Monday, April 24, 2017

When given a choice between provoking a crisis or humiliation...

...Trump will provoke a crisis. Which means a government shutdown and a humiliation for Trump when he inevitably compromises to end the shutdown.

In that sense, the crisis option (i.e. a government shutdown) is worse for the President. Trump's only benefit from a shutdown is that his humiliation would come after the 100th day of his Presidency rather that before, which means it won't be reflected in the already expected to be scathing reviews of his first 100 days. But that benefit would only be short-term He still gets scathing reviews for his disfunctional first 100 days, and then additional reflections about what a burning sack of shit this administration is at some later point when he provokes a government shutdown while his party controls both Congress and the Presidency, and then is forced to give in on all of his red lines when the matter is inevitably resolved later. At least the latter won't be part of his 100 day review!

I have no doubt that the President will choose that objectively worse option. This time next week, I predict the U.S. government will be shut down. The news media will be filled with stories about Trump's unimaginable incompetence when it first occurs, followed by stories about his sinking poll numbers as it drags on. But at least those stories will bury the embarrassing 100 day review articles! And maybe we will finally find out what presidential fuckups will finally prove to be too much for the loyal Trump voter.

(via Atrios)

Imperial presidency

Does anyone remember when conservatives went ape-shit over the fact that Obama issued some executive orders while he was president because his opposition took over Congress and completely blocked whatever he tried to do?

Me neither.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Small slippage is still significant

Trump likes to talk about his electoral landslide, but in fact he barely won the presidency. If just one percent shifted in three key states, Clinton would be president today. With such a narrow victory 96% is not good enough to claim any continuing mandate  if he ever had one at all.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fool's game

To the extent he has one, Trump's foreign policy is based on the idea that he will use "credibility' to scare other countries into doing what he wants:
[T]he politics of credibility are complex and ephemeral, and spending time, blood, and treasure to try to manufacture a reputation for toughness is, more often than not, a fool’s game. And foreign policy analysts probably shouldn’t encourage neophyte policymakers to use cruise missiles, aircraft carriers, and MOABs to chase “credibility” around the Pacific Ocean.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I guess he wants to fit in one more failure before he hits that 100 day mark

This has no chance of becoming law. There is very little chance it will pass the House, and even if it does, it will surely die in the Senate. Maybe the President thinks he can get it through the House in a squeaker, as some kind of lame substitute for an actual legislative victory? Sad!

LID + 10

الآن بعد عشر سنوات، ما زلت أتذكر هذا التاريخ، على الرغم من أنها ليست مهمة الآن

Spinners gotta spin

There were 18 candidates on the ballot in this week's GA-6 special election: 11 Republicans, 5 Democrats, and 2 Independents. Jon Ossoff, the Democrat who came out on top, got 92,390 votes which was 48.1% of the total votes cast. None of the other Democrats got anywhere close to that number (the second place Dem was Ragin Edwards with 502 votes). Those four other Democrats combined received only 1,521 votes, or 0.9% of the votes cast.

The Republicans, meanwhile, had several candidates with significant segments of the vote. There was: Karen Handel with 37,993 (19.8% of the total votes), Bob Gray with 20,755 (10.8%), Dan Moody with 16,994 (8.8%), and Judson Hill with 16,848 (8.8%), plus seven other low performers (less than 1% of the vote) who garnered a combined total of 5,407 votes (2.8%).

So naturally when the Wall Street Journal writes a story about the aftermath of the race, it's the Democrats who are dealing with "party divisions."

(via Memeorandum)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

More signs of a Trump slump

The busiest airline in the world is cutting flights to the U.S. because of lack of demand. Even with both versions of the Muslim ban blocked by the courts, both that and all the stories of arbitrary detention of legal visitors at the airport will have a profound impact on the number of visitors willing to come to the U.S. (Emirates and other airlines are also subject to the new electronics ban, which will make things even worse)

Trump is raking in so much money by requiring the Secret Service to bust its budget paying for rooms at Trump properties, so maybe he won't notice when his occupancy numbers dip for lack of foreign visitors. But other businesses in the travel industry will notice, and I doubt they will keep quiet.

Taking the scenic route

So Spicy's explanation is he did not lie when they said that they were sending the  U.S.S. Carl Vinson to the Sea of Japan as a "huge deterrence" (sic) even though the Vinson was heading in the opposite direction because that ship sails around a lot and eventually it would get back to the Sea of Japan at some point before it is decommissioned?

So the next time my boss calls on the weekend and tells me there is a pressing issue at work I will tell him "I'm going back to the office" and then I will roll over and go back to sleep. That would not be lying because I'm sure I will set foot in the office at some point again before I die.

A Fitting Candidate for the Trump Era

Monday, April 17, 2017

United's ongoing P.R. problem

Now that it is everyone's most-hated airline, whenever it does any of those unpleasant things that all airlines do, the bad-United story will get picked up by the national press. Seriously, is there any airline that wouldn't kick coach-class passengers who keep trying to move up to more expensive seats even when the airplane staff tells them not to, that wouldn't seek to have them escorted off the plane. It's not like they beat these passengers up!

Friday, April 14, 2017


Does anyone else think it's strange that the U.S. military would name one of its bombs after Saddam Hussein's famous phrase: "mother of all battles"? Hussein said those words as a boast that Iraqi forces would somehow fend off the U.S.-led coalition in the 1991 Gulf War.

It turned out to be an empty threat, full of bluster with little real power behind it. So let's name one of our big bombs after it.