What Democrats Won’t Admit About Trump’s First 100 Days

Political consultant Douglas E. Schoen, a Democrat, writes:

One hundred days into President Trump’s administration, it is becoming evident that when considering his base, the president has been more successful than many would like to give him credit for.

There have been clear shortcomings though, which many Democratic analysts like myself have been quick to address.

President Trump has accomplished many of the campaign promises he ran on in 2016, and is currently enjoying an 84 percent approval rating among Republicans in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll. More importantly, a full 98 percent of people who voted for him in November say that they are happy with their decision.

Maintaining this level of loyal Republican support has been critical to the president’s success as his approval rating among all Americans, including Democratic voters, hovers between 40 and 50 percent.

Let’s grade President Trump’s first 100 days, with specific attention to his ability to successfully meet his campaign promises:

Click here for the grades.

Trump’s First 100 Days — Our Downhill Trajectory Has Been Stopped and Reversed

Republican Mike Kelly, who represents Pennsylvania’s 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives, writes:

Eight years ago, Charles Krauthammer assessed America’s future and famously wrote, “Decline is a choice. … Decline — or continued ascendancy — is in our hands.”

For the eight years that followed, under the administration of Barack Obama, decline was our chosen destination. Over the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, America is choosing to ascend again.

President Obama’s worldview, particularly with regard to America’s security, was puzzling, much of the time.

And his let-he-who-is-without-sin-cast-the-first-stone attitude toward radical Islamism was both logically and morally insupportable:

Think about it: 100 days ago, we had a president who actually scolded us not to “get on our high horse” when criticizing radical Islam because of actions by Christians during the Crusades and slavery.

Now, we have a president unafraid to use both his inaugural address and a primetime speech to Congress to call our enemy by its name, condemn ISIS as “a network of lawless savages,” and declare it our war’s goal to “extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.”

As President Trump put it before the election: “We will stop apologizing for America, and we will start celebrating America.”

This renewed confidence in our righteousness was felt as we dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in combat history on an ISIS cave in Afghanistan. It is why our Guantanamo Bay naval base is no longer at risk of being closed for ridiculous symbolic reasons.

Where there were apologies, there is now pride. Where there was indecision, there is now resolution. Where there was moral relativism, there is once again American exceptionalism. Instead of a lecturer as president, we now have a leader.

While there is “still much work to be done and many promises to be fulfilled — the undeniable fact is “that our trajectory of weakness has been stopped and reversed.”

Richard Dreyfuss on Free Speech at College

Actor Richard Dreyfuss appeared on Tucker Carlson’s FOX News show Friday night “to talk about his passion of American civics and political correctness on campus.”

After some back and forth, marked by the unusual spectacle — on a Tucker Carlson show — of an affable meeting of minds rather than an adversarial exchange, the segment ended with a brilliant homily by Dreyfuss:

DREYFUSS: I have withdrawn from partisan politics. I am a constitutionalist who believes that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be central and the parties must be peripheral. What’s most important for me is what you just mentioned haphazardly, we are over 30. Civics has not been taught in the American public school system since 1970. And that means everyone in Congress never studied the constitution and the bill of rights as you and I might have.

And that is a critical flaw because it’s why we were admired and respected for so long, it gives us our national identity, it tells the world who we are and why we are who we are, and without a frame that gives us values that stand behind the bill of rights, we’re just floating in the air and our sectors of society are not connected.

What’s really important is that the assumptions of the left and the right are all skewed wrong. We [haven’t found] areas of agreement and areas that we share. And we do share the notion that education accomplishes certain things. One, it turns students into citizens. And, two, it teaches students how to run the country before it’s their turn to run the country. And, three, it teaches the values of this nation.

People come from all over the world or are born into this nation without the values that we have here. That’s why they came here, to get them. And what are they? You can put them in opportunity, rise by merit, mobility, and freedom. That’s what we sell. And if you don’t want that, you’ve chosen the wrong place. And you don’t get a pass by being born here, you have to learn it. Even the Ten Commandments are not known at birth. You must learn them. And we must learn our values and if we don’t, we are fatally, fatally wounding ourselves. We will not have any way to really combat the ideas behind ISIS because we won’t know our own. And we have to.

Great stuff!

Female Genital Mutilation and What We’re Really Talking About Beneath the Weasel Words, Genital Cutting

Founder of the AHA Foundation, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, writes:

“The recent news that a grand jury in Michigan has indicted three people, including two doctors, for female genital mutilation is a welcome development.”

As an African who was subjected to FGM, now living in the West, allow me to help bridge that gap by explaining what we’re really talking about beneath the weasel words ‘genital cutting’.

There are five types of female genital mutilation performed on girls from as young as five years of age. Four of them are unarguably mutilation, and the other is designed to symbolize mutilation. I will start with the mildest.

1. The ‘nick’: The girl is held down, her legs pushed apart and a needle is used to prick her clitoris. The incision is similar to a finger prick test for diabetes, blood comes out and the girl is considered ‘cleansed’. Often there is a ritual with a little party to celebrate the procedure.

2. ‘Female circumcision’: The second method in terms of severity is often compared to male circumcision. The hood of the clitoris is cut off, in some cases the tip of the clitoris is cut off, known as clitoridectomy. In this form, an otherwise normally functioning body part is sliced off and thrown out. Disfiguring a little girl’s genitals in this way cannot rationally be considered anything but mutilation.

3. Intermediate infibulation: In the third form of FGM, as much of the clitoris as possible is dug out and removed. The inner labia are cut off and the outer labia are sewn together leaving two small holes for urination and menstruation. In places where this is done without ‘medical intervention’ girls have been known to bleed to death. After infibulation is done it is imperceptible what has taken place when the girl stands up with her legs together, but in the obstetrician’s position it is clearly visible that parts of her genitals have been removed and sewn up.

Sadly, we are only just past half way and female genital mutilation gets worse. No doubt setting out these practices in detail is disturbing but it is crucial that we speak openly about what is taking place rather than shroud it in euphemism so as not to cause offence.

4. Total infibulation: In the fourth type of FGM the clitoris and inner labia are cut off and the outer labia are cut or scraped off too, then sewn up. When the girl stands, even with her legs closed, her genitals clearly look different.

5. Vaginal fusing: In the fifth type of FGM, which is rarely discussed, all of the fourth type is done and then the inner walls of the vagina are scratched to cause bleeding and the sewing is again done. The girl’s feet are tied together in an effort to fuse the two sides of the vagina with scar tissue to close it up. Children can die undergoing this.

Donald Trump: 100 Days and the Art of the Turnaround

United States Senator David Perdue writes:

“Turnarounds are messy. Turnarounds take time. Turnarounds often break some eggs in the early stages, but a successful turnaround starts with a serious change in direction.”

In a successful turnaround, you have to be willing to take some steps that may seem unorthodox. That includes dismantling the current system and deciphering what is really necessary to survive.

President Trump signaled his willingness to significantly restructure and cut down the size of the federal government. He directed all federal agencies to identify and root out waste. He’s taken action to review overreaching federal rules — like the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. and Clean Power Plan — that are holding back our economy.

Additionally, Congress has embarked on the boldest rollback of federal regulations since Ronald Reagan by passing thirteen pieces of legislation dismantling the current regulatory regime.

And President Trump is “changing our archaic tax code to provide middle-class relief and boost our competitiveness with the rest of the world.”

Largely as a result of these efforts, we’re seeing the early signs of a potential economic turnaround. Job one is to grow the economy and create jobs, and there are clear signs that we are moving in the right direction.

Consumer confidence is higher than it’s been since 2000. Small business owners are more optimistic than they’ve been since 2007. Manufacturers are more optimistic than they’ve been in twenty years. CEO confidence is at a thirteen year high.

Equally important, America is re-engaging with our allies and others globally.

President Trump and his national security team have re-established our national priorities. They have been explicit with China, Russia, North Korea, NATO, and the United Nations. We’ve finally begun [to secure] our borders and [protect] law-abiding Americans. Decisive action has been taken to show both ISIS and Bashar Al-Assad that we will not draw red lines and then cross them.

“The reality is President Trump’s early success is a direct result of his refusal to conform to Washington as we know it.”

Ultimately, we have to develop a long-term plan for tackling our national debt crisis. That means changing Washington’s broken budget process, eliminating other redundant agencies, saving Social Security and Medicare, and getting after the real drivers of spiraling health care costs.

With this president’s leadership in his first 100 days, we are in a position for this turnaround to succeed. We have the potential to finally grow the economy and make Washington work. I know President Trump didn’t run to simply accept a broken system, and neither did I.

A ‘Major, Major Conflict With North Korea’ Is Possible

President Donald Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview Thursday that he would prefer a peaceful resolution to the dispute with North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

Nevertheless, according to Trump, “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.”

“We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult,” he said.

Trump lavished praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping for Chinese assistance in trying to rein in North Korea. The two leaders met in Florida earlier this month.

“I believe he is trying very hard. He certainly doesn’t want to see turmoil and death. He doesn’t want to see it. He is a good man. He is a very good man and I got to know him very well.

“With that being said, he loves China and he loves the people of China. I know he would like to be able to do something, perhaps it’s possible that he can’t,” Trump said.

Piers Morgan’s ‘Skin-Crawling Anathema Towards All Things Kardashian and Jenner’

On a rant second to none, Piers Morgan articulates his uncomplimentary feelings toward Kim Kardashian and family — and others:

I’m done with Kim Kardashian.

And her ghastly family.

Done. Done. DONE.

I just can’t stomach the sight or thought of any of these talentless, publicity-crazed, unctuously self-absorbed, vacuous wastrels for a single moment longer.

Not Kim, not Kendall, not Kylie, not Kourtney, not Kris, not Caitlyn — not ANY of them.

This feeling of utter, skin-crawling anathema towards all things Kardashian and Jenner has been creeping up inside my intestines for a while but it crystallised itself today in a blazing eruption of irritation and contempt.

In the words of Peter Finch’s news anchor character Howard Beale in the movie Network: ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’

Morgan says it’s “time to boot Kim Kardashian and her gigantic, surgically enhanced backside into the same obscurity from which she once crawled thanks to that infamous sex tape.”

Wow! Talk about not mincing words.

In Piers Morgan’s opinion, Kim Kardashian and “the rest of her family” are all “willingly, greedily complicit in the same ruthlessly commercial game.”

I don’t find the Kardashian machine funny or harmless any more.

It’s grown ugly; very, very ugly.

Kim Kardashian’s now selling nudity, drugs, booze and high-risk sex to the youth of the world and making hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.

Do we really want someone like her to be the role model our young daughters look up to and want to emulate?

I don’t.

Federal Judge’s Sanctuary City Ruling ‘a Huge Political Gift’ to President Trump

From Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large:

A ruling from a federal district judge invalidating President Trump’s attempt to restrict federal money for sanctuary cities is a policy setback for his Administration. But it is also a huge political gift.

There is nothing the Republican base — and the bulk of Republican elected officials — hate more than what they view as liberal judges run amok. It’s the epitome — to Republicans — of liberals trying to institute their will on a populace without ever letting people vote or have their opinions heard.

Trump, sensing political opportunity, quickly pounced, with a trio of tweets Wednesday morning blasting the decision …

Ann Coulter Still Intends to Speak in Berkeley

Despite the University of California, Berkeley having cancelled “Ann Coulter’s Thursday appearance on campus, event organizers are “pressing ahead,” regardless.

The Berkeley College Republicans’ external vice president, Naweed Tahmas, told Newsweek that “whether it’s by microphone or megaphone, she will be speaking in Berkeley.”

Tahmas, 20, worked with Bridge USA and the Young America’s Foundation earlier this year to invite Coulter, a commentator and best-selling author who’s caused controversy with her remarks on topics like immigration and President Donald Trump, to campus. The event was initially scheduled for Thursday, but the school called off the speech last week because it said it didn’t have any sufficiently secure venues available.

The decision came after a February protest in which black bloc protesters caused $100,000 worth of damage, setting fires and smashing windows, as ex-Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos prepared to speak on campus. A separate, off-campus anti-Trump rally turned violent and led to 20 arrests on April 15.

The university offered to reschedule Coulter’s talk for this fall or May 2, but organizers like Tahmas rejected the delay. In their lawsuit, student leaders argue that Berkeley is attempting to “restrict and stifle speech of conservative students whose voices fall beyond the campus political orthodoxy.”

“Of course we expected there to be some resistance,” Tahmas, a political science junior, tells Newsweek. “[What] is deeply troubling is the resistance isn’t just coming from students, it’s coming from the administration.”

The cancelling of Coulter’s speech is particularly disconcerting and downright hypocritical considering the Berkeley campus is where “the Free Speech Movement enabling students’ political self-expression was founded” back in December 1964 when “about 800 people, inspired by the civil rights movement and protesting a school ban on political activity on campus, were arrested after a sit-in at Sproul Hall.”

Tahmas says that if the university doesn’t provide a room for Ann’s speech to take place in, then “for all we know, Ann Coulter will be speaking on the Sproul steps where the Free Speech Movement started.”

That would be a fitting venue, indeed.

Update, April 26:

Ann Coulter announced earlier today that she will no longer be appearing at Berkeley. That’s because the conservative group that sponsored her speech has now withdrawn their support over concerns for her safety.

“There will be no speech,” she told Reuters. “I looked over my shoulder and my allies had joined the other team.”

“It’s a sad day for free speech,” Coulter told The New York Times. “Everyone who should believe in free speech fought against it or ran away.”

Young America’s Foundation, the group that had sponsored Coulter’s planned speech Thursday, said, “Berkeley made it impossible to hold a lecture due to the lack of assurances for protections from foreseeable violence from unrestrained leftist agitators.”

“Berkeley should be ashamed for creating this hostile atmosphere,” the group added in a statement, noting the school police’s “stand-down” policy.

‘Flynn Might Have Broken the Law’

House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings told reporters that “President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser did not properly disclose payments from Russia and may have broken the law.”

“As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else. And it appears as if he did take that money. It was inappropriate. And there are repercussions for the violation of law,” Chaffetz said.

Chaffetz and Cummings announced their findings to reporters on the Hill following a classified gathering of the committee in which they reviewed documents that Cummings described as “extremely troubling.”

“I see no data to support the notion that Gen. Flynn complied with the law,” Chaffetz said, referring to whether Flynn received permission from the Pentagon or the State Department or that he disclosed the more than $45,000 he was paid for a speech he gave to RT-TV in Russia.