It has been a year now since we all awoke on Nov. 9, 2016, to the reality that, against all odds and all predictions by the polls and political “experts,” Donald J. Trump had somehow defeated Hillary Clinton in the race to become the 45th President of the United States. It was a stunning outcome to a seemingly endless campaign, one that had turned into the most vicious and personal presidential contest in modern times.
The oil and gas industry had not supported Trump’s candidacy during the Republican Party’s primary and nominating process, when most contributions from industry executives and company employee PACs flowed to more conventional politicians like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida. The same held true in the general election, during which the vast majority of contributions from industry executives flowed to Clinton.
Despite that slight, Trump made the promotion of policies that support a healthy oil and gas industry a centerpiece of his campaign strategy from beginning to end. During his speeches, the primary and general election debates, and the hundreds of rallies he conducted before crowds of thousands of supporters, candidate Trump talked about issues all too familiar to those in and around the nation’s oil patches: the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, EPA’s Waters of the United States regulatory scheme, the Clean Power Plan and the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) hydraulic fracturing rule.
At a September 2016 rally in Pittsburgh, Trump made a speech that was very typical to what he said throughout his campaign: “I am going to lift the restrictions on American energy and allow this wealth to pour into our communities — including right here in Pennsylvania. The shale energy revolution will unleash massive wealth for American workers and families.”
It was an extraordinary thing. No candidate in modern times from any political party had worked so hard to make energy in general, and the oil and gas industry specifically, such a major part of his or her campaign’s messaging. When seeking support from the oil and gas industry and many others, though, Trump turned off many people with his rhetoric and antics on other matters. His unpredictability made millions of Americans simply uncomfortable with the idea of having this person occupying the highest office in the land. This factor remains true a full year after his election.
Read The Full Piece at Shalemag.com
Today’s Campaign Update – Supplemental
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
- It hadn’t occurred to me when I was compiling the daily Campaign Update in this morning’s wee hours, but in thinking through the week’s events and how Trump’s mind tends to work, it seems to me that yesterday’s replacement of Reince Priebus with DHS Secretary Gen. John Kelly could become a prelude to yet another Trumpian 4-D chess move. Bear with me here…
- There is no question that the President is both frustrated with and very fond of his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. President Trump was caught off-guard by Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Democrat/Media-generated Russia Collusion fantasy play, and has stewed about that decision ever since. At the same time, though, Sessions was and remains one of the President’s earliest and most loyal supporters, and the two obviously like one another.
- But the President definitely wants to move Sessions out of Justice, so that he can appoint a new A/G who can exert some semblance of control over the ever-expanding, obvious witch hunt that Special Counsel Bob Mueller is running. Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, the lifetime swamp creature who appointed Mueller, has steadfastly refused to exercise any oversight whatsoever.
- But Trump has been warned by squish GOP senators Ben Sasse and Lindsey Graham that the senate would never confirm a new AG nominee if Sessions is fired. Both senators also made it clear they would never allow the President to make a recess appointment for the AG post.
- So what does any of that have to do with the “resignation” by Reince Priebus and his replacement with DHS Secretary Kelly? Well, consider the following possible steps available to the President now:
- Because Sessions has already been confirmed by the Senate for a cabinet post, those squish senators would have no ability whatsoever to interfere if Mr. Trump wanted to replace Kelly at DHS by moving Sessions into that job;
- Because EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has already been confirmed by the Senate for his position, those squish senators would have no ability whatsoever to interfere if Mr. Trump decided to move the former Attorney General of Oklahoma into the Attorney General slot;
- Because Rick Perry has already been confirmed by the Senate for his job as Energy Secretary, those squish senators would have no ability whatsoever to interfere if Mr. Trump decided to move the former Texas Governor into the EPA Administrator slot;
- That would leave a vacancy at the Department of Energy, but so what? Does anyone believe that those squish senators would fall on their swords opposing a new nominee for that job? Please.
- Now, I have no information that the President is in fact thinking along these lines, but given his often-unanticipated moves over the past few years that turned out to shock everyone, we should not be surprise if he has a scenario such as this in the back of his mind.
- Don’t be surprised if the Preibus-for-Kelly trade was just the first in a series of cabinet-level dominoes to fall.
That is all.
- Desperate to find a means of distracting attention from President Trump’s great speech of Tuesday night, the fake reporters and fake editors at the Washington Post trotted out a fake new “outrage” involving – gasp! – the Russians!!!!!!! The Post ran a story early Thursday morning in blaring headlines designed to make the reader believe that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had personally conspired with Vladimir Putin to somehow fix the election. Naturally, the rest of the fake news media immediately jumped on the story, with congressional Democrats soon calling for Mr. Sessions’ resignation. This is what is known as “coordinating the daily narrative” among the fake news media and the DC Democrats.
- The trouble was, once the air had cleared a bit, it turned out that all there was to this story was that Sessions, in his capacity as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, had taken a meeting with the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. – at the ambassador’s request – in early September, and then had run into him in an airport terminal shortly thereafter. That’s it. That’s all there was. This is what the fake news media turns into a feeding frenzy when it doesn’t have any actual negative news about the President and his administration to feed upon.
- By the day’s end, Mr. Sessions had done what any responsible Attorney General should do, announcing that, because he did serve as a surrogate to the Trump campaign, he would recuse himself from any investigations the Justice Department might perform into campaign-related matters. It has been so long since the country had an Attorney General who actually would do what he or she is supposed to do in such a situation that all the fake reporters and fake talking heads in the fake news media had no real idea how to react to that action, so they tried to turn that into some sort of scandal as well.
- In the realm of real news, former Texas Governor Rick Perry was finally, at long last, confirmed by the Senate to become the country’s new Energy Secretary by our do-almost-nothing Senate. Now, if someone can just show him to his office, he can hopefully get started on eliminating the agency entirely.
- Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, Republicans working on the “replace” part of the project to “repeal and replace” the death-spiraling Obamacare have set up a secured viewing room in one of the House office buildings as the only place containing a draft of their plan. The draft can only be viewed with permission from the GOP leadership in the house. Upon learning of this, GOP Senator Rand Paul and one of his assistants hilariously loaded up a copier onto a cart and camped out in front of the room’s door, demanding to be allowed in to make a copy of the draft. He hung out there for an hour or so, but was not allowed in. Bad, bad optics, Republicans.
- A new study out yesterday showed that 88% of the fake media’s coverage of the Trump Administration during its first month in office was “hostile”. All the fake journalists in the fake news media, upon seeing this result, began an immediate search for the heretic 12%. Beheadings and burnings at the stake will no doubt follow shortly. (That last sentence is a joke. I think. The one before it, sadly, most likely isn’t.)
Just another day in Fake News America.
That is all.