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53 minutes ago, st barbara said:

Why does Trump think that it is okay for him to run around imposing tariffs on other countries but , when they retaliate in kind, it is some sort of crime ? Surely he, or someone in his administration, must have expected pushback from those countries that he imposed tariffs upon ? Did they tell him what was likely to happen ? Did he just ignore advice  ? or was no-one game enough to tell him ?

 

“That's the way it was. Privilege, which just means 'private law.' Two types of people laugh at the law; those that break it and those that make it.”


 Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

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Trump's indignation at other countries' trade practices is an act, playing to his base. From the start he's told them that their problems are the fault of other people, that they've been mistreated by everyone who isn't white working-class America (except of course for him and his rich friends). The Donald isn't concerned with fairness, but with getting everything he can that he thinks will make him look good. Just like this meeting with Kim Jong-un -- he made grand promises for what he expected to achieve, but in the end settled for vague non-binding "commitments" to denuclearization. Trump gets the photo-op he craves, something he can sell back home as deal-making. But Kim gets much more, the international recognition and legitimization of his regime that his family has always wanted.

 

It also occurred to me that Donald Trump tearing up the deals, arrangements, and systems established by his predecessors, is so that he can try to establish new ones he can credit to himself. He wants to remake the face of America in his image, to stamp a giant "TRUMP" across it like one of his buildings. I've come to believe he doesn't understand or really care if anyone but himself benefits from that. I also suspect it's why he seems such a fan of Vladimir Putin, because Putin has more or less accomplished that with Russia. Aside from obliviousness to the ethical issues relating to his ruthlessness, Trump doesn't seem to appreciate that Putin accomplished it through patience, discipline, and calculation -- all qualities the Donald lacks.

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The tariffs don't bother me, they're used to protect your own businesses.  The whopping 240+% Canada places on butter, cheese, and milk imports are there to protect its dairy industry, for example.  The deliberate antagonization and negative language towards long-time allies while, at the same time, seeming admiration of dictators is the most disturbing.

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Kim, like Putin, has spent his whole life swimming with sharks, where one miscalculation could literally mean death. They know how to play the game at this level. Kim got the most important things he wanted out of this meeting, while giving up virtually nothing.

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The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions ... in exchange for very weak limits on the regime's nuclear activity, and no limits at all on its other malign behavior...

 

In other words, at the point when the United States had maximum leverage, this disastrous deal gave this regime -- and it's a regime of great terror -- many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash -- a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States.

 

The fact is this was a horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made. It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.

 

Making matters worse, the deal’s inspection provisions lack adequate mechanisms to prevent, detect, and punish cheating, and don't even have the unqualified right to inspect many important locations, including military facilities.

 

I expect these snippets from Trump's comments on the Iran nuclear deal could be used word-for-word a few years from now.  Hopefully by another speaker, however.

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Just landed - a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future! - Donald J. Trump
 
So...we're all good now.  No worries.

 

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1 hour ago, Old Man said:

Yeah, I'd have liked to see a bit more in terms of assurances that I won't have to get another one of those missile test alerts.

 

I wanted to hit the laughing and sad emoji's together on that one, but alas...

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Complacency is our enemy. Anyone that does not embrace the @realDonaldTrump agenda of making America great again will be making a mistake.

— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) June 14, 2018

 

Why this doesn't sound like a veiled threat at all...

 

And the horse you rode in on, McDaniel

 

 

 

 

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Republicans Absorb New Lesson: Cross President Trump at Their Peril

 

This sounds to me unsettlingly like the progress of an authoritarian regime consolidating power. :fear:

 

And a stark reminder that it isn't laws or institutions that preserve and promote democracy; it's the people's faith in them and willingness to defend them.

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I... truly do not know how to react to Old Man's post. Laugh, cry, or just confused?

 

But it was an incredibly successful summit for Trump, at least for what matters to him. He was, again, the center of world attention. He got to make nice with someone as autocratic as he clearly wants to be -- fie on the rules-based international order, telling him what he can an cannot do! And if Kim fulfills any promise or makes any concession, however tiny and strategically meaningless, Trump can point to it and bray, "Where's my Nobel Peace Prize?" Which he is not going to get, because a) he won't really have done anything to make the world more peaceful, and b) Europe's intelligentsia hates him. But that's part of the benefit! It's one more grievance he nurse, and his base with him.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

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Why isn't the "Pro Life" (read: Anti Choice), "family values", "What about the children?" crowd screaming at the top of their lungs about the injustice meted upon the separated and corralled children of illegal immigrants? They should, in fact, scream so loudly that their larynges are torn to shreds from the sheer exertion.

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1 hour ago, DShomshak said:

I... truly do not know how to react to Old Man's post. Laugh, cry, or just confused?

 

But it was an incredibly successful summit for Trump, at least for what matters to him. He was, again, the center of world attention. He got to make nice with someone as autocratic as he clearly wants to be -- fie on the rules-based international order, telling him what he can an cannot do! And if Kim fulfills any promise or makes any concession, however tiny and strategically meaningless, Trump can point to it and bray, "Where's my Nobel Peace Prize?" Which he is not going to get, because a) he won't really have done anything to make the world more peaceful, and b) Europe's intelligentsia hates him. But that's part of the benefit! It's one more grievance he nurse, and his base with him.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

 

Abraham Lincoln had the right of it: "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power."

 

And you know, I almost feel sorry for Trump's base. Many of them will wake up one day to the realization of what they supported, and have to live with that.

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1 hour ago, Ragitsu said:

Why isn't the "Pro Life" (read: Anti Choice), "family values", "What about the children?" crowd screaming at the top of their lungs about the injustice meted upon the separated and corralled children of illegal immigrants? They should, in fact, scream so loudly that their larynges are torn to shreds from the sheer exertion.

Because they really don't care about life and families. It's a cover.

CES

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10 hours ago, csyphrett said:

Because they really don't care about life and families. It's a cover.

CES

 

Well, non-white life and families.  Sarah Huckabee literally used the Bible to justify it yesterday.  So there are 1500 kids being stored in an old Wal-Mart with murals of Trump painted on the walls.  It's so horrifying I can barely stand to research the details.

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1 hour ago, Old Man said:

 

Well, non-white life and families.  Sarah Huckabee literally used the Bible to justify it yesterday.  So there are 1500 kids being stored in an old Wal-Mart with murals of Trump painted on the walls.  It's so horrifying I can barely stand to research the details.

?  The brief blip that was non authoritarian rule...

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