Past Tense Pence

Here’s beady-eyed Christo-fascist fraud Mike Pence playing dress-up at the DMZ in Korea and pretending that he and the incurious dipshit president he serves have a bold new strategy to address the conundrum that has vexed the world for decades:

Here are some of the words that came out of the squinty fraud’s cake hole when he interrupted his cosplay fun briefly for an “exclusive” CNN interview:

“We’re going to abandon the failed policy of strategic patience. But we’re going to redouble our efforts to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to bear on North Korea. Our hope is that we can resolve this issue peaceably…

I know the President was heartened by his discussions with President Xi (Jinping). We’ve seen China begin to take some actions to bring pressure on North Korea but there needs to be more…

Look, we want to be clear: our hope and frankly our prayer is that by marshaling the resources of nations across the Asian Pacific — not just South Korea, Japan, other allies — and China bringing renewed pressure to bear…

Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, from pretty much every U.S. president or veep who has spoken about the North Korea problem since the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration.

Honestly, it’s a relief to hear Pence regurgitate the familiar bromides since we wouldn’t want his boss — who happens to be the world’s other nuclear-armed narcissistic madman with awful hair — acting out his corresponding set of daddy issues on a world-historical scale. But spare us the bullshit on stilts about a “abandoning the failed policy of strategic patience,” when all that means is that we’ll continue to do the same exact shit, only supplemented with meaner tweets from the marmalade hairball in the Oval Office.

For all that the Fox News-addled shitbirds in my Facebook feed love to talk about participation trophies and kids today and the extra-dainty, precious sensitivities of liberal snowflakes, it really is all about feelings with that crowd. Trump and Pence snarl and cavort around in flight jackets and do nothing substantive whatsoever, and oh happy day, finally that awful black feller has stopped apologizing for ‘Merica and we’re number one again.

The same spite animates these jackholes on virtually any issue you can name: Roll back Dodd-Frank because liberals! Repeal Obamacare because “Obama”care! Authorize pollution on a grander scale because liberals oppose it! Ignore climate change until the water rises over our nostrils! The Trump-Pence administration is truly Cleek’s Law made flesh.

And yet, Trump himself gets all disgruntled when confronted with irrefutable evidence that millions of Americans hate his fucking guts (“paid protesters!”) and whines about his glorious Electoral College victory while his lying flack Kellyanne Conway simultaneously admonishes us to get over the election. You first, you fucking assholes.

What we need, fellow citizens, is a new Age of Reason — a civic reattachment to facts and substance over lies and feelings. I don’t know how we get there from here. But I don’t even want to think about what happens if we don’t start moving in that direction, and fast.

294 replies
  1. 1
    Eric U. says:

    maybe these people should look at a map and note the location of Seoul before they open their yaps

  2. 2
    cmorenc says:

    No need to hold back for an NPR-type audience Betty. It would be better if you told us how you really felt about Trump and Pence, instead of spewing milquetoast euphemisms so as not to offend anyone’s fee-fees.

  3. 3
    Mike in NC says:

    Somebody needs to bring Dense up to speed on the past 65 years. Another fake tough guy in a leather jacket.

  4. 4
    gratuitous says:

    The Trump administration is still citing the wrong number of electoral votes, as well. They keep saying 306 votes, when it was really 304, an easily ascertained fact which apparently nobody in the information industry seems capable of remembering. Now, Donald Trump wouldn’t be the first man trying to convince everyone that four is really six, but come on, you millionaire gate-keepers of the national political conversation: Can’t you get one simple fact right?

  5. 5
    waspuppet says:

    For all that the Fox News-addled shitbirds in my Facebook feed love to talk about participation trophies and kids today and the extra-dainty, precious sensitivities of liberal snowflakes, it really is all about feelings with that crowd.

    Has been since Nixon, if not longer.

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    A couple of important items.
    1:

    2:

  7. 7
    Cacti says:

    For all that the Fox News-addled shitbirds in my Facebook feed love to talk about participation trophies and kids today and the extra-dainty, precious sensitivities of liberal snowflakes, it really is all about feelings with that crowd. Trump and Pence snarl and cavort around in flight jackets and do nothing substantive whatsoever, and oh happy day, finally that awful black feller has stopped apologizing for ‘Merica and we’re number one again.

    Indeed.

    There is no group in the country that gets their gossamer feelings coddled more than the “working class white male”.

  8. 8
    WereBear says:

    This was magnificent, Betty! I savored it like a fine Sauvignon blanc on a sunny spring day.

  9. 9
    amk says:

    this dumbshit’s ‘warning’ to the other nut – don’t test trump.

    the other nut – we gonna do weekly missile tests.

  10. 10
    Olivia says:

    Do you suppose Trump and Pence have daily practice sessions to learn how to look angry and serious? They both look like 6th graders might look if someone coached them to look like a president.

  11. 11

    “What we need, fellow citizens, is a new Age of Reason — a civic reattachment to facts and substance over lies and feelings.”

    The Moon will sooner fall perpendicularly out of the sky — and that would be no less disruptive.

  12. 12
    manyakitty says:

    @Olivia: Nah, I think it’s their equivalent of Resting Bi*ch Face.

  13. 13
    Big Ole Hound says:

    Feelings have no place in politics or international policy, We just need some adults running this country and unless there are solid grounds for impeachment, our constant complaining are a foolish pastime. Go to the polls for every election in every district and change things.

  14. 14
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What kind of leverage would the DPRK have though if China were like “nah, taking a pass on bailing you guys out”?

  15. 15
    Roger Moore says:

    For all that the Fox News-addled shitbirds in my Facebook feed love to talk about participation trophies and kids today and the extra-dainty, precious sensitivities of liberal snowflakes, it really is all about feelings with that crowd.

    It’s always projection for them, also, too. You know when they complain about participation trophies and overly sensitive people, they’re describing themselves.

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    @amk: Pence also cited the Syria bombing and the MOAB deployment in Afghanistan as signals that, by gosh, they really mean bidness! As if the Syrian airfield wasn’t up and running the next day and the US public has the appetite for yet another shooting war when the two we can’t seem to fully extricate ourselves from have bled us dry. The only lesson North Korea took from Bush Jr’s Iraq misadventure was “better have nukes!”

  17. 17
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Remind Everyone that China Has a Treaty Obligation Defend North Korea from an Armed Attack

    The first person who needs to be informed of this, just in case Xi failed to mention it during his 10 minute tutorial about North Korea, is Twitler.
    Example number eleventy of why ignorance is going to get us all killed. If only we had people working on improving our education system, and we had a media that believed it was their job to inform us of history and “facts”. Alas we have DeVos, and the villagers. WASF

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Well we know who had to wear the bunny suit this year:

  19. 19
    amk says:

    A kid asks Trump to sign his hat at the White House Easter Egg Roll. The president signs … and then tosses the hat into the crowd. pic.twitter.com/7ExdhpO97H— POLITICO (@politico) April 17, 2017

    his stupid maga shitheads ‘base’ deserve it.

  20. 20
    TenguPhule says:

    Honestly, it’s a relief to hear Pence regurgitate the familiar bromide

    Except it comes from the dickless nobody with no actual power to order an attack.

    Meanwhile the dickless dick with actual power is making noise of sound and fury.

    And we all hope that it signifies nothing.

  21. 21
    WereBear says:

    @Olivia: They both look like 6th graders might look if someone coached them to look like a president.

    Yes, they mistake a serious expression for a serious mind.

  22. 22
    TenguPhule says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    What kind of leverage would the DPRK have though if China were like “nah, taking a pass on bailing you guys out”?

    Several million refugees spilling over into China.

  23. 23
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I don’t trust the Rapture Ready crew with anything that might lead to Armageddon. Call it misaligned incentives.

  24. 24
    lollipopguild says:

    Trump and everyone like him are “performance artists” who are now in charge and they think that if they just keep “acting” that everyone else has to play along. God bless America!

  25. 25
    Gravenstone says:

    My first thought on seeing another photo op picture in his custom fitted “bomber” jacket was, “Aw, wook at the widdle poppinjay! Bet he feels really manly.”. It’d be funny, if the stakes weren’t so bloody high.

  26. 26
    Citizen_X says:

    That picture is of a Mike Pence action doll, right? Now with Lifelike Hair!

  27. 27
    Chris says:

    For all that the Fox News-addled shitbirds in my Facebook feed love to talk about participation trophies and kids today and the extra-dainty, precious sensitivities of liberal snowflakes, it really is all about feelings with that crowd.

    Their rationalization for voting for the country’s first out-of-the-closet white nationalist president in seventy years were “but a liberal called me racist and that really hurt my feelings.”

    Their repeated demands to the media for the last fifty years have been, not “you should be more accurate,” but “you should be less biased against us,” because we feel looked down on when you break stories that don’t confirm what we want to believe.

    In education, they want us to stop teaching that the founding fathers owned slaves because it gets in the way of their feeling good about their country. And they want us to present YE Creationism in science classes, despite the complete absence of any scientific argument for it, because it’s what they want to believe.

    The entire country lives in participation-trophy bubble for conservatives. Where all they have to do is show up and say “but I’m conservative! Acknowledge and respect me!” to receive a treatment that nobody else does.

  28. 28
    Bill says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Pence also cited the Syria bombing and the MOAB deployment in Afghanistan as signals that, by gosh, they really mean bidness! As if the Syrian airfield wasn’t up and running the next day and the US public has the appetite for yet another shooting war when the two we can’t seem to fully extricate ourselves from have bled us dry.

    Also, as if we didn’t drop more than 26,000 bombs during the last year of Obama’s presidency. Is their position something like: “the bad guys will finally know we mean business once a white guys is dropping the bombs?”

  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @amk: I think the phrase you want is: “Hold my soju”.

  30. 30
    SatanicPanic says:

    @TenguPhule: I’m pretty sure that would be the result of the US and the DPRK going to war regardless of what China does.

  31. 31
    lollipopguild says:

    @Citizen_X: And a KUNG-FU grip!

  32. 32
    amk says:

    @lollipopguild: they are all ted knights.

  33. 33
    TenguPhule says:

    @Chris:

    The entire country lives in participation-trophy bubble for conservatives.

    Which is why 20 years of forced involuntary servitude with mandatory hard labor on communal farms is the only cure.

    Republicans and related assholes are only going to get it by working hard for other people for no reward with the threat of constant beatings held over their heads.

  34. 34

    Why is the Easter egg roll not on Easter?

  35. 35
    ruemara says:

    @Cacti: Now, I’ve been told that black people voted for Trump and, really, we shouldn’t be so divisive and stereotype white people.

    Also, this cup of petty tea is a fine thing for the morning.

  36. 36
    hovercraft says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    “nah, taking a pass on bailing you guys out”?

    I* would think that NK doesn’t need leverage beyond the fact that China doesn’t want a united Korea, that is besties with the US on their border.
    *Not an expert, and don’t pretend to be.

  37. 37
    TenguPhule says:

    @SatanicPanic: China has an incentive to make sure the regime doesn’t fall. If nothing else, failing to come to NK’s aid would be an incentive for NK to use some of their weapons to blast a hole through the Chinese border and let their hordes of starving civilians run loose with gods only know how many military personnel mixed in with them to cause havoc. Never underestimate human spite.

  38. 38
    amk says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    hold my soju. hold my beer.

    we are all truly fucked.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Olivia: It has been reported that the President’s perpetual scowl expression is a purposeful decision based on something he read about Churchill. Apparently Churchill either once said or wrote that one should always look resolute and not smile in order to convey a sense of serious leadership. Or some such. It has been reported that the President either read this or was told this and has been doing it ever since.

    In the case of the Vice President, I think Mother has put too much fiber in his diet…

  40. 40
    MattF says:

    The catch, as always with The Fart Descending, is that the words don’t really mean anything. Policy? Ha ha ha ha ha.

  41. 41
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Its still beer in Korea. Soju is for the serious drinkers. Its like Vodka, only harsher.

  42. 42
    lollipopguild says:

    @Bill: Because “everybody” knows that when white guys drop bombs it means so much more than when the black guy was doing it. That and the fact that Bin Laden was killed on the black guys watch means nothing, Bush couldn’t get it done and the black guy did but it does not matter.

  43. 43
    lollipopguild says:

    @schrodingers_cat: People are supposed to be in church on Easter.

  44. 44
    TenguPhule says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I don’t trust the Rapture Ready crew with anything that might lead to Armageddon.

    You could have just shortened it to the first five words for greater accuracy.

  45. 45
    lollipopguild says:

    @amk: The perfect person to play trump if he were still alive.

  46. 46
    dlw3 says:

    Let’s see… 16 Presidential Administrations, 11 different Presidents, 9 different Republican Presidents, and 7 different Democratic Presidents have all faced this North Korean government… but Trump/Pense have figured out the secret! Yes, send a carrier group into the area and the VP to the DMZ. Well, why didn’t we think of that before?

  47. 47
    Hoodie says:

    @Eric U.: few Americans grasp the population density of South Korea- imagine the land mass of Indiana with ten times the population and on fifth the arable land. The mass of humanity living within easy range of dprk artillery attack is immense. I imagine the Chinese would act after such an atrocity, but not before thousands of South Koreans were dead. I imagine the dprk is a big pain in the ass for China, and the Chinese don’t know what to do with them. They seem to have placated them in the hope the regime would fall apart, but they’ve proven to be quite resilient. Supposedly, this is the point they recently made to hair furor, so this is just more empty posturing.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SatanicPanic: Despite being economically weak, they could make a lot of trouble for the PRC. From asymmetric and irregular military options to pushing North Koreans who have been suffering food and other deprivations across the border. They could make a lot of mischief. How effective it would be is another story. And, as always, I know just enough about the DPRK to know very little about the DPRK.

  49. 49
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It has been reported that the President either read this or was told this . . .

    I’m guessing he was told.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    SatanicPanic says:

    @TenguPhule: This isn’t really an answer though. I understand they have an incentive to keep North Korea intact, and they don’t want a unified Korea, etc. But the question is, if it’s war vs. the USA or letting the DPRK fall, what would their choice be? And if they choose to not act, what can North Korea do that North Korea wouldn’t be powerless to prevent from happening anyway? If North Korea go to war with the US, I don’t think their border with China will continue to exist in any meaningful way no matter what anyone plans. If North Korea AND China go to war I think the same thing happens- flood of refugees.

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Betty Cracker: The strategic difference is that the Syrians and the Taliban /ISIL in Afghanistan can’t actually reach out and touch the US in any significant way. The DPRK has the ability to make our lives very miserable, very quickly. Not an existential threat, but a true asymmetric one. What you’re seeing is a signaling that the new policy (not that there is actually a real policy here) is Not Obama.

  53. 53
    rikyrah says:

    Here’s beady-eyed Christo-fascist fraud Mike Pence playing dress-up at the DMZ in Korea and pretending that he and the incurious dipshit president he serves have a bold new strategy to address the conundrum that has vexed the world for decades:

    You can certainly turn a phrase, BC.

  54. 54
    Peale says:

    IDK. Maybe if we just tested NK with one small bomb to see how it goes. Then work our way up. Kind of like allergy shots. Maybe they’d get used to it. I’m sure we have bombs that are so small that no one notices when we drop them.

  55. 55
    Barbara says:

    @Hoodie: It is also a fact that relations between China and South Korea have been tense in recent months. Yes, I assume that China would just as soon see the current crop of NK leadership have an unfortunate accident, like a plane crash, but feels constrained by a host of considerations, including not wanting to overtly interfere or even be accused of doing so.

  56. 56
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    In the case of the Vice President, I think Mother has put too much fiber in his diet…

    Please provide a warning, I had just taken a sip of tea!!

  57. 57
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Seems like whatever North Korea would do to them would either be inevitable or less bad than a war with the USA. I’m not trying to defend Trump here, I’m just saying I’m not convinced this particular doomsday scenario is that likely.

  58. 58

    @TenguPhule: Korean for beer is mekju.

  59. 59
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: I know what soju is. I was looking for something more context positive than just beer.

  60. 60
    Keith G says:

    I like Betty’s call for a new Age of Reason, but I would define its scope and focus differently.

    International instability is pretty much the human experience. What has changed is however is the democratization of powerful, and in some cases dangerous, technologies. The growth of hot conflicts, growing into socalled civil wars fueled by ages-old political and religious acrimony, is a related issue. It seems to be the case that the ocurrence of such conflicts might be exacerbated as the results of climate change become more severe.

    I don’t think there is much that can be done to avoid the growing frequency of turmoil. These forces are already set in motion.

    I would think it might be important for the wealthier and more advanced societies to come together and map out humane strategies (when possible) for dealing with the follow-on effects of changes and conflicts sure to be on our doorsteps. The United Nations seems uniquely suited to be of much help because of the ability of governments to veto important action.

    It just seems to me that we are dealing with so many problems on an ad-hoc basis instead of recognizing the overall impact of global trends which require, at least partially, global initiatives ….. and to me that includes such issues as North Korea and the fighting in Syria.

  61. 61
    raven says:

    @TenguPhule: Mockoli will put lead in your pencil.

  62. 62
    ArchTeryx says:

    Completely off-topic, but I was just rejected for an Environmental Chem position with New York State that would have paid over $70K a year.

    Why? Because I’m a biochemist, and I didn’t check every one of their checkboxes, even though I turned in the interview of my life. The guy whose job I was interviewing to take over really liked me and recommended me for the job, but he was overruled by his superiors – almost certainly, for someone who DID check every box.

    Yet again, allowed to look at the brass ring, but never allowed to grasp it. This is why I didn’t want to depend on a job to give me my lifesaving medical care. Nobody wants me – not enough to ever give me the offer.

  63. 63
    lollipopguild says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Usually the morning is spent in church but after church most people go to a restaurant to eat or have a family meal at home. A lot of families see Easter as a “family day” like thanksgiving and Christmas. Quite a few people either travel to see family or have family come in from out of town.

  64. 64
    raven says:

    @raven:makkoli

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/us/politics/trump-obama-wiretapping-motivation.html

    Toughness, more than any other attribute, is what Mr. Trump has sought to project during his short and successful political career — and he believes his behavior makes him look tougher, no matter what the press thinks.

    As a presidential candidate, he wanted to look dour, and vetoed any campaign imagery that so much as hinted at weakness, aides said. Which is why every self-selected snapshot — down to the squinty-eyed scowl attached to his Twitter account — features a tough-guy sourpuss. “Like Churchill,” is what Mr. Trump would tell staffers when asked what look he was going for.

  66. 66
    germy says:

    The TSA says a co-pilot was caught with a loaded gun in his carry-on luggage at Albany International Airport Monday morning.

    The TSA says an agent found the gun on an x-ray machine, loaded with six bullets Monday morning.

    The man, who flies for Southwest Airlines, was arrested.

    The Chicago-bound flight was delayed for about four hours.

  67. 67
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That fucker isn’t fit to shine Winston Churchill’s shoes.

  68. 68
    Humdog says:

    @ArchTeryx: I am sorry to hear you did not get the job. Hang on to knowing you won the interview and are practiced for the next one!

  69. 69
    MattF says:

    @lollipopguild: Yeah, Easter is a very big restaurant day. I discovered this when I was visiting some friends over Easter weekend, and it was impossible to get into any restaurant– all seats at all tables were taken and had been for weeks.

  70. 70
    Hoodie says:

    @Barbara: china and the ROK are economic competitors, so china probably has some reasons for keeping the ROK under threat, but all things considered, I doubt China is too happy with a rogue nuclear power as a neighbor. They’re probably more worried about having to deal with the humanitarian crisis if the dprk falls apart or if there is war.

  71. 71
    Spanky says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Reminds me of the look on Curly’s face when he says “I’m trying to think, but nothing’s happening!”

  72. 72

    @lollipopguild: So is it always on a Monday, not just this year because of the new crew in town, then?

  73. 73
    MattF says:

    @germy: Pardon my language, but wtf? How dumb can someone be?

  74. 74

    @Adam L Silverman:

    In the case of the Vice President, I think Mother has put too much fiber in his diet…

    Or maybe he had some of the kimchi that HW Bush had in Seoul.

  75. 75
    TenguPhule says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    But the question is, if it’s war vs. the USA or letting the DPRK fall, what would their choice be?

    Last time, they picked killing American troops in support of North Korea. They hurt our army badly.

    This time the optics for their intervention are better.

    Defending an ally against a preemptive attack.

  76. 76
    Gravenstone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: “Successful” political career? Fuck the fucking NYT, indeed!

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SatanicPanic: If you aspire to be either a peer competitor global system rule maker or to eclipse the current one (the US) and become the global system rule maker and you have only one treaty alliance defense agreement in place, you cannot fail to uphold it. The minute you do achieving your aspirations, short of doing so by force, are dead on arrival.

    Also, if you hold the note on Trump Tower and on 666 5th Avenue, and on a significantly large amount of other assets the President’s family owns, you have leverage. If the President ignores your leverage, and you are seeking to slowly eclipse the US as the sole superpower, and are willing to assume some risk to accelerate the time frame, then having the US get bogged down on the Korean peninsula, in addition to the Levant, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and who’s Asian-Pacific allies are all signaling and messaging quite openly that the President’s behavior right now is scaring them more than the DPRK’s, this would be a way to do it.

  78. 78
    germy says:

    @ArchTeryx:

    The guy whose job I was interviewing to take over really liked me and recommended me for the job

    You made a good impression on him. Maybe you’ll be the first person he thinks of if something opens up where you can check all the boxes.

  79. 79

    @Adam L Silverman: Not a huge Churchill fan, but comparing the 70 year old coddled toddler to that tough cookie is a joke.

  80. 80
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft:

  81. 81

    @TenguPhule:

    Its still beer in Korea. Soju is for the serious drinkers. Its like Vodka, only harsher.

    Also known as bottled hangover…

  82. 82
    The Moar You Know says:

    What we need, fellow citizens, is a new Age of Reason — a civic reattachment to facts and substance over lies and feelings.

    I suspect you’re dreaming of a society that never existed. The actual Western “Ages of Reason” had a slew of baggage attached to them that no modern Western citizen would find acceptable. Slavery, for starters. Vast swaths of humanity cut out of the decision making process and openly regarded as useless chattel fit only to be administered for the good of the movers and shakers. I could go on but you get the idea.

  83. 83
    MattF says:

    @GrandJury: Serious question. When, exactly, were you chosen to be the Troll of the Month?

  84. 84
    TenguPhule says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    If North Korea AND China go to war I think the same thing happens- flood of refugees.

    But the direction they will be driven towards matters. China onboard will see those refugees being driven south, not north. And there is no way it ends well if China is in play, they can get men to the front faster then we could and a land war plays to their strengths and our military’s weaknesses.

  85. 85
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    “We’re going to abandon the failed policy of strategic patience. But we’re going to redouble our efforts to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to bear on North Korea. Our hope is that we can resolve this issue peaceably…”

    I see Mr Peance, we are going to use new words when talking about the situation. Have we gone to “the incentivised dialog actionables are all on table and fully green lighted” yet? Bold moves indeed.

  86. 86
    SatanicPanic says:

    @TenguPhule: That was over 60 years ago when Mao was trying to shore up his regime. I don’t think that’s particularly relevant today. What good are optics in this situation? China isn’t trying to lead the international communist movement anymore. What do they win? Whatever it is, seems not worth a war with another nuclear power and a major trading partner.

  87. 87
    germy says:

    @MattF:

    How dumb can someone be?

    I honestly don’t know if it was a simple mistake (“I forgot I had it on me!”) or if he was planning something nasty in the cockpit. Who knows?

    I still remember the airline pilot who flew into a mountain, killing himself and all his passengers

  88. 88
    Gravenstone says:

    @GrandJury: Somewhere I’m sure there is a busy intersection waiting for you to play traffic cop, in your clown’s nose and floppy shoes. Get hopping, little man. Once again, you won’t be missed.

  89. 89
    ArchTeryx says:

    @germy: Not there, sadly. I’ll never check all the boxes for Enviro Chem, and he’s retiring in 6 months. I only got the interview because, I think, I scored really well for a non-EC chemist in the civil service exam. Still, he really liked me.

  90. 90
    TenguPhule says:

    @GrandJury:

    There am I doing it right?

    No. Report back to Moscow for debriefing and execution, comrade.

  91. 91
    🌷 Martin says:

    @TenguPhule: That was a very different China, though – deep in the Cultural Revolution. They’ve now gotten a big fucking taste of capitalism and it’s lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty there, built out their cities, and is what really has allowed them to challenge the US and Russia for a leadership role (despite their many serious shortcoming). Backing NK would be to throw that away as they’d lose trade access to almost everyone. What’s more, it would crash the US economy given the number of US companies that are incredibly dependent on China either as a market or as a manufacturing base. So we have no incentive to go there either.

    I don’t think NK has a clear enough view of the outside world to really understand that, but then, I’m not sure the White House does either.

  92. 92
    Gravenstone says:

    @MattF: I think he craves the sweet sweet embrace of John’s ban hammer. So he edges ever closer to the triggering event over time. Then he’ll just come up with another unimaginative name and the same coterie of tired nicknames for the front pagers with which to immediately out himself.

  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SatanicPanic: Let’s put it this way, while both the US and the PRC’s military capabilities are significantly improved since the Korean War, during that war the People’s Liberation Army, which was poorly equipped compared to the US military of the day, were able to successfully assist the DPRK against the US. The terrain isn’t any better than it was 60 plus years ago. The logistics aren’t any better. The PLA and PLAN and PLAAF are all better. The DPRK and the PRC have home field advantage. And the USAF and US Navy Aviation have been at almost constant war since 1991 over Iraq, then Afghanistan, and now Syria. And that isn’t counting we have a lot of tail, but not a lot of tooth because of the sequester. And that tooth is in constant use in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, etc.

  94. 94
    TenguPhule says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    What do they win? Whatever it is, seems not worth a war with another nuclear power and a major trading partner.

    1. Legitimate Moral Superiority over the USA, which is not a good thing
    2. Avert the refugees coming in (again, China wants them going south, not north)
    3. A chance to take out US military units on favorable terms (again, our army is at a BIG disadvantage here which airpower and naval power are not going to make up for) We can hurt them in turn, but the chance for them to take thousands of American soldiers as POWs is something they might feel is worth the risk.
    4. They have to uphold their end of the deal, otherwise all of their other deals get called into question on credibility. This includes trade.

  95. 95
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @GrandJury: I honestly have no idea what it is you are ranting about. I also have no idea who you think is joking. Though keeping a sense of humor during stressful times is actually a good thing. Your comments have begun to go from borderline insulting to largely incoherent.

  96. 96
    Jeffro says:

    @SatanicPanic: @Adam L Silverman:

    The Chinese must be shaking their heads almost non-stop at this point…we have difficulty playing chess on a good day in this country; under this administration, we are losing at checkers. Badly. BIGLY.

    Someone should ask Trumpov (or Pence, or any of these GOP clowns for that matter): can you give us a reason why China would want to work with the U.S. on the North Korea situation? Or anything? A real reason, not a “Fox and Friends” reason.

  97. 97
    Cacti says:

    @GrandJury:

    So lets all joke about this. Cup half full n all. That is what the so very intelligent people here on ball juice are saying. Oh noez, now my selection of cheap chinese crap at Walmart will disappear. There am I doing it right?

    We also assumed that there was just no possible way that China would get involved back in 1950, and paid for it in blood.

    While things in China have obviously changed since the days of Mao, the extent to which China is unwilling to tolerate a pro-US government in North Korea hasn’t really changed at all. China will not give up their buffer state on the Korean peninsula without a fight.

  98. 98
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It doesn’t help that the army retooled and retrained to fight small scale opponents and not a conventional military that actually outnumbers them on the ground and can field reinforcements a lot faster. Or that so many supporting roles are now contracted out.

    Fat cobra vs a mongoose on steroids.

  99. 99
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m not really convinced. “You had a chance to lead but you blew it by leaving a rogue regime out to dry” strikes me as something more than a few countries would happily sweep under the rug when China starts offering them nice trade deals.

    The US would probably end up getting bogged down in North Korea no matter what China does. Does North Korea have less resources than Afghanistan? Maybe, I don’t know. Either way, getting into a proxy war (or maybe not a proxy war) with the USA strikes me as a dumb way to try to become a major power. What’s in it for them that they couldn’t get by not doing something that might result in WWIII?

  100. 100
    TenguPhule says:

    @GrandJury: I’m hoping you’re a Russian troll. The possibility that you’re actually serious is a condemnation of our public education system.

  101. 101
    chopper says:

    @GrandJury:

    hey look, Fart Jokes is telling us all to be serious again.

  102. 102
    Sab says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Weird choice, since everyone pretty much says Churchill looked like a bulldog. I have known a few wonderful bulldogs. Loyal but they aren’t that bright. Churchill’s intelligence wasn’t in question (his judgment yes a lot.)Trump’s intelligence has always been a question. So trying to look like a not bright but stubborn buulldog is a good PR choice?

  103. 103
    TenguPhule says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    “You had a chance to lead but you blew it by leaving a rogue regime out to dry” strikes me as something more than a few countries would happily sweep under the rug when China starts offering them nice trade deals.

    “You didn’t honor this treaty, why should we trust you’ll honor ours?”

    This is basic 101 diplomacy.

    Either way, getting into a proxy war (or maybe not a proxy war) with the USA strikes me as a dumb way to try to become a major power.

    Proxy wars are what smart and devious major powers do to undermine the competition. You’re not thinking like a nation state, you’re thinking like a person who can’t imagine anything other then the current status quo.

  104. 104
    Baud says:

    Maybe China will cancel Trump’s trademarks.

  105. 105
    SatanicPanic says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Avert the refugees coming in (again, China wants them going south, not north)

    Seems like a better and cheaper plan would be not to join the war and just station troops on their borders. 1. I don’t think they care enough about to want to fight. And yes, they could cause us damage, but your reasons for why they want to strike me as highly questionable.

  106. 106
    MattF says:

    @Sab: You’re assuming there’s some ‘logic’ involved. More likely Trump has a vague recollection that someone he envies and resents but can’t disrespect once said something positive about Churchill. “So, I’ll be just like Churchill and then that asshole will have to respect me.”

  107. 107
    Hoodie says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Churchill survived quite a few more dangers than venereal disease.

  108. 108
    amk says:

    @Baud: Yup. And the corrupt coward will back down.

  109. 109
    SatanicPanic says:

    @TenguPhule:

    This is basic 101 diplomacy.

    Well yeah, but the world is not so simple.

  110. 110
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Backing NK would be to throw that away as they’d lose trade access to almost everyone. What’s more, it would crash the US economy given the number of US companies that are incredibly dependent on China either as a market or as a manufacturing base.

    Not if NK was attacked first. That would trigger their defensive pact and China would LOSE credibility if they didn’t honor it. And again, while the Chinese leadership loves their wealthy lifestyle, the situation for them as a nation state hasn’t changed. They can’t allow NK to go down and risk that border going to hell.

    And seeing a US economic contraction resulting from that would just be a bonus in their eyes.

  111. 111
    TenguPhule says:

    @SatanicPanic: The simplest things are the hardest. And China can’t afford to lose face here. Otherwise they risk their own internal uprisings getting out of control.

  112. 112
    Sab says:

    @TenguPhule: “Proxy wars” sets my teeth on edge. Thousands die for what some tiny segment of the political class thinks might benefit them.

  113. 113
    The Moar You Know says:

    That is what the so very intelligent people here on ball juice are saying.

    @GrandJury: You have a tell and this is one of the biggies.

    This guy’s been here before, for quite some time, under a slew of different nyms. Nothing to see here.

  114. 114
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: The Chinese are playing Go. To quote the Taoist martial arts instruction: “they will invest in loss”.

  115. 115
    sheila in nc says:

    @ArchTeryx: Good luck. It can be done — I work in an environmental health agency despite originally training in biochemistry.
    P.S. I have Crohn’s too.

  116. 116
    Nicole says:

    Being born a white heterosexual male is the ultimate participation trophy.

    (Note: for the record, I don’t actually oppose participation trophies for kids. They’re getting a trophy because they fucking showed up and did the work. Makes much more sense than giving a 6-year-old a trophy because he happens to be taller than his opponents, which is a lot of what athletic ability at that age is about. Seriously, these FBers- and I have some on my FB page too, and did I mention they all voted for Trump?- who vent about participation trophies for kids like it’s the reason the country will fall to ruin are just horrible people who like to see children be upset. Seriously. I think it gives them pleasure to see people littler than they are get hurt.)

  117. 117
    weaselone says:

    @TenguPhule:

    No. Report back to Moscow for debriefing and execution, comrade.

    I thought Russians got dark humor, possibly even invented it.

  118. 118
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Moar You Know: Yep, he or she are going back into their box.

  119. 119
    TenguPhule says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Seems like a better and cheaper plan would be not to join the war and just station troops on their borders.

    Not with a US first strike. You’re not paying attention to the political, economical and social ramifications that the Chinese leadership would be facing. They wouldn’t really have a choice but to counterattack on NK’s behalf because their own interests would be threatened.

  120. 120
    SatanicPanic says:

    @TenguPhule: No, I’m saying I don’t think going “this is _____ 101” is a real answer. Is the average Chinese person going to revolt because China declined to defend North Korea? I hate to keep repeating this, but this strikes me as questionable. North Korea is not Taiwan, I am not convinced Chinese people have the same emotional investment. Again, this is not 1955. “They lose face”- with who? Who is going to be like, “well I was for working with China, but not anymore!”?

  121. 121
    TenguPhule says:

    @Sab: I didn’t say they were a good idea, I said they’re something that strong assholes tend to favor.

  122. 122
    germy says:

    Medical science policy is not improving.
    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/medical-science-policy-in-the-u-s-under-donald-trump-eighty-days-in/

    Unsurprisingly, President Trump tapped an ultraconservative Congressman, Dr. Tom Price, to run HHS. Price, as you might recall, belongs to an ultraconservative physician advocacy group masquerading as a professional society, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). The AAPs, you might recall, fetishizes physician “autonomy” and the “patient-physician relationship” above all else, which doesn’t sound bad on the surface, until you realize that this stance is married to an extreme anti-regulatory stance that opposes nearly all constraints, particularly government constraints, on physician “autonomy” and a free market fundamentalist approach to health care that views government funding and regulation as illegitimate or even unconstitutional.

  123. 123
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    I am wondering but the choked off reaction from the Orange one over NK and this is my theory that there was a conversation like

    Trump “So these North Korean missiles test, SAD! I an’t Obama, I am going to put the hammer down”

    Xi “Oh that, test the 15th on this month, well don’t worry about it. Sadly it will fail.”

    Trump “I am going to,..”

    Jard “Hold on dad, what you mean by fail Mr Xi?”

    Xi “The North Koreans chose defective parts against our advice. Regrettable really”

    Trump “uh, what..?”

    Jard “How do you know this?”

    Xi “We sold the parts to them.”

    Trump & Jard “,..”

    Xi “This is how capitalism works, right? Forgive me, I grew up under Communism. Anyway, don’t worry about the test President Trump, it will be all right, Now that golf course in Beijing; we Chines do love gold…”

    Trump “Gold golf course,…

  124. 124
    ruemara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m not fond of king of the slag heap geopolitics.

  125. 125
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Jeffro: I don’t think there is, because there’s no good answer to North Korea. Just bad ones. That’s why I’m skeptical that China would want to be involved in anything beyond trying to talk Trump down. If Trump doesn’t listen I don’t see why they don’t just wash their hands of the whole thing.

  126. 126
    Quinerly says:

    OT..Sinclair Broadcast Group has hired Boris Epshteyn as chief political analyst.

  127. 127
    Sab says:

    @TenguPhule: Sad, but I agree with you. (Not that I have a problem agreeing with you.) Just sad in this instance.

  128. 128
    Cacti says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Not if NK was attacked first. That would trigger their defensive pact and China would LOSE credibility if they didn’t honor it. And again, while the Chinese leadership loves their wealthy lifestyle, the situation for them as a nation state hasn’t changed. They can’t allow NK to go down and risk that border going to hell.

    And seeing a US economic contraction resulting from that would just be a bonus in their eyes.

    Not to mention, in the event of a U.S. first strike, virtually none of our friends from the original Korean War would have our back.

    Hell, a good number of them would privately be rooting for us to take one on the chin.

  129. 129
    gbbalto says:

    @GrandJury: Now you are being extra childish and are just beclowning yourself. You might want to use the internets a little to learn about Adam’s expertise in these matters, which certainly far exceeds yours (as it does mine). You have the strange impression that we just don’t take these situations seriously when we all do, and which all (but you) know, which is why we don’t need to spend much time talking about how We Take This All Seriously. If you can’t follow that, find another blog.

    ETA – I see that it has been taken care of.

  130. 130
    weaselone says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Wouldn’t the more likely thing to do to be for them to invade North Korea under the auspices of providing assistance, but mostly just to create a buffer zone in North Korea in order to prevent/shield against NK refugees and provide/maintain a friendly zone between China and US/South Korean forces? I see China gaining a lot from an attack by the US on North Korea. I don’t see them gaining much by getting involved directly in the conflict themselves on North Korea’s behalf.

  131. 131
    Paula says:

    What we need, fellow citizens, is a new Age of Reason — a civic reattachment to facts and substance over lies and feelings. I don’t know how we get there from here. But I don’t even want to think about what happens if we don’t start moving in that direction, and fast.

    Yep!

  132. 132
    marv says:

    “straightway the silver bird looked grave”

    Someone else quoted the great “i sing of Olaf” here once. I have never seen the spirit of that line captured so well as in this photo of Pence.

  133. 133
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @gbbalto: “ball juice” was a tell.

  134. 134
    Sab says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Go is fucking impossible to play ( but I bet the Chinese can do a good job at trying.) I have played it since I was a twerp in the late sixties. It is hard to play.

  135. 135
    TenguPhule says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Let me try to explain it in simpler terms.

    1. China has invested time and resources in keeping the NK regime propped up and stabilized on their southern border. They most assuredly DO NOT want US bases in NK or a US ally where NK is. They have spent decades of internal propaganda to get their citizens informed that NK is an ally.

    2. China is not an ally or a friend to the USA. We’re rival powers who only work together because its to our economic benefit. Both sides are constantly working in various ways to undermine the other while trying to avoid getting caught.

    3. China is planning for the eventuality that sooner or later they will have to face off against the US military, either as a counterweight or actual action. Like any sane nation state, they want to do so when it best favors them and not us.

    4. An attack on NK threatens their southern border, activates a defense pact and demonstrates that our government can’t be relied on to act rationally. Not responding to that would undermine their regime’s legitimacy with their own people and their credibility for any international agreements. In addition to which, the Chinese leadership could assume that if the USA is crazy enough to attack NK, they’re crazy enough to keep going and attack China too. You and I might think that’s insane, but we’re not the ones who’d suddenly have hostile forces suddenly off our southern border.

  136. 136
    lollipopguild says:

    @schrodingers_cat: My understanding is that it is always done on the Monday after Easter. The crew we have in the White House now could screw up a one car funeral.

  137. 137
    TenguPhule says:

    @weaselone:

    I see China gaining a lot from an attack by the US on North Korea.

    Which is why China consistently backs NK in the UN and keeps feeding them missile parts and knowledge.

  138. 138
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Eric U.: What are you, some kind of believer is a “reality-based” foreign policy? Great minds like these make their own reality.

  139. 139
    Hoodie says:

    @Cacti: I imagine the Chinese wouldn’t engage with us directly if we preemptively acted in NK, they’d just condemn us and leave us to deal with the clusterfuck that would follow. I have a sense that the dprk’s insanity is fairly well calibrated to scare everyone without actually going over the brink. That doesn’t mean that they’ll have any qualms about killing innocents, they just know that stalemate is pretty locked in on the peninsula. They’ve got a nice little protection racket going and wouldn’t want that to end, but they know the us can’t do shit about it.

  140. 140
    TenguPhule says:

    @weaselone:

    Wouldn’t the more likely thing to do to be for them to invade North Korea

    North Korea is an active chainsaw to whoever decides to stick their fingers in there.

  141. 141
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @gbbalto: “ball juice” was a tell.

    ah, there’s a flashback– so that one was spatula/timmeh/ I forget how many other nyms?

  142. 142
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Olivia:

    Do you suppose Trump and Pence have daily practice sessions to learn how to look angry and serious? They both look like 6th graders might look if someone coached them to look like a president.

    As we were informed a while back, Trump works very hard to hold his ugly mug such as to ape Winston Churchill because he believes in his own publicity that he’s just as important and he wants you to take him “tremendously seriously”.

    Pence, on the other hand, seems to be working hard to make you think he is “Vengeful and Angry God”, circa pre-New Testament days of hellfire and brimstone. Woe be to us who do not heed his words for he will demand we sacrifice our first borns.

  143. 143
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Looking forward to “World Peace”, Trump-style. May we all survive his version of peace.

  144. 144
    Wjs says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Trump does not laugh, at least in public. He is decidedly not like Reagan with respect to being gregarious and that is also on purpose. Has Trump ever admitted that he hated Reagan?

  145. 145
    SatanicPanic says:

    @TenguPhule: I’m sorry, these just don’t convince me
    1. They don’t want them. Doesn’t mean they’ll threaten the half trillion dollars of trade they have with us, or risk nuclear war.
    2. If you’re trying to avoid getting caught, joining a war against the USA is an odd way to do it.
    3. Having a plan and believing you’ll definitely implement it at some point is not the same thing. China is not the DPRK.
    4. “activates a defense pact” that I suspect they will ignore. Again, half trillion dollars in trade. What are they getting out of the DPRK? nothing but trouble. Maybe they’ve told their citizens that the DPRK is their important ally. So what? It wouldn’t be the first time in Chinese history that the government did a massive about-face and survived.

  146. 146
    Barbara says:

    In one of this morning’s articles some columnist said that the NK situation is sort of like the Cuban missile crisis and seems to have lost the most obvious part of the analogy — that Korea is to China what Cuba was to us, and we went nearly out of our minds at the thought that Russia would have a base so close to us, meanwhile we have had thousands of troops in South Korea for close to 60 years. No one likes the thought of having a powerful military a stone’s throw from their border. Remember when conservatives went nuts thinking about China controlling the Panama Canal? We see ourselves as benign, but others might want to disagree. I don’t know what China would do if we went berserk and attacked NK, and you know what, I don’t want to find out or be in a position to be right at the end of the day anymore than I think I should actually have to worry whether Donald Trump is beholden to Russia in a way that undermines the USA.

  147. 147
    Fair Economist says:

    @Olivia:

    Do you suppose Trump and Pence have daily practice sessions to learn how to look angry and serious? They both look like 6th graders might look if someone coached them to look like a president.

    Trump watches other people and himself on TV with the sound off to learn just that.

  148. 148
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: As we were informed a while back, Trump works very hard to hold his ugly mug such as to ape Winston Churchill because

    good christ, I’d never heard that– that’s the stupid constipated face he makes when he plays show and tell with his executive orders?

  149. 149
    Brachiator says:

    the marmalade hairball

    Love it.

    On Sunday, some right wing nitwit caller to a radio show claimed that Trump really does have a coherent foreign policy, but he is keeping it secret to keep America’s enemies off guard.

    So let’s see. Trump lies, blames Obama, and then does what prior administrations have done with respect to North Korea. And then gets hailed as Dear Leader by his minions and idiot pundits.

    What a bunch of dopes.

  150. 150
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @ArchTeryx: Oh FFS Arch, you were probably screwed before they even saw your CV. Ignoring the recommendation of the incumbent is an absolute giveaway that TPTB had already decided on the “winning” applicant–probably about the time when (if not before!) the incumbent announced his/her impending departure–& had tailored the requirements in the announcement to fit that “winner”. Happens all the time. Not your fault. (ETA: Your best chance would have been for the designated one to drop dead or be locked up. Still could happen!)

    Chin up–your ship is on its way in.

  151. 151
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Some of them were before my time.

  152. 152
    Jeffro says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    I don’t think there is, because there’s no good answer to North Korea. Just bad ones. That’s why I’m skeptical that China would want to be involved in anything beyond trying to talk Trump down. If Trump doesn’t listen I don’t see why they don’t just wash their hands of the whole thing.

    There are good answers…they just require an awful lot of hard work, a VERY long view, trusting-but-verifying, a bit of humbleness on our part, and most likely, some big dollars. Things we do not have a huge supply of on a good day.

    Regardless, China – its government or its people – does not strike me as likely to ‘just wash their hands of the whole thing’. There are a lot of negative outcomes for them and they are unlikely to just let events take their course.

    ETA: TP said it well up above, also too.

    @Adam L Silverman: Yes, definitely. Just trying to keep it familiar for the readers here at home! But the gulf between checkers and Go is probably a better example of the difference between Trump’s capabilities and those of China’s leaders.

  153. 153
    efgoldman says:

    @Big Ole Hound:

    our constant complaining are a foolish pastime.

    You maybe noticed various congresscritters reactions to demonstrations and town meetings re the ACA?

  154. 154
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Wjs: Other than the 1987 full page adds telling President Reagan he was wrong and foolish regarding the US posture to the Soviet Union and in supporting the NATO Alliance? I do not know.

  155. 155
    noncarborundum says:

    @Citizen_X:
    You lost me at “lifelike”.

  156. 156

    @Ella in New Mexico: OMG I don’t whether to laugh or to cry. A permanent scowl does not make one Churchill. What an idiot.
    He looks like a model for Preparation H, instead.

  157. 157
    Ruckus says:

    @Olivia:
    You are being awfully generous in your aging the top morons. 6th grade? That’s maybe 3 or 4 grades too far. Try 2nd or 3rd grade school play. That’s their level. By 6th grade kids know how to read and have actual taste in many things. By 6th grade some kids have shown real talents. By 6th grade many kids know what they want to be when they grow up. And that they want to grow up.

  158. 158
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Jeffro: I don’t think they’ll do nothing. But enter a war with the USA on North Korea’s side? I highly doubt that.

  159. 159
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Brachiator: On Sunday, some right wing nitwit caller to a radio show claimed that Trump really does have a coherent foreign policy, but he is keeping it secret to keep America’s enemies off guard.

    the whole family is pretty much bragging that Ivanka talked him into flip-flopping on Syria

    On that note, paraphrasing a twitter exchange I saw over the weekend, our reality show president’s closest advisers on foreign policy are half-assed fashion promoter (I guess you would call her?) and mostly failed real estate developer, to which I would add: All three of those people owe their positions to inherited money.

  160. 160

    Pence looks pregnant in that fly boy jacket. You know who can rock a leather jacket better than the sacks of flour that are T and P?

  161. 161
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: From my comment 65:

    @germy:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/us/politics/trump-obama-wiretapping-motivation.html

    Toughness, more than any other attribute, is what Mr. Trump has sought to project during his short and successful political career — and he believes his behavior makes him look tougher, no matter what the press thinks.

    As a presidential candidate, he wanted to look dour, and vetoed any campaign imagery that so much as hinted at weakness, aides said. Which is why every self-selected snapshot — down to the squinty-eyed scowl attached to his Twitter account — features a tough-guy sourpuss. “Like Churchill,” is what Mr. Trump would tell staffers when asked what look he was going for.

  162. 162
    Fleeting Expletive says:

    …test…

  163. 163
    TenguPhule says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Doesn’t mean they’ll threaten the half trillion dollars of trade they have with us, or risk nuclear war.

    1. That “they’ll never risk that trade they have with us over a little defense treaty” was the same thinking that ended in WW I. Don’t assume that these treaties are pointless and can be broken so easily. At the nation-state level, they mean something important to all of the players.

    2. China has nukes too, which is why they can be confident that any shooting war will remain conventional and that they will have overwhelming superiority over our forces there on the ground. Don’t assume greed will trump the pride of China’s government leaders, or that they don’t see an opportunity to really hurt us while having world opinion on their side.

  164. 164
    noncarborundum says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Or maybe he had some of the kimchi that HW Bush had in Seoul.

    Is that what prompted what Dave Barry once referred to as “the ceremonial ralph of friendship”?

  165. 165
    Fleeting Expletive says:

    FYWP wouldn’t let me comment yesterday about the OK fool Rep Markwayne Mullins who says he really doesn’t have to hold town halls. He’s just too rich and important.

  166. 166
    SatanicPanic says:

    @TenguPhule: I’m not assuming the players don’t consider the treaty important, I’m arguing that assuming they consider it more important than anything else isn’t defensible. Whatever, I’m over it. We’ll either find out who is right or we won’t.

  167. 167
    Lizzy L says:

    Excellent article in The WaPo today. Here are some excerpts. I strongly recommend reading it all. Basic thesis — I cannot evaluate its plausibility — is that China is not necessarily in a strong position here.

    China finds itself in the uncomfortable position of falling out with both sides on the Korean Peninsula. On Monday, South Korea announced that it would press ahead with the “swift deployment” of a U.S. missile defense system, despite vociferous Chinese opposition. In February, China said it was cutting off coal imports from North Korea in accordance with sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council in a bid to persuade the North to abandon its nuclear and missile program. On Sunday, North Korea ignored China’s pleas not to raise regional tensions by conducting another missile test, albeit one that failed. China has also imposed unofficial and unilateral sanctions against South Korea to persuade it not to deploy the missile defense system, experts say. On Monday, as Vice President Pence warned North Korea not to test U.S. resolve, South Korea’s acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, vowed to press ahead with the “swift deployment” of that system, known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD.

    China is not alone in struggling to construct a successful policy toward North Korea, as the United States can attest. But the failure of its approach has seldom been more starkly outlined, as Pyongyang presses ahead with its nuclear program, the United States sends an aircraft-carrier strike group to the region and fears of military conflict mount, analysts say.

    China believes that the deployment of THAAD, with its sophisticated radar and missile defense capabilities, on its doorstep will allow the United States to spy on it and undermine its national security interests. It has whipped up nationalist outrage against South Korea over the issue, with the sale of package tours to the country abruptly halted in March and tourist numbers plunging. State-run media have called for boycotts of South Korean businesses and goods, and primary-school children have even been encouraged to stage protests. South Korean films were barred from a recent international movie festival in Beijing, and music videos were blocked on streaming services. Lotte, the South Korean conglomerate that turned over land for THAAD use, has faced huge losses as 87 of its 99 stores in China reportedly have been closed, mostly for ostensibly breaching fire regulations. But even as Beijing tries to persuade Seoul to cancel the deployment of THAAD, Pyongyang shows utter disregard for China’s interests by launching missile after missile, making the case for the defense system ever stronger.

    Now, Beijing has a new headache — brinkmanship not just from Kim but also from President Trump, experts say, with the threat of U.S. military action against North Korea on the table.

  168. 168
    Skip Jones says:

    I LOVE Betty Cracker. My favorite Balloon Juicer by several miles. Thank the dark gods for her hilarious potty mouth.

  169. 169
    Gravenstone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I was attributing it to the fred/derf troll. There have been so many instances, were they in fact the same one?

  170. 170
    TenguPhule says:

    @Lizzy L: The problem is that the entire calculus changes if Trump attacks NK. Then all of the weaknesses suddenly become major assets to them.

  171. 171
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Toughness, more than any other attribute, is what Mr. Trump has sought to project during his short and successful political career — and he believes his behavior makes him look tougher, no matter what the press thinks.

    This works big time for his supporters and (weirdly) for journalists and pundits who should know better. One local talk radio host loves to talk about how Trump is the “new sheriff in town.”

    And there is this magical thinking that Trump will force other nations to fall in line just by nature of his toughness. And as always, no one ever thinks that nations can have their own national interest independent of the aims and desires of the United States.

  172. 172

    @noncarborundum: HW was in Seoul just before visiting Japan. Just saying…

  173. 173
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Fleeting Expletive: he’s the same jackass who said the taxpayers don’t pay his salary cause of all the taxes he’s paid from his business– I’d love to see that audit

  174. 174
    Mnemosyne says:

    For all that the Fox News-addled shitbirds in my Facebook feed love to talk about participation trophies and kids today and the extra-dainty, precious sensitivities of liberal snowflakes, it really is all about feelings with that crowd.

    It’s always projection with them. ALWAYS.

  175. 175
    LurkerNoLonger says:

    My impression of Mike Pence in South Korea: “Duhhhhhhhhh, I poopied in my pants. Duhhhhhhhhhh.”

  176. 176
    ArchTeryx says:

    @sheila in nc: Damn! How did you ever get past the “if you don’t know all about EC, you’ll never pass the interview” barrier?

  177. 177
    bystander says:

    @ArchTeryx: You’ll find the right fit. I know it’s tough. But you should focus on the fact that you connected and gave a great impression and interview. Just have to keep at it.

  178. 178
    Mike J says:

    A senior North Korean official says the U.S. has created “a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any minute.”

    Kim In Ryong, North Korea’s deputy United Nations ambassador, added that the Korean Peninsula is “the world’s biggest hotspot” due to American intrusions there.

    http://thehill.com/policy/inte.....t-any-time

  179. 179
    Lizzy L says:

    @TenguPhule: Yes, I know. If NK is attacked, the Chinese MUST respond.

  180. 180
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: In some of my interviews this was true – the pro forma nature of them was a dead giveaway. Not this, though: They spent 3 hours with me, gave me a tour of the facility, and talked about a lot of things.

    I don’t think they had a candidate going in, but TPTB decided immediately after the interview that I wasn’t the candidate. They had all the ‘checkbox’ questions. The guy I was interviewing to replace was a lot more concerned about whether I’d get along with and take care of his staff after he was gone, and what few skills I might have lacked I’d easily pick up (True! I wouldn’t have been a Ph.D. otherwise). I passed that test with flying colors, but the Purple Squirrel won out. Again.

  181. 181
    Capri says:

    @Nicole: Crabbing about kids getting participation trophies is the ultimate blame the victim move. Kids get participation trophies because some grown-up thrusts one into their hands. Kids don’t order them, purchase them, or give them out. They just get blamed for being made too soft by them.

  182. 182
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    As for Trump Facebook feed trolls, I ask them how that whole China currency manipulation labeling and renegotiating of NAFTA is going…Funny how you never hear about NAFTA anymore.

  183. 183
    Mike in NC says:

    Recently read an article about “gun tourism” in the USofA. Firearms ownership is virtually banned in the PRC, so wealthy Chinese are being offered packages to come here and play with as many guns as they are willing to pay for. Obviously Americans aren’t the only people who watch too many violent movies and TV shows.

  184. 184
    Baud says:

    Kevin Drum just now.

    After the release of the Comey letter, Trump’s favorability shot up six points. It’s dipped slightly since then, but only by a few hairs. In over a year of campaigning, only one thing had a serious impact on the presidential race. James Comey.

  185. 185
    Ruckus says:

    @Sab:
    You are looking at this like drumpf has any normal level of any thing. Emotions, self evaluation, ego………. He looks in the mirror and sees nothing like what we see. He looks at his businesses and sees only the gold paint applied to every thing, we see the bullshit troweled on and on and on….. He hears himself speak and thinks worlds greatest orator, we hear racist moron bullshitter.

  186. 186
    Baud says:

    @Mike in NC: Americans like the Trump boys go to Africa to hunt big game.

  187. 187
    sheila in nc says:

    @ArchTeryx: Got lucky. Started in a different job and got promoted from within. So no useful tips to pass along, unfortunately.
    Were you interviewing in a state agency or federal?

  188. 188
    trollhattan says:

    @ArchTeryx: Knowing nothing about your work history, have you considered gaining EC experience via an engineering firm that does environmental work–RI/FS, field work, O&M? Governments usually have an experience-for-degree component to their job requirements while private-sector companies have more flexibility WRT hard vs. soft job requirements. .

  189. 189
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I think Mother has put too much fiber in his diet…

    Or way too little of something else….

  190. 190

    @Baud: No, it was obviously not paying attention to the economic anxiety of the White Working Class and paying too much attention to identity politics. Silly Kevin Drum.

  191. 191
    germy says:

    Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump

    The super Liberal Democrat in the Georgia Congressioal race tomorrow wants to protect criminals, allow illegal immigration and raise taxes!

  192. 192
    efgoldman says:

    @lollipopguild:

    People are supposed to be in church on Easter.

    At the ballpark, at the golf course, watching hoops or hockey…..

  193. 193
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Pence’s Marine Corps son needs to be put on the DMZ at once. Put your money where your mouth is, warmongering asshole. Fucking amateurs, so eager to let slip the dogs of war.

  194. 194
    Gravenstone says:

    @germy: Little man is a scared little man. Good.

  195. 195
    Baud says:

    @Gravenstone: You got all that from a period?

  196. 196
    germy says:

    @Baud: Trump tweeted about Ossoff. He’s not a fan.

  197. 197
    The Moar You Know says:

    Damn! How did you ever get past the “if you don’t know all about EC, you’ll never pass the interview” barrier?

    @ArchTeryx: Can’t speak for her, but I got my job in IT security with a psych degree and no prior career experience by putting on a show – essentially hacked them during the interview, explained everything I did and how to close the weak spots. If you choose this risky path, ask permission for everything you do BEFORE doing it and make sure everyone in the room is watching you.

    My first actual job with the company, I was working with a crew of 17 programmers. Number of those programmers who had CS degrees: 1. Weirdest major working on the project: theology.

    But they knew their shit and could show it in an interview. And they knew how to interview, which is an art in itself.

    And be prepared to interview a lot – took me several interviews a week over a period of almost a year.

  198. 198
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: The real mistake was obviously whatever fits with my agenda.

  199. 199
    efgoldman says:

    @germy:

    I’m guessing he was told.

    Was there a Classics Comics biography of Churchill?

  200. 200
    Baud says:

    @germy: Oh good. I hope it fired up our side.

  201. 201
    The Moar You Know says:

    Recently read an article about “gun tourism” in the USofA. Firearms ownership is virtually banned in the PRC, so wealthy Chinese are being offered packages to come here and play with as many guns as they are willing to pay for.

    @Mike in NC: The Japanese have been doing this for decades. It’s why Hawaii has far more gun ranges than the number of local gun owners would call for.

  202. 202
    germy says:

    @efgoldman: Too many words. Nice pictures, though.

    Someone either told him, or it was read to him.

  203. 203
    efgoldman says:

    @Peale:

    I’m sure we have bombs that are so small that no one notices when we drop them.

    True. Nobody notices until they explode.

  204. 204
    ThresherK says:

    I think in the same CNN interview Pence said previous prezzes, R + D, had only “kicked the can” down the road.

    Does that crap play in the press corps? Whenever I hear a Republican.way kick the can my brain translates it into governance is working fine on something and we want to change it and ruin it, because all our ideas ruin whatever they touch.

    See: Tax rates, Social Security, Medicare.

    Part of my belief that the phrase is poison? I don’t remember Dems using it.

  205. 205

    @germy:

    Someone either told him, or it was read to him.

    Ivanka’s bedtime story time.

  206. 206
    TenguPhule says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Pence’s Marine Corps son needs to be put on the DMZ at once.

    I think Pence needs to be crucified naked for 3 days and nights at the DMZ.

    As an example.

  207. 207
    germy says:

    Yesterday I saw a news item about a large crowd of Chaplin fans who assembled on the grounds of his old estate in Switzerland, dressed as the Little Tramp. I believe his house is a museum now.

    I remember when he was living there, how cool I thought it was that he’d finally found peace in a great place like Switzerland, far away from the noise and harassment.

    And then recently I read a biography. Apparently when he settled into his new home he was startled one morning by the sound of gun shots. Turned out a firing range was right next to his property.

    He went apeshit, complained to the authorities, but it didn’t help. And he found himself mocked in their local papers. He also had problems with contractors ripping him off.

    Moral? I guess no matter where you go or what you achieve, life can be an big pain in the ass sometimes.

  208. 208
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: I’m hoping that gives Ossoff a little boost. He’s been stuck in the high forties for a long time

  209. 209
    efgoldman says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    So is it always on a Monday, not just this year because of the new crew in town, then?

    Yes, goes back to the late 19th century. John Philip Sousa wrote a piece about it.

  210. 210
    germy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yes, I’m hoping cheeto has the reverse midas touch.

  211. 211
    trollhattan says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    That’s how 9-year old girls end up shooting and killing Arizona.range instructors.

    I can’t imagine how that poor kid sleeps through the night, even now.

  212. 212
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Okla-fucking-homa

    Sean Sullivan‏Verified account @ WaPoSean 23m23 minutes ag
    Pretty rowdy town hall with Sen. Cotton/Rep. Hill. Lots of anger about Trump tax returns.

    I’ve been skeptically hopeful that the issue of his taxes and finances would catch fire when they started to get into “tax reform” and/or the Russia investigation. Maybe it will

    ETA: D’OH! Arka-fucking-sas. Still pretty surprising

  213. 213

    @germy:

    Trump tweeted about Ossoff. He’s not a fan.

    There are some that would see that as a plus….

  214. 214
    efgoldman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Last time, they picked killing American troops in support of North Korea.

    Yeah, last time we and the Germans had some hostilities, too.
    China is no longer an evolving, still-revolutionary state. They are no longer (and haven’t been for quite a while) a Soviet client state. Mao is long dead. They were not one of the world’s great economies, in fact they had almost a non-existent economy. They have too much to lose, now.
    Past performance is no indicator, etc….
    Take your bloodthirsty war fantasies somewhere else. Maybe Soldier of Fortune will buy your shit.

  215. 215
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Great. One thing is that you can’t predict what’ll click with people. Gotta keep pushing.

  216. 216
    efgoldman says:

    Adam you still there? I just had a comment go “foof” into the ether. I’m guessing it went straight to the trash.
    Thank you.

  217. 217
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Even leaving aside the number of nukes China has at their disposal, imagine for a moment that they put a shipping blockade in the Pacific. No Asian-manufactured goods get to the Port of Los Angeles.

  218. 218
    germy says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: He calls him a “Super Liberal”

    Sounds like praise to me.

  219. 219
    Baud says:

    @germy: Me too, but consider the district.

  220. 220
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    among other findings of a Pew poll that shows Trump at 39% before and after he resolved the Syrian civil war:

    Nick Gourevitch‏ @ nickgourevitch 3h3 hours ago
    6: A surprising finding: For first time, Democrats now seen as the party that would do a better job handling government spending.

    I wonder how much of this is due to stories about the cost of his travel. It’s obviously a deck chair on the Queen Mary in terms of the actual budget, but it’s the kind of thing the disengaged can wrap their minds around. Maybe.

    ETA: this is kind of a fun poll

    9: Dems also hold a massive 19 point advantage on health care, up from 10 points in 2015. The AHCA fight took its toll.
    11: Paul Ryan at 29% approve/54% disapprove (only 5 pts lower than Trump’s disapprove!). Faster to his poor numbers than other Speakers:
    12: Part of Ryan’s polling problem is he’s both energized Democrats against him (75% disapprove) but also lost a third (31%) of Republicans.

  221. 221
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne: Now that is one thing not to worry about.

    China’s pacific fleet is shit and will remain so for the next 15 years. China is the one to worry about blockades, not us. We have to worry about who will make the stuff to be shipped.

  222. 222
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It kills me that after the last 20 years or so, the GOP still has a generic advantage on the economy and national security.

  223. 223
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    Piggy Pie Pence really does have beady little eyes and that stupid perma-scowl of befuddlement and irritation. He and Mother deserve each other.

  224. 224
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Baud:

    Yes. It appears that public perception is like a great tanker at sea — it takes miles and long minutes to turn it around.

  225. 225
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    No, I think Adam is wrong. Clearly not enough fiber. Something is stuck to tight, and the stick is not helping.

  226. 226
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): heh, I just saw this tweet

    Simon Maloy‏Verified account @ SimonMaloy 2h2 hours ago
    sexy Mike Pence eye-murders the commies

    I wish this guy wrote for someone else. Content aside, Salon’s website is a flaming circle of garbage

  227. 227
    bystander says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I think Pence needs to be crucified naked for 3 days and nights at the DMZ.

    There’s that fertile imagination again. Who says the Trump Admiistration isn’t inspiring?

  228. 228
    Baud says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): And hits an iceberg or two.

  229. 229
    jl says:

    Tweet found on Josh Marshall Twitter:

    The subtle nudge from Melania reminding Trump to put his hand over his heart for the National Anthem.
    https://twitter.com/LisPower1/status/853979591198863360

    So, this is the third administration in a row where the First Lady may be more on the ball than the official president?

    Edit: and note, with Michelle Obama, that is not a diss on the first hubby. Just saying she could have done a comparable job, but a little better on the social formalities. Barack had to use the SciFi nerd doofus excuse periodically, which is perfectly OK.

  230. 230

    @Baud: Only Trump can fix that!

  231. 231
    mai naem mobile says:

    I saw pics this weekend of the Obamas on David Geffens mega yacht near Moorea. They were apparently hanging out with Bruce Springsteen,Oprah,Tom Hanks and David Geffen. That’s got to burn up Dolt 45. You damn well know he’s not going to be invited by those caliber people to anything. Maybe Obama was doing some sekret shadow governmenting of the US from the South Pacific. Heck, Dolt 45 will probably tweet that Obama put the NK Nutcase up to mischief.

  232. 232
    Baud says:

    @jl: To be fair, she wasn’t raised in USA.

  233. 233
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: It’s free. Went straight to trash for some reason.

  234. 234
    TenguPhule says:

    @bystander: We can call it a work of art protected under the First Amendment.

    “The Passion of the Pence”

  235. 235
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I hope so. It’s amazingly frustrating.

  236. 236
    efgoldman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    so that one was spatula/timmeh/

    Shomi.
    I think timmeh predates Adam joining the blog.

  237. 237
    Suzan says:

    came back to the post to try and memorize this line, it is so perfect I’d steal it if I could remember it! “same exact shit, only supplemented with meaner tweets from the marmalade hairball in the Oval Office.”

  238. 238
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ArchTeryx:

    This may not be much comfort, but one of my friends went through twenty (yes, 20!) hours of interviews and didn’t get the job at the last minute because somebody pulled a bogus “nepotism” concern out of his ass so his preferred candidate would get the job.

    I think you ran into the buzzsaw of internal politics. It sucks, but at least you didn’t get the job and then find out that someone in management hated your guts for getting it over their preferred person.

  239. 239

    @mai naem mobile:

    I saw pics this weekend of the Obamas on David Geffens mega yacht near Moorea.

    We love Moorea, been there three times.

  240. 240

    @Baud: Be careful what you wish for.

  241. 241
    trollhattan says:

    @germy:

    He calls him a “Super Liberal”

    Twenty Quatloos if he shows up at his next campaign event wearing a cape. Make Trumpenade!

  242. 242
    WafflesTasteGood says:

    So who is the “If you’ve lost Walter Cronkite” guys these days? Or maybe there is no such thing in the cable age. More like a media hive mind.

  243. 243
    No Drought No More says:

    “What we need, fellow citizens, is a new Age of Reason — a civic reattachment to facts and substance over lies and feelings.I don’t know how we get there from here. But I don’t even want to think about what happens if we don’t start moving in that direction, and fast”.

    A new age of political reason is a political pipe dream, even a contradiction in terms.

    The good news is you worry too much. Or maybe I take too much comfort in the old chestnut, “.. but you can’t fool all the people, all the time”.

    Because when Americans decide to move, we can move on a dime.

    Russia owns Trump, and Trump has been busted. The proof is at hand, and Americans will soon demand Trump’s head.

    The GOP will sustain irreversible damage to its power and reputation as a result; perhaps even mortal damage. The fallout from Watergate will look like a stubbed toe in comparison.

    It’s primed for a fall, too. Recall that Trump railed throughout the primaries that the party leadership was corrupt to its core. He spoke the truth, and the republican rank essentially concurred.

    What the War in Iraq and economic catastrophe of 2008 couldn’t accomplish, the Trump-Russia scandal will: to utterly discredit the modern republican party in the eyes of most Americans.

    Our Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States, remain the bedrock of our common political sensibilities. Both still serve to keep us just honest enough. Our instincts remain good. The best is yet to come.

  244. 244
    jl says:

    @jl: Just to demonstrate that I take all these here ‘things’ very very seriously, very seriously indeed. And also to indulge in the developing art of Trumlinology… I wasted a few seconds minutely inspecting the Easter Egg Roll clip searching for Signs and Symptoms.
    Looked at it in slo mo and backwards.

    Looks like Trump had some trouble finding his heart.
    And, who put the Easter Bunny right behind he military (?) singer doing the national anthem? Made it look like she had big bunny ears. Deep State sabotage again? Put Bannon on the investigation of that, good use of his time.

  245. 245
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @efgoldman: I thought all were one

  246. 246
    Spanky says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I’ll bet the Secret Service guys were hatin’ life, having to go there.

    @Adam L Silverman: Everyone’s a critic. Even FYWP.

  247. 247
    TenguPhule says:

    @No Drought No More:

    What the War in Iraq and economic catastrophe of 2008 couldn’t accomplish, the Trump-Russia scandal will: to utterly discredit the modern republican party in the eyes of most Americans.

    That would probably be more comforting if this wasn’t the same thing said about Iraq II and Katrina. And that a sizable portion of the population either don’t believe the Russian connection and/or would still favor treason over Hillary Clinton.

  248. 248
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    We have to worry about who will make the stuff to be shipped.

    China can decide on their own to stop shipping stuff that they manufacture — blockade it at the ports and send the cargo ships away.

    And who do you think Vietnam is more eager to please, us or China? They could probably put some unpleasant pressure on South Korea, too.

  249. 249
    efgoldman says:

    @Lizzy L:

    If NK is attacked, the Chinese MUST respond.

    Or not. It’s not an immutable reflex, like blinking when something moves at your eye, or kicking your leg when the doc hits your knee with a hammer.
    No matter what the bloodthirsty, war loving, fantasy-creating keyboard kommando Tangy Fool says.

  250. 250
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: That’s a good Baud! 2020! slogan.

  251. 251
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne: Which is what I said. China can’t blockade anyone. They literally do not have the forces for it.

    What they can do is put pressure on our business partners and of course embargo us themselves.

  252. 252
    trollhattan says:

    Speaking of thin-skinned worthless morons, it appears John Oliver has gotten under Geraldo’s.

  253. 253
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Baud:

    Me too, but consider the district.

    I live in that district and I am a super liberal!

    I realize, however, that most of my neighbors are not….

  254. 254
    TenguPhule says:

    @efgoldman:

    It’s not an immutable reflex, like blinking when something moves at your eye, or kicking your leg when the doc hits your knee with a hammer.

    I’m sure your fellow unicorn farting polly annas were shocked, shocked to find out that WW I actually happened.

  255. 255
    jl says:

    @Baud: You’ll need a new one that is for sure.

    No one will believe “We still have time to mess this up”, after Trump. No one will be able to top him on that.

  256. 256
  257. 257
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    In this day and age is anyone going to get any job in any company of reasonable size without having someone in management not liking them? Management seems to have been trained (such as it is) to piss off at least 1/3 of the employees at all times, just in case they have to fire people to “save” money, that they will have a group to pick from who maybe won’t try to come back and shoot them because they already want to leave. Called “priming the pump.”

  258. 258
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Sexy Mike Pence?!?

    The man has the sex appeal of an uncooked glob of spoiled tofu.

  259. 259
    TenguPhule says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Hey, uncooked spoiled Tofu is popular in Taiwan. Apologize.

  260. 260
    Baud says:

    @Mike J: Hahahaha.

  261. 261
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It’s free. Went straight to trash for some reason.

    Thx

  262. 262
    jl says:

    @Mike J: SNL should ditch the Bannon as Grim Reaper gag. Make him the Easter Bunny. A boozy Easter Bunny with a beer gut. And stubble.

  263. 263
    Baud says:

    @jl: True. It’s a conundrum.

  264. 264
    jonas says:

    Our hope is that we can resolve this issue peaceably

    So….a kind of strategic patience, then?

  265. 265
    Jeffro says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Which is what I said. China can’t blockade anyone. They literally do not have the forces for it.

    Are we sure about that? Teh Google is telling me it’s actually quite large whether you measure by number of fighting ships, tonnage, or manpower. 68 submarines, etc etc.

  266. 266
    efgoldman says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This may not be much comfort, but one of my friends went through twenty (yes, 20!) hours of interviews and didn’t get the job at the last minute because somebody pulled a bogus “nepotism” concern out of his ass so his preferred candidate would get the job.

    My daughter applied for two fantastic jobs, for which she is qualified. Got two interviews for one, which went very well. Never even a courtesy email from the other.
    In the end, both places chose to leave the jobs unfilled, apparently for financial reasons.
    Also happened to me with an internal posting at Enormous Brokerage & Mutual Funds LLC, some years ago. I was as good as hired (they were g9ing to hire three people) and then changed their minds.

  267. 267
    efgoldman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    We love Moorea, been there three times.

    Do you have to go thru the mines and fight the Balrog?

  268. 268
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @TenguPhule:

    One struggles to find an appropriate comparison to Pence that does not denigrate the non-Pence item….

  269. 269
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @efgoldman:

    You shall not pass!

  270. 270
    Brachiator says:

    @No Drought No More:

    What the War in Iraq and economic catastrophe of 2008 couldn’t accomplish, the Trump-Russia scandal will: to utterly discredit the modern republican party in the eyes of most Americans.

    This is unintentionally very funny.

    Trump himself doesn’t care. And the Republicans are betting that they can get in, get what they want (low taxes for the rich, the gutting of Social Security and Medicare) and get out before the average American knows what hit them.

  271. 271
    Mike J says:

    @jl:
    Easter Egg roll with Mad World playing over it:
    https://twitter.com/McJesse/status/854056698239229954

  272. 272
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jeffro: Our forces in the Pacific outnumber and outgun theirs significantly. Just the subs alone would butcher any attempt at a real blockade if they were turned loose.

    Plus, the ocean is really really big. Ships can only cover and exercise control over a small portion in their immediate area. Modern blockades have help from radar and sonar as to how far they can see other ships, but actually enforcing a blockade requires the actual presence of a ship there within firing range (at least) of the other ship. And blockades are stationary targets for an enemy fleet. The US navy can end any blockade of a port as soon as their fighters/missiles have the range.

  273. 273
    ruemara says:

    @Brachiator:

    Trump himself doesn’t care. And the Republicans are betting that they can get in, get what they want (low taxes for the rich, the gutting of Social Security and Medicare) and get out before the average American knows what hit them because the average American and in particular, the Republican voters have never made them pay a price and has rewarded them with trust, money and power.

    FTFY

  274. 274
    jl says:

    @Mike J: The shots of Spicey, clearly heartbroken and utterly lost not being Easter bunny anymore, were heartbreaking. I could barely watch.

  275. 275
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mike J: Not Yakkity Sax?

  276. 276
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    The man has no old friends, pets or genuinely close acquaintances – humans interact with him only as a matter of business necessity.

    There was a photo of him several weeks ago, at Mar-a-Lago. He’s in an empty clubhouse, in a corner – couldn’t have been more than two or three men with him total, watching some golf on a sad looking overhead TV set in the corner. It was as empty and joyless a moment as I could ever imagine – no celebratory beer, no apparent smiles or cameraderie. Just something pathetic and sad.

    I still do things socially with my closest childhood friends, and have retained my friendships with adults whose lives crossed my path over the year (even people I dated and treated kind of shabbily). We call and bullshit, we get together, we run into one another at events, we all relish our lives and families, and know what is going on enough to inquire about issues or problems.

    Deadbeat Donnie has none of that – by his own admission, his hobby is “making (shitty) deals”. He doesn’t know how to do family, doesn’t understand friendship. His dad was an asshole and his mom was weird as shit, and he was the asshole kid who was SO OBNOXIOUS that they had to send him off to military boarding school.

    I’d love to know what final precipitating events led to that decision. We’ll probably never find out.

  277. 277
    efgoldman says:

    @WafflesTasteGood:

    So who is the “If you’ve lost Walter Cronkite” guys these days?

    Scott Pelley on CBS. He and his colleagues have called out the maladministration for lying and incompetence since day one.

  278. 278
    efgoldman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I’m sure your fellow unicorn farting polly annas were shocked, shocked to find out that WW I actually happened

    100 years ago, you ass. That’s the same as somebody saying in 1912 “you know the war of 1812 happened”, ore saying now, in Europe “you know the 100 years war happened.”
    Go back to masturbating to Soldier of Fortune and Metal Gear Solid.

  279. 279
    The Moar You Know says:

    And who do you think Vietnam is more eager to please, us or China?

    @Mnemosyne: Not even a contest. Us. They’ve been fighting the Chinese for centuries. Last serious “hot war” go-round between the two was in the late 1990s. The only people the Vietnamese hate more than the Chinese are the Japanese – because every Asian nation hates the Japanese. With damn good reason.

  280. 280
    TenguPhule says:

    @efgoldman: History always repeats itself. The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

    Perhaps you can fart a few more unicorns with another Bernie-bro BFF or maybe Greenwald is still hiring.

  281. 281
    Captain C says:

    @SatanicPanic: “Have fun with millions of starving refugees and maybe a unified, democratic Korea right on your border!”

    (Probably answered above, too.)

  282. 282
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I’m on the fence. On one hand, I’m aware that the PRC has a treaty with the DPRK which I imagine that it regrets the existence of on a daily basis, given that Chinese society has evolved to an interesting stage of openness and outright hospitality, and like to think they’d say “fuck off, you broke it, you bought it”. On the other hand, in all too much of the previously defined “developed” world, there has been a really ugly slide away from consensus decision-making and collaborative rule and an adoption of “The Great Decider” as a model of leadership and promulgator of public policy. From history, we know that doesn’t work well – for instance, in the Great War, a lot of lousy decisions were made by autocrats, many of which were triggered by knee jerk applications of treaty language of the time.

    Some of this rot was Putin, but most of it was conservatism. In the US, we decided we needed to be propagandized, so equal time was abandoned. We decided we didn’t need any real campaign financing rules and wanted shadowy people throwing our elections (some of them foreign). Putin wanted Trump, BREXIT, and an energized nationalist right throughout Europe, so he leveraged it for not a lot of money by putting forth a lot of bullshit disguised as news.

    I guess when it comes down to it, our cultural demise came down at the hands of the right because well meaning pundits on the left thought that “MOAR SPEECH” would be enough to counter the constant firehose of rightwing propaganda.

  283. 283
    Mike in NC says:

    @Mike J: Was Sessions out there to randomly search kids for illegal drugs? Sad!

  284. 284
    TenguPhule says:

    @efgoldman:

    They have too much to lose, now.

    Okay you went right past polly anna and dived into David Brook’s skin.

    Assuming that China believes it has more to lose by intervening, when it has consistently intervened from the Korean War onwards, versus not intervening because “PONIES!” is the same wishful thinking that got us Democracy ponies in Iraq.

  285. 285
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Captain C:

    My understanding is that they’ve moved 150,000 PLA troops to posts near the NK border. I tend to imagine that they have zero fear of South Korean designs on PRC territory (it just couldn’t be a thing), but do think they’re concerned about a refugee flood.

  286. 286
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Mike in NC:

    He was there to see to it that they didn’t have too many of THOSE PEOPLE beyond a few tokens…

  287. 287
    TenguPhule says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    I’m aware that the PRC has a treaty with the DPRK which I imagine that it regrets the existence of on a daily basis, given that Chinese society has evolved to an interesting stage of openness and outright hospitality, and like to think they’d say “fuck off, you broke it, you bought it”.

    Like I said to others, this all goes out the window if the US attacks North Korea first. They will not let the regime fall and risk 40 million refugees headed their way. They do not want a US ally on that border and will do whatever it takes to stop that, just like they did last time. Its an asshole, but its their asshole and nobody else gets to fuck with it.

  288. 288
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    “he or she are going… ” or maybe it?

    As in an Artificial Stupid.

  289. 289
    No Drought No More says:

    @Brachiator: The similarity between what I now see unfolding with Trump-Russia, and with what I observed unfold during Watergate, is too overwhelming for me to think and feel otherwise. The good news is that Americans are well practiced dealing with the impeachment of a president. Twice in the past 45 years: the first as as drama, the second as farce. We can handle it.

  290. 290
    Ruckus says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
    I’d bet the only rich kids who go to military boarding school with neither parent having been in the military who aren’t complete fucking assholes is a number that can be counted with the fingers of one hand. They send the kids to rich kids boarding schools first. When you get kicked out of those, that’s when you go to military school. And I’d bet that those rich kids boarding schools actually require references from all schools attended prior so that they can skip the dealing with a complete asshole step.

  291. 291
    Lizzy L says:

    @efgoldman: I think they do respond — not necessarily militarily, but economically and politically. Depending on what we do, the response might be mostly theater. For example, suppose we were to knock one of those NK missile tests out of the sky. People with more knowledge than I have seem to think it would be possible, and I’m sure our president* would enjoy such a spectacle. China’s response might be lots of theatrical jaw-jaw, but no more.

    If the administration actually bombs a target on DPRK soil, (with conventional armament, not nuclear arms) I have no idea what China might do. NK is their client state, they can’t ignore it. Plus, as others have said, refugees.

    Nukes? Oy.

  292. 292
    Brachiator says:

    @No Drought No More:

    The similarity between what I now see unfolding with Trump-Russia, and with what I observed unfold during Watergate, is too overwhelming for me to think and feel otherwise. The good news is that Americans are well practiced dealing with the impeachment of a president. Twice in the past 45 years: the first as as drama, the second as farce. We can handle it.

    You keep praising the wisdom of the masses. Voters made a huge mistake in judgement when they elected Trump. Right now, his core will support him no matter what. They learned this from past events as well.

    More importantly, the Republican leadership decided to throw away any pretense of honor and concern for constitutional principles. Also, many in the GOP clearly resented the fact that Nixon was taken down by Watergate. They are determined that this never happen again.

    Does this mean that Trump will escape from any problems he creates for himself? Not necessarily. Neither of us can predict the future. But right now, Trump is still wrapped in a protective bubble. And many Americans want to be fooled.

  293. 293
    Barry says:

    @SatanicPanic: “What kind of leverage would the DPRK have though if China were like “nah, taking a pass on bailing you guys out”?”

    A large quantity of artillery within range of Seoul. A few hours of that and the Pacific Rim economy just got punched hard in the ‘nards. If the Chinese leadership is relying a lot on continued growth and prosperity to hold power, they wouldn’t like that.

  294. 294
    No One You Know says:

    @ArchTeryx: One or two guys who manage their risk aversions inappropriately didn’t want to think any harder.

    It’s not about you. I hazard a guess that somehow this looked like a “career shift” that someone couldn’t justify. Or there’s a problem around an unchecked box that could hurt them, and they don’t want to take chances on it.

    Someone is looking for you.

    I am in the same boat. I have to keep the faith too.

    I’m glad you’re with us.

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