Gallup: People feel Obama divided the nation, but he'll give his 'farewell address' tonight

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Published by: Jared Yamamoto on Tuesday January 10th, 2017

 

Herman Cain Daily Briefing for Tuesday, 1-10-2017

 

 

News Nuggets 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP Heavyweights Clemson and Alabama are set for a rematch of last year’s classic. 

o   Who won? Was it the greatest college football game of all time?

 

NA NA NA NAH… NA NA NA NAH… HEY HEY HEY… GOOD BYE President Obama will give his farewell speech tonight in Chicago, while free tickets to the event are selling for upwards of $5,000 on eBay and Craigslist. 

o   Others are offering to trade things such as "Hamilton" musical tickets for the tickets that were doled out for free. Hundreds of tickets were on sale online, most selling for at least $300. 

o   Meanwhile, the Better Business Bureau warns against buying tickets online. Steve Bernas, of the BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois, said "there's no way to verify these tickets." He said he guarantees "someone will be turned away on Tuesday." The BBB asks that anyone who was sold a fake to ticket to contact them. 

o   Doors open at 6p.m. eastern, speech is scheduled for 9pm WSB will carry the speech LIVE.

 

THE WHITE HOUSE DEFENDS MERYL STREEP The White House defended actress Meryl Streep’s criticism of President-elect Donald Trump and said President Obama has been biting his tongue to keep from unleashing similar public barbs about the Republican. 

o   While Obama has strong feelings about Trump, said White House press secretary Josh Earnest, “he has to set aside those personal feelings.” He said Mr. Obama has “institutional responsibilities” to ensure a smooth transition which are preventing him from speaking freely about the president-elect. 

o   Ms. Streep criticized Mr. Trump Sunday night at the Golden Globes award show, an annual Hollywood ritual. 

o   Mr. Earnest said the actress was engaging in a “fairly straightforward exercise of her First Amendment right” to freedom of speech. 

o   “She clearly was delivering a thoughtful, carefully considered message that she believes in deeply,” he said. 

o   Obama, a favorite of Hollywood, awarded Ms. Streep with a presidential medal of freedom in 2014, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

 

AP POLL: OBAMA’S LEGACY More Americans feel that President Obama's presidency divided the country than feel it brought people together, a new poll shows. 

o   Eight years after Obama's historic election, just 27 percent see the U.S. as more united as a result of his presidency, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll conducted after the 2016 election. 44 percent - say it's more divided. 

o   Just over half say Obama's presidency has been great or good. Thirty-seven percent view him unfavorably. 

o   Did he keep his promises? He did not, in the minds of 2 of 3 Americans, though 44 percent say he tried. 

o   His complicated legacy comes into sharper focus when it comes to race. Nearly 8 in 10 African-Americans view the nation's first black president favorably, but far fewer see his presidency as having yielded the type of profound changes for black Americans that many had hoped. 

o   Just 43 percent of African-Americans say Obama made things better for black people, while roughly half say they see no difference. Six percent say Obama has made things worse. 

o   By and large, Americans' views of Obama break along partisan lines. Nearly 9 in 10 Democrats and people who lean Democratic view him favorably, while 3 in 4 Republicans and GOP-leaning Americans have a negative view. Independents are roughly divided. 

o   Just 4 in 10 Americans said they and their families are better off than when Obama took office, while about a quarter say they're worse off. About a third say they haven't seen much change. 

o   The AP-NORC poll of 1,017 adults was conducted Dec. 14-19, 2016 using a sample drawn from NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. 

o   Interviews were conducted online and using landlines and cell phones.

 

FLORIDA MANHUNT An Orlando police sergeant was shot and killed after approaching a suspect wanted for questioning in the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend. 

o   A second law enforcement officer was killed in a motorcycle crash while responding to a massive manhunt for the suspect. 

o   More than a dozen schools were placed in lockdown during the manhunt, and authorities were offering a $60,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Markeith Loyd, the 41-year-old suspect wanted in the killing of Master Sgt. Debra Clayton. 

o   Clayton was killed outside a Wal-Mart store in northwest Orlando early Monday, and Orange County Sheriff's Office Deputy First Class Norman Lewis was killed in a crash while responding to a manhunt for Loyd. 

o   Another Orlando police officer was involved in a crash while responding to the shooting but had only minor injuries. 

o   Authorities said Loyd previously was a suspect in the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend in December. 

o   Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said deputies had been searching unsuccessfully for Loyd for several weeks and believe he was receiving help from someone. 

o   At an afternoon news conference, Demings urged Loyd to turn himself in peacefully.

 

SHOTS FIRED A Navy guided-missile destroyer fired a series of warning shots at four Iranian vessels after the Islamic Republic's boats closed in at a high rate of speed in the Strait of Hormuz. 

o   The USS Mahan tried to order the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard boats to stop via bridge-to-bridge radio communication, but the vessels didn’t respond to the request, prompting the destroyer to fire three warning shots with a .50 caliber machine gun. 

o   After the shots were fired, the Iranian boats stopped the approach, Cmdr. Bill Urban, spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said. 

o   The Iranian vessels sailed within 890 yards of the Mahan, which had been escorting two U.S. Navy warships. Those two ships were the USS Makin Island, a large deck amphibious assault ship with 1,000 U.S. Marines, dozens of helicopters and Marine Harrier jets aboard, and a U.S. Navy oiler. 

o   In addition to the machine gun warning shots, a Navy helicopter dropped a smoke float. The only communication between the Iranian vessels and the U.S. warships was one Iranian boat asking for the "hull number" of the U.S. Navy vessels.

 

NO MORE WHITE PHILOSOPHERS Students at one of Europe’s top universities are calling for philosophers such as Plato, Descartes, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell to be dropped from the curriculum because they are white. 

o   The student union at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London is demanding that when studying philosophy the majority of philosophers on our courses should be from Africa and Asia as opposed to being white, Western thinkers. 

o   The students claim this is part of a strategy to decolonize the college, which they regard as a “white institution”. 

o   SOAS, which is a constituent college of the University of London, was founded in 1916 and is regarded as the world’s leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 

o   But in a list of educational priorities entitled “Decolonising SOAS: Confronting The White Institution”, the union’s statement of “educational priorities” states its aim to create an inclusive learning and teaching environment by defining what these terms mean and address the white curriculum by undertaking a full scale audit of every course reading list. 

o   It goes on to say that white philosophers should be studied only “if required”, – and even in those circumstances their work should be taught only from “a critical standpoint”. 

o   It states: “If white philosophers are required, then [it should be a priority] to teach their work from a critical standpoint. For example, acknowledging the colonial context in which so called “Enlightenment” philosophers wrote within.” 

o   The move is being pushed by democracy and education union officer Ali Habib, who is on SOAS’s governing board of trustees. 

o   Mr Habib also listed widening the scope of scholarships for refugees as an educational priority.

 

NEW U.S. CENSUS DATA The population of politically influential whites in America is expected to shrink 14 percent, a shortfall that will be made up minorities who by 2020 will represent over 50 percent of all 18 year olds and younger, according to a new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. 

o   The Brookings Institution revealed the Census expectations, suggesting that the 2020 Census will show that more than half of Americans under age 18 are racial minorities. Going forward these groups along with African Americans will provide all of the nation's child population gains as well as all future gains in its labor force. 

o   Between 2000 and 2015, the United States has seen an absolute loss of 6.8 million white men and women who are younger than age 20, a decline of 14 percent. 

o   The decline of white youth is a national phenomenon, occurring in 47 states and in nearly 90 percent of the nation's 3100 counties—especially those in the Rust Belt and Appalachia. Census projections reveal that, for decades to come, more young whites will be passing age 20 than will be born or will immigrate. And as the white population ages, there will be proportionately fewer white women of childbearing age.

 

THE MISSILE IS READY North Korea says it could launch an intercontinental ballistic missile "at any time," even as Pyongyang appeared to offer Donald Trump an avenue for future talks. 

o   Tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen considerably since leader Kim Jong Un said in his new year's message that the country was close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile… capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to the US mainland. 

o   In a statement Sunday, a spokesman from North Korea's foreign minister said "the U.S. is wholly to blame" for the development of its missile program. 

o   Defense Secretary Ash Carter called it a "serious threat" and said the US would shoot down any missile aimed at it or an ally. 

o   China and South Korea denounced the North Korea missile threat, and warned that a test could lead to further sanctions. 

o   Strict international sanctions have so far failed to prevent Pyongyang from developing its nuclear program. 

o   In the statement, the country's foreign ministry alluded to those sanctions and said US officials spout rubbish when they assume Obama's policies will be maintained in future.

 

JOHN KERRY APOLOGIZES The State Department formally apologized for what it describes as decades of discrimination against LGBT employees and job applicants in a rare statement meant to right the wrongs that preceded current Secretary of State John Kerry. 

o   While lauding what his State Department had done for its employees and around the globe, Kerry said the discriminatory practices had included requiring some LGBT employees to resign or not to hire job applicants because of their sexual orientation. 

o   Kerry said the discrimination dated back to the 1940s, although he noted that the department was "among many public and private employers" that acted similarly. 

o   Only 11 days remain in Kerry's tenure as Secretary of State. He has spent his final weeks primarily mired in crossfire over a United Nations resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction, a policy fight Kerry sought to reframe in a high-profile speech. 

o   Kerry has been under pressure in recent weeks to issue a public apology. 

o   In November, Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat who is the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote a letter to Kerry, published by the Washington Blade, asking that he "take steps to remedy a deep stain on our national history and that of the State Department itself: The legacy of the so-called 'lavender scare' in which hundreds of State Department employees were dismissed from service because of their perceived sexual orientation." 

o   In a statement Monday welcoming the apology, Cardin said he plans move forward with legislation "that adds the Senate's voice to this important issue," and that will address his "on-going commitment to building an inclusive foreign policy and development workforce that represents all Americans." 

o   Cardin's call has been echoed by LGBT rights groups, including the Human Rights Campaign.

 

ASANGE PIPES UP WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fired back at the U.S. intelligence community for its report stating the anti-secrecy website was used by the Russian government to distribute hacked information from Democratic figures during the run-up to the presidential election. 

o   Assange said the source of his information was not a member of any government or state parties and did not come from the Russian government. The WikiLeaks editor-in-chief blasted Friday’s declassified intelligence report on “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” as being inadequate and misleading. 

o   Asked yesterday whether it's possible that WikiLeaks' source was a go-between affiliated with the Russian government, Assange said he didn't want to "play twenty questions with our sources." 

o   The intelligence report, prepared at the direction of President Obama, laid the blame for the breach of top Democratic officials’ emails directly at the feet of the Russians, whom the report said launched cyber operations as part of a Vladimir Putin-ordered “influence campaign.” 

o   “We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence … relayed material to WikiLeaks,” the report said, adding this included material from the DNC and senior Democratic officials. 

o   WikiLeaks famously published emails from top DNC officials before the 2016 Democratic convention, and later published thousands of emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta -- but Assange has steadfastly insisted, including in a recent interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, that Moscow was not the source. 

o   Asked yesterday if he believed the intelligence community’s finding had been “fabricated,” Assange stopped just short, saying: “Most of this so-called intelligence report is not even fabricated. That is, it does not even make assertions for the most part to rise to the level of fabrications … it uses speculative terms and admits its own speculation.” 

o   The report itself, perhaps in anticipation of such challenges, noted that the declassified version “does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.” 

o   But Assange later indicated he didn’t think it mattered who supplied the information to his group. 

o   During the chat, which took place inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Assange has been holed up to avoid deportation on a rape charge he denies since June 2012, the WikiLeaks boss leveled a new accusation at the Obama administration. 

o   He urged anyone within those agencies to “get hold of that history and protect it; because that’s something that belongs to humanity and does not belong to a political party.” 

o   Assange’s assertion of mass document destruction may be the reason for a Tuesday tweet from WikiLeaks offering $20,000 as a “reward for information leading to the arrest or exposure of any Obama admin agent destroying significant records.” 

o   He also challenged the claim that WikiLeaks was in league with President-elect Donald Trump and wanted him to win the election. 

o   Trump, meanwhile, has not outright challenged the findings in Friday's report despite having voiced skepticism before about Russia's involvement. 

o   Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming chief of staff, told "Fox News Sunday" he thinks the president-elect “accepts the findings” and is “not denying entities in Russia are behind these particular hackings.”

 

MORE GOOD AUTO NEWS Fiat-Chrysler said it would spend $1 billion on U.S. manufacturing, including modernizing plants in Michigan and Ohio, in a move that’s set to add 2,000 new jobs. 

o   According to the company’s plan, the plant in Warren, Michigan will be made capable of producing a pickup truck currently built in Mexico. 

o   The Warren plant will make the new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer large SUVs. A plant in Toledo, Ohio also will get new equipment to make a new Jeep pickup. 

o   The move by Fiat Chrysler follows a similar recent announcement made by a competing auto brand. 

o   Sunday's announcement by Fiat Chrysler also follows news a day earlier that the company was recalling 100,000 mostly older trucks and SUVs to replace Takata air bag inflators.

 

GREAT JOB VENEZUELA Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro announced on Sunday a 50 percent hike in the minimum wage and pensions, the fifth increase over the last year, to help shield workers from the world's highest inflation rate. 

o   The measure puts the minimum monthly salary at 40,683 bolivars - about $60 at the weakest exchange level under the state's currency controls, or $12 at the black market rate. 

o   The 54-year-old successor to Hugo Chavez attributes Venezuela's three-year recession, soaring prices and product shortages to a plunge in global oil prices since mid-2014 and an "economic war" by political foes and hostile businessmen. 

o   Venezuela's inflation hit 181 percent in 2015 though opponents say the true figure was higher. There is no official data for 2016, but most economists think inflation at least doubled from the previous year and will be worse again in 2017. 

o   Venezuela's opposition has said inflation was more than 500 percent in 2016, while the economy shrank 12 percent. The government has given no gross domestic product data for last year. 

 

Solutions for a Better America for Tuesday, 1-10-2017

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTDOWN TO INAGURATION 11 DAYS on Friday, January 20th.

 

OBAMA’S FAREWELL SPEECH January 10th (TODAY)

 

TRUMP PRESS CONFERENCE January 11th

 

TRUMP TRANSITION CONFIRMATIONS January 11th

 

 

THE TRUMP TRANSITION President-elect Donald Trump is hiring son-in-law Jared Kushner as a senior adviser with a wide-ranging portfolio bringing to the West Wing one of the most influential figures in the Trump camp.

o   Mr. Kushner has played a large role in Mr. Trump’s transition, helping to select top-ranking staff and set strategy, transition advisers said. Mr. Trump’s team has long wanted to bring him to the White House, but saw a potential obstacle in a 1967 anti-nepotism law. 

o   In hiring Mr. Kushner, the Trump team has apparently concluded the appointment doesn't violate the law. 

o   Mr. Kushner’s attorney, Jamie Gorelick, said that he would take several steps to avoid conflicts of interest upon entering the White House. Ms. Gorelick, an attorney with the firm WilmerHale and a former U.S. deputy attorney general, said Mr. Kushner would resign from his position as chief executive of real estate developer Kushner Companies, as well as from his position at the New York Observer, a newspaper he owns. 

o   He would also divest himself from “substantial assets,” though not from all of his holdings, she said. 

o   Mr. Kushner stepped down from the board of Global Gateway Alliance, a nonprofit organization that promotes growth in the New York region. He has been serving on the board, a group of leaders in business, government, labor and education established in 2012. The Alliance focuses on issues facing regional airports and infrastructure to “facilitate the continued growth of the region,” according to its website. 

o   Mr. Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, Mr. Trump’s daughter, was one of Mr. Trump’s closest advisers during the campaign.

 

THE TRANSITION CONTINUES Ivanka Trump won’t take a job in her father’s incoming White House administration. 

o   News of her decision not to serve in the White House comes as her husband, Jared Kushner, was picked to serve as a senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump. 

o   Trump has previously said he would “love” to have his daughter and son-in-law involved in his administration. 

o   Ivanka Trump, who’s been an adviser on her father’s transition team along with his two adult sons, will instead get her family assimilated into their new home in Washington, D.C., transition officials told Reuters. Ivanka Trump and Kushner have three young children, ages 9 months to 5 years.

 

FIRST IN LINE Outgoing President Barack Obama warned during the EU referendum campaign that Britain would be at the "back of the queue" for a trading agreement if voters opted to leave the EU. 

o   But Mr Johnson said: "Clearly, the Trump administration-to-be has a very exciting agenda of change. 

o   "One thing that won't change though is the closeness of the relationship between the US and the UK. 

o   "We are the number two contributor to defence in NATO. We are America's principal partner in working for global security and, of course, we are great campaigners for free trade. 

o   "We hear that we are first in line to do a great free trade deal with the United States. So, it's going to be a very exciting year for both our countries." 

o   Mr Johnson met Mr Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and his chief strategist Steve Bannon in New York after flying there on Sunday. 

o   He has also been meeting other key Republicans in Washington, including House Speaker Paul Ryan. 

o   Prime Minister Theresa May is due to meet Mr Trump in Washington next month. 

o   Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mrs May said Mr Trump's previous lewd remarks about women were "unacceptable". 

o   The President-elect faced an angry backlash during last year's presidential campaign after a 2005 recording emerged of him boasting about groping women. 

o   In her first broadcast interview of the year, the PM was critical of the comments, but pointed out Mr Trump had since apologised for them. 

o   "But the relationship that the UK has with the United States is about something much bigger than just the relationship between the two individuals as president and prime minister," she continued.

 

BOSTON GLOBE OPINION: WE’VE BEEN HACKING ELECTIONS FOR DECADES BY: Stephen Kinzer 

o   Outrage is shaking Washington as members of Congress compete to demonize Russia for its alleged interference in America’s recent presidential election. “Any foreign intervention in our elections is entirely unacceptable,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has asserted. Russian actions, according to other legislators, are “attacks on our very fundamentals of democracy” that “should alarm every American” because they “cut to the heart of our free society.” This burst of righteous indignation would be easier to swallow if the United States had not itself made a chronic habit of interfering in foreign elections. 

o   Over a period of more than a century, American leaders have used a variety of tools to influence voters in other countries. We have chosen candidates, advised them, financed their parties, designed their campaigns, bribed media outlets to support them, and intimidated or smeared their rivals. 

o   One of our first operations to shape the outcome of a foreign election came in Cuba. After the United States helped Cuban rebels overthrow Spanish rule in 1898, we organized a presidential election, recruited a pro-American candidate, and forbade others to run against him. Two years later, after the United States annexed Hawaii, we established an electoral system that denied suffrage to most native Hawaiians, assuring that only pro-American candidates would be elected to public office. 

o   During the Cold War, influencing foreign elections was a top priority for the CIA. One of its first major operations was aimed at assuring that a party we favored won the 1948 election in Italy. This was a multipronged effort that included projects like encouraging Italian-Americans to write letters to their relatives warning that American aid to Italy would end if the wrong party won. Encouraged by its success in Italy, the CIA quickly moved to other countries. 

o   In 1953, the United States found a former Vietnamese official who had lived at Catholic seminaries in the United States, and maneuvered him into the presidency of newly formed South Vietnam. He was supposed to stay on the job for two years until national elections could be held, but when it became clear that he would lose, he canceled the election. “I think we should support him on this,” the US secretary of state said. The CIA then stage-managed a plebiscite on our man’s rule. Campaigning against him was forbidden. A reported 98.2 percent of voters endorsed his rule. The American ambassador called this plebiscite a “resounding success.” 

o   In 1955 the CIA gave $1 million to a pro-American party in Indonesia. Two years later the United States maneuvered a friendly politician into the presidency of Lebanon by financing his supporters’ campaigns for Parliament. “Throughout the elections, I traveled regularly to the presidential palace with a briefcase full of Lebanese pounds,” a CIA officer later wrote. “The president insisted that he handle each transaction by himself.” 

o   Our intervention in Lebanon’s election provoked protests by those who believed that Lebanese voters alone should shape their country’s future. The United States sent troops to Lebanon to suppress that outburst of nationalism. Much the same happened in the Dominican Republic, which we invaded in 1965 after voters chose a president we deemed unacceptable. Our intervention in Chile’s 1964 election was more discreet, carried out by covertly financing favored candidates and paying newspapers and radio stations to skew reporting in ways that would favor them. 

o   The next Chilean election, in 1970, drew the United States into one of its furthest-reaching interventions. The CIA and other government agencies used a variety of pressures to prevent the Chilean Congress from confirming the victory of a Socialist presidential candidate. This operation included shipping weapons to conspirators who, several hours after receiving them, assassinated the commander of the Chilean military, who had refused to lead a revolt against democracy. His murder did not prevent the accession of the candidate we detested, but the United States relentlessly punished Chile for the next three years until the military staged a coup and ended democratic rule. An American official asserted that intervention in Chile was made necessary by “the stupidity of its own people,” which they expressed by voting for a candidate we opposed. 

o   Among many CIA operations to influence elections in the Middle East, one in 1975 helped elect a prime minister of Israel whose policies the United States favored. In Central America, intervening in elections is an even older habit. The CIA recruited a pro-American economist to run for president of Nicaragua in 1984, and when it became clear that he would lose, pulled him out of the race amid laments about the lack of electoral freedom in Nicaragua. In 2009, the United States encouraged a military coup in which the elected president of Honduras was deposed, and then endorsed a new election in which he was not allowed to run. 

o   Perhaps the most recent US intervention in foreign politics came in Ukraine. In 2014, as protesters gathered there in an effort to overthrow their elected government, a senior State Department official appeared in the crowd to encourage their revolt. She was caught telling an aide which Ukrainian politician was “the guy” Americans had chosen to be Ukraine’s next leader, and asserting that the United States would “midwife this thing.” A few weeks later our “guy” became prime minister — setting off a crisis that ended with Russian military intervention. 

o   Condemning interference in foreign elections is eminently reasonable. The disingenuous howls of anti-Russian rage now echoing through Washington, however, ignore much history.

 

WHAT TRUMP PLANS TO ACCOMPLISH ON DAY ONE Judging by his campaign promises, Donald Trump will be a busy man on his first day in the Oval Office. 

o   Trump has pledged to take sweeping, unilateral actions on Jan. 20 to roll back President Obama’s policies and set the course for his administration. Many of Obama’s policies he can reverse with the simple stroke of a pen.   

o   While he could further detail his first-day plans during a news conference this week, here are five areas where Trump has already promised to act.

 

1.    Immigration 

o   Trump’s tough stance on illegal immigration was one of the most animating issues of his campaign, and he promised to put his plans in motion right after taking office. 

o   He said during an August campaign rally in Phoenix that he would direct immigration enforcement authorities to deport convicted criminals living in the U.S. illegally, a group he has said numbers 2 million. 

o   “We will begin moving them out day one,” he said. “Day one, my first hour in office, those people are gone.” 

o   President Obama has already directed the Department of Homeland Security to put its “highest priority” on deporting convicted criminals and gang members. But presidents have broad authority under the law on immigration enforcement, and Trump could order the agency to go even further than the guidelines Obama laid out in 2014. 

o   Trump could also do away with Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which more than 700,000 young undocumented immigrants have used to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation. 

o   The president-elect, however, has come under pressure from advocates to keep the program, including from Obama himself. 

o   Trump could also issue directives that take aim at so-called sanctuary cities, which do not aid federal authorities in enforcing immigration law, and order work to begin on a massive wall on the Mexican border. But he would likely need Congress’s cooperation to complete both tasks.

 

2.    Environment 

o   Trump has promised to approve the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines on his first day in office and to cancel any climate-related payments to the United Nations, putting that money instead toward domestic infrastructure projects. 

o   Unleashing the coal industry and rolling back Obama’s energy regulations will be another major priority for Trump. 

o   That could mean lifting moratoriums on new leases for coal mines on federal land in the West and eliminating new regulations on mountaintop mining out East. 

o   And Trump is likely to reverse White House guidance provided under the National Environmental Policy Act that requires government officials to consider climate change and other environmental effects when approving oil and gas projects. 

o   Conservatives say that guidance has been a magnet for lawsuits that have stalled new energy-related projects. 

o   Trump could also look to flex his muscle on policies that apply to agencies directly under his control, such as Obama’s executive actions requiring federal agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the effects of climate change. 

o   He could also remove solar panels at the White House and on military bases. 

o   Reversing most of Obama’s other major energy and environment policies — including rules on clean power and water, fracking on federal land, oil and gas drilling, and offshore drilling — are likely to be longer term projects for the administration.

3.    Lobbying 

 

o   Trump could enact his proposed lobbying ban on day one, part of his campaign promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington. 

o   The policies would prevent anyone who accepts a political appointment in the Trump administration from registering as a lobbyist within five years of leaving office. Appointees would also be permanently barred from lobbying for foreign governments. 

o   By enacting such a policy at the start of his term, Trump would be taking a page out of Obama’s playbook. After entering the White House in 2009, the president slapped a two-year lobbying ban on officials who left his administration. 

o   The Trump team has not said whether it plans to keep other Obama lobbying policies, including one that bars officials from working on issues they lobbied on before joining the administration. 

o   Skeptics of both policies have questioned their effectiveness. They worry the bans will drive lobbying activity further underground, as former officials seek to influence the administration and members of Congress without officially registering as lobbyists. 

 

4.    Trade 

o   Trump could do two things on his first day in office to satisfy supporters who are frustrated with America’s overseas trade agreements. 

o   After his election, Trump in a video vowed to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which he called a “potential disaster for our country.” That notification could come on Jan. 20. 

o   He could also move forward with his plan to renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico (NAFTA). 

o   Both steps are within Trump’s power to take alone. Congress has not ratified the TPP, and the text of NAFTA says any party can withdraw six months after providing written notice. 

o   The hard part will be putting new trade policies in place, which would require congressional approval. 

o   To renegotiate NAFTA, Trump would need to convince Canada and Mexico to come back to the table, broker a new agreement, then persuade Congress to ratify it — a process that normally takes years. 

o   Trump could also encounter resistance from lawmakers if he follows through on his threat to slap tariffs on companies that move jobs overseas. Congress, not the president, has the authority to enact such taxes, and lawmakers in both parties have been resistant to such a move.

 

5.    Healthcare 

o   Vice President-elect Mike Pence was unequivocal this week in declaring the ObamaCare rollback would begin on the new administration’s first day. 

o   One executive action Trump could take would build on Obama’s so-called administrative fix, which allows state insurance commissioners to extend healthcare plans that would have been wiped out by the law.   

o   Trump could expand on that action, allowing people to keep cheap plans that otherwise might not qualify for inclusion under the law and rendering the penalty for not having coverage void. 

o   He could also reverse the requirement that insurers cover contraception, which would be viewed as a major victory for religious conservatives. 

o   A more disruptive action Trump might take would be to cancel the payments that help low-income enrollees afford their deductibles, called cost-sharing reductions, although there is some dispute over whether this can be done by executive action. 

o   The move would adversely affect insurance companies, which would still be required to provide discounts to their customers but would no longer be reimbursed by the federal government for them. That could blow a hole in their budgets and potentially speed their exits from the exchanges. 

o   House Republicans have already sued the Obama administration over the payments, arguing that they’re unconstitutional. 

o   Trump could also take aim at the nation’s abortion laws by reversing one of Obama’s executive orders that barred states from withholding federal funds from Planned Parenthood.