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Tag: liberal

Bully For Trump

Will Donald Trump be the second-best “bully” president we’ve had? I realize that that question can be read two ways, but I’m using “bully” in the older political sense of the word rather than in the “already ripped into 289 people on Twitter” sense. So while a strong case could be made for Trump-as-bully, what I’m referring to instead is the Teddy Roosevelt “Bully for you!” sense of the word. And, more importantly, the “bully pulpit.” Because, much as Democrats might hate to admit it, Trump may be the most adroit user of the bully pulpit to change American politics in a very long time.
I’ve been thinking about this while wondering what the clash between Trump and the rest of Washington is going to look like. Trump has already set himself on a collision course with his own party over several major issues (not gutting Social Security, to name just one), at least if you believe anything he said while campaigning (which is still a very open question, to say the least). But it’s not too hard to envisage a showdown of wills between Trump and, say, Paul Ryan. Ryan, of course, isn’t the only one Trump might get into confrontation…

Terry Boustany As The Next USTR: Is Trump Serious?

Just last Wednesday, Trump tapped Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as the new U.S. Ambassador to China. Branstad’s long-time friendship with President Xi Jinping and close ties to the Beijing establishment will surely assist him in his role. During his six terms as governor, he shied away from criticizing Chinese illegal trade practices, a major sticking point in this election cycle. While Branstad is likely to bring positive momentum to an often-rocky bilateral relationship, Trump also needs advisors that are willing to draw a hard line with China. This makes his pick for U.S. trade representative (USTR) that much more important. In recent days it has emerged that Representative Charles Boustany is aggressively lobbying the Trump transition team to lead the office of the USTR, which is ironic given his personal attacks on President-elect Trump during the campaign. Boustany had his eye on securing Louisiana’s vacant Senate seat, but he lost before the final runoff. Now it looks like he is trying his hand at USTR, which would be a slap in the face to hard-working Americans who are looking for a buffer against harmful trade practices. Boustany and Trump represent diametrically opposed perspectives on trade. Boustany has limited trade experience, and…

Donald Trump Delays Plans To Resolve His Conflicts Of Interest

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){‘undefined’!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if(‘object’==typeof commercial_video){var a=”,o=’m.fwsitesection=’+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video[‘package’]){var c=’&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D’+commercial_video[‘package’];a+=c}e.setAttribute(‘vdb_params’,a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById(‘vidible_1’),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― President-elect Donald Trump will not hold a press conference on Thursday to announce plans for his billion-dollar real estate and licensing business, as he had promised.
Trump said on Nov. 30 that he would hold “a major news conference in New York City” to explain how he’d leave his Trump Organization “in total” when he takes office on Jan. 20. Trump will delay the announcement until next month, an adviser said, although Bloomberg reported it may come before his inauguration.
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway attributed the delay to “how convoluted and complex many of these business holdings are.”
“The press announcement has been delayed until January, as the Trump Organization experts and other counsel are trying to decide which is the best organizing structure for the Trump Organization going forward,” Conway told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday. “As you know, it’s a very unconventional situation.” She said Trump still intends to give control of his businesses to his children “and other corporate officers whom he trusts.”
The Trump Organization has real estate holdings in the United States, golf courses in foreign countries, licensing deals to put the Trump name on buildings in at…

Air Force One Deserves More Than A Tweet

The Tweet On December 6, Donald Trump tweeted: “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” The Facts: There will be two new Boeing’s 747-8 presidential aircraft. Boeing is not building the new presidential aircraft at this time. Boeing: “We are currently under contract for $170 million to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the president of the United States… We look forward to working with the U.S. Air Force on subsequent phases of the program allowing us to deliver the best planes for the president at the best value for the American taxpayer.” The Washington Post: Earlier in 2016, Boeing received a $170 million contract to design a replacement for the aging pair of Air Force Ones used by the president. Boeing is not actually building the jet, though logically it is the only U.S. manufacturer with the capability to build such an aircraft. :: Cost have actually not been set. The Defense Department’s five-year plan indicates a cost of $2.9 billion over the next five years for design and development. It’s logical to assume at least another $1 billion in additional expenses…

John Glenn’s Legacy And The Right Stuff

At a time when it seems almost naïve to expect public figures to act with transparency, compassion and courage, I vividly remember one who did. I worked for John Glenn, then a Senator for Ohio, for a brief time in the late ’70s as an adviser on foreign policy. He became an icon to me, not so much for what he did as a politician or even as an astronaut, but for who he was as a human being, a man whose simple decency transcended just about everything and everyone around him. I remember one afternoon when he agreed to receive my daughter Malory and her Campfire Girls troop in his office. Then and now, famous people do “meet and greets” and photo-ops all the time and usually they each last only few minutes. That’s what I expected. But Glenn welcomed these eight little girls, then got up from his desk, sat down on the carpet in a circle with them, and begin telling him his wonderful stories about flying in space. When in deference to the Senator’s schedule, I suggested that it was time to leave, John Glenn wouldn’t hear of it. The storytelling and rich conversation…

With Exxon CEO in Trump Spotlight, A Primer on The Company’s Climate Court Fight

Donald Trump’s public contemplation of picking ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be U.S. Secretary of State raises a range of controversies, including Tillerson’s dealmaking with Russia and close ties to Vladimir Putin. It also intensifies attention on ExxonMobil’s escalating court battle with the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts over the question of whether the company improperly concealed information about climate change. Just today, a federal judge in Texas, Ed Kinkeade, cancelled his controversial order directing the Massachusetts AG, Maura Healey, to come to his Dallas courtroom tomorrow morning to be questioned by ExxonMobil’s lawyers. Here’s a summary of ExxonMobil’s legal dispute with the attorneys general, so far: Investigative reporting in the past year demonstrated that Exxon scientists have known and had told Exxon management for decades that burning fossil fuels was heating up the planet. But rather than educate the public on the dangers and change its business strategy, Exxon instead spent millions supporting efforts to question and deny the science of climate change. There also are questions as to whether ExxonMobil has properly accounted for its oil reserves in the wake of global price drops and evidence of global warming. Responding to those reports and other evidence, New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman issued a…

Trump Needs To Turn To The Graybeards For Stealthy Help

Will he rise to the office of president, or will he become some sort of mad uncle hidden away in one of his properties, railing against the media on Twitter? The Donald Trump presidency is in the balance even before it has begun. Nonetheless, there will be a government, and there will be a devolution of power to the many offices of government. For that to work smoothly, president-elect Trump needs to show he can manage as well as deride by tweet. Didn’t he have a cabinet list of some sort at the back of his mind? Transition is a president’s first test. Those who voted for Trump — for a new broom, for an end to government by elites — aren’t seeing a new dawn, but rather a chaotic search among the retreads and by a search team that itself is fractured. A little amateurism is refreshing, a lot clownish. Some of the confusion was anticipated. It’s hard for an outsider to take over the complex structure of the government. The answer should’ve been for Trump to reach out to people who know Washington, people who have substantial contact lists, people who could guide him unobtrusively and skillfully. Trump needs a graybeard. Washington’s graybeards…