Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Even More Trump Thoughts

I have more Trump thoughts to share today. This whole transition has been fascinating to me and very encouraging.

● On Trump's summit with the media... At first, I wondered why he would do this. There is nothing to gain from kissing media rings except making them think they have power over you. But then Trump blasted them. Why bother though? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that what Trump did is pretty brilliant.

If the media has integrity, then they will listen to his complaints regardless of tone and will try to fix them. Unlikely, right? Yeah, but here's the thing. Going forward, they will either have this pressure to pretend they are being fair because they've already been called out, which means more fair coverage, or they will go batshit insane to mess with him, which will turn people off. Either way, Trump wins. What's more, by blasting these people in private, there is no video of him doing it which they can use to attack him.

● He's just called China's biggest bluff by calling Taiwan. In one phone call, he's just proved that all of China's bluster is all talk.

● He got Ford to keep a plant in the US. Oh wait, says the left, he didn't do that! Ford was never going to move the plant. Except Mexico confirmed they were moving. Then there was the Carrier deal, which kept 1,100 jobs in Indiana instead of them moving to Mexico. The media is now whining that Carrier is going to be raising prices... the same media who cheered protectionism throughout the election. Now he's won a commitment to invest $50 billion in the US from a Japanese billionaire.

● His political appointments have been great. Of the ones we know so far, many have been women and minorities -- much to the anger of the left: Ben Carson for HUD Secretary, Nikki Hailey as UN Ambassador. Also:
● His political team is headed by Reince Prebus, who ran the GOP very effectively. Effective.

● His military team will be run by a Marine General who commanded in Afghanistan and "solved" Iraq. No nonsense. Effective.

● His Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, will be a man who favors enforcement of laws and doesn't believe in racial spoils. No nonsense.

● For Dept. of Ed, he picked Amway billionaire Betsey DeVos, a school voucher and school choice advocate. She has been elected the chair of the Michigan GOP four times and she sits on the boards of various charities. She now opposes Common Core and says, "I do support high standards, strong accountability, and local control. ... Above all, I believe every child, no matter their zip code or their parents’ jobs, deserves access to a quality education." Before her appointment, Trump even met with Democratic school reform advocates.

● He kept Preet Bharar as the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. This is where Wall Street gets watched and Bharar has been a take-no-prisoners guy whom Wall Street hates. This is a great sign.
● He seems to be settling political disputes by bringing in all sorts of factions from the right. Former enemies like Cruz, Romney and Rick Perry have been brought in. He's even meeting with Democrats. There is speculation that he may appoint Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a veteran from Hawaii who resigned from her Democratic National Committee post in February to support the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders. The left and right actually have a lot in common and that could be an interesting choice.

● He's already made nice with our two most important allies – Britain and Japan. He’s told Iran and Russia he won’t play around with appointments.

● Wiping out Christie was a warning to the rest that he won't stomach grandstanding.

● Even Bannon said something interesting. He said that with interest rates this low, it’s the perfect time to invest in infrastructure “to rebuild everything, from shipyards to iron works." He’s right too, and they are talking about a trillion in "investment"... worthwhile spending for once.

● He's already called out a lot of the perks the Presidents get, which shows a desire to make the government more efficient, and he's talked about not taking vacations.

All in all, this sounds like the best case we could have hoped for. It sounds like (1) Trump is much better verses with our foreign policy priorities, (2) he's not going to be cowed by Russia or China, (3) he rewards friends and offends enemies, (4) he's making friends of all his enemies, (5) he's listening to a broad set of views, (6) he's appointing non-white men which makes a mockery of the racist/sexist charge, (7) his economic plan is aimed right at middle America rather than Wall Street, (8) his picks are qualified and no-nonsense, and (9) he won't stomach political games.

That's all good.



tryanmax said...

Just a few scattered responses:

Trump's media summit was a master stroke. It is a perfect example of him setting up a win-win situation for himself, the very thing he's done in business.

It's entertaining to hear the leftist media all but openly hoping for China to declare war on us.

The Ford and Carrier deals are classic new-CEO moves. Get some early, easy wins as soon as you get the job to set the tone. The specifics don't matter, just the feeling.

I like how a fair number of Trump's appointments are individuals that Democrats have previously screwed over. You can see it as either a thumb in their eye, or as Trump setting things right. Win-win.

Betsey DeVos used a smart choice of words in referring to zip codes and parents' jobs, terms the left hasn't labeled as racist code words. Words she avoided include, neighborhood, background, income. I plan to keep an eye on her.

On investments, the anti-Trumpers are really doubling-down on the idea that lost jobs are unrecoverable and that infrastructure spending is a waste. They should be more careful with their falsifiable predictions.

Anthony said...

Trump ranting about people who aren't his buttboys isn't going to change the behaviour of anyone bright.

That isn't to say that most of the media isn't biased against Trump, but he only wants syncophants, and winning a Trump flattering competition with the likes of Breitbart is less likely to win eyeballs than opposing him.

I wouldn't be surprised if Trump set up a formal embassy in Taiwan. I think the whole renegade province thing is silly. Works for me.

I remember when the left decided to try to shame corporations rather than try to fix the problems that were causing them to move abroad. Predictably the strategy produced high profile but short term successes which didn't alleviate the negative trends. Of course, Trump might try to fix the underlying problems. Time will tell.

Ben Carson for HUD is bizarre. Last I heard the guy was a brain surgeon. The best rationale I've heard is he once lived in government housing. I've ridden in a plane several times, that doesn't mean I should head the FAA. Still, most of his other picks are reasonable on paper.

I don't think Trump being cowed by Russia will be an issue. Whether he stands up to his hero will be the trick ('Russia is not going to go into Ukraine' ignored the fact Russia was already in the Ukraine).

BevfromNYC said...

So there's this: Trump has been named Time Magazines "Person of the Year" - LINK

Though not exactly the Nobel Peace Prize, I am guessing that they want to be the first to be able to say "We told ya' he would destroy the world!" I mean they did give the same title to Hitler, Stalin, Putin, and Obama...so.

tryanmax said...

Thanks to a peculiarity of language whereby certain phrases can be understood both literally and idiomatically at the same time, combined with the coincidence that Carson's profession happens to be used in a popular expression, the HUD Sec. pick has its own built-in defense (however irrational it might be, but rationality has little to do with persuasion). Namely, Carson detractors have to explain why something that is not brain surgery is too hard for a brain surgeon. Keep in mind, Reagan's HUD Sec. was rumored to watch TV all day. I don't watch late-night talk shows currently, but this should be a field day for them.

tryanmax said...

Bev, in other words, Trump is literally Hitler.

BevfromNYC said...

As for Trump, I am kinda' diggin' that he's completely upending the diplomatic applecart, and media applecart, and the economic applecart. Oh,and the daily "perp walk" at Trump Tower in midtown is very entertaining. The whole thing is refreshing. The entire world is quaking in their climate-appropriate footwear and China has much more to lose than we do. They could lose work for their slave labor! Seriously, before 1990, there was no such thing as a "Chinese billionaire". Now that's all I read about. China has been threatening Japan, S. Korea and the rest of the region forever. Not to mention Taiwan. We've made deals with China that in exchange for our diplomatic silence towards Taiwan and the region, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Donna Karan (bestie to B. Streisand) et al would use Chinese slave labor to manufacture their goods and make their billions.

As for "The Taiwan Telephone"-gate. Seriously, if the fate of humanity depends on taking/not taking a phone call from the leader of democratically elected leader then what the hell have our diplomats/leader been DOING all these years??

BevfromNYC said...

Tryanmax - re: Carson Yeah, it is interesting how they have to explain how the meaning of "it's not brain surgery" has changed with Carson. {Cue: delete "brain surgery"; substitute "rocket science" phase]

Also, how demeaning him in every racist way possible is no longer racist, but is now just accurate "criticism".

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, DeVos strikes me as a really smart choice. She'll be worth watching. Interestingly, the left is playing into her hands with their sudden renewed push to kill NCLB. Sure, let's change everything. LOL! (As an aside, the NACCP just doubled-down on stupid by taking the position that all charter schools need to be ended. That won't play well with the black parents who care.)

The media thing was pretty brilliant actually.

I think the antiTrumps are increasingly isolated. They are so shrill and so stupidly hypocritical that no one is listening anymore. Waaa! His daughter has too much power! Waaa! He's stealing jobs from Mexico! Waaa! He's upset China! Waaa! He's upsetting Putin! Waaa! He's taking credit for all these good things that weren't really him even though it happened after he got involved! Waaa! He wants to save money on Air Force One! Waaa! He's appointing black people and women and Indians and keeping effective Democrats! Waaa! His tie has tape on it! Waaa! His cabinet is full of rich people unlike Obama's which was full of minimum wage workers and welfare types like Timothy Geithner! Waaa! He still tweets and he fires back at all of out insults! Waaa! He fired his son-in-law we didn't like!

Give me a break.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, HUD is a pointless agency. It's basically a slum lord with immunity. I see the appointment of Carson simply as photo-op which undercuts the claim that Trump is an "ist."

The point to his media attack isn't to win them over, that won't happen. The point was to give the public the idea that the media is just being pissy about being yelled at and they played into it brilliantly by huffing and puffing after the meeting. Now he can claim that their coverage is biased and he can point to this and the public will have a reason to believe his claim.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I was actually surprised they picked him. I honestly thought they would pick either Hillary for her "historic run" (although the left isn't thrilled with her anymore) or a black, Muslim female as a supposed thumb in the eye of Trump. Maybe even some BLM figure.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The real problem is pointing out what the requirements are to run HUD at all. Ideally, the person who should be running it is some sort of real estate investor, but that's not who gets appointed. And the left doesn't like Wall Street and there really are no other qualifications for the job.

If anything, HUD has become a sort of "values" job, where the secretary is seen as imposing values of one type or another on poor people. So Carson really does fit the pattern.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I'm loving the upending as well. Even more so, I love the policy positions behind what he's doing.

1. Reward our friends overseas, stop cowering before our enemies.

2. Government spending to fix the things the economy uses (bridges, roads, airports) and thereby employ blue collar workers to rebuild America. All done at 0% interest. Perfect!

3. Tax cuts for middle/upper middle class families.

4. A businessman's rethink on education, health, the economy, regulation, the order of government.

And I like the way he goes about it -- talk to everyone on all sides, include all ideas before deciding. Make friends with everyone who will be friendly back... but don't bend over to accommodate the difficult ones. Include women and minorities to undercut the only argument the left uses. And just as importantly: act fast. If someone disgraces you (Pizzagate, Chris Christie), dump them and move on.

He's doing an amazing job so far.

BevfromNYC said...

"...HUD is a pointless agency."
Yes, that is why the children of well-healed political leaders like now NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo (son of long-time Gov. Mario Cuomo) get appointed to that position. They can't do any real harm and get something to pad their political resume.

However, unlike Andrew Cuomo, I do not think that it hurts to have someone who actually grew up in public housing to take on the issue of "decaying public housing", "effects of intrenched poverty" and other chronic issues facing urban areas. Even if it is just for marketing - "Dr. Carson grew up in public housing and poverty, yet managed to become a Neuro-surgeon...what's your excuse?"

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, "He never had to face race/sex/idiot-ism!" ;-)

Seriously though, I don't think it hurts at all. I also think his perspective will be a good one toward making sure the agency does its best to encourage people to grow up and out of HUD housing. But, by and large, the agency is just an old-fashioned boondoogle. Hence, as you say, it's a place to stick the idiot children of political movers and shakers so they can be pretend to be important without actually coming too close to any genuine lever of power.

Critch said...

I realize that governing our great country is complicated and is not easy to put on a bumper sticker, however,,,,it seems to me that all these (damn, smart-ass, bloated, pointy-headed idiots) professional government types got us into all sorts of messes for over 200 years now, maybe we need a new perspective...

BevfromNYC said...

OT: Just in case you haven't heard, the federal judge in Michigan who said that Stein's recount could proceed has reversed his order and halted the recoound saying that she has no standing to request a recount. So I guess it goes to appeals court and then possibly the SC. But otherwise the Michigan recount has been suspended.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I saw that. Legally, that makes absolute sense. She can't win, so she can't claim an injury, hence she had no standing to sue. And the recount is pointless.

BTW, the Wisconsin recount has so far raised Trump's lead. Ha ha.

Ben L. Kemer said...

It's childish and stupid. Wanting the nation to fail because it isn't your party's candidate in the office is selfish. I hope there is some recordings and way back machine captures of what they said.

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