Tag Archives: The New Yorker

This is far from a ‘fine-tuned machine’

An often-quoted cliche goes something like this: Change is the only constant in this world.

If you’re a member of the Trump administration’s senior staff, you’re right in the midst of change. It’s constant. It comes in blinding bursts.

The New Yorker magazine offers a fascinating look at what Donald J. Trump once called a “fine-tuned machine.” That would be his administration and the senior staff members who comprise it.

According to The New Yorker: Turnover among the White House staff, already record-setting in Trump’s first year, has spiked recently, now that no one is really in charge. Late last month, Martha Joynt Kumar, a scholar who has tracked White House staff during the past six Presidencies, reported that the Trump White House has an astonishing turnover rate of sixty-one per cent so far among its top-level advisers. No other Administration she has tracked comes close: Trump’s two immediate predecessors were at fourteen per cent (Barack Obama) and five percent (George W. Bush) at this point in their Presidencies. Bill Clinton, the highest after Trump, was at forty-two per cent, and that number was mostly made up of advisers who were reassigned to other senior White House roles, not fired or pushed out, according to Kumar.

There’s more from The New Yorker: The Trump Cabinet has been similarly tumultuous: Pruitt’s departure, on Thursday, adds to a list that already included a fired Secretary of State, a fired Secretary of Health and Human Services, and a fired Veteran Affairs Secretary, as well as a vacancy that was created when Kelly moved from the Department of Homeland Security to replace Trump’s fired first chief of staff, Reince Priebus. All together, Trump’s Cabinet has the fastest turnover rate of any Administration in a hundred years. Tenures are so short that Kumar is now reporting on the turnover among the second and third waves of aides. And it could be that Trump has no problem with this situation, or even with the seemingly untenable situation of having a chief of staff who is regularly reported to be on his way out. 

Read the entire New Yorker article here.

Trump’s delusion has become almost legendary now that he’s been in office for the past 18 months. He keeps boasting about how well everything is going. How much he has accomplished. How he can pick from the crowds of “the best people” who are lining up to work in the West Wing.

It ain’t happening, Mr. President. So quit lying about the “fine-tuned machine” that is misfiring seemingly every hour at the White House.

Obstruction of justice, anyone? Anyone?

James Comey believes that Donald J. Trump has obstructed justice.

That is the conclusion of a legal analyst who’s been following “the Russia thing” as closely as anyone in the United States of America.

Comey is the former FBI director whom the president fired because, according to Jeffrey Toobin, Comey declined to pledge complete loyalty to the president. Comey’s agency was conducting an investigation into whether Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russian government officials who are believed to have hacked into our nation’s electoral process.

Toobin’s article appeared in The New Yorker. He lays out what Comey would tell the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Here’s The New Yorker article.

I encourage you to read it.

So many questions to be asked. So many answers yet to be found.

Something tells me the roughest part of the ride awaits the president and his embattled team.

Trump facing lukewarm — at best — nomination cheer


Let’s play out the rest of the Republican Party’s presidential nominating process.

Donald J. Trump will receive his party’s nomination in Cleveland in just a few weeks.

GOP moguls will try and fail to wrestle the nomination away from Trump, who defeated 16 primary opponents. He scored a record number of GOP primary votes while marching to his party’s nomination.

Then, on the Thursday night of the convention, after the balloting has been completed and the RNC convention chairman, House Speaker Paul Ryan, says through gritted teeth that Donald Trump is the party’s presidential nominee.

Someone will introduce him to the crowd.

Trump will stride onto the stage.

What kind of reception is he going to get? The norm is for political convention delegates to deliver throaty cheers. They cheer, whoop and holler, wave their signs, whistle, blow horns, laugh and weep tears of joy.

That’s the norm.

This primary season has been everything but normal.

Trump will be a badly damaged nominee. He won’t enjoy the support of many hundreds of delegates spread out before him on the convention floor. Those delegates who wanted someone else nominated will serve as a metaphor for the voting public across the land.

I was struck by the stinging critique in this week’s New Yorker by the magazine’s editor, David Remnick, who writes:

The current leadership of the Republican Party and most of its traditional funders show every sign of knowing that a pernicious buffoon has become their standard-bearer. And yet they have largely fallen into line. They dare not betray “the wisdom of their voters.” There’s Orrin Hatch, of Utah, with his reputation for integrity, telling his constituents that Trump “doesn’t have a prejudiced bone in his body.” There’s Paul Ryan, the self-advertised model of Republican probity and deep thinking, allowing that, yes, Trump is guilty of “textbook” racism, but refusing to edge away from his squeamish endorsement. And there is Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, providing this piece of moral discernment: “Well, what I am willing to say is that Donald Trump is certainly a different kind of candidate.” McConnell has hinted that he could rescind his support, but what are the odds?

Here’s the entire essay:


It’s all coming together at the GOP convention in Cleveland.

I’ll be waiting with bated breath to see how the nominee’s acceptance speech is received by the actual Republicans who will have sent him into battle against Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Democrats.

Palin cheapens MLK memory with blast at Obama

It strikes me that some commemorations deserve dignity and decorum.

Honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ought to be one of those occasions … isn’t that right former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin?

The former half-term governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee, took a swipe today at President Obama ostensibly while honoring the memory of the slain civil-rights icon.


“Mr. President, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all who commit to ending any racial divide, no more playing the race card,” she said in a Facebook post.

She didn’t offer a specific example of how the president was “playing the race card.” Some have suggested that Obama’s remarks in a New Yorker magazine interview provided the grist for Palin’s attack.

Obama told The New Yorker that some Americans just don’t like him merely because he’s black. Umm, I think he’s correct on that one. Denying as much is to ignore the reality that race still does matter in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans.

My larger point, though, is that Dr. King’s memory deserves to be honored only on its merits — and not used as a cheap political weapon by someone who doesn’t deserve the national political attention she continues to get.