Charlie Sykes Takes On the Budget, Russia and Sheriff Clarke's (Potential) Departure

May 26, 2017

At the end of another intense news week, Lake Effect news analyst Charlie Sykes marvels at a fast pace cycle, which doesn't seem to slow down.

"We're living in an era," he says, "in which every day, there's a story - a revelation - that in a different world would have dominated the news for weeks in and of itself.  And yet, these are one news-cycle stories."

On Friday's Lake Effect, Sykes offered his take on several key issues that dominated the news (for a while, anyway) this week:

The decision by a federal appeals court to uphold a ruling putting a halt to the Trump Administation's travel ban:

" I think that what you're seeing is a federal judiciary that is willing and anxious to draw a line to remind the President of the United States that he is not the CEO of the country; that we have these checks and balances.  And I think that's not just reflected in the decision, but in the margin [10-3]."

The assault charges against Montana Republican Congressional candidate Greg Gianforte, who fought a reporter at a campaign event (Gainforte won the election):

"What I really do think is going to be interesting to watch is whether or not this new era, you have Trump supporters and allies in the media decide that this is OK.  Find a way to minimize or rationalize this sort of behavior.  That would be another ratchet - another division in our broken politics."

President Trump's proposed budget, which predicts a decade of economic growth, and calls for deep cuts in discretionary spending and many popular programs funded by the federal government:

"I'm actually among those who think [a decade of three-percent growth] is as far-fetched as others.  That if you, in fact, do reform our archaic business tax code, that you might actually spark a more robust growth.  But this looks like somebody who is basically doing a sales job, rather than doing a serious government document.

"Some of these budget cuts could be defended, but they're very, very tough - because they're very austere. They're going to hurt a lot of people.  Had the President run on, 'We're going to have massive budget cuts - we're going to do this to Medicaid, to the safety net programs,' it would still be a very difficult political sell.  But he did not run on that - he ran on a populist platform, and in many cases a platform that said he would not do many of those things."

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke announces he's leaving to take a post with the Department of Homeland Security.  The DHS (as of a week later) has yet to announce that appointment. Meanwhile, several news reports critical of Clarke have emerged in the national press:

"Clarke's decision to announce his appointment even before the appointing authority was rather remarkable, even for David Clarke...  He's really put himself out there on a limb.  And so my question is, how much political capital does the Trump Administration want to spend on this guy?"