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April 27, 2016


Just posted this on the other thread, a preview:

Misogyny will be the base line in the ugly Republican campaign soundtrack against Hillary Clinton that is coming right up, just like racism and racial slurs were the fundamental drumbeat played against Barack Obama during the last two Presidential campaigns:


It will sound very much like this on Twitter and among the right-wing blog vermin, especially the examples toward the end of the clip:


At some point during this long summer and fall, Donald Trump will re-tweet bumpkin Rethugs calling Clinton the c-word, just as the n-word and its synonyms were so often invoked by Tea Party racist filth and their so-called political representatives against Obama.

Trump: "We know what people are calling her, don't we? I'm told by the politically correct crowd that I can't say that word, and I won't, but it's a terrific word, let me tell you, I've dated and have even married many of them in my own personal war years, which I like to call my Tet Offensive, and believe you me, I deserve more Veterans Dept medical help than all of those sorry-assed veterans, but I ask you, when is that you-know-what Clinton going to stop her shouting? It's making my head hurt! Someone give ME a Purple Heart! ME!!"

It's what gets the base to the polls.

Cancel the 2020 elections and just start the shooting.

I look forward to six months of the media pretending this is a competitive race. That'll be fun.

Ugh, before you get too down on McCain for Palin (not that he doesn't deserve it), consider that you don't yet know who Trump might come up with for VP.

Granted, he is more likely than not to come up ISTM with a non-entity. Just to avoid sharing the spotlight. But even that is no guarantee that it won't be someone that makes even Palin look (you should pardon the expression) "Presidential." Shudder!

I think he will pick Christie. He's Trump's kind of asshole in a way that Cruz is not.

Morat, how much fun will it be, to get six months of repetition of "Trump surprised people all thru the primaries. So pay no attention to the polls which show him going down in flames in November."? Can they really come up with enough variations on the theme to stave off total boredom?

Picking Christie would be weird. Candidates usually aim to diversify with the VP pick, whereas this would just be a poorer, fatter, sadder, saner north-eastern populist blowhard crook. Not sure what constituency he would pull in.

Still could happen, mind. The guy often makes bad decisions.

how much fun will it be, to get six months of repetition of "Trump surprised people all thru the primaries. So pay no attention to the polls which show him going down in flames in November

It will be even more interesting to se how he reacts to actually being behind in the polls. Media aside, when he was trailing in Texas and Ohio he was talking about huge upsets up to the day before the primaries. Elsewhere he has had a lead for a long time now. So attacking will only get greater once he realizes he is likely to lose. He will, almost surely, run the most repetitively negative campaign ever. He will only have one person to call names.

Who knows what chaos churns through the mind of Trump?

As for Christie, http://cheezburger.com/8755738624 Trump seems to turned him into "cupcake dog". It's not a good look for him.

Cruz to pre-empt Trump by announcing that, if he gets the nomination, he will select Fiorina as his VP.

Well, that's one horrible mistake that Trump won't be able to make. (Because you just know he won't take a woman who is someone else's ex. ;-)

"High-water mark" ??

I'm afraid I'm not willing entirely to discount the possibility of a Trumpenstein win, unlikely though it might be.

I agree with Marty.

I must have been mistaken. :)

What will be interesting about the convention will be the fact that, although Trump will almost certainly have a first-ballot majority for the nomination, there will not be a majority of actual Trump supporters. So instead of the usual stage-managed convention that we've come to expect there could be factional fighting on the Rules Committee, over the platform, choices of speakers and time slots, etc.

Depending on how slim Trump's majority is, the Cruz people may make a last ditch effort with a bunch of credentials challenges and so forth, similar to what the Humphrey folks did trying to stop McGovern in '72 (the book "The Boys on the Bus" by Tim Crouse goes in to this, and is an interesting read, a sober companion piece to "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72" by the good Dr. Thompson).

There definitely could be some amusement, if the platform that gets written includes a bunch of stuff which Trump disagrees with.

Granted, he doesn't seem to have an enormous number of issues where he actually has a position that he cares about. But a bunch of Cruz true-believers could write something fascinating. After all, they won't be constrained by having someone that they actually like stuck with running on it.

However, if you want a nightmare scenario, picture a convention where, having been forced to vote Trump the nomination on the first ballot, the delegates then vote their hearts . . . and stick him with a running-mate that he didn't pick and doesn't want. Fun!

I can't believe I blanked on the Veep situation. There could be multiple ballots on that, at least. On the other side, who's Hillary going to pick?

If Trump is the nominee, who the heck is going to volunteer for the VP slot ?
Thankless task / short straw etc doesn't begin to cover it.

Maybe someone hankering for his/her 15 minutes of fame?

That or someone under the illusion that it would give a leg up for the 2020 race. I'm trying, without success, to think of someone who leveraged a VP slot on a losing ticket into a Presidential nominaton. (Never mind an actual Presidential election.) Coming up blank.

Who's Hillary going to pick?

Marty and I agree on Deval Patrick. :)

VP to a narcissist megalomaniac who is likely to lose ?
15 minutes of fame is all very well, but many months of purgatory ?

One only has to look at Chris Christie to imagine the psychic toll. And that was a mere endorsement.

FDR, btw.

(losing VP)

And rather more obscurely, James Polk.

I jus tlove this place. Ask a massively obscure question, and like as not someone will pop up with the answer.

I have to think there's no shortage of Palin-like attention-seekers who couldn't care less about being VP or running for president later on. It's the Fox (or whatever) gigs, speaking engagements, and selling of unreadable books that would be the prize.

I'm not familiar enough with the sort of lower-level players who would fit that description to name anyone, but I, none the less, have no doubt they're out there.

Who's a current-day Curtis LeMay?

Jack Keane could be a current day LeMay, but he might be a Clintonite


I will probably avoid paying too much attention to this campaign, but it might be fun if Trump attacks Clinton with a pincer movement from left and right simultaneously. On foreign policy he happens to occupy both positions.

Deval Patrick, I think so.

Speaking of Generals, there's a long article behind the paywall in either last Sunday's New York Times Magazine*, or the one before, regarding the surprisingly high esteem in which the American military brass holds Hillary Clinton.

My mileage varies.

*Donald has the link ;)

"Who's a current-day Curtis LeMay?"

There probably isn't one, but even if there was, he would be too .... mainstream establishment and expertise-laden ... for the current Trump/Cruz Zeitgeist, which believes in carpet bombing the enemy with glib bullshit and then following up with the amateur psychopath's playbook:


More likely Trump would pluck some supply clerk to be his executive military sidekick from the USS Belowdecks who has been writing him long missives during the campaign detailing bizarre military strategies to sustain a six-front war (two of them on U.S. soil), including the five-minute subduing of Russia that Trump mentioned today.

As to who might be the running mate, I don't know who exactly, but I expect someone whose head is flat enough on top to allow Trump to set his drink down when needed, but who also can wield a flick knife to eviscerate incoming ack-ack Trump is too busy to deal with.

The actor Richard Deacon is probably on the short-list. The fact that he has been dead for decades probably works in his favor:


I don't know, threats of "we're going to bomb them into the stone age" don't seem that different than today's Trump/Cruz talk.

Yes, but LeMay was a professional Beast.

Here is Trump meeting with his Cabinet:


Who's a current-day Curtis LeMay?

Billy Boykin?

If Trump is the nominee, who the heck is going to volunteer for the VP slot ?

Who cares?

for trump vp, I'm leaning toward melania

Just 3 days left until our twice-elected POTUS with no more f*cks to give takes the podium at the White House Correspondents Association dinner and, I devoutly hope, flambees the short-fingered vulgarian birther he adroitly skewered 5 years ago.


Speaking as a Torontonian: we always wondered just what Rob Ford would have done with his own thermonuclear arsenal.

Inhaled it.

@bobbyp: I've always thought it was remarkable that the 25th Amendment became directly relevant (with a vacancy in the Vice-Presidency being immediately followed by a vacancy in the Presidency) so soon after it was ratified. I guess otherwise, the Speaker of the House, Carl Albert, would have become President instead of Gerald Ford.

Trump admits he'll lead with his dick, since it's got him this far:


You wanna see it, ladies? He's coy, but grab your magnifying glass:


Boehner gelds the dickless Cruz, then drops to his knees himself for a little suck on Trump's misogyny.


Like I said, racist vermin the last two times out; misogynist, pigf*cking ass wipes this time around.

Get your own bathrooms, assholes.

It's how the Republican Party rolls.

And just as I was beginning to feel all smug about the relative sanity of our politics...

for trump vp, I'm leaning toward melania

Russell, while I'm sure that Trump would be unfazed by the fact that she isn't a natural-born citizen, there is one simple reason why he would never go for this. The President and Vice President are required to be legal residents of seperate states.

There is no way Trump would admit that he and his wife are seperated like that. (At least not unless he was in the process of divorcing her.) After all, women love him....

However she might make a great pick for Secretary of State.

Although speaking so many languages might suggest that she actually knows something about the rest of the world. That could be a serious disqualification....

This is rather disturbing:

Russell, while I'm sure that Trump would be unfazed by the fact that she isn't a natural-born citizen, there is one simple reason why he would never go for this. The President and Vice President are required to be legal residents of seperate states.

This is widely repeated, but I don't think it's correct. The Twelfth Amendment says this:

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves

Here is some elaboration. And here's some more.

Since we are looking at the Dawn of Something, here's a little gem for you: the House Armed Services Committee just approved an amendment to the defense authorization bill which would require women to register for the draft.

First surprise, the amendment was proposed by a Republican, saying “Right now the draft is sexist”. (Of course, he voted against his own amendment. Says he was just trying to start a discussion on how wrong it is to allow women to serve in combat roles.)

And then, to his surprise, it passed! Even after he said that anyone who voted for it would be siding with the administration, 5 Republicans were willing to vote for it. Be careful what you wish for . . . you might get it.

For a historical note, in 1981 the US Supreme Court ruled (Rostker v. Goldberg) that women did not have to register for the draft because they did not serve in combat roles. Which suggests that a new challenge to the law, now that all combat roles have been opened to women (National Coalition for Men vs. the Selective Service System), now on appeal in the 9th Circuit**), might force a change anyway.

** Full disclosure: I'm on my local SSS Board. So I suppose that I have some interest in the decision of the court, if and when.

JanieM has it correct, but in any case that part of the 12th Amendment is a dead letter ever since Bush/Cheney squirmed their way into the Whitehouse.

The problem is that those old "founder" dudes left out an enforcement provision; just imagine how much better the USA would be today if they had said:

"attempts to circumvent this Amendment shall be slowly chopping the candidates into small bits"

Ah well.

According to Wikipedia, Cheney changed his driver's license and voter registration back to Wyoming a few months prior to the election. But for that change, I wonder if the Senate would've elected Lieberman VP?

After Agnew resigned, Nixon, trying to slow the Watergate investigation, hinted at resigning before a VP was sworn in, which would have made Carl Albert President. Albert had some alcohol issues, so it was a kind of threat.

If Patrick were willing to accept the VP slot, he'd have run for President this time. Plenty of us from Massachusetts would've loved to have seen it, even if the odds were against two inspirational black politicians in a row. But, last I heard, he wasn't willing to put his wife (who has a history of depression) through it. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him in Hillary's Cabinet, but he's not going to be on the ticket.

Nigel, taken without any context Livingstone's reamrks do not look that off to me. For some time the Nazis did indeed propagate the idea of the Jews just getting kicked our or 'incentivized' to leave by discriminatory laws. There is no consensus among historians about when Hitler made the final decision to go for genocide (was the Madagascar plan a smokescreen or a genuine if absurd idea?).
The reply on the other hand is rubbish as far as history is concerned. Dachau was used for political (not 'racial') enemies of the Nazis and was proverbial for that in Germany at the time. And the Nuremberg race laws were in essence a 'you are apart from us and don't pretend otherwise' statement formally even granting special 'protective rights' to Jews that amounted to the idea that Jews were foreign nationals on German soil. So, for an observer at the time it looked like the age-old 'Jew Go Home' message.

From what the Guardian article reports as facts alone I can't say anything about Livingstone's actual beliefs and whether they are antisemitic or not. There are lots of antisemites that use antizionism as cover but on the other hand the equation antizionism = antisemitism is used as a tool to preemptively discredit any criticism of even the most outrageous policies and utterings of the extreme Right in Israel. I will leave out the crackpots that believe that Hitler was a Jew or at least a Jewish agent, that's Pink Swastika territory (btw the claim that the Nazis were a Jewish front existed already in the mid-1930ies at the latest e.g. in antisemitic circles in France).

...the equation antizionism = antisemitism is used as a tool to preemptively discredit any criticism of even the most outrageous policies and utterings of the extreme Right in Israel.

You would think there was unanimous support among (Israeli) Jews for all policies of the Israeli government. Either that or good number of self-hating (Israeli) Jews. (parenthetical modifier optional)

I'm not sure how the draft is even Constitutional. But whatever.

taken without any context Livingstone's reamarks...

The context was an interview about a Labour MP's alleged anti semiotic remarks (which she acknowledged, and profusely apologised for).
"But Hitler was a Zionist" was perhaps not the ideal contribution in the circumstances.

And Livingstone has considerable form in flirting with antisemitism.

I swear it was autocorrect that substituted semiotic for semitic (I think).

Interesting concept, though.

the equation antizionism = antisemitism is used as a tool to preemptively discredit any criticism of even the most outrageous policies and utterings of the extreme Right in Israel....

Depressingly, the same equation is indeed used to express antisemitism under the figlesf of antizionism.
On the one hand you have Mark Regev; on the other Ken Livingstone.

The intercept had this piece on Livingston--


I agree with the next post, about how the common equation of antiZionism with antisemitism is a form of bigotry--antiPalestinianism ( the little recognized but very common bigotry which needs a shorter name.)


As Haber says, there are of course antiZionists who are antisemites. But there are also a great many people who are bigots that equate the two. Some of them are American politicians ( in both parties) with a lot more influence than some London mayor. They even run for President.

On a different topic, I have a conservative friend who taught me several interesting things today--

1. Global warming is a hoax. Scientists are in on it for the grant money. East Anglia proves this.

2. Waterboarding isn't torture.

3. The left is evil because of bathrooms.

I hate everybody. I figured this last one out on my own.

The best article I've found on the Livingstone affair, and one with which I am wholeheartedly in sympathy.

I'm all for antizionism - I just wish western leftists would put a proportional amount of energy into criticizing the imperialist tendencies of their own countries, otherwise I sadly have to agree that it smells of, maybe not overt anti-semitism, but at least hitting on an easy target from a position of privilege.

The majority of lefties who criticize Israel also criticize drone killings, the invasion of Iraq, etc... I have seen people who attack Israel and not US violence, but they fall into two categories--

1. Obama loyalists who defend drone strikes because it is an Obama policy. The motivation for what you and I see as an inconsistency is not antisemitism, but Democratic partisanship

2. America firsters--In some cases these are antisemites, but not always. I have seen a few like this who are definitely antisemitic. I'm referring to comments in threads at other blogs. Actually, we might have had one like that here, who has been banned. Possibly more than once.

As for easy target, you're just demonstrating why Israel isn't an easy target. It is almost universally praised by American politicians. Sanders broke a taboo for saying Israel used disproportionate violence. Clinton's abject pandering is the norm. Support for Israel is part of US imperialism. Your comment, though illustrates the problem. You talk as though Israel is some powerless easily targeted victim of US activism, when the likely Democratic nominee for President said that BDS activism is antisemitic and state legislators debate measures to be taken against BDS. On no other issue are people who focus on a particular human rights issue accused of being racists by the "liberal" candidate for President, yet this fact just blows right on by you. That's the point of the Jerry Haber post I linked. The unspoken assumption is that the US support for Israeli brutality towards Palestinians can't be the real cause of activism or should never be assumed to be the main cause--no, it must be antisemitism or the fact in your parallel universe that Israel is an easy target. Yes, a very easy target, novakant. Your soulmate Hillary Clinton agrees with you.

Antisemitism is a real and massive problem still, but on this particular subject accusations of antisemitism are very often a form of anti-Palestinian bigotry. Sometimes the very people who should be accused of racism are on a pedestal lecturing others about their alleged antisemitism.

I look forward to the day when Democrats regain the majority in the House and request that government agencies expend millions of dollars tracking me down so that I may testify in front of august committees regarding all of the made-up crap I've posted at OBWI regarding Republicans and conservative politicians, all of which Republicans and conservative politicians then actually live up to within hours of my witness here:


Yeah, I know this joint has been accused of verging on an echo chamber, but really the republican party is like a guy standing alone on an island beach who shouts into a gigantic conch shell and then places his ear up against it and claims a familiar voice has just given him the Answer.

That's some epistemic closure there. These people need an enema to open themselves up.

As the Peter O'Toole character in the "The Ruling Class" who thought he was Jesus Christ arisen, said when asked how he knew he was Jesus: "Because when I pray to Him, I find I'm talking to myself."

If Gowdy's Committee wants to find the anonymous guy who called into the Hannity Show, they could 1) subpeona Fox News' phone records and/or 2) ask the NSA to track down the phone numbers of every conservative asshole who calls into conservative talk shows from their mothers' basements.

Maybe he'd show up to testify in his bathrobe with the tinfoil-based electronic system he uses to control remote aircraft mounted on his head.

That search could take decades given how we've permitted these ilk to propagate their filthy numbers, but on the other hand, I suspect it was either Hannity's brother-in-law or an intern in his office.

Sanders broke a taboo for saying Israel used disproportionate violence.

I don't know about a taboo, but it is stupid. Israel is at war, the only thing disproportionate about their responses for decades has been the disproportionate patience they have shown in waiting for peace. From http://www.aish.com/jw/me/Jordans-Disproportionate-Response.html

In the history of warfare, no people threatened by an aggressor and fighting for their very existence have ever been vilified for utilizing their full forces to prevail – with one exception. It seems only Israel is guilty when it chooses survival over capitulation and death.

I wrote a really long comment, but that paragraph sums it up well.

I read the Guardian piece that Nigel linked. I don't know the British scene and if it is as depicted, then yes, antisemitism in the Labor Party is a problem and needs to be stamped out. I suspect it is to some degree as depicted and does need to be stamped out. And Livingston seems like a person who would do the Palestinians a favor if he kept his mouth shut. But this paragraph is where I start to have my doubts--

"But calling for its people to be swept into the sea, or forcibly transplanted somewhere else, or in any other way denying Israel’s right to exist, is crossing a line because that simply doesn’t happen to other countries no matter how oppressive their regime. No other nation state on the planet is constantly asked to prove itself morally worthy merely of being allowed to exist."

The first part is correct and then we get to the "in any other way denying Israel's right to exist".

Sorry. BS. Yes, ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity, and has to be condemned, but "Israel's right to exist" is being used as always to cover over the issue at stake. Israel exists as a Jewish state because of the Nakba, and Palestinians reject any notion that Israel had the right to expel them from their homes and keep them out, and if you think about this real hard and squint with all your might, you can kinda see their point. It has something to do with the first part of that paragraph, where people shouldn't be forcibly transferred.

Now you can argue that lots of people have been ethnically cleansed and the Palestinians should get over it and maybe the liberal ideal of a democratic state with equal rights for all people regardless of religion or ethnicity only works in some places, if anywhere at all, but it can't work in the Middle East. Of course, we already have a defacto 1SS there now, but a very one sided one and maybe the argument is that this current situation is what a 1SS has to look like--you can't trust either side. But don't cover over the issue with this "right to exist" euphemism.

Rubbish, Marty. Israel wasn't fighting for their very existence in 2014.

I realize that the idea that Palestinians are the ones fighting for their existence is just too much for you, but they are the side which is occupied, which lost most of its homeland, which suffers most of the civilian casualties, whose fishermen are shot in peacetime, whose citizens live under apartheid in the WB and in a vast prison in Gaza. I realize that as Palestinians they deserve all this and should be thankful they get to live at all, but still, they might see it differently.


Some Israelis fighting for their very existence.

Rubbish Donald. Israel is fighting for its existence, the fact that they are currently more or less winning is completely irrelevant to the reality that every negotiation, peace proposal, or new hostility is aimed at reducing their security in a part of the world where they would be attacked the day any of four or five countries perceived they could win.

The list of Palestinian grievances you list is pure a ridiculous summary of Israeli actions taken over decades in response to being attacked over and over and over again. Palestinians yearning for redrawing borders doesn't create a prison or apartheid, that's just rhetoric.

The Palestinians have consistently, over decades, sided with Israel's enemies in the ME in calling for the end of Israel and, despite whatever you tried to say in the 11:00, refusing to recognize their right to exist. It isn't a euphemism, it's a clearly stated position of the Palestinians.

Your attempt to cherry pick history to justify a stance today is one sided, there was a war, a couple, Israel won. The idea that Israel should give up its national identity through military surrender or social manipulation at best disingenuous. To place the label of disproportionate response on a country at war is hypocritical and dishonest, along with disingenuous.

and this:

realize that the idea that Palestinians are the ones fighting for their existence is just too much for you

deserves a response I am not allowed to give within the rules.

The Mideast passed sticky wicket long ago and is now a clusterf*ck. Everyone is right and everyone is wrong in proportions I've stopped trying to divy up, the hardheads, but this statement is simply not correct on its face:

"In the history of warfare, no people threatened by an aggressor and fighting for their very existence have ever been vilified for utilizing their full forces to prevail – with one exception. It seems only Israel is guilty when it chooses survival over capitulation and death."

Really? In the history of warfare? Don't we occasionally argue right here over the use of nuclear weapons to shut down the Pacific Theater in WWII, or is this guy going to argue at this late date that our existence was not in question?

Were the Vietcong and North Vietnamese not bombed into submission, or is that NOT criticism, for using all methods at their disposal to fight for their very existence.

Conversely, were the South Vietnamese and their foreign benefactors not roundly vilified for their brutal methods?


Seems like the Syrian Government and those Syrians who back their government, reprehensible and craven as they are, are subject to a pile on for defending their very existence, unworthy as it is.

No party to the free-for-all for daily existence in Libya seems free of vilification for their methods and practices.

Were the IRA and the Ulster Protestant Volunteers and the British troops in Ireland during the Troubles free of vilification by someone or other?

The Comanche weren't vilified and hounded to their demise during the fight for their existence, during which they used every infernal method, as were the Texas Rangers who butchered them in turn?

Churchill was not vilified for digging in his heels in militant defense of the existence of the far-flung British Empire?

Heck, not a day goes by when some Confederate south of the Mason-Dixon, and some north of it now too, defend their sacred Honor and "way of life" pre-1865 against vilification, which I'm happy to provide.

There are legitimate and illegitimate grievances on all 78 sides in the Mideast.

And the more rigidly and militantly conservative all of those governments and their oppositions become, the worse it gets.

Here's my grievance: stop arming all of them.

I don't expect to receive vilification for that view, given the rule that ONLY Israel is subject to the world's ire.

Meanwhile Menachem Begin terrorist bombed the King David Hotel. Vilification was forthcoming from the Brits and others, but for his trouble, Begin was elected leader of Israel.

Seems he got off easy, the murderer, as are Palestinian terrorists.

Every country, government, and people in the world can thank bloodshed for their existence.

Vilification comes with. Tough sh*t.

And what Donald Johnson said.


I disagree Count, there are lots of complaints and condemnations, some framed in context of war crimes, others in level of brutality. But somehow this concept of "proportional response" is applied to some, mostly the Israeli's, and not to others. I am pretty sure that if you accept that the Israeli's and Palestinians are at war, which is declared by both sides, the idea of a proportional response becomes pretty unheard of. Should Sherman have continually cut down the number of his troops on his march to the sea so his scorched earth response would be proportional? Uh no. Of all the criticisms of Israel it is the one I find the most ludicrous.

And this:

"Here's my grievance: stop arming all of them."

I don't know how you quit arming them without one side running out of bullets first with dire consequences, but it's ok with me.

So Marty (or anybody else) what do you see as the end game? And how, if at all, should the US act so as to help get there?

There are, of course, several non-starters which get dragged out over and over:

- Israel disappears. (Favored by some in the Middle East.) Nobody is getting the Israelis to sign off on this. And, realistically, nobody who might favor it has the power to force them to do so.

- the Palestinians disappear. (Favored by the Israeli settler movement, and some Israeli politicians.) Not happening either. They aren't leaving voluntarily -- even if somewhere was offering to take them. Ethnic cleansing on that scale, via removing them, simply isn't on an option. And simple genocide won't fly either.

- One state: Israel simply incorporates the West Bank and Gaza, makes all the Palestinians Israeli citizens. No way Israelis give up their "Jewish state", which is what this would amount to. In fact, there seem to be increasingly audible calls for the political rights of current Israeli Arabs to be restricted.

- Two states: Israel and Palestine. This at least has a prayer of happening. Except that it would entail two probable impossibilities:

1) Get the Palestinians to the point where they have a viable economy and a viable government. The economy could be improved to the point that a Palestinian state could support itself. But it would take decades, and require Israeli cooperation. And if there is any sign of a Palestinian politican (let alone more than one) who can bring his people to accept it, I haven't heard of him.

2) Get the Israeli settlers in the West Bank to relocate back to Israel. Yes, the Israeli government managed to get the settlements in Gaza removed. But the West Bank settlements are a couple of magnitudes more numerous. Plus, the settler movement has a lot of political clout in Israel, in the Likud Party and especially in the various religious parties.

My personal thought is that the only way this gets resolved is a massive change in the Israeli political scene (and in the opposite direction to current trends). One which gets the Israelis at least working to make the West Bank economically viable. Nothing more than that, at least initially ("initially" probably being a matter of a decade or two). Assuming that can be accomplished, a Palestinian leader who could convince his people to abandon the "right of return" position and accept a Palestinian state on the existing West Bank (give or take a few mutual border tweaks) might become possible.

What could the US do in all this? Not much. At most, convince the Israelis that unconditional American support would not continue forever (which would involve massive changes in the US political scene). And maybe some economic aid to the West Bank. But that's about all the more we could realistically do.

I'm just glad I'm not a young Israeli politician, being forced into a box that says, "The Palestinians are not full citizens of a sovereign state, and will not be allowed to become such."

I find the Guardian article just boring: of course there are racists on the left, just like everywhere else - it's a strawman.

Marty is wrong, he is either completely ignorant or he doesn't consider Palestinians as humans, so why bother.

Donald - we agree on many things, but it seems to me that you are the victim of US exceptionalism in this case: the crimes against humanity that the US has directly committed in the past 15 years alone and the political and humanitarian disasters it has caused by its recklessness and arrogance are so extreme that Israel's actions pale in comparison - and yet the percentage of the US population in fundamental opposition to such policies is minuscule and those taking any sort of action against them even tinier. Instead every 4 years "liberals" are calling those who are in the opposition to enable further crimes by voting for "the lesser evil" or else they will be called narcissistic obstructionists.

Novakant-- can't really argue with that. I am a lesser evil voter, but until there is a realistic better choice I think it's the, well, least bad one to make.

"Marty is wrong, he is either completely ignorant or he doesn't consider Palestinians as humans, so why bother."

I suspect there is at least a third option.

And I find the Jonathan Turley link equally boring, of course there are right wing extremists in the Israeli government. Their support is pretty much inversely proportional to the number of people killed by rockets and suicide bombers lately.

Very convincing, Marty. I will disregard every human rights report I have ever read, the ones that criticize both sides, in favor of the right wing world where facts are only real if they say the Other Side is evil.

PS the current antisemitism "debate" in the UK has to be seen in the context of the London mayoral election: Lynton Crosby dropped another dead cat ...

Marco Rubio, who George Will lists now as a Trump quisling, wants us to know that when he made fun of Trump's little hands and other appendages in this satyricon of a primary, what he really meant was if Trump makes him his running mate, they can do a I'll-show-you mine-if-you-show-me-yours once they make it to the White House together:


Needy little simp, that Rubio.

That fiscaltimes list bobbyp posted, of "19 possible Hillary Veep picks", comes with a set of blinders.

Only 4 of the picks are plausible, because she will not pick a white male. She also won't pick a woman, so Warren is out (not that she'd accept it).

That boils the list down right quick, to Deval Patrick, Julian Castro, and Corey Booker.

That site also thinks "ties to Obama" is a *downside* for Castro, which demonstrates severe lack of knowledge of Democratic Party dynamics.

Castro is my pick, not least because Hispanic citizens are under-registered and have low turnout. That means there are *millions* of new votes available to Democrats if they can motivate them. Donald Trump is already being a motivator, having a Hispanic on the ticket might lock down FL and bring TX almost to the tipping point.

Behind a paywall, but it's on the newsstand:


It's hard to believe that this could have happened under Obama, who is never right.

I'd like to know when he is going to tackle the Ebola epidemic raging through the heartland, mostly in Texas and other red states. Millions have died according to Republicans and Obama does nothing.

I note that George Will's latest column calls on all real Republicans to work, hard, for Trump's defeat in November. (By which he means all real conservatives. That there might be real Republicans who don't fit his definition of "real conservatives" seems beyond his compression - unless he figures that moderate Republicans will be opposed to Trump without his prompting.)

Just another step in the on-going process of GOP fragmentation and meltdown.

Corey Booker vs Chris Christie would make for a fun VP debate. All about zoning.

Whenever I read this post's title "Hillary v. Trump, Dawn of....Something!" I start to hear Also Sprach Zarathustra in my mind.

Then the name 'Trump' makes its way into my consciousness, and the music turns to Yakkety Sax.

It's very disconcerting.


It's still upsetting, at the very least, for some conservatives that women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, and Jews insist on bathroom AND voting rights.

Marty should read him some Andrew Bacevich, a conservative with an impeccable military background. It is incredible that we, as a nation, sanction a people who stole somebody else's land, and condemn those who fight this as 'terrorists'. We have learned nothing I guess from the Indian Wars...our own great shame right up there with slavery.

Corey Booker vs Chris Christie would make for a fun VP debate. All about zoning.

Or so-called public school reform.

I shudder at the thought of Clinton picking him to be the party's VP candidate.

I like Andrew Bacevich and if he represented conservatism or someone like him, I would probably vote for him over Clinton.

But his brand of conservatism has little or nothing to do with the Republican Party, or Fox News or the other liars who have poisoned the minds of people like the friend I mentioned upthread.

The UK press is going nuts over the Livingstone comments row. Now, Livingstone has form when it comes to saying insensitive things involving Judaism and he ought to know to be more careful in the week before the local and mayoral elections.

But at the same time, he was swiftly suspended by the party. The other story doing the rounds this week is of a Tory MP who took a paid-for "fact finding tour" to a strip club, paid for by the strip club lobbying group, and failed to declare it as a conflict of interest, despite being the Culture Secretary, part of whose brief is writing the legislation on strip clubs. Has he been suspended by his party for something that is far more clearly corrupt than Livingstone's comments were clearly racist...? Of course not.

a Tory MP who took a paid-for "fact finding tour" to a strip club, paid for by the strip club lobbying group, and failed to declare it as a conflict of interest

Yeah, he really should have done some 'full disclosure' and laid bare the conflict of interest.

I'm sure the UK tabloids are having fun, will they put his photo on Page 3?

Donald and Donald Johnson are one and the same, correct?

Yeah, I'm both. I've lost track of which does which, but my ipad, my home computer and work computer sign me automatically as either Donald or Donald Johnson. I think I found I wasn't able to post automatically on one of them and signed in without my last name.

Thanks, Donald (Johnson). I figured it was something like that, but just wanted to be sure.

Trump, the dawn of the next bloody, murderous Civil War:


F#ck the Republican Party and kill it.

Interesting link on Syria ( which contains a link to a NYT piece).

I mention this because Clinton seemed to think we needed to intervene in Syria, but as the NYT piece points out, people we support also bombard civilians.


Count, since everybody (at least in certain circles) knows that Obama only got in to Harvard, and Harvard Law thanks to affirmative action, it's no surprise that they would think the same about his daughter. wj

sanbikinoraion, I hold no brief for the MP in question (actually, I hold him in a fair degree of contempt), but the reason the story about Whittingdale is getting little traction is that firstly, it's pretty old, and secondly, the 'fact finding' visit was made in the company of two fellow Labour and Liberal members of the then select committee.
Minor peculation, at best.
I'd be delighted to see him sacked, but I don't think it's going to happen over this.

The antisemetism issue is different in kind and seriousness.

wj: well SURE Obama's daughter got into Harvard as 'affirmative action'.

It's called Legacy Admission, and really it should be stopped.

The Atlantic - The Hell After ISIS

Absolutely nothing new here if you've been paying attention, but it's a grim, nasty, detailed, and personal accounting of exactly how well our Iraq adventurism has worked out on the ground and at its roots, and is a pretty damning indictment of those who are blithely arguing that we need to apply more of the same.

A former regular here, who I'm friends with in TRW, posted this from Andrew Sullivan on FB: Democracies end when they are too democratic. And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny.

I found it, on the whole, to be verbose hyperventilation, but not entirely false. I'm curious what others think about the extinction-level threat that is the Donald, according to ol' Sully.

It certainly has a "we have to destroy the village in order to save it" vibe going. It's pretty much what I'd expect from Sully, too. He makes valid points about the inherent fragility of democratic governments, and then turns on heel to sweep aside all safeguards besides re-anointing the elite as gatekeepers of power as meaningless - nay, dangerous.

Well, this is certainly a shocker!

Ted Cruz is suspending his campaign after the voters in my state told him that despite all the attack ads, he wasn't "TrusTed" after all.

Sanders, meanwhile, wins Indiana, but not by a large enough margin to worry Clinton all that much.

They're thinking this turn-out might be some sort of primary record for the state, and I wouldn't be surprised. Heck, I won't be shocked if we have a larger primary turnout than we do come November, as I've heard plenty of talk about people not voting at all if their guy/girl isn't the one on the ticket.

This is easily the most insane presidential campaign I've seen since I was old enough to participate. :)

I just sat and listened to Donald's speech as the now presumptive GOP nominee, and I could not help but be struck by the fact that many of his memes are those of standard issue Democrats (paraphrasing):

1.) "I'm for the little guy, I will get miners mining."

2.) "We're not going to let foreign countries devalue their currencies and steal our jobs."

3.) "I will make America great again."

It is amazing that the GOP nominee will plump for the little guy. Generally speaking, GOP hacks say they do, but then advocate public policies that do NOTHING (wingnut caps) but benefit the rich (tax cuts for the well off, deregulation, so-called free trade). As an aside, this is the cross that appears to finally be breaking the GOP as an effective political party.

So I am honestly wondering how The Hillary will mount an effective counterattack. Sanders would take this on directly as a class issue. The Hillary seems to be incapable of that line of argument. Insofar as she is reticent in this regard, she is a failure as a Democrat.

She'd better get her 'effing act together, because otherwise she is relying entirely on Trumps narcissistic racism driving black-hispanic votes to the Democratic Party.

Not that I mind that. But there is more to this.

Just throwing it out there.

"It is amazing that the GOP nominee will plump for the little guy."

Well, the little "white" guy. Not that little white guys don't require plumping.

That none of the white guys Trump is plumping for would ever see the inside of one of his properties, unless they were cleaning it, or one of his golf courses, unless they were weeding the rough, is something but I don't know what.

But, yeah, Hillary is hamfisted enough and whatever that thing she does when she goes all imperious/cautious to blow it.

And, as far as getting miners back to mining, roughly 25% of American coal (I presume Trump is riffing on Clinton's stupid comments regarding West Virginia miners) goes to Asia, but once Trump shuts down trade with China and company, what then, but there you have the intersection of big stupid and little stupid, which is roughly the American sweet spot right now.

I think we have some prospects for the singing of "America The Abusive" at Trump's inauguration next January:


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