Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Only The Best People


One of the billion or so lies from the Trumpanzee family was when Ivanka spoke at the Republican National Convention-- the one that insinuated that Trump isn't a racist and that claimed he hires the "best people"-- two whoppers. Watch; it's just 17 seconds. He's hired and fired more top people in the shortest amount of time than Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W, Bush and Barack Obama combined. Who's next? I know who it should be. And so does Lindsey Graham. At a press gaggle about the shutdown yesterday Graham said that "Every time we have a proposal it is only yanked back by staff members. As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we're going nowhere... the White House staff, I think, is making it very difficult." Miller is a notorious racist-- and has been since high school-- and he has kept Trump from compromising on the DREAMers. He had a White House spokesperson send a warning shot over Graham's bow:
"As long as Senator Graham chooses to support legislation that sides with people in this country illegally and unlawfully instead of our own American citizens, we are going nowhere. He’s been an outlier for years."
Trump has been feuding on and off from months with Miller's mentor, Jeff Sessions. Many people think Trump will give him the ax next. But... two reports from Jonathan Swan in Axios yesterday indicate that "next" could mean either Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross or Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Trump seems to have lost confidence in Ross some time ago.
Ross’s efforts to wheel and deal with the Chinese have left the president unimpressed. Another problem: He keeps falling asleep in meetings.

Early in Trump’s presidency, Ross was his go-to negotiator, helming the administration’s trade talks with the Chinese. After a few months, though, Trump concluded he was doing a terrible job.

In a series of Oval Office meetings about six months into his presidency, Trump eviscerated Ross, telling him he’d screwed up, and badly.
“These trade deals, they’re terrible,” Trump said, according to a source in the room for one of the meetings. “Your understanding of trade is terrible. Your deals are no good. No good.”
Trump told Ross he didn’t trust him to negotiate anymore. Ross had tried in the early months of the administration, before Robert Lighthizer was confirmed as the U.S. Trade Representative, to take the lead on several crucial trade conversations. Once Lighthizer arrived there was a tussle for control over several issues. But after Ross botched-- in Trump's eyes-- his dealings with China, he decided Lighthizer would be the lead negotiator on all trade issues.

During this period, Trump humiliated Ross in front of his colleagues, per three sources, and questioned his intelligence and competence.

The Financial Times reported in August that Trump rejected a China steel deal that Ross thought he’d closed. But nobody has reported the extent of Trump’s castration of Ross. Trump has effectively taken his Commerce Secretary-- who he once called a “killer”-- off the playing field.
One example: Ross made a deal to open the U.S. market to cooked Chinese chicken, in exchange for the Chinese opening their market to American beef. Ross told reporters it was a “herculean accomplishment,” and “more than has been done in the whole history of U.S.-China relations on trade,” per the AP.
But Trump wasn’t impressed with this deal-- at all-- and told our sources he found Ross’s boasting to be laughable and ridiculous.
Ross’s propensity to doze off in meetings-- which senior Capitol Hill aides have noticed-- hasn’t helped.

Ross entered the administration as one of Trump’s favorites, poised to be a power player. Trump has known Ross since the bankruptcy tycoon helped keep him financially afloat in the early 1990s. Trump was proud that Ross-- this billionaire Wall Street legend-- wanted to work for him.

“Wilbur is so famous on Wall Street he only needs one name,” Trump said in an early meeting with White House visitors, according to a source in the room. “You don’t even need to say his last name; you just say Wilbur and they know who you’re talking about.”

... [S]ources close to Trump say he’ll never again trust the 80-year-old to be his “killer” negotiator. The recent Forbes article-- revealing that Ross vastly exaggerated his net worth-- did not help his internal standing.

“Wilbur’s been sucking up for months, trying to get back in the president’s good graces,” said a source close to Trump.
Moments late Swan posted a similar story about Zinke, this one about Trump's displeasure about Zinke "going rogue."
Two weeks ago, Zinke made an announcement that surprised the White House (and over Twitter, no less, after telling reporters at the Tallahassee airport): the waters around Florida would be exempt from his agency’s offshore oil and gas leasing program. Zinke’s announcement came shortly after he met with the state’s Republican governor, Rick Scott.

Trump has made clear to Zinke that he’s angry about this move, according to two sources with direct knowledge. Zinke's decision is both legally and politically dangerous for the Trump administration. Zinke did not coordinate with anybody, and gave the White House no forewarning of his controversial action.

...Environmental groups and attorneys general from other coastal states will likely use the move to justify suing the federal government, arguing it was arbitrary and capricious to remove Florida but not other coastal states.

Zinke’s move is targeting the waters with the richest oil and gas resources: the Eastern Gulf of Mexico next to Florida. This undercuts Trump’s energy dominance agenda. For that reason, former officials of the agency predict the department will try to find a way to include at least portions of it in the final plan.

...Multiple sources tell me it would be a massive stretch to say this incident has ruined Zinke's relationship with Trump. There's nothing irreparable here, though the incident has damaged Zinke's standing in the administration.

Or maybe it will be Kelly who's the next to be headed for the busy exit. According to Vanity Fair, Ivanka is already looking for a new chief of staff for her insane father. Gabriel Sherman reported yesterday that Trump said "I’ve got another nut job here who thinks he's running things."

Sherman reported that "Trump’s anger at Kelly’s immigration comments is the latest flare-up in a relationship that has been deteriorating for months. A four-star marine general, Kelly was never going to be an easy fit in a West Wing with a Lord of the Flies office culture. Staffers have bristled at Kelly’s rectitude, nicknaming him 'the Church Lady,' a former official said... Trump has increasingly been chafing at the media narrative that he needs Kelly to instill discipline on his freewheeling management style. 'The more Kelly plays up that he’s being the adult in the room-- that it’s basically combat duty and he’s serving the country-- that kind of thing drives Trump nuts,' a Republican close to the White House said. In recent days, Trump has fumed to friends that Kelly acts like he’s running the government while Trump tweets and watches television."

White House Shakeup-- Who's Next? by Nancy Ohanian

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At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps pandemic stupidity is the only thing saving America from becoming Nazi Germany.

Hitler had effective administrators to implement his plans. And he was both clever and lucky in his early conquests without firing a shot. And he was aided by the misguided reticence of the French and British to stand firm... until Poland.

Conversely, American proto-Nazis are nearly as stridently doctrinaire, yet their corruption still dominates their motives. As well, they have demonstrated their stupidity early and often. Their inadequacies never seem to result in their removal. Trump, because he hasn't been impeached yet, is an emotional cripple and an intellectual pygmy. His luck is used up just not being impeached... or having the pee tape still hidden away.
NB: pence is another matter but he's still irrelevant to this discussion.

Some day the colossally stupid American electorate will actually elect someone who has ambition and the chops to become our hitler. He'll get a stealth Nazi cabal past the colossally stupid and servile congress. And he'll start wars or stage terror attacks, declare martial law (with both Rs and Ds linking arms in support) and all this will be over. Perhaps mercifully so.

Americans certainly haven't shown any ability or inclination to change anything any other way.


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