Author Topic: A Warning  (Read 464 times)

TheDrake

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A Warning
« on: December 03, 2019, 01:20:39 PM »
Read the first few chapters. Yeah, yeah Trumpians. Written by the deep state and its all lies. Save it.

I found it particularly interesting, the description of Trump's short attention span. Presidential briefings devolved from nuanced policy discussions to powerpoint and having one idea hammered home.

summary

Quote
The "A Warning" author also notes in the various shared pages that the when discussing matters of life and death, or particularly weighty matters, the president would not prepare himself for meetings. Briefers were told early on in the administration not to bring in lengthy memos because “Trump wouldn’t read them.”

The book also described the ways in which briefing material had to be simplified and broken down to a few points in a visual presentation.

“PowerPoint was preferred because [Trump] is a visual learner,” recalls the author.

But the whittling down of the briefing process didn’t stop there, according to the excerpts.

The author writes, “Then officials were told that the PowerPoint decks needed to be slimmed down. The president couldn’t digest too many slides. He needed more images to keep his interest — and fewer words.”

Further still, briefers were told “to cut back the overall message (on complicated issues such as military readiness or the federal budget) to just three main points,” but even doing that “was still too much.”

Soon, the author notes, the best practice to briefing the president became “come in with one main point and repeat it — over and over again, even if the president inevitably goes off on tangents — until he gets it.”

When briefers did attempt to give Trump a traditional memo, it didn’t end well, the author writes.

"'What the f--- is this?’” the president would shout, looking at a document one of them handed him. ‘These are just words. A bunch of words. It doesn’t mean anything.’”

Continuing, the author completes their thought, writing “sometimes he would throw the papers back on the table. He definitely wouldn’t read them."

DonaldD

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 01:26:24 PM »

Fenring

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 01:28:14 PM »
I don't know about any of this, but I can say one thing about bureacrats and paper-pushers: they have their own unique language that trumps up ordinary facts, bloating language into technical jargon to sound self-important (especially found in academia but not absent from the business world), taking relatively simple matters and making them sound complicated in order for those who wrote them to sound presitigious, and so forth. While it may be true that Trump is especially impervious to taking in new ideas, I can easily imagine myself in his position throwing the papers to the table in frustration as well. "Take this crap back and if you won't write in plain English then just get out of here."

One thing I've noted in my experience is that petty bureaucrats dream of establishing their private little hegemonies, like little aristocratic fiefdoms, and use these methods (among others) to establish their superiority. I don't mean to undermine he OP's point since I have no idea how bad Trump is in meetings, but it got me thinking about how annoying it might be to do have to deal with people like that on a daily basis. I'd probably be threatening to fire people on a regular basis for spouting nonsense at me instead of just saying what they mean. And I can only just imagine the shop talk language and jargon that gets built into routine meetings of the Joint Chiefs...

TheDrake

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 01:32:01 PM »
Is that seriously a poll with 117 questions, donald?

Quote
Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in Internet panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age,
race, education, and region) was selected from the 2014 American
Community Study. Voter registration was imputed from the November
2014 Current Population Survey Registration and Voting Supplement.

Yeah, nice protocol.  Opt-in internet panel ::)

TheDrake

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 01:35:12 PM »
taking relatively simple matters and making them sound complicated in order for those who wrote them to sound presitigious, and so forth.

I hate that too. Like having to say "action item" instead of "task", for just one example.

But we can't all have the "best words" like Trump.

Another fun part about that "survey", question 117 has a total of 101% of respondents.  ;D

Seriati

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 01:44:58 PM »
Lol, on the same day we get people saying the Minority report was too long to read, we get a deep stater telling us we should be alarmed because Trump won't read long memos.

Little secret, if a CEO read every long memo that anyone in a company was wiling to produce they would never ever have time to run the company, or sleep, or eat or even to read all the memo.  The government's practically the dictionary definition of generating excessively long reports on simple matters.

TheDrake

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 01:53:31 PM »
Most CEOs would delegate the material to a subordinate to fully read and digest, and highlight the most relevant points. This is true of Senators and other politicians as well. They give it to a staffer, then prepare a few questions to clarify in the presentation. They usually don't pre-emptively tell someone not to bother, or get angry about it.

I myself prepared a four page strategy document that my bosses never read just last month, but generating it helped me clarify my own thoughts and execute the strategy.

yossarian22c

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2019, 02:02:31 PM »
Lol, on the same day we get people saying the Minority report was too long to read, we get a deep stater telling us we should be alarmed because Trump won't read long memos.

Because I have a full time job and kids and don't want to spend hours reading partisan spin it excuses the president from fully engaging in intelligence and policy meetings?

Just a hint I'm not going to read all of the democrats report either (unless its clocking in at under 10 pages).

Seriati

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2019, 02:09:50 PM »
Most CEOs would delegate the material to a subordinate to fully read and digest, and highlight the most relevant points. This is true of Senators and other politicians as well. They give it to a staffer, then prepare a few questions to clarify in the presentation. They usually don't pre-emptively tell someone not to bother, or get angry about it.

Lol, you think that the people coming into the President's office are not exactly those people who should have been digesting and presenting the summary?  Honestly, I don't see how you can write that and not understand that the large memo should never have been given to the President in the first place.

Or to put it another way.  Yes.  You are correct.  All those people reporting to the President directly are the very senior staff that should be tho ones doing exactly that.

TheDrake

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2019, 02:11:47 PM »
Nope. The person generating the material should never be the one providing the summary. Nor anyone who worked on the report. Otherwise, the same blind spots exist. It's a basic concept in QA.

It's exactly the problem we have when lobbyists provide summaries on legislation, which happens far too often.

DonaldD

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2019, 02:43:32 PM »
Quote
the large memo should never have been given to the President in the first place.
I wonder how the length of these memos compares to those given to Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush... the impression we're given is that the memos were not unusual in length for what is generally provided to a president, but that something else was different.

For instance, the length of memos eventually had to be whittled down to only a few points, and eventually to a single, lonely point, repeated numerous times through numerous digressions, in order for it to be digested.

Of course, debating the length of the memos is silly, since the information comes directly from the deep state, so it cannot be believed.

TheDrake

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2019, 02:53:56 PM »
He'd probably be better off spending a little less time watching Fox News and firing off hateful tweets, and a little more time reading policy documents. It's not reasonable to say that he's got better things to do than read the PDB or policy documents.

Seriati

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2019, 03:14:07 PM »
Nope. The person generating the material should never be the one providing the summary. Nor anyone who worked on the report. Otherwise, the same blind spots exist. It's a basic concept in QA.

What makes you think its the same people?  Do you honestly think anyone in a meeting with the President is the author of the report?  The Intelligence briefing for example, summarizes the work of multiple agencies.

The president is at the top of a VERY large bureaucracy.

TheDrake

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2019, 07:34:22 PM »
The president is at the top of a VERY large bureaucracy.

Gee thanks, I didn't know that. Point is, its all chain of command stuff. State department analyst to deputy secretary to sec state, etc. It's going to be a string of bosses, more than likely. These are people who think alike. The Presidential briefing isn't just for the President, there are other people in the room. By dumbing things down for the president, doesn't it also necessitate dumbing down the discussion process, and therefore minimizing the amount of information and nuance the President has? Of course, getting other points of view isn't really Trump's strong suit. Since he knows more about ISIS than the generals do and all that.

Seriati

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2019, 10:26:05 PM »
You really won't let it go.  It's not dumbing down.  Executive briefings are intended to be focused and relevant.  If you can't do that you shouldn't be in that meeting.  If the President needs more information he can request it, and in fact CEO's frequently do.

TheDrake

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2019, 10:44:35 PM »
So why is this a departure from what other presidents have done?

rightleft22

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2019, 10:52:13 AM »
Quote
One thing I've noted in my experience is that petty bureaucrats dream of establishing their private little hegemonies, like little aristocratic fiefdoms, and use these methods (among others) to establish their superiority. I don't mean to undermine he OP's point since I have no idea how bad Trump is in meetings, but it got me thinking about how annoying it might be to do have to deal with people like that on a daily basis. I'd probably be threatening to fire people on a regular basis for spouting nonsense at me instead of just saying what they mean. And I can only just imagine the shop talk language and jargon that gets built into routine meetings of the Joint Chiefs..

You’re not wrong about 'petty bureaucrats' however by using the label 'petty' you are painting with a very large brush revealing your prejudgment of bureaucrats being petty. Implying the person writing the criticisms of Trump is one of the 'petty' 

You do no mean to undermine the OP’s but you do. Bureaucrats are petty and petty people have devious ulterior motives so should not be trusted.  An excuse to avoid looking deeper and unchallenged our own truth. (like, like, like)

If we look at Trump’s history, long before he became a politician, it can be no surprise that he behaves the way he does in meetings. His behavior works for him and its how he does business, its who he is. Deep down I suspect no one on this site does not believe that this is not how Trump conducts himself in meetings. The difference is that some don’t care, and some do.

I would argue that anyone pretending they can’t imagine Trump behaving is such a manner indicates that a part of them know its not quite “right” but that because their all in admitting to any flaw is just to dangerous for their psyche 

Fenring

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2019, 12:01:46 PM »
You’re not wrong about 'petty bureaucrats' however by using the label 'petty' you are painting with a very large brush revealing your prejudgment of bureaucrats being petty. Implying the person writing the criticisms of Trump is one of the 'petty' 

rightleft22, you don't understand what the term "petty bureaucrat" means: it means middle management. Someone at the top of the ladder is not a petty bureaucrat; it's the underlings who need to establish themselves and create little kingdoms for themselves. Those at the top already have it.

yossarian22c

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2019, 12:49:06 PM »
You’re not wrong about 'petty bureaucrats' however by using the label 'petty' you are painting with a very large brush revealing your prejudgment of bureaucrats being petty. Implying the person writing the criticisms of Trump is one of the 'petty' 

rightleft22, you don't understand what the term "petty bureaucrat" means: it means middle management. Someone at the top of the ladder is not a petty bureaucrat; it's the underlings who need to establish themselves and create little kingdoms for themselves. Those at the top already have it.

Why do you think any "petty bureaucrats" have access to put documents in front of the president? Unless you're considering the director of the CIA and other positions of similar rank (sub-cabinet but important enough to see the President) "middle management."

Fenring

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2019, 01:01:19 PM »
Why do you think any "petty bureaucrats" have access to put documents in front of the president? Unless you're considering the director of the CIA and other positions of similar rank (sub-cabinet but important enough to see the President) "middle management."

We're getting into the weeds here, since rightleft22's assertion was that I was insulting bureaucrats by way of exonerating Trump or something, which I explicitly said I was not doing and said why. Maybe some of the annoying paperwork hitting Trump's desk was written by the actual head of the CIA...but somehow I doubt it. But if that was the case, then I'm sure it's also possible for 'non-petty' bureaucrats to also churn out literary garbage. All I was saying is that petty bureaucrats are famous for it. No need to try to find contradictions or loopholes in straightforward statements.

Seriati

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2019, 01:28:38 PM »
So why is this a departure from what other presidents have done?

Because Trump's more abrasive.  Dollars to donuts most of the prior Presidents took the reports, thanked the giver, and promptly handed them off to assistants to be read, digested, or filed.

Trump's demanding more of the people in the room - that they be able to exercise judgment and focus on the real points that need his attention rather than give 500 pages and ask him to do their job as well as his and that is somehow objectionable?  I'm still struck by the bizarre beliefs people have about C level executives.  Micro managers get weeded out well before that level.

TheDrake

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2019, 01:38:37 PM »
Jimmy Carter was an avowed micromanager compared to other presidents. Elon Musk is a famed micromanager as well. So no, they don't get weeded out.

I'm willing to believe that some other Presidents might have felt the same way as Trump, and were simply more willing to be bored in the name of tact, morale, and image.

Seriati

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2019, 02:13:29 PM »
Wow you "got me" I should have said "generally"  or "tend to be" weeded out.

Meanwhile, Carter was renowned for being a terrible President and Musk is constantly in trouble with the SEC specifically because he won't even talk to his experts.  Do you really think he's reading every report written by people he thinks are wasting his time?

rightleft22

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2019, 03:04:32 PM »
Quote
We're getting into the weeds here, since rightleft22's assertion was that I was insulting bureaucrats by way of exonerating Trump or something, which I explicitly said I was not doing and said why. Maybe some of the annoying paperwork hitting Trump's desk was written by the actual head of the CIA...but somehow I doubt it. But if that was the case, then I'm sure it's also possible for 'non-petty' bureaucrats to also churn out literary garbage. All I was saying is that petty bureaucrats are famous for it. No need to try to find contradictions or loopholes in straightforward statements.

Quote
rightleft22, you don't understand what the term "petty bureaucrat" means: it means middle management. Someone at the top of the ladder is not a petty bureaucrat; it's the underlings who need to establish themselves and create little kingdoms for themselves. Those at the top already have it.

bureaucrat -Someone who works in or controls a bureaucracy. The term is often used negatively to describe a petty, narrow-minded person.

Though not your intention you do insult bureaucrats by adding the label and judgment of 'petty'. You may indeed be insulting using the label bureaucrat. By describing the bureaucrat, petty or otherwise, as "dreaming of establishing their private little hegemonies" it was reasonable for me to assume you were are using the term negatively and applying it to all bureaucrats.

Your intention was not to undermine the points made by the author of "the warning" who may or may not be a bureaucrat, petty or other wise, however your statement implies that he/she/them is a bureaucrat with the dream of a little hegemonies.  The intention of such remarks are clear, if not clear to you. Nothing a bureaucrat says is worth listening to so the concerns listed in the OP's can be dismissed.

Not all bureaucrats are petty and the majority of people who serve in government want to do their job the best as they can.

Fenring

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2019, 03:26:12 PM »
@ rightleft22,

We are having a reading comprehension issue here. "petty bureaucrat" is a single noun. Petty in this context is not an adjective.

Quote
Your intention was not to undermine the points made by the author of "the warning" who may or may not be a bureaucrat, petty or other wise, however your statement implies that he/she/them is a bureaucrat with the dream of a little hegemonies.  The intention of such remarks are clear, if not clear to you. Nothing a bureaucrat says is worth listening to so the concerns listed in the OP's can be dismissed.

This was neither intended nor implied by my remarks. In fact the conclusion you write here doesn't even follow from the points you list to recap my post. You're jumping to the conclusion all on your own. This is sort of like the Trump phone call where even though it never says something outright people are taking the possibility it means that as proof that it says it outright. Your interpretation is not, I suppose, an impossible one to make, other than the fact that it's actually not what I meant, I never said it outright, and I'm saying now that your read on it is wrong. If you want to go on believing that what I say is "clear" when it doesn't say that and I'm saying it's not implied, then I guess there will be no possibility of your dream happening of America speaking clearly to each other. Because even when they outright say something you'll 'know' they are being coy and don't really mean what they say.

Seriati

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2019, 03:27:04 PM »
To be fair though, petty sounds like a pretty good descriptor of the author of the book.  This is all about narrative, and that's exactly what a book is, describing what's effectively routine for executive briefings as somehow dangerous and unusual.  More than once, I've had to distill hundreds of documents, thousands of pages and years of process into a single page - generally with bullet points - for executive consumption.  Not because it wasn't important, but because it was only one of thousands of deals where they are nominally in charge of providing oversight.

There's a reason that Directors' liability is tied to ignoring yellow and red flags and not in failure to conduct in depth investigations into green flags, even if fraud could be hiding in what looks like an ordinary process.

When a leaker puts out a misleading narrative, that anyone operating at that level could tell you is nonsense, it shouldn't be held up as insightful out of ignorance.

Fenring

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2019, 03:28:49 PM »
I'll just quickly add one more point: in my OP about this I also mentioned that in academia we see bloated, ridiculous language to describe simple things, as an analogy to what we can see bureaucracies churn out. If you're going to take my statements to therefore mean "Nothing a bureaucrat says is worth listening to" you would have to also take the position that I must be saying that nothing an academic says is worth listening to. Are you going to make that assertion as well and choose to die on this particular hill?

TheDeamon

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2019, 03:53:38 PM »
Quote
One thing I've noted in my experience is that petty bureaucrats dream of establishing their private little hegemonies, like little aristocratic fiefdoms, and use these methods (among others) to establish their superiority. I don't mean to undermine he OP's point since I have no idea how bad Trump is in meetings, but it got me thinking about how annoying it might be to do have to deal with people like that on a daily basis. I'd probably be threatening to fire people on a regular basis for spouting nonsense at me instead of just saying what they mean. And I can only just imagine the shop talk language and jargon that gets built into routine meetings of the Joint Chiefs..

You’re not wrong about 'petty bureaucrats' however by using the label 'petty' you are painting with a very large brush revealing your prejudgment of bureaucrats being petty. Implying the person writing the criticisms of Trump is one of the 'petty'
 

Bureaucrats by their nature hate change with a passion and will fight it with everything they can. It upsets their orderly world and proverbial applecart. A petty bureaucrat just happens to be even more determined to protect their turf.

So when you have a President coming into office with a "Drain the swamp" campaign promise, talking about "Deep state" (Bureaucracy), as well as having deeply ingrained preconceived notions about how he is going to do things. It's going to cause sparks to fly.

Trump is going to resist stuff that goes against his preconceptions, but at the same time, he's also going to be fighting against "bureaucratic group think" (something the Impeachment hearings have demonstrated) as well. Trump also coming from the corporate side probably is more than aware of the whole idea of "academic snowjobs" where people subject matter experts will bury you in minutia in the hopes of getting you to agree with them, often because they know what they're pushing has little to no actual merit.

Also, there used to be an expression about subject matter experts being able to simplify things for the lay-person, as well as being able to do full-detail. So it would seem Trump is going for "give me the lay person version, and if I think you're trying to bury me in minutia, I'm going to ignore you and kick you out."

Pete at Home

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2019, 03:56:06 PM »
It is kind of funny seeing people challenging Trump to a down and dirty pettiness competition.

TheDeamon

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2019, 04:02:30 PM »
Quote
rightleft22, you don't understand what the term "petty bureaucrat" means: it means middle management. Someone at the top of the ladder is not a petty bureaucrat; it's the underlings who need to establish themselves and create little kingdoms for themselves. Those at the top already have it.

bureaucrat -Someone who works in or controls a bureaucracy. The term is often used negatively to describe a petty, narrow-minded person.

Though not your intention you do insult bureaucrats by adding the label and judgment of 'petty'. You may indeed be insulting using the label bureaucrat. By describing the bureaucrat, petty or otherwise, as "dreaming of establishing their private little hegemonies" it was reasonable for me to assume you were are using the term negatively and applying it to all bureaucrats.

Your intention was not to undermine the points made by the author of "the warning" who may or may not be a bureaucrat, petty or other wise, however your statement implies that he/she/them is a bureaucrat with the dream of a little hegemonies.  The intention of such remarks are clear, if not clear to you. Nothing a bureaucrat says is worth listening to so the concerns listed in the OP's can be dismissed.

Not all bureaucrats are petty and the majority of people who serve in government want to do their job the best as they can.

Uh, no. At least in my experience with the term "bureaucrat" it always is a pejorative. A "petty bureaucrat" is simply worse than a "bureaucrat" in the grand scheme of things.

People who work in a bureaucracy on the other, but don't behave like bureaucrats tend to be addressed by actual titles, or other means. Administrator, Secretary, Officer, Leader, etc. Some of this goes back to the conceptual divide between Leadership and Management. You can be a manager and in charge of hundreds of people without being a leader. You can be a leader and not be in management, or even piss poor at management.

The bureaucrat concerns themselves with form first (and they may have many actual forms to fill out as well), and function is something that many of them(particularly the "petty variant) don't really concern themselves with.

TheDeamon

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2019, 04:08:19 PM »
I'll just quickly add one more point: in my OP about this I also mentioned that in academia we see bloated, ridiculous language to describe simple things, as an analogy to what we can see bureaucracies churn out. If you're going to take my statements to therefore mean "Nothing a bureaucrat says is worth listening to" you would have to also take the position that I must be saying that nothing an academic says is worth listening to. Are you going to make that assertion as well and choose to die on this particular hill?

Yup, both academia and bureaucracy have this tendency to associate form over function. And the way that the mediocre will go about trying to justify themselves is by pointing to the quantity(form) of work they have done, rather than the functionality of the work they've done. So they get highly upset when someone comes along that threatens to invalidate all of their obfuscation and accomplishes the same function with only a fraction of the work to show for it.

rightleft22

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2019, 04:42:11 PM »
Quote
We are having a reading comprehension issue here. "petty bureaucrat" is a single noun. Petty in this context is not an adjective.

We will agree to disagree on that. Ether way your negative portrait of the bureaucrat in relation to the OP implies your saying the author of the points was a bureaucrat which you cannot know. Anyone not knowing you would assume your intention is to discount the points based on the idea that bureaucrat's are untrustworthy.

The problem is all these arguments about bureaucracy and bureaucrat don't address the concerns as related in the OP

Even if all bureaucracy and bureaucrats are pure evil it still does not address the issue reported. Mentioning the tendency of bureaucrats in relation to the OP is a diversion.
We don't even know who the author of those points is, which is ground enough to dismiss them.

As no one is arguing about the points made by the Author I assume no one is surprised that Trumps might engage this way. Those who support Trump won't care and those that do, do.

Taking Trump out of the picture. Are the methods effective or not?  I wouldn't think so, Not a environment I would enjoy working in but that's me.

That aside the over generations and negative labeling of those that work for government is not true. Most people want to do their best. Most people don't like change when it comes to their jobs, most people try to establish a nitch in their work. Neither is and of them selves a good or bad thing. Anyone who is un-flexible is going to be a dick to work with/for.


It is these over generalization of labeling that breaks down conversation.

 

« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 04:50:01 PM by rightleft22 »

D.W.

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2019, 04:52:21 PM »
Some interesting gymnastics going on in this thread. 

Either you believe the assertions are BS, or you don't.  They are calling him an idiot with an alarmingly short attention span who cannot grasp complicated topics.

rightleft22

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2019, 05:14:56 PM »
Removing all of hyperbole (point to my argument that truthful hyperbole is bad) and assumptions on Trumps motive you get that Trump prefers slimmed down PowerPoint presentations with images and dialog that is focused over wordy memos and messages. I believe that is accurate as to Trumps meeting and information gathering preferences, its how he always done business.  I also suspect Trump isn't very flexible in his demands on how he presented with information but that is a assumption.
 
That may or may not be a effective means to communicate complex issues.  I suspect sometimes it works well and sometimes doesn't and in those later cases is frustrating for those involved (bureaucrats or not).

Add Trump's personality quirks and mannerisms associated with his communication style and if you don't like him your going to see the above as him being a idiot. 

My own meeting preference aline's with Trump however I don't see my preferences as making for a good leader or decision maker
 
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 05:28:20 PM by rightleft22 »

Fenring

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2019, 06:13:09 PM »
Quote
We are having a reading comprehension issue here. "petty bureaucrat" is a single noun. Petty in this context is not an adjective.

We will agree to disagree on that. Ether way your negative portrait of the bureaucrat in relation to the OP implies your saying the author of the points was a bureaucrat which you cannot know. Anyone not knowing you would assume your intention is to discount the points based on the idea that bureaucrat's are untrustworthy.

Agree to disagree about what? My OP was literally not about Trump's situation at all, and I said so. I had *zero* input to give on that, but took the moment to muse about what it would be like to be surrounded by annoying paperwork every day. If you you want to draw connections between my woolgathering and Trump's briefings then knock yourself out, but don't tell me I was covertly commenting on Trump's advisors. I wasn't even addressing that topic. If you have a complaint to make then maybe it should be that I was posting off-topic. But that's about it.

DonaldD

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2019, 06:50:56 PM »
My guess is he wants to "agree to disagree" that "petty bureaucrat" is a "single noun" (maybe you meant compound word, but even if so, it's not) or that it means low or mid level bureaucrat (that would be a pretty unique reading, BTW).

TheDeamon

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2019, 06:52:55 PM »
My guess is he wants to "agree to disagree" that "petty bureaucrat" is a "single noun" (maybe you meant compound word, but even if so, it's not) or that it means low or mid level bureaucrat (that would be a pretty unique reading, BTW).

I'd agree that "petty bureaucrat" can happen at any level of governance. Although most people will only have occasion to encounter the ones in the lower rungs, it says nothing about their superiors being just as bad, if not worse. As they tend to promote their own kind.

Fenring

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2019, 06:56:23 PM »
My guess is he wants to "agree to disagree" that "petty bureaucrat" is a "single noun" (maybe you meant compound word, but even if so, it's not) or that it means low or mid level bureaucrat (that would be a pretty unique reading, BTW).

https://synonym.tech/phrase/petty/bureaucrat

Quote
Synonyms for phrase
minor official
minor functionary

Yes, a compound noun. And yes, it has a diminutive connotation. Doesn't really change the fact that I wasn't saying that we should ignore what bureaucrats say. rightleft may have been disagreeing about the term usage, but only in order to insist on what I meant by it.

TheDeamon

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2019, 07:34:27 PM »
Somebody is trying to make it an extrapolation from a comparable compound word I think.

The specific example that comes to mind is Petty Officer, which is a non-comm rank in many (English speaking) Navies.

I'd disagree with their reasoning. The petty bureaucrat isn't one who oversee minor matters. They're bureaucrats who are being petty, typically for very trivial reasons(which likely have nothing to do with their actual job).

rightleft22

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2019, 10:00:39 AM »
I was agreeing to disagree that "petty bureaucrat" is a "single noun". You may be correct in your usage however I suspect that's not how its heard.

I was was mussing that if those who worked in the offices of the running of government, the bureaucrat, was a race, that the stereotyping, profiling and label applied to them here would be considered racist.  I think the way we look at people working in the bureaucracy of government as bad and petty is unfair and only help perpetuate negativity that is really a excuse to stay pissed.

I understood your intention about your musing. My criticism was that I felt you failed. "I don't know about any of this, but...." - I don't have a opinion on this but here it is... Words matter and anyone not knowing anything about anyone who post on this site could after reading your post conclude/agree that the author of the points in the OP was a bureaucrat and that you had a negative view of such people. = auto like because who doesn't like bureaucrats.  As you said your mussing had nothing to do with the OP - for you - yet it did.

I see this happening again and again in discussing important issues. A mussing is taken up by others and becomes a truth because we heard it somewhere. And worse instead of looking at a issue we denigrate the people we think are involved. Easier to call someone a name or label a group as being bad then discus the issue.

Added. I know that is not who you are.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 10:03:49 AM by rightleft22 »

Seriati

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #40 on: December 05, 2019, 11:26:03 AM »
As no one is arguing about the points made by the Author I assume no one is surprised that Trumps might engage this way. Those who support Trump won't care and those that do, do.

rightleft22, I think you almost got the "issue," here, but in reality there are two separate issues that are being conflated.

The first is that Trump is rude and dismissive about large reports where prior Presidents have been gracious.

The second is  the author's implication that Trump is dumb and won't read reports (implication because he can't) and that every other President read hundreds and hundreds of pages of minutia every time a report was handed to him.

I don't think there is any real dispute about the first, and I happen to think that the the first issue is ALL that is in operation here.  The second issue is what I've been disputing, and in particular the author's spin on what it means that Trump is rude where prior Presidents weren't.  The primary support for the author's position is nothing more than the first circumstance, and s/he's deliberately conflating and mixing the two issues.

If you can give me a reliable way to see proof that the author's spin is true it might be more persuasive, but it's going to be a very hard sell, because we all know that no President has ever had the kind of time it would take to read everything that anyone in the government wanted to put on their desks.

My strong suspicion from having been around and dealing with senior management of multiple entities over long periods of time is that the major difference is little more than Trump's rudeness, and if anything Trump's greater experience (as in decades more) as an executive that colors how he expects things to be distilled.  In other words, the exact opposite of the author's narrative that Trump is somehow dumber.

NobleHunter

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #41 on: December 05, 2019, 11:58:23 AM »
The narrative about Trump isn't that he refuses to read "hundreds and hundreds of pages" but that even the usual summaries of highlights have to be shrunk down to suit Trump's preferences/capabilities. If the facts and implications are true, it isn't a matter of forcing bureaucrats to create corporate-style slideshows and executive summaries but rather an inability or unwillingness to grasp anything that can't be put into bullet points.

Fenring

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #42 on: December 05, 2019, 12:17:52 PM »
The narrative about Trump isn't that he refuses to read "hundreds and hundreds of pages" but that even the usual summaries of highlights have to be shrunk down to suit Trump's preferences/capabilities. If the facts and implications are true, it isn't a matter of forcing bureaucrats to create corporate-style slideshows and executive summaries but rather an inability or unwillingness to grasp anything that can't be put into bullet points.

I can easily see a mismatch here in communication styles. I get the feeling that a new President gets 'briefings' on various matters, including how to expect to receive memos and commucations from various agencies, each of which has their own fancy terms and way of expressing things. Generally I suspect the President is expected to learn these various languages and get used to how each branch - military, FBI, CIA, etc - writes out their points. This isn't just a vanity thing but also to do with the fact that these agents exist across many Presidencies and it wouldn't be that efficient for them to have to uproot their methods and terminology every four years. But from Trump's point of view I can see him thinking that he's the CEO and they'd all better drop their previous habits and speak the way he wants them to. From their POV that might seem like he can't process their data (even if already summarized), and from his POV it might be that he insists on everyone streamlining their methods to his personal taste.

We don't even need to suppose that either side is wrong in this to see that there would be a rock and a hard place happening. Actually I'd be surprised if this wasn't happening, regardless of this particular report. That doesn't mean that Trump isn't having trouble, but is sort of a related point.

rightleft22

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2019, 01:28:10 PM »
Quote
If you can give me a reliable way to see proof that the author's spin is true it might be more persuasive

No I agree with you on this one.
First the author of Warning is Anonymous and the language he uses to outline his concern overgeneralizes and assumes he knows what Trump motives are.  In other words its spin and I see no point in paying any attention to what he/she has to say.

As I posted earlier removing all of hyperbole and assumptions you get that Trump prefers slimmed down PowerPoint presentations with images and dialog that is focused over wordy memos and such. I believe that is accurate as to Trumps meeting and information gathering preferences and is IMO valid. I suspect it works well for many situations  though may not be the best format to deliver complex information. As Trump is the boss its up to those reporting to him to find ways to get their information across. 

Having said that - Add Trump's personality quirks and mannerisms associated with his communication style its understandable (I think) that some of those reporting to him get frustrated. My perspective on his quirks is that I don't see Trump as being a great Listener or very flexible in moderating his preferences if a need presents itself.  Add in his propensity making fun of people and creating unflattering nicknames with people he works with and having not much of a filter... and again I can understand people seeing those traits as not befitting a Leader.  That of course does not prove Trump style and preference on how he is given information does or doesn't work. 

I doubt many people would argue that Trump doesn't behave this way or has these preferences. I've reported to managers who were similar. My experience is that sometimes it works well and sometimes it doesn't. If the manager was inflexible and unkind in his language, then yes when I was venting out of office I would describe them as a idiot and crap manager. If it really bothered me I'd quit... but managers come and go so I find a way to work with it. 
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 01:31:30 PM by rightleft22 »

TheDrake

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #44 on: December 05, 2019, 01:40:25 PM »
Quote
My strong suspicion from having been around and dealing with senior management of multiple entities over long periods of time is that the major difference is little more than Trump's rudeness, and if anything Trump's greater experience (as in decades more) as an executive that colors how he expects things to be distilled.  In other words, the exact opposite of the author's narrative that Trump is somehow dumber.

An executive that has never had to answer to a board of directors or play any internal politics over his entire  life. One that values making gut decisions on very little information (as described in his books). That's at the root of what some people see as a quick decisive leader, and others see as a lack of deep understanding and deliberation.

I also suspect that CEOs vary based on the industry. The tech industry is famous for CEOs that will delve deep frequently, for good or ill. Maybe that's part of what puts me off.

Of course if he listened to his briefings or read his memos, maybe he'd know which states aren't going to be hit by a hurricane. There aren't a lot of CEOs that get something like that wrong. Imagine the analysts surprise if a CEO forgot which state their manufacturing plant was in.

rightleft22

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #45 on: December 05, 2019, 03:03:29 PM »
Quote
Of course if he listened to his briefings or read his memos, maybe he'd know which states aren't going to be hit by a hurricane. There aren't a lot of CEOs that get something like that wrong. Imagine the analysts surprise if a CEO forgot which state their manufacturing plant was in.

To be fair the first briefings indicated a different track of of the Hurricane. The issue here could be that after the initial briefing someone of Trumps preferences stops listening to follow ups. A possibility of what happened but can't prove it.

TheDrake

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #46 on: December 05, 2019, 03:49:34 PM »
Exactly why you can't just put up one picture one time. Although none of the projections ever put the center near Alabama. And why all those words, showing probabilities and margin of error, are important to have around. Past presidents may not have had intense personal knowledge of all that information either, the executive summary would be something like the Southeast is likely to be hit with a hurricane, particularly Flordia. Executive response to FEMA, et al: Is everything in place to handle the disaster? Do you need anything to respond?

To the press: I refer you to NOAA and the national science advisor for regular updates.

To the public: Look to your state and local officials for detailed information

If you don't want the detail, don't try to use it. If you want to be hands off, keep them off.

Crunch

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #47 on: December 05, 2019, 06:08:20 PM »
The narrative about Trump isn't that he refuses to read "hundreds and hundreds of pages" but that even the usual summaries of highlights have to be shrunk down to suit Trump's preferences/capabilities. If the facts and implications are true, it isn't a matter of forcing bureaucrats to create corporate-style slideshows and executive summaries but rather an inability or unwillingness to grasp anything that can't be put into bullet points.

Orange man bad

TheDrake

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #48 on: December 05, 2019, 06:41:05 PM »
That's exactly how trump likes it. One simplistic bullet point. No wonder you admire him.

Crunch

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Re: A Warning
« Reply #49 on: December 06, 2019, 08:19:58 AM »
It is how he likes it. The left keeps doing it and Trump keeps reaping the benefits. It’s beyond bizarre that you guys keep doing this, knowing full well that it ultimately helps Trump.

You should save time, create a thread titled “orange man bad” and just post that in quotes every day