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President Trump’s First 100 Days: An ‘Entry-Level’ Presidency

"This man is without experience, and it's showing," said Robert Dallek, the presidential historian and author of multiple books on presidents, from Roosevelt and Truman to Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan. "Particularly in his dealings with Congress, he's been an utter failure in the sense that he's gotten nothing passed. He's issuing all sorts of executive orders, like immigration limits; they're failing. The attempt to get health care reform failed. I'd give him failing marks for his 100 days."

Despite my concerns about many of the policy positions that President Donald Trump has put forward, I still like the idea that we have a new president with new ideas, who is not afraid to shake things up. Already his ideas on many issues have gotten people talking — even if his ideas don’t necessarily agree with mine — and they are forcing people to examine their positions and put forward new ideas. For too long in our country, people have been resistant to change, to try new ideas, make government relevant to people’s lives. Sometimes we need to tear down our society, so we can rebuild it.

While his proposed cuts to the federal budget and impoundment of funds to so-called sanctuary cities will inevitably cause real pain to some individuals and organizations, it also means that states and cities will have to re-examine their spending priorities. This is not a bad thing, because government is quite bloated, and we need to get government more concerned about it’s core purposes. We need to cut government spending at all levels, and Donald Trump is forcing politicians to think about small government. Big government leads to high demand for revenue and idiotic pro-sprawl policies. Big government is a cancer on society, it saps resources from the all of society.

Donald Trump has raised the stakes, and made people not take the services they receive from government for granted. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. When the government threatens to take away your favorite park or service, more people take ownership and volunteer to make their place great. It’s time for people to stop taking all that government provides for granted.

As Robert Moses once said:

‘You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.”

Trump Is Tempting Fate On Health Care

"House Republicans introduced their health care bill, the American Health Care Act, only two weeks ago. During that relatively short interval, President Trump’s approval ratings — which were never very good — have become a little worse.

Is that just a coincidence? Could health care be Trump’s undoing when so many things haven’t been? Let’s ask a few more questions about Trump’s popularity and the GOP’s health care plan. The health care bill probably has had a drag on Trump’s numbers, but it isn’t an open-and-shut case."

Angela Merkel is now the leader of the free world, not Donald Trump

"When Barack Obama revealed that his last phone call as President was to Angela Merkel, reaffirming their alliance and friendship of the last eight years, he wasn’t just saying goodbye. He was handing over his baton. The German Chancellor isn’t just the leader of Europe, she is now the de-facto leader of the free world.

The thrice-elected, soft-spoken former scientist from East Germany, armed with a doctorate in quantum chemistry, doesn’t just carry the weight of Germany and Europe on her shoulders, but that of defending freedom and liberalism across the world.

This is not an attempt to be provocative or exaggerate for effect. Donald Trump cannot claim the mantle of “leading” the free world by default. America’s military might is not the only criteria necessary."

What do Trump’s 2005 tax returns reveal?

"It's first important to note that there are limitations: they don't show us details about his sources of income, or expenditures like charity. But they do reveal Trump did pay some taxes in 2005 — previous tax-return leaks indicated he could have written off hundreds of millions of dollars in tax bills over time. "

"We also learn that he, like many, took advantage of tax loopholes, writing off more than a hundred million dollars in business losses to lower his taxable income. That landed him at a tax rate of about 25 percent."

"One reason Trump ended up paying as much as he did in taxes in 2005 is because of the alternative minimum tax, which targets the wealthy to make sure they don’t get to write off too much and pay very little. During his campaign, Trump said he wanted to eliminate this specific tax."

I hope that soon a judge imposes a travel ban on President Donald Trump.

Judges often do that to people after they are indicted on felonies, to avoid them leaving the country and going on the lam. Somebody like the president poses a unique flight risk, because he owns properties across the world where he could hide out from justice.