Trump Admninistration

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 »

It’s time to confirm Daniel Jorjani

Featured image One of the pleasures of the Trump administration for me has been seeing highly qualified friends receive nominations for important positions. But as with many pleasures, there’s a downside. I have seen these friends attacked, slandered as racists, and blocked from confirmation. In some cases, they haven’t been confirmed yet. Take the case of Daniel Jorjani. I met Dan 20 years ago, when we both were just starting with the »

Mick Mulvaney, conservative hero

Featured image The Washington Post finds that Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House of chief of staff, is “building an empire for the right wing.” I think the Post means that Mulvaney is acting aggressively to make sure the administration implements the deregulatory agenda President Trump says he favors. The Post reports that Mulvaney is shrewdly “steering clear of the Trump-related pitfalls that tripped up his predecessors” — e.g., bugging the president »

Alex Acosta resigns

Featured image Alex Acosta has resigned his position as Secretary of Labor. He tried to avoid this scenario by holding a press conference on Wednesday to explain the sweetheart deal he gave to pedophile Jeffrey Epstein 11 years ago. Acosta didn’t perform badly at the conference. Many of his arguments seemed reasonable on the surface, though not upon scrutiny. However, Acosta failed to stem the tide of criticism against him and therefore, »

Epstein indictment puts spotlight back on Acosta

Featured image Jeffrey Epstein, the pedophile who received a sweetheart plea deal from Alex Acosta, has been arrested and indicted by federal prosecutors in New York. The charge is sex trafficking minors in New York and Florida. As I understand it, all of the trafficking in question predates Epstein’s plea deal with Acosta. I’m not clear on the extent to which Epstein may be able to use the plea deal to fight »

The Department of Labor needs only one change

Featured image This column in the Washington Times calls for “aggressive changes” at the Department of Labor. The author is Bill Walton — no, not the world’s tallest Deadhead but rather the chairman of CNP Action, Inc., a sister organization of the Council for National Policy. Walton served as the Trump transition team senior economic policy adviser. Walton rehearses some, though certainly not all, of the areas in which the Acosta Labor »

Left “blacklists” Sarah Sanders

Featured image The left wants to prevent Sarah Sanders from gaining employment, now that she has moved on from the Trump White House. An outfit called American Bridge is seeking signatures in support of the blacklisting of Sanders. Its email reads: Hello: We signed an open letter to America’s CEOs demanding they won’t hire anyone from the Trump administration who was complicit in Trump’s family separation policy. Trump just announced that Sarah »