“Priebus was in over his head,” said Ed Martin, a former Missouri Party chairman.  “General Kelly is battle tested.”

“It is well past time that people recognize that there are far too many Democrats in the Republican Party,” said Andrew Roth, the chief lobbyist for The Club For Growth.

“I blame everything on Congress, and most of the people I talk to feel the same way,” said businessman Rex Early, Chairman of Trump’s Indiana campaign.

These three quotes from a New York Times article entitled “Trump Turmoil Is Confounding G.O.P. Agenda” pretty much sum up the continuing “Tefloninity” of Donald Trump and, writ large, provide rather convenient cover for the failings of our current President of the United States.  “Priebus in over his head?”  Right.  Reince Priebus, as former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, has more of the kind of experience that counts when an administration is trying to promote an agenda (get legislation passed) than the rest of the White House “staff” combined.  “Too many Democrats in the Republican Party?”  This is one of those totally nonsensical excuses that someone pulls out of their ass when there’s not another single rational explanation at hand.  “Blaming everything on Congress?”  Sure.  Why not?  Along with the “too many Democrats” “reasoning,”  it’s Congress's fault that Trump hasn’t accomplished anything in six months.  This, despite the real world reality, that Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House.  The last time this trifecta came around?  Back in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected President and both houses of Congress were controlled by Democrats.  And what happened then?  The largest, most complex, most far reaching piece of legislation since Lyndon Johnson occupied the White House: “The Consumer Protection and Affordable Care Act,” aka, Obamacare, was passed. 

Note that all three of the above quotes from heartland Republicans do not mention one key factor in the lack of Republican agenda implementation: Donald J. Trump.   None mentioned the profound and growing dissatisfaction of the American public with Trump and his Republican cohorts.  It wasn’t Democrats or Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski or even John McCain who defeated the House and Senate “Repeal and Replace Obamacare” bills.  It was the public.  Not the Trump cultist part of the public to be sure.  But from January 21st 2017 that saw the 2 million strong worldwide Women’s March, to the rowdy, contentious town hall meetings where constituents lambasted  Republican Congressmen, to the continuing resistance movement against Trump and his Administration, what Republicans aren’t hearing is just how disgusted we non-Trump Cultists are with both Trump and Republicans. 

I have to laugh at the guy who’s quoted as saying “Kelly is battle tested.”  He’s absolutely right, of course,  since General John Kelly, a former Marine, has a lifetime of service in the military.  Apparently Ed Martin has visions of new Chief of Staff Kelly marching into the White House, issuing a series of orders and everything will be hunky dory.  Yeah.  That’s how the military works.  An order is issued by the Secretary of Defense, let’s say an order to invade Iraq as did Bush’s Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and that order is both obeyed and implemented from the Pentagon right on down to the captains, lieutenants, corporals, sergeants and kitchen slugs in Iraq.  This is how it works.  It’s called the “chain of command.”  This is how Kelly has basically spent his career – taking orders from up higher in the chain of military command to issuing orders that wended their way down the military chain of command. 

So far, we haven’t seen any “chain of command” in the White House.  What we have seen are warring camps in a kind of WWF blood sport attempting to do each other in.  With Priebus’ ouster, one camp has succeeded.  Unless, of course, it’s only Trump, who is indeed Commander In Chief, who issues all the orders.  If this is the case, apparently his White House staff don’t quite understand what their duties are or how to follow and implement orders from the top.  But this White House chaos appears to be very much in line with Trumps “style” of governance.  His supporters call this “shaking things up” and Trump seems to revel in shaking the country into a state of constant chaos.  There is no question that both liberals and conservatives are sick to death of the inability of Congress to govern, to pass meaningful legislation that addresses the real problems America faces like low wage jobs that pay less than the poverty level or the continuing dysfunction of our criminal justice system.    We can agree on this but we liberals want solutions not some constant chaotic spectacle that might boost cable TV ratings but does precisely nothing for America.  

What Ed Martin, Andrew Roth and Rex Early, the folks I quoted above, aren’t getting, is that the public is turning increasingly against the radical right wing agenda and nothing illustrates this shift than the failure of Republicans to pass an Obamacare replacement after seven years of promises.  Trump promised that it would happen on Day One of his Administration.  Republicans like Ed, Andrew and Rex seem to be tone deaf to the increasing hostility to the Republican agenda that more and more Americans are expressing.   Chaos is not a governing strategy.  It is simply dysfunction and Americans are soundly rejecting this “style.”  Frankly, I’m hoping (against hope, most likely) that more moderate Republicans will divorce themselves from their more batshit crazy radical brothers and sisters given that Trump, McConnell and Ryan have pretty much exposed themselves for what they are: self-centered naval gazers who don’t even know what’s happening across the country and seem to have even less interest in actually helping to make life better for ordinary Americans..    



Post Script:  Was reading through a Times article this morning about how more and more call center companies are in-sourcing jobs to America.  Apparently it’s a growing trend mostly because overseas salaries for call center workers are rising rapidly especially in the call center capital of the universe, India.  Infosys, India’s Microsoft, says it plans 10,000 new jobs here in the U.S. over the next two years.  Mainly, the new domestic call centers have been adding 400 people in Kokomo, 300 workers in Albuquerque, 300 jobs in Baltimore.  As I read, I kept wondering what the salaries of these new domestic call center employees was.  In India, call center workers typically earn between 10,000 and 12,000 rupees a month ($150 to $190) which makes no one rich but does provide for basic sustenance.  It wasn’t until the end of the article that salary was mentioned:   $65,000 to $75,000 starting salaries but after two years of a specific industry sponsored training program.  I thought this was a tad disingenuous since out of all those expanding new call center jobs, precious few would have gone thought this one-off training program.  There was no mention of what your average cubicle sitting, call center, high school graduate makes.

But thanks to the internet it wasn’t all that hard to find out.   One source cited annual salaries of between $20,000 and $38,000 and another between $22,000 and $45,000.  These new call center jobs are not exactly going to allow families to send their kids to college.  They are, just like so many service jobs, barely life sustainable.  Here’s a chart that shows the current poverty level by income here in the United States:


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