An Anthology of Donald J. Trump's Presidency (updated 1/13/2017)

Introduction

THIS HUB WILL BE SIMILAR TO THE ONE I WROTE about President Obama. While I didn't include his appointments and nominations because they weren't particularly controversial in the larger scheme of things (they probably were the far-Right, but not to moderates and Leftwards). I do include them here because many, if not most, of Donald Trump's nominations and appointments ARE controversial, e.g. Steve Bannon, in the full meaning of that word.

While my brief introductions of each of them may seem biased, they aren't really because what I say is how most of America perceives them. This is who a minority of voters, but majority of electoral college votes wanted; it is the latter, of course, that counts (and properly so in my opinion). With each one is a link to a news article from a more-or-less unbiased source that talks about them.

So, here we go.


(In full-disclosure, I am a liberal Republican by orientation (yes, we still exist), but registered Democrat so I can vote in primaries. I have voted for Nixon, Ford, Reagan, H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, and now Hillary Clinton. My bias is to sensible fiscal conservationism and social liberalism. This translates to a believe that the gov't has a roll in helping its citizens but shouldn't break the bank doing it. While I do not personally like Donald Trump nor most of his policies, I will take a wait-and-see attitude toward his performance as President.)

The Donor Class - "Pay to Play"

Author's note - Donald Trump, Bernie supporters. and other Clinton opponents made a very Big deal about the access donors to the Clinton Foundation gained to the State Department. I argued there as no smoking gun there. In fact there was no gun at all because what went on between donors and access to government is the NORM, at all levels of government. It only crosses the line if some government official received some type of reward that had personal value; and in Clinton's case that never happened. Another no, no is if the requester got anything of value other than access.

To further that argument, I underlined those Trump picks, or those under consideration, who made huge contributions to Trump's campaign or the Republican Party. This is unadulterated Pay-To-Play; I give you lots of money to be elected and you give me a cabinet slot or ambassadorship, plain and simple.

Having said that, and while I disagree with the practice in general, I refuse to condemn someone for doing what has been done in politics since politics became a "thing". Trump (and Clinton) is doing nothing different than EVERY president-elect before him.

Your President-Elect Donald Trump

Who Is President-Elect Trump Picking for His Cabinet?

Slated to be Donald's Trump's picks for Nomination to his cabinet.

12/16/16 - Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), co-founder of the tea party House Freedom Caucus, to be the director of the Office of Management and Budget. He will be responsible for the contents of the budgets of all federal departments except the Defense Department; although their budget is submitted through OMB.

1/13/16 - (Running into Confirmation Problems) Rex Tillerson, billionaire CEO of Exxon with a long, friendly ties to Vladimir Putin, will be nominated as Secretary of State. His politics are undetermined.

12/13/16 - Gov Rick Perry (R-TX), who has previously said he wants to eliminate the Dept of Energy, will be nominated to be Secretary of Energy. Perry has significant experience in leading large, complex political organizations given his job in Texas. But the Department of Energy is a different cup of tea given it oversees our nuclear arsenal and conducts state-of-the-art energy research (similar to DARPA in DoD). The previous two Secretaries were physicists, one a Nobel Laureate. Perry has a B.A. in animal husbandry with a 2.0 GPA. The question is, can he get a clear enough understanding of the details of his organization to effectively run it.

12/13/16 - Rep Ryan Zinke (R-MT), former decorated Navy Seal and very conservative, will be nominated for Secretary of Interior. Opposes transferring federal lands to states but also opposes many environmental regulations.

12/12/16 - Gen John Kelly (ret), another celebrated former Marine commander, to head up Homeland Security.

12/8/16 - Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment and major Trump donor, to run the Small Business Administration

12/8/16 - Andy Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., the parent company of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s burger chains, for Secretary of Labor. He has been a vocal advocate for cutting back labor regulations, opposes raising the minimum wage, and expanding overtime to low paid salaried workers. He uses sex in commercials to sell his burgers and has threatened to fire all of his fast-food employees and replace them with robots. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-labor-secretary-pick-andy-puzder-talked-about-replacing-workers-with-robots-2016-12-08

12/7/16 - Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma Attorney General, to be EPA Administrator. Pruitt is a strong climate change denier. He supports Trumps off-stated position that climate change is hoax.

12/7/16 - Lt. Gen. John F. Kelly (Ret. - USMC) to be Secretary of Homeland Security. He opposed closing Gitmo and women in combat; has strong anti-Middle East feelings and supports anti-immigrant policies.

12/7/16 - Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) as Chief of Mission to China. He has extensive ties to China and a personal friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping that dates back decades

12/3/16 - Dr. Ben Carson to head-up HUD (Department for Housing and Urban Development). Carson has no experience in government, real estate, or anything else to do with HUD. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Carson, Carson has stated he feels unqualified to hold any cabinet position

1/13/16 - (Will get needed waiver and very probable confirmation from Senate) Gen. James Mattis (Ret. - USMC) for Defense Secretary. Mattis well thought of on both sides of the aisle. He surprised Trump by telling him waterboarding, torture, was useless; that he, Mattis, could do better with a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers. Will need waiver from Congress because he is within 7 years of retirement from the military.

11/29/16 - Elaine Chao, wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell, to be Secretary of Transportation, a position she held under President G. H. Bush. She was also Secretary of Labor under President G. W. Bush. In her tenure in these jobs did not necessarily go smoothly. Her in between time was spent her time being on many corporate boards and a fellow to far-right institutes such as the Heritage Foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elaine_Cha

11/29/16 - Wilbur Ross, a Republican billionaire from investing and a generous contributor to the Trump campaign, for Commerce Secretary. Ross is known as the "King of Bankruptcy" for his penchant of buying distressed businesses and successfully, but not always, turning them around; he is also a leveraged buyouts specialist.

11/29/16 - Steve Mnuchin, of IndyMac and OneWest fame (subprime lenders who spectacularly failed during the lead-up to the Great Recession of 2008), is rumored to be the favorite for Secretary of Treasury. Mnuchin was a major fundraiser for Trump.

11/28/16 - Rep Tom Price (R-GA), a long time critic of Obamacare and is one of a couple of Rs that have come up with a partial replacement, to oversee the demise of Obamacare, as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

11/25/16 - Chose Don McGahn to be White House Counsel. He has deep roots to D.C., was Chairman of the FEC, and counsel to the National Republican Congressional Committee where he worked to loosen campaign finance rules and laws.

11/25/16 - Chose K.T. MacFarland to be his Deputy National Security Adviser. She is well qualified from previous experience on Henry Kissinger's National Security Staff and other White House and Defense Department jobs. She once ran for Republican Senator for New York, but lost. (The person who beat her lost handily to Hillary Clinton.)

11/24/16 - Betsy DeVos, a top Republican donor, as Secretary of Education. She lobby's for charter schools, school vouchers, and deregulation at federal and state levels the oversight of charter school programs. Devos also wants to bring "God to Education". She has many ties to organizations and PACs that promote vouchers and charter schools. Devos has been dedicated to all things education for most of her life but has never been an educator. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betsy_DeVos

11/23/16 - Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) to be the US Ambassador to the United Nations. Haley appears to be a reform-minded (in the old meaning of the word), reasonable, yet strong Conservative voice in the GOP. Haley and Trump traded a few insults during his campaign. Haley has virtually no foreign policy experience. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikki_Haley

11/18/16 - Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), an extreme conservative who is known to be anti-immigration, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT, to be Attorney General. Sessions has extensive experience in this area but, because of his background of being unsupportive of minorities, his appointment to a Federal judgeship was denied by the Republican Senate in 1986. His views have not changed, based on statements he has made, in the subsequent 30 years. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/19/us/politics/jeff-sessions-donald-trump-attorney-general.html

11/17/16 - Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), House Freedom Caucus member, to be Director of the CIA. Known to be very pro-large scale surveillance, pro-"enhanced interrogation techniques (torture), anti-Muslim, and anti-Iraq Nuclear deal. He has no known experience in intelligence beyond being on the House Intelligence Committe http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/trump-taps-kansas-congressman-mike-pompeo-cia/

11/17/16 - Appointed firebrand Lt General Michael Flynn (Ret) to highest level security post that doesn't require Senate confirmation, the National Security Adviser. He is an extreme Islamaphobist and has a history of a very abrasive management style. In fact, he lost his position as Director of DIA partly because of his abrasive style. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/us/politics/michael-flynn-national-security-adviser-donald-trump.html?_r=0 Flynn may need waiver from Congress because he is within 7 years of retirement from the military.

11/13/16 - President-elect Trump appointed a firebrand, alt-Right Conservative, Steve Bannon, as his special adviser to share power with his Chief Adviser. Bannon has no governmental experience. http://www.dailywire.com/news/8441/i-know-trumps-new-campaign-chairman-steve-bannon-ben-shapiro

11/13/16 - President-elect Trump appointed former RNC Chairman Reince Priebus as his Chief of Staff. Priebus is the establishment-type to counter the anti-establishment Bannon.'s scorched earth methods. Priebus has a lot of political experience.

Demographics of Donald Trump's Cabinet Picks

NOMINEE or APPOINTEE
POSITION
POLITICIAN
REGION
POLITICS
WEALTH
LOBBYIST RELATED
BACKGROUND
COMMENTS
Dr. Ben Carson
HUD Secratary
No
 
Very Conservative
 
No
Celebrated Neurosurgen
No experience in gov't or politics
Betsy DeVos
Secretary of Education
No
 
Conservative
$5.1 Billion
Yes
Business woman
Advocate of Vouchers, Charter Schools and Christian Causes.
Elaine Chao
Dept of Transpotion Secretary
No
Mid-Atlantic
Conservative
Unknown
No
Sec Labor under Bush 43 & Sec DOT under Bush 41
Her service in cabinet position is checkered
Mick Mulvaney
Director OMB
Yes
South
Tea Party
Unknown
No
Anti-Trust lawyer, 2-term congressman
Co-founded House Freedom Caucus
Rex Tillerson
Secretary of State
No
 
Unknown
$150 Million
Yes
Businessman with no gov't experience
Deep ties with Russia
Rick Perry
Secretary of Energy
Yes
South
Conservative
 
No
Former Gov of TX, much gov't exp
Advocates elimination of Dept of Energy
Ryan Zinke
Secretary of Interior
Yes
Northwest
Conservative
 
No
Former Navy Seal and 1st term Representative
 
Steven Mnuchin
Treasury Secretary
No
NorthEast
Conservative
$40 Million
No
Investment Banker, Film Producer
Major Fund Raiser for Trump
Tom Price
HHS Secretary
Yes
South
Tea Party
Unknown
No
Physician & Representative
Anti-ACA, Choice, Gay Rights & Pro-Gun
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wilbur Ross
Commerce Secretary
No
NorthEast
Republican (former D)
$2.4 Billion
Yes
Specialty - Leveraged Buyouts & Distressed Businesses
Helped Trump out in bankruptcy
TABLE 1

DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY #1

Politically Speaking: Where do you place yourself on the Political Spectrum?

See results without voting

Donald Trump Lays Out His First 100-Day Plan

Donald Trump's First 100-Day Plan

PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP HAS LAID OUT in a the broad strokes of what he intends to do in his first 100 days in office. They are, in no particular order:

  • Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
  • Cancel restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal; which means kill President Obama's Clean Power Plan which is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32% by 2030
  • In order to reduce regulations on business he wants to eliminate two regulations for every one created
  • Direct the Department of Defense to develop a compreensive plan to protect vital American infrastructure from cyber and all other attacks
  • Begin investigating all abuses of the American visa system
  • Prohibit Executive branch officials from becoming lobbyists for five years after they leave so that they can't enrich themselves from government service

How Is President-Elect Doing?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chart 1 - GDP (2009$) SINCE 2006Chart 2 - Employment Numbers (000) From 2006 to 2020Chart 3 - Unemployment and Participation Rates (1981 - 2020)Chart 4 - Uninsured Rates (1999 - 2020)Chart 5 - DOW Jones Average (2009 - 2020)Chart 6 - Manufacturing Jobs (1996 - 2020)Chart 7 - Confidence Index (1996 - 2020)Chart 8 - Food Stamp Use (1996 - 2020)
Chart 1 - GDP (2009$) SINCE 2006
Chart 1 - GDP (2009$) SINCE 2006 | Source
Chart 2 - Employment Numbers (000) From 2006 to 2020
Chart 2 - Employment Numbers (000) From 2006 to 2020 | Source
Chart 3 - Unemployment and Participation Rates (1981 - 2020)
Chart 3 - Unemployment and Participation Rates (1981 - 2020) | Source
Chart 4 - Uninsured Rates (1999 - 2020)
Chart 4 - Uninsured Rates (1999 - 2020) | Source
Chart 5 - DOW Jones Average (2009 - 2020)
Chart 5 - DOW Jones Average (2009 - 2020) | Source
Chart 6 - Manufacturing Jobs (1996 - 2020)
Chart 6 - Manufacturing Jobs (1996 - 2020) | Source
Chart 7 - Confidence Index (1996 - 2020)
Chart 7 - Confidence Index (1996 - 2020) | Source
Chart 8 - Food Stamp Use (1996 - 2020)
Chart 8 - Food Stamp Use (1996 - 2020) | Source

Trump By The Numbers

GDP (000 2009$) -

Once the Great 2008 Recession passed in 2010 GDP under President Obama quickly improved, passing President Bush's record by Q4 2010; and has continued to grow ever since. President Obama ended the year (3Q 2016) with a very strong 3.5% annualized growth. (Over all, Obama achieved 2% annual growth, not bad given the GOP 8 year effort to destroy his presidency.)

EMPLOYMENT NUMBERS (000) -

This confusing chart shows each part of the employment picture (except the unemployment rate which is in the next chart).

  1. Size of the Civilian Labor Force
  2. Number of people with Jobs
  3. Number of Full-Time Employees
  4. Number of Not in Labor Force (retired persons, students, those taking care of children or other family members, and others who are neither working nor seeking work)
  5. Number of Part-Time Employees
  6. Number who searched for work but not counted in Unemployment numbers and are not Discouraged
  7. Number who want to work but stopped looking (Discouraged)

Depending on what side of the aisle you are on, you either believe the Unemployment Rate for what it is, a measure of change, or think it doesn't represent reality. Arrayed for your inspection are the different ways the Bureau of Labor slices and dices its numbers.

Notice that throughout President Obama's term, The Employment Level and Full-Time Employees is increasing faster than the Total Labor Force. That means the rate of employment in full-time jobs is increasing.

Notice also that Part-Time employment is flat, which means the PT rate is falling. So are the Marginally Attached (willing to work and searched sometime in the last year, but not in the last four weeks) and the subset of those who are discouraged (willing to work but stopped looking) have fallen dramatically.

Finally, the Not in Labor Force, figure is deceiving. Read the definition and you can surmise the reason for its hefty increase is the baby-boomers retiring.

In all cases where we are considering people who want to work, things have steadily improved throughout the Obama administration. Can a President Donald Trump keep it up?

Unemployment and Participation Rates -

The Unemployment Rate is the one published by the Labor Department and has been trending lower over the last 6.5 years. The Participation Rate, a figure wrongly used to deprecate President Obama because it kept falling. In fact, it only fell throughout the Bush administrations and the aftermath of the Great 2008 Recession, Once people understood the economy was going to continue to recover, the beginning of 2015, the rate stopped decreasing and finally began a journey upward.

Uninsured Rate -

President Obama's major promise to reduce the number of Americans without health insurance from its high of 40 million folks. It is now down to about 20 million. Can a President Trump keep it that way?

DOW Jones Average -

An often leading indicator of where the economy is going is the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It was decimated during the Great 2008 Recession. Soon after the announcement of President Obama's Stimulus Program it reversed course and hasn't stopped growing - about 1560 points per year. It stopped growing with the on-set of the Presidential election, began declining when Donald Trump became the GOP nominee and then took off when he won.

Manufacturing Jobs -

One of President-elect Donald Trump's major themes, the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs; a decline he attributed to President Obama. The facts are different, as you see. The decline was entirely withing the Bush Presidency and, as so many other bad things, in the aftermath of the Great 2008 Recession. The truth is, manufacturing jobs increased throughout the Obama administration. Can Donald Trump fulfill is campaign promise of continuing to bring back the manufacturing jobs lost under Bush?

Trump's Pre-President Policy Activities

MOST PRESIDENT-ELECTS WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE SWORN IN BEFORE TAKING substantive foreign and domistic policy actions. But not Donald Trump, who has broken every rule in the book ... and proud of it; it helped him win the election after all. Here is what has taken place so far that will set the foreign policy tone for the next four years.

  • Trump picks winners and losers with his tweet "Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016" Lockheed Martin's stocked dipped 2% as a result/
  • Trump enters the nuclear arms race in this response to Vladimir Putin saying essentialy the same thing: "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016"
  • Trump attempts to change American foreign policy with "The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed....cont: https://t.co/s8rXKKZNF1 — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016" (UPDATE - Trump failed in his bid to intercede for Israel; the United States abstained from the vote)
  • Trump takes on Union Leader over Carrier jobs - http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/12/08/trump-clashes-with-union-leader-over-carrier-deal.html
  • Trump sets up call with Taiwan's President
  • Dec 4 - Trump proposes a 35% tariff http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/donald-trump-threatens-u-s-companies-latest-twitter-diatribe-n691716
  • Dec 5 - Trump takes China to task with http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-38167022
  • Dec 12 - Trump tells China he may not be bound by the decades old "One-China Policy" - https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/chinese-paper-calls-trump-as-ignorant-as-a-childafter-taiwan-comment/2016/12/12/d91fbaea-c02c-11e6-b20d-3075b273feeb_story.html?utm_term=.ba5a610b414b
  • Dec 3 - Trump talks with Taiwanese President - http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/world/asia/china-donald-trump-taiwan-twitter.html?_r=0

© 2016 My Esoteric

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Comments 12 comments

lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 8 weeks ago from Cape Cod, USA

just read pompeo is tea party guy backed by koch bros....remember, in 2010, after repubs won congress, there was welcome home party for gabby giffords? and boehner skipped it to host party to celebrate their big win...with koch bros.

lewandowski is koch bros guy, as is scott brown. brown's senate win here in mass was a surprise. turns out afp was here going door-to-door. and what did he do???his was THE vote that allowed republicans to stop banking reform the dems were trying to push through before congress went back to red.

americans for prosperity. koch bros. still at it!


peoplepower73 profile image

peoplepower73 8 weeks ago from Placentia California

Trump has surrounded himself with his loyalists and people that think like he does. This can be very dangerous for our country, because it can lead to a "Group Think" mentality. This is where everybody is in agreement with the leader and there is no outside influence to provide opposing views and balance to the issues. This is what happened with the neocons and the Bush administration. They all agreed to invade Iraq and take out Saddam Hussein. Look where that got us. He is more like a king with his court and they are afraid to cross the king.


HSchneider 8 weeks ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

I have been following and examining Trump's appointments and possible appointments and I feel exactly as you do. His choices for the most part are very scary with a sprinkling of the sane to keep us somewhat happy. We all need to continue to follow this and also his conflicting business interests. I believe he wants to turn our government into an arm of Trump Inc. Very scary. Excellent Hub as always, My Esoteric.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 8 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

LoveMyChris - I agree with your sentiments but the Kock's are that omnipotent, close, but not totally. The Koch's hated Trump and did not have anything to do with him. Scott is not a Libertarian, just a sort of moderate Republican; I doubt Kochs have much to do with him either.

Tea Party? Well that is a different story since they founded the Tea Party.

PeoplePower - the Group Think took hold two years ago; that is why Trump is president.

HS - I simply cannot see how he can escape the weekly onslaught of conflict of interest scandals that will come with his presidency.


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 8 weeks ago from Cape Cod, USA

yes, like making money off foreign leaders who stay at his hotel.

he met pm of japan at his home, for god sakes! you think that was for u s of a??

and this business of his daughter and son in law at all his meetings....oh no. no one elected them!


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 8 weeks ago from Cape Cod, USA

according to the Hill, trump advisor says mitt romney met with trump so he could "kiss his ring"

(pause)


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 8 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Romney seems to be up for Sec State. Personally, I like Romney, but I am not so hot on his politics. Nevertheless, take away running for President, he is essentially a moderate Republican and based on his history, would probably do very well in that position; better than any other person might chose.

One of Trump's many downfalls as President will be an unrelenting avalanche of conflict of interests; it could very well lead to impeachment.


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 8 weeks ago from Cape Cod, USA

romney would set a good example. but i cant believe hes a serious choice, based on their disparate views on putin....unless romney agreed to change his.

and, is anyone going to mention that meeting in washington, ending with this group saying "hail trump", and giving the hitler salute?

rise of hate attacks against minorities and muslims?

when does HE give the big race speech like obama had to do???


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 8 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

One of things Trump has said, which is driving the world crazy, is that he is going to be unpredictable. Since I don't believe any other word he says, I will have to wait to see what he does.


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 7 weeks ago from Cape Cod, USA

well, as far as im concerned, the horrible cruelty he used to get there is unforgivable, no matter what he now says or does.


jo miller profile image

jo miller 2 weeks ago from Tennessee

I don't believe there is any need to wait and see what Trump will do when President. He's given us ample evidence during the campaign and now the transition. He'll be divisive and dangerous and bad for the working class, many of whom voted for him.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 2 weeks ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I added a couple more measures of his performance to track

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