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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Jenkins

I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations…
-- Anonymous, OpEd, New York Times, September 9, 2018


The Left.

Fake News.

The Swamp.

Witch Hunt.

The Deep State.

Anonymous Sources.

The Shadow Government.

Seems everyone is out to get Trump.

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There’s a moment for most people.

It’s part of growing up. The foundation of emotional maturity. The basis of rational adulthood, that moment.

Not everybody gets there. Not everyone has that moment. No. Not everyone. We all have that one needy friend who lives a life of endless self-inflicted disaster. Bad investments. Bad relationships. Bad decisions. Their life is an ongoing car wreck and they just never seem to learn. They show up with a new partner and you know in the first second how it’ll go. You can see it in the date’s eyes. Selfish. Stupid. Too much money and not enough sense – or maybe not enough of either. Entitled. Spoiled. Emotionally crippled. And you’re like, goddammit, here we go again. You can see the whole thing, you know how it’ll play out. The relationship will go down in flames, smoke, wreckage, like a gut-shot B-17 auguring in over 1944 Berlin. You know exactly how it’ll end: on your couch, wailing “what’s wrong with me?”

What’s wrong with you?

You’re a goddammed child. That’s what’s wrong. You just never seem to reach that moment, the moment the rest of us face, the moment when you realize all those shitty horrible relationships you keep finding yourself in, all of those shitty terrible situations, all of the shitty misery that keeps piling up on your pointy head, all of that, the one thing all of that has in common is … you.

You’re the problem.

So, stop doing it. Whatever it takes, stop doing it. Stop being that person. Stop it.

Sooner or later, most of us realize we’re doing it to ourselves.

That’s the moment.

And we stop.

It’s part of growing up. Part of emotional maturity. Part of being a rational, reasonably happy, functioning adult. Stop hurting yourself.

But not everybody gets there. And even if you do, you always have that one person in your life who doesn’t.

Sooner or later, you have to slap some goddamned sense into these people or, for your own sanity, cut them loose – because they are your shitty relationship. 


That’s America.


That’s who America is, your needy friend, crying on your couch.

And that’s Trump, America’s shitty boyfriend. Selfish. Self centered. Stupid. Too much money and not enough goddamned sense. Entitled. Spoiled. Emotionally stunted. And you can see the whole thing, can’t you? You know how it’s going to play out. You just hope that when it goes down, when it finally crashes and burns, when it augers in, you can avoid being killed in the falling wreckage.

You might be able to slap some sense into your friend, America, but not Trump. Not Trump. He can’t see it. He just doesn’t get it.

Trump doesn't get it.

He can’t get it.

He can’t get it because it’s not possible for him to get it. He’s damaged, crippled by his wealth and privilege. He's pathologically incapable of getting it and his comments this morning are another example of just how thoroughly Trump does not get it.

“The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going Crazy…”

No.

No. It’s not the media. It’s not any “Deep State.” It’s not the Left. It’s not any shadowy conspiracy in the White House – though there are certainly forces conspiring against Trump. Hell, I’m one of them. I’m America’s friend, telling her to cut this loser off, kick him to the curb, throw him the hell out and change the locks, do it, before it’s too late. Again.

Goddammit, America, stop hurting yourself.

I’m reminded of Jenkins.

That’s right, Jenkins.

See, Jenkins was that guy. Emotionally stunted. Spoiled. Self-centered. Stupid. Goddamn was he stupid. The only thing Jenkins cared about was basketball. It’s all he ever talked about. It was his go-to move, every time. No matter what. If you were talking about some thing, politics, technology, whatever, that Jenkins didn’t understand, or wasn’t interested in, he’d interrupt with basketball. He never paid attention to anything anybody said, he just waited for a moment to bring up basketball. His wife sat home every night while he was out playing basketball with the fellas. Or she sat in the bedroom while he watched basketball on TV in the living room. At work, we’d be in the middle of some complex military evolution and Jenkins would interrupt to ask if anybody had seen the game last night. I was his supervisor. I’d yell at him, Goddammit, Jenkins, pay attention, you’re gonna get people killed. Yeah, he’d answer, but how about that game, right? Jenkins never got advanced. He couldn’t score high enough on the test. He couldn’t get good enough evaluations. He’d come to me crying, having been passed over for promotion yet again. What’s wrong with me? Well, I’d start… Hey, he’d interrupt, you see the game last night? His wife eventually left him for some other guy who paid attention to her. Jenkins never saw it coming, of course he didn’t. He could tell you the stats of every Hall of Famer, but didn’t know how miserable his own wife was. So she left him. Guy was wrecked. What are you gonna do, he’s one of your people. Hey, man, it’ll be OK. Jenkins broke down crying, I don’t know what happened! What’s wrong with me? Hey … did any of your guys catch the game last night?

He just never got it.

He wasn’t capable of getting it. He was emotionally stunted. Broken in some way and unfixable. He didn’t know how to listen. He didn’t know how to lead. He didn’t even know what questions to ask and he wasn’t willing to learn. And so he lived a life of loud misery.

He never figured out that he was the cause of all of his problems.

Rather than face it, he kept trying to change the narrative. Hey, fellas, how about the game last night, huh?

And as a result, his problems always became my problem, our problem, the unit’s problem – until he got himself thrown out of the service.

Look at this:

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"Cosumer [sic] confidence highest in 18 years, Atlanta Fed forecasts 4.7 GDP, manufacturing jobs highest in many years. “It’s the story of the Trump Administration, the Economic Success, that’s unnerving his detractors.” @MariaBartiromo"

Consumer confidence?

What the hell? What’s consumer confidence have to do with anything? Right now, this moment, the country is afire with rumors of chaos in an unmoored, drifting White House helmed by a self-centered lunatic and instead of facing that head on, Trump is talking about consumer confidence and hey, fellas, how about the game last night, huh?

Hey! Jenkins, you idiot, pay attention! You’re gonna get people killed.

Trump is not just off on a tangent. He pivoted to the economy, as he always does when faced with criticism. That’s his move, his basketball fake, the economy. But it’s more than that. Notice how he always quotes Fox News, but not his own Administration?

Why is that?

Where is Bartiromo getting these numbers? From the Consumer Confidence Board, right? Probably. That’s typically where the Consumer Confidence Index numbers come from. The board is an independent (supposedly) research organization, which attempts to quantify the level of optimism in American consumers based on the opinions of 50,000 households. The Consumer Confidence Index is 40% opinion, 60% Wall Street expectations, and some mumbo-jumbo, smoke, and a couple of rainbows thrown in for leavening. The CCI is considered a leading indicator of economic trends and it’s used by the Federal Reserve when determining interest rates and, naturally, it’s watched pretty closely by stock exchanges around the world.

So, why then doesn't Trump quote the CCB directly?

Or the Federal Reserve?

Or his own Department of Commerce? The Treasury. Anybody in his own administration. Why is he quoting Fox News?

Why? Because he doesn’t even know where the information he’s quoting actually comes from. He doesn’t know how to get it. He doesn’t even know who to talk to in his own administration. And nobody is stepping up. Nobody.

Most of all, he doesn’t really know what it means, so he needs somebody like Maria Bartiromo to whore it up with some flattery because he can’t do it himself. It’s just something he saw on the infotainment channel he watches and he threw it into the public narrative because he doesn’t have any goddamned idea what else to say. It's a pattern, he first attempts to discredit whatever the day's leading story is, Deep State, Fake News, Shadow Government, and then every time pivots to the economy filtered through his pet media outlet. Hey, fellas, did you see the game last night?

It's ironic, isn't it?

Trump daily complains about the news media, who he says doesn't really have the inside scoop on his administration…

…and then, instead of quoting his own staff, his own agencies, his own experts, his own government, he always, every time, presents information filtered through the media instead.


Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.
-- Anonymous, Editorial, NYT


He can’t see it.

He doesn’t get it.

And of course he does this because he doesn't have the attention span to sit through detailed briefings from his own people or the mental rigor to review in detail the reports from his own administration or the education and experience to know what questions to ask. Instead he gets his entire worldview from TV, filtered through a corporate agenda specifically tailored to get his attention, like a parent jiggling keys in front of a baby or a porn star jiggling her … well, you get the idea. This warped worldview is then reinforced by a stable of his own toadies and ass-kissers who tell him only what he wants to hear.

This is an incredibly dangerous situation for a president.

And a very, very dangerous situation for any nation.

It echoes the final days of any totalitarian regime where the leader retreats to his Eagle's Nest or Wolf's Lair or Spider Hole and ignores the rumble of approaching defeat for the comforting lies of his own propaganda.


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"The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going Crazy - & they don’t know what to do. The Economy is booming like never before, Jobs are at Historic Highs, soon TWO Supreme Court Justices & maybe Declassification to find Additional Corruption. Wow!"

Wow, indeed.

Insulated from reality, Rich Business Guy crows about the economy. Money, Right? It's the only thing that matters to him and those like him. Money. So long as the economy is booming, what are you peons complaining about? Hey, how about the game last night?

It's a pattern with him.

He lives in an artificial bubble, created partly by himself and partly by those around him -- the ones whose own power and identity are irrevocably tied to Trump's. If he goes down, they go down, and so they work diligently to keep that bubble inflated at all costs. In a way, he is like Pu Yi, the last Emperor of China, a child, isolated inside the Forbidden City, who spends his days playing while others run the nation, unaware that outside the walls is a very, very different and very dangerous world. Of course, the analogy only goes so far, unlike Pu Yi, Trump's power extends far beyond the walls and could easily, in a fit of childish temper or imperial ignorance, destroy us all.

And thus we come to that OpEd in the New York Times.

The one penned by an anonymous member of the Imperial Court.

The one that describes a fool, an emotional cripple, an amoral mad child of a president and a government in chaos.

The one that describes a secret resistance inside the Trump Administration, a cabal of unidentified, unelected, unappointed staffers who daily work to thwart this reckless fool and impose upon America their own agenda.

As somebody noted on my Twitter feed, what is most disturbing about the NYT article is we're all asking who wrote it, not if it's actually true.

Because we all, all of us no matter our political affiliation, we know that it’s true. It can hardly be otherwise. And it is all too likely.

I don’t need to analyze it, or prove its veracity, even if I had the data and the tools to do so.

Trump proves its truth over and over.

This editorial, comes the day after the release of Bob Woodward’s new book – a book written with meticulous care by a trusted legend of the genre and that describes the same situation, the chaos and disarray, in the White House.

A book, even one from a veteran like Woodward, an editorial, even one from The Gray Lady herself, those could be dismissed in isolation. But they are hardly isolated incidents. Everywhere you turn – everywhere but Fox News and its satellites – every source from inside the administration, every former employee, everyone who has to deal with Trump up close and personal, they all paint the same picture.

And Trump himself does nothing to dispel this impression. Because he can’t.

As I type this, literally as I typed the above paragraph, Trump posted this to Twitter:

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And there it is.  Look at that.

I mean, you do see it, don’t you?

He’s spent the last two days, the last year of his presidency, denying that any such sources within his administration exist.

He daily rails against “fake news” and says repeatedly that “anonymous sources” don’t really exist.

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And yet, at the end of the day, he demands to know the source’s identity.


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You don’t demand the name of the source, you don’t demand the source be turned over to the government for “national security purposes” (at once!), if you believe that source doesn’t really exist.

Trump knows.

He knows the New York Times editorial is true.

He knows Woodward’s book paints a true picture.

We all know it. And I don’t know what’s more of a danger to the Republic, this buffoon of a president or some unelected cabal pulling the strings.

Trump has lost control, if indeed he ever had such – which I doubt. And he can’t figure out why all of these bad things keep happening to him.

It’s not the the Left, or Fake News, or The Swamp, or any Witch Hunt. There is no Deep State. And it’s not anonymous sources who are the problem.

It’s Trump.

He doesn’t know what to do, because he’s never had that moment, that moment where he takes responsibility for his own life and becomes an adult.

He doesn’t get it. He’s not capable of getting it. He’s intellectually crippled and emotionally stunted. Broken in some way and unfixable. He doesn’t know how to listen. He doesn’t know how to lead. He doesn’t know how to get critical information and he doesn’t even know what questions to ask and he is unwilling and unable to learn. And so he lives a life of loud misery and makes us miserable too.

Worst of all, he can’t seem to figure out that he and he alone is the ultimate cause of all of his problems.

He can’t face it. So he keeps trying to change the narrative.

Hey, fellas, how about the game last night, huh?

And unfortunately for us, his problems become our problems.


Trump is America’s Jenkins.


There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.
--
Anonymous, Editorial, NYT

115 comments:

  1. Less than two months from the midterms, and we don't know what's going on with the executive branch.

    We know it's bad. Either we have a deranged leader, or the Deep State is a lot shallower than people think.

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    Replies
    1. We know it's bad and we have a bad president. As Jim says, IQ45 is the problem.

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    2. Does it not trouble anyone that the Democracy is in the hands of unelected officials? However well intentioned this is not how a democracy works.

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    3. Absolutely. However, I'm glad that at least some of the potential damage from Cheetolini is being mitigated. Even so, the things that the editorial said they like are in many ways just as bad as the things they are stopping. They are all on board with more tax cuts for the wealthy at everyone else's expense and eliminating all regulations protecting the environment.

      This wouldn't be an issue if those in charge of Congress would do their job of oversight rather than acting as if the president is a king who can do whatever he wants.

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  2. So, now we wait with bated breath to see if we can flip the House in November. In the meantime President Jenkins is playing with matches and babbling about the economy. Hide the gas cans.

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    1. What is scary is that he has people willing to give him a plentiful supply of gasoline and show him how to strike the matches.

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    2. Yep, just so long as he doesn't set their toys on fire. They just can't see that the potential conflagration could burn everything down.

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  3. So, now we wait with bated breath to see if we can flip the House in November. In the meantime President Jenkins is playing with matches and babbling about the economy. Hide the gas cans.

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  4. I sincerely hope Jenkins didn't get anyone killed.

    Yeah, I read that op-ed hours after it was published. I saw it more as confirmation of what I already knew than any distinct revelation. Pretty scary stuff, either way.

    One thing that makes it hard for all but the rationally incompetent to ignore is that it's an anonymous opinion piece in a newspaper that categorically doesn't publish anonymous opinion pieces.

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    1. And it is presented as an op-ed or editorial piece. It is not 'news' and does not pretend to be 'news'. It is an opinion only. And we ALL have a right to our own opinions, even if you do not get our names or know us, eh?

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    2. Jenkins has already gotten people killed, nearly three thousand in Puerto Rico alone. Many of the children who are still separated from their parents are suicidal. And don't forget the four dead in Niger.

      The death toll is already climbing, pray it doesn't get worse.

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  5. Spot on, as usual Jim. I am also concerned about these self-appointed saviors deciding which awful policy is ok, and which ones have to be stopped. Is there no chain of command that needs to be followed? Who are they to disobey or flummox the President? What kind of guidelines are we setting for future administrations? The greatest damage done by this presidency is not visible today, but it will be the effects of shattered norms that ripple through our republic for years.

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    1. As I watch the Republicans in Congress destroy norm after norm in the quest to jam their agenda through, that is my worry. Much of what we thought was "law" turn out to be "norms". What happened to decency, honor, cooperation for the good of the Country, honesty? Are we ever going to pull together again for the good of all?

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  6. Ok, now THIS ONE is your best ever. Very powerful and spot on. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. They are all damn good but this is so far out of the park it's in the next State.

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  7. You are an amazing writer, Jim. You hit the nail square on the head, as usual. Thank you.

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  8. The Navy turned me into an adult, and I’m forever grateful. Trump got sent to ‘military academy’ because his parents knew he was dangerous and beyond their ability to control. Military academy failed as miserably as his parents, and here we are, being made to suffer like the small animals he was probably caught torturing in his youth.

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    1. I highly suspect the Military Academy filed for two reasons.
      1. His father had connections which prevented any real consequences for Donald when he screwed up.
      2. He has always been broken.
      Some ppl ar damaged and can be fixed to a degree but some, like Trump are simply broken. In Trump's case he was probably born that way but given the gilded and sheltered life he led as a juvenile the narcissism was exacerbated.

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  9. What do we say to or ask our conservative friends and family who are otherwise decent people except for their membership in this cult-like fraternity of bigoted nutjobs and greedy people who don’t seem to notice or mind the bigots so much, so long as they get their tax breaks?

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    Replies
    1. What scares me about your question is that it is something that could have been asked by a reasonable person about his Nazi grandfather.

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    2. If they're trump/GOP supporters at this point, they're not decent people. No more than the Jim Jones parents who fed their children cyanide laced Kool Aid.

      If putting kids in cages wasn't enough to change them wasn't enough, nothing will change them.

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    3. Ask for 'other, better' Republicans.
      Tell them you could vote for Eisenhower or Dole. get them to look.

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  10. Somehow I am reminded of Burt Lancaster playing Top Sergeant Warden in the Hawaii post just before the attack on Pearl Harbor. He runs the company while the CO, a careless and self important captain plays at the O club all day and chases skirt. I think he cajoles and outwits the company commander preventing chaotic decisions, and says something like " I bet he could not swallow his own spit without me." There are military duds and they are usually surrounded and exiled one way or another. When they are General Officers it is a wee bit tougher but not beyond accomodation I think too.

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  11. Yet another excellent essay. Thank you once again.

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  12. Donald Jenkins Trump.

    In most of those acidic relationships, the "Jenkins" party has to hit bottom, and the "America" party has to see it before the "America" party is willing to kick Jenkins to the curb. I'm just hoping he doesn't bring us to the bottom with him.

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  13. This is the most accurate description of Trump. You nailed it Stonekettle!(@CuomoCPT_515)

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  14. I'm always bolstered by these essays. This is very much The Emperor's New Clothes...except in the story, the emperor finally understands and there's a tidy moral with which to wrap things up. WE are a nation of outspoken children, telling anyone that will listen that the Emperor is naked. People nod, they agree...and the Emperor points at the child and eventually says off with his head. Yes, I'm mixing The Emperor with Alice, but I'm on a roll and can't stop :) . Thanks Jim; the only upside (in relative terms) is that there is a siblinghood that arises from the ashes and your voice helps light the way.

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    1. Rick, in the stories I read, the Emperor realises the child is probably right - but continues with the parade anyway because it would be beneath his dignity to admit to being wrong...

      The parallels are unsettling.

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  15. I found it particularly telling that, in the audio release of his conversation with Woodward, Trump asked, "Are these real quotes, from real people? Or, are they, 'people are saying...?'" (a paraphrased quote, on my part, but very enlightening, considering how many times he's started a sentence that way...).

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  16. Thank you so much for this Essay Jim!
    You never fail to tell the truth, and, around here, that's a rare thing.
    It's inspiring to see you continue serving this country and its people as you so bravely did when you were in the Navy.
    Were you to run for President, my wife and I will vote for you.
    Best wishes and keep writing. Call them out.

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  17. "You don’t demand the name of the source, you don’t demand the source be turned over to the government for “national security purposes” (at once!), if you believe that source doesn’t really exist.

    Trump knows.

    He knows the New York Times editorial is true. "

    THIS^^^

    i really really hope that this is the wakeup call that will hit home to America, but i'm not betting the farm on it.

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  18. Trump is like the man, caught by his wife in the act of adultery, who says, "Who are you going to believe, honey, me or your lying eyes?"

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    1. Considering the Stormy Daniels scandal, where Trump cheated on wife #_3_, this isn't a simile so much as it is yet one more real-life example of Trump being a lying dirtbag. (Your only stretch of reality was pretending to have a quote.)

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    2. The quote comes from a Richard Pryor bit, which in turn comes from a Groucho Marx bit, but I suspect it goes further back than that. (Google is your friend.)

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    3. Jerry A, he's cheated on ALL of his wives. I forget which one, I think it was #2, but he brought his latest mistress now our First Bimbo, on his airplane with his entire family aboard, including his wife, for a family vacation, and defied that #2 do anything about it.
      Truly a vile creature.

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  19. Do you ever wonder... if everyday citizens rise above politics and shed their differences... and republicans are in control, does it still benefit Republicans. Is this deep state, which is interesting that everything Trump and the right cry about only exist on the right? They project their own behaviors on the left! Do the Republicans see they are about to loose power with Trump. They have ridden the horse as far as they can. Now they need people to rise above the politics, after they have Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, then they control 3 out of 3 branches of government and 1 for lifetime till replaced. Doesn't this seem a little fishy that this plea comes at this time? I'm skeptical. I would believe it more, but the actions of the Republicans by trying to hide information in the Judicial hearing and not a single word from any Senator that isn't retiring, or dead against Trump. This all stinks.

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    Replies
    1. Look at the editorial
      We got our 1st tax cuts, we got our judges

      They know. They ain't gonna rise above
      They love it

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  20. As I read this it reminded so much of my life with my first wife. She was always trying to change me because I was the problem. The over drawn bank account was never her fault, the unregistered car or truck was never her fault even though she willingly took on that responsibility. I finally asked for a divorce and grew up. She was my Jenkins. I had not thought about Trump in that context. This gave me an oh shit moment that has been dormant for some 17 years. I have never liked Trump even long before he got political but now I see more clearly just what made me dislike him so much. Great read Jim, thank you.

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    1. ^^^Same^^^ The blame-shifting ex that never accepted her own short comings. Dave, we share a similar story even down to the 17 year timeline. And yes, we both disliked Trump prior to 2016 but, until Jim's essay here, couldn't easily articulate why. The republic is in peril, indeed.

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    2. I grew up with an extended family of Jenkins and knew even as a small child they were great examples of what not to do. One of my uncles was a real life con man (much more successful than tRump in that he never had to settle out of court) so I've known what a con man looked like for a very long time and tRump NEVER passed the sniff test.

      Delete
  21. Well said and exactly to the point, as usual. And what Trump doesn't realize is that Fox will be his cheerleader, his "news" source, right up to the point where they see the tide turning. When that happens, they'll jump on the opposing bandwagon so fast it'll make people's heads spin.

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  22. Ironically, then, it does turn out to be all about him. At least the root of the issue is. The rest comes from the reactions to it/him.

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  23. I just spent the last two weeks with my 10-year-old granddaughter, and every time we got in the car, I ended up listening to current Pop music. So, in terms of that breakup with the guy you NEVER want to be around anymore, may I add lyrics by Dua Lipa, "New Rules":

    One, don't pick up the phone
    You know he's only calling 'cause he's drunka dn alone.
    Two, don't let him in
    You'll have to kick him out again
    Three, don't be his friend
    You know you're gonna wake up in his bed in the mornin'.

    Just sayin'...

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  24. I agree with you . . . I don't know which is worse, the man who won the election with a minority of the votes and an archaic electoral system, or a bunch of faceless nameless unelected people pulling his strings.

    That sounds like some of the right-wing conspiracy nonsense about the Illuminati or the Club of Rome or the Masons. On the other hand, projection seems to be a part of the conservative "brand."

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  25. To me, the real question is whether or not the GOP will actually do anything about Jenkins. I doubt it....they're a mass application of the Zero Spine Rule.

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  26. Needless to say, I wish the bozo you use for your central illustration had a different surname. I hope we're not related.

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    1. Not all the Jenkins? đŸ˜‰

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    2. The last Jenkins I knew WAS usually the adult in the room. If we work back far enough in the family tree, we are all related to this bozo (or worse).

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  27. so, as always, I appreciate the time you took to write this, and I agree with the sentiment. But (you knew there was one, right?) I have to ask a question.
    Why are you preaching to the choir? Those of is who follow on FB or Twitter, we agree with you already. We love your posts and (I do anyway) look forward to them because they reinforce what we already know. We love what you write and read it gladly but maybe it's time to go wider and start to push to a wider audience, maybe something that pushes your thoughtful and logical analysis to people who would not otherwise be involved in their government. Just a thought, it's late here and I'm tired.

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    1. I've suggested many time that Jim would make for one hell of a good expert commentator on CNN or MSNBC because of his background in military intelligence and his ability to articulate far better than most the real issues we face. If we could get his followers on Twitter and FB to push this idea, providing Jim is down for it, maybe we could get Maddow or O'Donnel to invite him on.

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  28. I wake up and think I've lost any capability of being frightened any further by the direction our country is going, and then I read one of your pieces. This one. This right here here brings me to an even darker place of fear. We have an anonymous source saying that they are holding the reins of our country, thwarting the idiot who is supposed to be the President of this country. They're doing that instead of stepping up and actually REMOVING him. And why? So they can continue to achieve their own self-serving agendas. There isn't enough whiskey to chase these nightmares away.

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    1. I read the anonymous op-ed as a message to the few non-insane Republicans left, and those who were so embarrassed as to call themselves Independents (though they'll still vote R), saying that it's okay, the senior appointees who really control things won't let an obviously insane Trump burn it all down. The right wing mega-donors can keep financing their politicians to get more corporate tax cuts. The party faithful can still vote for Republicans so they can keep their favorite political agenda items (tax cuts for the rich and making abortion illegal) going for a little while longer. The aristocracy has a leash on the mad king, so please don't roll out the guillotines.

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  29. And tonight in Montana, he told a more sentient crowd that his legacy would be as great as Lincoln's was.

    Always selling, mostly lemons. Donnie Ditz, Don the Con. He wants to be Don Corleone but he's just a mook.

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  30. I have thought something similar (re: wealth and privilege) about thus clown since the beginning but, once again, you have put it into words perfectly. Thank you.

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  31. I was SO waiting for this from the moment the news broke yesterday. Thanks, Chief. You never disappoint.

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  32. We ALL know him. We know this guy. He is my cousin, my husbands friend, my daughters ex(thankfully)boyfriend. But only you bring it to light, lay it out, break it down so brilliantly. And none of those other people are the goddamn president. So,just for fun....because of course all of us everywhere know everything we fear about him is true...and it doesn't even matter- who wrote it? (I believe it was a group effort.)

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  33. Sing out, loud and clear, and damn the quiet resistance! My dad always said “Go ahead! Put yourself out of our misery!” when he had to suffer with fools.

    Are they waiting to see if Mueller has enough to convict him before they pop him with the 25th? To get him out of power so he can be prosecuted without the senate?

    Another brilliant analogy Mr.Wright.

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  34. I couldn't sleep and finally got up, went online to see what was happening, and saw you'd posted. I read and got chills that are still going through me. Trump, his insanity, the Republicans who continue to cover up and support him... it's terrifying. I feel unmoored. I don't recognize this country anymore. It's become an alien thing.

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  35. *Buries head in hands* Oh crap. Now I gotta figure out a way to apologize to those in my past to whom I was a "Jenkins." I jokingly refer to my younger self as a 'deceased, knee-length garment of underwear' (aka a late bloomer).

    Hello, my name is Donna, and I am a recovering Jenkins.

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    1. Keep coming back - it really works...! ;)

      Delete
    2. S'okay, Donna - you're not the only recovering Jenkins in the family (I am your sister from another mother, in that regard). Amazingly, age does, sometimes, bring a teeny-tiny bit of what might be identifiable as wisdom, or at least good sense. Keep on truckin'.

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    3. Donna S., Jim and Stonekettle are well known to be Jenkins Antidote...if read regularly and don't forget to spread the word, also !

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  36. Haha you guys are funny!

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  37. Thank you.
    Just... thank you.

    For me, the most telling part of your essay is "He doesn’t get it. He’s not capable of getting it."

    This has long been obvious, but never to him. As you go on to say, he is "intellectually crippled and emotionally stunted. Broken in some way and unfixable. He doesn’t know how to listen. He doesn’t know how to lead." He only knows how to boss, only how to bully. Such is sufficient in some venues, like your own business, but not as a leader of a country.

    I will posit that he ideed does not know that Woodward's book paints a true picture. Mr. Trump has neither the intellectual acumen nor the appropriate personal ability to examine his actions in the mirror of other people. To do so would fly in the face of his native narcissm. All he can see from his vantage point is that people are being mean to him, picking on him when all he is doing is trying to do his best [for himself. This is the unstated truth of himself that he lives.]

    May you live in interesting times. A more potent curse there has never been. Well, except for maybe "I hope your children are just like you!"

    Thank you again.

    And, hey! What about them Red Sox!!

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  38. I enjoyed reading this epistle as I always do. With the upcoming election, we begin to succeed by regaining the House or we FAIL collectively as a voting nation. The vote of choice for governance is indeed a reflection of the wishes of the majority on leadership. Hopefully the desire to do it right will win out.

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  39. http://ranthonysteele.blogspot.com/2018/09/anonymous-nyt-op-ed.html

    I stopped reading the anonymous New York Times Op-Ed when the writer said he agreed with what the administration had accomplished. The fact that the writer thought that massive tax cuts for people who already don't pay enough taxes, or that a trade war with the rest of the world was a good idea, was enough to stop my interest in what else he might have to say dead in its tracks. That kind of person? That guy I don't have time to read. I don't have time to read what he thinks he's saving us from, because he's already working from his own set of facts and doesn't care what reality is. If he did, he would be apologizing for not being able to do more.

    I take that back, if the guy knew what reality was, he would stand up and press for his president's removal along with the rest of the "secret cabal" and we would have had a different president already. One without the mental dysfunctions the sitting one clearly has.

    They are all as bad as Trump, these enablers of Trump. They are as bad as the people who voted for him. They are as bad as the Electoral College that rubber stamped his victory. I do not hesitate to name them traitors now, one and all. They should have known they were committing treason because the truth was there for everyone to see http://ranthonysteele.blogspot.com/2017/01/caveat-emptor.html But they were all Jenkins. All of them too stupid to save themselves. So now here we are. #ImpeachTrump already. I don't have anything else to say on the subject of politics until that job is done.

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  40. A lot of comments echo the "I don't know what is worse - Trump or the anonymous cabal appeasing him and carrying out the business of right-wing rule without him," but I haven't yet had my own fears echoed.

    Whether it's the frothing masses of deluded, perpetually pissed-off fans at his rallies, heckling and beating the rallies' protestors, wearing shirts about Q ANON and Trumping That Bitch and rather being Red than Democratic--or whether it's the otherwise sort-of, kind-of "decent" people we know in our own families who voted for Trump as single issue voters, because LIFE!!! or tax cuts or because "those people" really do complain too much and a guy like Trump has to put them in their places, or the apathetic voters on the left who don't bother to show up, or toss away their votes on a useless protest. It's us Americans and our collective and colossally bad voting choices--our lack of thoughtful civic engagement that allows assholes like Trump and...pretty much the rest of these Republicans to get in and stay in power...that frighten me perhaps the most.

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  41. The best hope we have is to flip BOTH chambers, and then quickly move to neutralize (not impeach) the problem with the 25th Amendment. Before that, Mueller needs to fill up the rest of his dance card -- he ordered 250 subpoenas, after all -- and get EVERY SINGLE ONE of the enablers, as well, for state and federal violations. How far down does the line of succession actually go? I never usually think past the first five or six, but I'm sure it goes well beyond that.

    At least, I hope it does.

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    Replies
    1. The Constitution requires removal of his cabinet if convicted. Much more preferable.

      Delete
  42. I hate to point out stuff, so there's no need to publish this comment. The NYT op-ed was published on the 5th of September.

    Also, I had to write a post about this too:
    http://www.lastdaysofhumanity.com/2018/09/the-anonymous-op-ed.html

    I don't want promotion and I totally get it if you are uninterested/don't have the time, whathaveyou and don't read it. nbd.

    But this question about who's doing this is one that concerns me as well. Everything concerns me right now, as he gets more frantic, as the walls close in on him.

    Great post as always. We all are dealing with a presidential-sized Jenkins right now. And I thought the one wailing "what's wrong with me?" on my couch was enough.

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  43. I listened to NPR's interview with Marco Rubio where he basically said that since they like most of what Trump's administration is doing, they're not gonna go looking for reasons to get him out of office. He actually said that "Nobody in the White House has come to me with concerns" so he doesn't see the need to look for problems....

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  44. It seems like there is an awful lot of evidence that accumulating massive wealth corresponds with ones sense of entitlement (and thus childishness). Not always, obviously, but an awful lot.

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  45. 1) The Republicans won't EVER do anything about drumpf because THEY are as compromised in dealing with Russia/NRA/MONEY as he is, and they don't want to be found out.
    2) Where is Omarosa? Yes, I know 'no one likes her', and she is a turncoat, but she wrote many of the same things Woodward did, and no one believed her, even with tapes . . .

    Someday, she and Woodward will release all their tapes. I hope.

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  46. Watching this going on the last 2 years, I've come to the realization that Trump doesn't live in reality like the rest of us. Never has. He believes that everything going on around him is a reality show with him as the star.

    He's basically Chauncey Gardner from 'Being There', but without any of the curiousness and actual feelings that the character had. He's completely incurious about the world and how it actually works, unless of course it's all about him.

    What I think that scares me more is not just that there is a group within this administration that is actually running things without Trump, but moreso that the military is now running without a Commander in Chief. And if anything, that should scare the citizens of the US as much, if not more, than the fact that Trump could try and start a war in a fit of pique.

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    1. The military remains under a civilian chain of command. In addition, every military officer and enlisted person is a volunteer who has taken an oath to uphold the laws and Constitution. Officers are required to obey legal orders, not any orders. Have you forgotten the person who wrote the blog post above is a veteran?
      What should scare the ever-loving bejeebus out of you is knowing the President can give orders to launch nuclear weapons at a few minutes' notice, bypassing the chain of command. This protocol was designed when people worried about a first strike against the US that wiped out the normal chain of command and could only envision a sane C-in-C, who would only go to war reluctantly. Whenever I remember this, I go to bed terrified and do not get much sleep.

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  47. Exactly. Love your perspective and agree with you 99.9% of the time.

    "Whore it up" stands out as unnecessary and distracting in an otherwise cogent piece.


    Thank you for sharing your gifts.

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  48. A lot of women have been saying for 20 months now that Trump is like an abusive partner. He keeps you off guard with chaotic demands and attacks, interspersed with pleas for love and understanding.

    And like an abusive partner, he's going to be at his most dangerous when we try to dump him. Count on it.

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    1. There are already articles being written about how to try to 'manage' 45 once (not when) he is taken out of office (however that might be). The expectation being that he will not wander off quietly as Nixon did, but he will be loudly oppositional...and that it will take decades to normalize what has occurred in politics the past 2+years.

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    2. Exactly. When the abuser's control over the abused is threatened, that is when the abuser is at his most dangerous. And what makes the decision to leave so very difficult for the adult in that room. Have to say, if the op-ed is true, for this reason alone I kinda sort of feel for him/her/them. No, I don't agree with the GOP-style politics. But if they have a shred of concern for the well-being of our nation, they are trying to placate until they can sort out a real solution. Been there, done that on a personal level. Can't imagine the load of trying to keep a country safe when I couldn't do so well by just my children.

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    3. I think I have to disagree with you, T'Pel, when you speak of this anonymous cabal's "concern for the well-being" of the United States. Recall what else is stated in the editorial: they are *proud* of what they've accomplished, Trump's ranting aside. They are *proud* of committing Grand Theft Supreme Court Seat in broad daylight and on camera and being poised to do it *again*. They are *proud* of enacting tax cuts for billionaires so vague and sweeping that I find it difficult to believe America will ever dig itself out from under the debts it will incur under them, or restore itself to the point where the phrase "the full faith and credit of the United States" means more than a junkie saying "c'mon man, I'm good for it!" They are *proud* of they way they've "secured" America's borders (although next time -- and there *will* be a next time if they have any say in the matter at all -- they'll probably try harder to keep cameras from recording the cages containing refugee children). They are *proud* of maligning and sowing mistrust of their political enemies. They just wish the insane fool in the Oval Office could pretend to be human so they'd also feel comfortable showing their faces at the nice cocktail parties and the nice restaurants.

      There are no adults in that room.

      There is an insane toddler, and there are junkies who can score their various preferred fixes by keeping the toddler distracted while they rip the copper wiring out of the walls. It's just that the smarter ones (not in the sense of actual intelligence, but just "slightly less idiotic than their compatriots") know that *somebody's* going to be left holding the bag when the whole mess finally bursts into flames, and they want an out.

      They are not trying to "sort out a real solution."

      They're trying to build lifeboats to get them away from the wreckage and to a place beyond the reach of prosecution -- even in the court of public opinion, if they can manage it, hence the posturing as self-sacrificing patriots. It's not that they're trying to save the country. They're trying to save *themselves*. And steal as much as they can while doing so.

      Delete
    4. Have to agree with you, Arc, and excellent post. This anonymous letter from the NYT is... What? I'm truly mystified by the paper's decision to publish it. But then again, the paper that lauds itself for being a source for "All the news that's fit to print" is the one the helped lead us into Iraq in 2003. Maybe they're trying to distract from the Kavanaugh proceedings - who knows? All I do know is that publishing such rubbish is no help to our foundering Republic.

      https://theintercept.com/2018/09/06/dear-anonymous-trump-official-there-is-no-redemption-in-your-cowardly-op-ed/

      Leroy

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  49. (Just rewoke my Blogger account, will use it next time for comments here.)

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  50. Forgive me please if somebody already said this, but I don't think Maria Bartiromo deserves to have her name in the same sentence as "whore".

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  51. I was married to "Jenkins". It took me 13 years to kick him to the curb. I sure hope America comes to its senses more quickly than I did.

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  52. You have just explained exactly why Donald Trump scares the living holy hell out of me. It has nothing to do with politics.

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  53. What if the NY Times anonymous letter is another example of how we've been trolled once again by both Trump and his administration? When the entitled wallow in self-pity and make themselves out to be the victims, they not only gain further pity from their faithful followers, their ruse makes for another distraction from the big issues of the day.

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  54. In 1987 I did a college paper on recidivism. I had the opportunity to interview the Warden of a local state correctional facility. What he told me aligns with this essay to perfection.
    I didn't have the resources to confirm his views at the time but his position gave them credence. What he told me is that for most ppl. during their teen yrs there comes a point where a chemical switch is triggered so to speak. It's not instantaneous but changes take place pretty rapidly. For most they begin to *grow up* to make better decisions, they understand the consequences of their actions and begin to act and live less recklessly. For others, a small percentage, this chemical change never takes place and so they continue to make bad choices, live recklessly and often get into trouble with LE. ending up in the criminal justice system. He told me for most of these individuals they get a 2nd chance later in life at around 40 or so but for an even smaller percent it just never happens and they spend their lives on the installment plan, in and out of prison until they are so institutionalized they cannot function outside of the institution.
    I've worked with and been a member of the core Tx. team for hundreds of these types of ppl. Most of them charged and convicted of sexual crimes. All of them, every single one diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder which runs hand in hand with narcissism. They know, deep down, they have done wrong but cannot bring themselves to own the responsibility of their own actions instead blaming others or circumstances for their own depravity. Each and every one of them exhibited the same lack of empathy, the same lack of guilt and the same lack of understanding of their own predicament. In short they were broken, untreatable and unfixable.
    Some had been clergy, some lawyers and doctors, some were ex-military and ex-LE and others were just the dude that ran the local 7-11. Most of them however were what we would consider intelligent and educated. You see the comparison to Trump I hope.
    The bottom line is our system allowed and is continuing to allow by way of codependents in Congress a broken man to become one of the most powerful men on the planet.
    When the B-17 finally augers into the ground, regardless of the damage the politicians left standing must make sure this never happens again by passing legislation to insure there is a kill switch when all else fails. We used mechanical restraints when one of our clients went off the rails, I dream of seeing Trump carried out of the White House strapped to a gurney screaming "FAKE NEWS!"

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  55. So the people who make up the 30% of voters or so who are Trump's base supporters: Are they all Jenkins as well? Because holy hell that could explain a lot.

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    1. It's complicated. OTOH, racism - especially of the "immigrants are stealing our jobs variety" - looks to be of a piece with that. But it's not the only factor in the mix.

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  56. "Sooner or later, you have to slap some goddamnaed sense into these people or, for your own sanity, cut them loose – because they are your shitty relationship. That’s America."

    Which is why I moved to Europe a year ago.

    I wouldn't say I totally gave up on the US. I’m still politically active, at a distance. Write letters, make calls, give money. Vote. The stuff you're supposed to do. I still feel some faint hope that the American spirit will pull its lazy, distracted ass off the couch, roll up its sleeves, and get to work.

    But.

    I have two young children, the older of whom was new in kindergarten on the eve of the election. She came home telling us about playing safety games at her school. We were horrified.

    Plus, I have a wife who was born in a Muslim country and naturalized as an American. The day after the election, I said: we need to get out. I knew, without question, in my bones, that this was a terribly dangerous man, leading a dangerous administration. I knew, sooner or later, non-native citizens would be in danger of losing their citizenship; and countries like my wife's would be near the top of the list. I kept it to myself, because at the time that belief would have put me on the fringe of the deranged and paranoid. But still, I *knew,* and I had to get them out of the way of the oncoming train.

    I feel next to no comfort in having been vindicated, as this terrible shambling beast of an administration begins fulfilling my worst expectations. What I feel, on a regular basis, is guilt, for having effectively abandoned my country, and beginning the process of adopting a new one. It's not an abstract guilt, as if I've betrayed my heritage. Nothing like that. It's guilt for all the people who didn't have the opportunity I had, who are still stuck in what looks like a failing empire, a rotten, tottering Rome in its final days, and who will suffer terribly in the coming chaos.

    But we did move. We're here now. And we have no plans to return. Ever.

    It's been incredibly difficult. Financial stress, emotional stress, marital stress. We are figuring it out, though. We're coming through the hard part and re-making our life. Our kids have rapidly assimilated, learning the local language and adapting easily to the new culture. I just wanted to keep them safe, but, long term, I feel like I've given them a real gift.

    And Europe isn't perfect, either. Things are screwed up everywhere right now, it seems. There's a drift toward nationalism, toward authoritarian stupidity, in many places around the world, Europe included. There are pockets of open, vicious racism here that would shock even a John Bircher. Two thousand years of culture was insufficient to iron out all of the redneck ignorance. It's not all monocles and croissants. Putin looms to the east, and his manipulative tentacles are everywhere.

    But there's a distinct difference here, a faith in cooperation and collective action, in self-government and self-determination, that I never felt in the United States. There, everything is a hustle, and if you're not a hustler yourself, you're viewed as a patsy. Everything is designed to manipulate you, to victimize you, to con you out of your money and your beliefs. It's staggering how clearly I can see how horribly diseased the American culture really is when I'm not swimming in it every day. Here, it's different. It's not perfect, not by a long shot. And not everything is better. But, on average, in aggregate, taken altogether, yeah. It's better. It's a *lot* better. There are problems, sure. But whereas in the United States, there's this bitter fatalism, like the screwed-up stuff is never gonna get any better, here, there's an undercurrent of optimism beneath the frustration, that, yeah, it's a mess, but we *will* figure it out, we *will* fix it, together.

    Moving here was the second-best decision of my life. The first one was deciding to pursue the woman who is now my wife.

    God be with you all.

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  57. Amazing post. Dead on, like most of yours. Too bad you aren't picked up by Huffington or the NYT. Every voter needs to read this.

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  58. Thank you as always for your eloquence, Jim. You do such a good job of distilling ideas out of complicated, wadded-up greasy newspaper realities and for that I'm grateful.

    My rule is if I'm engaging your writing with a comment I'd darn well better be supporting your work, so look for a double sawbuck come payday with my gratitude.

    One copy edit note: the paragraph that begins "See, Jenkins was that guy" ends with " Hey … did any of your guys catch the game last night?". Is the use of 'your' in the last sentence intentional, or did you mean 'you'?

    Keep up the good work.

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  59. I'm going to somewhat disagree with you Jim. The problem isn't just Trump. I wish it was. Trump is just the end result of an attitude and belief I tend to sum up as "I got mine fuck you." It does not and can not recognize the other or why making sure the other at least has enough for his basic needs is important for society as a whole. It's an attitude that thinks the regulations and tax cuts that benefit him are good and any that take from him or "harm" his business are bad. Heads I win tails you lose and when the tables are turned its unfair and fake and mean and cheating. And yes I am describing what "conservative" beliefs in the USA amount to today. It\s too easy and a mistake to think we just need to get rid of Trump, we need to deal with this issue afflicting many of our fellow citizens.

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  60. Jim: typo alert: "gut-shot B-17 auguring in" should be augEring. Otherwise, another good piece. Keep up the good work!

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  61. He has to have some form of senility setting in. He reminds me of my ex mother-in-law the last five years of her life, she only could discuss one subject. She would start off on a topic nd end up on her only topic she would thoroughly discuss and continuously talk about.

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  62. I think Pence is behind this letter, whether he wrote it or initiated it. This cabal is gearing up for a Pence presidency. Why do I think it's pence? Someone pointed out the use of the word lodestar, an uncommon word that pence uses pretty frequently. And it just sounds like him. Or kelly.

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  63. If I may opine about this anonymous op/ed thing....

    The point that's being glossed over in the scramble to ID the writer is this.

    The latter openly admits that the writer and in fact, the whole of the GOP is FINE with the things trump is doing, putting kids in cages, deporting citizens, giving massive tax breaks to the already rich, blowing the debt to a trillion dollars, etc. etc. ad nauseum. It's just that they don't like having to babysit trump and dealing with the egg he's smearing all over the GOP's face (And high chair, walls, floors, and gold plated toilets) that's the problem.

    They created this frigging monster, they loved it and cheered it on when it rampaged through the town of the serfs and peons, they cheered and shouted encouragement when their monster tore everything down, raped all the women and children and crapped in the town well, but now, well, dammit, it's back at the castle and now it's tearing that up as well. Now that THEY'RE in danger from the monster they created, they want to join in with the torches and pitchfork crowd (Leading from the rear, of course.), and take the monster down, while of course, making sure they don't bear any of the blame or responsibility for creating the damn monster in the first place, even though the townsfolk told them over and over it was a very bad idea.

    Screw these people. They're trying to save their asses and the GOP brand from their own evil creation. They can die in the flaming windmill with the monster they created.

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    1. I agree. Anonymous knows the ship is going down & the article is his/her CYA attempt to say "I "put country first" & when this is over we must "reach across the aisle"". This is BS. Start by reaching across the aisle now & denying Kavanaugh his appointment. Yeah, screw these people.

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  64. Trump may be more like the average American than we want to admit. Maybe Jenkins is becoming the majority.

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    1. Jenkins tends to be a significant plurality, I think. Part of that is human nature; it's always easier on (general) you to blame misfortune on externalities.
      Heck, I was Jenkins until my platoon sergeant sat down with me and pointed out that while some of the misfortune in my lif was indeed external in origin, plenty of other instances *were* my fault, and others, while external, still my responsibility to address.
      I was 22, and had already voted in several elections.
      And I didn't get all better in an instant, either. Professionally, yes. In my private life, it took a few years more.
      I've known a few people who had it together by the time they hit voting age. But they're a distinct minority in my anecdotal experience.

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  65. Of course he pivots.
    What looks or is bad is fake.
    What looks or seems good, hedid that

    Syria is now his watch. Sorry I did.
    We could had this economy 8 years ago if the R Congress had been as willing to blow up the deficit.

    Anything else he's responsible for- dividing families,arresting children, defending Nazis, remains repatriated, reducing regulation, reducing govt employment.... Etc: I remain skeptical until the data

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  66. The one phrase that kept popping up in my head when reading this post is "Situational Awareness". Situational awareness is something anyone in a position of responsibility MUST have. It is not optional. I started thinking about all the disasters caused by a lack of situational awareness. The Northeast Blackout was caused, in large part, from a lack of situational awareness of the electric system operators in Ohio. The Tenerife Airport Disaster, the deadliest accident in aviation history, was caused by the loss of situational awareness on the flightdeck of KLM Flight 4805. The Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Station partial meltdown was caused by the loss of situational awareness in the control room. The list goes on and on. And then I thought about how the Trump Administration has no situational awareness about anything. None. Zero. Zip. Everything is a surprise in the White House; They are caught flat footed every time. And this post goes a long way to proving this. It's true: This is very, very dangerous situation. One that could end the country or end human civilization. None of this will change until competent people are in charge of our government. So until then, let's just padlock the door to the Situation Room. It will not be needed.

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  67. One item to consider editing--the Consumer Confidence Index is a score produced by The Conference Board, not the Consumer Confidence Board:

    https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerconfidence.cfm

    Thanks for the excellent perspective. I'm sure other intelligence experts specializing in political psychology has profiled Trump and reached the same conclusion. But when you look at other political leaders with this profile--maybe Ghaddafi, or Mussolini--the process of regime change in all of those cases is incredibly fraught with peril. I agree with others that when the gaslighting doesn't work anymore and the pitchfork-wielding crowd closes in, Trump will be at his most unpredictable and dangerous.

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  68. It’s ALWAYS some anonymous group of conservatives running the show behind the Republican Prez.

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  69. Huh. I...did not expect a quote as poignant as the last one to come out of that Op ed. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but still.

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  70. Jenkins abide.

    .....Sad to say.

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  71. Hey, did you see the game last night?

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  72. Malignant Narcissist. It explains a lot.

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  73. The part of the opinion piece that I find ironic is a Republican complaining about Trump's lack of morals, principles and his breaking institutions which the author said he is trying to protect.

    Where has this Republican been for the last two decades? This is all standard operating procedures for Republicans. Trump is just the worst example so far, he is the natural progression of so called Republican 'values'.

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  74. This morning I hear that, under attack by Trump, Rod Rosenstein is denying that he and the FBI are out to unseat Trump. This is dismaying because it may portend Rosenstein's dismissal and the end of the Mueller investigation and because I'd hope that The entire Justice Department and our government at large would be out to unseat Trump, and it's painful to hear anyone deny it.

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