The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 30, 2016: Intelligence Briefings Won’t Make Trump Intelligent

Vice President Harry Truman didn’t know anything about the Manhattan Project. He only learned about it after President Franklin Roosevelt’s death and his assumption of the presidency. He decided that his successors should never be put in that same situation and ordered that intelligence briefings be given to both major party candidates in a presidential election. This process has evolved over the years and now includes a watered-down version of what the president is told on a daily basis. It contains no Top Secret information (which is information whose release could cause “exceptionally grave damage” to the nation’s security) but just a general overview of the security threats around the world. They might tell the candidates where ISIS is operating in the world, but they won’t tell them where the leader of ISIS stays each night.

People from both major parties have given reasons why they think the other party’s candidate shouldn’t get any briefing. Republicans say the FBI’s report on the Clinton e-mail server investigation, and Director James Comey’s characterization of Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified data as “reckless” should disqualify her from getting any briefing. This is ridiculous because as Secretary of State she was already aware of the kind of information the briefing would present. Senator Harry Reid believes that Donald Trump’s lack of self-control makes him unsuited for handling classified information and that they should give him a fake briefing, with no real intelligence divulged. This has led to a fun hashtag game on the Twitter called #FakeTrumpIntelligenceBriefing. Here is an example:

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said both candidates will get the same nonpartisan briefing. After the election, the winner will begin receiving the same intelligence briefing the president gets each morning in order to prepare her (alright, maybe him) for taking office. Ironically, something like the Manhattan Project is not the kind of thing that would be told to presidential candidates. If they wouldn’t even tell the Vice President it existed, why would they reveal it to someone who was going to lose the election and probably never hold any public office?

This is our daily open thread. It contains no classified information.

51 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 30, 2016: Intelligence Briefings Won’t Make Trump Intelligent

    • There’s no such thing as “off topic” on an open thread. You’re always free and encouraged to bring up anything you want. I often learn newsworthy things through comments here (and on the Twitter.)

      This is why I fear GMO foods, just like I fear nuclear power plants. Everything’s fine if things go according to plan. But things don’t always go according to plan. And when you’re dealing with something deadly like nuclear radiation, the results would be catastrophic. Genetically modified food is no different. If you believe in Science, then you believe in Evolution. These modified seeds often escape their own farms and breed with other wheat from other fields. How can anyone predict what will happen?

      As Dr. Ian Malcolm said, “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.” Chaos theory will tell you that in the long run, this can’t work out well.

      • Most generally cross contamination in seed is a lack of cleanliness and quality control when either harvesting or handling different varieties of grains and seed grain.

        Seed grain growers are supposed to blow out and wash out combines, cutting heads, wagon beds, truck beds, grain bins and hopper cars especially when going from GMO to Non-GMO seed grain or grain for consumption.

        I remember years ago (2000) when I was a grain merchandiser in the midwest, there was a “Starlink Crisis” where the Starlink variety of GMO corn was inadvertently mixed with non-GMO corn for human consumption and export. There was quite to-do about getting the contaminated grain contained.

        The contaminated grain was eventually redirected into feed for livestock consumption instead of taco shells and Doritos.

        • I’ve read stories about GMO wheat being blown into non-GMO wheat fields, and Monsanto was able to successfully sue the non-GMO farmer for taking their product, even though he had nothing to do with it. The responsibility ought to be placed on the GMO farmer to keep his special product away from everyone else, not on everyone to not let his seed get contaminated by theirs.

    • Conservatives are the ultimate nay-sayers. When they make committee assignments, they always put the most unqualified, or most unfit period, person in charge of committees. People who don;t believe in Science are assigned to the Science and technology committees. Things like that.

      When Bush 43 took office, he put an anti-union person (and wife of the Republican Senate Leader) in charge of the Labor Dept, a lobbyist for the mining industry in charge of Interior (who gives out the mining permits), and appointed a man who hated the United Nations and who didn’t believe in the value (or point) of international diplomacy to be our UN Ambassador.

      Someone needs to explain to me how Conservative Republicans think they can run a country better than Liberals.

    • You’d a thunk that a pre-req for the intel committee would be to have a shred of intelligence…

  1. Speaking of ‘intelligence’ (the mental type, not the spy), it’s long been my observation that intelligence is inversely proportional to ego. IOW, the more the ego, the lamer the brain. Defines Trump. And while ‘intelligence’ and intelligence don’t have a lot in common, ego doesn’t go with either one, esp. since ego means that if something can be used to bolster ego, best to leave ‘intelligence’ out of the equation.

    DO NOT!, iow, share ‘intelligence’ with Drumpf. Period.

  2. Ego v. Intelligence:

    Trump Hits Father Of Fallen Soldier: ‘I’ve Made A Lot Of Sacrifices’

    Trump did not disappoint, telling ABC News Saturday that he had “made a lot of sacrifices” by employing “thousands and thousands of people,” and having “tremendous success.” . . .

    “If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me,” he rambled.

    Tim Kaine responds to Trump’s ego-based confusion:

    Tim Kaine Agrees With Trump: ‘I Was A Lousy New Jersey Governor’

    What kind of nutcase does it take to support Trump, the egomaniacal narcissist? Not sure I really want to know, actually.

  3. So grateful Tony Schwartz never signed a non-disclosure agreement.

    • Trump’s trying to weasel out of debating Hillary already. If he ever does debate her, she’ll surely make him lose his cool. If he doesn’t debate her, he’ll drop even further in the polls than he has this weekend.

    • Unless, of course, you’re a Drumpfian, in which case the dinosaurs were here about 5,500 years ago, cuz yknow the urth iz only a liddle older than thatz.

  4. More Drumpfianisms to chew on
    In the ABC interview, Trump pointed to the sacrifices he has made as a businessman: “I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs,” Trump said.
    “I think my popularity with the vets is through the roof,” he added later.

    Perhaps, Hair Drumpf, I don’t kinow about animal doctors, but this Vietnam Vet thinks you suck. Your standing with me is somewhere between the ground and the portable toilet seat.

    • I’ve been mulling over whether the Trump children know their father is nuts and want to prove it to the world by letting, encouraging this obviously incompetent shitgibbon to run for Presidentfor the simple purpose of gaining control over the Trump mini empire?

    • You’re damn right he wasn’t allowed to do anything but what he does best, fart into the wind.

    • Hillary leaks some classified info inadvertently through elaborate electronic espionage, but Trump just opens his mouth and it’s free to all.

  5. Trump invariably speaks in circles on virtually any significant issue. Might that be what’s known as a ‘Circle Jerk’?

    Trump vows Putin is ‘not going into Ukraine’ — two years after Russia annexed Crimea

    “He’s not going into Ukraine, okay, just so you understand,” Trump responded. “He’s not gonna go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want.”

    Stephanopoulos then pointed out that Putin is “already there” and noted Trump had said he’d consider recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea if he were elected president.

    Trump said he’d “take a look at” the Russian take-over of Crimea but then made a pro-Kremlin talking point.

    “But you know, the people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were,” Trump said. “And you have to look at that, also. Now, that was under– just so you understand, that was done under Obama’s administration.”

    • O.M.G.

      And we thought Palin was an idiot, right?

      In light of Trump’s recent word salad, I was tempted to use a quote I’ve often heard attributed to Twain about fools keeping their mouths shut. But in doing some research on the quote, I find the original source may have come from the bible.

      “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” -Proverbs 17:28 NIV

      Or if you prefer the old English (and a bit more blunt) version:

      “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” – Proverbs 17:28 KJV

      • Then there’s Twain’s brilliant description of Donald Trump:

        “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.” ~Mark Twain

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