"For a supposed tough guy, Trump is having a lot of trouble keeping his people in line." https://t.co/r7crQDfuVn
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) August 31, 2017
Lawfare‘s Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey:
… As a technical matter, the president of the United States speaks not for himself alone, but for the entire executive branch. In fact, our constitutional structure holds that the president is the executive branch. Tillerson is, according to the traditional understanding of the executive, just a finger of Trump — who can direct him, fire him, and (with the advice and consent of the Senate) replace him. If Trump says demonstrators in Charlottesville are fine people and that many sides are at fault for the violence, who is Tillerson to claim otherwise? The open insubordination of Trump’s cabinet members is offensive to the very concept of the unitary executive.
Yet we all continue to welcome and praise his dissent. The reason is simple: Trump’s cabinet is generally more aligned with fundamental American values — including pluralism and tolerance — than is the president himself. Trump is unstable and mercurial. The cabinet is not. As the president continually expresses unreasoned, hateful, and downright bizarre beliefs, the most visible members of his administration have stepped up to reassure the public regarding Trump’s worst impulses: U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has repeatedly contradicted the president on national television on matters of foreign policy. And video recently surfaced of Secretary of Defense James Mattis telling troops to “hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it” in an address widely interpreted as a rebuke of President Trump…
Typically, the mechanism that ensures cohesion within the executive branch is the president’s ability to fire people. The most striking feature of the recent statements from within the administration — the reason that people feel so free to do what Tillerson did — is that they don’t seem to care if Trump fires them. They either don’t think he’ll do it, or they actually don’t mind if he does…
Much lower down the intellectual food chain, Rich ‘Starbursts’ Lowry wrings his sweaty palms:
… The president is experiencing a bout of insubordination from his top officials the likes of which we haven’t witnessed in the modern era. It’s not unusual to have powerful officials at war among themselves, or in the presidential doghouse. It’s downright bizarre to have them publicly undercut the president, without fear of consequence.
The new measure of power in Washington is how far you can go criticizing the president at whose pleasure you serve. The hangers-on and junior players must do it furtively and anonymously. Only a principal like Gary Cohn, Rex Tillerson or James Mattis can do it out in the open and get away with it…
In a more normal time, in a more normal administration, any of these would be a firing offense (although, in Mattis’ defense, he more accurately stated official U.S. policy than the president did). Tillerson, in particular, should have been told before he was off the set of Fox News on Sunday that he was only going to be allowed to return to the seventh floor of the State Department to clean out his desk.
The fact that this hasn’t happened is an advertisement of Trump’s precarious standing, broadcast by officials he himself selected for positions of significant power and prestige. A more typical scenario is that a president loses credibility in a foreign crisis when an adversary defies him, or in a domestic political confrontation when the opposition deals him a stinging defeat. Not at the hands of his own team.
This isn’t the work of the deep state, career bureaucrats maneuvering or leaking from somewhere deep within the agencies. This is the shallow state, the very top layer of the government, operating in broad daylight, in fact wanting to be seen and heard differentiating themselves from the president of the United States…
Meanwhile, per Vanity Fair, his rod and his staff are absolutely miserable in DC…
Kushner and Ivanka will leave the White House at some point. When they do, it will be a welcome development for those who view the pair not merely as Trump’s protectors, as they see themselves to be, but rather as one of his greatest weaknesses. As a former West Wing staffer from a previous administration told me, speaking about Jared and Ivanka, “There’s nothing more obstructive and distracting and unhelpful than to have a bunch of stupid apolitical family members calling all the shots.” The arrival of Kelly as White House chief of staff has introduced an official layer between the couple and the president. People close to Kushner and Ivanka say they welcome his promise of discipline. He has also been useful: Kelly assisted in the ouster of chief strategist Stephen Bannon, leader of the nativist faction in the White House and a longtime Kushner foe. But Kelly’s discipline also challenges the family-business nature of the Trump administration, which favors Kushner and Ivanka above all others…
… Ivanka organized the social schedule. Kushner himself had few friends. Since his father-in-law’s election, he has talked in an interview about “exfoliating” those who are not supportive of his work with the president, perhaps not the most congenial way to talk about people you no longer need or want. He reportedly told one former associate, who had brought up the ugly rhetoric of the campaign Kushner had helped run, that he did not “give a shit” if the associate didn’t want to do business with Kushner anymore.
“I haven’t had anything to do with them since they moved,” said one New York friend, “and it is because the day that man gave an inaugural speech, what am I going to say? ‘What the fuck is wrong with you?’ ” When they lived in New York, Kushner used to remind Ivanka that “we’re in the zoo, but let’s try hard not to be part of the animals.” He often would add, “You want to be watching.” The friend noted that Kushner has traded up into a higher-powered circle: “He is rolling with the prince of Saudi Arabia and not the real-estate guys anymore.” In Washington, the couple regularly dines with Trump Cabinet members. They attended Steven Mnuchin’s wedding and spend many weekends at the Trump National Golf Club, in Bedminster, New Jersey, outside the Washington party circuit…
Thomas Barrack, a real-estate investor and close associate of Donald Trump’s, told me recently, “The best day that everybody has is the day they decide to go to Washington, and the worst day is about four weeks later.” Ivanka and Jared have lasted longer than that. People who have spoken with them say the couple habitually points out that the average tenure of a West Wing aide is 18 months—a tenure they intend to outlast. At the same time, neither has committed to staying the duration of the Trump presidency, which both must realize may well be cut short…
One can but hope, she said piously.
These people are going their own way because there has to be some direction to go in-and Trump has none of his own.
Basically, people are trying to work around him in order to make things work at all. If they waited on/for Trump, nothing would work.
Iowa Old Lady
It shows how extremely bad Trump is that his cabinet members look good. Under normal circumstance, none of us would think good thoughts about Nikki Haley at the UN
Another idiotic bluff that a child could see thru. North Korea called his last bluff. Why does the moron keep issuing them?
Remember folks, this is the Great Negotiator. This is the guy media fawn over for “deal making”
He’s bargaining with himself, and, incredibly, losing even there. He’s gone from a fire and fury bluff that he couldn’t deliver on to a trade bluff he can’t deliver on. The small shred of credibility he had will be negotiated away by next week and he did it all himself. He’s losing a negotiation with himself.
Don’t underestimate the Senate’s role in this. Those top officials who are speaking out are ones whose replacements would require Senate confirmation. Trump has burned through a lot of his goodwill with the Senate, and everyone knows his next round of appointments is not going to get the easy time the first round got.
The Republicans thought they had purchased Raygun v2, a half-senile but pugnacious person they could manipulate. They found out they bought a stupid, oppositional lunatic who will toss their entire agenda overboard in pursuit of the attention he craves. And who has all the warning signs of a family annihilator, except that the nation will be his victims.
In normal times, getting fired from a cabinet position is a horrible career move. Trump has created a situation where getting fired for disagreeing with the president could be the only way to salvage what’s left of a reputation.
And by choosing mostly the mega wealthy for the cabinet, Trump has created a situation where the people directly under him don’t need the job, and don’t really care all that much whether they have it. Cohn really wants to be fed chair, but were it not for that incentive he might have walked after Charlottesville.
@Roger Moore: I’m hoping the Senate slaps down his nominee to head NASA, but I’m not sure that one requires Senate approval.
@CarolDuhart2: Yup. Donald is erratic and can’t follow his own line; there’s no chance that any subordinate can follow his line and remain consistent. The senior staff choose to be consistent. The lickspittles and toadies choose to follow Donald, even if it makes them look ridiculous.
@Kay: Trump has loans with China. One has to wonder what effect his business dealings has to do with his foreign policy thinking.
@Iowa Old Lady: I’m not thinking nice thoughts about Nikki Haley, not after one of her recent nonsense at the UN about Iran . I can’t decide if she’s just stupid or really really stupid.
It’s like watching a little kid trying to swim for the first time in an inner tube. Lots of kicking and splashing, but totally without any direction.
P.S. The Office will survive this buffoon. Things can always be changed back to what they were before. We can erase Trump far more effectively than he ever will erase Obama.
@Kay: hey Donald, are we also going to repay all the money we owe countries that trade with North Korea? Especially the big one that borders North Korea?
Because that might be a bit inconvenient for us.
The orange one just tweeted this
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
Needs to be front paged for Labor Day – Barbara Kopple has youtubed Harlan County USA.
Amid all the “We Love Coal” talk among regional/state level extraction executives, they still don’t give a shit – same is true even now.
There are no union mines in Kentucky for the past few years, which had been a trend that accelerated over a number of years.
Back in the day, though, they could give a helluva strike, even when the system kicked hard.
I imagine that they contradict Trump with impunity because he so often contradicts himself. It’s not as if he had a philosophy, or a plan, or a clue.
@JPL: Ah so THAT’S what we’ve been seeing – an overabundance of quality leadership! Well, that makes sense…after eight years of Obama flailing around (when he wasn’t busy playing golf, that is) it is hard, at first, to recognize Trumpov’s greatness.
Can’t we just chisel over Jefferson’s face on Mt. Rushmore now? Because eventually that’s where Trumpov will be, right?
@debbie: Indeed, what Obama has done is not erasable, not by Trump. A far more competent (and scary) President would have simply given a nod to Obama, and simply tried to top him in some way or gone in his own direction.
The more I watch Trump, I wonder if his whole childhood was spent with parents in an alcoholic haze combined with neglect. I mean, this guy hasn’t even the basic stuff you pick up with a semi-competent caregiver. The things you pick up by just watching tv. The stuff you pick up hanging around school or from your peers.
I think Javanka are more his handlers than advisors. They are making sure Daddy doesn’t wander off into the Rose Garden bushes.
Just One More Canuck
So Billy Carter was less of a liability than Jarvanka?
@Kay: I really want the trope that businessmen know better than government to die. This man isn’t even a good businessman.
If he does this I wonder how long those lucrative trademarks & real estate deals (among other things) his businesses will retain? China is the primary trade partner with North Korea. I don’t know what he thinks he’s threatening except himself.
I wish he would. I get the feeling he’d sign whatever they put in front of him. They just can’t agree on what to put in front of him.
His SCOTUS pick was from a list somebody handed him. First time he’d even seen any of the names.
BC in Illinois
So Donald Trump says that we are going to stop all trade with China?
Where will the Trump Ties and Ivanka Shoes come from?
@Just One More Canuck: Yes. Billy wasn’t trying to manage Jimmy. And Jimmy never gave Billy a White House position.
@BC in Illinois:
Of course he isn’t going to do it. It’s a dumb-ass bluff, like his last dumb-ass bluff.
He’s out of his league. His ridiculous posturing doesn’t work outside of the insulated, nepotism-riddled world of NY real estate. The tough guy act doesn’t fly because he’s transparently full of shit outside of the coddled, parochial NARROW world he grew up in.
He can’t even fire the low quality people he hires, let alone take on China and US multinationals. He should have stuck with losing the money he inherited.
And if he thinks that it will work, remember a huge amount of American consumer goods come from China. Want to get real riots going? How about empty shelves at Walmart and layoffs at importers?
@CarolDuhart2: OT: did you find a ride to the meetup next weekend?
@opiejeanne: Really really stupid.
Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho
@CarolDuhart2: @glaukopis: OT – did you see the Kathleen can take you to the meetup? You can get her email from Adam.
Reading Politico article about GOP tax overhaul. A Republican lobbyist had said if they don’t come up with anything better than they had in July, they might as well hang it up. Mid August Cohn said “we’ve got a great, I would say ‘skeleton’ for tax reform”. It seems to always be last minute scrambling for GOP.
It’s Cohn, Mnuchin, McConnell, Paul Ryan, Orrin Hatch and Kevin Brady working on this and they have nicknamed themselves “the Big 6”. What is it with Republicans that they have to give themselves nicknames to sound like tough guys. I remember Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy calling themselves “The Young Guns” and writing book with that title and cover of the three cowboys.
He can’t do it. He can’t do it because US business would conduct a coup and remove him from office.
He can’t even bluff competently. He’s all talk and he sucks at even talking. Going from “fire and fury” to meaningless threats on trade is called “negotiating with yourself”. His threats are DECREASING. They ignored his first threat so he issued a less draconian one. They’ll ignore that too. His next offer will be better, and they know it.
@BC in Illinois: China is safe because they can recall their loan to Trump’s enterprises.
Trump first…country second or third
BC in Illinois
The Leader of the Free World spoke about Trump in yesterday’s debate. This is what she said:
“I don’t think we can solve this without the US President, but . . .”
@Kay: But it stops somewhere, doesn’t it? Otherwise in six months Trump’s “threat” will be to provide NK with enriched uranium and technical advice on designing staged ICBMs.
@Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: OT: thanks, Kathleen, I just contacted Adam for contact info.
The Trump Administration feels like we are in a speeding car along the freeway, bumping into cars along the way,but waiting for that final crash.
I heard a pundit yesterday who said Trump’s brand is “strength”. What kind of gross culture have they created in that industry where this incompetent buffoon issuing threats on Twitter equals “strength”?
He’s getting his ass kicked in this negotiation. No one is even talking to him and he’s losing. You can’t go from “fire and fury” to something lesser. He blew it in the first 15 minutes, with his first bluff. This is BEFORE he enters any kind of real negotation, where there’s someone on the other side. He’s losing against himself.
To political media he’s a strong leader. This reflects poorly on THEM. Why are they so fucked up that they admire this?
“We will provide North Korea with enriched uranium and technical advice on designing staged ICBMs—but not as good as ours, which are the best, frankly. Really terrific.
“Also, I would like to announce that we will be breaking ground on the new Trump Tower Pyongyang.”
And in normal times, we wouldn’t even know half these people. I can only remember a few of Obama’s Cabinet, Hillary and John Kerry, Podesta and a few more from the first term. (Obama tended to hire superstars). Shrub? Any of the others? And even the superstars made it clear they were following policy. Trump has no policy except coddling his battered ego.
Russia also shares a border with North Korea…it may not just be Chinese loans he wants to wiggle out from paying.,.
Trump hasn’t fired these people because he’s an utter coward. Every one he gets rid of he has to do by stealth, and he drags his heels even for that.
The positions of these assholes are not better than Trump’s. They’re incompetents and hateful racists, every one. They’re just smart enough to not friggin’ say Nazis are fine people in public!
Jarvanka are not leaving. No way. Why? Because they’re handling funneling foreign bribes into Trump’s pocket. The big money. There is nothing, not even ego or racism, that Trump cares about more.
The Republican establishment did not buy Trump. They unanimously tried to stop him, and the misanthrope base forced him on them. The most you can say is they hoped to make the best of a bad deal.
mai naem mobile
@satby: the GOP owns Dolt45 and the whole f-ING farce. The whole lot of them. Let me include any of the top brass at NBC anf Mark Burnett who had to know this guy wold be completely and utterly out of his depth as POTUS. Dolt45 needs to be hung on every freaking GOPr’s neck like a one ton concrete block who did not speak up during the primary and stuck to it all the way post-election.
@Just One More Canuck:
Jimmy had the wisdom not to attempt bringing his family into government. For a while Billy did have a go at being a celebrity brother-of; but now that I think about it, it seems to me he was just having a lark more than anything else.
@Kay: “Strength” in their world always and exclusively means meanness to liberals.
They were warned that they would cut themselves on this sword. Over 50 years they still built the grievance machine that created the perfect soil for a grifter like that orange-heided monster to swoop in and steal their thunder. They didn’t even resist him effectively or efficiently. Rather than calling him out, then throwing him out of the primaries when they could have, they let him run as a Republican. Doesn’t matter that they thought they were risking his third party candidacy if they did that, enough of the GOP establishment provided the necessary structure he required that he was able to eat their lunch. And then he did. They bought him with their winking and nodding at racist, sexist, and xenophobic policies, and they need to own up to him being their fault and do better. Otherwise, their works belong on the ash heap with the rest of the golden calves.
@satby: Speak that!
The MSM is trying very hard to find points of normality in this administration. If they think they can get me to cheer those refuting Trump they are wrong. Tillerson is still an oligarch/government/corporate prototype. He’s a fascist without the hate. No, the whole pack is evil. I won’t cheer for them.
mai naem mobile
@opiejeanne: oh,no Nikki Haley after all is said and done will come out as one of the GOPS rising stars because she’s a woman,brown and has foreign policy experience. She’ll say she tried opposing Dolt45’s failed policies but he was da boss and she was trying to minimize the damage.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: it wasn’t just Kentucky. Labor Day is the perfect opportunity to remember that the Labor Movement depended on solidarity and in building solidarity black and white, immigrant and native born came together and were and continue to fight the power and that power (concentrated wealth and police power) hasn’t ever changed.
The late James Green knew and wrote about workers. I am honored to have known him and his gentle ways. Here’s a link to his final book:
James Green, like the late Howard Zinn were faculty members in the Trade Union Program at Harvard under the ass-kicker extraordinaire Director Dr. Elaine Bernard.
@mai naem mobile:
She’ll never get past ‘rising star’, including quotes, because she’s a woman, brown, and has foreign policy experience. Even though she’s pretty racist herself. They look hard for those minorities willing to be tokens and sell out their own kind, but never let them advance too far. The speed with which the evangelicals dropped Carson the moment it looked like he even had a chance is a perfect demonstration.
@bemused: Never trust someone who gives himself a nickname.
I’d take Lloyd Blankfein as Preznit before any sitting Republican Senator, Congresscritter, or Governor.. He’s demonstrated the ability to run a large, complex otganization full of outsized egos, and he appears to have some vestiges of a soul (he was willing to breach his fiduciary duty to Goldman’s shareholders by being the very visible face of the finance industry’s support for same-sex marriage). There aren’t many billionaires who grew up in public housing and went to urban public schools.
? ?? Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) ? ?
Trump is fundamentally a weak person. Doubly so since he knows Mattis and even Tillerson are the best he’s going to get. If they go, his admin will utterly collapse.
I’m sure you’ve read all the documents and can explain in detail the nature and extent of the breach(es).
No? Imagine that …
? ?? Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) ? ?
When I see Trump, the very last thing I think of is strength. I think of weak bluster that is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. That enough Americans think Trump is “strong”, says a lot about them
Sarah Ellison @ Vanity Fair via Anne Laurie @ Top:
Apolitical? I’m not sure there is anything more political than gaming the government for your own financial benefit.
@Frankensteinbeck: I absolutely disagree. They could rid us of trump tomorrow. They could impeach him in the morning and convict him in the afternoon, and if there were enough intact vertebrae among them to add up to one single backbone, that’s what they would do.
In fact, even from the narrow perspective of only caring about the Republican Party, that’s what they should do. Trump is just a monkey smearing shit everywhere at this point. The longer they leave him in office, the more they’ll wind up covered in it.
He’s theirs. During the primary, they made all the right noises about “Never Trump”, but when the time came to display basic integrity they failed. The whole party needs to be torn down.
@Frankensteinbeck: The evangelicals are saying Trump is being guided by God’s hand. Seriously. The man is the Seven Deadly Sins in a suit – Pride,Wrath, Greed, Lust, Envy (of Obama), Sloth, and Gluttony (two scoops of ice cream, well done steaks w/ketchup, KFC buckets, etc…).
@Iowa Old Lady:
To be fair, even if Trump weren’t president, I’d still think, “Well, at least Nikki Haley doesn’t have John Bolton’s mustache.”
You know, no matter how juicy the tidbits, I just cannot get into a Vanity Fair article about the Trumps.
Do not find them interesting; will never get the time back. Skimmed for a minute or two, though.
Ivanka counsels oldest child Arabella “for every problem, there is a solution.” Best to focus on that.
Ps: Arabella. Allegedly the name chosen by Jackie Kennedy for her stillborn daughter. Coincidence?
@VOR: tells you everything you need to know about that set of evangelicals. The political ones.
@Frankensteinbeck: Gotta disagree here. They in no way did everything they could to stop Trump. Oh, I agree they didn’t want him and they knew he was, is and would be a disaster on every level. But they figured, along with most people, that there was no way he was going to win. *drags out his favorite hobbyhorse* So they went with “Weak Clinton” strategy. Had they really denounced him, done what they did with David Duke in Lousiana back in the 90s, they would have lost a ton of votes from the die-hard racists that are a major part of their coalition. So yeah, they leaked and fumed and frowned and expressed concern, but not a damn one of them said, “We need to vote for Clinton to keep him out of the White House.” The wanted the senate, they wanted the house. They decided to try and have it both ways so that Clinton would be as weak as possible upon entering the White House. I think a good chunk of Trump voters felt the same way, he wouldn’t win, so making it close and showing that Clinton barely beat Trump would make her weaker. They all had their eyes on 2020 when they had a great chance at having the Trifecta without Trump. Fuck them. They are weak, moral degenerates on every level who wanted to have their cake and eat it too.
@JGabriel: I’d rather assume that crowd uses “apolitical” more in the sense of theoretically bog-standard social skills / practical diplomacy / long(er)-term and team-thinking. Not all political behavior is reducible to it’s all already mine and how fast can It be delivered (or returnee) delivered in louder and louder tones of voice (aka Strength!!).
@burnspbesq: nope I’ll leave that to you.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Exactly my reaction. I kind of wanted to hate-read it but couldn’t stay interested. I both hate them and find them utterly boring. I did skim through enough to see an old Manhattan acquaintance described Jared as “formless”, which kind of sums up how I see him. I half believe Ivanka, who remembers that time her father told her the panhandler on the street was $8 billion richer than he was, married Jared because he actually has money. For now.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Tim C.: In France, just about every major politician from left to right announced their intention to vote for Macron– I initially typed “endorsed”, but a lot of the announcements were somewhat half-hearted, IIRC. I think the one people were calling the French Bernie dragged his ass before calling on his supporters to vote Macron. And, IIRC again, there was one fairly prominent conservative, a first round candidate, who joined up with Le Pen, and his career is pretty much over.
Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman)
Billy Beer, anyone?
I was only 12 or 13 when it came out, but I am reliably informed that it was shitty beer, even by US standards.
@burnspbesq: The exceptions prove the rule. For every Bloomberg or even Blankfein there’s hundreds of tech bros thinking that all you need to do is be good at computers or making money to get stuff done in government. What they are is used to being totally in charge, which isn’t how government works. See Rauner or Trump or Tillerson as examples of how bad businessmen can be when they get power.
ETA not arguing that it’s impossible for a bussinessperson to be a good government employee or elected, just arguing that this “run gov’t like a business bull” really really needs to stop.
Which just goes to show that the deity they’re worshiping is not YHWH.
@Elizabelle: I hate that she’s sullying that name. I had an amazing cat named Arabella.
Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman)
None of the right wing Evangelicals even come close to living in a Christ-like manner or knowing the Gospels outside of a few verses quoted out of context.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Exactly. If the GOP establishment indicated that voting for Clinton was the only viable option and that they would fight her from day one of her presidency, then they could have some scrap of dignity or honor. That ship sailed.
Brendan in NC
@opiejeanne: just really stupid…As someone who lives just a few miles from South Carolina – I watched her two-step around the fact that she was differently pigmented than those she governed. She thought it would be easier in Washington, but it’s not. It’s tougher, because your every word is reported when you’re in Washington, but not in South Cackackee…
Dr. Ronnie James, D.O.
There was a previous President known for keeping his staff on the same page. His nickname was “No Drama…” something or other. Trump should ask him for advice, I think.
And apparently her favorite solution to every problem is to get plant a fawning article in the media.
@CarolDuhart2: I’ll be glad to give you ride to BJ meetup next Saturday. Please contact Adam for my email address! Thanks.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: I saw that documentary. Those people were so brave. That’s why when I criticize people in Kentucky I try to differentiate between the people like those in Harlan County and the pasty, arrogant, entitled racists in Northern KY.
I think this attitude was best summarized by something Lindsey Graham said when people were urging the party to dump Trump at the convention because they were convinced he couldn’t win. Graham basically said that it was better to lose an election than to spark a civil war within the party by rejecting the expressed wishes of the primary voters. I still think it was a valid point. I just think he didn’t consider the potential downside for the party of winning with Trump.
@glaukopis: @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: Thanks, Ladies! I kept chiming in on fairly dead threads and hopes she might see my post! Thanks again!
@Kathleen: I already did that.
ETA: Or as Adam would say, “Tracking”.
@Tenar Arha: Evidently many people don’t pay attention to how their employers run their companies.
@Roger Moore: The GOP brought the problem on themselves in trying to front-load the primary/caucus races to make JEB! the in Inevitable winner. JEB! imploded and they pandered to Donnie during the debates and covered for him when a sensible party would have denounced him. Donnie didn’t win a majority of the delegates. The winner-take-all races made Donnie appear stronger than he was. (Yeah, lots of Democrats didn’t win a majority of the delegates in past races, but the races weren’t winner-take-all.) . And they were unwilling to actually have a convention fight to pick someone who was minimally competent.
The party failed. They allowed the takeover of their institution by know-nothing racists who want to do nothing more than enrich themselves and to destroy the commonweal and the national government in the process. All in pursuit of political power.
And still they support him.
One wonders what it will take for them to finally denounce him and stand behind their words…
Government and business are two entirely different animals. The people that say that businessmen would run government best are saying because they don’t like what government is supposed to do. They also think that the skills to make money are the same ones that it takes to run government. There are some cross over concepts but mostly they are different simply because business and government are different.
Business exists to make money, by creating and selling, finding and selling, buying and selling, somethings.
Government exists to make our lives better, all of our lives. To protect us, to give us the tools of life – right now that’s military/police/fire, roads/bridges, parks, clean air/water and law/regulations on business so that we don’t kill ourselves and others too much.
The goals are different, the paths to get there are different, the tools to get there are paid for in exactly the opposite way and are different, and the skills are different. Of course business could probably gain a lot by accepting some of the tools that government requires, which is of course exactly opposite of republican concepts. Which just shows how little they actually understand about anything.
@Tenar Arha: Sorry, but it bugs me to see an old expression misused in this way. An exception “proves” a rule not in the sense of confirming that the rule is true, but in an older sense of testing the rule. (This older sense survives in words and phrases like “proofreader” and “proving ground”.)
I think Strength, to them, is an attribute possessed solely by white men.
Some white men tap into this reservoir of power by making declarative statements, like Reagan calling the USSR the evil empire or Bush, Jr declaring Saddam as part of the access of evil, or Mike Pence staring down North Korea, while other white men squander it by being thoughtful and deliberate.
@burnspbesq: Blankfein has always come off to me as being kind of street smart but I had to double-check some of that stuff on Wikipedia…from the projects, worked as a vendor at Yankee Stadium…etc…kinda an awesome story, actually.
Actually, it’s not, or originally wasn’t, meant in the sense of an exception testing the rule. The original usage was actually Latin exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis meaning “the exception proves the rule in cases without the exception”. For example, if a street sign says “No Parking Tuesdays 9-11 AM for street sweeping”, it’s safe to assume that parking being disallowed is an exception and thus that being allowed is the rule at other times. This is a very general rule of statutory construction: if a law spells out specific exceptions, one can assume that the opposite is the rule when those exceptions don’t apply.
The origin of this principle is attributed to Cicero; at the very least he is the first Roman lawyer known to have argued a case on this basis. His case involved voting right of residents of a city that had been granted Roman citizenship without mentioning whether that conveyed the right to vote in Roman elections. Somebody was trying to argue they didn’t have the right to vote, since it hadn’t been explicitly granted. He found that none of the treaties with other cities granting Roman citizenship explicitly granted voting rights, but some explicitly excluded them. He then argued that the need to spell out an exception proved that the opposite was the generally applicable, but unwritten, rule.
@Roger Moore: No, I get it. And that’s exactly what I mean. They didn’t think Trump would win either. He, like a lot of the establishment, was putting party over country.
Long ass article, essentially saying that Trump is incompetent and probably mentally unstable, but he has been duly elected, and so his cabinet and the country must adjust to his deficiencies.
Shorter: we are fucked.
@Roger Moore: Thanks for the best explanation I’ve yet seen for that. The history lesson is icing on the cake.
@mai naem mobile: she can’t rise any higher in the GOP because she cant be elected to a higher office with GOP votes alone. She either has crossover appeal to make up for the votes she loses for being a POC and a woman or she loses.
Bush didn’t implode, he was neutered and humiliated by Trump. And Cruz was much more competitive in the early primaries, with Trump finding a way to make a strong play for Ctuz’ base. Jeb was gone relatively early.
I’m not sure that the Republicans had sufficient reason to denounce Trump early on. And just as the Democrats could not nuke Bernie without looking like sore winners, the GOP could not find a strong reason to disqualify Trump. I suppose they could have cited his refusal to pledge loyalty to the GOP, but let’s face it, they thought they were smart, but got taken by a smooth grifter.
OK a little OT fun.
My roommates bathroom, the tub and loo backed up. Manager is on it, plumber is here and after it, it was fun carrying wastebaskets of drain water outside to the rain drains. Two separate times. Told my roommate that it reminded me of the loos on ship (OK the head for those of you who just have to use the proper terms) Flushing was done with seawater, all wash down was done with seawater, right into floor drains and overboard. It was always wet in the head, with seawater. Always.
Her bathroom is like that now.Was like that. Emergency plumber, manager on the job. Looking like our very, very, very mini Houston was an almost nothing and it’s over. Other than the cleanup.
J R in WV
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
A good friend of mine was organizing in Harlan for the union long ago in the 1930s, was caught, beaten and left to die in a ditch in cold wet late fall. He was saved, and kept hidden in a small miner’s cabin while his broken bones healed. He lost two fingers on his right hand, and had to learn to write with his left hand.
He was a professor at Emory later on, and they fired him for being a proud integration supporter in the 50s and 60s. Later on he taught at Maryland, and wound up founding a folk arts school in WV. He taught at the Appalachian Branch of Antioch in the mid-1970s, where I met him.
The anti-union violence was unbelievable. The National Guard used machine guns against poorly armed union men. I’ve seen the empty .30 rounds in heaps. The companies built armored trains, equipped with their own machine guns, and ran them through the tent camps of strikers and their families. They were evicted from their company-owned houses the day their strike started. Without the union’s tents they would have been left to the elements.
The union had the miners dig slit trenches inside their tents, and sleep beside the shelter of those holes in the ground to be ready when the company’s armored train, “The Bullmoose Special” came through the camps. Not much small arms can do against armor. Even military surplus rifles are unable to do much there. But you can take shelter in your trench. Most of these guys were veterans of WW I.
Not that there are lots of union operations here in WV any more. Reagan and Bush pretty much killed off active unions. Mrs J was an elected union local officer in her nation-wide local.
Immediately after Reagan’s inauguration she got a call from a Republican Labor Department woman who was so tickled she got to tell Wife that if any forms were late past the legally required deadline, she, the Republican small government person, would be delighted to start proceedings to confiscate our home. Just such a good christian person, not!
I think it’s even less than that. He really isn’t that smooth or qualified as a grifter. He just didn’t use their playbook. Or a playbook at all. He had one play, be the racist dick that he has always been, that he was taught to be. Be up front about it, which the republican playbook said don’t be. No one was fooled but that playbook set up someone to just be themselves, which of course drumpf plays to the hilt, because first, that’s who he is and second, it got him the attention he has to have to live. His racism fed the base and the base fed him admiration for being an open racist, something they have been looking for, for 150 yrs. They didn’t get taken, they got rewarded.
@Amir Khalid: I did not know that. Cool. I’m probably going to the dictionary/expression well for a while looking for treasures.
ETA @Roger Moore: So cool.
@[email protected]Amir Khalid: Billy was having more that just a lark. He had a serious drinking problem for a while, but he got into rehab and sobered up. The relationship between Billy & Jimmy vs. that between Javanka & the Donald is not at all comparable.
Jake the antisoshul soshulist
@Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman):
Falls City with a different label.
For those unfamiliar, it was known to cause a malady commonly called the City Shits.
@Darrin Ziliak (formerly glocksman): My HS Latin teacher said it tasted like it was brewed through a horse.
That’s false, and it’s the kind of stupidity that led Benjamin Wittes to defend Bush’s use of torture. The president does not speak for the Department of Justice or for those tasked with upholding the law and prosecuting law breakers. It’s disastrous to conflate the president’s executive powers with the autonomous powers of those who investigate and charge criminals.
This is the shallow state, the very top layer of the government, operating in broad daylight, in fact wanting to be seen and heard differentiating themselves from the president of the United States…
And thus Rich Lowry demonstrates he literally has not idea of how shadows work, or what the metaphor of calling something a ‘shadow thing’ is supposed to work.
Hey, moron, while it is possible for a ‘shadow government’ to fail at keeping to the shadows, (to be basically a ‘failed-shadow government’) if the thing itself is wanting to be seen…it’s not a damn ‘shadow government’, you idiot. Things no one minds if they can be seen are not any sort of shadow(1).
What is going on is not any sort of shadow government vs. the President.
What is going on is ‘sane government’ vs. the President.
Yes, they’re a bunch of right-wing ideologues or foxes deliberately put in to regulate henhouses or racist asshats who have spent decades dogwhistling about ‘tough on crime’ (I almost forgot Sessions!), but they are, in fact, _sane people_. They are actual, functional people, who can operate in society without handlers. They are politicians or business people who can remain calm when dealing with issues, who think before they act, who have actual goals they wish to accomplish, who understand how to interact with people.
I don’t _agree_ with a lot of their stuff, I don’t agree with their goals, and sometimes they aren’t even particularly competent at what they have been hired for, but they are all, in some sense, normal sane human beings.
Unlike the President.
And they have quickly realized that the President can’t fire them, both because it seems to be one of the few things he understands makes him look weak (Although this is, weirdly, almost a moot point in reality because he already looks extremely weak.) and because he cannot find anyone to replace them and he doesn’t even slightly understand what they do.
You give me a boss who says crazy stuff and somehow can’t fire me, and I’d be openly contradicting him in front of everyone also.
1) And, yes, I know there’s a ‘shadow cabinet’ in Britain that is well known, but that’s an entirely different thing and Rich Lowry is being even stupider if that’s what he thinks he’s talking about.
No One You Know
@Roger Moore: Thanks! Loved the history background.