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Watching Kellyanne Conway duke it out with Chris Cuomo on CNN last Friday morning, it became clear the start of the Trump presidency will be fun. If they don’t stumble too much, the fun could last a long time. Watching people who’s ideas we detest going batty is worth the price of admission.
In a meaty interview that raged on for the better part of twenty minutes this morning, CNN New Day anchor Chris Cuomo sparred with Kellyanne Conway of the Trump campaign on a wide variety of controversies, foremost of which has been the President-elect’s willingness to seemingly discredit our own intelligence community. …
… At one point, when the New Day anchor alleged that Trump was “sheltering Russia,” Conway defiantly shot back, “Don’t you say that again.”
The best part of the hit (in my estimation, anyway) comes when Cuomo repeatedly tried to bait Conway into simply including Russia among those foreign entities that should not hack or interfere with the United States. She refused to name the country on its own, saying instead we reject interference, “by anyone. By anyone. By anyone, Chris, by anyone. By anyone.”
At the conclusion of the interview, Alisyn Camerota quipped, “That was a calorie burner.” Watch above via CNN.
And the morning after Meryl Streep lectured the deplorables, Conway laid into the actress. Story from The Daily Mail.
Incoming White House advisor Kellyanne Conway has joined President-elect Donald Trump‘s counterattack on Meryl Streep by arguing that if the actress was such an advocate for the disabled, she should have stood up for the special needs man subjected to Torture in video posted on Facebook.
Streep caused a sensation on the airwaves an online when she delivered a blistering speech against Trump while accepting an award at the Golden Globes Sunday night, where she slammed Trump for mocking New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski in 2015 at a campaign rally. …
… Conway was having none of it in appearance Monday morning on ‘Fox and Friends,’ and joined President-elect Trump in hitting back at Streep.
‘I’m glad Meryl Streep has such a passion for the disabled because I didn’t hear her weigh in or I didn’t even hear her use her platform last night … to give the shoutout to the mentally challenged boy who last week was tortured live on Facebook for half an hour, by four young African-American adults who were screaming racial and anti-Trump expletives and forcing him to put his head in toilet water,’ she said.
‘So I’d like to hear from her today, if she wants to come and continue her platform on behalf of the disabled,’ Conway continued. …
It’s nice to see our folks pushing back and refusing to accept the premises of the left. And it is interesting to see how Trump has set the public face of his administration. Steve Bannon has disappeared as completely as the 15 million people who have given up and left the labor force. It has been left to Conway to be the fighting public face for the time being. In November 2015 we passed along a Bloomberg/Business Week profile of Bannon that is worth looking at again. Here’s the link.
A Salena Zito profile on Conway is here. Zito, by the way, is the pundit who, in a September profile of Trump said; “The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally”.
Kellyanne Fitzpatrick Conway’s life has come full circle.
The little girl from Atco, N.J., raised in a collaborative effort by her mother, a grandmother and two aunts, all living under the same roof, now has her mother living in her home, helping her and her husband with their four children.
“Funny how that happened,” she says of her mother moving in after she became Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign manager in August. “It is the way I was raised and, honestly, it really has been amazing.” …
… Conway, the first female campaign manager to win a presidential election, will become “counselor to the president” on Jan. 20, the day Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States.
Unsurprisingly, she is beaming.
“You want to hear about destiny? I was born Jan. 20, 1967. I will turn 50 years old on Inauguration Day, the day he is sworn in as president,” she says, deadpanning, “Honestly, I think my family is very relieved that they don’t have to think of a party idea.”
It’s a long way from her working-class upbringing in New Jersey’s “Blueberry Capital of the World.”
Yet she remains deeply connected to the blue-collar roots of an Italian family of four women who brought her up on limited financial means and a sense of boundless opportunity.
The Blueberry Princess
Conway’s unconventional childhood household “doted on me with everything that is important — love, attention, prayerfulness, patriotism, the value of being more of a giver rather than a taker,” she says.
That last trait sometimes made her a self-denying person early in her career: “Now it makes me have a much more grateful heart in a generous way.”
Her father left when she was around 2 years old; there was no alimony or child support so, at age 26 and with only a high school education, her mother “had to figure it out.”
“So we were middle class, maybe? Somedays I wonder. But it was a wonderful childhood, filled with family and cousins, great story-tellers and a lot of food because, in an Italian family, food is love.” …
… During our hours-long interview, Conway receives many, many texts. It seems likely that a lot of people are trying to contact her, given her position in the transition organization and her frequent appearances on TV news programs.
But actually, the texts are from one person, her daughter Claudia, who really, really wants to get in touch.
Finally, Conway pauses the interview and makes a call to answer her daughter’s question about choir practice at St. Mary’s, then proceeds to send several texts at lightning speed.
“That is the 12-year-old, the headstrong one,” she explains. “You know, when you are a pollster and you get 75 percent agreement on anything, you are thrilled. But when you are a mother, you need 100 percent agreement.”
Claudia, it appears, is the family holdout about moving to Washington. …
Not afraid to fight back himself, Trump called Schumer the Dems “head clown”. Matthew Continetti wrote on the theme.
Democrats have been in power for so long that they’ve forgotten how to oppose. Their party has been on a roll since 2005 when the botched Social Security reform, the slow bleed of the Iraq war, and Hurricane Katrina sent the Bush administration into a tailspin. The Democrats won the Congress the following year and the White House two years after that. And while they lost the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014, Democrats still had the advantage of retaining the White House, a president seemingly immune from criticism, the courts, the bureaucracy, and large portions of the media. The correlation of forces in Washington has weighed heavily in favor of the Democrats for a decade.
No longer. …
… Yes, the first duty of the opposition is to oppose. And I don’t expect the Democrats to roll over for Trump. But I am surprised by their hysterics, and by their race to see who can be the most obnoxious to the new president. They seem to have been caught off guard, to say the least, by their situation. Take for example their willingness to stand on a podium beside a sign that reads, “Make America Sick Again.” By embracing this message, such as it is, the Democrats associated not Trump but themselves with illness. Who on earth thought that was a good idea?
It takes time to adjust. The Democrats may be counting on inertia and the media to slow the Republicans down and force them into a defensive crouch. Worked in the past. But here’s the thing about Trump: He doesn’t play defense.
Jeff Jacoby writes on the gurus who got it wrong last year.
2016! Was there ever such a year for making donkeys out of seers? A whole column could be filled with nothing but the names of sages and savants, supposedly adept in the ways of politics, who confidently assured everyone that Donald J. Trump couldn’t possibly win the Republican presidential nomination, let alone be elected president of the United States.
“If Trump is nominated, then everything we think we know about presidential nominations is wrong,” wrote Larry Sabato, whose highly regarded website at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics is called Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Peering into his crystal ball on Nov. 7, he saw Hillary Clinton poised to harvest 322 votes in the Electoral College, handily defeating Trump in the next day’s election.
Countless experts made similar predictions. “GOP insiders: Trump can’t win,” read a Politico headline last summer.
Turns out the GOP folks have been doing some homework on how to bring the bureaucrats to heel. Story from WaPo.
House Republicans this week reinstated an arcane procedural rule that enables lawmakers to reach deep into the budget and slash the pay of an individual federal worker — down to $1 — a move that threatens to upend the 130-year-old civil service.
The Holman Rule, named after an Indiana congressman who devised it in 1876, empowers any member of Congress to propose amending an appropriations bill to single out a government employee or cut a specific program.
The use of the rule would not be simple; a majority of the House and the Senate would still have to approve any such amendment. At the same time, opponents and supporters agree that the work of 2.1 million civil servants, designed to be insulated from politics, is now vulnerable to the whims of elected officials.
The revival of the Holman Rule was the brainchild of Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), who is intent on increasing the powers of individual members of Congress to reassign workers as policy demands. …
… Democrats and federal employee unions say the provision, which one called the “Armageddon Rule,” could prove alarming to the federal workforce because it comes in combination with President-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of the Washington bureaucracy, his call for a freeze on government hiring and his nomination of Cabinet secretaries who in some cases seem to be at odds with the mission of the agencies they would lead.
“This is part of a very chilling theme that federal workers are seeing right now,” said Maureen Gilman, legislative director for the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal employees. …
TaxProf writes on what that rule could have meant to the loathsome Lois Lerner.
… The rule would let lawmakers target civil servants who abuse their posts but still have union protections. The rule could, for instance, have been used on former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, locus of the IRS’ intimidation scandal.
While Lerner faced minimal consequences for her wide-ranging role in the scandal — she refused to reveal much of anything to congressional investigators — The Weekly Standard pointed out that she received $129,000 in bonuses and a yearly pension that could top $100,000.
Fun everywhere as The Free Beacon reports on the breakdown of Castro’s death jeep.
… While the media will most likely gloss over Castro’s atrocities in Cuba and reflect on his life in a positive light, it is important that people around the world know the truth and learn about the real hero of 2016: Castro’s death jeep.
“Hundreds of thousands of people lined the route, with some traveling long distances and many hours for a glimpse of the modest convoy and the small, flag-draped wooden box containing Mr. Castro’s ashes, which sat in a glass case on a trailer hitched to a military jeep,” The New York Times reported.
On the eighth day of Cuba bidding their goodbyes to Castro, the military jeep that was carrying Castro’s ashes broke down. As a result, Cuban soldiers had no choice but to push the jeep down the road near Moncada Fort in Santiago, Cuba as mourners lined the streets on both sides to take pictures of the jeep as it passed. …