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The Art of No Deal 
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
We can think of about a dozen reasons why Trump squeaked by in the general election. Hillary Clinton thinks that James Comey's decision to reopen the email investigation two weeks before the election was the decisive factor. Maybe so, but that wouldn't have mattered so much were it not for the inherent weaknesses of her candidacy. But the more important "why Trump?" puzzle is how he obtained the nomination of a major party in the first place. I think back to other candidates whose quests ended suddenly, for comparatively trivial reasons: Ed Muskie crying, George Romney saying he'd been brainwashed in Vietnam, Gary hart's Monkey Business, Marco Rubio's own use of Trumpian insult, John Kasich's simple lack of pizazz. Plus, all of those candidates had bona fides for the office of president, unlike Trump. The only explanation for Trump gaining traction and not losing it for what would have been fatal gaffes for others, is that he had a strong wind at his back, strong enough to overcome unprecedented negatives. The nativist-isolationist-nationalist platform he chose resonated here, but it did so as well internationally for other politicians. It resonated here so loudly that its major spokesman, Vladimir Putin, became an admired statesman for many Republicans, which was unthinkable as recently as Mitt Romney's candidacy (t-shirt: "I'd rather be Russian than Democrat").

Generally speaking, the reaction the world experienced had to do with panic over globalism. It was disruption of economies, loss of sovereignty as in the EU, and immigration ramped up by war in the Middle East and by Central American poverty and lawlessness. Is this state of affairs only temporary? Yuval Noah Harari (in our BT selection) charts a world that has continually become more connected and related. He contends that any reverse trends are only normal hiccups in this inevitable progression.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DWill wrote:
the more important "why Trump?" puzzle is how he obtained the nomination of a major party in the first place.
The only explanation for Trump gaining traction and not losing it for what would have been fatal gaffes for others, is that he had a strong wind at his back, strong enough to overcome unprecedented negatives. The nativist-isolationist-nationalist platform he chose resonated here, but it did so as well internationally for other politicians.
I think that's a good observation. In particular, Steve Bannon picked up on the growing despair in the small towns of the Midwest, where manufacturing is defying predictions by continuing to hollow out. In addition, the backlash against identity politics, focused around "religious freedom", colored a lot of interpretation of 45's resistance to political correctness. Davos Man, and the Clintons, have become enemies to those who see fast-failing ways of life recently considered normal and strong. The Brexit movement slices a bit differently, but no question that immigration and Islam played a significant role.
DWill wrote:
Generally speaking, the reaction the world experienced had to do with panic over globalism. It was disruption of economies, loss of sovereignty as in the EU, and immigration ramped up by war in the Middle East and by Central American poverty and lawlessness. Is this state of affairs only temporary? Yuval Noah Harari (in our BT selection) charts a world that has continually become more connected and related. He contends that any reverse trends are only normal hiccups in this inevitable progression.
I agree that the world will continue to grow more connected, but the panic is likely not to. We have to get through five years of turmoil to have much confidence, but the growing prosperity of Asia gives the world economy considerable stability, (think of it as the world going from 20% prosperous in 1990 to 50% prosperous by 2020) and the Great Recession is over. If catastrophes in the financial markets are avoided during the unwinding of Quantitative Easing (dollar rising, which can make situations like Turkey's crisis more likely; debt trouble in student loans and the fracking sector; fiscal pressure from the "doubled deficits" brought by the tax cut) which we should be pretty confident of after about 3 years, the world will have gotten back on track.

My big worries are long term: climate change (which played a heavy role in the Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War which sent so many refugees to Europe); and the looming question of whether living-wage service sector jobs can employ enough of the people pushed aside by automation in manufacturing.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Another triple whammy for Trump: Woodward's book, the anonymous NYT op-ed followed up today with the release of yet another Omarosa clandestine recording. Taken all together, we see a White House staffed by people desperately and quietly trying to keep Trump on the straight-and-narrow. They have resorted essentially to subversion and subterfuge to shape Trump's domestic and foreign policies. This has gone so far as to have staffers swiping sensitive docs off Trump's desk knowing he won't even miss them and he did not. Basically, they know Trump is crazy and unpredictable--liable to waffle on an issue without even a moment's notice. The West Wing is known as "crazy town." The East Wing is likely just as bad but it has been commandeered by Melania and it's where she stays. She does not want to to see or talk to her cheating, two-faced husband. Omarosa stated that the staff had a code they passed around on their phones in order to deal with Trump's constant waffling on issues. She said the code was "TFA" and an "orange icon." TFA stands for 25th amendment which allows an unfit president to be removed from office.

When the anonymous op-ed in the NYT hit the stands, there was instant turmoil in the White House. For those too dull to understand how fake QAnon is, take note. Never once has the White House publicly spoke about Q. Trump has never mentioned Q in public remarks, questions, tweets or speeches. There have been no attempts to find out who Q is, no vows to root him out and deal with him. Why? Because they know Q is fake and phony as they come and not worth worrying about but, man-oh-man, as soon as that op-ed hit--BAM!! Instant chaos, denials and vows to find the perpetrator. Never before in the history of the US presidency has there ever been a self-proclaimed group in the White House serving the president who then reveal that they are there to protect us from him! And despite Trump's lame assertions, the op-ed is not fake news and he knows it. Everybody in Washington knows it.

In Omarosa's latest released recording, Trump is heard talking about how Hillary colluded with the Russians and laundered money through a law firm to get the Steele Dossier to the tune of $9 million.

“Nobody knows who spent. I heard it was 5.7, now they say it was 9. It was spent through a law firm so that way they can’t trace it. The reason they used a law firm, you don’t have to give any papers,” said Trump.

“It’s definitely illegal and it’s illegal from a campaign financing standpoint. So the whole Russia thing I think seems to have turned around. What do you think, Sarah?” he asked spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“Absolutely,” she replied.

The problem is, this is EXACTLY what he did to buy the National Enquirer's Karen McDougal story as well as the Stormy Daniels' silence. So, if Trump knew it was illegal over Clinton's alleged actions then he MUST know it was illegal when he ordered Cohen to do it through his phony shell company. He can't plead ignorance. He's guilty--GUILTY, GUILTY GUILTY!

For some reason, Melania saw fit to wade in on the op-ed issue saying that whoever wrote it did not have the country's best interests at heart--saboteur, she called the author. At first I was puzzled as to why she would bother to weigh in when doing so is likely to only cause her further heartache as more of Donald's infidelities come to light. But, oh, how the right wing press ate it up!! She was praised for her "BRILLIANT!" response. One can only wonder how willing she was to read this load of drivel that she very definitely didn't write herself so that it could be plastered all the over the right wing blogs as though she had somehow written it herself. After she was finished reciting it, people should have stood, clapped and yelled, "AUTHOR!! AUTHOR!!" Unless she worked out a private deal with Donald, I don't know what she gains from it. The country gained nothing from it.

Colbert wondered why the author would reveal such an "explosive" operation going on in the White House since it only clues Trump in making it harder for them to carry it out. One reason might be because Trump isn't going to be around much longer. Day by day, his administration sinks deeper and deeper into a quagmire of Trump's own making and those most vulnerable flee him before it's too late. The rest will stupidly go down with him. Hope it was worth it for them.

Btw, Mueller's team has stated in response to Trump that Hillary Clinton is not being investigated. Mainly, because she's not president. Not nearly as juicy a target as the orange, fat one. So to Trump and all his supporters I say, "She lost; get over it."



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Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:28 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
I saw a National Review article, "Trump Should Be a Better Boss," that put into clear perspective why some of these WH problems are happening. Naturally the article is somewhat gentle with Trump, but the criticism is a actually pretty pointed. Trump has been a terrible manager of a staff. It has been clear that he has as little control over the staff as he has over his own impulses. He tries to cover up his weakness as a manager with tweets that he thinks will make him seem decisive and in control, but often he says these things in isolation from the rest of the West Wing. His management style is to promote chaos, which is not what they taught at the Wharton School when he attended as an undergraduate.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/ ... ous-op-ed/



Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:32 am
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Quote:
The only explanation for Trump gaining traction and not losing it for what would have been fatal gaffes for others, is that he had a strong wind at his back, strong enough to overcome unprecedented negatives. The nativist-isolationist-nationalist platform he chose resonated here, but it did so as well internationally for other politicians.


Let's not forget how disliked Hillary Clinton is and how arrogantly presumptuous she and her entire party were during the entire race, going as far as demanding Trump recognize her presidency when she won.
The rest is history.



Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:24 am
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Heh, well as I recall during the first Republican debate, with 17 candidates standing at lecturns, the very first question was "Will any of you NOT accept the Republican nominee in this campaign?" Trump raised his hand and basically said "If the process is not fair, I will not accept the nominee." (Translation: If I don't win.....)



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
LanDroid wrote:
Heh, well as I recall during the first Republican debate, with 17 candidates standing at lecturns, the very first question was "Will any of you NOT accept the Republican nominee in this campaign?" Trump raised his hand and basically said "If the process is not fair, I will not accept the nominee." (Translation: If I don't win.....)



Hell, we also remember CNN colluding with Hillary by giving her the questions to the debate before it happened.

But that never happened in your alternate reality, huh?



Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:16 am
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
Colbert wondered why the author would reveal such an "explosive" operation going on in the White House since it only clues Trump in making it harder for them to carry it out. One reason might be because Trump isn't going to be around much longer. Day by day, his administration sinks deeper and deeper into a quagmire of Trump's own making and those most vulnerable flee him before it's too late. The rest will stupidly go down with him. Hope it was worth it for them.
There is an alternative that is scary to contemplate. Maybe Anonymous reached the conclusion that Trump will not get any more focused or productive, in reaction to the tattling, because he can't. I think that is a realistic possibility. That for every memo he begins pushing himself to actually follow through on, there are four more that he will forget about as a result.

Having seen a policy-level official in action, where literally 16 different major, complex issues would come in on 4 phone calls in 20 minutes, I don't think there is any way a guy who can't get through his own point in a speech could deal with that flux. Reagan's staff had the intelligence to insist on one-page summaries of everything, so that at least the poor guy had a fighting chance of getting his mind around the thing being decided. Our Dear Leader would never accept anything so humiliating. And so it goes.

DB Roy wrote:
Btw, Mueller's team has stated in response to Trump that Hillary Clinton is not being investigated. Mainly, because she's not president. Not nearly as juicy a target as the orange, fat one. So to Trump and all his supporters I say, "She lost; get over it."
I'm a little worried that Mueller's team will not get into the money laundering issue. Not only does that mean Jared may get away almost unscathed, despite being up to his neck in it, but it means the emoluments clause is being mocked simply because it isn't on the original focus assigned for Mueller. Well, the good news is the Dems can expose it (without worrying about impeachment - exposure is ample protection to our liberty), if they win the House.



Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:52 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DWill wrote:
It has been clear that he has as little control over the staff as he has over his own impulses.
Well, that kind of follows, doesn't it?



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Harry Marks wrote:
I'm a little worried that Mueller's team will not get into the money laundering issue. Not only does that mean Jared may get away almost unscathed, despite being up to his neck in it, but it means the emoluments clause is being mocked simply because it isn't on the original focus assigned for Mueller. Well, the good news is the Dems can expose it (without worrying about impeachment - exposure is ample protection to our liberty), if they win the House.


Don't worry about Mueller. I don't think his people are interested in the money laundering. The State of New York is and that's WAY worse for Trump. New York operates with impunity. The State of New York is already requesting records from the Trump Organization's finances. They are not waiting for Mueller, they are going ahead with their own investigation. I think maybe both teams agreed to split it. Maybe New York goes after money laundering while the Federal Office goes after conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to conspiracy. I've read something about the little diamonds that Ivanka's company was shipping around--a common money-laundering technique. You turn the money into small diamonds, you transport the diamonds and then convert them back into money with no trace going back to the original money. Apparently, the Russian mob as well as the American mob were using the Trumps for this service and that they are THE preferred operation. There's also the misappropriation of funds from the Trump Foundation. Trump's kids are neck deep in both the Organization and the Foundation. This looks like it is about to get really, really ugly.

The thing is, if Trump's kids go to prison upon conviction by the State of New York, Trump can't pardon them. He has no authority of individual states only at a federal level. He can fire Mueller or Rosenstein but he cannot fire the Attorney-General of New York. He may not be indictable by federal authorities but he is indictable by New York state. This looks like it is about to get UGLY. Don Jr. made the bizarre comment recently that he is not afraid of going to prison. He didn't say he wasn't afraid that he would be sent to prison but that he wasn't afraid of going. Are you expecting to, Donny J?

On top of this, Trump was forced to fold to Stormy Daniels. They offered to release her from the NDA but she now reveals she has a book coming out in October and there are supposedly some pretty juicy tidbits about her affair with Trump. She has completely turned the tables on him. Normally, Trump loves to file lawsuits and go to court but he is desperate to stay out of court with Stormy. The reason, I think, is simply that a long, drawn-out court case brings publicity that will drive Melania insane. Trump cannot have Melania blowing her stack and publicly denouncing him and a constant reminder that he cheated on her with a porn star would probably lead to such a scenario. I think Trump is already nervous because he doesn't know what she might do from one minute to the next. The solution was to give in to Daniels (and you KNOW that has to eat him alive) and give us back our $130,000 and you're free from the NDA but now Daniels is saying, "Not so fast, mister." Exactly what Trump doesn't want to hear. Stormy is not going to give that money back either. What are they going to do about it--sue her? Fine, then, seeya in court--exactly where Trump cannot allow Daniels to drag him. So he'll let her have the money too (and---OOOOOHHH--I would not want to be a staffer in the White House after Trump gets whacked by Daniels that second time. I would lock myself in a closet anytime I see him coming my way.).

Trump also has to answer question about the Summer Zervos sexual assault case. Now you couple all this with all the normal duties of a president as you pointed out with 50 phone calls coming in 90 minutes and 30 documents that have to be reviewed and signed and blah blah blah. He can't keep it up. I think he'll either resign or he'll be TFA'd. Meanwhile, his popularity continues to plummet. Then there are the behavioral problems--pumping his fists at the 9-11 shrine, making the attack all about him yet again. The public is done with him--just go.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Money laundering is definitely being investigated. There has been so much focus on collusion and obstruction, that there's little discussion of financial crimes. Mueller is getting details from FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network at the Treasury Department. FinCEN fined Trump's Taj Mahal casino $10 million in 2015 for numerous money laundering infractions.

But now financial details of current investigations may be starting to leak out. Here's one example from BuzzFeed, A Series Of Suspicious Money Transfers Followed The Trump Tower Meeting.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Now he's saying the Puerto Rican death toll from that hurricane has been greatly exaggerated by the democrats to make him look bad. This guy is just full of entertainment, is he not?? It's like everyday there's something new and insane that came out of Trump's mouth. The late night talk show hosts can't keep up! Yeah, the democrats made it all up! A hurricane flattened an island but nobody died so the democrats invented a death toll of 3000 to make Trump look bad. First of all, Donald, you already look bad--democratic help not required. Second, your behavior towards Puerto Rico is abominable, unconscionable. And, once again, his bringing this whole thing up was just to make the hurricanes all about him--his greatest triumph since he dug people out of the rubble of 9-11. I mean, how much more of this are we going to listen to before the American people decide they can't take it anymore?



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Quote:
CHECKMATE: THE MANAFORT COOPERATION IS PARDON PROOF
...Remember, back in January, Trump told friends and aides that Manafort could incriminate him (the implication was that only Manafort could).
...The forfeiture in this plea is both criminal and civil, meaning DOJ will be able to get Manafort’s $46 million even with a pardon.
...So here’s what Robert Mueller just did: He sewed up the key witness to implicate the President, and he paid for the entire investigation. And it’s only now lunch time.

9/14/18
http://www.emptywheel.net/2018/09/14/th ... don-proof/

Quote:
The 'ship has really sailed' on a Trump pardon of Paul Manafort, says former Justice Department official
If President Donald Trump wanted to pardon his former campaign chief Paul Manafort, "that ship has really sailed" now that Manafort has struck a plea deal, former Justice Department official Matt Miller told CNBC on Friday.
..."It's not just Manafort's agreement to cooperate in the future that is important. It's the fact that he's already told the prosecutors everything that he knows and he's answered the questions that they would have asked," said Miller, former chief spokesperson for the Justice Department and NBC News analyst.

9/14/18
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/14/too-lat ... icial.html



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFj4vOc4GIY



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Well, the midterms have come and gone. Dems took the House, Pubs kept the Senate. I was hoping the Dems could nab the Senate but it was not to be. If I could only choose one--I'd take the House. That puts the Dems in charge of all the various committees. These committees can look into every aspect of Trump's wheelings and dealings. While Pelosi is saying impeachment is off the table, she isn't serious. She's playing the game. Otherwise the Dems look too eager to fuck Trump.

Don Jr. feels he will be indicted. That's only because he knows he broke the law.

Michigan went back to a blue state again--dem female governor, dem female attorney general, dem female senator, elected a Muslim women to congress. We got rid of gerrymandering and made recreational marijuana legal--the 10th state in the union to do that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QXyAFz2z8k



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