Trump’s alleged screw-up with the Russians reveals yet again what we have learned many times in the last four months: The successful operation of our government assumes a minimally competent Chief Executive that we now lack. Everyone else in the Executive Branch can be disciplined or fired or worse when they screw up by, say, revealing classified information or lying about some important public policy issue. But the President cannot be fired; we are stuck with him for 3-1/2 more years unless he is impeached, which remains a long-shot.

Source: Bombshell: Initial Thoughts on the Washington Post’s Game-Changing Story

As David Brin keeps pointing out: who benefits? The leak may well come from the Russians themselves. Trump is set to meet the NATO brass soon, and he basically just told them “I cannot be trusted”. Europe must no decide how NATO proceeds, absent its arguably most important member.

Update: I stand corrected.

16.05.2017 • Permalink

Foreigners who want to visit the U.S., even for a short trip, could be forced to disclose contacts on their mobile phones, social-media passwords and financial records, and to answer probing questions about their ideology, according to Trump administration officials conducting a review of vetting procedures.The administration also wants to subject more visa applicants to intense security reviews and have embassies spend more time interviewing each applicant. The changes could apply to people from all over

Oh well, who wants to visit the US anyway? (Source: WSJ)

04.04.2017 • Permalink

You’re Fired!

So Michael Flynn is out. Trump hasn’t been president for even a month, his numbers are already in the toilet and now he’s had to fire his national security advisor for being in the bag for a foreign state. (Well, technically he “resigned” to spend more time with his family. In Russia.)

The reliantly repulsive Newt Gingrich just wrote an article espousing The Don as “very, very smart,” but surrounded by morons, but as The Don and his “brilliant, the very best” advisors responded to a North Korean missile launch by illuminating the classified document using their cell phone lights as the other diners watched (and took photos), I was struck by a thought: What if they’re actually a bit thick?

I never thought we’d miss the statesmanship of Sarah Palin, nor was I ever interested in watching The Apprentice, but I guess I have to pay attention to it now, since whoever wins this season will affect us all.

14.02.2017 • Permalink

If you’re not terrified by now, you ought to be.

20.01.2017 • Permalink

In 2016, Russia succeeded in re-establishing itself as the big bad bear on the scene while Uncle Sam decided to give Russian-style (and to some extent Russian-backed) cleptocracy a shot, because why the fuck not? After all: her e-mails!

Still, I keep wondering if warfare-by-bullshit would be as effective if people like Rupert Murdoch hadn’t already weaponized the news for profit.

Not that it matters either way, I suppose. Murdoch is so old by now that even if Jerry Hall screws him to death tomorrow, and his kids’ guns jam when they go lion hunting, it will still be far too late to undo the damage.

18.12.2016 • Permalink