January 10th, 2018

Trump in control

So, what’s up with Trump’s televised conference with Congressional leaders on bipartisan immigration reform?

You can watch the video here; it’s close to an hour long.

This can be looked at in one or both of two ways: content or process. I explained the difference here:

Content is just what it sounds like: the subject matter about which two people [or more]…are arguing [or speaking]. “Did you do the dishes last night?” Process is everything else—for example, the emotion with which something is said, the type of vocabulary used, tone, repetition, body language, and the unspoken subtext.

Rush Limbaugh believes the meeting was all about process, and that listeners should pretty much ignore the content:

It was a brilliantly conceived and flawlessly executed rebuttal to this stupid Wolff book. The pictures tell the tale. Trump is in the room dominating it, controlling it. He is cooperative. He is open. He’s tolerant. He’s understanding. He’s in total command of over 45 minutes of televised meeting on immigration. He is totally informed on the issues. He’s going back and forth with the Democrats on whatever mundane aspect of it they bring up. He is in total command of his position on this…

It was not about immigration.

It was to counter the Wolff book…

Just look at it this way, folks, if you’re nervous. What happened today really had nothing to do with immigration. He didn’t say anything today that he can’t walk back. He didn’t say anything today that he’s gonna have to walk back, either. It’s all good. In fact, it’s better than that. Wait till you see the Democrats when they figure out what just happened to them.

Or is Trump getting ready to betray his base on DACA? William Jacobson agrees with Limbaugh on the process part, but thinks “maybe” on the content part:

Having the networks broadcast extensive coverage of Trump being “presidential” was an amazing counter-narrative to the demented line pushed by Democrats and the media that Trump is a bumbling idiot who barely can string more than 3 words together and should be removed under the 25th Amendment. People got to watch him in action running a meeting and in control, the master of ceremonies presiding over the congressional leadership from both parties…


As I was watching it, all I could keep thinking was, “here comes amnesty.”

The code words were all there, particularly “comprehensive immigration reform.”

The “best” view I can take of this is that a DACA deal gets done without amnesty now, since Trump has dangled something bigger down the road, and in exchange Dems have to agree to fund the Wall and other substantial restrictions on chain migration and so on. Then nothing happens on “comprehensive” immigration reform.

The “worst” view is that the Amnesty Train is rolling down the tracks, and to use a metaphor from the campaign, Trump will shoot his core campaign promise on immigration in the middle of 5th Avenue, figuring his base will stick with him anyway.

My opinion? I’ll tackle the content part first. I believe that Trump has long been unpredictable on DACA and some areas of immigration—what I’ve often called “mutable.” Even during the campaign, but also during earlier days of his presidency, Trump said many things about DACA, some of them contradictory (see this).

For example, here’s what I wrote in September of 2017, and it still stands:

I will repeat something I’ve said many times before, something that should be obvious to anyone who’s been following Trump from the start of his candidacy two (count ’em, two!) long years ago: he goes back and forth on things. He sends out mixed signals, or at the very least ambiguous, hard-to-read signals.

His admirers say it’s because he’s cagey. His detractors say it’s because he’s an idiot and/or a liar. I say he’s no idiot, and he’s sometimes very cagey, sometimes flat-out lying, and sometimes changes his mind. On DACA he’s been very waffley from the start. On the wall not so waffley, although he always talked about that great big beautiful door, too.

We’ll see.

Now, for the process part. I agree that Trump did this to show how in-control and rational he is. And that message would come across to those who are watching. I doubt most voters are watching; just the political junkies. I think it would take a lot more than this, even for those who are watching who previously thought Trump was senile/stupid/crazy, to actually change minds on the subject.

I figured, even before I read the commentary, that most of the Trump critics who watched the meeting would say that maybe Trump could sustain something like this for a little while for show, but in private he’s just as senile/stupid/crazy as Wolff said he was, and more; also that they would emphasize the fact that he’s waffling on immigration, in order to fan the flames of anger against Trump among his base.

Here’s how the WaPo handled it:

55 minutes at the table: Trump tries to negotiate and prove stability

He acted the part, listening intently and guiding the conversation with the control of a firm but open-minded executive. He spoke the part, offering a mix of jesting bon mots and high-minded appeals for bipartisanship. And he looked the part, down to the embroidered “45” on his starched white shirt cuff.

In short, President Trump on Tuesday tried to show that he could do his job.

Just an act? Just an attempt?

Then there’s this, where the authors quickly switch to content from process:

And for the 55 minutes that the scene unfolded on television, the president demonstrated stability, although not necessarily capability. In trying to erase one set of queries (is he up for the job and a “very stable genius,” as he claimed on Twitter?), he inadvertently opened another: What, exactly, is going to be in that immigration bill?

“Inadvertently”? Are they trying to say that the entire content of the meeting—what’s going to be in the immigration bill—was accidental on Trump’s part?

The article continues:

And while Trump offered captivating television drama, he also muddled through the policy by seeming to endorse divergent positions, including simply protecting the dreamers or a plan contingent upon funding for his long-promised wall at the nation’s southern border.

Anyone who has watched Trump for any amount of time, even those who detest him, should be aware that what happened here is not a case of “muddling through.” One thing Trump knows how to do very well is to purposely talk out of both sides of his mouth to confuse and befuddle observers and opponents. It may even be that the authors of the article are well aware of this tendency, but want their readers to think that Trump is the befuddled one, muddling through.

[NOTE: What’s the definition of “muddle through”? “to manage to do something although you are not organized or prepared to do it.”

I really don’t think that’s what’s going on here.

Towards the end of the article, it says this: “As he excused the press corps, Trump said: ‘I hope we’ve given you enough material. That should cover you for about two weeks.’”

What a muddler!]

50 Responses to “Trump in control”

  1. Paul in Boston Says:

    When I first heard about the meeting being recorded, I thought that it was brilliant move to counter the Democrats. After the usual closed door negotiation Schumer and Pelosi run out to the microphones and lie through their teeth about what was discussed and how they were looking out for the “people” in the face of the machinations of the evil vile Republicans. That’s out when everything is recorded and publically available. Or at least it’s harder to do even with collusion by the press.

  2. Mike K Says:

    Trump has run thousands of meetings over the years. He knows what he is doing. I also don’t know what he is going to do on DACA but he has to know that immigration is the single biggest issue in his election.
    The Democrats have admitted that DACVA is the base for their election future plans.

  3. Tuvea Says:

    Take a deep breath everyone. Now another. Now a third.

    Unsurprisingly Rush Limbaugh is correct. Now anyone who REALLY CARES about President Trumps’fitness to hold the office has an hour of unedited material to use.

    Also, The President made absolutely no commitment but one.

    The Wall is going to be built. He’ll veto ANY immigration legislation that does not include funds to build it.

    It is up to the Republican majorities in the House and Senate to do THEIR jobs and fix the illegal immigration mess.

  4. steve walsh Says:

    Trump is always negotiating, always positioning, always selling, always steering (his opponents). He’s done this for his entire adult and professional life. It is as natural to him as breathing and walking.

    Here’s what else he accomplished by doing this in an open forum: he got his political supporters and opponents on the record. He got some of them to admit what is most important to them, which he will use later as they work to hammer out a policy or legislation. And he gave away nothing. Though he did create a little fear in his base; testing the waters, perhaps?

  5. J.J. Says:

    Paul in Boston has it just right. Now the Dems cannot spin what the discussion was about. Trump presented an image of a man willing to let Congress solve the DACA problem if they will also fund the wall/border security, stop chain migration, and end the visa lottery program. The Dems get what they want – DACA, and the Repubs get what they want. Win, win. Most open minded people would say it was a pretty good blue print for action by Congress.

    Should the Congress enact these items only changing legal migration standards and how to treat with the 11 million illegals who are still here remain. Most conservatives want to see several years of proven border security before taking up the treatment of the 11 million illegals. On the other hand, most Dems consider amnesty for the 11 million illegals as their top priority. In their minds they see 11 million new Democrats and more to come. As long as that is one of their major goals for gaining and holding political power, it will be a top priority. It’s a clash of objectives that can only be solved by one side or the other gaining a significant electoral advantage. IMHO, openness, as seen in yesterday’s meeting, could be a major tool for gaining voters and thwarting the Dem’s plans to recruit the 11 million into the fold.

  6. Ann Says:

    What I mostly got from that video was how often Trump sat there in a crossed-arms posture when someone other than himself was talking. I think body language types would say that means defensiveness, resistance, and that the person is not actually listening to what the person speaking is saying.

  7. Jim Kearney Says:

    WHAT the CNN, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR partakers have heard for months, with intensifying intensity since the Russia ruse, coup by the FBI, CIA, DOJ is collapsing like a house of cards— TRUMP IS A MORON, INSANE, IN DEMENTIA, AND NEEDS TO BE BODILY REMOVED OR WE WILL ALL BE NUKED!!!!!
    AND what they saw, is a President that was in complete command of his faculties, the subject, AND THE ROOM. The cognitive dissonance will eventually bleed through to many people that they’ve been played by the Press and Schmucky Schumer and Pelosi……..And Uranium One, Fusion GPS Dossier as the ruse to take down a President by a WEAPONIZED GOVT cabal with Press collusion, and the truth is spilling out.

  8. Gary D. G. Says:

    What was truly amazing was the absence of a teleprompter

  9. Jim Doherty Says:

    If he is smart he will do this more often. Let the democrats talk in front of the cameras, then when they crawfish and try to get more than they said they wanted earlier, he can hang them with the video.

    Looks to me like he is angling for mid-term video commercial footage.

    “look I tried to deal with these asshats, but they refuse to do what they say”.

  10. Barry Meislin Says:

    “The cognitive dissonance will eventually bleed through to many people that they’ve been played by the Press…”

    That would be nice.

    It might even be what ought to happen.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath, though.

    Most of the people who despise Trump are just too far gone—too wrapped up in their hysteria—to change.

    Despising Trump has become a significant part of their identity. (Ergo sum.)

    And the MSM will double, triple and quadruple down.

    No, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Barry Meislin:

    I agree that it won’t make any difference to most people who are convinced that they know Trump is senile/stupid/crazy.

    It is very hard to change one’s mind. Very.

  12. Paul in Boston Says:

    “And the MSM will double, triple and quadruple down.“

    Yep. Drudge linked to CNN’s reporting of Trump’s appearance at the national championship game between Alabama & Georgia. The headline was Trump greeted with cheers and boos. In the video of him being introduced as he walked onto the field there was thunderous cheering and applause, almost as big as for the winning touchdown. The boos were from a tiny scraggly crowd outside the stadium yelling at his motorcade as it went by in the distance. And the press can’t figure out why the public despises them.

  13. parker Says:

    No one knows what the shadow knows. I plead guilty of underestimating his ability to control the narrative.

  14. Sloppy Steve Says:

    With all due respect to you and the commenters, Neo, you are all focusing on the trivial and missing the truly important news story right now – which is that “The Mooch” may be on his way back to the West Wing.


    Even Laura Ingraham repeated the rumour when she hosted Anthony on her show last night.

    DACA, Schmakka, campaign promises, etc: what’s another 800,000 or even 11 million new Democrats flooding into your country and onto its social security rolls next to the news that the first and so far the only “Bro” to ever hold a post in the West Wing is making a come back.

    He may have lasted only ten magical days last time around but we are surely all the better for that tenure. Speaking for my fellow bro’s* we are just all surprised that he lasted even that long. (Good one brah!).

    Although I despise Wolff’s hatchet job I confess to having (semi-) enjoyed one single chapter: the one on Scaramucci. It made me laugh out loud in places.

    Even better, for those interested in the fortunes of this vital and unjustly-maligned demographic over 2017 I highly recommend this podcast over at the Federalist:


    (* I feel I can speak on behalf of Bro’s since I was recently surprised to be awarded by the management and members of my local gym the august title of “Gym Bro of the year”. I always thought I was too bookish to ever be a “Bro” but not so. Bro-dom is apparently a very broad church).

    If you’re reading this Anthony: “You go Bro!”

  15. McHenrybob Says:

    Imagined Trump opening remarks: “Welcome, we are here today for the Evil Party to discredit me and to dispossess and disenfranchise the American People through uncontrolled immigration and vote fraud, all in the name of bipartisanship. Ronald Reagan was suckered back in 1986. Let’s see what we can accomplish today.”

  16. George Says:

    When President Trump said that he would sign anything that the politicians put on his desk on the immigration issue, he was inoculating himself against blame if there is a government shutdown. Brilliant.

  17. Dave Says:

    Hispanics are hardworking people who if not because of immigration issues would overwhelmingly vote for republicans.

  18. Ariel Says:

    @Dave January 10th, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Not only are they hardworking people, they are often conservative Catholics. They are conservative on many issues, but what they can’t escape is that anglo-conservatives are not their allies, but instead their adversaries. The anglo-conservatives in Maricopa County thought Arpaio was doing a great job against illegals (much of it just performance art, he did raid the ‘bertos here for effect), but the Hispanics knew he was just doing brown. It took an anglo judge to see it.

    It’s not simply immigration issues, not all Hispanics are for illegals, it’s the long history of how anglos have treated Hispanics. This immigration issue is what anglos think is The Issue for Hispanics because it fits for anglos, and anglos can point to the Hispanic Left that is fixated on immigration and say ‘see’ while the conservative Hispanics say no puedo verlo, or WTF is wrong with you anglos that makes you so blind…

  19. Ariel Says:

    Hey, guys, here’s a summary about Trump from Neo: “All you have to do to find out what I’ve thought of Trump over time is to read the blog and old posts. I’ve certainly written plenty of them. It’s not a mystery. But the summary version is that I have long thought him to be an enormous narcissist, a nasty and vulgar guy, a dirty fighter, untrustworthy, angry, not a conservative, and a habitual liar who was also smart and strategically clever. During the campaign I did not want him to be nominated, and after he was nominated I thought he would lose although I wasn’t 100% certain. After he won I hoped for the best; I had always said that if somehow he got elected I hoped I was wrong about his untrustworthiness and lack of conservatism (I was pretty sure I wasn’t wrong about his narcissism!). As president, he has been a pleasant surprise to me in those ways, but he’s still narcissistic and can be a very nasty guy when he decides to be.” Unlike you guys, she recognized his qualities before the election. Now, of course, she had a pleasant surprise after the election…I just wonder when she found him to stop being an habitual liar…

    I’m not slamming her, she can certainly re-evalute him over time (though I have a hard time with characterizing someone as an habitual liar but then suddenly he isn’t), I’m slamming you guys because I don’t think you ever got that far…

  20. Ariel Says:

    @McHenrybob January 10th, 2018 at 8:06 pm
    “Imagined Trump opening remarks: “Welcome, we are here today for the Evil Party to discredit me and to dispossess and disenfranchise the American People through uncontrolled immigration and vote fraud, all in the name of bipartisanship. Ronald Reagan was suckered back in 1986. Let’s see what we can accomplish today.” Hard to decipher what you wrote. I’m thinking a bad Philip K. Dick short story when his mental illness was at it’s peak given that immigration isn’t uncontrolled and voter fraud is near non-existent. Well, accept for all that voter fraud above the popular vote for Trump, you know, where Hillary had more of the popular vote than Trump. Obvious voter fraud, how could she have more popular votes and lose the electoral college…just ask Trump, he knows he won both. He has the claim to prove it.

    OTH, maybe you were making fun of Trump.

  21. Ariel Says:

    @Ann January 10th, 2018 at 3:25 pm:

    Damn straight. Not that many here would ever notice because they’re too busy waving pompoms and doing high kicks showing off their unmentionables.

    About the only one here that isn’t being a pompom is Neo. She does know who he is, though I’m surprised that her pleasant surprise lost for her the realization that he’s an habitual liar. Habitual liars stay habitual liars even after offering a decent candidate for SCOTUS. Something about habitual…

  22. Ariel Says:

    @Barry Meislin January 10th, 2018 at 5:55 pm:

    I really hope that some years ago you wrote: “Most of the people who despise Obama are just too far gone—too wrapped up in their hysteria—to change.

    Despising Obama has become a significant part of their identity. (Ergo sum.)”

    Otherwise, a shot of cognitive dissonance with a shot of confirmation bias, and a twist of hypocrisy. It’s a bitter drink.

  23. Kyndyll G Says:

    “Otherwise, a shot of cognitive dissonance with a shot of confirmation bias, and a twist of hypocrisy. It’s a bitter drink.”

    Yeah, Ariel, after eight years of Obama’s words and actions, we here on this forum pretty much detested him.

    The big difference is, the hallucinatory left detested Trump before he took office, for things that only occur in their imagination.

  24. Frog Says:

    Dave and Ariel generalize about Hispanics- the illegals and the legals- in a fictional sort of way. They aver Hispanics are fundamentally conservative; but they provide no evidence.
    They ignore the electoral evidence of New Mexico, AZ, and CA, chock-full of Latinos.

    Ignoring reality in favor of comforting fiction is a liberal art form.

  25. Barry Meislin Says:

    Um, thanks Ariel, for proving my point.

  26. arfldgrs Says:

    taking things to a whole new level (soviet operatives in the open as a image to conjure up):

    Steven Pierre, Twitter engineer explains “shadow banning,” says “it’s going to ban a way of talking”

    Former Twitter software engineer Abhinav Vadrevu on shadow banning: “they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it”

    Former Twitter Content Review Agent Mo Norai explains banning process: “if it was a pro-Trump thing and I’m anti-Trump… I banned his whole account… it’s at your discretion”

    When asked if banning process was an unwritten rule, Norai adds “Very. A lot of unwritten rules… It was never written it was more said” [which is why that side always asks for proof in writing of the conspiracy or there isnt any… ie. collude verbally – record nothing]

    Olinda Hassan, Policy Manager for Twitter Trust and Safety explains, “we’re trying to ‘down rank’… shitty people to not show up,” “we’re working [that] on right now”

    “Shadow banning” to be used to stealthily target political views- former Twitter engineer says, “that’s a thing”

    Censorship of certain political viewpoints to be automated via “machine learning” according to Twitter software engineer

    Parnay Singh, Twitter Direct Messaging Engineer, on machine learning algorithms, “you have like five thousand keywords to describe a redneck…” “the majority of it are for Republicans”

    This was mostly acomplished and more by the most successful leftist political front in the history of mankind.. it was they that normalized subversion as a way to change their own society into something they do not know that others told them what would be.


  27. Dave Says:

    The reality is no one have any ideas how the Hispanics would vote if immigration was never an issue during an election. you want less illegal immigrants, the easiest way to do it is embrace the Hispanics, embrace the open border narrative, turn most Latinos into republican voters, then the democrats would change their position on immigration and reinvent themselves as the anti-immigrant party. If the only reason the democrats are so pro illegal immigrants is to grab their votes then the only way to stop that is to take that incentive away by taking the immigrant issue out of the poll ticket. Latinos ain’t some entitlements loving people who have a natural born inclination for socialism as some conservatives think.

  28. neo-neocon Says:


    I never said Trump doesn’t still lie, especially (strangely enough) about trivial things. Of course he does. I said that, after his election, I’d hoped I’d been wrong about his untrustworthiness and lack of conservatism, and that in those particular ways I’ve been pleasantly surprised since he’s become president. What I was referring to there with the word “untrustworthiness” was not his petty bragging and petty lies (which he still sometimes demonstrates), but his trustworthiness vs. untrustworthiness regarding actions and policies.

    In other words, to spell it out a bit more: Trump is more trustworthy than I thought he’d be about the bigger things, including and especially being mostly a conservative. I am quite surprised and pleased at this. I never would have bet on it. His petty lies are part of his character (narcissism, bragging, etc. etc.—not meant to be an all-inclusive list) that I wrote about exhaustively before and sometimes refer to now as well. But petty lying of the “I’m the greatest!” type is better than the sort of lying in which Obama regularly indulged. Obama lied about more substantive things, such as whether you could keep your doctor under Obamacare. In general (with exceptions, of course), Obama was a smooth liar about big things, Trump is a petty and far more transparent liar about smaller things. Hillary Clinton is a liar about both.

    I would never be surprised if Trump were to be caught in a lie about big things, though. Almost nothing he could do would surprise me, however, as much as I’ve been surprised about how much better his performance as president so far has been as compared to what I had expected.

  29. neo-neocon Says:


    By the way—as far as “you guys” go—before Trump became president, I had a very eclectic comments section regarding Trump. I would say that the majority of the commenters here ranged from not be able to stomach him to disliking him somewhat (or even a lot) but deciding to vote for him, with a minority (maybe a third or so?) supporting him more enthusiastically. So the majority of people here who are praising him now are actually pleasantly surprised, because they expected little from him except that he’d be marginally better than Hillary and that he might appoint a few somewhat conservative judges.

    Some of the more enthusiastic supporters of Trump during the primaries left the blog because they felt the balance was too anti-Trump here. But most people here who stayed (not all) have observed things similar to what I’ve observed in his presidency: they like his policy decisions for the most part.

  30. Barry Meislin Says:

    “…marginally better than Hillary….”


    The point was/is that he’s NOT Hillary.

    The point was/is that the corrupt, deceitful, and criminal Democratic machine was in power for long enough and did enough damage to the Republic, thank you very much.

    The point was/is that in a democracy (let’s assume that such is the case at least), you get a chance once every so often to “throw the bums out”.

    The point was/is that it was the “crazy uncouth man” vs. the “suave, smiling criminal”.

    I supported the “crazy uncouth man” for all the reasons above.


  31. Baklava Says:

    As a leader/executive I have been in that situation many times where I led discussion to build consensus.

    It is exhausting and energizing. It is a natural high at the end to have people come together. Many times (as Trump’s video showed) it isn’t possible because the entrenchment is too deep. While I’m usually the Andy McCarthy type – bringing clarity to what another individual said, I most always am working like Trump to cement some building blocks and have details (like earmarks) be a tool if needed.

    I completely disagree with so many other’s opinions on this like Ann Coulter thinking it was the darkest day as I RECOGNIZE how these meetings go having been in them.

    I haven’t read the comments on this thread yet but I wanted to add my two cents that for those people who took the time to actually watch the entire video as I have – they will have to conclude that Trump is not dumb and not having mental problems.

    It was a stroke of genius in a sense – his mindset on the “clean” DACA bill is that it has to come with security and he stated as much many times.

    It actually shows to me how insane leftists are…. they have shovel in hand and continue to dig.

  32. Baklava Says:

    Neo wrote:

    By the way—as far as “you guys” go—before Trump became president, I had a very eclectic comments section regarding Trump. I would say that the majority of the commenters here ranged from not be able to stomach him to disliking him somewhat (or even a lot) but deciding to vote for him, with a minority (maybe a third or so?) supporting him more enthusiastically. So the majority of people here who are praising him now are actually pleasantly surprised, because they expected little from him except that he’d be marginally better than Hillary and that he might appoint a few somewhat conservative judges.

    My response:
    I used to be a daily commenter here since the first year of the blog. I believe I too have comments out there saying that Trump will do more harm to conservatism than good because he is so inarticulate.

    Out of all the candidates, he might have done MORE than anybody else could because he is just working working working and just taking the heat like a lightning rod.

    I seriously dislike he inability to be clear and persuasive on topics and do wonder if we’ll be able to recover as a brand (conservatives).

    Free markets, national security, and individual rights and responsibilities need someone who can advance and execute. Is Trump executing? Yes. Are Democrats with shovel in hand? Yes.
    Half of my FB friends are showing mental instability (even those who I THOUGHT were not susceptible) while I view all of this nonsense. We had 2 narcissists run for office. Both would have been capable at taking the ball and running a direction. The executor of the Clinton Foundation would have take the ball the wrong way and DONE SO IN SECRECY.

    While Trump makes himself the news each day and is above board televising conferences and his every word is picked apart – for good reason sometimes.

    My man was Ben Carson. Was Ben going to accomplish as much? Would conservatism have suffered with Ben? I think conservatism would have suffered simply because the collusion between Tech/Academia/Big Business/Journalists know no bounds anymore and THANK THE LORD FOR JAMES OKEEFE III. 🙂

  33. Baklava Says:

    LOL. Jeff Flake seems unstable

  34. Sloppy Steve Says:

    This is an interesting subject and one in which I have a personal stake.

    My natural inclination, springing from my personality type, whenever I chaired meetings, be it as a department head or principal of my own firm or as chair of public charitable institutions, (all of necessity involving very different dynamics), was always towards encouraging all others to speak up freely and to table their view points, trying always to lead the table to a consensus or common ground between us.

    I would wager that many here will also know, as I do, that those who speak up loudest, most often and most vehemently in meetings are generally those who offer the least valuable contributions.

    Consensus is all fine and laudable in principle but I found to my cost and pain that good intentions are just not enough.

    One has to be practical. Compromised plans really do often prove the truth of the old description of the camel – a horse designed by a committee. Sometimes there is just one right solution or sane way ahead and to compromise is to ensure its failure in the end.

    Worse, there are often – as there was at Trump’s bi-party meeting – some with their own selfish agenda to push and who seek an entirely different outcome that serves only them.

    Worst of all are the few in every large group who simply will not be led. Carrot or stick – it makes not a wit of difference. They are contrarians; petty spoilers. Just for the sheer sake of it. They are hard to understand but I assure you they do exist and a lot of them are in politics.

    I encountered this last group early in my career and in frustration raised the issue with my professor of business studies in an evening course I was doing – hoping to learn the secret action I was missing that would enable me to lead the chronically unhelpful.

    He surprised me by telling me that there are just some people one must give up on trying to lead. They cannot be led because they won’t be led: not by a good example or positive reinforcement or by threats. They are wastes of space and must be ignored until they can legally be jettisoned from the organisation.

    It was the best business and leadership advice I ever received.

    If I know this then so does Trump. The meeting was a PR exercise only: designed to put to bed the latest attack on him being that he has lost his grip and ability to helm a meeting. Trump went into that meeting knowing three things: 1. His campaign agenda is what his country vitally needs at this moment and to water it down in any meaningful way is suicide; 2. Most of those sitting opposite have a vested interest in a continuation of the policies he was elected to end and will profit politically by his failure and by his being seen to fail; and 3. The rest of those at the table are the chronic contrarians who will do their best to defeat him just because they can.

    Unlike Laura Ingraham who was last night visibly anxious over some of what The Donald said at that meeting he took – I trust always to Trump the message; Not Trump the messenger.

  35. Sloppy Steve Says:

    PS. And if all else fails, The Mooch will be the supremely stabilising influence the President needs.

    Hashtag# “Bring back the Mooch”

  36. Manju Says:

    Obama lied about more substantive things, such as whether you could keep your doctor under Obamacare.

    Just on healthcare alone, Trump said “We’re gonna come up with a new plan that’s going to be better health care for more people at a lesser cost“ and “Everybody’s got to be covered.”

    He said; “”I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” How are these not substantive lies?

    But the bigger issue is that Trump actually had no plan. Obama in contrast spent a year selling his plan and carefully worked it thru a filibuster-proof majority. You may disagree with his plan, but he had one.

    Trump was just pretending. He had no actual plan to replace, and would’ve probably signed single-payer if it allowed him to declare victory. This is beyond a substantial lie.

  37. Baklava Says:

    Manju, you are factually false:
    1) The Congress with Gruber architected a plan with significant complexity and SOLD to the American people based on lies of you can keep your doctor, plan and will save $2500.
    2) The Congress said you’ll have to see what is in the plan once it’s passed – Nancy’s famous quote.
    3) When Trump became president, the Congress spent so many hours identifying a plan that could pass only to have John McCain say no – only because it was named, “skinny”.

    Presidents don’t come up with law – they sign the law that is passed.

    You like every other liberal – LIE.

    /dropping the mic (I don’t need to come back to address you after that – you can only apologize .

  38. Baklava Says:

    I laugh out loud because conservative news/blog sites are slow on the uptake as liberal sites are cranking out their hit pieces on Seema Verma.

    Dr. Seema Verma has shown the positive influence on health due to work. But that goes against the common belief that health care is a “right”.

    These are the new architects. While Manju and Gruber lied and people died, Dr. Verma is here to the rescue.


  39. Baklava Says:

    Trump’s s*hole comments gave cover to Dr. Verma.

    I don’t know whether to cry or laugh – positive things are getting done and Trump is destroying himself.

  40. Sloppy Steve Says:

    Baklava @8:55 pm.

    You mean like this?


    “Baklava, out”

  41. Baklava Says:


  42. AesopFan Says:

    Sloppy Steve Says:
    January 11th, 2018 at 6:56 pm
    This is an interesting subject and one in which I have a personal stake.
    * * *
    One fictional illustration of the principles you describe has stuck with me for 40+ years: Robert Heinlein’s “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress” includes a great scene of the protagonist trying to get the Moon dwellers to agree on a practical course of action during their rebellion, and is getting derailed by the very people you were warned against. His cry to his mentor was always, “Get these yammerheads off my back!”
    (He was open to reasoned dissent IIRC but not enamoured of it.)

  43. AesopFan Says:

    arfldgrs Says:
    January 11th, 2018 at 11:01 am
    taking things to a whole new level (soviet operatives in the open as a image to conjure up):
    * * *
    Google’s on the case as well – in the open.


  44. AesopFan Says:

    Some more on bias at YouTube aka Google.


    Read it to watch the Ajit Pai video.

  45. AesopFan Says:

    And Google didn’t even get the fact-checking right.


  46. AesopFan Says:

    Another tactic in the cyberwar against conservatives, but not the first time Twitter has been accused of this particular nefarious practice (unless it was Facebook (or probably both)).


    “…It matters that Twitter apparently focuses on what it deems “conservative” keywords and themes, in this effort to root out bot accounts. Having spent enough time on Twitter, I can say with a high level of confidence that bot accounts are also created by the left. There is no evidence of a similar diligence at Twitter about getting rid of those accounts.

    But the bias in this regard is not as important as the distinction between literal banning, and shadow banning. The shadow banning is more insidious. It’s insidious to the point of being objectively unfair, as opposed to simply biased, and a very wrong form of treatment for any Twitter user.

    There are many people who, like Bozell, see social media as “the communications vehicle of the future,” and who focus, like Rosler, on the aspect of rights. In effect, they see this as a freedom of speech issue, and even suggest there’s a way to punish Twitter for what it’s doing.

    I don’t see it that way, however. That’s because Twitter is a private business. It is not under an obligation to carry your speech or mine to the world, any more than the New York Times or CBS is.

    But if Twitter is making money off of its platform, the company is obligated to refrain from engaging in fraud. And fraud is what shadow banning looks like to me.

    It might seem counterintuitive, but the aggrieved party, rather than necessarily being the shadow banned user, could be the advertisers on Twitter, who are paying the company to involve them in a fraudulent operation.”

  47. AesopFan Says:

    Out of control, or just out of the box?

    “The media ran around in circles all day chasing Trump’s violation of the conventions for political messaging, without conveying anything useful to the people.

    Trump actually communicated useful information to the people. It just didn’t sound like conventional political messaging to the MSM – which proceeded to harp on that, as if it’s what matters when the people have been at risk of improper surveillance by their government for years.”

  48. AesopFan Says:

    Saw a link to this story in the comments at Sarah Hoyt’s post Thursday.

    “New buyers of Hansen’s book didn’t seem happy with their mistake.

    “There was one tweet, he came forward and said, ‘I bought this book by accident and there’s no way I’m reading it,’ in kind of this accusatory tone. I thought well, ‘it’s not quite my fault, mate,’” said Hansen.

    Others left unhappy reviews on Amazon.

    “I don’t see anything about President Trump! I don’t know why the democrats are so happy with this book and making a big deal out of this!” one Amazon user said.”

  49. Manju Says:


    Your very stable genius somehow managed to attack a bill that his very own National Security Team supports, just as it was being voted on. The Speaker had to get on the phone with him and explain why his criticism was misguided. At that point, he issued a clarification, but not before his own Chief of Staff had to go down to Capital Hill to clear up the confusion the President just created.

    He’s already put an Israeli spy’s life in danger. Our relationship with our closest ally is at a lowpoint after his White House leaked their classified information, putting a terror investigation in jeopardy. The latest incident lends credence to reports that he does not read intelligence reports, and has (thankfully) outsourced National Security to the Adults in the admin, while he listens to Fox and Friends while tweeting like Paris Hilton on Acid.

    He’s a national security threat. He doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  50. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Don’t believe anything or anyone.

    Not until you check your sources and the conspiracy facts.

    Our relationship with our closest ally is at a lowpoint after his White House leaked their classified information, putting a terror investigation in jeopardy.

    The WH leaked way more information concerning OIF and other American wars, getting scores and countless American patriotic soldiers killed. Nobody seemed to have done much about that.

    He’s already put an Israeli spy’s life in danger.

    Last name wouldn’t be Jarret…

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About Me

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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