HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

 
Trump tweets while the world burns

by digby



I wrote about our president's obsession for Salon this morning:

There hasn’t been much going on this week. Well, other than the fate of more than 20 million people and one-sixth of the United States economy. And there are a few bothersome little events possibly happening over in the Middle East. But other than that this week has been dull, dull, dull. At least our fearless leader, Donald Trump, must think so since he’s been working night and day to fix the major global crisis of a story that briefly appeared on CNN’s website and was then retracted. Thank God the president of the United States is on it. If we all stick together through this challenging and critical time, we may just get through it.

OK, I’m being sarcastic. This has been a tumultuous and busy week in Washington, but it wasn’t fake news that had the majority of the country on pins and needles. It was the prospect of millions of people losing health care and services, with many individuals desperately in need of and possibly unable to survive without them. As it turns out, they were given a brief reprieve when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was unable to muster 50 votes to ram the bill through the Senate. Now all eyes will turn to the individual home states where freaked-out constituents will be stalking these Republican officials. There will be parades and town halls and barbecues across the nation and these GOP politicians will get an earful.

One might have thought the president would be deeply involved with the Senate vote, since he’s allegedly the greatest negotiator the world has ever known. There have been reports of some phone calls to recalcitrant senators and a few offhand comments endorsing the bill, but Trump simply has not been a factor in the debate.


After McConnell announced he was delaying the vote until after the July 4 break, Trump had all the Republican senators at the White House for a photo op and brief meeting in which he made it clear he didn’t really give a damn about the health care bill one way or the other. He said, “This will be great if we get it done. And if we don’t get it done, it’s just going to be something that we’re not going to like. And that’s OK, and I understand that very well.”

He has said from the beginning that he thought it would be better politically to just sabotage Obamacare and blame the Democrats, so this isn’t a surprise. Still, since Senate leadership continues to work to get the thing passed, it’s not exactly confidence building. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, summed up the situation as a problem related to Trump’s lack of political experience and the fact that he has yet to learn how to work with Congress. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., put things a little bit more bluntly on MSNBC on Tuesday, saying, “If you count on the president to have your back, you need to watch it.” The Washington Post reported that most senators consider the White House operation to be a paper tiger and simply don’t take the president seriously.

Trump wasn’t just uninterested or too busy with important matters to offer the negotiation his full attention. On Monday night the White House put out a statement saying that it had intelligence that the Syrian government was preparing to launch another gas attack. Journalists following this up with the State Department, the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command found that no officials at any of those agencies knew anything about this. That suggests either that the White House was making things up or there was a total lack of communication among the various responsible parties. According to The Daily Beast, the president himself was completely out of the loop:



According to a knowledgeable senior administration official, [Secretary of State] Tillerson warned his counterpart, Sergei Lavrov: the U.S. sees that Russia and Syria may be prepping for another chemical weapons attack; and that there will be consequences if Assad follows through with it. All this occurred this week as President Donald Trump displayed what two White House officials characterized as relative indifference and passivity towards the subject, instead opting to focus his public and private energies towards fuming at his domestic enemies in the Democratic Party and the “fake news.”

“The president cares more about CNN and the Russia story than [Syria] at the moment,” one official observed. . . .

White House officials speaking to The Daily Beast painted a picture of a president who, for the time being, is far more obsessed by negative press attention and media feuds at home than any coming atrocities abroad.

The official was in The Daily Beast account was referring to the story about three journalists who resigned from CNN after the network retracted a story about Trump crony Anthony Scaramucci’s being under investigation for his ties to Russia. Judging by Trump’s hysterical tweeting on the subject, he can think of nothing else. He evidently believes this somehow proves the Russia story is fake news.

According to The Daily Beast, presidential advisers Steve Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner were consulted before the White House made the Syria announcement, which means they are acting in a presidential capacity on a major foreign policy issue while Trump tracks his bad press. Considering what other countries think about our president that might almost seem reassuring.

A Pew Research Center survey released this week shows that President Trump and his policies are overwhelmingly unpopular around the world. Pew polled people in 37 different countries on six continents, and on average only 22 percent of those surveyed said theyhave confidence that he will do the right thing in international affairs. (Trump got higher marks than former President Barack Obama in just two countries, Russia and Israel.)



America’s allies in Europe and North America are particularly repelled by him, which is deeply disturbing. And they don’t just disapprove of his policies, such as the supposed border wall or his travel ban or his withdrawal from the Paris accords. They disapprove of his personal character even more stridently. Most people around the world describe him as arrogant, intolerant and dangerous. Many do see him as “strong,” but they are probably assuming that his arrogant, intolerant, dangerous rhetoric signifies strength and confidence, when it is actually just the bleating of a deeply insecure and shallow man.

It appears the planet is about to find out whether the world’s only superpower can continue to function with a president who can do nothing but watch TV and battle with the news media over his coverage. Considering Donald Trump’s monumental limitations, of course, that might turn out to be a blessing.