Trump Admninistration

More skewed immigration reporting from the New York Times

Featured image The following isn’t exactly fake news, but it’s certainly misleading. The New York Times (per Maggie Haberman, Katie Rogers, and Michael Shear) reports: President Trump said on Wednesday that he is open to a path to citizenship after 10 to 12 years for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, days after rejecting a bipartisan plan with that as its centerpiece. Mr. Trump once »

Ohio’s Trump Democrats Are Delighted

Featured image CNN went to Youngstown, Ohio, to find out what Democrats who crossed over to vote for Donald Trump think of his presidency after one year. The results may have surprised the anti-Trump network, but those who participated in the focus group were uniformly happy with the president’s performance. This short video is well worth watching, both for the participants’ sensible comments and for the way the CNN narrator says the »

Fantasy vs. Reality In November

Featured image As they gear up for November’s Congressional election, the Democrats are peddling a fantasy view of events in America: Trump the racist, Trump the trampler on the First Amendment, Trump the warmonger (or something), Trump-Russia collusion, the Republicans as servants of the rich. To an even greater degree than usual, this election will feature a head-on collision between such fantasies and reality. The reality is that the Trump administration’s policies »

Feel Good Story of the Day

Featured image I recall talking once with Daniel Oliver about his experience as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Ronaldus Magnus, and especially how his greatest moment of satisfaction came when the Washington Post ran a “news” story about how he had “brought the commission to a standstill.” “All of my friends in other agencies called me to say, ‘Congratulations—how did you do it?'” Which brings us to this story »

Mr. Mulvaney requests…

Featured image OMB Director Mick Mulvaney is one of the all-stars among President Trump’s cabinet level appointees. President Trump had the inspired idea to appoint him acting director of the constitutional monstrosity known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when Richard Cordray departed to run for elective office. Before his departure, however, in the lawless spirit of the bureau itself, Cordray sought to name his own successor. We admired his performance facing »

White House issues tough statement on “Schumer Shutdown”

Featured image We’ve passed midnight here in the East, so the government shutdown has commenced, at least technically. As I type this, Senators are milling around on the Senate floor presumably trying to work out some sort of arrangement that will fully fund the government for a little while longer. Meanwhile, the White House, via Sarah Sanders, has issued this statement: Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown. Tonight they put politics above »

With Alex Acosta history repeats itself

Featured image Bloomberg reports that Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta is “keeping a low profile in this first year in office, possibly because he has his eye on another job.” “Low profile” means keeping Barack Obama’s left-wing program in place. “Another job” means a high-level federal judgeship. “Possibly” means certainly. Here’s how Bloomberg’s Ben Penn puts it: There is widespread discussion that Acosta, a former United States Attorney and law school dean, »

Minnesota Kinda Likes Donald Trump

Featured image Traditionally deep-blue Minnesota is trending red; one sign of this is that Donald Trump lost the state to Hillary Clinton by only a point and a half. Yesterday the Star Tribune released its latest Minnesota Poll. The paper’s headline was “Minnesotans divided over Trump; majority sees him as temperamentally unfit, dishonest.” But if you look at the actual poll results, they tell a different story. The basic finding is that »

What Trump (And Everyone Else) Is Up Against

Featured image We had a lively discussion last night on the Power Line VIP video chat about the “permanent government,” or “the swamp” as Trump and others call it, and how difficult it is to conquer. It reminded me that I’ve been thinking for years about teaching an entire course based on episodes of the great “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister” BBC series, which holds up astoundingly well after 30 years »

“Temporary” means temporary, Trump administration controversially insists

Featured image On Monday, the Trump administration announced the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 200,000 immigrants from El Salvador who, without that status, will be illegal. The termination will take effect in 2019. The El Salvadorans in question are those who were living illegally in the U.S. when earthquakes struck their country way back in 2001. The idea, as Mark Krikorian reminds us, was to hold off temporarily on sending »

Populism and the administrative state

Featured image Steve Bannon’s days as an influential player may be over. If so, what is his legacy? It’s not the election of President Trump. This was down to Trump himself, as the president likes to remind us. Nor is Bannon’s legacy hanging tough on “Billy Bush weekend,” though at times this seems to be what he is most proud of. And his legacy is not blowing a safe Senate seat in »

Steve Bannon, David Stockman, and the need to spill one’s guts to liberals [UPDATED]

Featured image Jonah Goldberg says he’s “struggling to think of a comparable figure in American political history who squandered real power and influence as completely and quickly as [Steve] Bannon has.” The closest he comes is Father Coughlin from the 1930s. I can come no closer. However, Bannon’s fall reminds me of what happened to David Stockman in the 1980s. In some ways the comparison seems inapt. Stockman, who served as President »

Michael Wolff, fabulist

Featured image Michael Wolff is the author of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, the scathing book that describes alleged dysfunction and infighting at the White House. He’s the guy to whom Steve Bannon apparently decided to spill his guts. But is Wolff a reliable chronicler? Paul Farhi, the Washington Post’s liberal media reporter, doesn’t seem to think so. He writes: A provocateur and media polemicist, Wolff has a penchant »

Chai Feldblum removes picture of President Trump

Featured image It’s standard practice for U.S. government officials to have a picture of the president and the vice president on their office walls. The protocol is that the president and the vice president are displayed side by side in the center of the wall, with the president on the left and the vice president on the right. The government supplies the pictures and helpfully slots them into a frame permanently placed »

Trump abolishes voter fraud commission

Featured image Last night, I argued that the fall from grace of Steve Bannon is leaving too much influence in the hands of the New Yorkers and the Generals who dominate President Trump’s inner circle. Neither of these two power centers has much commitment to, or even familiarity with, modern conservatism and its concerns. Now comes word that President Trump is disbanding the commission he established to investigate voter fraud. White House »

After the Trump-Bannon divorce

Featured image I have viewed President Trump as bridging the divide in the Republicans party between its establishment and populist-nationalist wings. Trump attempted to play that role in 2017. For example, he supported the establishment candidate in the Alabama Senate primary, but then bucked the establishment by backing the populist candidate in the general election even after that candidate found himself in severe difficulty. Trump also bridged the gap in the realm »

The Trump-Bannon Divorce Is Final

Featured image Steve Bannon is accusing Donald Trump, Jr. of treason or something–I’m going off a Drudge headline here–so the president issued this statement. I think we can say the romance is over: Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the »