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100 Days of Trump: Tonight the President speaks to Congress, but will they listen?

On the last day of February, many are saying today is perhaps the most important one thus far in the five and a half week old presidency of Donald Trump. Tonight the president journeys to Capitol Hill to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress.

The notion of a fledgling politician like Trump speaking to such a formal and celebrated gathering must have Capitolbrought chuckles to those in the political establishment during last year’s campaign, but the voters had other ideas.

In doing so, Trump should do something he rarely does when giving speeches these days – provide a lot of particulars.

Roger L. Simon of PJ Media wrote, “If his presidency is to succeed, he must gain the cooperation of a disturbingly recalcitrant Republican Congress for his programs and this is the time to do it, to remind the skittish members what the public voted for. Soaring rhetoric, optimistic or not, the bashing of the ‘dishonest media,’ justified as that may be, and the recitation of past achievements, worthy as many may be, are all beside the point now.

“Tuesday night we must hear what his programs are -- in detail.  He must put on his wonk suit.”

Well said…or written. Simon is right – now is the time to put some meat on those policy bones.

We all know Trump doesn’t like to get bogged down with details. If there ever was a “big picture” guy, Trump is it. But nearing the halfway point of his first 100 days, people are getting anxious to hear what kinds of government changes may be in store for them.

Will Obamacare finally be repealed and if so, how will it affect my health insurance? What tax rates can we expect in the coming year? Will the U.S. be building the wall (brick and mortar or technological) and if so, when can we expect the flow of illegal immigration to abate? Will employers have new verification requirements?

Will the U.S. be ramping up its campaign against ISIS? Will NATO countries be asked to pay more?

Americans don’t need minutiae down to the nearest decimal point but we could use some round numbers that Congress will be asked to work with. Meanwhile, the Democrats will be listening to all of this and preliminarily plotting what they’ll do to try and stop it. Hopefully the Republicans will look at things a little more optimistically if Trump is able to provide the parameters.

It should not be forgotten candidate Trump delivered a number of policy speeches that were packed with specifics. As president, he should pick three or four areas and put them under a common theme tonight.

There’s evidence to suggest the public is optimistic about the future, so that should help.

Byron York of the Washington Examiner writes, “Trump's most strident supporters will no doubt call the polls fake, but the fact is, Trump's numbers are low, and they're more evidence — as if any more were needed — that there is no honeymoon for the 45th president.

“But at the same time, there are signs of optimism — not for Trump's political fortunes but for the country. If the [Wall Street] Journal numbers are correct, more Americans say they are hopeful and optimistic about the future than have said so in several years. And, at least specifically where the economy is concerned, many attribute their optimism to the presence of Trump in the Oval Office.”

In other words, Trump’s policies enjoy popular support even if some Americans don’t like him.

I’m guessing Trump will put “Making America Great Again” above his own personal ratings. The rest will come in time; for now, Trump should tell us where we’re going and if possible, suggest how we might get there.

George W. Bush is back on TV and proves the establishment still hasn’t learned

One day late in Barack Obama’s presidency a political commentator was discussing the way the media handled the past eight years and when he mentioned something like “it wasn’t difficult to cover Obama because he was scandal-free” I nearly choked on my gum.

If Obama’s presidency was “scandal-free” it’s because the media ignored the aspects that would have generated the disgrace. “Operation Fast and Furious,” anyone? Benghazi? Lies in the selling of Obamacare to the public? Hillary’s email scandal?...

I felt for sure the media’s orientation would turn 180 degrees if Trump managed to win the election – and sure enough, the day after Trump was declared the new president the media started in on him. And they haven’t let up since.

It’s sometimes hard to remember but the mainstream press ripped into George W. Bush in many of the same ways as Trump, though the former president himself doesn’t seem bitter. In fact, Bush appeared to be taking the media’s side in the Trump vs. journalists’ dispute.

Kaitlan Collins of the Daily Caller reports, “George W. Bush said he favored a welcoming immigration policy and warned that the media is ‘indispensable to democracy’ in an interview with Matt Lauer Monday that seemed to take several shots at President Trump…

“Lauer...asked Bush if he ever considered the media to be ‘the enemy of the American people.’

“’I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy,’ he said. ‘We need the media to hold people like me to account. I mean, power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.’”

Did George W. Bush just admit he abused his power?

In the same interview Bush also talked about the need to explore Trump’s connections to Russia. Looks like someone is still upset over brother Jeb’s defeat from last year…

Granted Bush has been out of office a long time and his memory might not be as sharp as it once was, but I’m guessing most conservatives recall vividly the unrelenting onslaught of media negativity towards the 43rd president. Bush didn’t accomplish much in his entire second term thanks in part to the media’s systematic picking apart of his domestic and foreign policies.

At times it seemed like vultures hungrily stripping a carcass.

Perhaps because of the media lashing he endured Bush’s approval ratings sank to “historic” lows. If you think Trump is unpopular now, just look at Bush’s numbers in the last couple years of his presidency. For those of you keeping score, politics is the only place where you can still keep your employment with a 25 percent job approval rating… at least until your term ends.

As is true with most former presidents, Bush’s favorables have shot up since he left office. The awfulness of Obama certainly helped people view Bush a little more warmly in his retirement years where he could no longer do any real harm. Add the fact G.W. Bush purposely stayed out of the public eye since he left office and absence has definitely made American hearts grow fonder.

But what of Bush’s comments on the media? Is it merely a “forgive and forget” scenario or is he correct in saying a free and independent media is “indispensable” for democracy?

A couple points. One, everyone agrees a free press is essential for a representative republic to function properly. If we don’t know what our congressmen, senators, president and bureaucracy are doing behind the marble walls of government buildings we won’t be able to make informed decisions on who gets to return to represent us next time around.

That brings me to point two. An establishment media that is so biased it cannot report fairly or objectively is not “free” at all. Numerous studies have revealed journalists as being so ideologically compromised they’re not close to fulfilling the role of government watchdog.

President Trump made headlines over the weekend for saying he’s skipping the White House Correspondents dinner this year. Naturally his critics saw it as an attack on free reporting. But what’s free about it when you’re just fostering the next generation of liberals?

Jeffrey Lord of the American Spectator wrote, “Let’s be clear. Hooray for scholarships. Hooray for ambitious college kids who want a future in journalism. But, at least per the WCHA’s own website, the winners selected by the group for 2016 seem to have been — to a person — not just young journalists in training but more to the point young liberal journalists in training. All drawn from a pool supplied by liberal universities.

“If past WHCA scholarship winners have wound up anywhere in the conservative media — at, say, the Washington Times, Glenn Beck’s the Blaze, National Review, or — gasp! — Breitbart, there is no indication. (Indeed, in the current day, one can only imagine the uproar inside the WHCA, if a scholarship winner was in any way associated with Steve Bannon’s favorite conservative site.)”

There are plenty of conservative journalists; they’re just not found in so-called “mainstream” media outlets. The Washington Post tries to pass off Jennifer Rubin and Kathleen Parker as “conservatives,” for example. The New York Times offers David Brooks. Please.

At least Fox News provides “real” liberals as commentators. Juan Williams angers people on a regular basis, I’m sure – but his ideas need to be heard. So were the late Alan Colmes’ views, though I rarely agreed with him.

That’s what a “free” media is all about and why it’s simply not found much in “mainstream” America today. If we only hear about gay rights, “social justice” and “climate change,” how can we be informed?

It’s a question the media should be posing…but the answers shouldn’t be coming from George W. Bush.

Clinton horror movie monster could be priming for a sequel in 2020

Under the “this was bound to happen” category of political inevitabilities, there are rumblings out there in Democrat circles and in the media about the Clinton clan making a comeback.

To begin with, just when you thought it was safe to venture back outside the new chairman of the Democrat Party said Hillary should run again if she feels the desire.

Kyle Feldscher of the Washington Examiner reports, “New Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez didn't rule out a Hillary Clinton run for the presidency in 2020 on Sunday.

“Perez, speaking on ABC, was asked about Clinton's continued political statements in the wake of her 2016 defeat to President Trump, including just before the vote for the new DNC chairman Saturday. He said she can run if she wants.

“’Everyone who wants to run should run,’ he said of the 2020 Democratic primary. ‘And, I'm confident we're going to have a robust field of candidates.’”

That was all he said about Hillary. Maybe Perez was just being nice to a fellow party member who was good to him. But the rest of America – including a lot of Democrats – must have been screaming at the top of their lungs…Nnnooooooooo!!!!

Like a monster in a bad B-movie horror flick, the Clintons just won’t be finished off – politically, of course. They just keep crawling back despite all the evidence in the world that at least half of the country are repulsed by them. I guess it’s not enough to get the message across that the Clinton brand was irreparably damaged years ago.

When Hillary couldn’t overcome Obama’s airy “Hope and Change” movement in 2008, a lot of people figured it would convince her to hang up any further presidential ambitions. And now that she couldn’t even overcome the supposedly-toxic Donald Trump in 2016, many others hoped the Clinton monster was finally put to rest.

But no…Hillary will be 73 in 2020. With all her health issues will she still be able to walk? Can’t you just hear the debate questions? “So, Secretary Clinton, have you sent any emails lately? And, since you lost a race everyone thought you’d had in the bag, how will you do better this time?”

Maybe daughter Chelsea can help her. It looks like she’s already trying.

Annie Karni of Politico reports, “Hillary Clinton’s devastating defeat, coupled with the rise of President Donald Trump, has coaxed out a new Chelsea: provocative, punchier, and, for virtually the first time in her life, someone angling for attention in the political fray.

“’What happened in Sweden Friday night? Did they catch the Bowling Green Massacre perpetrators?’ she tweeted on Feb. 19, taking aim at both the president and his counselor, Kellyanne Conway, for fabricating terrorist attacks. The sarcastic post was retweeted more than 41,000 times.”

The Politico puff piece included a retort from Kellyanne Conway, who replied when asked that she hadn’t even heard about Chelsea’s jab because “one of us is busy in the White House.”

Ouch.

But in thinking about it -- heck, why not Chelsea for high political office? If one bandwagon jumper could make a political career out of riding Bill’s coattails, what’s to stop another qualification/achievement-free Clinton woman from doing the same?

Whereas Hillary could at least claim policy proximity from eight years as first lady as a basis for her senate run in 2000, what would Chelsea run on?

Would she claim she’s got good political genes and has been to a lot of cool places with her mom and dad? Or, claim she’s given speeches at the Democrat convention?

This is all fun speculation at this point. Whoever the Democrats ultimately decide on will already enjoy a dedicated following of rabid leftists and brainless goodie-seekers. Even if we managed to “kill off” one of those Democrat movie monsters, there will always be plenty more waiting just off screen.

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