Re: Good Old Friday WTFuckery.

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Uncomfy enough that I almost want ACA repeal to go through so he doesn't have to use war against North Korea to try to get a "win".


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:22 AM
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AIUI there are no good military options, and Mattis will tell him that. Trump, being a coward, will bluster some more then do nothing and blame China.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:31 AM
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The NYT interactive feature tells me I'm still out of range, so I'm fine (although I guess the fallout would blow this way.) Note that this followed their August 6 interactive feature in which you could ride Little Boy down over Hiroshima, Major Kong style.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:38 AM
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2.1 is correct as far as anyone can tell. And the US military is not making any of the preparations that would be required for any sort of military action (except I suppose a nuclear strike). https://twitter.com/MalcolmNance/status/895973426330054656


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:40 AM
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That poll prompted me to have of those odd "Fair and Balanced" moments. Was any polling done in Nov-Dec 2016 on Democrats to find out if they would support invalidating the election if Obama said there was credible evidence of Russian interference?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:41 AM
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AIUI there are no good military options, and Mattis will tell him that. Trump, being a coward, will bluster some more then do nothing and blame China.

This is my baseline assumption, but with Trump, you can't rule out anything. And NK could easily do something stupid as the rhetoric and manoeuvres escalate.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:45 AM
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6: yes, absolutely. They launch a "warning shot" missile and it goes adrift and actually hits something, for example.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:46 AM
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Has anyone seen a plausible account of Kim Jung-un's thinking? His father and grandfather did shit like this, but they always starting fishing for payoffs at some point. Kim seems to just keep escalating.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:50 AM
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If there's a nuclear holocaust I won't be here to lament, so my bigger concern this morning is a mostly-conventional war that kills half the population of the Korean peninsula. Imagining how inadequate any apologies on our part will be...


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:50 AM
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8: He could be fishing for payoffs via back channels already, with nobody taking him up on it, no?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:51 AM
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You think Trump would issue anything resembling an apology? "Koreans knew they lived in danger but stayed under the gun anyway. No initiative to fix their own lives- SAD!"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:52 AM
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"I said Kim Un couldn't be trusted. Now 500k dead show everyone I was right- Appreciate the Congrats!"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:56 AM
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They should have gone to Wisconsin where the new factory jobs are.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:56 AM
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By "our" in 9 I meant individual punters like us, not government, or at least not this government.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:57 AM
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Re: Republicans, the comment thread about a reading group prompted me to check out Crooked Timber for the first time in months. Their top or second post is about millennial views on Trump. Spoiler: they don't like him. One comment, about how it's all because liberalism = naive entitlement and also millennials are brainwashed by academia blah blah blah, and a propos of nothing isn't it great that millennials also hate feminism. (I don't see it there now, so either I imagined it whole cloth or it was deleted. For the record it's not the kind of thing I would have expected CT to delete, but I checked it only about an hour ago and my memory's not that bad. I think it was by soul/lite.) I live in a Republican-free bubble and I'm glad.

5: I don't know about polling about that specifically. But I did see polling comparing attitudes to Obama and Trump bombing Syria, and it was amazing how partisan Democrats weren't.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 7:58 AM
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Crooked Timber has always attracted some number of self-identified conservatives, but as the movement has become increasingly intellectually bankrupt, the commenters have too.

When I said right around the election that worst case scenario was Trump would start a nuclear war with North Korea, I thought it was alarmist hyperbole. My guess is the Chinese and our military will try to stop anything from actually happening, but it's getting much closer than is comfortable.

I think what is probably most likely is we have some stupid stand off managed by the Chinese, which reveals to the rest of the world that Trump is an orange version of Kim Jong-Un and Xi Jinping is the defacto leader of the free world. Our influence slips faster than it might have otherwise, and everyone else starts turning to China as the new world superpower.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 8:15 AM
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I think what's most likely at this point is that North Korea sends mixed messages. Either they continue to talk tough but actually back off their regular dick-waving missile test a bit, or the reverse, they talk conciliatory a bit but have their missile test on schedule or even earlier or more of them.

Either way, there's something Trump can point to as a victory, his supporters will lap it up, we'll get headaches trying to explain that this is at best what Obama or Clinton would have done and probably worse, Republicans will go on starving the beast.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 8:23 AM
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15: The first rule of the Internet is don't read the comments at Crooked Timber. Even if you write a comment, don't read it. Also: soul/lite is a known troll, and is quite capable of getting deleted just on general principle.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 8:25 AM
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no good military options

DPRK is a very poor country, ancient bombers, tiny navy, no money to buy next month's fuel. US has THAAD and Aegis. Since anything DPRK can do will originate from basically a known launch site, I believe that there is actually minimal risk to even Guam in the event that DPRK does launch an offensive missile, much less to the US.

This leaves out the dependency of DPRK on China for power and almost all manufactured goods beyond very primitive ones and a small quantity of military assets, and the fact that so far, Korea's leadership has actually been pretty good at their main job, keeping power. A probably ineffectual suicide attack does not help them, and does not help China.

Trump and Fox are not doing much more than helping Lockheed Martin in the short term and China in the longer term, since China can refrain from publicly fouling itself in apparent contrast to the US.

Indiana is super-depressing, and is exactly what Trumpies voted for.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 8:41 AM
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I haven't clicked on CT in years. So many fuckwad commenters.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 8:52 AM
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19: Define "military options."

I don't think anyone out there is saying we couldn't easily win a war with North Korea. But you break it, you buy it. China probably wouldn't want us building military bases there and we wouldn't want to rebuild the country without doing so. South Korea doesn't want to absorb a country roughly its own size with 1950s-era infrastructure and economy. Picture all the problems of the reunification of Germany, but worse and with less help. Of course, we could just cripple the country's military and leave, but then China would absorb it, and we don't want that either. The status quo isn't great, but it's probably better overall than any of those scenarios. IANAExpert but I think the best way forward is for China to stop propping up the regime, at which point it would have no choice but to hopefully gradually slightly liberalize and democratize.

Given that China doesn't want to do so, we could use soft diplomacy to encourage them. Your guess is as good as mine about the likelihood of Trump doing so.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 8:54 AM
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That poll prompted me to have of those odd "Fair and Balanced" moments. Was any polling done in Nov-Dec 2016 on Democrats to find out if they would support invalidating the election if Obama said there was credible evidence of Russian interference?

The attraction of false equivalence is strong, and partly based in an admirable but misguided impulse toward charity. You must resist!

There was no need to poll this in Nov-Dec because it's not the kind of thing Obama might try. Trump, on the other hand, declared Obama's own election illegitimate, and Trump said in advance that he might not accept an adverse election result against Clinton. And Trump actually did reject the 2016 election result, even though he won!

Because you have a mind based in reality, you propose a counterfactual that is grounded in reality. Unlike voter fraud, Russian interference in the election was a thing that really happened. If you want to come closer to actual equivalence, you should have proposed a poll on Obama trying to overthrow the election result because of voter fraud or because of Trump's status as an illegal alien from Mars.

Had a poll been done in the form you propose, though, you still wouldn't have found a Democratic majority in favor of unlawfully throwing out an election result. Sure, you had folks saying the electoral college should have rebelled and accepted the popular vote, but that's different from delaying an election to get the result that you want.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 9:00 AM
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21. Agreed, absolutely. I had a brief panic at the news of the missile launch (which came shortly after the US sold new weapons to Taiwan), so I read briefly about hardware.

However, even if Korea launched a missile against a US base or god forbid a US city, I don't believe that there's much risk. In the absence of an idiotic and thus unlikely attack, I absolutely agree that status quo is sensible.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 9:04 AM
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Couldn't millions of Koreans could die in the initial artillery barrages alone? Not apocalypse, but pretty horrific.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 9:06 AM
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Was any polling done in Nov-Dec 2016 on Democrats to find out if they would support invalidating the election if Obama

When I proposed that Obama do that on this very blog, I got a couple supporters and a lot of shocked "but that would be a coup" responses. So I'd say the Unfogged reaction was about 10-15% pro and 85-90% con. I couldn't tell you how the lurkers felt; they never write to tell me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 9:09 AM
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If millions of Koreans aren't willing to risk their lives to make Trump's ego feel better, then it just proves they aren't worth worrying about.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 9:09 AM
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24. Yes, that would be truly horrible. I was basically reacting to alarmist press and the realization that DPRK had made an effective long-range missile.

I know little about South Korea's defenses, just as I know little about Taiwan's. Probably most of the information relevant to thinking about those is classified. I generally try to avoid thinking too much about military particulars, beyond reality checking information that surprises me and paying some attention to who sells which weapons where.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 9:15 AM
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isn't it great that millennials also hate feminism

It occurred to me after the Google manifesto story that, much like the solution to racism is waiting for all the Baby Boomers to die, the solution to sexism is waiting for all the millenials to die.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 9:21 AM
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I proposed that Obama do that on this very blog

25: This gets us to the deeper underlying false equivalence. The procedural liberals here will say otherwise, but I maintain that a coup to keep Trump away from the presidency is a dramatically different thing from a coup to maintain a Trump presidency.

I mean, I fall on the anti-coup side in both cases, but there's a considerably better fact-based argument for one than the other.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 9:22 AM
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I thought so too, particularly a coup that would have kept Trump away from the presidency but also had Obama leaving office. A transitional government, while discerning whether the 2016 elections were free and fair.

But, you know, if Trump starts a nuclear war, at least the procedural liberals can feel proud they followed procedure.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 9:29 AM
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I can't imagine a situation where the election is postponed or procedures are changed at the last minute by fiat, or the election happens the way it did Obama tries to invalidate it, and it turns out well in the end. At best, we get President Ryan. So I'd be opposed to either.

I think faithless electors throwing the Electoral College to Clinton would probably have been better than a Trump presidency. (I mean, I have no loyalty to the institution of the EC. I'd be all for the faithless elector thing, but then we'd have even more dolchsto├člegende, Congress would have obstructed Clinton even more than they did Obama, and their fantasies of repealing Obamacare would have become even more deep-seated. As much as Trump sucks, stuff like that is bad too.) But that's not very coup-like in any objective sense.

I wish Obama had done more about the Russia connection in the months leading up to the election. Not remotely coup-like at all.

With a Democratic president, chances of nuclear war are let's say 1 percent. With a normal Republican president, they're let's say 2 percent. With Trump, they're let's say 4 percent. A month from now maybe I'd give different odds, and of course lots of things happen despite being very unlikely, and in hindsight I might reevaluate my preferences for the election. But on balance I'm still glad there wasn't a coup. It's funny, I'm not usually on the procedural liberals side of things.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 9:47 AM
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30: Here's the coup thread. You may not have had the bulk of the Unfoggetariat with you, but urple was onboard!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 9:52 AM
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US has THAAD and Aegis. Since anything DPRK can do will originate from basically a known launch site, I believe that there is actually minimal risk to even Guam in the event that DPRK does launch an offensive missile, much less to the US.

Not necessarily - the missiles they will use to strike Guam (or, to be accurate, strike the sea around Guam) are Musudam MRBMs, which are mobile. (Wheeled TELs.)

Couldn't millions of Koreans could die in the initial artillery barrages alone?

350 tons of ordnance per hour, supposedly. In four days it would be as much ordnance (though rather less actual explosive, because it's shells and rockets rather than bombs) than was dropped on London during the Blitz. (Assuming that none of it gets counter-batteried in the meantime). And it's about one death per ton of bombs dropped on an urban area. Shelters would be more effective against shellfire than against large aerial bombs.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 9:53 AM
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I have always seen eye-to-eye with Urple.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 9:55 AM
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33: Is that supposed to multiply out to 350 deaths per hour? Seems pretty low.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:00 AM
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19: It doesn't matter really that we know where the launch sites are. Interceptors don't go for missiles in the boost phase. They go for the re-entry phase. I'd put our odds of successful intercepting a missile in anger at 50%.

As has been pointed out elsewhere, the real worry about firing interceptors from e.g. Alaska is that the ones that miss, and there will be several, could appear to Russian air defense systems as if they were carrying neutron bombs for high-altitude bursts over Russia, a classic first strike opening volley. In normal times you I mean you'd hope the lines of communication would be sufficient to forestall a catastrophic response but in a time of tension, with the majority of the diplomatic corps not present?

On the other hand, NK might actually be able to nuke Silicon Valley, so I'm not sure we should be too quick to judge.


Posted by: (gensym) | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:02 AM
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I totally get that the Silicon Valley joke is a joke, and also the context for it. But there is a thread of "well, shame North Korean missiles can reach California, but at least they don't reach the east coast" in the broad discourse. And when I think of that together with the 2.9M Californian votes that didn't matter in this election, I resent the 2016 elections and America even more than I did before.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:07 AM
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Yeah, it is super nuts the way nuclear strikes on blue states are sort of gradually becoming like an acceptable tradeoff for having a Man in the White House. Also the trend of explainers for "how to survive a nuclear attack" are both completely bonkers and very 2017.

In point of fact, it is posited by serious arms control wonks that NK could hit the entirety of the United States, though one would imagine the accuracy to be aspirational at best.


Posted by: (gensym) | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:21 AM
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Honestly, I was heartened that 48% of Republicans are committed to having elections even if Trump doesn't want to, and are committed even when given a "but what about voter fraud" prompt. I think that's something that gets missed in the articles about this - it wasn't just "would you be cool with Trump postponing elections".

Most people aren't super democratic, most people want to put their side in power and do their best to minimize what their side does wrong. (For instance, the way everyone rolled over on welfare reform, which IMO is a large part of what led to labor precarity and the missing wage growth today, because it was proposed by a Democrat. And NAFTA, and GATT, and various pieces of terrible environmental legislation that Clinton constructed in the room with the timber industry, et patati et patata. Or for instance, the way much of the left defends Maduro, who is obviously terrible and the terrible result of Chavez's inability to plan for any kind of politics not headed by him.)

If 48% of self-identifying Republicans and majorities of the rest of us believe that having elections is important even if your side ends up out of power, we're doing much better than I would have expected.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:31 AM
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IANAExpert

New mouseover text.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:38 AM
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I am much more worried about South Korea than anything else. Trump has no allies, and it's easy to imagine him becoming obsessed with the decapitation option (say) and not caring about the body count. Maybe I'm giving him too much credit there, given the way he's been talking.

He will surely start a war at some point. I don't know if this will be the one.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:39 AM
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Can Trump unilaterally launch a nuclear strike? If he tried, would there be someone willing to defy orders, even if it were technically illegal? How crazypants is the situation?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:41 AM
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35: well, that's why it's important to have Anderson shelters.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:44 AM
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Based on half-remembered Tom Clancy, a launch requires approval by two Senate confirmed officers, which are by default the President and Secretary of Defense.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:45 AM
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42: yes. Someone else has to confirm the order but only en the sense of saying "Yes that was definitely the president speaking" not "I agree with his decision". He has sole launch authority.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:46 AM
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And yeah, I'm with 37. Can't you people have a little fucking grown-up patience and wait for the big quake?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:47 AM
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42: President has sole authority.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:52 AM
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So, if at 3 am Trump decides to strike N Korea, we're SOL?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:54 AM
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On this topic


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:54 AM
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Looking at the NYT homepage just now, I get a huge banner ad for the Samsung S8, featuring an Asian-looking young woman taking a picture of jagged, plausibly Korean mountains, right above all the Trump "we're locked and loaded" headlines.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:55 AM
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||
Do we have a Mineshaft outpost in Phoenix? Because I'll be there on the 17th.
|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 10:55 AM
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IMU all the rigmarole around launch codes is designed to guarantee that within the executive/military apparatus, nuclear attacks require the president rather than anybody lower-level (i.e., no General Rippers). It might still be debatable whether an unprovoked launch is an unconstitutional declaration of war, but my guess is this is the same issue legally as if it's conventional warfare, so I can't imagine anyone in the military or civilian chain of command going against it on that particular principle. Maybe the principle of "omg this guy is about to kill the world", but I doubt they would be confronted with that particular choice at any given moment; it would be the cycle of escalation we all know and love.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 11:03 AM
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I was heartened that 48% of Republicans are committed to having elections even if Trump doesn't want to

Frowner sees the glass as being 48% full.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 11:11 AM
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So, if at 3 am Trump decides to strike N Korea, we're SOL?

Well, it's not like we're on the Korean peninsula.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 11:13 AM
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5: https://twitter.com/charlescwcooke/status/895637518254833664


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 11:15 AM
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nuclear attacks require the president rather than anybody lower-level (i.e., no General Rippers)

Unless you elect General Ripper as president. Oops.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 11:15 AM
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Recently-ex-Republican J. Barro complained about that "postpone the election" survey priming respondents with talk about illegal voting to elicit that response, but of course GOP do the same priming in public forums all the time.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 11:15 AM
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56: Indeed.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 11:16 AM
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57: INDEED.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 11:27 AM
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55: The National Review guy links a poorly written story, but it doesn't seem to back up his (and your) argument.

The first paragraph appears to back you up:

A strong majority of Democrats would cancel the 2016 presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump if it meant President Obama could serve another term, a new poll found.

But when they get to the data, it turns out the question wasn't about canceling the election at all:

Data provided to The Hill by the conservative polling outlet WPA Research found that 67 percent of Democrats would take a third term for Obama over a potential Clinton administration.

And the headline certainly doesn't support Cooke's interpretation:

Majority of Democrats want third term for Obama

And you're linking Charles W. Cooke as a legitimate source for anything? Are you kidding me?

(Although the Atlantic had a similarly stupid item.)

The only sense that these items are equivalent is that both polls seemed to have been conducted for partisan purposes and probably can't be trusted. But the poll by The Hill was aimed at an entirely different propaganda objective.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 11:28 AM
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Relevant, I guess.

According to the National Emergency Management Agency, there is enough space in Seoul's underground facilities (subway stations, basements, etc.) for 2.7 times the city's population.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 11:30 AM
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I bet 97% of Democrats would cancel the inauguration of Trump if Hillary had won the election. Liberal fascism! (Of course not 100% because this is the Democratic Party we're talking about)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 11:44 AM
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61: There are no public "grade 1" shelters that can withstand a chemical, biological or nuclear attack in the capital.

AP article from today about diplomacy here:

The last serious U.S.-North Korea negotiations collapsed in 2012 when Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket that derailed an agreement of a North Korean nuclear freeze in exchange for U.S. food aid.

North Korea's weapons program has developed significantly since then. As a result, its price in any such negotiation is now likely to be far higher. At a minimum, Pyongyang would renew its long-standing demands for an end to joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises -- which are set to resume this month -- and an eventual peace treaty with Washington.

Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 11:59 AM
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Can we see if they will demand the pee pee tape?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 12:05 PM
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the people and pieces listed here: http://www.nonproliferation.org/experts/cns-in-the-media-2/ don't entirely support the proposition that we know where all the mobile stuff is located. and the hotting up of the mueller thing is not, in the circs, reassuring.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 12:29 PM
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I have to say, if you were going to start systematic repression of dissent, this "everyone is undermining us" ideological/paranoiac arglebargle is exactly the kind of thing you'd be patching yourselves up with.

I suppose we can be glad, at least, that their base of support is old enough to be less conducive to forming paramilitaries in preparation.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 12:32 PM
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51: dammit sir kraab I would love to see you and I've been here for ages but am leaving tuesday for narnia! no one else is around afaik. I'm flying through seoul I'll let you all know if it's still there.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 12:38 PM
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Hey, that's a lot of spam in the sidebar.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 1:10 PM
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Obviously a spam attack in the first step in a nuclear launch, take out the early notification communications that are underpinned by blog comments.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 1:18 PM
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Spam in lederhosen!!!!!! My busy, busy world!


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 1:40 PM
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Later, hosen.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 2:27 PM
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I love the word argle bargle so much. It may be my favorite word.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 2:40 PM
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66: Ah, I was going to link that piece and discuss the memo and the canning at NSC. (I think the N. Korea is more theater-y than usual for Trump. Has all the elements: war, macho posturing, blaming Obama, credulous stupid media. Still fucking insane but i think not importantly so in the overall context of him vs. democracy.) I think the little nugget from the NSC to watch is how McMaster does from here--pretty clear now why the "alt-right" Bannon/Gorka leading an all-out assault on him. The Cernovich getting leaked info angle was pretty interesting as well. (more info in this recent overly credulous Olivia Nuzzi profile of him in NY Magazine).

I was pleased McMaster nailed fuck weasel Ezra Cohen-Watnick who was Nunes (and almost certainly Cernovich's) source for the Susan Rice unmasking bullshit*. (McMaster apparently wanted him gone back then but was "overruled."

Still a race on whether democracy can be wrested back from these fuckclowns, and the voting suppression stuff will play an increasingly important role. Neo-confederate Supreme Court justices will continue to do their part.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 3:43 PM
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73*: Linking threads, I did listen to the Maggie Haberman Longform (and the Brian Reed one as well) podcast. I find it hard to listen to her since I have so much free-floating animus towards her access interviewing (which she did detail to some extent in the podcast, but leaving out what are the certainly more soul-destroying parts on currying access and favor). She's not as much of a non-self-aware idiot as many of her colleagues come across as, but sort of evil. Hard-charging tabloid journalist for a tabloid president. Ideal for the paper of record for the kleptocratic autocracy.

The link to the NSC stuff in this thread is that I believe her and Glenn Thrush's role in adding fuel to the despicable Susan Rice fire was shameful (pretty sure I've ranted on that here when it happened). In that interview *they* are the ones who unprompted asked/suggested to Failprez whether Rice had committed a crime and of course he concurred. Then they promoted "big news" on the Twitter and that was the initial headline (later corrected/clarified). (In fairness, Thrush seemed to be the big pusher, not sure who asked the question.) In the Longform podcast Haberman explicitly defends not "challenging" Trump after he says things like that*, but my God, maybe ask what crime he might be thinking of (clearly he has no idea of course since they were the ones who brought it up). But no worries, just another black woman in government getting smeared not a thing anyone at NYT Politics gives a shit about.

*She wants us to "hear his voice" which she knows *she* will not be able to do if she asks hard questions.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 4:00 PM
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Final WTF. David Brooks (no link) making the bad worse:

What we have is a legitimate tension. Damore is describing a truth on one level; his sensible critics are describing a different truth, one that exists on another level. He is championing scientific research; they are championing gender equality. It takes a little subtlety to harmonize these strands, but it's doable. I am that subtlety.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 4:08 PM
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A new Benya Krik in our hearts!


Posted by: Vsevolod Poutine | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 8:09 PM
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President has sole authority.

Who the fuck ever thought that was a good idea?

However, it looks like China is doing the right thing. And the grown-ups* seem to have taken control of the back channels, so maybe he'll go for an invasion of Venezuela instead.

*For definitions of 'grown-ups' that include Mattis. O tempora, O mores!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-12-17 3:57 AM
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||

WTF Saturday: I am watching white supremacist protests on CNN (depressing in its own right) and violence has erupted. What the hell is going on in this country?

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-12-17 8:14 AM
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And the grown-ups* seem to have taken control of the back channels

Not sure how feasible that is when he remains the president and what he says resounds no matter what's in back channels - it would need him to spontaneously shut up - but here's hoping it works regardless.

so maybe he'll go for an invasion of Venezuela instead

Yeah, when I put together the seeming facts that Kelly/Tillerson/Mattis (a) recognize his fundamental unfitness, (b) are too craven to tell the world this, and (c) are some combination of militarist, imperialist, and amoral oligopolist, the most stable strategy I can imagine coming out of them is "give him some tiny country to invade, fuck up, and spend all his attention on while we get on with the real work."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-12-17 8:24 AM
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Not Venezuela I'd think, at least not if they were steering which country.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-12-17 8:24 AM
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78: White nationalists provided the key margin to elect a president and are now trying to insist he pay them back by doing all the racist things he promised.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-17 8:28 AM
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One comforting thing about Charlottesville is that they waited till summer and students gone to stage it.

One not comforting thing is how hands-off the police are being.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-12-17 8:41 AM
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81: That's part of it but the bigger pic is that we're seeing a pretty predictable outcome of several decades of wage erosion in the middle and lower tiers.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-12-17 8:42 AM
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Maybe, but the president of the United States is not denouncing protesters using Nazi slogans. I assume he has his reasons and given that his son-in-law is Jewish, I'm assuming it's political calculation of what the Republican party voters want.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-17 8:53 AM
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84. You may be right, but given the Jewish son-in-law and all, I'd assumed it was because he was so ignorant he didn't recognise Nazi slogans when he heard them. Why isn't Kushner pushing back anyway?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-12-17 9:02 AM
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Because being Jewish can't trump being a horrible person?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-12-17 10:25 AM
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I see what you did there.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-12-17 11:10 AM
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85: No, no. Trump's "many sides" statement was very careful and nuanced -- this was something he read; not something off-the-cuff. And it fits into a long pattern. David Duke endorsed Trump -- and Trump was reluctant to reject that endorsement -- for a reason. And Kushner is on the same page. You don't have to be a gentile to feel contempt for black people, and it's perfectly possible to be Jewish and happily co-exist with anti-Semites.

Ignorance is often a valid defense for Trump -- he often really doesn't know what the fuck is going on. But not on this issue.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-14-17 7:38 AM
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Yes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-17 9:01 AM
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