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November 14, 2016


They are moving REALLY fast to undermine the country. He's likely to send his brute squad against the judge, the plaintiffs, and the witnesses. Civil suits will vanish in puffs of smoke.

Apparently he doesn't want to live full time at the White House. How is that going to work out? Isn't the POTUS sort of expected to be available 24/7 if needed?

I'm not sure why that would be a problem. Presidents routinely spend weekends at Camp David. And often have had homes elsewhere that they visited. (I recall the phrase "the Western White House" being used during some Presidential administrations.) It has never seemed to be a serious problem.

Especially with today's communications, you can work from almost anywhere. Lots of us telecommute/work from home. Does the President have so much that requires face-to-face interactions that can only happen in Washington? Yes, he needs to do a lot of that; but even that can, to some degree, be done wherever he happens to be.

The Secret Service can "harden" a "ranch" in Crawford TX much more easily than a gilded tower on 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan.

Judge Sirica managed to do his job in the face of an arrogant and vindictive president and his minions. Judge Curiel may, possibly, live up to the Sirica standard.

Can He, Trump take office while under criminal indictment? Why the hell not? We don't seriously expect his "working class" supporters to be put off by a little thing like that, do we?


The RICO suit is, if I'm not mistaken, a criminal charge.

You are mistaken. Cohen v. Trump is a civil RICO suit.

I'm not sure what worries me more: Trump in office, or Trump being removed from office and Pence taking over.

Either way I'm pretty sure I'm in trouble.

Looks likely John Bolton will be Secretary of State.

This, I'm afraid, will mean war.
I'm very glad my son is above military age.

Given the tenor of Trump's appointments so far, I'll not be surprised to see Pam Geller as Undersecretary for what's left of the middle east.

hilzoy, you left us when you thought that our national crisis had passed.

Here is a worse one.

Any chance you'll come back?

Any chance you'll come back?

I didn't realize she had left because she thought the national crisis had passed.

I'd be beyond delighted to hear her voice again. This mess is miles above my pay grade.

Fallows re-emerged after the election at the Atlantic, and posted this Yeats poem:

To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing

Related Poem Content Details
Now all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honor bred, with one
Who were it proved he lies
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbors' eyes;
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.

which seems to have included some unintentional metadata... apologies to WB !

Apparently Secretary of State is between Bolton and Giuliani.

Amazing and frightening.

Amazing and frightening.

And makes absolutely no logical sense. Which maybe is your point.

Well, I suppose we should count our blessings that General Flynn isn't in the running, too.

What's up with the security clearances for the kids? Do family members of national office holders normally have security clearances?

Oh my god. Seriously? Neither one of those guys is fit to do anything at all.

Does this mean he is serious about appointing Palin to a Cabinet position?

Why does he want security clearance for his kids? Is he planning to let them do his job for him?

and what about the ridiculous conflicts of interest w/r/t his businesses ?

I wouldn't be surprised if the security clearances for the kids are because they are part of the transition team. (4 of the 12 members, I believe.) Which itself seems problematic -- especially if they are going to be running the totally not blind Trump trust.

IMHO Bolton and Giuliani both belong in a home for the mentally confused. Definitely not in the Cabinet. But I entertain the hope that what we are seeing is just Trump standard zigzag, with a final(?) result to be anybody's guess...except probably not much like anything we thought we heard earlier.

to be honest, the folks he seems to be considering mostly seem to be W-era retreads. distressing, to me anyway, but at least we know what they are.

what worries me most is my feeling that either they don't know what they're doing, or they aren't really that interested in governing and just want to get all this Washington DC bullshit over with so DJT can go back to trump tower and get back to being DJT.

I don't know if he has any realistic understanding of what the job is.

Trump thinks that being President is mostly about making speeches, waving at people, and barking at underlings to fix things. Our best hope at this point is two competing factions of underlings making life impossible for each other so nothing substantive gets done.

I'm still so upset about the election that I can't be on social media much. I made the mistake of trying to catch up on comments here last night, and had a semi-sleepless night.

I would love to hear those of you who didn't vote for Hillary explain how (or whether) you'll push back against things like: making a white nationalist misogynist anti-Semite chief policy advisor; security clearances for the children; undercutting NATO; conflicts-of-interest between the Presidency and Trump's businesses; increase in hate crimes nationwide.

Personally, I think Trump+nuclear weapons is so potentially catastrophic that I'd rather have President Pence.


I have written here before about my amazement at discovering several of the people I work with (every man jack of them a "working class" engineer earning $100K+ in a medical-device company here in MA) were supporters of He, Trump. Well, today I had reason to talk with a couple of them (on work-related stuff) for the first time since the election.

I greeted each of them with "Heil Trump!" and the Nazi salute. Not the stiff-arm Nuremberg-rally Nazi salute, but the perfunctory, flip-of-the-hand, around-the-party-HQ Nazi salute. I must say, a sheepish grin is the biggest rise I got out of either of them. They can afford to be nervously smug for the moment, of course.

Anyway, I know I'm not the kind of voter you specifically asked to hear from, but I promise to keep you posted if I get responses to your questions from any of those people.


Seems even old Reagan hands got revived. Heard claims that Ed Meese has joined the transition team.

Nigel :

Thanks for posting that.
I hadn't known that one.

I wouldn't be surprised if the security clearances for the kids are because they are part of the transition team.

i was thinking his kids are among the very few people that he really trusts, and that he wants them to help him do the actual job. he wants them as advisors.

Beyond bungling the day-to-day functions and enacting bad policy, what happens if there's a major event - terrorism, natural disaster, military conflict, etc.? How does a Trump administration respond competently to something like that?


I think that there is a fair chance that Trump will turn out to be in many ways a moderate Republican who is willing to support the Democratic initiatives that Republicans obstructed during the Obama years. If so this will have a moderating influence on teh Repubicans. For example, if the Deomcrats in Congress who have been inerested in infrastructure and job creation for yeares go to Trump with a plan, an dhe supports it, that would put the Repubicans in Congress very much on the spot. I think whey would also support he plan (and claim credit for ti). I doubt if Trump will go along with Ryan's ideas about Social Secirty and Medicare.

Sadly I don;t see Trump being anything like reasonable on environmental issues.

He's already made it clear that Putin will dictate his foregn policy.

I don;t know if he can be talked out of Repubican pro-Wall Street policies or not. I think that the right person explaing to him how anti-populsit those policies are might be able to make some headway.

I think he will fill appointments up with all kinds of creeps and cretins, most of them grotesquely unqualified just as Bush did but maybe worse.

So all in all a terribe PResident, who will be reasonable popular because the things he will do right will be higlhy visible and the thing she does wrong will not be so visibe.

That's my guess.

a major event - terrorism, natural disaster, military conflict

major event, hell. Think what the next mass shooting is going to be like. Here's what Obama did at Newtown, what will Trump do?

Person after person received an engulfing hug from our commander in chief. He’d say, “Tell me about your son. . . . Tell me about your daughter,” and then hold pictures of the lost beloved as their parents described favorite foods, television shows, and the sound of their laughter. For the younger siblings of those who had passed away—many of them two, three, or four years old, too young to understand it all—the president would grab them and toss them, laughing, up into the air, and then hand them a box of White House M&M’s, which were always kept close at hand. In each room, I saw his eyes water, but he did not break.

And then the entire scene would repeat—for hours. Over and over and over again, through well over a hundred relatives of the fallen, each one equally broken, wrecked by the loss. After each classroom, we would go back into those fluorescent hallways and walk through the names of the coming families, and then the president would dive back in, like a soldier returning to a tour of duty in a worthy but wearing war. We spent what felt like a lifetime in those classrooms, and every single person received the same tender treatment. The same hugs. The same looks, directly in their eyes. The same sincere offer of support and prayer.


For example, if the Deomcrats in Congress who have been inerested in infrastructure and job creation for yeares go to Trump with a plan, an dhe supports it, that would put the Repubicans in Congress very much on the spot.

the Dems in Congress are going to have exactly zero plans reach Trump's desk for the next two years, at least.

unless both Ryan and McConnell feel that letting Dems pass legislation is in their best interest, that is.

How does a Trump administration respond competently to something like that?

We'll find out.

If it doesn't turn out well, liberals will be blamed.


I wish I could agree with you, but I think you're being optimistic to the point of delusion.

In the first place, getting Trump to being "reasonably popular" involves overlooking stuff like more people voted for Hillary.

In the second place ... why are you talking about Trump's possible policies, and not about stuff like the white nationalist advising him or the uptick in hate crimes? Do you think they aren't "visible"?

You are normalizing Trump. This is not normal. Look at the "Stalinesque purge" of Christie's people going on today -- Christie having been demoted, in all probability, because Jared Kushner hates him.

This is not a normal US Presidency. This is shaping up to be an autocracy.

If you disagree, lay out your evidence.

dammit, I've edited the comment above twice, and changes aren't showing up.

Transition team adviser for national security Mike Rogers is out.

Rogers called it an "honor" to advise the Trump transition team and wrote that he was handing off his duties to Trump's family and transition staff

That's why the kids need security clearances. They're going to participate in national security policy and direction.

While, I suppose, running Trump Inc. Because there are no possible conflicts of interest there.

From the Doc's link, concerning Christie's ouster:

But he has long been in a precarious position with Trump, due in part, multiple sources say, to a longstanding grudge sparked when Christie prosecuted Kushner's father in 2004.

These people are the freaking Borgias.

Transition team adviser for national security Mike Rogers is out.

Yes, because he coordinated a report on Benghazi that did not indict HRC.

Borgia is being generous. Some of them had a clue of what they were doing.

This from the Guardian:
Some Republicans who previously ostracised Trump are returning to the fold but not always with success. Eliot Cohen, a senior state department official under George W Bush, launched a stinging attack on the transition effort. He tweeted:

“After exchange [with] Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They’re angry, arrogant, screaming ‘you LOST!’ Will be ugly.”

I think those hoping for pragmatism are wrong. Trump is an effing manchild.
Pragmatism requires some sort of self control.

And the "I could have won the popular vote if I'd wanted to..."

Doc, I hope it gets better for you.
This seems like good advice -

An early prediction.

Hoist by their own petard. Unfortunately we all get to go along for the ride.

I honestly don't know who, at a national level, has a plan for improving the lot of, for lack of a better word, rank and file Americans. I think making that happen would require changes that we just don't have the public vocabulary for. They aren't in our realm of discourse.

But I'm pretty sure Trump is gonna give them nothing. They may be worse off.


To expand on the theme of russell's link, I have to wonder about Ryan's plan to gut Medicare. Shouldn't that be political suicide, or are people really that out of touch with their own interests?

It seems like there should be some not completely zombified Republicans who would see it as such and who would work with Democrats to block it, but what do I know?

I have to wonder about Ryan's plan to gut Medicare. Shouldn't that be political suicide, or are people really that out of touch with their own interests?

If and when it happens, I think it will be political suicide. Because people are going to be seriously in touch with their interests when something actually happens to impact them.

But in Ryan's personal case, I think he is so caught up in his ideological view of how the world works that he can't see how anything could possibly go wrong with his voucher instead of Medicare system. No doubt, if he gets what he wants, he will be astonished at the reaction. Although he will probably find some way to blame it on the Democrats (or RINOs) rather than on his own shaky grasp of reality.

Ryan's plan to gut Medicare. Shouldn't that be political suicide

That's why it has to be done first thing, and to be branded as part of repealing the ACA.

That gives the Rs voters almost two years in which to forget, and gives the R pols two years to blame it on Obama. They hated to destroy Medicare, but Obama poisoned and broke it so it had to be destroyed.

And if recent history is any guide, it will work. Again.

Which make me wonder further, do these guys really think this is somehow going to lead to greater widespread prosperity, or do they just not give a shit?

i'd bet that Ryan is looking at Trump's win and thinking "We can probably get Trump to sell this crap for us!"

And guess what!

Let's recall what Kushner's father did:

And, of course, to add to the horror, the federal witnesses he had attempted to retaliate against were his sister and brother-in-law, who were cooperating with that same investigation. Kushner paid a prostitute $10,000 to lure his brother-in-law to a motel room at the Red Bull Inn in Bridgewater to have sex with him. A hidden camera recorded the activity, and Kushner sent the lurid tape to his sister, making sure the tape arrived on the day of a family party.

source: http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/features/9874/

Also, agreed that "Borgias" is overgenerous. More like a low-rent Godfather--Trump has Fredo's insight, Sonny's restraint, and Michael's moral compass. Except that he was propelled to power by overt white supremacists and premillenial dispensationalist Christians who want to get the Apocalypse ball rolling by starting an all-out war against every Muslim on the planet.

If we could limit the damage to having Trump's boundlessly avaricious family openly looting the public fisc--see, e.g., http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/16/13641538/trump-plane-secret-service--we should fall on our knees in thanks. And of course no matter how lucky we get, we may be doomed or at least vastly worse of with respect to climate change.

Thanks, Sig, for reminding us what a lovely man Kushner is.

Venal and administratively incompetent appear to be the rosy scenario.

Well, it does seem to leverage their core competencies. Always nice in a new job.

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