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Monday, October 16, 2017

Trump hired the best

Trump's chief of staff schooled the press last week after a series of nonsense stories about his being frustrated with President Trump.

John Kelly is a retired Marine general. He could be lobbying for some defense contractor or fly-fishing in Idaho right now.

But he is in the White House because he knows this is his calling.

Kelly took over the White House press briefing on Thursday.
KELLY: I have done, I think, three off-the-records, the first one of which was, of course, violated. But thank you for all of you that didn't violate the trust from those off-the-record periods. I would just offer to you that although I read it all the time pretty consistently, I'm not quitting today.
I don't believe -- and I just talked to the President -- I don't think I'm being fired today. 
And I'm not so frustrated in this job that I'm thinking of leaving. I will tell you, this is the hardest job I've ever had. This is, in my view, the most important job I ever had. I would offer, though, it is not the best job I ever had. The best job I ever had, as I've said many times, is when I was an enlisted Marine sergeant infantryman. That was the best job I ever had.
He was 20. Vietnam was raging. His draft number was low, so he did a two-year enlistment in the Marines. Made sergeant. Four years in the reserves -- and college -- and then he came back for good as an OCS-minted butterbar. He later became the first colonel to receive a combat promotion to one-star general since Chesty Puller.

At 67, he does not need this. But he loves his country, and so he serves. The pay is good. It is not a sacrifice. But all the problems of the world show up at his door.
QUESTION: General Kelly, if I could, you said you're not so frustrated that you're thinking of leaving. But are you frustrated?
GENERAL KELLY: No, I'm not frustrated. This is really, really hard work running the United States of America. I don't run it, but I'm working for someone who is dedicated to serving the country in the way that he's talked about for a number of years. There are incredible challenges -- you know, economic challenges, health care challenges, all of that; obviously international challenges that have to be dealt with.
I don't mean any criticism to Mr. Trump's predecessors, but there is an awful lot of things that were, in my view, kicked down the road that have come home to roost, pretty much right now, that have to be dealt with.
This is hard, hard work, John. And my only frustration, with all due respect to everyone in the room, is when I come to work in the morning and read about things I allegedly said, or things that Mr. Trump allegedly said, or people who are going to be fired, or whatever you all think. And it's just not true.
That's my frustration. And I mean no disrespect to you all.
Reporters are missing the story of their lives. Again.

I know, I said the same last year when they blew the nomination -- and then the election.

But the White House press corps is missing a fundamental transformation of government.

The Trump administration is rolling back regulations, which is keeping the Trump Stock Market Rally going. The administration is renegotiating trade deals. The administration is getting NATO allies to keep their promises. The administration is getting colleges to end the rape witch hunts. The administration is issuing executive orders that follow the Constitution and the law. The administration is tending to the aftermath of three hurricanes, one in a de facto Third World Country.

This is the hope. This is the change. No more incremental communism.

Meanwhile, Trump shot a 73 on Columbus Day, got the NFL to stand for the flag, and has NBC sputtering after asking if its Fake News shouldn't be discussed at license renewal time for its various owned-and-operated systems and its affiliates.

The only hold-up is in Congress. Obamacare is in its hands. Tax reform is in its hands. The Iran deal is in its hands. The judicial appointments are in its hands. Sadly, Congress won't move.

President Trump attracted good people to his Cabinet. Men and women who have better things to do decided to serve their country. They would not do so if they thought Trump was a moron.

A decade ago, General Kelly spoke to the San Diego Military Advisory Council:
Ladies and Gentlemen I had a unique experience a few years ago when serving as the Assistant Division Commander, of the 1st Marine Division. We were just south of Iraq along the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border, and poised to launch an attack that would take us over the next three weeks 650 miles into the guts of Iraq, far beyond Baghdad and indeed to Saddam's hometown palace in Tikrit. 
When the artillery fires commenced just as the sun went down, and the evening sky above us was one endless formation of Marine, Navy and Air Force fighter aircraft speeding north to smash targets deep in Saddam's vitals, I was sitting taking it all in with my driver Corporal Dave Hardin from Dallas, and with a reporter from the Los Angeles Times. 
The reporter asked me a question that I'd never considered in my entire 36 years in the Marine Corps as both enlisted man and officer before the asking, but one I took up in my mind when he did. 
He pointed out the size and capability of the Iraqi forces in front of us that was many, many times bigger than we were in men, tanks, and artillery. He emphasized much to my discomfort the massive supplies of chemical weapons Saddam was thought to have, and the multiple means he had to rain their terrible kind of death upon us. 
He asked if I'd ever contemplated defeat. If it was even possible? 
My thoughts immediately took me back to trips I'd made to Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Inchon Korea, and Vietnam, and the conversations I'd had with veterans of those battles, mostly old men now. They tell of friends who made it, and many who didn't. About the good times, and the bad, but mostly about the good as is typical of our veterans. 
My response to the reporter was something like: "hell these are Marines. Men like them held Guadalcanal and took Iwo Jima, Baghdad ain't shit." 
This same sentiment could, and does, apply to any American serviceman or woman. We who serve, who are sent to fight wars and have nothing whatsoever to do with starting them, have never known defeat on the battlefield. When we have lost, we lost at home, and others declared defeat -- not us.
I think General Kelly is in the White House to make sure Vietnam does not happen again. I think that is why Trump hired him. I think that is why Kelly was OK with becoming chief of staff.


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  1. Excellent. Also, President Trump is also making mincemeat of the UN.

  2. Reporters are missing the story of their lives??? Just like the Pharisee and the publican missed the man who'd been set upon by thieves.

  3. A YUUUGE OOO-RAH for Gen. Kelly!

  4. I'll bet the White House Press Corps are on their best behavior when General Kelly runs the briefing. - Elric

  5. Don't forget that there are MSM stories just now that ISIS people are dying in the thousands and being left to be eaten by wild dogs - "Good" Muslims HATE dogs, consider the "unclean" like pigs.

    Finally some fairly decent Iraqi muslims come along with bulldozers and shove them underground WITHOUT burial rites.

    The MSM stories fail to mention the reason for this change is that ISIS didn't take Donald J. Trump seriously.

  6. All the Trump Administration accomplishments you listed were done with no help from the Roll-Over Party in Congress.

  7. Trump is lucky as hell to have convinced this man to take the job. Damn, he's good.

  8. Keep it coming Mr. Surber, your insight is spot on and appreciated. General Kelly is indeed a National treasure.

  9. I watched the Kelly briefing, and was grateful to be home alone at the time watching it as I was howling with laughter. In. Your. Face. Media. LOL! You want frustrating? Try being lied about daily by people who supposedly have the obligation to inform people. "Get better sources". Hahahaha!

    And the beatings will continue until morale improves.

    He also explained how he 'controls' information getting to the President - he doesn't restrict anything - he simply groups people together for the relevant discussions. Time saver.

    There is enormous respect between these two men, Trump and Kelly. Memorial Day at Arlington Cemetery, President Trump thanked the then DHS Secretary by name, as one whose loss (Kelly's son died in Afghanistan in 2010) would be remembered, honored.

    Kelly's sacrifices for our country are more than most of us could bear. Say a prayer for our Chief of Staff - and in it say 'thank you'.

    ~Carolina Kat

  10. Just one thing I left out - here's a link to the John Kelly's story of two quintessential marines:

    Don't think for a second the media in that briefing weren't out-matched, out-flanked, and walked away nursing bruised egos. It must have been cold there in his shadow…