Seeing Trump’s Forest Through His Trees

I will post Kimball’s interview tomorrow.

Prager is referencing this article by Roger Kimball, “Could Donald Trump Do Anything to Win the NeverTrumpers?” I will include more on this when Prager interviews him. I also have a list just from the past weekend: “Winning: Obama-Care | UNESCO | Regulations | Courts | Christmas.”

Here is Roger Kimball’s piece entitled, “YES, TRUMP IS WINNING

….And yet on the ground, in the real world, Trump is methodically pushing ahead with the agenda he campaigned on. That includes:

  1. Nominating judges and justices who can be counted on to interpret and enforce the law but do not endeavor to use the law to promote their social agenda;
  2. Addressing the problem of illegal immigration and securing the borders of the United States;
  3. Developing America’s vast energy resources;
  4. Rolling back the regulatory state, especially the administrative overreach of agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency;
  5. Pursuing policies that put America, and American workers, first, not to the detriment of our relationships with our international partners but through a recognition that strength and sovereign independence make nations more reliable actors;
  6. Restoring the combat readiness and morale of the United States military;
  7. Simplifying the U.S. tax code, making it more competitive for U.S. businesses and more equitable for individuals;
  8. Getting a handle on the unconstitutional and shockingly inefficient monstrosity ironically called the Affordable Care Act;
  9. Putting a stop to the obscene violation of due process that Title IX fanatics brought to college campuses across the country.

And many other initiatives large and small.

In all of these areas, Trump is proceeding not as a wrecking ball but as a deliberate, if often voluble and sometimes exasperating, agent of change.

On the campaign trail, Trump promised that, if elected, the American people would start “winning” again. “You’ll have so much winning,” he said, “you’ll get bored with winning.”

Now, almost nine months into his first term, how is he doing? Real unemployment is on the wane. The stock market is at an historic high. So is consumer confidence. Illegal immigration is down nearly 70 percent. America is now a net exporter of energy. Just a few days ago, Trump declined to re-certify the malevolent nuclear deal that Obama made with Iran, winning from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu this commendation: “I congratulate President Trump for his courageous decision today. He boldly confronted Iran’s terrorist regime. . . . If the Iran deal is left unchanged, one thing is absolutely certain—in a few years’ time, the world’s foremost terrorist regime will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons and that’s a tremendous danger for our collective future.”

Just a couple of days ago, Trump, having been disappointed by a supine Republican Congress, issued an executive order that will make it easier for people to band together to obtain health insurance tailored to their needs (instead of being forced into federally defined, one-size-fits-all plans) while also ending the unconstitutional federal subsidies (unconstitutional because the money wasn’t appropriated by Congress) to big insurance companies, amounting to some $7 billion per year (the price of getting those companies on board with Obamacare in the first place).

In any normal world, these would be called significant accomplishments. But in the NeverTrump bubble, none of these victories can evade the protective refracting mirrors that intercept and distort the message. For months, the Huffington Post ran the following disclaimer after every article about Trump: “Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims—1.6 billion members of an entire religion—from entering the U.S.” Even now, according to the Pew Research Center, only 5 percent of news stories about Trump are positive…..

Winning – Obama-Care/UNESCO/Regulations/Courts/Christmas

Apparently in many arenas, Trump has come to kick ass AND chew bubble gum… but he seems to be out of bubble gum!

The WASHINGTON TIMES writes about the above FOX NEWS statement:

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday that President Trump is “systematically” removing hundreds of regulations put in place by the Obama administration.

“The president has already knocked out some 860 rules and regulations from the Obama administration, and every day we’re finding more and more to do. Remember, Obama put in something like 7,000 new rules and regulations just in the last two years he was in office,” Mr. Ross said on Fox Business.

When asked what types of regulations Mr. Trump was removing — whether oil and gas, environmental or banking — the secretary responded, “All of the above.”

“You would think the American public was a wild and woolly place two years earlier to require 7,000 new rules. But the president is systematically removing them, changing them, getting rid of them. And I think we’ll beat his formula of two reductions for one increase,” he said….

The article from Kimberley Strassel that Prager was reading from in the second half of the audio above is locked behind the WALL STREET JOURNAL’S pay wall, but here is the entire article (via INVESTOR VILLAGE) from which I excerpt from:

Scalias All The Way Down — While The Press Goes Wild Over Tweets, Trump Is Remaking The Federal Judiciary

Ask most Republicans to identify Donald Trump’s biggest triumph to date, and the answer comes quick: Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. That’s the cramped view.

The media remains so caught up with the president’s tweets that it has missed Mr. Trump’s project to transform the rest of the federal judiciary. The president is stocking the courts with a class of brilliant young textualists bearing little relation to even their Reagan or Bush predecessors. Mr. Trump’s nastygrams to Bob Corker will be a distant memory next week. Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett’s influence on the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could still be going strong 40 years from now.

Mr. Trump has now nominated nearly 60 judges, filling more vacancies than Barack Obama did in his entire first year. There are another 160 court openings, allowing Mr. Trump to flip or further consolidate conservative majorities on the circuit courts that have the final say on 99% of federal legal disputes.

This project is the work of Mr. Trump, White House Counsel Don McGahn and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Every new president cares about the judiciary, but no administration in memory has approached appointments with more purpose than this team.

Mr. Trump makes the decisions, though he’s taking cues from Mr. McGahn and his team. The Bushies preferred a committee approach: Dozens of advisers hunted for the least controversial nominee with the smallest paper trail. That helped get picks past a Senate filibuster, but it led to bland choices, or to ideological surprises like retired Justice David Souter.

Harry Reid’s 2013 decision to blow up the filibuster for judicial nominees has freed the Trump White House from having to worry about a Democratic veto during confirmation. Mr. McGahn’s team (loaded with former Clarence Thomas clerks) has carte blanche to work with outside groups like the Federalist Society to tap the most conservative judges.

Mr. McGahn has long been obsessed with constitutional law and the risks of an all-powerful administrative state. His crew isn’t subjecting candidates to 1980s-style litmus tests on issues like abortion. Instead the focus is on promoting jurists who understand the unique challenges of our big-government times. Can the prospective nominee read a statute? Does he or she defer to the government’s view of its own authority? The result has been a band of young rock stars and Scalia-style textualists like Ms. Barrett, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett and Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice David Stras.

Senate Republicans have so far blown their major agenda items, but they’ve remained unified on judges. They agreed to kill the Senate filibuster for Supreme Court nominees so as to confirm Justice Gorsuch; have confirmed six other judicial nominees; and stand ready to greenlight dozens more. This is a big shift from divisions the party had over the Bush 41 and Bush 43 nominees…..

Trump is also doing some culture battle stuff in regard to Christmas:

CNN notes the speech by Trump in this battle of ideas:

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump dove into America’s culture wars on Friday, touting his administration for “returning moral clarity to our view of the world” and ending “attacks on Judeo-Christian values.”

Trump, nine months into his presidency, has found it harder to get things done than the ease with which he made promises on the campaign trail, making speeches to adoring audiences like Friday’s in Washington key to boosting the President’s morale. And the audience at the Values Voter Summit, an annual socially conservative conference, didn’t fail to deliver.

“We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values,” Trump said to applause, before slamming people who don’t say “Merry Christmas.”

“They don’t use the word Christmas because it is not politically correct,” Trump said, complaining that department stores will use red and Christmas decorations but say “Happy New Year.” “We’re saying Merry Christmas again.”

The comment drew thunderous applause.

Heated debates over the “War On Christmas” have raged for years, with many on the right complaining that political correctness has made it less acceptable to say Merry Christmas. Trump has seized on these feelings, regularly telling primarily religious audiences that his presidency has made it acceptable to “start saying Merry Christmas again.”…..