Trump Admninistration

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 »

Washington Post blames Trump for Iranian attacks in Persian Gulf [With Comment by John]

Featured image It does so in this editorial. The Post’s editorial stance informs its front page story about Iran’s attacks. The headline in the paper edition reads “Trump steps up blame of Iran.” A subheading states “Dueling accusations raise fears of military conflict.” Of course, Trump is “stepping up” the blame of Iran. He now has video evidence that Iran is responsible for attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf. That’s the »

Economic Nationalism: Two Can Play That Game!

Featured image President Trump’s “America First” policy applies to the economy as well as to foreign policy. He has stood up for American companies, has fought back against unfair practices by China and other competitors, and has browbeaten American companies into creating jobs at home. To some, these policies are reminiscent of the good old “industrial policy” that liberals championed decades ago. The Democrats are starting to catch on. As many have »

Girl killed by MS-13 members after Maryland officials ignore ICE detainer

Featured image Last week, police arrested two teenagers, Josue Fuentes-Ponce and Joel Escobar, and charged them with the murder of 14 year-old Ariana Funes-Diaz. She was killed in a tunnel, beaten with a baseball bat and slashed with a machete. She was found naked. Reportedly, the killers, members of MS-13, ordered her to strip before they murdered her. According to authorities, Fuentes-Ponce and Escobar killed the girl because they were worried she »

Illegal immigrants won’t be sent to Florida after all

Featured image Over the weekend, I wrote about the Trump administration’s plan to send a thousand illegal immigrants per month to Southern Florida to relieve the overcrowded and unsustainable conditions on the U.S.-Mexico border. The move brought howls of protests from officials in the two Democrat-controlled counties where the immigrants were to be sent. More importantly, perhaps, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican and ardent Trump supporter, also objected to the move. »

Crisis at the border deepens

Featured image The influx of illegal immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. has overwhelmed facilities along the Texas border with Mexico. Consequently, hundreds of these detainees will be flown to San Diego for processing. The plan calls for three flights a week carrying about 130 people per flight to arrive in the San Diego area from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Similarly, the Trump administration is preparing to send a thousand »

White House sacks top aide to Alex Acosta

Featured image Bloomberg reports: A senior Labor Department official with outsize control of agency operations is leaving after a White House investigation into complaints about mistreating staff and misleading Trump administration personnel, sources with direct knowledge of the probe told Bloomberg Law. That aide is Nick Geale, Alex Acosta’s chief of staff. Bloomberg’s sources declined to identify who made the final decision to demand Geale’s ouster. However, Bloomberg notes that Mick Mulvaney, »

“Trump’s all-out war against House probes”

Featured image That’s the headline of a Washington Post story (print edition) about the clash between the White House and House Democrats over the latters’ investigations of the former. The article notes that President Trump “is blocking more than 20 separate Democratic inquiries.” According to the Post, this “amount[s] to what many experts call the most expansive White House obstruction effort in decades. The Post’s claim of obstruction is dishonest in at »