Carelessness

UPDATE – in the comments, Ubique writes of Trump’s 81 achievements. But most of these are not achievements, and many are unrelated to who is in the White House. To be an achievement it has to be both (a) positive to the people of the United States and (b) directly the responsibility of Donald Trump. I go through the list below the original post. Maybe there are three genuine achievements in that list.

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Oscar Wilde wrote in the Importance of Being Earnest

To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

So far Donald Trump has been President for only 421 days (1.15 years) and has seen so many of the people who started with him depart – either through being sacked or resignation. These were the people brought in to ‘drain the swamp’.

It seems to me that rather than draining the swamp, Donald has become the swamp. Not only has he proven to be totally ineffectual as president, he has debased the office, shows no ability for self control and is the most unsuited person to be president in the history of the United States.

There is only one achievement to Trump’s victory. He stopped Hillary Clinton being president. That is worthy achievement, no doubt, but his behaviour since being elected has been so bad that perhaps we would have been better with Clinton. To me they are as bad as each other and both entirely unsuited for the office.

But his inability to hire an effective staff and ensure their longevity is telling. Of his own appointees – excluding James Comey and Sally Yates who were appointed by Obama  – there have been 15 senior officials departing to date, with James Mattis and John Kelly likely to soon follow. Some of these officials – Tillerson, Flynn, Scaramucci etc – should never have been appointed. But all were appointed by Trump and he has to bear the responsibility for both their appointment and their early departure.

And the proof of Trump’s extremely poor character is the fact that he has fired officials – such as Tillerson – by a tweet without the courtesy of a meeting or even a phone call.

Trump is the ultimate coward – he is unable to confront those who he wishes to sack. I would like to see the Trump acolytes here at the Cat explain why it is reasonable to dismiss someone by a tweet.

Here is the list of those departures:

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The 81 “achievements” (my comments in bold)

Jobs and the economy

  • Passage of the tax reform bill providing $5.5 billion in cuts and repealing the Obamacare mandate. The efficacy of the so-called tax cuts have not been demonstrated – Government spending is increasing and the deficit and debt is projected to grow rapidly. Ultimately this will lead to tax increases. As for Obamacare – it still exists and Trump has backed off that reform.
  • Increase of the GDP above 3 percent. What’s that got to do with Trump? It’s the private sector that drives economic growth. If that is an achievement you’d say that Bill Clinton was a great president since there was more rapid economic growth under his administration.
  • Creation of 1.7 million new jobs, cutting unemployment to 4.1 percent. Again, it’s the private sector.
  • Saw the Dow Jones reach record highs. And then it dropped. If the measure of a presidency is the level of the Dow Jones you have to wait until the end of the Trump administration. 
  • A rebound in economic confidence to a 17-year high. Again, totally unrelated to Trump. Private sector – move on. Notice a pattern here that most of the ‘achievements’ are interrelated.
  • A new executive order to boost apprenticeships. Whoopy do. Most of Trump’s executive orders are about this or that day (women’s day …). An executive order to boost apprenticeships? The government has no control over the number of apprenticeships and again it’s a private sector matter.
  • A move to boost computer sciences in Education Department programs. Don’t all presidents claim this? This is not an achievement, it’s a ‘move’.
  • Prioritizing women-owned businesses for some $500 million in SBA loans. Seems like a swamp-type priority doesn’t it? The type of thing Hillary would do.

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. Another silly executive order. And what rot – how do you measure a reduction in regulations? There have been lots of new regulations brought in by Congress and the biggest burdens of regulation are those under an Act of Congress which none has been repealed. Trump can’t act there.
  • Signed 15 congressional regulatory cuts. Rubbish – evidence? Again most of these points are variations on a theme and not genuine points. If congress has voted to cut regulations (which it hasn’t) then that’s a point for Congress not Trump. Separation of powers anyone?
  • Withdrew from the Obama-era Paris Climate Agreement, ending the threat of environmental regulations. I’ll give that as a genuine achievement.
  • Signed an Executive Order cutting the time for infrastructure permit approvals. Another EO without an outcome.
  • Eliminated an Obama rule on streams that Trump felt unfairly targeted the coal industry. Hasn’t made any difference. Again an outcome is the achievement not signing some EO.

Fair trade

  • Made good on his campaign promise to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Perhaps another achivement I’ll grant
  • Opened up the North American Free Trade Agreement for talks to better the deal for the U.S. They are always open. No difference.
  • 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. Private sector not Trump.
  • Worked to promote the sale of U.S products abroad. Don’t all presidents say that?
  • Made enforcement of U.S. trade laws, especially those that involve national security, a priority. More protectionism – not an achievement but a detriment.
  • Ended Obama’s deal with Cuba. Shameful – punish a small neighbour. That’s being a bully. Not an achievement.

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. These were started by Obama. Trump is merely capitalising on Obama’s actions.
  • Trump traveled the world to promote the sale and use of U.S. energy. So travelling is now an achivement! 
  • Expanded energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline snubbed by Obama. No he hasn’t.
  • Ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Maybe an achivement.
  • EPA is reconsidering Obama rules on methane emissions. So what if they are reconsidering? Where’s the outcome / achievement?

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. No change to policy is evident.
  • Made progress to build the border wall with Mexico. You’ve got to be joking. Not a single brick has been laid. And it will never be built, and certainly not paid by the Mexicans. A campaign lie. 
  • Ended the Obama-era “catch and release” of illegal immigrants. Trump backed down on this.
  • Boosted the arrests of illegals inside the U.S. Evidence?
  • Doubled the number of counties participating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement charged with deporting illegals. Evidence?
  • Removed 36 percent more criminal gang members than in fiscal 2016. That’s because there were 36 percent more criminal gang members in 2016. Criminal activity has grown under Trump. Perhaps he can claim credit for that?
  • Started the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program. No he hasn’t – he has capitulated on that.
  • Ditto for other amnesty programs like Deferred Action for Parents of Americans. No change in policy from Obama.
  • Cracking down on some 300 sanctuary cities that defy ICE but still get federal dollars. What’s that supposed to mean? It’s a State responsibility.
  • Added some 100 new immigration judges. So more bureaucracy.

Protecting communities

  • Justice announced grants of $98 million to fund 802 new cops. More FBI agents? I thought Trump didn’t like them.
  • Justice worked with Central American nations to arrest and charge 4,000 MS-13 members. Normal operations for the DoJ
  • Homeland rounded up nearly 800 MS-13 members, an 83 percent one-year increase. Normal operations for Homeland.
  • Signed three executive orders aimed at cracking down on international criminal organizations. Meaningless EOs.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions created new National Public Safety Partnership, a cooperative initiative with cities to reduce violent crimes. Sessions will probably be sacked soon.

Accountability

  • Trump has nominated 73 federal judges and won his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Nominating someone to the Supreme Court is a normal responsibility for a president, as is nominating other federal judges. Hardly an achivement and who knows how they will turn out?
  • Ordered ethical standards including a lobbying ban. Except for Russian lobbying of course. What rot.
  • Called for a comprehensive plan to reorganize the executive branch. The executive branch has not been reorganised. Again, hardly an achivement.
  • Ordered an overhaul to modernize the digital government. Obama did more in this space than Trump could ever contemplate.
  • Called for a full audit of the Pentagon and its spending. Thowing more money at the Pentagon it seems.

Combatting opioids

  • First, the president declared a Nationwide Public Health Emergency on opioids. Yet another war on drugs. Been there, done that. Look at how good prohibition was.
  • His Council of Economic Advisors played a role in determining that overdoses are underreported by as much as 24 percent. Does this read like an achivement to you?
  • The Department of Health and Human Services laid out a new five-point strategy to fight the crisis. Five point strategy hey? Seems like a Chinese practice.
  • Justice announced it was scheduling fentanyl substances as a drug class under the Controlled Substances Act. So? What’s that to do with Trump?
  • Justice started a fraud crackdown, arresting more than 400. There’s always a fraud crackdown because there’s always fraud. Putting down the normal operations of government as an achievement of Trump is clutching at straws.
  • The administration added $500 million to fight the crisis. So now Trump is the big government – government is the answer guy? So much for draining the swamp.
  • On National Drug Take Back Day, the Drug Enforcement Agency collected 456 tons. Wow – the Donald was right there. What BS.

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. Ok, so more post natal deaths. More like a travesty than an achivement.
  • Worked with Congress on a bill overturning an Obama regulation that blocked states from defunding abortion providers. An action of Congress not the president. Separation of powers.
  • Published guidance to block Obamacare money from supporting abortion. Variation on a theme above.

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. An Act passed by Congress separation of powers.
  • Signed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act. Variation of a theme.
  • Signed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, to provide support. Variation of a theme.
  • Signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 to authorize $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program. Variation of a theme.
  • Created a VA hotline. That’s a specific achievement? God, we’re dredging deeply. 
  • Had the VA launch an online “Access and Quality Tool,” providing veterans with a way to access wait time and quality of care data. variation of a theme.
  • With VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin, announced three initiatives to expand access to healthcare for veterans using telehealth technology. variation of a theme.

Promoting peace through strength

  • Directed the rebuilding of the military and ordered a new national strategy and nuclear posture review. Rebuilding the largest defense force in the world? I think not. 
  • Worked to increase defense spending. Yes as if Defense doesn’t already get enough. How about improving its efficiency? The US taxpayer doesn’t get much defence for its investment compared to other states. 
  • Empowered military leaders to “seize the initiative and win,” reducing the need for a White House sign off on every mission. Wait and see when some people start dying and that policy will revert to the White House.
  • Directed the revival of the National Space Council to develop space war strategies. Dusted off some papers from the 1960s. Again not a Trump achievement.
  • Elevated U.S. Cyber Command into a major warfighting command. It already was.
  • Withdrew from the U.N. Global Compact on Migration, which Trump saw as a threat to borders. There are far greater threats including the structure of the US’s immigration program.
  • Imposed a travel ban on nations that lack border and anti-terrorism security. Outcome of this? Has it been evaluated? I think not.
  • Saw ISIS lose virtually all of its territory. Nothing to do with Trump. ISIS was on the decline under Obama.
  • Pushed for strong action against global outlaw North Korea and its development of nuclear weapons. And pushed the world closer to nuclear war.
  • Announced a new Afghanistan strategy that strengthens support for U.S. forces at war with terrorism. Not new, just more of the same.
  • NATO increased support for the war in Afghanistan. I thought Trump hated NATO?
  • Approved a new Iran strategy plan focused on neutralizing the country’s influence in the region. Neutralised? Rubbish, Iran is stronger than ever.
  • Ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airbase used in a chemical weapons attack. Another achievement I’ll credit.
  • Prevented subsequent chemical attacks by announcing a plan to detect them better and warned of future strikes if they were used. We will never know. There is still a long way to go in Trump’s term.
  • Ordered new sanctions on the dictatorship in Venezuela. And what has that achieved? Nothing.

Restoring confidence in and respect for America

  • Trump won the release of Americans held abroad, often using his personal relationships with world leaders. Rubbish.
  • Made good on a campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Will wait and see how this pans out.
  • Conducted a historic 12-day trip through Asia, winning new cooperative deals. On the trip, he attended three regional summits to promote American interests. Attending summits is an achievement?
  • He traveled to the Middle East and Europe to build new relationships with leaders. Travelling overseas is an achievement? The relationships he has ‘built’ have been pretty poor.
  • Traveled to Poland and on to Germany for the G-20 meeting where he pushed again for funding of women entrepreneurs. Obama policy.

About Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

I'm a retired general who occasionally gets called back to save the republic before returning to my plough.
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89 Responses to Carelessness

  1. It seems to me that rather than draining the swamp, Donald has become the swamp. Not only has he proven to be totally ineffectual as president, he has debased the office, shows no ability for self control and is the most unsuited person to be president in the history of the United States.

    If you say so. Next!

  2. tezza

    “There is only one achievement to Trump’s victory. He stopped Hillary Clinton being president.”
    That comment is so ridiculous the post deserves no further attention.

  3. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

    Tezza – increasing tariffs is not an achievement. It’s a disgrace.

  4. mh

    Sebastian Gorka on White House ‘Chaos’: If This Has Been Chaos, ‘Give Me More’ of It

  5. Jeremy

    To state that Donald Trump has been totally ineffective reveals a level of bias that precludes sensible discussion.
    To suggest that Hilary Clinton would have been just as good with her proven record of disastrous public decision making, almost certain lawbreaking and actions against the interests of her country and common morality demonstrates a clear unwillingness to view the matter with balance.
    The history of campaigns of all sorts demonstrates a common pattern of generals being appointed on the basis of good previous records, failing in the task set them and then being replaced.
    I suggest that draining the swamp is in the nature of a campaign and requires the commander to replace the generals who fail at their task as well as those who continually argue against his proposed strategy.
    This is what Trump is doing, and opinions about the politeness of his manner of proceeding are irrelevant compared to his succeeding in his goals.
    I hope he continues to sack those who demonstrate they do not support his strategy as often as necessary and by whatever means he feels appropriate.

  6. C.L.

    What critics of Trump’s firings seem to be saying is that all US administrations hitherto have been staffed by the best and the brightest of tax-eaters – they were totally unsackable, gifted achievers.

    Um, no.

    What makes Trump different is that he fires people not up to the job, whereas his predecessors wouldn’t do so.

  7. C.L.

    Obama never sacked Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder or James Comey.

  8. RobK

    .. all were appointed by Trump and he has to bear the responsibility for both their appointment and their early departure.
    And so he has.
    Im sure, given the press reports, Rex knew what was comming. Who should get away with public insubordination of the office of the POTUS? Who’d call their boss a moron and not expect a DCM?
    At least Trump has the balls to turn ’em over ’till he gets the right ones. The challenge of the incumbents is to perform. Not unlike a rodeo rider.

  9. The author displays a remarkable ignorance of the action taking place in overthrowing a coup d’etat which was well underway and would have continued had the disreputable Clinton won the presidency.
    As the Grand Juries and military tribunals produce more and more sealed indictments, we are close to the day when the public will become aware of the heinous crimes and treachery of which dozens of people near the top of the heap are guilty.
    Trump will go down in history, after his second term, as the saviour of the Republic and the greatest president since Washington.

  10. Roger.

    Lucius, your dislike of Trump is leading to a jaundiced assessment of his achievements.

    His thwarting of Hillary’s ambitions was itself an epic achievement, an unexpected disruption of both the corrupt US political class and the rising tide of PC.

    Then there is his repeal of a dozen or so of Obama’s “legacy items”, most notably Obamacare.

    Plus the slashing of regulations, the restoration of business confidence, the surge to US energy security and the lowering of unemployment.

    One could go on…given these achievements, Trump’s personal foibles are thus far immaterial.

  11. Trump Derangement Syndrome is strong with this one.

  12. Exit Stage Right

    Loosey, you do write some crap. I think its time you got back to the plough.

  13. Tintarella di Luna

    Lucius who called you from the plough?

  14. squawkbox

    I recall Trump changing his campaign director two or three times during the presidential campaign, and the usual suspects (probably including LQC but I’m not going in the archives to check – fact checking is all very well but reading his contributions more than once is a bridge too far) claiming it proved his campaign was in chaos, he was an incompetent manager, he was making President Hillary inevitable etc …. oh wait.

  15. Bruce of Newcastle

    What has Trump ever done for us eh Cinci?
    You should watch Life of Brian again.
    Oops, that’s set after your time.

    More seriously reflect on this. Trump is the first true conservative President since Reagan. Since that time several things have happened. The Left has moved to completely loopy far-left and the climate scam has sucked the elites into its embrace.

    Trump is a climate sceptic. Even Tillerson, the ex-CEO of Exxon666, is a climate tragic. Most of the managerial class in corporate America has become believers in the climate lie, and also the SJW nuttiness. (I’ve seen this myself in the companies I’ve worked for.) The millenialist climate religion is very attractive: what CEO wouldn’t want to save the world? It’s a pure ego trip. It takes a lot of mental effort to check the data for yourself and to ignore the groupthink of your elite buddies.

    So Trump has a hard time finding employees who aren’t apocalyptic QWERTY nutters, because even the corporate elites have been weeding out conservatives from their echo chamber for the last decade or so.

    Consequently if Trump finds someone who has the same political position as him that person usually doesn’t have the polished professionalism that is needed for the job, because the swamp would never let them gain that experience. And anyone with polished professionalism tends to have the wrong politics.

    Trump is having trouble getting steady employees because he is recruiting from pond which is getting smaller and smaller. And when he proposes someone they can get stuck in the Senate approval process for a year or more because the RINOs and the Dems combine to refuse to let him appoint that person.

    Trump has employed guys like McMaster and Kelly who are lefties (McMaster sailed through Senate approval…funny that). They have kept their positions by doing their jobs and not going feral. Tillerson was going feral, so he was fired.

    If you can’t see this then you aren’t worthy to be a general of Rome son.

  16. Fleeced

    [Critic mode: enabled]

    I wish contributors were a bit more creative with their headlines and opening blurb… even clickbait is better than this sort of stuff. You know the title of the post is all that goes out to other feeds, right? Who is going to click on “Carelessness” as a title? (aside from curious idiots like me?)

    And then when I click, the opening line is a worn out quote, for which the sole purpose is to justify the crappy title. Seriously, a high-school student could write better. You could have opened with: “The Oxford dictionary defines carelessness as…”, and it would have been just as good.

    As to the content… meh – Trump has always been good at firing. It’s kind of his trademark. Maybe not so good at hiring, but as long as he stays good at firing, he’ll get there eventually. Or maybe he should fire the guy doing the hiring! (See? Even a lame joke like that is better than this snore-fest of a post).

  17. directly the responsibility of Donald Trump.

    Where does the buck stop?

  18. Tom

    Let’s see: we have Garg0oglery and his socks, Monty and LQC, but Lucy (also the name of one of Gargooglery’s socks — how about that!) is the only one with a posting login that he can use at any time to maximise attention to himself. Come back after you’ve seen a therapist about your TDS, Lucy. Until you get over it, you’ll have zero credibility on US politics.

    The Trump presidency is the biggest story in American politics since the Kennedy assassination — in fact, probably the biggest story since the Civil War — and you’re not interested. Sad.

  19. Tom

    LOL. Who knew? Discussion of socks triggers the spaminator.

  20. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

    Where does the buck stop?

    It’s stops with the responsible entity under law. It could be Congress, it could be the President. It could be a Judge. It could be a civil servant. But it is not always the president.

  21. Fleeced

    LOL. Who knew? Discussion of socks triggers the spaminator.

    That’s why socks go missing in the washer. The spaminator filters them out.

  22. Jannie

    LCQ’s writing on Trump remind me of Savva’s writing on Abbott. I can only bear reading one or two paragraphs before scrolling down to the Comments.

  23. John Brumble

    Shorter LCQ:
    “Sure, Churchill defeated Hitler, but won’t someone think of Lady Astor”.

  24. Muddy

    I’m neither a Trumpofauxb, nor a Trumpophile, but it seems petty and desperate to be focusing so simplistically on the movement of high-profile appointees as an indicator of President Trump’s competence in what must be a far more complex environment than any of we armchair critics comprehend. Would it be more acceptable for the President to retain those employees who are not living up to the expectations placed upon them, and ignore the subsequent damage?

    Sure, ‘churn’ can be an indicator of bad management, but there can also be many other factors that are not as visible.

    And yes, I’ve commented recently that both Mattis and McMaster may also be in the crosshairs.

  25. Tim Neilson

    LCQ

    You say that many of Trump’s achievements are actually private enterprise achievements.

    So what? What’s wrong with a government that gets out of the road and lets private enterprise get on with it? It’s not as though Congress is assiduously helping Trump to do that.

    Contrary to your assertion, Trump has got rid of a lot of regulation and if business does, as expected, respond positively, then Trump’s contribution should be recognised.

    Would you drop a midfielder who laid 30 effective shepherds a game just because it was the other midfielders who ended up with brilliant stats for kicks and handballs?

  26. notafan

    Kelly thinks the only person who should be in charge of your money is her.

    She is all your money belongs to me personified

  27. Tim Neilson

    NATO increased support for the war in Afghanistan. I thought Trump hated NATO?

    Trump hates NATO because they don’t pull their weight. If Trump is getting them to pull their weight more than they have been doing, he’s achieving something.

  28. A Lurker

    Obama got a Nobel Peace Prize for achieving absolutely nothing, and it could be rightly argued that the world became a more violent and far less peaceful place during his presidency.

    Meanwhile one year on the roman is still afflicted by Trump Derangement Syndrome.

  29. Cynic of Ayr

    I don’t reply or comment on the lunacies of this biased, braindead cockhead, LQC.
    It would take a missive ten times as long proving him wrong.
    (Yeah, I know!)

  30. mh

    Creation of 1.7 million new jobs, cutting unemployment to 4.1 percent. Again, it’s the private sector.

    So the private sector is suddenly booming, but it has nothing to do with the new President. I think Americans would disagree with you, Quinny.

  31. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

    Tim Nielson:

    You say that many of Trump’s achievements are actually private enterprise achievements.

    So what? What’s wrong with a government that gets out of the road and lets private enterprise get on with it? It’s not as though Congress is assiduously helping Trump to do that.

    Yes, but Trump has done nothing to let private enterprise get on with its job. It is no easier to create a business today in the US than it was under Reagan, Clinton, Bush *2 and Obama. So why give him credit? The US is still quite regulated, and its public service reach quite deep. Trump really hasn’t changed anything.

    I just want people here to step back and think: what, really, has Trump done as in the sense that a decision he has taken has made a substantial positive difference. And if you’re being honest you’d come to the conclusion that he has done remarkably little. And that’s really the way of the president of the United States – it is a position with very restricted powers (except in times of war).

  32. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

    MH: the growth in the private sector really has nothing to do with Trump. It would be no different had Clinton be president. And the growth in the US is hardly remarkable by historical standards.

  33. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

    A. Lurker –

    Obama got a Nobel Peace Prize for achieving absolutely nothing, and it could be rightly argued that the world became a more violent and far less peaceful place during his presidency.

    I seem to recall writing that it was absolutely appalling that Obama won that Nobel Peace Prize. So could you enlighten me how I have TDS just because Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize?

  34. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

    Muddy – the churn in the Trump appointees is unprecedented. Sure he is right to fire poor employees (although he should do it to their face, not by tweet). But he has to take responsibility for the poor choice. And there are just so many arriving and departing that it does affect the efficiency of the administration.

  35. max

    “he has debased the office”

    this is achievement man, good on him

    Do we not marvel at the ancient Pyramids built by the Egyptian pharaohs (with slave labor, of course)? Do we not remember Roman emperors who left amazing water aqueducts and masterful cobbled roads across Europe that were built thousands of years ago (as their means of maintaining political and military control of their empire) and that are still used in some places today? Or closer to us in time, what about Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose New Deal “saved capitalism” from its own self-destruction during the Great Depression and who then went on to “save the world” from Adolph Hitler in a global alliance with two other bigger-than-life political Olympians – Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin (the latter, of course, a bit of a mass murderer in his own right)?

  36. struth

    This only proves one thing.
    Unfortunately TDS doesn’t seem to be fatal.

  37. mh

    ‘The engine of the economy roared back to life’: US small-business confidence hit a record high in 2017

    The small-business optimism index from the National Federation of Independent Businesses came in at 104.9 in December.
    The index’s average monthly reading last year was 104.8, the highest for any year in the history of its survey.
    Both the NFIB’s CEO and its chief economist attributed the boost in confidence to policy changes under the Trump administration.

  38. Bruce of Newcastle

    And yes, I’ve commented recently that both Mattis and McMaster may also be in the crosshairs.

    Interesting comment today that these rumours may be black hat hunting leak identifier tactics.

    Intelligence PR Firm Gets Caught in Leak Trap – WaPo Runs Story of McMaster Firing…

    It’s supported by this story also from today.

    Kelly: No More Personnel Changes At The White House; Trump May Be Leaker

    Sanders tamped down that rumor at the Friday briefing, telling reporters “he president said that it was not accurate and he had no intention of changing and that they have a great working relationship and he looked forward to continuing to work with him.”

    Looks like that was fake news from WaPo

    The headline is a little misdirecting as Trump-leaker bit is about Trump telling certain people things:

    Axios’ Jonathan Swan reports that John Kelly told reporters in an off-the-record briefing that President Trump is “likely speculating about staff moves to people outside the White House and that reporters are then talking to those people. And that’s how a good deal of news is likely being made about all the possible replacements.”

    That is consistent with the idea that different people are being told different things to see where the rumour ends up.

  39. cohenite

    Trump has established consequence. If appointments don’t live up to his expectations they go, by arrangement or by being fired. Pompeo for the fraud Tillerson is a great example. Pompeo will fortify the anti-alarmist efforts of Trump. Opposing alarmism and confronting Russia, China and islam are more than any other POTUS has done; ever.

    A stupid post. The author would have been better picking his pimples.

  40. J.H.

    Trump is certainly living large and rent free in your head…..

    Trump has shown America and the rest of the world just how out of control the Political elite and the permanent State have become.

    He’s doing a fine job and he has only just started.

  41. Oh come on

    As I said earlier, Lucy shows he’s an ideologue by putting the least charitable spin imaginable on all 81 of Trump’s achievements. Even the most tangible achievements, such as recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Lucy wants to wait and see how it pans out. What a dummy. There’s no waiting and seeing how it pans out, Lucy. It’s been done. The embassy is in the process of moving from Tel Aviv and will be open in Jerusalem before the end of next year. But even if that doesn’t happen, just the explicit recognition alone is something the Israelis can take to the bank.

  42. mh

    More from my link above:

    Juanita Duggan, the group’s president and CEO, pinned the increase in optimism on policy changes under President Donald Trump.

    “With a massive tax cut this year, accompanied by significant regulatory relief, we expect very strong growth, millions more jobs, and higher pay for Americans,” Duggan said in a release.

    The NFIB’s chief economist, Bill Dunkelberg, also credited the surge in optimism to Trump.

    “The 2016 election was like a dam breaking,” Dunkelberg said. “Small-business owners were waiting for better policies from Washington, suddenly they got them, and the engine of the economy roared back to life.”

  43. stackja

    Trump walks on water. Gets his feet wet.

  44. Oh come on

    You’re just getting sad, Lucy. No, the achievement stated wasn’t the repeal of Obamacare. It was the repeal of the Obamacare mandate, one of the most odious (perhaps the most odious) aspects of the legislation which, for the first time, penalised Americans for not buying into government-mandated insurance.

    The Obamacare mandate was a key funding mechanism for the Obamacare system – mainly by pressuring healthy people to buy overpriced healthcare they’re unlikely to use to subsidise the healthcare of unhealthy people who are very likely to use these services. Seeing as congress has been unable to agree on how to repeal Obamacare, repealing this mandate will ultimately cause the failure of Obamacare and congress will be forced to act to replace it with something else.

  45. Stimpson J. Cat

    Oscar Wilde wrote in the Importance of Being Earnest – To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

    Except The Don is the parent, and he is getting rid of children that don’t do their homework, don’t do their chores, and don’t do as they are told. And there are plenty more kids to choose from.

    You Muppet.

  46. egg_

    Opposing alarmism and confronting Russia, China and islam are more than any other POTUS has done; ever.

    Let’s hope that the Corporate world follows in his footsteps.

  47. jupes

    Removed 36 percent more criminal gang members than in fiscal 2016. That’s because there were 36 percent more criminal gang members in 2016. Criminal activity has grown under Trump. Perhaps he can claim credit for that?

    Wow.

    Juvenile level comeback. Your TDS is showing.

  48. Bruce of Newcastle

    Here’s one for Cinci that I saw just now.

    White House: Chuck Schumer’s ‘Historic’ Obstruction Will Block Some Trump Admin Nominees for More than a Decade (16 Mar)

    Legislative Director Marc Short took the White House briefing podium on Friday to call out “historic obstruction” by Democrats for requiring 30 hours of debate over Trump administration nominees at a rate far beyond that which prior administrations faced.

    Short repeatedly pointed to Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for “…the historic obstruction that we have faced by Sen. [Chuck] Schumer and Senate Democrats in confirming our nominees to enable us to fill out our White House.”

    The Dems have been doing this all year – except to guys like McMaster who they know are lefties. But it isn’t just the Dems. Normally when the Senate does this crap the Prez waits until the holidays and then makes recess appointments. Which Obama did regularly.

    Trump hasn’t been allowed to do this. For the summer hols the Dems and GOPers got together and passed a resolution that the Senate was in session all through the holidays…then they went to their beach houses and left the chamber empty. Except for a couple of senators who’d turn up each day gavel the place in session then gavel it closed again each day.

    Try getting stuff done with no employees.

    It is so bad in the DoJ that apart from Rosenstein, who is a swamp denizen himself, and the Solicitor General there are no department heads at all. And the next rank down are Obama holdouts.

    The Gap at DoJ (10 Feb)

    Now look at what Trump has achieved in just a year in the face of dirty tactics from both major parties.

  49. Has a rabid Democrat (Joy Behar, JImmy Kimmel, anyone at CNN or some Hollywood moron) gotten hold of this Catallaxy author’s access codes?

    If it’s a reaction they wanted, they got one, but what a way to debased oneself.

  50. Tel

    Obama got a Nobel Peace Prize for achieving absolutely nothing, and it could be rightly argued that the world became a more violent and far less peaceful place during his presidency.

    Don’t forget, it was an ASPIRATIONAL Nobel Peace Prize, awarded in 2009 before Obama had a chance to get all those meaningful golf games and globetrotting holidays done.

    http://thefinaledition.com/article/nobel-committee-asks-obama-nicely-to-return-peace-prize.html

    They have given largely infinite scope for comedians, and some of the jokes are even a bit funny.

  51. rickw

    According to LCQ, Government doesn’t have any influence on anything.

    Serious TDS, imagine what a mess LCQ will be when Trump wins a second term.

  52. yarpos

    One mark of a good leader is to be able to attract and retain good people.

    Obama attracted donkeys and crooks , and retained them (actually seemed lose good people and retain donkeys and crooks)

    Trump attracted mainly good people, and has either not retained them or changed his mind.

    Neither scenario does a lot for the US of A

  53. Tracey

    That is worthy achievement, no doubt, but his behaviour since being elected has been so bad that perhaps we would have been better with Clinton.

    Apart from the fact the woman can’t even descend a set of steps without support from a team to stop her falling she is manifestly corrupt and refuses to take responsibility for her failings. Yeah, she would make an awesome President.

  54. Bruce of Newcastle

    Trump attracted mainly good people, and has either not retained them or changed his mind.

    As I mentioned upthread – despite half the electorate being Trump voters there aren’t many in the elite stratum who are politically aligned with him.

    So either he has to make do with roughies (which hasn’t worked out at all well) or try to get guys who’ll not prosecute their own agendas in the position.

    And even then if he finds someone who’s of like mind the Senate will make him wait for a year.

  55. Arky

    This was a particularly long and stupid post.
    Give yourself an uppercut.

  56. Confused Old Misfit

    Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus: Latin for Supercillious Italianate Twit.

  57. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

    I think you must be affected by TDS (irrational support for Trump irrespective of circumstances) if you can think Trump is doing any particular good. The turnover in his office is appalling If it happened under Obama you would be saying it’s outrageous. His achievements are exaggerated and modest. His failures are manyfold. He is leftist and protectionist. he is being investigated and may well be removed from office so soon after being elected. The irrational support for Trump seems to be entirely because he defeated Hillary Clinton and that he isn’t Obama. That’s an extraordinarily low bar for achievement. A drover’s dog could have beaten Hillary Clinton. And who really cares after the victory – what matters is how he performs in office and on that he is a failure. He is a laughing stock among most thinking people around the world, he is a buffoon and even his sycophants can’t hold onto their jobs. You must have an amazing conspiracy thinking that the swamp is the cause of all of Trump’s woes – it is his own fault because he is fundamentally a man who stands for nothing, has no values and is as deep thinking as an ant.

    Defend Trump all you like, it just shows you have all lost your minds.

  58. struth

    Yes ludicrous, the whole world’s gone insane except for you.

  59. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

    No, Struth it’s only those with the irrational attachment to Trump and other leftists.

  60. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

    To be crystal clear struth, Trump is a leftist and his supporters are leftists. Conservatives and libertarians despise Trump.

  61. squawkbox

    Give it up Lucy, you have yet to make a rational argument. All you have is a primal scream from the id, outraged that someone so orange and so vulgar could occupy a seat of power.

  62. Biota

    OK, Luci, a deeply insightful post. Thankyou. We are all convinced now so you don’t need to post any more on this. Try some gardening advice next.

  63. DM of WA

    It’s the private sector that drives economic growth.

    Therefore, Trump is a success.

    Quod Erat Demonstrandum,

  64. Bruce of Newcastle

    To be crystal clear struth, Trump is a leftist and his supporters are leftists. Conservatives and libertarians despise Trump.

    Now you’re trolling your own article Cinci!

    Trump was a registered Democrat yes. He was doing business in Atlantic City so of course he needed to be a registered Democrat.

    Heritage loves what he’s doing.

    Heritage Foundation: 64% of Trump’s agenda already done, faster than Reagan (27 Feb)

    With unprecedented speed, the Trump administration has already implemented nearly two-thirds of the 334 agenda items called for by the Heritage Foundation, a pace faster than former President Reagan who embraced the conservative think tank’s legendary “Mandate for Leadership” blueprint.

    “We’re blown away,” Binion said in an interview. Trump, he said, “is very active, very conservative, and very effective.”

    What were you saying again about Trump-the-leftist?

  65. OneWorldGovernment

    President Ronald Reagan was a Democrat up until 1962!

  66. Temperament matters.
    As with some military generals being suited to one theatre of war, but totally unsuitable to another, foreign ministers (especially Secretaries of State for the US) are suited to some theatres but not to others.

    Tillersons value to Trump was the Middle East and the Arabs. Tillerson had long standing relationships with them and not only introduced Trump to them, but he gave Trump valuable insight into their thinking and past behaviour.

    Now the focus has changed towards the Koreas China and Iran. Trump needed a SoS with different skill sets and Tillerson was too much of a dove (as you would be when CEO of an oil company. You don’t point fingers and make accusations when trying to win business contracts).

    In comes Pompeo. A CIA man, a long time intelligence man. Pompeo knows about all the skeletons in closets and dirty tricks in foreign affairs. He is also more suited to the “My nuclear button is bigger than yours” type of diplomacy.
    Will this prove to be successful? Who knows. Thus far Trump has had more success in foreign affairs than Obama over 8 years…..CLEARLY.

    Just because there is turnover, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. LCQ making that lazy assumption exposes him to be the shallow thinker afflicted with TDS we all know him to be.

  67. Stimpson J. Cat

    Defend Trump all you like, it just shows you have all lost your minds.

    OK, now write a post like this about Malcolm Turnbull.
    In your own time.

  68. Rohan

    Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus
    #2663193, posted on March 17, 2018 at 6:32 pm
    To be crystal clear struth, Trump is a leftist and his supporters are leftists. Conservatives and libertarians despise Trump.

    This is coming from the bloke that reckoned if house prices fell by 50% ever night would be so good, cause others just entering the housing market could afford to by on the North Shore or Brighton.

    If LCQ is as stated in his blurb, a retired general in the ADF, then I now know why my grandfather rejected 3 field commissions during WW2.

  69. classical_hero

    Talk about psychological projection. Seriously you need to get help for this mental problem.

  70. Malcolm Thomas

    Thanks Lucius for calling out the various lists of Trump “achievements” that regularly get a run on The Cat. They are desperately clutching at straws. We’re an Obama supporter to have make the same type of claims for his Presidency, commentators here would rightly have called them out. More proof that most Cat commentators are hopelessly partisan HYPOCRITES.

  71. Stimpson J. Cat

    Conservatives and libertarians despise Trump.

    Do they?
    Do they really?

    Ha ha ha ha ja ja!!!

  72. OneWorldGovernment

    Malcolm Thomas
    #2663588, posted on March 17, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Thanks Lucius for calling out the various lists of Trump “achievements” that regularly get a run on The Cat. They are desperately clutching at straws. We’re an Obama supporter to have make the same type of claims for his Presidency, commentators here would rightly have called them out. More proof that most Cat commentators are hopelessly partisan HYPOCRITES.

    MT

    Yourself and LCQ must be very smart.

    Perhaps you are part of ‘the elite’ and consider most Cats deplorable.

  73. OneWorldGovernment

    Hey MT and LCQ

    When do you figure that Australia will wipe out the regressive Excise Duties on fuel, alcohol and tobacco?

  74. Mr Black

    Trump has the wonderful virtue of exposing which side people are really on.

  75. Chris M

    Lucy: hot for Hillary!

    If LCQ is as stated in his blurb, a retired general in the ADF

    An inspector is given a guided tour of the nut-house by its chief psychiatrist. In one ward lined with bunks were delusional people who believed they were someone else. One patient was sitting bolt upright on the edge of his bed with his hand tucked into his jacket. “And who does he think he is” asked the inspector.

    Before the doctor could speak the patient responded “I don’t think, I know. I am Napoleon!”

    “Oh really” the inspector said. “And who told you this?”

    “God told me” the patient replied.

    Then another voice came from the top bunk…. “I did NOT!”

  76. OneWorldGovernment

    Newt Gingrich: Trump (and his success) continues to baffle our country’s elites. What’s going on?

    It’s been nearly 14 months since President Trump took office, but the media and Washington establishment still don’t understand our nation’s 45th president. They continue to criticize, distort, discredit and ignore his actions and accomplishments – while making little to no effort to actually understand what he’s doing and the way he operates.

    This has been the elites’ pattern since Donald Trump first announced his bid for the White House. It’s what prompted me last year to write my No. 1 New York Times bestselling book “Understanding Trump,” which was released in paperback this week.

    When President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris Climate Agreement, the elites could not see how breaking with these bad agreements could possibly be good for Americans. After all, some of the Washington elites had helped draft these deals – which in the minds of the liberal media meant these deals must be good.
    Tammy Bruce and Ethan Berman debate the president’s decision Video
    Media overblowing decision to leave Paris Climate Accord?

    When President Trump imposed direct trade measures on some foreign products – including solar panels, steel, and aluminum – to protect U.S. industries that were being undercut, the elites reflexively questioned his political-trade-foreign relations acumen. Seemingly none of them stopped to consider that President Trump’s decades of success in international business may provide him with an informed opinion and worldview counter to their own.

    As we have seen President Trump make changes to his Cabinet and personal staff, the elites in Washington and the national media have insisted that these decisions are a sign of dangerous instability in the White House. Never mind that the best business leaders and managers routinely make tough staffing decisions to improve their organizations’ long-run initiatives or mission.

    It seems the elites simply refuse to think about the Trump presidency through any lens other than that of traditional Washington – despite the fact that President Trump has never been a part of (and represents a departure from) the traditional establishment. This confused, square peg-round hole analytical approach is made worse by the fact that the elites then try to use Washington jargon to define and attack the president.

    In the minds of the elite, President Trump doesn’t fit the post-World War II international mold that regards the United States as the world’s only real superpower that can afford to prop up all its allies – and even some of its enemies. For that, the elites claim President Trump is an isolationist.

    The president doesn’t fit the traditional Republican free-trader mold because he demands that Americans must benefit from trade agreements. Therefore, according to the elites, he must be a protectionist.

    President Trump didn’t enter office with a team of politicos and policy wonks who had been with him through a decades-long political career, so to the elites insist the Trump administration is inexperienced.

    Finally, the president is not afraid to take decisive action when he’s made up his mind about something, so the elites claim he is unstable.

    However, many Americans hear these Washington words (isolationist, protectionist, inexperienced, unstable) and see no relationship to their president or his administration.

    Many Americans – who for years watched factories close and American prosperity dwindle as a result of bad multinational agreements and unfair trade deals – regard President Trump’s decision to get out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris Climate Agreement as necessary and long overdue. To them, the president has been working to break away from deals that help other countries at the expense of U.S. success – just as any good business executive would.

    Similarly, millions of Americans see the president taking actions to stop foreign countries that are cheating at trade as a sign that he is defending the interests of our country abroad. That’s also what good business leaders do.

    When President Trump replaces one of his team members with someone more in-tune with his vision, most Americans see him acting as a typical, goal-oriented executive.

    In “Understanding Trump,” I point out that our president defeated the media and Washington elite largely because they simply refused to understand him as a candidate. Further, they were profoundly wrong about the 2016 election because they couldn’t comprehend that the American people wanted something other than the traditional Washington elites’ idea of a president.

    It seems the elites didn’t read my book – or they didn’t take its lessons to heart – because they haven’t changed a bit. They still don’t understand Trump.

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/03/16/newt-gingrich-trump-and-his-success-continues-to-baffle-our-countrys-elites-whats-going-on.html

  77. Mon

    Australia is not America. How about taking the stick to Turnbull and his failure to Govern as conservative Prime Minister and not a fake conservative.

  78. OneWorldGovernment

    Mon
    #2663629, posted on March 18, 2018 at 1:26 am

    Australia is not America. How about taking the stick to Turnbull and his failure to Govern as conservative Prime Minister and not a fake conservative.

    Nah Mon.

    MT and Lucy are too busy correcting Australian deplorables to worry about sordid governance stuff.

  79. bollux

    Trump has given the rest of us deplorables in Australia some hope. That makes 82.

  80. struth

    Trump has the wonderful virtue of exposing which side people are really on.

    He’s given Turnbull an opportunity to state confirm whether we are still part of the western world, and we can now see how Turnbull, an unethical, U.N. muppet , trying to be too clever by halves in being part of “Indonesia’s ASEAN block, and China’s best subordinate customer, is going to fall smack dab on his globalist, spot light chasing face.

  81. struth

    Another observation about LCQ.
    People do things and say things for many different reasons.

    LCQ doesn’t care about the world, people, economics, etc.
    He cares that he is in a club.
    You know the type.
    He wants to feel elite, and above others.
    He’d like others to see him as intellectually superior.
    It’s a sort of virtue signalling for the elitist.
    When he and his pompous mates chose conservativism, it wasn’t for practical economic reasons, that was never in their hearts, and they are not in it for the right reasons now. (They really aren’t conservative or Libertarian at all) They want conservatism to be the men who ruled the world in the old boys club, retiring after dinner for cigars and sherry.
    Men who exude an idiots view of class.
    Trump has become President of their Old Boy’s club , and is far too course.
    You could almost hear them say to each other, did you hear the way he pronounced “industry”
    Oh, yes I did, James, but that is nothing.
    Wait until you hear him say “huge”
    Oh dear, this won’t do at all.
    This man does not represent us at all.

    And when they said that last sentence, it would have been the only time they got anything right in their lives.
    Trump is not here to help you stroke your own ego to the detriment of all others, LCQ.

  82. Faye

    Kid this is a Tweet: Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus – YOU’RE FIRED!

  83. JC

    LQC

    There is such a thing as signaling. Trump has signaled to the markets that the US is open for business after Obama.

  84. Boris

    Contrary to your assertion, Trump has got rid of a lot of regulation and if business does, as expected, respond positively, then Trump’s contribution should be recognised.

    I agree with this. LQC says that economic growth is an achievement of the public sector while EOs are actions, which should be measured by outcomes. This appears to be a self-contradiction.

    Unfortunately it is very hard t measure POTUS’s marginal contribution to economic outcomes.

    Both the list and the counter analysis are deeply flawed. Not sure if it is possible to conduct an objective analysis. Maybe Rafe ?

  85. Boris

    There is such a thing as signaling. Trump has signaled to the markets that the US is open for business after Obama.

    Yes, this is correct. This appears to have caused an initial boost. However to be sustained, it requires lost of hard work with Congress etc. it is unclear if this is indeed happening.

  86. OneWorldGovernment

    Boris
    #2664134, posted on March 18, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    There is such a thing as signaling. Trump has signaled to the markets that the US is open for business after Obama.

    Yes, this is correct. This appears to have caused an initial boost. However to be sustained, it requires lost of hard work with Congress etc. it is unclear if this is indeed happening.

    Boris

    I think you are correct.

    But what we in Australia do not see is how Trump is reshaping the American electoral landscape.

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