January 22, 2017

I live-blog my reading of the transcript of Trump's remarks at the CIA Headquarters.



I saw bits of this speech yesterday and heard it critiqued by freakily emotive commentators on CNN. I had to look away. I'm up for watching/reading the whole thing now. Here's the full transcript. I'm going to read it and live-blog my reactions.
Well. I want to thank everybody. Very, very special people. And it is true: this is my first stop.
I don't remember seeing other Presidents speak in this location. Clearly, Trump intends the very fact of his appearance here to convey meaning.
Officially. We’re not talking about the balls, and we’re not talking about even the speeches. Although, they did treat me nicely on that speech yesterday [laughter]. I always call them “the dishonest media”, but they treated me nicely.
Trump immediately distracted himself. This seems almost like the way many speakers tell a joke or anecdote before getting to the real topic. Trump is warming himself up — and drawing the crowd in collusively — by voicing what is always between the lines: The press won't be fair to him. The press is listening to this speech, and hearing the challenge: I don't think you can be fair. And I don't just want fairness. I want niceness. If you won't give me good press, I'm going to push the dishonest media meme.

He gets into and then out of his sidetrack quickly. Perhaps it's a device to get us to lock into attention. He's the one that does distractions for you, so your mind doesn't wander. If you wander, you'll get confused. And if you do get confused, you might blame him. That's what his opponents do. His digressions drive them mad. He's accused of serving a "word salad" and of lacking any attention span. But he's keeping track. He cuts in a side issue and jumps back to continue where he left off:
But, I want to say that there is nobody that feels stronger about the Intelligence Community and the CIA than Donald Trump. [applause]. There’s Nobody. Nobody. And the wall behind me is very very special. We’ve been touring for quite a while. And I’ll tell you what: twenty … nine? I can’t believe it.. No. Twenty eight. We’ve got to reduce it. That’s amazing. 
Yikes! He got back to the topic only to digress again — and it sounds really incoherent. I think the 29/28 may refer to the number of months he's been touring. 
And we really appreciate it what you've done in terms of showing us something very special. And your whole group. These are really special, amazing people. Very, very few people could do the job you people do. And I want to just let you know: I am so behind you. 
That's the message, the message already delivered by the choice of location, repeated in a few simple words. And then he repeats the verbal message, with a tinge of criticism to his predecessor:
And I know, maybe sometimes, you haven’t gotten the backing that you’ve wanted. 
And he repeats it again as a self-effacing joke:
And you’re going to get so much backing.  Maybe you’re going to say “please don’t give us so much backing”. [laughter] “Mr President, please, we don’t need that much backing”.
Returning to seriousness, he repeats it again:
But you’re going to have that. And I think everybody in this room knows it.
He's now done all that he showed up to do, I believe, and has maxed out the repetitions of the message. He supports the CIA. Noted.

Now what can he talk about?
You know, the military, and the law-enforcement generally speaking, -- but, all of it -- but the military, gave us tremendous percentages of votes. 
Oh, why did I even have to ask?! His go-to conversational topic is his great, great victory in the election:
We were unbelievably successful in the election with getting the vote of the military and probably almost everybody in this room voted for me, but I will not ask you to raise your hands if you did. [laughter] But I would guarantee a big portion. Because we’re all on the same wavelength, folks. We’re all on the same wavelength. [applause] All right? [pointing to the crowd] He knows. Took Brian about 30 seconds to figure that one out, right? Because we know. We’re on the same wavelength.
That's not really the right material for the location, and I think he knows it. He's scanning the mental files for something appropriate to say, something Trumpropriate.
We’re going to do great things. We’re going to do great things. 
Say it twice!
We’ve been fighting these wars for longer than any wars we’ve ever fought. We have not used the real abilities that we have. We’ve been restrained.
Aha:
We have to get rid of ISIS. We have to get rid of ISIS. 
Say it twice!
We have no choice. [applause]
The go-to argument that is no argument.
Radical Islamic terrorism - and I said it yesterday - has to be eradicated. 
He loves to say the phrase that Barack Obama would not say. He loves to say it and then stop and look at his having said it and comment that he has said it.
Just off the face of the Earth. This is evil. This is evil.
Say it twice!
And you know, I can understand the other side. We can all understand the other side. 
Say it twice! You know, this claim to understand other perspectives — or at least one other perspective — is out of whack with reliance on the argument-that-is-not-an-argument we have no choice.
There can be wars between countries. There can be wars. You can understand what happened. This is something nobody could even understand. 
Radical divergence from the say-it-twice rule of Trump rhetoric: Say it and then say exactly the opposite with equal conviction as if you haven't contradicted yourself.

But you know me. I am almost always eager to attempt a sympathetic reading to get some perspective on something that sounds so wrong. Here's me, doing that: Trump seems to have meant that with some wars, both sides have reasons to fight, and it's complicated figuring out what America ought to do, but radical Islamic terrorism is simply plain evil, so there's nothing to understand: Just eradicate what is plainly evil.
This is a level of evil that we haven’t seen. You’re going to go to it, and you’re going to do a phenomenal job. But we’re going to end it. It’s time. It’s time right now to end it.
The CIA has a job to do. But is "end it" really their job? Isn't Trump misunderstanding what they do? Or is he speaking so simply that it doesn't feel enough like an offer of understanding to warrant the label "misunderstanding"?

He finds a new topic in his mental file: The new CIA director:
You have somebody coming on who is extraordinary. 
And he's immediately drifting into other territory:
You know for the different positions, of secretary of this and secretary of that and all of these great positions, I’d see five, six, seven, eight people. And we had a great transition. We had an amazing team of talent.
Great, great, amazing. 
And by the way, General Flynn is right over here. Put up your hand, Mike. What a good guy [applause]
Compliments. Compliments. Everybody loves compliments. Let's see, who else can I compliment?
And Reince, and my whole group. Reince. You know Reince? They don’t care about Reince. 
He knows this isn't a good topic! Why is he telling the CIA about Reince Preibus? They don’t care about Reince. Ah, what the hell? It's a thing to talk about and he hasn't talked long enough yet.
He’s like, this political guy that turned out to be a superstar, right? We don’t have to talk about Reince. But, we did. We had just such a tremendous, tremendous success. So when I’m interviewing all of these candidates that Reince and his whole group is putting in front, it went very, very quickly, and in this case went so quickly. Because I would see six or seven or eight for secretary of agriculture, who we just named the other day. 
Suddenly, it's not about Reince anymore. It's about agriculture. He's telling the CIA about the Secretary of Agriculture!
Sunny [sic] Perdue. Former Governor of Georgia. Fantastic guy. But I’d see six, seven, eight people for a certain position. Everybody wanted it.
It's like he's talking in his sleep, babbling impressionistic memories of the last few weeks. Maybe this will get to why Flynn Pompeo* is great. Hang on.
But I met Mike Pompeo, and he was the only guy I met. I didn’t want to meet anybody else. I said “cancel everybody else”. Cancel. Now he was approved, essentially. But they’re doing a little political games with me. 
"They" are the Democrats in the Senate, I assume. But this is what I mean about babbling. There's a positive side to this: He gives us the feeling that we are now inside his head, seeing his thoughts. But there's something almost insane about the assumption we know what the references are. Pronouns without antecedents? A disembodied "they" is playing games with him. He makes it so easy for his antagonists to cry: Paranoid!
You know, he was one of the three.
The three? The three what? I have to try to construct a thought that he thought that I was not privy too, despite the feeling of being inside his brain. 
Now, last night, as you know, General Mattis - fantastic guy - and General Kelly got approved [applause] And Mike Pompeo was supposed to be in that group; it was going to be the three of them. 
Okay. The three nominees the Senate was going to vote to confirm on Friday.
Can you imagine? All of these guys. People respect … they respect that military sense. All my political people? They’re not doing so well. The political people aren’t doing so well… 
See? It's like he's talking in his sleep! He's trying to say that the nominees with a military background are advancing in the confirmation process more quickly than the ones with a political background, such as Mike Pompeo.
... but you … We’re going to get them all through. But some will take a little bit longer than others.
He finally gets back to the CIA-appropriate material — Mike Flynn Pompeo*:
But Mike was literally -- I had a group of, what, we had nine different people? -- Now. I must say, I didn’t mind cancelling eight appointments. That wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
That is, there were 9 people set to interview for CIA director, and he interviewed the first one, and decided that's the guy. Tough luck to you other 8.
But I met him, and I said “he is so good”. Number one in his class at West Point. Now, I know a lot about West Point. I’m a person that very strongly believes in academics. 
Oh, no. Here it comes:
In fact, every time I say, I had an uncle who was a great professor at MIT for 35 years, who did a fantastic job in so many different ways academically. He was an academic genius.
Had to say that. Just had to say that. And then you know what comes next? He must add an assertion about his own genetic gift:
And then they say: “is Donald Trump an intellectual?” Trust me. I’m like a smart person....
He snaps out of the digression:
And I recognized immediately. So he was Number 1 at West Point. And he was also essentially number 1 at Harvard Law School. And then he decided to go into the military. And he ran for Congress. And everything he’s done has been a home run. People like him. But much more importantly to me, everybody respects him.

When I told Paul Ryan that I want to do this, I would say, he may be the only person that was not totally thrilled, right, Mike? Because he said “I don’t want to lose this guy."

You will be getting a total star. 
A star? And when you’re a star... you can do anything.
You going to be getting a total gem. He is a gem. 
Say it twice!
And I just …. [applause] You’ll see. You’ll see. And many of you know him anyway. But you’re going to see. And again: we have some great people going, but this one is something, going to be very special, because this is one of -- if I had to name the most important, this would certainly be, perhaps, you know, in certain ways, you could even say my most important. You do the job like everybody in this room is capable of doing. And the generals are wonderful and the fighting is wonderful. 
Wonderful wonderful.
But if you give them the right direction? Boy, does the fighting become easier. And boy do we lose so fewer lives, and win so … quickly.
I know he just means to compliment everyone and give respect to the lower-downs and the higher-ups. But this is scarily babbly when he's talking about human lives.
And that’s what we have to do. We have to start winning again.
A familiar line circled around to the front of the brain and flew out. Yeah, we need to win wars. But forget that, Trump wants to muse about when he was young...
You know what? When I was young, And when I was … of course, I feel young. 
And his digression provoked a digression. He suddenly doesn't want to talk about when he was young but how young he feels today:
I feel like I’m 30. 35. 39. [laughter]. Somebody said “are you young?” I said “I think I’m young."
Somebody said something, and then I said something and then....
You know, I was stopping when we were in the final month of that campaign. 
And now we're back at the original digression, the story of the campaign.
Four stops, five stops. Seven stops. Speeches -- speeches -- in front of twenty five, thirty thousand people. Fifteen thousand, nineteen thousand, from stop to stop.
Numbers numbers numbers. Say some numbers. And they add up to...
I feel young.
Back to the when I was young digression:
But when I was young -- and I think we’re all sort of young -- when I was young, we were always winning things in this country. We’d win with trade. We’d win with wars. At a certain age I remember hearing from one of my instructors “The United States has never lost a war.”
Oh, I remember hearing that live yesterday. I remember remembering that I always heard "The United States has never lost a war." And the other thing I remember remembering yesterday when Trump was remembering always hearing "The United States has never lost a war" is how important that perfect record was in getting us deeper and deeper into the hell of Vietnam. If Trump remembers that, he doesn't say it.
And then, after that, it’s like, we haven’t won anything. We don’t win anymore.
The campaign slogan cycles to the front of the brain again. And then another old idea:
The old expression: “to the victor belong the spoils” - you remember? You always used to say “keep the oil”. I wasn’t a fan of Iraq. I didn’t want to go into Iraq. But I will tell you. When we were in, we got out wrong. And I always said: “In addition to that, keep the oil”.
Let's see what Mike thinks about that:
Now I said it for economic reasons, but if you think about, Mike, if we kept the oil we would probably wouldn’t have ISIS, because that’s where they made their money in the first place. So we should have kept the oil. But okay. [laughter] Maybe we’ll have another chance. But the fact is: we should’ve kept the oil.
Mike doesn't get to engage on this interesting policy question, but maybe Trump and Flynn have talked about keeping the oil.

Trump gets back to his core message, suggesting he's bringing this speech in for a landing:
I believe that this group is going to be one of the most important groups in this country towards making us safe, towards making us winners again. Towards ending all of the problems -- we have so many problems that are interrelated that we don’t even think of, but interrelated -- to the kind of havoc and fear that this sick group of people has caused.

So I can only say that I am with you 1000%. 
Numbers. Fake numbers. Fake on their face. It's okay. Numbers are beautiful. Fantastic. I love numbers!
And the reason you’re my first stop is that as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth. [laughter, applause]
I'm having deja vu. 
And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the Intelligence Community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you’re the number 1 stop is exactly the opposite. Exactly. And they understand that too.
Ah, this connects 2 topics that seemed disconnected at the beginning of the speech. But he drops that to bring in another example of media dishonesty:
And I was explaining about the numbers. We did a thing yesterday...
A thing. The Inauguration!
... the speech, and everybody really liked the speech, you had to right? [applause] We had a massive field of people. You saw that. Packed. I get up this morning. I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. I say: “wait a minute. I made a speech. I looked out. The field was…. It looked like a million, a million and a half people.” They showed a field where there was practically nobody standing there. And they said “Donald Trump did not draw well”. And I said “well it was almost raining”. The rain should have scared them away. But God looked down and he said “we’re not going to let it rain on your speech”.
Now, he's switching to the subject of the rain, about which there is no dispute with the media and no possible connection to the CIA.
In fact, when I first started I said “oh no”. First line, I got hit by a couple of drops. And i said “oh, this is too bad, but we’ll go right through it”. But the truth is: that it stopped immediately. It was amazing. And then it became really sudden, and then I walked off and it poured right after I left - it poured.
At least he resisted additional speculation about God's expressing his opinion through precipitation.
But you know, we have something that’s amazing because, we had, it looked honestly, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument. And I turn on, with my steak … and I get this network shows an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people.
With my steak?! Come on, Washington Post! He didn't suddenly inject the subject of what he was eating for dinner as he watched the news. He said: "And I turn on, and by mistake, I get this network and it shows an empty field."
Now that’s not bad. But it’s a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around, you know, the little bowl that we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20 block area all the way back to the Washington Monument was packed. So we caught them. And we caught them in a beauty. And I think they’re going to pay a big price.
And a lot of people think that right here he's getting caught in a beauty and he's going to have to pay a big price. But it's like those thousands of Muslims dancing on the rooftops of Jersey City. He doesn't have to pay a big price. He got a big reward. He doesn't have to stick to facts. He can waft stories and call other people liars. He's probably right that the others are lying (or somewhere on the continuum between truth and lies). And he knows he can win by rousing us all from the dream of truth. It's all fake news, so pick the story you like. And he only needs half of the people to like his storytelling to get all of the power.
They had another one yesterday which was interesting. In the Oval Office there’s a beautiful statue of Dr Martin Luther King. And I also happen to like Churchill.
Churchill digression:
Winston Churchill. I think most of us like Churchill. He doesn’t come from our country. But he had lot to do with it. He helped us. A real ally. And as you know, the Churchill statue was taken out. The bust. And as you probably also have read, the Prime Minister is coming over to our country very shortly, and they wanted to know whether or not I’d like it back. And I said “absolutely, but in the meantime we have a bust of Churchill”.

So a reporter for Time magazine. And I have been on their cover like 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all time record in the history of Time magazine. Like it Tom Brady is on the cover of Time magazine, it’s one time, because he won the Superbowl or something, right? [laughter]. I’ve been on for 15 times this year. I don’t think that’s a record, Mike, that they can ever be broken, do you agree with that? What do you think?
A digression in the middle of a digression.  Trump's face on Time. And I've heard he got it wrong that this was a record, but I don't really care anymore. It's just an idea. His face is on Time a lot.

Getting back to MLK:
But I will say that, he said something that was very interesting: that “Donald Trump took down the bust, the statue, of Dr Martin Luther King”. It was right there. But there was a cameraman that was in front of it.

So Zeke - Zeke - from Time magazine writes a story about how I took it down. But I would never do that, because I have great respect for Dr Martin Luther King. But this is how dishonest the media is: a big story. And the retraction was like -- was it a line? Or did they even bother putting it in?
The MLK statue story. Man, that's a long story. But it's a memorable chapter in The Story of How Truth Died.
So I only like to say that because I love honesty. I like honest reporting. 
Truth was dearly loved.
I will tell you the final time: although I will say it, when you let in your thousands of other people that had been trying to come in, because I am coming back. We may have to get you a larger room. [laughter, applause] We may have to get you a larger room. And maybe - maybe - it’ll be built by somebody that knows how to build and we won’t have columns [laughter] You understand that? We’d get rid of the columns.
He's talking about the CIA Headquarters and implying that he'd like to put on his construction hat and build them a better building — one where thousands can amass and columns do not obstruct their gaze upon the face that has launched a thousand TIME magazines.
I just wanted to really say that I love you. 
That's disarming. You forget all the abuse.
I respect you. There’s nobody that I respect more. You’re going to do a fantastic job. And we’re going to start winning again. And you’re going to be leading the charge. So thank you all very much. Thank you, beautiful. Thank you all very much. Have a good day. I’ll be back. I’ll be back. Thank you.
Goodbye. Thank you. Have a nice day.
____________________________

* I got confused about the 2 Mikes. I'm sure the CIA people in the room did not.

336 comments:

1 – 200 of 336   Newer›   Newest»
David said...

And the man doesn't drink. Imagine if he did.

Amazing essay, Althouse. And great evidence why the blog format is so wonderful if used creatively.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

"heard it critiqued by freakily emotive commentators on CNN. I had to look away. " - that's exactly what I was trying to say on a previous comment - not watching tv for years, when I do see a snippet of talking heads I can't hear any information over all the screaming body language and vocal emoting trying to get me to react a certain way - and a side note is that "what you need to know" meme places like "The Week" use. To me it's amazingly presumptuous for them to tell me what narrative I should be following. And one other thing - I keep noticing that the best pics and stories on Trump are in Brit papers and wonder what that means.

Curious George said...

"I think the 29/28 may refer to the number of months he's been touring."

It isn't the number of states. That's 58.

Chuck said...

Nice job, Althouse! I had many of the same reactions, in real-time.

There's one tic -- perhaps not overly-significant -- to which I'd like to call your attention. It's the thing he does where he always claims that things are going to be do great "that you're going to say, 'Stop, Mr. President, we've got it too great! You're giving us too much greatness!'"

He's done it dozens of times in major appearances through the campaign, in a weird variety of contexts. I don't think that it is a self-effacing joke, although I don't wish to argue that too much with you. It is a weird verbal tic; one that he returns to repeatedly when -- just as you say -- his mind is grinding through things to say.

It strikes me as a very weird deprecation of the audience, and not himself. It is as if the audience were childlike dependents, needing Big Don to deliver for them; powerless to know what they need or how much they need but Big Don is going to shower them with love, and with whatever it is he is promising in abundance.

And usually, the things that he is going to give us "too much" of, are oddly incalculable things. In this case, it is "backing." Try to imagine "too much backing" from a person or office of power. Imagine what "too much backing" looks or feels like, and imagine wanting less of it.

Lastly; I want to say that I appreciate the vintage Althousian manner in which you've broken this down. There is another matter, of course, which ought not to be your daily task, and that is contextualizing (no, I don't want to say "fact-chacking") this speech with all of the many roller-coaster Tweets from The Donald in which one news story makes the CIA out to be like "Nazis" and another Tweet in which he says they are great.

John Brennan, it has been reported, is spitting mad about this speech. I'm not sure that I would have taken that position if I were Brennan. If I were Brennan, I'd go on national television and laugh about it. Laugh at Trump. Call the speech unhinged, for what it is.

David Begley said...

Althouse: You've got to admit. You love analyzing Trump's speeches. Too funny.

But the point of his appearance at the CIA - and it was his first -.was to throw down a marker. He supports the grunts in the field and they love him. But his new director - first in his class at West Point and his only interviewee -.is going to clean out the leaking political vipers at the top of the CIA.

Drago said...

I absolutely love Althouses's real time reactions and response formulations.

There is a maddeningly meandering while endearing while oddly effective while putting one on edge quality to every off the cuff presentation Trump makes.

There is no way any foreign nation analysts have any idea what this guy is capable of doing. Reagan used that to his advantage and I am hoping Trump will as well.

Most importantly, I dream of the day Trump looks out into the pressroom and says: Next question to Ann Althouse of Althouse Blog.."

Gusty Winds said...

The applause Trump received from rank and file CIA members when he again called the media dishonest was the best part.

Wonder what they really think of "Senior Intelligence Officials" who leak to the media.

Drago said...

Here we see that Begley gets it and "lifelong republican" Chuck does not.

Per usual.

AprilApple said...

I like Trump's "We should have kept the oil" argument.

It pushes back against the left's big lie that we did it for oil in the first place.

AllenS said...

He's a breath of fresh air. I got sick and tired of the affirmative actioned Obama reading off the teleprompter.

David Begley said...

Althousian. Now there's a new word better than Trumpropriate. Two beautiful words.

Drago said...

David Begley, did I not just read something from you at Powerlineblog?

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I watched MSNBC some during the last few days for fun and it is truly like parody. I saw a short back and forth between Brian Williams and Lawrence O'Donnell. Priceless. But, generally, I am not watching much news these days because it's all so predictable. Since I'm not seeing it, I appreciate your analysis and I agree with almost all of your interpretations of what President The Donald is thinking and doing in his incoherently coherent speeches.

AprilApple said...

After 8 years of 'I won" - if Trump wants to enjoy his victory lap for a little while - OK. But yeah - at some point he needs to shut up about it.

Once written, twice... said...

If this was Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama you wouldn't do the "always eager to attempt a sympathetic reading" thing. You would have -- rightfully -- ripped it apart.

Trump is going to be scary erratic over the next four years. It was obvious during the campaign that he would be a scary President. But you did not write one critical post about Trump during his rise tho power in 2016. You were just another person who unthinkingly jumped on the Trump bandwagon.

Amadeus 48 said...

Shorter message from Trump:

I care. All those stories you read about me hating the Intelligence Community? They're lies from the lying media. I love you! But don't get me started on that Brennan--there's a beaut. And Clapper? If you asked him where's the men's room, he'd send you to the ladies' room. Typical. But there's change coming because we owe it to you, and you and we owe it to the American people, who trust us to protect them from those scummy people who want to kill them. So we and you are getting Pompeo and Flynn, two great men, two of the greatest--when the Senate stops playing politics--I am looking at you, Chuck Schumer--and it's going to be greater than it's ever been because you deserve it and we deserve it. And Clapper and Brennan can go jump in the Potomic, and maybe they should be pushed, the lying, leaking little creeps.

Finally, let me say, Althouse, I respect you. There’s nobody that I respect more. You’re doing a fantastic job. And we’re going to start understanding Trump. And you’re going to be leading the charge. So thank you very much. Thank you, Althouse. Thank you very much. Have a good day. I’ll be back. I’ll be back. Thank you.

Hagar said...

The CIA is a huge agency and there are any number of factions within it.

And 17 federal intelligence agencies? I understand that is technically true, but one must surely ask why and just exactly what are these agencies, who do they belong to, and what, if anything, do they do.

Lewis Wetzel said...

My definition of "winning" is when Putin starts giving speeches in the style of Trump.

Birkel said...

Can somebody pass "Once written..." a binkie ?

Drago said...

AprilApple: "After 8 years of 'I won" - if Trump wants to enjoy his victory lap for a little while - OK. But yeah - at some point he needs to shut up about it"

Not going to happen.

There is a clear strategy afoot to remain in continuous conflict/parallel narrative mode with the left MSM.

It is my guess that each of these twitter wars etc are designed to draw the MSM into continuous war with Trump in order to make any and all criticism of him by the MSM "white noise" and to "help" the MSM beclown themselves.

I believe this strategy has been massively successful. The heavy political lifting hasn't even begun yet and Trump's entire voting base is already completely discrediting all MSM reports. This gives Trump tremendous power in shaping events.

There is a brilliance to this if one looks closely and yet, only brilliant because so many of Trump's goes are complete empty suit idiots.

AllenS said...

Once written, twice... repeats things also, but at one minute intervals.

Drago said...

Once written..: "Trump is going to be scary erratic over the next four years. It was obvious during the campaign that he would be a scary President"

Purposeful positioning for strategic and tactical advantage that we have never witnessed before.

It's fascinating watching it play Putin real time.

dreams said...

"Amazing essay, Althouse. And great evidence why the blog format is so wonderful if used creatively."

Yeah.

JML said...

Once written, twice... said...
"...you did not write one critical post about Trump during his rise tho power in 2016. You were just another person who unthinkingly jumped on the Trump bandwagon."

You must have been reading the 'Alt-Althouse blog', because I read plenty of critical comments regarding Trump. And Obama and Hillary, too. This Althouse is an equal opportunity criticizer. Between her writing and the majority of the folks who post comments, you can get a pretty good feeling for what people think from across the political and cultural spectrum. That is, if you are willing to acknowledge the other points of views that don't align with yours. There are some really smart people who comment here. And a few not so smart. The really smart ones do their research before they accuse Anne of something she did not write.

bwebster said...

What was most telling to me -- as was already mentioned above -- was the full-throated welcome he got, with people cheering and whooping. I saw some (liberal) folks on FB and Twitter try to claim that Trump brought a large contingent of people into the CIA just to cheer for him, and that the actual CIA people would never cheer for him. That's serious self-delusion on several levels to think the CIA would let him bring any kind of "large contingent" -- large enough to produce that volume of applause and cheering -- into CIA HQ. I lived in and around DC for 8 years and use to drive by the entrance to Langely on a regular basis; my cell phone would usually stop working. :-) They keep the CIA HQ very, very secure.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I think that what Trump was telling the CIA guys is that he was going to send them all on missions to fight the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and that the length of the mission was up to them, cuz they weren't coming back until they've wiped out ISIL.

Chuck said...

Mid-Life Lawyer said...
I watched MSNBC some during the last few days for fun and it is truly like parody. I saw a short back and forth between Brian Williams and Lawrence O'Donnell.


I saw that too; that was wild! Shades of George Will-Bill O'Reilly. I hope it gets posted on YouTube. In short, Brian Williams was commenting on a high overhead shot of the Womens March throngs, and he made a comment about some of the obscene language used by some of the speakers, and how some folks might regard it as counterproductive to the March's cause. And then O'Donnell, also doing commentary (pity, they were both offscreen) just went off on that point in a rant for several minutes, point out that Vietnam-era protests used all sorts of f-bombs, etc., and in the end, they won! O'Donnell completely blew off the bad-language issue, saying that it used to be language that could never be heard on any television channel, but now can be heard on most television channels.

I'm not positioning for either side on this; I am completely unsympathetic to the Womens Marchers, just as O'Donnell is completely sympathetic.

But the episode was such an interesting look behind the curtain at NBC/MSNBC/Brian Williams/Lawrence O'Donnell intramural politics.

F said...

The 29/28 refers to the number of years employment at CIA of the woman who introduced him.

whitney said...

You know I was euphoric when HC lost but reading that just makes me cringe. I hope for the best.

Chuck said...

Drago said...
...
There is a clear strategy afoot to remain in continuous conflict/parallel narrative mode with the left MSM.

Sorry to say, I agree with you. It was one of the most annoying things (among a great many annoying things) about the Obama Administration: Never-ending permanent Campaign Mode.

AJ Lynch said...

MSM, which generally hates all things religious, falls all over itself to say CIA Wall is oh so sacred.

Birkel said...

Chuck, who supports anything anti-Trump, doesn't like that the Trump Administration plans to fight back against the press that has already declared war against
1) Republicans,
2) middle America,
3) SCOTUS...
Etc

The enemy gets a vote. The enemy has declared permanent war. Trump engages and Chuck is sad.

But totes like Obama who was supported 24/7 by that same press. Chuck is a moron who wishes to pre-surrender.

buwaya said...

Once..

IIRC Althouse regularly had positive comments about Obama and has often admired his style.

You may want to look at her tags.

And she was extremely upset with Trump last October.

Anyway, its easy to believe that the executive suites at the CIA have different ideology and culture vs the rank and file and middle management. This is the case in most corporations and even in many government agencies. The politics of senior officers in most city police departments or fire departments or publicly owned utility companies rarely match that of the actual workforce.
Almost as big a split can be seen between HQ staff departments like HR and Legal and PR/communications vs field/operational departments. Visiting the HQ of most major corporations can be deceiving.
Like most "blue" cities, Washington is loaded with HQ operations of all sorts, the actual workforce is mostly distributed around the country and abroad.

William said...

I enjoyed your play by play. Trump really does digress in his digressions and express himself clumsily. He doesn't just say things the left disagrees with, but he says them in a way that tramps on their every last nerve........My take away was that the line officers rather than the political appointees at the CIA support him. I think they realize that there will be no show trials of operatives who engage in waterboarding during his administration. That's not his top priority.

Chuck said...

"Amazing essay, Althouse. And great evidence why the blog format is so wonderful if used creatively."


I agree. No newspaper column will do this; and certainly no newspaper can contain the video of the speech. No cable news network would deconstruct the entire speech, even when they have all of the video. This is some great blogging.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I read in one of the English papers that Trump wants to visit Great Britain this summer "Beverly Hillbillies in London" style. He wants to go to the British museum, see the Tower, all of that. This is going to be in August, and that's the month the Queen spends resting privately at Balmoral, which is considered her private residence and not a state property. Trump wants to visit Balmoral and play a round of golf there with the Queen.
That Trump guy is a wonderment.

Once written, twice... said...

JML, please list Ann's three most critical post of Trump from 2016. Can you link to just one? She wrote highly critical of Clinton and Obama. But she was a supplicant for Trump.

David Begley said...

Drago

I covered the whole campaign at Power Line, but sadly not in an Althousian fashion.

Lewis Wetzel said...

The agents that were applauding are on Putin's payroll.
There are a lot of them.

Birkel said...

"Once written...":

Please Google shit yourself. Or try Bing.

Try to find my three most critical comments about you.

mockturtle said...

Like most "blue" cities, Washington is loaded with HQ operations of all sorts, the actual workforce is mostly distributed around the country and abroad.

As someone suggested a few weeks ago, the HQs of all federal agencies should be distributed around the country. Places like Wyoming and North Dakota would be good choices. With the telecommunications systems we have today there is no good reason to have our federal government concentrated in DC. In fact, one could argue it is a security risk.

Freder Frederson said...

Why didn't you point out that taking the oil is a war crime? And that if he did or does that he will be a bonafide war criminal.

damikesc said...

I'm just amazed that the Left seems to WANT the CIA, of all groups, to run the country.

Outstanding write-up. You've been on fire this week.

It seems, to me, that Trump is using the calculation of supporting the grunts and vigorously opposing the clowns in charge the last few decades. It's not a bad strategy and with the intel community trying to do damage to him politically, one I cannot fault him for pursuing.

buwaya said...

This is true re Althouse's abilities.
You can find this interesting output in the WSJ editorial pages maybe once in any given week, that which Althouse delivers daily.

I should stop staring at my phone this much, especially at breakfast with my wife. But Althouse is addictive.

Michael K said...

"I keep noticing that the best pics and stories on Trump are in Brit papers and wonder what that means."

If you want to know what is going on in US politics, you must read the British papers. Their web sites are go-to spots every day for me.

Trump meanders and it may be a lack of discipline but Eisenhower, as president, was kind of a mush mouth and was criticized for it. It was assumed he was wandering and unable to explain himself. In fact, from everything I have read about him, he was a coldly efficient man with a terrible temper.

Let's see how Trump progresses.

damikesc said...

As someone suggested a few weeks ago, the HQs of all federal agencies should be distributed around the country. Places like Wyoming and North Dakota would be good choices. With the telecommunications systems we have today there is no good reason to have our federal government concentrated in DC. In fact, one could argue it is a security risk.

Fully agree. Decentralize the Feds and stop giving all of the money to DC. Stick Interior outside of a major metro area. Ditto the FBI. Ditto all agencies. Teleconferences are environmentally sound. It'a a bit of a risk, but why should all of the money go to one small area? Remove some of the agencies and watch DC reduce in importance and wealth to a more reasonable amount.

It's not like we are lacking for office space.

damikesc said...

Trump meanders and it may be a lack of discipline but Eisenhower, as president, was kind of a mush mouth and was criticized for it. It was assumed he was wandering and unable to explain himself. In fact, from everything I have read about him, he was a coldly efficient man with a terrible temper.


I'd argue being perfectly on-point at all times is a bit off-putting. Who is perfectly on message in every aspect of life? Nobody I've met in my life. Hell, talk to a professor about anything outside of their specific area of expertise and you'll see trains of thought derail quickly.

No doubt he is a demanding and I assume that, like Reagan, he knows the value of being underestimated.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I thought that maybe all the applause was to lull Trump into relaxing his guard as part of some secret plan to destroy him, but then I remembered that the CIA really isn't very good at secret plans.

damikesc said...

Why didn't you point out that taking the oil is a war crime? And that if he did or does that he will be a bonafide war criminal.

Putting requirements to get our help is good business. Why should we spend a moment of our time worrying about something that matters nothing to us?

JML said...

Birkel, you beat me to it, well said. Short, on point, elegant.

Once written: What Birkel said.

Captain Drano said...

"Freder Frederson said...
Why didn't you point out that taking the oil is a war crime? And that if he did or does that he will be a bonafide war criminal."

Oh please, it was a statement made that was meant to be interpreted as we should have fucked them over bigly [big league] so that something as evil as ISIS could never amount to more than a girl scout troop.

cubanbob said...

Chuck said...
Drago said...
...
There is a clear strategy afoot to remain in continuous conflict/parallel narrative mode with the left MSM.

Sorry to say, I agree with you. It was one of the most annoying things (among a great many annoying things) about the Obama Administration: Never-ending permanent Campaign Mode."

Payback is a bitch.

Freder Frederson said...
Why didn't you point out that taking the oil is a war crime? And that if he did or does that he will be a bonafide war criminal."

Only if you lose.

damikesc said...
I'm just amazed that the Left seems to WANT the CIA, of all groups, to run the country."

Not really. The Left always governs through the Secret Police. That is, the police they control.

whitney said...
You know I was euphoric when HC lost but reading that just makes me cringe. I hope for the best."

I share the feeling. Still its the people Trump is putting in place that reassures me.

rhhardin said...

The point of a lecture is affirming that listening to a lecture is a reasonable thing to be going.

A talk on the other hand has no such hidden assumption.

CS said...

Apologies if someone got to this already, but didn't 29/28 refer to the stars on the wall? From the number, post-9/11?

rhhardin said...

reasonable thing to be doing, not going.

Proof that it's word memory that governs fast typing.

Derek Kite said...

There are a few things going on. Remember that this guy eviscerated the two political families in the US, both with funding and wide support.

He wants his opponents to underestimate him. They do, and they get blindsided and humiliated. And another comes along who falls for the buffoon trick to be stomped on. Remarkable.

If you don't like him and disagree with his basic message, make america great again, he isn't talking to you. You won't understand a word he says, you will be annoyed by his mannerisms, and the point he is making will go right over your head. And you will underestimate him and his support, and particularly the ardour of his support.

He had a very simple message. We win, go get 'em. He had to fill up 10 or 15 minutes, but that was what he said.

His blathering about the media was a backhanded threat. You may think that you have power by leaking to the media. You don't.

Watch what happens over the next few months. The cultural blanket of leftiness and it's blunt instruments of shame, outing and being driven from the public square is fraying, and what Trump is doing by his bluster is empowering people who disagree with the direction the culture and country has been going over the last while. I think we are going to start seeing the equivalent of heads being tossed over the ramparts when some institution figures they can take on Trump.

We will see a situation where someone's support for Trump creates a controversy and he backs them to the hilt, even at cost to himself.

Both Kerry and some Republican said this weekend that he has a year, year and a half then we get rid of him. Oh my.

rhhardin said...

In short, Trump is not speaking on behalf of the cognitive establishment.

The cognitive establishment is part of the swamp to be drained.

Bob Ellison said...

In wide-stream marketing, where you're trying to attract not just the cognitive elite but the masses to your message, you must stick to a simple message. Repetition is effective. Repetition is effective.

Bold statements are effective, too. Not "Washington is too insular, not enough aware of the concerns of the rest of America", but The people running Washington are corrupt! The people in Washington are corrupt!

Trump knows this, and the people running dying newspapers, dying broadcast networks, and dying political empires do not seem to have learned it yet.

Achilles said...

The higher you go in any of the security agencies the more politics dominates. The people at the bottom are almost apolitical and they join and serve because they like the job and the freedom they believe they are protecting. The people at the bottom are Get Shit Done people and they are very much into wiping out ISIS and radical islam.

Trump is clearly talking to the operators and the rank and file analysts. The top echelons of every bureaucracy in DC, including the CIA, have been infested with bureaucratic cronies and democrat political appointees. With the right leadership the people who work in the basement in the CIA will clean out the top floors for us. They will even dispose of the bodies.

Captain Drano said...

"CS said...
Apologies if someone got to this already, but didn't 29/28 refer to the stars on the wall? From the number, post-9/11?"

I believe, as noted somewhere above, it was in reference to the number of years the woman that spoke first had worked at the CIA.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Ignore the speech.
My highly placed sources tell me that Trump wore a ring on his right hand with little barb on it, like those diabolical rings secret agents use to inject poison into a person when they shake their hand. Then when Trump shook the CIA guys' hands, he'd look them in the eye, and give them a smile, a wink, and a little jab with the ring.
Of course there wasn't any real poison in the ring . . or was there?

FullMoon said...

Would be great if Trump gave one of his rambling speeches about how great the womens marches were, how he understands their anger and frustration etc. Use that super duper third dimension persuasion to begin converting some of the people who hate him because they are following their peers.

JML said...

Here is the problem with leftists like Once Written: It doesn't matter the answer given to their questions or what is given to their demands. It is never enough. They always want more. Gun control: First is is background checks which is reasonable, then a waiting period which is maybe ok, then a permit to buy, then a permit to carry, then a permit to buy ammunition which will be heavily taxed then a ban on 'assault rifles', then a ban on short barreled shotguns then a ban on pistols then a ban on hunting rifles then a ban on... It is never fucking enough for them.

And that is one of they main reasons why Trump won, flawed as he MAY be. Because enough of us finally said Fuck you, enough is enough.

And then they cry and piss and moan and say they can no longer be tolerant. Leftists are the most intolerant fuckers on earth unless you agree with them or you are a member of the 'correct' minority that they can use to further their power grab.

MayBee said...

I have been bemused by the press's new love and reverence for the intelligence community, and I have to say him saying something bad about him in front of the sacred wall really drove them over the edge.

Of course, John Brennan put the idea of the wall in their heads just last week, and his communications guy tweeted about it last night.

I will not be sad to see Brennan go, and I'm guessing from their reaction that many of the CIA workers will not be sad either. But the press will, apparently. He must have been a good source.

Marc Puckett said...

This post was very, very amusing, AA. (And I had missed the news that the bust of Dr King wasn't in fact removed from wherever the bust of Churchill had been returned to.) I did think, though, that having taken office, Mr Trump was going to abjure these sorts of public rambles through his mind.

Freder Frederson said...

Oh please, it was a statement made that was meant to be interpreted as we should have fucked them over bigly [big league] so that something as evil as ISIS could never amount to more than a girl scout troop.

Oh please, it reaffirms that he has no respect for the rule of law or international norms. Coupled with his threats to torture people and kill noncombatants it demonstrates that he is potentially a dangerous criminal.

Either that or his tough talk is just bluster and he is full of shit.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Agree with David Begley - this was about making it clear that his battle is not with the lower levels of the CIA/general intel community, it's with the politicized upper levels.

This is the first I have seen the speech in its entirety - I saw a few minutes of someone on CNN (don't remember his name) who was there, and was analyzing it. He made a point of saying that Trump didn't bring up the significance of the wall that was his backdrop, yet the transcript clearly shows that he did note that. Just another obvious example of the media bias. I've always wanted to know how many on the left who deny that bias are just stupid and/or blind, and how many see it, and are just happy to use it to their advantage.

William said...

Just now I'm reading Michael Korda's biography, "Ike," of Eisenhower. Eisenhower never made any threats on his visit to Korea. He was, however, known as a ruthless general who prosecuted the war against Germany on every front and with every weapon at his disposal. He didn't have a secret plan to end the war. He was the secret plan. The Chinese and North Koreans didn't want to tangle with him and gave up their vision of conquest in the south.......,It might be a good thing if certain people in the Mid East had a few worries about what Trump is gong to do. The oil there is mostly used to buy yachts, mansions, and expensive weapons for their military and security services.

Achilles said...

Derek Kite said...

"Watch what happens over the next few months. The cultural blanket of leftiness and it's blunt instruments of shame, outing and being driven from the public square is fraying, and what Trump is doing by his bluster is empowering people who disagree with the direction the culture and country has been going over the last while. I think we are going to start seeing the equivalent of heads being tossed over the ramparts when some institution figures they can take on Trump."

Langley, The Pentagon, FBI headquarters are all virulently infested with political hacks and despised by the people that do things. The political hacks are soft and squishy and deserving.

buwaya said...

On oil, etc.
Best to get some background on all that, I still recommend Yergin, "The Prize".
Petroleum was a European/American industry that was a windfall for third-rate countries which couldnt handle the unearned revenue stream, and could rarely run the industry efficiently. And this was handed to them largely as a cold war strategy by the US, to head off Soviet exploitation of third world nationalism. Taking the bulk of oil revenues from the British, Dutch, and US oil companies was a way to buy friends, in Iran, Arabia, even Venezuela.
The cost was an endless round of disruption and regional troubles, and economic and social damage. Oil revenues as they were given to these countries from the 1960s-70s was a poisoned gift.
And furthermore most damaging to most of the rest of the third world as it resulted in unstable and higher fuel prices for decades, due to general mismanagement and political friction in these unworthy countries.

Drago said...

Freder is hopelessly stupid.

And happily so for us.

Let a million Freders bloom!

Now, about obama ordering the execution by drone of an American citizen overseas without due process........(crickets)

Comanche Voter said...

Ah Ms. Althouse; sifting for pearls among the rice and blather in the bowl of pudding in a Trump speech. There are pearls there--and a lot of blather. This is a different version of the professional Irishman politician like Tip O'Neil. You have to get past the sure and begorra to find the hard steel inside.The fear--and it's not an unrealistic fear--is that all that steel will become a truly unguided missile.

But CIA Director--that is EX CIA Director took a couple of nasty little shots at Trump on h is way out the door. We'll see if Trump can romance the CIA troops enough to plug the political leaks from that vessel. He certainly tried to do so with yesterday's appearance.

Achilles said...

Freder Frederson said...

Oh please, it reaffirms that he has no respect for the rule of law or international norms. Coupled with his threats to torture people and kill noncombatants it demonstrates that he is potentially a dangerous criminal.

Either that or his tough talk is just bluster and he is full of shit.


But Freder thinks ISIS is following international law, specifically the Geneva Conventions, because he is a fucking idiot.

The Geneva Conventions were meant to convince all sides to be humane. The carrot is that if you follow them your people will be treated well. If you don't follow them we will hunt you down like vermin.

We know you are stupid so you wont get this: if you don't follow the Geneva Conventions they don't protect you.

For decent people the point of the Geneva Conventions is to promote humanity. For Freder and the douchebag left the Geneva Conventions only apply to the US and are a means to defeat their real enemy which is us.

Birkel said...

"International norms"???

Starving political opposition? Murdering homosexuals? Imprisoning women who show too much skin? Banning abortions after 24 weeks?

Can you mention some of these "International norms" that are universally supported?

buwaya said...

International norms are mutable.
A hundred years ago international norms were very different, and its not clear that they were worse. Fifty years ago they certainly were worse.
I am a colonialist, by birth and judgement. Some (or rather, many) countries could not run themselves and still cant. Many more operate sub-optimally. Modern international norms are defective in this very important respect.

Drago said...

Birkel (to Freder): "Can you mention some of these "International norms" that are universally supported?"

No, he cannot.

He cannot because discussing these things would reflect badly on Islamic radicals and the left will never budge from their rhetorical support of those radicals.

Ever.

"Je suis Charlie" my ass.

Mike Sylwester said...

The CIA people who went to their office building on a Saturday just to watch this speech must be pissed.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger Freder Frederson said...
. . .
it demonstrates that he is potentially a dangerous criminal.

Oh, please Frederson, everyone on the planet is potentially a dangerous criminal. How many innocents were killed by Obama's drones? On his word alone? Judge, jury, and executioner Barack Hussein Obama.
Say, you aren't one of those mopers who thinks it is more ethical to blow someone to smithereens rather than waterboard them, are you?

Drago said...

Mike Sylwester: "The CIA people who went to their office building on a Saturday just to watch this speech must be pissed."

Mike thinks working at the CIA is like a union job.

Matthew Sablan said...

"It is my guess that each of these twitter wars etc are designed to draw the MSM into continuous war with Trump in order to make any and all criticism of him by the MSM "white noise" and to "help" the MSM beclown themselves."

-- Kind of like playing with stray voltage.

MayBee said...

The "no war for oil" from the Iraq war did have an interesting outcome, didn't it? It shamed Bush into making sure we didn't take control of the oil fields. And the blowback- a term the left often loves- was that ISIS rose and is extremely well funded. So there is an even more cruel war, because of oil.

Lesson for the left: Sometimes the things *you* want also have very poor results.

MayBee said...

I like to think the CIA doesn't close down on the weekends.

DavidD said...

Ann Althouse, Trump whisperer.

Amazing. Simply amazing.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I'm just amazed that the Left seems to WANT the CIA, of all groups, to run the country."

-- Not THE CIA. The CIA under a Democrat president, with Democrat appointees and a Democrat workforce that has a cozy relationship to reliably leak things to a left-leaning press.

Do you think they wanted George Bush's CIA in charge of things? No. This is another example of the left wanting to vest groups they control with lots of power, and suddenly realizing, the shoe is on the other foot now.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"International norms"? When I hear that I think of Obama's frequently repeated claims of "that isn't who we are . . . those aren't our values . . ."
The country I'm from built two atom bombs from scratch and dropped on cities full of civilians.
That's who we are.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Fully agree. Decentralize the Feds and stop giving all of the money to DC. Stick Interior outside of a major metro area. Ditto the FBI. Ditto all agencies. Teleconferences are environmentally sound. It'a a bit of a risk, but why should all of the money go to one small area?"

-- I'd consider agreeing to give D.C. statehood if we decentralized the government.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Matthew Sablan,
Is there a good way to fit 51 stars on the flag?

Freder Frederson said...

Say, you aren't one of those mopers who thinks it is more ethical to blow someone to smithereens rather than waterboard them, are you?

I never agreed with the drone program, it was one of Obama's great failings. That said, targeting combatants is legal and acceptable, deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime. Waterboarding and other forms of torture (regardless of the circumstances, where it occurs, or if the victim is an illegal combatant) are against both U.S. law and international treaty (signed by Ronald Reagan and ratified by the Senate) and if carried out in a wartime situation is also a war crime. If you want to argue that it should be legal, then get rid of the laws that ban it.

Drago said...

Mathew Sablan: "Kind of like playing with stray voltage."

It's much more than that. This isn't just a tactic to "win the communications" day.

This is a strategic, long term, "all the marbles" play to permanently reshape the media battlespace in the favor of Trump by essentially creating a narrative firewall that can never be fully penetrated by the Left Stream Media.

We need to pay attention to what is happening on the local media levels in all the swing states and states Trump lost narrowly.

Again, this has Bannon written all over it.

Did you know Breitbart is creating Bureaus in Paris and Berlin prior to upcoming elections this year in both countries?

This is in addition to the Brexit supporting Bureau Breitbart established in London prior to the Brexit vote.

Again, this strategic play could never have been attempted without 50 years of clear and undeniable media bias.

So congrats lefties! You have truly chosen the forms of your multiple destructors. Now you lefties must find a way to claw out of this quicksand.

The bad news?

The left has never, ever, demonstrated a true adaptive capability.

And if you want proof of that, just take a look at the last 3 months.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Is there a good way to fit 51 stars on the flag?"

-- Probably not. But that sounds like a problem for someone else to figure out. Buck, passed!

FleetUSA said...

I happened to catch the CIA talk "en direct" as the French say (live), your commentary is spot on. He went to prove the old top of the CIA were BH0 political hacks and he jumps them and goes directly to the staff - just like tweeting to the public.

buwaya said...

"Thats who we are"

True. The bien-pensants of the US have a strangely naive idea of what US power really is. Abroad it is usually clearer. All this time it has been a combination of:

"Behave yourselves or else"
"Behave yourselves and you can sell in the greatest market on earth"

The rest is decorative fringing.

Drago said...

Freder: "I never agreed with the drone program, it was one of Obama's great failings"

Too late.

No one is going to accept lectures from you and the left any longer.

That's over.

AllenS said...

Trump needs to embrace the recent women's marchers, with expressing his dismay to learn that Bill Clinton had raped a woman, and had manhandled other women.

Freder Frederson said...

It shamed Bush into making sure we didn't take control of the oil fields.

No it didn't. He knew that wasn't an option. As bad as he was, he wasn't that batshit crazy.

And really, how many troops and how long an occupation would it require to control the oil fields of Iraq?

Ann Althouse said...

"Why didn't you point out that taking the oil is a war crime? And that if he did or does that he will be a bonafide war criminal."

I haven't studied the law or the specifics of the proposal. I doubt it's a war crime if "taking" the oil means securing the production facilities and channeling the money into paying for the security of the country where the oil is located.

Birkel said...

Neither DC not Puerto Rico will gain statehood. States are added two at a time with expectations that the two will not rebalance control of elected bodies.

Unless we add Saskatchewan and Manitoba...

Drago said...

Freder: "And really, how many troops and how long an occupation would it require to control the oil fields of Iraq?"

Ask the ISIS JV team that Obama left in charge. They can certainly tell you as those profits are funding their operations.

Which is crazy really since all they had to do was ask barack "flexible" Obama and he would have delivered cash by the pallet to them!

Particularly if they promised to kill Jews in Israel.

Captain Drano said...

Prof. Althouse and Althousians, this disturbing video tweet has been haunting me since I first saw it yesterday. Anyone else find it deeply disturbing?


https://twitter.com/MayaErgas/status/822831122254036993

(Tweet states "Emotional moment while tying a #hijab at the #womensmarch")

Michael K said...

Freder is kind of amusing in a clueless sort of way.

Obama has run a secret war not that different from Nixon in Cambodia.

The left went nuts about that but it was Nixon, of course, who was the devil to them because of Alger Hiss.

Obama is nice colored boy with no accent "unless he wants to use one" and a crease in his pants. Whatever he does is OK with the lefties.

rhhardin said...

it demonstrates that he is potentially a dangerous criminal

And pussy grabber.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Obama has run a secret war not that different from Nixon in Cambodia."

-- It's a political problem in the U.S., more prevalent on the left than the right, where if your team is in power, you let a lot more slide because "We can trust them not to abuse that power."

rhhardin said...

You can't have war crimes without winners to define it.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"He wants his opponents to underestimate him. They do, and they get blindsided and humiliated. And another comes along who falls for the buffoon trick to be stomped on. Remarkable."

I hope this is right. I voted for him, I like his cabinet picks, I want very much for him to succeed and I despise the Trump haters - but every time I listen to him, I grit my teeth at the rambling pep talk. I support his aims but have always had a difficult time warming up to his style. The critics are gloating about his low approval ratings. They miss - or purposely ignore - the fact that there must be plenty of Trump voters who feel as I do. According to the simplistic media mantra, either you're a rabid Trump hater or a Trump worshipper, with no middle ground.

The fact that his cabinet choices consist of mature, experienced people does indeed lead me to believe that the buffoon act is indeed an act. And the media is, once again, missing the point.

On Fox News Sunday, the panel was hyperventilating over the fact that Trump showed disrespect to the CIA by rambling on about the crowd size while speaking in front of the CIA wall of fallen operatives. But listen to the enthusiastic cheers and chapping Trump received from the rank and file there. Were they offended? It didn't sound like it. Once again, the media is taking umbrage over a crass breech of protocol on behalf of a group that isn't, in fact, offended by it.

Freder Frederson said...

I doubt it's a war crime if "taking" the oil means securing the production facilities and channeling the money into paying for the security of the country where the oil is located.

You have a strange way of defining "taking". And your definition of "taking" makes even less sense when what you describe is exactly what the Bush administration did in Iraq.

If that is what Trump meant by "taking" then he doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.

He appears to be saying that if we had "taken" Iraq's oil ISIS would have been crippled. That is nonsensical since we could not have gotten all the oil out of the ground, so I guess he is talking about a lasting occupation of the oil fields.

Sebastian said...

@Begley, Amadeus et al.: Yes, DJT threw down a marker. I love you, you are going to get a lot of backing -- and you'd better love me back and do something good with all the backing, or else. After Brennan, Clapper et al., you are going to get adult supervision. Clownish and middleschoolish though it sounds, this is the rambling of an operator. And amusing though the AA speech-fisking is, it risks taking him too literally, and not seriously enough in a political sense.

Accusing DJT of not respecting "international norms" is funny, after 8 years of an administration that respected neither international norms (Libya intervention, anyone?) nor national norms. And no, I'm not really bitching at O this time. In dealing with adversaries, we should respect "international norms" only if they do the same with us, in strict reciprocity -- which means, almost never.

Tom-in-VA said...

The number referred to (28/29) at the beginning of Trump's speech is the number of CIA officers killed in the line of duty since the War on Terrorism began, starting with Johnny Micheal Spann in November 2001. Some of the fallen were military special operations personnel attached to CIA at the time of their deaths. See the Wikipedia article on the CIA Memorial Wall.

Drago said...

#FakeNews Freder: "He appears to be saying that if we had "taken" Iraq's oil ISIS would have been crippled."

No he isn't.

But you have your fake talking point.

Hagar said...

Barack Obama's half-brother (also with a white mother) says Barack lays into him for being too "white," and his rejoinder is that Barack tries too hard to be "black."

Sebastian said...

If ISIS leaders are smart, they'd better read up on Andrew Jackson and the Indians. Here's hoping that a Trail of Tears will be their best-case scenario.

Freder Frederson said...

-- It's a political problem in the U.S., more prevalent on the left than the right

Do you seriously believe this? After complaining for eight years about Obama's illegal drone war, you don't bat an eye when Trump advocates committing serious war crimes and torture.

Michael K said...

"He appears to be saying that if we had "taken" Iraq's oil ISIS would have been crippled. "

I apologize to Freder. He seems capable of saying something once in a while that makes sense. I didn't think you had it in you, boy.

Michael K said...

The number referred to (28/29) at the beginning of Trump's speech is the number of CIA officers killed in the line of duty since the War on Terrorism began,

Yes, that was pretty obvious to me from what he said.

Daniel Jackson said...

This is what journalism is supposed to be: a critical assessment of a story that let's the readers draw their own conclusion.

God Bless you and your endeavors.

Birkel said...

Sebastian:
Please tell me exactly what international norms you mean.

PRO TIP: Never accept the framing of the Leftist Collectivists.

cf said...

Wonderful post, Ms. Althouse, thank you for your diagramming mind.

You translate the cadence and form of his speaking style as having the effect of being in his head. I have observed that same "talking to an insider" in his manner and translate it differently: I think these kinds of addresses, he is talking to people as if they have just finished a fine together at an intimate table for four or so. its just him and us and its that free form conversation that doesn't need everything said properly because you are in the room and understand what he is referring to ( like 28/29).

In Mexico tradition, we call it "sobre mesa" = "over the table". The intimate, just us, leisurely time after a dinner together that can extend as short or long as you like, the wonderful exchange of ideas and histories, memories, observations, laughter, renewal.

Even in the amazingly large crowds across the country, in videos of those speeches, he is welcoming anyone who wants to listen to his personal dining table, a select private booth, talking candidly, in friendly "sobre mesa" to all who might hear.

MaxedOutMama said...

Ann - ask Meade what he thinks. My take on this is that (I apologize, don't know how else to say it) is that this was Trump walking in and taking control, aka showing his dick. The seemingly vague stuff about his appointees are a message - I am appointing those who control you; be disloyal and your career will end.

I am pretty certain about my reading, but my resident male is on the road today, so I suggest you ask Meade. Men have their own way of communicating, and I am pretty sure Trump laid down the law - reassuring in that he respects their purpose and mission (which he defines as dealing with external threats), and ominous in that he communicated to them that if they step out of line and blindly follow anyone of the large number of CIA officials who might have loyalties to the Clintons or Bush, the offender will be administratively drawn, quartered, and have his head placed on a pike in the compound for all to see. He is telling them no politics, but otherwise business as usual, and he expects dedicated action on ISIS (which would be a big change from the Obama admin, which clearly just did not want to know).

Men do this sort of thing, and I believe it is quite effective. We are animals, and at least half of our interactions are instinctive, and there are certain ones that women who did not grow up around plenty of men just miss entirely. This did not appear hostile, just dominating.

If Meade has other plans, google male gorillas in confrontation, and maybe that will help. Sometimes the words mean NOTHING.

cf said...

correction:
I think with these kinds of addresses, he is talking to people as if they have just finished a fine dinner together at an intimate table for four or so. its just him and us and its that free form conversation that doesn't need everything said properly . . .

Matthew Sablan said...

"After complaining for eight years about Obama's illegal drone war, you don't bat an eye when Trump advocates committing serious war crimes and torture"

-- You mean the things he suggested that spawned the entire #NeverTrump movement while the people "complaining" about Obama's "illegal drone war" ... did what exactly?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Interesting, positive statement by Jesse Jackson:

http://www.wpxi.com/news/trending-now/jesse-jackson-trumps-inauguration-speech-was-full-of-hope-and-inclusion/486617787

It would be nice to hear that from more Democrats.

Hagar said...

Al Zarqawi's "al Qaeda in Iraq" grew into ISIS when Obama withdrew the U.S. troops, thus delivering the shaky Iraqi government to Iran, and leaving the Iraqi Sunni to their fate.

MaxedOutMama said...

Just started reading through the comments, and it looks like some of the males in the room took it the way I did.

This is the benefit of having a diverse group of commenters.

Sebastian said...

Birkel: Appreciate the pro tip, but "international law" is one of my favorite hobby horses. Friendly advice from an ally: don't encourage me, asking me what I mean and all.

Freder Frederson said...

No he isn't.

Well then explain to me what he meant:

"Now I said it for economic reasons, but if you think about, Mike, if we kept the oil we would probably wouldn’t have ISIS, because that’s where they made their money in the first place. So we should have kept the oil. But okay. [laughter] Maybe we’ll have another chance. But the fact is: we should’ve kept the oil."

Birkel said...

The interpretation Leftist Collectivists give to Trump's words -- about potential future events -- is more important, somehow, than the actions Obama took, past tense.

That is how Leftists believe, logic be damned.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

There he is, President of America
There he is, your ideal
The dream of a million guys who are more than pretty can come true
in D C
For he may turn out to be the King of masculinity

There he is, President of America
There he is, your ideal
With so many beauties he took the town by storm
With his all-American face and form

And there he is
Walking on air, he is
Fairest of the fair, he is
There he is - President of America

rcocean said...

Ha. I love Trump's digressions within digressions. I always cut Trump slack because (1) he's talking off the top his head, not off a telepromter and (2) his "Speeches" are meant to be Listened to, not read.

I also noticed that the lying media, once again took his speech and then mis-represented him. The MSM and liberal bloggers were headlining "Trump claims a million people attended his speech" when he actually said it "looked to him like a million...a million and a half" aka a lot of people.

rcocean said...

The MSM never seem to understand they are playing into Trump's hands with this constant lying and nit-picking. Who cares if it seemed to Trump like a million as opposed to 300.000? No one, except the Trump haters and the MSM.

Birkel said...

Sebastian:
I know you from previous comments. Was not picking a fight. But we should never accept Leftist Collectivist assumptions. They are known liars, fools and knaves.

As to international law, such as it is, Thomas Hobbes understood it. International law is whatever sovereigns decide it is until further notice.

AllenS said...

Trump talking reminds me of when I was an Army paratrooper. We had a cadre of exceptional enlisted men in my unit. We referred to these men as having "a yard of dick and a bag full of balls". Go get 'em Trump.

rcocean said...

Ha. I love Trump's digressions within digressions. I always cut Trump slack because (1) he's talking off the top his head, not off a telepromter and (2) his "Speeches" are meant to be Listened to, not read.

I also noticed that the lying media, once again took his speech and then mis-represented him. The MSM and liberal bloggers were headlining "Trump claims a million people attended his speech" when he actually said it "looked to him like a million...a million and a half" aka a lot of people.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

"Who cares if it seemed to Trump like a million as opposed to 300.000? No one, except the Trump haters and the MSM."

You've got to realize that you left one person off the list of folks who care about this number.

Can you figure out who you forgot?

MackM said...

Just more incoherent rambling, but it's good of you Althouse to try so hard to interpret for us. It still doesn't make sense. Why did you people vote for this loon? You were that gullible?

Yeah "maybe we'll have another chance at keeping the oil." Let's send our troops to another country to win the oil and then stay there to guard it for us. And this incoherent babbling was done in front of the wall that honors the CIA agents who were killed in the line of duty. My God. You people here aren't alarmed yet?

mockturtle said...

What Trump says is of little consequence. What he does will show his mettle.

buwaya said...

Several ways to "keep the oil" in the case of Iraq.
The easiest would simply to have sequestered the proceeds of oil sales and direct funding to Iraqi government agencies as required - i.e., to manage Iraqi finances.
This would have retained US influence in Iraqi affairs, retained Sunni factional loyalties (to the US) and most likely have headed off the gross corruption of its military that proceeded so quickly after US withrawal.
This would have been similar to the 19th century Franco-British financial control of Egypt, mainly in managing Suez canal revenues, which were likewise a windfall grossly mismanaged by the Egyptians for a couple of decades. The Egyptian government collected vast sums and rapidly proceeded to become bankrupt. The Franco-British, and later just British, indirect hegemony over Egypt led to rapid infrastructure and economic development there, and financial stability, which it is strange to say now was widely admired across the Arab-Muslim world. Its been quite a long time though since Egypt has been admired.

Otto said...

Anne you missed his point about having no columns. He was referring to the "fifth column". In essence he is going after those in the CIA that go against his agenda and have agendas of their own.

cubanbob said...

Freder Frederson said...
-- It's a political problem in the U.S., more prevalent on the left than the right

Do you seriously believe this? After complaining for eight years about Obama's illegal drone war, you don't bat an eye when Trump advocates committing serious war crimes and torture."

So tell us how Hillary would have handled drone operations....

Drago said...

Keep squealing lefties.

Just keep squealing. Louder if possible. I can't ask you to be more incoherent of course since you already have that dialed to 11.

The best part: the last 8 years don't exist in Lefty land. Nope, GWBush handed the reins right to Trump! So you will have to forgive the left for their galaxy-sized hypocrisy.

Birkel said...

Lyin'PB:

Trump set the hook. All he cared about was making sure the MSM-fish took the bait. Now that he has them on the line he will give them slack and reel them in, as appropriate to his purposes.

That you believe he cares about the numbers is foolishness. He cares about the fight and making sure the other side engages on poor terrain. The MSM-fish spent half their shows talking about crowd sizes. Average people think that is a dumb thing over which to concern oneself.

The MSM-fish does not know it is wet until it is onboard the U.S.S. Trump, gasping for oxygen.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

Sure Birk,

DJT doesn't care about having large crowds.

Got it.

Robert said...

Althouse: "I haven't studied the law or the specifics of the proposal. I doubt it's a war crime if "taking" the oil means securing the production facilities and channeling the money into paying for the security of the country where the oil is located."

Didn't President Bush once promise that Iraq's oil would pay our costs of reconstructing the country?

I found these quotes from Bush representatives on Google:
"The oil revenue of that country could bring between 50 and 100 billion dollars over the course of the next two or three years. We're dealing with a country that could really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon." -- Paul Wolfowitz http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52375-2005Mar20.html
And:
"Well, the reconstruction costs remain a very -- an issue for the future. And Iraq, unlike Afghanistan, is a rather wealthy country. Iraq has tremendous resources that belong to the Iraqi people. And so there are a variety of means that Iraq has to be able to shoulder much of the burden for their own reconstruction." -- Ari Fleischer https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030218-4.html

buwaya said...

And I note, WRT both ISIS and Iraqi competence, the extended siege of Mosul. This campaign is bogged down, has taken three months now, in spite of ISIS being surrounded (or they should be but apparently arent, yet) outnumbered 10:1 in manpower, and ISIS manpower isnt a tenth sufficient to hold the length of line they have been holding.

Birkel said...

Lyin'PB:

Engage my point. You will learn if you do. It isn't even in my interest to teach you but I am so convinced of your unwillingness to learn that I can explain the strategy to you and know you will gain no advantage.

Hagar said...

MaxedOutMama is onto something: Do your job and I will be behind you all the way; play politics and you will be looking for a job.

Which ties into another NYT article Althouse may do a review on.
article

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

Birk,

I completely agreed w/ your point. As you noted, DJT doesn't care about crowd numbers.

Can't you accept being agreed w/?

MackM said...

"What Trump says is of little consequence. What he does will show his mettle."

Maybe he should become a mime. He'd look more intelligent.

JML said...

Blogger MaxedOutMama

Me and my wife are both former military officers and now work as civil service employees in civilian agencies, but we spent a number of years with DoD agencies. Trump was talking to us -- the action officers who ran the programs below the people who sign the letters and plans we authored or drafted. He was also talking to the people we wrote the stuff for -- leak, and feel my wrath. The average worker bee appreciates this very, very much. And that is why they cheered him. They know what he is is saying. The media and the average leftist doesn't get it.

exiledonmainstreet said...

MaxedOutMama said...
Just started reading through the comments, and it looks like some of the males in the room took it the way I did."

I think you have a point there. Men seem much more comfortable with his speaking style then I am.

When Trump starts talking about The Greatest Victory In the World History of Victories, I'm reminded of my grandpa's fish stories. After a couple of boilermakers, the story of the prize muskie he caught up near Iron Mountain in 1954 turned into a tale of how he harpooned Moby Dick and hauled him into shore with his bare hands. My grandma would roll her eyes and mutter, "Jesu! Once again..."

exhelodrvr1 said...

JML,
Air Force?

Birkel said...

Lyin'PB:
I remain unconcerned that you might learn.

AllenS said...

exile, was your grandmother Italian? As in Gesù Cristo.

Chuck said...

rcocean said...
The MSM never seem to understand they are playing into Trump's hands with this constant lying and nit-picking. Who cares if it seemed to Trump like a million as opposed to 300.000? No one, except the Trump haters and the MSM.


Perfect Trumpian bullshit.

Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam griped about the National Park Service's estimate of 400,000 for the "Million Man March." And we on the right rightly ridiculed Farrakhan for those hysterics.

Now Trump is doing THE EXACT SAME THING.

To me it demonstrates all of the personal (certainly not political) similarities between Trump and Farrakhan.

SayAahh said...

Prof. Althouse's retirement is good.
For her blog it is fantastic.
A poetic and substantive defragmentation of Trump's consciousness.
Wow!

Dr Weevil said...

It's easy to fit 51 stars on a flag. 51 is 17 x 3, so 6 rows, alternating 8 and 9 stars per row, makes a fairly symmetrical 51.

As for taking Iraq's oil, FF has apparently forgotten that that is exactly what the left accused Bush of wanting to do, and I still hear ignorant lefties claiming that that is somehow what he did. All Trump is saying is that maybe we should have taken their oil, if we were going to be blamed for doing it anyway. Of course that means that idiots will have to stop accusing us of having done it already when they realize that that's incompatible with telling us not to do it now.

MaxedOutMama said...

JML - that's the way I took it as far as I am able to understand Basic Guy Language. Yes, much was in shorthand, but he began with the losses and a recognition of the importance of the mission. He is there. He sees the effort and recognizes the risk and thinks the work is important.

I didn't take this as disrespectful at all. It is not the sort of thing you hear in a female-dominated venue, however.

He was demanding loyalty to the mission, though, not to people. And for some higher ups, that might have been a needed message.

The media does not understand the type of culture you and your wife live in AT ALL. That's why they don't understand why the email thing was so excruciating.

Robert said...

It's funny when journalists get on Twitter and declare Trump "lied" when he said "It looked like a million, a million and a half people." That was his subjective opinion of what it looked like to him. It's a lie to call that a lie.
And he wasn't even acting like he was trying to give a factual estimate. "A million to a million and a half" just means it looked like a hell of a lot of people to him, who knows how many -- give or take 500,000, who knows? Just more than the lying media wanted you to think.
Spicer's claims are more problematic, because he was claiming to be stating facts. But when he said more people watched Trump inauguration than any before he was talking about both in attendance and watching on TV. And now Trump claims on Twitter that he had millions more TV viewers than Obama.....

Birkel said...

Chuck, who supports anything anti-Trump, is as unlikely to learn as Lyin'PB.

The only means of control the Leftist Collectivists have is through the media: MSM and Hollywood. Odd that Trump seeks to pick a fight with the only entities the Leftists control, is it?

Maybe he should lose honorably like McCain or Romney or either Bush to those jackals? Idiot.

Anglelyne said...

exiledonmainstreet: I hope this is right. I voted for him, I like his cabinet picks, I want very much for him to succeed and I despise the Trump haters - but every time I listen to him, I grit my teeth at the rambling pep talk. I support his aims but have always had a difficult time warming up to his style.

I have an advantage in that I have this reaction to just about all political speech. It's all a big wad of unbearable to me.

I rarely listen to speeches, but whether I listen or read, I just remind myself that none of this is aimed at people like me, but has other purposes. Just as nobody would ever make money crafting advertisements to appeal to Anglelyne, nobody would ever prosper politically by wasting their time trying to appeal to Anglelyne. Remembering this removes a great deal of the befuddlement and annoyance.

JML said...

Whenever I had to negotiate with the union, I'd have my 10 or 12 points want list. I always told a few folks in the office that number x or number y was nice to have, but that I really, really wanted to win on number XY. And lo and behold, at the table, the union president focused like a laser on XY. After a long battle, I'd reluctantly give up on it. But I always got 90 percent of everything else I wanted. Do you think I really cared much about XY? I'm not saying I'm as smart as Trump. I am saying there are a whole lot of people who are like the union president - they focus on what they other party want's them to focus on and lose sight of the big picture.

exiledonmainstreet said...

No, AllenS, Polish. I should have written Jezu...

Birkel said...

Great point, Anglelyne.

HT said...

"But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.

"And ... I get this network shows an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people.

"Now that’s not bad. But it’s a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around, you know, the little bowl that we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20 block area all the way back to the Washington Monument was packed.

"So we caught them. And we caught them in a beauty. And I think they’re going to pay a big price."

JML said...

Maxed out Mama -- EXACTLY! THE MISSION! It is always about the mission. I guess we are old school that way. I talk that way now in a civilian agency and the veterans working there nod their head in understanding, and the civilians get glassy-eyed. The agency I am now in actively recruits veterans...then don't understand why they leave and go to a DoD agency.

Joe said...

I think what Trump is doing is far more simple. We know that the CIA has been extremely wrong many times recently. What isn't clear is how much of these are errors of the rank and file and how much is due to upper management--both appointees and those that answer to the appointees--massaging the data and the message.

I think Trump got his answer to that during his briefings, which were very likely from career CIA officers. They didn't have to say it or even imply it--Trump simply compared what they said to what Brennan and others of his level were saying.

Trump's motivation, then, is quite simple--win over the rank and file. He did that by giving a long meandering speech, the contents of which were irrelevant. What was relevant is that the speech took time--it wasn't just a meet, greet and run. Trump sent the message that THIS time with the rank and file was more important than time spent elsewhere.

Danno said...

damikesc said..."It's not like we are lacking for office space."

We should put some of these DC people into old decrepit factories, i.e., "the rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape" that you find all across America.

Anglelyne said...

JML: Me and my wife are both former military officers and now work as civil service employees in civilian agencies, but we spent a number of years with DoD agencies. Trump was talking to us -- the action officers who ran the programs below the people who sign the letters and plans we authored or drafted. He was also talking to the people we wrote the stuff for -- leak, and feel my wrath. The average worker bee appreciates this very, very much. And that is why they cheered him. They know what he is is saying. The media and the average leftist doesn't get it.

Thanks for this input, JML. This wasn't even a speech for the general public, and still some people just cannot grasp that it isn't all about them, and their concerns.

Solipsism? Narcissism? Stupidity? Who knows.

Alex said...

When Trump says we need to eliminate radical Islam from the Earth, the left hears "he wants to exterminate all Muslims".

You can spin it all you like, but Trump is seen as a Nazi by 50% of the world if not more.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Truly a great post.
In a way one can understand people being unnerved rather than amused by a Trump speech. I would say he absolutely refuses to deliver a set speech, even if one is prepared for him. There was always a suspicion that the Bushes would sound like this if they wandered from a text, but they were usually too disciplined to do that. Trump speaks to audiences as if he is addressing some staffer who is by his elbow all day long, and will get all the references.
I've been e-mailing people to say I much prefer this to forgettable speeches written by committees.

Birkel said...

Anglelyne:
Do you think the fish regret taking the bait after they are hooked? Trump seems more like a sports fisherman likely to mount the MSM prizes he catches. I do not believe he will catch and release the first few.

The MSM believed the speech was for them to interpret. Now they are in an ice chest onboard the U.S.S. Trump.

rcocean said...

I just read the ABC News show interview of Conway by George Democrat Step-and- fetch. It shows how the MSM are playing into Trump's hands. Georgie keeps going back to the Crowd size like an obsessed crazy person and that allows Conway to keep saying "We need to talk about the real issues, Jobs, the border, ISIS, etc."

It made Georgie look like a partisan hack playing trivial pursuit.

rcocean said...

"You can spin it all you like, but Trump is seen as a Nazi by 50% of the world if not more."

And you can spin it all you like, but Obama was seen as a Commie-Muslim by 50% of the world.

So maybe, "The World" doesn't know what its talking about.

jacksonjay said...

I remember a certain Obama voting blogger being smitten with Hope and Change. Her affection slowly faded. It is not a sprint, it's .....!

Birkel said...

@rcocean

Point of Order: It exposed George Snuffalupagus as the Leftist Collectivist partisan that any sentient being knows he is.

rcocean said...

Again, the MSM has been doing this for 1.5 years without success. Remember how they kept asking Trump to denounce the KKK? He denounced them and denounced them and denounced them, until everyone was sick and tired of it. And then after disavowing them 49 times in a row, he took a couple hours to denounce them for the 50th time. The MSM then went into bat-shit crazy mode for a whole weekend. "Trump refuses to disavow KKK!!!!".

It made them look like partisan hacks - which they are.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Thanks for the work on this post, Professor.

Chuck you missed an opportunity to criticize Trump! He said his appointee is going to be a star while standing in a place where stars represent people killed in the line of duty. That's a terrible choice of metaphor, Chuck, and you should be all over making fun of Trump for that. Did you skip coffee this morning?

exiledonmainstreet said...

" This wasn't even a speech for the general public, and still some people just cannot grasp that it isn't all about them, and their concerns."

Yes. As I said earlier, the applause in that room was not lukewarm and polite, but warmly enthusiastic.

The media is also moaning that there was no attempt to reach out to "diverse groups" during the Inaugural speech, entirely missing the point that the whole point was to appeal to Americans to see themselves as Americans, and not as black Americans, gay Americans, Hispanic Americans, female Americans, etc. They can't understand a pol who doesn't trot out the laundry list of pet victims every time he opens his mouth.

HT said...

Some think the focusing on the inauguration numbers is a sign of a fragile ego, tendency to lie, and a thin skin. Others think it is brilliant strategery.

The separate everything continues, running side by side next to each other, but never touching.

gbarto said...

Scott Adams says Trump uses a lot of high level persuasion techniques. Now, I was trained in Kappassinian hypnosis, not Ericksonian, like Scott. But one thing they taught us was that overwhelming the senses was key to knocking down mental filters so you could get your client to accept messages about not smoking or overeating or whatever uncritically. You note that Trump goes all over the place, then drifts back to the same points. And then he drifts and you drift along and then, bang, amidst the rambling there's that point again. I wonder if it's on purpose.

Birkel said...

HT enters the learning nothing and proud of it sweepstakes. We have a great number of qualified entries.

buwaya said...

The Mosul situation is rather curious.
Its generally assumed, I think, that the whole thing is being run under covert US direction i.e., the CIA. This is not a bad assumption, some of the more powerful units involved, like the Kurds, are armed, advised and directly supported by US personnel and combat units, mostly special forces, and doubtless the US has "political officers" engaged with the leadership of the various factions.
Some of the Iraqi units also, based on their known armament and presumably the logistics thereof.
But there has been this stagnation, with no obvious military reason for it.
Something is off about the whole thing, it doesnt smell right. Add this to a host of other curious situations over the last two-three years. Given the balance of resources ISIS should not exist.
Perhaps that was in the subtext of the Trumpian address. I am sure he knows of matters we dont.

wildswan said...

"I enjoyed your play by play. Trump really does digress in his digressions and express himself clumsily"; "incoherently coherent speeches";

Amadeus 48 said... (His take on the speech); "Trump is using the calculation of supporting the grunts and vigorously opposing the clowns in charge the last few decades."

So at Althouse there is a subgenre of "what did Trump say" blogs and comments. Which is great. It's what the media should be doing but they have chosen to propaganda only for the losers, not the winner. Propaganda can't asknowledge the other side; news used to be fair and balanced; blogs and alt media like AM radio and Breitbart and local papers carry the torch now.

The White House Press room should have 15 bloggers and journalists from local papers across the country on a rotating basis, removing 15 anti-Trump progandists to make the space. And the fisrt one chosen should be Althouse who was in Wisconsin during the great Walker struggle and knows the terrain of such a struggle.


My Take on the Trump speech:

I expected to have the new CIA director but ... politics. I am behind Mike Pompeo 100%, so get on board. [These statements are being applauded which is part of the story]. And I am behind you despite media disinformation. I came here first. I know you supported me [despite John Brennan participating in media disinformation. as you very well know, without me mentioning it] and so did the military [despite the reports that the military intelligence agencies support the Russian hacking story.]

Here is your mission. I want you to fight ISIS. Not Islam, but ISIS. We need to good intelliegence to do so. I will allow good intelligence analysis and I will allow the US to win. [Now you guys know about disinformation. So let me] describe some coming out of the media [not from Brennan, that would be too pointed] just to show I know disinformation when I see it 1. Inauguration attendence, Pix selected. 2. Accusation that I got rid of King statute. No, I respect "Dr Martin Luther King". The media is lying = media is hacking our democracy, not Russia.]

[But about Russia I want to make this subtle point.]

I respect Churchill [who thought the US was and must be the leader of the free world. As you CIA people will realize this a policy statement.] Applause. [Applause for returning Churchill bust is applause for a policy and an attitude.]

Summary: There is a free world engaged in a struggle and I am its leader and I need honest intelligence and I expect it from you when led by Pompeo. A great guy, a gem, a star - I support him, get on board. And my approach is not to insult anyone but ISIS. And this is how I will be: "In war, resolution, in defeat, defiance, in victory magnanimity." And do not let oil revenue fall into the hands of fanatics.

AllenS said...

Soon, soon my friends, Trump will tell the MSM to go to hell, and they'll look forward to going on the trip.

Achilles said...

JML said...
"Maxed out Mama -- EXACTLY! THE MISSION! It is always about the mission. I guess we are old school that way. I talk that way now in a civilian agency and the veterans working there nod their head in understanding, and the civilians get glassy-eyed. The agency I am now in actively recruits veterans...then don't understand why they leave and go to a DoD agency."

This is why we wont need to burn DC to the ground. Enough of us stayed in there and will clean the rot out from the bottom up. Under the right leadership we can return to a time when DC was populated by people who serve the country rather than progressives who want to lord over it.

rcocean said...

"Some think the focusing on the inauguration numbers is a sign of a fragile ego, tendency to lie, and a thin skin."

He didn't "focus" on it. He just mentioned it in passing. Its the MSM that is focusing in on it, and turning it into THE MOST IMPORTANT STORY. They just can't resist the bait. TRUMP LIED! TRUMP IS WRONG! TRUMP IS XXX - that's what the desperately want to report.

Same thing with the MSM lie about the MLK picture being removed. The Time reporter desperately wanted to make Trump look bad, so he didn't check with Trump's Press secretary and filed a false story.

buwaya said...

In re Mosul, presumably the hottest hot point of the ISIS-war, with by far the largest forces engaged, over 100,000 men, and the bulk of actual US forces deployed, I also note remarkably little MSM interest, few if any embedded, and those largely local assets.
Someone does not want to bring attention to this front.
That, by the way, is the most important function of the US MSM, in political terms. They can selectively report, they can remove attention. This is much more powerful than spinning words.

mockturtle said...

The MSM wouldn't dare start being reasonable with Trump now. It would look like they were kowtowing. Like they did willingly with Obama.

Achilles said...

HT said...
"Some think the focusing on the inauguration numbers is a sign of a fragile ego, tendency to lie, and a thin skin. Others think it is brilliant strategery.

The separate everything continues, running side by side next to each other, but never touching."

You know this is just helping trump get reelected right? On second thought you might not...

jacksonjay said...

Did anyone catch Limbaugh on Thursday? He was orgasmic over the fact that Trump was gonna cut the DEBT in half over 10 years! I thought I heard it wrong, so I went to Limbaugh's website, and sure enough, there it is. Must be that "seriously" not "literally" argument that was so convincing to so many. Not a politician! Starting the Negotiations! Lock Her Up!

I think everyone needs to calm down!

Anglelyne said...

MaxedOutMama @10:42 AM:

Very interesting observations. I think this also speaks to how "feminized" most modern political speech has become. Interestingly, it's also the case in feminized speech that "the words mean NOTHING". They just mean nothing in an entirely different way.

I think this goes a long way toward explaining the bizarre interpretations some of our resident lefties and True Conservatives put on speech whose meaning seems pretty straightforward to others.

mockturtle said...

That, by the way, is the most important function of the US MSM, in political terms. They can selectively report, they can remove attention. This is much more powerful than spinning words.

Right, buwaya! Selective reporting and selective focus are more insidious than the reporting, itself.

MayBee said...

Last night, Jake Tapper, who I usually like, retweeted Trump's "What is this? Nazi Germany?" tweet as a rebuttal to Trump saying he didn't say anything bad about the IC in the room with him.
But to me it's pretty clear the IC in the room with him got that he wasn't talking about them. Or at least, that this was his explanation that to them that he wasn't talking about them.

I don't know why we are supposed to believe the people who work at Langley just love whatever boss in put in front of them every 8 years. I don't remember a lot of stories about great devotion to Brennan. Not like we hear about how much troops love Mattis.

MayBee said...

buwaya said...

It's true. Aleppo was briefly in and then out of the news- it was used for a time to show that Trump didn't care enough about the world, I think.
But I have CNN on all the time and I have no idea what is happening in Syria, in Yemen, in Iraq or Afghanistan right now. How are the Arab Spring countries doing? I don't know.

Freder Frederson said...

Spicer's claims are more problematic, because he was claiming to be stating facts. But when he said more people watched Trump inauguration than any before he was talking about both in attendance and watching on TV. And now Trump claims on Twitter that he had millions more TV viewers than Obama.....

Which is of course a lie. In both attendance and on TV, Obama's first inauguration exceeded Trumps (and the weather was much worse). These little flights of fantasy wouldn't bother me so much if it wasn't for the fact that the Trump administration is lying to accuse the media of lying.

And Spicer's little tirade, especially when he didn't have the facts on his side, was completely unhinged.

buwaya said...

Further comment on MSM filters.
This used to be a left-wing trope.
The late SF Bay Guardian, the main mouthpiece of the Bay Area left, regularly harped on this. They had regular issues on what they considered deliberately underreported stories, and on media concentration/coordination, which they saw as a right wing conspiracy.
I was an assiduous reader of the Bay Guardian.
I regret its passing.
They sometimes made good points, though usually inadvertently.
This line of complaint has disappeared, perhaps sometime in the late Bush administration.

MackM said...

If the Press would stop reporting on Trump he'd have a nervous breakdown, or he'd an invent an "alternate" Press. There are those "alternate facts" to "report", right Kellyann?

Birkel said...

buwaya and mockturtle:

Trump has found a way to rewire the MSM. Like a trial lawyer who asks a question in front of a jury that will not be allowed if there is an objection, Trump puts the thought in the jury's mind. Sure, the MSM tells the jury to disregard what the lawyer said but the words remain in the memory. DO NOT THINK OF A PURPLE ELEPHANT!!

Then the MSM draws attention to the PURPLE ELEPHANT by continually discussing the non-existent PURPLE ELEPHANT. And the unfiltered message that the MSM furiously denied becomes a story people understand. The PURPLE ELEPHANT is confirmed by all the defense attorneys simultaneously objecting to the Trump attorneys' leading PURPLE ELEPHANT questions.

The Leftist Collectivists cannot learn of this trick. As in they literally cannot. It is beyond their collective capacity.

MackM said...

"And Spicer's little tirade, especially when he didn't have the facts on his side, was completely unhinged."

Aw, give him a break, he was just addressing the "alternate facts".

exiledonmainstreet said...

Same thing with the MSM lie about the MLK picture being removed. The Time reporter desperately wanted to make Trump look bad, so he didn't check with Trump's Press secretary and filed a false story.

1/22/17, 12:12 PM

It was punch, counter-punch. The real story was that the Churchill bust had been returned to the Oval Office, as a clear sign to the UK that the "Special Relationship" was going to be restored and as a rebuke to Obama's deliberate, petty slight.

The Time reporter wanted to shift the narrative away from that by throwing salt on already inflamed racial tensions. Trump has no respect for the country's greatest Civil Rights hero, ergo, he has no respect for black Americans. Suddenly we're all talking about the MLK bust, not the Churchill one.

That is how the media will operate - any positive gesture or action by Trump will be accompanied by some negative, something designed to look like a smack in the face to a group which is already suspicious of Trump, even if the media has to concoct the insult.

That deserves to get slapped down every single time it happens.

Birkel said...

Here comes Freder Frederson, eager to prove my point.

Chuck said...

rcocean said...
I just read the ABC News show interview of Conway by George Democrat Step-and- fetch. It shows how the MSM are playing into Trump's hands. Georgie keeps going back to the Crowd size like an obsessed crazy person and that allows Conway to keep saying "We need to talk about the real issues, Jobs, the border, ISIS, etc."

It made Georgie look like a partisan hack playing trivial pursuit.


It makes Kellyanne Conway, an intelligent person who, when she was doing work for the Ted Cruz campaign, look like she was dodging the question.

And it is a uniquely good and fair point, on which to pressure her. Because of the decision within Team Trump to do that goofball press conference, elevating the whole crowd size issue. Trump could have let it go. Trump should have let it go. He didn't, and so now there are some hard questions, with no good answers other than, "Can't we please talk about something else?"

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