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Viva Sandino!

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Glad to see Republicans repudiate the horrific policies of Reagan toward the Sandinistas!

“If the world knows nothing else, the world will know this: America stands with Israel,” Vice President Mike Pence told the Republican Jewish Coalition on Friday night. Meanwhile, Pence’s Twitter account was sending an entirely different message: America stands with Nicaragua.

The person managing Pence’s Twitter account mistakenly tweeted that “the world will know America stands with Israel 🇳🇮 ” and “Under @POTUS Trump, we will stand with Israel 🇳🇮 ” except, there’s one problem: that’s not Israel’s flag. The person tweeting used the Nicaraguan flag in both tweets, which vaguely resembles the Israeli flag if you squint and are completely ignorant of world politics.

If there’s one thing you can say about this administration, it’s that it’s bigly competent.

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  • wengler

    Pence probably wishes the US had the same abortion policy as Nicaragua…

  • J. Otto Pohl

    An alternative timline where the US had the same type of relationship with Nicaragua that it does with the State of Israel would make interesting reading. Although I can’t come up with any plausible scenerio in which any Nicaraguan state would have that kind of outsized influence on the US.

    • No Longer Middle Aged Man

      Have you heard of the Somozas? The USA spent 40+ years stalwartly supporting “our bastards”

      • J. Otto Pohl

        I don’t think US government support for any Latin American dictatorships can be compared to the type of idolotry Israel has enjoyed in the US and not just among politicians since 1948. How many Hollywood movies glorifying either Somoza ever got made for instance? How many Americans call themselves Somocistas compared to those that call themselves Zionists? President Carter cut off arms to Somoza at the end. Has any president ever cut off arms to Israel? The only thing in common is that Israel remained the last state to provide arms to Somoza even after Carter cut off the regime.

        • DrDick

          You are obviously too young to remember the 60s and 70s.

          • rhino

            I think he has a point. The US interferences in South and Central America were never given the broad public support that we see currently coming out of the Crazy Right for Israel.

            Nor was it anything like the ‘we will support you even as you undermine obvious American interests’ absolute unfailing loyalty that large portions of the American public and government display towards Israel generally and the Likudniks specifically.

            The support and interferences in latin america were always expediency in the cold war, and proxy warfare. Not ‘love’.

          • njorl

            US support for central American regimes has always had some comprehensible motive – protecting the interests of American companies, or fighting communism. They weren’t necessarily good interests, but you could point to them. Our support for Israel has always been a detriment to our interests – we spend money to help a nation which does nothing for us to the detriment of our standing with other nations.

            • Derelict

              For certain sects of evangelical Christians, support for Israel is based on the idea that Jesus can’t begin his comeback tour if Israel doesn’t exist and the Temple doesn’t get rebuilt.

              This is what undergirds Republican support for Israel. Whether praying daily for the suffering of billions of other people is a Christian thing to do is left as an exercise for the reader. Why Israelis support an American political movement that prays for the destruction of the Jews is an exercise left up to forensic psychologists.

              • Lurking Canadian

                Probably has a lot to do with the Israelis thinking (correctly) that the hoped for Armaggedon is total bullshit that’s less likely than an alien invasion. Thus, they are getting something tangible (money & political support) at the cost only of some prayers for their destruction by people who were going to pray for their destruction in any event.

                • DAS

                  Many Jewish conservatives (both in Israel and in the USA) I know explicitly make this point. They tend to ignore the issue of the influence Evangelical support has on Israeli decisions that may be unconsciously biased in a direction of keeping that support by implementing a pro-Armeggedon agenda.

              • Mike G

                US policy toward Israel essentially revolves around Bible fan-fiction, with all the pragmatism and logic that implies.

        • rea

          Has any president ever cut off arms to Israel?

          Truman, 1947.

          • rhino

            Can you elaborate? This sounds interesting.

          • Warren Terra

            Also, the Suez Crisis, surely?

          • CrunchyFrog

            Since Israel officially was founded in 1948 that technically doesn’t count.

        • Abbey Bartlet

          I don’t think US government support for any Latin American dictatorships can be compared to the type of idolotry Israel has enjoyed in the US and not just among politicians since 1948. How many Hollywood movies glorifying either Somoza ever got made for instance? How many Americans call themselves Somocistas compared to those that call themselves Zionists?

          Could someone go fetch my eyes? They seem to have rolled right out of my head.

        • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

          There was a musical comedy about the Six Day War called “The Yiddish are Coming! The Yiddish are Coming!” I have the cast album… yadda yadda yadda …my cold dead fingers.

        • DAS

          Welcome back, J. Otto! It’s good to hear from an actual conservative as opposed to the nihilists that have taken over the GOP here in the USA.

          If Somoza led a group of people, persecuted for practicing the indigenous religion of Nicaragua and discriminated against in all the countries in which they lived because of their Nicaraguan heritage, to resettle in their ancestral homeland, then we would probably see some American Somocistas like we see American Zionists.

          Zionism (I’m not referring to specific actions by Israel or even the “special relationship” between Israel and the US that probably has Herzl spinning in his grave) gets reviled in a way that no other national liberation movement does. I wonder why?

          FWIW, I support Samosaism. I am a proud Samosa-ist.

          • Abbey Bartlet

            Zionism (I’m not referring to specific actions by Israel or even the “special relationship” between Israel and the US that probably has Herzl spinning in his grave) gets reviled in a way that no other national liberation movement does. I wonder why?

            One might note similarly that terrible things done by Israel get five thousand times as much attention and protest as terrible things done by any other country in the region.

            Who can possibly think of why that might be.

      • DocAmazing

        Weirdly enough, the Somocista Guardia Nacional got a lot of its training from the IDF and from IDF-veteran mercenaries, and was at one point equipped with Galils.

        • J. Otto Pohl

          Not really wierd. Old man Somoza was an early Zionist and used a lot of his ill gotten wealth to help the Israelis during the 1948 War.

          • Keaaukane

            Otto! Welcome back!

    • Denverite

      Although I can’t come up with any plausible scenerio in which any Nicaraguan state would have that kind of outsized influence on the US.

      I dunno. You can maybe see an alternate history in which they decide to do the canal through Lake Nicaragua instead of the Panamanian isthmus, a pro-US Nicaraguan government assumes office in 1960s or 1970s and supports keeping the canal under American ownership, and Nicaragua emerges as a key US ally in Central America. Throw in lots of rich Americans retiring down there, and I could see that being a plausible alternate history scenario. It’s no more outlandish than a lot of Turtledove’s works, at least.

    • Hogan

      Hi, Otto!

    • dogboy

      Ha Ha remember when St. Reagan sold weapons to Israel’s BFF the Iranians? That was hilarious.

      • cpinva

        “Ha Ha remember when St. Reagan sold weapons to Israel’s BFF the Iranians? That was hilarious.”

        in fairness, he had no memory of doing this, or much of anything else during his 8 years in office. and, of course, he’s still dead.

      • Hogan

        And AWACS planes to Saudi Arabia.

        • Ahenobarbus

          Remember when William Safire wrote the following of Reagan:

          “You’d think the heaviest cross [the President] had to bear was the Star of David.”

          Remember when GHW Bush tried to block loan guarantees to Israel?
          When Reagan’s White House voted to to condemn Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor?

          Seems unimaginable now.

  • (((Malaclypse)))

    Had Biden done this, the Very Serious People would have called for his resignation.

    • wjts

      Remember when Tim Kaine was pilloried for his Nicaraguan flag lapel pin?

  • wjts

    To be Scrupulously Fair, the tiny little flag emojis look pretty similar on my little phone screen.

    • Warren Terra

      Yeah – the tweet was asinine, and using emoji is juvenile (and I’d argue inappropriate in a professional environment), but if you accept they’re going to tweet dumb thing and use emoji it’s nearly inevitable they’re going to pick similar ones in error.

      • Abbey Bartlet

        They’re also *in alphabetical order*. And on a computer they’re labeled. Soooo.

        • N__B

          So you’re in the pocket of Big Alphabet, eh? I’ll remember that.

          • Abbey Bartlet

            +XXVI

          • Warren Terra

            Given that the Chinese have so many more characters than we do, are they Really Big Alphabet?

            • Thom

              Characters they have; alphabet they don’t.

      • delazeur

        I’ve noticed that a lot of conservative politicians have started using American flag emoji in their tweets. I agree with you that it comes off as juvenile and unprofessional.

        • rhino

          Unprofessional especially since they have no right to use it. They should stick to the flag they deserve, and the one they serve. The confederate flag.

    • corporatecake

      vs

      When you look at them side by side, you can see the differences, but I think the resemblance here is more than vague.

  • cpinva

    “which vaguely resembles the Israeli flag if you squint, are color-blind, and are completely ignorant of world politics.”

    fixed that. the author needn’t thank me.

  • Abbey Bartlet

    To be less Scrupulously Fair, the tweets were almost certainly scheduled using computers.

    • wjts

      This is the difference between Scrupulously Fair and reasonably or actually fair.

  • Dilan Esper

    No wonder Republicans support flag burning laws. They don’t want any flags destroyed until they figure out which countries they represent.

    Bad week for Republicans and flags.

  • Bitter Scribe

    In “It Can’t Happen Here,” the American fascists adopt the five-pointed star as their symbol, as a proud gesture of defiance to both the Jews and the Soviets, with their six-pointed stars. Consternation ensues when someone gets around to noticing that the star on the Soviet flag is, in fact, five-pointed.

    At the time I read this, I thought it was really farfetched. Now it seems like it doesn’t go far enough.

  • Hogan

    Netanyahu gulps down an arak and thinks, “Seventeen candidates and I end up with these schmucks.”

  • Warren Terra

    Treating this as something of an open thread (on the grounds that, come on, nobody really cares about some dumbass staffer’s emoji blunders), did people see that last night Trump decided to dine in the Trump Hotel’s public dining room, together with Ivanka, Jared, FL governor Rick Scott, and Nigel Farage? If you’ll bear with me, there’s a whole bunch of things to unpack here:

    1) This should be unacceptable. It’s corrupt. It’s a huge advertisement for his hotel, and suggests to patrons that they might get to dine with the President, perhaps even to schmooze with them – that a good table at the Trump Hotel dining room might let them fantasize they’re a member of the Mar a Lago elite. Reality TV celebrities not that different from who Trump two years ago make their living by being paid to drop by trendy nightclubs to give those venues some social-media buzz. A drop-in by Trump to the public dining room is a hugely valuable advertisement boosting the hotel’s profitability.

    2) According to the article I linked, Trump was “cheered by onlookers as he walks through the hotel.” There aren’t a lot of places Trump can get that reception impromptu. It’s telling that the Trump Hotel is one; also, that he sought it out.

    3) Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State and rich person who can afford to dine well, was reportedly also in the dining room – but separately from Trump. This in turn raises issues:
    3a) Are prominent members of the administration going to regularly drop in at Trump properties to boost their value and turn them into Trump administration theme park experiences?
    3b) Are Trump courtiers going to be seen patronizing Trump enterprises so as to curry favor with Burnt Umbrage? Did Tillerson get a tip-off that this was a good place to hang out tonight, Versailles style?

    4) Hey, at least Trump wasn’t at Mar a Lago this weekend! First time, I think!

    5) The principal source for all of this is Benny Johnson – a DC gossip monger who was a big noise at Buzzfeed before being disgraced for rampant plagiarism. It seems likely there’s some backstory here, about how he just happened to be in the dining room when this happened, especially as he apparently got to talk to Trump (he asked Trump whether he’s planning to attend the White House Correspondent’s Association dinner). Note that the White House press pool was kept out of the hotel entirely while this hack got access.

    6) Between Rick Scott and Nigel Farage Trump has the dining companions he deserves.

    7) There was some confusion about when it happened (it was Wednesday, so a different night earlier in the week), but Kuwait had just paid tens of thousands of dollars to host an event in the Trump Hotel – and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin attended. More corruption, more emollients.

    • Q.E.Dumbass

      If this is going to be an open thread, then I’m thinking we should do what Doug J at Balloon Juice did and do fantasy casting for the comedy series White House: The Trump Years. Here’s my list (the first choices are w/r/t a somewhat serious show; the second half is more of a piss-take):

      Trump – Anthony Atamanuik/Bill Maher: Atamanuik’s Trump was easily the best thing about Fusion’s Shout the Vote, so he gets first pick for Trump. Bill Maher, meanwhile, is the closest liberal counterpart to Trump, and his impressionistic take on him, I feel, best expresses the “Northeastern oaf” aspect of Donald’s personality.

      Ben Carson – Damon Wayans/Nas or Pras Michel: Damon Wayans has always been pretty good at the “pretentious stoner” shtick (cf. Louis Farrakhan & Oswald on In Living Color; Michael Kyle), which makes him a perfect fit for Carson. That said, Nas and Pras Michel are aslo perfect fits for Carson as they are both objectively terrible actors; Nas’ dull surprise in pretty much anything involving a film camera is a wonder to behold. So it’s Damon for the “serious” version, but the latter two a better for straight cringe-comedy.

      Rick Perry – Stephen Colbert
      Omarosa – Tichina Arnold
      Stephen Miller – Tony Hale
      Kellyanne Conway – Steve Buscemi
      Jason Chaffetz – Gilbert Gottfried
      Steve Bannon – Patton Oswalt/Rosie O’Donnell
      Reince Priebus – Matthew Broderick/Jimmy Fallon: Jimmy Fallon deserves to play Priebus as penance for fluffing Donald.

      Jeff Sessions – Melissa McCarthy/Cee-Lo Green
      Mike Pence – Will Ferrell/John Slattery
      Paul Ryan – Topher Grace: “Eric Forman is easy for me to relate to, because he isn’t really good at anything. The main character of That ’70s Show is nerdy but not smart, cocky but not confident. He embodies the worst corner of every stereotypical sitcom personality trait, and if you watch That ’70s Show today, you’ll see that it should be retitled Somebody Punch That Skinny Kid.” – Daniel Dockery

      Anthony Weiner – Dustin Diamond/Jon Stewart
      Mitch McConnell – Dana Carvey: With this casting, at least one good thing will have come out of The Master of Disguise .

      Jared Kushner – Jesse Eisenberg/Either of the Savage Brothers
      James Mattis – William Hurt
      Hillary Clinton: Nina Arianda/Nicole Sullivan
      Huma Abedin: Tania Raymonde/Julia Louis-Dreyfus

      • Denverite

        Damon Wayans has always been pretty good at the “pretentious stoner” shtick (cf. Louis Farrakhan & Oswald on In Living Color; Michael Kyle), which makes him a perfect fit for Carson.

        A couple of years ago, the spouse saw Damon Wayans, Jr. in something or other (I think maybe the criminally underrated Happy Endings series) and said “holy shit Damon Wayans has aged well! He looks younger than he did in the 90s!”.

        • Q.E.Dumbass

          Blankman isn’t Oscar-worthy (and as Chris Rock says, making that argument invokes Scopie’s Law for film criticism), but it’s honestly a pretty good superhero parody.

      • N__B

        Nigel Farage – A beaver high on PCP.

      • Ahenobarbus

        Curious as to how big a part Anthony Weiner would be in White House: The Trump Years.

        • Q.E.Dumbass

          That (and by extension, my choices for HRC & Huma) is actually part of either Campaign 2016 or the Hillary Clinton Gloating Channel.

          That latter program was actually the suggestion of a Jezebel commenter, who suggested it could run under HRC’s head during the Donald Occupacy –there’s no way she would sign up for that, but it’s still too good an idea to give up.

    • Sev

      Emolients- perhaps they can rename Trump’s hotel restaurant “The Greasy Palm Court.”

      • Derelict

        Or just rename the hotel “Crossed Palms.”

    • cpinva

      “More corruption, more emollients.”

      but that cash felt really soft and smooth.

      • DocAmazing

        If you’re going to grease someone’s palm…

  • Jordan

    Nicaraugan flag, Russian flag, Trump!American flag.

    Who can tell the difference?

  • Warren Terra

    Also in unrelated real outrages: that anti-immigrant shooting in Olathe Kansas happened on Wednesday night; it’s now midday Sunday. The shooter interrogated the Indian Garmin engineers about their visas and told them to “get out of my country” before shooting them, and bragged to the bartender that he had “killed some Arabs”.

    The White House still hasn’t denounced this act of White Nationalist Terrorism, and Sean Spicer told reporters it was too early to guess at the motive for the incident.

    This should be an incredibly easy one: there are witnesses to the shooter proclaiming his motive. The victims are legal immigrants working (in mid-America!) to boost America’s high-tech industries. There’s even a white bystander lying in a hospital bed because he got shot trying to defend genuine American values! A White House that didn’t want to court the racist vote would have said something – would probably have invited the widow, the surviving Indian victim, and the American would-be hero to the White House. Instead we get Spicer’s ludicrous profession of ignorance.

  • pianomover

    Saw this somewhere and have to agree, that anyone who is around Pence’s age and having their eyesight start to go might be able to sympathize with this mistake.

  • Owlbear1

    “If the world knows nothing else, the world will know this: America stands with Israel,

    Those Christians and their wacky Conjure Jesus spell.

  • Deggjr

    As time goes on competency appears to be a growing issue. How long does it take to draft a legal Executive Order on immigration? There are periodic announcements that a new EO will be implemented in a few days but it hasn’t happened yet.

    Pence, Mattis, Kelly all openly contradict Trump’s pronouncements and no one in the administration can make the stories more consistent.

    North Korea conducts a missile test and there is no reaction.

    There appears to be some movement on ACA but ‘not everyone will keep their coverage’. Each person who loses coverage knows (pick a number) five? sympathetic people. Coverage losses will not go unnoticed.

  • Dagmar

    tRump is mirroring Ortega’s recent adventures in nepotism. And, I’m pretty sure that the Republicans are quite envious of Somoza’s banana republican government. Also, I’m pretty sure there are Freudian parallels between Sandino’s big hat and tRump’s big hair.

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