Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Political Mayhem Thursday: Trump's Press Conference

Yesterday Donald Trump held his first press conference as President-Elect. Here are some of the primary points he made:

-- He finally acknowledged that it was Russians who hacked the DNC.

-- He said that his friendship with Vladimir Putin will be an "asset" for the US.

-- Trump vigorously attacked news sources that had reported on a briefing he had about    "compromising information" that the Russians may have.

-- Rather than put his assets into a blind trust, Trump's sons will run his businesses while he is president. He will donate profits from foreign government payments to his oversees businesses will be donated to the US treasury.

-- Apparently, Trump does not like CNN. CNN reporter Jim Acosta attempted to ask a question, but Mr. Trump said “No, not you, your organization is terrible. Quiet. Quiet... Don’t be rude. Don’t be rude. Don’t. Be. Rude. I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news.”

-- He pledged to build the wall on the Mexican border, then cover the expense (later) with "payments" or (more likely) taxes on Mexico.

-- On Obamacare, he suggested that repeal and replacement should be simultaneous.

Any surprises here?

He actually was more focused than I expected.

He's in a strange spot re his business. I get it, a Blind Trust would be best, but what are his sons supposed to do? Should he liquidate his holdings? Again, yes, in a perfect world that would be best, but it would take time to do so.

We've entered weird, strange terrain with this guy. I don't like it one bit.

But if today is typical, it won't be nearly as bad as many of us fear.

I still think he's deeply in debt to the Russians. But what the heck, if they had leverage over him, it may be gone. He's shameless and nothing they can say about him will stick. I guess. The whole thing is confounding.
If he knew about the Russian hacking before the election and, if as suggested elsewhere, there was some collusion between his staff and the Russians, then someone, perhaps him, is, in fact, a traitor and should be prosecuted for treason. Fake news had a major impact on the election and only a small shift in voting in a few states made the difference for this minority vote president elect.

And if people did not like Washington insiders running the government, they now have Wall Street and Big Business insiders running it -- people with no experience at serving the interests of the hoi polloi, the 98 percent of the American people.
First, I agree with IPLG completely (of course); his insights are right on point. Second, your summary is excellent and an incredibly fair representation. Every one of those points strikes me as reasonable on its face. How practical are they? Will his policies work? Will his administration prove capable? We'll see. Like most assertions and suppositions--only time will tell. But, to re-associate myself with IPLG, so far, he is not nearly as bad as my worst nightmares.
Who would have thought the Rust Belt that voted for Trump are such fans of Goldman Sachs types!?! Perhaps the proven fact that Trump is a shameless liar and everything one throws at him will boomerang with a nasty insult or dismissal(not unlike the ones bratty kids throw when things don’t go their way) will prompt the all the press outlets that want a seat at the table to go back to solid journalism, one backed by verifiable facts… you know, the old fashioned kind, from the time before Facebook/Twitter/Instagram news style...and that may be a good thing. But like IPLG says, we've entered a weird terrain with Donald at the helm. Buckle up…it’ll get bumpy for those who cannot digest his golden brand.
LPlawguy and WF
I do not believe that we can afford to take a wait and see approach with this Republican President. I sense that you also have your doubts about his character.
I feel his character flaws are serious enough to be taken very seriously. He has lived a life of privilege and isolation from consequences. He is 70 years old and has developed patterns and beliefs that we too causally excuse with "when he becomes President".

He has only known a life as a dictator in business. This is his first time working for someone, the people of the United States. He seems to be still consumed with himself. He defines the truth as it suits him. He strikes out and discards (YOU ARE FIRED) those who disagree with him. To date, including his press conference, he has shown little indication of changing his temperament nor his disinterest in unwanted facts. I have seen no moment of self inspection that would give me hope of a change in his behavior.

I am personally scared to death knowing that he has clearly shown all the flaws that describe past demagogues. I think we have all seen his self interest, his insistence on not being challenged, his secrecy, his attacks on the press, his history of not being punished for his violent and crude behavior, his reliance on a tight obedient support group, his use of the law solely for his benefit, his lack of moral compass and on and on.

We don't know anything about his personal success nor his debts and to whom. We know only what he wants to tell us. His Republican associates will not challenge him with few exceptions... who he declares are dopes, like John McCain. Like we have seen with most tyrannical regimes a systematic campaign to discredit the press has already begun.

This President elect will have the power and prestige of the United States of America in his hands. In his tiny vindictive hands. I find this scary and we "only time will tell"" at our peril. In a world fraught with danger we cant risk a reflexive miscue. We don't want to regret not taking timely action. Nightmares can become reality. We must insist on knowing everything about Donald Trump's past and details of his plans. Donald Trump has told us not to listen nor trust his words. He will tell us of his assets, we have a duty to discover the extent of his liabilities. We must stay alert and vigilant.

It matters!

The bigger issue is the six confirmation hearings being held during the press conference was held. So many things going on at once that no one can focus on any one thing. Nefarious but largely successful.
It DOES matter. The question is what to do about it. If the "usual suspects" are the only protesters nothing will happen. My anti-Trump stance is well known. My complaining about his won't change things. Marco Rubio's tough questioning of Rex Tillerson might.

Just as the GOP Leadership eventually turned on Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon, it is likely to so with Trump.

I guess. That used to be the way it worked.

You are right that that was the way it worked. That was the Republican party that governed and the one I supported. Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon were outliers. Today Marco Rubio and John McCain are outliers. Few Republicans did not support their candidate knowing what you do. They have become skilled at politics. They will not likely investigate and give the Democrats a victory. If he turns against the Russians or an ally they would have the info to bring down the American President.
Here's where Trump is going to hit a wall a lot more imposing than the one he's planning for the Border:

The Budget

IPLawguy Aside from you, Michael Gerson is the most thoughtful conservatives around. I tend to agree with him as he sees government as beneficial when it is purposeful. Good government from local to federal needs our brightest minds and most compassionate souls.

Here is my most hopeful thought. Maybe, Donald Trump performs only as the Republican's direct voice to the masses, selling their ideas as they hope. We still won't have good government. We will have very expensive purposeless government. We could survive this as we proved in our recovery following George W Bush
You know my thinking. I think we should repeal and replace the Republican party.

The next few weeks are going to make or break Trump. He may try to campaign against uncooperative Republicans, but what with Gerrymandered districts, all they have to do is keep their own supporters inside the party happy.

Sadly, I think one of Trump's best ideas, infrastructure building, is doomed.

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