Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Summertime, and the living is....


First, who do you believe:  Trump, or Kushner?  Why believe either of them?

I should add Ms. Spiers replied to her own tweet with the assertion that "there is a non 0 possibility Jared" was lying to her; and then she says, either way, it's a disgusting assertion.

Pretty much where I come down.  I don't see any evidence Trump is that Machiavellian, or that smart.  He lies because he prefers to.  And he held to that birther conspiracy story so long he must have come to believe it.  Indeed, I think Matt Yglesias is right, and Trump just deals in bullshit as a means of testing the loyalty of those around him.  Except that answer only works if Trump is in a position like being POTUS.  He's only been there four months; he's been lying all his life.  I also don't buy the distinction Yglesias makes between lies and bullshit; neither does the law.  You can misrepresent something because you don't know yourself what is true; or you can commit fraud, where you mean for someone to buy your lie, when you know it's a lie.  Either way, you're a liar:  either a dissembler who isn't careful what he says, or a fraud, a deceiver, a father of lies.  The distinction is important, but only on the spectrum.  The more I think about it, the less I buy the "bullshit" distinction.  I reserve that for tall tales.

Sorry, I digress.  The burden of the job is getting to the little man with the little hands:

“He now lives within himself, which is a dangerous place for Donald Trump to be,” a confidante said. ”I see him emotionally withdrawing. He’s gained weight. He doesn’t have anybody whom he trusts.”

And as the president receives conflicting advice from aides and officials, there’s concern over whether the president will even listen to the information. “No one is giving him the landscape—this is how it works, this is what you should do or not do,” a friend told Borger. “And no one has enough control—or security—to do that.”

Instead, the president hopes for a magic bullet to quell the Russia scandal.

“He’s sitting there saying, like he does with everything, ‘You guys work for me. Fix this,’” a source said.

He has no one to blame but himself, but the country is going to pay the price.  We have no one to blame but ourselves, either.  Don't look for that to make things change any more than it changes Trump.  No one is going to fix things for him; no one is going to fix things for us.  This is the problem of self-government.

And oh, for the days of Ron Ziegler (ask your grandpa! Punk!):

“[Spicer] derided the press as ‘fake news,’ excoriated the use of anonymous sources, and defended the president’s dissemination of a story that relied on a single, unidentified source. At one point, he scolded Peter Baker, the New York Times chief White House correspondent, for shaking his head,” Politico published. “And, when he abruptly ended the briefing, he left the stage to angry shouts and continued questions from the assembled press.”

No word whether the podium was motorized and whisked him away with it.  And if all this wasn't enough, one more reason for White House staff to dread the morning:

"It would be another trainwreck," one White House official told The Daily Beast, bluntly. "I'm dreading that it could even happen…though he'll probably be kept outside [the White House], it's looking like."

The event referred to is the return of Corey Lewandowski to the White House.  Four separate officials are quoted in the article, all quite sure Lewandowski will not be in the White House proper.  It is clearly they hope for sanity, that Lewandowski won't have an office in the West Wing.  We call this kind of wishful thinking "whistling past the graveyard."

Will no one rid Trump of this troublesome government?

And really, is this supposed to be helping?  Or is Putin visiting Trump's sinking ship and tossing him an anchor?

In an exemplary tweet Tuesday morning, Trump wrote that the federal and congressional Russia investigations were “a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election.”

Hours later, the French newspaper Le Figaro published an interview with Putin, which had taken place Monday, in which the Russian leader called allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election “fiction,” driven by “desire of those who lost the U.S. elections to improve their standing by accusing Russia of interfering.”

“[P]eople who lost the vote hate to acknowledge that they indeed lost because the person who won was closer to the people and had a better understanding of what people wanted,” he added.
I was going to say it's evidence of collusion.  On second thought, it's world-class trolling.  Putin is having the time of his life; unfortunately, at our expense.

How long is it going to take for us to see it?

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