The Russian Embassy in the U.S. tweeted this a while ago:
#Putin: A multipolar world is emerging and this is partly due to @Russia’s efforts to stand up for its interests https://t.co/ryhNWgXGsB pic.twitter.com/xJXUvMLsU7
— Russia in USA ?? (@RusEmbUSA) June 1, 2017
Uh, yeah, we noticed. The New York Times elaborates on Putin’s remarks:
MOSCOW — Shifting away from his previous blanket denials of Russian involvement in cyberattacks last year to help the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia denied any state role on Thursday but said that “patriotically minded” private Russian hackers could have been involved.
Mr. Putin’s comments, made during a meeting with Russian and foreign news agencies in St. Petersburg, were a departure from the Kremlin’s previous position: that Russia had played no role whatsoever in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and that, after Mr. Trump’s victory, the country had become the victim of antiRussia hysteria among crestfallen Democrats.
Feeling toyed with yet? I’m not sure what Putin’s motive is here. Seems at least partly a victory lap, and that’s understandable; if I had managed to install an incompetent demagogue as head of my chief rival’s government, utterly destroyed that country’s international reputation and thoroughly undermined its institutions in such a short time, I’d find it hard not to crow too.
What do y’all think the crafty, murderous bastard is up to with these not-so-subtle digs and shifts? I think he must be jerking pretty hard on Trump’s leash, what with the decision yesterday to restore the luxurious spy compounds to their rightful owners. WTF?
The Midnight Lurker
Why does the theme to Goldfinger always pop into my head when I see Putin?
How did you celebrate your anniversary? Putin discussion can wait.
It’s a victory lap. We’re a laughing stock now. We’ll be the butt of every joke for the next few decades.
All because middle management types who play in Excel all day are scared of Black people.
@Hunter Gathers: I use Excel, that is gratuitous stereotyping. Take that back.
Bit by bit he is making it increasingly obvious that he calls the shots. He is counting on Trump’s minions to accept this and the MSM to normalize it so in time it will simply be accepted that we are a vassal state.
Putin has problems at home. Long-haul truckers have been striking for at least a month now to protest new road taxes that will almost certainly go to line the pockets of Putin pals. Gays are being murdered in Chechnya. His popularity is going down. I’ve been thinking about writing a post on this, but the Orange One keeps churning out enough chaos that I haven’t gotten to it.
I am a bit baffled that Putin, who usually keeps his face poker-smooth, is willing to be so upfront about this. A victory lap, yes, and something to cover the domestic issues. It could be that his emotions are getting the better of him; he’s been quite upfront about his feelings of humiliation during the 1990s, and he may feel he’s getting payback now. And Emmanuel Macron was sort of rough with him, in addition to being more handsome and sexier.
Putin also has a tendency to overplay his hand. His obvious attempt to meddle in the French elections seems to have bought him some blowback, and we’ll be good guys and not mention Ukraine.
Edited to clarify the last sentence in the first paragraph.
I’m pretty sure that for Trump, the big distinction between European leaders on the one hand and Putin/Saudis/other authoritarians on the other is personal wealth. The Euros are obviously poor and weak– losers who aren’t going anywhere and don’t have any marble or gilded furniture in their offices. And who won’t be invited to Mar-A-Lago any time soon..
Iowa Old Lady
Putin (and every European leader) keeps making Trump look smaller and smaller. I wonder if Trump knows this.
Major Major Major Major
These fuckers. I just can’t with the news this past week. Been writing a lot of fiction though.
@Iowa Old Lady: Whether he does or not, Paul R and Mitch M know it and they don’t care.
I think the institutions part is slightly off as it is clear they had already failed and are just now being exposed. But the part about our reputation and standing in the world is 100% true. It’s stunning to contemplate that in four months Trump has turned this nation into a complete laughingstock which no one respects.
@Cheryl Rofer: Maybe Putin was getting the feeling that there were just too many lies to keep track of. Trump is kind of a special case in that regard– we shouldn’t assume that others have the same talents.
@Hunter Gathers: no. he is cutting his hackers loose because he knows where the investigation will lead. He has plausible deniability, but he knows who did it and upon whose instructions those actions were taken. The instructions were not electronic so there will be no trail back to Putin. This is the best evidence yet that Putin was behind it, otherwise you dont get out in front like this.
Peeps. I think you are conflating “Trump” with “The United States”, and that is not the same. If anything, the Europeans I encounter ever single day are sympathizing with the FUCKING MAJORITY OF AMERICANS who didn’t vote for Trump. Some people don’t know that HRC won the popular vote, but a lot do.
250,000 turned out to see Merkel and Obama. That is not disrespect for the United States.
I refuse to follow you down that rabbit hole.
The Moar You Know
Everyone is right about the “victory lap”. It’s that. It also helps pile on more fear, uncertainty and doubt (the classic FUD triangle) into our politics, which leads to even more political paralysis in the US. Having gelded the Dem party, it’s now the GOP’s turn on the chopping block. If Vlad’s admission, or subsequent ones (he’s not done yet!) gets the GOP truly fighting each other, he thinks we’ll be out of the international game for several years. He’d be right about that.
What is also amazing is that every single crazy thing the republicans accused Obama of being — ie. a celebrity, a light weight, the destroyer of American alliances and reputation — Trump actually is. And they don’t care who Trump is and what damage he does, as long as they can strip health insurance from millions and get a big fat tax cut for the 1%.
In the run-up to 2008, with Republican-driven overseas imperial meddling at its most obviously catastrophic, I remember some progressives musing that maybe it was worth it to support Ron Paul, in spite of everything about Ron Paul that they despised, simply because Paul was the one candidate who might truly roll back American empire.
I didn’t like that at all, because I had a pretty good idea how Ron Paul would roll back American empire.
What I was imagining was pretty close to what we’re seeing now.
Kind of OT but this is disturbing. Trump’s very own RT?
@eric: I think you’re on to something there.
My concern: Putin is doing this now because someone or someones who works for him — in the FBI or in another sensitive position — has warned him that the investigation is heating up.
Of course Putin enjoys yanking der Trump’s chain, any day of the week.
Also: Hillary’s speech yesterday. She pointed some fingers. Don’t think Putin didn’t notice.
Iowa Old Lady
I’m listening to Maddow from last night. I didn’t realize that the subpoenas for info re unmasking were issued by Nunes (who theoretically recused himself) without telling the rest of the committee.
Just learned good old Nigel Farage has joined the of-interest crew. The Putie is rather entirely like Kevin Bacon, only with far lower degrees of separation, in this crowd.
@MattF: Putin very badly wants to be recognized as a major world player. He’s used the “patriotic independent hackers” thing before, starting at least with the attacks on Estonia in 2007, in response to the Estonians’ moving a Soviet WWII memorial out of the center of Tallinn to a cemetery. [I thought that was actually an improvement in memorializing the soldiers who died – every time I went past that statue, there were broken liquor bottles around it, in addition to a few flowers.]
I agree that Putin doesn’t seem to lie in the same way Trump does. Putin tries to keep some consistent lines in his lying.
I think the hold on the Comey replacement is significant. Trump wanted a stooge but the names keep changing,
The only logical reason for that is that the GOP senators wont play along.
I think their plan was to keep slow rolling the congress investigations while Mueller takes out Team Trump. The one thing everyone said about Mueller was he doesn’t leak.
Putin and Trump’s response will be to commit more and more egregious acts of collusion so the GOP are forced to normalize and embrace Putin.
They’ve always been pretty obvious about it. They haven’t been remotely punished by America’s current government. Why not crow?
@Elizabelle: Agreed, people managed to separate W from ordinary Americans too. But yes giving the keys of the kingdom to this person has definitely eroded the trust people had in this country. Travel to the US is down 11% since T took office and applications by international students to US universities are down as well. Ordinary people are voting with their wallets.
@Sanjeevs: Well, the fact that HolyJoe backed out shows that no one possessing a functional cerebral cortex wants the job. I’m waiting for Sean Hannity to be nominated.
@scav: I am wondering when the saint of Vt will join them.
Not to oversimplify, but IMO, Putin has an objective with his lies, whereas Trump is a reflexive liar.
I’d think that Putin could also be just fanning the flames. Trump exposes the America as a nation that can install an obvious grifter and fuckup, given its weird, anti-majority electoral college. This drives a wedge between America and most of the first world (in the sense of the Western post-WWII arrangements).
If, at some point, Trump is impeached, the Trumpists will feel betrayed, by the Democrats and whatever Republicans participate. How long did the Nixon impeachment resentment last? And now we have internet-triggered nut cases – stochastic terrorists to seek revenge for any actions taken against Trump. Putin likely has his thumb in that stew, stirring away.
He might think he can cause more problems for the US by getting Trump removed, rather than having Trump merely rejected by the voters in 2020. An orderly transfer of power is something functional countries do. He wants us to stay dysfunctional. (The impeachment can be an orderly transfer of power, imo)
@Elizabelle: turning out to see Albert Einstein would not have shown respect for Nazi Germany.
Anecdotes aside, it’s fact that nearly half of all voters voted for a criminal, brain damaged racist. Our congress and Supreme Court continue to be led by horrible people. There is a nasty strain of anti-empiricism inherent to American culture. There’s no sugar coating it.
Putin’s motive is to establish Russia by any means in every vulnerable country.
Destabilizing the US was his major goal in election meddling. Everything Trump gives him is bonus. At this point, Putin could come out and admit he got Trump elected, and it would only mildly damage his plans for a new Russian empire, destabilizing the US more but hindering his efforts to destabilize other countries. He’s in a position to indulge his whims.
Speaking of general stupidity, Twitler won’t be pleased with this headline, or the contents.
This will leave a mark, better hope that they don’t let him read it.
Forget Trump’s bluster. The world is walking all over him.
President Trump woke up incensed Tuesday morning, apparently because after he finally got through lecturing European leaders about how they had to take more responsibility for themselves, Germany’s chancellor had the audacity to suggest that European countries should take more responsibility for themselves………….
But really, all this focus on Trump’s tweets and the stories about his boorishness abroad should please the White House no end. The more the narrative focuses on Trump’s toughness and bluster with our allies, the less anyone focuses on what’s really been exposed in these opening months of his presidency.
Trump is weak, and our rivals have figured it out. They’re walking all over the American president in a way we haven’t seen since at least the days of disco and Space Invaders.
Trump punches down. Like all bullies, he prefers to flex his muscle with those who are inherently smaller, or where the stakes are impossibly trivial.
Like all Twitter trolls, he’s got an endless supply of insults to be dished out in 140 characters or less, using all caps and exclamation points, as long as he doesn’t have to stand in front of you and look at you level.
Just how tough is Trump when the adversary isn’t someone who works for him or serves as a prop in some way? Ask the Turkish despot, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan watched the bloody crackdown from behind the armored window of his car, two miles from the White House……….
What did Trump, who talks so tough with other NATO allies, have to say about any of this? Where was the outraged tweet blasting back at a foreign incursion in the American capital? How many Turkish diplomats were expelled?
The answers are nothing, nowhere, and none. Erdogan flipped his middle finger to the White House, in full view of the world, and Trump hid in the West Wing, whining about his press coverage.
You can bet that Erdogan had been watching the way Trump handled Vladimir Putin, after Russian planes and subs showed up to menace the coasts off Alaska and Connecticut. A stronger leader might have politely put the Russians on notice that we take our borders seriously, and the next Russian pilot who wandered into our airspace might not be coming home.
Putin was testing Trump, just trying to see how hard he’d be able to push the man whose campaign he so deftly played to his advantage. About as far as you like — that was the answer.
Then there’s Kim Jong Un, who’s setting off a new rocket every week now, boasting about his intention to reach American targets. He’s already concluded that Trump will leave that whole Korean headache to the Chinese, as long as no one’s conspiring to hit us with more decent, reasonably priced hatchbacks……..
Why are Trump’s competitors so confident they can brush him aside? Probably they can see that he doesn’t have much grasp of world affairs, or a ton of interest. Maybe they imagine he’s too preoccupied with controversy back home to get himself into any global standoffs.
But the better explanation is that other world leaders can sense something essential about Trump. The one thing they share is probably an innate ability to size people up. You don’t get to the top of any political system, large or small, without a shrewd eye for what drives human behavior.
And what they see in Trump is insecurity. The carrying on about his ratings and poll numbers, the impulsive tweets on a sleepless night, the childlike boasts and pleading diatribes — all of it betrays a need to be loved, rather than feared.
They look at how Trump sucks up to a miniature authoritarian like the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte (who Trump gushed was doing “an unbelievably good job” during an embarrassing phone call in May), and they see a man who admires steel in others precisely because he doesn’t possess it himself……….
But the pressing danger here isn’t that Trump — and, by extension, American leadership — gets eclipsed. It’s that Trump’s passivity in the face of petty aggression almost certainly invites a more consequential variety.
It’s one thing for the Russians to have poked our border patrol with no response. But what happens when their troops are crossing the border of a Baltic nation instead, because Putin figures no one will stop him? What happens when North Korea finally gets a rocket to Guam — because, you know, why not?
Indifference toward aggression has never spared America from war. And irate tweets have never ended one.
ET to make it shorter.
@Iowa Old Lady: What’s the “unmasking” business? Have not been following.
@Elizabelle: You’re right, that Europeans still like the American People. But the American Government? Covered in shame by Lord Putinfluffer. And headed downhill in the esteem of our friends and allies. And when people name a country, typically they mean that country’s government.
Also, there’s the problem that as the US(Govt) demonstrates its fickleness repeatedly, other countries stop taking us at our word. They end up having to make other provisions, b/c we might not keep our promises. Even if we get a sane POTUS46 (47? le sigh) they’ll always worry that the one after her will be a nutjob. Maybe even a competent nutjob. Heydrich, instead of Hitler.
And every government knows (now) that the way to get their way with the Shitlord is to bribe him, flatter him, blackmail him. But don’t, don’t, don’t treat him as an adult. No, we -are- being humiliated, and -are- a laughingstock. Self-inflicted, which makes the humiliation even greater.
[P.S. I feel like I must add that ‘we” above refers to the -nation-, not the -people-. Where a -nation- includes its government.]
Gin & Tonic
A lot like patriotic independent Crimeans.
This seems like a great story some enterprising US journalism outfit could have covered during the election.
I just can’t get over how fucking stupid this all is. It is TOO LATE to start telling us about this! Timing matters! The key would be to get this to voters BEFORE they vote. It is much less useful after!
The emails were a past issue. They were over. This was a live problem and it came with a due date. Like… an emergency. “Happening now..” as cable news says.
@hovercraft: Of course, one needs to just turn the quote from Hicks upside down, and then it’s pretty accurate– fingering Trump’s sore spots with considerable accuracy.
More broadly, Trump isn’t just dishonest– he’s also weak, cowardly, and lazy. A taker, not a maker.
ETA: Ah, the word I was looking for came to me. Feckless.
I feel that part of Putin’s deal is to force Trump defenders (and the Republican Party) to make a choice: either accept his tacit confession that Russia interfered with the election and recognize that Trump’s legitimacy is compromised, or — despite Putin essentially saying “I so totally did it” — ignore the evidence and double down on Trump.
He’s not wrong to assume that the majority will choose option two.
And all his critics and political enemies dying under mysterious circumstances is just a big conspiracy. Poisoning someone with rare difficult to produce radioactive material was just a private Russian patriot action.
It’s obsurd that the west even lets him participate in any events with them.
Me: George W. Bush is the worst president of my lifetime
GOP: Hold my beer.
There is a lot of truth in this article, but I disagree with this point. Trump admires cruelty. The only ‘steel’ involved is that these people are getting away with hurting and killing people on a vast scale, at their whim. He’s a mean shit, and it bugs him that there are limits to his power to hurt people.
Samantha Bee did so, on her Oct 31 show, remember?
ETA: By which, I mean that it’d be too much to ask Mrs. Greenspan or that douchenozzle Cilizza to cover it. That’d be -work-.
@The Midnight Lurker:
Well, the plot of “Goldfinger” involved a wealthy Western capitalist colluding with communists to cause a massive crisis in the West that both he and they could benefit from, so…
Everyone in DC has known since before the inauguration that the Trump people were using data analytics to target voters with Russian help. The 2016 election was not legitimate and should have been contested. The DNC rolled over. Establishment DC did not want Clinton. They thought “We, the people” would shrug and go back to not paying attention.
Everybody has to vote in 2018 or they win. No American should live with a Russian heel on their throat.
@MattF: I think it’s more that the Saudi’s are dictators who rule with a more or less iron fist…the European democracies are, well, democracies and lean more socialist than our own capitalist paradise so he doesn’t respect that.
The election cannot be contested. There is no legal way to do it. The system does not allow for it. Bitching that we won’t accept it does nothing.
THIS is true.
@Corner Stone: I hear you but I think the rest of the world is primarily laughing at trump (not America). They know that the majority of voters voted for the other, better candidate.
If they’re laughing at anything it is that the Republicans continue to let trump crash around like a lobotomized bull in a China shop
I think it’s that the Saudis are putting millions of dollars directly into Trump’s pocket. Same with the Chinese and Russians, but not the Europeans.
Notorious dick emailer John Schindler is insisting the end is nigh. I think he just likes having his name in the tweets.
Republicans have spent decades convincing themselves more and more that pointless bluster is a Sign Of Strength that will cause the rest of the world to respect and fear us, which means they’re pretty much completely oblivious to the fact that this is happening.
Putin’s dilemma is that as soon as he actually uses what he’s got on Cheeto Benito it becomes worthless. But he wants to be able to gloat. He probably realizes that his fun time is limited, so he’s going to have as much as he can while he can.
@Sasha: That’s an interesting point that leads to another. The Russians have been pressuring Trump about the two properties closed down in December, with a tweet on May 22 and a Sputnik article yesterday. Might be signaling that material from the hacking of the GOP could suddenly appear from “independent hackers.” Or maybe transcripts of meetings with Flynn and Jared.
Rephrasing: If they’re laughing at anything, it is that our government is run by, and at least half our political class is comprised of, a class of shameless grifter so comically weak that they’ll allow a serial rapist and fraud to run rampant, as long as they get to enact their agenda.
I don’t see how that looks any better for us. Nor should it.
@Elizabelle: I don’t think the real threat is a shift in people’s personal feelings toward the US. You’re right. Many Europeans do recognize that the majority of American voters in November cast their ballot for HRC. But the geopolitical shifts that are occurring are seismic and represent a decisive move away from the US that will be difficult to recover. Since Nov 9th I’ve been thinking that if Germany and China form an alliance the US’s global preeminence will be over, and now that is happening with astonishing speed. The US may have invented solar panels, but Germany and China will be the leaders in alternative energy. They’re already the global manufacturing powers (which in Germany’s case has a lot to do with the very sweet deal they got on the conversion rate of the D Mark to the Euro.) If the EU is able to get its act together with respect to the PIIGs countries, the Euro could well replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. What’s amazing is how few Americans understand the link between US political clout and economic well-being.
The more transparent Putin gets about the fact that he interfered in the election, and the more doggedly the entire Republican Party works to cover for Trump… the more the rest of the world will conclude that yes, the U.S. government is indeed thoroughly compromised by the Russians, because why else would everybody be covering for their actions? That, in turn, seriously degrades the rest of the world’s faith in the U.S. as a reliable country to do business with.
The beautiful thing about this is that it doesn’t even rely on Putin having compromised the U.S. government – the mere perception that he’s done so is enough, and the Republicans will happily fall all over themselves to reinforce that perception. We’ve already had leaders asking Putin to get the U.S. to do something they want.
@Sasha: Or force them to do both. “Of course the Russians put us in power. And of course we’re doing their bidding. There’s nothing wrong with that, or at least nothing you can do about it.”
Pretty much the same thing, except you added the “why” ;)
@EBT: He went on a multi-day insane rant against Malcolm Nance recently and I decided to stop checking out his twit feed. He seems to have gotten Mensched.
@Jeffro: Well, what I was trying to get at is that they’re not merely laughing at Trump, but also laughing (in horror) at our -govenment-.
I assume his ultimate goal is to humiliate Trump beyond all belief and in turn humiliate America.
Iowa Old Lady
@Elizabelle: Nunes asked for information on who in the intelligence community or state dept asked to have the names of Americans who were inadvertently recorded while talking to foreign targets of investigations. The names are usually “masked,” but can be revealed if the reader needs them to understand what’s happening. Samantha Powers and Susan Rice were particularly of interest to Nunes. Rs are claiming the unmasking is a big scandal that shows how the Obama administration spied on them illegally.
@Sasha: It’s been noted that Mitt Romney was derided when he said that Russia was the main geopolitical adversary of the US. And then Obama didn’t say it but apparently came to pretty much the same conclusion. So, a policy of going easy on Putin isn’t politics. It’s Trump.
As good as Trump been to him!
Unless they form a political union this will not happen. It is easier said than done. EU countries cannot make their own monetary policies, unless that changes I don’t see how the fundamental dynamic that heavily tilts towards German interests is going to change.
@Cheryl Rofer: But why do they want those properties back, in such a public manner?
@Iowa Old Lady:
I am more worried about the voters, who think Obama was weak on foreign policy, Bush, Jr; became the greatest President ever around this time in 2003 for invading Iraq, and Trump is making America strong internationally.
We have millions of people ensconced in an alternate reality, and they put the idiots like Trump into power.
We have to do something about these voters to get them to believe in the same facts as everyone else.
Sure, but for the majority, party comes before country. All things being equal, they’d probably rather not be up to their eyeballs in Russia dealings or be perceived that way, but most of them would rather be perceived as siding with Russians than be perceived as siding with Democrats.
Maybe it’s a play for the “anti-imperialist” left. Those dummies will fall for anything.
Article at Politico about Russian espionage inside the US. I had no idea.
My bet is Der Fuhrer will stay in the Paris accords, for the following reasons:
1. the VSP’s will fall all over themselves talking about how presidential he is,
2. he can gloat that all of the fake media leaks were wrong again,
3. he will set up the required office and staff it with a desk, chair, phone and a blank nameplate on the door, and
then will complain that the D’s aren’t confirming his appointments.
Win all around for Der Fuhrer
I’ve often heard people wonder how, if the North Korean regime ever falls, we’re supposed to “deprogram” an entire nation of people who’ve lived in an alternate reality their entire lives. It increasingly feels like the same applies to the Red States of America.
@Iowa Old Lady: I have no doubt they (i.e., Nunes and his god-awful GOP colleagues) will do everything in their power to smear the good names of two strong women–Rice and Powers. They’ll be much lighter on Brennan. We’re getting a nasty lesson in just how deep misogyny runs. I didn’t heed the warnings of many women, including my mom in 2008, and I feel bad about this.
The more obvious that Trump’s victory was tainted, the more belligerent, desperate, and grasping the Republican administration will become.
@Corner Stone: I think it was Adam S. who noted that the facility on Chesapeake Bay is pointed at NSA headquarters, and the facilty on Long Island is pointed at the UN. SIGINT in both cases.
I always thought that was one of the dumber debates from 2012. Any country with 2-3000 nuclear warheads point at us is a geopolitical adversary and Obama knew it from day one. He just did got around poking a stick in Russia eye for no good reason.
And to ignore the growing threat from China showed Mitt just didn’t get it. It’s not our grandfathers Cold War.
@Corner Stone: Dominance display.
So is it possible that once the Russians were out of these “diplomatic” residences, the CIA or FBI went in and swept them for all the electronic stuff? Does that make sense?
The Moar You Know
@Kay: When the Obama admin went to the Senate in August to tell them that they had massive and incontrovertible evidence that Russia was already interfering with our elections, McConnell told them that if they went public with that info, the GOP would say they were lying, that they were politicizing the intelligence community, and trying to steal the election. The admin (possibly worst decision ever) backed down.
So not only could journalists have broken this, but the admin could have too. They were essentially blackmailed into not doing so.
Hey check this out: Mother Jones’ handy guide to all the key players in the Trumpov-Russia scandals
Good stuff and worth a Facebook post and/or Tweet! ;)
@pat: If indeed these were SIGINT listening posts, then think of it like what happened when our EP-3 Orion was forced down in China. Our aviators/soldiers destroyed everything they could as fast as they could. I’d guess the Russians did the same.
People keep talking about checkers vs chess. While I agree Putin is playing dimensional chess, Twitler isn’t playing anything, he just opens his mouth and is as surprised as the rest of us about what comes out. That’s the problem with his communications staff such as it is, they are trying to reverse engineer gobbledygook. The generator of the gobbledygook is vain and cannot admit mistakes so they are stuck saying shit that is on it’s face ridiculous. Twitler lies because it’s in his nature to say shit that aggrandizes himself and absolves him of anything that does not draw praise.
@The Moar You Know:
I don’t think it was an idle threat. And I believe McConnell knew he’d be backed up by fox news (of course) as well as the New York Times and all of HateTalk radio.
A ton of corporations (how many corporations in a ton?) have approached the WH requesting we stay in. Probably no mining companies though, so we’ll see how much pull they might have. Coastal mayors are flies to be swatted.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Trump’s vision, such as it is, is clearly an American Russian team up and that would make Russia the junior partner. Russia is a bit like North Korea is it needs it’s population feeling menaced by the US to justify it’s autocracy.
Major Major Major Major
@D58826: it was a dumb debate on substance but nobody cares about substance, what mattered was that if you didn’t know anything about US foreign policy, obama basically murdered Romney and then mopped the floor with his blood.
ETA: also it didn’t matter because it was a presidential debate.
@germy: Didn’t I see that Yurtle got a nice fat PAC contribution from a Russian front organization? At least Putin got his money’s worth there.
@Cheryl Rofer: There’s major world player and there’s respected major player.
Nobody has a clean track record–witness Leopold, of Belgium, a benign seeming little place, and how he laid waste to the Congo and people there.
But does Putin also have a vision of “washing” the disrepectability off his, and Russia’s, rep, internationally?
I can’t wait to for the next election day. I literally can’t wait to vote.
Move along . . . nothing to see here . . . Obamacare . . . tax cuts . . . ‘Merica . . .
Let’s talk about that bloody mask some more . . . that’s important . . .
You Sir are incorrect, the entire GOP told me for years that Obama was Feckless, and everyone knows that Twitler is a strong decisive leader, nothing like that Feckless Obama! Also to many of the wise men in Washington called Obama Feckless, he didn’t enforce the “Red Line”, Feckless! He let Putin take Crimea, Feckless! And on and on, so our Dear Leader cannot be feckless.
Since November 8, 2016.
I’m so naive I thought that was against the rules.
Since we are black lab central check out these two doofuses,. This is the third time this week they’ve been on the loose. One had a tag so I got the dude’s number and called. Motherfucker hung up on me. Hello animal control.
@hovercraft: I never saw the word “feckless” anywhere outside of 19th century novels until Obama became president.
I even saw a commenter here refer to him as “feckless” (I think it was one of the WilmerTrolls)
@Corner Stone: Others have pointed out, upthread, that the properties serve an intel function, which is why they want them back. Also prestige and reciprocity, as I said earlier. The “publicly” part of all this goes to Betty’s questions in the top post. Whether to make stuff like this public depends on the strategy one is playing. And part of that seems to be to show how screwed up the US is. “Look, we can make them do our bidding.” I’m not convinced about a deeper strategy, or if there even is one.
And younger. I suspect Putin’s age may be creeping up on him in ways he can’t ignore anymore. Those multiple trips to the pissoire in the middle of the night. Aches and pains and who knows what the doctors have found.
Might be that Vlad is trying to get in as many jollies as he can while he can.
@Cheryl Rofer: Can Trump just give those 2 facilities back on his own or does the IC get any say in the matter?
@raven: They’re gorgeous and happy looking.
Might need rehoming. Can’t let them run around at night and get hit by a car.
This is what scares me, what will they give us next? We all said there was no peak wingnut, but I don’t think any of us imagined just how bad it could get, and the bright side is that hey it could actually be worse.
@ThresherK: Nah. Oderint dum metuant. Let them hate, so long as they fear. Russia has never been good at soft-power stuff, and the rulers haven’t much cared. The US has a ton of allies (yes, they haven’t deserted us yet) and Russia has…Syria? Plus a few shady USSR leftovers in Central Asia who are playing their cards carefully.
Another dimension to Russia’s actions is that there is an element of fear there as well. They truly believe that bringing the Baltic states into NATO, and perhaps Ukraine and Georgia, would be a prelude to an invasion of Russia. And, internally, there are separatist strains in the many nationalities that go to make up Russia. It was the nationalities that busted up the Soviet Union. It could happen again, although there are no strong signs it will any time soon. But if you’re Vladimir Putin, it’s the kind of thing that keeps you up at night.
@Elizabelle: They are really funny, they came to me, got in my van and hung in the yard till the meat wagon came. Bohdi didn’t care too much for it but he’s a grumpy old dog!
@germy: I hope that comes out, is proven, and that McConnell is forced to resign over it. Paul Ryan too.
That is treason.
@Spanky: I thought Putin looked very old in the photos of his French visit.
@StringOnAStick: In a normal (???????) administration, the IC would certainly be consulted. I’m not sure, but I think the closure was Obama’s executive action, so it could be reversed in the same way.
@raven: Pretty sure they will get rescued. Or adopted (together, please.) Does your animal control have a humane record? (Guessing it does, cuz it’s in Athens…)
@Elizabelle: Yea, Mean between my bride, the dog parade organizer, and our law prof neighbor who spearheads on of the local rescue groups, it’s covered. We know who the clown is and law prof wants it to cost the dude $ to get them back. We thought about letting them out of my yard so they could add a “running loose” charge but we didn’t.
So since Spicey has told reporters not to ask him anymore questions about Russia, why do mainstream media folks keep attending his “press briefings”? All he does is lie to cover Trump’s behind anyways so why not just skip them.
They are laughing at Twitler, and horrified at the number of dunces who bought his con, and that now even after the world can see that the emperor has no clothes, they still love him. They feel sorry for the rest of us, and are ready to take advantage, Macron is offering Climate Scientists asylum!
better than shiftless or uppty I guess
I am a middle manager, i guess.
I play in excel all day.
I am scared of a few black people.
But its a few white people who really make me shit my pants!!!!!!!!
As Kay keeps saying, it sure would have been useful to know this shit before the election rather than getting our 10,468th story about Hillary’s emails.
@Patricia Kayden: So you don’t have to.
@MattF: Can’t afford the $200,000 annual individual membership dues. American corporations and business entities are run as absolute monarchies and they can do what they want, at least if private company (if public, they can do what they want as long as the stock price stays up). Further, as such a monarch, Trump has been dealing with authoritarian Governments and as a authoritarian, find them far more congenial then democratic leaders from democratic governments who are bound to a rule of law and accountable to their voters. Hence, Trump gets along swimmingly with Putin, the Saudis, Duterte, Erdogan, etc. Merkel, Macron, Trudeau, not so much.
The Moar You Know
@raven: OMG my favorite dogs ever. I’d give them hugs and treats and move ’em on in.
That being said, if the owner is not willing to take care of his dogs, and part of that means that they stay in their yard, you gotta call animal control. The owner won’t get them, I’m betting. They’d get adopted in short order.
ETA: good, you guys have it handled.
Democrats have plenty to answer for when it comes to China. TPP was as much about foreign policy as it was about trade policy. We left the field to China and they will happily take control. And there won’t be any jobs coming to the economically anxious WWC as a result of this dishonest populism either.
I’m going to take issue with that a bit. I think Trump himself is a laughingstock. I think our friends abroad are still baffled (as am I) that we allowed him to be elected.
BUT it is because we are respected that they still have high expectations of us, and I have to keep believing that we will live up to our own best traditions at some point. We see it in the resistance (in which I now include most of the federal bureaucracy and certainly the intel services), the re-energizing democratic party, and the re-invigorating press. I don’t think we’re there yet by a long way; we’re still in shock; but we’re going to get there. Trump will be disgraced and thrown out on his fat orange ass. We will come back to something approaching our normal muddling through. It will get a lot worse before he’s gone, but it will also eventually get a lot better.
To sow more discontent. Putin knows that the republicans won’t acknowledge that Twitler is illegitimate, so by exposing his collusion he makes him look more illegitimate and unable to govern which pisses people off and increases the chaos and discontent in America. He can then point at us and say that our system is corrupt and doesn’t work, drive a wedge between us and Europe. It’s a win win for him, we are paralyzed ad squabbling amongst ourselves.
after successfully getting trump to destroy NATO and the Paris Climate treaty, putin must be beside himself ecstatic – literally busted and this control output of that is his inability to keep it under wraps completely. Next up and in the works is the elimination of sanctions on russia.
Have you seen schrodinger’s_cat’s long, long list of grievances with the British Empire regarding what it did to India, and compared that with Britain’s standing in the world today? Maybe Putin reckons that such disrepute washes off a nation rather easily.
Do you have a source? I’m literally asking for a friend who has assumed his career is over.
President Bartlett famously called God a “feckless thug” (to His face!) in the “Two Cathedrals” episode of The West Wing.
breaking: Nunes was just referred to the FBI for obstruction and tampering?
You Americans and your refusal to go metric! A ton is a thousand kilos.
Et to translate into English ;)
Another campaign promise broken – fortunately:
@Bobby Thomson: That is a really silly comparison. Nobody ever believed Einstein was representative of Germany. Many Europeans really believe Obama is the face of the America that should be.
Villago Delenda Est
Donald doesn’t understand anything in that tweet. Putin basically wants to make America “less great” than it is in Donald’s warped perception of how great is was six months ago, when we had an actual thinking adult sitting in the Oval Office.
Donald needs to go, everyone around him needs to go.
To Prison. Forever.
Mark your calendars, everybody. Comey testimony will be a week from today, Thursday, June 8.
@germy: If Hillary drove a pole in the ground, surrounded it with a couple of cords of dry wood, poured gasoline on the wood, tied herself to the stake and then lit the whole thing on fire, the VSP would complain about the air pollution from the fire and deforestation because of the wood she used. And for all of the complaining that the VSP’s are doing about being a flawed candidate she still racked up 3 million more votes than Der Fuhrer and in any other election in a western democracy and any other election below the presidency in this country she would have been the big winner.
I’m not suggestion that Bill and Hillary be named prom king/queen at the 2020 convention but when you look back over the past 50 years or so and compare the electoral success of the LIBERAL candidates vs Bill and to a lesser extent Barack then maybe the Clinton are on to something.
Now there are amny reasons why candidates win/lose but a bit of history
1. LBJ won big as a liberal
2. Humphrey, a liberal, lost
3. McGovern, a liberal lost
4. Carter, more centrist, won and of course lost in 1980 in part because the liberal Kennedy wing sat out in a snit.
5. Mondale, a liberal lost,
6. Dukakis, a Mass. liberal no less lost,
7. Bill, a centrist beat 41 and then Dole,
8. Gore a not overly liberal centrist was robbed but if had won his home state or Bill’s home state or what had been reliably blue W. VA he would have won.
Notice a pattern here – liberals don’t win the presidency and often lose badly. While the country has changed it hasn’t changed that much that you can just follow the pied piper of Vermont to electoral victory.
@The Moar You Know:
The way I recall it is that SOMEONE did break the news before the election. The NYT immediately said it was all lies and the next day CNN was laughing about Clinton’s transparent attempt to distract from her e-mail crimes.
He’s (oddly!) not that good at testifying. Not as good as one would expect. He should just read the “secret memos” aloud. No editorializing.
We do REQUIRE hearings, though. I have no idea what the hell went on, but clearly a lot was happening while we were all reading boring Clinton campaign emails.
Just google it.
France’s president-elect once blasted Trump in a message to US climate scientists: ‘Please, come to France’
Emmanuel Macron enjoins uneasy US scientists: ‘Move to France’
Apparently some local climate scientists felt slighted, but he said there room for everyone.
KNEEL BEFORE VLAD!
@The Moar You Know:
It’s really pretty interesting, too! Sounds interesting, as more comes out. Putin himself now weighing in! Much better than Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the delegates or whatever. Hillary Clinton hates Catholics. Whatever those emails were supposed to be about.
Not merely corrupt, but sufficiently owned by Russia that it cannot be counted on to even support its own interests, let alone its allies’ interests, against Russia.
Nice summary by Charles Pierce. It’s hard but essential to keep our eyes on the ball. So much stuff going on.
But, they were gonna MAKE AMERICA GREAT…don’t ya know?
James Baker was on Moanin’ Joe this morning. He blames Obama for twitler’s withdrawal from the Paris accord. Obama should have gotten the Senate on board and ratified it as a treaty. No mention of repub stonewalling and obstructing anything Obama so much as sneezed on, tho, so par for the dishonesty.
Where did you see this?
I have trouble with the chaos theory because it seems too abstract. The thing about chaos is they don’t know what will happen and that’s not a smart scheme. I keep thinking it’s more obvious and plain venal. quid PRO quo. Not “set chaos in motion and see how it benefits us!”. That’s a big risk. Shouldn’t the reward be more guaranteed?
@Amir Khalid: Not just BJ commenters but RWNJs in India have a selective amnesia about the Empire. They focus all their energies on the real and imagined past sins of the Muslim rulers of India.
ETA: Mainly, I think because BJP’s predecessors sat on their thumbs during the freedom struggle. They spend all their time denigrating secular minded Indians and the Congress (which is now in a very sorry state) or basking in the reflected glory of non-Congress (mostly socialist or Communist) freedom fighters.
@gene108: We can’t. They are beyond our reach at this point. We have to find ways to go around them.
@The Moar You Know: McConnell and Ryan need to be investigated. Too many Russian connections have turned up already, I am no longer willing to assume coincidence. The Mercers also seem to be connected to many things that have turned out to be significant now. Haven’t seen the Koch’s as much this cycle. I think the Mercers were also behind Citizens United which I think was a factor. The Mercers originally backed Cruz, so that makes his suspicious IMO.Follow the money is a good start.
Trump’s falling out of favor with Putin and he’s starting the push out the door. Maybe Putin knows something about Comey’s upcoming testimony and figures Trump’s days are numbered.
@germy: Yeah. It’s not up on WaPost or NYTimes ….
Yesterday I looked at upcoming films on trailers.apple.com and saw these two:
“Victoria and Abdul”
The extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.
Tensions mount for the beleaguered British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Brian Cox) in the days leading up to infamous Allied D-Day landings in Normandy, France in June, 1944. Fearful of repeating his deadly mistakes from World War I in the Battle of Gallipoli, exhausted by years of war, plagued by depression and obsessed with his historical destiny, Churchill is reluctant to embark on the large-scale campaign, one that the entire war effort hinges upon. Clashing with his Allied political opponents U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower (John Slattery) and British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery (Julian Wadham), the troubled Churchill receives support and devotion from his wife, the brilliant and unflappable Clementine Churchill (Miranda Richardson). With her strength and shrewdness, “Clemmie” halts Winston’s physical, mental spiritual collapse and inspires him on to greatness.
@Iowa Old Lady:
The crazy thing is that the Republican leadership keeps backing Trump even as more revelations emerge about his Kremlin Konnections. Worse, angry conservative isolationists live in that Fox News bubble in which Trump and Putin are foreign policy giants who will make their respective peoples great again. And oh look, there’s little shit weasel Nigel Farage up to his neck in Trump humping.
From the Guardian and other sources:
The sad thing is that the average American doesn’t know or care about foreign policy. It’s all about America standing up, leading the way, kicking ass or taking what is ours. Fill in the blank of the relevant country as needed. Trump may sacrifice some staffers over this, but it will be tough for any of this to bring him down. He’s just got too much protection. The question which may be making some sweat is how many other Republicans, and Democrats, might be implicated in this as well.
Jesus Christ! This is some seriously arbitrary and largely wrong headed cherry picking to attempt to prove a spurious point.
ETA (Iowa Old Lady): Did you recommend a book about dirty dealings involving exploitation of Native Americans in Oklahoma? What was that book? I meant to make a note of it and forgot. Apologies if I am asking the wrong commenter.
@Iowa Old Lady:
Do his subpoenas have to be honored? Is he likely to have many others joining him on these hearings?
I feel so bad for Susan Rice who is going to be harassed again for no good reason other than to distract from what is happening to the Trump administration actors…. The Repubs get the visuals of a black woman to target as the reason for all their woes…
@Elie: Honestly, I hope it backfires on him bigly and that one of the names unmasked turns out to be Dana Rohrbacher and Nunes caught on video taking payments.
@The Moar You Know:
It sure would have been nice if the MSM had made a fuss about McConnell covering for Russian interference instead of treating the story as though it was just more jockeying for political power.
@gene108: What? Reeducation camps? Mandatory drug therapy? You can’t help those who refuse to believe they need help.
On a lighter note, I was checking out the local music festival to figure out what I’m shooting and was tickled to see a lot of my work was up. At some point, I should start charging. I’m shooting a local dance recital and am in the hole by $800, not including the as yet unpaid 50% deposit and my assistant’s pay. I’m going to start billing them and calling it charitable donations on my taxes.
@germy: Victoria’s takeover of India was disastrous for the country, direct crown rule was worse than the rapacious East India Company. At least the Company never pretended that it is was raping and pillaging India for its own good, aka the white man’s burden. The white washing of the British Empire seems to be popular in the United States.
ETA: You know something funny, almost every other landmark in Mumbai is named after fat Queen Vicky, even today. The grand station built by Kipling’s father was Victoria Terminus until the 90s. The engineering school was Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute and so on.
Someone on TV this morning pointed out that while Putin has the overarching goal of restoring Russia to it’s rightful place in the world, unlike the Communist Party in China which is very strategic and forward thinking in everything it does, Putin’s actions tend to be more short term oriented. The crash in gas prices a few years ago caused a great deal of disruption in Russia because the economy is far too dependent on oil, there was discontent and that’s when he amped up his foreign adventurism too rally the country around him. There were protests and call for ending the corruption, he does things that in the short term distract people, but nothing he’s doing is fixing any of Russia’s underlying problems, he and his cronies are still looting the country. Chaos does work for him because in his mind he’s smarter than the rest of us, and he’ll always find a way to take advantage. Remember he thought that Hillary was going to win, the wikileaks shit was supposed to ensure that once she was elected she’d be seen as tainted, a criminal, and she’d spend four years bogged down in investigations, unable to accomplish anything on the world stage. Chaos and disruption means that there is n concerted NATO effort to push back on Russia’s incursions in Europe, while we are all distracted with these Kremlin financed groups at home he can take a little chunk here another there.
Just like his master. :) How’s it goin’, dude?
I believe one of the many terrible turning points in our national mythology is whenever it was that we started treating the British Empire as a role model instead of a nemesis.
I mean, for fuck’s sake, we have Dinesh D’Souza writing an entire body of literature about how “Obama’s anti-colonial rage” is a horrible, horrible thing. And a bunch of teabaggers, who regularly cosplay as such august representatives of the British Empire as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, nod seriously and say that it’s simply terrible, and un-American, that anyone could feel that way about British rule.
Susan Rice is a tough woman, I remember reading/hearing somewhere that she and Valerie Jarret understood that they were in most cases proxies for Obama and later Clinton, and they both relished the opportunity to take on these idiots who thought they’d be pushovers. Rice is said to be a real tough bitch, (I mean that in the best sense, as a bitch myself), while she has to be sure not to release anything classified, she can tell them where to go, in the politest way possible. Powers, Rice and Brennan will eat their lunches. Sigh, when will these dunces realize that they come off as the dunces they are every time they set up a showdown with intelligent people who actually know what they’re talking about not the blathering of right wing fever swamps.
@Iowa Old Lady:
Nunes has BUSINESS PARTNERS WITH CLOSE TIES TO PUTIN.
How THIS isn’t written in EVERY ARTICLE about him, I don’t know.
@eric: spot on, I’d say.
We’re back to never ask a witness a question you don’t know the answer to.
BTW more than 20 million Indians dead in British India of starvation under Queen V’s reign compared to the 2 million + due to ideological blinders of Winston Churchill in 1942.
Fuck both of them.
@cervantes: Putin wants to annex Eastern Ukraine next. Everything he is doing now is with that goal in mind. In fact I think Eastern Ukraine has already been annexed for all intents and purposes. Just not officially.
Exxon said the Paris accord was a good thing..
so, the Secretary of Exxon will push for it.
Franken VIDEO last night :
Al Franken Asked Comey To Investigate Third Sessions Meeting With Kislyak
As news breaks about yet another unreported meeting between Jeff Sessions and the Russian ambassador, Al Franken reveals he sent a letter asking Comey to investigate.
Republican congressman: God can ‘take care of’ the climate crisis
06/01/17 08:01 AM
By Steve Benen
Donald Trump will announce later today whether the United States will honor the international climate agreement reached in Paris two years ago, but in the meantime, his party’s rhetoric on global warming offers little reason for hope.
The HuffPost reported yesterday on Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), a former church pastor, who told constituents the other day that he doesn’t accept the scientific evidence, and even if the evidence turns out to be real, he’s content to let supernatural forces address the problem.
I think one of the biggest differences is that Putin’s country (the USSR) actually crashed and burned, and the People’s Republic of China hasn’t. Putin and his supporters have lived through the experience of falling from a great height, hitting rock bottom, and having to claw your way back out of the gutter – the Chinese leadership hasn’t. That has major consequences for the way they relate to the world. While the Chinese leaders’ worldview is basically small-C conservative (preserve the system, preserve your status, and continue to slowly but surely work on increasing China’s power), Putin’s worldview is revanchist – he and his peeps are obsessed with never showing weakness again, with retaking all that’s theirs, and with getting revenge on those that they view as having screwed them in the past.
For the Chinese, it’s business. For Putin, it’s personal.
I had honestly predicted that if Trump would have lost last year, Ted Nugent would be the 2020 GOP nominee.
So true. These morans still think the “War of Norther Aggression” was about states rights and “economic anxiety”. Ask them what was the greatest source of economic security and what their most valuable commodity was, and they give you a blank stare. As you can see “economic anxiety” has been with us for centuries, its nothing new.
@Major Major Major Major:
I hear you. Sometimes we all need to take a break and catch our breath. For me, it has been long walks in the woods and rearranging the furniture. Ever have one of those manic cleaning episodes where you start by moving the area rug to vacuum and pretty soon every piece of furniture is in a new place?
@rikyrah: Funny how that all-caring God of his isn’t relied on to take care of the o! so! scarey! problems of immigration, terrorism and anything else that might fill the coffers of the gun, arms and incarceration business establishment.
@rikyrah: This is the argument of toddler about why potty training is no big deal because the invisible giant cleans their ass.
@MomSense: I got a new vacuum and pretty much have spent every weekend organizing and cleaning my apartment. It changed my life.
I possibly have thinner thighs too, I don’t know
So what you’re saying is that Putin is Twitler but with a brain and the ability to bide his time and actually plot?
You say that like it’s no longer a possibility. Now that Twitler has been elevated and is being treated so badly by the NY and DC elites, they could run a ticket with Phil Robertson and Ted on it, the rube would eat that shit up.
Leftie cruchie granola JS voting ex-friend was not at all bothered about Russian meddling because “we have done the same to other countries”. The density of stupid is pretty strong with that one.
mai naem mobile
I know I might sound really dumb saying this but the Russians seem to be so talented at hacking. Why doesn’t Russia make money off this talent legitmately? Is there a legit IT industry in Russia ? The Indians have developed an industry from offshoring IT jobs from the West? Is it because of a language issue in Russia being that Russia doesn’t even use the same alphabet, forget the language?
Do Americans have a right to eat? Republican rep won’t say
06/01/17 10:20 AM
By Steve Benen
When we hear condemnations of North Korea’s dictatorship, we routinely consider the country’s heartbreaking treatment of its own people, including allowing North Koreans to starve while its regime devotes resources to its weapons programs.
There’s an underlying assumption behind the condemnations: people should have food and responsible governments should take steps to ensure that their population can eat.
There’s some question, however, about the degree to which U.S. officials fully embrace this principle. Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), a prominent voice in Congress on agriculture policy, spoke to NPR’s Scott Simon about Donald Trump’s plans to slash investments in food stamps. It led to an interesting exchange:
The Nebraska Republican wouldn’t answer directly, saying only that it’s “essential” that Americans get nutrition – which is true as a matter of biology, but not an answer to the question.
Which is unsatisfying for a reason. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank noted the fact today that in the United States in 2017, “a powerful member of Congress refuses to grant that Americans should be able to count on eating food.”
Romney also seemed to be conflating the former Soviet Union and Russia. It’s more fair to say that a Putin-dominated Russia is a geopolitical adversary of the US. It didn’t have to be this way, but this is the direction in which things seem to be headed.
Strangely enough, Russia, apart from its spies, hackers, and intelligence apparatus is a bit of a paper tiger economically and militarily. The dominance of oligarchs makes it very unstable. They need to depend of tricks in order to project strength.
@Kay: Yes, Hillary hated Catholics so much that she picked one to run as Vice President ;-).
Handsome dogs. I had to laugh at the “doofuses” description which fits many labs, goofy expressions and actions.
@mai naem mobile: Yes, Russians are very good at legit IT things. Not just Russians but many Eastern Europeans. They provide a lot of IT support for western countries and do a lot of behind the scenes things on software projects. They are pretty good at it in general based on my experience.
There was a Cracked.com article about civil wars a while back that I haven’t been able to find again, where the author made the point that the vast majority of civil wars are fought over economic resources. “But,” he preempts, “wasn’t the American Civil War fought over slavery?” Yes – it was fought because one faction within the U.S. wanted to preserve its ability to use other human beings as an economic resource.
It certainly helps that he’s killed off a lot of the people who could be linked back to him and testify about it.
@rikyrah: It’s pretty simple. When you believe, as these Republicans do, that capitalism is a moral system as opposed to an economic system — poverty is the result of moral failure. As a consequence, the right to food, shelter and health care can never be recognized because those that “deserve” food, shelter and health care can afford it.
I thought Romney was ridiculed because he said that the Soviets were our adversary, quite a while after the collapse of the USSR.
Something like that.
Interesting thing about this: I’ve read the idea pop up in multiple places that in the last few decades, all over the world, nationalism has been replacing ideology as the legitimizing principle on which a country’s ruling system is built – whether it’s nationalism edging out communism in Russia and China, or nationalism edging out islamism in Iran, or, increasingly, nationalism edging out liberalism in the West, though that takes place in the context of party politics.
The thing that usually isn’t commented on is this – Russia is the only one of those places in which the traditional legitimizing ideology isn’t just weakening, but has completely collapsed (the days of communism are most definitely behind them). It’s the only place that, ideologically, is running not just on “more nationalism,” but on “nothing but nationalism.” That makes them scary to me in a way that most regimes aren’t.
@Chris: Might have found it:
cracked.com: 6 Things Everyone Knows About War (That Are Totally Wrong)
By John Preston Ford | August 16, 2016
#4. Myth: Civil Wars Are The Result Of Oppressed Citizens Finally Rising Up
@ Chris: Cracked has some good stuff. Will give them more of a look. Thanks for the head’s up.
@Chris: There were some other items about the American Civil War too, which likely made a similar point …
Trump’s budget director takes aim at inconvenient, independent data
06/01/17 11:23 AM—UPDATED 06/01/17 11:26 AM
By Steve Benen
Over the weekend, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) noted via Twitter some of the Congressional Budget Office’s findings about the Republican health care plan: millions would lose coverage, severe consequences for Americans with pre-existing conditions, and crushing premium spikes for the elderly. Schiff’s tweet was an accurate reflection of what the CBO’s independent analysis said.
And yet, there was Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), responding to Schiff’s message with a two-word reply: “Fake news.”
National Journal’s Ron Brownstein, one of the most measured of all Beltway media voices, noted that it’s “embarrassing for a Senate leader to describe” the Congressional Budget Office in those terms, which is more than fair. The intellectual laziness of Cornyn’s response was amazing, even by 2017 standards. That Cornyn is a member of the Senate Republicans’ health care “working group” – writing the Senate GOP’s legislation in secret – only added insult to injury.
But the Texas Republican’s flippant rejection of an independent analysis underscored a broader problem. The New Republic’s Brian Beutler, after noting Cornyn’s knee-jerk rejection of CBO data, explained this week, “In attempting to swindle Trumpcare into law, Republicans have relied on more than just false pretenses. They have sought to corrupt and discredit arms of government that were established to fight false pretenses with truth.”
Cornyn is hardly alone. The Washington Examiner had this report yesterday:
Oh, thank you!
I think the problem is that I was looking for “civil wars” instead of just “wars.”
@mai naem mobile: A friend tried to start computer-linked businesses in Russia. Many regulations, much licensing, and ever-required bribes. Almost impossible to start businesses unless you are linked to The Man. Which is part of why the Russian economy continues to be based on resource exports.
@germy: @Elizabelle: @rikyrah: Sorry folks…even though I “Cavuto Mark”ed it, I haven’t seen any follow up reports on this being true. ‘S what I get for jumping the gun – won’t happen again.
Ooh, it’s getting hot in here!
@raven: Well, they look happy to be there.
Hope the owner shapes up.
@Emma: the plural of anecdotes is not data, and Obama is personally popular in a way that the US is not.
Gin & Tonic
@mai naem mobile: As Cheryl said, it’s hard to start and run a business there, it’s not lack of technical skills. All hackers and aspiring programmers know at least coding-level English. By contrast, in Ukraine, with a largely similar educational system, it is much easier to establish and run a business. I have several friends, both natives and American expats, who run IT businesses there, and know many people who are in that line of work.
@mai naem mobile: @Cheryl Rofer:
You know all those dash cam videos that people love to watch on Youtube, the reason they are so popular, actually necessary is that everything operates on bribery, and people were tired of getting pulled over for bullshit and having to pay ridiculous fines for shit they didn’t do. So think of the Russian dash cams as the precursor for black people recording their encounters with the police. The corruption is pervasive, but that was the deal Putin made when he came in, I’ll let you get rich as long as you give me a piece of the pie.
@Elizabelle: Did not like the tone of the article, especially about LTTE. They assasinated Rajiv Gandhi during a political campaign, and numerous other Sri Lankan politicians. Their reign of terror in Sri Lanka went on for about 20+ years. Nothing about the Tigers is ha ha funny.
@Chris: Yeah, but there likely are some Cracked articles pertaining to the American Civil War that are as good a fit. Probably make the same points …
We are having that societal discussion right now, WRT the Civil War monuments. Some people want to argue “It was all about state’s rights” until they are blue in the face. (Regrettably, a few of those types are in my extended family. Grrrr.)
Which leaves out Alexander Stephens’ Cornerstone speech, about the inequality of the Negro, and that the Southern economy was built on enslaved labor. And the slaveowners valued their human properties on their balance sheets, right there above the rugs and silver.
From Confederate VP Stephens’ Cornerstone speech: and you will see that wingnut projection is a long-established fact in American history:
@schrodingers_cat: Thanks, Ms. Cat. In honesty, I was just looking for “resources.” Will read the rest of the article later. Suspect your point is well founded.
And a site that calls itself cracked.com clearly is there to provoke, as well as inform. But you’ve got your buyer beware warning there.
Someone said yesterday that Putin would love to see us pull out of the Paris Accord because he really wants the ice caps at the poles to melt, there’s a lot of sweet crude in Russian waters that’s worth billions, they just can’t get to it right now. Talk about a strategist thinker! //
Betty’s put a new open thread up. And I’m gonna go take a long walk before sunset (in 1 hour 13 minutes here).
@Elizabelle: But talk radio told them it was states rights. A close friend who happens to be black, believed that, until I read the GA secession declaration. What amazes me is the constitution at the time, recognized slavery, so if anything they should say they were fighting for the constitution.
I remember one of the commentors here back in March saying they didn’t think Donald Trump would be stupid enough to communicate his treason in person, that he would at least be smart enough to use cut outs.
I argued that he was indeed that stupid. And arrogant enough to think he could get away with it.
@germy: you sure it was the FBI and not an ethics complaint filed in the House? That is what I remember seeing in the past day or so.
Anyone have a source for McConnell’s threats to Obama (see germy #86 and Moar #82)
Here are a couple of articles:
from The Atlantic
From The Washington Post
Yes he’s that stupid and arrogant, he’s channeling Leona Helmsley, rules are for little people*.
* I know she said taxes ; )
@Corner Stone: He attacks everyone. From the bleach drinker to Hillary, to the Naval War College, just cause they fired him. I think sometimes he has something at least semi coherent to say, but the real reason I follow him is that he freaks out like twice a month in magnificent form. Sadly I touched the poop and I think he is going to block me. If it gets any clearer he is, Imma drop a dick pick history bomb in his feed on my way out. Let him clean up that again.
@Cheryl Rofer: so Putin’s long term stupid. Get a good economy going and nobody gives a shit about corruption. Get a virtuous cycle going .
No One You Know
@D58826: That was helpful. I’m still under the impression that misogyny was still involved.Someone much earlier wrote that white Americans lost their collective shit that a woman would follow a man of color. Maybe the issue of female power and CDS can’t be separated.
@eric: This. There is no difference between what he is saying now and what he said about the “Freedom fighters” in the Ukraine. Basically it’s a huge tell that the he knows that the intelligence community has irrefutable proof that Russia messed with the US election in violation of the UN charter. Outside that NATO country can invoke Article 5 on this alone and complete freeze out Russia beyond just the banking assets.
Without any plausible deniability liek this, the Russian economy goes from bad to non-existent.
I swear, this is all going to end with Trump getting impeached and the GOP saving face by blaming Obama for not taking Russia seriously during his administration.
@nightranger: I know that Intel had an R&D group in Novosibirsk a while back, it may still. Kapersky Lab is big in antivirus, or was until people started wondering about its connections to Russian intelligence.
That’s a great way of putting it.
@Chris: The sad thing is that sooner or later things will hit a level of deprivation and desperation domestically that Russia could have a ’90s-level of collapse and/or crippling domestic unrest. Even half the amount looted by Putin and the oligarchs and mobsters would have gone a long way towards giving Russia a diverse and sustainable economy; at some point, the theft is too large to hide, and when people are completely desperate and you can’t pay all your guards, well…