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October 15, 2019

Comments

I can't bring myself to watch another one. Not yet, anyway. Maybe when there are only a few candidates left. Certainly when (if?) the Dem nominee debates Rump.

I can more or less play these debates in my head before they happen, if not in great detail, at least in terms of general lameness. It's much easier to read about what happened after the fact. I'll let others go through the pain of sitting through the whole thing.

Linguistic nitpickery: can we please find a different word for it?

Cattle calls, beauty pageants, horse races, and maybe civil wars, can all work with a dozen competitors taking part. "Debates", not so much.

--TP

i don't watch them at this stage, either. once it gets down to three or four i'll take a look.

What hsh said.

Which, I suppose, is why lj called it "Heard something about the debate". I guess he figured most of us weren't masochists. At least to the point of watching ourselves.

Didn't watch for the same reasons as others.

I heard there were no questions about climate change, but CNN in its wisdom did think it worthwhile asking the candidates about any unusual friends they might have, because of the Ellen and Bush thing.

We are back to who would you like to share a beer with as a deciding question for who should run the country. Although, admittedly, that would rule out Trump as far as I am concerned.

One thing I'm hearing: when challenged by her opponents, Senator Warren continued to dodge on how she proposed to pay for Medicare-for-all.

The argument for her approach is that a) saying that a tax increase would be required is politically toxic, and anyway b) what matters isn't the taxes but the total cost.

However it seems it me that latter makes a truly heroic assumption: that employers will take the money which they now spend on their company health care plans, and convert it into pay raises for their employees. Some few companies might do that. But would anyone really want to bet on it for most of them? Not me.

If the GOP had stuck to their rhetoric in 2016, and had 'open carry' at their presidential debates, I would have watched the sh!t out of them.

This time? Nah.

Didn't watch the debates, yet I can't unhear the Bush/Ellen subject being raised.

True, Bush should be in jail and Ellen awarded a Nobel Prize, but I use to depend on the National Enquirer to advise me of these sorts of unlikely hookups.

Yet another institution the conservative movement filth presiding over this excuse of a country have ruined for everyone.

It's only the latest confirmation of America as the fully dispensable, full of shit Nation.

One does wonder however if the latest White House "inquiry" into the disposition of the Ukraine phone recordings might uncover Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Bush himself, in his mock search those years ago, rather obviously neglected to peer up his own ass, where he would have discovered Dick Cheney fully moved in.

I am pleased to see that at least government is beginning to police our borders to arrest, and one hopes, goddamned execute the conservative republican/p mortal enemies of America, after vetting the fleas on these particular rats, instead of cock-blocking honest, innocent brown people at the border:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/feds-nab-fourth-defendant-in-case-against-giuliani-pals-at-jfk-airport-in-new-york

Another thing I'm seeing: Biden had a mediocre night. Everybody was supportive vs Trump's attacks on him. But while he didn't have any major stumbles, he didn't show much that would convince new potential supporters. At some point, if he's to win this, he'll need to move beyond being the default at-least-we've-heard-of-him candidate. So far, he doesn't seem to be.

However it seems it me that latter makes a truly heroic assumption...

There are ways around this, and the campaign should suss them out in due time. If you really are curious about funding ideas, I would suggest you look around. They are out there.

But to those budget fetishists who always demand detailed funding proposals for Democratic Party programs but NEVER ask the GOP for detailed breakdowns of which government programs they intend to cut or eliminate when they next propose to cut taxes for the rich, I say, "Go fuck yourself."

So far, he doesn't seem to be.

Agree.

His VP stature has given him a huge head start but, just like his other aborted presidential bids, he is blowing it.

Biden is still up by 10 points in NC.

Isn’t the reality that an incoming President Warren would have a whole list of stuff to get through Congress, and would have to make choices ?

Absent a Democratic landslide, Medicare for all would be a long and bruising fight - and I note that support for single payer is polling well over 70% nationally, compared with a bare 50% for the former.

I’m not saying it’s not possible, but it would likely mean ditching a whole load of other stuff.

Buttigieg reportedly had a good debate - but it should be noted he’s polling around 0% in South Carolina...

I find these "debates" useless in deciding who to vote for in the primary.

With all the focus on "winning", even the smart candidates look stupid trying to score points in these things.

Haven't checked in at Daily Kos in ages, just took a look and they have a straw poll up on the Democratic candidates. If you want to look at the results without voting you lose your chance to vote, which was fine with me. The results suggest there's either an idiosyncratic group of folks hanging around those parts, or one particular candidate's campaign spread the word out to stop by and vote.

Should have looked at the comments first, it's clearly option B.

Medicare for all would be a long and bruising fight - and I note that support for single payer is polling well over 70% nationally, compared with a bare 50% for the former.

I'm not sure what the distinction here is, or what poll respondents think it is.

employers will take the money which they now spend on their company health care plans, and convert it into pay raises for their employees

pipe dream.

It'll be free money. Bonuses for the C-levels for boosting profits through their managerial genius.

I'm not sure what the distinction here is, or what poll respondents think it is.

I am also puzzled by this.

employers will take the money which they now spend on their company health care plans, and convert it into pay raises for their employees

It depends on how tight the labor market is for different types of jobs.

Employees with jobs that people are standing in line for would likely see little or no increase in pay. Jobs in high demand would see increases, but likely not a complete offset.

I'm not sure what the distinction here is, or what poll respondents think it is.

I am also puzzled by this.

Well I have no real idea what they mean, but how many people on Medicare have only Medicare? Most people on Medicare also have Medicare Supplement policy ("Medigap"), or a Medicare Advantage policy. (A quick attempt to find statistics led to a morass entirely typical of trying to understand anything whatsoever about Medicare.)

So my first pass at a guess would be that "Medicare for all" would be a system for everyone that's like the one we have now for people over 65, which is some government coverage, but if you want coverage that doesn't expose you to massive expense if you get sick, you get a Medigap or Medicare Advantage policy from some other entity. (I have a Medigap policy. Like everyone else over 65, I am getting daily flyers trying to get me to change to some Medicare Advantage policy or other. No fucking way.)

So in this sense, I don't consider Medicare as it is currently set up to be single payer, because all by itself it doesn't cover what any sane person would want it to cover. (Trust me.)

I don't know if this is what the pollsters mean in asking the question, and I find it hard to believe that if byomtov and russell and I don't have a clue, anyone else really does either.

But again -- I would consider "single payer" to mean a system where we no longer have Anthem and Harvard Pilgrim and Martin's Point and United Healthcare (via AARP) and all of the rest of them still in the business they're in now......

??

I wish I could understand (and then explain) this system better in terms of where the money flows from. When I first started reading BJ, I was hoping to learn a lot from Richard Mayhew / David Anderson, but I never did plunge in to his posts on health insurance, and anyhow, he's not writing a primer.

But a quicker summary of what I wrote above would be: to have decent health insurance, you have to have more than Medicare. The government is one payer, but then there are the other payers, so it is not, for people who want to be properly covered, single payer. (This is all to say nothing of Part D, the drug coverage.)

Someone should feel free to jump in and correct me and/or clarify.

I'm not sure what the distinction here is[between single payer and Medicare for all], or what poll respondents think it is.

It's entirely about labeling/branding. Which, as Trump tells us, is all-important. Seriously, that's really the only "substantive" difference: the label.

wj, I simply don't think that's true. It's not just labeling. Having the government take over all health insurance (which is what I would call single payer) would be quite different from the Medicare system we have now. Almost everyone who has Medicare has something else, as well. In that sense it is not a single payer system. You have the option to not have another payer, but it's a risky choice. I have two payers: Medicare, and a for-profit insurance company. Most other people do too.

Janie,

I think you are right that is a difference between single-payer and Medicare for all.

I doubt you are right that that's what the candidates or the respondents have in mind.

The points you raise about medigap and so on are not, I think, widely understood, especially by those not old enough to be on Medicare.

said it before... but i really wish the Dems would stop talking about health care plan details. they aren't running for Senate anymore. they need to show that they can lead, not that they can craft legislation.

wj, I simply don't think that's true. It's not just labeling.

Perhaps not. But if thete is a real difference, the politicians pushing one or the other have been seriously ineffective at explaining the difference. (Hence my confusion.)

I'm not sure what the distinction here is, or what poll respondents think it is.
I am also puzzled by this.

Apologies - I was posting in a hurry, and had a brain fade.

The relative 73% / 50% support is, of course, for a public option vs Medicare for All.

A glossary.

Ah, thanks Nigel. That makes sense.

So, I was appalled at Clinton's attack on Gabbard, but also shocked. Why would she attack someone with less than 1% in the polls? Did she just need a foil to revitalize Russian interference in the wake of the Ukraine stuff? Did Tulsi get any good shots in at the debate so she needed to be put in her place?

Or did she need some other headline as State released the (relatively innocuous) results of the internal investigation of her server usage?

So, I was appalled at Clinton's attack on Gabbard, but also shocked.

Same here. Hard to understand what the hell that was all about.

Clinton didn't come out of nowhere with it. looks like a story in the NYT last Saturday that got this Gabbard thing rolling.

https://www.newsweek.com/tulsi-gabbard-puppet-russian-government-ex-south-carolina-rep-tells-cnn-hours-before-dem-1465485

Why would she attack someone with less than 1% in the polls?

because Gabbard is using a lot of the same rhetoric that people like Stein and the self-annointed-True-Left used in 2016 - rhetoric apparently fueled by Russia in order to help Trump by depressing and dividing the left.

it's not a random smear of nobody. Clinton sees what's happening now as a replay of what happened in 2016. as she should. because it is.

LOL...even some on the True-Left are not all that enamoured with Tulsi. Just sayin'

didn't say they were. just said the rhetoric is similar. LOL.

I guess that's why I thought I might vote for her instead of no one, not that I would get the chance. Assuming Trump of course. With any luck he gets kicked out and I get another choice.

I guess that's why I thought I might vote for her

In case -- which I doubt -- anyone needed proof that Tulsi's entire raison d'etre is to destroy the Democrats one way or another.

And so, the big tent party folds it up and goes home midst the strangest of preoccupations with Russia and supporting endless war.

supporting endless war.

this is one of the most disingenuous talking points i've seen from the right in a long time. i know, because of how often they repeat it, that they think it's very clever; but it's actually very silly.

what the left supports is not being stupid.

getting out of wars is great. but only a fool does it in a way that maximizes pain to his allies and gives maximum benefit to his foes. that's stupid.

and, oddly, "conservatives" have nothing to say about Trump literally renting our military to Saudi Arabia at the same time he's ending "endless war".

Republicans gotta Republican, i guess.

Also, I have to add, that "the strangest of preoccupations with Russia" is not strange at all to anybody open to the actual facts: Russia actively tried to (and almost certainly succeeded in) subverting your 2016 election, and is already trying for the next one. Just as they tried (successfully) for Brexit in furtherance of their long term goal of damaging the EU (and eventually NATO), and (successfully) to increase their influence and leverage in the ME. Cui bono? is what anybody even vaguely openminded should be asking about most of these developments, and the answer is almost always Putin and Russia.

And so, the big tent party

Well cleek, I dunno, I think I've got a rival "most disingenuous talking point" for you.

"Big tent" doesn't mean abandoning the principles the party stands for to chase after people who don't believe in them in the slightest. There is not a single real Democrat Marty would vote for, he has said it, and explained it, ad nauseam for the 11 or 12 years I've been reading ObWi. Trying to appeal to Marty is not being a "big tent" -- it's becoming Rs under another name.

We have gotten where we are because the R party (ask wj) has capitulated to it's rightmost lunatic fringe. Moving the D party ever rightward to try to chase the R leftovers is to collaborate in that process, and basically to commit party suicide.

After a while the tent gets so big that it collapses. No thank you.

There is a difference between objecting to collaborating to ensure that we retain our "stature" in the world, a long held bipartisan position, and objecting to Trump being incompetent.

Support for endless war has always been a centrist position in American politics. Not necessarily the phrase, but the reality. Gabbard position is considered pretty far left and I agree with it.

The idea that this is somehow in support of Russia is Cold War rhetoric returned to haunt us.

What cleek said. If what's happening with Gabbard hasn't long been obvious to everyone, I don't really know where people's heads have been. I guess the "Hillary didn't give a speech in Michigan" crowd still can't accept what actually happened in 2016.

The people who haven't accepted what happened cling to a boogey man theory that Russia brainwashed 63 million Americans. They did use social media to hype the base, but pretending they changed the outcome by supporting trump and Stein is mostly wishful thinking. The meaningful 3rd party candidate took votes from Trump.

Hillary just lost. 50 million words trying to explain it later, it is still true, she lost.

a boogey man theory that Russia brainwashed 63 million Americans.

that's a theory that you just invented.

the election came down to 100K votes in three states: MI, WI, PA.

that's not a lot of people. and Russia didn't have to sway very many to have a meaningful impact.

The meaningful 3rd party candidate took votes from Trump.

and the other meaningful third party candidate took votes from Cilnton:

In Michigan, Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton by 10,704 votes, while Stein got 51,463 votes, according to current totals on the state’s official website. And in Wisconsin, Trump’s margin over Clinton was 22,177, while Stein garnered 31,006 votes. In Pennsylvania, meanwhile, Stein’s total of 49,485 votes was just slightly smaller than Trump’s victory margin of 67,416 votes, according to the state’s latest numbers.

sure, some people are going to vote third party no matter what. but Stein tripled her 2012 percentage in 2016.

this is exactly what Russia set out to do, we know this. multiple investigations have shown it. the Senate investigation says the Russians popped champagne in the troll farm office when the results came in.

it's what they're doing now.

for some unfathomable (i kid) reason, you want it to continue.

cleek recites facts for which there is plenty of evidence.

I'll take it a step further and say that there's probably a lot more that we don't know.

I'm really tired of the charade that deters people from keeping their eyes open to what has happened (and continues to happen with the acquiescence of people like Marty and some "true leftists"). Those tax cuts must feel really good.

@Janie: We have gotten where we are because the R party (ask wj) has capitulated to it's rightmost lunatic fringe.

I'd say that's only half the story. The other half being capitulation to the libertarian-most lunatic fringe. Libertarian being, I think, orthogonal to the left/right axis.

The lunatic part still applies. But they worship the insanity of Ayn Rand (see ex-Speaker Ryan's worshipful comments on her) rather than the insanity of Falwell and La Pierre.

Libertarians: a small, powerless, unimportant, ultra-rightwing group that is going to DESTROY LIFE AS WE KNOW IT!1!!1!

Ryan is no libertarian regardless of how he may feel about Rand.

Libertarians don't worship Rand and she's not the only woman libertarians hold in some regard.

3 women who inspired the modern libertarian movement

Besides Rand hated libertarians.

Libertarians: a small, powerless, unimportant, ultra-rightwing group

Well, you got 1 out of 3. "Small" I grant you. But "powerless"? "Unimportant"? Way too many huge Republican donors (Kochs, Mercers, etc., etc.) fit the description to call them either.

Not sure I agree with the "ultra-rightwing" part either, obviously. But that would seem to be a different discussion.

Libertarians often get called rightwing even though they have about as much in common with the left as with the right.

Gabbard has recently been endorsed by both David Duke and Richard Spencer.

i suspect that's not going to help her with the Democratic nomination.

Gabbard has recently been endorsed by both David Duke and Richard Spencer.

Big tent indeed.

White nationalist "big" tent, yeah, that sounds like something the Democrats should be shat upon for not pursuing.

Libertarians often get called rightwing even though they have about as much in common with the left as with the right.

As an actually existing political movement that seeks to implement an array of public policies, libertarianism has just about nothing in common with "the left".

Gabbard's most favorable aspect to libertarians is that she doesn't see the need for the US to be engaged in the world by bombing brown people. Neocons and war hawks see this as being isolationist.

Keeping the Randians and Libertarians at each others' throats is a comforting thing.

"Libertarians often get called rightwing even though they have about as much in common with the left as with the right."

A true statement.

Libertarians can be guilt-free fun in the sack, but when they start questioning whether the birth control is taxpayer-subsidized and then refuse some gummint help in covering the resulting offspring's medical expenses, well no dessert then for the ideologues when they come a knocking, so to speak.

Laura Ingalls (Libertarian Hero) Pa 'splaining the libertarian approach to his kids in the text of "Little Squatters on the Prairie Subsidized By The Rapine, Scalping, and Buffalo Herd Species Wiping Out of the U.S. Cavalry".

"When white settlers come into a country, the Indians have to move on. The government is going to move these Indians farther west any time now. That’s why we’re here, Laura. White people are going to settle all this country, and we get the best land because we get here first and take our pick. Now do you understand?"

Oh yeah, we get it.


Libertarians promoted civil liberties, like gay rights, decades before it became generally fashionable. Those civil liberties had nothing in common with "the left?"

Gabbard's most favorable aspect to libertarians is that she doesn't see the need for the US to be engaged in the world by bombing brown people.

She's fine with the autocratic browns committing atrocities on their own people though.

Gabbard, a self-professed Hindu, loves her some Modi, and has adopted some rather unconventional foreign policy positions that are deemed congenital to those held by a good deal of "the Left", but for all the wrong reasons. Her anti-Islam animus, and love of drone warfare are examples.

Nonetheless, she is a reliable vote in the House for majority Dem positions and has a voting record that is far from unconventional in a centerist Democratic Party sense.

Steve Bannon had a thing for her also. I suspect, bots or no bots, she will go the way of 9-9-9 Herman Cain as presidential candidates go.

I have no real objection to her if she on board with grinding the current manifestation of the Republican Party into dust. Other than that, the people in her Congressional District are the ones who should make any decisions about her future Congressional career.

Besides Rand hated libertarians.

She hated anybody who was not a personal sycophant to her peculiar personal eccentricities.

On the effects of Russian interference—

http://crystalball.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/did-russian-interference-affect-the-2016-election-results/

On Gabbard, I am not a Tulsi supporter for the reasons bobbyp mentioned. But on this spat with Clinton, I agree with her. There is a warmongering element in the Democratic and Republican Party— they don’t like Trump because Trump is an incompetent unstable idiot, but they are for endless interventions and the only thing they learned from Iraq is that Americans don’t like having hundreds of thousands of our ground troops stuck in an endless war. So we intervene in other bloody ways that don’t involve too much of our own blood. Democrats have turned against the war in Yemen, but still paper over who initially supported it. And if Democrats are so passionately antiwar, why was Clinton’s nomination in 2016 supposed to have been inevitable? Why was she always hailed as a foreign policy expert? And on Syria, why was the mainstream criticism of Obama the incorrect claim that he wasn’t intervening? He was intervening. He poured weapons into Syria. His critics, including Clinton, wanted more intervention.

Tulsi pointed out in the debate that both parties are partly responsible for the bloodbath in Syria. Trump is responsible for the current situation, but contrary to the NYT today, we didn’t just support nice polite good rebels in Syria. We supported people who fought side by side with Al Nusra. Ben Rhodes pointed out the contradiction in our policy of keeping AlNusra on the terrorism list when we were arming people who fight alongside them. Al Nusra were the militarily most effective members of the coalition. I believe Rhodes himself suggested taking Al Nusra off the terrorist list, but I would have to check the book out from the library—not giving that [email protected]@-hole money.

The centrist liberal press tiptoes around the uglier aspects of our foreign policy when centrist liberal Democrats are involved. Samantha Power just came out with her own book. I haven’t read it. Too long a waiting list at the library. From what I have read, like Ben Rhodes, she says nothing about Obama’s support for the Saudi war in Yemen and for the most part she has received loving media attention.


I wish someone other than Tulsi were making her arguments, but Bernie is and always has been more focused on domestic issues and Warren is even less interested. If Bernie really cut loose on our foreign policy sins, it would kill his already diminishing chances. Biden has generally been on the wrong side.

As for Russians, of course they support people who criticize US foreign policy. They did that in the Cold War. The US foreign policy establishment ( Democratic and Republican) do the same thing— express performative moral,outrage about the dastardly deeds of the other side and shriek about people who fall into the sin of moral equivalence when our crimes are mentioned. Yang committed that sin too, I just read. Of course this particular situation is different because Trump is not part of the Establishment and his crime was to betray the Kurds, which benefits Russia as they have had to make a deal with Assad.

There aren’t honest discussions about US interventionism in the political mainstream because both parties are involved and because politicians are understandably afraid of offending voters if they sound too unpatriotic. I never really heard much discussion about how we were both bombing AlQaeda and supporting people who were their allies on the battlefield. In theory the press could fill the gap, but they generally don’t. They listen to experts from think tanks and they stick fairly close to what people in Washington think. Trump has upset the applecart with his corruption and idiocy and incoherent stances but people like me listen to both Trump and many of his critics and want to vomit on both sides.

The only criticism of Tulsi I would make on this isn’t necessarily her fault. She didn’t have time to go into details, so I don’t know what she would have said if she had. But the support for the Kurds was not part of the regime change war, or not directly. Though I suspect it was meant to put pressure on Assad because the US did not want the Kurds making a deal with Assad. If we couldn’t win, we wanted Syrians under Assad to suffer as much as possible. No rebuilding, no oil revenue. This has always been one of our tactics with governments we dislike.

As for Clinton’s attack, I suspect it was in part meant to hurt Bernie. Some of his supporters want him to be more forthrightly anti interventionist and also, Gabbard supported him in 2016. Yang defended her, so why doesn’t he? Of course if he does then he becomes the Russian asset and the target of all the horrified folk in the press who will say he is guilty of moral equivalence. Fine job of ratf***ing.

Clinton in 2014

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/08/hillary-clinton-failure-to-help-syrian-rebels-led-to-the-rise-of-isis/375832/

That’s a hawk.

An article about the Syrian War.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/magazine/aleppo-after-the-fall.html

I am going to pull out a quote.

Extended quote from NYT piece. Btw, he pulls no punches about Assad regime atrocities either—

“ In Latakia, a beach town in the regime’s northwestern heartland, I met a 53-year-old businessman named Munzer Nasser, who commands a militia composed almost entirely of older men; there are no young men left in his village. One of its members, he told me, is a 65-year-old whose three sons have all been killed in the war. Behind the Assad regime’s atrocities lies a fear of demographic exhaustion. Its rebel opponents have no such worries: They can draw on a vast well of Islamist sympathizers across the Arab world.

These facts translate into a genuine gratitude — in regime-controlled areas — toward Russia, whose military intervention in late 2015 may have forestalled a total collapse. Many Syrians say they feel reassured by the sight of Russian soldiers, because they (unlike the army and its allied militias) are not likely to loot or steal. Some of my contacts in regime-controlled areas are even learning Russian. In Latakia, some people told me that their city might have been destroyed if not for the Russians. The city has long been one of Syria’s safe zones, well defended by the army and its militias; there are tent cities full of people who have fled other parts of the country, including thousands from Aleppo. But in the summer of 2015, the rebels were closing in on the Latakia city limits, and mortars were falling downtown. If the rebels had captured the area — where Alawites are the majority — a result would almost certainly have been sectarian mass murder. Many people in the region would have blamed the United States, which armed some of the rebels operating in the area. In this sense, the Russian intervention was a lucky thing for the Obama administration too. Andrew Exum, who worked in the Pentagon at the time, told me that the military drew up contingency plans for a rapid collapse of the regime. The planning sessions were talked about as “catastrophic success.”

Last comment and I am done for the day.

That Sunday NYT magazine article was superb, but most of what I read or hear in mainstream discussions about Syria is childish stupid nonsense about good guys vs bad guys and btw, I also hear this on the far left, though there people are split on who the good noble fighters are and who were the evil demons.

In reality it was apparently a vicious brutal civil war and only a moral idiot would think you could have a happy ending by pouring weapons into the situation with the idea that you would be arming the nice polite democratic rebels. Sure. Meanwhile, over in Gaza where another bunch of Muslim Brotherhood types run the place you have Hillary Clinton demonizing them and making excuses for when Israel bombed civilian areas. Think of Syria as what Israel, the WB and Gaza would like if billions of dollars were poured into the hands of Hamas.

Actually, bombed Middle Eastern cities look much the same whether it was the Americans, Russians, Israelis or Saudis doing the bombing.

Libertarians promoted civil liberties, like gay rights, decades before it became generally fashionable

Sorry Charles. Insofar as this claim has anything to do with actual history, boots on the ground organizing, building widespread political pressure, and promoting actual public policies put in place to enhance and enforce these rights, this is utter bullshit.

Why was she always hailed as a foreign policy expert?

being a very popular Sec of State will do that.

Back for a correction—

Where I said—

“ Meanwhile, over in Gaza where another bunch of Muslim Brotherhood types run the place”

I meant that Hamas and the Free Syrian Army rebels are ideologically similar. It sounded like I was implying that Assad was Muslim Brotherhood, but the Assad family has a history of brutal repression of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Thanks for the link, Donald. The part about how Assad scraped a more conciliatory speech for a hard line one as the civil war started is indeed a stark reminder of how needlessly stupid and cruel we can become and subsequently unleash needless bloody tragedy.

sure, some people are going to vote third party no matter what.

Clinton received slightly fewer votes than Obama did in 2012, but Trump received a good deal more votes than Romney did. Both the Greens and the Glibertarians got way more votes than they did in the previous presidential election. Glibertarians especially so.

Many contributing factors had a hand in her defeat, but I usually cite the resurgent racial revanchism of Trump's rhetoric and its appeal to systemic and widespread white racism and Comey's October surprise.

Jill Stein and here supporters were, and continue to be, an irrelevancy.

There are bigger fish to fry.

So. What happened in the Brexit ordeal today?

I usually cite the resurgent racial revanchism of Trump's rhetoric and its appeal to systemic and widespread white racism and Comey's October surprise.

Cool - those were definitely contributing factors (although both were exacerbated by Russia, considering that "but her emails" was a story made possible by Russia and Julian Assange, and Russian trolls working to suppress the African-American vote were a proven thing). Without Russian interference, Hillary would be president. Russia's role is the big fish here.

Both the Greens and the Glibertarians got way more votes than they did in the previous presidential election. Glibertarians especially so.

As I predicted. :)

"This election cycle is shaping up to be a possible black swan event. Both the Republican and Democrat candidates are at risk of tanking in spectacular ways. The Libertarian candidate is likely to get a larger percentage of the vote than the LP has ever gotten before."
Posted by: CharlesWT | June 06, 2016 at 02:12 PM (The direct link isn't working)

This.

“ being a very popular Sec of State will do that.”

Back for a moment.

Yes it will., especially if people don’t take their professed moral outrage over the Iraq War very seriously. 2003 was a pivotal moment in history and a significant fraction of the Democratic Party and of course most Republicans blew it. Libya was not a shining moment and neither was Syria. Yemen came after she left, but there is zero evidence she would have been dovish there.

By and large, most Americans don’t care that much about foreign policy if we aren’t losing American lives This could even be a good thing if we didn’t have a foreign policy elite with megalomaniac delusions of moral grandeur and that is before Trump came along. But since we do have such people usually controlling things, we get these endless string of interventions and then interventions to solve the earlier interventions. Note the plan mentioned in my citation from the NYT Aleppo piece— if we had actually succeeded in toppling Assad, there was a plan to intervene to prevent the genocide that was likely going to occur as a result.

Catastrophic success. Tulsi wasn’t harsh enough.

The only genuinely good thing we’ve done over there was the Iranian nuclear treaty, which Trump tore up. Supporting the Kurds was arguably good, but we had to pull out sooner or later. Though not so abruptly and idiotically.

Beinart has a piece up making a different criticism, not one I am comfortable with. But he says the plan of some Democrats to leave Afghanistan is essentially going to lead to the same results. The Taliban will take over.

So I guess if we do want to be the world’s policeman, put it to a vote. And hold ourselves accountable when we commit war crimes. Neither will happen. Trump, in the meantime, is just a random, incompetent blithering idiot who is screwing up our already morally disastrous policies.

I should do something besides ranting today.

whatever the intent, Clinton's feud with Gabbard has made her (Gabbard) more visible than anything her entire campaign has accomplished up to now. Whoever is running her campaign should immediately go out and play the lottery.

so, perhaps an own goal, on Clinton's part.

Not an endorsement of Gabbard, she seems like kind of an odd duck. Just an expression of general puzzlement about Clinton deciding to pile on. Mostly it just seems to make her (Clinton) the heavy, throwing her weight around and beating up on the underdog.

Syria strikes me as one of those situations where you're buggered no matter what you do. Should we be involved at all? Whose side are we on? How many sides are there anyway, and how many of them are each of the various significant players on? I'm just surprised we're not shooting at ourselves. Then again, maybe we are.

Nonetheless, Trump appears to have achieved new heights in general impulsive what-the-hell-is-he-doing-now cluserfnckedness. Which coming from him is a high bar.

It's also really hard for me to say that the Kurds shouldn't want their own state. Everybody in their neighborhood seems to want to kill them, hardly surprising they'd want a place of their own, that they could run as they see fit.

Complicated, yes. Unlikely to actually ever happen, likewise yes. Nonetheless, completely understandable.

Good luck to all.

whatever the intent, Clinton's feud with Gabbard has made her (Gabbard) more visible than anything her entire campaign has accomplished up to now. Whoever is running her campaign should immediately go out and play the lottery.

so, perhaps an own goal, on Clinton's part.

So, Clinton didn't mention any names, but suggested that people should be on guard that someone was being groomed as Putin's Democratic pony. After having lost because of similar tactics in 2016, she's just supposed to ignore it? We're all just supposed to ignore it?

I see. We should all just pretend she's not really there, and let Tucker Carlson take over the messaging.

Actually, I forgot the crucial rule: Everything Hillary Clinton says or does is wrong (even if it's right).

I'd say that whether or not Clinton is right on this (and I think she's half right), her voicing it in this way is going to get people focusing on the wrong half of her half-right and end up burying what good her statement might have done. Judging by my FB feed, all she has done is rile up a lot of low-information independents to repost Gabbard's condemnation of the DNC to the detriment of every viable Democratic candidate.

What nous said.

Eyes on the prize, y'all.

especially if people don’t take their professed moral outrage over the Iraq War very seriously.

perhaps people don't think the Iraq War was her fault. it's an easy way to think, since she neither spearheaded the push for it nor drove a tank in it.

but there is zero evidence she would have been dovish there.

/chef's kiss

condemnation of the DNC

like Clinton was saying...

The Iraq war was promoted by Bush and Cheney as being necessary to remove Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam had previously shown himself only too willing to use.

We now know that Bush was lying about the intelligence. But I don't think it fair to blame Hillary and others for not having known in 2002 that Bush and Cheney were lying.

If you think the war wasn't justified even if what Bush and Cheney had said had been true, then you can fairly say that Hillary was wrong to vote to enable it.

and I think she's half right

Not sure where she's wrong. Maybe you could explain.

Eyes on the prize, y'all.

The technique of denying and/or ignoring Russian participation in 2016 was a disaster. What Clinton said might make some people (not die hard "burn-it-downers") scrutinize things a bit more - like, say, if Gabbard runs third party.

I get it that people want Clinton to STFU. But it might be wiser, if we want to keep our eyes on the prize, to tell R's (Republicans and Russians) that they need to STFU instead. Just a novel thought.

Clinton isn't commenting on this blog as far as I can tell, so I don't think anyone here gets to tell her to STFU. All we can do is discuss our thoughts on what she's said, which will have pretty much no effect on anything that happens in the wider world.

It's one thing to disagree with what people write here and state your reasons for disagreeing. It's another thing to continuously tell people what they are and aren't allowed to write about (i.e. telling them, the people who are actually here trying to have conversations, to STFU about whatever it is they're discussing). It's tiresome.

Cheney/Bush were so blatantly lying about almost everything in preparation for the war that to give them a benefit of the doubt on anything was imo completely unjustified.
And that they were lying was shown long before most politicians had to commit to the endeavour.
Imo Clinton (and most of her colleagues) did not vote for the war because they believed in what Cheney/Bush were selling but because they feared negative political consequences for themselves, if they would not.
What they did not know was, how thoroughly the administration would botch the aftermath.
Still, those few that had objected from the start got for years afterwards viciously smeared, with 'would you prefer Saddam still being in power?' among the mildest attacks.
To be pro war at the time was an act of political cowardice but, unfortunately, a 'prudent' one as far as one's political career was concerned. The political class also tends not to be forgiving to people who were right and showed backbone when the majority did not.
From a German perspective: it took decades after WW2 for the German society to forgive those who actively resisted Hitler. Some got smeared for having had the 'wrong' motives (those who resisted from the left) others as rats trying to jump the sinking ship and those in the military simply as traitors that broke their oath. In the German armed forces the dispute about 'tradition' still has not ended (there recently was a nasty quarrel about busts in the navy's hall of honor with protests against removal of an admiral who had sailors executed even post capitulation for questioning final victory a few dyas earlier and against the inclusion of the captain of the Graf Spee who preferred to save his crew instead of making a suicidal last stand).

What hsh said.

Also, I was searching for a link to a brilliant letter I just read, from Bertrand Russell to Sir Oswald Mosley refusing the latter's lunch invitation (from a piece headed "How to refuse lunch with a fascist") in order to see if by any chance my very frustrating inability to post links had changed, when I came across the following really excellent quote by Hannah Arendt. As many of you will recognise, it makess a point I am obsessed with, so I will try my experiment re posting links in a separate post.

The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction and the distinction between true and false no longer exist.

Testing, 123:

https://twitter.com/HamishH1931

Nope, still can't do it, it must be in the spam trap. If any of you IT geniuses can tell me if there's anything I can do from my end to rectify it, please let me know!

It's one thing to disagree with what people write here and state your reasons for disagreeing. It's another thing to continuously tell people what they are and aren't allowed to write about (i.e. telling them, the people who are actually here trying to have conversations, to STFU about whatever it is they're discussing). It's tiresome.

I haven't told anyone what they're allowed to talk or write about. Did I tell anyone here to STFU? I said generally R's (Republicans and Russians) should be told to do so, as opposed to Clinton - if we actually want to "keep our eyes on the prize."

People are criticizing Clinton for speaking up about her suspicions about Russian interference. I disagree with that criticism. We tried the deny/ignore approach to Russian interference last time around. People don't need to STFU about their criticism of Clinton. I just think what they say is misguided, just as you think what I say is misguided (although you mischaracterize it as trying to stifle people).

If people want Clinton to STFU, they should tell her to do that, and write about it here. It's a discussion. What do you think, hairshirthedonist? Do you think that Clinton should not speak her mind in public about her suspicions that Putin is supporting a Democratic candidate named Tulsi Gabbard? Or is it tiresome for you to contemplate that subject?

I think this article gets to what troubled me about Hillary’s intervention.
(Though the author rather undercuts his case by the entirely unnecessary poke with “self-absorbed”....)

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/hillary-clinton-elevating-tulsi-gabbard/600370/
...Even if one shares Clinton’s suspicions of Stein and Gabbard—and, as a longtime observer of Soviet and Russian government, I do—her decision to inject herself into the 2020 election was a mistake. It was exactly the kind of clumsy, self-absorbed move that, despite Clinton’s lifetime in the public eye, revealed a total misunderstanding of how politics work. Far from exposing or thwarting Gabbard, as Clinton loyalists want to believe, the former secretary of state overshot the mark by making an accusation without proof. Gabbard will now dismiss real concerns about her as just so much conspiracy theorizing...

...So, to use a famous Soviet expression, what is to be done? If Gabbard shows up at the Democratic convention, she should be greeted politely—and then resolutely ignored otherwise. But that should also be the strategy right now. As a former Republican who will vote for the Democratic nominee again in 2020, I hope that I never have to talk about Tulsi Gabbard again. I can only hope that enough Democratic Party leaders can convince Hillary Clinton to feel the same way.

A direct analogy would be the way in which his opponents get drawn into arguments with Trump over his more petty pronouncements.
It’s just not worth it; stick to what genuinely matters.

Now GftNC chimes in on the accusation that I'm telling people to STFU.

I asked nous to "please explain". STFU? Nope.

I engaged what I thought was a conversation with russell about his admonition to "keep your eyes on the prize." STFU? Nope.

Carry on,

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/10/06/bertrand-russell-oswald-mosley/

I was unaware of the brilliant Russell (Bertrand) letter, for which thanks, GFNC.
It is a model I will put away for future use.

her decision to inject herself into the 2020 election was a mistake

everyone please note that not for one day in the past three years has Trump not talked about Clinton. and part of his Ukraine scheme is to find her "missing emails".

if i was her, i might have framed my remarks about Gabbard a bit differently. but she makes a point a lot of people really do need to accept: Russia is still out there doing its thing. the last time Russia helped to give us Trump; why the fnck would we shrug off their machinations now?

WRT my comment that Clinton was half right. I think she is correct to point out that the IRA is trying to use sock puppets and bots to give Gabbard more prominence. But to focus on How they are “grooming” a candidate puts attention on the person to which the disinformation is being attached and invites speculation about the intentions of that person as if they are the problem and not the trolls. And it puts the onus on the person being used and not on our own woeful media literacy, reading comprehension, and hunger for partisan conflict.

Russia is still out there doing its thing. the last time Russia helped to give us Trump; why the fnck would we shrug off their machinations now?

Agreed. The only question is how best to oppose those machinations.

Nigel: de nada!

Russia is still out there doing its thing. the last time Russia helped to give us Trump; why the fnck would we shrug off their machinations now?

Agreed. The only question is how best to oppose those machinations.

Nigel: de nada!

Also, thanks for posting the link JDT!

And it puts the onus on the person being used and not on our own woeful media literacy, reading comprehension, and hunger for partisan conflict.

In theory, this is a reasonable objection, as is the Tom Nichols quote that Nigel posted. In practice, we are a divided country and the only people calling for a moderate, issue-driven discourse are mainstream Democrats who were reluctant in 2016 to draw too much attention to Putin's antics because it would seem like a conspiracy theory. But it's not a conspiracy theory. And the voting public isn't necessarily smart enough to figure out what's happening without it being spelled out clearly. Requiring Hillary Clinton to maintain the perfect rhetorical balance when she sees 2016 repeating itself is a big ask.

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