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8 hours ago, Mark K said:

Hate to say it but Trump has a point* with Jans Stoltenberg, NATO's titular manager. If the Euro's are going to make themselves dependent on Russian oil and gas the whole notion of there being a clear and present danger is at least semi-bullshit. I'd be fine with pulling nearly all US military money out of basing in the EU. 

 That said alienating the EU in general is a very dangerous game. We, by our gross fiscal recklessness, NEED foreigners to buy our debt. We NEED to maintain the US/Saud petro dollar as the world's currency, effectively making us the world's banker. 

 

 

 *Notwithstanding Trump's exaggeration of the percentage of oil the Germans import from there, and of course Trump's diplomacy being on a par with a log cabin constructed by a cub scout with a dull hatchet. 

 

Of course he's right. For decades our NATO partners, with few exceptions, have been content to let the American taxpayers shelter them. The unfair asymmetry of America's international relationships in defense spending and in trade produced the discontent that Trump tapped into and rode to the Whitehouse. The nations that took advantage now take offense but Trump in no small measure represents their own chickens coming home to roost.

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The Pride of the GOP finally pressured NATO allies to up their commitment.  Whew.  Now he can get to work on pressuring them to end WWII.  It has gone on far too long.  

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29 minutes ago, Dog said:

Of course he's right. For decades our NATO partners, with few exceptions, have been content to let the American taxpayers shelter them.

Hahahaha

Complete fucking bullshit.  So you think that the Russians are going to get in their tanks and role through Europe like it was 1945?  Are you totally fucking insane?

Maybe you need to understand just how many nukes the UK, and France have.  Just like it works for NK, Europe has it's own deterrent.  The Russians need someone to sell oil and gas to.  That's why Trump is so good for Russia, the only countries that buy Russian energy are those really pissed off by the USA.  That's Europe.  Who would have thought that the US would fuckup so much that the Germans would rather give their money to the Russians!!!!!

American taxpayers have nothing to do with it.  All their taxes go to paying interest, all of it.  The money for the military comes from new debt.

Edit: and even better, Putin has Trump dismantling NATO!!  YCMTSU.

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1 hour ago, Bus Driver said:

Of course he signed it. Now, he’ll say that was his intention - just to shake things up a bit and then reaffirm the uS commitment to NATO. 

And, the Faithful will swallow it whole. 

just like last year

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8 hours ago, Mid said:

Fact is America needs Oz more than Oz needs America .:P

 

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading (DFAT), the United States is Australia’s second-largest two-way trading partner in goods and services, worth $70.2 billion, as of 2015.

Nonetheless, Australia imports more than double the amount from the U.S. and is 15th on the list of U.S. principle export destinations.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/millystilinovic/2017/02/04/how-much-does-australia-really-need-america-anyway/#3f0aa3d248c1

We are YOUR 2nd largest.  You are not OUR 2nd largest or our third or tenth or even in the top 25. By way of comparison Vietnam is 9 places higher than Oz.

You are not even the loose change in our national couch. 

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6 minutes ago, random said:

Hahahaha

Complete fucking bullshit.  So you think that the Russians are going to get in their tanks and role through Europe like it was 1945?  Are you totally fucking insane?

Maybe you need to understand just how many nukes the UK, and France have.  Just like it works for NK, Europe has it's own deterrent.  The Russians need someone to sell oil and gas to.  That's why Trump is so good for Russia, the only countries that buy Russian energy are those really pissed off by the USA.  That's Europe.  Who would have thought that the US would fuckup so much that the Germans would rather give their money to the Russians!!!!!

American taxpayers have nothing to do with it.  All their taxes go to paying interest, all of it.  The money for the military comes from new debt.

Edit: and even better, Putin has Trump dismantling NATO!!  YCMTSU.

They annexed Crimea like a knife through butter, didn't they?  Wait.  We're supposed to be making excuses for that now.  Never mind.  

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2 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Careful Mark, saying even something slightly complimentary of trump or actually even something that is not overtly critical will immediately get you labeled a far righty trump dick sucker.  

Wuss

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42 minutes ago, BrickTopHarry said:

No one's forcing NATO countries to increase their defense spending.  It's not a serious demand.  It's just a talking point and excuse to fracture the alliance.  From that point of view it, and lots of things that Trump is doing including with trade, makes perfect sense.

If the U.S. doesn't think NATO is doing anything good or important and doesn't think member nations are spending enough it could always simply decrease its own defense spending.  It's not "owed" increase spending by other member nations.

Then they should have the balls to say they won't.

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37 minutes ago, Dog said:

Of course he's right. For decades our NATO partners, with few exceptions, have been content to let the American taxpayers shelter them. The unfair asymmetry of America's international relationships in defense spending and in trade produced the discontent that Trump tapped into and rode to the Whitehouse. The nations that took advantage now take offense but Trump in no small measure represents their own chickens coming home to roost.

The loony lefties that want all the same socialist  babysitting as those progressive Europeans might consider that we are helping finance those socialist utopias with out defense dollars. 

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Anybody watch Trump’s press conference this morning? Another fact free performance. 

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Posted without comment

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/12/politics/trump-nato-summit-2018/index.html

Brussels (CNN)President Donald Trump said Thursday in an unscheduled news conference that all NATO members have agreed to increase their defense spending after he told them he was "extremely unhappy."

"Everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment. They're going to up it at levels that they never thought of before," Trump said.
"I told people that I'd be very unhappy if they didn't up their financial commitments substantially," Trump said when asked if he threatened to pull out of the alliance. "I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening, and they have now substantially upped their commitment."

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5 minutes ago, Sol Rosenberg said:

They annexed Crimea like a knife through butter, didn't they?  Wait.  We're supposed to be making excuses for that now.  Never mind.  

So who is going the nuke them for protecting their only warm water navel port?   No one.

Different if they try Poland or Germany.

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So..after making a boorish fool of himself yesterday, today he comes up with.

."I told them I was unhappy..so they all agreed to go to 2%....within a short few years."

"I fixed it."

You know..On reflection, diplomats and politicians deserve every penny they get for their great self control...I'd be wanting to push his stupid fat orange head through a window.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-12/donald-trump-says-nato-allies-agree-to-increase-defence-spending/9987810

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4 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

So..after making a boorish fool of himself yesterday, today he comes up with.

."I told them I was unhappy..so they all agreed to go to 2%....within a short few years."

"I fixed it."

You know..On reflection, diplomats and politicians deserve every penny they get for their great self control...I'd be wanting to push his stupid fat orange head through a window.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-12/donald-trump-says-nato-allies-agree-to-increase-defence-spending/9987810

I kinda figure they are both liars.  NATO has been making the 2% noises for the last 18 years.

 

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2 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

Of course he signed it. Now, he’ll say that was his intention - just to shake things up a bit and then reaffirm the uS commitment to NATO. 

And, the Faithful will swallow it whole. 

Given his past comments and behavior?  I actually think that this is the case.  He seems to think that as long as the "deal is signed" - anything said or done prior to that is just "negotiation". 

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A little food for thought from http://euanmearns.com/primary-energy-in-the-european-union-and-usa-compared/

euusapercent.png

On the surface and in the media it may seem that the EU and USA have similar energy policies designed to reduce CO2 emissions, pandering to several climate treaties. But in reality the approaches have been very different. The USA has pursued the mantra of drill baby drill and the shale oil and gas miracle has almost delivered energy independence. This is in large part down to the structure of mineral rights in the USA where on non-federal lands, landowners also own the mineral rights and are therefore motivated to exploit them. Most European governments have dithered, contemplating the closure of nuclear whilst being at best lukewarm on fracking. Meanwhile, the North Sea will resume its decline in a couple of years and coal appears to be well and truly out of favour. European governments, directed by Brussels, seem content to believe that wind and solar will do the trick and are prepared to simply become increasingly reliant on imported energy.

With the USA close to energy independence, it will be interesting to see how this impacts foreign and defence policy. A Google search throws up a number of articles on this topic but none I have found are up to date or are very informative. In particular most, written a few years ago, talk of US energy independence in 2030. On current trend this will happen much sooner, by the early 2020s. I will speculate that energy independence in the USA will make that country much less likely to get involved in conflict in areas like the Middle East and North Africa. We have already had a taste of this with blowing Libya into oblivion left to the UK and France. It seems likely that the USA will expect Europe to play and pay for an increasingly large part of defending its energy supplies.

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This morning, I listened to the NPR broadcast of Pres Trump's press conference in Blegium.  Most of his speech was an arrogant, self-serving, pontificating pile of crap.  There was one thing he said that struck me as honest, and that's when he was asked about the "negotiation strategy" of attacking Germany, and whether or not Pres Trump thought that that strategy was effective.  His response mixed in w/a jumble of unrelated noise was that he did consider it an effective strategy.   He honestly seems to think he can say or do whatever he wants, and as long as "the deal is signed", that it's OK.   If there was one characteristic that I'd point out as making his attitude most unfit for the Presidency - this would be it.  The President of any country needs to understand that their words matter, all the time, every time, and to thus be appropriately careful with their comments. 

 

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1 minute ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

This morning, I listened to the NPR broadcast of Pres Trump's press conference in Blegium.  Most of his speech was an arrogant, self-serving, pontificating pile of crap.  There was one thing he said that struck me as honest, and that's when he was asked about the "negotiation strategy" of attacking Germany, and whether or not Pres Trump thought that that strategy was effective.  His response mixed in w/a jumble of unrelated noise was that he did consider it an effective strategy.   He honestly seems to think he can say or do whatever he wants, and as long as "the deal is signed", that it's OK.   If there was one characteristic that I'd point out as making his attitude most unfit for the Presidency - this would be it.  The President of any country needs to understand that their words matter, all the time, every time, and to thus be appropriately careful with their comments. 

 

I've said for some time that he's a loud mouthed NY asshole.

But, once a deal is signed you have created a framework for measuring compliance.  What happens when someone is non-compliant is another story.

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Saorse is great again with statistics, lies damn lies :)
Please find a graphic which take into account the import from Norway to the EU.
Would adjust the graph with 30 %.

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36 minutes ago, Saorsa said:

I've said for some time that he's a loud mouthed NY asshole.

But, once a deal is signed you have created a framework for measuring compliance.  What happens when someone is non-compliant is another story.

Can't wait for him to hold the Queens hand and address her as Liz.

 

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19 hours ago, Dog said:

Where did you get that? My understanding is that he wants all NATO nations to come up to the 2% they agreed on. 

The agreement is to spend 2% by 2024.  Most countries have been increasing their spending, and the target is likely to be reached by 2024, 6 years from now.  

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40 minutes ago, Saorsa said:

What happens when someone is non-compliant is another story.

which is the whole fucking thing you and Trump were bitching about - nothing happens when NATO members don't meet the 2% spending guideline. what changed with this deal? what's different?

or was Trump just being an attention whore to be an attention whore? and you following along because that's what lackeys do.

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55 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

This morning, I listened to the NPR broadcast of Pres Trump's press conference in Blegium.  Most of his speech was an arrogant, self-serving, pontificating pile of crap.  There was one thing he said that struck me as honest, and that's when he was asked about the "negotiation strategy" of attacking Germany, and whether or not Pres Trump thought that that strategy was effective.  His response mixed in w/a jumble of unrelated noise was that he did consider it an effective strategy.   He honestly seems to think he can say or do whatever he wants, and as long as "the deal is signed", that it's OK.   If there was one characteristic that I'd point out as making his attitude most unfit for the Presidency - this would be it.  The President of any country needs to understand that their words matter, all the time, every time, and to thus be appropriately careful with their comments. 

 

Yep

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50 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

 He honestly seems to think he can say or do whatever he wants, and as long as "the deal is signed", that it's OK.   If there was one characteristic that I'd point out as making his attitude most unfit for the Presidency - this would be it.  The President of any country needs to understand that their words matter, all the time, every time, and to thus be appropriately careful with their comments. 

He can say whatever he wants. To make a deal, to troll the media, to stoke his fragile ego. Everyone around him - especially the rightwing media machine - will turn on a dime and defend him. Come up with all sorts of bullshit reasons to enable him. He knows it.

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OK everyone, put your TDS away for a moment if you can.  Yeah, he's an arrogant douchebag and blah blah blah.  We get it....  We all can't stand him.

But the fact of the matter is that NATO member anemic spending on defense has been a sore spot with the US for some time.  Several preznits before Il Cheetolini had admonished Europe for being free riders wrt to defense.  The push for meeting a 2% of GDP goal was not trumpo's idea.  He's just now attempting to actually enforce it.  Clumsily, but he has a point and its not his idea.  And it seems like its beginning to work.  A lot of the NATO countries are now moving towards meeting the 2024 goal, some more than others.  Germany probably the slowest of despite their having the most robust economy that could absorb that spending.  So singling out GER for criticism isn't unwarranted.

In addition, it has also been a sore spot with the US that access into the EU market has been difficult and not even across the board compared to the EU's access to the US market.  That coupled with the above free-riding on military spending allowing Nato member countries to spend more on their economy and therefore gain an even larger trade imbalance all points to an unequal and unfair partnership with NATO and the EU.  

ALL of these gripes existed before trump.  This is not a new thing.  But until now, our leaders have been content to plead and cojole NATO and EU to pull their weight and play fair.  And it has pretty much fallen on deaf ears until now because they (NATO and EU) knew it was mostly idle threats.  

I wish to fuck he would show a bit of class and show some diplomacy and tact one of these days.  But the message itself is not wrong even if the messenger is a cunt.

 

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13 minutes ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

He can say whatever he wants. To make a deal, to troll the media, to stoke his fragile ego. Everyone around him - especially the rightwing media machine - will turn on a dime and defend him. Come up with all sorts of bullshit reasons to enable him. He knows it.

Maybe you should tell the rest of the mainstream media to stop covering him then.  They are doing more to enable him than any right wing media machine could ever hope to.  Until they wake up to that and stop whoring themselves for only ratings, there will never be any room for moderate messages to counter the cheeto jesus.

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3 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I wish to fuck he would show a bit of class and show some diplomacy and tact one of these days.  But the message itself is not wrong even if the messenger is a cunt.

I wish he'd be an effective advocate for the US instead of a grand-standing fuckup.

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1 minute ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Maybe you should tell the rest of the mainstream media to stop covering him then.  They are doing more to enable him than any right wing media machine

1) If you stop paying attention to all the stupid shit he says & does he's not going to go away Jeff. He's the President of the US, everything he says and does matters. To think otherwise is the definition of TDS - Trump Denial Syndrome

2) Foxnews is the fucking mainstream media, moron.

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Just now, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:
5 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I wish to fuck he would show a bit of class and show some diplomacy and tact one of these days.  But the message itself is not wrong even if the messenger is a cunt.

I wish he'd be an effective advocate for the US instead of a grand-standing fuckup.

Well yeah, that too.

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"Maybe you should tell the rest of the mainstream media to stop covering him then."

Are you really suggesting that the media not report on the statements of a sitting President, particularly since he tends to act upon them?

I would think that media silence would tend to encourage this president's excesses.

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1 minute ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:
2 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Maybe you should tell the rest of the mainstream media to stop covering him then.  They are doing more to enable him than any right wing media machine

Foxnews is the fucking mainstream media, moron.

One of how many?  Every single other MSM organization is ALL Trump, ALL the time too.   Trump is laughing, because he's trolling them and they are obliging him by giving him a megaphone 24/7.  Everytime he scratches his ass, CNN and MSNBC and Huffpo and the NYTs are all over it like flies on a fresh pile of cow shit.  

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4 minutes ago, learningJ24 said:

"Maybe you should tell the rest of the mainstream media to stop covering him then."

Are you really suggesting that the media not report on the statements of a sitting President, particularly since he tends to act upon them?

I would think that media silence would tend to encourage this president's excesses.

Major Statements?  Sure.  But you know as well as I do that they hang breathlessly on his every move and tweet.

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5 minutes ago, learningJ24 said:

"Maybe you should tell the rest of the mainstream media to stop covering him then."

Are you really suggesting that the media not report on the statements of a sitting President, particularly since he tends to act upon them?

I would think that media silence would tend to encourage this president's excesses.

No..it's trumps raison d'etre. without the media Trump would prolly take to a tower with golden mirr...OK

Wishful thinking, jeffy;s not usually prone to flights of fantastical pink unicorns..

The media will follow Trump so we may as well enjoy the show.

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But aren't a President's moves and statements a reflection of and of importance to a voting public? Even GW recognized the importance of statements and appearances to the stature of the office but this president stumbles around like the drunken uncle at Thanksgiving. The Mueller investigation is important, as is Stormy, his tweets, campaign speeches, wife's callus fashion choice etc because in an increasingly imperial office the mood of the prince impacts affairs of state. 

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The only qualification to be president is 270 electoral votes. There is no education standard, experience requirement, temperament or even mental health benchmark.

 

 

 

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First beefing up NATO and now this....What's Trump got against Russia ?

"Russia's heinous 2014 invasion and annexation of Crimea continues to spur military responses in Free Europe.

This week, Finland's and Sweden's defense ministers signed a defense agreement covering operations in war time as well as peace time training and crisis preparation.

Since Moscow's Crimean caper, closer defense cooperation to the point of military alliance has been the trend in Europe's Nordic region.

In early May, Finland and Sweden signed a non-binding trilateral agreement with the U.S. The three agreed to increase security coordination, to conduct more joint military exercises and to coordinate "strategic communications" among the countries. Finland agreed to host a major exercise in 2021for Finnish, Swedish and American forces. Was that designed to get Russia's attention? Absolutely".

http://strategypage.com/on_point/20180711222214.aspx

 

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54 minutes ago, RKoch said:

The agreement is to spend 2% by 2024.  Most countries have been increasing their spending, and the target is likely to be reached by 2024, 6 years from now.  

The 2024 is recent and an excuse not to honor the goal since 2006.  It's pure can kicking.

 

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3 minutes ago, Saorsa said:

The 2024 is recent and an excuse not to honor the goal since 2006.  It's pure can kicking.

 

Are you sure? 2014 isn't really recent.

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10 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

But the fact of the matter is that NATO member anemic spending on defense has been a sore spot with the US for some time

There certainly is a substantial delta between US and European defense spending. The question is wether the the Europeans are spending too little or the US is spending too much. Perhaps both are true  

Also, direct US military spending in Europe shouldn’t be conflated with total US military spending. There are so many ways to slice and dice the numbers, makes it hard to get a handle on the subject. Personally, I think the US spends way too much on the military. 

figure-3-us-direct-spending-on-european-

Above graphic from https://www.iiss.org/blogs/military-balance/2018/07/us-and-nato-allies-costs-and-value - good read. 

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1 hour ago, LeoV said:

Saorse is great again with statistics, lies damn lies :)
Please find a graphic which take into account the import from Norway to the EU.
Would adjust the graph with 30 %.

Here ya go.  Looks like it takes 30 down to 28.9 for 2014.

EU-oil-importers.gif

For 2016 with Rosneft, Lukoil and Gazprom it pops up to well over 30%

WhoSuppliesEuropesOil_ENG.png

Norway does a bit better on Natural Gas.

chart21.png

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10 minutes ago, Sean said:

There certainly is a substantial delta between US and European defense spending. The question is wether the the Europeans are spending too little or the US is spending too much. Perhaps both are true  

Also, direct US military spending in Europe shouldn’t be conflated with total US military spending. There are so many ways to slice and dice the numbers, makes it hard to get a handle on the subject. Personally, I think the US spends way too much on the military. 

figure-3-us-direct-spending-on-european-

Above graphic from https://www.iiss.org/blogs/military-balance/2018/07/us-and-nato-allies-costs-and-value - good read. 

Utter Bull Shit. Estimating the cost is all but impossible. If we only needed the forces to defend against an invasion of the US. Our force structure and deployments would be very different. Our commitment and costs are not just the troops and equipment stationed in Europe it includes the maintenance of the Forces we would bring to bare against an invader of Europe. 

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43 minutes ago, Nailing Malarkey Too said:

The only qualification to be president is 270 electoral votes. There is no education standard, experience requirement, temperament or even mental health benchmark.

 

 

 

Painfully fokin obvious .

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1 hour ago, Shootist Jeff said:

One of how many?  Every single other MSM organization is ALL Trump, ALL the time too.   Trump is laughing, because he's trolling them and they are obliging him by giving him a megaphone 24/7.  Everytime he scratches his ass, CNN and MSNBC and Huffpo and the NYTs are all over it like flies on a fresh pile of cow shit.  

Trump & company leak to the "failing new york times" every day then turn around and scream "fake news" to rile up the MAGA morons. It's a bit like this:

https://www.thewrap.com/jim-acosta-poses-for-selfies-with-cnn-protesters-moments-after-they-boo-him/

because Trump needs the affirmation of the media and the attention.

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1 hour ago, Sean said:

There certainly is a substantial delta between US and European defense spending. The question is wether the the Europeans are spending too little or the US is spending too much. Perhaps both are true  

Also, direct US military spending in Europe shouldn’t be conflated with total US military spending. There are so many ways to slice and dice the numbers, makes it hard to get a handle on the subject. Personally, I think the US spends way too much on the military. 

figure-3-us-direct-spending-on-european-

Above graphic from https://www.iiss.org/blogs/military-balance/2018/07/us-and-nato-allies-costs-and-value - good read. 

Facts have a well known liberal bias.  

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2 hours ago, Nailing Malarkey Too said:

The only qualification to be president is 270 electoral votes. There is no education standard, experience requirement, temperament or even mental health benchmark.

You Lie!  At least, by the standard you use to label things "lies".

If that were the case, President Trump would not have gotten any traction on that "Birther" bullshit he peddled to effectively to the easily duped.

If your statement were true, even you could be President.  

If you knew of the US Constitution, specifically Article II, Section 1, Clause 5, you wouldn't say something that easily shown to be incorrect.

Linky

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

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On 7/11/2018 at 11:05 AM, Saorsa said:

You're dumber than shit.

And who would know better than you?

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10 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Sol, I understand the thought, and its not without merit, given the recent meddling by the rooskies.  The thing that occurs to me though is if Putin is pulling the strings to sow NATO discord, why would he do it by trying to force NATO countries to INCREASE their defense spending???  That seems counter-intuitive to wanting a weakened NATO.  

I've said before that trump is handling this in the worst possible and clumsiest way - but he's not wrong about the issue of NATO countries free-riding on the US and their economies benefiting - all the while having unfair trade barriers into the EU for US goods.  

A good reason for accelerating military spend, by possibly all NATO members to 2% or the 4% proposed will put a lot of strain on the economies of those countries. 

This will reduce other services such as health care, social care and education etc, That sows social unrest internally and distracts. The London riots and others in europe are a good example of this. This costs more money for the damage caused and the police costs etc.   More strain on the economy....... and more distractions. I’m sure you know about this as a tactic  

oh yes, where would we all buy a shit load of munitions from in hurry to fulfill our spend quota.??;)

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3 hours ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

Trump & company leak to the "failing new york times" every day then turn around and scream "fake news" to rile up the MAGA morons. It's a bit like this:

https://www.thewrap.com/jim-acosta-poses-for-selfies-with-cnn-protesters-moments-after-they-boo-him/

because Trump needs the affirmation of the media and the attention.

You prove my point. Moron. 

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7 minutes ago, mad said:

A good reason for accelerating military spend, by possibly all NATO members to 2% or the 4% proposed will put a lot of strain on the economies of those countries. 

This will reduce other services such as health care, social care and education etc, That sows social unrest internally and distracts. The London riots and others in europe are a good example of this. This costs more money for the damage caused and the police costs etc.   More strain on the economy....... and more distractions. I’m sure you know about this as a tactic  

oh yes, where would we all buy a shit load of munitions from in hurry to fulfill our spend quota.??;)

I don’t completely disagree. But having said that, it’s obvious that you agree that Europe have been free riders in NATO. 

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28 minutes ago, mad said:

A good reason for accelerating military spend, by possibly all NATO members to 2% or the 4% proposed will put a lot of strain on the economies of those countries. 

This will reduce other services such as health care, social care and education etc, That sows social unrest internally and distracts. The London riots and others in europe are a good example of this. This costs more money for the damage caused and the police costs etc.   More strain on the economy....... and more distractions. I’m sure you know about this as a tactic  

oh yes, where would we all buy a shit load of munitions from in hurry to fulfill our spend quota.??;)

Well, they actually have their own munitions and aircraft factories and they could perfectly well by from them.  In fact, some of the NATO standard weapons are of European manufacture and the US buys them for our own use.

The 2% issue is NOT to spend that much on their NATO commitment but on their own defense establishment to ensure that they can act in their own self defense and that of Europe as a whole if necessary.

Which raises the question, who is NATO defending Europe from?  Are US troops still needed there?  Clearly Europe is getting closer to Russia in economic terms due to their inability to meet their own energy demands.  It would be hard to execute a war if the enemy can shut off your fuel supply without notice.

 

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37 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I don’t completely disagree. But having said that, it’s obvious that you agree that Europe have been free riders in NATO. 

I’m more of the mind that they can’t all afford it, or have decided that the money is better spent internally. The stomach for going to war is wearing thin. Especially wars that seem to make no difference, have no end and especially when it comes to regime change as an excuse. 

If the US pull out what happens to all the US bases? The US could have a significantly smaller footprint from which to have forces based in to launch some operations. Is this a preferred option? 

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3 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

You Lie!  At least, by the standard you use to label things "lies".

If that were the case, President Trump would not have gotten any traction on that "Birther" bullshit he peddled to effectively to the easily duped.

If your statement were true, even you could be President.  

If you knew of the US Constitution, specifically Article II, Section 1, Clause 5, you wouldn't say something that easily shown to be incorrect.

Linky

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

Hey Pea brain, How many Electoral Votes can a minor get? or a non Citizen. Oh Right, Zero

 

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7 minutes ago, Nailing Malarkey Too said:

Hey Pea brain, How many Electoral Votes can a minor get? or a non Citizen. Oh Right, Zero

 

Hey Dum dum, How many Nobels can an American Idiot get? Oh, right...zero.

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4 minutes ago, Nailing Malarkey Too said:

Hey Pea brain, How many Electoral Votes can a minor get? or a non Citizen. Oh Right, Zero

Hey, buddy. I was just illustrating the absurdity of how you zero in on a statement that is untrue, assign malice to the person behind it, and label it a lie. 

Your statement about “the only qualification” to be President is factually wrong. Perhaps incomplete is a better way to say it. But, we’re the roles reversed and I said something like that, we all know you’d chide me for it. 

Put on your big boy pants and laugh at yourself, once in a while. You might actually appear to be reasonable and sane. 

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1 hour ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I don’t completely disagree. But having said that, it’s obvious that you agree that Europe have been free riders in NATO. 

No, please let me see the check of billions of dollars being given from the US defence to EU defence.
EU biggest foe was Russia, we only have to outspend them.
BTW Eu was already spending more on militairy before Trump. It slumped after 2008 crises, who started in the US.

Anyway the US is freeloading on the Nato, just look at Nato actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, just to help our American friends. And this how you get talked about...
Trump is only interested in US voters, not in world politics. Hence is tweets and stage appearance.

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increasing military spending to 4% of GDP makes no difference to the efficiency of NATO if the member country  uses all its military clout policing its own angry people.

or trotting off on little frolics of its own (USA)

Can anyone say how much if it;s defence budget the USA spends on NATO related activities?

 

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19 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

This isn’t his “own” country. 

He’s adopted. 

Hey, now...

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6 hours ago, learningJ24 said:

But aren't a President's moves and statements a reflection of and of importance to a voting public? Even GW recognized the importance of statements and appearances to the stature of the office but this president stumbles around like the drunken uncle at Thanksgiving. The Mueller investigation is important, as is Stormy, his tweets, campaign speeches, wife's callus fashion choice etc because in an increasingly imperial office the mood of the prince impacts affairs of state. 

The fact that he's a moody, childish, incompetent, rude asshole... that's a feature, not a bug. 

His ascension to the presidency is basically a temper tantrum. 

He'd lose most of his support if he suddenly started behaving like an adult.. 

 

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36 minutes ago, Bus Driver said:

Hey, buddy. I was just illustrating the absurdity of how you zero in on a statement that is untrue, assign malice to the person behind it, and label it a lie. 

Your statement about “the only qualification” to be President is factually wrong. Perhaps incomplete is a better way to say it. But, we’re the roles reversed and I said something like that, we all know you’d chide me for it. 

Put on your big boy pants and laugh at yourself, once in a while. You might actually appear to be reasonable and sane. 

The only qualification to be president is 270 electoral votes. There is no education standard, experience requirement, temperament or even mental health benchmark.

That is a reasonably sane statement. Anyone that earns 270 electoral Votes  wins the presidency. 

 

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22 minutes ago, Nailing Malarkey Too said:

The only qualification to be president is 270 electoral votes. There is no education standard, experience requirement, temperament or even mental health benchmark.

That is a reasonably sane statement. Anyone that earns 270 electoral Votes  wins the presidency. 

Who knew you'd prefer we ignore your use of the word "only".  

Actually, we all did.

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12 minutes ago, Bus Driver said:
35 minutes ago, Nailing Malarkey Too said:

The only qualification to be president is 270 electoral votes. There is no education standard, experience requirement, temperament or even mental health benchmark.

That is a reasonably sane statement. Anyone that earns 270 electoral Votes  wins the presidency. 

Who knew you'd prefer we ignore your use of the word "only".  

 Actually, we all did.

The second sentence summed it up nicely as well, especially the last 2 points.

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13 minutes ago, d'ranger said:

I think we should award Malarkey a trophy for trying. 

il_570xN.1194614598_b8r8.jpg?version=0

More wood in that roll than a Ridgeline can carry. 

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2 hours ago, Nailing Malarkey Too said:

The only qualification to be president is 270 electoral votes. There is no education standard, experience requirement, temperament or even mental health benchmark.

That is a reasonably sane statement. Anyone that earns 270 electoral Votes  wins the presidency. 

 

 

image.jpeg

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16 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Careful Mark, saying even something slightly complimentary of trump or actually even something that is not overtly critical will immediately get you labeled a far righty trump dick sucker.  

   Stormy waters, for sure. 

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8 hours ago, RKoch said:

In my brief association with State that was the one guy everybody appeared to be in awe of. Every time I hear him weigh in on a topic these days understand why. A few years ago Darrell Issa started making disparaging comments about him to the press, but was afraid to do that with him whenever he had him in front of him. Issa may be a snake, but he's no fool. 

 I liked the way he cut right through the shit and got right to the nut of this here too. Clearest, most concise analysis of Trumpism to be found. 

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12 minutes ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

Jeff-ro doesn't get the difference between finding in Trump policys what you want to see and what you think you see

Jeff doesn't get a lot of things.  He acts thoughtful and objective, the operative word is act.  He's worse than Fakenews (BullGator), he just acts stupid.  

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7 hours ago, mad said:

I’m more of the mind that they can’t all afford it, or have decided that the money is better spent internally. The stomach for going to war is wearing thin. Especially wars that seem to make no difference, have no end and especially when it comes to regime change as an excuse. 

If the US pull out what happens to all the US bases? The US could have a significantly smaller footprint from which to have forces based in to launch some operations. Is this a preferred option? 

But we're continuing to come back to the notion that Europe is perfectly happy for the US to supply their defense heavy lifting so they can use that money for internal domestic stuff.  

And I don't think having a credible military has anything to do with having a stomach for war or not.  In fact, I think spending on the military should be a direct result of not having a stomach for war.  Because having a credible defense deterrent makes war less likely.  

The problem is, Europe wants their cake and the ability to eat it too.  They want cheap NatGas from Russia, but they also don't trust Putin and a resurgent Russia (rightfully so), so they like having Unca Sammy pay the tab and be the big older brother who keeps the bullies away.  You guys can't have it both ways.  

As for US bases..... I don't think anyone is talking about pulling US troops out of Europe completely.  But if either Europe doesn't think Russia is really a threat or they start pulling their own weight on the defense of Europe - then I think a significant number of US troops could go elsewhere without losing the capability to use some of our Euro bases as forward staging points into various spots around that part of the globe.  But we have a significant number of US troops in Europe that are specifically there for the NATO role.  Sure they can be dual-purposed should a shooting war break out somewhere else.  But ALL the European command (EUCOM) forces are there ostensibly for the defense of Europe and the NATO treaty obligations.

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7 hours ago, LeoV said:

No, please let me see the check of billions of dollars being given from the US defence to EU defence.
EU biggest foe was Russia, we only have to outspend them.
BTW Eu was already spending more on militairy before Trump. It slumped after 2008 crises, who started in the US.

Anyway the US is freeloading on the Nato, just look at Nato actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, just to help our American friends. And this how you get talked about...
Trump is only interested in US voters, not in world politics. Hence is tweets and stage appearance.

Really?  [sighing and shaking my head]

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5 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

They want cheap NatGas from Russia, but they also don't trust Putin and a resurgent Russia (rightfully so), so they like having Unca Sammy pay the tab and be the big older brother who keeps the bullies away.  You guys can't have it both ways.  

Funny, you are cheering on Trump, who disrupted meetings that would have focused on what exactly Nato's strategic purpose is. You can't have it both ways either Jeff-ro.

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1 hour ago, Cal20sailor said:

Jeff doesn't get a lot of things.  He acts thoughtful and objective, the operative word is act.  He's worse than Fakenews (BullGator), he just acts stupid.  

JDS

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13 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

OK everyone, put your TDS away for a moment if you can.  Yeah, he's an arrogant douchebag and blah blah blah.  We get it....  We all can't stand him.

But the fact of the matter is that NATO member anemic spending on defense has been a sore spot with the US for some time.  Several preznits before Il Cheetolini had admonished Europe for being free riders wrt to defense.  The push for meeting a 2% of GDP goal was not trumpo's idea.  He's just now attempting to actually enforce it.  Clumsily, but he has a point and its not his idea.  And it seems like its beginning to work.  A lot of the NATO countries are now moving towards meeting the 2024 goal, some more than others.  Germany probably the slowest of despite their having the most robust economy that could absorb that spending.  So singling out GER for criticism isn't unwarranted.

In addition, it has also been a sore spot with the US that access into the EU market has been difficult and not even across the board compared to the EU's access to the US market.  That coupled with the above free-riding on military spending allowing Nato member countries to spend more on their economy and therefore gain an even larger trade imbalance all points to an unequal and unfair partnership with NATO and the EU.  

ALL of these gripes existed before trump.  This is not a new thing.  But until now, our leaders have been content to plead and cojole NATO and EU to pull their weight and play fair.  And it has pretty much fallen on deaf ears until now because they (NATO and EU) knew it was mostly idle threats.  

I wish to fuck he would show a bit of class and show some diplomacy and tact one of these days.  But the message itself is not wrong even if the messenger is a cunt.

 

I see no one has bothered to address this.  I'm just curious if anyone can respond to the facts and issues I posit above without a massive case of TDS getting in the way.  Betcha can't do it.....  Just saying.

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1 minute ago, Mark K said:
1 hour ago, Cal20sailor said:

Jeff doesn't get a lot of things.  He acts thoughtful and objective, the operative word is act.  He's worse than Fakenews (BullGator), he just acts stupid.  

JDS

HA!  :lol:

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4 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

As for US bases..... I don't think anyone is talking about pulling US troops out of Europe completely.  But if either Europe doesn't think Russia is really a threat or they start pulling their own weight on the defense of Europe - then I think a significant number of US troops could go elsewhere without losing the capability to use some of our Euro bases as forward staging points into various spots around that part of the globe.  But we have a significant number of US troops in Europe that are specifically there for the NATO role.  Sure they can be dual-purposed should a shooting war break out somewhere else.  But ALL the European command (EUCOM) forces are there ostensibly for the defense of Europe and the NATO treaty obligations.

The wheels are in motion.  Trump's summer vacation experience at each base.  

In the world today, the buzzword is deployable.  We need nothing base-wise to keep Lichtenstein from getting too aggressive.  Ground wars are passe other than securing things after the fireworks.  Russia is to the world what the US was to the World Cup.  They are not a threat.  

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3 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I see no one has bothered to address this.  I'm just curious if anyone can respond to the facts and issues I posit above without a massive case of TDS getting in the way.  Betcha can't do it.....  Just saying.

How about enumerating your facts/issues and please rephrase with the thought that as you type, ice cold water is running down your neck (F-14 pilot to me but I assume it's a constant) 

 

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Europe should be able to hold off Russia on their own now. Russia has an economy roughly the size of Canada, and the greedy fucks just want to sell oil, for the most part. Ideologically speaking saving places like, say, today's Poland from totalitarian rule? It's the Poles you would need to kill first. The place has gone pretty much the way of Turkey. The far Right appears to be taking over a lot of places in the region and it's not because the Russians are causing it. 

 

 That new government in the Ukraine...what a bunch of cunts. I wouldn't piss on it if it was on fire, let alone fight for it. 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:
16 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I see no one has bothered to address this.  I'm just curious if anyone can respond to the facts and issues I posit above without a massive case of TDS getting in the way.  Betcha can't do it.....  Just saying.

How about enumerating your facts/issues and please rephrase with the thought that as you type, ice cold water is running down your neck (F-14 pilot to me but I assume it's a constant) 

 

Jesus, for someone who supposedly held high security clearances in the DOD, you are a moron.  My points were very obvious, and that you couldn't glean them from my very concise and direct post is not my problem.  You likely just stopped reading at:  "OK everyone, put your TDS away for a moment if you can. "   I see that you cannot get past your TDS nor have any wish to.

But since you asked nicely, I'll dumb it down just for you:

  1. NATO members have been free-riders 
  2. The EU has unfair and protectionist trade practices
  3. 1 and 2 above have been long standing sore-spots for the US and preceded the 2016 election.
  4. The cheeto jesus is finally just enforcing what previous POTI have asked for, but Europe ignored because we were too skeered to create waves
  5. The message is correct, even though the messenger is an arrogant, narcissistic cunt.

Happy now?  Do you need me to draw you some pictures?  Let me see if I can dig up my crayons.....

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Mark K said:

Europe should be able to hold off Russia on their own now. Russia has an economy roughly the size of Canada, and the greedy fucks just want to sell oil, for the most part. Ideologically speaking saving places like, say, today's Poland from totalitarian rule? It's the Poles you would need to kill first. The place has gone pretty much the way of Turkey. The far Right appears to be taking over a lot of places in the region and it's not because the Russians are causing it. 

Yep.

Maybe that's what's happened to Soak Ed.  Perhaps the Polish secret service finally cracked down on his obvious liberal rantings and are holding him incommunicado.  

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Just now, Shootist Jeff said:

Yep.

Maybe that's what's happened to Soak Ed.  Perhaps the Polish secret service finally cracked down on his obvious liberal rantings and are holding him incommunicado.  

If I were him I'd be quiet too. Just communicating on anything labeled "political anarchy" would be an extreme sport, and there's no scrubbing the record.  

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13 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

Jesus, for someone who supposedly held high security clearances in the DOD, you are a moron.  My points were very obvious, that would couldn't glean them from my very concise and direct post is not my problem.  You likely just stopped reading at:  "OK everyone, put your TDS away for a moment if you can. "   I see that you cannot get past your TDS nor have any wish to.

But since you asked nicely, I'll dumb it down just for you:

  1. NATO members have been free-riders 
  2. The EU has unfair and protectionist trade practices
  3. 1 and 2 above have been long standing sore-spots for the US and preceded the 2016 election.
  4. The cheeto jesus is finally just enforcing what previous POTI have asked for, but Europe ignored because we were too skeered to create waves
  5. The message is correct, even though the messenger is an arrogant, narcissistic cunt.

Happy now?  Do you need me to draw you some pictures?  Let me see if I can dig up my crayons.....

 

 

I don't think Trump changed a thing. They won't do much as speed up the production of .22 ammo to please him...and he knows it. He's over there poaching credit for the Euro's existing up-arming plans, and he believes the best way to do that is by being a dick so the press is obsessed with that aspect alone.

 Trump serves nothing but himself. 

  

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