Friday, December 23, 2016

Trump's 24 hours

It's going to be a long four years, people.

President-elect Donald Trump long ago earned a reputation for being unpredictable in his statements, but he outdid himself on Thursday.

In the span of just a few hours, Trump shook international relations by undercutting the Obama administration over a UN resolution on Israeli settlements, indicated he would ramp up nuclear competition with Russia and then jolted a major defense contractor -- and its shareholders -- by suggesting he would ask Boeing to replace a fighter jet being made by Lockheed Martin.

Here's the best response to that last eruption.

This is going to spoil my Festivus party.  Although we'll have a few extra grievances to air.

Jake Novak at CNBC suggests Trump's disrupting of the weapons procurement process is going to involve some bilateral back-scratching.

(T)he Air Force is starting the process of replacing America's Minuteman nuclear arsenal. More than 400 of those ICBMs, most built in the 1960s, now sit in missile silos across the U.S.

And, not coincidentally, the three companies bidding to get the replacement contract are Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin. Of course, the CEOs of Boeing and Lockheed just met with Trump in Florida yesterday. While Boeing came out of that meeting promising to keep the costs of replacing Air Force One below $4 billion, that's chickenfeed compared to the $60 billion to $86 billion estimated cost of replacing the Minuteman program.

Was some kind of quid pro quo discussed in Mar a Lago Wednesday? Perhaps we'll never know, but if Boeing gets the contract that will be a prevailing suspicion for years to come.

Is this what all those Trumpets meant when they said -- and voted -- for Trump to shake up Washington?  Did "shakeup" include World War III?  Of less concern: how are they going to structure a defense contract so that President Trump gets his kickback without the GSA finding out about it?  And what will the GOP Congress critters do when they find out?  Crap themselves or impeach?

Should we encounter a 'water landing', your seat cushions may be used as a flotation device.

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