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Monday, July 31, 2017

Death to Moochie

I've been watching a lot of David Lynch's stuff recently.

The Washington Post reported that Anthony Scaramucci was mistakenly listed as dead in the Harvard alumni directory. Shortly after that, Anthony Scaramucci was fired from his role as White House Communications Director, a role he has held for...well, actually, he had not officially started yet.

I've been watching a lot of David Lynch's stuff recently. Frankly, I've lost track of which things are Lynch and which things are real life.

In response to these events, Trump tweeted "No WH chaos." If he ever tweets "No alien invasion," brush up your Klingon. 

Backstory. You're probably curious: Is there a motive for this firing beyond the obvious fact that Mooch was a profane doofus? Maybe. Jake Tapper tweeted the following at 4:48 AM:
Publicist for @Scaramucci making public accusations against @Reince45 personal life 👇 https://twitter.com/arthurschwartz/status/891622003584716801 …
Don't bother looking for that tweet; it was deleted. It appears that Arthur Schwartz, a good Mooch buddy, accused Priebus of having an affair. Here's the now-missing tweet: “Hey @Reince 45. Oops; @Reince – you’re unemployed now. Keep pushing this crap & I’ll star dropping oppo on you. Mistress much,?”

The "crap" in question has to with a claim (published in HuffPo) that Priebus warned Trump "not to hire Scaramucci because he thought the buyers of Scaramucci’s shares in SkyBridge Capital overpaid in order to get access to Trump" -- a disturbing claim, if true. Schwartz later apologized for his "mistress" accusation: "I did something stupid and I'm embarrassed. Keep the hits coming - I deserve it."

By the way...
Along with Scaramucci, Schwartz, a staunch Republican, has other ties to the White House. He is an external advisor to the Zionist Organization of America, which is run by Mort Klein, who is a close friend of Steve Bannon, according to Axios.
I did not know that about Steve Bannon.

Let's step back and take in a wide-angle view of this scene. Scaramucci didn't like Reince Priebus. Spicer hated Scaramucci. Now all three are gone.

With so many clowns having left the clown car, the new Chief of Staff has the leeway to bring some actual non-clowns into the White House (presuming that there are still some non-clowns who don't mind working for Trump).

According to the NYT, Kelly -- on his very first day as Chief of Staff -- was the one who decided to boot the Mooch. Although Dems will snicker darkly at Scaramucci's pratfall from grace, the plain fact is that Kelly did the right thing. And looky here:
"General Kelly has the full authority to operate within the White House and all staff will report to him," Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said from the White House podium late Monday afternoon.

Sanders reiterated several times that everyone—including Jared and Ivanka, supposedly—will be reporting to Kelly, who swiftly gave short-lived communications director Anthony Scaramucci the boot Monday.

So apparently, it's the John Kelly show now. Good luck!
It has also been reported that Kelly came close to turning in his own resignation when Comey was fired. This tells me what kind of a man he is. 

If Trump has any sense at all, he'll let Kelly basically be president. Kelly threatens to bring to the White House the kind of professionalism which could be ruinous for the Democrats. Maybe this is not the time for schadenfreude; maybe this is the time for worry.

Some are saying that the real test will come when Kelly squares off against Kushner or Bannon or Ivanka. No: The real test will be Kelly's ability to deal with Donald himself. As I've said before: Marines like discipline, and Donald Trump is the Emperor of Indiscipline.
Comments:
Hate to sound like Mr. Optimist, but it sounds more like everyone is isolating Trump to prep him for removal. I would suggest either that or to basically make him a figurehead, but Trump is too volatile to be trusted in that role, so I've settled on removal. I can't help but feel this is good news. Even if Trump was relegated to a figurehead and Kelly becomes the de facto President, it would be a massive upgrade.
 
It makes more sense now, thank you. The general wanted the Mooch to go. None of the reporters at the presser could get Sarah to say so, but one did manage to say that given Trump's own "salty language" what was specifically unacceptable about Swearamucci's? hahaha! I don't know whether to laugh or feel ill.


 
"I've been watching a lot of David Lynch's stuff recently." Me too. We've left the Red Room. It's all Black Lodge for the near future.
 
In the life as theater camp, someone just posted this wiki-tidbit in FB:

Scaramuccia (literally "little skirmisher"), also known as Scaramouche or Scaramouch, is a stock clown character of the Italian commedia dell'arte (comic theatrical arts). The role combined characteristics of the zanni (servant) and the Capitano (masked henchman). Usually attired in black Spanish dress and burlesquing a don, he was often beaten by Harlequin for his boasting and cowardice.
 
Discipline for DT? Who has had his own way for more than 50 years, surrounded by a subservient staff, toadies and suck-ups? Who is convinced he is genetically superior to all the rest of mankind? Who leads a cult following of millions?

Maybe. But his short attention span ... reportedly in the range of 5 minutes or less, coupled with rapidly approaching dementia ... would seem to put him in a different category than George W Bush, who was quite happy to let Cheney be de facto President for six years (until Katrina and the Congressional blowout in 2006).

I agree that DT is a "paranoid psychopathic narcissist". He shows clear signs of three overlapping personality disorders, and all three appear to be both untreatable and lifelong. The added stress of a real job, at age 71, is increasing his agitation, and I suspect, the onset of dementia. If even Republicans are noticing, it must be pretty bad.

My best guess is he will have some kind of psychological crackup, and it will be much more difficult to conceal than GW Bush's dry-out sessions. The contending power centers of Steve Bannon and Jared will attempt to seize the reins if this happens ... it might have happened a few times already, for all we know.
 
On the Israel links, it was always a nonsense that Kushner was going to bring the Palestinians and Israelis into a peace process. What was disturbing was that so many in the media mused on its possibilities. Clearly, Kushner is so biased to Israel and historically ignorant that it makes him an excellent tool for pulling Trump strings in support of Israeli foreign policy. Now we have claims that Trump is going to trash the Iran nuclear agreement by October. How will Trump be evicted from office if the US finds itself in a war with Iran and Russia? Where will the drive for impeachment be then?
 
Prowlerzee, thanks for looking that up. I'd been thinking of Raphael Sabatini's swashbuckling Scaramouche, an inapt reference. The conceited clown, perfect fit. Sometimes, the name is the man.

ColoradoGuy's observations seem right. The 25th Amenment could be applied if and when he becomes too much. He would need friends among his cabinet and many friends on The Hill to avoid that end. He's an antisocial sociopath on top of it all, so lacks those basic human feelings and skills, such as liking people and making friends or inspiring loyalty.
 
Trump reminds much of Ubu in Alfred Jarry’s play “Ubu the King”. He is described in a study guide as “an obese, smelly grub, with an enormous paunch, who carries a walking stick in his right-hand pocket and uses a toilet brush as his scepter… he is vulgar, gluttonous, rapacious, untrustworthy, greedy, sadistic, cowardly, and stupid. His actions are impulsive, and his speech is a mixture of vulgar expressions, oaths, and repetitive phrases. He ruthlessly obtains the Polish throne, then recklessly abuses his power by killing off the nobility, usurping the power of the judiciary, and overtaxing the peasants. Unsuccessful in defending his kingdom against the Russians, he escapes to France.”

Jarry wrote two sequels to “Ubu the King”, ominously entitled “Ubu the Cuck” and “Ubu in Chains”.

-Brumel

 
To finish the thought of my previous comment.

Since the 25th *could* be applied if the GOP wanted, and they are not doing so, we can well infer that they do not want to get rid of Trump.

Trump himself has no support, but my guess is that the work that the administration is doing, gutting regulations, demolishing the pesky professional bureaucracy that serves as obstacle to rule by capitalist thugs. Plus he makes all of gubmint look weak and terrible.

Donald is the Dumpster Fire in Chief, drawing nearly all the media attention.
 
Honestly, I'm going to miss the Mooch. I think he had the potential to be the most scandalously entertaining "public servant" since Marc Antony trundled around Rome, drunk out of his mind, with a hooker on each arm, in a lion-drawn chariot.
 
Propertius, I know, right? Maybe this Randy Rainbow smooch-off to the Mooch will cheer you a little: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TseUcWX9HZs
 
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