US discussion – Friday

If there’s news or issues from the USA worth discussing today you can do it here.

69 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  February 17, 2017

    I posted this earlier on the Thursday US post, but thought I would also post it here.

    It is reported that Trump has offered Vice Admiral Robert Harward the position of National Security Adviser, reports are that instead of accepting right away he asked to be able to think it over for a couple of days.

    I don’t know much about this guy, but I understand he was on the National Security Council During G W Bush presidency, he is also reported as being a former Navy Seal.

    • Gezza

       /  February 17, 2017

      “President Donald Trump offered the job of national security advisor to retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward on Monday night, and was a bit surprised when Harward responded by saying he needed a couple of days to think it over.

      If, as expected, Harward accepts the job today, he is likely to bring in his own team, from deputy on down, with a focus on national security types with some experience under their belts.

      I think he would look especially to people he knows from his time working for the George W. Bush NSC from 2003 to 2005. No more Fox News talking heads. Instead, I think he would try to take a Scowcroftian approach to trying to run the interagency policy formulation process — deliberate, rigorous, careful. Just how that will fit with the style of the Twitterer-in-Chief, I don’t know.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see J.D. Crouch and David Trachtenberg appear at the White House gate in the next few days, with Crouch the leading candidate to be Harward’s deputy. Perhaps also Juan Zarate and Mike Singh.

      Harward is, like the ousted Michael Flynn, a retired military flag officer. But I think he would be very different from Flynn.

      Most importantly, he is not an ideologue, as Flynn seemed to have become in the last few years. Harward thinks of himself as a national security professional — and indeed once served on the NSC staff, during the Bush Administration. Before that, early in the Afghan war, he headed the Special Operations task force in Kandahar.

      Harward also would work well with Defense Secretary James Mattis. When Mattis was chief of Central Command, Harward was his deputy. Mattis trusted him enough to put him in charge of planning for war with Iran. Mattis has urged Harward to take the NSA job.

      If Harward becomes NSA, Mattis would emerge from the Flynn mess in a uniquely powerful position: He would have two of his former deputies at the table in some meetings. The other one is John Kelly, now secretary for Homeland Security, who was his number two when Mattis commanded a Marine division early in the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

      At this point, Mattis has far greater influence over former military officers than the president does. His presence at the Pentagon is the sole reason some are considering climbing aboard Trump’s sinking ship.”

      http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/02/15/robert-harward-plans-a-housecleaning-of-trumps-national-security-council-staff/

  2. Gezza

     /  February 17, 2017

    The DONALD OF THE UNITED STATES Twitter rants so far today:
    ……
    Venezuela should allow Leopoldo Lopez, a political prisoner & husband of ‪@liliantintori‬ (just met w/ ‪@marcorubio‬) out of prison immediately.
    ……
    Stock market hits new high with longest winning streak in decades. Great level of confidence and optimism – even before tax plan rollout!
    ……
    Leaking, and even illegal classified leaking, has been a big problem in Washington for years. Failing ‪@nytimes‬ (and others) must apologize!
    ……
    The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers! They will be caught!
    ……
    FAKE NEWS media, which makes up stories and “sources,” is far more effective than the discredited Democrats – but they are fading fast!
    ……
    The Democrats had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306), so they made up a story – RUSSIA. Fake news!
    ……

    ……
    No additional comments. [Ed.]
    ……
    More tweets may be found here: https://mobile.twitter.com/realdonaldtrump
    ……
    Fri 17 Feb 2017. 0615 hours

    • Nelly Smickers

       /  February 17, 2017

      Morning 😄

      • duperez

         /  February 17, 2017

        Watching the press conference 7.15am. Appropriate cartoon.

        • Gezza

           /  February 17, 2017

          Yes I heard a reporter on Aljaz say the press conference – which was still going on – is probably one for the history books, pretty long. LF was wanting comms over breakfast so I haven’t seen it. If I can find a video clip of it later I’ll post a link so Alan can ignore it. 👍

      • Missy

         /  February 17, 2017

        I have my doubts that the cartoon is an accurate description, most because Trump is a germophobe, and studies have allegedly shown that using your phone whilst on the toilet can make you sick, so I am not sure President Trump would risk it.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  February 17, 2017

          Using a totally open, unprotected Samsung phone with the GPS enabled and visible in the metadata to send tweets from an account that is linked to a gmail account is something that a leader of the free world shouldn’t risk either, but he does that.

          • Missy

             /  February 17, 2017

            Ah, AC, it is annoying that there is not a tongue in cheek emoticon.

            I apologise, I should have made it clear that my comment was completely tongue in cheek. 😉

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  February 17, 2017

          Do you have a source for Trump’s germophobia Missy?

          ‘cos I have one that says the opposite:

          During an August 2015 conversation with The Hollywood Reporter’s chief creative officer, Janice Min, he said the opposite.

          “I’m not germophobic. I do it. I want to make the country great. I’m going to win. I think I have a very good chance of winning,” Trump said at the time. “You probably are starting to feel that too. I go through and shake hands and do what I have to do, and people like me, and I like them. In Iowa, I must have shaken 2,000 hands — and those were only the ones that were next to me.”

          http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/2015-trump-said-he-wasnt-a-germaphobe-963528

          or does my source qualify as fake news because it isn’t sycophantic?

        • Nelly Smickers

           /  February 17, 2017

  3. Anonymous Coward

     /  February 17, 2017

    The next series of American Horror Story is to be based around the 2016 election.
    http://www.breitbart.com/news/american-horror-story-season-7-to-explore-2016-presidential-election/

  4. Anonymous Coward

     /  February 17, 2017

    Protesters that protest against the Trump regime are leftist scum, and should be locked up.
    But protesters that protest against foreign ‘socialist’ governments, are political prisoners that must be freed.
    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/02/13/venezuela-demands-cnn-leave-after-report-hezbollah-connections/

    Also in Breitbart: Matt Damon is in a new movie called “the Great Wall” yet he doesn’t like The Wall.
    Speaking of the Wall, A new report reckons that it only has to stop 9% of illegals for 10 years to be cost neutral.
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/16/report-stopping-only-nine-percent-of-illegal-alien-border-crossers-would-pay-for-trumps-border-wall/

    I may not last 3 months reading this shit though, it’s painful going.

  5. Nelly Smickers

     /  February 17, 2017

    WOW ……..just WOW ❗

    • The deep state as it is called. No doubt they preferred a Hillary outcome. Glenn Greenwald has a lot to say on it . Trump is battling, the Dems, the Libs, the Oress and the Deep State.

      “Their most valuable instrument is the U.S. media, much of which reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials. And Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss, as well as a systemic collapse of their party, seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing — eager — to embrace any claim, cheer any tactic, align with any villain, regardless of how unsupported, tawdry, and damaging those behaviors might be.

      The serious dangers posed by a Trump presidency are numerous and manifest. There is a wide array of legitimate and effective tactics for combating those threats: from bipartisan congressional coalitions and constitutional legal challenges to citizen uprisings and sustained and aggressive civil disobedience. All of those strategies have periodically proven themselves effective in times of political crisis or authoritarian overreach.

      But cheering for the CIA and its shadowy allies to unilaterally subvert the U.S. election and impose its own policy dictates on the elected president is both warped and self-destructive. Empowering the very entities that have produced the most shameful atrocities and systemic deceit over the last six decades is desperation of the worst kind. Demanding that evidence-free, anonymous assertions be instantly venerated as Truth — despite emanating from the very precincts designed to propagandize and lie — is an assault on journalism, democracy, and basic human rationality. And casually branding domestic adversaries who refuse to go along as traitors and disloyal foreign operatives is morally bankrupt and certain to backfire on those doing it.

      Beyond all that, there is no bigger favor that Trump opponents can do for him than attacking him with such lowly, shabby, obvious shams, recruiting large media outlets to lead the way. When it comes time to expose actual Trump corruption and criminality, who is going to believe the people and institutions who have demonstrated they are willing to endorse any assertions no matter how factually baseless, who deploy any journalistic tactic no matter how unreliable and removed from basic means of ensuring accuracy?”

      https://theintercept.com/2017/01/11/the-deep-state-goes-to-war-with-president-elect-using-unverified-claims-as-dems-cheer/

  6. How or why does anyone respect the media when they fill pages with patently piffling, gratuitous memes on Ivanka Trump? I think serious media has lost any pretence at credibility when they repeat these salacious and demeaning themes.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/15/ivanka-trump-gazing-justin-trudeau-photo-sparks-memes/

    • duperez

       /  February 17, 2017

      We are in a state of “Future Shock” with the evolution of technology and the media.

      We wanted the old Post Office to always stay, be the cornerstone in the community, to be the touchstone down on the corner.

      We acknowledged the technological changes would affect the way we got our news but we expected the news media to present the same sort of stuff that was news way back when.

      When we picked up the paper in 1958 we were picking up authority. It was the world as it really was. It was a limited collection of the important stuff of the world. Even if it was the ordinary, everyday local, bits and pieces it was part of a necessary community glue.

      “The msm,” has moved from being 1YA, 1XN and the Herald and Northern Advocate, to being part of a mass. A mass that once was clear is now nebulous. What was quite definite is now infinite. That infinite though quickly becomes quite specific as a target.

      The Post office turned out to be just a tool in living, it wasn’t the people. The media is the same. What seemingly came into the home as a neutral report now comes in as an agent. Maybe it’s what people do that has changed, maybe it’s they way they act that has changed.

      President Trump this morning was part of a perfect illustration of the changed, changing, uncertain, fluid, mercurial nature of the media and our relationship with it.

      Using an old proverb to mitigate future shock might be appropriate: We can’t have our cake and eat it too.

      • Yes, as I’ve reflected here, why did the America of the Kardashians expect anything other than a Donald Trump president.

    • Nelly Smickers

       /  February 17, 2017

      They are always soooo mean about his hands ❗

      • “They” collectively show an hysterical immaturity that is far worse than any impact their humour directed at his small hands, his orange tan, his bouffant hairstyle and oafish manner may have. The snobbery in all this mocking of his physical imperfections and anything his family does is so hypocritical. Remember the despicable portrayal of Michelle Obama’s apelike walking style. Remember the Press’ horror, the racist charges? I’m not sure how the MSM portraying his daughter as lovesick, his son as autistic and him as a simpleton is any better.

        • Gezza

           /  February 17, 2017

          I don’t think the msm goes on about Barron trav? I think they’ve decided that’s a no go area?

          • Maybe they’ve dropped off that one, but they did very much report the commentary, which is disingenuous and inflammatory in itself. They are literally hysterical. I think that the media has got this very, very wrong. In lampooning Trump, who for all his oafish ways is pretty WYSIWYG, they’re lampooning the working classes, the less educated perhaps and the patriot. I’m not picking this will go all their way.

            Hillary called the working classes deplorable and now you’ve got a liberal press treating “their” President as a halfwit.

          • Gezza

             /  February 17, 2017

            Well there’s definitely something in your last sentence, trav, but when Trump consistently bullshits & says half-witty things, naturally they’ll get reported, & the solutions to that problem are, surely, just not to bullshit, and not to say halfwit things? These features of his utterances, plus some of his appointees, are what have got intelligent people seriously wondering if he lacks the necessary intellectual equipment for his job.

  7. Just caught the tail end of POTUS speech. I must get the rest online.

    The bit I saw concerned inner city clean up and African Americans, crime, health and education. A question was asked about whether he would consider meeting with the Black Congress to enlist their help. I am sure the reporter wished she hadn’t asked. To paraphrase the exchange. POTUS said ” can you fix a meeting with them” She essentially was flustered and he related how he’d been trying to meet with a certain leader of same ( mentioned his name) for weeks. He said that every day he asked about the potential meeting and was told that they weren’t able to fix it. He then said it was political, that the guy was politically hamstrung, had told Trump his career would be compromised and that a “lightweight” like Schumer was probably forbidding it.

    I didn’t see the earlier stuff, but apart from his limited adjectives his ability to speak simply and the conviction to change this “deeply divided” society was compelling. Once again he put the ball in the court of his opposition.

    • duperez

       /  February 17, 2017

      I watched all of it. You used the words “hysterical immaturity” earlier. I wouldn’t necessarily use both of those to describe his numerous references to Hillary Clinton but there’s something weird about someone, anyone, let alone a leader, who is unable to move past something which should be inconsequential.

      His style may be novel and diverting for some, it may be disconcerting for the reporters and professional politicians struggling to come to terms with the new order, but that shouldn’t camouflage the usual political rhetoric.

      Speaking about the border moves and stopping the “radical terrorists” is what some want to hear. Quite plainly the vast, vast majority (if not all) stopped in recent weeks were not radical terrorists out to cause mayhem. The implication is that if a “terrorist” were to kill one American it would be the end of the world. He didn’t say the biggest threat to most Americans in America is from Americans with nearly 16,000 murders last year.

      Crime in the inner cities did come up? You believed the President’s words when he addressed the female reporter. Challenging her to fix a meeting?

    • Gezza

       /  February 17, 2017

      We probably have too see the whole thing to get the full picture trav. Aljaz’s reporter Alan Fisher – who’s Scottish so probably therefore tells the truth – in the little bit the LF let me see, was saying something inter alia along the lines that at one point, after banging about media using fake news, The DOTUS made some reference to winning the presidency with the biggest electoral college win ever, & when it was pointed out to him that was wrong, said, “well, that was what somebody told him”. 🙄

      • High Flying Duck

         /  February 17, 2017

        He said the biggest win since Reagan in the part I watched.
        I watched carefully because i don’t believe he has ever spoken publicly about his win before.

        • Gezza

           /  February 17, 2017

          Handy to know. I must see if I can find the whole show. In the tiny excerpt I saw he was looking very robust in his assertions & very decisive with his finger-pointing to select his next victim for a question & answer.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  February 17, 2017

            At least he clarified to each reporter whether or not they were fake news before answering their questions. Not that they will report the answers honestly.
            I think he plays a good line between “robust” and “malleable” in his assertions. It is comforting to know robustness can change directions as well as any other genre of assertion.

            • duperez

               /  February 17, 2017

              I noticed he didn’t clarify to each reporter he addressed whether he was fake news. 😊

      • Gotcha! So truth has ethnicity origins Gezza.? Shame on you for racist statement. (heh heh10

  8. Anonymous Coward

     /  February 17, 2017

    Milo says that being conservative is the new punk rock, whilst at the same time showing that he doesn’t understand punk rock.

    He says, “The reason punk rock shocked the world is because no-one else dared say what they said, or dress like they dressed. The dyed mohawks, pierced faces and studded, thuggish leather jackets were profoundly unsettling to a society that still balked at long hair and flared jeans.”

    But that’s what punk rock became in the age of the ‘postcard punks’, the original punk was a dirtier working class phenomenon, yes it was shocking, but it wasn’t dyed mowhawks untill the 80’s.

    http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2017/02/15/joy-villa-trump-join-counter-culture/

    • Gezza

       /  February 17, 2017

      Milo seems a bit of a wanker to me. I tried to think of some other word that would be a bit more polite & still cover the impression he gives me but I couldn’t. 😳

    • Gezza

       /  February 18, 2017

      I’m getting the sense after reading that Alan that Conrad is trying to do Trump’s thinking for him, but he’s probably not actually on the same page?

    • Liked this “(his) saying publicly to the British leader, Theresa May, that “a strong and independent Britain is a blessing to the world” — a stirring contrast to Obama’s threat, delivered in London, to put Britain “at the back of the queue” if it left the European Union.

    • Gezza

       /  February 18, 2017

      It’s The Daily Caller though Al. Obviously somebody is going to have to get in there & fix the culture & stop the leaks, but it’s abundantly clear from other links posted here that Flynn was notoriously incompetent & is best gone.

      Aljaz’s Alan Fisher was just saying on their tv news that his sources say Hayward was well regarded & had support from both demovrats and republicans for the job, but that he declined because he wanted to bring his own team in, get rid of the current deputy who he doesn’t rate, bring a more strictly intelligence & military focus into the work done under him, and get rid of the political influence (basically, get Bannon out of it).

      This wasn’t agreed to, so he realised he’d be in for a world of pain the way Trump’s administration is going & obviously thought it best for someone else more sycophantically optimistic to wear the possible adverse consequences of the whole mess?

      • Gezza

         /  February 18, 2017

        PS: Hayward speaks fluent Farsi as well, apparently, and was quite well-respected by Arab governments in the role(s) he’s filled in the region? I won’t check those out because he’s obviously not going to take the job on under this so-called President.

  9. Alan Wilkinson

     /  February 17, 2017

    Powerless Democrats hunger for fake news:

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  February 17, 2017

      Your conclusion seems at odds with the content. The article is about conspiracy theories, not fake news, and as the graph above partially depicts the red and blue lines form a cross as one side becomes the vanquished they become more susceptible to conspiracy theories and vice versa.
      For the last 8 years it’s been those on the right, and for the next 4 it will be those on the left.

      What is not in the article is analysis on a left/right angle on the non-political (current political) conspiracy theories , such as flat earth, nasa coverups, the Holocaust, etc. My observations of those are that they are taken up more by the right than the left, the last 6 months has made this very easy to observe through youtube comments etc as political discussion has reached a saturation point – it’s everywhere.
      You only have to look at Alex Jones, or the Colonels latest source Jim stone.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 17, 2017

      Conspiracy theories are fake news. Both the extreme right and left obviously always feel isolated and develop their favourite conspiracy theories to excuse their failures accordingly. Big government and big business respectively fill the need.

      • Anonymous Coward

         /  February 17, 2017

        Whatever Al, that’s just a big bundle of wrong.

  10. Zedd

     /  February 17, 2017

    are we all glad mr t is president of usa (not NZ) ?

    else he would likely be on our media 24/7.. as opposed to current 22/7