Ed Koch used to ask, “How am I doing?” Big Media, as President Trump begins week 4, thinks “It’s over for Trump”… again. America, thinks things are just grand. Consider a nastily testy report from Trump hater Politico which asks Vigo, “how is President Trump doing?”:
‘I’m Still All Trumped Up’
Hundreds of miles from the din of D.C., the nation’s bellwether county thinks the new president is doing just fine. [snip]
Almost a month into Trump’s administration, Vigo—population 108,000, the nation’s swingiest swing county—seemed to be an ideal place to take the temperature of voters. This year, Vigo swung for Trump (who took 55.4 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 40.2 percent), continuing a 60-year streak as the nation’s most accurate bellwether county. [snip]
What I heard, in conversations with nearly a dozen Trump supporters, is that like the Ameses, most of Vigo County is still “Trumped up.” [snip] The lies, the fumbles and faux pas that have rattled the D.C. establishment and global allies? None of it seems to resonate here.
“I think Trump is doing exactly what he said he was going to do,” said Keith Kindsvatter, a 64-year-old system specialist with the Federal Aviation Administration, as he chomped on his BLT sandwich at Boo’s. [snip]
To a person, the Trump voters I talked to in Vigo offered a similar refrain as they assessed Trump’s first days in office, almost as if they were reading from a fresh batch of talking points issued by the president’s director of Surrogate Outreach: “He’s doing exactly what he promised he would do,” Kelly, 48, a pharmacist in Terre Haute who felt uncomfortable divulging her last name, told me when I asked her about Trump’s controversial immigration executive order, as she ate a slice of cheese pizza at the food court in Honey Creek Mall. Nor are voters like Kelly lamenting his Twitter tirades: “He’s speaking directly to the people. Like Reagan!” Dick told me over lunch. Trump’s brusque, shoot-from-the-hip conversations with world leaders and allies? “We’re not going to go to war with Australia,” Kindsvatter said.
“I think he’s pretty much following The Art of the Deal,” said Ken Warner, 60, who works in the finance industry. “He’s got the price of fighter jets down. It’s not something we’re used to. It’s a little unorthodox. Listening to his Carrier negotiation, you have to shrug on the means but can’t disagree with the ends. You don’t want to be picking winners and losers. You don’t want to see a president calling out people on Twitter. However, the results so far have not been bad. So I can’t say it’s wrong.” [snip]
“He’s done more in the two weeks he’s been president than the other president did in eight years,” Dick told me.
Even as Politico acknowledges the people of Vigo are happy with President Trump and his results thus far, the condescension that Vigo does not think like the people in places Politico has offices in is clear. The message from Vigo to President Trump? “Stand strong.” “We’re with you!”
A short while earlier, Politico published an article about alleged chaos and calamity of poor befuddled nincompoops in the White House who realize they are in over their heads and, well, “it’s over for Trump.” After thirty paragraphs of gloom and doom, Politico is forced to admit that even if Big Media and coastal elites are bothered and bewildered, President Trump supporters stand strong:
If the opening days of Trump’s presidency have been rocky and unconventional, many of his admirers aren’t bothered by it.
“I’m not disappointed in the president’s work so far — he operates like many great CEOs I know — and I hope he continues to manage the country in a manner worlds apart from the way we’ve seen in the past,” said Michael Caputo, who was a Trump campaign aide. “It’s about time.”
Ignore Big Media. How is President Trump doing?
President Trump started the working week (he also works on weekends you know) with a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that from all accounts went very well. If this was President Obama that would have been enough activity for the entire week, or month. But we’re talking about President Trump here, so a lot more was done.
The corrupt Vice President of Venezuela Tareck El Aissami was sanctioned for his international drug smuggling. President Trump continued to get his cabinet officials confirmed by the Senate. The Veteran Affairs and Treasury Department secretaries both confirmed as week 4 begins.
Two in, one out. On Monday, President Trump mulled the questions about his good and faithful National Security Advisor Mike Flynn. By the end of the day Flynn flew.
The story of Mike Flynn is very simple. During the transition Mike Flynn spoke with the Russian Ambassador about sanctions on Russia. Mike Flynn however “misled” Vice President Pence about those conversations. Pence went on TV to say the Flynn calls did not discuss sanctions on Russia. See the problem?
Mike Flynn did not violate the law. Mike Flynn did nothing wrong. Mike Flynn was smart to have those conversations with the Russians. Mike Flynn did commit a grave crime in Trump world: stupidity.
Mike Flynn made a stupid mistake. The mistake is not what Big Media wants Americans to think however. Mike Flynn’s stupid mistake was he did not take precautions even though he knew full well that the political establishment and especially the intelligence bureaucracy is out to destroy President Trump with leaks. Mike Flynn’s stupid mistake was to put himself into the line of fire of the hidden assassins.
Also, don’t mess with Pence (or Bannon).
Investigations into the leaks will have to go into the secret encrypted communications that many of the federal bureaucrats use to plot against President Trump. The moles will have to be dug out and removed. These treacherous bureaucrats manage to get a scalp from a good man. As an honorable man, Mike Flynn resigned. The White House and President Trump stood behind him but everyone knew it was time to go. So he went. He fell on his sword for the President that stood by him. Well done by all.
As the Flynn noise gathered, there was a lot of noise on immigration too. The Obama Dimocrats have a lot of problems with the immigration issue. Still, the “legal garbage” by the courts on President Trump’s immigration order continued.
Lots and lots of noise on immigration and the President Trump executive order:
A Seattle federal district court has issued a preliminary injunction on President Trump’s controversial immigration executive order, which temporarily banned most immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries and also shut down the refugee program for 120 days.
The injunction, by Judge James Robart, effectively extends the temporary restraining order he issued earlier this month into an indefinite nationwide block of Trump’s immigration order.
Robart rejected calls from the Trump administration to postpone the district court case while the 9th Circuit considers a request from one of its judges for a rehearing of last week’s decision, which denied a motion to lift the restraining order. [snip]
Meanwhile, a federal court in Virginia issued a preliminary injunction on Trump’s executive order, but the edict only applies to the state. The judge in that case rejected Virginia’s request to apply the decision nationwide, restricting it to legal permanent residents of Virginia and valid visa holders who work or attend school there.
But the judge in that case, Leonie Brinkema, wrote that “the Commonwealth has produced unrebutted evidence supporting its position that it is likely to succeed on an Establishment Clause claim.”
“The ‘Muslim ban’ was a centerpiece of the president’s campaign for months, and the press release calling for it was still available on his website as of the day this [opinion] is being entered.”
“The major premise of that argument – that one can only demonstrate animus toward a group of people by targeting all of them at once – is flawed,” Brinkema added. “It is a discriminatory purpose that matters, no matter how inefficient the execution.” [snip]
While the administration is expected to release new orders, it is Evan’s understanding they will likely include introductory remarks indicating the new orders are intended to “clarify” or “supplement” the existing executive order. [snip]
Trump may issue multiple orders so that if the courts strike down one part, it wouldn’t affect the order as a whole, according to Evans’ understanding of the issue.
Evans says he believes the administration wanted to keep the 9th Circuit case active so they can take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court at the right time and reverse last week’s unfavorable ruling. [snip]
Another Trump strategy is to delay the 9th Circuit case until Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, can get on the bench, according to Evans’ understanding. One way to do this is to file for a reconsideration en banc to the 9th Circuit, which is already in motion because a judge on Friday requested a judges’ vote.
“You can buy yourself 28 days,” said Evans, adding that “there’s a lot of chess and legal maneuvering going on.”
“Based on what I’ve read and seen the Trump Administration wants to maximize the chance to have the full Supreme Court decide whether the commander-in-chief indeed has the broadest discretion in deciding what is in the interest of the United States,” Evans said.
Yeah, lots of noise. Court cases around the nation will proceed. The Seattle lunatic judge is crazier than ever. The Ninth Circus is having second thoughts. This is all a lot of noise. What matters is, President Trump will win:
If immigration ban goes to Supreme Court, Trump is shoo-in to win [snip]
The states claim that the order’s 90-day ban on admitting lawful permanent residents and non-immigrant visa holders from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen to the United States without notice and an opportunity to respond violates their right to due process under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.
But a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. It just allows an alien to travel to a United States port-of-entry and request permission to enter. [snip]
The 90-day suspension is based on Section 212(f), which gives the president authority to exclude aliens from the United States without regard to whether they are in one of the classes described by section 212(a).
In other words, when entry is denied under section 212(f), the determination on admissibility is made by the president, not by an immigration judge. [snip]
According to the Congressional Research Service, “Neither the text of Section 212(f) nor the case law to date suggests any firm legal limits upon the president’s exercise of his authority to exclude aliens under this provision.”
It does not state even what the president should consider in determining whether the entry of an alien is “detrimental” to U.S. interests.
According to the states, the order “was not truly meant to protect against terror attacks by foreign nationals but rather was intended to enact a ‘Muslim ban’ as the president had stated during his presidential campaign that he would do.”
The states claim that therefore the Order violates the Establishment and Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. [snip]
According to Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, the 90-day suspension does not violate the establishment clause. President Trump picked countries that have high levels of terrorism. When you focus on real perpetrators and the impact is heavily on one particular religion, that does not create a constitutional problem.
Although the government may have to take this case all the way to the Supreme Court, I will be surprised if the order is not upheld in the end.
It’s just a matter of time. On immigration and all the current noisy battles, Trump will trump.
As week 4 progresses, Trump will be even more trumpy.
On hump day, President Trump will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel. Oh, oh, there’s sure to be a big fight between those two right? After all, Big Media reported that President Trump had just stabbed Israel in the back. Um, Big Media lied:
More Fake News: Trump ‘Opposes’ Israeli Settlements
The mainstream media are abuzz with reports that President Donald Trump has come out against Israeli settlements. The New York Times was exultant: “Trump Embraces Pillars of Obama’s Foreign Policy,” it crowed.
That kind of story serves two propagandist purposes. First, it provides a kind of justification for Obama’s betrayal of Israel at the UN Security Council over settlements last month; second, it nods at the old NeverTrump claim that Trump would never keep his word to conservatives.
There’s just one problem: the story is false. [snip]
The Trump administration’s statement is a complete reversal of the Obama administration’s policy.
As legal scholar Eugene Kontorovich explains:
The White House Press Secretary’s statement about settlement building is a huge change of policy, in which the U.S. broadly accepts all building within settlements, including those settlements outside of “blocs.” This is huge.
In the statement, the White House says the building of entirely “new settlements” is not great (but not sharply criticized). On the other hand, building “within existing settlement lines,” ie municipal boundaries, is totally OK. Since all building for 20 years has been within existing lines, and all planned building is within existing lines, this is as big an authorization as it gets.
This is such a big deal, that the press is trying to spin it as a limitation on settlement activity, whereas it is a broad and historic green light. It can no longer be said that the US opposes settlement building.
Perhaps the White House deliberately spun the statement as a limitation to fool the media. That is not hard to do, and it is to President Trump’s benefit, as a negotiating tactic, to appear unpredictable — aggressive one moment, compromising the next.
Nevertheless, the Trump administration has just signaled its intent to back a permanent Jewish presence in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), with or without a Palestinian state.
Israel Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has a friend in the White House. Thanks to President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu is now a hot ticket:
Israeli PM Netanyahu Becomes D.C. Darling as Democrats Clamor
After years of tense relations, Netanyahu most coveted meeting in D.C.
After years of tense relations with the United States under former President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is emerging as one of the most prominent international personalities, according to multiple sources who told the Washington Free Beacon that Democrats, Republicans, and high-level White House officials are clamoring for a sit down with the Israeli leader when he arrives in town on Tuesday.
Senior officials across party lines hope to let Netanyahu know that America has Israel’s back and that years of tension during the Obama administration is just water under the bridge, according to both congressional sources and those close to the Trump administration.
Netanyahu’s schedule is already packed with powwows between President Trump, senior administration officials, and a cast of leading lawmakers on Capitol Hill from both sides of the aisle.
Meetings will center on U.S. lawmakers’ desire to reset relations with the Jewish state. Multiple sources told the Free Beacon that sit downs with White House officials will focus on holding Iran accountable for violations of the nuclear deal, moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and combatting efforts at the United Nations to delegitimize Israel. [snip]
There is a strong desire among all parties to show Netanyahu that after nearly a decade of chilly relations during the former administration, the United States is prepared to restore the historic relationship with the Jewish state.
“Netanyahu’s schedule is so full that he literally can’t find time for all the high level meetings people want to have with him,” said one veteran foreign policy adviser who is closely in touch with the White House on Middle East issues. “The truth of this is, it’s nature taking its course.”
Even stab-em-in-the-back Chuckie Schumer wants to hug Bibi. It’s like a St. Valentine’s Day miracle, Jewish version.
If you want to know how President Trump is doing, ask the residents of Vigo and Benyamin Netanyahu.