Politics is Stupid


#1462

I mean, not for nothing, but I think he’s due the “100 Days” criticisms for failing to accomplish a large number of tasks he insisted he’d be able to accomplish in 100 days.

My criticisms of trump start with him being a serial sexual harasser who has an extraordinarily shallow grasp of most topics. You could level the same accusations at Kennedy and many others, but trump breaks from the pack by ignoring most of the advisors who are supposed to come in and help a president appear smooth and educated.

His grasp on even casual facts is shockingly bad—he’s basically like any other 70 year old who has scanned some wikipedia pages. He lies so often and so casually that I don’t even know if he knows he’s lying. The dude proclaimed that Chicago is drowning in dead bodies (it’s not), the murder and crime rate is skyrocketing (both are lower now than ever before in recorded history), and that US unemployment is at 40% (he’s off by about 10x). He is hung up on “immigrants” committing crimes, when statistically immigrants are vastly less likely to commit any crimes, violent or otherwise, than citizens. Is trump stupid, uninformed, or just playing to his base? I suspect all three.

He has no problem listening to Steve Bannon, a jew-hating white supremacist who, in his time at Breitbart, peddled more fake news than Fox ever has. Bannon is a wreck of a human being who shouldn’t be near any position of power—Bannon’s endgame likely includes amending the pledge of allegiance be amended to include the 14 Words. Seen in that light, paid foreign agents like Flynn are almost acceptable by comparison.

He’s failed to divest himself of business interests and is patently using the presidency to enrich his business interests. His wife is doing the same thing. He’s introduced an unprecedented nepotistic bent to the WH staff and enlisted his fantastically unqualified daughter and her equally fantastically unqualified husband into sensitive positions where they can influence or even make policy.

He’s on track to spend more time golfing in his first year than Obama did in 8. The majority of those golf trips have not been related to entertaining visiting politicians. He’s provided access to himself and other officials to high-paying Mar-a-Lago visitors, which further enriches his own holdings. More than once during those outings he’s shit all over proper classified info handling and massively violated TS procedures, including refusing to set up a SCIF tent to discuss military matters. This isn’t just insanely stupid—it’s also insanely irresponsible, insanely reckless, and insanely illegal.

He is a paranoid xenophobic lunatic who doesn’t just choose to disregard “facts that don’t matter”—he tends to ignore any facts he doesn’t like. Some of these are indeed silly and minor, like the inauguration crowd idiocy. Some of them are a lot more serious, like his assertions that the US commitment to NATO is useless, or that there’s a vast media conspiracy to make him look bad (spoiler alert: there’s not—he’s just naturally a hateful asshole who does terrible things that need no embellishment or amplification to appear terrible).

He’s just a shitty wreck of a person. He’s going to use the presidency to squeeze personal wealth out of America to a degree that the Kennedys never could, and that’s saying something. He might make the ultimate stupid mistake of thinking NORK will back down—which they won’t. They’re way too desperate and KJU is way too insane to back down. Poke that tiger too hard and we’re gonna have a shooting war that employs at least tactical nuclear weapons.

And, listen…the man can’t string together a goddamn sentence to save his life. He makes W sound like Socrates. If he doesn’t have early-onset dementia, he’s doing an Oscar-worthy job of acting like he does.

(Also, Scott Adams is a loon. Listening to him is at this point as useful as listening to Alex Jones. They are both equally nonsensical and wrong. They both believe in many of the same delusional conspiracy theory fantasies, and Adams in particular regularly recycles a gibbering paranoid idiot post that twitter has somehow “shadowbanned” him. I regret all the Dilbert books I’ve purchased, because I feel like I’ve contributed money to someone who thinks Obama drank baby’s blood and that trump entertaining foreign leaders in a hotel he owns as a means to advertise that hotel is okay.)


#1463

I’ll agree with one thing, though—the hullabaloo over trump releasing his taxes is dumb. You know what I expect to see in trump’s taxes? I expect to find the kind of shit in there that you’d find in any millionaire’s tax returns. Cheating, insanity, craziness, creative accounting, hilariously terrible reclassifications and blatant exploitation of loopholes.

And so what? None of that is a big deal. It just means trump has accountants who know how the game is played. The thing everybody wants to know isn’t how badly trump cheats on his taxes—that’s just a matter of course for someone in his position. The thing everyone wants to know is whether or not he’s really a billionaire.

Which he’s not. He’s a six-times-bankrupt slumlord who’s never risked his own money. He’s the kind of person who talks a big game and intimidates or lies to others to get their money, and then squanders it.

You want to know what kind of a presidency we’re in for? Look at any of trump’s multiple failed properties. You’re looking at his end goal for the USA. He holds no morals close; he idolizes no great men; he has no driving mission other than the acquisition of wealth via real estate deals. He’s a shitty father, a multiple-times-traitorous husband, and he lies as easily as he breathes.

…and, yeah, most of the things in that last paragraph can apply to just about any president to one degree or another. But even historically “bad” modern presidents like Nixon knew how to be president.

trump is just a weak, small man in a very large chair, and he’s becoming angrier and angrier that he can’t treat the presidency like a corporate chief executive position. I hope he’s enjoying his crash course on how checks and balances are supposed to function in a working republic, because I sure am.


#1464

I would only note that as the head of the executive branch and the holder of the office which decreed the current system of information classification by executive order, he can pretty much do whatever he wants in terms of discussing classified information.

Not that this makes it less horrifying, mind you.


#1465

Sorry, one more thing—I just can’t let this go.

Take any past president and spread out a world map in front of them and ask them to find Botswana, Turkey, Vietnam, DRC, or any other non-G8 country. Here’s what would happen: most of the past presidents would step forward and point out whatever country you asked, perhaps after a bit of study. The rest would turn to an aide, whisper for a moment, and then point out whatever country. Because it’s okay for the president to not know everything, as long as he can find out everything and appear to know it. That’s pretty standard for a world leader, right? Even if you don’t know it, someone on your staff does, and you’re prepared.

Put trump in that position and he’d wave off the aide, march up to the map, put his finger somewhere in southern Africa, and say “It’s right there,” whatever you asked for. When you tell him that’s the wrong country, he’d say that you’ve been misinformed, and that he never said he knew where the country was in the first place. When you try to protest that’s nonsense, he’ll say that he’s the best at geography and he’s got a way better map than this in his office, and that according to that map, you’re the one who’s wrong. If you can still protest at this point, he’ll tell you you’ve been listening to fake news and that Vietnam has always been located in southern Africa, and then he’ll try to talk to about his inauguration photos.

He is just devoid of character and brimming with cowardice. He can’t let small slights go because he’s obsessed with owning his own image—remember, this is the same insecure shithead who on multiple occasions called NYC newspapers posing as a trump adviser in order to “leak” information about himself.

Weak. Cowardly. Small. Amoral. Bully. Liar. Incompetent. trump. But I repeat myself.


#1466

We hadn’t noticed. :wink:


#1467

Why has Greg Gianforte been charged, but Eyup Yildirim is still on the loose?

Both should be, don’t get me wrong. Though I suppose Greg could always use the Berkley defense and say he thought the reporter was a Nazi.

But more importantly, the Turkish embassy beatings should have some people locked up and others sent home. You don’t get to do this to people here. I don’t know if the DC police often ignore this sort of thing or not, but it’s not like it’s a parking ticket or something.

I cannot for the life of me understand why the goodwill of a country that doesn’t actually feel any goodwill towards us is more important than the goodwill of the Kurds, who appear to be cut from the same cloth people like to say Americans are made of. Both Bushes did it, Obama did it, Trump appears to continue to do it.

The US has a horrible record of decades of not supporting people who actually like us. I’d rather support a vicious tribal regime that may evolve into something, than support a decades long dictatorship that wants to regress. OTOH, we’ve gone so far down this road I’m afraid a Kurdish genocide may cause fewer deaths than supporting them would.


#1468

Screwing over our allies in this part of the world is sort of our MO. A cold consolation is that everyone knows it is coming.


#1469

Berkeley Breathed decided to play a joke on his readers and posted a fake letter from Donald Trump’s actual lawyer, threatening a lawsuit is BB didn’t remove the pictures he made before of Trump and other politicians wearing his T-shirts. That was followed by an apology letter by BB saying he was just having a little fun.

Many people didn’t get the joke and treated it seriously. When I read both of them, I couldn’t figure out if it was a joke or not since when BB did his April Fool’s Day joke about him teaming up with Bill Watterson for a Bloom County/Calvin and Hobbes comic, I thought that was real.

I just don’t know if this was too subtle for people to get, or because it involves a person who might actually do that sort of thing, it fell flat.


#1470

So I thought this was bad when I first read it, but it’s worse than I originally thought. It also points out that members of congress just have @somedudez run their IT on an individually selected basis, which seems insane. Seriously, shouldn’t some White Hats be running against that arrangement on a weekly basis testing for weak points? I could get behind throwing a few million at hardening the network there and putting standards in place.

OTOH, holy crap what kind of gold mine are these guys sitting on to tangle this many people into it?


#1471

Why the hell is Congress outsourcing their IT? That shit should be in house. I’d be OK with tax dollars going to that.


#1472

Not a chance. They’re bound by large government IT procurement rules like any other agency, and that means being subject to the same insane RFI/RFP/contract dance as the rest of the government.

In fact, if the House really is letting some rando tiny company function as its IT provider, they’re probably gaining a lot of props for doing so—I know back at Boeing, we were mandated by NASA to spend as much money as possible with SDB (“Small or Disadvantaged Businesses”), with a “score multiplier” for using SDBs that were minority- or woman-owned.

It’s likely that the House is using IT spending as a way to get additional SDB credit—which would in turn allow them leeway to spend other funding how they want.

Just one more example of some bunch of idiots treating IT like a pure cost center and suffering for their mistakes.


#1473

I don’t think they have to go through that process because they are being employed by the representative themselves to run their independent office and hook into the House systems, not run the infrastructure itself. Part of my thinking is that it’s all Democrats who hired these guys, and they also worked for the DNC so it’s not a bipartisan “House” IT system.

In my opinion it should be being done by the military so the people doing so are under UCMJ since in theory it is defending the country with everything that entails.

Not by the CIA, or the FBI, or some other Bureaucratic Nightmare. Unless you put the Secret Service back under Treasury and have them do it.

I can’t think of any scenario where the military could do a worse job than a criminal family that’s fleeing to Pakistan. Or the numbers of pretend workers they were paying for.


#1474

Took Bush’s second term for people to start talking about killing him. Took Trump about six hours, and a few months into it this is what we get.

Yes, free speech. No, don’t ban it, don’t jail her.

But… as usual the progressives in this country talk a good game about being nice people, but totally fail at it. The main thing the election of Trump has shown me is exactly who carries around buckets of hate and fantasizes about a world where everyone who disagrees with them is dead.

So, punch a Nazi, break a window, shoot some “stupid” cops, and behead the president. The outlandish fringe of the alt right is comparable to CNN hosts now.

Remember when Giffords was shot because Sarah Palin had crosshairs on a map?


#1475

Ahh, good call. That sounds even worse than bad institutionalized IT.

I don’t disagree in theory, but what I know about .mil IT in general from the news and also from multiple personal anecdotes (paging @sig!), I don’t think military IT is a good idea for anything that actually matters.


#1476

Yes, and that should be fixed, maybe this is a good starting point. Heck maybe having sysadmins under UCMJ would help clean up politics. Or just make things even more of a mess, how much does it cost to buy some E-3 to look the other way?

Nothing will happen until something happens. And it won’t be something important, but something headline worthy. Meanwhile China and whoever else actually takes the internet seriously will just keep winning a fight where we aren’t even showing up.


#1477

Oh good heavens no.


#1478

Sorry, but I just have to say this.
Donald Trump is an ignorant buffoon who shouldn’t be head of a household, let alone a head of state.

Trying to make political points in the wake of the London terror attack is absolutely pathetic. Trying to pillory the mayor of London by taking a single sentence from a lengthy press release and using it out of context is even worse.
I wonder if Trump had just found out the mayor is a Muslim?


#1479

The rate Europe and London are starting to have attacks that would mean you’d never be able to talk politics.

Just about every pronouncement from every politician after an event like this is political. People only get offended if it’s against their point of view. Right after a shooting is when people start talking about gun control, or mental health, or arming more people. Right after a drowning at a park is when people talk about signs, fences, and spoiling nature with the same.

As for taking a quote out of context, welcome to politics.

These aren’t specifically Trump traits. Obama, Bush, Merkel, anyone in leadership positions can’t afford to let the spotlight go without pushing their agenda.How many of the people opposed to Trump immediately jumped to “Not all Muslims” and fear for other immigrants, with more care for the potential violence than the violence that actually happened?

And if “Not all Men” is bullshit, how does that work for “Not all Muslims”?


#1480

There’s a huge difference between talking politics and using a terror attack to try and make political points.

I stand by everything I said.


#1481

Should Churchill not have used The Blitz to make a point? I put forth the fact that if you don’t agree with the political point being made then it’s wrong. Were the talks about togetherness and not all Muslims political points? Or the protests by Muslims stage managed by CNN political points?

Was it politics after Port Arthur? 12 days after the shooting the law was presented. If you agree with gun control then it’s just a reasonable conversation to have, if you disagree then it’s getting your way by standing on dead bodies.

I do the same thing from my direction, that’s why I try not to bitch about it too much.