Patterico's Pontifications

8/8/2017

President Trump Vows Fire And Fury, And Power Like This World Has Never Seen Before

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:48 pm

[post by Dana]

[Patterico and I each wrote a post about this. This is a combination of the two.]

North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal state. And as I said they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.

“Lovely,” says our host.

One lunatic faces off against another. Each makes grand pronouncements from which it is difficult to back down.

What could possibly go wrong?

From North Korea to the US:

The president’s comments came as North Korea earlier in the day escalated its criticism of the United States, as well as its neighboring allies, by warning that it will mobilize all its resources to take “physical action” in retaliation against the latest round of United Nations sanctions.

The statement, carried by the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency, was the strongest indication yet that the country could conduct another nuclear or missile test, as it had often done in response to past United Nations sanctions. Until now, the North’s response to the latest sanctions had been limited to strident yet vague warnings, such as threatening retaliation “thousands of times over.”

“Packs of wolves are coming in attack to strangle a nation,” the North Korean statement said. “They should be mindful that the D.P.R.K.’s strategic steps accompanied by physical action will be taken mercilessly with the mobilization of all its national strength.”

Resolution 2371 was unanimously supported in a vote by the UN Security Council several days ago. As a result of its passage, “the regime of Kim Jong Un will be banned from exporting any goods or services. The BBC estimates that the sanctions will reduce North Korean exports from $3 billion to $2 billion annually. That $2 billion will be retained by continued illicit trading with nations such as China”. The sanctions also “ban[s] member countries from importing coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood from North Korea. They also prohibit member nations from hosting any additional workers from the North above their current levels.”

After the president left the golf course to make his tit-for-tat fire and fury threat, North Korea made a threat of their own against Guam, which has two US military bases:

North Korea said on Wednesday it is “carefully examining” a plan to strike the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam with missiles…
A spokesman for the Korean People’s Army, in a statement carried by the North’s state-run KCNA news agency, said the strike plan will be “put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment” once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision.

In another statement citing a different military spokesman, North Korea also said it could carry out a pre-emptive operation if the United States showed signs of provocation.

Earlier Pyongyang said it was ready to give Washington a “severe lesson” with its strategic nuclear force in response to any U.S. military action.

On one hand, while John McCain believes the situation is serious, he warns that the president’s rhetoric is not helpful and that he should instead “walk softly and carry a big stick”. On the other hand, Tom Nichols thinks we all need to take a deep breath:

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Both reactions seem wise.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

ObamaCare Repeal Turncoat Dean Heller Will Face A New Primary Opponent

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:30 am

Unfortunately, he’s a “Make America Great Again” Trump-style opportunist:

Danny Tarkanian, the son of a legendary Nevada college basketball coach who has run for office several times, announced Tuesday morning that he will challenge Sen. Dean Heller in Nevada’s Republican primary next year.

Tarkanian announced his bid on “Fox and Friends,” where he criticized Heller as a “Never-Trumper” and said that his stance on the president helped Hillary Clinton carry the state.

“So many people have contacted me in the past few months, saying ‘You got to run against Dean Heller,'” Tarkanian said. “They understand, like I do, that we’re never going to make America great again unless we have senators in office supporting President Trump. Dean Heller wasn’t just one of the first Never-Trumpers in the state of Nevada, he was one of the most influential. He actually helped Hillary Clinton win the state of Nevada.”

I have mixed feelings about this.

On one hand, I am thrilled to see any challenger to Dean Heller. On the other hand, I’m not sure Tarkanian is the guy we want to see in the Senate.

Heller was one of six turncoats on the repeal of ObamaCare. There has been no real vote to repeal ObamaCare. But on the closest thing the GOP has advanced this year, Dean Heller was a traitor.

In 2015, a repeal bill — one that repealed as much of ObamaCare as possible without 60 votes — was passed by a majority of the Senate. Among the people who voted for that bill were Dean Heller, John McCain, Shelley Moore Capito, Lisa Murkowski, Lamar Alexander, and Rob Portman.

But of course such a bill was designed to be vetoed — and it was, by President Obama.

When it was re-submitted this year, Heller and the other five voted no. Because they knew that it would be signed this time.

With the “skinny repeal” vote, the GOP has managed to muddy the waters on who actually opposed ObamaCare repeal. There is a mythology that John McCain single-handedly killed any real effort to repeal ObamaCare. The GOP is complicit in that mythology. Let me clarify — which requires taking a step back and going back to the original House bill.

The original bill passed by the House, the AHCA, was garbage. It was essentially a codification of ObamaCare’s basic structure, with some tinkering around the edges, and some meaningless commitments to reduce Medicaid in the future — reductions that Mitch McConnell correctly told his members would never actually happen. That bill didn’t deserve to be passed by the Senate.

The final vote — the one that got the most publicity — was the vote on “skinny repeal,” which was not just garbage, but hot garbage. It was an effort to simply strip away unpopular aspects of ObamaCare and leave the ones people liked, even though it would create an immediately unsustainable insurance market and necessitate giant bailouts and subsidies.

Somewhere in between, the 2015 bill was re-submitted and voted down by Heller and the other turncoats. That was the real chance for real repeal.

But by putting the blame for its failure on a (probably terminally) ill octogenarian who will never run for office again, the GOP could allow other people to pose as being for repeal. Heller was one of those people. And it fooled the rubes, including the rubes at CNN, who today “report”:

Heller has recently drawn the ire of conservatives after he frequently criticized Trump’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, leading a pro-Trump group to briefly run anti-Heller ads. . . . Heller eventually decided to stick with Trump and backed his party’s efforts on health care, which ultimately failed.

That bolded sentence is 100% false. Heller once again posed as backing repeal — just like he posed as backing repeal in 2015. It is a wholly fraudulent position.

Does that mean Tarkanian is the answer? I am doubtful. He is a perennial candidate and my preliminary impression of him is that he has the policy chops of a Donald Trump, which is to say none. He criticized Heller over his opposition to the original House repeal bill, even though that was garbage.

Is Tarkanian the ideal candidate? No.

Will he make Dean Heller’s life miserable? Probably.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Memo To Employees From Google’s CEO Seems A Bit Inconsistent

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:06 am

[guest post by Dana]

In a quick follow-up to last night’s post about the Google memo, I wanted to post Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s own memo of response sent to employees:

This has been a very difficult time. I wanted to provide an update on the memo that was circulated over this past week.

First, let me say that we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it. However, portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace. Our job is to build great products for users that make a difference in their lives. To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. It is contrary to our basic values and our Code of Conduct, which expects “each Googler to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination.”

The memo has clearly impacted our co-workers, some of whom are hurting and feel judged based on their gender. Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states, being “agreeable” rather than “assertive,” showing a “lower stress tolerance,” or being “neurotic.”

At the same time, there are co-workers who are questioning whether they can safely express their views in the workplace (especially those with a minority viewpoint). They too feel under threat, and that is also not OK. People must feel free to express dissent. So to be clear again, many points raised in the memo—such as the portions criticizing Google’s trainings, questioning the role of ideology in the workplace, and debating whether programs for women and underserved groups are sufficiently open to all—are important topics. The author had a right to express their views on those topics—we encourage an environment in which people can do this and it remains our policy to not take action against anyone for prompting these discussions.

The past few days have been very difficult for many at the company, and we need to find a way to debate issues on which we might disagree—while doing so in line with our Code of Conduct. I’d encourage each of you to make an effort over the coming days to reach out to those who might have different perspectives from your own. I will be doing the same.

I have been on work related travel in Africa and Europe the past couple of weeks and had just started my family vacation here this week. I have decided to return tomorrow as clearly there’s a lot more to discuss as a group—including how we create a more inclusive environment for all.

1. Google claims to strongly support the rights of employees to express themselves. And yet when one employee exercised those Google-given rights to express himself, he was fired.
2. How does the CEO know that the vast majority of employees disagree with Damore’s memo? Would they actually want to go on record agreeing and supporting Damore after seeing him be fired for exercising his Google-given rights?
3. It’s fair to debate what is in the memo per the CEO, and yet when Damore brought up what was fair to debate, he was fired.
4. It allegedly crossed the line by promoting harmful gender stereotypes, except that Damore simply suggested that innate differences between the sexes, to some degree, contribute to the low representation of women in tech, and then he provided options to work with that possibility to increase, or at least encourage a greater participation of women. He didn’t ridicule or threaten or harass anyone. This is what an intellectual challenge looks like.
5. James Damore, in exercising his Google-given rights to express himself, was directly attempting to “do his utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias and unlawful discrimination”. He was attempting to open discussion, honestly and seemingly without fear of reprisal directly because of the words and assurances in Google’s own Code of Conduct.
6. In as much as some employees feel hurt and judged as a gender, it appeared that Damore was also feeling judged and possibly hurt for his non-leftist views and resistance to conforming to the prescribed political positions held by Google – even before he wrote the memo. Because his feelings of being judged were the result of the company’s political biases, and were in the minority, does that make them invalid?
7. While the CEO does not want employees to have to worry about opening their mouths, in retrospect, shouldn’t Damore have worried about opening his own mouth via a memo? Does that freedom from concern really extend to every employee and the positions and views they value and stand upon?
8. If employees holding minority views question whether they can really freely express their views (without fear of reprisal) because they already feel under threat, and they’ve just witnessed an employee holding similar minority views be fired for doing that very thing, why on earth would any concerned employees sharing similar views believe his claims?

The “author had a right express their views on those topics—we encourage an environment in which people can do this and it remains our policy to not take action against anyone for prompting these discussions,” AND YET WE JUST TOOK MAJOR ACTION AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE FOR EXERCISING THOSE RIGHTS WHEN HE EXPRESSED HIS VIEWS.

–Dana


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