Budgets, Memories from President Trump’s trip, and Photos

President Trump submitted his first budget to Congress, then left the country. He knows that no matter who the President is, their proposed budget is only for arguing over and to allow politicians to show their ignorance of 4th grade arithmetic.

The budget of $4.1 Trillion would be the biggest in history, bigger than any submitted by President Obama. Yet it was derided as a “cut” that would kill babies and cause poor people to starve.

Similarly, the new health insurance bill that passed the House (but faces major changes in the Senate) apparently would eliminate coverage for 26 million people out of the 12 to 15 million who have coverage under Obamacare. Yes, it makes you scratch your head. Or hit it against a wall. But not too hard because your injuries may not be covered.

The main memory from President Trump’s  9-day trip should be a line from his speech to the leaders of 50 Sunni Arab nations when he implored them to get rid of radical Islamic terrorists in their nations, “Drive them out!” It reminded me of President Reagan’s demand to Gorbachev, “Tear down this wall!” Of course the line Europeans will remember (but likely ignore) is, “Pay your fair share for NATO defense.”

Television seemed more interested in showing frivolous items and photos during the trip. News folks were fascinated with the various outfits the First Lady wore. Why did she wear a headdress for one event but not for another? Did her skirt really need to be that short? Who designed the stunning outfits that made her look so beautiful? Well, I’m no fashion expert but I think she would have looked just as beautiful in outfits from Sears or J.C. Penny.  I’ll admit I wondered if the reason they took two 747’s was because all of her shoes and clothes could not fit on Air Force One.  Meanwhile President Trump must have worn the same suit and shirt the whole trip. No one on TV pointed out any differences.

For President Trump, the media folks wondered why the Pope looked so glum in one photo with him and why his wife did not hold hands with him more often. In the official NATO photo they wondered why the president of the country that provides two-thirds of the total military support should be in the front row.

You may know that I take a lot of photos. Quite a few are of family (including the high school graduation of our oldest granddaughter yesterday). A bunch are of farming practices. Probably half are of people, including professional speakers and other prominent folks.

A secret for taking good photos is to delete all the bad ones. That’s easy today, but in the old days with film, you kinda hated to shoot a roll of 36 and toss out all but one or two. Once I was hired to take photos of Tony Robbins during a 2-day seminar. I got several good ones, but I shot one close-up with his face oddly contorted. I tossed it. Believe me; he would not want it on a poster promoting his programs.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“The Budget is a mythical beanbag. Congress votes mythical beans into it and then tries to reach in a pull real beans out.” DT #2047, Feb. 24, 1933

“Europe don’t like us and they think we’re arrogant, and have bad manners, and a million faults, but every one of them, well, they give us credit for being (generous).” Radio, Oct. 18, 1931

Trump, Putin and oil

The core of President Trump’s policy to expand oil production (keeping oil prices low) is a stake through the heart of Putin’s goals. This policy, more than any single factor, more than sanctions, is the limit on Putin’s power. Low oil prices, which will stay low because of fracking, will do more to limit Russian power than all the diplomatic notes you can write.

This paragraph above may sound familiar. Previously I have written that Putin would favor a President Hillary Clinton over a President Trump. But millions were convinced, with no evidence but plenty of political rhetoric, that Putin aimed to help Trump “Make America Great Again.” No one appeared to consider the opposite, other than me and a couple of friends in the fracking business.

Well, the top paragraph is from Walter Russell Mead, not me. He’s with The Hudson Institute and is a respected expert in foreign affairs. Maybe you ought to read that paragraph again. Maybe send it to your Congressman.

Several months ago a lot of prominent folks in Washington wanted President Obama to fire FBI Director James Comey. But Mr. Comey was not fired after his speech on July 5, and he was not fired after another speech in late October. When Clinton lost the November election, she blamed Comey. Still, President Obama took no action.

So when President Trump fired Director Comey a few days ago, he probably expected to be widely applauded. But no, the same Democrats that despised Comey earlier are now hollerin’ the loudest against the firing.

You would be shocked how many are saying this firing is as bad as President Nixon firing the Attorney General and a couple of others over the investigation of the criminal break-in at the Watergate. They seem to be hoping that Trump will see the same end as Nixon. I’m surprised no one has compared it to the Teapot Dome scandal in the 1920s. That one was about oil and bribery, so it should fit right in with criticism of Putin.

Meanwhile North Korea fired another missile and it landed in the ocean about 50 miles from Russia. That gave Putin something to worry about other than Democrats in Congress.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Many a public man wishes there was a law to burn old records.” [and videos??] DT #627, July 30, 1927

“Politics is a great character builder. You have to take a referendum to see what your convictions are for that day.” DT #1199, May 29, 1930

“Remember, write to your Congressman. Even if he can’t read, write to him.” WA #534, March 19, 1933