“Locked and Loaded,” When Pigs Fly

Saber Rattling: President Trump tweeted first thing this morning that he’s ready for war with North Korea. “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”

Yesterday, while members of the administration were trying to soften the blow of his “fire and fury” threat to North Korea, President Trump said maybe it wasn’t enough.

“Frankly, the people who were questioning that statement, was it too tough? Maybe it wasn’t tough enough,” he told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, NJ. “They’ve been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries. So if anything, maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough.”

Trump spoke after North Korea issued a specific threat to fire four missiles 3500 km into the Pacific to hit the water 30-40 km from the island of Guam, the home of important US naval and air force bases.

“If he does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before, what will happen in North Korea,” Trump said.

Trump said it’s not a dare. “It’s a statement,” he said. “Has nothing to do with dare. That’s a statement. He’s not going to go around threatening Guam and he’s not going to threaten the United States and he’s not going to threaten Japan, and he’s not going to threaten South Korea. No, that’s not a dare, as you say. That is a statement of fact.”

Yes, He Said This Too: Trump said he was grateful that Vladimir Putin ordered the US to get rid of 755 US diplomatic employees in Russia because it’s an opportunity to save money. “I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down on payroll, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people, because now we have a smaller payroll,” he told reporters.

Asked whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should resign after the failure to repeal Obamacare, the President said, “If he doesn’t get repeal and replace done and if he doesn’t get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn’t get a very easy one to get done, infrastructure — if he doesn’t get them done, then you can ask me that question.”

Trump also said that the opioid addiction crisis is “a national emergency.” What he plans to do about it, or how, he didn’t say.

Channel Change: CNN fired its conservative Trump defender Jeffrey Lord after he tweeted “Sieg Heil!” to a liberal critic at Media Matters.

“Nazi salutes are indefensible,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement.

Lord told CNN’s media critic Brian Stelter that his tweet was misunderstood, that he was mocking fascists, in this case, a liberal one. “I love CNN, but I feel they are caving to bullies here,” he said.

A former member of President Reagan’s staff and now a columnist for the American Spectator, Lord has been a CNN panelist all through the election cycle and the first six months of the Trump administration, promoting Trump and defending him. In his eyes, Trump can do no wrong.

Fellow panelist Ana Navarro tweeted, “I’m going to miss screaming at @realJeffreyLord. It was strangely therapeutic.”

Foreign Relations: Several US diplomats in Cuba and now a Canadian have reported suffering severe hearing loss while stationed in Havana embassies. US officials believe the damage was caused by some kind of advanced sonic device that operates outside the audible range, but haven’t said what its purpose might be.

Some American embassy employees had to leave Cuba because their hearing loss was so severe. Cuban authorities say they’ve launched an investigation.

Future Med: Scientists have created gene-edited piglets that are free of diseases that could affect humans, smoothing the way for organ transplants between pigs and people. Pig organs are similar enough to human parts that they would be useful. But as always, this development sparks ethical debates about animal rights and cruelty.

There’s a joke in here somewhere about when pigs fly.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

"The greatest absurdity of our time is You Know Whom, which goes without saying but I will anyway. What his election showed is that a considerable number of people, in order to demonstrate their frustration with the world as it is, are willing to drive their car, with their children in the back seat, over a cliff, smash the radiator, bust an axle and walk away feeling good about themselves. No other president in modern times has been held in contempt by a preponderance of people from the moment he said, 'So help me, God.'"

-Garrison Keillor on President Trump

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