Tired of winning yet?

The Washington Examiner unwrapped an early Christmas present today, publishing a list of 81 major victories by the Trump administration in 12 categories since President Donald Trump was inaugurated last January 20.

Jobs and the economy

  • Passage of the tax reform bill providing $5.5 billion in cuts and repealing the Obamacare mandate.
  • Increase of the GDP above 3 percent.
  • Creation of 1.7 million new jobs, cutting unemployment to 4.1 percent.
  • Saw the Dow Jones reach record highs.
  • A rebound in economic confidence to a 17-year high.
  • A new executive order to boost apprenticeships.
  • A move to boost computer sciences in Education Department programs.
  • Prioritizing women-owned businesses for some $500 million in SBA loans.

Killing job-stifling regulations

  • Signed an Executive Order demanding that two regulations be killed for every new one creates. He beat that big and cut 16 rules and regulations for every one created, saving $8.1 billion.
  • Signed 15 congressional regulatory cuts.
  • Withdrew from the Obama-era Paris Climate Agreement, ending the threat of environmental regulations.
  • Signed an Executive Order cutting the time for infrastructure permit approvals.
  • Eliminated an Obama rule on streams that Trump felt unfairly targeted the coal industry.

Fair trade

  • Made good on his campaign promise to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • Opened up the North American Free Trade Agreement for talks to better the deal for the U.S.
  • Worked to bring companies back to the U.S., and companies like Toyota, Mazda, Broadcom Limited, and Foxconn announced plans to open U.S. plants.
  • Worked to promote the sale of U.S products abroad.
  • Made enforcement of U.S. trade laws, especially those that involve national security, a priority.
  • Ended Obama’s deal with Cuba.

Boosting U.S. energy dominance

  • The Department of Interior, which has led the way in cutting regulations, opened plans to lease 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling.
  • Trump traveled the world to promote the sale and use of U.S. energy.
  • Expanded energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline snubbed by Obama.
  • Ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
  • EPA is reconsidering Obama rules on methane emissions.

Protecting the U.S. homeland

  • Laid out new principles for reforming immigration and announced plan to end “chain migration,” which lets one legal immigrant to bring in dozens of family members.
  • Made progress to build the border wall with Mexico.
  • Ended the Obama-era “catch and release” of illegal immigrants.
  • Boosted the arrests of illegals inside the U.S.
  • Doubled the number of counties participating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement charged with deporting illegals.
  • Removed 36 percent more criminal gang members than in fiscal 2016.
  • Started the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.
  • Ditto for other amnesty programs like Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.
  • Cracking down on some 300 sanctuary cities that defy ICE but still get federal dollars.
  • Added some 100 new immigration judges.

Protecting communities

  • Justice announced grants of $98 million to fund 802 new cops.
  • Justice worked with Central American nations to arrest and charge 4,000 MS-13 members.
  • Homeland rounded up nearly 800 MS-13 members, an 83 percent one-year increase.
  • Signed three executive orders aimed at cracking down on international criminal organizations.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions created new National Public Safety Partnership, a cooperative initiative with cities to reduce violent crimes.

Accountability

  • Trump has nominated 73 federal judges and won his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
  • Ordered ethical standards including a lobbying ban.
  • Called for a comprehensive plan to reorganize the executive branch.
  • Ordered an overhaul to modernize the digital government.
  • Called for a full audit of the Pentagon and its spending.

Combatting opioids

  • First, the president declared a Nationwide Public Health Emergency on opioids.
  • His Council of Economic Advisors played a role in determining that overdoses are underreported by as much as 24 percent.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services laid out a new five-point strategy to fight the crisis.
  • Justice announced it was scheduling fentanyl substances as a drug class under the Controlled Substances Act.
  • Justice started a fraud crackdown, arresting more than 400.
  • The administration added $500 million to fight the crisis.
  • On National Drug Take Back Day, the Drug Enforcement Agency collected 456 tons.

Protecting life

  • In his first week, Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy that blocks some $9 billion in foreign aid being used for abortions.
  • Worked with Congress on a bill overturning an Obama regulation that blocked states from defunding abortion providers.
  • Published guidance to block Obamacare money from supporting abortion.

Helping veterans

  • Signed the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act to allow senior officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire failing employees and establish safeguards to protect whistleblowers.
  • Signed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act.
  • Signed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, to provide support.
  • Signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 to authorize $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program.
  • Created a VA hotline.
  • Had the VA launch an online “Access and Quality Tool,” providing veterans with a way to access wait time and quality of care data.
  • With VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin, announced three initiatives to expand access to healthcare for veterans using telehealth technology.

Promoting peace through strength

  • Directed the rebuilding of the military and ordered a new national strategy and nuclear posture review.
  • Worked to increase defense spending.
  • Empowered military leaders to “seize the initiative and win,” reducing the need for a White House sign off on every mission.
  • Directed the revival of the National Space Council to develop space war strategies.
  • Elevated U.S. Cyber Command into a major warfighting command.
  • Withdrew from the U.N. Global Compact on Migration, which Trump saw as a threat to borders.
  • Imposed a travel ban on nations that lack border and anti-terrorism security.
  • Saw ISIS lose virtually all of its territory.
  • Pushed for strong action against global outlaw North Korea and its development of nuclear weapons.
  • Announced a new Afghanistan strategy that strengthens support for U.S. forces at war with terrorism.
  • NATO increased support for the war in Afghanistan.
  • Approved a new Iran strategy plan focused on neutralizing the country’s influence in the region.
  • Ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airbase used in a chemical weapons attack.
  • Prevented subsequent chemical attacks by announcing a plan to detect them better and warned of future strikes if they were used.
  • Ordered new sanctions on the dictatorship in Venezuela.

Restoring confidence in and respect for America

  • Trump won the release of Americans held abroad, often using his personal relationships with world leaders.
  • Made good on a campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  • Conducted a historic 12-day trip through Asia, winning new cooperative deals. On the trip, he attended three regional summits to promote American interests.
  • He traveled to the Middle East and Europe to build new relationships with leaders.
  • Traveled to Poland and on to German for the G-20 meeting where he pushed again for funding of women entrepreneurs.

 

The Trump trap

As gridlock rages on in Washington, we are discovering that the shared commitment by Moore County Republicans to pursuing security, opportunity, liberty and victory is not always embraced by lawmakers. This only has become magnified in the age of Trump as Republicans in Congress seem paralyzed by the power they wield as the majority party.

It seems inexplicable that Obamacare has not been dismantled or that meaningful tax cutting is proving to be an excruciating legislative chore (even though Republicans were elected by voters who name these as priorities). As it turns out, there is an obvious explanation. It is proffered by North Carolinian and veteran political analyst John Davis, keeper of The John Davis Report.

Congressional leaders take heed: Every despicable, incompetent, crude, insulting, immature, reckless, irresponsible and insensitive thing that (President) Trump has ever said or done COMBINED, is not as bad in the minds of his supporters as a do-nothing federal government rigged for the privileged few.

President Trump will continue to make fools of U.S. Senate and House leaders who continue to protect the swamp, who put the moral high ground of the way things have always been done ahead of getting things done. Those who value civility over outrage.

The mainstream media, Democrats and even some centrist Republicans remain in a constant state of despair about Trump, his candor and his Tweets. He is not “presidential” enough. Precisely, notes Davis. If we want to see “the swamp” drained, you don’t do it with a Jeb Bush or a John Kasich.

“Donald Trump,” Davis writes, “is what you get when there is no presidential way to drain the swamp.”

He further cites the recent showdown between Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican, and Trump. The President views Corker as just another entrenched swamp creature, even though Washington conventional wisdom would dictate that Trump avoid skirmishing with the chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.

Corker went after Trump in the aftermath of the Charlottesville (Va.) white supremacy march, joining a media chorus of feigned outrage directed at Trump because he did not adequately denounce the incident (though he did in no uncertain terms). Corker questioned Trump’s stability and competence, playing into the long held media narrative. Trump tweeted that he found Corker’s criticism odd in that Corker had begged for Trump’s endorsement before announcing he would not seek another Senate term. Observes Davis:

That’s it for Corker. He is now in the Trump trap. The latest Republican on a long list to fall prey to Trump’s ploy of needling his opponents into the tangled web of reactionary vindictiveness.

At their peril, DC swamp politicians continue to miscalculate the political consequences of demeaning Trump as an individual, or diminishing Trump’s presidency through inaction. Trump’s approval rating is below 40% but he remains a rock star in contrast to tepid Congressional approval numbers. Davis observes that they apparently fail to see what is coming in 2018, a tidal wave of dissatisfaction.

Unfortunately for establishment Republicans, the voter outrage that propelled unpresidential Donald Trump past their hand-picked candidates for president is now being redirected against US Senate and House Republican incumbents in next year’s GOP primaries. In today’s political environment, the establishment is the kiss of death.

 

 

 

 

Unaffiliated voter surge

Newly minted data confirms what many area citizens are experiencing anecdotally. Demographics are shifting across Pinehurst, Southern Pines and surrounding communities. This is evidenced by just released voter registration statistics.

The Raleigh-based Civitas Institute, a self-described nonprofit policy organization, examined State Board of Elections voter registration data, beginning in early February (just after the Trump inauguration) through September 9, and finds surging numbers of “unaffiliated” voters. The trend actually began in 2009, at the outset of the Obama presidency, and coincides with a stark decline in voters registered as Democrats statewide. Continue reading “Unaffiliated voter surge”

The Swamp

By Jim Lexo
President, Moore County Republican Men’s Club

I lived in the Swamp for decades and didn’t know it. Out of college, I moved to Washington, DC, and ended up working in Congress for 12 years in the 1970s and ’80s, and stayed in the area until five years ago.

I watched Congressmen and Senators serve a half century or more on Capitol Hill. Those who lost their elections, or retired, just moved downtown to K Street in DC to join lobbying firms. As former Members, they have access to the floor of the House and Senate and, of course, they have a network they developed over time. Members do other Members favors because they know it might be them asking some day, or they want them to attend various fund raisers. Continue reading “The Swamp”