Nothing to Worry About Here

Shit got real:

Between the Trump transition team’s infighting, incompetence, and high-profile resignations, any decisions that signaled even a modicum of stability for the country would come as a relief at this point. Unfortunately, the nascent Trump Administration isn’t inclined to calm anyone’s nerves. According to an official within the Department of Energy, this past Friday, the President-elect’s team instructed the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy to clean out their desks when Trump takes office on January 20th.

The NNSA is the $12 billion-a-year agency that “maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.” It’s unclear when the two officials will be replaced.

Traditionally, all political appointees of an outgoing presidential administration turn in resignation letters effective on noon of inauguration day, January 20. But appointees in key positions—like the people who make sure our nukes work—are often asked to stay on in their roles until a replacement can be found and confirmed by the Senate, helping ensure a smooth transition and allowing our government to continue functioning. In fact, for the entirety of Obama’s first term and into part of his second, the NNSA Administrator remained a Bush appointee.

Trump, however, appears determined to immediately push out everyone who was appointed by Obama, regardless of whether or not he has anyone in line for the job. Or, as our source put it: “It’s a shocking disregard for process and continuity of government.”

This is reassuring:

The source later added, “I’m more and more coming around to the idea that we’re so very very fucked.”

As is this:

Rosner noted that the Obama Administration has already essentially begun rebuilding the nuclear program, making Trump’s promised expansion “a perfect example of Trump basically being clueless.”

“He didn’t understand that we have a refurbishment program,” Rosner said. “He didn’t understand that, under Obama, that we’d rebuilt the entire production complex. So exactly what he would mean by ‘strengthening the nuclear program,’ it’s a bit of a mystery. I don’t know what he’s talking about. We’ve done it already.”

So did Trump simply not realize that a considerable portion of the Department of Energy is dedicated to building and protecting our nuclear arsenal? That would certainly explain his appointment of Rick Perry as secretary, and why he just left the agency responsible for safeguarding our nuclear infrastructure without any leadership for the foreseeable future. Neither Trump nor the NNSA have returned our requests for comment.

I had planned on putting raised garden beds in the back yard. I didn’t realize they would double as the secret passage into my bomb shelter.

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173 replies
  1. 1
    Mnemosyne says:

    I hear SoonerGrunt knows a guy in OK who can build a nice shelter for you under the garage. It was originally meant for tornadoes, but I’m sure it can be adapted as needed. 😡

  2. 2
    tpherald says:

    Speaking of being f’d … This appears to be real: A Troll Outside Trump Tower Is Helping To Pick Your Next Government

    Charles C. Johnson, internet troll, who was once called “the most hated man on the internet” and is banned from Twitter, is recommending candidates to serve in the Trump administration.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ma.....c434135c12

    Yes, THAT Charles C Johnson. He of Twitter death threat fame and said the Amtrak catastrophe was caused by homosexuality.

  3. 3
    Mark K says:

    This stuff isn’t funny anymore.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    Perfect job for tech whiz Barron.

  5. 5
    Jerzy Russian says:

    I have been trying to come up with a snarky thing to say for the last several minutes, but I am coming up empty. If you need me I will be in the corner over there whinper

  6. 6

    Barron? Fuck that shit. Uday and Qusay should take on that work. Why, with their wheeling and dealing skills, I bet they can sell off all that shit for a tidy profit.

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @NotMax:

    That kid is really great at the cybers.

  8. 8
    khead says:

    I figure we’ll be ok unless Wilmington, DE is a target.

    When I say ok, I really mean “Will soon die of radiation sickness and starvation because we refuse to eat the cats instead of going out like Sarah Conner in her T2 dream”.

  9. 9
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Mark K:

    This stuff isn’t funny anymore.

    It was never funny. This is just impotent snark we’re throwing out there.

  10. 10
    slag says:

    The source later added, “I’m more and more coming around to the idea that we’re so very very fucked.”

    I thought we had all figured this out by election night.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Major Major Major Major: IKR? It’s like I said before…I feel like the battered wife who has just given up trying to get the abuse to stop, given up trying to get out, and is now just cowering on the floor waiting for the next blow to fall.

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne says:

    @khead:

    I’m in Los Angeles, so I get to go out in a puff of smoke. Lucky me. At least I won’t have to waste money on a bomb shelter.

  14. 14

    Well, maybe he didn’t do this. I don’t know anything about whether Defense News is worth believing or not, but at this point, I’ll take whatever I can get to keep me from shriveling up into a ball for the next four years.

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    @slag:

    I think a lot of people still thought on Election Night that Trump wouldn’t be that bad, or at least wouldn’t be as bad as Hillary.

    One wonders how James Comey sleeps at night, or if he sleeps like most sociopaths — dreamlessly.

    (Note: it’s a poetic rhetorical question, not a value judgment on people who don’t dream.)

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    I’m a little concerned about the quote:

    “The story is not accurate,” the official said. “There have been no discussions between the president-elect’s transition team and any of NNSA’s political appointees on extending their public service past Jan. 20.” (emphasis mine)

    Perhaps the original story was a plant by someone at DoD to highlight what a really, really bad idea it would be to force those two specific people out right now?

  17. 17
    jeffreyw says:

    Be sure the entrance is secret, wouldn’t want to have to shoot the neighbors. Unless, you know, you have the freezer space.

  18. 18
    GregB says:

    Do we know if Invanka has been charged with revamping the uniforms for all of the branches of the military?

    The possibilities are endless!

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    At this point, and until after the inauguration, I simply try to ignore any Twitter rant, lie and misstatement coming from Trump and his surrogates.

    Some people don’t know their own strength. Trump and his people don’t know their own incompetence.

  20. 20
    J. says:

    Luckily, Trump’s good friend, Vladimir, has agreed to help him with those nuclear weapons.

  21. 21
    debbie says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    If I may bring some class to this joint, post-election has put me in mind of Brideshead Revisited. Like the narrator, not only are we mourning the end of a much better time, we’re being forced to witness the coming of the Era of Trump:

    A blow, expected, repeated, falling on a bruise, with no smart or shock of surprise, only a dull and sickening pain and the doubt whether another like it could be borne – that was how it felt, sitting opposite Sebastian at dinner that night, seeing his clouded eyes and groping movements, hearing his thickened voice breaking in, ineptly, after long brutish silences.

    Trump wasn’t flailing around, making fun of a disabled reporter. He was fucking drunk.

  22. 22
    mai naem mobile says:

    Hey, I live in Phoenix and we happen to have the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station which happens to be a target in a nuclear war. Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

  23. 23
    Ryan says:

    Hey ho America. You wanted to shake up the system. Happy days are here again!

  24. 24
    Shell says:

    This stuff isn’t funny anymore.

    There was an SNL repeat from October this Saturday. With of course, Baldwin’s Trump portrayal. Had to turn it off.

  25. 25
    Ryan says:

    @mai naem mobile: Governor Perry will take care of that for ya.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think a lot of people still thought on Election Night that Trump wouldn’t be that bad, or at least wouldn’t be as bad as Hillary.

    Julian Assange, in a December 24, 2016 interview (from the Guardian):

    Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has offered guarded praise of Donald Trump, arguing the president-elect “is not a DC insider” and could mean an opportunity for positive as well as negative change in the US.

    Assange described his feelings about the US election results in an interview as “mixed” before going on to sharply criticize Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and providing a more ambivalent assessment of Trump’s ascent to the White House.

    “Hillary Clinton’s election would have been a consolidation of power in the existing ruling class of the United States,” Assange told the Italian newspaper la Repubblica.

    “Donald Trump is not a DC insider, he is part of the wealthy ruling elite of the United States, and he is gathering around him a spectrum of other rich people and several idiosyncratic personalities.”

    He added: “They do not by themselves form an existing structure, so it is a weak structure which is displacing and destabilising the pre-existing central power network within DC. It is a new patronage structure which will evolve rapidly, but at the moment its looseness means there are opportunities for change in the United States: change for the worse and change for the better.”

    You can’t make up this level of pseudo-leftist drivel. And when you mix it with right wing fear and loathing of all things Clinton, you get one hell of a Trump Delusion cocktail.

  28. 28
    debbie says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    There is no other explanation.

  29. 29
    Botsplainer says:

    Can we start a GoFundMe or kickstarter for a New Weathermen? Feels needed.

  30. 30
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    This stuff isn’t funny anymore.

    It was never funny. This is just impotent snark we’re throwing out there.

    Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Assange is not even an American citizen. Of course he doesn’t give a shit if his actions wreck our country.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @debbie:

    Sure there is — Narcissistic Personality Disorder coupled with pretty severe ADHD. The combination of those two things explain pretty much everything that Trump does.

  33. 33
    ArchTeryx says:

    Time for me to dust off and put out the advice I was given in the 1980s.

    Find out where the nearest strategic nuclear target is. It could be a city, a military base, an airfield, even a missle silo.

    When the sirens sound, drive straight toward it and don’t stop until you reach Ground Zero. Then wait. Soon enough, it won’t be your problem any more.

  34. 34
    azlib says:

    This is insanity, if true. So we have managed to elect a mentally ill narcissist President with a VP who is a Christian Dominionist. The Black Swan has struck hard.

  35. 35

    @Brachiator: Speaking of pseudo-leftist drivel, Jacobin has a piece today about how Meryl Streep is “the worst thing to happen since Trump’s election” (no link) that cements in my mind the fact that their magazine is effectively illegible.

  36. 36
    chris says:

    @Mnemosyne: Couple days ago I was told that Trump couldn’t be as bad as Bush. In the grocery store. In Canada.
    “Good luck with that,” I said, and walked away.

    I can haz giant meteor now plz.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I know a narcissist or two. Somewhere inside, there’s a sense of inferiority. I don’t see any of this in Trump, not even a smidge.

  39. 39
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mark K: Never was. I remember when Trump first started running in the primaries how I howled with derision thinking that no way would he win the Republican nomination. Sigh.

  40. 40
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Assange is not even an American citizen. Of course he doesn’t give a shit if his actions wreck our country.

    Trump and the Republicans are, presumably America citizens. What’s their excuse?

    But on a larger level, Assange’s conclusions are similar to those of quite a number of American progressives (Stein Division) who insisted that there was no difference between Trump and Clinton, and who are either still squeaking the same noise, or who are oddly quiet in the face of the looming hot mess that will be the Trump administration.

  41. 41
    Kay says:

    @Brachiator:

    Christ, but he’s insufferable. The lectures just never stop. Never a moment of uncertainty either. He’s got it all figured out and the rest of the sheeple just wish they knew what he knows.

    That blizzard of pompous bullshit comes down to “good or bad things could happen”. Wow. I wish I had thought of that.

  42. 42

    @schrodingers_cat: I don’t know, I don’t care, and I’m not going back there to check.

  43. 43
    Bobby D says:

    I guess I’m just glad we don’t have the warheads here. We test missiles, launch missiles, teach kids barely out of puberty how to fire off those missiles; but we’re not a SAC type base with nukes ready to fire anymore.

    Got a poster on my cubicle wall right now that is a pic of the door to the silo launch facility for an ICBM from decades ago. It’s a parody of the Domino’s pizza “we deliver anywhere in 30 minutes or less”, with the dominos logo with a Minuteman II outline on half the pizzabox and “World-Wide Delivery in 30 Minutes of Less, or Your Next One is Free” . It was the silo equivalent of “nose art” on bombers (actually put nose art on lots of stuff now, saw some Ronnie Regan nose art unveiled on a C-17 about two years ago down at March AFB)

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:

    @debbie:

    He demonstrates it all the time. Why do you think he spends so much time on Twitter trying to tear down the people he thinks insulted him? A secure person doesn’t do that.

  45. 45

    @khead: I always assumed Dover Air Base would be targeted, given it’s logistics status. I was in school at East Dover Elementary during the Cuban missile crisis and knew that all our little asses were toast. If Dover goes you won’t have to worry about eating your cats…

  46. 46
    dmsilev says:

    @Brachiator: You’re assuming that he means anything that he says. Given that Assange’s credibility is roughly 1.2 Trumps[*], that’s a dangerous assumption.

    [*] When measuring credibility, 1 Trump is equal to 1 femto-Obama.

  47. 47

    It is very simple when you look at it through their lenses.

    1. All government jobs are patronage sinecures without any real function.
    2. Any Obama holdovers would be presumptively disloyal.

    A lot of positions like this will never be filled by the Trump Administration. Entire departments, or at least their regulatory-enforcement arms, will cease to function. Grover Norquist wasn’t counting on having Trump’s yuuuuuge gold-plated bathtub, big enough to drown the entire Federal Government, without having to shrink it first.

  48. 48
    azlib says:

    @ArchTeryx:

    When the sirens sound, drive straight toward it and don’t stop until you reach Ground Zero. Then wait. Soon enough, it won’t be your problem any more.

    This assumes the Russian or Chinese missiles are that accurate. If North Korea lobs one over, it is a crap shoot.

  49. 49
    Gretchen says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Trump says he doesn’t drink. He lies about everything else. Why should we believe that?

  50. 50
    Mike J says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Jacobin have a real problem with women, don’t they?

  51. 51
    Kay says:

    I’m still waiting for a journalist to ask Trump some basic civics questions. Take them off the citizenship test. Just throw them in randomly when he’s bragging about something. It would take some balls because it’s inherently disrespectful- the ordinary assumption is the President knows some basic facts about process- but he’s President, not King and I bet he can’t answer them. Let’s finally give Donald Trump a question he can’t bullshit his way out of. Start with the basics.

  52. 52
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    He does that because he thinks he’s better than everyone else. I just don’t sense any feelings of victimization like I do from the narcissists I’m forced to be related to.

  53. 53
    The Dangerman says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m in Los Angeles, so I get to go out in a puff of smoke.

    Given my proximity to Vandenburg, I go a few seconds before you.

    At least Trump will have all sorts of ocean front land to develop into Golf Courses and Hotels. Might have a radiation problem but that might turn people a more lovely shade of orange.

  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:

    @azlib:

    I live in the biggest city on the West Coast, home of the movie studio that pissed North Korea off so badly, they hacked all of their employee records and released them on the internet.

    Unless Kim’s aim is seriously off, we’re getting vaporized first.

  55. 55
    MomSense says:

    This trump shitshow is devastating. It’s so apparent how completely ignorant, unprepared, unserious, and incurious he is. I can’t think of one presidential role or responsibility for which he is well suited.

    Then you add to it his obvious greed, arrogance, and cruelty and it’s a disaster. I’m inconsolable. I’m trying to be tough. I am tough! But there is so much destruction that he can effect and I there’s not a whole lot I can do to stop it. I keep calling my Senators. I actually think King’s staffer was happy to get my call today because he really chatted enthusiastically with me but he seemed frustrated by the OGE mess.
    If it were just me maybe I could detach a bit more. I feel responsible for human beings who depend on me, who look to me for guidance. I brought them into the world and they deserve so much better than this.

    So I resist no matter how insignificant I may be. And I’m going to try to hold onto some decency. I won’t give up swearing though. Fuck that.

  56. 56
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    You mean like his Two Corinthians moment? Ha!

  57. 57
    rp says:

    Someone on FB posted a link to a Cornel West column in the Guardian about Obama’s failures or something. I couldn’t stomach the thought of giving him the click (or reading it).

  58. 58

    @Gretchen: Seems to be one of the rare things he’s sincere about. His brother drank himself to death.

  59. 59
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Your comment reminds me that while reading Trump’s Tweetstorm about hacking, I realized he’s the Anglo version of Kim Jong-un. As unpredictable and as lunatic.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @debbie:

    I’m not going to his Twitter feed but, trust me, Trump is constantly whining about what a victim he is, how mean everyone is to him, etc. You’re seeing slightly less of it right now because he just got the validation he craves from the election, but once that wears off, he’ll go right back to victim mode.

    As I said a few days ago, if something does go horribly wrong — like 9/11 wrong — the very first thing Trump is going to do is whine about how bad he feels and how everyone should feel sorry for him because his life is so hard.

  61. 61
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Only if it’s Russia and/or China doing the bombing. If North Korea manages to lob one all the way over the Pacific, I’m still convinced that LA is their #1 target.

  62. 62
    Kay says:

    Lois Romano ‏@loisromano 2h2 hours ago
    “There’s never been less demand for inaugural ballgowns in my 38 years.”

    Today’s lie. Well, one of them. You can’t believe a word the President says. He volunteers lies! It’s like he’s meeting a quota. If no one asks him anything he makes up stories unprompted.

    Crazy as a loon.

  63. 63
    Botsplainer says:

    @Kay:

    Each new revelation confirms for me the following:

    1. Donald Trump is the last President of the United States of America under an unbroken line from the date of the 1789 Constitution. There may be a restoration, but there will definitely be a gap.

    2. His administration ends in a spasm of violence both national and internationally with a large loss of life, and he’ll either get claimed by that violence or wind up in a criminal dock at The Hague or in Beijing, along with several key advisors.

    3. I’d recommend that residents and workers of DC, Manhattan, Long Beach, Central Missouri to Southern Illinois, Seattle and Oakland have crisis packs ready.

  64. 64
    debbie says:

    Good thing I didn’t want to be a therapist then.

  65. 65
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Major Major Major Major: for fucking sure? Why?

    @Mike J: I think that response wins the Kewpie doll, there.

  66. 66
    japa21 says:

    @Kay: Hell, I am sure he wouldn’t pass the basic exam given to applicants for citizenship. In fact, most of those undocumented immigrants he boasts about getting rid of would probably do better than he would.

  67. 67
    rikyrah says:

    Uh uh uh.
    Absolutely outrageous 😬😬😬

  68. 68
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    NORAD is about an hour south in Colorado Springs from where I live in Denver. Fort Carson is down there too, and the Air Force Academy. Oh, and Denver is the state capital.
    Been nice knowin’ everybody.
    (Obligatory chorus of “We Will All Go Together When We Go” here)

  69. 69
    Botsplainer says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Maybe he’ll hit Orange County instead. Or better yet, he overshoots to Sun City Arizona.

  70. 70
    hovercraft says:

    @khead:
    I’m 30 miles from NYC, which I hope means that we will be gone in phase one. I think that’s preferable to a slow painful death ;-)

  71. 71
    gene108 says:

    @MomSense:

    It’s so apparent how completely ignorant, unprepared, unserious, and incurious he is.

    For reasons I cannot fathom, this appeals to conservatives.

    I’ve been thinking about what appeals to conservatives, and I’ll be damned, if I can put myself in their place. Their mindset is utterly alien to me.

    There are some Wall Street type Republican voters I know, who vote Republican for the hope of deregulation. I can get my head around those guys. They are just voting for who they think will be better for their bottom line.

    The rest, I got no clue what they are thinking.

  72. 72
    chris says:

    @MomSense: How’d you do with Collins? I read somewhere this morning that she’s going to stand up for Jeff Sessions as AG.

  73. 73
    RSA says:

    I had planned on putting raised garden beds in the back yard.

    I think at this point you might as well call that a victory garden.

  74. 74
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    It seems like Toyota is resisting Trump’s demands. If they stand strong, don’t you think other companies will do the same and ignore his threats? Then what will Trump do?

  75. 75
    Botsplainer says:

    @hedgehog the occasional commenter:

    Back when I was at USAFA, my recollection was that it would take a ground penetrator in the megaton range to waste NORAD.

  76. 76
    Miss Bianca says:

    @hedgehog the occasional commenter: There’s a mountain range between me and Cheyenne Mountain and with the prevailing winds…well…it’ll probably get the Front Range before it gets us.

    But it wouldn’t take long to get to us, in any case.

  77. 77
    Jim Parene says:

    @ArchTeryx: Wow! Sadly, I have been thinking the same thing.

  78. 78
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Rick Perry and his D grade in ‘Meats’ will take care of everything.

    Seriously – I looked at his entire transcript. I could’ve done better than he did if I never went to class except for the exams.

    We are in deep shit, but that was apparent to me as of 9 PM on November 8th.

  79. 79
    japa21 says:

    @debbie: I think I saw GM CEO said Trump’s threats will not influence their business decisions.

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Orange County finally went Democrat this year and a majority voted for Hillary, so they can stay.

    There’s a whole lot of empty desert between California and Arizona where a nuke could fall, but I’m not sure that dying of radiation sickness would be much of a happy ending.

  81. 81
    Brachiator says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Each new revelation confirms for me the following: Donald Trump is the last President of the United States of America under an unbroken line from the date of the 1789 Constitution. There may be a restoration, but there will definitely be a gap…

    I understand where you are coming from, and agree. It is also possible that Trump will unleash a series of bad presidents, who ignore or defy tradition, precedent and standards. Either way, Trump’s impact on America will be huge in unpleasant and unexpected ways.

  82. 82
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    I don’t think he has ordinary, everyday knowledge. Ask him when the Civil War ended or who the allies were in WWII or the countries that make up the TPP. Ask him what he considers the defining moment of the civil rights movement, or who got the vote first – AA’s or women, or who was President during huge historical moments. Let’s really find out how ignorant he is of the country he plans to “lead”. We deserve a head’s up. We’re adults. We don’t need fairy tales about how he will magically don this mantle of leadership like he’s some annointed sovereign. He’s not remotely prepared for this job. Let’s get the scope of that.

  83. 83
    Botsplainer says:

    @hovercraft:

    Nah – as a New Yorker outside a mostly intact city, you’ll get to live impoverished under multi power European/Arab League occupation. Think Shanghai in 1935.

  84. 84
    Elie says:

    I think that Trump is actually trying to destroy this country and its government. The more we tell him how much we hate and disrespect him the worse are his appointments and decisions. My question is how can he retain anyone to be on his team? I thought General Mattis was supposed to be so good. Why would he want this gig? The whole situation is absolutely weird and getting weirder each day.

  85. 85
  86. 86
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    Totally agree, but why bother? We know he knows nothing.

  87. 87
    Botsplainer says:

    @Elie:

    Mattis will either be his first resignation or his first mysterious polonium death. Could be he’ll be claimed to have gone insane along with Trump’s SS detail, and Trump’s private security of Boris and Dmitri will save the day.

    I said it here, first.

  88. 88
    debbie says:

    @Mike J:

    Barra’s comments come after the President-elect threatened the company with a “big border tax” for importing some Chevrolet Cruze compact cars from a plant in Mexico. But those models represent less than 5% of the Cruze cars sold in the U.S. The rest are manufactured at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio, factory.

    What a waste of a threat. Do your homework, jackass.

  89. 89
    Jack the Second says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I remember confidently telling people that Trump would never go all the way because he would never want to disclose his financial status.

    Jesus H Christ.

    The list of “things I was totally wrong about” got a couple of pages longer this year.

  90. 90
    Kay says:

    @Mike J:

    Thank God we have one CEO who isn’t corrupt and weak. Maybe this will inspire the rest of our low quality elites to stand up to this clown. More and more I’m thinking people lost faith in elites because they suck. This problem might start at the top. Our “elites” aren’t anything to brag about, frankly. They’re failing all over the place.

  91. 91
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @gene108:

    The rest, I got no clue what they are thinking.

    “He’s an asshole? Hell, I’m an asshole. Give me the goddam ballot.’

    Representative government is a very mixed bag, given the fundamental depravity of mankind.

  92. 92
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    He’s an ignoramus. A blowhard. If the real estate he inherited was in Arkansas instead of NYC he never would have gotten this far. He’d be the blowhard bully in some small city and utterly ordinary.

  93. 93
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Something tells me he will.

  94. 94
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Kay: There are some nice people named Walton who started that way. Be careful what you wish for.

  95. 95
    Groucho48 says:

    @Gretchen:

    Narcissists often avoid drugs and alcohol. They don’t want to diminish the awesomeness of the temples that are their mind and body. His horror of germs might be part of the same thing.

  96. 96
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay: The reduced demand for inaugural ballgowns strikes me as true. Other than the permanent GOP establishment, how many are going to be streaming into Gomorrah The Swamp on the Potomac for the inauguration?

    I think the women’s march might be saving the hospitality industry’s bacon.

  97. 97
    Kay says:

    Conway said today that they don’t want any further investigations into the hacking. I know they have no idea what they’re doing but maybe they could hold a meeting and settle on a consistent story about this hacking? This is like the 4th answer we’ve gotten out of clownshow central in Trump Tower.

  98. 98
    boatboy_srq says:

    @gene108: Education (or at least possession of facts) conflicts with their dogma – specifically, the dogma that Ahmurrrrca is the Greatest Nation Evah and Blessed by Gun-Totin’ Capitalist Jeebus (or would be if it didn’t contain all Those Other People™). There’s a choice between their faith and their prosperity/security/growth/opportunities, and they pick their faith every time.

  99. 99
    Elie says:

    @Botsplainer:
    Wolsey was his first resignation last week because of the CIA fracas. Oddly in some ways one wants to applaud when someone resigns but I am really scared to leave just the incompetent yes men around him (with assist from Putin that is)

  100. 100
    Roger Moore says:

    @GregB:

    Do we know if Invanka has been charged with revamping the uniforms for all of the branches of the military?

    I thought they were hiring Hugo Boss for that.

  101. 101
    J R in WV says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Preperations “from central Missouri to southern Illinois”? Why there?

    Just asking for a friend. As we’re downwind of that area in general.

  102. 102
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m reading that as the spokesperson not having knowledge of an invitation for them NOT to clean out their desks. Not exactly reassuring.

  103. 103
    Botsplainer says:

    @Kay:

    Chaffetz is promising more Hillary investigations. They’re going to hound her into a perjury trap.

    She needs to either say “fuck you, Jason, I hold you in he utmost contempt” or find someplace nice to cool off in somewhere in southern France.

  104. 104
    Yarrow says:

    Question: How is Trump’s win and impending inauguration and all the transition drama playing in wingnuttia ? I thought Red State was against him. Is that still the case? Has anyone been lurking around in any wingnutty sites? I don’t have a sense of what they think of all this mess.

  105. 105
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @hovercraft: I’m reminded of the old Cold War saying: “the living will envy the dead. “

  106. 106
    Elie says:

    @boatboy_srq:
    They just don’t want anyone documenting their incompetence Or treason with passing information to Russia is my guess.

  107. 107
    Chris says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Obscure nineties action movie references do NOT escape me.

  108. 108
    Kay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    50% of the country loathes him. Rather than whining about how they’re being treated unfairly, why don’t they make some effort to woo the majority of voters who rejected them? We’re not celebrating. They’re not entitled to order us to “feel” things no matter how much they think they deserve adoration. Face facts. Donald Trump isn’t particularly popular and there’s no “fairness” rule that dictates we have to like or welcome these people. I have to “accept” the results of elections. That’s all. Everything else is generosity – it’s ours to bestow or withhold.

  109. 109
    Elie says:

    @Botsplainer:
    She needed to tell him and the other assholes immediately. Tell me why again she and the Dawg are going to this inauguration?

  110. 110
    Hal says:

    @rp:

    Someone on FB posted a link to a Cornel West column in the Guardian about Obama’s failures or something. I couldn’t stomach the thought of giving him the click (or reading it).

    I just saw a tweet from Cenk Uygur basically going down the same road. Obama’s legacy is terribe. Yada yada yada. Cornell West and Uygur can only operate in absolutes. No mixed bag, or division of great, good, ok and bad on Obama’s legacy. He just sucks.

    Bernie Sanders would have ended up in the same position. If these folks had their way Democrats would never win an election because there would never be anyone pure enough to run.

  111. 111
    Elizabelle says:

    @Botsplainer: Hearing that just fills me with despair.

    Talk about sore winners. Someone needs to scare that asshole about wasting the public’s money with threats like that. It screams “Banana Republic.”

    Chaffetz is probably just flapping his mouth, or grifting.

  112. 112
    Elie says:

    @Elizabelle:
    He should try. He would have a very bad result.

  113. 113
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay:

    Rather than whining about how they’re being treated unfairly, why don’t they make some effort to woo the majority of voters who rejected them?

    Because that’s not how they work and never has been. Trump has always beat up on anyone and anything he deems his “enemy.” So if half the American population is “against him” then that half of the American population is his enemy. End of story. They don’t want to woo. They want to punish. Beatings will continue until morale improves. It’s going to be ugly.

  114. 114
    Kay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Political prosecutions are just one more step down banana republic road. It’s not like we weren’t warned. Douchebag spent 6 months bellowing “lock her up” in a political campaign. There’s a reason norms are enforced.

  115. 115
    tobie says:

    @japa21: Note, too, that the CEO of GMis a woman. Sorry, fellows, but I’ve seen this a thousand times at work. When push comes to shove it’s always the women in my office who stand up. The men hide. All it will take is a CEO or two who stands up to the pressure and the Donald will crumple like the empty suit he is. Glad to here Toyota is also showing some spine. Chrysler/Fiat was careful to say that the new jobs they were creating had been in the works for some time.

  116. 116

    @Mnemosyne: It’s poetic justice that Comey, who values his reputation as above reproach, will most likely be remembered for giving us Trump.

    We are all going to die.

  117. 117
    Matt says:

    Has anybody recut the opening montage of the series The Americans to feature the Trumps instead?

  118. 118
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @rp: Cornel West knows people know the whole story about inauguration tickets, doesn’t he? He and Wilmer and Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon can all FOADIAF

    ETA: @Matt: There’s a great Funny or Die video to be made if the cast and all are will (small things, but we’ll need to laugh over the next four years)

  119. 119
    Chris says:

    @Kay:

    Hannah Arendt said something similar about the French Revolution: that the peasants only really started hating the nobles when they became the court of Versailles. That seemed counterintuitive at first, since they’re no longer nearly as direct an oppressive force when they’re far away at court. But her conclusion was that the peasants hated uselessness more than cruelty. As long as the nobles fulfilled, or gave the illusion of fulfilling, some purpose in society, they were tolerated. Once they became nothing but gossipping socialites, more and more people started asking “remind me again why we keep these people around?”

  120. 120
    TriassicSands says:

    @gene108:

    The rest, I got no clue what they are thinking.

    Thinking, at least thinking that includes facts and reasoning, is not something that crew is doing much of.

    At some point, we may find contests popping up all over the country concerning when exactly the Republican House will impeach Trump. I’d be astounded if some members haven’t already discussed it in the context of their ability to “control” Trump. Many of them have probably operated under the assumption that because Trump is so vacuous, they would be able to guide and control him. It should be apparent by now that any normal methods of control are unlikely to work. But impeachment or the threat of impeachment is the one thing they have over which Trump has no response. “High crimes and misdemeanors” is so vague that Trump will commit those on a weekly, if no daily basis. The question will be does Trump get so out of control that he either endangers our physical survival or, much easier, he finally is so uncooperative and insulting to the House that they realize how much better off they’d be with Pence as president.

    (The other day efgoldman wrote that impeachment would never happen. I think “never” underestimates Trump’s uniqueness, his utter lack of control, and his capacity to cause catastrophic damage to the US, whether economic or military. Unlikely? Yes. Impossible? I don’t think so. And despite the pain that President Pence would cause, the idea of being able to refer to Donald J. Trump as “our disgraced ex-president” is simply delicious. The unknowable in all this is can someone find a way to adequately control Trump, whether through his kids, threat of impeachment, or something else.)

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    We are all going to die.

    Well, eventually, sure. As the poet/mortician Thomas Lynch says, The mortality rate is holding steady at 100 percent.

    It’s actually weirdly freeing to be resigned that I’ll be in the direct path of North Korea’s missiles. At least it will be quick.

  122. 122
    Kay says:

    @Yarrow:

    Not one word from him or his collection of hacks to the people who didn’t vote for him. Classless, graceless and entitled. These are character attributes. What people are. People don’t learn them at 70 years old. It’s not just polite conventions or following rules. You either have decent, generous impulses or you don’t. They don’t.

  123. 123
    debbie says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I know at some point, Trump tweeted that everyone in DC had sold out of ballgowns, but I can’t seem to find it now…

  124. 124
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    NNSA has denied the Gizmodo report that John links to in the opening post. But not much else is said.

    It’s possible that Gizmodo fell into a wild rumor that is making the rounds. I can’t imagine that there are not gazillions of panicky rumors in ALL the federal departments.

    Let me try to calm the reactions a little. If the top two were removed from NNSA, the department would continue taking care of its nukes. There are enough worker bees and intermediate supervisors to do that. Someone would be named acting head. That can continue for a number of months if nothing unusual happens. It does damage the information flow up and down the chain, but it appears that information has little relevancy in the Trump administration. It’s not the greatest idea, but probably not the worst that Trump will do.

    For that, I think @Elie figured it out. All Trump’s appointees just want to burn the government down. Steve Bannon has said he aspires to Lenin’s heights in that area.

  125. 125
    NotMax says:

    @efgoldman

    Guam, perhaps. (Tiny dot in a big ocean, though.)

    Also too, having a nuclear capability and being able to successfully arm a missile with a reliable nuclear device are not identical skill sets. N. Korea is far from achieving the latter.

  126. 126
    chris says:

    @efgoldman: Maybe some Dems could look at Cleek’s Law and repurpose it for themselves. Becoming the Party Of No seems like the best option. The editorials would be entertaining.

  127. 127
    NotMax says:

    @debbie

    AP actually fact checked that and found it demonstrably false.

    Would that they would assign reporters to perform similar work on more substantive matters.

  128. 128
    dexwood says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Thank you for a healthy perspective.

  129. 129

    OT: BJ is occasionally turning into a blank page. Is that me or the site?

  130. 130
    Elie says:

    @efgoldman:
    I think after the 20th things will go downhill at a pace many will be surprised by. The Republicans may in the end be as terrified as the rest of us and just want to stop the madness. We will see

  131. 131
    reality-based (the original, not the troll) says:

    @ArchTeryx: that used to be one of the GOOD things about living in North Dakota when Grand Froks and Minot were both SAC bases, and there were 3 missiles silos within 5 miles of our farm – you’d only have to drive a few miles.

  132. 132
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: Nope. Not one nod to being president of all the people. Nothing about bringing people together. Just “enemies.”

    But Trump has always been this way. He pushes back against everything. He stiffs the little guy contractors. If you don’t give him what he wants he destroys you.

    There is nothing he has ever done that indicates he will be any different as president. He wanted to jail his opponent. He instructed his followers to go after the “dishonest media.” He insulted candidates’ wives. He’s an ugly person who will do anything to destroy anyone he decides is his “enemy” (however he defines that at the moment). And he’s going to have a lot of tools at his disposal in a very short period of time.

    Slight silver lining, if Republicans in Congress don’t give him what he wants he’ll go after them. That could be entertaining.

  133. 133
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mnemosyne: James Comey should be happy since his candidate won the election. That was what he wanted all along. He withheld information which would have hurt Trump.

  134. 134
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Yarrow: Trump doesn’t care about the nuances of being president. He’s going to sign every single thing put in front of him…does anyone expect him to actually read the details?

    I bet the GOP could distract Trump by giving him money specifically to rebuild NYC’s infrastructure, and he will just assume he did what he promised.

  135. 135

    @Elie: I was thinking something similar today. At the moment, Trump isn’t responsible for anything. He can grandstand by demanding that car companies do something and tweet about movie stars and feel big and important. What happens once something real demands action from him?

  136. 136
    HRA says:

    @Kay:

    I hate being in the position to even slightly seem as I am coddling DT. In re: to his not saying he will be everyone’s president, I found it in this article.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/22/donald-trump-president-all-americans-already-failing

  137. 137
    SatanicPanic says:

    Turns out gallows humor gets less funny as the gallows approaches.

  138. 138
    Marjowil says:

    @Mnemosyne: don’t forget the Alzheimer’s.

  139. 139
    Yarrow says:

    @NotMax: About that ball gown story:

    1. It’s appalling that the Trump era means that various media outlets felt the need to assign reporters to check out his ball gown claim. What a complete waste of reporters’ time. Ball gown availability? What kind of beat is that? And it takes away from real work that journalists could be doing to investigate actual Trump corruption and scandals.

    2. Trump said, “It’s hard to find a great dress for this inauguration.” Which means he’s free to insult any woman via her gown. “Did you see that gown that X was wearing? I told you there were no great dresses left. She looked like a bag lady.” Bonus, he also can insult the designer, especially if said designer has spoken out and refused to dress Melania. “That ugly dress that X wore was by Designer Y. Melania would never want to wear their ugly clothes.”

    The tweet is a win for Trump. Distracts reporters, useful later.

  140. 140
    debbie says:

    @NotMax:

    Good. I was surprised not to find anything on snopes.com. Maybe they’ve been overwhelmed researching rumors like this.

  141. 141
    reality-based (the original, not the troll) says:

    @hedgehog the occasional commenter: oh, Tom Lehr! THAT’s who we need writing the soundtrack for the resistance

    Hey, I just looked it up – he’s still alive, albeit 88 – taught math and musical theatre at UC Santa Cruz for years – anybody know him or his friends, Can he PLEASE come out of retirement?

  142. 142
    debbie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    For that, I think @Elie figured it out. All Trump’s appointees just want to burn the government down. Steve Bannon has said he aspires to Lenin’s heights in that area.

    And replace it with what?

  143. 143
    Mnemosyne says:

    @efgoldman:

    I’ll feel better if Cheryl Rofer (I may be misspelling her name) can confirm that. Until then …

    (The Johnny Cash version, not the movie version, so as not to trigger anyone.)

    ETA: I feel like a magician! And I corrected Cheryl’s last name.

  144. 144
    MomSense says:

    @chris:

    I can only get voicemail when I call her numbers.

  145. 145
    debbie says:

    @Yarrow:

    Not in regard to anything to do with Trump, but there has always been advance reporting on gowns and everything else related to the inauguration. They’re human interest puff pieces.

  146. 146
    Elie says:

    I think that there will be so much chaos in markets and our foreign relations that we will be hanging on w white buckles. Repubs are fantasizing that they will
    Have this’d nice orderly environment to do their social program wrecking but it’s gonna be one fire after another until… I don’t think that the high brass in the military plus the spooks are gonna be too willing to go along past a certain level. Lots of danger and risk in unknown (for us) territory.

  147. 147

    @Patricia Kayden: Comey is getting what he deserves. Unfortunately, the rest of us are getting what Comey deserves too.

  148. 148
    reality-based (the original, not the troll) says:

    @gene108:

    meanness. Conservatives like meanness. And authoritarianism.

    This is why all the Democrats have to listen more to the heartland” shit drives me crazy. I LIVE in the damn heartland. and they voted for Trump BECAUSE he is a mean, ignorant bully – NOT in spite of it.

    Since I don’t see the Democrats nominating a mean, ignorant bully of their own anytime soon – the solution is to let Trump screw the heartland yokels so hard and so brutally that they get some damn sense.

    If we all survive till the next elections, that is

  149. 149
    Botsplainer says:

    @J R in WV:

    Whiteman AFB and the fallout spread.

  150. 150

    @reality-based (the original, not the troll):

    they voted for Trump BECAUSE he is a mean, ignorant bully

    You misspelled ‘economic anxiety’.

  151. 151
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MomSense:

    Send a fax as a backup. I usually do that instead because it’s easier for me to fax from work than to call, even from my cell phone.

  152. 152
    chris says:

    @MomSense: That’s what my aunt said. Maybe Susan is screening her calls. Nah, she wouldn’t do that….

  153. 153
    Elie says:

    @debbie:
    Destruction. Client state to Russia. Who knows. We didn’t worry about it much when the d USSR came apart Some say this is Russia’s payback for destroying their govt and economy. Who knows? Right now it doesn’t seem to me that he is building anything positive for us. Just an opportunity to raid the treasury and watch all his enemies cry

  154. 154
    Kay says:

    @HRA:

    Donald Trump chose to launch a nasty victory tour where he replayed his nasty campaign. He makes choices. They’re bad, ungenerous classless choices because that’s what he is. No one ordered him to go out and do that. It was literally his first decision after the election and it was horrible.

    He never picks the generous option because that would require character he simply doesn’t have. These rules he violates, these “norms”- they’re just generally understood good behavior. It’s no more complicated than that. A decent person wouldn’t have to be told NOT to go out and jeer at the people who didn’t vote for him. It’s a given with anyone besides really bad people.

    If the world were full of entitled assholes like Donald Trump all of these rules and norms would have to be written down and enforced. They’re not written down because the vast majority of people are not as bad as Donald Trump- they know what not to do.

    What if everyone thought they were entitled to a public position because they were the son in law of an elected person? We’d have a fucked up country riddled with nepotism. The Trump’s can operate the way they do because most people don’t act like them.

  155. 155
    reality-based (the original, not the troll) says:

    @Elie: well, according to Col. Bateman, who blogs at Charley Pierce’s place, he took the job to protect the Dept of Defense from Trump craziness, and is fighting mightily to do just that.

    I give him 2 months.

    Bateman on Mattis

  156. 156
    Yarrow says:

    @debbie: Yeah, but there were a bunch of organizations fact checking this Trump tweet today. AP, Washington Post, People Magazine are ones I saw. Probably more out there. It’s just dumb. I understand puff pieces. This isn’t a puff piece. It’s fact checking the incoming President of the United States on something utterly inconsequential. Waste of time.

  157. 157
    PaulW says:

    The source later added, “I’m more and more coming around to the idea that we’re so very very fucked.”

    Has that EVER happened before? In a transition moment, when a civil servant just openly drops the f-bomb like that about an incoming administration? I do not recall any of this kind of panic or dread happening when Obama came in during 2008-09, nor any kind of panic like this when Dubya came in during 2001. The ones usually griping were the opposing party leadership, going over the same-old complaints about questionable nominees or overlooked priorities. This is the first time I’ve ever heard the grunts within the bureaucracy itself saying “HOLY SHIT THIS IS GONNA SUCK”.

  158. 158
    J R in WV says:

    @NotMax:

    Yeah, but they don’t have to use a missile, they can use a cheap old rusty freighter(s) and run them into all the west coast ports late at night when the wind is right, and set them all off at the correct moment, simultaneously.

    ICBMs are for MAD strategy, not for sneak attacks by third world maniacs. Cheap old freighters are for third world maniacs!

    Makes me glad to live on the western slope of the eastern mountain range.

  159. 159
    Marjowil says:

    @TriassicSands: I think you are 100% right. The only good thing about Pence becoming President after Trump is impeached is that we can deal with Pence (prior to 2020) for GOP disasters without him hiding behind Trump’s cover. The longer trump is prez, the more Pence can hide and make decisions from the shadows without accountability. Trump is erratic and won’t be contributing anything but chaos. No way he can last four years let alone eight. Repubs will turn on him when they can’t reliably use him anymore.

  160. 160
    ellie says:

    @hedgehog the occasional commenter: Hey! I am in Denver too! How about a rousing chorus of Wood Guthrie’s “So Long, It’s Been Good To Know Yuh.”

  161. 161
    TriassicSands says:

    @efgoldman:

    It’s a tricky (no reference to Dickie) situation. A lot of lefties are looking at Trump in apocalyptic terms, not just constitutionally, but militarily. If Trump brings us to the brink of a major war, it could move the Republicans to act. A key part of this possibility is that most Republicans already would prefer to have Pence as president. They have the absolute power to oust Trump. If he were impeached, and it went to the Senate for a vote, do you really think Democrats would vote to keep Trump? I admit, that may not be a simple question, but I think virtually every Democrat would vote to convict. If the House had already voted to impeach, I can’t see Republicans voting to keep him — they’d be pretty far down a road with not a lot of alterative exit ramps.

    Trump is unique. In the true sense of the word. From a presidential standpoint, he is truly one of a kind. No one has ever combined his personality disorders, lack of self-control, and profound ignorance. He is potentially very dangerous. If his flaws begin to threaten Republican electoral prospects, or if he threatens to get us into a disastrous shooting war, the Republicans just might act. There are a lot of ifs, but Trump is unique.

  162. 162
    Carolina Dave says:

    @rp: I read it, then had to go off completely on my friend’s post whose politics I respect very much. I kept my criticism contain to Cornel West

  163. 163
    J R in WV says:

    @Botsplainer:

    I knew fallout, just wondered from which base.

  164. 164
    J R in WV says:

    @J R in WV:

    Having looked the base and the 509th Bomber Group up, one hopes they get airborne quickly, as opposed to becoming, well, no longer effective. You can see why they would be a primary target.

    I’m left to hope most of those MAD weapons don’t work as advertised, like so much else built by the lowest bidder.

  165. 165
    HRA says:

    @Kay:

    Hi Kay I am with you all the way in your answer to me.

    In certain ways, DT reminds me of my late millionaire brother-in-law. He wasn’t racist, did have pity for the disabled and was somewhat charitable to the lesser of us. Yet, that personality of I am always right and I know everything was right there up front. Yes, he would be tweeting just like DT. His 2 sons tried to work for him for a very short time. His daughter chose law and refused to be his personal lawyer.

    Truthfully I am more exhausted of this entire election than ever before. Each day I am correcting the false information my husband (voted twice for Obama and went to the dark side to vote for Trump) tells me he heard on Fox or elsewhere. I come here and to other sites to learn what I don’t know about the currents issues and events. Thank you for providing a good portion of them.

  166. 166
    NotMax says:

    @J R in WV

    Yeah, like freighters from N. Korea are granted port privileges here all the time. Extremely far-fetched.

    Granted, destruction is destruction, but the most bang for the buck comes with aerial detonation of nukes.

  167. 167
    Aleta says:

    Just m.o., but the most likely areas to be hit by nuclear explosions won’t be the US. We’ll be the ones who could have prevented it. That alone brings a kind of automatic godlessness with it.

  168. 168
    Svensker says:

    @gene108:

    The rest, I got no clue what they are thinking.

    They’re the ones saying how the last 8 years were the worst, the most corrupt, in American history. For why, I don’ unnerstan. I can see disagreeing with Obama or thinking he should have done more of some stuff and less of other stuff — but the worst and most corrupt? It make no sense.

  169. 169
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @debbie: Nothing. Bannon and friends are taking the concept of drowning the government in the bathtub one step further.

    @Mnemosyne: North Korea can’t hit the United States with a nuke. Yet. The closest would be Alaska or Seattle, I believe. There is so much we don’t know about North Korea’s capabilities. They showed off what has been called their “disco ball” nuclear weapon, which may or may not fit on one of their missiles. But they keep testing both their missiles and their nukes, and one of these days, they’ll have it.

    The Arms Control Wonk blog is a good one to follow for North Korean developments. Here’s a simplified briefing, perhaps good enough for President Smallhands.

  170. 170
    Seth Owen says:

    @Botsplainer: I have different nightmares in the details, but I follow your drift.

  171. 171
    hedgehog mobile says:

    @ellie: Yes!

  172. 172
    Daddio7 says:

    @Kay: If poor boy Willie from Arkansas can get elected why not a poor Donnie?

  173. 173
    🌷 Martin says:

    @NotMax: Nobody cares about bang for buck unless you are trying to limit response, and that’s a game solely between the US and Russia, and one neither side will play. A lone nuke is a terrorist act and it works equally well no matter how it’s targeted or how powerful it is because it raises the potential in the minds of the public that they’ll be next – and that’s all that it needs to do to change public opinion and public policy.

    N Korea isn’t going to detonate anything near the US because they know the response is the end of their existence. They aren’t suicidal. Non-state actors would do that, though, because they aren’t a target that can be directly reached as non-state actors, and they are, too often, suicidal.

    North Korea (like everyone else) values the nuclear capability and missile capability because it severely limits what other nations can do to you by changing the risk equation for action. Change of power by force becomes impossible unless you want a desperate dictator putting that nuke in one of your cities. So, it limits everyone to sanctions, which a nation like N Korea believe they can weather. It moves you out of the 2nd tier nations that can be dealt with by force (like Iraq, Syria, etc) and into the 1st tier nations that are only dealt with diplomatically, and which can then start to directly influence the 2nd tier nations (which N Korea doesn’t seem to aspire to). It ensures their long-term survival and gives them a voice with nations like China, whether China likes it or not.

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