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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A whirlwind of nothingness

by digby

Trump summoned the entire US Senate to the White House for ... nothing:

Donald Trump invited the entire Senate for a briefing at the White House on North Korea and military preparation, but only spent 14 minutes with his fellow leaders.

Based on what those senators are now telling reporters, the entire meeting seems to have been a colossal waste of time.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told the Washington Post, “There was very little, if anything new” in the meeting, adding, “I remain mystified about why the entire Senate had to be taken over to the White House rather than conducting it here.”

A Democratic senator told the New York Times that, during the meeting, Trump did his “ridiculous adjective” bit, and that in response there were “about 80 sets of invisible eyes rolling.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), currently chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had a rather lukewarm response for reporters:

CORKER: "It was an OK briefing"

Q: What do you mean, you didn't really learn much?

CORKER: "I--it was OK..."

One Republican senator told The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe that, when pressed for details on what U.S. policy towards North Korea is, “the briefers gave us very, very few details,” and noted that the event lacked “even straight answers on what the policy is regarding N. Korea and its testing of ICBMs.”

Another senator told the Post that he was “still unclear what kind of briefing this was,” and was not sure if it was classified or not. He also said, “It’s not like we learned some earth-shaking thing that’s going to happen tomorrow.”

It was a show. And a really stupid one since everyone came out of it and panned it.

They're really flailing. Trump's just throwing out everything he can think of to try to get himself top ratings for his first hundred days. And instead it just gets worse. This tax "plan" is some ridiculous talking points that only draw attention to his own unwillingness to release his taxes. He's even crowing about he intends to give rich people like himself the most generous tax cuts in history. He seems to be declaring a trade war with Canada and then late today they gave a statement that he plans to "withdraw" from NAFTA. That brought responses like this from his own party:

Trump in recent months has labeled NAFTA as a "one-sided deal," called it a "disaster" for the US and has argued that the deal has led to the loss of millions of US manufacturing jobs.

But many Republicans on Capitol Hill have expressed concerns about Trump's hardline on free trade deals.

Sen. John McCain on Wednesday urged Trump not to pull the US from NAFTA.

"It will devastate the economy in my state," McCain said. "I hope he doesn't do that."

If anyone thinks that imbecilic, incompetent, grifter will "renegotiate" a better plan for America's workers they need to wake the fuck up. Even if you hate NAFTA, there is no way in hell that this guy will improve it. What he actually knows about trade deals you could fit in a thimble. He will obviously make it much, much worse. Donald Trump is not a populist or a nationalist or ... anything. He's a moron who is being led around by the nose by a bunch of wingnut weirdos, Generals and Wall Street banksters.

So here we are with a guy who is desperate to "win" something so he's launched a whirlwind of airstrikes, photo-ops Executive Orders, pronouncements, tariffs and god-knows-what-else. Luckily he's such an effective manager with such clear ideas about how to accomplish his goals that he won't drop any of the balls he's throwing into the air. It's fine. Nothing to worry about.