PANIC

I was working on a Medium post entitled “DON’T PANIC”. Then the press conference this morning happened. And everyone switched back into “Trump the Carnival Barker” mode, rather than “Trump the goddamn president” mode.

But first, he gave a speech. I’m just going to look at the speech. It’s not new that Trump will give absurd answers to reasonable questions, and make up lies when he doesn’t know the truth. That’s a given.

I’m here today to update the American people on the incredible progress that has been made in the last four weeks since my inauguration. We have made incredible progress. I don’t think there’s ever been a president elected who in this short period of time has done what we’ve done.

(all quotes from http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/16/politics/donald-trump-news-conference-transcript/index.html )

Of course, Trump has done almost nothing. I don’t believe the Trump administration has proposed a single bill. The only bills passed by Congress have been ones undoing some minor environmental regulations. He uses a lot of words to try to create a narrative, but no part of the narrative involves any of the powers of being President.

On foreign affairs, we’ve already begun enormously productive talks with many foreign leaders, much of it you’ve covered, to move forward towards stability, security and peace in the most troubled regions of the world, which there are many. We have had great conversations with the United Kingdom, and meetings. Israel, Mexico, Japan, China and Canada, really, really productive conversations. I would say far more productive than you would understand.

The vague platitudes suggest that nothing actually productive occurred in those talks. This constant conceit in Washington that there is some super-secret foreign policy is absurd. 90% of the information that Donald Trump, the CIA, or anyone else in Washington uses is freely available in the comfort of your own home on Wikipedia. This is a statement that was not true 25 years ago; keeping up to date on world affairs through newspapers and encyclopedias would have been a full-time job at that point. But “making phone calls with foreign leaders” is an actual thing that actually happened, unlike many sentences which don’t even claim to describe actual events.

I have directed our defense community headed by our great general, now Secretary Mattis. He’s over there now working very hard to submit a plan for the defeat of ISIS …

Trump’s “secret plan to defeat ISIS” was to ask Gen. Mattis to come up with a plan. The fact that the geo-political issues in play have no easy solutions … probably hasn’t occurred to Trump yet.

We have the greatest people on earth in our military, but they don’t have the right equipment and their equipment is old. I used it; I talked about it at every stop. Depleted, it’s depleted — it won’t be depleted for long. And I think one of the reason I’m standing here instead of other people is that frankly, I talked about we have to have a strong military.

The United States has the most powerful military in the world. With the exception of China, no country even competes with the USA as a “conventional military”. With the exception of Russia, no country even competes with the USA as a nuclear power. However, it is a truism of American politics that “support the troops and give them more money” is *ALWAYS* a popular policy with voters, regardless of the current levels of spending, or what the military itself thinks is necessary.

So, if the Democrats who have — all you have to do is look at where they are right now. The only thing they can do is delay because they screwed things up royally, believe me.

The only thing Democrats can do is delay, unless they can convince three Republican Senators otherwise. The calls from the base for massive opposition to Gorsuch are lunacy, because they don’t have the votes. The Republicans did have the votes to block Garland. It’s not that hard to count to 51.

On the other hand, there are a lot of proposals Trump might make that at least three Republican Senators might object to. Puzder was forced to withdraw as Labor nominee once it was clear that at least 4 Republican Senators would vote against him. The normal rules of Washington still apply.

We’ve withdrawn from the job-killing disaster known as Trans Pacific Partnership.

Trump’s self-declared top achievement is one that the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party likes, quite a lot.

We’ve directed the elimination of regulations that undermine manufacturing and call for expedited approval of the permits needed for America and American infrastructure and that means plant, equipment, roads, bridges, factories. … We’ve issued a game-changing new rule that says for each one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated.

No, he hasn’t. His “two-for-one” rule will instantly develop more holes than Swiss cheese. Regardless, many of these rules are at the state level, and Trump is powerless to change them. The very fact that Trump targets “regulations” in general, rather than any specific regulation, suggests that he’s doing the standard practice for a lousy businessman to blame the government rather than his own ineptitude.

We’ve ordered the Department of Homeland Security and Justice to coordinate on a plan to destroy criminal cartels coming into the United States with drugs.

I’m fairly certain they were already trying to do that. “Asking them for a plan” is the equivalent of doing nothing.

And are now in the process of beginning to

Another phrase that means “haven’t done anything yet”.

And are even creating a new office in Homeland Security dedicated to the forgotten American victims of illegal immigrant violence, which there are many.

This is, blatantly, using fascist themes to create an agenda. Trump has repeatedly paraded relatives of victims at his rallies with scripted “I love Trump” quotes, and I find it the single most disgusting thing he does.

We’re issuing a new executive action next week that will comprehensively protect our country. So we’ll be going along the one path and hopefully winning that, at the same time we will be issuing a new and very comprehensive order to protect our people. That will be done sometime next week, toward the beginning or middle at the latest part. We have also taken steps to begin construction of the Keystone Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipelines. Thousands and thousands of jobs, and put new buy American measures in place to require American steel for American pipelines. In other words, they build a pipeline in this country, and we use the powers of government to make that pipeline happen, we want them to use American steel. And they are willing to do that, but nobody ever asked before I came along. Even this order was drawn and they didn’t say that.

I’ll refrain from trying to explain the definition of “fungible”. Trump’s comments on Keystone and DAPL ignore the two facts that (1) nothing has happened yet; and (2) everything was already planned well before Trump was elected. All Trump had to do was sign a piece of paper that every other Republican candidate also promised to sign.

We’ve begun preparing to repeal and replace Obamacare.

By mentioning it in this speech. I don’t even feel a need to comment until the Trump administration has a bill.

Jobs have already started to surge.

AKA, “I’m the President so I can take credit for everything, and I can cherry-pick my examples to make me look good”.

And one more thing, I have kept my promise to the American people by nominating a justice of the United States Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, who is from my list of 20, and who will be a true defender of our laws and our Constitution, highly respected, should get the votes from the Democrats. You may not see that. But he’ll get there one way or the other. But he should get there the old-fashioned way, and he should get those votes.

Nominating Gorsuch is in fact a thing that Trump has done.

This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country.

Nope. It has represented a ridiculous circus, something between the last days of Nixon and the last days of Saddam Hussein. The only redeeming aspect of this is that, amidst such absurdity, neither Trump nor the Republicans are attempting to pass any legislation. Only in the vacuum of inaction can this spectacle continue unhindered by facts.

And unhindered by facts they are. The Kellyanne Conway / Bill Mitchell wing of the Republican Party will constantly support whatever Trump has said last, and resort to personal attacks against anyone who points out their inconsistencies. These people are best ignored; it is not worth talking or listening to them, no matter what truths or lies they say.

The Reddit/Pizzagate/Kek crowd is equally ignorable. They are fully post-modern; which in this context means that you should not ascribe any inherent meaning to anything they say. They say all things, and the ones that seem to cause the most havoc among their enemies get repeated. These people are best ignored; it is not worth talking or listening to them, no matter what truths or lies they say.

The remaining portion of the Trump electorate is generally “conservatives who have better things to do than watch and talk politics, three hours a day, for the next 4 years”. And constantly talking at them about over-hyped scandals is the surest way to annoy them. Their opinion doesn’t matter until November 2018, anyhow. By that point, surely the Republican Congress and Trump will have passed *something* concrete to debate.

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