1) HEALTHCARE BILL: We know how the first round went, with Trump giving Congress an unrealistic deadline. Trump then blamed the Freedom Caucus for not signing onto an Obamacare Lite bill, one essentially written by the insurance industry. GOP negotiations are taking place on a new bill. We’ll see where that goes. It’s important that such a bill meet the Freedom Caucus’ requirements, because…
2) TAX REFORM: Pledged tax reform will essentially get nowhere unless and until a healthcare bill gets passed:
In an interview with Fox Business Network, President Donald Trump pledged “phenomenal tax reform,” but added he had “to do health care first.”
He continued, “We are saving tremendous amounts of money on health care when we get this done number one. And most importantly, actually, we are going to have great healthcare and all of that saving goes into the tax. If you don’t do that you can’t put any of the savings into the tax cuts and the tax reform.”
3) BORDER WALL: The Border Wall won’t get any funding this year:
GOP leaders are ready to burn President Trump and remove funding for the Trump border wall in order to woo Democrats in the Senate.
Republicans hold a majority in both the US House of Representatives and US Senate…
Despite President Trump’s request for more than $1 billion to fund the Mexican border wall this year, Paul Ryan is expected to exclude the money in the April spending bill.
4) SYRIA: I’ve already said enough about this “vital national security interest”.
5) NORTH KOREA: Things are cooking up over there. I am suspending judgment on this at the moment, until I learn more of the dynamics involved.
6) CHINA: As I mentioned previously, Ivanka and Kushner love China. They even have their kid learning Mandarin. Kushner is a key liaison to China for the Trump administration. Between Jared/Ivanka’s undue influence on Trump’s policies, let’s see what happens with Trump’s promise for instilling ‘fair trade’ practices with China. Kushner is a globalist. They tend to want unfettered ‘free markets’.
7) NATO: Today, Trump said “I said it was obsolete, it’s no longer obsolete.”
8) BANNON: Michael Goodwin’s brief piece in the NY Post today is essentially a harbinger of Bannon’s eventual exit, with Trump trying to take all the credit for his nationalist populist campaign message:
“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump said. “I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”
He ended by saying, “Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will.”
In “Trump Kneecaps Bannon”, Mike Allen writes:
Jonathan Swan points out that if Bannon goes, there’s no one of similar status in the White House who has the status to push the nationalist agenda to Trump – and more centrist figures are already ascendant (Jivanka, Gary Cohn). Without Bannon’s voice, this becomes a much more conventional White House.
What got Bannon in trouble: Axios AM is told that President Trump didn’t like the stories about Bannon as the Svengali, or leaks against Jared and Ivanka, or planted stories that he blamed Bannon for. It was less than 10 weeks ago that Bannon appeared on the cover of TIME as “THE GREAT MANIPULATOR,” with the inside story asking if he was “the Second Most Powerful Man in the World.”
Bannon’s mistake: He did little to build alliances and a personal retinue within the White House, while his rivals did the opposite. So he wound up isolated in “West Wing Survivor.’
The huge risk for Trump: The base (including Breitbart) remains very attached to Bannon, and would go crazy if he were axed. And does the president lose his psychic connection to the issue palette that helped put him in power?
If Bannon is forced out, I am officially off the Trump Train.
I suspect hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of other Alt-Righters will feel the same way.
Pretty much everything Trump promised in his Inaugural Address (which Bannon had a big part in writing) has now been reversed.