His 17 months in office have in fact been an exercise in futility for the art-of-the-deal president.
- No deal on immigration.
- No deal on health care.
- No deal on gun control.
- No deal on spending cuts.
- No deal on Nafta.
- No deal on China trade.
- No deal on steel and aluminum imports.
- No deal on Middle East peace.
- No deal on the Qatar blockade.
- No deal on Syria.
- No deal on Russia.
- No deal on Iran.
- No deal on climate change.
- No deal on Pacific trade.
.. Even routine deals sometimes elude Mr. Trump, or he chooses to blow them up.
.. “Trump is an anarchist,” said Jack O’Donnell, a former president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, who became a sharp critic. “It was his approach in business, it is his approach as president. It does not take good negotiating skills to cause chaos. Will this ever lead to concessions? Maybe, but concessions to what? Not anything that resembles a deal. I just do not see him getting much done.”
.. I don’t think it’s that counterintuitive to say that playing hardball will lead to better trade deals eventually,” said Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist and former aide to Mr. Trump.
.. We’ll see what the final outcome is, but it’s already a success just to get them to the table.”
.. the major tax-cutting package that passed late last year. But even that was negotiated mainly by Republican lawmakers, who said Mr. Trump did not seem engaged in the details.
.. And as legislative challenges go, handing out tax cuts without paying for them is not exactly the hardest thing that politicians do.
.. In effect, the agreement with Mr. Kim is like a deal to sell parts of Trump Tower without settling on a price, date, inspection or financing. It is not nearly as advanced as agreements that President Bill Clinton and Mr. Bush made with North Korea, both of which ultimately collapsed.
.. But no modern president has sold himself on the promise of negotiating skills more than Mr. Trump has. He regularly boasts that deals will be “easy” and “quick” and the best ever.
.. He has pulled out of Mr. Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, Paris climate accord and Trans-Pacific Partnership, but promises to negotiate better versions of those deal have gone nowhere.
.. Mr. Trump set his sights on what he called “the ultimate deal,” meaning peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. He said it was “frankly maybe not as difficult as people have thought.” A year later, his team is only now preparing to release a plan.
.. “What the president seemingly fails to understand is that in foreign policy and in trade policy — unlike in real estate transactions — the parties are all repeat players,”
.. “The country you insult or seek undue advantage over today you will have to work with again tomorrow.”
.. Mr. Trump’s approach so far has been to make expansive demands and apply as much pressure as he can. He argues that crushing sanctions he imposed on North Korea forced Mr. Kim to meet. He now hopes to extract concessions from China, Canada and Europe after slapping punishing tariffs on them.
.. “Trump is a bilateral player, in part because that’s what he is used to from his building days, but also because he keeps himself the king, the decider, the strongman,” said Wendy Sherman, who was Mr. Obama’s lead negotiator on the Iran nuclear deal. “In the case of North Korea, however, he wouldn’t have gotten this far — which isn’t all that far — without the South Koreans or the Chinese.”
.. When he gave up on immigration on Friday, he blamed it on Senate Democrats, even though the immediate impasse was among House Republicans who do not need the other party to pass a bill.
.. “Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November,”
.. It was in effect an acknowledgment by Mr. Trump that he cannot reach across the aisle and can only govern with Republicans.
.. the challenge on immigration is that the president has to grapple not just with Democrats but also with Republicans who do not share his philosophy on the issue.
.. Mr. O’Donnell, the former casino president, said Mr. Trump has always oversold his deal-making skills. The casino he managed, Mr. O’Donnell noted, brought in $100 million a year yet still went bankrupt.
.. “The fact is, Trump casinos should have been one of the greatest success stories in the history of casino gambling, but bad deal making caused him to lose all three properties,” he said.
What do you think about this? This is a video letter to Minnesota Congressman Rick Nolan, and Senators Amy Klobucher and Al Franken that tries to prove a duck hunting shotgun is more destructive and lethal than a Huldra AR-15 modern sporting rifle. Do you agree? An interesting video and good point.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is heeding those calls, announcing this past week a proposed law that would require more detailed background checks for gun owners and force retailers to maintain records of gun sales for at least 20 years.
.. The minister’s claim of sharply higher gun crime has since been challenged by criminologists and statisticians, who argue that 2013 had the lowest homicide rate in almost 50 years and that the overall rate of firearm homicides in Canada is up but not dramatically so.
Firearms are already much harder to acquire legally in Canada than in the United States, and the frequency of gun-related violence is markedly lower. But there is a long tradition of hunting and firearm ownership, particularly in rural parts of the country.
The previous Conservative government successfully courted the pro-gun constituency and in 2012 dismantled the decade-old firearms registry for rifles and shotguns, which was criticized by opponents as a waste of money and an intrusion into the right to hunt and shoot. Mandatory registration of handguns and other weapons deemed restricted and prohibited remained in effect.
The Trudeau government’s proposal would force all firearms vendors to maintain records and inventories of transactions and keep those records for 20 years. The records would be accessible to police only if they first obtain a warrant.
.. Sheldon Clare, president of the National Firearms Association, the most outspoken of Canada’s gun-owner groups, called the move the start of a process of “civil disarmament” and a backdoor path to a new government registry system.
.. The legislation would also require the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which issues firearms licenses, to examine a person’s entire life for potential problems, including criminal convictions. The current requirement mandates a five-year background search.
The new law would tighten rules on transporting restricted weapons, making it necessary to obtain authorization each time owners wished to take their guns anywhere other than a shooting range or club.
.. there were 223 firearm-related homicides in Canada in 2016, 44 more than the previous year. In Toronto alone, there were 51 firearm-related deaths in 2016, almost double the 27 reported a year earlier. The United States, which has roughly 10 times the population of Canada, reported 11,004 firearm homicides in 2016.
.. She noted that the supply of restricted and prohibited firearms has more than doubled in Canada over the past decade and said she was concerned that a firearm like the AR-15 could still be sold as a restricted weapon.
Trump suggested repeatedly that raising the age limit was a matter of political will and doing the right thing, even if the NRA doesn’t like it. Now Sanders is suggesting it might be too difficult — despite a CNN poll this week showing 71 percent of Americans favor the change
.. MURPHY: Ninety-seven percent of Americans want universal background checks. In states that have universal background checks, there are 35 percent less gun murders than in states that don’t have them. And yet, we can’t get it done. There’s nothing else like that, where it works, people want it, and we can’t do it.
THE PRESIDENT: But you have a different president now.
SENATOR MURPHY: Well, listen —
THE PRESIDENT: You went through a lot of presidents, and you didn’t get it done. You have a different president. And I think, maybe, you have a different attitude, too. I think people want to get it done.
.. “You have to [be] very, very powerful on background checks; don’t be shy.” He also said he wanted something “really strong on background checks.”
.. he didn’t announce those percentages until the end of an event, when reporters asked him about it. That led to suggestions that maybe those numbers weren’t ready for public consumption. And judging by Sanders’s comments — including at Thursday’s press briefing, in which she said of the 25 percent figure, “I think that’s the intent” — that may be the case.
But here’s the thing: This announcement sent the markets plunging. It inflamed tensions with China and the European Union. And now Sanders is suggesting there’s a possibility — however small — that it might not be ironclad. That’s a hell of a way to do business.