The unmitigated gall. The sheer effrontery.
If I’d managed to lobotomize my nemesis by installing a remote control stooge to handle all decision-making, I reckon my “funds to undermine and destroy my enemies” budget would drop too.
It’s gonna be fascinating to see how Russian interference in the U.S. elections (2016-present) will be addressed by the Democratic primary candidates.
I am finding that the bad movie classic, Day of the Animals, with a stellar 1977 cast and well-Riff-tracked, is fitting my mood exactly.
Absurd, badly acted, and senseless, just like our political situation.
So, the US could cut it’s military budget by half, and still spend more than any other country.
I wonder if Russia remembered to include the cost of the inevitable military parade? //
No reasonable person would dispute that US military expenditure is vastly larger than it needs to be. That said, the size of Russia’s economy is barely in the top ten internationally– the small size of Russia’s military budget is due to the small size of Russia’s economy, the overriding greed of Russian oligarchs, and the low pay and poor treatment of Russian soldiers and equipment.
@Brachiator: I think that’s been the case my entire life. A hideous waste, IMO. There’s our universal coverage, college access, etc.
Major Major Major Major
Ah jeez, I honestly hadn’t even thought of that. It’s definitely going to be one of the battlegrounds, and now that I think about it, one that I care about a lot!
Asymmetric warfare, bay-bee! It’s not just the future, it’s your future!
SNL Michael Cohen cold open was great!
I think Bill Hader stole the whole bit.
When you are the leader of the free world and it’s police force you have to be ever vigilant. When you force your beliefs and robber baron economic policies upon other countries you have to be stronger than them or risk failure or worse, losing face. When you demand that other countries bow down to your greatness you have to have the power to do that.
When you don’t do those things or have that amount of arrogance you don’t need to out spend all the rest of the world combined to have those abilities. It also helps if you aren’t pants wetting afraid that everyone else is going to come after you for all the resources that you’ve taken out of their countries at pennies on the dollar so that you could be the richest nation in the world, all the while being 5% or less of the world’s population.
Yep. And I hope it got under Trump’s skin.
I don’t think the US has ever worried about this. Nor has any other nation that has previously been top dog.
And Trump has perverted the idea of America as leader of the Free World. He is not even interested in exporting American values. He wants the rest of the world to grovel and acknowledge the greatness of the Trump brand.
@dopey-o: It’s not even the future anymore.
Russia’s GDP is smaller than that of Texas.
Other than oil and diamonds, what do they produce that anyone in the rest of the world wants?
How are we getting owned by Russia? It is just embarrasing.
Just finished mopping coffee off of the kitchen floor. 7 month old ?kitten? Phoebe’s latest game is to crash into my feet to get me to chase her. Caught me completely by surprise and I almost stepped on her. She was pleased with her successful ambush. She’s grown from about 2 lbs in October to 9 lbs now. At what age is does a kitten become a cat?
She does not approve of us being gone all day skiing. She recognizes when we’re gathering the ski gear and complains.
Ah yes, Leslie Nielsen fights a bear. What else needs to be said?
I recall Michael Ansara, who was once Mr. Barbara Eden, also stars.
“She recognizes when we’re gathering the ski gear and complains.”
First sign of cat, not kitten, shown.
You’re right, the US didn’t worry about it because we spent all that money on the military and blustered and blundered our way to the top of the heap. Prior world leading countries just used their militaries to overrun others. We used it to take from them and gave them token amounts so that they would think they were paid for the goods/labor we wanted. Hell we did that power play at home to get what we want for less. It’s just business.
Trump has perverted everything he touches or gets near. It’s his gift. He’s the fuck up grifter. He exchanges fuck ups for his presence. If he had any other skills he’d exchange them for money. But he lacks all but this one skill, he’s a major fuck up generator.
How much of this is FX fluctuation vs. reduction in real spending? It’s not like their economy is outperforming the rest of the world.
They did to us what we have done to the rest of the world for a while. They spent pennies on the dollar to hit our weak spots and steal elections, one in particular in which they got their boy – our fuck up generator grifter elected to the top office. We didn’t see it coming because we trusted our fine leaders to not be goons. But many of them are and even if they didn’t know it, sold out for pennies on the dollar.
Caviar and blinis.
Eisenhower was right, is “more right” than ever, and we could not care less.
That Russian company that keeps throwing itself against Mueller’s office in court lectured us peasants in one of its briefs with a quotation about intelligence from Dostoevsky. The character who said those words was that great fictional sage Raskalnikov.
@Kelly: Ours are 1.5 years and still kitten in brain, but cat in body, but having a pair of siblings means they mostly roughhouse with each other and stay reasonably well entertained when we aren’t here. They don’t yet recognize suitcases for what they mean, plus I’ve been good about sneaking it to the car before they see it. It helps that they absolutely love their pet sitter. It might also help that an entire room here is dedicated to being a constantly evolving cat fort made from whatever cardboard boxes as they arrive here. I’m currently listening to a lot of ruckus down there right now.
I’ll be home for at least 3 weeks recovering from a knee replacement soon, and I wonder if they will get so used to me being here that there will be complaining once I’m not trapped in the house all day. Currently they know backpacks and ski gear mean we are leaving, but will be back later so there isn’t too much complaining.
this. when the CIA overthrew iran’s government in 1953, how much did it cost? not a lot i imagine.
@StringOnAStick: We also have a cardboard box cat fort. She’s been pretty good about not tearing stuff up. She understands cardboard boxes are fair game. We have sisal scratching posts as well. Her favorite toy is a scrap of fur on a string. I hide it, she hunts it and I jerk it into the air when she pounces.
@Kent: Warfare, and Silicon Valley. Or in a larger sense: capitalism.
There was money in it. That is beyond contention. Russians had money. Russians spent, and are spending, money.
Hell of a lot of people are quite happy to sell their country out, because they are persons of wealth and when your net worth is in excess of entire cities and flyover states, you tend to not think you HAVE a country. You can always buy another, for instance New Zealand, and go be there instead.
Follow the money. That part of it is all about the money, rather than any particular motivations, beliefs, biases fair or foul. It’s all about individuals with huge sums of money and what they wish to do to the world, since they can.
This is the modern world. Weapons are not necessarily powered by gun powder or even look or act like guns. Electrons have power and used for illicit political power they can be very effective. And the delivery systems are dramatically less costly. Ships and planes are not required in large numbers any more. And if your enemy spends a lot on ships and planes and mismanages that spending…. one can be very effective at a much lower cost.
The old ways of measuring power of nations, especially ones with less than stellar ideals towards their perceived foes is changing. We aren’t changing with that as well as we should. We educate most people poorly – because it costs money. Granted it would easily pay for itself in better productivity but that’s modern thinking, not robber baron thinking. We have a large work force that is built around cheap labor and do less and less that requires cheap labor except sell stuff made elsewhere with cheaper labor.
And on and on. Time marches on, situations change, some will fight that. But they will lose eventually. Time doesn’t give a shit, time has no political power, it just is and it marches on regardless.
At 538, Trump popularity is up from a recent Jan 25 low of 39.3 to 42:3. The worst the news, the more they defend him.
@Kelly: These two shred the hell out of cardboard, but one of them has chewing issues, perhaps from having been orphaned at 2 weeks. Hopefully they grow out of it but they mostly limit the chewing to stuff we are OK with them chewing (mostly!).
Werebear is who I think I learned the catnip sock trick from. Just buy a package of baby socks, fill with catnip and tie off the end. These two don’t seem to have much interest in catnip but they absolutely love those socks as flicking in the air, batting around, and carrying toys. The original one went missing for months and when I found it again they were thrilled. Three mornings in a row I woke up with that toy having been carefully placed on my pillow, just for me.
Natural gas. Huge.
Been in the news a lot.
Their country is run by a ruthless KBG agent. Ours is run by his asset. Not that hard to figure out.
@Kent: Natural gas. The Germans are getting a new gas feed pipeline from the Russians to their front door, Nord Stream II. It bypasses countries like the Ukraine, Poland and Belarus and pretty much doubles Germany’s natural gas capacity enabling them to keep their lights on and heat their homes with fossil carbon. There are also plans to ship Russian natural gas to Pakistan and elsewhere while they set out to search for more gas and oil in the Arctic as the sea ice retreats due to global warming.
The only positive in this whole thing is that Trump is so ineffective and useless that while he is their agent, and he is obedient, he really has no idea how to get done what they want. If they lead him to water it’s quite likely he’ll drown himself. Of course their goal could be just to create chaos, in which case all they have to do is point him in a general direction and watch and laugh.
Again, the lazy ass pollsters do not break out the women vote by race or other factors, so it is misleading.
Still the Democrats have an advantage and need to work it.
The Midnight Lurker
@WereBear: Day of the Animals is one of the worst movies ever made. And I love it!
I own it on DVD but nobody in my family will watch it with me.
And I don’t need no Riff-track. I can make fun of it all on my own.
Trump’s meanness and incompetence are good enough, apparently.
@The Midnight Lurker: i had forgotten just how gloriously bad it was ?
@The Midnight Lurker: @WereBear: Haven’t seen Day of the Animals, but if so-bad-they’re-good movies are your thing, check out http://badmovies.org
Russia is merely a thorn. China is the real threat. They have both the will and the economy, with none of the political checks and balances.
The Midnight Lurker
@mrmoshpotato: Seen em’ all!
My dirty little secret is that I love bad movies. Really bad movies. But I have standards. The picture has to fail at almost every level; writing, directing, acting, production, etc. There is a picture of Ed Wood, Jr. in my office. Day of the Animals is on my top ten list.
My wife wishes she could have back all the hours I have ‘wasted’ watching terrible movies.
And for all you budding, young filmmakers out there; I maintain you can learn a lot more about making better films by watching bad ones as well as good ones. Think of yourself as a NTSB investigator. Are you going to learn more from a blown tire on landing, or a full-on crash?
P.S. – Putin’s popularity is on the decline since helping Trump win the Presidency. What’s the word I’m looking for… oh, yeah – blowback.
The Midnight Lurker
Treat yourself! Screen a double bill of Day of the Animals and Night of the Lepus.
Lepus… heh-heh. What the fuck were they thinking?
The guy who wrote DAY OF THE ANIMALS…
What a life!
@Kent: Lenin must be rolling over…. Yeah, the capitalists would compete to sell the rope that hangs them, but would have predicted that Russia headed by the ultimate oligarch Putin would find someone like Trump to make the sale? The digression into communism just wasted time.
The Midnight Lurker
@germy: NOW THAT’S A MOVIE!!!
Open thread so… I heard someone read this today and wanted to share it:
JUSSIE SMOLLETT, BELIEVING THE VICTIM, AND DEEP NATIONAL WOUNDS
Worth the read.
@mrmoshpotato: Airplane had better be on that list!
While our kids are learning to play football and baseball, their kids are learning to play chess.
@prostratedragon: Who was the subject of one of the classic double-dactyls, invented by Anthony Hecht & John Hollander as a companion form to the limerick: