Flip a Coin

If you want an expert’s insights on the issue of North Korea’s nukes, head over to CNN and read a piece featuring our own Cheryl Rofer. All I’ve got is something deeply weird and worrisome about the upcoming summit; the Trump White House issued a commemorative coin for it:

Kim Jong-Un’s PR shop must be stoked — what could signal Kim’s arrival as a legitimate player on the world stage more effectively than the U.S. president pairing his own image with Kim’s as an equal? Oh, right — nuclear weaponry.

This premature victory lap is disturbing on so many levels. From The Guardian:

Trump has reportedly been focusing on the pageantry of the summit rather than immersing himself in detailed briefings on the complex issue of North Korea’s nuclear program. He has been particularly interested in suspense-filled announcements that could come out of the meeting, according to the Associated Press.

Of course Trump has focused on the show biz angle — that’s who he is. But Trump is also a vengeful bully who is likely to go apeshit when he doesn’t get what he wants. And he’ll have Bolton whispering in his ear on the long plane ride home.

I don’t think anyone’s gonna win this coin toss.

233 replies
  1. 1
    WereBear says:

    When it comes to Trump, no one wins. We don’t even have the option of not playing.

  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    OT, cuz I am not into discussing all things Trump (although congratulations Cheryl!!)

    Tragic but interesting story out of North Carolina, Bessemer City, about 30 miles west of Charlotte, northwest of Gastonia.

    WaPost: WaPost: He took his family to lunch, left the table and rammed them with his car, killing two, police say

    Gaston News: Roger Self was a prominent businessman who had a background in law enforcement

    it’s deaths caused by a white male so “mental illness, for sure” — except it absolutely is. The family, friends, pastor and man in question could all see the dissolution of his personality. Former police officer, now a private investigator. Became aware of his erratic behavior so he himself made sure the guns were out of the house.

    And then — he excused himself from the table and drove his Jeep through a restaurant window, killing his daughter — a 26 year old local sheriff’s deputy — and his daughter in law — an ER nurse.

    Note how many of these family members worked with a government at some point. Hate the government, starve the government, but it’s the most reliable employer in small-town North Carolina and elsewhere.

    And this is a case where removing guns from the picture helped immeasurably: two dead and several injured by car, but think of the toll had Mr. Self retained his firearms. Removing the guns lessened the toll. Mr. Self himself, or his close family members (law enforcement) could see the risk, and removed it.

    Have you heard about this story?

    WaPost:

    But in recent months, Self had been wrestling with mental illness, Austin Rammell, a pastor at Venture Church, told WSOC. A family friend for 16 years, he told the station that Self was beset by anxiety, depression and mental breakdowns. Sometimes he would go days without leaving his bed, Rammell said.

    “He’s been taking precautions. He had all the guns removed from his house, so he was making steps that were rational steps.”

    The family was aware of Self’s battles, Rammell said.

    “Family has been loving him through this,” the pastor said. “This was not a conscious act by their father, and they know that.”

    Things get treated quite differently if it’s a respect white male — no one is suggesting meth abuse or evil — but a tragedy. But: NO GUNS. It made a difference.

  3. 3
    Brachiator says:

    Of course Trump has focused on the show biz angle — that’s who he is. But Trump is also a vengeful bully who is likely to go apeshit when he doesn’t get what he wants. And he’ll have Bolton whispering in his ear on the long plane ride home.

    Trump is desperate to win the Nobel Peace Prize for getting a deal with North Korea. Obama’s got one, don’t ya know.

    ETA. The coin looks like something a Batman villain would have.

  4. 4
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Betty, as I read the article, it occurred to me that the proposed luxury development has been staked and a beautiful, expensive billboard has been put up showing the glories of the upcoming phases of building right next to a sales office, spec model and signature entrance with fountain.

    In fifteen years, the sign will be faded, three units built and the whole thing will be in bankruptcy…

  5. 5
    Josie says:

    I realize that I am just an ordinary citizen with no knowledge of such things, but aren’t they a little early putting out this commemorative coin a full month ahead of the proposed summit? Won’t they look a bit silly if the summit doesn’t come to pass? From our previous experience with North Korea, It would seem smart to keep our powder dry until we are sure they will cooperate.

    ETA: Congratulations to Cheryl for being recognized as the expert that she is.

  6. 6

    That coin looks cheap and tacky. And I am not going to play the game of theorizing what is the worst thing T can do.

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    @Josie: I know. No dates on the coin, just 2018. SO: North Korea: you know what you gotta do.

  8. 8
    LAO says:

    @Josie: You lost me at “would seem smart,” when discussing the Trump Administration. It seems to me this entire presidency is worried about winning the “news cycle” and never about the consequences of their odious behavior. I suspect its because they don’t believe that there will be any consequences.

  9. 9
    Yarrow says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Didn’t that exact thing happen with some Trump project in Mexico? I remember seeing a photo of a fraying billboard advertising the project and the article interviewed angry people who’d put down money.

  10. 10
    Felanius Kootea says:

    Of course #45 issued a commemorative coin before making sure there’ll be a summit.

    @Elizabelle: I read that story yesterday – if he was concerned enough to get rid of his guns, why not get professional treatment for a bit in a hospital? Seems like they were worried about him being suicidal, not homicidal.

  11. 11
    Platonailedit says:

    @Brachiator: Here ya go.

  12. 12
    Tom65 says:

    He’s an over-stimulated 8 year old trying to plan his own birthday party. Beyond the pony and the magician, he’s fucking clueless.

  13. 13
    Roger Moore says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Note how many of these family members worked with a government at some point. Hate the government, starve the government, but it’s the most reliable employer in small-town North Carolina and elsewhere.

    Let’s be honest: they’d love the government if they could guarantee it spent its money exclusively on white people. Hatred for government only really took off once the Supreme Court said it actually had to serve all citizens equally.

    “He’s been taking precautions. He had all the guns removed from his house, so he was making steps that were rational steps.”

    Where was the rational step of talking to a mental health professional? I appreciate that getting guns out of the house was a reasonable immediate step to take, but there seems to have been an assumption that he needed to take care of his mental health problems by himself, or at the very most through his family and pastor. If he had received proper treatment for his mental health problems, this whole thing might have been avoided.

  14. 14
    LAO says:

    The debasement continues:

    Woah —> DHS Sec. Nielsen said she hasn’t seen the Intelligence community report that claims Putin preferred President Donald Trump win the US election over Hillary Clinton. “I don’t believe I’ve seen that conclusion. I’m not aware of that,” she said on the Hill.— Marianna Sotomayor (@MariannaNBCNews) May 22, 2018

    What a lying, piece of shit.

  15. 15
    trollhattan says:

    NK gets tiny typeface. SAD!

  16. 16
    tobie says:

    So nice to see Cheryl’s wise words and thoughts on CNN’s website! Congratulations, Cheryl.

    The summit is going to be another test for our media. Will they be manipulated into presenting things as the Trump White House wants them to be presented or will they turn to experts to discuss the substance of what’s being negotiated? The choice is pretty clear: be stenographers or be journalists.

  17. 17
    trollhattan says:

    @LAO:
    Yes, and yes. But she has that Nordic name so it’s all good, maybe she can try out for our next winter Olympic Liar Team.

  18. 18
    Immanentize says:

    Of course, Kim is not the “Supreme Leader,” either. From WikiP:

    Kim holds the titles of Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (as First Secretary between 2012 and 2016), Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, and member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the highest decision-making body in North Korea.

  19. 19
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Josie: It’s not like the increased degree of silliness will vary much from the current absurdity.

    Also if those images are supposed to be Trump & Kim – fail. Maybe Trump 30 years ago. And The supposed Kim image looks like Teddy Roosevelt if he’d been letting himself go. They did get the overbearing, hectoring Trump attitude correct, though.

  20. 20
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: And if she is not lying — she needs to be fired immediately for being the head of a critical intelligence/LEO organization and being ignorant!

    (Ha! Fired, as if. I crack myself up)

  21. 21
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Josie: Actually I thought it sent a signal to North Korea about how desperate they were to have the summit. I expect Kim to up the ante over the next month.

    Alternatively, if the summit doesn’t come to pass, presumably the coins will have some sort of extra value to collectors and have a higher re-sale value. In this scenario I’m sure the Trampanistas will work out a way to get their cut.

  22. 22
    JMG says:

    @tobie: Trump has the exact same thought process as does cable news. He’s all about the pageantry and so are they. The chances any substantive discussion of the outcomes or lack thereof at the summit gain wide currency are remote. Although I’ll bet in the affected countries other than the US they’ll be noticed and how.

  23. 23
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    one of Obama’s guys– Richard Stegnel, I think— said last night what I think is becoming increasingly clear: trump wants this more than Kim. This is what people have been warning about his id-driven twitter and public rambling being a gift to hostile foreign powers. Standing up there with that stupid grin on his face while the howler monkeys chanted “No-Bel! No-Bel!” was a huge gift to NORK. And China.

  24. 24
    Teddys Person says:

    I suspect there were a lot of high level talks convincing Dolt45 not to use the moniker “Supreme Leader” on his side of the coin. He only conceded when promised a third scoop.

  25. 25
    LAO says:

    @Immanentize: I’ve come to realize that we here at Balloon Juice need to adopt the Media’s view of Trump — no more holding him or his administration to the standards of a non-evil, non-grifting, normal presidency — but instead, ask ourselves, have they shit the bed today? If so, shake our heads sadly and move on to why the Democrats are so ineffectual.

  26. 26

    @LAO: I believe she’s the one who claimed she didn’t know if Norway was a predominantly white country

  27. 27
    JPL says:

    @LAO: I assume that within a few months, that Pompeo will say he never saw intelligence while at the CIA that Putin wanted Trump to win.

  28. 28
    LAO says:

    @Immanentize: That made me laugh too — I needed that today.

  29. 29
    Mike in NC says:

    Trump has reportedly been focusing on the pageantry of the summit

    But of course. He really does live in an alternate universe of tawdry reality TV buffoonery. Groping teenage girls taking part in his beauty contests is more important than world peace. How many of these cheesy coins were made and can I buy one on eBay to go with my cherished Trumpy Bear and collection of MAGA hats?

  30. 30
    Ryan says:

    We thought ZTE was bad, wait until he’s left to defend why giving South Korea to the North is a good idea.

  31. 31
    Yarrow says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Where was the rational step of talking to a mental health professional?

    He was. From the article:

    He was seeing a psychiatrist and taking medicine for anxiety, but was in a bad place in regard to mental health, Rammell said.

    Sometimes finding the right medication and getting the right dose can be really difficult.

  32. 32
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @LAO: Ilsa, She-Wolf of the ICE, ICE.

    (Is that a Godwin flag? )

  33. 33
    jonas says:

    WTF is up with this commemorative medallion? “Supreme Leader” Kim? Please tell me these are tacky North Korean propaganda trinkets…*checks story*….oh shit. smh.

  34. 34
    Elizabelle says:

    @Roger Moore: You guys, I think he was under medical treatment. And who knows what it takes to get hospitalized these days?

    The minister, from the Gastonia newspaper:

    Rammell said he had spoken with Roger Self for hours on Saturday. During conversations, Self would often spin Bible verses out of context. He was seeing a psychiatrist and taking medicine for anxiety, but was in a bad place in regard to mental health, Rammell said.

    “He was trying to get help,” Rammell said. “We were trying to steer him toward help.”

  35. 35
    Immanentize says:

    @JPL: My operating theory is that Pompeo is planning to run for President in 2020. He will figure out whether he believes the intelligence fully in 2019.

  36. 36
    brettvk says:

    Remember Very Serious People? We used it as a jeer but I’m getting nostalgic. VSP were actually interested in keeping the planet from blowing up – they didn’t sit around daydreaming about camera angles and designing “challenge coins” (“This magnificent commemoration of our country’s glory can be YOURS for just 3 payments of $19.95 plus s/h!”).

    I wonder what the coin is made of. I’m not an expert but the design looks crappy to me – very like the stuff that gets advertised in those weekly coupon sheets blown into Sunday papers. It’d be a perfect embodiment of the administration if it was genuine gold, painstakingly handcrafted into a piece of shit.

  37. 37
    jc says:

    So even before the meeting happens, Trump’s main focus is on marketing – slapping the TRUMP brand on coins to commemorate his extraordinary statesmanship™. Jeezus, what a raging ego-putz.

  38. 38
    jonas says:

    Can you fucking imagine the sound of heads exploding if Obama had issued some commemorative medallion with himself next to Raul Castro or something? And Castro labelled as “Supreme Ruler”? Articles of impeachment would have been drawn up within 20 minutes…

  39. 39
    tobie says:

    I’m curious if others have noticed an uptick in complaints about Andrew Weissman coming from Trump World. TPM is reporting that Manafort’s legal team has filed a brief claiming that Weissman leaked information to AP about the ledger found in the Ukraine before the Special Counsel’s office was formed. I was reminded that Sam Nunberg had said over the weekend that he and Roger Stone know all about “Andrew Weissman’s tricks.” They seem terrified about having to face Weissman in court and so–yet again–are trying to discredit him. This worked with McCabe. Will it work here?

  40. 40
    LAO says:

    @tobie: Not to agree with Roger Stone but Weissman is a dick. But since his “our” dick, I’m cool with it.

  41. 41
    Immanentize says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    More like

    Yo, VIP, let’s kick it!

    ICE, ICE Kirsty
    ICE ICE Kirsty

    All right stop
    Collaborate and listen
    Ice is back with my brand new invention
    Arrest the kids and off to detention…

  42. 42
    Yarrow says:

    @Elizabelle: I find the whole story incredibly sad. He was getting professional medical treatment. He had strong religious beliefs and was talking with his pastor and his church friends and getting support that way. His family was supportive. He had removed guns from his house because he felt that was the right thing to do. He was doing everything professionals say to do. And it didn’t work.

  43. 43
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Immanentize: Ha! I deleted the “Baby” from mine, but my mind went to the same place

    ETA: jokes aside, her patronizing little chuckle as she explained to Kamala Harris that she was merely enforcing the law by separating children from their parents was both infuriating and blood-curdling. I think she’s meaner than Kelly.

  44. 44
    gene108 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Where was the rational step of talking to a mental health professional?

    They’d have to go to Gastonia to find a psychiatrist. Maybe he’d wind up as far out out as Charlotte, to find a hospital with in-patient psychiatric facilities.

    I think lack of access in the small town might have played a part.

    but there seems to have been an assumption that he needed to take care of his mental health problems by himself, or at the very most through his family and pastor.

    I think it is still more common to view mental illness as a failure of “will power” than to think it’s due to chemical imbalances.

    Edit: Still too much stigma around mental illness

  45. 45
    Amir Khalid says:

    Trump focuses on the pageantry not just because he’s a showbiz guy, but also because he thinks that is the summit. Then when Jong-un has punked him, with a last-minute cancellation or a bait-and-switch job that everyone but Trump saw coming a mile away, watch out for the Tweetstorm of Defensive Fury.

  46. 46
    Jeffro says:

    GOP Crime Cartel Enablers (aka Congressional Republicans) are on TV right now introducing legislation for a second special counsel, to investigate the first. Louie Gohmert is up there now, spewing lies about Uranium One, Mueller and Rosenstein, and so on. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s time to fire up the phones people – call Congress AND media outlets.

  47. 47
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    No dates on the coin, just 2018.

    Also no mention of the location, Singapore.

  48. 48

    This is a very knowledgeable take on the commerce negotiations with China.

    Also, I’ve got another interview coming up in a bit. After that I will take the kittehs outside for their walks and then will post something. Much complaining from the kittehs on the disruption of their morning.

  49. 49
    trollhattan says:

    @brettvk:
    Dollars to donuts [mmmm, donuts!] it’s made by the same folks who make the soccer tournament medals my kid has a fistful of. They deselected “matching ribbon” and there ya go, Winning Winner Coin.

  50. 50
    Betty Cracker says:

    @tobie: I’m sure Weissman has been on the Trump-Kushner radar for a long time (in a negative way) since he used to prosecute corporate fraudsters in NYC.

  51. 51
    Jeffro says:

    This is sickening…it’s wrong…

  52. 52
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Amir Khalid: Let’s hope it only triggers a tweetstorm. I seriously wouldn’t put anything past that lunatic, including launching a shooting war because Kim made him look like an idiot.

  53. 53
    chris says:

    Another fine day in the capital of the world’s richest third world country.

    "Guards barred an AP reporter from passing through a security checkpoint inside the building. When the reporter asked to speak to an EPA public-affairs person, the security guards grabbed the reporter by the shoulders and shoved her forcibly out" https://t.co/5Ge55Elfi3— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) 22 May 2018

  54. 54
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @tobie: @LAO: Isn’t Weisman a money-laundering specialist? Can we read something into that? I keep thinking about how Cohen, with millions of dollars in assets and recent real estate sales, etc, supposedly borrowed against his house (is this story still operative) to pay off Stormy, and trump having to launder campaign money to pay her off, and how petty his grifts are. I know trump is cheap and greedy, but I really wonder how broke his ass is and how he’s been maintaining his cash flow

  55. 55
    dnfree says:

    Thank you for the link to Cheryl’s article. Very informative. I appreciate the posts from a variety of experts here, as well as the link and twitter accumulations and other information I wouldn’t normally see.

    And that mental health story is tragic–someone who had lots of support available, and sometimes it still isn’t enough.

  56. 56
    Jeffro says:

    Drop the charges on them, Mueller – drop them now

  57. 57
    Jeffro says:

    They’re phasing it all as if they are the ones supporting the rule of law…calling Mueller and the FBI treasonous…

    The hour has come, folks.

  58. 58
    LAO says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Weissman, before he took a leave of absence from the DOJ, was the Chief of the Criminal Fraud Division. I remember him from his time as Chief of the Criminal Division in the Eastern District of New York. He made his “bones” prosecuting the Italian Mafia and then moved on the White Collar prosecutions. I had a number of unpleasant interactions with him back in the day.

  59. 59
    Kay says:

    The US government missed the opportunity to curb sales of the drug that kickstarted the opioid epidemic when it secured the only criminal conviction against the maker of OxyContin a decade ago.
    Purdue Pharma hired Rudolph Giuliani, the former New York mayor and now Donald Trump’s lawyer, to head off a federal investigation in the mid-2000s into the company’s marketing of the powerful prescription painkiller at the centre of an epidemic estimated to have claimed at least 300,000 lives.

    So gross. All of them, but “America’s Mayor” is really one of the sleaziest.

  60. 60
    Spanky says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I seriously wouldn’t put anything past that lunatic, including launching a shooting war because Kim made him look like an idiot.

    He doesn’t need Kim’s help.

  61. 61
    Immanentize says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    her patronizing little chuckle

    Criminals with Anti-Social Personality Disorder do that when they describe their acts. The young D.C. sniper, Lee Boyd Malvo did that — picked it up from a film about Adelbert Waldron (Vietnam era sniper) who had the same sick tic.

  62. 62
    Jeffro says:

    Oh and now they want to look into Obama…what did he know, and when did he know it? And just how badly did he abuse his power?

    Scum. Fucking scum.

  63. 63
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Gelfling 545: The Trump image looks *bad*, too. He’s slumped forward, looks constipated and his hair looks like a solid shell. It’s instantly recognizable AND pity-inducing.

    I don’t know why anyone would think this is a good idea on the Trump side. Let’s introduce a commemorative coin for an event that might not happen, where we get the opposing leader’s title wrong and make him sound even MORE important, and also let’s make our leader look like an ugly, hunched-over troll.

  64. 64
    Jeffro says:

    They’re doing this to “ensure the survival of the Republic”

    It’s a nightmare

  65. 65
  66. 66
    Immanentize says:

    I am a big believer that Mueller has to take his time, keep his eyes on the prize and not be pressured into any rash acts like early reports or indictments.

    That said, it would be a good move to take a piece or two off the board right now.

  67. 67
    Kay says:

    @Jeffro:

    Putin intervened in GOP Congressional elections too, which has not been investigated or reported for some reason. It isn’t just Trump. They wanted Donald Trump as President and a GOP Congress. Specifically.

    Now that they’re joining the Trump obstruction effort I wonder if they colluded too.

    It’s wild to watch, isn’t it? They’re flat-out lawless now.

  68. 68
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jeffro:

    They’re phasing it all as if they are the ones supporting the rule of law…calling Mueller and the FBI treasonous…

    Hell, Trump called Democrats treasonous for not cheering and applauding wildly at his SOTU speech.

  69. 69
    Amir Khalid says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    Singapore? What’s a Singapore? Trump has probably never heard of it; you know how he is with geography. I actually hope the summit gets cancelled because I don’t want Trump coming that close to Malaysia.

  70. 70
    ottercliff says:

    You idiots! “Supreme Leader” goes on my side of the coin! And I told you, the coin should be life size!

  71. 71
    Kay says:

    Trump supporters here think Trump already solved North Korea. You can hardly blame them. That’s how it was reported.

    They also think he won the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, probably because those aren’t covered at all anymore and stopped being covered the moment Obama left office.

  72. 72

    For a while I’ve been unable to listen to Trump. I mute or fast forward or whatever when they play a clip. I find that smarmy Pence is now in the same category.

  73. 73
    lynn says:

    I don’t get this. How does Trump shake hands and make nuke deal for nukes no one has ever seen?

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    That’s a real picture of a Neo-Nazi skinhead crying his ass off.

    He also happens to be a Lieutenant in the @FDNY.

    His name is Timothy Dluhos.

    That’s him after he was exposed for leading a double life as a bigot online.

    FULL STORY: https://t.co/5sgGwvqmiT pic.twitter.com/7WddrNNdSF

    — Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 22, 2018

  75. 75
    Jeffro says:

    @Kay: It’s horrifying. I don’t know what else to say. There they are on camera, flat-out lying with their up-is-down, “we’re doing this to support the rule of law and fight the FBI’s treason” For. Trumpov. To protect him. Unbelievable.

  76. 76
    Elizabelle says:

    @Yarrow: And if you check out the Gaston local paper: the religiosity just drips. The headlines:

    Faith during unspeakable tragedy

    A Faith that forgives Roger Self of killing

    Reminds me of how insulating and polarizing religion can be in a small town. Maybe along racial lines too. The pastor’s the main spokesperson, it seems, because the family is still grappling with the mother and a granddaughter being in serious condition in hospital.

    I wonder what lesson they will take from this. Not all mental illness is fully treatable. So do they support funding more treatment within their community? (Taxes! Government guidelines!)

    Do they just decide this was evil, and a test of their Christian faith?

  77. 77
    Jeffro says:

    Oh…Congress is entitled to “oversight” of an ongoing DOJ investigation? Did not know that.

    Drop it all on their heads, Mueller. These scum, these fucking scum.

  78. 78
    Immanentize says:

    This is actually among the worst things I’ve seen reported —

    EPA bars Associate Press and CNN from contaminants summit. EPA forcibly ejects AP writer (woman).

    If this becomes standard, we are in the end game.

  79. 79
    dexwood says:

    Supreme Tweeter vs Supreme Leader… in this corner, weighing in at 239 pounds, The Supreme Tweeter. In the opposite corner, weighing exactly the same, The Supreme Leader.

  80. 80
    rikyrah says:

    What happens when you discover that your father lynched someone?
    History News Network
    22 MAY 2018 AT 11:17 ET

    How do you feel when you discover that your father lynched people?

    That is the question asked in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s play Appropriate at the Theater Gym of the Virginia Repertory Company in Richmond, Virginia. The members of the Lafayette family gather after their father’s death at his plantation in Arkansas to sell his home and the various artifacts they found there. In their rummaging, the family members came across a book of photos their dad took of various lynchings of African-Americans in the 1950s and 1960s in which he participated, along with jars of human remains.

    They are shocked. Was their beloved father a member of a lynch mob? How could he have been one? After all, he was educated, sophisticated and at one point in his life even considered for a spot on the U.S. Supreme Court. How could someone that refined hang blacks? And, too, if he did, was that an indictment of them, too. Were they not descendants of a racist dog who rode around at night and murdered innocent people? Genes, right?

    The family discussions, and arguments, about dear old dad begin right away and the children’s’ (men and women in their 40s and 50s) own racism flies out of the historical closet. One woman calls another a “kike.” They shout at a brother that a decade ago he was a pedophile, along with being a drug addict and alcoholic. None of them are as pure as they believed they were once they start talking about the lynchings.

  81. 81
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Anybody here know Korean? What’s the translation of the characters at the top of the coin image? I assume it’s just something like “Peace Summit” but would be interested to know what it actually means.

  82. 82
    rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    GOP Candidate: Puerto Ricans Shouldn’t ‘Be Allowed’ To Register To Vote In FL
    By Matt Shuham | May 22, 2018 11:08 am

    A Republican candidate for Congress in Florida has walked back an earlier assertion that Puerto Rican hurricane evacuees should not be allowed to register to vote in the mainland United States.

    As reported by Politico on Tuesday, Republican congressional candidate John Ward made the remark last week in response to a voter who asked about Puerto Ricans who have moved “either temporarily or permanently” to Florida: “How do you respond to them when they say that they need more help and that the aid to Puerto Rico is not enough?”

    “First of all, I don’t think they should be allowed to register to vote,” Ward said. “And it’s not lost on me that, I think, the Democrat Party’s really hoping that they can change the voting registers in a lot of counties and districts. And I don’t think they should be allowed to do that.”

    “We should be looking to put the Puerto Ricans back in their homes,” he added, per Politico. “So the idea that they can come to the mainland United States, I don’t necessarily have a problem with that. But I think we should be thinking about it in terms of getting them back home and providing the capital and resources to rebuild Puerto Rico, which I honestly think is where they belong.”

  83. 83
    Elizabelle says:

    @Jeffro: They’re doing it to protect their own political asses.

    It’s not so much for Trump. It’s offense is the best defense, because they are in a MESS of trouble and they know it. Who knows how much the average congresscritter (congresscrook, many of them) knows about foreign funds streaming into GOP campaigns, from the NRA, on what they hear about voter suppression.

    They are dirty. Filthy dirty.

  84. 84
    LAO says:

    @rikyrah: I’m super confused, the story’s from March 2013 and, IIRC, Duhlos retired/quit when he was outed as a racist pos.

  85. 85

    I’m increasingly stunned by how fearless these people are. They break the law and abuse norms right out in the open with no fear of repercussions.

  86. 86
    Kay says:

    @Immanentize:

    We’re already in the end game.

    Nick Short 🇺🇸

    Verified account

    @PoliticalShort
    Follow Follow @PoliticalShort
    More
    Senator Ron Johnson letter to the FBI regarding Steele dossier. Explosive new e-mails show FBI brass discussed dossier briefing details with CNN. FBI has a hell of a lot of explaining to do.

    They capitulated to Trump yesterday so now it will be demand after demand. Donald Trump is calling the shots in an investigation of Donald Trump.

    They did it to themselves. That’s the most tragic part. That was a huge error in a long line of errors- the DOJ and the FBI won’t recover. Some mistakes matter more than others.

    It’s all Mueller now and maybe Congress, if the opposition Party can get one chamber. It’s bad.

  87. 87
    glory b says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): I think she also said she wanted hard working Norwegians to be able to get their chance to emigrate to the US.

    I know, I cracked up too.

  88. 88
    Elizabelle says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Time to march against them, I think. It’s the only thing that scares them, while they await the midterms.

  89. 89
    Cacti says:

    Looks like they removed a couple of Trump’s chins.

  90. 90
    mere mortal says:

    “I don’t think anyone’s gonna win this coin toss.”

    That is some art, right there.

  91. 91
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: Explosive new e-mails show FBI brass discussed dossier briefing details with CNN

    “discussed”… Reminds me of IIRC Peter Bergen, CNN ME reporter, reacting to the Bush admin speaking ominously of people who had had “contact” with Osama bin Laden– maybe as a justification for arrests? Can’t remember– and he said, basically, Hell, I’ve had lots of contact with OBL, I interviewed him. There are tapes.

    ETA: ah, yes, Cornyn is citing the unflushable turd known as “The Federalist”. I wonder if this is ace reporter Molly Hemingway

    Ashley Feinberg @ ashleyfeinberg
    the federalist has a GROUNDBREAKING scoop on how cnn…… asks relevant agencies for comment on its stories

  92. 92
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: I know you have worried about this, but I have a more optimistic theory — they are going along with some of these ridiculous requests because they know they are ridiculous and it gives them additional time to complete the work — and they know what the work is already showing.

    Of course, they could be seriously miscalculating, which is why I think it would be great for Mueller to drop a couple more indictments to both change the narrative and take some players off the board.

    ETA I cannot imagine that the FBI agents, although a hugely republican bunch, likes this at all. At. All.

  93. 93
    glory b says:

    @tobie: Yep. I mentioned that the other day. Nunberg was going off about him on msnbc on Sunday.

  94. 94
    Jeffro says:

    @Elizabelle: absolutely.

    I am trying to figure out what to do, but we sure as hell better do it quick

  95. 95
    Yarrow says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Oh. The Federalist. Molly Hemmingway. Cornyn’s going all in with the treason crowd.

  96. 96
    Shalimar says:

    @rikyrah: Why do I think John Ward would never actually vote to provide capital and resources to rebuild Puerto Rico?

  97. 97
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: in his defense, Cornyn is quite genuinely and sincerely stupid.

    as stupid as these people, can we just not with cakes anymore?

    Morning Mix
    Proud mom orders ‘Summa Cum Laude’ cake online. Publix censors it: Summa … Laude.

    ETA: And wordpress censored my comment!

  98. 98
    Pyre Light says:

    This coin is going to be the “mission accomplished” of Trump foreign policy, I can feel it.

  99. 99
    Julia Grey says:

    @Elizabelle:

    He was seeing a psychiatrist and taking medicine for anxiety, but was in a bad place in regard to mental health, Rammell said.

    “He was trying to get help,” Rammell said. “We were trying to steer him toward help.”

    The dark little secret revealed here is that sometimes mental health treatment just DOESNT WORK. It’s not even a matter of “not finding the right medication before it was too late” or whatever. We’re still in the dark ages on mental health solutions for the thorniest, most dangerous illnesses. Neurosis we can sometimes MANAGE, if not cure. Psychosis, where the violence dwells, is still out in the wilderness.

    This guy was only getting anxiety meds? For disordered thinking, depression and paranoia? I’m sure his muscles were nice and relaxed and his judgment was only a LITTLE impaired….

  100. 100
    MattF says:

    It would all be ridiculous, except for that ‘survival of the human race’ thing.

  101. 101
    cain says:

    Why the fuck is NK’s leader at a higher level than Trump almost like he’s looking down at him. I don’t personally give a shit, but I would think Trumper’s would be all pissed off with U.S. looking lower? Who knows what those clowns think these days.

  102. 102
    tobie says:

    @Kay:@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I have no idea what this means:

    FBI brass discussed dossier briefing details with CNN

    Wouldn’t briefing details be part of any briefing? I am curious how Ron Johnson got these emails. Did CNN share its sources? Or did the FBI and DOJ do an audit of all of their employee’s emails? Dark, dark times.

  103. 103
    rikyrah says:

    Alabama Sues Census Bureau For Counting Its ‘Illegal Alien Population’
    By Associated Press | May 22, 2018 10:41 am

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama has filed a lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the practice of counting undocumented residents in U.S. Census counts used for congressional reapportionment.

    In the lawsuit, Alabama argues the predicted 2020 census numbers will cause Alabama to lose a congressional seat, and an electoral vote, to a state with a “larger illegal alien population.”

    The state and Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks are plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in federal court against the U.S. Census Bureau.

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, all people, including citizens and noncitizens, with a usual residence in the 50 states are counted in the census and in apportionment counts.

  104. 104
    Amir Khalid says:

    @cain:
    It’s an ugly and badly designed coin. What else were you expecting?

  105. 105
    rikyrah says:

    Meghan Duchess of Sussex laughs with in laws #PrinceCharles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall as they attend The Prince of Wales’ 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration in the gardens of #BuckinghamPalace #meghanmarkle #duchesssussex #royalwedding pic.twitter.com/rQbdAqlO6L

    — Rookie (@royalfocus1) May 22, 2018

  106. 106
    Another Scott says:

    @Ryan: Speaking of ZTE…

    Drum at MoJo:

    China recently invested $500 million in an Indonesian project that will feature Trump-branded hotels and a golf course. The investment looks like it’s already paying off:

    (Sorry if it was already mentioned this AM.)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  107. 107
    MattF says:

    @Julia Grey: A fair comment. A psychiatrist called my parents’ families ‘a museum of psychopathology’, and I can tell you that a lot of the time you have to rely on ‘weak’ being the partner of ‘sick’. It’s no fun.

  108. 108
    rikyrah says:

    #PeeingWhileBlack: Three actresses were arrested at an Atlanta restaurant for taking too long in the restroom https://t.co/Azz8GY0lDc pic.twitter.com/hl23GslO0A

    — The Root (@TheRoot) May 22, 2018

  109. 109
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @rikyrah:

    That story is from 2013. Did something new happen?

  110. 110
    rikyrah says:

    @LAO:

    What a lying, piece of shit.

    No.lie.told.

  111. 111
    MattF says:

    @Amir Khalid: More gold.

  112. 112
    rikyrah says:

    @Another Scott:

    China recently invested $500 million in an Indonesian project that will feature Trump-branded hotels and a golf course. The investment looks like it’s already paying off

    Can’t be mentioned enough.
    Mention it over and over again.

  113. 113
    sacrablue says:

    I’m looking at this challenge coin from a slightly different angle (yes, it is fugly). As someone who designed a couple of coins for this agency during the Bush and Obama years, I don’t think Trump had anything to do with it. If I remember correctly, this is the military communications agency in the White House. They are the people that carry the football. They may actually have created and publicized the coin to try to diss the orange one.

  114. 114
    MattF says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Probably never seen that phrase before. And… diploma? HaHaHa.

  115. 115
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @sacrablue: They may actually have created and publicized the coin to try to diss the orange one.

    Interesting. These days, all improbable possibilities are equally likely. The more so the closer you get to to the Rough Beast

  116. 116
    rikyrah says:

    Do White People Go to Chuck E. Cheese’s?
    Damon Young
    Yesterday 4:35pm

    As the father of a baby person—and also the uncle of some baby people—I’ve spent a disproportionate amount of time (for an adult) at Chuck E. Cheese’s in the past three years. Birthday parties, potty-train parties, random Saturdays when you’re babysitting your nephew and don’t have shit else to do—I’ve been there enough to consider myself a Chuck E. Cheese’s maven. I’m not even freaked out anymore by the fact that Chuck E. Cheese is an 8-foot-tall, line dancing, ticket-hoarding rodent.

    Anyway, I’ve also made the following observations:

    The pizza there is much, much, much better than you’d expect it to be. It’s actually better than it needs to be. It’s basically the Ving Rhames in Baby Boy of pizza.
    I’m convinced that the music they play there is what the CIA forces you to listen to before you’re waterboarded.
    White people kinda don’t go there.

  117. 117
    Aleta says:

    Suspense-filled announcements

    1. To foreign powers: “Play me like a piano.”

  118. 118
    MattF says:

    @Another Scott: Kevin Drum also noted Trump’s crude attempt to screw Jeff Bezos by raising postal prices would be a huge scandal anywhere but in Trumpland.

  119. 119
    rikyrah says:

    At What Age Did You First See Coming to America?
    Panama Jackson
    5/15/18 4:45pm

    ………………………..

    This intentionality with what content they absorb has me thinking about when is the appropriate time to introduce kids to certain movies and things that I’m pretty sure I saw when I was at least my (9-year-old) daughter’s age.

    For instance, Coming to America came out in 1988, when I was 9 years old. Now, I know for a fact that I did not see it right when it came out. I lived in Germany, and we usually got movies about six months late. I know I didn’t see it at a movie theater, and I know I didn’t see boobies on-screen at age 9. But I clearly saw it at some point as a youth, before I was a teenager. Maybe they just covered my eyes at the good parts. I intended that pun.

    Pretty sure I saw New Jack City in similar fashion because I had context for the soundtrack I listened to during track meets. At 12, “I Wanna Sex You Up” was my jam.

    I haven’t asked my parents yet, either, because there’s nothing like asking your parents when they first exposed you to television boobs and classic lines like, “The royal penis is clean.” That line is something I say to myself in the shower every morning. TMI? TMI. What can I say except “You’re welcome”?

  120. 120

    I have MSNBC playing in the background and am now shouting at everyone on it to shut up.

    I think I’ll head to B&N to write. I feel like killing a character.

  121. 121
    MomSense says:

    @LAO:

    Her dishonest answer probably means we are not doing anything to protect the midterm elections. We are going to have to run up such huge margins that they can’t steal it again.

  122. 122
    rikyrah says:

    DEVELOPING: Associated Press reports that guards forcibly shoved AP reporter out of building after telling several news organizations they were not invited and there was no space for them at EPA summit on contaminants. https://t.co/aBUyAm9SjI

    — NBC News (@NBCNews) May 22, 2018

  123. 123
    Brachiator says:

    @Another Scott:

    You have to hand it to China. They know how the game is played and they don’t bitch about it. They just do what they have to do. Maybe it’s retaliation, maybe it’s a bribe, maybe it’s the right word in the right ear. Whatever it is, there are no hard feelings. It’s just business, not personal.

    It seems like a long, long, time ago, and in an alternate time line, that Republicans were pushing lies about Hillary Clinton using the State Department to favor Clinton Foundation donors. And yet today Republicans would tell you that it is only natural that Trump continues to make deals that will personally benefit him while serving as president.

    And don’t anyone dare ask about seeing his tax returns.

    Nixon: it’s not illegal if the president does it.

    Trump: it’s not corruption if I do it.

  124. 124
    p.a. says:

    Boom: BBC 12:30pm EDT. Trump announces at meeting w ROK Pres that summit may be delayed.

  125. 125
    MattF says:

    @rikyrah: Mini-Donald at work.

  126. 126
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @p.a.: glitch in the Tivo and he has to wait for Rupert to messenger over a disk of today Fox and Friends before he can get dressed

  127. 127
    Yarrow says:

    @p.a.: LOL. Hilarious. No wonder they didn’t put an actual date on the stupid coin.

  128. 128
    Doug R says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    That coin looks cheap and tacky. And I am not going to play the game of theorizing what is the worst thing T can do.

    Cheap and overbusy. A few less elements well done would be so much better.

  129. 129
    germy says:

    I have released a commemorative coin celebrating my upcoming marriage to Charlize Theron.

    Now all I need to do is make her acquaintance.

  130. 130
    Brachiator says:

    @rikyrah:

    Meghan Duchess of Sussex laughs with in laws #PrinceCharles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall as they attend The Prince of Wales’ 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration in the gardens of #BuckinghamPalace

    From Sky News

    The website for the designers of the dress Meghan Markle wore in her first royal appearance crashed within minutes of her being seen in it.

    She was dressed in a rose-pink Flavia silk-crepe pencil dress from British brand Goat.

    The dress is available to buy on their website, retailing at £590.

    Goat told Sky News that the outfit had been tailored to perfectly fit the duchess.

  131. 131
    Gravenstone says:

    Didn’t look at it closely before, but notice how Trump is depicted as leaning forward while Kim is slightly backward. Even the artist is buying into the absurd Trump iconography. Today in the Adventures of Bad Hair Diplomacy…

  132. 132
    MattF says:

    @Doug R: Gotta have both guys, gotta have room for hair, gotta have room for flags, gotta have room for titles, gotta have olive branches. And maybe just an itsy-bitsy nuclear device.

  133. 133
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Gravenstone: I saw the “trump leaning forward” as his incredibly bad posture. It’s how he’s portrayed in most media, so far as I can tell – hunched forward, like a yellow-helmeted troll. It’s hard to believe that this was intended to be beneficial.

  134. 134
    Brachiator says:

    @rikyrah:

    Alabama has filed a lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the practice of counting undocumented residents in U.S. Census counts used for congressional reapportionment.

    Dear Stupid Muthafuckas of Alabama:

    Why not count three fifths of undocumented residents?

    You know, like how you used to count enslaved persons.

    Fuck you very much,

    A concerned citizen

  135. 135
    Immanentize says:

    @Gravenstone: That’s just his hair leaning in. The rest is just lizard neck from a life of sloth and bad posture. Kim looks rather Mao-like and inscrutible.

    ETA I see Mr. Forkbeard agrees.

  136. 136
    Gravenstone says:

    @LAO: And makes herself knowingly complicit in the crime.

  137. 137
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Immanentize: Yep! Kim looks like he’s standing up and dignified, at least so far as he can be. Trump looks awful and squinty.

  138. 138
    walden says:

    Coin completely leaves out South Korean leader Moon. This is not a bilateral summit. And if it’s aimed at settling the Korean war, among other things, seems like a major omissions. Ridiculous.

  139. 139
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: So, Prince Charles is 70 years old. Kind of hard to imagine what it must be like to be King-in-waiting for your entire life and get to an age where most people your age are retired and you’re still waiting to get the job you were born to do. Must be strange. Wonder if he’ll ever be King or the Queen will just keep going. Her mum lived to be 101.

  140. 140
    Kay says:

    @Immanentize:

    @Kay: I know you have worried about this, but I have a more optimistic theory — they are going along with some of these ridiculous requests because they know they are ridiculous and it gives them additional time to complete the work — and they know what the work is already showing.

    It makes them look dumb, corrupt and weak so they should stop with the elaborate machinations where they’re supposedly pretending to comply and say “no’.

    Say no. It’s what Comey should have done when Republicans were pressuring him to violate SOP and open his big mouth. Part of their job, literally part of it, is taking political hits. They have to take the attacks and carry on.

    The time for these games has passed. They think they’re “retaining credibility” but they’re not- they’re pissing it away with each capitulation.

  141. 141
    ruemara says:

    @Kay: You wonder? You’re a much kinder person than me, because I had no doubts about their collusion going back to december of 2016.

  142. 142
    Immanentize says:

    @Brachiator:also, the Constitution is clear that everyone must be counted. Period. And the Supreme Court just ruled that the Constitution does not allow congressional apportionment based of citizenship (or the right to vote like excluding children or disenfranchised felons). This is a totally bullshit lawsuit.

    But it demonstrates how Republicans never give up on a bad idea.

  143. 143
    MattF says:

    @Yarrow: Charles should be King-For-A-Day, and then abdicate.

  144. 144
    trollhattan says:

    @Immanentize:
    I cling tenaciously to my belief since January 2017 that Scott Pruitt is the worst and most dangerous of the entire bunch. He’s a monster and just cunning enough to cause real and lasting, looooong-lasting damage.

  145. 145
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: They say no, they get fired. Is that really the best result here? Rosenstein and Wray fired for disobeying a directive of their Boss? I think they are better off where they are even if they look a little foolish.

  146. 146
    burnspbesq says:

    @Immanentize:

    That said, it would be a good move to take a piece or two off the board right now.

    Roger Stone expects to be indicted. Let’s not disappoint him.

  147. 147
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: @ruemara: No lie. Republicans have been conspiring with Russia for years. They are traitors.

  148. 148
    Immanentize says:

    @trollhattan: I agree. But he is SO corrupt. Corrupt AF as the kids would say. That may save us.

    And Pruitt is making Zinke look not corrupt AF. That’s some serious effort right there.

  149. 149
    Bill Arnold says:

    @MattF:

    Kevin Drum also noted Trump’s crude attempt to screw Jeff Bezos by raising postal prices would be a huge scandal anywhere but in Trumpland.

    J. Bezos has so many billions of dollars that he’s struggling to find ways to spend his money.[1] That DJTrump would pick a fight with such a man (who is quietly ruthless, by most accounts) is oddly comforting. This is not Russia; the US extremely-rich are not operating in fear of the state security apparatus.
    [1] E.g., how much opposition research would $1 billion buy?

  150. 150
    waysel says:

    @ruemara: I’m with you on that.

  151. 151
    TenguPhule says:

    I don’t think anyone’s gonna win this coin toss.

    I think Russia already won it. With China as a close second.

  152. 152
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Yarrow:

    I constantly tell clients that pastoral counseling is never an appropriate substitute for secular therapeutic care – that too many filters and biases exist to get troubled people to an appropriate level of functionality. It is good that he was seeing a psychiatrist and getting medication, but that is only a part of the solution – there are two distinct and different roles.

    Pastoral counseling emphasizes “pray for” solutions far too much. Instead of having patients analyze their lives for the problems, the causes for the problems, the effects those problems cause themselves and others and the solutions one can bring to bear, pastoral counseling tends to run to allegory and conclusion, skipping all too many of those “insight” steps that people need in order to recognize their own emotional triggers or what tools to bring to bear.

  153. 153
  154. 154
    D58826 says:

    @Immanentize: and consider who Der Fuhrer would name to replace them? Jerod? Ivanka? Don Jr? Barron!!!!!!

  155. 155
    Mary G says:

    @sacrablue: I was wondering why it leaked; that is a great theory. Or else it was Bolton or one of his people. He’s already tried to sabotage negotiations with the Libya comparison. How can he bomb the shit out of them if there’s a deal made?

  156. 156
    TenguPhule says:

    @LAO:

    “I don’t believe I’ve seen that conclusion. I’m not aware of that,”

    To be fair, its perfectly in character as a Trump appointee to not have read anything required for her job.

  157. 157
    Kay says:

    @Immanentize:

    I think it would be pretty effective if they both got fired because they wouldn’t help the president obstruct justice.

    I believed all these rationalizations 6 months ago. I no longer believe them.

    Maybe they support Trump politically and that’s why they’re capitulating to his demands. That’s just as likely as the scenario where they have a grand secret plan to appear to capitulate but not really do so. I would say it’s more likely since he hired both of them.

  158. 158
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Julia Grey:

    This guy was only getting anxiety meds? For disordered thinking, depression and paranoia?

    That was my first thought, too. I’m not sure if we’re talking about malpractice or just an inexperienced psychiatrist who hadn’t dealt with a serious psychosis in that small town before.

  159. 159
    TenguPhule says:

    @brettvk:

    VSP were actually interested in keeping the planet from blowing up – they didn’t sit around daydreaming about camera angles and designing “challenge coins” (“This magnificent commemoration of our country’s glory can be YOURS for just 3 payments of $19.95 plus s/h!”).

    No, you’re remembering them wrong.

    VSP were outraged about a blowjob.

    Invade the wrong country and have tax cuts while waging two wars? Mistakes were made, insisted the VSP! Look forward, not back!

    The VSP were proto-Trumpers who still wore the silly masks.

    This time, they don’t bother with masks these days.

  160. 160
    Snarkworth, short-fingered Bulgarian says:

    @trollhattan: If you flip it over, it says “Miller Lite.”

  161. 161
    Brachiator says:

    @Yarrow:

    So, Prince Charles is 70 years old. Kind of hard to imagine what it must be like to be King-in-waiting for your entire life and get to an age where most people your age are retired and you’re still waiting to get the job you were born to do

    Edward VII waited a long ass time for Queen Victoria to die. And then he was king for only 9 years, I think.

  162. 162
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    Seriously. The royal family LOVES Meghan. It’s so nice to watch them close ranks against the haters. 👸🏽

  163. 163
    LAO says:

    You have to be kidding me —

    Trump in Oval Office, promising to protect North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un if he denuclearizes: "He'll be safe. He'll be happy. His country will be rich."— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) May 22, 2018

  164. 164
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    how Trump team screwed up China negotiations is a textbook case of nearly EVERY SINGLE THING you should NOT do.

    Future Textbooks will prominently feature Trump along with the big helpful words in red: DO NOT DO THIS.

    Assuming we still have textbooks in the future.

  165. 165
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Mary G: This white house leaks horrendously. I don’t think we need to ascribe complicated motivations to the premature release of a commemorative coin. It leaked because that’s what they do.

  166. 166
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: I share your pessimism today.

  167. 167
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mnemosyne: We only have the pastor’s word for what Roger Self was taking, right? Issues of medical privacy, and next of kin may not be talking.

    I think the pastor is savvy enough to know that prayer alone was not going to get Mr. Self past his mental issues. Think I saw that many in the community were alarmed and saddened at how much Self had deteriorated.

    Some commenters on newspaper sites have suggested a brain tumor or serious neurological problem as the cause. I guess we may find out, eventually …

  168. 168
    MattF says:

    @LAO: Ya think Kim Jong-Un is unaware of what happens afterwards to people who make a deal with Trump? Maybe Kim should lawyer up.

  169. 169
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @TenguPhule: Republicans follow cautionary tales about as well as Trump handles big red “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” instructions.

    The only thing they learn is to be more outspoken and bullying. Every time they fail, it’s because they haven’t crossed far enough over the line. This is why you see Trump going after the media, obstructing justice and attacking the DOJ.

  170. 170
    TenguPhule says:

    @LAO:

    Trump in Oval Office, promising to protect North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un if he denuclearizes: “He’ll be safe. He’ll be happy. His country will be rich.”

    Remember he also promised his voters this.

    That didn’t work out so well for them.

  171. 171
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Immanentize:
    So why the fuck didn’t they just give him “Chairman” as his title on the coin? More idiocy and embarrassment.

  172. 172
    Ruckus says:

    @Tom65:
    And all he really knows is that he wants a clown and a magician. The details, like how to even find a clown to hire, that he knows nothing about. And you expect him to pay? You’re kidding, right?

  173. 173
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    because Kim made him look like an idiot.

    Horse left that barn awhile ago.

  174. 174
    Leto says:

    It’s a continual irritation watching challenge coins continue to be used outside of the military. It really picked up after 9/11, but I hope this one starts their gradual decline. They’re still tied to mission specific accomplishments/recognition, but it’s to the point to where if you sign up for life insurance you get a “coin”. I really hope that the Midas Shit Touch happens with civilian coins.

  175. 175
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Once in a great while you can find a pastor, minister, or priest who is also a fully-trained and licensed psychologist, but it’s pretty rare. I wouldn’t get counseling from anyone who didn’t at a minimum have a MFT or similar certification.

    ETA: IIRC, clergy usually have paraprofessional training, at best. That’s what I got when I applied to be a Resident Advisor in college, FFS.

  176. 176
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jeffro:

    Oh and now they want to look into Obama…what did he know, and when did he know it? And just how badly did he abuse his power?

    And, of course, it’s heads they win, tails we lose. If Obama kept his hands off anything having to do with the Trump campaign, he let the Deep State run wild because he was asleep at the switch. If he did anything, he used the Deep State for his nefarious purposes. Somebody needs to point out that “you shouldn’t have investigated us” and “why didn’t you stop us” are mutually incompatible complaints.

  177. 177
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    Trump supporters here think Trump already solved North Korea. You can hardly blame them.

    Yes we can!

  178. 178
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    The real tragedy here is that they haven’t truly won either. (I know, American exceptionalism) Putin has helped to disrupt the West and therefore has caused the world to dip into chaos in a moment when it could least afford it, all for money, petty territorial ambitions, and spreading his twisted ideology. As fatalistic as this sounds, he has probably helped doom humanity.

  179. 179
    MattF says:

    @Roger Moore: They demand victory in every variation of the multiverse.

  180. 180
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Yarrow:
    If the Queen lives as long as the Queen Mother, Charles will be 80 before he gets to the throne, and won’t be king for very long. That’s what happened to Victoria’s son Edward VII. Some have said Charles should yield the succession to William, but Charles would see that as abandoning his duty.

  181. 181
    TenguPhule says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    They break the law and abuse norms right out in the open with no fear of repercussions.

    And its turtles on down from here.

  182. 182
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @TenguPhule: Si se puede!

    I blame them for LOTS of things.

  183. 183
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I’m sure the pastor did his best but, as the Comte said, the vast majority of clergy are not qualified to counsel someone who has a serious mental illness. It’s like having a paramedic do your heart bypass surgery.

    ETA: And psychiatrists rarely do actual counseling except in hospital settings. The only thing I see my psychiatrist for is med checks.

  184. 184
    TenguPhule says:

    @Immanentize:

    They say no, they get fired. Is that really the best result here?

    Yes.

    Dr. Silverman explained how people are sucked into being turned by intelligence agents.

    First you convince them to do little things. Things that seem harmless.

    And bit by bit, those harmless little acts lead down the road to bigger things, until one day the person wakes up and finds they’ve become a traitor and their only choice going forward is bigger acts of treason, because there is no going back.

    Everything Trump touches, dies.

  185. 185
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It worked out great, too:

    “What’s your next question?” Trump’s response after being asked if he has confidence in Rod Rosenstein.

    Rosenstein is now in the “loser” category. They’ll bleed him dry and discard him when they’re done. Quitting was far the better option. When all these brave patriots get thru “protecting institutions” they’re gonna find out there’s nothing left to protect.

  186. 186
    catclub says:

    @Another Scott:

    (Sorry if it was already mentioned this AM.)

    It has been mentioned for days. Even here. It has not been heavily covered in the news, but it popped up immediately after Trump tweeted that ZTE would be given a break. (Sunday a week ago)

  187. 187
    catclub says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Remember he also promised his voters this.

    But unlike his voters, Kim Jong-Un is probably not a gullible fool as far as Trump’s promises are concerned.

  188. 188
    JEC says:

    I’m struck by the fact that Kim Jong-Un is literally the only man on Earth whose standing would be enhanced by association with Donald Trump.

  189. 189
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Putin has helped to disrupt the West and therefore has caused the world to dip into chaos in a moment when it could least afford it, all for money, petty territorial ambitions, and spreading his twisted ideology.

    And Russia gets higher oil prices. a market for their old Cold War era Weapons and Putin is now feared across the world.

  190. 190
    Calouste says:

    @Amir Khalid: I can’t see either the Queen or Charles abdicate, even though that is common in most other European monarchies. Uncle Edward set a rather bad example.

  191. 191
    TenguPhule says:

    @rikyrah:

    I haven’t asked my parents yet, either, because there’s nothing like asking your parents when they first exposed you to television boobs and classic lines like, “The royal penis is clean.” That line is something I say to myself in the shower every morning. TMI? TMI. What can I say except “You’re welcome”?

    You are Deadpool and I claim my five pounds.

  192. 192
    Jay C says:

    Most coins usually have a head and a tail: leave it to the Trumpistas to design one with two tails… well, two asses, anyway

  193. 193
    Shell says:

    Re: Coin. Dont you know its probably killing Trump that he cant put “Supreme Leader” in front of his name.

  194. 194
    Gravenstone says:

    @MisterForkbeard: It struck me as how he likes to lean into people during handshakes, to try and physically outleverage and dominate them. A typical cheap salesploitation trick.

  195. 195
    LAO says:

    @Amir Khalid: @Calouste:
    Also, I think that the Queen and Prince Charles see the Monarchy as being burdensome and each is seeking to shield their child from that burden. I wouldn’t expect either to abdicate.

  196. 196
    Roger Moore says:

    @Immanentize:

    And the Supreme Court just ruled that the Constitution does not allow congressional apportionment based of citizenship (or the right to vote like excluding children or disenfranchised felons).

    That’s not correct. The Supreme Court ruled that it’s permissible to district according to the total population rather than the number of citizens, but it avoided ruling on whether it is required to do it that way.

  197. 197
    Gravenstone says:

    @LAO: It’ll be yuuuugggeeeee!!!1!

  198. 198
    Wyatt Derp says:

    Wow this looks like some kind of WWE wrestling promo! Battle of the Titans! Someone needs to tell Trump this match isn’t fixed though.

  199. 199
    Roger Moore says:

    @TenguPhule:

    VSP were outraged about a blowjob.

    Invade the wrong country and have tax cuts while waging two wars? Mistakes were made, insisted the VSP! Look forward, not back!

    This. VSP care mostly that the country is in the hands of The Right Kind of People, i.e. other people just like them. As long as that’s the case, everything is OK and and teensy little mistakes that get made along the way, like making up a case to invade the wrong country, are just the inevitable result of human failure that nobody could have avoided. But if The Wrong Kind of People are in charge, everything is wrong. Success by The Wrong Kind is especially unforgivable because it came about for the wrong reasons. Some of those VSP are anti-Trumpers because they think he’s The Wrong Kind, but they’re almost all anti-Clinton because they still haven’t forgiven Bill for beating that epitome of The Right Kind, GHWB.

  200. 200
    Neldob says:

    @Jeffro: What exactly do we say?

  201. 201
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Republican voters were dumb enough to think that W was one of them because he lived in Texas, but Republican elites knew he was a born and bred member of the East Coast Upper Class, just like them.

    Some people call you the elite — I call you my base.

  202. 202
    Aleta says:

    Does commemorative mean designed to encourage a false memory? These are pocket ads to suggest Trumpo is a leader like Kennedy and Reagan, Vienna and Geneva. (T only remembers the initial buzz on his TV set, when Vienna was a success.)

  203. 203
    Aleta says:

    @Mnemosyne: Cheney on a horse.

  204. 204
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Refresh my memory. If the queen outlives Charles, doesn’t that take both William and Harry out of the line of succession? With the throne instead going to prince Andrew when she dies?

  205. 205
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Nope. Inheritance continues down Charles’ line, so William would move up to being Prince of Wales.

    You may be thinking of some of the historical situations where an heir presumptive would die with no heirs and the next closest relative in line — brother, nephew, etc — would inherit.

    ETA: Andrew would only become king if Charles, William, Harry, and all of William’s children died.

  206. 206
    🌷 Martin says:

    Way to signal that you are fine walking away from the summit at any time. The WH is now committed to making this work, but Kim isn’t. He’s got all the negotiating power now.

  207. 207
    Brachiator says:

    @LAO:

    Trump in Oval Office, promising to protect North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un if he denuclearizes: “He’ll be safe. He’ll be happy. His country will be rich.”

    Summit time, and de-nuking is easy
    Fish are jumpin’ and the kim chi is high
    Oh, your country’s rich and Ivanka’s good-lookin’
    So hush, Supreme Leader, don’t you cry

  208. 208
    Roger Moore says:

    @Calouste:
    My understanding, though, is that the Queen is doing a sort of soft abdication, where she turns more and more of her daily duties over to Charles, even if she theoretically retains all the real responsibility. It seems like a reasonable way of doing things. Charles gets some practical experience before he’s in the hot seat, and she gets to share some of the burden.

  209. 209
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: Princess Anne would also have to take a dirt nap to put Andrew on the throne — they changed the rules a while back to allow succession by birth order without consideration of gender, and Anne is older than Andrew.

  210. 210
    Brachiator says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Some have said Charles should yield the succession to William, but Charles would see that as abandoning his duty.

    Also, Charles really wants to be king.

  211. 211
    Beezus says:

    Who PAID for the production of this tacky “coin?”

  212. 212
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Princess Anne would also have to take a dirt nap to put Andrew on the throne — they changed the rules a while back to allow succession by birth order without consideration of gender, and Anne is older than Andrew.

    Anne is out of luck.

    The new law stipulates that absolute primogeniture only applies to royals born after Oct. 28, 2011

    However, young Prince George better watch out. Princess Charlotte seems to be very self-assured for a three year old.

    On the other side of the world, Japanese princesses automatically fall out of the line of succession if they marry a commoner. This, of course, does not apply to males in line for the throne.

  213. 213
    rikyrah says:

    @Immanentize:

    That said, it would be a good move to take a piece or two off the board right now.

    Would be nice

  214. 214
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Now that they’re joining the Trump obstruction effort I wonder if they colluded too.

    Traitors, ALL, Kay.

    TRAITORS, ALL.

  215. 215
  216. 216
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Bill Arnold: 1 Billion can buy Bezos a newspaper to hammer Trump with, like say the Washington Post.

    Comforting or not, Ambition meets Ambition as the Founding Father said.

  217. 217
    Felony Govt (Formerly Old Broad in California) says:

    @Beezus: Probably all of us. Your tax dollars at work.

  218. 218
    Roger Moore says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    If the queen outlives Charles, doesn’t that take both William and Harry out of the line of succession? With the throne instead going to prince Andrew when she dies?

    No. The succession doesn’t depend on who dies when, except that somebody who’s dead can’t become the monarch. Charles’s heirs don’t lose their rights if he predeceases Elizabeth; instead they each move up one spot in the succession. The only way you can move down in the succession is when somebody higher than you has a child.

  219. 219
    Leto says:

    @Beezus: Typically you pony up the money first, then buy that number. But here? That’s a good question. How many of these have been made, are there any excess, where is that money going? Follow the money.

  220. 220
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Brachiator: Well, shoot. Still, good on the Brits for dumping that sexist rule.

  221. 221
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Inheritance continues down Charles’ line, so William would move up to being Prince of Wales.

    This is not quite correct. The Prince of Wales is an oddball exception to the normal rules in that it can’t be inherited; it lapses when the current prince becomes king or dies and doesn’t come back into existence until the monarch bestows it again. So William would not automatically become Prince of Wales if either Charles or Elizabeth died; he would remain the Duke of Cambridge until the monarch made him Prince.

  222. 222
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    it lapses when the current prince becomes king or dies and doesn’t come back into existence until the monarch bestows it again.

    Apparently, the title merges with the crown when the Prince of Wales becomes king. Weird stuff!

    Since the 14th century, the title has been a dynastic title granted to the heir apparent to the English or British monarch, but the failure to be granted the title does not affect the rights to royal succession. The title is granted to the heir apparent as a personal honour or dignity, and is not heritable, merging with the Crown on accession to the throne. The title Earl of Chester is always given in conjunction with that of Prince of Wales.

  223. 223
    J R in WV says:

    @chris:

    [EPA] Guards barred an AP reporter from passing through a security checkpoint inside the building. When the reporter asked to speak to an EPA public-affairs person, the security guards grabbed the reporter by the shoulders and shoved her forcibly out…

    Wife was an AP reporter, and was attacked by security guards in a local county courthouse, was rescued by two city cops who were also in the courtroom, which was packed for a political event of some sort, I forget the details. This was at least 10 or 12 years ago. It is common at this point for bullies in uniform to attack reporters when they get fired up and enraged about the media being nosy.

    She wasn’t badly hurt, but in the end wound up with total and permanent disability after a 30 year career, PTSD and physical problems. Disability payment was peanuts compared to her union wage!

  224. 224
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    William also wasn’t the Duke of Cambridge until his grandmother granted him (and Kate) that title after his marriage.

    Also, all inheritors of British titles have to be confirmed by the House of Lords and approved by the monarch. (Technically, the monarch gets the application for the title, passes it to the HoL, the HoL votes their recommendation and sends that to the monarch, and s/he grants it to the new heir).

    And don’t even get me started on the difference between courtesy titles and aristocratic titles. Legally, every upper-class person who does not hold a title in their own right is a commoner. Princess Anne turned down courtesy titles for her two children, as did her husband.

  225. 225
    Another Scott says:

    @catclub: ZTE has come up in several threads, and we’ve speculated that somehow Donnie was getting paid, but Drum’s post is the first I’ve seen that shows exactly how Donnie got money from China and for what.

    Is there something I missed earlier?

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  226. 226
    MattF says:

    Apparently ‘Fat Leonard’, the guy at the center of the Navy’s worst scandal ever, is in very bad health.

  227. 227
    SgrAstar says:

    @Kay: I’m leaning toward the Immanentize position on this- I think it’s pretty obv that they’re trying to protect the Mueller investigation. If Wray and Rosenstein get fired- and they will- what next?

  228. 228
    Scarshapedstar says:

    I like the body language with Kim backing away. Looks like Trump has serious halitosis.

  229. 229
    daverave says:

    And why the jagged line between the two flags? Is that supposed to represent the DMZ? Or the winding road to this “peace” summit? Or the fissures in the planet when the nukes start flying? Inquiring minds and all that….

  230. 230
    Ruckus says:

    @Yarrow:
    Doesn’t seem like all the waiting has been all that hard on Phillip.

  231. 231
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ruckus:

    Philip never gets to be king in any scenario. He’s just the Prince Consort.

  232. 232
    debbie says:

    Some guy on NPR said the medal was premature, but very good-looking. I hadn’t seen it until now, and it is ass-ugly.

  233. 233
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @LAO: The solution Liz has come up with is Monarch Emeritus in effect. She’s handed off a lot of her regular ceremonial duties to Charles and Anne over the years recently although they’ve always understudied her. There are a few which only she can do, of course, such as the Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech but a lot of the rest of her duties are optional.

    I’d expect the Heir and the Spare: the Next Generation to get their workload increased after London Bridge Falls (the media code alert phrase for the death of the reigning Monarch) and Charlie gets his bum on the Scone of Stone (Terry Pratchett reference there).

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