July 29th, 2017

The White House reality show

It occurs to me that Trump has brought “The Apprentice” to the White House. I’m a bit handicapped in making the analogy because I never watched the show, but I’ve seen small clips from it, and the description fits, too:

…The show depicts contestants from around the country with various professional backgrounds in an elimination-style competition to become an apprentice to a businessman…

The show depicted a group of 15–18 businessmen and -women competing in an elimination competition for a one-year, US$250,000 job to run one of real estate magnate Donald Trump’s companies…

…The show led Trump to become known for his fateful catch phrase “You’re Fired!”.

Trump’s executive style seems to be to pit a bunch of competitive people against each other, watch the fur fly, eliminate the ones he considers didn’t measure up, and see which ones remain standing. I’m sure there’s always been a lot of competition and jockeying for position in previous White Houses as well; after all, people don’t reach those sort of positions without being competitive and having skills to negotiate power struggles. But this tendency seems excessive in the Trump White House, and some of the personalities seem particularly aggressive (Scaramucci, do you hear me?)

Who’s going to be the last man standing? The hope is that new chief of staff John Kelly will bring order into chaos. [*see below] After all, he’s a military guy who was in the Marines for 45 years:

“He knows how to do this: with common sense and good leadership,” said Kelly’s longtime friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer frank opinions. “He won’t suffer idiots and fools.”

Good luck with that, chief of staff Kelly.

When I read this earlier today from Susan Wright at RedState, it resonated with me (at least partially):

I believe, and the events bear it out, that Trump is using his staff for personal amusement, playing them against each other, giving them the opportunity to prove who is “most loyal” and he’s surrounding himself with the kind of cutthroats and lackeys who will do just that.

I said “partially”; the part I don’t agree with is that Trump’s motive is “personal amusement.” This is indeed a game of sorts (although not quite of Thrones—I hope), but it’s not being played merely for yuks. This is Trump’s idea of how to test people’s mettle.

[NOTE: *I wrote the title and the first five paragraphs of this post before I read the WaPo article I linked to in the sixth paragraph. When I read it I was surprised to see a similar analogy to the one I’d made:

As Kelly moves to the West Wing, he’ll likely move quickly to confront the “reality television show that runs on a raucous mix of drama, machismo and suspicion,” as The Post’s White House team characterized it Thursday.

Hmm.]

52 Responses to “The White House reality show”

  1. Mike K Says:

    Meanwhile, the Democrats have lost all interest in having various figures, including the head of Fusion GPS testify in public.

    Word is Mr. Simpson has made clear he will appear for a voluntary committee interview only if he is not specifically asked who hired him to dig dirt on Mr. Trump. Democrats are going to the mat for him over that demand. Those on the Judiciary Committee pointedly did not sign letters in which Mr. Grassley demanded that Fusion reveal who hired it.

    Here’s a thought: What if it was the Democratic National Committee or Hillary Clinton’s campaign? What if that money flowed from a political entity on the left, to a private law firm, to Fusion, to a British spook, and then to Russian sources?

    Maybe the White House is providing a diversion while real work gets done ?

  2. Big Maq Says:

    Kelly can only succeed if trump lets him.

    He’s doomed.

  3. Mr. Frank Says:

    Press reports suggest that Scaramucci’s marriage was collateral damage of the chaos in the White House.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Not to discount the possibility that “Trump has brought “The Apprentice” to the White House” but the chaos is I believe primarily the result of competing factions within the WH.

    The two primary ideological factions being the GOPe establishment faction and the conservative revolutionary faction. In a secondary role, add to the mix, Trump’s personal faction of Ivanka, Millania, Kushner and Trump Jr. Then to fully muddy the waters, throw in Scaramucci and his ‘faction of one’.

    The idea that Kelly is going to be able to bring discipline to those factions, as well as get the GOPe cooperating with Trump (Mark Steyn) is, IMO… a pipe dream.

    Tillerson, Mattis and McMaster are definitely establishment types. “Secretary of State Shills for Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar”

    While both Mattis and McMaster not only disagree that Islam itself is the source of Islamic terrorism… but have each repeatedly recommended several rabidly ‘progressive’ former Obama administration officials for important posts in the Trump administration.

    Two days ago, McMaster fired Middle East NSC adviser Derek Harvey. Harvey takes a hard line on Islam, as does Gorka and Bannon.

    Reportedly, Trump and Tillerson had a blowup over Tillerson’s insistence that Trump continue to ratify to Congress Iran’s compliance with the “Iran deal”. A laughable proposition.

    It’s a mess, even without the democrat and MSM attacks.

  5. Big Maq Says:

    “the chaos is I believe primarily the result of competing factions within the WH.” – GB

    That is the symptom. The core problem is the leadership.

    As I understand it, every admin has factions that compete for one reason or another.

    It is the leader’s job to bring them together and operate as a cohesive unit.

    As Neo’s article highlights, trump seems to be comfortable with operating it this way, though, from the outside, it looks like he isn’t making the link between poor results and this m.o.

    It is rather like something huxley mentioned a short while back, that trump seems to have only so many moves in his playbook.

    Add to that a bit of hubris and narcissism, and voila – dans le pétrin!

  6. David Foster Says:

    Competition between people running separate businesses is a whole different proposition from people running departments that need to interact closely with one another.

  7. Matt_SE Says:

    Trump is not Hitler, but I note that this was exactly the same style of management Hitler had. They called it “working towards the Fuhrer.” Google it sometime.

    It seems to me that it’s the perfect style for a megalomaniac narcissist. Getting all sorts of people to compete for your attention. OTOH, it does seem to produce results.

  8. Big Maq Says:

    @Matt SE – interesting point.

    Here is one link. This quote seems one step after the demand for loyalty …

    “For us the Idea is the Führer, and each party member has only to obey the Führer” – hitler
    https://www.facinghistory.org/holocaust-and-human-behavior/chapter-5/working-toward-fuhrer

  9. Sonny Wayze Says:

    Erm…

    ” This is indeed a game of sorts (although not quite of >>Thorns<<—I hope)

    Dr. Freud, wanted stat.

  10. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The outer problem is that the people surrounding Trump profoundly disagree as to both how to “Make America Great Again” and even of what a greatly renewed America would look like.

    That conundrum exists because Trump himself has a goal but not a vision. And so the people around Trump reflect that reality.

    Reagan’s “City on a Hill” was a Vision of an America living in harmony with the Founder’s Vision.

    The Founder’s Vision is encapsulated within the Constitution. It’s premise is the Declaration of Independence.

    It’s not too late for Trump to adopt the Founder’s Vision but time’s a wastin.

    “Now I’ve got schemes
    And you’ve got schemes
    Let’s get together and dream some dreams
    Let’s go
    Times a wastin’ “

  11. CW Says:

    Good post!

    I guess there really is some reality in those “reality shows.”

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    Sonny Wayze:

    🙂

    Thanks, fixed it!

  13. Ann Says:

    Interesting article from this past March in The Atlantic comparing Trump’s White House with Bill Clinton’s White House in its early days. Clinton brought on Panetta to fix the mess; maybe Trump read it and figured Kelly would do the trick for him.

    Couple of excerpts:

    In the summer of 1994, [the first chief of staff] stepped down and was replaced by Panetta, who was then head of the Office of Management and Budget. Panetta told Clinton he was happy where he was. The president replied, “You know, you could be the greatest OMB director in the history of the country, but if the White House is falling apart, nobody’s going to remember you.”

    So Panetta took the job and set to work. “I remember asking my predecessor, Mack McLarty, I said, ‘Could you give me a chain of command? What’s the staff structure in the White House?’ And he paused and he said, ‘You know, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one of those,’” Panetta said with a laugh. “I immediately knew I was in deep shit.” …

    Panetta instituted a pair of staff meetings every day, one for all staff and another for a smaller group. He wanted to make sure he knew what everyone in the White House was doing, so that he could then work with the president—and make sure that there weren’t many different people speaking with Clinton, offering contradictory information. He set up a schedule stretching six months, setting priorities for each day and week.

    Trump, however, has maintained an “open-office” policy, meaning that a huge number of aides can speak with him, from top advisers on down to Trump’s private security director, and to Omarosa Manigault, the former Apprentice contestant who now runs communications for the Office of Public Engagement.

    Hey, the Apprentice!

  14. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Americans love reality shows, and it would sell.

    But only if Trum says “you’re fired” every few episodes.

  15. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Trum’s 3d chess “Art of the Deal” master class self, seems to now be the “Art of the Survivalist”, where it is a deathmatch and free for all. Which is fine, but only for people who want to wait until their leader becomes a Lucifer possessed megalomaniac. Mortals are weak, once they are in DC for too long, the spirits will mess them up.

  16. OldTexan Says:

    We, and I mean most all who I have been reading comments from on Neo’s blog have been expecting things to settle down, become normal, business as usual as soon as the pieces are all in place. However with Trump, who I still appreciate for the things he has done, there is no normal, business as usual, it is just one big old shake it up and throw it at the wall and see what sticks. And I really think this is as good as it gets.

    This week I have decided that I will wait until he has been in office for a whole year before I try to take any measure of his performance and at the two year mark I might know if he has made a real difference in turning this country around. No one was going to look good with all the crap that has gone on for the past eight years and carp will continue to fall out of the sky for years to come. Maybe Trump is the garbage man we need to shovel this stuff along, I don’t know but I have given up on most all of Washington making sense.

    Having said all of that there is no other place in the world I would rather live or have my children and grandchildren living because this nation has been very good to us. We did well with Bush, we did well with Obama and we are doing very well right now. So what the heck, pour a glass of wine, sit back and watch the show.

    And by the way I never watched Trump on TV because he has annoyed me for the past 25 years.

  17. The Other Chuck Says:

    Trump is proving that he’s a few bricks shy of a load. His extremely erratic behavior coupled with megalomania and a psychotic inability to suffer the slightest criticism is not what we need in a president. After 6 months months of floundering, firing his advisers, ranting, and generally making a complete ass of himself, he’s proven that he is incapable of growing into the job.

    But hey, we got Gorsuch out of it, so what if this nincompoop has the nuclear codes. It’s all good. And he’s not Hillary, right?

  18. Philip Says:

    OldTexan, carp falling out of the sky, you say? At Christmas, some will be happy if that occurs. 🙂

  19. steve walsh Says:

    The culture of the current White House team that Trump created is a feature not a bug. He brings a capitalist’s mentality to this political environment. He expects that hyper competition among and between his team will produce better and best results. This is no different that the corporation that sets up competing product development teams.

    I believe Trump does this because he has no foundational philosophy or ideology to which his staff can use as a goal or objective. He’s making it up as he goes (MAGA is too lacking in detail to be a defining objective) and so establishes competitiveness among his team to get the best ideas.

    The reason previous POTUS’s didn’t do this is that they had many years experience in governing and a well informed, detailed plan for what they wanted to accomplish. Trump hasn’t ever governed in a political environment. In many ways he is the dog that caught the bus.

  20. OldTexan Says:

    Phillip,
    Carp out of the sky, what a difference the a and r make when they change places. Thank you and it will be a good Christmas when carp pay de um or something. Should have been crap but it came out carp.

  21. The Other Chuck Says:

    Army General Alexander Haig was Nixon’s chief of staff. Remember how that turned out?

  22. Big Maq Says:

    “He brings a capitalist’s mentality to this political environment. He expects that hyper competition among and between his team will produce better and best results.” – steve w

    Having been privy to several c-suites, this just doesn’t ring true.

    Nobody who wants success would allow such unclear lines of authority organizationally and a Hunger Games approach to management.

    Maybe managing a sales department is like that? Glengarry Glen Ross comes to mind. But executives are a different story.

    This is NOT mere naivete of being new to a political post.

    It MAY be new to someone who started from the top, never having to face the challenges of building support and working in a team environment that a typical executive or entrepreneur of a large organization would have faced as they grow to the top.

    IDK, just a guess.

  23. Brian E Says:

    Very clever, Neo. And you got it first!

    I would credit some of the choas to President Trump trying to align with the GOPe vis Priebus. How has that worked out?

    A leadership that couldn’t even pull off incremental change to the ACA.

    It might be Trump is pulling away from the GOPe.

    They couldn’t do the thing they campaigned on for 6 years. He does need the GOP for tax reform, but they have no choice but to support that initiative.

    The wall is going to be tokenism, as the solid middle of the GOPe is in favor of mass immigration/cheap labor.

    Trump may find moving to the left the way forward for infrastructure spending and, da da, healthcare reform. I could see Trump making a deal for freeing up the individual market in exchange for expanding Medicaid to cover even more. GB in a previous thread suggested making Medicaid a public option. Middle class could enroll for a premium that would still be less than the private exchange.

    I linked to a Slate article where they were saying the path forward to national health insurance was through Medicaid. They definitely won the first few rounds.

  24. steve walsh Says:

    Big Maq,
    Every company I’ve worked at employed this approach in some form – including my current employer. Sales is an obvious department (and the one I work in) but I’ve seen it done in product development too.

    I do agree with you that it is not a good approach and does not yield optimal results.

    I think you’re exactly right. Trump has never had to build support for anything inside the organizations in which he’s worked, he’s always been the top guy and so tells people what to do rather than build support and consensus.

  25. Ymar Sakar Says:

    I do agree with you that it is not a good approach and does not yield optimal results.

    If honorable warriors compete and agree not to slaughter each other and their families afterwards, then good results.

    Usually humans play office politics and use sexual slander charges to get rid of competitors like backstabbing assassins that don’t get their hands dirty.

    If the system is good, but the people are evil, the system fails.

    If the people are good but the system is evil, the people become corrupt and then the system fails.

  26. Ymar Sakar Says:

    DC and Hollywood is a place where the system is the highest evil and the people are the highest corrupt/evil backing up the system.

    Thus in order to “drain” the swamp, a few things must happen.

    1. New people must be brought in, or old people flipped, such that they become powerful enough to change the system without being corrupted by the System.

    2. When the new system is brought in, all the old evil people must be eliminated and replaced by good people.

    In reality, both are contradictions in one way or another of human ability. Which is why when big corporations become rigid and monopolies, the usual solution is to break them apart and to quit and create competitive smaller corps.

  27. Ymar Sakar Says:

    I think you’re exactly right. Trump has never had to build support for anything inside the organizations in which he’s worked, he’s always been the top guy and so tells people what to do rather than build support and consensus.

    Many backers of the ALt Right, including some here, said that Trum was a businessman that started from the bottom, thus he is the ideal America should strive for (especially since my pov was that America was heading back to the kingdom model).

    This admiration fueled the MAGA or elect Trum mania band wagon and thus was useful propaganda stereotypes.

    The problem when humans admire other humans is when they hit rock bottom and realize their admiration was a delusion and illusion. Then people crack.

  28. Frog Says:

    All of life is a game. In which the clock invariably expires, and all that is left is your score.

    “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”-Grantland Rice on sports, back in the good old days when sportswriters wrote only about sports, not racial protests.

    Now winning and losing are the ONLY things that matter, on the field or off.

  29. DNW Says:

    I don’t particularly care what Trump’s fate is now that he has simply by being elected kept Hillary out; and as a bonus he has made what looks like a good SC appointment. And, by beginning to enforce border law, he has done everything and more than, I had hoped he might be able to do before being run off and replaced.

    If there are any regrets as of this date, it is that by indulging his proclivities for managerial retaliation and intimidation, he might, and I repeat “might” , have missed some other opportunities.

    But then, I am not sure that this is so, as he has had, right from the beginning, a program of subversion and de-legitimization launched at him from several quarters. Significantly among them, from those who feed off of the professional state.

    We have, as everyone now recognizes, a slo-mo social war going on in this country: with two incompatible life-ways contending for supremacy. And although the conservative way can tolerate some significant non-conformity within its version of a polity; the left-fascist “this is how we care for one another” bureaucrat model, and totalitarian mental vision, cannot.

    As Neo and many others have said, in quoting one version or another of the old saw: “You may not be interested in war (or the progressive totalitarian mind-set) but it is unrelentingly interested in you.”

    The left will seemingly will not stop or even moderate their compulsive behavior until they either enthrall and destroy you, or force you by resisting to destroy them.

    And when looked at that way, Trump becomes a kind of effect, rather than a cause.

  30. DNW Says:

    The Other Chuck Says:
    July 30th, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Army General Alexander Haig was Nixon’s chief of staff. Remember how that turned out?”

    No, not really.

    But I was flipping through a book on Reagan the other day, and was amazed at how much antagonism there was toward Haig within Reagan’s inner circle.

    Some of this manifested in truly contemptible ways, and in others as no more than wry remarks about his pompousness and self-esteem as Secretary of State.

    Deaver, was one of the worst and most malicious by description.

  31. OldTexan Says:

    When Ron Reagan was shot, Haig in D.C. stepped in front of a microphone and said “I, Al Haig, am in control here at the White House,” which was not the right thing to say. The V.P. was on a flight back from Texas and Haig wanted to reassure folks and he made a mistake. Kind of a goober move.

  32. Ymar Sakar Says:

    he has simply by being elected kept Hillary out

    of jail.

    And indeed, all of life is a stage and we are its actors. There is a script being played by the armies of darkness and light, which humans barely sees.

    and I repeat “might” , have missed some other opportunities.

    Such as not keeping HRC out of jail.

    The system goes on, and its players merely regenerate and replace each other as actors put on and put off masks.

    Only the peons suffer and die, as the weaklings the System declares them as.

    We have, as everyone now recognizes, a slo-mo social war going on in this country

    I wouldn’t say everyone. It takes 100 WACOs to wake up America starting from 2007, by my analysis. It only took a few WACos and SJWs and the Alt Right, to wake up the Alt Right for Trum in 2016. Many people are still asleep or rationalizing. But that is no different from the Alt Right in 2012 or 2008 or 2001. When people go back far enough, they themselves were also asleep. As is true even for me, if I go back far enough back from 2007.

    When everyone declares the world to be X, Everyone becomes Wrong.

    That is how the System is setup. The Deep State puppet masters the Leftist alliance, and the puppet masters of the Deep State are secret societies. Whereas the puppet masters of the secret societies are the 0%, they don’t exist as humans thus they are immortal or at least non mortal. Would it be possible for mortals to hold secrets for this long? Would it be possible for immortals to hold secret societies for this long?

    In a democracy, 1% controls the 99% via majority rules. 51% of 51%. 51% of 26%. 51% of 13%. 51% of 7%. 51% of 4%. 51% of 3%. 51% of 2%. 51% of 1.6%. 51% controls the .8%. Until ad afinity and you get to the 0% that controls the minority that controls the oligarchy that controls the “democracy of masses”.

    People might not have understood this concept in 2001 or 2008, but now in 2016, they probably finally can.

  33. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The left will seemingly will not stop or even moderate their compulsive behavior until they either enthrall and destroy you, or force you by resisting to destroy them.

    The Leftist alliance is merely a pawn on the greater game board of 3d and 4d and 5d chess.

    This in Euclidean geometry, can be visualized as hyper cubes unfolded into 3 dimensions. Tesseracts, golden rectangles infinitely added and subtracted from each other. Fractal geometry from a single geometric origin or pattern.

    Or to use a simpler transformation, a cube passes through a sheet of paper limited to 2 dimensions shows up as a dot, then a triangle, then a square, then a triangle (configuration based on the projected entry fragmentation), then a dot, and then disappears. Higher dimensional entities, what popular culture may call angels and demons, are not restricted to human technologies and limitations.

    That is why the Leftist alliance is merely only a pawn on the greater board game. They are designed to provoke a response. When the neutral humans respond and fall for the trap, the rest of the armies of darkness close the pocket from outside the dimensional perception of the peons.

    In a game of go, a single piece will overturn the entire face of the conflict. It is not about white annihilating black. Black will become white, white will become black .Good will become evil, evil will become good.

    They don’t need to destroy you, to make you into a slave that thinks itself free.

  34. huxley Says:

    During the 2016 campaign I kept hearing Trump supporters go on about how great it would be to have a no-nonsense, hard-hitting CEO in the White House. However, the more I read about Trump, the less he seemed like any CEO I worked for or knew about.

    I come from the tech world, so perhaps my view is skewed, but those CEOs — even the small-timer at my first company which built language labs for high schools — all worked hard to sound intelligent and cordial in public. They wouldn’t be caught dead sounding like the bully-braggart-moron Trump persona.

    And my CEOs knew their damn businesses and managed them reasonably well.

    I’ve seen few signs Trump is much of an executive. He makes deals and licenses his name. He is essentially in the business of celebrity. He is a showman.

    I’ve no kick with that except it is not a skillset to be confused with what effective executives do.

  35. The Other Chuck Says:

    DNW, this is what I was referring to:

    . Chief of Staff Al Haig and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, among others, said later that they knew Nixon now had to go. The problem was the manner of his going.

    “Haig wanted to smooth the way – for the country, for the President and for himself. He could see, hear and feel the erosion. Everything was crumbling at once,” wrote the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in their book “The Final Days.”

    https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/Decoder/2014/0807/Richard-Nixon-s-resignation-the-day-before-a-moment-of-truth

    General Kelly is now in the same position as Haig. Are thing’s “crumpling” in the Trump White House? It appears that way to me. He’s broken his main connection to congress with the removal of Priebus. He’s hired a loud mouth, vulgar hit man to further inflame the situation. It seems to me it’s just a matter of time until Trump is told to either resign or face impeachment.

    I’m as unhappy with this situation as anyone here. If only Trump could have ignored his critics. If he’d focused on building bridges within the party to get his agenda passed, and if he’d listened to those who wished him well, he could have weathered the propaganda from the left. This isn’t going to end well for him or for the country.

  36. huxley Says:

    Are thing’s “crumpling” in the Trump White House? It appears that way to me. He’s broken his main connection to congress with the removal of Priebus. He’s hired a loud mouth, vulgar hit man to further inflame the situation. It seems to me it’s just a matter of time until Trump is told to either resign or face impeachment.

    The Other Chuck: I don’t think things are quite so dire yet unless Mueller turns up something truly nasty (as opposed to something sloppy or silly). Or Trump does such a poor job the GOP loses the House in 2018.

    But I sure don’t think “The Mooch” is a solution to Trump’s problems. I could not believe how stupid Scaramucci was in that New Yorker interview.

    IMO all Trump has to do is to stop making things worse. Just roll back Obama crap and govern and I’ll be happy.

  37. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The idea that Trum was going to drain the Deep State and get rid of the secret cabals, societies, and combinations that rule from the Federal Reserve, wasn’t something I would bet 1 volume unit of air/fire/dirt for.

  38. blert Says:

    Matt_SE Says:
    July 29th, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Trump is not Hitler, but I note that this was exactly the same style of management Hitler had. They called it “working towards the Fuhrer.” Google it sometime.

    It seems to me that it’s the perfect style for a megalomaniac narcissist. Getting all sorts of people to compete for your attention. OTOH, it does seem to produce results.

    &&&

    This Trump style is essentially identical to that of FDR… and others.

    Queen Elizabeth immediately comes to mind.

    A GATE KEEPER is much to be feared if you want top line management.

    Life is messy.

    Perfect order can be found in graveyards and prisons.

    So, it’s there when you need it.

  39. The Other Chuck Says:

    Huxley:
    IMO all Trump has to do is to stop making things worse.

    That is precisely what is not going to happen. He can’t stop being himself. Maybe I’ve jumped the gun a little, but the chaos will continue until the GOP establishment puts a stop to it.

  40. huxley Says:

    He can’t stop being himself.

    The Other Chuck: I hear ya!

    This reminds me of my inability to understand anorexia. All the anorexic has to do is eat some food, not even enjoy it, but somehow that’s too hard to do.

  41. huxley Says:

    Some of the problem with Trump is that people voted for him in large part to be a wrecking ball to take down a decadent status quo, not to unify and lead the country in a positive direction.

    Yeah, I know. “Make America Great Again.” But does anyone really expect that from Trump?

    However, it’s not entirely a wrong-headed expectation. Most of America’s problems are self-inflicted (as with Trump himself). We just have to stop doing stupid stuff and start rolling back the stupid stuff in place.

  42. Richard Saunders Says:

    Anybody who thinks that a 4-star Marine general, prior service enlisted, is going to put up with BS from a little twerp like Scaramucci, or would agree to take the job without full control of the staff, doesn’t know much about the Marines. (Am I the only one who has notice the similarity of the twerp’s name to the title and main character of a once-popular novel by Rafael Sabatini?)

  43. Big Maq Says:

    @Richard S – it is not the mooch that will be the challenge… it is trump himself… the man who seems to like the “twerp” and what he has to say / how he says it.

    BTW, I’ve seen the reference to the novel elsewhere. There seems an interesting parallel of character, in some ways.

  44. steve walsh Says:

    And then this happened: just reported that the Mooch has been fired.

  45. huxley Says:

    …the Mooch has been fired.

    steve walsh: Just saw that. It was the right decision after the New Yorker interview — which Scaramucci initiated btw.

    Thank god we have a businessman in the White House who can, you know, Get Things Done.

    Of course those things may be stupid and have to be undone almost immediately.

  46. huxley Says:

    I don’t think it will be a big scandal which undoes Trump.

    It will be the steady drip-drip-drip of dysfunction and foolishness.

  47. Richard Saunders Says:

    I pretend to hate to say this, but I told you so!

  48. Big Maq Says:

    @Richard S – fair enough. It was trump’s lack of comment, from a man who comments on everything, that seemed a defacto endorsement of a twerp.

    That said, smart on Kelly’s part.

    Now, let’s see if trump can be self-disciplined going forward, or if it will merely be a pause in the drip-drip-drip as huxley says.

  49. Big Maq Says:

    No mention (yet) of where mooch lands, if anywhere, in this admin.

    Even though I think it the right thing to do, mooch practically proclaimed his fealty to trump.

    On display, it reinforces the one way street of trump’s loyalty.

    mooch’s performance doesn’t really seem to be something that would be “over the top” or “over the line” in trump’s eyes.

  50. huxley Says:

    Scaramucci is hired gun who started at Goldman Sachs. He’s loyal to whoever signs his checks. He was a fundraiser for Obama. Later a national finance co-chair for Mitt Romney in 2012.

  51. Big Maq Says:

    @huxley – mooch was precisely the type you wouldn’t want to bring on, if “drain the swamp” was an image you wanted to portray.

    “Trump’s first reaction to the Scaramucci phone call with The New Yorker was amusement”
    https://www.axios.com/inside-moochs-firing-2467672921.html?utm_medium=linkshare&utm_campaign=organic

    Anyway, he might have been a Jared/Ivanka tool, according to this article.

  52. Big Maq Says:

    “I think the president can’t disassociate himself from (the Senate failure on a ‘skinny repeal’)…

    He’s part of the leadership team, he’s not an observer sitting up in the stands. He’s on the field. It was a collective failure.” – Newt Gingrich

    http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/346078-gingrich-trump-deserves-some-blame-for-obamacare-repeal-failure

    True.

    Unless trump believes he’s only reprising the role he had in “The Apprentice”.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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