Trump administration

New White House press secretary runs interference for media. . .literally

Featured image Stephanie Grisham is the new White House press secretary, having just replaced Sarah Sanders. Grisham has been Melania Trump’s spokesperson (and still is, I think). From what I have heard, she is decent, hard working, and tough. Today in North Korea, Grisham took on North Korean security personnel in order to enable members of the U.S. media to gain access to an area where President Trump was meeting with Kim »

Kellyanne Conway and the Hatch Act

Featured image Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway stands accused of violating the Hatch Act. The alleged violations consist mostly of comments Conway made on various news shows disparaging certain Democratic candidates such as Joe Biden, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren. I very much doubt that the Hatch Act was intended to bar the president’s political advisers from criticizing potential opponents. The Office of Special Counsel (not to be confused with Robert Mueller’s former »

So Long, Sarah—We’ll Miss You

Featured image Sorry to hear that Sarah Sanders is stepping down as Trump’s press spokesperson. I think she has been the best press spokesperson in modern times, as she has the perfect combination of unflappability and contempt for the contemptible press corps. She always treated the press with the mien of a kindergarten teacher angry and disappointed with a bunch of unruly toddlers. But the daily press briefing has outlived its usefulness. »

The Assange indictment

Featured image The man from Wikileaks — i.e., Julian Assange — is the subject of a superseding indictment charging him with 17 counts under the Espionage Act along with the original count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. I have embedded a copy of the indictment below. Charlie Savage expresses the institutional interest of the New York Times in the case in his story on the indictment: Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks leader, »

Trade War Is Hurting Trump

Featured image I think President Trump is doing the right thing in pushing back against theft of intellectual property and other Chinese misdeeds, but there is evidence that he is paying a political price. President Trump’s approval ratings normally move within a very narrow range, consistent with the electorate’s polarization. But he has been doing well lately, with his approval rating sometimes over 50% in the Rasmussen survey. But now he has »

Stimulus, Infrastructure, Or Boondoggle?

Featured image At PJ Media, Larry Elder asks a good question: “Trump’s ‘Infrastructure’ Plan Versus Obama’s ‘Stimulus’: What’s the Difference?” Larry, whom I admire greatly, thinks the answer is “not much.” I disagree: Obama’s faux stimulus consisted largely of support for state governments so they could keep union employees on the payroll. Very little of the “stimulus” involved construction projects. Trump, at least, is actually talking about building, repairing and maintaining infrastructure. »

The Boom Continues

Featured image They said it couldn’t be done. Well, Barack Obama did, anyway: “What magic wand do you have?” And of course we remember Paul Krugman’s infamous prediction that the stock market would never recover from Donald Trump’s election. But Trump’s formula of lower taxes, less regulation and–a key element, I think–sensible repatriation policy continue to drive our economy to unprecedented heights. The latest: the economy added 263,000 new jobs in April, »

Who was colluding with whom?

Featured image Kim Strassel devotes her weekly Wall Street Journal Potomac Watch column — “The Russians and the Dossier” — to a question that has intrigued me since I actually went to the trouble of reading the Steele Dossier back in early 2017: who was colluding with whom? Working on behalf of the Clinton campaign, ex-British spy Christopher Steele purported to draw on his relationships with the friends of Vladimir Putin to »

Pompeo feeling it at AIPAC

Featured image If you’re an American supporter of Israel, these are the good old days. We have to deal with the resurgence of anti-Semitism on the left among Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and the regressive left, but the Trump administration represents a new level of American support of Israel’s cause. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is not only on board with the critical elements of the administration’s support, he obviously feels it »

The Mueller Rout

Featured image I’m on an airplane right now with the usual crappy airborne internet service, but watching the breaking news of AG Barr’s summary of the Mueller Report. It is a complete rout for Democrats and the media, notwithstanding the confused section about possible obstruction of the investigation by Trump. Expect Democrats to cling to this slim reed to keep The Resistance ginned up. But that slim reed is very likely to »

Breaking: Mueller Delivers His Report

Featured image Just this morning I offered this reflection on Twitter: But just now the news broke that special counsel Robert Mueller has delivered his report on the Trump—Russia collusion investigation to Attorney General Barr. Godot showed up after all. Cue the media frenzy. Not sure how long it will be before we find out what’s in the report, but it’s going to be a long weekend in the newsrooms, where the »

It’s Official—Moore Power to the Fed!

Featured image Trump announced the following big news this morning: As it happens, I was with Steve Moore most of the day yesterday at an undisclosed East Coast location, talking of many things, but high among them how much fun it was going to be to watch the left freak out over his nomination. I said I hoped the announcement would be delayed long enough for the NSA to set up a »

Trump will seek $8.6 billion more for wall

Featured image President Trump will request from Congress at least $8.6 billion to build additional sections of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This money is in addition to the $1.3 billion Congress appropriated earlier this year and the approximately $7 billion Trump “appropriated” via his declaration of a national emergency at the border. Trump will seek the $8.6 billion as part of his proposed 2020 budget. The budget also calls for »

Political Emergencies, Past, Present, and Future

Featured image It has been interesting to watch liberals and Democrats respond to President Trump invoking the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to build his wall, now that he found out where President Obama hid his famous pen and phone. Instead of reflecting on—and then correcting—an overbroad and improvident congressional grant of power to the president, they are saying, “Just wait till we get back in power! Our gal [bet on a »

Trump v. Coats et al.

Featured image Our top intelligence officials presented their unclassified threat assessment at a January 29 hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Defense Intelligence Agency director Robert Ashley, National Security Agency director Paul Nakasone, and National Geospatial Agency director Robert Cardillo. According to Coats et al. (as Jeff Jacboy put it in his emailed Boston Globe Arguable column), “the »

The State of the Union was good

Featured image Circumstances added an extra dollop of drama to the State of the Union address delivered by President Trump last night. The White House has posted the video on YouTube; I have posted it below. RealClearPolitics has posted the transcript here. In the modern tradition of SOTU speeches, this was an overlong address of many parts. The parts mostly fit together. Looking back at the first two years of his administration, »

The Trump boom, cont’d

Featured image The Wall Street Journal’s Real Times Economics email newsletter featured the monthly jobs report released on Friday. Lest we take the good times for granted, let us take a break from the continuing Russia hoax to take in signs of the boom. The Journal newsletter headlines 304,000 jobs added in January along with the slight increase in the unemployment rate to 4 percent from 3.9 percent. Chief Journal economics commentator »