Open Thread: Things Are Progressing Not Necessarily to the Trump Administration’s Best Advantage

The great blogger Billmon used to remind us, when official sources tried to obfuscate the consequences of their own incompetence, that the Emperor in 1945 is supposed to have announced Japan’s unconditional surrender by saying something like “The situation has progressed not necessarily to our kingdom’s best advantage.”

The GOP, and its handmaidens in the management suites at the Grey Lady, are attempting a similar circumlocution. The NYTimes reporters are starting to edge towards the exits, though:

For days, a frustrated and simmering president fumed inside the West Wing residence about what aides said he saw as his staff’s inadequate defense and the ineffectiveness of his own tweets. Over the objections of some top advisers who wanted to steer him away from confrontation, Mr. Trump demanded to face the media, determined to reject the narrative that his administration is sinking into chaos, scandal and incompetence.

In a rowdy, free-for-all news conference hastily staged in the East Room, Mr. Trump attempted to deflect attention from news coverage about Russian intelligence, the resignation of his national security adviser, the defeat of his labor secretary nominee, and deepening questions about his ability to govern.

“I turn on the T.V., open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos,” Mr. Trump said as he attempted — with little discipline — to read from prepared remarks listing his accomplishments since being inaugurated one month ago. “Chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.”…

For his supporters, the performance was certain to be energizing. Mr. Trump turned sober questions from journalists into, at times, mesmerizing television. He attempted to reassert his command of “dishonest” journalists at a time when the news media is questioning his capacity to lead. It all made the brooding boss feel better, people close to Mr. Trump said…

Still, it is unlikely that Mr. Trump’s 77-minute performance will divert much long-term attention from questions about his campaign’s relationship with Russia, or reassure wavering Republicans on Capitol Hill that their agenda is on track. Yet Mr. Trump’s close allies said he had met his more immediate goal of soothing himself with a sense of control over his own administration…

Even the NotSoLiberal Fox News!

56 replies
  1. 1
    prob50 says:

    watch Shepard Smith’s reaction to Trump’s “fake news” claims at press conference

    An absolute MUST. Good on Shepard Smith.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

  3. 3
    amk says:

    changing what, maggie? you tool.

  4. 4
    sigaba says:

    @prob50: The USA Today has a big article collecting tweets of Fox viewers that want him boycotted and fired.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/...../98023272/

  5. 5
    joel hanes says:

    Again:
    When Spicer or The Donald call a press gaggle, the press should send their greenest interns, with instructions to drink his liquor, eat the hors d’oeuvres, empty the buffet — and just stand silent and watch. No questions. No reactions. Just document the atrocities later.

  6. 6
    prob50 says:

    @sigaba:

    The USA Today has a big article collecting tweets of Fox viewers that want him boycotted and fired.

    Not surprising considering the Fox audience. Will any of the 27% ever open their eyes?

  7. 7
    sigaba says:

    It’s 3AM here. My sleep is disrupted.

  8. 8
    prob50 says:

    @sigaba: Hey, at least you had sleep to diisrupt.

  9. 9
    RaflW says:

    Don’t like your head space, Trumpledick? Declare presidential bankruptcy and leave town.

  10. 10
    Ian says:

    maggieNYT

    Please stop quoting her. I pointed out yesterday she led us here with wall to wall coverage of emails and Clinton foundation. If anyone deserves the Orange Julius, it is her.

  11. 11
    RaflW says:

    Also, too,
    “I turn on the T.V., open the newspapers and I see stories of” me firing the deputy HUD secretary before my cabinet pick, who by the way brilliant man, didn’t want the job, can be confirmed.

    Even the things that should be simple are screwed up by this impulsive and recklessly stupid man.

  12. 12
    Central Planning says:

    Fun fact: the We The People petition to get Dolt 45 to release his tax returns just went over one million signatures. It went up by about 5 thousand since I signed it 30 minutes ago.

  13. 13
    Quinerly says:

    Good morning from Bernalillo, NM! Spent a several hours yesterday at the beautiful Hyatt Regency at Tamaya on Santa Ana Pueblo lands with a friend who drove over from Cerrillos. Never would have thought of doing it but for her suggestion. Beautiful art, bronzes, trails for Poco, and a great lunch in the Santa Ana Cafe. Visited with an interesting Navajo gentleman who teaches silversmith classes and sells his jewelry there. He is recently retired from a factory job. His father was a Code Talker and is featured in the book about them from a couple years ago. We looked at pictures and he showed us some silver feathers he designed. Finished the day out in Albuquerque at Tingley Beach (locals fishing and picnicking), Frito Pie at Duran’s Pharmacy, and a Margarita at High Noon. Poco is still snoring this morning. So many sights and smells. He’s still worn out. Have a great day. Thanks for all your interest and comments. We have 1800 miles under our belt and collar. More than a month to go!

  14. 14
    ThresherK says:

    @joel hanes: PressThink, by the invaluable Jay Rosen, is suggesting the same thing.

  15. 15

    @Quinerly: I want to see pictures. And a frito pie.

  16. 16
    Immanentize says:

    Hello All,
    I have just been wondering — do the Republicans consider anything but interior national grievances? Do they think about how this is doing some serious, perhaps permanent, damage to the country abroad? Do they not see it or do they just believe we are so great that nothing external is relevant? Have they at long last swallowed their own exceptionalism shit sandwich?

  17. 17
    Immanentize says:

    @Quinerly: the NM desert areas in winter. I love that landscape. Thank you for the update!

  18. 18

    @Immanentize:

    …do they just believe we are so great that nothing external is relevant?

    Yes.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  20. 20
    Barbara says:

    @Immanentize: I read an interview with Jeff Immelt (GE CEO) and let’s just say that they are in wishful thinking mode — that every administration has its down side and that they can adapt and contain the damage. I suspect that this is an act to varying degrees. If things keep going forward like this for long I suspect you will see more candor.

  21. 21
    Quinerly says:

    @Immanentize:
    Been coming out here for the month of February since 2011 (can rent a casita in Santa Fe for a month for what it costs in season for a week…plus you have the town to yourself, no tourists). Decided for a change this year, so only 4 days in Santa Fe and a week in Albuquerque. We move on west Tues to Holbrook, Winslow, Grand Canyon, then north through Utah for 3 weeks. Really digging the Albuquerque vibe…weather has been fantastic.

  22. 22
    HinTN says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Frito pie! Me, too.

  23. 23
    SFAW says:

    @Quinerly:

    You suck.

    (Posting for a “friend.” Not that OzarkHillbilly has any friends, of course. But since he doesn’t get up until around the crack of Noon, I thought I’d stand in for him.)

    [PS: Ozark: you know I’m kidding, right?]

  24. 24
    SFAW says:

    @Quinerly:

    OK, now that I’ve done my bad Samaritan thing:

    Thanks for your travelogue entries! Safe travels!

  25. 25

    @SFAW: Ozark’s on the next thread.

  26. 26
    SFAW says:

    Shitgibbon’s in a “bad head space”? Some reactions:

    1) “I’m not in a bad head space — YOU’RE in the bad head space! Loser! I have the best head space!”
    2) He’s had a bad head for 70 years or so, so how is this different
    3) If thy bad head offends thee, pluck it out! Or smash it repeatedly against a brick wall.
    4) Shitgibbon, Bannon, Miller — collect the whole set of Fascists bad heads!
    5) Bad head? Call your doctor, he’ll tell you it’s the best head in Presidential history
    6) “I got 573 Electoral Votes, and you LIARS in the fake news media keep ignoring that!”

  27. 27
    Epicurus says:

    @Immanentize: I don’t think they care. They have a useful stooge in the White House, willing to sign any idiotic legislation they can ram through before he resigns, his head explodes, or he is replaced via 25th Amendment remedy. Party before country, and donors before voters are the only rules they seem to follow. Look at the quality of the Cabinet members Mitch (“The Bitch”) McConnell and his toadies have already confirmed! At least Puzder was too much for them, but Sessions, DeVos, Price?? Please. This shitshow will continue for the foreseeable future, until the rats finally have to leave the sinking ship.

  28. 28
    Brachiator says:

    @prob50:

    Not surprising considering the Fox audience. Will any of the 27% ever open their eyes?

    It’s not just Fox News. The hosts on the biggest talk radio station in Los Angeles approved of the way that Trump slapped the press around. They also pushed the alternative fact that Trump’s problems are instigated by Obama holdovers.

  29. 29
    SFAW says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Ozark’s on the next thread.

    Yeah, I know he’s usually up this early, I was just bustin’ them.

    But I just realized — no brain, no pain, apparently — how early it is for YOU. You DO sleep, right?

  30. 30
    SFAW says:

    @Brachiator:

    They also pushed the alternative fact that Trump’s problems are instigated by Obama holdovers.

    … who removed the “W” “D” and “T” keycaps from all the keyboards in the White House, no doubt.

  31. 31
    Mart says:

    @Brachiator: “For his supporters, the performance was certain to be energizing.” Driving in the country yesterday heard a bit of Rush on the AM radio. He and his listeners said words to the effect, finally we have an awesome President who is not a politician who is not afraid to tell it like it is. Don’t you feel better now?

  32. 32
    SRW1 says:

    What should we call these pressers?

    Pressure-relief valves?

  33. 33
    Jeffro says:

    @Barbara:

    I read an interview with Jeff Immelt (GE CEO) and let’s just say that they are in wishful thinking mode — that every administration has its down side and that they can adapt and contain the damage. I suspect that this is an act to varying degrees. If things keep going forward like this for long I suspect you will see more candor.

    It’s funny to think that somehow, as Trumpov has degenerated from primary joke to primary winner to multiple primary winner to presumptive nominee to nominee to debater to PEOTUS to PEEOTUS to POTUS, that anyone anywhere in America could possibly still be thinking, “He’s going to turn this thing around any day now”. He has gotten progressively worse every single day.

  34. 34
    Quinerly says:

    @SFAW:
    I have actually met Ozark in person. He joined our group in that Saturday St. Louis March. Turns out we share a lot of mutual friends and acquaintances. I have some stories to tell, but won’t bust his rep even though I suck.

  35. 35
    Quinerly says:

    @Mustang Bobby: @HinTN: I normally prefer green chile or “Christmas” but the 95 year old local woman who chatted me up at Tingley Beach insisted that I go to Duran’s for Frito pie with the red chile. She has been eating there since it opened in the 1940’s/1950’s. It’s just a basic lunch counter with a few booths. Sat at the counter and when I told the waitress why I was there, she set me up with 5 tasting cups. Their green is excellent but I stuck with the recommended red.

  36. 36
    Lee says:

    @Quinerly:

    Tamaya is a jewel of a place. My family has been there at least a dozen times over the years. Even during ‘the teenage years’ we could always take my daughters there for an extended weekend without much fight.

    Did you walk through the Cottonwoods by the Rio Grande?

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Quinerly says:

    @Lee:
    What a place! So glad my friend suggested it. She has been in Cerrillos since 1971 and seems to know everything but had never been. That made it even more fun. She is quite horsey and knew of their horse rescue/rehabilitation program…really interesting talking to that staff about that. We did walk the trails by the river and hope to go back. It’s on my list for every year. Loved the fact it was pretty empty since off season. I imagine it’s jam packed in season.

  39. 39
    Lee says:

    It can be very busy during the season. But the crowd usually just adds to the place. During the season they will have ‘smores & stories down by the pool. Someone from the pueblo will come and tell a story or two and everyone will make ‘smores. Shortly thereafter usually a guest will bring out a guitar and play songs as the sun sets and stars come out.

    One time it was violin and if I would guess a professional player. They started playing the the entire place was transfixed. The structure of the hotel ( the ‘u’ shape) naturally filled the area with sound. It was magical.

  40. 40
    different-church-lady says:

    When you filled out your casting card, how many people had Shep Smith as Edward R. Murrow?

  41. 41
    Quinerly says:

    @Lee:
    Sounds magical. I knew instantly it was a special place. Talked to a lot of staff and many have been there since it opened.

  42. 42
    SFAW says:

    @Quinerly:

    Yeah, it’s clear from Ozark’s “suck” comments that he likes you. [Yes, I’m being serious.]

  43. 43
    liberal says:

    Things Are Progressing Not Necessarily to the Trump Administration’s Best Advantage.

    Heh. The “Hirohito Award” thing was one of Billmon’s favorite things to do.

  44. 44
    Quinerly says:

    @SFAW:
    I’m over there sucking big time on the next thread. This is a long trip. He really needs to get some fresh material.😈

  45. 45
    hedgehog mobile says:

    @Quinerly: Sounds lovely. TBH am a bit jealous.

  46. 46
    Chris T. says:

    It’s amazing. Trump has become Baghdad Bob. Usually it’s just the press flacks, the Spiceys, that become Baghdad Bobs…

  47. 47
    Sebastian says:

    @Brachiator: which station?

  48. 48

    @liberal: I expect nothing less from the Vichy Times. They could give Pravda a run for their money with this mealy mouthed BS.

  49. 49
    Quinerly says:

    @hedgehog mobile:
    I am very lucky and thankful to have these opportunities.

  50. 50
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Quinerly: Hello to you from 200+miles down I-25! We spent many weekends over the past two decades just down the road from you at the NM Soccer Complexes. Enjoy the gorgeous view and have a wonderful trip!

  51. 51
    prob50 says:

    @Brachiator:

    It’s not just Fox News. The hosts on the biggest talk radio station in Los Angeles approved of the way that Trump slapped the press around. They also pushed the alternative fact that Trump’s problems are instigated by Obama holdovers.

    Very brave of you to monitor talk radio. I have not the stomach to do so.

    You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

  52. 52
    Quinerly says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:
    Good morning right back! Hope to explore your part of this magnificent state next year. I have spent some time in the Cloudcroft area but never been south of Albuquerque on 25. Very interested in prowling around the Las Cruces area at some point. Have a great day! Thanks for piping in.

  53. 53
    opiejeanne says:

    @Sebastian: I’m going to take a wild guess and say KFI.

  54. 54
    David Spikes says:

    Most people when they finally vent the psychic pressure that has been building up over time
    have a period of calm and relief. Doesn’t seem to work for Trump-I’m betting tomorrows rally speech will be a classic, hmmm, maybe an anti-classic, a shit show, a. . a. . a. we may need to make some new words to deal with Il Douche.

  55. 55
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @prob50:

    Will any of the 27% ever open their eyes?

    No.

  56. 56
    J R in WV says:

    @Quinerly:

    You should stop in at Hatch, which is a little farming town that has made the best tourist thing out of their chili crop they could make. Now you can buy Hatch chilis here in WV, like 1500 miles east! Not worth a week, but easily a couple of hours on your way to Las Cruces and the Organ Mountains.

    We usually cut SW at Hatch to catch I-10 into Arizona, that saves many miles and the country road is very pretty countryside. Much of NM in the extreme SW is abandoned mining/smelter towns, kind of depressing, like Lordsville. Deming is still bustling, but has serious LEO problems.

    Silver City is worth visiting, along with the Gila National Forest/Park. There are hot springs and ancient ruins from a large family on the run hiding from someone or something. After just a few generations farming in the area and building a small cave pueblo, they hit the road and disappeared into the fog of prehistory. Quite interesting. haven’t visited the springs, although hot springs fascinate us.

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