Tag Archives: Jared Kushner

Time to lube the ‘machine,’ Mr. POTUS

Donald J. Trump’s “fine-tuned machine” has been misfiring almost since the jalopy rolled into the White House.

Now we hear that senior policy adviser Steven Bannon and the president’s son-in-law/adviser Jared Kushner are at each other’s throats almost daily.

Is this how a “fine-tuned machine” runs, Mr. President? Many of us out here in the peanut gallery don’t think that’s the case.

Trump pledged “best people”

The president vowed to surround himself with the “best people” ever assembled to run the government’s executive branch.

Bannon came on board after serving as editor of Breitbart News, the ultra-right wing media outlet. Kushner married well, as he is Ivanka Trump’s husband. Neither man has government experience. They’re both strong-willed, however, which might explain why they are fighting constantly.

Here’s another wrinkle.

Until this week, Bannon had a seat on the principals committee of the National Security Council. Then the president moved him off the panel.

Bannon’s been fighting with Kushner for weeks. The president loves his daughter and doesn’t want her husband injured while butting heads with Bannon.

Hmmm. Is there linkage between the bickering inside the West Wing and Bannon’s demotion from the principals committee?

Break out the lube oil, Mr. President.

Didn’t they enact an anti-nepotism law?

President-elect John F. Kennedy called the media together shortly after his election in 1960 to announce his choice for attorney general.

It would be his brother, Robert, who never had practiced law privately. He had served as general counsel to a Senate committee chaired by the infamous Joseph McCarthy and later worked with his brother in the Senate.

JFK joked that RFK needed a bit of experience before he would become a successful lawyer, so he named him AG.

The appointment caused some consternation at the time, even though RFK would go on to become a highly effective attorney general.

In 1967, Congress enacted a law that banned such nepotism at the highest levels of government.

Then came Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States. What does he do? He places his daughter Ivanka into a West Wing office, where she now has an actual White House job. Oh, and her husband, Jared Kushner, also now works as a senior policy adviser.

Neither of them has government experience. Neither has any political seasoning.

Trumps take over the White House

But hey, what’s the problem? Ivanka won’t take a salary, which I guess serves as Dad’s dodge in giving her a government job.

However, didn’t Congress have enough fear about nepotism 50 years ago to approve a law to prohibit it?

I don’t believe that concern has lessened.

Where have you gone, Ivanka and Jared?

It turns out that the president of the United States reportedly is angry that two of his “key advisers” were absent during the run-up to the historic non-vote on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Donald J. Trump is none too happy about it at that!

The advisers? Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner.

Where were they? They were on a ski vacation. They were absent from the negotiation that took place between Daddy POTUS and his new best friend, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and those stubborn House of Representatives conservatives who torpedoed the legislation.

Here is the Big Question: What on Earth could either of these individuals have done to persuade balky congressmen and women to change their votes? Must anyone remind the president that Ivanka and Jared are political novices, as is the president of the United States himself?

There. I just did remind him. Not that he’ll even see this gentle rhetorical jab, let alone take it to heart.

Ivanka has just acquired a West Wing office, where she’ll work as a sort of unofficial adviser with no specific job description; nor will she draw a federal salary. Kushner already is the president’s point man on U.S.-Israel relations and reportedly plans to play a key role in searching for a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Are either of them skilled political operatives? Are they experts on health care, on the ACA or on the failed bill to replace it, the American Health Care Act? Do they even have any relationships with congressional naysayers? Umm. Nope.

What could they have done to affect the outcome? Maybe it’s just me, but my hunch is that it would have been not a damn thing!

So, they took a trip to the mountains to ski and enjoy each other’s company.

Dad didn’t need their “help” in scuttling this bill. He and the speaker did a fine job of it all by themselves.

Oh! And that’s a good thing.