Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

This Is So Effing Weird

President Trump showed Kim Jong-un a fake movie trailer about their mutual greatness. The trailer begins: “Seven billion people inhabit planet Earth. Of those alive today, only a small number will leave a lasting impact. And only the very few will make decisions or take actions that renew their homeland and change the course of history.” President Trump went on to tell Kim about the opportunities for luxury real estate developments: “They have great beaches You see that whenever they are exploding the cannons in the ocean. “I said, ‘boy, look at that view. That would make a great condo. I explained it.’” Watch the faux-trailer here, along with denial from the guy who allegedly made it that he made it.

A Nothingburger in Our Time

We have a dramatic relaxation of tensions between the United States and North Korea. That is an unambiguously good thing. The summit yesterday was basically a photo op. I expected little and there was even less than I’d expected. The diplomatic communique was basically diplo-speak for “be excellent to each other” — a non-binding agreement to work towards “denuclearization” — while accepting that both sides define the term in dramatically different ways.

North Korea has made immense sacrifices to achieve a viable nuclear deterrent. Yesterday’s summit was more than anything else a testament to the power of that achievement.

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BREAKING: Kudlow Suffers Heart Attack

Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s economic advisor, has reportedly suffered a heart attack and is at Walter Reed Medical Center. It’s been reported broadly. But all reports seem to work off the President’s tweet from roughly 10 minutes ago. There doesn’t seem to be any additional reporting on his condition or other details.

Interesting

Interesting information here. Reservations for ad runs show where the parties at least think the battle for control of Congress will be fought.

Taking Them To Get a Bath

“Aleman-Bendiks, the public defender, said several of her clients have told her their children were taken from them by Border Patrol agents who said they were going to give them a bath. As the hours passed, it dawned on the mothers the kids were not coming back. ‘It’s incredible,’ she said. ‘I just can’t believe what’s happening here.'”

From The Boston Globe.

The Plot Against America

I just noticed that the Times David Leonhardt has written a more elegant version of the argument I tried to make on Friday: If President Trump devised a plan to break up the Western alliance and advance the strategic interests of Russia, the plan would look pretty much like what we’re watching unfold in front of us. Why he’s doing this doesn’t really matter. That he’s doing it is the only thing that matters. And he is doing it.

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On Russian Information Warfare

If you’re hankering for an interesting discussing this Sunday afternoon, check out my conversation with Gen. Mike Hayden (former head of the NSA and CIA under Clinton and Bush). We talk about his intelligence career, what military intelligence officers do, information warfare and how Russia was field testing their information operations in 2014 and 2016, in advance of what they did in the 2016 campaign. In fact, as he explains, they’re continuing to amplify President Trump’s attacks on NFL players like Colin Kaepernick. Down to today. Fascinating conversation about these and other topics. Listen to it here in the latest episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast.

Crazy, Dangerous, Out of Control

Trump Trade Advisor Peter Navarro saying there’s a “special place in hell” for Justin Trudeau and claiming he stabbed President Trump in the back is understandably getting all the attention. But it’s worth listening to the rest of the tirade. Here’s part of it.

“President Trump did the courtesy to Justin Trudeau to travel up to Quebec for that summit. He had other things, bigger things on his plate in Singapore where you are now, Chris. He did him a favor, and he was even willing to sign that socialist communique, and what did Trudeau do? As soon as the plane took off from Canadian airspace Trudeau stuck our president in the back. That will not stand. And as far as this retaliation goes, the American press needs to do a much better job of what the Canadians are getting ready to do because it’s nothing short of an attack on our political system and it’s nothing short of Canada trying to raise its high protectionest barriers even higher on things like maple syrup and other goods.”

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