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US Politics Hamsterwheel v2.0

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US Politics Hamsterwheel v2.0

Old 6th Apr 2019, 16:49
  #17981 (permalink)  
 
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If indeed Trump is "tired" of being president, he has a simple solution. Do like LBJ and don't run. Settle for a quite successful one term. I don't see him doing that. He loves chaos, and is very good at managing it, to the contnued chagrin of his opponents.
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Old 6th Apr 2019, 23:00
  #17982 (permalink)  
 
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obgraham,
If indeed Trump is "tired" of being president, he has a simple solution. Do like LBJ and don't run.
Trump isn't LBJ, and what you pose isn't how his mind works. The person that knows him best is Howard Stern:
"Trump will hate being president. I personally wish that he had never run, I told him that, because I actually think this is something that is gonna be detrimental to his mental health too, because, he wants to be liked, he wants to be loved," Stern said. "He wants people to cheer for him. All of this hatred and stuff directed towards him. It's not good for him. It's not good. There's a reason every president who leaves the office has grey hair.
I believe Howard Stern is 100% correct. I donít think Trump will make it through a second term if elected again.
I donít believe Trump thought he would win the 2016 election and he was really surprised when he did. When Trump became President, he thought the White House was a dump and I donít think he is comfortable there, even currently. He spends as much time as possible somewhere else, Mar-a-Lago, or one of his private golf clubs, etc. He is bored by some of the things important to all former Presidents, e.g., daily intelligence briefings. Even when being read the US Constitution, he ended the reading during the beginning of Article IV. He has tried to convert the Presidency from the POTUS function to that being the head of the Trump Business organization, a one man leadership position where he singularly made/makes all the important decisions. He has spent little time nominating people to positions he is responsible for filling, ambassadorships, government department leadership positions, etc, but just blames others for this situational reality.

He is uncomfortable as POTUS meeting and talking to people other than his core support fans. He mainly communicates using Twitter which appears more of an outlet where he only shares his frustrations being POTUS, which are many rather positive verifiable news which are few. He has made his support White House organization impotent with his constant negative policy announcements and reversals, e.g., he ignores most advice given to him by his advisors even when most are now his yes men/yes women. I think he didnít understand the real role of being POTUS other than the bells and whistles the position presents such as flying around in a 747, anytime-anywhere he wants to go. Most revealing, look at him in photos and videos, how often is he ever smiling, hardly ever.

His glass is not half full, but more than half empty. Have you ever seen him in casual clothes, bluejeans and plaid shirt, hiking on one of the National Parkís walking trails? Trump doesnít even like being photographed at one of his private golf clubs. I think he feels very confined in the POTUS role that is always under the microscope and wishes he could somehow get out of the confinement. When he recently said his father was born in Germany rather than NYC for the fourth time, it indicative that he is mentally declining. Do I think he would intentionally sink his 2020 reelection? Hard to know, it a struggle he has between his ego and reality everyday and hence the ďGrumpyĒ presenceÖ
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Old 6th Apr 2019, 23:41
  #17983 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pattern_is_full View Post
Can we at least get together on the meaning of "socialist?" I thought we'd determined that it means "public (government) ownership of the means of production," and not just a larger or smaller social safety net. Back 50 pages or so when chuks and ob were debating whether Germany and the Scandinavian countries were "socialist" - as opposed to "capitalist, with strong(er) social programs".

I'm not aware of any candidate for POTUS that is calling for government ownership of the means of production. Government regulation of certain means of production is, of course, "as American as Apple Pie," and has been with us since 1776 (if not before).
Well said Pattern. Sadly, no matter how often one points out the correct definition, many pick right back up using it incorrectly. Makes you wonder....

Most people, when you politely point out an error, are grateful for the teaching moment and move foward. The adherents of using the word socialism incorrectly however, just soldier on in blissful ignorance. Why should I be confident in anything else they say?
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Old 7th Apr 2019, 00:49
  #17984 (permalink)  
 
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I see it differently, Turbine. I see Trump acting the same way he always has. Stirring the pot, disrupting the status quo is his specific tactic. He never promised anything different, and he is not at all interested in doing things the way they were always done. He believes that his legacy will be created by what he gets done, not by how he behaves on tbe way. And so far, annoying as it might be to his detractors, it is workng.

He will get re-elected easily. After 2024 we will not hear from him again.

Last edited by obgraham; 7th Apr 2019 at 03:30. Reason: Fixing typos helps Chuks's coronary flow.
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Old 7th Apr 2019, 00:52
  #17985 (permalink)  
 
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As fir "sociakism", the Green Deal that all the Dems are rushing to run on, is by all definitions, a socialist agenda.
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Old 7th Apr 2019, 02:23
  #17986 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pattern_is_full View Post
Can we at least get together on the meaning of "socialist?" I thought we'd determined that it means "public (government) ownership of the means of production," and not just a larger or smaller social safety net. Back 50 pages or so when chuks and ob were debating whether Germany and the Scandinavian countries were "socialist" - as opposed to "capitalist, with strong(er) social programs".

I'm not aware of any candidate for POTUS that is calling for government ownership of the means of production. Government regulation of certain means of production is, of course, "as American as Apple Pie," and has been with us since 1776 (if not before).
If it walks and quacks like a duck, itís a duck. We have avowed socialists in the government today despite not having a socialist structure.
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Old 7th Apr 2019, 05:43
  #17987 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post
If it walks and quacks like a duck, itís a duck. We have avowed socialists in the government today despite not having a socialist structure.
Possibly - Trump certainly believes in a "command economy" in which he can tell businesses where and how they can make things, and try to override the natural market (or lack thereof) for coal, and so on.

Originally Posted by obgraham View Post
As fir "sociakism", the Green Deal that all the Dems are rushing to run on, is by all definitions, a socialist agenda.
In what way? As compared to....?

You've both given us your opinions - but failed to notice the fact that opinions, unsupported by facts and a rational argument, are indistinguishable from farts. A moist, sometimes noxious expellation of air that any warm body can produce. My cats have opinions about things, but so what?

It's kinda like potty training - it's endearing when a 2-year-old gets all proud and excited about going all by him/herself, but at 10, it's a sign of developmental problems. If you aren't grown-up enough to put together facts and a connecting argument, but just want us to take your word for the way things are (speaking ex cathedra from where the sun don't shine) - sorry, but you get consigned to the crib with the other infants. Background noise.

If you can put together a rational statement of "Here's what A, D, S, and W say, or here's what the GND says, and here's why that fits a definition of socialist," that's fine.
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Old 7th Apr 2019, 14:56
  #17988 (permalink)  
 
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Things the GND suggests that are socialist IMHO:

Central control of energy. Mandating elimination of fossil fuels, and the vehicles which use them.
Redistribution of income according to central planners' decision as to who pays and who gets.
Government control of the health care industry (not that I am totally opposed)
Government control of transport, including requiring rural areas to use systems designed for high density urban areas, impractical as it may be.

Just because GND does not (yet) call for government takeover of means of production does not invalidate the use of the term socialist. After all, we slways hear from the Left that "all we need is a bit of socialism, not communism."

If you think this is just flatus, then prepare to lose the next few elections.



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Old 7th Apr 2019, 15:18
  #17989 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post


If it walks and quacks like a duck, itís a duck. We have avowed socialists in the government today despite not having a socialist structure.
I thought it was just "liberalism" or the relaxation of collective thought
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Old 7th Apr 2019, 17:53
  #17990 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by lomapaseo View Post
I thought it was just "liberalism" or the relaxation of intelligent thought
Fixed it for ya!


Possibly - Trump certainly believes in a "command economy" in which he can tell businesses where and how they can make things, and try to override the natural market (or lack thereof) for coal, and so on.
PIF, you seem to have missed my point. As a basis of understanding, do you agree that thereís would be socialist politicians in office?
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 03:02
  #17991 (permalink)  
 
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Donald Trump currently has:

- No Secretary of Defense

- No Secretary of the Air Force

- No FEMA Director

- No Secretary of the Interior

- No UN Ambassador

- No White House Chief of Staff

- No White House Communications Director

Is this what you mean by Ďsmall governmentí?
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 05:22
  #17992 (permalink)  
 
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WC & OB - thanks for responses.

WC: allowing a loose definition of "socialist" - which would include today's Canada, Germany, the UK, Scandinavian countries, and frankly, the U.S. itself since 1900 or so (trust-busting, gov't-supported/mandated industry inspections, Nat'l parks and other land "held in common" for the American People, the Income Tax, the Fed, etc.) - and thus something completely different from, say, "Communist" - then yes, there are certainly would-be socialist politicians in office in the US.

Of course, there have been would-be socialists in office (or trying to get there) in the USA since 1890 or so, and probably earlier. As I said - "as American as Apple Pie." And not to be confused with Venezuela, Cuba, China, or Russia, where Gov't force, punishment and murder is meted out to suppress opposition to a regime (socialist or otherwise).

Are we in ageement that, just like every other elected politician, they did not just pop up on the floor of the House overnight, like mushrooms? That they were supported and chosen by fellow Americans who knew full-well their political aims, and approved of those aims?

OB, taking your points in reverse order:

Government control of transport (and other industries), and effects on rural areas: The rural areas of much of America were vastly enhanced and empowered by the advent of - the railroads. Which were a government-directed transportation project that involved "corporate welfare" on a massive scale - millions of acres of land handed over to the RRs as grants, instead of (capitalistically) sold to the highest bidder. Railroad companies chartered by Federal law (Pacific Railroad Act of 1862, etc.) and assigned designated routes, and supported in their planning and construction engineering by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and with other government funds, including proceeds of Government-issued bonds in the value of $16,000 (in 1862 money) per mile, trebled for the stretches through the Rockies and Sierra Nevadas. Of course, another little government project of the era - the Civil War - also accelerated development of rail lines to enhance the war effort (on both sides, as The Don would say).

The advent of the railroads also triggered a significant change in the favored fuel supply for long-range transport - from oats to coal.

Does all that sound familiar? It was the GND of 1862. The major U.S. railroads were not the Ayn Rand fantasy of a stalwart, capitalist Dagny Taggart standing astride the rails, shouting "BUILD!" They were the outcome of massive government intervention by Congress, bureaucrats, and the Army. They picked winners and losers - if you got a charter, you made money; if you didn't, you had to find some other line of business. If you were a coal-mine operator, you did well - if you were an oat-farmer, you had to find other markets or crops. If your ranch was near a rail line, you moved meat cheaper - if you didn't, you were SOL.

So either you have to say the U.S. Gov. of 1862 was "socialist" - or the GND proposing the exact same kind of things is not socialist.

Of course, in slightly different ways, both the Defense Interstate Highway System (the brainchild of that famous lefty, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower), and the earlier Rural Electrification Administration, also - adjusted - the lives of rural Americans. And again, the Gummint spent money and provided engineering skills, and decided which towns would benefit from the highway traffic, and which would not; and whose land would be taken for the roads, and whose wouldn't, and which people's homes would be flooded for reservoirs behind power dams, and whose wouldn't (see: TVA, and the wonderful film Wild River), and whether the oil companies would do better than the coal companies in the future.

Now, those particular events are probably closer to "Socialism" in the loose definition. But they were also key components in "Making America Great In The First Place" in the 50s-60s.

I've spent a lot of time in rural America. It has its attractions. It is also very under-served by capitalism, because it is an inefficient place to do business - a wide-spread, sparse population that can't provide either labor or a market in sufficient amounts, in many places. I had to move my 90-year-old mom out of a rural area she loved last year, because there simply were not the services (skilled workers, capital investment) to support her staying in her home. I feel sick about that. Capitalism doesn't do "inefficient" (nor should it)- but someone has to. Leaving Government as the only option.

I'm strongly sympathetic to the idea that rural areas cannot run on electric vehicles alone (clean or otherwise) in the current state of technology (nor can I, travelling in such areas - need to get to 1000 miles/1600 km per charge before it works). Then again, the transcontinental railroad could not have functioned with 1820s rail technology - but fortunately, technology changes. And it changes faster with a boost of "inefficient" government money and guidance (occasionally in the form of warfare, but that's another issue...).

You want to know which farmers are doing well in Eastern CO and Western KS? The ones leasing space on their land for wind-farms. 50 wind-turbines at up to $8000 each per year makes a nice chunk of change. Every time I drive east on I-70, there's a new crop going up. Limon, CO; Lincoln KS, on and on.

Government control of health care: "socialist" only if Canada, the UK, and every other developed country are socialist. To borrow from Gandhi or someone - "What do I think of American Civilization? I think it would be a great idea!" To the extent that America is great, it is not because we've staved off the threat of socialized medicine - we'll be greater with it.

Redistribution of Income: ALL income gets redistributed - you redistribute some to your grocery and gas station every week or so. And perhaps you'll argue that at least you get something in return. I agree. The difference is that with some imagination, one realizes there are lots of things one gets - indirectly - from other redistribution of income or wealth: a railroad, an Interstate, bridges that won't suddenly fall and slaughter your kids, a better-educated workforce; a more stable economy and culture; a bigger market for whatever one sells to survive (be it products or services or labor). A certain amount of "income inequality" is a powerful "voltage" to drive an economy - people will work harder to move up in the tax brackets. But too much inequality is like an over-voltage - the motor just burns out and sits there smoking.

Central Control of Energy, and phasing out fuels, etc.: I think you exaggerate a bit just how much this will be centralized in the Government. But yes, government is going to make certain behaviors less - attractive - than they have been. Beyond that, I refer you back to transport and rural areas. Things change. Sometimes Gov't has to push change that Capitalists are too risk-averse to undertake on their own, or will be inefficient and unprofitable until they reach some critical mass. America has been doing that since its inception. And it's why we are great. Because if government builds the railroads, shippers will profit. And if government builds the highways, car makers will profit. And if government mandates electric vehicles - the guys and gals who can build a better electric car will profit.

Ahh, the irony of now clicking on the quick response button

Last edited by pattern_is_full; 8th Apr 2019 at 05:35.
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 10:36
  #17993 (permalink)  
 
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What was that big "whoosh!" I just heard?

Oh, yeah, facts flying over the heads of the Trump faction here to be found.

PIF, how do you expect to confront lies and fantasy with fact?

The penny dropped for me about a year and-a-half ago, when a Trump partisan challenged me to show just one probable lie that he had uttered. I picked that series of vicious whoppers about the "thousands and thousands" he saw celebrating 9/11 in Jersey City, New Jersey.

I picked it because it was so very, very wrong and bigoted, and dead easy to show as a lie for at least three good reasons:

1. It never happened, according to both the mayor and the chief of police of Jersey City.

2. There was no way, even if it had happened, for Trump to have seen it as he said he did, since it was not broadcast and he was not in line-of-sight of Jersey City.

3. Trump's own numbers shifted from "a thousand" to "thousands and thousands," showing that he was just making this up.

So, over the course of two or three days back and forth we went. First, I was showing my naivete by misunderstanding Trump: he merely had said that Muslims had celebrated 9/11 in various places around the world around then (true, actually). No, he said "Jersey City on 9/11."

Next, okay, it was that somewhere in New Jersey this had to have happened, when nobody could say that it had not. In the basement of a Syrian restaurant, with the lights out. No, Trump said "Jersey City on 9/11."

Finally the reply came that, well, it did not matter to him that Trump had said what he said, and there I was obsessing about it. I could only point out that he had asked me to show Trump lying, which I had done. It must have mattered to him when he asked me to do that, but once I did that ... then it did not matter anymore.

You know, PIF, if you go to Atlantic City you can see people wandering the gutted ruins of the place wearing MAGA hats. Trump did much to destroy the place, but that seems to be okay with his followers; just as seen here many times, it's not even that they fail to connect the dots but that they do not even see the dots!

The funniest part of this is that it's the people lining up to shoot at Castle Trump, firing facts that just bounce off it, who supposedly are the deranged ones. Who knows?

What is it like in there, behind the wall? Probably it's about like enjoying the preaching of Jim Jones, while never wondering what all those vats of Kool Aid might be for. We have had a glimpse of part of the pay-back for some of Trump's gang: Some are going to jail; others are merely in disgrace (ask Sean Spicer how that job search is going). There are plenty more, though, particularly those two flacks, Kellyanne and Sarah, who are just spinning away, pretending that things have only changed for the better since the Mueller Report finished. "Iceberg? What iceberg?" Yes, well ... it seems that there might be stuff in there that will make things change back the other way, stuff that can't really be spun, when it will have to come out in one way or another.

Watergate again: Nixon prevaricated for quite a while about releasing those tapes. First it was that they did not matter. Then it was, "Okay, here they are," but in the form of transcripts stacked high on both sides of Nixon as he addressed the nation. Finally, there they were, but with a mysterious 18-minute gap that was due to his secretary doing some sort of ridiculous mambo move at her desk. Never mind what must have been wiped out there, because the rest of it was quite damning, leading to Nixon doing that double "V for victory" sign as he turned around in the doorway of Marine One and got the hell out of the White House for good.

Watergate took five years from start to finish. You will not see me moaning about whatever is coming for Trump, whatever it will end up being called, not having been done in just two years and a bit. The latest button to fall off his overcoat is the firing of his Secretary for Homeland Security. When it comes to "Is this glass half full or half empty?" we can say that Trump's cabinet is only 60% full; 40% of the key positions have only temporary appointments, many left unfilled since he entered office, others emptied out by those who just could not get along with this master of lies and BS.
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 15:04
  #17994 (permalink)  
 
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@Pattern That is indeed quite a lesson in American history for those of us on the outside looking in. It reinforces for me a picture that the government has a role in looking over the horizon to see what is emergent and what will contribute to the overall health of the nation.

I recently read that the U.S. has approximately 50,000 workers in the coal industry. I don't know if that is total or just those working at the face. Juxtaposed to that was mention that there are 300,000 working in the solar industry--designing/engineering/installing/etc.

We are having our own battles over wind farms in the UK, but it would seem that these alternative energy technologies should be a part of any energy toolbox and, in my most humble opinion, believe that the government should help foster these technologies. We can look to Mr. Trump and learn from his efforts to stymie an emergent part of the economy that is employing 300K in order to play to 50K coal workers. In other words, he seems to be working against 300,000 workers for the benefit (if one can call it that as they continue to lose jobs) of 50,000.

In the advanced nations of the world government has a critical role in helping build the scaffold of the economy. Not to manage each industry, but to at least help incubate those are emergent and hold promise. Will the "green" technologies all be a success? Maybe, maybe not, but that is not really the question. How many Western ranchers these days are loading cattle on trains to go Upton Sinclair's notorious Chicago slaughterhouses? As many as 100 years ago? If not it probably doesn't matter to the overall economy as those trains are now filled with auto parts or whatever. The point is that the railroad was seen as the scaffold to sustain whatever might follow--and it worked.

Like the U.S., Europe invests in sea ports. It begs the obvious to state why irrespective of what is being moved through that port--whether it be new autos or clothing from Bangladesh.

Lawrence Lessig of Harvard University makes these points but stresses how good anti trust enforcement must also be in place so that there is free competition taking upon that government built scaffold. I subscribe to his thinking that all of us in the advanced nations have much more to worry about from firms running foul of anti trust practices than we do of a "planned" government economy. The latter being just a catch phrase for the Rupert Murdoch anger news shows.

@Chuks I think we simply have to realize that there is no meeting of reality that will steer Trump's adherents back to facts. We have already witnessed that even if someone were to be furloughed from their job that he/she would still be in the first ranks of his praise chorus. When such existential threats are not enough to dampen one's ardour, then mere facts are useless weapons in the war of ideas.

It does seem that he, and the U.S., has a definite problem at the border. Here the Democrats continue their blithe march toward self-immolation by giving the impression that everyone is welcome so just stream millions in. Whether this is true or not it is the impression. At that point how can one fault a citizen for wondering what a border is supposed to mean? This question, one that Europe is also wrestling with at the moment, should have been addresses years ago but alas....

Last edited by Uncle Fred; 8th Apr 2019 at 19:18.
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 17:26
  #17995 (permalink)  
 
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The USA has done too much making a mess out of much of America, when that has been a driver for migration. It is worth thinking about trying to fix the mess, thus allowing people to live in peace and freedom at home instead of taking the risky trek to the States. Not that Trump and the greedheads who surround him would ever think of this, but it's one alternative that some clever Democrats might come up with. In other words, there are better alternatives to either being insanely cruel to would-be migrants or else letting them all in.

Isn't it interesting that this quite harsh Kirstjen Nielsen, she who was totally okay with separating children from their parents, was not harsh enough for Trump. It's a real shame that we hanged so many of those monstrous women who worked in the camps during the Holocaust, instead of getting them on board with tips on how to deal properly with the unwanted. Put Kirstjen in the middle for cruelty, instead of way over there on the right, so that Trump could know what he wants to see in her replacement, someone willing to go just a bit further. Not full Buchenwald (It's a mistake to go full Buchenwald; you should never go full Buchenwald. Even Steven Miller knows that!), just a few degrees meaner than what Kirstjen was able to come up with.

Yes, try that and see if it makes the Donald happy, getting tougher with the huddled masses. Razor wire isn't working, so how about an electrified fence? How many volts does it take to fry a beaner, anyway? (Someone told Donald that "Would you hit a woman with a baby?" "No, I'd hit her with a brick!" joke when he simply nodded in happy agreement, thinking he was getting the point for once.)
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 19:18
  #17996 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hempy View Post
Donald Trump currently has:

- No Secretary of Defense

- No Secretary of the Air Force

- No FEMA Director

- No Secretary of the Interior

- No UN Ambassador

- No White House Chief of Staff

- No White House Communications Director

Is this what you mean by ‘small government’?
Hempy - to be expected. From a conservative GOP strategist: https://www.simonandschuster.com/boo.../9781982103149

Add to your list:
- No Secretary of Homeland Security
- No Director of the Secret Service
- No Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 19:25
  #17997 (permalink)  
 
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Looks like a day of long knives in the Trump WH. He even cashiered out the head of the Praetorian Guard. Quite the culling.
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 20:28
  #17998 (permalink)  
 
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With the WH revolving door going at bat out of hell speed.......why the hell would anyone want to work for him in the first place?
I don't see any upside for anyone other than getting your name in the news.
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 21:38
  #17999 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by meadowrun View Post
With the WH revolving door going at bat out of hell speed.......why the hell would anyone want to work for him in the first place?
I don't see any upside for anyone other than getting your name in the news.
I am not sure how much a publisher would pay these days as an advance on a book. Obviously depends who you are and what you have to say, but the idea of a book deal might tempt some.

For others, perhaps they are tempted by the flame of being at the seat of world power--or at least perceived power.

Others might, as hard as it is for a rational person to imagine, might feel as if they could tame the beasts basic instincts and actually convince Trump to do something constructive.

Me? I am actually not as cynical as this might sound, but I learned early that there is a nearly inexhaustible supply of people who will try to climb the greasy pole of politics. Plus, some kind of gig on Fox News might await and that is the mother-lode for many of these types I would imagine.

Apart from my opinions however, it is interesting that when Trump names all these "acting" officials. Is he not skirting around your Congress' role in approval? Or was that just a historical courtesy?

Last edited by Uncle Fred; 8th Apr 2019 at 22:34.
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 22:24
  #18000 (permalink)  
 
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Apart from my opinions however, it is interesting that when Trump names all these "acting" officials, is he not skirting around your Congress' role in approval?
Yes.
Checks and balances.
Congress is an integral segment of government.
The Executive is not the government.
Founding fathers were rightly worried about dictators and kings.

Eventually the really big shoe is going to drop on his head. Eventually. Still short on backbones in the swamp.
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