When Trump Meets Kim – One Precondition We Must Demand

In the Presidential debate of July, 2007, the candidates are talking about talking.

The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration — is ridiculous.

Senator Barrack Obama, July 24, 2007

Presidential candidate Barrack Obama came under sustained attack during the summer of 2007 for his openness to talks with countries who had no love for the United States. The question he had answered dealt not only with Iran, but also with Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea. That would be Kim Jong Un’s North Korea. The totalitarian dictatorship that has imprisoned the northern half, and threatened the southern half, of the Korean Peninsula for longer than the grandparents of most of the world’s citizens have been alive.

Senator Obama took a lot of heat for that.

This is dangerous. It isn’t just naive; it’s dangerous.

Senator John McCain, October 14, 2008

Obama was right. His critics were wrong.

We don’t talk with our adversaries because we agree with them. We talk with them because we disagree. The purpose of talking, even with enemies, is to find some area, however small, where a meeting of the minds can happen.

That is why I cautiously agreed with Donald Trump when he was still candidate Trump. He told Reuters News Agency what approach he would take with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

I would speak to him. I would have no problem speaking to him.

Donald Trump, May 18, 2016

There are, of course, dangers in such talks, dangers that are magnified by quantum levels beyond any that our last President might have faced.

President Obama was nearly obsessive in preparing for every eventuality. His daily briefings were detailed. Even at that, he frequently asked for, and got, additional background sourced information.

President Trump famously regards daily briefings as a sign of mental weakness.

You know, I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years.

Donald Trump, December 11, 2016

Cartoonist Garry Trudeau had some fun, a couple of weeks back, imagining schoolchild Donny Trump refusing to read the class assignment. “Reading is for losers!” he declares to a classmate. “I’m about winning.”

In class, the teacher calls on him. What does he think European countries have to fear from Russia?

He has no idea, not having read the assignment. So he tries to bluff his way through.

“Well, I want to just start by saying hopefully they’re going to have to fear nothing, ultimately. Right now there is a fear, and there are problems — there are certainly problems.”

The child babbles on. The teacher looks skeptical.

“But ultimately, I hope that there won’t be a fear and there won’t be problems, and the world can get along. That would be the ideal situation.”

The teacher gets impatient. Donny is determined to come up with words that will give the illusion of preparation.

“It’s crazy what’s going on — whether it’s the Middle East or you look at — no matter where the — Ukraine — you look at — whatever you look at, it’s got problems, so many problems.”

Finally the teacher interrupts. “So no clue.”

The cartoon would be a harmless, pretty much meaningless, slap, but Trudeau reveals what inspired the fictional classroom dialogue.

Well, I want to just start by saying hopefully they’re going to have to fear nothing, ultimately. Right now there is a fear, and there are problems — there are certainly problems. But ultimately, I hope that there won’t be a fear and there won’t be problems, and the world can get along. That would be the ideal situation.

It’s crazy what’s going on — whether it’s the Middle East or you look at — no matter where the — Ukraine — you look at — whatever you look at, it’s got problems, so many problems. And ultimately, I believe that we are going to get rid of most of those problems, and there won’t be fear of anybody. That’s the way it should be.

Donald Trump, Press Conference, April 12, 2017

Yeah, that’s the way it should be.

The problem with unconditional talks with this President is one not faced by our last President. Little Donny Trump has grown up, but the stubborn refusal to prepare lives on. His lack of preparation, the fast-talking bluff-your-way-through approach, lends itself to blunders in a nuclear age. His need to impress combines with panic when he has no knowledge with which to impress. He seizes whatever tiny morsels of information are available. Sometimes this includes what his visitors let him know.

Intelligence experts tell us that Russia is not the only country that has figured out how to push the right buttons to convince Donald Trump of just about anything. Personal flattery, especially about his intelligence and political prowess, can lay the groundwork. Then, a foreign leader need only put whatever spin is needed on policy.

The strategy has worked for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Russia has had additional advantages, but Sergey Kislyak has used flattery, artful spin of information, and a skillful exploitation of a Presidential craving to impress. Saudi Arabia has met with President Trump and now has an agreement to a new arsenal of arms. The combination has even worked to a lesser degree for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The President blusters before meeting. Then, across the negotiating table, he wilts when flattered. When he is then confronted with a tsunami of information and spin, he is helpless.

His meeting with the leader of China is one small example. As long as he was out of the presence of President Xi Jinping, he could boast about the tough approach he would take. On retaliating against China’s currency manipulation, he previews his planned hard line:

Listen you m*** f***s, we’re going to tax you 25%.

Donald Trump, April 28, 2011

More calmly, and more recently, he explains how China controls North Korea, and how he will control China. The Korean problem will be ended immediately.

At the same time, I would put a lot of pressure on China because economically we have tremendous power over China. People don’t realize that. They are extracting vast billions of dollars out of our country. Billions. And we have tremendous power over China. China can solve that problem with one meeting or one phone call.

Donald Trump, May 16, 2017

Face to face with China’s President, Xi Jinping, things change quickly.

President Xi explains many things to him, and student Trump becomes devoted to newly discovered truth. Hostility is gone. Peace reigns as he copies from the Chinese leader’s paper.

China, as it turns out, is not a currency manipulator after all. The situation with North Korea turns out to be very complicated. Much more complicated than most people realize. And, one very interesting piece of history that is not generally known, China has a history with Korea. In fact, China has a legitimate claim. Korea has historically been part of China.

That last provoked rage in South Korea, but President Trump had been taught by the best.

All that had to happen was a bit of education, one President to another.

So, yeah, I still favor a meeting with North Korea. Every citizen ought to. Congress and the Senate should support our President. Democrats and Republicans should have his back.

But everyone, in government and out, public officials and ordinary citizens, should insist on one and only one precondition.

We must demand, before any meeting with President Trump, North Korea will make one firm guarantee.

Kim Jong Un must first agree never to educate our President.

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Don’t Sasse Me!

found online by Raymond

From Max’s Dad:

Watch out for this guy, America. His name is Ben Sasse (Weirdo-Ne) and he doesnt much like the orange blob of espionage in the White House. He didnt like him back in the summer of 2016, didnt much like him in the fall of 2016, and doesnt much like him now. Sasse took a lot of shit from the angry white rubes of his home state back in the good old days when Hillary was going to kick Trump’s ass. Never gonna vote for him again, oughta be recalled blah blah blah. Yeah right.

Sasse has written a book about how to raise yer kiddies to grow up and be just like him and he’s pimping it like Huggy Bear on a Friday night in 1978. Sasse seems to think “adults” have lost control and big brats like Trump have become the norm. Sasse has been making a lot of noise for a long time about the pre-school this nation has become. And quite frankly he’s right. But since Ben Sasse became a superstar with his cute sarcastic twitter account where he acts goofy and tells people #LoveYourPassion when they call him a buck toothed baboon. No it was not me who did that, I called him a stupid hot dog vendor (I saw him selling hot dogs once at a football game) but then Im not all that creative.

Sasse is weird. He drives an Uber, he sells hot dogs at football games, he once said his daughters wake up every day and pray that Obamacare is repealed. See, weird.

But Ben Sasse may be the first Republican to show the guts to say what needs to be said

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RIP, Compassionate Conservativism

found online by Raymond

From tengrain at Mock Paper Scissors:

Before we begin commenting on The Russian Usurper’s deeply troubling budget, let’s recall that all budgets proposed by all preznints are aspirational. Whatever comes out at the end of the process rarely is the same as what goes in.

That said, we can see that the preznint aspires to kill us all.

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Trump Stops Winning

found online by Raymond

From Iron Knee at Political Irony:

It seems like almost everyone is on to Donald Trump. He finally gave a speech that was designed to be presidential. And his speech in the Middle East was actually presidential.

Except that virtually nobody believed a word of it. He said reasonable things about Muslims. But Muslims are not so stupid.

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Death and the Afterlife: Things Christians Say That Aren’t in the Bible

found online by Raymond

From The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser:

Generally, the orthodox Christian belief about the afterlife goes something like this: each of us dies, physically remains in the grave until judgment Day, at which time God will bodily resurrect the just and unjust from the dead, judge them, and either send them to God’s eternal kingdom (Heaven) or the Lake of Fire (Hell) for eternity. The former is a blissful place where there is no sin, pain, suffering, or death, whereas the latter is a dark place where its inhabitants face horrific pain and suffering. Both the just (saved) and unjust (lost) will be fitted with new bodies (creations) that never die, and for those cast in the Lake of Fire, their bodies will be able to withstand never-ending torture and torment.

Now, seek out one hundred Evangelicals and ask them about death and the afterlife, and they will tell you something like this: after death, Christians go to Heaven, and non-Christians go to hell. Does what I have written here remotely sound like what I wrote in the previous paragraph? Nope. Most Christians believe that the moment after they close their eyes in death, they will awake in Heaven and be in the presence of God. The Bible, supposedly the final authority on all matter pertaining to life, death, and the afterlife, does not teach that Christians go to Heaven the moment they die. Neither does it teach that non-Christians go to hell after death. Every person who has ever died presently lies rotting in the grave, awaiting the resurrection of the dead.

It’s not so sexy to tell people that their reserved rooms in Heaven and Hell will remain empty until Resurrection Day. Peter? James? Judas? Moses? David? Abraham? Isaac? Jacob? Adam? Eve? John, Paul, George, and Ringo? Your parents, grandparents? None of them is or will be in Heaven or Hell until the trumpet of God sounds and Jesus returns to earth to judge the living and the dead.

Yet, every Sunday, Christian preachers remind congregants of what awaits them after death: Heaven for the saved, and Hell for the lost. Unsaved people are implored to get saved lest they die and split hell wide open. Christians are encouraged to work hard for Jesus and promised great rewards in Heaven if they do so. Preachers tell wonderful stories about Heaven and horrific stories about Hell, reminding people that the sum of life is knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

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White Racism Dropped Slightly During Obama Administration

found online by Raymond

From Ted McLaughlin at jobsanger:

The charts above are from the Gallup Poll. Here is Gallup’s explanation of how they reached the numbers displayed in their charts:

Our review found eight questions that were asked in 2004 and 2007 — before Obama — and then again in 2015 and 2016 — during the Obama years. These questions, combined, provide what we believe is a reasonable measure of racial resentment. Analyzing responses from the two earlier surveys and comparing those with the responses from the two later surveys provides the needed divide between pre-Obama and Obama-era attitudes.

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The Religious Faith Behind Climate Change Fear Mongering

found online by Raymond

From Libertarian Michael A. LaFerrara at Principled Perspectives:

Humans have an unlimited capacity for self-delusion. Climate catastrophists “see” climate change in every weather extreme in the same way religionists “see” the Hand of God in whatever they choose. But wishing won’t make it so. Nor is it possible to rebut wishful thinking rationally. It can as logically be claimed that floods are caused by Martians screwing with our weather in retaliation for sending robots to their planet. People in the 1950s blamed weather extremes on Sputnik. People in the 1960s blamed weather extremes on nuclear weapons testing. People in the 1970s blamed the moon landing. People have always blamed God. People have always looked for easy explanations for “this crazy weather,” even though weather has not changed much over the centuries. Climate Change is no different. When it comes to weather, most people have the memory of a goldfish: The latest of a recurring weather extreme is always something that has never happened before—except that it has and will again.

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Most Favor Travel Ban on Recent Visitor to Muslim Country

found online by Raymond

From The Borowitz Report:

RIYADH (The Borowitz Report)—In a notable shift of public opinion, a substantial majority of Americans now favor a travel ban on a person who has recently visited a Muslim country, a new poll shows.

According to the poll, if such a person travelled to a country in the Middle East, for example, he should be subjected to extreme vetting before he is allowed to return to the United States.

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First Excerpt From President Trump’s Travel Diary

found online by Raymond

From E.A. Blair at MadMikesAmerica:

Thanks to an exclusive leak, a confidential source on Air Force One has supplied me with advance notes from Donald Trump’s travel diary. In true Trumpish fashion, each entry appears to be 140 characters or less. I can only attribute the fact that these have not shown up in the presidential twitter feed to the secure communications environment on board the plane.

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