“The Greatest President” (a TV masterpiece)


(editorial comment)

My current analytic theory in  contemplation of Trumpland is that the man is engaged in producing his own TV "reality" show.

There are quite a few things that he has done or caused to occur that I like; the tax law, the veterans benefits law, Justice Goresuch, de-regulation of everything he can reach by EO, a long list of pending judicial appointments that will fundamentally alter the character of the federal judiciary for a generation,  his negotiating technique with China, and other Melian states over trade barriers (the tariffs are IMO just a ploy), his confrontation with NOKO (it is yielding changes in rocketman's positions).  From my POV these are positives.

In spite of all these good things, the man is bizarre in his approach to life.  He seems to be driven by demons from his childhood to act like a fool and boor.  Usually such behavior is derived from an unhappy relationship with a parent or both parents.  His serial philandering with women who happen to pass through his life and his grotesque description of his wooings leads me to believe that it is probably his mother whom he is trying to defeat.  Unkind?  Freudian? Yes.

In the development of his "team," a favorite business term, he really seems to me to be producing his own show with the intention of starring in it as well.  His ego is such that he is compelled to see himself as the center of every scene, a magnetic pole toward which all heads are bowed without serious discord or disagreement.  In his version of "The West Wing," there is no place for serious dissent by such as McMaster, Kelly, Tillerson, Mattis, etc.  To reach the right casting outcome, he is systematically replacing any characters who will disturb the coherence of the show.  At the same time he appears to be writing the scripts in order to produce successful endings and outcomes with regard to the foreign countries who, for him, are really just script devices and scenery.  I doubt that it really occurs to him that he may not be able to overcome the Spartans/Russians/Iranians and their trivial satellites like Melos/Syria.  After all, is it not HIS show?  pl

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69 Responses to “The Greatest President” (a TV masterpiece)

  1. Laura says:

    Intriguing analogy…reality TV as reality!

  2. FB Ali says:

    It is posts such as this that make SST such a remarkable and unmatched site. Long may it continue!
    Our thanks are due to Col Lang!

  3. EEngineer says:

    He may indeed be a boor and a scoundrel, but I also think that he exaggerates it for effect. Once he’s induced Trump Derangement Syndrome in his opponent, their IQ seems to get cut in half. Call it Sun Tzu’s tactic of sowing of confusion in an enemy adapted to the mass media age.

  4. Amir says:

    Does his “Tabula rasa” approach and personality remind you of Jeltsin? Do you agree that the consequences of his “good intentions”, to push through necessary reforms and transform swords into plowshares, will be as (un)successful?
    In my opinion his policies and appointments will affect the cohesion of the country and drive the polarization further. If/when “Costal Wimps” give him back some pastery from the same dough, the internal cohesion of the country will be at risk.
    The pushback is already gaining momentum, under different disguises such as the children’s crusade against the 2d amendment.

  5. blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang,
    Well done, Sir!
    I believe you are spot on in your analysis. I have not had the ability to accurately judge the character of people. Although I am working hard at it in my day job.
    Trump is an enigma to me. He has this boorish side which drives the PC crowd absolutely insane. In fact I believe it is this aspect of his personality that is the source of TDS. His philandering is what most powerful men do and it is only here in the US we take such offense on matters of sexuality. Hollywood have no qualms about depicting violence in gory detail but show a boob??
    Trump in between all his self-promoting talk speaks essential truth. He is dead on correct that our elites have sold us down the river on trade and the dismantling of our industrial base. China, Canada, Mexico have taken advantage of our least protectionist market while protecting theirs. He is also spot on that the trillions we have spent on military adventures overseas have not benefited us an iota. Yet, he packs his national security team with known ziocons and signs a massive spending bill laden with pork. He is correct that chain immigration of people with limited skills does not benefit our society. Unfortunately many in our polity want to continue to believe in the fantasy of our strength and righteousness. Reality is something we have a hard time with.
    Whatever it is about Trump, it has brought out of the woodwork, and stripped the mask of the status quo elites across the spectrum. The media is all in, so are the political and governmental establishment, doing everything they can to destroy the man, including destroying what little faith exists among many of our citizens in our major institutions.

  6. JW says:

    If you draw a continuum between Trump’s supposed childhood demons to his early and successful life in real estate, you need to consider his five years at military school, NYMA, where he was an egotist but ultimately quite successful. He was not regarded there as dysfunctional but in many ways appeared to have been successfully molded and rewarded for being so, in a place not known for handing out free passes or staffed by the easily fooled.
    He had a solid relationship with his father before and after, and developed solid relationships with various luminaries in New York as his career developed. At no point has it been suggested that he was in any way deluded. Women ? Owning your own money and your own time do that 🙂
    People can dissociate under stress; Trump’s style from early in his career has been to delegate to a succession of people. He appears now to have trouble finding the right ones and may not be in full control of his choices, but as in his past he has never seemed to have chosen the role of a ‘man alone’, I suggest he has not started doing so now, as the script writer in the context that you suggest.
    I think he’s in there fighting hard. His mistake was to declare war on various internal factions in his Inauguration speech, without having the overwhelming legal and resource capability to commence that war the same afternoon.

  7. John Minnerath says:

    President Trump can leave one wondering at times, but to me thus far the positives outnumber the negatives.

  8. JamesT says:

    FB Ali
    Hear, hear.

  9. JW says:

    Blue, I agree. DT is only the first and the dam has broken. Michael Moore (regardless of what you may think of him) gave a very prescient interview before the election, predicting a Trump win on the basis that enough voters were sick of standard Mk1 issue politicians such as Hillary, and wanted a new breed.
    After Donald, there will be another.

  10. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Your call BP/Pat. If I read you correctly ie carte blanche “….de-regulation of everything he can reach by EO.” That’s pretty much/not quite like you. Some IMO conservation “untouchable EO reachables:” soil, unrenewable resources, ocean waters, air. On these think twice before handing him a pen.

  11. turcopolier says:

    You are entitled to your opinion but that opinion is that of a denizen of Ecotopia. pl

  12. steve says:

    I can broadly agree here, but just a couple points. Trump, not surprisingly, is taking credit for more deregulation than is actually happening. Not many old regulations have been removed. This would involve careful management and planning, not a strength in the Trump admin. This has been broadly documented. What has mostly been happening is that the rate of new regulations being imposed has slowed. To date, this has yet to result in increased investing by business. My sense is that the effects of deregulation will take a while to be seen as this is not being managed well.
    The tax cuts also don’t seem to be resulting in much business investment. We really need to see that soon because the effects of the increased debt that we will carry as a result will soon arrive.

  13. turcopolier says:

    John Minnerath
    Yes. So far. pl

  14. turcopolier says:

    blue peacock
    IMO you exaggerate the immorality of powerful men with women. It is one thing to accept a lack of monogamy in people, and not just men but it is another to see men whether powerful or not trolling for casual sex with their genitalia used as fishing lures. I have known a lot of powerful men who did not do that. Some do and some do not, both here and abroad. Interesting examples were John J Pershing who bedded any woman who would let him and George Marshall who did not behave that way. Marshall was Pershing’s aide at one time and found the bosses behavior with women excruciatingly embarrassing. pl

  15. turcopolier says:

    TDS. Having read your comments for a while I think yo are a Clintonista forever. pl

  16. Joe100 says:

    HCG –
    Environmental work has been my work area for about thirty years. My take (from the deep inside) is that much recent environmental regulation has been substantial overreach and in recent times in some cases counterproductive, with poor outcomes pushed by either big NGO egos (“we want the pen”) or concern that if something simple could work really well, it might get in the way of another preferred (but less effective) agenda.
    And look at something like the Hudson rail tunnel replacement project where recent inspections suggest these tunnels may need to be closed soon due to unanticipated seawater damage from Hurricane Sandy (with flooding that was quite predictably likely to happen). These tunnels were built over 100 years ago by the Pennsylvania RR in four years (1904-1908). The most recent numbers I have seen is that this will be a $30+ billion project and the environmental permits for this absolutely essential infrastructure replacement will probably take longer than it took to build then original tunnels.
    In my view we are are long past time for revisiting balance in our environmental regulation. Not sure if the details under Trump’s adminstration will be what I would consider optimal, but I think they will muddle towards a better balance in outcomes.

  17. David E. Solomon says:

    No offense Colonel, but I would rather not be subjected to his reality show.

  18. SAC Brat says:

    I think we are seeing more WWE type wrestling drama than staged reality tv. It all smells like kayfabe to me.
    “In professional wrestling, kayfabe /ˈkeɪfeɪb/ is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as “real” or “true”, specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or predetermined nature of any kind.”
    The media eats this up as it provides them with click-bait headlines to fit between advertisements. There is too much money involved to risk accidentally committing journalism. Someone might lose their access.
    President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho coming soon!

  19. Greco says:

    I think it may have been Roy Cohn who inspired some of Trump’s juvenile and boorish demeanor.
    NYT: What Donald Trump Learned From Joseph McCarthy’s Right-Hand Man

    “I hear Roy in the things he says quite clearly,” said Peter Fraser, who as Mr. Cohn’s lover for the last two years of his life spent a great deal of time with Mr. Trump. “That bravado, and if you say it aggressively and loudly enough, it’s the truth — that’s the way Roy used to operate to a degree, and Donald was certainly his apprentice.”

  20. DianaLC says:

    Having decided early on that “reality” t.v. had nothing to do with the reality of my own life, I never watched any reality shows–including any of the episodes of the Apprentice.
    My own real life was governed by trying to make it through the straight and narrow gate by following “the rules.” Life was at times hard work, incredibly dull, or wonderfully comfortable in the sense of having friends and family and enough. I always knew I had a long list of friends and family to call on for help with minor things and God to call on for the major things.
    The Bible stories were always interesting to me, so I bring up the story of the great and powerful Nazarite, Samson, brought down by a woman–for awhile anyway. God seems to use great flawed men sometimes. Does that apply to Trump? We can only wait to find out.
    Many can attest that I absolutely was at first quite appalled at Trump’s behavior. But I usually end up letting God, whom I do believe is in control, work things out. So I’ve tried to “let Trump be Trump,” since he is the one who won the Presidency.
    I, too, have learned to admire some of his accomplishments in the W.H. I sometimes wonder if this admiration is boosted by the fact that I absolutely felt repulsed to have Obama in the W.H. (It was not because of his Black father that I felt that way.)
    The reason I disliked him the most is the ties he had to the people in my generation who had repulsed me-the war protestors, the Weathermen, the rioters at the Democratic convention, the spitters on the soldiers returning, the people stomping on the flag or burning it. I could go on. Obama just plain repulsed me, and he still does.
    But to go from Obama to Trump has been an almost surreal journey in my constant following of politics.
    I like what Trump sometimes and often accomplishes–then I wait for him to do or say something that causes me to sigh in despair.
    I sometimes think that our society is breaking apart into fragments. But I know I personally fit in best with the people who originally supported him–the middle America Americans, the hard working middle and lower middle class people, the church attenders, the family reunion attendees, the small town business owners and smalltown politicians. The people who always attend high school games and then send their boys off to the service so they can come home to take their fathers’ places or to then use the government to attend college and find a good position afterwards.
    I have never prayed so hard in my life for our country. I hold my breath and pray that God is using Trump as he used other famous and flawed big shots in all those Bible stories.

  21. catherine says:

    Well my opinion for what its worth.
    Trumps is clearly a narcissist.
    Unlike some I do not think his moves are some kind of Machiavellian brilliance.
    When it comes to issues like taxation and deregulation his ideas are his own due to his own past bizness forays and big and small business owners.
    Illegal immigration was a campaign issue he adopted because it has been obvious most of the public is against it.
    Trade issues he also adopted as part of the jobs issue.
    On education he reflects the traditional conservative stance.
    The same with the judiciary, traditional conservative stance.
    Trump has not really done anything outside of the usual conservative plank except his blowout on tariffs ….and if you check the countries he ‘exempted’ from those tariffs, it doesn’t amount to much.
    Then there is the bringing in of his family, specifically Jared Kushner, son of jailbird and illegal settlements donor, Charles Kushner, and Netanyahu’s bed mate, with no security clearance and full access to top secret intel.
    Totally in keeping with the Col.’s ‘reality show’ Trump….23 contestants have so far gone into and out of the WH.
    When it comes to foreign policy he appears to be listening to the neocons and his mega donor Adelson, from the Jerusalem embassy move to the appointment of Bolton.
    Since I believe that if the US gets entangled in any more ME wars everyone’s domestic issues will become moot, I am going to imagine the Machiavellian thinking behind the Bolton appointment. Bolton will be up to his old tricks of ‘questionable’ intel ‘rearranging’ and feed Trump lots of reasons why the US must shock and awe countries like Korea, Syria, Iran and Lebanon(Hezbollah).
    If Trump falls for it he will be the perfect foil and patsy for the Neos and the I-Fifth Column. When a war goes bad (and ours have so far)it will be the crazy Trump’s another trillion dollars war…the media will promote it as Trumps war and no mention will be made of those behind it.

  22. Re: “his confrontation with NOKO (it is yielding changes in rocketman’s positions”
    I think you are giving him and his blustering tweets against North Korea and Kim way too much credit for the emerging peace process.
    What I see is Kim making inroads with South Korea in an attempt to drive a wedge between South Korea and the US. And being highly successful at it. Which is not surprising as neither North or South Korea want a war, especially South Korea which has far more to lose in that war than the US does.
    As others have noted, the real test will come when Trump has a summit with Kim – if in fact that actually happens. Does Trump make a deal – or does he sabotage the meeting and come away blustering about war again? Or does he blow off the meeting altogether? Some people think Trump wants the meet solely for the purpose of forcing the US back into the negotiations and sabotaging the emerging peace between NK and SK.
    If Trump is as smart as some people think he is, he will take whatever deal he can get from Kim – or at least further negotiations – so he can kick the can down the road and avoid war for as long as possible. Otherwise, if he blows this opportunity off and resumes his war rhetoric, at some point soon he’s going to have to fish or cut bait and either back down and negotiate or start the war. I don’t think he can keep putting off making the decision for the next three years. But maybe he can since Obama managed to put off war with Iran for years until he got out.
    Off topic, but David Habakkuk might find this interesting:
    French “supercop” Paul Barril interviewed about anti-Russian false flag operations
    Barril’s Wikipedia entry is included under the article.
    Barril lays out his opinion about who killed Litvinenko and believes it was part of a CIA/MI6 operation called “Beluga” which is aimed at slandering Putin and weakening Russian influence. He wants the appointment of a former Swiss prosecutor Carla Del Ponte to conduct an independent investigation.
    Here is a 2016 article from Russia Insider which lays out the story about Barril and Litvinenko and Operation Beluga:
    Operation Beluga: A US-UK Plot to Discredit Putin and Destabilize the Russian Federation

  23. Walrus says:

    Yes Col. Lang – a producer, but what is the movie? “Trump saves the world” in three acts? “Wag the dog”? “Nightmare on Elm street”?
    A memorable movie is “Nurse Betty” in which I TV fan of medical dramas accidentally ends up working in a hospital leading to complete and unhappy confusion between the TV show set and medical reality. That is what worries me about Trump, what happens when the script changes outside his control?
    For example, his trade war actions, in his mind, lead to Norman Rockwell drawings of happy contented American working class families however “in real life” in my opinion, this is a highly unlikely outcome.
    What happens if China, Russia and North and South Korea propose a peace settlement that, pointedly, does not include America?

  24. Eric Newhill says:

    I don’t think you’re wrong at all. However, I do think there is a possibility that there is a method to the [alleged] madness that will result in continued success.
    Success will depend on a number of factors, of course.
    First, Trump’s focus will have to be on making America great. That means ideas that actually improve the economy, security and adherence to the rule of law (as laid out in the Constitution) – and the will to implement them. So far so good (caveat being the Bolton appointment).
    Second, Trump will need to maintain a team of advisors and cabinet appointees that are dedicated to his vision of America and his quirky management style. I can imagine this factor will be challenging to achieve. On the other hand, I also imagine that all other POTUS’s have been frenetic about managing “the optics” and that, regardless of the psychological or practical drives behind that managing, the impact on those around POTUS is similar. So Trump really isn’t different for all intents and purposes. On that I could be very wrong. I just have the knowledge to offer an informed opinion.
    Third, the people have to want Trump’s vision – and I think that most Americans, TDS, SJW activism aside, do want what his vision offers.
    Two out of three key factors is not bad (and the one factor possibly there; just unknown to me).
    Bottom line, I think that Trump’s demons get him in trouble in ways that are inconsequential to us, the governed. However, the same demons cause him to need to be highly successful. Success beyond what others can achieve is his revenge. he seems to know that his success is integrally tied to our success. As I have said before, IMO his greatest trophy would be to go down in history as, objectively, a POTUS that made America great. As long as he keeps his eyes on that prize, we are in good shape – with the caveat being that he will need to maintain capable people to help implement the vision.

  25. catherine says:

    I agree in some areas. I am totally against Trumps idea of selling off US park and wildlife lands for private development.
    Also totally for some regulations on waters and environment since I live 25 miles from the ocean and at the junction of three large rivers and have seen some man caused environmental disasters first hand.
    I am also for strict regulation of banking and WS…especially WS.
    I have no desire to pay for any more of these economic rapes by WS criminals:
    The 2008 financial crisis due to unregulated mortgage-focused hedge funds cost the U.S. economy more than $22 trillion.
    “The 2007-2009 financial crisis, like past financial crises, was associated with not only a steep decline in output but also the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s,”
    “Paper wealth lost by U.S. homeowners totaled $9.1 billion. Additionally, economic losses associated with increased mortgage foreclosures and higher unemployment since 2008 need to be considered as additional costs.”
    That said, there are hundreds of ridiculous little regulations and mandatory reporting that result in nothing but costing business millions in reporting cost and the government hiring of more idiots to read them.

  26. turcopolier says:

    David E Solomon
    what makes you think you have a choice? pl

  27. Jack says:

    Do you think the script calls for boom-boom with respect to carrying zionist water? I think it would be against Trump’s instincts to do that, notwithstanding ziocon Bolton and Pompeo. And Jared cavorting with Bibi and the Crown Prince.
    The political and media establishment have a lot at stake here. If Trump can mess with them and come out ahead that will pave the way for others to do the same. The fact that Trump won the election while being attacked continuously by the entire status quo gives the green light to other candidates outside the political establishment to give it a go. That is a good thing despite the hysteria of the coastal & urban elites.

  28. David E. Solomon says:

    Colonel that is precisely the problem, and I don’t have an answer for it. Unfortunately, unless I take to the woods, I must endure him for the duration. Either the duration of his term or two terms or until he manages to get us all vaporized. I hated all things Clinton and I certainly was never entranced by Obama, but at least they were easier to ignore.
    PS: Thanks for your “editorial”.

  29. There is one component that is missing from the analysis of Trump, his obsession with damaging himself publicly. It is the equivalent of a teenage girl cutting herself.
    Just 2 instances. His claim of best inauguration day crowd number and his speech to the CIA the day after inauguration.
    Both were totally avoidable, but were self made tragedies.

  30. Degringolade says:

    I could not for the life of me figure out the “Melian States” reference. At first, I thought that you were speaking of the obviously long-suffering mother of his youngest child, but that didn’t make any sense.
    So, research it was. Then following that, I realized that, while I had started to read it back in the dorms in Utah, I had never finished Thucydides.
    Now I have to read the Peloponnesian War this weekend to maintain intellectual self-respect. I am never going to get the garden put in this way.

  31. turcopolier says:

    you will find it most rewarding. pl

  32. Fred says:

    What is the proper number of acres the federal government should own? What is the proper public use of these areas? How many national forests? How many monuments like the the NYC gay nightclub monument does the republic need? Why can’t it simply be given to NYC so they can pay to maintain it?

  33. J says:

    Speaking of ‘his’ actors, he just fired VA SEC and replaced him with one of his WH Physicians.

  34. jdledell says:

    What bugs me the most is neither Trump or any in his adminsitration have defined “Make America Great Again”. What kind of data do we have to see to determine if MAGA has been reached? It is a Dow 30,000? Unemployment at 1%? Budget surpluses in the Federal accounts? The average annual income of all Americans $10,000/year higher? A war in which America wins?
    Specifically what are Trump’s real goals? Does he have any? As far as I can see we will be running trillion dollar deficits indefintely and where will interest rates be in this environment. I still remember the days of having to handle a 16% Home mortgage.
    It appears to me that Trump just wants to be the center of attention and does not want to spend the time and energy to build a specific plan to reach specific objectives for our country. This is a stupid way to run a business or a nation.

  35. steve says:

    Nah, just results oriented. When a politician claims they have done something wonderful, I look to see if there are results backing up the claim. We are way over regulated in many areas. I look forward to some of those disappearing, but not seeing it happen. In the medical world, is has actually gotten worse since Trump took office. (Actually kind of funny as wife and I had been life long registered Republicans until we changed registration just so we could vote against Clinton.)

  36. John Merryman says:

    Hasn’t the political and economic feedback loop spun itself so tight that the rest of the country and world were already little more than decorations on the walls?
    So that Trump is simply the nexus of money and media dislocating from the power assuming to control it? Blowback?
    My sense is there are basic physical principles underlaying human activity and the complexity is between the extremes. When it gets pushed to extremes, the raw dynamic breaks through the complexities.

  37. Despite all the drama of the reality show, the government continues to function, even in a fitful and disjointed way. The country will survive and will probably be better for the shake up. Despite all the tough rhetoric, Trump signed a budget that should please any denizen of Ecotopia. It pleased me.
    The budget fully funded the Chesapeake Bay Program with 73 million. This program has strong regional bipartisan support and has dramatically improved the Chesapeake Bay over the last nine years. I and many others in the area were worried about Trump being good to his word in gutting this program. In fact the EPA retained it’s current funding level and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy received an increase of 12.5 percent. The anti-environmental budget amendments put forth by the Republicans were dropped. The CDC and NIH also received funding increases and the prohibition against CDC research on gun deaths has been lifted. That surprised the hell out of me.

  38. David E. Solomon says:

    Colonel Lang, Thucydides is very good, but Herodotus is even better. Thucydides is often thought to be the better historian, but I have always thought Herodotus was the real gem.
    I love the stores about the army ants and what you have to do to collect their gold, not to mention the lovely account of the superior Scythian steam path that is enriched by the application of hemp to the coals.

  39. blue peacock says:


    These tunnels were built over 100 years ago by the Pennsylvania RR in four years (1904-1908). The most recent numbers I have seen is that this will be a $30+ billion project…

    This is such an important point. Why were we able to accomplish so much 70-100 years ago? It is not just these tunnels but so many engineering feats. Construction on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco began in 1933 and was completed by 1937. All the steel beams for the suspension bridge were cast in America. Now, compare that with the replacement of a span on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge where all the steel beams were shipped on barges from China.

    It was built between 2002 and 2013 and does not have a name other than the unofficial name of the bridge as a whole (“San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge”). The eastern span replacement is the most expensive public works project in California history,[5] with a final price tag of $6.5 billion, a 2,500% cost overrun from the original estimate of $250M.[6][3] Originally scheduled to open in 2007, several problems delayed the opening until September 2, 2013.

    Clearly our ability to get things done in a timely and cost-effective manner have declined precipitously over the last century!!

  40. turcopolier says:

    D. Solomon
    Herodotus is a chronicler. Thucydides is a philosopher historian. pl

  41. Colonel – thank you for that assessment.
    Not as discouraging a progress report on our Donald as I had feared. Remembering the long ago experience of reading between the lines of my own school reports it’s mid way between “Could do better if he tried” and “I regret to have to inform you …”
    As you predicted a while back he’s more than a little vulnerable on the sex and business scandal side of things. All so very different from the home life of our own dear Queen. Since Clinton the White House has veered between brothel and madhouse and I do hope it won’t be Trump’s achievement to combine the two. If he does, I hope he doesn’t combine them to the extent our rulers have here and in Europe.
    You have refrained from giving any marks. That’s perhaps too much to hope for at this stage, but in the all important subject of setting the cronies by the ears could you provisionally award him an A+?
    I have uncomfortable memories of those old school reports of mine. One of them surfaced a year or so back. I’m a great believer in preserving ancient historical documents but that one went into the wood burner quick before the children got to see it. My headmaster also specialised in accurate assessment.

  42. turcopolier says:

    I want to see a couple more SCOTUS justices, more tax reform, disarmament in Korea, an agreed trade deal with China and the border barrier system funded by re-programming Defense appropriations for construction supervised by the Army Corps of Engineers. If he gets all that done he gets an unconditional A+. pl

  43. turcopolier says:

    The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has a program for re-seeding native oysters. I kicked in some money for a few thousand. http://www.cbf.org/how-we-save-the-bay/programs-initiatives/chesapeake-10-billion-oysters.html

  44. LeeG says:

    Compare the new Bay Bridge span to many CMIC/DOD programs that used up billions with no product or vastly reduced in number. At least bridge achieves it’s mission.

  45. David E. Solomon says:

    Colonel, of course you are correct, but I still (after more than fifty years) find Herodotus to be so much more fun. Just my opinion.

  46. LeeG says:

    It’ll mean something when money is allocated for research at the CDC.

  47. Barbara Ann says:

    Most folk would guess the “Melian States” are the ones the FLOTUS has visited, I guess.
    I hope you finish The History of the Peloponnesian War and when you do, appreciate that The History of the Peloponnesian War will never be ‘finished’.

  48. turcopolier says:

    I was a significant participant in the disasters that brought on the downfall of boh men. We beat them like a drum and it shattered their armed forces and confidence. Neither ever recovered from the experience. pl

  49. Clio says:

    Having not supported Trump in the election, I have been surprised at my evolution into a full-throated supporter of his presidency (though not without ongoing reservations about his temperament). That support has cost me a number of relationships and gotten me in trouble with my spouse on more than one occasion. When going into polite (ie Trump-hating) situations, I always try to avoid the topic. Only when pressed will I voice my opinions. Responses range from bemusement to spittle-flecked rants.
    I have come to identify with Elaine Robinson in The Graduate at the moment, late in the movie, when Ben is banging on the window overlooking her vows and she looks from one side of the room to the other, at everyone apoplectic with rage. The rage is real. But it is not justified. We have been sold a bill of goods over the past 20 years by both mainstream parties, and Trump is leading everyone to question these decisions before they become permanent. Even if he is wrong on some (perhaps many) things, the fact that he has woken us from our sleepwalk is incredibly valuable. But I don’t think he is wrong.
    Take just the decisions made this week: to add a question about citizenship back to the census form, to prevent many (not all) transexuals from joining the military, and to rescind the “Dear Colleague” letter at DOE. Even my eminently sensible husband says he cannot see anything wrong with any of these decisions, but they have been greeted with howls of anguish from the Left. Good. I prefer an honest fight, and Trump is excellent at starting them.

  50. shepherd says:

    It may interest you all to know that in the Greek, Thucydides is well known for writing sentences that could mean two entirely different things. Thus, a translation is even more of an interpretation than is normally the case.

  51. Jack says:

    The power of K Street and the various lobbies are impressive. Our budgets are a marvel in pork barrel spending. While many worthwhile projects do get funded, so do many more boondoggles. I believe Israel came out ahead too. I’m certain every committee member got something for their favorite “charity”. When it is OPM (Other People’s Money) it is always time to be generous.

  52. pl,
    Yes, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has some great programs including the oyster reseeding. The accounts of Captain John Smith about the boundless oyster beds in the Bay are quite remarkable. I’m more attached to the Potomac Conservancy which works hand-in-hand with the CBF. The Conservancy just released its report on the river and gave it an overall grade of B. In 2011 it was a D. Fredericksburg has also done a terrific job of preserving the Rappahannock along with the Friends of the Rappahannock group. The city acquired control of both banks of the Rappahanock and Rapidan for some 30 miles upstream to ensure the rivers’ quality. It’s another ecological success story that contributes to the health of the Bay.

  53. Charlie Wilson says:

    Col Lang,
    What/which two men?
    The post is brilliant.

  54. turcopolier says:

    Charlie Wilson
    Qathafi way back and Saddam pl

  55. Fellow Traveler says:

    Thucydides was a favorite of Leo Strauss:
    I’ll stick to Asimov and see Trump as the Twitter Mule.

  56. Laura says:

    What if God was using Obama and you just didn’t recognize it? Religion is a pretty poor guide for national interest in the 21st century. It is a good guide for how to treat your immediate surroundings and people. Praying also!

  57. Laura says:

    I think if you convert those older costs into current dollars you might be surprised! Also, health and safety of workers has certainly become more important. I don’t think it is money or regulations that is stopping us from rebuilding—it is imagination and ideology.

  58. turcopolier says:

    Fellow Traveler
    Azimov liked Thucydides. L. Strauss could pervert anything including Plato. pl

  59. catherine says:

    jdledell said…
    What bugs me the most is neither Trump or any in his adminsitration have defined “Make America Great Again”.>>>
    Exactly. Someone needs to define what ‘Great’ means. Just like we need to define what ‘American interest’ are.

  60. catherine says:

    ”What is the proper number of acres the federal government should own? What is the proper public use of these areas? How many national forests?”
    What do you think is the proper number of acres?
    If you don’t already understand the wisdom of preserving some natural land, wildlife and ecological soundness in the country–then my explaining it to you would be pointless.

  61. Dr. Puck says:

    The frisson produced by the blurring of entertainment celebrity with most powerful person in the world is papable.
    I’m of the left but not in it. Trump won fair and square and is legit.
    Thanks for the summary. It is all about the positive results at the end of the day.
    POTUS’s unwinding and tilting leftward the GOP’s free trade ethos goes along with a number of disagreeable economic policies, such as supply-side borrow and spending. Still, should he and his party usher in prosperity in the rural, exburban, and suburban precincts where his core base lives, then the more cosmopolitan areas would have already been well served by the success of the growth experiment. This is, potentially, his strongest hand.
    Concerning was his delivering a mountain of cash to the very elites, WS, masters of the rigged system, and, predatory lenders he ran against. (I do note that ‘drain the swamp’ has been neatly refashioned to target the confiscatory collectivism seen by some to be the root cause of all poor economic performance.) POTUS should be very careful not to upset the applecart of the Trump economy.
    There, seemingly, is a lot of cash sloshing around the cabinet departments. That never ends well.
    Concerning most of all is his shooting from the hip.

  62. blue peacock says:

    No doubt our purchasing power has been substantially debased. Over 90+% since the creation of the Fed according to their own statistics.
    But… that does not account for the time it takes to get these projects completed. 4 years to get the Golden Gate Bridge built compared to 11 years just to replace a span on the Bay bridge! That shows the degree of productivity loss over the past century.

  63. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, and at that Golden Age, you could not have vascular stents, insulin, penicillin, gene-therapy, organ-transplants, dental implants, television, radio, the Internet, airplanes, turbines, Fuel-injected engines, SUVs, computers, computer games, etc. etc. etc. at ANY PRICE.

  64. blue peacock says:

    Great! But we can’t build a span of a bridge or bore some tunnels in under a decade or even cast some steel beams.
    However, we got SnapChat. Progress indeed.

  65. DickT says:

    Re veterans benefits what’s up with VA health care privatization? I’m getting great care. Shinseki and Shulkin shouldn’t have been shoved out. Sorry for the alliteration.

  66. Richard says:

    A nice analogy. But what makes you believe that Russia has been cast by Trump as a “bad guy” that the main character has to defeat?

  67. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That is due to the political choices of the electorate over 40 years, it is not the fault of SnapChat.

  68. turcopolier says:

    How boring! I was merely listing “enemies” he might think he had to best. pl

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