TRUMP GETS A GRADE OF B-PLUS
President Trump is on a 12-day tour of Asia, and he leaves behind a nation under the impression that the Trump administration has little to show after 10 months on the job. That impression, of course comes from a hostile media which routinely omits news coverage of a record-breaking stock market activity or a growing economy — concentrating instead on political spectacle, outrage and other distracting devices. Mr. Trump will be out of the country on November 8, the one-year anniversary of his victory at the polls. Democrats and progressives who are still distraught over the election plan to holler and scream in the streets to mark the moment — and you can be sure the media will be there to chronicle it all.
But in the big picture, amid the din of controversy and angst, how is Mr. Trump actually doing?
“There is never a boring moment with President Trump – he is the main attraction and rarely disappoints. From early-morning tweets to provocative statements on the campaign stump to off-the-cuff riffs at press conferences, Trump knows how to keep his critics and his supporters on their toes. Trump’s unique communication style is constantly derided by a press corps that predominately despises him, but his ability to ignore his biggest critics and continually strike the responsive chord of his core supporters on topics ranging from the national anthem to monuments to the establishment swamp creatures of both parties has allowed him to persevere,” Ford O’Connell tells Inside the Beltway.
He is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, a political analyst, and author of the book “Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery.” He has seen much.
“If Trump has fallen short in one area, it is finding a persuasive message to light a fire under the backside of the Republican-controlled Congress to move on his legislative agenda, particularly tax reform. If Trump can do that in this highly polarized political environment, his poll numbers will rise much to the dismay of his political foes. Until then, the President earns a B-plus and has some work to do,” Mr. O’Connell observes. control of the Senate. They lost control of the White House,” writes McClatchy columnist Andrew Malcolm, who points out that many familiar veteran Democratic standard bearers are in their late 70s.
“Fifty-three weeks from now, in the 2018 midterms, history and premature polls indicate Democrats may well win back majorities in Congress. But that won’t be because of anything Democrats did. It will be because of who they aren’t. They aren’t Republicans, who blew their shot at ruling the entire swamp, let alone draining it,” Mr. Malcolm says.
And a word to the GOP. The Democrats could be ahead of the game when it comes to self-diagnosis. Just arrived, it’s “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis,” a 33-page report on, well, the Democratic party in crisis. Progressive Future, a California-based nonprofit behind the surgical analysis, declares it to be “unflinching” research. Republicans curious about a potential foe in the 2018 and 2020 elections should heed it.
“We can and must learn from electoral tragedy by evaluating the policies, actions and priorities of the Democratic Party. In the wake of the November 2016 election, the Democratic National Committee chose not to do a public “autopsy.” Overall, the party’s national leadership has shown scant interest in addressing many of the key factors that led to electoral disaster. Instead, the main emphasis has been on matters that the Democratic Party and its presidential nominee had little or no control over — an approach that largely obscures the party’s role in its own defeat,” the report advises,
“Operating from a place of defensiveness and denial will not turn the party around,” the research noted, ultimately advising Democrats to embrace “revitalized progressive populism.” This may be a reinvention of the same old wheel, but it is out there, and spinning to the press. Find the report at Democraticautopsy.org taxes may keep consumers away from legal marijuana stores once the recreational retail market goes live on January 1,” writes CNN Money columnist Aaron Smith, who cites a Fitch Ratings report that is succinct indeed.
Cannabis consumers will pay a sales tax ranging from 22.25 percent to 24.25 percent, made up of a combination of state excise tax plus some additional state and local sales taxes. Local businesses will have to pay a tax ranging from 1 percent to 20 percent of gross receipts — or $1 to $50 per square foot of marijuana plants that they grow. In addition, farmers will be taxed $9.25 per ounce for flower, and $2.75 per ounce for leaves.
“The Fitch report says this combination of state and local taxes for consumers, retailers and growers could keep portions of California’s cannabis industry off the grid, where it has flourished for some time,” Mr. Smith observes.
He’s done pretty well, no matter what the press says. One political analyst gives President Trump a B+ grade after 10 months in office.