Monday, April 03, 2017

April 3, 2017--Jack: "Long Time No Speak"

"Happy April Fools' Day," it was Jack a friend from Maine, "Long time no speak." I girded myself for a prank.

"These days," I said, "every day feels like April fools Day." I hadn't heard from him in a few weeks. "I assume you haven't been calling because your boy is making such a mess of the presidency and you're embarrassed about having voted for him."

"It's your people who are causing all the trouble."

"My people?"

"You know, the Democrats, the media, the socialists."

"Are you confusing socialists with Russians? Because if you are that's one thing we might be able to agree about--how the Trump people were in cahoots with the Russians who helped undermine Hillary Clinton's campaign."

"All three. The Democrats and mainstream media are making a big deal, with no evidence, about alleged Russian involvement in our election. Trump won fair and square. He didn't need any outside help."

"Didn't you listen to FBI director Comey when he said that the Russians were involved? He didn't hint about the possibilities but asserted that in no uncertain terms."

"He should talk. He's the one who undermined the Clinton campaign with his obsessing about her emails. Is he also working for the Russians?"

"These days anything's possible." Again I said, "Every day's April Fools' Day."

"If you're so sure Trump is making a mess . . ."

"Worse than a mess."

"If that's what you think why are his poll numbers going up?"

"What?" I was incredulous. "I know we live in a time when there are no longer any facts, but he's dropped to the low 30s."

"Forty-two percent in the latest poll."

"Have you been drinking because the last numbers I saw are from Gallop and they have him at 35 and dropping. By about a point a week."

"Check out the NBC News Poll."

"You mean the 'Survey Monkey Poll'?"

"If they have him at 42 percent approval, that's the one. But why it's called a monkey poll is beyond me. Everything's crazy these days."

"It's actually a very hip, relatively new poll that is done almost all on line. With so many people without wired phones they've been trying to measure opinions from people who are wirelessly on line all the time."

"Which would suggest that Trump is doing better with unwired young people. Thirty-five percent with Gallop and 42 with the Monkey."

"I'll have to do some checking."

"While you do find out what any of this has to do with monkeys."

"All the other polls have Trump's favorabilites plunging. And while we've been talking I looked up the poll you mentioned--the NBC Survey Monkey--and they also report his numbers are dropping. It's true they have him at 42 percent but he was two-to-four points higher the past week or so. The point is that as he fails to get anything through Congress and we learn more-and-more about his people colluding with the Russians his support is eroding."

"But he's getting a lot done that he promised to do."

"Really? Give me some examples."

"On immigration and regulations for openers."

"You mean his executive orders?"


"Well, one has been ruled unconstitutional twice by federal courts and I haven't seen any specific regulations that have been removed. Just generalities. All he wants is to have fancy signing ceremonies in the Oval Office on live TV. Speaking of the Oval Office, have you noticed it looks as if he hasn't moved in yet? The book shelves are basically empty--he's not really a reader--and the only picture on the credenza behind his desk is of father Fred. No Melania, no children or grandchildren, no ex-wives Ivana or Marla Maples."


"OK, about that I'm kidding. April Fool! But very revealing was the report, I think from Joe Scarborough, about his saying to his senior staff, 'I don't care what's in the bills. What I want are signing ceremonies.' Is this what we expect of our president?"

"That's what I mean by the mainstream press--they, like you, make things up."

"Well, here's something that's not made up--his tweets about retaliating against members of the Freedom Caucus in the House who he thinks killed Paul Ryan's and his healthcare bill."

Freedom Caucus Members
"They did kill it. And what's wrong with his calling them out for it?"

"Do you know what's in that bill?" All I heard was static. "Among other things twenty-four million people losing their coverage. That means a lot more prematurely dead people. You're all right with that?"

"I thought we were talking about the politics, not the bill."

"I can understand why you'd prefer that. But, OK, that was politically dumb. To attack them. He also blamed the Dems, as he referred to them. He bragged about how in 2018 he'll campaign against them and the Freedom Caucus. By then whoever's opposing them won't want him campaigning for them since his approval rating will be down in the 20s."

"About this we really disagree. He's approaching the bottom of his support right now. At the worst he'll end up at 30-35 percent. That's his floor."

"You call that good?" I asked, "That's a disaster for a president. That would mean losing control of both houses in 2018 and assure that nothing gets legislated for at least two years."

"Not necessarily. His people are still with him. Passionately so. Have you heard any of them interviewed? They think the Russian stuff is not important, a made-up distraction to undermine him. What's important to them are jobs, protection from immigrants, hope for their children, and a strong America."

"You think," I asked, "after what he said that any Freedom Caucus people or Democrats will work with him? They're on TV right now saying 'No way.' Even making fun of him. Mocking him. After how many, 70 days or so in office, he's becoming a lame duck. Irrelevant."

"We'll see how relevant he'll be after the Koreans, the North Koreans attack Japan or one of our bases out there. With missiles."

"This is my worst nightmare about him. Worse than anything that can happen on April Fools' Day."

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April 07, 2017  

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