The big news story of yesterday was President Trump surprising everyone by reacting to Kim’s threats to cancel the Singapore summit between the North Koreans and the US by beating him to the punch.

“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in a letter to Kim, which was released Thursday morning.

While there has been a lot of shock in the press and online this underlines two basic facts that apparently both the press and the North Koreans have.

  1. Trump already has what he wants from North Korea.

If there are two things that the US would want from North Korea it would be to dismantle or delay their nuclear program and the release of any Americans being held by them.

Both of these things have been done although the 2nd is likely out of either necessity or out of sabotage, not out of kindness or a desire for peace.

If you told anybody in January 2017 that by the end of May 2018 North Korea would have given up their hostages AND dismantled their nuke site they would have told you that is a pipe dream, but Trump has these things in his pocket.

2.  It is Kim NOT Trump that needs the summit

The one thing that the North Koreans want more than anything else is international recognition and the openings that come from it.

It is these openings that can give them the chance to feed their people and gain prestige and the evidence of this was their amazingly quick response to Trump’s cancellation.

“If and when Kim Jong-un chooses to engage in constructive dialogue and actions, I am waiting.” It turns out Trump didn’t have to wait long. From Bloomberg:

In a statement Friday by state-run KCNA that cited Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea vowed to continue to pursue peace and signaled it would give Washington more time to reconsider talks.

“Our goal and will to do everything for peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and mankind remains unchanged, and we are always willing to give time and opportunity to the US side with a big and open mind,” according to the statement. “We express our intent that there is a willingness to sit at any time, in any way to resolve issues.”

One of the reasons why the Media can’t destroy Trump is because they didn’t make him, and his power and reputation aren’t dependent on him.  Nor does he care if he wins a Nobel Prize or not because he understands that will not make his more or less of what he is.

So now we have the spectacle of the Norks wanting to get the summit back on track or at least rescheduled, the ball is now in Trump’s court and he can either agree without conditions, or agree for a price.

My price would be the USS Pueblo.

On January 23, 1968 the North Koreans seized the USS Pueblo and it crew.  While the crew was released in December of that year the ship is still held by the Norks while it remains a commissioned warship in the US Navy.  Only the USS Constitution has been commissioned longer that the Pueblo.

If I was Donald Trump I’d make the return of the USS Pueblo a condition of the rescheduling of the summit and if he needs, at some time in the future to give the Norks a bloody nose in the future without provoking war, I’d sink the Pueblo with a cruise missile.  It’s our ship and ours to sink if we please.

Spock: It was far easier for you as civilized man to act as barbarians, than for them as barbarians to act like civilized men.

Star Trek Mirror,Mirror 1967

If you really want to see how far the left has gone take a look at the comments in the NYT article referenced by Twitchy yesterday but not the just comments the NYT Picks.  All the Emphasis is mine

The author is with us, really he is

As a liberal academic living in deep-red Indiana, I bear witness to the frustrations expressed by both sides. Hence my disappointment with the defensive comments here that miss the points that Alexander has raised. No, he is not saying that all liberals are arrogant; nor is he denying the intrinsic worth of liberal values (which I’m confident that he largely shares with us); and he’s certainly not denying that a great many Trump supporters are racist, stupid, ignorant and/or in the thrall of Fox “News” and other propagandists. But he’s right that there’s a huge bloc of voters – conservative libertarians, Hillary-haters, those alienated by our dysfunctional presidential system – who could be won over in ’20 if we showed them more respect.

See you don’t have to like them for real

Hey we’ve been nice to these conservative for too long

I am a true blue Democrat. And I have been turning the other cheek to conservatives and their name-calling and harmful policies since Reagan and his gang were in office.

I agree that it does no good to malign a group with broad brush strokes. But all that turning the other cheek and making nice just ended up here – with a crazy crook and his miscreants(R) in all the power positions of government.

Turning the other cheek doesn’t work when the other side is playing hardball. And with unlimited guns, no less.

Failing to call out the ugliness is a mistake. If you are going down, go down swinging.

I am not encouraging us Dems to be ugly but at least we need to take a stand and speak the truth. And racism is real and widespread in the republican party of 1980 to present.

There, I said it.

Nothing says “racist” like beating Democrats and in the 80’s is when it started happening.

And why SHOULD I be nice to these bastards anyways?

Tell me, as a gay Hispanic male of color why should I be respectful of homophobic, fascist, racist, classist views that this president embodies and promotes? If you vote for a person that represents those ideas you are okay with those ideas. Or at least they don’t bother you so much because they don’t affect you. We do not need to be polite to Trump supporters or even Trump voters. In fact, I think we should be like Michelle Wolf. If they are embarrassed it’s because deep inside they know that their ideals are wrong. If they vote out of spite it means that they hate people like me, that they hate women, and anyone who is not a white straight male. Or at the very least, they do not care about what happens to anyone who is not part of the majority in power. So no, I will not be “nice”. I for one am super tired of conservatives telling me how to feel about my oppression.

Isn’t it funny how so many other hispanics are trying so hard to get into or stay in this supposedly racist, facist, classist, homophobic country that Trump runs?

And you prove you’re evil by just supporting Trump 

Straw men. “Some liberals” this, and “some liberals” that. Some conservatives are active, aggressive members of neo-Nazi organizations. Are they driving away some liberals who might otherwise vote for Trump? The problem is that Mr. Alexander almost suggests that really, there are two equally valid polarities in U.S. politics and those who love Mr. Trump should be regarded as equally respectable with those who support the Democrats. But they are not equal: one side likes a leader who often sounds like a childish, immature, bullying blow-hard. The other side does not. If Trump is your leader, and you admire him and his party, you are not reasonably entitled to respect for your political views. This is not like the difference between those who are pro-free trade and those who are against. It’s the difference between the politics of hate and exclusion and the politics of mutual respect and inclusion.

Why not just say “As a blasphemer you should be stoned to death.” and be done with it

The fun part, the piece they were commenting, in my opinion, didn’t run in the Times because the Times like Trump or Trump voters, I suspect it ran in the times because they understand that unless Democrats change they will lose in 2018, 2020 and beyond.

I think Iowahawk has them pegged

Liberalism is their religion not their political belief and they do not tolerate heretics

I can’t wait for election day.

Chicago’s South Side last autumn

The completely unexpected invitation to Colin Kaepernick to join Kanye West at the White House as part of a summit on race is the worst news the left has seen yet.

Nothing is more likely to cause trouble for Democrats than this.

For the far left, currently energized to vote, particular the Bernie left, that has accepted the idea of Trump as completely unacceptable and any move to “normalize” him as illegitimate Kaepernick turning up will be seen as a betrayal. We can expect attacks on him similar to what happened with Kanye, however because the media has pushed Kaepernick forward as a hero and chunks of the black community has accepted that idea such an attack can’t help but turn off that same black community at a time when the Democrats need every single vote.

However the risks of not attacking are even higher. if by reconciliation Trump can siphon even a small amount of the Black vote away from the left their electoral prospects for the White House in 2020 become zero, particularly if those same black Democrats who have looked the other way when the fix has been in on counts in various urban location decided they’d like to make sure the vote is honest and their Trump votes count.

Of course if Kaepernick doesn’t bother to turn up then you energize the right at the polls which is the one thing that the left doesn’t want and suddenly every Democrat running in a red state has to comment on this in a way that either depresses the left (it’s wrong that he didn’t show up) or excites the right (Kaepernick is a hero for not showing up).  Plus it goes without saying that if Kaepernick doesn’t show when invited then he can kiss his slight chance of getting signed goodbye.

That Trump might accomplish what the GOP has dreamed of for decades concerning Black America is almost as astounding as the fact that some in the GOP will never forgive him for getting done what they couldn’t.  I must confess I never imagined it when I voted for him.

by baldilocks

Back in 2003, when I started blogging, conservatives who are black were very popular. They (we) are now also, because we still are so few in relative numbers.

And, for the most part, we were and are regular citizens. Even the very popular Candace Owens, Diamond and Silk, and Terrance Williams – persons with eloquence and/or humor – began as everyday persons who used technology and their gifts to make their points and express their support for Donald Trump and for conservative ideas.

And this is what makes long-time Trump supporter Kanye West different from the rest of us who refuse to toe the Democrat line. His hip-hop composed platform was already built. All he had to do is climb up and begin to speak. In his case, mere agreement with Owens began an avalanche.

West is no conservative but doesn’t refute the ideology. Refreshingly, he says that he doesn’t know enough about being a conservative to call himself one. I’ve seen that he is getting an introduction to the mighty works of one Thomas F. Sowell. I’m going to suggest this as his starting point.

Many conservative observers have predicted that West will be pushed back into line, and, indeed, the attempts have already been made. A member of the Crips – that long-time terrorizer of law-abiding black and other Southern Californians — has warned West to stay out of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Or else. (West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, live in Calabasas, CA.)

And, Maxine Waters … well, read this:

Maxine Waters: “This one. Get him!”

Politico asked Waters, an outspoken critic of President Trump who advocates for his impeachment, to comment on the president’s recent “bromance with Kanye West.”:

“Kanye West is a very creative young man who has presented some of the most revolutionary material in the African-American community,” she replied. “But we also think that sometimes Kanye West talks out of turn and perhaps sometimes he needs some assistance in helping him to formulate some of his thoughts.”

She said West should think about the impact of his words and “maybe not have so much to say.”

“We don’t think that he actually means to do harm,” she added, “but we’re not sure he really understands the impact of what he’s saying, at the time that he’s saying it and how that weighs on, particularly the African American community — and for young people in general. … And I think maybe he should think twice about politics, and maybe not have so much to say.”

Waters represents the Organized Left; the Crips street and prison gang is one of its organic enforcement arms. And both are indicating something very important: Kanye West is dangerous to the Left. And, it seems that he’s just getting started.

I have been critical of – and cutting about — West and Kardashian West before and I probably will be again, but I have to thank him for having a brain in his head, for learning to use his platform wisely, and for his fearlessness. And whatever one thinks of Kardashian West, she has been doing what any good wife does: ferociously standing by her man.

Someone – Andrew Klavan, I think — once said that culture was a very important aspect of societal change. Well, the West family has certainly been a significant portion of popular culture; yes, most of it bad.

Funny thing about change, though. Sometimes it will happen in the least expected place, to the least expected person.

And, sometimes, it will make things better.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

I’ve mentioned in the past my daughter’s obsession with Hamilton, the musical. We were in the car this afternoon listening to “One Last Time,” in which George Washington tells Alexander Hamilton that he is stepping down as president after two terms and asks Hamilton to help him compose his Farewell Address (which was actually published in the newspaper), I commented to my daughter that this was one of the greatest decisions ever made by a politician in our country’s history.

Until FDR, all other presidents had followed Washington’s precedent and chose not to run again after two terms. Following FDR, the 22nd amendment formalized this tradition, forcing a two-term limit on the presidency. Just think of what this arrangement, started by Washington, has saved our country.

There is no doubt, given the size of Barack Obama’s ego, that he would have run for a third term and, given the media bias – which was even worse in his favor, if you recall, than for Hillary – there is little doubt that he would have won. Which means that we would still be looking at a potential nuclear strike from North Korea, anemic economic growth, high unemployment and the continued corruption of the FBI and intelligence services that have only come to light since President Trump was elected. Thank you, General Washington!

The other key lyric in the song is when Washington says “I want to warn against partisan fighting.” It’s a pity that our politicians didn’t heed that warning. Imagine what President Trump could accomplish if he didn’t have to spend so much time and effort defending himself against made-up charges and fighting against for-no-other-reason-than-they-hate-the-fact-that-they-lost obstruction by the Democrats.

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Sun-Times headquarters

By John Ruberry

A week ago the Chicago Sun-Times began a high-profile begging campaign with a white splash–a blank sheet of paper–as its front page to draw attention to an op-ed, “Imagine Chicago without the Sun-Times: An urgent appeal.”

Or, the editorial could be titled, give us money or the Sun-Times will shut down.

“Until now, we’ve offered our online content for free. But we can no longer afford to operate our business this way,” the Sun-Times said in that plea. “Imagine our city without our headlines,” it continues. “Without our journalists to tell your side of the story.”

Your side?

My side?

Since then I’ve noticed three follow-ups, including two columns–my guess is they were ordered by Sun-Times brass to write them–by Richard Roeper and Neil Steinberg. This morning on Fox Chicago’s Flannery Fired Up, the Sun-Times’ managing editor, Chris Fusco, along with James Warren, who held the same job at the competing Chicago Tribune, pleaded the case for online Sun-Times subscriptions, which the host, Mike Flannery, endorsed as he told the pair that he had just signed up.

Warren said of the current owners of the newspaper, “They’re severely undercapitalized.”

Who owns the Chicago Sun-Times? A consortium of left-leaning investors, including a former Chicago alderman and failed Democratic candidate for governor, along with the Chicago Federation of Labor, which is an umbrella group of local unions. The CFL’s executive board is heavy with public-sector union bosses.

Chicago is one of the few cities left that has two mass-market daily newspapers. Television struck the first blow against big-city newspapers decades ago; the internet, which newspapers embraced twenty years ago when most of them put their content online for free–naively hoping that ad revenue would pay the bills–provided the second blow.

Houston, we have a problem. The city that seems poised to surpass Chicago in population, became a one mass-market newspaper town in 1995 when the Houston Post folded.

Or does Houston really have a problem?

Wikpedia lists nearly two-dozen Houston area newspapers, to be fair, none of them I’ve heard of until today. Sure, some of them are online-only publications. But is a book a book if it only appears on Kindle?

I believe so.

Of course there are scores of blogs based in Houston, perhaps many more, similar to the one you are reading now, as well as my own Chicago-area blog, Marathon Pundit–both of which represent my side. Perhaps yours too. The media elites love to dismiss blogs and news sites such as the Daily Caller, the Washington Examiner, or Breitbart as fake news, but of course the big shots never get things wrong.

Oh, the Chicago area boasts a dozen daily newspapers.

Let’s take a closer look at the Sun-Times’ side.

Richard Roeper was suspended then demoted by the Sun-Times after he was exposed for buying 25,000 Twitter followers.

Neil Steinberg, who blocked me on Twitter shortly after Election Day two years ago because I objected to a whacked-out anti-Donald Trump column spewed by him, is in my opinion the most execrable columnist in America. He should, as the late great Sun-Times-based Ann Landers would regularly advise, “seek counseling.”

The Holocaust was in part a failure of imagination. Jews just couldn’t imagine it. Which has to trouble anyone insisting it can’t happen now. Because that’s exactly what they thought then.

If you can’t see how this could turn really bad, really quick, let me ask you this: When Donald Trump fails to provide the boon he promised, when his protectionist trade policies crater the economy, who is he going to blame? Himself? Donald Trump does not blame himself.

Who will he blame? When he’s in Pennsylvania, talking to coal miners whose industry he did not revive; when he’s in Youngstown talking to factory workers whose jobs never returned, who will he blame? Who?

You know the answer.

Since November, 2016 the Trump economy has boomed, his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, both Orthodox Jews, have enjoyed enormous power, some say too much, in the White House. And Trump will move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to the delight of many Jewish-Americans and of course, the Israeli government.

There is no Trump pogrom.

Steinberg later wrote a penitent book about the experience, but in 2005 he was arrested and jailed for a night after hitting his wife while he was drunk. He initially tried to use a public defender as his lawyer. Steinberg was being paid by the Sun-Times, right? At the time Steinberg was a member of the Sun-Times editorial board.

Not my side

Let’s take a look at the Sun-Times’ other regular opinion columnists. Mark Brown, Lynn Sweet, and Mary Mitchell are also leftists. The paper does re-print an occasional S.E. Cupp, piece, but this co-called conservative is a #NeverTrump Republican.

I didn’t forget about the Chicago Federation of Labor. As Illinois continues to plummet into the financial abyss, many members of the unions that comprise the CFL are doing well because they are or will be receiving generous but unaffordable taxpayer-funded pensions. While a couple of Republican governors share blame in the debacle, Michael Madigan, the man a former Sun-Times reporter, Dave McKinney, says is “the man behind the fiscal fiasco in Illinois,” deserves most of the dishonor. Illinois’ “House speaker-for-life” and “state Democratic Party chairman-for-life” has raked in a lot of CFL cash over the years, as has his daughter, the lame duck state attorney general, Lisa Madigan, as this Illinois Policy Institute graphic explains.

Definitely not my side.

Mike Madigan is the problem in Illinois, but don’t expect the Sun-Times to call for his ouster.

As Illinois and Chicago continues to lose population because of tax increases to attempt to pay for the local edition of what I called in this space The Great American Pension Swindle, this people-drain becomes the Sun-Times’ problem too. Fewer people living here means fewer readers and subscribers. If you live in Omaha, what does the Sun-Times offer you? Chicago’s best days are in the past and I expect that Chicago won’t remain a two mass-market-newspaper town for long. The Sun-Times is battling history with fewer troops in its camp.

Blogger at Chicago’s Trump Tower

But there will be other voices that will persevere.

Including mine.

And no, I won’t become a monthly subscriber to the Sun-Times.

Now, if the Sun-Times wants to add opinions like mine, then perhaps I’ll reconsider.

John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Illinoisan, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Michael Corleone: C’mon Frankie… my father did business with Hyman Roth, he respected Hyman Roth.
Frank Pentangeli: Your father did business with Hyman Roth, he respected Hyman Roth… but he never *trusted* Hyman Roth!

The Godfather part 2 1974

Trust but verity

Ronald Reagan

We are now seeing what happens when the US refuses to play the useful idiot for North Korea and China. War between North & South Korea may end before War between the MSM & Donald Trump

As long as the US could be counted on to pay every time China asked the North to rattle a saber the status quo was inevitable, but once the Trump administration made it clear that not only were they no longer paying but we were no longer going to be the chumps of China everything changed.

It’s now looking very possible that we will see an actual peace treaty between North and South Korea. If such a peace can be achieved then it should be done and if it IS done then Donald Trump will go down in history and the media and left will go absolutely insane.

All that being said I would be very careful about trusting the North Koreans about anything, particularly if I was the south. Yes it would be nice if the north recognized that they and the south were the same people of the same race and the same culture, but it’s also true that they were the same people, of the same race with the same culture when they first invaded the south in an attempt to impose communist rule.

Update: That’s gonna leave a mark

By John Ruberry

Roseanne cast pre-revival via Wikipedia

Last week after two decades in rerun stasis the sitcom Roseanne returned to ABC with massive ratings, even higher than its final episode of its first run in 1997.

Formerly a liberal, the show’s star, Roseanne Barr, declared that she was a supporter of Donald Trump two years ago. While Trump isn’t explicitly mentioned in the debut reboot episode, her character, Roseanne Conner, ends a family prayer, one that began by asking her pussy-hat donned leftist sister (Laurie Metcalf) if she preferred to “take a knee,” Colin Kaerpenick-style, with a bang: “Most of all, Lord, thank you for making American great again!”

The Conners live somewhere in northern Illinois in the fictional town of Lanford. Yes, my state voted for Hillary Clinton, but stick with me for a bit. One of the appeals of the old and new Roseanne is that it focuses on the struggles of a blue collar family headed by two overweight parents, Roseanne and Dan Conner (John Goodman), whose bulkiness refreshingly is not a target of unvarying jabs. They are regular folks trying to get by. During the television interregnum the Conners came close to losing their home to foreclosure. In the 1980s these type of families were Reagan Democrats. But since the first run of Roseanne, the Democrats have pivoted to the left, and in the last few years, to the far left. For evidence, look at the rise of Bernie Sanders, the only out-of-the-closet socialist in the US Senate.

“I didn’t leave the Democratic Party,” Ronald Reagan, who was born and reared in northern Illinois, notoriously remarked, “the party left me.”

The 21st century Democrats–the secular progressives–also left the Conners. This TV family represents the base of the new Republican Party.

Where the Conners live in Illinois was always a bit murky, originally it was Fulton County, a rural county south of Peoria. Yes, the old and new Roseanne, as the old vaudeville expression went, “plays in Peoria.” In 1988, when the show hit the airwaves, Michael Dukakis prevailed over George H.W. Bush in Fulton County, beginning a seven-election presidential winning streak for the Democrats there.

Ronald Reagan Trail north of Peoria

But in 2016 Donald Trump won Fulton by 15 percentage points while four years earlier Barack Obama prevailed by over twenty points. And for the GOP there plenty of room for growth in the Fulton counties of America. In southern Illinois lies Wayne County, where Trump bested Clinton by over 70 points.

Call that the Roseanne vote.

And even in Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, there is hope for the Republican Party.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Roseanne Cast pre-revival via Wikipedia

Yesterday the only story in the news seemed to be the rating for the revival of the show Rosanne which blew away all competitors all expectations and worst for the media and the Hollywood left blew away the entire narrative that they had been trying to build since November of 2016 and had managed to carefully build up over the last several months since the Parkland shooting.

The overwhelming numbers suggest that the no matter how much the media spins, how much the stars proclaim and how much the elites talk about how the public rejects all things Trump that the ordinary people, who work the jobs that have been giving bonus’ since the Trump tax cut, who have found either better employment than they had in the Obama years or have rejoined the job market now that employers are scrambling to find and/or keep staff are a force to be reckoned with in the market place.

The numbers also revealed other memes of the left to be hollow, after all the same entertainment alternatives exist for Rosanne as do other programs and events (like the NFL for example) and yet people still watched in droves.  Think the league will be anxious to get Kaepernick a job after that?

It’s also a blow to the idea that unless you are marketing to NYC or LA audience you can’t win:

 The only marquee city from a blue state in the Top 10 was Chicago at No. 5 — the area where the series is set. ABC focused some of its marketing efforts in the region with a preview of the revival at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival.

 

The top market of the country, New York, was not in the Top 20; No.2 Los Angeles was not in the Top 30. And yet, Roseanne delivered the highest demo rating for any comedy telecast in 3 1/2 years, since the fall 2014 season premiere of TV’s biggest comedy series of the past five years, The Big Bang Theory.

It’s also a blow to companies like Facebook, Twitter, Delta, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Dicks who have either systematically suppressed a good chunk of their customer base or took public positions against them.  It reminded advertisers in general and the competitors to these companies in particular that there is market share to be had that the left is offering on a silver platter and they need only reach out to take it.  They don’t even have to endorse the right, they simply have to treat us like a customer to be served rather than an audience to be lectured to.

And while Hollywood studios are not likely to be all that anxious to green light other conservative projects the numbers are going to be a powerful argument for smaller programs (or cancelled ones like Last Man Standing) that they are worth the time and notice of advertisers whose primary goal is getting eyeballs without being tainted by the latest facebook scandal or the drive to repeal the 2nd amendment that our friends on the left are scrambling to deny.

Now to be sure some of these numbers can be attributed to nostalgia and there is always the chance (indeed the probability) that the show will decide to lurch left at some point but for now if I’m the media/left that has owned the culture and I spend the day looking at the rating numbers and the seemingly unending buzz, I’d be afraid, very afraid.