“Trump is failing, and the White House is covering it up with lies” — The Washington Post, October 2017.
“Donald Trump’s first six months in office have been a spectacular failure” — The New Republic, July 2017.
“Trump is falling apart, and nobody knows what to do about it” — Salon, October 2017.
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Wow. From the sounds of things, 2017 was the year Donald J. Trump replaced alcoholic, sniveling, slavery-enabling Democrat Franklin Pierce as America’s worst president. That’s pretty bad. No wonder every media outlet not named Fox News is screaming about presidential Armageddon (or something akin to it, like, I don’t know, a fourth hour of “Morning Joe“).
What this all obscures is the fact that, love him or hate him, Donald Trump’s first year has actually been incredibly productive.
Sure, he didn’t get health care reform and we have to wait to see on the tax bill, but there are plenty of things Trump-wary conservatives can be thankful for this holiday season. One-hundred and sixty of them, in fact, compiled by the wonderful people at WND. We’re publicizing it here because we think it serves as an important rebuke to a media that thinks the president’s only accomplishment is boosting Twitter stock.
Let’s go through Trump’s actions by month, shall we?
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January: Ended the Trans Pacific Partnership via executive order: prioritized Christian refugee settlement; instituted the first version of the travel ban (which would have to be revised a few times); resumed criminal prosecution of individuals who had illegally crossed the border for the first time; expedited environmental reviews on infrastructure projects; reduced regulatory burdens on manufacturers; supported the March for Life and sending Vice President Mike Pence to attend (first VP to ever go to the pro-life march); introduced task forces within government agencies to end “job killing regulations” and thus increase “economic opportunity”; helped launch the United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau; expanded deportation priorities for those who “have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense”; signed a memorandum promising to rebuild and expand the military; ordered a hiring freeze on federal employees; signed an executive order that said for every one new regulation, two must be cut; reinstated the “Mexico City Policy” on not funding organizations that promote abortions worldwide; donated his salary; met with tech giants like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.
February:Eliminated a Dodd-Frank rule that mandated oil companies publicly disclose taxes and fees paid to other governments, saving energy companies $385 million a year; ordered a review of both Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s purview; countered Russian propaganda outlets like RT by launching American-run Russian-language broadcasters; purchased new F-35 jets at a considerably reduced price, a savings of $725 million compared to what was paid earlier in the program; refused to fill government positions he felt were unnecessary; signed three executive orders strengthening law enforcement protections; reversed the Obama administration’s policy on transgender bathrooms in public schools; rescinded an Obama administration rule that took away Second Amendment rights from certain senior citizens.
March:Signed an executive order that would review our trade deficits; condemned an anti-Israel U.N. report by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, which ended with the commission’s executive director resigning; homebuilder confidence highest in almost 12 years; Trump administration negotiated a G-20 statement that did not mention climate change nor opposed economic protectionism; signed an executive order mandating an audit of executive branch agencies.
April:Neil Gorsuch nominated and appointed to the Supreme Court; government announced illegal border crossings were down 40 percent in first month of the Trump administration and 73 percent by the president’s 100th day in office; signed an executive order expanding offshore drilling for gas and oil as well as a leasing program to develop energy resources off the coast; announced an investigation into Chinese trade policies regarding steel and aluminum exports; announced the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, which reformed visa waivers and loopholes; ordered the Department of Agriculture to examine regulations and eliminate unnecessary ones; refused to sign the G-7 statement on energy because “the other nations could not agree to include support for nuclear and fossil fuels without support for the Paris climate agreement,” thus leaving the G-7 without a joint statement; refused waivers for companies that wanted to deal with sanctions-laden Russia; the Department of Justice announced efforts to speed up illegal immigrant deportations, including announcing the hiring of 125 immigration judges within two years; announced an executive order slashing funding for sanctuary cities; announced that deportation of criminal aliens and gang members were up 38 percent over the final year of Obama’s term, with roughly 6,000 members of the ultra-violent MS-13 gang arrested in the first several months of the administration; gave Defense Secretary Mattis the authority to set troop levels in the fight against the Islamic State group, a key factor in virtually wiping out the terrorist group; the military used the “Mother of All Bombs” on the Islamic State group in Afghanistan; signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017, which authorized additional funds for private treatment for veterans more than 40 miles from a VA facility; Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of Obama-era “agreements” with local police departments which restricted their ability to fight crime; Trump ordered Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to conduct a review of education policies with an eye to returning power to states and local governments; Trump signed a “bill into law annulling a recent Obama administration regulation that would have prohibited states from discriminating in awarding Title X family planning funds based on whether a local clinic also performs abortions; the administration eliminated funding for the United Nations Population Fund, a pro-abortion agency with links to China’s one-child policy; the administration appointed Dr. Charmaine Yoest as the assistant secretary of public affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services. Yoest is a former president of Americans United for Life and replaced a Planned Parenthood advocate. Two other pro-life advocates with the Family Research Council also received appointments to key positions.
May:Visited the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia (where he signed a $110 billion arms deal with a further $350 million in the coming 10 years; further deals with American businesses were also finalized); helped strengthen alliances with Arab allies and Israel during the trip, as well, with a speech about security and regional relations to the Arab Islamic American Summit; income rose 0.4 percent in the United States in May, which beat estimates of 0.3 percent; housing sales doubled over the same period the previous year; Mexico agreed to cut back its exports of sugar to the United States, a major trade win for the United States; Trump announced his intention to renegotiate NAFTA; ordered air strikes on Syria after President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people; the number of unaccompanied child illegal immigrants entering the United States fell under 1,000 for the first time in several years; the president established a commission to investigate voter fraud; the Trump administration announced its intent to create a school choice plan states can opt into; on the National Day of Prayer, Trump signed an executive order that eliminated the Johnson Amendment, which had severe IRS restrictions on the political activities of tax-exempt religious groups; the administration expanded the Mexico City policy “to restrict funding to any international health organization that performs or gives information about abortions, expanding the amount of money affected from $600,000 to nearly $9 billion.”
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June:Approved Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL projects; inflation reduced to 1.6 percent, an eight-month low; American beef imports returned to China for the first time in 14 years; Trump announced a rollback in relations with communist Cuba, partially ending Obama’s rapprochement with the country; signed executive order increasing apprenticeship programs; expanded property rights by ending Obama’s Waters of the United States rule; Department of Homeleand Security announced new tracking system to monitor whether visitors have left the country on schedule; Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord; at Trump’s urging, NATO members increased their share of defense in the organization by a total of $10 billion; the administration implemented the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, sanctions aimed at Russian oligarchs; Trump administration implemented more sanctions against the Russians, this time on 38 persons and entities responsible for violations in the conflict with Ukraine; ICE announces that it arrested an average of 13,085 between February and June, compared to 9,134 average arrests in the last three months of the Obama administration; the DHS ended Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, which would have given 4 million parents of illegal immigrant children amnesty in the U.S.; Trump gave the Pentagon authorization to set troop levels in Afghanistan and Somalia, allowing military leaders to better assess the threat there; signed the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which established protections for whistleblowers and allowed senior officials at Veterans Affairs to fire underperforming employees more easily. Since January of 2017, 500 employees had been fired from one of Obama’s most disastrous departments and 200 more had faced suspensions. The VA also adopted a new Defense Department records system which allowed them to share information more easily with the Pentagon; a new VA hotline also became operational in June; Betsy DeVos appointed Adam Kissel, one of the most vocal critics of Title IX abuses in the Obama administration, to be deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs.
GDP grew by 2.6 percent, double the first quarter; unemployment fell from 4.8 in January to 4.4 percent; Trump signed an order that increased drilling for energy on federally owned lands; rescinded the Obama administration’s “Stream Protection Rule,” which cost the coal industry and America $81 million a year; Trump managed to get “companies such as Ford, Chrysler and Carrier Air Conditioners to manufacture and build plants in the United States,” as well as getting companies like Corning and Foxconn to make significant investments in the United States; the administration ended a program to arm “moderate” rebels in Syria, many of whom who turned out not to be so “moderate”; coalition forces pushed the Islamic State group out of the Iraqi city of Mosul; the president created the Office of American Innovation, which aims to modernize the U.S. government; Trump implemented a five-year ban on lobbying for political appointees and prohibited them from lobbying for foreign countries; the DOJ busted 400 doctors and other health care providers who were prescribing opioid drugs to addicts in what Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the “largest health-care fraud takedown operation in American history”; Sessions’ DOJ also cracked down on leaks, “pursuing three times more investigations in the first six months of the Trump administration than had been open at the end of the Obama administration.”
August:The Trump administration helped initiate a United Nations resolution that would sanction North Korea, cutting the country’s export revenue by a third; implemented sanctions on Chinese and Russian individuals and entities for doing business with the Kim regime; the Small-Business Optimism Index hit 105.3, the highest in 11 years and up 11 percent since before Trump’s election; other consumer and business confidence measures hit similar highs; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 1.3 million new jobs were created in the first 200 days of Trump’s presidency (Obama’s first 200 days saw the loss of 400 million jobs); the labor force participation rose to 62.9 percent in July, with 6 million new job openings in June; the manufacturing index was the highest in July since it was under President Reagan; Trump signed an order beginning a federal investigation of Chinese intellectual property theft; the administration announced it would aim to increase infrastructure production by reducing permit time from 10 to two years; the U.S. struck a deal to export pork to Argentina, the first time in 15 years that’s been allowed; China and Canada were fined $2 billion for illegal trade practices; DHS ended a program that allowed minors from three Central American countries to enter the U.S.; deportation orders increased by 28 percent compared to the same period in 2016; the government announced nearly all 42,000 illegal immigrants in federal prisons “either had deportation orders or were being investigated for possible deportation”; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began denying requests from companies trying to hire cheap labor for high-skilled jobs if the jobs were available in the United States and there was no reasonable explanation as to why the lower wages were necessary; the president “elevated the Department of Defense’s Cyber Command to the status of Unified Combatant Command in August, demonstrating an increased focus on cyber security”; President Trump issued an order that stopped an Obama-era order to allow transgender individuals in the military; the president gave a speech warning Pakistan about its role in supporting jihadist groups; more VA reform in the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act, which streamlined the disability benefits claims process; the administration also posted information on VA employee disciplinary action online, making it the first agency where that information is available on the internet; according to WND, Trump “signed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act in August, which provides educational benefits to veterans, service members and their family members, including tuition, fees, books, housing and other additional costs”; the president signed an executive order that streamlined the permit process for infrastructure projects, with a projected cost savings in the billions; Health and Human Services did away with one of Obama’s directives that hindered states’ abilities to implement work requirements for welfare; statistics showed 1.1 fewer Americans on food stamps during the Trump administration; the Department of Justice launched a unit specifically meant to tackle opioid prescription fraud and abuse; the DOJ also ended Operation Choke Point, an Obama initiative that discouraged banks from dealing with gun dealers.
September:Not satisfied with just Neil Gorsuch, the administration moved to fill up lower courts with constitutionalists who infuriate liberals. A livid Ron Klain, a Democrat official, said that a “massive transformation is underway in how our fundamental rights are defined by the federal judiciary” and that the president “is proving wildly successful in one respect: naming youthful conservative nominees to the federal bench in record-setting numbers”; the Commerce Department slapped a 219 percent tarriff on jets from Canada’s Bombardier in favor of Boeing, arguing that Canada and the U.K. are subsidizing the planes in violation of trade agreements; Trump started renegotiating the United States-South Korea Free Trade Agreement; the president shut down a politically motivated “climate-change advisory panel” operating under the aegis of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, arguing that it mostly just promoted Barack Obama’s talking points on climate change; the Environmental Protection Agency decided not to renew appointments for dozens of scientists on related advisory panels; household wealth hit $1.7 trillion, a new high, and property values played a significant role in this; Trump signed an executive order for “enhanced vetting” to protect against terrorist threats entering the country; Kim Jong Un backed down off a threat to conduct missile tests around Guam after Trump and his administration warned that it could result in military action; the administration also deployed THAAD, an anti-missile defense system, to South Korea; Trump signed an executive order allowing America greater leverage in going after entities that “finance and facilitate trade with North Korea” (China is most affected); China’s central bank subsequently ordered financial institutions to stop dealing with Pyongyang; Trump gave his speech to the U.N. General Assembly: “I put America first and you should do the same with your nations,” Trump said, also specifically targeting Venezuela as an example of failed socialism; Trump ended the Obama administration’s policy of Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals for illegal immigrants, although he gave Congress time to come up with a legislative solution (which is what should have been done in the first place); the Dow Jones records record highs through the first week of September, reaching 22,400 in mid-September, representing a $4 trillion growth in wealth.
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October:White House announced new drone program that will integrate the unmanned vehicles into the national airspace system, thus creating economic opportunity: the White House says they “present opportunities to enhance the safety of the American public, increase the efficiency and productivity of American industry, and create tens of thousands of new American jobs”; it’s announced that Melania Trump has cut down the number of aides on her payroll compared to Michelle Obama; the president signed an executive order directing agencies to encourage cheaper health plans by allowing competition across state lines and that are not bound by some of Obamacare’s rules and regulations; consumer optimism hit a 13-year-high; Trump announced he would not certify the Iran nuclear deal and threatened to pull out unless serious changes are made, including blocking off any paths to ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons; the Department of the Treasury, according to WND, also sanctioned “more than 25 entities and individuals involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program. The U.S. also sanctioned 16 entities and individuals that have supported Iran’s military and Revolutionary Guard Corps in the development of drones, fast attack boats and other military equipment”; the administration quit the U.N. cultural group UNESCO over its anti-Israel bias; Trump won a challenge to his travel ban in the Supreme Court; EPA Chief Scott Pruitt eliminated Obama’s Clean Power Plan; the administration submitted a 70-point immigration proposal to Congress which includes merit-based immigration and stronger borders; Attorney General Sessions, according to WND, “issued guidance to all administrative agencies and executive departments regarding religious liberty protections in federal law in keeping with Trump’s May 4 executive order. The guidance interprets existing protections for religious liberty in federal law, identifying 20 high-level principles that administrative agencies and executive departments can put to practical use to ensure the religious freedoms of Americans are lawfully protected”; the Pentagon “reprogrammed” $400 million for missile defense systems; the Trump administration expanded exemptions for Obamacare contraception mandates on religious moral grounds; the House Homeland Security Committee gave the first sign of approval to President Trump’s border wall, authorizing $10 billion in infrastructure to move it along, as well as funding for 10,000 more border agents; Trump revived the National Space Council, which had been gone for 25 years; the Office of Management and Budget issued a statement of policy to support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, making abortions after 20 weeks unlawful; the president issued a statement affirming his “strong commitment to promoting the health, well-being, and inherent dignity of all children and adults with Down syndrome”; HHS published a draft of its new strategic plan that says life begins at conception; tax reform begins.
November:Mining increased by 28.6 in second quarter and wasone of the leading contributors to American financial growth; North Korea was placed back on the list of state sponsors of terror; Attorney General Sessions announces that President Obama’s habit of issuing “guidance memos” to change federal laws will end; Trump issued a memorandum saying that there was enough oil from other nations to allow “a significant reduction in the volume of petroleum and petroleum products” from Iran; during his visit to China, Trump, according to WND, secured “trade and investment deals worth more than $250 billion were announced that are expected to create jobs for American workers, farmers and ranchers by increasing U.S. exports to China and stimulating investment in American communities”; the government released 13,000 documents related to the JFK assassination over the protests of some in the intelligence community; the president proclaimed the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution as the National Day for the Victims of Communism; guidance from the Department of Agriculture insisted that Christians who oppose same-sex marriage should not be discriminated against for their beliefs; the semiconductor company Broadcom Limited announced its moving operations from Singapore to the United States; EPA Director Scott Pruitt appointed 66 more conservative voices on three scientific committees at the agency.
December:Trump announced he will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, something that the last three U.S. presidents promised but failed to follow through on; the president also announced that the U.S. embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the Senate passed a tax reform bill that eliminates the individual mandate for Obamacare, which would effectively kill the program; the move is part of the biggest rewrite of the tax system since 1986 and will reduce rates on both businesses and individual taxpayers; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the administration will withdraw from the Global Compact on Migration, a non-binding U.N. pact that the U.S. says conflicts with its immigration laws; Trump reduced the size of several “national monuments,” which were more like land grabs by Democrat presidents, prompting much consternation among environmentalists; and to top it all off, DHS figures showed that Border Patrol arrests reached record lows and were down 25 percent from a year earlier, meaning fewer people were trying to enter our country illegally. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement also announced a massive increase in apprehensions from the previous year.
So, there you have it: 300-plus days of Donald J. Trump doing anything but “failing” and “falling apart,” all in 160(ish) ways. Alas, the collective wishes of the mainstream and liberal media for the wheels to come off the Trump train won’t come true this Christmas. It’s kind of like how Calvin used to always ask Santa for a flamethrower for himself and Hobbes to use. It’s not going to come to pass, but it’s so cute you can’t help but chuckle wistfully.
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And, after all, liberal fury is the greatest gift of all. Well, actually, an iPhone X and a Mossberg Patriot Revere would do nicely, too, but that’s not the point here.
The point is, as the last 3,500 words have demonstrated, that no matter what the media wants to say about Russia “collusion” or Trump’s tweets or the Obamacare debacle, 2017 was a darn good year for conservatives. If this is “failure” and “falling apart,” my wish for 2018 is a year where the liberal media calls Trump’s administration a “fiasco,” “a catastrophe,” and “the worst disaster since the Atari Jaguar.”
That means next year, I might have to spend 5,000 words describing every awesome thing Trump and his people have accomplished.
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