Meanwhile, in an alternate political universe

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The political pundits are focusing their sights on the lack of accomplishments by President Hillary Clinton as she approaches the end of her first 100 days in office. Most of her campaign promises remain unfulfilled, either because of infighting among her staff or through the reluctance of the two houses of Congress, both controlled by Republicans, from taking any actions which could be construed as assisting her agenda. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) indicated that “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Clinton to be a one-term president.”

Infrastructure spending proposed by the President is “dead in the water” according to leaders of both chambers. House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady (R-Tex) notes that the nation cannot mortgage our children’s future with unwarranted spending now, and therefore refuses to approve any new infrastructure programs unless the costs are taken from other social programs.

Republicans insist that tax relief for corporations and high-income earners will stimulate the economy. The President’s statements regarding companies that are currently keeping workers and/or operations in the United States are met with skepticism, as voices on the Right point out that most, if not all, of those companies had committed to such actions before the inauguration.

With regard to Obamacare, numerous pundits now refer to it as “HillaryCare 2.0”. The House of Representatives, at the beginning of every week of the session, has passed on a voice vote a motion to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act, knowing that there is no possibility that it will be signed by the President. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) indicates Republicans have a reasonable, affordable, and sustainable alternative, but refuses to disclose the specifics.

The Supreme Court remains short one justice. Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination ended on the last day of the prior administration, and the first two persons nominated by President Clinton were rejected by the Republican senators. Majority Leader McConnell indicated that “I am fully committed to the requirement to have sixty votes to end a filibuster, due to the need to maintain over two hundred years of precedence and to ensure that only jurists who are acceptable to both the majority and minority parties are approved. I would not like to see extreme persons on either end of the political spectrum placed in a lifetime position.” In a surprise move, President Clinton nominated Neil Gorsuch, who had been thought of as a conservative judge, but is now viewed with suspicion by conservatives. Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) noted that the position previously held by Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has been open for over a year, and it has not stopped the Court from doing its work. “Therefore, I see no need to rush to any hearings until we have had a full chance to examine the record of Mrs. Clinton’s nominee.” It is expected that the hearings will not be scheduled until the fall.

Despite extensive lobbying by the new President, the Senate rejected the Paris climate change agreement. Under pressure from the left wing of her party, Mrs. Clinton withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. North Korea launched a number of missiles in an effort to show relevance from this isolated regime. There was no response from the United States.

Most of the President’s successes have been minor filings of executive orders, many of which are being challenged in various courts by impacted parties. Despite nominating people for all available positions requiring Senate approval, only a small percentage have had hearings scheduled.

Donald Trump, having lost in a much-closer race than expected, commented that he would have had much more success in his first 100 days, and that the failings of President Clinton should have been obvious to anyone paying attention during the campaign. “She’s a loser, and she will lose, lose, lose. With her around, America should get use to losing, and I hope the people will wake up and get sick of all the losing.” Mr. Trump resumes his position on the television show “The Apprentice” in the fall.

• Mark Neary is a lawyer who practices primarily in Muscatine and resides in Iowa City. Comments: marknearylaw@gmail.com

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