President Trump’s 2017 Report Card (first draft)

As we approach the holiday season there will be much debate on how President Trump has performed for his first calendar year. As a populist president, I think the best way to judge his performance is by focusing on the issues voters say are their top priorities. Pew Research polled voters to determine their political priorities for 2017. Let’s see how President Trump is doing so far on the top ten priorities according to the public.

Terrorism (76% rated top priority)

ISIS is on the run, thanks in part to President Trump’s loosening of the rules of military engagement, as well as pivoting from a Whack-a-Mole strategy to a total annihilation strategy with no withdrawal date. Both moves are good persuasion. And while President Trump’s “extreme vetting” is unpopular with many citizens, it has probably reduced risk to the homeland. And General Mattis is widely considered to be a strong hire.

     Grade: A

Economy (73% rated top priority)

I’ll give President Obama 75% credit for the strong economy. But I think consumer confidence and the stock market tell us there is optimism about the current administration. That confidence is buoyed by Trump’s reduction in regulations via executive orders, his tough talk on trade, and his persuasion toward a higher GDP that is already becoming self-fulfilling. If people believe the economy will be better next year than this year, they invest this year, thus making next year better. We might see something good come out of tax reform, but I don’t think it will matter as much as people assume.

     Grade: A

Education (69% rated top priority)

I’m not aware of any federal changes in this area that would be big enough to make a difference. But it is also unclear how much the federal government can do on an issue that is managed by the states. Unfortunately for the Trump administration, the mental anchor in our minds for education is Bernie Sanders’ idea of free college. If that’s the standard, the Trump administration is not even in the game.

     Grade: C

Jobs (68% rated top priority)

Unemployment is low. Illegal immigration is down by half. Corporations are bringing manufacturing jobs back to America, at least in part because of Trump’s direct persuasion on this point. A cut in business tax rates could improve things further.

     Grade: A

Health care costs (66% rated top priority)

President Trump offered to sign any health care bill the Republican congress could pass. They tried twice and failed twice. The public sees this as more of a problem with Congress than the presidency, and the public is right. But it is also true that the President did not fully engage his persuasion game on this topic, allowing Republicans to fail miserably. Is that bad? It depends.

I have been saying for months that the only way to get a good health care bill is by letting the Republican Congress fail a few times so they become flexible (more bipartisan) later. President Trump’s potential influence over health care will grow over time as both sides look at a failing Obamacare system and don’t want to explain their failure to voters in 2018. I’m predicting we will have health care legislation before summer, but the only way to get there is by letting both the current system and Congress continue to fail. That is happening.

President Trump did sign an executive order allowing groups to organize to purchase health care insurance. That could help, but we see nothing useful from it yet.

     Grade: Incomplete (with a progress grade of D- so far)

Social Security (60% rated top priority)

Social Security is a Congressional budget issue. But President Trump promises to keep it strong. Not much happening on this topic. But a strong economy is a good foundation for having a solid safety net, and we have that going for us.

     Grade: B

Medicare (59% rated top priority)

Medicare is a Congressional budget issue. I’ve seen nothing significant from President Trump on this topic. But again, a strong economy helps here too.

     Grade: B

Poor and needy (56% rated top priority)

A growing economy is the most effective way to help the poor and needy in the long run, and things are going well on that front. But expect Republican budgets to look “mean” to this demographic.

     Grade: C

Race relations (56% rated top priority)

President Trump is an “America First” president, and that includes treating all legal citizens the same under the law. But the optics of that approach create the impression that the administration is racist for ignoring identity politics and playing hardball with illegal immigrants. In my opinion, the Trump administration has mostly fumbled this issue from the start of the campaign until now. The anti-Trump media is probably at least 60% of the problem in terms of how people feel about this topic, but you can’t blame them for hitting lots of targets in a target-rich environment.

     Grade: F

Reducing Crime (56% rated top priority)

I haven’t noticed any improvement in this area that would be related to the federal government except for a decrease in immigration and an improvement in the economy (which I assume reduces crime, but maybe not).

     Grade: C

You might be wondering about climate change. That issue, to my surprise, is not in the top ten. Likewise, judicial nominations and several other topics I expected to be important are not in the top ten. But those omissions from the top ten probably don’t matter for this exercise because partisans would disagree on what success looks like in most of those areas. Is it a success to nominate qualified conservatives to the courts? It depends on your political affiliations. Is it a success to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord? Again, it depends on your political perspective. And that might account for why the harder-to-score issues rank outside the top ten priorities. We all know what a good economy looks like, but we would disagree on, for example, the optimal size for the military.

I submit my scorecard here as a work in progress, with probable revisions coming based on your critiques.


You might want to read the best book ever written because it also comes in an audio book.

 

 

 

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Donald Trump Can Be Stopped — Draft Kim Kardashian

With Donald Trump leading the presidential race in the Republican Party by a “huge” margin, the Democratic Party needs to get serious here and produce a world-class elite candidate who can compete down at this level.

The obvious choice is Kim Kardashian.

Kim would wrest media coverage away from Trump. On recent evenings, all three networks of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News abandoned their prime-time news programs, and instead cut away for lengthy segments to a live video feed of Trump giving speeches. Flipping channels provided no relief because they all showed the exact same thing, like a presidential address. Trump was blabbing on and on about his own magnificence without saying a single word of substance, and all three news networks remained locked onto it.

Kim could give speeches that say absolutely nothing as well, but she could deliver them in a bikini.

Now that would trump Trump.

Plus, Kim is far more qualified to be president than Trump. She is way more famous. Her reality TV show was far better than Trump’s. And Kim has 35 million followers on Twitter compared to Trump’s paltry four million followers. It’s not even close.

The presidential debates between the two would really distinguish the best candidate to lead this nation. Trump would start by asserting that Kim is not a “10.” But this would not go over very well because the voters would see that Trump just attacks opponents without any basis in reality.

Trump would then seek to impugn Kim’s moral integrity by reminding everyone that she made a sex video. Kim, however, would turn the tables on Trump and create a you’re-no-Jack-Kennedy moment that would achieve presidential debate history by challenging Trump to make his own sex video and post it online so voters would have a basis for comparing the two candidates.

Actually, this is not such a bad idea. After all, with Trump proclaiming that voters should just “trust” him that he would be a good president based upon his personality instead of having to present any specific policies, voters do need some sort of a way to assess his ability to perform.

Now, some say that the Democratic Party should just stick with its current front-runner, Hillary Clinton. But Hillary has some very big problems in this new upside-down universe. She is intelligent, experienced and accomplished. That’s not good. Hillary also has thought through many difficult issues facing this nation and she has developed smart policy positions on how she would seek to solve these issues as president. Big mistake. It’s just difficult to see what all that dull and boring stuff has to do with anything.

So the Democrats need to rise to the occasion here and kick-off a movement to draft Kim.

Trump versus Kim will be the greatest spectacle of our time. The news networks will achieve record ratings and, of course, record profits. It will be the greatest reality TV show ever.

And a sad day for democracy.

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Knicks Fans Immediately Slandered After Suspect NBA Draft Pick [Photos]

In tonight’s 2015 NBA Draft the New York Knicks went ahead and drafted Kristaps Porzingis, a talented 19-year-old 7 footer with a good jump shot but allegedly suspect defense. The latter is what the Knicks don’t need and they left point guard Emmanuel Mudiay on the board (Denver scooped him at No. 7). 

Needless to say, the slander has been swift and impeccable considering the Knicks have needed a point guard since like the start of the millennium.

Did we mention Przingis is an avid World Star watcher? Let’s get to it.



Photo: Twitter

The post Knicks Fans Immediately Slandered After Suspect NBA Draft Pick [Photos] appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.

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French Parliament Passes Draft Law To Curb Public Health Cost And Fight Unhealthy Stereotypes

PARIS (AP) — Too-thin models, too much drinking, sexy cigarette packs: France’s parliament is cracking down on all of these in a sweeping bill designed to improve public health and trim public health costs — while tackling unhealthy stereotypes along the way.

The National Assembly, parliament’s lower house, voted 311-241 on Tuesday to approve the draft law. It now goes to the Senate before a final vote back in the assembly. The Socialist-led government hopes the bill will take effect by the summer.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine, the bill’s champion, said it is “crucial to tackle the challenge of aging and the emergence of new diseases” while preserving France’s generous and highly vaunted health care system.

Here’s a look at some of the key reforms:

ANOREXIC MODELS

In a measure that could cause ripples in France’s famed fashion industry, the bill would make it a crime to use anorexic models or encourage anorexia.

It would forbid anyone with a body mass index, or BMI, below a certain level from earning money as a model. The exact level — based on height and weight — would be defined later by decree if the bill becomes law.

Any modeling agency or individual who pays a model with a BMI below the designated level would face up to six months in prison and 75,000 euros ($ 80,000) in fines if convicted.

Some 40,000 people are estimated to have anorexia in France — 90 percent of them women, according to the Health Ministry.

PLAIN CIGARETTE PACKS

The government’s plan includes a measure that would require manufacturers to package cigarettes in plain containers by May 2016. Packs would have the same shape, size, color and typeset. Brands would still be mentioned, but would be restricted to a small discreet place on the packaging.

The government believes less attractive packaging would help discourage young people from starting to smoke. Around 30 percent of French people smoke — a habit linked to some 73,000 deaths a year in France, according to official statistics.

UNDERAGE DRINKING

People who encourage minors to drink excessively could face a year behind bars and a $ 16,000 (15,000 euro) fine.

The sale to minors of products inciting people to get drunk, such as T-shirts, would be forbidden.

Touraine, the health minister, has cautioned against the ills of binge-drinking, and has used the English-language term to describe the act of excessive imbibing over a short period of time.

As many as 49,000 people die every year in France from the consequences of drinking alcohol, according to a 2013 study published in the European Journal of Public Health.

Other measures, including requiring the labeling of alcohol-related risks in advertising, were scrapped during the Assembly debate, under pressure from the conservative opposition and France’s influential wine lobby.

CHILD OBESITY

In a step that would require changes to the business model of some fast-food chains, the bill would ban free-refill soda fountains in restaurants in a move aimed at combatting obesity.

Touraine, speaking in parliament, noted that the free-refill policy was “common in other countries, … is spreading in our country and could be attractive to young people.”

SUN-BED BAN FOR MINORS

Amid concerns about skin cancer, the bill would bar tanning salons from selling sun-bed services to customers under 18 years old or to engage in advertising targeting minors.

FACILITIES FOR DRUG USERS

The bill would allow for a six-year test period in which intravenous drug users would be given access to clean needles under medical supervision and in the presence of drug counselors.

The conservative opposition — which controls the Senate — has criticized the measure as a “very bad signal” to French youth, saying it trivializes the use of drugs.

Under France’s legislative system, the National Assembly has final say in the passage of laws — so even if the Senate alters or rejects the bill, it could become law.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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CLEVELAND, OH—Following the Wildcats’ 78-39 victory over West Virginia in the Sweet 16, Kentucky sources confirmed that coach John Calipari had canceled Friday’s practice so the players could get fitted for NBA draft suits.




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Draft Day – Ivan Reitman

Ivan Reitman - Draft Day  artwork

Draft Day

Ivan Reitman

Genre: Sports

Price: $ 9.99

Rental Price: $ 0.99

Release Date: April 11, 2014


It's NFL Draft Day. A day that can change the lives of athletes and the fortunes of football teams forever. After pulling off a blockbuster trade, General Manager Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner) controls the #1 pick. Up against fan pressure, an ambitious owner (Frank Langella), and a hard-nosed coach (Denis Leary), Sonny faces the biggest decision of his life. Should he go with the consensus #1 pick or trust his instincts and risk losing it all? Also starring Jennifer Garner and Terry Crews.

© © 2014 Summit Entertainment, LLC and Odd Lot Pictures, LLC.

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