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Thread: 2017: Trump's First Year In Review

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default 2017: Trump's First Year In Review

    I had wanted to post this before 2017 wrapped up but just couldn't find the time to type it up, so I did want to make sure I posted it while 2018 was still brand new.

    As most everyone here knows, I was not the biggest fan of Trump to put it mildly.

    There was just too much in his past between being a registered Democrat, ample donations to Democrat candidates, many associations with hard core leftists (including the Clintons), published anti-gun positions, and a seeming poor grasp of the Constitution for me to have any faith in him for things to be, at best, on par with the existing status quo and the danger of, at worst, being a NYC Dem in sheep's clothing that would turn lib at the first chance. Plus his being a 70 year old man, an age not known for being one in which one typically changes their beliefs and aside from words on the campaign trail, no real evidence he even had changed. And for most of 2017, aside from the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the SCOTUS which I'd expect from any Republican nominated, it was looking like that was going to be the case.

    However, about 4 months ago, it seems like Trump has changed gears for the better. He's done things from rolling back a number of Obama's imperial regulations to things like the Keystone Pipeline, things that are actually Conservative in nature. Rich Lowry actually wrote a piece for National Review I'm going to post that summed up my thoughts decently.

    Giving a letter grade to Trump's first year, I'd have to give him a C+. He's far exceeded the admittedly low bar I had set for him but still has many areas that could use improvement.

    In the areas lacking, I'm most disappointed we've seen zero advancement of the Second Amendment. Thankfully after some serious mass casualty incidents, there hasn't been any further infringements but, we're still basically playing defense on gun rights and things are status quo right now. National reciprocity and suppressors off the NFA were/are low hanging fruit but we've seen nothing.

    The previously mentioned tax plan, while a good start, is only a bandaid. We still need our tax system overhauled with either a flat tax or NRST to have any hope of getting ourselves out of the debt hole our nation is in.

    I'd also like to see him drop the soft stance he's had on DACA which, from what I've seen is still that while he's undone the Obama decree, he'd like to see children of illegals being allowed to stay and it codified in law. There should be not a single inch given to any illegal aliens, regardless of age or how they were brought here, especially since tough talk on immigration is one of the cornerstones of what got him the Presidency.

    Social Security is still on the road to insolvency. We need the ability for younger folks to opt out so that the whole system can eventually die off.

    Get off the whole healthcare "Repeal and replace" thing, make it just "Repeal". The last thing we need is more regulation, regardless of if it is "our side's" and the healthcare system worked just fine before any of this came along.

    Something else I'd like to see him improve is his use of Twitter. A lot of people say, "He needs to shut up on Twitter," while others say, "His using Twitter allows him to take his message right to the people." Both are right. He needs to use Twitter but use it responsibly. Don't get into stupid fights with people who don't matter. Use it to push a Conservative agenda and shine the spotlight on Republicans that obstruct.

    That last part of the above goes hand in hand with my next issue - show more leadership. Be willing to strong arm obstructionist Republicans, threaten to help primary them out. Use the bully pulpit to call them out by name but then go a step further to follow through. Don't back losers like Luther Strange or Roy Moore, back actual solid Conservatives like Mo Brooks. This plays a big part in getting that promised wall built.

    I'm seeing a lot of people crowing, "Most Conservative president since Reagan!" While that could be true and still remains to be seen, that's not really saying a whole lot given who has been in office since. It's a good start but, it's got to go further. I still don't regret my primary support of Ted Cruz and I still don't think we're going to pull out of the nosedive we're in as a country but, it does seem we're back to a slower rate of descent.

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2017: Trump's First Year In Review

    Give Trump Credit Where It’s Due

    As the year ends, he is compiling a solid record of accomplishment

    December 19, 2017
    By Rich Lowry

    Republicans have tried, on and off, to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling since the 1980s. The effort has always engendered intense opposition and always been abandoned. A provision for drilling in ANWR is included in the Republican tax bill almost as an afterthought.

    Republicans took a constitutional fight against Obamacare’s individual mandate to the Supreme Court in 2012, and lost. They targeted it in their Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill earlier this year, and lost. They tried again with a last-ditch “skinny repeal” bill, and lost yet again. Repeal of the individual mandate also is included in the Republican tax bill.

    As the year ends, President Donald Trump is compiling a solid record of accomplishment. Much of it is unilateral, dependent on extensive executive actions rolling back President Barack Obama’s regulations, impressive judicial appointments, and the successful fight against ISIS overseas. The tax bill is the significant legislative achievement that heretofore had been missing.

    For much of the year, Trump’s presidency had seemed to be sound and fury signifying not much besides the welcome ascension of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court; now, it is sound and fury signifying a discernible shift of American government to the right. It’s hard to see how a conventional Republican president would have done much better, except if he had managed to get Obamacare repealed, which was always going to be a dicey proposition given the narrow Republican majority in the Senate.

    The tax cut is big — $1.5 trillion over ten years, and even more if you account for the budgetary gimmicks — and has changes that conservative economists have sought for decades, particularly the lower corporate rate (from 35 to 21 percent), the move to a territorial tax system (companies would only be taxed on their earnings in the U.S.), and the business expensing (companies can write off the full cost of new buildings and equipment). These reforms are arguably as significant on the corporate side as the Reagan reforms of 1981 were on the individual side. They stand a good chance to be enduring, too — it’s unlikely we are ever going back up to a 35 percent corporate rate or returning to a worldwide tax system.

    The administration’s deregulatory apparatus has been in full gear. The Environmental Protection Agency is unspooling the Waters of the United States and the Clean Power Plan, major Obama-era regulations. The Federal Communications Commission reversed net neutrality. The Education Department rescinded an Obama administration Title IX letter that pushed colleges into abandoning due process in sexual-assault cases.

    Obama administration rulings that occasioned fierce debates during his time in office have fallen by the wayside with barely a whimper. Obama blocked the Keystone pipeline to appease environmentalists who vociferously argued that the future of the planet was stake. Trump greenlighted it without a fuss. Obama imposed a Health and Human Services mandate that feminists portrayed as the only obstacle between women and a Handmaid’s Tale future. Trump reversed it, and contraception is still widely and easily available in America.

    If any Republican would have done much of what Trump has, three acts stand out — pulling out of the Paris accords, decertifying the Iran deal, and declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel. All three demonstrated an imperviousness to polite opinion that is one of Trump’s signature qualities.

    The president also began the process of ending DACA, the Obama amnesty for so-called DREAMers, and has re-established a baseline of immigration enforcement that has had an instant impact on illegal border crossings.

    None of this is to deny Trump’s failings. Congressional leaders often have to work around his shambolic governing style. Next year could bring a bout of protectionism, and his opposition to entitlement reform during the campaign makes it unlikely Republicans will get a handle on spending. His toxic persona could drive a Democratic wave in the 2018 midterms.

    Whatever next year brings, though, Republicans aren’t leaving this one empty-handed.

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2017: Trump's First Year In Review

    How Trump Is Rolling Back Obama's Legacy

    December 27, 2017

    President Trump spent his first year in office moving swiftly to roll back what his Democratic predecessor did in eight.

    The result: the steady unraveling of a slew of regulations and laws put in place under then-President Barack Obama, covering everything from the Internet to the environment to health care.

    Read on for a 2017 overview of what Trump has done to dismantle Obama's regulatory legacy.

    Health care

    As a presidential candidate, Trump regularly promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act – keeping in line with other Republicans. Efforts to completely overhaul the 2010 law through Congress have thus far been unsuccessful. But piece by piece, Trump has managed to dismantle some controversial Obama-era initiatives.

    • Individual mandate: Trump and Republicans used the sweeping tax reform bill passed just before Christmas to repeal a major portion of ObamaCare. The tax legislation eliminates in 2019 the penalty fee levied on Americans who do not purchase health care.
    • Contraceptive mandate: The Trump administration announced in October that it would roll back an ObamaCare mandate that required employers to provide health insurance that included certain contraceptives, such as birth control, Plan B, intrauterine devices and sterilization procedures. The White House’s decision granted further protections to nonprofit groups, higher education institutions and non-publicly traded companies that had objections to the mandate.
    • Cost-sharing reduction payments: Trump also announced in October the end to certain health care cost-sharing subsidy payments to insurers. These payments were special subsidies paid by the federal government that, in part, alleviated copays and deductibles for people with lower incomes who purchased insurance through the marketplace.
    • Insurance alternatives: Through an executive order, Trump paved the way to provide “alternatives” to health insurance by instructing the Department of Labor to expand access to “association health plans.” The order allows for some consumers to purchase insurance across state lines.


    One of Trump's biggest issues, including when he was a presidential candidate, is immigration and border security. His 2017 policy changes reflect that.

    • DACA: The Trump administration announced in September that it was phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, giving Congress only a few months to come up with – and pass – immigration reform legislation. White House officials and lawmakers are working on a deal that is expected to be revealed in January.
    • Sanctuary cities crackdown: The Trump administration has vowed to crack down on "sanctuary cities" – places that limit how much local law enforcement officers cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Trump signed an executive order in January that, in part, would strip federal grant money to these cities. So far, a federal judge has blocked the withholding of funds from sanctuary cities.


    The rollback of environmental regulations is meant to foster more development and punt certain land decisions back to states, the Trump administration has said.

    • Clean Power Plan: The Trump administration is moving toward replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced in October the administration’s intention to roll back the plan in an effort to ease regulations on coal-fired power plants. According to the EPA, the move will foster new developments of energy resources in the U.S. and reduce regulations that have curbed this kind of development.
    • Paris Climate Accord: In August, the Trump administration formally told the United Nations that the U.S. plans to pull out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement – although that did not start the official withdrawal proceedings. The State Department said that it cannot begin to officially withdraw from the agreement until November 2019.
    • Pipelines: At the beginning of his presidency, Trump signed executive orders that revived the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
    • Cutbacks to federal lands: Trump in December signed executive orders that scaled back two of Utah’s national monuments – Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase-Escalante. The move was heralded by the Trump administration as a nod to states’ rights, though environmentalists criticized the decision.


    When it comes to trade deals, Trump promised to “put America first.”

    • Trans-Pacific Partnership: Immediately after taking office, Trump signed an executive order to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Trade ministers announced in November an agreement on pushing ahead with the free-trade deal, according to the Associated Press.


    Betsy DeVos might be Trump’s most controversial Cabinet secretary, and she’s hit the ground running in her position.

    • Campus sexual assault guidelines: DeVos rescinded in September the Obama-era guidelines for colleges on how to deal with campus sexual assault investigations. In its place are temporary guidelines that she said will “treat all students fairly.” DeVos and other Republicans had been critical of the Obama administration’s approach to the campus sexual assault epidemic as they said the system denied the due process rights of those accused.
    • Transgender bathroom guidelines: The Trump administration revoked federal guidelines that allowed public school students to use restrooms and other facilities that corresponded with their gender identity. The Obama-era guidelines were rescinded in February.

    Net neutrality

    The Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines to dismantle Obama-era Internet regulations in December. Led by Ajit Pai, the Trump-appointed FCC chair, the commission moved to repeal net neutrality regulations imposed on Internet service providers (ISPs) that prevented them from favoring their own services or certain customers over those of their competitors.

    Critics argued that repealing these regulations could mean consumers would start paying more for Internet services as ISPs could begin to “bundle” services – such as certain websites or applications – and charge more based on what a person wants access to. But proponents pointed out that ISPs will still have to adhere to many other regulations and argued that this move will foster more competition that will ultimately drive down prices.

    Foreign policy

    When it comes to foreign policy, Trump’s opinions on other nations and leaders aren’t secret. Just take a look at his Twitter account to see how he feels about North Korea’s Kim Jong Un any given week. But he's moved to enact key policy changes as well.

    • Iran Deal: Trump announced in October that he planned to decertify the controversial Iran nuclear deal, leaving the future of the agreement up to Congress. The decertification does not mean that the U.S. has automatically pulled out of the agreement, but Trump did leave the door open to that possibility in the future.
    • Cuba travel restrictions: The Trump administration partially curtailed the newfound freedom Americans had in traveling to Cuba. Obama restored diplomatic relations with the Caribbean country in 2015, but the Trump administration rolled back what businesses Americans can visit in the country.

    Criminal justice and police

    While running for president, Trump promised to be a “law and order” president.

    • Criminal charging policy: Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned a directive from the previous administration that encouraged prosecutors to avoid charging certain drug offenders in a way that would leave them facing long, mandatory minimum sentences. Sessions revoked the directive in May and instructed his prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense.” The move angered civil rights groups.
    • Military equipment for police: In August, the Trump administration revived a federal program curtailed by Obama that allows for local police departments to receive surplus military equipment. Critics have long decried the “militarization” of police in America; Obama largely ended the program following concerns that armored vehicles and other military surplus gear could contribute to tensions between police and civilians.

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