February 2, 2017

The White House says Trump's talk for sending the U.S. military to deal with "bad hombres down there" in Mexico was just "lighthearted."

AP reports through a White House official who "who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the details publicly."

The leaked transcript of the phone conversation had Trump saying:
"You have a bunch of bad hombres down there. You aren't doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn't, so I just might send them down to take care of it."
The unnamed source says that was "part of a discussion about how the United States and Mexico could work collaboratively to combat drug cartels and other criminal elements, and make the border more secure." That conversation, we're told, was "pleasant and constructive."

How did this conversation get leaked? I can see the value to Trump. I invite you to entertain the idea that Trump wanted it leaked.

Wanted the conversation with the Australian prime minister leaked too, but I'll put that in a second post.

ADDED: On proofread, I don't like the word "just" in the post title. I don't think it could have been just lighthearted. Humor is also serious, especially in a situation like this. I can believe Trump was trying to loosen up President Nieto and create a man-to-man relationship through humor, humor relevant to the very real problems. We know that Trump has seriously said Mexico will want to help him with his border-security project as they understand the benefits to Mexico, especially in fighting criminal gangs that harm both countries at the border. The "lighthearted" statement gets at that problem and why Nieto should work with Trump.

Now, whoever leaked the transcript has cued up this very controversy, crime across the border with Mexico. The press must pick up this story, because the irresistible candy coating is Trump saying something bad again. But to digest that story, you've got to talk about the crime problem and how anyone other than Trump has a way to solve it. "I alone can fix it," Trump has said. And is it not true? Does anyone else have a way to fix it? Having swallowed the yummy Trump-said-something-bad story, the country will take a close look at Dr. Trump's Remedy.

Trump made us talk about that. I mean, whoever leaked that story is making us talk about that.

ALSO: Consider the special problem of using humor across a language barrier. How could Trump expect nuances of tone — from lighthearted to threatening — to pass through translation correctly? Maybe you think President Enrique Peña Nieto speaks English. I looked it up. He claims to speak English, but from what I've seen, he only speaks it very poorly, not well enough to communicate with any sophistication.

In 2014, on a visit to California to address the state legislature, he offered to speak only Spanish and with no translator, because "I believe that most of you speak Spanish."

MORE: I meant to say, in that last update, Trump, in his humor/"humor" used a Spanish word, "hombre." I have no idea how that felt to Spanish-speaking Nieto. To an American, it's reminiscent of old cowboy movies, and "hombre," even without the "bad," has a negative connotation. Beyond the old cowboy context, "hombre" sounds funny to us, but it wouldn't have automatic funniness to a native Spanish-speaker. Yet, if Nieto was listening to a translator, he wouldn't even know that Trump had used the Spanish word, would he?

IN THE COMMENTS: Quoting my, "I invite you to entertain the idea that Trump wanted it leaked," Balfegor says:
Ah, I see -- perhaps the White House official spoke on condition of anonymity because it was John Miller

145 comments:

Mark said...

He needs to keep his base with him as everyone else peels away. They like his crude insult humor, this is right at their level

mccullough said...

Every leak from White House officials (150 people work in the West Wing) are intentional.

YoungHegelian said...

I invite you to entertain the idea that Trump wanted it leaked.

Or, since it comes from an "unnamed source", how about the possibility that the quotation is made up out of whole or at least half cloth?

You might have noticed that fidelity to what Trump actually said doesn't seem to be high on anyone list of reporting requirements nowadays.

John said...

We sent troops to columbia under obama. Also, I think, under bush and Clinton.

What's the difference?

John Henry

Luke Lea said...

After decades of practice, Trump'll play the media til the cows come home.

Freder Frederson said...

A president who thinks it is "lighthearted" to threaten a neighbor with invasion is an idiot.

Fernandinande said...

Mexico is corrupt. Their excuse for a military works for the highest bidding cartel.

Nonapod said...

It's entirely possible (that he purposefully leaked it). He certainly likes the idea of not taking things off the table, but rather putting things on it. I guess it's deal making/negotiating 101, you define the parameters with the most extreme possibilities. And by leaking he can get a rough idea of how the public may react to such an extreme possibility.

Sebastian said...

Few Mexicans will disagree -- except, of course, for the "I just might." Everybody knows what he means, no serious person takes him literally, but Mexican politicos will probably have to do a little indignation dance anyway, and the left will do an OMG-there-he-goes-again.

David said...

A lighthearted way to completely discredit the President of Mexico with the Mexicans.

Bob Boyd said...

Trump SOP.
He stakes out an extreme position and negotiates back from there, all the while selling his deal to his backers as the best one they could get.

David Begley said...

Luke Lea wins the thread.

David53 said...

"He needs to keep his base with him as everyone else peels away."

I think the opposite is happening, I never thought Ted Cruz would join the fold.

Trump is reiterating that he's a bad hombre too, don't mess with him.

WisRich said...

"You've got some bad hombre's down there".

Heh, reminds me of his Cinco de Mayo message:

"Happy CincoDeMayo. The best taco bowl are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!"

You gotta love it.

Fabi said...

Trump told him "We don't need no steenking badges!"

Carol said...

Mexico is corrupt.

The question is, do they even want to do curb the violence of the existing gangs? To undermine them only invites even more chaos.

Owen said...

With the collapse of credibility, the Old Media are indistinguishable from a rumor mill. Things propagate based not on claims of authenticity but based on shock effect and raw volume.

rehajm said...

Yup. Totally buy in to the Trump leak theory.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

He needs to keep his base with him as everyone else peels away.

More wishcasting. Trump's approval rating has been going up since he was sworn in.

He has union leaders praising him to the press. James Hoffa was on he Fox Business Channel saying good things about him the other day.

Meanwhile, the DNC has been discussing the need to shut white people up. In public.

One of Trump's issues was law and order. Being seen as willing to take on Mexican drug gangs that smuggle drugs into the US, engage in human trafficking, and commit violent crimes in the US is not exactly disadvantageous. As usual, Freder completely misreads the situation because he can't abandon the idea that Trump is an idiot. I will leave it to Scott Adams to explain why that is.

readering said...

Mexico has denied the exchange took place. It casts their leader in a bad light. How is that helpful?

Curious George said...

"Freder Frederson said...
A president who thinks it is "lighthearted" to threaten a neighbor with invasion is an idiot."

I know. He should just dismiss them. You know, compare them to a JV team. Stuff like that.

DanTheMan said...

>>A president who thinks it is "lighthearted" to threaten a neighbor with invasion is an idiot.

Do you really think Trump was threatening to invade Mexico?

Idiots don't generally depose the two most powerful political families in America, and then defeat more than a dozen rivals for the presidency.

David Begley said...

Ha. Ha. Howie Kurtz of Fox thinks the leak was done to hurt Trump. Wrong.

Balfegor said...

I invite you to entertain the idea that Trump wanted it leaked.

Ah, I see -- perhaps the White House official spoke on condition of anonymity because it was John Miller.

Lucien said...

So, Ann, you've decided to stick with "cued up", huh?

Lewis Wetzel said...

Trump's conversational style is raising the bar for future presidents.
I doubt if anyone misses Obama's "ahs" and "uhms."

rhhardin said...

Olé.

Ann Althouse said...

"A president who thinks it is "lighthearted" to threaten a neighbor with invasion is an idiot."

"My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

William said...

I think the media prefer the drug cartels over Trump. If he does anything that is injurious to their constitutional rights, expect mas protests. "First they came for the drug barons."

rhhardin said...

Queuing theory, you're on.

Levi Starks said...

The reason people want to illegally enter the USA from Mexico, and other Latin American nations is that those nations lack the effective rule of law. A rule of law that exists in a predominant portion of the USA. (Other than certain left leaning state owned university campus)
To the extent that order is maintained here, we will continue to attract refugees from despotic regimes.
Any type of pressure that helps restore order to those nations will encourage their citizens to be real citizens in their nation of birth.
If a public shamming of Mexico serves to unite its people against a common enemy, then it's just possible that they might improve their own condition.

rhhardin said...

If you serve people at the same averge rate as they arrive, the line gets infinitely long. You see this in supermarkets.

rhhardin said...

The border wall should have self-serve gates if you want to avoid crowding.

traditionalguy said...

Where is General Pershing's Expeditionary Force? The world awaits.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

If I wasn't clear, I think the Professor is correct.

Understanding Trump and his actions isn't hard, if you are willing to abandon some preconceptions.

Trump isn't an idiot. He is a savvy business person who has worked and thrived in cut throat businesses for decades.

He honestly meant what he said during the campaign and intends to do his best to fulfill his campaign promises.

He has a plan and is working it. There may be some missteps and mistakes, but he will learn from them and correct course as needed.

Bannon was correct, the MSM is the opposition. Since Trump knows that, he can work with it, especially since so few people trust the news media, and so many despise it.

What Trump is doing is popular with the majority of the populous.

But hey, if the left wants to continue telling itself that Trump is beleaguered idiot and his admin is in disarray because Madonna and Ashley Judd had their deranged rants televised and because actual brown shirts that they like to think of as freedom fighters are rioting in Berkley, who am I to contradict them?

Drago said...

Field Marshall Freder: "A president who thinks it is "lighthearted" to threaten a neighbor with invasion is an idiot"

Freder is hopeless.

On a serious note, the Mexican authorities and institutions are all completely compromised by the cartels and those cartels act essentially as mini states. To deny this is to purposely deny reality, so basically it's a basic left wing position.

Unexpectedly.

There will come a time when a US military intervention is required. Hopefully along with those remaining good people and uncompromised Mexican government officials.

There are whole populations in Mexico that live under constant threat of death and our security along with theirs will not be secured without removing that threat.

My fear? As always that we will screw it up.

AprilApple said...

Only Obama is allowed to treat the presidency as an SNL skit.

jacksonjay said...

Trump's trip to Dover yesterday reminded me of his lighthearted campaign comment about heroism. You know, prefering heros that don't get captured!

traditionalguy said...

I say we invade Mexico and take the Tequilla and a Avacados.

Birkel said...

That's funny Balfegor.

Of course, the best thing for Trump to do is systematically spread falsehoods to see which ones leak. One at a time until the leakers are known.

Curious George said...

This signs were perfectly okay with that pussy Obama. Not with Trump. Despite all their bluster, Mexico knows there is a new sheriff in town.

Unknown said...

Ann, I think you forget that Fredor and Inga and the rest of the progressive mouth-breathers genuinely think that Carter was a better president than Reagan. In fact, I've seen many of them argue that Reagan was the worst president ever.

I think it's because he defeated the Soviets, and made America great again. Progressives absolutely hate that. After all, just ask them: America is the single source of all evil and bad things in the world. They genuinely believe that.

--Vance

Ignorance is Bliss said...

rhhardin said...

If you serve people at the same averge rate as they arrive, the line gets infinitely long. You see this in supermarkets.

I go to the supermarket every week, and I've never seen an infinitely long line.

But seriously, could you explain the reasoning behind your statement?

chrisnavin.com said...

Ron,

I, for one, get all my news from Madonna.

The 'ethicist' at Slate, too.

How should I think about how I feel?

vicari valdez said...

my first thought was also that trump wanted these comments leaked.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Ha. Ha. Howie Kurtz of Fox thinks the leak was done to hurt Trump. Wrong.

Most of the people at Fox don't understand Trump. And its probably not going to get better since they fired most of the people who were for him during the primary. And some of the people they have hired recently (Meghan McCain,) are simply incapable of doing so.

Trump's background is essentially working class. Sure his Dad had a lot of money, but he made it buy building houses, starting when he was 18. Trump is what is known as a striver, something which the academic class that now forms our MSM will never forgive him for.

FullMoon said...

Mark said... [hush]​[hide comment]

He needs to keep his base with him as everyone else peels away. They like his crude insult humor, this is right at their level


Clever.
Trump should send troops to California, where, once again, Hitlery supporters and BernieBros destroyed public property, and beat up women and old people. Police ordered to stand down, as usual.

Curious George said...

"Once written, twice... said...
What happens when Mexicans elect their own bully to stand up to Trump?" Nothing, unless they really, really, want to get their ass kicked.

"Once written, twice... said...
I suspect Mexico is seeking out new alliances, both economic and otherwise, as I type this." There is no replacement for the US. None.

AReasonableMan said...

His treatment of the Australians was arguably worse. The thing to remember about Trump is that no one actually liked him in NYC. Maybe his aggressive posturing gets some things done but Trump was ultimately unable to get either collaborators or funding for his projects in NYC.

Fabi said...

"BTW, the DOW Jones has slid below 20k. I predict it will never get above twenty during the next four years. Does anyone want to take that bet?"

Yes. For as much as you can afford to lose.

Carter Wood said...

Larry Hagman played a translator for President Henry Fonda in the fine Cold War film, "Fail Safe." Here's the scene where the president is talking to the top Soviet leader. Earlier, IIRC, Fonda tells Hagman he needs to get a sense of the Russian's mood and intentions.

FullMoon said...

cksonjay said...

Trump's trip to Dover yesterday reminded me of his lighthearted campaign comment about heroism. You know, prefering heros that don't get captured!


I suppose you are the only person in the world who doesn't know your pal Al Franken originated that joke.
Now you know.

Amadeus 48 said...

The current situation has converted Orrin Hatch into a bad hombre. The tectonic plates are shifting.
Soon St Barry will return to the field to slay the dragon Trump as only he can. Another generation of Dem leaders kicked into the shade!
All hail Trump, the ultimate destructor.

Big Mike said...

Interesting contrast with Barack Obama, who sent automatic and semiautomatic rifles into Mexico via Operation Fast and Furious.

I assume that Democrats are unaware of the precedent -- 101 years ago President Woodrow Wilson (D) sent "Black Jack" Pershing into Mexico to chase down Pancho Villa and clean up Villa and his "bad hombres."

tim maguire said...

Turnip's lighthearted joke is also standard international relations and has been for as long as there has been nations.

Even leaders who are fluent in the other nation's language will work through translators, first to minimize the chances of a misunderstanding and second to establish an excuse to overlook offensive statements. "The translator made a mistake" can be an extremely useful sentence.

MountainMan said...

I know only a little Spanish, enough to get by when in Mexico, but "hombre" is Spanish for "man". I doubt it has any more negative connotation than "man" does in English unless modified by an adjective, like "bad" or "mean." My father-in-law served in the 90th Infantry Division in WWII in Europe, they were known as the "Tough 'ombres" (note the missing H) and the name was reflected in the shoulder patch, which was a red T superimposed over a red O. The 90th was originally formed with recruits from Texas and Oklahoma in WWI, probably with a lot of Mexican heritage soldiers from both states. It was meant as a term of respect, not derision. And they were tough, too - one of the great combat infantry divisions in Europe in WWII.

Meade said...

The U.S. has only 2 years to invade Mexico and take care of those bad hombre dudes. That's how long it will take us to build (and make Mexico pay for) the wall. After that, Mr. Trump and his Rough Riders will be stuck on our side of the border and Mexico will be stuck with their bad hombres. With nothing else to do, maybe Trump's Rough Riders will have to retake Cuba.

jacksonjay said...

Gotta say FullMoon, you follow Al Franken more carefully than I do. When and where did Stuart make that joke? Not a joke by the way!

wwww said...

"Our military isn't, so I just might send them down to take care of it."

Trump & the States are not going to be graded on a curve when it comes to international diplomacy. Looks like the US will loose some influence in the 4 years of the Trump Presidency.

Due to anti-Americanism, sending American troops is not something to joke about w/ Latin or South Americans.

Or Canadians. In fact, diplomacy is not a good place to joke if you are not sure it will translate.

China wants influence & has been gaining influence in Latin and South America. Ecuador is now quite tangled up in business deals with China. China's been signing an insane number of deals in South America.

And I don't know WTF was going on with the phone call w/ Australia, but I hope Tillerson can provide some influence in future calls with world leaders.

Steve Uhr said...

It seems to me that Trump does not understand one fundamental difference between negotiating with another company vs a country. In the later case the leader must consider the popular opinion of the people who elected him/her. Not so much dealing with a CEO focused only on increasing shareholder value. Getting the Mexican people and Australian people, etc. etc. to despise you doesn't seem like a very sound strategy. Their leaders cannot look like they caved.

Meade said...

That's right — my lightheartedness just got 10 feet higher.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

What happens when Mexicans elect their own bully to stand up to Trump?

Mexico is screwed?

Mexico needs trade with the US, the US can do perfectly well with absolutely no trade with Mexico whatsoever.

Let me try to be perfectly clear, using Mexico's absolute dependence on trade with the US as leverage to get them to do something about the incredibly dangerous drug cartels just across the southern border of the US is responsible and necessary. If the Obama administration failed to do so then they were derelict in their duties.

MountainMan said...

"His treatment of the Australians was arguably worse." Fake news.

"Senior US officials told the Washington Post that Donald Trump abruptly hung up on Mr Turnbull after just 25 minutes – when the pair were meant to speak for an hour.

"But an indignant Mr Turnbull returned serve, telling 2GB’s Ben Fordham: ‘As far as the call is concerned, I’m very disappointed, the report the president hung up is not correct, the call ended courteously.’"

And Trump is correct about the deal Obama cut with Australia. Australia has a very hard line position on illegal immigrants, one that would send the left here into fits of apoplexy. There is no good reason that the US should be taking in illegal immigrants from another country, we have more than our share already.

jacksonjay said...

Bad hombres in Chiraq and Baltimore come first.

tim maguire said...

AReasonableMan said...His treatment of the Australians was arguably worse. The thing to remember about Trump is that no one actually liked him in NYC.

Yes, the people who know him best and for longest see him as a clown, a glorified used car salesman, the only person other than the government able to lose money running a gambling den. But only a fool would fail to be impressed by what he's accomplished in the last 2 years, only an idiot would still maintain that he doesn't know what he's gotten himself in to.

Sebastian said...

"China wants influence & has been gaining influence in Latin and South America. Ecuador is now quite tangled up in business deals with China. China's been signing an insane number of deals in South America." Just goes to show how extraordinarily bad Trump is. Even before he took power, he already reduced our influence and emboldened China.

Michael said...

ARM:" His treatment of the Australians was arguably worse. The thing to remember about Trump is that no one actually liked him in NYC. Maybe his aggressive posturing gets some things done but Trump was ultimately unable to get either collaborators or funding for his projects in NYC."

So you overheard the call? Name one project in NY that he was unable to execute because of a lack of "collaborators" (LOL) or funding. Pick one.


wwww said...

I suspect Mexico is seeking out new alliances, both economic and otherwise, as I type this." There is no replacement for the US. None.


And Britannia thought she would rule the seas forever.

tim maguire said...

Steve Uhr said...It seems to me that Trump does not understand one fundamental difference between negotiating with another company vs a country. In the later case the leader must consider the popular opinion of the people who elected him/her.

I disagree. On foreign affairs, Trumps greatest strength happens to exactly match Obama's greatest weakness. Obama knew what it meant when he needed a deal, Trump knows what it means when the other person needs a deal.

Michael said...

tim maguire:

Google bankrupt casinos. Learn. It is quite common to lose in the casino business on the house side. Big boy companies. Bust.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Trump was ultimately unable to get either collaborators or funding for his projects in NYC.

This is, of course, utter nonsense. If it was so, then how, pray tell, did the projects get built?

But hey, whatever gets you through the night.

buwaya said...

Latin American political speech is very divergent.
Normally it is elevated, even flowery, as a matter of course.
More so than what English-language polities are used to. Their boilerplate is more artistic, yours is dull and mealy filler in comparison. But you are aware if an even more solidified hypocrisy.

And then you have populists, the Chavezes and Moraleses, that can be frank and pugnacious to a degree not known or accepted in the US, short of Trump. And even Trump doesnt approach that lot. Part of their appeal is the appearance of relief from hypocrisy. This is a fairly common mode of speech, for politicians of that style, and its not just the left.

Chavez was quite a loquacious, verbally gifted fellow, given to long lectures of the sort that may appeal to the US left or the "intellectual" right if in English. There's quite a lot on Youtube from these fellows, Castro, Chavez, etc. They can entertain and inform, pulling no punches while presenting clear world views in a way rarely seen in US speechifying.

Anyway, Latin American politicians are well used to "frank exchange of views", except from the US.

FullMoon said...

YoungHegelian said...

I invite you to entertain the idea that Trump wanted it leaked.

Or, since it comes from an "unnamed source", how about the possibility that the quotation is made up out of whole or at least half cloth?

You might have noticed that fidelity to what Trump actually said doesn't seem to be high on anyone list of reporting requirements nowadays.

2/2/17, 9:12 AM


I thought it was made up when first reported. Apparently, "misinterpreted" is the word today. With all the fake news re Trump, anonymous sources do not carry the weight they used to. "Anonymous" is always a lie now, until verified.

Birkel said...

"China wants influence & has been gaining influence in Latin and South America. Ecuador is now quite tangled up in business deals with China. China's been signing an insane number of deals in South America.

This cannot be true. I am told these last 8 years have been great for America and her world standing.

Steve Uhr said...

Ron Winkleheimer said:

"the US can do perfectly well with absolutely no trade with Mexico whatsoever."

Sure, only if "perfectly well" means putting hundreds of firms/thousands of employees out of business. And then there is the higher prices for US consumers. ..

wwww said...

Mexico needs trade with the US, the US can do perfectly well with absolutely no trade with Mexico whatsoever.


Mexico is the States 3rd largest trading partner.

MountainMan said...

"Maybe his aggressive posturing gets some things done but Trump was ultimately unable to get either collaborators or funding for his projects in NYC." Huh? He has about 15 properties in NYC, 2 are hotels and the rest are apartment/condo/office buildings.

FullMoon said...


Blogger Ron Winkleheimer said...

Trump was ultimately unable to get either collaborators or funding for his projects in NYC.

This is, of course, utter nonsense. If it was so, then how, pray tell, did the projects get built?

But hey, whatever gets you through the night.


Well, hell, Ron, it was the Mafia!

mccullough said...

Calderon bravely stepped up the fight against the cartels. But Mexico's federal government is weak and can't get the problems under control. Their local and state governments are even weaker. The US has been providing the Mexican government with money, weapons, and training, along with CIA intelligence and agents to help combat the cartels. It still is not working. At this point, the Mexican government needs to invite direct US military support to combat the cartels. Mexico's military and federal and state police can't handle the problem.

YoungHegelian said...

@wwww,

China wants influence & has been gaining influence in Latin and South America. Ecuador is now quite tangled up in business deals with China. China's been signing an insane number of deals in South America.

Just like China did in Africa. Howzzat working out for the Africans?

The problem with signing a deal with the Chinese is that you're signing a deal with the Chinese. You're signing a deal with a country where the first thing every Chinese tourist does is cram his suitcases full of baby formula to sell when he gets back home, because you can't trust Chinese formula not to poison your baby.

If these imbecilic third world countries think that Americans can be racist & culturally thoughtless, just wait until they start dealing with the Chinese. The Chinese don't even have a cultural vocabulary to deal with such issues. It's just assumed in everyday life -- Han Chinese are the best. Period. Full stop. It's obvious, like gravity.

Just look at all the third world countries that allied with the Soviet Union expecting that the Russians could something other than cruel, vindictive bastards. How'd that turn out?

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger William said...
I think the media prefer the drug cartels over Trump.

Are you kidding? The media prefer ISIS to Trump.

wwww said...


I'm not happy with China's growing influence in the Western Hemisphere, but Trump tail risk is my main concern.

People should be happy with Trump if they're ok with the States losing some influence.

But the downgrade in influence won't change things noticeable for the average American. How many people know about the trade deals China is signing with Latin & South America?

It'll be more gradual and over time. Humans have short life spans, so there's a good chance you'll never notice it if you live in Peoria and you're over the age of 60.


buwaya said...

There is no replacement for the US, as a market.

The US domestic market is the prize that the US has dangled before the world since 1945, and its basis of influence, more so than any military force.
A heck of a lot of international conferencing and trade agreement tomfoolery is just complex negotiations for expanded access to the US market.
There is no comparable Chinese domestic market, that the Chinese are willing to open to others for political concessions.
Europe as a whole is more of a thing, but nobody there wants to go anywhere near as far as the US and there is no real political unity to capitalize on it.
The US strategy has been sort of a very long term jiu-jitsu move, trading on others greed, using apparent (relative) altruism to obtain influence.

Fernandinande said...

Fabi said...
"BTW, the DOW Jones has slid below 20k. I predict it will never get above twenty during the next four years. Does anyone want to take that bet?"

Yes. For as much as you can afford to lose.


I wager 15 quatloos that he is untrainable.

wwww said...


Young Hegelian,

I am not happy with China's growing influence in the Western Hemisphere.

How do I think it'll work out? I think Ecuador has screwed herself in relation to China.

I think Trump international politics will accelerate China's growing influence in the West.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger YoungHegelian said...
. . .
Just like China did in Africa. Howzzat working out for the Africans?Just like China did in Africa. Howzzat working out for the Africans?

What happens when there is a coup in one of the African countries, and the new fearless leader decides he wants to renogotiate the Chinese 50 year lease on hundreds of square miles of ag land?
That's when neocolonialism turns into just plain colonialism.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Mexico is the States 3rd largest trading partner.

"America buys about 80 percent of Mexico's exports, with automobiles, electrical machinery and fuels topping a long list that also includes agricultural goods such as fruit, vegetables, wine and beer."

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/US-Mexico-trade-war-could-hit-Mexico-economy-10889690.php

From SFgate, not exactly a right-wing stronghold. They also state:

"The peso, already sorely weakened at about 21 to the dollar, could fall to 25, 28 or even lower, Coutino continued. Unemployment would rise. Mexicans' real purchasing power would plummet as a result, and inflation could soar to double digits by the end of the year. Interest rates could also top 10 percent. The Mexican government would be forced into fiscal tightening measures, putting additional downward pressure on the economy and throwing it into recession.

America would suffer too, but not as much. Moody's forecasts that a trade war would slightly reduce U.S. economic growth and cost 300,000 American jobs after a year."

Keep in mind, this is from an article that opposes Trump's agenda and is arguing against a trade war.

Bottom line, Mexico has much more to lose in a confrontation with the US, and it is perfectly acceptable to use that leverage to extract concessions.

Hagar said...

I think this was "fake news."
Trump is a New Yorker, so it is possible he would not know any better, but reminding the President of Mexico about Black Jack Pershing and the bad old days would be like "joking" to Angela Merkel about Hitler and the Nazis - not any kind of funny.

YoungHegelian said...

@mccullough,

At this point, the Mexican government needs to invite direct US military support to combat the cartels.

Oh, but American troops on Mexican soil is a real sore spot for the Mexican populace. I suspect that a large fraction of them would fight with the cartels against anyone allied with American forces on general principle.

The other issue is, let's assume a US/Mexican coalition breaks the cartels. Then what? Remember that those cartels bring in billions if not trillions of dollars into Mexico every year. They employ hundreds of thousands of people directly, & their money in direct & indirect services supports millions more. How could we, the US, possibly replace that income flow? Do we tell the American people "Mexico needs 100 billion of your money to get back on her feet"?

Ain't gonna happen. Mexico needs to be fixed by the Mexicans & whatever grace they can wrangle out of God.

I Callahan said...

His treatment of the Australians was arguably worse.

Already disproved by Turnbull himself. Do keep up.

mccullough said...

Maybe Mexico can get the Chinese military to take care of the cartels and help alleviate the extreme poverty that 50 million of Mexico's 120 million citizens live in.

Fernandinande said...

YoungHegelian said...
Just like China did in Africa. Howzzat working out for the Africans?


Africa For The Chinese.
"I should expect the large part of the African seaboard, now sparsely occupied by lazy, palavering savages living under the nominal sovereignty of the Zanzibar, or Portugal, might in a few years be tenanted by industrious, order loving Chinese, living either as a semi-detached dependency of China, or else in perfect freedom under their own law."

Ron Winkleheimer said...

What's the saying?

If you owe the bank $100,000 dollars and can't pay it back, you have a problem. If you owe the bank $100,000,000 dollars and can't pay it back, the bank has a problem.

Freder Frederson said...

"My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

Sheesh, Reagan didn't know his mike was live and he wasn't speaking on the phone to the Soviet premier.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Oh, but American troops on Mexican soil is a real sore spot for the Mexican populace. I suspect that a large fraction of them would fight with the cartels against anyone allied with American forces on general principle.

A trenchant argument. I believe Mexico has laws against foreign ownership of land closer than 99 miles from its borders. Something to do with a little dust-up with Texas as I recall.

BJM said...

Trump continues to play the media.

@wwww And Britannia thought she would rule the seas forever. Apples and oranges.

There is no replacement for the $27 Billion in cash remittances sent to Mexico in 2016.

"Remittances to Mexico, 95% of which come from the U.S., have overtaken oil as a source of foreign currency in recent years. Mexico’s petroleum exports totaled $18.7 billion in 2016, while revenue from foreign visitors was $17.4 billion through November.

The money that Mexicans send home also supports domestic consumption, which was the main driver of the country’s 2.3% economic growth last year."
wsj (maybe behind paywall)

BTW - Remittances are an annual transfer of capital and tax revenue that doesn't pour back into the communities in which these workers live to support the infrastructure, goods and services they use. It's an unfair tax on local communities many of whom are small cities and towns.

FullMoon said...

Jackson
"I have tremendous respect for McCain but I don't buy the war hero thing. Anybody can be captured. I thought the idea was to capture them. As far as I'm concerned he sat out the war," Franken, a Democrat who now represents Minnesota, quipped to Salon for a 2000 article about the stakes of that year's presidential election.





i take back "your Pal"

mccullough said...

Mexico's per capita GDP is lower than Brazil's but higher than China's. Maybe Mexico can help China with its weak economy.

DanTheMan said...

>>Mexico is the States 3rd largest trading partner.

And cash transfers from the US is Mexico's largest import. We have all the leverage.

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, no betting!

Let's remember that Donald Trump once actually sued Bill Maher to collect on an offer based on an OBVIOUS joke!

"Donald Trump has voluntarily dismissed his $5 million lawsuit against Bill Maher for failing to live up to an "unconditional offer" made on NBC's Tonight Show to donate $5 million to charity if Trump provided a copy of his birth certificate proving that he’s not “spawn of his mother having sex with orangutan.”"

Trump would have lost that lawsuit, but it shows why you shouldn't put anything in "offer" form. Someone can really hassle you, and it counts very badly against Trump that he brought that suit.

Fabi said...

Uh, oh -- we're in trouble now!

readering said...

You guys know you don't have to bet with one another on the dow, right? Google options, puts, calls, Soros, etc.

mccullough said...

Trump's lawsuit against Maher was a funny joke. Trump is funnier than Maher. Our comedians need to improve. They don't know how to play the game. Trump changed the game they were playing.

Original Mike said...

How is this fine morning down in the Bayou, Freder?

Once written, twice... said...

Meade, I was going to take your bet, but your mom said no.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@Jersey Fled

There's a show that use to be a guilty pleasure of mine, Million Dollar Listing - New York. I know that reality tv is anything but real, but the developers on that show are sharks.

Unknown said...

I think Trump should have pressed the case. If nothing else, making Maher go through discovery would have been a hoot, and punishment for a man who sorely needs to be slapped around.

I think Once Written should be held to his promise to pay 10 grand to Meade. A liberal fool and his money are easily parted.

--Vance

readering said...

The Trump lawsuit I find interesting is the one he just lost in Florida over the golf club he bought from Ritz Carlton. Contracts 101 that if you assume a contract, you assume its third party obligations to members. Those obligations explained the low cash price Ritz Carlton accepted. But Trump didn't care. Just broke the contract and dared disgruntled members to sue. A couple filed a class action and he just lost. Sounds like the way he plans to treat Australia, Mexico etc.

DanTheMan said...

>> A liberal fool and his money are easily parted.

They were lucky to get together in the first place...

rehajm said...

You punters need this place...

I'll back the Bull side if there's any action left over...

BJM said...

While Left rages on, a serious, nay potential disaster unfolds.

rcocean said...

"The world is in trouble, but we are going to straighten it out, okay?" Trump said at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. "Believe me, when you hear about the tough phone calls I'm having, don't worry about it. Just don't worry about it. They're tough. We have to be tough. It's time we're going to be a little tough, folks."

rcocean said...

"Mexico is the States 3rd largest trading partner."

We send 15% of our exports to Mexico. Much of it food and computers.

They send 70% of their exports to the USA.

We don't need them.

They need us.

William said...

Did you see that video about the ten meter jump? I see many parallels to the $10,000 bet. I bet a hundred billion dollars that Once written would climb down from the 10 meter tower........The Dow is just a teeny, weeny fraction under 20,000. You don't have to love Trump or his policies to confidently predict that there will be further good news on a sunny day this winter, and the Dow will rally the hundred points or so needed to go over the 20,000 mark......I do, however, believe the hat the market will take a severe downturn if Trump inadvertently starts a nuclear war, especially with China. If Trump nukes Iran, the markets might recover.

aritai said...

Mattis is looking to lower his power bill and make his soldiers more comfortable, because the green solutions the EPA pushed on the ARMY freeze over, and his folks are cold so they are going to do their winter training along the border, wherever various governors invite them in, knowing the boost it will be on the local economy, in some of the smaller towns for their six month rotations. A win win. Especially when the drug lords see An M8 ranging on their position. And dropping a few bags of air burst flour as an exercise. "oops. sorry". Good fun.

Meade said...

"If Trump nukes Iran, the markets might recover."

lol

rehajm said...

...and it counts very badly against Trump that he brought that suit.

This statement needs an audit.

Prince WillHRH said...

Oh that Trump, what a jokester. Maybe he'll insult the PM of Australia, oh never mind, he already did. He'd could always threaten to invade Canada. That would be hilarious.

Prince WillHRH said...

And now Trump kisses the ass of Russia with the easing of sanctions, maybe this is a joke too.

Seeing Red said...

The bombing begins in 5 minutes


Bomb bomb bomb. Bomb bomb Iran! Sung to the Beach Boys "Barbara Ann."

Trumpit said...

["Mexico is the States 3rd largest trading partner."

We send 15% of our exports to Mexico. Much of it food and computers.

They send 70% of their exports to the USA.

We don't need them. They need us.]


You are free not to buy Mexican-made goods if you don't want to.

Don't speak for me. I object to Trump's invasion plan for Mexico.

Every day it's a new inanity with him. Last night, I was pondering selling all my property, and moving to South America. I believe that war is coming and it may be a nuclear war with Iran, China, North Korea, and Russia. Trump and Tillerson will get us into another disastrous war or wars, I'm convinced.

No place is safe, but South America is far away from here.

Seeing Red said...

Except that the PM of Australia already talked to a station there and said the call ended courtiesly.


Maybe they didn't need an hour to discuss matters.

Seeing Red said...

Evil Empire.

Tear down this Wall. Which Colin Powel kept removing from the speech and RR kept putting back in. I think?

Seeing Red said...

I'm not so fond of the Mexican invasion plan. Which is why we are here today.

Prince WillHRH said...

Maybe the Australian PM is an adult and doesn't want any more negative publicity regarding the call, so he put the best face on it.

Seeing Red said...

Or not. They're both in tough spots.

The Ozzies have a very restrictive policy and they, like Mexico, need an escape valve.

China wants to rule, send them to China.

Seeing Red said...

$25 billion I think the remittance total was last month.

jacksonjay said...

FullMoon,

I was pretty sure you that Stuart Smalley had not joked about our fallen hero in the last 24 hours. He has his hand full with Lyin Ted. Also, looks like Al and The Donald agree on the subject of captured heroes.

David Begley said...

Meade

Take your $10k and buy the Dow ETF. (But you knew that.)

Once

You can short the Dow.

jacksonjay said...

We import poverty and crime and expot cash!

Gahrie said...

Last night, I was pondering selling all my property, and moving to South America.

I hear dollars go pretty far in Venezuela these days.

Werner Merkwürdigliebe said...

If you say hombre in Spanish, you're talking about an adult man, implicitly responsible. The word doesn't have any derisive connotations at all when used without an adjective. You know, male privilege.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Gotta love it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx6TBrfCW54

readering said...

Headline in Politico now: Distrust in Trump’s White House spurs leaks, confusion//‘Trying to nail down who the leakers are is like trying to count the cockroaches under the couch,’ one longtime Trump adviser says.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Why not share the cost of the wall. Legalize and tax drugs. Hey, the Govt has taken over the numbers racket with State Run Lotteries. Can hookers and drugs be far behind?

Should put end end to drug cartel violence, and would pay for the wall. The disgraceful and demeaning wall would still be needed to suppress illegal immigration (until 11 foot ladders could be found to surmount the 10 foot wall).

Only sure fix for that problem would be to have the Govt stop giving away "free" stuff. Y'know, a system where people would be responsible for their own normal health and well being.

Radical idea, that.

jimbino said...

Anyone who thinks Trump is insulting the Spanish language can take comfort in the fact that he is daily insulting the English language, as did Clinton, Bush, and Obama before him. I find it interesting that Reagan, who never claimed sophistication, spoke English better than any of them.

John Leo said...

John Leo

In the Catholic tradition, you wait for the priest to say: "But to be serious for a moment." That's how you know the lines right ahead of this were humor.

Bob Loblaw said...

I can't help wondering if this is another attempt to identify leakers.

Trump does seem to be going out of his way to piss off the Mexicans, but the question I have to ask is this: If the Mexicans are well and truly pissed off, what will they do that's different than what they're already doing?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Should put end end to drug cartel violence, and would pay for the wall. The disgraceful and demeaning wall would still be needed to suppress illegal immigration (until 11 foot ladders could be found to surmount the 10 foot wall).


Would you please explain this part? I mean -

Do you agree we have the right to control immigration?

Is there a better way than a wall? A moat? Minefields? Roving hunter-killer teams? Predator/Reaper sweeps? A line of stakes every ten feet with migrants impaled upon them? A $10 bounty on ears and noses? Invading Mexico and establishing a buffer zone in which nothing may live?

I agree a wall is distasteful, but until Mexico decides to stop exporting Mexicans and Central Americans and whoever else is coming in, apparently it is necessary. What is disgraceful is that they will not stop coming. What is demeaning is that we are used as their cloaca to flush human waste out for their body politic.

heyboom said...

Here is a link to a story that explains what really happened on that phone call:

https://warisboring.com/no-the-white-house-isnt-invading-mexico-probably-192a9902ebf1

cathy said...

Wouldn't his name be President Peña if you just use one last name?

Bob Loblaw said...

I agree a wall is distasteful, but until Mexico decides to stop exporting Mexicans and Central Americans and whoever else is coming in, apparently it is necessary.

Mexico needs illegal immigration to the US. It's a safety valve that allows motivated people to leave instead of foment revolution.

Nancy Reyes said...

hombre means man.

Now if he said Cabron/cabrones, then that would be an insult.

rehajm said...

"BTW, the DOW Jones has slid below 20k. I predict it will never get above twenty during the next four years. Does anyone want to take that bet?"

EPILOGUE: The Dow crossed over 20,000 less than 24 hours later...

Meade said...

As they say: missed money is better than lost money.

But once written twice banned losing money today is even better than missed money.