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March 20, 2017

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wj, I'm speechless. What is there to say about this (specifically the example of the USC conference)? It and what it represents is a clusterfuck of truly historic proportions.

Trump and his followers are idiot cowards.

And here I thought that someone would need a gun-rest mounted on their knee to succeed in shooting themselves in the foot so consistently. Guess they've got mad skills....

The United States is in serious trouble. People who care at all need to quit denying it, and get rid of the Russian puppet.

Rex Tillerson's plans seem good for America and its allies. Or not.

Not

More awesomeness:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/20/us-forbids-devices-larger-cell-phones-flights-13-countries

It's the travel ban reloaded:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-electronic-devices-flights-eight-muslim-countries-ban-middle-east-cuts-a7640736.html

Future generations will look back on us and wonder how we could have let a man who belongs in a loony bin into the White House.

a significant part of the current generation is already thinking that.

He has an 80% approval rating with the people who voted for him. He's doing exactly what they want him to do.

You can't explain Trump without explaining his voters. 60 million people think this crap is A-OK.

He has an 80% approval rating with the people who voted for him.

sure: dumb enough to vote for him, dumb enough to stick with him.

but, less than 19% of all Americans voted for him.

He has an 80% approval rating with the people who voted for him.

With lots of overlap with "staunch Dubya voters" that were all "Dubya, who?" in 2008, I'd guess.

So only 2 months into his presidency, he's already lost 20% of the people who voted for him.

How hardcore his core supporters are is still a question in my mind. I tend to think there's at least a slim majority of those who voted for him would only turn on him if he committed some theoretical horrible act.

So what is the floor for his approval rating? And what does it mean if his approval and disapproval ratings add up to virtually 100% (i.e. almost no one neither approves nor disapproves)?

What happens if/when everyone but his core supporters disapprove of him?

How hardcore his core supporters are is still a question in my mind. I tend to think there's at least a slim majority of those who voted for him would only turn on him if he committed some theoretical horrible act.

I suspect it isn't quite what you were picturing when you wrote this. But it seems to me that the most likely "terrible act" which will turn a big tranche of his supporters is (passing and) implementing the AHCA.

When they discover that it's their health care that is getting slashed, they are not going to be happy campers. Especially after he was so emphatic about how none of them would lose health care and his plan would be so fabulous.

i'm sure that the GOP and its attendant noise machine will be hard at work convincing people that the ACA was unsustainable so they shouldn't have had that lousy insurance in the first place, and that Trump will provide for them.

and it will work, too. because, let's fact it: we're not talking about people who have shown a great capacity for critical thinking.

Oh great, the UK poodles are of course following suit immediately.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/21/uk-set-to-ban-laptops-on-flights-from-middle-east-countries

For our latest exercise in snubbing (I think that's the right term) soft power, Reuters reveals that our Secretary of State cannot be bothered to attend the NATO foreign ministers meeting.

Normally, this would be noteworthy enough. But at least we would be sending an Deputy Secretary from the State Department. But we haven't actually got one of those yet. Well, at least we have an Acting Deputy who can attend. So what if the other NATO countries feel like they are being seen as unimportant?

All those lithium-ion batteries in the checked baggage will certainly make flying safer. Not.

terrorist bomb makers lag far behind the US in being able to design circuits that can act as timers.

Yeah, it's just a good thing that those laptops don't have the ability to wake themselves up and try to run Windows Update.

Oh, wait...

The US is the dominant superpower, but that happens by and large with the consent of the other major players. The Japanese and we Europeans are happy to be allied with you. Make no mistake, even if you are the largest military player, it would be quite possible for an opposing block to form that could contain you, if you played your cards badly. It doesn't happen, because we actually like you.

All empires ghroughout the history have governed by cultivating alliances. Though the US has a vast military, you were unable to pacify Iraq, and we have, together, been futilely trying to pacify Afghanistan for 16 years. We can quite clearly say, that the US cannot occupy more than three or four medium-sized countries at the time fighting insurgencies, and even then, it is dependent on the locals doing a lot of the work. So, you cannot hope to govern the world by hard power. You need to do limit that to as few cases as possible.

Since the Second World War, you have been the best users of soft power in the world. Your numerous exchange programs make sure that future decision-makers get acquainted with your culture and have a network there. You export your culture efficiently, and it has such quality that we actually pay for it. I personally, for one, have been in the US for a number of times, have good colleagues there, and spend time writing on a US blog. This is soft power. It is the means by which you know you don't need to plan for a war against a combined coalition of EU, Japan and China. :-) (Which would, heaven forbid, mean the annihilation of life on the surface of this planet.) Compared to military buildup, soft power is cheap. You can hire a good many foreign service officers, or fund numerous exchange students at a price of a single fighter plane.

Lurker, pretty much all true. Which makes it all the more horrifying and incomprehensible that the Trumpkins are squandering all this goodwill by letting the mechanisms for this soft power degrade, and in the end, if this goes on too long, die. You'd think there was someone at the helm who wanted to destroy everything, and then play in the wreckage. And someone else, nominally at the helm, too stupid and ignorant to stop him.

wj, you might wanna check to make sure you correctly closed your bold tag in the 4th paragraph. I'm seeing the whole FP bolded from there onward.

You'd think there was someone at the helm who wanted to destroy everything, and then play in the wreckage. And someone else, nominally at the helm, too stupid and ignorant to stop him.

Hmmm. And so many people so blind to see what's happening.

NV: saw the bolding too, but decided that I liked it better. SHHHH!!!

Thanks, NV. Fixed now.
Sorry, Snarki. I like the aesthetics better -- and in today's America, optics are all-important.

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