Short update: 11 August Edition

So, let’s roundup the day: North Korea did not back down from Trumps threats and has detailed a plan for a test near Guam, Trump blustered back and declared the opioid crisis a national emergency. Also Jeffrey Lord was fired from CNN, cause referencing Nazi’s never ends well.

When this is the new normal, you know things have gotten real weird.

So, North Korea made a very specific reference to launch a missile near Guam, an American Territory, which Trump was obliged to respond too. The problem here is neither side seems to grasp where this is going to go. Trump may talk big, but the man has never shown a willingness to actually back up his words. Typically anyway, and given the sheer level of reticence from his generals he may not do much more than bluster. The other side however needs to not only maintain face like Trump, they also feel the need to assert themselves to ensure their Sovereignty or so they believe. And again, Trump despite being something of a coward is also unpredictable. I don’t know how he’ll react to any significant provocation on any given day.

On the other side, Trump said the Opioid crisis is in fact a national emergency, which might sound big but means little unless it is officially declared as one. That has not happened yet, so it’s not quite the change in response some might be hoping for. Nor does it mean anything will change immediately, a national emergency allows new options and funds to respond to the crisis, but it’s also not designed to deal with a long term problem. How it’ll respond to a long lasting crisis that may well take years and maybe decades to get a grasp on is frankly anyone’s guess (which functionally means I haven’t the slightest clue).

And Jeffrey Lord was fired from CNN, after linking an article about Media Matters, and responding to a retaliation tweet with the Nazi Salute. Why did he think this was a good idea? Good question.

Shits just weird I swear.


The Atlantic: Trump informally Declares the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency 
The Atlantic: Trump Blusters at NK 

Spicers gone, Scaramucci is in

Yeah, so this happened on Friday.

Scaramucci was chosen by Trump as the new head of the Communications Office, apparently with the blessing of Ivanka and Kushner, and in response Spicer resigned in protest. I’m not sure whether to be amused or pitying.

Seriously, this is what broke the camels back? He mocks you, discredits you, prevents you from meeting the Pope (the guys an ardent Catholic),  but electing this guy as Communications Director sends you out the door? Apparently he thought he was getting the top job officially, so I suppose that would be a tipping point.

Still not sure how I’m supposed to feel about this. On one hand, did Spicer really deserve all the problems he got, the humiliations and so forth? Nah, not really. Was he an unmitigated asshole, who caused problems for himself and really should have known better to trust Trump, regardless of his party affiliation? Yeah, probably.

Eh, whatever, see what happens next on healthcare I guess.


Politico: Sean Spicer’s Final 24 Hours

Monday Update: 3 July Edition

Despite Trumps latest twitter storm, and the provocation his administration did with China today, I do find today to be oddly dull. I’m sure CNN will have plenty to complain about later, but eh.

So, to sum up:

  • Trump attacked CNN, labeled them the Fake News Network (FNN) on a video he edited and then posted to his own twitter account (cause subtlety is beyond this one)
  • An American Navy Ship sailed near the disputed islands in the South China Sea, which naturally pissed off China. I wonder why.
  • Senate Healthcare talks continue, though the moderates are still refusing to give their votes to the bill. Apparently Cruz and Lee are pushing for the law in the backrooms, we’ll see what happens there I guess.

This should be more dramatic but honestly, it’s Trump. Hissy Fits, Provocations and Republican Senate secrecy seems to be the norm here.



The Atlantic: Donald Trump is Testing Twitters Harassment Policy 
The Atlantic: American Navy Ships Provokes China

So, there’s an election coming up.

The British Election is a weird thing. The last three that I’ve gone into detail about were in many respects considered much more serious, problematic and representative of a possible far-right, alt-right populist upswing in politics. Turkey, France, the Netherlands, all had or have problematic leaders, concerning ramifications and well, were much more interesting.

Britain’s not. Not really anyway.

Regardless of who is elected, be it a minor Conservative win or a coalition led by (most likely) Labor, Brexit will continue, there will most likely an economic downturn, and the leader will grapple with continued terrorist threats and domestic struggles relating to the above concerns. Neither May nor Corbyn seems to have that much of a grasp of the situation, and regardless of what either candidate might say, have far less influence and control over Brexit and its consequences than they might like.

The reason this is less interesting, to me anyway, is the lack of uncertainty. Regardless of who wins these are the most likely outcomes for whoever wins, no dramatic vote, no power struggle or autocratic power grab, just more British politics, with different faces. Of course, I’m also not British and I won’t really be dealing with the fallout of the Brexit deal in whatever form it takes so some of the urgency for them may not be available to me.

I’m not used to politics being boring. This is very weird.


Bloomberg: UK election Winner Saddled with Lousy Economic Outlook 

Friday update: 26 May edition (cause meh)

So, Trump visited the NATO summit, gave a speech basically complaining about the other nations not paying ‘their fair share’ (not necessarily inaccurate, but grossly simplified and unaware of either the reasons or economic and political implications of such a thing, ala typical Trump), and also shoved aside the Prime Minister of Montenegro during a photo op.

Dick move Trump. Dick Move.

He also met with Macron, the new French President, for nearly two hours, and apparently had all sorts of discussions, regarding the Paris climate deal, the economy, NATO. How much do you want to bet that he changed his mind regarding the deal after another foreign leader explained it to him in ten or so minutes?

And his little trip was going so well. Turns out democratic nations aren’t quite so thrilled to have the wannabe despot running around, over there in Sicily. Shame that.


Random rant about Trump voters

Trump is still popular with his Republican base, with an 84% approval rating from them (though he has around a 38% approval in general), and it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. He was the guy who came to them and said “hey, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re not bad at this, the system screwed you. It’s not your fault, the government abandoned you for bad trade deals (that I profited from), let’s go back to those days where you could finish high school, work in a factory and make thousands of bucks! Weren’t those greats, those good old days (50’s or something right)?”

Meanwhile the rest of the country was like, you didn’t finish school, or you didn’t go to college, you took a bad job, we all knew they were leaving and you didn’t listen, it’s your own fault. You could have stuck with retraining, but you didn’t. You could have stayed away from drugs, but you didn’t. Take responsibility.

Also they’re suddenly fine with gays, transgenders, gay marriage, abortion and all that, and the base is like:

“The hell is this? This ain’t my childhood! Let’s go back to that, we’ll even get our jobs back because reasons!”

So yeah, not actually surprising when you think about it. He validates all those thoughts everyone else is saying are bad, and makes them feel like they can blame other people for their own mistakes, or unwillingness to move. There’s other reasons for the last one, money’s tight and it ain’t easy to find a job in the cities or north, or the coast, just because you moved, but still the option was there, and they stayed home.

They didn’t like the black guy, they don’t like how the cultures changing, and they want to go back to their childhood (or whatever) when things were easy, simple and made sense. Is it any surprise they go for a guy who promises exactly that?

Thursday Update, May 4 edition (cause meh)

So, FBI Director Comey had his public hearing today, which was interesting. He spent most of his time defending himself (from what i read) and responding to concerns over leaks and the investigations currently ongoing. Apparently the Clinton thing was a big deal to a lot of people given the coverage, but I don’t understand why this was news really. It came out during the election and the aftermath why he responded the way he did, the concerns over leaking within his department and the republican support for Trump and disdain for Clinton.

The point about Bill’s meeting with Loretta Lynch was interesting though, apparently the tarmac meeting convinced him he needed to intervene. Hmm.

Also Teresa May has lashed out at Brussels regarding there comments about the British snap election, which of course they’re not allowed to do. That and the European papers (which I haven’t read) apparent depiction of the British position on the EU talks is also problematic. Because clearly the Brussels papers are going to be on her side? Meh, fodder for the masses.

There’s other things, but the AHCA, Putin and Erdogans meeting, they’re…relevant. But they just reflect current realities, until something changes I don’t feel any need to comment.

Also they’re not interesting, so. Yeah.