Trump-a-day

White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney is touting a new term for President Trump’s economic agenda, calling it “MAGAnomics” in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
“We are promoting MAGAnomics – and that means sustained 3 percent economic growth,” Mulvaney wrote. The substance of MAGAnomics, which uses an acronym for Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” is no different than what Mulvaney has been describing as Trumponomics for weeks. In May, The Economist published a withering cover story entitled, “Why Trumponomics won’t make America great again.” After interviewing the president on his economic agenda, the magazine concluded that Trumponomics “is not an economic doctrine at all.” In the aftermath of the article, Mulvaney made multiple appearances stating that Trumponomics meant achieving sustained 3 percent economic growth.

*

President Trump this week lamented the difficulty of passing the Republican healthcare plan though Congress, likening it to the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict. “I’d say the only thing more difficult than peace between Israel and the Palestinians is healthcare,” he told reporters aboard Air Force One on Wednesday night en route to France. Contrary to his previous proclamations that his administrations was absolutely going to broker peace deal in the Middle East, Trump has since admitted that the task was far more complicated that he had thought.


*

Although thousands of Parisians were preparing to protest the US President’s visit to France, the rest of the capital gave a collective shrug as life continued as normal. The Independent interviewed a number of people on the streets of Paris and learned – “I don’t like him but if Emmanuel Macron decided to invite him it’s for some reason,” “Mr Trump can do whatever he wants – I don’t agree with it but it’s not like that here” and “the controversial state visit could do good by introducing Mr Trump to a “different culture.””
France has not forgotten the President’s previous remarks claiming “no go areas” existed in European cities and suggesting the country was incapable of fighting terror attacks on its soil, with protesters creating their own “no Trump zones” filled with music, dancing and performances.

On Thursday the French President and first lady, Brigitte Macron, took Mr and Mrs Trump sightseeing, which included a tour of the Les Invalides war memorial and Elysee Palace before a bilateral meeting, followed by a luxurious dinner in the Eiffel Tower’s famed Le Jules Verne restaurant. The dinner menu was rumoured to include blue lobster and caviar.

Somewhere along the way, Trump made ageist and sexist remarks to Madame Macron.


He also did that creepy handshake thing he is so famous for.


Trump also made a statement on the Paris Climate Agreement.  

Trump is to be the guest of honour at Friday’s military parade on the Champs-Elysees, the first time a US President had attended since George Bush in 1989.  

*

Notable cover page 


*

In genuinely good news, Michelle Obama made a rare public appearance at the 2017 ESPY Awards on Wednesday night. After receiving a standing ovation upon being introduced, Obama gave a heartfelt speech as she presented the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage to Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, posthumously.


Picture ABC News

“She knew that when we give others a chance to fulfil their greatest potential, we all win,” Obama said, according to The Hill.

Obama described how Shriver, a champion for people with intellectual disabilities, created the Special Olympics in the 1960s and turned the event into a global phenomenon. “Through her passionate service she made the world more welcoming,” Obama said. 

Shriver’s son, Tim, who accepted the award on her behalf, summed up Obama’s presence best: “Once a great first lady, still a great first lady.” It was so nice to see our favourite FLOTUS! 

Trump-a-day

This week, The Hill has drawn attention to the fact that nearly six months in the office, President Trump still does not have an official portrait. 

drawingimage.com

Typically, taking the new portrait photo that hangs in over 7,000 agencies and office buildings around the country is among the first orders of business for a new president. Once the photo is sent to the Government Printing Office, portraits are distributed via the General Services Administration, as well as a few other agencies, for hanging at entrances and lobbies, The Hill explains. The issue in the Trump administration is that the White House hasn’t sent a photo to GPO for printing. President Obama had his official photo taken a week before his inauguration, and the new portraits were released just weeks later. When he was re-elected, a new presidential photo was taken and posted around the country. Those portraits were taken down at noon on the day of Trump’s inauguration, and since then frames at federal offices around the country have remained empty.

This is just one indicator of the White House’s casual pace on ramping up the functions of a new administration. “It’s one of the very first thing’s that’s typically done, but then again, so is getting your political leaders in place,” said Max Stier, the president and CEO of Partnership for Public Service (PPS). 

According to PPS, Trump is well behind his predecessors in staffing the government, having submitted just 197 people for executive branch, civilian, non-judicial positions. Of those, only 46 have been confirmed by the Senate. Under Obama, the numbers were 323 and 183, respectively, at the same point in his administration. “This is a symptom of a group of individuals who collectively don’t have much prior experience in the executive branch, and I think as a result they haven’t fully understood the existing process,” said Stier.

While the portrait’s absence is largely symbolic, it may have practical repercussions for an administration that has gone head-to-head with career bureaucrats, portraying them as Obama-era holdovers or members of the “deep state” determined to block the president’s agenda. 

“The government’s career workforce is built to serve whoever is the political leader. It’s part of their DNA, and that presidential portrait is ubiquitous and symbolizes the existing leadership,” Stier said.

According to ABC, other offices have been happy to hang the unofficial portraits. The Pentagon mounted a Trump portrait at a special VIP entrance, while some local buildings, such as a county courthouse in Vinton, Iowa, simply printed and mounted their own. Hopefully, it was not a fake Time magazine cover, previously spotted on the walls in several Trump properties.