Patterico's Pontifications

1/30/2019

“Team of Vipers” by Cliff Sims: Not Bad So Far

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:57 am



Donald Trump on Twitter:

Oh, hey, thanks for reminding me about this book! I had seen word about it a week or two ago and had made a mental note to consider getting it, but forgot about it until Trump’s tweet.

I’m a sucker for the tell-all books, but Michael Wolff’s, and to a lesser but still significant extent Bob Woodward’s, suffered from the lowered credibility associated with anonymous sourcing. (The anonymity of Woodward’s subjects is wafer thin, but the issue remains.) You always have to take everything with shakerfuls of salt, but you need extra shakers when there is no name behind what’s being said.

I couldn’t care less what, say, Chris Christie has to say about Donald Trump, but Sims interests me. I’m about 5 chapters in (there are 15 total) but so far I find this account very credible — in part because Sims actually seems to like Trump, and thus provides a more nuanced picture of Trump than Wolff or Woodward gave us. Sims left his job as CEO of a media company that had broken major stories about state politics in Alabama to become a communications guy for Trump’s campaign. He was a longtime conservative evangelical who was ideologically more in tune with Cruz than Trump, but thought it was important that Trump beat Hillary and wanted to do his part to help. He was one of the “loyalists” who stuck with Trump after the Access Hollywood tape broke, reasoning that the tape was bad but not a reason to allow Hillary Clinton to win. He came to the Trump White House as one of the loyalists and earned some access to the President by virtue of having been one of the folks who did not abandon Trump in his time of greatest need.

His portrait of Trump so far is not as favorable as you usually see from sycophants, but not anywhere near as critical as the anonymous sources for the more famous previous tell-alls. Sims seems to have a genuine admiration for Trump’s communication skills, and for his ability to stay calm in the midst of crisis. He is clear-eyed about the ways that Trump is less than perfectly beholden to the truth or the facts, but he sounds in tone like a lot of the commenters here: yes, the guy has some obvious flaws, but he certainly is better than Hillary Clinton.

A couple of anecdotes spring to mind. One has to do with Sean Spicer’s initial press briefing — you know, the one where he went wild with a bunch of false facts about the size of the inaugural crowd. Sims ruefully admits culpability for full participation in that fiasco, explaining that Trump was a) justifiably upset about a bogus story in Time magazine concerning the alleged removal of a bust of MLK from the Oval Office (didn’t happen), and b) obsessed with crowd size as a measure of popularity. Spicer’s need to rush the briefing put the comms team in a situation where everyone saw a speedy response as the top priority, and they relied on a set of “facts” provided by the head of Trump’s Inaugural Committee that turned out to be wrong — and that the team had not taken time to fact-check. Spicer could have capitalized on the false story about the MLK bust, but instead spouted a bunch of false facts that doomed his credibility from the start. Sims provides an interesting account of this disaster, from the perspective of someone who was deeply embroiled in it.

Moving from that to a quirkier story: as background, Sims mentions Trump’s unusual OCD penchant for slightly moving objects in front of him, as shown in this video:

Then Sims tells the story about how, on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, there’s a box with a little red button on it. Often, when people come into the Oval Office, Trump does his little move where he pushes the box away half an inch, and says something like: “Don’t worry about that. No one wants me to push that button so we’ll just keep it over here.”

Then, later, Trump will press the button without comment. Whoever is in the office and unfamiliar with its purpose will look around nervously. Finally, a steward comes in with a Diet Coke. Trump laughs and says: “People never know what to think about that red button! Is he launching the nukes?!”

It’s a cute story, and Sims uses it to describe Trump as both a prankster and as someone who is self-aware, playing on his reputation as someone whose access to nuclear bombs makes many nervous.

Everyone has an agenda, and surely Sims is no exception, but to me this insider look is one of the most honest accounts I have run across. Recommended. If you wish, you can buy it at the affiliate link here.

P.S. Here is a video of Sims being interviewed on CNN, and reacting on the fly to Trump’s insulting tweet. I’m starting you at 8:03 to keep the clip short, but feel free to watch the whole thing.

He seems like a good guy.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

99 Responses to ““Team of Vipers” by Cliff Sims: Not Bad So Far”

  1. You mean he didnt freak like Eric Erickson and mcmuffin, I thought that was the default setting.

    I assume the latest kerfluffle is either false or an incomplete account of a matter

    Narciso (82a663)

  2. why couldn’t dirty pelosi supporter Mhitt Rhomney beat such an obvious buffoon is my question

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  3. mcmuffin is the cia sloppy-boy that did the sleazy campaign to deplatform Mr. Milo at cpac

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  4. Patterico, I am starting to think that every post criticizing Trump should begin with your parodies on the reflexive fanboi responses and head fakes. I’m betting you could nail them easily, since they are oh so predictable.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  5. Hasn’t reserving judgement been a more valuable course of action in 3/4 of these incidents Simon, whereas real news like the 5th circuit challenge to fusion seems to get little traction

    Narciso (82a663)

  6. He was one of the “loyalists” who stuck with Trump after the Access Hollywood tape broke

    Tells me all I need to know about his morality.

    Dave (1bb933)

  7. Dave with the hot take, fresh off the griddle. Yes stay puft made me nauseous long time ago, when folks were cheering his Ralph Kramden grunts.

    Narciso (82a663)

  8. So an imagined support of Pelosi is a big damn problem, negating any argument against an actual supporter of Hillary and Pelosi.

    Donald Trump sent Nancy Pelosi warm wishes when she was sworn in as House Speaker in January 2007, praising her as “the best” in a personal note.

    Trump, who’s now mulling a Republican run for president, penned the note on a copy of a New York Times article that chronicled Pelosi’s swearing-in, and wrote, “Nancy — you’re the best. Congrats. Donald,” according to sources familiar with the missive.

    … “I like her,” Trump said.

    I guess this will go in the ‘it’s a really intense satire’ column

    Dustin (7e0ad7)

  9. Narciso, I love you man, but you can’t complain too much about repetitive arguments. Tell me again about ‘I’m not a witch’

    Dustin (7e0ad7)

  10. Patterico, does he name the vipers?

    nk (dbc370)

  11. The last such work, ‘fear ‘ was underwhelming, the previous optioned for a miniseries by Austin powers director had some charming touches,

    Narciso (82a663)

  12. But much less the hosannas when it was promoted. So Lewandowski and bossie make the same point, but they are painted as paranoid.

    Narciso (82a663)

  13. #6 He was one of the “loyalists” who stuck with Trump after the Access Hollywood tape broke

    Tells me all I need to know about his morality.

    Dave (1bb933) — 1/30/2019 @ 8:20 am

    I never understood this criticism… as Trump was describing what women would “let” you do. Meaning, Trump was telling Bush that because of their stature, women would throw themselves at them. Albeit, in a crude language.

    It’s only the media outrage that blew it out of proportion whereby folks was using to “prove” that he’s a sexual assaulter. (which he still has cases in litigation???)

    whembly (b9d411)

  14. He was describing sop at NBC and CBS and the New York atty generals office among others.

    Narciso (82a663)

  15. And PBS and Sony studios, (Bryan singer) Netflix Amazon shall I go on?

    Narciso (82a663)

  16. And his. He took a Tic-Tac because he’d be “all over them”. He “loves to kiss them”. And is there any new information that’s come up since to make you think that he’s not even worse, a lot “even worse”, than the Access Hollywood tape made him out to be? F**ker’d stick his willie in a woodpile on the chance that there was a snake in it. When he still could get it up.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. Whembly, Trump was not blown out of proportion when he boasted that he grabs women by the “pussy” without consent. Married or not, that was cowardly conduct.

    And of course we now know Trump paid off strippers as part of his election effort.

    It’s one thing to say you felt this wasn’t enough to change your vote because Hillary, but it’s another to pretend this is ok. Trump’s a dishonest creep, period.

    Dustin (7e0ad7)

  18. yes yes President Trump definitely had his finger on the zeitgeist

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  19. that’s about the size of it

    nk (dbc370)

  20. I never understood this criticism… as Trump was describing what women would “let” you do.

    I’m sure Harvey Weinstein, Mike Tyson and Macario Cerda agree with you.

    Dave (1bb933)

  21. yes yes President Trump definitely had his finger on the zeitgeist

    So, is Zeitgeist her first or last name?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  22. President Trump’s the number one ripe tomato on the vine of American political leadership

    he makes a zippy salsa!

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  23. Saucy!

    nk (dbc370)

  24. Happy, that’s the 21st century parallel to picking your own cotton back in the 18th century. Explains a ton.

    urbanleftbehind (4d3585)

  25. Well the scuttling of the ss avenatti was a fair accompli, Bannon was impatient and chose stupidly to confide in wolf.

    Narciso (82a663)

  26. steve bannon’s a weak-ass with poor character

    i was just embarrassed for him

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  27. that dirty CIA woman’s running around like the trashy little bint she is trying to make sure our sad little tatters get stuck in syria forever and ever amen

    these people are truly disgusting

    and it’s not just how treasonous they are

    they’re truly nasty and ugly through and through

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  28. Sims seems to be squared away with no axe to grind except he is promoting a book. I saw him in another interview say that he would vote for Trump again. That says a lot.

    AZ Bob (885937)

  29. Trump sure knows how to pick the best people, happyfeet.

    nk (dbc370)

  30. @22. He likely made Zippy Salsa back in ’79 after her pole dance at Studio 54, Mr. Feet.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  31. “I’m sure Harvey Weinstein, Mike Tyson and Macario Cerda agree with you.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 1/30/2019 @ 9:24 am

    Must leave Bill Clinton and Bush 41 out of that list. Otherwise, it loses all nonsensical craziness.

    Munroe (cecc7b)

  32. i think Gina promised to keep the dirty cia poofterboys from going full rogue like the trashy men and women of the out-of-control Chris Wray fbi

    she’s basically a terrorist

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  33. #20 I never understood this criticism… as Trump was describing what women would “let” you do.

    I’m sure Harvey Weinstein, Mike Tyson and Macario Cerda agree with you.

    Dave (1bb933) — 1/30/2019 @ 9:24 am

    1. He’s coming from a place of a presumption of consent — “they let you do it”. Weinstein, Tyson and Cerda comes from pressure for a job or force of power position whether she wants it or not.

    2. Weinstein, Tyson and Cerda actually did (does?) it, even when confronted with active non-consent. Trump was only talking — outside of the earshot of any woman — about what he supposedly does. Who knows what he actually does? But even in the bragging context, the woman consents. Trump’s joke is her susceptibility to star power.

    3. Weinstein, Tyson and Cerda seems to get off on the forcible intrusion on women. Trump seems to delight in the fact that women want him.**

    4. If anything, Trump’s crass braggadocio indicts the women who “lets him do it”.

    **whatever happened to all those sexual assault litigations? I thought he was dealing with a plethora cases??

    This is one of those things that media/anti-Trumpers seems to want to make it more than it really is… that is, two guys talking (bleep) about women. Not as evidence that he deserves to be thrown in with the likes of Weinstein, Tyson and Cerda.

    There are WAY more legit things to bash Trump…stick to that.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  34. billy bush got a huge chuckle out of this he completely got what Mr. Trump was saying

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  35. Not to fear trey Gowdy’s hair is going to be on fox, where he will show the same perspicacity he did in congress.

    Narciso (9e309a)

  36. Trump’s joke is her susceptibility to star power.

    ha.

    ha.

    ha.

    Dave (f29c6b)

  37. Looks like Arthur Schwartz made the Viper team.

    Paul Montagu (75527a)

  38. The video of the guy is informative and I think I’ll get this book. He actually has a lot to say that isn’t so bad about Trump, and he seems highly credible.

    After failing to fund his wall for two years, Trump decided he needed that wall and made millions of Americans suffer for over a month, lost billions in our economy, and then caved with nothing to show for it. He’s a loser. A few people still go on about how he didn’t really do anything wrong when groping women, paying off strippers, betraying our democracy with Russia, but they are the same people who lie to our faces. Sometimes they even lie to us about our own comments. They learned from Trump that it’s better to lie even if the truth would work fine, because it’s not about the issues or the facts. It’s about the fight.

    That’s what Sims really means about this deep ‘base play’. Trump didn’t actually represent a deep conservative agenda. The budget is worse than ever, foreign policy is weak and bizarre, and the pro-choice push is stronger than ever. Trump doesn’t care about pro-life, obamacare, or even the concept of free speech. The base play is to fight louder, longer, and dumber against democrats. Dubya had the opposite strategy, where he tried to lead a divided nation by example. It didn’t work perfectly, but it worked a lot better than this.

    I love that Whembly is ordering several of us to stick to other issues to criticize Trump for, and not his serial abuse of women. Nope. One of his wives credibly accused him of forcible rape, and his scummy lawyers (he has so many) explained you couldn’t legally rape your spouse at that time, in that jurisdiction. He’s lashed out at women numerous times, purchased their services, and yeah, he admitted he loves to grope them because he has so much power they are afraid to stop him. Character matters, and the GOP has no character. It is the party that gave us Trump. The only answer we ever get on this stuff is to complain about democrats. The same disease, regurgitated, instead of solutions.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  39. Gowdy’s committee seems to have been part of the kabuki theatre only judicial watch seems to have gotten anywhere, considering his prior involvement with Libya it’s not surprising.

    Narciso (d8f070)

  40. And he let Ted Kennedy write the no child left behind act, under Jeffords allowed the Democrats a veto on the us attys and judges,signed on to the prescription drug deal.

    Narciso (d8f070)

  41. I’ve been trying to remember the last time I read a book of this genre. It has to be The Brethren, by Bob Woodward, around 1980 or so because it was still in hardcover. Feeling: “Aw, come on!”

    nk (dbc370)

  42. I think it’s clear the house and Senate leadership doesn’t care about these issues, what they do concern themselves is a mystery.

    Narciso (d8f070)

  43. Either unprovable or irrelevant details, what we chose to amuse ourselves with.

    Narciso (d8f070)

  44. So, Trump was telling the truth when he said that he had a red button on his desk, and it actually works!

    Ingot9455 (e27122)

  45. But does he have a Red Ryder BB gun?

    nk (dbc370)

  46. That actually is the nuke button. Some hero kitchen worker decided to unplug it and pretend it’s for Cokes.

    Dustin (ecdf68)

  47. then everytime somebody want to did a coke in the glass the bombs would go up and do explosions

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  48. Dustin, you sound like Pelosi when you argue that shutting any portion of the government hurts the economy. She made the same argument about supporting welfare.

    The government doesn’t create wealth, it only takes.

    Did’t you once claim you wanted to shrink the size of government (as all conservatives do). A shutdown does just that. What changed?

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/01/amazingly-economy-didnt-care-about-shutdown.php

    NJRob (4d595c)

  49. The only problems with the shutdown were that it didn’t shut down enough, nobody got fired, and nothing got cut from the budget.

    Ingot9455 (e27122)

  50. NJ Rob,

    Unlike Trump and his supporters, I do believe in a balanced budget. But I also believe in the truth. It’s one of the reasons I opposed Trump, and one reason why ‘nevertrumpers’ were correct about Trump. His promise to expand many programs, and balance the budget, was an unrealistic lie.

    When the shutdown was ongoing, I suggested Trump should just fire a lot of the agencies that aren’t necessary. He didn’t do that. Instead, he caved in when Pelosi stared him in the eye and said “no wall.”

    So now we have to pay many workers for work they did not do. The taxpayers do not realize any savings whatsoever. And the economy absolutely, for a fact, lost billions.

    The government doesn’t create wealth, it only takes

    That’s a simplistic way of seeing it, but yeah, more or less this is true. Because the government is inefficient, it takes more money to do things that the private sector could do instead. For example, the USGS maps terrain, but you could go do that yourself. Why didn’t Trump fire the USGS during the shutdown, then? And why did he go on this long shutdown if he was just going to cave, gaining nothing?

    If you’re going to argue that in your fantasy world, the government would have been leaner and smaller, and therefore the billions the economy lost from Trump’s shutdown could have led to tax savings and a booming economy, hey, that’s a great dream, but Trump didn’t do that. that didn’t happen.

    So let’s tell the truth instead. The truth is that Trump’s shutdown accomplished nothing. The American economy lost billions, and you don’t have your wall. The shutdown did not shrink the size of government. It’s bigger than ever, and will be bigger next year, and the year after that. Trump’s fans can spin this around all day long, but his record has been trillion dollar deficits. It’s sickening how much money his huge government has wasted. Insulting me and lying about reality is a normal way for Trump’s supporters to discuss his poor performance, but you’re not convincing anyone who isn’t a Trump fan. At the end of the day, you’re hurting our country.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  51. The only problems with the shutdown were that it didn’t shut down enough, nobody got fired, and nothing got cut from the budget.

    Ingot9455 (e27122) — 1/31/2019 @ 9:21 am

    Right. If Trump had a spine, he could have fired everyone in a few agencies. Picked on agency a day and just fired everyone. Do that for the last few weeks and maybe he’d have his wall.

    But Trump doesn’t want a wall. He wants an issue. He had every chance to get that wall two years ago.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  52. I’m glad NJRob and I agree that a smaller government is better.

    But how exactly does a shutdown cost us money?

    First: we have to pay interest on all those contracts it was not paying during the shutdown
    Second: gotta pay all those 800,000 workers who weren’t working
    Third: all the things the government would have gotten money for, parks, back taxes, etc…. some of that we will recover. Maybe I schedule my trip later. Some of it we will not.
    Fourth: Maybe Keyenesian theory is bad policy, but less spending does mean less stimulus. All those food pantry hunting federal workers were not spending as much money on Toyotas either. All those missed or delayed flights, that made a difference here and there. This is also called “common sense” and appears to be the area Powerlineblog is arguing against, which is not that surprising in this dark era of GOP shills. This means the economy shrank. Who knows how much? It’s recursive though, because the trillion dollar deficit stomps on our children, and their children, when it’s time to pay interest. The worse the deficit, the more aggravated the problem, which doesn’t mix well with the slowdown from a month long shutdown.

    And that doesn’t mean a shutdown isn’t worth it. But a shutdown where Trump caves and gets nothing: objectively not worth it. It’s not a matter of opinion. The GOP got nothing.

    It is fascinating NJRob is concerned that I no longer support limited government. I’d almost say that was mischaracterizing my point of view to troll a reaction out of me. I hope he is also concerned that Trump’s huge deficits flatly contradict his promise of a balanced budget. Anyone can make symbolic cuts, but Trump promised something more than that.

    Had Trump kept all his big promises, I would be telling you the nevertrumpers were wrong, and Trump is the best president in history. No Obamacare? A border wall? No ISIS? Balanced budget? You betcha! Instead he broke most of his promises, and his supporters will argue till they are blue in the face to defend him anyway.

    The CBO says $3 billion will never be recovered, but the damage is exponentially worse because of how we borrow money. And by all means, blame Pelosi for this too because just giving Trump his damn wall would have saved money, and was part of Trump’s strategy. They are both irresponsible and unpatriotic in how they lead.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  53. A shutdown does just that. What changed?

    A shutdown only temporarily (or partially temporarily) closes the government for business. It doesn’t shrink it.

    Paul Montagu (27e440)

  54. yes because we re opened the government, if it could be cut by attrition, that would be something else, but you think the agencies are indispensible

    narciso (d1f714)

  55. you think the agencies are indispensible

    If you’re talking to me you are mischaracterizing what I said, almost to Harkin 180 backwards levels. I said Trump should have fired everyone who worked in needless agencies, one after another, as part of his shutdown strategy. Then we wouldn’t need to pay them.

    This is what’s so obnoxious about Republicans today. If you oppose Trump, they act like this is proof you have liberal views. They dismiss you with idiotic claims like “you talk like Pelosi” and “you think the agencies are indispensible.” Clearly they are not indispensible if we did without them for a month.

    There’s a reason lying is such an essential part of being on Trump’s side. It’s not because the truth is your friend.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  56. Somebody ate their Wheaties this morning! The milk must have turned…

    Colonel Haiku (61b436)

  57. you oppose trump, you want to keep most of the structure Obama created with virtually no opposition, with weigel’s hot takes, as well as the journolist, don’t fall for the gaslighting

    narciso (d1f714)

  58. putting things into perspective:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/trump-compared-with-what/

    narciso (d1f714)

  59. Two Redstate writers have had enough. I’d comment there about it, but streiff (speaking of vipers) permanently bam-sticked me after Trump’s embarrassing Helsinki aftermath.

    Paul Montagu (27e440)

  60. “putting things into perspective:”

    Thanks narciso, this article, like most national review articles, was hilarious.

    I especially liked this part:

    “But all that said, Trump should deviate from state-of-the-union custom and also point out that we are at a national intersection, in which the Democrats are offering a vision of America that is arguably the most socialist and radical since 1972 — if not ever.”

    When has Trump ever done what the authors of these sort of articles say Trump should do?

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  61. They want to get paid by omidyar, as I’ve pointed out it requires no thinking deeply to work ar the bulwinkle

    Narciso (ff6b13)

  62. I love that Whembly is ordering several of us to stick to other issues to criticize Trump for, and not his serial abuse of women. Nope. One of his wives credibly accused him of forcible rape, and his scummy lawyers (he has so many) explained you couldn’t legally rape your spouse at that time, in that jurisdiction. He’s lashed out at women numerous times, purchased their services, and yeah, he admitted he loves to grope them because he has so much power they are afraid to stop him. Character matters, and the GOP has no character. It is the party that gave us Trump. The only answer we ever get on this stuff is to complain about democrats. The same disease, regurgitated, instead of solutions.

    Dustin (6d7686) — 1/31/2019 @ 5:56 am

    Did you even read what I wrote?

    Criticize him for his treatment of women… I don’t defend those acts.

    O.o

    whembly (51f28e)

  63. He just follows his own drummer. And when his perffered candidate wins he disavows what he aaid.

    Narciso (ff6b13)

  64. they relied on a set of “facts” provided by the head of Trump’s Inaugural Committee that turned out to be wrong

    That may, in part, explain why that was said in the first place (the question still is why did the head of the Inaugural Committee feel an urge to say such a thing and where did that come from) but doesn’t explain the unwillingness to admit the truth.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  65. 13. whembly (b9d411) — 1/30/2019 @ 8:50 am

    I never understood this criticism… as Trump was describing what women would “let” you do. Meaning, Trump was telling Bush that because of their stature, women would throw themselves at them. Albeit, in a crude language.

    That’s what I said. And I said he was lying. Of course what Trump said couldn’t be true.

    Trump almost as much said he was lying when he described that as “locker room talk.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/10/us/politics/transcript-second-debate.html?_r=0`

    COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump. The question from Patrice was about are you both modeling positive and appropriate behavior for today’s youth? We received a lot of questions online, Mr. Trump, about the tape that was released on Friday, as you can imagine. You called what you said locker room banter. You described kissing women without consent, grabbing their genitals. That is sexual assault. You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?

    TRUMP: No, I didn’t say that at all. I don’t think you understood what was — this was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it. But this is locker room talk.

    But the Democrats didn’t want to let that go. They had leaked it, or gotten it into circulation. They wanted people to assume that Trump was lying about the “let” part but not the grabbing part, or better yet, ignore, or maybe never learn, the exact words. ( a lot of people hear snippets fo news, but don’t follow the news that closely.)

    nk here thought Trump was telling the truth, but talking about starlets, and there were such people.

    Trump actually said another thing really bad in that tape. He said he tried to seduce a married woman, but failed. But that’s not a crime. The Democrats wanted a crime.

    This is the tape:

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

    Trump kisses a woman and says that Melania says this is OK.

    That was after he married her, but before the incidents with the two women that started in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  66. The New Trump line is that spending more money is really great, and if you have a problem with it you’re basically Nancy Pelosi (the lady that Trump used to lavish praise all over).

    At what point do Trump’s defense force admit that the guy who caves to Pelosi and governs like Hillary, and used to tell us how great Pelosi and Hillary are, is not a very good alternative to Pelosi and Hillary?

    Did you even read what I wrote?

    Yes. You told us to not attack Trump on something that is reprehensible. It’s not the first time you’ve defended sexual assault if Trump’s the guy bragging about doing it. I read that and appreciate how clear you were in your point, which I simply reject.

    If I mischaracterized you, and you object to Trump’s grabbing women by the “pussy” as terrible conduct, please explain that you feel that way. You don’t even have to find some bizarre way to twist your comment into saying this. Just assert that you object to Trump grabbing women by the pussy, which he clearly stated he did, and I apologize for the misunderstanding. I encourage every one of his supporters to do so.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  67. Sammy, can you quote the actual comments we’re discussing? Quoting Trump denying something isn’t that helpful. After all, Trump is a liar.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  68. 🤢

    Dustin (6d7686)

  69. Dustin @53.

    The shutdown may help the economy, because it may cause the Federal Reserve Board to stop raising interest rates. And so also maybe his trade fights with China.

    https://www.federalreserve.gov/mediacenter/files/FOMCpresconf20190130.pdf

    Despite this positive outlook, over the past few months we have seen some cross-currents and conflicting signals about the outlook. Growth has slowed in some major foreign economies, particularly China and Europe. There is elevated uncertainty around several unresolved government policy issues, including Brexit, ongoing trade negotiations, and the effects from the partial government shutdown in the United States. Financial conditions tightened considerably late in 2018, and remain less supportive of growth than they were earlier in 2018. And, while most of the incoming domestic economic data have been solid, some surveys of business and consumer sentiment have moved lower, giving reason for caution.

    We always emphasize that our policies are data dependent. In other words, as economic conditions and the outlook evolve, we take that new information into account in setting our policies. We are now facing a somewhat contradictory picture of generally strong U.S. macroeconomic performance, alongside growing evidence of cross-currents. At such times, common sense risk management suggests patiently awaiting greater clarity–an approach that has served policymakers well in the past.

    Mnuchin was giving different argument to the federal Reserve Chairmam Jerome Powell, after Trump said (privately, but it was leaked to the New York Times) he was going to make him into (Herbert) Hoover.

    In general, what the president and Congress do is irrelevant because if it hurts the economy the fed will counteract it, and if it helps the economy they probably will too.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  70. Sammy, could you quote Trump’s comments about grabbing women by the “pussy” to help provide some context, since you posted Trump denying that it meant sexual assault. I’m not a fan of taking him at his word when we have better evidence available.

    The shutdown may help the economy, because it may cause the Federal Reserve Board to stop raising interest rates.

    Interesting take. But so far, it cost the economy billions and billions. We had to pay interest on contracts the fed wasn’t paying at the time. We had to pay all these employees who didn’t work. We didn’t get revenues. Employees saved a lot on spending because they weren’t getting paychecks. And if lowering the interest rate is the way to go, that doesn’t seem to be dependent on a shutdown. Though I agree, with trillion dollar deficits that Trump is putting on the backs of our kids, we don’t need high interest rates.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  71. 69. Dustin (6d7686) — 1/31/2019 @ 1:20 pm

    69.Sammy, can you quote the actual comments we’re discussing? Quoting Trump denying something isn’t that helpful. After all, Trump is a liar.

    I’ll try. I actually linked to the entire video. It’s not all that long.

    The New York Times had it: (they have all the words. In special circumstances, they are now considered fit to post online, if not to print. This transcript was never printed. They have occasionally eve oriented some words.)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/08/us/donald-trump-tape-transcript.html

    You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

    Bush: Whatever you want.

    Trump: Grab ’em by the pxxxx. You can do anything

    Now, Trump was lying her and he had to be lying here, because he was talking about all women, and this is not true, and he practically as much said that he was lying.

    Trump claimed he was in a special category of men because of his stardom.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  72. The whole point of it was that women didn’t object.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  73. After failing to fund his wall for two years, Trump decided he needed that wall and made millions of Americans suffer for over a month, lost billions in our economy, and then caved with nothing to show for it.

    Dustin,

    Here is my issue with your remarks. If you really care for smaller government, then you know that government employees will suffer as they are laid off. For you to poke this as something to target the President for is petty and shows personal animus versus focusing on trying to improve going forward.

    NJRob (5f2a1b)

  74. Yes. You told us to not attack Trump on something that is reprehensible. It’s not the first time you’ve defended sexual assault if Trump’s the guy bragging about doing it. I read that and appreciate how clear you were in your point, which I simply reject.

    If I mischaracterized you, and you object to Trump’s grabbing women by the “pussy” as terrible conduct, please explain that you feel that way. You don’t even have to find some bizarre way to twist your comment into saying this. Just assert that you object to Trump grabbing women by the pussy, which he clearly stated he did, and I apologize for the misunderstanding. I encourage every one of his supporters to do so.

    Dustin (6d7686) — 1/31/2019 @ 1:18 pm

    Of course it’s terrible conduct, but when you and the media claims are mischaracterizing that the Bush tape was evidence of sexual assault, you’re feeding into the #FakeNews beast.

    This whole #FakeNews thing is really ludicrous, however the media are doing their damnedest to perpetuate it, which deflects on actual legit things we should be criticizing Trump.

    whembly (51f28e)

  75. Sammy’s at #73 and #74 got it right.

    whembly (51f28e)

  76. So now comes evidence that candidate Trump had no foreknowledge about a Trump Jr., meeting with Russkies at Trump Tower, no phone calls from Trump to Trump Jr, all the lies pushed by the NYT, WashPo, CNN, MSLSD, NBC, CBS, ABC were just that… LIES.

    Colonel Haiku (61b436)

  77. and the Russian hooker, who they thought would be the linch pin, well that was a whole lot of hot air as well, but it’s in the air in a thousand stories, and Wikipedia,

    narciso (d1f714)

  78. Just think how bent out of shape his fans get over well established matters of basic human rights, like Trump not groping women, let alone being proud of himself for the power to do so. It’s no wonder Pelosi is dominating him right now.

    Pelosi could care less that her refusal to protect our country is dangerous to many innocent people. She was like this in 2006. She does not care. Trump had two years where he barely got anything done from a political party that was afraid of him. All the drama in this book speaks to how challenging he found Easy Mode. Now he’s got a party that actively hopes the next two years are terrible, and happy to just pretend we’re having a huge negotiation for a wall that is not really happening.

    Trump lacks the moral character to inspire and persuade. He has his loyal fans. They are very angry with me, and I suppose that should do something other than make feel so good and cheerful. But I really do feel honored. When all of these guys are pretending they always knew Trump was a terrible leader, they will secretly remember… nevertrumpers were right all along. We’ll probably still be talking about building this wall,but we won’t be done paying for Trump’s trillions of debt for generations.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  79. President Trump honors the contribution every American makes and that makes the big difference buttboy obama and those odious bush klansters are incapable of making.

    I’m happy we have a good president for a change. It’s super-fun!

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  80. Every time i turn around he has more terrific policies on hand Mr. narciso.

    brb I’m a get up and turn around a few more times

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  81. hrm meanwhile “Mitch” McConnell and his corrupt wife-pig want even more of our hapless tatters to get greased in Syria by the ISIS bombers!

    This is a good example of bad policy.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  82. hrm meanwhile “Mitch” McConnell and his corrupt wife-pig want even more of our hapless tatters to get greased in Syria by the ISIS bombers!

    This is a good example of bad policy.

    happyfeet (28a91b) — 1/31/2019 @ 3:44 pm

    I admit the GOP has failed to make a good case about Syria. But Trump blew up a few dozen extremely expensive Tomahawks to … shut down a Syrian airbase for a few hours (thanks to Trump informing Russia in advance… you or I would go to prison if we did that).

    President Trump honors the contribution every American makes

    But he prefers the veterans who did not get captured, and he prefers the ones who don’t set up shop on park avenue, and he really prefers the ones whose gals he was with (Trump’s personal war) during Vietnam.

    I don’t recall Obama impressing on his respect for the troops, but compared to Dubya, Trump is no prize either.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  83. looking at the bigger picture, that has metastasized over 20 years,

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1080805/venezuala-us-donald-trump-Nicolas-Maduro-russia-china-iran

    narciso (d1f714)

  84. shut down a Syrian airbase for a few hours

    actually the evil knievel boll weevil russians were using that base

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  85. it’s good not to get captured ask anybody

    for example there was an alleged pilot named John McCain what got his incompetent blundering ass captured and they turned him into a pooper by doing something to his brain

    they did a documentary on him

    he passed away recently, but he’s still doing a lot of damage

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  86. actually the evil knievel boll weevil russians were using that base

    happyfeet (28a91b) — 1/31/2019 @ 4:05 pm

    They stopped?

    And yeah they are evil.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  87. Trump vs. Pelosi in the political arena is like … Trump vs. Serena Williams on the tennis court. Hapless amateur versus champion professional.

    nk (dbc370)

  88. More like

    “Hapless amateur versus champion professional with ill-fitting dentures, wetbrain and the support of the entire national media machine.”

    Colonel Haiku (61b436)

  89. narciso (d1f714) — 1/31/2019 @ 3:41 pm

    I know a number of Venezuelans who live and vote here in the US. All of them despise Trump and voted for Hillary. And none of them think better of him because his actions vis a vis Maduro.

    Kishnevi (b0adf2)

  90. I don’t recall Obama impressing on his respect for the troops, but compared to Dubya, Trump is no prize either.
    BHO at least went through the motions of his own accord. DJT had to be dragged along by his staff,
    But you remind me again that of all the occupants of the Oval Office since my birth, Dubya is the only one I would to know as a person in my private life. (Maybe Ford.)

    Kishnevi (b0adf2)

  91. “All of them despise Trump and voted for Hillary. And none of them think better of him because his actions vis a vis Maduro.”

    Sounds like the blue state exodus to red states. They bring their illness with them.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  92. Well they probably voted for Maduro at least once, they thought no one this could happen the same way, it turned out worse.

    Narciso (430e3d)

  93. Well they probably voted for Maduro at least once, they thought no one this could happen the same way, it turned out worse.

    Actually the ones I know left Venezuela to escape Chavez. They loath him, and recognize that Trump is very much in the vein of Chavez.

    Kishnevi (35d300)

  94. It’s rather striking the category error that some people indulge in, yes I meant Chavez a sizable population did vote him the first time around.

    Narciso (430e3d)

  95. Narciso, I mean this as a friend…you consistently indulge in category error.

    Kishnevi (35d300)

  96. People have said worse, how do they compare hi to chavez.

    Narciso (851766)


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