Patterico's Pontifications

2/6/2017

About That New York Times Hit Piece On “Trump’s Bungles”…

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:00 am



The New York Times has an article out this morning currently titled Trump and Staff Rethink Tactics After Stumbles. I say “currently” because the original title was: “After 2 Weeks, Trump’s Bungles Have Aides Rethinking Strategy”:

trumps-bungles

Trump’s “bungles.” Mmmmm, that’s good journalisming! Here’s the opening:

President Trump loves to set the day’s narrative at dawn, but the deeper story of his White House is best told at night.

Aides confer in the dark because they cannot figure out how to operate the light switches in the cabinet room. Visitors conclude their meetings and then wander around, testing doorknobs until finding one that leads to an exit. In a darkened, mostly empty West Wing, Mr. Trump’s provocative chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, finishes another 16-hour day planning new lines of attack.

Usually around 6:30 p.m., or sometimes later, Mr. Trump retires upstairs to the residence to recharge, vent and intermittently use Twitter. With his wife, Melania, and young son, Barron, staying in New York, he is almost always by himself, sometimes in the protective presence of his imposing longtime aide and former security chief, Keith Schiller. When Mr. Trump is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home.

During his first two dizzying weeks in office, Mr. Trump, an outsider president working with a surprisingly small crew of no more than a half-dozen empowered aides with virtually no familiarity with the workings of the White House or federal government, sent shock waves at home and overseas with a succession of executive orders designed to fulfill campaign promises and taunt foreign leaders.

My own first reaction to this story was to conclude that the folks in the Obama administration were jerks for not showing the new folks how to operate the lights.

The second thing I noticed was that it is written by Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman. In case you have forgotten, let’s have a quick refresher on who they are. The short answer: two hacks who used to write for POLITICO.

Thrush is the fella who would email his stories to Hillary’s campaign in advance, saying: “No worries Because I have become a hack I will send u the whole section that pertains to u. Please don’t share or tell anyone. I did this Tell me if I f**ked up anything.” The same guy who said that Hillary’s private server was “deeply disturbing, possibly illegal but u know a teensy bit badass.”

Haberman is the reporter about whom the Hillary Clinton campaign said: “We have had her tee up stories for us before and never been disappointed. . . [W]e can . . . do the most shaping by going to Maggie.” She’s also the reporter who recently asked: “Other than San Bernardino shootings, has there been a terrorist attack involving a non-US-born attacker since 9/11?” (Her suggestion that there is no foreign terrorist problem is just a leetle bit off base.)

There was another “here’s a portrait of Donald Trump based on a bunch of unnamed sources” piece co-written by Haberman on November 6, 2016. It was titled Inside Donald Trump’s Last Stand: An Anxious Nominee Seeks Assurance. Remember that? I wrote about it here. It opened with stuff like this:

Donald J. Trump is not sleeping much these days. Aboard his gold-plated jumbo jet, the Republican nominee does not like to rest or be alone with his thoughts, insisting that aides stay up and keep talking to him. He prefers the soothing, whispery voice of his son-in-law. . . . He requires constant assurance that his candidacy is on track. “Look at that crowd!” . . . And he is struggling to suppress his bottomless need for attention.

The narrative of the article was that Trump was a despairing, beleaguered candidate, unable to come to terms with how badly he was about to lose.

Two days later, Donald Trump was elected President.

The thing about that piece was that many of the individual details rang true — and yet an objective observer came away with an overarching impression that The Times was trying to create a narrative: that of a loser.

And that’s how I feel about the piece published today. The piece struggles hard to portray Trump as a bungler, back on his heels, “cloistered” and defensive and . . . watching too much television.

The bungled rollout of his executive order barring immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, a flurry of other miscues and embarrassments, and an approval rating lower than that of any comparable first-term president in the history of polling have Mr. Trump and his top staff rethinking an improvisational approach to governing that mirrors his chaotic presidential campaign, administration officials and Trump insiders said.

. . . .

Cloistered in the White House, he now has little access to his fans and supporters — an important source of feedback and validation — and feels increasingly pinched by the pressures of the job and the constant presence of protests, one of the reasons he was forced to scrap a planned trip to Milwaukee last week. For a sense of what is happening outside, he watches cable, both at night and during the day — too much in the eyes of some aides — often offering a bitter play-by-play of critics like CNN’s Don Lemon.

Does that ring true? Well, sure it does. Does anyone here really think that Donald Trump doesn’t watch a lot of TV?

Again, the facts may be mostly true, but there is a desperation here to set a narrative. And it’s a narrative people aren’t really buying, for the most part. Sure, Trump is a deeply, deeply flawed person. His statements about Vladimir Putin are jaw-droppingly irresponsible and provide propaganda for totalitarians. His obsession with his inauguration numbers and insistence on lying about them was a laughable if predictable distraction.

But there’s plenty to like. The executive order on immigration, while concededly poorly thought through and chaotically rolled out, is a fulfillment of an important campaign promise to keep our country safe. He has made an incredibly solid Supreme Court pick. Many of his cabinet picks have been encouraging. And he seems to be taking steps to rein in regulations, even if his manner in doing so has been ham-handed and ridiculous.

I’d wager that most people who were worried about him are unsurprised by the bad stuff that’s happened, and surprised by a lot of the good stuff that’s happened.

In other words, he’s not doing that bad. Unless you’re a partisan hack like Glenn Thrush or Maggie Haberman.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

127 Responses to “About That New York Times Hit Piece On “Trump’s Bungles”…”

  1. Good post. And in addition to Haberman and Thrush add Josh Rogin to the list of fantasy narrative pushers who appear as real journalists with bylines on some of the nation’s most read newspapers.

    http://www.dailywire.com/news/13176/list-washington-posts-josh-rogin-has-big-fake-news-john-nolte

    elissa (96cede)

  2. That’s a shame Melissa when he was at the beast, he did some good stories like looking for those gitmo detainees at Doha

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. Still sniffing the throne of the departed prez. I watched one of Spicer’s briefings late last week and noticed how Spicer grinned when he picked Thrush to ask a question. Thrush wouldn’t even look him in the eye while asking his non-question – it’s better characterized as an assertion – before finishing with a glare as he meekly submitted to the verbal disembowelment he was obviously anticipating. I almost spewed my coffee. Must See TV!

    Colonel Haiku (13f927)

  4. glenn and maggie preferred a president who watched sports on espn for 6 hours a day and who only ever found out about the scandals in his administration by reading the newspaper

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  5. hey glenn and maggie, president mr donald is president of 50 states, but when that barack punk was running the show, there were 57 states

    7 states went missing during barack’s watch
    maybe you should investigate it

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  6. statements about Vladimir Putin are jaw-droppingly irresponsible and provide propaganda for totalitarians.

    Do you think totalitarians are going to stop propaganding, if only President Trump would cloister up his mouth?

    papertiger (c8116c)

  7. The only part of the EO that was an unforeseen problem was not thinking through the green card situation – perhaps that’s a big issue.

    The problem with the “roll out” was the intentional sabotage by government workers, from the acting attorney general on down. President Trump quickly handled the worse of the betrayers, and low and behold, the defense of the EO has been vigorous and professional.

    That the EO for enforcing Immigration law would be challenged by lawfare was known, and I foresee this Administration will bargain from strength during this dispute – or fight the case through completion. All the time during the fight President Trumps enemies on the right will risk being shown to be unserious if they stray from his plans – and those on the left will continue their self-destruction.

    Steve Malynn (b5f891)

  8. Those 7 states are on the ban list. Obama only counts Muslim states.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  9. The Bipartisan Party is coming to view Trump as an existential threat and circling the wagons. The GOP side of that has to be circumspect, of course. The time will come when they, oh so reluctantly, decide that Trump needs to go. Probably after the midterms.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  10. Aides confer in the dark because they cannot figure out how to operate the light switches in the cabinet room.

    Is there no permanent staff? Are the Secret Service agents all new? This doesn’t even make sense.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  11. The lies have to be big enough to be believed.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  12. IF you think the NYT is bad, check out the WaPo. It’s wall to wall anti-Trump. Today Jennifer Rubin, their “Republican” writes “How to resist Trump from both inside and out“:

    So what is to be done? We urge both an “inside” strategy and an “outside” strategy.

    On the inside, Cabinet secretaries and their employees can systematically limit or eliminate the influence of Bannon and other know-nothing nationalists pushing the noxious brew usually dispensed by right-wing European parties. Cabinet secretaries can seek confirmation directly from the president of controversial directives, making certain Bannon is not freelancing. (The New York Times reports the president was “not fully briefed” on the executive order he signed that added Bannon to the National Security Council.) That should be the position of every single Cabinet secretary: Don’t assume Bannon has presidential authorization to extend his influence or direct unprecedented and rash ideas. Moreover, Cabinet secretaries need to have each other’s back so that they form a united front when going up against Bannon.

    Equally as important as the resistance within the bureaucracy, efforts outside government and outside the Beltway can serve to loosen Trump’s stranglehold over his own party. Back in the summer of 2009, Democratic lawmakers faced energized, determined opposition at town halls when Obamacare was under consideration.

    If Trump opponents, Democrats and Republicans alike, can keep up their enthusiasm for confrontation and translate that into votes and new candidates (both Republicans to primary incumbents and Democrats to challenge them in general elections) in 2018, Trump’s power can be curtailed. In the meantime, conscientious public servants inside government can forestall disaster, or at least expose it, and voters can demand their representatives denounce and stop Trump’s outrageous initiatives. Collectively, an engaged citizenry can defend democratic norms, truth, respect for the Constitution and simple decency.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  13. “… Stephen K. Bannon, finishes another 16-hour day planning new lines of attack.

    The media loves to associate conservatives with the word “attack.”

    AZ Bob (f7a491)

  14. The only part of the EO that was an unforeseen problem was not thinking through the green card situation – perhaps that’s a big issue.

    It’s not as they immediately corrected it. There is some concern that opponents in the agency are intentionally misapplying the EO to cause chaos.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  15. Yikes that’s at the Stephen glass of credulity.

    narciso (d1f714)

  16. How do NY Times “reporters” even “know” that they can’t figure out how to operate the light switches?
    Did one of them call Maggie in the middle of the night to tell her this? And why would they tell her about it, but not inform one of the Secret Service agents who would actually be able to solve the problem?

    Not knowing how to operate the light switches (and by the same token not knowing what movements or actions will trigger the silent alarms, either) would actually be a serious security issue that the Secret Service just wouldn’t allow.

    This is almost like reading Edmund Morris’ “biography” of President Reagan where Morris had omnipresent ability to intuit Reagan’s thoughts, as if he, Morris, were the narrator of a fiction novel.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  17. To play devil’s advocate a bit, I’ll point out that Trump’s appointments are probably no better than Cruz’ appointments would have been. Then again, you go with the guy what brung ya, and that was Trump, not Cruz.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  18. This is almost like reading Edmund Morris’ “biography” of President Reagan where Morris had omnipresent ability to intuit Reagan’s thoughts, as if he, Morris, were the narrator of a fiction novel.

    aka Fake News.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  19. Here are the President’s short remarks today at MacDill AFB Centcom command

    I am trying in vain to remember President Obama giving a speech even remotely as sincere and complimentary as this to our military. The audience seemed to like it bigly. Let’s see how media covers this, if they do–or what they pick out of this speech to criticize.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jev13eQWSyI

    elissa (96cede)

  20. #19 elissa, so what you’re saying is that we have a President who doesn’t say “corpse” man?

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  21. I have heard, through a grapevine, that JSOC folks are widely supportive of Trump. IC management not so much.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  22. I don’t doubt it, just as with the paramilitary division of the CIA, the suits and green badgers not so much.

    narciso (d1f714)

  23. Very good post.

    Thank you.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  24. My guess is that these generals and special ops guys hear the usual “with thanks from a grateful nation” speech at the memorial when one of them gets killed, but that they don’t hear an official “thanks from a grateful nation” nearly often enough when they are alive and can appreciate it.

    elissa (96cede)

  25. Garry Kasparov on propaganda, about which he has some familiarity:

    “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”

    elissa (96cede)

  26. “We need strong programs.”

    Real specific there, Great Pumpkin. More specific than most of the speech, to be fair.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  27. I will grant that plenty of critical thinking appears to have been exhausted, though.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  28. they don’t hear an official “thanks from a grateful nation” nearly often enough when they are alive and can appreciate it.

    No. It’s more “chuck him out, the brute.”

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  29. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.

    Obfuscation is as good as misinformation. How do you continue the coverup of JFK’s killing? How about publishing every conceivable nutter theory possible.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  30. It was rpthe grey’s from zeta reticuli, doesn’t everyone know this.

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. I think it is hilarious that articles like this one are going to drive honest people, including No Trumpers, to defend Presdient Trump. Either Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush are idiots blinded by their own biases , or they underestimate how painfully obvious it is to readers that they are trying to smear the president. Either way, hoisted on their own petard. Heh.

    Dana (d7e4a4)

  32. “Aides confer in the dark because they cannot figure out how to operate the light switches in the cabinet room.”

    Who is the source that a meeting(s) occurred in the dark, AND that the reason was because they couldn’t find the light switch.

    1. Aren’t there permanent White House staff who know where the switches are? (Janitors, etc.)
    2. Aren’t there other rooms with working lighting in the building?
    3. Is there a lamp they could move from one room to another
    4. If there was a meeting with lights off, maybe there was a video presentation
    5. Maybe someone at the meeting had a migraine headache, and they turned off the lights for that person’s comfort.

    How do they know he watches TV in his robe in the Whitehouse? Again, more interesting to me than the negative portrait they are trying to paint of the president is the SOURCE of this information. Who are they communicating with who has seen him watching TV in his bathrobe when HE IS ALONE IN THE RESIDENCE?

    Mike S (89ec89)

  33. In 2 years we can help drain the swamp by electing Trumpsonian candidates. Winning with rednecks.

    mg (31009b)

  34. I can’t think of anything more helpful to Trump, as well as to those who lament our cultural/institutional decline, than the beclowning of the Left. It’s hard to think of another media outlet that has fallen as far or as fast at the NYT. That the Times has morphed into POLITICO – and not just figuratively – is good news, indeed.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  35. I agree with Dana, this sort of foolishness is driving the Times’ more rational readers to the other side.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  36. #36 ThOR,

    The NY Times doesn’t have rational readers.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  37. There are a lot of Times readers who were Bernie supporters and, my experience is, they are more open to Trump than you would imagine, CS.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  38. ThOR, it was a wisecrack. Come on! (LOL)

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  39. Yeah, I know it was, but I think the underlying question is a very good one.

    I’d like to think that the idiocy we are witnessing isn’t the tip of an iceberg. And I know Times readers who are put off by this BS, especially the smarter ones. The idea that this is, in fact, the tip of an iceberg is something I find quite chilling (pun intended).

    I also worry about “useful idiots,” who provide normalizing cover to what I see an an emerging neo-fascist movement (and, to think, people whine about the alt-Right!).

    For what its worth, the estimates I’ve heard locally about the number of Blackshirts at the Berkeley protest is in the neighborhood of 400. That’s a lot of thugs.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  40. In other words, he’s not doing that bad. Unless you’re a partisan hack like Glenn Thrush or Maggie Haberman.

    With all due respect, I think you’ve just done the thing you get really upset at other people for doing (it’s your blog, so of course you have the right to, but still).

    Are you really prepared to insist that only “a partisan hack” could be concerned about a president gratuitously insulting our allies, drawing moral equivalence between our country and Putin’s Russia, hate-tweeting judges, putting alt-right shills on vital national security subpanels, stonewalling his billions of dollars worth of conflicting business interests and lying every time he opens his mouth?

    The stuff you mention as positive – yeah, so what? He was elected as a Republican. You act like we should kiss his feet for not appointing Michael Moore to the Supreme Court and for a bunch of mostly symbolic and occasionally unlawful or stupid executive orders. Talk about handing out participation trophies. Any time the guy doesn’t totally embarrass himself (and the country), are we supposed to throw him a ticker-tape parade?

    He has already reneged on a dozen or more promises he made during the campaign. Many more, like his promises about having a healthcare plan “so much better, so much better, so much better” than Obamacare have already been revealed as cynically dishonest and empty BS. In my opinion, you should open your mind to the possibility that others may have a higher standard for “not so bad” without being guilty of partisan hackery.

    I obviously can’t vouch for the accuracy of the NYT story; if they are just making stuff up, of course they should be condemned. If they are accurately reporting what credible sources tell them, though, I don’t think weaving a fact-based narrative unflattering to Trump is any sin. There is little about the man that isn’t unflattering.

    Dave (2d45e2)

  41. The NY Times doesn’t have rational readers.

    Or another side.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  42. “You act like we should kiss his feet for not appointing Michael Moore to the Supreme Court and for a bunch of mostly symbolic and occasionally unlawful or stupid executive orders. Talk about handing out participation trophies. Any time the guy doesn’t totally embarrass himself (and the country), are we supposed to throw him a ticker-tape parade?”

    – Dave

    He’s not saying that. You think Patterico hasn’t made his opinion of Trump absolutely, positively crystal clear?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  43. One of the things they say in my world (ie corporate America) is that you should “fail fast.” You have a goal and aren’t clear in how to get there, so just jump in, try something reasonably sensible, and if it does not work, assess and try something else. Modt of the time, your worst-case scenario is you lost a small amount of time but learned a lot, and in many situations, you’re on the right track and are getting things done before the deadline.

    That is what the last 17 days looks like to me.

    bridget (37b281)

  44. You act like we should kiss his feet for not appointing Michael Moore to the Supreme Court

    There are a lot of judges to the right of Michael Moore and to the left of Neil Gorsuch. There aren’t many judges as conservative as Gorsuch, or likley to survive a nomination battle, and precious few federal appellate judges are in their 40s.

    A Kennedy or Souter clone could have easily happened. That’s the “walk the batter” result of nominations. Gorsuch is a grand slam.

    bridget (37b281)

  45. “That is what the last 17 days looks like to me.”

    – bridget

    Failing fast? Yeah, I agree. We’ll see what (if anything) he learns from it.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  46. bridget (37b281) — 2/6/2017 @ 3:19 pm

    44.One of the things they say in my world (ie corporate America) is that you should “fail fast.” You have a goal and aren’t clear in how to get there, so just jump in, try something reasonably sensible, and if it does not work, assess and try something else.

    Most of the time, your worst-case scenario is you lost a small amount of time but learned a lot, and in many situations, you’re on the right track and are getting things done before the deadline.

    You lost a small amount of time? Shouldn’t that really be: You gained time, but lost (an affordable amount of) money.

    Which is good advice, maybe, if you have the money.

    You gained time, because it would take you longer to find out if something worked if you tried to do that without spending much cash.

    Sammy Finkelman (2f3e32)

  47. @Leviticus: You think Patterico hasn’t made his opinion of Trump absolutely, positively crystal clear?

    Dave has little tolerance for anything less than full-throated condemnation of Trump and all his works. He’s the polar opposite of a Trumpkin. Trumpkins can’t stand to see Trump given less-than-full praise, and Dave can’t stand to see less-than-full condemnation, and conflates less-than-full condemnation with approval. It may be that he has lost the ability to distinguish.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  48. You lost a small amount of time? Shouldn’t that really be: You gained time, but lost (an affordable amount of) money

    No. Next question?

    bridget (37b281)

  49. Rather than argue with your friends or neighbors over who won, who should’ve won, yada yada, just send them this short poem as a sign of your true feelings…

    The election is over, the talking is done.
    Your party lost, my party won.
    So let us be friends, let arguments pass.
    I’ll hug my elephant, you kiss your ass.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  50. Certainly a sununu or a Schmidt, would have rendered the least common denominator choice.

    narciso (d1f714)

  51. Bridget you are absolutely correct in your assessment in comment #41. I was in business for years and I always taught my GM’s and other managers it’s important to be able to make a decision. Assess the situation and quickly make what you believe to be the best possible decision at the time. We can fix things later. I never fired a manager for making a bad decision but I have fired a couple for not being willing or able to make a decision at all.

    Rev. Hoagie® (785e38)

  52. Thanks, Colonel. I love stories with happy endings.

    Rev. Hoagie® (785e38)

  53. You are most welcome, Hoagie! Hope all is well with you.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  54. God is great, Col.

    mg (31009b)

  55. 52. He didn’t blow himself up, and it doesn’t say that he did. Somebody else made the mistake. He wouldn’t have reached the position he did if he was prone to making mistakes with explosives.

    Sammy Finkelman (2f3e32)

  56. Either way, Sammy, the bombmaker chief is dead. That’s kinda the point here.

    elissa (96cede)

  57. McConnell is going for a little High Noon Theater tomorrow to call attention to the caravan moving on despite all the dogs barking about the DeVos confirmation.

    I doubt the NYT propagandists will take note, it’s too close to being actual news.

    Rick Ballard (5e8a41)

  58. Rev. Hoagie® (785e38) — 2/6/2017 @ 4:35 pm

    I was in business for years and I always taught my GM’s and other managers it’s important to be able to make a decision. Assess the situation and quickly make what you believe to be the best possible decision at the time. We can fix things later. I never fired a manager for making a bad decision but I have fired a couple for not being willing or able to make a decision at all.

    Doing something saves time, and doesn’t cost time, or otherwise this would make no sense.

    What it costs is effort, which might turn out, in retrosepect, to be wasted; and it might cost money. Although maybe making a decision, which involves spending money, may save money in the long run, or when repeated and averaged out in many different circumstances.

    Sammy Finkelman (2f3e32)

  59. Dave,

    You’re more or less right about Trump, but there is a silver lining. Some of his actions are beneficial or at least should trend that way. Yeah, the corruption and likening USA to the worst of Russia is probably a net negative. The backlash from this administration will likely be a lot worse too (particularly for those who care about judicial appointments). But to persuade, it’s often very important to give credit where it’s due.

    Trump’s fans love to dismiss criticism and are constantly on the hunt for a basis to do so. Their favorite argument is bias against Trump. Giving credit where it’s due proves this criticism false.

    Praising Trump where he’s done well is a good thing. And I encourage you to try to find a few examples where he’s done well. It’s a good intellectual challenge.

    We don’t want to be like Trump’s fans who refused to think because ‘binary choice.’

    Bridget you are absolutely correct in your assessment in comment #41. I was in business for years and I always taught my GM’s and other managers it’s important to be able to make a decision. Assess the situation and quickly make what you believe to be the best possible decision at the time. We can fix things later. I never fired a manager for making a bad decision but I have fired a couple for not being willing or able to make a decision at all.

    Rev. Hoagie

    Our differences on politics aside, this is very savvy and something a lot of people don’t seem to understand. I see a lot of new leadership is afraid of criticism and afraid of mistakes, when sometimes just making the best call you can, within some basic parameters, and then adjusting later, is simply a matter of being functional.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  60. I pointed out on the other thread, areas of concern with volodya, and asked what is our endgame, we know what it wee in the cold war

    narciso (d1f714)

  61. Dave (2d45e2) — 2/6/2017 @ 2:43 pm

    . Many more, like his promises about having a healthcare plan “so much better, so much better, so much better” than Obamacare have already been revealed as cynically dishonest and empty BS.

    . He didn’t say he had a plan, he said he would have one. It may have been “BS” to promise that, but that doesn’t mean the promise won’t be kept. John F. Kennedy promised to land a man in the moon by the end of the 1960s even though he didn’t know any way to do it, and that was kept too.

    There are a lot of Republicans interested in keeping such a promise – in fact they may feel they have to for political survival, and Trump stopped them from repeal and not replace.

    Trump (and circumstances) have now forced them to invent something now. It probably does not need to be entirely oinvented but it is something not now on the table and it will cost money at least in the short run, at least accoridng to the Congressional Budget Office, if not in reality.

    There is no way it can’t cost money, at least till competition reduces costs – Obamacare is foundering precisely because the math doesn’t add up.

    Sammy Finkelman (2f3e32)

  62. I like theories about endgames. What do you think Bannon’s endgame is?

    Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party generally.

    This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human Mind. It exists under different shapes in all Governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

    The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.
    George Washington

    Partisanship. Binary Choice.

    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
    Ronald Reagan

    I admire those who are giving Trump credit where it’s due while being acutely aware of the real issues of the day, because they are carefully walking an intellectual tightrope.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  63. 62.narciso (d1f714) — 2/6/2017 @ 5:42 pm

    I pointed out on the other thread, areas of concern with volodya, and asked what is our endgame, we know what it wee in the cold war

    Wait till Brezhnev died, and Kosygin died, and all the members of his Politburo.

    Sammy Finkelman (2f3e32)

  64. We’ve got the same plan for the liberation of Cuba. But if they just hadn’t stopped the Mariel boatlift, it would have all been over 35 years ago.

    Sammy Finkelman (2f3e32)

  65. It makes sense they wouldn’t go after a fitzie or Mr French, it had to be a hvt

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/yemen-raid-had-secret-target-al-qaeda-leader-qassim-al-n717616

    narciso (d1f714)

  66. I am genuinely curious. Which part of Bannon’s life, military career, education, and/or business career sends the chills down some people’s spines? What particular events or actions make him so scary and apparently unsuitable for habitation on planet earth?

    *Education: He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in urban planning and holds a master’s degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. In 1985, Bannon received a Master of Business Administration degree with honors from Harvard Business School.

    *Military: Bannon was an officer in the United States Navy for seven years in the late 1970s and early 1980s, serving on the destroyer USS Paul F. Foster as a Surface Warfare Officer in the Pacific Fleet and stateside as a special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon.

    *Business: After his military service, Bannon worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker in the Mergers and Acquisitions Department. In 1990, Bannon and several colleagues from Goldman Sachs launched Bannon & Co., a boutique investment bank specializing in media. Through Bannon & Co., Bannon negotiated the sale of Castle Rock Entertainment to Ted Turner. As payment, Bannon & Co. accepted a financial stake in five television shows, including Seinfeld. Société Générale purchased Bannon & Co. in 1998

    *Media: In March 2012, after founder Andrew Breitbart’s death, Bannon became executive chair of Breitbart News LLC, Speaking about his role at Breitbart, Bannon said: “We think of ourselves as virulently anti-establishment, particularly ‘anti-‘ the permanent political class.”

    In this, I mostly see a man who has educational credentials, contacts, as well as broad experience and first hand knowledge in a range of areas that make him a reasonable go-to man in the west wing. Why is he the devil? What am I missing? What am I overlooking? I genuinely want to know.

    elissa (96cede)

  67. Try talking to anyone who ever worked for him, elissa.

    You also may have missed my posts where I told the story about how he told me to go fuck myself, and that I was dead to Breitbart.com. In those words.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  68. They are playing checkers while he is playing chess, elissa, his method is clear as day for those willing to understand

    narciso (d1f714)

  69. Well that certainly explains why you don’t care for him and I can’t fault you for feeling that way. But I was hoping that perhaps someone would provide information involving something a little more substantial than a recent personal spat/insult. I am not defending the guy. I just haven’t ever gotten the basis for all the near-hysterical Bannon hate and name-calling both from the left and in the media. My admitted distrust of the media makes those attacks all the more suspect, and has made me want to know more about Bannon.

    elissa (96cede)

  70. Elissa has a point in that the editorials and opinions about Bannon serving on the NSC and otherwise as an advisor paint him as being Jethro Bodine or Herb Tarlek in high office. I have not seen ONE report talking about him having military service, a Harvard MBA or Georgetown foreign service credentials, not to mention the wildly successful business background.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  71. It’s curious because Rhodes and McDonough were general Jones minder, at his pay scale yet the former we learned failed his first security clearance, and we’ll McDonough has no actual foreign policy

    narciso (193990)

  72. Hello, mg! Long time, no talk. I just enjoyed watching Tucker Carlson take his former employer iCNN to task (joined by Piers Morgan, no less) about the lengthy list of their perfidy and collusion with the Democrat party in the run-up to the last election. Shameful!!!!!

    Also enjoyed his chat with David Horowitz, who was clear in describing Trump as a transparent figure who is not intimidated, which sets him apart from politicians like Ryan and McConnell and the rest who had six years to do something and backed away at nearly every key moment. Using the example of the words that Trump chose to describe Putin and his words about killers in America, Horowitz cautioned others to not for a moment think that Trump equates America with Russia on a moral plane, that he is a patriot who wants to help fix what has been ailing the country for a long time.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  73. OT apology
    Today was in discussion and friend said HRC being elected would be good as first woman pres, “was surprised we hadn’t elected a woman yet”, and suggested it was because of our sexist society,

    I challenged as to who was he calling sexist, that plenty of people would have voted for Margaret Thatcher had she been running, and who knew, maybe she would have won the primary race,
    that being a woman or not was not the issue,
    “Besides, the Repubs had nominated Palin, and look what they did to her”

    To which he replied something about was a serious and seeing russia out of her kitchen window…
    I reminded him that was Tina fey, and that Palin as gov of AK was involved in trade talks with the Russians and the presence of an AFB that was first defense against Russian warplanes, and that she did have an 80% or so approval rating at one point…

    I thought I remembered a very good thread that gave details about some of the ways the Couric interview was edited to make her look bad, but I couldn’t find it. i found a few things, but not as I remembered. Is it possible some old things got lost in various technical changes over the years? Anybody effortlessly remember what I’m talking about and kind find it for me?
    I searched on both the internal search and a Google search, found about a half dozen things, but nothing like I confabulated remembered.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  74. I was told today that it is known fact that Bannon has ties to white supremacist groups….
    I think I heard about that claim and some debunking of it,
    one has to pick one’s skirmishes……

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  75. I’ve read Bannon’s a mean prick, too, MD. Glad he’s not a Democrat, it would spoil their image.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  76. Since he was in the navy I’ll bet he swears like a sailor.

    elissa (96cede)

  77. He mentioned the alt right but it included the Greek Catholic gay, the pakistani hazzan, at least one African
    America, darby?

    narciso (193990)

  78. Thanks, narciso,
    Yes, I found that one, but I wasn’t as impressed with it as I remember being impressed once before
    maybe My memory played tricks,
    i thought I remembered something that wasn’t only about a poor transcript, but actually what some of the video showed that was left on the floor to take what she said out of context.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  79. The search string is Patterico Palin couric

    narciso (193990)

  80. Roger is 85 and lives in a Senior Citizens Home. Every night after dinner he goes to a secluded garden behind the home to sit and ponder his accomplishments and long life.

    One evening, Mildred, age 82, wanders into the garden. They begin to chat and before they know it, several hours have passed. After a short lull in their conversation, Roger turns to Mildred and asks, “Do you know what I miss most of all?”She asks, “What?” “Sex” he replies.Mildred exclaims, “Why you old coot. You couldn’t get it up if I held a gun to your head!”

    “I know,” Roger says, “but it would be nice if a woman could just hold it for a while.””Well, I can oblige,” says Mildred, who unzips his trousers, removes his manhood and proceeds to hold it. Afterward, they agree to meet secretly each night in the garden where they would sit and talk and Mildred would hold Roger’s thingie.Then one night Roger didn’t show up at their usual meeting place. Alarmed, Mildred decided to find him and make sure he was O.K.

    She walked around the Senior Citizen Home where she found him sitting by the pool with Ethel, another female resident, who was holding Roger’s little Pal.Furious, Mildred yelled, “You two-timing son-of-a-gun!! What does Ethel have that I don’t have?”

    Old Roger smiled happily and replied, “Parkinson’s.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  81. Yes, I looked at the results for that,
    for some reason I think I remember something that I don’t find
    like I said,
    maybe confabulation instead of memory.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  82. I’ve read Bannon’s a mean prick, too, MD. Glad he’s not a Democrat, it would spoil their image.

    Instead, nice guys like Schumer and Reid abound.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  83. If Condi Rice ran for office, she’d get every last GOP vote. And probably few blacks or Democrat women. They’d vote for an old white former Klansman first.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  84. Good point, Kevin M,
    Thanks

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  85. So the press is now chasing twenty year old pics,of trump in a bathrobe, stop before you embarass…never mind

    narciso (193990)

  86. The last paragraph of that story:

    Gibson took her point about Lincoln’s words but we wouldn’t know that by watching the interview since it was left on the cutting room floor. I urge everybody to see just how the unedited version of the first interview compared to what we saw on television by checking out the full transcript. It is a fascinating look into media manipulation via skillful editing

    Jan Roepke (e9e373)

  87. Well that certainly explains why you don’t care for him and I can’t fault you for feeling that way. But I was hoping that perhaps someone would provide information involving something a little more substantial than a recent personal spat/insult.

    Elissa,

    It wasn’t a personal spat or insult that was the problem. I called them out on honesty and ethics and their reaction was to tell me to fuck myself. Try looking up the post and learning before you dismiss it as merely a personal
    Issue.

    Patterico (9d2d52)

  88. I would describe it in more detail but I figured the regulars remembered it. I have told the story a couple of times. It should be easy to find.

    Patterico (9d2d52)

  89. Kevin M (25bbee) — 2/6/2017 @ 12:25 pm

    How do you continue the coverup of JFK’s killing? How about publishing every conceivable nutter theory possible.

    The truth is a theory that’s not nutty. Just one that you don’t think of, because you have all these other conspiracy theries around, especially ones that involve killers other than Oswald.

    It’s like the TWA crash – the missile theory was part of he cpverup. And the conpisracy theres are part of the coverup.

    Mark Lane was originally supposed to be Oswald’s lawyer. Oswald, of course, thought the KGB had wanted him to do it.

    Sammy Finkelman (03c829)

  90. 93. Well, I found this one and maybe you did not really fully tell it before 2016:

    http://patterico.com/2016/08/17/that-time-trumps-new-campaign-executive-told-me-to-go-fuck-myself/

    Sammy Finkelman (03c829)

  91. If Ruby hadn’t killed Oswald it wouldn’t stink quite so bad.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  92. The only thing is that you have this second hand and maybe the Breitbart staffer was lying in the Google chat and Bannon didn’t really say you’re dead to them and tell that person to go tell you that. You have to be open to that possibility.

    The whole Breitbart website you said became, let;s put it, not what it was like while Andrew Breitbart was alive, so who knows what kind of manuvering was going on there.

    Sammy Finkelman (03c829)

  93. 96. Kevin M (25bbee) — 2/6/2017 @ 11:56 pm

    If Ruby hadn’t killed Oswald it wouldn’t stink quite so bad.

    Ruby didn’t kill Oswald right away, which is what would happen in a conspiracy when it was intended to kill the killers. I always felt that Ruby did it becasue he was afraid that they would not carry out the death penalty. Ruby was a member of the mob originally from Chicago – nobody else would have broken the law like that. But he was a low ranking member and had been told to go to Dallas, and he didn’t want to go there. Ruby later said he was the wrong person to do that because of his background. But somebody with a different background wouldn’t have done that!

    After he shot Oswald, all the members of the mob stopped wearing their Mafia hats – you knows the ones with the black halo. You’ve seen them. Just look at pictures of members of the mob, and their dates.

    They couldn’t do anything about pictures taken before November 24, 1963 but they could do things about pictures taken later. The order went out pretty fast to stop wearing those hats. Even the ones who didn’t want to give up their hats, started wearings ones without the black stripe.

    This is further proof that the killing of Oswald was not planned by the mob – if it had been planned, the killer would not have been wearing a Mafia hat, because look at what they did afterwards. I suppose you could argue that Ruby was supposed to take off his hat before doing it, but I don’t think so.

    Sammy Finkelman (03c829)

  94. Dave has little tolerance for anything less than full-throated condemnation of Trump and all his works. He’s the polar opposite of a Trumpkin. Trumpkins can’t stand to see Trump given less-than-full praise, and Dave can’t stand to see less-than-full condemnation, and conflates less-than-full condemnation with approval. It may be that he has lost the ability to distinguish.

    Not exactly. In this case, Patrick appeared to say (and I am not trying to intentionally mischaracterize what he said, because I have great respect for him): “The only way you could be unhappy with Trump’s first two weeks in office is if you are a partisan hack.” That is pretty much exactly what the line I quoted in my comment said. That is hardly “less-than-full-condemnation” – if taken at face value, it is an attack on the motives and legitimacy of anyone who disagrees. (I hope Patrick was just a bit over-exuberant in closing his post with a rhetorical flourish…)

    As for your characterization of my attitude toward Trump, I do not deal in falsehoods or make criticisms that aren’t based in fact. At the same time, no, I will never give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt, about anything, because he does not deserve it. The man has done immeasurable harm to the country I love already, and he is just getting started. To hell with him.

    I strongly disagree with the conventional wisdom that says “when Trump does something good, we should praise it.” When Trump does something good, it should be viewed in the broader context of all the horrible things he has done, and will do. That doesn’t mean being dishonest, it means keeping perspective.

    “When Trump does something good we should praise him” reminds me of the leftist prattle about all the wonderful things Fidel Castro supposedly did for Cuba. One time, Cuban gulag survivor Armando Valladares was speaking to a group of Harvard students who asked him about health care, literacy and rights for blacks; he told them it was all lies, but even if it were true, “can’t a country have those things without dictatorship, without tyranny, without gulags, without torture – with freedom?”

    My position on anything good Trump does is similar – can’t we have constitutionalist judges, enforce immigration laws faithfully, economic growth, etc without an immoral, unstable, corrupt, ignorant, bigoted, pathologically dishonest statist who idolizes Vladimir Putin?

    Normalizing Trump means there will be more like him. I don’t want any part in that.

    Dave (711345)

  95. @Dave:I do not deal in falsehoods or make criticisms that aren’t based in fact…

    And then you go right on to analogize Trump to Castro, gulags, and torture.

    That’s the falsehoods and criticisms that aren’t based in fact, just for today.

    can’t we have constitutionalist judges, enforce immigration laws faithfully, economic growth, etc without an immoral, unstable, corrupt, ignorant, bigoted, pathologically dishonest statist who idolizes Vladimir Putin?

    Until now, no, evidently we couldn’t. Neither of the Bushes did that. Reagan didn’t even do all of that.

    As for your string of adjectives, I second you on “immoral”, “ignorant”, “dishonest”, those appear to be true of Trump from his career from when I first heard of him in the 80s. But the rest is the language of the progressive media hacks, and it’s mostly ginned up.

    “Bigoted”? Do you know how little it takes to get tarred with that these days? “Unstable”? Yeah, he likes to argue on the Internet, that’s the whole basis for this charge. It’s unseemly, but it’s not unstable–and “seemly” didn’t get Gorsuch nominated and “seemly” was all in on the progressive plans for immigration and “seemly” gave dignified concession speeches. Conservative principles don’t get enacted if conservatives can’t get elected. “Corrupt” based on–I’m not sure what, because he never held office to get corrupted. He was shaken down by government officials a lot over the years, and they sometimes tried to favors for him, which made them corrupt.

    Gabriel Hanna (98db84)

  96. “a fulfillment of an important campaign promise to keep our country safe.”

    How does detaining five-year-olds and elderly grandparents at airports keep the country safe? How does separating families and lovers keep our country safe? How does keeping doctors from their patients and scientists from their research keep our country safe?

    The Muslim ban is doing exactly what it is intended to do: giving bigoted Trump supporters something to smile about when they think of inflicting inconvenience and misery on people they don’t like.

    jasperjava (5e4266)

  97. “Good morning, kids. Lots of hot links to chew on. One that needs to be hammered home is the escalating, open and organized violence from the left. It is going to get much worse and the President needs to confront it head on. Cut off all Federal funds to universities and to municipalities that refuse to stop the unrest. That said, the bulk of the funding is coming from former Nazi collaborator and convicted felon George Soros. He should be tried for sedition, fomenting violent insurrection, convicted, stripped of his citizenship, all assets seized and deported back to Hungary. And speaking of the mad Hungarian, you’ll never guess whose campaigns he donated to. Hint, see the link below. Have a better one and remain blessed.”

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/368291.php

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  98. Dave is Abby Normal.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  99. jasperjava’s computer keyboard:

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-N-C5RGJBwfg/WJfrwhskbrI/AAAAAAABevg/mBjTuDr7RNsMvrvLdbAd29vG6gGnYgOEwCLcB/s640/h9fiYNm.jpg

    Because an ignorant asshole like jasperhava knows how “trump supporters” (read non Killary commies) love to “inflict” inconvenience and misery on poor innocent people just because we don’t like them. Javajerk, your projection is showing.

    If Trump’s ban saved “just one” American he’s worth more than a thousand jaasperjerks.

    Rev. Hoagie® (785e38)

  100. Yes, Colonel. What the left brings us.

    http://patriotretort.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Berkeley-Benghazi.jpg

    Rev. Hoagie® (785e38)

  101. That tells a story, Hoagie.

    Colonel Haiku (13f927)

  102. Urban, the hungarian version of gavel, gets much the same treatment as trump

    narciso (d1f714)

  103. “The only way you could be unhappy with Trump’s first two weeks in office is if you are a partisan hack.”

    Mmm, there was a bit of end-of-post flourish but “that bad” to me meant “as bad as this article portrays it” — a series of bungles that is causing him to be defensive and look for people to blame. In my opinion to be that dismissive of his time so far is pretty partisan against him. But I say that fully understanding the point of view if anyone who despises him as a human, as I do.

    Patterico (5890f2)

  104. Chalian, Gibson’s producer after being Yahoo’s political director is now a contributor on cnn

    narciso (d1f714)

  105. Cut off all Federal funds to universities and to municipalities that refuse to stop the unrest.

    Yeah! And keep sanctions in place against Putin because he’s not just a rioter but an actual killer! Oh wait no don’t do that.

    Patterico (5890f2)

  106. We have to maintain friendly ties with Berkeley after all remember we allied with Stalin

    Patterico (5890f2)

  107. With any luck I can get a few people to compare Berkeley unfavorably to Putin. We need to know who our real enemies are, after all. Just ask Hillary.

    Patterico (5890f2)

  108. The last I heard the universities were robbing Americans of their free speech, of their right to assemble, of their right to free association and of their right to redress grievances not Putin. If you don’t think Trump should deal with Putin (which I believe would be a major diplomatic mistake) that’s one thing but to try and draw some parallel between his actions against his people and the actions of American schools and American students against other Americans Constitutional Freedoms is wrong.

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZeIZbi-xKNo/WJfrfSr0NWI/AAAAAAABevM/–vgM-G8Ln8Sr82Fc3udRatWnV1kDgyRgCLcB/s1600/0vnIzIA.jpg

    Rev. Hoagie® (785e38)

  109. Oswald may have been in contact with Cuban intelligence, like Fabian escalante and abrahantes, back in minsk the later was executed almost 30 years later as part of the ochoa show trial.

    Now putin employs someone like strelkov, aka girkin who may have been a war criminal into theaters of operation, visegrad and shatoi/vedeno

    narciso (d1f714)

  110. Regarding torture like what was meted out at the Hanoi laogai the fellow named Fidel was subsequently promoted to health minister, an orwellian tack if you thing about, another became transport minister

    narciso (d1f714)

  111. Keep f*ckin’ that chicken!

    Colonel Haiku (13f927)

  112. So in retrospect, why didn’t Obama go after raymi, he had b 52 ‘s fly fourteen hours to hit a target we suspect had Islamic staters

    narciso (d1f714)

  113. Whoever is pissing in the proprietor’s coffee pot each morning, please consider this a warning.

    Colonel Haiku (13f927)

  114. You know my view on musket Morgan, however its a gonzo world

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/02/06/piers-morgan-making-sense-great-again/#more-128241

    narciso (d1f714)

  115. As I see it, the intelligence community should have been providing accurate targeting info on raymi but brennan burned the most prominent asset in a generation, in order to spike the ball for obama

    narciso (d1f714)

  116. 119 interesting read, narciso! This one caught my eye and explains so much about the so-called culture wars: “As of 2016, the shoe is on the other foot — the counter culture has become the mainstream and the Insurgents are the new counter culture.”

    Colonel Haiku (13f927)

  117. Lorne Michaels, come on down!

    Colonel Haiku (13f927)

  118. These days we jump to conclusions so readily we get shin plots
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/02/07/chief-84-lumber-speaks-out-super-bowl-ad/97583534

    narciso (d1f714)

  119. Headline should be:
    “Trump too dumb to work light switch”

    steveg (18ecb6)

  120. Thanks, Jan.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)


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