Tuesday, January 09, 2018

When Will Señor Trumpanzee Win His Nobel Peace Prize?


You know Jonathan Swan we be denounced by the orange orangutan for his first hand Axios report on the fake president’s incredible shrinking schedule. Maybe Swan will will a Trumpanzee Media Award for it. Apparently, Señor T is staying in his private playpen longer-- ’til 11AM these days. No one is complaining either. He is also “holding far fewer meetings, according to copies of his private schedule shown to Axios. This is largely to meet Trump’s demands for more ‘Executive Time,’ which almost always means TV and Twitter time alone in the residence, officials tell us. The schedules shown to me are different than the sanitized ones released to the media and public.” Swan compared Trumpanzee to a real president, something sure to infuriate him and send him into a rage and cause a tantrum.
The schedule says Trump has "Executive Time" in the Oval Office every day from 8am to 11am, but the reality is he spends that time in his residence, watching TV, making phone calls and tweeting.
Trump comes down for his first meeting of the day, which is often an intelligence briefing, at 11am.
That's far later than George W. Bush, who typically arrived in the Oval by 6:45am.
Obama worked out first thing in the morning and usually got into the Oval between 9 and 10am, according to a former senior aide.
Trump's days in the Oval Office are relatively short-- from around 11am to 6pm, then he's back to the residence. During that time he usually has a meeting or two, but spends a good deal of time making phone calls and watching cable news in the dining room adjoining the Oval. Then he's back to the residence for more phone calls and more TV. Take these random examples from this week's real schedule:
On Tuesday, Trump has his first meeting of the day with Chief of Staff John Kelly at 11am. He then has "Executive Time" for an hour followed by an hour lunch in the private dining room. Then it's another 1 hour 15 minutes of "Executive Time" followed by a 45 minute meeting with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Then another 15 minutes of "Executive Time" before Trump takes his last meeting of the day-- a 3:45pm meeting with the head of Presidential Personnel Johnny DeStefano-- before ending his official day at 4:15pm.
Other days are fairly similar, unless the president is traveling, in which case the days run longer. On Wednesday this week, for example, the president meets at 11am for his intelligence briefing, then has "Executive Time" until a 2pm meeting with the Norwegian Prime Minister. His last official duty: a video recording with Hope Hicks at 4pm.
On Thursday, the president has an especially light schedule: "Policy Time" at 11am, then "Executive Time" at 12pm, then lunch for an hour, then more "Executive Time" from 1:30pm.
Trump's schedule wasn't always like this. In the earliest days of the Trump administration it began earlier and ended later. Trump would have breakfast meetings (e.g. hosting business leaders in the Roosevelt Room). He didn't like the longer official schedule and pushed for later starts. The morning intelligence briefing ended up settling around 10:30am.

Aides say Trump is always doing something-- he's a whirl of activity and some aides wish he would sleep more-- but his time in the residence is unstructured and undisciplined. He's calling people, watching TV, tweeting, and generally taking the same loose, improvisational approach to being president that he took to running the Trump Organization for so many years. Old habits die hard.
Huckabee’s unfortunate daughter responded with a bunch of claptrap and said Señor Trumpanzee “is one of the hardest workers I've ever seen and puts in long hours and long days nearly every day of the week all year long.”

But to be fair, no one knows what he’s really doing during his “Executive Time” in the residence— other than following Roy Cohn’s advice to avoid being poisoned by eating Big Macs. Perhaps he’s working on the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan. Trump is convinced he’s going to win a Nobel Peace Prize and be the guest of honor at Prince Harry’s wedding. The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that “In the aftermath of Donald Trump's decision to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital-- as Palestinian leaders began dismissing his administration as a serious arbiter of peace-- top officials in the West Wing and nearby Executive Office Building made a decision: They would proceed with a flurry of scheduled inter-agency meetings on their plan for Middle East peace as if nothing had changed. The White House ‘peace team’ labored for a year to build a delicate trust with the Palestinians, compromised virtually overnight by a series of dramatic decisions made by the president himself. Trump's Jerusalem move came on the heels of the US threatening the Palestinian Authority with the closure of its Washington offices. Now the temperamental commander-in-chief was tweeting threats of aid cuts unless Ramallah began showing him some respect.” Jared Kushner-in-law is busy working on a plan but “each battle with the Palestinians over the last month-- over the fate of the ancient city, action at the United Nations and the future of US assistance-- has been led personally by the ‘president’ [Trumpanzee]. It was a characteristically combative entrance for Trump into the conflict. Administration officials said that his moves on Jerusalem and his threats regarding Palestinian aid were not orchestrated or directed by the Middle East peace team-- they are not part of its strategy to jump-start direct negotiations-- but rather have genuinely been at Trump's own initiative. ‘Ultimately the strategy comes from the president, not the other way around-- we work for him,’ the senior official said.”
[T]hose tweets have caused great concern amongst Palestinian leadership, which cannot determine whether Trump is getting bad advice from his aides or whether good advice is going ignored.

"It is very clear to us that Trump’s tweets are becoming foreign policy. It is true that they are part of his personality and psychology, but the reality of these tweets is that they form US foreign policy," said Ahmad Majdalani, a PLO Executive Committee member and confidante of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Trump wrote last week on Twitter that the Palestinians are not interested in discussing an agreement with Israel and are unappreciative of the "HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS" in US aid they receive each year, after Abbas said that Trump, with his Jerusalem decision, had relinquished his role as a sponsor of the peace peace.

Days later, administration officials acknowledged that the White House would consider various forms of aid cuts to the Palestinians, including through its funding of UNRWA, the UN's relief agency for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

On top of that, they have endorsed the Taylor Force Act, a bill nearly certain to pass the Senate by springtime that will threaten the PA with a dramatic aid cut if it fails to cease its program compensating the families of Palestinians convicted of murder and terrorism in Israel. "We strongly support it and are waiting to see what comes out of Congress," a senior White House official confirmed over the weekend.

"It is very clear that [Trump] individually makes important and fateful foreign policy decisions irregardless of his advisers’ and the political establishment’s opinions, who and which have a wealth of experience and knowledge in terms of international relations," Majdalani said. "In addition, what is unique about this administration is its lack of experience in managing international relations and the sensitive and grave situation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the peace process in the region."

The peace team recognizes that its working relationship with the Palestinians has been damaged by events of the past month. But Kushner and Greenblatt believe these developments are entirely separate from their core mission– or should be. Recent battles, according to senior White House officials, are actually about Trump's broader attitude toward international bodies, toward foreign aid, and toward people who insult him.

Trump has been threatening to cut or leverage US foreign aid since the 1980s not specifically with the Palestinians but with virtually every country in the world. He has anxiously searched for an excuse to slash funding to international bodies– the UN chief among them. But most importantly, the president feels that Abbas' response to the Jerusalem announcement amounted to a personal attack against him as a leader. And when Trump feels as if he has been hit, he famously feels compelled to hit back.

" Nothing has impacted the plan, or the drafting of the plan," a second senior official said. "But when people say things about us that aren't true, we will respond."

Trump's announcement on Jerusalem felt like a political paradigm shift in the conflict– but his peace team hopes that the presentation of their plan will amount to a corrective, its content so apparently enticing to the Palestinians that they will have no choice but to return to the table.

The team believes its plan will surprise critics who expect it will amount to a free lunch for Israel, served up by three Orthodox Jews and a Coptic Christian– Kushner, Greenblatt, US ambassador to Israel David Friedman and outgoing deputy national security advisor Dina Powell. One measure of its veracity will be buy-in from Arab powers, who responded mutedly to Trump's Jerusalem move purportedly in anticipation of this lengthier, more substantive proposal.

Assuming Arab capitals support the contents of the peace plan, the Trump administration hopes they will apply subtle pressure on the Palestinians to give it a fair shake.

"We want regional support, not regional pressure-- but a nudge for them to give the plan an honest look would be welcome," the senior White House official said.

But Majdalani said that PA leadership is already preparing for a plan that subverts Palestinian interests to Trump's pursuit of an Arab-Israeli alliance.

"What is the goal this political process that President Trump will sponsor other than to establish a regional alliance led by the US with Israel’s active participation to confront and contain the Iranian influence in the region?" Majdalani asked. "This issue-- the establishment of an alliance at the expense of our interests-- for us as Palestinians, is absolutely not acceptable."

After Trump's Jerusalem move, US allies in Europe called on Trump to expedite the launch of his peace initiative. Both British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the Jerusalem move, but indicated they would withhold judgment of the US' overall strategy until after the administration presents its plan.

An administration official said they expect both powers will be supportive. "France and Britain, like many other countries in Europe and around the world, have signaled they are ready to help support us in our efforts  to reach a comprehensive peace agreement," the official said.

Dan Shapiro, former US ambassador to Israel under President Barack Obama, encouraged his successors to incorporate "threats and leverage" into a comprehensive strategy that gets both sides back to the negotiating table.

Greenblatt and Kushner "have worked hard to build trust and credibility with all parties, and deserve a chance to have their plan presented without uncoordinated outbursts from the president making it harder," said Shapiro, who is now a visiting fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. "Trump's tweets on Palestinian assistance, even if based on legitimate frustrations with Palestinian behavior, are an unneeded distraction, particularly if, as has always been the case in the past, the Israeli government sees its interests being served by the continuation of this aid."

"The Palestinians would be wise to climb down from the limb they are out on, claiming they have given up on the United States as a mediator in Middle East peace talks. There is really no alternative, and time doesn't work in their favor," Shapiro said. "But Trump and his team should focus on our broader strategic interest: the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a negotiated two-state solution."

Trump said in December that he is open to a two-state solution to the conflict that satisfies both sides. This month, he told UN diplomats via video: "The United States remains committed to achieving lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians– there's no reason that peace should not be entered into.”
And no, the Gleenblatt referred to above is not the same Greenblatt from Trumpanzee's favorite deli.

Labels: ,


At 6:17 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

The shit hitting the fan is in our future, with the fan sweeping back and forth and covering many directions. Israel/the Middle East is only one direction. 2018 is going to be one hell of a year, likely far worse that 2017, if one can even begin to imagine it.

Sorry to be gloom and doom, DWT readers, but there you have it.

I woke up this morning to greet a new day - the Trumpanzee had not pushed his big nuke button.

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WRT when he gets the nobel peace prize... probably hasn't won it yet because he hasn't started bombing, drone or otherwise, anywhere (that we know of) yet.

The nobel peace prize is horribly tarnished because of many of the recipients (obamanation, Kissinger...) being massive war criminals.

At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it too much trouble to proof-read a blog?"

You know Jonathan Swan WE BE denounced by the orange orangutan for his first hand Axios report on the fake president’s incredible shrinking schedule. Maybe Swan WILL WILL a Trumpanzee Media Award for it. (my capitalization for emphasis)


Post a Comment

<< Home