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Transition to Trump: How practice made Trump cabinet nominees near perfect

An old saying goes “practice makes perfect.” It’s something we’ve all heard numerous times and over the course of a lifetime no doubt discovered the saying is…mostly true.

There’s only been one example of human perfection and he died for our sins a long time ago.

Mattis HearingFor the rest of us we know the pursuit of perfection is best achieved through repetition and perseverance. It doesn’t hurt to have smart people and good facilities at your disposal when doing the work. The Trump team is now practicing for the real “game” coming up later this week.

Sarah Westwood of the Washington Examiner reports, “[P]ractice is precisely the focus of activity in a banal government building just a few blocks from the White House, where the incoming Trump administration is preparing behind closed doors to take the reins of power in a matter of days.

“There's the mock James S. Brady briefing room, where incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer has held two practice briefings with staffers posing as occasionally hostile reporters.

“There's the fake Senate hearing room, where each Cabinet nominee has undergone multiple ‘murder boards’ designed to mimic the circumstances of real confirmation hearings as closely as possible.”

Westwood’s story was fascinating for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was the degree of detail the Trump transition team has put into preparing each cabinet nominee before they go and face the real interrogation up on Capitol Hill. From wood paneling on the faux hearing room walls to staffers posing as protestors, no stone has been left unturned in getting Trump’s appointees ready for a potential verbal firing squad.

It’s almost like practicing for the World Series by facing a pitcher that throws like Aroldis Chapman while standing at home plate of a mock Wrigley Field. Or taking on the par three twelfth hole at Augusta with ten thousand people watching and a slight breeze blowing above the pine trees…and don’t forget the azaleas.

If you don’t get sports analogies…how about rehearsing for your high school musical using a scale model of a Broadway theater and an orchestra in the pit.

In addition to the remarkable detail Trump’s people provided for cabinet nominee “murder boards,” Westwood’s article offers ample evidence that Trump’s communications team is ready to handle the demands of the modern media once they take over the White House press operations, with staffers continuously monitoring television and social media feeds to assess the public’s reaction to various events.

All of it is set up by people who clearly know what they’re doing. Trump took a lot of criticism during the campaign for the supposedly “amateur” nature of his organization, but maybe it’s more like they actually understood the game better than the old political pros and consultants. And if anyone still believes Trump’s tweets are purely random utterances delivered by a man who can’t control himself, think again.

It’s apparent Trump’s use of social media is just the tip of the iceberg in his understanding of how to reach people. The president-elect innately comprehends media and messaging and nothing is left to chance in his world. No wonder Trump felt like he didn’t need to practice for the presidential debates – he was rewriting the manual on how to conduct them as he went along.

Expect to see a lot of the same type of trailblazing in the days, weeks, months and years to come. Even the liberal Washington Post is coming around to the fact. Dan Balz wrote, “Friday’s inaugural ceremonies at the Capitol will be marked by traditional pomp and circumstance. Trump will ride to the Capitol with President Obama, after meeting him at the White House, as has been the custom. The inaugural luncheon and parade will follow. That should be enough to humble anyone, as the transfer of power is carried out.

“After that, it will be Donald Trump’s presidency, to do with as he sees fit. History and past practice and the burdens that come with the office could begin to change him. But he has given every indication that his will be a presidency unlike any the country has seen in a long time — Trumpian in all respects and therefore unpredictable in approach and outcome.”

With only three more days until Inauguration Day, conservatives can rest easy knowing the incoming Trump administration personnel are practiced and prepared to do their jobs – and that they’ve got a streamlined communications team in place to deal with the media blowback.

They’ve also got an agenda and a plan to start “making America great again” on day one.

It’s a terrific feeling knowing conservatives are about to realize the dream of implementing ideas we’ve been talking about for years. We’ve all been “practicing” for that eventuality and now it’s nearly time to take the field. I for one have my game face ready to go.

Trump nominees could have much tougher sledding in hearings this week

It could easily be said that Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees probably didn’t need a great deal of “practice” to do well in their confirmation hearings last week as most of the proceedings were fairly mundane in tone and the Senators’ questioning rarely reached the lukewarm level much less heated.

That can and likely will change this week as two of Trump’s most controversial nominees journey to Capitol Hill for their turn before the Democrat inquisitors. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency in the new administration and the bombs to be thrown at him are not likely to be solely of the organic variety.

Devin Henry of The Hill reports, “Scott Pruitt will testify before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Wednesday, giving his opponents their first chance to poke into his record as Oklahoma attorney general, a position he has held since 2011.

“Pruitt’s nomination is one of Trump’s most controversial. In Oklahoma, he has emerged as one of the EPA’s most aggressive legal adversaries, and his past tepid statements about the science behind climate change have solidified climate hawks’ opposition to his nomination.”

It doesn’t take a genius to envision the harsh interrogation Pruitt will receive from the Democrats with questions like:

“Are you inclined to go along with nearly all reputable climate experts who demand that everyone state publicly that climate change is accepted science?
“Are you aware that according to expert X from the University of Northern Sedona that hurricanes actually originate due to carbon emissions from Mars?
“Do you have a comment on the study from 2002 that found gas secretions from laboratory mice are responsible for 93.6 percent of the polar ice cap recession in the past 200 years?”

The stupidity is likely to be legendary. I haven’t seen the witness list but I’d guess it’s populated with a whole jail cell’s worth of Hollywood celebrities such as Susan Sarandon, Miley Cyrus and of course Leonardo DiCaprio. Al Gore will be advising them. With the star power in the room you could almost sell enough tickets to pay for all of their warming gas-belching private jets that brought them to DC.

Needless to say another potential line of attack against Pruitt is his close ties to the energy production industry. Some Democrats have already said they want to delay the hearing until they have a full list of his campaign contributors.

Conservative climate-deniers are all bought and paid for, right?

Another likely target for Democrat ferocity is Education Secretary designee Betsy DeVos, whose crimes against liberal education orthodoxy include favoring such draconian proposals as vouchers that can be used for private education, homeschooling, charter schools and school choice.

Oh yeah, did I mention she’s a billionaire? So she’s automatically out of touch to the leftist crowd...

Former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal took to the editorial page recently to defend DeVos. Jindal wrote, “She has fought tirelessly for decades to give disadvantaged kids the opportunity to receive a great education. That is the sum total of why these Luddites on the Left are attacking her.

“You really have to hand it to Donald Trump here. Instead of picking an education bureaucrat, he picked a person who sees the bigger picture and knows that American education must get out of the Stone Age and move into the 21st century. Because Trump does not come from out of the political class, he has no regard for how hard it is to make any progress on education reform. Thank goodness for that. This is the breath of fresh air we needed.”

During his time in Congress and his two terms as governor Jindal acquired a reputation as a forward-thinking reformer on a number of topics, most notably government ethics, healthcare – and education.

Jindal’s say-so would carry a lot of weight with conservatives and Republicans on the subject but it isn’t likely to sway Democrats who are pawns of public employee unions and liberal activists who despise the notion of offering Americans the option of sending their kids to schools that might actually require them to pray, salute the flag and read the Bible.

Oh the horrors!

Political reality says both Pruitt and DeVos have excellent odds of being confirmed. Since the filibuster rule was trashed by former Senator Harry Reid, only a simple majority is now needed for confirmation. Even if the Republicans should lose a vote or two, they’re likely to pick up at least one or more red state Democrats.

Almost certain confirmation won’t be enough to push the Democrats off their noisy stumps, however. But it will certainly clarify positions for future elections should the Democrats act unreasonably.

Seismic activity indicates the volcano’s about to burst on Trump’s Supreme Court pick

Just because we’re only a few days out from Inauguration Day doesn’t mean all of the Trump team’s energy and focus is on preparing cabinet appointees and gearing up for the move into the White House offices.

On the contrary, like earthquakes prior to a volcanic eruption there are clues everywhere that the president-elect might be close to announcing his choice to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

Kevin Daley of the Daily Caller reports on one of them. “President-elect Donald Trump met with Judge William Pryor of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a lead contender for his first appointment to the Supreme Court, at Trump Tower late Saturday…

“Trump told reporters Wednesday that he expects to name a nominee to the high court in late January, during the second week of his administration. He also confirmed he has met with a number of candidates from the list of potential nominees he released during the campaign. Given that timeframe, and the fact Pryor is widely considered a frontrunner for the appointment, the Saturday meeting suggests Trump is in the final stages of the selection process.”

Yes indeed. It almost looks like Trump has made his selection and is holding back until after he’s sworn-in to release it.

Pryor has impeccable limited government constitutional originalist credentials but has also drawn the ire of some social conservative groups because of his treatment of Alabama Judge Roy Moore while acting as the state’s Attorney General over a decade ago.

It’s a long story, but fellow Alabamian Quin Hillyer says it’s now time to set the record straight on Pryor and offers reasons why he could be a terrific choice for all conservatives.

Hillyer writes at The American Spectator, “Moore’s allies who still hold a grudge against Pryor should realize that 13 years is too long to remain furious at a man who was just doing his duty as he honestly saw it. Judge Pryor’s actions and reasoning are always transparent, with no guile or subterfuge involved — and with a good jurist’s respect for the proper limits on a judge’s reach. That’s why, in a speech he gave at the graduation ceremony of his high school alma mater in Mobile, he said this Constitution is ‘rooted in a Christian perspective’ that specifically ‘is found in a rightly ordered political community — a community that is founded on the principle of the consent of the governed.’

“Pryor’s whole career is one of respecting the right order of things — an order ultimately determined not by judges but through the republican processes faithfully grounded in the people’s consent.”

Should Pryor end up being the one Trump chooses, we’ll certainly be hearing from all sides on the merits of his selection. Regardless of whether it’s Pryor, Senator Mike Lee or any of the distinguished individuals on Trump’s list, the eventual nominee is going to be on a seat so hot during confirmation hearings that he or she had better bring a fire extinguisher.

It’s a good thing the Trump team is already so practiced in the art of preparation.

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Supreme Court Nominees

If Trump nominates William Pryor to the Supreme Court, and the Obamunists manage to shoot him (Pryor) down, Trump should then nominate Alabama C.J. Roy Moore for Supreme Court. The Dems would likely be afraid to shoot HIM down for fear of whom Trump would nominate next.