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American Voters Not Aligned With Republican Ideas

April 25, 2017

The numbers from the latest NBC/WSJ poll show where the divide I wrote of yesterday about two Americas clash when it comes to issues.  The idea that Donald Trump will have any easy time finding success with his legislative agenda can be jettisoned with these poll findings.

Lets face it the public is not aligned with Republican views.  The anger and retribution felt in the last election was visible and troubling.  But when it comes to needing to be reasonable about the real matters facing us it requires a more cerebral approach taken.  The latest poll has some numbers that show where America is and what the GOP needs to be concerned about as they struggle to move forward.

1) 50% of Americans have little to no confidence that Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare will make things better, versus just 21% who have some or a great deal of confidence

2) 57% agree with the statement that free trade is good, versus 37% who think it’s bad

3) 60% believe immigration helps more than it hurts, versus 32% who think it hurts more than it helps

4) A combined 67% believe action is needed to global climate change, versus a combined 32% who disagree

5) And 57% of Americans say that the government should do more — the highest percentage here on this question dating back to 1995 — while 39% say the government is doing too many things.

Border Wall Dealing In Washington May Be Sign Of Hope

April 25, 2017

The headline in the Wisconsin State Journal this morning read “Trump backs off border wall”.   The news is in relation to the must-pass debt limit bill.  The whole idea of a border wall is silly on its face but the idea that Trump was going to take Congress along on a ride over this racist measure when the status of our national government is at stake is simply off-the-charts crazy.

That Trump is stepping back from the brink over the wall can be seen in two ways.  First–and let me be fair about this–it does show a notion of bipartisan deal-making that has been absent from this White House for the first nearly 100 days.  I am under no illusions but for the moment it is refreshing.  By stating that the border wall is not crucial is an adult and responsible thing to do when the looming closure of the federal government would spell disaster.  This is how deals get made–this is how the Washington we have all known for decades works.  And I am pleased to see it happen.

Secondly, let us also grip a political fact.  There was never going to be this funding placed in the debt limit bill.  So Trump’s concession comes as members of Congress from both parties were set to defy his wishes anyway.

When congress finds its resolve and operates in an air of compromise and when a president can show some ideological flexibility–well–movement can happen.  There may be reason to smile just a bit today that perhaps the trains can be placed back on the tracks in our government.

Nation Moving Away From Donald Trump–Minus The Usual Ones

April 24, 2017

The latest NBC/WSJ poll shows two Americas.

There are Republicans and Donald Trump’s most committed supporters on the one side and everyone else on the other side.  It really does come down to that.

In the poll, 82% of Republican respondents, 90% of self-described Trump voters, and 56% of white working-class Americans approve of Trump’s job as we approach his 100th day in office.  That will be on Saturday.

But from there it is all bad news for him.

Trump, by his lack of insight, resume, character, and knowledge of the issues has lost nearly everyone else in his first three months in the Oval Office.  He is making history for being so low in the polls at this stage and for being so highly disregarded.  The poll shows that just 7% of Democrats, 30% of independents, and 34% of college-educated whites give Trump’s job a thumbs-up. Overall, the president’s job-approval rating stands at 40%.  Mind you that is the lowest ever in the history of the NBC/WSJ for a new president.

What we are seeing should not surprise anyone.  We all knew this was what would happen.  We all knew Trump would be a failed presidency based on what he is.   This base-vs.-everyone else issue is in part is due to his lack of outreach.  He plays to angry white under-educated males than those in the middle.

None of this plays well for the nation or the complex issues that require an engaged and informed president who can lead.

Democracy’s Most Reckless Caretaker

April 23, 2017

David Remnick nailed it in The New Yorker.

With his nativist and purely transactional view of politics, he threatens to be democracy’s most reckless caretaker”: “On April 29th, Donald Trump will have occupied the Oval Office for a hundred days. For most people, the luxury of living in a relatively stable democracy is the luxury of not following politics with a nerve-racked constancy. Trump does not afford this. … The hundred-day marker is never an entirely reliable indicator of a four-year term, but it’s worth remembering that Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama were among those who came to office at a moment of national crisis and had the discipline, the preparation, and the rigor to set an entirely new course. Impulsive, egocentric, and mendacious, Trump has, in the same span, set fire to the integrity of his office.

Ben Carson Proves He Is Well…Unsuited For His Job

April 23, 2017

Who would have thought someone with no abilities would prove to be so incompetent?  The answer is everyone who knew Ben Carson.

“God is Ben Carson’s favorite subject. Brain surgery is a close second. Housing is somewhere further down the list. … Less than two months into the job, Carson still holds forth on God and neurosurgery, but his views on housing policy remain largely a mystery. While he’s making good on a promised listening tour to learn about the $48 billion agency he now leads, he’s done little public speaking about the urgent issue at hand – a lack of affordable housing.

“That’s one reason why early excitement over his nomination has given way to bewilderment and now frustration. Every policy job at the agency remains vacant, and advocates who thought Carson’s celebrity would raise awareness of affordable housing have been disappointed. President Donald Trump doused any remaining hope when he said he would slash HUD funding by 13.2 percent.”

Brutal Front Page Of Sunday Newspaper For Donald Trump

April 23, 2017

Lead story — “Trump polls at record lows … LEAST POPULAR PRESIDENT IN MODERN TIMES… Base still loyal; 73% approve of efforts to keep jobs here–It is a must read by Dan Balz and Scott Clement.

“Trump’s first months in office have produced some tangible successes. Beyond the continued enthusiasm of his most loyal supporters, a small majority of Americans see him as a strong leader. A bigger majority approves of his efforts to pressure U.S. companies to keep jobs in this country. Those who say the economy is getting better outnumber those who say it’s getting worse by the biggest margin in 15 years in Post-ABC polling. But the president’s balance sheet overall tilts toward the negative. Majorities of Americans say Trump has not accomplished much during his first months as president. Meanwhile, he shows little improvement on his temperament and honesty, and while he’s gained ground on empathy, over 6 in 10 still say he does not understand the problems of people like them.”

The president’s approval rating stands at 42 percent, the lowest recorded at this stage of a presidency dating to Dwight Eisenhower. Trump’s 53 percent disapproval rating is 14 percentage points higher than Bill Clinton’s 39 percent disapproval in April 1993, the worst before Trump. Eight years ago, then-president Barack Obama’s approval was 69 percent, his disapproval 26 percent.

The Post-ABC poll finds 43 percent of Americans said they strongly disapprove of Trump’s performance. That’s also the worst by far of any president since George H.W. Bush by more than double. In the spring of 1993, 21 percent said they strongly disapproved of Clinton’s performance.

Cultivating Memories

April 21, 2017

Here is the post from my James this morning. Touching and gentle.

              PD_0030  It’s a sunny day out this morning.  The sky is blue and from the sound of the birds in the yard, all is well.  In some ways, I suppose it is; in other ways, not so much.  My sister, Melissa, has called for the third time in as many weeks with news from home.  It hasn’t been good news.  About ten days ago, my grandmother’s brother, Arthur, passed away.  He was 86 and a longtime resident of Ohio; he had spent much of his working career as a truck driver hauling freight.  His wife, Nancy, had called Sherwood, my step-grandfather, to let us know.  Nancy and Sherwood are both 81 themselves.  Today, Melissa called to let me know that shortly after midnight, Grammy Sweet, Arthur’s older sister and my grandmother, had ended her struggle as well.  She had…

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