1. White House under siege: The Trump White House has careened from crisis to crisis in its first six months. This week’s drama circles around a new chief of staff and the announcement that subpoenas have been issued and a grand jury convened in the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections. There are also reports of heavy infighting between the different factions in the White House.
National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster has upset some Trump loyalists by firing people who were hired by deposed advisor Michael Flynn. McMaster is weathering the storm, but his recent decision to extend the security clearance of frequent Trump punching bad Susan Rice has upset the conservative media. Meanwhile, there has been little to no progress on any of the legislative parts of Trump’s agenda.
The president doubled down on his combative rhetoric last night at a rally held in West Virginia. Trump continues to call the investigation a witch hunt and downplay the accumulating evidence pointing toward collusion with Russia or some financial dirty business. All of this while the president’s approval rating is at an all time low. His support among Republicans is at 75%, but while the numbers appear solid, experts say that 75% is worrisome because when party support falls to that level it may hurt other party politicians down ballot. Trump is approaching the cut off point for productivity for new presidents. This is supposed to be the time when presidents accomplish most of their agenda. From this point forward it only gets tougher.
2. America, a land of immigrants or nah: In response to flagging support from Republicans, the Trump administration has latched on to a bill that would restructure legal immigration into the country. The new bill would create a merit based immigration system, meaning those hoping to immigrate would have to prove that they are productive, self sufficient, earners, and that they can speak English. There are other countries that rely on merit based immigration. Canada and Australia are two of them. However, one of the promises of America, as taught to every kid in grade school, is that the United States is a country of immigrants and is welcoming to those in the world seeking a better life.
Trump administration official Steven Miller made news this week when he downplayed the meaning and merit of the New Colossus poem that proclaims to the world to send their tired, downtrodden, and those yearning to be free. The poem is inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty and is seen as a mission statement of sorts for the country. The bill faces an uphill climb to become a law as it has little to no support from either party. Most believe that it will hurt the service sector of the economy and that it would radically change the way the country is perceived throughout the world.
The long-shot nature of the bill is one reason pundits believe the announcement was a bone being thrown to Trump’s base and the more nationalistic elements of the GOP. One thing is certain, Trump ran on a platform of bringing radical change to government and even if that hasn’t manifested yet, they’re damn sure floating ideas.
3. Economy and jobs booming: Unemployment is down to 4.3% and the economy added a robust 200,000 plus jobs in July. The Dow topped 20,000 for the first time ever and by all metrics Trump has positively affected the economy. Businesses are still anticipating more roll backs of regulations and a more business friendly environment.
Trump has talked about slashing the corporate tax, restructuring the tax code, and passing a major infrastructure bill. The markets are favorable to all those proposals and are positioning themselves to be ready if and when any of these actually. Crime the law of the land. Finance experts aren’t sure how long this mini boom will last because it’s built on prospecting potential as opposed to hard numbers or policies.