Doesn’t That Make us Mercenaries?

Cheeto Benito’s latest brainstorm:

For years, President Donald Trump has complained that countries hosting American troops aren’t paying enough. Now he wants to get even, and then some.

Under White House direction, the administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting U.S. troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil — plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them, according to a dozen administration officials and people briefed on the matter.

In some cases, nations hosting American forces could be asked to pay five to six times as much as they do now under the “Cost Plus 50” formula.

Trump has championed the idea for months. His insistence on it almost derailed recent talks with South Korea over the status of 28,000 U.S. troops in the country when he overruled his negotiators with a note to National Security Adviser John Bolton saying, “We want cost plus 50.”

This guy.

134 replies
  1. 1

    it’s a fucking shakedown.

    it’s extortion.

    and he’s intentionally going to make NATO countries kick us out at a time Eastern Europe is most vulnerable to Putin’s scheming.

  2. 2

    oh jesus christ the ad banner is offering a “Win a Date With Trump” thing. /vomit

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Absolutely ridiculous

  4. 4
    waspuppet says:

    Gee that might lead to some countries deciding they don’t want US troops. I can’t imagine whom that might benefit.

    He really can’t conceive that anything in the order of the world in the past 70 years was done for a reason.

  5. 5
    Raoul Paste says:

    Again, imagine if Obama had done this- it would be 24/7 nonstop outrage from every Republican who could get on TV

  6. 6
    JaySinWA says:

    Exacting tribute.

  7. 7
    Just One More Canuck says:

    “Tell your friends I don’t want a lot. Just enough to wet my beak”

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    “Nice little country you’ve got there. Shame if anything happened to it. By the way, have you met my pal Vlad?”

  9. 9
    Wapiti says:

    I was in Germany around the post-Cold War drawdown. We turned a lot of bases over to Germany. The catch was that they were most old pre-WWII German bases. We sought reimbursements for the capital improvements, and got a reasonable amount of that back. But we never “owned” the bases.

    If we pull the troops out of Germany, for example, where are we going to base them? How much is that going to cost? How less responsive will we be in future conflicts?

    I expect Sen Graham will be giving Trump a tongue bath shortly.

  10. 10
    Annie says:

    This is really stupid. Trump of all people should understand that whoever pays for something is in control of it, and that if other countries pay for our troops we will not control their use.

  11. 11
    mrmoshpotato says:

    “for the privilege of hosting them”

    Can FDR, Truman and Ike rise from their graves just to beat the orange off this Soviet shitpile’s face?

  12. 12
    randy khan says:

    It’s as if he’s consciously trying to reduce U.S. power everywhere around the world.

    But, honestly, I think he’s just that stupid.

  13. 13
    Royston Vasey says:

    There are two U.S. military bases in New Zealand.
    The largest is at Harewood Airport, Christchurch, where under the cover of the U.S. Antarctic Research Programme, the military maintains a general purpose Naval depot, an Air Force Military Airlift Command Base, and a Naval Communications Unit (part of which is situated at RNZAF base, Weedons).

    At University of Canterbury Mount John Observatory (Tekapo, Canterbury) there are 6 telescopes including the US Air Force’s Satellite Tracking Station. The operations base for Mt John is at Washdyke, near Timaru.

    Will the NZ government charge the US more for these bases?
    Nah. The Antarctic flights are handy for the NZ base down there, and the tracking station is handy for Five Eyes.

  14. 14
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @randy khan:

    But, honestly, I think he’s just that stupid.

    Agree, this is the kind of petty thinking of a hotel manager “charging for toilet paper was brilliant and why do the customers keep wiping their backsides on the room drapes?”

  15. 15

    If you see Orange man’s actions through the lens of what would Putin do, they make perfect sense. His every action undermines what America stands for.

  16. 16
    kindness says:

    Trump….damn what a chump the man is. The US will never have the image we had with the rest of the world ever again. They now see all it takes is one crazy to tear the whole thing down.

    It’s time to start taking power away from the Executive Branch.

  17. 17
    Mary G says:

    Oh, for fuck’s sake.

  18. 18
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    This is really stupid. Trump

    Could have stopped right there.

  19. 19
    jl says:

    Good, and sobering, to remember that Trump has thought this way for decades. You can watch old clips from the 1980s and 1990s with Trump talking in this direction. So, problem is that even if the Putin as sugar daddy or extortionist angle fades, Trump will still think outrageous and dangerous nonsense like this is pure genius Art of the Deal gold.

    Down deep in the marrow of his bones, Trump is a general purpose bigot and a two-bit short-sided incompetent swindler. He’s only gotten by for so long without going to jail because the big money he inherited has protected him.

  20. 20
    Martin says:

    Well, that’s a new take on the military industrial complex. Ike didn’t warn us some jackass would turn it into a for-profit venture.

  21. 21
    Jharp says:

    Trump’s base will think he’s being clever and will eat this shit up.

    Trump will be gone soon but the fucking morons who put him into office and the scum who covers for him will be with us for a long time.

    And what to do about that I have no idea.

  22. 22
    jl says:

    I wonder how Trump chose the 50 percent mark-up over cost? Maybe the mark-up for foreign dignitaries using his hospitality properties is only 45 percent, so he thinks it will get him out of emolument clause problems?

  23. 23
    SFAW says:

    One day.

    Just one fucking day where I don’t get bombarded with the endless flow of shit and stupidity from the Traitor-in-Chief. I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

    Fucking McConnell, this is almost as much his fault as Putin’s and The Traitor’s. Yet another piece of proof that there is no such thing as a Just God.

  24. 24
    Gravenstone says:


    Good, and sobering, to remember that Trump has thought this way for decades.

    A useful reminder, and perhaps an aspect of what caught the eye of whatever Soviet agent that sought to co-opt him back in the day (maybe successfully). A loud voice seeking to make our continued presence in Europe much less palatable to our various allies there would have been a welcome tool to add to the collection, no matter how unlikely it would have been to find success.

  25. 25
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Give the wealthy billions of dollars worth of tax cuts that they don’t need and then lean hard on our allies to pay for the “privilege” of hosting our troops. Sounds like something only a stable genius with a great brain could come up with.

  26. 26
    Ryan says:

    Hey, why not take it even further. US states host a lot of military bases. Why shouldn’t we make them pay up too? So odd to see a legitimate businessman like Trump suggest what looks like a protection racket.

  27. 27
    jl says:

    @Jharp: No, Trump really believes this kind of crap is smart, and has for decades. Even Trump has enough brain cells to understand Wall is a stupid waste, and resisted making it a campaign pledge until he heard the rousing cheers himself at his rallies.

    But Trump really believes this kind of extortion is pure genius, in addition to thinking it will play well with his base.

  28. 28
    rikyrah says:


    Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) Tweeted:
    A Trump official said seismic air gun tests don’t hurt whales. So Rep. Joe Cunningham blasted him with an air horn.

  29. 29
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @SFAW: F’n McConnell is packing the courts with lifetime appointed hard right Judges like Ellis. That’s why he kneels before Trump.

  30. 30
    J R in WV says:

    As if that 50% surcharge would go into Trump’s pockets~!!!~?? Or puts a dent in the military budgets~!!~

    He is such a shithead!

    Every day he commits a new atrocity, and yet McConnell still licks his ass clean on a daily basis.

    ETA: Please, Mr Mueller, can we please have a few new indictments for Friday, Please!?!? Just a tiny bit more, please!?!

  31. 31
    Kdaug says:

    Or parasites. Your call

  32. 32


    If we pull the troops out of Germany, for example, where are we going to base them? How much is that going to cost? How less responsive will we be in future conflicts?

    If we were doing this for an actually good reason, the answer would be that we would shrink the size of our active armed forces. We’d keep our existing bases here in the US, and move the troops coming back from overseas (or an equivalent number of troops currently based here in the US) to the reserves. It would probably be cheaper, but at the cost of considerably slower response in the event of a future conflict. Of course since we were doing this for a good reason in this hypothetical, we would only do it if we were convinced the slower response wasn’t likely to be a serious problem.

  33. 33
    Emerald says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I am going to write an extreme thing: I do truly believe that he is an actual, witting Russian asset (not a spy–he isn’t bright enough to be a real spy). He is there to do Putin’s biding, for money, because he doesn’t have any real money of his own and Russia is the only thing propping him up financially.

    And I’m betting our intelligence community knows it, has known it from the start and is doing what they can to keep major secrets from him.

    If I’m right, then the intelligence community is going to have to make it public sometime soon, politics be damned. Because he is destroying our position in the world as fast as he can.

  34. 34
    Humdog says:

    When our soldiers are injured in the Middle East, they are sent to Germany after they are patched up. How many troops will not survive the extra 5 hour flight to US hospitals?

    Check the fine print. Do the hosting countries make payment to the US Treasury or to Shitstain himself?

  35. 35
    SFAW says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    F’n McConnell is packing the courts with lifetime appointed hard right Judges like Ellis. That’s why he kneels before Trump.

    Yeah, I know.

    I’ve never been one to talk about tumbrels, etc., but I’m starting to move to the dark side on that for Traitor Turtle.

  36. 36
    SFAW says:


    I do truly believe that he is an actual, witting Russian asset

    Unfortunately, far too much of his base is OK with that. “Better than him being a Demon-rat.”

    It only took two years for that fucker to destroy what it took the US 80 years to build. [Yes, I know the Party of Traitors has been working on this since Nixon.]

  37. 37
    Eljai says:

    I’m reminded of that jellyfish article John linked to yesterday that informed me that regular jellyfish eat food and expel waste through the same opening. Trump is kind of like a jellyfish. It’s as if his ideas go in and out through the same poopshute.

  38. 38
    trollhattan says:

    C’mon now, this is the same as Lend-lease except for all of it.

  39. 39
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @randy khan:

    But, honestly, I think he’s just that stupid.

    Nope. Vlad’s orders. Needy Amin is his useful idiot.

    We are so fucking fucked.

  40. 40
    PJ says:

    @Emerald: I also agree that Trump is a knowing and complicit asset. That’s the only reason for those private meetings he has with Putin. (Not to mention everything else we know about Trump and the Russians.)

    But turning our alliances into a protection racket is consistent with his business ethos – squeeze or cheat your partners until they can’t or won’t give anymore, and when the venture goes belly up, declare victory (bankruptcy) and move on. The bigger problem is that it’s now US alliances and goodwill that he is busting out.

  41. 41
    mrmoshpotato says:


    legitimate businessman

    I’m either missing the sarcastic tone, or you horribly misspelled “mobster.”

  42. 42
    Boussinesque says:

    @rikyrah: someone in the comments there is calling “bullshit” on another comment that the seismic pulses are 16000x louder than the air horn, because the loudest sound ever reported was 200dB, or something. Apparently this is not someone that understands logarithmic scales…or much of anything else, most likely. XD

  43. 43
    Hoodie says:

    So I guess that guests in Trump hotels get paid to stay there. This is so stupid, he has to be a Russian asset.

  44. 44
    Aleta says:

    Thank you for that. And the other things you post.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @mrmoshpotato: THIS

  46. 46
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @PaulWartenberg: Shakedowns ad extortion are his business skills, to the extent that he has any. How convenient that it just happens to make Russian expansion westward a bit eaiser? Coincidentally, of course

  47. 47
    Mike in NC says:

    Trump has mobster genes and really can’t do anything honest or moral.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Wapiti: It goes beyond even that. The uniformed and civilian personnel will still have to be paid – salaries, benefits – and in the case of the uniformed personnel have housing, food, clothing, gear, etc still provided. This isn’t going to actually save any money, in fact if they were all pulled back and garrisoned in the US, it would actually cost money because right now our allies and partners are actually paying part of the costs. Garrisoning these personnel back in the US means that we pay all the costs. And that doesn’t even count the costs of relocation, which will be huge.

  49. 49
    Aleta says:

    plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them

    And to market it they chose a slogan? “Cost Plus 50”

    It’s horrible that he’s this ignorant, but then he mixes up this ignorance with some yeast to envelop his TV viewers with ignorance too.

    Will we increase our liability for damages to their soil and for spilled pollutants? Will the host country now receive the automatic right to prosecute crimes by our servicemen and to force us to pay for clean up of toxins? To their standards not ours?

    Can they break the contract if they are not receiving promised value for their money? Has he considered the localities that have been opposed to hosting our bases for 30-40 years (in places we insist we need them) and would love to see them go? This will increase the protests and ill will there.

    Will he now pay countries each time we use a wider area than the bases there, to do our training exercises and weapons research ?

  50. 50
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: I have tears running down my face after watching that video.

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    The Trump Doctrine!

  52. 52
    Mike in DC says:

    I consider this proposal, if implemented, an impeachable offense that could be charged against the president. It would immeasurably damage our relationship with many of our closest allies, and immeasurably strengthen our strategic competitors.

  53. 53
    Citizen Alan says:

    At this point, I consider Trump supporters to be as bad as the 9/11 hijackers. Possibly worse.

  54. 54
    Mike J says:


    If we pull the troops out of Germany, for example, where are we going to base them? How much is that going to cost? How less responsive will we be in future conflicts?

    Where do we send the troops wounded in Iraq?

    The primary reason to have troops in Germany is no longer to plug the Fulda gap. It’s to project power other places.

  55. 55
    Redshift says:

    @PJ: He is also incapable of thinking that any arrangement could have benefits other than purely monetary ones. So no matter how much the US benefits from stronger alliances and greater stability, to give just a couple of examples, from having troops based around the world, in his mind, if it’s costing us money, we’re suckers.

    It’s slightly less obvious than his insane belief that trade surplus/deficit is the same thing as profit/loss, but not much less.

  56. 56
    WaterGirl says:

    I am thinking of the first debate Barack Obama had with Mitt Romney. President Obama did not fare all that well in that debate — he simply wasn’t prepared for the constant stream of lies that came out of Romney’s mouth. Barack just couldn’t see to get his footing in that debate.

    In the same way, our democracy was and is simply unprepared for an actual, witting Russian asset, acting right out in the open, daring us to call it what it is and try to stop him. Our institutions do not seem to be up to the task.

    Trump is lighting fire after fire and norms and protections are going up in smoke and we are simply not up for the task of dealing with it in real time.

  57. 57
    Bill Arnold says:


    Party of Traitors

    I prefer the “Destroy America Party” (H/T burnspbesq circa 2010)
    Have never worked it into a F2F conversation with a wingnut but am increasingly tempted.
    And yeah, this usage emerged in the American RW Hive Mind, late to the game, with respect to the Democratic Party, in 2018.
    (I used it here in 2017; not indexed by google though.)

  58. 58
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I knew Adam would know exactly why this is such a stupid idea: it will cost more to bring these personnel back home than to have them hosted in the other countries. The press is going to report this as a tRump cost saving idea without digging deep enough to discover it will cost more that it does now because those countries are currently helping pay the hosting costs! I wonder if they will bother to report that the idiot in chief is going to take money from military salaries and pension funds for Wall?

    Here’s my main (rhetorical) question: how come I know these things, courtesy of the Front Pagers and the people who post here, and professional, salaried journalists just can’t seem to catch a clue?

  59. 59
    NotMax says:

    Bizarro Sun Tzu.

  60. 60
    matt says:

    Putin’s ROI is through the roof!

  61. 61
    Mary G says:

    @rikyrah: I like these new impolite Democrats.

  62. 62
    Lapassionara says:

    @rikyrah: Rep. Joe Cunningham sits in Mark Sanford’s old seat. Sanford was insufficiently nutty, so he lost in the Republican primary. Result? Flipped seat, from reliable GOP to dem.

  63. 63
    Raven says:

    Unass them mofo’s.

  64. 64
    jl says:

    @StringOnAStick: professional, salaried journalists just can’t seem to catch a clue?

    Because their very fat salaries, very cush perks (including hob nobbing with other rich people) depend on them getting mindless ratings and clicks, and pleasing their corporate sponsors and funders.

    The saying has been going around a lot that goes like ‘it is hard to make a person understand something when their paycheck depends on them not understanding it.” that is the case with our international disgrace (at least for comparable democracies) of a national affairs press and media news corps.

  65. 65
    Raven says:

    @Adam L Silverman:BRACK and RIF.

  66. 66
    chopper says:

    so when host countries say ‘fuck it’ and kick us out, what about these career military? are they coming home and what, getting ‘laid off’? or are we just building more infrastructure here and more bases for…what, exactly?

    accepting the argument that we have too many overseas bases and men and women staffing them, this is an absolutely pants-on-head crazy-ape bonkers way of trying to fix that problem.

  67. 67
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @NotMax: Sun Tzu with a goatee?

    And that is just about the extent of my Star Trek knowledge.

  68. 68
    stan says:

    I, for one, look forward to the cool new branch insignia we’ll be seeing on Fiance Corps personnel. Maybe a Euro symbol with “+50” on a scroll over it? I’d polish THAT brass…..

  69. 69
    Mary G says:

    Here is another excellent move by Democrats:

    Every House Dem just supported #ForThePeople, most sweeping electoral reform leg since 60s. Every House D voted to overturn Trump's emergency. All but 2 voted for universal background checks. There's a left that wants more, but this metro-based party is far > united than 09/10— Ronald Brownstein (@RonBrownstein) March 8, 2019

    Stick that in your “Dems in disarray” story, why doncha, FTFNYT?

  70. 70


    He’s only gotten by for so long without going to jail because the big money he inherited has protected him.

    More likely it’s his mob ties that protected him.


    Ike didn’t warn us some jackass would turn it into a for-profit venture.

    Obviously that Ike fella lacked vision. //

  71. 71
    Miss Bianca says:

    Damn. Didn’t Adam predict this move?

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @StringOnAStick: I’m not really sure the news media, outside of Fox, Sinclair, NY Post, WSJ editorial page, and the right wing digital publications, are going to cover this favorably. I would put good money that the leak on this came from the DOD side. Specifically to get it out as quickly as possible to ensure that pressure builds in Congress to prevent it. The official US policy for the US military is that it is expeditionary. That specifically means that it is both based and operating around the world to shape the operating environment to prevent the need to fight and when that fails to shape the operating environment in order to win. Hence the former 3 term shorthand of Shape, Fight, Win. Which was itself often misunderstood, because people can’t be bothered to listen, that we shape, then we fight, then we win. This is not the accurate description, the one I provided is.

    You cannot be effectively expeditionary if all of your personnel are garrisoned in the US. For instance, having to base AFRICOM and the subordinate Service Component Command headquarters for it (US Army Africa, US Air Force Africa, US Navy Africa, and Special Operations Command Africa) in Europe and not in Africa actually makes it harder for us to partner effectively with our African partners. It also makes it harder to respond to issues that need our immediate attention on the continent. Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti is nice, but it isn’t the same as having the AFRICOM headquarters in one country in Africa and then each of the Service Component Commands headquartered in other countries, and some subordinate units headquartered in even more countries. This would allow us to use the military to apply the diplomatic, economic, and information forms of power in our relations with our partners and hosts. We’d have more US uniformed and civilian personnel meeting, interacting, socializing, living among, and spending money with people in these states and societies. This is a huge soft power force multiplier, if you will, that the US is not actually using right now because we couldn’t get African countries to serve as hosts for AFRICOM and its subordinate commands. But when there’s an emergency like at Benghazi, it is also nearly impossible to respond effectively. Even if the US Army Africa Commander, or the SOC-Africa Commander, had personnel sitting on the tarmac in birds that were warmed up and ready to go, there was no way to get anyone from US Army Africa’s quick response brigade from Italy to Libya in time to do anything. Same with trying to get SEALs from Rota in Spain. Would we definitely been able to get the cavalry over the rise in time if AFRICOM and its subordinate commands were actually headquartered and garrisoned in different African countries? Probably not. But they would have been a hell of a lot closer and better able to respond if they were.

  73. 73
    B.B.A. says:

    wtf I love imperalism and spending twice as much as all the world’s other militaries now

    …seriously, I think we ought to look into closing those foreign bases, but because the military-industrial complex is a vampire squid sucking up resources that could better go towards poverty reduction and guillotines. Shaking down our allies is just perverse.

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Raven: If you want to see members of Congress actually get into fist fights, sure.

  75. 75
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    And the resentful, spiteful, nitwits that make up his base will think that this is the greatest thing ever. We are so fucked by this ignorant boob. But hey, he is doing what his boss, Putin, orders, so there’s that.

    Japan will take this as an opportunity to get Okinawa back in their own hands. A sizable portion of the Japanese want the US troops out of the country.

    Making America Weak Again.

  76. 76
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Sun Tzu is traditionally depicted with the Chinese version of a van dyke beard.

  77. 77
    p.a. says:

    I’m imagining a room full of Smithers look-alikes chanting “Great idea boss” in unison.

  78. 78
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Actually it was Giuliani who protected him (among others).

    Rudy and Donald first got together in the late 1980s shortly before Donald became a co-chair of Giuliani’s first fundraiser for his 1989 mayoral campaign, sitting on the Waldorf dais and steering $41,000 to the campaign. A year earlier, Tony Lombardi, the federal agent closest to then-U.S. Attorney Giuliani, opened a probe of Trump’s role in the suspect sale of two Trump Tower apartments to Robert Hopkins, the mob-connected head of the city’s largest gambling ring.

    Trump attended the closing himself and Hopkins arrived with a briefcase loaded with up to $200,000 in cash, a deposit the soon-to-felon counted at the table. Despite Hopkins’ wholesale lack of verifiable income or assets, he got a loan from a Jersey bank that did business with Trump’s casino. A Trump limo delivered the cash to the bank.

    The government subsequently nailed Hopkins’ mortgage broker, Frank LaMagra, on an unrelated charge and he offered to give up Donald, claiming Trump “participated” in the money-laundering — and volunteering to wear a wire on him.

    Instead, Lombardi, who discussed the case with Giuliani personally (and with me for a 1993 Village Voice piece called “The Case of the Missing Case”), went straight to Donald for two hour-long interviews with him. Within weeks of the interviews, Donald announced he’d raise $2 million in a half hour if Rudy ran for mayor. Lamagra got no deal and was convicted, as was his mob associate, Louis (Louie HaHa) Attanasio, who was later also nailed for seven underworld murders. Hopkins was convicted of running his gambling operation partly out of the Trump Tower apartment, where he was arrested.

    Lombardi — who expected a top appointment in a Giuliani mayoralty, conducted several other probes directly tied to Giuliani political opponents, and testified later that “every day I came to work I went to Mr. Giuliani to seek out what duties I needed to perform” — closed the Trump investigation without even giving it a case number. That meant that New Jersey gaming authorities would never know it existed.

    It’s hard to watch Giuliani invoke his 14-year history as a federal prosecutor when he calls for Clinton’s prosecution and square it with the seedy launch of his own relationship with Trump.

    Much more at the link.

  79. 79
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    When I was stationed in Spandahlem and Bitburg, Germany, and Aviano, Italy, there were plenty of Germans and Italians who couldn’t wait for us to be gone. In Aviano, our hot dog pilots that cut the cable on a gondola killing a bunch of skiers didn’t convert many Italians into friends either. There are plenty of Europeans who would like to see us gone. Putin wins! Yay!

  80. 80
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: Most recently – like the week before and of the summit in Vietnam – I indicated I was very worried that he’d remove US Forces Korea from the ROK as a way to entice Kim into giving him something, anything he could claim as a win.

    But in general, yes, I’ve been talking about this here since I did that first Trump Doctrine piece back in late spring/early summer of 2016.

  81. 81
    trollhattan says:

    @Citizen Alan:
    Next you know they’ll ban women drivers.

  82. 82
    cmorenc says:

    This is an instance of “everything Trump touches dies or turns to shit”, with the key distinction that in this particular arena, Trump is arrogantly, ignorantly, trashing the pillars of US security not just Obama, but every Administration since Truman, Republican or Democrat, has carefully and thoughtfully and diplomatically built up. We have an ignorant, narcissistic fool in charge.

  83. 83
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    Rhine-Main airbase near Frankfurt (one of the world’s biggest airports and military facilities) and the accompanying hospitals are the destination for our wounded soldiers from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa so that they can get the best, advance care as soon as possible, increasing chances of survival and preserving limbs. Trump’s bone spurs prevented any military involvement, so I suppose he wouldn’t know that and his ignorant selfishness means he wouldn’t want to know any of that. He is willfully ignorant. Republicans do not care about our soldiers.

  84. 84

    @Adam L Silverman: I was aware of that, but you yourself have pointed out that the reason folk kept dealing with Trump is his and his father’s mob ties.

  85. 85
    FlipYrWhig says:

    This is basically the only “policy” “idea” he has ever actually thought about. This time, he actually cares. He thinks it matters and that it’s brilliant.

    He is such a stupid fuck on every possible level of every possible thing. He may be the single biggest dumbfuck who has ever been a public figure in all of human history.

  86. 86
    Aleta says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Trump started talk about this in 2016 and earlier, as campaign rhetoric.
    April 2016 in Foreign Policy
    May 2016 in Japan Times
    and again in the beginning months of 2017.

    Stir up resentment that the US is treated unfairly and promise he’ll fix that.

  87. 87
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mike in Pasadena: You know he’ll just say, “Well, if it’s really all that important, they’ll pay up.”

  88. 88
    hueyplong says:

    @cmorenc: Makes sense. Trump wants to undo everything Obama did, and Obama was a stable person operating a stable foreign policy. Can’t have that.

    And if everything trump touches dies or turns to shit, can we please see that effect on Yertle soon?

  89. 89

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I was very worried that he’d remove US Forces Korea from the ROK as a way to entice Kim into giving him something, anything he could claim as a win.

    So he’s going to do it anyway and get nothing from KJU, stable genius indeed.

  90. 90
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    to entice Kim into giving him something, anything he could claim as a win

    The only thing he might get is Grandma Kim’s super secret recipe for kimchi, and the chances of that are significantly less than 50/50.

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: That is also true. A very effective, now in its fourth generation, money laundry.

  92. 92
    hueyplong says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Louis Gohmert is holding on line 2 and he seems agitated.

  93. 93
    Archon says:

    From what I remember 50 percent above costs for stationing troops was the “deal” Germany gave France in 1940.

  94. 94

    @hueyplong: Who cast aspersions on his asparagus?

  95. 95
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @hueyplong: Gohmert is stupid but his stupidity-to-influence ratio can’t possibly match Trump’s. And even the worst dictators and corrupt potentates you can name had SOME brainpower, SOME talent for SOMETHING. Not Trump. He’s just fucking stupid AND a rampaging egotist to boot. Never before has someone so important been so proud of so little.

  96. 96
  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: As I’ve written repeatedly, the President is someone who thinks he knows the price of everything, but really knows the value of nothing. And he doesn’t even know the price of anything either.

  98. 98
    KSinMA says:

    @rikyrah: I love this guy!

  99. 99
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Oh I get it, countries who’se leader that just happened to donate to the Trump Foundation will get an exemption from the Cost Plus 50 program. Like how Japan bought off Trump with a hamburger. So Trump is fishing for spare change as always.

  100. 100
    hueyplong says:

    @FlipYrWhig: True, if a bit Churchillian.

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  102. 102
    jl says:

    Just in case the extortion angle wasn’t clear enough in the Trumpster ‘cost plus 50’ slogan, the story says that DOD was also asked to work out formulas for ‘good behavior discounts’ (story’s, and apparently Trumperts’ exact words, not mine) based on how closely individual countries align their foreign policies with ours.


    I assume this crap would have to get through Congress, so won’t happen.

  103. 103
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @FlipYrWhig: In the case of Rhine-Main air base, it is important to US soldiers. Not as important to lots of Germans. I would think that the parents of soldiers injured in combat might consider it important that their sons and daughters have a chance to survive or to keep legs or arms. Parents might like their adult children with head injuries be able to see or talk when discharged from the military. Maybe not. Maybe I don’t understand parents. My mistake.

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    Miss Bianca says:

    @rikyrah: OMG. I should not be laughing my ass off…but I am laughing my ass off!

    “Gentlemen, this means WAR!”

  105. 105
    noncarborundum says:


    The saying has been going around a lot that goes like ‘it is hard to make a person understand something when their paycheck depends on them not understanding it.”

    Upton Sinclair is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.

  106. 106
    dmbeaster says:

    Oh, and even though you are paying us, you still have no say concerning policy, your own defense or what we do with those troops. Just be glad we are “protecting” you.

    Its a classic mob protection racket.

  107. 107
    Wapiti says:

    @Mike in Pasadena: When I was working with the facility engineers on turning back bases, there was a lot of German sentiment that it would be just fine if the GIs left. Then they realized that after the GIs left, the German government intended to use the old troop housing for refugees. “Please stay, GIs”.

    On the other hand, some communities, like around the Grafenwoer area, realized from the start that a good number of their people had jobs with the US Army in an area that would otherwise be a depressed rural zone. They were happy that the US wanted to keep the training area open.

  108. 108
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    “I’ll be as quick as I can, as quick as it takes to kill somebody I guess.”

    I adore her (first seen earlier this afternoon at Yr Wonket. )

    Loved the part where she was in full-bore righteousness and that stupid old white dude next to her was trying to get her to shut up and she was having none of it:

    SOWD: Senator….

    Awesome Kickass Ms. Stephanie: SENATOR SHIT!

    I don’t for one second suggest that our own ABL Imani Gandy needs any lessons from anybody on how to be angry, or black, or a lady; but I hope she sees this kickass video and shares it far and wide.

    (I also cherish a fond hope that Michelle Obama saw this and pumped her fist hard enough to break the air.)

  109. 109
    Bill Arnold says:


    ‘good behavior discounts’

    Shit, I hadn’t read the linked Bloomberg piece yet. This will genuinely piss off a lot of our allies.

    Good Behavior Discount
    Current and former administration officials briefed on the idea, who asked not to be identified discussing the program, describe it as far more advanced than is publicly known. As well as seeking more money, the administration wants to use it as a way to exert leverage on countries to do what the U.S. demands overseas.
    As evidence, they say officials at the Pentagon have been asked to calculate two formulas: One would determine how much money countries such as Germany ought to be asked to pay. The second would determine the discount those countries would get if their policies align closely with the U.S.

    (I now always include a byline since google is a thing: Nick Wadhams and Jennifer Jacobs, 2019/03/18)

  110. 110
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    That is great! I’ll have to learn more about this guy — I like what I’m seeing.

  111. 111
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Notice the complete vacuum of Republican leadership on all this shit. Where are the Bush administration officials? The Never-Trumpers? Where is Mitt Romney? Heard there was a little midnight yearbook burning up your ways, Mitt. Oh, and where in the world is Rob (serial wife-beater) Porter?

    The moderate Republicans that weren’t run out of the party just fucking quit. The others are too afraid to speak. This is what passes as leadership in your modern GOP.

  112. 112
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Upton Sinclair is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.


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    Aleta says:

    The funny thing is, the Heritage Fdn wants overseas bases to stay, at least in Europe. I don’t know what they’ve said recently about Asia, but during the 2016 campaign I believe they were pro-bases in Asia too.

    Since the HF has dictated to Trump about things like judges and taxes, and they still say our alliances w/ ROK and Japan are among our 5-6 most important defense alliances in Asia, it makes me wonder if T is not serious (truthful) about closings. Just thinks he can press countries for a little more money. Ask for too much $ to start + a threat; then if he gets a little bit more, call it a campaign promise kept.

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    jl says:

    @Aleta: I read a few stories from different sources. Still don’t know if executive can do this on its own or needs Congress.

  115. 115
    Aleta says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I remember that. Interesting to look back. Here’s how the Brookings Inst. analyzed that speech:

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    Ruckus says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:
    You have, with one short sentence, defined trump.

  117. 117
    Ruckus says:

    I agree with you. They didn’t just purchase trump just for the dysfunction he’d spread. They purchased him as an asset. And are deploying him both ways, dysfunction and asset. I’ve said all along that if you take what he owe against what assets are in his name, I’d bet he’s worth doodly squat. Sure on paper he may be worth over a billion, but in the real world he can’t get a loan except from one branch of DB, the same branch that a lot of russian money people also have accounts in. There is something wrong with this picture, especially with where he’s sitting. And why.

  118. 118
    Aleta says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Do you happen to remember when Trump first started talking about NATO being obsolete and that we should end our participation?

    As you mentioned in your post about the April 2016 speech, at that time he said that other countries should increase the % they pay.

    It was a change. I remember he’d run into a lot of opposition from Ds and Rs about his earlier statements on pulling out Nato. So whoever wrote his speech must have told him he needed to change that extreme position.

    Just wondering how early it was when he first started talking about taking us out of NATO. Was it before he’d announced he was running?

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    Jay says:


    Upton spent chapter after chapter writing about the feudal working conditions, but the only chapter America paid attention to was the rotten meat chapter.

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    smintheus says:

    @Mike in Pasadena: I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Putin wins under Trump’s idiotic policy. I think there’s a very large chance that Putin ‘suggested’ it to Trump with the realization that it would undermine NATO at a minimum, without costing Russia a thing.

  121. 121
    Jay says:


    “Just wondering how early it was when he first started talking about taking us out of NATO. Was it before he’d announced he was running?”

    1978, when he returned from his first trip to the Soviet Union.

  122. 122
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Aleta: He took out full page ads in The NY Times and The Washington Post in 1987 trashing the official US policy of working with allies and partners and calling for the US, and specifically the Reagan administration, to start charging them for protection. I think I linked to a pic of the ad in that post. This was right after he got back from his first trip to the USSR, which was arranged by Roger Stone.

  123. 123
    Adria McDowell says:

    @Mike in Pasadena: Rhein Main AFB closed in 2005. Ramstein AFB near Kaiserslautern is the big AFB in Germany now. Also, IIRC, Landstuhl Medical Center is a big source of donated organs for Germany. Closing it would have consequences beyond injured American service members.

  124. 124
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Given how tres difficile it has been for anyone to pound real facts and information into Dolt 45’s anemic brain and get it to stick,

    no matter how far they dumb it down to colouring book level, childrens story brevity and repeat it over an over, with out any of it ever “sticking”,

    what did the Soviets do to brainwash Dolt 45 so quickly?

  125. 125
    Bobby Thomson says:

    The Putin doctrine is one way of bringing the boys back home.

    In all seriousness, there are a lot of civilian benefits to overseas bases. Case in point: a woman volunteer was riding her motorcycle in Africa and woke up in an army hospital in Germany.

  126. 126
    tybee says:

    @Bill Arnold: holee lee shit

  127. 127
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Jay: hookers and blow.

  128. 128
    Amir Khalid says:


    a legitimate businessman like Trump

    Does not compute.

  129. 129
    Jay says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    I doubt it, because Hookers and Blow made no impact on Dolt 45’s brain during all his time in New York.

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    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: In addition to being a party of racists, xenophobes, greedheads, misogynists, homophobes, and just plain mean assholes, they’re also a party of cowards.

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    boatboy_srq says:

    @Wapiti: Who would have thought it would be the Teahad (in general, and Lord Dampnut in particular) who would make the US DoD virtually ineffective. Decades of screaming that Dems were pacifist squishes who were committed to making Murka a target for commies and turrrrrists; and now it’s the Grand Old Party who are making the most massive military on the planet useless by forcing every single ally to send the forces posted there home just because they won’t/can’t pay the Teahadi protection racket.

    After the New American Century, the Post-American Millenium.

  132. 132
    Robert Sneddon says:

    If a lot of the overseas bases are closed and the “boys come home”, folks in the states with big military basing complexes are going to notice a lot more young people in uniform standing around and apparently doing noting much on their taxpayer dollar. Right now the US has a lot of soldiers, sailors and airmen deployed abroad, out of sight and mostly out of mind — how much is the US press covering the current debate in Japan about the changes to US Marine basing in Okinawa that are going on, for example?

  133. 133
    Procopius says:

    @Wapiti: I’m quite certain the Japanese would be delighted to have our Marines leave Okinawa. The local population feels about them the same way citizens of Boston felt about the British troops quartered in their homes. The Marines commit a number of rapes and murders every year and sometimes of quite young girls. The outrage dies down after a while, but resentment smolders on.

  134. 134
    Procopius says:

    @Aleta: Host countries already have the right to prosecute our servicemen/women for crimes. In every country where we have troops stationed we have a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that spells out what offenses will be dealt with by the host country’s justice system and which acts will be dealt with by the American forces under the Unified Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The reason Obama had to withdraw our troops from Iraq in 2011 was because Bush, and then Obama, was unable to persuade the sovereign nation of Iraq to agree to a SOFA that exempted our troops from a provision like that.

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