U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: January 31, 2017

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images


1. Trump fires acting attorney general for defying him on immigration order
President Trump on Monday fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama administration holdover, for refusing to defend his executive order on immigration in court. Trump’s order temporarily bans entry into the U.S. by people from seven predominantly Muslim nations. Yates said it was probably unlawful. Trump appointed Dana Boente, a Virginia federal prosecutor, to replace her until his nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, is confirmed. In another gesture of defiance, 100 State Department officials signed a dissent memo warning that barring millions of refugees to find a small number of would-be terrorists could increase the terrorist threat, instead of diminishing it. The White House told the diplomats to “get with the program” or leave.

Source: Reuters, The New York Times

2. ‘Lone wolf’ identified as Quebec mosque killing suspect
Quebec City police on Monday identified the suspect in the killing of six worshippers at a mosque as Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27-year-old political science student at Université Laval. He was formally charged with six counts of murder. A second man, of Moroccan descent, who was detained at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center, was determined to be a witness, not a suspect. Police “consider this a lone wolf situation,” a source told Reuters. U.S. government security experts said a leading theory was that the attacker was a terrorist motivated by hatred of Muslims. A friend of Bissonnette’s said he was “enthralled by a borderline racist nationalist movement.”

Source: Reuters, The Globe and Mail

3. Obama praises people protesting Trump immigration order
Former President Barack Obama, in a rare move for an ex-president, on Monday joined a growing list of political leaders who have spoken out against President Trump’s temporary ban on refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. Kevin Lewis, an Obama spokesman, said the former president was “heartened” by the engagement of protesters across the country. Lewis also said Obama rejected the White House’s comparison of Trump’s executive order to actions Obama took to step up vetting of Iraqi refugees, saying that Obama “fundamentally disagrees” with prioritizing Christian refugees over Muslim ones. “That’s not American,” Obama said.

Source: The Associated Press

4. Trump signs executive order to cut federal regulations
President Trump signed an executive order Monday that he said would deliver on his campaign promise to slash government regulations. “We’ll be reducing [regulations] big league,” Trump said. The order calls for eliminating two old regulations for every new regulation imposed on businesses. “The American dream is back,” Trump said, “and we’re going to create an environment for small business like we haven’t had in many, many decades.” Business groups applauded the move but policy experts shrugged. William Gale, a tax and fiscal policy expert at the Brookings Institution, said the order appeared to be a “totally nonsensical constraint,” because it’s not the number of regulations, but “how onerous regulations are” that matters.

Source: ABC News

5. Boy Scouts to allow transgender boys to join
The Boy Scouts of America announced Monday that it would start allowing transgender boys to join. The organization will now use the gender families put on a child’s scouting application, rather than that found on a birth certificate, to determine eligibility. The organization asked an 8-year-old New Jersey transgender boy to rejoin the Cub Scouts after being forced out. “We realized that referring to birth certificates as the reference point is no longer sufficient,” Boy Scouts chief executive Michael Surbaugh said in a video message. “Communities and state laws are now interpreting gender identity differently than society did in the past.” The Boy Scouts ended a ban on gay scouts in 2013 and on gay scout leaders in 2015.

Source: The Washington Post, USA Today

6. Trump to reveal Supreme Court pick
President Trump on Tuesday night plans to reveal his nominee for the Supreme Court seat left vacant when Justice Antonin Scalia died nearly a full year ago. Trump’s short list reportedly included federal appeals court judges Neil Gorsuch of Colorado, William Pryor of Alabama, and Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania. The nomination will mark a battle over the direction of the Supreme Court. Republicans blocked former President Barack Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland, refusing to even consider the nomination. With only a 52-seat majority, Trump’s pick will have to win over eight Republicans to get past a threatened Democratic filibuster, unless the GOP leadership changes the rules so a simple majority can confirm the pick.

Source: USA Today, The Washington Post

7. Trump to leave Obama LGBT protections in place
President Trump will leave in place former President Barack Obama’s 2014 order creating new workplace protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, the White House said Monday. “President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBT rights, just as he was throughout the election,” the statement said. Obama’s order prohibited federal contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender employees, marking the first time the federal government explicitly protected workers against discrimination over gender identity.

Source: The New York Times

8. U.N. Security Council to discuss Iran missile test
The United Nations Security Council plans to meet Tuesday to discuss Iran’s latest ballistic missile test, its first since President Trump took office. U.S. diplomats at the U.N. requested the meeting Monday to discuss the launch to determine whether it defied U.N. sanctions. Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Danny Danon, urged immediate Security Council action, saying the test endangered “not only Israel, but the entire Middle East.” During the campaign, Trump frequently condemned the nuclear deal and efforts to contain its missile program. The White House said it was still trying to determine the “exact nature” of the latest test.

Source: Fox News, The New York Times

9. Stocks drop as Trump honeymoon cools
U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open on Tuesday, extending losses on Monday that came as investors worried about potential fallout from President Trump’s temporary ban on migrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations. Trump’s rapid-fire executive orders also spooked some people, particularly after the confusion caused by the refugee ban. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 0.6 percent, dropping below the psychologically important 20,000 level it reached for the first time last week. The S&P 500 fell by 0.6 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped by 0.8 percent. It was the worst day yet for U.S. stocks in 2017.

Source: MarketWatch

10. George H.W. Bush, 92, goes home from hospital
Former President George H.W. Bush was released from Houston Methodist Hospital on Monday after two weeks of treatment for pneumonia. Bush, 92, was admitted on Jan. 14 after experiencing difficulty breathing. He spent part of his time in the Intensive Care Unit connected to a ventilator. His wife of 72 years, Barbara Bush, spent five days in the same hospital to be treated for bronchitis. They were “essentially therapy for each other,” one of the physicians who treated the former president said last week.

Source: Bloomberg


U.S. Politics




Bizarre White House Press Release Accuses Yates Of ‘Betrayal’… Report: Key Trump Appointees Left In Dark About Ban… Ryan And McConnell Too — But Congressional STAFFERS Helped ‘Secretly’… UN: Tens Of Thousands Could Be Stopped…
‘There Are People Literally Crying In The Office’ At State And Homeland Security…

U.S. Politics

Daily Kos Recommended – 1-30-2017


U.S. Politics


Carlos Barria/REUTERS


AMERICA ON THE BRINK… White House Defies Court Order… Detentions Continue Despite Emergency Stay… Booker: ‘The Executive Branch Is Not Abiding By The Law’…Democrats Call For Investigation… Massive Rallies Around The Country… Airports Swarmed By Protesters…  And It’s Only Week 2 Of His Presidency…

U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: January 30, 2017

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images


1. Trump defends travel ban as protests continue
Tens of thousands of people rallied at airports across the country on Sunday to protest President Trump’s executive order temporarily halting a refugee program and restricting entry into the U.S. by people coming from seven predominantly Muslim nations. The demonstrations marked a second day of rallies that erupted spontaneously in New York, Washington, D.C., and other major cities. Hundreds of people arriving from Syria, Iraq, Iran, and four other countries where terrorists have been active have been stopped and sent back. In a statement released Sunday, President Trump said the executive order he signed on Friday“is not a Muslim ban” but a move to prevent terrorists from entering the country. Trump said he had “tremendous feeling” for the refugees fleeing Syria, but “my first priority will always be to protect and serve our country.”

Source: Reuters, The New York Times

2. Six killed in attack at Canadian mosque
Gunmen killed six people and wounded eight others at a Quebec City mosque in what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a “terrorist attack on Muslims” and the religious tolerance “that we, as Canadians, hold dear.” One suspect was arrested at the mosque, the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec. Another suspect was arrested nearby in d’Orleans, Quebec. Police did not immediately identify the suspects, or what investigators thought had motivated the attack. Mass shootings are rare in Canada, which has welcomed refugees fleeing war and terrorism in Syria and other predominantly Muslim nations.

Source: The Associated Press, The New York Times

3. Steve Bannon gets a National Security Council seat
President Trump shook up the National Security Council by giving his top political strategist, Steve Bannon, a permanent spot on its interagency principals committee, while curbing the role of the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended the controversial move, saying it was part of an effort to “streamline the process for the president to make decisions on key, important intelligence matters.” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said giving Bannon, a former chief of Breitbart News, such a spot was a “radical departure,” and former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, called Trump’s changes “stone cold crazy.”

Source: Bloomberg

4. Saudi king reportedly backs Trump push for refugee safe zones
President Trump spoke by phone with the King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nuhayan, requesting their support in establishing safe zones for refugees in Syria and Yemen displaced by civil war. White House readouts of the calls did not indicate any discussion of Trump’s Fridayexecutive order halting entry into the U.S. by people from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. The White House says the ban covers countries known to harbor terrorists, but critics note that it doesn’t cover Saudi Arabia, even though 15 of the 19 Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers came from the Arab kingdom.

Source: The Hill

5. Left-leaning candidate Benoit Hamon wins France’s Socialist presidential nomination
Benoit Hamon, the most left-leaning of seven primary candidates, on Sunday won the Socialist nomination for France’s upcoming presidential election, beating centrist former prime minister Manuel Valls 58 percent to 41 percent. The upset came after polls before the primary’s first round last week indicated that the pro-free-market Valls would wind up in a run-off with one of the other candidates. “Tonightthe left holds its head up high again; it is looking to the future,” Hamon said. His win was the latest sign that the left is looking for a clean break with the policies of President Francois Hollande, although left-leaning candidates are considered unlikely to make it past the first round of the general election in April.

Source: CNN

6. U.K. petition against Trump visit gets more than 1 million signatures
A once dormant petition by a British lawyer to prevent President Trump’s planned state visit to the U.K. took off over the weekend in response to the U.S. leader’s travel ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim nations. Before Trump issued his executive order on Friday, the petition had received about 10,000 signatures. By Monday, the number had rocketed to more than 1 million. Any petition receiving 100,000 signatures on the government website qualifies to be debated in Parliament, although that does not guarantee that lawmakers will change the plans for the visit, announced Friday by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Source: USA Today

7. Teachers and parents rally against education secretary nominee DeVos
Thousands of teachers, parents, and children rallied near the U.S. Capitol on Sunday to protest President Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos. Banging drums and noisemakers, the demonstrators called for the Senate to reject DeVos as unqualified and a threat to public education, chanting “Toss DeVos!” and “A, B, C, D, E, F, G, Betsy DeVos is not for me.” The Senate education committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to recommend DeVos’ confirmation. She has been a big-money advocate of taxpayer-funded voucher programs and charter schools, but has no work experience in public education.

Source: The Washington Post

8. ACLU shatters fundraising record
Over the weekend, the American Civil Liberties Union received 356,306 online donations totaling more than $24 million, six times as much as the ACLU typically receives in a year online. The record surge in contributions came in response to President Trump’s executive order suspending the U.S. refugee program and barring travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries. “People are fired up and want to be engaged,” ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said. The ACLU spearheaded opposition to Trump’s order, filing a lawsuit on behalf of two Iraqi men detained at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. A judge issued a stay on Trump’s order allowing people with valid visas who were already in transit to enter the country.

Source: CNN, Slate

9. Uber faces backlash for not backing taxi strike over Trump refugee ban
Uber is facing a boycott movement started by Twitter users over its decision to continue operating while taxi drivers went on strike at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to protest President Trump’s refugee ban. On Sunday morning, Uber rival Lyft capitalized on the controversy by pledging a $1 million donation to the American Civil Liberties Union, which won a stay on the policy to provide relief to refugees and others with valid visas who were already in transit from any of the seven Muslim-majority nations covered by Trump’s policy.

Source: The Washington Post, CNN

10. SAG Award speeches target Trump immigration policies
The acceptance speeches at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards turned sharply political, with one actor after another lashing out against President Trump’s policies on immigration. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won the latest in a series of awards for her role in Veep, said that as an “American patriot” and daughter of an immigrant who fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France, she loves this country and is “horrified by its blemishes.” “And this immigrant ban is a blemish and it is un-American.” The barrage of political speeches nearly overshadowed what turned out to be an evening of upsets, with Hidden Figures beating out Moonlight for Best Film Ensemble, and Denzel Washington of Fences winning Best Actor over Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea.

Source: The New York Times, Fox News

U.S. Politics

Kellyanne Conway Has An Epic Meltdown And Compares Donald Trump To Jesus

Kellyanne Conway Has An Epic Meltdown And Compares Donald Trump To Jesus

Screen capture


Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway blew up on Fox News Sunday and went on a rant which compared President Trump and his staff to Jesus all because the White House thinks the media is biased against them.

Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway blew up on Fox News Sunday and went on a rant which compared President Trump and his staff to Jesus all because the White House thinks the media is biased against them.



Transcript via Fox News Sunday of Conway ranting about media bias and turning Trump into Jesus:

Conway: There’s no question that when you look at the contributions made by the media, money contributions, they went to Hillary Clinton. We have all the headlines, people should be embarrassed. Not one network person has been let go. Not one silly political analyst and pundit who talked smack all day long about Donald Trump has been let go. They are on panels every Sunday. They’re on cable news every day.

Who’s the first editorial — the first blogger that will be left out that embarrassed his or her outlet? We know all their names. I’m too polite to call them by name. But they know who they are, and they’re all wondering, will I be the first to go?

The election was three months ago. None of them have been let go. If this were a real business, if the mainstream media were a thriving private sector business that actually turn a profit, which is not true of many of our newspapers, Chris, 20 percent of the people would be gone. They embarrassed, they failed to protect their shareholders and their board members and their colleagues.

And yet we deal with him every single day. We turn the other cheek. If you are part of team Trump, you walk around with these gaping, seeping wounds every single day, and that’s fine. I believe in a full and fair press.

I’m here every Sunday morning. I haven’t slept in a month. I believe in a full and fair press. But with the free press comes responsibility. And responsibility is to get the story right. Biased coverage is easy to detect. Incomplete coverage impossible to detect. That’s my major grievance, is the media are not — they’re not giving us complete coverage.

President Trump has signed all these executive orders this week. He’s met with these heads of states. He’s done so many things to stimulate the economy, to boost wages, to create jobs. Where’s the coverage?

In case you didn’t catch the reference, Donald Trump is Jesus walking around with the gaping, seeping wounds that are caused by “biased media coverage.” Kellyanne Conway and the rest of the White House are the disciples who are turning the other cheek while being assaulted by the media.

Conway’s rant demonstrates how the White House can shrug off facts and invent their own reality. They are believers, not in God, but in Donald Trump as their almighty political messiah.

For anyone who thinks that this administration is going be defeated by facts and reality, Kellyanne Conway’s rant should serve as a wake-up call. This White House appears to believe that they are on a mission to save America through the gospels of Trump. Their loyalty is to Trump, not the American people.

Kellyanne Conway is truest of true believers, and she just couldn’t help herself from coming a bit unhinged to defend her boss on Fox News Sunday.

U.S. Politics

Steve Bannon personally overruled DHS decision not to include green card holders in travel ban: CNN

Stephen K. Bannon of Breitbart News (YouTube)


Steve Bannon, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, personally overruled a decision by the Department of Homeland Security not to include green card holders in the president’s temporary ban on travel from Muslim countries.

Protests erupted at airports across the country over the weekend after DHS agents began enforcing an executive order signed by Trump by detaining legal permanent residents who were returning from abroad. On Saturday, a federal judge stayed the detentions and ordered the green card holders to be released, but CNN reported that the mayhem could have been avoided if the White House had listened to the guidance of DHS lawyers in the first place.

Documents obtained by CNN showed that DHS initially determined that “lawful permanent residents are not included and may continue to travel to the USA.”

But Bannon personally intervened to counter the guidance from DHS lawyers.

“The White House overruled that guidance overnight, according to officials familiar with the rollout,” the CNN report said. “That order came from the President’s inner circle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon. Their decision held that, on a case by case basis, DHS could allow green card holders to enter the US.”

The decision led Mother Jones columnist Kevin Drum to conclude that the chaos caused by Trump’s executive order had been part of the White House plan.

“Whatever else he is, Steve Bannon is a smart guy, and he had to know that this would produce turmoil at airports around the country and widespread condemnation from the press,” Drum wrote. “In cases like this, the smart money is usually on incompetence, not malice. But this looks more like deliberate malice to me. Bannon wanted turmoil and condemnation. He wanted this executive order to get as much publicity as possible. He wanted the ACLU involved. He thinks this will be a PR win.”

U.S. Politics

The man behind Trump? Still Steve Bannon


Says one insider of Steve Bannon: “He’s telling Trump that he can do everything he said he would do on the campaign trail.” | Getty


In the 10 days since the inauguration, Bannon has rapidly amassed power in the West Wing.

As protests erupted around the country late Saturday in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, many of his key White House staff left for the black-tie Alfalfa Club dinner—but not his top adviser, Stephen Bannon, who stayed behind at the White House with the president, according to a senior White House official.

In the 10 days since Trump’s inauguration, Bannon — the former head of Breitbart News — has rapidly amassed power in the West Wing, eclipsing chief of staff Reince Priebus, who was among those at the Alfalfa Club event. Along with charting the early direction of the Trump administration, he’s been named to a seat on the National Security Council, giving him a part in the nation’s most sensitive intelligence operations.

Bannon and senior presidential adviser Stephen Miller helped lay the political and ideological foundations for Trump’s rise before Trump came on the scene. Breitbart was instrumental in promoting the idea that establishment Republican lawmakers had betrayed American workers on issues like immigration and trade, a theme Trump rode to victory in November.

They’ve been responsible for setting an “action plan” for Trump’s first weeks in the White House, developing executive orders and memoranda and deciding when Trump would sign each new document, according to people familiar with the process.

The plan has so far produced executive actions weakening Obamacare, beefing up immigration enforcement, and freezing federal hiring — and on preventing refugees and visa-holders from majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

“He’s telling Trump that he can do everything he said he would do on the campaign trail,” said a person close to the administration.

That’s won Bannon the president’s favor, and endeared him to his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner. Rather than telling Trump what he can’t do, Bannon — a self-made multimillionaire who Trump sees as a peer rather than as an employee, according to people familiar with their relationship — has positioned himself alongside Trump as an enemy of the Washington establishment, including the Republican Party.

During the transition, Bannon stayed away from many of the lower-level hiring decisions and avoided staff meetings where others attended, instead focusing on shaping the Cabinet. He was “integral” in the process of selecting Trump’s appointees, one person close to the team said.

Unlike some of Trump’s other advisers, Bannon doesn’t often appear on television or go to Washington dinners. He swears frequently and often dresses more casually than most White House staff, and generally seems most comfortable huddling with Trump privately or standing off to the side during large meetings.

“He has a great understanding of the American public and why Trump won the election, and he tells Trump about what people are really upset about and what they’re really concerned about,” said former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. And, Giuliani added, “Trump generally agrees with him.”

Bannon’s rise has worried Trump’s critics because he led Breitbart, which associates itself with the alt-right and groups supporting nationalism and other fringe beliefs. After he was hired in the White House, the Southern Poverty Law Center called him “the main driver behind Breitbart becoming a white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill.” Bannon and his friends have denied the attacks and say he is not racist or anti-Semitic.

At Bannon’s right hand is Miller, a close ideological ally who traveled with Trump almost constantly during the campaign, forging a close bond with him and even introducing Trump at rallies.

Together, Bannon and Miller wrote Trump’s inaugural address. Since his swearing in, they’ve pushed Trump to take his most combative stances, particularly toward the media.

Both of the men have sometimes clashed with other Republican and White House staffers, who have accused them of keeping information from others. And other White House aides have worried that their policies are being implemented too quickly with little planning. Yet Trump seems to appreciate both men.

“Steve mastered [Trump’s] voice,” said the person close to the administration, referring to Miller. “He takes him stuff he knows the president will like, and he puts it in words the president will want to say.”

The working relationship between Bannon and Miller stretches back to 2013, when Miller was an aide to Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican who’s now Trump’s nominee for attorney general. The two worked together to scuttle the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill, which many Republicans thought was a done deal in the wake of Mitt Romney’s 2012 defeat, when the party was focused on reaching out to Latino voters.

Miller provided Breitbart a constant flow of information designed to undermine the bill, which surfaced in articles on the website and ricocheted through Washington. The general thrust presaged Trump’s campaign with the argument that comprehensive immigration reform was orchestrated by a cadre of elites—politicians, CEOs, special interests — with an interest in importing cheap foreign labor, and at the expense of American workers.

The immigration reform bill ultimately died after House Speaker John Boehner refused to bring it to the floor for a vote.

On Sunday, #StopPresidentBannon was trending on Twitter as protests raged at airports across the country in reaction to Friday’s executive order prohibiting Syrian refugees and travelers from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States as well as Bannon’s elevation to the NSC.

The president’s sharpest critics seized on Bannon’s addition to the NSC as another sign Trump will take a hard-right approach to governing.

“Steve Bannon is not on the White House staff for his national security expertise,” said Paul Begala, a former political adviser to President Bill Clinton. “He’s there because he was a successful publisher of what he describes as a platform for the alt-right, which is part of Trump’s base. That’s politics. There should be no seat at the table at the NSC for that person.”

President George W. Bush’s chief political adviser, Karl Rove—often referred to as “Bush’s brain” and seen as an aide with massive influence over the president—was prohibited by Bush from attending national security meetings. President Barack Obama’s political adviser, David Axelrod, said in an interview that he’d occasionally observe meetings in the Situation Room, but “there were occasions where I was expressly told I could not attend.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Trump ally, reached back to Harry Hopkins, a close political adviser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who had a hand in influencing policy during World War II, to find an example of a political aide influencing national security policy to a similar degree.

“If Trump trusts his instincts and judgment, it’s a perfectly legitimate plan,” Gingrich said in an interview. “Bannon thinks about strategy all the time, and a large part of the NSC is about strategy.” Gingrich also pointed out that Bannon is a former naval officer, a talking point that was repeated by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, as a reason he is qualified for the role.

Another former naval officer, Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain, disputed that view, calling it a “radical departure” to elevate a political adviser while diminishing the role of the joint chiefs of staff. “I am worried about the National Security Council,” he said Sunday on Face the Nation.

With Tara Palmeri and Shane Goldmacher

U.S. Politics

TrumpBeat: There Is No Pivot


Donald Trump’s campaign for president was notably light on policy details, which meant no one was sure what he’d do once he took office. Washington insiders debated whether he would govern as the populist bomb thrower he presented during the campaign or morph into a more conventional Republican, in policy if not in style. Some liberals allowed themselves to hope that Trump, with his New York background and his once-cozy relationship with the Clintons, would prove more progressive than he let on during the campaign. Even some supporters said they weren’t sure Trump meant many of his more extreme promises.

If there is one takeaway from Trump’s first full week in office, it is this: He meant it.

Hours after being sworn in as president last week, Trump signed an executive order that sought to weaken the Affordable Care Act. He followed that up this week with executive actions on abortion, immigration, trade and other issues. And there is probably more to come: Several news organizations this week reported on leaked drafts of executive orders on immigration and CIA “black site” prisons.

The practical implications of Trump’s actions aren’t yet clear. Many will face legal challenges and opposition from cities, states and advocacy groups. And in some cases, the executive orders themselves leave major questions unanswered. But taken together, Trump’s actions in his first week leave little doubt that he plans to take the same aggressive approach to governing that he did to campaigning.

Here are some of the major policy developments from the past week:

Immigration: The wall is just the beginning

Trump this week took steps to make good on his signature campaign promise: building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order pledging to use existing federal money to begin “immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border.” (Trump will need Congress to appropriate the billions of dollars necessary to construct the full, 1,300-mile wall.)

But while the wall drew the headlines, it may actually have been the least significant of Trump’s new immigration announcements. That’s because the problem the wall is designed to solve — mass illegal crossings at the Mexican border — is already much smaller than it was a decade ago. Indeed, more unauthorized Mexican workers have left the U.S. in recent years than have entered it: The total number of undocumented Mexican immigrants in the U.S. has fallen by about a million people since 2007, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. A large and likely growing share of undocumented immigrants entered the country legally then overstayed their visas, and many of the people who do enter the country illegally are families or unaccompanied children from Central America seeking asylum, not people trying to sneak across the border undetected. A wall won’t do much to deter either group.

Much more significant were Trump’s moves to crack down on “sanctuary cities” and to bring back a controversial program called Secure Communities, which requires local law enforcement to share with federal immigration agents the fingerprints of anyone booked in a local jail, whether or not the person is charged with a crime. The two policies are intertwined: “Sanctuary cities” is the term for areas that have vowed to shield some undocumented immigrants from federal policies that could lead to deportation, in some cases by refusing to comply with the Secure Communities program.

Secure Communities was launched under President George W. Bush and was initially embraced by President Obama. But Obama canceled the program in 2014 in the face of waning willingness by local law enforcement to carry it out, and a growing number of federal court cases questioning its legality. On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order reviving Secure Communities and threatening to cut off federal funding to sanctuary cities. An analysis by The Washington Post found that in the 10 sanctuary areas with the most money to lose — cities such as New York, San Francisco and Boston — potential cuts represent less than .05 percent of annual city budgets.

Health care: This could take a while

Repealing and replacing Obamacare could take longer than Republicans hoped. Two new Republican plans were revealed this week, and they couldn’t be more different. Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Susan Collins of Maine put forward a one-page document that was quickly dubbed “if you like your Obamacare, you can keep your Obamacare.” It would allow states to keep the Affordable Care Act intact, or to choose from two other options: Either receive 95 percent of the funds doled out from the ACA and give the money directly to patients in health savings accounts (there are various ways the money could be divvied up) or do nothing and lose all federal funding. It’s hard to envision many states picking door No. 2, but it’s even harder to imagine many Republican members of Congress supporting a plan that keeps the ACA intact.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s plan, on the other hand, would repeal the ACA completely and offer individuals a tax credit up to $5,000 for money placed in a health savings account, and allow everyone to take a tax deduction for their insurance, not just people who get insurance from their employer. Instead of requiring insurers to cover pre-existing health conditions, Paul’s bill would provide a two-year window when people could enroll; if they didn’t keep continuous coverage after that, they could risk paying more or being denied by insurers. It would also give states more flexibility in how they spend Medicaid funding. It’s a plan with more traditional conservative roots, but cutting back Medicaid and having no high-risk pool for people with pre-existing conditions is likely to rankle plenty of people.

Meanwhile, several GOP governors find themselves in the strange position of having to defend Medicaid expansion, the component of the ACA that broadened the federal health program for low income people.

Bottom-line: It’s not clear that the first week of Trump’s presidency got Republican lawmakers any closer to an ACA replacement bill.

The economy: Dealmaking as policy

Several of Trump’s week-one executive actions were related to the economy: He instituted a hiring freeze on the federal workforce, put a hold on all pending regulations and pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (a formality since it was already clear Congress wouldn’t ratify it). But perhaps the more significant move was an event that might under a different president have been a mere photo-op: Trump’s Monday breakfast meeting with the CEOs of some of the country’s biggest companies. (He met separately the next day with the heads of the Big Three automakers.)

Trump used the meetings to urge CEOs to invest in the U.S. (a standard presidential plea) and to warn them against sending jobs overseas (a much more unusual threat). That’s a continuation of the approach he used during the presidential transition, when he cut a deal with Carrier Inc. to keep jobs in the U.S. and threatened Ford on Twitter over the automaker’s own outsourcing plans. It’s a strategy that favors dealmaking and personal relationships over traditional policymaking. (Andrew Ross Sorkin this week compared the approach to that of activist investors like Carl Icahn, a friend of Trump’s.)

That deal-focused approach can create some perverse incentives. Lauren Weber of The Wall Street Journal this week reported that CEOs are looking for ways to “reshore” a small, symbolic number of jobs to keep out of Trump’s crosshairs. But neither Trump’s public shaming nor his proposed policies would do much to address the underlying causes of the disappearance of U.S. manufacturing jobs, such as globalization and automation. And as Nelson Schwartz and Alan Rapperport noted in The New York Times this week, even many of the CEOs that met with Trump on Monday have cut U.S. jobs in recent years — and they haven’t pledged not to do so again.

The environment: Self-censorship

Trump’s relationship with government scientists is off to a bad start. Multiple federal agencies reported being under instruction to temporarily cease communication with the public, and grants and contracts have been frozen at the Environmental Protection Agency. But buried in the (conflicting) reports about the Trump administration censoring scientists is something a lot more sinister: scientists censoring themselves.

On the 20th, This American Life aired an interview with a Department of Energy employee who described preemptively editing references to climate change out of DOE materials. On Monday, the CDC canceled — apparently on its own volition — a major conference on climate change and health that was supposed to happen next month. (The conference is apparently back on again, but without the federal government’s involvement.) Even the widely shared news of a former employee of Badlands National Park using the park’s official twitter account to spread information about ocean acidification and carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere ended this way — the park deleted the tweets and told reporters it was not forced to do so. That’s significant because, according to White House spokesman Sean Spicer, the administration never told the federal agencies to freeze public communications, either.

The EPA has told the press that the restrictions and budgetary freezes are temporary — some could lift by Monday. But the self-censorship problem isn’t just going to go away, and that could pose a bigger problem for the agency employees and scientists who say they want to resist Trump.

More from FiveThirtyEight

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