Let's Fix This Country
governing

A Government Gone Missing

Hollowed out and now hard to fill

Part of what drew votes for Donald Trump was the belief that he was a successful businessman who could impart decisiveness and management efficiency to the job, following a president viewed by many as overly professorial and diffident. Instead, the turmoil in the White House has been stunning and Donald Trump's inattention to the rest of his government even more so.

There are some 1,200 positions in the federal government that require Senate confirmation — far too many, but that's its own subject. Of those, the Partnership
President Trump's cabinet did not hold its first meeting until June 12th.

for Public Service names 556 as key to policymaking. On the campaign trail, Trump bragged of his managerial experience repeatedly, so it is puzzling that filling those key posts has been seriously neglected. It is a formidable job, admittedly, but it's an essential management commandment first to make sure the troops have what they need to move forward, then tend to your own work. The self-absorbed Trump hasn't shown that he knows that.

By his first 100 days, the president had nominated 66 of those 556 slots with 26…

turmoil

Sowing Chaos, Trump Reaps the Whirlwind

The title of this site is breezily expressed, but we did have in mind tackling the problems that faced this polarized nation to see what we could come up with. But the Trump presidency, beset by the tumult of multiple Russia investigations, continually shoves normal governance to the sidelines. To ignore the goings on would make this page seem clueless. So we'll do our part by attempting to organize all that has recently churned the endless news cycle.

Flynn Opts for Deep Cover, Will Invoke the Fifth



Lawyers for President Trump's former National Security Adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, say that the "escalating public frenzy against him" and the appointment of a special counsel "have created a legally dangerous environment for him to cooperate with a Senate investigation", the Associated Press reported. He will therefore invoke the Fifth Amendment against…

Firing Comey: The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight


NBC's Lester Holt interviews President

It already seems long ago, with so much happening. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was scripted to "discover" documents proving Obama "wiretapped" Trump Tower during the transition. He was then to run them over to the White House (but stop on the way to tell the press) to alert the president that he had been surveilled. It fell apart…

Trump Tries to Make It All Go Away



Donald Trump's attempt to get FBI Director James Comey to quash the investigation of Gen. Mike Flynn was not the first time the president had tried to silence the opposition. In February, his administration tried to get FBI officials to contact news organizations to tell them their reporting of Trump associates’ ties to Russia were inaccurate. When FBI…

Closing In: White House Official a “Person of Interest”


The Post tilts toward the son-in-law

No sooner had President Trump embarked on his nine-day swing through the Middle East than the Washington Post broke the story that "a person of interest" had emerged in the investigation into possibleMay 27: The Russian ambassador told Moscow that Jared Kushner wanted a secret communications channel with the Kremlin and from inside the…

After Railing Against Leaks, Trump Tops Them All


Lavrov and Kislyak in the Oval Office

The classified information that President Trump divulged to the Russian officials he had invited into the Oval Office has been characterized as the most valuable source from which to learn of external plots by ISIS, chief among them their intent to bring down commercial airliners using explosive devices. The Washington Post broke the story, saying that what Trump…

Didn’t He Know Comey Was a Cop?


The tug that made it a hug

It was a meeting in the Oval Office on February 14th, the day after events had forced President Trump to fire Mike Flynn, claiming it was only for his lying to the vice president that there was no mention of sanctions in Flynn's conversation with the Russian ambassador in December. The meeting was about a terrorism…

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policy

Incredibly Shrinking America

By pulling out of the Paris Accord, we cede world leadership to China

In a stunning move with only his re-election in mind, Donald Trump has turned his back on the rest of the world taking another step destined to create hostility with allies and cede world leadership to China. As we have painfully been made aware, by quitting the Paris climate accord, the remarkable alliance of 195 nations given birth by decades of careful negotiation, we now keep company with only Syria and Nicaragua.

Withdrawal from the climate agreement is the stupidest policy blunder since George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq. It is not even required to believe in
global warming to know this. Rejection of a world movement has already triggered ramifications that will erode our leadership position in the world and in turn harm our industries and economy for years. Trump's first retreat was his outright cancellation of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) of 12 nations that Obama had engineered as a counter to China's influence. China immediately stepped into the breach to create its own coalition which will now enable them to set the rules of trade for that half of the globe. And at the NATO summit Trump uniquely refrained from voicing the standard pledge that the United States would come to the defense of any member nation if attacked, which has Europe worried that it cannot rely on the U.S. And now comes this.

deaf ears

In January, 630 businesses and investors — major U.S. corporations — signed an open letter to the president-elect and Congress pressing for lowered carbon policies and continued membership in the Paris alliance. In May, 25 companies including Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, bought full-page ads in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post urging… Read More »

policy

Are Republicans About to Blow Their Big Chance?

The calendar threatens reform hopes

When Donald Trump stunned the Democrats by winning the White House, Republicans awakened to the impossible dream: control not only of both houses of Congress but a president who would sign their legislation. It is their chance to reform the government, steering it on a rightward course.

There are three interlocking pieces. Tax reform means tax cuts, corporate and individual, but they dig a crater in the government's revenue. Repealing
Obamacare and replacing it with a far less costly program could fill that hole, so the healthcare piece is needed to pay for tax cuts. The third piece is the budget. It needs to know what will happen to healthcare and taxes before it can plan for everything else.

Trouble is, all three have gone off in different directions and the clock is running.

the poles apart party

The first bill drafted by the House to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was pulled for lack of votes. The 30-or-so members of the Freedom Caucus found Speaker Paul Ryan's plan too liberal. Caucus leader Mark Meadows, from far west North Carolina, wanted to strip away the tax credit that would help people pay for insurance — even though far more modest than Obamacare's — and cancel the federal government-funded Medicaid expansion. Together,… Read More »

politics

Have Trump’s Reversals Begun to Alienate His Base?

"He ran as a populist but governs as a traditionalist"

His campaign succeeded by identifying the anger in the country which he played to by lashing out at everyone and everything, painting a dark picture of "poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad". Against a backdrop of dystopia he could present himself as a savior — "I alone can fix it" — who would "Make America Great Again".

But in the process Donald Trump made extravagant claims of what he could accomplish and they became promises in the expectations of the base that
President Trump at Harrisburg, Pa., rally on his 100th-day.

elected him. Those claims could be attributed to his doing so little to educate himself about our government and the world, which he did not do even after he entered the race. Awareness might have kept him from saying "it's going to be so easy" about all he intended to do. He seemed to treat the job so off-handedly that there was at one point a flurry of commentary about whether he was only in it to show he could win and would quit once elected, that he had run only to develop the Trump brand. The one-time real estate and casino operator had become a showman, taken with campaigning and playing to an adoring audience, leading "lock her up" and… Read More »

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