A Masterclass on Negotiation

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So last Wednesday was a weird one.  Without even getting into the insanity and outright Republican trainwreck which was the Michael Cohen hearing, Donald Trump also went to Hanoi, Vietnam to hang out with his buddy Kim Jon Un and did…nothing.  Like, not a damn thing.  Which is weird.  Like, don’t get me wrong, Trump’s incompetence is foregone, but it seems like Trump’s negotiation team, lead by Mike Pompeo had already hammered out a few small things, including a possible declaration that the Korean War was over (I mean, it’s technically been a cold was since the 50s), which might very well have cinched up that Nobel Peace Prize Trump has been coveting, but in a wild turn of events, Trump pulled an about face and walked away from negotiations before doing ANYTHING.  I know Trump supporters are saying some dumb thing about good deal making allowing for the possibility of walking away at any time, and I suppose there is something to that, but part of that you walking away with the most leverage.  And while North Korea would LIKE to have their sanctions eased, they clearly don’t NEED it. They’ve been dealing with crazy sanctions on some level or another for a couple of decades now, ever since we found out about the severe human rights violations that are the way of life for North Korean citizens.  So what was the point of this summit at this point?  It was just a colossal waste of time and money, which is really going to end up being the tagline of this administration.

Evasive Actions

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It’s likely you’ve heard recently about Christopher Paul Hasson, a Coast Guard Lieutenant and a certifiable nutjob.  The guy was arrested and caught planning a full scale killing spree.  And his hit list was basically Donald Trump’s s*** list.  It included basically every politician, pundit and academic who has made a name for themselves in recent years by standing against the guy.  That’s not to say that Hasson was just a die hard Trump fanatic wanting to protect his President.  More like Hasson was a fervent consumer of the fanatical Kool-Aid that Trump has cultivated his ideology around.  So after days of silence surrounding the breaking of this news, Trump finally chose to speak on the incident.  Not by condemning the actions and any who would act on such ambitions.  Instead he just through out a few useless platitudes like “it’s a shame” and then refused to accept any kind of responsibility for how his rhetoric might have empowered someone like Hasson.  In fact, he didn’t even ACTUALLY condemn the man or his plans.  Again, he just vaguely talked about how much of a “shame” it all is.  A shame WHAT is?  Hasson’s actions? The environment that allowed that rhetoric to fester?  The fact that he didn’t succeed?  What?  Instead, Trump evades any kind of direct denunciation of people who might think like Hasson, because as he well knows, he still has a second term to win.

Displaying Sensitivity

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I’m not gonna lie, I watched Donald Trump’s Black History Month speech with a hint of both trepidation and excitement that he would manage to unwittingly say unapologetically tone deaf and/or racist.  Fortunately (for him), he stuck to whatever script he was given.  He didn’t meander or go of the rails on a tangent.  He did bring up Black Unemployment again, which is a statement that is, at best, context sensitive, but he avoided a lot of his natural urges to campaign (mostly) and avoided basically all hot button topics.  In retrospect, it was boring.  On a slow news day, it’s always a bummer when Trump doesn’t speak his mind and give us all a little dose of the crazy.  That sounds self destructive, but that sounds about right when the whole country seems to be losing it’s mind.

Space Force Strikes Back

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So, buried in the news of Tuesday amid Bernie making his Presidential bid and raising over a $1 million within the first four hours, and a bombshell report out of the New York Times regarding Trump potentially committing Obstruction by ordering then acting-Attorney General Matt Whittaker to put in a Pro-Trump investigator to handle the New York prosecution working the Cohen case, and all sorts of random bits and bobbles, Trump getting his Space Force underway sort of went under the radar.  One signed executive order appears to be all it took to get that ball rolling, and this new colossal waste of money, which could have been spent on actual, good space programs *cough* NASA *cough* is actually happening.  And to what end?  What is the point of a Space Military when our own tech for monitoring and exploring actual space has been going by the way side for 20+ years.  This is just the height of wasteful spending, and with this President, that is actually saying something.