This weeks White House Report Card finds that President Trumps economy continues to roar, as does federal spending. He lost his Labor Secretary Alex Acosta but swapped in an acting secretary, Patrick Pizzella, who promises to move far quicker to implement Trumps agenda and war on regulations.
Conservative grader Jed Babbin highlighted Trump's cave-in on the census citizenship question and liberal pollster John Zogby rapped the administration's plans to find and deport some 2,000 illegal immigrants already ordered by judges to leave the country.
This was neither a great week nor a terrible one for President Trump. The highs seems to have averaged out with the lows, from the resignation of U.K. Ambassador Kim Darroch to the resignation of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta.
In memos leaked to the press, Darroch had called Trump inept (among other things) and called his administration dysfunctional. After the leaks, Trump proclaimed hed no longer deal with the ambassador, which clinched the latters resignation. It was a minor win for Trump. The bigger problem is that Darroch clearly reflects the view of Prime Minister Theresa May (and other European leaders) of Trump. The ascension of former London Mayor Boris Johnson to the P.M.s job, expected shortly, will mean much better relations. And, given the personalities of Donald and Boris, it will be a lot more entertaining.
Though at one point Attorney General William Barr said hed found a legal way to include the question of citizenship in the 2020 census, Trump backed off on the idea on Thursday. He issued orders for executive agencies to pool information to obtain the info which would otherwise have been collected by the census questionnaires. Trump claims that his order will generate more accurate and detailed information. However, Congress, states, and localities rely on the census (sometimes by law) for a multitude of issues including congressional redistricting. Trumps information-gathering exercise wont be accepted widely especially in Democrat-run states and cities.
Trump won one and lost one in the courts. The emoluments case, which alleged that Trump was violating the constitutions emoluments clause (barring members of government from receiving compensation from foreign governments) was dismissed outright. However, a court ruled that Trump couldnt constitutionally bar people from following (and commenting in) his Twitter account because Twitter is a public forum.
The economy continues to roar. The Dow Jones Industrial Average exceeded 27,000 for the first time on Thursday.
....Alex was a great Secretary of Labor and his service is truly appreciated. He will be replaced on an acting basis by Pat Pizzella, the current Deputy Secretary.Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019
The week ended with Labors Acosta taking one for the team. Acosta was under Democratic fire for supposedly having helped accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein get a sweetheart deal in a prosecution from about a decade ago. (The Dems and their media cohorts were shouting about Acosta to take attention away from known Epstein pals such as Bill Clinton.) Trump praised Acosta for doing a good job but accepted his resignation because they knew that the pressure on Acosta wouldnt end and might impact Trumps chances in 2020.
The government spent over $3.35 trillion in the first nine months of FY 2019. Thats an all-time record and good news for no one except Democrats who want to tax and spend even more.
President Trump was buoyed by a stock market that hit record territory (the Dow Jones over 27,000 and the S&P Index over 3,000) and news that the Fed will probably lower interest rates at its next meeting.
In the nuanced world of diplomacy, we heard that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has compromised by changing that country's constitution that now calls him President and Commander-In-Chief instead Supreme Leader for life. This compromise was requested by the U.S. in exchange for denuclearization. We will see.
On the flip side, Mr. Trump suffered yet another court ruling, this time on the census citizenship question. He has flipped and flopped on his reaction, then just decided to lose but pretend like he is winning on that one. Today is the day before massive (White House word) raids take place against undocumented immigrants in cities all across the nation. This hurts parents and children, splits the country, and sends the wrong image to people all over the world. Many cities are vowing to not cooperate.
All this as federal spending has soared and the budget deficit rose by 23%. Another bad week for his fellow alpha-males as Mr. Trump's former buddy Jeffrey Epstein was indicted on sex charges involving underage women. And finally, it looks like yet another championship sports the U.S. Women's Soccer World Cup winners will not be going to the White House.
Jed Babbin is a Washington Examiner contributor and former deputy undersecretary of defense in the administration of former President George H.W. Bush. Follow him on Twitter: @jedbabbin
John Zogby is the founder of the Zogby Poll and senior partner at John Zogby Strategies. His latest book is We are Many, We are One: Neo-Tribes and Tribal Analytics in 21st Century America. Follow him on Twitter: @TheJohnZogby