Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sunday Potpourri

The only thing better than quietly sitting by the fire on a chilly Sunday morning with a hot cup of coffee reading North Carolina sports media ponder the dismantling of their precious Tar Heels yesterday by my Wahoos, is doing so on a morning in which Duke also lost, which they did courtesy of Hammer's North Carolina State University Wolfpack. Yesterday was a spectacular day for college hoops, and from what I can see things are only going to get better. There are essentially two real powerful teams this year--Michigan State and Villanova; everyone else appears to me to be playing for #3--and all of those contestants are relatively well-matched. Even #1 and #2 aren't invincible--so this is going to be a tremendous season of college hoops. Have a look at this wonderful dunk by a UVA freshman yesterday on UNC's top player. 

Also this morning, I am reading coverage of our taxpayer funded royal flatterer Stephen Miller taking to the talkshow circuit to remind us how much of a genius his boss is, and how "...exaggerated..." Stephen Bannon's role was in both the campaign and the administration. This is the cycle of use in TrumpWorld--you join the team and work hard--not because you have belief in the agenda of the Man but for personal gain. As long as you are useful, you are retained. Then, when you aren't useful--you are disposed of, and your previous significance is then derided (see Bannon, Priebus, Spicer, Flynn, Papadopoulous, etc).

It is also interesting to remember the boasts of the Trumpkin class in the campaign, that because their man was such a successful businessman (four bankruptcies notwithstanding), he would surround himself with "...the best men...".  If his first year has proven anything, it is that there are a lot of really substandard people working close to the President. Birds of a feather, one supposes.

I was asked the other day why this circus is happening within this Administration, but hasn't in previous ones (this was in response to what I called the very human trait of looking out for oneself which is hyper-evident in this group). I answered that while it is human to look out for oneself, it is not the ONLY human trait. Another strong one is the desire to be part of something bigger than oneself, to be part of an agenda for change and a top-notch team to create it. This is what happens within a campaign staff--where a huge group of people who believe in the candidate come together to give of their time and energy because they want to advance his/her agenda. Trump never had this. His policy staff was in his head. The free media he got allowed him to run a lean operation. There was no real governing agenda to believe in, and so those people who did sign on were largely there to advance their personal agendas--seeing none provided by the President. And so without a common sense of mission, there is an "every man for himself" mentality--which is of course exacerbated by the conduct and behavior of the Chief Executive, the ongoing Justice Department investigation into his campaign, and a media which is involved in a hostile takedown effort. Welcome to the Thunder Dome.

The annual gathering of your Navy's Surface Warfare Community occurs this week in Arlington VA, and front/center are the two collisions last summer that resulted in the deaths of 17 Sailors. I look forward to hearing Navy leadership talk about what they're doing to internalize the lessons of those tragedies, but I sincerely hope this is not a garment rending exhibition designed to palliate those who would rather focus on blame and recrimination than the business of killing people and wrecking things from the ocean's surface. It is high time that we begin to prepare for this new age of great power competition, and contemplating our navels regarding last year's accidents is not the way to go.

Today's goals include not going outside, 500 calories on the treadmill, and much football and college hoops watching. The Kitten is having the Ladies over for an afternoon bridge game, and so making myself scarce to watch sports will be penalty free.  Enjoy your Sunday.

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