February, 2017

Graham Says Trump Budget Is ‘Dead On Arrival’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that President Trump’s first budget was “dead on arrival” and wouldn’t make it through Congress, The Hill reports.

Said Graham: “It’s not going to happen. It would be a disaster.”

New York Times: “Like many presidents before him, President Trump is pushing a bold budget proposal. But for a business executive used to getting his way, he is likely to find, as his predecessors did, that final budgets often bear little resemblance to the originals after being run through the shredder on Capitol Hill.”

The Trump Show

Rick Klein: “Nothing has been quite what it’s been in the past under President Trump. Why should the normally staid pageantry of a joint-session speech be any different? There will be a teleprompter, but no guarantee that he’ll stick to it. The world will be watching for any distinctly Trump flourishes, and whether anything he says will bring Democrats to their feet –- or keep Republicans off of theirs.”

“Then there are questions of family, including how many Trump children will be in attendance. It’s also a high-profile night for first lady Melania Trump, who will be making one of her first official appearances in hosting guests in her box in the House chamber.”

Trump Says Spending Will Be Paid for By Strong Growth

President Trump said he believes the extra $54 billion dollars he has proposed spending on the U.S. military will be offset by a stronger economy as well as cuts in other areas, Reuters reports.

Said Trump: “I think the money is going to come from a revved up economy.”

He added: “I mean you look at the kind of numbers we’re doing, we were probably GDP of a little more than 1 percent and if I can get that up to 3 or maybe more, we have a whole different ball game. It’s a whole different ball game.”

What Steve Bannon Is Thinking

Michael Gerson: “As the ideologist in Trump’s inner circle, Bannon is a practitioner of Newt Gingrich’s mystic arts. Take some partially valid insight at the crossroads of pop economics, pop history and pop psychology; declare it an inexorable world-historic force; and, by implication, take credit for being the only one who sees the inner workings of reality.”

“For Bannon, it has something to do with ‘the fourth turning,’ or maybe the fifth progression, or the third cataclysm. At any rate, it apparently involves cycles of discontent and disruption. Lots of disruption. Across the West, as he sees it, the victims of globalization — the victims of immigration, free trade and internationalism in general — are rising against their cosmopolitan oppressors. Institutions will crash and rise in new forms. And this restless world spirit takes human form in . . . Nigel Farage and Donald Trump.”

“Like many philosophies that can be derived entirely from an airport bookstore, this one has an element of truth. The beneficiaries of the liberal international order have not paid sufficient attention to the human costs of rapid economic change… But there is a problem with the response of economic nationalism and ethno-nationalism. It is morally degraded and dangerous to the country.”

White House Wanted Protests Over Travel Ban

Bloomberg: “In fact, it was no accident that the order was sprung without warning on a Friday afternoon. Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon arranged the timing in the expectation that opponents, freed from work on the weekend, would stage huge protests—drawing maximum attention and galvanizing Trump supporters as the president followed through on a controversial campaign promise, says a senior administration official.”

“The order did indeed spark nationwide demonstrations, but things veered off script from there, as the White House struggled to explain to law enforcement officials, federal agencies, and foreign governments what the hastily drafted document did and didn’t say.”

Trump Says Obama Is Behind Protests

President Trump “has been dismissing the protests against his presidency and demonstrations at congressional town hall meetings across the country as concocted by his political enemies. But now he has an alleged culprit: Barack Obama,” the Washington Post reports.

Said Trump: “I think that President Obama is behind it because his people certainly are behind it. In terms of him being behind things, that’s politics. It will probably continue.”

How to Survive In the Trump White House

Bloomberg: “Miller’s resiliency after fumbling the refugee ban offers a lesson in how to survive the Darwinian world of Trump’s White House. To win favor, you must amplify Trump’s belief that he’s already accomplished great things; defend even his most outrageous claims as self-evidently correct; and look sharp, while projecting unshakable self-confidence.”

“It helps, too, to have outside allies who have Trump’s ear. The chieftains of right-wing talk radio view Miller as one of their own—he got his start in politics as an enfant terrible on conservative shows while still in high school—and they don’t hesitate to give him air support.”

“More important, Miller has the unwavering backing of Bannon.”

Republicans Hope for Direction from Trump’s Speech

“Republicans won unified control of government nearly four months ago — yet find their party’s agenda stalled amid infighting. Now GOP lawmakers are pinning their hopes on President Donald Trump to break the logjam and take control,” Politico reports.

“Forget another campaign speech. The GOP wants Trump to grab the bully pulpit Tuesday with his first address to a joint session of Congress and lay out a viable path to complete the difficult tasks of overhauling the nation’s health care system, rewriting the tax code and building a massive wall on the southern border.”

“If the president fails to whip bickering lawmakers into line, his most important campaign promises could wither on Capitol Hill.”

New York Times: What to watch for as Trump speaks to Congress.