Tweeting The Way Forward

The Democratic Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, said today that “America cannot afford a Twitter President”. I cracked up. Man, is he in for a disappointment. The Donald has learned how to use Twitter to advance his goals and objectives. He’d be a fool to give it up, and while he is indeed many things, the DOTUS is far from a fool … case in point, the House Ethics rules.

It was revealed this morning that the Republicans in the House of Representatives had met in secret and voted to change the Ethics rules. When I heard that I said “Whaaa?” It was clearly a non-starter based on the optics alone. It might have been entirely justified, I don’t know either way, but everything else about how it was done looked horrible. And of course, the media jumped all over it saying “See! He promised to drain the swamp and they’re doing the opposite!”

So as soon as he heard about it, Trump composed a tweet with the hashtag #DTS for “Drain The Swamp”, viz:


In response, the Republicans reversed themselves and let the issue go.

Now I ask you … why would any sane man or woman give up Twitter when it can do that, when it lets Trump reach out, immediately and with a minimum of time and effort, to turn a whole bunch of folks on the wrong path around and then lead them in the direction he wants to go?

Anyhow, here’s my point, which has nothing to do with him giving up twitter. Be clear that Trump is not complaining via Twitter. He is not tweeting his objections. He is not opposing the Republicans. He’s not commenting on their actions.

My point is that what Trump is doing is leading via Twitter. Let me see if I can explain.

I studied Aikido for a while under a variety of masters. The word “ai-ki-do” means the path of harmonizing our “ki”, or energy, with the energy of the other person. The underlying idea of aikido is that the easiest way to take control of a situation is to start by taking the situation in the direction it is already going. Don’t oppose the other person, harmonize with them, move in their direction.

Then, when you and the other person are moving in parallel, looking at things in the same way, at that point it is easy to direct them where you want them to go. After all, you’re not opposing them, you’re working with them …

Now, notice what Trump did not do. He did NOT oppose the Republican action in any form. He did NOT say it was wrong. He did NOT try to stop them. Instead, he moved in parallel with them by his opening—by agreeing with them that there is a lot for them to work on.

Note that this refers peripherally to the fact that this was done first thing and in secret .. but it casts it in the context of them getting an early start on the work that they have to do. Nice misdirection.

He then offers them an olive branch, describing the Ethics act as “unfair as it may be”. Note that while he appears to agree it is unfair … that’s not what he says.

Having laid all that out, Trump reveals the ask—he says to them you can do it, just don’t do it as your number one act and priority. Not “don’t do it”, not “it’s wrong”, not even “consider changing your minds” … just “put it off”. And as any parent knows, that’s a much easier thing to sell, “you can do it later”, whether it’s true or not.

Finally, after moving in parallel with them and not opposing them, Trump then leads them in the direction that he thinks is important, viz “tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance”.

And off they went, to do just that …

He accomplished all of that in 280 characters … and Senator Schumer thinks he should give it up?

Luddite …


MY USUAL: if you comment please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING, so we can be clear just what your subject is.

30 thoughts on “Tweeting The Way Forward

  1. @ScottAdams observes this a Master Persuader in action, doing a very similar thing to your Aikido, referred to it as “pacing and leading”.

    Get on the wave with the opposition, pacing them, then leading them in the direction needed.

    So, Aikido is a form of persuasion, no?


  2. Just amazing how out of touch the Republican Congress continues to be. But, they have nothing on the Democrats… what does Schumer not understand about how Donald’s tweets work the way he wants them to?

    I will say it’s one thing to get the Republicans in Congress to back down from an optically oh-so-ugly self-inflicted wound; it will be quite another to get the whack-job in Pyongyang to do the same.


    • I believe it was the Navy Seabees (construction battalions) of WWII who had the saying that the difficult could be done immediately but the impossible would take a while. The [whatever childish title he gives himself] of the DPRK may fall in that second group.


    • JP Miller January 3, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      I will say it’s one thing to get the Republicans in Congress to back down from an optically oh-so-ugly self-inflicted wound; it will be quite another to get the whack-job in Pyongyang to do the same.

      Thanks, JP. While I agree, I also note that he’s already used twitter effectively against the folks in Bejing in the affair of the stolen underwater drone.



      • How about: DJT agrees to meet with Kim Jung-Un to send a message to China? That’s exactly how Trump thinks, isn’t it though!

        Oh, but since you live in California, there’s another tantalizing scenario (bear with me, I will bring this full circle to KJU). I understand you’re paying for John Holdren’s sinecure so you won’t be subject to the terrible, horrible DJT policies. He could start by relieving Kalifornia of any Federal tax change effects. AND, if you guys insist on a wall along the Sierra, OK, but I’m afraid you’ll have to pay for it.

        Let’s see, what else might your tax dollars help Holdren accomplish…

        Oh, right, no more buying those horrible, environmentally destructive electrons or carbon molecules generated outside Kalifornia. I’m SURE the huge upswing in green jobs will be the saving grace.

        Hmmm, that word: grace; kinda like buying indulgences. Kalifornia establishes its own Church of the Environment with Holdren its first Pope. Er, no, the word “Pope” won’t do, already taken by a guy with a prior claim. How about “Green Poobah”? No, too ostentatious. Oh, wait, I know: Green Czar. I don’t think anyone would object.

        I can just see it now: Kalifornia’s Green Czar Holdren and Pope Francis issue a joint communique acknowledging Laudato Si as the “incorruptible” basis for a new Kalifornia Konstitution, which will prove a “global model.” They announce plans for a PopeMobile tour of the new nation-state to raise awareness and alms, given the precarious financial condition DJT has imposed on their righteous citizenry. “Be not afraid,” Holdren declared. “We are on the true path to more than just simple energy independence! We are on the path to energy ENLIGHTENMENT!” The crowds are enthralled. Even Mariah Carey carried on with little need for warmth other than from the sun. “Together, we will achieve the Millenium!” added the soft-spoken Francis. “Government will whither away and we will all live together in environmentally sustainable peace!” the Pontiff promised, as the ultimate reality of the Christ.

        Wait, wait, this just in from Twitter #DTS, “Ah, go ahead KJU, they’ll think it’s the second coming and we won’t retaliate. Alligator problem solved, so can we all get back to #DTS in D.C.?”

        Once again, President Trump manages to outmaneuver Popes and madmen and solve “the environmental crisis” all in one 140 character diplomacy tweet. Simply amazing!? No, simply Donald.


    • Not saying some are not, but yours is the first time I’ve seen this. But then I don’t read much about politics and do not listen to speeches by politicians. Are we also to take from this that the other folks are the wise ones?


      • No, they are just as stupid, just in a different manner/method. Republicans, at least the Mainline, Establishment Republicans, are exactly the same as Democrats. Both love the idea of socialism/fascism/communism as long as THEY are in charge. Ya know? The Elites who control everything, own everything and run everything. That is why both groups are so enthralled with the idea of government controlled healthcare. People can grow/produce their own food. Healthcare? Not so much. The political Right opposes socialism/fascism/communism. That is why we voted for DJT and not for the Republican Party, and against the Democrat Party. Both Parties are to the Left of the majority of the American people, and it is time for the adherents of both Parties to get a thorough and prolonged a$$ f*cking.


  3. I still don’t understand why FBI does not investigate ethics violations in Congress. Why are the criminals in Congress the ones investigating crimes committed by criminals in Congress?


  4. In UK last night our Channel 4 News (BBC really) interviewed an ex CIA chief (Jim ?) and ex UK Ambassador. The CIA guy reckoned it was a new game from Trump that Govt needed to get used to. The ex-Ambassador took it to the extreme, rattling on about complex issues to be discussed so not Twitter. 140 chars…think thats obvious? Simply, Ch 4 and the ex-Ambassador had nothing to say..but this news channel appears to believe it is an authority of some kind. Trumps Tweets/Facebook stuff are enlightening I’d say…useful!


  5. I had similar thoughts to Hivemind when I read your article, Willis. Trump is creating his own ‘sound bites.’

    For years the LSM (Lame Stream Media) have used sound bites taken out of context from longer responses to leading questions the LSM ask pols, who talk too much anyhow. The LSM then uses the sound bites to support their narrative, not necessarily to report what the pols were actually saying in the larger context of their replies.

    That’s the tactical side of Trump’s tweets. The LSM can’t take a tweet out of context. The LSM can’t filter or skew his words because millions of people get the tweet at the same time as the LSM, and it’s clear that they hate that Trump controls the narrative. (Evidence: all the ‘wrong’ people are trying to get Trump to stop tweeting.)

    You’ve done an excellent job of illustrating the strategic value of specific Trump tweets, Willis. I only get about half the depth of what’s in Trump’s tweets. I appreciate your deeper analysis – and I share your wonderment – of what Trump accomplishes with 140 characters. Thanks.


    • Jim, no worries. I probably should put a thread up for random questions. In any case, here’s their abstract in quotes with my comments interspersed.


      Global mean surface temperatures are rising in response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

      Although presented as a fact, this is actually a theory. The theory is not well supported by observations, and the many predictions made on the basis of the theory have been uniformly wrong, often ludicrously so. We have no 50,000 climate refugees as promised. We have not lost any coral atolls as was fatuously claimed to be happening in defiance of Darwin. Nor have the models shown anything like what actually happened to temperatures, they all predicted much more warming than has occurred.

      The magnitude of this warming at equilibrium for a given radiative forcing—referred to as specific equilibrium climate sensitivity (S)—is still subject to uncertainties.

      From my perspective, the concept of a “climate sensitivity” reflects a total misunderstanding of how the climate system works. The temperature is not a linear function of the radiative forcing, that’s a childish oversimplification of an actively responding dynamic system.

      We estimate global mean temperature variations and S using a 784,000-year-long field reconstruction of sea surface temperatures and a transient paleoclimate model simulation.

      Two things. First, another of my rules of thumb:

      The further back in paleoville you are looking to find support for your theory, the weaker your theory is.

      Next, we cannot yet successfully model the weather for much further out than a season or so even on a very gross level. And that is for today’s weather. Climate is a long-term average of weather, generally thirty years or more.

      So we’ve taken weather models that fail after a few months, and we run them for a century … and we fudge things so it kinda sorta fits the historical record. Then we claim that we can predict the future evolution of the climate using those models.

      Then in a final leap of fantasy, we apply those models to what we think happened eight hundred thousand years ago

      Perhaps on your planet that passes for science, Jim. On mine it doesn’t pass the laugh test. Iterative models like the climate models are notoriously bad at predictive future states of chaotic systems … and the climate is arguably the most complex system we’ve ever tried to model.

      In any case guess what they found? They found that they agree with the climate alarmists, claiming a high “climate sensitivity”. Go figure.

      Our results reveal that S is strongly dependent on the climate background state, with significantly larger values attained during warm phases. Using the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 for future greenhouse radiative forcing, we find that the range of paleo-based estimates of Earth’s future warming by 2100 CE overlaps with the upper range of climate simulations conducted as part of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). Furthermore, we find that within the 21st century, global mean temperatures will very likely exceed maximum levels reconstructed for the last 784,000 years. On the basis of temperature data from eight glacial cycles, our results provide an independent validation of the magnitude of current CMIP5 warming projections.

      … and the usual blah, blah, blah of meaningless results from meaningless models of fantasies of what happened nearly a million years ago …

      You might have heard the old computer acronym GIGO, meaning “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. Well these days that meaning is soooo twentieth century.

      These days it means “Garbage In … Grants Out”.




      • “Iterative models like the climate models are notoriously bad at predictive future states of chaotic systems … and the climate is arguably the most complex system we’ve ever tried to model.”
        As long as were asking for your input— There is a video on the Heartland site by Patrick Frank
        ( It seems to make a lot of sense in its analysis of error projection. As a surveyor I have had to deal with this concept most of my career but there are some aspects of his presentation I don’t have the expertise to assess. If you have a chance to review it I, and I’m sure many others, would be grateful. His closing statement is “if they had done this standard analysis 25 years ago we wouldn’t be in this mess.


      • “Climate is a long-term average of weather, generally thirty years or more.” How does weather get averaged to produce this – ?
        And if climate has changed, where can I find the old and new Koppen climate zone maps?
        Are the parameters of weather congruent or consistent with the parameters of climate? I’ve never seen weather reports in the same measurable terms as these climate zones. What’s being averaged? In these sentences does “average” have a mathematical meaning?

        Off topic, but it could make an interesting article for WUWT.


      • Willis,
        Thanks for your response. I fully agree.

        The paper (Nonlinear climate sensitivity and its implications for future greenhouse warming ) was sent to me by a good friend, John Fulton. I think it’s fair to say that John’s an expert at resolving data to discover what’s behind it (similar to your capabilities). John’s formal expertise is rotor dynamics (examples: , ) but he is involved with the analysis of many other complex systems.
        I should have held off sending you the paper until I received permission from John to send you his mathematical discussion of the paper and his sensitivity analysis (which I received a few hours after I forwarded the paper).
        Here is John’s email to me with permission to send you his analysis:

        Feel free to forward.

        Yes, I conclude climate sensitivity is due to the complete set of forcing effects, not just CO2, It shows big amplifications and oscillations compared to the linear energy-balance I showed first.. I do not think climate goes unstable, except in special cases, for instance “snow-ball earth” (speculative) or the planet Venus thermal run-away (fact.)

        An example of a system which is very stable, but ultimately not completely predictable is the orbit of the moon — see The business cycle is unpredictable. The weather is only predictable for the near future, but that interval is improving. That calculation is very sensitive to initial conditions. Climate prediction depends on modeling the forcing effects and feed-back, which do not yet seem fully understood.

        Happy New Year,

        And here is his analysis:

        I would appreciate your comments to John’s analysis which I will forward to John (by giving him your blog address).

        Best regards,

        Jim Berry


  6. Trump may rescue Twitter (TWTR) from oblivion.

    Did you see this on FOX News dot com
    Lawmaker’s son grounded after ‘dabbing’ moment with Paul Ryan
    And Ryan says “Still don’t get what dabbing is, though.”


    • That is called “daping”. Came out of 1960s early ’70s Black Culture. Watch some of the early “Blacksploitation” movies and ’70s TV shows. For a sort of short Whitey McWhite from Whitesville I could dap with the best of them. The majority of white people can be so embarrassing.


  7. Trump uses Twitter, but could just as effectively use any other electronic medium. Perhaps the larger point is that the -elect is having more impact than the incumbent. Ol’ Stompy-Foot can lay a few stinky turds here and there for the successor sanitation crew, but the guy with the squirrel in his hair is getting it done without benefit of actually assuming office. Talk about influence pedaling………, or maybe spreading. He effectively added a couple months to his term on major policy issues.

    Lessons to be drawn? Political correctness is not. There is a place for forthright and direct and descriptive. The electorate has not been deceived, but the chattering classes have been.


  8. Nice blog, Willis. I understand that you plan to continue postings on WUWT, rather than here. For those of us who read everything you write, have you considered posting some of your best older articles here? They can probably be found by searching WUWT, but that’s a bit of a pain. I’d love to re-read (or read for the first time) some of the gems you’ve previously posted.

    With all best regards,



    • Thanks for the vote of confidence, Don. I’ve written over five hundred scientific articles for WUWT, I have no idea which are the gems. One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.



      • Thanks for the list of your articles—that will save me a lot of time. I’m particularly interested in your article “The cosmic problem with rays” last October. You may recall that I commented at the time
        Most of the data in these curves older than about 15,000 years is highly speculative and inaccurate. \

        “Consider how δ14C is determined. You need to know the measured 14C age of wood and the calendar age–the difference allows you to calculate δ14C. You can measure the 14C age in a mass spec, and the calendar age can be measured by counting tree rings. That works well for living trees (up to a couple thousand years) and that can be extended to somewhere around 8,000 years or so by matching tree rings in dead trees. Beyond that, you have to use some other way to determine calendar ages, generally various cyclic deposits, but they are quite inaccurate.
        A second problem is that the older a sample, the less accurate the dating becomes. For example, the usual +/- for a 10k sample is about +/- 50 years, but for a 30-40k it is generally a few thousand years. Thus, although the accuracy of older samples is OK for most purposes, it is not accurate enough for detailed δ14C calculations.
        An even greater problem is determining the calendar age of a 14C-dated sample. How can you do that with sufficient accuracy to calculate δ14C? The answer is that you really can’t.
        The bottom line here is that, aside from Willis’s reservations, I wouldn’t bet a nickel on the accuracy of any of the δ14C data beyond about 20k in the paper.”

        I’m much interested in your thoughts on the relationships between δ14C, cosmic radiation, and solar magnetic fields. Many years ago (1970s), I measured remnant magnetism (declination and inclination) of hundreds of samples of dated, fine-grained sediments, tracking migration of the North magnetic Pole over thousands of years. Later, I worked with Vaclav Bucha, Director of the Czech Geophysical Institute, trying to connect climate with variations in the Earth’s magnetic field. Bucha had collected data from various observatories and observed that changes in the Earth’s dipole field seemed to correlate with fluctuations of the Arctic low pressure system, which controls the weather in north-central Europe. He thought variations of incoming cosmic radiation were affected by the Earth’s dipole field, and ionization in the upper atmosphere affected cloud and storm generation. His data seemed to show that storms in north central Europe were preceded by changes in incoming Arctic radiation and deepening of the Arctic low pressure system (a kind of precursor to the Svensmark hypothesis). He actually had a fair amount of success in predicting weather patterns from observatory data. Our joint interest was in the relationship between long-term changes in the dipole field and Pleistocene glaciations. He developed a working hypothesis that long-term changes in the dipole field resulted in climate changes. So we looked at what happened to climate during paleomagnetic reversals, especially the Laschamp and another around 100 ky. We weren’t successful, but learned a lot about the dipole field.
        Another of my long-time interests is 14C. At one point, I had my own 14C lab and worked with Minze Stuiver as he developed an enrichment process to extend 14C dating from 40k to 75k. Minze developed the early δ14C curves by dating tree rings of known age. He published a series of papers on the relationship between δ14C and its relationship to solar variations. In recent years, I’ve been using 10Be to date boulders on glacial deposits in both Hemispheres, so am familiar with the complications in determining 10Be production rates. The similarity between variations in δ14C and 10Be is striking.
        I just published a paper attempting to pull a lot of this stuff together. If you would send me your email address, I’ll send it to you—I be very interested in your thoughts.


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