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-   -   The Trump Administration: A Clusterfuck in the Making (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=813085)

PastTense 09-06-2018 02:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet (Post 21190132)
It's not like anything they're saying is out of line with the rest of what we know from this administration.

Yes; they are saying stuff out of line with the rest of what we know from this administration: they are saying there are people with high moral principles in this administration.

And some of us just don't believe it: while there are lots of administration people ignoring or doing things differently from what Trump wants they are doing it for their own selfish reasons. This might range from doing something to gain favor from future employers or improve their political status in the media...

Robot Arm 09-06-2018 03:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kobal2 (Post 21190181)
I know, right ? Whoever wrote this clearly needs some fresh air, because he's essentially saying "Look, we know it's a shitshow. And we did talk about doing this by the book we pretend to revere (including in this very article), but in the end we decided that shadowy, underhanded shenanigans were more our forte. But rest assured, we, the unelected, are doing our utmost to implement agendas you didn't vote for and we won't talk about in public by means that would make Nixon raise an eyebrow. Seriously, we're the real heroes here, you guys."

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nava (Post 21190197)
Please excuse me, because it's really early in the morning.

POTUS behaves like a senile old man, that Op-ed says he's beein treated by his staff like senile people are usually treated, and a lot of you are surprised? And there's some of you who thought the people at the White House was some sort of team, when Trump's always been poison to anything resembling teamwork? I don't drink coffee but I may be needing some... *goes off in search of caffeine*

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kolak of Twilo (Post 21190207)
And they made a pretty strong case for it too. If I had to put money on who it was Coates would be a smart bet at this point. My main reservation with him is that he has always been pretty much by the book. It could be a deputy.

Having said that, I do find myself very uncomfortable with the President's staff, even this President, hiding documents or swiping them off his desk in an effort to thwart him from doing things they disagree with. If they really think he is this dangerous to the country then invoke the 25th Amendment or resign and go public. Sneaking around engaging in this type of skulduggery does a lot of damage to the office of the President as well.

I understand the misgivings, but this isn't the Deep State that we've all been hearing about. These are Trump's own people doing this to him. One qualification of a president is to appoint people to carry out his agenda. If We The People don't like what those appointees do, our recourse is to throw out the bum who appointed them.

The thing is, if Trump was any kind of decent manager, they couldn't be hiding things from him of any real import. Imagine during the Obama administration if nothing about the Affordable Care Act showed up in his inbox for a few weeks. I'm pretty sure he'd have noticed. If Trump had any kind of follow-through on his promises, hiding documents wouldn't matter; if he wanted his administration to do things, or even remembered what those things were, he'd push to see that they got done.

As for this being some shadowy cabal, well, maybe they didn't go by-the-book in invoking the 25th Amendment, but someone did announce it in the New York Times.

Jack Batty 09-06-2018 03:54 AM

Benjamin Wittes said it best on Twitter:

"I have no respect for someone who would say these things—of whose truth I have no doubt—in an anonymous oped, rather than in a public resignation letter copied to the House Judiciary Committee."

Tatterdemalion 09-06-2018 04:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack Batty (Post 21190284)
Benjamin Wittes said it best on Twitter:

"I have no respect for someone who would say these things—of whose truth I have no doubt—in an anonymous oped, rather than in a public resignation letter copied to the House Judiciary Committee."

Absolutely. And when whoever it is finds his name released, and is, as a result, unemployed, he will try to tell us that he is the real victim here.

Sage Rat 09-06-2018 04:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack Batty (Post 21190284)
Benjamin Wittes said it best on Twitter:

"I have no respect for someone who would say these things—of whose truth I have no doubt—in an anonymous oped, rather than in a public resignation letter copied to the House Judiciary Committee."

On average, despite statements otherwise, Trump didn't hire only the best. While it may be true that the respectable and honorable strategy is elsewise, what we got is probably the closest to that, that a Trump appointee is likely to mount.

Though, based on Wittes' further statements in the Rational Security podcast that was released today (recorded before the op-ed), I think his statement about how Jim Mattis should be responding to things is fairly on-point. If Mattis wrote the op-ed, then I would be quite disappointed. If it's Sessions or someone, though, then like I said - it's not the cream of the crop.

Ruken 09-06-2018 05:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThelmaLou (Post 21189952)
I can't imagine that the NYT would print anything written by Pence.

Don't read the papers much, do you? Newspapers routinely print op-eds from contributors with views far off from from the editorial board's.

j666 09-06-2018 06:33 AM

Another vote for "What was the Times thinking?" If this is true, it is significant news; if it is false, or misleading, it should not have been printed.

Have they written an editorial on the decision to print yet?

Quote:

Originally Posted by silenus (Post 21189886)
Any time between now and Jan. 19, 2019. The 22nd Amendment states: Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

Thanks. I think we could have expected a gradual and subtle lessening of public support for Trump by the congress, followed by impeachment hearings if the Democrats took the House. However, the op-ed will have thrown everything into a tizzy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kambuckta (Post 21190116)
Where's all the Trump defenders? Shouldn't they be here to acknowledge that Trump has used the word 'treason' incorrectly?

Or are they too gutless to admit their beloved hero is a fucking moron?

I am not a defender, but I will complain no one can commit treason at this point.
Being a traitor is possible; only treason is defined in the constituent, not it's commonly associated noun, traitor.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nava (Post 21190197)
Please excuse me, because it's really early in the morning.

POTUS behaves like a senile old man, that Op-ed says he's beein treated by his staff like senile people are usually treated, and a lot of you are surprised? And there's some of you who thought the people at the White House was some sort of team, when Trump's always been poison to anything resembling teamwork? I don't drink coffee but I may be needing some... *goes off in search of caffeine*

Yes, very much so. He isn't just crazy Uncle Don or royalty; he is an elected and sworn head of state and servant of the people who can be openly removed from office if necessary.

All of us have imagine his staff running around removing dangerous things like pens from his grasp while distracting him with bright shiny objects, but it is horribly irresponsible of his staff to do so instead of addressing the issue directly.

Smapti 09-06-2018 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by j666 (Post 21190367)
Have they written an editorial on the decision to print yet?

They did.

It was included in the article, as you'd know if you read it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The New York Times Editorial Board
The Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.


Frodo 09-06-2018 06:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jsc1953 (Post 21189416)

Or it might have been Hunter S Thompson. I get them confused.


Quick mnemonic tip to differentiate them: Thompson never nuked anyone.

ElvisL1ves 09-06-2018 06:50 AM

A woman with a Slovenian accent, maybe?

I gotta go with Kelly or Mattis, perhaps one of their deputies.

iiandyiiii 09-06-2018 06:55 AM

Betting markets (at least PredictIt) bettors think it's Coats. On the day the op-ed came out, the betting line for "Will DNI Coats still be DNI at the end of 2018" went from ~90 to ~40.

Baal Houtham 09-06-2018 06:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smapti (Post 21190248)
My personal guess would be that Lodestar (which is what I'm going to call him/her until we have a better idea of who the author is) decided to put this out there as kind of a trial balloon to see how the public would react to the idea of a 25th Amendment action.

Agree, pretty much. A lot of the White House guys are *Politicians* and understand that building consensus is the basic skill of their job. Just resigning and complaining won’t be as effective as reducing Trump’s base of support — and the editorial has a chance of lowering Trump’s support among Republican politicians.

Which could trickle down to some semi-rational conservative voters.

The editorial can be viewed, as you suggest, as a very visible trial balloon for removal of the Prez. But Trump’s popularity needs to fall a bit more in order to make that a viable alternative. If removal was attempted now, with Trump’s approval rating around 40%, there would be chaos and probably violence.

Nava 09-06-2018 07:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by j666 (Post 21190367)
Yes, very much so. He isn't just crazy Uncle Don or royalty; he is an elected and sworn head of state and servant of the people who can be openly removed from office if necessary.

That describes some forms of royalty as well; right now I'm drawing blanks on several of the monarchs of Spanish kingdoms who were procedurally and pacifically removed from office but I know there were more than Sancho el Craso (removed because he was busier hunting down the kitchen than doing his job, lost half his body weight and was allowed to retake the throne).

The one thing that kind of surprises me is the coming out and saying it but not quite out loud, but then, that's exactly the kind of behavior we see from the Trump administration (a lot of the time they opt for its sister, "loud and blatant but unclear to anybody who's been living on the moon"). Speaking on the record and clearly seems something they all have problems doing.

k9bfriender 09-06-2018 07:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21190378)
A woman with a Slovenian accent, maybe?

I gotta go with Kelly or Mattis, perhaps one of their deputies.

Completely speculative guess, but I go with the guy that carries the nuclear football.

He'd see most of this stuff, and he would be the single most nervous person about having trump in his chain of command.

He has no power to do anything about trump, and resigning means handing the football to someone who maybe won't dive out a window rather than hand it over if trump asks for it.

Chip Dundas 09-06-2018 07:45 AM

Here is the root of this op ed problem. The President seems to ask a lot of questions on policy because he is new to it as a non politician and outsider. While the establishment goes crazy over his questions and says they are unhinghed, I believe they are healthy to have these discussions to educate him and to make people think outside the box.

But this is the high school douchebaggery down in DC that people hate. The career folks are the worst. They are know it alls.

JohnT 09-06-2018 07:53 AM

At least you admit the guy is both completely unprepared and uneducated for the position he holds, Chip. :)

Red Wiggler 09-06-2018 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by j666 (Post 21189779)
I understand the 25th amendment was raised in the NYT op-ed. How long does Trump have to be in office for Pence to get two additional full terms.

A big Democratic win could be the best thing for the GOP - let the Dems get rid of Trump and have Pence for ten years.

This presumes that Mike Dense could win an election for president on his own. And while the nation proved in 2016 that it would indeed elect an idiot, the Veep isn't really the type of idiot who motivates the idiots who vote for idiots.

Red Wiggler 09-06-2018 07:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chip Dundas (Post 21190427)
Here is the root of this op ed problem. The President seems to ask a lot of questions on policy because he is new to it as a non politician and outsider. While the establishment goes crazy over his questions and says they are unhinghed, I believe they are healthy to have these discussions to educate him and to make people think outside the box.

But this is the high school douchebaggery down in DC that people hate. The career folks are the worst. They are know it alls.

And Chip strikes another blow in the War on People Who Know Stuff!

Eonwe 09-06-2018 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack Batty (Post 21190284)
Benjamin Wittes said it best on Twitter:

"I have no respect for someone who would say these things—of whose truth I have no doubt—in an anonymous oped, rather than in a public resignation letter copied to the House Judiciary Committee."

I concur with this and all other like-minded perspectives . . .

. . . and yet, I also empathize with the politician who, finding themselves in the middle of the swamp, feels that they are left with two choices: speak up and quit or be fired, and be replaced by a dangerous, anti-Democracy Trump-selected know-nothing, or stay and try to preserve the Republic through this crisis.

What would I do? If I felt that I was an important part of keeping America from falling into chaos, but the only way to do so was by playing a basically supporting and supportive role in all sorts of distasteful and dangerous shit? And then what, ultimately, is the difference between myself and a true acolyte?

It's a truly complicated moral calculus, and not one with a straightforward hero/villain dichotomy.

What is worse for America in the long run; two (or *shudder* six) more years of a Trump presidency, or an impeachment? Or a flight of those Republicans who feel like they're keeping the wolves at bay (to be replaced with more enthusiastic wolves), with no impeachment?

Again, I agree that the author of this letter is no hero, and is in fact engaging in some heinous action that threatens our very idea of a Democracy. However, I can also understand the conclusion that this is the lesser evil.

elucidator 09-06-2018 08:02 AM

Whomever he/she/it may be, they are singing a familiar song, about how they want to find a way to preserve the Trump agenda.

"Yes, our guy is nuts, but the agenda is gold!".

El_Kabong 09-06-2018 08:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chip Dundas (Post 21190427)
Here is the root of this op ed problem. The President seems to ask a lot of questions on policy because he is new to it as a non politician and outsider. While the establishment goes crazy over his questions and says they are unhinghed, I believe they are healthy to have these discussions to educate him and to make people think outside the box.

But this is the high school douchebaggery down in DC that people hate. The career folks are the worst. They are know it alls.

Can't we at least retain a few know it somes?

ThelmaLou 09-06-2018 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sage Rat (Post 21190213)
Trump isn't the first idiot to hold the office. Certainly the greatest, but not the first. With election by popularity contest, there are centuries of systems built up to handle cases of incompetent presidents.

In the case of a competent one, those systems are skipped.

With Trump, they're being stressed to the breaking point.

(My emphasis.) Thump DIDN'T win the "popularity contest,' as I have to keep reminding people who seem to have forgotten this. He LOST the popularity contest and won the technicality contest.

Quote:

Originally Posted by El_Kabong (Post 21190252)
...
And this. Frankly, I can hardly think of anything that could be more destabilizing and give one less confidence in the current so-called government. There's apparently a (awkward, untested) process for removal of a sitting President for incompetence. Whoever this supposed group of resistants is, come clean, activate the process and knock it off with the Star Chamber bullshit.

If the people working the closest to thump believe he is so incompetent that they have to do end runs around him to keep him from destroying the country, then why in heaven's name are they writing to the NYTimes about it? They should be writing to Mitch McConnell. They should be writing to every member of Congress (Dem and Pub) as well as to each sitting member of the Supreme Court.

What are they playing at? Who is the audience for this op-ed? Not thump's base because they wouldn't believe anything from that source. Is it mainstream Republicans who have lost confidence in thump but won't speak up? Well, let's set them a good example by speaking up anonymously. :smack: Surely it's not the liberal NYTimes reader, because we're neither impressed by "lodestar's" cowardice nor its tactics. Is it written to the reassure the country at large? Well, it's not reassuring shit. WHO IS THIS WRITTEN FOR?

Regarding the identity: At the time of Watergate, remember all the speculation about the identity of Deep Throat? Many thought it was John Mitchell. The secret was kept for THIRTY YEARS and Mark Felt only came out because he had Alzheimer's and wanted to be lucid enough to still answer questions before the disease took his memory. (BTW the film of that name is excellent.) My own vote is that a group of WH staffers has written this, not one person. But they need to collectively find their gonads (of which there is a serious shortage in Washington :dubious:) and take some meaningful action past swiping papers off the president's desk.

I think the NYTimes was okay to publish it, but I think Lodestar was dumb as shit to write it and stop there. Again, I ask: who is this op-ed REALLY aimed at?

Bryan Ekers 09-06-2018 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smapti (Post 21190248)
My personal guess would be that Lodestar (which is what I'm going to call him/her until we have a better idea of who the author is)

As an alternative, a senior official who blocks the president could be called Deep Thwart.

PatriotX 09-06-2018 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chip Dundas (Post 21190427)
Here is the root of this op ed problem. The President seems to ask a lot of questions on policy because he is new to it as a non politician and outsider. While the establishment goes crazy over his questions and says they are unhinghed, I believe they are healthy to have these discussions to educate him and to make people think outside the box.

But this is the high school douchebaggery down in DC that people hate. The career folks are the worst. They are know it alls.

Pretty sure that's exactly the root of things.
Trump is asking insightful questions.

That sounds exactly like what's being written and said by Trumpco insiders.
"Trump is asking useful, insightful questions to alleviate his own ignorance," seems to be the overarching theme.

Screw that noise which says things like the PotUS can't keep up with what's going on around him — that's not what Fear or the Lodestar op-ed said.

Screw that noise which says that Trump is ineducable — that's not what Fear or the Lodestar op-ed said.

Fear and the Lodestar op-ed totally said that Trump is asking good questions and learning on the job.

That's the ticket.

RickJay 09-06-2018 08:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21190378)
A woman with a Slovenian accent, maybe?

I gotta go with Kelly or Mattis, perhaps one of their deputies.

It has been pointed out that Mike Pence used the very unusual word "lodestar" in a speech last year, which is quite an unusual fingerprint. However...

1. Speeches are usually written for Pence by other people, and

2. He doesn't seem like a likely candidate, and

3. The NYT claims the author's job would be jeopardized if not kept anonymous, which is literally untrue if the author is Pence.

So who writes speeches for Mike Pence? Or... would the person who wrote this be clever enough to find an unusual word like that to throw people off the trail? I know if I was trying to write something anonymously like this, I would absolutely do things like that; I'd find a phrase or word used by someone else but not me and use it, and I'd strip the work of phrasing and structures I typically overuse.

RickJay 09-06-2018 08:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnT (Post 21190436)
At least you admit the guy is both completely unprepared and uneducated for the position he holds, Chip. :)

Honestly, though, if I may (gulp) defend Trump on one thing, throwing questions around the room as a brainstorming exercise is not a bad thing. Should we assassinate Bashir al-Assad? Should we attack North Korea? Should we do this or that? A leader SHOULD toss stuff like that around and encourage other people to do the same. Part of avoiding groupthink is getting everyone out of the comfort zone of assumptions.

Other that that, of course, he is wildly incompetent.

you with the face 09-06-2018 09:40 AM

The following reasons are why I think Pence authored it:

1) “Lodestar”. Yes, I know that anyone in the WH could’ve used this word to throw Trump off their scent, but think about it: this would essentially mean the author is going out of their way to frame Pence as the resister when the safest and smartest bet would’ve been to just keep the writing as plain and non-stylistic as possible. If Pence didn’t write the letter, he now has even more incentive to clear his name and find out who the real saboteur is. So the author would’ve been insanely stupid by pulling this move...unless Pence was behind this.

2) As VP, Pence is the only one in the administration that Trump can’t fire. So he has a lot less to lose than someone like Kelly or Mattis.

3) He stands to benefit the most if Trump is removed from office. Ambition is a helluva drug, and setting himself up to be president one day is probably the only reason he agreed to be Trump’s running mate. By using this letter to mention the prospect of Trump’s removal, he’s trying to hasten his own rise to power while also stealthily assuring the public that 1) he’s nothing like Trump and 2) he’s effectively running things already.

4) His use of “lodestar” serves as a wink, outing his identity but not conclusively. He wants the public to suspect it’s him; you don’t write op eds like this unless you have a self-serving reason. If people think it’s Mattis, that doesn’t really help Pence look like the hero he wants to look like.

5) The author referred to Trump as “amoral”. Another clue that Pence wrote this. No one else in the WH has portrayed himself as Mr. Morality as much as Pence has. This is the one area that Pence and Trump are polar opposites.

6) Pence doesn’t strike me as being very smart or strategic, and this letter has fail written all over it. I can’t see someone other than an ambition-blinded politician doing this. Admitting, even anonymously, that you are part of organized effort to undermine the President as a trusted official within the White House is just monumentally stupid and short-sighted. I actually think your typical Trump twitter screed at 3a in the morning reflects better judgment than sending out this letter did. The other names floated as suspects all strike me as too intelligent to miss the treasonous implications. Pence seems naive enough to think he’d only look like a hero.

The Other Waldo Pepper 09-06-2018 09:47 AM

One thing I might have missed: isn’t there one clue that maybe stands out?

Not to us, you understand. But say, for the sake of argument, that Pence did write this. And say, for the sake of argument, that no word of it is a lie.

Quote:

“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.
Would you vividly remember having that conversation with the VP? If so, would you have read that and gasped, hey, doesn’t that mean it’s him?

(Unless, of course, exactly that phrase gets tossed around a heck of a lot.)

ThelmaLou 09-06-2018 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 21190568)
Honestly, though, if I may (gulp) defend Trump on one thing, throwing questions around the room as a brainstorming exercise is not a bad thing. Should we assassinate Bashir al-Assad? Should we attack North Korea? Should we do this or that? A leader SHOULD toss stuff like that around and encourage other people to do the same. Part of avoiding groupthink is getting everyone out of the comfort zone of assumptions.

Other that that, of course, he is wildly incompetent.

Brainstorming is indeed a good technique IF there is a brain involved, AND if the object is ultimately an intelligent discussion leading to realistic, effective solutions.

In this case, no.

you with the face 09-06-2018 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Other Waldo Pepper (Post 21190711)
One thing I might have missed: isn’t there one clue that maybe stands out?

Not to us, you understand. But say, for the sake of argument, that Pence did write this. And say, for the sake of argument, that no word of it is a lie.



Would you vividly remember having that conversation with the VP? If so, would you have read that and gasped, hey, doesn’t that mean it’s him?

(Unless, of course, exactly that phrase gets tossed around a heck of a lot.)

It’s likely the person quoted by the author is part of the cabal and knows who the author is.

raventhief 09-06-2018 09:56 AM

"I think it's embarrassing for the country to allow protesters, you don't even know which side the protesters were on," Trump said. "But to allow someone to stand up and scream from the top of their lungs and nobody does anything about it is frankly — I think it's an embarrassment."


https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/05/polit...est/index.html

Seeing aside the idea that the country ought not allow protesting (yay freedom of speech) - He didn't know which side the protesters were on? I guess the signs saying "Kava NOPE!" didn't tip him off?

Maus Magill 09-06-2018 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by j666 (Post 21189779)
I understand the 25th amendment was raised in the NYT op-ed. How long does Trump have to be in office for Pence to get two additional full terms.

A big Democratic win could be the best thing for the GOP - let the Dems get rid of Trump and have Pence for ten years.

Unfortunately for Pence, he has the charisma of a banana slug.

The Other Waldo Pepper 09-06-2018 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by you with the face (Post 21190727)
It’s likely the person quoted by the author is part of the cabal and knows who the author is.

See, it’s just that now I can picture a whole string of tête-à-têtes: it’s not really all that interesting to envision folks getting hauled in, one by one, to sit down with Trump and have him ask “DID YOU WRITE THIS?!?” I mean, yeah, it’ll maybe hurt morale, and so on; but people who didn’t write it just say “no,” and if he talks to someone who did write it, well, end the chat with a “no”. So what?

But this bit here? Picture a guy getting asked if he’s heard anybody else utter that exasperation about literally being unable to tell if Trump will change his mind from one minute to the next. Picture the guy who said that realizing everyone else is getting asked if they’ve heard anyone else say it. Picture, too — if you were with me on that parenthetical — dozens of people having said it to other folks, now knowing that other folks are being asked if they ever heard someone say it.

That, to me, is an interesting little playlet.

Baal Houtham 09-06-2018 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by you with the face (Post 21190692)
The following reasons are why I think Pence authored it:

1) “Lodestar”. Yes, I know that anyone in the WH could’ve used this word to throw Trump off their scent, but think about it: this would essentially mean the author is going out of their way to frame Pence as the resister when the safest and smartest bet would’ve been to just keep the writing as plain and non-stylistic as possible. If Pence didn’t write the letter, he now has even more incentive to clear his name and find out who the real saboteur is. So the author would’ve been insanely stupid by pulling this move...unless Pence was behind this.

2) As VP, Pence is the only one in the administration that Trump can’t fire. So he has a lot less to lose than someone like Kelly or Mattis.

Hi UWTF,

The Talking Points Memo site made these comments.
However, as the Washington Post points out, the rationale the Times gave for keeping the author’s name a secret is the likelihood that identification would lose the person his or her job. Pence cannot be fired, only impeached.

Further, an unnamed White House official who frequently leaks to media outlets told Axios in May that he or she is very attentive to the verbal mannerisms of White House coworkers, the better to leave red herrings in leaked quotes.

“To cover my tracks, I usually pay attention to other staffers’ idioms and use that in my background quotes,” the official told Axios. “That throws the scent off me.”


ThelmaLou 09-06-2018 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThelmaLou (Post 21190471)
... Who is the audience for this op-ed? ...who is this op-ed REALLY aimed at?

It occurs to me that the intended audience might be thump himself. There's nothing in there that the rest of us didn't already know.

Maybe the intent is to play into thump's paranoid thinking that he is surrounded by enemies and traitors while sending a dog whistle to Pubs that their policies are being protected by like-minded people in the castle keep.

If these keepers of the flame can drive the mad king over the edge, the Pubs can have President Pence without getting blood on their hands.

Otherwise, why publish it at all?

Nava 09-06-2018 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raventhief (Post 21190738)
Seeing aside the idea that the country ought not allow protesting (yay freedom of speech) - He didn't know which side the protesters were on? I guess the signs saying "Kava NOPE!" didn't tip him off?

He's not much of a reader and old enough to need correction even if he used to have 20/20 vision; maybe the lettering on the signs wasn't large enough.

Chip Dundas 09-06-2018 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnT (Post 21190436)
At least you admit the guy is both completely unprepared and uneducated for the position he holds, Chip. :)

The President is not a policy expert by any means. But the process is working. This is why you hire advisors. This is why you have aides.

eschereal 09-06-2018 10:15 AM

It does not look like the work of one person. It looks to me as though it was outlined, as it were, by Leo, Josh and C.J., composed and drafted with the precision of Will Bailey and edited by Toby, the “official known to us” who presented the finished copy to the Gray Lady.

Johnny L.A. 09-06-2018 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chip Dundas (Post 21190427)
The President seems to ask a lot of questions on policy because he is new to it as a non politician and outsider.

'If we have nukes, why can't we use them?' is a bloody stupid question. If you ask it three times, it just might indicate a cognitive disability. If you ask it because you don't see any reason why you should not be allowed to use nuclear weapons, you just might be unhinged.

you with the face 09-06-2018 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baal Houtham (Post 21190771)
The Talking Points Memo site made these comments.

I don’t read too much into the WP’s statement about the potential of job loss. In theory, Pence could be fired over this...if by fire we mean impeached by Congress. But the fact that he can’t be fired easily makes him less vulnerable than others.

As for someone else using Pence’s rather unusual idiom, yes, I’ve already acknowledged this possibility. But what’s telling is that I haven’t seen any other official’s pet words identified in that letter. Has anyone else? There’s a difference between throwing one off their scent and going out of one’s way to put the scent on a specific person. If Pence isn’t behind the letter, then he’s being set up to look like he is. Which just adds shit on top of this shit sundae.

running coach 09-06-2018 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maus Magill (Post 21190745)
Unfortunately for Pence, he has the charisma of a banana slug.

Banana slugs are a bright, cheerful yellow and bring a little joy into life.
Pence is just yellow.

Typo Negative 09-06-2018 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chip Dundas (Post 21190781)
The President is not a policy expert by any means. But the process is working. This is why you hire advisors. This is why you have aides.

That only helps if you listen to them. It also helps if you understand what they say.

Angela Merkel reportedly had to explain the 'fundamentals' of EU trade to Trump 11 times
https://www.businessinsider.com/trum...many-eu-2017-4

Quote:

"Ten times Trump asked [German chancellor Angela Merkel] if he could negotiate a trade deal with Germany. Every time she replied, 'You can't do a trade deal with Germany, only the EU,'" the official said.

They continued: "On the eleventh refusal, Trump finally got the message, 'Oh, we'll do a deal with Europe then.'"
Quote:

Merkel reportedly told her cabinet members that Trump had "very basic misunderstandings" on the "fundamentals" of the EU and trade.
You should watch this. It is funny and frightening at the same time.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etkd57lPfPU

duality72 09-06-2018 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baal Houtham (Post 21190771)
Hi UWTF,

The Talking Points Memo site made these comments.
However, as the Washington Post points out, the rationale the Times gave for keeping the author’s name a secret is the likelihood that identification would lose the person his or her job. Pence cannot be fired, only impeached.


But the Times didn't say Lodestar could or could not be fired, only that said official could lose their job. If the editorial were definitively linked to Pence, he could very well be impeached and lose his job. It's a thin layer of plausibility, but just enough to make the statement true, if a bit misleading (a feature, not a bug, in this case).

CaptMurdock 09-06-2018 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThelmaLou (Post 21190471)
(My emphasis.)
If the people working the closest to thump believe he is so incompetent that they have to do end runs around him to keep him from destroying the country, then why in heaven's name are they writing to the NYTimes about it? They should be writing to Mitch McConnell. They should be writing to every member of Congress (Dem and Pub) as well as to each sitting member of the Supreme Court.

Write to McConnell? No offense, kiddo, but you may as well write to the Great Pumpkin than to expect Turtleman to do his constitutional duty to the republic. Now, throw in Santa Claus, Bigfoot and the ghost of Elvis, and you've got yourself a dream team.

eschereal 09-06-2018 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by running coach (Post 21190830)
Banana slugs are a bright, cheerful yellow and bring a little joy into life.
Pence is just yellow.

UC Santa Cruz would like a word with you …

kaylasdad99 09-06-2018 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by silenus (Post 21189560)
I don't think so. Anonymous Op-Ed isn't the style I would expect from a general. Or a Marine. I would expect a Marine to demand to testify before Congress as a whole about Trump's unfitness.

The was Col. North did about Reagan’s unfitness?

PatriotX 09-06-2018 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chip Dundas (Post 21190781)
The President is not a policy expert by any means. But the process is working. This is why you hire advisors. This is why you have aides.

Indeed.
One totally hires aides to hide paperwork from one's self.

PatriotX 09-06-2018 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 21190568)
Honestly, though, if I may (gulp) defend Trump on one thing, throwing questions around the room as a brainstorming exercise is not a bad thing. Should we assassinate Bashir al-Assad? Should we attack North Korea? Should we do this or that? A leader SHOULD toss stuff like that around and encourage other people to do the same. Part of avoiding groupthink is getting everyone out of the comfort zone of assumptions.

Other that that, of course, he is wildly incompetent.

Iirc, the report said that Trump ordered the assassination rather than merely asked about it.

So, not sure if brainstorming actually covers that.

ThelmaLou 09-06-2018 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptMurdock (Post 21190858)
Write to McConnell? No offense, kiddo, but you may as well write to the Great Pumpkin than to expect Turtleman to do his constitutional duty to the republic. Now, throw in Santa Claus, Bigfoot and the ghost of Elvis, and you've got yourself a dream team.

Get back to me when you've read what I wrote, okay? :rolleyes:
Quote:

They should be writing to Mitch McConnell. They should be writing to every member of Congress (Dem and Pub) as well as to each sitting member of the Supreme Court.
What about my other question: who is the intended audience for this op-ed? Any ideas?

jsc1953 09-06-2018 11:21 AM

I think I'm willing to give the anonymous op-ed writer a bit more slack than most here. Consider the following analogous thought-experiment -- not a perfect analogy, but bear with me:

You're the mayor of a small town in Nazi-occupied France, 1941.

Do you:

(a) Stay in your job. Keep the garbage picked up. But work with the Resistance (the OG Resistance) in getting Jews out of town.
(b) Escape to England and join the British Army.

And consider that your replacement would be guaranteed to be a Nazi collaborator.

I don't think there's a wrong choice.


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