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September 12, 2020

Comments

Nah, once they discover that they would have to wear masks in Canada**, they'll go home to sulk.

** Not to mention discovering that guns are not sacred there.

Donald, thanks for coming back. I've got no idea how you got me taking a dismissive attitude to Yemen and sanctions, but for the record, I think that Yemen is an out of sight, out of mind problem and is not going to be dealt with until matters closer to home are addressed in some fashion. That doesn't make the US right for doing that, but it does make it understandable to me.

LJ—

I was commenting on the claim that arguments on the left are the narcissism of small differences. The differences on the left are pretty darn large. I think they need to be shelved for a couple of months, but they will come back in a big way after the election.

I might respond to wj but not today.

Well, hedgehog and fox. I feel they are small because they are constantly exploited by the right to divide and conquer. You yourself point out that the things you want are 'low-hanging fruit'. If that is the case, then are the differences unbridgable?

In the OP, I pointed out that Dems are largely not talking about the shitshow in the West in relation to Trump and Starmer's choice to not even speak to the Internal Market Bill (though Milliband came up a few days later and ripped BoJo a new one) and my comment was on those.

As always, the invitation is open for a front page post on Yemen and sanctions.

Countries like us (ongoing rise, no end in sight)

That would be the US, Brazil, and Mexico.

India's on it's way, too, but they have such a large population that the "per million" part is smaller in scale.

The folks who reject science anyway won't care. But I think this is pretty impressive.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientific-american-endorses-joe-biden/

... In the OP, I pointed out that Dems are largely not talking about the shitshow in the West in relation to Trump and Starmer's choice to not even speak to the Internal Market Bill...

In the latter case, there was arguably good reason, as the Tories were - and still are - falling out over the issue. Starmer attacking it right at the beginning might have seen a closing of ranks.

Neither he not Milliband are the greatest orators, but they clearly worked hard on that speech, and it resonated.

Meanwhile, our Covid cases are going up too, although deaths not (yet) that much. I would (almost) envy you for the chance to dispose of your incompetent leadership so soon, if your risks of a Trump win weren't so close.

Looking at the US, the top states in total cases per capita are Southern states, whereas the ones with the most deaths per capita are mostly Northeastern states. My home state of NJ is now 14th in total cases per capita, but still has the most per capita deaths.

I attribute this at least partly to the fact that the Northeastern states were hit in a big way very early on, when next to nothing was known about the nature of COVID and how best to treat it and triage patients.

My mental experiment is to assume that healthcare professionals all knew in February what they know today about COVID, but that all measures for preventing community spread were exactly as they were since we became aware of the pandemic.

How would per capita deaths compare among states under those assumptions? (Not that I expect anyone to come up with an accurate answer. It's just something I ponder.)

Nigel, I see a bit of the same dynamic in Dems not taking Trump to task about the fire situation, I could easily see him going to the Wisconsin and Ohio and using a demand for action as taking away something from the Midwest. Best leave it to Scientific American.

A recording of a conversation with a staffer for Thom Tillis, US Senator from NC.

The person on the other end of the line has survived three episodes of cancer over the last 20 years. She was calling her Senator's office because her husband was furloughed, she was concerned about losing her health insurance, and she was looking for some direction.

Read the transcript for the staffer's response.

And then reflect that this was someone in a US Senator's office, speaking to one of the Senator's constituents.

There are lots of thoughtful discussions to have about tax rates etc. But I do not, and doubt I ever will, understand the support that people have for the (R) party.

These people are ghouls. Selfish, callous monsters. They deserve to be driven from public life. Many of them deserve to be jailed.

We all go back and forth between being amused by JDT's posts here, and being horrified by them. But you can only push people so far before they just don't give a crap anymore, and then all bets are off.

The cruelty of modern conservatism - the sheer, simple, obvious cruelty of it - never fails to amaze me.

The Thom Tillis staffer mouthed the completely lockstep talking points of the young Rs I know. Family and faith groups used to take care of this stuff, doncha know (the young Rs are also pig ignorant of New England history, or probably any history), and *they* would never expect $ from strangers to help them, so why should anyone expect $ from them?

I'm a little surprised that a US Senator's staffer wasn't better trained in mealy-mouthism, though. I guess saying the quiet parts out loud is a relief for all of them these days.

I don't think people appreciate the enormous wealth that exists in this country and how much of it has flowed over the last 50 years or so into the hands of a small percentage of the population. I don't know why so many middle class people, even upper middle class, let alone blue collar Republicans, think their interests align with those of the uber-wealthy and support policies that continue funneling money upward in the wealth and income percentiles.

If that makes me a socialist (not that it does), fine, I'm a f**king socialist. I don't want people who've worked their whole lives to be left to die needlessly so we can ensure that a small percentage of people can have another vacation home, spend more on a car than most people make in a year, and fly around in f**king helicopters (or whatever the hell the 1% do - I'm not even in a position to know).

It's broken and insane.

Cal Cunningham, Tillis' opponent, hammers on Tillis about healthcare, non-stop - and has a good shot of beating that clown.

Tillis blocked me on FB for saying unkind things :)

I see a bit of the same dynamic in Dems not taking Trump to task about the fire situation

behold Biden not taking Trump to task about the fire (and the greater climate).

Though I think there was a period of time when I (maybe no one else) was wondering why the Dems aren't hammering Trump on this. Here are the start dates of the Oregon fires, I'm assuming that the recent ones were from Sept 7th. and a week seems like an eternity in the newscycle.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Oregon_wildfires

There's also this genre of reporting that claims that Biden is someone part of the problem because he doesn't immediately jump everytime something happens, something made more complicated (but never seemingly acknowledged) by Covid.

Cal Cunningham, Tillis' opponent, hammers on Tillis about healthcare

And so... $25 to Piedmont Rising.

"forest fires on the west coast" is a perennial story.

i think it took a while for the scale of the current situation to sink in to all of us who aren't directly affected.

"forest fires on the west coast" is a perennial story.

On average, about 1% of the western forests have burned every year for thousands of years.

There's also this genre of reporting that claims that Biden is someone part of the problem because he doesn't immediately jump everytime something happens

Not acknowledged: doing so would leave him entirely at the mercy of whatever insanity Trump tossed out. Frequently multiple different ones in a day. Sometimes, being in total react mode is not a good choice.

Germany should try keeping us out, too.

And so... $25 to Piedmont Rising.

yup. i just made my 3rd contribution to Cunningham.

LJ

Low hanging fruit in the case of Yemen meant two things. First, there is no legitimate argument for supporting the Saudi war. And second, after Khashoggi most of the Democrats and some Republicans ( some of whom opposed the war before) united against it. It was now Trump’s war and Trump was characteristically crude in saying we were selling the Saudis a lot of weapons. He made it easy to oppose.

But it never should have taken that long. It is interesting that so many officials were privately worried of being charged with war crimes— charged in Europe, that is. It would not happen here. And I don’t recall any State Sept types resigning and openly making a stink about it.

On sanctions, I only mean that lime Yemen, there is no moral argument for targeting civilians. But I don’t see a Biden Administration caring. I expect they will see it as a legitimate tool.

WJ— In theory one could have carefully target sanctions aimed at dictators and high ranking henchmen. In practice, I wouldn't trust us. And also, we should get the beams out of our eyes first. All those officials who were that they could be charged with war crimes if they travel overseas should worry about it here.

And here is another issue where there will be splits among the Democrats—

https://jewishcurrents.org/restoring-the-bipartisan-consensus/

Anyway, if Biden wins, and I hope he does, I haven’t seen much that makes me enthused. On optimistic days I hope he was serious about meeting the Sanders/ AOC wing

And also, we should get the beams out of our eyes first.

I am supposed to be taking a break, but I couldn't help responding to this.

The whole beam in one's eye is about self-reflection, no? Not about telling someone else about their sins? In other words when you say "And also, we should get the beams out of our eyes first," you actually aren't including yourself. As usual, you believe that your beam has already been removed, perhaps years ago.

I'm sure I have lots of beams. I'll deal with mine, and please deal with yours. Don't be telling me to remove "ours" when you really are telling everyone else to shape up (and excluding yourself, because you don't have those beams, right?). There's nothing wrong with calling people out when you disagree with them. But please be honest about it.

When Obama was in power, MSB (who is in his thirties) came to power as an unknown, and a lot of people believed/hoped that he would be a reformer. That hope, combined with the Iran deal, combined with the hope that the US could release the Saudis, together with their allied countries, to "own" their relationship with Iran, inspired the policy to provide very limited assistance to the Saudis in Yemen - not to direct it, but to refuel and such. The purpose was not to help them kill civilians. To the contrary - to the extent that we were providing training, it was to limit civilian casualties.

Unfortunately MSB turned out to be a monster. We found this out over the course of a year, and then people began taking action accordingly.

Obviously, we should have just cut the Saudis off many years ago: you state the date. But American foreign policy was built on stability. What Obama was doing was an attempt at responsible change. Let the Middle East countries (with limited assistance - a weaning process) determine their own fate.

Okay, fine. It didn't work. MSB proved to be a monster. Trump got elected and MSB is his bestie. All good.

Donald, please remove your own beams. Thanks!

Since I'm an addict, maybe rather than cold turnkey, I'll cut down to one post a day.

[Just want to again acknowledge that some folks have said some very kind things in the past 24 hours, and I am very grateful. As the resident PIA, I hope that people who don't find my comments helpful or tolerable will take advantage of cleek's pie filter, or simply just ignore me. You are all incredibly valuable to me.]

Thanks Donald. I'm still not sure why my citation the narcissism of small differences entails Yemen as a counter example. I was specifically talking about the current election campaign and discussions around that. That Yemen is not an issue in the campaign is something that is regrettable, but seems explicable. I think we are approaching the event horizon of utility on the topic, but if there is something that I'm missing, let me know.

turkey not turnkey. I wish I had a turnkey way of solving my addiction to ObWi. Business idea?

In theory one could have carefully target sanctions aimed at dictators and high ranking henchmen. In practice, I wouldn't trust us.

At minimum, I would expect a significant learning curve. But even done ineptly initially, I think it superior to either broad sanctions (which, as you note, hurt a lot of people with no influence over the policies/actions you was to change) or a shooting war (which is likely to be worse).

Consider the world's premiere kleptocracy: Russia. Putin and his buddies have stashed much of their ill-gotten gains abroad. (Which, given Russia generally, makes sense.) They are a relatively small, relatively easily identified, group. And their money is where we can get at it . . . without hurting ordinary Russians at all. Could be a custom made opportunity.

Re: US indigenous groups and fire
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/16/california-wildfires-cultural-burns-indigenous-people

Somewhere around 200 known US strikes in Yemen during Obama's presidency. All but two of those were drone strikes. 1200 or so dead. Between 120 and 150 of those are civilian deaths, a third of which were children. Another 300 people were injured in those strikes.

Most human rights organizations believe that the actual number of civilians killed is likely double the number above, based on independent information. I believe this to be accurate. The military always gives itself the benefit of the doubt where young men are concerned.

Those are the military toll.

More than 3 million people have been displaced by the war overall and somewhere around 85,000 children have died of starvation between 2015 and 2018.

There's the toll of the sanctions and of the bombs sold to the Saudis and used to destroy arable land, water, food storage facilities, schools, and homes in the West of the country.

If we blame our Covid death numbers on Trump's inaction and expect him to take public responsibility for them and memorialize them in some way, then what do we do with the responsibility for all those dead Yemeni children?

If we blame our Covid death numbers on Trump's inaction and expect him to take public responsibility for them and memorialize them in some way, then what do we do with the responsibility for all those dead Yemeni children?

nous, where's the outrage about the fact that Trump's drone war in his first three years far exceeded Obama's, and we really don't have the details about what's going on anymore, because unlike Obama, Trump decided not to stop disclosing information about them?

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47480207

Of course there is a toll when war is going on. We need to look at why a war is happening, how it's being fought, how and why we got involved, etc. Who's doing that now? Have people stopped dying and suffering? They only died and suffered as a result of Obama's policies, and not the policies of their own corrupt leaders, or Trump's?

Yes, let's keep talking endlessly about Obama's failures.

Hi Nous, thanks for this, and I hope I can respond without this getting too rancorous.

To start with a leading but I think pragmatic question, Why are we/should we memorialize them? Because something intrinsic about them? Or should we memorialize them in order to create future change? If the deaths from COVID can not be tied to Trump (LGM has this about the take on Trump and COVID that tries to handwave away those deaths), how would memorializing the deaths in Yemen be different?

This is not me saying that people need to shut up about Yemen, because there are more important things to do. But I really don't understand how my observation.
Not saying this about bobbyp, but too many people have used (and continue to use) this narcissism of small differences to undercut the progressive left.
calls for a discussion of drone strikes in Yemen. I was particularly thinking about how divide and conquer has always been an approach to dealing with the left and my use of 'narcissism of small differences' was to that. But if I'm wrong for not bringing up Yemen in a discussion of election tactics, it seems that I can be held responsible for anything at all.

I'm well aware of the fact that people can get pulled into fights that don't concern them and end up flailing away. But I try not to do that. I know that I haven't written about Yemen, I haven't investigated it, and I've not invoked it here. So why are my words taken as indicating something about Yemen?

nobody should leave ObWi.

there are too few of us left already.

...what do we do with the responsibility for all those dead Yemeni children?...

The responsibility lies with the people doing the killing, and the people who have created a famine with their civil war. Which, drone strikes aside, is not the USA.

We could have a long discussion about US foreign policy - perhaps there should be a thread for it. But I can't see it persuading many of us that Obama deserves much of the blame overall. I do not know what I would have done with the information he had and the responsibility he bore.

The West has committed two crimes this millennium which dwarf all its others: the adoption of routine torture, and the stupid and murderous war in Iraq. George W Bush was responsible for both of them. And it's not Trump's deep humanity or profound understanding of foreign policy which is stopping him doing worse.

The Left needs to be united.
It rarely is.

it's not Trump's deep humanity or profound understanding of foreign policy which is stopping him doing worse.

LOL. And I don't disagree with the rest of what Pro Bono says above either.

On another note, here is an interesting piece by an ex-evangelical Christian about her experiences, explaining the mechanisms by which, and because of which, so many evangelicals resist logic about Covid-19:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/evangelical-christians-covid-19-pandemic_n_5f5b9875c5b6b48507ffc791

nobody should leave ObWi.

there are too few of us left already.

I agree with this, too. Much trouble can be avoided by observing Janie's maxim: don't bite hooks.

explaining the mechanisms by which, and because of which, so many evangelicals resist logic about Covid-19

also: evangelical Christianity in the US is tightly tangled-up in movement conservatism, so it will follow whatever nonsense the GOP tells it to follow.

ex. my MiL and her husband are Jehovah's Witnesses, so they should have no interest in politics. but they know and believe all the latest 'conservative' conspiracy theories, which they get from Fox News and talk radio. and they hate Democrats for all the reasons a good 'conservative' should.

unquestioning religious faith and the brain-eating GOP mythology are a terrible combination.

We need to look at why a war is happening, how it's being fought, how and why we got involved, etc.

Why is it happening? Basically two things. First, the Sunnis and the Shiites are still at where the Catholics and Protestants were between say 1525 and 1700. Second, the Saudis and the Iranians, as mundane countries, are competing for power and influence across the Middle East. Yemen is merely the current theater.

How is it being fought? The Saudis and basically throwing anything and everything they've got into it. Constrained mostly by the fact that their actual population, from which they can man their military, is relatively small. (Even with most actual civilian jobs being done by ex-pats.) With money/technology substituting for manpower. The Iranians are mostly sticking with logistical support.

How and why did we get involved? Proximate cause: In 2001-2002, when Iran offered to provide transit for the US invasion of Afghanistan, the US opted instead to lump them into the "axis of evil." (Which meant, as an alternative, paying Pakistan huge sums for transit. Which helped the Pakistani SIS fund the Taluban, who we were fighting. Dumb.) We've been taking the Saudi side in their religious wars ever since -- even though it was Saudis, not Iranians, who staged 9/11.

First cause, however, would be the CIA-sponsored overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953. Not too surprisingly, Iranians still remember. Having squandered a golden opportunity in 2002, it's not clear how we recover. Even though, given a choice of theocracies, it would make a lot more sense to ally with folks who are civilized and have been for thousands of years. Rather than those barely 2 generations removed from nomadic camel herders.

nous, where's the outrage about the fact that Trump's drone war in his first three years far exceeded Obama's [...]

Me, in the earlier post:

More than 3 million people have been displaced by the war overall and somewhere around 85,000 children have died of starvation between 2015 and 2018.

There's plenty of blame to go around.

As to how this relates to the narcissism of small differences. I'm writing about the example that Donald raised because sapient keeps treating the discussion as if it is an attack on Obama's legacy, rather than a critique of situational morals.

I don't think Obama was a bad president. I don't think he was callous in his use of force. I wish he had not waged a drone war, or used a drone to assassinate a US citizen, but I'm glad that he did as much to hold our foreign policy militarism at bay as he did.

But we have the foreign policy that we do because the majority of the American people love the tough guy spectacle of it all and demand that *something* be done whenever we feel our sovereignty has been belittled.

It's why Carter lost and Reagan won. It was one of the things that cooled the GOP on Bush Sr.. It's the reason that the Clintons embraced the hardline role on crime and abroad. It's why we ended up in Iraq again under Jr.. And it's why Obama could not extract himself or the rest of us from our interventionism.

At the heart of this, to get back to the issue of difference, is the recognition on the further left side that any time the media seizes hold of a photogenic threat, the moderates in the GOP will bunker with their fringe and push for intervention or retribution, and the moderates in the Democratic party will chase after their moderate friends in the GOP or try to preempt the bunkering by proposing a kinder, gentler intervention or more targeted retribution.

There are many minor differences on the left that can be bridged, but the foreign policy difference is not one of them. That's a cleavage. And it is there because the Democratic center has decided that the cost to others is acceptable if they are to remain in power and hold back our even worse urges.

That's pragmatic, and I'll vote for it for pragmatic reasons. But I won't whitewash it or celebrate the bravery of that willingness to compromise.

Ack, italics

And it is there because the Democratic center has decided that the cost to others is acceptable if they are to remain in power and hold back our even worse urges.

it's also possible that they actually believe the actions they are taking are correct, damn the critics.

Seems like a very reasonable analysis, nous.

speaking of COVID and logic...

You know, putting a national lockdown, stay-at-home orders, is like house arrest. It’s — you know, other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history,” Barr said during a question-and-answer session following his remarks.

George Takei probably disagrees.

it's also possible that they actually believe the actions they are taking are correct, damn the critics.

I would say that is likely true....but where does that get us?

The socialist left (the real true Scotts) has traditionally critiqued U.S. foreign policy going back to the days before WW1. It has been fairly consistent in its condemnation of "imperialism".

I am given to understand they believe deeply that they are correct also! Who coulda' known?

The post WW2 bipartisan foreign policy consensus still holds to this day for the most part, and the institutional power (aka 'military-industrial complex') put in place to blunt the spread of Communism serves to reinforce that meme.

And what nous said.

Is history a choice, or is it just a tale of people trying to deal with momentum?

I would say that is likely true....but where does that get us?

it gets us to a clearer understanding of the situation. i think it's important to keep in mind "left" is not and never has been a synonym for "pacifist" - not here, not now, nowhere, ever.

nous was distinguishing between the presumably pacifist 'further left' and the hawkish 'moderate Dems'. but i say that's an artificial distinction. you can find people on the left who are A-OK with violence - from rock-throwing socialists to moderate hawks to genocidal communists.

you can also find actual pacifists.

and the whole spectrum between.

Is history a choice, or is it just a tale of people trying to deal with momentum?

Yes. Plus repeating recursive metareflection.

cleek - agree that the important distinctions are the ones that denote what sorts of violence are acceptable and for what purpose.

The other big issue is whether or not the people suffering the violence are seen as violence against others or some sort of violence against ourselves.

First cause, however, would be the CIA-sponsored overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953.

The long tail of shortsighted foreign policies.

"In the new documentary Coup 53, Taghi Amirani tells the story of how British and American secret agents overthrew Mossadegh after he nationalized the oil industry, starting a series of events that would lead to the rise of the autocratic, U.S.-hating Islamic regime that continues to reign to this day. Beyond its tragic effects on Iran and the Middle East, Amirani argues that the seemingly easy 1953 coup became the "playbook" for future U.S. covert actions in countries such as Guatemala, Vietnam, Chile, and beyond, forever changing the face of global politics.

In a wide-ranging conversation about immigration, foreign policy, and filmmaking, Amirani tells Nick Gillespie that Trump's policies, like those of all U.S. leaders, are "the product of the military-industrial complex and that, ultimately, matters more" than whatever a president enters office thinking."
Taghi Amirani: How the U.S.-Backed 1953 Coup in Iran Is Still Changing Global Politics: New documentary explains why installing the shah in 1953 led to ruinous American covert operations throughout the Cold War and beyond.

tells the story of how British and American secret agents overthrew Mossadegh

I know the US is used to being public enemy number one in Iran, but this is why (as well as being the "little satan") we (the UK) have a reputation even to the Iranian on the street as a nation of absolute duplicity and machiavellianism. As I have told you before, my maternal grandfather, much involved in Boer politics during and after the Boer war, would have agreed: my mother told me that he never referred to England alone, it was always "England, the whore". For some reason, I have always loved this (as well as other excellent stories about him), and very much wish I had known him.

the US and Russia both got a little high on their WWII victories. a bit of humility would have done the world a world of good.

What the hell, cleek?

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/north-carolina-is-already-rejecting-black-voters-mail-in-ballots-more-often-than-white-voters/

the US and Russia both got a little high on their WWII victories. a bit of humility would have done the world a world of good.

Easier said than done probably.

sounds like a lot of people are unfamiliar with the vote-by-mail process.

“We’re seeing already a lack of familiarity with the process, whether it’s signing the ballot or having the witness information completed,” Bitzer said. “There tends to be a greater number from voters who were previously in-person voters. If you look at the numbers [from Sept. 14], the ballots denied due to incomplete witness information, 55 percent of those voters had voted in person in 2016.”

hopefully those voters will be able to get their issues sorted out.

I still blame you.

cleek,

What's this witness requirement about? In our state (48th soviet of WA) a witness may sign if the voter is otherwise not able to do so, but as a regular matter of course....not required. This is a very weird requirement.

Thanks.

bobbyp

Another "disgruntled former employee"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/olivia-troye-coronavirus-white-house/2020/09/17/d3f67ede-f8ed-11ea-a510-f57d8ce76e11_story.html

At some point you have to wonder. Even if these people all are, just as the White House says, "disgruntled former employees," how is it that such a huge number of former employees are disgruntled? Might that say something about the employer?

"Might that say something about the employer?"

Of course. He, Trump only hires the best gruntled employees. Yugely gruntled. You've never seen such gruntled people.

I still blame you.

A sound move, no matter what the circumstances.

What's this witness requirement about?

Some states -- a small number -- require that the signature on the absentee ballot return envelope (or wherever in the return package the signature goes) be witnessed, and the witness has to sign. From memory, all states have gotten rid of requirements to have the voter's signature notarized.

A link with more details about drone warfare and counter-terrorism in Yemen

https://www.newamerica.org/international-security/reports/americas-counterterrorism-wars/the-war-in-yemen/

i think it's important to keep in mind "left" is not and never has been a synonym for "pacifist"

LOL...well, I'm not at all certain that folks (leftists or otherwise) are making that general claim (i.e., Leftists are pacifists). As you note, there are many kinds. There are also "right" pacifists, religious pacifists, cowardly pacifists, opportunistic pacifists, etc., etc.

Just about any of them would kill you at the drop of a hat under the right circumstances...damned animals. :)

I guess it all comes down to the particulars of the situation. This enables everybody to get into the weeds, get lost in the details, overwhelmed by the complexity...yadda, yadda.

Thanks, lj.

Hillary of "the Clintons" chose as her Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine, junior Senator from Virginia (my Senator). Each year, it seems, he releases statements like this.

He's long been an advocate for the Senate debating and considering our involvement in foreign wars. He was one of Obama's very first supporters, having gone to law school with him. He challenged Obama's policies despite their friendship, but mostly stood up for having Congress take some responsibility (and heat). Democrats do disagree, but I think people are very confused about which Democrats think what.

In the meantime, we have to remember that Democrats think. Wildly different than what we're getting from our current government, no?

Oklahoma still has a notary requirement.

https://www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/FAQ_For_Notaries_Public.html

On the other hand (from Priest's link)

Due to the governor’s COVID-19 state of emergency that was in effect 45 days prior to the General Election, Senate Bill 210 provides an alternate option for absentee voter verification.

For standard absentee ballot affidavits (yellow stripe), the affidavit may be notarized OR the voter may submit a copy of a valid ID. [Emphasis in original]

So, still a requirement. But with a significant relaxation in current circumstances.

“ where's the outrage about the fact that Trump's drone war in his first three years far exceeded Obama's, and we really don't have the details about what's going on anymore, because unlike Obama, Trump decided not to stop disclosing information about them?”

Yeah, good question, but not in the sense you mean. I have sometimes linked to the Airwars site, which makes precisely the point with graphs that civilian deaths under American bombing in Iraq and Syria went up dramatically under Trump. Restrictions were eased.

Guess who talks about Trump’s war crimes, in Yemen and elsewhere? Pretty much the same damn people who talked about Obama’s war crimes. Because people who regularly pay attention to the issue don’t treat it like some stupid partisan game. Imagine that.

Incidentally, though Trump is the man in charge, people have to carry out those orders. There was a long piece in the Nyt Sunday magazine a few years ago about our bombing and it spanned, iirc, both the Obama and early Trump years. They went around Iraq and interviewed and found that the number of air strikes which caused civilian casualties was 30 times larger than the number acknowledged by the Pentagon. That isn’t all the fault of the President.

The nyt Sunday magazine piece

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/16/magazine/uncounted-civilian-casualties-iraq-airstrikes.html

Airwars site. Scroll down a bit. The graph goes way up under Trump.

https://airwars.org/conflict/coalition-in-iraq-and-syria/

A passage from the nyt piece describing the methodology. Notice the date when a rule allowing more air strikes was changed— Dec 2016. And their study which found enormous undercounting of civilian deaths was all in the Obama era. It got worse under Trump, but the problem is there regardless.

The passage —

“ all. These areas encompassed the range of ISIS-controlled settlements in size and population makeup: downtown Shura, a small provincial town that was largely abandoned during periods of heavy fighting; downtown Qaiyara, a suburban municipality; and Aden, a densely packed city neighborhood in eastern Mosul. The sample would arguably provide a conservative estimate of the civilian toll: It did not include western Mosul, which may have suffered the highest number of civilian deaths in the entire war. Nor did it include any strikes conducted after December 2016, when a rule change allowed more ground commanders to call in strikes, possibly contributing to a sharp increase in the death toll.”

LOL...well, I'm not at all certain that folks (leftists or otherwise) are making that general claim

LOL...well, i explained the context.

I still blame you.

can't blame me. it was like this when i got here! (i assume).
i don't vote absentee. not this year, either. Oct 15th, i'm going to be there in person, masked and ready.

For standard absentee ballot affidavits (yellow stripe), the affidavit may be notarized OR the voter may submit a copy of a valid ID. [Emphasis in original]

I wonder how many people who will be requesting an absentee ballot can't produce a copy of their ID without leaving the house/apartment, or having someone come in to assist them? Are the elderly a protected group in Oklahoma, in the sense that procedures can't discriminate against them?

Now there is a group called "Democrat (Sic!) Voters Against Joe Biden." to counter "Republican Voters Against Trump". Run by a GOP operative to no one's surprise.
What's next? Faggots for the Fuehrer, Dykes for Donald, Jim Crow against Joe, Cvnts for the King, Old Crones for Don of Orange?

don't call it a cult.

QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory about “deep state elites” has extensive support among Republican voters. One in three Republicans (33%) believe that the QAnon theory is mostly true. Another 23% of Republicans say that some parts of the QAnon conspiracy are true. Only 13% of Republicans think that it is not true at all. In contrast, 72% of Democrats say the QAnon conspiracy theory is not true at all.

"What's next?"

Swift Boat Liars for Bush.

They got doxxed online, which was removed, but not before I snagged a copy. Perhaps their all dead now, but if not, I hope the Karmavirus gets 'em.

What's next?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dead.

Kill the Republican Party.

Them contradictions are about to get pretty fucking high.

How convenient (for him) that McConnell is a true disciple of Trump when it comes to directly contradicting himself whenever it is convenient. Naturally not an instant's delay can be allowed in getting a new Justice onto the Supreme Court. No matter that we have an election a mere 6 weeks (not 7 months) off.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed. She was an outstanding jurist, citizen, and human being.
May her memory be a blessing.

All of the noise about not nominating someone for an empty SCOTUS seat during an election year will be thrown out the window, immediately. Because the (R)'s are unprincipled whores for power.

It is, really, impossible to measure my utter lack of respect for them as a party and as an organization. And, in no few cases, as people.

They are, as a group, a pack of scoundrels.

They have become a cancer on the nation. Drive them from public office any and everywhere you can.

Cancel culture!

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/09/21/online-attacks-follow-kenosha-shootings-continuing-grim-trend/5857523002/

MILWAUKEE – Gaige Grosskreutz wasn’t even out of the hospital when his phone started blowing up. Shot point blank in the arm with an AR-15, he was the only person to survive a triple shooting at a protest condemning the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police in Wisconsin.

Weeks later, the messages haven't stopped. Although some are encouraging, most are ugly, even threatening. In some corners of the internet, Grosskreutz, 26, has become the target of angry white supremacists who say he and others who support Black Lives Matter should be stopped by any means necessary – including homicide.

His family and friends – people who didn't protest in Kenosha – got frightening messages, too. Strangers showed up at their homes to find out "what really happened" the night Grosskreutz was shot.

“And that’s the thing that affects me, seeing the people that I care about be upset for me, scared for me," Grosskreutz said. "I just don’t understand the need to target people who weren’t even there.”

Damned Marxists...

if only they'd stop worshipping Mao.

Mao, you say?

The last paragraphs of hsh's link:

Pozner uses this analogy, inspired by a story in the Detroit News in 2015:

At the turn of the 20th century, America’s newest technology was the automobile. People bought cars without knowing how to use them safely. They drove wherever they wanted, in every direction, at every speed. They parked on lawns. People died in crashes. Children playing in the street were routinely hit by cars and killed.

Eventually, the government stepped in. Cities set speed limits and started doing traffic control, but that wasn’t enough. They put up stop signs and traffic lights, painted crosswalks and designated no-parking zones. Authorities set up rules of the road and required people to pass safety tests and get licenses to drive. Entire government agencies are dedicated to automobile safety.

In Pozner's view, a similar evolution needs to take place when it comes to the internet.

“I don’t think this is going away, this hate,” he said. “I think it’s only going to get worse until the government steps in.”

This has been on my mind a lot through the discussion of the SC. It's comforting in a weird way to go down into a deep silo of thought about how possibly to fix our broken government. But even if we could be rosy about the prospects of that, we have other probably bigger, more intractable problems facing us. The two that I keep thinking about are climate change and the poisonous side of the internet -- the flowering of toxic nonsense like QAnon until its followers are actually running for Congress, openly; this kind of stalking of victims of crime; etc. I don't have a clue what can be done about it, but it's helping ruin us.

i'm not sure what can be done about Q et al. 'free speech' means that what people tell each other, even if stupid and poisonous, is beyond what government can regulate.

maybe the fact that this poison has found so many people eager to drink it is a failing of our education system?

maybe we should try what Denmark does and teach kids the skills to tell what's real and what isn't.

i'm sure that would run afoul of some deeply-held "conservative" principle, though.

'free speech' means that what people tell each other, even if stupid and poisonous, is beyond what government can regulate

"Free speech" isn't any more absolute than any of our other freedoms. But even more to my point:

i'm not sure what can be done about Q et al.

Well, you've already suggested one item that might be on the list of things that might be done to address the problem of Q et al:

maybe we should try what Denmark does and teach kids the skills to tell what's real and what isn't.

I'm sure nous could delve into how better to teach media literacy and critical thinking. From what I've seen, people fall for some obvious bullsh*t with alarming regularity. And it's not exclusive to people on the right, though it appears to be significantly worse on the right than the left (if I can be so binary for the sake of simplicity). It could be bias that makes me see things that way, but even when I try to take that into account, it still looks that way.

Either way, falling for obvious bullsh*t isn't good, regardless of one's political persuasion.

First, a recommendation for our Donald, though I'll be surprised if he hasn't already read it.

Garry Wills' "Bomb Power", 2010, regarding how we reached this moment, with the security state calculations of both sides since World War II, via our thoroughly unconstitutional monopoly and arrogation of power in the Executive Branch in foreign affairs and gradually in domestic affairs ... and now the Devil is going to go full bore autocratic security oppressive police state domestically, using all of the "precedents" Wills points to since 1945.

Now ....

One side's demagogue and his filth attorney just declared open season murder and assault on the press and citizens like Grosskeurtz.

The other side needs to do it, too, with my side bringing exponential violence to those who steal our voting franchise and kill us in the streets and threaten our loved ones either by physical violence or the killing violence of their lawless law-making and breaking.

Only grand gestures of outrageous hypocrisy will defeat and kill the sincere, hateful, ruthless, murderous conservative movement here and around the world.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-delights-in-fed-violence-against-journalists-its-actually-a-beautiful-sight

After all, heartland Christian Harry Truman never flinched a hypocritical eyebrow nor looked back in regret, in fact, he was nearly hysterically joyful, as he dropped two atom bombs on enemy civilians, and today's self-proclaimed heartland Christians and their political party view more than half of their fellow American citizenry as so many expendable slant-eyed faggot, feminazi, Marxist, elite, deep state, politically correct, liberal jewboy (have you heard Tucker Carlson's latest on Soros?) black, brown and yellow japs.

This election is their imagined fending off all of the combined evils, a great and final end times war conflagration, in their savage minds.

The only logical next step beyond their lathered rhetoric is murdering all of us. There is no more extreme rhetoric to be had without now acting it out>

Their problem, and ours, is that they are NOT hypocrites.

I'm halfway through the "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" by William Shirer and it is ... illuminating and striking .... how many times the author begins a paragraph, in so many words, with "If only (here insert any of Hitler's victims) had read "Mein Kampf", they would have expected (here insert whatever doom befell Hitler's victims).

Mein Kampf was Hitler's cookbook. He followed every recipe to the teaspoon.

Just so, the trump conservative movement's actions going forward have all been laid out for us in their clearly expressed instructional manuals over the past 50 years.

Not to follow this to it's logical endgame would make them hypocrites, and if there is anything they hate, it's hypocrisy.

In other news, Rod Dreher and his commentariat are keening for martyrdom, or is it martydom?

I'm all in on granting them their deserved doom.

Dreher quotes Scalia, regarding EVIL from this interview:

https://nymag.com/news/features/antonin-scalia-2013-10/index3.html

As with all other conservative, crypto-unChristian, mullah horseshit, I have lately been borrowing the term "EVIL" to describe Trump.*

Scalia believed in the material reality of the Devil.

It's a shame he couldn't have lived to serve his Devil incarnate, Donald Trump, (while also substituting his judicial robes with the iron governance robes and the swords of the Vatican Rome of the Middle Ages and the 20th Century Vatican that turned a blind eye to the Holocaust) who, along with his savage minions, is intent on casting more than half of the American people out of their unilaterally conservative minority piece of shit kingdom of a savage, unjust, punishing god.

Dreher is summoning EVIL, in the material reality of Trump, to cast us out, by every fucking means, just as the Russian Orthodox Church has cast it's authoritarian lot as the licking lapdog of subhuman murderer Putin.

The fine people of Belarus must rise up and butcher their oppressors.

https://www.bing.com/news/search?q=Alexander+Lukashenko+Belarus&qpvt=Alexander+Lukashenko+Belarus&FORM=EWRE

It will be a full-dress rehearsal for what's coming to Russia's and China's, and England's and Hungary's, and Turkey's, and Israel's, and Syria's, and Iran's, and India's, and North Korea's .... and America's ruling nationalist, crypto-religious conservative movements.

*As I re-read this comment, I know that it doesn't sound quite as sincere and certain as similar conservative statements of their plans to disrupt and remake America over the past 40-50 years, as they fondle their semi-automatics.

I mean, who is more ruthlessly dangerous, a guy who invokes the Devil but who can hardly keep from bursting into laughter .. that would be me ... at the invocation, or a guy, now to be joined by another woman, at the highest pinnacles of power, who sincerely pledges a belief in the Devil and points to over half of the America as his and her Devil's incarnation, while serving the Devil Trump himself incarnate.**

Obviously, my side needs to work on that.

At the gun ranges.

**I'm under no illusion that the so-called American conservative movement and its God-botherers and fascist wannabes suffer from a shallow or depleted bench of fucking Devils once Trump croaks.

Their EVIL is legion, as must be their doom, electoral or otherwise.

As an afterthought, not only is "free speech" not absolute even in our present system, but if our system is so broken that we're in danger of falling apart or no longer being what we thought we were or wanted to be, a lot of things will and should be on the table for discussion.

"Free speech" is an even more many-tentacled concept than "9 justices on the Supreme Court," and one that surely should be looked at in new ways once new tools are invented that test the definitions and limits we have in place to handle old tools.

I'm not saying speech will have to be [allowed to be] squelched, I'm not saying anything more specific than that there's a big problem -- the automobile analogy is a nice one -- that has to be addressed. Maybe the line that defines harassment will have to be adjusted. Maybe penalties will have to get worse once that line is crossed. Maybe a lot of things...that's the point of brainstorming solutions.

It could be bias that makes me see things that way, but even when I try to take that into account, it still looks that way.

i think the right's decade's-long drive to convince the laity to distrust any media that isn't GOP-approved has worked spectacularly well. they propagate their myths and distrust anyone who challenges them.

the left has nothing like that. there are partisan outlets, and dedicated lefties complain about TFNYT. but there's nothing like the closed system the right has created for itself.

I think back to political talk radio in the 1990s. IIRC, there were a few attempts to air liberal analogs to the likes of Limbaugh, but it didn't go anywhere. Bullsh*t on the radio >>> bullsh*t on the intertubes. A "conservative" legacy.

The "money = speech" decision is where "free speech" went off the rails. That sentence illustrates the oxymoron, no?

bullets = speech is the next frontier.

Free money! Free bullets! When will speech = Willy?

Making me laugh, hsh! Unbelievable!

The Texas GOP platform explicitly condemns teaching kids critical thinking skills.
The reason they give is that such teachings lead to kids questioning traditional and parental authority.

The Texas GOP platform explicitly condemns teaching kids critical thinking skills.
The reason they give is that such teachings lead to kids questioning traditional and parental authority.

And, depending on exactly what that "traditional and parental authority" teaches, they're not wrong!

"The Texas GOP platform explicitly condemns teaching kids critical thinking skills."

So does North Korea.

And all of their children are Manchurian candidates.

Free Willy!

Isn't that Trump's come-on line as he enters beauty queen undressing rooms?

Or, is it, "Grab Willy!"?

I doubt that North Korea is explicit about that.
Communist states LOVE criticism, provided it is self-criticism on demand.

The shooting of Gaige Grosskreutz and the killing of two others seems to be a case of a critical mass of idiots in close proximity.

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