Oops - your Trump presidency discussion thread.

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  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Here's a video from PBS Newshour from Shields and Brooks. I find Brooks analysis at times to be, shall we say, idiosyncratic, but that is surely a criticism that could be leveled at me from time to time. But I discovered tonight that he has a long association with the moderate conservative magazine, the Weekly Standard. I thought his reflections on its closure, from about 5:30 to 7:30 on the linked piece were poignant and insightful.

    I particularly like his lament that people no longer seem to join political parties to promote a set of ideas, but to effectively be a cheerleader for whoever is in charge, or to achieve personal power.

    For those not particularly familiar with the odious Weekly Standard, it needs to be remembered that it never turned a profit and was not "moderate" in any usual sense of the term. It existed to promote a certain ideological viewpoint whatever Brooks might claim post facto. For an example of the smarmy and ultimately destructive the Weekly Standard was, check out this triumphalist piece by David Brooks from April 2003 about how the massive success that was the Iraq War had vindicated him and made his intellectual enemies look foolish. A sample:
    My third guess is that the Bush haters will grow more vociferous as their numbers shrink. Even progress in Iraq will not dampen their anger, because as many people have noted, hatred of Bush and his corporate cronies is all that is left of their leftism. And this hatred is tribal, not ideological. And so they will still have their rallies, their alternative weeklies, and their Gore Vidal polemics. They will still have a huge influence over the Democratic party, perhaps even determining its next presidential nominee. But they will seem increasingly unattractive to most moderate and even many normally Democratic voters who never really adopted outrage as their dominant public emotion.

    In other words, there will be no magic "Aha!" moment that brings the dream palaces down. Even if Saddam's remains are found, even if weapons of mass destruction are displayed, even if Iraq starts to move along a winding, muddled path toward normalcy, no day will come when the enemies of this endeavor turn around and say, "We were wrong. Bush was right." They will just extend their forebodings into a more distant future.

    To the best of my knowledge Brooks has never said anything along the lines of "Bush (and I) was/were wrong and his/my critics were right". He's just extended the ultimate triumph of America's invasion of Iraq into a more distant future. The closest he's ever come was a highly dishonest column of the "mistakes were made (but not by me)" variety.
  • Oh dear :)
  • Scott Walker as Secretary of Interior? He has no experience managing government land. He is not a westerner and most government lands are in the west. Better candidates are out there. My money is on Butch Otter who is retiring as the GOP governor of Idaho in 2019. He has quite a bit of working experience with the Department of Interior since much of Idaho is federally owned, either through the BLM, Parks and Monuments, or through the Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

    Otter has a grasp of several big issues facing the Pacific Northwest. Reaching a new mining agreement with Canada, maintaining Salmon and Steelhead Runs in the Northwest. Understanding the water reclamation projects that allow for farming. How to fight forest fires. Land rehabilitation.

    Walker would have no idea where to begin, with this. One other Idaho governor has become Secretary of Interior, but on the other side of the aisle. Cecil Andrus did very well. I think Otter when be a sane choice. But, then again, we have an insane president.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I rather like the idea of someone whose remit might include the management of wildlife being called Mr. Otter. :smiley:
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Scott Walker as Secretary of Interior? He has no experience managing government land. He is not a westerner and most government lands are in the west. Better candidates are out there. My money is on Butch Otter who is retiring as the GOP governor of Idaho in 2019. He has quite a bit of working experience with the Department of Interior since much of Idaho is federally owned, either through the BLM, Parks and Monuments, or through the Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

    Then it is 100% certain he will not be chosen.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Mousethief has it. If there is a discernible principle to this administration's appointments, it's that leadership positions for various Departments, Bureaus, Agencies, etc. go to individuals who are (A) utterly ignorant of what the body does and how, and/or is actively hostile to the body's remit -- if possible, both.

  • Otter sounds like he might be a good pick. But yeah, what mt said.

    It's important that the person handling that kind of thing in the Western US, whether locally or from DC, is sensitive to ranchers, farmers, other locals, and the situation here. Otherwise, there may well be worse incidents than the standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

    IIRC, someone involved (one of the Bundys?) in that was found innocent in court, but I'm not sure if that was related to Malheur or to the mess about the gov't and his ranch.

  • Funny funny Climacus. I shall check the downunder thread to see how you are going in Kiwiland.

    Could Gov. Otter be one of those rare people these days: a sensible Republican officeholder?

    I've been driving today and listening to reports concerning the enforced winding-up of the Trump Foundation due to a settlement. I shall do my own research, but why would an oversight authority settle such a high-profile case, given the deterrent effect that a successful civil suit would have in making sure other wealthy New Yorkers refrained from operating their charitable foundation as a piggy bank.
  • Here is an article I saw in Spectator USA.

    Here is an extract from the linked article:
    Gabriel Sherman reports that the White House now resembles a nuthouse. Trump apparently wants a purge of his outgoing chief of staff John Kelly’s aides. Meanwhile, Mueller preoccupies his thoughts. According to Sherman, ‘Last night, Mueller was a topic of discussion among the prominent members of Trumpworld, including Don Jr., who gathered at the Trump International Hotel for a birthday party for RNC co-chair candidate Tommy Hicks. “People are speculating that the secret witness in the D.C. court is Don Jr.,” one attendee said.’ Last week Mueller cleared out the entire fifth floor of a DC federal courthouse to mask a mysterious witness appearing before a grand jury — speculation is that it was either Don Jr. or Jared Kushner. There’s now rumors that Mueller will not seek indictments against Don Jr., Jared Kushner and Ivanka in exchange for daddy’s resignation.

    Here is my reaction to reading that paragraph.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    The trouble with getting "Daddy's resignation" is that then they'd get Pence, who, AFAICT, is almost as bad as Trump, but with a few more brain cells.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Bear in mind, though, that resignation means Trump can then be indicted. I suspect he'll opt instead to run for re-election in hopes that DoJ tradition of not indicting sitting presidents will stand, that he'll somehow be re-elected (surely the Russians will help!). Let's hope that a passably sane and honest Repugnican (there MUST be a few -- let's take a look at the hordes who turned down the Chief of Staff job) will successfully primary him.
  • Pence doesn't have that dangerously fanatical band of followers, a tendency to tweet or that special divisive brand of rhetoric where everyone who even looks at him sideways is an enemy of the people. Pence's faults, as far as I can make out, revolve around his Stepford Wives brand of Christianity rather than the far-right opposition to trans-national institutions that makes Trump so dangerously odious in the field where Presidential power is supreme. While the Democrats control the House, Trump and his successor are limited domestically to judicial appointments and other exercises of executive power. I'm not sure Pence could be worse than Trump on that, but he might surprise.

    The Spectator article linked above is wild speculation I suspect, but very exciting wild speculation. I have since read that the closed hearing referred to in it concerned an appeal about responding to a subpoena issued by Mueller against a corporation wholly owned by a foreign country. That was reported by Politico.

    There was movement at the station for the word had passed around that the colt from old Regret had got away, and had joined the wild bush horses - he was worth a thousand pound. So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
  • It has just occurred to me that there could be more than one secret hearing related to Mueller going on right now.

    This is my reaction to this realisation.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    Could Gov. Otter be one of those rare people these days: a sensible Republican officeholder?

    Having lived in Idaho (for 4 years, 9 months, and 17 days before I was able to escape), I can say absolutely not. However, he’s not crazy, and he’s no more dishonest than the average Western Republican (and less so than the average Trump cabinet member, though that’s true of most mafiosi as well).
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Pence doesn't have that dangerously fanatical band of followers,

    You know, I wonder about this. Well, not that Pence lacks a band of frootloop followers -- I'm reasonably sure he's pretty short of groupies hanging on his every tweet.

    I do question the notion that Trump qua Trump has a sufficient number of sufficiently committed and sufficiently motivated / planful / cunning to raise more than a few localized demonstrations on his behalf. I grant you, some thugs and white nationalists and neo-nazis have used Trump's bigotries as bolsters for their own recruitment efforts and demos, and these have, in fact, produced some deadly violence, as in Charlottesville. But are such demonstrations actually about Trump? No. Their actions are about their own espoused causes; Trump is just an excuse for them, and they use his racism / sexism / et al. as supports for their own ugly ideologies. How far would a bunch of neo-Nazis who chant "Jews will not replace us" go in actual defense of Trump (to say nothing of his Jewish son-in-law, grandchildren, and daughter?) I don't buy it. I don't say such groups pose no threat at all; their existence (which long predated Trump) is an ongoing but not necessarily red-alert-level threat to basic civil society. I think they'd meet with stiff resistance from those of us who reject such views, and I'm reasonably sure we're still a substantial majority of the populace.

    Even if the Russians / Saudis / Chinese / whoever were able to whip these groups into frenzy over a Trump impeachment / indictment / resignation / whatever, I still think they'd be put down and outnumbered in short order by police and military and citizens sick to death of Trump and Co.


  • Yeah, I'll cop that. What about people who have a fascination with the letter Q?
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    You mean round-shouldered, beer-bellied people hunched in No-Doz-fueled paranoia over computer keyboards late at night hatching ever-more-elaborately-attenuated connections among Deep State (some possibly nonexistent) personnel on the basis of highly-ambiguous wordings / punctuations of random bits of tweet, instagram, and email?

    Somehow, I have trouble envisioning this furtive, pale-complected army forming up into staunch battalions of Defenders of The Golden Don.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited December 2018
    Mattis has finally had enough of the idiot in the Oval Office. The last adult is about to leave the White House. The Syria decision looks like the last straw.
  • Without wanting to in any way diminish the significance of YET ANOTHER departure from the Cabinet, especially Jim Mattis, beloved of the Marine Corp, those folks at Q have t-shirts. I've seen them.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    I think it is a seminal moment. Mattis's resignation letter is a total rejection of Trump's decision making on defence matters. Initial signs from the GOP suggest that Trump will lose significant political support because he did not listen to Mattis. I think Trump's Presidency may now be in crisis.
  • It has certainly been a wild day here in the former United States of America. First, Trump says he will sign a continuing resolution with no additional funding for THE WALL. Then, the right wing nuts howled like crazy. Now Trump says he will not sign anything without THE WALL. Yesterday, the Orange One, says he is withdrawing US troops from Syria. Today Jim Mattis resigned as Secretary of Defense today. And the Dow Jones falls nearly 500 points.

  • Simon Toad--

    What is this Q you speak of? (Presuming you don't mean the gadget guy in the Bond films, or the Q Collective from Start Trek.)

    Thx.
  • Don't click that link! It's a trap!!!!!!!!! :trollface:
  • Just read Mattis' resignation letter. His views on America and her allies are my views. What a loss.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    It is, by any standard or precedent, a remarkable letter of resignation. .Which Trump decided to spin as a retirement.

    Mattis will have the responsibility for issuing commands to the military until end February 2019 unless he is replaced before. In the transitional period, it is possible that he may be given directives by the President that he will be unable to follow as a matter of conscience and wisdom.

    We may not have seen the last of this.
  • TukaiTukai Shipmate
    Shipmates following and/or "predicting" the sackings from Trump's entourage might like to put their predictions/ guesses on the Circus thread "last Secretary Standing". Then you can compare your judgement against (a) the judgement of other shipmates, and (b) the facts as they emerge.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    It is, by any standard or precedent, a remarkable letter of resignation.

    Blogger Adam L Silverman notes an interesting omission from Mattis' resignation letter.
    I have never seen a Marine sign a letter without either “Semper Fi” or “S/F” over their signature. I have former Marine teammates from when I was at USAWC who finish their informal emails to me with “S/F”. This is a tell!

    Mattis didn't even bother with "Sincerely".
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Wow. Short of inserting a "you drooling, ignorant cretin" here and there in this text, Mattis could hardly have made his opinion of Trump's Syrian and Afghani drawdowns any clearer.

    I do wish Mattis had re-thought / re-written the beginning of his 6th paragraph, though: "Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects . . ." This is likely the only phrase Trump will pay the slightest attention to, and we all know 45's sense of entitlement needs no sleeking.

    While the American people wait (and wait and wait) for someone, somewhere to produce the "smocking gun" which will finally bring this down-spiraling, stinking, demented, boil-ridden, flaming abcess of an administration down into its well-earned charnelpit, whatever happened to OUR right to have senators who represent constituents, Cabinet members who run their Departments in the interests of the American people, and a President who has at least a a smidge of loyalty to the country which enables him?
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    Ohher wrote: »
    ... this down-spiraling, stinking, demented, boil-ridden, flaming abcess of an administration ....

    That's pretty much spot on. My sympathies for what you are having to endure. A President changers his mind, shuts down the government because Fox News political "commentators" criticise him. I never thought I'd see that.

  • Wonder what Newt Gingrich thinks of *this* gov't shutdown?
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    In my mind when federal employees are being forced to work without pay, that is slave labour. They have my permission to strike. No pay = No Work.

    Too bad it will shut down all air traffic, especially in this (holiday?} season. But it will give some people pause to try to shut down the government again. And it will open our borders (horrors).
  • I feel most sorry for the employees whose budgets are thrown into chaos--especially in the holiday season; and also the possible lack of food, heat, rent, etc.

    News said Homeland Security is one of the departments to be shut down, BTW.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Too bad it will shut down all air traffic, especially in this (holiday?} season. But it will give some people pause to try to shut down the government again. And it will open our borders (horrors).

    I've read several places ("fake news" sources such as the New York Times), that the TSA is considered essential and will not be shut down. I had no problems flying during the last shut-down. (I was friendlier than usual to the TSA employees who had to work but didn't know when they would get paid.)

    Also, Border Patrol officers will be forced to work with deferred pay.


  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Too bad it will shut down all air traffic, especially in this (holiday?} season. But it will give some people pause to try to shut down the government again. And it will open our borders (horrors).

    I've read several places ("fake news" sources such as the New York Times), that the TSA is considered essential and will not be shut down. I had no problems flying during the last shut-down. (I was friendlier than usual to the TSA employees who had to work but didn't know when they would get paid.)

    Also, Border Patrol officers will be forced to work with deferred pay.


    And that is my point! Why should they be forced to work as slaves during the shut down??? They should go on strike!!!
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Why should they be forced to work as slaves during the shut down??? They should go on strike!!!

    Hear hear.

  • mousethief wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Why should they be forced to work as slaves during the shut down??? They should go on strike!!!

    Hear hear.

    I didn't realize I had any Christmas wishes, but that would be brilliant! Make it so!
  • Climacus wrote: »

    Erdogan must be making gravy. He's going to eat our Kurdish allies for breakfast.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Meanwhile, back at the courthouse . . .

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-22/mystery-filing-appears-to-ask-high-court-to-act-in-mueller-probe

    If I understand the article (and it's entirely possible I don't), this filing doesn't mention Mueller or his investigation, but reporters from Politico apparently overheard a conversation in the court clerk's office last October which led them to believe that it's linked to Mueller's investigation.

    On Dec. 7, an entire floor of a federal courthouse in Washington got cleared when it was time to hear arguments on this case.

    Apparently, an unnamed corporation in an unnamed country was attempting to claim "soverign immunity" so that it could not be compelled to turn over certain material to the grand jury. A thee-judge panel ruled that the unnamed company in the unnamed country does not have sovereign immunity.

    Now a new filing has been made. It asks SCOTUS to intervene and block the appeals court ruling -- in other words, protecting the unnamed company in the unnamed country from having to turn over its information.

    It's possible we're about to learn how effective POTUS's court-packing efforts have been.
  • Ohher wrote: »
    If I understand the article (and it's entirely possible I don't), this filing doesn't mention Mueller or his investigation, but reporters from Politico apparently overheard a conversation in the court clerk's office last October which led them to believe that it's linked to Mueller's investigation.

    For those unfamiliar with the conventions of the genre, "overhearing a conversation" in a court clerk's office is how political reporters pretend they're not receiving leaked information.
  • Re the now-unpaid federal workers striking:

    Are they allowed to? Some jobs are strike-proof. And I don't know if the people affected have union representation.
  • If my employer doesn’t pay me I can walk out. It is true some Fed workers are not allowed to strike under normal circumstances. But we have entered the Twilight Zone. What we need is a good French like Revolution has
  • Ohher wrote: »
    Meanwhile, back at the courthouse . . .

    Now a new filing has been made. It asks SCOTUS to intervene and block the appeals court ruling -- in other words, protecting the unnamed company in the unnamed country from having to turn over its information.

    It's possible we're about to learn how effective POTUS's court-packing efforts have been.

    There was a case recently concerning immigration that went against Trump. All I can remember is that RBG made her decision from her hospital bed. I'm not sure how the Court works, but I imagine the bench that hears the case decides the case - i.e. I'm not sure if the new boy was in that one.

  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    If my employer doesn’t pay me I can walk out. It is true some Fed workers are not allowed to strike under normal circumstances. But we have entered the Twilight Zone. What we need is a good French like Revolution has

    Don't you mean we've entered the Twilight Zone for the umteenth time in recent US political history? If my boss doesn't pay me I see if I can access my leave entitlements for that period. Also, in Australian industrial convention, if you strike during a lockout you lose the chance to argue for make-up pay.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Mattis will have the responsibility for issuing commands to the military until end February 2019 unless he is replaced before.

    Let’s hope that during that time he has no occasion to bomb wedding parties and he can go back to sitting on company boards (some of which later commit fraud).
  • The problem is
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    If my employer doesn’t pay me I can walk out. It is true some Fed workers are not allowed to strike under normal circumstances. But we have entered the Twilight Zone. What we need is a good French like Revolution has

    Don't you mean we've entered the Twilight Zone for the umteenth time in recent US political history? If my boss doesn't pay me I see if I can access my leave entitlements for that period. Also, in Australian industrial convention, if you strike during a lockout you lose the chance to argue for make-up pay.

    The problem is the Feds cannot take leave during a shut down because there is no funding for the leave.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Mattis will have the responsibility for issuing commands to the military until end February 2019 unless he is replaced before.

    Let’s hope that during that time he has no occasion to bomb wedding parties and he can go back to sitting on company boards (some of which later commit fraud).

    Looks like he's going earlier.

    For a more comprehensive view of Mattis's career, including the faults chrisstyles referred to, see here.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    If my employer doesn’t pay me I can walk out. It is true some Fed workers are not allowed to strike under normal circumstances. But we have entered the Twilight Zone. What we need is a good French like Revolution has

    Don't you mean we've entered the Twilight Zone for the umteenth time in recent US political history? If my boss doesn't pay me I see if I can access my leave entitlements for that period. Also, in Australian industrial convention, if you strike during a lockout you lose the chance to argue for make-up pay.

    I suspect that, in this US situation, if workers can't access pay for the regular work they're still doing, they can't access paid days off, either.

This discussion has been closed.