer amount would leave him little time for anything else. "ReplyDelete
Exactly - that has been the complaint of the American people, even his own party, his staff, and even his wife.
And as already mentioned, not only did Trump never deny the tweets were his (which you know he would, considering he's denying everything in Wolff's book, even trying to legally threaten the publisher), but he's admitted the tweets were his, as did Melania.
And of course there's also the amount of golf he plays per week, which the same complainers about Obama doing are curiously silent on :)
"Were I he, I would have a twitter office (or no twitter at all) and simply sign off or turn back on ones they suggested. Buggered if I would be twittering at four in the morning."
You are not Trump - he is a separate entity from you - just a gentle reminder we all need, from time to time, careful not to overly identify with or project your own more honorable motivations and behaviors onto him in transference, Dr. Amfortas ;)
Unlike some other lefties, I can separate out the man from his supporters as being separate entities - unless you are telling me there is no difference? Gosh, I ... really hope there are differences :)
It is possible we are not talking about a well man versus you, of course :)
And, as I also said earlier, sometimes people are not at all who we so desperately want or need to believe they are, just because they share or don't share a political point or two you agree with, positively or negatively.
Lastly, Bannon has not denied a single word he said to Wolff - all of which were said BEFORE he was fired. He has also said he is still committed to "the agenda" despite Trump's behavior.
I, for one, welcomed that open confession we already suspected - that Trump is nothing more than a media-popular puppet for others to push their political agenda (as we've already discussed was possible above with CEOs), and either willfully pretended the emperor was wearing clothes to achieve these goals or legimately could not see his flaws due to overly-identifying with the causes.
*This has been your transference/projection/overly-indentifying with public service announcement/alert* :)
Thank you for allowing my thoughts here. I will leave you to comment without further follow-up from me, as it is your blog (unless you make it clear you want reply) lol.
I am always pleased when you comment. m'dear. (well, when you are polite and thoughtful, anyway).Delete
American Presidents are elected, so we are told, in a free and fair election and with much hoopla. They are not my Presidents. The American people are not my people, although I do claim a great liking for many of them. 'Tis a pity the average American voter IQ is so similar to that in Oz.
They are not my Presidents. The American people are not my people, although I do claim a great liking for many of them.Delete
Agreed. I'm not terribly concerned by Trump's domestic policies because they're not my business. I am concerned by his foreign policy (unfortunately the US makes sure that its foreign policy is everybody's business). His foreign policy seems much too neocon-influenced. I was hoping that Trump would dial down American aggression a little.
'Tis a pity the average American voter IQ is so similar to that in Oz.Delete
There are several reasons why I favour a return to actual monarchy and that's one of them.
Feudalism has had a bad press but it had its virtues. Reciprocal duties and responsibilities, that sort of thing. Democracy just seems to make people crazy. Even worse, it makes absolutely everything into a political issue.
The 'dailing down' aggression depends a lot on others. The North Korean threats seemed to be blamed on Trump, even though he would not have needed to rattle as much as an historic sabre from the White House Civil War collection.Delete
Yes his ability - and America's - to affect the world, is high. But he seems to be keeping things together better than BO, who was at war every day he was in office.