Category Archives: Politics

2017 CPAC…They are all Trumpists now…

If Ronald Reagan could see things today?

— Forty years ago this month, speaking at the same conference, Ronald Reagan offered a searing critique of Marxist-Leninism that could be read today as an indictment of Trumpism. “All the facts of the real world have to be fitted to the Procrustean bed of Marx and Lenin,” he explained. “If the facts don’t happen to fit the ideology, the facts are chopped off and discarded. I consider this to be the complete opposite to principled conservatism. When a conservative states that the free market is the best mechanism ever devised by the mind of man to meet material needs, he is merely stating what a careful examination of the real world has told him is the truth. When a conservative says that totalitarian communism is an absolute enemy of human freedom, he is not theorizing. He is reporting the ugly reality captured so unforgettably in the writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.”

Reagan’s 1977 CPAC speech remains one of the most important political addresses he ever delivered. Fresh off his loss to Gerald Ford in the Republican primaries, and Jimmy Carter’s victory in the general election, the former California governor went on to presciently outline a vision for “A New Republican Party” that would unite fiscal, social and national security conservatives in common cause. His clarion call helped win him his party’s nomination in 1980, ushered in the first political realignment since Franklin Roosevelt and allowed the GOP to win five of the next seven presidential elections.

— Alas, the Reagan era is over. And if you needed another data point that the Party of Reagan has been hijacked, this week’s “conservative” confab offers many. Needless to say, Trump will not quote Solzhenitsyn when he speaks here later this morning. Reagan embraced freedom in all of its forms — from the aspirations of Eastern Europeans looking to throw off the yoke of their Russian overlords to open markets and, to a lesser degree, open borders.

It’s always fraught to speculate on what a historical figure, who died 13 years ago, would say about current events. But based on a decade of closely studying the 40th president, including countless hours reviewing his archives, it seems safe to stipulate the following: Reagan would frown upon the dark portrait that Trump paints of his shining city upon a hill. He would be disturbed by his protectionist and isolationist rhetoric. And he would be aghast at the 45th president repeatedly drawing false moral equivalency between the United States and Russia.

Reagan would never have suggested that Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent who presides over an authoritarian regime, is a stronger leader than Barack Obama. Among the many words Trump says that would never have come out of Reagan’s mouth: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?”

But it’s much more than that: The Reagan Revolution was always more about ideas than a cult of personality built around a single man…..

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It begins…Republicans begin to stop carrying Trump on their backs…

Republicans members of Congress have questioned about following their parties President’s in policies repeatedly recently in their town hall meeting back home….

While in Washington the Grand Ole party types have made sure that they sound in step with Trump….

But back home on their own they have been quietly telling people that they MAY go their own way in questioning Trump’s views and ways…

I Knew it would begin…

2018 Midterm election’s are less than 2 years way….

When a voter here asked whether Sen. Charles E. Grassley supports a probe of President Trump’s tax returns, the Republican gave a qualified “yes.” In Virginia, asked about Russian interference in the presidential election, Rep. David Brat said an investigator should “follow the rule of law wherever it leads.” And in Arkansas, Sen. Tom Cotton told 1,400 people sardined into a high school auditorium that the Affordable Care Act “has helped Arkansans.”

This week’s congressional town halls have repeatedly found Republicans hedging their support for the new president’s agenda — and in many cases contradicting their past statements. Hostile questions put them on record criticizing some of the fights Trump has picked or pledging to protect policies such as the more popular elements of Obamacare. And voters got it all on tape, promising to keep hounding their lawmakers if they falter.

“There’s more of a consensus among Republicans now that you’ve got to be more cautious with what you’re going to do,” Grassley said after an event here, referring to efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. “That didn’t mean much to me in November and December. But it means a lot now.”

No Republican could say that the raucous town halls surprised them. Since December, a growing number of liberal organizations and activists have shared strategies for getting public answers from members of Congress. More than a thousand local groups have been founded to organize around the Indivisible Guide, an organizational how-to manual drafted by former Democratic staffers. And thousands of Trump detractors — whether inspired by organized social-media efforts or there of their own volition — have shown up at town halls in their districts….

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Bannon Admits Trump’s Cabinet Nominees Were Selected To Destroy Their Agencies…

It won’t work that way for most….

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At CPAC this week Stephen Bannon, the Chief Advisor and intellectual heft behind the Twittering infant that sits in the Oval Office, provided a little glimpse of the future he has planned for all of us.

In the clearest explanation for why nearly all of Trump’s cabinet choices are known mostly for despising and attacking the very Federal agencies they’ve been designated to lead, Bannon explained—in very clear language–that they weren’t appointed to lead these agencies, but to destroy them:

Atop Trump’s agenda, Bannon said, was the “deconstruction of the administrative state” — meaning a system of taxes, regulations and trade pacts that the president and his advisers believe stymie economic growth and infringe upon one’s sovereignty.

“If you look at these Cabinet nominees, they were selected for a reason, and that is deconstruction,” Bannon said. He posited that Trump’s announcement withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership was “one of the most pivotal moments in modern American history.”

The crippling or wholesale elimination of Federal agencies that ensure we receive such things as clean air, clean water, fair labor laws, fair housing standards, anti-discrimination laws, financial protections, food and drug safety, national education standards and the like, has been a goal of far-right “thinkers” for decades. Their rationale, propagated by corporate and industry-funded think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, has always been that that the existence of these “unelected” agencies represents a mortal threat to American “sovereignty and self-government.”  This is exactly the line Bannon was peddling at CPAC today. It is delusional, right-wing garbage.

The reality is that these extensions of the Executive Branch—the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Education, for example– exist to serve the interests of all the American people, performing the painstaking and complex  task of regulating the very things that make all Americans’ lives worth living. They perform this function because history has clearly shown that neither the Congress nor the states are remotely up to the task of doing it. They have neither the time, the expertise, the manpower, or the ability to handle such mammoth responsibilities in a country of 330 million people….

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Trump speaks before Conservative Group…Keeps up attacks against the Nation’s Free Press…

Donald Trumnp like most President’s does NOT like the Media printing things HE doesn’t want to hear or be known…

The other guys that held the job understood that way things operate  in America is you do your job….

The Media/Press will do their’s….

It ain’t pretty…

But THAT IS how it works….

Donald Trump KEEPS ranting against the media and a mjority of Americans stand behind the media vs him….

He’s gonna keep knocking the media because a majority of HIS supporters on HIS side….

Oh, and his approval numbers keep dropping on the whole the more he keeps this up….

Trump did this stage act before Conservatives at the CPAC get tougher ….

He wasn’t their cup of tea before…

He’s their Master of the Universe now. as President…

The opening portion of the president’s free-range, campaign-style speech centered on a declaration of war on the news media — a new foil to replace vanquished political opponents like Hillary Clinton.

“They are very smart, they are very cunning, they are very dishonest,” Mr. Trump said to the delight of the crowd packed into the main ballroom at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just south of Washington. “It doesn’t represent the people; it never will represent the people.”

He also opened up the latest in a succession of surprise rhetorical attacks on longstanding American allies, extemporizing about a friend named Jim who told him to avoid the “City of Lights” because “Paris is no longer Paris.”

 

Mr. Trump, who once posed as his own public relations man to plant news stories in New York tabloids — and spoke frequently with reporters off the record during the campaign — called for an end to the use of “sources,” meaning anonymous sources.

“A few days ago, I called the fake news the enemy of the people because they have no sources — they just make it up,” he said. He added that his “enemy of the people” label applied only to “dishonest” reporters and editors.

Mr. Trump, who suggested revisiting First Amendment protections for the news media during the campaign, refined that attack on Friday, urging his supporters to use their free-speech rights to counter hostile press accounts from outlets like CNN, which he called the “Clinton News Network.”

“They always bring up the First Amendment,” Mr. Trump said of journalists. “Nobody loves it better than me.”

After spending 10 minutes listing the shortcomings of the news media, Mr. Trump said criticism “doesn’t bother me.”

Clearly reveling in the adulation of a room that had once been hard to win, the president alternated between a theme of dark days — once again singling out violence on the streets of Chicago — and light comedy. Speaking of a meeting with business leaders this week that included food producers, he quipped, “I like Campbell’s Soup.”

He also joked about his less-well-received first appearance at this annual conservative conclave…..

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Democratic National Committee Update 2/24/17….

Tom Perez seems to hold a slight lead….

There will be several ballot votes to get a winner….

Democrats will vote Saturday to elect their new party chair—and they’ll keep voting until they get one.

No one expects a winner to be determined on the first ballot in Atlanta, and some observers think as many as four, five or even six ballots will be required to decide the race.

A candidate needs to win a majority of Democratic National Committee’s 447 members, with the lowest-scoring candidates axed one-by-one after the second round.

Here’s a breakdown of the top candidates ahead of the pivotal vote.

Tom Perez

As former President Barack Obama’s Labor Department secretary and a top official at the Justice Department before that, Perez played a major role in the administration’s domestic agenda on issues like the minimum wage and voting rights protection.

His ties to both Obama and Hillary Clinton—he made the Democratic presidential nominee’s short list for vice president—made him the favorite among the more establishment wing of the party. Former Vice President Joe Biden and former Attorney General Eric Holder have thrown their support behind their former colleague, as did high-ranking House Democrat Steny Hoyer (Md.).
Earlier this month, Perez claimed support from 180 DNC members. But aides would not release names of his supporters, arguing that they wanted to keep the members free from badgering in the days before the vote.

Perez’s bid got a late boost Thursday when South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison dropped his bid and endorsed Perez. But it remains to be seen whether Harrison’s supporters can help Perez lock up the win.

Keith Ellison

Ellison jumped into the race as the instant frontrunner, positioning himself to carry the baton of the left-wing movement that spawned from the failed presidential bid of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

The Minnesota congressman leads the pack in public support from DNC members. He also made quick work after entering the race of winning a slew of high-profile endorsements from Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Most recently, he won the backing of another former DNC rival, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley, who dropped out last weekend….

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Update….

Micheal Moore has come out for Ellison…

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Obamacare gets MORE popular everyday…

Republicans see their past Obama/Clinton meal ticket come apart right IN FRONT OF THEM.

“The best thing to happen to Obamacare might have been Donald Trump. A new Kaiser tracking poll has the approval rating for the Affordable Care Act up to 48% – the highest it’s been in some 60 such polls. Lawmakers, of course, are hearing about that newfound popularity firsthand at raucous town halls that are developing into mirror-image opposites of the famous Tea Party events that hurt the bill’s popularity back in 2009 and 2010.”

“With President Trump’s address to Congress coming on the eve of the month slated for repeal/replace, it may be that Republicans have lost critical momentum around what they all once agreed would be their top priority. Former House Speaker John Boehner’s statements on the difficulty the GOP will have in undoing Obamacare is a clue to the anxiety Republicans are feeling right now about their promise of repeal.”…

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FBI refuses White House calls to “knock down” news stories on Trump campaign officials and Russia

Think Hillary Clinton….

Think Hillary Clinton…..

Think Hillary Clinton?

Prominent Democrats on Thursday ripped the Trump administration over a report that it asked Federal Bureau of Investigation officials to publicly downplay media accounts of communications between President Donald Trump’s team and Russia officials.

An explosive CNN report released Thursday night citing multiple U.S. officials said the FBI had spurned White House calls for the bureau to “knock down” news stories on potential ties between Trump campaign officials and Russia. According to the report, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus spoke with FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe about having the bureau speak to journalists to correct what the administration believed to be factually incorrect reporting.

Former Obama administration official and ethics czar Norm Eisen called the reported request “shocking” and said any such interactions between White House and intelligence officials are “forbidden,” adding that had these events occurred in the previous administration Priebus would have had to resign…..

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Bannon…the new administration is in an unending battle for “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

At  the CPAC/Conservative Political Action Conference  get hogether……The Trump  Conservative Svengali states his view of where he wants his boss, Donald Trump to go as the forces of the administrative  state begin to push back against Bannon and his partener at Trump’s side Stephen Miller…

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The reclusive mastermind behind President Trump’s nationalist ideology and combative tactics made his public debut Thursday, delivering a fiery rebuke of the media and declaring that the new administration is in an unending battle for “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

Stephen K. Bannon, the White House chief strategist and intellectual force behind Trump’s agenda, used his first speaking appearance since Trump took office to vow that the president would honor all of the hard-line pledges of his campaign.

Appearing at a gathering of conservative activists alongside Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Bannon dismissed the idea that Trump might moderate his positions or seek consensus with political opponents. Rather, he said, the White House is digging in for a long period of conflict to transform Washington and upend the world order.

“If you think they’re going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken,” Bannon said in reference to the media and opposition forces. “Every day, it is going to be a fight.”

He continued, “And that is what I’m proudest about Donald Trump. All the opportunities he had to waver off this, all the people who have come to him and said, ‘Oh, you’ve got to moderate’ — every day in the Oval Office, he tells Reince and I, ‘I committed this to the American people, I promised this when I ran, and I’m going to deliver on this.’ ”…

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White House may have Justice Dept go after Recreational Marijuana States…

I have pointed out here over and OVER that Marijuana is STILL considered a ‘dangrious’ drug on the federal books…

While several state’s have approved recreational marjuana use?

Federal law SUPERCIEDS State law in most cases….

Attorney General Sessions COULD work to shut down marijuana selling operations that are deemed legal by state anytime he wanted to and see what the courts say…..

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that he expects states to see “greater enforcement” of the federal law against marijuana use, a move that would be at odds with a growing number of states’ decisions to legalize it.

Spicer, taking questions from reporters at the daily briefing, differentiated between the administration’s positions on medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.

President Donald Trump “understands the pain and suffering that many people go through who are facing especially terminal diseases, and the comfort that some of these drugs, including medical marijuana, can bring to them,” he said, also noting previous action by Congress not to fund the Justice Department “go[ing] after those folks.”

As for “recreational marijuana, that’s a very, very different subject,” Spicer said.

Spicer suggested that the administration is opposed to encouraging recreational marijuana use and connected it with the crisis with opioid addiction in some areas.

“When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people,” he said.

The Department of Justice, Spicer said, will be “further looking into” the marijuana enforcement question, he said, punting questions about the specifics to the department.

“I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it,” he said…..

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Sen. Susan Collin says in Russia probe she’s open to supoenaing Trump’s taxes…

The Maine Republican is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee….

They are investigating Russian/Trump Admin contacts…..

NO ONE in the Greand Ole party is gonna be in hurry to back up Sen. Collins on this….

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Wednesday said that she would be open to issuing a subpoena for President Donald Trump’s tax returns if it’s necessary for the committee’s probe into Trump’s ties to Russia.

“I don’t know whether we will need to do that. If it’s necessary to get to the answers, then I suspect that we would,” Collins said on Maine Public Radio when asked if she would subpoena Trump’s tax records for the investigation.

She added that such a decision would be up to the chairman and vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee….

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Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump her husband lose in the transgender argument…

The two had been able to get President Trump to put off getting rid of the President Obama rules forcing workplace’s  to accomidate transgender student’s…..

But in a political duel between embattled Education Sec DeVos and Attorney Gen Sessions?

Sessions won….

The Obama regulation was dropped from the books….

She and her husband are now being questioned as to how much can they actually influence policy?

Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, seemed to speak for their socially progressive generation last month when they helped to kill a proposed executive order that would have rolled back LGBT protections.

But their involvement in that high-profile gay-rights issue — they encouraged President Donald Trump to uphold Obama-era workplace discrimination protections for federal contractors — now serves only to underscore their silence after the White House on Wednesday revoked protections that had allowed transgender students to use the public school bathroom of their choice….

Gay rights are not officially part of either Ivanka Trump’s or Kushner’s portfolios. But the couple is seen, both internally and externally, as the great, socially moderate hope for voters who are worried about the more extreme factions of Trump’s administration….

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Boehner….Obamacare will be plugged and renamed….

The former Republicans House Speaker predicts what most smart people know ALREADY….

The Republican war cry to get rid of the Affordable Healthcare Law was just a prop to beat the Democrats over the head with…

And It worked in that respect…

Now in power?

The Republicans are stuck with the Obama legacy healthcare program …..

President Donald Trump has said in recent days that he will release a plan by early to mid-March on how the administration plans to move forward on repeal-and-replace.

But so far, no clear path has emerged.

Earlier in the panel discussion [ at an Orlando healthcare conference], Boehner said he “started laughing” when Republicans started talking about moving lightning fast on repeal and then coming up with an alternative.

“In the 25 years that I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never, ever, one time agreed on what a health care proposal should look like. Not once,” Boehner said. “And all this happy talk that went on in November and December and January about repeal, repeal, repeal—yeah, we’ll do replace, replace—I started laughing, because if you pass repeal without replace, first, anything that happens is your fault. You broke it.”

Boehner added that he has told Republican leaders that unless a repeal is packaged with a replacement, GOP lawmakers would not likely reach a consensus about an alternative to Obamacare.

“And secondly, as I told some of the Republican leaders when they asked, I said, if you pass repeal without replace you’ll never pass replace, because they will never ever agree on what the bill should be. Perfect always becomes the enemy of the good,” Boehner said.

Boehner said what Republicans ultimately come up with could share a lot of the same qualities with Obamacare.

“Most of the Affordable Care Act, in the framework, is going to stay there: coverage for kids up to age 26, covering those with preexisting conditions. All of that’s going to be there. Subsidies for those who can’t afford it, who aren’t on Medicaid, who I call the working poor, subsidies for them will be there,” Boehner said….

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President Trump has NO Feel for Legislating…

Politico points out that while Trump has gone it alone with a few executive orders?

Things are are TRUE governance?

Legislation…

Are in LIMBO…..

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The Republicans in Congress are now standing around getting beat-up for things Donald Trump says he’ll do and does or does not….

I wonder when these people are gonna get tired of the Trump induced beatdowns?

Midterm elections are less than 2 years way and the Democarst ARE gonna be gunning for them….

An article in Slate in November expressed this expectation under the headline, “Welcome to the Paul Ryan Presidency.”

The view of Trump as little more than a presidential auto-pen has turned out to be wholly mistaken. First, it underestimated Trump’s ability to establish air, sea and land dominance in the nation’s political conversation to the exclusion of all other Republican voices. Two, it failed to appreciate how necessary presidential leadership is to getting anything done on Capitol Hill.

At this rate, congressional Republicans won’t send the president anything significant to sign, let alone set the agenda.

Trump has totally eclipsed congressional Republicans with a flurry of executive orders, Twitter outrages, White House meetings and all-around melodrama that drive the political debate hour by hour. Watching cable news, you could be forgiven for occasionally forgetting that there is a co-equal branch of government called Congress, except insofar as its members are forced to react to whatever Trump is saying or doing…..

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image…Daily Kos

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Defense Sec Mattis wants to cut the Pentagon’s bureaucracy…

Below the radar the Defense Sec and retired Gnereal wants to try find fat he can cut from the largest cabinet organiztion in the US Government….

The push goes back to the Obama Admin and Robert Gates….

In a pair of memos to his deputy last Friday, Defense Secretary James Mattis signaled his readiness for battle against an especially entrenched foe—the department’s sprawling bureaucracy.

Both memos support requirements in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and aim to address concerns on Capitol Hill about Pentagon efficiency. In one memo, Mattis asked Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work to lead a broad review of the department’s business operations with an eye to centralizing some functions now handled separately by the military services. “We have sometimes allowed our focus on service uniqueness to extend into business operations, leading to duplication of effort and costs we can no longer afford,” Mattis wrote.

Work certainly has a decent blueprint for his starting point (something Mattis pointed out in his directive): the Defense Business Board’s 2015 study “Transforming DoD’s Core Business Processes for Revolutionary Change,” which Work supported.

It appears that virtually everything is now on the table….

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Trump vs The Media?….Media winning so far…Poll

Donald Trump doesn’t like any Media stuff that isn’t nice’ to him….

He’s gone so far as use the word ‘fake’ news to label anything that isn’t complimentary to him….

He doesn’t answer questions from reporters from the major national news outlets mostly either….

It’s NOT played well with the American public which has its own problems with the media , BUT?……

Which SUPPORTS  a ‘free press’ and one that DOES ask HARD questions….

It’s pretty clear what President Trump is doing by going after the media. He sees someone who is tough on him, with a lower approval rating, and he sets up a contrast. It’s like making yourself look taller by standing next to a short person.

“You have a lower approval rate than Congress,” he needled reporters at last week’s news conference, making clear he had done the math.

Except maybe it’s not really working.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University suggests that while people may be broadly unhappy with the mainstream media, they still think it’s more credible than Trump. The president regularly accuses the press of “fake news,” but people see more “fake news” coming out of his own mouth.

The poll asked who registered voters “trust more to tell you the truth about important issues.” A majority — 52 percent — picked the media. Just 37 percent picked Trump.

The poll did find that registered voters by a narrow margin think the media has treated Trump unfairly, with 50 percent saying they disapproved of the coverage of Trump and 45 percent approving. But voters are even more critical of Trump’s treatment of the media, with 61 percent disapproving and 35 percent approving.

Even 23 percent of Republicans say Trump is mistreating the media, and independents disapprove 59-35….

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What State Dept?…Trump runs his own Foreign Policy shop from the White House…

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For all the abuse Rex Tillerson got in interviewing fro the Sec of State job?

He gets the job and back seat to a President that has his buddies and his son running America’s Foreign Policy….

The State Dept. was always a step child….

But under Trump….

It seems to have been abandoned….

Tillerson does not have in-house support and muster that the general’s have over in national security and homeland security….

It shows….

He has little staff….

He’s been on the road cleaning up after Trump comments and the President’s people workingb the phones….

And he has no experience running a governmental organization ….

Oh, and his department has been purged of old hands that KNEW how handle things, simply because they where Obama people….

“Tillerson isn’t being purposefully sidelined; he’s just caught up in an administration with too many competing power centers and a president who’s unwilling or unable to decide who he wants to play the lead role in implementing his foreign policy,” said Aaron David Miller, a former diplomat who advised Republican and Democratic presidents about the Middle East. “The problem is letting a thousand flowers and tweets bloom isn’t the best way to run the foreign policy of the world’s most consequential power.”

So far, most of Tillerson’s diplomacy has been conducted out of sight. He has met with several visiting foreign ministers, spoken on the phone with dozens of other diplomats and met more at the G-20 meeting last week in Bonn.

Unlike in previous administrations, the State Department has not always made brief accounts of those conversations public. After Tillerson met with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini this month, the State Department said nothing while Mogherini held a detailed on-the-record briefing for reporters.

“I think it’s hard to go out and talk to the press if you don’t know what to say,” said Richard Boucher, a retired career diplomat and former spokesman for Republican and Democratic administrations.

“I think they’re struggling to get back to square one and reassure people they aren’t undercutting the foundations of what America stood for,” he added. “So they don’t have a lot to say and don’t know how to use the press to influence getting there.”….

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image…The Hill

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