Jared Kushner’s “SWAT Team”: Early Contender for Dumbest Idea of the Week

I admit that’s a high bar in these turbulent days, but this new Trumpstunt is such a shining stinking exemplar of every half-bright, wholly-dishonest sackful of grift and self-deception that I’m not sure it won’t have been declared inoperative by the time this is scheduled to show up on the front page. From the Washington Post:

President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.

The White House Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to Trump. Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements…

In a White House riven at times by disorder and competing factions, the innovation office represents an expansion of Kushner’s already far-reaching influence. The 36-year-old former real estate and media executive will continue to wear many hats, driving foreign and domestic policy as well as decisions on presidential personnel. He also is a shadow diplomat, serving as Trump’s lead adviser on relations with China, Mexico, Canada and the Middle East.

The work of White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon has drawn considerable attention, especially after his call for the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” But Bannon will have no formal role in the innovation office, which Trump advisers described as an incubator of sleek transformation as opposed to deconstruction…

Bannon’s a mucker and a mean drunk, but he’s not dumb or vicious enough to let his name be associated with this disaster-in-the-making. Take it away, internets!…






261 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Nunes is fucking toast.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    I asked in the previous thread, is Jared Kushner really Superman? Is there nothing he can’t do?

  3. 3
    NorthLeft12 says:

    Of course! How long did anyone think it would take before they trotted out the old “run government like a business” crapola.

    Frankly, they are running this administration like a business, a Trump business, in my opinion.

  4. 4
    Aleta says:

    The White House Counsel’s Office was informed this month that the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, wanted to question Mr. Kushner about meetings he arranged with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, according to the government officials. The meetings included a previously unreported sit-down with the head of Russia’s state-owned development bank.

    Until now, the White House had acknowledged only an early December meeting between Mr. Kislyak and Mr. Kushner, which occurred at Trump Tower and was also attended by Michael T. Flynn, who would briefly serve as the national security adviser.

    Later that month, though, Mr. Kislyak requested a second meeting, which Mr. Kushner asked a deputy to attend in his stead, officials said. At Mr. Kislyak’s request, Mr. Kushner later met with Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of Vnesheconombank, which the United States placed on its sanctions list after President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia annexed Crimea and began meddling in Ukraine.

    A White House spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, confirmed those meetings, saying in an interview that nothing of consequence was discussed and that they went nowhere. Mr. Gorkov, who previously served as deputy chairman of the board at Sberbank, Russia’s largest state-owned bank, could not be reached for comment.

    The Senate panel’s decision to question Mr. Kushner would make him the closest person to the president to be called upon in any of the investigations, and the only one currently serving in the White House. The officials who initially described that Senate inquiry to The New York Times did so on the condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly about Mr. Trump’s son-in-law.

    -NYT

  5. 5
    Kryptik says:

    @Corner Stone:

    There really is nothing he can’t do.

    Now, if you’re talking about things he can do well, then….um….hrm….Ivanka? (Sorry, bad, crass joke, but legitimately at a loss for the answer there)

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements…

    Oh thank God. This tells me they are going to run up a yooge bill, slap on some new branding or motto and actually get nothing done or changed.

  7. 7
    JMG says:

    The Monkey Cage blog at WaPo had a great article last week in which quotes on reorganizing the government were presented. Each was from a different President, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 2. This is an evergreen file and forget announcement.

  8. 8
    LAO says:

    Well, this should be interesting, in an awful but potentially entertaining way, since it is unlikely Jared can accomplish anything.

  9. 9
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    Punch-Me-in-the-Face Kushner has accomplished nothing. Everything he has, has been given to him. He has achieved nothing. And manages to he an asshole in the process.

    Will the winning ever start?

  10. 10
    burnspbesq says:

    So the guy who campaigned on reducing the size and intrusiveness of government creates a new bureaucracy, intended tonot be accountable to Congress or the courts. Does he get his ideas from the same place Wile E. Coyote got his ordnance?

  11. 11

    Kushner: “The government should be run like a great American company.”

    Then maybe we should get somebody who’s run a great American company, rather than a bunch of incompetent grifters.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    This 36 year old who inherited a business after daddy went to felony jail is going to make significant changes to the government so that it runs more like a business?
    Nope. The taxpayers are going to get overcharged for a lot of consultants, some contracts will go to overpay cronies but nothing real will change. They’ll just have their hands in our pockets, as we all expected from the start.

  13. 13
    ArchTeryx says:

    This strongly reminds me of something that played out in New York State, in the immediate aftermath of the Great Recession and accompanying crash in state budgets.

    While our government is not nearly as fanatic about Kick The Poor as a lot of state governments, that doesn’t mean they’re any friend to actual workers. The privatization insanity that followed the cratering of state budgets was fully embraced by New York State. They outsourced all the processing of paper tax forms to…wait for it…Bank of America , fired every last one of the (unionized, permanent) tax people,and invited them to get jobs at minimum wage, no benefits, with BoA instead.

    Fast forward about 4 years later. Tax and Finance is an absolute shambles. The processing of paper returns is a complete clusterf*ck. Hoocouldanode that a bunch of minimum wage paper pushers, treated like absolute shit and given not an ounce of bennies, would screw up. Not to mention BoA taking such a large chuck of revenue off the top that it made processing of tax forms MORE expensive, not less.

    After an identity theft ring was discovered and the state was half-buried in lawsuits, they finally moved to reverse the disaster…sort of. They brought processing back to the state. But Prince Andrew Cuomo absolutely refused to make the new state workers permanent employees, as that would lead to a large increase in the union rolls and give CSEA way too much additional power. After a knock-down, drag out fight for over a year, they finally settled on a compromise: Most tax jobs would be temp for peak season only, but would come with almost full benefits (no paid time off, but health insurance and vesting in the state retirement system). The union gained little additional money or power, but the pay was much better and HEALTH INSURANCE was part of the package. Needless to say, things got far better once tax was once more insourced to the state.

    Now Trump wants to take our catrastrof*ck nationwide? I hope SOMEONE brings up what happened here when it was tried.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    If Hemingway were still with us, he’d be penning “The Son-in-Law Also Rises”.

    Seriously, some reporter needs to flat-out ask Kushner to his face “other than the fact that you’re married to Trump’s daughter, what qualifications do you have for this job?”.

  15. 15
    Corner Stone says:

    Trump will never be up front about all the Russia stuff. It’s not him and even if he wanted to he can’t.

  16. 16
    germy says:

    “Run gubmint like a biznissss” is an old idea. I was watching a bunch of Robert Benchley short films from the ’30s and early ’40s, and in one of them his character “Joe Doakes” gets invited to Washington. He boasts to all his friends that he’s going to show “those boys” in government how a “real businessman” operates.

    It doesn’t end well for him.

  17. 17
    amk says:

    Nice to wapo going back to being the faithful stenographer.

    Saudis must be so jealous right now.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    @dmsilev:

    Seriously, some reporter needs to flat-out ask Kushner to his face “other than the fact that you’re married to Trump’s daughter, what qualifications do you have for this job?”.

    “Between your strict adherence to the Sabbath, and along with your trips to Aspen and other vacations, when will you have time to run Middle East FP and SWAT the entire Federal Govt?”

  19. 19
    waspuppet says:

    Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants …

    Will they have really cool theme music pumped in, or just have it in their heads the whole time?

  20. 20
    germy says:

    Jar’d is the guy who wrote a fan letter to Christie, praising the bridge closing. Said it was a rockstar move.

  21. 21
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @dmsilev:

    This job, or, indeed, any other?

    I see in his face the expression of someone who knows deep down that he is where he is by birth, but who knows no one can call him on it. The face of a bully — a paper-mache bully.

  22. 22
    LAO says:

    I’m shaking with laughter. I just walked by another attorney’s office on my way to get coffee and he was deep in a discussion about Friday’s fiasco and insisting, quite loudly, that the President is a “deal maker,” who will straighten out the mess Obama inflicted on this country. What a moron — I hate this guy, if that wasn’t clear.

  23. 23
    amk says:

    The ‘outsider’ stacking the gobinment with all insiders. Great job, wwc.

  24. 24
    sherparick says:

    If I were Jared, I would have stayed skiing in Aspen another week. They got another 12 inches of fresh powder over the weekend. I must admit that it was clever for him and Ivanka to be absent from the White House for last week’s catastrophe. Jared, it appears, is the de facto President for foreign and domestic affairs now.

  25. 25
    LAO says:

    @germy: Well, then. He is also the guy who (allegedly) blocked Christie’s appointment to anything in this administration.

  26. 26

    @ArchTeryx:

    Now Trump wants to take our catrastrof*ck nationwide?

    Destroying the IRS has been a long-term dream of the whole Norquist wing of the Republican party. Of course they’re going to try to take that national.

  27. 27
    Obdurodon says:

    Problem is, the “great American companies” with which Kushner is familiar are mostly notable for fraud, employee abuse, offshoring, and corruption. How about let’s *not* apply more of that model to the US government?

  28. 28
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @ArchTeryx:

    Cuomo… another punk. The half-wit son of the greater sire.

  29. 29
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Roger Moore: Kushner: “The government should be run like a great American company.”
    Then maybe we should get somebody who’s run a great American company, rather than a bunch of incompetent grifters.

    who are in hock up to their ears and assholes (since they all have their heads up their ass) to shadowy Chinese and Russian banks

  30. 30
    The Moar You Know says:

    Little bit of clarity just erupted from the news feed – Art of the (plea) deal:

    (CNN)President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has volunteered to speak to the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the US election, a White House spokesman said Monday.

    “Throughout the campaign and transition, Jared Kushner served as the official primary point of contact with foreign governments and officials,” the White House spokesman told CNN in a statement. “Given this role, he has volunteered to speak with Chairman Burr’s Committee, but has not yet received confirmation.”

    Christ, this will not end well.

  31. 31
    germy says:

    @ArchTeryx: Young Cuomo is gonna run for president. I hope he changes his mind.

  32. 32
    germy says:

    @LAO: So the fan letter was a brilliant diversion to throw him off the scent!

  33. 33
    waspuppet says:

    @LAO: It was pointed out over the weekend (maybe it was here; I’m not sure): Donald Trump doesn’t make “deals.” Good deals work out for everyone involved. If Donald Trump had ever made a deal in his life, at the first sign of dissension in the GOP ranks he would’ve gone to the Democrats and said “Look, I know that you know Obamacare has some problems, and I’ve got a Republican Congress. Let’s talk.”

    Donald Trump makes sales. He gets to the part where you sign the part of the contract that says you give him money. He doesn’t know or care what happens after that. If the AHCA had passed, he would have done and said whatever he had to to get the Senate to pass a version of it, and if they couldn’t work it out in conference, he could point and say “Their fault.”

    None of this is a mystery. For a year and a half on the campaign trail, Trump tried to pass himself off as a legitimate businessman, but whenever anyone pointed out that he was a scam artist, “He would immediately say “I know how the system works; that’s why I can fix it,” which can’t mean anything other than “Yeah, but elect me and I’ll be a scam artist FOR AMERICA.”

  34. 34
    The Moar You Know says:

    Nunes is fucking toast.

    @Corner Stone: Let us pray. Valley Republicans are the worst, the last bastion of slaveholder sentiment in the United States, couldn’t happen to a shittier human being.

  35. 35
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @sherparick: I must admit that it was clever for him and Ivanka to be absent from the White House for last week’s catastrophe.

    I’ve been waiting for some ambitious young Republican to figure out that being anti-Trump now was the smart play for the long term. I never thought that person might be Ivanka. Marine LePen’s first move was pretty much to sideline her old man. If stories about the flabby old loon sobbing to the picture of Fred in his office start leaking out from a “well placed White House source”, like a second floor office in the West Wing, maybe the great palace coup will be in motion. It would be irresponsible not to et cetera…

  36. 36
    LAO says:

    @germy: Maybe Jared is smarter than we give him credit for? Nah — he’s just f*cking with the guy who sent his dad to jail.

  37. 37
    debit says:

    Soooooo, the guy who was so ignorant about how the White House worked (thought Obama’s people would stay), who has no idea how anything works is somehow going to make things work better? All righty then.

  38. 38
    rikyrah says:

    A Grand Health Care Bargain: Let States Kill the Exchanges, but Add Public Options
    by Steven Waldman March 27, 2017 9:00 AM

    After President Trump hilariously blamed the failure of Trumpcare on the Democrats, no one but his most fervent supporters took it seriously. He and Paul Ryan never even tried to garner Democratic support to repeal Obamacare; nor did they have any right to expect Democrats to help repeal the first program ever passed to provide near universal health coverage. But then Trump said this: “when they come to make a deal,” he’ll be receptive. It could be total bullshit, but if Trump is genuinely willing to embrace an approach that’s not dependent on the Freedom Caucus (his new Worst Friends Forever), a very good grand bargain actually is possible.

    To see the shape of one possible deal, one must start by understanding the Democrats’ actual views about Obamacare (as opposed to the caricatures fed by conservative media and politicians for seven years).

    Democrats were divided in 2009 between those who wanted a single-payer system and those willing to accept more of a market-based approach, in which most insurance would still be provided by private companies. Obama pushed for the latter, based on Mitt Romney’s system in Massachusetts.

    So while Democrats like many things about Obamacare, they don’t actually have a deep allegiance to the state exchanges, which have ended up as the most problematic part of the system. Democrats have defended them because right now they’re the only solution for the individual insurance market.

    But Democrats should be willing to throw the state exchanges overboard for the right deal. Here’s an idea: let states kill the exchanges, but add a robust “public option” tied to Medicaid, Medicare or the Veterans Administration health system.

  39. 39
    rikyrah says:

    Ok…

    Let’s play…

    WHAT IF…

    Same story…but, switch out CRAIG ROBINSON for Jared Kushner……

    what would be the response?

    Hmmmm???

    Yeah, I know.
    I KNOW.

  40. 40
    LAO says:

    @debit: I had forgotten about that. lololololol!

  41. 41
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    “Your father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes. He saved 800 lives, including your mother’s and yours. I challenge you to do better.” (Pike to Kirk)

    “Your father was a company CEO for 12 years. He screwed 80,000 people out of pensions. I challenge you to do worse.” (Trump to Kushner)

  42. 42
  43. 43

    @rikyrah: We don’t have to imagine, we know how HRC was savaged for the health care task force she lead. The Frontline before the elections spent a significant amount of time of how that made her history’s biggest monster evah.

  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:

    O M G

    “We should have excellence in government,” Kushner said Sunday in an interview in his West Wing office. “The government should be run like a great American company. Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens.”

  45. 45
    rp says:

    @JMG: Except that Gore actually accomplished a fair amount on this issue in the 90s.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    hellslittlestangel says:

    Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants …

    Great. Now black parents will have to have “the talk” with their kids about strategic consultants.

  48. 48
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    “Then maybe we should get somebody who’s run a great American company straight into the ground

    I hear that Carly is still looking for a job.

  49. 49
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    The mentions of Nunes above… is there some new development I’ve missed? Didn’t hear anything on NPR.

    Oh, never mind, just came across the newsfeed.

  50. 50
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki

    I Snarli?

  51. 51
    scav says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements…

    Along with the new logo and branding, don’t we always get some new inspirational posters to hang about everywhere? Daddy-in-law will love those: Usually 140 char or less and space for his picture!

  52. 52
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): You’re not exhausted and dehydrated from all the winning that we’ve been experiencing under Trump yet?

  53. 53
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @rikyrah: Would Craig Robinson still be Black. Or is this in an alternative reality?

  54. 54
    comrade scotts agenda of rage says:

    32 years working for Club Fed. Fucking Reagan and Bush I would occasionally make these kinds of statements but they essentially played by the established but unspoken rules of the game.

    Bush II, not a chance. He called it “The President’s Management Agenda”. It was designed for one thing: loot the Treasury.

    So, when you see the Twitler Gang making these statements, it’s cuz they found the Bushies’s blueprint for looting the Treasury and will not implement their own…on steroids.

  55. 55
    Keith P. says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I asked in the previous thread, is Jared Kushner really Superman? Is there nothing he can’t do?

    Get his wife to take his last name.

  56. 56
    gene108 says:

    @ArchTeryx:

    Now Trump wants to take our catrastrof*ck nationwide? I hope SOMEONE brings up what happened here when it was tried.

    The way read it is much more simple. How to change government functions so the Trump Organization gets a cut.

    Trump might not be able to govern worth a shit, but he always, always is looking for ways to loot the Treasury for his benefit.

    Getting the Secret Service to pay him rent for guarding Melania and Barron is chump change compared to the trillions of dollars floating around the government, just waiting for a President to siphon some off for himself.

    Edit: I’m surprised they’ve waited this long to start really trying to figure out how to loot the Treasury. I thought that’d be in place one day one. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

  57. 57

    @Patricia Kayden: At least he is a man, so no one will expect him to bake cookies instead.

  58. 58
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    Who thinks they’re too stupid to spell SWOT, but were actually trying to describe such an analysis by strategic consultants? I do, I do ::raises hand:: It makes the con job announcement funnier to me.

    It’s interesting that reports show Jared meeting with a FSB banker in addition to the ambassador… Buckle up, the Jester said.

  59. 59
    ruemara says:

    This entire administration is Triumph of the Mediocre White Male. Honestly, I think I just insulted mediocre white males. Plus, SWAT? Grow the fuck up, you microdicked cosplay West Wing admin?

  60. 60
    MikeEss says:

    …Kushner found a book somewhere called “How to Succeed at Government Without Really Trying”.

    He thinks he’s the only one who knows about the book…but Bannon wrote it…

    There is a Brotherhood of Scam,
    A Benevolent Brotherhood of Scam,
    A noble tie that binds
    All human hearts and minds
    Into one Brotherhood of Scam…

  61. 61
    Seanly says:

    This is the biggest crock of sh!t yet. Aren’t all those CEO’s busy on their own companies? And I’m pretty sure that random people in some White House office can’t willy-nilly void government contracts.

    Why does Kushner keep getting these shadow appointments?

    It’s Weird Al’s song “Mission Statement” on an infinite loop.

  62. 62

    @hellslittlestangel:

    Great. Now black parents will have to have “the talk” with their kids about strategic consultants.

    Honestly, every parent should have The Talk with their kids about strategic consultants.

  63. 63
    randy khan says:

    Truly, the most interesting part of this to me (because of course they were going to do something like this) is the choice of Kushner, because once more it demonstrates that Trump doesn’t really know or trust anybody. There are a hundred CEOs who would take on this job, and maybe another hundred Republican apparatchiks who’d jump at it, and he picks his son in law, who has no visible qualifications for anything else he’s doing in the Administration, let alone this (and who, it should be noted, has demonstrated that he has absorbed his father in law’s hand’s-on approach to the job, although in fairness there are only a few weeks of good snow left at Aspen). The President is trying to run the country with a team of about 12 people because he doesn’t trust anyone else.

  64. 64
    Scott P. says:

    The Monkey Cage blog at WaPo had a great article last week in which quotes on reorganizing the government were presented. Each was from a different President, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 2. This is an evergreen file and forget announcement.

    Al Gore’s commission under Clinton actually did a lot of good work, though granted the benefits of that sort of thing tend to be marginal.

  65. 65
    JGabriel says:

    WaPo via Anne Laurie @ Top:

    President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.

    And, just as an afterthought, maybe, potentially, privatizing some government functions. Just maybe. It’s not like that’s the main goal. It’s just something we’re potentially thinking about. I mean, we’re not planning to profit on it ourselves. Though it wouldn’t be corrupt if we did because it would just be happenstance. Not planned. Just something that maybe could potentially happen.

  66. 66
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @NorthLeft12:

    Frankly, they are running this administration like a business, a Trump business crime family, in my opinion.

    I believe this is the wording you were looking for, no?

  67. 67
    Keith P. says:

    BTW I dug up this old video this morning for a laugh. “Who is this Eric Cantor?” you may ask….then you forgot just as soon as you hear the answer.

  68. 68
    scav says:

    @randy khan: Is it about trust so much as maximizing and keeping income streams close?

  69. 69
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    Jeezuz… I get up, check the headlines, and want to go back to bed… or start drinking… or drink for a while and THEN go back to bed…

    The 2018 midterms CANNOT come soon enough…

  70. 70
    maya says:

    Kuchner’s title: Sultan of SWAT. (Under the circumstances it’s a welcome change from Czar.)

  71. 71
    D58826 says:

    Looking at Jared in that photo makes me think he should be the big brother in the reboot of Leave it to Beaver!!

  72. 72

    @scav:

    Is it about trust so much as maximizing and keeping income streams close?

    Keep your friends close, and your income streams closer.

  73. 73
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: did he donate a bunch to Trump? Sucker! That attorney should come with a warning for his clients.

  74. 74
    Mike J says:

    @MikeEss: He does remind me of a woodchuck.

  75. 75
    Immanentize says:

    I know it won’t happen, but there are SO MANY ways government efficiency could be improved. Solid tech upgrade is number one. Outsourcing is not on the list.

  76. 76

    @Corner Stone: Citizens are not your customers, moron. They’re your boss.

    [ETA: I don’t mean CS is a moron. Surely that’s clear]

    Kushner succeeded the old fashioned way: he inherited money and then married the boss’s daughter. I want him in jail.

  77. 77
    Keith P. says:

    @Mike J:

    He does remind me of a woodchuck.

    Seeing Jared Kushner polish off an ear of corn is a sight to behold. There’s this cartoon sound effect that always seems to accompany it.

  78. 78
    zach says:

    It’s really frustrating that these articles NEVER point out that Bush II ran as the “CEO President” and that his administration is not remembered for its managerial competence…

  79. 79
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @germy: For which party is Mr. Cuomo planning to run for?

  80. 80
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Keith P.: there were a couple of “Young Guns” gifs going around the tubes over the weekend, along with Paulie’s infamous “workout bro” photo shoot. He likes having his picture took waaaaay too much for a “wonk”

  81. 81

    @D58826: Rather he should be Eddy Haskell.

  82. 82
    hovercraft says:

    @randy khan:

    the choice of Kushner, because once more it demonstrates that Trump doesn’t really know or trust anybody.

    Of coarse he doesn’t, he’s too insecure. As it is even the very gentle pushback he’s gotten from his cabinet so far is probably enraging him, so putting someone like Jared in charge of this is a way of demoting them all and putting a complete loyalist in charge of the government. I think it’s more about consolidating even more power in the White House than any desire to do anything more efficiently, other than siphon money into his coffers.

  83. 83

    When I taught at GMI, I used to tell my students that GM was not in business to make cars. They were in business to make money. So maybe Kushner is just being frank when he says he’ll run the government like a business.

  84. 84
    randy khan says:

    @Immanentize:

    And one thing that gets forgotten is how much more efficient government has gotten at a variety of functions since the dawn of the Internet. I can pay all sorts of taxes and fees online – much better than the mail – and the amount of government information easily available to regular people now has exploded, not to mention public access to the comment process on regulatory initiatives. (Think of how public comment affected the network neutrality debate.)

  85. 85
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Mike J: Woodchucks would like an apology for the defamatory comparison. Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this matter.

  86. 86
    D58826 says:

    At the philosophical level I don’t see a problem with having a review of a gov’t agency to see if there are better ways to do things. Just because it worked well in 1950 doesn’t mean it works well in 2017. The problem is they are pushing the usual privatize pony before even looking at the agency. The second problem is if you really want to bring some of these agencies into the 21st century you are going to have to spend big bucks on technology upgrades. If I remember correctly during the Hillary e-mail-a-thon many people commented on the fact that the State department e-mail systems would have been obsolete in 1950 let alone 2017. That isn’t going to change with Der Fuhrer’s plan to cut States budget by 30%. Waste and inefficiency at DOD go back at least to the Drew Pierson/Jack Anderson muckraker days. There is a better chance that the Titanic will sail into NY harbor than any of that changing soon. I suspect that if we could wring that waste out of DOD we could have Trump’s BESTEST military with enough left over that the folks working for Meals on Wheels could deliver lobster dinners driving BMW’s

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone: He’s like a donut. There’s nothing he can’t do!

  88. 88
    JPL says:

    What’s to stop Jared from lying to the committee? His father-in-law would pardon him anyway, and Ryan and McConnell won’t say a peep about it.

    The Nunes announement is getting weirder by the day.

  89. 89
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @D58826:

    Uh, gee, Wally… Momlania seems kinda sore.

    Yeah, but I wouldn’t worry. Girls are kinda dopey like that. Ivanka is always tellin’ me I need to go work for her father. Guess I probably will.

  90. 90
    LAO says:

    @Immanentize: It just occurred to me, he specializes in bankruptcy — so I’m sure that where his admiration for Trump comes from.

  91. 91
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @NorthLeft12:

    All of them, Katie!

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @randy khan:

    not to mention public access to the comment process on regulatory initiatives. (Think of how public comment affected the network neutrality debate.)

    Obviously, in ways not well liked by the greedy Ferengi who throttle your bandwidth in order to further enrich themselves. Which is why things at the FCC are the way they are now. Fuck the public!

  93. 93
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: nice burn. Save that for his next outburst. Is he sorta balding? Overweight? High blood pressure type?

  94. 94
    D58826 says:

    @zach: First POTUS with a masters degree (even if Daddy’s money greased a few wheels for him to get it). But he did brag about the virtue of being a C student. If only he HAD performed as a C level President we would have been much better off

  95. 95
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Since American businesses do not classify fraud and theft and tax evasion as crimes…when done by legal business entities, of course…I would dispute calling Deadbeat Donald’s enterprises criminal.

  96. 96
    MattF says:

    @D58826: Also– upgrading technology is a difficult, expensive, and risky thing to do. Even if the people involved are experienced and knowledgable about the agency that’s trying to fix things. In the present case, we have Mr. Neither-Nor-and-None-of-the-above, so the probability of success is zero.

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:

    Oh God. Ivanka Trump is flapping her gumhole yob at this women’s small business thing meeting at the WH.
    Shut up, you fuck.

  98. 98
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Scott P.: It is really difficult to move a huge bureaucracy very much. Because one of the things you want to do is to keep it functioning while you’re doing the moving, and that’s the rub, right there.

  99. 99
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @JPL:

    His father-in-law would pardon him anyway, and Ryan and McConnell won’t say a peep about it.

    Is a Presidential Pardon the magical get out of jail card Republicans are depending on here?

    Manafort… Page… Nunes… all of them?

    And can Trump pardon himself when the time comes?

    I once knew an ED that forgave his own $1.4MM loan when he was exiting the company he had destroyed…

  100. 100
    MattF says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: I suppose Pence could pardon him. Because reasons.

  101. 101
    montanareddog says:

    @Corner Stone: he can tolerate being in the same room as Orangemandias for more than 2 minutes without eating the wallpaper which is a pretty damned impressive skill

  102. 102
    MattF says:

    @montanareddog: He’s just a talented lad.

  103. 103
    Jeffro says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Then maybe we should get somebody who’s run a great American company, rather than a bunch of incompetent grifters.

    Like Mark Cuban?

  104. 104
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Keith P.: Ivanka Kushner just sounds… wrong, somehow…

  105. 105
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @NorthLeft12: You Sir, or Madam as the case may be, are more polite than I am…

    And yes, you are correct… embezzlers and tax frauds, if they do time at all, never get the really stiff sentences they deserve… what they typically get is a short stay in a Club Fed and their name on a building…

  106. 106
    Aleta says:

    @JGabriel: No announcement of any plan committed to reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction. Just a plan to open a new bureaucratic office with the power to dissolve programs. Oh and harvest ideas from profit-harvesting companies.

  107. 107
    randy khan says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    People who expect loyalty from Trump will be disappointed. I would guess that no pardons would issue unless Trump felt it was the only way to shut someone up. (And bear in mind that a pardon actually could make it easier to talk.)

  108. 108
    momus says:

    The Office of American Innovation will turn out to be more like a flock of seagulls than a swat team. They’ll arrive screeching, crap all over everything, and leave.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    @momus:

    The Office of American Innovation will turn out to be more like a flock of seagulls than a swat team.

    They will at least provide some cover for the WH to attack I Ran.

  110. 110
    Jeffro says:

    @JGabriel:

    And, just as an afterthought, maybe, potentially, privatizing some government functions. Just maybe. It’s not like that’s the main goal. It’s just something we’re potentially thinking about. I mean, we’re not planning to profit on it ourselves. Though it wouldn’t be corrupt if we did because it would just be happenstance. Not planned. Just something that maybe could potentially happen.

    Even this gang of idiots must realize that the window of opportunity to monetize something – anything – outta this president gig is rapidly closing. Too bad they don’t seem to understand there’s not a huge bag of cash they can grab and run (much less enjoy while they’re in federal prison)

  111. 111
    Immanentize says:

    On pardons. The President has almost unreviewable pardon powers, but there might be two exceptions — pardoning himself and any type of peremptory pardon (that is, pardon before charging). But no one quite knows…. see Weinberger, Cap, re: pardoning yourself by pardoning another.

  112. 112
    Elie says:

    These folks just seem unable to stop fucking themselves and wrecking our government. I could not have imagined a more incompetent bunch of shameless grifters! My golly, it doesn’t stop! A mixture of heartless cruelty and complete idiocy and incompetence. Which doesn’t mean that they can’t do immense damage. They are already very good at that but to me it argues for an intervention at some point… don’t know by who or when, but the whole enterprise is getting more and more wobbly and ridiculous…

  113. 113
    WereBear says:

    @Corner Stone: Well, these days… that is American business…

  114. 114
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @randy khan: More like tRump doesn’t trust anyone else not to blab about how they’re grifting 330million Ahmurrrrcans all at once. It’s not that he trusts Kushner to do the job: it’s that he trusts Kushner to keep his mouth shut.

  115. 115

    @rikyrah: nice concept, but I think you have too many adults in your “what if” maind game. I was thinking more along the lines, to get relationships somewhat close – if one of Malia’s school-mates would have been named…
    Probably about the same level of competence, I’d think.

  116. 116
    bowtiejack says:

    Kushner: “The government should be run like a great American company.”

    Hey, can I get “Enron” in the pool?
    Either that or “Lehman Brothers”.

  117. 117
    Jeffro says:

    @Boatboy_srq: She’d do better to go with Xenia Onatopp…

  118. 118
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @rikyrah:

    Everything in this country now (and forever) can be understood by imagining “what if Obama did this” or “what if Hillary did this”. The hypocrisy needed to excuse the white male supremacy on full display actually makes my hair hurt to its roots.

  119. 119
    Corner Stone says:

    @JPL:

    The Nunes announement is getting weirder by the day.

    Somebody shared with him that his name is one of the “unmasked” or obvious references involved in conversations with the Russians.
    Nunes is sweating bullets in a desperate attempt to shitcan and/or discredit the House IC Committee investigation. The WH is yanking his chain, hard.

  120. 120
    Barbara says:

    First question: What are the largest dollar value contracts that the federal government has?
    Second question: Which of these companies or high profile individuals working for them donated to Trump?
    There is no third question. My husband assures me that for matters related to defense, the big contractors are so big that they basically cannot be displaced. The thing is, Al Gore actually did make government contracting work more like it does in the commercial sector, by identifying items that were commercially available and freeing the purchase of those items from complex (and prone to cronyism) procurement rules. If Kushner actually thinks his father’s real estate company should be the general contractor on a huge IT or weapons contract, yeah, I don’t see Oracle or Lockheed going along without a fight.

  121. 121
    JPL says:

    @Immanentize: Pardons are transparent normally, but nothing is normal with this administration. I assume if indictments come down, Trump will say they are political witch hunts, and pardon the whole gang. Graham and Sasse might be upset, but that’s it.

  122. 122
    Barbara says:

    @Corner Stone: I like to think that most people who are elected to federal office are smart enough to know that a Russian business opportunity that comes to you out of the blue is unlikely to be free from a complex and compromising underlying agenda. Apparently Russia has figured out how to get access to data showing the IQ of our elected officials in order to single out the dimmest.

  123. 123
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Jeffro: Isn’t Cuban’s fellow Shark Kevin O’Leary running, or talking about running, for PM of Canada?

    Now that oughta be interesting…

    Btw… I found that Seth Abramson twitter thread you mentioned yesterday and read the whole thing last night… took like 2 hrs and that’s w/out hitting all the links…

    Amazing… it was a like a slo-mo, animated movie of the entire Trump-russia story… it s/b mandatory reading for anyone who wants to understand this mess…

  124. 124
    Immanentize says:

    @Barbara: exactly. It’s like trying to make a deal with a faerie. Expect to be screwed.

  125. 125
    Brachiator says:

    I find I have to give myself a break from Trump antics now and then. Put myself on a low-dose Trump news regimen, as it were. My sister tries to avoid all Trump news.

    I was basking in the afterglow of the Trumpcare debacle, and only watched a bit of the Sunday pundit shows, to get a brief feel for the Beltway reaction.

    So, last week or so, we got the elevation of Trump’s Daughter-wife Ivanka to First Crumpet with a West Wing Office, and now the anointing of Jared the Obscure as Lord Mucky Muck of Technology.

    What’s next? The formal announcement of young Barron as Prince Regent and Heir Apparent?

  126. 126
    Elie says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage:

    We’ll see how competent they are at even doing that… These folks are unbelievably inept… they think no one sees what is obvious to all but those inside their bubble. Bush was never this stupid, much to our loss. My hope is that this will make the play out for this administration much faster — maybe even catastrophic…..The arrogance and narcissism appears spread over the whole group, not just the old man….They really disbelieve that fire burns them.

  127. 127
    montanareddog says:

    Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements…

    It seems that there is a glaring typo in the WaPo’s report; I think the S in SWAT should be a T

  128. 128
    rikyrah says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Would Craig Robinson still be Black. Or is this in an alternative reality?

    Still Black.

  129. 129
    The Moar You Know says:

    If Kushner actually thinks his father’s real estate company should be the general contractor on a huge IT or weapons contract, yeah, I don’t see Oracle or Lockheed going along without a fight.

    @Barbara: Or even a small company. Trump/Kushner won’t get one dime of business. Let me explain why (it’s my industry and I know how this works):

    1. Procurement issues contract.
    2. Companies respond.
    3. Procurement awards contract.
    4. Two years later, contract winner hires procurement officer to cushy part-time gig with full time pay.
    5. Repeat with new parties.

    Trump/Kushner can’t win this, can’t even get a piece of it, because they’re a known quantity: they rip off their contractors and employees. No procurement officer is going to give them one fucking dime. As the actors say, “what’s my motivation?” You wanna get out of the service and go to work for Lockheed, not McDonalds, and landing a job at McDonald’s would actually be a better career move than working for Trump.

  130. 130
    WereBear says:

    @Elie: The best part is how it is REALLY heavy lifting for our scummy media to make it all look “normal.”

  131. 131
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    I saw that headline this AM and thought, they left out some scare quotes.

    Trump taps Kushner to lead a SWAT team to fix government with business ideas

    should have been

    Trump “taps” Kushner to “lead” a “SWAT team” to “fix” government with “business ideas”

  132. 132
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Jared Kushner’s “SWAT Team”: Early Contender for Dumbest Idea of the Week

    In any previous Administration, even in Dubya’s, this absurdity would be a strong contender.

    With this crew, it’ll be lucky to be the dumbest idea of Monday.

  133. 133
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne:

    Everything in this country now (and forever) can be understood by imagining “what if Obama did this” or “what if Hillary did this”. The hypocrisy needed to excuse the white male supremacy on full display actually makes my hair hurt to its roots.

    In addition to all the corruption, Russian ties, grifting, conflicts of interest, venality, incompetence, and general creepiness — I also can’t imagine either the Obamas or the Clintons being as spectacularly uninvolved in the lives of their young children as Trump is with young Barron.

  134. 134
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Barbara: Either the dimmest, or the already ensnared. Flynn, Manafort et al are already starting to look like the inept villains in a Timothy Zahn novel (“we’ll let you know the next time we need something from you Mr Ferrier.”)

  135. 135
    germy says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    Isn’t Cuban’s fellow Shark Kevin O’Leary running, or talking about running, for PM of Canada?

    We got hooked on a few seasons of Shark Tank. They were always bullying the “contestants” to outsource their labor overseas. I remember one guy who had invented some sort of pickup truck accessory, and he was proud that he was employing people in his hometown. The Sharks (O’Leary especially) yelled at him that the only way he could make the thing worthy of investment was to have the thing manufactured overseas.

    It became awkward when ABC News launched their “Made In America” series. There were a few weeks when ABC News would feature a heartwarming Made In America story, and then an hour later the station’s big hit show would be yelling for outsourcing.

    The Sharks seemed to finally get a memo. They toned down the rhetoric.

  136. 136
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: That’s because neither of Those Families® have, you know, staff.

  137. 137
    mai naem mobile says:

    Obama had some kind of innovation office but it was for scientific innovation. Anyhow, I don’t think this has anything to do withis running the US goverment as a business. This is just how Kushner and his in laws can set up some kind of permanent grifting apparatus in the government. I just cannot stand this family.

  138. 138
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Jason Kander, March 20: “POTUS hires family members because he’s tried everyone else and these are probably the most qualified people who would never talk to the FBI.”

  139. 139
    Corner Stone says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    as spectacularly uninvolved in the lives of their young children as Trump is with young Barron.

    Even though during the general election runup everyone seemed to fall onto the one nice thing they could say about Trump was, “Well, look at his kids. At how well they turned out.” All the reporting from prior to then, to real time to afterward was that Trump basically had nothing to do with any of his kids when they were children or growing up.
    And I remember cringing so painfully during the debate when HRC said the thing she admired about Trump was his kids. It was blindingly obvious that all his adult kids were fucking scum and that has borne out and magnified by about elebenty since that time.

  140. 140
    hovercraft says:

    Trump Is Facing Massive Failure, Leaving Much of Obama’s Legacy Intact
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    March 27, 2017 12:00 PM

    Following the 2016 election, conventional wisdom was that the Obama legacy would be short-lived. After all, Republicans won the presidency and maintained control of both houses of Congress and they were destined to undo much of what our 44th president accomplished.

    But since Republicans didn’t gain a 60 vote majority in the Senate, any legislation they attempted to pass would still be subject to a filibuster by Democrats. Rather than try to work with the opposition party to enact legislation, the Republicans came up with a grand strategy on how to avoid a filibuster on their two main priorities: Obamacare repeal and tax reform. They would use the process of budget reconciliation, which only requires a simple majority.

    In order to understand what the failure to repeal Obamacare using budget reconciliation means, it is important to keep a few facts in mind. Reconciliation must be tied to a budget resolution and can only be used once in any fiscal year. Because of that, Republicans didn’t use the reconciliation process in 2016. Instead, they saved it for this Congress and wrote rules into the FY17 budget resolution that tied it to the repeal of Obamacare. The plan was to follow that up immediately with a FY18 budget resolution and tie that one to tax reform.

    As Evan Horowitz explained prior to the failure to repeal Obamacare, they have now squandered one of their two attempts to bypass the need to work with Democrats.

    …Republicans don’t have the option of temporarily setting health care aside to take up tax reform. If they try, they will lose their shot at two reconciliation bills.

    They can’t easily switch the order either, since they’ve already passed a resolution officially stating that they plan to use [FY17] reconciliation for health care reform.

    This is why Speaker Ryan said, after they failed to garner enough votes to pass Obamacare repeal, that the law would be with us for the foreseeable future. Once they move on the the FY18 budget resolution and reconciliation process on tax reform, they have forfeited the ability to us the FY17 process for Obamacare repeal. It is possible that they could use this same process in subsequent years to try again, but that is highly unlikely.

    Unlike what the Republicans claim, Obamacare is not about to implode. So the ball is now in HHS Secretary Price’s court to see if he can make it unravel via changes in the regulations. That means that the focus will likely shift to the courts as those actions are challenged. In other words, Republicans are in for a long, hard struggle to damage Obamacare.

    Meanwhile, Congressional action will shift to tax reform. Because the plan is to use the same reconciliation process, the question is: will it be any easier than repealing Obamacare? Stan Collender says no.

    Repealing and replacing the existing system rather than starting from scratch where there wasn’t one before means that, just like with Obamacare, tax reform will create losers as well as winners. It’s virtually guaranteed that the companies who will pay more because of the proposed changes will fight at least as hard as those that will pay less. That will make the tax reform debate longer, tougher and much nastier than anyone is currently assuming.

    Collender goes on to explain that using reconciliation to pass tax reform will require Republicans to pass a budget resolution by May/June.

    The January fiscal 2017 budget resolution was largely pro forma; it made no substantive policy changes and was done just to get reconciliation instructions in place for ACA repeal. Many House and Senate Republicans held their noses and voted for it even though it had high deficits and what they considered to be excessive spending levels only so the ACA repeal debate could get underway.

    By contrast, the fiscal 2018 budget resolution that Congress will consider later this year will be the real thing, with deficits and spending levels that will be anything but acceptable to many representatives and senators.

    Finally, Republicans will once again have to deal with CBO.

    CBO (and the Joint Committee on Taxation) will play an even larger role in the tax reform debate because whether the plan adds to the budget deficit will be one of the biggest issues. As was the case with ACA, a bad score from CBO on tax reform could easily force the legislation’s drafters back to the drawing board and substantially reduce support for the overall effort.

    That covers the policy issues Republicans will face in tackling tax reform. But there are also political challenges. Right now they are still engaged in finger-pointing over their failure to repeal Obamacare. But as Alan Rappeport reports, the Trump administration might be more engaged on this issue than they were last round, and their plans don’t necessarily align with Speaker Ryan’s. Beyond that, some of the major players in the White House are at odds with each other on tax reform as well as on other issues. None of that even gets to the division among Republicans in Congress.

    Prior to the collapse of their effort to repeal Obamacare, it might have been possible to imagine Republicans overcoming these challenges. But they have squandered momentum and, for now, failure hangs in the air.

    Those are the issues with which the Trump administration and Congress will be grappling through the spring, summer and into fall. Meanwhile, two of Trump’s other big promises will languish. As regular readers here know, I’ve always been bearish on whether or not his infrastructure plan would see the light of day. And as I wrote recently, finding the funds to pay for his border wall is only the first thing that could derail that whole effort. The reality is that, when it comes to governing, Trump might be about to learn that health care isn’t the only thing that is complicated.

    The 100th day of Trump’s administration is only a little over a month away (April 29th). It is now clear that he won’t even begin to meet the promises he made about what he would accomplish by then. But if the first year of his presidency ends without any real movement on Obamacare repeal, tax reform, infrastructure and a border wall, it would represent a massive failure. And at least when it comes to these issues, Obama’s legacy would live on.

  141. 141
    Jeffro says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    Btw… I found that Seth Abramson twitter thread you mentioned yesterday and read the whole thing last night… took like 2 hrs and that’s w/out hitting all the links…

    Amazing… it was a like a slo-mo, animated movie of the entire Trump-russia story… it s/b mandatory reading for anyone who wants to understand this mess…

    I know, right? It’s all right there, ready to be made into a nice TV special for the folks at home. I’m surprised Maddow hasn’t latched onto it yet (although that might actually slow down the process, lol…)

  142. 142
    Brachiator says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    When I taught at GMI, I used to tell my students that GM was not in business to make cars. They were in business to make money.

    Interesting. I’m not a big business person, but I had a boss who did his MBA years ago and had Peter Drucker as one of his teachers. This idea seems to go against one Drucker principle that a company needs to know what (tangible) business it is in. But I see that some companies make money even if they alienate or aggravate their customers. Maybe they have perfected the system.

    So maybe Kushner is just being frank when he says he’ll run the government like a business.

    It’s weird. I hear Trump supporters mumble this continually like a mantra. But it seems just fundamentally wrong. If business is slow, is Trump going to sell off New Jersey?

    @D58826:

    At the philosophical level I don’t see a problem with having a review of a gov’t agency to see if there are better ways to do things.

    Sure. I just don’t see Trump or his family members as being capable of doing this.

  143. 143
    Tracy Ratcliff says:

    @Bailey: I was reading the tech press at the time, and they judged the healthcare.gov rollout as not all that bad. No government on the planet has figured out how to reliably contract IT. Healthcare.gov’s rollout was complicated by the Supreme Court case which delayed assigning contracts to the last minute. The user side programming was brilliant but the backend connections wer predictably a mess for a couple of months

  144. 144
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @germy:

    I remember one guy who had invented some sort of pickup truck accessory, and he was proud that he was employing people in his hometown.

    I still watch the Shark Tank on a regular basis… and I remember that guy… it was a rack you could install and take off easily, depending on whether or not it’s needed…

    Yeah… the Sharks can get a bit obnoxious, especially O’Leary… and I feel I have learned a lot by watching them go back and forth w/ the entrepreneurs and parse out the pros and cons of proposals in real time…

    Someone mentioned Enron here… interesting side note… Mark Cuban was Executive Producer, or one of them, for “Enron, the Smartest Guys in the Room”… finally watched it a couple of weeks ago… upsetting to say the least… I remember following that story as it happened and it hits you differently when you see it condensed down to a 2 hr documentary…

  145. 145
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Corner Stone: That was the one piece of.pure genius: the kids looked so much better when Daddy had the spotlight and they were in the dim background. They don’t look so good when they’ve got full-power Fresnels of their own.

  146. 146
    Mike J says:

    @Brachiator:

    This idea seems to go against one Drucker principle that a company needs to know what (tangible) business it is in.

    GM probably makes more money from lending money so people can buy cars than they do from selling cars.

  147. 147
    MomSense says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho:

    Who thinks they’re too stupid to spell SWOT, but were actually trying to describe such an analysis by strategic consultants? I do, I do ::raises hand:: It makes the con job announcement funnier to me.

    That’s what I was thinking. Wonder how many presentations and/or processes they have been through with consultants and never knew what SWOT meant???

    Wow, they are really bad at whatever the hell it is they do.

  148. 148
    Corner Stone says:

    @low-tech cyclist: I like that Kander kid. Think he’s going places one day soon.

  149. 149
    hovercraft says:

    These people are so fucking stoopid!! How the hell is a person supposed to get a job, let alone get to work if you first eliminate public transport now you also want to punish people for having cars?

    Alabama GOP Senator Wants Meals For Wheels

    Republican Alabama State Senator Arthur Orr wants to revamp the state’s financial aid laws to make them even more poor shaming and even more utterly ridiculous:

    Alabama Republicans say they want a new bill to drastically limit state welfare programs so that recipients will get jobs — but the bill eliminates the most common means of transportation to and from work.

    The bill, created by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr, cuts the time frame for assistance from five years to three. It also creates a new layer of bureaucracy for poor people seeking help, including the requirement that they sign a contract vowing to adhere to the program’s rules. It also disqualifies people from getting food stamps or financial assistance for families with children if the recipients own cars, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

    “We want to get people working back in the workforce and not hanging out for public benefits because they can,” Orr told the paper.

    What brilliance! He wants to get people back to work but doesn’t want them to have the means to find that work much less get to it. Pure genius, for a Republican.

    Of course, the is the same clown that wanted to have all high school kids pass a citizenship test before graduating so that they were a better informed citizen. He forgot to mention that it is also a good way to keep the poor kids – especially the poor, black kids – from graduating and getting a good paying job that he doesn’t want them to be able to get to anyway.

    Whew! Such evilness is breathtaking.

  150. 150
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Jeffro:

    I know, right? It’s all right there, ready to be made into a nice TV special for the folks at home.

    Documentary?

    Comic book? And that’s not a joke… ever read ‘Maus’ by Art Spiegelman? It’s a great way to read teenagers, amongst other demographics, who might not read a big, thick book…

    Ever see ‘Waltz With Bashir’?

  151. 151
    Kay says:

    More gross nepotism from the Trump Family. It’s who they are.

    I blame this one on Harvard. Once Jared bought college admittance he knew the score and he knew what he could get away with.

    The whole Trump Family story is one of no one calling any of them on anything for years and years and the rest of us getting stuck with the failure to do so. We can certainly blame 20,000 voters in Michigan but they didn’t create this monster- a lot of fancy “institutions” did because no one had the balls to tell these people “no”. Ever.

  152. 152
    rikyrah says:

    Man…video please!!!

    Report: Ryan pleaded on one knee for ObamaCare repeal vote
    BY CYRA MASTER – 03/26/17 08:14 PM EDT

    The Washington Post detailed the House GOP’s fight over the ObamaCare repeal and replacement plan this week, rounding up the dramatic details of leadership’s fight to win support for the measure.

    At one point, the paper said, House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) got down on one knee to plead with Rep. Don Young of Alaska – the longest-serving Republican in Congress — to support the bill. (He was unsuccessful.)

  153. 153
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brachiator:

    But I see that some companies make money even if they alienate or aggravate their customers. Maybe they have perfected the system.

    “Hi, thank you for calling AT&T.”

  154. 154
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Think he’s going places one day soon.

    By ‘places’, do you mean prison?

  155. 155
    germy says:

    @Corner Stone: “Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold.”

    [muzak]

  156. 156
    rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    …………….

    Juan Williams: If Obama had acted like Trump…
    BY JUAN WILLIAMS – 03/27/17 06:00 AM EDT

    Right-wing media to President Obama: We are so very sorry.

    That’s the message I got last week from the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page.

    The Journal abandoned efforts to make sense of President Trump’s outright fiction that Obama wiretapped him. Its editorial page — never a friend to Obama — wrote this last week about Trump:

    “[He] clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims.”

    Wow. The Journal was sharply critical of Obama but never said he had the credibility of a drunkard.

    They are not yet saying “Thanks, Obama,” but their words do stir new appreciation for the good old days under the previous president.

    ……………………………………………………………….

    Imagine the reaction from far-right talk radio — the people who raised hell and their ratings by attacking Obama daily with accusations about fake scandals — if the 44thpresident had lied about his predecessor or if people in his circle had been taking money from Russia.

    Imagine the outburst from Rush Limbaugh — the king of conservative talk radio — if the Justice Department told Obama that his National Security Advisor had lied about discussing sanctions with Russian government officials and Obama had waited three weeks to demand that person’s resignation.

    And what would Hugh Hewitt say on radio if it was later revealed that the advisor took over $65,000 from companies linked to Vladimir Putin’s Russia, in addition to pocketing more than $500,000 from moonlighting as a lobbyist tied to the Turkish government?

    What might my friend, conservative radio host Lars Larson, have said if Obama’s former campaign manager had taken $10 million from Russian oligarchs to — in his words — “greatly benefit” the interests of Putin’s Russia inside the U.S.?

    Of course, the reality is Obama’s team never engaged in such damaging acts. It is Trump’s team that is under investigation for all of these charges of scandalous behavior.

  157. 157
    rikyrah says:

    Hmmph.

    Nunes was on WH grounds day before announcing Trump surveillance info
    BY REBECCA SAVRANSKY – 03/27/17 10:39 AM EDT

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) was on the White House grounds the day before he announced information related to U.S. surveillance of President Trump’s transition team.

    Nunes said he was on grounds, but not in the White House itself, for meetings “to confirm what I already knew” and noted no one in the White House knew he was there.

    A spokesperson for Nunes told The Hill in a statement that he “met with his source at the White House grounds in order to have proximity to a secure location where he could view the information provided by the source.”

  158. 158
    Corner Stone says:

    @rikyrah:

    At one point, the paper said, House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) got down on one knee to plead with Rep. Don Young of Alaska – the longest-serving Republican in Congress — to support the bill. (He was unsuccessful.)

    Enter Chapelle skit about a drug addict as President.

  159. 159
    JPL says:

    The fix is in…

    Ryan’s spox: “Speaker Ryan has full confidence that Chairman Nunes is conducting a thorough, fair, & credible investigation”

  160. 160
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Kander, not Kushner.

  161. 161
    rikyrah says:

    Trump keeps demanding credit for Obama’s successes
    03/27/17 10:00 AM—UPDATED 03/27/17 10:16 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Desperate for a little good news, Donald Trump seemed eager to boast on Friday about a company called Charter Communications moving forward with plans to add 20,000 jobs in the United States. Soon after, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer bragged about the news from the briefing room podium, and the White House’s communications office sent out a press release, pointing to the news as proof of a president who’s “delivering on jobs for the American people.”

    Just on the surface, this entire approach makes Trump appear more like a mayor than a president. It’s a massive country with the world’s largest economy, and individual companies are going to sometimes hire and fire people. Trump seems to think he can claim credit for every piece of positive economic news, which is plainly silly.

    But in the case of Charter Communications, it’s actually worse, because as the Washington Post noted, these jobs were actually announced in the Obama era, and had nothing to do with Trump.

    [P]arts of that pledge by Charter chief executive Tom Rutledge had already been made months ago…. [T]here is little evidence to suggest the Trump administration played a major role in securing those commitments.

    Charter had announced those intended hires as far back as October, and the jobs – which will largely be filled by customer service workers – are “new” only in the sense that they have yet to be filled.

  162. 162
    Corner Stone says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Jason Kander? Mercy I hope not!
    No, I think he’s going to make a very valuable public servant again one day, hopefully at higher levels than he was previously. Seems sharp.

  163. 163
    rikyrah says:

    I absolutely despise this administration. Kushner isn’t qualified to do shyt.

  164. 164
    hovercraft says:

    @rikyrah:

    Well it worked for Hank Paulson with Nancy Smash, so ZEGS figured he’d give it a chance. What he should have remembered is that back in ’08, it worked on Nancy who got a large number of democrats to bail Wall Street and the Bush administration out, the republicans even as far back as then, were willing to sit back and watch the world economy crash.

  165. 165
    Brachiator says:

    @Mike J: RE: This idea seems to go against one Drucker principle that a company needs to know what (tangible) business it is in.

    GM probably makes more money from lending money so people can buy cars than they do from selling cars.

    Fair point.

  166. 166
    Aleta says:

    The plans and legislative pieces for privatizing have already been written (ALEC or whoever) so this office doesn’t have to do that much, just field calls from eager CEOs and turn them over to the conference facilities at the old post office building.

  167. 167
    Kay says:

    If Democrats help the low quality Trump hires “fix” the health care law please have no illusions that this will help Democrats with their political prospects.

    The people who benefited the most from the health care law LITERALLY punished Democrats and they will do it again.

    Ditto- auto industry, bank regulation and a whole host of other issues. There is absolutely no connection anymore between policy and how people vote. It’s irrational. Democratic activists just LITERALLY saved the health benefits for half of this county and this county will turn out and vote against Democrats in the midterms.

    Do it because you’re nice people or do it because YOU benefit but don’t do it for a political benefit. It’s not coming.

  168. 168
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:, @Corner Stone:I assumed it was a typo.. my bad…

  169. 169
    rikyrah says:

    For GOP, fallout from health care fiasco is just getting started
    03/27/17 11:20 AM
    By Steve Benen
    It’s not surprising that Republicans are eager to move on from the health care fight they picked. The entire endeavor was an embarrassing failure, exposing intra-party divisions and governing challenges that are likely to dog the GOP for many months to come.

    But their Democratic rivals intend to make sure the political fallout is even more painful. NBC News reported over the weekend:

    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is launching its first ad campaign of the 2018 election cycle Monday, targeting 14 Republicans who voted for earlier versions of the bill in House committees. […]

    That starts with the members of three House committees that took up and passed draft versions of the Obamacare repeal bill – the Budget, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce Committees. Fourteen of the DCCC’s targeted Republican lawmakers voted for the bill in one of those committees.

    To see the message Democrats are pushing, the party posted this sample clip, targeting Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.). The ad-buy appear to be modest – the DCCC is apparently targeting digital platforms, at least with this initial rollout – but as the NBC report added, the spots are “a glimpse of what voters will see on their TVs soon.”

    Which makes a lot of sense. The House didn’t end up voting for the wildly unpopular GOP health care plan, but Republican leaders pushed the bill quickly through three committees, which put a series of GOP lawmakers on the record, voting for the legislation before it was derailed.

    Each of them are now vulnerable to attack ads that will have the benefit of being true: these Republicans knew the bill was a mess; they knew the American mainstream hated it; and they knew it wouldn’t work – but they voted for it anyway, ignoring the chance to kill it.

    What’s more, plenty of other House Republicans went on the record ahead of Friday afternoon, stating publicly their intention to support the bill on the floor (when they assumed there would be a floor vote). They, too, made themselves vulnerable by directly tying themselves to the doomed legislation.

  170. 170
    Kay says:

    Do people who run successful large businesses generally hire their unqualified son in law to run said businesses?

    I don’t think they do. The first advice they should give is to fire Kushner.

  171. 171
    Elie says:

    @JPL:

    Hmmmffff — Paulie has bad luck on these kinds of pronouncements. Too much is already out and Devin’s shit job of cover up has let everyone in the country know that he is 1) being controlled by the WH 2) that the WH obviously is afraid of something bad and 3) He knows what that is and is also scared. I think Devin is gonna get caught in some shit coming at him from many directions and will first and foremost, save his own ass. We’ll see. He and they are crazy if they think that they can make this go away by sitting on it in plain sight while the blood runs out of the trunk they are sitting on… A little patience — this is still beginning to unfold.

  172. 172
    Elie says:

    Also, if I am Paulie, I would not get too close to this. The splatter will be real bad once that trunk is opened…

  173. 173
    NickM says:

    Bannon is vicious enough — and viscous enough — to head this up, but he is not stupid enough to touch this loser with somebody else’s tentacle.

  174. 174
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Kay:

    Do it because you’re nice people or do it because YOU benefit but don’t do it for a political benefit. It’s not coming.

    Nancy Pelosi and Jackie Speier co-hosted a town hall in San Francisco over the weekend and the crowd got nasty w/ THEM… DEMOCRATS, in their home town… that crowd was kinda surly… and healthcare was one of the flash points for everyone…

  175. 175
    lollipopguild says:

    @rikyrah: We need to turn this non vote on healthcare into an anvil that we can tie around the GOP’s ankles.

  176. 176
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    The people who benefited the most from the health care law LITERALLY punished Democrats and they will do it again.

    Ditto- auto industry, bank regulation and a whole host of other issues. There is absolutely no connection anymore between policy and how people vote. It’s irrational. Democratic activists just LITERALLY saved the health benefits for half of this county and this county will turn out and vote against Democrats in the midterms.

    You are correct. We did it for the folks smart enough to NOT vote against their own interest. The other ones just get to come along for the ride.

    What they CANNOT DO anymore, is pretend that they GOP wasn’t about to do to them.

    THAT shyt has to stop, and has to be thrown in their face at every turn. They should have to face their idiocy and force them to contort themselves to explain WHY they’re voting for them.

    PHUCK THEIR FEELINGS.

    Yes, we SHOULD make them feel bad…for being that goddamned stupid.

    From this moment on, as the GOP reveals their sociopathy in all their policy points…should be thrown in their faces. Without hesitation.

  177. 177
    Ruckus says:

    It’s Monday. A brand new shinny week. Surly they can come up with something worse before the week is over. I don’t have the warped sense of stupidity that it would take to come up with an example but surly this group of morons does.

  178. 178
    p.a. says:

    SWAT: Sonny Wanks Assorted Trumpists?

  179. 179
    The Moar You Know says:

    The people who benefited the most from the health care law LITERALLY punished Democrats and they will do it again.

    @Kay: Yes they will, with a certainty. The recipients of benefits frequently resent the shit out of the people who gave them those benefits.

    I’m always reminded of an old union president I knew talking about one problem employee, one who, regardless, he went to the wall for because that was his job. Said “you give her a helping hand and get back a bloody stump”. In the end, when she finally was fired, the first people she sued were…her own union. The very people who’d worked their asses off and spent a not inconsiderable amount of money trying to save her job.

    Human nature, I guess.

  180. 180
    MattF says:

    @Kay: If Kushner did his research honestly, the result would be “Fire me. And then fire the person who gave me this job”.

  181. 181
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Trump basically had nothing to do with any of his kids when they were children or growing up.

    Even more, during the divorce from Ivana, Don Jr and his father were estranged for more than a year, to the point of not exchanging a single word. And there’s that story that went around about Trump Sr visiting Jr at college and hitting him so hard he fell, because he wasn’t wearing a suit and tie or something. He puts the fun in dysfunction.

    (Yeah, here it is.)

  182. 182
    Kay says:

    @Brachiator:

    The nice thing about building cars as opposed to building financial instruments is they throw off a lot of money into the community. The electricians at the GM plant here are working “7 12’s”- 7 days, 12 hours a day. They’re making a lot of money and they spend it. I suspect the biggest difference between middle class jobs in tech and finance is actually overtime. They would do better as hourly employees.

  183. 183
  184. 184
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Ruckus:

    Surly they can come up with something worse before the week DAY is over.

    Sorry, but that had to be done…

  185. 185
    Ruckus says:

    @Ruckus:
    Thatgroup of morons. That group, Not This group.

  186. 186
    Kay says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    They weren’t uninformed. I heard about it constantly which means it penetrated out of the political sphere. Our local paper gave it daily front page coverage- locally reported, original work, and so did the radio news, the local news guy in the morning. If they don’t know now they’ll never know.

  187. 187
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @ThresherK:

    Or Persepolis?

    Never heard of that one before… I’ll have to look it up… it’s been a while since I read ‘Maus’ and I remember it as being really strong…

    It’s an interesting medium, the serious comic book…

  188. 188
    Corner Stone says:

    @germy:

    “Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold.”

    And when they respond two weeks later, that is literally the fastest response time I have ever had with AT&T is two weeks, they will tell you, “Oh, that isn’t something Y Dept does. You will need to contact X Dept.”
    Me: “I did. They are the ones that gave your contact info in Y Dept to help me resolve this.”
    Y Dept: “Hmmm, I don’t know why they would do that. I’ll tell you what. I will escalate this to Z Dept.”
    Two to four (or more) weeks later….
    Z Dept: That’s not something we usually handle. You will need to contact your Account Rep for this. They will know more.”
    Me: “I did! They told me to contact X Dept! Then I went to Y Dept and now Z Dept!”
    Z Dept: “Ok, I see. Let me forward this to your Account Rep so we can find out how this started.”
    Me: “NOOooOOoooOOOOooOOOO!! AAAARRRRRGGGHHHH!”
    *pits of hell open*
    Satan: “Hi! This is your Account Rep, Lucifer. Unfortunately I am not available or on the other line. Please press #666 to leave a message and I will return your call as quickly as I am able. Thanks for being another satisfied customer! Be seeing you soon!”

  189. 189
    Ruckus says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:
    Maybe….. But they worked so hard on this, must have taken, 5 – 10 minutes. And remember that anyone smarter than a garden slug would have taken 2 minutes. On minute to think of it and one to stop laughing at how stupid it is. They worked so really hard on it, nap time becomes mandatory.

  190. 190
    Aleta says:

    @Kay:

    If Democrats help the low quality Trump hires “fix” the health care law

    Their assistance would at most receive half a sentence in the media, and be gone by election time.

  191. 191
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Ruckus:

    They worked so really hard on it, nap time becomes mandatory.

    And if Bannon were involved, Happy Hour… but this particular grift doesn’t feel right for Bannon… he’s not in it for the money… he wants to hurt people, IMHO…

  192. 192
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Yes, he’s one of 14(!) yahoos running for leadership of the Conservatives, most of whom I’ve never heard of. I don’t even think that he’s the most odious of the lot, although his biography begins, “Leaving a trail of slime wherever he goes…”. My vote for the worst of them all goes to Kellie Leitch

  193. 193
    Kay says:

    I posted this a couple of days ago but we have TWO young candidates for a state senate seat. It’s kind of a waste but that’s what they want, that seat. It is unheard of to have two. So don’t count out the young uns. We may not have a “bench” but they don’t know that :)

    I was trying to act casual and not, I don’t know, be over-eager and scare them away. Act like we’re full-up and have just scads of people who want to earn nothing for a year and go to county fairs and alienate their entire family and lose all their friends.

  194. 194
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    So what will a bunch of frat bois who owe their success to having NOT GAY mock oral sex with another man in collage are going to fix the opioid addiction with? Sure, they have some high tech people, and…? How will engineering be applicable to a public health issue?

    Trump advisers described as an incubator of sleek transformation

    I see, mission statements and other pretentious CEO bullshit. The arguement that the High Tech CEOs will help with data is silly, High Tech companies are horrible interanlly about dealing with their own data. Well I am sure some Alt Truthers will be thrill at such a waste of the Tax Payer’s dollar.

  195. 195
    Chris says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    I can’t really tell the difference between businesses and crime families in this society anymore, to be honest.

  196. 196
    J R in WV says:

    @D58826:

    Looking at Jared in that photo makes me think he should be the big brother in the reboot of Leave it to Beaver!!

    No, no, Jared is Eddie Haskell in that show. Always smiling at Mom, kissing up to Dad, all while plotting arrant nonsensical treason in the back yard.

  197. 197
    Bess says:

    @montanareddog:

    the office will be staffed by former business executives

    Former business executives. Does that mean ex-CEOs who got booted from their companies because they were incompetent? The competent types get hired.

  198. 198
    Bess says:

    @Bailey:

    Note the colossal fuck-up that was the heathcare.gov rollout due, primarily, because the contracting process for the federal government is archaic and offers no real incentive for competent tech companies to want to compete for such work.

    No, the problem arose from several states refusing to set up their own programs and dumping the chore back on the federal government at the last moment.

  199. 199
    D58826 says:

    @Corner Stone: This is getting to the point where SNL/Onion would never do it since no one would believe it even as satire

  200. 200
    Jeffro says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Did not see “Waltz with Bashir” but I looked it up and will have to check it out! “Maus”, yes, that was outstanding.

  201. 201
    Denali says:

    @Barbara,

    Not only the large contractors are salivating over the chance to make money off of Trump’s incursions into Syria, but also the small time grifters are panting for some of the action. See the movie War Dogs for Example based on true events. One of the main charcters bears a striking resemblance to Chris Christie.

  202. 202
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bess:

    Does that mean ex-CEOs who got booted from their companies because they were incompetent?

    “Chainsaw Al” Dunlap, reporting for duty!”

    The competent types get hired.

    Unfortunately, the incompetent ones also get hired. Then fired, then mysteriously hired elsewhere. Then fired. Then hired again in another industry.
    Robert “Bob” Nardelli, anyone?

  203. 203
    Chris says:

    @Corner Stone:

    It really boggles my mind that government is considered the ultimate pit of bureaucracy when you consider the basic customer service of every major corporation ever.

    People keep giving the DMV crap. I would kill for a private health insurer that was one tenth as responsive and efficient as my local DMV.

  204. 204
    The Simp in the Suit says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

    Every f#cking middle manager on the face of the planet that ever wanted to be bucked up to upper management has had one of these sh!tty analyses done. Usually the high-priced answer comes back: “Your clearest ongoing weakness is your middle management team, but your upper management team is the true threat to longterm survival.”

    Whereupon the consultants are paid their enormous fees and the report is carefully filed away.

  205. 205
    JPL says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: You can’t stream the movie through Amazon. It’s excellent. link

  206. 206
    hovercraft says:

    Freedom Caucus: We Did Trump A Favor Blocking Bad O’Care Repeal Bill

    ByAlice OllsteinPublishedMarch 27, 2017, 1:03 PM EDT

    The moment the news broke that Republicans were pulling their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act rather than watch it die on the House floor, the blame game commenced.

    Though House Speaker Paul Ryan, moderate Republicans, congressional Democrats, and President Donald Trump all had fingers pointed in their direction for the health care bill’s failure, no group took more heat than the House Freedom Caucus—the few dozen hardline conservatives who opposed the bill after successfully pushing it farther to the right.

    On Monday, Freedom Caucus spokesperson Alyssa Farah fired back on Twitter at the group’s critics, arguing that the bill was so bad that blocking its passage was a gift to Congress and President Trump—who would have suffered politically in future elections had it passed.

    Alyssa Farah @Alyssafarah

    If you’re writing the Freedom Caucus killed the AHCA, you’re ignoring a dozen + moderates who were ‘Nos’ – including a Committee Chairman
    12:26 PM – 27 Mar 2017

    17 17 Retweets
    28

    Alyssa Farah @Alyssafarah

    any1 familiar w/Cap Hill knows the public # of moderate “no’s” was likely a fraction of those that’d be no once the bill started going down
    12:26 PM – 27 Mar 2017

    9 9 Retweets
    10

    Alyssa Farah @Alyssafarah

    From the get-go, this bill lacked the coalition support needed: everyone from Heritage to Club 4 Growth to AARP opposed the AHCA
    12:26 PM – 27 Mar 2017

    3 3 Retweets
    14

    Alyssa Farah @Alyssafarah

    “Governing” doesn’t mean passing bad policy. The AHCA was poorly rolled out, pushed thru on an artificial deadline & bad 4 American families
    12:26 PM – 27 Mar 2017

    27 27 Retweets
    45

    Alyssa Farah @Alyssafarah

    Politically, the GOP should thank the cons & mods who helped stop this bill 4 not sending them in midterms w/ higher premiums under AHCA
    12:27 PM – 27 Mar 2017

    9 9 Retweets
    25

    Alyssa Farah @Alyssafarah

    The HFC roots for Trump’s success. The group could not in good conscience send him into ’20 reelection w/back-to-back yrs of higher premiums
    12:27 PM – 27 Mar 2017

    26 26 Retweets
    28

  207. 207
    Ruckus says:

    @randy khan:

    The President is trying to run the country with a team of about 12 people because he doesn’t trust anyone else.

    Let’s review. He’s bad at everything he attempts. He lies faster than the earth rotates. He knows everything, just ask him. To him the only good idea is where everyone kisses his ass. Now the kicker, he surrounds himself with people who can’t or won’t overshadow him. This means few people who will work for him, there are only a few people he will allow to work for him, and only morons or suck ups will fit the bill. It’s the perfect recipe for success, drumpf style.
    It isn’t that he doesn’t trust anyone, it’s that there are so few to trust because most anyone can do better and that shows him up, violating the first (and only) law of drumpf, no one is better, no one can shine brighter, no one can be youugher.

  208. 208
    Immanentize says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    Bannon… he’s not in it for the money… he wants to hurt people, IMHO…

    More like: “”To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women” but without any physique to show.

  209. 209
    Aleta says:

    Speaking of work, how come the press never informed the public when Obama would be working on a weekend in the WH? (//)
    (Just another one of their coverups of his world government I guess.)

  210. 210
    MFA says:

    I think the privitization/grift thoughts are sheer paranoia. Kushner’s going to oversee the merger with Russia, is all.

  211. 211
    Immanentize says:

    @The Simp in the Suit: Truth. PWC did an extensive review of my University — Conclusion: Board of Trustees is the biggest threat to long-term success. PWC did not get follow up contract.

  212. 212
    sukabi says:

    @Aleta: their ashen ski trip just happened to coincide with one of Putin’s top confidants being there

  213. 213
  214. 214
    Immanentize says:

    @sukabi: I wonder how many of Trump’s and Trump family’s private security people are Russians?

  215. 215
    Corner Stone says:

    AG Sessions now throwing squid ink as fast as he can, with both hands. Talking about “sanctuary cities” policy and all the crimes immigrants commit. Get ready for one fuckton of an attempt to get people to stop talking about Nunes, Russians, Kushner, Russians, Flynn, Russians, Manafort, Russians, Trump or Russians.

  216. 216
    bemused says:

    @Chris:

    I’d like to know what Republican voters who think government is bloated and should be trimmed down to the bone would fill the void. Do they think they can have the same services that government provides with dollar store price tags? Do they think corporations running the government would be better for them and take less money out of their pockets? I doubt they’ve ever had these kind of questions occur to them.

  217. 217
    Ruckus says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:
    The ACA is a massive improvement on what we had prior. It still needs work. Even in states, like CA, that embraced in every way possible, it still needs to be a lot better to be reasonable. Yes it was impossible to get more, yes it would be a far more massive attack on the HC industry to go for more and yet for a large portion of the population more is needed and desired. And other than a small segment at the top of the food chain everyone would benefit. Those massive obstacles will take time to move to overcome and during that people will continue to receive less that optimum heath care. From their point of view it’s politicians who stand in the way of those changes. People like BS who is still ranting about single payer/universal HC have told them that it’s simple to change the laws but politicians won’t do that. His initials stand for his output as well. It’s not simple and while with massive change they might receive better HC, lots of other people would be out of work and far worse off. Hard to square this 11 sided monstrosity with simple slogans but few will spend the time to even grasp the major points let alone the finer ones. So we get people mad at the very people who want to help and would love to do better.

  218. 218
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @bemused: Smaller government is code for “benefits for me but not for thee.”

  219. 219
    Bill Arnold says:

    Anyone care to comment on a report (Louise Mensch FWIW) that there was a FISA warrant that (probably) covered Trump himself?
    EXCLUSIVE: FBI ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ Covering Trump Camp’s Ties To Russia

    However, it is thought in the intelligence community that the warrant covers any ‘US person’ connected to this investigation, and thus covers Donald Trump and at least three further men who have either formed part of his campaign or acted as his media surrogates.

  220. 220
    MFA says:

    @Immanentize:

    I wonder how many of Trump’s and Trump family’s private security people are Russians

    More than he knows, I bet. More than he knows.

  221. 221
    bemused says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    What just kills me is that Republican voters who are not in the high six figure or millionaires clubs cling to the fantasy that gigantic tax cuts to the ultra wealthy are going to be good for them.

  222. 222
    D58826 says:

    Kushner: “The government should be run like a great American company.

    All other things aside, the government is not a company. A company is in business, ultimately, to make a profit. We can argue about how they do that and their obligation to the larger community but ultimately it is to make a profit.

    Government services are not about making a profit. The fire department isn’t in business to make money. It’s job is to protect the citizens from fire. Sure you want the department well run. It should get the most bang from its buck when buying new equipment or building a new fire house but its reason to exist is to put out fires. An airline would go out of business if it took 2 hour to move a plane load of people that it’s competitors did in 1 hour. Putting out a fire takes as long as it takes. Containing a wild fire in the Calif. hills takes what ever length of time and man power that it takes. You can’t break it down into nice little steps that take x minutes to perform like you can making fries at McDonalds.

  223. 223
    hovercraft says:

    @Aleta:
    Which is why you get headlines like this:

    Everyone is laughing at Fox News for its ‘alert’ about Trump working from the White House

    Anthony Pearce

    Yahoo News UK March 27, 2017

    Fox News has been widely mocked after it tweeted a “news alert” stating that Donald Trump was working over the weekend.

    The news organisation, which is one of the few media outlets to support the controversial president, whose approval ratings are at a historic low for a new president, shared the bizarre update yesterday.

    “News Alert: @POTUS spending weekend working at the White House,” the tweet read.

    However, many pointed out that this simply wasn’t true — and, even if it was, would it really be news?

    Over the weekend, Trump twice travelled to the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia on Saturday and Sunday, where he chaired meetings.

    So we got a twofer, not only was he mocked for claiming to be “working” when he wasn’t, Fox was called out for lying about it and calling it breaking news.
    And why are they trying to hide the fact that he’s spending all this time golfing. And where are all the people who bitched about Obama?

  224. 224
    hovercraft says:

    @Corner Stone:
    I saw this nuget earlier, and I thought Lill Beauregard better get to kissing some ass.

    REVEALED: Before Trump, Steve Bannon Wanted Jeff Sessions To Run For President

    3/27/17 7:00am

    After Mitt Romney’s defeat, Breitbart News CEO Steven K. Bannon developed a strong relationship with Sen. Jeff Sessions and his white nationalist aide Steven Miller. In fact, Bannon wanted Sessions to run for president in 2016, changing his mind after he saw Donald Trump speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2015.

    As journalist Robert Draper recounts in an article today for the New York Times Magazine, Trump’s agenda largely took the shape that Bannon, Sessions, and Miller had outlined in their discussions. Tellingly, Bannon has described Sessions to Draper as his “mentor.” Together, the trio wanted to pursue the “missing white voters” who stayed home in 2012 rather than vote for the “elitist” Romney.

    Twitler won’t like that he was Bannon’s second choice.

  225. 225
    The Simp in the Suit says:

    @hovercraft: “everyone from Heritage to Club 4 Growth to AARP opposed the AHCA”

    “delivered a striking performance that ran the gamut of emotions, from A to B.”

    I guess this means that AARP is considered liberal… Oy.

  226. 226
    EBT says:

    Sessions and his WIllie Horton bullshit. Racist purgerying mother fucker.

  227. 227
    JaneE says:

    On the bright side, some of the big names in tech may know that the government isn’t a business.

  228. 228
    Immanentize says:

    @Corner Stone: I just do not have the bandwidth, but someone should search to see how many people named “Sessions” have committed horrible crimes and report that out.

  229. 229
    hovercraft says:

    @The Simp in the Suit:
    You should know by now that poor beleaguered conservatives are surrounded by liberals!
    Since most institutions are governed by math and science they are automatically “liberal”. This is why they are constantly attacking the “elites”, because anyone who embraces reality is guilty of being an elite who’s only goal is to thwart real America and their common sense solutions. Stop putting so much faith in data and math, just go with your gut, that’s how real America does it!

  230. 230
    jonas says:

    I can’t quite figure out this fascination Americans have with making government “run like a business.” Anyone who has ever spent any time around a large corporate organization knows how rife with inefficiencies, cronyism, and incompetence it is.

  231. 231
    J R in WV says:

    @hovercraft:

    Reminds me of a guy I know, PhD University Prof at a big name (for academics) school, who went off on Obamaphones. He seemed to actually believe that providing phones to people without jobs was just a treat, like candy on Halloween.

    He thought those phones were being provided at his expense, and were totally unnecessary and frivolous. As opposed to the reality: You can’t get or keep a job without a phone, and the phones were provided by privately funded corporate charity starting back when W. Bush was presniting.

    Nothing to do with Obama, nothing to do with the government, not frivolous at all, but essential in order to apply for, get and keep a job. And this guy was really smart, well educated, but with a narrowness of scope like a rifle barrel. Sad. Almost as sad as Trump and his minions. SWAT =/= SWOT… dumbasses.

    I dunno what swat is an acronym for, but swot is strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, primary MBA speak. Duh! And these “top CEOs” don’t even know the difference between a management tool (albeit a poor one) and a police unit designed to break in and kill people without dying themselves.

    ETA: SWOT is a poor tool for management because it never really addresses the abilities of the people involved, the employees, at any level from division mangers to floor supers and hands-on people building products.

  232. 232
    Shana says:

    @D58826: Sorry if someone else has already said this, but I think he’s more Eddie Haskel than Wally Cleaver.

  233. 233
    japa21 says:

    See Gallup has Trump at 36% today, which means last night’s polling must have been brutal since he was at 40% yesterday.

  234. 234
    The Simp in the Suit says:

    @J R in WV: “I dunno what swat is an acronym for”

    S.W.A.T. = Special Weapons and Tactics.

  235. 235
    MattF says:

    @japa21: Right, considering that Gallup is a three-day rolling average.

  236. 236
    Bill Arnold says:

    @hovercraft:

    Twitler won’t like that he was Bannon’s second choice.

    Will Trump hear about this?

  237. 237
    Mike E says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Nunes is fucking toast.

    Well, the heart wants what it wants.

  238. 238
    sukabi says:

    @Immanentize at this point I’m gonna say “all of them Katie”.

  239. 239
    germy says:

    I think the Atlantic Magazine hit the nail on the head with this one:

    How Right-Wing Media Saved Obamacare

    Years of misleading coverage left viewers so misinformed that many were shocked when confronted with the actual costs of repeal.

  240. 240
    Brachiator says:

    @J R in WV:

    Reminds me of a guy I know, PhD University Prof at a big name (for academics) school, who went off on Obamaphones. He seemed to actually believe that providing phones to people without jobs was just a treat, like candy on Halloween.

    The Big Lie, of course, was that Obama was taking money away from hard working white people and giving Negroes free smartphones.

    I am surprised at how many people believe this to be true. It was mentioned most recently by an on air news reader on the biggest English language talk radio station in Los Angeles. It was sad to see that even “journalists” (and I use the term loosely here) believed the crap that is spewed from right wing nutcase media and Fox News.

    And as you note, this was a spin off of the Lifeline phone service program, not some magical Obama giveaway.

    @jonas:

    I can’t quite figure out this fascination Americans have with making government “run like a business.” Anyone who has ever spent any time around a large corporate organization knows how rife with inefficiencies, cronyism, and incompetence it is

    Yep. A truly stupid metaphor. Of course, there are ways in which even a bad business can be better than government. A corporation can go out of business, and its inefficiencies limited. A bad government can limp along almost forever, unless you find a way to clean house.

  241. 241

    My twitter feed is blowing up over the insanity of Nunes sneaking over to the White House at midnight to see trump’s secret folders that Nunes used to excuse trump during that public gaffe. Something about being the worst remake of “Deep Throat” of all time?

    Also, dropping notice that Bartow Public Library in Florida is celebrating its 120th birthday this Wednesday March 29th and you’re all invited.

  242. 242
    bemused says:

    @J R in WV:

    Did the Prof believe you? My guess is big fat no.

  243. 243

    @jonas:

    Not Americans as a whole. Just Republicans. A lot of whom worship in the Randian cult of “CEOs are GODS that bestride the Earth.”

  244. 244
    crosspalms says:

    I think they meant swag team.

  245. 245
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @japa21: What’s Gallup’s polling window? 3 days?

  246. 246
    D58826 says:

    @jonas: lets see either bankraupt or bailed out:
    1, enron
    2. gm
    3. chrysler (twice)_
    4. bear stearns
    5. leman bro.
    6. wash. mutual
    7. most of the big banks
    8 penn central
    9 lockheed

    I imagine there are a few more.

  247. 247
    sukabi says:

    @Bill Arnold: someone should twit him the article…ask him how he likes to be sloppy seconds.

  248. 248
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    The whole Trump Family story is one of no one calling any of them on anything for years and years and the rest of us getting stuck with the failure to do so. We can certainly blame 20,000 voters in Michigan but they didn’t create this monster- a lot of fancy “institutions” did because no one had the balls to tell these people “no”. Ever.

    truth

  249. 249
    rikyrah says:

    @bemused:

    I’d like to know what Republican voters who think government is bloated and should be trimmed down to the bone would fill the void. Do they think they can have the same services that government provides with dollar store price tags?

    that’s why they like White Socialism.

  250. 250
    D58826 says:

    @rikyrah: services provided in my district are essential to the health of the WORLD. Services provided in any other district are socialism and stealing from my pocket to pay for them

    real simple

  251. 251
    Captain C says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Potato, PotAHto

  252. 252
    Captain C says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: The problem with a Presidential (or any) pardon is that then the recipients can’t plead the Fifth if they’re subpoenaed, this is why Scooter Libby got his sentence commuted rather than receive a full pardon.

  253. 253
    JDM says:

    Here’s a very Kushner-Trump idea: let’s just get everybody’s daddy to leave them a business worth a couple hundred million dollars. Worked for them, although Donald still managed to blow through it a couple times over.

  254. 254
    Hellbastard says:

    Browsing through Amazon I see that Ivanka “writes” books as well. Between her and Daddy Trump they keep America’s ghost-writing industry afloat!

  255. 255
    Jeffro says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    Never heard of that one before… I’ll have to look it up… it’s been a while since I read ‘Maus’ and I remember it as being really strong…

    It’s an interesting medium, the serious comic book…

    Needs its own thread someday soon! (right, FPers? =)

    (We could talk about MAUS and MARCH and then veer off into THE ESCAPIST and who knows what else…)

  256. 256
    Jeffro says:

    @hovercraft:

    “Governing” doesn’t mean passing bad policy. The AHCA was poorly rolled out, pushed thru on an artificial deadline & bad 4 American families
    12:26 PM – 27 Mar 2017

    Love how the first concern listed was the ‘poor roll out’ (aka “optics”, aka “messaging”) and the last concern listed was ‘oh yeah…and it’s bad for American families too’. Typical.

  257. 257
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Jeffro: Yeah…

    I tried explaining MAUS to someone recently (It’s the story of the Holocaust, told w/ rats as the Nazis and mice as the Jews) and I think he actually got angry…

    A fucking COMIC BOOK about the Holocaust?

    And when you hear it that way, it’s almost understandable… if I’m not mistaken, Spiegelman’s father was a Holocaust survivor and Art wrote the narrative based on the stories his father told him…

    Incredibly moving piece of work and far, far, far more than ‘just a comic book’…

    Btw… I just noticed that Jared is NOT wearing the mandatory American flag lapel pin in the photos above… what’s up w/ that? Is there someone in authority we can report Jared to?

  258. 258
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Captain C: Ya know… I kind suspect/expect some of that devilishly complicated legal maneuvering is going on as I type…

  259. 259
    Bonnie says:

    The Federal Government is not and never has been a business. Thus, running it like a business is really stupid. The magic word is “privatize”. There are all kinds of studies that show “privatize” means stealing the taxpayers money and giving nothing in return. Additionally, Federal Government employees do not earn salaries that are even close to their private counterparts. Does Donald/Jared plan to raise the salaries of the employees to get the same business atmosphere? Probably not. I had a high school civics teacher who used an expression that defines Trump completely–he is the epitome of asininity! Thank you, Mr. Whitney wherever you are.

  260. 260
    TenguPhule says:

    Every government hire after 1/20/17 will have to be screened for Republican & Russian affiliation and promptly discharged if either is found.

    Its not just that the Trump Regime is evil, its that they spread their corruption all over and it spreads like an outbreak of black plague.

    Bush II’s ticks that he sent burrowing into government were bad enough.

    This time, its xenomorphs.

  261. 261
    TenguPhule says:

    @bemused:

    Do they think corporations running the government would be better for them and take less money out of their pockets?

    Yes. SATSQ.

    They are that fucking dumb.

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