While the media obsesses over trivialities:
President Donald Trump took steps to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, marking the start of an era with fewer constraints on the oil industry to the chagrin of environmentalists who have bitterly fought the projects.
The moves, among Trump’s first actions since taking office, are a major departure from the Obama administration, which rejected TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone proposal in 2015 and has kept Dakota Access blocked since September. Environmentalists, concerned about climate change and damage to waters, land and Native-American cultural sites, now face an executive branch that’s less sympathetic to their efforts. For the oil industry, it heralds more freedom to expand infrastructure and ease transportation bottlenecks.
“We are going to renegotiate some of the terms,” Trump told reporters today in the Oval Office as he signed the two measures. “We will build our own pipelines we will build our own pipes.”
Foreshadowing Trump’s plans, the president told U.S. auto executives at a White House meeting Tuesday morning: “We’re going to make the process much more simple for the oil companies and everybody else that wants to do business in the United States.”
U.S. President Donald Trump pushed the chief executives of General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on Tuesday to increase production in the United States and boost American employment.
Trump opened a meeting with GM CEO Mary Barra, Ford CEO Mark Fields and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne at the White House by saying he wants to see new auto plants built in the United States.
The new Republican president vowed to cut regulations and taxes to make it more attractive for businesses to operate in the United States. He promised frequently during his election campaign to be a job-creating president and stressed that message in his inaugural speech last Friday.
“We have a very big push on to have auto plants and other plants – many other plants,” he told reporters at the start of the meeting with auto executives. “It’s happening.”
The meeting was the latest sign of Trump’s uncommon degree of intervention for a U.S. president into corporate affairs as he has repeatedly pressured automakers and other manufacturers to “buy American and hire American.”
But wait! There’s more!
President Donald Trump was applauded by organized labor leaders on Monday after he announced that he had withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
A variety of union leaders were invited to participate in a White House meeting to discuss a range of issues, including trade, Reuters reported.
According to the White House, participants included North America’s Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey, Laborers’ International Union of North America President Terry O’Sullivan, SMART sheet metal workers’ union President Joseph Sellers, United Brotherhood of Carpenters President Doug McCarron, and Mark McManus, president of the United Association that represents plumbers, pipefitters, welders, and others.
Trump began the meeting by noting his familiarity with organized labor.
“This is a group that I know well, whether personally or just because I’ve hired thousands and thousands and thousands of you,” he began before quickly shifting to business.
“We just officially terminated TPP,” the president said.
The announcement was celebrated with loud applause from the union leaders present. Organized labor has frequently voiced its displeasure with the 12-nation free trade pact forged by the Obama administration.
Trump signed the executive order officially withdrawing the United States from the trade deal of Pacific Rim countries on Monday in the Oval Office.
Last, but not least:
Federal worker Greg Guthrie had held out hope after Donald Trump’s election to president that his professed advocacy for the American worker would extend to the federal workforce, too.
That hope diminished after Trump on Monday issued an executive order implementing a hiring freeze across the federal government, with exceptions only for military, national security or public safety personnel.
So while Guthrie wasn’t shocked to learn Trump had imposed the hiring freeze, he was disappointed.
“I guess there’s a presumption that a lot of people in government are not needed,” Guthrie, an information specialist with the Department of Commerce’s National Technical Information Service in Alexandria, said in a phone interview. “But we’re pretty lean right now, anyway. Now to say that there will be no new, young workers — that’s pretty draconian.”
Draconian? Nobody is even getting laid off. There is no reduction is hours or pay or benefits.
I’m not tired of all this winning yet.
Meanwhile, over at the NYT:
President Trump used his first official meeting with congressional leaders on Monday to falsely claim that millions of unauthorized immigrants had robbed him of a popular vote majority, a return to his obsession with the election’s results even as he seeks support for his legislative agenda.
The claim, which he has made before on Twitter, has been judged untrue by numerous fact-checkers. The new president’s willingness to bring it up at a White House reception in the State Dining Room is an indication that he continues to dwell on the implications of his popular vote loss even after assuming power.
The media has learned nothing.