Trump Threatens To “Totally Destroy”…”Rocket Man”
In a speech more suited to a professional wrestling warmup than an august gathering of nations, Trump didn’t behave, and didn’t pull his punches: immediately zeroing in on North Korea with a complete disregard of decorum and tact. (There are some people who like this approach, for instance Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, who Tweeted out a “rave review”).
Please watch this if you haven’t seen it already. Because we think this is what the President thinks is “Presidential”. Because while some pundits are still trying to explain away this behavior and rhetoric, calling it “Campaign Trump“, we believe he’s proven this is his true face, and his real voice:
The rest of the speech slammed Iran and Venezuela and maintained a dismally pessimistic world view. “Major portions of the world…are going to hell“, Trump said at one point.
A couple of interesting things we noted:
• North Korea’s U.N. Representatives (who had assigned seats in the front row for some reason) boycotted it.
• Although Trump appeared to be reading from TelePrompter, Secretary of State Tillerson and U.N. Ambassador Haley still appeared visibly uncomfortable (not to mention the person sitting behind Tillerson).
• And of course, there’s the instantly-famous AP photo of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly:
• Up until now, U.S. officials have repeatedly insisted their goal in North Korea is not regime change. Not anymore apparently.
• And while the Trump Administration has officially, loudly and often taken a position that it’s not that interested in human rights or how another sovereign country runs itself, Trump took pains to detail human rights abuses against North Korea’s own people, and vile actions it’s taken against its neighbors in the region, in addition to U.S. college student Otto Warmbier, who in June returned from a period of imprisonment in North Korea in a coma, and died shortly after.
• One interpretation of Trump’s U.N. speech, by the Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies: “It looks like we will respect the sovereignty of countries we like, whether they are dictatorships or democracies, but we will not respect the sovereignty of countries we don’t like.”
Now What Would You Guess North Korea’s Reaction Will Be?
• We believe as the direct result of Trump’s UN General Assembly speech, the next missile will almost certainly be shot in the direction of the U.S. territory of Guam.
• And that will almost certainly lead to military action of some kind.
• It could be as “simple” as intercepting and shooting down a North Korean missile. But then who knows how Kim would react to that?
• It almost seems Trump is trying to goad Kim into killing some people, so Trump can say the blood is off his hands when he brings on the “fire and fury”.
• Remember what Senator Lindsey Graham said Trump told him? “If thousands die, they’re going to die over there.”
• Better get used to this approach. We may soon see it all over again with Iran.
Republicans In Congress Working Hard To Make It Look Like Bipartisan Health Care Option Is Dead. “Not So” Says Lead Democrat. Will It Matter?
Remember yesterday we said the “best bet” for derailing the heinous Graham/Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill Republicans are trying to shove through, was an attractive bipartisan effort being diligently assembled in the Senate HELP Committee? Well, Republican leadership and the White House are now doing their best to forcefully convince people that’s kaput. Specifically, they’re telling rank-and-file Republicans they now oppose any bipartisan plan, and will make sure such a plan cannot pass. Axios reports Senate leadership is preparing for a vote on Graham/Cassidy one week from today.
Even the Senator who launched the bipartisan effort: Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander, is hewing to the party line, telling the Tennessean: “I would like to vote for Graham-Cassidy because I like block grants and it appears to be good for Tennessee.” Democrat Patty Murray, who’s been working with him, said a lot of progress has been made and she’s “confident that we can reach a deal if we keep working together.” We hope and pray they’ll have that opportunity.
Late Night Talk Show Host Jimmy Kimmel Finds Himself Very Much At The Center Of The Republican’s “Buzzer Beater” Bill
That’s because not too long ago the bill’s co-author, Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, appeared on Kimmel’s show. And Cassidy coined a phrase: “The Jimmy Kimmel Test” saying any legislation would have to cover medical crises like those suffered by Kimmel’s newborn son, or it wouldn’t get his support. Problem? The bill he now co-wrote, doesn’t. A visibly boiling Kimmel called Cassidy out on that last night on his show, saying the Senator “lied to my face”. You can watch the entire clip here. We also cued it up for you below, to what we feel is the most pertinent moment (click on the photo to play):
While Democrats Will Not Be Directly To Blame If Graham/Cassidy Passes, They Sure As Hell Helped Set The Table
A lot of people reading this may not like what we are about to say. And while we can state with near certainty that not a single Democrat will vote for the last-ditch Republican bill, Democrats absolutely played a role in opening a window for it, and helping it gain momentum.
• The Who’s Who of 2020 Presidential hopefuls jumping on Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” bandwagon came across as boastful, disingenuous, and irritating. In fact, one amendment Louisiana’s other Senator is proposing would ban states from using federal government money to set up their own single-payer systems. We think this could gain a lot of traction now.
• Much more crucially, had Democratic leadership not had a moment of harmony with Trump on the debt ceiling, Republicans would almost certainly still be arguing about it today, and would’ve had no time to do health care. The only reason this window opened was due to the Trump/Pelosi/Schumer quick and dirty deal. Something Republicans in the same position never would’ve done. The only valid question: could this outcome have been predicted? Yes. In fact, did we predict it? Yes. On September 8th, 2nd story down.