I had an eventful weekend. Friday night before bed, I loaded up the washing machine and turned it on so that when I woke I could shake the clothes out, put them in the dryer, and be done. As I was falling asleep, though, I noticed the smell of smoke, woke up, and noticed that there was a very serious smell of electrical smoke. Ran to the bathroom, and sure enough I had somehow managed to catch my WASHING MACHINE, a TUB OF WATER, on fire. I unplugged it and opened windows, waited until I was sure it was safe, and went to bed. Found a super cheap machine (I am a firm believe you should never spend a ton of money on washing machines), Gerald and boys took out the old one and put in the new, and done.
Always something. Interestingly enough, despite my attempts to burn down my house, I am but a piker when it comes to arson, as our man-child President has basically set the world on fire. Let’s be clear on one thing- Suleimani was an awful, horrible, evil, no good person, and it is hard to consider a calculus in which the world is not better off without him. Having said that, Trump has managed to do this in the most awful way possible, and we can only begin to estimate the damage that will be caused over the next decade because of this. Someone on twitter likened Trump killing Suleimani to a “drunk driver running over a child molester,” and that’s somewhat apt, but only if the drunk driver continued on and creamed who knows how many other people, because a lot of people are going to end up dead because of this.
Obviously it was an assassination, and obviously it was an act of war, and one can only imagine what would have happened had the Quds assassinated David Petraeus while he was visiting Israel. Cruise missiles would have already been launched. So of FUCKING COURSE Iran is going to respond, and as Adam has written in detail, how is the only question.
Today we are seeing a little bit of the fallout:
1.) The Iraqi Parliament has voted to expel US Troops. This of course needs the prime minister’s approval, so it is not final, but it’s not a good thing.
2.) Iran has said fuck it to the remaining aspects of the Nuclear Deal.
3.) Turkey is begging us to de-escalate, but that shit is out of the bag now. Iran is going to have to respond, and we’ll have to respond to that, and well, we know where it goes. Normally this is where you say “hopefully cooler heads will prevail,” but our President is on meth and everyone around him is an enabler.
4.) Speaking of enablers, these fucking assholes at the Pentagon:
In the chaotic days leading to the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander, top American military officials put the option of killing him — which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq — on the menu they presented to President Trump.
They didn’t think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable.
After initially rejecting the Suleimani option on Dec. 28 and authorizing airstrikes on an Iranian-backed Shiite militia group instead, a few days later Mr. Trump watched, fuming, as television reports showed Iranian-backed attacks on the American Embassy in Baghdad, according to Defense Department and administration officials.
By late Thursday, the president had gone for the extreme option. Top Pentagon officials were stunned.
Don’t give him any extreme options. The saying “POWERPOINT IS GOING TO BE THE DEATH OF US” was not supposed to be literal.
And so it goes.
Dear Cole – thank goodness you, your pets, stuff and house are safe, but your post lacked any mention of a smoke alarm. Smoke alarms save lives.
@laura: I have them, the batteries are good, but I caught it before they went off.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
no picture? you’re slipping, Cole
Sure, Recep. The Kurds say hey. Speaking of which, Marco Rubio was helpfully calling for an independent Kurdistan earlier today.
Begun it has:
Oh, and this:
“Top Pentagon officials were stunned.”
Where have they been for the last few years, when he encouraged attacks on those he disagreed with and put babies in cages? How could they be so unaware of what monsters he and his enablers are? I thought these guys at the Pentagon were supposed to be the smart ones. I hope they are capable of learning from their mistake, but I have lost a lot of faith.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Jesus fucking christ
Bernie’s worshipers clearly need to ramp up the violence of their protests against (checks notes) Chuck Schumer.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
he tried to take a picture and accidentally dropped his phone into the washer full of water. then he slipped a disc cursing and fell.
@John Cole: good job – and I’m not surprised, but wanted to seize the opportunity to put the PSA out into the blognaverse.
West of the Cascades
I’m glad to hear you and your animals are safe (and that somehow the washing machine fire wasn’t compounded by a slip, fall, and dislocation of your shoulder).
dumbass’s excuse that this huge escalation was in response to the killing of a single us contractor is a full-on invitation to every asshole to take potshots at contractors to force even more heavy-handed responses.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
A) He was almost certainly naked at the time, based on prior evidence.
2) It would have been too blurry to tell what it was anyway.
Good post in general, but I think the calculus is that more harm will come of this than is mitigated by killing Suliemani. Just like the world would be a better place had WBush not deposed Saddam. Can’t fix much of anything with a bomb if the aftermath is not mapped out with care. Which is impossible for Republicans.
two word oxymoron: Military intelligence
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Shades of 1981, which is what this whole thing is about. Iranian revolutionaries took control of the U.S Embassy and showed that white American males had a tiny penis. The Republicans have been jonesing for this ever since, but more rational heads have until now prevailed. But we have an impeached orange lunatic with messianic ideas now.
We hassled Iranian students here to study back then on the grounds that they were all going to blow up something, and we are doing it again under the guise of what…..
BTW, saying Suleiman was a “bad guy” is taking their framing and being defensive about our opposition to this war. Killing him like this was a bad idea, regardless of his character or not. Having this war is a bad idea, regardless of his character.
The right is trying to frame this as sympathy for him. It isn’t. He was whatever he was and did whatever he did, although I’m waiting for objective proof before believing a word they say about him. We oppose this war because we are opposed to the needless loss of lives, both American and Iranian due to a dick-wagging war that Trump needs because he’s 74 and sagging everywhere, including his polls.
A lightning strike set my dad’s ice maker on fire.
Fire is a sneaky beast…
Glad you’re Ok!!
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: @Mary G: These reports seem to be from one anonymous source. A lot of questioning on Twitter. Let’s let this one ride for a while.
@Mary G: True question. Not trying to be difficult. How will they know they are Iranian if they are American? Cuz…..THEY ARE AMERICAN. I go to Ireland on my Irish passport all the time and talk to Irish immigration in my American accent.
Is American immigration going to decide this on skin color?
I know it’s improbable, but I like to imagine the next US president, afraid they can only get hung juries when trying Trump and company in the USA deciding to extradite them to face Iranian justice for this.
Obama supposedly had the opportunity to “take him out” on at least one occasion, but decided against it.
It’s very easy to envision a world that is much worse with him gone. We may be living that reality in coming days/weeks/months/years.
I believe passports indicate place of birth.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
“carefully considered” = President T.V. Fuddlehead was watching TeeVee and got mad
Hugh Hewitt was once going to be one of the cornerstones of the post-Obama MSNBC. I’m not sure if that was Andy Lack or Phil Griffin.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Another Scott: bush also decided not to, as I understand on the advice of Stanley McCrystsal (sp?), about whom someone said yesterday the nickname “Mad Dog” was more appropriate than for Silent Jim Mattis.
@Another Scott: Heck, even Dubya apparently decided killing this dude was not a step worth taking…and that was the crew that invaded Iraq after blathering about it for more than 10 years and didn’t have a plan thereafter. Even they knew it was a bad idea.
Couple of observations:
**anyone that’s out of favor with the mad tweeter.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: And yet McCrystal came out and supported the action. Just another reason why Obama axing that dude, outside of him and his crew shooting off their mouths to Rolling Stone, was a good idea.
@Baud: American passports? Maybe; gotta go look at mine. For sure my Irish passport says nothing about my American birth.
But then again Ireland says I was born Irish regardless of where I was born.
I think so. I don’t have access to mine to check.
I’m not at all sure about that. Do we seriously think Trump remembers 1981? But Trump sure as hell remembers that Suleimani had mocked Trump on twitter.
Trump has proven he is the best deal maker in the history of the world. Who else could have united Iraq and Iran like he has? //
No Worry. The Iranians will treat us as liberators.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@sukabi: William McRaven, retired head of special forces, came out and flat called trump a threat to the Republic. Caused barely a ripple. I don’t get it. Anything.
Sadly, I think YES is most likely to be the correct answer to your question.
@Eric U.: @CarolDuhart2:
We went from foreign policy of GWB, which was pretty much how can we make money off of this, to trump’s “My dick is bigger than yours and vlad’s is bigger than mine!” So a further decline in every aspect of our country is related to his completely moronic unrelenting need to attempt to convince everyone that his is bigger.
Maybe others have already pointed it out but this is shockingly, cynically irresponsible, regardless of who is president:
“Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable.”
@Baud: Yes, US passports indicate place of birth in writing.
(Many/most new e-passports have digital information that may include place of birth as well even if it’s not shown in text.)
It is the correct answer to a number of policies/laws that we’ve had for a very long time in this country. And my whole life the republican party has been trying to justify and strengthen them.
He remembers or was reminded. That’s where the number 52 comes into play. He’s threatened to bomb 52 cultural sites in Iran if there is any retribution from Iran; 52 is the number of hostages taken and kept for more than a year back during the hostage crisis.
@Another Scott: On either the Lawfare podcast or on Pod Save the World, both of which I listened to last night, they said that not just Obama but one other president had the opportunity to take him out but did not do it because the negative consequences outweighed possible positive outcomes.
That was way back when Presidents, no matter how awful, did not have toddler mentalities.
Oh, and what the fuck is wrong with the people who gave him this option in the first place!!!?!?!
With children, you don’t say “what do you want to drink?”, you let them choose between two acceptable options. If that is any indication of their judgement, whoever they were, they should not hold the positions they have.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: he won’t be invited on tv to expound on this either, even on the “lefty” shows. They have to control the dissent to keep the status quo.
Yes, I’m a bit cynical.
@Baud: Mine is home. I’m out. I’ll check later. But now that I’m thinking about it. Is it possible that naturalized citizens get a different passport than American born citizens?
@Another Scott: Ahhhhhhhh, he’ll no.
But, to be fair, the people making the PowerPoint slides may have been told, “We need more, stronger, more bigly, options. Don’t bring it back until you include those…”
The DoD and its leadership does what the White House tells them to do.
@Baud: just checked. US passport has a line for “Place of Birth”. My son’s (naturalized citizen) has his foreign birthplace listed.
Think I found your problem there.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@sukabi: he’s been on MSNBC many times, I’d be surprised if he wasn’t on CNN. I don’t watch the old networks much. That essay and other critiques he and Hayden and McCaffrey and other retired senior military get lots of media play. I forget the name of the Obama-hating crank who was fired from Fox for turning on trump, but he was a fixture on MSNBC for a while.
The water is there, the lumpenmittel horses have been led to it, they don’t want to drink. I don’t know why.
Marc Maron had a great if depressing line a couple of weeks ago: People seem to think, well, I thought he was bad, and I still don’t like him, but it’s not like we had to switch cable companies.
Didn’t numbnuts take out a rather large ad in the FTFNYT about the Central Park 5, who as it turns out are innocent….
He’s been a huge racist for a long time, his father was a slum lord and “taught” him the business.
@HeleninEire: Naturalized and native born get exactly the same passport.
Nice dodge with the machine. Glad it was only it that needed replacing.
And a very à propos closing. I for one would like to emerge from my bunker to find birds singing, buildings gleaming, bees buzzing, trees swaying instead smouldering stubs and piles of brick.
Watching Trump sit on his ass and avoid taking any military action other than ‘stop doing something.’ By now it seemed like Trump’s extreme cowardice would always win.
Absolutely. Trump’s opinions constantly harken back to the conventional (white racist) wisdom of the 1980s. When he thinks of Iran, he remembers the Ayatollah referring to us as ‘The Great Satan’. Facts are irrelevant. That’s Iran to him.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Frankensteinbeck: James Mattis agreed to send troops to the border in the run-up to the election, then agreed to tell reporters it was a decision based on national security.
As someone who values continuity, conversation, and things making some sense, I’m reluctant to go OT, nonetheless some book people and I are stumped after two days of musing and mumbling, so the next obvious place is of course here. The request, direct from FBK is:
“……..a book published about 25 years ago and have been unable to find any reference to it via usual searches….The title was “Red Lands”. I’ve forgotten the name of the author and publisher…..It was written by a State Department employee posted in the Soviet Union. The “Red Lands” of the title referenced a State Department map where Americans could not go…..When the Soviet Union collapsed, he took his fly fishing gear and went into those “Red Lands”. He was not only one of the first observers of the new regime, but one of the first Americans many Russians met…..It was done by a small publisher who emphasized an attractive solid package (Think Godine for the cognoscenti). I’m sure they’re now bankrupt….”
So far, we think the title is putative, I’m thinking those well-known subsidy publishers the CIA, but when I see fly fishing I think immediately of dear old Jim Babb (Yale Librarian and one of many of the OSS folk who were also librarians, writers, scholars, and teachers during WW2) so maybe that’s a rathole and maybe not, and it caught my eye cos I worked at Godine one summer long,long ago but nothing like this appears on the backlist and much wandering. Anything ring a bell?
Merlin Update: Captain Zoom is a sweetheart and my goodness if he’d just sit long enough for me to get a pic, I would. Velvet fur, lovely boy, has the most darling chirrup.
Today’s American Masters marathon started with Miss Louisa May Alcott, then my most beloved Mr Itzhak Perlman (his wife does call him Isaac), and now, dog bless him, Mr Fats Domino. I am spoiled rotten, and no weenie can get near me.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Where the troops did nothing, because – thank goodness – Trump is too big a coward to do the things he wants to but has zero moral compass to realize are immoral. In Trump’s mind, it’s all about whether he’ll be praised or yelled at. He finally got over his being embarrassed by the Yemen raid and is trying again for a Bin Ladin moment. He’s not getting the universal praise he expected, and at the moment is flailing in confusion over that.
He remembers 1981 better than he remembers last week. It is the way with dementia.
I wish to suggest the phrase “out-trumped himself”, this is when a person doubles down on what anybody could tell was the worst foolishness imaginable, out of pique, pig-headedness , ignorance and idiocy; the phrase (if we’re lucky) will probably ONLY apply to Trump.
Yeah, well you’re not going to able to convince most of the Trumpers (or the GOP) of that: this is precisely the tack that most of them have been taking (before Soleimani’s body had even been swept up): not only praising their Glorious Leader for this “decisive” action, but sparing few jibes and asides for any critics who might have doubts about the wisdom of this
assassinationkilling as somehow being “sympathy for terrorists” or whatever slur they feel like slinging.
@Jay C: A friend of mine has persisted in this line of argumentation with me even after multiple explanations to the tune of “I’m not defending him, I’m defending moral principles/the rule of law/the lives of innocent US and Iran citizens/ etc.
US passports list Place of birth: <state>, U.S.A. OR <administrative subdivision>, <Nation>
Other nations vary.
@Ruckus: yes. Drumpf has made it painfully clear who and what he is… As are the upper echelons of our military.
The proper response is to tell your friend to go fuck him/herself for calling you a terrorist sympathizer.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Artist’s depiction seen here.
I was working on a c. 1970 dead* dishwasher, and it caught on a tiny fire in the electro-mechanicals in the door, in the inside.
(*But I didn’t know it.)
Trump knows a lot about Iran WMDs because he helped finance the acquisition program
@Butter Emails: Correct.
@Butter Emails: I settled on defending myself and moving conversation to something else before we got caught on it again.
This guy’s deal has always been small government. Hated Bush’s wars, Obama’s kinetic actions or whatever they called it. But this is ok because Trump. “He has an actual strategy.”
@Cheryl Rofer: The all caps “BREAKING” bugged me so I did check if he had a source, & he did.
I think it’s unfortunately real bc it was posted on the CAIR website, which as an advocacy group for all Muslim Americans would be one of the first to receive verified reports of border harassment.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Ugh, typoed my email, someone fish me out?
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@TomatoQueen: Are we sure the author was a State Dept employee? Sounds vaguely like Fen Montaigne.
I am a firm believe you should never spend a ton of money on washing machines
This is why it is possible for your washing machine to catch fire.
It’s a tool. Do you buy cheap screwdrivers?
Buy “heavy duty” etc. in a good brand to get reliability, but eschew the feature-loaded top-of-the-line. Mine tend to last about 20 years.
@Tenar Arha: done!
@TomatoQueen: “Red Lands” turns up a big blank.
How about Reeling in Russia? It seems to check a lot of the boxes (but not all of them).
HTH a little!
Yes, saw that that post on the border detentions was from CAIR: which is probably unfortunate, as a large number of folks (including many in government) regard that organization as little or no better than a front for Al-Qaeda, so their complaints about ill-treatment/illegal treatment of people at the border is likely to have about the same effect as anyone else’s: i.e. Zip.
@joel hanes: I had good luck at least once getting the feature free, bottom of the line clothes washer. Just three choices for the cycle and three position nob for temperature.
in contrast to the electronic version nowadays with potentially infinite varieties.
“…the computer broke and it is 3/4 the price of a new washer to replace it.”
@HeleninEire: My US passport states clearly that I was born in Nigeria, so I assume it’s the same (statement of country of birth) for naturalized Iranian citizens.
@Omnes Omnibus: I think I was referring to when the hostages were released on the day of Reagan’s inauguration. But that fact of their release did not assuage America’s wounded pride that a set of people who were sand-nrs were able to hold hostages with near impunity over a year. The failed rescue attempt and Carter’s attempts to negotiate with Tehran was seen as a sign of America’s impotence, and guys like Trump have been seething ever since.
@joel hanes: So, you recommend the Checker Marathon of washing machines?
That’s a good strategy, which I will remember if we ever move out of our apartment.
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: GMTA.
@CarolDuhart2: I understood the whole thing with the Embassy takeover. I was alive and sentient then. I was just confused by the choice of 1981 – still am to be honest.
@catclub: Mike Pompeo graduated first in his class at West Point. So the guys at the Pentagon kind of dumber than Pompeo.
My washing machines have broken, but they’ve never caught fire. But then again, I believe in buying good stuff. I bought one of those nice big front loaders I could wash a large bedspread in. My clothes are cleaner and the machine uses less water.
@Calouste: Well, it’s possible that Pompeo was from an unusually dumb class. Or that he is forgoing critical application of his brain to further his chances of “succeeding” in the Trump administration.
@catclub: I bought a bottom-of-the-line GE washer for the cabin several years ago, and it was great. A fairly simple machine with a two dials and a button to start it. It was cheaper than other GE models because it had a tub made of plastic or nylon or something, not metal, but the usage at the cabin was light and unlikely to be a problem.
In other news, RollCall:
How many MRAPs and M4 carbines does the Sergeant at Arms have??
It’s stunning that US courts have to listen to “arguments” from Donnie’s clowns in the US government. Here’s hoping that Letter’s arguments prevail.
@Calouste: That is a remarkably dumb analysis.
@Jay C: I know. I wasn’t really mentioning them for proof acceptable to a right wing cheer squad member. Just confirming the QT had a valid source.
You’re right though. They won’t be believed, even if a reporter follows up. Even though AFAICT CAIR seems like a pretty basic mutual aid charitable organization comparable to Hispanic or Jewish orgs. It’s just they’ve been targeted by the screeching hordes to make sure they won’t ever be believed by the 27%.
@Baud: Yes. You are right.
My American passport says born in New York, USA.
@Another Scott: Is Rao one of Trump’s appointments? Because that strikes me as a pretty dumb question
ETA: And yes, she is one of his terrible, unqualified judges.
@Calouste: Why does everyone assume that West Pointers are bright? They frequently aren’t.
@HeleninEire: Also just looked at my Irish passport. It says I was born in the “USA” My bad. I had no idea.
Yeah, failing on search so far as well. Another by the same author
Hooked!: Fly Fishing Through Russia
I think it’s more like a drunk, narcissistic child molester running over a sober child molester.
The drunk narcissist, our beloved president, has an almost unlimited capacity to do harm on local, regional, and global stages. Unlike Soleimani, Trump’s harm is inflicted without any rational thought at all. Soleimani was at war with the US. Trump is at war with the American poor, immigrants of color regardless of their national origin or citizenship status, refugees, women, the disabled and handicapped, our foreign allies, Islam, science, and more. Who isn’t Trump at war with? Putin and a plethora of autocrats of varying degrees of malevolence like Duterte and Erdogan. Kim Jung Un, a man at least as bad as Soleimani. I’ve not seen any evidence that Soleimani was a tantrum prone child.
Is the world better off without Soleimani? Undoubtedly. If possible, it would have been better to have had him tried in Den Haag for his terrorist activities. Would the world be better off without Donald Trump? Undoubtedly. And the best way to get rid of him would be removal from office, indictment, and imprisonment. The International Criminal Court is unlikely to ever try an American president, so the job would have to be done in American courts for more mundane crimes. There are so many to choose from.
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: AHA. 100,000 bonus points to you. This absolutely has to be it.
@Another Scott: Reeling in Russia is the one. 100,000 bonus points.
@John Cole: I feel like this post was a switch-and-bait. I was very excited to read more about the adventures of “Cole: Homeowner” but all I got was a glimpse of death and despair.
Fixed it for you.
The Iraqi parliament passed a non-binding resolution. Assuming the PM signs it, it’s technically a request that foreign military personnel leave voluntarily. The agreement under which US troops operate in Iraq remains intact. The PM resigned a couple of months ago (corruption scandal) and because the parliament has been unable to select a replacement, has stayed on as a caretaker. In most parliamentary systems the government doesn’t introduce major policy changes when the PM is a caretaker.
I assume that this was known in advance. Otherwise, the members that stayed away would have been there screaming and shouting, and the Sunni Arabs and Kurds would have been rioting. As I’ve thought about this during the afternoon, I’m finding it more complicated than it initially appeared. Basically, the largest sectarian group in the country voted by 170-158 (the 158 implied by the members who stayed away) to make a non-binding request. They’re asking us to choose sides in the eventual civil war.
Responding to a tweet by Josh Rogin at WaPo…
(“Who sees no reason to renew his long-cancelled WaPo subscription.”)
FWIW I bought a fancy (and expensive) Miele washing machine about 20 years ago, and it still works well, though it definitely shows some signs of age. Uses about 13 gallons of water to do one wash and four (!) rinses! It’s slow but very thorough. Bought the corresponding dryer at the same time, which is also still working. The set was three grand, but at this point that’s $150/year, so, no regrets. The low water (and thus energy) usage has easily made up for it since electricity (for running the machine) and gas (for heating the water) is so expensive in California: PG&E bills just for the energy would run at least $250/year for the old washtub style machines.
Brought to you by the same people who aren’t able to call Trump a liar.
@TomatoQueen: Dusting off my LC cataloging skills, I went to the Library of Congress website. I only came up with the Fen Montaigne book. However, LC has a nifty Ask a Librarian button on the home page, and I think if you put your description to one of their reference librarians, you might get your answer.
“They didn’t think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable.”
BS – I’ll guarantee you there is at least one hawk at the Pentagon that wanted that option chosen.
@Original Lee: And Sister Rail Gun and Another Scott, I got 502’d good and hard last night when attempting to thank all of you for solving the puzzle. 100,000 bonus points to Original Lee also for the Ask a Librarian hint, and hang my head for being a librarian’s daughter and not knowing of it before. My searchers are book people & were stumped, hence for my pains (easy peasy) I was called a magical unicorn, about which I must strut and puff.
Then there’s this scary Twitter feed about civil servants’ perspective on what’s going on…