Early Morning [Facepalm] Open Thread: NATO Meeting Catch-Up

Washington Post: Trump berates NATO allies and then asks them to double their defense spending goals“.


148 replies
  1. 1
    MomSense says:

    3:00 am trumpsomnia. Might as well find out just how much of his ass was on display.

  2. 2
    Calouste says:

    What Sarlin said. No one is going to trust the US any further than the next presidential election.

  3. 3
    Brachiator says:

    It still hasn’t quite sunk in the minds of European leaders that they are dealing with a resentful old man. They are still deferring to him because he is the supposed leader of the Free world. From CNN.

    Trump’s barrage of attacks ‘beyond belief,’ reeling NATO diplomats say

    NATO diplomats are dumbfounded by President Donald Trump’s barrage of acidic rhetoric at the annual summit in Brussels on Wednesday.

    Trump came out brawling in his first public comments, accusing NATO ally Germany of being “a captive of Russia,” calling members of the alliance “delinquent” in their defense spending and insisting they increase it “immediately.”

    “It’s like the world has gone crazy this morning,” one senior European diplomat told CNN. “Trump’s performance was beyond belief.”

    No easy answers here. Europe can’t just cut Trump and the US loose. But they have to understand that there is no Grand strategy behind Trump’s bluster, just a fixation on the idea that the world has been unfair to America and that he is the only one who can make things right.

    Link

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/11/politics/trump-nato-diplomats-reaction/index.html

  4. 4

    @MomSense:

    Might as well find out just how much of his ass was on display.

    All of it Katie.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    Trump has just transferred his NY business tactics to the world stage.

    Smile, shake hands, do deal. Then threaten, insult, bluster, and threaten again. Repeat until the other party walks away in disgust.

    There is only one way to counter it and that is to spit in his eye and call him a damn liar. Then mock his subsequent threats.

    With Trump, civility and servility are synonyms.

  7. 7
    NotMax says:

    Phew. Popped out (9-ish at night here) to roll the trash can down to the street for tomorrow’s early pick-up.

    Stopped for an extra minute on the hike back up the driveway to admire an intense (and magnified by its position a scant few degrees above the horizon) Mars. Something must be in bloom* aplenty as was suddenly and unexpectedly seized with a violent and debilitating bout of wheezing, choking and coughing, like nothing I can remember. Eyes still watering, breathing better. Can’t imagine the vog, if any, was that thick – visibility down the mountainside is unimpeded.

    *Or maybe I’m allergic to the red planet.

  8. 8
  9. 9

    @NotMax: When we saw Mars rising on Saturday night out at Red Rock, I thought at first it was an airplane that was going to fuck up the Milky Way sequence that I was shooting. It’s really quite bright.

    ETA: Mars wasn’t present in all the shots(8) in that sequence, so when I went to stack and average them to reduce noise, Mars disappeared. I ended up having to add it back in(as well as a meteor and car’s headlights) from the final frame I shot. Here’s the final shot.

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    @Brachiator

    Governance by tantrum.

  11. 11
    magurakurin says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: beautiful photo. On Tuesday night here Mars, Saturn and Jupiter were all in a row.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    @magurakurin

    Ah, but was the Moon in the seventh house?

    :)

  13. 13

    @magurakurin: Saturn is positioned over the galactic center right now.

  14. 14
    Brachiator says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Great photo. Thinking of Trump reminds me of an old science fiction movie about Mars, The Angry Red Planet.

  15. 15
    Aleta says:

    From CNN. There’s some video at the link, and more to the story.
    Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, which

    US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said held 1,495 detainees as of June 30, sits within a toxic sludge field and EPA Superfund site where residential construction has been barred. It has been the target of more than a dozen hunger strikes in recent years, each involving from a dozen to hundreds of detainees, over complaints of inadequate food and medical care, among other issues. Its operator, Florida-based The GEO Group, is fighting two lawsuits in Washington over alleged labor-law violations for a dollar-a-day migrant detainee work program it calls voluntary. And the center has in recent years faced one of the highest number of complaints about alleged physical and sexual assaults against detainees of any facility of its kind in the nation, according to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement data obtained through public records requests by the advocacy group Freedom for Immigrants.

    The Trump administration’s aggressive immigration enforcement strategy has been a financial boon for GEO Group, which along with its affiliates contributed more than half a million dollars to then-candidate Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and his inaugural committee, according to Federal Election Commission data.

    (continued)

  16. 16
    Aleta says:

    2-

    R.M. (a mother separated from her daughter ) is one in a wave of new detainees sent thousands of miles to the facility over the last few weeks. She arrived at the detention center in the midst of a chickenpox outbreak there, according to her attorney, Luis Cortes Romero. When she was tested for the disease, the result was inconclusive. So, though she showed no symptoms, the center’s staff quarantined her — not by sending her to the medical unit but by putting her in what GEO Group calls “segregation,” meaning she has been confined alone in her cell for all but one hour a day and given almost no access to telephones or other communication, Cortes Romero said.

    The detention center sits on the Tacoma Tideflats, in an industrial area where residential construction is otherwise barred because it sits within a toxic sludge field and Superfund site deemed by the EPA to have “widespread contamination” of water and soil. The center’s neighbors include a methanol plant and a liquified natural gas facility.

    Tacoma city officials supported locating the center on this 16-acre site when it was built in the early 2000s. The EPA and Washington Department of Ecology permitted construction as long as the center did not use groundwater from the site or disturb an engineered cap sealing hazardous substances underground. In 2009, the EPA looked into community concerns that excavation during GEO Group’s expansion of the center to house 553 more people might have exposed workers and detainees to contamination from mercury and naphthalene vapors.
    The EPA said that GEO Group improperly dug into the ground without notifying the state Department of Ecology but hadn’t broken through the engineered cap. It didn’t substantiate any health risks from the expansion.
    ….
    In 2008, a report by the Seattle University School of Law and human rights group OneAmerica… described outbreaks of food poisoning, including one in 2007 that sickened more than 300 people; it said detainees often had to wait as long as two weeks to receive medical care; it detailed servings of food so paltry that 80% of detainees said they were hungry after every meal. It also described the food as sometimes rotten or bug-infested. One man who weighed 190 pounds when he entered the center lost 50 pounds over two years in detention, the report said.

    (Manuel Abrego) said he and many detainees think they have been treated poorly and given little information as a way to get them to give up and agree to deportation. … “The food they gave us was not enough to keep the hunger away,” he said. Vegetables and fruit were rarely available. “We’d get sandwiches for lunch; the meat would still be frozen. Food that was supposed to be hot wasn’t.” Because there was never enough to eat, Abrego said, detainees would ask their families for money to buy overpriced food at the commissary. Those who couldn’t get funds from their families had to try to earn money by volunteering for the center’s work program.

    “They said it’s voluntary, … but you’re in a position where you have no choice,” he said. “You might clean all night and get a dollar or a bag of chips.” That’s why, he said, “we organized ourselves. We said, they can’t keep treating us this way.”

    Abrego’s account matches complaints by other inmates dating back more than a decade. He said while he was at the center, four detainees were beaten after refusing to eat a meal, with no repercussions for the guards. “They can hit us and nothing happens,” he said.

  17. 17
    Aleta says:

    3-

    Just two years ago, GEO Group and other private-prison companies saw grim prospects ahead. Several lawsuits over wrongful deaths and many other issues had led to growing public and political concerns over conditions in private prisons. … In August of 2016, the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General released a report concluding that, compared with federal facilities, private prisons had higher rates of assault, contraband and lockdowns. The report also identified problems with overuse of solitary confinement and poor medical care. A few weeks later, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates issued a memo directing the federal Bureau of Prisons to phase out the use of private prisons as existing contracts expired.

    GEO Group’s stock price fell 40% in one day.

    The top private-prison companies have long been active politically. In the 2016 election cycle, GEO Group alone donated more than $1.2 million to candidates, parties and outside interest groups….GEO Group donated $275,000 to a Trump-aligned super PAC and $250,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee, according to FEC data. It also spent $1.7 million in lobbying last year, including $550,000 through Ballard Partners, a firm run by former Trump campaign Florida finance chair Brian Ballard.

    Within weeks of Trump’s inauguration, a White House memo to Homeland Security leaked, describing plans to nearly double immigration detention housing to handle more than 80,000 people a night, as first reported by the Los Angeles Times. The following month, newly appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Yates memo.

    GEO Group’s share price, which had fallen to as low as $13 the day the Yates memo was released, soared, climbing by late April to $34.12 a share. That month, GEO Group was awarded the first new immigration detention contract under the Trump administration, a 10-year agreement for a 1,000-bed facility in Conroe, Texas, expected to generate $44 million a year in revenues. In May 2017, the Bureau of Prisons awarded GEO Group a pair of 10-year contracts, expected to generate $66.4 million a year in revenues, to house immigrants convicted of crimes.

    Today, GEO Group operates 141 prisons, detention centers and community re-entry facilities. In October, the company moved its annual leadership conference from Boca Raton, Florida, where it is headquartered, to the Trump National Doral, a Miami golf resort owned by the President.

    GEO Group is fighting two lawsuits in federal court — one filed by the state of Washington — that accuse it of violating labor laws by paying a dollar a day or less, regardless of how many hours they work, to detained migrants whose labor is essential to keep the Northwest Detention Center running.

    According to the Washington attorney general’s office, “Detainees described working through the night buffing floors and painting walls in exchange for chips and candy.” Similar suits target four other detention centers run by GEO Group or another private-prison operator. One suit, against a GEO Group facility in Colorado, noted that the company employed only one janitor on staff there, relying on its captive migrant workers to do almost all the work.

    Based on court filings and its 2015 ICE contract, GEO Group appears to save at least $10 million a year at its Tacoma facility through the work program, compared to paying standard wages. Currently, it is reimbursed by ICE for the dollar a day it pays each immigrant detainee worker.

    In practice, ICE detention facilities operate with little oversight or accountability, according to Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General. … “Moreover, ICE does not adequately follow up on identified deficiencies or consistently hold facilities accountable for correcting them,” the OIG report said. “Even well documented deficiencies that facilities commit to fixing routinely remain uncorrected for years.”

    It cited examples of inspectors contracted by ICE submitting false information that made detention facilities look like they were following regulations when they weren’t. The inspector general found a slew of other problems that “include facilities failing to notify ICE about alleged or proven sexual assaults” and conducting strip searches with no reasonable suspicion.

    I omitted GEO’s responses to these reports. Every response was a denial. There’s more detail and a video at the link.

  18. 18
    Aleta says:

    @NotMax: No more falsehoods or derisions.

  19. 19
    Aleta says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Expert. Awe-inspiring. Thanks for showing.

  20. 20
    Sherparick says:

    @Brachiator: Well, there is Putin’s grand strategy. Also, Trump’s strategy is what he thinks is good for Trump & getting that vibe he gets from those rallies.

  21. 21
    ericblair says:

    @Calouste:

    What Sarlin said. No one is going to trust the US any further than the next presidential election.

    What they’re going to do is demand proper treaties, signed by the Senate. We’ve been running on handshake deals with POTUS because Republican Congresses have been beyond useless, but here is the weakness.

    This NATO summit has been a complete circus; however, if you actually understand what is going on, the summit achieved what it was supposed to achieve so far. NATO summits are not just photo ops, as they are formal meetings of the North Atlantic Council that must agree by consensus of all NATO nations on the specific agenda items that have been decided on in the last couple of years. These include a lot of yadda yadda on cooperation and boo Russian interference, but specific agreements on the 2% funding goal (not 4%); a heavier military presence (the 30/30/30/30 thing) in Eastern Europe, new NATO commands in Germany and Virginia; and an agreement to allow Macedonia to join NATO. If anybody wants a little light reading, the agreed statement is here.

    These are now formally agreed by the governments, NATO will now start executing them, and walking them back would mean that all NATO nations would have to agree to do that. Trump could have raised a pinky finger in the meeting and objected to any of it (and I’m sure everyone else in the meeting was holding their breath at this point), which would have stopped them right there, but he went along. So for all the hooting and hollering and feces tossing, at the end of it all he did what he was supposed to do. I’m sure everybody else involved at this thing is going to need a few stiff drinks tonight, though.

  22. 22
    AxelFoley says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    @magurakurin: Saturn is positioned over the galactic center right now.

    I still can’t see the Milky Way from here in Hampton Roads, VA, but I have been able to admire Mars, Jupiter and Saturn every night.

    Seriously, Bill, if I’m ever in CA, I’m gonna meet up with you and go star-gazing and check out the galactic center. Your pictures fucking rock, dude.

  23. 23
    bjacques says:

    Just in case, I’m really glad France kept their own nukes.

  24. 24
    MomSense says:

    @Aleta:

    It really is like something out of the The Handmaid’s Tale.

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  26. 26
    Sherparick says:

    @Aleta: So much for the Thirteenth Amendment. Maje America Great again by bringing back slavery.

  27. 27
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Gonna have to set up my telescope.

  28. 28
    RedDirtDirl says:

    Good morning, all. It’s been a bumpy few weeks. Turns out my dad’s recurrent pneumonia was due to congestive heart failure. On top of that he is having a manic episode. I’m looking after my sister’s dog while she is in Maine helping the other sister tend to my father, and now the dog seems unwell. Not eating, pooping in the house. So I’m taking the morning off work to take him to the vet. Too much shit gong on.

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @RedDirtDirl:

    Too much shit gong on.

    A bit of an understatement. Just a bit. ;-)

    Good luck, hopefully the pup just misses his Momma.

  30. 30
    RedDirtDirl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thanks. That was her thinking yesterday. But better safe than sorry. We just don’t need another thing to worry about right now. Yeesh!

  31. 31
    geg6 says:

    Hilarious on Morning Joe. Dolt 45 is talking at a press conference and Joe is calling out his lies in real time, talking over him as that asshole rambles on saying shit that means nothing.

  32. 32
    Thoughtful David says:

    What I don’t get is why they let him do this kind of shit. Any good 2nd grade teacher knows how to handle it. Stoltenberg should not have tried to defend the value of NATO–that’s just giving Trump what he wants, a chance to grandstand. Stoltenberg should have just jumped in when Trump paused to take a breath and said, “Thanks for that opinion Mr. Trump. Now, getting back to the agenda. Mr. Macron, I believe you wanted to talk about ….”
    That would end it, Trump would look like the fool he is, and everyone could go on. Trying to engage someone like that is a fool’s errand.

  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Thoughtful David:

    That would end it,

    Yes it would have, and possibly the summit with it. Possibly without reaching the necessary agreements @ericblair: enumerated above:

    These include a lot of yadda yadda on cooperation and boo Russian interference, but specific agreements on the 2% funding goal (not 4%); a heavier military presence (the 30/30/30/30 thing) in Eastern Europe, new NATO commands in Germany and Virginia; and an agreement to allow Macedonia to join NATO. If anybody wants a little light reading, the agreed statement is here.

    They are dealing with a manchild. They know this. Unfortunately they can’t just put him in timeout and make him sit in a corner.

  34. 34
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: In other words, both the EU and NATO need to follow DPRK’s example? That’s dangerous.

  35. 35

    I just logged on and see Trump is holding a press conference. What could go wrong?

  36. 36
    Platonailedit says:

    Meanwhile, in the real world

    Just rcvd word that my client @StormyDaniels was arrested in Columbus Ohio whole performing the same act she has performed across the nation at nearly a hundred strip clubs. This was a setup & politically motivated. It reeks of desperation. We will fight all bogus charges. #Basta

    — Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) July 12, 2018

  37. 37
    p.a. says:

    Was that ‘expected full brealfast’ comment real??!! Not The Onion? Maybe they’re auditioning for The Onion…

  38. 38
    satby says:

    The US needs a functioning government and we haven’t had one for a while. President Obama did what he could with the tools he had, but we’ve forgotten what a government that works looks like, thanks to the Republican traitors. It’s a bigger problem than Traitor in Chief, and until the voters want a government that works we’re going to careen crazily from crisis to crisis.
    A blue tsunami is just a first step and I worry that people don’t understand that, they’ll think it’s a cure.

  39. 39
    SFAW says:

    If the WH Press Corpse had any guts, they’d ask Jethrene whether her idiot boss’s overarching goal is to destroy NATO and to help Vladi become THE world leader. And if she contends otherwise, demand proof, since “All signs point to Treason.”

    Also: “Does Shitgibbon spit? Or swallow?”

  40. 40
    debbie says:

    @Platonailedit:

    Another proud moment for Ohio, probably the only state to regulate tit slapping.

  41. 41
    p.a. says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sorry to be sexist, but NATO should just have given him a couple of hottie tour guides (chaperones too) and took him out on the town. Less potential for Putinating the organization.

  42. 42
    debbie says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    It was horrendous. Best line: The US pays for 90% of NATO.

  43. 43
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @RedDirtDirl: ((RedDirtDirl)). Sounds like you have a very full plate. Hope things get better for you and your Dad very soon.

  44. 44
    NotMax says:

    “Best meeting of heads of state in the history of the universe. They – OF COURSE – agreed to Every Single Thing I demanded. Accomplished more than any other president ever. “

  45. 45
    Raven says:

    @p.a.: you remembered where we had the last reunion!!!

  46. 46
    Thoughtful David says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Wait, you’re thinking Trump’s behavior didn’t almost end the conference? And Stoltenberg tried to defend NATO to Trump. By doing that he gives Trump more opportunity to blabber on. Stoltenberg should have just politely said, “Thanks for that opinion” and gone on.
    Trump could even have come back and told the Trumpanzees “See, I gave them a piece of my mind!” and the Trumpanzees would buy it, but the rest of the world would know what happened and wouldn’t have been subjected to more crap.

  47. 47
    Izabela says:

    Trump just can’t help going around and f’ing everything up he can, can he?

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    @Thoughtful David:

    Any good 2nd grade teacher knows how to handle it.

    It’s a lot to ask of people. They’re still on a learning curve. He launched this thing with a pack of lies which sets people off balance and now they have to figure out how to handle a US President who attacks allies.

    We’re not handling him at all well here- I’m not sure why we expect people who deal with him infrequently to do any better.

    IMO the constant lying makes it really really difficult. All the ordinary defenses break down. No one knows how to deal with it.

  49. 49
    NotMax says:

    @Thoughtful David

    I suppose “Please proceed, Mr. President” would have been too subtle.

  50. 50
    SFAW says:

    @satby:

    A blue tsunami is just a first step and I worry that people don’t understand that, they’ll think it’s a cure.

    No kidding. And then, in 2020, they’ll whine about the Dems not fixing (in two years) EVERYTHING the Rethugs have destroyed over the past 30-plus years. And stay home. Because of her fucking e-mails or Goldman Sachs or veeblefetzer.

    One hopes them Dems will have learned that — even if they take back one or both houses of Congress — unless they keep attacking Rethugs, people will forget how evil the Rethugs are.

  51. 51
    ericblair says:

    @satby:

    The US needs a functioning government and we haven’t had one for a while. President Obama did what he could with the tools he had, but we’ve forgotten what a government that works looks like, thanks to the Republican traitors. It’s a bigger problem than Traitor in Chief, and until the voters want a government that works we’re going to careen crazily from crisis to crisis.

    This sums it right up. Because of the Republicans, we’ve been running the country on spit and bailing wire for a long time.

    Well, that was fun. Trump shows his ass, gets EU to commit 30 something billion extra euros to defense somewhere sometime, wants peace and happiness and unicorns for everybody. Actual worrisome things are his idea to discuss Baltic exercises with Putin, and what exactly he meant about future Georgian accession (which isn’t going to happen for a while if ever, because of the frozen conflicts in South Ossetia).

  52. 52
    RedDirtDirl says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Thanks for the hugs!

  53. 53
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: Misery does too. In fact I am pretty sure there aren’t any strip clubs on this side of the river (I’ve been out here in the boonie woods for 15 years, things may have changed) in the STL area. I can’t recall seeing any in St Roberts outside of Fort Leonard Wood either.

    @p.a.: You aren’t being sexist, you are just acknowledging that trump is ruled by his d!ck and the surest way to distract him is via that tiny organ.

  54. 54
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Thoughtful David:

    wouldn’t have been subjected to more crap.

    If the past 18 months have taught me anything, it’s that the crap never ends.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    @RedDirtDirl:
    Sorry to hear about his difficulties 😖😖
    Hope that he gets better.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

    @Kay: I’m confident society would know how to deal with it if a Dem president acting like this. What’s difficult for our society is standing up to the GOP.

  57. 57
    NotMax says:

    Would that any wise ones pull him aside one to one just long enough to say, “This is just between us, but all you said is exactly the same as what Obama said to us in private. Nice to see you’re following his lead.” Then sit back and wait for the 180 degree flip.

  58. 58
    rikyrah says:

    @satby:
    Tell the truth, satby.

  59. 59
    rikyrah says:

    @Platonailedit:
    They didn’t have anything better to do.😕
    Question 1- what the phuck were they doing at her show in the first place?😠

  60. 60
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    Fuck Trump.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    @Aleta:
    But, we knew this. Those of us who paid attention to whom was giving Dolt45 money knew this would happen 😠😠

  62. 62
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Thoughtful David: @Kay: In my world it is really easy to deal with people like trump. Tell them to go fuck themselves and walk away. It’s actually very entertaining. The idea that they aren’t the center of the universe has never occurred to them and my complete dismissal of their very existence throws them into an all consuming rage.

    That is not an option on the world stage. Whether they like it or not, trump is a reality they have to deal with.

  63. 63
    NotMax says:

    Meanwhile, up north –

    Ontario’s education minister says the sex-ed curriculum taught to children in the coming school year will be an older version, not the controversial updated program brought in by the previous government.

    Lisa Thompson said Wednesday ministry staff are working to inform school boards of the decision to revert to the curriculum that was in place before 2015.
    [snip]
    Premier Doug Ford promised to repeal and replace the controversial sex-ed curriculum when he ran for the Progressive Conservative leadership and repeated the pledge during the spring election.

    The new curriculum sparked controversy, particularly among social conservatives, when the Liberal government introduced it.

    It was the first time the curriculum had been updated since 1998 and included warnings about online bullying and sexting, but protesters zeroed in on discussions of same-sex marriage, gender identity and masturbation. Source

  64. 64

    @geg6:

    Hilarious on Morning Joe. Dolt 45 is talking at a press conference and Joe is calling out his lies in real time, talking over him as that asshole rambles on saying shit that means nothing.

    I am seeing something similar on Twitter, and now this. I think that people are beginning to get it.

  65. 65

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Call him out . Absolutely.

  67. 67
    Platonailedit says:

    @Kay:

    Disagree that the press is clueless on how to handle this lying pos thug. They know how to do it, they just don’t want to do it. Because they are also corrupt scums.

  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    Because of course the accusation was made.

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that allegations made by US Customs and Border Protection that he had crossed the US-Mexico border illegally last month are “absolutely ridiculous.”

    De Blasio was one of 20 US mayors who visited the Tornillo facility near El Paso, Texas, in June to get a better understanding of the conditions detained immigrant children are exposed to after being separated from their parents.

    De Blasio says he and his team, which included a New York Police Department security detail, were repeatedly denied access to the facility, so they tried to get a better view from the Mexico side.

    “The border agents consulted with their supervisor, and they agreed, and they let our cars cross the American border into Mexico at a normal checkpoint. While we were there we were told what the border line was, and we respected it,” he said at an unrelated news conference Wednesday in New York. He added that they showed passports at a port of entry to gain legal access.

    The comments came in response to a letter, obtained by The Associated Press, from Customs and Border Protection to the New York Police Department claiming de Blasio had violated Mexican and US immigration laws by crossing the border illegally while visiting the area. Source

  69. 69
    NotMax says:

    Spuds over dud.

    Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, appears to have opted to visit a potato farm instead of meeting Mike Pompeo when the US Secretary of State was in Pyongyang over the weekend for the latest round of discussions on the future of the Korean Peninsula.

    Mr Pompeo arrived in the North Korean capital on July 6 – but his three-day visit was ignored by the North Korean dictator.

    Mr Pompeo’s aides were largely kept in the dark about the schedule for the visit, including where they would be staying, and repeated requests about when the secretary of state would be able to meet Mr Kim went unanswered.
    [snip]
    As well as a deliberate snub to Mr Pompeo, Mr Kim’s visit was significant because he chose to demonstrate North Korea’s resilience in the face of US-led sanctions on his regime. Equally, he chose to visit an area adjacent to China, which once again appears to be extending economic support to Pyongyang. Source

  70. 70
    mad citizen says:

    I thought the SH Sanders quote on Kelly expecting “pastries and cheese” was a joke for sure until I read the Post story. OMG, talk about infighting among co-workers. Maybe she was joking, but it doesn’t come off that way reading a news article.

  71. 71
    Baud says:

    @NotMax: How does an American citizen cross the border illegally?

  72. 72
    Platonailedit says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I am sure they have already gamed out the scenarios on how to bypass the thug. They are just playing the ignorant clown. Just like the saudis, emeratis and koreans did. They are not idiots.

  73. 73
    NotMax says:

    FYI.

    Real-life Professor Snape calls Trump’s Supreme Court pick ‘Lord Voldemort’

    ‘It was not meant to be a compliment,’ said environmental law professor Bill Snape Source

  74. 74
    Another Scott says:

    @geg6: Meh. Joe continues to be an enabler, and one of the most egregious.

    They can report on him without playing clips of him (as I assume he did). Playing clips continues to promote Donnie’s memes and continues to let him set the agenda. As long as he’s doing that, he’s helping Donnie and profiting from it.

    ‘morning everyone. Good luck to all the pets and oldsters in distress in B-J Land.

    117 days to go…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  75. 75
    NotMax says:

    Move over, Arthur C. Clarke. Not quite a monolith, but still…

    Egyptian archeologists found this massive black sarcophagus — and no one knows what’s inside

    Archeologists think it has been sealed for more than 2,000 years Source

  76. 76
    tobie says:

    Morning folks. Just back from Germany and going to my first local Dem club meeting tonight to try to turn my ruby red district blue. I figure that’s the best use of my energies right now.

  77. 77
    Lapassionara says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I hope people are beginning to get it. I am in a state of panic every time he travels abroad. What a complete nightmare.

    I returned last week from a trip to Europe. I saw two museums about the Holocaust and the Anne Frank House. Those horrors happened in France and Holland much sooner and more easily than they should have, given that Jewish people had been a positive part of those societies pre-war. I fear something similar is happening here. I think we should be putting maximum pressure on Congress to do its job, calling, marching, etc. time is running out.

  78. 78
    rikyrah says:

    @AxelFoley:
    You are so right.. Bill’s pictures rock 🙌🙌

  79. 79
    rikyrah says:

    @mad citizen:
    I don’t know why, but the sheer bumblefuck ignorance in that lie just pisses me off.😠

  80. 80
    p.a. says:

    @Raven: I can walk there.

  81. 81
    p.a. says:

    @Raven: It was a regular stop before my weight loss attempt.

  82. 82
    opiejeanne says:

    @Another Scott: Until the midterms?

  83. 83

    @Lapassionara: Too much right now makes me think of the 1930s in Europe.

    There is an act 2 to come, or maybe acts 2 and 3. Trump’s visit to the UK, and his meeting with Putin. We’ll see how that goes.

    And, of course, in another subplot, the Mueller investigation.

  84. 84
    Kristine says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Wow. Thank you for sharing that.

    Someday, I really need to get away from the light pollution and visit a place where I can see more than a handful of stars.

  85. 85
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: The Trump balloon baby seems to be getting a lot of play. Was there ever a Hitler balloon baby? Maybe that’ll be the difference maker.

  86. 86
    cope says:

    Anybody else notice that everyone except trump has a glass of orange juice? No Diet Coke available?

  87. 87
    tobie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    And, of course, in another subplot, the Mueller investigation.

    Did anyone see Rachel Maddow’s segment on the FBI investigation into two Russian spies who spent years acclimatizing to the West to break into the US foreign policy establishment and get secret info to share with Moscow Center? Peter Strzok led the investigation and Rachel’s report suggests, without stating directly or naming names, that several staffers in foreign policy circles may well be compromised. Evidently the couple was the basis for the show The Americans but the story I thought of most while watching was Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

  88. 88
    Baud says:

    @tobie: Seems like a lot more work than it took to get Trump elected.

  89. 89
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @tobie:

    going to my first local Dem club meeting tonight to try to turn my ruby red district blue. I figure that’s the best use of my energies right now.

    Yay tobie!!! Sending good vibes to you and the other Dems in your district….

  90. 90
    tobie says:

    @Baud: Good point. Why go to all that trouble when all you needed to do was stir up the toxic brew of racism, sexism, xenophobia, cultural resentment, and ignorance that not only propelled Trump to power but also fueled Hillary hate.

  91. 91
    tobie says:

    @H.E.Wolf: Thanks!

  92. 92
    Platonailedit says:

    India has adopted recommendations strongly backing net neutrality that experts say could be the “strongest” in the world.

    Net neutrality means service providers must treat all traffic equally, and not charge differently based on content.

    The recommendations explicitly forbid operators from throttling data speeds for any online service, and mandates all content be treated the same.

    India is expected to have 500 million internet users by June.

    “Any deviations and violations of the rules of net neutrality — which come into effect almost immediately — will be met with stiff penalties,” telecom secretary Aruna Sundarajan told Indian reporters.

    The net neutrality principle is considered a cornerstone of a free and open internet that provides equal access to all and bans “any form” of data discrimination.

  93. 93
    NotMax says:

    @Cheryl Rofer

    One is put in mind of a famous quote about the deteriorating mental state of British PM Ramsay MacDonald, returned to that position during the first half of the 30s: “Things … got to the stage where nobody knew what the Prime Minister was going to say in the House of Commons, and, when he did say it, nobody understood it.”

    MacDonald himself was quoted as revealing, “My head doesn’t work.”

  94. 94

    @Baud: It will help. Laughing at a would-be dictator can be devastating.

  95. 95
    Kay says:

    @Platonailedit:

    Disagree that the press is clueless on how to handle this lying pos thug. They know how to do it, they just don’t want to do it. Because they are also corrupt scums.

    I don’t blame them for not knowing how to do it. I blame them for clinging to the notion that they DO know and defensively insisting their ordinary approaches are sufficient, when they are clearly NOT sufficient.

    I can say from personal experience in my work that it is really, really difficult to deal with people who use a barrage of lies as a tactic, and that’s what the Trump Administration does. I’m convinced the lies are the key to the whole thing- but I don’t know what to do about it and I don’t think anyone else does either.

    This NATO visit is grounded in a set of lies Trump told. HE set the frame. HE created the reality they’re all being asked to “deal with”. That is HARD. He led right out of the gate with a HUGE lie- that Germany is controlled by Putin. It’s key. Donald Trump cannot function without a pack of lies. Exclude the lies in this visit and what does he have to talk about? Nothing.

  96. 96
    Nancy says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    Beautiful. I feel better just seeing it.
    thank you

  97. 97
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    In a statement to The Post, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “[Kelly] was displeased because he was expecting a full breakfast and there were only pastries and cheese.

    Trump seizing on the gas pipeline to attack Germany over NATO is similar to his seizing on dairy tariffs to attack Canada over trade – it’s not the actual reason he’s unhappy, but he thinks it makes the entity he opposes look hypocritical.

    What a totally useless Trust Fund A-Hole with the mind of a nine year old.

  98. 98
    Kay says:

    Nate Silver Retweeted
    Clare Malone
    ‏Verified account
    @ClareMalone
    20h20 hours ago
    More
    It’s conventional wisdom that Red State senate Dems are feeling the heat from conservative voters over SCOTUS, but during the Bork nomination it was the opposite: They feared reprisal from their more liberal/black constituents:

    Don’t let the worst political team in the country at the NYTimes discourage you. There is a Dem base and there are a lot of us. Not everything is about the mighty Donald Trump and his MAGA’s.

    They rule the NYTimes world. Don’t let then rule yours. The SCOTUS pick isn’t a slam dunk for Dear Leader, despite what we’re being told. The assumption that a midterm that is about far Right judges benefits the far Right assumes the far Right is a majority. They’re not.

    Don’t give up. Just do what you can and ignore the narrative-setters. They’ve gone from announcing this is a “center Right country” to announcing it’s a far Right country. It’s not.

  99. 99
    kindness says:

    I’m hoping for a meteor come Trump/Putin in Finland.

  100. 100
    rikyrah says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    it is beautiful.
    The mountains…and the little light on that section of the mountains…puts the picture over the top. :)

  101. 101
    Baud says:

    This is interesting. Obviously, averaging hides a multitude of sins.

    http://ritholtz.com/2018/07/co.....ld-wealth/

  102. 102
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Lapassionara:

    I returned last week from a trip to Europe. I saw two museums about the Holocaust and the Anne Frank House. Those horrors happened in France and Holland much sooner and more easily than they should have, given that Jewish people had been a positive part of those societies pre-war. I fear something similar is happening here. I think we should be putting maximum pressure on Congress to do its job, calling, marching, etc. time is running out.

    Gobbels admitted that the the French were far more anti Semetic than the Germans were at the time.

    Which brings me to my Off Topic. Feeling stressed out about Trump, well relief is quick – read up on Joseph Stalin – aka the Gold Standard of Dictators. While the cult of personalities around Stalin and Trump are quite similar (and says a lot of about Trump’s base), the difference is Stalin was a hard worker putting in twelve hour says. Stalin killed obscene amounts of people but it took a lot of hard work and planning and he was enthusiastically supported by a large group of people who were convinced Stalin was creating a utopia, those people were Stalin wanted killed were in the way and so these people they were willing to work hard too. The world isn’t as fragile a thing that some twit can just wave his hand. With Trump all I see is a lazy, fussy old man who talks nothing but shit and whose imagined by his equally timid, old and fussy supporters as some hero on a white horse because they live in a fantasy world.

  103. 103
    rikyrah says:

    @Baud:

    @Kay: I’m confident society would know how to deal with it if a Dem president acting like this.

    THAT, is what you call an understatement.

  104. 104
    rikyrah says:

    @NotMax:

    Egyptian archeologists found this massive black sarcophagus — and no one knows what’s inside

    Archeologists think it has been sealed for more than 2,000 years Source

    Why does this creep me out?
    Like, just leave it alone…

  105. 105
    Lapassionara says:

    @Kay: The credit card debt Kavanaugh had until recently should be disqualifying. That is a sign of very poor judgment. Not to mention his far-right interpretation of the Constitution.

  106. 106
    rikyrah says:

    This makes no sense 😒😒

    Supreme Court nominee incurred tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt by purchasing baseball tickets, White House says https://t.co/0Q2fUaIzhg

    — Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 11, 2018

  107. 107
    Manyakitty says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Wow, what a stunning shot! You definitely have a talent for this stuff.

  108. 108
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    Don’t let the worst political team in the country at the NYTimes discourage you. There is a Dem base and there are a lot of us. Not everything is about the mighty Donald Trump and his MAGA’s.

    They rule the NYTimes world. Don’t let then rule yours. The SCOTUS pick isn’t a slam dunk for Dear Leader, despite what we’re being told. The assumption that a midterm that is about far Right judges benefits the far Right assumes the far Right is a majority. They’re not.

    Don’t give up. Just do what you can and ignore the narrative-setters. They’ve gone from announcing this is a “center Right country” to announcing it’s a far Right country. It’s not.

    TELL IT, KAY!!

  109. 109
    rikyrah says:

    Sigh..

    Left like a $2 Ho that didn’t even get the $2

    ………………………………..

    North Koreans Are No Show at Scheduled U.S. Talks
    July 12, 2018 at 7:49 am EDT

    North Korean officials didn’t show up for a planned meeting with U.S. counterparts to discuss returning the remains of American war dead… in the latest sign of tensions between the two sides, Bloomberg reports.

    U.S. negotiators arrived Thursday at the militarized border between the two Koreas as previously announced by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and were kept waiting,

  110. 110
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Nobel Peace Prize in Doubt!

  111. 111
    rikyrah says:

    GOP stunt to smear counter-intel expert Strzok ripe for backfire

    Rachel Maddow tells the story of the FBI spying on Russian spies in the U.S., “Donald Heathfield” and “Tracey Foley,” and notes the extensive biography of Peter Strzok, who led many of those operations – the same Peter Strzok that Republicans are trying to smear in order to discredit the Mueller investigation.

  112. 112
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    but it took a lot of hard work and planning

    To be as charitable as possible, what in the ever-loving fuck is your point here?

  113. 113
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Kay: Preach. FTFNYT.

  114. 114
    rikyrah says:

    Manafort judge not amused, orders move to new jail

    Rachel Maddow explains the story of former Donald Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort complaining about the location of his jail, getting the judge to agree to a move, withdrawing his request for a move, and now the judge, not interested in games, forcing the move anyway.

  115. 115
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kay: Last night I wasn’t tired yet when I’m usually tired and I ended up watching Brian Williams, though I’ve never been a fan. The sheer number of supposed experts with their supposed hot takes about how Trump does things to appeal to “his base”… breathtaking. Why does this matter? Why do we have to hear about it so much? Did any news producer or host ever think it was an interesting story to talk to Obama supporters during, say, the debut of the health insurance exchanges website and have them say “I still like Barack Obama”? I know that deep down the question they’re trying to get at is “but he’s such a fuckup, why does anyone still support him, let’s get some theories on this,” but it just. never. ends. Yes, he’s an idiot and idiots like him. Find a new angle.

  116. 116
    MomSense says:

    Listening to that Maddow story on Strzok. He swears like a jackal.

  117. 117
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Laughing at a would-be dictator can be devastating.

    Especially this one.

    Philip Rucker @ PhilipRucker
    At NATO dinner last night, Trump bragged about Kim Jong Un summit and said he called golfer Jack Nicklaus to say, “They have 1,000 cameras at the Oscars and we had 6,000 cameras in Singapore. The buzz was fantastic,” an attendee tells WaPo.

    So… Jack Nicklaus is still with us. I guess that’s nice.

  118. 118
    Brachiator says:

    So, Lying Trump is taking his manufactured victory lap. From CNN.

    President Donald Trump capped off his tumultuous two-day visit at NATO headquarters on Thursday by boldly declaring that all NATO members agreed to increase their defense spending after he told them he was “extremely unhappy.”

    His unscheduled news conference offered Trump’s signature touch for showmanship, but the US President came up empty when pressed to detail the new financial commitments he had secured, offering only that member countries “agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly” and pointing to spending increases over the last year.

    This tanks right up there next to his successful summit with North Korea which also accomplished nothing of real significance.

    The NATO meeting included scheduled items which everyone knew had to be dealt with, and were, but the only thing that made headlines was Trump’s tantrums, which is exactly what he wanted.

  119. 119
    rikyrah says:

    Azar’s HHS tempts judge’s wrath over botched reunifications

    Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, talks with Rachel Maddow about the struggle HHS Secretary Alex Azar is having overcoming an apparently broken system to meet a judge’s deadline for returning kids to families separated by Trump policy.

  120. 120
    rikyrah says:

    Trump sounds sour note at NATO summit, lack of eggs upsets Kelly

    Rachel Maddow reports on a White House explanation that Chief of Staff John Kelly’s apparent displeasure while Donald Trump was fustigating the bedrock of Western international security was actually because of his unhappiness with the breakfast menu.

  121. 121
    Steeplejack says:

    @Baud:

    There is no doubt that the U.S. is the richest country in the world. The problem is that all the money flows upward and pools in the Scrooge McDuck money bins of the 0.1 percent.

    And I bet “median” would tell a different story from “average” in Ritholtz’s graph. If the boys and I are having a drink at the local and Bill Gates pops in for a beer, nothing changes for us just because our average net worth is suddenly $10 billion or so.

  122. 122
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The sheer number of supposed experts with their supposed hot takes about how Trump does things to appeal to “his base”… breathtaking. Why does this matter?

    I was flipping around and kept flipping when I saw he had Parson Meecham (who to his partial credit does seem appalled by trump) and that strange young Jeremy Peters. I will say this for trump’s base and why they matter: They show up to vote.

    I know that deep down the question they’re trying to get at is “but he’s such a fuckup, why does anyone still support him, let’s get some theories on this,”

    theories that don’t involve racial resentment, because we mustn’t play the race card, and it’s never about race.

  123. 123
    Another Scott says:

    @opiejeanne: Indeed.

    It’s only by voting the monsters out that we’ll be able to start turning things around.

    Eyes on the prize!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  124. 124
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: I think Casey, of whom I am not a huge fan, showed “red state Dems” the way to oppose Kavanaugh, he’s the judge for people who think corporations are people, my friend! The Dem who can link Kavanaugh to this kind of shit will be doing the country a service (that’s basically Paul Ryan’s SuperPAC, btw)

    Matt Corley @ mcorley
    Super PAC that just raised $51 million, including $30 million from a single donor, thanks the top two Republicans in the House for their fundraising help. But don’t worry, the Supreme Court says there’s no corruption risk to unlimited contributions to “independent” groups.

  125. 125
    matryoshka says:

    Exclude the lies in this visit and what does he have to talk about? Nothing.

    That’s the thing with liars/narcissists. The only way you can take away their power is to refuse to entertain their fantasies and deal with them only when they agree to proceed from consensual reality. Macron made a good first step, just saying, “No, what he said about what we agreed upon is not true.”

  126. 126
    matryoshka says:

    Yes, he’s an idiot and idiots like him. Find a new angle.

    To be fair, they do often switch to the “how will Democrats respond to this latest assault on reason,” as though Democrats hold any power in government right now.

  127. 127
    rikyrah says:

    I simply don’t believe them.

    ………………………..

    Trump administration reunites 57 immigrant children with parents after missing court-imposed deadline
    Alan Gomez, USA TODAY Published 9:56 a.m. ET July 12, 2018

    The Trump administration claims it completed the first round of reunifications Thursday of families separated at the border, but it will be up to a federal judge to decide whether government officials moved fast enough to comply with his order.

    U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw imposed a series of deadlines for the administration to reunite nearly 3,000 children separated from their parents, mostly under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement policy. The first group, children under 5 years old, were supposed to be reunited with their parents by Tuesday.

    Sabraw made clear during a court hearing Tuesday that his deadlines were firm, and he raised the possibility of punishment for the government if those children were not reunited by the deadline “or within the immediate proximity” of it.

  128. 128
    stinger says:

    Washington Post: “Trump berates NATO allies and then asks them to double their defense spending goalsprovide a hot breakfast with bacon, eggs, hash browns, and choice of pancakes or waffles, not this frenchy pastries-and-cheese sissiness.”

  129. 129
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: How many European leaders does he think know who the hell Jack Nicklaus is? What a strange little movie plays in that guy’s head-hole.

  130. 130
    Zinsky says:

    President Clown Hair is a complete embarrassment to this country. The pink-scalped pervert lies or says something incredibly stupid every time he opens his disgusting pie hole. What a repulsive ignorant degenerate!

  131. 131
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Jeremy Peters looks like he was grown in a vat to be a media personality. He looks like late-in-the-series Jim Halpert from when he tried to get less immature, more professional.

  132. 132
    Platonailedit says:

    OT. What’s wrong with this pic?

    72 titles = 181 ranking

    5 titles = 13 ranking

  133. 133
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @matryoshka: @FlipYrWhig: Williams also piped up the other night with, “Where are the grown-ups? On both sides?”

  134. 134
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Brachiator:

    His unscheduled news conference offered Trump’s signature touch for showmanship, but the US President came up empty when pressed to detail the new financial commitments he had secured, offering only that member countries “agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly” and pointing to spending increases over the last year.

    Did he use the phrase “period of time”? That’s one of his tells for when he’s just making shit up. Of course he’s almost always just making shit up so there’s no shortage of tells, but when he says “period of time” that’s when we can tell he’s AWARE that he’s making shit up.

  135. 135
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: “We need politicians that everyday people relate to. Also we need grownups. Also we want a realistic down-to-earth show that’s completely off the wall and swarming with magic robots.”

  136. 136
    rikyrah says:

    US Navy now allows women to wear ponytails, lock hairstyles
    By JENNIFER McDERMOTT, Associated Press

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Navy says it will now allow servicewomen to sport ponytails and other hairstyles, reversing a policy that long forbade females from letting their hair down.

    Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said it makes the Navy more inclusive.

    Many black women had asked for changes to the female grooming standards. A female sailor, Yeoman First Class LaToya Jones, announced the new policy during a Facebook Live event Tuesday with Richardson. The new standards went into effect Wednesday.

    Lock hairstyles, or ropelike strands, are also now allowed. Wider hair buns too. And women can wear ponytails while in uniform.

    Capt. Thurraya Kent is the senior member of the working group that recommended the changes. The group told the Navy that adding grooming options would eliminate a distraction, be more inclusive of different hair textures and enable people to keep their hair natural instead of processing it chemically.

    Kent, who has been in the Navy for nearly 26 years, said her hair has been an issue throughout her career, whether it’s figuring out what to do with it while she’s deployed or trying to quickly make sure it conforms to regulations after exercising.

    She recalled being told to take out her braids early in her career even though her hairstyle was allowed.

  137. 137
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Platonailedit: What, was Stormy working in the southern Ohio/Indiana Klan territory? How can they not get laughed out of court? If it’s an indecency charge anyway.

  138. 138
    matryoshka says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Oh, FFS!!! Brian Williams is insufferable.

  139. 139
    Calouste says:

    @Platonailedit: Well, you don’t play, you don’t earn ranking points and you lose the ones you earned last year. That’s the way ranking in tennis has worked for the last 50 years or so.

  140. 140
    Brachiator says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Did he use the phrase “period of time”? That’s one of his tells for when he’s just making shit up. Of course he’s almost always just making shit up so there’s no shortage of tells, but when he says “period of time” that’s when we can tell he’s AWARE that he’s making shit up.

    As you say, he’s always making shit up. But this NATO thing has also long been one of his obsessions (or promises). It’s just at this point everything he does leads to victory. Also, note that he defends lies and distortions as standard negotiation tactics.

    “I told people that I’d be very unhappy if they didn’t up their financial commitments substantially,” Trump said when asked if he threatened to pull out of the alliance. “I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening, and they have now substantially upped their commitment.”

    Trump was asked specifically if he thought he could pull out of NATO without congressional approval and he said: “I think I probably can, but that is unnecessary. They have stepped up today like they have never stepped up before.”

    Despite tweeting “what good is NATO” the day before, Trump praised the alliance on Thursday.

    “I believe in NATO, I think NATO is a very important — probably the greatest ever done,” he said.

    Trump also sought to claim a victory in his news conference on Wednesday, defending his the hard-nose tactics he displayed at the summit, which included accusing Germany of being “totally controlled” and “a captive of Russia.”

    “I think it’s a very effective way to deal,” Trump said, before insisting that “everybody in that (NATO) room got along.”

    And of course, as Adam has noted, Trump is determined to make sure that everyone treats him fairly. Or else.

    Also, and it’s not just all of the MSM, there are media outlets, reporters, pundits, radio talk show hosts, who follow a playbook and play-up everything Trump does as a glowing triumph. It is soft propaganda that reinforces what these people can get from Fox on Sinclair outlets. There are a couple of hosts on Clear Channel stations out here in the Los Angeles market who bend over backwards to interpret everything that Trump does in a positive light, often by clearing ignoring facts and details.

  141. 141
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Brachiator: Right — I think he internalized that old saw about Reagan and how politics looks with the sound off, and the only thing he wants to have come out of these meetings is that he berated wussy foreigners because we’re America, dammit, and he’s Trump, dammit.

  142. 142
    stinger says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Gosh, that’s beautiful.

  143. 143
    Platonailedit says:

    @Calouste:

    I know how the system works. My point was how fucked up the system is where it promotes one shot wonders to the top rankings. Serena just proved it by going to the final in straight sets. Also. Too. All the ten ‘top seeds’ didn’t make it to the QF.

  144. 144
    Aleta says:

    “Everyone’s agreed to substantially up their commitment. They are going to up it at levels never thought of before.”

    NATO member nations committed in 2014 to spend 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense by 2024, though only eight countries will reach that goal this year. It was not immediately clear what specific new commitments were made here. Trump said that leaders responded to his demands by agreeing to reach the 2 percent goal soon.

    “Ultimately, that will be going up quite a bit higher than that,” Trump said at the news conference, after privately calling Wednesday on leaders to double their commitments to 4 percent of gross domestic product.

    An official who was in the closed-door session said German Chancellor Angela Merkel recommitted to meeting the NATO goal of 2 percent spending by 2024 — an increase from Germany’s current plan of 1.5 percent by that date. But that was nothing more than a restatement of Germany’s existing pledge, and there may be considerable wiggle room for leaders to do nothing new, many officials said. Leaders explained to Trump that they could not make firm commitments inside the closed meeting, since most of them needed parliamentary consent to expand budgets.

    In a news conference afterward, Merkel did not announce any new pledges but said that “there was a clear commitment to NATO by all.”

    She said that the meeting was a continuation of what has been discussed for months.

    As Trump rattles NATO, 42 percent of Germans now want U.S. troops out of the country

  145. 145
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    Egyptian archeologists found this massive black sarcophagus — and no one knows what’s inside

    Put it back put it back! They’ve found Apocalypse!

  146. 146
    Shana says:

    @tobie: Good for you. You’ll meet local dems and not feel so alone, get ideas of what to do between now and Election Day, and actually have a focus of activity instead of the impotent rage so many of us feel.

    To piggy-back on the Ontario Woman post from earlier: I have a dark gray/almost black sedan of the same model as lots of other cars in my area. I have 3 Democratic bumper stickers on the back, only partly to help me identify MY car from all the others. Yesterday at the grocery store a woman said she liked my stickers and volunteered that for many years she had worked in the White House answering mail but quit when Trump was elected because she knew she wouldn’t be able to work in his White House. I got the impression she had worked for more than just the Obama years. She was looking to get involved in helping Jennifer Wexton defeat Barbara Comstock so I told her to visit the local Dem’s website, gave her the address and said there would be canvassing every weekend between now and November. That’s the other reason I keep the bumper stickers.

  147. 147
    The Lodger says:

    @Aleta: “I upped my commitment… up yours!”

  148. 148
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    That’s a part of the reason for the lying. He can’t control the situation that his lying stupidity creates without more lying. It’s a horrible record, playing on a really crappy, broken record player, through the worst amp/speakers, over and over again.

Comments are closed.