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January 06, 2020

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Wag the Dog.

how about some good ol Cambridge Analytica!


https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/04/cambridge-analytica-data-leak-global-election-manipulation

“There are emails between these major Trump donors discussing ways of obscuring the source of their donations through a series of different financial vehicles. These documents expose the entire dark money machinery behind US politics.” The same machinery, she says, was deployed in other countries that Cambridge Analytica worked in, including, she claims, Britain.

Emma Briant, an academic at Bard College, New York, who specialises in investigating propaganda and has had access to some of the documents for research, said that what had been revealed was “the tip of the iceberg”.

“The documents reveal a much clearer idea of what actually happened in the 2016 US presidential election, which has a huge bearing on what will happen in 2020. It’s the same people involved who we know are building on these same techniques,” she said.

FYI, i pulled out one of the CA documents filed under "Bolton" here.

want to see how they manipulate us?

are you sure?

Imagine being targeted because you were neurotic. How would you react to finding that out, particularly if you were neurotic?

What a friggin' world we live in.

Netanyahu...
“Leave us out of this shit...”
https://twitter.com/NTarnopolsky/status/1214249290303987713

If Bibi finds a useful idiot who will assassinate Iranian leaders for him, why wouldn't he distance himself from the act? All the better to keep Iran's response focused on the US, rather than Israel. Which, since he likely knows just how f*cked up this is likely to become, probably seems like a great idea to him. Sure, the Iranians may not go for it. But it's worth trying, even so.

Interesting about Netanyahu, but on a personal level Trump abandoned him when he didn’t win his last election, so I wonder if this is in part a petty response.

But more likely he doesn’t want to increase the chances of an Iranian attack. It probably won’t help.

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which is a hawkish pro Israel think tank, loved the assassination. Thought it was genius. Linking to a New York magazine journalist and not their website, but just glancing at the website they seem to like it.

https://mobile.twitter.com/EricLevitz/status/1214175095947698177

https://mobile.twitter.com/EricLevitz/status/1214175095947698177

I'm not sure what this means.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-security-withdrawal/in-letter-u-s-military-tells-iraq-it-will-withdraw-idUSKBN1Z520A

It means the US is probably pulling out ... but only if everyone can convince Trump it doesn’t involve a loss of face.

So it might equally mean a shooting war.

So we pull out. Then ISIS reestablishes itself. And it will all be Obama's fault . . . somehow.

Interesting interview with Iraq’s president:
https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/where-will-us-iran-tensions-play-out-an-interview-with-barham-salih-iraqs-president

Interesting and sad. Sad in part because our president isn’t more like Iraq’s.

and now, they're working on the sanctions against Iraq.

Democracy, whiskey, tribute.

Thanks again, GOP!
You're the best.

Demonstrating the brilliance and competence for which it is famous, on Monday afternoon the commanding general of the US's Task Force Iraq sent the Iraqi government saying that we respect its sovereignty and are therefore withdrawing.

Naturally, by evening the administration was in Oops Mode.

Hey, if Trump can start a war by accident, why not stop another one by accident? It's how he rolls.

The president is an ignorant and incompetent man, prone to belligerent, impulsive, reactive behavior, and vulnerable to manipulation. He surrounds himself with sycophants, many of whom have agendas of their own, often corrupt ones.

Thus, our foreign policy.

It's going to be like this as long as he is in office. Maybe longer, but at least that long.

Read 'em and weep. Then, do what you can to get these fnckers out of there.

Pompeo, of course, is one of Donald’s warmongers, along similar lines to Bolton but clearly better at flattering/manipulating Trump.

As far as the Israelis are concerned, their intelligence on Iran is probably better than anyone’s (not least as they took in fifty thousand or so Iranian Jews as part of the deal to supply Iran with arms during the Iran/Iraq war.

That they have never thought it sensible to kill Soleiman - something obviously within their capability - speaks volumes.

I'm slightly worried about Bolton suddenly saying if subpoenaed he will testify, straight after Trump does exactly what he would have wanted and (in effect) attacks Iran. Perhaps I'm being paranoid...

And now, this.

It's excellent that the Pentagon has clarified the question of whether the US will or will not be deliberately targeting sites of cultural interest. We should not be, it is against our own policy and against international laws, treaties, and agreements to which we are a party. And, per the Pentagon, we will not be.

Well done. I applaud them.

And, as a consequence, we have the POTUS making very public threats against another nation, only to have the military he nominally commands say "No, we're not doing that".

I can't really think of any other occasion when that has happened. Perhaps it has, but I can't think of an example.

This is not a good situation. He's gotta go.

Information worth pondering.

We've handed an enormous amount of power to a man who is, fundamentally, a fool. Let's hope we get to the other side of this in one piece.

my advice to Iran is: do nothing and let Trump wallow in the consternation of everyone but his cult. take the high ground and leave Trump in the mud.

It's excellent that the Pentagon has clarified the question of whether the US will or will not be deliberately targeting sites of cultural interest. We should not be, it is against our own policy and against international laws, treaties, and agreements to which we are a party. And, per the Pentagon, we will not be.

Well done. I applaud them.

The military is clear on the subject of illegal orders. It's something every officer gets taught before he gets his first set of gold bars. So not surprising . . . except for the fact that it was the SecDef stepping up, rather than leaving it to the Joint Chiefs.

Still, I wonder how long Trump will take firing generals before he finds one who will blindly follow orders on something like this. There are inevitably going to be a couple. And he found General Flynn, after all.

Trump did apparently end the Iranian protests.

i smell a Nobel Prize!

He's Iran's interdimensional squid.

GftNC:"Bolton suddenly saying if subpoenaed he will testify, straight after Trump does exactly what he would have wanted and (in effect) attacks Iran"

I love the smell of Quid Pro Quo in the morning...

Ah, but is Bolton an honest politician? That is, having got his payoff, will he stay bought?

The Iranians are winning the war on the snark front. First the spongebob thing and now this —

https://twitter.com/wyattreed13/status/1214641652498866176

On a more serious note, I gather both the Iranian government and Nasrallah claim they won’t target civilians. I will look for links later.

Confirmed reports of a rocket attack at the US airbase in Anbar province. Thus-far unconfirmed reports of strikes at other US facilities in Iraq.

Ah, but is Bolton an honest politician? That is, having got his payoff, will he stay bought?

That is the question. For all values of "honest". Or could the timing really be a coincidence? The shadow knows...

Was definitely thinking about the ROTC students on campus as walked past their info/recruiting booth on the way to teach yesterday. I wanted to go talk to them about what they were thinking and feeling in this complex moment, but I knew that to be a fraught conversation that would have had them uncomfortable and suspicious of my intentions.

One of my students last spring had been in ROTC and we had some very productive conversations. He dropped out of ROTC partway through the quarter over some doubts about the campus leadership and the senior students. I find myself inordinately relieved now that he made that decision when he did. And looking at the faces of the students in uniform, I was also relieved that I did not know any of them.

So, looks like Trump is going to get his war. Well, I guess he needs one -- hard to find much opportunity for serious war crimes without one. And it's become clear that war crimes are, in his mind, the sign of a real man.

Republican voters think the strike makes war more likely.... and approve it overwhelmingly:
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/477276-poll-47-percent-approve-of-trump-strike-on-soleimani

and approve it overwhelmingly

of course they do. it's not like they're going to say Trump did something wrong.

Good call, Donald J.

My assumption is that he doesn't have the appetite for an actual war. He avoids situations where somebody might actually fight back.

In any case, hope nobody persuades him that this makes him look like a wuss. Any bullet you can dodge is a good bullet.

The Iranian strikes appear to be akin to ones we made on Syria a couple years ago. They looked like something significant on TV, but didn't really do much. It beats a real war, though.

It’s interesting how Trump surrounds himself with warmongers, but backs out at the last minute. I’m glad he backs out, but if I heard correctly he is going to impose yet more sanctions. So he attacks civilians without the big explosions that attract attention.

But the shout loudly and then back away has become a pattern, at least with people who can fight back.

They looked like something significant on TV, but didn't really do much.

because we knew the missiles were coming, all of our troops got into bunkers and waited it out.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iran-live-updates/2020/01/08/c835c218-31a0-11ea-9313-6cba89b1b9fb_story.html#link-2TLYF76XKQY6DFGPXLSMJRQZSU

But the shout loudly and then back away has become a pattern, at least with people who can fight back.

Much as I dislike Trump - which is a considerable amount - I prefer "shout loudly and then back away" to "find some shitty little country and throw it against the wall".

Who remembers the mighty invasion of.... Grenada? Where the commies were trampling on the freedoms of our medical students.

Good times, those. May they not come again.

Soleimani wasn't the only one killed, and some of the militias have threatened reprisals. We'll see if the Iraqi and Iranian governments have them on a leash or not. I didn't watch; did Trump say anything about the fact the US has been asked to leave Iraq?

GOP vermin, every one of them, were born to have their intelligence insulted.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/lee-paul-back-war-powers-resolution-after-insulting-admin-briefing-on-iran

They are covered in shit from head to toe.

And NOW their bullshit detectors go off?

It's too late for them to fend off bloody Civil War now.

Trump is still escalating with the sanctions. People are relieved because he decided not to start a war that would make Iraq seem sane, but Iran either folds or they escalate too, probably via proxy.

On a moral level, Trump is a sadistic smug bully.. It seems to be the central core of his personality.

It takes a Deep State to target them bombs and drones properly.

You don't wanna rely on your typical subhuman ignorant filth conservative American, who would start firing and shoot everything and everyone in sight at the merest provocation.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/01/where-in-the-world-is-the-ayatollah-khamenei/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvK1LDRo4_A

seems like everyone has decided it's over.

did Iran say it was over?

I think it's more that everybody has decided that it isn't expanding rapidly just now. That is, we aren't seeing both sides escalating responses on a daily or hourly basis. Not quite the same thing as "over" -- meaning nothing further will happen.

Trump tied to get a 2nd Iranian military leader the same night, but in Yemen. missed him.

kinda messes with the claim of 'imminent threat'.

greater Wingnuttia is pretty sure it's Over, because Soleimani was the only guy in the country who ever thought to attack the US.

Just doing some favors.

You wash my back, I'll wash yours.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/iraqi-prime-minister-asks-pompeo-to-begin-process-of-us-troop-withdrawal

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-conducted-iran-strike-to-satisfy-gop-senators-before-impeachment-2020-1

I want the entire Republican edifice, right down to the janitor* at the local Hobby Lobby, to withdraw from MY country as well, while the getting is good.

Get the fuck out of my country, conservative vermin.

Now!

*Put Rupert Murdock in cuffs and gagged on a 737 MAX with the original showroom algorithms intact and evacuate him to Australia. Land the plane in one of the vast burned out regions of the country so the victims of his anti-climate science media bullshit can butcher and slaughter him.

Just doing some favors.

So he more or less admitted that at least part of the motivation to assassinate the highest-ranked military leader of a sovereign nation was to assure himself that he wouldn't be removed from office. That's understandable. No biggie.

It's a shame she was assassinated by the republican conservative movement.

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a30469862/justice-department-hillary-clinton-investigation-nothing/

Why doesn't the Justice Department open an inquiry into her murder?

Too many suspects?

Sometimes, even the most unlikely people can step up and do the right thing. When Rep Slotkin's resolution (requiring Trump to get a vote of Congress before attacking Iran further) came up for a vote, it not only got a vote but a statement of support from perhaps the last person you would expect: Rep Matt Gaetz:

I take a back seat to no member of this body when it comes to defending the president. This resolution offers no criticism of the president. It doesn’t criticize the president’s attacks on Soleimani. As a matter of fact, this resolution doesn’t even say Soleimani’s name in it.

I represent more troops than any other member of this body. I buried one of them earlier today at Arlington, and that sergeant died a patriot and a hero. If the members of our armed services have the courage to go fight and die in these wars, as Congress we ought to have the courage to vote for them or against them. It’s ludicrous to suggest that we are impairing the troops from doing their job by not doing our job articulated in the Constitution.

Hard to argue with that. Even if it comes from one of Trump's chief fanboys. Too bad more of them don't take it to heart.

Hard to argue with that.

Albert Speer thought he was hard to argue with, too.

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