Trump lost his chief economic advisor, Gary Cohn, to his call for tariffs.

People who don’t like Trump lament the loss of Cohn, but it didn’t appear that Cohn and Trump were in much agreement on economic policies anyway, so it was only a matter of time before he left.

It’s not a bad idea to have someone who disagrees with your policies as an advisor, and it proves that Trump doesn’t want to surround himself with yes men.

Other countries have tariffs or use other economic devices that act like tariffs. It seems to make sense, if the US wants to bring back its own manufacturing, to put tariffs on goods from other nations. We are the world’s biggest customer, so we do have some bargaining power.

Trump has always said that he was going to protect American manufacturers from foreign competition. What is amazing is that Trump continues to keep his campaign promises.

The liberal mainstream media act shocked every time Trump makes a move to keep another campaign promise. After over a year in office they have yet to figure out that Trump is not a politician. He didn’t run all over the country talking about what he was going to do if elected just to win. He went all over the country talking about what he was going to do because, once elected, that is what he planned to do.

Some of those promises, like “draining the swamp,” have proved to be far more difficult than Trump envisioned, but that doesn’t mean he has given up on them. It means he is figuring out a better way to do it.

Despite what the mainstream media say, Trump is smart and he knows what he’s doing. He has a plan for the country and, despite the opposition from the mainstream media, the Democrats and many in his own party, he continues to work toward carrying out his plan.

The economy is bouncing back the way Trump said it would and tariffs are another piece of Trump’s plan.


Trump has made some huge mistakes in the administration of the White House, which is to be expected by someone who had never been involved in politics or held a government job.

One of the things I tell newly elected local officials is that the staff has its own agenda that is not the same as yours, and they see things in a completely different way from an elected official. It usually takes a while for newly elected officials to comprehend the dynamics. And that’s in local government – about as far as you can get from the White House as is imaginable.

For Trump that is true times 1,000, or maybe a million. He came into the White House and found that he was surrounded by people who not only didn’t have his best interest at heart, but were working night and day to undermine him.

Unfortunately for Trump, instead of reassigning all of those left over from the Obama administration – including and perhaps most importantly those in the intelligence community – to Nome, Alaska, or maybe Guam, Trump kept them on board where they have continued to leak every bit of derogatory inside information they could.

Trump responded by surrounding himself with a core of close associates he could trust – his daughter Ivanka, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Hope Hicks and others who he knew were loyal to him. The wall of those loyal to the president was and is too thin, and made up of people without experience in the backstabbing and infighting of government work.

Now he is losing even that flimsy shield. Hicks has resigned and Kushner has been rendered impotent because he no longer has the security clearance necessary to do what Trump wants him to do.

The whole issue of security clearances has been a huge stumbling block back at least as far as the Clinton administration.

The mainstream media didn’t perceive it as a problem for people working in the Clinton White House not to have security clearances, but in the Trump administration it is being portrayed as putting our national security at risk.

The mainstream media saw no problem with Hillary Clinton as secretary of state putting top secret information on her home brew unprotected server for the world to see. The mainstream media didn’t have a problem with Hillary Clinton’s personal domestic employees printing out top secret information for her. Nor did they see a problem with Hillary Clinton’s right hand woman Huma Abedin keeping thousands of State Department emails on her husband Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Weiner, who is now in prison for sexting with a teenaged girl, was a perfect patsy to be blackmailed – but that was not a problem according to the mainstream media.

However, for Jared Kushner not to have a top level security clearance is horrific.

It makes you wonder if it’s the person involved and not the situation itself that the mainstream media are really concerned about.


So Trump has finally had it with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It’s about time. If Sessions hadn’t foolishly and needlessly recused himself from the Russia collusion issue, then there would be no special prosecutor.

If Sessions hadn’t appointed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to handle the situation, there would be no special prosecutor.

Why does Rosenstein still have a job? Not only did he rush to appoint a special prosecutor when none was needed, when he appeared before congressional oversight committees he acted like he was a prisoner of war – except instead of his name, rank and serial number, he kept repeating that the inspector general was investigating.

Why does Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr have a job? He may not have lied to the Justice Department and the FBI, but he certainly misled them about the fact that his wife worked for Fusion GPS doing opposition research for the Hillary Clinton campaign. That’s a little much.

Ohr also didn’t disclose that he met twice with Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous Steele dossier that was used in an attempt to force Trump out of office.

These guys still work for Sessions. It’s hard to see how anyone could be surprised that Trump finally blew his top.

Sessions needs to clean house. In fact, he could do Trump a big favor by cleaning out all the old Obama operatives who are working hard every day against Trump, and then Sessions could resign himself.

But it doesn’t appear that Sessions has the gumption to fire anyone, and if that is the case then he needs to resign.

Trump needs a powerful Department of Justice working for him and for this country. The current Department of Justice is working for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party and Sessions is letting them do it.

It appears that Sessions is simply another swamp creature and his first loyalty is to the swamp. It’s Washington first and the country a distant second or third.


I’ve always wondered about the pyramids. Why would a society build such outrageous monuments to dead rulers? But it appears our society, though it isn’t building anything that will last as long as the pyramids yet, is on the same path.

The presidential libraries started off as actual libraries. They were a place to house the papers of a president and provide a location for historians to go and have all the presidential documents available to them in one place. But it seems each president tries to outdo the previous presidents with their libraries.

Bill Clinton, for instance, lives in his library. It’s understandable because Hillary Clinton after all these years still objects when he brings women home to visit. After 40 or so years of marriage, even Bill Clinton has grown tired of sneaking around all the time. It’s a lot easier for him to live in Arkansas while his wife lives in New York and Washington.

Now former President Barack Obama has enraged a Chicago neighborhood because he wants to destroy its historic park to build a monument to himself. Obama is probably baffled about why anyone would object to an Obama monument.

It’s hard to imagine what Trump will decide to build. No doubt it will be the biggest, best, most wonderfullest, most beautiful building in the world.


According to the mainstream media, Trump is attempting to derail the Russian collusion probe by special prosecutor Bob Mueller, by doing things like threatening to fire Attorney General Sessions.

Ignoring the obvious lack of logic in firing an attorney general who has recused himself from anything related to the Russian collusion probe, there are some other factors the mainstream media are ignoring, like the involvement of Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein in the whole affair.

First, Rosenstein advised Trump that he had to fire FBI Director James Comey. Then, when Trump followed the strongly worded advice of this long time professional prosecutor and took the very action that he advised, Rosenstein said that because Trump had fired Comey, Rosenstein was forced to hire a special prosecutor to investigate Trump.

Does it sound like Rosenstein may have set the brand new president up? How else could you interpret it? What if Trump had not followed Rosenstein’s advice and had not fired Comey? Then would Rosenstein have said that he had to hire a special prosecutor because it was clear that Comey was compromised?


Trump made some bad appointments in his first days.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was a mistake that cost him a lot of time getting out of the starting gate. It’s like he chose to tie a 50-pound weight to one foot in a race. It’s hard to make up for the lost time. Fortunately for Trump, the presidency is more like a marathon than a sprint, but he started off playing catch up.

Because of Priebus, he hired Sean Spicer as his press secretary, and that was also a mistake. Whoever they throw in front of the White House press corps every day has to be mentally tough and able to stay on message; it was too easy to get Spicer’s goat.

But in reality, when was the last time an actual news story came out of a White House press conference? Sarah Sanders does a great job of staying on message and answering the same question over and over again.

At one press conference, almost every question asked by the mainstream media was about Rob Porter. So a guy in middle management at the White House was accused of abusing his ex-wives and didn’t get fired for it immediately. When in government did anything ever happen immediately? The wheels of the federal government turn incredibly slow.

Should someone working in the White House be fired simply because their ex-spouses accuse them of bad behavior. It is not uncommon for an ex-spouse to paint their ex-spouse in the worst possible light. Sometimes they even make up stories about them that are not based on fact.

It also seems reasonable for the White House to be wary of information it receives from the FBI. Everyone knows that some of the top people at the FBI have been working against Trump. It makes sense for Trump not to trust as the gospel truth everything he hears from the FBI.

But it’s hard to believe that the most important story in the world was the fact that a mid-level White House employee wasn’t fired as fast as some people thought he should have been.


Sen. Chuck Grassley has announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee will investigate the law enforcement failures in preventing the shooting at Parkland, Florida.

Are congressional committees the only ones doing any investigations these days? Doesn’t it seem like the FBI would have already announced that it was in the midst of a serious investigation of why its agents failed to heed the frequent warnings that there was a young man who claimed he wanted to be a school shooter and that he had the weapons to do it?

It would be interesting to know what the FBI is doing these days. One must assume that agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page have a lot more work time available since they presumably are no longer texting each other a couple hundred times a day. They also aren’t holding meetings in former Deputy Director Andy McCabe’s office to plot about an “insurance policy” if Trump should get elected.

Strzok doesn’t have the incredibly difficult job of figuring out how to investigate Hillary Clinton’s emails without finding any wrongdoing. It must have kept him up nights deciding how to make a non-investigation look like an investigation.


How does the number four man at the US Justice Department meet with someone who has been hired by one presidential candidate to do opposition research against the other?

Former Associate Deputy Attorney General Ohr met with Christopher Steele, who had been hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign to dig up dirt on Trump. Opposition research is a nice term for finding out the nastiest rumors you can, releasing them to the public and hoping something will stick.

Look at Roy Moore in Alabama. The opposition dug up rumors about him from 40 years ago and, with the help of the media, made them stick and cost Moore an election he should have easily won.

That’s why the Steele dossier has bizarre stuff in it, like the portion about the Russian prostitutes.

Trump is not stupid and he doesn’t drink. He knows that any hotel room he enters in Moscow has cameras and microphones everywhere. Trump would have to be a fool to even walk into a room with Russian prostitutes and he is not a fool.

But that is exactly the kind of thing that Hillary Clinton wanted, and although it was too lurid for even the mainstream media to accept, the Steele dossier did allow the FBI to get Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants and electronically spy on the Trump campaign. And that led to a special prosecutor being appointed, which considering that she lost the election is about the best Hillary Clinton could hope for.

But Ohr met with Steele during the campaign and Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS helping Steele dig up dirt on Trump. No doubt Ohr thought this would all be OK because, like all the other dummies in Washington, he believed the mainstream media when it proclaimed every day that Trump had no chance of winning. As late as election night, even pundits on Fox were saying that they didn’t see any path to victory for Trump.

So Ohr in his mind was helping the next president in her campaign against an evil madman. We don’t know if Ohr thought Trump was an evil madman, but if his wife helped create the Steele dossier, she must have thought Trump was an evil madman.

So the question remains, why hasn’t Ohr been fired for meddling in the presidential campaign or for lying to the Justice Department about his wife’s employment?

Ohr was demoted but he is still collecting a big government paycheck every month and probably doing everything in his power to obstruct the actions of the current president.

Trump is supposedly furious with Sessions. Maybe he should make Sessions the ambassador to France, Great Britain or wherever Sessions wants to go. Let him pick the country and then send him somewhere that he won’t do any harm.

Sessions may be well intentioned, but after over a year in office it is abundantly clear that he is not the man for the job. People from his department go in front of congressional committees and stonewall. They refuse to give the congressional committees run by Republicans the information they request and have a right to see. That’s wrong. The Justice Department in a Republican administration and the Republican congressional oversight committees should be on the same page – maybe not exactly the same page, but should at least be in the same chapter of the book. When people from the Justice Department testify, it is like they are in an entirely different book and they are doing everything in their power not to reveal anything.


With all the new information about former Deputy Director of the FBI McCabe, his retirement should be put on hold until those questions are answered. McCabe has left the FBI but cannot officially retire until March 18. With the recent revelation that McCabe was improperly leaking FBI information to the news media, and new questions about the way McCabe ran the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s home brew email server, McCabe should not be able to start collecting his lucrative retirement benefits until it has been established that McCabe did not violate the law.

It is becoming ever more evident that if a member of the Trump team is suspected of lying to the FBI, like Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, they are immediately charged with a felony, but if someone loyal to Obama and the Clintons lies to the FBI, then nothing happens.

Trump should order the Justice Department to put a stop to the double standard immediately. If Sessions won’t do it then it is another reason to send him home.

Trump has to be protected from himself because he does go off on wild tangents and, according to all the leaks from the White House, loses his cool and rants and raves. But one of these people who is protecting him needs to put a stop to the leaks. Somebody seems to call The Washington Post every time Trump slams his hand down on the desk, even if it’s to kill a fly. With all the electronic surveillance equipment available to the president, somebody should be plugging those leaks.

I am all for open government, but the president needs to be able to have a private conversation with his advisors, even if it is a loud private conversation.


As long as opponents of the Second Amendment keep saying they are in favor of banning automatic and military style weapons, we can’t have a serious discussion about gun control.

Military weapons and automatic weapons have not been used in any of the mass shootings. They are effectively banned. Although it is possible to possess an automatic weapon, it is a lengthy and expensive process.

What these people are actually talking about is banning weapons like the AR-15 because they look like military weapons. The AR-15 and similar weapons have become popular hunting rifles. They are light, accurate and dependable, which makes them good for hunting. But as far as the way an AR-15 operates, it is simply a semi-automatic rifle.

During the Clinton years, when rifles that looked like military rifles were banned, the manufacturers modified weapons – not the way they operated but the way they looked – so that they would be legal. It didn’t alter the deadliness of the weapons; the manufacturers simply made them look different to comply with the law.

A law banning “assault weapons” will force the manufacturers to alter the way the AR-15 and similar guns look, but it won’t change the way they operate.

Some people have said they are in favor of banning all semi-automatic weapons. This would ban a host of hunting rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and scores of pistols. Revolvers kill people just as dead as semi-automatic pistols. You can fire a lever action rifle pretty fast, not as fast as a semiautomatic, but in these mass shootings it’s not time that seems to be the big issue. If the shooter has to reload more often, it’s possible the death toll would be less, but maybe it wouldn’t be. It seems like these people shoot for as long as the want and then stop. Nobody seems to know why they start shooting or why they stop.

It seems that a better solution would be to try and find out why they start shooting and try to stop the next one before he starts.

Banning bump stocks is easy and won’t do much of anything. A shooter who knows what he is doing can use his belt loop for a bump stock. Making one would not be difficult.


People are applauding Dick’s Sporting Goods and others who, following the school shooting in Florida, have reportedly tightened restrictions on selling guns. Applaud them if you want, but it has to be largely a marketing decision.

The company no doubt decided that rather than be the brunt of protestors for selling firearms, they could benefit by appearing to join forces with gun opponents. I imagine there are few sales of AR-15s and other similar weapons to people under 21, and probably even fewer to people under 21 who can’t get a parent to come in and sign for them.

It is disingenuous that at 18 we equip young men and women with weapons far more powerful and deadly than an AR-15 and put them out on the battlefield. We trust them to handle their weapons responsibly and expect them to risk their lives protecting the rest of us.   Are we really going to tell someone who comes home from Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria that they are not responsible enough to buy a gun? I guess we might. We already tell them that they are old enough to fight for the country but not old enough to buy a beer.

The same goes for law enforcement. So if a 19- or 20-year-old police officer walks into Dicks to buy an AR-15, they aren’t going to sell it to them? That doesn’t make any sense at all.

But it’s great publicity for Dick’s, which had a large photo of its sign on the editorial page of the News & Record on Sunday. Free advertising is hard for national chains to come by and Dick’s has been all over the media for its stand.

In six months, if Dick’s legal department informs them that they can’t discriminate against 18-year-olds, then Dick’s will quietly remove the ban. It probably would be done without any fanfare.


The story used to be that you could tell intersections there had been fatal traffic accidents in small towns because they had four-way stops. Like many lines, it was funny because it was true. The four-way stops were placed, not based on any traffic study or need, but purely on emotion.

Emotion is generally not a good way to govern.

It took a lot of factors for Nikolas Cruz to kill 17 of his former classmates and teachers. One of those factors was the access to a firearm. But some of the others were the lack of response by the FBI and local law enforcement to credible warnings about Cruz. The fact that he could walk on to campus during the day with a duffle bag large enough to hold a rifle is another. Add to that the fact that the one armed deputy in the vicinity was cowering behind a post instead of rushing inside to protect students.

It was a lesson that law enforcement was supposed to have learned after Columbine. Where shooters have been confronted by the first officers on the scene – like the Republican baseball shooting and the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas – those officers saved a lot of lives. People are saying that someone with a pistol can’t stop someone with a rifle, but the Republican baseball team shooting proves that isn’t true. If the officer does no more than distract the shooter, that in itself can save lives. Also, generally speaking, police officers are better trained and better shots than mass shooters.


From what I’ve seen in the mainstream media, Sen. Ted Cruz is in real trouble in Texas. The Democrats are raising money and it looks like Cruz may not get reelected. It’s true that Cruz may not get reelected, but it’s also true that UNCG may win the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this year, and the odds for UNCG may be a little better than a Democrat defeating Cruz.

The last time a Democrat won a statewide election in Texas was 1994. So in the past 24 years the Democrats haven’t won a single race, not one, and according to the mainstream media the Democrats are going to knock off a sitting US senator.

The primaries were held Tuesday, March 6, and this is what The Washington Post wrote: “Cruz called out [Beto] O’Rourke by name in a conference call with reporters before polls closed and then repeated his criticisms of O’Rourke’s support of gun-control measures, the Affordable Care Act, and ‘amnesty and open borders’ in a TV interview after results were in.”

Cruz “called out O’Rourke by name.” That sounds really bad or rude or mean. The Washington Post is really trying to let the readers know that Cruz is not behaving properly. Cruz is running against O’Rourke. Neither one of them had any trouble in the primary. Is Cruz supposed to pretend he doesn’t know who he is running against? According to The Washington Post school of political etiquette, is Cruz not supposed to say the name of his opponent until the election is certified? It would be interesting to know when The Washington Post believes it would be proper to name his opponent.

This is such bad, biased reporting that the journalist in the good old days of journalism would have been fired, but instead they’ll probably get a raise.


I don’t normally do movie reviews in this column, but if you want to see a movie where one man made an enormous difference in the world, watch The Darkest Hour. It’s hard to imagine what would have happened in World War II if Great Britain had capitulated to Hitler, or if the British had not been able to evacuate its army from Dunkirk. If the British army had surrendered – as those in the British government were insisting was the only way forward – the world would be a very different place today.

It’s a great war movie with very few scenes of war. But wars are not only fought on the battlefield; as this movie demonstrates, some of the most important decisions are made away from the battlefield.


People keep saying that there is no reason for anyone to own an AR-15. There are actually a number of reasons. For one thing, it’s a good weapon for home protection.

The same people saying that tend to also say that a person with a pistol would not have a chance in a shoot out with someone with an AR-15. If you believe that then it makes the AR-15 an even better weapon for home protection because, if armed burglars broke into your house, all you would have to do is show them your AR-15 and they would put down their guns.

It is also becoming an ever more popular hunting rifle.

It’s a really fun gun to shoot and a lot of people in this country that don’t hunt like to shoot. No, you don’t need an AR-15, but nobody needs a car with a 500 horsepower motor, nobody needs a boat that will go 40 mph, nobody needs to climb a mountain or run 26.2 miles. Cars and boats are dangerous. Far more people are killed by cars every year than by guns.

People also get killed mountain climbing, kayaking, canoeing, skiing, canoeing, biking, skateboarding, running, parachuting, hiking and camping, and we do all of those things, not because we have to but mainly because people find them to be fun.