Friday's HOT MIC
Trump has both China and Russia scared about North Korea. But does that make the United States "a greater threat to peace than North Korea"?
Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, said Friday "the most alarming thing about the current U.S. administration is that you can't be sure if it is bluffing or really going to implement its threats."
He says "America objectively poses a greater threat to peace than North Korea," adding that "the entire world is scared and left guessing if it strikes or not."
Kosachev says there is a "small hope" that President Donald Trump's administration would listen to warnings from Russia and China not to use military force against nuclear-armed Pyongyang.
This kind of unpredictable leadership is exactly what a lot of people were calling for as the Obama administration drew to a close. It's refreshing to see other countries taking the U.S. seriously, but I pray Trump has the finesse to go just far enough and not too far. We want deterrence, not war (unless it's absolutely necessary).
Some in the alt-right are threatening to go to war with Trump if he fires Steve Bannon. In a Periscope broadcast this week, Mike Cernovich threatened to "go TMZ" on Trump if he kicks Bannon to curb. (Cernovich thinks H.R. McMaster needs Bannon out of the way so he can get the ground war in Syria he's been wishing for.) (I'm just the messenger of this story, not the explainer.)
“If they get rid of Bannon, you know what’s gonna happen? The motherlode," Cernovich said. "If Bannon is removed, there are gonna be divorces, because I know about the mistresses, the sugar babies, the drugs, the pill popping, the orgies. I know everything."
He added, "If they go after Bannon, the mother of all stories is gonna drop, and we’re just gonna destroy marriages, relationships—it’s gonna get personal.”
He sounds nice.
Cernovich says plenty of less-then-credible things, so take the threats with a grain of salt. But do take seriously the gathering thunderclouds amongst the ultra-far right loyalists. And note the seething anger about "globalists" within the Trump administration. In another Periscope broadcast, Cernovich railed about the globalists and said that the base is losing interest in Trump. "I'm not feeling him. I'm just bored," he complained, noting that he hadn't checked Trump's Twitter feed in two days. "You have to rally the troops every day," he warned. "Troop morale is down. Enthusiasm for Trump is down." It's apparently starting to dawn on these folks that #WAR is a lot more fun than actual war—and certainly more exciting than the tedious work of governing.
Stephen, I'm not gonna lie. When I read the headline, "Woman comes home, finds stranger frying chicken in kitchen" my initial thought was: "And someone has a problem with this?" My standard response when I find a man frying chicken in my kitchen: "Thank you."
Stephen, speaking of furries, Charlie Martin, PJM's intrepid furry reporter, discovered this gem:
You can't make this stuff up -- and in 21st Century America, you don't have to.
Unfamiliar with furries? Then it's time to get woke, gentle reader.
The Fur Con is an annual summit in Denver, Colorado, for “furries,” people who present themselves as animals, from donning full-body fur suits to adopting “fursonas” for their character. And just as in the rest of America, a lot of furries resemble Nazis lately.
In Colorado, this splinter group calls itself the Furry Raiders. In 2016 the Raiders sent fur flying when they reserved a large block of Fur Con hotel rooms, sparking a fight that has lasted a year and led to death threats, allegations of tax evasion, intrigue around a suspected sovereign citizen, and the discovery a sex offender on the Fur Con board. On Monday, Fur Con leaders chickened out of the convention altogether.
The Furry Raiders’ leader, a man named Foxler who dresses in a fox suit with a Nazi-like armband (no swastika, only a paw print), told The Daily Beast the convention’s cancellation all stems from a big misunderstanding.
“You could say a whole bunch of unfortunate events led to the particular issue,” he said.
It gets pretty strange after that.
Furry Nazis... I hate these guys.
How's this for crazy? Three of America's last four presidents were born in the same year — in August, July, and June. As Michael Barone notes in National Review:
Now we’ve had three presidents who were born in calendar year 1946: Bill Clinton (in August), George W. Bush (in July) and Donald Trump (in June). Note that all three were born just a little more than nine months after V-J Day. (For younger readers, that was the end of World War II.)
The U.S. Census Bureau considers 1946 to be the first year of the Baby Boom, a remarkable and unpredicted sudden surge in births in the United States and numerous other countries. It continued until 1964, which means Barack Obama, who was born in 1961, is also a part of the Baby Boom generation.
It's official: 1992 to 2020 (or 2024?) is the reign of the Baby Boomers, for good or ill. And with every election, chances of another president born in 1946 decrease.
Steve -- for those who use Kaspersky anti-virus protection, there's an option (for a small fee per year) to tap into a VPN anytime, or all the time. It's called Kaspersky Secure Connection and it works great. One catch:
Kaspersky Secure Connection cannot be installed in Belarus, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Iran, UAE, China, and Hong Kong due to legal limitations on the use of Virtual Private Network (VPN).
"Can a country that boasts of making raw fish a popular food in America actually make a good potato chip? I have my doubts. But I'm sure the Japanese like them fine, which is all that matters."
Well, Rick, having been to Japan three times, I couldn't disagree more. That country produces some of the best cuisine of all sorts on the planet. The sushi at the Tsukiji Fish Market is out of this world. And if you don't think they can fry foods, chips or otherwise, try one of the better tempura bars in Tokyo (just bring money).
Bloomberg is one of those old line media companies where you imagine reporters and editors walking around the newsroom with bow ties and watch chains hanging out of their plaid vests.
So this headline sort of caught me by surprise:
Demand for potato chips has surged in Japan this week, with products on offer for 6 times their retail price online after Japanese snack company Calbee Inc. halted the sale of some of its most popular chip brands.
Calbee’s pizza-flavored chips were going for about 1,250 yen ($12) on Yahoo Japan Corp.’s auction website Friday. One bag usually sells for less than 200 yen. Photos of near-empty shelves at their local supermarkets were trending on Twitter.
The crunch came after Calbee warned on Monday that it will temporarily halt the sale of 15 types of potato chips due to a bad crop in Hokkaido, a key potato-producing region. The northern island was hit by a record number of typhoons last year. Calbee, which has a market value of 507.9 billion yen and is 20 percent-owned by PepsiCo Inc., has a 73 percent market share of potato chips.
Potato chips are a big deal in Japan, a country also known for its senbei rice crackers and Pocky sticks. Calbee’s potato-snack products were the most and second-most popular snacks in a TV Asahi poll of 10,000 people and 13 confectionery makers last year, and the subject of a primetime show that lasted more than two hours.
Can a country that boasts of making raw fish a popular food in America actually make a good potato chip? I have my doubts. But I'm sure the Japanese like them fine, which is all that matters.