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November 15, 2016 [LINK / comment]
The Trump transition begins
President-elect Trump has tried to have it both ways by [choosing] a more-or-less "establishment" figure (Reince Priebus, RNC chairman) as his chief of staff, with an "alt-right" figure (Steve Bannon, of Breitbart News) as his "chief strategist." There will be [many] more strained efforts to placate opposing factions within the GOP in the months to come, and given what we know of Trump, there is likely to be a high turnover rate in the White House West Wing.
The choice of Bannon has been deeply disturbing to many people, as he is known as an exponent of harshly nationalistic (especially anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim) rhetoric, which is the bread and butter of Breitbart News. (Breitbart was founded by Andrew Breitbart, who died of a heart attack in March 2012.) I occasionally read articles there, but it's not the kind of source that I rely on.
Depending on which news source you were following today, President-elect Trump's transition team is either operating normally (Fox News) or is in utter disarray, undergoing a "Stalinist purge" (MS-NBC). The Washington Post's senior reporter Karen DeYoung leans toward the latter interpretation, noting that not only has New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie been removed from the Trump team, but all of Christie's close associates. That is merely fallout from the recent "Bridgegate" convictions, however, and doesn't itself reflect on Trump. The departure of former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), who had been a national security adviser, may be cause for concern however. Aside from Bannon, other members of Trump's inner circle include Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Trump's family, including son-in-law Jared Kushner, is expected to play a major role in his decisions, which could lead to major conflict-of-interest problems. Trump
must [is obliged to] put his assets into a blind trust while serving as president, and the same legal requirement [basic norm] applies to his immediate family. That could put them all in a severe financial strain, being forced to step aside from, or liquidate, some of their prized business assets. [UPDATE: In the Wednesday Washington Post, Matt O'Brien explains the well-established practice by which sitting presidents put their assets into a blind trust. Contrary to what I originally wrote, it is not required by law.]
The clash between the imperatives of winning elections and those of governing a country is especially sharp in the Trump transition. He won the election by breaking all the rules, ignoring conventional wisdom and outwitting the opposition. It reminds me a little of Germany's blitzkrieg strategy in World War II. But formulating public policy means bargaining and mobilizing a majority of constituents behind various specific proposals, and that will require a much different, much more subtle approach. I was listening to Sean Hannity this afternoon, and noted polemicist Ann Coulter scoffed at the critics of Trump. To me, the Trumpistas are indulging in a foolish end zone dance, oblivious to the harsh realities that will confront their Great Leader on January 20.
And on a more humorous note, Dr. Ben Carson took himself out of consideration for any cabinet position today. (What about surgeon general?)
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 16 Nov 2016, 5: 17 PM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 10, 2016 ~ Cooperstown calls Griffey, Piazza
January 17, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Highland (& Bath!) County
January 21, 2016 ~ R.I.P. Glenn Frey
January 26, 2016 ~ Sweet Briar College is saved!
January 31, 2016 ~ Presidential campaign begins
February 6, 2016 ~ Fall bird migration season 2015
February 20, 2016 ~ Life bird: Virginia Rail!
February 21, 2016 ~ 2016 primaries: populists propel polarization
March 10, 2016 ~ Yes, another Wrigley Field update!
March 26, 2016 ~ Trump triumphs, Republican Party implodes
April 4, 2016 ~ Opening Day(s) in America, 2016! (& Sportsman's Park update)
April 18, 2016 ~ R.I.P. Alan L. Clem
April 21, 2016 ~ Flying out to So. Dak. (& back)
April 30, 2016 ~ Trump & Clinton take commanding leads
April 30, 2016 ~ Migration season reaches peak
May 7, 2016 ~ Trump secures victory; Sanders fights on
May 21, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Reddish Knob
June 7, 2016 ~ ABC field trip to Highland County
June 9, 2016 ~ FOD [first-of-decade] Prothonotary Warblers!
June 14, 2016 ~ Birding on Hite Hollow Road
June 16, 2016 ~ Holy $#!+ -- Nationals win big showdown with Cubs
July 1, 2016 ~ Nationals sweep the Mets, widen NL East lead
July 3, 2016 ~ Kentucky Warblers, and more!
July 8, 2016 ~ Soras breeding in the Valley!
July 13, 2016 ~ Redistricting reform movement is growing
July 16, 2016 ~ The Nationals' starting rotation
August 5, 2016 ~ New page: Stadium profiles!
August 7, 2016 ~ Magical mushroom tour*
September 7, 2016 ~ To the northeast: Baseball road trip, 2016
September 18, 2016 ~ East by Northeast: Big city scenery travelogue
September 25, 2016 ~ Nationals win National League East Division
September 27, 2016 ~ Lucky! 13 warblers on Betsy Bell Hill
October 2, 2016 ~ Nationals' regular season ends on a high note
October 5, 2016 ~ Shenandoah National Park birding (II)
October 14, 2016 ~ Nationals flinch, Dodgers advance to NLCS
October 14, 2016 ~ Shenandoah National Park getaway
October 16, 2016 ~ World War II aircraft show (II)
October 25, 2016 ~ Holy cow: Cubs beat Dodgers, win NL pennant!
November 3, 2016 ~ The Cubs win the World Series!!!
November 4, 2016 ~ New month arrives, & new birds too
November 6, 2016 ~ Campaign 2016 grinds to a nasty, ugly end
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)