Not even two weeks old and what have we wrought?
Some wonder if this is on purpose or if this is ineptitude or more charitably “Getting to Know the job?” As has been pointed out numerous times this is a president’s honeymoon period, when his rating should be the highest they will ever be. Mr. Trump’s are the lowest of any president in modern history and seem to be lower than most presidents at their lowest point.
My daughter, a math PhD, told me about hedonometer, a website that looks at how happy or sad people seem to be for the day based on what’s going on via Twitter. Christmas is the happiest, followed by Thanksgiving and Mother’s Day. Low points include several mass shootings, the U.S. ban on muslims, and the election of Donald J. Trump. So to say there is a mandate is clear. He should resign and make it one of the happiest days, but I digress.
Also, there are quotes about this new leader and his administration on Facebook. Interestingly, those quoted are fascists, nazis, Mao Zedong, and the like; not Lincoln, Jefferson, or Washington. I should amend that to say the first group is quoted to show what the administration is most like and the latter to show what it is not.
Other countries are responding in different ways, as are our politicians, diplomats, military and government personnel. I’d sum it up as saying when the alternate worlds imagined by Donald Trump meet the real F’cking world it ain’t pretty and that America won’t be made great by it, but rather will shrink from the world stage. But what do I know? Let’s dig in.
Rex Tillerson showed up at the State Department today and seems to have a sense of humor. I think he’ll need it. Let’s see what he’s got on his plate: over 1,000 dissenting State workers, the green card holders held or in some cases sent back (laughably, or tragically, one to the wrong airport, but hey, it kinda sounded like the airport from which he came). Meanwhile there’s a real life and death crisis. Turns out Putin tried to poison an assistant Russian deputy who holds dual U.S. and British citizenship. Last time he tried the U.S. and Britain jumped in and saved the guy. He’s now on a ventilator in Russia. Will Rex jump in or let him die? Also, the leader in Hungary who has subverted their constitution so he can remain in power, has had a meeting with Putin, and appears to be moving away from NATO and the west. Iran’s navy has been annoying our ships again, will he respond? Remember candidate Trump said he’d declare war for such actions. btw Iran has given a hall pass to the Trump admin for the “being put on notice” thing, saying the new admin are naive and I guess young and stupid. Nothing like being treated like an adolescent child. Meanwhile Putin is on the move in Eastern Ukraine, will the man who got the Friendship Medal from Russia stand up to his presenter or not?
Leaks and Blame – Transcripts of the President’s conversations have found their way out to the press. In fact, those who deal in leaks say that it is a flood of leaks and not a trickle. The president’s inner circle says they aren’t the ones doing the leaking, which is interesting because they would be the only ones having access to this information. Speculation is that the only way to get the president’s attention is via T.V. Certainly, not via a memo because if it’s not a tweet, he doesn’t read it. Let’s look at a sampler of yesterday’s leaks, blame, and screw ups:
The Raid in Yemen – Not their fault, approved by Obama. In fact they weren’t even in the Situation Room when it was going on because The Donald was seen as being elsewhere when it was happening. Also, the approval happened while the President was having dinner. The usual overly talkative Kellyanne Conway (hereinafter KAC) was silent when directly asked if this was true. It’s not clear if the president okayed this or if it was his 32 year old son-in-law or Steve Bannon. They were the only ones from the National Security team at dinner with the president at the time of the approval. As far as Obama approving it, this held up until the press interviewed someone on Obama’s team about it. You’ll be surprised to hear that Obama never knew of this raid. He did hear about this type of raid, and his team determined that it was too close to the new president coming in for them to take any action. They noted that this needed more scrutiny and left it for the next administration to deal with. Huh? Imagine that, seems the Trump team can’t read either.
Trying to clean up the mess from the previous day Senator McCain contacted the Prime Minister of Australia and made nice then issued a statement that sounded like he was President. I’m surprised Spicer or someone didn’t dress McCain down, but I guess they realized that McCain was trying to plug another leak in the dike. (I’ve got this image of the president running along the dike poking it with a stick and water springing through and multiple Hans Brinkers trying to plug the holes.)
Invade Mexico? He was joking. Okay? Stop taking things so literally. Situation resolved. Right?
There was suggested via twitter that Dennis Leary play Kellyanne Conway. I guess because he did such a good job in the Snicker’s ad where he played a “you’re not you when you’re hungry” Marilynn Monroe. Leary responded that he wanted an Oscar for the role.
Protests Continue – Representatives are getting overwhelmed with constituents phone calls and showing up at their district offices. Representatives are turning to Facebook and other electronic media so they don’t have to face angry crowds, and that way they can pick and choose their questions and not be put on the spot. Our Congressman, Dave Bratt, held a Facebook townhall two days ago. The questions he choose to answer were none of the ones we saw being asked by his constituents. Brett, a tea party Republican who unseated House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, is an economist. He claims that entitlements are the bulk of the Federal budget. Really? I thought it was the Defense Department. But it’s how you frame it. If it’s total spending he’s right. If it’s discretionary spending then it’s the military hands down. So Mr. Bratt wants to cutdown on things that were promised to the American people like Social Security, and Medicare. Nice.
In one funny and sad video voters came to meet with their representative and the staff wouldn’t even unlock the door, forcing them to talk to them via a metal box on the wall. Gutsy! Whose office was it? Tom Cotton (senate R-Arkansas) who has made some pretty strong pronouncements in the past about being tough and not liking what Obama had done. He cancelled a town hall meeting but after continual berating agreed to reschedule it. Let’s see if he shows up.
Speaking of cowering our president was going to go to Wisconsin home of that pussy Scott Walker. He and fellow motorcycle riding buddy Make ‘em Squeal Joni Ernst, have been real quiet of late. Remember that motorcycle rally? The one where Walker wore a helmet that made him look like Mike Dukakis in the tank? Well, tough guy Donald Trump was going to go to Wisconsin to Harley Davidson and he chickened out. Afraid of the protesters. Not bikers. He’s such a manly man. Instead he had Harley come to Washington where he made a speech about how HD had tariffs to protect the industry. It was motorcycle owner Lawrence O’Donnell that corrected the record on all that. (i never thought of him as being on a motorcycle, let alone a Harley.) Harley Davidson did get tariff protection when Japanese motorcycles were kicking there butt. Harley apparently was making a crappy oil leaking bikes. They needed time to revamp and they did. They asked the government to lift the tariff a year early. Once they got their act together. Trump missed the point.
BTW if you get a chance the Harley museum is well worth spending a day at and the food at their cafe is good too. The museum has a large panel showing every Harley motor ever made.You can push the picture of the engine and hear its sound. Harley is an American comeback story. Swallowed by a conglomerate they started making golf carts and scooters. The division was losing money. Finally, some of the employees bought the company. It was rough going for several years but now they are back. Their most profitable part of the business? Clothing.