It’s been another week in Trumpland. 100 days down, only 1361 more to go. I apologize for being AWOL last week, but I got thrown of by our Town Meeting earlier in the week and never seemed to be able to catch up.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday a major conflict with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute. “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview ahead of his 100th day in office on Saturday. (Reuters)
Republicans said they would push a short-term spending bill — essential to keeping the government open — through the House Friday with only GOP votes, if necessary. The brinkmanship came less than 30 hours before a midnight Friday deadline for a shutdown. At the same time, a House GOP leader said late Thursday that there would be no vote on major GOP health care legislation until at least next week. That meant that on both the budget and health care fronts, there would be no milestone victories for Trump before Saturday, his 100th day as president. (AP)
Trump’s Tax Plan
On Wednesday, Trump issued a one-page outline for changes to the tax code, pinpointing numerous changes he would make that would affect almost every American. He wants to replace the seven income tax brackets with three new ones, cut the corporate tax rate by more than 50 percent, abolish the alternative-minimum tax and estate tax, and create new incentives to simplify filing returns. (Washington Post)
NAFTA Gonna Say If We’ll Stay or We’ll Go
For much of Wednesday, the Trump administration played hardball, spreading word that it was considering the shocking step of withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Advisers to President Trump said he wanted to announce an executive order beginning the process of withdrawing from the deal at a Saturday evening rally marking his 100th day in office. The rally is being held in Harrisburg, Pa. — in the heart of a region where many people regard Nafta as a dirty word. But by the end of the night, the White House was in full retreat after the news caused panic in Washington, Ottawa and Mexico City. The president of Mexico and the prime minister of Canada both called Mr. Trump to warn against such a precipitous step. Mr. Trump said Thursday morning that he had been persuaded by their calls to focus on reworking the trade agreement.For much of Wednesday, the Trump administration played hardball, spreading word that it was considering the shocking step of withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement. (NY Times)
Flynn Was Warned
It ends up that Mike Flynn, the former national security adviser, was explicitly told in 2014 to seek approval for any payments he accepted from a foreign government, documents released on Thursday show. Nonetheless, he did not seek permission before receiving payments from foreign governments, which he then lied about. To quote Mitch McConnell, “He was warned, he was given an explanation, but nevertheless, he persisted.” (NY Times)
Trump Continues to Show Poor Judgement About Judges
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a threat to take away funds from sanctuary cities. So in a scathing late-night statement, the White House on Tuesday called the ruling an “egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.” Trump, himself, expressed frustration about the ruling Wednesday morning, tweeting: “First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities-both ridiculous rulings. See you in the Supreme Court!” (CNN)
As Always In Trumpland
There was more news than I could possibly cover in one column. I hope you all have a good week! Stay safe, stay sane, and stay strong!