CURRENT EVENTS – JUNE 2017

Can Trump Survive?

The media and the Hillary Dems have gone ballistic over the Trump presidency in unprecedented ways.  The print and broadcast media pounce on every real or hopeful Trump flaw, rumor or possible inference in a doomed attempt to somehow get him out of office.

At the same time, President Trump is his own worst enemy.  He feeds into the paranoia of his critics by tweeting and constantly opening his mouth to provide inconsistent accounts of each new media storm.

His ill-advised effort to defeat his critics isn’t helping win any friends in the Republican Congress and his legislative agenda.  He has proven to be a significant distraction to his stated campaign goals on healthcare, tax reform and infrastructure, and may derail meaningful progress on these major needs all together.

Trying to govern with an over-inflated ego and a somewhat bizarre sensitivity to real or imagined slights is a surefire road to increasing harassment and eventual defeat on all fronts.

Hillary lost because she was not a candidate with charisma; she had more ethical baggage than the Samsonite company.  She tried to ride the coattails of Obama’s “success.”  Attempting to champion a 2% growth rate is just not the definition of a robust economy and a failed campaign strategy.

Now she sits on the sidelines watching as her activist supporters keep shouting, “He’s not my president,” disrupting town hall meetings and causing extensive property damage, as well as non-productive protests.

The Unions’ Deep Pockets

Unions today are not like those we grew up with.  Today, 52% of union members in the U.S. now work for a government agency and derive their money directly from your pocket.

Between 1989 and 2014, the top ten political contributing unions alone gave over $424 million of support almost all to Democratic candidates.

That’s just 10 of them!  And that’s what we know—loopholes put in place by members of Congress supported by these unions make it so that they don’t have to report these expenditures to the Federal Election Commission like the rest of us citizens do.

For comparisons sake, the “evil” Koch brothers you hear the left ramble on about have only given $18 million during that time.

And when you factor in unions forcing their members into political activities, the clout of these unions, often at the taxpayers’ expense, can be astronomical.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s large-scale investigation on this matter, the hours spent by union employees on political matters in 2010 (a midterm election) were equivalent to a shadow army much larger than President Obama’s entire 2012 re-election staff!

Appointment of Special Counsel

Between all the leaks, all the rumors, all the speculation and all the investigations, the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to explore the Russian-Trump connection, if any, was a breath of fresh air.

Note he is a counsel, not a prosecutor.  His work will probably drag on for a year or two but hopefully it will allow Washington to get back to work and get something done.

By the way, if there was any “collusion,” what could they have colluded about?  It doesn’t make much sense.

Cats is Back

I noticed that Andrew Lloyd Weber’s outstanding musical Cats is back on Broadway.  If you had to read the T.S. Eliot “Possum Book of Practical Cats,” the musical is much more understandable and super enjoyable.

“Memory” from the show is the most haunting piece of music I have ever heard.  I was on the verge of tears every time I heard it.

In my opinion, Andrew Lloyd Weber was the creative musical genius of the last century.  His 13 musicals were an outstanding creation of a new genre in stage presentations.

Evita was terrific; and the best of all was Phantom of the Opera, an intense, spirited and intriguing presentation of an old story.  The music carried me through all the twists and turns of a somewhat complex plot.

Weber supplanted Rodgers & Hammerstein as the king of Broadway musicals.

If He’d Only Leave Things Alone

The handling of the Comey firing by our president was handled about as badly as it could have been because he kept talking about it, adding new insults as he went.

One Standout

I’ve been impressed with Rex Tillerson, our Secretary of State, who in his own quiet, un-showboat way speaks well and seems to be working somewhat effectively to help rebuild some relations around the world.

As a successful executive with Exxon, he has demonstrated that some business experience can be transferred to effective government service.

The Cost of Misuse

The University of California looked into the misuse of funds by the chancellor at Berkeley.  The amount he misused was $4,990.  The cost of the investigation:  $57,672.

First Overseas Trip

President Trump’s recent visit to the three major religious centers in the world was exceptionally well conceived and well received by most pundits.

  1. His pleas to the 50 Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia to do more about terrorism for our common benefit instead of the usual lecture about their need to democratize and treat women better.
  2. The visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem was a first for an American president.

The Paris Accord

It’s a mismatch of dreamy, unreachable goals, but since it was unenforceable, I’m not sure why President Trump had to withdraw from it; could have just let it die on the vine.

Disappointment Everywhere I Turn

As you’ve undoubtedly guessed, I’m very disappointed in our president’s somewhat neurotic behavior, but the disappointment spreads itself all around.

The Democrats have created a new brand of fiery activists who disrupt, disparage and trash everything in sight.

Then there’s the media.

A study by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government analyzed the TV coverage in the first 100 days of our new administration:

  • CNN: 93% of the stories were negative
  • NBC: 93% of the stories were negative
  • CBS: 91%  of the stories were negative
  • Y. Times: 87% of the stories were negative
  • Washington Post: 83% of the stories were negative

The media is trying to destroy him.  The Russia thing is their lynchpin to try to prove he’s an illegitimate president.  So far, no real evidence.

THE WORLD SEEMS OFF ITS AXIS!

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1 Comment

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One response to “CURRENT EVENTS – JUNE 2017

  1. Dan Goodstein

    Art,
    How prescient of you to ask just today, Wednesday, June 14th, the very day it was announced that Mueller is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, “Can Trump Survive?” You wrote that Mueller’s appointment will “hopefully allow Washington to get back to work and get something done.” Lotsa luck on that!
    My guess is that the words you wrote that the media “…is engaged in a doomed attempt to somehow get him out of office” might, in the not too distant future, be more edible than your hat. Time will tell if it’s “doomed”.
    On the other hand I agree with you that Trump “is his own worst enemy.” In the Watergate case it was the media, the Washington Post, that brought Nixon down. In this case, the thing that may bring Trump down is not the media, which appears to be following the facts rather than discovering them, but Trump himself. As you write, it’s his tweets and his mouth.
    Sailors say, “When one rat abandons the sinking ship, the others will follow.” Let’s see if the Republicans stay aboard. If they start to abandon the ship it will because it’s on its way down.

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