Busy times

First stop, Trump’s Twitter.

Even though I am not mandated by law to do so, I will be leaving my busineses before January 20th so that I can focus full time on the……

Presidency. Two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives, will manage them. No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office.

Notice the despicable boasting about this grossly inadequate gesture toward removing himself from his businesses in order to avoid inevitable conflicts of interest, as being “not mandated by law.” As if mandated by law were the only relevant criterion.

He’s treating the presidency as a vanity project, a prize, as opposed to a very demanding and serious job involving the welfare of 325 million people…or, indeed, 7 billion people. He’s treating it as a magnanimous gesture to do very little to avoid conflicts of interest with his profit-making enterprises. He’s putting himself first and everyone else dead last.

Also note that he puts it out there for applause and admiration that he intends to focus full time on the presidency. Gee, big of you, Sir. I’m reminded, not for the first time, of Mr Collins:

Elizabeth was chiefly struck by his extraordinary deference for Lady Catherine, and his kind intention of christening, marrying, and burying his parishioners whenever it were required.

Then – still rather in the vein of Mr Collins – he tells us about his schedule:


I will hold a press conference in the near future to discuss the business, Cabinet picks and all other topics of interest. Busy times!

Busy times – you don’t say! Made all the busier (and less productive) by all these fascist rallies.

This of course is his attempt to excuse his “postponement” of the promised press conference to explain what he was going to do about his conflicts of interest (spoiler: almost nothing). Oh gosh, he’s too busy to do that press conference he said he was going to do, because he has to go to Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Alabama – one fascist rally per day for the rest of this week.

Presidents-elect don’t normally do fascist rallies, because they really are busy doing the real work of getting up to speed for the job. But that doesn’t apply to Trump, because the whole point is to upend everything and start over, applying the skills of real estate huckstering to government and diplomacy.

Then he moves on to his Exxon CEO Secretary of State:

I have chosen one of the truly great business leaders of the world, Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, to be Secretary of State.

The trouble with that is, however “great” Rex Tillerson may or may not be as a “business leader,” the fact remains that the skills and experience and especially values needed for that job are not the same as those needed for a top job in diplomacy. The goals are different, the problems are different, the challenges are different…it’s all different. Business skills are not infinitely transferable to other kinds of work.

The thing I like best about Rex Tillerson is that he has vast experience at dealing successfully with all types of foreign governments.

But that “dealing with” was done with a fundamentally different kind of goal from the kind a Secretary of State should have.

It’s all bad.

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