GUEST BLOG: Andra Jenkin – Flip-flopping over Ratings and the Russian Constitution

By   /   April 18, 2017  /   10 Comments

The problem of writing about Trump is usually where to start. Last week it was clearly with his bombing of Syria. You know, that country he didn’t want to bomb because it wasn’t America’s problem, so why should he get involved?

But flip-flopping has been this week’s buzzword. Things Trump is currently flip-flopping over include (but I’m sure are not limited to),

  • China’s currency (not currency manipulators anymore. It’s amazing how awkward it is to have these things come and bite you when foreign leaders come over.
  • The Export/Import bank – necessary now.
  • Nato – now ‘not obsolete.’
  • Getting rid of the National debt. Really? You mean you can’t pay off trillion dollar debts in 8 years? The only person who believed he was going to get rid of the National debt was Trump himself, but for any rabid supporters out there who can’t do maths, Mick Mulvaney has confirmed this is unlikely to happen when he said “I think it’s fairly safe to assume that was hyperbole.” Well duh.
  • Moving on from dealing with heath care – let’s just knock that on the head before tax reform.
    Tax reform done before August recess now has no deadline, to be fair he’s really busy with healthcare now.
  • Comey, the FBI director is good enough to keep doing his job – which was not the case when Trump described the “#rigged system” he headed when not charging Hilary Clinton with anything.
  • The hiring freeze is being thawed out. Presidenting alone is super hard.
  • Steve Bannon is his main man. – But then Time and SNL made fun of him because Bannon is in charge, so he’s dissing Steve because he wasn’t really into him until half-way through the campaign anyway, and Jared Kushner is cuter.

This is important to those of us who like the world not ripped apart to forward Bannon’s plans for the dismantling of the administration, as it could be the easiest way to get rid of the white supremacist in the house. Tell Trump that Bannon is the boss of him and watch him fire the man to prove us wrong.

  • Presidents shouldn’t spend all their time on the links, like when Obama spent all that money on a golfing holiday. Unless, you own the links, then the president should spend 8 years’ worth of holiday money at Mar-a Largo.
  • Russia is amazing and Putin is super-sexy and strong. But now he’s been told the press and people will love him if he dumps a massive bomb on Syria, and then he found out that Russians are besties with the bad guy in this war Bashar al-Assad. Trump got so mad he had to bomb Afghanistan too.

Perhaps he was trying to parent Kushner and Bannon but confused Syria and Afghanistan with his warring administration and the bombs were to punish both, presumably for the same reason kids get a punishment when their idiot friend acts out “because you were with him.”

But the flip-flopping itself is consistent, because it’s one of the symptoms of a presidency run by a reality TV sensibility. Trump is a man for whom ratings is the most important issue on the planet, no matter what he has to do to get those ratings, he will.

If that means changing best friends, doing a U-turn on healthcare, China, or indeed bombing foreign countries back to the Stone Age, that’s what he will do. He doesn’t have an over-arching vision for the American presidency, for how he handles the public and press, or for how he will manage on the world stage. This is a concern when Vanity Fair quotes a West Wing veteran as saying about working in the Whitehouse, “What sustains you are the stated principles of the president and the dedication of the people working with him to pursue that vision.”

Trump aids say there is no clear or consistent guidance from the president, like courtiers flocking to the king, senior-staffers must be close at hand to have his ear. Crowded meetings and aides reluctant to leave his side is the result.

Trump appears to have ADHD when it comes to advice. He simply listens to whoever is nearest when things are happening. If left alone, that’s Fox news in the middle of the night and he starts tweeting about terrorist attacks in Sweden, if that’s Bannon, he elects Betty Voss to head education, and if that’s his daughter, he goes out and bombs Syria.

Did anyone else miss the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court on Friday? Hate it when your important promotion is overshadowed by a dirty great bombing of Syria, with no clear purpose other than drawing a line at chemical weapons (the announcement of which was covered at length as Sean Spicer complimented Hitler and completely misunderstood that Zyklon-B is a chemical weapon, someone explained and he then effectively said German Jews gassed during the Holocaust were not German citizens, back-peddled some more, called Concentration Camps Holocaust Centres, apologised three times, and generally made a hash of things. All of this on Passover, a holiday that Bannon probably told him is that one that celebrates letting a God know which babies its okay to kill.

Despite the false start, Americans back war presidents more than any other, so the press started using words like ‘decisive’ rather than ‘insane’ which was probably Bannon’s plan all along. That and looking tough while the Chinese leader was in town, especially after calling his country ‘currency manipulators’ then having to take that back.

That everyone is looking away from the ties with Russia for a bit, can’t hurt either, because it was getting embarrassing having everybody start telling on the American and Russian administration.
Alex Oronov, was reported as setting up “a secret meeting between Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and Russian officials.” The meeting was said to discuss “a “peace plan” to give Russian President Vladimir Putin control of the Crimea.” The details for which, are said to have appeared on Michael Flynn’s desk. This has left everyone so red-faced, on the second of March, 2017 that Orlov appears to have died of embarrassment.

He’s not the only one. I don’t want to start some sort of conspiracy theory, but it seems the constitution of Russian diplomats seems to be weak and prone to sudden death. I’ll just make a short list of Russian Ambassadors, or those involved in Russian-American ties who have died under unusual or unexplained circumstances since December last year.

  • Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s permanent ambassador to the UN. Died on his way to work February 20, 2017 in New York after suddenly becoming ill, reported as a heart attack at first, autopsy: inconclusive.
  • Andrei Malanin, January 9, 2017, the Russian Consul in Athens, died in a hotel room in Greece at 55 of natural causes.
  • Alexander Kadakin, 67, Russia’s ambassador to India dies 26 January, 2017, of heart failure after a brief illness,
  • Sergie Krivov, 63, Russian diplomat unconscious with severe head injuries at the Russian consulate in New York on US election day. Medical examiners report, inconclusive.
  • Andrei Karlov, Russian ambassador to Turkey, assassinated in Ankara by a policeman at a photography exhibition on 19 December 2016.
  • Petr Polshikov, Russian diplomat, shot dead in his Moscow apartment also on 19 December.
  • Oleg Erovinkin Former KGB chief, suspected of helping British spy Christopher Steele draft a dossier on Donald Trump, found dead in the back of his car December 26, 2016.

Oh, that list wasn’t as short as I thought. Is it just me, or when one is given a post as a Russian diplomat is it time to put one’s affairs in order?

Soon there won’t be anyone left to report on whether Russians unfairly influenced the American election, whether that be because anyone involves keels over of natural causes, or because the reporters themselves are busy congratulating Trump on his beautiful bombs in Syria or Afghanistan, or indeed because we all burn to a crisp after Trump starts a nuclear war with North Korea because the ratings on the first two bombings were so high, maybe he should just keep on bombing places until he’s the most popular president ever.

The take away from this is that Trump is ruled by ratings. SNL could really and truly run the country by making sketches that explain the world to the Trump administration, or representing as in charge, whichever Whitehouse staffer they’d like to get rid of. Come on Melissa McCarthy, how about being the first female American President? You can’t to a worse job than your predecessor.


Andra Jenkin co-wrote Double-Edged Sword- The Simonne Butler Story, and contributed to New Zealand Anthology of Women’s Comics ‘Three Words.’


Ellison, S., (May 2017). “The inside story of the Kushner-Bannon civil war.” Retrieved from on April 17, 2017
Fruen, L., (December 20, 2016). “Diplomat death: Who was Petr Polshikov? Russian diplomat ‘shot dead in Moscow’ – here’s what we know.” Retrieved from on April 17, 2017
Ians, (January 26, 2017). “Russian ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin dies at 67.” Retrieved from on April 17, 2017
Lazaro Gamio (November 9, 2017). “9 things Trump flip-flopped on this week.” Retrieved from on April 17, 2017
Mendick, R., and Verkaik, R., (January 27, 2017). “Mystery death of ex-KGB chief linked to MI6 spy’s dossier on Donald Trump.” Retrieved from on April 17, 2017
Millar, Z. J., (April 10, 2017) “Turmoil ebbs in west wing as aides wait for president Trump’s next move.” Retrieved from on April 17, 2017
Osbourne, S., (19 December, 2016). “Russian ambassador to Turkey dea:. Andrey Karlov dies after being shot in Ankara.” Retrieved from on April 17, 2017
Roberts, R., (March 6 2017). “Ukrainian businessman with links to Donald Trump and Russia dies in unexplained circumstances.” Retrieved from on April 17, 2017
Shepard, A., (April 15, 2017). What just happened?! A review of President Trump’s twelfth week.” Retrieved from on April 17, 2017
Staff reporter, (January 9, 2017) “Russian consul Andrey Malanin found dead in Athens.” Retrieved from on April 17, 2017
Watkins, A., (February 16, 2017). “The strange case of the Russian diplomat who got his head smashed in on election day.” Retrieved from on April 17, 2017



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  1. Samwise says:

    Brilliant analysis of an incompetent president and his swamp-mates in the White House, Andra. Let’s hope Trump is thrown out before he brings apocalypse down on our heads!

  2. Win says:

    A couple of things
    You haven’t mentioned the role of the deep state in Trumps flip flopping

    Bannon was the idealogue in the campaign to get Trump elected; no foreign intanglements, jobs for the people, drain the swamp, co-operation with Russia in fighting ISIS (why do trendy lefties see this as such a bad thing?) so essentially Bannon has been sidelined and Syria gets bombed.

    Crimeans voted to go with Russia, overwhelmingly. And if you look at the failed Ukrainian state, I think they’re pretty chuffed with their decision. They are Russian, they were Russian, until Krushchev had the brilliant idea to give Crimea to Ukraine.

    Are you hinting here that big bad Vlad had his ambassadors ‘accidently’ killed? Yeah conspiracy theory much? If you have no evidence, why say it?

    There is no evidence Russia hacked the US election, used mind control tactics to on people to vote for Trump, or backmailed the American mid west to vote for Trump. Hilary lost because, well she was useless.

    Sorry read Dr Paul Craig Roberts economist, ex Assistant treasurer for Regan, ex WSJ editor etc, Prof Stephen Cohen; Russian expert, professor emeritus Princeton/New York universities, Ron Paul, ex US senator, thesaker blog. Moon of Alabama blog is good. Interesting how writers hear read mainly mainstream media to get their info about Russia, American deep state shenanigans. But use a blog aka alternative media to get their message across. Shouldn’t you be going to reliable alternative media sources to get their narrative? Fake news much?

    • Jax says:

      Well said Win.
      The sources you list are world renowned so have excellent credibility in the area of Russian history and politics.
      I am a fan of the Russian President and his FM Lavrov . All the provocations, accusations, and incessant hostility by the US and it’s allies towards Russia are met with restraint and diplomacy.

  3. Win says:

    Shouldn’t people who use alternative media to publsh their rhetoric, use reliable alternative media sources? Otherwise you run the risk of proclaiming the shite fake news narrative run by main stream media as fact. Many points you have made are WRONG. (this is just in case my initial post contradicting the falsehoods in your post doesn’t turn up). Not the first time it’s happened on this blog. My reply has disappeared into the ether.

    • Francesca says:

      agree totally with you
      Those who now rail against the fakery of WMD and the falsehoods reported in MSM to popularise the war against Libya, are well and truly ready to believe all the crap against Syria and Russia
      10 years down the track we’ll be hearing about the lies against Syria and Russia in the very media who propagated them
      By then of course its too late
      Job done

  4. Historian pete says:

    Agree completely with Win and Francesca.There fortunately is a politician who is cool under pressure, highly intelligent,and is the worlds best hope of avoiding a nuclear apocalypse .And he is not from the vassal nations of the Nato bloc.His name is Vladimir Putin!

    • He’s also a corrupt kleptocrat, with assets linked to the Panama Papers:

      – According to analysis, as much as $2 billion has been secretly shuffled through banks and shadow companies linked to Putin’s associates
      – Bank Rossiya, identified by the U.S. as Putin’s personal cashbox, has been instrumental in building a network of offshore companies
      – Dozens of loans, some worth hundreds of millions of dollars, sold between offshore companies for as little as $1 or less


      Add to that the violence and deaths suffered by Putin’s critics and I fail to be as enamoured with the man as you and others seem to be.

      • Francesca says:

        All the financial forensic experts in the world have not been able to tie Putin to all this fabled wealth and billions he is supposed to have secreted away.
        Knowing your trust in the “respectable”well established media, I direct you to an article in the Washington Post”Is Vladimir Putin hiding a $200 billion fortune?(And if so does it matter?”
        Sorry Frank, still haven’t got the hang of links)
        There’s a similar one in Bloomberg
        Pointing out that the rumours of Putins great wealth derive from one quasi journalist, the anti Putin Berezovsky.Subsequent articles repeat the same assertion with no evidence
        Ever heard of Bill Browder who has done much to smear Putin and lobbied for the Magnitsky Act?
        A well known Russian Liberal,Andrei Nekrasov, famous for anti Putin docos, decided the Magnitsky case and Browder would be a good way to expose further Putins “kleptocracy and corruption”
        During the making of the doco, it became disturbingly clear that all was not as it seemed, and that Browder was a liar, with a message eagerly taken up by the west
        Sorry , you may have objections to Consortium News, founded by Robert Parry who won a Pulitzer for exposing the Iran/contra deal amongst others, but its hard to find media outlets willing to challenge anti Russia orthodoxies.
        “Destroying the Magnitsky Myth” outlines what Nekrasov discovered and the lengths Browder went to to repress the viewings
        I am not so much a fan of Putins as an opponent of the
        relentless knee jerk slander campaign against him .I don’t think the public good is served by reinforcing boogeyman stereotypes.

      • Historian pete says:

        That is because ,Frank, that so far you have not been able to tear yourself away from being in essence a loyal follower of the U.S. Empire fourth Reich.You do not see that the edifice you support is rotten with corruption to the core.You think that if only a finer person could be elected to the POTUS that everything would turn out fine! The last 4 Presidents have been war criminals.Why should this change?The urge of the U.S.deep state to control the world is the problem,not Russia.And of course the deep state is an oligarchy of the super rich.They control all organs of the U.S.state.Any country that is too independent in its thinking is invaded,regime changed,vilified,and subject to propaganda .Unfortunately most people in the West have been brainwashed.So,expand your reading,Frank,and unbrainwash yourself.It is possible.Start with Wins reading list .Good luck,you can do it !!

  5. Francesca says:

    Sorry the journalist was Belkovsky.
    Forbes doesn’t include Putin in its billionaires list because it can’t verify his assets

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