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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Trump presidency

Evan Osnos on New Yorker became the first journalist in America to find out what a Trump presidency will look like, by going to the people who are planning the start of his administration on January 20, 2017.

The planning began August 1, when Trump's poll numbers began falling as he faced an unprecedented onslaught from the media. Taxpayers pay for this under a law designed to avoid the catastrophe in 2000 when it took five weeks after Election Day to decide that George Walker Bush won. That gave him less than thirty days (which included Christmas) to put together a government.

Chris Christie and his long-time friend and former law partner, William Palatucci, are running the operation inside an office building at 1217 Pennsylvania Avenue. Their spokesman is Stephen Moore, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Day One will be well-prepared, even though it begins at noon and includes inauguration balls that evening.

Trump will have a phone and a pen, just like Obama.

“Trump spends several hours signing papers—and erases the Obama Presidency,” Moore told Osnos. “We want to identify maybe twenty-five executive orders that Trump could sign literally the first day in office.”

Live by the executive order, die by the executive order.

And yes, all this can be done in his first hour in office.

From Osnos:
William Antholis, a political scientist who directs the Miller Center, at the University of Virginia, pointed out that President Trump would have, at his disposal, “the world’s largest company, staffed with 2.8 million civilians and 1.5 million military employees.” Trump would have the opportunity to alter the Supreme Court, with one vacancy to fill immediately and others likely to follow. Three sitting Justices are in their late seventies or early eighties.
But he gets only 4,000 political appointees. This shows how difficult it is to manage an out-sized government.

Also, the vast majority of those 2.8 million civilian employees are liberal Democrats.

Borrowing a page from Scott Walker (my first choice as president), Trump plans to take on the unfireables (as Washington Monthly founder Charles Peters calls them) who have job security no matter how awful they are.

From Osnos:
Trump has relied heavily on the ideas of seasoned combatants. Newt Gingrich, who, as House Speaker in the nineties, pioneered many of the tactics that have come to define partisan warfare, is now a Trump adviser. Gingrich told me that he is urging Trump to give priority to an obscure but contentious conservative issue—ending lifetime tenure for federal employees. This would also galvanize Republicans and help mend rifts in the Party after a bitter election.
“Getting permission to fire corrupt, incompetent, and dishonest workers—that’s the absolute showdown,” Gingrich said. He assumes that federal employees’ unions would resist, thus producing, in his words, an “ongoing war” similar to the conflict that engulfed Madison, Wisconsin, in 2011, when Governor Scott Walker moved to limit public-sector employees’ collective-bargaining rights. After five months of protests, and a failed effort to recall the Governor and members of the state senate, Walker largely prevailed. Gingrich predicts that that chaotic dynamic can be brought to Washington. “You have to end the civil-service permanent employment,” he said. “You start changing that and the public-employee unions will just come unglued.”
Trump likely will have an advantage Reagan did not have: Control of both houses of Congress.

Bush 43 blew his opportunity (the first Republican to enjoy such support since Eisenhower).

Trump won't.

After that, the article devolved into paranoia that portrayed Trump as a guy who may want to nuke people. I guess straight reporting is dead, even at New Yorker.


My new book, "Trump the Press," is a fun read that details how the experts missed the rise of Trump. Remember how they said Trump was just running to help Hillary? Read the reviews in the right column.

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  1. This is truly great info. I was wondering where Christie was...thought it was Bridgegate starting and him laying low. The tenure issues might be a bit much too soon, but what the hell, why not dream and war game it? Many thanks for posting this.

  2. I hope Trump nominates Christie as his AG. I'd like to see the DoJ end the federal abuse of Title IX and aggressively pursue the lawbreakers in the IRS and other agencies. And most importantly, I'd like to see the DoJ help to end the mission creep of agencies like the EPA. All it would take is for the DoJ to signal its intention not to defend lawsuits brought by private parties who challenge the burdensome regulations federal agencies impose as an end run around Congress.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Christie is not a supporter of the 2nd Amendment as most conservatives think of it. But he has not to my knowledge, as governor of progressive NJ, pushed gun control down citizens throats. So I could accept him as AG. Political realities sometimes interfere with getting elected. But at least, to my knowledge, he hasn't lied about his positions.

  3. And I've been wondering where Gingrich is. Thanks for the post.

  4. If DJT is reading this, I would say...yeah. Blow up the joint. Member how Hussein said I won, you lost? Toss that shit back into Harry Reid's face like a nasty Max Scherzer fastball. The first thing Donald needs to do is show he's a man on a mission.

  5. " I guess straight reporting is dead, even at New Yorker." "Even"? I find them hoity-toityer than the NYT. And just as sleazy.

  6. This is good info. The pen that Obama weaponized will be turned against all the deformations he attempted - while calling his horrors "transformative".

    In Wisconsin the Tea Party worked their buns off in the pushback against the entrenched Dems. In some cases - mostly GOPs who'd imploded - they had to drag the winners across the finish line since the latter had long ago lost hope. The media was more than just silent; they were DOA on that story...a shame no one's done a full account.

    And then there is the criminal activity in the "justice" system in Milwaukee...that was utterly creepy.

  7. You know what a Trump Presidency's message will be to America's enemies, both foreign and domestic?


    That stands for "Fit In or F*** Off".

  8. Great stuff! Early voting in my neck of the woods starts October 20. Cannot wait for the revocation of the illegal Executive Orders. Cannot wait for the wall. Cannot wait for the conversion of the buildings housing the Departments of Commerce, Education and Energy into Section 8 housing. Cannot wait to make the nightmares of New Yorker authors and readers a reality!

    Steve in Greensboro

  9. Trump will also have to go after the multitude of political hires who are "burrowing in" with the professional civil service. They are always connected, incompetent, unqualified, and take up space. It takes a while to root them out but one tactic is to transfer them from DC or a prime city location to Ogden UT (no offense to Ogden) or Possum Walk TX. They seek do nothing sinecures and hang on for dear life upon administration changes.

    1. Pawnee Junction office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs has some vacancies, I understand. And the Department of Agriculture station in Moosehips, Alaska.

  10. I was wondering why NJ Democrats and media were still vigorously pursuing Christie's bridge "problem."

    Battlespace preparation. They know he will be a big part of Trump's administration.

  11. All government employees should be classified as "temporary." They should have to pass an annual performance review to maintain their phoney baloney jobs, and that includes a test of whether or not they have engaged in any "partisan" activities. If so, they're out. - Elric