Quick Takes: The Pivot That Never Came

* Remember those days when everyone was waiting breathlessly with a certainty that Trump would pivot to a less extreme version of himself? His inaugural address today put an exclamation point on the fact that it was never going to happen.

Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now…

For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; Subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military; We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own; And spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon. One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind.

That sounds just like the speech he gave at the Republican Convention in which he invented a dystopian America.

* The White House web site was taken over by the Trump administration at noon today. Justin Miller reports on some of the changes.

Whitehouse.gov immediately wiped pages on LGBT rights, civil rights, climate change, and health care from its “issues” section after Donald Trump took the oath of office.

* Even more alarming than what was removed is this:

The page on climate change was replaced with a page entitled “An America First Energy Plan” that ignores climate change entirely and says, “President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.”…

The page on civil rights was replaced with a page entitled “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community” that replaces concerns with how police act with a demand for more cops. It also paints predominantly black inner cities as shooting galleries.

“In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent,” the page claims, which is false: homicides in Washington, D.C. were down in 2016 over 2015.

* Here is what Trump did in his first move as president.

The Trump administration overturned a mortgage-fee cut under a government program that’s popular with first-time home buyers and low-income borrowers.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Friday said the agency is canceling a reduction announced last week while President Barack Obama was still in office. The Federal Housing Administration had planned to cut its annual fee for most borrowers by a quarter of a percentage point to 0.60 percent, effective on Jan. 27…

The cut would have reduced the annual premium for someone borrowing $200,000 by $500 in the first year. Some housing industry groups lauded the change, saying it could increase home buying by offsetting recent rises in mortgage rates.

* Word is that Trump will nominate Joshua Wright to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division, which would give him oversight of corporate mergers.

In a New York Times column in November, Wright criticized calls among some progressives for stepped-up antitrust enforcement. He said the view that higher concentration in an industry necessarily leads to reduced competition and price increases is flawed.

“The quiet consensus among antitrust economists in academia and within the two antitrust agencies is that mergers between competitors do not often lead to market power but do often generate significant benefits for consumers — lower prices and higher quality. Sometimes mergers harm consumers, but those instances are relatively rare,” he wrote.

* Finally, never forget…

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.