Incredibly Stupid White House First Day

Within 48 hours of Trump’s swearing-in , it became clear that Donald J. Trump does not intend to serve as President, but rather as Petulant of the United States.

We are going to give Sean Spicer, White House press secretary and communications director (usually two jobs) the benefit of the doubt. Only this once will we give him that benefit; it was his first full day on the job. But, it was the most petulant, pathetic, putrid and pointless performance on that stage that we have ever seen.

He didn’t just insist, he ranted that what we estimate to be far fewer than 400,000 in attendance at the Trump inaugural was larger than the official estimate of 1.8 million who attended Obama’s first.

We’re going to allow, just this once, that Petulant Trump shoved him out there to deliver his delirious diatribe against his wishes, and too new in the job to resist doing something so stunningly stupid. (His appearance was followed the next morning by Chief Counselor Kellyanne Conway’s incredible claim to have “alternate facts.”)

His combative hate-filled performance was not that out of character; that was his style in the same jobs in the campaign and for the Republican National Committee, working directly under Reince Priebus, who didn’t know which way to jump after the party lost control of its primaries. Now, he is the new White House chief of staff. That experience belies the benefit of a doubt we offer Spicer.

Ironically, one of his biggest lies was delivered a little over two weeks earlier when he said that he could not do his job as press secretary if he had to lie because it would hurt his credibility.

In his first appearance on the job, the fool asserted that the inauguration the previous day was attended by the largest crowd ever. Petulant Trump estimated the attendance at “a million, million and a half people.” He and Spicer hatefully denounced news media and other reports that the crowd was far smaller than that.

Estimating crowds actually is not that hard. As a Washington, D.C., journalist, once as UPI reporter in charge of covering frequent anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and similar events, we learned the art early on. In my case, I would section off the crowd into a certain size, count the number of people in that section and then walk around and count the sections on out to the periphery and multiply the results. My estimates were never far off the official ones that used to be announced later.

We did not attend Trump’s inaugural, but the press published comparative photos (of the same size, taken from the same window at the top of the Washington Monument) of the Obama’s first inaugural in 2009 when the official crowd count was put at 1.8 million people attending on the mall between the monument and the Capitol where the ceremony took place for both men.

We printed out the Reuters photos, each taken between one-half hour and an hour before the ceremony, and sectioned off the same city blocks in each. In the Obama inaugural photo of not all of the 1.8 million we divided part of the mall in the photo into 10 sections, and cautiously limited the crowd size in each to be no more than 150,000. In that photo, all the blocks were jammed with people.


Not even close in Trump photo; several of the blocks were less than half full. In the first one west of the Smithsonian Museum Castle appeared the first sizeable crowd of people, bunched in an eighth of the block. We generously gave that block 20,000 people. Counting that way on up to the Capitol, and still being generous, we arrived at our estimate of far short of 400,000.

Similar photos of the women’s march the following day look more the Obama crowd than Trump’s, thus the estimate the women drew more.

We will pontificate in another article here later on the dangerous road that Trump’s media effort, including the threat to remove the press from the White house, is not just to the press corps or journalism, but the nation as a whole.



Sad! So sad!

It’s hard to read a liar, except to say that more likely than not, he or she is lying.

That means it is open season on speculating about the Trump presidency, and we are not shy about doing so.

  1. It is hard to tell if Trump is a pathological liar or that he just doesn’t care, much less care about the difference between a lie and the truth. Either way, two of the most powerful men on Earth are now at least facile liars, although we posit that Vladimir Putin is of the pathological kind. And, how will either of them know if the other is lying about their relationship, real or imagined?

One of the many oddities of the Trump transition was how little, if any, he pushed back against his staff or his nominees who disagreed with something he said or tweeted. It’s as if he doesn’t care, that he wasn’t being serious in the first place, doesn’t remember or just didn’t understand there was a difference. That raises a lot of questions?

  1. What will Trump’s role be as president? How active will he be? Will he let his advisors and cabinet officers and other schedule C employees carry on without him, setting and carrying out policy as they see fit?
  2. Does that mean he will take part in his own (choke) presidency only when it means he can play celebrity in front of a crowd of admirers? That would leave his advisors and cabinet officers an inordinate amount of power to act on their own, many of which already have indicated they will, as he, play fast and loose with political ethics. And, not the least to worry about, Steve Bannon as his alt-right chief counselor, who also plays fast and loose with the truth, will have will have tremendous power by default.
  3. What will the oval office look like during his reign? Will there be the same garish golf-leaf furniture and trimmings that we’ve seen in his Trump Tower digs? Are well-educated and highly sophisticated foreign leaders going to upchuck when they see his poor taste in just about everything?
  4. Is Trump going to be as brutish as he has hinted, that he will do nothing, perhaps even attempt to do harm, to those who did not support him and vote for him?
  5. What will happen when those who did find out he was just telling them what he perceived they wanted to hear and had no intention, much less care, carrying through with his lavish promises. Already, it seems, his “day one” promises would not be delivered before Monday, he apparently believing that presidents take weekends off. Perhaps he intends to do just that, again leaving the government in the hands of his staff and cabinet.

Then there will be the quality of his pontifications. Our unindicted co-conspirator here, Veritas, sent us this message after President Obama’s farewell address, a memorable one that will be remembered by historians:

“Can you imagine, in your wildest dreams, The Idiot, our president-elect, giving a speech anywhere approaching the grace, the intellect, the power of President Obama’s speech tonight? It is to weep, as I did, hearing his words of hope of pride of inclusiveness of sheer absolute Americanism.”

Sad! So sad!