Open Thread

The Open Thread for April 24, 2017

“President Trump is going on an executive order frenzy in the final week of his first 100 days,” Axios reports.   “By Friday, Trump will have signed at least 32 executive orders — the most signed in the first 100 days of a new administration since World War II.”

Trump, used to getting his own way in his business career, is frustrated that Congress won’t bend to his will. And he isn’t the only one who feels like that. Trump’s filled his administration with guys like Gary Cohn and Wilbur Ross who are used to having their orders followed. They, like Trump, regard Washington and the folks who’ve spent their careers here as hacks. Team Trump is learning to love the executive order — the tool that gives them instant gratification.”

Rick Klein and Shushannah Walshe: “Few modern presidents have accomplished so little in the opening months of their time in office. And yet few modern presidents have done more.”

“Trump has so far failed to deliver on most of the cornerstone commitments of his candidacy. His legislative agenda is stalled; his foreign-policy evolutions have brought more tensions, not fewer; and his travel ban and border wall have been effectively blocked by the other branches of government. In terms of basic governance, Trump may even struggle to avoid a government shutdown right around the mark of Day 100.”

“Yet while the ‘swamp’ has not been drained, Trump can claim credit for delivering on a more basic promise to the voters who supported him during the campaign. He has redefined the office of president. He has shaken government institutions to their core with a freewheeling, hard-charging style that can only be labeled Trumpian.”

Donald Trump must be labeled mentally incompetent and removed from office at once.

“In France’s most consequential election in recent history, voters on Sunday chose Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen to go to a runoff to determine the next president, official returns showed. One is a political novice, the other a far-right firebrand — both outsiders, but with starkly different visions for the country,” the New York Times reports.

“The result was a full-throated rebuke of France’s traditional mainstream parties, setting the country on an uncertain path in an election that could also decide the future of the European Union.”

Politico: “If polls conducted before the first round of voting Sunday prove true, Macron will likely be the next president, an outcome that would come as a relief to both bureaucrats in Brussels and international investors.”

Stan Collender: “Unless the House Freedom Caucus decides to blow up the process, Congress is most likely to send Trump a funding bill for the rest of fiscal 2017 that doesn’t include any of the major policy changes he’s suggested: no money for the wall, no defunding of Planned Parenthood, no additional appropriations for the Pentagon, nothing on sanctuary cities, no enhanced border enforcement, continued funding for Affordable Care Act subsidies, etc. Congressional leaders are very likely to make promises about dealing with all those issues in the future — in a soon-to-come standalone supplemental appropriation for military spending, for example — but exclude them all from the 2017 funding bill.”

“The question is whether Trump will sign that bill and keep the government open, or veto it and shut Washington down?”

“Trump could decide that preventing the government from shutting its doors would be a win because it’s something several of his predecessors — including Obama — couldn’t do.”

David Remnick: “The hundred-day marker is never an entirely reliable indicator of a four-year term, but it’s worth remembering that Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama were among those who came to office at a moment of national crisis and had the discipline, the preparation, and the rigor to set an entirely new course. Impulsive, egocentric, and mendacious, Trump has, in the same span, set fire to the integrity of his office.”

Politico: “More than a belief in the power of positive thinking or the casual audacity of a tireless salesman, Trump has perfected a narrative style in which he doesn’t merely obscure reality—he tries to change it with pronouncements that act like blaring, garish roadside billboards. Unrelenting in telling his own story, he has defined himself as a success no matter what—by talking the loudest and the longest, and by insisting on having the first word and also the last. And it’s worked. Again and again, throughout his adult life, Trump in essence has managed to succeed without actually succeeding.”

“This, not his much-crowed-about deal-making prowess, is Trump’s most singular skill, I’ve heard in more than a dozen recent interviews.”

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds Americans “have become increasingly dissatisfied with President Trump as he nears his 100th day in office, with views of his effectiveness and ability to shake up Washington slipping.”

“More than half of Americans — some 54% — disapprove of the job Mr. Trump is doing as president, compared with 40% who approve, a 14-point gap.”

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds President Trump nears the 100-day mark of his administration as the least popular chief executive in modern times, a president whose voters remain largely satisfied with his performance, but one whose base of support has not expanded since he took the oath of office.

Key takeaway: “There are no signs of major slippage in support among those who voted for Trump. His approval rating among those who cast ballots for him stands at 94%. Among Republicans, it is 84%. Asked of those who voted for him whether they regret doing so, 2 percent say they do, while 96% say supporting Trump was the right thing to do.When asked if they would vote for him again, 96 percent say they would, which is higher than the 85 percent of Hillary Clinton voters who say they would support her again.”

“House Democrats are heading toward the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency with the kind of feel-good unity they haven’t experienced since the election,” the Washington Post reports.

“Coming off a rowdy recess where Republicans continued to be skewered by constituents on everything from health care to Russia to Trump’s tax returns, Democrats say walking through the political wilderness isn’t so bad — at least for now.”

“It’s a stunning reversal from the despair dominating the caucus just a few months ago when Trump entered the White House and Republicans seemed poised to wreak havoc on Democratic priorities.”

“From pink-hatted protesters to big town hall turnout, the anti-Trump resistance has been in full swing since January’s inauguration. The left is taking a page out of the Tea Party playbook, and building the resistance from the grassroots up,” Axios reports.

“We saw a similar rise on the right in 2009-2010 shortly after Obama was inaugurated, and a huge number of Republican lawmakers were voted into office. That movement shook up US politics and changed the face of the Republican Party, and we could see similar aftershocks here.”

Washington Post: “Any one of these items would be a big enough lift in an era when Congress regularly struggles with the most basic of tasks. Mix them altogether over a couple days, and it’s the legislative equivalent of trying to pull the pin on three grenades at once. If you’re not careful, all three might blow up in your face.”

“The model of strategic chaos — creating many different targets and never taking on much bloodshed — worked well in the campaign, particularly in a sprawling GOP primary when Trump faced 15 or more opponents.”

“But in governance, it doesn’t work. Congress needs focus, not flurry.”

Speaker Paul Ryan told GOP lawmakers “that they plan to devote their energy this week to keeping the federal government open, conspicuously avoiding an immediate commitment to take up health care despite pledges to do so by conservatives and the White House,” the Washington Post reports.

“Ryan added that the House will vote on a health-care bill when Republicans are sure they have the support to pass it.”

Axios: “There’s been a lot of talk about a health care vote this coming week, but leadership won’t be rushed by some arbitrary timeline — a big lesson Ryan’s office took from the failure of the first health care bill.”

6 comments on “The Open Thread for April 24, 2017

  1. That AP interview. OMG.

  2. I’m debating whether I should check out the AP Interview and try to make sense of it.

  3. fightingbluehen

    “More than half of Americans — some 54% — disapprove of the job Mr. Trump is doing as president, compared with 40% who approve, a 14-point gap.”

    And yet, a Washington Post poll shows that Trump would still beat Hillary if the election were held today.

  4. fightingbluehen

    Interesting tidbit:
    There was once this fifteen year old kid who hooked up with his forty year old teacher. Now this kid is married to her, and running to be the next President of France.

  5. Read the AP article, it’s tedious for sure, but it made my mouth hang open in amazement several times. It’s Trump as self loving narcissist in full flower, especially the bit about Angela Merkel, pure fantasy at it’s best. Liked the article about the fall of the political elite and found it right on the money, but still sad as the implications are that unity and progress will be difficult at best. And it’s not just here, take that world.

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