Tag Archives: fine-tuned machine

Ivanka: not your run-of-the-mill presidential kin

I know this doesn’t really need to be said, but I’ll offer it anyway.

Ivanka Trump is not your run-of-the-mill presidential family member who is “off limits” from intense media scrutiny. Ivanka is a key member of the president’s team of advisers. He’s a “senior” adviser, in fact, although I don’t know what in the world qualifies her as “senior” anything.

Donald Trump no doubt sees any media inquiry, for example, into her use of a personal e-mail account to conduct government business as an intrusion into a “private matter.” It’s far from it.

Ivanka Trump needs to steel herself for an intense look by Democrats who will run the House of Representatives. So should her dad, the president. So should her brothers, Eric and Don Jr.

So should we all.

Indeed, the only children of Donald Trump who should be exempt from media scrutiny are Tiffany, his daughter with his second wife, Marla Maples, and young Barron, who lives in the White House with the president and first lady Melania Trump.

Daddy Trump says there’s no comparison between what Ivanka has done and what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did when she used her personal e-mail account while she ran the State Department.

But . . . what Ivanka Trump has allegedly done is worth a careful look by Congress. She should be called to testify before, say, the House Oversight Committee and forced to answer questions under oath about what she put out there for all the world to see.

She’s not just a “first daughter” who deserves to be left alone. She’s part of the president’s inner circle, a cog in Donald Trump’s “fine-tuned machine.”

Chaos set to explode at White House

Reince Priebus got the boot as White House chief of staff because, among other things, the staff was fighting openly among its members.

Donald Trump enlisted Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to right the ship. Kelly signed on as chief of staff, kicked out some of the troublemakers and settled into his new gig as the president’s keeper.

Then came the midterm election. It didn’t go quite so well for the president and the Republican Party. The battling within the White House resumed.

Kelly now is among those closest to the president who not only is involved in some of the rhetorical brawling, he might be on the short list of key staffers about to be shown the door.

His successor at Homeland Security, Kirjsten Nielsen, is thought to be on the bubble. Defense Secretary James Mattis, too. Same with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Media are reporting that press secretary Sarah Sanders might depart by the end of the year. Rumors also are flying about Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s future.

Now we have first lady Melania Trump engineering the departure of national security adviser John Bolton’s top aide. Holy moly, man!

Have I mentioned that the president’s “fine-tuned machine” is in need of a serious lube job? There. I just did.

John Kelly pledged to stay through the 2020 election. It looks now as though that pledge won’t bear fruit. What do you suppose might be driving him away? Is it the president’s SNAFU over declining to visit the cemetery containing American servicemen who died in World War I? Is the ongoing chaos that keeps the White House in a state of constant upheaval?

Whatever it is. Whatever is troubling the entire staff is likely to bring another wave of resignations/dismissals.

Get the grease gun for that White House machine.

This gang still can’t shoot straight

Check out the word circled in red ink.

This error goes more or less without any comment, much less a full-blown critique. So I won’t offer one here.

Suffice to say that the White House apparatus — Donald John Trump’s self-described “fine-tuned machine” — needs a healthy helping of lube grease.

This is the official invitation to the president’s State of the “Uniom” speech Tuesday night.


‘Fine-tuned machine’ keeps misfiring

I saw a graphic a day or two ago that I found quite stunning.

I mean, didn’t Donald J. Trump describe his administration running like a “fine-tuned machine”? The graphic showed the long and growing list of senior administration aides who’ve resigned or been terminated.

National security adviser Michael Flynn, FBI Director James Comey, two communications directors (Michael Dubke and Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci), HHS Secretary Tom Price, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, press secretary Sean Spicer, senior political strategist Stephen K. Bannon. I know I’m missing someone, but you get the idea.

The fine-tuned machine has yet to produce a significant legislative victory for the president. It came up on the short end of an Alabama Republican Party primary race this week in which the other guy defeated the man Trump had endorsed. The Republican-led U.S. Senate gave up on its effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act; oh, and by the way, the deadline for getting Senate approval with a simple majority is going to arrive in just a couple of hours.

Trump botched his response to the Charlottesville riot, fueling suspicions about racist sentiments within the White House.

The chaos continues. The president seems to relish it. He welcomes it. He demands it.

Trump’s response to helping stricken citizens in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands has come under question. He has responded with tweets that have criticized the mayor of San Juan, P.R. Sheesh, man!

Oh, and now the president is up to his eyeballs in a feud with the National Football League over players who “take a knee” while the National Anthem is being played. They’re protesting police conduct, but Trump has yanked that argument toward whether pro football players are “disrespecting the flag and the U.S. Constitution.”

Is this the way a “fine-tuned machine” operates?

I, um, think not.