April 19, 2017

Wondering on Wednesday (v86)

Are you enjoying your spring break? You do have a spring break, right? I confess, I took a mini-break from the blog for a week, but now I'm back and wondering, this Wednesday, about all sorts of stuff.

For example, should I wonder which country we're going to bomb next? I mean, three countries in not quite three months in office -- we're off to quite a start, no? Seriously - I'm just kidding. I do wonder though, how many of those Mother of All Bombs things we have in our arsenal. We dropped that one on those Afghani ISIS tunnels last week, but I thought America dropped that particular bomb on November 8th?

Last week the president said in an interview that we were sending an 'armada' to the Korean peninsula as a show of strength against North Korea, to show them that we're not messing around as they continue to test missiles in the hopes of having one capable of reaching our West Coast. In an interview with Maria Bartiromo on the Trump News Network, we heard this:
We are sending an armada. Very powerful. We have submarines. Very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you.
The thing is, we're just now sending the armada  however many days later. Because at the time we heard the powerful...very powerful message, the armada was in fact heading away from the Korean peninsula. That might have sent a very powerful message that (a) he doesn't know where his armada is, or (b) his people don't know what he's saying, or (c) it could be a very sneaky way of continuing his approach to not telegraph his plans. Either way, like the dropping of the 20,000,000,000,000 pound bomb on the ISIS tunnel network in Afghanistan, keeping people guessing can actually be considered a foreign policy - as long as someone knows the plan. Someone does know the plan, right? I don't need to know who, I just don't want do wonder if there is someone orchestrating all of this.

Speaking of keeping them guessing, we will have to wonder no more about the fate of Bill O'Reilly, the host of The O'Reilly Factor on Trump News. It seems that the network, after having gone through the embarrassing 'Ailes Factor' last year, had little tolerance for O'Reilly's peccadilloes once it came to light that five women had been paid some $13M to settle complaints of sexual harassment. O'Reilly was let go today.

Probably to no one's surprise, given his history, Donald Trump came to the defense of Ailes last year, noting shortly after Ailes left the network
It's very sad because he's a very good person. I've always found him to be just a very, very good person. And by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he's done. So I feel very badly. I think it's so sad. He's such a great guy. Roger is - I mean, what he's done on television, is in the history of television, he's gotta be placed in the top three, or four or five. And that includes the founding of the major networks. So, it's too bad. I'm sure it was friendly. 
And, again to no one's surprise, he was in O'Reilly's corner as well.
I think he shouldn't have settled; personally, I think he shouldn't have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don't think Bill did anything wrong. I think he's a person I know well -- he is a good person.
Perhaps there's no reason to wonder any more whether the old "it takes one to know one" adage applies to creepy white guys.

One thing I do wonder about is the race to replace now-HHS Secretary Tom Price, who represented Georgia's 6th district before being tapped to help dismantle the Affordable Care Act in the Trump administration. Yesterday's special election featured 18 candidates: two Independents, five Dems, and a boatload of Republicans. The main Dem, Jon Ossoff, won 48.1% of the vote; because he didn't get at least 50%, he'll face Republican Karen Handel, the distant second-place finisher (19.8%) in a knock-out round in June.  So why do I wonder about this one?

Well, let's see. For starters, Ossoff doesn't even live in the district, he lives down the road with his girlfriend who's in med school at Emory University. And, while he raised more than $8M for the race, the vast majority of that money also doesn't live in the district. In fact, according to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity,
When the candidates' own campaign money is excluded, the Georgia 6th special election has attracted about one Georgia penny for every $10 in national cash.
I don't know about you, but I wonder where Ossoff's loyalty would fall, should push come to shove: with the constituents of the district, or his moneybags? Do we need campaign finance reform, or what?

CNN photo
And finally, I wonder, what the heck is up with Reince Priebus?

Are things so bad at the White House that he's pretending to be a Secret Service agent travelling with Mike Pence over there in South Korea?

I really wonder about this one.