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The Forum, Rome, Italy
credit: wikipedia.en

Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living.  This week’s question: How would you rate Trump’s performance after six months?

Don Surber: My 401-k — fully invested in Bogle’s S&P 500 stock index fund — is up 15% since Election Day.

860 regulations are gone.

14 Congressional Review Act resolutions have wiped out other regulations.

Factories are hiring, mines too. And coal miners make $75,000 a year in a state where $100,000 still buys a nice three-bedroom ranch.

Patriot missiles are in Poland.

The Islamic State is out of Iraq — and Syria.

President Trump made the first direct flight from Riyadh to Israel. The BDS movement is on the wane.

NATO nations are living up to their military commitments. The LNG and oil we will sell to Europe could collapse the Russian economy and end Putin’s political career.

Self-deportations are up. ICE is doing its job. Wages are creeping up.

Food stamps are falling, as is the corruption that goes with it. Schools no longer have to serve Michelle Obama Meals that kids dumped in the trash.

The pace however is slow. The judicial appointments need to be speeded up. All the appointments do. And of course, he blew it by allowing a special prosecutor to go fishing for a crime.

The media wastes its time and credibility on Russia. I love it.

Six months in, I am glad I voted for Trump twice last year (in the primary and the general election) and look forward to doing the same in 2020.

He easily gets an A for his efforts and his accomplishments. There is more to do, of course. And there is a lot of bluster. But grownups look upon the media madness with amusement. When you are draining a swamp, expect a big stench and loud roars from dying critters.

Mike McDaniel: Consider Donald J. Trump’s accomplishments: He is not Hillary Clinton. One cannot say that too often: he is not Hillary Clinton. Despite what the Media would have us believe, he is not providing Obamite “flexibility” for Vladimir Putin. He is reversing much of the damage Barack Obama did. He is reversing Obama’s betrayal of Poland by providing missile defense systems to the Poles. He has greatly increased American exports of energy, particularly natural gas, which is absolutely to the detriment of Russia.

He is reversing unnecessary, punitive and costly regulations across the board. He is, slowly but steadily, dismantling the administrative state. He is reversing innumerable Obama executive orders including vast western land grabs.

Neal Gorsuch.

Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord; that was worth it just to see the greenie’s heads explode, as they continue to explode today. He approved the Keystone XK and Dakota Access pipelines.

Economic confidence and optimism is soaring and the number of actual, not paper, jobs created in only six months is nearing a million.

You’d never know it by listening to the Media, but he’s signed more than 40 bills that are actually worthwhile. He’s rebuilding our military.

Illegal immigration, despite constant media lies and Leftist lawfare, has declined in numbers the head of the Border Patrol calls “miraculous.” This not because he has been able to revamp the law, but merely because he is enforcing the law, and everyone, including Mexico, know he’s serious.

Donald Trump can actually speak the words “radical Islamic terrorism,” and has often done so. Not only that, he understands our enemies, and is treating them as enemies. He also is repairing the damage Barack Obama did to our allies, including NATO.

James Mattis.

In just six months, President Trump’s accomplishments outstrip those of many president’s entire terms. This despite impediments that would bring others to a complete halt.

Mr. Trump’s ultimate problem is he is an actual leader, not a beltway leader. Witness the Media, the self-imagined elite of the Beltway, politicians and academics as they scream in anguish “Trump isn’t normal!” He’s not doing it right! He’s not doing it the way it should be done, the way they’re used to, their way!

Theirs is the leadership of messaging, the narrative, of the correct, soaring, sophisticated rhetoric, of good and exalted intentions, of the moral–progressive–high ground. It’s the leadership of pay to play, of enriching oneself and one’s friends, and destroying one’s political enemies. It’s the leadership of double crossing the nation’s allies–especially those nasty Jews–and embracing and enriching America’s enemies. It’s the leadership of taking one’s time, doing one thing at a time, and patting oneself on the back for one’s great intellect and morality.

Donald Trump was elected because he’s the opposite of all that. He’s the kind of leader that uses every minute of the day and wishes he had more. His focus is getting the job done, and he juggles multiple tasks at the same time while expecting everyone that works for him to do the same. He says he’ll do it, and he does it, and expects it done yesterday. He’s used to working in the real world, with real people. When he says “the people,” he thinks of individuals, actual people he knows, not some abstract body of slaves laboring for his noble goals.

Trump deals with the world as it is. He doesn’t try to make the world conform to what he thinks it should be. This, alone, is an enormous accomplishment, one many presidents never truly master.

All of this makes the Media, and the Never Trump Republicans absolutely crazy. They can’t understand it, but they know it is absolutely foreign, just as normal Americans find it comforting, because it’s their reality. That’s why they hate him–and us–so much.

If Congressional Republicans ever find a backbone and use the power the Constitution gives them to set the rules of the Congress so they can ignore the Democrats, Mr. Trump will actually be able to repeal and replace Obamacare, truly reform our tax system, reduce the IRS in size and power to what it ought to be, and make our immigration system work to benefit America and Americans.

If he can do that in four years, he’ll be one of our most consequential and accomplished presidents.

To be sure, he’s made errors—Jeff Sessions—but by any honest measure, his accomplishments are many, and in many cases, historic.

Rob Miller: I think President Trump’s first six months have been amazing. He’s been faced with what is an organized and well funded attempt to delegitimize his presidency and obstruct him at every turn unlike any in our history, one that includes members of his own party.The fact that he’s accomplished as much as he has in view of this is absolutely jaw dropping.

I’ve written before that what President Trump is doing is an attempt to reverse a quarter century of American decline under three of the worst presidents in our history.  It isn’t going to be easy, and he’s made a few beginner’s errors along the way, but his record speaks for itself.

He has totally remade American foreign policy from the abyss it was in, refreshing alliances with traditional allies estranged by Obama and reassuring the world that  ‘leadership from behind’ is a thing of the past. He also has defied Russia by selling anti-missile systems to the Visograd alliance,  is shipping them natural gas to nullify Russia’s energy blackmail, and has revitalized NATO by insisting that the member nations fulfill their commitments of defense spending, although some of them like Germany persist in refusing to do so.

He has cut illegal migration substantially, even with congress shirking it’s responsibility to fund the border wall we need for national security. He also has revitalized the efficiency and leadership of ICE and our Border Patrol.

He has made substantial progress in repairing the swamp known as the VA, fulfilling another of his campaign promises.

He has appointed a stellar cabinet, including, yes, Jeff Sessions…who I can’t demonize for what amounts to a beginner’s mistake in judgement.

He is defeating ISIS, has finally stopped U.S. funding by the CIA of the al-Qaeda affiliates characterized by Obama and his minions as ‘moderate Syrian rebels’ and is showing unusual resolution and decisiveness as our Commander in chief. Even WAPO shill David Ignatius had to admit that much. or to quote one of SecDef Mattis’s bon mots when pestered by an obnoxious reporter as to the status of the fight against ISIS, simply looked at him sideways and said just four words “We’re winning, they’re losing.”

He has substantially cut stifling federal regulations, far surpassing his original 2 for 1 goal. And the economy? Estimates are that during the first six months of his presidency, the national wealth has increased by over $4 trillion. Admittedly, a lot of this is stock market gains and as I consider the Market overvalued, this could be subject to change. But it is still an undeniable fact, as is the increse of manufacturing and energy related jobs.

Then there’s the Keystone pipeline, the dramatic decline of unemployment claims and food stamp users. getting out of the economy killing Paris Accord, and a number of other accomplishments.

The two things that give the Trump administration the impression of ‘accomplishing nothing’ are simply not something you can blame him for…by which I mean repealing ObamaCare and tax reform. Those missteps are entirely the fault of weak Republican leadership in congress. The House produced a decent replacement bill that would have resulted in an $800 billion tax cut for Americans pauperized by ObamaCare’s demands. It wasn’t perfect, but it was far better than the nonsense the senate finally came up with after engaging in outright bribery redolent of the sordid smell attending ObamaCare’s introduction. Fun fact, not reported by the media...the three female senators from Alaska, West Virginia and Maine who opposed repealing ObamaCare have something in common besides gender. All of them come from predominantly rural states with a huge problem with opiate addiction, something these states have fought by expanding MedicAid to put the cost back on the Feds. There are other members of Congress in love with all those luscious tax dollars ObamaCare provides, just as some of them combat the president’s attempt to curtail our problem with illegal migration because their donors love the continued flow of cheap labor, Illegal migration is something that directly contributes to the high cost of health care in America as well as other problems.

President Trump is going to have to find some way of dealing with this element of his own party, and the solution may very well be to form a new one out of the ashes of the GOP. There are definitely Democrats like Joe Manchin, Heidi Hightkamp and the handful of members of the Blue Dog caucus who might cheerfully join a new party like that.

Dave Schuler: Incomplete. There have been no substantial legislative accomplishments during the first six months of his term. The attacks by the media have been so continuous, determined, and mean-spirited at one level it’s been amazing that he’s done anything other than push back.

Despite it all the country hasn’t actually collapsed yet, there are few signs of imminent impeachment, he may accomplish something yet, and amazing as it seems the mood of the country has actually improved so I, in a spirit of generosity, give him an Incomplete.

Laura Rambeau Lee: In spite of the constant negative reporting and Russia obsession from the mainstream media, President Trump’s performance has been a positive and welcome change from the past administration. He has signed more than forty bills and almost that many executive orders dealing with many issues. It is reported that he has saved businesses nearly $18 billion a year by reining in oppressive regulations and bureaucratic red tape. He approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, rolled back the Clean Power Plan, and horrified the progressive left by withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

On the foreign policy front he has succeeded in reasserting America’s position as a global leader. His meeting with the nations of the Muslim world in Saudi Arabia, his speech in Poland, and the G20 meetings show he understands and will protect our interests and support our allies in the future. His nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court assures we will have a more conservative leaning court for decades to come.

In short, President Trump is making good on his promises to the American voters who supported and voted for him. The Republican Party must get behind him and the people who elected him or the party might just collapse. Many of us are losing patience with the health care repeal and/or replace debacle and are losing faith in the party. The American voters will have to do their part to drain the swamp by voting out the entrenched career politicians in Congress and those who promised they would repeal Obamacare.

I just hope President Trump can continue to do the job we elected him to do; his new Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci can uncover and eliminate the leaks coming out of the White House; and the witch hunt being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is quickly wrapped up. We are six months into the administration. It’s time the Democrats get over their disappointment with the results of the election and accept that President Trump is and will be president for at least the next four years. It’s time for them to buck up and do their jobs and stop being obstructionists to everything this administration has been charged by the American voters to do.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the ‘net. Take from me, you won’t want to miss it

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