Interesting Read (… Between the Lines): ‘John Kelly is the man Fred Trump always wanted Donald Trump to be’

Given this was published in Politico, seems like somebody wants Kelly gone, soonest:

President Donald Trump stirs up so many problems on a daily basis that his chief of staff, John Kelly, has come to define his success in terms of his ability to solve them. “If we end the day in neutral,” Kelly has told close associates on several occasions, “it’s a good day.”…

Thursday seemed to offer a case study of the challenges confronting Kelly — and it illustrates why he has come to adopt a largely defensive approach to his job. The day began with the president tweeting his opposition to the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — a measure his own party was trying to push through Congress. It ended with a report that, in a closed-door meeting on immigration, he had demanded to know why the United States was admitting so many immigrants from “shithole countries.”

“In the chief-of-staff job, you juggle the balls that you have to. But normally, you know what those balls are. Now, you have a president who keeps throwing new balls, so [Kelly] is constantly having to rejuggle,” said Leon Panetta, President Bill Clinton’s onetime chief of staff.

The White House disputed the notion that Kelly blamed himself for the president’s remarks, and said that every day the American people go to bed safe is a good day.

But Kelly’s mind-set, reported by POLITICO for the first time, is a testament to how Trump has transformed not only the presidency but the role of presidential chief of staff. Often described as the second most-powerful position in government, the job has previously demanded a deep understanding of politics and policy. Presidential No. 2s have worked to ration their bosses’ time and to help them prioritize in order to push their agendas forward; Kelly more often tries to keep Trump occupied and at arm’s length from the levers of power and the workings of government.

He’s baby-sitting a giant toddler, wadya expect?

His attitude is not entirely unprecedented. Jimmy Carter’s chief of staff, Jack Watson, referred to the chief of staff as the “javelin catcher” — though in his analogy, the javelins were heading toward, rather than coming from, the president. At the same time, some are raising concerns that Kelly, whose military background gives him a discrete Washington toolkit, is trying to do too much…

Current and former colleagues say that even as Kelly has taken greater control over legislative affairs — in late December, he announced that the administration’s congressional liaison, Marc Short, would report directly to him — he has a dim view of lawmakers, sometimes referring to them as “a bunch of idiots,” according to two White House aides. He also has expressed frustration with the pace at which legislation moves through Congress.

Nowhere has his exasperation been more evident than in his dealings with Congress on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama-era initiative that granted legal protection to people brought to the country illegally as children, an issue he tangled with lawmakers over as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security…

“Those idiots up there, it’s going to be their fault if DACA doesn’t happen,” Kelly told colleagues in a recent meeting, according to the two White House aides…

Incidentally, this story was originally published before Trump’s “shithole” comments were circulated!

… While there is broad agreement that Kelly’s public criticism of Wilson was a mistake, those who have worked closely with him say his dustups with Democrats are indicative of a general contempt for lawmakers — one that, over time, could undermine the White House’s relationship with Capitol Hill…

As he has taken near total control of the White House, however, some of his White House colleagues have raised concerns that his attitude toward Congress will affect the administration’s ability to push forward its domestic agenda. While Republican senators are by and large grateful for his presence, he remains a remote and mysterious figure to most lawmakers, the vast majority of whom have had very little contact with him.

Hey, Congressmen, that “President Kelly” guy thinks you’re stupid and disorganized!

… He seems to view his job as a set of challenges distinct from those faced by previous White House chiefs of staff, none of whom he has looked to much for advice…

“Almost every one of those [former WH] chiefs [of staff] went in there thinking that this was probably mission impossible for Trump’s White House chief of staff, that this is a guy who is intellectually and temperamentally unfit for office,” said Whipple, who is at work updating his book with chapters on the Priebus and Kelly tenures in the White House.

“There’s never been anybody like Donald Trump in the Oval Office, so from Day One it’s been a challenge like no other for Kelly. Somebody really close to Trump told me this was like Fred Trump reaching from beyond the grave — John Kelly is the man Fred Trump always wanted Donald Trump to be.”

Good thing Donald Trump doesn’t have ‘daddy issues’, know what I mean?

79 replies
  1. 1
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    , those who have worked closely with him say his dustups with Democrats are indicative of a general contempt for lawmakers

    “lawmakers”, uh huh. From the Wilson tantrum– in which he also implied the Khans had sacrificed their status as a Gold Star family– to this article in the Washington Post tonight, it seems to me Kelly is a full-on MAGA-hat-wearing trumpster

  2. 2
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Fuck Kelly. He has shown that he is on board with Trump’s nativist agenda.

  3. 3
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Living in the South, I have known more than one Annie Laurie. In all the years I’ve been posting here, I noticed only last month that you Anne rather than Annie. My apologies.

  4. 4
    cokane says:

    Fred Trump was KKK-curious and had a history of housing discrimination, no? Seems like he was perfectly proud of his boy.

  5. 5
    Ruckus says:

    I’ll repeat myself.
    What a fucking disaster.
    First, the head man couldn’t actually clean a head (navy for toilet) it would be far more difficult than he’s capable of. And it ain’t difficult.
    Second, aren’t we supposed to have someone at the top who isn’t a 70 yr old toddler? I mean we tried that 35 yrs ago and it didn’t work out well then. Hell an actual toddler would be better than this asshole.
    Third, on this day, when we celebrate a great man, a great black man, we have to think, the people running our country hated a man who was non-violent, who wanted peace between all men, and they hate him because he was far better than them and proved it every day of his life. Where have I heard this recently?

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: He showed it long ago. Schrodinger’s Cat has had his number from the beginning.

    The NewYorker (from August):

    On Monday, Kelly was sworn in as the White House chief of staff, taking over for Reince Priebus. He leaves D.H.S. with a new reputation as one of the most aggressive enforcers of immigration law in recent American history. His record belies the short length of his tenure. In six months, Kelly eliminated guidelines that governed federal immigration agents’ work; vastly expanded the categories of immigrants being targeted for deportation; threatened to abandon the Obama-era program that grants legal status to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children; and has even broached the idea of splitting up mothers and children at the border to “deter” people from coming to the U.S. Under Kelly, immigration arrests in the U.S. increased by forty per cent and D.H.S became one of the few branches of the federal government that has been both willing and able to execute Trump’s policy priorities.

    One of Kelly’s most revealing moments as D.H.S. secretary came in April, when he delivered a speech at George Washington University titled “Home and Away.” The remarks were a full-throated endorsement of the rank-and-file members of D.H.S. and its sub-agencies—most notably Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ice)—who were doing a job, as Kelly described it, that no one else had any right to criticize. “If lawmakers do not like the laws they’ve passed and we are charged to enforce—then they should have the courage and skill to change the laws,” he said. “Otherwise, they should shut up and support the men and women on the front lines. My people have been discouraged from doing their jobs for nearly a decade.” His tone was Trumpian, alternating between tough talk and personal grievance. “The men and women of my department have been political pawns,” he said. “Similar to the treatment suffered by law enforcement over the last few years, they are often ridiculed and insulted by public officials, and frequently convicted in the court of public opinion.” In his view, the work of his staff was an unqualified success: unauthorized border crossings were down since Trump took office. The agency’s harshness was paying off—migrants were getting the message. “Fewer people crossing the border illegally,” he said, “means our borders are secure and our people protected.”


    At D.H.S, Kelly rejected the idea that the agency owed explanations to anyone, least of all to Trump’s critics on the Hill or in the press. In May, at a Coast Guard event, a microphone caught Kelly telling Trump, who was holding a ceremonial sword, that he should “use that on the press, sir.” Kelly has publicly defended Trump and his family on several occasions since taking office, often in noticeably personal terms. In testimony before Congress, Kelly said that Trump had shown real “wisdom” with his travel ban, while the critics were wasting their time “debating” the semantics of what it was called. In May, when news broke that during the transition Jared Kushner had tried to set up a backchannel line of communication with Russia, Kelly spoke on his behalf. “I don’t see any issue here relative to Jared,” he said, during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think any time you can open lines of communication with anyone, whether they’re good friends or not-so-good friends, is a smart thing to do.”

    I said months ago that anyone who took a political appointment under Trump was a monster. I’ve seen nothing that causes me to change that conclusion.


  8. 8
    gene108 says:

    Those idiots up there, it’s going to be their fault if DACA doesn’t happen,” Kelly told colleagues in a recent meeting, according to the two White House aides. Trump ended the program in September, and Congress now faces a March deadline to act before it officially expires.

    Sounds like a concise Trump tweet about DACA renewal failing due Democrats not kissing Trump’s ring.

  9. 9
    spudgun says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Ha, you are not alone! I only realized, I think last year, that it was “Anne” and not “Annie.” My brain still reads it as the latter, though, even though I know it’s wrong–

  10. 10
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: I was wrong in some way. You win. Okay?

  11. 11
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I wasn’t picking on you, just elaborating and expanding.



  12. 12
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    It does sound like the only thing the Trump admin is good at is backstabbing each other. Is The Mouch the front runner to replace Kelly?

  13. 13
    craigie says:

    sometimes referring to them as “a bunch of idiots,”

    Is this wrong?

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    Well, that’s a fucking terrifying story of a white supremacist general setting himself up as power behind the throne as Nero fiddles away. I guess I didn’t really need to sleep tonight.

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Is The Mouch the front runner to replace Kelly?

    Huh. I was pondering who might be the one to drag old Fred into this. I doubt the Large Adult Children would dare

  16. 16
    NotMax says:

    That Kelly has not yet evidenced a noticeable and persistent nervous tic is some kind of testament to the pharmaceutical industry.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:


    Awful. So many young lives foully impacted.

    Thirteen victims, ranging in age from 2 to 29 years old, were kept shackled to their beds amid foul surroundings in a Perris home by their parents, sheriff’s officials said.
    [The husband’s parents] said they haven’t seen the couple since they visited them in California four or five years ago. They keep in touch regularly by phone with David and Louise, but not with the grandchildren. They said their grandchildren are home-schooled. Source

  18. 18
    Mary G says:

    The more I hear about Kelly the less I think of him. Just another racist in a racist administration.

  19. 19
    Yarrow says:

    U.S. officials warned Jared Kushner that Wendi Deng Murdoch may have been using their friendship to push Beijing's agenda— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 15, 2018

    No. Way. Not Jared “Vanilla ISIS” Kushner of the never-finished security clearance form. He’d never let that happen.

  20. 20
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I doubt the Large Adult Children would dare

    Depends, if they’ve decided nothing going to get done this year and then the Dems control congress, Trump might feel he doesn’t need Kelly with his rules anymore. Remember Trump may have the maturity of a child but he is really a cranky old man and old people just loath any change in their lives.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    eemom says:

    All anyone ever needed to know about Kelly was that he agreed to work for trump.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Deng has been a PRC asset from jump. When Murdoch was seeking and awarded the contract from the PRC to do their news broadcasts and portal it was Deng who was part of the PRC’s negotiating team. That’s how she met Murdoch. She was a honey trap. This was not compartmented information, nor was it a state secret. It is well known to anyone who knows Murdoch’s and Deng’s history as a couple. Now, of course, it’s been reported she’s seeing Putin.

    Remember Murdoch really doesn’t care about conservatism or the GOP or the Tories. He cares about money, which he sees as real power because it gets him access and influence. If someone had pitched him on doing an all socialist Fox News and been able to show it would pay out for him, he would have done that regardless of his actual views.

  24. 24
    tobie says:

    @NotMax: I need to look up the history of home-schooling. How did it become legal? I can only think of a few situations in which it would be better to have a kid spend the day with parents at home than with peers at school. The whole situation seems rife for abuse. Talk about getting caught in Mom’s or Dad’s clutches. The only parents I’ve known who have done this are ones who could not let go.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Military men, especially general officers, are not used to the give and take of the legislative process. They’re much more comfortable with staff advising them and then they make the decision, and that’s not how legislation works.

    So of course Kelly is frustrated. That, and he’s essentially, as noted, a babysitter.

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne: My first thought was “Quiverfull family”, like the obscene Duggar clan.

  27. 27
    Brendan in NC says:

    @tobie: the only ones I’ve known to homeschool are afraid that their precious snowflake will have to attend school with; and learn positive things about, “those people “…

  28. 28
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Mewonders if Kelly doesn’t have political ambitions beyond WH Chief of Staff. Perhaps President?

  29. 29
    Yutsano says:

    @Brendan in NC: One of my college roommates was home schooled her whole education until public university. She had to fight to get her diploma recognised by the school but she satisfied the curriculum requirements. She said she was homeschooled because her parents wanted control over her social interactions that were not allowed outside church activities. So it is all about control. Apparently her sciences were lacking but she was required to choose a major that had a minimal science requirement. She got Criminal Justice,

    The ultimate irony: she’s from the Hubble family. Yes THAT Hubble.

  30. 30
    Ladyraxterin says:

    @tobie: Libbie Ann at blog ‘love,joy,feminism’ at patheos posts a great deal about home-schooling. She was raised that way, so she has lots of insight.

    I think home-schooling was first pushed by liberal parents in the 60s and early 70s who felt that public schools didn’t provide a very good education. The fundamentalists soon took over the movement, profitting by the work done by libersls and boasting of home schooled kids’ acceptance into presige schools (also a result of the work of well’educated liberal,parents). I believe Patrick Henry college, a provider of interns for RW members of congress, accepts many from home-schooling backgrounds.

    Also, there is a legal organization that lobbies states to exempt home-schools from checks for child abuse.

  31. 31
    Bruce K says:

    @Yutsano: Hubble as in the astronomer with his name on the orbiting telescope?

  32. 32
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    @Another Scott:

    a microphone caught Kelly telling Trump, who was holding a ceremonial sword, that he should “use that on the press, sir.”

    He sounds like a grovelling, ingratiating kiss-up who will lick any boot that is sufficiently shiny. Imma SHOCKED.

  33. 33
    mike in dc says:

    Even if we manage to oust Kelly and Miller somehow, the central problem remains the person sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office. It will, however, tend to make him even less effective, though, so we should still work towards that.

  34. 34
    Yutsano says:

    @Bruce K: The first physicist to explain the expansion of the universe? The same.

  35. 35
    Bess says:


    “Those idiots up there, it’s going to be their fault if DACA doesn’t happen,” Kelly told colleagues in a recent meeting, according to the two White House aides.

    Those idiots bought a bipartisan plan. Someone grabbed the shitegibbon’s ear and torpedoed it.


  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    Nowhere has his exasperation been more evident than in his dealings with Congress on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama-era initiative that granted legal protection to people brought to the country illegally as children, an issue he tangled with lawmakers over as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security…

    This does not sound like someone who is the gatekeeper for the president. This sounds like someone who thinks he is effectively the acting president.

    Either way, he is fully on board with Trump’s nativist agenda. And perhaps always has been.

  37. 37
    Bess says:

    @Bess: brought

  38. 38
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Steve in the ATL: No problem — you’re not the first, won’t be the last.

    (Yes, I’m named after that vintage pop-culture ballad, but my lace-curtain-Irish mother thought ‘Annie’ was common.)

  39. 39
    Steeplejack says:


    Yeah, this is troubling. Takes him from referee/​mediator to active participant—and a principal one, at that. Him and Steven Miller as anti-immigration Batman and Robin is not good.

  40. 40
    knyazhna says:

    I’d like to defend homeschooling. It’s not just religious families anymore. With decreasing school budgets, it’s also families whose kids get severely bullied, whose kids’ special needs go unmet (whether because they have disabilities or because they’re gifted), kids with medical issues that prevent them from going to school, as well as kids that are professional athletes or actors (think Harry Potter kid actors). Homeschooled is really “alternative” schooling, not necessarily “mom with kids at home or church”, there are many options and communities.

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:


    Yeah, this is troubling. Takes him from referee/​mediator to active participant—and a principal one, at that. Him and Steven Miller as anti-immigration Batman and Robin is not good.

    You make a good point. I think that some people thought or hoped that Bannon’s exit would help things, but it is clear that Trump has sought out racist staffers or is encouraging them to express their most hateful views in developing policy.

    It’s also clear that there are congressional Republicans (Freedom Caucus? Regular Tea Party? I forget what they call themselves) who want Trump to enact the most hateful and punitive immigration policy, but the sad thing is that the rest of the Republican leadership will go along with anything the president wants. Anything. There is the occasional feint about bipartisanship, but this is always withdrawn. Or just a clumsy trap to try to get the Democrats to go along with whatever the GOP wants.

  42. 42
  43. 43
    Steeplejack says:


    What has scared the hell out of me lately is the realization that there don’t seem to be any “adults” left in the White House. I looked up Stephen Miller on Wikipedia a few days ago and was surprised to see that his title is “senior adviser for policy.” I thought he was lower on the food chain. With Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon gone, who does that leave? Miller—shudder!—and I guess John Kelly is stepping into the breach. Wow. Who else is there? Jared and Ivanka are ciphers, and Uday and Qusay show up in the news only when they commit some new gaffe.

  44. 44
    hellslittlestangel says:

    So Trump is a shit-head, but not the kind of shit-head his father wanted him to be. Sad!

  45. 45
    opiejeanne says:

    @Yutsano: Did college help her break free of that horror?

  46. 46
    opiejeanne says:

    Did anyone catch Rachel Maddow’s show this evening where she talked about Teresa Manning in charge of Title X family planning program being fired? The Powers That Be are claiming she resigned, but she says she was fired.
    A source with knowledge of Manning’s dismissal said that staff members were told to leave the floor of the HHS building and to take their computers, in order to ensure that no one witnessed her being escorted out.

    She was a terrible choice for the job, stating that she thinks contraception doesn’t work. Her replacement is not better that I can tell.

  47. 47
    Amir Khalid says:

    It doesn’t seem atypical for a Trump appointee to know fuck-all about their job, to oppose their agency’s mission, and/or to be unfit for a senior executive position even by Trump’s less-than-high standards — and still stay on. I wonder what she could possibly have done to get frog-marched out the door.

  48. 48
    J R in WV says:

    Have had two neighbor couples who home schooled. First were extreme progressives actually more capable of educating two active kids most education systems. Older son graduated in BioChem with honors.

    Wife gave him a ride home one weekend his first year and he was glum because he flunked a chem exam. Wife gently asked questions about the exam and learned O was under impression guessing on multiple choice was cheating, same for true false. Only did well on fill in the blank very short essay questions.

    So all he needed was the coaching on taking standard modern tests she provided in an hour-long ride home, which he missed by not attending a typical public school.

    Other couple, right next door, very conservative traditional Christian. Genuine as opposed to modern theocratic fundys. Do mission work to actually help people. Mother was trained certified teacher in public school until their kids hit school age when she specialized in teaching the two kids instead or 25 or 30. Appears to be going well, perhaps except for exposure to different kinds of people, which was NO problem for first family described, who have eclectic friends, like us.

  49. 49
    JWR says:


    Someone grabbed the shitegibbon’s ear and torpedoed it.


    I would guess that right now, Miller is one of the most dangerous people alive. SNL should shift their focus from Bannon to him.

  50. 50
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    What a surprise. It appears that besides being a sexual predator, Kevin Spacey is a racist asshole as well.

  51. 51
    SectionH says:

    @J R in WV: Mr S and I homeschooled our son for 2 years. Part of that was because the local school system had seriously stupid rules about days kid must be present, no matter how good his test scores were. And because our livelihood depended on our travelling a lot, this got harder and harder. So basically they threatened us with failing the best student in the school. And we said, fuck that. Look, we’d already taken him on Twain’s Mississippi river from Minnesota to NOLA, to Australia (twice, and several Pacific islands in between, to the UK, to the Chesapeake canal system, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

    And then my Mom (the University prof) was very happy to have him with her for a year, cause she wasn’t in the best of health even then, so we enrolled him in a local school – not in the poison pot our county’s schools were. He was fine there, and anyway had half of his classes doing AP stuff at the local state university.

    Yeah, not all home school ppl are the same. The ExecDirector of my job for years, who was possibly less religious than I am (is that possible? nah) sent her daughter to the Catholic HS in the city nearby, mostly to get her away from her idjit classmates when she was paying way too much attention to them.

    It’s late even here (California) but I needed to say that. I could say more, but I will say that I’d so desperately rather public schools had ever had the backing they should have had.

    (yes I edit. If it does much more than insert a missing word or fix a spelling, I’ll always acknowledge.)

  52. 52
    opiejeanne says:

    @J R in WV: We have neighbors who are like your first example. Their kids are very bright and well-socialized, and have been very successful transitioning to college. Their mom told me a little about the system they used which was full of the other kind of fundies and she said that part was difficult because of the anti-science comments she’d hear but she was careful to keep her kids away from the worst of it, instead scheduling them for kids’ summer classes at the local colleges, events at public schools, sports, children’s theater, etc. She said curriculum that was not fundie-centered was difficult to find, but she and her husband have a pretty strong academic/science/math background and she bought school books to replace the inadequate parts of the system.

    The only other kids who were homeschooled that I’ve been around were from one family that would boot them to the public school when they couldn’t deal with them any more at home. I don’t know if they were particularly religious, the kid I knew best certainly wasn’t but he was especially obnoxious and had no idea how to make friends. I was a volunteer in that classroom so I got to know him pretty well and he was very bright but was not socialized. The only other kids he’d ever played with were his four younger siblings.

  53. 53
    opiejeanne says:

    @SectionH: We had a family in our neighborhood who took their kids out of school for a whole year and went around the world with them. There must have been some sort of agreement with the district because those kids moved right back into the school without having to make up the missing year. It was kind of funny because one of the kids, a little boy, wanted just one thing that he saw during the trip: Wellington boots. He wore those things to school in Riverside, CA, every day until they finally wore out. On the hottest days he wore them with shorts.

  54. 54
    danielx says:

    Zero degrees and pitch dark….yuck.

    Oh yeah, and fuck sciatica pain which is why I’m up at zero dark thrity.

  55. 55
    akryan says:

    @opiejeanne: there’s a lot of smart kids that are absolutely feral. I remember going to math camp in middle school (shut up, yes I was that kid). Everyone there was pretty smart, but there was one kid that was just light years ahead of all of us. Fung got through twice as much as all of us in half the time. he was a piece of work though. wore tight ass shirts and short shorts every day and was weird as fuck to talk to. my friend was in his RA group. our group activity was going hiking. his was cleaning up the bathroom because Fung and his friend had spread their poop all over themselves and the bathroom stalls. they literally played with their shit at age 13. Fung is probably a nuclear engineer or something these days, but thinking back on it, I don’t know how he wasn’t sent home, or how the RA wasn’t fired.

  56. 56


    the sad thing is that the rest of the Republican leadership will go along with anything the president wants. Anything.

    I strongly disagree. They openly told Trump he could fuck off with the Russian sanctions, damn near the only thing the Senate passed last year. Which he signed, by the way, because he’s a total coward. They gave Trump bupkis in every budget negotiation. They ignored him on the ACA and tax reform. Moderates told him that if he fired Sessions, he wasn’t going to get a replacement.

    Do not mistake their desire to defend his having the presidency for supporting Trump himself. They’re not obeying him by coddling his racism, racism has been the centerpiece of their party for decades. General bigotry, stupidity, corruption, and destruction of the government are central to the Republican platform. Trump is just louder and dumber about it. The moderates have no desire to stop him, they just want him to stop calling Nazis ‘fine people’ in public, damn it.

    Yuck. I’m sorry. At least for me it’s blood sugar, which is fixable.

  57. 57
    opiejeanne says:

    @akryan: Yeah, I can see the kid I knew doing stuff along those lines. I went to church camps that the Methodists ran* and there was this boy my age, 9, who scared the rest of us. He vowed that his goal was to become a scientist so he could blow up the whole world.
    The next year a girl in my cabin was already acting what she thought was sexy, at age ten. Just a bit precocious for 1960. The rest of the girls were a bit scandalized when in getting ready for a shower she told us that when these pants (indicated her undies) dropped we would see the figure of the year. She was a typical 10 yo. though, not much to see.

    * Not super-churchy. Mostly we hiked, swam, sang silly songs, played games, ate s’mores by the campfire, and read.

  58. 58
    lowtechcyclist says:


    Soul/​gospel musician Edwin Hawkins dead at 74.

    “Oh, Happy Day” is a classic.

    Amen to that. And I’ve got some good memories linked to that song. Christmas of 1969.

  59. 59
    trnc says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: No worries. He just lays out all of the Betsy Ross colors to keep DT occupied. Hourly.

  60. 60
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yep. Kelly is worst than Trump, in my opinion. He has enabled Trump to lie, behave like a tantrum-throwing child and abdicate his responsibilities as the Leader of the Free World.

    At the very least, Kelly should have forced Trump to stop using Twitter to engage in blatant lies and bullying. Kelly has done nothing to curb Trump’s destructive tendencies.

  61. 61
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Still seething at his “we could have compromised to avoid the Civil War” nonsense. WTH?!

  62. 62
    But her emails!!! says:


    They passed the sanctions. They HAVE NOT actually forced Trump to implement them.

  63. 63
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @But her emails!!!: They all answer to the same master.

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    Can’t stand Kelly.

  65. 65
    Matt says:

    @Ruckus: They also only like that OTHER guy when he stays dead & keeps his commie mouth shut – lot of overlap.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    Boy, were we misled about Kelly. Remember when he was sold as a non-ideological, by the book manager-type? He talks like he’s a complete paranoid who thinks he’s engaged in a war and surrounded by enemies. The “enemies” would be lawmakers, immigrants, liberals, and anyone who levels the slightest criticism of ICE.

    He’s done a bang-up job creating the illusion that Trump is a normal human being, I must say. The President is nastier than ever. He gets worse every week. Well, “gets worse” probably isn’t true. He’s been like this for 50 years. It’s just that occasionally we hear something true about him now.

  67. 67
    Kay says:

    Is it really going to be easy for the ham-handed Trump Administration to trick immigration activists? They’re really going to be tricked into believing Trump supports immigration and Democrats don’t? People who know this issue REALLY well and lobby constantly and have been lobbying on it for YEARS before any of the low quality Trump hires arrived will buy this bullshit?

    They couldn’t even convince the low info voters who answer polls that Mueller was corrupt and Donald Trump is a victim. Really engaged people who focus exclusively on one issue will be persuaded by Fox news and the President’s political handlers? Why wouldn’t they just rely on their extensive personal experience lobbying DC for years and years?

  68. 68

    @Kay: I saw this piece in the Washington Post about Trump being a “genius”, Trump confuses intelligence with cunning and being an asshole.

  69. 69
    Kay says:


    Immigration activists have probably been meeting with Durbin for years. Before Durbin they met with Kennedy. They were probably just out of Durbin’s office before he left for the meeting. They don’t have to rely on the “tick tock” in the WaPo or Maggie Haberman’s musings on Trump’s inner thoughts. This is their job. They’ll help draft any DACA compromise. They helped draft the Bush immigration bill that didn’t pass, because Kennedy carried their issues. There were two groups negotiating = business interests (Bush) and liberal immigration activists (Kennedy). This has been going on for decades and it will continue long after the low quality Trump hires are all at Fox news.

  70. 70
    David says:

    FROM my experiece[24 years American military 6 years Canadian Forces] Kelly is a pretty common type of military professional. The mistake is mistaking efficiency for effectiveness when the context changes. A hammer is efficient but you don’t fix a watch with it

  71. 71

    @Kay: I am not an immigration activist but I can smell the administration bullshit from a mile away. Just look at all the anti-immigrant actions they have taken in the last year. I judge people by what they do, their actions, their karmas (acts or deeds) (karma means action, not cosmic justice)

  72. 72
    SFAW says:


    That article was like yet-another flip-side of the Cletus safari pieces: “Shitgibbon may not be a ‘jeenyus’ in the way the pointy-headed Lie-berals define it, but he is a ‘jeenyus’ at getting people to give him what he wants, because he can connect with the real people. And did I tell you he’s the most-geniusest real estate developer EVAH because none of his projects has ever failed, etc., etc.”

    About the only new piece of info to come out of that blowjob was that Shitgibbon allegedly contemplated suicide when he and Ivana were divorcing, but she convinced him they should see a shrink. Dammit. Of course, “Her husband resisted at first but then agreed, telling her he’d go, ‘only if you think it will fix what’s wrong with you,’ ”

    ETA: Maybe if Ivanka “divorces” him, he’ll actually go through with it.

  73. 73
    Kay says:


    There’s a really good documentary on the process for the Bush immigration bill (that failed).

    That was right before Republicans went full-blown, whites-only on immigration. There were two groups- straight immigration activists (human rights and equity) and then business groups who want immigration orders to benefit their respective industries.

    So in the simplest terms you would add the Trump whites-only gang to a mix that already exists and has existed for decades. The former two groups- liberals and business interests- have WAY more experience with immigration and the legislative process than Trump’s white’s only oddballs and freaks. They know what happened in there. They were advising liberal Democrats.

  74. 74

    @Kay:I was following that bill closely, it was then that I became aware of FAIR, CIS and other organizations under the Tanton umbrella and the virulent anti-immigrant hatred they propagate. They are well organized but were considered fringe until the current administration came to power.

  75. 75
    Kay says:


    I know you’ve been quite down about this and you are much closer to it than I am but if I were betting I would bet on the monied interests in the GOP winning and the whites-only interests in the GOP losing at the end of this. They’re just hoping to put that off long enough to retain the Trump racist voters. Republicans want it both ways- they want to serve business interests and reform immigration but they also want Trump’s racist base. They can have that, but only for so long.

  76. 76

    @Kay: They will let the current court order stand (which lets DACA be renewed) but officially do nothing would be my guess. I follow a few immigration attorneys but have no direct experience or know anyone on DACA. But I do know many more immigrants on various long term visas, GC holders, naturalized citizens from practically every corner of the world than the average person. Even T’s preferred immigrants from northern Europe.

  77. 77

    […] time some new report about Trump being totally out of touch with policy matters and how his staff tries to keep him away from the levers of power, I think back to […]

  78. 78
    SFAW says:


    but if I were betting I would bet on the monied interests in the GOP winning and the whites-only interests in the GOP losing at the end of this.

    Maybe I’m wrong in my assessment, but it seems that there is a significant overlap between those two groups, enough so that the whites-only group still comes out on top.

  79. 79
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: The arrangement that benefits both factions is if there is no immigration reform, and undocumented immigrants mostly stay here, but remain in a constant state of justified fear, afraid to show their faces in public (making them easy to manipulate and driving their wages down). That means capricious and unpredictable enforcement actions against them, without regard to their personal behavior; but not against their employers, who can safely hold over them the threat of turning them in. No mass deportations that are large enough to seriously cut into the undocumented labor force, but enough arbitrary indefinite detentions and dismemberment of families to be terrifying both to the immigrants and to their friends and loved ones who are citizens.

    If I had to bet, I’d say that’s how it’s going to turn out in the long run as long as Trumpists are in control. It’s how things seem to be going for the most part.

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