Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trump Speaks. The Peons Listen.

Trump's press conference was unique!  It was the weirdest ever!  Watching it from another planet would have been beautiful, tremendous!

It was all those very big things, not just because of the incoherence of this aspiring American dictator, as Charlie Pierce so beautifully noticed, but also because  our Dear Leader-Elect said things like these:

And the admirals have been fantastic. The generals have been fantastic. I've really gotten to know them well. And we’re going to do some big things on the F-35 program and perhaps the F-18 program. And we’re going to get those costs way down, and we’re gonna get the plane to be even better and we’re going to have to some competition. And it’s going to be a beautiful thing.

So we been very, very much involved -- and other things. We had Jack Ma, we had so many incredible people coming here -- they’re going to do tremendous things, tremendous things in this country. And they're very excited


I look very much forward to the inauguration. It’s going to be a beautiful event. We have great talent, tremendous talent. And we have all of the bands -- or most of the bands from the different segments of the military. And I've heard some of these bands over the years -- they’re incredible. We’re going to have a very, very elegant day. The 20th is going to be something that will be very, very special, very beautiful
And on being asked about the most recent (unsubstantiated!)*  report on his possible connections with Russia:

Ok, first of all, these meetings, as you know, are confidential, classified. So I'm not allowed to talk about what went on in a meeting. But we had many witnesses in that meeting. Many of them with us. And I will say again, I think it's a disgrace that information would be let out. I saw the information. I read the information outside of that meeting. It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It did not happen. And it was gotten by opponents of ours, as you know because you reported it and so did many of the other people. It was a group of opponents they got together -- sick people -- and they put that crap together. 

I have bolded the terms which I find fascinating, coming from the mouth of a president-elect of one of the most powerful countries on earth.**  Notice something interesting about them?   Well, other than a president-elect saying "crap" in a presser.

They convey no actual information.  They are intended to affect emotions.

But the most astonishing part of our Dear Leader-Elect's first press conference was none of that.  It was this:

At his presser today, Donald Trump confirmed the very worst fears of ethics experts, announcing a new arrangement for his business holdings that is designed to garner nice headlines but is unlikely to do much to reduce the possibility of conflicts of interest and, possibly, full blown corruption.
Trump did nothing to address the central ethical problem he faces: He will not divest himself of his holdings, only transferring control of them to his two sons.

He is gonna run the country and his sons are gonna run his commercial empire.  They will never (never!) tell their dad which government moves would benefit their enterprises, no foreign dignitary will never (never!) try to gain favors from Trump by, say, giving extra help to Trump's firms in other countries.  Nope!  And should it happen, we won't know, because Trump refuses to release any information on his finances.

Finally, Trump's temper tantrums against the press should frighten all of us.  The National Press Club has this to say about Trump's use of the term "fake news" whenever something critical of him is written:

“It is dangerous and unhealthy to declare a news item as 'fake news' to distract from facts that you may not like or don't favor your perspective. Our incoming president must treat the news media as the vital cornerstone of our democracy that it is. To label something as 'fake' in an effort to undermine news outlets endangers the trust granted journalists by the public and is antithetical to our country's values.

* As noted in the New York Times article about those two pages Buzzfeed published.  And noted.  And noted.  And noted.  On the other hand, watch this.

** I have demoted the US from the most powerful country on earth, largely because it is now a loose cannon.