While the Media Was Looking the Other Way, Trump Knocked 3 Big Wins Out of the Park This Week


If you only listen to the mainstream media, the last week of news has been dominated by two events: the gun control controversy and yet another staff shakeup at the White House.

As is often the case, there is a lot more going on than the shouting headlines suggest — which is a pretty good reason to not listen exclusively to the left-leaning press.

While the media has obsessed over guns and an Oval Office insider most people hadn’t heard of until this month, the Trump administration has actually had some pretty solid “wins” that went unnoticed by the network talking heads.

As Politico Magazine journalist Danny Vinik reported, these policy changes could have big implications for the direction of the country, even if they aren’t making front page news. Here are three of them, in no particular order.

The EPA Backs Down

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The Trump White House scored a major win when it came to rolling back an Obama-era regulation within the Environmental Protection Agency. A rule pushed by environmentalists during the last administration had strict time limits for fixing methane leaks from oil and gas wells, but experts within the energy industry said the regulations were overly harsh and hurt oil and gas production.

“This week, the EPA sided with industry, giving oil and gas companies up to two years to fix methane leaks and eliminating a requirement that forced them to fix leaks during emergency or unscheduled shutdowns,” Politico explained.

Detected leaks will still be repaired, just on a time-table that is more realistic than the previously stringent guidelines.

“Under the new proposal, operators must repair leaks during the next scheduled shutdown or within two years, whichever is sooner,” the news magazine continued.

Charter Schools Get a Boost

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is a Cabinet member who liberals love to hate. She came under harsh and often personally insulting scrutiny during her confirmation process, largely because the left saw her as a wealthy socialite who was merely “playing teacher.”

Now she’s the one schooling liberals. “In the past year, DeVos has clearly figured out how to use the levers of power in her department, rolling back Obama-era regulations and policies on everything from for-profit colleges to campus sexual assault,” wrote Vinik.

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One of the biggest DeVos-led “wins” came this past week, when the Department of Education formally announced that it would be focusing on — and channeling funding to — competitive charter schools and STEM programs instead of vague social justice.

“It’s a major shift from the priorities under DeVos’ predecessor, John King, which focused on socioeconomic diversity in schools,” explained Politico.

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Giving parents options to escape failing school systems and making sure students are prepared to enter well-paying, tech-heavy career fields? That definitely sounds like a conservative victory.

Mexican Trade Deals Move Forward

Donald Trump was particularly critical of NAFTA during his campaign, and pledged to re-vamp the agreement to make it more beneficial for U.S. companies and America as a whole. It hasn’t been a fast process, but the administration is steadily moving forward on this promise.

“In Mexico City this week, the U.S., Mexico and Canada continued to negotiate reforms to the North American Free Trade Agreement, a slow process that continues to hit roadblocks, particularly on how much of a car needs to be made in North America to qualify for preferential tariffs,” Politico reported.

This topic may not get as much focus as other Mexico-centered issues like the wall and immigration reform, but NAFTA is a key part of the North American economy, and even slow progress on improving the treaty is better than nothing.

As he has already shown on tax reform, the president is actually fairly adept at letting the media ruffle its feathers and squawk about the latest controversy, while the “Make America Great Again” agenda steadily moves ahead. It turns out that there’s more than meets the eye at the Trump White House.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.