Donald Trump ad libbed his threat to North Korea

The equivalent of Eric Trump versus the equivalent of Kim Jong Il

Yesterday, while less effective people were working, Donald Trump was both working and vacationing at the same time. The president took a break from doing the people’s business at his Bedminster, NJ golf resort to issue this statement on North Korea:

North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening, beyond a normal state, and as I said they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.

The first time I saw a transcript of these remarks, the phrase “best not” made me think it was a joke. You can tell when the guy threatening you is not accustomed to violence when he says something weird. It’s a sign he threatens people in his head more often than he threatens them out loud. But the marquee phrase in this statement is “the likes of which the world has never seen.” That’s the one that caught the attention of the press and, fortunately, rules out the possibility of a nuclear strike, since the world saw that on this date in 1945.

Still, it’s an understatement to say presidents have not historically spoken this way. North Korea routinely speaks this way about us, but that’s what makes them the world’s funniest non-nuclear nation. The joke stops working if they irradiate Guam. What we to do is keep the dynamic between the DPRK and the US like a kid taunting a pro wrestler, and not wade into the stands to beat him to death for saying we suck.

My understanding of the consensus on KJ-1 is that he is a rational actor. He makes weird moves, but they’re to satisfy the weird demands of running a nationwide cult of personality, not merely to make chaos. He does not actually want to fight a nuclear war. He would probably fight back in a nuclear war, though, and if he felt one was inevitable he might try to beat us to the punch. You want to interact with someone like that carefully, so it’s weird Trump decided to say something so inflammatory.

Today, however, we learn that he didn’t decide to say anything in particular. Although he had discussed the elements of a statement with White House staff, what he said yesterday was improvised. That’s cool. There’s no need to write out the entire speech you will say to avert nuclear war. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to the dental supply store and buy several hundred lead aprons.

Who will avert war: Kim Jong Un or Donald Trump?

Ballistic missiles on parade in Pyongyang Saturday

Two interesting things happened in North Korea this weekend. First, third-generation dictator Kim Jong Un presided over a parade to honor his grandfather Kim Il Sung. There were lots of missiles, including the ostensibly intercontinental Pukguksong pictured above. The next morning, apparently as a show of defiance as American ships approached the Korean Peninsula, the North tested another ballistic missile that failed within seconds of liftoff. Let that be a lesson to you, Kombat! Kids. When you become dictator of a secretive rogue state and want to show off your military might, schedule the parade after the missile test. Otherwise, you risk embarrassing yourself. On a completely unrelated note, here’s US President Donald Trump on his revised opinion of China’s relationship with North Korea, which President Xi Jinping explained to him over the weekend:

After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy. It’s not what you would think.

Ah, yes—our new president, who insisted throughout his 18-month campaign that China had absolute control of North Korea and its belligerent foreign policies, changed his opinion after considering the subject for 10 minutes. This news raises a fun question: Which of these egomaniacal stewards of his family empire will keep us out of war?

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Daines on North Korea bomb test: Obama is weak

Senator Steve Daines (R-MT, second right) milks a rainbow with the Congressional Goblin Caucus.

Senator Steve Daines (R-MT, second right) harvests a rainbow with the Goblin Caucus.

Yesterday, North Korea may or may not have successfully tested a nuclear bomb. Pyongyang’s official news agency announced that its test of a miniature hydrogen bomb had been a “perfect success” that took the country’s “nuclear might to the next level,” but the same agency also maintains that Kim Il Sung once rode a unicorn. North Korea has been locked in a truth-telling contest with the rest of the world for several decades now. Still, the 5.1-Richter earthquake near a suspected nuclear test site suggests that the secretive dictatorship exploded something yesterday, and that’s unsettling. Whatever North Korea is up to, it seems to have taken another step toward ranged nuclear weapons. Speaking to CNN this morning, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) put the blame for this development squarely where it belongs: President Obama. Video after the jump.

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N. Korea announces “gust of hatred and rage” over James Franco movie

Kim Jong Un visits the dolphinarium at the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground. Nothing in this caption is made up.

Kim Jong Un visits the dolphinarium at the Rungna People’s Pleasure Ground. Seriously.

The good news, if you are an asshole, is that James Franco and Seth Rogen are making another high-concept buddy movie. The bad news, if you are an even bigger asshole, is that the comic premise is Kim Jong Un. In The Interview, Franco and Rogen play journalists whom the CIA recruits to assassinate the North Korean dictator. Normally Kim has a great sense of humor about himself, but this time Hollywood has pushed it too far. According to a spokesman for North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

If the United States administration tacitly approves or supports the release of this film, we will take a decisive and merciless countermeasure…[The film] is the most blatant act of terrorism and an act of war that we will never tolerate.

Somewhere in the State Department, a whole office is dedicated to interacting with these people.

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Steve King compares Obama to Kim Jong Un after Redskins lose trademark

"You're telling me there's been a New Mexico in the United States this whole time?"

“You’re telling me there’s been a New Mexico in the United States this whole time?”

Yesterday, the US Patent Office canceled the trademark of the Washington Redskins, ruling that the name disparages American Indians. Obviously, this is a case of political correctness run amok. The Redskins name celebrates first Americans in much the same way that the n-word only refers to certain African-Americans, which is to say according to white people. Consider the response of noted white person Rep. Steve King (R–IA):

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 9.54.39 AM

Props to Fletch-Dogg for the tip. In related news, the offices of the Department of Hyperbole will be closed this weekend while a tightly coordinated squadron of illegal immigrants invades and sterilizes them.

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