Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen, The President of the United States

...on the subject of the DPRK:
“They have great beaches. You see that whenever they are exploding the cannons in the ocean. I said, ‘Look at that view, that would make a great condo.’ I explained it. I said, ‘Instead of doing that, you could have the best hotels in the world. Think of it from the real estate perspective.’”
Thanks, folks, I'll be here all week!

Well, I guess it beats hell out of "fire and fury".



  1. I spent some time up near the noko/soko border decades ago. Summer monsoons. Siberian winds start early in the fall and frequently stay over into spring! It had its charm though even in January. Girls with rosy red cheeks! Street vendors roasting chestnuts on every corner. Small farmers. Manure smells when everything thawed out. Almost seemed like I was in the Upstate New York boondocks.

    But would a beach resort there attract the international jet set? No way, those jet setters are seeking the sun and warm waters. I picture a beach there being more for local inlanders - kinda like La Push, Kalaloch, Ocean Shores, and Long Beach here in Washington State. Lots of looky-loos from Seattle or Boise or Portland, but no foreigners. Nobody goes in the water unless they wade out to cast for surf perch. And absolutely nobody lies on the sand to get a tan.

    It would be great to see Trump lose some big bucks trying to build a resort there. But, like his other business disasters, he would just lend it his name, and find suckers to put up the money.

  2. I just can't get past "exploding the cannons in the ocean". WT actual F? Who the hell talks like that? That's not even nonsense. That's...I don't know what that is, but my Alzheimer's-stricken pop never said anything that looney. This guy's brain is a goddamn trash fire.

  3. Why would you expect sanity or clarity in speech from the 'dotard'? Or why expect any knowledge of artillery by a military academy cadet who spent five years chasing gash?

    For me, I just can't get past Trump calling Kim Jong-un “very open” and “very honorable”. And didn't he also say Kim was 'trustworthy'?

    All that about a guy that had his own uncle executed by AAA firing squad and then had his body burned by flamethrower (and previous to the execution he made Uncle Jang watch his deputies be executed by the same method). Or was the execution done by ravenous dogs as reported in a Chinese newspaper?

    Also used the AAA firing squad on his Defense Minister Hyon Yong-choi - for drowsing off during a Kim speech.

    Executed his Minister of Building Materials, Choe Yong-gon, over a disagreement on forestry methods.

    Executed Kim Yong-jin, deputy premier for education, who had annoyed him for showing “disrespectful posture” during a meeting.

    Murdered his brother with CW agent VX.

    Reportedly he personally ordered the execution of over 300 more.

    But Trump seems to think that Kim's insecurity and self-consciousness is a sign of strength.

    1. The Trumpian love for murderous autocrats? THAT, I get. Trump would be that himself, if he could. You don't think he'd love to blow Clinton apart with AAA? Or set ravenous dogs on Obama? For Trump that's a feature of KJU, not a bug.

      What I think he genuinely doesn't understand and doesn't trust are these people like Merkel and Trudeau who insist that he should cooperate and "deal" with them in a way that requires both sides to exchange goods and services. Trump doesn't think that happens; he's a con man. There's no "trade", only a grifter and a chump. He doesn't get to be the grifter with the G7 or the EU, or NATO, so he automatically assumes they're trying to grift him and make HIM the chump.

      No, I totally get how the Tangerine Toddler thinks Trudeau is a dirty cheater and KJU is a stand-up guy. It's the really off-the-wall batshit nonsense like the exploding beach cannons that go somewhere I just can't follow...

  4. My deepest apologies to AEL, to all Canadians, and to my Bluenose and Herringchoker ancestors for Trump's slander of Trudeau.

    1. Don't worry, Trudeau got his dig in first

    2. Ael -

      The fruit didn't fall yoo far from the tree. Trump pribably got his penchant for whoremongering from Opa Friedrich.

    3. Exactly! It explains both the smirk on Trudeau's face and the subsequent incoherent bellow of rage from Trump and his sycophants when they were finally clued in by the snickering on social media.

  5. Related
    I didn't respond when that moron ambassador was mentioned here first, as he had done little up to that time in Germany - but his more recent eruptions of idiocy warrant an expulsion.

    1. I'd be fine with that; kick the sonofabitch out. It's not like there's anything that will 1) make this fathead less of a Nazi, and 2) piss off the Trumpkins more or less, one way or the other. The GOP is all Know-Nothings all the way down now; it's all racism, xenophobia, and fascism.

  6. Sven -

    Grenell has a history of idiocy. The guy is a radical and extremist, which is why Trump chose him. He is a propagandist and has no business being an ambassador. Expel him. Or at the least keep an eye on him. He will keep at it despite any polite hand-slapping by Merkel or by your Foreign Office. I would not put it past him to start laying the groundwork for a more direct and toxic interference in your national affairs.

  7. It was just announced that Canada, Mexico, and the US will host the 2026 World Cup. Trump will be long gone from the White House by then so no way he can bollix it up...unless he manages to override the 22nd Amendment.

    BTW Sven, I'm rooting for seven-to-one underdog Mexico against Germany in tomorrows World Cup play. Any bets?

    1. Now that Mexico is top of group, Germany bottom, with Brazil and Switzerland tied on points and goals scored, I confidently expect the Beast of Revelation to show up at the next match in Volgograd. Wearing a ginormous floppy "Viva Mexico" sombrero, of course. It is clearly theN of Days.

    2. End of Days. Fucking phone.

    3. Germany often has issues in the group phase.
      It's also nothing new that coach Löw is too stupid to properly train for offensive standards situations. Nor is it unexpected that he still trusts Özil and Müller despite their at best inconsistent performance in the national team.

      I expect them to leave the group phase as the group's 2nd, and then it's going to be the usual coin tosses for the later KO matches.

      And end times - it's never that simple. People desire an end to all the things they don't like about life without their life actually ending, but that's not how it works.

      On the upside, it looks like Merkel's do-nothing governance will end soon.
      She called for a battle against xenophobia in 2015, but picked one of the worst imaginable battlefields for the battle and had no plan for it. It was no decisive victory for her at all - at best a pyrrhic one. The then-existing anti-Euro currency/economics professors' party experienced a hostile takeover by xenophobes and now we#ve got a 'neonazis in suits' 11-16% of the votes party in Germany because of Merkel's blunder. (5% actual neonazis as always, 6-11% are protest voters).

    4. I'm reading a lot of economists that are expressing deep reservations about the single currency. Not the EU per se, but the currency union. I'm not sure how at this point you can back away from the one and keep the other...can you?

      I think that the Western nations in general did a pretty terrible job preparing for the dislocations associated with the job losses that came with "free trade" and automation, but I don't know if Germany was one. Are these protest voters protesting the sort of "economic anxiety" the Trumpkins are supposed to be exercised about, or is this something else?

    5. Back in the 90's I studied economics and I was already taught about the theories on the optimal currency area.
      The economics science state of the science did not back up the naive idea that a common currency unites people as the pro-European unification ideologues thought.
      A common currency deepens existing economic divisions.

      Puerto Rico and Alabama need a different currency than New York State and California.
      Southern Italy needs a different currency than Northern Italy.
      Greece, (united) Italy, Portugal and Spain needs a different currency than Germans and Netherlands.

      Policy does too rarely follow scientific advice.
      EU and Euro currency area are separate, thought here's somewhere in a EU treaty a clause that eventually all members should have a common currency.
      You could dissolve the Euro currency or have the Meds exit it without compromising the EU.
      The pro-European unification ideology and their ideologues would suffer a setback, though. That may actually be beneficial, for the EU needs to learn to more frequently and better correct the mistakes that it inevitably makes. They're piling up because ideologues cannot see wrong in EU policy or at least pretend that there can be no wrong in EU policy (except too slow unification).
      German protest workers are protesting the usual establishment symptoms mostly. Politicians in power have become too complacent, ignore division of powers, rule top-down in their parties, too much neoliberalism, toothless acting of the state in some areas (including deportation), actual economic problems (and retirement uncertainty) in the low-wage group and generally hardly any useful reform in ages.
      The only useful reform of the past 35 years that I could point at is the deactivation of conscription.

      Our CDU conservatives are real conservatives; do-nothing ("no experiments!") politicians. They don't do reform, just some gifts to voters just before and just after elections - 90% of the time they are mere administrators. They're no 'let's go to fantasyland' conservatives like the Republicans.

      The only non-CDU government since the early 80's was a few years under Schröder, and he was a traitor to the working class. His clique is still in power in his party, which is why they are unable to admit or even correct their mistake and they're now down to less than half of the votes.

    6. I think the real pie-in-the-sky mistake was the assumption that a single currency would induce social and political fungability; that Greeks would move to France to find work, and that Spaniards would tele-commute to Denmark. Instead what's happening is that, as you point out, all those differing regions are TOO different to integrate into a single currency.

      And, yes, Puerto Rico as the same problem. Alabama and California, not so much, but there's definitely an issue with the U.S. getting too large to administrate as a single nation...

    7. Labour mobility is a solution to fixed exchange rate-related woes only at first, theoretical glance.
      Workers moving to more productive regions leaves their home region poor despite transfers, and needy of even more transfers.

      Just look at the German reunification; labour mobility (workers drain of East Germany) was understood to be a bug, not a feature, in 1989. Somehow a few years later the same politicians pretended that it's a feature if applied on the European scale.

      Germany had a way too positive view on labour migration for a long time.- It actually began during WW2 when foreign forced labour (and POWs) were brought into the German industry and industry captains learned that their low productivity was still well above their very low labour costs. Meanwhile, workers learned that they're not mere workers, but foremen when they had foreign colleagues. So both the pro-business parties and the worker party were fine with the unnecessary labour migration of the 60's and 70's and the groundwork was laid for foreigners in Germany who got discriminated against enough that almost all of them would stay in low wage sector or self-exploiting self-employed in sectors that produce no rich men (fast food, for example).

  8. Underdog no more. They are too fast for the field. Hope they stay healthy. If so perhaps they can go all the way to Moscow. Putin might love to tweak Donaldo by handing the cup to the people beyond the wall.

    The time is way past due to end the European and South American dominance.

    1. I think the problem is and is likely to be that the CAF, CONCACAF, and AFC are 1) smaller and poorer than UEFA and CONMEBOL, and/or 2) inhabited by people who aren't nearly as soccer-mad as Europe and South America, and/or 3) more likely to be ruled by autocrats and/or very corrupt regimes.

      So you start with a smaller player base and a smaller, weaker domestic league, often a league dominated by one or two team(s)bankrolled by the oligarch(s). You produce fewer top-class players and those players have fewer opportunities to get better.

      Not saying it can't happen, but the cards are pretty stacked against them.

    2. That' the English problem.
      There are very, very few English nationals in the Premier League, in part because of EU rules about freedom of labour and in part because billionaires have flooded the league and it became a legionary-buying league.

      Their ever-persisting goalkeeper problem is hilarious. All of England cannot muster a goalkeeper as good as the part-timer in Iceland's goal and it's been about like that for decades already. They consistently lose when it comes to penalty shooting after 120 minutes.

    3. Yeah, England (and even more drastically, Scotland) death-spiraled beginning back in the Seventies, IMO. Scotland has been crippled by having only two decent professional clubs, and the English have begun to see the same problems as the money 1) gets insane, and 2) gets clumped up at the top into half a dozen clubs who can afford to buy the best players from all over Europe and much of the rest of the world.

      So a good English kid ends up at Preston North End, and a good Scottish kid ends up at Rangers, where they stall out. And the whole thing becomes a self-licking ice cream cone. Hard on soccer-loving countries like those, but outside of enforcing an EU-prohibited restriction on Eurozone imported players, I'm not sure how that changes...

    4. It changes when there's a national football association that distributes TV license incomes and subsidises youth work of the clubs.

      As so often, the secret to success as a nation is to do things with the long term in mind and together, not to pit parts of the nation against each other exclusively.

  9. Sven -

    Both Ozil and Muller are getting a bit long in the tooth. How could they possibly have competed in what the Mexicans call 'Racehorse Futbol'.

    Plus you have Ozil kowtowing to Erdogan, and the public pushback on that. That must have created some bad juju on teamwork, or at the least serve as a irritant to Ozil's mental state and therefore a hindrance to performance.

    1. You could have asked me a year ago and I would have preferred Özil to leave the team. He's simply too inconsistent, too fragile mentally.

      The recent episode with Erdogan merely adds a suspicion about WHY he's not all that enthusiastic and motivated in the German national team.

      I personally would have left Gündogan out after as well the recent episode, but I don't really know much about his quality as a player. There are just enough new talents who should get a chance with later tournaments in mind.

  10. FDC -

    Every Mexican and Mex-American I have ever met is in love with soccer. And they are not alone on that in Central America. Didn't Honduras and a neighbor fight a war over the game?

    1. El Sal, yes, the "soccer war".

      The problem is that Liga MX has LOTS of internal issues. Huge corruption, the level of play is compromised by a tradition of rough play that has thoroughly infested both coaches and officials, and that, in turn, influences outside clubs that might otherwise be interested in picking up Mexican players. If you look at the list of Mexican players abroad what jumps out is the small number playing in the "big leagues"; La Liga, the Bundesliga, the English Premiership.

      Interestingly, the largest group in here, in the U.S., but a huge proportion of them play in the lower - including REALLY low - professional and semi-pro leagues. That in itself kind of tells you how the Mexican players are assessed, even here in the non-hotbed-of-soccer U.S.

    2. Two play in the Premier League, three in La Liga, two in Bundesliga. About ten in Portuguese and Belgian teams and that ain't the minor leagues.

  11. Meanwhile, our babysnatcher-in-chief is doubling down:

    - on the dastardly Democrats for tearing children from their parents and putting them in cages,

    - and on Germany's crime wave.

    Tomorrow his gun-sights will be pointed towards _____??? And the media will give him the forum.

    1. Regarding Germany's crime wave - there is none (no surprise here).
      I'll cover that in a scheduled post on 07-07-2018.

      The Intercept merely scratches at the surface of that phantom crime wave:

      From the stats up to 2017 you couldn't tell anything important happened in 2015-2016. Instead, the 90's look really bad and the 2000's still look bad compared to the 2010's so far.

      The far-right wingers/fascists everywhere all talk fantasy crap when they talk about migration-induced crime.

      For comic relief: