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Wolff in the White House

“Fire and Fury” confirms the dysfunction at the heart of the presidency

Michael Wolff shines a spotlight on Trump’s government

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Well, I'd be concerned if it weren't for Trump himself telling us that he is "like, really smart. A stable genius."
I mean, if someone tells you that they're a genius, then that's proof that they're a genius. Right?
Right? :)

ashbird in reply to billatcrea

"Trump can't help himself from validating Wolff's observations on nearly a daily basis."
That's right! And mind you, he volunteers the validation, and repeatedly repeatedly does so. Yet his supporters persists in saying all the things he said, didn't happen, that they are all Fake News. You really wonder who, or what, if anyone, or anything, is pushing this phenomenal phenomenon.

ashbird in reply to jouris

jouris, I am inclined to agree with what Marchino61 observes.
Recall I said in 2016 thoughout the election campaign period things in GOP had to get a lot worse before they get better. I borrowed a term then from the field of treatment of substance abuse/addiction. I pointed out then there is nothing you can do of signficance to help an addict in rehab until the addict has "hit bottom", and the "bottom", in 2016, was far from arriving.
I maintain 14+ months later, the "bottom" is still a long way away. If Bannon were around in the "in-group", he might be able to expedite the arrival of the "bottom".
These are sobering times for non-addicts.

ashbird in reply to jouris

To prove it's not ex post facto, I'll give you some indication before a signicant disaster materialises (say 3 to 6 month before?), how's that? [I managed to predict, with 100% success, what some of our resident racists and misygynists will be writing years in advance, with specificities in content, down to the language they will use - you just have to take my word for this - before they know what they are going to be writing themselves, or, more technically correctly, before they know how they are going to be thinking, what they are going to be saying, to fit a square in a circle on their "pet" topics. This is not something hard to do, lots of folks in my field with roughly 20+ years experience in focused studies of human behaviors led to by different types of personality pathologies make these predictions routinely; that's why the courts hire us to be "experts" in these things.
I agree with you his followers are at this point too "invested". They also don't know how to back down from their absurd assertions, such as "Zika is a Democrat Hoax", "ALL Dem-voting Americans are Mentally-Ill", "ALL women write only about themselves"<<--- this one wins the Gold Medal, and highlights how cringingly ignorant the speaker is, really really pathetic, "Obama is a closet Muslim", "Hillary is a closet lesbian" etc., etc., etc. To call them "trolls" is give them a way out, which at the moment they do not see.
As to reality breaking through, don't worry, Trump will do it for us. Give him time.

jouris in reply to Marchino61

Except that, at least occasionally, they might not prove unelectable. (After all, did you honestly think Trump was electable?) I'd say the risk, and the downside, outweighs the potential reward.
But then, I have a low opinion of the self-styled "Freedom Caucus", and don't relish the possibility of more such nut cases.


Meanwhile, Mr Wolff’s chief source, Mr Trump’s bomb-throwing former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, has been denounced by the president, deserted by his benefactors and removed from the helm of the conservative website Breitbart News.
In the long run, neutering Bannon may be the single biggest positive contribution to the nation of Mr Wolff's book.


Trump can't help himself from validating Wolff's observations on nearly a daily basis. Just today, he almost threw a wrench into the House vote on renewing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by issuing a tweet that seemed to contradict the Administration's position on the legislation. It appears it was in response to something he had just seen on Fox and Friends, and he had to walk it back minutes later.
Then there were his comments regarding immigration. In a century, the official rhetoric of White Supremacy has, I guess you could say, "deteriorated" from "lesser breeds without the law" to "shit hole countries."

ashbird in reply to jouris

By "bottom", I didn't mean there is an objective line pre-drawn as to how low is bottom or when bottom is hit. One "intuits" that line (I know, I know, not very ""scientific" - trust me, most "diagnoses", after all the "scientific" methodologies are exhausted and ambivalence remains, it is "intuition" that comes in to assist. This is the "art" part in any "situation assessment". )
Needless to say, I also did not mean the recommended course of action is to stand still and do nothing. On the contrary. You watch and follow the development of the "problem" with the most intense vigilance.
The lies need to be called out. They simply cannot go on. It is ridiculous how his supporters continue to pretend they are "fake news" and all is honky dory.

jouris in reply to ashbird

It may be that this will prove to be a case where it is necessary to hit bottom first. (Or, at least, where hitting bottom happens.)
But there are some who manage to turn things around short of hitting bottom. (Or maybe it's just that "bottom" for them isn't nearly as far down as someone else might assume from the outside.) And I think its worth trying for that.

Marchino61 in reply to jouris

I can't agree. I was hoping Bannon would help the Democrats by putting up a raft of unelectable alt-right Republicans. I'm disappointed that his funding for that has been withdrawn.


So far, IMHO, the book's contribution to the advancement of human civilization, independent of questionable hyper media profits, has been the downfall of that blustering mottled-skinned sailor puke who once attended Grateful Dead Concerts rather stoned, so I hear. So maybe the book HAS advanced civilization !
Well thanks Mikey! Why not advance civilization inside the UN or AU next while you're on a roll?

jouris in reply to ashbird

I realize it's your field of expertise (and definitely not mine!). But I wonder how much of that intuiting of "bottom" might be ex post facto -- see where they stopped going down and call that bottom.
As to his followers, I get the impression that by now many of them are so invested in him that admitting what he is constitutes a (psychological) existential threat. Which isn't a reason to stop pointing out him lies, flipflops, etc. Just a reason not to get our hopes up for the reality to break through.


"The book’s political impact is as dramatic." Really? Trump's approval rating isn't down. The people reading the book are people who already disliked him. His supporters are ignoring it as "fake news". I don't see any real political impact at all.


There is an addiction epidemic sweeping the USA that is greater than the opioid epidemic. It is the "I need a Hate Trump fix" epidemic straight out of the book 1984. CNN, NYT, MSNBC, et. al. all get high ratings trashing Trump so all those Trump haters can have their daily fix of hate. All Wolff has done is exploit this addiction with a book that has just enough facts in it that it can be sold as nonfiction. This book will disappear faster that Hillary's book. Sales of that book sunk faster than the Titanic after the first week despite all the hype that accompanied Hillary's book tour.
For now the perfect scam is write an anti-Trump book and get a huge advance that the publisher will never make back. Publishers never ask for advances back no matter how bad the sales. It is the perfect way to give a large amount of money to a politician or political cause that completely bypasses all campaign financing laws.


"treatment the Trump administration deserves."
Hardly surprising that TE is in the same boat as the book. We will only see if the description of the administration is permanent or it will learn something. Even if it can be described as dysfuntional it has passed the tax bill.


Instead of febrilely criticizing from the sidelines, the fake-news media- and members of the US Congress should advocate for:


... (and or "national plebiscites")

... on urgent, controversial subjects that, unfortunately, most members of Congress won't make objective decisions on... due to Lobbyists' influence, and inherent conflicts of interest...

Potential Nation-Wide Referendums' Questions:

#1) Health Care:

- Single-payer system (OR No more than 2 private Insurers & 1 non-profit Insurer for entire country) along with a country-wide prohibition of Health Care Networks...


- Continue with the country's outrageously inequitable, and worsening status quo of what is a defacto "Health Insurance Companies' make-work-project" (that renders US businesses uncompetitive against other countries’ businesses because US companies have to provide Health Insurance for their employees…) ??!!

#2) Illegal immigrants:

- US/ Mexico wall (that will not deal with any of the 30 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States!!)


- Should US govt issue free-of-charge high-technology, chip-enabled "National ID" cards to ALL citizens/ residents,

& pass laws making it an indictable criminal offence:

a) to pay anyone that is in country illegally (and that does not have US Govt-issued photo ID);

b) to provide city/ county/ state/ federal govt services to ANY persons- IE services such as health, educational, entitlement type- without first making a reasonable attempt to establish the residency status of the person provided services;


c) to not promptly report the residency status of ALL persons that are provided services- to the appropriate federal govt agencies- when the person provided services appears to be in the country illegally??

#3) transportation & energy infrastructure!!:

- Should US Govt implement a "National Sales-tax" of 2 percent - 4 percent (with Federal government refunds for low-income persons) to pay for urgently needed transportation & energy infrastructure maintenance, repairs and upgrades??

#4) Marijuana:

-Should the production and sale of mariauna be legalized, and regulated by the US government (federally, in all states and territories)??


Wolff seems to have had good access to insiders. Why would Wolff be given such access? No track record? Poor advice? It seems a strange decision if you're Trump. Maybe the old fashioned media isn't important.