Wednesday Night Open Thread

Donald Trump laid out his foreign policy agenda today. It's being bashed by Republicans and Democrats alike. On the car radio, the CNN commentator I happened to hear criticized everything about it, from his halting delivery (his teleprompter skills are apparently not ready for prime time) to his use of the slogan "America First" (a throwback to the much criticized 1930's isolationist policy).

Trumpís use of an expression so dated and discredited reflects his willingness to dip into the past for catch phrases that, no matter their historical baggage, can still appeal to voters.
More on that era at the New York Times here. (The CNN commentator said the America First policy led us into WWII (a view espoused here) showing that Trump doesn't even understand the phrase.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright rips his points apart on Twitter. Former Trump rival Lindsay Graham: [More...]

“Ronald Reagan must be rolling over in his grave,” said senator Lindsey Graham, a leading Republican hawk and former rival for the presidential nomination. Graham claimed the “pathetic” speech was not conservative, but “isolationism surrounded by disconnected thought” and “demonstrates lack of understanding about the threats we face”.

Funniest news of the day: Ted Cruz names Carly Fiorina as his running mate. (Funny because his campaign is as dead as a doornail.) Fiorina flailed in her own presidential bid.

Her campaign never took off in the original, crowded 17-member Republican presidential field, and she was mostly relegated to the early second-tier debates for low-polling candidates.

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Suggested soundtrack for Trump's Foreign Policy Speech: The Best of Foreigner: Feels Like the First Time, Head Games, Hot Blooded, Double Vision and Cold as Ice.

I'll be catching up on ISIS news for a while. This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Sanders should name Hillary (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by ExPatObserver on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 06:04:33 PM EST
    as his running mate. She didn't agree? And so?
    He'll prove how unreasonable she is when she refuses to accept his generous offer.

    Trump may be (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 06:13:37 PM EST
    giving tribute to a forerunner, Lars (America First) Daly.  Lars, America First, as his friend called him, was a constant candidate from 1930 to 1970, running for every imaginable public office.  He campaigned in an Uncle Sam suit, something Trump might consider--surely most of his followers would approve. Besides, sales of such patriotic attire should be right up Trump's alley.

    Lars America First had many cock-eyed and dangerous positions, such as jailing anyone who took the 5th, and shooting drug peddlers on sight. Not limited to domestic affairs, Lars America First once petitioned Harry Truman for the opportunity to drop an atomic bomb on Moscow.  But, these curious positions did give him a lot of notice--a man ahead of Republican times.

    Fun reading (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Nemi on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 07:35:07 AM EST
    about Lar (not Lars) Daly by Scott Simon, Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime.

    Lar Daly was really a champion litigant. He successfully sued to have "America First" in his name on the ballot, and won a ruling from the FCC in 1960 that forced the NBC to put him on the Jack Paar show for forty-seven minutes equal time to what Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy had received.

    Lar Daly on being complimented of his hat:

    Good eye, ma'am. I got a Lithuanian woman who works for me sews it all by hand. I'll go through two or three of these a year. You see I keep stuff here - he shook out papers at the bottom of his hat - kinda like my office, so I can keep both hands free to meet people. Lincoln kept his office in his hat, too, when he was a young buck prairie lawyer. People laughed at him in those days, too. Trying to be a lawyer with no education, that squeaky voice, and those long legs growing out of his suits.

    Years later the author, running an underground student newspaper invited all candidates on the ballot to be inteviewed. Not even the "publicity-famished Vegetarians" responded, but Lar Daly did.

    Today the author wonders why he and his "editorial board of sardonic youngsters" sneered at Lar Daly's opinion that "Public schools are a mess" and "The U.S. government snoops on everybody". Probably due to that very reason that back then they were ... sardonic youngsters. ;)

    From New York Times Review: `Unforgettable' by Scott Simon: Saying Goodbye 140 Characters at a Time


    Saw this (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 06:16:26 PM EST
    Hard to believe this was an accidental hat tip.  

    Deal me in (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 07:31:37 PM EST
    here. LOL.

    That's pretty good (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 07:42:38 PM EST
    Line art

    Disgusting (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 09:04:29 PM EST
    "America First" didn't lead the US into (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by cpinva on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 06:39:54 AM EST
    WW2, I have no idea where the NYT's got that ridiculous notion from. what it did do was cause the US to be woefully unprepared, when we officially entered the conflict, right after the Pearl Harbor attack. Roosevelt, dealing with a Republican dominated congress, was not able to secure the funding needed, to buff up the military, before we were attacked, because of the "America First" position of isolationism. that was the major affect on the country.

    they refused to accept the truth that the oceans no longer afforded a barrier to foreign forces attacking the continental US, and the country suffered for it.

    the link for that idea (none / 0) (#48)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 02:16:14 PM EST
    comes from here, and there are several in agreement. I have no idea whether it's true.

    Traditional American isolationism was corrupted by the horrors of World War I and the disillusionment of Versailles into a philosophy that blinded many Americans to their vital national interests and encouraged aggressors to move quickly before the United States returned to the international scene. By removing even the possibility of American intervention until well after the Axis powers had begun their drives for continental power, isolationism contributed to the coming of World War II.

    That statement is only partly true (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by nyjets on Fri Apr 29, 2016 at 03:23:13 PM EST
    The statement is correct in the sense that the aftereffects of WW I did contribute to the notion that the US should stay out of European politics. (and in all honestly, at the time it made sense. WWI really had nothing to do with us. If we were not trading partners with both sides, we would never had been dragged into the war. That and the fact that England played up the propaganda aspect incredible well.)

    However the statement that isolation contributed to thew war is silly.
    The fact is there were only two powers that could of stopped Germany, England and France. France did not have the manpower to do it, they were devastated by WWI, and they lacked strong political leadership. England had some leadership, but they honestly believed that Germany was not a threat.Heck, England though Stalin and the Soviets were a bigger threat.
    Furthermore, England and France honestly thought that Hitler did not want war (England and France remembered the horrors of war themselves and thought that Germany/ Hitler would remember themselves.) Throw in the fact that England and France both believed that Germany were making reasonable demands/ request.

    Isolationism may had made us unready for the war, but it did not contribute to the causes of WWI. Honestly, there was nothing we could of done.


    But that said, there were also a lot of intransigent conservative Democrats back then, and many of them had been greatly influenced by the populist rants of Father Charles Coughlin, a popular Catholic priest who retained a rabidly loyal radio following estimated at up to 30 million listeners and received nearly 80,000 fan letters per week.

    And as a prominent isolationist, Fr. Coughlin was certainly no friend or fan of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Ironically, Fr. Coughlin was also no American; he retained his Canadian citizenship until his death in 1979.

    Just how bad was Father Coughlin? He was so bad that by 1934, he was denouncing FDR as "a tool of Wall Street." (Sound familiar?) By the early 1940s, he was openly supporting many of the virulently anti-Semitic policies promulgated by Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany.

    (Famed illustrator and children's book author Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka "Dr. Seuss," was a popular syndicated political cartoonist back in those days, and Fr. Coughlin was one of his favorite targets.)

    When war broke out in Europe in Sept. 1939, the Roosevelt administration finally forced the cancellation of Fr. Coughlin's radio program, and by May 1942 had also banned the distribution of his popular newspaper Social Justice by the U.S. Post Office.

    Later that year, Detroit Archbishop Edward Mooney -- who had just been appointed and was Fr. Coughlin's immediate superior in the Catholic Church -- ordered him to cease all political activities and confine himself solely to his duties as a parish priest, threatening to have him defrocked if he refused. To everyone's surprise, Fr. Coughlin meekly complied with the directive, and never spoke another word in public about U.S. politics.



    Jane Sanders on Morning Joe.. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Cashmere on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 08:51:29 AM EST
    Sanders is still "in it to win it" and blaming closed primaries for their losses.  Bernie is still attacking Hillary in stump speeches.  Jane and Bernie deny that he has been negative and when asked if he/she thinks Trump will use Bernie's attacks, states that the Republicans will be worse (true), will use emails and the Clinton foundation, stating "again" that he does not use these.  Has anyone ever mentioned that every time he/she responds with this answer they are using these issues and fueling the Bernie lovers hatred of Hillary?  I know they are still fighting, but the fight to win is over.  Bernie will win many more states, but they cannot overcome this pledged delegate delta.  Hillary needs to move on to fight in the general, which she is doing.  Good for her.  I, on the other hand, will have to endure things through this Oregon primary where Bernie will solidly win.  The anti-Hillary vitriol in Portland is abundant.  

    It's annoying to me (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 10:18:57 AM EST
    that she is allowed to spew this kind of garbage unquestioned yet nobody asks her about Bernie's massive baggage reported here

    Ouch (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ExPatObserver on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 10:46:16 AM EST
    I also wonder about his practice of putting his family members on the campaign payroll.
    That seems bush league to me, and an easy target for outlining his hypocrisy.

    Feh (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 02:33:40 PM EST
    I don't care about the family members being on the payroll but it seems Bernie thinks it is a problem and one of the reasons he won't release his tax returns IMO.

    lol; very droll. (none / 0) (#43)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 12:42:51 PM EST
    Of course (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Nemi on Fri Apr 29, 2016 at 07:38:54 AM EST
    Chelsea Clinton shouldn't be 'off limits' when she's campaigning for her mother, but that's not really what your link is about, is it?

    And I just get so weary thinking about how she's been the receiver of so much ridicule and hate all her life ever since she was a kid! And still.

    Amazing what an, apparently, accomplished, smart, sweet and likeable person she has grown up to be. Despite everything.

    Maybe you could at least have left out the lol?


    The Foundation (none / 0) (#74)
    by chrisvee on Sun May 01, 2016 at 11:23:05 AM EST
    That bears her name?

    Is is always hate (none / 0) (#24)
    by Steve13209 on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 09:52:04 AM EST
    when someone prefers Sanders over Clinton? Is it always negative campaigning when Sanders speaks of the differences between the two candidates?

    If Clinton has it wrapped up, why keep harping on Sanders? Sounds a bit like piling on. It is absolutely true that any of the perceived negative attacks Clinton is getting are flea bites compared to what's coming.


    The problem (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 10:17:46 AM EST
    is the continuous right wing talking points coming out of the Sanders campaign.

    But I have to say Jane is not being honest because Bernie's baggage is way worse than email or the Clinton Foundation.


    I don't know, dude (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by mm on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 10:48:31 AM EST
    but I kind of sort of resent hearing how my candidate is a corrupt warmongering corporate whore in the pocket of Wall Street all the frigging time from Mr. Never Negative.  I'm funny that way./

    It's politics (none / 0) (#34)
    by Steve13209 on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 11:07:23 AM EST
    Sanders didn't use those words, and neither will the GOP since they are okay with most of that. She takes money from Wall St. She has a neoliberal foreign policy...deal with it.

    You're right. (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 09:55:02 PM EST
    Bernie Sanders didn't use those words himself. But Paul Song, one of the people who introduced him at his Brooklyn, NY rally, sure did in clear reference to Mrs. Clinton, as have far too many of Sanders' rabid acolytes in numerous posts across the internet. And yeah, I'm pretty sick and tired of hearing that sort of diminutive and divisive language used to describe her, too.

    Because while we're on this subject, St. Bernie of the Pure of Heart sure didn't seem to have any problem accepting nearly $100,000 in "tainted" money from the Democratic National Committee to run a TV ad campaign when we were supporting his election as Vermont senator, given that a lot of those funds came from those very same Wall Street institutions which Mr. Sanders is now attacking. Hell, he even accepted $10,000 from Hillary Clinton's own PAC!

    And ain't it funny how we don't hear a peep from you and the rest of the the holier than thou Berniezistas regarding that bit of opportunistic hypocrisy? Apparently you think it's okay if he accepts it, while she's a hopelessly corrupt and compromised wh0re for doing the same thing, even though she helped him.

    And yet you wonder aloud why so many of us longtime Democrats are losing patience with that sort of blatant double standard. Amazing. Your selective outrage is duly noted.

    Now, why you deal with THAT?


    Steve - You and I live in different places and (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Cashmere on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 10:50:12 AM EST
    have vastly different experiences dealing with Bernie supporters I believe.  I am not sure where you live, but I doubt it is in Portland, OR.  I am  referring to the hatred that many of my personal friends and aquaintances here in Portland have for Hillary.  Bernie or Bust is strong here.  One of my good friends posted on my facebook page yesterday that she "loathes" Clinton.  I rarely post anything on facebook re: politics, but her comment was in response to a post that someone left on my wall (related to Hillary and Trump).  I  am confident that Hillary is the nominee.  I am concerned that even a blue state such as Oregon may not be blue in November because of the hatred the Bernie supporters here in Portland have for Hillary.  I am concerned because Bernie continues to feed this.  I think it will take much more time and effort to convince voters to back Hillary over Trump or whomever in November than it did in 2008, convincing Hillary supporters to vote for Obama.  It is not about piling on.  It is about Bernie and team not accepting the inevitable and supporting the party that he has chosen to run in.  Jane Sanders is a big problem IMHO.  I think she fuels a lot of this.

    Just my opinion (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 10:54:07 AM EST
    I think the volume of Bernie or Bust makes them seem a much larger segment than they actually are.

    I do not and really have never believed they will win or lose the general election.  For one thing I think many of them might not have voted anyway.  Some might have.  Not most.  Just my impression from my own encounters with them.


    plus (none / 0) (#33)
    by CST on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 11:05:34 AM EST
    There will absolutely be some contingent (who knows how big or small) of moderate Republicans who will be voting for Hillary.

    I work with a few of them.

    Honestly looking at Trump's problems with women and minorities - I just don't see him even getting that close.  I know you disagree, I know there is a lot of real anger out there - but women make up more than 50% of all voters - and he really just can't help himself.


    I don't actually disagree (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 11:08:23 AM EST
    I think everything you said is perfectly logical.

    It's the cycle so far that gives me pause.  Logical has not had a big role so far.

    S'all I'm sayin.


    Do you think the Hillary hate (none / 0) (#44)
    by caseyOR on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 12:49:58 PM EST
    in Oregon will affect Wyden's chances of reelection?

    Hi CaseyOR (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Cashmere on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 02:55:26 PM EST
    I am not sure.  My next door neighbor works for Earl Blumenauer and Blumenauer announced yesterday that he is supporting Hillary as a super delegate.  I think only Merkley has come out in favor of Bernie here.  Anyway, neighbor told me that Blumenauer had never had so many facebook comments, so quickly, and mostly angry posts and threats about never voting for him again.  Blumenauer has been a great rep IMHO, but not according to the online Bernie fest.

    I wonder (none / 0) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 03:13:04 PM EST
    if a lot of this isn't Bernie supporters who are the squeaky wheels so to speak.

    There was an article in either the Atlantic or the New Yorker about how the author thought that everybody in her neighborhood was Bernie supporters but when the votes came in her neighborhood went overwhelmingly for Hillary.


    I'll have to wait and see once the Oregon (none / 0) (#62)
    by Cashmere on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 04:23:53 PM EST
    results are in.  Maybe I am getting the wrong vibe from the area I am in, but it sure seems hostile here.  I can give many examples but am lacking time :)

    But (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Nemi on Fri Apr 29, 2016 at 07:21:12 AM EST
    don't you wonder - if Clinton has it wrapped up, then why keep harping on her? As Jane Sanders in particular, but Bernie too, keep on doing and certainly not in terms you can just shrug off as pointing out the "differences between the two candidates".

    In my opinion their personal attacks are not only way over the top but also, especially at this point, unnecessary.

    Besides, and I admit I'm biased, as are you, but I don't recall ever hearing Hillary Clinton speak ill about Bernie Sanders, attacking him personally, or question his integrity. I wish I could say the same thing about him, but I can't.


    On a lighter note... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 11:03:15 AM EST
    I've seen the bright lights of Memphis
    And the Commodore Hotel
    And underneath a street lamp, I met a southern belle
    Oh she took me to the river, where she cast her spell
    And in that southern moonlight, she sang this song so well

    Memphis bound tomorrow b*tches, this Yankee Chicken is going Dixie, Beale Street Music Festival here I come!!! First days off all year, need this great escape pretty bad.

    But before I go, a little Subdudes action tonight with my main man Tommy Malone at a little theater in Port Washington to pregame for the festivities.  

    Life is good, life is good...

    So great kdog! (none / 0) (#45)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    You will have a wonderful time! Super friendly people there.enjoy!

    I'm right behind you Memphis-bound next Friday to see my nephew graduate from the U of M. Looking forward to the change of scene!


    Gracias Hermana... (none / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 01:28:13 PM EST
    I plan on taking your advise and checking out Elvis' crib on Friday before the fest starts...hope to hit up Sun Studios too.  

    Congrats to your nephew, if I see him at the show I'll make sure he doesn't get too wasted;)


    Ha - I'm not sure what his habits are (none / 0) (#56)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 03:50:55 PM EST
    in that area. But if you see a tall good-lookin' blond kid, yell Gus! and see what happens.

    The Americans (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 03:53:37 PM EST
    I was on the edge of my seat last night - and then the episode ended on a somewhat of a cliffhanger! dang that show is good.

    Us too (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 04:20:16 PM EST
    Wasn't Richard Thomas wonderful? (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 29, 2016 at 09:52:55 AM EST
    Those scenes in Gaad's office were so good. 'they.married.my.secretary'

    Yes (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 06:03:21 PM EST
    Lindsay was quite funny on twitter. I guess he has a sense of humor or maybe he didn't mean for it to be funny.

    I watched the speech (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 06:08:31 PM EST
    I was underwhelmed.  

    That said I was surfing the news channels after and I would say it was far from universally panned.  It was panned by neocon Graham, there a news flash.

    Key words I heard were exactly what I said would be heard, left of Hillary on intervention, right of GOP center in other ways.  I heard as much praise as criticism.  I expected that too.

    The MSNBC military guy was full of praise.  


    Bob Corker (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 06:40:03 PM EST
    Head, Senate Foreign Relations Committee-

    "......I was very pleased with what I heard.  I thought it was a great step in the right direction.  I thought it was full of substance.  I thought it laid out a vision.  Some details are needed but I thought it was very very good and I was pleased at what he had to say.........I thought it was a major step forward."

    He had plenty more to say.
    Now, you can say what you want about Corker let's not say it was universally panned by both parties.


    Trump's foreign (none / 0) (#41)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 12:05:35 PM EST
    affairs thinking, while devoid of policy, is probably the broadest given by any Republican, (excluding Lindsey/McCains narrower,all-purpose bombs away) so there is that.

      Among the cutting, pasting and declarations of awesomeness were intermittent signals of coherence. Unfortunately, negated, in large measure, by inconsistencies. The charge that allies do not pay their fair share is an ancient one, but an accurate one.

      However, there was no appreciation for timing or circumstances: a Europe besieged by refugees, still reeling from right wing austerity economics,and the rise of right wing governments in Poland and Hungary. And, terrorism. And, Russian misadventures have caused worries across Europe, especially in the Baltic states.

       While Trump did not call for the disbandment of NATO this time around, his dead-beat comments are at seeming odds with assurances to be a great and reliable ally. Trump is under-educated on the range of NATO purposes and could use a tutorial, perhaps by Mrs. Clinton.

    Trump wants at once unpredictability and stability.  Now that, at the least, requires more explanation than chants about America First. Trump is conflicted on US military intervention when only essential to national security vs. humanitarian reasons, such as killing of Christians in Syria. And, unclear about humanitarian interventions for non-Christians.  

    The areas of softness seem to be Russia, where he can get a "deal" but on what (trade, hegemony, arms) with Putin as if he was negotiating a commercial lease at Trump Tower. But, since Putin says nice things about Trump, we know he will be lulled into reciprocating--although this, for all its risks, does off some glimmer that not everything is subject to military solutions (i.e., we walk).  

    True, there are some positive reviews of Trump's dipping of his toe in foreign waters. For one, he did not talk about Mrs. Merkel's bra size or tell M. Hollande he needs better haircut. Since the bar is low, that is a good thing. Or, Corker may have noticed that Tennessee went for Trump, big.

    Trump is evolving: he used a teleprompter, a tool he recently pummeled Mrs. Clinton for using. But, he needs more practice with it; he has trouble, perhaps he does not read well, or is dyslexic. And, he needs to practice his speeches in advance, and learn to pronounce difficult names like Tanzania and San Bernardino.  


    "a tutorial, perhaps by Mrs. Clinton?" (none / 0) (#42)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 12:38:08 PM EST
    I'm glad you mentioned Syria.  The Clinton era Foreign Policy legacy is working out just great.  Let's hope she's got space on her Oval Office fireplace mantle for that Nobel prize...

    Well, it does seem, (none / 0) (#54)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 03:19:47 PM EST
    as suggested, that Trump could use some tutoring on the purposes of NATO.  A better grasp of history and facts might help him in formulating his ideas. A good plan for a presumptive nominee for president. Believe me.

     Mrs. Clinton is no doubt busy these days and I would be pleased with any other knowledgeable individual willing to give it a try. It seems a suitable substitute would please you.

    That Benghazi thing is getting tired, so that Aleppo hospital bombing does add some freshness to it all--perhaps we can just overlook happenings since the end of 2012 when Mrs. Clinton was no longer active at State and call the period since the Syrian protests in July 2011, as you suggest, the Clinton era Foreign Policy legacy.

     Hope we do not get in trouble with the descendants of Sykes-Picot by laying claim to this legacy.


    I don't disagree with you on NATO (none / 0) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 03:41:47 PM EST
    But I also agree with another comment (shooter?)) that Trumps position on making the rest of the members carry their weight will not be unpopular.  In fact it is hard to argue.

    Agreed. (none / 0) (#59)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 03:55:06 PM EST
    Much, if not all, of Trump's ideas are cast with an eye toward popularity.  NATO countries getting a free ride is certainly one of them.  But, that is where leadership comes in: explaining the nuances; the purposes of NATO, not only as an historic bulwark against the Soviets moving against Europe after WW II, but to create inter-alliances between Western European countries that had gone to war with each other for the previous 100 years, involving the USA in two World Wars.  NATO is a two-way street, it is not just to Europe's benefit.  

    America uber alles will play well with Trump's followers, they think he is smart and they trust him, even if there is no basis in doing so.  

    If any mistakes have been made sine the fall of the Soviet Union, it was that we did not work to include Russia in NATO, rather than exclude, intensify and ring the country in the aftermath of the end of the Soviets. That is not possible at this point, but it should be a thought in someone's head for the future.


    A rather provocative comment (none / 0) (#47)
    by christinep on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 01:41:34 PM EST
    I scanned a number of reactions about Trump's speech on foreign policy yesterday, but this focus on "humiliation" stood out: It appears that Trump's approach to foreign policy mirrors his approach to domestic policy.  'Think that the article was at TPM ....

    The gist of that take about "humiliation" is that Trump seems to be using the same method to woo voters as to both policy arenas ... i.e., he is playing to voters anxiety & fears, clearly, about being left behind in terms of the world and in terms of rising minorities, women here at home; and, in so doing, he is telling potential voters that he feels their feelings about being "humiliated" in our alleged fall from greatness.  Note that he repeats the word "humiliation" in both instances.  (Could it be an updated attempt to "feel your pain?" Maybe.)

    I think that there may be a lot to this.  If that is so, whatever is stamped "policy" from his campaign really does not have to be anything other than a mix of phrases--contradictory or not--and strong short sentences about returning to greatness perceived to be lost.  The real key for his purpose of bonding to those feeling run-over or cast aside then becomes attitude and tone; and, from what we've seen to date, he projects that rising-from-absorbed-victimhood quite well using TV, his medium of experience & choice.  

    Side note: Apart from the speculation about his use of "humiliation" in his delivery, I do think that the specific references were a bit sloppy.  The harsh approach to our European allies may have been a bit much for many non-followers ... and, when that is combined with the Ukraine-invading, Eastern Europe threatening that has been practiced by Vladimir Putin, he may have miscalculated in seeming too soft & almost naïve about dynamics with Russia.  Particularly, his Russia softness may raise a question with a number of Americans who have been accustomed to be wary of Russia's current strategy as well as the not-too-distant history.  The fall-out there could prove interesting.


    13 year old Baltimore boy shot by police (none / 0) (#7)
    by McBain on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 07:12:07 PM EST
    He was carrying a replica gun.
    When the officers identified themselves as police to the boy, he started to run, never dropping the firearm. After a brief chase on foot, one of the officers shot the 13-year-old. He is expected to survive his injuries.

    Two plainclothes Men shouting and running (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Steve13209 on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 09:47:09 AM EST
    after the kid. I would run too. And someone please explain why running away is just cause for the use of deadly (not this time, luckily) force?

    I don't know all of the details (none / 0) (#36)
    by McBain on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 11:17:32 AM EST
    I do know that police are sometimes justified in shooting a fleeing suspect if they feel he is a danger to society.  

    In this article it sounds like the boy might have pointed the replica gun at the officers.

    "No cop wants to shoot anybody," Garrity says. "Nobody. But if somebody's got a gun, how am I supposed to tell these officers, 'Hey, make sure that he shoots you first, and then you can do it?'"

    "But if he not pointing it at police, why do they got the right to shoot?" the young man asks.

    "He did," Garrity says.

    Does that mean the boy "did" point the gun or the officer "did" have the right to shoot?  My guess at the this point is there will be no criminal charges but there will be some kind of civil case.


    Suspended college athlete sues school (none / 0) (#10)
    by McBain on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 08:07:36 PM EST
    and U.S. over sexual assault decision.

    This looks like yet another Title IX influenced bad decision. Apparently, it wasn't the alleged victim who reported an assault.  It was her friend who noticed a hickey on her neck.  The alleged victim doesn't seem to think it was rape.

    The lawsuit gives graphic details about several sexual encounters between Neal and Jane Doe. When later asked about the events, Jane Doe made it clear their relationship was consensual, the lawsuit said.

    If it's true the sex was consensual, the lawsuit might finally be the tipping point that gets universities to stop these ridiculous and  unfair rulings.  

    comment in reply to this (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 10:45:05 PM EST
    deleted for personal attack on commenter. Donald, please refrain from insulting people because of what they choose to write about. It's an open thread and all topics are welcome. It's not your place to stifle discussion here by attacking someone's character because they choose to write about a certain topic.

    re: America First (none / 0) (#11)
    by linea on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 08:28:08 PM EST
    i heard a bit of the Trump's speech on NPR in the car driving home too.  they didn't seem to say anything negative about it.

    i read the article you linked to.  isn't Trump's version of America First more about the economy? the bit they played on the radio today was all about protecting anerican workers.

    doesn't seem like he is isolationist in a anti-military sense like Charles Lindberg. seems more like Trump is kinda Buchanan paleo-condervative maybe?


    I would say he's (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 08:47:44 PM EST
    a lot like Pat Buchanan with some bircher thrown in for good measure. I mean Trump wants to pull out of NATO. That sounds pretty bircher to me.

    As Dennis Hastert is sentenced to prison, ... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 10:06:35 PM EST
    ... digby places the admitted transgressions of this serial molester of teenaged boys in much-needed proper perspective:

    "The Clinton impeachment was one of the most blatant acts of political opportunism this country has ever seen. And the public knew it at the time. But we had no idea of the scale of the hypocrisy. To make an actual sexual predator the Speaker of the House in the wake of all that moralizing is beyond Shakespearean. It's Game of Thrones."


    Game of Thrones over Shakespeare? (none / 0) (#37)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 11:43:02 AM EST
    Digby's been watching too much television.

    I dunno (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 11:45:58 AM EST
    He did sponsor a life without parole law for repeat sexual offenders.

    Cerci couldn't do better.


    Asking the brother of his victim (none / 0) (#39)
    by ExPatObserver on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 11:49:13 AM EST
    to write  a letter of support is worthy of Aeschylus.

    Well you folks wanted details and he (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 11:27:48 PM EST
    gave you details.

    Now some may not like them. But surely no one is shocked that great warrior, Graham of the Carolina's, doesn't.

    And what good Left leaning person could not like his call for restraint??

    I do declare it appears that Trump can't please anyone.

    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 07:17:07 AM EST
    he didn't give details. It was more of a word salad. But the truth is he doesn't have to please us. His problem is going to be convincing voters.

    Yeah, I actually could not give a rat's a** (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by ruffian on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 08:28:55 AM EST
    about the details of his so-called policy.

    He gave plenty of details (none / 0) (#65)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 09:19:22 PM EST
    for anyone to understand what his policy will be.

    a President who will pardon himself (none / 0) (#17)
    by ExPatObserver on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 05:50:50 AM EST
    for mass murder?
    This puts US politics in perspective. Wow!

    Damn (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 10:59:28 AM EST
    Making lunch and listening to the Cruzorina press conference.

    Wow. Desperation, desperation and some more desperation.

    I have actually laughed out loud a couple of times.   Doesn't usually happen listening to Cruz.  

    John Boehner: Ted Cruz is `Lucifer' (none / 0) (#40)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 12:02:06 PM EST
    - And A `Miserable Son Of A B*tch'

    Tens of thousands of former HP employees would say the same about Ted's new running mate.

    It's a match made in "heaven."

    Riddle me this (none / 0) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 03:01:46 PM EST
    Why are the biggest Bill Clinton haters out of your high school class always the ones trying to nasty text you?

    Just things I can't help noticing

    No one from my high school class has my phone # (none / 0) (#53)
    by CoralGables on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 03:19:13 PM EST
    so I can't add an additional case study to help verify your conclusion.

    The Facebook thing? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 04:19:19 PM EST
    That automatically connects to your phone on a whim?

    More PC nonsense at college (none / 0) (#57)
    by McBain on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 03:51:55 PM EST
    The University of Washington's cheer team had to remove a graphic that explained the do's and dont's' of what cheerleaders should look like at tryouts.

    Some of the do's include: "bronze, beachy glow," "false lashes" and "flattering eye shadow." And some of the don't's: "dark, smokey eyes," "nude lips" and "too much makeup."

    Some of the other advice included: be physically fit with an athletic physique and don't have visible tattoos.

    People want their cheerleaders to look good and be, at least somewhat, wholesome.

    No wonder some stand up comedians stop performing at schools.  Everyone is looking for something to be offended by.

    I'm a guy (none / 0) (#63)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 08:31:26 PM EST
    ...and I found the naked sexism in that "advice" nauseating.

    Show up, do your routine, and let the marketplace decide.  People who never think outside the box are a problem in this world.  If the obje3ct is to lead cheers, find out who does it best, not who looks the part.

    I am reminded of the actress Melissa McCarthy, who is short and fat, not much to look at, but who would make an awesome cheerleader because she has PRESENCE.


    Someone please remind me ... (none / 0) (#67)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 28, 2016 at 11:08:21 PM EST
    ... to never hire you to choose my cheerleaders when I'm finally awarded my NFL expansion franchise. Otherwise, I might end up with this.


    (TRIVIA NOTE: Seven NFL teams do NOT employ cheerleaders -- the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Good for them.)

    Seriously, though, and speaking for myself only, I think people stopped paying attention to college cheerleaders at games a long time ago, certainly since you and I were in college. Because as the years have passed by, the pom-poms have gotten smaller, the outfits have gotten tighter and skimpier, and the cheers have tended to become incoherent and get lost in the din. (Does anybody know or hear what cheerleaders are actually yelling anymore?) So, as far as I can determine, the average Power Conference college pep squad's primary purpose nowadays appear to be twofold.

    First, per my alma mater University of Washington's much lambasted directive for the ideal Husky cheerleader, they are to serve as delectable eye candy -- and I'm not just talking about female cheerleaders here -- for the older and wealthy alumni who've mostly displaced the student sections along the sidelines at many major college football stadiums.

    Sad to say, most students today have been relocated to the end zone sections, so the athletic departments can then sell those prime sideline seats for mucho dinero to the school's wealthy boosters. No doubt, the primo sideline seats at college basketball arenas will soon follow suit, if they haven't already, and be taken away from these ungrateful students who should be studying for midterms anyway, and sold to the people who really matter, e.g., our corporate sponsors. I mean, let's face it, having a $4-7 million coach stalk your alma mater's sidelines, and chartering jets for your team's road games, costs real money. Somebody's going to have to pay for it -- right?

    Secondly, when you do see these cheerleaders perform at games, it's usually some truly hair-raising acrobatic stunts for the TV cameras during timeouts, especially at basketball games. In fact, many college cheerleaders also pull double duty as members of their school's gymnastics teams, so they are every bit as much college athletes as any football or basketball player. Still, some of those stunts are really scary, and can often prove a distraction from the game itself.

    My UW Husky Athletic Dept. made a mistake by putting its cheerleader criteria in print, where everyone could see it and then fulminate in righteous outrage. But while that offending post may have since been taken down, I'll offer better than even odds that this criteria will likely remain in place in the department for quite some time in the future. And that's what is sad.



    I've only been to a couple of local college (none / 0) (#68)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 29, 2016 at 06:27:51 AM EST
    games, and they have been just as you described. I did enjoy watching the acrobat cheer performers more than the actual game. Those feats were more amazing to me than running 4 yards with a ball.

    There were pep squad kids with megaphones in the student sections, and they did seem to be doing a good job getting them doing chants and stuff. That seemed a better approach for that than the traditional cheerleaders on the sidelines approach.


    Is Robert Carlyle the worst (none / 0) (#69)
    by ExPatObserver on Fri Apr 29, 2016 at 06:50:21 AM EST
    actor in history? I'm trying to watch some SGU, and his ridiculous overacting is killing me. Supposedly many people consider him a brilliant actor. Maybe that's because he has an almost incomprehensible brogue and can't tell how bad he is.

    (not much watchable sci-fi these days... blah)