The Trump New York Times Op ed

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 am, September 7th, 2018 - 121 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, International, Politics, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

An amazing event occurred in US politics yesterday, a White House insider wrote and had published in the New York Times an op ed about what is happening in the White House.

The preface to the article states that the identity of the writer is known to the paper. He or she is said to be “a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure”.

The content is jaw dropping:

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.

It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I would know. I am one of them.

To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.

But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.

It always amazes me when in the US they talk about the left. This normally refers to a teacher activist who likes people from other cultures and who thinks that Obamacare is not the devil’s spawn.

They seem to think that such a person is akin to Stalin. Beats me why.

But the retribution is swift. Donald Trump is not amused …

And offered this simple description of what had happened …

He even questioned if the anonymous op ed writer was actually a thing.

I suspect that right now there is an enormous witch hunt going on in the White House, one that would make Simon Bridges’ attempt to find his limo info leaker look like a walk in the park.

The problem appears to be that there are so many suspects, whittling down a list is going to be a really hard job.

Bob Woodward’s new book Fear: Trump in the White House will provide some clues. One suspect will be Gary Cohn who stole a letter from Trump’s desk to prevent him from terminating the South Korea Free Trade Agreement.

It could go all the way to Chief of Staff John Kelly who has reportedly described Trump as an idiot and that the White House staff was operating in crazytown. From the book comes this comment:

It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything,” Mr. Kelly bemoaned in a meeting. “He’s gone off the rails.”

The why is a bit more complex. If they feel this strongly they should impeach. The darkest theory is that they can see the way the polls are going for the midterms and this is a cynical attempt to keep the Trumpies onside but also attract back reasonable Republicans who are dismayed at the current President.

Time will tell. Hopefully he does not blow the world up in the meantime.

121 comments on “The Trump New York Times Op ed”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    All depends if the leaker is real or the NYT is doing fake news. If the latter, no evidence of reality will emerge. Just another establishment ploy to destabilise Trump.

    Why would the establishment want Pence running things?? Maybe they don’t, they just want to create an impression of shambles to optimise democrat wins in the mid-terms.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Do you really think the piece could be fake news? That the New York Times would invent this?

      • Clive Macann 1.1.1

        Yes.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.2

        It would hinge on the political alignment of current owner(s), about which I know nothing. Trump’s support base in NYC has never been more than partial – due to his narcissism he alienates some of those who would otherwise be likely supporters. Media owners have long used editorials to promote their political views and stances, as you are no doubt aware.

        If it is an exercise in political warfare with propaganda, it can’t be exposed unless the editor blows the whistle on the owner(s). Due to class interests, that almost never happens. So no real possibility of failure of this tactical move against him. But I agree that a real insider is more likely, someone trying to be a patriot (& steer the Trump as if it were a ship gone rogue).

        • Dennis Frank 1.1.2.1

          Okay, the NYT is still controlled by Sulzbergers. Father is Chairman of Board, son is publisher: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Ochs_Sulzberger_Jr.

          Looks like a smoking gun here: “New York Times Publisher and Trump Clash Over President’s Threats Against Journalism” and “Mr. Trump said on Twitter that he and Mr. Sulzberger had discussed “the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, ‘Enemy of the People.’” ““I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous,” said Mr. Sulzberger”.
          https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/29/us/politics/trump-new-york-times-sulzberger.html

          • SPC 1.1.2.1.1

            Being in the media under attack by Trump is not a “smoking gun”.

            • Dennis Frank 1.1.2.1.1.1

              It seems like one as regards a motive for the NYT attack. It supports the alternative scenario I suggested at the top of the thread.

              • SPC

                So you are saying that because Trump attacks the media, we cannot trust what the media says …

                There are tyrants around the world who could only hope their public sees things as you do.

      • roy cartland 1.1.3

        Those two suggestions are not synonymous. I would be surprised if the NYT ‘invented’ it, but not if they found ways to publish an as yet ‘unverified’ story. They are a corporation after all, gotta make money and they know this is a winner.

      • humma 1.1.4

        Definitely the NY times would invent something like this.

        • Wayne 1.1.4.1

          It is ridiculous to suggest the NYT would literally make this story up.

          • corodale 1.1.4.1.1

            Fake news was the suggestion at comment 1, not “make this story up”. Being very casual about the term “White House insider” is more than likely. Was ex-FBI Dep Director McCabe technically a senior member of the Trump administration? Sure fits with the TREASON tweet. Wander if McCabe will get along well with the new look Supreme Court?

      • mauī 1.1.5

        Yes the NYT has been completely impartial and shown amazing journalistic integrity ever since Trump took office.. lol!

      • Gosman 1.1.6

        This is the problem with both sides dissing the media over the past few years. Left wingers bemoaned Fox and other media outlets and Right wingers complained about CNN and ‘liberal’ newspapers. Instead of celebrating a diversity of opinions people complained that the news that didn’t reflect their point of view was biased and fake. Now this applies to everything it seems.

        • corodale 1.1.6.1

          Yes, that subjective clash between the corporate-left vs the capitalist-right. God bless TS for their promotion of dialog towards a more objective understandings of current events.

      • SPC 1.1.7

        This is true alright, they said they knew who it was etc.

        Only Trump lies that big.

        • McFlock 1.1.7.1

          Agreed.

          It would certainly be another nail in the NYT coffin if it were fabricated – even being misled by a hoaxer for a story this big would be catastrophic for them.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.8

        Quoting Capitalism vs Freedom: The Toll Road to Serfdom

        …production in cows, produced by Monsanto, the enormous manufacturer of Roundup weedkiller and other commercial chemicals. The journalists found that the hormone caused serious health problems in the cows and was likely to affect milk drinkers hormonally, despite the FDA’s approval of the drug (more on this rubber-stamp nature of current regulation in Chapter 3).

        As the excellent PR Watch reports, ”Immediately after FDA approval of rBGH, attorneys for Monsanto sued or threatened to sue stores and dairy companies that sold milk and dairy products advertised as being free of rBGH,” usually for ”defamation.“8 But Monsanto threatened Fox with ”dire consequences,” presumably in the form of withdrawn advertising and legal suits. The network’s own legal staff dragged the journalists through dozens of revisions, attempting to minimize or remove any mention of cancer or other specific health effects. Bribes and bullying were also attempted, including an episode where the journalists claimed a manager said ”We paid $3 billion for these television stations. We will decide what the news is. The news is what we tell you it is.”

        Hayek claims the market is an ”efficient mechanism for digesting dispersed information.” Meanwhile, we’re digesting synthetic cow hormones.

        These days it’s probably easier to ask what isn’t fake or, at least, heavily slanted news.

        That said, I’m pretty sure that this has been written by an insider. Unfortunately, that insider is still a Republican.

      • Kaya3 1.1.9

        Here’s a man who thinks it is and provides plausible analysis for his view.
        Paul Craig Roberts.

        “I know who wrote the anonymous “senior Trump official” op-ed in the New York Times. The New York Times wrote it.

        The op-ed (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50194.htm) is an obvious forgery. As a former senior official in a presidential administration, I can state with certainty that no senior official would express disagreement anonymously. Anonymous dissent has no credibility. Moreover, the dishonor of it undermines the character of the writer. A real dissenter would use his reputation and the status of his high position to lend weight to his dissent.

        The New York Times’ claim to have vetted the writer also lacks credibility, as the New York Times has consistently printed extreme accusations against Trump and against Vladimir Putin without supplying a bit of evidence. The New York Times has consistently misrepresented unsubstantiated allegations as proven fact. There is no reason whatsoever to believe the New York Times about anything.”

        https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/09/06/i-know-who-the-senior-official-is-who-wrote-the-ny-times-op-ed/

        • Dennis Frank 1.1.9.1

          Thanks, this is indeed significant. It alerts us to the need to take seriously that the fake news dimension is accompanied by a deeper dimension, depending who conspired to produce the op-ed. I’ve therefore posted a supportive view.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.10

        The forgery thesis now has heavyweight support: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/09/06/i-know-who-the-senior-official-is-who-wrote-the-ny-times-op-ed/

        “This plot against Trump is dangerous to life on earth and demands that the governments and peoples of the world act now to expose this plot and to bring it to an end before it kills us all.”

        Hyperbole? Not if a conspiracy produced the forgery! Check out the about page on his site to remind yourself that this dude has been at the top of several different influential parts of the US establishment.

        • Macro 1.1.10.1

          You need to also be aware that he is a conspiracy theorist on a par with Alex Jones, and an alt right propagandist still deeply convinced of the beauty of “free markets” and “trickle down” economics.
          His opinions need to be taken with many shovelfulls of salt.

          • Kaya3 1.1.10.1.1

            When all else fails bring out the “conspiracy theorist” dismissal. It’s wearing thin. Might be time to change to the “fake news” dismissal. It’s still relatively fresh.
            Instead of ad hominems how about actually analysing what he said and trying to rebut it with some analysis of your own?

            • Macro 1.1.10.1.1.1

              Almost as thin as your tin-foil hat!

            • McFlock 1.1.10.1.1.2

              Why?

              You won’t change your mind, and “rebutting” every nutbar on the interwebs is impossible, simply from a standpoint of available time.

              • Kaya3

                The level of debate is too much for me. I’ll leave you intellectuals to your mutual back slapping. Have a great day.

              • Kaya3

                I wouldn’t have thought rebutting a nutbar would have been all that difficult really. Usually they aren’t too bright and lack any actual evidence or what they do have is very easily proven false. Maybe a bit tough for you.

                • McFlock

                  “A”.

                  If only it stopped at “A”.

                  It’s never singular. It takes less time to link to a blog one agrees with than it does to actually read it and point out the bullshit in it, and that’s even if it doesn’t result in a debate against someone who pretends to not know what basic words mean. And then one merely drops another three links…

                  It’s never “A”.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Until I read his about page, I dismissed him on the basis of memory from the ’80s (Reaganaut). He’s much more substantial than I thought, in terms of career success in different fields. You can only achieve such diversity if you have exceptional talent.

                    The other thing we have to factor in is the extent to which he gets informed of deep-state machinations by players in that game. Particularly those he knows well and trusts from extended familiarity with them in past years. False flag operations have been known about and used by royal agents centuries before nation states adopted them. Entirely feasible that the op-ed is one such.

                    • Andre

                      I suggest you have a look through a bunch of his other work. Personally, I lose confidence very quickly when someone starts regularly using words like presstitute that are designed for emotional manipulation of the conspiracy-minded, rather than conveying useful information. That he’s had an illustrious and varied career is no shield against late-in-life mental derailment.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Yes, fair point. That stuff makes me sceptical too.

                    • McFlock

                      Cato Institute, Hoover institute, Reagan. Not exactly non-partisan.

                      As for what he says his mates tell him, that’s what he says.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Yeah, he’s an establishment right-winger, but one smart enough to detect the deep state, and moral enough to oppose it. No idea if he’s pro-Trump, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

                      The old binary left/right world vanished a long time ago & nowadays the political culture wars are evolving around shifting coalitions of convenience on the right in America. The illusion of being on the same page is holding a little more effectively on the left in the USA.

                    • McFlock

                      “Deep state” always strikes me as being a crude oversimplification of how policy decisions are made. It implies a monolith within a monolith, where the actual truth is that a state is not a monolith.

                      The guy is a supply side economist and a statist. He’s decidedly right wing.

                      Basically, the article you linked to argued that the military industrial complex want to keep cold wars going. Meh. SAC do. Defense contractors prefer shooting wars. Intelligence services will always have something to do. Trump’s using drones at a massive pace, and letting the military use the bigger conventional bombs. F35 is still burning money, and ships are on the way.

                      And so the MIC doesn’t really have a motive from that standpoint for sowing discord within the White House. And the NYT are either dupes or party to the alleged fraud, so what’s their motive?

                      And what about Trump’s staff turnover? What about the books some of them have written? Is Omarosa part of the Deep State? Why fabricate an op-ed when the administration is already shooting itself in the head?

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Re your last paragraph, I’ve explained that elsewhere here as social darwinism. His `you’re fired’ routine was dramatised on his tv show, but of course it has been a standard feature of capitalism & culture since before I was born. To get a strong team, you weed out the weak as you go forward, replace them with any who seem ok. His method only seems different to other presidents due to his narcissism provoking his need to make a splash each time.

                      The NYT motive as adequately explained by Trump’s disagreement with Sulzberger (see 1.1.2.1). Basically it’s the NY Republican establishment letting him know that if telling him to stop being a clown hasn’t worked sufficiently, there’s ways to force him into conformity. Nonconformist ego-tripper not likely to succumb!

                      As regards MIC, yes, but those various interest groups within are part of the “shifting coalitions of convenience on the right” I mentioned. When Eisenhower issued his famous warning about the MIC, it was the first most Americans knew of the threat posed by what has since become known as the Deep State. It was monolithic in those days, right? Also, since it operates in liaison with the Bilderbergers, it represents local operational arms of the capitalist control system (like an octopus – Wall St, corporations, CFR, IMF etc being other arms).

                      The US was founded as a freemason scheme, combining monolith design with pyramid into hierarchy with component groups being given operational autonomy. Necessity for that model came from the prior total control of the roman church monolith, when it established the Jesuits as a secret agency network to defeat the protestant rebellion in Europe. Earlier, popes were competing with kings for regional control, and the Templars (founders of the capitalist system) operating first like military police, became wealthy enough that they financed both popes and kings.

                      So the control system has been evolving many centuries. Often competing groups within it: an interplay of sectional interests in the holistic context of the common interests of all, top-down co-ordinated. They became adept at using democracy as a facade in the aftermath of the 18th century revolutions.

                    • McFlock

                      Or, and bear with me here, the high turnover in staff is the result of a dysfunctional organisation headed by someone whose abnormally mercurial temperament and low attention span make them singularly uncapable of running the country, and that situation has (amongst other things) caused an official within that dysfunctional organisation to write a scathing but anonymous op-ed.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Yes, that suffices to explain the situation as per Occam’s Razor. I’ve agreed with that scenario in some of my other comments. So I’m just running both concurrently as feasible: probably would give yours 70:30 odds-on as likeliest at this point.

          • Dennis Frank 1.1.10.1.2

            Yes, an American friend has been passing me his paranoid stuff for years. Usually I dismiss it. Problem is, too easy to get into a habit of that, and things there are so fraught now that conspiracy theories cannot be credibly dismissed. I’ve just now been checking out the bios of the members of the Trump cabinet to see if there are more than two evangelical nutters.

            Haven’t found any others yet, fortunately! You saw that quote I put onsite here from Pompeo when he got in? Showed he was seriously expecting the rapture sometime soon. So you can see a scenario in which impeaching Trump gets Pence in as president, and with Pompeo as his right hand he can replace the other Trump cabinet members with like-minded zombies.

            • McFlock 1.1.10.1.2.1

              Just because the world’s gone mad doesn’t mean every mad idea is suddenly credible.

              It just makes the previous credibility of editors and writers more important in separating fact, educated speculation, lies or delusion, and bullshit. Which is all we ever do in life.

              If a stopped clock is right twice a day, a random number generator can be right at any given time.

  2. Ad 2

    I’ve got a bit of sympathy for Trump on this one.

    The writer agrees with all his policies, continues to choose to work there, just doesn’t like the President. Politics doesn’t work like that. Since the writer is happily implementing policy and clearly pleased with the results, they aren’t exactly the new Bonheffer.

    Mike Pompeo was right: the writer has only one choice and that is to leave.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      If he was not the biggest threat to the world and to freedom everywhere and was a run of the mill US president I would feel sorry for him too. This sort of betrayal should not happen. But these are strange times …

      What if the piece represents an attempt by insiders to save the Republican Party?

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Yeah (see 1.1.2) lots of key players dismayed by the social darwinism that they usually enjoy, now perhaps feeling its gone over the top & has to be reined in.

      • Ad 2.1.2

        To me it feels more like the splitting you get at the beginning of a really big movement launch – like Russia in 1913 or Germany in the 1930s.

        He’s locking all his policy gains and has the Rep nomination locked unless he’s jailed.

      • Gosman 2.1.3

        How is he a threat to freedom everywhere? He might be a buffoon, a liar, and and an economic idiot but that does not mean he is threatening freedom anywhere.

        • mickysavage 2.1.3.1

          The world is a fragile place …

          • Brutus Iscariot 2.1.3.1.1

            Post up some genuine analysis instead of wringing your hands and making emotive soundbites. Trump is less likely to invade various parts of and/or generally fuck up the world than any US president of the last 30 years.

            You can find his domestic agenda as vile as you like, but it’s clear (as we’ve seen today) that the real threat to world peace comes from the hidden apparatus of US government.

        • dukeofurl 2.1.3.2

          ” does not mean he is threatening freedom anywhere.”

          Why was he repeatedly talking about an invasion of Venezuela?
          https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/04/trump-suggested-invading-venezuela-report

          Its clear you havent been keeping up Gosman – you certainly live in a bubble

          • Gosman 2.1.3.2.1

            That isn’t exactly a threat to freedom given Venezuela isn’t free anymore.

            • dukeofurl 2.1.3.2.1.1

              Oh I had forgotten….The US just invades other countries on flimsy pretexts is just how a democracy works.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.4

        The US president is just showing the true face of capitalism – dictatorial and oppressive. He’s not the only one who thinks and acts like this but he’s the one with the spotlight on him and the rest like him don’t like the fact drawing attention to power.

        “The President in particular is very much a figurehead — he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the government, but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it. On those criteria Zaphod Beeblebrox is one of the most successful Presidents the Galaxy has ever had — he has already spent two of his ten presidential years in prison for fraud.”

        Douglass Adams: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

        Trump got the outrage bit right but he actually thinks his job is to wield power rather than draw attention away from it.

    • Gabby 2.2

      Mikey Pomposo is happily implementing policy and clearly pleased with the results, hey, waydaminnit..

  3. I doubt much will change with this. Fun for those of us who see through the bullshit, a confirmation if you will. The supporters of the vermilion turniphead will just not believe it. T.rump will lie and they will believe him. They dum dum.

  4. AB 4

    So Trump is so crazy, erratic and personally repellent that he’s jeopardising the chances that the coterie of far-right loons that surround him will get to do what they want?
    Wow. That’s really disappointing.

  5. Jenny 5

    “If they feel this strongly they should impeach.”
    MICKY SAVAGE

    In that case all bets are off.

    What will Trump be tempted to do, if these attacks on his Presidency, are ever actualised?

    Would we see curbs imposed on the press by presidential decree?

    (As has been hinted by the President)

    In extremis, would Trump call out his extreme Right Wing base to defend his Presidency?

    (A base that is not inconsequential and that measures in the millions).

    What would this mean for American democracy?

    What would the US military and the police response be to an outbreak of major Right Wing violence and unrest?

    Is the imposition of a state of emergency and the suspension of habeas Corpus in response to this constitutional crisis beyond a possibility?

    What would New Zealand and other US allie’s response be, to the suspension of civil liberties in the US?

    What of our military and security apparatuses that are deeply enmeshed with the American military and security services?

    Should we be worried?

    Will the DGSB for instance stop feeding our meta data to the US Secret Service, or will they continue business as usual?

    • Jenny 5.1

      Related posts and comments:

      Election loss – and potentially impeachment – looms for Trump
      Dave De Lorean – Stuff, September 8, 2018

      Statistical analysis website fivethirtyeight puts the Democrats’ chances of winning back a majority in the House at around 77 per cent.

      Trump warns of ‘violence’ if Democrats win midterms

      Trump made the dire warning at a White House dinner Monday evening attended by dozens of conservative Christian pastors, ministers and supporters of his administration.

      Trump was stressing the stakes in November when he warned that, if Democrats win, they “will overturn everything that we’ve done and they’ll do it quickly and violently,” according to attendees and audio of his closed-door remarks obtained by media outlets, including The New York Times. He specifically mentioned self-described antifa, or anti-fascist groups, describing them as “violent people.”

      Asked Wednesday what he meant, Trump told reporters, “I just hope there won’t be violence.”

      It is quite clear, that the likely targets of Right Wing violence will be groups like Black lives Matter, immigrants, indigenous pipeline protesters, Muslims and quite possibly mainstream media institutions. Black Lives Matter and minorities, because they will be the most vulnerable and accessible to the Right Wing street thugs, and mainstream media institutions because they have been the target of a lot of Trump vitriol.

      Even if Trump doesn’t put the call out to his Right Wing base, it is likely they that will react violently anyway. BLM and indigenous and immigrant communities will no doubt act to defend themselves from violent assaults from the Right. And the unrest could be used as an excuse to call out the National Guard and declare a state of emergency. History tells us, that it will be the minorities and the Left who will wear the worst of this repression.

      I wonder what this country’s contingency plans are, for a possible descent into fascism in the US?

      I wonder if we even have any?

      I wonder if, in the event of this possibility, this country will be caught completely unawares and continue as if it just business as usual, and as a result get dragged along behind in the wake of events?

  6. Nick 6

    Trump is a con artist, hiding in plain sight, I usually think his tweets are rhetorical eg TREASON? . He’s an outlier from the usual Dem v Pub, so neither side like him because he is not playing by their rules. His base is those people who have fallen for the con. Crazy alright America.

    • Clive Macann 6.1

      I agree with nothing you said except ” he is not playing by their rules.” He is just getting on with making America a more productive country. Those in high places who once controlled the countries finances are now unable to skim it to their liking.

      • SPC 6.1.1

        The tax cuts made the rich richer and he tried to take health care away from Americans or make it unaffordable.

        Banking is less regulated. Labour rights and protection of the environment diminshed. Tariffs will increase costs.

    • corodale 6.2

      TREASON seems to refer to McCain, for one. Check this CNN video at 38:20, this Gov John Kasich actually says “ït’s been 24hours since we put John McCain to death”. More detail to back that rumour, and other examples… really looks like folk are being actively removed, behind the scenes. A real Banana Republic battle going on in there. Some amazing detail with names n more on youtube videos, specifically around the 9-11… but ya got to see them quick before they are pulled.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-0U8d2t4wM&feature=youtu.be&t=2299 (though it is with some reluctance that I post youtube links)

  7. esoteric pineapples 7

    I find the best sources for a progressive perspective on American politics, and very up-to-the-minute with everything going on, are:

    Jimmy Dore – https://www.youtube.com/user/TYTComedy

    Young Turks – https://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks

    Ring of Fire – https://www.youtube.com/user/golefttv

    If you are watching these on Youtube, other useful and interesting progressive sites will pop up as recommended.

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      if you want a ‘community based’ point of view with both ‘professionally’ written pieces and those from readers this would be better ( dont rely one one persons outlook)
      https://www.dailykos.com/

      Closest match to The Standard in its approach

      The current leading post is:
      Senator Leahy calls out Kavanaugh for use of stolen Democratic materials and lying to the Senate
      Its far greater story than the sanitised versions that appear in WaPo and NYTimes which get toned down for their conservative audience

    • Gosman 7.2

      What is the point of only getting a progressive perspective on American politics? Won’t you be at risk of not understanding the entire American electorate and therefore fall in to the trap that Clinton did at the last election?

      • Bill 7.2.1

        Gosman, neither DoF nor pineapples suggested those places be exclusive sources for progressive or left information/analysis. And every day, in TV and newspapers and across the net, the overwhelming take on news and events is anything but progressive – it’s liberal perspective, after liberal perspective, after liberal perspective, after…

  8. Brutus Iscariot 8

    Totally arrogant the op-ed was, and will backfire. Boasting about undermining the legitimate foreign policy of an elected leader is the worst part – arguably aspects of Trump’s foreign policy are a lot more logical than the bipartisan neocon consensus.

    What should disturb the Left is that there are forces inside government who feel well above democracy and entitled to impose their will. Next time it could easily be a left wing cause.

    President Sanders tries to yank US support for Israel and Saudi Arabia and this guy (whoever he is) acts to prevent it?

    • Dennis Frank 9.1

      A perceptive writer. “Anyone with their eyes even part way open already knows that America’s two mainstream parties feign intense hatred for one another while working together to pace their respective bases into accepting more and more neoliberal exploitation at home and more and more neoconservative bloodshed abroad… Why should this administration be any different?” The old Punch & Judy puppet play for adults with the mental age of kiddies.

      Democracy: captivate voters via the show. One born every minute (sucker, that is). “In a corporatist oligarchy, the rulers are secret and the subjects don’t know they’re ruled, and power is held in place with manipulation and with money. As such a ruler your goal would be to find a way to manipulate the masses into supporting your agendas, and, since people are different, you’d need to use different narratives to manipulate them. You’d have to divide them, tell them different stories, turn them against each other, play them off one another, suck them in to the tales you are spinning”.

  9. Macro 10

    Nation Stunned That There Is Someone in White House Capable of Writing an Editorial

    By Andy Borowitz

    September 5, 2018

    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Millions of Americans were startled by the revelation on Wednesday afternoon that there was someone working in the Trump White House capable of writing an entire editorial, reports indicate.

    In a nation already rocked by a series of bombshells since Labor Day, the news that an anonymous senior White House official had the command of the English language necessary to compose a seemingly coherent Op-Ed piece suitable for publication in a major newspaper was perhaps the most improbable development of all.

    Davis Logsdon, a professor of linguistics at the University of Minnesota, said that a team of language experts under his supervision has studied the Op-Ed word by word and is “in a state of disbelief” that someone currently working for Donald J. Trump could have written it.

    “There are complete sentences, there are well-structured paragraphs, there is subject-verb agreement,” he said. “This does not appear to be the work of any White House staffer we’re familiar with.”

    Stressing that he and his team of linguists are “not even close” to determining the author, Logsdon said that they were currently using the process of elimination to whittle down the list of possible scribes.

    “Based on the mastery of language that we see here, it’s not Sarah Huckabee Sanders, John Kelly, Stephen Miller, or Kellyanne Conway, and it’s definitely not Jared,” he said.

    https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/nation-stunned-that-there-is-someone-in-white-house-capable-of-writing-an-editorial?mbid=nl_Borowitz%20090618&CNDID=10636564&utm_source=Silverpop&utm_medium=email&

    • Dennis Frank 10.1

      It never occurred to me that anyone would be silly enough to assume that the NYT publisher would allow someone in any government to write an op-ed. Bit like letting a stranger log in & use your facebook identity. Has it happened before??

    • Stuart Munro 10.2

      It’s funny – but it’s a pretty good hint on how to find the author – corpora analysis finds writer habit fingerprints relatively easily.

      • Macro 10.2.1

        Apparently Pence uses the word “lodestone” frequently – but that may just be a plant. 🙂

        • Editractor 10.2.1.1

          It depends. I don’t know how modern newspapers operate, but I’d imagine an article like this went through several rounds of language and legal editing (with the contributor signing off on it) before it got the green light. But then perhaps the NYT is like most NZ “print” media nowadays, where they just throw up the raw draft and half the contributors seem to be illiterate.

          • Macro 10.2.1.1.1

            Good points. But I’m sure that the NYT would have made some attempt to conceal, through judicious the editing, the identity of the contributor.

          • dukeofurl 10.2.1.1.2

            No.
            Its an individuals point of view- some one even wrote tips- which could apply even to Standard posters
            http://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/25/opinion/tips-for-aspiring-op-ed-writers.html

            If its poorly argued its the writers problem.

            My view is that is Secretary of Treasury Mnuchin. hes and his family are new York through and through and hes independently wealthy.
            ( The part where he praises Trumps agenda is largely on economic issues)
            He would have strong connections to what used to be called Country Club Republicans and Wall st types.

            I think he would have made contact through the Sulzberger family who control the NY Times and with a member who is CEO who would have pushed the anon Op Ed from there

            • Editractor 10.2.1.1.2.1

              Nothing in the linked tips suggest that op-eds are published as submitted. Number 14 even states “14) The editor is always right. She’s especially right when she axes the sentences or paragraphs of which you’re most proud”, indicating that op-eds are subject to editing.

              Yes, 14 also states “…or submitting sloppy work in the expectation that she will whip it into shape”, but these tips are more about how to get a piece accepted than guidelines for staff writers. For an article like this Trump one (which was probably accepted on the basis of its magnitude and not necessarily the quality of its language or argument), I’d be surprised if they didn’t pull out the stops, including whipping it into shape in conjunction with the author, to get it printed.

  10. Bill 11

    So the permanent state has a voice after all, but just doesn’t want to name its spokesperson.

    I’ve said this before, but here we go again – if Sanders had been President, we’d have seen the same bullshit (in a broad sense) designed to “rein in” anything not aligned with the ambitions or world views harboured by those more permanent and unelected aspects of government (NSA, FBI etc).

    A US President is a powerful bit player in the Washington scheme of things, but a bit player nonetheless.

    And it’s not something that’s unique to the US. Why the hell do people think it is that Corbyn gets slated “left, right and centre”by all and sundry in the UK? Or why it is that great effort seems to be expended in burying any politics of a “leftist” social democratic persuasion in any “western” country?

    • Ad 11.1

      Pretty hard to see how much has been “reigned in” by this internal “grownup” conspirator. It remains a full alignment of Presidency, Senate, Congress, Supreme Court and major businesses.

      -Massive tax cuts.
      Labour regulations gutted.
      Supreme Court stacked for a decade and more.
      Totally incoherent foreign military operations perpetually losing.
      Rapid withdrawal from free trade agreements and international trade framework.
      Dissolution of civil discourse
      Misogyny rampant
      Racism rampant

      Many of those items occur under Republican Presidencies, but not at this speed and depth.

      Any strong-left leader in an advanced democracy would face the same kind of internal resistance – Corbyn or whomever, they need to prepare to face the machine of government.

      • Bill 11.1.1

        Oh, there’s a fair bit of what Trump does policy wise and what not, that’s well aligned with elite and “permanent state” interests that span any supposed Democrat/Republican divide. (Most of what you list) And there’s no opprobrium directed at him for any of that.

        That’s kind of illustrated by (is it in the senate or congress or both?) the Democrats habitually rolling over like waggy tailed puppies wanting their bellies scratched, and either giving him a free pass (eg – permanent circuit judge appointments) or extra powers (eg – surveillance).

        But rapprochement with Russia? And, by the way, where are we when people who self identify as “left” think that normalised relations with Russia would be a bad thing?

        Pull out of Syria? That one isn’t settled yet and I guess there’s a chance he’ll be ‘persuaded’ to U-turn and escalate “because Iran”.

        As for him pulling out of free trade deals, well…again, why would a left or progressive perspective have any problem with that in principle? And please note, I’m not commenting on how he’s going about that.

        • Ad 11.1.1.1

          It’s pretty sick to watch Donald Trump driving the great necessary renewal of the Democratic Party.

          • Bill 11.1.1.1.1

            Auld fucker that I am, I’ve never been quite able to bring myself to comfortably accept that meaning of the word, but yes, it is.

        • Pat 11.1.1.2

          “Oh, there’s a fair bit of what Trump does policy wise and what not, that’s well aligned with elite and “permanent state” interests that span any supposed Democrat/Republican divide. (Most of what you list) And there’s no opprobrium directed at him for any of that.”

          Yep…tis the only reason he hasnt been rolled…and all appearances are hes too damn stupid (or preoccupied with milking the position) to realise.

          Sadly when hes finally disposed of the replacement is a religious fundamentalist whos likely to be as bad (though for different reasons)

    • SPC 11.2

      But surely not from within his own White House by those he appointed?

      Sanders first problem would have been maintaining support from those of his own party in Congress. Trump has struggled for support from his GOP crowd, getting it only on the tax cuts they wanted anyhow and some extreme appintments to Cabinet.

      • Bill 11.2.1

        But surely not from within his own White House by those he appointed?

        Is the White House employment role only comprised of appointees? And even if it is (which I doubt), are prospective appointments never challenged? Compromises made? Horse trading engaged in?

        • dukeofurl 11.2.1.1

          Yes.

          Apparently when taking a tour through the West Wing before Inauguration day Trumps people were surprised that ‘all these people will go’

  11. Macro 12

    “I stop at a stoplight, and a guy on a motorcycle pulls up next to me, and he yells…”

  12. Macro 13

    Further insight from the US
    http://dearcoquette.com/on-the-resistance-inside-the-trump-administration/

    I decided it would be fun to break down today’s incendiary New York Times Opinion Piece. I’ve gunned it through my finely tuned bullshit detector and translated it line-by-line from its original Republican. Here are the results:

    President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.
    The ship is going down, folks.

    It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.
    We know he’s guilty. We know you hate him. We know we’re about to get our asses kicked.

    The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
    I just thought everyone (including our foreign adversaries) should know that the Executive Branch of the Federal Government is in a perpetual state of low-grade coup d’etat, and the President of the United States is literally too stupid to recognize it…….

  13. Bill 14

    Laughing and not laughing – apparently there is a guy in the White House who has “a thing” for using the term lodestar.

    “Lodestar” piece from the Huffington Post

    And an angry reaction to the anonymous Op Ed author by Mehdi Hasan at The Intercept that’s worth the read

    edit. Oops. Forgot to say. We’re talking Pence.

    • SPC 14.2

      Leading from the front “anonymously” for “his” team.

      The only one Trump cannot fire … should he find out … .

      And if not, a civilian shield for …

      So many conspiracy theories and POTUS is still alive …

      It’s either Pence, or the real Texan …

      (GHWB was in Dallas Texas Nov 63 – infamous FBI interview with GB of the CIA, and VP when Reagan was shot),

      • Dennis Frank 14.2.1

        Some pertinent comments stateside: “Guessing on OpEdGate culprit I’ll go with Jennifer Rubin that they are not a cabinet secretary or VP but the next level down, one of the people thats alway in the room quietly in the backseat.”
        “too moralistic for Mnuchin”
        “Pence added “lodestar” to his vocabulary because he heard McGhan say it in a meeting once and decided to appropriate because he thought that using it would make him sound smart.”
        “it’s McGahn given the timing. Trump summarily fires McGahn by Twitter and within a few days this comes out. McGahn has nothing to lose and everything to gain with this”
        “Perdue is from Texas, this kind of corruption and insanity is perfectly normal in GOP politics in Texas.”
        “Rick Perry has never written anything that long in his life”
        “I was looking forward to denials along the lines of:
        It wasn’t me. I am guided by the lodestar of loyalty to the President.
        Not me—transparency is my lodestar.
        I didn’t write the op-ed: the chain of command is a lodestar to me.”

        From the New York Times: “Everyone in the administration thinks they are a senior administration official,” said Jason Chaffetz, a former Republican congressman from Utah who led the House oversight committee. “It doesn’t eliminate anybody.”

    • dukeofurl 14.3

      It wont be him.

      As they say on dailyKos
      https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/9/6/1793826/-I-am-not-Spartacus-I-am-not-Spartacus-I-am-not-Spartacus#read-more
      “Steve Mnuchin. That’s who. Sure, Mnuchin may seem the least Spartacan in a crew that’s not exactly putting off a lot of ex-gladiator vibe. But he punches all the buttons.

      He’s been with Trump from the beginning. The op-ed author expresses his love for “free markets.” And Mnuchin helped finance Mad Max: Fury Road so he clearly likes tales of betrayal, chaos, and post-apocalyptic finance.”

      Its one of those things that would come out eventually – after Trump. Pence has too much to lose if he wants a future after Trump. Mnuchin wouldnt care as he comes from financial world

      • SPC 14.3.1

        Pence might want to try a Ford pass rerun.

        • dukeofurl 14.3.1.1

          I dont think Pence is involved enough in day to day West Wing intrigues. The position is mostly quite remote from the actual power which is exercised by the leading West Wing staff.

          Mnuchin is actually from New York, Pence is a long way personally and politically from something like the NY Times
          His father was a Goldman Sachs partner and on the management committee

          You cant get more Manhattan than that.

          • Dennis Frank 14.3.1.1.1

            Linguistic analysis: “We ran the text of the New York Times column through some writing enhancement software to identify the author’s stylistic traits”
            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45435813

            “we were also able to analyse old columns written by Mr Pence when he was a radio broadcaster in the 1990s. These too show a consistent style: short, easily digestible sentences – much shorter than most government statements.”

            • Dennis Frank 14.3.1.1.1.1

              A US commentator: “I heard on a tabloid news show that Pence’s Secret Service code name is actually Lodestar”. So could be someone trying to frame him, eh?

              • Bill

                Can a VC be impeached or whatever for treason etc? Only asking because that would be pretty fucking funny.

                And would avoid the possibility that with a Pence in the Big Chair, we come to view Trump as a godsend that was let slip.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Yeah, I wondered that too. Y’know Pence isn’t the only fundamentalist around Trump eh? Pompeo likewise. Made me also wonder if there’s a fundie conspiracy a-brewing!

                • joe90

                  Pence has his own problems.

                  dctribune.org/2018/08/23/vice-president-pence-now-being-investigated-for-campaign-fraud-his-ties-to-russia-and-manafort/

  14. Carolyn_Nth 15

    Pablo at kiwipolitico has a post with an interesting take on who the op ed writer is.

    He says, it’s clearly an insider view, and most likely drafted by more than one person. He guesses probably Pence, Sessions and Kelly Ann Conway. He says this would have been drafted out of concern that they will be heading for a massive defeat in the November 2018 mid term election.

    They will not come forth and give their names because to do so would allow Trump to regain some initiative by firing them. Remaining anonymous and in the shadows so close to the Oval Office has and will send Trump into a witch hunting frenzy that, given his obsessive personality, will dominate every aspect of his routine. And in the measure that he obsesses about leakers and scurries to rallies in order to seek comfort and solace far from the isolation he feels in Washington, the more nothing else will get done when it comes to Executive policy-making.

    that makes it easier for Republican candidates to abandon him in all but the most die hard pro-Trump districts. Since those districts alone cannot keep a GOP House majority, it is in contestable districts where the GOP choice to ride his coattails or jump ship is starkest. The Resistance op ed is a signal to them as to which way to go.

    • Andre 15.1

      Gotta admit I hadn’t thought of that way to be rid of the stable genius. Stealth digs from the shadows to drive him so far out of what passes for his mind that even diehard Trumpkins see how fkn batshit nutso he really is. Or he bursts an aneurism. Seems quite a high-risk strategy, tho.

      • joe90 15.1.1

        Stealth digs from the shadows to drive him so far out of what passes for his mind that even diehard Trumpkins see how fkn batshit nutso he really is.

        So far, so good.

        Trump Suggests His Speeches Will One Day Be Seen On Par with the Gettysburg Address, which the Fake News Also Bashed pic.twitter.com/Cg4ywg9Ykp— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) September 7, 2018

        TRUMP, UNHINGED: "But Ronny Jackson is a doctor, he is actually the doctor that gave me my physical. And he said that I am in great shape. And the Democrats, liberals, deep state, they were very upset to hear that. So they got tougher & tougher and they write more books now." pic.twitter.com/P7mvQZzXfQ— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 7, 2018

        Corrected hyper-vague Trump quote about the Space Force: "The Space Force. So important. So important. People don't know. I mean, we're not just talking about going up to the moon, going up to Mars. We're talking about – you need it. Now you need it."— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 7, 2018

    • Macro 15.2

      Yes – it’s an interesting take. The GOP must be running scared atm. The polls are falling again after a period of relative stability and there is an increasing chance that the Dems will gain control of the House in Nov. That will spell Trouble for many Repugnants as there will be subpoena after subpoena launched, not only at Trump, but at all his associates. The fall out could be devastating. The Tax cuts for the rich have not yet been felt by the Trumpkins, and with the cuts to Obamacare, and increasing Premiums and/or reduced health benefits, it will slowly be sinking in that just maybe he is not the Orange messiah that they thought he was.

    • Anne 15.3

      I was about to link to the article having only just picked up on it. 🙂

      My view: he’s on the money. Far better for several senior officials to be involved rather than the pressure falling on one individual. And the motivation is there to get rid of Trump just before the mid term elections. That way the new president, Pence (God help us) will benefit from the honeymoon period.

      The NYT may have received the ‘document’ from an individual source, so they may not know for sure exactly who all the contributers are themselves.

      Smart politics by a bunch of highly seasoned performers.

  15. Dennis Frank 16

    Quite good analysis & motive reasoning here: https://www.vox.com/2018/9/6/17826830/new-york-times-trump-official-anonymous-oped

    This `internal resistance’ scenario, if taken at face value, has various implications. A binary division in the cabinet between loyalists willing to do as Trump wants, and those who do not. In the latter camp, either there is strong like-mindedness, or just a weak coalition of interests on a temporary basis, which one person has misread as strong agreement and gone to the NYT on their own.

    If the latter, discord will likely emerge within the dissidents as time passes, which could lead to exposure. If the NYT was contacted to publicise a moral stand representing a consensus of dissidents, it would be articulating a mandate. In that case, I’d expect solidarity to prevail. They’d be nurse-maiding Trump through the mid-terms, doing damage-control, and may continue that till the end of the term. Kelly & Mattis are the two in real command, I suspect. Catholic & jew, so likely to oppose the fundies, both having been marine corps and four-star generals. If either goes, it’ll get serious.

  16. corodale 17

    This suggests the letter was originally an essay from a USC college student. NYT could be in the pooh.

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