Monday, April 02, 2018

The Kakistocracy Project Moves Forward-- With Speed


Nancy Ohanian feels Trump is an albatross around the neck of the GOP

On Saturday, Philip Rucker and Robert Costa, writing for the Washington Post, reported on Trump’s breakout. The lunatic is trying to run the asylum on his own… well, with the help of a few imbeciles and misfits he still has faith in: Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, Brad Parscal, and Kushner-in-law. This is the garbage that, in effect, is left “running” America. The best investment Putin could have ever made! Over the weekend, crooked boxing promoter and Trump crony, Don King, joined them. “Nowhere to be seen was John F. Kelly, the beleaguered White House chief of staff and overall disciplinarian-- nor were the handful of advisers regarded as moderating forces eager to restrain the president from acting impulsively, who have resigned or been fired.”
“The gatherings neatly illustrated an inflection point for the Trump presidency. Fourteen months into the job, Trump is increasingly defiant and singularly directing his administration with the same rapid and brutal style he honed leading his real estate and branding empire.”

“Trump is making hasty decisions that jolt markets and shock leaders and experts-- including those on his own staff. Some confidants expressed concern about the situation, while others, unworried, characterized him as unleashed.”

The president is replacing aides who have tended toward caution and consensus with figures far more likely to encourage his rash instincts and act upon them, and he is frequently soliciting advice from loyalists outside the government. As he shakes up his administration, Trump is prioritizing personal chemistry above all else, as evidenced by his controversial selection of Navy Rear Adm. Ronny L. Jackson, the White House physician, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“The president is in an action mood and doesn’t want to slow-roll things, from trade to the border to staffing changes,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “He wants to make things that he’s been discussing for a while happen. He’s tired of the wait game.”

On policy, Trump is making sudden decisions without much staff consultation, wagering that they will pay dividends-- accepting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s invitation for a face-to-face meeting and threatening to veto before ultimately signing the most recent government spending bill.

On the stump, Trump is an improvisational showman. He swooped into the working-class Ohio town of Richfield on Thursday to pitch his infrastructure plan but diverged from his script to deliver surprise commentary on a medley of issues. He threatened to delay a newly renegotiated trade deal with South Korea and announced that the United States may soon withdraw troops from Syria.

…Rudolph W. Giuliani, a former New York mayor and longtime Trump friend, said the president is entering a new phase: “It took time for the president to discover how far he could move things and find the pieces that fit. Now, he sees he has an open field.”

To many beyond the White House, the Trump White House appears dangerously dysfunctional. Theodore B. Olson, a Republican former solicitor general, declined to join Trump’s legal team in the Russia matter.

“I think everybody would agree this is turmoil, it’s chaos, it’s confusion, it’s not good for anything,” Olson recently told anchor Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. “We always believe that there should be an orderly process, and of course government is not clean or orderly-- ever. But this seems to be beyond normal.”

…“This is now a president a little bit alone, isolated and without any moderating influences-- and, if anything, a president who is being encouraged and goaded on by people around him,” one Trump confidant said. “It really is a president unhinged.”

Other than Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the lone remaining enforcer is Kelly. But his power as chief of staff has been diminished. Officials said the days of Kelly hovering in the Oval Office morning to night and screening the president’s calls are over. Trump is largely circumventing Kelly’s strict protocols.

The president recently reached out to some people Kelly had sought to excommunicate, calling former communications director Anthony Scaramucci to banter about politics and inviting Lewandowski and Bossie to dinner in the residence.

“He’s rotating back to the people who actually like him and is more willing to take advice from those people,” Scaramucci said. “They’re more honest with him, and he’s more comfortable with them.”

Allies said Trump is reverting to the way he led the Trump Organization from his 26th-floor office suite at Trump Tower in Manhattan. There, staffers were functionaries or lawyers, and many of his advisers were outside the company-- rival business leaders, media figures and bankers. Back then, Trump controlled his orbit himself from behind his cluttered desk, relying on assistant Rhona Graff to field calls.

Trump has welcomed friends to the White House recently, including former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who visited Tuesday and met with Bolton, among others. And the president has turned to outside surrogates to carry his messages. After consulting with Trump, Newsmax chief executive Christopher Ruddy went on ABC’s “This Week” on March 25 and revealed that Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin was expected to be removed. Trump fired him three days later.

“It was the direction [Trump] was always bound to take,” said Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign official. “The phone book at the White House was filled by complete strangers. . .  But now he knows how the White House operates, and he’ll operate it himself.”

Ascendant in the West Wing are advisers who play to Trump’s gut: Kudlow on tax cuts and deregulation, Bolton on a muscular approach to foreign affairs, Peter Navarro on protectionist trade policies, Stephen Miller on crackdowns on undocumented immigrants and Kellyanne Conway on an open press strategy and tangling with reporters.

Like Conway, Bolton and Kudlow are seasoned cable news commentators who share Trump’s hard-charging instincts and have no illusions about his governing style. Officials said they are expected to cater to the president’s wishes and seek to avoid the internal knife fights that have befallen many a Trump aide.

Kudlow has told Cohn’s top deputies that he would like them to stay on in their posts, a gesture that West Wing aides described as a reflection of Kudlow’s respect for Cohn’s operation as well as his understanding of the difficulties he would probably encounter if he attempted an overhaul.

Kudlow, 70, is a generational peer of Trump and a staple of the New York business elite to which Trump has long aspired. Kudlow has privately told associates that the president has asked him to be an energetic salesman on television-- by acting as a principal, with speeches and road trips-- for the Republican-authored tax law ahead of the midterm elections, as opposed to functioning as a behind-the-scenes manager, according to people who have spoken with him.

“He’s squaring up his economic policy with the right adviser for him,” Giuliani said. “Gary was really good, but I don’t know if Gary ever embraced the Trump economic ideas. He was more of a traditional Democrat or moderate Republican. Kudlow is a real cheerleader for the tax cuts in a way Gary never was, although he helped get them passed.”

Bolton, meanwhile, has told allies that he may make major changes on the National Security Council staff but has been careful not to reveal his plans until he formally takes over later this month. He has been working to appear as a team player-- touting his bond with Pompeo and lunching Tuesday with McMaster-- despite his reputation as a sharp-elbowed bureaucratic brawler, officials said.

Ohanian sees an applecart overturning in November

Trump has been frustrated by news stories of White House tumult and has ordered aides to contest the notion that there is chaos. He also has vented frequently about the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, griping that Congress did not fully fund his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall and labeling Republican congressional leaders “weak negotiators.”
Goal ThermometerAdding to this weekend’s chaos, was the White House lie that Shulkin left as Veterans Afffairs Secretary on his own, even though everyone knows Trump forced him out-- and even though Shulkin, who hasn’t submitted a resignation letter and even though he himself confirmed that he was fired on NBC and in an NY Times OpEd that he penned the day after Trump unceremoniously ousted him. Lawyers say Trump needs to rewrite history to make Shulkin’s departure voluntary in order to temporarily fill the post with whomever he wants. He picked a right-wing crazy person, Robert Wilkie, instead of anyone from the Veterans Affairs Department. Trump didn’t want to appoint Shulkin’s number 2, Deputy Secretary Thomas Bowman, because he opposes Trump’s plans to privatize the V.A., something Wilkie is fine with. This week Blue America is asking for contributions for progressive military veterans running for Congress and committed to preventing Trump from privatizing the V.A. To see their names and contributing to their campaigns, please click on the ActBlue thermometer on the right.

Labels: , , ,


At 5:10 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

This is not going to end well for the USA. The implications of Trump have not been seen much as yet, but they will and probably quite soon, and it will be devastating. I fear it will be shocking, comparable to a sudden earthquake. No surprise though - those of us who have rational thought can see it looming on the horizon rather clearly..

Republicans obviously do not see or do not care about the destruction of our country on so many levels. Actually, many Republicans must see it, and must discuss this in private, but still refuse to do anything, putting their careers and party above anything else. They should all be held accountable in November 2108. If we last that long.

At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, it's was already not ending well. When both parties are so corrupt and the "other" party refuses to undo mistakes and fraud of previous admins... for 40 years... it already hasn't ended well.

Nancy had it backwards. The R party is an albatross around the neck of trump, our current and future fuhrer. You'll remember that hitler also did not surround himself with moderating voices.

Anyone, and I mean ANYONE who is counting on the democraps to ride in to rescue the shit-show in November is a total fool, delusional or both. Clearly nobody remembers 2006-2010. Clearly nobody realizes that the same democraps who refused to "rescue" us/US then are still there now. And now they're worse than they were then.

Just as then, the democraps' sole motivation is to maximize their fundraising (whoring) potential in '18. Their method was and shall be to keep the shit-show operating on all cylinders for the '20 election so they can re-win both chambers and the white house... and therefore rake maximum corporate and billionaire money to prevent them from fixing anything. Get your heads outta your asses people!

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, the majority of USAns are anxiously awaiting the next episode of Roseanne.


Post a Comment

<< Home