April 8, 2017

CNN analyzes the photograph of Trump's Mar-a-Lago war room.

"What this photo of Trump's war room tells us."

It's nice to see all the participants identified and to see the names of 3 people who you'd think might be there but were not (and to know they participated "via secure teleconference from Washington"), but I think it's silly to purport to be explaining what the photograph "tells" us and to go wandering into one's own mind and finding associations:
What does the photo evoke?

The photo has already been likened to the iconic picture of former President Barack Obama huddled with his national security team in the White House Situation Room as they monitor via live video the killing of Osama bin Laden. The picture is shot from the same angle, with the president receiving a briefing on the operation he just ordered.
If we're going to compare the photographs, there are some notable differences. Trump is sitting at the head of his table, with his advisers arrayed around him. Obama is off to one side, at approximately the position of the Secretary of Commerce in the Trump photo.

At the head of Obama's table is the one man in uniform (Marshall B. Webb, the Assistant Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command). In the Trump photo, there is also one man in uniform. He's the only person in the photograph standing — he's standing at the door — and the only person CNN doesn't identify. In the Obama photograph, many participants are standing, not just the doorkeeper.

Another difference is that in the Obama photograph, the table is covered with laptops and 2 participants — Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates — have paper cups, perhaps coffee cups. In the Trump photograph, there are no laptops on the table, and nobody but the President has a drink. It's water, and it's in a glass.

If we're going to talk about what photos "tell" us and drag in this second photograph, let's not stop at squeeing over its iconicness. Let's ask what the difference between the 2 photographs tells us. You may think this is trivial, but I'm just following CNN's lead here. You could infuse a lot of meaning into the differences. The distinction I indentified could be used to spin out an interpretation that Trump is more presidential, more commanding, etc. etc.

If interpreting photographs is what we're doing.

114 comments:

Angel-Dyne said...

AA: ... it's silly to purport to be explaining what [fill in the blank] "tells" us and to go wandering into one's own mind and finding associations...

Modern journalism in a nutshell.

Kate said...

Sitting hunched and with brow furrowed.

Cripes, he has bad posture and RBF. He always looks like this.

David said...

idiots

tcrosse said...

We examine the photos to find rationalizations for the conclusions we have already reached.

Ann Althouse said...

In case you're inclined to muse over the use of the word "squee," I dug up the Urban Dictionary definition, which is unusually popular, with 2144 up-votes over 323 thumbs down: "A noise primarily made by an over-excited fangirl, however it has spread rapidly and is now widely spread among the web community. Omg!! New Harry Potter book out!! Omg Squee squee! omg!!!"

Laslo Spatula said...

I don't trust a war room that doesn't have ashtrays.

I am Laslo.

Big Mike said...

Ah, I thought it had been established that Obama was photoshopped into that "iconic" War Room picture. Is that just a modern urban legend?

Humperdink said...

So Obamas's staff uses throw away cups. Trump's is reusable. Of course, the paper/foam cups could be recycled - maybe that's why the uniformed officer is seated at the head of the table, to insure that happens.

It's no surprise Obama is seated in the rear - leading/slouching from behind.

David said...

"Trump is sitting at the head of his table, with his advisers arrayed around him. Obama is off to one side, at approximately the position of the Secretary of Commerce in the Trump photo."

If you sit at the head of the table you are supposed to, you know, lead. Not saunter in at some point and make an appearance, but actually lead people in digging through the issues and deciding on action. Not saying Obama never did that, but it's a poor choice of photos to compare. The meeting tends to be mushy and pointless if the boss is not engaged.

Freeman Hunt said...

Why the small room?

M Jordan said...

I always thought Obama looked like a bystander in his iconic photo. And a weakling.

Disclaimer: I don't care for Obama.

Paco Wové said...

"bad posture and RBF"

RBF? What is this "RBF"?

EDH said...

No Susan Rice?

I guess they didn't plan on lying OBL to death.

David Begley said...

Why Wilbur Ross, the .Secretary of Commerce? I figure he was in FL primarily because of the China meetings. Of course he should be there. Also a long time friend of Trump's.

Trump's cabinet is one of the best things about this presidency. Imagine the hacks Hillary would have appointed.

M Jordan said...

Has anyone done a count of the use of the word "I" in Trump's vs. Obama's speeches after these two events. I'm guessing Obama wins the I-count 50 to 1.

Humperdink said...

War Room? Why is it labelled a War Room? Are we at war with Syria? Or are we just sticking our big toe in?

I remember Hillary's husband's War Room back in the nineties - it was a political War Room. They had several enemies and declared war on them. Nuts and sluts, Ken Starr.....

Rusty said...

"but I think it's silly to purport to be explaining what the photograph "tells" us and to go wandering into one's own mind and finding associations:"

It's funny you should post this because just five minutes ago Rachael Maddow was droning on about the exact same thing. Everybody on the left gets their talking points from the same source.
Not an original thought amung them.

AReasonableMan said...

Trump is self-evidently trying to draw a comparison between lobbing a few missiles into a failed state and sending troops into a nuclear power in order to bring the worst terrorist in US history to justice. Sad!

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Althouse must be doing' some sorta Silly Saturday thing-y.

Funny gal, that one.

Anywho, this CNN piece, as we and she all know, was packed w/ concrete info/facts, but it's more fun to pretend that it was all about speculating, e.g., jabbering re stuff on the level of who did and didn't have cups, the types of cups and the type of liquid that may or may not have been in the cups.

Oh, and never mind the previous meeting on the patio, now DJT is out-presidentialling BHO, even in BHO's own photo setup! So take that libs. MAGA!

Humperdink said...

Someone help me here .... what are the gadgets on Trump conference table?

Fernandinande said...

Just off camera, the Diane Arbus grenade kid. No fighting!

David said...

Other differences:

Trump room smaller, looks crowded. Result = shorter meeting
Trump room chairs not upholstered and plush also = shorter meeting but more expensive chairs.
Trump planning attack, Obama micromanaging attack in progress.
Trump room more doors. Better if they want to turn it into a game show.
One woman in Trump photo, two in Obama. Women twice as empowered with Obama.
Obama photo has one black person, Trump zero. Blacks infinitely more empowered with Obama.

Once written, twice... said...

It is sad that Ann is now having to do these kinds of silly posts to justify her past year and a half inability to write critically of Trump.

Snark said...

There is a great deal of revealing irony in Althouse pinning going "wandering into one's own mind and finding associations" on CNN when what they've done is stop at including the fact that the picture has been noted as evoking the Obama War Room photo - which it has, on the BBC and in many other places.

Mark O said...

I was once a cowboy. Squee is the sound a pig makes.
Photographic phrenology changes everything.

I recall the Obama picture for how small he looked and how distressed Clinton appeared.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Every man ( except the one in uniform ) in the Trump photo is in a suit, jacket on and tie tied. Only two of the men in Obama's photo are similarly suited.

whitney said...

I think the point is however BHO did it is right and any deviation from the model is wrong. The media is unbelievably pathetic

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

And, come on.

We know he's a home state kid.

But, if anyone really wanted to evaluate this pic, wouldn't ya need to start at the bald spot?

Just sayin'

Carol said...

My first thought was that Trump is enjoying is role immensely.

David said...

Also, rooms pretty much equal in bald or balding white men. Tie.

AReasonableMan said...

The fun thing with the Trump admin is all the infighting. Twitter says...

"Kushner is a traitor to the American people, we have had enough of his globalist agenda influencing our President. #FireKushner"

"#FireKushner must be removed, like a cancer you spread evil. Ivanka you betrayed your father, who brought you in, let him take u out"

"We voted for the Bannon-Miller line: no wars, end immigration. Not the Ivanka-Kushner line: more wars, endless "refugees." #FireKushner"

"Bannon was right! Kushner is a globalist and a cuck. His interests are not aligned with the American people. Out! Out! Out!#FireKushner"

M Jordan said...

Okay, I just did an word-analysis of Trump's Syrian attack speech and Obama's Bin Laden speech. Here are the salient results:

Trump used the word "I" twice. Obama used the word "I" ten times and the word "my" three times. Trump did not use the word "my."

Trump used 266 words. Obama used 1387 words.

Conclusion: Obama is a self-absorbed prick.

Purvi Rajani said...

I always thought the Obama Bin Laden picture demonstrated his lack of engagement. He was pulled in from the golf course that day so the photo could be staged. Everyone else looked like they had been there for hours doing the actual work.
Obama seemed to enjoy the campaigning part but the governing, not so much. Weird how the media had lots of stories about Rove and Cheney running BUsh's Whitehouse and Bannon and Kushner running Trump's but shied away from exposing how Valerie Jarret ran the show for Obama.

Humperdink said...

@OWT. You returned to say that?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"I think the point is however BHO did it is right and any deviation from the model is wrong. The media is unbelievably pathetic"

Actually, it's the DJT folks who are sending you that message, not the media.

Hence they released this pic a week after the patio summit pics.

Danno said...

My two takeaways are that the lamestream media spends a lot of time wandering and wondering.

Bob Ellison said...

That photo tells us that Reince Priebus should go full Michael Jordan tout de suite.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The guy in uniform is a colonel and wearing a zoomie uniform. Probably there as someone`s aide or maybe in charge of the people who install and maintain the encryption tech.

David said...

David Begley said...
Why Wilbur Ross, the .Secretary of Commerce? I figure he was in FL primarily because of the China meetings. Of course he should be there. Also a long time friend of Trump's.


Lincoln debated nearly every important decision with his full cabinet. No blacks or women though.

Humperdink said...

3RD Grade PD said: "Althouse must be doing' some sorta Silly Saturday thing-y."

Let's not lose sight of the fact this discussion had it's roots at CNN. Also known as, the "Trump is a Prick" network.

M Jordan said...

A couple years ago my brothers-in-law and I got into a heated debate over the difference between a "prick" and a "dick." I contended the key difference is that a prick thinks he's better than everyone else (and is usually richer) and a dick thinks everybody is just as bad as he is.

I now contend that Obama represents a prick and Trump a dick. I further contend that these two men are the perfect embodiments of these two terms. Further, I content that these two words, represented by these two men, boil down America neatly into two groups divided by a theological distinction. That distinction is Pricks think they're better than others and dicks think we're all sinners. Pricks are Pharisees, dicks are the woman caught in the act of adultery.

You're welcome.

AReasonableMan said...

Of course there are always some discontents:

"I don't prefer either side in the
#FireBannon vs #FireKushner
In fact, I think BOTH are unqualified, classless pricks who belong in jail."

"Just imagine, if u will, if HRC had won + her son-in-law + Michael Moore were in the war room w/ her"

"Alt-Right, sure y'all just a bunch of racists but #FireKushner should trend just like #FireBannon & #ImpeachTrump because #INCOMPETENCE"

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

I was called a prick recently.

I told someone that they had twenty seconds to decide that they'd resign, or I'd decide that they were terminated (w/ all the HR legal stuff, of course.)

I sometimes do this when I'm trying to be nice. Offering someone a little face saving re their resume and seeking future positions.

I guess that dude was a dick.

Michael K said...

Obama seemed to enjoy the campaigning part but the governing, not so much.

Yes, I had the same impression all along. He was pretty good at fund raising.

Obama in that "iconic photo" looks like he is sitting on the floor or a low stool and has a golf jacket on. My impression always was that he did not participate but was called in for the photo.

I am not happy with this attack as I thought, if a message was the purpose, blowing up all his palaces would be better.

Michael K said...

ARM is going nuts with the # stuff. CNN wondered if Kushner has a security clearance.

Nobody in Clinton's White House could have gotten a security clearance.

AReasonableMan said...

While Trump is pissing around in the middle east this is what China is doing. Sad!

Sebastian said...

@MJ: " I contended the key difference is that a prick thinks he's better than everyone else (and is usually richer) and a dick thinks everybody is just as bad as he is." Correct. As a Greek logician pointed out long ago, all dicks are assholes, but not all assholes are dicks.

Humperdink said...

According to Hump's Rural DICKtionary, Dick is the one syllable equivalent for A**hole. Prick is nastiness personified.

Humperdink said...

@Sebastian ..... timing is everything. LOL

M Jordan said...

@Sebastian: "As a Greek logician pointed out long ago, all dicks are assholes, but not all assholes are dicks."

Well stated and accurate. This is the kind of refined logic I appreciate greatly.

Sebastian said...

My first thought: thank God she's not in it.

I confess that looking at the picture reinforced my irrational, unaccountable, prejudicial glee that Hillary really, truly lost the election.

Hagar said...

My caption for Hillary's expression for that photo was "This is not good; I should not have come here!"

Which I think she was right about. Assassinating bin Laden in that way was not just wrong; it was stupid.

Humperdink said...

Hillary does look terrified in that photo.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Freeman Hunt said...

Why the small room?

My guess is that it is a SCIF ( Secure Compartmentalized Information Facility ) set up so that Trump and top advisors can view/discuss classified information. Once you have set up such a facility, you need to restrict access to it, so the space becomes unusable for any purpose involving people without security clearance.

Makes sense to have the facility as small as possible, since most of the time it probably only needs to hold three or four people.

steve uhr said...

With Osama there were Americans at real danger and we didn't know for certain Osama was even there. More questions...more worries and it shows on their faces. And does Trump have a rule against standing? Doesn't look like Spicer could even see he screen.

And what are they even looking at? The missiles being launched from the ship? Yawn.

AReasonableMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

I believe squee is the orgasm sound made by an Asian women. But what do I know. Ask the President.

Drago said...

3rdgrader: "I told someone that they had twenty seconds to decide that they'd resign, or I'd decide that they were terminated (w/ all the HR legal stuff, of course.)

I sometimes do this when I'm trying to be nice. Offering someone a little face saving re their resume and seeking future positions."

I'm not sure that it matters much to the 12 year old who mows lawns for extra cash whether he "quits" or is terminated, but I suppose it was worth it if it helped you with your self-esteem issues.

traditionalguy said...

How do you feel seeing a pic?
I love McMaster. He is the one steering them away from LBJ's arrogant micro management style. I trust him.

Bannon just wants to be Admiral Farragut at the Battle of New Orleans, so McMaster has had him sit in the back.

The Goldman Sachs boys just want to get out of there and call their Broker.

And back in China, the show goes on with the Xi and father of Ivanka.

OGWiseman said...

One more small difference: Obama's photo was taken during a high-stakes mission, where American personnel were on the ground and at grave risk, and it resulted in the death of the most infamous terrorist in world history at the end of a ~10-year manhunt. Trump's photo was taken while the President launched missiles at an air base that had already been pre-emptied, to do nothing more than send a signal that America is tough.

So Presidential, though!

buwaya said...

"squee is the orgasm sound made by Asian women"

Not in my experience.

wwww said...


Foreign intelligence agencies must be trying to insert spies in Mar A Lago.

AReasonableMan said...

Drago said...
I'm not sure that it matters much to the 12 year old


Sometimes it behooves us all to step aside from the concerns of mere partisanship and admire a fellow craftsman's work.

Jason said...

Wow. 3rd Grade PB may have just admitted to violating Federal law, according to the libtard interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as interpreted by Obama appointees on the National Labor Relations Board.

Good going, libtards!

traditionalguy said...

When the Syrian guys were on interviews this morning, they were jubilant about the strike, and their name for DJT, translates to "Ivanka The American's Father."

steve uhr said...

M Jordon, re your word "analysis", I thought the word I was the word that leaders are supposed to use. I guess I am wrong.

Bruce Hayden said...

Biggest difference is that Trump is in charge, and Obama merely an innocent bystander. In Trump's case, you see the people who probably have the most importance here at the table, with the Sec of State right next to him. I probably would have put State to his right, Treasury where State is, and Commerce one seat down (where Treasury was). Still, right around Trump at the table is significant. Kushner, because of his youth would normally be standing, but his being next down on that side is significant. Priebus got to the table, but down at the end on the wrong side. This is a working meeting with Trump running it. Personally, what I want in a President.

steve uhr said...

And, not to get picky, but according to your analysis, Obama said "I" once every 139 words, and Trump said "I" once every 133 words. So what exactly is your point?

Bruce Hayden said...

Talking about seating arrangements around a table reminded me of a story. Men typically know where to sit, based on their status and importance. This is a guy thing. So, apparently there was a new woman to a group who had the temerity to sit to the right of the guy at the head of the table. Which bumped everyone down one chair because no guy would be so gauche as to suggest that a lady had sat in the wrong chair. Pretty soon, she took over the duties of the #2, who used to sit to the head guy's right.

steve uhr said...

Bruce -- the biggest difference is that Trump is in charge? I guess people see what they want to see. Trump would not ever not sit in the most prominent position. Appearances not as big a deal for Obama.

And Obama's head was on the line big time if Osama wasn't there or mission ended in disaster. Trump not so much. What can go wrong? Missiles hit target as programmed. Not too much to sweat over.

tcrosse said...

And, not to get picky, but according to your analysis, Obama said "I" once every 139 words, and Trump said "I" once every 133 words. So what exactly is your point?

That being the case, Trump and Obama are equally narcissistic. Stuff that in your tu quoque and smoke it.

Francisco D said...

Trump and his people look like they are dealing with serious business.

Obama looks like he is pissed at getting pulled off the golf course. Hillary looks like she is 30 seconds from crapping in her Depends.

Gates, Daley and Biden look serious, but in Slow Joe's case, he's trying to figure out the name of the TV show.

Balfegor said...

Re: Freeman Hunt:

Why the small room?

Exactly my reaction -- don't they have any larger conference rooms at Mar-a-Lago? Were they all booked, and the President decided he wouldn't bump anyone?

J2 said...

Dan Coats, DNI also present via conference.

RBF. Really Bad (something). Face?

walter said...

Blogger Freeman Hunt said...Why the small room?
--
I thought the same. And this is before the Jimmy John's they're ordering stink up the room.

richard mcenroe said...

Obama is sitting off to one side and lower, his physical presence diminished, as though in a smaller chair brought in at the last moment.

His dress is extremely casual, even down to what appears to be a windbreaker he hasn't bothered to take off.

His expression is sullen and resentful, as though he didn't mean to be there, intended not to be there, and is angry about being caught trying not to be there.

My guess is Principal ValJar caught Truant Barry trying to duck school assembly.

richard mcenroe said...

For the record,the original appearance of the word "squee" was in the 1960s comic'Magnus, Robot Fighter.' It was the sound effect evil robots made when he destroyed them.

J2 said...

Chairs in Trump SCIF look like Charivari chairs. Also known as "White House Chairs" by wedding planners.

https://goo.gl/images/IbcUsR

MayBee said...

#gutsycall

Yancey Ward said...

I actually think the existence of both photographs are atrocious- they shouldn't have been taken at all, and definitely not released for propaganda purposes. To me it shows a lack seriousness.

Drago said...

ARM: "Sometimes it behooves us all to step aside from the concerns of mere partisanship and admire a fellow craftsman's work."

Thank you ARM. That's high praise indeed coming from you and I accept it with great humility.

And might I add that you are looking quite dashing this fine day! (once this mutual admiration begins there is almost no way to stop it!)

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Hey Lady.

The photo is a favor to every thinking American who wondered WTF is the improvement on the abominable previous "Mar-a-Lago" excuse for an unsecured open-air war room.

An administration in disarray.

Don't worry, Republicans. The real damage will probably come quicker this time than when he's on his way out the door, which is your usual specialty.

Drago said...

TTR: "The photo is a favor to every thinking American who wondered WTF is the improvement on the abominable previous "Mar-a-Lago" excuse for an unsecured open-air war room."

Come on. Are you still running with that fake story? This conversation was about the logistics for a press conference the next day after having a secure briefing in the SCIF established at the location.

Gee, I'll bet there is all kinds of proof about what secure information was being discussed because that was the point of the accusation, right? Do you have a link for the exposed secure information? You ought to, since it was all right out in the open, right?

Hilarious.

If Trump were 1/100th as bad as his opponents paint him they would not have to make anything up to tar him with.

Drago said...

#DoesThisMissileStrikeMakeMyMilitaryForceLookFat?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Toothless Revolutionary said...

This conversation was about the logistics for a press conference the next day after having a secure briefing in the SCIF established at the location.

Ok. Well maybe that I'll buy.

Trump patron DeAgazio still revealed the nuclear football codes guy, though.

And Trump still spent more time probably than he should have chaperoning the Japanese PM around the place and chatting it up with guests.

I'm not convinced he's as prepared for this job as the dismissal of one story might have others believe.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Bruce -- the biggest difference is that Trump is in charge? I guess people see what they want to see. Trump would not ever not sit in the most prominent position. Appearances not as big a deal for Obama."

I see what most guys who, like me, have sat in thousands of meetings over their careers see, for me, ranging in size from small law firms to large multinational corporations. You don't run a meeting sitting where, and like, Obama was doing. At least meetings with a lot of guys in them. Just doesn't happen. Obama looks like he was being briefed by the AF guy. Which is to say that the meeting likely not one where decisions were being made, but rather one where the Zoomie was making a presentation (or narrating what was going on). He is the one in the power seat, both locationally, and comfortwise.

Your idea appearances weren't a big thing with Obama is part of why he was such a shitty President. Males around the world looked at him, and instinctively realized (or at least believed) that he was a beta male trying to run the most powerful country in the world. They believed that he could be bluffed and intimidated. That is part of why they are betas (most of us are betas at least part of the time, when dealing with more powerful males). That when he drew that line in Syria, he wouldn't back it up with immediate force. Etc. and, they were right. The job of the President of the US is not to worry about the feelings of foreigners, unless it is strategically advantageous to do so. Never to look weak, because that makes the country look weak, and, therefore vulnerable.

"And Obama's head was on the line big time if Osama wasn't there or mission ended in disaster. Trump not so much. What can go wrong? Missiles hit target as programmed. Not too much to sweat ov
Bruce -- the biggest difference is that Trump is in charge? I guess people see what they want to see. Trump would not ever not sit in the most prominent position. Appearances not as big a deal for Obama. "

Which is, to some extent here, irrelevant. My guess is that by the time the Obama photo was taken, the decisions had been made, and they were just watching the operation unfold in realtime, with the AF guy narrating, which is why he is in the power position.

mockturtle said...

If CNN spent more time getting and reporting actual news and less time 'analyzing' stuff they might get better ratings.

Zach said...

The biggest detail in either photo is that Obama doesn't have a seat at the table. I'm open to other interpretations, but I think that pretty much has to mean that he wasn't there when the meeting started, and he wasn't planning to be there long enough to dislodge anyone who was already there.

The other thing to take away is that the Trump photo shows a regularly constituted meeting. Everyone's wearing blue jackets and power ties, there's a pretty obvious order of precedence, there are little microphone-thingies evenly arranged on the table. The President is in the obvious position at the head of the table. Aside from that, not much to see. I'm glad that Bannon doesn't have a spot at the table, but I'd prefer if he weren't in the picture at all.

M Jordan said...

@Steve Uhr: "... but according to your analysis, Obama said "I" once every 139 words, and Trump said "I" once every 133 words. So what exactly is your point?"

Ostensibly, my point was that Obama is a self-absorbed prick. My underlying point is Obama is a prick. So basically the same point, an irrefutable one, you must admit.

I knew someone would do the math and give us an IPW (I's per word) ratio. It does somewhat blur my point (see above). That's why I also threw in the "my's." More important than the count, however, is the quality of the I's. Trump's were simply "I ordered ...". Obama's were "Look at how great I am."

Bruce Hayden said...

What Obama maybe never quite got was that when he was President, he was the representation of the US to the rest of the world. If he looked weak, the country looked weak. Showing up in leisure clothes indicated to the world that he wasn't serious about the job. Maybe he was, but it didn't look that way. You rarely saw GW Bush out of a suit while President, and I doubt that you will see Trump either. Indeed, there apparently was a fairly strict dress code for the Bush WH, and I suspect it will be the same for Trump. Showing up to work at 8 (or so) every day in a suit shows that you are serious about the job.

That photo of Obama should never have been released, because it made him look inferior or subservient to someone who should have been his subordinate. Sure, there are going to be times like (probably) this where others have to take the spotlight, but you don't show them to the public. That is part of what his press secretary, etc, are supposed to control - his public appearance (something that Trump probably doesn't need help with, given his decades in the public spotlight). Like those "mom" jeans. Real men don't wear jeans like that. If he does, then don't let him be photographed when wearing them.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Zach - my guess, as I suggested above, is that Obama stepped into the room to see what was happening, which is why he wasn't at the table. The problem was taking the photo and then passing it off as more than it probably was - a quick situation update. If he had indeed been running the meeting, he should have been sitting at the power spot in the power chair. He wasn't though, the AF guy was.

officiousintermeddler said...

I had no idea that the Obama photograph was "iconic" or that anybody would want to try to "evoke" it. As a photograph, there's nothing interesting about it. It's just a group of people watching TV. The Trump photo is just a group of people talking on a speakerphone.

FullMoon said...

M Jordan said... [hush]​[hide comment]

A couple years ago my brothers-in-law and I got into a heated debate over the difference between a "prick" and a "dick


A prick is an asshole all of the time. He cannot change.

A dick is a person who does an out-of-character ass holish thing occasionally.

Upthread PBj 3rd congratulates himself as" a prick". Anyone disagree?

Livermoron said...

Michael K: I disagree. Take a broader view for the moment: It is clear that there is a growing danger of needing to intervene military in North Korea. Given their nuclear capabilities, delivery systems, and deranged mental processes, the NorKs represent a danger to ourselves and our close allies multiple orders of magnitude greater than do the Syrians. A strike against them is very dangerous. So, the president must ponder, is there a way I use military action in a restrained, precision way that will express my country's deep disgust at this action, reclaim all that was lost by Obama's backing down over the "red line", and perhaps help avoid a much more perilous operation on China's borders?

Attacking Assad personally by destroying his palaces means that you damn well better kill him or risk looking incompetent. Looking incompetent to the Un regime is not a good thing for the US and may embolden the Pyongyang Puny(tm) even more. Targeting Assad's static delivery installations (valid military targets)is a much simpler task AND PDT doesn't run the risk of killing some Risky mucky-muck who is being put up in a palace. Finally, killing Assad means you've just killed the leader of a Russian ally and informal protectorate. That doesn't make Putin look too good as a bodyguard. In fact, they would probably inform Assad in time to get him out of harm's way so as to avoid their own embarrassment and to lay some on the ol' US Fuckin' A.

That's how I see it. That's how I'd approach it.

Drago said...

officiousintermeddler: "I had no idea that the Obama photograph was "iconic" or that anybody would want to try to "evoke" it."

These are the same people that keep telling us Hillary is "beautiful" (#6 in the world according to some lefty mag), obambi is the most brilliant "light-bringer" (literally) we have ever seen (way better than that Jesus fellow) and that "Chelsea" is really special and is "happening"!

So, in context, the obama photo is iconic folks are the same ones who think obambi is a god.

Drago said...

mockturtle: "If CNN spent more time getting and reporting actual news and less time 'analyzing' stuff they might get better ratings"

Ratings, if they come, would be a nice bonus however CNN's objective is to act as the formal DNC/Resistance arm of the left in the effort to remove Trump from office and help dems gain total control of govt.

CNN believes if they say "dossier" and "kompromat" enough they can get it done.

They are wrong of course but, being leftists, they are unable to adapt.

Livermoron said...

"Risky" should be "Russky"

Christy said...

The discussion led me to the St. Crispin's Day speech to see how the master English wordsmith handled the I/we ratio of a leader. I lost count, not having enough fingers and toes, started again, but had to change Momma's diaper, and gave up. Roughly equal, I'd say.

Livermoron said...

Drago: Perhaps CNN is just what it appears to be: an ideological news fabulist organization run by Lefties for their own means and without regard to fiscal consideration. All made possible by their multibillionaire owner who needs leftist-bona fides harder than Krupp Steel so that no one notices that his company is closing more small businesses than WalMart ever did.

Phil 3:14 said...

Bannon and Preibus sitting quietly. That's nice because we all know

There's no fighting in the War Room.

mockturtle said...

My husband always believed that meetings should be held with no chairs. With everyone forced to stand, important business would be handled promptly and then everyone could go back to their work.

Gahrie said...

There's no fighting in the War Room.

I would love to show that movie for my students, but it wouldn't mean anything to them. The majority of the jokes would go over their heads, and the Cold War is meaningless to them. It's just meaningless ancient history.

Freeman Hunt said...

I bet Trump complained about the room's size the first time he saw it.

Clyde said...

Obama is off to one side in the Bin Laden strike war room because he'd just been hauled in off the golf course.

Clyde said...

And to amplify on that, if he'd been in the room at the beginning of the operation, Obama would have been sitting at the head of the table. That fact that he wasn't speaks volumes.

Michael K said...

Livermoron, good points. I think I said somewhere that I hoped there was a strategic purpose to this attack and that would be one.

Maybe the purpose of doing it while Xi was there was to say, "Take care of this or we will have to."

I think destroying Assad's palaces would be a worthwhile objective, even if he survived. We did not kill Gaddaffi but he stopped supporting terrorism. When Bush invaded Iraq, he even gave up his nuke program.

Killing him "was worse than a crime, it was a blunder." Now no dictator will ever give up nukes.

Night Owl said...

Given all the hacking and leaking and spying it's not surprising that they are using pads and paper instead of laptops.

Livermoron said...

Michael K. "I think destroying Assad's palaces would be a worthwhile objective, even if he survived. We did not kill Gaddaffi but he stopped supporting terrorism".
------------------------------

Trump has a Luegenpresse actively working against him. The narrative would be "PDT's Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight".

Gaddafi had no weapons to give up. Sleeves from his vest, so to say. Saved him a bunch of money for hookers/bodyguards for a couple years.

Assad has proven he has chemical weapons. He'll give them up to the Russians, perhaps, but both he and them will have bargaining positions. One way to help that happen would be for the US to start publicly calling out the Russians for ineptitude or dishonesty in not making sure ALL the NBC stuff was gone.
Do I see some interesting tweets in the near future for our beloved president?
Gaze into the crystal ball, my child. Gaze......

Michael K said...

"Gaddafi had no weapons to give up."

Oh, I don't think that is true.

Even Wiki says so.

The Libyan disarmament issue was peacefully resolved on December 2003 when Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi agreed to eliminate his country's weapons of mass destruction program, including a decades-old nuclear weapons program.[1]

Notice the date ?

jaed said...

I had no idea that the Obama photograph was "iconic"

The White House was calling it "the iconic photograph" for a while, and the press picked up on it.

They also ran a short-lived, unsuccessful campaign to brand the action as "gutsy call"—they had a bunch of politicians and journalists (or JournoLists) referring to "gutsy call" in the subsequent day or two. One of those things that looks hilariously orchestrated when someone notices it and collects a bunch of the instances in one page. They also registered "gutsycall.com".

(I think it was being tried out as a potential campaign slogan, the same way Obama trialled the phrase "Together We Thrive" at the funeral for those people killed by the nut in Arizona, with t-shirts and pre-printed signs for the event.)

Livermoron said...

Michael K.: I thought the subject was your point about the nuke program. Your wiki link confirms my contention that he had no "weapons", of course meaning 'nuclear devices'. I was correct in my original meaning. If you read my entire comment, perhaps the context will help. Sorry that I was unclear.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Bruce Hayden,
"That is part of what his press secretary, etc, are supposed to control - "

They were - they did that deliberately. Part of the "cool" image that he/they wanted to project. I agree with you that it was a mistake, but it was deliberate, not through carelessness.

Michael K said...

"Your wiki link confirms my contention that he had no "weapons", of course meaning 'nuclear devices'."

OK but I still make the point that ending such a program, whether or not "weapons" have been built, has been made unadvisable by Hillary and Obama's attack on Gaddafi.