Why would the US lie just so they can make a mostly ineffectual show-of-force strike?

perhaps it was done as a warning to North Korea, like how the two nuclear strikes on Japan were not just a final strike at Japan but also a warning to Russia (two birds with one stone so to speak). I expect it will have the opposite effect on North Korea. Instead of capitulation it will just drive further posturing/aggression.

Why wouldn't Elizabeth Warren or other prominant Democrats call him on it if he was flat out lying?

They would. And do. I just don't think they think he's lying THIS time. My point is that there have been presidents where people believe him just because he looks them in the eye and tells them it is true, just as there are people in your own life who you believe due to their track record of telling the truth and being reliable. Donald Trump isn't one of them. If you're skeptical Assad did it, then Donald Trump SAYING Assad did it relieves none of your skepticism.

Regarding the "Why would X do Y?", then putting on your Rational Self Interest Game Theory hat,

  1. Don't assume all players involved are smart and think things through.
  2. Don't assume all players are sane or share your value system.
  3. Some of them subscribe to the "Let people think you may be a madman" theory of negotiation (think the game of "chicken" rather than Mutually Assured Destruction. The crazy person wins) as a way to extract capitulation.
  4. Some combination of 1 to 3. Trump in particular likes keeping people off balance and brags about it. North Korea wants everyone to think they'll potentially start a nuclear war on a whim and they might.

In summary, Putin, Erdogan, Assad, Kim Jung Un, Donald Trump, and whoever is leading Iran are playing high stakes poker with each other and none of them are facing elections anytime soon and none of them have much in common with their citizens, so they can ignore their citizens, to a point. I think there are more external brakes operated by rational people on Trump than the other folks.

Speaking of the "madman" game that North Korea plays, either as a scam or they really are madman, I've been listening to Trump and he pretty much doesn't hide his thinking process. His first play is always ridiculously unreasonable. It's actually NOT "unpredictable" and he's said flat out that he does it on purpose as a negotiating tactic to make comparatively more reasonable future proposals more pallatable. He's said similar things about being a madman/unpredictable. When dealing with a madman, you have to be willing to out-madman him or you're at a disadvantage. When dealing with a crook, you have to out-crook him. When dealing with a liar, you have to out-lie him. When dealing with a brutal thug, you have to out-brutal him. To be unwilling to do these things is weakness in his view. His comments regarding killing and torturing terrorists' families play into that. ISIS will "laugh at us" if we don't.

All you have to do is listen to the guy. His worldview is a teenage one-upsmanship mentality. He's actually a lousy negotiator because he has ZERO skill at approaching things from a mutually beneficial/cooperation/mutual trust standpoint rather than a zero-sum game where for Trump to win, you must lose. He's all stick, no carrot. Every carrot is of the form of "If you agree, I won't hit you with the stick". And he often bluffs with the stick.

Pretty sure McMaster and Mattis are working quietly behind the scenes on this one. Hope they are.

Trump is now complaining about Canada's "unfair" dairy practices which he complains is hurting American dairies. Funny how he doesn't mention the billions of dollars that go to American agribusiness as an unfair subsidy. He also doesn't mention the uncountable times he shouted "America First" before and after the election. I guess only the US is allowed to protect its own industries.

If you're skeptical Assad did it, then Donald Trump SAYING Assad did it relieves none of your skepticism.

No of course not. Trump saying anything is "true" is completely meaningless because he is a pathological liar. But Trump is not the entirety of the US gov't.

Rational Self Interest Game Theory hat

In general the more people involved in a decision the closer to rational self interest it will be (it's the whole reason commitees exist). North Korea is a madman because it is a ruthless dictatorship so the number of people involved in any decision is very small - Kim Jung Un & hist close advisors & maybe a few high ranking bureaucrats - same goes for old-timey monarchies. Assad is also in this boat which is why I'm not that shocked he would use chemical weapons in this way even though it doesn't really further his goals, so not that rational.

In contrast democracies, incl. the USA, tend to have much bigger & diverse bureaucracies and in particular if there is one thing you can say about the US military it is that there are a lot of people running the show. So they tend to be more rational. Though considering how many positions Trump has left empty (thus his pool of people is quite small) it's not surprising they would make loads of irrational decisions too.

Note: voting in elections doesn't necessarily follow the "more people = more rational" rule because voting decisions are mostly made on an individual basis, so each voting decision is not very rational; and a collection of irrational choices does not sum to a rational decision.

No of course not.

Just to clarify, by "you", I meant the royal "you", not you personally. Anyone who is skeptical that Assad did it will not have their skepticism lifted by Trump saying he did it. It's not clear to me whether a Trump fan skeptical that Assad did it would have his/her skepticism lifted, but I've sort of given up psychoanalyzing whether Trump fans think he lies or simply don't care. I think there are quite a few folks out there who don't care whether Assad did it as far as the US bombing him. There's a "Well, if he didn't do it, he's done a bunch of other stuff he hasn't been punished for, so he deserves it just like Saddam" attitude.

I'm baffled by the recent aircraft carrier to North Korea incident . If you're going to send an aircraft carrier to send a message, that's a controversial decision, but either send it or don't send it. SAYING you're sending it then not sending it is the worst possible option. It makes him look too quick to escalate, wimpy, and indecisive all at once. Ditto his announcement that Korea used to be part of China. NO ONE, including China, appears to be happy about that one, as they now have to walk that one back so people don't think they're planning to invade and take it back. Doesn't this guy have briefers? Who goes into a meeting with China and simply accepts China's history lesson and announces it publicly without checking?

On to your point about democracies having bigger bureaucracies and also your point about unfilled positions. You would hope that SOMEWHERE in that bureaucracy a Korean history expert would be lurking who could fill him. It's all useless if he doesn't bother to ask them. He truly just listens to the last person in the room, which in this case was the leader of China, and takes their word for it. I'm waiting for the sit-down with Putin and the follow-up tweet: "Obama told Putin he could reinvade Poland and got nothing in return! What a stupid man! What a lousy deal! I'm stuck with it! Sorry Poland! Don't blame me! Blame Obama! Sad!"

Just to clarify, by "you", I meant the royal "you", not you personally.

Hmm. Re-reading, I may have clarified something that never needed clarifying and in the process, wrote something confusing. Or not. I'm finding that Trump is doing that to me. I sometimes feel dumber and more confused when talking/writing/thinking about him. I think he's dumbing the entire world down and sometimes analyzing him dumbs ME down. I'm going to try going on a month-long "no-Trump" diet as much as possible and see if it makes me happier and less confused. Thanks for the lively discussion. If I recall correctly, Reverend Jim dad that a while back (went to his cottage and played with the dog instead of thinking of Trump as a better use of his time than thinking about Trump) and it worked. Let's see if it works for me. My mom's Golden Retriever is having her third birthday today.

Trump is back to complaining about how NAFTA has been a total disaster for the US wrt Canada. He is attacking uson dairy, softwood lumber and energy.


In 2016 American dairies sold about $500,000 more milk in Canadian markets than Canadian in American markets. Winner: U.S.


NAFTA requires that oil and gas sold to American markets must be tariff free. It also requires Canada to sell to the US even in times of oil/gas scarcity. Winner: U.S.

FYI: For Manitoba generated hydro-electricity (the only producer I am familiar with as an former employee of the Manitoba Hydro Control Centre), aside from long term contracts, we offer energy to a "pool" comprising Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and a number of MidWestern States at market prices. Buyers are free to buy or not based on their cost to produce the same power.

Softwood Lumber:

Yes, Canada charges low stumpage fees to the logging companies and this is one of the reasons our lumber is cheaper. However, if we were to stop selling lumber to the U.S, their housing construction would likely suffer a severe curtailment.

Likewise, if we were to shut off our export of power from BC, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, there would likely be a great hue and cry from down south (even though it was apparently OK for California power companies to create rolling blackouts to create artificial shortages and boost the prices/profits).

Trumps "disaster" talk is just more of his bluster. He sets his anchor point so that anything else he says seems more reasonable in comparison. By claiming the current agreement is a disaster he can go into negotiations demanding concessions. Justin Trudeau is a "nice guy". I only wish it was his father in the PM chair in these times.

How did this one slip under the radar? On April 7, Trump rescinded Obama wildlife protection legislation making it legal to shoot animals while hibernating (including bear cubs), shoot wolves while in their dens with cubs, trap bears with wire snares and lure bears with food for the purpose of shooting.

Member Avatar

What a wonderfully forward thinking thing to do. If the emissions don.t get .em we.ll get .em with GUNS. Aww yeah! Perhaps Trump hates all critters big and small as he slips down the Animal Kingdom IQ table.

Bill Maher had it right. He has decided that the governing principle of the GOP is "What would a dick do?"

Yes, and there is this principle also.

commented: And as a happy coincidence, peter and dick are both euphemisms (at least here) for... +0

Too little, too late, but I just saw a clip of an interview with Antonio Sabato jr (who wants to run for office). He was asked a Trump question and he immediately pivoted to "if you want to talk about that then what about Hillary who...". The interviewer interrupted him with "We're not talking about her. We're talking about Trump."

Why didn't they do that a year ago?

Trump has been mobilizing since last October to privatize land that is now held by Native Americans, ostensibly "so that American Indians can pursue development projects that lift them out of poverty". It has absolutely nothing to do with oil and natural gas reserves that may or may not (wink) be under said lands.

I think Trump is a good presidents, evething he did till now prove that he have great capacity to slove the problems.
Make America great again is good stratery

commented: "presidents" there are multiple Trumps? "slove the problems" The person posting this can't even use a spell checker +0
commented: Troll, more likely. +0
commented: Is this a joke? +0

@ross_3: Your opinion is as good as your English spelling.

commented: ANd when exactly was America not great +0

So he's getting rid of 18 science specialists on the EPA and replacing with insiders from the very industries the EPA was protecting us from.

Fox. Henhouse.

Any questions?

Your opinion is as good as your English spelling

I don't have any problem with an opinion that differs from mine as long as it is an informed opinion that is backed up by some facts.

I don't have any problem with an opinion that differs from mine

I don't have either, but at least, try to phrase it well. (Hope I did here.)

Member Avatar

Wonder what Comey's going to say in the hearings. Hope it's juicy :)

STOP buying shredded cheese!
Make America grate again!

Trump's position is "it's he said/he said". On the one hand you have a (mostly) respected former head of the FBI and on the other hand you have a known serial (pathological/compulsive) liar. Could go either way, I suppose.

Trump is coming to the hellhole of Brussels/Belgium or is it Belgium/Brussels?
Has he already been briefed about the difference between the two?
It's about 25 km from where I live.

commented: He knows that Belgium has better waffles. +0

Yesterday, Air Force One flew about 500 m over my head!
Forgot to eat some Brussel sprouts. As they contain many sufuric compounds,
perhaps I could have produced a sufuric fart, worthy of a hell hole!

Why doesn't he dig coal and drive a steam locomotive, like they did some 100 years ago?

Member Avatar

When oil runs out, we'll all be doing it :)

Congress has managed to put sanctions against Russia with sufficient numbers to prevent a presidential veto and are working to prevent Trump from firing Mueller. In light of Trump's pardoning of Arpaio, their next step should be to suspend the presidential pardon power. Trump's message was clear. He pardoned Arpaio and anyone who sticks with him can do whatever it takes to protect the prez knowing that Trump has the pardon in his back pocket. Federal laws no longer apply to Trump supporters as long as Trump has that power.

An episode of the 1950s western TV series 'Trackdown' featured a character named Walter Trump who claimed he would build a wall in order to protect a town from the end of the world.

Source Snopes

A suggestion...

There is a possibility that there will eventually be a presidential library bearing Trump's name. I propose that it be mandated to contain no books above a grade four reading level.

And it be built in Miami at just slightly above sea level.

commented: and at least one cabinet of random bits of paper with his signature on. +0

So we got eight years of how Obama and the Democrats were going to repeal the 2nd amendment and confiscate all the guns. And how many were seized? Approximately zero. Meanwhile with Trump and Co. controlling the White House, Congress and the Senate we see that up to 4000 guns may be seized. Where is the outrage from the gun nuts and the NRA? I guess they are being quiet since Congress passed a bill removing states’ power to control who is allowed to carry a concealed, loaded handgun in their streets.