A long article in The New York Times last week catalogued the mistakes Trump is making in foreign policy according to foreign policy advisors for former presidents, including Barack Obama.
Of course, they think Trump is doing everything wrong because he is doing the opposite of Obama, who was the president of appeasement.
When Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used nerve gas on his own people, President Donald Trump’s response was quick and unequivocal. He ordered the facilities destroyed, and they were.
While president, Obama had said that he would respond with force if Assad used gas on his own people, but equivocation was the order of the day. He was, then he wasn’t, then he was – under certain conditions – and finally he decided that if Assad were to turn over a couple of barrels of what it claimed to be nerve gas to its close ally Russia, Obama would consider that enough.
When ISIS took over much of Iraq and Syria, Obama called them the jayvee team and barely got moving in time to prevent ISIS from taking Bagdad. It’s easy to forget that ISIS was within firing distance of the Baghdad airport when Obama was in charge of stopping them.
Trump came into office, took the handcuffs off the military and ISIS has all but been defeated.
Obama’s strategy with North Korea was what? Ask North Korea to play nice? Plead with Kim Jong Un not to use his missiles to attack Japan or Guam? Whatever the strategy, the entire time Obama was president Kim continued to develop nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, and continued to test both.
Since Kim met with Trump he hasn’t tested any nuclear weapons or fired any missiles. It seems like it would be hard to argue that Obama’s policy, which accomplished nothing, was better than Trump’s, which so far is working. The fact that Kim didn’t return to North Korea and immediately blow up his nuclear labs and missile sites should not be a surprise.
Trump’s meetings are not to apologize for the US being so big, strong and powerful. Trump wants to remind everyone that the US is big, strong and powerful and now has a president who is willing to use those resources to benefit the US.
Barring some unforeseen circumstances, the Democrats are going to elect another outspoken socialist to Congress. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the Democrat primary in the Bronx, and since no Republican has a prayer in that district, she is on her way to a seat in the House of Representatives.
Someone should ask Ocasio-Cortez and her supporters how they explain the 1 million percent inflation in the socialist-led country of Venezuela – a country with huge oil reserves that has people starving in the streets.
If socialism is so great, why is it that a country that should be one of the richest in the world is now in such dire financial straits?
Summer is a great time to sit back, take stock and figure out how to move forward. Trump has a crisis a day, what with Michael Cohen negotiating for something, special prosecutor Robert Mueller and his team of Hillary Clinton supporters refusing to admit defeat and the mainstream media managing to find everything Trump does wrong.
With 4.1 percent growth in the second quarter, it’s hard to argue with Trump’s economic policies, but somehow the mainstream media manage to find fault.
We were supposed to be in a trade war with the European Union, until Trump sat down with EU President Jean-Claude Juncker and got things straightened out. China will be tougher, but the Chinese economy can’t survive without the US markets. It’s a question of how far they are willing to push it. If they were facing a united United States they would have no chance, but there is a large percentage of the US population that would sacrifice a great deal to see Trump fail.
So it’s going to be tough for Trump to do what Obama always did while president and take a couple of weeks off from everything. However, Trump needs to take the time to look at what he has done in his first year and a half and where he has failed.
He needs to go back and look at his campaign and remember why that was successful. Many of Trump’s mistakes have come about because he trusted people for the wrong reasons, or trusted people that he never should have trusted at all.
Hiring Reince Priebus as his first chief of staff was a huge mistake right out of the box. And he not only hired Priebus, he allowed Priebus to bring along Sean Spicer as White House press secretary.
These two are swamp creatures who didn’t support Trump when he was out campaigning, didn’t support him when they worked for him and don’t support him now.
The mainstream media have written about loyalty to the president as if it were a bad thing. The president should hire people who are loyal to him – people who want to promote his agenda because they believe in it, not people who think that he never should have been president, and people who think Trump can be a great president, not people who are plotting how to get him out of the White House as soon as possible.
Trump has made huge mistakes in hiring and in not firing. His biggest mistakes have been at the Justice Department and the FBI. You only have to consider that Trump allowed James Comey to remain FBI director, and appointed Sally Yates to be the acting attorney general, to realize how after being elected Trump was seeing the world through rose colored glasses.
Comey had done everything in his power, including some that were not legal, to keep Trump from being elected. Once he was elected, Comey immediately started trying to undermine his presidency. I don’t think Trump in 2018 would make those mistakes.
Yates is a prime example of Trump believing that long-time government employees were apolitical.
Unfortunately, Trump’s hands are tied as far as the FBI and the Justice Department go until the investigation of Mueller is completed. So it would do no good to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions with someone who could do the job. Sessions is perhaps Trump’s biggest mistake so far, but it was a mistake at the other end of the spectrum. Sessions did and does support Trump, but that doesn’t make him capable of being attorney general, and he isn’t.
Trump needs to take some time and remember all those people who voted for him, expecting him to be able to come to Washington and bring some sanity back to the government. He needs to bite the bullet and get rid of the people working against him. The State Department, for example, is still chock-full of people who hate Trump, as are the other departments.
It will be ugly, but Trump needs to sit back, think about his promises to the American people and keep plugging away at completing them.
Trump’s recent push to get the wall funded is an example of what he needs to be doing, but evidently he got talked out of it. But then again, pushing hard for it right before the midterms, when the entire focus of the House is on getting reelected, could be a smart political move. If there was a time to get concessions from old swamp creatures like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan, this might be the time.
In any case, Trump needs to keep bringing it up to let Congress know he’s not going to let them off the hook.
Trump will be out campaigning a lot during the midterms, which should allow him to reconnect with his base and remind him of the reason the people sent him to Washington. Maybe that will work better than a vacation.
Democrats have not cornered the market on stupid ideas, but they may win the award for the dumbest idea of the year. It is particularly stupid for members of Congress. The idea is to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
Lots of people who get arrested would like to see the police department abolished. Most people, however, like having someone enforcing the laws. So it is with ICE. Conservatives and liberals, even the socialists who are taking over the Democratic Party, agree that the current US immigration laws don’t make any sense, are harmful to the country and injurious to countless families caught up in the mess.
By the way, Obama could have brought about comprehensive immigration reform, but he never even tried.
Unless we are to become a country without borders, where anybody can come anytime they want, work, go to school, hang out on the beach, do whatever they want for as long as they want without the hassle of having to register, pay taxes, get a driver’s license or any of the other requirements placed on citizens, then abandoning ICE is a great idea. It will mean less income for the federal government because of the custom fees. It also means the US would become a completely free market. If we aren’t going to make any attempt to control the people who come into this country or what they bring with them, anyone in the world could sell anything they wanted in the US, from fake medicine to heroin
It’s like thinking that drug laws need to be reformed so demanding that the Drug Enforcement Agency be abolished.
Instead of demanding that ICE be abolished, which is irrational, they should be demanding comprehensive immigration reform.
The Democrats and the mainstream media purposefully confuse immigration and illegal immigration. People who are opposed to illegal immigration are not opposing immigration. We need new laws. We need to have a temporary worker visa available to people who want to come to the US, work and then go back home.
Remember back when the House Judiciary Committee was trying to track down the Steele dossier and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan appeared on news shows saying that there was evidence the Hillary Clinton campaign may have paid for it? It was such an outrageous claim that the mainstream media disregarded it as crazy Republican speculation.
Then, when Fusion GPS was forced to turn over their financial documents, it turned out that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid an attorney who paid Fusion GPS – where Nellie Ohr, the wife of one of the top attorneys in the Justice Department worked – who then paid Steele, who then paid Russians for rumors and innuendo about Trump.
The whole thing is scandalous from the beginning. But it gets worse. With the release of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application, we now know that the FBI depended largely on the information in the Steele dossier to get a FISA warrant, not to wiretap, but to gather all the electronic communications of Carter Page, a low level, unpaid, foreign relations advisor to the Trump campaign.
While FBI director, Comey described the Steele dossier under oath as being “scurrilous and unverified.” So, the man who was running the FBI at the time FBI agents were using the Steele dossier to get a FISA warrant said under oath it was unverified.
No unverified information is supposed to be in a FISA warrant application. The FBI agents filing the warrant application have to swear that all the information has been verified.
It is an enormous scandal, but the mainstream media are pretty much ignoring it because it doesn’t fit with their program.
But turn the tables a little and imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the mainstream media if it had been discovered that the FBI had used unverified research material paid for by the Republican Party to get a warrant to spy on the Obama campaign in 2008. The media would be absolutely horrified and would be demanding someone’s head on a stake.
Even worse, the result of all of this is that insiders in the Justice Department then used this same information to get a special prosecutor appointed – not to investigate Hillary Clinton, who paid for the lies to be gathered, not to investigate the FBI and the Justice Department, who lied and cheated in an attempt to make sure that Trump wouldn’t win – but to investigate Trump, the very man that the lies are being told about.
It is a scandal of epic proportions. It is also the so-called perfect storm of incompetence and fear. Attorney General Sessions is complicit in all of this. He wants the title of attorney general but he isn’t willing to do any of the work of the attorney general.
He didn’t have to hire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose fingerprints are all over this, having been one of the Justice Department officials who signed a FISA application renewal. How can he be in charge of the investigation when Sessions recused himself just because he spoke with the Russian ambassador at a party?
Watergate was a third-rate burglary that was attempted by a bunch of overzealous campaign operatives. It was the fact that President Richard Nixon attempted to cover it up that got him booted from office, and also the unrelenting reporting in the media.
Did Hillary Clinton know her campaign was hiring Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Trump? Who in her campaign did know? What did they know and when did they know it? What were the plans for this information?
And it’s probably worse for the Hillary Clinton campaign because the parts of the FISA application that have been released state that the FBI received the information from the State Department. A State Department official, Jonathan Winer, has admitted to meeting repeatedly with Steele and passing information back and forth. Winer said he gave Steele information that he received from long time Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal, and that information originated with an incredibly shady character, Cody Shearer. So it seems likely that some of the information in the FISA application that was redacted refers to this information that the State Department received from the Hillary Clinton campaign.
It’s also possible that Steele put some of the information that he received from Winer, which was originally from Blumenthal and Shearer, in the Steele dossier. If that turns out to be true, what an enormous political stunt. The Hillary Clinton campaign had unverified salacious material about Trump, which it passed to the State Department, back to Steele, who was hired by Hillary Clinton, from there to the FBI, which then used the information to hire a special prosecutor to investigate Trump.
The Clintons didn’t get where they are by being dumb or honest. What is incredible is that it worked to get the information out to the public, and to get Trump investigated, but it didn’t work to keep him from being president, and that is really all that matters.
But it does mean that when Trump beat Hillary Clinton, he not only beat her and the Democratic Party, but the State Department, the Justice Department, the FBI and the Obama White House.
Then there is the Hillary Clinton email scandal. Who is investigating why, when the FBI discovered an additional 300,000 emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop, the FBI did nothing? Why did the FBI refuse to look at the emails? Who decided that an additional 300,000 government emails on a computer of a known sex offender was not worth even flying up to New York to look at?
How could any investigation be run so poorly? Why isn’t there a criminal investigation of that fiasco?
The Republican Party establishment has never figured out what to do about Trump. In the 2016 election, the GOP establishment kind of, sort of supported Trump. He was the Republican Party presidential nominee despite the fact that the party establishment did everything in its power, short of manipulating vote counts, to prevent Trump from winning the nomination.
The party bigwigs like House Speaker Ryan withdrew their support whenever anything negative about Trump popped up in the news. But Trump won anyway because Trump had and has something the GOP establishment doesn’t have – the support of the people.
Trump promised his people a wall. It was the core of every campaign speech he gave and the line that got him the most applause time after time out on the campaign trail.
The Republican establishment doesn’t want a wall. Rank-and-file Republican Party members want a wall, but the big guys in Washington are constantly surrounded by liberal Democrats who claim that building a wall to protect the US border is discriminatory. It is discriminatory – it discriminates against those who have no legal right to enter this country and in favor of those who do have a legal right to be inside the borders of the United States.
Millions of people come to the US legally every year from all over the world. Some are tourists, some students, some workers with visas, some legal immigrants. No sensible person wants to stop that, but the idea that the US doesn’t want to control its own borders is insane. Even Obama was in favor of protecting the borders. But it appears the Democrats have turned the corner and what started off as opposing the wall has become opposing any border security at all.
If Republicans are smart – and they aren’t called the Stupid Party without reason – they will find some billionaire to fly Ocasio-Cortez to as many congressional districts as possible to campaign with the Democratic candidate. In fact, Republican 13th District Rep. Ted Budd should see if he could get Ocasio-Cortez to visit the 13th District for a week to campaign with his opponent, Kathy Manning.
Ocasio-Cortez has a great message – give everyone everything and open the borders to anyone who wants to come in. Anyone who thinks this is a good policy for the US is never going to vote for a Republican anyway. These are the people who vote with their pocketbooks; whoever promises to give them more gets their vote.
But any reasonable person hearing that realizes that someone has to pay, and even the US, with the largest economy in the world, cannot afford something like free healthcare for everyone. Particularly when you consider that opening the borders will mean millions more economically deprived people, many with serious health problems, will be stampeding to the US.
Imagine you live in Mexico or Central America and someone in your family is diagnosed with a serious medical problem that you can’t afford to have treated where you are. The choice then becomes either let the loved one die or somehow get them to the US where they will be treated for free, no questions asked. People will be coming across the border in ambulances, stretchers and pushed along on hospital beds. It is simply amazing that anyone believes this is an idea worth considering.
Trump recently said he would meet with the leaders of Iran without any preconditions. Iran, as one might expect, doesn’t want to meet with Trump.
But it’s a good indication of Trump’s opinion of his own ability to negotiate, and I would add, evidence that he did not, as has been routinely reported in the news, cower and kowtow to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Despite all the media reports on that two-hour private meeting, all we actually know about it is what Trump and Putin have said. But if Trump weren’t comfortable with the results, he certainly wouldn’t be offering to sit down with the leaders of Iran.
It’s incredible how the media spins everything into a long anti-Trump diatribe. All modern presidents have met with the leaders of the Soviet Union or Russia. It would be incredibly stupid not to meet with the second largest nuclear power in the world. If Trump established any rapport at all with Putin, it’s good for the US and good for the world. The last thing the world needs is for the two largest nuclear powers not to be on speaking terms.
Trump also met privately with Kim Jung Un, the supreme leader of North Korea. The Democrats have labeled that meeting a failure because Kim didn’t return home and immediately demolish his nuclear bomb and intercontinental ballistic missile facilities. But rest assured, if Kim had gone home and there had been a huge explosion at the nuclear bomb making facility, the Democrats would be moaning and complaining about the possible radioactive fallout.
The Washington Post is reporting that Kim is back to working on his missiles, and that could be true, but considering the accuracy of The Post in reporting on all things Trump, it also could be another story The Post invented in the newsroom and claims is based on anonymous sources.
Making predictions about elections this far out is a fools errand, but I’m going to make one: Up until most if not all of the returns have come in from across the country, the mainstream media will be predicting a blue wave. There will be some disagreement amongst the principles about how high the blue wave will be, but the predictions will be that the Democrats will take back both the House and the Senate.
If you remember way back to 2016, this was pretty much the prediction. It wasn’t called a blue wave because most of the ink was used for the presidential race. What is now being called a blue wave was then referred to as Hillary Clinton’s coattails. The mainstream media forgot one thing: To have coattails you have to win.
While Hillary Clinton was going over carpet samples for the Oval Office and talking to the Secret Service about new locks for the White House residence that would keep Bill Clinton in at night, Trump was out talking to the voters.
It is true that without the Hillary Clinton millstone around their necks, the Democratic Party will have a better chance of winning. And it’s also true that most presidents see their party lose seats in the midterms. But Trump, as people are starting to realize, is from a whole different planet.
A major factor in elections that people overlook and candidates overlook at their own peril is the economy. Trump knows this and has a lot of power to pump up the economy for the midterms. Of course, with the economic numbers that have just come in – 4.1 percent growth in the last quarter – he doesn’t need to pump it up much.
The other big number is employment. We are at or close to full employment in a lot of areas, and that doesn’t mean that unemployment is at zero, it means there are as many or more jobs as there are people looking for jobs. Full employment also results in higher wages without the government mandating it because employers have to pay more to keep the workers they have and to attract new workers.
In today’s world there isn’t much company loyalty. People have learned that companies have no loyalty to them and they go after the biggest paycheck they can find.
The mainstream media have been reporting that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly would be leaving his job pretty much since the day he took it. The one-year anniversary of Kelly working at the White House brought about a flurry of speculation by the left-wing mainstream media that Kelly would leave.
Now, according to the White House, Kelly has agreed to continue to be the White House chief of staff through the 2020 election.
It doesn’t mean anything. The chief of staff serves at the pleasure of the president and Kelly could be fired or resign before the ink is dry on this paper. But it is an indication that Trump and Kelly are both tired of the constant reports that he is leaving. If Kelly frowns at a meeting, the mainstream media report that he is definitely fed up with Trump and will resign before the day is out.
Perhaps the fact that he has signed on for another two years will at least reduce the number of reports that his resignation is sitting on the desk in the Oval Office.
The FISA warrant application that was released heavily redacted is in the news again. Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes has sent a letter to Trump asking that he declassify the parts of the FISA application that were redacted. He said there was nothing in the parts redacted that needed to be kept secret for the security of the country.
We now know that the FBI and the Justice Department have been redacting documents, not to protect classified or privileged information, but to protect themselves. Some of the information was even redacted in material they sent to the congressional oversight committees.
Why in the world would anyone trust them to start redacting documents properly? Redacting text messages between two employees of the FBI who were having an affair is one thing. Redacting information in a sworn document used to spy on an American citizen who had committed no crime is another entirely.
Trump should declassify the information or order the FBI to release the information unredacted. The FBI refuses to recognize it, but they do work for Trump.
It’s always been hard to reconcile the Trump I hear about on the news with the one I see at rallies and standing before the media answering questions. If Trump were a Democrat, there would be numerous press reports about how much more accessible Trump is than his predecessor Obama. How many times did Obama ever walk out on the White House lawn and hold an impromptu press conference?
Trump generally answers a few questions every time he comes in contact with reporters. He clearly enjoys it, much like former President Ronald Reagan.
But the Trump who goes out of his way to answer questions from the media is not the Trump you read about in the mainstream media or see on the network news shows.
Also, it appears to me that Trump has had great success in his meetings with world leaders. NATO countries for the first time in 60 years are talking about defending themselves. It’s not simply good for the US, but it’s also good for them.
Trump has said all along that the tariffs he is imposing are to level the playing field, and evidently he got the attention of the European Union. When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gets his eyebrows glued back in place and recovers from being verbally slapped around, Canada will do what is best for Canada, which is lower its tariffs on goods from the US, and then Trump will lower his.
Know one knows what Kim Jung Un is thinking. And even if he received electro shock therapy during his meeting with Trump, one meeting is not enough to bring sanity to that dark corner of the world. However, since Kim met with Trump he hasn’t fired any missiles and hasn’t exploded any bombs. Imagine the amount of restraint he is showing. Here is a young man who loves big explosions and rockets. He can create some of the biggest explosions the world has ever seen and has huge rockets, some of which do not fizzle on the launch pad like they once did, and he is resisting playing with his toys because of Trump.
Putin is Putin. He wanted to meet with Trump to figure out how he can maneuver Trump into a position that will benefit Russia. Putin is not deceptive in his motives. He is always going to do what he thinks will help Russia.
Putin took one look at Obama and said, “I can take him.” Of course, Putin did. When Obama was going to bomb Putin’s buddy al-Assad, Putin stepped in and Obama didn’t. When Putin decided that he really wanted Crimea, he took it knowing that Obama wouldn’t know what to do. Obama had no idea how to stop Putin. If the Ukrainians hadn’t put up such a fight, Putin would have had Ukraine also, but the political price became too much to pay.
Now Putin and Trump have met and Putin is busy figuring out how to deal with a much more formidable opponent.
Trump, unlike Obama, didn’t hesitate to attack Syria when al-Assad used chemical weapons. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to discover that Putin had encouraged that to find out how Trump would respond. Putin is former KGB. He plots, he plans and he is always working toward his goal of making Russia one of the most powerful nations in the world again.
But Trump is no dummy. He has spent his life meeting with people and making deals. He now knows what he is up against with Putin and you can bet Trump has is own plans on how to use Putin’s ambition against him.