Quick Takes: Some People Can’t Give Up On the Idea of a Trump Pivot

* For the writers at NBC’s First Read, the hope of an eventual Trump pivot lives on.

After a chaotic and controversial first month in office, President Trump’s week has the potential for a bit of a reset — a new national security adviser, a revised travel ban, even a stop this morning at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. But here’s the $64,000 question: Can Trump enjoy a no-drama week? The stakes are important, given that Congress is on recess with many of its members holding town halls across the country, and given that Trump’s approval rating stands at historic lows for a new president. This week is a big opportunity for the president and his team. Can they seize it?

I can answer that question with one word: No. What we are likely experiencing is the depressive side of Trump’s manic/depressive tendencies after he let loose over the weekend. If you can point me to a time in the president’s history when he seized the opportunity to become “no-drama,” I’m all ears.

* To be honest, this has been a relatively slow news days compared to what we’ve been experiencing in the Trump era. You know that’s true when an Ann Coulter wanna-be who got booted from CPAC and Breitbart claims most of the headlines. But no, that’s not really news and even mentioning his name sends us careening into the void that is this guy’s insatiable need for attention. So don’t hold your breath for me to go there.

* Similar to the story I highlighted yesterday from Frank Morris about how the town of Garden City, Kansas was renewed by immigrants, Jesse McKinley reports on what has happened in places like Buffalo and Rochester, New York. These are stories that Donald Trump and Steve Bannon don’t want you to hear about as they try to demonize refugees.

Newcomers have filled up hundreds of empty homes and apartments, and poured money and energy into destitute neighborhoods. Former churches have been reborn as mosques and refugee health centers, or found new congregants to fill pews and collection plates. Students have restocked classrooms at public schools where enrollment had been in a decades-long downward spiral. Storefront “For Rent” signs have given way to “Grand Openings.”

While President Trump has cast incoming refugees in a sinister light, the influx into the beleaguered communities along New York’s old Erie Canal has been a surprising salve for decades of dwindling population and opportunity.

The impact has been both low-budget and high-tech: Foreign-born students from countries like Iran have flocked to programs — and paid tuition and fees — at upstate schools offering advanced scientific degrees, while street-level entrepreneurs have started shops offering knickknacks and takeout for curious locals, and exotic staples and calls home for homesick émigrés.

Local businesses have found cheap, willing labor in the rolling stocks of refugees, while resettlement agencies have used federal funding to assist with their assimilation, creating work for everyone from refrigerator sellers to house painters.

* As regular readers know, one of the stories I followed closely during the Obama administration was how he kept his promises to Native Americans. That is why I find this story so deplorable.

Native American reservations cover just 2 percent of the United States, but they may contain about a fifth of the nation’s oil and gas, along with vast coal reserves.

Now, a group of advisors to President-elect Donald Trump on Native American issues wants to free those resources from what they call a suffocating federal bureaucracy that holds title to 56 million acres of tribal lands, two chairmen of the coalition told Reuters in exclusive interviews.

The group proposes to put those lands into private ownership – a politically explosive idea that could upend more than century of policy designed to preserve Indian tribes on U.S.-owned reservations, which are governed by tribal leaders as sovereign nations.

* I always find creative resisters to be uplifting.

* If you are looking for a resistance effort to join, Al Giordano has some great advice in a thread that starts with this tweet.

Here’s the kicker:

* Finally, let’s end the day with some music for the resistance from Ben Harper.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.