Biden’s First @POTUS Tweet

In about a week, Twitter will unlock the US President’s @POTUS account and turn it over to Joe Biden. What will he say?

Twitter kicked Donald Trump off its platform last week. His personal @realDonaldTrump account went first, @POTUS soon after. Biden gets @POTUS with a fresh start.

Biden will have 240 characters to get his message across. That is the length of the first two paragraphs of this post. But Biden shouldn’t need that much in his first tweet. In fact, he could get by with only one character:


Any other ideas about what he should tweet?

The Hangover, Part D

The country is about to have a massive hangover. It’s been on a 5 year stimulation binge, fueled by non-stop tweets and righteous outrage from the left and right. The tweeter-in-chief will keep it up once out of office, but the media coverage and shit-stirring will (hopefully) drop down a notch.

Binge drink for a night and you wake up with a hangover. Binge on tweet-crack for 5 years and you end up with the shakes, or worse.

Fortunately, there is already a name for the condition that is associated with withdrawal from 24×7 Donald Trump.

I suppose you could just call it the DTs.

The Dem’s Twitter Problem

The Democrats have a Twitter problem: They suck at it.

Donald Trump has understands that Twitter is a amazing platform for punchy one-liners. He is brilliant at it. His sound bites come fast and furious and the press eats it up so he dominates the news cycle at will.

The Dems have no answer to this. Their top legislators, Nancy Peolsi and Chuck Schumer, play it safe on Twitter. Rising stars like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar do as well. That makes sense electorally and legislatively, but not in terms of taking Trump on.

What the Dems need is a trash talking surrogate. Someone who can command press attention, sink to Trump’s level of discourse and command enough press attention to stay in the news.

The obvious option is one of the almost 20 people running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. One of them should just go for it. How about Beto O’Rourke? There is no way he actually get the nomination, but the press loves him and if he goes mano a mano against Trump on Twitter they will love him even more.

It might even boost his presidential chances. After all, it worked for Trump.

Mueller’s Real Strategy?

A few days ago Donald Trump took to Twitter to defend his son, Don Jr. regarding a meeting with a Russian operative before the 2016 election. In doing so he contradicted his earlier tweets about the same meeting.

Maybe this is special counsel Robert Mueller’s real strategy. Get real close to Trump without actually touching him and wait for him to flinch. Mueller’s got Trump’s campaign manager, his personal lawyer, maybe his son (and son-in-law) and Trump gets nervous and tweets out something that basically says, “What I said earlier was a lie. Here’s the real story.”

It must be really agonizing for Trump to watch Mueller’s activities slowly play out, kind of a Chinese water torture. Tweeting may make Trump feel good, but I’m guessing Mueller feels even better.

Trump, Snap, Twitter

If Donald Trump ever snaps, and that is a very big if, it will likely be on Twitter. Trump will send a series of rambling tweets late at night or or early morning.

  • There will be exclamation points!!
  • He will blast FAKE NEWS while promoting some of his own
  • His innocence will be asserted
  • Blame will be placed on Hillary and/or Obama
  • He will claim that the law is unfair or misunderstood
  • His supporters will be mobilized mentally and physically

Barely coherent, his Twitter rant will do little to help his cause and instead do it significant harm. Trump may backtrack a bit once his advisors get to him later that day. But his supporters will get the message. When it is time to take to the streets, they will be there.



The Next Surgeon General’s Warning

Back in the 1990’s Microsoft was the Wicked Witch of the tech world. The techies were upset that the company made substandard software and then forced everyone to use it. For example, Internet Explorer was not as good as Netscape Navigator, but because Microsoft had tremendous clout in the market it could cut business deals that made it hard for consumers to use anything else and muscled Netscape out of business.

The government finally got involved went after Microsoft and got very close to breaking the company up, just like it did with Ma Bell in the early 1980s.

The current captains of tech learned their lesson. Google, Facebook and Twitter make pretty decent software. More importantly, they (mostly) don’t cut business deals that force you use it.

Instead, they work on your addictions. The employ behavioral physiologists and their techniques to get you hooked on their services. The smartphone and ubiquitous internet was a godsend to these companies, because you can feed your addiction to these services anywhere, not just at your desk – in your car, walking down the street, in the toilet, .

What they did not learn from Microsoft’s experience is that anything that gets too big and indispensable will eventually generate backlash. First, politicians from the left railed against these companies for allowing themselves to be used by fake news to influence the election of Donald Trump. Next, politicians from the right are upset that these companies are over correcting.

When both sides of the political aisle have you in their sights, it cannot be good.

It is not clear what the politicians will come up with, but it is clear that the underlying problem is the addictive nature of these services. If people were not so compelled to use them, they wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

Maybe a Surgeon General’s Warning would help:
Social media and search are highly addictive. Quitting greatly reduces serious risks to your mental and political health.

Thank You, Russians

We really owe the Russians a big ‘thank you’ for all of their activities during the past election. Russians can do music and ballet delicately, but they are quite ham-fisted when it comes to politics. Which is good, because if they had been more subtle their efforts might have gone undetected.

Now that they have been exposed, the results are mostly positive:

  • Anti hacking security is being taken more seriously. Electoral authorities are tightening up their vote tallying systems. Campaigns are finally taking measures to protect their emails and communications
  • Fake news and the robots that spread it have been exposed. There still are not a lot of great options for fighting it, but there is a start
  • There is a massive spotlight on the the power of Facebook, Twitter and others that would not have been there had the Russians not tried to use them to manipulate public opinion
  • Russia’s actions prompted a very rare show of Congressional bipartisanship and independence. Legislation to punish Russia passed overwhelmingly, with specific language to keep Trump from end-running it.
  • A Special Counsel was appointed investigate the Russian activities. For the anti-Trump crowd this alone is a huge positive, as the investigation has spilled over to the shady financing that undermines Trump Inc.

Of course, all of this will be for naught if the lessons are quickly forgotten.

Where’s Papa Bear?

So  far, Donald Trump has been uncharacteristically restrained in his comments about his son’s dealings with the Russians. One would have expected him to be very vocal about the attacks on his namesake. There are a number of possible reasons why Trump is holstering his Twitter handle on this one.

  • He knows it is bad and is hoping it blows over
  • He does not want to say anything that may later be proven to be a lie by his son
  • He is keeping his powder dry in case his son really gets into trouble
  • He is selling his son down the river to deflect attention from himself

It is hard to imagine that the last reason is valid considering the tight family circle that is Trump Inc. After all, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son in law, was also involved, and if it turns out illegalities were performed, the two of them might go down together.

No, it is probably a combination of the first three reasons, with the emphasis on the first one. Trump is smart enough to know that the issue has absolutely no chance of blowing over if he goes to the mat on it.

It likely won’t blow over though, so look for papa bear to come out swinging on behalf of his cubs when things heat up.