Lion of the Blogosphere

Lion says that Mike Pompeo wrote the op-ed

Link to anonymous op-ed.

It has been said, with truth, that a “senior official in the Trump administration” could theoretically be from a much larger group of people than you might assume. Somebody who works for somebody who works for a cabinet member might be a “senior official.”

But I am convinced by arguments that the author is someone who is truly senior, someone whose name would be known to those of us who follow politics. The NY Times would take a lot of abuse if it turned out to be someone who works for someone who works for someone else. On the other hand, they would feel very smug about publishing the editorial if the author turns out to be someone important.

The author gives hints that he’s someone who regularly attends meetings with the President. The author writes:

Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.

While the NY Times is more than OK with the author digging his own grave by writing the op-ed, I don’t think they would let him inflate his importance.

Also I’m using the word “he” to refer to the author. It is said that the NY Times referred to the author as a “he” and then walked back from that. “Times op-ed page editor Jim Dao told CNN that’s just the paper’s standard for referring to someone who is not named.” I don’t know, that sounds pretty politically incorrect to use “he” to refer to all individuals.

Anyway, I’m ruling out Nikki Haley; I’m going to assume that she’s not so devious that she would write an anonymous op-ed, and then write an op-ed penned under her own name attacking herself!

There is a key that the author is part of the Republican conservative establishment:

Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.

And then he writes:

There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.

That screams establishment Republican, and rules out all of the business people and generals who are in the Trump administration. The tribute to John McCain also makes it more likely that the author was formerly a member of Congress.

There was a blog commenter who thought it was James Mattis because he says the writer sounds like a high-IQ military guy. I would rule out Mattis because he’s not an establishment Republican, but there is a high-IQ ex-military guy on the Trump cabinet who is also a former member of Congress, that’s Mike Pompeo. He graduated first in his class from West Point, then left the army after achieving the rank of Captain to attend Harvard Law school.

The libertarian-sounding stuff is in line with Mike Pompeo, who is associated with the Koch Brothers, and he gave a speech at the Heritage Foundation where he said “First as a private citizen and then as a member of Congress, and even today, the Heritage Foundation has shaped my thinking on matters of the world and public policy issues.”

The op-ed spends a lot of time talking about foreign policy. And Mike Pompeo is Secretary of State! Bingo!

And the clincher is that the op-ed author uses the phrase “malign behavior.” That’s not something I would ever write, but Pompeo has used that exact wording multiple times, including that Heritage Foundation speech, and this interview with CNBC.

* * *

If Mike Pompeo is confirmed as the author by 12/31/2018, I win $495! Otherwise I lose $5.

* * *

A commenter writes:

There is an analysis called TF-IDF which weighs the words of a person’s writing. Decomposing their writings to numerical vectors, you then do a cosine analysis between the writing of the op-Ed and past writings of other people. The higher the weight, the more likely it is the person. Correlating the op-Ed with past writings show that other than Trump, the next highest score is Pompeo.

I hope you’re right so I can be $500 richer!

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Politics

65 Responses

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  1. “Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people.”

    You can’t have free people with an controlled and concentrated media. Free minds, he’s putting free speech principles into practice by example more than any president of my lifetime. Free markets within politically controlled boundaries are an wonderful thing and this president has supported that arrangement.

    Curle

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

  2. I don’t think so. Like previous commenters wrote in response to your previous post, it’s probably just some anonymous no-name nobody, who as you say could still feasibly be called a senior official. The NYT (and all lamestream media) are desperate to attack Trump any way they can, so of course the NYT would stoop to the level of playing a language game in calling the author a senior official when in fact he’s only a paper-pushing ghost. The NYT these days would really stoop to anything; their post-Trump-election lurch to the extreme left has really surprised me in exposing just how unethical and valueless they are.

    Chobby

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

    • “The NYT these days”

      They romanticized Fidel. They’ve always been scum.

      Curle

      September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Yeah, I think Lion makes a decent argument but based on what I know about the NYT, I think it’s more likely that this is some flunkie who is exaggerating his importance.

      I don’t think the New York Times is worried about “taking a lot of abuse” if the truth should come out. They’ve been shown to be Leftist liars many times over the years; they know that their readership is hungry for news that confirms their Leftist delusions and will forgive them for exaggerating, even wildly exaggerating.

      fortaleza84

      September 9, 2018 at EDT am

  3. No…

    No one in Trump’s administration wrote it.

    It’s fake.

    Notice how this fake op-ed is coordinated with Alex Jones’ off-the-wall antics, his visible attacks on Marco Rubio and his other very public misbehavior. Remember, the attack on Rubio is calibrated around the “foam party” meme running around the net, which is why Jones told him to “go back to the bathhouse.”

    Now we have Apple getting rid of the InfoWars app.

    This is all designed to sow doubt in any information coming out of the White House and to burnish AJ’s credentials as a “maverick” speaking truth-to-power.

    The idea is to have alt-right eyeballs coalesce around AJ and away from anyone associated with the White House. Then “evidence” will be conveniently found “proving” that AJ is part of a foreign intelligence operation, which will then be fitted into the Russian collusion narrative.

    map

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

    • I would argue that Rod Rosenstein wrote the op-ed.

      He has written op-eds for the NYT’s before.

      This is a desperate act and it probably signals that Trump will be declassifying documents.

      map

      September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

      • Probably using Rod Rosenstein to lead the Democrats down a further path of crazy.

        map

        September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

      • As much as I would like to believe that Rosenstein wrote the Op-Ed, I doubt he is that stupid. What would make that act especially stupid is self evident.

        Jon

        September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Rubio’s an opportunist dolt who is the puppet of a Miami car dealer who just happens to have made a fortune selling cars to the otherwise careless; e.g. immigrants. Follow the money.

      Curle

      September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

      • Carless.

        Curle

        September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

      • Not defending rubio…

        map

        September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

  4. If it were true, he could be subjected to blackmail from NYT considering this :

    https://nypost.com/2018/09/06/mike-pompeo-denies-writing-damning-new-york-times-op-ed/

    What would he gain from doing that ? Except if he is backed by Pence ….

    Bruno

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

  5. Just 2 weeks after Pompeo became Secretary of State, someone leaked extensive details of an immigration-focused Cabinet meeting to the New York Times to make DJT sound unhinged and to white-knight for the relatively youthful DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

    Fiddlesticks

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

    • strange anecdote, nielson and I attended the same elementary school a few years apart.

      toomanymice

      September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Festering female wrath isn’t something to mess with. Trump should know that.

      Jon

      September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

  6. It’s possible; they caught the unabomber through linguistic analysis. He was using an outdated style guide and via that they accurately pinpointed his age. Also, his sister in law recognized his writing style. For a smart guy he was very stupid.

    toomanymice

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Also helped the FBI catch Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht.

      Lot

      September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

  7. “The NY Times would take a lot of abuse if it turned out to be someone who works for someone who works for someone else. On the other hand, they would feel very smug about publishing the editorial if the author turns out to be someone important…. While the NY Times is more than OK with the author digging his own grave by writing the op-ed, I don’t think they would let him inflate his importance.”

    This logic is really weak, Lion. For the past three years the media, including the NYT, has been blowing up non-scandals and minor scandals about Donald Trump beyond all due proportion, and it’s more logical to figure they’re doing the same here. We know the NYT inflates the importance of their sources because they admit themselves they call hundreds of people “senior administration officials.” The op-ed writer is employed in the Trump administration — in a job media outlets routinely call senior — and he bashes it with gusto, and that’s all the hook they needed.

    I also don’t think Pompeo would be stupid enough to write this op-ed. There’s a high probability whoever wrote it would get their name leaked, and he’s too much of an old player to not know this. Why would he torch his career while he’s at the top of it, with a chance to do something historic in North Korea and who knows where else? Pompeo is NEVER going to get a job more prestigious than Sec State. The author is obviously someone lower-ranking who hopes he could get a better job later, and believes Trumpism is just a temporary phase that he’ll have to kiss off at some point.

    Richard

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

  8. The anonymous book or article is a political parlour game that pundits play about once per decade.

    The most famous was the article by “Mr. X” in 1947 arguing for a containment policy toward the Soviet Union. The author turned out to be George F. Kennan.

    In 1990, an anonymous article titled “To The Stalin Mausoleum” accurately predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union. The author was revealed to be Prof. Martin Malia.

    And there was also the novel Primary Colors by Anonymous, who was, of course, writer Joe Klein.

    (The second sentence of the novel begins, “I am small,” which translates into German as “Ich bin klein.”)

    Justice Duvall

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

    • I’d say the most (in)famous anonymous publication is protocols of elders of zion. The damn thing is still widely circulated and published, and taken seriously in the arab world.

      toomanymice

      September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

  9. I haven’t followed the Trump administration enough to hazard a guess After all, I’m not an American, but many Canadians follow the US at some level.

    I remember my parents following and discussing American news. They always supported the Dems. But that was long before the left went insane.

    Since I abandoned following the news really closely due to it aggravating my pre-existing depression, I have been rather negligent. The stories about that idiot Canadian PM Trudeau are usually to depressing to read, especially if it includes his photo.

    I rely on my sister (made of sterner stuff) to pass on the important stuff.

    Let’s just say I didn’t read the NYT op ed but glanced at it. Over 15K comments. That’s very high.

    NYT is complicit in a coup attempt.

    I have already cancelled my subscription over Sarah Jeong.

    Frau Katze

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

    • “Since I abandoned following the news really closely due to it aggravating my pre-existing depression, ”

      It aggravates my pre-existing tendency to become enraged.

      The transgender stuff especially.

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/06/transgender-person-accused-rape-remanded-female-prison-sexually/

      I do not understand why people aren’t — never mind.

      gothamette

      September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

      • I’m really tired of the whole transgender thing. Huge changes are proposed for this tiny minority, many of whom don’t seem mentally stable. I admit I was furious about the prison thing: suggestions include building new prisons just for them. And the cases of real males going after women in the new unisex washrooms was completely predictable. I predicted it myself.

        It’s unclear why some things evoke anger and others depression. The trans people are too small of a minority to really make big changes. I might be wrong.

        But Trudeau is definitely working on permanent change.

        Frau Katze

        September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

  10. I would be impressed with the NYT if the author were a woman. The “he” thing would have been a nice touch. If you believe editors there are PC SJWs in their bones, then you’d be inclined to think they wouldn’t slip up. I do not think it’s Pompeo, the sitting Secretary of State(!) and former Director of the CIA. That’s crazy.

    I also don’t think it’s Haley, Pence, or anyone with political ambitions post-Trump. On Predictit, the leading candidate is Fiona Hill, a Brookings Russia nerd born and raised in the UK. People claim her writing style is similar to that found in the op-ed. I also wouldn’t be surprised if anonymous is more than one person (though only one of the authors is known to the Times).

    Vince

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

  11. No one will remember this op-ed in a month because the election season will begin and we will see both sides pulling out big guns. Hoping for declassification of the FISA documents and, if we’re lucky, Sessions hasn’t been asleep at the wheel and has real movement on Clinton/Comey/Mueller/Obama coup, plus your pick of other scandals. It’d be nice to put pressure on the tech giants & CNN/MSN & DNC collaboration on censorship, for example. Or just throw in the Dems faces the violence of BLM / Antifa / etc etc.

    Panther of the Blogocube

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

  12. Lion, you changed my mind.
    Op-ed read as if Wesley Clark had written it.
    And he graduated West Point, too.

    howitzer daniel

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

  13. I just want to live in a world where Trump is the one who sending out these anonymous reports in order to psy-op the establishment media, as the master 4D chess player he is (supposed to be). And if only Qanon wasn’t some boomer LARP trap.

    Lenny

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

  14. The writing style of the Op-Ed didn’t read as high IQ to me. It read as marginally lower than would probably be appropriate for a WH position.

    Jon

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Huntsman makes the most sense. Total establishment guy who never liked Trump and whom Trump was basically strong-armed into making ambassador to Russia. Probably trying to position himself as the Never-Trumper candidate in 2020. What are Lion’s arguments against him?

      Peter Akuleyev

      September 9, 2018 at EDT am

  15. I haven’t posted one of my cute girls/big guns videos in a while. Here’s a MILF type shooting a 338 Winchester Magnum, and handling it pretty well. This round is way too powerful for deer and even elk, with its most appropriate use being for moose and Alaskan brown bear. Probably 90% of adult men couldn’t handle it without extensive shooting experience. But this chick does fine.

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    September 8, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Thanks! I enjoy your gun videos. The UK hasn’t seen a gun in decades, so we have no idea about them.

      The lioncub

      September 9, 2018 at EDT am

    • Have you ever heard of Annie Oakley? She was for real. I mean, she lived, and was truly an extraordinarily good shot.

      She thought (a) all women should learn to shoot (b) offered to rustle up a regiment o’ women for WWI, and (c) was against women’s suffrage!

      gothamette

      September 9, 2018 at EDT am

      • Annie Oakley used many different guns, but her favorite was a Winchester Model 73 in caliber 44-40. The difference between shooting a 44-40 and shooting a 338 Winchester Magnum like in the clip above is like the difference between a 1-mile “fun run” and the Ironman Triathlon.
        Interesting note: the Model 73 and the 44-40 came out in 1873. Both are still in production.

        Peter

        ironrailsironweights

        September 9, 2018 at EDT am

      • Sorry – confused – are you saying the model used by Annie Oakley was the lighter one?
        Don’t forget she was a performer and was doing this pretty much every day.

        gothamette

        September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

      • I agree with Oakley on A and C but not B. On the other hand, if every woman thought like you or my mother or my wife then I’d probably be against male suffrage.

        destructure

        September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

      • I’m against suffrage, period.

        gothamette

        September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

      • She was also good looking. Google her.

        gothamette

        September 10, 2018 at EDT am

      • @destructure – re: B, she was politely rebuffed.

        gothamette

        September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

      • “I’m against suffrage, period.”

        I guess I am, too. But you already know my opinion of democracy. It’s a fraud.

        destructure

        September 10, 2018 at EDT am

      • We’re stuck with it, kiddo. Anyway it’s the mass of white voters who are the only counterweight to Corporate Power, which is the main institutional muscle behind the Transgender Crazy Ideology (TCI). Without Corporate America they’d still be nothin’ but a bunch of hos.

        gothamette

        September 10, 2018 at EDT am

      • I remember seeing a map showing much less Dem the US would be if women didn’t vote.

        When I first heard the idea, I was offended.

        Now I’ve come around. It’s dopy sentimental women worrying about refugees (who in all likelihood aren’t even refugees) bringing in all these people or letting them cross the border.

        But the early suffragettes were pretty determined. Woman can be aggressive in their own way.

        They’re allowed to vote in Iran, although the elections there are pretty rigged. Iran is an interesting country. It’s not like Saudi Arabia.

        Women can go to university and work in some professions. For example, gynaecologists have to be female. Men are just not allowed.

        There’s one hospital in Teheran with all female staff in every position.

        Plus at the big shrines the men and women are both allowed but on opposite sides. In Saudi Arabia women are not permitted to even enter a mosque.

        Frau Katze

        September 10, 2018 at EDT am

      • It’s also squishy Republican women who personify the “nice white lady” stereotype. They are the ones who love to adopt beautiful little African babies.

        gothamette

        September 10, 2018 at EDT am

    • I’m 90% certain she’s wearing hair extensions. Notice the layer of shorter hair over the longer hair. And those big curls are a common way women ‘blend’ extensions.

      toomanymice

      September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

    • I’m not a fan of magnums. I believe in using the least recoiling cartridge that will do the job well. So I’d probably go with a 9.3×62 for brown bear and buffalo and 30-06 for elk and moose. I used one for deer and pigs until I switched to 7mm08 and 30-30. Much more pleasant and work just as well.

      destructure

      September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

      • What’s the best gun for shooting coyotes that a woman can handle w/out too much recoil?

        gothamette

        September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

      • Coyotes aren’t that big. So you wouldn’t have any problem with any cartridge suitable for them. But for just coyotes, I’d go with a 223. Some people would recommend a 243 (which is also suitable as a combination deer, pig and dog gun) or 22-250 for longer range. But the 223 is more than enough for the distances you would be shooting. And it’s definitely the most pleasant of the three. Less recoil, less muzzle blast and less expensive ammo.

        Here are a few rifles I was considering a while back. If you decide to go with one let me know and I’ll try to find you one at a good price. Expect to pay another $100-150 for bases, rings and scope.

        Howa mini action ~400$
        Savage 25 walking varminter ~400$
        Remington model seven ~600$
        Ruger mini 14 ~750$

        I went with the Remington model seven. But if you want to go the budget route then there’s nothing wrong with getting a Savage Axis from Walmart for about $250. They may not be heirloom quality but the people who buy them are usually pretty happy.
        **
        If you’re wanting to just do some target practice then I’d recommend either a Ruger 10/22 or CZ455 in 22lr. Not only are they nice little rifles but the ammunition is a fraction of the cost. They don’t have the juice for coyote hunting. So don’t even think about it! 🙂

        destructure

        September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

      • Thanks destructure! The info isn’t for me – it’s writing project. (She said coyly.)

        gothamette

        September 12, 2018 at EDT pm

  16. https://github.com/mkearney/resist_oped/blob/master/README.md

    The three highest scores are for vector correlation are Potus, Pence, Pompeo and Ross. Potus and Pence correlates almost as much as 1. So if it was produced by them, the article has a pastiche dimension.

    Bruno

    September 9, 2018 at EDT am

  17. I like Huntsman non denial : never sent an anonymous op-ed !

    Bruno

    September 9, 2018 at EDT am

  18. Couldn’t the language-pattern stuff be used to falsely make it seem as if it was written by a certain person?

    Perturabo

    September 9, 2018 at EDT am

    • Yes which is why it’s probably not pence (‘lodestar’) or pompeo (malign as adjective). Someone looked for quirky usages of senior staff and intentionally plugged them in.

      Another weird usage is the term ‘first principles.’ This points to someone with a background in philosophy, or trying to mimic someone who does.

      To me it reads as fake, like a liberal trying to put himself in the mind of an anti-trump conservative, but holding back on anything vicious and characteristic of the left. Note there’s not a word about immigration. Again it doesn’t even say anything that negative apart from ‘whisperings’ of impeachment. Which makes me think this is some kind of psychological effort to make trump and his administration paranoid. Alternatively it could have indeed been written by a member of his staff but insincerely so, for some as of yet unclear purpose.

      or maybe it was written by a foreign agent. The style is odd, kind of half baked academic mixed with colloquial and journalistic signatures.

      toomanymice

      September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

      • “or maybe it was written by a foreign agent.”

        A Russian? LOL.

        gothamette

        September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

      • maybe it was melania lol

        toomanymice

        September 10, 2018 at EDT am

  19. “The NY Times would take a lot of abuse if it turned out to be someone who works for someone who works for someone else. ”

    Would they? I seriously doubt it. They’ve scammed us before.

    NYT was caught in 2011 calling an anonymous source (who turned out to be an intern) a ‘senior official’

    Mike Street Station

    September 9, 2018 at EDT am

  20. This is a good article:

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-trumps-record-trumps-medias-spin-30757

    Really guys, read it. Dull title, good content.

    gothamette

    September 9, 2018 at EDT am

    • Thanks. The same is true in the UK. The left-wing media (led by the BBC) no longer does investigative reporting or serious journalism, everything is at the level of celebrity chatter. Trump for instance is covered almost every day, but even in the serious press the discussion is never (literally) about policy issues. The booming US economy, rising wages, falling unemployment for minorities, foreign policy successes in trade negotiations etc etc are totally ignored. The rise of populist European parties is routinely broadcast as the return of fascism. And yet people are no longer listening. Hopefully the Swedes will continue this trend today.

      lioncub

      September 9, 2018 at EDT am

  21. The problem with using linguistic analysis of these upper-level people is that they usually don’t write their own speeches or articles/books. My guess: someone relatively senior from Pence’s staff. It’s crawling with Koch Bros/Truecon types.

    sj2001

    September 9, 2018 at EDT am

  22. Pompeo I ruled out because he is a restrictionist who would not like McCain. He also was plucked from obscurity by Trump to two great positions.

    He is also fairly young and less likely to take a risk like this.

    Lot

    September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

  23. I have available funds on predictit but wouldn’t put money on this one because of the short time frame and also because it says “NYT confirms.”

    It could be an open secret, or even someone admitting it, and the NYT still would not confirm.

    Lot

    September 9, 2018 at EDT pm

    • Yes I saw the question is formulated in a way it’s almost impossible to win. Even if the person confessed, the probability NYT would confirmed is even lower, because they can write article about confession without confirming nor denying.

      Bruno

      September 10, 2018 at EDT am

  24. TF-IDF is not a vector space analysis. It stands for term frequency/inverse document frequency and tells which words are most frequent in a given text in comparison to some larger, more indiscriminate corpus. You can’t compute tf-idf on a single document, so the commenter is either incorrect or didn’t provide enough info to determine whether or not the larger corpus is, well, large enough to give us an accurate list of key terms via tf-idf.

    /linguistics graduate degree

    Seth Largo (@SethLargo)

    September 10, 2018 at EDT am


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