Reverse-Midas Open Thread: Adieu, Dr. Jackson

Had this post all written & scheduled, checked the twitters one last time before going to bed…


Of course, Trump hasn’t got the guts to actually fire anybody, especially someone who might be tempted to admit on the record that maybe Lord Smallgloves’ physical status was not quite so magnificently godlike as is currently the pretense. Also, how long will it take to find a replacement who can juggle the Oval Office Occumpant’s Adderall / sedative dosages correctly? Politico‘s ‘Morning Playbook’:

… THE PRESIDENT’S NOMINEE to run the beleaguered VA has never managed more than a small cadre of people, and is now up for a job that involves managing the second-largest government agency, a department with 377,000 employees. He has also been accused of dishing out prescription drugs recklessly, allegedly passed out drunk at a hotel during a presidential trip, is said to have banged on a woman’s door after a night of drinking and allegedly crashed a government car after boozing at a Secret Service going-away party. Jackson has denied many of these allegations.

THE GENERAL CONSENSUS: Dr. Jackson will withdraw, which will give the president a chance to nominate a vetted candidate that the Hill can confirm. This is an election year. Republicans want the president to make things easy for them…

Given the information currently available, I kinda feel sorry for Dr. Jackson. He seems to be a perfectly competent mechanic for human machinery; Murphy the Trickster God knows that neither admirals, doctors, nor mechanics are generally famed for their temperance and humility. You might well trust your mechanic with your wallet, if not your life… but you wouldn’t necessarily propose he be promoted to CEO of General Motors. Or Microsoft.

But that’s the problem: Everyone Trump touches ends up the worse for it!

It would be funnier if there weren’t so much hanging on the resolution of this issue…

79 replies
  1. 1
    germy says:

    If Ronny Jackson is run out of DC, I hope the last thing he yells from the moving car is Trump’s actual weight.

    — shauna (@goldengateblond) April 26, 2018

  2. 2
    feebog says:

    Given the information currently available, I kinda feel sorry for Dr. Jackson.

    Nope, nope and double nope. He was not qualified in the first place, never mind all the current allegations. Look, I have performed investigations of hostile work environments for federal agencies. The comments about Jackson’s management skills (or lack thereof), and the toxic work atmosphere are exactly the kind of complaints one finds in a hostile work environment scenario. He really shouldn’t even return to his current job if the allegations are true.

  3. 3
    jonas says:

    The fact that this guy was apparently so vain/clueless that he would accept the nomination to a post he must have known he wasn’t remotely qualified for, is on its face disqualifying.

  4. 4
    mai naem mobile says:

    There’s something just off not only about the stuff that’s come out about Jackson but the way it came out. Why would people go to the ranking member Tester instead of the Committee Chair Isaakson. Also all the reporting actually stated the allegations were from a Democrat on the committee. It seemed like they were highlighting the Democrat part of it. I’m wondering if it has to be with Tester being a red state up for reelection this year or thr privatization of the VA for the Kochs.

  5. 5
    m0nty says:

    I’m a doctor dammit, not a bureaucrat Jim.

  6. 6
    Elizabelle says:

    Yup. I would feel sorry for Jackson except (1) he allowed his name to be put forward, why? why? why? and (2) he sounds like a terrible manager of the small staff he worked with.

    I wonder if he even ends up in medical practice after he leaves the White House. Maybe he’ll end up running fishing boats.

  7. 7
    MattF says:

    Jackson is obviously a paragon of honor and honesty. Or, y’know, not. But he did figure out how to impress Donald Trump.

  8. 8
    germy says:

    Dr. Leo Spaceman.

    (In the last clip, the authorities enter his exam room. He puts his hands out as if he is expecting to be handcuffed.
    Instead they tell him he has been appointed Surgeon General.)

  9. 9
    germy says:

    @Elizabelle: Cruise ship physician.

  10. 10
    Ben Cisco says:


  11. 11
    smintheus says:

    Lack of vetting has become a Republican tradition. It’s not just characteristic of Trump’s nominees. Romney surrounded himself with atrocious people, including his running mate. Same goes for McCain. Bush’s nominees were notoriously corrupt and incompetent; Brownie was just the most infamous of those. And Bush’s VP basically vetted himself for the job. An entire generation of Republicans have treated vetting as something only the little people care about.

    That’s partly because journalists haven’t held them accountable for their nominations, and partly because destroying the machinery of government is one of the GOP’s goals.

  12. 12
    Amir Khalid says:

    But if all Dr Ronny yells is a number — like, I don’t know, maybe “Four fifty!” — will anyone work out what he’s referring to?

  13. 13
    sdhays says:

    Memo to self: If you wreck a government car because you were so loaded, don’t accept stupid president’s offer to put you in the spotlight.

  14. 14
    Yarrow says:

    Given the information currently available, I kinda feel sorry for Dr. Jackson.

    Nope. He knew he wasn’t qualified for that position. He didn’t have to take it. He could have said no. He didn’t. Hubris? Stupidity? I don’t know, but I am not sorry for him. He’s a fairly high ranking member of the military and has a key role in the White House. He should know better. No sympathy here.

    I don’t know if he has kids, but if so, they’re the ones I feel sorry for.

  15. 15
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    I think it’s possible Jackson is guilty of everything alleged about him. I also think it’s possible all these hits on him are coming bc he has opponents within the administration, most likely in Pence’s orbit, who want to privatize Veterans Affairs.

    I don’t understand why the Pence orbit would oppose Jackson owing to their privatizing proclivities. Was Jackson against the green-eyed god of privatization? Or just too incompetent to enact it?

    (Haha, since when was competence a thing for anyone in this administration?)

  16. 16
    Steve Crickmore says:

    John Weaver, the former chief strategist for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.: “This is what happens when you nominate people based on their appearance on Fox & Friends, or because someone said you weighed 40 pounds less than you actually do.” Weaver believes that Jackson, an active-duty navy admiral, will be dishonourably discharged, if the allegations prove true’.Now Trump can return to one of main riffs that America doesn’t vet immigrants and refugees well enough.

  17. 17
    raven says:

    @Elizabelle: You say that like there is something wrong with running fishing boats!

  18. 18
    sdhays says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Shulkin said that they wanted to install an idiot so that they could privatize it without interference.

  19. 19
    Jersey Tomato says:

    He was doomed as soon as he chose to lie about Trump’s weight in public. If he had told the truth, Trump would never have nominated him. As soon as he lied, Trump knew he had him by the balls.

  20. 20
    ET says:

    This nomination was a clusterf*** from the beginning.
    1. tRump only nominated Jackson because Jackson said nice things about tRump
    2. Jackson accepted the nomination (because ego? because you don’t say no to a POTUS?) when he likely knew that he wasn’t qualified.
    3. White House vetting was not done.
    4. Discomfort by Senators because it was obvious Jackson may have been a good Dr. but Secretary of the VA? Um no.
    5. White House vetting was not done or done so poorly that it amounted to nothing at all.
    6. Rumors and facts – some of the rumors will likely be just that, some will add to the known facts which don’t support the argument that he was qualified to be Secretary of the VA.
    7. Discomfort by Senators because it was obvious Jackson may have been a good Dr. but Secretary of the VA? Um no.
    8. It was clear to everybody that tRump only nominated Jackson because Jackson said nice things about. tRump and Jackson wasn’t qualified for the position and this is one of the few times even Republicans knew it and they hemmed and hawed.

  21. 21
    terraformer says:

    “False allegations against him”? Really?

    Well, he probably was the right choice, at least from a “anything bad reported about me is fake news” standpoint. Nope, no feeling sorry for him at all.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    O. Felix Culpa says:


    Shulkin said that they wanted to install an idiot so that they could privatize it without interference.

    That I believe, but Jackson appears to have the necessary qualification.

  24. 24

    In agreement with everybody else—he accepted the appointment and deserved what he got, especially if the allegations are true.

  25. 25
    Chyron HR says:

    “Good night and thank you whoever…”

  26. 26

    President Spanky is King Sadim. That’s Midas spelled backwards. Everything he touches turns to shit.

  27. 27
    Anotherlurker says:

    @raven: Agreed. I’ve run fishing boats and it takes skill and knowledge to do it well.
    On the other hand, I’ve met some world class assholes who run fishing boats.

  28. 28
    raven says:

    @Steve Crickmore: What horseshit.

    In early 2002, Weaver left the GOP and registered as a Democrat in Manhattan. By May, he was consulting for the House Democrats’ campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, plotting strategies to defeat Republicans. The DCCC’s then-executive director was Howard Wolfson, now chief spokesman for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    Soon after, though, Weaver was back with McCain, orchestrating a public reconciliation with President Bush after the acrimony of the 2000 campaign. Putting together that meeting required that he make peace with his old nemesis Rove. Yet during the same campaign, Weaver was reported to be informally advising John F. Kerry and discussing with him the prospect of a Kerry-McCain ticket.

  29. 29
    raven says:

    @Anotherlurker: A month from today I hope to be on one in the Gulf!

  30. 30
    lamh36 says:

    Body Language Analysis: Donald Trump phones in to @foxandfriends

    1. 8:01 AM All smiles 😀
    2. 8:05 AM Mentions Dr. Jackson, “warriors” @DiamondandSilk 🤨
    3. 8:25 AM Slams Fake @CNN, @NBCNews 😕
    3. 8:27 AM @kilmeade checks his Twitter account blowing up🤦‍♂️


  31. 31
    Anotherlurker says:

    @raven: Cool! I have done a few multi-day trips, out of Tarpon Springs. Good fishing is to be had. Have a ball!

  32. 32
    Yarrow says:

    @raven: There’s nothing wrong with it at all. It’s usually not as high profile a job as being the president’s personal physician. I don’t think it would be safe for him to run fishing boats if the drinking problem and crashing the government vehicle stories turn out to be true.

  33. 33
    Brachiator says:

    Seems White House is doing some vetting on Ronny Jackson now. Several officials say White House is asking agents questions, looking closely at reports, talking to associates about him. Unclear why vetting wasn’t done earlier. One senior aide: “POTUS kind of just named him.”

    Jesus! This after the fact vetting is just because Trump never takes responsibility for an error and always wants to make himself look good and, more importantly, blameless.

    But the ongoing problems with this administration and GOP dominated government are revealed again.

    Trump is totally disorganized and has no vetting process in place. He appears to go with his gut or to take the recommendations of informal advisors, including hard core privatization ideologues and Fox talk show hosts. There doesn’t appear to be any formal staff in place to orderly handle evaluations of potential candidates.

    Trump also, of course, loves flattery and loyalty over competence.

    Neither Republican politicians nor conservative pundits seriously evaluate or challenge the qualifications of various Trump nominees. Part of this is because they seem to be spooked by Trump, but also because they also favor right wing ideology over competence.

    This also lets the GOP play the media for fools while throwing red meat to the chumps who are Trump supporters. Instead of focusing on Jackson’s qualifications, they could complain about how unfair and brutal the revelations about the doctor’s problems were, and how this “proves” that the “liberal media” won’t let Trump have the people he wants run government agencies. They can also attack Jackson and other candidates they don’t like while maintaining the fantasy of GOP unity.

    It will be interesting to see who Trump comes up with next, and what that nomination circus might look like.

  34. 34
    Kay says:

    2h2 hours ago
    Scott Pruitt believes members of the administration are actively trying to get rid of him, which is why he rejected their offers to help him prepare for his expected grilling on Capitol Hill Thursday

    So gross. It’s all about them. They should all resign. It’s not so much that they’re horrible at their jobs- they don’t even know what their jobs are.

  35. 35
    Timurid says:

    I wonder if Mueller will want a chat with Jackson, if he’s curious whether the big promotion was a quid pro quo for lying about Trump’s health.
    But I don’t know the legal implications of all this. Is lying publicly about the President’s health in your capacity as his physician even illegal? There is certainly a national security motive for hiding any serious problems. And Jackson would presumably be covered it he signed off on an accurate report that’s being kept secret.

  36. 36
    MattF says:

    @Timurid: But… everyone knows that Trump is the healthiest person ever to be President!

  37. 37
    Yarrow says:

    @Timurid: I would think submitting fraudulent medical information would be grounds for suspending his medical license. He couldn’t claim it was an accident or mistake because he went on TV and answered a bunch of questions about it.

  38. 38
    d58826 says:

    i listened to the clip of Der Fuhrer on Fox and Friends from this AM. If any of us had a relative who rambled and ranted like that we would be looking into some form of custodial care for that person.

  39. 39
    SFAW says:


    Dr. Leo Spaceman.

    Holy Christ, I got tears rolling down from that clip. Thank you.

  40. 40
    raven says:

    @Anotherlurker: We’ll be just across the puddle at Destin.

  41. 41
    trollhattan says:

    “No car wreck. No car wreck. You’re the car wreck!”

  42. 42
    Yarrow says:

    @lamh36: I love this. The F&F hosts’ faces are too funny. They know Trump is digging himself into a bigger hole. What is it Friedman said about holes? When you’re in three bring a lot of shovels? I guess Trump’s got that rule down.

  43. 43
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @germy: Lol!! 300 lbs of lard. Our eyes aren’t fooling us.

  44. 44
    Parfigliano says:

    @MattF: Job qualification #1

  45. 45
    GregB says:

    No one could have known an impulsive, greedy, immature, ignorant, bitter, vindictive, liar would have turned out to be a poor leader.

    Everyone is really shocked.

  46. 46
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @lamh36: Hugh Hewitt tweeted that Trump was great on F&F and should do public appearances like that more often. **rolls eyes**

  47. 47
    Brachiator says:

    @Steve Crickmore:

    Now Trump can return to one of main riffs that America doesn’t vet immigrants and refugees well enough.

    Goddam, that’s cold. And so damn true!

  48. 48
    Yarrow says:

    @raven: Ohhh….that sounds lovely. Have a great trip.

  49. 49
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Kay: Paranoia runs deep.

  50. 50
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Ben Cisco: Hopefully, including his presidency. Let it be so.

  51. 51
    SFAW says:


    So gross. It’s all about them. They should all resign.

    Kay, I love your comments, and all your hard working trying to keep Ohio sane, and so I say this with love (so to speak), but:

    Fuck that. I want to see them all in jail, disgraced, and impoverished. I want to see them made to pay for their attempts — and in far too many cases success — at trying to destroy the America of the non-wealthy.

    Not quite ready to hope that they get tried for capital crimes, but I get closer every day.

  52. 52
    Anthony Cooper says:

    The irony is that athletes quietly protesting racism are a terrible insult to veterans (the RW ability to get people to believe nonsensical things is amazing), but nominating Dr. Candyman to oversee the health of our veterans is crickets?

  53. 53
    SFAW says:


    No one could have known an impulsive, greedy, immature, ignorant, bitter, vindictive, liar would have turned out to be a poor leader.
    Everyone is really shocked.

    Hey, at least he’s not a warmongering, I-Bank-loving, shrieking harpy with a “private” e-mail server. So the country dodged a bullet there, right?

  54. 54
    Yarrow says:

    @SFAW: Treason is a capital crime.

  55. 55
    chopper says:

    we called it here right after that crazy press conference. jackson is a fucking lying scumbag.

  56. 56
    w3ski says:

    Thank you for the shout out to Mechanics. Not everyone I worked with drank, but I grew to. Work was a serious thing when you have someone’s safety in your hands every day. The weight of that, becomes very heavy. I relied on Training, from early on in my career. I turned away more than one job when the customer wouldn’t fix what was needed.
    I did good work for over 25 years. Glad to be out of it now.

  57. 57
    SFAW says:


    Treason is a capital crime.

    Only in some instances, such as if the persons committing treason are Demon-rats or lie-berals. Other than that, IOKIYAR

  58. 58

    Supposedly the WSJ has documents showing Trump’s weight as actually 289 lbs. but it’s paywalled. Anybody able to link/screenshot for proof?

  59. 59
    Parfigliano says:

    @Yarrow: There is the ticket. They went after Clintons law license. Dems just hem and haw, turn the other cheek and expect the same from the GOP. DEMS should have obliterated Nixon, that pig Reagan, both Bush. But no DEMS play nice and expect the same in return. What they get is GOP doubles down and all the little shit GOPers move up the ladder, IE Cheney, Rumsfeld…

  60. 60
    SFAW says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    Supposedly the WSJ has documents showing Trump’s weight as actually 289 lbs.

    If that’s true, and if he’s 6-2, then his ACTUAL BMI is 37. Anything above 30 is “Obese.”

  61. 61
    sylvainsylvain says:


    Pruitt’s gotten away with being a corrupt shitbag for years, he’s not new to this. It’ll be interesting to see how the press & the Beltway Idols handle his hearings.

  62. 62
    Fester Addams says:

    Maybe after his Navy career is turned, like everything Trump touches, to shit, he’ll write a book too. I might buy a copy, contingent on his revealing what meds he prescribed for himself right before that Dear Leader’s health is the best health press conference.

  63. 63
    EBT says:

    @feebog: it sucks he will keep drawing a wage and a pension, but look on the bright side: He may well poison donnie.

  64. 64
    SRW1 says:


    What? You’re gonna believe your lying eyes!!??

  65. 65
    Jim says:

    One thing does bother me about this whole mess: That Jackson will not have a formal way to exonerate himself on the particulars of the accusations (if any of them are false). There will be no Congressional hearing on his nomination. So all the discussion will be of the he-said/he-said kind. And since the nomination is off, the media will likely drop the story completely, since Trump generates at least one juicy new story every day.

    I’d guess there’s a 50-50 chance that Jackson will retire. If he doesn’t, there’s likely to be a (real) witch hunt, looking for the leakers on the medical staff at the WH. Many careers ruined if Jackson is the ogre he’s rumored to be, and goes for vengeance.

  66. 66
    Yarrow says:

    @EBT: If he’s dishonorably discharged instead of getting to retire, will he get to keep the pension?

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Steve Crickmore: If Jackson is dismissed for the good of the service (the language used for a dishonorable discharge for officers) he loses his pension, too.

    This is serious fucking stuff. I am sure it was held over Flynn’s head…recall to active duty, court-martial, stripped of rank and pension and VA benefits…not to mention the hammer coming down on his dolt son…if he did not cooperate with Mueller.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Yarrow: No.

  69. 69
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @feebog: this. I never understood the “but he’s a good guy” bullshit people were throwing around weeks ago. The guy’s a corrupt douche.

  70. 70
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:


    @Kay: So gross. It’s all about them. They should all resign.

    Kay, I love your comments, and all your hard working trying to keep Ohio sane, and so I say this with love (so to speak), but:

    Fuck that. I want to see them all in jail, disgraced, and impoverished.

    ¿Porque no los dos?

  71. 71

    @SFAW: I still want to see a link. (My initial impression was that Trump’s lighter-than-expected weight could just reflect his negligible muscle tone, but Jackson had added a few inches to Trump’s height).

  72. 72
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): Anyone with vision can see that Barack Obama (6’1″) is taller than Donald.

    So everything about Donald’s BMI is a lie. Everything.

  73. 73
    Yarrow says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: It was obvious at the time. Given what we’ve recently learned, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jackson was under the influence of something when he gave that press conference. He seemed far too enthusiastic for what should be a rather dull discussion of the president’s medical check up. I wondered at the time what his deal was. Perhaps he was the Candy Man for himself as well?

  74. 74
    EBT says:

    Everyone keeps saying jackon lied about donnie’s weight. He didn’t. He lied about his height.

  75. 75
    VOR says:

    @SFAW: Trump is the personification of the Seven Deadly Sins in an ill-fitting suit with a too long tie.

  76. 76

    @EBT: Unless evidence to the contrary emerges, this is my opinion as well. It should be noted that Homer Simpson’s canon height and weight are 239 lbs./just above 6 ft.

  77. 77
    Anotherlurker says:

    @raven: American Red Snapper season?
    Knock ;em dead!

  78. 78
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Sadim* Insane, Faat Baathturd.

    (*FTR I noted & used this term for Trumpolini on this blog some months ago, but it never caught on & sank out of view. But hey, independent discovery, wear it in good health. ‘Saul Good, man!)

  79. 79
    J R in WV says:


    I’m glad this has been accomplished, the Lynching Museum, but I personally would like to see individual memorials all over the nation wherever someone of any race or creed was lynched. Whether because they were an immigrant, a Black kid, a Jewish salesman, whatever. Maybe the next step.

    Baby steps seems to be the way progress is made, really.

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