About Trump

In an overview memorandum on the most recent NBC/WSJ survey, Peter Hart wrote the following:

“Based on more than a half century of watching and analyzing public opinion ratings of U.S. presidents, I have found that personal feelings toward the president – not job ratings – tell us more about their acceptability….President Donald Trump’s first year in office can only be described as a year of personal alienation from voters.”

“The state of racism will never die, but what we cannot do is allow it to conquer us as people. The guy in control has given people and racism and negative racism, an opportunity to be out and outspoken without fear. And that’s the fearful thing for us because it’s with you, and it’s around every day, but he’s allowed people to come out and just feel confident about doing negative things…” [LeBron James, 1/15/18]

In further evidence of his attraction for authoritarian leaders, and in particular Putin, President Trump’s administration has announced that it will neither announce nor implement new sanctions against Russia. To justify this lack of action, the State Department announced that the sanctions currently in place were acting as a “deterrent” against Russian aggression and that therefore new measures will “not need to be imposed” even though it is required under the law.

This action or lack thereof is consistent with the administration’s failure to fully implement a measure that passed the Congress with large bi-partisan majorities in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 election. [The Daily Beast, 1/29/18]

How actual smart people actually talk about themselves

“If you report long enough on politics and public life, even there you will see examples of exceptional strategic, analytic, and bargaining intelligence, along with a lot of clownishness.

“Here are three traits I would report from a long trail of meeting and interviewing people who by any reckoning are very intelligent.

“They all know it

“Virtually none of them (need to) say it.

“They know what they don’t know.”
[James Fallows, 1/6/18]

Our moral authority in the world has been drastically diminished. [Matthew Dodd, ABC News]

Sam Nunberg, a former campaign adviser to President Trump, on Trump’s management style: “The misconception is that the president does not know what he does not know. In my experience, the reality is that the president knows what he does not know and does not think he needs to know.” [NYT]

“But let us not allow the fevered cries of conspiracy to distract us from the chilling fact: We live, for now, in a country whose president chafes at the independence of the Justice Department. To Trump, this is not a feature, but a bug”

[Ruth Marcus, WP, 1/25/18]

Who do you trust more?

  Your favorite News Source Donald Trump
January 2018 58% 29%
October 2017 65% 26%
[NPR/PBS/Marist poll, 1/10/18]

President Trump said about the recently enacted tax cut, “It’s the largest tax cut in the history of our country.” In fact, as a percentage of the size of the economy, it is not among the top six tax cuts according to Steve Rattner on Morning Joe. [MSNBC, 12/22/17]

Here are the tax cuts based on percentage of GDP.

Reagan 1981 2.9%
Truman 1945 2.7%
Truman 1948 1.9%
Obama 2013 1.8%
Johnson 1964 1.6% (proposed by President Kennedy)
Obama 2010 1.3%
Trump 2017 1.1%