Patterico's Pontifications

10/1/2017

Trump Finally Gives Hurricane Victims Exactly What They Need

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:02 pm

Donald Trump continues to fight the image that he is more concerned with golf than with hurricane victims. Today he continued that crusade by, um, dedicating a golf trophy to hurricane victims.

President Trump on Sunday dedicated a golf trophy to the victims of recent powerful storms that tore through Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, all the while defending the government’s response to the disasters.

“On behalf of all of the people of Texas, and all of the people — if you look today and see what is happening, how horrible it is but we have it under really great control — Puerto Rico and the people of Florida who have really suffered over this last short period of time with the hurricanes, I want to just remember them,” the president said.

“And we’re going to dedicate this trophy to all of those people that went through so much that we love — a part of our great state, really part of our great nation,” he continued.

Trump’s remarks were made as he presented the trophy to U.S. captain Steve Strickler following the Presidents Cup golf tournament in New Jersey.

Trump continues to demonstrate his mastery of the optics of showing leadership during a tragedy.

Now watch this drive.

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

O.J. Simpson Is a Free Man

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:00 pm

The Los Angeles Dog Trainer (officially known as the Los Angeles Times) reports:

Former football star O.J. Simpson was released from a Nevada prison early Sunday after serving nine years for a 2007 armed robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas.

The onetime football legend whose 1995 murder trial in Los Angeles inspired years of debate over race and justice was paroled only minutes after he first became eligible for release, a Nevada prison official confirmed.

Simpson left the Lovelock Correctional Center northeast of Reno at 12:08 a.m. in the company of an unidentified driver, said Brooke Keast, a spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Corrections.

“He is out,” Keast said.

The article adds: “Speculation had swirled over when Simpson would be turned loose after the Nevada Parole Board granted him parole in July for serving a portion of his 33-year sentence and getting credit for good behavior and taking classes in prison.” Gee, that’s great. I hope those classes included a seminar on how not to murder people.

This story means more to us old people who lived through the craziness that was the O.J. Simpson saga in 1994 and 1995. Many words have been written about it. I have written some of those words, including a seven-part series I wrote in 2006 with some inside information.

Today, I think the only appropriate response to this is to give you this video of Norm MacDonald jokes about Simpson from SNL’s Weekend Update.

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

Trump Tweets, Undercuts Tillerson And Sows Confusion. It’s All Part Of A Unique Master Plan, Right?!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:16 am

[guest post by Dana]

Yesterday:

The Trump administration acknowledged on Saturday for the first time that it was in direct communication with the government of North Korea over its missile and nuclear tests, seeking a possible way forward beyond the escalating threats of a military confrontation from both sides.

“We are probing, so stay tuned,” Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said, when pressed about how he might begin a conversation with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, that could avert what many government officials fear is a significant chance of open conflict between the two countries.

“We ask, ‘Would you like to talk?’ We have lines of communications to Pyongyang — we’re not in a dark situation, a blackout,” he added. “We have a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang,” a reference to North Korea’s capital.

The report goes on to clarify that North Korea is not interested in any negotiations if they include a requirement to disarm, and that President Trump is unwilling to make any concessions. Tillerson’s spokesperson, Heather Nauert, offered this:

Despite assurances that the United States is not interested in promoting the collapse of the current regime, pursuing regime change, accelerating reunification of the peninsula or mobilizing forces north of the DMZ, North Korean officials have shown no indication that they are interested in or are ready for talks regarding denuclearization.

Cue President Trump’s morning tweets:

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Okay. I give. Clearly, I’m too ignorant to understand how comments like these reflect a clever and brilliant strategy. You, who have tapped into President Trump’s unique genius, are going to have to enlighten me. How are veiled threats and threats of annihilation helpful? It appears I’m not the only one confused:

North Korean officials are reaching out to Republican analysts in Washington, DC, in an effort to see what’s up with President Trump and his ​caustic ​comments about ​regime leader ​Kim Jong Un, according to a report Tuesday.

“Their number one concern is Trump. They can’t figure him out,” the Washington Post reported, quoting a person aware of the country’s reaching out to Asia experts with GOP connections.

And while the North Korean operatives have an “encyclopedic” understanding of what Trump tweets about Kim, they can’t get a fix on what makes the president tick.​

Evans Revere, a former State Department official who routinely had contact with North Korea, participated in the meeting in Switzerland and has his own opinion about what the operatives are up to.

“My own guess is that they are somewhat puzzled as to the direction in which the US is going, so they’re trying to open up channels to take the pulse in Washington,”​ ​he told the newspaper. “They haven’t seen the US act like this before.”

Maybe it’s a simple strategy of being so erratic and unpredictable that North Korea is kept off balance:

Some Trump aides have said that the discordant foreign policy voices emanating from the administration are intentionally out of sync — that Trump likes a set up where some officials use harsher, tougher rhetoric than others. It’s a good cop-bad cop routine that, administration officials say, is designed to keep enemies on their toes. Besides Trump, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has often employed harsher language than Tillerson.

Or maybe there is no real strategy involved. Maybe we are just witnessing the ongoing reflexive reactions of an impulsive man who likes to punch back 10 times harder.

Exit question: Does Tillerson become the next cabinet member to resign?

–Dana


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