100 days in, Trump says he’s brought about ‘profound change’

Author: 
LAURIE KELLMAN | AP
Sun, 2017-04-30 03:00
ID: 
1493516628704842400

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania: President Donald Trump on Saturday marked his 100th day in office by claiming historic action on his agenda, renewing promises on health care and taxes and attacking the news media for misleading Americans.
In his morning radio address Trump issued an assurance: “My only allegiance is to you, our wonderful citizens.” To supporters at an evening rally in Pennsylvania, he promoted American power and patriotism while emphasizing such priorities as American manufacturing, better trade deals, a border wall with Mexico and a still-to-be defined tax cut plan.
“We are not going to let other countries take advantage of us anymore,” he said in Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. “From now on it’s going to be America first.”
Trump’s 100th day events were set in a politically important state that he won with 48 percent of the vote. It was the first time Pennsylvania had voted for a Republican presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush in 1988.
Trump visited the AMES Companies in Pennsylvania’s Cumberland County, a shovel manufacturer since 1774. With that backdrop he signed an executive order directing the Commerce Department and the US trade representative to conduct a study of US trade agreements. The goal is to determine whether America is being treated fairly by its trading partners and the 164-nation World Trade Organization.
Trump’s rally Saturday night in Harrisburg offered a familiar recapitulation of what he and aides have argued for days are administration successes, including the successful nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, his Cabinet choices and the approval of construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
But the president began the rally on a sour note, pointing out that he was not attending that night’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner and issuing a scathing attack on the news media. To cheers, he accused the news media of “fake news” and said if their job was to be honest and tell the truth, then they deserved “a big, fat failing grade.”
“I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles way from Washington’s swamp,” he said, “spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd and much better people, right?“
Meanwhile, North Korea’s missile launch Saturday signaled its continued defiance against the US, China and other nations, on which Trump tweeted: “Bad!” Asked during an interview for CBS’ “Face the Nation” if military action would follow a nuclear test by the North, Trump responded: “I don’t know. I mean, we’ll see.”
At the 100-day mark, polls show that Trump’s supporters during the campaign remain largely in his corner. Though the White House created a website touting its accomplishments of the first 100 days, Trump has tried to downplay the importance of the marker, perhaps out of recognition that many of his campaign promises have gone unfulfilled.
“It’s a false standard, 100 days,” Trump said while signing an executive order on Friday, “but I have to tell you, I don’t think anybody has done what we’ve been able to do in 100 days, so we’re very happy.”
A failed effort to overhaul President Barack Obama’s health care law behind him, Trump is turning to what he’s billed as the nation’s biggest tax cut. It apparently falls short of Reagan’s in 1981, and tax experts are skeptical that the plan would pay for itself, as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has claimed.
The economy, so far, has been Trump’s ally. Polls show that Americans feel slightly better about his job performance on that subject than his job performance overall.
“Together we are seeing that great achievements are possible when we put American people first,” Trump said in his weekly radio and Internet address. “That is why I withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. That day was a turning point for our nation. It put the countries of this world on notice that the sellout of the American worker was over.”
He said in his remarks: “In just 14 weeks, my administration has brought profound change to Washington.”
Executive orders in line to be signed Saturday would be the 31st and 32nd since Trump took office __ the most of any president in his first 100 days since World War II. During the campaign, Trump railed against Obama’s use of orders, which don’t need congressional approval.
___
Associated Press writers Jon Lemire and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.
___
Follow Kellman on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/APLaurieKellman

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The Fruits of the Arab Spring Have Bore an Open Air Slave Market in Libya

Regime change was all the rage under the Obama administration -- especially in the middle east. The pitch was MUH democracy needed to be exported to savage lands, whose populations were largely an illiterate ensemble of archaic tribes hellbent on blowing each other up over the interpretation of their fictional holy books.

Here was two time failed Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, flippantly opining about the fate of Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

Since then, Libya has been a staging ground for terrorist activities and an open hole in North Africa by which an endless stream of migrants use to enter Italy. All of the weapons stockpiled by Gaddafi were taken by 'rebels' who used them to take over large swaths of land in Syria and Iraq. Our embassy was run over, and our Ambassador killed. All of this because we wanted to 'free' the Libyan people from their misery -- which, ironically, resulted in a greater and deeper misery than they could've ever imagined.

So what has the liberal/neocon policy of regime change done for Libya lately?

Fucking slavery (please contain your outrage).

According to a report by the UN Migration Agency, Libyan rebels are capturing poor Africans seeking to enter Europe, housing them in parking lots and make-shift prisons, in order to sell them on the open market like the days of antiquity, for as little as $100.

Source: CNBC
"We talk to returning migrants every day and we hear this stories every day — stories of exploitation, psychological, physical and sexual abuse," Giuseppe Loprete, Niger-based chief of mission of the UN International Organization for Migration, told CNBC recently.

For thousands of migrants paying to be smuggled out of North Africa, Libya remains the only route to Europe, and is a "black hole" where many disappear into exploitation, he said, adding: "The situation is only getting worse."
 
The going price for kidnapped migrants ranges from $200 to $500 in Libya, according to survivors who have returned to the IOM's transit center. In the last few months, the organization has arranged for the repatriation of 1,500 migrants back to their homes, which include Nigeria, Senegal and Gambia.
 
Libya is a gateway to Italy from Africa, with an estimated 25,000 migrants having crossed the Mediterranean Sea this year. Although Italy has taken measures to stem the flow of migrants from Libya, IOM data suggest crossings are on pace to challenge the nearly 182,000 migrants who landed in Italy last year.


 
Former National Security Council officer under Obama, Eric Pelofsky laments, "It is a terrible situation thriving in the shadows created by the larger conflict in Libya."
 
Leonard Doyle, Spokesperson of the Director General at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), sums it up: "Migrants who go to Libya while trying to get to Europe, have no idea of the torture archipelago that awaits them just over the border." He grimly adds, African migrants "become commodities to be bought, sold and discarded when they have no more value."

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

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All The Plenary’s Men

Via BestEvidence,

“The King can do no wrong.”

—William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England

“When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

—Ex-President Richard Nixon, interview with David Frost

The question at bar is why the U.S. Department of Justice has failed to prosecute any too-big-to-fail banks or - more importantly - their bankers, even for admitted crimes.

It’s a crucial question, because after eight straight years of unremitting prosecutorial failure, it looks very much as if a select group of top banks can, in fact, do no wrong. If that’s the case, then our constitutional republic isn’t merely in trouble. It's dead.

A person or group of people who satisfy Blackstone’s criterion for ultimate sovereign power—the power to commit crimes with impunity—can’t exist in a nation where the law reigns supreme. And yet here we are a decade after the financial crisis began in earnest, and not one TBTF bank executive has gone to jail.

Legally, the TBTF banks are indistinguishable from the King, since the power to commit crimes with impunity swallows all other sovereign powers; such a power isn’t even supposed to exist in the U.S., and yet it does.

Moreover, since there can’t be two kings in a kingdom, the entire U.S. government, from the president on down, is just one of the King’s men under this formulation of power. The real job of the U.S. government, then, isn’t to represent the will of the people at all, it’s to do the King’s bidding. A nation that isn’t governed by law is governed by instead by a king—it’s one or the other—and the president’s inferiority to such an above-the-law sovereign was confirmed over 40 years ago with Nixon’s ouster. The president, unlike the King, answers to the law (despite Nixon's opinion).

Now, you may say that while the TBTF banks might arguably have the de facto power of the King, that’s a far cry from wielding such power formally (i.e., having de jure criminal immunity).

The reply to that objection is set forth in this film, “All the Plenary’s Men,” which is a sequel to “The Veneer of Justice in a Kingdom of Crime.”

Another objection, raised by the DOJ itself, is that it HAS prosecuted TBTF bankers, citing cases like that of Raj Rajaratnam. These cases, however, in fact reveal the DOJ acting on behalf of the criminal global banking cartel.

On that score, the DOJ’s abysmal track record is by now so extensive and so thorough that it’s possible to spot legal patterns in the DOJ’s protracted miscarriage of justice, and, as you’re about to see, those patterns are very deeply disturbing indeed. What’s been going on cuts right past a garden variety constitutional crisis like Watergate straight to a crisis of sovereignty.

The backdrop for all of this is HSBC’s exoneration in December of 2012 for laundering money for drug dealers and terrorists, about which the House Financial Services Committee issued a report in July of 2016. Whether it was due to the political circus in town at the time, or to the Republican authorship of that report (albeit without dissent), it didn’t get nearly the scrutiny it deserved.

You see, prosecutors working on the HSBC case were actually going to indict the bank, but they got overruled, and HSBC and its team of criminals skated. The story of how exactly that reversal came about reveals, if not the King himself, then certainly many of the King’s top men.

Make the coffee extra strong before viewing. Lots of ground gets covered, quickly.

And don’t mothball those pitchforks and torches just yet.

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China Manufacturing PMI (April): 51.2 (expected 51.7)

This is official manufacturing PMI, we'll get the private survey (Caixin / Markit) during the week Comes in at 51.2 - expected 51.7 - prior 51.8 The previous result (March) improved, higher prices & property-boom related demand helpimg it along. A slip this month though, and a miss on expectations.

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Peter Schiff: Damn The Deficits, Huge Tax Cuts Ahead!

Authored by Peter Schiff via Euro Pacific Capital,

Donald Trump has made good on one of his most audacious campaign promises by submitting what he describes as the biggest tax cut in U.S. History. For once, at least, this does not appear to be Trumpian braggadocio. It really may be the mother of all tax cuts. But if passed, what may this bunker buster do to the economy? While I have rarely met a tax cut I didn’t like, this one just may be more likely to send the economy into a downward spiral than it is to send up to orbit.

As I mentioned in my January commentary, Donald Trump’s big-spending, tax-cutting campaign rhetoric threatened to make him the biggest borrower in presidential history. He comes to office at a particularly vulnerable time for budget dynamics. After contracting by nearly two thirds from 2010 to 2015 (from the mind-bending $1.3 trillion to the merely enormous $438 billion), the Federal deficit started expanding again in 2016, moving up to $587 billion (Govt. Publishing Office, Office of Management & Budget (OMB). Current projections have it going up nearly every year over the next two decades. The Congressional Budget Office expects it to permanently surpass $1 trillion annually by 2021 or 2022. But these ominous forecasts were made well before anyone thought Trump had a snowball’s chance of ever becoming president. Now that he is in the office, those projections will be the floor. The ceiling is anyone’s guess.

The forecasts assume that the taxing and spending laws in place during the Obama Administration won’t change. The steep increase in projected deficits towards the end of this decade and into the next is largely driven by the retirement of the Baby Boom generation, which will lead to simultaneous increases in entitlement spending and decreases in tax revenue. This brick wall has been hiding in plain sight for decades but the can-kickers in Washington have serially failed to do anything to avert the inevitable collision.

(These forecasts also optimistically assume that the economy never again enters recession, inflation never again rears its ugly head, and that our creditors never get concerned enough about our growing debt to demand a premium for the risk of financing it.)

But now that Trump occupies the Oval office, this date with destiny may come much sooner…and she will definitely be ordering the lobster.

Before I go negative, let me give credit to Trump for picking the right taxes to cut. He kills the estate tax, an ugly beast that should have been euthanized years ago. Some may see this simply as a gift to the very rich. But legal wizards have long since devised strategies that offer almost complete protection from the death tax. None of these structures offer any real benefit to the businesses these millionaires typically own, or to the economy in general. Killing the tax will cost the government almost nothing, but it will remove tremendous impediments that have prevented family-run companies from growing over generations. He also kills the Alternative Minimum Tax, a complex parallel system of taxation that few understand but somehow manages to ensnare more and more taxpayers every year.

Most importantly, he brings down the corporate tax rate from the globally non-competitive rate of 35% to the much more manageable 15%. Taxing corporations has always been a bad way to raise revenue. Corporations, after all, don’t pay taxes, which are simply treated as a cost of doing business. The real costs are borne by customers, who must pay higher prices, and employees, who must suffer with lower wages. But high domestic corporate taxes have hamstrung U.S. corporations and greatly contributed to the decline of American manufacturing. A more competitive corporate sector will shower benefits on all manner of consumers and employees.

On the individual tax side, his decisions are much more problematic. Although Trump makes the sensible decision of compressing the seven individual tax brackets into just three (10%, 25%, and 35%), and doubles the standard personal deductions (thereby saving many people from the hassles of itemization), the headline-grabbing component of the proposals has to do with the lowering of the “pass-through” tax rate to the same 15% level that applies to corporations. This means that wealthy business owners, highly paid freelancers, and partners at law firms, medical groups, and management consultancies, will qualify for the 15% rate. This will be a huge windfall to some of the richest people in the country, who typically pay the highest marginal tax rate (currently 39%). And since the top one percent account for nearly 50% of tax revenue, this one provision promises to cost Uncle Sam plenty and to dramatically shake up the corporate landscape.

Small business owners and independent contractors will in fact receive the benefit of the 15% pass through rate. But “Mom and Pop” entrepreneurs rarely have income that is high enough to be taxed at the higher rates. These smaller earners will likely be be trading a 15% tax for a 15% tax. All the big benefits will go to the really big fish. Whereas the vast majority of Tom Cruise’s income would have been taxed at the 39% rate, it will now be taxed at just 15%. His taxes will be reduced by nearly 60% from current law. The same holds true, in lesser degree, to lawyers, doctors, and consultants making more than a few hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

Is there any reason that could justify why a hedge fund manager making a million dollars per year should pay 15%, but a full time CEO at a corporation making half that would be subject to the highest marginal rate of 35%? It’s absurd. Now I’m not a big fan of the “progressive” tax system, whereby the tax rate goes up with income. I think a “flat” tax system, in which everyone paid the same rate, would be better. (Ideally I would like to see income taxes replaced by far less onerous and intrusive consumption taxes). But I certainly don’t believe in a “regressive” tax system in which lower-earning citizens pay higher rates than those at the top. But that’s exactly what Trump is trying to do.

Given this wide disparity in tax rates, we can assume that the employment landscape will adjust dramatically. We should expect that legions of highly-paid full-time employees will start to form Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) to work freelance rather than as employees. There are few barriers that would prevent such a shift, and the growth of internet-based work scenarios will continue to break down the traditional barrier between employee and freelancer. Yes, there are some labor rules that seek to separate employees from freelancers, but those rules may be easily circumvented, especially when the reward is so great. Rather than envy the lawyer earning more and paying less, the CEOs of the country will likely incorporate and sell their services freelance to their former employers.

This shift will mean that a great many of the country’s highest earners will be paying taxes at the lowest rate. As a result, the reductions in tax revenue would likely be far greater than what is predicted in the standard modeling. 

But unlike most prior tax cuts, the Trump version does not even make any attempt to balance the cuts with corresponding cuts in government spending. If Trump’s tax cuts don’t immediately generate sustained 4% growth or more, we may be staring down the barrel of $2 to $3 trillion in annual deficits. Is this an experiment that we really want to try?

But even if the reforms can kick the economy into higher gear, thereby creating higher revenues with lower rates (The Laffer Curve), our current low interest rate environment provides significant obstacles to permit that growth to be sustained. If growth kicks up to the 4% range, the Federal Reserve will have to accelerate its rate increase schedule. Allowing rates to remain two to three percent below the growth rate could risk an overheated economy with inflation spiraling out of control. These higher rates will act as a stiff headwind to an economy that has grown increasingly dependent on ultra low rates.

But increases in rates would also cost the economy in another way. Our current bonded national debt is ready to surge past the $20 trillion mark. The Trump tax cuts will push it beyond that very quickly. If the Fed raises rates to keep pace with higher growth, then the Government will have to pay much more to finance the outstanding debt. At $20 trillion, every point of increase in interest rates will cost the government $200 billion annually. At that level, if interest rates were at 3.75%, instead of the current .75%, then the Federal Government would have to come up with about another $600 billion per year in interest payments. (That number will be much higher when the debt grows past $20 Trillion).

But it's not just Uncle Sam that is over-loaded with debt. Corporations and households would see their interest costs surge as well with rising interest rates. So what lower taxes giveth, higher interest rates will taketh away. 

Consider the housing market. Not only will higher interest rates substantially increase the cost of home ownership (through higher mortgage rates), but Trump’s tax proposals will dramatically increase the cost of ownership for those living in high tax states. Under the proposal, homeowners will no longer be able to deduct property taxes, and a doubling of the standard deduction means a much larger percentage of homeowners will not be able to deduct mortgage interest from their federal income tax. Plus, with the top tax rate reduced from 39.6% to 15%, the mortgage interest deduction will be far less valuable to those higher earners who can still take advantage of it. Higher mortgage rates and lower tax subsidies will increase the cost and decrease the appeal of home ownership. This could lead to a crash in real estate prices, especially in the high end of the market. Falling prices could wipe out what little home equity many Americas have left, and lead to another wave of foreclosures. The losses to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be significant, with the costs falling directly on the Federal government, further driving up annual deficits. 

The reality is that years of massive deficits, runaway government spending, artificially low interest rates, and three rounds of quantitative easing, have left the economy so sick that any tax cut large enough to revive it may actually kill it instead. The only silver lining to this cloud may be that the coming fiscal train wreck leaves lawmakers no choice but to slash government spending. If the real Republican agenda is to starve the beast, its success is assured.

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“It’s Just Crazy” (Again): 2-Bedroom LA House Sells 40% Above Asking

Two days ago we looked at the latest troubling development in US home price trends: a new bubble appears to be emerging in all the "usual suspect" places. As we noted on Thursday, "home prices in markets that bubbled over back in 2006/2007, like Las Vegas and San Francisco, got cut in half in 2009 but have since doubled again of their lows.  Meanwhile, markets like Denver and Dallas that didn't participate as much in the 2007 mania are now surging to all-time highs, with Dallas prices up 55% over the past 5 years."

The Wall Street Journal added that some of the home buying behaviors of consumers, like paying prices well above appraisal values and waiving home inspections, are starting to be eerily reminiscent of 2006:

In some markets, bidding wars are breaking out. Agents said some buyers are kicking in extra cash when properties don’t appraise for the asking price, and some are waiving their right to home inspections.

 

It can’t be sustained,” said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance and a former chief economist at mortgage giant Fannie Mae, referring to the frenzied buying. “It can’t go on forever.”

Other signs of overexuberance have emerged, including surging levels of licensed Realtors all chasing a quick buck.

The number of licensed Realtors has jumped by nearly 25% since 2012, hitting a nine-year high in 2016 and sitting just 9% below the peak in 2006, according to real-estate consultant John Burns. In Denver, homes are selling briskly. The median number of days that homes spent on the market declined to eight in the first three months of the year from 61 in 2012, according to Redfin. Home prices rose 8.5% in Denver over the year ended in February, according to Case-Shiller.

 

Nicki Thompson, an agent in Denver, said she recently had a listing that was on the market for two weekends at $1.2 million and she received multiple all-cash offers above the listing price. 

 

“It’s just crazy,” she said.

And for a practical example of just how crazy it truly is, take this renovated 2-bedroom, 1,948 sq. ft house first built in 1951 in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles, which was listed in mid-March for $699,000, was estimated by Redfin at $780,000, and sold yesterday for $980,888 (more than $500/sq foot) and 40% above asking, just over a month after it was first listed.

Maybe it was the house's profile "description" that unleashed the buying frenzy:

In the 1960s-80s drums played on some of the most famous pop songs known (Good Vibrations, Mrs. Robinson, A Little Less Conversation, to name a few) were built in this garage in our beloved Eagle Rock. A. F. Blaemire and his wife, Kirsten, filled this home with music and creativity for decades, and now it's ready for its next inspired owner! With freshly refinished hardwood floors and repainted interior, 5208 Monte Bonito is a blank canvas with great potential. The rooms are bright and spacious, including a downstairs recreation room perfect for a jam room, art studio, den (or all of the above!). The two-car garage has direct access to the house and an additional storage room. The back yard has plenty of space for entertaining and gardening - there is already an avocado tree, an orange tree, and a pitaya to get you started! Views of the Eagle Rock from the master bedroom, and sunset views from the front porch make this the ideal setting to call home.

Then again, maybe not.

So what do you get for just under a million in LA these days? Not much: two bedrooms, less than two bathrooms, a 2 car garage, a decorative fireplace, a rec room, and a 7,195 sq foot lot.

Here are some photos showing what a "million dollar house" looks like in the latest US housing bubble.

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Meet Danny Moses: The Frontpoint Trader Who Actually Put “The Big Short” Trade On

Authored by Patrick O'Shaughnessy via InvestorsFieldGuide.com,

My guest this week is Danny Moses, who was directly in the middle of the biggest trades in market history, chronicled by Michael Lewis in his book the Big Short.

Danny was the head trader on the Frontpoint team led by Steve Eisman, which was one of a small group of firms that figured out, in real time, the dire situation with mortgage-backed securities during the financial crisis, and how to build a portfolio to bet against the U.S. housing market.

We cover his part in the Big Short story, but also lots of other interesting ground, including the state of sell-side research and financial markets. I love conversations with traders because they live and breathe market risk. You’ll be able to see why quickly in this great conversation with Danny Moses.

Show Notes

2:57 – (first question) –  The four traits that would give someone the best odds to succeed as an analyst

7:40 – Danny’s take on his role during the financial crises, which was highlighted in ‘The Big Short.’

14:47 – Looking at the first moment that there was something wrong but that there was a way to trade against it during the crisis

17:13 – Exploring the moment when Danny had to reconcile an amazing trade against a dangerous scenario for the US economy

20:17 – What was the relationship with the other people that discovered parts of this unraveling

22:19 – Danny recounts working with Michael Lewis

24:16 – Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

24:40 – Going back to the auto lending crisis in the 1990’s

28:22 – The evolution of the sell side, what’s good about it today and what was bad about in the early 2000’s.

34:55 – Why the markets appear to be broken right now

"It's all about how you get paid... this is the worst, in aggregate, that Wall Street research has ever been, because I believe it is compromised... fundamental investing has gone by the wayside, you're better off knowing which ETFs hold this stock than what this company even does.. that's scary to me."

 

"In order for us to get back to fundamentals mattering, the market needs to have a major crash or unwind."

37:20 – How markets were much different back in the 1990’s and what made them more interesting.

40:16 – Has the information provided by the sell-side to the buy side gone down since the financial crisis because the quality of research is lower

43:24 – What was about financial services that Danny found attractive for an active strategy?

47:14 – What was the first idea where Danny was applying his filter and realized the market had it wrong.

48:11 – When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

49:01  – How did Danny think about valuation as part of the bottom up framework?

55:30 – Danny tells the story of how his friend Ira had to run and help bail out Dominque Strauss Kahn, the head of the IMF at the time.

58:30 – The Fixer

58:40 – How do you become the bail bondsmen to the stars

1:01:02 – Open: An Autobiography

1:01:25 – What is next for Danny Moses?

1:02:33 –The root of Danny’s interest in doing media.

1:04:52 – Kindest thing anyone has ever done for Danny

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“I Kept My Promise To Americans”: Trump Explains What He Did In His First 100 Days

In an article just published in the Washington Post, Donald Trump looks back at his first 100 days in office and explains, in his own words, how he "kept his promise to Americans." As we showed earlier, it is likely the case that those who origianlly voted for Trump will agree, while those who voted for Hillary, will not.

Here is Donald Trump, as posted in the WaPo.

"In my first 100 days, I kept my promise to Americans"

One hundred days ago, I took the oath of office and made a pledge: We are not merely going to transfer political power from one party to another, but instead are going to transfer that power from Washington, D.C., and give it back to the people.

In the past 100 days, I have kept that promise — and more.

Issue by issue, department by department, we are giving the people their country back. After decades of a shrinking middle class, open borders and the mass offshoring of American jobs and wealth, this government is working for the citizens of our country and no one else.

The same establishment media that concealed these problems — and profited from them — is obviously not going to tell this story. That is why we are taking our message directly to America.

We have opened the White House doors to listen, engage and act. We’ve invited in labor leaders, factory owners, police officers, farmers, veterans and Democrats, Republicans and independents.

The change began with the termination of the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a 12-nation pact that would have shipped millions more jobs to other countries.

But leaving the TPP was only the beginning. We have also launched an investigation into foreign trading abuses and taken steps to protect the production of American steel and aluminum. After years of federal contracts going to foreign bidders, we are ensuring that government agencies enforce “Buy American” rules and give preference to American companies — and that American companies hire American workers.

Crucially, to bring back our jobs, we are going to pursue a complete renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement: We’ve lost nearly a third of our manufacturing jobs in the 23 years since that terrible deal was approved.

At the center of our economic agenda, we’ve undertaken the most far-reaching effort in history to remove job-killing regulations. I’ve ordered that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated. We’ve signed a record 13 Congressional Review Act resolutions to scrap job-crushing regulations, and I’ve signed 29 pieces of legislation in total — a mark not surpassed in the first 100 days since Harry S. Truman.

Those newly enacted laws include Veterans’ Choice legislation — which became law while at the same time we’ve increased by 42 percent the number of veterans approved to see the doctor of their choosing. And we’ve provided transparency by publishing all wait times at the Veterans Affairs health system online, backed up by a new Veterans Affairs Office of Accountability.

On energy, the change has been profound. We’ve canceled restrictions on the production of oil, natural gas and clean coal.

What we’ve accomplished on immigration and criminal enforcement is nothing short of historic. After decades of unending illegal immigration and mass uncontrolled entry, we’ve turned the tide as never before — illegal border-crossings are down 73 percent. Visa processes are being reformed to substantially improve vetting and screening, and we’ve launched prototypes and bidding for the border wall to stop the scourge of drugs, human trafficking and illegal immigrants from coming into our country.

Federal law enforcement has begun a crackdown on sanctuary cities that harbor criminal aliens — because we know the first duty of government is to protect American citizens.

The Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State, and the director of national intelligence, have formed an inter-agency group for the express purpose of dismantling transnational criminal cartels. The handcuffs have been removed from our prosecutors, and they’re targeting the drug dealers and gang members who prey on our citizens — and they’re working to eradicate the violent cartel MS-13.

The change on defense has been profound as well. The Defense Department has begun to rebuild and restore our military readiness. We’ve reasserted American leadership by holding the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria accountable for its monstrous use of banned chemical weapons against helpless, innocent civilians. Our successful missile strike enforced the red line that the previous administration drew but ignored, thus restoring our credibility with our friends and our deterrence with our foes. Finally, NATO countries are starting to pay billions of dollars more since I have made clear that the United States expects all of its allies to pay their fair share.

I delivered on one of my biggest promises, appointing and confirming a new justice to the Supreme Court who will be faithful to the U.S. Constitution. This is the first time a new justice has been confirmed in the first 100 days in 136 years.

As we’ve made these changes — on the border, on our economy, on our security — confidence has soared. And a survey of manufacturing reveals record-breaking optimism in the future. Consumer confidence hit a 16-year high . Thousands of new jobs are being re-shored back to America — including jobs at Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Sprint, Intel and so many more.

We are proving that Buy and Hire American isn’t just a slogan — it’s now the policy of the U.S. government. It, along with the many other things we are doing, will Make America Great Again.

No longer will we listen to the same failed voices of the past who brought us nothing but war overseas, poverty at home and the loss of companies, jobs and our wealth to countries that have taken total advantage of the United States.

The White House is once again the People’s House. And I will do everything in my power to be the People’s President — to faithfully, loyally and proudly champion the incredible citizens who love this nation and who call this God-blessed land their home.

* * *

Separately, Trump is holding a rally in Harrisburg, PA which is expected to start at 7:30pm ET.

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EU Deletes UK from Official Map… Two Years Before Brexit

This could be the first official map produced by the European Union to exclude the UK. But it is also an inaccurate one: the UK is still a member state of the EU.

As BigThink.com's Frank Jacobs writes, the map shows the unemployment rates of the member states – and the stark differences for those rates between member states in the north and south of the Union. But the eye is immediately drawn to the land mass of the United Kingdom: coloured not in the blues or oranges that indicate unemployment rates in the EU, but the grey of the non-member states that dot the map. 

Those non-members include the usual suspects: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Albania and five of the seven post-Yugoslav states (Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia; Slovenia and Croatia have acceded to the EU). Squeezed between Poland and Lithuania is the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. Russia proper and other countries in eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa are whited out.

The UK now joins the grey countries on the map. But this is not a map produced to satisfy the wishful thinking of those hardline Brexiteers who can't wait for 2019. This is an official publication of the European Commission, one of the highest institutions of the European Union. Despite the fact that, for almost two more years, the EU still includes Britain.

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