Closing Thought–11Oct17

My Brain Is Bigger Than Your Brain!

I have often said just how childish the Trump person can be.

He, Trump, is taking grief over his thing with SecState Tillerson….so our commander in chief has a way to solve this problem….a contest.

We may never know for sure whether Rex Tillersoncalled President Trump a moron, a “f—ing moron,” or never let an unkind word pass his lips, but Trump himself offers up a solution to the conundrum: “I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests,” the president says in an interview with Forbes. “And I can tell you who is going to win.” Trump also doubles down on his contention that Tillerson “was wasting his time” in negotiating with North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un, leading his interviewer to question whether “publicly upbraiding” the nation’s top diplomat renders him ineffectual. “I’m not undermining,” Trump responds. “I think I’m actually strengthening authority.”

Seriously?  The world is going to crap and our prez wants to compare IQs with his SecState…..so sad and so pathetic.

This is a silly 7 year old tantrum…..

I would say just by saying this sort of crap then his IQ may not be as high as he thinks.

Was this just a joke?

Trump has spent time denigrating Tillerson privately and praise him publicly….that is the kiss of death for Tillerson…..how much more can he tolerate?

“I don’t know. I’m not a diplomat” is an odd statement to make if you’re a high-ranking US Cabinet official tasked with critical matters of diplomacy. Yet those words were uttered by the US secretary of state during a September meeting at the UN regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the kickoff anecdote in Dexter Filkins’ deep dive in the New Yorker into the Trump administration oddity that is Rex Tillerson. From a hardscrabble childhood in Texas, Tillerson ascended to the top of the Exxon hierarchy, where he got used to calling the shots and making major decisions of his own volition. It’s a drastically different role than his current post as President Trump’s foreign policy chief, where the reticent former executive now finds himself in a job “marked by strife and confusion” and “uncomfortably subordinate to an unpredictable man,” Filkins writes.

The story delves into Tillerson’s “mixed” legacy at Exxon, including his attempts to rehab the company’s image on climate change, as well as an almost obsessive drive to make multibillion-dollar deals with overseas entities, even those that may have flouted US foreign policy; his “very close” relationship to Vladimir Putin receives special note. His challenges now are quite different, including a high number of vacancies in the State Department, a seeming inability to keep up with the day-to-day, and a reportedly sour relationship with UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. “Rex … f—ing hates her,” one official says. The undercutting of Tillerson’s efforts by the president himself is only adding to the pile-on that has observers wondering how much more he can take. “Tillerson was contemplating his retirement from Exxon, after which he could do whatever he wanted. … Now he’s got to feel like he’s covered in s—,” one aide says. “I can’t imagine this is what he expected.” Entire profile here.

Let’s say he goes….who is in the shadows waiting their turn in the diplomatic barrel?  Will there be an IQ test for the position?

This admin gets more pathetic by the day…….and it is only 274 days old….what can the future bring?

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Five Worst Foreign Policy Presidents

I have been asked for the Winter session to teach a course of US Diplomatic History…I have already taught one on the US Foreign Policy in the Middle East…..and now with all the news about our diplomatic and foreign policy problems the school felt there would be interest in a course on the subject.  We will see!

MY readers know that I judge my presidents by their foreign policy chops….it is too early for me to choose Trump as a bad foreign policy president.

We have had some terrible presidents in foreign policy……and the American Conversation has put together a list…..

The president of the United States is granted wide leeway by the U.S. Constitution over foreign policy, more than any other policy realm. In addition to being the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the president can make treaties, appoint diplomats (with the consent of the Senate), and, due to congressional legislation, impose sanctions on foreign entities.

Since World War II, the United States has issued no declarations of war; all military actions have been initiated by the president. As per the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the president can deploy troops for up to 60 days without congressional approval. Thus, whatever the foreign policy of the United States—positive or negative—the president owns it: his vision and decisions can initiate a foreign conflict with very little to inhibit him. We call it the “Monroe Doctrine” and not the “18th Congress Doctrine” for a reason—and not all of them have been successful. Who were the worst foreign policy presidents in our history? Here are the five who make the cut:

Source: Five Worst Foreign Policy Presidents in American History | The American Conservative

Anyone you would like to add?  Please justify why you think they deserve a spot on the lists.

North Korea Remains Forefront Of The “War” Talk…..

I wish we could go one day without someone stepping out of the shadows and thumping their chest about the possibility of war.

The rhetoric is not going in a good direction…..even the word coming from the dark shadows of the White House are not encouraging….

A White House aide says there’s no misunderstanding what President Donald Trump means when he says “only one thing will work” to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile program, AP reports. Budget director Mick Mulvaney tells NBC that Trump’s “clearly telegraphing, and this should not be news to anybody,” that “military options are on the table. … They absolutely are.” Trump says years of talking to the North and providing aid haven’t worked.

But Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy wants Trump to “stop doing hurtful things to the country’s national security, like telling the North Koreans that there is no diplomatic path for them to give up nuclear weapons.” GOP Sen. Ron Johnson says “there is no viable military option. It would be horrific.” The senators were on CNN.

Of course this could be just a response to something NK has issued…..who knows for sure….it is almost impossible to keep up with the back and forth between the two regimes.

Here is where I add what the war would look like ……I just cannot let all the stupidity go on without pointing out the possible results of this insanity…..

At various times over the past few weeks, US President Donald Trump and other members of his administration have threatened to use military force to prevent North Korea from conducting additional nuclear or ballistic missile tests. The US carrying out any military option raises a significant risk of military escalation by the North, including the use of nuclear weapons against South Korea and Japan. According to the calculations presented below, if the “unthinkable” happened, nuclear detonations over Seoul and Tokyo with North Korea’s current estimated weapon yields could result in as many as 2.1 million fatalities and 7.7 million injuries.

Source: A Hypothetical Nuclear Attack on Seoul and Tokyo | RealClearDefense

No matter how “patriotic” you think you may be….it is still necessary to look at all aspects of the actions that are being considered……it involves a lot more than the firing of a couple of missiles.

Think about this…..NK is not the only nuke ordinance in the region.  Of course ther4 is Iran….but there is another that could be thrust to the forefront of the nuke situation…..Pakistan.

Could North Korea’s example form the template of future actions by Iran and Pakistan? Both states are now under renewed pressure by the United States, and may thus deem it in their interests to acquire a deterrent against the United States. There is indication that U.S. President Donald J. Trump has been looking for a way to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal for a while, a deal he has repeatedly denounced as “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”

Source: Could North Korea’s Example Inspire Iran and Pakistan? | The Diplomat

While NK is the focus of the situation….there are others in the shadows that could be inspired in one way or the other…..to look at this situation with blinders is just short of insanity.

A Brief Dictionary Of The US Far Right

From time to time IST offers up a “Public Service Post”.

This is one of those times.

If a reader is a political wonk then they from time to time will visit a “Far Right” site to see what the other half of the GOP is doing and saying.

I am sure that while reading they may have run into some words or phrases that may not be familiar…..so to help out I offer this brief dictionary to help those people understand those on the “Far Right”.

Phrases like “electric Jew” or “cuckservatives”or “red pill” or “we wuz kangs”…..to mention only a few…..but now you can be “hip” to the lingo of the Right……

Yet, long before the far right was flooding the streets of cities and towns across the US, the movement was building itself up on social media, online forums and in private chatrooms.

Much of the online lingo these groups employ is hard to decipher. Far-right users on Twitter and Facebook often speak in code, using an elaborate concoction of slang, coded language, memes and irony.

Source: A brief dictionary to help understand the US far right | Racism | Al Jazeera

Go forth and write!