Lazy Saturday Reads: 100 Exhausting DaysPosted: April 29, 2017
Today is the 100th day of the Trump regime. Of course everyone (except Trump) knows that the 100 days measure of presidential achievement goes back to Franklin Roosevelt.
NPR’s Tamara Keith: The First 100 Days: ‘A Standard That Not Even Roosevelt Achieved.’
The idea of measuring an American president by the accomplishments of his first 100 days in office goes back to 1933 and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s dash to staunch a banking crisis and pull America out of the Great Depression.
In a July 24, 1933, fireside chat, he assessed the early months of his administration.
“I think that we all wanted the opportunity of a little quiet thought to examine and assimilate in a mental picture the crowding events of the hundred days which had been devoted to the starting of the wheels of the New Deal,” Roosevelt said.
He had signed a record 15 major pieces of legislation in those first 100 days. But it’s not as simple as the legend would make it seem.
“Presidents since Roosevelt have been held up to a standard that not even Roosevelt achieved,” said historian Patrick Maney, a professor at Boston College who has written books about Presidents Clinton and FDR….
“Only two or, at most, three of those measures actually originated in the White House,” Maney said of the 15 major pieces of legislation signed by Roosevelt. “Almost all the rest had originated in Congress and many — including federal relief for the unemployed, the Tennessee Valley Authority — had been up for debate for years.”
Roosevelt, initially at least, opposed the creation of the FDIC. Now it is one of the enduring legacies of his first 100 days.
But there’s no doubt that Roosevelt achieved far more than the current occupant of the White House. Business Insider assesses the record here: Trump’s First 100 Days: Here’s how they compare with Obama’s, Bush’s, and Clinton’s. You can check that out at the link. Trump has signed more bills and executive orders, but they are less substantive than in past presidencies. He obviously has no significant legislative achievements.
Here’s an assessment from Rosa Brooks at Foreign Policy: Donald Trump Is America’s Experiment in Having No Government.
If you think like a citizen, the first 100 days of the Trump administration will reduce you to weeping and wailing.
But if you think like a scientist, you will see things differently. You’ll see that the United States of America has developed an excellent fourth grade science fair project.
This project is called “A Four-Year Experiment in Not Having a Government.”
Until recently, the United States has had a “government” with “policies.” That is: We have had an adult president, we have had other adults occupying senior government positions, and those adults have sought to develop reasonably coherent and consistent approaches to governing based on the assumption that the usual rules of physics, mathematics, and so on must be taken into account when developing policies, and the corollary assumption that “facts” and “evidence” can be said to exist.
The United States was reasonably successful when it had a government. It was by no means perfect but laws were passed, taxes were collected, revenues were used to fund public services, treaties and international negotiations were concluded, and so on.
But do we need an American government?
Perhaps not! Perhaps the United States and the world can chug along just fine without one. Thanks to the Republican Party, we’re in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime experiment to find out.
The study began by placing a child in the White House. Child labor laws passed by previous U.S. governments (and the Constitution) preclude sending a fourth grader to the White House, but we have done the next best thing by electing Donald Trump, a 70-year-old who makes decisions based on TV shows, doesn’t read, and announces new policy positions via late night tweets IN ALL CAPS.
So true. Please go read the rest.
Also happening today: the people’s march on climate change.
Thousands of people who support action on climate change are expected to brave the sweltering heat Saturday and march through the nation’s capital as part of the People’s Climate March.
“We resist. We build. We rise,” a slogan for the event reads.
With temperatures expected to hit 90 degrees, the march is set to begin at 12:30 p.m. near the Capitol. Protesters then plan to move to the White House and end up at the Washington Monument, according to the proposed route map.
Hundreds of sister marches are also planned across the US and around the world.
They’re being held to coincide with President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office and take on his environmental policies.
“We’ve already seen just how effective people power is against this administration: Trumpcare? Withdrawn. Muslim ban? Blocked,” the group’s website says.
“Now Trump’s entire fossil fuel agenda is next, and we believe that the path forward is based in the voice of the people — which is expressed first and foremost through mass protests and mass marches.”
I hope it goes well. My brother, sister-in-law, and two nephews are in DC for the event.
Tonight is the annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner–sans Trump. Hasan Minhaj of “The Daily Show” will give a speech, presumably a humorous one. There also will be a competing event, Samantha Bee’s Not The White House Correspondent’s Dinner.
The Washington Post: Where to watch the 2017 White House correspondents’ dinner online and on TV.
The red carpet starts around 5 p.m.; The Washington Post will have a red carpet feed on Facebook Live. Typically, everyone heads into the dinner around 7 p.m. — the awards and speeches kick off at 9:30 p.m., and everything wraps at approximately 11 p.m.
CNN, Fox News and MSNBC will air portions of the dinner throughout the night, and also provide coverage of President Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania, scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
Oh boy, I can hardly wait to hear Trump brag about election night for the umpteenth time, like he did yesterday in his speech to the NRA.
The Washington Post: In Trump’s absence, ‘nerd prom’ challenged by Bee’s bash.
Washington’s once-glitzy “nerd prom” is about to get overshadowed.
Late-night TV star Samantha Bee was pulling in celebrities for the first “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” on Saturday — a tongue-in-cheek play on the real bash, where journalists, the president and, in recent years, lots of bold-face names have mingled.
But President Donald Trump was skipping the White House Correspondents’ Association gala, instead marking his 100th day in office with a rally in Pennsylvania. No president had declined an invitation since Ronald Reagan in 1981, and he was recovering from an assassination attempt. Still, Reagan phoned in some friendly, humorous remarks.
WHCA dinner organizers wanted to put the focus on the First Amendment and the role of the press in democracy. The scheduled headliners were Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, set to present journalism awards. Woodward told The Washington Post the two planned to speak about “the First Amendment and the importance of aggressive but fair reporting.”
Look for the celebrities at Bee’s event: TV stars such as Alysia Reiner of “Orange Is The New Black,” Retta of “Parks and Recreation” and Matt Walsh of “Veep” were expected at her after-party.
From Vulture, which is cosponsoring Samantha Bee’s event: Samantha Bee on Why Her Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Won’t Just Be an Anti-Trump Roast.
As host of the weekly comedy show/savage commentary on current events, Bee is usually fired-up and ready to sound a barbaric WTF about everything from Russian hacking to why Democrats are good at protesting but absolutely terrible at voting. But during an interview with Vulture Thursday morning, from her dressing room backstage at Constitution Hall, the actual Bee was pretty soft-spoken and relaxed. The relaxed part is impressive considering that, on Saturday, she’ll host the Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, a made-for-television event that, thanks to the diluted nature of this year’s actual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, being held that same evening, has become the most talked-about event of what is usually the buzziest weekend in D.C.
That buzz is humming at a much lower frequency this year. Considerably fewer celebrities are rolling into town for the festivities, several media outlets have cancelled the parties they normally host, and, for the first time in more than three decades, the president will not appear at the dinner. (President Trump announced in February that he would not attend the annual formal, glad-handy event; instead, he will hold a rally that evening in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.)
Before Trump bailed, Bee says she and her Full Frontal team sensed there might be a void and started to figure out how they might fill it. On Saturday, they will do so by hosting the TV- and Twitter-ready alternate dinner at D.C.’s Constitution Hall, where it will be recorded in the afternoon and air that night at ten on TBS. An uncensored version will stream on Twitter starting at 11 p.m., and proceeds generated will be donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
I’m going to end there. I decided to keep things light today, because I’m just plain exhausted from the past 100 days. I’ll have a few more newsy items in the comment thread.
What are you reading and/or doing today?