We’re all about objective fact here at The Big Smoke, so each week we’ll bring you TrumpFact: a simple measure of the good and ill the man creates. We won’t judge. That’s your job.
How did Trump do this week? No opinion, just fact.
Fact one: Donald Trump signed bill to further enable NASA exploration.
The bill (S.442) pushed for $19.1 billion for NASA in its fiscal 2018 budget, a 0.8% decrease from 2017 funding levels, focusing on deep space exploration and increased public-private partnerships – a push to lower costs to encourage private sector innovation.
The budget blueprint terminates four Earth-science research missions, eliminates NASA’s Office of Education, discards the agency’s Asteroid Redirect Mission – the centrepiece of the Obama administration’s deep space exploration plan – and makes no mention of human missions to Mars.
Trump said: “I am delighted to sign the bill reaffirming our national commitment to the core mission of NASA: human space discovery, space science and exploration.”
Fact two: Donald Trump looked to China to kerb North Korean nuclear testing.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in China on Saturday with NK high on the agenda as the Trump administration’s patience with Pyongyang over its nuclear ambitions seems to be running out.
In Seoul on Friday, Tillerson said military action by the US against North Korea was “on the table” if threats from the rogue regime escalate.
The change in US policy follows two North Korean nuclear tests last year and missile launches including a salvo earlier this month that Pyongyang described as a drill for an attack on US bases in Japan.
Trump said: “North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been ‘playing’ the United States for years. China has done little to help!”
Fact three: Trump pushed to repeal law to protect certain wildlife from sport hunting.
The bill is labelled HJR 69 and would ostensibly remove the US fish and wildlife regulations which forbid the killing of certain species for sport over necessity. The best definition of the rule came from Eric Biber at Legal Planet:
The primary feature of the rule at issue was to restrict certain forms of non-subsistence hunting on the 16 National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska, following a recent liberalization (sic) in rules by the State Board of Game. The types of practices banned included taking black or brown bear cubs or sows with cubs, taking brown bears over bait, taking bears using traps or snares, taking wolves or coyotes during denning season, and taking bears from an aircraft. Because of its focus on these hunting methods, it is sometimes referred to as the ‘Fair Chase Rule.’
Supporters of the resolution frame the disapproval as a means of combatting federal overreach into state lands and authority. Don Young (R-AK), the House sponsor of the resolution, stated ‘Not only does this action undermine Alaska’s ability to manage fish and wildlife upon refuge lands, it fundamentally destroys a cooperative relationship between Alaska and the federal government.’ Alaskan representatives claimed that this rule impeded the state’s Predator Control Program.
Trump said…nothing on record as yet.
So which was the Good, which was the Bad and which was the Bigly?