Making Sense of Trump/Bannon: February 1, 2017

This edition: A little of this and that (again: substance). Also: My first attempt to figure out where Pence figures on all this. Again: Sorted by topic.



Remember a point I stressed earlier:

Lie, repeatedly, about anything and everything. Lying/obfuscation is central to the administration. Why? It’s an extraordinarily efficient way to sow confusion. It’s working.

 Don't forget that. Nothing is true. If the White House says something, anything, assume it's inaccurate. (And yes, my mind blew just from typing that sentence. How how how did it come to this?)

Here's a perfect example. 

And here's an example from real life: On Monday I called my three representatives, all of whom are real (read: right) Republicans. I called specifically to ask for information about the immigration orders. No one could tell me anything.

But when I called the office of Steve King, the most far right of them, the guy who told me that I shouldn't complain because Trump was doing the same thing Obama had done.

Frankly, I didn't have a response to that. Until a couple of hours later. I read some facts.  

And speaking of lies.........Re voter fraud: Here's a piece on the guy who's [primarily] responsible for getting it started. I saw him on TV a couple of days ago -- he's in way over his head. 



A quick, accurate run-down on the who/what. (By the way, Axios is a decent way to get short, solid takes. Yes, they are tinged with a political stance -- but they run toward balanced, accurate.)

Only interesting thing was the timing. SB/DT needed a distraction AND something that would play well with others. If I were betting, I'd bet DT/SB made their final choice as fan and shit collided on Sunday/Monday -- An intellectual approach to law-making always plays well. Everyone can at least respect the intellect and the reasoned positions. Had everything in Trumpville been dandy, we might have had the other guy instead. 



Legal ramifications of the orders. (Or, to be precise: As far as we know. Since Sunday, the White House has issued multiple amendations. In truth, none of us knows what the orders "mean," and won't until a court issues a ruling.)

An Atlantic piece about how the immigration stuff was bungled, and why that's causing even more stress on the system. Heh.  say: Bring it on. If Trump alienates Congress, we're that much closer to getting rid of him. Alienate away!

By the way: I used the word "bungled." But I am mindful that DT ran, in effect, as a radical who would turn the established order upside down. The more chaos, the easier it is for him to say "See? I'm doing what I said I would do."

Back to immigration: A short but solid take on what went down Monday night. Do note, in Trump's statement, the use of the word "betrayed." Language matters.



Exceptionally cogent explanation of the National Security Council, and whether the Bannon decision has precedent (short answer: No). 

A rather different take on the implications of Bannon, the NSC, and life as we know it. 

And in case you can't get enough Bannon: This, too, from the Guardian. 

Far and away THE most experienced people in the Trump administration are Secretaries Kelly (Homeland Security) and Mattis (Defense). Here's why that may be helpful in the days to come. (Yes, I've intentionally left Flynn out of the mix. He's painfully, openly traitorous and dangerous.) (In my opinion.) 

And no, Bannon's seat on the council does NOT have to be confirmed by the Senate. Be careful what you read.


Pence is a cipher. He's reportedly the guy calling the shots between White House and Congress. If so, he's not getting much coverage. It's a little tricky to find out where he figures in the Inner Circle. Where, presumably,  he is. Right?

This is a long-form profile of Pence from Rolling Stone, which can get it right when it wants to. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt with this. 

A solid look at Pence's immigration restriction effort while governor of Indiana

A piece that offers some insight into Pence as vice-president, in this case regarding the voter fraud stuff. 

And here Pence as a prime example of people abandoning moral integrity and putting power before the Constitution and the republic. 

As Trump would say: Sad. 

Not sure what to make of this: An AP report on DT's "inner circle." Noteworthy primarily because Pence is conspicuous by his absence. So .... I dunno. 



A reminder not to get too hung up in your own bubble: Many Trump voters are happy, indeed thrilled. Although perhaps someone should remind them: NO president EVER fulfilled ALL of his promises. 

If you're into insider baseball, political gossipy stuff, this is interesting. 

Amazon and Expedia join a lawsuit against the immigration order.



Absolutely fascinating historical essay re. immigration policy. And it's a spectacularly well-done digital production. 

A fascinating long dive into the recent history of crusader/destroy the Islamic enemy rhetoric, including how that plays out in Trump World. From the Guardian UK. 

For another kind of immigration history: A report on an interview with Jared Kushner's grandmother, who escaped the Nazis as a child.