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Views on the News

Views on the News*

 August 12, 2017

 

After weeks and months of fixating on tweets and Russia, the press decided to have a look at what the Trump administration has been up to since January, and they discovered that it's getting a lot done.  The Trump administration has moved forward on a range of its priorities.  It is remaking the justice system, rewriting environmental rules, overhauling public-lands administration, and greenlighting major infrastructure projects.  It is appointing figures who will guarantee the triumph of its ideological vision for decades to come.  Border crossings have plummeted, even though all Trump has done so far is promise to enforce existing laws.  The Supreme Court approved parts of Trump's travel ban, a success made possible by Trump's appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the bench.  Trump is busy filling lower court positions with conservative justices.  Trump is proving wildly successful in one respect: naming youthful conservative nominees to the federal bench in record-setting numbers.  Trump pulled out of the Paris climate change deal, which is a huge win for the economy.  The EPA, meanwhile, is dismantling Obama's coal-killing, growth-choking Clean Power Plan, and draining the heavy-handed Waters of the United States rule.  Trump promised to kill two regulations for every new one enacted, but in his first six months the ratio was 16-to-1.  Trump also approved the Keystone XL and other pipeline projects held up by Obama.  He's also rolled back a ban on coal mining on public lands.  However, he hasn't scored a major legislative achievement on signature issues like ObamaCare and tax reform yet.  The administration's achievements are akin to a shadow government, but these actions aren't in the shadows, because they're just being ignored by a media that is obsessed with digging up dirt on Trump.

(“Someone Just Noticed That Trump is Getting Stuff Done” dated August 4, 2017 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/someone-just-noticed-that-trump-is-getting-stuff-done/ )

The world is witnessing a political mutiny that is unprecedented in the annals of American history.  Donald Trump was duly elected President of the United States on Tuesday November 8, 2016.  He received the votes of almost 63 million Americans, the highest total ever for a Republican Party presidential candidate.  Through a remarkably targeted campaign, he won electoral votes in 31 states, destroying his opponent in the Electoral College.  Despite his legitimate victory, Trump has been the subject of an unrelenting and unparalleled number of deceitful attacks from his disgruntled opponents.  Immediately after his victory, a sinister network of deep state operatives, Obama holdovers in the bureaucracy, “Never Trump” Republicans, Democrats, and biased liberals in the media joined forces to achieve one goal, overturning the election results.  The “sultans of the status quo” view the President’s plan to put “America First” and “Drain the Swamp,” as a call to political arms and a battle for their survival.  To protect their power, Trump’s many opponents have tried everything from challenging the presidential vote totals in certain states to intimidating the members of the Electoral College.  When that failed, the next step has been to manufacture the “Russian collusion” nonsense, which has led to the precarious situation which exists today.  Sadly, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the horrible mistake of recusing himself from the investigation, which set in motion the process that created the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, who is trying to find a crime to tie to President Trump.  There is nothing in in the “Russian collusion” story, so Mueller is now scrutinizing the complicated financial dealings of the President and his business empire.  Although the President has expressed his displeasure with this “witch hunt,” if he attempts to fire Mueller, Congress could try to impeach him.  Although ObamaCare has been an unmitigated disaster and Republicans in both houses of Congress have promised for eight years to offer relief to the American people and “repeal and replace” it, Senators left for a month-long recess without taking needed action.  The major promises of the Trump agenda such as healthcare reform, tax cuts, infrastructure spending and building a border wall are now in total jeopardy.  If congressional Republicans cared about the agenda of President Trump and his 63 million supporters, they would be doing something to investigate the misdeeds of the former administration, Hillary Clinton and the unprecedented number of leaks coming from moles within the massive federal bureaucracy.  The Trump Administration has been battered by 126 leaks in the first 125 days of his administration.  These leaks are undoubtedly federal crimes, which should be investigated by both the Justice Department and Congress, but it seems all the focus is on the “Russian collusion” conspiracy.  President Trump is surely asking himself why he wanted this job in the first place.  Along with his attorneys, his family and his “deplorable” base of supporters, he is alone in a sea of killer sharks working overtime to deliver a political death blow.  The mutiny on the Potomac has begun, and the fate of the captain of our ship, President Trump, hangs in the balance.

(“Mutiny on the Potomac” by Jeff Crouere dated August 5, 2017 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/article/mutiny-on-the-potomac )

 

Ironically, the acting-up of Occupy Wall Street led to Donald Trump’s presidency.  At a moment ripe for populist anger, the left, aided by mainstream media, turned it instead into an elitist temper tantrum.  As a result, Middle Americans saw how little they resembled the left and went decisively in the opposite direction.  The left has never had it easy in America, because prosperity aplenty rarely let leftist movements crawl far from the cradle.  The Financial Crisis therefore held special promise, because it was the product of complicated financial transactions that few could understand, and often rotten deals, which virtually everyone understood.  It was perpetrated by big banks and hedge funds, from which average Americans were already alienated.  Billed as the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the Financial Crisis was even better political fodder.  There were bailouts to the malefactors, those “too big to fail,” while those on Main Street, “too small to save,” paid.  On September 17, 2011, almost four years after the financial crisis began, the left responded.  Occupy Wall Street seized Zuccotti Park in New York City… and the mainstream media.  Three years after Tea Party populism, which it could neither understand nor accept, the mainstream media had a leftist populism it could embrace and broadcast.  Reveling in the 99% rhetoric, it dotingly delivered the left’s images and story to America, but unintendedly, the result was to remind America it had little in common with the left. Yet as America drifted away, mainstream media only drifted closer to leftist populism.  For the next five years, Obama governed as a liberal’s liberal and the economy did not recover.  Still mainstream media could not shake its attraction to the left.  In this alliance of message and media, Middle America discovered it was less envious of the rich than repulsed by the left’s elitism.  Far from being the party of the common man, America’s left delighted in belittling his beliefs, concerns, and condition, particularly as Trump’s campaign began to gain traction.  As Trump increasingly tapped into these dismissed concerns, the left and mainstream media only increased their ostracism of those they professed to support.  Repeatedly the media chose to live vicariously through the left’s outbursts, showing the outrage of the outrageous, and pushing away the rest of America.  Unquestionably the left, aided and abetted by mainstream media, fumbled the best political opportunity it may have ever had in America.  Their combined visceral opposition to Trump and his supporters has only heightened their elitist stature in the eyes of a growing number of Americans.  The outcome has been that the left’s political elitism totally eclipsed its economic opportunity.  When mainstream media had a chance to capture legitimately outrageous injustices inflicted on Middle America, it seized on Occupy Wall Street fringe outrage to express its own.  Together the left and the media have turned populism against themselves and to the right.  Despite feeling entitled to run America, the left and mainstream media find themselves now running from it.  Their efforts to force feed their values to an unwilling America have undercut their own efforts.  Mainstream media in particular has never been more out of favor and mistrusted.  Neither the left nor mainstream media could help themselves. They could not separate themselves from their self-image, so smart, so correct, so superior.  In so doing, they have created what they fear most: Populism of the right.  As the left push, their increasingly strident means of doing so drives America more into a populist mindset and toward the right.

(“American Populism Has Left the Left Behind” by J.T. Young dated August 8, 2017 published by The American Spectator at https://spectator.org/american-populism-has-left-the-left-behind/ )

 

Call it the Battle of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  On one side: the perpetually aggrieved White House press corps, whose members sit atop journalism’s pinnacle and yet are herded like cattle, made to stand behind rope lines and are generally treated with disdain by those they report on.  On the other: a beleaguered, media-conscious President who still harbors the notion that he can get dedicated ideological enemies to like him if he can just charm them enough and is prepared to go around them on Twitter if he can’t.  This is no longer an exercise in public relations, or even messaging strategy; this is war.  No longer content to be merely adversarial when necessary in its pursuit of information, the media is now almost wholly partisan, the propaganda wing of the Democrat National Committee, which takes literally the fictional admonition “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” not realizing it was meant as both a joke and a caution by a Chicago newspaperman more than a century ago.  Meanwhile, liberal newspapers like The Washington Post openly troll for “leaked” documents via secure Internet drop boxes in order to derail the Trump train.  White House chief adviser Steve Bannon refers to the media as “the opposition party.”  So far, the White House has yet to find the right combination of personnel and message to combat them.  The hostile, compromised media is not about to abandon its overarching anti-Trump “narrative,” no matter how many drinks communication staffers buy them.  Insist that credentialed reporters be demonstrably unbiased and factually accurate.  If they’re not, request that their editors replace them with somebody who is.  Follow their Twitter feeds to see what they’re saying behind your back.  Freedom of the press is right there in the First Amendment, but nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the government has to be nice to the media, spoon-feed them information, accommodate their travel wishes, suffer silently their snark or permit them unfettered access to private papers and conversations.  Treat them professionally, and expect the same from them; that’s it.  Finally, take advantage of the power imbalance.  The media needs the White House more than the White House needs the media, which is a lesson both sides need to relearn — fast.

(“The media needs Trump more than he needs them” by Michael Walsh dated August 5, 2017 published by New York Post at http://nypost.com/2017/08/05/the-media-needs-trump-more-than-he-needs-them/ )

 

The fight among Republicans has become contentious.  The GOP Establishment, the country club set which doesn’t sweat and never worked outside of a gated community, has been calling many of the shots for the last 16 years.  Republicans had lost their way, not paying attention to the individual needs of working Americans.  Gun-rack Democrats are now becoming Republicans all over the country, even in California.  Working people have finally realized that the Democrat Party is more committed to Wall Street than to Main Street.  Wall Street is all about Wall Street.  They don’t want a big, beautiful wall along our borders.  They have their own gated mansions, private security, all placed in secluded gated communities.  Most of the Conservative media intelligentsia fall into this category, too.  They live relatively comfortable lives.  They do not worry about an illegal alien undercutting their wages or stealing their jobs.  They live in perfect safety, too.  The conservative writing intelligentsia still believed that they will be accepted and welcomed into the media elitists club.  What they do not want to understand is that the Printed Press Old Word is passing away.  Talking heads, even on Fox News, are a thing of the past.  There are now thousands of people who have taken on the mantle of conservatives.  The Country Club GOP Intelligentsia does not like that.  The democratization of media is not only hurting the Left, but it is hurting the self-congratulatory, well-lettered right. They want to discuss ideas, they want to make nice with political competitors, and in many cases they are content to make money as media talking heads.  After all is fought for in the election cycle, the Country Club set still want to be invited to all the parties.  They still want to know that they will be liked.  This desperation for civility is hurting our culture.  The Country Club GOP are convinced that dialogue and debate can make all the difference.  If we meet our opposition in the middle somewhere, everything will work out in the end.  What they do not realize, however, is the Democrat Party has doubled down on its communistic impulses, and there is no room for agreement or compromise on socialized ideals.  What is needed know is clear conviction.   The fight over policy and ideology affects our everyday lives.  We cannot afford to tolerate the lingering existence of ObamaCare, sanctuary cities, tax hikes, education failures, and other Main Street concerns, many of which have gone unnoticed by Country Club Republicans.  The Country Club set has been all too removed from the demands and the constraints of daily life.  In fact, they have pressed for policies which seem to make sense in ideological terms, but miss the nitty-gritty of Joe the Plumber.  Let’s not forgot that our United States Constitution is for everyone.  The reduction of the state in our lives, whether as local citizens or Americans, means that our rights must be protected at all costs.  Country Club Republicans feel that their rights are intact, and see no need to protect them against egregious infractions.  The rest of us are enduring a constant attack on our rights, and the opportunities to find gainful employment and provide a prosperous future for our children.  Country Club Republicans are willing to support Establishment Democrats just to ensure their passage to all the socialite parties and fetes.  A political party should serve the needs of all Americans.  The Democrat Party has affirmed their indifference to the working Americans.  Counter Culture Republicans need to take hold of their party and ensure that their leaders work for the good of all Americans, not just Big Business, Big Labor, and the Big Fat Cat Country Club Class.

(“Country Club vs. Counter-Culture Republicans” by Arthur Christopher Schaper dated August 6, 2017 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/article/country-club-vs.-counter-culture-republicans )

Many are asking why Republicans have had such trouble passing legislation, even with control of the House, Senate, and the White House.  President Trump lays blame primarily at the hands of Democrats, but research on the 2016 election finds that the President’s fractured coalition is largely responsible.  A statistical analysis of an 8,000 person survey uncovered five different types of Trump voters.  These voters disagree on nearly every major policy issue surveyed including on health care, taxes, immigration, race, and matters of American identity.  These internal disagreements help to explain why the Trump agenda is having a difficult time in Congress even as 82% of Republicans remain behind him.

·    American Preservationists, comprise Trump’s core base of supporters who propelled him through the primaries.  They have lower education, incomes and are under-employed.  Nearly half of those working age are on Medicaid.  Out of step with Republican orthodoxy, Preservationists favor tax hikes on the wealthy, are deeply skeptical of immigration, both legal and illegal, and overwhelmingly support a temporary ban on Muslim immigration.  They also feel less favorable toward immigrants and racial minorities, and nearly half think being of European descent is important for being truly American.

·    Free Marketeers are 25% of Trump’s backers and they are the mirror image of American Preservationists, having the highest incomes and education levels.  They are most skeptical of Trump, with most saying they voted against Hillary Clinton rather than for Trump.  In contrast to the Preservationists, these are small government fiscal conservatives who embrace free trade.  At the same time, they are as likely as Democrats to have warm feelings toward immigrants and racial minorities, and to support making legal immigration easier.

·    The largest Trump voter group is the Staunch Conservatives. They are 31% of his support and were the group that combined with the American Preservationists to give Trump the Republican nomination.  They are loyal Republicans with conventionally conservative positions on social and economic issues.  They also have warm feelings toward racial minorities in the U.S.  Not as hardline as the Preservationists, they too are skeptical of immigration and strongly support a temporary travel ban on Muslims traveling to the U.S.

·    Had Anti-Elites, 19% of his voters, not turned against Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump may have lost the presidency.  About half had positive views toward Clinton just four years ago.  They support a more progressive tax code, a plurality support a pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants, and they are as favorable toward racial minorities as non-Trump voters.  Sharing Trump’s disdain for elites, they soured significantly on Hillary between 2012 and 2016 and are more cautious of immigration than Clinton.

·    Finally, the Disengaged, 5%, is a small Trump voter group.  They don’t know much about politics but what they do know is they are skeptical of immigration and believe the system is rigged against them.

Recognizing Trump’s diverse coalition helps explain why Republicans are having difficulty governing in Washington today.  Although Trump’s voters agree the Affordable Care Act should be repealed, polls reveal continued disagreement over replacement.  With health care reform on the ropes, there is added pressure for the Republicans to deliver a victory on taxes this fall. However, Trump’s fractured coalition may thwart it.  Nearly three-fourths of Preservationists and Anti-Elites favor tax hikes on the rich, yet Staunch Conservatives and Free Marketeers oppose this policy by the same margins.  On the border-adjustment tax, 62% of Free Marketeers favor policies that increase trade with other nations, while only a little over a third of Preservationists agree.  In short, Trump voters do not share a similar panoply of policy preferences.  Trump earned their votes for different reasons and they have different expectations in mind for his presidency.  Without the cohesive coalition that many have assumed, Trump will continue to find it difficult to deliver on all of his promises.

(“The 5 types of Trump voter: How a fractured coalition can lead to broken promises” by Emily Ekins dated August 8, 2017 published by The Hill at http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/345412-opinion-the-5-types-of-trump-voter-how-a-fractured )

The time is long overdue for ridding the Republican Party of the Republicans-In-Name-Only (“RINOs”) populating much of our government.  They have traveled under the euphemistic but false label of “moderates” as they sided with the liberals/progressives/socialists of the Democrat Party against Republican conservatives who believe in personal freedom, personal responsibility, a limited federal government, and the Constitution of the United States as “We the People” ordained and amended it.  To recognize who the RINOs are, appreciate why they must be removed from office, and maximize our prospects for success in this mission, it is worth considering how they came to hold such sway over our politics.  Central to the economic history of the United States over the last hundred years has been an alliance between the Big Government advocates of the Democrat Party and the Big Business protectors of the RINO wing of the Republican Party.  Along the way, a few conservative Republican presidents, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Ronald Reagan, and the conservative Republican Congresses of the 1920s and 1995-2000 acted to restrain government’s expansion and to bring about economic and job growth through tax cuts that empowered the people to exercise greater economic freedom.  These efforts did little more than slow the rate of increase in the size of government, and when these conservatives’ tenures in office ended the rapid government expansion resumed.  Abetting this process was a long string of RINO presidents, including Hoover, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and both Bushes, as well as the spendthrift RINO Congresses of 2001-2006.  The alliance of Big Government and Big Business was thought to be working well enough during the decades following America’s victory in World War II, but the reality was that America was artificially benefitting from being the only major industrialized nation whose productive capacity had not been waylaid by the war.  In the meantime, the alliance remained intact, even as its costs from growing government and curtailing small businesses became ever less affordable.  The 2016 election cycle was a watershed event that is acutely misunderstood by the RINOs in Washington.  To them, Donald Trump’s victory is an anomaly to be dismissed as a “populist” overreaction to the voters’ frustration with the status quo ante left by Obama.  The anger exhibited by Trump’s supporters was grounded in valid concerns over the perpetually dismal economy, lack of job prospects for Americans, unprecedented spiraling of the federal debt, falling middle class living standards, soaring healthcare costs, reduction in business startups, and uncontrolled illegal immigration (not to mention the worsening race relations and America’s diminished influence abroad).  To anyone living outside the Beltway and the progressive enclaves on the coasts and in our universities, it came as little surprise that a candidate pledging to “drain the swamp” would win the Republican nomination over the RINOs and prevail in the November election against a classic Big Government progressive.  That the RINOs are not capitulating to the will of the Trump supporters is evident, as we witness the debacle of healthcare reform in Congress, where the RINOs revealed themselves to be not merely feckless but disingenuous politicians who deceived the electorate into believing that they would align with conservative values and vote to repeal ObamaCare, when they really just wanted a return to “business as usual,” meaning more crony capitalism for Big Business and more compromises with the Big Government Democrats.   It is distressing to see RINOs inviting the Democrats to “cooperate” in fashioning an ObamaCare bill, as this will mean more of their unholy alliance, with greater federal regulation of Big Business insurers able to survive in the distorted and noncompetitive healthcare sector.  Count on the RINOs to oppose legislation that would dramatically lower tax rates for all businesses and simplify the tax code.  After all, it was the RINOs who went along with jacking up the rates, after which they negotiated for reams of selective reductions to benefit their Big Business donors at the cost of everyone else.  As caring conservatives, we must not allow the current state of affairs to daunt us into despondency and retreat.  Instead, we must let the RINOs know that, come the 2018 and 2020 elections, we will finish the job we started in 2010 (by taking the House of Representatives, continued in 2014 (by taking the Senate), and nearly completed in 2016 (by putting a Republican in the White House).  Contrary to the nonsense the so-called mainstream media are pushing, it is not the conservative Republicans and their agenda that will be ousted, but the RINOs, the progressive Democrats, and their Big Government-Big Business alliance, and only then will the swamp truly be drained.

(“Why RINOs Must Go” by Blaine Winship dated August 10, 2017 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/08/why_rinos_must_go.html )

 

The Democrat Party has never accepted the result of the 2016 presidential election, and Democrats in Washington are working feverishly to destroy the Trump administration.  At the moment, it appears that they might well succeed, but the current drama in Washington shouldn’t obscure the bigger picture: the Democrat Party is in deep trouble.  The Governor of West Virginia announced that he is switching parties and joining the GOP.  This isn’t a big deal, since he was a registered Republican until 2015, when he decided to run for governor as a Democrat.  Today, this is what the map of the U.S. looks like:

Today, 164 million Americans live in the 26 states that are wholly controlled by Republicans, 109 million live in states where power is shared between the parties, and only 50 million live in the six states controlled by the Democrats.  Those who run the Democrat Party spend their time overwhelmingly in Washington, California and New York, and they read the New York Times and the Washington Post. They watch CNN and MSNBC, along with network news.  I am not sure they are fully attuned to how unpopular their party has become in most of America.  They may win a tactical victory against President Trump, whose inexperience and personality make him vulnerable, but I suspect that very few voters are responding to the Democrats’ daily assault on the administration by saying, In the next election I am going to change my mind and vote liberal!  The Democrats’ hysterical, unprecedented assault on the President may prove to be a distraction that actually retards their ability to address their party’s long-term decline.

(“Do the Democrats Know How Much Trouble They Are In?” by John Hinderaker dated August 3, 2017 published by Powerline at http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/08/do-the-democrats-know-how-much-trouble-they-are-in.php )

 

Well, finally we are getting that "summer of recovery."  The July jobs report included solid job gains across the economy, the lowest unemployment rate in more than a decade and a nice bump in wages.  Even though nearly every poll for the past six years tells us Americans care most about jobs and the economy (with terrorism occasionally taking over first place), the media naturally won't cover the undeniable economic speed-up since Election Day.  With the Dow at 22,000, solid job gains, confidence high and growth jumping to 2.6% in the last quarter under Trump, the economy clearly has a new bounce in its step.  The gains to investor’s and pension funds is on the magnitude of $4 trillion.  Liberals argue that this is a continuation of the Obama recovery, but there's a big problem with that analysis: The economy was decelerating under Obama, not speeding up.  In Obama's last year in office, 2016, the economy was barely limping to keep ahead of another recession.  This Trump bounce is the result of two factors.  First is the relief felt by investors, workers and employers that the Obama eight-year assault against business is over.  No more tax increases, spending stimulus bills, ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, minimum wages increases, the war on fossil fuels and so on.  They were all bad for growth.  The second factor that has injected optimism into the economy has been the anticipation effect: People are expecting good things to come.  ObamaCare repeal (whoops); less regulation; the biggest tax cut since Reagan; pro-America energy policies; and so on.  On the regulatory front, a lot has already happened in this regard. The White House reports that instead of two regulatory rollbacks for every new regulation enacted, as Trump promised, there have been 16 rollbacks for every new rule.  Deregulation has caused a renewed surge in American energy production - including a big lift for coal.  Obama and Hillary Clinton promised to put coal out of business; under Trump, America is now exporting American coal to places in East Europe, such as Croatia.  Trump would be wise not to get too carried away with the runaway stock market.  If Republicans don't get their act together and they strike out on the tax cut, the roaring stock market is likely to turn into a bearish sell-off.  Put simply, if the GOP whiffs on the tax cut, it will harm the economy and the stock market.  That is why GOP leaders would be wise to downsize their grand ambitions of a total rewrite of the tax code and simply sell the American people on a job-creation tax cut that will benefit all American companies, including 26 million small businesses, and put about $2,000 of tax relief into the pockets of financially stressed workers.  With a pro-growth tax-cutting plan, 3%-plus GDP growth is right around the corner.  This won't just mean more jobs but also pay raises for workers in a tighter labor market. The Trump bounce that we are seeing today will be a moon bounce in 2018, so just do it.

(“The Trump Economy: Progress and Peril” by Stephen Moore dated August 8, 2017 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/stephenmoore/2017/08/08/the-trump-economy-progress-and-peril-n2365671 )

President Trump's headline achievements are overshadowed by the media's daily assault on the White House.  By objective measures, Trump is fulfilling his famous campaign promise to "Make America Great Again."  I see eight signs that we are on the right track:

·  The stock market continues to break records. The record-high Nasdaq is up 18% this year; the S&P 500's Tech Sector index hit a record high not seen since its bubble in 2000; and the Dow Jones industrial average continues to enjoy new highs.

·  The job market is heating up. The unemployment rate fell from 4.8% in October to 4.4% in June.  The civilian labor force participation rate hit 160 million Americans, a record never reached in eight years under President Obama.  Trump set this record without harmful record deficits or the Federal Reserve pumping trillions of dollars into the economy.

·  Wages are rising.  For the first time in seven years, the working class saw a jump in pay. According to Department of Labor data, average pay for the lowest-income Americans went up 3.4% over 2016. We win multiple awards as a great place to work and we pay competitive salaries, but we have had to pay more to lure the best people to work for us.

·  Businesses are investing more in the U.S.  Draconian federal rules are on the way out. Businesses are booming, thanks to the stock market and potential for tax reform.  The President's push for U.S. investment is being taken seriously, prompting many American and even some foreign companies to announce major U.S. investments.

·  Our foreign positioning has improved.  Our allies are realizing that Uncle Sam has limits to his generosity.  Despite some political bluster, President Trump has kept our commitment to NATO while raising pressure on other countries to keep their commitments to the alliance.   Our relationship with key countries continues to improve.  Through personal diplomacy, hard work and a strong team, Trump has developed relationships with leaders around the world in an effort to strengthen ties and avoid conflict.

·  Trade policy and trade agreements can improve.  Dropping out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) seems isolationist and contrary to our interests.  Indeed, TPP signatories are already flirting with China, which is seeking to fill the void the U.S. left after withdrawing from the deal.  We can focus on the positive by fine-tuning specific problem areas of international trade that have long flummoxed negotiators.  If it moves forward, NAFTA could then be extended to other previous TPP partners.  Although no free trade agreement with Great Britain could be finalized until after their exit from the EU, the early interest in such an agreement signals potential wider benefits.  Tech deals with the EU that would halt their fines and restrictions on our greatest tech companies should become a priority, and a deal with our closest friend will be a signature achievement from Trump.

·  Americans are safer and more secure.  Other than a nuclear North Korea, a problem kicked down the road by the last few presidents, Americans today enjoy a safer world and stronger economy.  The Mideast is no longer boiling over, ISIS is dying, Asia is stabilizing and Europe is expecting less money from us.

·  America is fostering innovative new technologies. The Trump administration is preparing for the future by focusing on new technologies, such as self-driving vehicles, drones, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.  His team is thinking about how to use these technologies to encourage U.S. manufacturing and infrastructure.  The administration's decision to use biometric screenings to track U.S. visitors using visas is another step that will ensure American safety through the use of technology.

However, several challenges remain: Trump has not yet fulfilled his potential as a dealmaker with Congress.  The Treasury is slated to run out of funds by the first half of October, and significant legislative achievements, especially with the Democrat resistance movement on one side and the Freedom Caucus on the other, will be difficult.  Trump's newsworthy tweets and a leaky White House, as well as his tough positions on immigration, the border wall, and threats to companies and other countries, may be too much fodder for the media to resist.  But get past the bravado, the drama and the trivialities – the fact is that under President Trump, Americans are safer and more prosperous than at any time in the past decade.  The path to greatness is long, but we're heading in the right direction under President Trump.

(“Yes, President Trump is Making America Great Again” by Gary Shapiro dated August 7, 2017 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/yes-president-trump-is-making-america-great-again/ )

 

There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news.  I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning.  Updates have been made this week to the following sections:

·  Politics at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/intro/politics.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/