Tag Archives: Trump admin

Defense Sec Mattis runs his own show…..

Donald Trump started off the campaign last year by saying….’ he wouldn’t rely on the ‘genera’s’..he was pretty smart himself.’…

Well that was then….

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President Trump IS relying on one former general so much, that James Mattis is running his shop with little interference from Trump people….

James Mattis has the respect and therefore the support of the nation’s commander-in-chief who deferr’s to Mattis in most Defense related policy….

And THAT makes a LOT of people sleep easier every night….

James Mattis is quickly becoming one of the most powerful Defense secretaries in recent memory, with access to President Trump that few can match.

Trump last week gave the former Marine Corps general full authority to decide the number of additional U.S. troops sent to Afghanistan, a move that comes even before a war strategy has been set. The president has given Mattis similar authority in Iraq and Syria.

And while former President Obama talked frequently to his top commanders overseeing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Trump has instead chosen to speak only to Mattis and a handful of other Cabinet secretaries, according to a White House spokesman.

There is a “very, very close and good relationship” between Trump and Mattis, the spokesman said, describing frequent working dinners “almost on a weekly basis, sometimes more than once a week.”

The two are sometimes joined at the dinners by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, another former Marine Corps general.

But Mattis above all seems to command the most time with Trump.

“They talk very, very regularly, Mattis probably more than any Cabinet secretary,” the spokesman said.

Mattis enjoys strong bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. He was confirmed by the Senate in a 98-1 vote, with only Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) voting against him. No other Trump Cabinet nominee has come close to that level of support…..



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Six Resign from Trump’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS…

…from Politicalwire….

“Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS have resigned, furious at what they say is the new administration’s regressive health policies and a lack of care from President Trump,” BuzzFeed reports.

The six wrote a letter to Newsweek: “As advocates for people living with HIV, we have dedicated our lives to combating this disease and no longer feel we can do so effectively within the confines of an advisory body to a president who simply does not care.”

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Defense Sec Mattis wants to try to win the Afghan War….

The Russians didn’t….

We Americans’s didn’t…..

Defense Sec Mattis is getting ready for another try….

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Defense Secretary James Mattis may now possess the power to determine U.S. troop levels for the conflict, but that does not mean he has yet built the buy-in inside the administration to do so.

“Together in the interagency, we will define the way ahead and I will set the U.S. military commitment, consistent with the commander in chief strategic direction and the foreign policy as dictated by Secretary of State Tillerson,” Mattis told lawmakers in the Senate Appropriations Committee, on Wednesday.

The new argument in favor of continuing America’s commitment to its longest war, it turns out, is a lot like the old one. In fact, Mattis said so.

“Our primary national interest and the international interest in Afghanistan is ensuring it does not become an ungoverned space from which attacks can be launched against the United States, other nations or the Afghan people,” he said. “Our overall mission Afghanistan remains the same: to train, advise, and assist the Afghan forces so they can safeguard the Afghan people and terrorists can find no haven in Afghanistan for attacking us or others.”

Yet just because Mattis has the authority doesn’t mean he and his team yet have built a plan for how many additional troops will head to Afghanistan — if any. A team at the Pentagon is now working hard to develop a proposal that will win support across the Trump administration, including at the State Department and the National Security Council, headed by Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. But Mattis also must win over those inside the administration who, like some in the Obama administration, are wary about increasing America’s troops (and financial) commitment to a war now well into its second decade, described as a “stalemate” by U.S.commanders and a “quagmire” in less-diplomatic military halls….



Mattis is reported to be getting ready to send 4,000 More troops to fight in the renewed Afghan War….


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Why So Many Republicans Still Grovel to Trump…

This week’s awkward and fawning Cabinet meeting is no surprise, given the G.O.P.’s reliance on the President to distract from the Party’s reactionary agenda.

By John Cassidy @ The New Yorker…

Donald Trump is the first President in history to have a Cabinet meeting go viral. If you haven’t seen it yet, you must watch the video on Monday morning and eliciting gushing testimonials and expressions of loyalty from his own appointees.

Mike Pence set the tone, saying, “The greatest privilege of my life is to serve as Vice-President to a President who is keeping his word to the American people, assembling a team that is bringing real change, real prosperity, real strength back to our nation.” Elaine Chao, the Transportation Secretary, thanked Trump for “getting the country moving again.” Sonny Perdue, the Agriculture Secretary, assured the President, “I just back got from Mississippi: they love you there.” Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, described working for Trump as “great honor.” And Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, thanked the President for “the opportunity and the blessing that you have given us to serve your agenda and the American people.”

So it went—part North Korean Politburo rah-rah session and part opening scene from “The Godfather.” A willingness to genuflect before a thin-skinned egomaniac is the price of serving in—or working closely with—this Administration. But why are so many powerful people willing to pay this price?….

In the place of Trumpism, the Trump Administration is promoting and facilitating a much less popular agenda, which will end up hurting many Trump voters: the anti-government agenda of post-Reagan Republicanism. Controversial policies that conservatives have wanted to introduce for years are making their way through legislative and administrative processes. To be sure, the progress has been uneven, and the Trump Administration still hasn’t passed a landmark piece of legislation…

Back in the nineteen-seventies, Lord Hailsham, an eminent British jurist, popularized a term for this type of behavior: elective dictatorship. He applied it to the British system, in which a government that has a healthy majority in Parliament can ride roughshod over the opposition. With Trump in the White House and the Republicans running Capitol Hill, elective dictatorship appears to have crossed the Atlantic.

Small wonder, then, that so many Republicans are willing to kiss Trump’s ring. He’s given the G.O.P. what it has long wanted: a White House willing to go along with its reactionary agenda, and a President who provides it with political cover. As long as Trump sticks to his side of the deal, he can expect to receive the loyalty he so prizes…..


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Trump orchestrates his First ‘atta boy’ cabinet meeting…Schumer makes fun of it….

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 23:  U.S. President Donald Trump (R) hosts a reception for House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders in the State Dining Room of the White House January 23, 2017 in Washington, DC.  Attending were Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (L) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).  (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

Schumer talks with the great and glorius tweeter

This morning Donald Trump hosted his first full Cabinet meeting. In a bizarre and unprecedented move, Trump assembled his squad and went around the room, allowing each person a moment to praise Donald Trump before the cameras. Weird, right? Here’s a glimpse of Reince Preibus and his particularly cringeworthy praise:

Showing off their sense of humor, Sen. Chuck Schumer and his staff released a short video this afternoon that is A++ trolling of our great and glorious tweeter-in-chief and his possibly soon-to-be-unemployed chief of staff. Watch it below:


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Trump or Not?…The US Economy is up slightly

The Hill does a story that should make Trump & Co. Happy….

The economy is emerging as a bright spot for President Trump as he struggles to move his congressional agenda amid a series of controversies.

The S&P 500 is up more than 12 percent since Election Day, unemployment has reached a 16-year low and economic growth in the coming year is expected to reach 2.3 percent, more robust growth than the 1.6 percent it grew in 2016.

Trump sought to play up his handling of the economy again on Friday at an event to end a week meant to highlight his efforts on legislation to fund new infrastructure projects across the country.

“We are here to think big, to act boldly, and to rise above the petty partisan squabbling of Washington, D.C. We are here to take action. It’s time to start building in our country, with American workers and with American iron and aluminum and steel,” Trump said in a speech at the Department of Transportation.

Trump has often gotten in his own way when it comes to publicizing his handling of the economy.

This was supposed to be the administration’s “infrastructure week,” but it was almost entirely overshadowed by the appearance by fired FBI Director James Comey at the Senate Intelligence Committee….


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Sessions offered to quit….

Shades of the Trump / Comey conversation?

Donald Trump trying to deep-six the Russian probe?

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The situation between Mr. Sessions and Mr. Trump has grown so tense that the attorney general told Mr. Trump in recent weeks that he needed the freedom to do his job and that he could resign if that was what was wanted, according to the two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House matters. Mr. Trump did not take him up on the offer.

A spokesman for Mr. Sessions declined to comment. A White House spokeswoman did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The frustration at times goes both ways. Mr. Sessions was upset when the president appointed a task force to tackle the opioids crisis in March and tapped Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to lead it without consulting the attorney general first, according to an administration official who asked not to be named discussing internal matters.

The offer by Mr. Sessions to discuss resigning, however lightly he made it, was a surprising move from one of the president’s earliest and most vocal supporters. Mr. Sessions was an early endorser of Mr. Trump’s candidacy,…



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RedState On Trump Paris no Sign…Making Bannon & Co Happy…That’s All…

by streiff @ Red State….

During the primary and campaign season I made it clear that Trump was not my candidate (mine was Cruz, Cruz and Cruz, in that order) that I didn’t have the fear and loathing of a Trump presidency that some did (Sept 2015 | Feb 2016). My reasoning was that Trump simply didn’t care very much about a lot of issues and I was more likely to get a lot of things that I wanted via transactional interactions. At a minimum, I’d do better with Trump than I would with a John Kasich or Jeb Bush because they’d be trying to appease people.

The Axios account is exactly what I’m talking about. Trump has no strong convictions on climate change. His advisers are divided. So he, as my Old Man says, ‘dances with them what brung him.’ He looks to his campaign promise and uses it as a crutch to make a decision rather than making a personal choice between competing factions. This, I think, is what makes Paris different from moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. I’d be shocked if anyone in his inner circle, Kushner or Bannon, who wanted that move at this time. For sure no one in State or the NSC wanted it. So going with his inner circle was an easy choice. to make.

I have no illusions about who and what Trump is. But neither to I think he’s the devil. And he has shown that he is keenly aware of how he got to the Oval Office and is willing to deliver even when opposed by Jared and Ivanka….


After climate loss, Ivanka moves on

During her father’s presidential transition, Ivanka Trump hauled Al Gore into Trump Tower to discuss climate change with Donald Trump. She sat down with actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio, who gave her a copy of his climate-change documentary, “Before the Flood.”

She told friends and associates that she was picking and choosing the issues where, as a one-time Democrat, she might be able to influence her father. Climate change was on the list.

On Thursday, in a peppy Rose Garden ceremony that included a brass band, Trump announced he was withdrawing from the Paris climate accords — a fulfillment of a campaign promise, but also a major blow to global efforts to combat climate change.

After she organized five weeks of meetings focused on the Paris agreement — including her own sit-down with EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and enlisting people like Apple CEO Tim Cook to speak to the president about climate — Ivanka Trump appeared to have lost on one of the issues where she at one point expected to hold some sway….


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Donald Trump doesn’t understand why Congress can’t just do what he wants…

This isn’t business…

This is governing….

An impatient President Trump is putting new pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to get rid of the filibuster in order to speed progress on legislation repealing ObamaCare and reforming the tax code.

In a message posted Tuesday on Twitter, Trump urged Republican senators to invoke the so-called nuclear option and “switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy.”

Trump also suggested his party wasn’t as cutthroat as Democrats when it comes to passing legislation, writing, “Dems would do it, no doubt!”

It’s just Trump’s latest attempt to press McConnell to eliminate the power to filibuster legislation, something Republican lawmakers firmly rejected when the president floated the idea only a few weeks ago.

That he used Twitter to do so was no surprise — but may have irritated McConnell, who has urged the president to rethink his use of social media.

Tuesday’s tweet indicates the president’s patience on his legislative agenda is waning.

McConnell has downplayed expectations, repeatedly refusing to put a timeline on the ObamaCare fight even as Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have raised pressure.

McConnell also has raised doubts over whether there is even a path to passing a bill, telling Reuters, “I don’t know how we get to 50 [votes] at the moment.”

He did warn earlier this month that “we can’t take forever.”


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Failing…Trump seems to be reaching back to Campaign mode…

Trump has been meeting with his old campaign team peop[e it appears …

Is he trying to recreate the same thing that won him the prize with guys who have been deferential and loyal to HIM …Not anything else ?

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(He DID campaign against the way things run in Washington….But he HAS found things MUCH tougher than he thought and he has been forced to SHARE the spotlight something he is NOT happy with))

Being the establishment is different than running against it Donald…

White House officials also are trying to find ways to revive Trump’s stalled policy agenda in Congress and to more broadly overhaul the way the White House communicates with the public.

That includes proposals for more travel and campaign-style rallies nationwide so that Trump can speak directly to his supporters, as well as changes in the pace and nature of news briefings, probably including a diminished role for embattled White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

Although much remained fluid Saturday, the beefed-up operation could include the return of some of Trump’s more combative campaign aides, including Corey Lewandowski, who was fired as campaign manager nearly a year ago, and David N. Bossie, who was deputy campaign manager and made his name in politics by investigating Bill and Hillary Clinton for two decades. Both men have been part of ongoing discussions about how to build a war room that have been led in part by chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon….


image of Lewandowski….thedailybeast

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Trump and Co work to undo almost everything Obama had touched….

While we and the media look at the big picture of Trump NOT being able to get what he wants from Congress?

He has been steadily rolling out executive orders….

Most of those as Department heads to come up studies on what to change from Obama’s people…

But the President thru the executive part of government CAN change and effect a LOT of things and the way things work…

Most people do NOT know that President Obama also bemoaned the TONS of rules and regulation and tried to cut down on some...

But Trump’s efforts will be magnified….

The chaos of Donald Trump’s first four months as president has overshadowed a series of actions that could reshape American life for decades — efforts to rewrite or wipe out regulations affecting everything from student loans and restaurant menus to internet privacy, workplace injuries and climate change.

Trump and his agencies have already wielded executive actions and Republican control of Congress to postpone, weaken or outright killdozens of regulations created by Barack Obama’s administration, often using delays in the courtroom to buy time to make those changes. Their targets have included protections for streams from coal-mining pollution and a directive on the rights of transgender students.

Other Obama-era regulations are in the crosshairs for possible elimination or downsizing, such as limits on greenhouse gases from power plants and rules meant to prevent concentrated ownership of media companies.

Rolling back the regs

The administration’s efforts to unwind regulations span the U.S. economy. The president’s aides say the goal is “systemic” change.

Energy and environment
Financial services

Loan forgiveness

The administration said it intends to take future “regulatory actions” on an Obama-era rule that made it easier for borrowers defrauded by colleges to have their student loans forgiven.


Education Department


On the chopping block


Gainful employment +
Loan collection fees +
Loan servicing standards +
School accountability +
Teacher preparation +
Transgender students +
Loan forgiveness –
Online education +

But Trump is going after even bigger targets, setting bureaucratic wheels in motion that could eventually ax or revise hundreds of regulations as agencies reorient themselves toward unwinding red tape and granting speedier approvals to projects. Just one of those efforts — an upcoming plan by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for reducing burdens on manufacturers — yielded 171 suggestions from business groups and others who submitted comments. Another executive order, requiring agencies to repeal two regulations for every new one they create, “will be the biggest such act that our country has ever seen,” Trump said in January.

If successful, these efforts could represent the most far-reaching rollback of federal regulations since Ronald Reagan’s presidency,….



A LOT of the Trump Admin ‘wants’ won’t make the cut because Congress or even the courts will stop them…But a good amount of them WILL come to be….

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It appears Donald Trump is hurting the American Tourism Business…

Telling people NOT to come to America and making it more difficult doesn’t make people want to come visit a place…They tend to go elsewhere…

And THAT certainly does create jobs and make America extra money….

The US tourism business is in trouble — and President Trump may be to blame.

America’s share of international tourism has dropped 16% in March, compared to the same month in 2016, according to Foursquare data released Wednesday. 

The decline began in October 2016, the month before the presidential election. From October to March, tourism-related traffic has fallen an average of 11% in the US, compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, tourism in the rest of the world has increased 6% year-over-year during the same period.

Foursquare a location intelligence company best known for its app that tracks user visits to restaurants, bars, hotels, and other sites, as well as the company’s work in analytics, advertising and developer solutions.

Foursquare analysts connected the drop to President Trump’s America first rhetoric and policies that have made some international tourists wary of visiting the US. Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck notes that residents from the Middle East and Central/South America — regions for which Trump has encouraged stricter immigration and travel policies — have been avoiding the US more than residents of Asia, Europe, and other regions….


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Trump’s base IS shrinking…FiveThirtyEight…

For those who keep says Trump’s base is holding?

Read the below….

(Republicans should be worried if this holds)

Trump endured a lot of turbulence in the general election but stuck it out to win the Electoral College. The media doesn’t always guess right about which stories will resonate with voters.

But the theory isn’t supported by the evidence. To the contrary, Trump’s base seems to be eroding. There’s been a considerable decline in the number of Americans who strongly approve of Trump, from a peak of around 30 percent in February to just 21 or 22 percent of the electorate now. (The decline in Trump’s strong approval ratings is larger than the overall decline in his approval ratings, in fact.) Far from having unconditional love from his base, Trump has already lost almost a third of his strong support. And voters who strongly disapprove of Trump outnumber those who strongly approve of him by about a 2-to-1 ratio, which could presage an “enthusiasm gap” that works against Trump at the midterms. The data suggests, in particular, that the GOP’s initial attempt (and failure) in March to pass its unpopular health care bill may have cost Trump with his core supporters.

These estimates come from the collection of polls we use for FiveThirtyEight’s approval ratings tracker. Many approval-rating polls give respondents four options: strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove and strongly disapprove. Ordinarily, we only estimate Trump’s overall approval and disapproval. But we went back and collected this more detailed data for all polls for which it was available, and then we reran our approval ratings program to output numbers for all four approval categories instead of the usual two.1 Here are Trump’s strongly approve and somewhat approve ratings from shortly after the start of his term2 through this Tuesday….


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The Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program could be up in the air…

Some of us are  in the program for loans we have to help our kids…

It’s not bad enough that the company handling the loans are playing games…

Now we find that the Government under Trump and the Republicans COULD try screw hundreds of thousands  of people out of a program they THOUGHT they had?

The program has been shrouded in some uncertainty for months.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the Department of Education is planning to propose ending the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

The article was based on budget documents obtained by the Post. A public version of the department’s budget is expected to be released next week. Congress would have to approve the department’s proposed changes for them to take effect.

It’s unclear whether the Trump administration may propose ending the program for future graduates, or end it for those who have already applied and made qualifying payments.

The Department of Education did not respond to CNNMoney’s requests for comment, and “had no immediate comment” for the Washington Post.

“It would be absolutely detrimental to those of us who have planned our lives around this program. It would be the equivalent of pulling the rug out from under us,” said Daniel J. Crooks III, a government attorney who is expecting loan forgiveness from the public service program in six years….


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Jeb Bush on Trump…I told you so…

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Yes he did….

Former GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush suggested Friday that his predictions on the campaign trail that President Trump would bring “chaos” to the White House had been validated.

“When I ran for office, I said he is a chaos candidate and would be a chaos president,” Bush said at the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) hedge fund conference in Las Vegas, according to CNN.

“Unfortunately, so far chaos organizes the presidency right now,” he added.

Bush, a former Florida governor, fought bitterly on the 2016 campaign trail with Trump, labeling the real estate mogul a “chaos candidate” and arguing he would make a “chaos president.”

Bush, who was considered in the early days of the GOP race to be a favorite, ended his bid for the Republican nomination after a disappointing finish in the South Carolina primary in February 2016.

His comments Friday come in the wake of a series of controversies for Trump over the past 10 days, beginning with his abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey last week….



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Some Republican House members defect from Trump…

Ain’t a lot…..

Buy House Republicans  in some blue states and some who have their seats due to the 2010 and 2012 GOP wave’s are putting distance between themselves and Trump….

Alarmed by falling poll numbers,  the healthcare protests and Trump’s on going Russian connection problems?

They going out on their own….

House Republicans facing tough reelection bids are running for cover from Donald Trump — an early sign that they believe the president’s deepening scandals could cost them their seats and even put the House in play.

More than 10 centrist Republicans over the past 48 hours have criticized Trump for reportedly sharing classified information with Russian officials or allegedly trying to quash an FBI investigation. Many joined Democrats in calling for a special prosecutor to take the reins of the Justice Department investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. (The DOJ named a special counsel on Wednesday.) Others want a select congressional committee to be appointed.

One swing-district lawmaker, Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, raised the possibility of impeaching Trump if it turns out to be true that he leaned on FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. But in case it wasn’t clear how Curbelo felt about the matter, his office called reporters to make sure they emphasized Curbelo was the first Republican lawmaker to utter the “I-word.”

“Obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense, so that is an allegation that we have to take very seriously,” Curbelo told a Miami CBS affiliate. “That does not mean it happened, but if this story is accurate, it may have happened. Whatever the case is, we need to get the facts.”

The break from Trump among centrist Republicans is especially notable because some of them had stuck by the president through the brutal fight over Obamacare repeal legislation two weeks ago, backing an unpopular bill despite great political risk at home….



Democrats STILL have problems…

In most of the special elections held  since Trump won November’s election?

They have lost……

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