Did Trump mean: ‘Chicago [martial] law?’ It’s possible

There has been apprehension about what President Donald Trump meant when he tweeted about Chicago violence.

FirstRead, nbcnews.com, posits:

“If you take Trump both literally and seriously, then his tweet about Chicago last night matters: 

“If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!” (Remember when the GOP was the party against federal overreach?)

Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/why-trump-should-have-been-taken-both-literally-seriously-n712001

Chicago leaders have responded cautiously to the President’s tweet:

“What exactly he means by “send in the feds,” is unclear.”

“The president did not define whether he meant sending more agents from the FBI, the ATF, the DEA or the National Guard.”

“Many aldermen didn’t know what to make of the tweet without more specifics from the president.”

Source: http://abc7chicago.com/news/chicago-leaders-respond-to-trump-violence-tweet/1719840/

Some local leaders have commented:

“You have a responsibility to measure your words because they carry meaning. The inability for him to understand that issuing threats via tweet is juvenile,” said Alderman Ameya Pawar (47th Ward).

“I don’t know if he knows what the right approach is and what we really need, so there’s concern about that,” said Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward).


Chicago Deputy Mayor and Chief Neighborhood Development Officer Andrea Zopp joined ABC7 News This Morning to talk about President Trump’s tweet about city violence:

“We’ve talked long and hard that policing is not the sole answer here. If they are going to have help, certainly federal support and prosecution. But also making sure that we have jobs programs, that we have infrastructure investment to create jobs. Those are the kinds of things that are really going to help on this issue,” Zopp said Wednesday.

“I hope that the federal resources is money, not for a federal agents to go after people, but money to help to employ people,” said Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. (27th Ward).

Source: http://abc7chicago.com/news/chicago-leaders-respond-to-trump-violence-tweet/1719840/

While those views are rational and reasonable, President Trump also could be suggesting that he may carry out martial law in Chicago, and to suppress street crime and violence with military force.

Chicago crime and violence not only are matters of domestic concern and American politics; but also, they are probably matters of international concern because Chicago is the seat of the world’s largest and most profitable multi-trillion dollar commodities markets.

With one of the goals of Trump and his Administration being the world’s leading global economy, and considering the financial importance of the commodities markets to foreign economies, Trump can least afford to have Chicago perceived by world leaders as an unstable seat of violence, spiraling crime, terrorism and murder.

But that perception, real or imagined or both, certainly could be discerned from the crime blotter headlines coming out of Chicago daily.

If there is any President concerned about imaging and branding, and his standing as the leader of global economic markets, it is President Trump.

We cannot say for certain that President Trump would displace local authority, declare martial law and effectively seize control of Chicago’s law enforcement to suppress crime and violence.

We are only suggesting it’s possible.







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Trump’s post-inaugural smack down in conservative media

It’s one thing to throw shade on CNN or even The New York Times as President Donald Trump, WH Press Secretary Sean Spicer and WH Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway have done in public appearances recently with respect to the scope and fairness of coverage, fake news and fair and balance commentary.

But, it’s quite another for Trump and his surrogates to be smacked by rock-ribbed conservative media.

With regard to the President’s appearance at CIA headquarters, The Wall Street Journal editorialized:

President Trump made a smart move in visiting the CIA on his first full day on the job, but he and his staff are going to have to raise their game if they want to succeed at governing. This was not a presidential performance.

**   **   **

Mr. Trump also couldn’t resist turning the event into an extended and self-centered riff about the size of his campaign rallies, the times he’s been on Time magazine’s cover and how the “dishonest” media misreported his inaugural crowds. He all but begged for the political approval of the career CIA employees by suggesting most there had voted for him.

Such defensiveness about his victory and media coverage makes Mr. Trump look small and insecure. It also undermines his words to the CIA employees by suggesting the visit was really about him, not their vital work.

Source: http://nation.foxnews.com/2017/01/23/opinion-trump-cia-mr-president-election-over

With regard to Counselor Conway’s defense of false statements made by the WH Press Secretary at his first press conference, as being ‘alternative facts,’ Erik Sherman, forbes.com contributor, writes:

When White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer listed his claims about the inauguration crowds and televised audience, he made one demonstrably false statement after another. 

And when White House counselor Kellyanne Conway called Spicer’s statements a presentation of “alternative facts,” she attempted to redefine the English language. While you can have alternative explanations or interpretations of facts, you cannot change the nature of reality.

However, the claims and language are chilling in a fundamental way. When an administration wants the rights to redefine facts, it isn’t unreasonable to consider whether it is willing to change data to support itself. Such an action would push the country closer to Orwell’s Ministry of Truth concept and undermine a vital resource for intelligent decisions and strategy.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/eriksherman/2017/01/22/alternative-facts-may-be-the-end-of-trustworthy-government-decision-data/#f8badea7aaeb

Perhaps Trump’s core constituents pay little attention to The WSJ or Forbes. But, business leaders, political leaders and opinion makers do.

Trump, Conway and Spicer have done a lot of damage to themselves and their credibility in the eyes of the mainstream media especially now in the eyes of mainstream conservative media just three days after The Inauguration.

Should they continue on this path and continue getting a smack down in the MCM, Trump’s ability to govern effectively even through an all GOP controlled Congress will be easily diminished by the end of the year.


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Trump’s supreme justice

Speculation is rife with commentary about Donald Trump’s impending appointment of a Supreme Court justice to fill former Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacancy.

But, commentators need to cool their heels.

While possible, we do not think that the nomination will be forthcoming during Trump’s first 100 days.

First, there is no need to rush making a nomination during that period.

The SC has been able to conduct its business without much fanfare since Scalia’s passing in July 2015. There is nothing on the Court’s current docket of cases which is especially controversial for which a ninth vote is important at this time.

Second, Trump has enough to occupy his time and attention during the 100 day period, including confirmation of his Cabinet appointees, to keep him busy.

Look for the nomination sometime after May 1, 2017, and expect that it will be accompanied by all the sensationalism and drama Trump is known for.

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‘Beating’ DJT (Trump)

Media organizations and media personalities seem fixated on Donald J. Trump (DJT) and are devising strategies for how they will report and comment on his initiatives announced on Twitter or Facebook.

For whatever the reasons, DJT has demonstrated mastery of politics by winning the presidency, and mastery of media by out maneuvering just about every major media organization and media personality on the planet using social media.

DJT still has to show mastery of governance and mastery of policy making. Those are areas where the MSM could prove to have the upper hand because it’s not clear that even DJT can dominate those areas through his use of SM. But every sign suggests that DJT intends to bypass the reportage and influence of media, and to prove mastery of both through his SM politics media network.

Can the MSM beat DJT?

That’s not certain.

But it will take an understanding of how the mind of the master works, how media organizations and media personalities report the news and produce commentary, and then discerning whether the MSM can respond with competing models which are sustainable over time.


“How to Beat Trump in a Debate-He has three weaknesses,” Jim Newell, Slate.com [9/25/2016] 


One center of gravity and competition involves DJT, the NY Times and CNN. DJT is fixated on the NY Times and CNN, and they seem to be fixated on him. We believe it has to do with their respective followings on social media.

One of the pillars of the House of Trump is social media. That includes DJT’s social media following, and his use of the SM tools of Twitter and Facebook. To date, DJT does not use email or text.

Although DJT touts a SM following of more than 40 Million, it’s closer to 36 Million [18.5M Twitter; 17.5M FB]. That data compares to the SM following of two media powerhouses which do not share much of DJT’s ideology or viewpoints: (a) the NY Times, 45.3 Million [32.6M Twitter; 12.7 FB]; and (b) CNN, 56.8 Million [30.6M Twitter; 25.2 FB].

So on any given day when DJT seeks to reach his base before his message filters through the MSM, the NYT and CNN, with their vast digital resources and followings can get into the print media space, broadcasting space and SM space quickly with responses, rebuttals, corrections and commentary. That, of course, would be followed by other media sources.

We’ll watch closely how effective the House of Trump will be in its SM outreach and the delivery of the DJT message against the competing outreach and narratives of the NYT, CNN and other competitors.

That will be the measure of just how far DJT and the House of Trump can go with their effort to outpace the MSM.











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Trump Justice: George Conway may be tapped for U.S. Solicitor General


Bloomberg Politics reported: “President-elect Donald Trump is considering George Conway, a long-time corporate lawyer and the husband of senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, to be U.S. solicitor general, the government’s top appellate lawyer . . . .,”

Conway, who’s spent more than two decades as a partner at New York corporate legal powerhouse Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, has made a career representing high-profile clients . . . .

He wasn’t directly involved in Trump’s presidential campaign, which was managed by his wife.

**   **   **

Conway is a 1987 graduate of Yale Law School, where he was editor of the Yale Law Journal. According to his biography he was a law clerk to federal appeals court Judge Ralph K. Winter Jr.

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-12-30/trump-said-to-consider-aide-conway-s-husband-for-top-legal-job

So far, no substantive basis for opposition to his confirmation should he be nominated.

Bloomberg Politics also reported:

[Conway] had a minor role in the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the husband of Trump’s election opponent, Hillary Clinton. According to an October profile of Kellyanne Conway in the New Yorker, George Conway wrote a Supreme Court brief in the case involving Paula Jones’s sexual harassment suit against Clinton. That opened the path to Clinton’s impeachment on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. [Clinton] was acquitted by the Senate.

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-12-30/trump-said-to-consider-aide-conway-s-husband-for-top-legal-job

OK, a blip on the opposition radar screen, but for the nature of the appointment, no big deal and not disqualifying.

So why does Conway get our attention?

Because his nomination is the type of bullet proof nomination Donald Trump would make to derail attempts by DEMS and their affiliates to defeat, and who once confirmed, will carry forward Trump’s agenda as much as any  higher-profile or controversial nominee.

Conway will be a classic stealth appointment.

Not overly qualified, but qualified enough for the job to get confirmed.

As a business lawyer and corporate litigator, Conway has no paper trail on the hot button social issues which have been staples of the Supreme Court docket such as civil rights, immigration, criminal justice, voting rights, presidential powers, states’ rights, gun rights, search and seizure and privacy.

So much to the dismay of U.S. Senate DEMS and social justice advocates at his confirmation hearing, Conway will have little to say about those issues, and his viewpoints on such issues. There will be nothing about those issues on the record that will disqualify Conway.

While DEMS may express some discomfort from the fact that Conway’s wife is a senior adviser and counselor to Trump with an office in the West Wing, because there is no inherent conflict in their jobs or roles, their marriage is irrelevant with respect to his qualifications and fitness to serve in office, and is certainly not disqualifying.

But, here is where the rubber meets the road.

As Solicitor General, Conway will be the third ranking presidentially appointed official of the U.S. DOJ.

And, should he be confirmed as SG before Jeff Sessions is confirmed as Attorney General, in the absence of a presidentially appointed and confirmed deputy AG, Conway will run the Justice Department.

So the Trump’s justice agenda will go forward full speed ahead no matter how long it takes the Senate to confirm Session’s nomination as AG.



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Have DEMS ceded to Trump unabated the powers of the presidency?

What other conclusion could one reasonably reach after the Administration’s abstention on the U.N. resolution criticizing Israeli settlements, and its new initiative to retaliate against Russia for political hacking.

The winning political strategy for DEMS on Israel was to shift the burden for resolving the crisis to Donald Trump.

But, the U.S. abstention on the U.N. resolution combined with the lame explanations given by NSA advisor Jim Rhodes and Secretary John Kerry for the lack of action, Trump can dodge the political hit, and now pivot around the crisis by attacking Rhodes and Kerry without having to offer substantive solutions.

The so-called retaliation now against Russia for allegedly hacking American political campaigns and institutions in Election 2016, which ended November 8, is DOA politically. Whatever could have been done about it should have been done when the problem surfaced in the Summer.

The window for action is now closed, and so is the opportunity to shift resolution of the issue to Trump.

Should DEMS continue to stumble in this fashion on hot button policy issues before Donald Trump takes office on January 20, he will be able to exercise the powers of the presidency easily and unabated politically for his first term.

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Trump poised to transform federal judiciary

Donald Trump is poised to do more than just merely influence the direction of federal jurisprudence with the appointment of a Supreme Court justice to replace former Justice Antonin Scalia.

Like President Ronald Reagan in 1980, Trump can, and probably will, transform all levels of the federal judiciary making lifetime appointments of judges not only to the Supreme Court, but also to the other lower levels of the federal judiciary including the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. District Courts.

The Washington Post notes:

Donald Trump is set to inherit an uncommon number of vacancies in the federal courts in addition to the open Supreme Court seat, giving the president-elect a monumental opportunity to reshape the judiciary after taking office.

The estimated 103 judicial vacancies that President Obama is expected to hand over to Trump in the Jan. 20 transition of power is nearly double the 54 openings Obama found eight years ago following George W. Bush’s presidency.

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-to-inherit-more-than-100-court-vacancies-plans-to-reshape-judiciary/2016/12/25/d190dd18-c928-11e6-85b5-76616a33048d_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trumpjudges805p%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.c043114504df

Trump’s judges will rule on a number of hot button issues that will have long-term social and political impacts:

“State gun control laws, abortion restrictions, voter laws, anti-discrimination measures and immigrant issues are all matters that are increasingly heard by federal judges and will be influenced by the new composition of the courts,”

Trump has vowed to choose ideologues in the mold of the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon — a prospect that has activists on the right giddy.

“I’m optimistic he’ll come at this right out of the gate,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative group that has opposed many of Obama’s court choices.

“Every president can expect to make a huge impact,” Severino added, [but] “[Trump] is unique in having campaigned really hard on this issue — the significance of the courts, and of the Supreme Court in particular.”

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-to-inherit-more-than-100-court-vacancies-plans-to-reshape-judiciary/2016/12/25/d190dd18-c928-11e6-85b5-76616a33048d_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trumpjudges805p%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.c043114504df

Trump will reprise Reagan in transforming the federal judiciary.

As Herman Schwartz, American University constitutional law professor, commented 30 years ago, ‘Reagan’s Federal Bench: Redesigning the Judiciary,’ [July 6, 1986]:

President Reagan is mounting an unprecedented campaign to transform the federal courts.

By appointing extreme conservatives to all levels of the federal bench, he seems to be trying to end the federal courts’ historic function of safeguarding individual liberty and promoting equal justice.

That the President’s Supreme Court nominees, Justice William H. Rehnquist and Court of Appeals Judge Antonin Scalia are on the very conservative side of the judicial spectrum is common knowledge.

Less well known is the way the President has tried to pick the same kind of judges for lower federal courts.

Link: http://articles.latimes.com/1986-07-06/opinion/op-23273_1_prison-inmate

Democrats are powerless to impede or to stop the transformation.





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