A Critical Political Analysis of Trump’s First 100-days Plan (PT. 1)

For those interested in the viability of Trump’s proposed plans (found here), here is a critical political analysis:


  1. “Term limits on Congress.” While the idea of term limits on Congress is appealing, the process is daunting. In order impose term limits in Congress, a constitutional amendment must be passed (the process is outlined in Article V of the Constitution, or an explanation can be found here). For those who want a summary, here it is: A constitutional amendment can be called for in two ways – a 2/3rds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate; or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. (Note – all of the previous constitutional amendments have been called for with a vote in Congress).
    The president has no role in the Constitution Amendment process. Therefore – according to the Constitution – Trump is not able to do this. It is up to Congress and Congress alone to propose and later pass an amendment to the Constitution. Further, if your goal is to fix the corruption in Congress, do not allow private citizens or corporations to donate such large amounts of money to a politician’s campaign. If a politician isn’t attempting to fulfill a deal made for a monetary contribution, he/she is more likely to fulfill the commitments made to the people who actually elected him/her.
  2. “A Federal Workforce hiring freeze.” The Federal Workforce makes up three specific branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. The Executive branch is split into two sectors, Civilian and Uniformed Military. The Civilian branch includes: Cabinet agencies, such as Agriculture, Commerce, Defence, Education, Energy, etc. (a complete list can be found on page 82 of this report released by the White House); and Other agencies – excluding postal service which functions as a quasi-federal program – such as Broadcasting Board of Governors, Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, etc. If you want more information on the composition of the federal workforce, I encourage you to read more of the above linked document.When reading said document, I found a disturbing statistic. The size of the Federal civilian workforce relative to the country’s population has decreased significantly over the past decades. If you look at the Historical Federal Workforce Tables, the most recent data from 2014 shows that the United States employed less federal employees than in 1962. In fact, the federal government only employs 56,000 more individuals in 2014 than the lowest number ever employed (in 2000).  Further, the employees of the Federal Workforce are twice as highly educated as comparable private firms – with a rate of growth less than half that of the private firms. Further, the Pay Agent Report found that  ‘in 2015 Federal jobs paid 35 percent less than comparable non-Federal jobs’.From a critical perspective – Trump has vowed to decrease an already decreasing sector of extremely intelligent individuals who have chosen to pursue a career to better our nation rather than making large amounts of money in private firms. This does not seem like a ‘job building’ measure (a point he campaigned on), but rather one to cripple the already overworked federal government. Further, how is this going to limit corruption? (A legitimate question, if you know how this would limit corruption please comment below.)

  3. “For every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated” ….. How? How do you plan on implementing such an ignorant policy? Executive order? Law? This is basically saying that for every law that is passed, two more must be repealed. But more intricately, many laws have multiple regulations in them. So again – how? It makes me wonder if Trump even understands how our government actually works. Or what the extent of his Presidential powers actually are.
  4. “A 5-year ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service.” This is probably one of the only things I will agree with Trump on. It is unfortunately a common practice for politicians to pass unpopular laws, and when they are not re-elected (or chose to retire), they move to the private sector. But then again, with such a good idea, I decided to google to see if it had been done before. And it has. By Obama. In 2009. The only difference? Obama put a ban for 2 years, not 5 years. The executive order can be found here. Trump is simply calling to extend policies already put in place by the Obama administration.
  5. “A lifetime ban on White House Officials lobbying for a foreign government.” As far as I am aware – and as far as my research has found – no White House officials lobby on behalf of a foreign government currently. (If this is incorrect, please comment below with the link to the evidence that this does actually happen.) But okay, I understand this is to appease the tensions from the leaked Clinton campaign emails.Also, bear in mind – there is the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which is a “disclosure statute that requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities.”
  6. “A complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.” Okay, yes. The leaked documents showing that the Clinton campaign may have accepted money from a lobbyist acting on the interest of a foreign nation is cause for concern. And yes, I also agree foreign nations should not have significant roles in our politics. So agreed – points 5 and 6 are important. They are also the only two I partially agree with.However, bear in mind – the changes Trump proposes will require congressional action – which the Washington Post’s Catherine Ho says is ‘unlikely’. Further, in her professional opinion as a journalist covering lobbying on Capital Hill, the “longer ‘cooling off’ period … would deter people from taking government positions in the first place, knowing that their post-government employment options would be limited.”According to GOP lobbyist Stewart Verdery – “What you’ll end up with is people serving in government who are wealthy or super ideological to advance a partisan cause because it’ll make it very hard for someone to cycle in and out to do public service for the good of the people.”

    This policy analysis intended on informing people as well as creating a discussion on the proposals made by Trump. If you have any comments, thoughts, or disagreements with the analysis or information provided, please comment below. 


    Edit: I intended on analyzing each of the points in Trump’s 100-day-plan. However, after attempting to go through each point, I got much too frustrated by how outrageous each point was (hence the part 1; I had intended on going through each section one-by-one)… And then, when I did publish the first 6 points, I realized it may be too soon for a real intellectual debate of Trump’s proposals – yet. So, I will continue this series, but I will continue it after some time has passed.

The Election

When the US election results first rolled in, it was about 5am in Prague. I honestly couldn’t sleep that night, and my facebook/snapchat/whatsapp was filled with messages from friends around the globe commiserating at the election results. So when my dad said ‘Trump won’ all I could think is ‘….No.’ A few friends even messaged me to ask if I was okay, knowing how much I adore my nation and how completely devastated I am to see such hatred and fear fuel the largest miscarriage of justice we have seen since before the Civil Rights Movement.


That day will always be remembered by me as one of the worst days in American history, and in my lifetime (and trust me, I’ve had a ton of bad days, so this is really saying something). Why was it so bad? Because it was the day that I truly questioned why I have chosen to remain American. I have lived in Canada 5 years, I have a 3-year work visa there, I can become a resident and later a citizen. And to be perfectly honest, my first reaction was to do just that. And part of me still wants to. But then I saw something that I care about more than being ashamed of my nation – my facebook feed has been filled with detailed accounts of homophobic, racist, xenophobic and sexists attacks on my fellow citizens – some even to close friends, and not just within the borders of the United States. Anyone who knows me at all knows I am one of the most protective people on this earth – you hurt my friends, you hurt me. So this is one thing I cannot and will not stand by and watch idly, whether I know those being discriminated against or not.


No – I do not feel like this is my America. No – this is not the country I know and love. Yes – I am still ashamed to be American, and have still told those who ask where I am from that I am from Canada. But does that mean I am going to leave the US? No. Because another thing I saw – those who voted for Trump want the liberals to leave. They want the liberals and minorities to stay quiet and allow them to ‘cleanse’ our population. What I realized is – if we leave, if we pack up and say we are done, if we stay quiet and allow the horrific proposals of Trump to be passed, we will have failed those discriminated against a second time. And I, for one, am too ashamed that we failed them once to let it happen again.


So my conclusion – I still haven’t decided whether: a) I will stay in the US and volunteer with every organization possible to protect the rights of the US citizens, and the immigrants and refugees who came to our country hoping for a better future; or b) I will go abroad for more schooling (because the reason I didn’t this year is I can’t afford US graduate schools, but I can afford international graduate programs – another extremely big problem in our nation, which is absolutely deplorable: how can we expect to remain a world power if our citizens can’t afford a good education?) so I can come back and fight for the rights of my fellow citizens, immigrants, and the refugees who have feared so greatly for their lives that they risked everything to come to a nation which is treating them like the very people they were fleeing from. But one thing is for sure: I am an American liberal, and I will do everything in my power to fight for the rights of the the immigrants, refugees, and my fellow citizens – all of which do not deserve the hell we have put them through in this past week.


And for those following my blog – Yes I will still be posting about my travels, but I am also starting a series of political posts. It is up to you whether you wish to read them or not.

Freaking Snowing

So, today’s blog post was going to be one at the suggestion of my new(ish? Are we still new friends if we met three countries ago?) friend, Jess, about my ‘friendship’ with my backpack. Only then I got to Munich. And a cabby (freaking cabbies) told me ‘Oh! Your hotel is super close! Only about 100m away! You should just walk.’ and for the first time in my life – I should have listened to google maps instead. Because it was not a 100m walk. It was a 1000m (1km) walk. The cabby missed a zero. AND IT WAS FREAKING SNOWING. Only lightly when the stupid cabby told me to walk. But by 5min in, it was DOWNPOURING

On top of that, today – of all days – I decided ‘I’m traveling all day, I will wear my glasses.’ Do you know what glasses do when it snows? They get foggy and blurry. And eventually you can’t see. So you tuck your head under your jacket/scarf/anything, trying not to get them wet, which of course means you get even more lost. Fifteen minutes later I was FUMING (and still am, if you couldnt tell from all the capitalized words). And freezing. And FUMING. And my giant evil backpack definitely wasn’t helping.

Oh! Even better! I didn’t realize it would be raining/snowing/I would have to walk a km in the snow. So I did not pull out my rain cover for my bags. And now all my nice clean clothes are wet. Have you ever seen a red head when we get mad? The best mental image I can give you is the last scene in the movie ‘The Incredibles’ where Syndrome tries to steal little baby Jack Jack, only to have Jack Jack turn into a flame ball – and when that doesn’t work, a little red devil – and pound the sh*t out of Syndrome. Yeah. I looked like that. And had the cabby been there, he would have been my Syndrome. Only I would have pounded him with my words instead of my fists, because ya know, I would prefer not to be arrested for assault. (If you have never seen this scene, I feel immensely sorry for you, so here it is:

And after finally getting to the hotel, guess what?? The elevator isn’t working! And I’m on the 5th floor…. Yeah, I was using every bit of will power not to turn into little devil Jack Jack.

So yeah, Dad, I’m still alive. I’m freaking freezing, still fuming mad (I wish my hair actually was flames, that at least would warm me up), and I freakin’ refuse to go back outside today. But I’m alive.

Oh. And I’ll tell you about my backpack tomorrow. When I’m not so angry.

A Day to be a Nerd

SO! What did Lena do today? Maybe you can tell from the title – I was a nerd.

‘Lena, you are a Biology and a Politics nerd, what did you do today?’ – I went to the Museum dedicated to the Nuremberg Trials of the WWII criminals. Also known as the very first war crime tribunal. Two hours into sitting, listening to the audio guide, I realized I was still only barely halfway through the musuem…hehe. And, of course, I could talk your ear off about all the awesome stuff I saw, but I feel like I’m probably one of the only people super obsessed with war tribunals and the roots of the International Criminal Court. 

I finally had to be like – okay, lets get through all of the stuff I can only find at this one museum, then move on to the next thing I planned on doing today! And I ended up buying the book with all the information on the exhibits at the museum. If any of my fellow nerds wanna see this book, let me know! I love to spread the nerdiness!

My less nerdy activity of the day – visiting the 13th century castle in Nuremberg. But really thats probably pretty nerdy too… And I ended up getting a book of information about the castle too.

Even though it was raining and awful outside, I got some amazing photos. I can’t even imagine how far you could see if it wasn’t raining.

Here are some photos from today:

PS Dad – still alive! See you in two days!

The Unintentional Travel Day

Today ended up being my unintentional travel day… The original plan: wake up in the morning, check out of the hostel, take a taxi to the train station, store my luggage at the train station, then walk around till my train at 1:30pm (I had already realized my idea of going around Frankfurt on the way to Nuremberg was a terrible idea seeing as the train ride was 7hrs long). What I actually did: wake up, eat breakfast, look at Youtube videos, check out of the hostel, watch more Youtube videos (I miss hearing English), go to order a taxi, end up catching a ride with 3 other people from the hostel – aka score, ’cause it went from a 12euro ride to a 3euro ride! – fail to find the luggage storage area at the train station, so chill in the waiting lounge until my train. A ‘failed day’ possibly, if you were just looking at how lazy I ended up being, but really it was a toottallyyy awesome day because I met a ton of amazing people!
First – the three people from the taxi. Two Britons and an Australian. We chatted for a good hour before each of our trains – one of the Britons really wants to go see NYC so I was telling him all about my favorite North American city and he told me all about what I should see in London when I’m there in about a month. Then when they left, the Aussie and I talked for a while longer about Animal Conservation – he is a zoology and conservation major, which, as few people know, was my original plan for university many, many years ago. 
Next – getting on the train, there was another girl who was struggling just as hard with her luggage. We bonded over our giant suitcases (I’m stil envying the fact that hers had wheel), and it turned out we were both on the same connecting train – she was going to Frankfurt Airport, whereas I am going to Nuremberg. We ended up chatting the entire ride until she got off at the airport.

While we were chatting on the platform waiting for our connecting train, we happened upon another totally awesome person. This extremely nice German lady started talking to us, originally to inform us that the train was delayed after I complained that my bags were super heavy (holy crap Germans are extremely helpful people!!) We ended up talking with her, and she helped us onto the train when it finally did arrive – side note: they lie when they say German trains are never late. But German trains are still better than other countries. 

We pretty much followed her to where we could sit, and she explained how the seats were assigned and what I would have to do when they both left at the train station. Super helpful and super nice! She is even sending me some information about when to visit germany again (the Rhine Valley is so gorgeous, I have to visit here again). 
And the final one (so far) was an incredibly kind German man who helped me once they had left. I was struggling to put my luggage away and find a seat that wasnt assigned, so he offered to help put my bag on the top rack. In true Lena-fashion, I said thank you but it is super heavy, to which he responded with – okay, but do you want help? In the end he ended up not only putting my bag up on the rack, but also taking it down so it was easier for me to get latter. Like damn yall, Germans are nice people!!! He had a spare seat next to him, so we talked the rest of the ride until his stop, and he told me all about Frankfurt and his city and all the cool places he has been.
So overall – Germany is amazing. They speak better English than I do. They are super helpful. And I definitely need to visit here again. 
PS Dad – I am still alive, and you get to deal with my bag when you get here in 3 days. 😬😘

The All-Important Rest Day

One of the most important things about traveling that my mother taught me was – if you are traveling for a long period of time, you need a day to lay in bed and be a lazy bum on a log. Now, me being me, I totally saw ‘Two months! 18 countries! Lets see eveerryytthhinnnggg’ and completely forgot about the lesson my mother taught me. Until today.

Of course, going 8 hours a day every day takes a toll on your body, especially when you are changing cities every other day. And like, I’m in shape, but I’m not in that much shape. So inevitably, I hurt my knee. And was forced to take a rest day today. But oh how marvelous the rest day is!

Originally I was thinking – oh! I’ll have a late morning, then get up and go explore some more! So I got up, had breakfast, sat down with my laptop to look at my finances and write a blog post (since dad was throwing a fit that I hadn’t yet). Three hours later – I was still doing random electronic chores. So I decided to go take a quick nap. And ended up channeling my spirit animal:

Selfie with my spirit animal: The Red Ruffed Lemur

‘OMG Lena, I thought you were Simba!’ – No. My hair is Simba. I am a lemur. Because lemurs sleep A LOT. And I do too. And they adore sun (look up ‘Lemur Sun worshiping’) – if you have ever seen me in the summer, I do that exact same pose. And there are a ton of other reasons I am a lemur, but thats a rant for another day.


SO BASICALLY – I went upstairs, laid in my bed, thought ‘oh, I’ll set my alarm for two hours from now! That is plenty of time, then I’ll go explore all afternoon!’ Only, two hours later, when the alarm goes off, in my delirious sleepy state I set the alarm for another two hours. 4pm. 4pm I finally woke up. Needless to say, today was my sleep day, and I’m 100% okay with that.

So new rule: Always remember to build in a rest day to long trips. Because otherwise you end up sleeping for 4hrs without actually planning on it. But its okay: I like being a lemur!



PS Dad – I’m still alive. And posted on time. Happy now?

Two Weeks In

Some of you may be thinking – ‘Lena hasn’t posted anything in two days! Was her dad right? Has she died?’ No. No, I have not. I am just tired is all! Every day I go out, explore as much as I can in one day (which is a surprising amount; it feels like a lot longer than just two weeks…) Then I go back to the hostel and ‘relax’. What I used to do – write a blog post either then or at dinner. What I do now – eat dinner with friends, or eat dinner while writing in my travel journal, or eat dinner while writing a post card, or eat dinner while responding to my friend’s facebook messages and snapchats, or eat while answering dad’s many whatsapp messages (his one last night: are you going to write a blog post today?). Or even some days I’ll skip dinner and lay in my bed like a slug. Because slugging is fun. And I am tired.

Dont get me wrong – this trip has been awesome! But damn, walking 8hrs a day takes a toll on your energy level…. So no, I am not dead. I’m simply busy/tired/have too many ways I am documenting this trip. (BTW, soon I’ll upload more photos to the cloud! I just keep forgetting….)

As for an update on my trip: I made friends! Two awesome girls from the UK (ish). Daisy and Jess both live in the UK, but Jess is originally American. And we ended up going for drinks on Halloween together (I’m sure you saw my lazy photo post from that night), then Daisy left for Germany, while Jess and I happened to both be going to Luxembourg next and staying at the same hostel. Coincidence of the century. So we explored Luxembourg City together, and let me just say – DAHAM. This city is BEAUTIFUL! Both of us agree, if this is what the capital city looks like, we have to come back and find out what the rest of the country looks like! But yeah, I’m having a ton of fun. Only bad side – I messed up my knee is Brussels, so today is a slow day for me. Easy morning, light walking, drinking coffee in a cafe for the afternoon type of thing (thankfully Jess and I saw a ton of the city yesterday anyway, and already I’ve decided I’m coming back, so no loss if I just have a slow day.)

Here is an awesome picture of the sunset last night:

It looks. Like Harry Potter. I’m in love.


And yes, Dad, I’m still alive (though really, I talked to you on the phone two days ago and talked to mom yesterday, I don’t have to contact you on every source of media every day.)