Sunday, January 29, 2017

National Security Council changes...

National Security Council changes...  Here's a good example where Trump has done something that worries me.  He's changed the membership of the National Security Council in three ways:
  • The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has lost his seat.  That means that our military no longer has direct visibility into the information and decision-making of the National Security Council.  They still have indirect representation through the civilian, politically-appointed Secretary of Defense.  In general I'm in favor of reducing meeting attendees, especially by pruning those of little or marginal import.  This position does not seem like one of those to me.
  • The Director of National Intelligence has lost his seat.  Never mind that I can't read that title without laughing out loud.  This is similar to the previous bullet: the intelligence agencies no longer has direct visibility into the National Security Council, but the civilian, politically-appointed Director of National Security Advisor does.
  • The Trump-created post of Chief Strategist, occupied by Steve Bannon, has gained a seat on the National Security Council.  Bannon scares me.  I have the impression of a low-information thug who is all too delighted by the exercise of power – as well as being such a Trumpkin that I can't help but think of historical fascists and their sycophantic enablers.  Any move by Trump that gives Bannon more access and power is going to scare me.  
Some of Trump's other moves (example: appointing Mattis as SoD) I applaud, and I find comforting.  Other moves, like this one, disturb me.  It's impossible to put a single number on how good or bad each of them is, but if I tried and then tried to analyze them, at the moment I think I'd come out with something like this:
  • the sum is approximately zero
  • fear of looming negative numbers (bad) is high
  • anticipation of looming positive numbers is low
I sure would love to be pleasantly surprised, but I'm not counting on it.

Because we have so many LDS people here, our grocery stores prominently feature displays of food that can be stored for long periods of time.  I'm paying more attention to those displays these days.  I might even start buying some...

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