Long story in the NY Times about the SEALS who testified against Eddie Gallagher:
The Navy SEALs showed up one by one, wearing hoodies and T-shirts instead of uniforms, to tell investigators what they had seen. Visibly nervous, they shifted in their chairs, rubbed their palms and pressed their fists against their foreheads. At times they stopped in midsentence and broke into tears.
“Sorry about this,” Special Operator First Class Craig Miller, one of the most experienced SEALs in the group, said as he looked sideways toward a blank wall, trying to hide that he was weeping. “It’s the first time — I’m really broken up about this.”
Video recordings of the interviews obtained by The New York Times, which have not been shown publicly before, were part of a trove of Navy investigative materials about the prosecution of Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher on war crimes charges including murder.
They offer the first opportunity outside the courtroom to hear directly from the men of Alpha platoon, SEAL Team 7, whose blistering testimony about their platoon chief was dismissed by President Trump when he upended the military code of justice to protect Chief Gallagher from the punishment.
“The guy is freaking evil,” Special Operator Miller told investigators. “The guy was toxic,” Special Operator First Class Joshua Vriens, a sniper, said in a separate interview. “You could tell he was perfectly O.K. with killing anybody that was moving,” Special Operator First Class Corey Scott, a medic in the platoon, told the investigators.
Gallagher, of course, claims that he is innocent, and that he is being framed and that he had the odd luck to be attached to the ***ONLY*** SEAL team in history to be composed of a bunch of wimps. I wish I was kidding:
“My first reaction to seeing the videos was surprise and disgust that they would make up blatant lies about me, but I quickly realized that they were scared that the truth would come out of how cowardly they acted on deployment,” Chief Gallagher said in a statement issued through his lawyer.
“I felt sorry for them that they thought it necessary to smear my name, but they never realized what the consequences of their lies would be. As upset as I was, the videos also gave me confidence because I knew that their lies would never hold up under real questioning and the jury would see through it. Their lies and N.C.I.S.’s refusal to ask hard questions or corroborate their stories strengthened my resolve to go to trial and clear my name.”
Two things. First, it is not in the least bit surprising that Trump has chosen to rush to this guy’s defense, because Trump’s view of the world and the military is so perverse that he really does think the military is composed of nothing more than butchers and murderers. Additionally, Trump loves to be surrounded by loudmouth bully boys like Gallagher, Lewandowski, his bigmouth longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller, and who can forget how tough Michael Cohen once acted. He, himself, is such a wimp that he compensates by surrounding himself with what he fancies to be tough guys.
Second, if what all these SEALS are saying about Gallagher is true, and I find no reason to disbelieve them, then this is not the last we have heard of Gallagher. He will kill again. It may be his wife, it may be a neighbor, it may be someone who cut him off in traffic, or it may be some person of color who looked at him funny or had the temerity to wear a head scarf in his general vicinity.
Like all loaded guns that are bandied about carelessly, he will go off again. It’s only a matter of when and who the unfortunate victim will be.
Just one more in the list of awful things Trump has done. Too bad for the future victim(s).
Trump corrupts everyone and everything he gets involved with. It’s his secret sauce. Once enough people are corrupted in a given organization, their loyalty belongs to him and not whatever ideals they may have once held. It’s insidious and dangerous, and nobody in the regular media seems ready to either recognize the phenomenon or treat it as a serious systemic problem with the Trump presidency.
Ella in New Mexico
Looking at that picture of he and his wife with Trump my first thought was that she’s in incredible danger over the coming years as he comes to terms with post-military reality in which he’s not being feted by a corrupt POTUS or Fox News pinheads.
It’s hard enough for average vets to transition back to civilian life. Their rates for depression, PTSD, suicide, and domestic violence are sky high as it is. Add in he was someone who could turn off his conscience and cold kill women, children and teenagers? Where will THAT go when his wife tells him she’s not feeling sexy tonight or his kids talk back to him when he tells them to do something? What if the dog shits on the floor because someone forgot to let him out?
My God, the endless triggers of a day to day life await his arrogance and his ability for brutality. I wish it was otherwise but my decade+ of working in the domestic violence field tells me that we’ll be hearing tragic stories about this guy and his family at some point in the future.
I wonder if she knows this already. I hope she has a plan.
@Ohio Mom: One of the things that worries me the most is that little kids are very much what we used to call “monkey see, monkey do”. (is that still okay to say?)
So I worry that there’s a whole generation of youngsters growing up, and not only seeing all this terrible behavior, but also seeing that the lying and cheating and stealing is working for Trump. That’s a terrible one-two punch.
@catbirdman: Bingo. It’s seriously scary.
@Ella in New Mexico:
What’s the phrase? There are not so blind as those who will not see? It goes something like that anyway. Not good.
When I first read Cole’s title, I thought it was going to be about the “hey, I can kill a black kid and get away with it because he had skittles in his hand and talked back to his mom once” guy. Whose name I blissfully cannot recall at the moment
edit: George Zimmerman
His wife is in danger as are their kids if they have any. Also the SEALs who testified are in danger. Wouldn’t put it past him to hunt them down. And of course any boss, neighbor, extended family member or random person who happens to be in his way when he snaps again.
Candidate Trump bragged that he could shoot a man on Fifth Avenue and not risk his popularity. It’s not so surprising that President Trump’s idea of a military hero is this homicidal maniac.
@Betty Cracker: It’s like Trump is some kind of contagious disease at this point.
Imagine George Zimmerman only with tip-top military training. That’s Gallagher.
@catbirdman: It’s how the mob works. Once you’re in, you’re in. It’s been clear for decades that Trump is mobbed up, like his father before him. Our media is choosing not to see it maybe because the top people in the media won’t allow them as they’re compromised themselves.. I don’t know. Independent journalists and others have been pointing it out for years now.
It’s one Trump statement I still find eerily accurate and on point.
@WaterGirl: I know I keep harping on this, but we really need comprehensive education about disinformation and propaganda. Other countries are doing it and fake news doesn’t work as well in those places. It’s a way to combat all the lying and cheating and stealing because if not as many people fall for the disinformation and propaganda that’s spewed on Fox News and across social media then the rest has less chance of succeeding as well. They get away with it because we choose to turn blind eyes in part because there’s a coordinated strategy to propagandize our population to ignore it or not believe what they see.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
I’m legitimately shocked nobody tried to kill him over the years. Last I heard about him, the pistole used to murder Trayvon Martin was sold at an auction for a 100 grand or so. Can’t remember if he profited from it or not. I hope not
I wondered about the wisdom of putting this video out without disguising the men who gave evidence.
I’m beginning to think Trump could shoot Mitch McConnell on the floor of the Senate and Senate Rs wouldn’t hold him accountable.
Hell, McConnell would lead the defense himself as long as he survived and Trump maintains popularity with the base.
@Ella in New Mexico:
Not just the family. What about his civilian workforce? With his pardon there really isn’t any way to keep him from working for the Federal workforce or a sympathetic private employer. How does he deal with a boss, less than reverent co-workers? Does he pull out a gun and shoot them?
He’s Ted Bundy with military training. Does he decide to pick up random hitchhikers? Such lust for killing can’t be contained even in conventional murders.
What will the MAGAs say when girls, especially ones with a hijab, turn up missing? And what if he’s already killed and we don’t know it? Psychopathy like this doesn’t just show up in combat zones….
@pat: Yep. Gotta wonder who is behind it. The organization that published the videos is part of the NYT, right? Gotta wonder why they did it. I don’t trust them on political journalism, so I’m highly skeptical of their choices.
Trump wants ‘his’ military to commit war crimes. And has said so plainly on various occaisions. There’s a list of elements in his behavioral repertoire– asshole, liar, bully, thief, criminal– you have to add ‘sadist’ to that.
Think you pinpointed the reason drumpf wants him around.
@Yarrow: We totally do. I would like to see Barack Obama or Eric Holder band together to work on that.
I know they were both supposed to be working on voting issues, but I haven’t heard a peep about that since shortly after they left office.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Remember when we were told that St Mattis, the scholarly “Warrior Monk”, cared deeply about the Constitutional order of civilian-military relations? When he comes back from that six month meditation walk in the northwest woods– one assumes that’s why we haven’t heard from him on this– he is going to be righteously pissed. Start upsetting some apple-carts and whatnot.
And his predecessor as the avatar of martial virtue and patriotism before partisanship, Colin Powell… if only he were still alive.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
Even if Florida had a law forbidding people to profit from their crimes — does it? — I think it would not apply to George Zimmerman. He was not convicted in Trayvon Martin’s killing.
This is a regular part of our daily lives now- knowing that the President and his ridiculously corrupt goons will target and attack anyone who speaks out against them. How many have there been? Is it up to 50 yet? The President of the United States and the hundreds of his people that we’re all paying spend whole days looking for dissenters and smearing them. It’s a given now. People have to hide their identities to speak out or the punishment will be sure and swift, and state-endorsed.
Unfuckingbelievable, but here we are. And it only took 3 years! That’s how WEAK it was- norms failed in 36 months under minimal pressure. I mean, Jesus, we better hope we never get an actual charismatic authoritarian- we’re clearly not up to it. Pushed on it with an index finger and it toppled over.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I get emails pretty much every day.
@pat: I would be more worried about that if this guy didn’t already know exactly who the members of the SEAL team are. He served with them; I’m sure he knows their family, their children, everything.
This guy is like a rabid dog that needs to be put down. But since I don’t believe in the death penalty, I think he needs to be put away for the safety of society.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: That makes me feel better. Seriously. Thanks.
I love the work Stacey Abrams is doing; that makes me feel better, too.
Yes he knows who gave evidence, but now so does every creep out there. Look what is happening with Fiona Hill and all the others who testified. Calls to their home, death threats.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): I am actually surprised that he is still alive and that he hasn’t yet killed anyone else.
I agree with the people who say Trump doesn’t corrupt everyone and everything as much as he reveals the corruption that was already there. Trump himself is blatant in his corruption, and that gives permission to the people around him to let their corruption out in the open as well. That blatancy is what made the Republicans so afraid of Trump as a candidate but also so eager to help him out now that he’s in office. As a candidate, they were afraid he would expose the deep corruption in the Republican Party and the government as a whole, and that would let people who aren’t in on it shut it down. Now that he’s in office, though, they feel they need to back him up; they’re sure their corruption will be exposed, so they need to create a culture of impunity for their own protection.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
I blame America’s status as a superpower, along with modern telecommunications and the concentration of wealth in a few hands, for making us complacent and soft.
Everybody falls eventually. The PRC will probably be the next great power and they’ll overreach eventually too and fall. Or some external factor(s) will bring about their collapse
He knows who they are. Disguising them wouldn’t change a thing.
Duh. For just a moment, I had forgotten about all the attack dogs out there that go after good people who speak up. I am still heartbroken when I think of Christine Blasey Ford.
She sacrificed for her country every bit as someone in the military, and every one of our institutions failed her.
At this point, I really wonder what institutions aren’t in the pocket of Trump and/or Republicans.
@Kraux Pas: Remember when Dick Cheney shot a guy in the face – and got the guy to go before the cameras and apologize for putting his face in the way of Cheney’s shotgun? There’s a template for this already.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: the edit/addition to this comment got et, so apologies if this turns into a double post
that ruling is (according to the internet) the reason Mark Meadows is retiring
The NYTimes won’t protect their identities because to do so would be to admit that the witnesses need protection from Donald Trump and his sleazy hires.
And they can’t admit that. It’s too scary. They would rather fucking die than drop the savvy belief that this is all “politics” and means nothing outside of that. They will lead you right off a cliff with them rather than admit such a profound and essential error. They are poor judges of character.
@Ruckus: And worrying about them is a fools errand. They know what time it is.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
The Trump hires in the federal government mostly viciously attack women who speak up, so these guys may be spared somewhat.
That’s a pattern no one wants to look at either. There’s levels of danger. The same character defect that makes them worship their ridiculous, phony movie version of “tough guys” makes them attack female dissenters with extra nastiness and vitriol. It’s all of a piece. One nasty package.
@WaterGirl: Probably because people know what he looks like and are avoiding him. And he’s probably living in the equivalent of his mother’s basement, meaning that he’s not too stressed with having to go out there and find a job. So he isn’t going through the rejections as much. I mean, his dad is a judge, so presumably he has some support.
There’s not really any added danger. Their identities are already known because they are from his unit and testified openly at his trial. He knows who they are and where to find them, and he could easily spread that information himself if he wanted “lone wolves” to attach them.
Wow. This is chilling. Quote on a Steve Benen post:
Steve Benen commentary on that:
Holy shit, that is scary.
The cheaper the hoodlum, the gaudier the patter.
@WaterGirl: I think it would take former presidents from both parties. Like maybe Obama and W. Needs to seem nonpartisan.
@Kay: It’s also possible the witnesses themselves refused to hide. They may have wanted their faces and names out there specifically so their words would have more weight. An anonymous source can be suspicious. A bunch of sailors laying their lives and careers on the line to speak out against a possible danger to society has much more gravitas.
And no doubt they all agreed to do so together. That’s how their teams work.
@WaterGirl: It’s mob. Sure, that’s scary but it is what it is. The sooner people understand it the better equipped we are to combat it. Being scared of it as if it’s something new isn’t helping. We’re dealing with global organized crime of which Trump and his cartel is part.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I knew that Gallagher’s peers had testified against him before these videos came out, but I don’t recall whether their names were given in those stories or not. Are the records of courts martial sealed? were their names protected before this?
Villago Delenda Est
@catbirdman: They are still desperately trying to “normalize” this monster.
Burn the Village to the ground, then salt the earth where it stood.
That’s what kills me though. The Trump hires aren’t going to line them up and execute them. We’re talking about sleazy political operatives “attacking” them verbally on cable tv.
I mean seriously- we better hope there’s never an actual insurgency. They were defeated by a bunch of coddled, soft old men who spend their waking hours being ferried around in SUV’s going to “events”. He RAN AWAY, that House member. They all did.
@Yarrow: I would have to hold my nose with W, but I could live with that. Even without W, a lot of people would still listen, I think, though we will never get the 27%.
Okay, but if Trump shot Bernie would Bernie’s supporters still vote for Trump to spite the Democratic party again?
@Yarrow: I almost wish this could be one of the things we didm’t agree on! :-)
I think all anyone can do is keep telling the truth and hope it somehow gets thru all the noise and dust they kick up. It’s just a grind. There isn’t going to be some great man or event who changes the trajectory. It just has to be worn down with constant repetition. Lie, correct the lie, over and over and over and then hope like hell it “works”.
@Kay: I was literally nodding all the way through as I read your comment.
It’s even more disturbing when you realize SEALs lean strongly towards conservative and they’d give this guy any benefit of the doubt they could, especially with Trump supporting him. He must be a real sicko. Gallagher too, not just Trump.
I also think we have to assure the witnesses their testimony matters so they will keep talking despite the fact that they will be smeared and attacked. I’m not 100% sure it’s true that it matters, but I am sure that not trying means guaranteed failure. There isn’t some genius third option that no one though of- we just have the tools we have. Testimony- witnessing- is one.
As depressing as Trump and Gallagher are, let’s not overlook the fact that many SEALS here who did their duty and maintained their honor by testifying.
@WaterGirl: Well, you’ll never get the 27% but that’s a given. It’s the rest of the people we’re after. And it’ll take something that looks nonpartisan, with “good people from both sides” caring about the issue for it to get the appropriate attention and be taken seriously. If it just looks like Democrats doing it it’ll be waved away as some leftist plot to indoctrinate our children or something dumb. I’m more concerned with it being effective.
Guiliani drools. Spit drips onto his suit coat. He’s walking around with his fly open. Literally. This is the incredibly powerful alpha man these cowards are running from?
They’re worse than the Trump people. At least the Trump people are leading the demolition. They’re the fucking grunts in Trump’s war against the country. They enlisted.
@Kay: Laughing because I found myself emphatically nodding my head as I read your second comment, too.
Even correcting the lie gives the lie air. Just tell the truth. Good take from Garry Kasparov (click through for video):
My working hypothesis, pending future proof, is that the witness who changed his story on the stand in Chief Gallagher’s court-martial was tampered with in some way or another. That was just enough to create reasonable doubt, despite what you or I might see as the overwhelming weight of the evidence.
I think we should look for people who do this somewhat successfully. It’s an unprecedented situation and it calls for people who have the capacity to adjust as opposed to people who just retreat to what they know and are comfortable with. They really do have to rise to a challenge. You know, or not, but we should be able to tell the difference. One person in media who I think has had some success with the “keep hitting it” truth strategy is Jake Tapper. It’s exhausting and repetitive and probably not great tv but he does seem to do it. They just have the tools they have and no one is going to invent a new one- liars are not new and either are tyrants. Most will fail but some will succeed. That’s just a curve :)
Gonna be a busy few days tying down loose ends before my retirement becomes official at 5:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday. See y’all on the other side.
Getting healthy is the top priority. After that, who knows. If I can get admitted in Texas without having to take the bar exam, pro bono legal work might be an interesting option.
Gin & Tonic
The Stasi all over again.
It’s normative– Trump wants the military to consist only of butchers and murderers. That, to him, is “toughness”. It’s what he admires.
If Trumpism (which is much bigger than Trump) is allowed to rule this country for much longer, it will get what it wants, an armed force of serial killers and spree killers… and this country and this world will become a charnel house we can barely imagine.
So, do we think that the SEALs will let a dozen cowards get through training and into deployment, as Gallagher says, or do we think that one psychopath can get through SEAL training and into deployment?
Absolutely, though it’s also important to point out the existence of the lie even if you don’t report the contents. If somebody lies all the time, people need to know it so they’ll discount whatever that person says when they’re hearing from them directly.
I had kind of a Trump supporter break through in a nursing home visit during the holidays. The (former) Trump supporter just said plainly “he’s a pathological liar”. I felt like it was good because he’s kind an asshole and this didn’t involve any soul-searching or rending of garments – he’s not apologizing. Completely consistent with his character, btw, the 180 with no reflection of any kind. You’ll get no more than that.
Which I realize is enough for me. I don’t care how they get there. I don’t need “hearts and minds” – I just need them to change their mind. He is a pathological liar. The admission is enough.
True, but, to be honest, he just finds folks that are already rotten.
already phucking rotten to the core.
Congrats and good for you. I mean that. You’ll be extraordinarily useful to people who need what you know.
Shitty leaders attract shitty followers.
It’s as predictable as day that Trump would embrace a psychopathic war criminal.
I’m just counting down to when Gallagher assaults one of his accusers (or more likely, a vulnerable family member) or a rage attack on some random guy on the street, after which Trump will praise him some more and take no responsibility for letting him out of prison.
@burnspbesq: It’s fun over here.
@Kay: Yet there is constant whining about Scarborough here and he rails against shithead every day.
I'll be Frank
@WaterGirl: There are none so blind as those that will not see.
One of my dad’s fav’s, right after “sin in haste, repent in leisure”
He finds rotten people, but he also enables their rottenness.
Exactly what I thought when I read the article. It’s more likely that he’ll harm his wife than anyone else. Guys like him are also women abusers.
@Matt McIrvin: And white supremacists trying to spark a race war. Racial warfare is part of the narrative of white supremacy.
I don’t watch him- I can’t stand how he talks. I can’t stand Tapper either but he has persevered. I give him that. He tries. If Joe S. tries too I commend him.
I don’t blame them for not knowing what to do with shameless liars. No one knows what to do with them. They’re fucking crazy-making.
I had a hearing once where the (very young) prosecutor admitted to the magistrate that her witness had just perjured herself. Magistrate said “ya think?” – I guffawed. The point was everyone in there knew that- that’s why we were in chambers. It’s really hard to deal with and 15 media people aren’t going to invent some new magical method. Just hit it- over and over and over. Uphold the standard. Don’t give in.
Congratulations ! :)
Off topic palate cleanser for dog people
@rikyrah: He didn’t find Barr on his own. He was led to Barr by operatives like Mulvaney and the Federalist Society. President Toadface isn’t anywhere near aware enough of Washington politics to figure that out on his own.
Also: BORK BORK BORK!!!!
@Villago Delenda Est: Start with The NY Times and Fox… then Sinclair et al
@burnspbesq: Nice job there old man. Gonna chase the kid all over the globe?
Seriously though, MAZEL TOV!!!
It’s really hard to find something that works to deal with serial liars, but we know a few things that don’t work. One of them is reporting the lie verbatim with a weak disclaimer that it’s untrue. There’s plenty of evidence that doesn’t work, so the media needs to give up on it and try something different.
@Gin & Tonic: No kidding. It’s quite chilling.
edit: To me, more chilling than the public shaming that Trump does. More chilling even, than the threads people get when they speak out publicly.
@WaterGirl: It’s also cult behaviour. Squash the minor dissident voice before it can even become an issue. It’s insidious. And it’s even more a reason these farkers need to lose November 2020.
@Yutsano: Here’s what I want to know:
I don’t see a single one with any balls on the R side. Not a one. Except the guy who at least went independent and was willing to acknowledge the treachery right that’s in plain sight.
J R in WV
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Ah, yes, General Colin Powell~!!~
From the Columbia Journalism Review:
There’s a ton more about Powell’s “leadership” as the Bush jr administration plunged us into the illegal war still going on in the mid-East. I’m so glad this SOB has decided the wiser move is to shut up about things he has been involved in for decades.
@raven: think it’s moanin joe’s hypocrisy that grates…he and the entire crew were more than happy to provide a free, no strings platform for drumpf prior to the election. They also sought gifts and favors from him in exchange for his free, no embarrasing questions asked access.
@WaterGirl: Any Republican who has spoken out against Dolt45, ANY one of them, has either left Congress or left the party. Not even the ones who are leaving Congress next year have the huevos to dare to speak against Dear Leader. It’s slavish devotion. And there will be a huge vacuum once he is gone.
@J R in WV: *spits*
That’s my opinion of Colin Powell. The lying at the UN over the Iraq War was one other black mark on his record.
J R in WV
I don’t think the masters of the NY Times are poor judges of character at all. They select these pieces of crap to boost with all their power deliberately, I’m not sure why, but it isn’t an accident, nor poor judgement of character.
Once the NY Times has your back, you become nearly invulnerable, as when they defend you, no one will believe the evidence in plain sight that proves what a dirt-bag you are. Look at Justice Drunk Bret Kananaugh… I wouldn’t hire that dirt-bag to get me off a DUI charge, and now he’s a Supreme!
@WaterGirl: What’d you expect from a political party that’s a fascist shitpile?
@burnspbesq: Congratulation on reaching the milestone of retirement! Wishing you many satisfying adventures in this next phase of your life.
J R in WV
Wow, good news! Congratulations on making it to the winner’s circle!
I’ve been retired for quite a while, and can testify that it is great, after a long career of hard work, to kick back and hole up as desired.
And your hope to do pro bono work in the future is to your credit~!!~ Best of luck going forward.
@mrmoshpotato: What did I expect? Even with the bar set as low as it is, they still manage to go even lower. Almost daily, it seems.
pro bono, just like giuliani!
well, he works for a clown, so his is more pro bozo.
smedley the uncertain
@Yarrow: He doesn’t need the videos to ID those who testified against him. They’re named in court docs and also testified in the open. I wonder what pressure was on the SEAL who reversed his testimony on the witness stand.
Agreed. One thing I think Trump takes huge advantage of is the one sentence headline – “trade deal with China reached”, that sort of thing. It’s inexcusable at this point to still be doing that.
@WaterGirl: Well, they bought a bunch of shovels on the taxpayers’ dime.
Fuck ’em. Vote them all out. And then take a flamethrower to
Citizens UnitedBribery Legalized.
Soldiers at war understand the necessity of killing the enemy on the battlefield and do what they have to. Others, like Gallagher, enjoy killing and even when it’s not a necessity and it becomes an opportunity. War gave Gallagher the opportunity to do what he has always wanted — to kill without consequence.
Mike in DC
I have watched documentaries and read literature regarding the Rape of Nanking in 1937. Ostensible human beings exhibited demonic behavior and unleashed hell on earth, for all practical purposes. The gold standard for the conduct of our troops should be as far removed from that as possible.
Retirement: best job I’ve ever had. I do wonder sometimes how I ever had time to hold down a 40-hour a week job.
J R in WV
Today is my birthday, I’m 69 now, which amazes me totally, never believed I would make it so far into deep time!
Thought about going to town, see a movie, go out for dinner… decided, naw, sometimes beans and weiners are better than going to town, not that we’re that low on good food.
For my birthday, I have contributed to nearly a dozen candidates, from Mark Kelly in AZ to Amy McGrath in KY. Money well spent, I hope. Xochi in NM, Gina in TX, Mike running for Senate in MS. Felt really good doing something positive instead of buying something I’ve lived without for years.
Happy Happy, everyone!!! Whoot!
@J R in WV:
Happy birthday! Great birthday gift to yourself.
@J R in WV: Rock on babysan!
@Mike in DC: They killed 200,000 Chinese in reprisal for the Doolittle Raid.
J R in WV
And a gift to everyone else, I hope!! Feels good, made wife smile too!
@sukabi: “Which I realize is enough for me. I don’t care how they get there. I don’t need “hearts and minds” – I just need them to change their mind. “
@J R in WV: Happy birthday! Thanks for the ripple effect (of your present).
https://vimeo.com/26701176 (in tribute to your pups’ happiness with you)
@middlelee: My dad joked, after he’d been retired a while, that he needed to get a part-time job so that he would have some free time.
He worked as a pin-setter at a bowling alley when he was around 8, delivered papers, etc., etc., so he was more than ready to retire at 58.
Congrats burns! Enjoy!
@J R in WV: HBD2U! HBD2U! HBDJR! HBD2U!!
@J R in WV: Hap Day of Birf!!!
@Ella in New Mexico: I agree. She is in real danger. The military has never been good at handling domestic violence issues, and the lifestyle creates such a closed, insular social circle for military spouses that I suspect she doesn’t have many close contacts outside of people who are essentially wives of her husband’s friends or of his subordinates. NOT a good recipe for creating a safe escape network.
Take a look at photos of them walking together. She is almost always a step behind him, with him not so much holding her hand as he is covering and compressing her entire hand inside of his while simultaneously bending her wrist backwards in what looks like an uncomfortable position (and also prevents her from being able to walk right next to him) and appearing to slightly drag her forward while still making her walk a step behind him.
Subtle but clear signs of dominance assertion; he’s “keeping the little woman in her place”.
@J R in WV: Happy Birthday, and may happy returns!! You’re good people.
This must be particularly difficult and galling for people like Cole who’ve actually served and know what the military is supposed to embody. Hell, I was only an officer’s wife, and I understood a soldier’s duty. I have great respect for those in the unit who, like Hugh Thompson at My Lai, had the courage to stand up against these atrocities, especially as they may find this a much more brutal battlefield. I wish we had some way to protect them. I’ve always been glib in saying no good deed goes unpunished, but now I fear too many people are facing true, literal punishment.
@J R in WV: Happy birthday, you young un you. How nice that on your birthday it’s democracy that gets the gifts.
In two NYT articles about Gallagher (above + this one which has a 2 min video clip from the documentary) the word protect stood out. (I don’t subscribe, but can read articles when I disable j-v scr and block cookies. Then I did the opposite to watch the clip. )
OMG, the comments on that Twitter thread!
Stalin himself would be proud of the revisionism-on-wheels……
I agree with looking for people who can adjust but it’s not an unprecedented situation. There are plenty of examples of other countries dealing with this situation. It’s not like we’re special. We can learn from them.
@J R in WV: Happy b-day.
@I’ll be Frank: I always heard the latter as “Marry in haste, repent at leisure.” I know at least two people that applies to. One of them didn’t get a clue until wife #4.
Another fave: “Grandchildren are your reward for not having murdered your children, even when they richly deserved it.” I wouldn’t know (eternal bachelor) but it seems plausible (granduncle for the 2nd time, little guy’s barely 3 weeks old!).
When Trump leaves, the Republican party will look like any cult that loses its leader. There will be brutal infighting between the people closest to him to try to claim control of the cult. We can only hope it will be deeply damaging to the party as well as ugly.
@Roger Moore: As they say… rooting for injuries.
@J R in WV: Happy Birthday!
You have chosen your birthday gifts well.
James E Powell
Guessing all this will cause Trump’s active military & veterans’ support to plummet from 60% to 59%.
I work with a SEAL. He is disgusted. Soldiers self-police. No soldier wants a bad soldier at his back, bad things happen. Throw that on top of the harm to good order. Trump uses the military as a prop, they don’t like it. Much more important things to do.
@Roger Moore: I was with an underwater demolition team in the early 1970s. We were closely affiliated with some of the first SEALs, they were very new, they were taking “the most psychopathic BUDS grads they can find and turning them into SEALs” – as I literally described it to friends at the time.
They were definitely the smartest and toughest of all the people on all the teams, but they also were pretty effing intense about everything in ways that most people weren’t.
I was tempted to reenlist and become a SEAL but that would’ve meant returning to Vietnam for a fourth time, so I nuked that option even though I was promised that if I did reenlist I would be on the splash down crew for Apollo 13.
I don’t think you will believe the other thing they tempted me with: I would’ve been trained to parachute outside an enemy harbor and swim underwater to place a 55 pound tactical nuclear weapon based on the Davey Crockett tactical nuclear artillery shell.
Boy, was I tempted.
@James E Powell: First I laughed, then I cried.
J R in WV
Thanks all for the birthday wishes!
Such a swell group of folks!
@J R in WV: I sang to you, but you didn’t say a word about that. What? You couldn’t hear me? Well, I sang anyway.
Is it up to one yet? I have seen several articles about people receiving credible death threats from his supporters after they have criticized Trump, but I haven’t (yet) seen a report of one critic actually being killed. I’ve also seen a few reports of people being arrested for apparently making preparations to carry out an attack but so far as I know none have been successful. Yet.
I’m going with nazi’s all the way down.
Retiring? At your young, tender age?
Wish I was there but I’m putting in overtime on the retirement end of life. And it doesn’t even pay time and 1/2.
@Kraux Pas: He could cut the hearts out of their children and proceed to eat them on the senate floor and the Republicans would still spew lies in his defense while accusing Democrats of being child murderers.
@J R in WV: Thank you for contributing to Xochi. She’s wonderful!
c u n d gulag
Important view held by someone like you!
Keep up the great work here.
I lurk very often, but rarely comment.
Odie Hugh Manatee
@J R in WV:
Happy birthday! Same here for me but I’m 9 years behind ya, old man. :)
I liked 60 better when it was a speed limit.
@c u n d gulag: NIce to see you here!
@burnspbesq: Congratulations on making it through the working grind!
I’m one month behind you on the retirement. I’m going to stay on the books so I can get paid if there’s work my clients need. Other than that and longer road trips we’ll see how it goes.
@J R in WV: Congratulations on the birthday, and nice present you gave yourself!
Late to thread as usual but congratulations on your retirement! May you find time to nap if necessary!
@J R in WV: Happy Birthday! I like your plan.
@Uncle Cosmo: Congratulations on your fresh baby grandnephew! I believe babies in the family keep us connected to the flow of time (one reason I think The Villages are soulless hell-voids). Plus they are fun to watch grow up.
I must have exceeded the time limit…was editing comment and everything disappeared…oh well, usually don’t have anything to say that hasn’t been said a million times by smarter people.
Gallagher + Zimmerman = buddies
Mrs. Gallagher- complicit or hapless victim? Leaning complicit ala Karla Homolka (not disagreeing that violence has/is/will be inflicted upon her).
Best wishes to all of you as we rocket towards 2020.
I did that last night, so I guess I am in good company!
That was a good reminder to me that if I am editing, editing, editing, I can press Update and then go right back in the the new 5- minute clock.