This is an addendum to podcast Episode 36. The first grades are from the 6 month report card, followed by one year grade. Notes from the show also provided.
RANKING THE CABINET SECRETARIES
EPA Administrator SCOTT PRUITT A+ (No Change)
Accomplishments include pulling out of the Paris Accord, budget cuts, eliminating climate science funding, being sued by blue state enviros, Waters of the US roll back, driving career employees out.
Defense Secretary JAMES MATTIS from B+ to B-
ISIS is defeated. He froze Trans in military for 6 months but the courts took this issue over. There’s been no draw-down in Syria yet, an increase in Afghanistan, and little news out of Iraq. There has been no major military engagement in the world which is good. HOWEVER, ever increasing military budgets displays a complete lack of willingness to reduce the mission or eliminated wasteful procurement programs (planes, ships etc)
Department of Homeland Security Secretary
JOHN KELLY KIRSTJEN NIELSEN From C to B-
Southern border crossing are up again, ICE is aggressive, the signals are good. However, the deportation NUMERS AREN’T. ICE deportations are rising but not fast enough – millions must be deported. Wall prototypes have been built and commando tested = Wall is moving forward. DAPA withdrawn. DACA:mixed signals. Las Vegas?
US Trade Representative ROBERT LIGHTHIZER from C to B-
No NAFTA results yet. Negotiations underway. No progress yet. Some sanctions placed (solar, fridges, etc) = Not visible enough. Not causing enough trouble.
Secretary of State REX TILLERSON From B- to B
SCOTUS leaned our way on VisaBan. He’s pushing for cuts to State. State Dept employees seem unhappy. That’s a good sign. Not aggressive enough. He’s gotten quiet in the second half of the year.
Small Business Administrator LINDA MCMAHON C (No change)
She’s making no waves and pissing no one off. Not a good sign. Where are the cuts?
Director of National Intelligence DAN COATS D (No change)
He’s kept quiet and loyal during Russia drumbeat. But no massive arrest of leakers. No mass firings of disloyal staff. The Intel community is losing prestige every day. This area needs a shake up. It’s filled with swamp creatures. He’s too quiet. FISA was reauthorized with little serious change.
Interior Secretary RYAN ZINKE B (NO CHANGE)
Opening up federal lands for oil and gas (including ANWR). Pullbacks in Monument Designations in Utah (but not enough). Review Sage Grouse Initiative to stop the undermining of state sovereignty. Staff cuts? He’s got a lot of DEMS and enviro groups mad. That’s a good sign. Not seeing enough initiatives. Where’s the house cleaning over the Bundy fiasco?
Education Secretary BETSY DEVOS from B+ to B
Announced review of “Dear Colleague” letter on Title IX and the lack of due process on college campuses. Defends choice and charter schools. Rolled back regs on for-profit colleges that were just doing the bidding of Academia. Unions and colleges are mad. Good. Very quiet in last six months
Commerce Secretary WILBUR ROSS from C to B+
Where are the budget cuts? This department needs to shrink (from it’s current $14-15 billion). Where are the reforms at NOAA. Steel tariffs. Slow progress on trade negotiations. GOT TAX CUTS!. They stopped some Obama Census changes but they need to be more aggressive.
Energy Secretary RICK PERRY C ( NO CHANGE)
Overseeing America’s energy independence and dominance (1970s levels of oil prod). Where are the cuts? Hearing about staffing cuts. He’s not making enough people angry. Doesn’t back POTUS very well, hides. Could be causing A LOT more trouble. Low grade for wasting time at an agency that could cause a lot of trouble.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary BEN CARSON C- (NO CHANGE)
We like Carson. Let’s see how much of the proposed $6.2 billion in cuts happens. HUD needs a lot of cuts and reforms. Carson is probably still learning. Maybe he’ll break out later. This could be a wasted opportunity
Labor Secretary ALEXANDER ACOSTA C ( NO CHANGE)
Reviewing Obama Overtime rule. Generally Dems like to use Labor to harass businesses. Acosta is reversing all that. But it will all come back if he doesn’t pull out the wires. They are increasing paperwork for H1b Visas which is slowing it down. Called for increasing min visa salary from 60k to 80k. Program needs to be scaled back and/or eliminated. This department needs major reform. It needs neutering. Time is wasting.
Veterans Affairs Secretary DAVID SHULKIN A (No CHANGE)
Connected Defense records to VA. Major accomplishment. Serious firing of incompetent VA employees underway. 1,500 so far. Bravely started the discussion on VA disability $86 billion. GREAT FIRST YEAR. Can they keep up the momentum?
UN Ambassador NIKKI HALEY from B to A-
She’s sending strong messages at the UN and obviously doing as asked. The Jerusalem fight and treaty withdrawals have brought out the fighter in Nikki. She’s been everything POTUS wants. That’s why the Garbage MSM spread rumors of her having an affair with him. They are that angry. She deserves commendation for faithfully projecting his message of America First and Unafraid.
Treasury Secretary STEVE MNUCHIN from C to B
Tax Reform bill is his big accomplishment. Hidden: efforts to fight terrorism, sanctions on NKorea etc. He’s loyal. But he could be causing more waves. Not many people are agitated with him. Where’s the pressure on the FED to be more transparent?
CIA Director MIKE POMPEO C- ( NO CHANGE)
He’s kept quiet and loyal during Russia drumbeat. No massive arrest of leakers. No mass firings of disloyal staff. The Intel community is losing prestige every day. This area needs a shake up. It’s filled with swamp creatures. He’s too quiet.
Transportation Secretary ELAINE CHAO D (NO CHANGE)
FAA privatization. She couldn’t even strongly support that when POTUS floated it. Infrastructure bill will be her moment to shine (2018?) Too quiet. Where are the reforms? We doubt she’s a reformer. The opportunity will be wasted.
Attorney General JEFF SESSIONS from B+ to B-
We love Sessions. VisaBan. Return DOJ to enforcing the laws. Sanctuary Cities crack down (threats but no action yet). On Pot he’s no surprise. State laws conflict w/ feds and he’s invited Congress to change them. Flinched and recused himself on Russia Probe. We should not have Mueller. Lots of people are mad at him. That’s good. #ReleasetheMemo and IG report may give him the opening to clean house. We don’t make too much of the marijuana decision.
Office of Management and Budget Director MICK MULVANEY from A- to B+. But nothing’s happened = Great budget cut proposals! He acquits himself on TV well. They keep passing CRs and he’s on-board with defense increases. But will the cuts really happen? We need to see some results
Agriculture Secretary SONNY PERDUE D (NO CHANGE)
Rolled back Michelle’s stupid food program that kids hated. He’s fighting FOR NAFTA = Ag wants the trade deals and immigration. There’s lots of bloat. Ordinary GOP accomplishments (temporary) here. Perdue won’t look to drastically reduce and eliminate department. Big reforms needed here. Reduce subsidies, (POTUS is bad on Ethanol). Opportunity will be wasted.
Health and Human Services Secretary ALEX AZAR (TOM PRICE from C to F)
Price failed to pass Repeal and Replace. Azar sworn in three days ago. NO SCORE.
Vice President MIKE PENCE From C to B
He’s dutiful. Congressional support sucks. That’s his job. He understands the roll of VP and plays his part. I don’t entirely trust him. I won’t forget that he wobbled during the Access Hollywood tape issue.
POTUS (and GOP) REPORT CARD at 6 months 1 Year
IMMIGRATION: C- C (GOP: F)
(first grade: 6 months. Second grade: 1 year)
Build the Wall D C-
Make Mexico Pay for it F F
End illegal crossings B- C+
Deport Criminal illegals C C
Deport at least 30 million illegals F F
Reduce Refugee Admissions D A- (way down and mostly Christian)
Eliminate H1B & H2B visas F D
BUDGET: B+ B- (GOP: F)
Cut across the board by 10%-30%
Agencies cutting internally
Military increases must stop
REGULATORY REFORM: A (GOP: B)
Repeal late stage Obama Regs A
Repeals for each new reg A
Regs production rate down 90% A
Massive reg cuts
HEALTHCARE: B C (GOP: D D+)
Repeal and Replace Obamacare C F
Allow HC purchase across states D F
End Penalties A A
Ocare mandate repealed A
TAKING CARE OF VETS: A- A (GOP: B A)
Sync DOD and VA computers A
Fire bad Va employees A
Lets Vets see their own doctor B
Pay raises A
FOREIGN POLICY: B- (GOP: F)
No Escalation in Mideast B C (Afghanistan)
Force allies to pay more D C-
Deescalate with Russia B B+
Defeat ISIS B A
Stop telegraphing strategy A A
Jerusalem Decision A
Pulling out of UN treaties A
Holding China accountable B-
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT: A+ (GOP: D C)
Exit Paris Accord A+ A+
Reform the EPA A A
Allow mining B B
Support Coal A A
Approve Keystone A+ A+
Approve Dakota Access A+ A+
Cut funding for Climate hoaxing A A+
Repeal Waters of the USA A A
Energy Independence A++
INFRASTRUCTURE: NO GRADE (GOP: F)
$1 Trillion in infrastructure – –
TRADE & JOBS: C B+ (GOP: F C)
Renegotiate NAFTA D D
Label China Currency Manipulator F F
Bring $2 trillion back to US – B+
Bring jobs back to US C B+