STOP ME IF YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE

To distract ourselves from the clown car of halfwits currently being installed into positions of authority and influence in the Executive Branch, let's take a closer look at something that received only token attention during the election: Trump's "First 100 days" agenda. At the time, given his poor performance in the polls, it seemed like a cute attempt to play President for a day. In the new un-reality it deserves a closer look. Nothing here will strike you as strange or unfamiliar, I promise.

Trump's agenda is essentially the far-right part of the Republican Party's economic platform with a smattering of populist-centrist stuff thrown in to make Trump look "different" from the standard Old Republican White Guy. What will undoubtedly happen, now that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are in charge (nominally, in Ryan's case) of a chamber of Congress, is that all the folksy Populism will be a non-starter in the Capitol. The agenda will be shredded, and when the knives are put away we'll be left with – stop me if you've heard this before – big tax cuts, a partial Health Care Reform repeal (they lack the balls to get rid of the popular parts), and more big tax cuts.

The parts of the Trump agenda fall into three categories: blatantly unconstitutional, totally unrealistic, and standard GOP fare that any Republican suit would bring to the White House and has been since the 70s. Consider, for example, these populist proposals to clean up corruption:

* FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;

* SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);

* THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;

* FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;

* FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government;

* SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.

One: good luck passing an Amendment. Two is within the president's power for some Federal agencies. Three is unconstitutional on its face and looks like a middle school kid wrote it. Four and Five, blatantly unconstitutional. Six is redundant on existing FEC rules. I'm not cherry-picking here. This is how the entire thing unfolds.

"End offshoring" with "tariffs," spend massively to improve infrastructure…yeah, Mitch McConnell is definitely going to be cool with that. School vouchers? That drum has been banged for 15 years; where is the money going to come from? Building a wall? Unless it's a chain-link fence from Menard's, show me where the money is supposed to come from. Oh, right – those big tax cuts, including slashing the corporate tax rate by more than half, are gonna generate SO MUCH revenue that the lower rate will actually result in more tax dollars. Any of this sounding familiar? If you're the kind of person who "reads books" and stops believing in theories when they're "proven not to work" you may have noticed that Supply Side Economics has a rather…dismal track record. Yet, here we go again.

Attempts at restricting immigration in some draconian fashion, at which he only hints in his agenda, are likely to be the only substantive part of the agenda aside from the tax cuts that Congress is willing to touch. Even then, Congressional Republicans are likely to trim off a lot of the crazy in a cynical effort to win back some ground with Latino voters. Then again, they may go all-in with their new demagogue. Many of them, particularly in the House, are nihilistic enough to do it.

Trump was a godsend for the GOP in one sense – he distracted everyone for an entire year from evaluating just how poorly the party has done with control of Congress. "Obstructionist" doesn't even begin to cover it, as the term implies that they at least accomplished something that counts as what a middle school teacher would describe as an Action Verb. And now Trump, as well as the rest of us, are about to be rudely reminded that for all the talk of the presidency as though it is a Third World dictatorship the office depends heavily on Congress to get anything substantive done, and this is a Congress that has shown that other than tax cuts and trying to close abortion clinics there is basically nothing they will actually do. Add to the equation a president with no temperament for negotiating with pinhead legislators in safe, gerrymandered seats and no real understanding of how the legislative process works and we are looking at several years at the least of getting only the worst parts of what was already bound to be a very bad agenda.

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57 Responses to “STOP ME IF YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE”

  1. RosiesDad Says:

    Trump is a fool and for anyone who believed that he was going to revert back to the moderate Trump of the 1980's, they are going to be greatly disappointed.

    This is going to be a shit show. There are some things–mostly fairly unpopular–that Trump will be able to do with his executive authority. Anything else that needs to go to Congress needs to be filibustered by a unified Democratic minority. Schumer needs to remember how Mitch McConnell greeted Obama's election and respond in kind. Republicans have no reticence to become completely obstructionist and it's time for the Democrats to do the same. When the GOP bitches, Schumer can say, in his sweetest NYC twang, "We learned this from you."

  2. Mo Says:

    H.L. Mencken might have been a son of a bitch, but, damn:

    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

  3. Sluggo Says:

    Republicans will blow up the filibuster on the first day of the new congress like the democrats should have done in 2009. The supreme court will be packed with nazi sympathizers. God help us

  4. Procopius Says:

    I don't think it's wise to say this is a Congress that is not willing to do anything. Their goal has been to keep the Democrats from doing anything and then pointing out that this President and Democrats in general aren't able to get anything done. Even repealing Obamacare — if they did it with the black president still in office people might think he got it done. Now that there's a (more or less) Republican in the White House they probably will be happy to do a lot of what they've been promising, no matter how unpopular it turns out to be after they've done it. We'll see how many Senators from Red states actually are afraid to dismantle Medicare. I'm thinking not that many.

  5. BigHank53 Says:

    I think the Republicans are going to try to pass as much of their offensive crap as quickly as they can. That way they can find out if Trump is actually going to have anyone at all reading the stuff that shows up for signing. And even the dimmest Congressthing can see what a shitshow the White House is going to be. If it turns out that the 2017 Omnibus Tax Credit For Babies That Are Not Black is just a wee bit unconstitutional, they'll let Trump take the blame for it.

  6. US in the EU Says:

    I would expect that both 'restricting immigration' and privatizing Medicare are going to sound fun to say (neighborhood tough talk) for a while but when push comes to shove and the meat hits the cutting table, I think there will be less fortitude.

    As in Georgia a few years ago when the stalwart state legislature outlawed illegal immigrants from fruit picking. And then it didn't get picked. The GOP voting farmers realized 'illegal immigrants? Hell yes outta here! But these are *my* illegal immigrants'.

    ditto Medicare. I have a personal story from my parents currently living in Georgia but suffice to say, when forced to choose b/t private health insurance and Medicare, tails were tucked.

    The true believers in Congress have used these arguments to get elected for years. Now when times comes to cut, I think there will be a great deal more popular squeamishness than they expect.

    Or, f it. Maybe they want the whole thing to blow up. I see Trump's victory as the success of the suicide voter. If i can't have it, nobody can.

  7. Retired Labor Thug Says:

    Millions of Trump voters are formerly employed or under-employed blue collar males whose bodies are broken down from years on the job turning wrenches, pouring cement, laying pipe. They're desperate to get to Medicare age as they know they're going to need it, and bad. What happens to Trump's populist appeal among his strongest allies if he pulls the Medicare rug out from under them? Trump's also alluded to cutting social security as a "moral thing to do." The 53% of white women who voted for him? What of their medical and economic subsistence needs at age 65 and above? Sure, he can blame it on Obama–some patent horseshit about how the PPACA ruined Medicare or whatever. Ultimately, it'll be his signature on the legislation.I'm wondering if he can do it.

  8. HoosierPoli Says:

    After reading his latest, Listen Liberal (which explained why Clinton was going to lose six months ago), everyone needs to go back and re-read Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? again, not only because Kansas today is telling us where we'll be in four years, but because literally nothing has changed about the country I used to live in. In twelve years, NOTHING has changed.

  9. Talisker Says:

    Agreed, Trump will find himself with little ability to get things done in domestic policy.

    As Presidents often do, he will then turn to foreign and military policy, where he has much more of a free hand. The idea of Trump playing toy soldiers with the US military, up to and including nuclear weapons, is beyond terrifying.

    @Procopius: The clue is in the name. I'm pretty sure the electorate would have perceived repeal of Obamacare as a defeat for Obama. This is why Obama vetoed the dozens of meaningless "repeal" bills passed by Congress.

    Now the GOP gets to actually do it. If Obamacare was simple and popular, they might face more of a struggle; but the ACA is overcomplicated, poorly understood, and not widely loved. The Democrats have nobody but themselves to blame for that.

    Now that there's a (more or less) Republican in the White House they probably will be happy to do a lot of what they've been promising, no matter how unpopular it turns out to be after they've done it.

    The last time the Republicans had the White House and Congressional majorities was 2004-06. Republican plans to do things like privatize Social Security failed to get off the ground, because not enough legislators had the cojones to end their careers over it. That was before the Tea Party takeover, so maybe it will be different now, but I still think expecting legislators to follow their own self-interest is a fairly good bet.

  10. HoosierPoli Says:

    "If Obamacare was simple and popular, they might face more of a struggle"

    The most important parts of Obamacare are OVERWHELMINGLY popular and dead simple. Elimination of subsidies will cause insurance premiums for tens of millions to skyrocket overnight – they can't do that. Elimination of protection for pre-existing conditions would have zero support. Etc etc.

    Obamacare was built up as a boogeyman to obstruct the President and win votes. Republicans are not actually opposed to almost anything in the law itself except for the Medicaid expansion and regulations on insurance companies. It was the Republican healthcare plan, after all. Expect the "repealed" law to contain ways to funnel tons of government money to insurance companies and healthcare conglomerates while keeping the popular stuff that everyone likes. Cost control will go out the window, but the entitlements will stay, because entitlements ALWAYS stay.

  11. Dem Barricades Says:

    The ability for the GOP to pass a constitutional amendment is closer and scarier than you think. If one more state legislature goes red, they'll be able to call a constitutional convention and then need 4 more to ratify. That doesn't sound out of reach on this cold clear day in November.

  12. GunstarGreen Says:

    So what you're saying is… domestically, the President can't get much of anything done beyond making suggestions to Congress, who ultimately have all the power.

    Just as they always have.

    And that the Congress is Republican-dominated.

    Just as they have been for many years now.

    Huh. I guess the election of Trump *wasn't* the jack-booted-gestapo-in-the-streets apocalypse that everyone made it out to be.

    Hillary will save us! Unless the congress sits on their ass and does nothing, exactly as they've done for the majority of Obama's term.

    Remind me again why there was so much wailing and gnashing of teeth on November 9th? Seems like, now that everyone has calmed down, they've realized that it's just more Business As Usual in Washington, D.C.

  13. geoff Says:

    @HoosierPoli, check out Frank's latest at the Guardian, if you haven't already seen it: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/donald-trump-white-house-hillary-clinton-liberals

    I've seen a pretty good amount of "Trump is his own man" type commentary, and I think a lot of non-deplorable deplorables voted for him on that basis. I've thought since he was nominated that since HE DOESN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE GOVT. he's going to have to depend upon advisors (and PENCE FFS) to tell him what's what and that the Congress (which I presumed would be GOP House and ? Senate) would rubber stamp whatever the GEB sends them, since it'll be their legislation in the first place.

    So yeah, ram through some giant tax cuts, repeal the ACA and worry about replacing it later, and get that deportation machine really movin'! (I am fully aware that Obama has deported a LOT of "folks" and the Dems' "we love immigrants" hypocrisy really pissed me off.)

    Don't forget withdraw from the Paris climate accords, tear up the Iran nuclear deal, and withdraw from NAFTA and the WTO!

    Fuck it, might as well default on the debt while you're at it, Donnie! Let's get this party started!!

  14. Jestbill Says:

    @GunstarGreen:
    Democrats haven't been able to do much because part of their caucus were Blue SOBs who voted with the Republicans.
    Republicans haven't done much because of the filibuster.

    They can change the filibuster rule. Their only problem now is that they have some members who can't agree on lunch. We are now pulling for the Tea Party!!
    —————
    They can kill Medicare dead and replace it with vouchers. If the vouchers cover similar insurance, most people will roll with the punch and get on with their lives. The problem will not arise until the cost rises and Congress refuses to keep up. Then the US electorate will blame the Liberals for the screw up and elect an even worse neoTrump.
    —————
    Trump is not Hitler. Trump is one of those guys who came before Hitler who convinced people like me that the electorate was too ignorant and stupid to live. There comes a tipping point.
    At that point we (in our millions) are likely to just tune the whole thing out and let the crazies have their way.

  15. charluckles Says:

    I like Thomas Frank, but I am concerned the self-righteousness of the Clinton haters is causing these people to miss some parts of the roots and causes of this catastrophe.

    This is so far off from the media environment I experienced that I have to wonder if we are talking about the same reality. It was wall to wall emails and Clinton Foundation in my admittedly little world.:

    "Clinton’s supporters among the media didn’t help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation’s papers, but it was the quality of the media’s enthusiasm that really harmed her. With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station."

    Which is one of the main reasons I question whether a Sanders or Biden would have been such a shoo-in.

  16. John Danley Says:

    Let the proto-fascist kakistocracy commence. And to think, the poor man only wants $1 a day for imposing such levels of effective altruism.

  17. c u n d gulag Says:

    'We the derple,' have made our beds, and now we get to die in them.
    Sowly…

    The 18th Century – with its Electoral College, and 3/5th's "solution" – has come back to bite us in the ass.
    AGAIN!!!

    Batten down the hatches, a Categiry 6 shit-nado's on its way!!!

  18. John Danley Says:

    Since Emperor Trumpus has proposed no net spending reductions to offset his tax plan’s $7 trillion increase in the debt, I'm predicting the end of science funding and social services—especially seeing as how his cohorts are morally reprehensible conspiracy theorists with the social IQ of a garlic press.

    It's gonna be spectacular, so spectacular; it's gonna be unbelievable, you're not gonna believe it. He was right. Non-existent god help us all!

  19. monsterzero Says:

    Re: that hiring freeze, I expect the freeze on public health to happen immediately (an epidemic? Blame it on foreigners!), followed pretty shortly by public safety.

  20. Timurid Says:

    It would be poetic justice if Trump's agenda is derailed once all the chiselers in his own party figure out just how much money an American Reich would really cost…

  21. Skepticalist Says:

    It used to be that conservatives pretended to be the intellectual wing of the place. It'll be no longer necessary when Ignorant and proud of it moves in. What a break for them and they are well spoken for.

  22. anotherbozo Says:

    "As Democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.” 



    H.L. Mencken, 

The Baltimore evening Sun
July 26, 1920

    Yes, yes, Mencken was an anti-semitic bigot, but so was Beethoven. Both are occasionally listenable.

  23. MS Says:

    The idea that Congress isn't going to do anything is simply wrong, wrong, wrong. They've been champing at the bit. Now they get to run free and unfettered.

    They're going to do a full Kansas. Massive tax cuts for the wealthy. Eliminate the CBO so there's no neutral reporting on the effects, just biased media trying to lie to you. Eliminate the IRS. Eliminate the EPA and the ED and NOAA (no scientists employed in environmental fields cripples them for decades, eliminates adverse reporting). Abortion is toast, the civil rights division at the DOJ is toast, the NYT won't get press briefings anymore, nor will any media outlet that reports adversely.

    Obamacare is through. Replace it with some $10/month payment mailed directly to people so they can buy their own health insurance. Enjoy!

    You ain't seen nothing yet.

  24. Well. Mostly Says:

    No doubt the things he can actually do will be nasty. Ryan will see to that.
    Strange thought: Perhaps some cosmic force has had mercy on Sec Clinton. Can you imagine her waking up every day and working with this boatload of characters? Trying to put something, anything on the table of a room filled with deficit hawks, war Hawks, immigration Hawks, abortion Hawks, trade Hawks, privatization Hawks, entitlement Hawks, and just plain hawk Hawks? Without even the Senate, how would that work?
    Sweet irony, maybe the Tea Party types, expanded now to include all those patient Trump supporters, will rise up against Congress, prompted by Trump, and demand that they figure all this out. Of course, it can't be done. Reality doesn't have that much give. Despite the shitstorm headed our way, and the real suffering involved, I can't wait to see the inevitable bloodletting in the congress. Should be a real cage fight and this match will be R vs R. Let's keep our head down and show the f up for the mid-terms this time.

  25. Fiddlin Bill Says:

    I can just hear, faintly, the Ceaucescus screaming "blatantly unconstitutional" from the backyard wall.

  26. JustRuss Says:

    @charluckles: Jeez, this some chrry-picking by Frank:
    "Clinton’s supporters among the media didn’t help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation’s papers,"

    Yes, it's true in the last month or so of the election most newspapers endorsed Clinton. But I'd hardly call their endorsement robust, it was mostly "Trump is terrible, so…Clinton, I guess". And it was preceded by months of "EMAILS!!!!"…and followed by more "EMAILS!!" Some support.

  27. John Danley Says:

    Correction, I meant to say $1 a year. The other $364 will be redistributed so that the public can offset increasing AC costs in the wake of unmitigated global warming.

  28. Templar Says:

    Another terrifying thing is complete lack of understanding by both Trump and his advisors about what the job of President consists of. One story said they weren't eve aware they'd need to re-staff the White House. They just assumed everyone was staying after January 19. These people have no concept of what they can't do, what they can do, or how to do any of it on a basic level.

  29. geoff Says:

    @Templar– Ignorance Is Strength!

  30. mothra Says:

    Well, Ryan is already announcing that Medicare will be replaced with vouchers in 2017. So that will be fun. I want everything I have paid in FICA to date refunded me. By the asshole old white people who fucking voted for Trump. Each and every one of them owe me a lot of fucking money.

  31. John Danley Says:

    Time for the outsider/inexperienced oncology enthusiasts to "drain the swamp" at Sloan Kettering. No incompetence left behind.

  32. old white person Says:

    @ mothra
    the asshole old white people who voted for Trump won't have any money to send you–they will be spending it on the difference between their $10 voucher and the $500 premium for their new and improved medicare.
    And I hope it hurts.

  33. Aurora S Says:

    The biggest problem I have with all of this is that real people actually voted for the guy. Well, at least that's it for now. The question of, "Yes, but will he actually be able to DO any of the crap he said he was going to do?" is basically a salve for the wound. Are we still in Denial? Or maybe we've moved up to Bargaining?

    Sure, a lot of the shit he's said during his campaign is basically the equivalent of a candidate for Student Body President promising, if elected, everyone will have ice cream every day at lunch. This has been pretty obvious to anyone with a brain all along. We all know that he's not a monarch and that Congress has a lot more power than we give it credit for, which is why we absolutely needed to stop all the goddamn whining and boot the Republican geezers in Congress that have hunkered down and basically done dick for 30 years out the fucking door. We don't need Congressional term limits as much as we need people to pay fucking attention and vote them the fuck out of there when they behave like a boil on the ass of America. They're called "representatives" for a goddamn reason. But, we fucking didn't.

    So now Trump basically has a blank check. True, the Republicans don't like him, but they've made it clear that they're more interested in identity politics and marching in lockstep than they are with actually governing or basic human decency. Many of them reluctantly supported him during the election (but still supported him nonetheless) despite all of his obviously ridiculous and reprehensible shit, because they didn't have the balls to stand up to him. Enough of them wouldn't formally withdraw their support even after the pussy-grabbing ordeal. They were up for wagging their fingers, but they weren't going to jump ship. That implies tacit approval.

    If you're asking me to trust these assholes to rein him in, there's no fucking way. They *might* be playing their cards to eventually squeeze a President Pence out of the situation (possibly even more terrifying) with either impeachment or hoping he throws in the towel (and he will not), sure. They *might* have been willing to completely discard half the country in order to stuff the SCOTUS with conservative justices, ditch the ACA, and reanimate the corpse of Reaganomics. I think that ultimately, they're either too self-serving or too spineless to do it. In which case, we're all fucked.

    As far as the aforementioned complete disappointment in humanity is concerned, it's that he's empowered a lot of people to do a lot of abjectly horrible shit to others. It's a purging of Undesirables that they were looking for when they voted for him–regardless of the underlying reason, for the #NotAllTrumpers among us. When they realize that he was basically leading them like cattle to the slaughterhouse all along, it's not going to go over well, either. But for now, it's rough to find out that people you thought gave a shit about you basically don't care whether or not you live or die.

  34. John Danley Says:

    He takes the short position on the economy because the acolytes of deregulated avarice cannot delay gratification any longer. Meanwhile, he takes the "go fuck yourself" position on everything else while using pitchfork populism and comic-book media machinery to manifest the worst acid trip in American history. Goddamn he's good.

  35. Skepticalist Says:

    We have to hope that he's just as shitty to Ryan and the other Congressional deplorables. For now anyway.

    "Hey Paul, how about some cash so I can start my wall?"

  36. Net Denizen Says:

    I hope you'll forgive me if I hope you're as wrong about this as you were about the election results. I know the tax cut thing will be coming, because rich people love giving themselves more money: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v201/skywise/8-11-01_zps2fca95af.jpg

    But I really hope the next few years is not the dumpster fire the last two years ended up being. If the Democrats actually oppose this regime (as the opposition party, no less) things may look up. But I think we've seen these Democrats play the "go along to get along" game too long and I don't know how many will line up behind Warren and Sanders to fight for the people's interests.

  37. mago Says:

    Screwed fer sure. Can't resist the smart ass observation that something finally trumped gluten.

  38. Mo Says:

    I guess we finally get to see how badly Republicans have to govern to awaken their base to the fact that they've been suckered by ideological rhetoric. Gloating that The Real Americans are finally in power ends when ideological rhetoric about Traditional Values, Small Government, Big Defense, and – of course – Freedumb – turns out to be an empty shell, useless when coping with what coming Reality? We all know white Trump voters will go down dying clutching their guns and self-righteousness. What will kill them? How many of us will go down with them? What will decimate the land? What will be Trump's Katrina cubed? Will global warming get its mojo going in time to kick the bastards out of state legislatures and the Congress in two years? 4 years? When will the first nuke be launched?

    Just full o' questions, aren't I.

  39. eau Says:

    @Mo: If conservative voters learned from their mistakes, they wouldn't be conservative voters. If you think you're sick of hearing 'thanks Obama!' now, just wait!

  40. NickT Says:

    I am surprised there's less discussion of the obvious aim of the GOP – huge vote suppression laws as soon as they can get the Nazi of choice onto SCOTUS. A lot of voters will wake up to discover that they don't have the cash to get the shiny new national ID that allows them to express their disapprobation.

  41. Sluggo Says:

    @ mo
    You really think that we will have free elections in our lifetime again?

  42. John Danley Says:

    Stephen Bannon: Piece of fucking shit excuse for a human being.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/opinion/turn-on-the-hate-steve-bannon-at-the-white-house.html?_r=0

  43. GunstarGreen Says:

    @Sluggo: What leads you to such hyperbole? Serious question. What leads you to believe that there will not be another presidential election in four years' time, just as there has been for some 240 years now? Or midterms in two?

    If we can come down on Trump for undermining American democracy by claiming that "if I don't win, the election was rigged", surely we can do the same for such wild claims as "we will never have free elections again in our lifetime"?

  44. Jado Says:

    What is the over/under for how many years before the Trump-Off Machine

    (h/t Drfiglass-http://driftglass.blogspot.com/2010/09/now-bush-belly-sneetches.html)

    gets turned on, and the TEA Party denies ever voting for Trump. He's not ever a Republican. It all the Democrats fault!!

    2 years? 1? 6 months? Never?

  45. Faintly McAbre Says:

    Also, his plans conflict. For instance, his #2: if he wants to freeze the hiring of federal employees, where will he get all the new employees needed to work in Immigration and Customs Enforcement so he can start doing his mass deportations? It will be expensive and time-consuming to hire and train that many new employees for that purpose.

    The term limits one is pretty funny, really. I doubt they will vote to lose their jobs. The same is true of the anti-lobbying agendas: again, I doubt they will vote to lose their future jobs. Then he'll tweet about how unfair it is.

    Reducing regulations could be tricky. They could make a wish list of environmental regulations they'd like to get rid of, and just start passing new regulations about whatever they want entirely for the purpose of eliminating environmental regulations.

    From some of the other areas of his agenda for the first 100 days not listed above…
    – Trump could significantly screw up NAFTA, so I wouldn't rule that out.
    – A good chunk of his plan for the first 100 days is to significantly hasten the demise of the planet by ripping up, drilling, and mining whatever he can get his tiny hands on.
    – Oh, and the Supreme Court…

  46. Emerson Dameron Says:

    Let us not forget that this is a man whose previous claims to fame include being thoroughly and repeatedly punked by Howard Stern.

    He is by all accounts a self-destructively obstinate jackass, but I can't picture him calling the shots at Bohemian Grove.

  47. S M McBean Says:

    There will be federal elections in 2018 and 2020, but when the controlling party perfects their voter roll purging algorithms there may not be much contest.
    We won't see an amendment on term limits, but we may see one mandating Republican favoring Gerrymandering. They probably will control enough state legislatures by then, and it would be affirmed by a 5-4 SCOTUS decision with Trumps shyster lawyer appointee.

  48. Skepticalist Says:

    I've never seen so many GOP infants so excited about moving close to the White House. They're giddy about having a chance to fuck up the last 70 years of our mostly rational behavior by those terrible elites. How about the GOP conserving something other than white male privilege or are we stuck preserving Trump's un-constitutional fabulism?

    I give him and his VP from Oz zero slack. These are dangerous crackpots put in charge by not quite so dangerous crackpots.

  49. Linda Says:

    The fifth is a hoot, since Trump is a Russian puppet who is probably up to his butt in debt to foreign funders. And the whole wikileaks thing makes me also wonder how much they have on him. I bet it's a bunch.

  50. mothra Says:

    @Sluggo: What leads you to such hyperbole? Serious question. What leads you to believe that there will not be another presidential election in four years' time, just as there has been for some 240 years now? Or midterms in two?

    My name isn't Sluggo, but here's my thoughts on how that would happen:
    Big terrorist attack(s) somewhere in U.S. before next midterms. Trump and his Nat. Sec. advisors declare martial law and suspend elections/civil rights (except the right to own guns, of course). Republican Congress and bootlicking Dem minority goes right along because OOOOO Scary Terrorists. End of the USA as we know it.

  51. mothra Says:

    Oh, and Gunther, really, they can keep having elections–they'll just suppress all voting so effectively that they might as well NOT have elections. Like when dictators have elections and win 98% of the vote.

  52. Katydid Says:

    Ssssh, mothra, you can't bring up the fact that huge swaths of the population not being allowed to vote makes *any difference* to the outcome of an election. @@

  53. Sluggo Says:

    @ mothra

    Thanks. You spoke up for me when I couldn't. There will need to be a lot of that in order for me to be proven wrong.

  54. Robert Walker-Smith Says:

    I'm starting to suspect that Trump didn't actually expect to win. He was all set to denounce the rigged election – then found out it was rigged in his favor. The photos of him with Obama were distressing; Trump seemed to realize what he'd gotten himself into, and how completely out of his depth he was.

    I can't find it in myself to feel sorry for him.

  55. Emerson Dameron Says:

    He CLEARLY didn't expect to win. He never even read the job description. It's all up to his handlers, and they're already turning on each other.

  56. Fifth Dentist Says:

    You forgot one: A massively expensive, unnecessary, extravagantly wasteful and willfully ignorant increase in "defense spending."
    I'd say they'll go from about $500 billion a year to $600-$650.
    Because you can't have a Republican government that doesn't slash revenues while at the same time vastly increasing spending.
    Remember those days a couple of months ago when the president wanted $9 billion to deal with the Zika virus?
    And the Republicans were, like, "fuck that, unless we get to cut $9 billion worth of shit that currently goes to making poverty-stricken people's lives just a little less bleak and horrific."
    Yeah, they'll cut taxes without cutting spending to match (because of the tax cuts = more revenue magic) and boost defense spending by $100 billion without offsetting that cost.
    Sure, they'll cut some nutrition programs and meals on wheels funding for impoverished seniors, or something. And maybe de-fund NPR and NOAH and education and foreign aid, which altogether are probably less than 1 percent of the budget.
    And forgetting about Americans being stupid enough to believe the trickle-down song and dance. Again. And that millions of them think Trump is in any way qualified to lead this country.
    Why do they vote for the people who claim that government doesn't work so that they can purposely sabotage government and make it not work?

  57. imppress Says:

    The voucher system will need very little funding.
    It'll all be tax-deductions for everyone who pays more that $8000 per year in Fed taxes.

    Not that many people will be able to afford the private schooling once their deductions get maxed out.

    Actual grants or scholarships? That's not how they roll.

    Americans can't be compelled to buy private health care, but perhaps forcible extraction of cash for a Christian private school is ok by them.
    Not sure. President Donald was never big on details.

    "Supply Side Economics has a rather…dismal track record. "

    Not entirely, unless you see massive deficits as a problem. Keynesian economics pretty much requires deficit spending and when Republicans are in charge, they have no problem doing lots of it. (explain Medicare Part D passed by a unified Republican congress and presidency ANY other way, I double dog dare you.) Soon as a Democrat is in the White House, big deficits are a sign of mismanagement.

    Supply side works okay, you just have to ignore what the GOP says about its true nature.