Trump's Accomplishments Obscured by Distractions
Cal Thomas, December 14, 2017
Side issues -- some of them created by
the president himself -- have obscured the accomplishments of the Trump
administration during his first year in office.
The economy is the most obvious one. From
anemic growth in the previous administration, it is now growing at around 3
percent, which economists say is ideal. The stock market continues to set
records, fattening retirement portfolios.
Unemployment is at its lowest level since
2000. It is also at a 17-year low for African-Americans, and it has dropped for
all other major racial and ethnic groups. The black community is unlikely to
give the president much credit because of its addiction to the Democratic Party,
even though that party has taken their votes for granted and done little for
The good economic news may be penetrating
the largely negative media coverage. The Wall Street Journal reports: "Although
President Donald Trump's overall approval ratings have dropped to the lowest
point of his presidency, he is getting significantly higher marks in one
important area: his handling of the economy."
During the campaign, candidate Trump
promised to increase the number of manufacturing jobs. Critics said he couldn't
do it because those jobs were gone forever. A White House statement claims that
159,000 manufacturing jobs have been created since the president took office.
This contrasts with the final year of the Obama administration, when
manufacturing jobs were being trimmed at an average of 1,000 per month,
according to the statement.
The Treasury Department's Office of Tax
Policy estimates that the administration's economic policies will increase tax
revenue by $1.8 trillion over 10 years.
On his visits to China, Vietnam and South
Korea, the president achieved trade deals worth more than $270 billion that will
benefit American companies and their employees.
The "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria
established by the Islamic State has been effectively destroyed, primarily
because the president lifted rules of engagement and allowed the military to go
after the terrorists as if this is a real war, which it is, and not a conflict
where one side is burdened by rules and the other isn't.
Illegal immigration has declined
substantially even before a wall is constructed.
The president is fulfilling other
promises. He is populating the federal courts with judges who are subject to the
constraints of the Constitution and don't have a history of legislating from the
Unnecessary regulations on businesses
imposed by the previous administration are being rolled back, which is helping
to fuel the economic boom.
There is much more, but these accomplishments
are being obscured by some of the president's own actions and rhetoric. He
continues to bring up the 2016 election and remains critical of Hillary Clinton.
It is unnecessary. Instead, he should be touting the tangible and verifiable
successes his administration is producing.
Next year the administration plans to
tackle welfare reform and finalize a plan on immigration that includes a
decision on what to do about the "dreamers," children of illegal immigrants who
were brought to America at a young age, and chain migration.
Another priority in the new year should
be the liberation of poor and minority children from failing public schools.
Trump promised to do this during his campaign. Secretary of Education Betsy
DeVos has been a champion of school choice, and she, along with the president,
should begin a show-and-tell series of events that feature children who were
learning nothing in their former schools and are now in private or charter
public schools where they are getting a real education and feel safe.
The president is starting to get credit
on the economy. He will earn more if he exercises self-discipline, controls the
content of his tweets and adopts an optimistic message while toning down -- way
down -- the anger and the criticism of others.
The Democrats are offering nothing. A
Washington Post headline from earlier this week read: "Despite recent wins,
Democrats remain divided about what they stand for."
It's a great opportunity for the
president and the Republican Party to remind voters not only what they stand for
(if they know), but what they are accomplishing.
Plan B: Sex
Bernard Goldberg, December 14, 2017
Democrats who want Donald Trump removed
from office need a backup plan in case the Russian collusion thing doesn't pan
out. And Plan B, I suspect, is sex.
Ideally, of course, liberals would like a
smoking gun showing that Trump and Vladimir Putin were in cahoots and over a few
shots of vodka at Putin's country house in Sochi they conspired to throw the
2016 election, which would be grounds for impeachment. Absent that, they'd be
perfectly happy removing Trump from office by way of the 25th Amendment, on
grounds that he's nuts. But they know that won't fly. That leaves the "S" word.
Here's how Democrats hope the sex option
plays out: If Al Franken had to go because of sex and if John Conyers had to go
because of sex and if Bill Clinton should have resigned because of sex - how in
the world can Donald Trump stay in office with all those sex allegations hanging
We Democrats went after our own over sex,
the argument goes, now it's time for you Republicans to go after your own --
Donald J. Trump -- and while you're at it, Judge Roy Moore.
Leading the crusade to put Donald Trump
on a bus back to Manhattan is the woman who took Hillary Clinton's seat in the
U.S. Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand, a progressive who was the first of her
Democratic colleagues to call for Franken's resignation. A few weeks earlier she
broke sacred ground saying Bill Clinton should have resigned for his sexual
So why would a progressive Democrat who
has been tight with the Clintons for years suddenly decide to abandon her old
friend, the former president -- 25 years after the fact? I hate to be cynical
but maybe it has something to do with her much talked about ambition to be
president and run for the job in 2020. Being at the forefront of a movement to
bring down Trump because of alleged sexual misconduct -- even if her pal Bill
Clinton is collateral damage -- would give her a lot of street cred among the
progressives she'd need to win the nomination.
As for Al Franken, whatever he did or
didn't do, he was, as a friend of mine put it, the Democrats' "sacrificial
lamb." Trading him for the chance to oust Trump was a no-brainer.
But even while he was drowning in
allegations, Senator Franken had some defenders. And they're not all fellow
Two staunch conservatives -- Newt
Gingrich and Laura Ingraham -- were on Fox News the other night defending Al
Franken on grounds that a "lynch mob" was out to get him and that he shouldn't
be forced out without "due process."
I guess it's possible that conservatives who
detest his left-wing politics, and probably don't even like him, would defend
Franken on principle, but I'm not buying it.
So here's a theory on what Gingrich and
Ingraham are really up to: If they defend Franken on due process grounds -- that
there was no hearing where he could formally defend himself -- and that a "lynch
mob" fueled a feeding frenzy against the senator, then it's much easier for
Gingrich and Ingraham and other true-blue conservatives to defend -- guess who?
-- Donald J. Trump and Judge Roy Moore. If Franken was unfairly hunted down by a
"lynch mob" -- Gingrich's term -- then let's not let our guys suffer the same
These days, partisans, both on the right
and left, are so devious that they make Machiavelli look like an amateur, a
wimp, a regular Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
One last thing: Back in 1983, on the eve
of a race for governor, Edwin Edwards, a Louisiana Democrat who in his own way
was a colorful as Donald Trump, said that, "The only way I can lose this
election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy."
This is bad news for Democrats salivating
over the possibility that Trump won't last his entire term. The only way he's
going to be driven from office is if he winds up in exactly the situation
Edwards described. Unless, of course, that smoking gun emerges -- and it has
Trump's and Putin's fingerprints all over it.
Oh, yeah -- Edwards won!
Donna Brazile Rails Against the DNC
for Letting the Clinton Campaign Run the Show
Cortney O'Brien, December 14, 2017
Washington, D.C. - All
eyes were on the election results in the Alabama Senate race Tuesday night. Yet,
Donna Brazile, former interim chair for the Democratic National Committee, was
busy entertaining an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
with her firsthand account of what went down at the DNC during last year's
presidential primary. By the end, the audience seemed convinced that the Russian
hacking of the DNC only exacerbated the internal issues of an already flailing
Brazile, promoting her new book, "Hacks:
The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the
White House," was very candid with the Press Club attendees about what
transpired after she answered the call to act as DNC chair last year. To put it
lightly, she found rampant incompetence, one major issue being the committee's
misuse of funds.
She recounted one phone call she received
from a "clerk" named Brandon four days before Election Day, informing her they
had $1.5 million to spend. Although a bit late in the game, she was eager to
spend the money. About an hour later, this same clerk called back to let her
know their initial assessment was wrong - it was actually only $750,000 - the
rest of the money would be going toward weekend cable shows.
"Who watches cable on the weekend?" she
As we know from the excerpts published in
Politico last month, Brazile was also not a fan of the DNC's "side agreement"
with Hillary Clinton when she was still one of the crop of candidates. The joint
fundraising agreement they had allowed the Clinton campaign to "control" the
"This agreement prevented me from doing
my job," Brazile said. "I wanted to blow the agreement up."
I asked her to clarify whether or not she
believed the primary had been "rigged" for Hillary Clinton, considering there
had been conflicting media reports about her characterization.
"I found out that it was not, because of
course Hillary Clinton won the primary," she said.
But man was she peeved about that fundraising
agreement. It "broke her heart," she said, because it gave "credence" to the
idea that the DNC staff may have been working for Hillary. She goes into more
The funding arrangement with HFA and
the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical. If
the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party
before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a
criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.
Had Brazile known of the agreement, she
said she "never" would have accepted the chair position.
It's all juicy stuff and it's all there
in her book. Yet, she said she warned all the important players that the book
was coming, including Secretary Clinton and Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook.
While she laid out a litany of DNC
failures, Brazile did leave room for hope. If you go to their headquarters now,
she said, you'd think you had just left the TSA. Clearly, they were spooked by
last year's Russian cyber breach.
"I wanted to wrap the entire Democratic
Party with yellow caution tape,” she said. “That’s how fearful I was.”
Since the hacking, Brazile has been more
outspoken about cyber security, telling the audience to make sure their mobile
devices are secure.
"Make sure that your password isn't
'password' or '1234,'" she said.
Brazile said she was also heartened by
the proposals at last week's DNC unity commission meeting. Brazile also noted
that the amount of resources and attention the DNC has paid to Alabama proves
that the party is no longer "cherry picking" states and candidates.
Brazile said she's grateful they’ve put
in place some administrative tools and will recommend an ombudsman. They've made
clear that the chair will be taking more advice from the rest of the committee.
Everyone should feel "comfortable" to voice their opinions at the table, she
Months ago, new DNC Chairman Tom Perez
asked Brazile if she wanted to be on the unity commission and "for the first
time in her adult life," she declined.
learning how to say no,” she said.
Nonpartisan Analysis: GOP Plan Would
Reduce Taxes and Increase Incomes Across 'Every Scenario Modeled,' Especially
for the Middle Class
Guy Benson, November 30, 2017
In a significant step forward, the US Senate has
crucial "motion to proceed," triggering a formal floor debate over the GOP tax
reform bill. It was a strict party line affair: All 52 upper chamber
Republicans voted in the affirmative, whereas every single Democrat -- including
"moderates" like Joe Manchin, Claire McCaskill, Joe Donnelly, Jon Tester, Bill
Nelson and Heidi Heitkamp -- dutifully saluted Chuck Schumer and voted to block
even debating middle
class tax cuts and simplification.
The Democrats failed, and the bill is now on the floor. This is an important
procedural win for the GOP, but final passage will be a bigger test.
ORIGINAL POST -
We'll get to the study mentioned in the headline shortly -- but first, it's
already time for another tax
reform fact check,
necessitated by the Left's relentless machine of anti-reform propaganda and
distortions. On MSNBC, anchor Ali Velshi butchered the facts
on the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the projected impact of Senate
Republicans' tax reform bill. Here's the segment in which he disseminates,
followed by an explanation of exactly how he misrepresented
the CBO chart.
Via the Free
claim that "by 2021, people making less than $30,000 a year are going to pay
between $5,000 and $9,000 more in taxes," is false.
That's a bad error, but isn't it still troublesome that the data
he references estimates that the very lowest income groups
would end up contributing more revenue
(collectively) to the federal government, whereas that burden gets reduced for
all other households making $40,000 or more annually? Well, that might seem
like a very serious problem if you were operating without context. In reality,
these fictional "tax increases" arise from the bill's repeal of Obamacare's
individual mandate tax. Just as people choosing not
to purchase Obamacare plans that they don't want or can't afford is not "kicking
them off of healthcare," people choosing to
forego federal dollars in the form of Obamacare subsidies is not "raising taxes"
on them. Those are voluntary decisions. Here are the
Reductions across the board, with the exception of a few income groups at the
end of the budget window -- due to the on-paper expiration issue (another source
of misleading demagoguery) we
dealt with at length yesterday. Here's
more from National
For more than
a week now, some media outlets have been running wild with “distributional
tables” from the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget
Office claiming that — as a CNN headline last night put it, though the story
itself was much better — “Poor Americans would lose billions under Senate
GOP tax bill.” This is entirely an artifact of how the agencies approach the
individual mandate, which the bill repeals. They think a lot of lower-income
Americans won’t buy health insurance absent a requirement that they do so,
and that as a result these individuals will get less in government
subsidies. As Nicole Kaeding of the Tax Foundation put it, “Less
of an advanceable refund from the Treasury results in the appearance of a
tax increase.” She pointed out that the JCT itself had released a separate
table that excluded the effects of repealing the mandate and showed,
unsurprisingly, that all income groups got a tax cut. We
now have such a table from the CBO as well. Through 2025, after which point
the individual tax cuts expire (though they’ll likely be renewed by a future
Congress), all income groups see a tax cut.
It's also worth recalling that CBO has routinely
and vastly overestimated the power of the individual mandate
tax, leading to scary-looking, inflated numbers that hurt Republicans during
their failed 'repeal and replace' push. For example, great
numberof those who'd supposedly "lose coverage" with the mandate axed
are...Medicaid recipients. Medicaid is free to
beneficiaries (but not taxpayers, obviously). They're trying
to tell us that people will give up free (if deeply
substandard) coverage just because they're no longer required to hold it?
It's totally illogical. Meanwhile, feast your eyes on this infographic from the
nonpartisan Tax Foundation, illustrating how various households would be be
impacted by the Senate GOP tax reform package. As you peruse these
numbers, recall that the Left is screaming that these proposals are
anti-middle class monstrosities:
Quote: "Our results indicate a reduction in tax liability for every scenario we
modeled, with some of the largest cuts accruing to moderate-income families with
children." The majority are automatic winners, as they're among the vast
majority of all filerswho
take the (roughly doubled) standard deduction. Every household profiled in the
analysis gets a tax cut and an increase in after-tax earnings. The smallest percentage
cut and income boost goes to the richest couple. Another busted narrative.
Many lefties are dismissing the Tax Foundation analysis, complaining that the
group is "nonpartisan in name only." By that standard, the same could be said
of the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, which...also
Americans across all
income groups, on
average, would get a tax cut under the House-passed Republican bill.
I witnessed a near fatal collision
this morning at intersection of Browns Hill Rd. and West Main St. in Locust. I
had gone to BO Jangles to get a coffee to go and was waiting to enter Browns
Hill Road. I noticed a big red pickup truck in the left lane trying to make a
left turn on to West Main St. and a small silver car In the right lane trying to
turn right towards Charlotte. There was no way the driver of the small car could
see around the large red pickup truck. The driver in the red pickup truck saw an
opportunity to make a left turn and started out only to see a car come around
the slower traffic coming west bound on West Main St. the driver in the red
pickup truck slammed on his brakes to avoid a collision with to on coming
traffic. The small silver car pulled out and started making a right turn into
the coming path of the west bound car. Thank goodness for the fifth middle turn
lane. The driver coming west on West Main St. swerved over into the fifth lane
and avoided striking the slow moving small silver car. I would suggest that
until the NC DOT can grow a pair and install the much needed traffic signal at
West Main St. and Browns Hill Rd. as promised some five years ago, consider
changing the traffic pattern at the intersection to right turn only when leaving
BO Jangles or Taco Bell.