Feb 28, 2017: Budget Schism | 'Most Dangerous' Man | Bush Betrayal
1. Budget Battles: Trump Treads Treacherous Territory
Trump said yesterday that he is set to introduce a budget that doesn’t cut entitlements like Medicare and Social Security and yet ups military spending by 10 percent -- or a hefty $54 billion dollars. To fiscally focused Republicans like Paul Ryan, those numbers just don’t add up. But they also don’t add up to radio conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones, who have been agitating for big tax cuts and now seem, well, a little concerned.
Until now, Jones and his website, InfoWars, have shown an almost slavish support of the President, which is why this critical article is so significant and why we have quoted it at length:
First, InfoWars acknowledged that Trump “seems to change his position on any number of items from week to week, or from day to day, or even from minute to minute.” The article then went on to note that “Trump correctly pointed out that the last 15 years of US military action in the Middle East has been an almost incomprehensible waste of money – six trillion dollars” and that money could have been spent on infrastructure.
“But then minutes later,” InfoWars said in disgust, “he seemed to forget what he just said about wasting money on militarism. He promised he would be “upgrading all of our military, all of our military, offensive, defensive, everything,” in what would be “one of the greatest military buildups in American history …. This in addition to the trillions he plans on spending to make sure the US nuclear arsenal is at the “top of the pack” in the world, as he told the press last Thursday.”
“How many times do we need to be able to blow up the world?” InfoWars asked. And “Where is the money going to come from for all this? Is the President going to raise taxes to pay for it? Is he going to make massive cuts in domestic spending?
What We’re Watching:
Trump is not the only one feeling the heat of the budget process. Red Twittersphere is becoming less friendly to the Speaker of the House on any number of other issues just as the time nears to make tough decisions. Blame for failure to repeal Obamacare is increasingly being placed on Ryan’s shoulders. Breitbart highlighted an attack by the usually obscure former Trump economic advisor Betsy McCaughey: “Speaking to radio host John Castimatidis on AM 970 in New York, McCaughey said, “If he can’t do his job as Speaker, to hold these Republicans together and get a repeal and replace bill through, somebody else should be Speaker.”
Many on Twitter backed her up. For example:
Junson Chan @realjunsonchan with 30k followers wrote:
2. Betrayal by the Bushes
Former President George W. Bush, on NBC’s “Today” show yesterday to promote a new book, expressed less than full approval of Trump’s travel ban. Asked if he was for or against the president’s policy, he said: “I am for an immigration policy that’s welcoming and that upholds the law.” The Red Media was not pleased.
The Federalist Papers complained:
During the Obama years, former President George W. Bush decided to sit quietly in his retirement, not stirring the pot with criticisms of how his successor was handling the job. Initially, he promised to retain the same approach with the Trump administration, though that may not actually be the case any more.
Laura Ingraham had Press Secretary Sean Spicer on her show to reprimand Bush for not being up on the “current landscape.”
Afterwards, the host made this remark on Twitter, which got nearly 8k likes and 3.4k retweets:
Bush’s Daughter Is Now Persona Non Grata:
No doubt Bush is not being helped with the base by his daughter Barbara Pierce Bush’s decision to headline a $20,000 dollar-a-plate Planned Parenthood event in Texas tomorrow. There is outrage.
3. Tom Perez: “Most Dangerous” Status
It didn’t take long. The Red Media began to attack Tom Perez, the former labor secretary, right after he defeated Keith Ellison on Saturday to head the troubled Democratic National Committee. The basic take is that Perez is no moderate:
In its morning newsletter yesterday, National Review excerpted from an assessment it had published of Perez last year when he was being considered as Hillary’s running mate:
"Iain Murray, the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s vice president of strategy, calls Perez ‘possibly the most dangerous person in the administration right now.’ His rewriting of U.S. labor law is probably the most fundamental attack on the free-enterprise system going on at present,” Murray says. “If he has his way, we won’t just revert to the 1930s. We’ll do things that even Franklin Roosevelt couldn’t do, like eliminate vast numbers of independent-contractor jobs and unionize those that remain.”
The conservative website American Thinker writes:
Fact is, [Perez] was just as extreme in his views, but less noisy than Ellison. Instead of Ellison's cacophony and creepy associates, Perez had an actual track record. It could be summed up as one damaging-to-democracy act after another, all in the name of advancing the Democratic Party's partisan interests. What it means is that he places party over state, same as Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez did.
Why We’re Watching:
While progressives on the Left have been vocal about their disappointment with Perez’s win, the Right makes little distinction between the “establishment” Perez and the Bernie-backed Ellison. In fact, back in early February, National Review singled out Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., as the only candidate who could potentially connect with the rural voters who backed Trump. He dropped out of the running on Saturday.
4. Poll Watch
Sometimes in the Blue Bubble, it is easy to believe that Trump is so unpopular that he is on the verge of impeachment. Here is the latest reality check as characterized by The Daily Wire:
"A new NBC/WSJ poll that had a D+5 sample found that not only was the GOP viewed more favorably than the Democratic Party, but house Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had was easily the most disliked major politician in the country, far surpassing President Trump."
Trump was slightly underwater, viewed positively by 43% of respondents, and unfavorably by 47%, but Pelosi was positively drowning, at 19%-44%.
And While We Are At It:
In France, another set of poll numbers was worth watching. The Daily Express out of the UK reports that while Le Pen is still a long shot for the second round of the election, she is gaining for round one:
The Front National leader has taken a leap in polls, with 27 per cent of voters asked saying they intend to vote for her in the first round of voting in April.
Anti-immigration Ms Le Pen has gained two per cent in the Le Figaro/LCI poll while her closest rival, centrist Emmanuel Macron, is currently garnering 25 per cent of the public’s support.
However, Mr Macron, leader of En Marche! is on Ms Le Pen’s heels as he gained four per cent of the first round vote, the poll found.