Trump Admninistration

Trump wins in court on border wall

Featured image Last month, a federal district court judge issued an injunction against using $3.6 billion dollars of Pentagon funds to construct more border wall. Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a very brief opinion, reversed that decision and lifted the injunction. No one should be surprised to learn that the district court judge who blocked the use of the funds, David Briones, was appointed by President »

This year in judicial confirmations

Featured image 2019 was a banner year for confirming federal judges — an accomplishment that will reverberate long after many of the leading stories of the year, including impeachment, have been largely forgotten. Let’s start with federal district court judges. These positions didn’t used to be considered politically charged. Confirmation of district court nominees once was routine. That’s no longer true. District judges are actively participating in the anti-Trump resistance. They are »

The Obama Labor Department in its eleventh year?

Featured image One of my biggest grievances with Alex Acosta’s stewardship of the Department of Labor was his pursuit, based on indefensible statistical analyses, of compensation discrimination claims against Oracle and other high tech Silicon Valley companies. I discussed the flaws in the Labor Department’s analyses here. These actions were filed in January 2017, just as the Obama administration was coming to an end. The idea was to force the Trump Labor »

Nikki, Rex, and the General

Featured image According to the Washington Post, Nikki Haley claims in her new book that Rex Tillerson and Gen. John Kelly tried to recruit her to undermine President Trump in an effort to “save the country.” President Trump has tweeted an endorsement of Haley’s book and urged his followers to order a copy or attend her book tour. Has Trump read the book or is he relying on the “fake news Washington »

Let’s be clear-eyed about Turkey

Featured image Two things can be true: (1) President Trump’s decision to pull back U.S. forces in northwestern Syria was a good decision; (2) Turkey is an ally in name only and no friend of America. I don’t believe the first statement is true. However, the pullback is a done deal. We can argue about its merit, and I expect to keep doing so, but arguing won’t change the outcome. By contrast, »

Reporting From the Black Leadership Summit

Featured image Yesterday my wife and I attended Turning Point USA’s Black Leadership Summit, including a visit to the White House and a small dinner afterward. Like last year’s event, which I reported on here, it was an inspiring day. The White House event took place in the East Room. It took an hour or so to get through security, but it was a beautiful afternoon in D.C. and the crowd was »

Why Democrats Don’t Talk About the Economy

Featured image As I and many others have noted, the Democrats barely mentioned the economy during last week’s presidential debate. Why not? Because they look silly if they try to deny that the Trump administration, with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and deregulation on a massive scale, has given the economy a major boost. Trump’s boom is a particular problem for the Democrats because it is being felt where it counts, »

John Bolton as scapegoat

Featured image President Trump must be frustrated. That, at least, is the most innocent explanation I can think of for the way he behaves. Trump has plenty to be frustrated about. By now, if one believed candidate Trump, our border with Mexico should be secure, thanks to a big beautiful wall paid for by Mexico. It isn’t. By now, the trade war with China should be won. After all, Trump assured us »

Trump rips guy he chose as his national security adviser

Featured image To no one’s surprise, President Trump lashed out at John Bolton today. He said of Bolton: You know, John’s known as a tough guy. He’s so tough, he got us into Iraq. That’s tough. Actually, Bolton didn’t get the U.S. into Iraq. President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary Rumsfeld did. It’s true that Bolton favored intervening in Iraq. But so did Trump, though he falsely claims he didn’t. In »

Sciutto from shinola

Featured image Late Monday evening CNN’s Jim Sciutto reported the extraction of a CIA asset from Putin’s circle in 2017, allegedly on account of the security risk raised by President Trump being President Trump. The New York Times followed with a detailed story that contradicted the essential anti-Trump element of Sciutto’s “exclusive.” Although framed in terms of concerns about threats to the United States, both these stories represent galling breaches of national »

On Bolton’s bolt

Featured image As Scott notes below, John Bolton is out as President Trump’s national security adviser. That much is clear. There’s a dispute, though, over whether Bolton left voluntarily, as he says, or was sacked by Trump, as the president insists. Trump may be telling the truth. However, while there a few people in the world I would disbelieve if their account of events differed from Trump’s, John Bolton is not among »

Trump cuts Bolton out of decision on Afghanistan

Featured image The Washington Post reports that John Bolton, President Trump’s national security adviser, has been excluded from discussions about an Afghanistan “peace deal” between the U.S. and the Taliban. Bolton apparently doesn’t favor such a deal. This is a president who rages against Fox News because people who appear on that network occasionally say things he doesn’t like hearing. So we shouldn’t be surprised that Trump doesn’t want to hear from »

Kushner boasts that felons are joining the GOP

Featured image According to Axios, Jared Kushner told Republican donors that felons are coming out of jail and registering as Republicans. “I guess climate change is not their No. 1 issue,” Kushner joked at a donor retreat in Wyoming. Right, avoiding punishment for criminal conduct is the No. 1 issue for many felons, which is one reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Kushner cited recent statistics he said he’d seen »

Scaramucci’s revenge

Featured image As a movie title, it’s a winner. As a plan to bring down President Trump, not so much. Anthony Scaramucci (yeah, that guy) is back in the news. He’s taking the easy way back, as a Republican and former Trump ally willing (in this case eager) to trash the president. In this Washington Post op-ed, Scaramucci blasts the president and “challenges fellow Republicans to summon the nerve to speak out »

Trump administration tightens “public charge” rule

Featured image Today, the Trump administration released the final version of a rule that increases the government’s ability to deny green cards for people deemed likely to depend on government aid such as food stamps, housing assistance and Medicaid. As Robert Verbruggen explains, federal law gives the executive branch lots of discretion to reject immigrants who are “likely at any time to become a public charge.” This approach is rooted in the »

A Director of National Intelligence Trump trusts? The horror!

Featured image Democrats, journalists, and some in the intelligence community are expressing outrage over the replacement of Daniel Coats by John Ratcliffe (if Ratcliffe is confirmed). A headline in the Washington Post (paper edition) says the move is viewed as a “bid to silence [intelligence] agencies.” It’s certainly true that intelligence gathering and analysis ought not be politicized — not by partisans of any stripe. Ratcliffe will have to satisfy Senators like »

Ratcliffe replaces Coats as Director of National Intelligence

Featured image Dan Coats announced yesterday that he will resign as Director of National Intelligence. Coats did not see eye-to-eye with President Trump on some important national security issues. Coats’s replacement will be Rep. John Ratcliffe. He’s a three-term congressman and a former terrorism prosecutor who served as a U.S. Attorney in George W. Bush’s administration. He has also served on the House Intelligence Committee. In the paper edition of today’s Washington »