There seems to be a higher-than-usual amount of attention on grading President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office. We're still more than a week away from the milestone, yet both the media and the White House already seem to be at fever pitch over how history will see Trump's first 100 days. Maybe it's just my own perception, but I don't seem to remember quite this level of intensity for the past few presidents, or at least not this early on the calendar.
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Today's topic is the mess United Airlines now finds themselves in, after video of a passenger being forcefully dragged off an airplane (even though he had a reserved seat) went viral. Not only viral, but all over prime-time news as well.
It turns out that Donald Trump is pretty good at predicting his own future behavior. You just have to change the names, that's all. A while back, Trump tweeted out the following: "Now that Obama's poll numbers are in tailspin -- watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate."
President Donald Trump now faces multiple foreign policy situations which could easily become full-blown crises in a very short time. So far, his response has been rather underwhelming, and even that's being charitable. Some might describe it as downright incoherent, in fact. While this isn't too surprising for those who have been paying attention, this time the result could be a lot more significant than a piece of legislation dying in the House because Republicans can't agree among themselves.
Last Monday, I wrote about how bad Donald Trump's poll numbers have been, pointing out that he got absolutely no honeymoon from the public. I never thought I'd be writing about Trump's poll numbers again so quickly, but then everything about the Trump presidency seems to operate at warp speed, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. Today, Donald Trump hit a milestone in job approval polling -- he is now at the lowest point Barack Obama ever had, in eight full years. Trump's average daily job approval at RealClearPolitics.com is now a dismal 39.8 percent. His disapproval rating stands at 53.3 percent. And he's not even through his first 100 days.
This was supposed to be a good week for Donald Trump. He was going to give a big speech, and he was all set to roll out the 2.0 version of his Muslim ban. As usual in the Trump administration, though, things didn't quite work out as planned.
While much of Washington is currently atwitter (and a-Twitter, of course) over the growing possibility that in the near future, one or more top White House advisors may be shown the door (centering, so far, around Mike Flynn, Sean Spicer, and Reince Priebus), I personally think Trump should consider cutting his losses in a different way. Palace intrigue is always fun to speculate about, of course, but aside from personalities, President Donald Trump should really consider just cutting his losses on the whole idea of a "temporary ban" on immigration. He should, in short, declare victory and move on.
No, that's not a Donald Trump hair joke. It is nothing more than the end of a simile on lying. Rugs are the epitome of lying, since nothing lies more obviously than a rug. Of course, I could have gone with a different motif, but Al Franken had already used the title: "Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them," so I had to go with what was available, as it were.
I had fully intended to write another column postulating that our president and a few of his advisors are nothing short of blithering idiots (you know, the usual thing), but then I got hooked into the modern world of technology and instead sat through the entire hour-long oral arguments hearing in Washington v. Trump, which turned out to be fascinating. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals helpfully live-streamed the audio of a conference call where the lawyers from the Trump administration and the state of Washington made their case to a three-judge panel, on the merits of the temporary restraining order that a district judge in Washington issued that shut down President Trump's executive order banning people from seven countries from entering the United States. So any citizen could, in effect, sit in the courtroom and hear the cases made. I have to admit a certain level of wonky awe that this is the world we live in -- where such things are not just possible, but are now routine.
But we digress. Donald Trump's Muslim ban, signed into existence as we were writing last week's column, was certainly the biggest story of the week. Spontaneous protests sprang up at international airports across the country as the chaotic implementation made it plain that this executive order just wasn't thought through all that much. Nobody knew what the order did cover and didn't cover, all the way from White House officials down to the border guards who were expected to somehow implement this vague and badly-defined policy. Clarifications had to be issued on a daily basis. The draft of the order simply did not go through any of the normal vetting channels, with some cabinet-level officials only seeing it hours before it was signed. The Trump administration is now starting to resemble (take your pick) either the gang who couldn't shoot straight or the Keystone Kops.