All entries by this author

Vladdy told me so

Jun 14th, 2018 11:38 am | By

Buzzfeed’s Alberto Nardelli and Julia Ioffe report:

President Donald Trump told G7 leaders that Crimea is Russian because everyone who lives there speaks Russian, according to two diplomatic sources.

Trump made the remarks over dinner last Friday during a discussion on foreign affairs at the G7 summit in Quebec, Canada, one of the diplomats told BuzzFeed News.

Russia invaded and then annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, leading to widespread international condemnation and sanctions. It also directly led to Russia being kicked out of the then-G8. Russian President Vladimir Putin defended Russia’s intervention in Crimea at the time saying that he had the right to protect Russian citizens and Russian speakers in Ukraine.

Well, Putin says he and … Read the rest

Hello soldier

Jun 14th, 2018 11:17 am | By

The Washington Post seems oddly surprised that North Korea sees and portrays Trump’s lovefest with Kim from its own point of view as opposed to someone else’s.

North Korean state television aired a 42-minute documentary on Thursday that offered a different view of Kim Jong Un’s meeting with President Trump in Singapore.

Gee, imagine that.

Anyway, the point is, Trump made it easy for them. Of course he did.

Notably, the documentary appears to have captured several scenes that international news organizations missed — including one awkward moment when Trump was saluted by a North Korean military leader. The U.S. president then salutes in return.

Though only a brief interaction, it was telling that the salute was included in the

Read the rest

He can’t pardon himself out of this

Jun 14th, 2018 10:25 am | By

And a larger one. Breaking news:

The New York State attorney general’s office filed a scathingly worded lawsuit on Thursday taking aim at the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accusing the charity and the Trump family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign.

The lawsuit, which seeks to dissolve the foundation and bar President Trump and three of his children from serving on nonprofit organizations, was an extraordinary rebuke of a sitting president. The attorney general also sent referral letters to the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission for possible further action, adding to Mr. Trump’s extensive legal challenges.

Well, you know, if you elect an obvious crook to high … Read the rest

Just one small item

Jun 14th, 2018 10:14 am | By

In a sea of items small and large.

Read the rest

They have a great fervor

Jun 13th, 2018 6:31 pm | By

The Post editorial board singles out one thing Trump has said about North Korea for opprobrium.

“His country does love him,” Mr. Trump said, speaking to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “His people, you see the fervor. They have a great fervor.”

Yes, you see the fervor, because anyone in North Korea who does not display fervor for their leader may end up in a concentration camp. No one in North Korea may criticize Mr. Kim and expect to survive. If someone is suspected of disloyalty, his or her entire family is liable to be imprisoned or killed. Between 80,000 and 120,000 people are kept in these political concentration camps, and almost none survive or are ever released. Rape and forcible

Read the rest

I didn’t record it, did you record it?

Jun 13th, 2018 11:54 am | By

Well at least we know we don’t have to worry about their basic competence.

President Donald Trump and US officials seem confused over whether notes were taken during Trump’s private meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday.

After the two leaders signed a joint statement, Trump gave a wide-ranging press conference. During this time, according to a White House transcript, Trump and a person he refers to as “Mike,” thought to be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, appeared to be unsure whether notes were taken during a 38-minute one-on-one meeting with Kim earlier in the day.

Business Insider then quotes from the official White House transcript:

Q: Is there a transcript of

Read the rest

Wake up Punchy!

Jun 13th, 2018 11:29 am | By

It’s good to know that at least Trump is taking it all seriously and paying close attention.

Never mind.… Read the rest

For signs of ideological deviation

Jun 13th, 2018 10:48 am | By

The Trump people have planted an agent in the State Department to vet people for Loyalty to Trump.

A senior advisor to the State Department appointed just two months ago has been quietly vetting career diplomats and American employees of international institutions to determine whether they are loyal to President Donald Trump and his political agenda, according to nearly a dozen current and former U.S. officials.

Of course loyalty to a particular president is not supposed to be a criterion for career diplomats, in fact it’s decidedly supposed not to be, but hey, the rules don’t apply when Trump is emperor.

Mari Stull, a former food and beverage lobbyist-turned-wine blogger under the name “Vino Vixen,” has reviewed the

Read the rest

“Very soon” and “very quickly”

Jun 13th, 2018 10:28 am | By

North Korea is pointing out the obvious fact that it rolled Dealmaker Trump.

A day after its leader’s historic talks with President Trump, North Korea wasted no time on Wednesday spinning the results in its favor, claiming it had won major concessions from the United States.

The authoritarian country’s state-controlled news media said that Mr. Trump had promised to eventually lift sanctions against the North and to end joint military drills with South Korea. It also said the United States had agreed to a phased, “step-by-step” denuclearization process for the North, rather than the immediate dismantling of its nuclear capability.

I guess it left unsaid the part about having no intention of denuclearizing at all.

The joint statement

Read the rest

There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea

Jun 13th, 2018 9:46 am | By

Says Trump:

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!

Foreign Policy gives us the background:

Here are the major talks and nuclear milestones that came before Trump:

1985: North Korea acceded to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It did not, however, complete an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreement.

1992: North and South Korea signed the Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, agreeing not to test, produce, posses, or deploy nuclear weapons, and agreeing to mutual verification inspections.

In 1994…


Read the rest

A tiny bit premature

Jun 13th, 2018 9:31 am | By

Great god almighty.


It’s hard to understand how he can be that dumb and remember how to breathe.… Read the rest

Increasing our proverb deficit

Jun 12th, 2018 5:18 pm | By

Renowned China scholar and shoe-seller Ivanka Trump tweeted an Ancient Chinese Proverb yesterday, except that it was greeted by many people pointing out that it’s not a Chinese proverb. Oh yeah? Well what is it then?! A commonplace thought.

Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it.

Oh, awesome. Also, those who don’t like what’s for dinner, can go out and get their own. Similarly, those who forget to walk the dog, can damn well clean up the poop right this second before doing anything else. Likewise, those who like to … Read the rest

But those were FOREIGN children

Jun 12th, 2018 5:00 pm | By

Dr. Seuss in 1941:

The reference is to the ships that brought Jewish refugees from the Nazis to US ports only to be turned around and sent back to the Einsatzgruppen and the Zyklon B. Note the “America First” on Mama’s shirt.… Read the rest

Off with his head

Jun 12th, 2018 4:31 pm | By

I bet Trump was really jealous of Kim’s relationship with the press. He wishes he could shut up those pesky reporters who ask him questions he doesn’t like.

President Trump’s campaign manager on Tuesday called for a CNN White House correspondent to have his media credentials pulled for asking questions while Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were signing an agreement at their Singapore summit.

Brad Parscale, who in February was named manager of Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, took to Twitter to condemn the actions of Jim Acosta.

“Jim @Acosta should immediately have his press credentials suspended,” Parscale wrote. “He is an absolute disgrace!”

Why? Because he asked Trump a question, duh.

As Trump and Kim were

Read the rest

Well hey Toby Young liked it

Jun 12th, 2018 3:38 pm | By

Lionel Shriver wrote a thing in the Spectator a few days ago – a sadly prolix, bad-tempered, sneery, predictable thing, one that could have been written by anyone of that Tendency – Steve Bannon, Jordan Peterson, Grumpy McGrumpface, anyone. It’s a “what’s all this fuss about diversity you stupid snowflakes” piece, and it’s every bit as interesting as it sounds.

I’d been suffering under the misguided illusion that the purpose of mainstream publishers like Penguin Random House was to sell and promote fine writing.

Stop right there. That’s the very first sentence and already we’re in trouble, because that’s a crock, and she only said it for the sarcasm. The purpose of mainstream publishers is first of all to remain … Read the rest

Donnie and Jongy

Jun 12th, 2018 12:09 pm | By

Creepy beyond belief – the White House created a propaganda movie to go with the summit.

Reporters crowded into a Singapore auditorium Tuesday, expecting President Trump to walk out and announce the results of his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Suddenly, two huge screens on either side of the empty podium came to life. Soaring music boomed over the speakers, and the reporters were bombarded with a montage portraying North Korea as some sort of paradise.

Golden sunrises. Gleaming skylines and high-speed trains. Children skipping through Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang, North Korean flags waving between images of Egyptian pyramids, the Taj Mahal and the Lincoln Memorial.

In a split-screen shot, Kim Jong Un

Read the rest

To drum up business from foreign governments

Jun 12th, 2018 11:20 am | By

Then there’s that emoluments case.

A federal judge on Monday sharply criticized the Justice Department’s argument that President Trump’s financial interest in his company’s hotel in downtown Washington is constitutional, a fresh sign that the judge may soon rule against the president in a historic case that could head to the Supreme Court.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland, charge that Mr. Trump’s profits from the hotel violate anti-corruption clauses of the Constitution that restrict government-bestowed financial benefits, or emoluments, to presidents beyond their official salary. They say the hotel is siphoning business from local convention centers and hotels.

It’s siphoning business because people see patronizing the hotel as a way … Read the rest

Baby idiot speaks

Jun 12th, 2018 10:13 am | By

Jesus h christ almighty.

Read the rest

The very special bond

Jun 12th, 2018 10:01 am | By

Nicholas Kristof doesn’t quite agree with Trump’s take on the hangout with Kim.

Trump made a huge concession — the suspension of military exercises with South Korea. That’s on top of the broader concession of the summit meeting itself, security guarantees he gave North Korea and the legitimacy that the summit provides his counterpart, Kim Jong-un.

Within North Korea, the “very special bond” that Trump claimed to have formed with Kim will be portrayed this way: Kim forced the American president, through his nuclear and missile tests, to accept North Korea as a nuclear equal, to provide security guarantees to North Korea, and to cancel war games with South Korea that the North has protested for decades.

In exchange for

Read the rest


Jun 12th, 2018 9:42 am | By

Kim played Trump like a violin.

US President Donald Trump says his historic talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that ended in a joint agreement were “tremendous”.

The signed document includes a pledge from Mr Kim to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.

But the Kims have been saying that for years, while doing the opposite.

If Trump had done any preparation he might have known that. If he had brought other people into the room with him they might have been able to tell him that. Granted it’s more likely that he would have forgotten the first and ignored the second, but as it is, he made it impossible for either to happen.

But in an

Read the rest