Patterico's Pontifications


Gross: Trump’s Bald Pate Revealed in Nauseating Video

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:00 pm

Seems like our President is kinda bald, in a gross way:

If I were someone crass like Donald Trump, I might respond to this by saying: Yuck. Look at that head! He’s disgusting. He’s no longer a 10. His hair loss is a real problem. He’s probably bleeding badly from scalp reduction surgery.

I already know that the comments section will be filled with squealing that would make a stuck pig jealous. How dare I, etc. etc. The scolds will put their hands on their hips and cluck their tongues, saying that anyone who would dare comment on this just discredits themselves, yada yada yada. I could write these trite and predictable comments myself. Indeed, the people who have noted this so far have gone crazy anticipating this negative reaction, and have rationalized to the nth degree their decision to say something in public about it, because they know the tut-tut brigade will be out in full force. It’s as if they feel ashamed to even be saying anything about.

Not me. I’m not ashamed to note this — at all. So you can save your outrage that I’m commenting on the guy’s appearance. Why do I feel zero shame doing so? For a whole host of reasons. Here are merely five of them:

1. Trumpalos like fighting fire with fire, right? Well, few people have spent so much time commenting about other people’s appearance as Donald Trump. Here’s a nice summary. Trump has called women fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals. And no, not just Rosie O’Donnell. He said Heidi Klum is “no longer a 10.” He said “Look at that face!” about Carly Fiorina. He posted that nasty tweet about Heidi Cruz. He called Alicia Machado “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” and said on Fox & Friends that her weight was a “real problem.” In talking in the Access Hollywood tape about moving on Nancy O’Dell “like a bitch” Trump said: “Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.” Mika Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.”

If you can’t condemn Trump’s comments about others’ appearance, in a firm, full-throated, unapologetic, non-half-assed way — then you know exactly where you can cram your outrage over my posting this video.

2. It’s not that he’s bald. It’s the ridiculous and laughable steps he takes to cover it up that are absurd. The clip above seems to confirm the account given by that demon from Hell, Michael Wolff, in his book “Fire and Fury.” Wolff says that Ivanka herself explained Trump’s ridiculous hair as a bizarre result of a weird scalp-reduction surgery:

She treated her father with a degree of detachment, even irony, going so far as to make fun of his comb-over to others. She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate — a contained island after scalp-reduction ­surgery — surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men — the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump’s orange-blond hair color.

Seems about right, doesn’t it? Remember point #1? For a guy who comments about other people’s appearance so much, this sort of ridiculous compensation for what normally happens to aging men is pathetic.

3. Presidents are too venerated in general. They need to be taken down a peg on a regular basis. That means Trump, Obama, Bush — the lot of them.

4. But a bully like Trump especially deserves to be taken down. There’s nothing I like more than mocking a bully.

5. I enjoy making the most extreme Trumpalos cry and wail and gnash their teeth. Your overdone outrage makes me smile. Your tears of anger taste delicious to me.

So go ahead. Commence your tut-tutting and squealing. Just know this: your odds of causing me to feel Deep Shame are precisely zero.

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

President Trump And That Yuge Military Parade

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:00 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Trump is clamoring for a spectacular military parade in Washington D.C. After he was the guest of French President Emmanuel Macron at France’s Bastille Day celebration last July, Trump was blown away by the display of military might, pomp and pageantry:

Trump was awestruck by the tableau of uniformed French troops marching down Avenue des Champs-Elysees with military tanks, armored vehicles, gun trucks and carriers — complete with fighter jets flying over the Arc de Triomphe and painting the sky with streaks of blue, white and red smoke for the colors of the French flag.

Aboard Air Force One en route home from Paris in July, aides said Trump told them that he was dazzled by the French display and that he wanted one at home.

At a later meeting with President Macron, Trump talked to the French leader and reporters about planning something similar in the U.S.

This isn’t surprising, and sounds just about right for Trump, who simultaneously voices tremendous support and admiration for our military, as well as being enthralled by shows of strength, might and grandeur. Given that, it makes perfect sense for him to package that altogether by putting the U.S. military superpower on display.

And indeed, an actual plan is in the works:

President Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality in the Pentagon and White House, where officials say they have begun to plan a grand military parade later this year showcasing the might of America’s armed forces.

Trump has long mused publicly and privately about wanting such a parade, but a Jan. 18 meeting between Trump and top generals in the Pentagon’s tank — a room reserved for top-secret discussions — marked a tipping point, according to two officials briefed on the planning.

Surrounded by the military’s highest-ranking officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Trump’s seemingly abstract desire for a parade was suddenly heard as a presidential directive, the officials said.

“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” said a military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the planning discussions are supposed to remain confidential. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military.”

Reactions to said plans range from the embarrassingly hysterical (and ill-informed):


…to the moderately positive, from a veteran:


…to the more specific, given this specific president:


I don’t have a problem with honoring our military with a big parade in Washington D.C. if the actual military and then men and women who serve are the focal point. And that’s a big “If”. I would as the critics who automatically equate such a parade here in the U.S. with tinpot dictators puffing out their chests in mighty displays of intimidating military might, is that what you thought about France and its Bastille Day celebration where both French and American troops marched down the streets of Paris, while flyovers buzzed above and tanks rolled through below in a parade that included 310 vehicles, 240 horses, 29 helicopters? This after President Macron arrived in a military jeep surrounded by cavalry as he acknowledged the crowds like some modern-day Caesar in his chariot. The point is, it is very possible to have a military parade celebrating the members of our Armed Forces without it being the same as North Korea’s insane leader trotting out his vast military for some perverse and dangerous display of ego-stroking intimidation.


I think there are potential problems with Trump’s evolving plan. To avoid politics entirely, let’s hold it on Veteran’s Day. Let’s use the already designated, non-political national holiday to showcase the military and those who have served, and currently serve.

Also, given Trump’s basic thinking that bigger is better, and that more gold and glitz is equally more impressive, a Trump-planned event not tempered by more reasonable and constrained individuals could easily end up costing a staggering amount of money, and thus be seen as cost prohibitive. Well, that’s if overspending actually really mattered to any politicians in Washington D.C.

Democrats have voiced their concerns about such an expenditure:

“Take the money that the president would like to spend on this parade [and] instead, let’s make sure our troops are ready for battle and survive it and come home to their families,” Durbin, the Democratic minority whip, said on MSNBC Wednesday morning.

Side note: This is the same Dick Durbin who compared treatment of suspected al Quaeda terrorists at Guantanamo with the brutal actions of a notoriously evil trio of men: Stalin, Pol Pot and Adolf Hitler.

Republicans have also expressed concern about the price tag, among other things:

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., also expressed concerns about the parade, telling CNN on Tuesday night, “I don’t believe we should have tanks or nuclear weapons going down Pennsylvania Avenue.”

“We need to fund the entire military for the rest of the year. The continuing resolutions are absolutely not the way to go, especially as it relates to funding the Department of Defense,” Zeldin, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said.

“Cost would be a factor,” he said of the parade.

[Ed. – This is pretty funny considering that there is no daylight between the spending whores on the left and the spending whores on the right. No one is covered in any glory of fiscal restraint. All of which really makes concerns for costs moot, as far as the politicians go.]

But here’s the real problem in all of this is: Trump. As we all know, the current Commander in Chief is a self-centered, self-consumed man, who adores being the center of attention, thrives on the adulation of the masses, has displayed authoritarian tendencies and one for whom one-upmanship is a way of life – especially when it involves giant spectacles of pomp and might. All of this combined threatens to produce an unrivaled, grand display which could easily end up focusing on Trump instead of the military and the honorable men and women who serve. If there was some sort of guarantee that absolutely no politician, including President Trump, would be allowed to grandstand, then it might be a wonderful event that would actually celebrate the military and its members. But if any politician of any political stripe were given a moment in the spotlight, they would undoubtedly exploit the military and the troops to pettily boast how their side supports the military more than the other side. This would be a travesty. We all know that politicians, being the unique breed of animal they are, would be absolutely unable to resist being so cravenly opportunistic. So without that provision set in stone, then such an event would no doubt be a distasteful political display of rank pandering at the expense of some extraordinary individuals and the military itself.

To some degree, I agree with this:

I’ll worry about military parades if they start occurring more frequently. For now, I not only fail to see that the parade presents a serious problem, done properly, I think it could actually do some good. Now, if Trump wants another parade next year, or if somehow the theme is polluted by Trumpism, then I’ll change my mind. But for now, I’m not willing to rain on Trump’s parade.

At the link is an interesting video which shows how CBS News reported the 1991 celebration of the U.S. victory in the first Gulf War. What a different time it was.


Russia Is Belatedly Learning Our Lesson in the Middle East

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:23 pm

[guest post by JVW]

From the Washington Post, added emphasis is mine:

BEIRUT — The United Nations appealed for an immediate cease-fire in Syria on Tuesday as spiraling violence pushed the country to the brink of one of the worst humanitarian crises in the seven-year war.

A halt to the fighting for at least a month is vital to allow urgently needed aid to reach 2.9 million stricken people living around the front lines of the latest fighting, the U.N. mission in Damascus said, warning of “dire consequences” if the current levels of violence are sustained.

The appeal coincides with the collapse in recent weeks of a year-old Russian effort to tamp down the violence through “de-escalation zones,” which had helped contribute to a perception that the war in Syria finally was winding down.

Instead, the first weeks of 2018 have turned into one of the bloodiest periods of the conflict yet, with hundreds killed in ­airstrikes, nearly 300,000 displaced in northwestern Syria and 400,000 at risk of starvation in a besieged area east of Damascus that has not received food since November.

And, in the 100th anniversary year of the end of the First World War, Bashar al-Assad is apparently sponsoring a “turn back the clock” night at the ballpark:

There has also been a spike in the number of reports of attacks by the government using chlorine as a chemical weapon, prompting warnings from the United States to the Syrian government to desist and to Russia to pressure its ally to halt the attacks. There have been six reported attacks using bombs laden with chlorine in the past month, the State Department said, adding that Washington is “gravely alarmed” by the continued allegations of the use of chlorine gas.

If the West ever had any good options here, and frankly we probably didn’t, there certainly aren’t any available now. It’s pretty likely that displaced Syrians will once again seek passage to Europe, should they get the opportunity, which will further strain already-tense relations among Western Europe and Central Europe. Meanwhile, it keeps getting worse around Damascus:

A separate crisis is developing east of Damascus, in the rebel-held enclave of Ghouta, where over 400,000 people surrounded by government forces have been reliant on U.N. aid for the past four years. The Syrian government has prevented all deliveries of food to the area since November, putting the population at risk of starvation, and has refused to allow the evacuation of about 600 people injured in the fighting to hospitals in nearby Damascus, [UN muckety-muck Panos] Moumtzis said.

Syrian warplanes pounded the area Tuesday, conducting over 40 strikes and killing at least 37 people, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors violence in Syria. Activists in the area later said more than 70 people had died in the raids.

Later in the day, five civilians died when rebels fired shells into government-controlled neighborhoods in Damascus, including three in the historic Bab Touma district of the Old City, according to the official Syrian news agency SANA.

Those strikes followed an onslaught of airstrikes by Russian and Syrian warplanes against rebel-held towns and villages in Idlib on Sunday and Monday, in apparent retaliation for the downing of a Russian warplane in the province Saturday. At least three hospitals or health facilities were hit in the strikes, which recall some of the worst periods of the war.

And, whenever chaos reigns you can count on a bad actor to appear on the scene to try and take advantage of it. Enter stage left the Turk:

The incursion by the Turkish army into the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin has further complicated the war, displacing more than 15,000 people and adding new obstacles to efforts to resolve the war.

Putin fancies himself has a major world player, and indeed, he seems to be an obsession right now with the American left and a significant portion the American right. But he’s meddling in a part of the world that has a way of humbling the powerful and smacking them right in the face with bitter realities. I wonder if democracy advocates in Lebanon see this as an opening, and if they do, can they win support from NATO or will the West just dismiss the idea as expanding an already miserable war.



Biden: Trump Really, Really Shouldn’t Do That Interview with Mueller

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:15 am

It’s hard to see this as anything but a troll. Democrats know that it would be a disaster for Trump if he let Mueller have a crack at him — not because there’s anything to the Russia investigation (I doubt there is), but because Trump can’t talk for five minutes without fibbing or exaggerating about something. Putting him in a situation where his habitual lies become illegal is a Trump-hater’s dream. So how do you try to social engineer a prideful guy into doing something that’s obviously a dumb move? You troll him, by suggesting that he can’t handle it, man!

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that if he were one of President Donald Trump’s attorneys, he would suggest Trump not consent to a special counsel interview for fear of being caught misleading investigators.

“The President has some difficulty with precision,” Biden said in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

Biden said he marvels at some of the comments Trump makes and referenced a line from Trump on Monday that Democrats who did not applaud his State of the Union address were “un-American” and “treasonous.”

The White House has since called the remark tongue-in-cheek, with press secretary Sarah Sanders saying on Tuesday that Trump was “clearly joking.”

“Well let me tell you, he’s a joke,” Biden said in response.

I’m sorry to lose the main thread here, but I just have to take a moment to reflect on the state of affairs where Joe Freakin’ Biden is calling another politician a “joke.” That’s like Teddy Kennedy calling someone else a lecherous drunken criminal. Before Donald Trump, no American politician was a walking, talking punch line as often as Joe Biden. Biden’s perpetually inappropriate comments and demeanor made for constant good fun, like the time he told a dude in a wheelchair to stand up:

Or the time that he extolled diversity in Delaware while talking to an Indian American by saying: “In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”

All I’m saying is: maybe Joe Biden is kind of a joke too.

Part of me hopes that the trolling doesn’t work. Because I’m not really up for several months of having people explain to me why Obvious Trump Lies Nos. 1-37 listed in Bob Mueller’s report to Congress are all actually truthful. That part of me says: Don’t take the bait, Mr. President. You’re totally precise and everything, OK? You don’t need to prove it by talking to Bob Mueller.

Then again, I’m not sure how well refusing to talk to Mueller would play politically.

Ah, well. I’m sure Trump will figure out something. And I doubt Biden’s advice is going to figure into his decision much, one way or the other.

Unless, that is, they discuss it on “Fox & Friends.” Then all bets are off.

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

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