Oops - your Trump presidency discussion thread.

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  • Apparently, last night, Trump told a group at a fund raising dinner about his latest meeting with Justin Trudeau. Trump came into the meeting arguing that his proposed tariffs are necessary to fix the US's trade deficit with Canada.

    Trudeau was shocked, because . . . well . . . there is no such deficit. Trump argued that Trudeau must be wrong, and only conceded that he might have been wrong after someone came in with the actual numbers.

    After reports of the fund raising speech leaked, Trump took to Twitter:
    "We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada, as we do with almost all countries (some of them massive). P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S.(negotiating), but they do...they almost all do...and that’s how I know!"

    This guy can't be helped. It's bad enough that he's going into meetings with foreign leaders without reading even the short-form briefing memo and arguing over demonstrably wrong information, and then sharing it as a funny story to people who he hopes will give him money to continue running the coutnry. To then double down on Twitter because "they almost all do . . . and that's how I know!" is even more of an embarrassment.

    (He's also apparently running with the line that Lamb won in Pennsylvania by embracing Trumpism, including the tax cuts. And while Lamb is no doubt to the right of the Democrats on many issues, he has been quite critical of the tax cuts. But as we've learned over and over, Trump says what he wants, reality be damned.)
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    Trump's speech was summarized by the Washington Post. An actual transcript is here.

    The thing with Trudeau was just bizarre, but there was some truly scary stuff in there, like his idea about pulling all American troops out of South Korea unless South Korea give the U.S. a more favorable balance of trade. I'm not sure which of these possibilities is the more frightening, that Trump can no longer distinguish between objective reality and the voices in his head, or that he can make that distinction but simply doesn't care.
  • Trump's Trudeau episode is just indicative of how he operates, though isn't it? I read something where, either in his book on business-dealing, or he was quoted as saying, he often accomplished what he wanted by setting up a fictional context for negotiations.

    Eg, I think the example he used was when he wanted to get the help of a prospective financial partner for a project; he'd take them to a piece of land and say 'I've just bought this, and Acme company and Moneybags investor are on board, and we just need your input to make it work.' The actual information wouldn't be true, of course. But the point he made was if you tell people your vision of what you'd like to see, they'll back you, because they want to believe it's true. The fact that he didn't own the land, and that Acme company and Moneybags investor were oblivious to his interests, didn't matter at all to him, so long as the result was getting the money for the deal. And even if the money didn't come through, well, no skin off his nose, it wasn't like the project was real anyway?
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Trump's speech was summarized by the Washington Post. An actual transcript is here.

    The thing with Trudeau was just bizarre, but there was some truly scary stuff in there, like his idea about pulling all American troops out of South Korea unless South Korea give the U.S. a more favorable balance of trade. I'm not sure which of these possibilities is the more frightening, that Trump can no longer distinguish between objective reality and the voices in his head, or that he can make that distinction but simply doesn't care.

    Your thoughts mirror mine. And if the forecast reshuffle gets rid of a few more adults, who will be left to put the brakes on?
  • Can you name one person who is presently putting on the breaks?
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Mattis, I think. Although he's a hawk, I think he's a realist.
  • Any bets as to whether T will try to move Jared into the secretary of state slot, somewhere down the road? He could continue his miraculous work to produce Middle East peace.

    And get his security clearance back.

    (I wouldn't be surprised if Jared is still receiving highly-classified info, anyway. From T and Ivanka, if no one else.)
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    I can't imagine that the Senate would confirm him.
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    You think they'd show enough backbone to say no?
  • You'd think; but the Congressional Republicans are so far down the rabbit hole, and *its* rabbit holes, that they might not be able to see confirming Jared would be a bad thing. Most of them, anyway.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited March 2018
    Rand Paul says he will vote against Pompeo for SecState, Haspel for Director CIA and Bolton for NSA if, as expected, McMaster gets fired.

    With the wafer thin Senate majority and justifiable misgivings about all three, Trump's much heralded further reshuffle might run
    into major confirmation
    problems.

    Should think McConnell has a few additional headaches right now.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    With the wafer thin Senate majority and justifiable misgivings about all three, Trump's much heralded further reshuffle might run into major confirmation problems.
    Of course he has shown himself no foe of just leaving posts open in perpetuity. He may start trying that with cabinet-level positions.

  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    If I was a betting woman, I'd be tempted to lay 20-1 odds that Trump is preparing to fire Sessions, name Pruitt Acting AG (which he can be since he already holds a Senate confirmed position), and then, tra-la, Pruitt fires Mueller.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    MaryLouise wrote: »
    If I was a betting woman, I'd be tempted to lay 20-1 odds that Trump is preparing to fire Sessions, name Pruitt Acting AG (which he can be since he already holds a Senate confirmed position), and then, tra-la, Pruitt fires Mueller.

    In that scenario, Pruitt could only fire Mueller 'for cause'. . Pissing off the President doesn't pass muster for that.

    If Trump tries the direct route, this comment in the link is relevant.
    “I will leave it to others to sort that out, but raise this final question: If Trump tries to blow through the regulation and fire Mueller himself, would DOJ or Mueller accept the termination or instead challenge and litigate the purported removal?” Goldsmith wrote. “That litigation would be … interesting.”

  • I think there's a Tom Lehrer tribute thread in The Circus called 'Who's Next?' Eutychus started it and it is a good opportunity to test your prognostication skills about Trump's revolving door candidate. I hear the smart money is on Creighton from Red Dwarf, aka McMasters, the replacement for whatever his name is. It's on a charge-sheet somewhere.
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited March 2018
    It's the work of @Crœsos but I hope to win it :naughty:

    Still ploughing on with The faith of Donald J Trump.

    So far the argument is largely "holiness by association". His father hailed from Germany, home of Martin Luther and the Reformation, his mother hailed from Lewes, Scotland, home to upright Protestants and an evangelical revival, ergo...

    In a particular feat of cognitive dissonance, the Presbyterian church he grew up in is simultaneously cast as providing a good Christian background ("isn't it amazing that his family were members of three of the oldest churches in the US?") - and responsible, due to its liberalism, for any gaps in his biblical knowledge.

    A quote early on in the boko from Trump, offered in evidence of his Christian faith, reminds me irresistibly, not for the first time, of Rick in A perfect spy:
    I would say that the faith is that I am a believer. I believe. And when you believe, many good things can happen. And hopefully, those good thing will happen for the nation.
  • My attention has also been drawn to the Twitter hashtag #emptythepews with people responding to an invitation to post
    If you left Evangelicalism over bigotry and intolerance or this election specifically
    .
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Eutychus, I think you mean the Isle of Lewis, stronghold of the Wee Frees. Lewes is in Sussex, England. They burn the Pope in effigy there, on 5th November, every year. Perhaps there's not a great difference in ethos.
  • HarryCHHarryCH Shipmate
    A very recent New York Times report indicates that Russia has been having some success at hacking their way into various U.S. industries including the nuclear power plants. This is obviously a threat to national security. It will be interesting to see whether the Trump administration or the Republicans in Congress will even notice.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Mattis, I think. Although he's a hawk, I think he's a realist.

    That's good to hear. I have read that he is one of the smart ones, who is keeping his head down and doing his job, which is one of the ways to avoid Trump's attention. And I suppose that's exactly the department where you want the most reasonable one working.
  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    Apparently, last night, Trump told a group at a fund raising dinner about his latest meeting with Justin Trudeau. Trump came into the meeting arguing that his proposed tariffs are necessary to fix the US's trade deficit with Canada.

    Trudeau was shocked, because . . . well . . . there is no such deficit. Trump argued that Trudeau must be wrong, and only conceded that he might have been wrong after someone came in with the actual numbers.

    The CBC news report on this noted that the Canadian government had thus far been trying to take a fact-based approach, but in light of this information, a new strategy would likely be adopted.

    My God, we're going to have to hire fluffers. Eww.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    The comic strip "Baldo" had a particularly good line this week. The young daughter asks her father "If our leaders lie, then I can lie, too, right?" The father replies: "Absolutely not. Our leaders are not your role models."

    Such a sad, but true, commentary. If it works, here is a link to the strip.


  • Eutychus--

    The "I am a believer" quote is likely due to going to the church of Norman Vincent Peale for many years. Positive thinking guru. In T's mind, the ideas are resident as "If I believe it, it is true, it will happen".

    And what is "boko", please?
  • Lying is probably how trumpy has lived his entire life? Stupid enough to admit he's a liar.

    Methinks that the only sensible way of talking to him and maintaining a semblance of international relations with his country is to say to him after he says whatever, "Donald you cannot be believed, we will fact check". If diplomatic relations are not inviting him to jump from a window is quite in order.

    One would foolishly think that in a sensible country impeachment and removal from office would be automatic and already done.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    This vindictive and unprincipled man has claimed another 'victory'. Jeff Sessions has fired Andy McCabe tonight, two days before his planned early retirement and, as a result, delayed his receipt of pension by a decade.

    There is cover for the action, but what has clouded the whole issue has been the series of public attacks on McCabe by the President. That, coupled with the febrile 'who is next to be fired' atmosphere in the White House, twisted Sessions' arm half way up his back.



  • Golden Key wrote: »
    what is "boko", please?
    A typo for "book".

  • No no, that's not the way to deal with Trump as a foreign leader. The way to deal with him is to smile and be friendly and obsequious, and just hold firm on your non-negotiables while trying to present him with something he can count as a win.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Plus walking away understanding that any item you actually agreed upon is as foam on the ocean wave . . .
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    McCabe sacking

    I think Adam Schiff has summed it up perfectly.
    In the absence of the IG report, it’s impossible to evaluate the merits of this harsh treatment of a 21-year FBI professional. That it comes after the President urged the DOJ to deprive McCabe of his pension, and after his testimony, gives the action an odious taint.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate

    One would foolishly think that in a sensible country impeachment and removal from office would be automatic and already done.

    NOProphet, the cogent and intractable reasons why this president has not been impeached and removed from office (and perhaps will not be) has been explained at length, in detail, and repeatedly on this thread's interminable predecessor on the Old Ship. Have you simply passed over these explanations? Are you unable to understand them? Or is it merely easier to hold this country as a whole in general contempt? It must be apparent to you by now that the vast majority of US citizens posting on both old and new president threads are every bit as frustrated and horrified by the current president's words and actions as you are. Have you failed to notice this fact?

    Almost as frustrating is your continued insistence on denigrating the entire US, its citizens, and its governing structures and institutions with sweeping generalizations like the above. Please: just stop. Not only is your generalization tiresome, unfair, unhelpful, and inapplicable, it undermines the respect which most of your posting usually deserves.

  • Foaming DraughtFoaming Draught Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    My forecast in the Circus is that Sessions will be next to go (McMaster is not in the cabinet). This was because I thought that he would not fire McCabe, and so would be fired himself.
    But now I’m coming round to the notions that

    1. He doesn’t want Trump to have an excuse to fire him, install Pruitt, and then Pruitt fires Mueller. So McCabe has taken a bullet for the country and the continuing probe. And
    2. Sessions has been wired during all of his meetings with Trump, and captured Trump’s orders re McCabe for posterity and prosecution. I assume that Sessions is a cooperating witness for Mueller.
  • That was Bill Krisrols speculation last night on MSNBC. It's certainly a more charitable view of Sessiins than I'm prone too
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    I have been wondering about these fund-raising dinners for Trump. My assumption is that the invitations go to pretty wealthy people. How is it that such folks want to support Trump? Do they not research or even read about (for instance) the claims of a trade deficit with Canada? How can they want to financially back a person who knows nothing and talks out of his back side so very much?

    They don't deserve their riches, IMVHO.

  • NP--

    What Ohher said.
  • No, GK and Ohher, NP speaks truth. The "pond" between Australia and the western seaboard is vastly bigger than that between Europe and the eastern seaboard, and we don't have NC and SC in the way between us, so I (and I'm sure NP) isn't writing off the entire country.
    But the fact remains, that your country elected a lecherous, duplicitous, thieving, traitorous scumbag - and you knew for whom you were voting - to the nation's highest office. And the political party which he has hijacked has enabled him at every turn.
    Are you on the street protesting? Have you cancelled your Fox subscription? Do you still vote GOP locally? Is your "church" a wicked perversion of Christianity and have you left it?
    I am quite cognisant of Godwin, but if you haven't done these things and more, you are as culpable as any fan of Hitler was before 1933. The whole of Germany was put into judgment after Nuremburg. It had been a civilised nation to which the world owed much.
    Are you marching against poisoning and electrocuting mentally ill young people in your "judicial" tribunals? Are you marching for caring for the sick as Our Lord commands? Are you marching against a Supreme Court which kids you that Corporations (and their wealth, robbed from your taxes) are people?
    If you're not, don't give me this bs, you are citizens (and you choose to remain to be) of an evil, world-order-perverting kingdom which is in opposition to everything in any gospel except Nietsche's.
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited March 2018
    hosting/

    This thread is here to discuss Trump's presidency. It is not, repeat not, here to attack a collective, indiscriminate "you" of any national population. That constitutes racism and is a breach of Commandment 1. Neither is it here to personally attack any individual poster(s).

    Besides, we don't stand for pond wars around here.

    You can try taking this disagreement to Hell and see if the Hellhosts allow it (that depends a lot on how you deal with it), but there is to be no more of this here in Purgatory.

    Any queries or disputes on this ruling belong in the Styx, not on this thread.

    /hosting
  • Thankyou for that elucidation, Eutychus. I have never been a take it to Styx person, out of respect and gratitude for our Hosts. So the post can stand for itself.
  • hosting/

    On the off-chance that I didn't make myself clear, no discussion of or response to host posts on this thread.

    Your post is unacceptable material for Purgatory. We don't delete posts except in exceptional circumstances, but that doesn't mean it can simply "stand for itself". It means discussion of such issues in the terms you express them doesn't belong here (possibly in Hell) and neither does any comment on a host ruling (definitely in the Styx whatever your sentiments tell you).

    /hosting
  • I'm taking Flatulent Duck's post to hell.
  • My forecast in the Circus is that Sessions will be next to go (McMaster is not in the cabinet). This was because I thought that he would not fire McCabe, and so would be fired himself.
    But now I’m coming round to the notions that

    1. He doesn’t want Trump to have an excuse to fire him, install Pruitt, and then Pruitt fires Mueller. So McCabe has taken a bullet for the country and the continuing probe. And
    2. Sessions has been wired during all of his meetings with Trump, and captured Trump’s orders re McCabe for posterity and prosecution. I assume that Sessions is a cooperating witness for Mueller.

    Unfortunately, it seems to me that a much simpler solution is likely.

    Trump called Sessions into his office and said “fire McCabe or you’re done.” So Sessions said, “cool, right away.” Not because he cares about protecting Mueller or the country. He just wanted to protect his own neck.
  • No, GK and Ohher, NP speaks truth.
    You argue from massive ignorance. There are legitimate arguments as to why America collectively shares the blame for Trump being elected.* Yours isn't one of them.


    *What led to Trump is, unfortunately, not limited to America. Look at Brexit and much of Europe. I doubt Australia is immune, though I do not follow its politics well enough.

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited March 2018
    Back to Mueller.

    Mueller is now, overtly, in the Trump cross hairs.

    The journey is now approaching the cross roads. Trump wants to bury the Mueller investigation. Will Congress support the rule of law against the rule of a demagogue? I think we are close to finding that out.

    I hope the Senator Graham viewpoint will be supported
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    jedijudy wrote: »
    I have been wondering about these fund-raising dinners for Trump. My assumption is that the invitations go to pretty wealthy people. How is it that such folks want to support Trump? Do they not research or even read about (for instance) the claims of a trade deficit with Canada? How can they want to financially back a person who knows nothing and talks out of his back side so very much?

    Why wouldn't they? Trump signed a massive tax cut for the very wealthy. More credit/blame goes to Ryan and McConnell, but that was always the plan. "Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States", in the words of Grover Norquist. The agenda of wealthy Trump supporters is:
    1. Shovel more of America's wealth upward
    2. There is no second point

    So why wouldn't they support a president who is very good for their pocketbook and who they can buy access to through the simple expedient of joining his private club? It's not as if this is some big secret. What perplexes me is why people don't judge Republicans by what both their words and their deeds tell us is their priority.
    But the fact remains, that your country elected a lecherous, duplicitous, thieving, traitorous scumbag - and you knew for whom you were voting - to the nation's highest office. And the political party which he has hijacked has enabled him at every turn.

    I object to the notion that Donald Trump "hijacked" the Republican Party. Donald Trump (or someone like him) is the obvious and logical endpoint that the Republican Party has been headed towards for more than four decades. When was this non-lecherous, non-duplicitous, non-thieving, and non-traitorous Republican Party supposed to have existed?

    During the previous administration, when Republicans actively promoted racist conspiracies about the "real" birthplace of America's first black president, something they obviously considered a contradiction in terms, the most vociferous of which is the current occupant of the White House?

    During the George W. Bush years when they patriotically lied the country into an unnecessary war and loudly decried anyone who opposed them as a traitor and terrorist sympathizer? (Speaking of the Bush years, look who showed up at Mar-A-Lago this weekend. There seems to be literally nothing you can do to get thrown out of what passes for "polite society" in Republican circles, other than advocate tax increases on the wealthy.)

    In the 1990s, when serial-adulterer Newt Gingrich promoted a list of words with which to tar all your opponents and a twice-elected president was impeached for getting an extra-marital hummer?

    The Reagan years, when Republicans in government illegally sold weapons to a terrorist-supporting government (what was that about "traitorous"?) and Rush Limbaugh was laying the rancid groundwork for right-wing talk radio?

    Trump even ran on Nixon's old "Law and Order" slogan and meant it in exactly the same way Nixon did: keeping the coloreds in their place and using the government to smite my enemies.

    In what sense did the "lecherous, duplicitous, thieving, traitorous" Donald Trump hijack the party of Newt Gingrich the lecher , George W. Bush the liar, the thieving Tom Delay, and traitorous Ronald Reagan? What gets me is not that the Republican party's Chosen One™ is "lecherous, duplicitous, thieving, [and] traitorous", it's that anyone seems to be at all surprised that this is the case or tries to pretend that this is a novel and unexpected development.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Re: Trump's "hijacking" of the GOP, I am right there with you, Croesus. They were building up (down?) to this for years.
  • spot on
  • Larry Tribe from Harvard Law School is co-authoring a book on impeachment to go on sale May 22. I thought that he was among those who believed that impeachment isn't feasible while Republicans have the numbers in the Senate to block the required 2/3. And he had put forward some interesting notions on indicting a sitting President. Just because it hasn't been done, doesn't mean that a supportive DoJ wouldn't get it past SCOTUS (well, perhaps not with Gorsuch having pinched a seat). But it seems that he's updated his thinking on impeachment.
    The book's a steal at USD18 ish on Amazon. Roll on May 22.
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    I believe that's the book that's front page on the NY Times book review section from Sunday 3/18. At least, it's some book on impeachment.

    While I would dearly love to impeach Trump, that would leave us with a nasty problem... President Pence, almost as bad as Trump, in some ways worse. Is he impeachable too? Maybe.. but as the current administration is set up, that leaves us with President Ryan. We need to get in a Democratic congress at the midterms before anything can happen.
  • cliffdwellercliffdweller Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    NicoleMR wrote: »
    I believe that's the book that's front page on the NY Times book review section from Sunday 3/18. At least, it's some book on impeachment.

    While I would dearly love to impeach Trump, that would leave us with a nasty problem... President Pence, almost as bad as Trump, in some ways worse. Is he impeachable too? Maybe.. but as the current administration is set up, that leaves us with President Ryan. We need to get in a Democratic congress at the midterms before anything can happen.

    Yep. As eager as I am to see Trump go, that's my thoughts as well.

    Really, I'd like to see the election invalidated due to the increasing evidence not just of Russian influence, but of actual Russian tampering with voter registration. But... we're still a long way off from proving that... and I too don't see that getting thru SCOTUS at this time.

    Maybe just wake up tomorrow and learn that it's Tues., Nov. 8, 2016 and the last 18 months were just a bad, bad dream...

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    NicoleMR wrote: »
    While I would dearly love to impeach Trump, that would leave us with a nasty problem... President Pence, almost as bad as Trump, in some ways worse. Is he impeachable too?

    Mike Pence has been referred to as "The Man Who Wasn't There" because of his claims to absent from or ignorant of various potentially incriminating things related to the Trump transition and administration, particularly (but not only) regarding Mike Flynn. Given that Pence was the head of the Trump transition and responsible for things like making sure everyone had their security clearance paperwork filled out properly and completely (looking at you, Jared!) and reviewing the reports back from the FBI, whether Pence is also impeachable depends on what form/grounds a theoretical Trump impeachment takes and what evidence is available. The preemptive way Pence always claims to have been out of the room is suspicious in itself, though not what anyone would call dispositive.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    So, inept assassination attempt or just the likely and expected result of the Trump Organization cheaping out on routine maintenance expenses?
    A helicopter carrying Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner had to return to an airport in Washington on Thursday after one of its engines failed, two law enforcement sources told CNN.

    President Trump's daughter and son-in-law were flying from Washington to New York on Thursday afternoon in a two-engine helicopter when one engine failed, causing the chopper to return to Washington.

    The helicopter safely made it back to Ronald Reagan National Airport and the couple scrambled to get on a commercial flight instead.

    The sources could not say why the couple were flying to New York via a helicopter instead of a plane.

    The aircraft was a Sikorsky helicopter owned by the Trump Organization, according to information recorded by the aviation website LiveATC.net.

    If I were betting on this I'd put my money on Trump being unwilling to fork over money for routine helicopter maintenance being the ultimate culprit. I also expect much ado and various conspiracy theories to be launched from the right wing fever swamps.
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