Trump: Laying the Groundwork for Massive Bleepups

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Trump Maladministration

So this happened:

President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum Saturday that removed the nation’s top military and intelligence advisers as regular attendees of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee, the interagency forum that deals with policy issues affecting national security.

The executive measure established Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon as a regular attendee, whereas the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence will be allowed to participate only “where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.”

“This is unusual,” John Bellinger, an adjunct senior fellow in International and National Security Law at the Council on Foreign Relations and former legal adviser to the National Security Council, wrote on Saturday.

“Unusual” is not the word I would have used. But I can’t think of the right word. What’s the word that signifies “Holy shit these people are going to massively screw up the planet?” But that’s not even strong enough.

“In the Bush administration, Karl Rove would not attend NSC meetings,” Bellinger said. “According to former Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, President Bush did not want to appear, especially to the military, to insert domestic politics into national security decision-making.”

With his permanent seat at the NSC meetings, Bannon has been elevated above the director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, who was not offered an open invitation.

“The CIA Director is typically invited to NSC and Principals Committee meetings,” Bellinger said, though he added that President Barack Obama’s list of invitees to such meetings did not include the CIA director.

It had already been reported that Bannon, trust fund brat and felon by proxy son-in-law Jared Kushner, and anagram Reince Priebus comprised an informal “shadow national security council” that “sits atop the Trump transition team’s executive committee and has the final say on national-security personnel appointments.” And the State Department has already been relieved of senior management. So our foreign policy is now firmly in the hands of fools and amateurs, with no grown ups around to spoil the fun.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Doug  •  Jan 29, 2017 @3:11 pm

    Now read this and add it to what Maha wrote. Nobody, especially me, knows what’s planned. But if you exclude grown-ups from the discussion at NSC, you can discuss martial law and suspending the Constitution.

    https://snarkypenguin.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/the-fragile-underpinnings-of-democracy-in-america-are-collapsing/

  2. aj  •  Jan 29, 2017 @3:37 pm

    As I said this is the coup. Will anyone oppose? McConnell has given the the answer- let the courts decide as in ” John Marshall made a decision let him enforce it”

  3. Ed  •  Jan 29, 2017 @4:04 pm

    It appears that the new provisional government is trying to overthrow the permanent government, and expects the permanent government to take it all lying down. Even normal heads of the provisional government (like Obama) rarely gain much traction agains the permanent government (CIA and Joint Chiefs). And that is when they do not insult them and slap them in the face.

    We shall soon see whether the permanent government lets this happen without pushback.

  4. JDM  •  Jan 29, 2017 @4:34 pm

    I’d be willing to bet some serious money that Putin approves of this move, and some decent money that Putin approved this move. I’d even be willing to bet Putin suggested this move.

    Any takers?

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 29, 2017 @5:15 pm

    t-RUMP’s first duty, is to follow and defend the US Constitution – against enemies, foreign and domestic.
    It’s too bad that he never read it – short as it is.
    So, he can’t follow and defend that which he has no clue about.
    He’s actually on his way to turning out to be the worst enemy our Constitution.

    “THE KILLER IS ON HIS CELLPHONE IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!!”

    Something tells me that, once they have enough plausible deniability, and the right situation, the long-term civil servants in this country will do what THEY can to defend the US Constitution:
    Which is to undermine t-RUMP and his mis-administration (which is getting more and more family members and friends).

    It may take another tragedy, something near the level of 9/11, to hope that people wake-the-fuck-up and not rally ’round the Preznit, but put the blame on him and his family and friends.

    t-RUMP’s ignoring long-term practices at his own peril – AND, OURS!!!

    I hope it doesn’t come to that, but it might.

  6. paradoctor  •  Jan 29, 2017 @5:38 pm

    I admit that I have mixed feelings about Trump vs the Establishment. Can’t they _both_ lose, pretty please? Without taking the rest of us down with them?
    I am encouraged by the fact that Hillary the technocrat lost on a technicality, and Trump the populist lost the popular vote; so on their own terms both did lose. The usurper king and the corrupt court are both weaker than they look.

  7. paradoctor  •  Jan 29, 2017 @5:52 pm

    “Mr. Putin’s red pet” is one of the anagrams of “President Trump”. Mr. Putin’s red pet is obeying his master’s orders to destroy the American welfare/warfare state. Mr. Putin’s red pet will starve the welfare part and break the warfare part, while dismantling both.

  8. csm  •  Jan 29, 2017 @5:54 pm

    And where the hell is the democratic party?? Where’s the passion in opposition? Who in the party speaks with any force of moral authority? Yes, I heard Schumer speak up yesterday on the Muslim ban, but he sounded constrained and forced.

    This worries me more than anything. We don’t have, at least right now, any forceful opposition leaders in Congress or the democratic party stepping up to take these clowns on.

    There is a vacuum at the political level, and its being filled by people like Conway, Bannon and others. Very troubling.

  9. maha  •  Jan 29, 2017 @6:16 pm

    csm — Regarding the Democratic Party, some of them are stepping up. Cory Booker showed up at Dulles International last night and tried to get the Customs people to let detainees see lawyers. See more here.

  10. Tom_b  •  Jan 29, 2017 @6:26 pm

    “Democratic Party, some of them are stepping up.”

    Thank the stars! This is “use it or lose it time”. If we don’t use all our energies opposing the Orange Idiot and his hoodlum friends, American Democracy will exist only in the fossil record.

  11. maha  •  Jan 29, 2017 @7:34 pm

    Tom_b — I think some of them are getting a clue that if they want to win elections in the future, they need the support of the activist/progressive base. And that means they’ve got to show up where the base is and not just send us emails asking for money. They’ve got to actually be seen in public with the DFHs, in other words.

  12. csm  •  Jan 29, 2017 @8:48 pm

    Thanks Maha, I missed that. Glad to see dems are stepping up. I agree, and not only is the base ahead of them, but it appears active opposition is also coming from some quarters not traditionally considered the base, which is a good thing.

    There’s hope yet.

  13. Ed  •  Jan 29, 2017 @9:55 pm

    Let’s all take a deep breath and remember the one thing that will sink this guy: he just isn’t a very good politician.

  14. pluky  •  Jan 29, 2017 @10:24 pm

    Both my Senators (Warren and Markey) were at the protest in Copley Square yesterday. I think Warren was at Logan airport Friday night. There are reasons by I choose Massachusetts over Georgia (many!!) years ago when I was considering grad schools.

  15. Swami  •  Jan 29, 2017 @11:52 pm

    Wait until the bodies start showing up at Andrews. Just so little Donny can live out his childhood fantasy of being the Supreme Commander or appease the gnawing insecurity and shame he has from shirking his military obligations when he dodged the draft. He’s fond of idea that he’s unconventional and won’t be put into a mold. So don’t be surprised when he starts showing up in a custom made Commander in Chief military style uniform complete with epaulets, braids, ribbons, sash, medals, badges, and any other possible adornment that would convey an image of military accomplishment. He’s gonna make Kaiser Wilhelm’s dress uniform look like that of a plebe.
    It might sound like I’m joking, but I’m not. Being Commander in Chief is the biggest erection getter for Trump. That’s where he finds the ultimate expression of his newfound power, his crown jewel to bully and intimidate. He’s not going to pass up an opportunity to exploit the role of C-in C. In his mind it’s going to be a case of..If the surgeon General can wear a uniform complete with fruit salad and gold braiding, surely the Commander in Chief should be decked out in even a grander style.

  16. Lynne  •  Jan 30, 2017 @12:01 am
  17. aj  •  Jan 30, 2017 @12:05 am

    I ran across this”According to Title 50 of US Code 3021, the President can only appoint members of the NSC “by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.” The President neither sought nor received any such advice or consent before appointing Steve Bannon to the NSC. Furthermore, someone like Steve Bannon who believes “some degree of separation between peoples is necessary,” someone who wants to “bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment,” has no business advising the President on anything, let alone matters of national security.”

  18. Swami  •  Jan 30, 2017 @12:50 am

    Lynne ..I never saw that before.. Take away the the holsters and they look like the Good Humor man. They’d just need a little change dispenser around their waist to be complete.

  19. Swami  •  Jan 30, 2017 @1:37 am
  20. Bill  •  Jan 30, 2017 @3:28 am

    Never fear. It’s Bannon to the rescue! What Trump’s kind lacks in the technical, they make up for with the cunning, yuge. Bannon could just be a useful tool / eventual scapegoat.

  21. goatherd  •  Jan 30, 2017 @10:49 am

    Regarding the Executive Order, is it possible that the provocative aspects are a feature rather than a bug?

  22. Swami  •  Jan 30, 2017 @1:33 pm

    goatherd ..Yeah, it is a feature. When Trump said that he could shoot somebody on 5th Ave and get away with it he was describing the assumption that he intends govern under. Like a rebellious child he’s going to push all the boundaries to see what he can get away with. He’s never made a connection to responsibility. I don’t mean responsibility in the sense of paying bills, I mean it in an intrapersonal sense where you are responsible for your actions. He’s detached from reality and he’s a cancer on our democracy. He’s extremely dangerous.
    And what scares me the most is not him, but the enablers who either don’t understand the nature of the danger he poses, or somehow think he can be managed and contained.
    I see guys like Ryan and O’connell with their smirks really enjoying the uproar that Trump is causing because I assume they think they ultimately hold the reigns of power. What they don’t seem to realise that there is spiritual damage being done on an entirely different plane.
    That’s why people are taking to the streets in protest. It affects a very deep emotional relationship we have to our country and our values. It’s not good for America. It’s not edifying.

    P.S. Oh, I forgot to mention… Trump is a big bag of shit.

  23. Swami  •  Jan 30, 2017 @1:41 pm

    Bannon looks like he just climbed out of a whiskey bottle.

  24. goatherd  •  Jan 30, 2017 @5:32 pm

    “And what scares me the most is not him, but the enablers who either don’t understand the nature of the danger he poses, or somehow think he can be managed and contained.
    I see guys like Ryan and O’connell with their smirks really enjoying the uproar that Trump is causing because I assume they think they ultimately hold the reigns of power. ”

    Yeah, you got it.

    I was thinking that this EO will provoke terrorists acts against the US and help recruit jihadists. If the worst happens, Trump will take advantage of it. That’s just a matter of time.

  25. goatherd  •  Jan 31, 2017 @9:00 am

    I watched a Stephen Colbert to have a laugh. He referred to Steve Bannon as the “handsomest guy at the liquor store.”

    He does have some rough edges.



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