Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Moron this after the break

The story in the strip is that Trump is supposed to be visiting Tampere, Finland, so the town authorities decide to put up a welcome billboard with a local dialect expression meaning "Good morning!"

Via Raw Story, Emperor Trump on the subject of being called a fucking moron by his secretary of state:
“I think it’s fake news,” Trump told Forbes, “but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests — and I can tell you who is going to win.”
He continued his public attacks on Tillerson’s diplomatic work with North Korea, which he said was helpful to the secretary of state.
“He was wasting his time,” Trump said. “I’m not undermining, I think I’m actually strengthening authority.”
I wish people would grasp when he says things like this that he's showing he is effectively not the president. When he tells Twitter that he's mad at Sessions for refusing to work his will with the Mueller investigation, he is acknowledging (correctly) that he has no power to tell the attorney general what to do, and when he tells Twitter, or Forbes, that he wishes Tillerson would stop attempting to negotiate with DPRK, he's suggesting (weirdly) that he has no power over the secretary of state either. He's identifying himself as a concern troll ("I'm just trying to give him some good advice"), not as the executive to whom the secretary reports.

It's clearly true. The cabinet members are unable to control Trump, notoriously, but he's not able to control them either. And since in fact all their activities involve governing, for better or (often) worse, preparing legislation and executive orders and regulatory initiatives and so on, while all his activities involve trash talking, he's literally not part of the government. Without his TV and the little piles of press clippings Ms. Hicks brings him he wouldn't even have a way of finding out what the government's up to; he has no sense of his constitutional ability to ask them directly.

True, he still exercises his power by signing the acts of Congress and executive orders they put on his desk, but since he never refuses to sign anything, or even tries to find out what he's signing, it's basically a formality, a purely symbolic power without actual consequences.

That's a reason for worrying less about the prospect of nuclear war. They keep telling us about his absolute and unquestioned power to order a nuclear attack, but they keep forgetting that it takes a fairly complex procedure to issue the order, selecting the retaliatory option from a book-length list and identifying the target and issuing a national alert and deploying elaborate codes to get through the security wall, for a man who hasn't been able to learn to use a computer browser. I really don't see how he can get through it. It would be nice if the North Korean government could understand this.

On the IQ gauntlet-throwing, he's also challenged London mayor Sadiq Khan to an IQ-off (after Khan called him "ignorant" in his views on Muslims: of course the Stanford-Binet test doesn't measure ignorance, that's just another thing Trump is ignorant of). He's expressed a good deal of confidence in Tillerson's IQ, indirectly, during the inauguration festivities

Before the official festivities began, Mr. Trump appeared at a luncheon with supporters at the Trump International Hotel, where he praised the collective I.Q. of his cabinet members.
“We have by far the highest I.Q. of any cabinet ever assembled,” Mr. Trump said in the remarks, which reporters heard only the first several minutes of before being escorted out.
You realize what that means, of course—he's got the data! He's collected IQ results for all the cabinet members, so he's got Tillerson's. I mean, unless he's lying or something. And we know he's got his own, because he's told us frequently:

So put your money where your mouth is and show us, Donald! Yours and Rex's! Inquiring minds want to know! (If you haven't got an inquiring mind you may not grasp that, but it's true.) Or can we FOIA it?

Steve has found many more examples of this strange Trumpian obsession. And on the nuclear issue.

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