“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

If You Don't Know Where an Entire Aircraft Carrier Strike Fleet Is, How Can You Have No Doubt About a Chemical Weapon Attack in Syria?

Trump on North Korea: 'We Are Sending an Armada'

President Trump warned in a pair of tweets Tuesday that North Korea “is looking for trouble” with its nuclear weapons program, and he doubled down on that tough talk in a Fox Business Network interview with Maria Bartiromo.

Trump, who dispatched a Navy strike group to the Korean Peninsula amid the rogue nation's continued ballistic missile and nuclear testing, told Bartiromo he's not going to reveal exactly what strategy he will use against North Korea.

"You never know, do you? You never know," Trump said, explaining that he's not going to announce his military plans to our adversaries, as former President Obama did.

Although he didn't get into specifics, Trump spoke about his decision to send the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its battle group to waters off the Korean Peninsula.

"We are sending an armada. Very powerful." Trump said. "We have submarines. Very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you."
As for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump said he's "doing the wrong thing" with his ongoing nuclear testing and saber-rattling.

Responding to the U.S. moving the Navy strike group, the isolated nation vowed to “hold the U.S. wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences.”

Trump also weighed in on the situation in the Middle East, saying that he he has no plans to enter Syria, despite ordering airstrikes on a Syrian military base last week.


  1. The miscues began on April 9 when the public affairs office of the Navy’s Third Fleet issued a news release saying that Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., the Pacific commander, had ordered the Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered carrier, and its strike force — two destroyers and one cruiser — to leave Singapore and sail to the Western Pacific. As is customary, the Navy did not say exactly where the carrier force was headed or its precise mission.

    Given the timing, it hardly needed to: Mr. Trump had just wrapped up a two-day summit meeting with Mr. Xi at his Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, with a message that the United States had run out of patience with North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, and its nuclear and missile programs.

    That Sunday, General McMaster told Fox News that the deployment was a “prudent” move, designed to give the president “a full range of options to remove” the threat posed by Mr. Kim.

    What the Navy did not say was that the Carl Vinson had to carry out another mission before it set sail north: a long-scheduled joint exercise with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean.

  2. Trump did say, the military does not need his authority to make tactical decisions.

    Perhaps it was a GPS error, like pulling into the wrong driveway. I hate when that happens.

  3. Chocolate cake, maybe it had a secret mushroom ingredient.

    1. That was a beautiful piece of chocolate cake!

    2. It was the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you've ever seen.

  4. Reversing course: The carrier group is on its way now and will arrive near the Korean Peninsula next week.

    Now Trump will assault Korea to prove it was all a head fake.

  5. Trump also weighed in on the situation in the Middle East, saying that he he has no plans to enter Syria, despite ordering airstrikes on a Syrian military base last week.

    Trump...has no plans.

    1. .

      It's called The Art of War.


    2. It is called planned unplanned plan no plan, the ultimate deception.

    3. Not even the US advertising 'industry' is so talented at concealing reality.

    4. It was all designed to induce broad spectrum derp in the antagonist.

      Worked like a Charm, like a Magic 8 Ball.

  6. It is hard to pull an aircraft carrier out of your ass.

  7. Aaron Hernandez hung himself. What a chicken shit.

  8. From James Freeman, WSJ

    Among the more remarkable aspects of Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign in 2016 is that a political rookie seemed to have a better grasp of the rules of the election than his highly experienced opponent. Specifically, Mr. Trump’s message to voters was premised on the idea that the Electoral College would decide the winner. More than any candidate in recent memory, he offered an explicit pitch to the Midwestern voters he needed to secure an electoral win, while making almost no effort to build a constituency in states he was likely to lose. The losing side in 2016 is still struggling to come to grips with this fact, as it explores various reasons to explain away its failure.

    “Why Do Democrats Feel Sorry for Hillary Clinton ?” is the headline on a recent Andrew Sullivan column for New York magazine that blames Mrs. Clinton for her 2016 loss. Mr. Sullivan writes that he’s amazed by the hold that the Clinton family “still has on the Democratic Party — and on liberals in general.”

    It might seem obvious to blame a loss on the loser, but Mr. Sullivan observes:

    ...everywhere you see not an excoriation of one of the worst campaigns in recent history, leading to the Trump nightmare, but an attempt to blame anyone or anything but Clinton herself for the epic fail. It wasn’t Clinton’s fault, we’re told. It never is. It was the voters’ — those ungrateful, deplorable know-nothings! Their sexism defeated her (despite a majority of white women voting for Trump). A wave of misogyny defeated her (ditto). James Comey is to blame. Bernie Sanders’s campaign — because it highlighted her enmeshment with Wall Street, her brain-dead interventionism and her rapacious money-grubbing since she left the State Department — was the problem. Millennial feminists were guilty as well, for not seeing what an amazing crusader for their cause this candidate was. And this, of course, is how Clinton sees it as well: She wasn’t responsible for her own campaign — her staffers were.

    1. This column has heard other explanations for Mrs. Clinton’s defeat, including fake news and the WikiLeaks publication of Clinton adviser John Podesta’s private emails. But Mr. Sullivan is urging Democrats to stop making excuses:

      Let us review the facts: Clinton had the backing of the entire Democratic establishment... the Clintons so intimidated other potential candidates and donors, she had the nomination all but wrapped up before she even started. And yet she was so bad a candidate, she still only managed to squeak through in the primaries against an elderly, stopped-clock socialist who wasn’t even in her party, and who spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union... She had the extra allure of possibly breaking a glass ceiling that — with any other female candidate — would have been as inspiring as the election of the first black president. In the general election, she was running against a malevolent buffoon with no political experience, with a deeply divided party behind him, and whose negatives were stratospheric. She outspent him by almost two-to-one... And yet she still managed to lose!

      “But … but … but …” her deluded fans insist, “she won the popular vote!” But that’s precisely my point. Any candidate who can win the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and still manage to lose the Electoral College by 304 to 227 is so profoundly incompetent, so miserably useless as a politician, she should be drummed out of the party under a welter of derision.

      Perhaps Democrats will take Mr. Sullivan’s message to heart. Perhaps they will not spend years railing against the design of the U.S. Constitution—as many did after Al Gore received the most votes nationwide in 2000 but lost the election. Perhaps Democrats will simply acknowledge the unlikelihood of persuading 38 states to abolish the Electoral College and go about the business of trying to find a candidate who can build a winning coalition.

      Perhaps Democrats will choose not to indulge the latest Russia theory advanced by MSNBC and instead focus on how to appeal to more voters outside the northeast and the West Coast. Yesterday this column noted that Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez is visiting several states in the South and West this week. Still, the fact he’s touring with Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders suggests the party is more focused on talking about its most extreme ideas than on listening to swing voters.

      Mrs. Clinton for her part seems in no mood to publicly accept blame for the race she ran in 2016. “Almost four months after her stunning defeat, Hillary Clinton on Thursday primarily blamed her loss to President Donald Trump on four factors that were beyond her control,” reported NBC News on April 7. “The former Democratic presidential candidate cited Russian meddling in the election, FBI Director James Comey’s involvement toward the end of the race, WikiLeaks’ theft of emails from her campaign chairman, and misogyny,” added the peacock network.

      This could be fake news, judging from reports on a new book about the Clinton campaign. According to a Washington Post review of “Shattered,” when the results came in on Election Night Mrs. Clinton seemed to express a different view of who was at fault during a call with Barack Obama :

      “Mr. President,” Clinton said softly. “I’m sorry.”

  9. From Alex Hollings, SOFREP

    A week ago, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group was being diverted from its scheduled operations in Australia to head directly for the Korean peninsula amid ever-increasing tension surrounding Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons program.

    Reports substantiating his claim came in from the Pentagon, and media outlets all over the world reported on this dramatic development that could potentially be a precursor to a pre-emptive military action intended to remove Kim Jong Un’s nuclear capabilities. Sources within Japan’s self-defense force reported their own destroyers would be joining the Carl Vinson battle group, demonstrating a shared posture of preparation and deterrence in the face of North Korea’s unceasingly aggressive remarks. Even Donald Trump himself told Fox Business News that he was sending “an armada” of powerful warships to the region.

    And it appears it was all just a song and dance.

    The Carl Vinson and accompanying ships are indeed en route to the Korean peninsula, but they’re not expected to arrive until next week.

    The White House declined to comment as to how such a mix up could have taken place, claiming that Spicer and the rest of Trump’s staff were only acting on information provided by the Pentagon. The Pentagon responded to requests with a muddled story about confusion and errors – providing the media that was used to propagate this story with nothing more than the political equivalent of shrugged shoulders.

    The misinformation, or honest error the White House and Pentagon both neglected to correct, might not have come to light had it not been for a photograph surfacing on Monday of the 97,000 ton USS Carl Vinson sailing through the Sunda Strait that divides the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra, four days after Spicer said it was on its way to North Korea.

    Of course, the announcement that the USS Carl Vinson and accompanying ships were headed for North Korea also came during a tense series of discussions between the United States and China, who has been the focus of Trump’s latest strategy to manage North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

    North Korea, unsurprisingly, responded to the news by volleying a series of threats of pre-emptive nuclear strikes and calling the deployment “nothing but a reckless action of aggression to aggravate the tensions in the region.”


    1. The U.S. Navy could hardly be considered at fault, as they have no obligation to the press or public to reveal the exact location of their military assets at any given time – as doing so could cause serious security ramifications. However, in the multiple press conferences that have been held since the initial announcement, including ones where Sean Spicer and national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, were asked directly about the decision to deploy the USS Carl Vinson to the waters off the coast of North Korea, one would think they could have offered a correction once they were made aware that battle group was actually more than three thousand miles away from where they claimed it was heading.

      It stands to reason, then, that the announcement and subsequent press conferences were a part of political theater intended to apply pressure to North Korea, and likely, China – who has acknowledged the need for them to play a more active role in addressing the threat presented by North Korea’s nuclear weapons since President Xi’s meeting with President Trump last week.

      By making the announcement, the White House may have managed to stir up all the right players without actually having to follow through on their aggressive claims. The strike group will still arrive in the waters off the coast of the Korean peninsula sometime next week, but the desired result may have already occurred – with media outlets and foreign governments alike reacting to a half-truth to full effect.

      Conversely, it may well have been an honest mistake exacerbated by a lack of transparency and potentially even incompetence… but that begs the question: would you rather a government that lies to you to manipulate geopolitics, or one that doesn’t know what it’s doing with nuclear aircraft carriers?

      Neither option seems particularly alluring.

  10. .

    It's the 'gang that couldn't shoot straight' redux.

    The article above says the Carl Vinson will hit the Sea of Japan next week (we have to assume the Japanese flotilla will be there to greet them rather than getting bored at the delay and heading back to Tokyo for sushi).

    This morning, while on his victory tour of Asia, VP Mike Pence said the carrier group should be there 'within a few weeks'.

    Of course, Pence's comments were given to Dana Bash from CNN so Doug will no doubt argue the VP was automatically lying.

    Pence also said there was no chance of any direct negotiations with NK. In the past, Trump indicated he would have no problem talking to Kim directly.

    None of these things are important in and of themselves. The US didn't need a new carrier group in the area to respond to anything Kim might do. At most, it might have been an embarrassment if anything had gone down with NK while the Carl Vinson was in Australia. However, it does point out two problems (among many) in the Trump administration.

    One the dysfunction in an administration where no one ever seems to talk to one another. There is no unified message coming out of these guys except that of Trump and his message can shift on a dime or a 10 minute talk over a magnificent piece of chocolate cake.

    Two, despite the fact that an executive can always delegate authority but never responsibility, Trump tries to do it all the time. It was not the Pentagon that decided to do the saber-rattling with the carl Vinson, it was Trump; yet, now Spicer/Trump are blaming the mix up on the Pentagon.


  11. Trump and his message can shift on a dime or a 10 minute talk over a magnificent piece of chocolate cake.

    You must have missed it, suffering from broad spectrum derp as you do, but he has said a hundred times his view is that unpredictability is often a virtue.

    And the mix up appears to have been the fault of the Pentagon.

  12. .

    CNN Exclusive

    This post is intended to lure Doug away from his morning Mai Tai.

    Mike Pence has changed the normal practice of taking a gaggle of pool reporters on trips with him and instead is now taking just one, which gives the 'chosen one' prime access and exclusive interviews.

    On his Asian trip, Dana Bash of CNN is the pool reporter (not sure how the selection process works).

    Dana Bash has never impressed me very much. She was CNN's on location reporter for the WH and Congress for a number of years and now she is CNN's chief political correspondent. But she has been kind of a non-entity.

    However, on this trip, she is proving to be a great interviewer. I've seen a number of her interviews with Pence and I've been impressed. She seems a little nervous being on the big stage and her voice trembles a little on some of her questions, but the questions she asks are good, probing and tough. Even better, she asks follow-up questions that cut through the bull and the standard talking points every politician tries to use. She is pretty relentless in demanding a real answer and pinning the VP down. Kudos.

    Kudos also to Mike Pence. I may not agree with the man on many of his policies but I'm impressed with the man himself, especially with his coolness. As mentioned Bash's questioning is often aggressive but the VP seems to take no notice of it. When pressed for more specifics, he invariably gives them and he does so without the emotion or histrionics we see in many of these guys when they are pressed. He's a pretty cool dude.


  13. Venezuela braces for 'mother of all protests'

    Maria Isabel SANCHEZ

    ....Maduro on Tuesday activated the "Zamora Plan" -- a military, police and civilian operation aimed at combatting a supposed coup attempt -- which the president says is being orchestrated by Venezuela's opposition and the United States....

    1. Venezuelan president to arm nearly half a million “militia” members
      POSTED AT 8:41 AM ON APRIL 19, 2017 BY JAZZ SHAW

      All is unfolding predictably in Venezuela.

  14. Pence looked pretty good in there at the DMZ.


    Don't know what the truth of all this is but so far I haven't read that he actually even touched anyone.

    And that Wendy seems to be lying like has something of the smell of a bimbo/lawyer conspiracy to me, that part of it....

    1. Lt. General Tom McInerney (Ret), often a guest, will be pleased.

      He hated the guy.

  16. Quirk, just for you.

    "Mr. President, you’re right: Supply management is unfair

    Special to The Globe and Mail
    Published Wednesday, Apr. 19, 2017 11:38AM EDT

    Maxime Bernier is running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada

    Dear Mr. President,


    I agree with you that this protectionist system is unfair for the farmers in Wisconsin and other states, who cannot make a better living by selling their products to their Canadian neighbours. But you will excuse me if I say I am mostly sorry for a much larger group: the 35 million Canadians who are paying on average twice as much as they should for their eggs, chicken and dairy products.

    Canadian families, especially low-income ones with children, suffer because of the hundreds of dollars in extra cost they need to pay each year to support this system. Isn’t it unfair?
    I’m also sorry for the Canadian producers protected from competition by this cartel. It’s actually very unfair for some of them, too.

    They have to pay $24,000 to $40,000 a cow to their protection racket for a piece of paper giving them the right to produce a certain quantity of milk – and that’s before paying for the cow itself! Even when they run a very efficient farm, they cannot grow and sell to foreign markets. That’s the price to pay for not allowing foreigners to sell here.

    And finally, I think it’s very unfair that in order to keep a system that favours less than 10 per cent of Canadian farmers, our government has not been able to negotiate better trade deals for the other 90 per cent of farmers, or for other industrial sectors looking to export their goods.

    So if I were in the Prime Minister’s Office when you call to ask “What happened?” I would answer this: Yes, you are right, we should take responsibility for this policy failure, free our agriculture market, respect our consumers and your producers, and get rid of this unfair system. But since we are on this topic, Mr. President, what happened with softwood lumber?

    1. I am sure your Commerce Department people told you that for decades now your country has repeatedly imposed tariffs and quotas on softwood lumber from Canada, claiming that we were unfairly subsidizing our producers. Every time this issue was brought before a trade tribunal, we were cleared of wrongdoings. Yet, you seem to be falling under the influence of lobbyists for special interests in your country who are asking once more for protectionist measures. Isn’t that unfair, Mr. President?

      Unfair, that is, for hundreds of thousands of American families that would have to pay about $1,000 more for a new home if those 25-per-cent tariffs are applied. Unfair for the 3.8 million Americans who work in residential construction, whose industry would become less competitive and dynamic because of these higher costs.
      I won’t try to convince you, Mr. President, that this would also be unfair for the 25,000 workers in Canada who risk losing their jobs in the forestry sector if you go ahead. You have enough worries to deal with on your side of the border. But I’m sure you and I can agree on this basic economic law: protectionism is unfair for everyone. Unfair to some producers, and unfair to all consumers.

      It’s time to fix this, Mr. President, for the benefit of both our people. I would rather be there to negotiate directly with you, but you could talk about it to a mutual friend of ours, Brian Mulroney. Justin Trudeau did one thing right by asking him to help with those negotiations. He knows a lot about these trade issues. And he agrees with us, too, that supply management has to go.

      You’re known as a tough negotiator, Mr. President. Continue to push hard on our government to open our agricultural markets. But the best way to negotiate in the best interest of your own people would be to do the same thing with your softwood lumber market. Not to succumb to protectionist nonsense. Deal?"

    2. If there were an actual farmer around they could preach the benefits of supply side management.

    3. Buy a few chickens and a rooster, Ash, and create your own eggs.

      I remember separating the brown eggs from the white out on the Clyde Place when I was kid.

      I remember the the lady chopping off a chicken head to create a dinner source....

      Be self sufficient !

    4. .

      Trump knows shit about negotiation. He is a clown and out of his league. Yesterday, WiO told us that Donald Trump is teaching the Chinese 'the art of war'. This con man teaching the Chinese, a people that have been practicing the art of war for nearly 4,000 years? Don't make me laugh. In that 10 minute discussion with Xi in Mar-a-Lago, Trump got his ass handed to him. He gave up the legitimate concerns the US has with China in exchange for a 'promise' the Chinese would intervene with NK (something they really have no power to do) and would stop receiving coal from the NK (something they stated they were planning on doing back in February). The man is a buffoon.

      [As an aside, Trump's play to bring back the US coal industry is doomed to failure but in going forward with it he is creating an unnecessary environmental problem. Don't have the time to go into it right now but this is a subject for another time as is the pipelines he approved.]

      On trade, Trump's go to approach is to go in with a massive demand right at the start and settle for something less. It shows what an amateur he is. No one can really take him seriously on many of the things he says and he merely ends up a laughing stock.

      As a real estate developer, he showed his real 'negotiating' skills. Well, at least, the skills of the con man and grifter. He'd find a project, get the investors and the money men together, sell them on a fully leveraged deal using none of his own money, and then file bankruptcy if it didn't work out. Now, if it looked like a viable deal, at some point he'd call the sub-contractors in and tell them the deal isn't working out and that they have to take a 30% haircut. He had a stable of well paid lawyers to handle the inevitable pushback.

      Sure he made money but then so did Bernie Madoff. All you need is the lack of a conscience and the ethics of a snake.


    5. as Deuce once argued about his man - HE IS THE PRESIDENT!

    6. Everyone is waiting breathlessly for The Quirk Solution to North Korea, Iran, etc.

      Quirk remains breathlessly quiet.

      How long, O Lord, must we wait ?

    7. (I'm beginning to deeply suspect Quirk don't really know shit)

  17. .

    You Want Irony? I'll Give You Irony.

    Did you catch this gem on from April 6? “The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Benham, owned by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, is switching to solar power to save money. … Communications director Brandon Robinson told CNN affiliate WYMT that the project ‘will help save at least eight to ten thousand dollars, off the energy costs on this building alone.’”

    Go figure. The coal mining museum is going solar, for solid economic reasons, and President Trump is reviving coal, with no economic logic at all. This bizarre contrast speaks to a deeper question of leadership and how we judge presidents...


    1. .

      There are currently about twice as many people working in solar in the US than there are in coal.

      There are about as many people working for Arby's as there are working in the coal industry.

      Worldwide consumption of coal has been going down for years. This is not due to regulations.


    2. On the first two sentences, no shit, Obama and EPA shut them down.

      The third is very dubious given the climate change treaties and such.

    3. Trump talked about coal to get votes. We should be going nuclear.



    4. We should be headed toward Doug's Billion Person World Nirvana.

      ...I've finally realized I'm old enough to tell the truth despite all the religious right and left wing fanatics that insist that anyone who refuses to believe that we shouldn't multiply like rabbits until we cover the Earth is IMMORAL.

    5. ...or more hilariously, until we HAVE to take a one way trip to Mars with a potato to save the human race.

      Fucking Morons.

    6. Yep Doug; agreed! - our reliance on growth as an economic necessity is very problematic.

    7. Indeed.

      Sustainability, baby.

      Gaia forever.

    8. The need for growth is driven by debt - ya gotta feed the fractional beast.

  18. .

    O'Reilly is Out

    Fox News host Bill O'Reilly will not return to the network, 21st Century Fox announced Wednesday.

    "After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel," the network said in a statement...

    I wonder if he will tell us where he took his vacation? I entered his contest and quessed Rikers Island.


  19. He called me a white poo poo head!

  20. Eliminate all those not 2000 percent "liberal."

  21. The definition of sexual harassment is now so low one is afraid to even talk to women, except one's wife, and that carries risks of its own.

    The solution ?

    An all male blog, even if one of the contributors is a derp.

    1. BIG demo in Venezuela....Maduro arming 'people's militia' aka goon squads....while the people are the ones in the food, no medicine, no money, no hope.....

      If you are looking for a 'fascist', Derp, look to Maduro, not The Donald.

    2. Be my Maduro's humidor, baby.

  22. Bill and Hillary Clinton should be crowned protectors of all that is young and female in the World.

    1. ...and of course role models for the tens of millions who were young and impressionable and grew up during his reign.

  23. Campus-Wide E-mail Tells White Girls to Stop Wearing Hoop Earrings Because It’s Cultural Appropriation

    1. .

      Or nose rings (not only cultural appropriation but also inter-species appropriation).


  24. .

    Rex Tillerson just reported to Congress that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal we signed with them.

    So, Trump threatens to cancel the Iran nuclear deal. Trump calls the deal 'the worst deal ever' (evidently forgetting the deal the American people got when they put him in office).

    If Kim Jong-un is the wicked witch of the East, it's hard to argue Trump isn't the wicked witch of the West.

    There is little to separate them. Can you tell which of them the following describes?


    The most current iteration of the DSM classifies narcissistic personality disorder as: "A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts." A diagnosis would also require five or more of the following traits:

    1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.

    2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love.

    3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions.

    4. Requires excessive admiration.

    5. Has a sense of entitlement.

    6. Is interpersonally exploitative.

    7. Lacks empathy, is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

    8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.

    9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

    Both leaders insist on being the center of attention and will do anything to assure it.

    Both are trying to prove they are relevant. Kim obviously has a harder time since he has only one card to play. Trump has plenty of cards to play and he is proceeding to make himself relevant in all the wrong ways. He seems incapable of getting any legislation through Congress so instead he uses presidential mandates to keep all the dumb promises he made during the campaign while at the same time ignoring all the reasonable promises he made.

    Both guys are unpredictable, brag about being unpredictable, and take unpredictable actions, actions that are dangerous by the very unpredictability of their nature.

    Neither guy seems to realize the potential dangers inherent in a miscue on his part.


    1. Can you tell which of them the following describes?

      Derp ?

      3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique....

      Describes our Derp who calls everyone else 'dicks'....

      and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions....which Derp finds for himself down at Ye Olde Mafia Barber Shoppe, Detroit, Michigan.

    2. Please quit with it now, Quirk.

      Pretty pretty please

    3. Just tell us all exactly what you propose to do about all these unpleasant situations, or if nothing, tell us that....we need leadership here.

  25. Gronk

  26. Trump’s Got a Mega-Bomb Designed to Hit North Korea
    04.19.17 6:26 AM ET

    Forget the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier that President Donald Trump claimed, wrongly, was steaming toward North Korea to punish Kim Jong Un’s regime for apparently testing a nuclear-capable ballistic missile last Saturday.
    Forget the U.S. Marine Corps F-35 stealth fighters that practiced bombing runs on the Korean Peninsula in late March. Forget the contingent of U.S. Army soldiers—part of the 29,000-strong American ground force in South Korea—that Vice President Mike Pence visited Sunday, just a day after Pyongyang’s latest missile test failed.

    No, if the United States seriously intends to punish North Korea for continuing to develop nuclear warheads and the rockets to deliver them, then the punitive blow will likely come from Missouri.

    That is, in the form of stealth bombers carrying America’s biggest non-nuclear bombs.

    Not the 11-ton Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) fuel-air bomb that U.S. forces dropped on suspected ISIS positions in eastern Afghanistan on April 13. Rather, an even bigger munition.

    Since the 1990s, the U.S. government has been preparing to attack North Korea’s most heavily protected military facilities, specifically in order to slow or halt Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

    The American plan involves long-range, radar-evading stealth bombers hauling gigantic, earth-penetrating bombs. The scheme began in the mid-1990s, as President Bill Clinton and hawkish Republican lawmakers sparred over a nascent nuclear pact with the reclusive North Korean regime.

    The plan advanced further in the early 2000s under President George W. Bush’s policy of pre-emptive military strikes—the same policy that mired the United States in Iraq for, so far, 14 years of grinding warfare.
    In the early 1990s, North Korea was not yet a nuclear power—but it certainly possessed the potential to become one. The Clinton administration aimed to head off Pyongyang’s atomic ambitions and by some accounts an attack was imminent, at the risk of an enormous casualty count, until former President Jimmy Carter stepped in and offered another remedy by diplomatic means.

    In early 1994, the U.S. State Department signed the “Agreed Framework” with North Korea. The deal was simple. Pyongyang would suspend development of weapons-grade nuclear reactors if, in exchange, Washington helped the impoverished country build nuclear reactors that weren’t weapons-grade.

    The Bush administration labeled the framework “appeasement” and, by 2004, had abandoned it.
    Two years later, North Korea triggered its first nuclear test blast.

    Under Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, the Pentagon hewed to a policy of preemption. In November 2001, just a few weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks, Cheney announced that if there was even a 1 percent chance that a threat was real, “we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response.”

    1. Cheney’s 1-percent doctrine drove the United States to war with Iraq over that country’s purported—and to this day unsubstantiated—efforts to field weapons of mass destruction. The doctrine shaped America’s approach to North Korea, as well.

      In mid-2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld directed the Pentagon to rewrite its plan for war with North Korea—OPLAN 5027—to allow for preemptive air raids on Pyongyang’s nuclear facilities.

      But the North Korean regime had been busily burying its most important military sites. Starting in the 1960s, Pyongyang constructed as many as 8,000 underground facilities, Maj. Park Sung-man, a South Korean military officer, told wire service UPI in 2015. Park claimed he got those numbers from a U.S. source.

      Under Bush, the U.S. armed forces lacked the means to destroy the deepest facilities. During the 1991 Gulf War, the military had rushed production of 5,000-pound bunker-busting bombs capable of punching through 100 feet of earth or 20 feet or concrete. A few years later, the Pentagon developed 2,000-pound bombs that it concluded were 25 percent more effective against underground sites. More than a decade later, these two munitions remained America’s best weapons for destroying North Korea’s underground military infrastructure.

      They weren’t enough.

      “Neutralization of an underground facility... is a formidable task,” Air Force Col. Russell Hart wrote in a 2012 paper. To collapse the most “hardened” subterranean facilities, the Defense Department determined that it would need to skip a 10- to 15-ton bomb into a tunnel entrance in order to blow through the door and send a shock wave into the site.

      The Bush administration considered fielding a “Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator”—in essence, a tactical nuclear weapon with a harder-than-usual shell that could burrow deeper into the ground than other atomic bombs. The Union of Concerned Scientists concluded that the RNEP could “produce tremendous radioactive fallout.”

      Congress balked at preemptively nuking North Korea’s nukes. Lawmakers wanted a non-nuclear alternative. In 2004, the Pentagon began development of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, a 15-ton conventional bomb specifically designed to collapse all but the deepest buried facilities in Iran and North Korea.

      MOP was ready for combat in 2011. Each of the Air Force’s 20 B-2 stealth bombers based at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri can carry two of the 21-foot-long munitions. So, forget carriers, stealth fighters, and ground troops. The B-2s and the massive bombs are, at present, America’s only non-nuclear options for destroying Pyongyang’s best-protected weapons sites.

      Also ignore Trump when he threatens to send a naval armada toward Pyongyang. Disregard Pence as he inspects Army formations along the Korean Demilitarized Zone. If you want to know if, and when, the United States intends to attack North Korea, look to Missouri—and stealth bombers hauling massive, ground-penetrating bombs.

    2. When Trump was campaigning he bandied about the idea of nuking up Japan, and South Korea, and leaving it all up to them.

      Unlike Derp, who keeps his plans close to his vest, I have no idea what to do, but think this maybe isn't such a great idea.

      Anyway Trump seems to have backed away from the idea for now.

    3. I'll go out on a limb and say my opinion is the less countries with nuclear weapons the better.

    4. Give it up:

      There's no such thing as a "Messreader"

    5. Just hoping Derp will come through for us.

    6. Kim Fatso III killed a 'girlfriend' and her entire band, I read the other day, being upset over something or other.

      It might be fake news but I don't doubt it much.

  27. 'Kim WILL push the nuclear button': North Korean defector forced to watch her first public execution aged SEVEN claims mad dictator will stop at nothing to nuke US as a 'last stand'
    North Korean defector Hyeonseo Lee was 17 when she escaped reclusive nation
    She thought life was 'normal' until dead bodies littered the streets after famine
    Says her home country is 'most horrible on earth' and its people 'brainwashed'
    Hyeonseo, 37, is convinced its dictator Kim Jong-un does have nuclear weapons
    'He would launch missiles at South Korea, Japan, America,' she told MailOnline
    By Jay Akbar For Mailonline
    PUBLISHED: 09:02 BST, 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:50 BST, 19 April 2017

  28. Iago comes to mind when thinking of Kim Jong un.


  29. "Earlier in the day, as press secretary Sean Spicer was giving his daily briefing, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski interrupted, entering the press room from a side door.

    “Need some help?” Gronkowski asked Spicer.

    Spicer, who grew up in Rhode Island and is a huge Patriots fan, looked genuinely surprised.

    “I think I got this, but thank you,” Spicer said.

    “Are you sure?” Gronkowski asked.

    “All right, thanks, man. I’ll see you in a minute,” Spicer said.

    The press secretary smiled from the podium and added, “OK, that was cool."

  30. Leaked Email Shows George Soros’ MEDIA MATTERS Orchestrated O’Reilly Smear Campaign

    1. I buy into that to some degree.

      He's now accused, among other things, of calling a good looking young black lady 'Hot Chocolate'.

      Is this sexual, or racial, harassment ?

      I don't know. What's the Law here anyway ?

      But I can't see he's ever been accused of touching anyone, though I may have missed it.

    2. 'The Five', now the six, including Jesse Waters, is taking over his time slot, I think.

    3. O'Reilly has proven himself to be an oaf, lout, boor....

  31. .

    The Establishment will win in the ends unless we all lose big time.

    Jared Kushner will be eaten by the Blob but no one will care not even Jared

    The president empowered his son-in-law because he doesn't trust the foreign-policy establishment. But the establishment has a way of winning in the end...

    At last count, Kushner’s assignments include solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, leading a “SWAT team” of private consultants that will reorganize and streamline the federal government, and serving as an informal presidential envoy to China, Iraq, and anywhere else Trump decides to send him. He also seems to have acquired the job of keeping Steve Bannon in check (or maybe getting rid of him entirely). Kushner hasn’t made his situation any easier by coming across like a spoiled rich kid who’d rather go skiing than govern. But he’d have his work cut out for him even if he combined the cunning of a Henry Kissinger and the political skills of a Lyndon Johnson...

    Indeed, Kushner’s role in the White House actually reveals a deeper problem: Trump doesn’t actually care if his policies work or not. He doesn’t care if health care is ever fixed, if the climate warms up and millions of people die, if coal miners or autoworkers get new and better jobs, if the Islamic State is ever defeated, or if U.S. infrastructure is rebuilt. All he cares about is whether he can convince people that he’s responsible for anything good that happens and persuade them that adverse developments are someone else’s fault. It has been apparent from day one that Trump cares first and foremost about himself, his family, and his fortune. Full stop.

    Doing the people’s business — that is, actually governing — is hard work, and it really cuts into the time you can spend on the golf course.

    Not caring about getting anything done is also liberating: It means you can hire whomever you want, give them a thousand impossible things to do before breakfast, and then get back to correcting your slice.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Jared Kushner has a job in the White House that no one could possibly perform. It’s also why you don’t see him devoting much time or effort to trying to resist the Washington foreign-policy establishment his father-in-law once so vociferously maligned, as evidenced by the recent humanitarian intervention in Syria and discussion of sending tens of thousands of ground troops there. It is entirely predictable that Kushner, and Trump, would abdicate to the Blob, since their stated political beliefs, even when they contained a glimmer of insight, were never moored by practical knowledge.

    The Trump family’s essential interest in the jobs they’ve acquired is personal vanity; they’re happy — indeed, obliged — to outsource those jobs’ other aspects.

    But the fault ultimately lies not with Kushner (though a smarter person might have turned down the offer and concentrated on saving his own family’s business). The fault lies in the man from Mar-a-Lago.

    True dat.


    1. .

      Jared Kushner in Full Battle Dress

      You can't see the walking stick in his right hand but that's a copy of the WSJ in the vest.


    2. Sure looks like he's dressed to crawl into a tunnel and kill a jihadi to me.

    3. What's wrong with having a copy of The Wall Street Journal ?

      I like the Journal.

      I got published in The Times of India (2nd place consolation prize, yes there is a connection between the two) in a spur of the moment essay contest about a guy that killed a dog in a traffic jam in LA. The heat maddened dog had jumped out of a car ahead and went for his arm hanging out of the car. Beat the dog to death with a wrench.

      It was a slow news day....

      Should the man be charged with animal cruelty ?

      I said, use the DesCartes Defense.

      (animals are basically just machines)

      Offer to pay property damages, at most....

      You ought to read the Journal, Derp, you might learn some shit.

    4. Make the jury prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a moral certainty that DesCartes was wrong....fuck with their heads.....DesCartes was a father of western European modern philosophy, for goodness sakes.

      I think, therefore I am.

      I don't think, therefore I am not....dogs, horses, derps, that kind of stuff....

    5. They guy from the Journal who called said I'd have won but they had chosen someone else right before my brilliance appeared, right before the bell.

      First place prize was a weekend at some resort in Florida !

    6. DesCartes had it that God or the nature of things had designed the animals to whine and make like hurt so we'd have sympathy and not harm or misuse our given helpers.

    7. I just provided the defense, didn't say whether the man should be charged with animal cruelty or not, given the highly irritating circumstances....

    8. DesCartes was not a Hindu, to say the least.

  32. Hannity reports one Chinese newspaper, government connected (I imagine they all toe the line), said China may take out N. Korea's nuke sites itself, for what that might be worth.

  33. If I had to bet I'd probably bet Kim gets his, sooner rather than later.

    I get to decide what is sooner and what is later, having learned from Rufus not to make idiotic predictions.