The Moron in Chief vs. National Security

I’ve worked for some really incompetent managers. What happens when the manager is a total moron is that the staff charged with getting work done learns to work around said manager, keeping him out of the loop at all costs.

Yesterday the administration’s top intelligence officials – Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, CIA Director Gina Haspel, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, and others — testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee. What came from that testimony bore no resemblance whatsoever to anything the so-called Commander in Chief thinks. It’s obvious this crew is not bothering with the boss. They also aren’t interested in the wall.

President Donald Trump has previously declared that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat, touted the defeat of ISIS, doubted the effects of climate change and railed against the Iran nuclear deal as “defective at its core.”

But the most senior intelligence officials in the Trump administration suggested Tuesday that many of the President’s sweeping assertions related to national security are inconsistent with their own assessments.

When pressed by Senate lawmakers during a hearing about the most urgent global threats facing the US, Trump’s intelligence chiefs, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA director Gina Haspel, appeared to contradict several claims made by the President to justify core tenets of his foreign policy.

Alex Ward writes at Vox:

President Donald Trump says ISIS is defeated in Syria. He’s said North Korea is “no longer a nuclear threat” and that Kim Jong Un is committed to giving up his country’s nuclear weapons. He’s repeatedly bought Russia’s claim that it didn’t interfere in the 2016 presidential election. He regularly mocks the idea that climate change is a threat and has called it a hoax. And he said staying in the Iran nuclear deal would lead to that country acquiring nuclear weapons in “just a short time.”

But according to Trump’s own senior intelligence officials, none of that is true. Zero. Zilch.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and other top intelligence officials presented their annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment” report to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. That document “reflects the collective insights of the Intelligence Community” — including the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and many other federal agencies — about the biggest threats currently facing the United States.

And the picture this latest report paints makes one thing stunningly clear: Trump’s major foreign policy positions are not based in reality.

ISIS is not defeated; North Korea is not about to give up nuclear weapons; Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election and is poised to interfere with the next one; climate change is a major threat, and not just to security; Iran is not currently engaged in weapons-making activities.

Today Trump had a tweet-fit criticizing the intel crew because their testimony conflicted with his fantasy life, which these days appears to be based on a film called Sicario: Day of the Soldado.  The moron who got played by Kim Jong Un for the world to see says the intel guys are “naive.”  If we have a real national security crisis while The Creature is in office we’re doomed.

Also, Wisconsin is screwed. Paul Waldmann:

Last summer, Wisconsin’s then-governor, Scott Walker, announced a deal for Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to open a factory in his state, and like so many such deals, it came with gigantic tax incentives. Although it was extremely controversial, Walker insisted that the 13,000 jobs Foxconn was promising would be worth the billions of taxpayer dollars he offered the company.

President Trump took credit for it. As The Post reported at the time, White House officials were “ebullient” about the deal and even stressed that Trump himself negotiated it with the company’s chairman.

The consummate dealmaker made a deal, and now the benefits would rain down on the good people of Wisconsin, right?

Guess again.

A major jobs deal President Trump has touted with former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker now looks uncertain: Foxconn, a supplier for Apple and other technology firms, says it’s scrapping plans to build a giant new factory in Wisconsin, opting to hire American engineers and researchers instead of a promised fleet of blue-collar workers.

“In Wisconsin we’re not building a factory,” Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn chief executive Terry Gou, told Reuters. “You can’t use a factory to view our Wisconsin investment.”

The Taiwanese technology juggernaut initially pledged in 2017 to construct a $10 billion liquid-crystal display panel plant and create up to 13,000 jobs in the state’s southeastern corner over the next 15 years. The positions would pay an average annual wage of $53,000, the firm said — a solid salary in the manufacturing realm.

In exchange, Wisconsin agreed to give Foxconn at least $3 billion in state tax credits and breaks, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a public-private agency that helped negotiate the package. The deal was much criticized at the time after it emerged that Wisconsin would not make money for 25 years. …

… Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), who asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office in November to investigate the Foxconn deal and other enormous state subsidy packages, said Wisconsin has already poured cash into new roads, campus construction and paying families who lived on the tentative factory site to move. He declined to name a figure.

Such a deal.

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16 thoughts on “The Moron in Chief vs. National Security

  1. Let me guess that FoxConn get to keep the $3 billion despite fulfilling almost none of their promises, because the Cheeseburger-Eating Orange Clown Who Isn't Ronald McDonald imposed no guarantees on the terms as part of his best-in-the-world dealmaking skills.

  2. " But the most senior intelligence officials in the Trump administration suggested Tuesday that many of the President’s sweeping assertions related to national security are inconsistent with their own assessments"

    Trump is willfully ignorant, he's the drunk at the end of the bar, don't tell him anything he already knows the answer. He's the drunk at the end of the bar with ICBM launch codes!

  3. First off:  "Fox Con" would be a great title for a tell-all book about Murderoch's conservative media empire.

    Also, I wonder what it's like when you face tRUMP after just calling him an idiot and/or a liar in front of Congress – AND the general public – on national TV!  It can't be pleasant.  But you walk away knowing you still have a job, because tRUMP is such a cowardly fat orange weasel, he won't fire you to your face.   He hands that job off to some lackey.

    Slightly OT:  i'm concerned about Venezuela.

    I'm worried that between tRUMP and Bolton, if they want to send a message to Venezuela, they'll nuke Iran.

  4. Btw:  Bombing Iran wouldn't be "wagging the dog."

    It would be "stomping on the Tyrannosaurus' nuts!"

  5. The anti-American Iranian regime is largely a backlash against the CIA coup overthrowing Mossadeq in 1953. ISIS arose from the US overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the subsequent occupation of Iraq and attempt at nation building. Afghanistan has defeated its invaders, from the ancient Greeks to the British to the Russians. In the Middle East We are our own worst enemy.

    MacArthur warned the US not to get bogged down in a land war in Asia. How right he was!

  6. Billikin:" The anti-American Iranian regime is largely a backlash against the CIA coup overthrowing Mossadeq in 1953. ISIS arose from the US overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the subsequent occupation of Iraq "

    If only we could get our political "leaders" and the nation as a whole to believe those truths we could solve much of our foreign policy woes. I've been arguing the Iranian point since my senior year in high school (40 years), it's a tough argument, most people don't want to admit we make mistakes, an easier explanation is "they hate us for our freedoms"!

  7. What I see in Venezuela is an existing dictator with no legitimacy which Trump wants to replace with his puppet who has no legitimacy while Russia circles to use the threat of illegitimate US military intervention to drive the current tyrant into Putin's orbit. All of this is rooted in seizing the oil wealth. 

  8. Doug:" All of this is rooted in seizing the oil wealth "

    Your right Doug, it's always about the oil isn't it! If only Exxon and BP controlled the oil markets in Venezuela it would be sunshine and roses for as far as the eye could see!

  9. @ doug Jan 31, 2019 @10:39 am

    I would say that Maduro has rather good legitimacy. In the last election he even had more votes than his opponent.

    The switch from the National Assembly to the Constituent Assembly seems a bit strange but it was apparently endorsed by a referendum back in 1999. The Supreme Court has upheld Constituent Assembly's constitutional legitimacy and Guaido's National Assembly has been suspended (if that is the correct term) by the court.

    The last election in which Madero was re-elected had 115 international observers who unanimously declared it a fair election with one observer, Jimmy Carter from the USA, declaring it as honest an election as he has seen. I'd call that pretty legitimate.

    The pretender Juan Guadio (aka Charlie McCarthy) has no legitimacy at all under the Venezuelan constitution or in any other way. Essentially the USA wanted a puppet figurehead who would do as he was told and decided that Guaido fit the bill: Hard right-winger with connections to the more radical and violent opposition groups, dedicated capitalist free marketer, educated (carefully) in the USA. I suppose we should be happy he is not a graduate of the School of the Americas.

    <i>All of this is rooted in seizing the oil wealth.</i>

    One of the reasons, well the major reason, but I do not think that we can discount the neocons hatred and fear of anything that even slightly looks like socialism anywhere near the rest of the US fiefdom in Central and South America. This probably explains some of the unreasoning hostility towards Cuba and the deadly, US sponsored, assaults by the Contras against Nicaragua.

    Venezuela is not socialist; it looks, in form anyway, more like a social democratic country such as Norway in many ways.

  10. Doug:" All of this is rooted in seizing the oil wealth "

    Your right Doug, it's always about the oil isn't it! If only Exxon and BP controlled the oil markets in Venezuela it would be sunshine and roses for as far as the eye could see!

    I should always post with no nickname, avoids the twit filter!

  11. jrk – You lose all credibility when you suggest Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election. The facts are out there in the indictments. There's the evidence of the new complaint. Russia leaked discovery that was made to the attorneys for the Russia corporation in St Petersburg. The leak was done w/ a phony claim that someone hacked the Mueller computer and has 'all' the documents which proved Trump was not implicated.  Russia was and is actively involved with a campaing to interfere with our elections.

    You might want to find a dumber audience than the one at the Mahablog if your'e going to try to sell conspiricay theories. Or try to convince Maha the Twin Towers was a demolition job by the deep state. Then we won't be bothered with you.

  12. @ Doug Jan 31, 2019 @4:38 pm

    Of course I lose all credibility. I am not a US citizen nor do I live in the USA.

    I actually read/watch/listen to something other than US propaganda.

    Remember Iraq.

     

  13. " I actually read/watch/listen to something other than US propaganda "

    Propaganda sucks, yours or ours' I'm not having any of it. I'm with Doug you might want to switch from mahablog to infowars?

  14. The polar vortex was a scary mother fucker here in NWI. We got down to -23 and stayed under -13 for 48 hours. On top of that we had some serious frost quakes, sounded like the whole house was coming apart, what the fuck!

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