Friday, April 28, 2017

Training Day.

Just so you know I am in training today, which means there may be a delay before I can publish your comments.

It might be completely unnoticeable, but then again there might be an hour or two between times when I can check my phone.

I have to admit I really hate this particular training as it involves a lot of hands on instruction and requires a lot of up close and personal interactions with people I do not know.

I think I have taken this particular class around 18 or 19 times, so though it is not new to me it is still a huge pain in my ass.

I have held this job for twenty years this June and perhaps the worst part is the yearly re-certifications.

I also hate that this is happening on a Friday which is notorious as a news dump day, but if you see anything you think I should know about put it in the comments and I will hopefully get to it later on tonight or tomorrow.

I have already written multiple posts that will show up as the day progresses, so don't think I will not provide content for you to enjoy.

Have a great day, and thanks for making IM a priority to visit in your very busy lives.


  1. Anonymous8:35 AM

    Good luck uncle Gryph!

  2. Anonymous8:50 AM

    Don't be a whiner, Gryphen.

    If you fail to recertify and wind up losing your job, you can always be president. Turns out that's a job one can get without any experience or qualifications.

    good luck.

  3. Thanks for making IM a priority in our otherwise mundane existence!

    To the best of our knowledge, it is noon and the Twitter Twat has not yet blown up the other side of the world.

    1. Anonymous11:58 AM

      Agree 100%, except that it's now mid-afternoon here in Michigan.

  4. Anonymous9:02 AM

    I'm one that never misses your blog - go to it daily more than once!

    Try to enjoy your further education! I'm retired now - but recall having to do the same thing.

  5. Anonymous9:07 AM

  6. From the article: … perhaps the worst part is the yearly re-certifications.

    Looking on the bright side of the coin, others in your field also have to be re-certified.


  7. Anonymous9:34 AM

    Think of it this way- you've been providing opportunities for all of us to interact up close and personally with people we do not know! And we are (usually) the better for it.

    Wild Tortoise

    1. Anonymous12:55 PM

      You're improving the lives of those dearest to us,Gryph. Many thanks. I too,just completed my classes for the 2017 wildfire season.

  8. Anonymous9:40 AM

  9. Anonymous9:43 AM

    Trump administration's hardline immigration stance in Supreme Court case could see Melania Trump deported

    An 'immaterial' error on a form is enough to see an entire citizenship application refused, according to a Justice Department lawyer

    The argument that even an "immaterial" error on official paperwork can justify deportation, put forward by the Trump administration in a recent Supreme Court case, would be sufficient to deport the President's wife, Melania.

    The First Lady of the United States reportedly failed to disclose earnings from nearly two months of illegal work in the USA on a visitor's visa, and subsequently failed to mention the offence on immigration documents.

    In 1996, Ms Trump—then Knauss—was paid for modelling work undertaken in the United States while travelling on a tourist visa, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press. This violated her terms of entry.

    The first ladywhore allegedly earned more than $20,000 (£16,000) in the seven weeks before she acquired legal permission to work.

    She went on to apply for a green card in 2001 and became a naturalised US citizen in 2006 without disclosing any past indiscretions.

    1. Anonymous10:30 AM

      I called to report her on his illegal alien hotline.
      BTW, for those that may think that it doesn't matter now because she became a citizen you would be incorrect. Her citizenship would be yanked and she would be deported, after serving time for defrauding the US federal government by illegally gaining her visa and then using that visa as a basis for her citizenship

    2. Anonymous11:56 AM

      Much the same could be said of Trump's grandfather.

    3. Anonymous1:00 PM

      I called this morning.You talk to an actual person. I guess others are calling in ufos and little green men.

    4. Anonymous2:09 PM

      That's a great idea to call and report Mrs Donald Trump for all of her immigration transgressions. The Hispanics who tend to children and the lawn of my neighbors have far more legitimate reason to be here than that whore Melania. At least they're not golddiggers and only ask for honest pay for an honest day's work.

    5. Anonymous3:18 PM

      @11:56 Beaglemom You got that right!

      K.O. ResisT-Peace

    6. Anonymous3:34 PM

      It would be great if she would have to repay the taxpayers for her security before leaving the country. She can use the $$$ she made from suing the tabloids for exposing her escort job.

      I figured she was working on a tourist visa when she stated she had to leave the country every few months to renew her visa. A work visa is good for 3 years.

  10. Anonymous9:51 AM

  11. Anonymous10:15 AM

    America Could Look Like North Carolina by 2020. Yikes.
    Republicans in the Tar Heel State are attacking the courts, the environment, voting rights, protesters, and immigrants. They’re giving us a glimpse of America under four years of Trump.

    This week, Republicans rushed to pass a slew of bills that could permanently damage the state’s courts, elections, universities, and the environment. They also provide a glimpse at the havoc congressional Republicans in Washington could wreak with just a few more votes in the House and Senate.

    ...But without more allies in Congress—or more cooperation among his existing allies—Trump can’t get to the juiciest parts of his agenda: His dreams of mass deregulation, environmental degradation, nativist immigration laws, and a true takeover of the courts are mostly on ice right now. Republican infighting has thwarted any significant legislative achievement, forcing Trump to govern through executive orders that are vulnerable to legal challenges. But he still has nearly four years to consolidate power, subdue the courts, and bring the GOP to heel. North Carolina today shows us what the United States will look like if Trump and congressional Republicans succeed. It is a warning sign that we ignore at our own peril.

  12. Anonymous10:19 AM

    Trump is about to use a budget trick to steal from an entire generation

    Dynamic scoring is just a fancy way of justifying massive increases in the national debt

    We now know a bit more about President Donald Trump's massive tax cut, which he has called "the biggest in history."

    We know it's intended to be a simplification that would cut corporate tax rates to 15% and eliminate deductions and things like the alternative minimum tax, which would be a big deal for Trump himself.

    We know that, according to the Tax Policy Centre, the corporate tax cut alone could cost the country $2 trillion over the next 10 years.

    Most importantly, we know that if the plan has any hope of survival, its architects must engage in a massive generational theft, and they would use a classic budget trick to pull it off.

    The trick is a method is called dynamic scoring, which in reality is just a fancy way of justifying massive increases in the national debt.

    ...Now, you might think that so-called fiscally conservative Republicans would be opposed to things like this and that Trump might face opposition from his party.

    But he won't. That's because there is a way to make Washington's budgets sound more sensible than they are. That's where dynamic scoring, much beloved by deficit hawks like House Speaker Paul Ryan, comes in.

    The Republican-controlled House adopted dynamic scoring last year, but it's still up for debate in the Senate...

    Cooking the books?

  13. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Donald Trump’s administration after 100 days: A second-rate salesman surrounded by con men and losers

    Trump has staffed the West Wing with low-grade hucksters, and his deal-making skills are just bad poker bluffs

    ...After 100 days, we can say this about Donald Trump and his team: History will not be kind.

    At the rate Trump is going, the internet could run out of space cataloging all of his administration’s deficiencies as a functional entity, its destruction of governing norms and the hash it has made of both domestic and foreign policy, long before he leaves office. But two observations from the first 100 days stand out to me.

    The first is the extent to which Trump’s struggles can be attributed to his pronounced tendency to staff his administration with mediocre, two-bit hustlers and con men whose careers indicate they have a lot more luck than smarts or talent.

    ...The second observation that stands out about the president’s first 100 days in office is just how thoroughly his self-created image as the consummate dealmaker has been punctured and deflated.

    For all the vaunted negotiating skill Trump bragged about during his campaign, he has shown himself to be a paper tiger. There is a long list of deals and ultimatums on which Trump has backed down at the first hint of pushback – Obamacare repeal, making Mexico pay for the wall, the nuclear deal with Iran, his rejections of NATO and NAFTA, and quite a few others.

    Trump’s dealmaking abilities were supposed to be his big selling point. But what he has principally demonstrated in 100 days as president is a pattern of trying to shake down his opponents for money, then backing off when the other party pushes back.

    ...A blustering, easily cowed president surrounded by venal and untalented washouts.

    1. Anonymous11:54 AM

      Trump is not commander-in-chief; he's con artist-in-chief. If he's surrounded himself with con artists, it's only because he is one himself.

  14. Anonymous10:26 AM

    I think everyone should bartend for a year, I was notoriously shy and had to work my way through college and ended up bartending. After 3 yrs of that I never had any issues talking to complete strangers again.

  15. Anonymous10:46 AM

    Up close and personal? Annual re-cert? Must be CPR and AED training.

  16. Anonymous11:12 AM

    100 days in the court of King Donald

    Sitting across from Donald Trump in the Oval Office, my eyes are drawn to a little red button on a box that sits on his desk. “This isn’t the nuclear button, is it?” I joke, pointing. “No, no, everyone thinks it is,” Trump says on cue, before leaning over and pressing it to order some Cokes. “Everyone does get a little nervous when I press that button.”

    There are a lot of people present to make nervous. When Barack Obama gave interviews, there were usually just a few aides around. But Trump works with a huge entourage that includes the likes of Steve Bannon, the White House chief strategist, Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor in charge of trade policy, and Reince Priebus, chief of staff.

    And he has turned the Oval Office into something of a salon that welcomes everyone from coal miners to union leaders to corporate bosses. Towards the end of our interview last month, more than 20 naval submarine officers entered and waited patiently for their photo op.

    “Trumpf is more like a monarch. He likes the court. His court has all sorts of players and it even has courtiers,” says Chris Ruddy, the head of Newsmax Media, who is a friend of the president.

    If George W Bush was the folksy-yet-formal CEO-style president, and Obama was the professorial commander-in-chief, Trumpf is the king of a reality TV show. His White House is brimming with tales about which players are in or out of favour and who currently has the ear of the princelings: Ivanka Drumpf, the president’s daughter, and her husband Jared Kushner.

    This weekend, on April 29, the court and its ruler will face a milestone: Drumpf’s 100th day in office. This somewhat arbitrary barometer has been used to judge new Oval Office occupants since Franklin D Roosevelt in 1933. And the president is showing signs of anxiety. “No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.), media will kill!” he said in a tweet that referred to his success in appointing Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

    Drumpf himself hyped the importance of the 100-day milestone last October during the final weeks of his campaign when he unveiled a “100-day action plan” that listed 28 measures he intended to complete in his first three months in office.

    Just steps from Drumpf’s own centre of operations is the “War Room”, an office in which Bannon, the former firebrand head of Breitbart News and one of the key players of the past three months, has outlined these measures on separate pieces of paper. Posted on one wall, they fall into four columns under the words “Make Donald Drumpf Again”.

    Many of the items in the first three columns have been completed, including imposing restrictions on officials becoming lobbyists, freezing most federal hiring, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord and approving the US-Canada Keystone energy pipeline. In the face of warnings about protectionism from institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, Drumpf has largely followed through on his core campaign promise to work aggressively to restructure US trade relationships with other nations. He has also urged his team to move faster on comprehensive tax reform after Steven Mnuchin, his Treasury secretary, told the FT that the administration’s original goal of August was unrealistic.

  17. Anonymous11:13 AM

    But Drumpf has also reversed course on some measures, which may upset his base. Despite telling the FT that China “are world champions” in currency manipulation, he has not honoured his pledge to label the country a currency manipulator. After bashing China on the campaign trail, he has somewhat softened his stance in office, as he attempts to persuade Beijing to put more pressure on North Korea to rein in its nuclear and missile programme.

    He has also struggled to get Congress to appropriate significant money to pay for the wall on the US-Mexico border that was one of the key rallying cries of his campaign. And while he tried to ban citizens of several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US — as part of the “extreme vetting” he promised as the Republican nominee — his January efforts were both poorly implemented and ended up being blocked by the courts.

    On the War Room wall, there is one particularly glaring gap. Drumpf’s failure to get Congress to pass a bill to replace the Obamacare healthcare law means that not one of the 10 major legislative goals included in the fourth column has been hit. Much blame has been cast for the failure. Some White House officials point the finger at Paul Ryan, the House speaker; some GOP lawmakers say Drumpf should have done more. One Drumpf administration official says the ambitious 100-day agenda ended up being “a bridge too far”, while White House aides stress that Republicans need to be better prepared for the next big legislative battle.

    “Moving a big piece of legislation is the equivalent of landing on Normandy. You have to have the amphibious ships, the cruisers, the battleships, the planes, the troops,” says Bannon, a former naval officer. “You have to get to the beach and you have to push up and all the logistics have to be there. Everything has to come together on the hour and the minute for D-Day.”

    While Drumpf has issued a large number of executive orders, the failure to pass any big legislation amid a chaotic beginning casts him in a poor light compared with Obama and Bush, who both had victories on Capitol Hill by their 100th day. David Gergen, a former White House adviser to Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, argues that Drumpf has had the “worst opening 100 days” of any contemporary president. “Some would argue Lincoln had a rough start — but by comparison to FDR, who was the gold standard, the gap is gigantic,” he says. “It’s not a gap, it’s a canyon.”

  18. Anonymous11:13 AM

    Inside the Court

    As the chaos has unfolded, so has the palace intrigue. White House officials are already keenly aware that Drumpf can quickly switch favourites, fusing the atmosphere of a medieval court with Kremlinology in the social-media age. There are the favoured ones, led by Ivanka and Jared — as the couple are generally known. They have great sway over the fortunes of the inner circle, whose ranks include two former Goldman Sachs executives: Gary Cohn, head of the White House National Economic Council, and Mnuchin.

    But even Jared and Ivanka are not completely immune from criticism. Drumpf was reportedly upset that the couple, who both have unpaid roles as top White House advisers, were skiing in Aspen on the day that he failed to get Congress to pass healthcare reform.

    Meanwhile, aides routinely leak stories about their colleagues to the media — and then assail reporters for writing about the infighting. There is constant jostling by officials to make sure that they are in the room, conscious that Drumpf has a habit of adopting the stance of the last person he met. “Drumpf likes a competition of ideas and dissent in people around him. What he does not like is a lot of leaks,” says Ruddy. “There is a lot of jockeying for his favour or his power. Over time he will work out who the strong ones are, and he will let go of the weak ones.”

    No one is untouchable. Resting against the War Room wall, waiting to be hung, Bannon displays two Time magazine covers side by side in a frame. One shows Drumpf while the other is an image of Bannon headlined “The Great Manipulator”. That cover, and the fact that the media at one point referred to the strategist as “President Bannon” because of his role in crafting Drumpf’s economic populism, reportedly irked the president. In recent interviews, Drumpf downplayed his relationship with Bannon in ways that did not reflect reality, proclaiming he is just a “guy who works for me”.

  19. Anonymous11:15 AM

    One White House official tells me that Drumpf wants his aides to have robust debates but that he gets annoyed when the jabbing spills out into the media. “A couple of times it’s gotten outside the lines, so he says, ‘Hey, I want this stuff knocked off,’” says the aide. “You’ve got to be able to thrive in that environment . . . you can’t be a wilting flower.”

    Recently, the stars appeared to align in favour of Cohn, known by his enemies inside the White House as “Globalist Gary”. As Drumpf veered towards some policies pushed by Cohn, his stock rose in the media — “President Bannon is Dead, Long Live President Cohn” read one recent headline in The Nation.

    That has led to some White House officials becoming nervous about being seen as too close to Cohn, partly because they worry that the scales could tip back towards Bannon. But in recent weeks the Drumpf administration has taken a series of trade actions on everything from steel to timber. These are exactly the kinds of policies being pushed by Ross and Bannon, both of whom are the loudest voices for economic nationalism along with Drumpf.

    When I ask Mnuchin, another New Yorker, if the intrigue makes his job difficult, he says with a wry smile: “I have very good relationships at the White House. One of the best parts of this job is that it is five minutes from my office to the president’s office and five minutes back.”

    Drumpf is extremely conscious of the media and how the West Wing plays within it. His team programmes his schedule to include high-profile round-table meetings with CEOs and others to maximise media coverage, just as he did successfully during the campaign. “He would dominate cable TV in the morning and then the president [would sit] down in the Oval with CEOs or union leaders [and listen] to their concerns in the afternoon,” says one White House official. “The whole thing was around jobs. It became a television show that was kind of nonstop action.”

  20. Anonymous11:15 AM

    The Princelings

    While some Congressional Republicans want Drumpf to fire Bannon, some of the president’s supporters worry that it would send a very dangerous message to his base, since power would end up further concentrated in the hands of Ivanka, Jared and Cohn, who are seen as liberal New Yorkers and part of the elite rejected by so many Drumpf voters.

    As the Machiavellian jostling inside the White House continues, Ivanka and Jared have been cementing their roles both there and in DC more generally. Their move to the exclusive Kalorama neighbourhood caused a stir — even for an area whose residents often include celebrities, including, nowadays, Barack and Michelle Obama.

    On a quiet day the house is watched by a handful of Secret Service officers and occasional paparazzi. When Ivanka or Jared hit the headlines, the numbers can double. Neighbours were irked by “No Parking” signs erected outside and barricades around the house that cut off the pavement.

    How Ivanka has dealt with this local kerfuffle offers insight into her role in the Drumpf court. Part goodwill ambassador, part court consigliere, she has the most access to her father. In Kalorama, Ivanka employed her own brand of diplomacy. She knocked on each of her neighbours’ doors with stealth weapons in tow: her children and baked goods. The blatant PR offensive was highly effective. “Lovely, just lovely,” says Rhona Friedman, a lawyer and neighbour who had been wary. “People who know her say the same thing: that she’s very gracious.”

    And her diplomacy has not been limited to cupcakes. Ahead of her father’s first meeting with the Japanese prime minister, she posted a video of her daughter singing a wildly popular Japanese song called “Pen Pineapple Apple Pen” on Instagram. This became an icebreaker when Shinzo Abe met Drumpf and his daughter at Drumpf Tower last November. Two of her children also sang in Mandarin for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month.

    While Ivanka plays the role of the informal diplomat, Jared has been entrusted with an ever expanding, if more traditional, foreign policy role. His portfolio, which includes the Middle East and has seen him heavily involved with China, has led to sniping that he is behaving like the shadow secretary of state. Some aides chafe at handing so much responsibility to the scion of a property developer with no foreign policy experience.

    “A great deal of press attention is focused on individuals in King Arthur’s court — who is closest to the king, and who wields the sword or dies by the sword,” says Tim Roemer, a former Democratic congressman and US ambassador to India. “What specific role does Jared eventually play with respect to China, Iraq and Mexico and the foreign policy portfolios? You cannot do each region of the world, even if you are a combination of Da Vinci and Einstein. ”

    Ivanka and Jared have also come under scrutiny over possible conflicts of interest, as they will both continue to benefit financially from their business while in office. Defenders of the first family point out that Drumpf is not the first president to use his family. Bill Clinton asked Hillary to run a healthcare task force, while John F Kennedy made his brother Robert attorney-general.

    1. Anonymous4:25 PM

      I never thought we would see people like Donald, Ivanka, and Jared Kushner leading the country. Maybe we're all wrong and Jared will be able to "do" peace in the Middle East. Unless that turns out to be just one more thing that's harder than Trump realized.

      Wimpy Jared looks like he couldn't handle a rowdy kids birthday party.

  21. Anonymous11:16 AM

    Barbara Perry, a historian at the University of Virginia, points out that JFK once brushed off critics with the riposte: “I can’t see that it’s wrong to give him a little legal experience before he goes out to practise law.”

    Ruddy says Drumpf’s family is critical to his success. “Drumpf is the first citizen president, with no government or military experience. He doesn’t have many allies and friends or trusted political advisers [and so relies on Ivanka and Jared]. It’s good that they’re involved.”

    This is particularly true given the absence of the first lady, Melania Drumpf, who has been largely invisible in Washington, spending most of her time in New York where the Drumpfs’ son Barron is finishing his school year. Dave Johnson, a Drumpf supporter from Ohio who has met the president, thinks Ivanka can help her father where Melania is uncomfortable. “Ronald Reagan had Nancy who was a force to be reckoned with in the White House. I see Ivanka and Kushner watching his back.”

    ‘A challenging transition’

    While Ivanka looks out for her father, everyone else watches his every word and step. My joke about the little red button reflected the anxiety that rippled across the world when the unbridled property mogul won the election and gained access to the nuclear codes. During the 2016 race, Drumpf bristled when critics said he lacked the temperament to be commander-in-chief. But his first 100 days in office — and particularly the early weeks — were so chaotic that they resurrected those concerns, sounding alarm bells in Washington and globally.

    The US constitution created a system of checks and balances, from Congress to the Supreme Court, to ensure that no president can have unfettered power. But those mechanisms are weakest when it comes to foreign policy, particularly since the president can order nuclear strikes.

    1. Anonymous11:53 AM

      The difference is that JFK was joking; Trump is always deadly serious until someone tells him that he said something awful and then he pretends it was a joke.

    2. Anonymous1:19 PM

  22. Anonymous11:16 AM

    “Given his volatility and inexperience, that is what keeps me awake at night especially as, during the campaign, he asked what the point of nuclear weapons was if you could not use them,” says Malcolm Rifkind, a former British Conservative party foreign and defence minister.

    Hopes that Drumpf would become a conventional president were lowered from the beginning of his tenure when his inaugural speech reprised the darker themes of his campaign. “That was some weird shit,” Bush reportedly said out loud after Drumpf’s “American carnage” speech.

    One of the standout lines, designed to echo Drumpf’s electioneering outsider pitch, was: “The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.” The fast and furious actions since the inauguration have raised many eyebrows in Washington. But his approach has delighted those who had voted for him precisely because he was willing to fight. The media focus on his unorthodoxy simply underscores how the much-analysed gap between Washington and the rest of the US never went away.

    Yet even Drumpf knows that the drama has overshadowed his more orthodox actions. In a rare moment of humility that underscored his frustration as he prepared to deliver his State of the Union address in February, he told Fox television that he would award himself a grade of C or C+ for the way he had communicated his achievements.

    That speech was designed to change the dynamic. Although he resurrected his “America First” theme, Democrats were stunned when he cloaked it in conciliatory language. “Most shocking thing about last night: Drumpf’s speech was normal. I still can’t believe it,” one Democratic lawmaker emailed me the next morning.

    But the pivot was short-lived. The drama returned following Drumpf’s claim that Obama had wiretapped his campaign. Even some friends were surprised at how he was struggling to adapt. “It is pretty remarkable that he has stayed so true to himself,” says Ruddy. “He is down to earth and still speaks his mind. In a way, it’s endearing. On the other hand, in another way, he doesn’t appreciate the enormity of the job and that he should be a different person as head of state. That is surprising because I thought he would like to wear the uniform of head of state.”

    The healthcare reform showdown in late March also sparked unwelcome drama. Drumpf agreed to pull the bill after Ryan told him they did not appear to have the votes. “I don’t lose. I don’t like to lose,” Drumpf told the FT in the Oval Office when asked about the move.

    But vice-president Mike Pence and Bannon felt that they should have gone ahead, according to one official. Trent Lott, the former Republican senator and majority leader who served as whip in both houses of Congress, argues that Drumpf and Ryan made a mistake.

    “You are never going to have the votes until you have the vote, until they see the whites of the eyes of the enemy,” Lott tells me. “You get close and pull the trigger and say, ‘Guys and girls, we are going to vote, so get ready.’ A lot of them are smart to hold back until they are forced to vote.”

    In many ways, a rocky start was inevitable. Drumpf and most of his team came to power with no government experience. While he quickly named a cabinet, he was impeded by Democrats, who delayed confirmations. But he was slow to name candidates for sub-cabinet roles, which has created holes at the top of the bureaucracy, particularly at the state department.

  23. Anonymous11:16 AM

    Drumpf has nominated 58 people for senior government jobs that require Senate confirmation, of which 25 have been approved, according to the Partnership for Public Service.

    At this stage in their presidencies, Barack Obama had nominated 190 candidates and Bill Clinton had formally named 176. Republican presidents have tended to be slower than Democrats but Drumpf still trails George W Bush, who had nominated 85, and George HW Bush, who had nominated 95.

    Drumpf has also been dogged by the fact that the FBI is investigating whether any of his campaign aides had inappropriate contacts with Russian officials. He fired his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, after the retired general lied about the nature of conversations that he had held with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington.

    As well as marking 100 days, April 29 is also the deadline for Congress and the Drumpf administration to agree on a funding measure to ensure the government is not forced to shut down.

    “It’s been a challenging transition,” says Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who competed with Drumpf for the Republican nomination. “Part of it is self-inflicted, and part of it is by design in terms of the opposition, and what they’ve tried to do in terms of slowing him down.”

    The White House and the world

    Meanwhile, the world remains uncertain about what to make of Drumpf. While he has largely pursued the domestic policies he advocated during the campaign — albeit with some reversals — his foreign policy does not resemble the man who criticised Japan and China at every rally, previously warned Obama not to strike Syria, and until recently refused to say anything negative about Russia.

    One early sign of a new approach came when James Mattis, defence secretary, called the US-Japan alliance a “model” in Tokyo, in stark contrast to Drumpf’s campaign rhetoric. Weeks later, Drumpf wined, dined — and golfed with — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a three-day summit at Mar-a-Lago.

    Secretary of state Rex Tillerson then helped to persuade Drumpf to tell Chinese President Xi Jinping that he would honour the “One China” policy — under which the US views Beijing as the seat of government of China — after he had suggested in December that he might abandon the policy. This paved the way for a summit with the Chinese leader, who had previously refused to speak to Drumpf. Finally, in early April, Drumpf stood beside Jens Stoltenberg, Nato secretary-general, and said of the transatlantic security alliance: “I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete.”

    Drumpf’s advisers say he was tougher in private on Nato and in other meetings with world leaders, and that his reversals are evidence that he has won others over. Drumpf praised China, for example, for abstaining from a UN vote condemning Syria over the gas attack, instead of vetoing the measure. But his public stance has clearly shifted, confusing some and reassuring others.

    Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, says Drumpf lacks a comprehensive approach to foreign policy. “A lot of people are new to government and foreign policy. You have competing centres of authority inside the White House,” he says. “What I tell people is you will look in vain for a coherent Drumpf foreign policy.”

    Drumpf does not help himself with such idiosyncrasies as telling a TV anchor that he informed Xi, over the “most beautiful piece of chocolate cake”, that he was firing missiles towards Syria. However, his shift to a more orthodox approach towards the world has been welcomed by a number of senior Republicans.

    1. Anonymous11:52 AM

      I don't think that Trump has "won over" any foreign leaders. They are avoiding him like the plague that he is. It is such an embarrassment to think that he is in charge.

    2. Anonymous1:35 PM

      He's gone around and pissed off all our friendly nations and praised the dictators and corrupt leaders of the world. Asswipe praised Kim today.

  24. Anonymous11:17 AM

    “It seems like, on all fronts, that things have moved to a more traditional foreign policy,” says Bob Corker, Republican head of the Senate foreign relations committee. “From the standpoint of our country’s national interest, it just seems to me we are in a much better place.”

    Corker rejects suggestions that Kushner is a shadow secretary of state. He says Kushner actually helps Tillerson — and Mattis — convey their views to Drumpf because of the relationship Kushner has forged with the secretary of state and his obvious bond with the president. “His relationship with Tillerson is one where he is seeking input as they’re getting ready to make decisions. He’s obviously someone the president listens to and he’s another voice,” says Corker. “But I don’t look at it as a voice in contrast to Tillerson.”

    White House officials argue that the national security team is very strong and more united than past administrations. Pointing to the cadre of serving and former generals in the team, Dennis Wilder, a former top CIA official who served in the Bush White House, says one trait of the Drumpf administration is the “militarisation of foreign policy”.

    In addition to surrounding himself with generals, Drumpf has used the military to strike Syria, dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in the US arsenal in Afghanistan, and dispatched an aircraft carrier and warships to the Korean peninsula amid concerns about the ability of Pyongyang to strike the US with a nuclear-armed missile.

    Wilder says this is partly due to a “lack of appointments at senior levels in the state department, Treasury and other US government entities that would normally have the political clout to bring diplomatic initiatives to the table”. He says acting Pentagon officials also have access to existing war plans, which means in the end that “the military playbook would look far more impressive and creative to President Drumpf than those presented elsewhere”.

  25. Anonymous11:17 AM

    The next 100 days

    While the start of the Drumpf administration was truly chaotic, there are some signs that things are beginning to settle down, particularly as the top team of officials, many of whom had never worked together before, get to grips with their portfolios.

    Administration officials argue that Drumpf has made progress in persuading China to put more pressure on the regime of Kim Jong Un. But some of his rhetoric — including telling the FT that he would act alone if China did not help the US — has sparked concern about possible war. The Pentagon announcement that the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group was sailing north towards the Korean peninsula when it was actually steaming south did little to inspire confidence and sparked fresh concern about the Drumpf team.

    Gergen says the “deepest fear” for many is that Drumpf will “stumble into a conflict” due to his impulsive nature and the existence of other impulsive leaders, such as Kim in North Korea.

    Rubio thinks that misses the mark. He says people should not assume that because the president communicates in an unconventional way he is not measured and serious. He says there is a Drumpf who is “communicating to Americans in a unique way . . . that’s very unorthodox”, but also a Drumpf who is “making decisions in ways that are serious and important” for the country. “People are going to see that as time goes on.”

    For now, Democrats are still smarting from losing the White House. Republicans are loosely divided into three camps: original Drumpf supporters, who largely remain enthusiastic; those who think the New Yorker is evolving into a more conventional president; and those who believe that he is tarnishing the party brand.

    There are some ominous signs for the presidency. Last week Republicans narrowly succeeded in advancing to a run-off for an election for a House seat in a conservative district in Georgia, a result that hinted at growing disappointment among some Republicans.

    Speaking before the vote, Kasim Reed, the mayor of Atlanta and a rising Democratic star, argued that Drumpf appears to be alienating parts of his base. “It’s one thing to take a teaspoon of cough syrup. It’s a whole other thing to take the whole bottle,” he says. “Folks got a teaspoon during the campaign, but now they’re having the whole bottle, and I don’t think they feel too good about it.”

    One thing Drumpf cares passionately about is his ratings. He recently tweeted, “DRUMPF APPROVAL HITS 50%,” citing a poll by Rasmussen, a company that has consistently shown better results for him than most polls, which say he is the most unpopular president in modern times. A recent Washington Post-ABC News survey found that 53 per cent of Americans disapprove of his performance.

    1. Anonymous11:50 AM

      There a more than a few bridges that Rubio could buy for a steal. Trump is never "measured and serious." He is only concerned with himself and, by extension, anyone who bears his last name. Doesn't Rubio think that Trump's comparing his television ratings with 9/11 news coverage more than a little unmeasured and frivolous (that is to say, not serious)?

  26. Anonymous11:18 AM

    However, broken down by party, 84 per cent of Republicans approve of his efforts, compared to only 13 per cent of Democrats. The same poll found that 96 per cent of Drumpf voters think they backed the right candidate.

    Since the inauguration, Washington has become obsessed with parlour games that try to predict the next plot twist to emerge from Drumpf’s White House. These include questions that range from “Do you think Drumpf will become conventional?” to “Do you think Drumpf could be impeached?” At the moment, neither the political surprises nor the palace intrigue show any signs of settling down, sparking questions about the future direction of the administration, but trade secretary Ross says people forget one very fundamental point: “The one immovable object is the president.”

    Demetri Sevastopulo is the FT’s Washington bureau chief. Courtney Weaver is the FT’s US political correspondent

  27. Fascism marching forward in America.

    NRA is following the Nazis examples. Attacking political, academic and media "ELITES."

    "National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre urged gun owners to stand up to “academic elites, political elites and media elites” at the annual NRA convention in Atlanta on Friday, deeming those three groups to be “America’s greatest domestic threats.”

    “They’ll seemingly stop at nothing, including tearing apart our country,” said LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president and CEO. “If we don’t stand up to them, and I mean now, an entire generation of Americans could be lost and our nation along with them.” "

    "There, LaPierre had warned of a sprawling “enemy,” including Mexican drug cartels, terrorists, liberal protesters and the mainstream media, who, he claimed, are “utterly dedicated to destroy not only our country but also Western civilization.” "

    "“We must do all we can to support our president, because as you know, there’s an intense war that’s being waged by leftist zealots to destroy President Trump and destroy his administration,” LaPierre said. “It’s all part of a larger war being waged right now against truth in America. It’s a calculated, orchestrated attack against the values upon which our great nation was founded, against our uniquely American true freedom.” "

    I think we really need to take down LaPierre and the NRA before we go after Trump. Really.

    1. Anonymous12:16 PM

      "T“the eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,”
      “It may be Pocahontas, remember that,”
      “The NRA protects in our capitals and legislative houses the freedoms that our service members have won for us on those incredible battlefields,”

    2. Anonymous3:35 PM

      Who needs to worry about ISIS when we have our own home grown terrorist group called the NRA!

  28. Trump is blaming the Republicans in Congress for his failure to do anything in his first 100 days.

    Anyone surprised?

    Interview tonight on, you guessed it, Fox News.

    1. Anonymous3:37 PM

      Gosh yesterday it was all the Democrats fault.

  29. You're spoiled, Gryphen. My husband parachuted from planes at least once every 3 months in order to stay HALO/HAHO jump qualified, even when he wasn't serving with an airborne unit. In addition, he spent a minimum of 6 weeks a year in field training exercises (war games), including 3 weeks every summer in the desert of Yakima. Then there was TDY in godforsaken places like the jungles of Panama and hardship tours at the DMZ and of course Vietnam. That was just the hands-on part of his job. I won't bore you with the on-going infantry leadership classroom training required. Throughout his career, he was a world-class bridge player too. Member of Mensa and Intertel, until Agent Orange caused strokes, dementia, Parkinsonism, and brittle diabetes.

    As a teacher, I had to have 150 CEUs every five years. My sister is an RN, and her continuing education requirements are also stiff.

    Toughen up, guy. You trying to make your readers feel sorry for you or something? Presumably you blog for fun.

    You have it easy.

    1. Anonymous2:29 PM

      Ugh, your husband's and your life sound miserable. I couldn't imagine having to work that hard to get by in life. To me, thanks a bit to my family and a lot to investing in the right things at the right time, life is for living, not working constantly and having to do terrible things for a dollar.

      I feel for people that do and I try to help whomever I can but I wish everyone could just live for fun instead of having to do so much just to get by and never enjoy life, especially as your husband traded his health and a long good life for a job that exposed him to terrible things.

      I hope that you finally get to enjoy yourself in what seems to be your "golden years" you really deserve it if the life you just detailed was as strenuous and lacking in enjoyment as you just portrayed.

      This one shot that we have should be filled with happiness and fun, not drudgery.

    2. Anonymous4:18 PM

      Hey above, your in the clouds again. What goes up must come down. Remember that now...

    3. Anonymous4:45 PM

      2:29, right, life is all sunshine and lollipops. Challenging careers and education should be avoided like the plague. And hope your kid doesn't get leukemia or something to interfere with your fun.

    4. Anonymous5:44 PM


      Kid? Ha, no kids, but thanks for your concern about my imaginary kids. It's a little impossible to live a life of "lollipops and sunshine" when kids are involved.

    5. Anonymous @ 5:44 PM

      No kids for you? Probably that's for the best, since they might grow up to be self-indulgent, unmotivated trolls like you.

      N.B. Children and grandchildren increase your happiness quotient exponentially. Just a tip from my life experience, which I intuit has been broader and deeper than yours.

  30. Anonymous12:53 PM


  31. Anonymous1:31 PM

    Try a hemorrhoidectomy?

    "One official told the Daily Beast that Gorka’s transfer has been “a pain in the ass.”

    Gorka also reportedly lied about his credentials, which includes a Ph.D in political science. According to Andrew Reynolds, a professor of political science at UNC who did extensive research on Gorka’s education, the national security aide’s Ph.D “is about as legitimate as if he had been awarded it by Trump University.”"


Don't feed the trolls!
It just goes directly to their thighs.