Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Deep State Speaketh

 *2/16 Update Below.

The first Deep State leg of the punishing journey that Senator Chuck Schumer called "six ways from Sunday" is now complete. The Intelligence Community has officially begun its vendetta against Donald J. Trump. 

Not that we should mourn the newly deposed General Mike Flynn, of course. The man was not just a loose cannon in a whole cabinet full of them, he was a human cluster bomb. A ground war with Iran on his watch was never a question of if, but of when. Flynn was practically salivating blood in his hateful haste to kill as many Muslims as possible. So good riddance to him.

 I have just a few thoughts on what could possibly be going on with the Consensuals of the Washington establishment.

1. They just really, viscerally hate Donald Trump's guts, as well as his unfiltered Queens-accented voice speaking uncomfortable truths about the Military Industrial Complex and American imperialism. Above all, they just hate that he is ruining their long-held plans for at least a warming of the cold war with Russia. They don't want all those troops in Norway and Estonia and Poland just going to waste. If there is a true peace with Putin, the American-based oil cartels might have to negotiate nicely with Russia over all that oil lurking in the Bering Sea. And they don't want to share.

2. The Establishment needs a Crisis in order to push through more bipartisan cuts to the social safety net. That crisis is Donald Trump himself. The Democrats, especially, are desperate for a platform to attract voters to their party. Since they are unwilling to suggest such nice things as universal health care, a guaranteed national income or living wage, a federal jobs program, progressive tax rates, a tax on high-speed trades, student loan forgiveness and free public college tuition, they'll go into default mode. They'll conduct multiple investigations into the Trump-Putin connection to redirect our attention into the more desirable realm of fear and trembling. We'll hear day after day that Trump is a traitor. We may never get to see proof in the way of his easily obtainable income tax returns. The Consensuals will never direct their friends in the Intelligence Community to hack into the IRS database, of course, because that would be as illegal as eavesdropping on Mike Flynn's phone calls with the Russkies.

3. The timing of Flynn's fall, on Valentine's Day, is heart-breakingly exquisite. It (perhaps inadvertently) makes us recall mob wars and massacres past. Still, it deflects public attention from the nearly simultaneous confirmation of Robber Baron Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary, and the fact that a Democratic administration never prosecuted his fraudclosure scheme when it had the opportunity. It had something to do with campaign contributions.

4. If the Establishment is so concerned about the possible infiltration of Russia into our precious democratic system, why then was Putin pal Rex Tillerson so readily confirmed as Secretary of State? Could it be that the Senate loves Exxon-Mobil more than it hates Trump?

5. If the Obama administration was so fully aware of Trump's dangerous treachery, at least since last summer, why then did it complacently sit on its hands? They are either cynical self-dealers, or just plain stupid and inept.

 I have no way of knowing whether Trump is actually a Russian stooge or a Trojan horse or a traitor. But what is obvious is that mainstream media outlets are acting as Deep State mouthpieces. Reading the New York Times story linking Trump and his minions to Russia, I could almost envision a CIA agent or two dictating the copy to reporters as they typed feverishly away.

As in all previous churnalism which has sought to drum up Russophobia (which they now seek to integrate into #Resistance, Inc. the propaganda and the weasel-wording are blatant. The "current and past" government sources are all anonymous.

The Times article, for example, takes a sarcastic off-the-cuff remark about Hillary's emails made by Trump last summer and then clumsily links it to concurrent conversations that some of his associates were having with some unnamed Russians:
American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.
The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.
But the intercepts alarmed American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr. Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. At one point last summer, Mr. Trump said at a campaign event that he hoped Russian intelligence services had stolen Hillary Clinton’s emails and would make them public.
The dismissal of Mike Flynn is all of a piece with the shocking "news" that a bunch of American plutocrats were doing business with a bunch of Russian plutocrats, as if this were a new state of affairs and not the decades-long result of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the US welcome mat being put out for the new Russian oligarchy to invest in everything from New York luxury real estate to oil pipelines to uranium mines in the American west.

 The Times piece smarmily concludes:
 The officials would not disclose many details, including what was discussed on the calls, the identity of the Russian intelligence officials who participated, and how many of Mr. Trump’s advisers were talking to the Russians. It is also unclear whether the conversations had anything to do with Mr. Trump himself.
The Washington establishment doing battle with Satan himself still wouldn't negate the fact that they are using the slimy McCarthyite (and Stalinesque) tactic of guilt by association.

We the people must not be sucked in to this elite war as unwitting co-propagandists. We should be asking them "where's the meat?" at the same time that we relentlessly question why they are so hell-bent on permanent war, unconstitutional surveillance on ordinary citizens as well as powerful generals, and what, exactly, their power struggle has got to do with the rest of us.

Their struggle is not our struggle. Their prize is not our prize. Not by a long shot.

Update, 2/16: The Democratic Party's veal pen organizations are already asking for money for #TheResistance based primarily on the Trump administration's alleged Russia connection. The goal is for impeachment; social and economic justice issues are taking a back seat. In other words, we are supposed to put all our cash and our hopes into Congressional investigations rather than taking matters into our own hands by getting out on the streets. After all, the Consensuals don't want us to get too much of a taste for direct action, lest we start demanding pie in the sky like single payer, universal health coverage. And the worst part is that the Democratic Party wants us to align ourselves with the unaccountable right-wing Deep State to achieve "progressive" goals.
Concomitant with the New York Times "scoop" referenced above, these appeals began flying in to my inbox.

MoveOn.Org --  "What did the president know, and when did he know it?"
That's what we all need to ask—and what Congress must investigate—in the wake of revelations that Trump knew for weeks about Michael Flynn's secret and likely illegal conversations with Russian officials.

People's Action (describes itself as a consortium of "grassroots" organizing groups headquartered in Chicago) --  "Until an investigation is completed, Trump's mandate is suspect.... We will not let a potentially illegitimate president cut Medicare, privatize Social Security, repeal the Affordable Care Act and deport millions of our neighbors without a fight.

(The wording of this is clumsy, if not itself a bit suspect. So, it would be O.K. with them for a "legitimate" president to cut the social safety net and deport millions of our neighbors, as Obama has already done?)

Color of Change --  "While Trump is lying about millions of voter fraud cases, the real threat to our democracy is  Putin's involvement in our election and Russia's illicit ties to Trump and his administration. But even more threatening is Congress' refusal to do anything about it. Black people have fought to make our democracy real and we won't stand for any threats, foreign or domestic, to our ability to participate in free and fair elections."

A further indication that Democratic Party leaders are scared that the rabble will go beyond its appointed duties and attack them as well as Republicans at town halls is Chuck Schumer's appeal for help from Bernie Sanders. It is now Sanders's duty to make all the activists sit down and shut up.

According to the Washington Post, the Wall Street-friendly senator was shaken when protesters had the gall to demonstrate outside his own private residence recently. What gives? This was supposed to be a resistance against Trump and nothing but Trump, and now the agitators are converging on blue states. Oh, the horror.
They basically explained to Bernie, it looks like you could be the person that could calm down and make sure their energy and all this enthusiasm is directed in all the right proper channels,” (West Virginia Senator Joe) Manchin said. “Bernie has a voice, and if [protesters] want to be active, then direct them to where the problem may be or where they anticipate a problem.”
While Sanders is staying mum on the request, he has not, thus far, formally requested that his supporters stay mum about anything.


annenigma said...

Hear! Hear!

annenigma said...

Instead of #Resistance protestors chanting "This is What Democracy Looks Like!" they will be soon be chanting "This is What a Soft Coup Looks Like!".

The Deep State appears to be determined to softly 'putsch' Trump out of office, for the good of the country of course, but they won't take the blame or credit.

From the Washington Post today: 'Spies Keep Intelligence From Donald Trump on Leak Concerns - Decision to withhold information underscores deep mistrust between intelligence community and president'

Sounds subversive to me. Trump grudgingly got rid of Flynn only because he was, admittedly, forced to and he's back on offense against the IC. It's obvious who's really in control - they are. The soft coup has begun. (Good riddance to crackpot Flynn!)

Enter stage Right. Puppet Pence is the new LBJ, playing loyal VP patiently waiting for boss man to take the hit - NOT that they'd do anything so obvious as pulling another JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton .... these days. No, thanks to their surveillance and storage of every tweet, text, email, and phone call by everyone, everywhere which they store forever, they have the ultimate weapons - secrets and knowledge. The President himself doesn't even know what they know. It's now the era of soft warfare - leaks, Ministry of Truth propaganda, and good old blackmail.

The #Resistance is being used and positioned for blame when the **it hits the fan. Consider that the corporate media normally wouldn't give such favorable and enduring coverage to a movement which effectively encourages and empowers protestors, even those calling for assassination. The real revolution, the Corporate Coup of our democracy, is not being televised as such, just as the numerous ongoing wars are not, and just as the Military-Industrial Complex is still Too Taboo for TV, nearly 60 years after Ike's sober warning to the nation.

How many times have we seen a group of people encouraged and empowered, only to get thrown under the bus after regime change (not counting Obama's abortion of his revolution). All those color revolutions that the Deep State engineered abroad to put their puppet in place are almost too numerous to mention.

When Trump is forced out, the #Resistance (aka Democrats), are going to feel the heat from the millions who believe their votes were nullified and a legitimate democratic election was stolen. Let's hope they're not packing heat when that blowback comes.

Democrats beware. Useful idiots for the Deep State can quickly become useless idiots to the rest of us. I say 'Good Riddance!'

Zee said...

I have never been one to subscribe to conspiracy theories, but I think that I now have to conclude that the Deep State—via the nation’s intelligence community and a complicit “mainstream media”—really are trying to topple the Trump administration. Thank you, Karen, for your penetrating analysis, and thanks also to articles like this one:

‘National Security Advisor Gen. Michael T. Flynn (ret.) — who resigned Monday — was the victim of a “hit job” launched by intelligence operatives, Obama government holdovers and former Obama national security officials, according to former intelligence officials who spoke with The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

The talk within the tight-knit community of retired intelligence officers was that Flynn’s sacking was a result of intelligence insiders at the CIA, NSA and National Security Council using a sophisticated “disinformation campaign” to create a crisis atmosphere. The former intel officers say the tactics hurled against Flynn over the last few months were the type of high profile hard-ball accusations previously reserved for top figures in enemy states, not for White House officials…’

‘“The knives are out,” said Frederick Rustman, who retired after 24 years from the CIA’s Clandestine Service and was a member of its elite Senior Intelligence Service.

The intelligence community’s sprawling bureaucracy is organizing to topple the Trump presidency, Rustman charged in an interview with TheDCNF.

“I would not be surprised if Trump did not finish four years because of the vendetta they have out for him,” he said, calling the move on Flynn just a “mini-vendetta…”’

And if the Deep State is successful in “toppll[ing] the Trump presidency[?]” what then?

We get Mike Pence or…Orrin Hatch (President Pro Tempore of the Senate) as our new president?

And will Trump supporters stand idly by while an obvious hatchet job is done on their idols? These petty little demonstrations in places like Portland and Berkeley, and at Republican representatives’ “townhalls” will seem like childrens’ tea parties compared to what Trump supporters—you know, those “Second Amendment people” might do in response to Trump’s fall.

The Deep State may think that their efforts are all very cute, but they are playing with real fire here. For the first time, I think I see a real pathway from chaos to an overt police state, as opposed to the current “managed democracy” under which we now exist.

But maybe that’s what the Deep State really wants, and finally sees a way to get it.

I have often pooh-poohed, in this forum, talk of open violence and civil war. But for the first time, I’m really scared.

Jay–Ottawa said...

I'm not so sure the old-boy school of spooks can bring Trump down by itself. The intelligence community is huge and divided, and so much of the contemporary IC is peopled by young nerds directed by bosses, public and private, outside the CIA.

As for the impeachment route, it's too early and too flimsy to fly right and in the end will amount to nothing more than another waste of time. Don’t forget, the Democratic Party will have to lead the charge for impeachment … yeah, right. I rest my case. OK, say you convict Trump of impeachment, then it's Pence. Ha, ha. Do away with him and Paul Ryan is in your face. Then the leader of the Senate, then Trump's cabinet starting with the Secretary of State, Mr Exxon-Mobile himself. Do we really want to go down the impeachment road?

Meanwhile, the show goes on in the big tent. There's a thrill that comes from horror movies or violent procedurals with surround-sound gutter talk. Since the Trump Circus came to town, we have witnessed an uninterrupted spectacle of fireworks by him, his buddies and their enemies. The media loves it. The greatest show on earth. Half the country loves it, or at very least will put up with it for a long time.

The conflict behind the scenes between old elites and new elites is getting serious. Yale historian, Timothy Snyder, warns us about the parallels between Europe (not only Germany) in the late Thirties and the US today.

Never mind, Americans love a good show. While we're astounded by The Donald's high wire act and laughing at all the other clowns, wild animals are being let out of cages.

Don't approach big cats and elephants with big appetites sing-songing, "Here, pussycat" or "We're gonna impeach you." As I've said, impeachment is waste of time as long as Congress serves as The Donald's menagerie. Elsewhere, don't count on bureaucracies of the executive, legislative and judicial branches to tame the beasts; I deeply doubt there are that many bureaucrats in key positions ready to commit career suicide. However, crowds bearing torches and pitchforks and making a hell of a lot of noise have been known to chase beasts back into their cages.

Here's the situation: it boils down to a race, a race between the next big terrorist event (real or faux), which will happen sooner or later, and the gathering of enormous, relentless crowds in the streets from coast to coast. As Professor Snyder warns us, time is short. The scruffy Stephen Bannon keeps advancing the authoritarian ball without fail every day; a terrorist success in the homeland would allow him to suspend the rules and proceed to the big clampdown. Forget about any pushback by crowds in the streets if a variation of the Reichstag Fire happens here before the crowds of resistance get their act together.

Jamie said...

"I have no way of knowing whether Trump is actually a Russian stooge or a Trojan horse or a traitor."

How could you know any of those things? They are just DNC talking points. It would be the same as knowing that 2+2=5.

Neil said...

Is redemption still a human possibility? Yes, I believe. Even so, I was surprised to read ‘Senator Jeff Sessions was possibly given a "Governmental Award of Excellence" in 2009 by a local Alabama chapter of the NAACP.’ Snopes has a story,

Did the NAACP Give Jeff Sessions an ‘Award of Excellence’?

Okay, how does the possibility of redemption fit into the approval process for Trump’s nominees?

annenigma said...

Wow! Discussing the Military-Industrial-Complex (MIC) is still taboo in the NYT, but the Deep State isn't! There is an article on the front page in which they admit that we seem to be 'coming close' to having a Deep State, or at least some serious people are considering that possibility.

Can you imagine the change that could happen in this country if they openly connected that dot to the MIC which bloodsucks our country and world? The Deep State is effectively the unchecked and unbalanced unelected 4th branch of government which represents, protects, and defends the interests of the Military-Industrial Complex, not the Constitution nor even national security. Obama should hang his head in shame for grooming and feeding that bloodthirsty Beast. The MIC of Eisenhower's time has grown in power and influence just as he warned, and is now the MISC, the Military-Industrial Surveillance Complex. It's the enemy of peace, freedom, and democracy everywhere despite claims to be the biggest defender.

The NYT presents an interesting rationale: "Officials, deprived of the usual levers for shaping policies that are supposed to be their purview, are left with little other than leaking". Little left? We wish! They will do whatever it takes. If leaks of real information don't work, there's always the fabrication of fake secrets that get 'leaked'. They also have disinformation campaigns and propaganda from the new, well-funded Ministry of Truth among other thousands of other tricks of the trade. The skies the limit. That propaganda department was established to ostensibly counter the 'Russian propaganda' hidden behind every rosebush while actually serving to protect the Deep State from questions and scrutiny. Anyway, every President has family they care deeply about. Family is fair game in war, as even Trump admitted. Six ways to Sunday!

It's great that we're finally we're getting close to acknowledging we 'might' have a Deep State. If only there was a Part 2 of a NYT series which reveals the power of the Deep State and how it represents the business interests of the MISC. It's the reason they're working feverishly to gin up a war with the Russians.

For God's sake, can we finally give peace a chance? Let it begin with you, NYT.

'As Leaks Multiply, Fears of a ‘Deep State’ in America'

Karen Garcia said...


Wow is right. I, too, wonder if this article escaped vetting by whatever CIA plants are working at the Times. In any case, I am happy to see more people coming to grips with the truth that there is a slo-mo (or really, fast-mo) Deep State coup playing out right before our very eyes.

The fact that the Democratic Party has now aligned itself with this undemocratic coup should be cause enough for its swift and well-deserved demise. Their Tent is very big indeed, seeing as how it is now openly welcoming spies and assassins and torturers. I think back to that awful party convention with all those fascistic chants of USA! USA! USA! We have a lot more to worry about than Donald Trump. Compared to some of the stuff our country has done in the past, the man is a pussy-cat. But bring out the pussy-hats and join #TheResistance. Ach du lieber!

Neil said...

If you missed this on the tv, here it is on YouTube,

Trump Full Press Conference (2/16/17) | ABC News

Pearl said...

From Common Dreams
Is Trump's billionaire cabinet actually a closet full of Fascists?


Jay–Ottawa said...

OK, Neil, you asked and we complied. We watched all 1 hour and 17 minutes of that fantastic press conference by President Trump. Incidentally, Mr Trump says he got more electoral votes in the election than anybody since Ronald Reagan. No? Well, as he said, "Those were the numbers given to me. Those were the numbers."

First of all, this news conference by our new president was different. It was different because instead of making a brief introductory statement and then opening the floor to questions from those biased reporters, whom he insulted for 1 hour and 17 minutes along with their employers, which they richly deserve, President Trump got his message out very directly and effectively to our beautiful people in this country: he made a speech lasting 24 minutes.

This was a long press conference, and I don't want to waste everybody's time, so here it is, an executive summary of Mr Trump's remarks:

"Tremendous…I…fantastic…terrific…productive…I…great, really great…disaster...the mess I inherited…many, many, many…lots…ME…extremely…very…biggest…strongly…incredible…fabulous…very important. ME…not you…ME."

Neil said...

Hi Jay, (part 1)

For the record, I disagree with many or most of Trump’s policy positions. But I found the press conference very informative. Regarding, "OK, Neil, you asked and we complied."

Actually, I did not ask anyone to do anything. I simply put a link to the press conference with "If you missed this on the tv, here it is on YouTube," confirmed as Trump’s budget director.

Sorry all you got from the press conference was ""Tremendous…I…fantastic…[...] ME…not you…ME." There was a lot more, including the announcement of his replacement nominee for secretary of labor, Alex Acosta, a son of Cuban immigrants.

Trump announced former congressman Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina was just confirmed as budget director.

Trump announced he wants to unify the party and unify the country, and announced amends with #NeverTrump critic Paul Singer, who now supports Trump.

Trump announced renegotiating "terrible" and "catastrophic" government contracts, including "airplane contracts out of control..." I believe Trump is referring to the Lockheed Martin F-35 project ($85-$122 million each), a single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighter, the successor to the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon ($19 million each/1998), a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft, called the "Viper" by the troops, and now produced by Lockheed Martin. News reports show,

SOF: "The F-16 has been tried and true for years, but it is to be replaced by the most expensive conventional weapons project for the DOD F-35 project from hell that has cost the United States over $350 Billion."

Daily "The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin have leapt to the defence of the expensive F-35 stealth jet after it was embarrassingly outperformed by a 40-year-old F-16 jet in a dogfight.

Neil said...

Hi Jay (part 2)

Trump announced the need to improve race relations, from The Hill,

(begin quote) "President Trump on Thursday asked a veteran African-American reporter whether she could help arrange a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus.

"Are you going to include the CBC, Mr. President, in conversations [on] your urban agenda, your inner-city agenda?" April Ryan asked during a White House press conference. "Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus?"

"Do you want to set up the meeting?" Trump responded to Ryan, who is the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks (AURN). "Are they friends of yours?"

"Set up the meeting. I would love to meet with the Black Caucus. Let’s go. I think it’s great."

Ryan tweeted at Trump after Thursday’s press conference, thanking him for his time but noting she is "a journalist not a convener!"

During the press conference, Trump said he had already attempted to set up a meeting with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), a CBC member, but he backed out.

"I was all set to have that meeting," he said. "We called him and called him. I spoke to him on the phone and he wanted it."

"[Cummings] was all excited and then he said, ‘Oh, I can’t move it,’ " Trump said. "'It might be bad for me politically. I can’t have that meeting.’"" (end quote)

Personally I can attest to this kind of attitude from various minority groups, which is counterproductive. Minority groups complain about exclusion, but then reject collaboration with outsiders who bring a fresh perspective.

I can also personally attest to the corrupt media that supports a corrupt system by failing to report problems with the system. My reports mostly concern the legal system and justice issues.

Neil said...

Hi Jay (part 3)

If I had Trump’s ear, I would suggest the following (from my notes of the press conference):

1. Trump was wrong to put the military and law enforcement (LE) in same category. Support for the military, fine. But LE has a much different mission than the military, and the militarization of law enforcement has been a disaster. See, this article by the American Bar Association,

How did America's police become a military force on the streets?

2. I would tell Trump to build cities, not walls. Immigrants are the engine of growth. Build cities to house millions of immigrants, starting with Syrian immigrants.

3. I would tell Trump regarding his comments on Iran, that today’s issues are blow back from "The 1953 Iranian coup d'état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup...was the overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favour of strengthening the monarchical rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the United Kingdom (under the name "Operation Boot") and the United States (under the name TPAJAX Project, or "Operation Ajax")"'%C3%A9tat

4. I would tell Trump regarding the war on drugs, to legalize drugs as proposed by William F. Buckley, Jr., see The War On Drugs Is Lost, National Review, a 2014 reprint of Buckley’s 1996 speech to the New York Bar Assn.

"In the summer of 1995 WFB was asked by the New York Bar Association to make a statement to the panel of lawyers considering the drug question. He made the following statement:

We are speaking of a plague that consumes an estimated $75 billion per year of public money, exacts an estimated $70 billion a year from consumers, is responsible for nearly 50 per cent of the million Americans who are today in jail, occupies an estimated 50 per cent of the trial time of our judiciary, and takes the time of 400,000 policemen — yet a plague for which no cure is at hand, nor in prospect..."

5. To drain the swamp, start by abolishing the US Department of Justice, and reforming the legal profession, which is currently operating as a criminal cartel. The DOJ is not mandated by the Constitution. Prior to the American Civil War, "The Office of the Attorney General was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789 (ch. 20, sec. 35, 1 Stat. 73, 92-93), as a one-person part-time position...."

The Office of the Attorney General is an executive branch of government, and should contract with private law firms to exercise jurisdiction, see for example this story by the American Bar Association, "Two law firms earned more than $1B to help US pursue banks"

6. I would tell Trump to advance solar energy, not oil and coal. First, eliminate Rural Electric Cooperatives that love to burn coal and charge high utility rates. Repeal the 1936 Rural Electrification Act, because America is electrified, and has been since the 1950’s.

7. Yes, repeal Obamacare. Instead, provide Medicare for All. The health of the American People is too important to hand off to corporations. Medicare For All is Necessary and Proper (Art I, sec. 8, cl. 18) for America's health and success; and U.S. International Commerce (Art I, sec.8, cl. 3) in competition with countries who provide workers universal health care. Article 25 of the UDHR says medical care is an international human right.

8. The current concern regarding 8 or 9 US Supreme Court justices, that 8 is not enough, but 9 is fine, is a false dichotomy. Based on a 100 fold increase in population since 1789, there should be hundreds of US Supreme Court justices.

Neil said...

Hi Jay (part 4)

In conclusion, Trump’s personality is not going to change much. In my opinion it is a waste of time, even fake news, to go after Trump’s hyperbole. Like it or not, Trump speaks in hyperbole.

"Mr Trump says he got more electoral votes in the election than anybody since Ronald Reagan."

So what? Trump was elected. Thankfully Trump beat HRC. There are many issues to discuss regarding how the United States is governed. Trump’s hyperbole is not a legitimate issue in my view.

Thanks Jay, wishing you all the best. Neil

Karen Garcia said...

I watched the press conference... it was about equal parts comedy and tragedy, but mainly farce. The Washington press corps did have it coming, I must say. But that reply to the African American reporter's question about urban problems? Wow. Did I really hear him say "your people"? Also he treated her like his personal secretary, asking her to set up a meeting with the Black Caucus. Double ouch.

Still, it was definitely more entertaining that the Obama pressers, in which Barack would call on maybe three or four "safe" major networks and then give meandering obfuscatory lectures by way of a response. "We tortured some folks" on the one hand, but on the other hand what patriots they are over at the CIA. Little to no howling from the mainstream press for that grotesquerie.

So far the media stars are milking this for all it's worth. They're going out of their way to provoke Trump and Trump is going out of his way to provoke them. They're like a bunch of spoiled rich kids having a food fight at a catered party. Someone left the cake out in the rain, they don't think that they can take it cause it took so long to make their careers what they are.

Entertaining press con. But not by any means the Trumpian "meltdown" everybody is calling it. This guy is definitely enjoying his own form of torture infliction.

Elizabeth -- Marysville said...

Lol, Karen! The "recipe" changed.

Anonymous said...

As Karen said "We have a lot more to worry about than Donald Trump".

P L E A S E! Let's not get sidetracked by the side show. That's exactly what we're supposed to keep doing. It's NOT NEWS that Donald Trump boasts about himself and hates the MSM. He's been like that on the campaign trail for the past two years. I watched his press conference live and he was his usual self. He commanded it confidently and brashly.

I viewed it live without the later MSM critique to bias me, and I thought he did fine. I even got a few chuckles. Afterwards I had a similar experience to after watching Bernie best Hillary in a debate only to discover the MSM later unanimously deciding she won. (The online community also begged to differ). Ok, full disclosure: I fully and completely DESPISE and DISTRUST the MSM. Considering the press and Congress both have far lower approval ratings than Donald Trump, many share my sentiments. Trump knows that. He's crazy like a fox.

I could give a lot of examples of the MSM over the years deliberately and consistently hiding the truth (aka LYING), either by commission or omission, about all the disastrous consequences at home and abroad of being a global EMPIRE - another big taboo for discussion among the MSM. It's been a disaster for our country and the world long before Trump came along politically.

As far as I'm concerned, the corporate media is indeed our enemy, especially when they beat the war drums. Given that few in power or with a national microphone dare speak the truth, we should encourage it whenever, wherever, and whomever it comes from, whether it be RT news or Donald Trump. We'd surely never hear a peep of truth slip from the lips of Mr. Honesty and Integrity *cough*, Mike Pence.

Don't shoot the messenger!

annenigma said...

'Unhinged', 'explosive', and 'incoherent' are just a few adjectives used to describe Trump's first press conference of his Presidency. What did Trump say that the MSM found to be so unhinged, explosive, and incoherent?

As I recall, he said "We need to get along with Russia even if it's not politically popular".

No wonder they're all going ballistic. Sounds suspiciously like he's advocating for peace. Sick, deranged, dangerous traitor!

annenigma said...

Wisdom Speaketh:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

I believe we should feed Donald Trump's good wolf by supporting and encouraging him when he says or does something good, however rare that might be.

annenigma said...

The Anonymous comment above was me, if you couldn't guess.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Hi Neil,

So much on the board since I last punched out. Of course you never directed me or anyone else to view Trump's press conference as homework. You just laid that tempting little package at our feet knowing some of us would not be able to resist opening it up. I did not mean to imply the viewing you suggested was a waste of time.

I should have known that you, as a scholar with a good head for detail and on a mission, were suggesting that we try checking out the primary source for ourselves without the color commentary. You had listened to the press conference with the seriousness it deserves. (Interesting, though, to hear how you approve of some of Trump's agenda.)

Meanwhile, I just mocked the whole show by focusing on the subtext, which should not be dismissed lightly either. You've been around Sardonicky long enough to know my way of coping is often––OK, perhaps too often––to fool around and get snarky. I've found that particular mode of coping is about as effective as a sober tone of facts, authorities and reason lined up to force change.

We find ourselves in a time to laugh and a time to cry all in the same hour. Mockery works, and if enough of us do it with words, or with our feet by marching in the streets, or with our fingers in rude gestures, Trump and his entourage will have a harder time implementing ALL of their program––the good, the bad and the disastrous.

As I said yesterday, Trump is an able distractor. The real work of his administration is in the hands of Steve Bannon working behind the scenes and beyond reach. Bannon is another Cheney. Yes, it would be just dandy to deep six the drug war, or to substitute single payer for Obamacare, and so forth. The Trump Administration really does want to rid us of some of these boondoggles. But it won't work out that nicely in real time, because Trump et alia also want us to swallow things like backing Netanyahu to the hilt, giving the plutocrats more, unleashing shock and awe on Iran with Operation Mossadegh II, and abolishing the First Amendment.

Rail against the Trump Storm like Lear, or play one of the Bard's fools. Anything but a selective Vichy collaboration. If you encourage Trump with plan A, which you think is good, know that he will be stronger to implement Plan B, which may destroy us all. We have to shut down the entire machine. Every type of opposition will needed to do that over the next four years.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Correction to the last line: Total opposition must be sustained over the next four years.

annenigma said...


Easy for you to say. When civil war breaks out here, you'll be in Canada munching on donuts and drinking beer while watching the Maple Leafs on the tube, eh?

Jay–Ottawa said...

Hi Anne,

Not sure exactly what you're referring to by "Easy for you to say." I didn't mean to diss anyone inside the US, to include Sardonicky. At the same time, I haven't renounced my citizenship; I'm very much affected by what's happening in "the homeland." Americans abroad hang on to their interests, emotional and material, in the US. They should be allowed to speak their minds without being thought of as half citizens. The forms of opposition I'm calling for are nonviolent; I'm not asking anyone over there to risk their necks while mine is supposedly safe over here. As I said last week in a comment to Jamie, it would be helpful if people on the left stopped attacking each other so as better to form a credible opposition to authoritarian elites now running the country.


annenigma said...


My comment was intended to be a lighthearted joke based on humorous Canadian stereotypes - donuts, beer, hockey, eh? Don't be such a hoser, Jay! What happened to your humorous side? We used to have fun here. But since you took it seriously, let's go there.

I know you're an American citizen. We've both been here at Sardonicky years and have employed humor on numerous occasions, but my attempt fell flat. All I meant is that you don't physically live here so won't be subjected to the ugliness on the street when things come to that. It wasn't an attack. I didn't say or imply you're a half citizen and certainly not for speaking your mind. We've been doing that for years here.

In case you missed it, there was an article in the NYT titled 'Are Liberals Helping Trump?' in which one man felt that the message he was getting from liberals was "Agree with us 100 percent or you are morally bankrupt. You’re an idiot if you support any part of Trump." That sounds a lot like being called a 'selective Vichy collaborator', doesn't it? You have a much more incisive way of putting it though, Jay. Ouch!

You know why I'm so wary about the anti-Trump movement? Because despite being called the #Resistance, it looks, sounds, and acts more like an #Insurrection to me: 'an act or instance of rising in revolt, rebellion, or resistance against civil authority or an established government'. It's not just a demand to get rid of Trump 'by any means necessary', it's to get rid of his entire administration - the Executive branch of the government. The tone is negative and the hate is coming through loud and clear. It feels dangerous.

I'd rather be FOR something, like demanding Medicare for All. What a PERFECT time to demand it. What a huge, missed opportunity right this moment! People are mobilized for action, but the action is to overthrow the Trump regime. The reason the uprising is so acceptable in the MSM is because it keeps us from organizing, focusing, and achieving a specific goal.

You inspired me with your New Years Resolution, Jay - be and stay positive.

Neil said...

Re Karen,

"But that reply to the African American reporter's question about urban problems? Wow. Did I really hear him say "your people"? Also he treated her like his personal secretary, asking her to set up a meeting with the Black Caucus. Double ouch."

The African American reporter's name is April Ryan, the White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks (AURN). I do not recall if Trump said "your people" and if so, in what context. I will listen to the news conference again. "Your people" could refer to Ryan’s business colleagues at the AURN. That is a typical usage of the phrase. "Your people" could also refer to constituents. Either way, this appears as semantics against a serious problem.

Like it or not, Trump is the President of the United States. I believe Trump has a personal secretary. Trump gave April Ryan an opportunity, in essence a presidential initiative to bring the Black Caucus to the table. She was ungracious, even belligerent.

"Ryan tweeted at Trump after Thursday’s press conference, thanking him for his time but noting she is "a journalist not a convener!"" So it’s not her job?

I believe Trump legitimately wants to address the inner-city agenda.

Neil said...


I am not a scholar. It took me to age 40 to get an undergraduate degree. I cite sources because it is good practice. Otherwise it’s just a bull session.

I found the press conference very informative, period. Don’t put a bunch of nonsense into a simple statement. I believe the first press conference of any new president is worth hearing. BTW, I was doing other things while listening. If I missed a part because I was in another room washing dishes, or outside cutting up a fallen tree, or taking a nap, I could play it back on YouYube.

I approve of Trump’s cost-reduction efforts on bloated military contracts. I understand Trump’s threat to use Boeing instead of LM saved $650 million on an order of 90 F-35’s just before he took office. That information comes from a family member who recently retired from the LM facility in Fort Worth that assembles the F-16 and F-35.

Do you approve of Trump’s cost-reduction efforts on bloated military contracts? If not, why not?

I slapped down Trump’s pimping for Netanyahu and more Israeli settlements on twitter 29 Dec 2016 Justice_Network@realDonaldTrump Israel killed 34 Americans in attack on USS Liberty June 8, 1967 Trump never served in US military.

However I do support Israeli settlements in Alaska, see The Slattery Report

"The Slattery Report, officially titled The Problem of Alaskan Development, was produced by the United States Department of the Interior under Secretary Harold L. Ickes in 1939–40. It was named after Undersecretary of the Interior Harry A. Slattery. The report, which dealt with Alaskan development through immigration, included a proposal to move European refugees, especially Jews from Nazi Germany and Austria, to four locations in Alaska, including Baranof Island and the Mat-Su Valley. Skagway, Petersburg and Seward were the only towns to endorse the proposal."

The UN is a failure, and so is the partition agreement. 70 years of the USA playing sugar daddy to Netanyahu et al. is enough. It also destabilizes the Middle East.

"The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was a proposal by the United Nations, which recommended a partition of Mandatory Palestine at the end of the British Mandate. On 29 November 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted the Plan as Resolution 181(II).[2]"

Re: "Rail against the Trump Storm like Lear, or play one of the Bard's fools."
Jay, King Lear is theatrical fiction. Trump is reality. Trump is a pragmatist.

See The Spirit of Compromise with co-author Dr. Amy Gutmann on YouTube

and "The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It" by Amy Gutmann & Dennis Thompson, Princeton University Press

Karen Garcia said...


Sorry, but Trump's response to the reporter came off as sexist. I experienced this same kind of crap from powerful men - and women - when I worked as a reporter. "Write this quote down, verbatim," was a frequent demand, as though I were a stenographer and not a journalist. Also not cool to ask reporters for favors or ask them to perform tasks outside their job description. They don't set up meetings between politicians, that would be a conflict of interest. I know exactly where April Ryan is coming from, and as you may have noticed, I am not exactly impressed with the Washington press corps as a group. They're more interested in accessing the powerful than accosting them. That they're going after Trump as a virtual pack smacks of hypocrisy, in my view. See my most recent post.

We have no way of knowing how sincere Trump is about helping residents of inner cities. It's early days yet. We'll find out soon enough what he has in mind.

Karen Garcia said...

Sorry, Neil, for misspelling your name just now.

Jay–Ottawa said...

@ Annenigma

Thanks for responding, and sorry I took the ribbing like a blockhead.

Yeah, I did make a New Year's resolution about always looking for the silver lining through the Trump era. That time I was the one who was kidding. Didn't mean to abandon you on that front without notice that I was pulling out.

Trump may do some good things soon, like putting thousands to work on our infrastructure. Hold the applause. After learning more about Bannon and the team running the show, I believe I understand their long game, which is scary yet proceeding forward nicely.

There's a lot of bad stuff that will woosh by with scant notice while the hardhats are back at work. I don't want to give Trump a pat on the back for any good deed when it's merely a cover for the bad stuff. Trump and Bannon don't have a series of independent programs, good and bad; they are a package where you can't tease apart the sugar from the poison.

Do you really suppose Trump, no matter how much noise we make, would ever replace Obamacare with Medicare for All? Tax Wall Street fittingly? Make nice with Iran and China? Cut back on nukes? Stop carbon mining to go green? That's the big stuff that can, if it goes the wrong way, turn the lights off for this and future generations.

There are ways of resisting the Trump administration without aligning oneself with the crazies, the provocateurs or the "liberals" you mentioned. Opposition is legal. If the feds and the states make it illegal, opposition in the face of Trumpism will continue to be a civic and moral duty.

On a positive note, Karen has a new post up. Let's go see what's cooking.

Neil said...

Thanks Karen.

Re Apil Ryan and the CBC

Trump admitted failure, he does not do that very often. Trump was not able to arrange a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. Regarding any conflict, Ryan could have asked Trump if she could have a colleague at the AURN arrange the meeting due to her conflict. As you noted, Trump has a Brooklyn accent. His approach (when not campaigning) is that of a wheeling-dealing Brooklyn business guy. Isn’t that how he appeared on his tv show, The Apprentice? (didn’t watch much). The alternative was a certain mealy-mouthed lawyer [Barack Obama] giving "meandering obfuscatory lectures by way of a response", who did not accomplish for the ordinary Americans who elected him what he promised during his campaign of Hope.

Regarding your experience as a reporter, I take you at your word.

For myself, as a person infrequently interviewed, I might demand a reporter "write this quote down, verbatim," and then want approval. I have found what is published is not what I said. (It is worse in court; you better have a court reporter, and get a transcript).

For Trump to admit failure during his first presser, his vulnerability suggests his sincerity on this issue, in my view.

Neil said...

"Do you really suppose Trump, no matter how much noise we make, would ever replace Obamacare with Medicare for All?"

Yes! Trump is a pragmatic business person. Trump will replace Obamacare with Medicare for All if he understands and believes the following.

1. Medicare for All is better for business, and business is the business of America. Medicare for All means business no longer has to pay, directly or indirectly, high rents to a protected healthcare industry. Employees can focus on work and family, and not worry about paying for healthcare, preexisting conditions, or loosing coverage, etc. Workers will be healthier and happier. Happy workers are more productive workers.

2. Obamacare is an expensive contraption benefiting a special interest: The protected healthcare industry.

3. As I wrote earlier, "The health of the American People is too important to hand off to corporations. Medicare For All is Necessary and Proper (Art I, sec. 8, cl. 18) for America's health and success; and U.S. International Commerce (Art I, sec.8, cl. 3) in competition with countries who provide workers universal health care. Article 25 of the UDHR says medical care is an international human right."

4. Medicare for All saves the current Old Age Medicare by expanding the risk pool of insured persons to include younger, healthy people. This is the basis of all insurance: A large risk pool to spread any claims. Old Age Medicare is doomed to criticism and failure because the risk pool of insured persons are all old people, and old people have higher medical costs.

See How and Why Medicare for All Is a Realistic Goal,

Jay–Ottawa said...

"Yes! Trump is a pragmatic business person. Trump will replace Obamacare with Medicare for All if he understands and believes the following."

Neil, we have to stop meeting like this on posts gone by, but I find it helpful in thinking through what's past and what lies ahead. So, thanks for being there.

I, like the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) who've been invoked many times here at Sardonicky, have to agree with all four points of your last comment. Forget about so-called duties to our neighbor made by scribblers and moralists, Medicare for All is just plain good business sense. Point taken.

What I am dubious about is Trump's business expertise, given his bankruptcies, hiring practices and bottomless inherited resources. Maybe when he coughs up his IRS filings we'll have a better idea of how sharp he is, how rich he really is, and how corporate welfare keeps bailing him out.

That "if" in your next sentence should probably be capitalized, italicized and bolded. His legacy pivots on that "IF."

Society benefits when employers pay minimum wage (or more) to native workers and those who have green cards. Society benefits when contractors pay subcontractors on time. Did Trump see the wisdom of doing that in his building projects, or does pragmatic mean you can do whatever you can get away with?

The PNHP has been around for decades with its heavily documented pitch for single payer. Has Trump been too busy to consider their arguments, but now that he's in the Oval Office he'll give them a good look and be converted? Once again I ask, do you really believe Trump will ever come around to the point where "he understands and believes" the four points you enumerated? Wanna bet?

Neil said...

Re Jay, Medicare for All is good business sense

The Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) says Medicare for All would save billions, and has been linked on my website for years. I neglected to include it in my points.

Medicare for All is good business sense. I have not forgotten about the moral duties to our neighbors. But when I hear April Ryan, the White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks (AURN), say that it is not Ryan’s job to coordinate a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, where is her moral duty to our inner-city neighbors? It may not be Ryan’s "job" to coordinate a meeting with the CBC, but it is her responsibility to coordinate a meeting as a moral duty to our inner-city neighbors.

Jay, you want guarantees from the political process that do not exist. The left wants a candidate they can love. But love blinds the left from the fatal flaws of its stars, see the presidency of Barack Obama, and the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. Trump’s presidency is the result of corrupt political parties. What is being done now to rid ourselves of corrupt political parties? Answer: Virtually nothing.

You hate Trump, fine. But Trump's business expertise...his bankruptcies, hiring practices and bottomless inherited resources...his IRS sharp he is, how rich he really is, and how corporate welfare keeps bailing him out, none of that matters in the argument that Medicare for All is good business sense, or that he might agree it makes good business sense.

Pragmatic is an adjective that means "dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations."

Society benefits when all persons are treated fairly, not just native workers and those who have green cards. Yes, society benefits when contractors pay subcontractors on time. But Trump’s wisdom, or lack of wisdom, of doing that in his building projects, does not matter in the argument that Medicare for All is good business sense. In other words, one bad business person does not negate the argument that Medicare for All is good business sense, or that Trump might agree it makes good business sense. .

"The PNHP has been around for decades with its heavily documented pitch for single payer." If so, their message has not been effective. The health care lobby is likely a significant barrier to PNHP’s message, along with corrupt political parties.

In concussion, Trump will come and go. What is the left’s long-term plan to make Medicare for All a reality? Trump was elected by the so-called deplorables. What argument does the left have to convince them that Medicare for All is good for them? I believe the argument that Medicare for All makes good business sense will carry the day, in addition to all the other arguments.

Re "Has Trump been too busy to consider their arguments, but now that he's in the Oval Office he'll give them a good look and be converted? Once again I ask, do you really believe Trump will ever come around to the point where "he understands and believes" the four points you enumerated? Wanna bet?"

I have no evidence that Trump has even heard of the PNHP, or the points I made, other than Obamacare is an expensive contraption. Do you have any such evidence? Has anyone on the left made an effort to present the PNHP’s argument to Trump? Has anyone on the left made an effort to present the points I cited, to Trump?

Trump’s presidency will likely be his defining lifetime achievement, his legacy. I believe Trump will consider his legacy relative to healthcare legislation and the American People.