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Trump’s power collapsing as administration officials increasingly ignore his orders: columnist

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Touching on two of President Donald Trump’s proposals that appear to have floundered after the president made a public display of ordering staffers to proceed with his plans, a columnist for Bloomberg said Trump is quickly turning into a president in name only.

According to Bloomberg’s Jonathan Bernstein, two of the president’s recent proclamations made with great fanfare went nowhere or were scaled back to irrelevancy.

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Quoting Buzzfeed, Bernstein relayed: “Although President Donald Trump tweeted that he had ordered his administration to cut off disaster aid to wildfire victims in California, federal officials confirmed on Wednesday that they never received any such directive.”

He then turned to the scaling back of Trump’s much-ballyhooed “Space Force.”

“Bowing to bipartisan concerns in Congress, President Trump retreated Tuesday from his plan to create an independent ‘space force’ in the Pentagon, proposing instead to consolidate the military’s space operations and personnel in the Air Force,” Bernstein wrote, linking to the Los Angeles Times report.

“In both cases, it’s as if Trump had carefully read Richard Neustadt’s classic study of presidential power and then chosen to do the exact opposite of what it advises,” the Bloomberg columnist wrote.

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“The thing is, there’s no plausible interpretation that looks good for him,” Bernstein continued. “Either he’s not being honest, he doesn’t know how to achieve his goals in office, or he knows but he’s so ineffectual that agencies can disregard him with little consequence. Maybe it’s some combination.”

Citing Neustadt, he continued, “A president who develops a reputation for being easy to defeat will in fact become increasingly easy to defeat. So one thing that wise presidents do is avoid losing fights. If they do have to engage in them, they’ll try to keep their losses from being obvious to professional president-watchers, a group that includes by necessity virtually everyone who must deal with the president.”

“Although the office of the presidency itself is strong, any given occupant will struggle to get anything done unless his party or Congress or the bureaucracy really prioritizes it,” he explained. “We tend to attribute accomplishments to Trump or Barack Obama or George W. Bush. Yet a careful study of events will often show that presidents are usually only going along with what others wanted.”

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He then concluded, “Trump offers a pretty good example: Nearly every time he’s gone out on his own, he’s been defeated.”

You can read the whole piece here (subscription required).

 

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Why you should sell your house now — and not wait for the climate to change

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Cities across the United States are already seeing the impacts of climate change. Sea levels are on the rise in Miami, Florida, where ocean waters creep into the streets, even when it isn't raining. Massive wildfires have taken out whole neighborhoods in California and in Alaska, about 2.5 million acres have burned since July 3. Wildfires there are getting worse, according to experts.

The problem of climate change has reached a dangerous level for some homeowners in areas that are no longer insurable. In Miami, for example, the "street-level" is now considered the basement and insurers are dropping coverage for basements. According to the Daily Beast, at least 340,000 California homeowners lost their property insurance coverage between 2015 and 2018 because the wildfires are getting worse and companies don't want to pay out when homes are destroyed.

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GOP lawmakers working behind the scenes with Democrats to curb Trump’s tariff madness

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According to a report from Wall Street Journal, Republican lawmakers are working behind the scenes to rein in Donald Trump's penchant for declaring tariffs willy-nilly depending on how he feels about other countries and their leaders at any given time.

As the president trade war rages on -- impacting manufacturers, farmers and consumers alike -- Republicans looking at the 2020 election are desperate to turn around a U.S. economy that looks headed for a recession.

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Beto O’Rourke doubles down on gun buybacks

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Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Texas Democrat who is running for president in 2020, told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that he believes assault weapons are "instruments of terror" and the government should implement a mandatory buyback policy.

I was asked about @SenToomey saying mandatory buybacks are "awful."

I said the priorities in D.C. are screwed up.

What's awful is a 17 month-old baby shot in the face with an AR-15 in Odessa. What's awful is 22 people killed in a Walmart buying school supplies in El Paso. pic.twitter.com/JAN1xfrQYS

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