Trump is angrily calling out yet another fascist regime with Nuclear capabilities and threatening them with hellfire. This week it was an angry all caps tweet telling Iran not threaten the US or else! One wonders if that’s part of his plan when dealing in these situations. I mean, this fire and brimstone approach was how he started with North Korea, and look how that turned out! And by that, I mean how Trump wants you to think it turned out, because he wants you to think it was an unqualified victory as opposed to the total mess that more accurately reflects reality. Who knows, with any luck, 6 months from now, Trump will be calling Rouhani a total sweetheart and assuring us all that their increase in weapons production does not mean he screwed up negotiations!
The frustrating thing about Donald Trump’s base at this point is that there is literally nothing he can do or say that they won’t either try to explain away or rationalize about why it’s not so bad. Trump’s base is now pro-Putin, where even 3 years ago, such an idea would have been disgusting to them. Trump gets to be racist, screw over our farmers and factories, roll back regulations to protect the environment and people, and any negative reaction to that gets relegated to liberals overreacting or misunderstanding the issue and fake news. The deep level of entrenchment is worrying and makes you wonder how they found themselves there. How much of it is out of spite? Are those of us who wholesale condemned those who voted for Trump in the first place responsible for this behavior? Even in part? I don’t know the answer, but it certainly makes me think about what it takes to put someone in that place. Could it happen on the opposite side of the spectrum somewhere down the line?
Friday really should have been a slam dunk day for Trump and co. He got to welcome home 3 freed prisoners from North Korea, and for even the most disliked of Presidents, and event like that is a banner day. You shake some hands, say welcome home, and the evening’s headline is at the very least positive, if not glowing. But Trump’s people have to defy expectation. They can’t have a normal day. So instead, his staff has to leak that a random staffer at the White House was being glib about the health of John McCain. Again, we are reminded that Trump hires the best people.
So Paul Ryan is retiring. Well, more specifically, he’s not seeking re-election, which is basically the same thing. He talks a big game about wanting to settle down, raise his kids, and just move forward knowing he’s accomplished the things he’s want to accomplish, which was apparently to screw over just as many old and poor people as he possibly could. But it’s hard to not to see it as a well time escape. A jumping ship move, or to quote Douglas Adams, “So long and thanks for all the fish!”. It’s hard to argue that the Republicans aren’t in something of a politically turbulent time right now, and how that’s going to shake out in the coming weeks and months must be on the forefront of Ryan’s mind. I wonder if he’ll be getting out soon enough?
In another example of ThaTrump either not realizing how long of memory Twitter has, or just not remembering he had a previous heated opinion on a matter, Trump, among his series of weekend, Fire Side Twitter Rants, blamed Obama for not attacking Syria and taking Assad out. Of course, he completely forgot the Tweet he sent out in 2013, in all caps, in which he begged Obama not to attack Syria, saying it would be the worst thing he could possibly do. At the same time, I know that Trump will never, ever address this apparent disparity in opinions. We won’t get to see an entertaining dance explaining away why his opinions don’t clash. He’ll just pretend the disparity doesn’t exist.
When it comes to news, on any given story, I have this habit of trying to read multiple sources to try and get a clearer picture of how things may have happened. Because it’s easy enough to make small gaffes or misspoken moments into bigger issues than they actually are. And as someone whose job it is to exaggerate things for comedic effect, I’d start from as neutral a place as I can. I say all that to talk about Ted Nugent. I saw several headlines over the weekend talking about Ted, known Gun advocate, and board member of the NRA. Now, he can be a bit…out there, but when it was suggested by headlines that he openly advocated for out and out shooting people, I thought to myself “well, obviously there is some context missing here. Then I listened to the clip and read the quote word for word and…yeah, no, he just told people to shoot liberals, democrats and half of the government. Seriously. “Don’t ask why. Just know that evil, dishonesty, and scam artists have always been around and that right now they’re liberal, they’re Democrat, they’re RINOs, they’re Hollywood, they’re fake news, they’re media, they’re academia, and they’re half of our government, at least, so come to that realization. There are rabid coyotes running around. You don’t wait till you see one to go get your gun. Keep your gun handy, and every time you see one, you shoot one.” Those are his words. One could reasonable call that an incitement to violence.
So, there had been some rumbling around the newsblogs about David Shulkin, VA Secretary, getting ousted from his position. It didn’t seem too out of the blue. I mean, honestly, at this point, no one getting canned is. When your Secretary of State gets put on the chopping block, no position seems safe. But the person that Trump is nominating to replace him feels kind of interesting. Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, on the face of it, might not seem like such a weird choice. But considering how disingenuous RA Jackson’s medical diagnosis of Trump was earlier in the year was…well I can’t be the only one making the connection between his sweet new gig. Am I saying Trump is paying Jackson off with a promotion? No. But it makes for a good joke.
The Border Wall might be concept I want to just go away the most. It’s an entirely pointless, useless construct that will do almost nothing to curb undocumented immigration, because as anyone with a cursory understanding of the subject will tell you, the VAST majority of people here illegally didn’t cross the border in the dead of night, they came over perfectly legally and didn’t leave when they were supposed to. If built, it’s a symbol of our dedication to Security Theater, or providing the visual appearance of impressive security, but lacking any real teeth to do the job. Of course the big selling point Trump originally had was that Mexico would in fact be paying for this massively expensive project. Mexico in laughed in Trump’s face, and now keeps trying to weasel the US and it’s citizens into paying for it. Now he wants the military to pay for it. Not only that, but he thinks having the Military build the damn thing falls well within the purview of national defense. I think any normal person would feel that nagging sensation of embarrassment and shame creeping over them. I have to give it to Trump that he seems unable to feel shame for anything.
So General John Hyten, of course, told the Senate Armed Forces Committee that we aren’t doing a Space Military. I mean, he was a bit nicer about it then I would have been. Namely in him not mentioning that the tech to have some kind of military presence in space is non-existent, and that Star Wars, Star Trek, and Buck Rogers all either take place in galaxies far, far away or in the far future. But the general diplomatically said that it just wasn’t the time, that the military has more taxing concerns in front of it and that maybe in the future it would be a possibility (bless him and his optimism).