Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Just Hit Snooze

If one of US president-elect Donald Trump's primary objectives is to establish himself as the only reliable source of information, and a dangerous one it is, the mainstream media is his primary ally in that endeavor. No one trusts it and no one trusts anyone in the political class or the intelligence community: think of the selling of the Middle East wars with fabrications of yellow cake uranium and imminent massacres in Bengazi and the fake objeticve of "democracy building" and on and on that these three institutions have colluded in fabricating and propagandizing us with.

Two conclusions:

1. The primary culprit is us. Our lack of skepticism and lack of due diligence and laziness.

2. If Hillary Clinton had been elected no one who would be pointing any of this out. You'd have remained asleep for another eight years, thinking her and the liberal elite were taking care of things.

And things would just keep getting worse. One of the liberal elite's main social clubs, the Council on Foreign Relations, just announced that in 2016 your country, the United States, under it Nobel Peace Prize winning leader,  dropped more than 26,000 bombs on Middle Eastern countries. That's in addition to however many thousands of US made bombs Saudi Arabia using coordinates supplied by the US and flying US planes dropped on civilian targets in Yemen in 2016.

In case you're interested I copied an article by Gerald Steib from the Wall Street Journal: How Donald Trump gets past controversies that would sink most anyone else.

There have been other articles on this topic. Will anyone ever figure out how things came to be that he could get away with this? Stay tuned. And I don't mean just how the media works, how perception works, those are important but I mean also the question of why the public goes along with him. He's taking on the intelligence community, the media and the political establishment all at once, and they are neutralized because the masses, at least a majority of them, prefer Trump to them. It's we who the power comes from. Why do we always turn it over to someone else?

Capital Journal

The president-elect on Wednesday used the combination of frontal attacks and deft sidesteps that worked well for him during the campaign.

One of Donald Trump’s most valuable assets as a candidate was his ability to bluntly acknowledge and then simply walk past controversies and crises that would submerge other political figures.

It remains to be seen whether he will do the same as president—but he certainly did so as president-elect on Wednesday.

The main controversies at his one and only transition news conference centered, of course, on Russia. First, there was the intelligence community report that President Vladimir Putin had used Russian hacking efforts to try to benefit Mr. Trump during the presidential campaign, followed by new reports that Russian agents were in contact with his campaign and may possess compromising personal information on him.

So how did President-elect Trump handle it? With the same combination of frontal attacks and quick sidesteps that worked so well for him through all of 2016.

First, he dismissed the dossier containing the allegations of Russian influence as “fake news, phony stuff.” He directly attacked the news organizations that disclosed the dossier, while praising those that chose earlier not to do so. He also attacked the intelligence community for perhaps, maybe probably, being the reason the disclosure came about.

He then shifted to dismiss one of the principal claims in the dossier by saying he was too wise in the ways of the world to be caught in a compromising situation in a Russian hotel room—and was too much of a “germaphobe” to do so anyway. And he firmly and specifically rebutted as false the one detail he knew he could disprove, an assertion that his own lawyer had traveled to Prague to meet Russian representatives to discuss hacking of Democrats.

After the smoke had cleared, he had managed to shift much of the focus from the mysterious dossier itself to BuzzFeed and CNN, the news organizations that first disclosed its existence, and to the intelligence community that chose to take it seriously.

Less noticed was the fact that along the way he had changed course on a key point: He essentially agreed with the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia appears to have been behind the hacking of political sites during the 2016 campaign, something he had declined to say previously.

Also little noticed was his sidestepping of a question about whether anybody else in his orbit had met with Russian representatives during the campaign, as well as a question on whether he would keep in place the sanctions President Barack Obama imposed on Russia to punish it for election-season hacking activities.

Finally, in classic Trump style, he offered one simple, withering declaration to rebut the suggestion he might be beholden to Mr. Putin: “Do you honestly believe that Hillary [Clinton] would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room really believe that? Give me a break.”

In short, the news conference was a prime example of the confounding yet successful communications strategy Mr. Trump deployed throughout the presidential campaign. He doesn’t run from controversy but seems drawn to it—almost to relish it. He doesn’t fear chaos but seems to use it as an opportunity to disorient his foes.
As a result, conventions continue to fall when it comes to President-elect Trump, just as they did when he was Candidate Trump. Some previous presidents were wary of sounding too self-aggrandizing; George H.W. Bush often talked about how uncomfortable he was using the word “I.” Mr. Trump, by contrast, declared Wednesday: “I will be the greatest job producer that God ever created.”

Some presidents have been reluctant to pick fights with the nation’s powerful spy community, or with leaders of their own party in Congress. Mr. Trump did both, first with his criticism of the intelligence agencies and then with a mocking reference to Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is arguing for more sanctions on Russia.

While others are queasy about discussing their personal business dealings, Mr. Trump proudly declared he had just been offered, and had turned down, $2 billion from a business associate to do a deal in the Middle East.

In the process, one thing everybody learned is that while Mr. Trump has gone from candidate to president-elect, his style hasn’t changed. Wednesday’s event suggests there is little reason to think it will going forward.

Write to Gerald F. Seib at

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