White House Digs In for Chief of Staff Hunt

Mick Mulvaney says he’s not interested; Trump campaign official David Bossie is in the running

Mr. Trump has told associates he is unhappy with aspects of how the West Wing is running, complaining that staff morale is low, some aides are disloyal and his press coverage is negative.

Both men who have held the position thus far—Reince Priebus and then Mr. Kelly—found it difficult to manage Mr. Trump and create a White House that sticks to a message and pursues goals in disciplined fashion. Rival power centers have emerged, with Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Mr. Kushner, and daughter Ivanka Trump wielding enormous influence and chafing at the chief of staff’s direction. Mr. Priebus would ruefully refer to himself as merely “Chief of Stuff.”

Another challenge is the dearth of qualified individuals willing to take the job. Current and former senior staff members describe the Trump administration as a high-stress, unpredictable atmosphere in which they are subjected to unsparing criticism from inside the building and out.

Top officials often leave their posts with bruised reputations. Several high-level members of the administration have left their jobs in humbling circumstances, with Mr. Trump writing derisively on Twitter about them. Mr. Trump has fired a chief of staff, secretary of state and attorney general on the social media platform.

Aides to Mr. Trump have advised him to hire as chief of staff a former or current lawmaker who knows how to work with Congress, according to one adviser. Among those Mr. Trump is considering is Rep. Mark Meadows (R., N.C.), a longtime ally, say people familiar with the matter.

Advisers also have urged Mr. Trump to look for a chief with more political experience than Mr. Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, one who will work well with the 2020 re-election campaign. Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, said in an interview that Mr. Trump needs a chief of staff “able to add more political experience needed for the next two years.”

.. Mr. Trump have repeatedly clashed, as Mr. Kelly sought to curtail access to Mr. Trump and limit the flow of information to him. That often rankled the president, who complains he feels isolated unless he is free to call longtime confidants, friends and advisers, according to current and former White House officials.
.. One of Mr. Kelly’s frustrations was that he couldn’t manage a president who insists on following his own instincts rather than working within a hierarchical process that vets and manages the information and people he sees, people close to the White House said.
.. Advisers to Mr. Trump say he should install a chief who, even privately, will talk more positively about the administration. At meetings, Mr. Kelly often took on a negative tone about Mr. Trump’s tweets and the circumstances the White House faced, to the detriment of staff morale, one person familiar with the matter said.
.. A better approach for the next chief of staff would be to let Mr. Trump be himself and focus instead on managing and motivating a staff whose morale has plummeted
.. The chief of staff job is difficult job to fill in part because Mr. Trump tends to “grow weary” of anyone in his company for an extended period of time, another person familiar with the matter said.
Referring to the next chief of staff, the person said: “I just don’t believe there’s any person who isn’t going to get crushed.”

Ivanka Trump has learned well from her father’s cons

Ivanka Trump is for working women the way her father is for the working class: In both cases, the Trumps really just want their money.

President Trump’s daughter built her brand around women’s “empowerment,” by which I mean monetizing the anxieties and insecurities of stressed-out moms.

From the beginning, her stated goal was to help professional women dig deep down inside their souls and tap their inner purchasing power. She launched her jewelry line because the “concept of a self-purchasing female was lost among the traditional jewelers,” her website explains without apparent irony.

.. So what are Trump’s feminist bona fides, ..

.. She publicly advocates paid family leave, even though she contracted out the designs of her clothing line to a firm that offered zero weeks of paid maternity leave.

.. And on Equal Pay Day this year, she posted on Instagram that “it is the responsibility of all Americans to come together in pursuit of equal pay.”

Last week, however, she publicly endorsed a White House decision to trample a modest equal-pay enforcement initiative.

.. And rather than the usual “anonymous source” leaks about how Ivanka Trump really, truly didn’t want such a dreadful thing to happen, she released a statement offering her blessing.

.. It’s a trick Ivanka Trump learned well from her father.

Papa Trump, after all, ran on a platform of helping the fabled Forgotten Man through promises to

  • plump his paycheck,
  • revive his obsoleted jobs,
  • discount his health care and otherwise
  • return him to his former economic and cultural glory.

.. Trump is hellbent on passing a massive tax cut for the rich. Right now the tax cut looks to be unfunded. Just because it isn’t being paid for now, though, doesn’t mean it will go unpaid-for forever.

Rosy scenario notwithstanding, at some point the U.S. government will have to make good on its accumulating debts, through some combination of future tax hikes and spending cuts.

The True Self Says YES/ The False Self Prefers NO

The great wisdom teachers and mystics say in various ways that you cannot truly see or understand anything if you begin with a no. You have to start with a yes of basic acceptance, which means you do not too quickly label, analyze, or categorize things as good or bad. The ego or false self strengthens itself by constriction, by being against, or by re-action; it feels loss or fear when it opens up to subtlety, growth, change, and Mystery. Living out of the True Self involves positive choice, inner spaciousness, and conscious understanding rather than resistance, knee-jerk reactions, or defensiveness.

.. Compassion and mercy come easily once you live inside the Big Body of Love. The detours of the false self were all just delaying tactics, bumps in the road, pressure points that created something new in the long run, as pressure does to carbon deep beneath the earth.

The diamond of love will always be stronger than death. Diamonds, once soft black carbon, become beautiful and radiant white lightning under pressure. The true pattern, the big secret, has now been revealed and exposed, “like a treasure hidden in a field” (Matthew 13:44). You did not find the Great Love except by finding yourself too, and you cannot find your True Self without falling into the Great Love.

Preventing Mental Illness With a Stress Vaccine

Influenced by a school shooting, a neuroscientist is on a mission to change how both the brain and immune system handle stress.

.. when asked to circle half of the bunnies on a sheet of paper, she diligently circled the back half of each bunny.

.. Long-term stress is considered responsible for 60 percent of all human illness and disease

.. Analyzing the lives of children born to mothers who were pregnant during the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944, a famine that affected more than 4.5 million people, researchers found that prenatal exposure to extreme stress led to long-term cognitive and mental-health issues, as well as addiction. Prenatal stress exposure has since been linked with ADHD in children as old as 15 years, increased risk for autism, greater impulsivity in boys and girls, and poorer task performance in boys.

.. exposure during the second and third trimesters is linked with increased risk for depression, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorder.

.. About 40 percent of the risk of depression is genetic, and stress is the most common trigger.