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June 16, 2020

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I embrace the newly coined Donald’s Law when it comes to foreign policy..

https://www.newsweek.com/us-syria-representative-james-jeffrey-job-make-war-quagmire-russia-1503702

The US, Russia, and Iran have various proxy wars going on in Asia and this didn’t start with Trump. If we don’t want American soldiers dying in Afghanistan, pull them out. We can still kill people and create massive suffering without having ground forces over there. That’s what proxies and sanctions and air strikes are for.

So yeah, nobody means anything and it is all crap.

A party which actively rejects the members of growing demographics, in favor of members of shrinking demographics, is in the process of committing suicide.

Or aiming for (de facto, not necessarily de jure) a one-party state. Such parties more often than not also make it a part of their official doctrine not to represent everybody (because opposing certain groups is at their core).
The communists called it the 'party of a new type' or 'cadre party' and officially adopted the model under Lenin. Or as Hitler put it: 'these gentlmen are completely right. We ARE intolerant. I have set myself a single goal, i.e. to sweep these 30 parties* out of Germany' (*referring to the ballot in the district where he held the speech).
Non-representative is the historical default, so conservatives tend towards that by their very nature (although this is not exclusive to them, see the communists).

There's actually nothing inherently conservative about depriving people of representation.

Self styled "conservatives" have consistently opposed expanding the franchise throughout US history.

That’s not quite so clear in the UK, where both Whigs and Tories expanded the franchise. Admittedly the former tended to be more keen on the idea.

Long Politico piece, well worth a read.

In suburban Detroit, a cookout full of Democratic voters bubbles into outrage, frustration at being taken for granted—and certainty that 2020 is in the bag for Trump.
https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/06/24/letter-to-washington-grosse-pointe-woods-325641
” Look around,” he told me, turning in his chair. “There’s music playing. Food on the barbeque. Three or four different groups having conversations. People making sure everyone’s fed, everyone’s having a good time. People playing games. You see, we’re just like everyone else. So why do they treat us different? Why are they scared of us?”

He thought for a moment. “Sometimes, I’ll hear my white friends talk about moments when they feared for their lives. But do they know what it’s like to fear their lives, for their entire lives?”

I embrace the newly coined Donald’s Law

Given that you share that first name with someone else (if it refers to you, I'm pretty confused about all this), I'm not sure it is going to get any traction. Or if it does, if it won't change the meaning.

How much our foreign policy is something that is connected to the way we conduct our domestic policy is an interesting question as is which way that connection goes. If you are an infantryman and you get out, the job you are likely to go into is police.

I remember someone suggesting that there was a direct linkage between the techniques used at Abu Grahib and those developed in the US penal insitutions, carried over by corrections workers who were in the National Guard. Charles Graner, of Abu Ghraib infamy, left high school to become and MP in the Marines, and after he served in the Persian Gulf war, became a corrections officer in the Pennslyvania system and was then called up.

Long Politico piece, well worth a read.

very much so...

The Politico piece was sobering.

It puts me in mind of this profile of Clarence Thomas.

It would be nice to think that racial division and inequity was something that could, finally, be addressed and resolved.

The evidence for it actually happening is, I think, slim.

what I said actually sounds exactly like something you would say

i know.

twas a joke.

Given that you share that first name with someone else

this... i was not clear on.

these are confusing times.

Long Politico piece, well worth a read.

Fourthed.

Well, I wasn't precisely sure what Donald's law was and if it referred to Donald, but if it did, given that his first name is unfortunately the same as someone else's, it would get awfully confusing. If it hasn't already.

Also, that parenthetical 'if it refers to you' I think can have 4 different meanings depending on if you stress if, it, refers, or you. And I can't remember which one I wanted to say...

Self styled "conservatives" have consistently opposed expanding the franchise throughout US history.

Today's self styled "conservatives" pretty much hew to this in policy terms. Are you telling me they are not "real" conservatives?

I would say that the reality is that those who opposed expanding the franchise styled themselves as "conservatives". In short, causality ran the other way. So yes, I'm saying that they aren't real conservatives. To be fair, they may be handicapped by our political discourse not making use of the label "reactionary" -- because that's what they really are.

Here's the difference: Reactionaries want zero change. In fact, they want to roll back to some earlier moment as the basis of that lack of change. Conservatives, in contrast, are clear that change is both inevitable and desirable -- because society is imperfect, and its problems have to be addressed. We believe that, in most ( but not all) cases, it is best to go for the smallest change which will address the problem. But that's far from saying that there should be no changes.

Perhaps an example will help clarify. In the early 1980s, in California, "domestic partnerships" were invented to try to give homosexuals the benefits of marriage. That is, it was an attempt, albeit not a conservative one, to address a problem. It failed on two counts. First, it wasn't a good substitute for those who wanted to be really married. Second, it was mostly adopted by heterosexual couples who wanted the benefits of marriage without accepting the responsibilities. Which was a new problem.

At that point, there was an actual conservative solution in sight: scrap domestic partnerships (which weren't fixing the problem) and just tweak the basic marriage law -- take the places where it referred to "a man and a woman" and change it to "two adults". Minimal change to the law, and addresses the problem.

Needless to say, bobbyp's "self-styled conservatives" didn't like it. But that's because they are, indeed, not real conservatives.

The Politico piece was interesting anecdata, but to the extent those kinds of articles are supposed to represent broad thinking among [who, exactly?] wealthy black people in exclusive Michigan suburbs? wealthy people? black people? Michigan? it's not necessarily "valuable." Because what do we do about it?

If voters, no matter what their demographic, are truly convinced that Republicans and Democrats are equally or similarly bad, I don't know that there's a way to solve that. That was one of the problems I saw with the thinking of the people at that party. Another was misogyny. I like Cory Booker too, and would have been happy if Biden had skipped announcing that he'd choose a woman if choosing Cory Booker would have won over these voters. But it wouldn't have.

And, you know, we still haven't had a woman President. There's a reason for that, and part of the reason is reflected among the people who were quoted in that article. There's always something just a little bit too wrong with any woman who might be under consideration.

What to do about implicit bias, against African-Americans, against women: nobody's immune from it. Maybe we should look for a vaccine.

Not exactly the point of the Politico piece, but it gets at the difference between being black and being poor. A white police commander doesn’t have to have “the talk” about the police with his kids. And the white neighbors in Grosse Pointe Park wouldn’t avoid calling 911 if one of their guests had fainted, wouldn’t have the police called on them for walking around the house they had just bought, and wouldn’t be questioned about how they could afford a nice car if (rather than when) they got pulled over. You don’t have to be poor to put up with a bunch of bulls*t if you’re black, even if it’s worse to be both.

even if it’s worse to be both

intersectionality alert!

If voters, no matter what their demographic, are truly convinced that Republicans and Democrats are equally or similarly bad, I don't know that there's a way to solve that.

There are some elections where the candidates are equally good or equally bad.** But I'm having trouble wrapping my head around anyone seeing Trump and anyone who ran being equally bad. And that includes the guys he was up against for the nomination in 2016 -- some of whom were pretty terrible, but still.

There were certainly candidates for the Democratic nomination this time that I was unenthused about, and a couple I seriously disliked. But none of them came close to sinking to Trump's level. If someone doesn't see that, I don't know how we start to communicate.

** I should perhaps note that California does top-two primaries. Which means we frequently end up with general elections featuring two Democrats -- California Republicans having reduced themselves to that level of irrelevance.

intersectionality alert!

I almost wrote something to that effect, knowing what a nasty, phony concept some people think it is.

the pressures of whiteness, wealth and masculinity add up.

This seems like information that should be widely disseminated. It seems to me that the diversity of the Democratic nominee's campaign speaks volumes about the bona fides of the party's commitment to its values. African-Americans are not being taken for granted, and not just being represented; they're being included.

you mean Biden isn't re-tweeting angry old men in golf carts shouting "White Power" ?

Chief deputy warlord of genocidal bioterrorist conservative movement group responsible for murdering 124,000 Americans and possibly crippling and bankrupting hundreds of thousands more for life warns, with a poker face, that it's too late ..... they are coming to kill and maim the rest of us, while 60 million operatives have been unmasked as volunteers to spread and infect and murder the remaining 260 million innocent Americans with the former's conservative death cult god virus.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2020/06/28/Alex-Azar-Window-is-closing-for-US-to-control-pandemic/9901593363214/

Fellow high-ranking murderous conservative warlord terrorist consigliere begins rounding up and disappearing patsies and scapegoats to distract 260 million victims of coming genocide.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/barr-george-floyd-violence-from-antifa-other-group-is-domestic-terrorism-and-will-be-treated-accordingly

Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader of conservative bioterrorist cult, leading America's EVIL conservative Deep State agents from America's White House, readies America's total defeat at hands of his terrorist partners and masters abroad:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/06/29/what-fiona-hill-learned-in-the-white-house

Former ruthless warrior, once positioned to stop the EVIL, now toothless cuck cast aside, General James Mattis, bleats his admiration of perhaps the one hero who warned us, the latter of whom's life was nearly snatched away by conservative movement assassins.

All media organs, representing the only armed force who might be capable of interdicting and defeating the domestic terrorists and who might object to America's defeat systematically are silenced:

https://www.stripes.com/news/us/esper-defends-stripping-stars-and-stripes-of-all-funding-says-news-organization-is-not-a-priority-1.618614

Thanks for these links, John Thullen.

Breathing gets more difficult in America every day. Seems the more we reduce taxes and regulation, the harder it is to draw that next breath:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=Saharan+dust+cloud+health&filters=tnTID%3a%22B313FDD8-CC2C-4ba1-A74F-2B5D556E3D55%22+tnVersion%3a%223589451%22+segment%3a%22popularnow.carousel%22+tnCol%3a%221%22+tnOrder%3a%2275af387b-afa3-450b-96af-d2ebaec599bd%22&FORM=BSPN01&crslsl=0

Why hasn't trump closed our borders to foreign globalist dust?

From space, the foreign dust cloud is dwarfed by the huge, darkening cloud of horseshit swirling violently over America.

So now the White House's claim is that Trump was never briefed on the intelligence concerning the Russian operation paying bounties to the Taliban for killing American soldiers. Well, what else could they say? That Trump was told and didn't care? (Or was told, but wasn't paying attention, so it didn't register?)

However, the salient question for Trump now would seem to be: Now that you are aware of it, what are you going to do about it? Needless to say, Trump won't be responding.

However, the salient question for Trump now would seem to be: Now that you are aware of it, what are you going to do about it? Needless to say, Trump won't be responding.

If it were kept in the news, someone would respond, but the problem is, a lot of people don't care, so it won't be news day after tomorrow. A lot of people don't care that the President of the United States supports a foreign government that kills American servicemen. They don't care that the President of the United States kills Americans by removing distancing signs at his own campaign rallies during an unprecedented (in modern times) worldwide pandemic. They don't care that the President is embezzling untold amounts of taxpayer dollars from the Treasury, by diverting money to his private businesses and to those of his cronies.

They'd rather focus on ridiculing "woke" people, and "SJW"s who are trying to figure out how to make things better. Where is McKinney or Marty with a word of outrage? I hope they respond, but why aren't they incentivized to start that conversation?

They'd rather focus on ridiculing "woke" people, and "SJW"s who are trying to figure out how to make things better. Where is McKinney or Marty with a word of outrage? I hope they respond, but why aren't they incentivized to start that conversation?

I'm not sure who this is addressed to, but if it is, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to incentivize people to start conversation, but there is a standing invitation for any regular, if they want to make a post, so send it to me. We still don't have a clear definition of 'regular', but I'm taking it to be like Potter's definite of obscenity, I'll know it when I see it.

"A lot of people don't care that the President of the United States supports a foreign government that kills American servicemen. They don't care that the President of the United States kills Americans by removing distancing signs at his own campaign rallies during an unprecedented (in modern times) worldwide pandemic. They don't care that the President is embezzling untold amounts of taxpayer dollars from the Treasury, by diverting money to his private businesses and to those of his cronies."


I'm outraged at many things, mostly things that are facts. There are plenty of those without getting outraged about things that are the random ranktings of conspiracy theorists on the left, from the nyt to juanita jean.

It would be huge waste of energy to expend it expressing my outrage against Trump here, yall pretty much have that covered 24/7.

But, on the topic of Afghanistsn, I am for any deal/negotiations that brings every troop home. Anyone surprised that Russia pays people to kill US troops hasnt been on this planet anytime in the last 60 years.

I'm curious what you think we should do about that?

I prefer my niche of being obscene and not heard.

So, you are one of those who want to reban Ovid in the classroom? ;-)

Well, I'll let sapient and Marty incentivize each other. I'm too busy being stunned by this

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mississippi-state-flag-remove-confederate-battle-emblem/

Marty, not sure whether you think that the killing of American servicemen at Putin's direction is a conspiracy theory, or just another day of what has always been happening.

It's okay, though. I'm done being incentivized.

Good news about the SC flag, of course.

Mississippi, not SC. SC has a palmetto and a crescent moon. The mississippi flag was adopted in 1894. There have actually been several attempts, so this isn't out of the blue, but the speed of this is pretty astonishing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Mississippi

"I'm outraged at many things, mostly things that are facts."

That's what I call a sentence that can stand alone and mask-less without any interference from plexiglass facts.

Here's a sticky fact to counter any residual sentimentality regarding the treatment of the Confederacy during the Civil War:

Jefferson Davis: "We are fighting for independence -- and that, or extermination, we will have ... You may emancipate every Negro in the Confederacy, but we will be free. We will govern ourselves .. if we have to see every plantation sacked ... and every Southern city in flames..... (the war) must go on till the last man of this generation falls in his tracks, and his children seize his musket and fight his battle, unless you acknowledge our right to self-government."*

Talk about being careful what facts you wish for.

"Anyone surprised that Russia pays people to kill US troops hasn't been on this planet anytime in the last 60 years."

America has a bargain with the rest of the world.

We pay to ship live soldiers overseas and we pay to ship them home in body bags and then try to cut corners putting them back together and keeping a roof over their heads if they by some Catch-22 break protocol and make it back alive with barely enough wits about them to get elected to national office and keep the process well-oiled and operative.

At least Russia and the rest of the world keep up their end of the bargain by taxing their own citizens in order to adequately pay others to kill our soldiers.

Plus, they observed our proxy assassin Osama Bin Laden work his wonders in Afghanistan against Russian troops back in the day.

America, where you can pay by proxy to buy votes through unmarked postal boxes, but you can't vote by proxy or mail.

Russia and the rest of the world have long memories from which they learn, unlike amnesiac America, which is led by the factless to believe whatever we do here and abroad is exceptional in motive, if not follow-thru, and then relegated to yesterday, when all our troubles seemed so far away.

A simple switcheroo in drone technology utilization would go a long way to rectifying the situation:

If our drones overseas had instead been delivering beer and pizza to those overseas we wish to kill, and our domestic drones had been repurposed to deliver munitions with short fuses down the chimneys of Dick Cheney, Tom Cotton, Lindsay Graham, and John Bolton, among a cast of millions with different names that I'm sure Donald will supply shortly for our much-needed schooling ;), we'd wouldn't be in this situation.

But someone would come up with a situation as bad or worse for us to be in instead, American innovation being what it is.

All of us are in this together.

Together, but a minimum of six feet apart so that we might not be forced into inhaling fatal facts from the now multiplying remnants of the Confederacy yet even now making a fetish of bogus liberties.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-06-28/hugos-tacos-closes-temporarily-citing-harassment-by-mask-averse-patrons.

It is apparently a civil liberty now to infect others with the plague.

That takes the cake, but not to a gay wedding apparently. Just down to the bakery to visit the other cakes.

A fatal virus is now protected by the dubious originalist fact of the Second Amendment.

Some justifiably claim "I can't breath".

Others proclaim "I won't prevent my breathing and talking from possibly killing you. And the only way I'm taking a knee is to stop you from breathing.

America might be the first civilization felled by a terrible collective (if you'll pardon my French) case of mass halitosis.

*Hymns of the Republic: The Story of the Final Year of the American Civil War by S.C. Gwynne

One hell of a read.

The seemingly disparate elements of this comment hang together if you fashion the noose the correct way. If you figure it out, let me know.

PS. Ban COvid, not Ovid.

PPS: Juanita Jean is a native of Texas, where the facts are free range and organic and cooked to order. And frequently inconvenient the higher up you go.

It's Monday morning and I've used up my word quota for the week, he promised with unmitigated Charles de Gaulle.

The palmetto and crescent is sacred to a bizarre degree in SC. I don't know of another state whose citizens revere their state flag as much as my home state. I daresay that more SC school children know the history of the state flag as compared to the US flag.

Of course, we had the unique distinction of actually flying the Confederate Battle Flag (which South Carolina troops did not fight under during the Civil War and is mostly associated with the army of Northern Virginia) as a third flag above the state house dome for about 40 years. That embarrassment was somewhat mitigated in 2005 when the flag was removed to a Confederate monument on the state house grounds and finally fixed in 2015 when it was removed altogether in the wake of the Charleston church shooting.

That embarrassment was somewhat mitigated in 2005 when the flag was removed to a Confederate monument on the state house grounds and finally fixed in 2015 when it was removed altogether in the wake of the Charleston church shooting.

The source of my confusion, I think. Interesting about the reverence for the SC state flag.

Wasn't there some storm in a teapot discussion about the SC flag some years ago because some RW idiot mistook it for islamist?
Or was it just 100% satire?

Anyone surprised that Russia pays people to kill US troops hasnt been on this planet anytime in the last 60 years.

Whether it's surprising is beside the point. Knowing that Russia would be willing to do something of this nature is different from knowing with certainty that they actually did it. I guess you think no response is required, at least while Trump (or any Republican?) is in office. I imagine a different reaction if this came out during the Obama presidency.

I imagine a different reaction if this came out during the Obama presidency.

oh indeed.

how many Benghazi's does this add up to?

I'm curious what you think we should do about that?

Adam Silverman provides a pretty good answer for that over on Balloon Juice.

IMO Silverman is a pretty credible guy. Or, perhaps he's just another emasculated civil servant.

Make of it what you will.

Wasn't there some storm in a teapot discussion about the SC flag some years ago because some RW idiot mistook it for islamist?

No, that was the 9/11 memorial in Shanksville PA.

Crescent shaped when viewed from above. Right?

Wake up, sheeple!!

apologies, here is Silverman's piece.

More from Silverman on the (latest) Russia thing.

And yes, Marty, we know you think Trump is an incompetent ass and you would never vote for him. He's just the sh*t sandwich you will happily tolerate for the tax cuts, deregulation, and judges.

The Politico piece was interesting anecdata, but to the extent those kinds of articles are supposed to represent broad thinking among [who, exactly?] wealthy black people in exclusive Michigan suburbs? wealthy people? black people? Michigan? it's not necessarily "valuable." Because what do we do about it?

I'm not sure you're supposed to 'do' anything about it.

It is reportage, not advocacy, and I think it mistaken to try and universalise any kind of message from it. Except perhaps that 'black voters' are not a monolith, which seems to have been the default assumption of a large number of political commentators for quite some time.

Life is complicated, and assuming that groups of people we aren't familiar with aren't complicated is foolish.
Also, what hairshirt. said.

intersectionality alert!
I almost wrote something to that effect, knowing what a nasty, phony concept some people think it

It's actually a very simple concept with a horrible sounding name.
A problem with much academic language, perhaps ?

https://www.businessinsider.com/mike-pence-dallas-megachurch-choir-no-masks-coronavirus-spike-texas-2020-6

Preaching to the choir?

russell, I would not do any of those things, I would privately tell them to stop, and I would conclude the mission of getting us out of Afghanistan.

The problem with Adam's soutions is that none of them can successfully stop what is going on and with each step we end up deploying more troops.

Ultimately, as has always been true, we would have to occupy and hold land that is the home of generations of guerilla fighters, without much support from the locals.

So, we use more troops which ends up requiring more troops, which reverses our basic goal of exiting. That seems like bad policy.

The Silverman pieces are excellent. Thanks.

I'm not sure you're supposed to 'do' anything about it.

Addressing concerns of voters (identifying solutions) is what political activists want to do about it.

Except perhaps that 'black voters' are not a monolith, which seems to have been the default assumption of a large number of political commentators for quite some time.

Some political commentators tend to think in demographic terms, basing commentary and predictions on such data. In some cases, that analysis is justified. For example, African-American women have turned out in large numbers in recent years, and made a concerted effort (working with other activists) to make a difference. This effort has turned Virginia blue. And the result is a more diverse state house, where real representation, not just lip service, is happening.

Cleek— Okay, no,problem. If limited to foreign policy I embrace it. Unfortunately, as LJ pointed out, there is another Donald with more name recognition than me.

Russell—

I thought the Adam Silverman piece was really bad.

Let me start with the cheap easy point first, In what universe is it a good idea to encourage Trump to be more militaristic? Here we have people talking about the disgusting idiot as a danger to everything, but then liberals sometimes criticize him for not being tougher, This is not some minor point, Fortunately, for whatever set of reasons, Trump has backed down with North Korea and Iran at least part of the time. He is also inconsistent with Russia. It’s the Saudis and Israelis that seem to have him in their pocket most of the time.

Second, with any President, going to war over Crimea would be stupid. If people think otherwise then maybe the Resistance at McCain’s funeral should have performed some Satanic ritual., resurrected his corpse, and put him in the White House, We’d have all the toughness we could handle.

Third, many Americans, including a great many liberals, go around with the subconscious assumption that we own the planet, They would deny it, but the way they talk and the policies they advocate make no sense unless we run the world as an empire. We killed Russians in Syria— some people think the killing in Afghanistan was revenge. We engage in so many low level wars there probably isn’t one American in a hundred who can keep track of all the countries that we bomb. I couldn’t name them off the top of my head, We regularly pour weapons into armed conflicts. We impose extremely harsh sanctions on countries which hurt ordinary people and it’s not even an issue. And, oh yes, we invaded Iraq and probably caused half a million deaths or more.

Do people think other countries should react to us the way Silverman suggests we react to Putin? What are the rules?

If you don’t want Americans killed in Afghanistan, pull them out. If people want to blame Presidents for the deaths of American soldiers there, you could start with Bush, then Obama, and now Trump.

I hesitate to say what a normal President should have done in this situation because we shouldn’t have troops still fighting in Afghanistan and because normal Presidents are war criminals, but I suppose what should be done is that Biden would call Putin up and say that deliberate direct targeting of each other’s forces is breaking the laws of decorum that should govern our proxy wars. Tell them we could accidentally kill some more Russians in Syria like we did a year or two ago.. I am not recommending this— I am just saying that as two heads of their respective global crime families they could establish rules about who gets to kill whom. Silverman seems to think like this, but in a more hotheaded way. I never watched The Godfather movies all the way through, so I don’t have a character I could compare him to.

If it's a hothead you're after, Sonny Corleone is your guy.

“ I am just saying that as two heads of their respective global crime families they could establish rules about who gets to kill whom. “

If Bernie were President I think he would face exactly the same problem and get most of the same criticism. He would have inherited our ongoing Forever Wars and would constantly be criticized as weak and pathetic and say, didn’t he honeymoon in the old USSR? There would be a great deal of pressure on him to be “ tough”. To the extent he succumbed, his “ cultists” like myself would have ripped into him.

With Trump the foreign policy is almost pure chaos, but a lot of pro- interventionist types clearly hate him for what I would consider bad reasons. There are countless good reasons to hate Trump, but the bad ones often seem to get too much attention.

russell, I would not do any of those things, I would privately tell them to stop, and I would conclude the mission of getting us out of Afghanistan.

*****

If you don’t want Americans killed in Afghanistan, pull them out.

And there it is, the convergence. Marty and Donald in accord.

Personally, I laughed at the idea of privately "telling them (Putin) to stop". Perhaps you had to have had Russian agents strolling around a quiet cathedral town before openly poisoning various enemies and innocent bystanders, to laugh in quite the same way. And even our useless leader at the time had the guts to call them out publicly, and make an international incident out of it.

I didnt say they would stop, but most threats are better delivered in private. They seem more sincere and dont require the person being threatened to save face.

Public flogging has limited usefulness outside of political theater.

Besides, your quiet cathedral town isnt the same as killing of copying troops in a war zone.

God, guns, money, ethics panels, capri pants, throw in a little day drinking for fortification, and what you end up with is two privileged while jackasses somehow not being gunned down, probably shot in the back, the two of them, by law enforcement as they threaten deadly force against those walking and carrying Skittles while black and/or intersectional.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/06/see-if-you-can-guess-what-this-power-couple-does-for-a-living

I love that "it is unclear whether the guns were loaded."

For sure, the attorneys were loaded.

What conservative white person would pause to ponder that question in the heat of the moment without immediately reacting with deadly force?

BLM: Our people are unarmed but shot down anyway.

Cops and Conservatives: Yes, but they were loaded.

BLM: What were?

Cops and Conservatives: The guns they weren't carrying.

The point about the quiet cathedral town is that Putin has been getting, and will get, more and more enabled to do whatever the hell he wants unless somebody with some actual clout (the big stick) makes a serious fuss about it. Clearly, Donald "he told me he didn't do it" "I was never briefed about this" "I don't trust my intelligence services" Trump is not that somebody.

I have a long comment from early this morning stuck somewhere.

If not, that's OK.

Thanks, GftNC, for both of your comments this morning.

“ Perhaps you had to have had Russian agents strolling around a quiet cathedral town before openly poisoning various enemies and innocent bystanders, to laugh in quite the same way. ”

There it is. This type of argument was nonstop in 2001-2003.

Actually, I have literally smelled the aftermath where 3000 Americans were murdered. Like a great many people I volunteered one night to serve soup to the guys doing the cleanup. And I opposed the invasion of Afghanistan. I have no problem rejecting your apparent notion that one has to live near a place where a murder or a few thousand murders occurred before rejecting a solution that just adds to the bloodshed, because I don’t think it is in the least bit relevant. I could have been living in Iowa on 9/11. Living in the suburbs of NYC instead adds nothing to my position. Not one damn thing, which is why I only bring it up when someone plays this card.

Your country like mine is soaking in the blood of innocents and they don’t have to live in cathedral towns or NYC to be innocent.

Putin is a nasty piece of work, but apparently both Amercans and Brits have this idea that his crimes merit a violent response. How about ours?

And this is why, if we ever to have a President or Prime Minister who wants to end our forever wars it is going to be difficult, because there will continue to be overwhelming pressure from people who assume that our crimes are mistakes at worst and their crimes are crimes.

I am out of here for awhile, I don’t like DiAngelo’s style, but I don’t deny the the phenomenon she describes is real— privileged people deny their privilege. It is beyond obvious. But rather than navel gaze about a universal human tendency it makes more sense to me to point out actual policies and double standards that need to be changed.

Marty and I disagree on some of this, I suspect, but I think we both agree that we should be pulling out of Afghanistan.

Thullen comment liberated from Spam folder. Now above at 8:44 AM

I'd say that what we should do about the whole Putin thing is to loudly reaffirm our multilateral agreements with our allies and cause as much holy hell with Putin's et al's pipelines and frozen assets to give him a bad rash.

What we should not do, with this or any other diplomatic, international problem is to attempt to hump every other head of state individually in alphabetical order to show everyone else who is boss. Unfortunately...

Btw, here is the sort of thing I would like to see more of. Putin, Trump, Obama, Bush— put warrants out on all of them.

https://twitter.com/yarbatman/status/1277599238172672000

The value of this becoming a common thing would be to get people talking about what the rule of law actually means when people are murdered, though admittedly the Iranian general wouldn’t be at the top of my list of sympathetic victims. But we all know America would go nuts if an American official was assassinated.

So put a warrant out for Putin.

But we all know America would go nuts if an American official was assassinated.

Kinda depend on whether Trump had been calling him (incorrectly, both as a matter of law and as a matter of fact) a traitor.

Thanks.

Your country like mine is soaking in the blood of innocents and they don’t have to live in cathedral towns or NYC to be innocent.

Putin is a nasty piece of work, but apparently both Amercans and Brits have this idea that his crimes merit a violent response. How about ours?

You know Donald, I have a lot of respect for you and your positions, as I have made clear, but your self-righteousness gets tiring sometimes, presumably even more for you than for some of us. I do not in any way deny the malefactions of either of our countries, but nor do I feel the need to repeat this ad infinitum. I do not feel my proximity to Salisbury gives me more standing to deplore Putin than anybody else, but it gave me standing to laugh at the idea that talking to him privately would accomplish anything. Nor am I suggesting "a solution that just adds to the bloodshed". You are setting up a straw man; the point of carrying a big stick is that you don't have to use it. Putin is extremely vulnerable to things other than force, as nous suggests @ 12.57, and threatening him with them convincingly (if you can find any remaining decent diplomats) would avoid any violence.

I do not feel my proximity to Salisbury gives me more standing to deplore Putin than anybody else, but it gave me standing to laugh at the idea that talking to him privately would accomplish anything.

It would work about as well (especially coming from Trump) as Trump being impeached but not removed chastened him.

but I think we both agree that we should be pulling out of Afghanistan.

put me on that list, too. i'm on the "thought getting involved there was a terrible idea in the first place" list, already.

I'm too busy being stunned by this

At least it's a happy kind of stunned. Not a lot of that going around these days.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trumps-jaw-dropping-calls-with-foreign-leaders-threaten-national-security-cnn-report-claims-2020-06-29?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

America may never recover from this travesty.

Especially as we withdraw from nuclear weapons treaties.

We are a depraved civilization, by choice.

We elected to do this, to place an ignorant, corrupt crypto-religious death cult in charge of this country's affairs and future.

These choices require and demand punishment that has no precedent in our history.

Of course the USA has no standing to complain about the murder of troops in Afghanistan, having spent many years sponsoring Islamic terrorists to that end.

However, if the US and Russia are going to maintain armies in conflict zones overseas, it would be good for both of them to agree not to seek the murder of each other's soldiers. That's just the sort of deal which Obama would secretly make. It wouldn't occur to Trump because he doesn't care, and he couldn't make the deal anyway because Putin knows what sort of person he is.

The Republican Christian death cult, voting by mail, and constant testing for their elite populist asses while forcing disease on their animal herds:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/6/29/1956926/-Over-80-of-Republican-state-lawmakers-in-Wisconsin-voted-by-mail-while-forcing-others-to-the-polls

Sorry the Silverman pieces didn't suit.

Personally, I have no idea what response we should have made to the report of Russia paying people to kill American soldiers. I'm also not shocked that the Russians would pay people to kill American soldiers.

I'm not even shocked by Trump's asinine and half-assed public response to it all. I can't imagine being shocked by anything Trump says or does at this point.

It's not shocking, just profoundly dispiriting.

I also recognize that nation-states are frequently bad actors. What distinguishes Russia under Putin is that it's basically a nation-state as a corrupt criminal enterprise.

And I guess my question for Donald is, are there any situations where military action is justifiable? Because no matter who's involved, a lot of innocent people get killed.

What distinguishes Russia under Putin is that it's basically a nation-state as a corrupt criminal enterprise.

But perhaps Russia won't be distinguished this way forever. Give Trump another four years, and the US may be successfully reduced to a corrupt criminal enterprise as well.

“ You know Donald, I have a lot of respect for you and your positions, as I have made clear, but your self-righteousness gets tiring sometimes, presumably even more for you than for some of us. I do not in any way deny the malefactions of either of our countries, but nor do I feel the need to repeat this ad infinitum.”

On self- righteousness, I get tired of repeating the obvious. It is rather like BLM. When do people start taking the issue seriously? I don’t take it seriously enough either. Blog comments are frivolous. But on the personal level you are the one who made the personal attack, trying to smear Marty cooties all over me. In this case I partly agree with Marty, so the cooties don’t bother me, but it was obvious you were intentionally snide and invoking your local connection as though it was relevant and as if I might think differently if I lived where you do. Nope.

As for ad infinitum, most websites, this one included, have an ideology of some sort and a set of points to make that they repeat ad infinitum. This blog has a bunch of people and not one blogger, but it is basically liberal. The places that I feel ideologically closest to continually talk about American and Western intervention in a very uncomplimentary way and are very tiresome in their obsession about the people we murder. This blog is obsessive about Republican crimes and bad policies and just as with the sites I prefer, is very predictable in its responses.

So take this Afghanistan story, Anyone would know without reading it what sort of emphasis will be placed on the story by centrist libs and anyone would know without reading it the two slightly different reactions you are going to find on sites that are tiresomely self righteous about US intervention. In case you are curious, the two reactions are—

1. Question the validity of the claim given that we have to depend on intelligence agencies with people who might have their own agendas to push. And no, this doesn’t mean some Deep State conspiracy. People have mindsets and ideologies.

2. Accept the claim, either because one believes it or for the sake of argument, because even if true one can push back on all the taken for granted assumptions underlying the centrist liberal response.

But everybody goes on as infinitum. At other blogs I would be one of many all competing to say essentially the same thing in slightly different ways.

Btw, assuming the Russians are bribing the Taliban to do what they were already eager to do, I assume the motive was to get caught in hopes of triggering either an American overreaction or more of our political infighting. They will deny doing it of course. If we want them to be in a quagmire in Syria, they might want us to stay in our own quagmire.

It would not surprise me if some of the Steele dossier was invented and fed to him for the same reason.

“ for the same reason”

With the Steele dossier and whatever else happened in 2016, I think they found that just a little bit of trolling made us go nuts. Whoever thought of the pee tape story probably got a medal. I am just wildly speculating, of course, unlike everyone else.

two wrongs make a don't care?

cool.

Donald: Btw, assuming the Russians are bribing the Taliban to do what they were already eager to do, I assume the motive was to get caught in hopes of triggering either an American overreaction or more of our political infighting.

OK, Putin's Russians could be as clever as all that. Why a plot to "trigger" or promote "infighting" would be any less evil than straight up suborning murder is unclear to me.

I don't know if it can be found on the web, but I remember seeing video(tape) from 1979 or 1980 in which Zbigniew Brzezinski, then Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor, is addressing a group of mujahideen on a mountainside in Pakistan. "That land over there is your land," he tells them, essentially exhorting them to go home and kill Russian soldiers. If I can remember that, so can Putin, I'm sure. Need we assume anything more than that?

One reason that 40-year-old memory has stuck in mind is that Zbig indulged in some god-bothering in his speech to the muj, though I can't remember whether he invoked "Allah" or some more generic god. I remember being repulsed by it at the time in any case.

The poor Afghans have been pummeled by foreign invaders since at least Alexander the Great. What would a truly humanitarian policy toward them look like? I don't know, because I don't think Afghans are any more monolithic than any other nation. Some of them want women in burkas, some want them in school. Some want economic development, some want religious piety. Even if the "Great Powers" agreed to leave Afghans entirely to their own devices, some Afghans would suffer, at the hands of other Afghans. Whether Donald or the like-minded people he mentions would like that, I don't know.

--TP

You have misunderstood me: I did not make an attack, personal or otherwise, snide or otherwise. I observed (as has been observed before) that on certain issues the right of centre right and the left of centre left converge, and that we were seeing one such issue. I don't think Marty has cooties, metaphorical or of any kind, and I was not smearing you. I have disengaged from political argument with Marty for the present, and it seems wise perhaps to do the same with you. Your point about the repetitive tropes in various locations is well-taken, and your knee-jerk assumptions that you always know what people are really saying is no doubt part of the same phenomenon. You do not know what I am really saying, just as once you assumed I did not sufficiently condemn the US-Saudi relationship, and the war in Yemen, until I spelt it out for you. Self-righteousness and mistaken certainties of omniscience are, as I implied before, too tiring (and tiresome) for the present, difficult times.

I should perhaps have spelt it out, Donald. As you did with the Applebaum piece, I now say: that's the end of this discussion wit you, at least from my side.

If we want to talk about the wrongness of Russia paying people to kill Americans, then we also need to talk about the wrongness of the United States arming Afghan mujahideen to kill Russians in the late 70's and 80's. We wanted to bleed them, to "make it their Vietnam". That started under the sainted Jimmy Carter, and continued under Reagan.

Right?

You can pick any country on the planet and find dirt. The US, probably more than average, because we see ourselves as the global champions of our model of governance and therefore allow ourselves certain "liberties" in how we engage with the world.

Nation-states are not virtuous. They are sovereign actors with very little to constrain them.

We overthrew your government. We assassinated your leaders. We engaged in military actions on your soil, without your permission or even knowledge.

Go ahead, call a cop. Write a strongly-worded editorial. Make an impassioned speech at the UN. Good luck to you.

So, why give a shit if the Russians paid people to kill American soldiers? It's only the same shit that we do to them.

First, nobody is particularly surprised that the Russians paid to have Americans killed. People are surprised by the reaction, or apparent lack of reaction, by the POTUS and his administration.

And it's reasonable to be unhappily surprised by that, because even though nation-states are not virtuous actors, we nonetheless depend on them for a lot of valuable things. For the basic stability of day to day life. For defense against hostile actors of various kinds, including other nation-states. For the ability to engage with the world in a safe and reliable way.

A part of all of that is that we reasonably expect the representatives of our particular nation-state to respond in some way to hostile threats or actions against it. Not necessarily belligerent, over-the-top demonstrations of force. But also not the kind of incompetent, "Nobody told me anything about it" bullshit that we see now.

We very reasonably expect the POTUS to not respond to things like this by running away from the responsibility of office as far and as fast as possible. And then blaming other people for any and every failure.

Right?

There are other aspects of this that are relevant. One of them is the fact that Trump has made no small part of his fortune by selling luxury real estate to very wealthy off-shore parties, many of them Russian kleptocrats, acting anonymously through shell corporations. This is a pretty common vehicle of money-laundering, and is a big chunk of Trump Co.'s revenue stream.

Another is the engagement of the Trump campaign with Russian actors during the 2016 campaign. Another is Trump's bizarre deference to Putin in a variety of diplomatic contexts.

A reasonable person might ask, WTF?

Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama, Trump. All have significant blood on their hands, as the executives of a consequential nation-state. You can basically stipulate horrific moral compromise as a necessary part of the job. I wouldn't do it, not that anyone is or ever would ask me to. Lucky me to be safe from that kind of moral hazard.

But it's possible to recognize and acknowledge all of that, and even to condemn it as an evil, and also to recognize the uniquely craven incompetence and irresponsibility of this particular president.

You can do both. You can recognize that we, the United States, do and have done horrible things, and not even always from decent or reasonable motives. And you can also recognize that another country paying people to kill our people deserves some kind of response. Even a symbolic response, a statement that we know it's going on and that it's unacceptable.

Right? No matter how guilty we are of the same or similar.

Something. Not nothing. Or even worse, "Nobody told me about it".

I'll also say that I think everyone here understands that nations are not virtuous actors, and that they engage in actions that are morally foul on a regular basis. Folks here probably have a variety of opinions about when and whether that is justifiable, but I think we all understand the plain fact of it.

Agreed, to all of wrs. And some of that is what I was getting at, of course, when I compared Theresa May's reaction to the Salisbury poisonings with Trump's to the Russian bounties.

Beware of despots (and pangolins) when they sense their willingly handled dupes (the ants) are starting to find them tedious, tedium being the worst of all mortal sins in bullshit reality show America:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/trump-boring-now-and-he-cant-do-anything-about-it/613654/

I suspect the despot's response will be along the lines of the producers' and script writers' strategy in "Game of Thrones" .... OK, we've teased them and kept them on the edge of their seats with the baby and teenage dragons all along; now, let's hit them with the full grown, fire-breathing motherf*ckers for the grand, vengeful, world-destroying finale.

But, leave them wanting even more in the sequel.

And let's remember: Syndication is the biggest take of them all.

Nation-states are not virtuous. They are sovereign actors with very little to constrain them.

The one thing that there is to constrain them is the reaction of other nation-states if they go too far overboard. Of course, not all nation-states are equal, so if you are powerful enough (e.g. Russia or the US) there aren't too many to constrain you. And if you discover that the strongest of those is prepared to just roll over, your constraints just got drastically reduced.

if you discover that the strongest of those is prepared to just roll over, your constraints just got drastically reduced

^^^^^^^^ this ^^^^^^^^

We very reasonably expect the POTUS to not respond to things like this by running away from the responsibility of office as far and as fast as possible. And then blaming other people for any and every failure.

we also need to consider the message this sends to individual Americas, but especially those who serve in the military: Trump is apparently unbothered by the fact that another country puts bounties on individual, named, Americans.

at the very least, the leader of a country should make a big fncking show of being outraged by this, as most of us expect him to be.

by not caring enough to even fake outrage, or acknowledge that it happened, or come up with a lie about having handled it already, Trump is telling us all that the US government doesn't stand up for its citizens.


he should be jailed.

Jail is the least of it.

"Trump is telling us all that the US government doesn't stand up for its citizens."

https://digbysblog.net/2020/06/oh-no-2/

oh, no, lions, and tigers, and bears, and bats, and pangolins weren't bad enough.

Here come the genocidal Republican Party.


yeah, but liberals exist. so, whattayagonnado?

The trouble with becoming the Know Nothing Party is that eventually you run up against something that just doesn't give a damn what your uninformed opinions are. With luck, all you do is get your foolish followers killed (thus improving the gene pool). Without it, and more likely, you manage to get a bunch of other people killed as well. That's pretty much where we are at the moment.

You can do both.

As somebody who has suffered from US foreign policy derangement syndrome since the 60's, I would say this pretty much gets it right.

I am currently finishing up "The Light That Failed-A Reckoning" by Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes.

Highly recommended to all who drop by here, from Marty to our own Donald.

Discussions of 'this blog' prompt some observations.

This blog is obsessive about Republican crimes and bad policies and just as with the sites I prefer, is very predictable in its responses.

I'm wondering why I find 'very predictable in its responses' to be such a dismissal. I have known people who are totally unpredictable in their responses, though I try to know them for as short a time as possible. If people aren't, in some way, consistent, you really don't know how to approach them, and I would imagine that blogs are the same.

And while I understand that people are generally going to congregate in groupings where their basic values (and history) are shared and where communication is relatively cost free (one thing that prevents me from finding a similar group here in Japan. Even if the first two conditions were met, the communication cost for me to write in Japanese is so much higher as to be prohibitive), I also think that this is not some sin on the people who do that, it is only a problem when then treat outsiders with disdain and fail to make some allowances for their participation. At least that is my thinking at the moment, though I'm open to having my mind changed.

I have known people who are totally unpredictable in their responses, though I try to know them for as short a time as possible. If people aren't, in some way, consistent, you really don't know how to approach them, and I would imagine that blogs are the same.

An interesting observation. Personally, I think I prefer people who are consistent in their values, which is to say the things they think important. This allows room for often unpredictable responses and opinions, and ways of looking at the world, while still providing a kind of bedrock of ethical consistency.

"I also think that this is not some sin on the people who do that, it is only a problem when then treat outsiders with disdain and fail to make some allowances for their participation. "

I participate here because of this. I have been asked why I do, the answer is that most people here have a legitimate complaint. They make as much allowance for me as they can, or are willing to, and I understand they have legitimate grievances. I have spent much of my life pretty liberal socially, while a steadfast Reagan Republican fiscally. It does create a level of dissonance I constantly deal with.

On this blog I am a reactionary, in my actual life I am at the barely acceptable political fringes of all my friends on either side.

We are all who we are here, a welcome place for me to take my lumps defending the other end of the spectrum.

I like everyone here, your passion, conviction and intelligence. I am better prepared to process at a personal level everything from BLM to MMT because of my time here.

Just saying.

I'm glad you are here, Marty.

I love you too John, even the days I hate you.

We are all who we are here, a welcome place for me to take my lumps defending the other end of the spectrum.

I like everyone here, your passion, conviction and intelligence. I am better prepared to process at a personal level everything from BLM to MMT because of my time here.

Marty, we will no doubt go back to fighting about politics at some time in the future (hopefully after a Dem victory in November!), but you remind me here why I don't want to have a serious fight with you. Unless people of good faith are willing to keep making the effort to talk and explain across the equivalent of the Great Divide, the future can only be bitter and desperate. I continue to hope for something better, despite often despairing at current developments.

I'm glad you are here, Marty

Shorter me: seconded.

I understand.

I'm glad you are here, Marty.

I love you too John, even the days I hate you.

Jeez, get a room, you two!

:)

Glad you're here Marty. Somebody's gotta keep us honest, and we're wearing wj and McK down.

Shouldn't these guys be on separate mountains to social distance.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/6/30/1957243/-No-masks-or-social-distancing-to-be-required-at-Trump-s-Mt-Rushmore-fireworks-and-virus-spectacular

If only the artist Christo had not passed away recently, he and his partner could sneak in the night before and drape gigantic N-95 masks over the Presidents' faces so the assembled superspreaders could view the glory of sound science at sunrise, which is spectacular at Mt. Rushmore.

Then, in the middle of the festivities, Teddy Roosevelt's mask could be swept away by a gust of wind and the rough rider could cough a mighty droplet-laden cough over the crowd and they could virtually inhale their Constitutional Right to suffocate and infect their fellow Americans.

Republicans should do more kissing of one another when they gather together, to hasten the process, from political rally to ventilator.

And bring their pet pangolins.

But, they do have their principles.

Given the fire danger currently in South Dakota, perhaps they can manage to get burned before covid-19 has time to kill them.

Sow the wind; reap the whirlwind.

In Colorado's 3rd district, I see another GOP incumbant, endorsed by Trump, was beaten by a Q-Anon nutcase. Once you start charging down the road to crazy, where do you stop.

In a perfect world, these whackos will manage to lose a bunch of otherwise safe districts. It might even be a learning experience for them -- although our experience in California doesn't suggest that's a particularly high probability.

Gftnc— I am sorry you feel that way, but I knew you were doing the far left right thing—it’s not exactly uncommon for people to say things like that. The cooties thing was a joke. Did you really think I thought you think Marty has cooties? Your post was dismissive. It made me angry.


“ I'm wondering why I find 'very predictable in its responses' to be such a dismissal.”

You might have noticed I said the same thing about the blogs and people I prefer. Briefly, if you spend most of your political discussion time ripping into Republicans, you ignore the crimes committed by both parties and you may end up siding with people who are criticizing Trump for the wrong reasons. People on the far left sometimes have other blind spots.


“ You can do both. You can recognize that we, the United States, do and have done horrible things, and not even always from decent or reasonable motives. And you can also recognize that another country paying people to kill our people deserves some kind of response. Even a symbolic response, a statement that we know it's going on and that it's unacceptable.

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