Tuesday Reads


Good Afternoon!!

#tRump continues to sow chaos on a daily basis. This morning he apparently read an article about Boeing’s concerns about his trade policies and then tweeted that Boeing’s contract to build the new Air Force One should be cancelled. NBC News: Trump Threatens to Cancel Air Force One Order, Boeing Stock Slips.

President-elect Donald Trump threatened to cancel Boeing’s order for the new Air Force One in a Tuesday morning tweet, citing high costs.

In a surprise appearance in front of reporters at Trump Tower after sending the social media message, Trump expanded on his latest target for negotiation.

“Well, the plane is totally out of control. It’s gonna be over 4 billion dollars … and, I think it’s ridiculous. I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number,” Trump said. “We want Boeing to make a lot of money but not that much money.”

When asked about Trump’s tweet, a spokesman for Boeing told the AP, “We are going to have to get back to you after we figure out what’s going on.”

According to Josh Marshall, the tweet came 22 minutes after The Chicago Tribune published the article on line.


…why did this have Trump’s attention this morning? This seems like a relatively obscure issue given the range of things Trump is now working on. TPM Reader TC notes that The Chicago Tribune published this article about 20 minutes before Trump tweeted. That is, at least according to the 7:30 AM central time timestamp; Trump tweeted at 8:52 AM eastern.

The Tribune articles by Robert Reed starts like this …

The brain trust at Boeing, among the city’s largest companies and a global aerospace and defense powerhouse, must cringe every time President-elect Donald Trump riffs on foreign policy, especially when it comes to dealing with China.

Boeing has a high percentage of its manufacturing in the US. But it is highly dependent on exports, especially to China.

The article recounts a speech Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg gave before the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association on Friday in which he was mildly critical of Trump’s plans both for the Export-Import Bank and more protectionist trade policies. The Tribunestory wasn’t the first time the speech was reported on. The Puget Sound Business Journalwrote up the speech on Friday. But a google search (which is obviously an imperfect measure) suggests that the Tribune story was the only published mention of the speech in the last 24 hours prior to Trump’s tweet. It seems at least plausible that the Tribune story was the first or one of the first reports of the speech Trump or his team saw.

There’s no proof #tRump saw the article, but Marshall’s inference certainly makes sense. #tRump is an insane person who goes off on anyone who dares to criticize him in any way. This is the nightmare we’ll be living for the next four years.

NBC says #tRump sold his Boeing stock last year, be how can we know if that’s true? Maybe he wanted the stock to drop so he could buy some at a lower price.

Click the twitter link to see the details.

And then there’s #tRump’s China/Taiwan antics.  The Atlantic: ‘Trump Has Already Created Lots of Chaos.’ A Chinese scholar argues that the U.S. shouldn’t touch Taiwan—just like China wouldn’t back separatists in Texas or Hawaii.

Shortly after news broke of Donald Trump’s phone call with the head of Taiwan—the first direct communication between American and Taiwanese leaders in 37 years—one of the leading Chinese scholars of U.S.-China relations offered a stunning proposal: If the U.S. president-elect took similar actions as president, the Chinese government should suspend the world’s most important (and precarious) partnership. “I would close our embassy in Washington and withdraw our diplomats,” said Shen Dingli, a professor at Fudan University in Shanghai. “I would be perfectly happy to end the relationship.”

What made the recommendation especially notable was that, just days earlier, Shen had been arguing that Trump’s victory was good for China—much better than the election of Hillary Clinton would have been. So what was it about the Taiwan call that had so quickly soured Shen on Trump? Where did he now think the U.S.-China relationship was headed, and what might that mean for the wider world?

I asked Shen these questions during a moment of profound uncertainty for the two global powers. The Chinese government initially reacted to the call with restraint, suggesting that Taiwan’s leaders had “tricked” Trump into challenging a U.S. policy—adopted in 1979 as a consequence of Richard Nixon’s opening to China—that the island of Taiwan be considered part of China rather than an independent country. But reports have since indicated that the call was a deliberate effort by Trump and his advisers to express solidarity with Taiwan and stake out a tough stance on China, which the U.S. president-elect accused throughout the campaign of exploiting the United States economically. On Sunday, Trump noted indignantly on Twitter that China had never asked U.S. permission to devalue its currency, tax U.S. imports, and construct military installations in the South China Sea. In other words, it’s getting harder for Chinese leaders to minimize Trump’s provocations as inadvertent breaches of etiquette.

Shen’s anger and ambivalence about Trump’s call speak to broader anxiety in China right now about what to make of the U.S. president-elect and the trajectory of relations between the two countries. When I asked Shen whether he was concerned about a Trump presidency destabilizing international affairs, he told me disorder was already upon us. When I asked him whether he thought America, under Trump, would remain the most powerful nation on the planet, he answered without hesitation: “No.”

Read the interview at the link.

As we know, #tRump has not consulted with the State Department before talking with foreign leaders and as far as we know, he’s making these calls on nonsecure lines–maybe even his cell phone. And what the hell are his kids up to? Politico: Trump kids’ diplomatic forays rattle State Dept.

State Department officials are increasingly fearful that President-elect Donald Trump’s adult children will assume the role of freelance ambassadors, further blurring the line between their business affairs and America’s foreign affairs.

The warning signs are already there, current and former diplomats say. Trump’s daughter Ivanka sat in on his meeting with the Japanese prime minister. One of Trump’s sons is reported to have discussed how to resolve the Syrian war with pro-Russia figures. And the incoming president even suggested that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, could mediate between Israel and the Palestinians.

Diplomats are nervous that if Trump uses his children and other relatives as informal ambassadors, they could, intentionally or not, upend the carefully structured efforts of the Foreign Service. They worry other nations could take advantage of Trump relatives to circumvent trained U.S. diplomats. They also suspect that even if Trump steps away from his business, his children’s extensive corporate dealings could still confuse U.S. foreign policy abroad.

Perhaps more than anything at this early stage, State Department employees are seriously annoyed by the optics.

“It makes us look like we’re some sort of banana republic,” one official told POLITICO. “This is not the way that grown-up nations do things.”

The concerns are just part of bigger frustrations at Foggy Bottom, where some are starting to wonder if Trump even realizes the U.S. has a thousands-strong, paid diplomatic corps.

This is beyond crazy, and he hasn’t even been sworn in yet. And here’s more crazy at #tRump Tower in NYC: Secret Service advertised as hot ‘new amenity’ at Trump Tower.

Less than a week after Trump was elected, prominent New York real estate agency Douglas Elliman blasted out an e-mail with the subject: “Fifth Avenue Buyers Interested in Secret Service Protection?” to advertise a $2.1 million, 1,052-square-foot condo in the tower on 721 Fifth Avenue.

“The New Aminity [sic] – The United States Secret Service,” screamed the flier sent in an e-mail on Nov. 13 for a one-bedroom apartment on the 31stfloor, represented by brokers Ariel Sassoon and Devin Leahy.

“The Best Value in the Most Secure Building in Manhattan,” it stated.

While there’s been a great deal of attention to how Trump plans to divest himself from his conflicts of interest, less attention has been applied to how business associates — including owners and marketers of his properties — may seek to profit from his new job in the White House.

As hard as Trump works to distance himself from his businesses, there may be no way of getting around other business associates using his brand for their own opportunity.

And let’s face it, #tRump isn’t doing a damn thing to “distance himself from his businesses.”

Sorry this isn’t much of a post. I’m dealing with some serious personal issues and I’m completely stressed out. Please add your thoughts and links in the comment thread below.


21 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Take care, Sky Dancers.

  2. William says:

    BB, I do hope that things do very soon get better for you. Very best wishes.

  3. dakinikat says:

    Paging Joe Biden:

  4. Sweet Sue says:

    I hope you find good solutions for your problems, BB, and feel better soon.

  5. purplefinn says:

    Pulling for you, BB.

  6. Riverbird says:

    I’m sending good thoughts your way boston boomer.

  7. NW Luna says:

    Thinking of you, BB, and sending gentle hugs through cyberspace.

  8. NW Luna says:

    That adaptation of the Munch “Scream” painting shows how I feel when I wake up. Or when I think about the future.

  9. NW Luna says:

    As Eichenwald said in another tweet, #tRump just made this up to push down the share price of a company that disagrees with him.

  10. NW Luna says:

  11. NW Luna says:

    Screaming into the void here also — Ohio’s state house has just passed a bill outlawing abortion at 6 wks. Next stop: Gov Kasich for signature. We are so fucked.

    Officials of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio were stunned. The group issued a statement saying, “The unconstitutional six-week abortion ban, known as the ‘Heartbeat Bill,’ would block access to safe and legal abortion before most women even know they’re pregnant. The amendment has no exceptions in the bill for rape, incest, or to protect the health of the woman and would criminalize doctors who perform abortion procedures, regardless of the reason.”