Kelly vs “the Mooch”


Having worked for a few extremely "scattered" bosses who loved to play their subordinates off against each other, I recognize the type in DJT. 

Reza Shah Pahlavi, the founder of the ancien regime Iranian imperial dynasty once said that "in Iran all the telegraph lines must run to my feet."  By that he evidently meant that he, personally, would run all aspects of life in Iran.  Clearly, he felt that this was the optimal management style. 

President Trump's style IMO resembles that of the first Pahlavi.  He does not have  a team.  He has people whom he sees as adjuncts of his glory as an entrepreneurial "grand master." He is a certain kind of "big businessman."  He believes that capitalism is entirely about personal self aggrandizement and ego reinforcement.   I once worked for a similar character, an entrepreneur with political ambitions.   That man could not formulate a manifesto that expressed his hopes for the people of his country.  He could not do it because he could not conceive of a program that was not about him personally.  In the end he hired a collection of professors to cobble together a collection of trite academic platitudes.  He lost the election.  IMO Trump is much like that man.  He is ego driven and will say or do anything he thinks needed to increase his position.  A corollary of his mentality is that he has no loyalty to anyone who works for him and he sees them all as potential rivals for the future.  We have now seen several examples of the depth of his disregard for those who have been willing to work for him.

To deal with the throng of incompetents and disloyals (irony alert) around him, DJT has now brought in a soul-mate, Anthony Scaramucchi (honest to god that is his name).  "The Mooch" as he is known to his associates is a junk-yard dog armed with a Harvard JD and a record of success at Goldman Sachs among all the other selfish, self-centered junk-yard dogs. 

In the other corner of the ring we will see John Kelly, USMC (ret.) who evidently has chosen to live by a code of self-sacrifice and service.  This man of honor is now going to lie down with the junk-yard dogs in order to serve his country.

I can hear the echo from the future of one of his encounters with "the Mooch."  "Well, solja-boy, who the f–k do you think you are to tell me what to do.?"

I predict that given the choice between Kelly and "the Mooch," DJT will keep his soul mate and discard Kelly.

I favor much of DJT's domestic program.  He probably has adopted that program for selfish, egotistical reasons but it is still a program that I favor.   In addition, his preference for an improvement in relations with Russia seems common sense. 

Nevertheless, I have no illusions about him.  pl


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127 Responses to Kelly vs “the Mooch”

  1. Morongobill says:

    For his own sake, I hope the mooch has the good sense to not talk to or about General Kelly as he did about Bannon or Preibus. He might just find out how tough a Marine really is.

  2. Tyler says:

    With all due respect I think you’re mistaking Trump’s demeanor with his nature. While he has his flaws, in private he seems to be very generous to all and sundry.
    Mooch is a junkyard dog, and Reince was indeed likely the leaker, or providing cover for the leaks. Kelly being appointed only underlines what Scott Adams said: that Trump is going to war. Mooch was brought on because he groks the NYC/DC axis mentality and knows how to leverage it.
    I think McMaster’s neocon ass is on its way out.

  3. Tom Cafferty says:

    Domestic program? What program? I think it is just stream of consciousness from an unhinged mind.

  4. Lemur says:

    Trump is an icebreaker opening up a channel toward a new political horizon. Ego fueled ‘creative destruction’ plays a big part in that.

  5. Phil Cattar says:

    Colonel,Only time will tell.But my gut tells me the Mooch will be the one to go.He may have been successful in his past endeavors but will prove to be a shooting star here.

  6. turcopolier says:

    Do I get another chance or are am I banned from SST? pl

  7. Tyler says:

    Okay that caught me off guard and made me laugh.
    I’m only a junior probationary author here, but that’s my .02: Trump tried to reach out to the GOPe, and he’s tired of treacherous McCains, virtue signallers like Sasse, and incompetents.
    Now watch for him to pull an Ataturk attack from all points of the compass/Night of the Long Knives/end of The Godfather style reckoning.

  8. David E. Solomon says:

    Colonel Lang,
    I think one might reasonably ask if Trump even remembers what was in his domestic program?

  9. Jack says:

    Thanks for this incredibly insightful post.
    While I have worked for several craven and egotistical CEOs, they all recognized at some level that they could only throw so many of their subordinates under the bus for lack of performance before the board would have a frank conversation with them.
    I believe The Donald is in an unusual situation for a POTUS. He won the election defeating two political dynasties while being virulently attacked by the corporate media and the establishment of both parties. He has no political support in DC. Throughout the election campaign the biggest issue for his opponents were his style and demeanor. And since the election he has been under constant attack, with many on both sides of the aisle as well as former high officials in the key intel agencies actively campaigning for his ouster.
    Pat Buchanan is, IMO, spot on that he is fearful that Mueller’s investigation will veer away from the Russian “collusion” angle as he comes up empty handed there, to The Donald’s personal financial transactions well before he even became a candidate. This must make DJT very nervous.
    Now that it must be apparent to him that he is essentially on his own with no real political allies in the DC power structure, what will he do to secure his own position and push forward with his agenda. His acquiescence on the Russia sanctions bill shows how limited his room for maneuver really are. At some point he’s gonna have to give his opponents a taste of their own medicine by getting a special counsel investigation on the leaks by Brennan and Clapper, the financial transactions of the Clintons and senior members of Congress who have disproportionate wealth relative to their decades of Congressional pay. Tweeting outrage won’t cut it when Mueller starts digging into his finances and past financial transactions. He will have to go after the DC power structure for pure survival. If he does, that will be the best thing as both sides engage in mortal combat. Maybe the “House of Cards” can then come down.

  10. turcopolier says:

    David E. Solomon
    IMO that is not true. he knows what is good for him and a general increase in prosperity is good for him. pl

  11. turcopolier says:

    Trump was not head of a corporate structure of the “c” corp. type. he was sole proprietor of a family business. there really was no “board” in the sense you mean. pl

  12. turcopolier says:

    Derek Harvey needed firing. A total incompetent. pl

  13. David E. Solomon says:

    Colonel Lang,
    Assuming he really does know what he wants to accomplish on the domestic front, do you see anyway he might possibly implement any of his plans?
    I just do not think he has either the intelligence or the skill to get much done. I guess we will see over the next 3 1/2 years.

  14. Jack says:

    Point well taken, Sir, in that he has no experience with a supervisory structure.

  15. VietnamVet says:

    Thanks for your excellent examination of Donald J Trump. I never crept high enough to deal with the Masters of the Universe. To this old plebian he seems more of a German Mob Boss than an Iranian Shah. He is an autocrat. I disagree with his domestic, energy and environmental policies plus the media disinformation is getting to me. I keep reminding myself that he stopped supplying the Daesh and hasn’t started a new war, yet. His Administration, so far, has accelerated the great unraveling of America.

  16. turcopolier says:

    David E. Solomon
    You are like the woman in a New York City street who told a TV man with a camera, “He is destroying our world.” Yes. He is destroying the world of the “end of history crowd? and you obviously are of that crowd, I guess you have not noticed how much of the Obama super state he has destroyed by cancelling executive orders. I guess you missed the VA law, but then you are probably not a veteran. pl

  17. turcopolier says:

    The agitprop disinformation is mainly against him with the corporate media harping on every little damned thing. we never supplied IS. It is the AQ affiliates that he has stopped supply to. He is NOT an autocrat. did you not notice that he could not even cause the ACA to be repealed. IMO you have been taken in by the lefty propaganda. pl

  18. The Beaver says:

    Rumours and Page Six:
    Scaramucci’s wife got fed up with his Washington, D.C. ambitions and decided to leave him, thus has filed for divorce.

  19. David E. Solomon says:

    Colonel, you misunderstand me.
    Obama made a totally waste of his presidency. He had the opportunity to govern with the intelligence to do so, but like the Clintons before him, he was really only concerned with his own importance (not to mention his personal corporate welfare stream).
    While I doubt that Trump is worried about his future income stream, I really doubt the man’s stability as well as his abilities.
    I know that “hope springs eternal”, but in the end I think you will be disappointed.
    You seem to be, in many ways, an optimist.
    I am, on the other hand. a confirmed pessimist.
    Nevertheless, I sincerely hope that your reading is correct and mine is absolutely wrong.
    Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

  20. David E. Solomon says:

    For the record Colonel, I am not a veteran. That is why I do not, for the most part, respond to matters of which I cannot possibly have a lucid opinion.
    Nevertheless, I read your site multiple times a day and have for years. I believe you do a service to your readers. In fact, I assume that you probably have many more regular readers than you know about from those who comment.
    Please keep up the good work.

  21. Haralambos says:

    I thought the Reince leak was dropped as an operative meme yesterday, since the journalist who published the information announced that she had made a FOI request, which was unnecessary, and she got her information from public documents.

  22. eakens says:

    He did blow through the competition to get where he’s at. He may not be firing on every cylinder for your liking, but too many people still after all that has happened, still can’t bring themselves to give him any credit whatsoever. That flaw has nothing to do with him.

  23. Kooshy says:

    Colonel I know this Wall Street type big shots likes of Muchie IMO, you are right on characterizing this type. IMO this guy, already made 80 million, can he more self centered then DT, I can guarantee he has zero respect for the deplorables or even a class higher.

  24. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The median house price in California is now $ 450,000. How could a young person ever build equity there? Likewise in Brooklyn.
    There are many such places in either coast.
    Something has to give.

  25. turcopolier says:

    David E. Solomon
    I am generally thought to be a pessimist, pl

  26. Eric Newhill says:

    I agree with your analysis. I too like Trump for his policies. His style is not good, but I will take content over style if he can get it done.
    However, this Scaramucchi guy is a real loose cannon and a nut job. He’s better suited for a reality show (who will be voted off the Island? The Mooch versus Kelly. See it all go down tonight at 10:00!)than an important post on POTUS’ team. Sure, Trump needs a war time consigliere as I think Tyler is correct about what Trump is going to try to execute, but not a hot head junk yard dog. Things didn’t work out well for Sonny Corleone, who suffered the same affliction.
    He and Kelly will definitely get into it. IMO, the one that survives will be the one that has done the most to further Trump. IMO, Trump is smart enough to look at that it way. Kelly, as you say, will have to be unwavering in his commitment to sacrifice for the good of the country in order to hang in there on this one.

  27. David E. Solomon says:

    Colonel if you are a pessimist than there is probably no term to accurately describe me.

  28. Lars says:

    To think that we are not witnessing DJT’s nature and character is rather naive. I doubt that Gen. Kelly, no matter how skilled, will bring this White House under control since most of the dysfunction comes from the top and DJT is unable to be who he is not.
    Some here seem to think this is a kind of Western move with a showdown. It may make a good movie, but there are guard rails established over the last two centuries and you keep hitting them at your peril. It is more likely that DJT gets thwarted by a thousand cuts. John McCain just outsmarted the GOP, and probably did them a favor, by allowing the healthcare bill to come to the Senate floor and then kill it. Now there will not be any more attempts this fiscal year.
    There will be others using rules that DJT does not even know that they exist.

  29. Fred says:

    “How could a young person ever build equity there? Likewise in Brooklyn.”
    As the bad joke goes in South Florida. “live like a Mexican”. The “something” that is giving way is working class allegience to the Democratic party. That is why the elites of the DNC have been doubling down on importing a replacement demographic.

  30. turcopolier says:

    David E. Solomon
    IMO the US is heading toward change into something unrecognizable. IMO Trump is not taking us there. Optimists of the utopian SJW stripe are doing that. That doesn’t mean I like him. pl

  31. MRW says:

    So, he built his buildings in manhattan by sitting at the Four Seasons having lunch?

  32. turcopolier says:

    He is a deal closer and developer hustler. pl

  33. Mark Logan says:

    Phil Cattar,
    Just for giggles I’m going to put my nickel (maximum…the other ninety five cents stays in my pocket) on that roulette square too. Based on a theory the chaos is beginning to take a toll on the Big Man, and Kelly will soon be viewed as indispensable. The Mooch? All hat no cattle.
    I feel working for a malignant narcissist is one of the most challenging things one can be faced with in normal life. Kelly has all but certainly had to deal with this before somewhere along the line.

  34. David E. Solomon says:

    We will see what happens.
    I don’t like him either, but I rarely like any politician.
    Maybe we should both become pessimists on hold (or temporary optimists)?

  35. turcopolier says:

    David E. Solomon
    You can adopt whatever attitude you please but my function is to tell the truth as I understand it. pl

  36. turcopolier says:

    Mark Logan
    IMO Scaramucchi is Trump’s Trump. Kelly had had to deal with people like that but none of them were president. pl

  37. elaine says:

    Yesterday on CNN a retired General, who is friends with General John Kelly(ret),
    said he told John he’d be safer parachuting into Raqqa alone then working in this
    White House. It got a laugh out of me.

  38. David E. Solomon says:

    Which is why your readers are loyal.

  39. I would actually prefer that to what I think we’re going to get: an eventual sell-out. How can long can Trump hold out against the onslaught against him? He will be sorely tempted to make them a deal if this goes on too much longer. Even if Russiagate remains a nothing-burger, they can use it to sandbag him, force him to make concessions. And the more concessions he makes, the weaker he becomes. Don’t get me wrong: I’m still glad Hellary lost. But Trump needs to go the offensive at some point; he needs to be more of a fighter. He can’t just sit back and let them gnaw away at him like a school of famished piranhas. But I know that asking a lot from him … and that’s what makes me worry.

  40. ked says:

    I think many if you are projecting forms of faith that Trump is somehow going to get things turned around, if only as a by-product of his lousy attitude. Others think he’s really going to re-make the USA into some ass-kicking utopia (knly the ass-kicking happens on the domestic front… just wonderful.
    Here’s a quote I read that takes Col Lang’s observation a bit further.
    “Everything Trump is doing right now has the single goal of keeping himself in office. That’s it. Full stop. Every tweet. Every campaign-style unhinged speech. Every move he makes that appears to be attached to any kind of policy at all, whether it’s health care or immigration or law and order or who gets the right to serve in our military and who doesn’t. He doesn’t draw a breath without thinking of what he can do every single minute to keep himself from being run out of office for whatever illegality you can think of, whether it’s colluding with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton or laundering their money or profiting from the presidency or anything else. Doesn’t matter. He’s going to push the envelope. He’s going to say whatever he needs to say, do whatever he needs to do, fire whoever he needs to fire, sacrifice whoever he needs to sacrifice in order to save himself.”
    Col Lang used to critique a narcissistic personality style of among “perfumed prices of the pentagon”. In these generals who are surrounding Trump out of duty & love-of-country, I see people who are blind to the fact they are propping up a sociopathic criminal who is a prsent danger to the Constitution. Thanks guys!

  41. dilbert dogbert says:

    I got interested in your last paragraph about liking Trumps policies. So I went to The Google to see what policies he proposed during the campaign. I don’t pay attention to campaign policy statements as I think the old saying: “The President Proposes and the Congress Disposes” is correct.
    Here I found 146 statements.
    I expect you agree with the Foreign Policy statements.
    I scanned the 146 for one on LGBTQ but did not find one. I did however, notice in my wanderings on the internet that Trump on the stump seemed to be interested in their problems.
    I think your analysis of Mr Trump is spot on.

  42. dilbert dogbert says:

    Those house prices show the disaster caused by the election of a one party, Democratic, state government. The only thing that will bring those prices down is a good solid Republican government.

  43. turcopolier says:

    IMO DJT is posing as a counter-revolutionary. I am the real thing with the exception of laws concerning race. Other than that I rather liked the 50s as a teen. pl

  44. Tyler says:

    Maggie H something from the NYT? Actually Mike Cernovich had the scoop two hours before the MSM and she tried to claim credit from him. Until it went down she was saying GEN Kelly was a floater and not a serious choice.

  45. Tyler says:

    Concur. Still not a fan of GEN McMaster.

  46. mike says:

    Elaine –
    Kelly is no stranger to political infighting. In 94/95 he was the USMC Liaison to the House of Representatives. Ten years later he returned to HQMC in Washington as the Legislative Assistant to the Commandant.

  47. Yes, Trump and the Mooch are two of a kind… a couple of NYC conmen and bullshit artists. It has all the makings of a classic buddy film. I wonder where Kelly will focus his efforts. Will he focus on getting some control and meaningful cooperation in Congress? He does have some experience in that field. Will he be tasked with instilling some discipline into that clown show that the White House staff has become? Good luck working with the Mooch and the mad tweeter.
    No matter how much I dislike him, Trump has expressed support for a number of admirable policies, better relations with Russia, better health care for all, secure borders, infrastructure investment and I’m sure there’s others. The problem is that he doesn’t have any real policies, just desired outcomes. A policy should include a proposed roadmap to reach those outcomes. Trump doesn’t have a clue how to reach most of those outcomes and his primary reason for supporting those outcomes is to increase his popularity. He just wants to be loved. It’s all part of the con.

  48. MRW says:

    True. And made his money by licensing his name to Arabs, Japanese (80s), Sheiks, and various Russians who couldn’t get their building projects approved otherwise without an extreme federal legal hassle. That’s why he kept his name in the public all the time. It wasn’t grandiosity. It was a business decision that paid big bucks. Trump gave a lecture at Wharton in the early 80s to students to explain what he was doing. One of my best friends was a graduate student there and explained it to me.
    HOWEVER. He also built buildings and a major hotel renovation (major and under budget, the Grand Hyatt on 42 St) in Manhattan that were his alone, and when I lived in Manhattan, it was not unusual to see photos of Trump over the weekend in The Post and Daily News on site with his workers and schmoozing his union boys checking up on things. He worked 7 days a week. He was completely hands-on. His workers loved him, and he loved them back.
    You ask anyone who worked for him long-time. ANYONE. [There’s a retired couple at my local bar who worked for him for 18 years–both of them–and they have nothing but gratitude for Trump and especially his generous retirement program. She was an accountant. I don’t know what he did.] Especially women; he paid them the same as men for the same work, and women in his organization actually had more executive positions than men which was highly unusual at the time. They loved the guy. He was fair, incredibly demanding, and generous. There were only two things that he demanded in return: (#1) loyalty (2) hard work. This wasn’t unknown to NYC-ers who knew his business.

  49. pl,
    I think the best of the 50s in America was due to an education system in the schools, the communities, the churches and the families that drilled self-discipline, responsibility, courtesy and a magic mixture of pride and humility into our malleable young heads. The presence of strong labor unions and out undisputed status as a world hegemon didn’t hurt, either.

  50. MRW says:

    Where he got into trouble was giving his first wife responsibility for his NJ casinos and businesses. She completely fucked them up. He never trashed her in public. Not once. She was the mother of his children. It’s a long story.

  51. turcopolier says:

    My present position on McMaster is that while he shares the outmoded views on Russia and Iran of many of his peers he is not a neocon. The poseur Harvey was at least an agent of the neocons. pl

  52. Kathy says:

    What also didnT hurt–actually, it helped the country immensely–was very high marginal tax rates on the wealthy during that period. Trump, of course, wants to slash tax rates on the wealthy, exactly the opposite of what was in effect in the fifties.

  53. eakens says:

    Sorry, both parties are to blame. The power of the printing press has created a situation in which you essentially have an infinite assets chasing finite assets, thus housing may hiccup but will always go up so long as that is the case. If you want to slow it down, you will need to start with a balanced budget.

  54. MRW says:

    “I see people who are blind to the fact they are propping up a sociopathic criminal who is a prsent [sic] danger to the Constitution.”
    That’s hyperbolic. Have a drink or a joint.

  55. MRW says:

    “He just wants to be loved. It’s all part of the con.”
    Baloney. Dont buy this one bit.

  56. MRW says:

    I am perceiving “the Generals” as a wall of WASPs the neocons are going to a hard time penetrating. Let’s see what develops over the next 12 months.
    Buy popcorn.

  57. confusedponderer says:

    “bad joke goes in South Florida. “live like a Mexican”.”
    Well, I have been to Yucatan once and saw how mexicans live in the villages of the place. They built houses, ran of money and/or time and stopped. They then went on later when they had more time and/or money. I have never seen so many half finished stuff as there. I have seen and built better and cleaner phone lines in the woods when I was in the army than the stuff they built in cities in those places. Also, busses didn’t stop for indios.
    Having had stuff stealed there (some beach junk jerk had trained his dog to steal bags and bring them back to the master), I went to cops to report the crime. They didn’t want to take the case. Eventually, they did make a report (for which they had to stop watching soccer on the tv, which annoyed them), and they wrote their report of the crime down with a *lead pencil*, not with a pen. I.e. they could rewrite it later if they wanted in any way, which means the protocol was utterly useless and meaningless.
    As for the cops and their equipment, those who I saw IMO likely used US gear they bought second hand, likely older stuff sold off when US forces newed equiment, that or it was stuff they had confiscated. They used various shotguns, various revolvers and auto handguns – but there was no standard equipment. Everyone had his own stuff.
    I saw a bunch of mexican cops guarding the US consulate in Cancun standing near the road. Notably was their equipment: They were armed with a fancy mix of AK47, shotguns and M16. There was a lot of firepower but no standard, not even in ammunition used.
    In contrast I saw mexican army folks walk around the islands before Yucatan. They were heavily armed with G3 rifles and mashine guns, and, however dubious that visit was IMO, that was the first time there I saw equipment standarity down there.
    That said, Yucatan was a beautiful place well worth a visit. As for lawfulness, well, beware. They have beautiful old architecture there, and of course, the wonderful maya ruins all over the place. I recommend quickly drying clothes, since when it rains down there, it rains a lot.
    To my surprise, they had good local beer in Yucatan. I am still amused about myself when I see that guayabera shirt I bought there back then – daringly bought in a mexican shop on my very limited spanish.

  58. Fred says:

    You must have been reading “The Constitution, as interpreted by Sally Yates” op-ed in the NYT:
    “The president is attempting to dismantle the rule of law, destroy the time-honored independence of the Justice Department, and undermine the career men and women who are devoted to seeking justice day in and day out, regardless of which political party is in power.
    If we are not careful, when we wake up from the Trump presidency, our justice system may be broken beyond recognition.”
    I especially liked the nice lines: “President Trump’s actions appear aimed at destroying the fundamental independence of the Justice Department. ” followed quickly by “The Justice Department is not just another federal agency. It is charged with fulfilling our country’s promise of equal and impartial justice for all.”
    Obviously Sally hasn’t kept up with the seperate and very unequal treatment meated out of college campuses (recipients of massive federal subsidies) where accusaltion is guilt and due process of law does not include adhereing to the constition. For example see the results of the UVA rape hoax/ Rolling Stone shelled out a almost $2 million to the fraternity defamed by thier article. The President of UVA and the State of Virginia still stand by their collective punishment of the innocent because “equal and impartial justice for all” is our country’s promise, just not that of the current politicians leading the commonwealth or the university.
    Other examples include the Columbia University:
    The University of Missouri, where protest matters and the “rule of law” does not:
    Evergreen State College:
    There are pleny of other examples.

  59. Lemur says:

    this hysterical cat lady narrative the left is pushing is going to reap them a bitter harvest in the mid-terms. It only mobilizes blue ticks on twitter, not the democratic base.
    The left portrayed Trump as an opportunistic attention seeker during the campaign. Turned out he ran a military operation that calculated exactly whose votes he needed and where. The longer that meme animates the left the better. The more they point and laugh at Trump, the less attention they’re paying to what he’s actually doing.
    Example. Trump banned the trannies, to the outrage of assorted twitter snowflakes. But his real demarche was removing the bickering over the LGBTQ issue holding up the bill containing a tranche of funds for the wall…

  60. dilbert dogbert says:

    Re: Unfinished Houses in Mexico
    Think taxes.
    The tax does not change till the house is finished. Therefore, none are finished. We make the occasional trip down Mexico Way and unfinished houses are the same everywhere.

  61. dilbert dogbert says:

    Me too. High School, football, girls, cars, doing stupid things and not getting a criminal record. I remember running around free as a bird carrying guns on the handlebars of our bikes and no one giving a care about that. Don’t try that today. That said, drugs were available if you wanted them. Young people fought with fists not guns.
    As the old saying goes: “You can never step in the river in the same place”.”

  62. dilbert dogbert says:

    California made a huge investment in education during that period. Starting with the Community Colleges, State Colleges and the University of California system. If you had the gumption to take advantage of it it was almost free. Not so anymore. I think California spends more on prisons now than education.

  63. steve says:

    Hard to believe that he really wants better health care for all. After saying during his campaign that he opposed decreasing Medicaid coverage, he supported the GOP plan that put millions off of Medicaid, and many other off of any insurance coverage. He was largely absent from the health care debate. He may have said some stuff, but his actions so far do not substantiate what he said.

  64. FourthAndLong says:

    The America of “Make America Great Again” is never going to return, assuming it ever existed in the first place. The 1950’s middle class efflorescence of the US was a post war phenomenon. The industrialized economies lay in ruins and bomb craters, so the US industrial economy was the only game in town until the early 1970’s by which time Europe and Japan had rebuilt.
    That’s not to say that improvements could be made. For instance the College debt scam which reduces the youth who don’t fall into gang and hip-hop culture to life-long peonage. The country is in need of political entrepreneurial genius. But the country is too ethnically fragmented for anything other than political opportunism. It’s been conquered and ruled by division since inception.

  65. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That was a fluke, never to be repeated with all those intellectual refugees from the Great Depression into the profession of teaching.

  66. different clue says:

    dilbert dogbert,
    My understanding is that house prices in the “nice” parts of California go up because of too many people with too much money chasing too few houses. In the greater Silicon Frisco area it is because of all the Silicon Yuppies and the Digital MillionBillionaires spending floods of money on a trickle of houses.
    In Greater Elll Ayyy it is too many people altogether, and well paid persons of the Entertainment Industrial Complex.
    And fire hoseloads of Chinese flight capital is vacuuming up every loose house in both places.
    How would good solid Republican government bring those prices down in the teeth of all that?

  67. Matthew says:

    Tyler: But if McMaster is fired, won’t we get John Bolton, which means war against Iran and Hezbollah is guaranteed?

  68. Matthew says:

    TGG: When I came to the USA as child, I remember that people just seemed more self-confident about being American–as distinct from being arrogant.
    I’ve now been a Southerner for more than 40 years, and I’ve watched the ebbing of this attractive side of our national character. Has this been your experience as well?

  69. ked says:

    hyperbole?! that never occurs in comments on SST… I nominate you Hyperbole Detector.
    so tell me, what ARE “his generals” doing for the nation?
    beyond that, I don’t need help picking poisons, but thanks for nothing anyway.

  70. ked says:

    nope, that did not inform me, but thanks for the tinted research.

  71. mike says:

    WASPs, I don’t think so? Kelly and Dunford are Irish Catholics. McMaster sounds Celtic to me, certainly not an anglo-saxon name. Mattis? Perhaps on his father’s side, his mother’s maiden name was Proulx, a famous name in Quebec and in the Catholic diocese of Maine.

  72. ked says:

    I think it’s far too early to consider the mid-term party & ideology alignments, esp since the prez remains transfixed by his election over a half-year ago. I think those most paying attention to what he’s actually doing happen to be in the GOP, and it’s out of concern for the “soul of the party” more than anything else.

  73. Dr.Puck says:

    Trump did say numerous times during the campaign that he would replace the ACA with healthcare reform that would deliver:
    (1) lower premiums
    (2) lower co-pays
    (3) lower deductibles
    (4) much better coverage
    (5) cover those with pre0existing conditions
    During the last weeks of the rubber hitting the road he shifted to support anything that would end the ACA, irrespective of the harm the reform would evoke.
    The promises were about better healthcare, but what Trump actually wants was verified by the GOP majorities, and his actions, the last few weeks, TTG, imo.

  74. Fred says:

    Now you understand why millions of Mexicans head North of the Rio Bravo.

  75. Stephanie says:

    Ivana actually warned Trump against investing too heavily in Atlantic City and went there at his behest. Trump was in full charge of all construction projects there. Trump was failing in Atlantic City before anyone else was failing in Atlantic City:
    “By December 1990, when Mr. Trump needed to make an $18.4 million interest payment, his father, Fred C. Trump, sent a lawyer to the Castle to buy $3.3 million in chips, to provide him with an infusion of cash. The younger Mr. Trump made the payment, but the Casino Control Commission fined the Castle $65,000 for what had amounted to an illegal loan.”
    He humiliated the mother of his children brutally and publicly with his flagrant affair with Marla Maples. It was also hard on his kids away at school, with Dad’s embarrassing conduct all over the tabloids.

  76. different clue says:

    Here is an article to warm the cockles of the Trumpian heart. It is
    “Why The Trump Dynasty Will Last Sixteen Years” and it is by Edward Luttwak.
    Here is the link.

  77. Swamp Yankee says:

    MRW, I wouldn’t exactly call Jack Kelly a WASP. Where and when he grew up — Oak Square in Brighton, MA, in the 50s; my father is his almost exact contemporary, knew Kelly when they were kids –calling him a WASP would have been a form of fighting words.
    Protestant-Catholic differences in 1950s Boston — hell, 1980s and 90s Boston — were severe sources of social strain. They have tended to recede in importance as our various flunky mayors try to turn the town into another Manhattan, a playground for the transnational rich kids to do with what they like, but they still exist and were much more prominent 50 or even 20 years ago.
    I think the end of The Troubles in Ireland had something to do with that as well, but I digress.

  78. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, the United States was standing like a colossous in the international arena.
    But, based on reliable testimony by foreign visitors of the time, Americans exhibitrd a very high moral caliber and adherence to ethical standards in comparisons to the countries from which these visitors hailed.

  79. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Having watched a lot of movies from 1930, say 1930 to 1948, it has been clear that the role of woman as the companion and helper of the man – captured in those movies – has been lost in contemporary US.

  80. JMH says:

    Ethnicity is a factor; mentality is the factor. The main reason neo-conservativism survives is that it appeals to our vanity.

  81. BillWade says:

    And, while no one notices, Trump secures his legacy at a rapid pace:

  82. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Santa Monico as well, middle income familied are being driven out.

  83. Fred says:

    Yes, a wonderful pair of rose colored glasses.

  84. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Very good, thanks.

  85. ked says:

    at the rate things are going, they’ll all being wearing sunglasses at night in the WH.

  86. ked says:

    I agree. For Trump, hate motivates more than love. His conception of love begins & ends at Self.
    In his campaign, made a big deal about how bad life is in the US & the world (& how rotten were his competitors, on a personal level). He has sold that perception of overwhelming badness to generate fear, converting fear into a focused hate campaign. It’s now national policy, it is his social contract with his popular base. It’s the deal he’s made to defend his presidency.

  87. Laura Wilson says:

    Jack, the other thing that makes Trump “different” as a businessman and more dangerous as a narcissist is the fact that he has NEVER worked for or with a board. He is completely on his own…with minions below.
    Terrifying for a democratic process.
    None of us should have any illusions at all.

  88. egl says:

    California has had Republic governors 34 out of the last 50 years and 15 out of the last 25. That’s hardly one-party state government.

  89. robt willmann says:

    We will see what A. Scaramucci, with or without sunglasses, says about the Russian government and Vladimir Putin announcing that U.S. embassy and counselor personnel are going to be expelled from from Russia in a number (around 755) to bring the remaining number there down to 455, which is the number of Russian personnel left in the U.S. after Obama did some expelling–

  90. Old Microbiologist says:

    I understand. I think working for the government for a long time makes you that way. When you always plan for the worst case and it almost always happens you end up creating a legend of extreme accuracy. On in the military is Murphy’s Law a constant. I always planned for the worst, and I seem to be gifted at thinking up the real worst case, planning for it, and then end up being some kind of savior (to the subordinates but a doomsayer and pessimist to my superiors). There is a general lack of real think in the military and wild optimism seems to be the rule of the day. When you rain on their parade with realistic predictions and “alternate” scenarios you rapidly become unwanted (by some) at planning sessions.
    I recall back in 2007 I was at a planning meeting working out the 5 and 10 year goals which I thought were as usual wildly optimistic. I stood up and mentioned the budget issues and problems in that woeful post-Vietnam era. If you recall how bad that was and it lasted until Reagan. My point was you cannot make long term assumptions about continuously increasing budgets during war time as eventually wars end and usually budgets crash after that. Our commander, a full bird (Medical Corps), said he was in grade school when Vietnam ended. That kind of took the wind out of my sails. In hindsight I never foresaw the possibility we would have multiple never-ending wars. So, my ability to forecast worst case scenarios seems to have failed me. Really, I am in shock at how many places we are either actively fighting (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria), supporting someone else fighting (Ukraine, Yemen, Somalia), attempting to create yet more revolutions (Russia, Iran, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Venezuela) and ramping up for yet more invasions (Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, and Bolivia). Add in the Baltic states and pressure on Kaliningrad, the fight for the Spratly Islands, and the fight for the ownership of the Arctic and it gets wildly complicated. Add in that we have also funded some kind of Space force and this appears way out of control and far beyond my wildest imaginations. Thank God I am retired and now in the too old for deployment group.

  91. Cortes says:

    That’s a terrific article. Thanks for the link. The car affordability data chime closely with the arguments of James Howard Kunstler whose blog abounds in detail of the absolute reliance most Americans have on access to a car in working order. Absent a viable system of public transportation in most suburban, exurban and rural areas (according to Kunstler) lack of a car is unthinkable.

  92. turcopolier says:

    pacifica advocate
    Yes. I have deleted some of the worst of your self-pitying “revolutionary” moaning and will continue to do so. pl

  93. fanto says:

    At Colonel Lang
    Sir, with due respect I think that your prediction (Mooch wins against Gen.Kelly) will not happen, and Gen. Kelly will either prevail or at least come to a ´draw´. Why I think so – the entry of the General indicates that there is a full commitment of the truly patriotic wing of the MIC to make the administration adopt a smoother, dignified, old fashioned modus operandi – which would be more acceptable by the electorate and most importantly – by the mass media here and abroad. I think so because I imagine that there are several factions in the Military Industrial Complex and the ´truly patriotic wing´ is most likely based in the military; Of course, I might be wrong about the factions within the MIC.

  94. turcopolier says:

    IMO Trump is not capable of really adult behavior and as president he doesn’t have to listen to any of these people and can continue on his way to fulfillment of his doom. I find it sad that a lot of you people think there is a community of interests between the military and the industrial base of the US. that just isn’t so but the existence of that kind of conspiracy is a fondly held belief by many. This is as big a delusion as the idea of the existence of a parallel government in the Deep State. pl

  95. MRW says:

    Kathy, those high taxes were applied because after the war the ordinary workers of America had bulging bank accounts. They couldn’t spend money on anything during the war because all the necessary commodities needed for durable goods were rationed instead for war armament.
    In 1944, Marriner Eccles (Chairman of the Fed) and the Secretary of the Treasury feared inflation—too much money chasing too few available goods raising prices—as a result. You combat inflation by raising taxes and reducing federal government spending. Our spending was monumental during WWII when we were creating guns, ships, and planes, etcetera, for England and ourselves, and it created the middle-class.
    But Fed and Treasury didn’t want to impose onerous taxes on the returning soldiers, the poor, or the newly-created middle-class. They wanted them to flourish. So they applied taxes at the top end, and spent $15 billion on The Marshall Plan that put the returning soldiers back to work. (Of course, no one at the top ever had to pay them because the super-rich put their money into foundations and trusts.)
    Taxes at the top may ‘lower’ the 1% but it does nothing for the people for the people at the bottom. You have to increase the income of those at the bottom to get economic growth and deal with inequality. You have to increase government spending and create jobs for those at the bottom. Business isn’t going to do it, contrary to popular opinion, until they see sales; no businessman worth his salt hires people he doesn’t need. And you can’t have sales unless your customers have income.
    70% of the spending in this country is done by households, and if they don’t have any income, or they are saving money to pay down debt, then they ain’t buying the goods and services available. There are no sales, no “demand.” Only the federal government can rectify that in a downturn by spending. By increasing the deficit.
    If the government spends $100 into the economy, but then takes $90 out in taxes, that means the government is running a deficit of $10. However, we’re so trained now to think of the deficit as a bad thing, that we never look at the other side of the balance sheet. When the government leaves $10 in the economy—its deficit—that’s the non-government sector’s surplus. The government’s deficit is an accounting record of a surplus someplace else in the economy. Somebody in the real economy has that $10.
    When Simpson-Boles said they had a plan to reduce the deficit by $4.5 trillion over the next 10 years, everyone crowed and said that’s wonderful. But there’s another way of stating the exact same thing by looking at the other side of the balance sheet (ledger). If Simpson-Boles had said we have a plan to reduce the non-government sector’s surplus by $4.5 trillion over the next 10 years, everyone would have asked Why are you impoverishing the people?

  96. MRW says:

    What supported that “huge investment in education” was property taxes. The rich paid their fair share with that system. And it was fair. This was the traditional way that education was paid for in every state (in addition to federal transfers) during the first half of the century.
    When Reagan became Governor and his pals convinced him that government was the problem, he reduced property taxes drastically which in turn reduced state revenue. The state made up for it by increasing sales and other taxes, which now put the financial burden on the working class and removed it from those who had mainly paid the freight. After a great media campaign to get Californian workers to believe the propaganda they voted against their interests.
    With property taxes slashed, the price of houses soared. Banks were more than happy to loan money for mortgages as asset prices increased, and therefore their fees. A $70,000 house in the Hollywood Hills in 1976 was worth a couple of million by 1991.
    The property taxes on a monster estate in Santa Barbara or Montecito went from $200,000/year to $22,000. Reagan’s pals up and down the CA coast were ecstatic. Reagan had to slash the education budget to help make ends meet.

  97. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In a city called Heredia are located branches of US companies that perform back-office and clerical work; at least a 100,000 jobs there used to be performed north of Rio Grande.
    You must admit that the United States, under both Republican and Democratic governments, has presided over the greatest wealth transfer in human history.
    The “Very Very Deep State” in US has accomplished, over 50 years, something that Communists could not even dream of.
    Where is Joe McCarthy when you need him?

  98. different clue says:

    Pacifica Advocate,
    Under President Bush Senior, quite a bit of the most egregious White Collar crime committed from within the S&Ls was prosecuted. Keating, whose five little helpers were named the Keating Five . . . was prosecuted.
    Under President Bush Junior, some of the most utterly egregious White Collar crime from within the Corporate Leadership of certain fraud-engine bussinesses like Enron were prosecuted. (Although, as you say, the Bush Junior Administration rigidly rejected all warnings from the FBI about the ongoing fraudwave/crimewave in all sectors of Real Estate . . . thereby giving the fraudsters a running head start to keep stealing even more money).
    President Obama the Wall Street Democrat was the first President to make sure that precisely zero FIRE sector perpetrators were prosecuted for anything. President Obama is the one who set that new lowest precedent. It is part of what he expects to be paid hundreds of millions of dollars for by a grateful Overclass over the decades to come. And his pro-crime Attorney General Eric Holder has gone back to Covington Burling (or whatever its called) to collect his lesser but still very real millions of dollars for a job well done.

  99. Greco says:

    Scaramucci is now out. This is breaking. Kelly forced the move it seems.
    From what I understood, the reason Trump brought Scaramucci in was because he could trust him. He wanted a communications person who would be loyal at a critical juncture, i.e, when Trump was finally ready to clean house and make a move against the forces who want to end his presidency prematurely.

  100. The Beaver says:

    So the Mooch is out.
    The new CoS has the last word 🙂

  101. fanto says:

    Sir – I “win” against you??… I cannot believe it. 🙂

  102. turcopolier says:

    Kelly did the right thing. He made The Mooch’s removal a pre-condition to his taking the job. bravo General Kelly! pl

  103. turcopolier says:

    What is it you think you won? If it is the Kelly thing, he pre-empted the problem, exactly the right thing to do. pl

  104. fanto says:

    Sir, I have predicted the erection of Berlin Wall in the weeks before August 13, 1961 , I also predicted the fall of the Soviet Union in 1986 (this one I have recorded on my old tape) – both predictions against the judgment of my old man who thought I am naive – and now, I have ´won´ against another admirable person. My wife said to my bragging `you are not in the same league with your Colonel ´ …(she is right)

  105. turcopolier says:

    I guess you mean Kelly’s victory. Felicitations! pl

  106. ked says:

    well, that didn’t take long… some people fail upward in a rush.

  107. Mark Logan says:

    Or an immediate post-hiring condition. “Wanna fire me in the first week, Big Fella? Make my effing day.” He preempted a cubic butt-load of BS right there. Bravo!

  108. BillWade says:

    I’m going to think that Moochi was brought in for the sole purpose of getting rid of Spicer and Preibus. Moochi was just too much of a caricature and I found his wife’s sudden request for a divorce on the grounds of “unbridled political ambition” a bit out there. Now, if his wife proceeds with the divorce, I’m willing to eat crow. I think the establishments been played NY Post style.

  109. turcopolier says:

    OK We will see how long the Trump/Kelly honeymoon lasts. pl

  110. Tyler says:

    Makes me think GEN Kelly and Bannon are in tandem.
    Those celebrating this as some sort of victory for the Left have the planning capability of a fruit fly.
    GEN Kelly brings GEN Mattis. If they get a commo director on message that’s quite the bastion for populism.

  111. Kooshy says:

    Colonel, apparently Mooch told General Kelly “I don’t have to report to you”, after that conversation with the new sheriff in town, mooch found out he no longer need to report to anybody, except to himself. A good day it is indeed.

  112. Kooshy says:

    whatever it is, it’s a sad sorrow entertainment on our expense.

  113. Kooshy says:

    Proposition 13 cap the property tax revenue, property tax in CA equals approx. 1.25% of purchase price but average price of property in Ca is higher than most states. Howard Jarvis’ proposition 13 passed in 1978
    during first term and first run of Jerry Brown governorship.

  114. turcopolier says:

    As I said, “well, solja-boy.” But, the prolem for Kelly is that DJT will also be willing to throw him under the bus when he starts trying to discipline him. pl

  115. Harry says:

    Good call

  116. Harry says:

    Quite so! Ironic for many of us.

  117. Harry says:

    How subcontractors hated him. He bankrupted many.

  118. Fred says:

    You mean Barrack was a mass incarcerator – aided by two black attorney generals in a row.

  119. Cee says:

    Plus he stopped funding ISIS in Syria. I hope their Saudi and Israeli allies are next. I can dream.

  120. Sam Peralta says:

    Those celebrating this as some sort of victory for the Left…
    Tyler, could it be a victory for the GOP establishment & the neocons? The likes of McCain & his office wife. Will be interesting to see what influence Kelly, McMaster & Mattis bring to WH policy and if they’ll be lock step with each other. We’ll have to see if the CIA program to fund & arm the jihadis in Syria actually ends. Pompeo seems another nutty interventionist.
    As a betting man, would you take the over/under that Kelly lasts more than a year?

  121. Philippe T. says:

    Fantomas, sometimes, the way of reasoning leading to a prediction is more interesting than the prediction itself. And sometimes, the prediction is wrong but the way of reasoning remains valid. Nowadays, who cares about the Nostradamus prophecies, which were pure illuminations with no deductions…
    Best regards. PhT

  122. Stephanie says:

    It wasn’t hyperbole at all, ked.
    That said, the people Trump likes to call “my generals” are probably the only points of sanity in the Administration. Kelly and Mattis are said to have agreed very early on that one of them would be in the country at all times to deal with anything coming out of the White House.
    It would not at all surprise me if eventually Trump is surrounded by only family and military, and the outward resemblance to a banana republic will be complete when Trump starts designing his own uniforms.

  123. Mark Logan says:

    Humor alert:
    Raises a question of Borowitz authoring DPRK tweets, which would explain much.

  124. Nancy K says:

    The young will move to middle America such as those living in the Midwest moved to CA during the Depression. Both sides of my family came from Kansas and Oklahoma for that reason.

  125. Nancy K says:

    So you are saying people are willing to pay a fortune for a house and for rent because it is a failed state. That really makes little sense.

  126. Nancy K says:

    It was Hollywood not reality.

  127. fanto says:

    Thanks PhT,
    on several occasions in my professional life (surgery) I lived it – it is better to be right for wrong reasons than vice versa.
    (btw Colonel has changed my pseudonym to fantomas, but I like Fanto better.)

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