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Donald J. Trump = WINNER!!! (snïgger)


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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: November 15, 2018, 08:36:23 pm »


Just over a week ago…







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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2018, 08:38:22 pm »


One week later…



from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Sullen Trump avoids usual duties

Reportedly brooding over Mueller probe and election, he skips Veterans Day event and global summits.

By ELI STOKEOLS | Wednesday, November 14, 2018

President Donald J. Trump spoke briefly but did not respond to reporters' shouted questions at his only public appearance on Tuesday, at a short White House ceremony for the start of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. — Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency/Shutterstock.
President Donald J. Trump spoke briefly but did not respond to reporters' shouted questions at his only public appearance on Tuesday, at a short White House
ceremony for the start of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. — Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency/Shutterstock.


WASHINGTON D.C. — For weeks this fall, an ebullient President Trump traveled relentlessly to hold raise-the-rafters campaign rallies — sometimes three a day — in states where his presence was likely to help Republicans on the ballot.

But his mood apparently has changed as he has taken measure of the electoral backlash that voters delivered on November 6. With the certainty that the incoming Democratic House majority will go after his tax returns and investigate his actions, and the likelihood of additional indictments by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Trump has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment, according to multiple administration sources.

Behind the scenes, they say, the president has lashed out at several aides, from junior press assistants to senior officials.

“He's furious,” said one administration official. “Most staffers are trying to avoid him.”

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, painted a picture of a brooding president “trying to decide who to blame” for Republicans' election losses, even as he publicly and implausibly continues to claim victory.

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, who are close allies, “seem to be on their way out,” the official said, noting recent leaks on the subject. The official cautioned, however, that personnel decisions are never final until Trump himself tweets out the news — often just after the former reality TV star who's famous for saying “You're fired!” has directed Kelly to so inform the individual.

And, according to a source outside the White House who has spoken recently with the president, last week's Wall Street Journal report confirming Trump's central role during the 2016 campaign in quietly arranging payoffs for two women alleging affairs with him seemed to put him in an even worse mood.

Publicly, Trump has been increasingly absent in recent days — except on Twitter. He has canceled travel plans and dispatched Cabinet officials and aides to events in his place — including sending Vice President Mike Pence to Asia for the annual summits there in November that past presidents nearly always attended.

Jordan's King Abdullah II was in Washington on Tuesday and met with Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, but not the president.

Also Tuesday, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis announced plans to travel on Wednesday near the U.S.-Mexico border to visit with troops Trump ordered there last month in what is ostensibly a mission to defend against a caravan of Central American migrants moving through Mexico and still hundreds of miles from the United States.

Trump had reportedly considered making that trip himself, but decided against it. Nor has he spoken of the caravan since the mid-term election, after making it a central issue in his last weeks of campaigning.

Unusually early on Monday, the White House called a “lid” at 10:03 a.m., informing reporters that the president would not have any scheduled activities or public appearances for the rest of the day. Although it was Veterans Day, he bucked tradition and opted not to make the two-mile trip to Arlington National Cemetery in northern Virginia to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as presidents since at least John F. Kennedy have done to mark the solemn holiday.

Trump's only public appearance on Tuesday was at a short White House ceremony marking the start of the Hindu holiday Diwali, at which he made brief comments and left without responding to shouted questions.

He had just returned Sunday night from a two-day trip to France to attend ceremonies marking the centennial of the armistice that ended World War I. That trip was overshadowed in part by Trump's decision not to attend a wreath laying at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, the burial place for nearly 2,290 troops 60 miles northeast of Paris, because of rain.

Kelly, a former Marine Corps general, and Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did attend to honor the American service members interred there. Trump stayed in the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Paris, making no public appearances.

Other heads of state also managed to make it to World War I cemeteries in the area for tributes to their nations' war dead on Saturday.

Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were the only world leaders to skip a procession of world leaders to another commemoration, on Sunday, at the Arc de Triomphe.

About 80 heads of state walked in unison — under umbrellas in the pouring rain — down Paris' grand Champs-Elysees boulevard. Trump arrived later by motorcade, a decision aides claimed was made for security reasons.

Nicholas Burns, the U.S. ambassador to NATO under President George W. Bush, said the weekend events, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of a war in which 120,000 Americans were killed, were ripe for soaring words and symbolic gestures, which Trump failed to provide.

“Not only did he barely show up, he didn't say anything that would help Americans understand the scale of the loss, or the importance of avoiding another great war,” Burns said. “He seemed physically and emotionally apart. It's such a striking difference between the enthusiasm he showed during the campaign and then going to Paris and sulking in his hotel room.”

He added, “The country deserves more energy from the president.”

Trump took heavy flak on social media, especially for his no-show at the military cemetery.

“President @realDonaldTrump a no-show because of raindrops?” tweeted former Secretary of State John F. Kerry, a Navy veteran. “Those veterans the president didn't bother to honor fought in the rain, in the mud, in the snow - & many died in trenches for the cause of freedom. Rain didn't stop them & it shouldn't have stopped an American president.”

Nicholas Soames, a member of Britain's Parliament and grandson of Winston Churchill, tweeted, “They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate @realDonaldTrump couldn't even defy the weather to pay his respects to The Fallen.”

Trump, clearly feeling on the defensive days later, tried to explain himself on Tuesday in a tweet.

“By the way, when the helicopter couldn't fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving,” he wrote. “Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown. Speech next day at American Cemetary [sic] in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!”

That tweet falsely described the weather during the Sunday visit to another U.S. cemetery. Rather than “pouring rain,” photos showed the president standing without a hat or an umbrella under overcast skies when he delivered remarks, though he did grasp an umbrella at one point while paying tribute at one soldier's grave.

Just as Trump was returning to Washington D.C. on Sunday evening, Pence was heading to Asia in the president's place, and at his first stop greeted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump's absence, experts said, is notable, and a glaring affront to many Asian leaders.

“It matters more in Asia than other regions because ‘face’ is so important,” said Matthew P. Goodman, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former White House coordinator for Asia-Pacific strategy during the Obama and George W. Bush administrations. “Your willingness to go out there is a sign you're committed, and not going is a sign you're not.”

Putin is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, looking to expand his country's influence in Asia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea are also attending regional summits. And China’s President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang are simultaneously attending meetings across the region looking to broaden their country's influence in the South China Sea and expand multilateral trade agreements.

Although Trump is set to meet with Xi at the Group of 20 summit of wealthy countries this month in Buenos Aires, his absence from the major Indo-Pacific meetings for a second straight year will “have some consequences for our position and our interests in the region,” Goodman said. “Other countries are going to move ahead without us.”

What makes Trump's perceived snub to the Asian powers more significant is that it comes on the heels of his brief European trip, which showcased his growing isolation from transatlantic allies. French President Emmanuel Macron rebuked Trump in a speech, stating that “nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism” as the U.S. president looked on sullenly.

Trump's relations with Latin America, already strained, are little better after the White House last week announced that he was reneging for a second time on a commitment to visit Colombia. He had planned to go there this month on his way back from the G-20 meetings.

In April, he sent Pence in his place to the Summit of the Americas in Peru, citing a need to remain in Washington to monitor the U.S. response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria. He'd planned to visit Bogota on the same trip.

This time there appeared to be no extenuating circumstances preventing a visit.

In a statement, the White House simply said, “President Trump's schedule will not allow him to travel to Colombia later this month.”


__________________________________________________________________________

• Eli Stokols is a White House reporter based in the Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C., bureau. He is a veteran of Politico and The Wall Street Journal, where he covered the 2016 presidential campaign and then the Trump White House. A native of Irvine, Stokols grew up in a L.A. Times household and is thrilled to report for what is still his family's hometown paper. He is also a graduate of UC Berkeley and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=a76d41f3-ad99-4a96-a53b-de4e559a88bb
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=367ce70f-33ab-4e9d-91cf-6f0ea6e57ec4






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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2018, 08:44:56 pm »


Isn't it absolutely delicious watching Donald J. Trump slowly unravel?

I think it is HUGELY entertaining.

Next year is going to be an even greater amusement show in America than this year and most of last year.

I wonder how Trump's coronary arteries are holding out with all this sulking & hatred & bile & fury & winning?
       
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2018, 05:36:18 pm »


from The Washington Post…

A frightful portrait of a president out of control

Trump's temperament worsens by the day.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 10:15AM EDT — Wednesday, November 11, 2018

President Donald J. Trump at the White House on Tuesday. — Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg.
President Donald J. Trump at the White House on Tuesday. — Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg.

THE WASHINGTON POST reports:

Quote
During his 43-hour stay in Paris, [President] Trump brooded over the Florida recount and sulked over other key races being called for Democrats in the mid-term elections that he had claimed as a “big victory.” He erupted at his staff over media coverage of his decision to skip a ceremony honoring the military sacrifice of World War I.

The president also was angry and resentful over French President Emmanuel Macron's public rebuke of rising nationalism, which Trump considered a personal attack. And that was after his difficult meeting with Macron, where officials said little progress was made as Trump again brought up his frustrations over trade and Iran.

Trump hollered at British Prime Minister Theresa May in a phone call, berated aides and insisted on personnel changes likely to worsen morale in an already besieged White House. It is this on-going funk that may explain his baseless attacks on the voting recount in Florida and his lashing out at CNN reporter Abby Phillip. (“Trump sent political aides in Washington scrambling to prepare detailed briefings for him on the still-to-be-called races. He aired baseless allegations of voter irregularities on Twitter…. Still, the president told aides he felt disconnected from the action in his suite at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Paris — even as he consumed countless hours of television news on the trip.”)

In other words, as bad a Trump's public outbursts may be, he is even less composed, rational and stable behind closed doors. Once more — as we saw with Bob Woodward's book, the anonymous op-ed in The New York Times, Michael Wolff's book, Omarosa Manigault Newman's tell-all, and countless news reports — the people who work most closely with Trump know best how emotionally, intellectually and temperamentally unfit he is for the job. And yet, they continue to mislead the public, and remain silent after leaving, as to the president's ability to carry out his duties.

Trump apologists, as they habitually do, will deny and disbelieve reporting. But foreign leaders, outside friends, members of Congress and others who observe him on a daily basis now spill their guts to the media, perhaps to distance themselves from the White House's downward spiral.

There are several takeaways from all of this.

First, Trump will get worse under pressure. If he is this bad now, imagine what he'll be like if more associates are indicted, the economy goes to seed or the subpoenas start flying. At some point, unless Trump has him fired, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III will issue his report. Unless it miraculously exonerates him, the president may have a meltdown that will make his trip to France look like a picnic.

Second, self-described saviors of the country, such as the anonymous op-ed writer, are deluding themselves if they believe they are preventing the president from harming the country. Daily, he threatens democratic norms, blemishes the United States' reputation around the world and makes worse and worse personnel decisions in an effort to surround himself with more compliant aides. If Trump fires Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, it is not clear how many more erratic decisions will be made or how serious the ramifications may be.

Third, all of this points to the gross irresponsibility of Republicans who, for two years, refused to exercise any oversight and continue to spin on his behalf. They would rather excuse the conduct of an unbalanced and hysterical commander in chief then move to limit his powers (e.g., reassert that a first strike is an act of war requiring congressional authorization, claw back power to enact tariffs). They likely will continue to rubber-stamp his executive branch picks, no matter how unprepared and temperamentally unfit they may be. Even more reprehensible, they will heartily endorse him for re-election while maligning his challengers. Maybe if they see control of the Senate slipping away, they will finally cut him loose.

All of this reminds us that Democratic control of the House is only a halfway measure. Unless and until Trump is out of office, the country, our democracy and our security remain at risk.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

__________________________________________________________________________

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/11/14/a-frightful-portrait-of-a-president-out-of-control
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2018, 05:36:31 pm »


from The Washington Post…

The White House is in meltdown

An angry president, a backstabbing staff, and an administration about to be under siege from Congress.

By PAUL WALDMAN | 10:24AM EDT — Wednesday, November 14, 2018

An angry President Donald J. Trump vents towards journalists on the lawn of the White House. — Photograph: The Washington Post.
An angry President Donald J. Trump vents towards journalists on the lawn of the White House. — Photograph: The Washington Post.

EVERY White House experiences tension and turnover; it's a stressful environment where punishingly long hours are the norm, everyone has his or her own ambitions, and the stakes are extremely high. A certain amount of controlled chaos is inevitable. But there's ordinary White House chaos, and then there's Trump White House chaos.

New reporting paints a picture of the administration descending into a thunderdome of backstabbing and resentment as staffers jockey for position or wonder whether they should get the heck out, all presided over by an erratic, unhappy president. This might sound like a familiar story, but if it isn't already worse than it has been before, it soon will be, especially now that the mid-term elections have cast a cloud over the remaining two years of President Trump's term.

Let's run down a few of the highlights:


  • Trump's trip to France to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I was a disaster, marked by a brooding and petulant president mocked and condemned wherever he went. Angry about his party's mid-term losses, Trump has spent his time in the past week insulting reporters in terms that are unusually personal even for him, spinning out desperate conspiracy theories about stolen elections on Twitter and lashing out at Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron.

  • After deciding not to attend a ceremony honoring those killed in the war because rain apparently made it inconvenient to get there, Trump grew enraged at his staff “for not counseling him that skipping the cemetery visit would be a public-relations nightmare.” Somehow he was not able to figure out for himself that doing so might not go over well.

  • Trump “told advisers over the weekend that he had decided to remove Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and that he also was seriously considering replacing White House chief of staff John F. Kelly.”

  • While Trump is considering replacing Kelly with Nick Ayers, Vice President Pence's chief of staff, “aides told Trump that appointing Ayers would lower staff morale and perhaps trigger an exodus.”

  • First lady Melania Trump's staff issued an extraordinary statement saying a top national security aide, Mira R. Ricardel, “no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,” making public a bureaucratic feud that stretches between the White House and the Pentagon.

  • According to the Los Angeles Times, “With the certainty that the incoming Democratic House majority will go after his tax returns and investigate his actions, and the likelihood of additional indictments by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Trump has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment.”

  • Trump's firing of Jeff Sessions and appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, a move meant to protect him from the Mueller investigation, is turning out to be a mini-scandal in its own right, to the point where the president vacillates between singing Whitaker's praises and claiming he doesn't know him.

The root of all this is the mid-term elections, and it's hard to overstate what an impact they'll have on the administration. Nobody likes losing, of course, but nobody hates it more than Trump, particularly after he worked so hard in the weeks leading up to the election, telling his supporters that “I'm not on the ticket, but I am on the ticket, because this is also a referendum about me.” It was indeed, and he was pretty emphatically rejected.

Nothing is more upsetting to Trump than being considered a loser, even temporarily. But I suspect that the prospect of having his tax returns made public has him even more frightened. We don't know what they will reveal, but suffice to say that no sane person believes that all we'll discover when they're opened up is that Trump took advantage of some loopholes and did some creative accounting here and there. Everything we know about Trump's career — not least the recent revelation that he and his family engaged in a years-long conspiracy to commit tax fraud on an absolutely massive scale — suggests that those returns will be a Pandora's box of scandal.

So that would account for the president's dark mood. But if you're one of his staffers, you're probably gripped by an equally strong sense of foreboding, or at a minimum the feeling that the fun times are over. Not only won't there be any more conservative legislation to pass, but also Democrats will be launching one investigation after another, probing everything you’ve done for the past two years. If you're senior enough, you may get hauled before House committees to be grilled mercilessly. You might even need to get yourself a lawyer, which can be a real burden on a government salary.

So you go to work every day wondering when the hammer is going to fall on you. Is one of your colleagues plotting against you? Are you going to get a congressional subpoena? Is today the day that the president turns his wrath on you in his endless search for others to blame for his problems and his mistakes?

When everyone around you feels that way, too, things get a little uneasy. Describing the White House right now, one former Trump aide told Politico, “It's like an episode of ‘Maury’,” referencing the daytime TV show famous for bitter family arguments. “The only thing that's missing is a paternity test.”

But there's no mystery about who the father of this mess is. He's sitting in the Oval Office, scared and angry that the accountability he has outrun his entire life might actually catch up to him.


__________________________________________________________________________

Paul Waldman is an opinion writer for The Plum Line blog at The Washington Post. Before joining The Post, he worked at an advocacy group, edited an online magazine, taught at university and worked on political campaigns. He has authored or co-authored four books on media and politics, and his work has appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines. He is also a senior writer at the American Prospect.

__________________________________________________________________________

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/11/14/the-white-house-is-in-meltdown
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2018, 05:37:55 pm »


Yep … Donald J. Trump is a real WINNER alright!!






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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2018, 05:01:40 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

A day at the office for President Trump

Trump pouts, tweets, watches TV and avoids doing his job.

By DAVID HORSEY | 11:09AM PDT — Friday, November 16, 2018



DONALD TRUMP has never been eager to tackle the mundane duties of the presidency, preferring the adulation of adoring crowds in his permanent campaign, but, since the mid-term elections in which Democrats made dramatic gains in the House of Representatives, Trump has been spending even less time doing the things all other presidents have done.

News reports suggest he is angry and depressed at the prospect that the second half of his presidential term will be plagued by investigations led by Democrats in the House, as well as by impending revelations from Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's probe of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential campaign.

The work he has shirked range from placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Veteran's Day to attending the annual gathering of Asian and Pacific Rim leaders at the APEC conference. With his wild tweets and inflammatory rhetoric, Trump is fighting mightily to keep his job, but, strangely, he doesn't actually want to do many of the important things that job entails.


__________________________________________________________________________

• See more of David Horsey's cartoons at The Seattle Times HERE.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/a-day-at-the-office-for-president-trump
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