Trump presidency

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sardia
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:19 pm UTC

SDK wrote:Obviously that is the case now that we've seen his response, but I personally expected more of a "Syrians are dying? Why should I care?" attitude. That's what he and his supporters showed in the campaign. If anything, the response he did choose should give you hope! He has a conscience!

You mean General Mattis has a conscious. Though news reports did say Trump seemed shaken by the images. Is the answer to Trump to send him awful images? Or simply get him away from awful advisors?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:44 pm UTC

Has a conscience? The way to save Syrian children's lives is to give them access to safe spaces. He should open the borders if he cares so much about children. This seems a lot more like an intelligent adviser telling him what to do so he can be praised for his actions.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:45 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
SDK wrote:Obviously that is the case now that we've seen his response, but I personally expected more of a "Syrians are dying? Why should I care?" attitude. That's what he and his supporters showed in the campaign. If anything, the response he did choose should give you hope! He has a conscience!

You mean General Mattis has a conscious. Though news reports did say Trump seemed shaken by the images. Is the answer to Trump to send him awful images? Or simply get him away from awful advisors?

There's a repeating pattern of Trump thinking everything's really simple and he's some kind of unique genius for seeing the obvious solution, his beliefs being tested against reality, reality turning out to be just a bit more complicated, and Trump being shocked by this. Trump thought staying out of Syria was obviously the answer, and it wasn't until he was exposed to the reality of the situation that he realised standing by and doing nothing has a downside.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Koa » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:12 pm UTC

Narcissists have an overpowering conscience that they actively suppress by manipulating themselves (and then others by extension). They experience the pain of guilt or being wrong so fiercely that they're compelled to warp their perception of reality, which then makes it seem like they have no conscience as though they were instead a psychopath. On black-and-white issues their conscience will be expressed in full glory and they'll be brash and impulsive rather than the default two-faced on muddier or complex issues. Given all this, they desire to see everything as black-and-white and shy away from complexity. This lifestyle forces them into a perpetual state of ignorance.

A chemical attack on children, especially to a conservative, is about as black-and-white as it gets. It doesn't give me hope or change my opinion, it was kind of expected, and I think Assad/Putin knew this. They were probably hoping for a little more though, so they might try the same tactic in some months when the public forgets. Russia wants to apply political pressure to lift the sanctions among other things, and doing so through proxies is bulletproof.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:42 pm UTC

I understand being press secretary is a tough job. But is Sean Spicer really the best person Trump found for the job?

Spicer says even Hitler didn't sink to using chemical weapons!
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby WibblyWobbly » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:52 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I understand being press secretary is a tough job. But is Sean Spicer really the best person Trump found for the job?

Spicer says even Hitler didn't sink to using chemical weapons!

I have a feeling he didn't find too many people who wanted the job. Press Secretary is hard enough when you've got reasonable presidents to talk about. Imagine trying to work for Trump!

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:01 pm UTC

He still had about 50 million people to choose from.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:17 pm UTC

I can't believe I'm saying this but... to be fair to Spicer, it was pretty obvious he was talking about on the battle field, not the gas they used in concentration camps. Which to me would be kinda stretching the definition of "weapon", I mean, would you call an electric chair or a guillotine a weapon? They're methods of execution.

Did Hitler actually use chemical weapons on the battle field? Were many available other than mustard gas?

Spicer's said plenty of really stupid stuff but at least with this I can see the kernel of sanity buried in the statement somewhere. Also I'm pretty sure he was trying to say Assad is really bad, not that Hitler wasn't that bad. Or maybe my expectations have just hit rock bottom and now I'm just happy if someone representing a superpower can form entire sentences.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:34 pm UTC

I see what you're saying, but if your press secretary is so tone deaf that they say something like that -- without even stopping to think about things like Zyklon-B -- it's time to get a new press secretary.

Press secretaries are supposed to be *good* at this sort of thing.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:50 pm UTC

Sean Spicer wrote:I think when you come to sarin gas... he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing"


I know exactly what he meant by this and I still think it's absolutely idiotic. Just say, "Sorry, I misspoke" and move on - he said something stupid, he tried and cover it up, and kept digging himself into a hole. As a whole, he's trying to justify why things are different now, and he tried to be extreme with the rhetoric "He's worse than Hitler, we have to do something" and he fucked it up badly, and he stuck with it because he is too pig-headed to know how to handle it properly.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:01 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I see what you're saying, but if your press secretary is so tone deaf that they say something like that -- without even stopping to think about things like Zyklon-B -- it's time to get a new press secretary.

Press secretaries are supposed to be *good* at this sort of thing.

Yeah, It's definitely tone deaf, when you're bringing up Hitler you should probably stop and double check what you're about to say. It's worth being extra certain you're not going to be "misinterpreted".

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:08 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:I know exactly what he meant by this and I still think it's absolutely idiotic. Just say, "Sorry, I misspoke and move on" - he said something stupid, he tried and cover it up, and kept digging himself into a hole.
I still cannot comprehend why people in positions like this can't just say "Wow, I fucked that up, sorry".

It's like people think admitting to a mistake is showing weakness, and showing weakness only invites disaster.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:20 am UTC

Is Seoul on board with this whole posturing thing? Because it seems to me South Korea has a say here, especially those in Seoul.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:55 am UTC

Mutex wrote:Spicer's said plenty of really stupid stuff but at least with this I can see the kernel of sanity buried in the statement somewhere.

Well I can't. First, what the fuck is he doing bringing up Hitler as a comparison at all? Second, no, Hitler was way worse than Assad. Third, saying German Jews aren't "his own people" is one of the most obviously antisemitic things he can say. Fourth, yes, Zyklon B is absolutely a weapon, do not compare it to an electric chair that's used again singular, specific people.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Angua » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:39 am UTC

Yeah, I was there thinking 'pretty sure he was using it against Germans, being an ethnic minority doesn't mean you don't count'. Also, there's not much of a difference between scooping up innocent people to kill them with gas rather than just killing innocent people with gas on the street.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dauric » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:56 am UTC

As the Trump administration grows longer the probability of the press secretary making a comparison to Hitler approaches 1.

... I'm just trying to figure out how we apply the corollary where this ends the thread and whoever mentioned Hitler lost...
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:55 am UTC

Angua wrote:Yeah, I was there thinking 'pretty sure he was using it against Germans, being an ethnic minority doesn't mean you don't count'.

It's the sort of thing the ultra-nationalist, anti-Semitic portion of his base will immediately pick up on, too.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:58 pm UTC

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/wh ... right-now/
Democrats are happy that a Trump district went from +27 R to +7 R. That kind of swing is a good sign for mid term Democrats. Individual special elections aren't predictive but looking at the margin across several special elections is predictive. The only question is if the Uberprogressives shift from protesting to running for office everywhere.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Diadem » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:32 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Yeah, I was there thinking 'pretty sure he was using it against Germans, being an ethnic minority doesn't mean you don't count'. Also, there's not much of a difference between scooping up innocent people to kill them with gas rather than just killing innocent people with gas on the street.

Also Hitler didn't just use it against Jews. He also systematically targeted quite a few other groups, most notably Romani, Slavs and gays, but also for example political dissidents. I am not certain, but I think the preferred method of execution was different for different groups, but regardless of that the use of Saris gas certainly wasn't exclusively on Jews.

But details and phrasing aside, the comparison Spencer made was clearly meant to imply that Assad is worse than Hitler. A deeply stupid thing to say on many levels.

And then while attempting to apologize, he made another gaffe. This one is rather innocent, but still, dude. Just how incompetent can you be and remain white house press secretary.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:53 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:But details and phrasing aside, the comparison Spencer made was clearly meant to imply that Assad is worse than Hitler. A deeply stupid thing to say on many levels.
Spicer's replacement?
Diadem wrote:And then while attempting to apologize, he made another gaffe. This one is rather innocent, but still, dude. Just how incompetent can you be and remain white house press secretary.
I feel like that one is way less concerning by an order of several magnitudes. Like, even bringing it up is a little silly; a Press Secretary is allowed to have some verbal flubs (like saying 'stabilize' when they mean 'destabilize')... they just have to avoid not trying to invoke Hitler (and not say some pretty fucked up shit in doing so).

But yeah, re: the Hitler thing -- and everything else -- how the fuck does this guy still have a job?

Oh, right. Trump likes his name. 'Spicy Spicer'.

Maybe we can use this to get some actual work done. Does anyone have a laser-pointer? I bet if we shine it on some legislation long enough, Trump will try and get it passed.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:07 pm UTC

I dunno if trump running into the realities of the job, turning him into a typical neocon-type-republican is reassuring or what. Cause generic republicans are still pretty awful, but hey maybe the country won't collapse/no nuclear war.

Ivanka and Jared can whisper, "coal is awful, solar is great" into his ear as he sleeps.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:26 pm UTC

Liri wrote:I dunno if trump running into the realities of the job, turning him into a typical neocon-type-republican is reassuring or what.

I'm not sure he is. He's u-turning on a vast range of policies right now:

US President Donald Trump has reversed course in the space of 24 hours on an array of populist positions he adopted during the election campaign.

- He declared Nato was "no longer obsolete" and dropped his pledge to declare China a currency manipulator.
- Mr Trump also said he was no longer opposed to a federal exports agency he once dismissed as "unnecessary".
- And the president signalled he was open to reappointing Janet Yellen as head of the Federal Reserve.
- Meanwhile, his administration dropped a freeze on federal hiring that it imposed in January.

The about-faces suggest the mercurial Mr Trump may be favouring a more pragmatic, moderate approach to the hardline economic nationalism that helped elect him.

The startling series of flip-flops come amid reports of a titanic White House power struggle between chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

According to the Washington rumour mill, Mr Bannon - the former Breitbart News executive - has been sidelined after falling out with the president's son-in-law, Mr Kushner.


I mean, it's good for the country that he is moderating his position, but what does it do for democracy that barely a few months in his platform is in tatters? I mean noone but the truly naive believed he was really going to 'drain the swamp' - in fact he has appointed the richest, most compromised cabinet for generations - but surely even his most hardened supporters must be starting to wonder how much they can trust him.

In addition, his healthcare and border plans are currently stymied, and his plan to build a wall may be tied up in environmental red tape for most if not all of his presidency.

link

---

In addition, more details are emerging about the warnings UK and other spy agencies made about suspicious contacts made between Trump's team and Russian operatives.

link

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:30 pm UTC

Maybe people should elect people with actual governmental experience so you can see how they run things instead of just the words they spout from their mouths.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Aiwendil » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:38 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Yeah, I was there thinking 'pretty sure he was using it against Germans, being an ethnic minority doesn't mean you don't count'. Also, there's not much of a difference between scooping up innocent people to kill them with gas rather than just killing innocent people with gas on the street.


Yeah, this is the part that is frightening. The rest I think is sheer stupidity and incompetence at communicating, but the implication that German Jews weren't real Germans evinces the kind of ideology that would also say, for instance, that American Muslims aren't real Americans.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby speising » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:42 pm UTC

Well, of course he's changing course, nobody could have known politics is so complicated!

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby RCT Bob » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:51 pm UTC

Looks like there's more bombing going on.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:52 pm UTC

Again, call me cynical but in my head the conversation is playing out like this:

Trump: "We have bigger bombs than cruise missiles, right?"
The Military: "Yes, Mr President."
Trump: "How big? Like, really, really huge?"
The Military: "Yes, Mr President. Very big indeed."
Trump: "Drop a really big one! I wanna look!"
The Military: "Yes, Mr President."
Trump: *looks smug*

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:26 pm UTC

speising wrote:Well, of course he's changing course, nobody could have known politics is so complicated!

My question is, did the establishment, who got it all wrong, have the last laugh after all?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:37 pm UTC

I think someone got it into his head that it would be a bad look if he ended up being the last president and that Bannon's apocalyptic clash of civilizations fanfic was actually a terrible idea.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Diadem » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:31 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
speising wrote:Well, of course he's changing course, nobody could have known politics is so complicated!

My question is, did the establishment, who got it all wrong, have the last laugh after all?

Pretty certain the answer to that is 'no'. If there's one thing 'the establishment' hates its uncertainty, and Trump pretty much personifies uncertainty.

Over here in Europe we think NATO is pretty damn important, and Trump's hostile attitude towards NATO was one of our major concerns about him. So do you think his flipflop on NATO was greeted with enthusiasm over here? Because it wasn't. No one trusts his support, because everybody knows odds are he's going to say something else again next week.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby morriswalters » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:07 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
Mutex wrote:Spicer's said plenty of really stupid stuff but at least with this I can see the kernel of sanity buried in the statement somewhere.

Well I can't. First, what the fuck is he doing bringing up Hitler as a comparison at all? Second, no, Hitler was way worse than Assad. Third, saying German Jews aren't "his own people" is one of the most obviously antisemitic things he can say. Fourth, yes, Zyklon B is absolutely a weapon, do not compare it to an electric chair that's used again singular, specific people.
As far as Hitler call outs go, it is the favorite of people who want to position some enemy as a super bad guy. It was dropped quite often during the election. Even here. I've probably done it.

Zyklon B was a pesticide and was sold up until at least 2000. It may be still for sale under some name or another. Anything can be weaponized.

Spicer reflects the man who hired him. Mostly I believe Spicer to be ill prepared for what a Press Secretary does, much like Trump is ill prepared to be President. Press secretaries shouldn't be extemporaneous.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:10 am UTC

A former adviser to Donald Trump who is at the centre of an FBI investigation was exhibiting “strongly pro-Kremlin” ideology almost two decades ago, his former employer has told the Guardian.

Carter Page, who was reportedly being monitored by the FBI last summer because of suspicions about his ties to Russia, was hired in 1998 by the Eurasia Group, a major US consulting firm that advises banks and multinational corporations, but left the firm shortly thereafter.

The account of Page’s abrupt departure from the Eurasia Group suggests that concerns about Page and questions about his links to Russia were known in some professional circles for nearly two decades and long before Page joined Trump’s successful presidential campaign.

Now Page – who has denied all wrongdoing – is at the centre of overlapping FBI and congressional investigations into possible cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

The former Merrill Lynch banker, who was relatively unknown in politics before he was touted as being a foreign policy adviser in the Trump campaign, has steadfastly declined to comment on how he got involved in the Republican campaign. He told ABC News on Thursday that he would not disclose the name of the person who recruited him into the campaign because it would fuel conspiracy theories and have their “lives disrupted”.

Ian Bremmer, the influential president of the Eurasia Group, on Thursday used Twitter to call Page the “most wackadoodle” alumni of the firm in history.

Bremmer told the Guardian that Page had worked at Eurasia for three months.

“It was very clear he was ideologically very strongly pro-Kremlin, which wasn’t at all clear when he interviewed. As a result, he wasn’t a good fit at Eurasia Group,” Bremmer said through a spokesperson in an email.

Even though I assume any high-level connections between Trump and Russia are purely quid-pro-quo political opportunism, this is still a bit of a bizarre turn.

link

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Koa » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:04 am UTC

As far being moderate or presidential, he suggested plans to freeze health insurance subsidies to gridlock ACA coverage by withdrawing an appeal made last year. He can then claim that the ACA is no longer working and that it's the democrats fault for enacting unconstitutional subsidies in the first place, and for not working with republicans to find a "solution". Sabotaging it then wiping his hands clean.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:47 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Zyklon B was a pesticide and was sold up until at least 2000. It may be still for sale under some name or another. Anything can be weaponized.

Are knives not weapons because we can cook with them? Baseball bats? Flare guns? If you don't have anything to say other than "here are some facts completely unrelated to what we were talking about" then you're better off not talking.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:01 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
morriswalters wrote:Zyklon B was a pesticide and was sold up until at least 2000. It may be still for sale under some name or another. Anything can be weaponized.

Are knives not weapons because we can cook with them? Baseball bats? Flare guns? If you don't have anything to say other than "here are some facts completely unrelated to what we were talking about" then you're better off not talking.

The original point I was making was that it wasn't totally unreasonable that Spicer was thinking about weapons used in the battlefield rather than methods of execution used in concentration camps. Whether or not Zyklon B actually counts as a weapon isn't really the point. He still misspoke a crazy amount and I'm not interested in defending him any more, because... how the hell does the Holocaust slip your mind. I just wanted to clear up what I was saying.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:18 pm UTC

Koa wrote:As far being moderate or presidential, he suggested plans to freeze health insurance subsidies to gridlock ACA coverage by withdrawing an appeal made last year. He can then claim that the ACA is no longer working and that it's the democrats fault for enacting unconstitutional subsidies in the first place, and for not working with republicans to find a "solution". Sabotaging it then wiping his hands clean.

A lot of this is Tom Price and Jeff sessions doing since they got confirmed early and are very competent at their terrible agenda. The anti EPA chief also knows what he's doing and Trump is sticking to his anti immigrant goals. Unless the establishment wing reasserts themselves there, we have a good idea of what the Trump administration will be like.
The administration could sabotage the ACA more, but there's infighting between those who want to tear it down to blame Democrats, and those who don't want to remove health insurance on the GOP side.

This assumes Jeff sessions doesn't resign for being a Russian spy. Very unlikely but possible given how cozy he seemed.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby morriswalters » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:54 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
morriswalters wrote:Zyklon B was a pesticide and was sold up until at least 2000. It may be still for sale under some name or another. Anything can be weaponized.

Are knives not weapons because we can cook with them? Baseball bats? Flare guns? If you don't have anything to say other than "here are some facts completely unrelated to what we were talking about" then you're better off not talking.
What I was alluding to was that the primary reason that the chemical was used was that it was cheap as compared to a bullet. And it is precisely for this reason that Assad uses them. Which is why Spicer was an idiot. The evil existed for what Hitler used it to do. He seems to believe that, at least superficially, that murder by chemical weapons is, in an of itself, somehow more morally "wrong" then a bullet. Developed nations don't like them because they are effective and cheap. Very democratic when used as a weapon used by Nation States.

Now having explained myself, I suggest that you foe me. Because unless and until the great angel of death swoops down and bans me I will continue to speak, if I think I have something I want to say. Out of respect for you I will however no longer quote or respond to you.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:12 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
Zohar wrote:
morriswalters wrote:Zyklon B was a pesticide and was sold up until at least 2000. It may be still for sale under some name or another. Anything can be weaponized.

Are knives not weapons because we can cook with them? Baseball bats? Flare guns? If you don't have anything to say other than "here are some facts completely unrelated to what we were talking about" then you're better off not talking.

The original point I was making was that it wasn't totally unreasonable that Spicer was thinking about weapons used in the battlefield rather than methods of execution used in concentration camps. Whether or not Zyklon B actually counts as a weapon isn't really the point. He still misspoke a crazy amount and I'm not interested in defending him any more, because... how the hell does the Holocaust slip your mind. I just wanted to clear up what I was saying.

His initial statement was boneheaded but yes, easily fucking understandable to mean "weapons as deployed by soldiers against a hostile force of otherwise 'free' individuals insofar as they are not literal prisoners."

His attempts to explain his statement is what's fucking him. Because he's not saying that, his statements essentially have become statements of someone who is profoundly bad at explaining himself, profoundly ignorant of history, or honestly believes Jews living in Germany in the 1920-30s were not German. Or some combination of those three.

At this point, it's a situation where only a statement of "Guys, Spicey is resigning because holy crap am I bad at this job" is the only graceful way out.
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natraj
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby natraj » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:19 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:At this point, it's a situation where only a statement of "Guys, Spicey is resigning because holy crap am I bad at this job" is the only graceful way out.


that's allowing the charitable interpretation that this episode was an instance of spicer being bad at his job. if we look at the entirety of trump's administration, overall characterized by attempts to pander to a racist / white nationalist base and signal to them that white nationalist sympathies are welcome in this country, then both his initial statement and subsequent clarification are doing his job excellently by reinforcing exactly who is welcome in the country and who isn't.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:27 pm UTC

Oh, for sure. I've basically got no doubt that the notion of Jewish people who had lived from birth to internment in Germany during the early 20th century not being True German Citizens is exactly the statement he was making.

Because he was given several chances to backtrack completely and took zero of them.

There's some cartoon thing out there - Bojack, Archer, Bob's Burgers maybe... I can only remember the gist, not the words

Character 1 - Well at least this situation is nothing like (reference to difficult act)
Character 2 - Whee, that's good.

Later, as the situation is revealed to be similar and difficult to the difficult act referenced earlier)

Character 2 - You said this was nothing like (thing)!
Character 1 - It's not! We're not (group 1), they're not (group 2), we aren't in (specific place), it's not (specific date)....
Character 2 - .... you were literally saying it's not that exact situation.


That keeps playing in my head. That Spicy was saying 2017 Syria is literally not late 1930s early 1940s Germany, that Assad is literally not Hitler because Assad isn't German, is alive, wasn't born whenever Hitler was born to Hitler's mother, isn't named Adolf Hitler, etc. That his only point was they literally weren't the same event.

I really wish I could remember what it was. Probably Archer.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.


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