Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category
Operator: Hello, this is the Spitefulness Hotline for Inhumane Troglodytes, S.H.I.T., how may I help you?
Caller: I just called because I’m scared. Really scared.
Operator: Why are you scared?
Caller: I’m a Republican and I’m having doubts.
Operator: Doubts about what?
Caller: Doubts that we are running out of ways to actually hurt people. The only thing that helps me is drinking. Drinking a lot. Well, and the cocaine. That seems to help. Then there’s the sex with my congressional staff. Then there’s the sex with the spouses of my congressional staff. And occasionally there’s the sex with their kids, but…
Operator: Okay, I get it. You’re just an average god-fearing, family values Republican trying to make a difference by delivering spitefulness to those hateful hordes back home.
Caller: You are incredibly perceptive.
Operator: Thank you. I used to work as a Planned Parenthood protester. I could spot those pregos at 50 paces. Everyone said, “If pigs had a nose for truffles, I had a snout for amniotic fluid.” Now, what seems to be the problem today?
Caller: I’m just worried and depressed. What if we can’t come up with new ways to hurt people? I mean how else are we going to hypnotize the bloodthirsty Tea Party types? What are we going to rant and rave about? What if Ann Coulter couldn’t buy that cheeseburger she needs? And how is it fair that Ailes and O’Reilly only got $65 Million?
Operator: Is this the first time you’ve felt this way?
Caller: No. I had a bad case of the sads when we softened up on Civil Rights and the lunch counter thing. And that Bush prescription drug plan! Don’t get me started. The only thing that kept me going during the Bush years was bombing some brown people. Now those were some good times.
Operator: That’s why we’re here. If you are feeling charitable or bighearted, we are here to put the Freon back in your veins. Why’d you want to S.H.I.T. talk today?
Caller: It’s like what happens when you are coming down off a really good coke high. You know no matter how good it gets, it won’t get any better than nose sledding through that pure white snow. I mean really. How does it get any better than charging cancer patients $142,000 more a year for piss poor insurance coverage? How’s it gonna get better than hitting minimum wage working mothers with $17,000 more a year just because they might have a kid at some point? If we don’t have that to look forward to, is life worth living? Can you feel me bro?
Operator: I can feel ya.
Caller: I mean we made sure mentally ill people could get guns. We finally got more mercury back where it belongs – in our air and water. We even said, in our out-loud voices, that cutting Meals on Wheels was the compassionate thing to do. Does it get any better than that? Amirite?
Operator: Have you tried talking with anyone else about these feelings?
Caller: Well, we have cheerleading sessions down in the basement of the Capitol. After we sacrifice some goats, the anime-eyed granny starver gets up and promises to take Medicare away, but he’s just talkin’. Daddy won’t deliver.
Operator: How do you know?
Caller: He’s actually going to give the old folks vouchers. Vouchers, I tell you. Like grocery stores won’t take vouchers for cat food? Of course they will.
Operator: There are always wars. Think about that. Those young Bernbrained bros are about to get a camo-clothing allowance. That’s something to look forward to.
Caller: I know, but how many times can you watch chemical weapons and still get that cold fuzzy feeling? I love the smell of Sarin in the morning.
Operator: Do you have a family?
Caller: No, I ICE’d ‘em last year. Had them deported. It was just a little early Christmas present I gave myself.
Operator: Hey listen, like all good conservative think tanks we run an intellectual support group for those who might be feeling a little too altruistic and not getting their venom on.
Caller: Really, what’s it called?
Operator: S.H.I.T. for Brains. Can we count on you?
Caller: You bet.
Operator: We like to keep anonymous data on our callers for statistical purposes. We have a few questions. Just exactly how white are you?
Caller: I was the centerfold for Cracker Quarterly.
Operator: What sign were you born under?
Caller: Tuscaloosa 12 miles.
Operator: Who has been your greatest influence?
Caller: Porn stars.
Caller: On camera, no one changes positions faster.
Operator: That’s all I need. Thanks for calling. Spread S.H.I.T. around.
Caller: I feel better. Here’s a little virtual fist bump just like the one Kush, ever so gently but firmly, gave me as we reached for the same Egyptian 1,500 thread count sheets.
End of recording.
What’s on your mind today?
A few weeks ago Dump’s chief cheerleader Kellyanne Conjob said that journalists’ Twitter feeds “are a hot mess.” The obvious irony of her remark can’t be avoided, of course. But like a broken clock, for a person who talks as much as she does, she’s bound to say something true and that might have been her one true statement. Journalists’ Twiter feeds are a hot fucking mess. I’ve been following a few, and see many more re-tweeted. And the problem with legitimate reporters having Twitter feeds is that their commentary turns them into pundits. Maggie Haberman (everything is Clinton’s fault all the time), Katy Tur (after SOTU Dump became President with Capital P) and Jake Tapper (everything is Clinton’s fault) constantly engage commenters, defending their own opinions. I don’t particularly care that they have anti-Clinton opinions, but any opinion they so openly express and defend makes them no different than Jeffrey Lord. Of course we can’t expect reporters not to have opinions. But airing them as they all do brings into question their reporting. Bill O’Reilly mixes news and opinion into one telecast. Is it really so different when Maggie Haberman files a Clinton story in the NY Times and then writes on Twitter that Clinton is obviously at fault for not pushing Trump/Russia story harder during the election? The line between Haberman and O’Reilly blurs.
The latest onslaught of Hillary bashing comes from publication of a new book called “Clusterfuck” by Fuckface Fucktard and Fuckity Fuckass. I might have gotten the name of the book wrong and misspelled the names of the authors. But it’s something like that. The book is the first in what will surely be many years of autopsies of Clinton’s campaign. The gist of it is that it’s all Clinton’s fault, and mostly Robby Mook’s fault. (Nobody was allowed to speak to Hillary except via Huma and Mook is a “professional political assassin”.) The sources are, of course, largely anonymous. And the content isn’t really surprising.
What is also not surprising are the reviews. I know a graph I posted last week showed that Washington Post’s anti-Hillary coverage was only second to Fox’s, but somehow New York Times’ has always carried much more weight. (And I wonder if Chris Cillizza’s Clinton Derangement Syndrome skewed WaPo coverage overall. He is truly demented and has transferred his psychosis to his new job at CNN. More on Cillizza below.)
Michiko Kakutani reviewed the book in New York Times:
“Shattered” underscores Clinton’s difficulty in articulating a rationale for her campaign (other than that she was not Donald Trump.) And it suggests that a tendency to value loyalty over competence resulted in a lumbering, bureaucratic operation in which staff members were reluctant to speak truth to power, and competing tribes sowed “confusion, angst and infighting.”
Kakutani has a long history of reviewing both Clintons’ books and it’s not a good history. Compare to Steven Ginsberg review in Washington Post:
Does it really matter who was pissy at whom in Brooklyn when we still don’t know what role the Russians played in the election or why FBI Director James Comey publicly announced a reopening of the e-mail investigation in late October? Those questions are largely left unexplored here, other than as targets of Clinton’s post-election ire.
I also liked this paragraph from Ginsberg:
Much of the post-election analysis has criticized Clinton and her campaign for focusing on “reach” states such as North Carolina instead of putting more resources in the upper Midwest. That view is both echoed and called into question in “Shattered,” which depicts a vexing Goldilocks-style problem for Clinton across the region.
In Wisconsin, she didn’t show up enough. In Michigan, local organizers thought it was best that she stayed away. In Pennsylvania, she campaigned as aggressively as anywhere in the nation. In all three, she lost by less than 1 percent of the vote. So what should she have done?
Charles Pierce wrote a great takedown of New York Times’ Clinton problem. It’s worth reading in its entirety. Pierce reaches back to William Safire and Whitewater, the source of Times’ Clinton Derangement Syndrome.
Several other reporters and writers also pointed to the nonsense of the book’s premise and the subsequent flogging of Clinton.
Dave Weigel of WaPo tweeted: “Obviously Clinton screwed up by forcing every cable channel to play Trump speeches live for a year.”
Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo: “Remember: Every losing campaign was run by idiots. Every winning campaign by geniuses. Rinse, repeat.”
Greg Sargent of The Plum Line: “Weird how people who cite Nate Silver constantly suddenly don’t ever cite his conclusion about Comey impact.”
And, of course, Paul Krugman: “When journos who hyped e-mail pseudo-scandal pile on over HRC campaign errors, it’s partly CYA over their own role n Trump disaster.”
I do wish Krugman would walk over to Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush and smack them.
A note about Cillizza. His Clinton hate is truly one of the most rabid among the media. I try to think of someone who might match it at the moment and really, I can’t think of anyone who’s not, say, Rush Limbaugh. After his latest “It’s all Hillary’s fault” article from today, an Unworthy writer Parker Malloy put together a collage of some of Cillizza’s articles from WaPo on Clinton. (The handle in the images reads CillizzaCNN, but that’s because he’s changed it to his current job; the old username from WaPo days was not archived separately.)
If you want to know what real, fearless journalism looks like, read the story of Elena
Milashina from Novaya Gazeta. Milashina is the reporter who told the world about the kidnapping and torture of gay men in Chechnya, reports that put her life in danger. Novaya Gazeta is the same newspaper Anna Politkovskaya worked for. Politkovskaya reported a lot on Putin’s actions in Chechnya. She was murdered.
Another example of courageous reporting, also from Russia, is in this Jim Rutenberg report.
It’s important American journalists pay attention to these stories. Because Trump wants to be like Putin. And if Trump becomes Putin, he’ll go after journalists first.
Released on: April 18, 2017, 9:01 am (EDT)
Industry: Fashion Press Release
38th Parallel, DMZ, South Korean side — /M.A.D./ — From the world’s greatest designer lacking both perspective and a hint of humility, comes Don Saint l’Orange, who is thrilled to announce the Spring 2017 opening of MADwear – Mission Accomplished Duds.
This is not virginal MADness. The world has seen Mission Accomplished Duds before. These are the duds for the man who longs for big things that come easily to those who have long toiled in the vineyards of wealth and privilege. MADwear gear was first spotted on a carrier dick deck in 2003. Fast forward to yesterday with Powder body double and Oedipal Complex support group dropout, Mike Pence, sporting a MADwear bomber jacket as he squinted longingly and menacingly toward North Korea.
Don St. l’Orange, much like all things in his life, retroactively appropriated the design and recently sported the gear on his bulbous rind. After he went missing and a Golden Alert was issued, Don l’Orange was found roaming the naval carrier Gerald R. Ford. When told about the Golden Alert, DoLo wondered aloud, “Will there be pee?” and “I thought Carrier made air conditioners.”
You may know DoLo by his other sobriquets – the Incredible Papaya Limpet and the Vermillion Versace, but he is best known in the business world for being an unmitigated FOCKer (Fiend of Carbon Kibitzing).
MADwear is thrilled to announce the opening of its e-tail shop with its inaugural photo shoot, MADness Amid Chaos. DoLo has always coveted e-tail and wanted to take advantage of its vulnerability by grabbing it. Along with rot gut wine and inedible offal marketed as steak, the shop will feature MADness as a wearable metaphor for the pre-dementia psychopathic narcissist living out a lifelong fascination with strong military-types. MADwear is homage to these “manly men” and the supple brown, Barcalounger pleather bomber jacket is a natural follow-up to the original jumpsuit codpiece sported by the unmanscaped raging Bush.
Based in Mexicali, Mexico, MADwear showcases a unique clothing perspective by providing Duds for Dudes (Duds for Duds will be a subsequent marketing push). Just as the MAD jackets are reversible, so is the name — Duds Accomplishing Missions Naturally (DAMN) is a brother label and given the fraternal bro popularity, the movement has become known as DAMNation.
Says owner l’Orange, “our MADness Amid Chaos photo shoot is a metaphor for how treasonous incompetence can masquerade as persimmon perfidy only until the spring when the pleather rash blooms. Without fail, 2017 will be a year of MADness — a fashion forewarned trend.”
Please note: MADwear does not own the trademark to Mutually Assured Destruction and any similarity to the elements of thermonuclear war are entirely coincidental.
What is on your mind today?
As sure as orange is the color of prison jumpsuits, these days monumental events fall prey to the 140-charactered immaculate misconceptions of POTUS (Putrefaction of the Umber Scrotum). As the King of Siam said, “So let it be written. So let it be done.” The Umber Scrotum took this to heart and added his dribbling drivel of, “I only regret that I have but 140 characters to tweet for my country.”
In the list of shortest reigns, at 84-days the “Persimmon Putintate” is fast approaching the record of Emperor Pertinax of Rome. Pertinax lasted 86-days before being beaten to death by the Praetorian Guards. His passing was fortuitous since shortly thereafter the Praetorians separated his head from his body, placed it upon a pike, and led a parade with it.
These tangerine-hued 84-days have not been without palace intrigue. Much to the chagrin of all ground beef-faced Americans, it appears Steve Bannon’s sell-by date has come and gone. Even his dead-eyed mini-me, Steve Miller, has broken pucker and in true remora fish symbiosis firmly attached himself to the Kingdom of Kushner.
Many progressives believe the devolution of Bannon into yogurt is positive. Color me unconvinced. Dolt 45, while not yet starting a war, is liable to leave devastation just as formidable in his wake.
Let’s review. If Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is beating the nativist tribal drums, while Scott Pruitt is figuring out how to incorporate asbestos and pesticides into our diets, with Budget Director Dick Mick Mulvaney proclaiming a goal of high inequality, and Gary Cohn running the economy as an asterisk to the Goldman Sachs balance sheet, the Dolt 45 administration is a conservative Cialis-palooza.
For instance, Granny Sessions, a man who was too racist to be confirmed as federal judge 30-years ago, has in the last few weeks:
Indicated a desire to roll back civil rights oversight of abusive police departments, stampeded over states’ objections to immigration enforcement raids at courthouses, dropped efforts to improve forensic science, directed federal prosecutors to dedicate a larger share of their resources to deporting immigrants, launched a new crackdown on high-tech guest worker visas, and indicated a desire to bring back old-school “war on drugs” policies, including a stepped-up federal crackdown on marijuana use.
Or let’s look at the influence of Goldman Sachs. Here’s the picture of the Mar-a-Lago ersatz Situation Room last weekend surrounding the Syrian deserted airfield cafeteria bombing.
In this picture, not counting the soldier at the door, there are fourteen people. Of those fourteen, eight have either worked for or borrowed money from Goldman Sachs.
These things alone will not add Dolt 45 to the Emperor Pertinax list. It will be the cold hard reality of numbers. Since I have trouble counting to 21 with my shoes on, here’s a picture.
Now for some perspective – in the United States there might be 12,200 lobbyists nationwide. We have a better idea of foreign agents since by law they must register. By a recent count, there were about 1,700 registered foreign agents.
So in a country of 320 Million souls, the odds of running into a free-range lobbyist are really slim, like 0.00004. The odds of running into a registered foreign agent on the hoof are even slimmer, 0.000005.
By their own admission, the OrangeCursed campaign had only about 40 key staffers and barely 100 advisers. The question becomes: How did the campaign have, not one, but two retroactively registered foreign agents? And how, out of 320 Million people, did eleven putrid peons with ties to Putin’s Russia find their way to Trump Tower just in time for this hootenanny?
In their conclusory paragraph on Russian collusion in the 2016 election, The Guardian says:
One source suggested the official investigation was making progress. “They now have specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion,” the source said. “This is between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.”
So let it be written. So let it be done.
What’s on your mind today?
“The lowest form of popular culture – lack of information, misinformation, disinformation and a contempt for the truth or the reality of most people’s lives – has overrun real journalism. Today, ordinary Americans are being stuffed with garbage.” – Carl Bernstein
“When I entered politics, I took the only downward turn you could take from journalism.” – Jim Hightower
When the Pulitzers announced that David Fahrenthold of Washington Post was receiving an award for National Reporting “For persistent reporting that created a model for transparent journalism in political campaign coverage while casting doubt on Donald Trump’s assertions of generosity toward charities,” no one was surprised. He was the highly favored candidate. Fahrenthold was one of the very few mainstream reporters who did not spend the 2016 election cycle sifting through Hillary Clinton’s stolen e-mails. One of the very few. (Because of his reporting on Trump’s charity donations, Fahrenthold was also the one to receive the Access Hollywood tape when NBC spent days trying to decide how and when to release it.) Fahrenthold began his investigation into Trump’s supposed (and non-existent) charitable donations on something of a hunch. He remembered Trump once saying on TV that he would donate $6 million to veterans groups and Fahrenthold wondered if Trump followed through on the promise. So he started researching and found a Pulitzer.
Do you know who didn’t find a Pulitzer? Anybody who was sifting through Hillary Clinton’s stolen e-mails. The vast majority of the news media spent 18 months questioning Clinton on her use of a private e-mail server and then combing through tens of thousands of stolen e-mails from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign. All they found was a risotto recipe and that one time Clinton and Huma Abedin split a crème brûlée. There
was also gossip. But nothing that a sane person could interpret as in any way significant to a Presidential campaign. And yet, according to statistics, E-MAILS was the topic of more conversation on the news than anything else. Though we might think the NY Times was the most egregious in their anti-Hillary coverage, it was – in fact, the Washington Post that by far led Hillary-hate; second only to Fox News.
When CNN’s Jake Tapper was told by Robby Mook that there are allegations about stolen DNC e-mails and Russian interference via WikiLeaks, Tapper’s incredulous eye-rolling response should shame him for the rest of his life. (It won’t.) Not because he didn’t just take Mook’s word for it in the moment. But because Tapper never called any of his sources, whether in Congress or in the Intelligence Community, and ask: “Hey, what is he talking about? Anything to this?” Because he might have gotten an affirmative response and landed the biggest story of his life. By that time the FBI was alredy investigating Trump’s possible collusion with Russia. And the Gang of 8 in Congress was about to be briefed. Harry Reid would fire off multiple public letters to FBI Director James Comey, imploring additional information to be disclosed on Trump and Russia. To no avail. Comey was silent and the media treated Reid like a deranged lunatic. Very few reporters looked into these stories. Kurt Eichenwald of Newsweek was one, and was widely derided by the Left and the Right. When David Corn of Mother Jones published an article about the Steele dossier in October, he was laughed at too. When Franklin Foer of Slate published an article claiming that a Trump server was communicating with a Russian Alfa Bank he was laughed at as well. His allegations were infamously dismissed by the NY Times as “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. sees no clear link to Russia” in an article by Eric Lichtblau. It is a headline that should be tattooed on Lichtblau’s forehead. (Lichtblau recently left the Times to be CNN’s lead investigative reporter…) The NY Times was flat out wrong. And they conducted an interview with Harry Reid for the story, and then threw it out unused. The story remains up, un-retracted. We, of course, now know for a fact that the Times was wrong. The F.B.I. was investigating Trump and they saw links to Russia. And Alfa Bank’s communications with Trump servers is one of the lynchpins of the investigation.
So what happens when journalism is wrong? Journalists love themselves because they say their job is to hold the powerful accountable for wrong-doing. But what happens when journalists are wrong? What happens when entire media empires fail to see the biggest story of their lifetimes and chase a red herring, plunging a nation into a crises? Where, to paraphrase, does a person the media ruined go to get their good name back? How do we collectively crawl our way out of the hole the media threw us all in?
The answer, I fear is…nothing happens. They pay no price. When the NY Times and Judith Miller published Dick Cheney’s fake stories about Saddam Hussein’s WMDs, then watched Cheney go on television and cite the Times as proof that Hussein had WMDs, and the country went to a catastrophic war in Iraq…nothing happened to the NY Times. They threw Miller out, as if her reports were not approved by editors above her and as if lawyers and standards/practices didn’t sign off on her reports. The Times paid no price. And they will pay no price for Clinton’s e-mails either.
Society of Professional Journalists writes: “Report the story, don’t become part of it.” I wonder how they feel about NY Times’ Maggie Haberman receiveing an adoring write-up from CNN, as the reporter Trump hates the mostest. NBC/MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell sees Maggie and raises her by being the most hated reporter of all the Presidents in Politico. And CNN’s Brian Stelter is the Young Messiah of Washington Post’s ode. Each of these articles was reposted on social media by the author, the subject, every other reporters both sides work with. It’s a veritable journalistic circle jerk of love and adoration. There are no consequences for their failures – to them. The only consequences belong to us. The only ones to pay will be the public, which now clings to the same reporters who brought us to hell to help dig us out. “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” Washington Post says. Except they broke all of the lights.
Overheard at the Widdershin water cooler this week – we are fed up with: (A) Anthropological stories about down-on-their-luck rural Trump voters; (B) Blind hypocrisy by Republicans; and (C) Craven, cowardly, chicken-hearted Democrats.
No can of Pepsi delivered by a Kardashian will cure these ills, but if you can tolerate the next 600 words, what’s say we start a conversation about it?
Everyone and their dog have written about the poor rural Trump voter. You’d think they are forgotten indigenous tribes being described by Sir Stanley as he plundered the jungles of Appalachia looking for Livingstone. The money-shot quotes are as cheap and unrevealing as assisted living porn.
Capturing a chronically ill Trump voter is crazy good copy, but it does nothing to explain the highest truth of political science: Humans are complex creatures.
Stories about individual voting patterns are useless. They are not actionable. People may vote on God, guns, or gays. They may vote based upon what they divine from chicken entrails. Who knows? You can’t divorce someone from their experiential data. You can try to expand it by education, but you can’t bleach an imprinted brain.
For instance, we can accurately say 2 out of 3 of these woebegone Trump voters believe “discrimination has become just as large a problem for white people as it has for blacks and other minorities.” We can also accurately say such a belief is highly correlated to bigotry and racism, but that doesn’t mean everyone who voted for Trump is a racist.
Keeping two competing truisms in one brain at the same time is impossible for many people. It can result in exploding heads, but realizing such complexity is just the beginning of trying to understand voting patterns.
I live amongst Trump voters. My county went 80% for Trump. They aren’t all unemployed ignorant hillbilly coal miners. While some are, if you asked the vast majority, they believe the “liberal media” portrays them that way. There is no chance of starting a conversation around those two data points.
Likewise, I catch myself in perpetual agony over Republican hypocrisy until I remind myself, “Those who ride high horses are always above hypocrisy.”
For instance, there is no Republican guilt over 78 filibusters in the first five years of the Obama administration compared to only 68 in the entire previous history of the country.
The most recent act of hypocrisy doesn’t even seem to register. During the Obama years, almost 100 Republican members of Congress threatened impeachment if he dared attack Syria. Then Dolt 45 chucks $80 Million in cruise missiles closing an abandoned airfield for about twelve hours and it is time for ticker tape and Mt. Rushmore sculpting. Obama was excoriated for following the Constitution and Dolt 45 basks in his glistening orangey-ness.
Which leads us to the feckless Democrats who always seem to find a chicken-hearted way to react? The Gorsuch debacle is a prime example.
Utah acne cream model and Senator Mike Lee implied that Justices Kagan and Sotomayor are wild-eyed liberals. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth, but this, like so many other issues, demonstrates how unanswered hyperbole sets the narrative.
Republican appointees to the Supreme Court have been so far to the right you can’t even see the center from where they are perched. Proof of this: Justice Kennedy is the swing vote and he’s one of the most conservative justices in the history of the court.
Mitch McConnell has broken the Senate in an ultimate power play after denying Merrick Garland so much as a hearing or a vote. Such an act will rank up there in all time political slime, but he did it because he could.
Democrats have made it easy for Republicans to beat them like rented mules. There is no punishment for a Manchin or Heitkamp other than the broken legs they get from jumping to the Republican side on issues. There is no punishment for a non-Democrat to waltz into a Democratic primary and harm the eventual nominee.
Because of this behavior voters see one party as definitive and the other as milquetoast. Republicans take incredibly asinine positions, but they stake out ground for their voters and never look back. Democrats bathe everything in lukewarm timidity. As my old boss once told me, “In politics if you try to get away with being half-assed, you aren’t even good at being an ass.” I wish more Democrats understood that.
This brings us full circle – when it comes to voters, you can’t replace catnip with broccoli and expect the same result. Democrats are coming to understand that, but the understanding is being driven by the grassroots. We need to keep it up. Call congressional offices. Write letters. It makes a difference.
What’s on your mind today?
These days it seems as if the world is one large cyclonic toilet. Issues circle, disappear, others surface, circle, disappear, just to be replaced by others. It’s too much for even the media to say grace over.
So I’m not even going to try.
There’s a big picture issue coming up this week and it is instructive on a larger level. Chinese President Xi Jinping and the ambulatory orange bath mat are scheduled for a tete-a-tete at Mar-a-Lago this week. Column A on the menu is North Korea and Column B looks like trade.
Since the North Korean issue is a crazy town convention, I’ll stick to Column B. It is far more manageable.
First and foremost, Dolt 45’s life is transactional. Marriage is a prenuptial contract. Child rearing is a child support agreement. Business is one deal after another. He sees everything as transactional. Many commentators have mislabeled him as an authoritarian, but to be an authoritarian you must first have beliefs.
Umber Dolt has no guiding principles beyond winning. As we’ve discussed before, his competition means he measures everything – from the size of his paws to the number of floors in his buildings. His whole concept of self-worth is a ledger entry. Numbers serve one purpose – as a mirror of his self-esteem.
This is not lost on the Chinese. Dolt 45’s Chinese trademarks were miraculously approved after years of being blocked. Jared and Ivanka were courted by making them guests of honor at the Chinese New Year celebration in February. There are even new applications to market Ivanka’s jewelry in China.
The big leverage, the Chinese Anbang Insurance multi-billion dollar sweetheart real estate deal for the Kushner family, collapsed after much deserved Congressional and press criticism.
It’s against this backdrop President Xi matches wits with 70-year old Orange Herbert. And I forgot to mention, Xi is being prepped by the Chinese ambassador, a U.S. educated, professional diplomat with U.N. experience. The Orangeloupe is being prepped by the administration’s Swiss Army Knife that always dreamed of being a real boy, Jared Kushner.
A story would be helpful.
Let’s say there’s a school PTA holding a bake sale to raise money. The parents are divided into two groups because competition, like greed, is good. One team is led by Ivan Rottencrotch and the other is led by Holly Woodstar.
Ivan’s group goes the traditional route and bakes, bakes, bakes. They have lots of cupcakes to sell. They sell them for market price considering the cost of all the ingredients.
On the other hand, Holly’s group gets most of the ingredients donated. Holly is really just an aggregator, but since the ingredients cost her nothing, she can sell her cupcakes for much less and produce many more.
Holly’s group wins the competition. When her great victory is written up in the PTA newsletter, they only mention the overall sales figures between Ivan and Holly’s groups. They fail to mention the breakdown of just how Holly won – by having cheaper ingredients and bringing cheaper cupcakes to lots more rotund ‘Muricans.
That is trade in a nutshell. America is Holly Woodstar’s team. Since the good old ‘Murican dollar is the world’s reserve currency, foreign businesses and countries like to invest in ‘Murica. It allows domestic manufacturing to spread its supply chain globally and take advantage of cheaper components. That’s one of the reasons you can get a 55-inch television for $329. It’s why Walmart is Walmart. It’s why FedEx and UPS are not delivery companies, they are global supply chains.
These complexities are understood by the Chinese. As Sun Tzu said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” President Xi need not fear Dolt 45. We, on the other, should.
The carotene cone head is a transactionalist. If the Chinese offer to buy a few more jets from Boeing or Alibaba makes more meaningless promises, that’s all it is going to take for someone who is tweet-happy. What’s more, that’s all it takes to assuage a base always ready to blame the others.
Look for some grand trade announcements this week. It will be face-saving. While Dolt 45 is looking for his next tweet, Xi is looking ten-years into the future. Don’t for a minute think Xi doesn’t realize there is a tiny brained creature roaming the Mar-a-Lago grounds. By the end of the visit, he will have tamed and trained the tyrannical tranny.