Trump presidency

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:47 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:So...um...in all the chaos of last week, Trump nominated the virulently anti-LGBT Sam Brownback as his "ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom." Hmmmm (warning, site has auto-loading video).

Really curious what all the "Trump will be great for the LGBTQ community" are saying now.

trpmb6 wrote:And to be honest, I just like to play devil's advocate.

I have zero patience for that. There's enough actual opposition to issues I care about for me to bother with people who are inventing argument about issues they're not really experiencing or witnessing. Playing devil's advocate, frankly, is a pretty shitty discussion tactic.

In other news, Trump and Sessions are going to review affirmative action programs at universities, since the deck isn't stacked far enough in favor of white people just yet! I found the following paragraph particularly jarring:
He also suggested that the project would look for stark gaps in test scores and dropout rates among different racial cohorts within student bodies, which he said would be evidence suggesting that admissions offices were putting too great an emphasis on applicants’ race and crossing the line the Supreme Court has drawn.

I guess there's not much to worry about. I'm sure they'll take people's life experience, lower socio-economic background, higher responsibility to take care of family due to ridiculous incarceration rates, and inequality in high school education based on segregated schools!
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:02 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:So...um...in all the chaos of last week, Trump nominated the virulently anti-LGBT Sam Brownback as his "ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom." Hmmmm (warning, site has auto-loading video).

Really curious what all the "Trump will be great for the LGBTQ community" are saying now.

Me, too. His campaign was centered around lying about, well, everything, to get votes, but I've generally figured (maybe incorrectly) that most LGBT folks are pretty keyed-into politics because policies that affect them very directly have been pretty hot-button for the past decade or so.

trpmb6 wrote:And to be honest, I just like to play devil's advocate.

I have zero patience for that. There's enough actual opposition to issues I care about for me to bother with people who are inventing argument about issues they're not really experiencing or witnessing. Playing devil's advocate, frankly, is a pretty shitty discussion tactic.

Yeah, when someone plays devil's advocate for Trump or his views, it's hard to not let that color my view of them. Sue me for being intolerant.


Sessions is frightening.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:07 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:And to be honest, I just like to play devil's advocate.

I have zero patience for that. There's enough actual opposition to issues I care about for me to bother with people who are inventing argument about issues they're not really experiencing or witnessing. Playing devil's advocate, frankly, is a pretty shitty discussion tactic.



touche

And to Liri, don't construe my "devil's advocate" as support for Trump. I may agree with him on a couple issues but he is definitely not who I want in the white house.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:24 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:And to Liri, don't construe my "devil's advocate" as support for Trump. I may agree with him on a couple issues but he is definitely not who I want in the white house.

Well that was pretty much exactly my point.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:35 pm UTC

In this case I wasn't even showing support for or against Trump, only noting that administrations routinely shop stories with the press. (To be fair, we don't even know what level of 'collusion' Trump and his team even had with fox on this story)
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:05 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:And to be honest, I just like to play devil's advocate.

I have zero patience for that. There's enough actual opposition to issues I care about for me to bother with people who are inventing argument about issues they're not really experiencing or witnessing. Playing devil's advocate, frankly, is a pretty shitty discussion tactic.


With all due respect Zohar, Devil's advocate is incredibly important to ensure that the discussion does not turn into groupthink.

Without someone playing the other side, the conversation turns into purely a echochamber where we all just preach to the choir over and over and over again. I'd personally prefer if this conversation allowed for some open air at times, even if artificial. Perhaps its uncomfortable to view the opposition's argument sometimes, but its far more important to be aware of the argument.

The alternative to awareness is ignorance. And I'd prefer to be uncomfortable and aware rather than ignorant and blissful.

There's too many echochambers in the internet. I don't want one here frankly.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:29 pm UTC

Or you could take active steps to make sure when you're interested in having an open argument, you actually include people of differing opinions.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:33 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Or you could take active steps to make sure when you're interested in having an open argument, you actually include people of differing opinions.


How do you do that on a public forum where anyone can post and you have no way of inviting people to?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:47 pm UTC

When have you ever had a shortage of people disagreeing with you on a public forum?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:56 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:When have you ever had a shortage of people disagreeing with you on a public forum?

+1

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby morriswalters » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:00 pm UTC

Very Trumpian, self contradicting arguments. First, you aren't recruiting enough representative POV's. When Chen asks you how, you respond. Then when have you had trouble finding POV's? Sweet. Carry on.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:08 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:When have you ever had a shortage of people disagreeing with you on a public forum?


Considering that Trump's approval rating is 38%, we should expect about 38% of posters here to be Trump supporters.

So yes, we have a severe lack of Trump supporters representing themselves here. I can't count a single person here who actually claims to support Trump.

Zohar wrote:Or you could take active steps to make sure when you're interested in having an open argument, you actually include people of differing opinions.


And part of that is to be welcoming to Trump supporters during the line of discussion. Including the ability to treat them with proper respect should they actually appear.

The best we got is honestly... maybe two or three people who occasionally throw a "Devil's Advocate" argument to test the waters. But anyone reading this topic knows that they're entering an anti-Trump zone for the most part.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:10 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Zohar wrote:When have you ever had a shortage of people disagreeing with you on a public forum?


Considering that Trump's approval rating is 38%, we should expect about 38% of posters here to be Trump supporters.

So yes, we have a severe lack of Trump supporters representing themselves here. I can't count a single person here who actually claims to support Trump.


To be fair, they may lurk here but probably don't post due to a perceived hostile environment.

---------------------------------------------------------

Let's change the subject.

What are we going to do about North Korea. Is there anything we can do at this point? It seems NK is determined to continue down the current path and China is sort of riding a fine line right now. The media continue to say that China doesn't want to have a refugee crisis on their hands but I don't see them doing anything in an active way to stop NK.

I could actually see Trump wanting NK to continue down this path so he can have an excuse to bolster military funding (more than he has already propose that is).

edit: I take a particular interest in NK because my Grandfather fought there on pork chop hill. The few times I could get him to talk about it without him breaking down in tears were very eye opening to me. He lost almost every man in his platoon. The fighting was not pretty. It may be a bit different this time around due to new technology but It's definitely not a route I care for our nation to go down.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:20 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:What are we going to do about North Korea. Is there anything we can do at this point? It seems NK is determined to continue down the current path and China is sort of riding a fine line right now. The media continue to say that China doesn't want to have a refugee crisis on their hands but I don't see them doing anything in an active way to stop NK.

I could actually see Trump wanting NK to continue down this path so he can have an excuse to bolster military funding (more than he has already propose that is).

edit: I take a particular interest in NK because my Grandfather fought there on pork chop hill. The few times I could get him to talk about it without him breaking down in tears were very eye opening to me. He lost almost every man in his platoon. The fighting was not pretty. It may be a bit different this time around due to new technology but It's definitely not a route I care for our nation to go down.


North Korea actually has an army, unlike the other locations we've invaded. And since we haven't completely pulled out of Iraq / Afghanistan yet, its unlikely that we have the military strength to wage war against NK.

And full war is the only option, as North Korea is basically holding Seoul hostage, since its within artillery strike distance for them. No, North Korea doesn't have smart bombs or an air force. But lobbing explosives dozens of miles south the border randomly is an effective tactic.

I'm not really sure if anybody (Trump, or the hypothetical President Clinton) could do anything about it.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:21 pm UTC

I'm going to spoil my response to previous posts since I'm hoping we'll move on...

Spoiler:
morriswalters wrote:Very Trumpian, self contradicting arguments. First, you aren't recruiting enough representative POV's. When Chen asks you how, you respond. Then when have you had trouble finding POV's? Sweet. Carry on.

See? You're disagreeing with me already! I'm honestly not sure what you're trying to say here. Really, for any opinion presented here there are almost always opposing opinions. Sure, not many people here would say they're pro-Trump (though definitely some have said so!), but plenty of people here have very differing political opinions than mine, for instance, without them having to purposefully go to extremes.

Playing devil's advocate doesn't mean dealing with hypotheticals. I don't see anything wrong with asking "How do you answer people who say X" or something like that. That's fine. But the devil doesn't need any more advocates, and when someone starts a game of "how far can I drag someone who's actually experiencing <X> and is suffering because it" along, that's cruel, unfair, and also not conductive to discussions.


I don't know if war is the only way to deal with North Korea, but the situation is very despairing...
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:26 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I don't know if war is the only way to deal with North Korea, but the situation is very despairing...


The threat of war is often more important than war itself. North Korea knows we aren't going to attack them, so they have free reign to do whatever they want.

I'm not an advocate of war. But banging the war drums and being deathly serious about it is an appropriate political / diplomatic tool. Honestly, what we needed to do was execute the Syrian situation better, and hold Syria as an example as what happens if you disagree with America. But North Korea looks at Syria (and how Assad is still in power, with very minor interference from the USA), and they move on with confidence.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:46 pm UTC

I understand where you're coming from with the Syrian comment, and agree for the most part. The main issue I have with using Syria as an example though is how complicated the Syrian situation is to say the NK situation. The factions at play in Syria make it a tangled mess (in fact we at one point even saw a situation where one of our allies - Turkey - was flying sorties against rebels we had helped arm.)

So yes, by not sticking to our guns on Syria we showed weakness and that emboldens others. But we can't really say for sure whether or not NK would have been more cautious if we had taken a harder stance there (in Syria). Considering the boy dictator has continued to advance his ICBM and nuclear programs in the face of a presumably militaristic Trump suggests to me he doesn't really care about our threats. He knows we won't attack (an argument could be made here that part of the reason he knows we won't is because of our lack of action in Syria - I'll give you that). So absent that threat what do we have left?

One thing I've struggled with from a philosophical standpoint is why do we get to decide who has nuclear capabilities? Who are we to say they can't proceed with their programs? Sure, from our standpoint we really don't want them to have nukes. But that's because we already have them and aren't threatened by nukes. But take a look at it from their side and I think you'll see it's rather unfair that you can't also have a nuclear deterrent. Sure right now the USA is benevolent. But that might change some day.

Obviously I'm not suggesting we should allow them to have nukes. But still a thought that crosses my mind sometimes in these discussions.
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Empty Suit Presidency

Postby morriswalters » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:56 pm UTC

Feel free to move on, I won't hold you. Empty Suit Presidency isn't a current flavor that I can enjoy. I'm still gagging over the election and the nasty taste it election left. I'm weaning my self off the Washington Post because of it.
KnightExemplar wrote:The threat of war is often more important than war itself. North Korea knows we aren't going to attack them, so they have free reign to do whatever they want.
It turns out to be much more complicated than that. Japan could go nuclear as a matter of exercising the will to do so. So could South Korea. As could almost any modern country. Most of them don't because they aren't foolish enough to want to. Erratic behavior on our part, may convince them that owning the weapons is safer than depending on us. It could become a race to the bottom. I'm gone, this is depressing.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:45 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:I understand where you're coming from with the Syrian comment, and agree for the most part. The main issue I have with using Syria as an example though is how complicated the Syrian situation is to say the NK situation. The factions at play in Syria make it a tangled mess (in fact we at one point even saw a situation where one of our allies - Turkey - was flying sorties against rebels we had helped arm.)

So yes, by not sticking to our guns on Syria we showed weakness and that emboldens others. But we can't really say for sure whether or not NK would have been more cautious if we had taken a harder stance there (in Syria). Considering the boy dictator has continued to advance his ICBM and nuclear programs in the face of a presumably militaristic Trump suggests to me he doesn't really care about our threats. He knows we won't attack (an argument could be made here that part of the reason he knows we won't is because of our lack of action in Syria - I'll give you that). So absent that threat what do we have left?

One thing I've struggled with from a philosophical standpoint is why do we get to decide who has nuclear capabilities? Who are we to say they can't proceed with their programs? Sure, from our standpoint we really don't want them to have nukes. But that's because we already have them and aren't threatened by nukes. But take a look at it from their side and I think you'll see it's rather unfair that you can't also have a nuclear deterrent. Sure right now the USA is benevolent. But that might change some day.

Obviously I'm not suggesting we should allow them to have nukes. But still a thought that crosses my mind sometimes in these discussions.

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists ... 70706.html
I'm starting to hear rumbles of this alternative option from some think tanks. Let them have nukes, and live with North Korea regime surviving. It's frightening, but given Trump's incompetence it's possibly the "safest"option. The assumptions here is that North Korea will never fire them, which somehow includes scenarios like being sanctioned, regimes failing or starving.
It's very likely because each country merely had to do nothing but bluster, and it will happen naturally.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:02 pm UTC

sardia wrote:http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists ... 70706.html
I'm starting to hear rumbles of this alternative option from some think tanks. Let them have nukes, and live with North Korea regime surviving. It's frightening, but given Trump's incompetence it's possibly the "safest"option. The assumptions here is that North Korea will never fire them, which somehow includes scenarios like being sanctioned, regimes failing or starving.
It's very likely because each country merely had to do nothing but bluster, and it will happen naturally.


It's the only option if you're not willing to sacrifice Seoul. Unless someone can find a way to take out practically all the artillery that is aimed at it, there's no real way around things. I also have to presume that as technology advances making a nuclear weapon or an ICBM will just become easier and easier, so eventually they're probably going to get them anyways. In the end if North Korea did launch any weapons at the US with intent to harm, Seoul is fucked anyways.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:07 pm UTC

sardia wrote:http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists ... 70706.html
I'm starting to hear rumbles of this alternative option from some think tanks. Let them have nukes, and live with North Korea regime surviving. It's frightening, but given Trump's incompetence it's possibly the "safest"option. The assumptions here is that North Korea will never fire them, which somehow includes scenarios like being sanctioned, regimes failing or starving.
It's very likely because each country merely had to do nothing but bluster, and it will happen naturally.


From a comment on that news article (not my words):
Some guy by the name Dutchman wrote:There is another possibility that people never seem to recognize. What if China is OK with NK using nukes against SK and Japan? that would take out their two biggest economic rivals in Asia and make China dominant. NK would hurt us if we hit them, but how does that hurt China? If both Koreas are wiped off the mat, China comes out ahead. The nuclear fallout all would head for North America. Japan would be devastated. The US would loose its military bases that were close to China so we would be out of the regional picture. China does not get involved unless it decides to enter such a war. It is a theory a Chinese professor told me (he fled China) and he thinks it is part of the Chinese strategy. There is little negative consequences for China if the Koreas blow and a lot of upside. It is a true Machiavellian move and very Chinese.

Just something you should consider as you lay awake at night .........


I can see the thought line on this. My only counter is that China likes to have the US military eyes diverted to North Korea and not on their own dealings (Ie, their military base island making in the south china sea). Pair that and the proximity of China to these countries he listed and it's not likely. They would certainly see an economic hit during any major conflict, even if it was simply minor trade hiccups due to naval blockades.

Also, I had no idea Boy Dictator was Swiss educated. Well. The first hit I found on the internet wasn't very flattering of his education. They make him sound like a buffoon. (The writing seems very biased mind you) http://www.sundaytimes.lk/111225/Timestwo/int10.html

The weird thing is his love for American culture. Like Basketball. Yet he wants to bring death to America? I wonder if he's really just a puppet.

Last thing: It isn't just NK who is interested in NK's nuclear and ICBM capabilities. There are other enemies of the USA and our allies that would love to have that capability and may be far more willing to use it.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:14 pm UTC

Wowza those popularity numbers are taking another tumble
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:35 pm UTC

Liri wrote:Wowza those popularity numbers are taking another tumble


Looks pretty bad right now, although I'm going to wait for the weekly polls to come out. A bunch of polls added to the Fivethirtyeight tracker were all dailies, which obviously have the most noise.

Trump had a bad week, but it was bad in the sense of people who already don't like Trump had more reasons to not like Trump. Within the Trump camp, the firing of Priebus and Spiecer were seen as positives IIRC. If anything is hurting the pro-Trump crowd, its probably Trump's criticism of Jeff Sessions.

Beyond that: the Health Care debacle is blamed on McConnell more than anybody else. So Trump is netural there. I doubt that most conservatives really care about the Priebus / Spiecer / Scaramooche drama.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:40 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:North Korea actually has an army, unlike the other locations we've invaded. And since we haven't completely pulled out of Iraq / Afghanistan yet, its unlikely that we have the military strength to wage war against NK.


Iraq had the 4th largest military at the beginning of the second Gulf War; so it's fair to say that they actually had an army. And, the forces we actually have stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan are fairly minimal; we have more than adequate forces to deal with North Korea. The real difficulty is the amount of damage that North Korea could do to South Korea and Japan.

And full war is the only option, as North Korea is basically holding Seoul hostage, since its within artillery strike distance for them. No, North Korea doesn't have smart bombs or an air force. But lobbing explosives dozens of miles south the border randomly is an effective tactic.


Exactly. And, they'd likely also launch a barrage of missiles towards Japan - which, even if they aren't nuclear, could kill a lot of people.

In order for a military strike to be successful, it would have to be absolutely staggering. We'd need to deal massive damage, very quickly, all along the border to take out their artillery; while at the same time hitting several very well fortified missile sites all simultaneously. And the thing is... actually getting what we'd need into the region in order to even have a chance of doing all of that, without it being noticed well in advance, is practically impossible.

I'm not really sure if anybody (Trump, or the hypothetical President Clinton) could do anything about it.


At this point, the options really suck. The best option would be to convince China to step in and take action themselves... but China has a dilemma of their own. On the one hand, NK is what keeps SK from becoming a much larger influence in the region... They don't want another major economic power - especially one that's friendly to the US and democratic - in their own backyard.

On the other hand, if the shit does eventually hit the fan, China is going to have at bare minimum a massive refugee crisis on it's hands; and at worst a massive regional conflict that potentially involves nuclear weapons being used. And as more time passes and more weapons are stockpiled, the odds of the latter get worse and worse.

Ideally, we would convince the Chinese that the situation has reached the point where the risk of utter catastrophe outweigh the inconvenience of having a much stronger SK in the region. Unfortunately, the guy in charge of that is an orange baboon who thinks that insulting them via Twitter is diplomacy...

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:53 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:From a comment on that news article (not my words):
Some guy by the name Dutchman wrote:There is another possibility that people never seem to recognize. What if China is OK with NK using nukes against SK and Japan? that would take out their two biggest economic rivals in Asia and make China dominant. NK would hurt us if we hit them, but how does that hurt China? If both Koreas are wiped off the mat, China comes out ahead. The nuclear fallout all would head for North America. Japan would be devastated. The US would loose its military bases that were close to China so we would be out of the regional picture. China does not get involved unless it decides to enter such a war. It is a theory a Chinese professor told me (he fled China) and he thinks it is part of the Chinese strategy. There is little negative consequences for China if the Koreas blow and a lot of upside. It is a true Machiavellian move and very Chinese.


Just something you should consider as you lay awake at night .........


Yeah... I find that one pretty hard to believe. Best case scenario, China is flooded with millions of starving refugees; worst case, they're flooded with millions of starving refugees while also dealing with the fallout from the US nuclear response.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:31 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Yeah... I find that one pretty hard to believe. Best case scenario, China is flooded with millions of starving refugees; worst case, they're flooded with millions of starving refugees while also dealing with the fallout from the US nuclear response.

I've always found the idea that China, with a population of 1.3 billion, would struggle to cope with an absolute maximum 25 million refugees (less than 2% of China's population) a bit odd. And it would probably be far fewer than that going into China. I mean, it would be quite a headache, but it seems weird if that's their biggest concern about the situation given nuclear weapons are involved.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:17 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Liri wrote:Wowza those popularity numbers are taking another tumble


Looks pretty bad right now, although I'm going to wait for the weekly polls to come out. A bunch of polls added to the Fivethirtyeight tracker were all dailies, which obviously have the most noise.

Trump had a bad week, but it was bad in the sense of people who already don't like Trump had more reasons to not like Trump. Within the Trump camp, the firing of Priebus and Spiecer were seen as positives IIRC. If anything is hurting the pro-Trump crowd, its probably Trump's criticism of Jeff Sessions.

Beyond that: the Health Care debacle is blamed on McConnell more than anybody else. So Trump is netural there. I doubt that most conservatives really care about the Priebus / Spiecer / Scaramooche drama.

Assuming his support with independents was still around 30%, there's still plenty of room to drop there with people who *might* not be as ideological.

Per the blame-game, Trump's main contribution during the whole process was to tweet variants on, "Go, Republicans, go!" and threaten a couple senators. He completely abandoned his, "healthcare for everyone and much, much, cheaper" campaign promise for the current GOP orthodoxy of taking any measure to scrap the ACA, which will surely hurt him with some of his base (though the ones who believed his healthcare promises are probably not the type to trust mainstream news sources that point this out to them).
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KittenKaboodle » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:00 pm UTC

cphiteIn wrote: order for a military strike to be successful, it would have to be absolutely staggering. We'd need to deal massive damage, very quickly, all along the border to take out their artillery; while at the same time hitting several very well fortified missile sites all simultaneously. And the thing is... actually getting what we'd need into the region in order to even have a chance of doing all of that, without it being noticed well in advance, is practically impossible.


Really? I assume the US already has positioned suitable assets (not being noticed is the whole point). Which is why I don't understand NK's obsession with nukes and ICBMs. While unloading an Ohio class submarine on any country would be frowned on by most of the world, NK seems to be going out of their way to make it somewhat more palatable.

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sardia
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:09 pm UTC

KittenKaboodle wrote:
cphiteIn wrote: order for a military strike to be successful, it would have to be absolutely staggering. We'd need to deal massive damage, very quickly, all along the border to take out their artillery; while at the same time hitting several very well fortified missile sites all simultaneously. And the thing is... actually getting what we'd need into the region in order to even have a chance of doing all of that, without it being noticed well in advance, is practically impossible.


Really? I assume the US already has positioned suitable assets (not being noticed is the whole point). Which is why I don't understand NK's obsession with nukes and ICBMs. While unloading an Ohio class submarine on any country would be frowned on by most of the world, NK seems to be going out of their way to make it somewhat more palatable.

Most of the military solutions assume lots of civilian casualties and a gradual decrease in North Korean attacks. (Running out of civilians to kill and allied firepower slowly destroying artillery launchers).

If North Korea doesn't force a game of chicken, then the West will force regime change. If North Korea acts nice, the West will force regime change. If the North makes a mistake, then they all die and there's regime change. Their ideal scenario is the West does nothing, except probably give more aid. Then nobody dies and Kim makes another heir.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:15 pm UTC

KittenKaboodle wrote:
cphiteIn wrote: order for a military strike to be successful, it would have to be absolutely staggering. We'd need to deal massive damage, very quickly, all along the border to take out their artillery; while at the same time hitting several very well fortified missile sites all simultaneously. And the thing is... actually getting what we'd need into the region in order to even have a chance of doing all of that, without it being noticed well in advance, is practically impossible.


Really? I assume the US already has positioned suitable assets (not being noticed is the whole point). Which is why I don't understand NK's obsession with nukes and ICBMs. While unloading an Ohio class submarine on any country would be frowned on by most of the world, NK seems to be going out of their way to make it somewhat more palatable.


My understanding is that the number of nuclear strikes needed to destroy North Korea's artillery is an unacceptably large number of nukes. And if you only destroy 70% of North Korea's artillery, that's more than enough artillery left over to level Seoul, and other parts of South Korea.

If the US doesn't care about South Korea, the problem is simple. The problem is difficult because we would need to somehow strike North Korea hard enough to prevent them from counter-attacking South Korea.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:31 pm UTC

Would handing out a load of the now surplus Samsung Galaxy Note 7s to NK be a welcome goodwill gesture from the South, or would it be considered an incendiary act?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby iamspen » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:41 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:My understanding is that the number of nuclear strikes needed to destroy North Korea's artillery is an unacceptably large number of nukes. And if you only destroy 70% of North Korea's artillery, that's more than enough artillery left over to level Seoul, and other parts of South Korea.


Artillery, unfortunately, isn't the only problem facing NATO forces from the northern half of the Korean peninsula. North Korea is literally on constant standby for a full-scale invasion of the South, which means somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5 million North Korean soldiers bum-rushing a defensive line that is woefully unprepared for that kind of assault. In fact, IIRC, current standing orders to American and South Korean troops on the border are to hold the line for 20 minutes, as that's the minimum amount of time it would take to launch air support.

Most defense analysts agree that 20 minutes is probably not reasonable.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zamfir » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:23 am UTC

Zohar wrote:I don't know if war is the only way to deal with North Korea, but the situation is very despairing...

Where does this despair come from? To the point that you would consider warfare as an option?

I am quoting you as an example, but the same question applies to others. Every few years there is a North Korea panic in the US. People start discussing bombing runs and invasions and what not. Not just some people on forums, but even major politicians.

While to me, the current situation looks rather stable, like it can last for the foreseeable future. North Korea's neighbours would prefer a more friendly and/or pliable government in Pyongyang. But there is not much they can do, and they can live with the current situation. North Korea can't win a war, but they can make war unacceptably painful. They could already before they had nuclear weapons. North Korea itself went through a grave economic crisis after the collapse of the USSR, but now they have stabilized.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:18 pm UTC

There's a nuclear-arms expert who runs a podcast and appeared on NPR a week or so ago essentially saying that the point at which things could have been resolved without conflict passed in the 90s.

It was This American Life: https://thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/620/to-be-real

It's definitely worth a listen. Skip the prologue if you want.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:11 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Where does this despair come from? To the point that you would consider warfare as an option?

Oh, my despair isn't at a fear from North Korea attacking, necessarily. It's because there are about 25 million people living there in constant fear and oppression by the most totalitarian and controlling regime on Earth, and if I had something I could do to help them, I would love to, but I can't think of something that can be done.
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Re: Empty Suit Presidency

Postby morriswalters » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:30 pm UTC

Where does this despair come from? To the point that you would consider warfare as an option?
The US, at least has had troops sitting on the DMZ, since before my birth. If the threat was purely non nuclear force, than troops could hold the line. Or so the myth went. Ballistic missile technology makes that force on the DMZ moot. If Seoul would be the first to fall, ballistic missile technology makes Los Angeles a good secondary target. This mindset is why the US spends so much on defense. If you own a hammer sooner or later you need to create a reason to own it. And it plays out pretty much as you see here, dread over something we are trained to have. Irrespective of the actual risk. Orwell wrote of this in 1984.

However the risk is non trivial. North Korea with China's aid fought the UN to a standstill in the 50's. Had MacArthur had his way he might have nuked the North Koreans then. This was the root cause of MacArthur's dismissal. With China at it's back the UN couldn't win and so, we were left with the stalemate we see today. When people accused Trump of being a fascist, they failed to see that his model is closer to North Korea's, than Hitler's. Hitler's message was tightly controlled unlike either the Empty Suit or his pseudo clone in North Korea.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:02 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
cphite wrote:Yeah... I find that one pretty hard to believe. Best case scenario, China is flooded with millions of starving refugees; worst case, they're flooded with millions of starving refugees while also dealing with the fallout from the US nuclear response.

I've always found the idea that China, with a population of 1.3 billion, would struggle to cope with an absolute maximum 25 million refugees (less than 2% of China's population) a bit odd. And it would probably be far fewer than that going into China. I mean, it would be quite a headache, but it seems weird if that's their biggest concern about the situation given nuclear weapons are involved.


Hence the term "best case scenario" - they're obviously far more worried about the use of nukes than they are about refugees. They also need to worry about the economic impact of a war in the region; a lot of trade would be stopped. The point is, the idea that China is actually hoping for a nuclear exchange (or any major conflict) involving North Korea is rather silly.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:22 pm UTC

KittenKaboodle wrote:
cphiteIn wrote: order for a military strike to be successful, it would have to be absolutely staggering. We'd need to deal massive damage, very quickly, all along the border to take out their artillery; while at the same time hitting several very well fortified missile sites all simultaneously. And the thing is... actually getting what we'd need into the region in order to even have a chance of doing all of that, without it being noticed well in advance, is practically impossible.


Really? I assume the US already has positioned suitable assets (not being noticed is the whole point). Which is why I don't understand NK's obsession with nukes and ICBMs. While unloading an Ohio class submarine on any country would be frowned on by most of the world, NK seems to be going out of their way to make it somewhat more palatable.


If the only concern is defeating North Korea, then yeah - the US has more than enough assets in the region. The issue is that defeating North Korea is not enough - we'd also want to prevent North Korea from utterly destroying Seoul, launching chemical weapons at Tokyo, and so forth. The only way to accomplish that would be a massive attack that eliminated as much of their capabilities as possible right at the outset. That means heavy bombers and ships; which are unfortunately rather difficult to sneak into a region. We do have stealth bombers that can originate from very far away, but only about nine of those are flight-ready at any given time.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:13 pm UTC

Have to be careful when making comparisons between how we fought the gulf war vs how we will fight north korea. North Korea may have a large standing army, but they don't have the vehicles, etc. to support such a large army. Iraq had very strong armored divisions with a lot of tanks and support vehicles. 100% of the rubber North Korea has is completely imported (even with the UN imposed sanctions they still somehow attain it). North Korea might have numbers, but their ability to sustain a long term conflict is probably not that great. Especially if we do a good job in shutting down their supply lines (which shouldn't be a major issue since we will undoubtedly have air superiority). As far as I'm concerned they're relying on the "we'll destroy Seoul if you attack us" more than they are relying on the strength of their military as a whole.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:06 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:Have to be careful when making comparisons between how we fought the gulf war vs how we will fight north korea. North Korea may have a large standing army, but they don't have the vehicles, etc. to support such a large army. Iraq had very strong armored divisions with a lot of tanks and support vehicles. 100% of the rubber North Korea has is completely imported (even with the UN imposed sanctions they still somehow attain it). North Korea might have numbers, but their ability to sustain a long term conflict is probably not that great. Especially if we do a good job in shutting down their supply lines (which shouldn't be a major issue since we will undoubtedly have air superiority). As far as I'm concerned they're relying on the "we'll destroy Seoul if you attack us" more than they are relying on the strength of their military as a whole.


Correct. Their primary defensive strategy is that if we attack them, they'll kill a whole lot of civilians. It's effective because we like civilians and prefer to keep them alive, whereas they couldn't give less of a fuck about civilians, including their own. Nobody is really worried that North Korea is capable of winning any sort of long conflict, or even that they're capable of retaking South Korea - they haven't a chance of doing either.

The problem is the almost ridiculous amount of artillery they have pointed at Seoul, and the large batteries of missiles that can reach deeper into South Korea, and even into Japan. Many of those missiles (and some of the artillery) are carrying chemical weapons; and they have more than enough of them to overwhelm the anti-missile batteries of either country.


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