In the week-plus since Donald J. Trump was inaugurated the highly touted – if, oversold – “peaceful transfer of power” has been anything but.
The President has flooded the zone by signing Executive Orders and Memoranda by the score, increased his rhetoric demonizing the media, demanded the National Park Service back him up on his ridiculous claims about the size the crowd at his inauguration ceremony, reorganized the National Security Council by adding Steve Bannon (whose NatSec credentials include being a Hollywood producer and social media maven) while subtracting the Chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence; and, continued to insist that 5 million people illegally voted for Hillary Clinton.
He has also seen three major worldwide demonstrations during his first week: One against The Wall, one against the No Muslims order, and the big one – the Women’s March – on the day after he was sworn in.
The March for Life happened last week as well, but that would have gone on no matter who had been sworn in the previous Friday.
The President found out that the vetting/preparations for his high-value Appointees might not have been what he was expecting. His choice for Secretary of Education wasn’t armed with answers to likely questions, his 1 for Energy Secretary had his confirmation vote in the committee delayed “indefinitely” with, as we used to say, NFI – no further information. It is now presumed Perry will be voted on Tuesday – the outside limit of “indefinitely” in the U.S. Senate other than for Supreme Court nominees.
He also found out that at least one of his nominees, Steve Mnuchin who has been tapped to be Treasury Secretary I have to take a breath, here forgot to list some of his assets on his official forms.
The value of those overlooked assets? $100 MILLION dollars.
The only person I know on a first name basis who was ever a billionaire is T. Boone Pickens. He was once asked how much he had made in his life.
He said “Four billion. I have a billion, I’ve given away a billion, I’ve lost a billion and ? I can’t remember what happened to the other billion.”
He was kidding.
Even worse, President Trump found that, despite six years of rhetorically pounding their shoes on the table like Nikita Khrushchev demanding the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, that House Republicans really have no clue how to proceed on the replacement part or, to be frank about it, whether the repeal part is such good politics.
There was a closed-door meeting at meeting of Republicans in Philadelphia last week. Seems someone taped the whole thing. According to the Washington Post which obtained the recording:
“The thorny issues with which lawmakers grappled – including who may end up either losing coverage or paying more under a revamped system – highlight the financial and political challenges that flow from upending the current law.”
Yes, well. I can see why those previously unknown issues might have surprised them.
Over the large part of these first days of the Donald Trump Presidency many of us have been saying “He’s doing what he said he would do.” And we have been correct.
But, I can’t help thinking there is something going on we don’t know about. We haven’t been let in on. I’m beginning to think there is a plan to consolidate influence and power in the Executive Office of the President that may make FDR look like a States Rights guy.
Federal judges ruled on various parts of the travel ban yesterday leading to the release of travelers who, the day before, had been fully vetted and fully able to travel into the U.S.
The Judicial Branch has begun to speak. The question is: When – or if – the Legislative Branch will exercise its Constitutional responsibilities.
There’s trouble a’brewin’ here in Trump Town.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to Mnuchin’s missing millions, the GOP meeting in Philadelphia, and judicial actions against the Trump Travel Ban.
The Mullfoto is a shot in an alley in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.