Thursday, April 13, 2017


By Dominique Paul Noth

Trump:  The American dollar is too strong – my fault for doing so well.

Health care is more complicated than people thought.

Trump being schooled by Xi
Xi explained to me in 10 minutes the history of China and Korea, so “it’s not so easy as I thought” for them to deal with North Korea.

My military has been so successful in the last eight weeks compared to the previous eight years.

China is no longer a currency manipulator.

NATO “was once obsolete; it is no longer obsolete.”

The monthly job report “may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.” 

Steve Bannon? He is just someone who works for me and actually came late to my campaign.

“People aren't even trying to get through the border because they know they can't.”

I told President Xi Jinping about US missile strikes while we dined over “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is “doing a great job” after Kelly testified to Congress that there never was going to be a wall covering 1,954 miles – “It’s not needed.”

This is the shallow top of a shallow iceberg -- quoting or paraphrasing the droppings of Donald Trump. His spins, his ignorance and easily exposed boastful lies should lead American citizens, even those who supported him, to one inevitable conclusion:

We’d better use the special elections and the big one in 2018 to surround him with intelligent, knowledgeable people who can act as brakes on his worst impulses and weathervane views.

If it took China’s Xi to educate him on Korea (after hearing after dinner that Trump was bombing Syrians because the gassing pictures so disturbed him); if NATO makes sense only after he meets with the secretary general; if the border wall that still exists in his mind has no support from his own staff; if his actions in Afghanistan depend on “something his generals did,” he badly needs minders to curb his methods and restrain his tendency to break promises without clear definition of why.

It’s gotten to the point where nepotism in this White House is more acceptable, and security clearance less an issue, if Ivanka and Jared can at least hold him down.

We’re stuck with this stupidity for nearly four years. Yes, it’s early days, some diehards say, but a pattern of lies and self-congratulation has been set.  Too slowly some people who believed his bloviating are looking twice.  Others will never care what he says or what he does – their support for him was not consistency driven but a personality embrace.

Incompetence is not yet grounds for impeachment.

Even before Trump, China was not a “devaluation” currency manipulator as it was years ago under Obama, they’ve actually been propping up the yen to help their businesses.  NATO was never phony -- the money gap Trump complained about loudly and Obama softy was never to replace what the US gives, though it sounded like that on the stump.  Even his staff knows you can’t build a wall in the middle of the Rio Grande – unless you want to hand the entire river over to Mexico.

Most of the jobs and plant expansion he’s taking credit for were in the planning before he took office. The regulations he is eliminating seem to be freeing businesses to do more mischief and create more pollution instead of jobs – or they’re a political way to help states defund Planned Parenthood despite its popularity in national polls. Wall Street has been positive but the skepticism in executive corridors is palpable and turning the Street even more yo-yolike than usual. 

Many voted for Trump believing he would keep us out of war, rather than showing off that he can drop bigger bombs than Obama did and kill more innocent civilians by turning the military loose. 

The US may not anymore be the world leader in environment and trade, but something has kept the rest of the world reasonably tolerable of Trump.  It’ s  because one out of four of his cabinet picks are reasonably intelligent, led by Mattis at defense, Haley at the UN, Kelly at Homeland Security and even Chao is an experienced conservative at transportation.

Americans are pinning some gigantic hopes on them and National Security Adviser McMaster. Mainly they can keep him in check on foreign policy – blunders rather than disasters – and their example may bring saner echoes on domestic policy. These seemed doomed with the likes of Ben Carson at housing, Tom Price at health, Jeff Sessions at justice, Rick Perry at energy, Betsy DeVos at education and other weirdos such as Scott Pruitt at EPA. 

Bigger handcuffs have to come from Congress insisting on its priority in declaring war and controlling the purse strings. But don’t expect a Republican Congress -- which has longed to see any Republican, even this one, occupy the White House -- to protest too loudly, to interfere, to defend its constitutional rights.

What can be done by shaming and goading will, but the voters had better gear up for more. 

Either Trump has to learn on the job, or be forced by circumstance to bend to reality. But it’s unlikely to see him mature at age 70 or absorb the basics of the presidency. 

Get used to seeing him revolve and seesaw, hugging Bannon one moment and rejecting the right-wing extremist when he gets too much publicity, moving center one moment and into a parallel universe right after.

Trump may, in private, be realizing he made some ridiculous promises on the stump but it’s not in his nature to change course by openly admitting he was wrong.  Instead he’s claiming credit for high tide while the ship slides under the ocean.

How ironic for a complacent democracy – to realize it’s only lasting salvation comes at the polls. 

About the author: Noth has been  a professional journalist since the 1960s, first as national, international and local news copy editor at The Milwaukee Journal, then as one of the editors for its original Green Sheet, also  for almost two decades the paper’s film and drama critic. He became the newspaper’s senior feature editor, then was tapped by the publishers of the combining Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for special projects and as first online news producer before voluntarily departing in the mid-1990s to run online news seminars and write on public affairs and consumer news. From 2002 to 2013 he ran the Milwaukee Labor Press as editor. It served as the Midwest’s largest home-delivered labor newspaper, with archives at  In that role he won top awards yearly until the paper stopped publishing in 2013. His investigative pieces and extensive commentaries are now published by several news outlets as well as at his culture and politics outlets known as Dom's Domain.  He also reviews theater for 

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