Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Log Cabin Republicans Endorse Trump

Interesting.

In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Log Cabin Republicans chairman Robert Kabel and vice chair Jill Homan credited Trump with “removing gay rights as a wedge issue from the old Republican playbook” and “taking bold actions that benefit the LGBTQ community.”

“He has committed to end the spread of HIV/AIDS in 10 years, through the use of proven science, medicine and technology to which we now have access,” they wrote. “Trump has used the United States’ outsize global influence to persuade other nations to adopt modern human rights standards, including launching an initiative to end the criminalization of homosexuality.”

“While we do not agree with every policy or platform position presented by the White House or the Republican Party,” they added, “we share a commitment to individual responsibility, personal freedom and a strong national defense.”

Stepping into North Korea

Wow.

Donald Trump has become the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea, after meeting Kim Jong-un in the area dividing the two Koreas.

Mr Trump and the North Korean leader posed for handshakes before talking for nearly an hour in the heavily fortified demilitarised zone (DMZ).

Both countries agreed to set up teams to resume stalled nuclear talks.

Their last summit broke down in February with no progress on denuclearisation in North Korea.

Critics have dismissed the occasion – the two leaders’ third face-to-face encounter in just over a year – as a political theatre and say North Korea still needs to show that it is serious in getting rid of its nuclear weapons.

I completely agree that it was theater and that NK needs to demonstrate its sincerity. I disagree that the encounter was meaningless. Symbols and images can be very powerful. Certainly, the evil butterball (as Jay Weber calls Jong-un) is susceptible to it. So we’ll see… maybe this is another step toward peace. Maybe it is one more in a decades-long series of false starts.

“I don’t do cover-ups”

If I were a Democrat, I’d be pretty ticked at the stupidity of my own party. Perhaps more than any other modern president, Trump loves to make a deal and isn’t guided by an overriding ideology. The Democrats could actually isolate the Republican Senate and push some of their own initiatives through if they would actually try to work with the president. Instead, they crap all over him and don’t get anywhere.

President Donald Trump abruptly walked out of a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., at the White House on Wednesday, telling reporters moments later that he would not negotiate on legislation with Democrats while he was still under investigation by several committees.

Wednesday’s meeting was supposed to be the second official sit-down between the president and Democratic congressional leadership specifically focused on infrastructure.

“I walked into the room and I told Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, ‘I want to do infrastructure’ … but we can’t do it under these circumstances,” Trump said at a last-minute Rose Garden event.

Trump’s anger appears to have been sparked by comments Pelosi made earlier in the day when she said, “We believe the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up” by blocking White House aides from giving testimony and responding to document requests from ongoing congressional investigations.

“I don’t do cover-ups,” Trump insisted Wednesday.

Mueller Report Finally Comes Out

As I mentioned, I was over the pond when this came out, so my original view was through the European lens. But after returning and reading a bit more, the European lens appears to be fairly accurate… this is pretty much a complete exoneration of Trump.

A summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report released on Sunday found the Trump campaign had not conspired with Russia.

However it was inconclusive on whether Mr Trump had obstructed justice.

The Russia allegations had cast a shadow over Mr Trump’s presidency and his chances of re-election in 2020.

Opposition Democrats are demanding full access to Mr Mueller’s report, which was summarised for Congress by Attorney General William Barr.

The report was the culmination of two years of investigation by Mr Mueller which saw some of the president’s closest former aides prosecuted and, in some cases, imprisoned, although not for collusion with Russia.

Since one can’t prove a negative, it makes sense that there are parts of the report that end with, “eh… we can’t say for sure either way!” Bearing in mind that this entire investigation was launched and being run by anti-Trump zealots, if there was even a hint of something being there, they would have trumpeted it.

So now the real question is… why did we spend tens of thousands of hours of labor, millions and millions of dollars, and  put the country through this? Why did the FBI even start the investigation on such flimsy probable cause? As soon as the dossier that launched the investigation was discovered to be a partisan fabrication, why didn’t they break off? Was is bureaucratic inertia or something more sinister?

Who polices the police?

Talks with North Korea Fail

This is disappointing on many levels.

President Donald Trump landed back in Washington after the sudden collapse of his nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un – after saying in an interview he appreciates that North Korea spent ‘a lot of time’ building up its nuclear arsenal.

In an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, conducted in Hanoi before Trump told the world why he failed to reach a deal with the North Korean dictator, Trump said he and Kim did not see eye to eye on what North Korea would have to give up for sanctions relief.

‘Well, they wanted to denuke certain areas and I wanted everything,’ Trump told Hannity.

‘And the sanctions are there and I didn’t want to give up the sanctions unless we had a real program. And they’re not ready for that and I understand that fully, I really do. I mean, they spent a lot of time building it and that doesn’t mean the world has to be happy,’ Trump said.

Romney Backs Trump

He sure got a lot of attention for his letter criticizing Trump a few weeks ago. Where is that attention now?

He said: ‘You (Pelosi) and your fellow Democrats have voted for over 600 miles of border fence in the past, why won’t you vote for another few miles now?

‘I don’t understand their position, I really don’t.’

Romney said he plans to keep working with other senators to find interim solutions, such as legislation that would make sure essential government employees still working get paid now.

Romney was speaking in the northern Utah city of Ogden after visiting with county commissioners about the shutdown’s impact on the community.

He implored the two sides to ‘make a deal’ and end the suffering of federal workers who aren’t getting paid, suggesting Pelosi should offer a certain amount of money for the border wall and make a proposal to the president about border security. He said Trump is willing to allow participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to stay in the country.

‘On policy, it strikes me like there’s not a big gap but the politics have drawn people into different corners,’ Romney said.

Romney said the country deserves border security, which includes more barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border. He said there is ‘humanitarian pain’ being suffered by people entering the country illegally and being stopped at the border.

Trump Offers Compromise

One thing is clear: Trump in in Washington and is offering concessions. He’s willing to make a deal and is offering the Democrats several things that they claim they want. Meanwhile, the Democrats have left town and aren’t even offering a counteroffer. Tell me again which side is prolonging the shutdown? Aren’t we told that a divided government necessitates compromise? Frankly, I think Trump is offering too much, but at least he’s showing flexibility and a willingness to compromise. Pelosi and Schumer? Not so much.

President Donald Trump outlined a plan to end the government shutdown on Saturday, offering congressional Democrats three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA recipients — including protection from deportation — and an extension of legal residence for people living in the country under ‘Temporary Protective Status’ designations.

He also offered $800 million in urgent humanitarian assistance and 75 new immigration teams to reduce the court backlog of 900,000 cases, which he called an ‘impossible nightmare’ in his late-afternoon remarks.

Speaking in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Trump said he wants $5.7 billion for the ‘strategic deployment of physical barriers, or a wall,’ that he will use to put ‘steel barriers in high-priority locations’ along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mueller Says Buzzfeed Report is False

Once again, we see the same pattern. Some “bombshell” report, backed by anonymous sources, is hyped as the nail that will finally seal Trump’s political coffin. Lefties and anti-Trump righties trumpet the news. After 24-48 hours, it is shown to be false. Haven’t y’all learned yet? Aren’t you a little embarrassed that your chain can be yanked so easily?

The office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller has called the bombshell BuzzFeed report claiming President Donald Trump told his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress is false.

The special counsel’s office issued a rare public statement disputing the accuracy of a news report saying that Trump told his personal attorney Cohen to lie to Congress.

Hating Trump

Apparently I’m not the only one who has taken note of the fact that the Democrats only have a single plank in their platform – Trump Hate.

For now, though, the left’s only issue is “We hate Trump.” This is an instructive hatred, because what the left hates about Donald Trump is precisely what it hates about America. The implications are important, and painful.

Not that every leftist hates America. But the leftists I know do hate Mr. Trump’s vulgarity, his unwillingness to walk away from a fight, his bluntness, his certainty that America is exceptional, his mistrust of intellectuals, his love of simple ideas that work, and his refusal to believe that men and women are interchangeable. Worst of all, he has no ideology except getting the job done. His goals are to do the task before him, not be pushed around, and otherwise to enjoy life. In short, he is a typical American—except exaggerated, because he has no constraints to cramp his style except the ones he himself invents.

Mr. Trump lacks constraints because he is filthy rich and always has been and, unlike other rich men, he revels in wealth and feels no need to apologize—ever. He never learned to keep his real opinions to himself because he never had to. He never learned to be embarrassed that he is male, with ordinary male proclivities. Sometimes he has treated women disgracefully, for which Americans, left and right, are ashamed of him—as they are of JFK and Bill Clinton.

But my job as a voter is to choose the candidate who will do best for America. I am sorry about the coarseness of the unconstrained average American that Mr. Trump conveys. That coarseness is unpresidential and makes us look bad to other nations. On the other hand, many of his opponents worry too much about what other people think. I would love the esteem of France, Germany and Japan. But I don’t find myself losing sleep over it.

The difference between citizens who hate Mr. Trump and those who can live with him—whether they love or merely tolerate him—comes down to their views of the typical American: the farmer, factory hand, auto mechanic, machinist, teamster, shop owner, clerk, software engineer, infantryman, truck driver, housewife. The leftist intellectuals I know say they dislike such people insofar as they tend to be conservative Republicans.

So. Much. Winning.

My column for the Washington County Daily News is out today. It’s also in the Waukesha Freeman, from what I hear. Here’s a taste.

If there is one thing that could disrupt the positive direction that America is moving, it would be for the Democrats to gain control of the U.S. Senate. We have all come to understand over the past few weeks that the Democratic Party is untethered from any traditional norms of civility, honesty and even decency. They will stop at nothing to oppose President Trump even if it means burning down the country in the process.

We saw this behavior from Wisconsin’s own Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Less than 48 hours after Trump announced the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Baldwin announced that she would not vote for his confirmation. This was a radical break from traditional senatorial behavior to reject a nominee without researching him, learning about him, or even speaking to him. And although Baldwin admitted her opposition, almost all of the Democrats in the Senate had made the same decision. The brouhaha that Democrats manufactured over the last few weeks was not designed to change any minds. It was designed to attempt to rationalize the Democrats’ predetermined opposition to the American people.

Baldwin’s behavior reveals the larger psychosis currently infecting the Democratic Party. Their single- minded effort to #resist President Trump has become the only real plank in their platform.

Trump Asserts America at U.N.

Don’t read the news reports of Trump’s speech at the U.N. today. It was a long speech that covered a lot of topics. The media will only cover small parts and will focus on the parts they didn’t like. Instead, go read the whole thing. It was an impressive speech for its clarity of vision and robust assertion of American values.

For example, here’s one part:

Each of us here today is the emissary of a distinct culture, a rich history, and a people bound together by ties of memory, tradition, and the values that make our homelands like nowhere else on Earth.

That is why America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination.

I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs, and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.

Amen. And this:

I spoke before this body last year and warned that the U.N. Human Rights Council had become a grave embarrassment to this institution, shielding egregious human rights abusers while bashing America and its many friends.

Our Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, laid out a clear agenda for reform, but despite reported and repeated warnings, no action at all was taken. So the United States took the only responsible course: We withdrew from the Human Rights Council, and we will not return until real reform is enacted.

For similar reasons, the United States will provide no support in recognition to the International Criminal Court. As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority. The ICC claims near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, violating all principles of justice, fairness, and due process. We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy.

This:

I spoke before this body last year and warned that the U.N. Human Rights Council had become a grave embarrassment to this institution, shielding egregious human rights abusers while bashing America and its many friends.

Our Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, laid out a clear agenda for reform, but despite reported and repeated warnings, no action at all was taken. So the United States took the only responsible course: We withdrew from the Human Rights Council, and we will not return until real reform is enacted.

For similar reasons, the United States will provide no support in recognition to the International Criminal Court. As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority. The ICC claims near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, violating all principles of justice, fairness, and due process. We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy.

And:

In America, we believe in the majesty of freedom and the dignity of the individual. We believe in self-government and the rule of law. And we prize the culture that sustains our liberty -– a culture built on strong families, deep faith, and fierce independence. We celebrate our heroes, we treasure our traditions, and above all, we love our country.

One might not agree with all of it (I disagree with him regarding trade policies), but he has articulated a clear vision for his administration. Go read it.

Trump Orders Document Dump

Good.

President Donald Trump directed the Department of Justice to release a host of documents related to the Russia probe on Monday, including texts between two former FBI officials who talked about stopping his rise to power.

Trump also directed DOJ to declassify pages from a warrant from a secret court that allowed the feds to spy on former campaign adviser Carter Page and all of the interview reports the bureau prepared to go along with it.

The president told Justice to publish reports tied to its interview with DOJ official Bruce Ohr, whose wife Nellie worked at the firm that put together the unverified dossier of dirt on the president, in the sweeping declassification of documents associated with the special counsel investigation.

Ohr is known to have been in contact with the dossier’s author, ex-British spy Christopher Steele.

And in a further request, Trump called for the release of text messages relating to the probe that were sent or received by ex-FBI director James Comey, whom the president last year fired.

Democrats’ Behavior is Solidifying Support for Trump

Interesting analysis.

The 2016 exit poll showed that Trump won because he decisively beat Clinton among the 18% of Americans who did not like either candidate. These voters tended to be suburban, college-educated, Republican-leaning men. These “reluctant Trump voters” were undecided until the very end of the race, but ultimately decided that the devil whose policies they liked was better than the devil whose policies they didn’t.

Democrats have done nothing since Trump’s election to reduce these feelings. On issue after issue the Democratic party has moved to the left, catering to a progressive base outraged at Trump’s election and seething at how the Democratic establishment foisted a fatally flawed candidate upon them. The latest progressive cause célèbre is for eliminating America’s border enforcement agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice). One can be outraged at how Trump is enforcing America’s immigration laws without thinking that eliminating all border enforcement is a good idea. An idea like this keeps Republicans united in their support for Trump as it clearly shows how unacceptable the alternative is.

The news media’s behavior also keeps Republicans in line. It is impossible to overstate the degree of daily vituperation visited upon the president in the media. Comics and actors use their non-political programs to attack him, often to the implicit applause of the press. Virtually all coverage outside the conservative Fox News and isolated conservative outlets is negative, often couched in highly hostile terms. Virtually all of the columnists at the New York Times and the Washington Post, America’s two most respected dailies, despise Trump – and that includes nearly all of the conservative, libertarian and Republican columnists too. Trump supporters who follow news at all cannot escape the daily blast of negativity.

This has, predictably, hardened the attitudes of many Trump supporters. As minor issues are blown up into major catastrophes, it’s not surprising that potentially major issues like Trump’s embarrassing and obsequious behavior towards Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki get overlooked. It’s “boy who cried wolf” syndrome writ large; when the media cries “wolf” at every passing shadow, many Trump backers simply don’t believe them when they say that a wolf might actually be coming.

Trump to Provide Farm Aid

Hmmm

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it would provide up to $12 billion in emergency relief for farmers hurt by the president’s trade war, moving to blunt the financial damage to American agriculture and the political fallout for Republicans as the consequences of President Trump’s protectionist policies roll through the economy.

Unveiled two days before the president is scheduled to visit Iowa, a politically important state that is the nation’s top soybean producer, the farm aid appeared calculated to show that Mr. Trump cares about farmers and is working to protect them from the worst consequences of his trade war.

But the relief money, announced by the Department of Agriculture, was also an indication that Mr. Trump — ignoring the concerns of farmers, their representatives in Congress and even some of his own aides — plans to extend his tit-for-tat tariff wars.

So Trump creates an economic hardship through his tariff policy and then uses taxpayer money to selectively bail out some of those businesses that are negatively impacted by that policy. No thanks. Just end the policy.

Furthermore, I don’t like the notion of the President pulling $12 billion out of the taxpayers’ couch without any legislative process or appropriation. $12 billion is still a LOT of our money for a single man to throw around.

Trump Swings and Misses

This was not a good day for American foreign policy.

After face-to-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr Trump contradicted US intelligence agencies and said there had been no reason for Russia to meddle in the vote.

Mr Putin reiterated that Russia had never interfered in US affairs.

The two men held nearly two hours of closed-door talks in the Finnish capital Helsinki on Monday.

At a news conference after the summit, President Trump was asked if he believed his own intelligence agencies or the Russian president when it came to the allegations of meddling in the elections.

“President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be,” he replied.

US intelligence agencies concluded in 2016 that Russia was behind an effort to tip the scale of the US election against Hillary Clinton, with a state-authorised campaign of cyber attacks and fake news stories planted on social media.

In a strongly-worded statement, US House Speaker Paul Ryan said Mr Trump “must appreciate that Russia is not our ally”.

Of course, we don’t know what was accomplished in private yet, but the public outcome of Trump’s meeting with Putin left a lot to be desired.

Trump to Nominate SCOTUS Pick on July 9th

Push forward!

President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that he would announce his choice to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on July 9 – a choice that he will likely make from a previously released list of 25 potential nominees.

Trump made the comments aboard Air Force One and added that may meet with two contenders in Bedminster, New Jersey this weekend. He said he will meet with six or seven candidates but has narrowed his list down to five people, including two women, before announcing his nominee. He said it was a group of “highly talented, very brilliant, mostly conservative judges.”

“Well we have great people, you know, we have 25 pretty outstanding people. I like them all but I’ve got it down to about five,” Trump told reporters on Friday.

When asked if he was looking for someone who would overturn Roe v. Wade, Trump said he wouldn’t be asking the candidates about the landmark abortion case.

The reporters are going to have a one track mind about Roe, aren’t they? Did they forget that Trump is pro abortion?

Public Credits Trump for Good Economy

This, if anything, will blunt the Blue Wave.

More than two-thirds of Americans credit President Donald Trump for the country’s healthy economy, a new poll has revealed.

The CBS News poll, which was released on Sunday, shows a sharp partisan divide, with Republicans more likely to give the president positive reviews while Democrats and Independents are not as complimentary.

According to the survey, 35 per cent of Americans say Trump’s policies are ‘a great deal’ responsible for the economy.

Around the same number – 33 per cent – say the president’s policies are ‘somewhat’ responsible.

Trump Promises to Help ZTE

Wha?

US President Donald Trump has said he wants to help save ZTE, one of China’s biggest telecoms companies.

The firm has suspended operations after the commerce department last month banned US companies from selling it components for seven years.

[…]

ZTE pleaded guilty to making illegal shipments to Iran and North Korea.

US commentators say the tone of the tweet is a dramatic shift for Mr Trump, who has consistently accused China of stealing US jobs.

The concession to Beijing comes ahead of high-level trade talks later this week in Washington aimed at resolving an escalating trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

[…]

In March 2017 ZTE admitted to violating US sanctions by illegally shipping American technology to Iran and Korea and was fined $1.1bn (£800m).

The current export ban was imposed last month after the company allegedly failed to comply with its agreement, lying about the punishment of employees involved in skirting the sanctions.

While the story cites the upcoming trade talks as a possible explanation for Trump’s actions, I have to think that the upcoming summit with North Korea is also in play. While ZTE is clearly breaking the rules, there are bigger issues at play.

Trump is one of the few presidents we have seen who works with everything on the table all the time. He’s willing to move things around that are seemingly unrelated in order to find a way to move his agenda forward.

Trump Pulls Out of Iran Deal

Excellent!

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump plans to follow through on his campaign threat to pull out of the landmark nuclear accord with Iran, according to two people familiar with his thinking, dealing a profound blow to U.S. allies and potentially deepening the president’s isolation on the world stage.

It wasn’t immediately clear which sanctions that were lifted under the deal might be quickly reimposed, said the people, who were not authorized to speak publicly. Trump has several options, and a limited move could leave him more room to potentially stay in the deal after all if other members agree to toughen it.

Take notice of the incredible bias in the AP story. Trump is following through on a campaign “threat” instead of a “promise.” He is dealing a “profound blow to U.S. allies” but no mention of our enemies. That’s just the first paragraph!

Progress In North Korea

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. You have to give props when props are due. Here you go:

In West Bend last weekend, there was a brat fry for the benefit of veterans of the Korean War. More than 5.7 million Americans served in the Korean War — 33,739 were killed in battle. Another 20,507 died in service during the war and 103,284 were wounded. Today, less than half of the Americans who served in the Korean War are still alive.

Given that it has been almost 65 years since that bloody war ground to a halt in a cease fire agreement, many of those Korean War veterans had likely given up hope of ever seeing the war actually end. Last week, Kim Jong Un, the grandson of North Korean tyrant Kim Il Sung, who launched the bloody war in 1950, shook hands with South Korea’s President, Moon Jae-in, and then stepped into South Korea to begin a historic summit that may lead to a lasting peace between the sibling nations.

That handshake did not come about by accident. It was the result of a multifaceted foreign policy effort by President Donald Trump. For all of his faults, Trump’s foreign policy has proven to be sophisticated and effective. He has advanced the interests of peace on the Korean peninsula further than any of his predecessors.

The likelihood of a lasting peace, much less the complete denuclearization of North Korea, is still slim. Kim Jong Un is a third generation dictator who is equal parts evil and crazy. His interests are rooted in his own power — not the welfare of the North Korean people or the world. In order for peace to be sustainable, Kim’s self-interest will have to be appeased and Trump will have to twist Ronald Reagan’s famous maxim to, “don’t trust and verify.”

Still, we are closer to peace than we have been for three generations and the world has Trump to thank for that. The secret to Trump’s foreign policy is no secret at all. He has returned to the more muscular foreign policy of “peace through strength” that underpinned the foreign policy of many previous administrations.

The first thing Trump did when entering office was make it clear that the days of American appeasement of North Korea were over. Strong, occasionally reckless, rhetoric sent the message that Trump was not of the same mold as his most recent predecessors.

Then Trump backed up his rhetoric with very stiff sanctions against North Korea. While North Korea is no stranger to sanctions, this time it was different. Through a combination of threats and praise, Trump convinced China to get on board with the sanctions. China is North Korea’s largest trading partner, by far, and ally in the Korean War.

Once the sanctions were in place, Trump extended his potent mix of threats and complimentary gestures to Kim. Trump began working toward high level negotiations and backed it up by sending the soon-tobe Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to meet Kim. In the bast couple of weeks, Kim has committed to cease nuclear tests, dismantle a nuclear facility, met with South Korean President Moon, and indicated that he wants a permanent peace. Trump is tentatively scheduled to meet with Kim next month.

Incidentally, while Pompeo was furthering the peace process in North Korea through diplomacy as the secretary of state nominee, Wisconsin’s Sen. Tammy Baldwin voted against his confirmation saying that she feared Pompeo would not be diplomatic enough.

Underlying the entire process is the fact that nobody doubts that Trump is willing to back up his threats. No doubt the strikes by the United States against chemical weapons facilities in Syria, despite the admonitions of the Russians and Assad, got Kim’s attention. If Trump is willing and able to act with such precision against Syria, there is no doubt that he would be able to strike North Korea. And with China softening its defense of Kim in order to protect its economic interests, Kim is more isolated than ever.

The North Korean problem has been the world’s Gordian Knot for more than half a century. Trump might be about to cut it.