Thursday, 27 April 2017

Trump's First 100 Days


Donald Trump reaches his 100 day point at the weekend. I haven't written about him for a while and so now seems to be a natural point to do so, even if the 100 day milestone is a ridiculous and pointless one as I have pointed out before. Trump has done so too, but still seems to be going all out to do things prior to it.

That is the thing about Trump. Though he dismisses the so called fake news mainstream media he still craves their attention and praise. And his scandal  ridden incompetent administration is in dire need of a win. His wall doesn't look like getting built and the attempts to repeal Obamacare are still struggling. Trump has made various vainglorious claims about his achievements to date, but that is standard Trump. He thinks if he says things often enough people will believe them. In the case of his base support that is probably true. But it is the rest of the country he needs to worry about.

And the scandals and question marks about him and the people around him have not gone away. The investigations are continuing and so are the revelations. Carl Bernstein says that there is a cover-up going on. Trump distracted us all with his attack on Syria, praised in many media outlets and indeed on this blog. But it doesn't amount to anything more than a distraction. Indeed that is probably all it was ever supposed to be. We knew this was a possibility at the time. Now it looks more and more like that.

What are his intentions vis a vis Russia, Syria, the Middle East? What are his intentions vis a vis China and North Korea? We can all see what he is trying to do. He is trying to bluff his way to forcing North Korea to back down. Thus far it seems to be working. They have still not yet had another nuclear test. But what happens if they do? Will Trump blink or will he attack? It's quite possible that even he doesn't know yet. Maybe it depends upon what CNN, the Washington Post or the New York Times are saying about him and if they have a story about his Russia links ready to go. It is not necessarily wrong to be contemplating military action against North Korea. Something is going to have be done after all. It is risky however. And it is especially risky if the president has no strategy behind it other than attention seeking and distraction from his own dishonesty and venality.

The White House has revealed a massive tax cut program this week. This blog believes in tax cuts as being a good way to stimulate the economy and to allow people to keep more of their own money. But these cuts look reckless and poorly targeted. They will add to America's already vast deficit and debt and will likely do little for the economy. You have to wonder, did Trump run for office just so that he could give himself a tax break and to boost his business? It sounds far-fetched but given that he seems to have no real agenda on anything other than tax cuts the unthinkable suddenly becomes thinkable. If only we had access to his tax returns. Maybe we will soon. He may be forced to reveal them by Congress.

The first 100 days have seen Trump achieve little except endless controversy, much tittering at his faux pas, ignorance and boorishness and given a massive boost to the circulation of newspapers. It has also given a shot in the arm to satirists. Saturday Night Live is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Shows like John Oliver's are on a high. The late night chat shows feel they almost have to talk about Trump at least 3 nights out of 5. When they do their ratings increase and their YouTube hits go viral. We even watch them this side of the Atlantic.

Two significant anniversaries happen in the coming days. That 100 day milestone for Trump and North Korea's 85th anniversary of its foundation by the Fat Leader's grandfather. Will they mark the event by starting a war? Given what we know about both men it cannot be ruled out.

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