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Terez
05-23-2017, 04:56 PM
The RIP America (http://theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=8921) thread is 30 pages long and since vbulletin doesn't wrap or condense page number lists it's getting unwieldy.

To sum up the past couple of weeks: Trump fired James Comey (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/us/politics/james-comey-fired-fbi.html), sent his spokepeople out to claim it was because of Comey's misconduct with Hillary, and then contradicted them on the record twice, admitting that he did it to ease the pressure of the Russia investigation which he claims is a made-up story. Then it was revealed that Comey had sent internal memos (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/16/us/politics/james-comey-trump-flynn-russia-investigation.html) contemporaneously documenting the times when Trump personally asked him to lay off the investigation. Later it also came out that Trump had similarly pressured (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-asked-intelligence-chiefs-to-push-back-against-fbi-collusion-probe-after-comey-revealed-its-existence/2017/05/22/394933bc-3f10-11e7-9869-bac8b446820a_story.html) the directors of national intelligence and the NSA.

In other news, one of the times (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/us/politics/trump-russia-comey.html?smid=tw-share) that Trump admitted that he fired Comey to end the investigation was when he met with the Russian foreign minister in the Oval Office, which we only have photographs of because a Russian journalist was allowed where American journalists were not, and at that same time he revealed code-word classified information (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-revealed-highly-classified-information-to-russian-foreign-minister-and-ambassador/2017/05/15/530c172a-3960-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html) about ISIS that Israel did not give us permission to share with anyone, much less the Russians. Soon after, Trump departed on his first foreign trip as president where he embarrassed himself (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhizeFP8H5U) in front of Netanyahu, saying unprompted in front of a press gaggle that he never once mentioned "Israel" to the Russians, which was incidentally the first time a public official said "Israel" on the record regarding that incident.

Meanwhile special counsel Robert Mueller (http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/17/politics/special-counsel-robert-mueller/) was appointed by the DOJ to investigate the entire Russia affair. The White House is already trying to undermine him (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-mueller-idUSKCN18F2KK).

It has been confirmed that Trump knew (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/politics/michael-flynn-donald-trump-national-security-adviser.html) Flynn was under investigation when he hired him. And he reportedly pressured him to take the job (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/05/18/donald-trump-talked-michael-flynn-into-white-house-job) even though he didn't want it. Now Flynn is pleading (https://www.apnews.com/aa3818ca3c844d46ad32bef19511ac73) the fifth (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3728320-Michael-Flynn-counsel-s-letter-to-Senate.html). Seems like more is coming about about campaign contacts with Russians (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-contacts-idUSKCN18E106) every day. The investigation is looking into a cover-up (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/congress/article151565947.html). Republicans are coming out for impeachment (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/05/amash-trump-impeachment). Rubio thinks people got what they voted for (http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/334457-rubio-people-got-what-they-voted-for). McConnell's friends think he might come around soon (http://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/columnists/cross/2017/05/19/trumps-base-shrinks-what-mcconnell-do-al-cross/327481001/).

This is a really terrible summary, lest anyone think it's thorough. I tried.

Rand al'Fain
05-23-2017, 05:24 PM
You forgot the most important thing; Trump is making Ommpa Loompas look bad to the whole world.

Terez
05-23-2017, 07:34 PM
Trumps phone call with Duterte (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3729123-POTUS-RD-Doc.html#document/p1) makes me want to puke. The guy is murdering people by the thousands and Trump thinks that's worth a congratulatory phone call. Of all the terrible things he's done, this might just be the worst.

Davian93
05-23-2017, 10:24 PM
Trumps phone call with Duterte (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3729123-POTUS-RD-Doc.html#document/p1) makes me want to puke. The guy is murdering people by the thousands and Trump thinks that's worth a congratulatory phone call. Of all the terrible things he's done, this might just be the worst.

Trump literally LOVES 3rd world dictator/strongmen. That alone should be the scariest thing to any American who actually loves our democratic tradition. This guy literally wishes he was a dictator who murders his own people. How the fuck can anyone support him.

Oh, and good summary of the last few weeks, T.

Davian93
05-23-2017, 10:25 PM
Can one of the mods lock down the RIP America thread? Do we have any non-Wot Mods anymore?

Terez
05-23-2017, 11:21 PM
Can one of the mods lock down the RIP America thread? Do we have any non-Wot Mods anymore?
Aside from bossman, I have no idea.

Davian93
05-24-2017, 09:10 AM
Today's latest news...Trump may be bringing back Corey Lewandowski to handle his crisis management as part of his response to the Russia probe.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/05/22/corey-lewandowski-to-trump-white-house-im-coming-in

Ozymandias
05-24-2017, 02:59 PM
Trump literally LOVES 3rd world dictator/strongmen. That alone should be the scariest thing to any American who actually loves our democratic tradition. This guy literally wishes he was a dictator who murders his own people. How the fuck can anyone support him.

Oh, and good summary of the last few weeks, T.

Except, that would also apply to most American Presidents. As I've argued here before, for all of George W Bush's many faults, he was no friend to dictatorship, and was one of the first President's of whom that can be said.

Kimon
05-24-2017, 04:02 PM
Except, that would also apply to most American Presidents. As I've argued here before, for all of George W Bush's many faults, he was no friend to dictatorship, and was one of the first President's of whom that can be said.

Did you, or a lot of your friends and family personally serve in the 2nd Iraq War? I continue to be confused by your unwillingness to admit just how massive a mistake not just the restructuring of Iraq was, but that the decision to remove Saddam in the first place was a massively disastrous miscalculation that coupled with the subsequent disenfranchising of the Sunni in Iraq (especially the decision not to fold most of the Baathists into the new govt, just as we did after WWII with most of the Nazis), led to the destabilizing of both the country and the region, and hence directly led to the rise of ISIS. Furthermore, while he had an obsessive hatred for Saddam, he still was friends with most of the other despots in the Middle East - Sharon (yes, I'm including that pos, just like Israel's current pos, with all these other thugs), the Saudis, Mubarak, not to mention all the other local royalists (qatar, kuwait, jordan - jordan's king abdullah ii actually seems like a pretty good ruler). The Younger Bush's stance towards dictators was pretty typical in terms of expectations for an American president. Trump's is not.

More on topic, the CBO on the House Trumpcare Bill has been released:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/us/politics/cbo-congressional-budget-office-health-care.html

WASHINGTON — A bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act that narrowly passed the House this month would increase the projected number of people without health insurance by 14 million next year and by 23 million in 2026, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. That 10-year figure is slightly less than originally estimated.

It would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over a decade, less than the $150 billion in savings projected in late March for an earlier version of the bill. And in states that seek waivers from rules mandating essential health coverage, the new law could make insurance economically out of reach for some sick consumers.

“Premiums would vary significantly according to health status and the types of benefits provided, and less healthy people would face extremely high premiums,” the budget office concluded

Kimon
05-24-2017, 04:46 PM
The Washington Post has yet another example both of Russian intervention, and of Comey's stupidity (or complicity)...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/how-a-dubious-russian-document-influenced-the-fbis-handling-of-the-clinton-probe/2017/05/24/f375c07c-3a95-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html?utm_term=.f1abfd922582

In the midst of the 2016 presidential primary season, the FBI received a purported Russian intelligence document describing a tacit understanding between the campaign of Hillary Clinton and the Justice Department over the inquiry into whether she intentionally revealed classified information through her use of a private email server.

The Russian document mentioned a supposed email describing how then-Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch had privately assured someone in the Clinton campaign that the email investigation would not push too deeply into the matter — a conversation that if made public would cast doubt on the inquiry’s integrity.

Current and former officials have said that document played a significant role in the July decision by then-FBI Director James B. Comey to announce on his own, without Justice Department involvement, that the investigation was over. That public announcement — in which he criticized Clinton and made extensive comments about the evidence — set in motion a chain of other FBI moves that Democrats now say helped Trump win the presidential election.

But according to the FBI’s own assessment, the document was bad intelligence — and according to people familiar with its contents, possibly even a fake sent to confuse the bureau.

The document, obtained by the FBI, was a piece of purported analysis by Russian intelligence, the people said. It referred to an email supposedly written by the then-chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), and sent to Leonard Benardo, an official with the Open Society Foundations, an organization founded by billionaire George Soros and dedicated to promoting democracy.

The Russian document did not contain a copy of the email, but it described some of the contents of the purported message.

From the moment the bureau received the document from a source in early March 2016, its veracity was the subject of an internal debate at the FBI. Several people familiar with the matter said the bureau’s doubts about the document hardened in August when officials became more certain that there was nothing to substantiate the claims in the Russian document. FBI officials knew the bureau never had the underlying email with the explosive allegation, if it ever existed.

Yet senior officials at the bureau continued to rely on the document before and after the election as part of their justification for how they handled the case.

Wasserman Schultz and Benardo said in separate interviews with The Washington Post that they do not know each other and have never communicated. Renteria, in an interview, and people familiar with Lynch’s account said the two also do not know each other and have never communicated. Lynch declined to comment for this article.

Moreover, Wasserman Schultz, Benardo and Renteria said they have never been interviewed by the FBI about the matter.

So, Comey knew that the Russians were meddling in the election, were using Wikileaks to hack the DNC, but somehow couldn't figure out that this was obviously just disinformation?

Ozymandias
05-24-2017, 04:51 PM
Did you, or a lot of your friends and family personally serve in the 2nd Iraq War

I fail to see the relevance of the question?

I continue to be confused by your unwillingness to admit just how massive a mistake not just the restructuring of Iraq was, but that the decision to remove Saddam in the first place was a massively disastrous miscalculation that coupled with the subsequent disenfranchising of the Sunni in Iraq (especially the decision not to fold most of the Baathists into the new govt, just as we did after WWII with most of the Nazis)

Well the restructuring as horribly bungled, which I've always agreed with. The decision to remove Saddam could not have been better; it's one of the few times American foreign policy has combined to be both moral and geopolitically correct. However poorly the aftermath was handled, that remains true.

And in practice, there was a massive difference between the Nazi Party and Ba'athist Party. Nazism was so prevalent in wartime Germany that to ban any Nazi-affiliated people from government would effectively leave the country without anyone to govern it. Ba'athism was far less enthusiastically embraced and there were significant minority populations in place that had been oppressed by the Ba'ath Party and could conceivably reconstitute a government. I don't know what the right answer to the question is; it goes part and parcel with the shortsightedness of the campaign to remove Saddam. We needed to be ready to stay there for the long term to set up a functioning government, and Bush wasn't. It's worth pointing out that Sunni's weren't totally disenfranchised and retain numerous rights, both effectively and constitutionally.

led to the destabilizing of both the country and the region, and hence directly led to the rise of ISIS.

It played a part. But you cannot exculpate other regional players like Iran for not exploiting the mismanagement of reconstruction for their own ends. If Iraq had not had to deal with an Iranian funded insurgency, we might have a very different geopolitical picture in the Middle East as the new government found time to gain it's footing.

Again, the postwar period was horribly bungled and not planned for properly. But removing Saddam should have been done decades previously. Every possible crime, both in letter and spirit, that a government can violate, he did. He was an active threat to his neighbors, and the world at large. His genocidal campaigns against his own people are well-documented. He deserved much worse than he got.


Furthermore, while he had an obsessive hatred for Saddam, he still was friends with most of the other despots in the Middle East....


Well, I'd argue the Saudi's are an interesting case to discuss a dictatorship, which to me strongly implies a narrow power base exploiting key political offices, a culture of fear, and the military to assert itself over the majority of the population. Which... isn't necessarily the case in Saudi Arabia? I don't read much about the native population being restless.

But in any case, he was no better and no worse than most other American presidents. It's not like Mr. Obama did much in that arena, either.

The Younger Bush's stance towards dictators was pretty typical in terms of expectations for an American president. Trump's is not.

I agree about Trump. But I think his actions in regard to the Taliban and Saddam show just how atypical his attitude was. Those are both governments that previous administrations had propped up or left alone despite horrible human rights abuses because it was politically expedient. We can thank one of the great war criminals of the century in Henry Kissinger for that.

Kimon
05-24-2017, 05:02 PM
I fail to see the relevance of the question?


As all the rest of your response makes clear, there is no logical reason for your stance. Removing Saddam was incredibly and obviously foolish. Yet you continue to try to justify that decision. If you felt a personal attachment to that failed mission it would help explain your stance. Otherwise...

And in practice, there was a massive difference between the Nazi Party and Ba'athist Party. Nazism was so prevalent in wartime Germany that to ban any Nazi-affiliated people from government would effectively leave the country without anyone to govern it.

The Baathists were both the govt and the army. Ridding the new govt of them thus not only removed all able administrators and officers, but also meant ridding the govt of all experienced and trusted Sunni voices, as the Baathists were with very few exceptions, like Saddam's Christian foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, Sunni. Refusing to include the Baathists thus not only alienated the Sunni, but it meant handing power exclusively to the Shia, which meant essentially handing power of to Iran - since they were the only Shia power, and neighbors. Iran didn't fund the insurgency, they directed and manipulated the govt that we installed, and funded the militias that fought against the insurgents, fighting and involvement that only further undermined any chance at the Sunni trusting the new govt.

We, unfortunately, have had this same conversation seemingly dozens of times.

Davian93
05-24-2017, 06:40 PM
it's one of the few times American foreign policy has combined to be both moral and geopolitically correct. However poorly the aftermath was handled, that remains true.


It was an idiotic decision that destabilized an entire region and destroyed all the progress we had made in Afghanistan since we diverted all our resources to it...and it directly led to the issues we're having with ISIS now along with all the other issues we're having in that part of the world.

Kimon
05-24-2017, 07:21 PM
Dems may have just wrapped up one new seat in the House.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/reporter-says-he-was-body-slammed-by-montana-republican-candidate-greg-gianforte/article/2624100

A reporter said he was body slammed by Republican candidate Greg Gianforte at an event for Montana's special House election.

Ozymandias
05-24-2017, 07:52 PM
As all the rest of your response makes clear, there is no logical reason for your stance. Removing Saddam was incredibly and obviously foolish. Yet you continue to try to justify that decision. If you felt a personal attachment to that failed mission it would help explain your stance. Otherwise...

Or I have looked critically at the fact pattern that was Saddam's time in power and come to the conclusion he was a massive threat, locally and internationally, and that even ignoring that, his numerous human rights violations, and daily unprovoked attacks on NATO forces, constitute good and valid reason to dethrone him. I've made my logic perfectly clear, and no one has ever really bothered to refute the reasons, only the conclusion. He was actively planning another war with Iran, according to post-invasion debriefing of Iraqi military officials. His attempted genocide of his Kurdish citizens is beyond refutation. There is strong grounds (I'd say overwhelming, given the nature of the Iraqi police state) to believe he was harboring international terrorists. He certainly was busy bribing and otherwise suborning various international officials through the Oil for Food Program. The only thing that kept him from starting a THIRD war or a second attempt at wiping out the Kurds in his borders was daily NATO policing action, so it isn't like he wasn't needing to be restrained by force anyway. And the bounty he put on NATO pilots just adds insult to injury.

Yes, the aftermath of the invasion was poorly planned and even more poorly executed. But you cannot take the post-war debacle and use it as an excuse to justify leaving Saddam in power. Had the Bush Administration half a brain, they would have executed a plan for stabilizing the country post-regime change. Whether the mass deposing of Ba'ath Party officials was correct... I mean, I don't think it was, but given that many of them became prominent ISIL members helping to destabilize the new government, I think there is a fair argument that leaving Ba'athists in power would have resulted in an actual "deep state" of Saddam sympathizers wielding real institutional power.


The Baathists were both the govt and the army. Ridding the new govt of them thus not only removed all able administrators and officers, but also meant ridding the govt of all experienced and trusted Sunni voices, as the Baathists were with very few exceptions, like Saddam's Christian foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, Sunni. Refusing to include the Baathists thus not only alienated the Sunni, but it meant handing power exclusively to the Shia, which meant essentially handing power of to Iran - since they were the only Shia power, and neighbors. Iran didn't fund the insurgency, they directed and manipulated the govt that we installed, and funded the militias that fought against the insurgents, fighting and involvement that only further undermined any chance at the Sunni trusting the new govt.

I'm not sure this is true. Sunni's would have felt disenfranchised regardless, because anything even remotely resembling an equitable solution would have left them mostly powerless in a state where they had held ultimate political power for centuries. They didn't want too much of a decentralized state because they have no oil. They didn't want too centralized of a state because they're a minority, and the minority that had been oppressing the majority not a few years previously, to boot.

If your theory is that disaffected Sunni became violent insurgents after being dismissed from government service, then I don't see how one can concomitantly deny that leaving them in some form of power wouldn't have led to an attempted coup, in some form or other, by those very same Sunnis who had had their hands on the levers of power for decades.

An important difference between the Nazis and Baathists is, as I said, that the Nazi government, for all its many atrocities, had broad public buy-in from its population almost from its inception. Yes, there were obviously dissidents, and the folks who ended up in the camps might also have disagreed, but for all of the thirties they were viewed as a legitimate representative government, and no one bothered when they gradually eroded democratic institutions. Saddam was never that sort of dictator - his power was of the minority over the majority, not visa versa.


We, unfortunately, have had this same conversation seemingly dozens of times.

I know, and we won't convince each other. I just am of the opinion that your argument against removing Saddam seems totally predicated on the fact that his removal ended in disaster. I believe that there is/was a way to effect regime change that, coupled with intelligent people planning intelligently, can end with a stable, functioning state/government. No one has ever convincingly, or even non-convincingly, refuted any of the multitude of reasons to depose Saddam. All anyone really does is point to how fucked up the region is now. To which I say; this was coming, inevitably, anyway. The reason the Syrian Civil War is so brutal is not because people thought "oh yeah, the Americans invaded Iraq, lets have ourselves a nice old vicious revolution," but because decades of colonial misrule followed by further decades of Soviet or American-supported strongmen have viciously brutalized (I'm liking those two words today, it seems) their populations and now there are decades of not centuries of mistrust and hate boiling to the surface. Unless your answer is "keep supporting dictators so their people aren't free enough to violently overthrow their oppressors" (also known as the Henry Kissinger Way), then this was going to happen.

Terez
05-24-2017, 08:22 PM
Dems may have just wrapped up one new seat in the House.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/reporter-says-he-was-body-slammed-by-montana-republican-candidate-greg-gianforte/article/2624100
Watch him win anyway.

(Seriously though, couldn't the guy wait a couple more days to lose his shit like that? What an idiot.)

Davian93
05-24-2017, 08:45 PM
Watch him win anyway.

(Seriously though, couldn't the guy wait a couple more days to lose his shit like that? What an idiot.)

He body slammed a member of the liberal media...if anything, that probably improves his chances in Montana.

Kimon
05-24-2017, 09:29 PM
I know, and we won't convince each other. I just am of the opinion that your argument against removing Saddam seems totally predicated on the fact that his removal ended in disaster.

No. Removing Saddam was just as necessary for us as was removing Carthage and the 3rd Punic War for the Romans. Both were wars fought against crippled enemies that had already been rendered toothless. Both were built purely upon pretext - Carthago delenda est for them, yellowcake for us.

It was an entirely misguided and unnecessary endeavor. This wasn't just a mistake because of the mess that it created, nor because Saddam had been useful to us in that he was secular, and to remove him wouldn't just create a void that either we would have to fill longterm or else face the likelihood of something even worse filling that void - in this case 2 things worse than him - both the Shia Iraqi Govt, and Sunni ISIS. No, his was so misguided because he was no threat to us. No threat to his neighbors.

The mere fact that he was a thug wasn't reason enough to intervene. This is why we were also wrong to remove Qaddafi. Why we would be wrong to remove Assad. Or Erdogan. Or Putin. Or Duterte. Or Maduro. Or Netanyahu. Or Kim Jong-un. We should not be the world's cop. There is only one tyrant whose removal should be our concern - Trump. But even that should follow legal and constitutional paths, not violent. If we can impeach him good, if not, we're stuck with him till '20.

Terez
05-24-2017, 09:41 PM
He body slammed a member of the liberal media...if anything, that probably improves his chances in Montana.
The Fox reporters on the scene just confirmed the reporter's account, which is in contradiction to Gianforte's account:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/24/greg-gianforte-fox-news-team-witnesses-gop-house-candidate-body-slam-reporter.html

Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of "I'm sick and tired of this!"

To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff's deputies.

Davian93
05-24-2017, 09:53 PM
More Libtards spewing Fake News as usual.

Gianforte is a man's man and he doesn't take crap from the liberal media who are out to destroy him and all god-fearing patriots!

God Bless America!!!

Terez
05-25-2017, 12:12 AM
On Gianforte, a few more interesting points:

1. Voters are getting robo-calls from Trump endorsing Gianforte today, but robocalls are illegal in Montana. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/05/24/voters-are-getting-a-phone-message-from-president-trump-in-montana-where-robo-calls-are-illegal/)

2. The Missoulian has rescinded its endorsement (http://missoulian.com/opinion/editorial/missoulian-rescinds-gianforte-endorsement/article_ab947a9d-9220-5dc5-9193-f1ae9ef03c60.html) of Gianforte.

3. The Billings Gazette has also rescinded its endorsement. (http://billingsgazette.com/opinion/editorial/gazette-opinion-we-re-pulling-our-endorsement-of-gianforte/article_34d90b42-545b-5e10-9355-605b7c5cb11f.html?=dtgrsdz&utm_content=bufferb95a6)

4. The Helena Independent Record joins the chorus (http://helenair.com/news/local/independent-record-withdraws-endorsement-of-gianforte/article_0d7d40b6-8d5d-587c-86f7-290a611b53db.html). (added on edit) That's all 3 major Montana newspapers.

GonzoTheGreat
05-25-2017, 04:00 AM
The decision to remove Saddam could not have been better; it's one of the few times American foreign policy has combined to be both moral and geopolitically correct. However poorly the aftermath was handled, that remains true.
The decision could definitely have been a lot better. It was decided to replace Saddam with the anarchy of the free market, and that is what led to the current mess. If it had been decided to use the already existing plans to replace him using a model based on the post-WWII experience, then the outcome might have been much better. But that was not done; those plans were very deliberately dumped.

Given the choice between anarchy with religious fanatics fighting each other all over the world (including in Boston, which was made into a war zone by the decision to invade), leaving Saddam in plac, or replacing him with an actually worthy government, the choice that was made was indeed the worst, not the best, of the three.

Your defence of ISIS, your support for Boko Haram, your applauding of the Manchester bombing does not convince me that you are right.

Davian93
05-25-2017, 08:34 AM
On Gianforte, a few more interesting points:

1. Voters are getting robo-calls from Trump endorsing Gianforte today, but robocalls are illegal in Montana. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/05/24/voters-are-getting-a-phone-message-from-president-trump-in-montana-where-robo-calls-are-illegal/)

2. The Missoulian has rescinded its endorsement (http://missoulian.com/opinion/editorial/missoulian-rescinds-gianforte-endorsement/article_ab947a9d-9220-5dc5-9193-f1ae9ef03c60.html) of Gianforte.

3. The Billings Gazette has also rescinded its endorsement. (http://billingsgazette.com/opinion/editorial/gazette-opinion-we-re-pulling-our-endorsement-of-gianforte/article_34d90b42-545b-5e10-9355-605b7c5cb11f.html?=dtgrsdz&utm_content=bufferb95a6)

4. The Helena Independent Record joins the chorus (http://helenair.com/news/local/independent-record-withdraws-endorsement-of-gianforte/article_0d7d40b6-8d5d-587c-86f7-290a611b53db.html). (added on edit) That's all 3 major Montana newspapers.

Nothing will come of the robocalls thing...typical last minute dirty trick that will have zero lasting impact regardless of the legality. Do we really think the Montana AG (Republican Tim Fox) is going to press for any sort of legal action there?

Nobody gives a crap about newspaper endorsements anymore. Hillary had approximately 7000 endorsements to Trump's 7 and he crushed her.

Beating up a reporter is not going to be seen as a negative by the average Montana republican or "Staunch independent who just always happens to vote republican"...and that is who will make up the majority of the voters in a special election.

Barring Presidential Election levels of voting here, Gianforte will cruise to victory. I have literally zero faith in anything negative changing any Republican voters mind at this point. They willingly elected a rapist as President...you think beating up a liberal reporter (reporters being about as popular as lawyers and child molesters with the GOP base) will matter?

Terez
05-25-2017, 09:07 AM
I mean, clearly it doesn't matter to the base, but the winds are shifting and that means it's possible there will be a turnout surge of otherwise-apathetic voters today. We'll see.

fionwe1987
05-25-2017, 10:04 AM
I mean, clearly it doesn't matter to the base, but the winds are shifting and that means it's possible there will be a turnout surge of otherwise-apathetic voters today. We'll see.

Agreed. The hope here isn't that staunch Republicans will vote for Dems. Its that those who usually don't vote in these elections come out. And maybe that enough of the Republican voters stay at home in disgust. We'll see.

Terez
05-25-2017, 10:23 AM
Also Montana has a Democratic Senator so it's not completely far-fetched that they might elect another Democrat in a statewide election, even if it's a special election. The people who voted early are, for the most part, the people who always vote, and always vote for one party or the other. The remaining estimated third of votes will come from people who aren't as set in their ways. Someone on Twitter (forget who) phrased it as "persuadable voters" but I'm of the mind that it's not so much that as it is semi-apathetic voters who might or might not turn out. That's the leftover batch. True independents are extremely rare; election shifts are always about turnout.

Davian93
05-25-2017, 10:54 AM
Agreed. The hope here isn't that staunch Republicans will vote for Dems. Its that those who usually don't vote in these elections come out. And maybe that enough of the Republican voters stay at home in disgust. We'll see.

Or...more Republicans will come out to vote today to "stick it to the Libs and the Liberal media".

Kimon
05-25-2017, 11:34 AM
Agreed. The hope here isn't that staunch Republicans will vote for Dems. Its that those who usually don't vote in these elections come out. And maybe that enough of the Republican voters stay at home in disgust. We'll see.

There is also the question of the effect early/mail voting.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/25/us/politics/gianforte-quist-montana-special-election.html?_r=0

Voting by mail is common in the state, and officials in both parties believe that more than half of the total ballots that will be cast in the election had been submitted before Thursday.


Hopefully politicians on both sides don't over-react and try to use this as a rationalization to attack early and mail voting. It will have an effect here because of the immediate proximity of this event to the election. It certainly sounded like the expectation was for it to be close anyway, and early voting often seems to favor the dems anyway, but if Gianforte does still manage to squeak this one out, he may well have to take a leave of absence for from the House for a few weeks to serve his misdemeanor sentence.

Davian93
05-25-2017, 12:01 PM
Lieberman has officially withdrawn from consideration for the FBI Director position. And they're back to the drawing board for a replacement.

fionwe1987
05-25-2017, 02:33 PM
Hopefully politicians on both sides don't over-react and try to use this as a rationalization to attack early and mail voting. It will have an effect here because of the immediate proximity of this event to the election. It certainly sounded like the expectation was for it to be close anyway, and early voting often seems to favor the dems anyway, but if Gianforte does still manage to squeak this one out, he may well have to take a leave of absence for from the House for a few weeks to serve his misdemeanor sentence.

Montana has one wrinkle related to early voting that I hope this incident will help resolve: you can't change your vote after mailing in or early voting. That's pretty bonkers, and should be corrected, since it isn't hypothetical that the 11th hour can present you with compelling reasons to change your vote.

Davian93
05-25-2017, 02:35 PM
Montana has one wrinkle related to early voting that I hope this incident will help resolve: you can't change your vote after mailing in or early voting. That's pretty bonkers, and should be corrected, since it isn't hypothetical that the 11th hour can present you with compelling reasons to change your vote.

Um...I'm pretty sure that's true of basically every state that does early voting. I know it is in VT and CO (both allow early voting...VT by mail or in person at the Town Clerk and CO is strictly by mail).

It's not that unusual really.

Ozymandias
05-25-2017, 04:09 PM
No. Removing Saddam was just as necessary for us as was removing Carthage and the 3rd Punic War for the Romans. Both were wars fought against crippled enemies that had already been rendered toothless. Both were built purely upon pretext - Carthago delenda est for them, yellowcake for us.

That is a false analogy. Firstly, Rome wasn't actively involved in a military effort to police Carthage. Second, Rome made several outrageous demands of the Carthaginians in the run-up to the Third Punic War, almost all of which were complied with (e.g. Carthage actively wanted peace, not war). Third, Carthage was never in a position to kill hundreds of thousands of Romans in an instant. I'm not asserting that Saddam had nuclear weapons, but he had the capability for biological and chemical weapons and known propensity for using them. The level of modern day technology makes any sort of comparison to ancient warfare almost moot.

Put it this way. If the US had backed away from Iraq and taken your approach and said "none of our business, you guys (Iran, Saudi's, Turkey, etc) deal with him" what would have happened? Saddam would have started another war with Iran within a few years, with the tacit backing of the other Shia powers in the region. So again, you can't honestly say Saddam was no threat, when the only thing stopping him from invading Iran was an American military presence.

No, his was so misguided because he was no threat to us. No threat to his neighbors.

You mean, not a threat to his neighbors because we were already using overwhelming force to police his borders and stop him from attacking anyone else? It's kind of intellectually dishonest to act like Saddam wasn't a threat. He was a threat. We were already spending a great deal of money to enforce the NFZ's and to cripple his offensive infrastructure. You can't say he wasn't a threat when he was simultaneously being contained militarily by American air power.

The mere fact that he was a thug wasn't reason enough to intervene.

And again we come to it. I suppose your isolationist stance is admirable, in its way, but I'm happy to take part of the neocon label which asserts that we (America) can and should use its power to relieve suffering in the world. Your argument would have had us drive Hitler back into Germany but leave him in power, to do as he would to his population. I don't think that is an ethical answer to a problem. I understand that you don't want to spend American blood and treasure to relieve the injustices being done to other people's the world over, and that is your right. I just look on the scope of modern human history and think that if only Americans had been more willing to act, untold suffering by tens if not hundreds of millions of people might have been averted.

The decision could definitely have been a lot better.

I agree? But again, whether reconstruction could have gone better is not the same question as whether the decision to remove Saddam was prima facie wrong.

Your defence of ISIS, your support for Boko Haram, your applauding of the Manchester bombing does not convince me that you are right.

Um.... you caught me?

Kimon
05-25-2017, 05:22 PM
That is a false analogy.

Let's look at your mistaken assumptions one at a time.

Firstly, Rome wasn't actively involved in a military effort to police Carthage.

After their victory in the 1st Punic War, as part of the armistice treaty Rome required that Carthage, Carthage had to abandon all their island territories (the most notable being Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica), refrain from attacking Syracuse, pay a huge war indemnity. This all was aimed at one clear intent - crippling the naval capabilities and the ability of the city itself to restore its power. Unfortunately, the Barcids instead decided to expand into Hispania, and Rome, between the first and the second war thus initiated yet another treaty to deal with Carthaginian expansion, limiting them to south of the Ebro in Spain. The events at Saguntum, with Hannibal's besieging of a city just north of the Ebro, recognized in Rome's sphere thus touched off the inevitability of war being renewed. They eventually, after some devastating defeats, finally brought Hannibal to his knees, imposed an even more crippling indemnity, made Carthage abandon Spain and everything essentially but the cty itself, limited their navy to but 10 ships, and ordered that their foreign policy, especially concerning waging of war with anyone, had to first receive permission from the Roman senate.

Now Saddam obviously never had anyone even remotely as capable as Hannibal at his disposal, though his name was clearly a somewhat similar bugaboo for certain elements on the right, as is made abundantly clear not only with Bush's odd fixation with the man (like Cato's for the memory of Hannibal), but yours as well. Moreover, if you combine these two wars and compare them to the 1st Iraq War, you have a very similar situation. Carthaginian expansion into Sicily (for the 1st) and into northern Hispania (for the 2nd), similar to Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. Our victory over Saddam was obviously with far greater ease than either of Rome's struggles, since Carthage was obviously a real foe, our taking on Saddam was always like Bama taking on a JV Middle School football team in contrast. Nonetheless, we defeated Saddam in the 1st War, pushed him out of Kuwait, set up no-fly zones in both the south and north (for the Kurds' protection - similar to Rome's removal of their navy, and removal of their territories outside the city itself), imposed economic sanctions and an embargo (like Rome's war indemnities imposed on Carthage), ordered the oversight and abandonment of the chemical and nuclear weapons programs (again like Rome's requirements on the limiting of Carthage's naval strength).

Both Carthage for the Romans, and Baathist Iraq for us thus were by the time of that 3rd Punic War/2nd Gulf War broken enemies, but enemies whose names still carried a mnemonic power that could be exploited to create the pretext for a new, but unnecessary war.

Second, Rome made several outrageous demands of the Carthaginians in the run-up to the Third Punic War, almost all of which were complied with (e.g. Carthage actively wanted peace, not war)

Rome's demands weren't particularly outrageous, they were however quite similar to our demands to Saddam to let inspectors back in - which he did. We wanted that war, not Saddam. He hadn't done anything to justify our declaration.

Third, Carthage was never in a position to kill hundreds of thousands of Romans in an instant.

Not by the 3rd War, but they had actually killed literally hundreds of thousands of Romans, something which Saddam never was capable. Regardless, the key element here is that Saddam had no such capability. He was not a threat.

The level of modern day technology makes any sort of comparison to ancient warfare almost moot.

No it does not. There are clear parallels in terms of politics, motivations, and tactics and strategies to be seen here. There was already very little point in having this conversation yet again (since we've written nearly these same replies back and forth in various older threads), but if you're not able or willing to see even this, then clearly it is time for me to just shake my head and walk away.

Kimon
05-25-2017, 09:50 PM
Still way too early and close to get a feel for who will win this special election (which is really disgusting), but this does call attention to one continuing ridiculous issue:

Montana - 2 senators, 1 congressman.
Montana - total population 1,042,520

Cook County, Illinois - total population 5,194,675.

If your state isn't even big enough to warrant 2 congressmen, you shouldn't be able to have 2 senators.

Oh, and just as an added reminder...

DC - total population 681,170 (more than both Vermont and Wyoming)

Puerto Rico - total population 3,411,307

Davian93
05-25-2017, 10:06 PM
Gianforte will win by at least 3-4 points minimum...probably more once all the mailed in votes are counted.

Kimon
05-25-2017, 10:07 PM
Gianforte will win by at least 3-4 points minimum...probably more once all the mailed in votes are counted.

Definitely sounds like the assault had no real effect, other than to increase the attention on the race.

Davian93
05-25-2017, 10:23 PM
He's opened up a 5% lead and he'll continue to pull away. Probably wins by 9-10% and literally the beating helped him rather than hurt him.

Once the Dems realize that the Right doesn't get outraged at basically anything, they might start to figure out how to win again. That'll never happen though.

GonzoTheGreat
05-26-2017, 03:20 AM
Montana has one wrinkle related to early voting that I hope this incident will help resolve: you can't change your vote after mailing in or early voting. That's pretty bonkers, and should be corrected, since it isn't hypothetical that the 11th hour can present you with compelling reasons to change your vote.Well, lots of people in the UK seemingly wanted to correct their vote after the Brexit too, but they couldn't.

If you don't want to be surprised after you've done early voting but before actual voting day, then there is a very simple, legal, and time honoured method: vote on voting day.

Put it this way. If the US had backed away from Iraq and taken your approach and said "none of our business, you guys (Iran, Saudi's, Turkey, etc) deal with him" what would have happened? Saddam would have started another war with Iran within a few years, with the tacit backing of the other Shia powers in the region. So again, you can't honestly say Saddam was no threat, when the only thing stopping him from invading Iran was an American military presence.
If, on the other hand, the USA had continued the policy which had been working quite well for over a decade already*, then what would have happened?

Or, alternatively, if the USA had overthrown Saddam and then actually established a viable democracy with rule of law, freedom of the press, freedom of and from religion, and so forth, what would have happened?

But instead the USA overthrew Saddam, declared itself above any laws, locked up anyone who they thought disrespected them, fired at the hotel where they knew journalists were staying, and did everything they could think of to spark off a religious war.

Why do you think that fourth option (counting your straw man as the first) would have been the best?
I can think of one reason and one reason only: utter American incompetence. If the US Marines didn't have the balls to do what needed to be done or their political leaders did not have the will for it, then it would have been impossible. It was for this precise reason that I was against the invasion from before it happened: I thought that Bush would botch it.

* A policy that could be summed up as "distrust, but verify".

Davian93
05-26-2017, 09:31 AM
Exit polls show this incident literally had nearly zero influence on any votes. Once again the Democrsts and the media misconstrue how middle America actually works. Maybe lecture them again on their behavior and how they need to be "better people". That'll really work this time. Maybe talk down and tell them they need to be upset and outraged by this. People just LOVE being taked down to.

This is why Trump won. This is why the GOP controls most state legislatures, etc. The dems don't get it and never will.

People are idiots. Instead of trying to change it, work with it.

Rand al'Fain
05-26-2017, 10:49 AM
Exit polls show this incident literally had nearly zero influence on any votes. Once again the Democrsts and the media misconstrue how middle America actually works. Maybe lecture them again on their behavior and how they need to be "better people". That'll really work this time. Maybe talk down and tell them they need to be upset and outraged by this. People just LOVE being taked down to.

This is why Trump won. This is why the GOP controls most state legislatures, etc. The dems don't get it and never will.

People are idiots. Instead of trying to change it, work with it.

Something like 1/3 of all voters in Montana had already voted by that point.

GonzoTheGreat
05-26-2017, 11:16 AM
Something like 1/3 of all voters in Montana had already voted by that point.
Which, if you think about it, gave two thirds of them the chance to vote for the candidate who wasn't violently opposed to the 1st Amendment. An opportunity which, you may have noticed, not all that many then took.

Davian93
05-26-2017, 11:22 AM
No, I was referring to exit polls of those who voted yesterday after the incident. They were in line with the margin of victory for the previous mail in votes. I.E. no affect on the overall total.

Also, it was a bit more than 30% who had already voted. It was like twice that.

GonzoTheGreat
05-26-2017, 12:01 PM
Also, it was a bit more than 30% who had already voted. It was like twice that.
Fake maths. What else is new?

Kimon
05-26-2017, 12:34 PM
Exit polls show this incident literally had nearly zero influence on any votes. Once again the Democrsts and the media misconstrue how middle America actually works. Maybe lecture them again on their behavior and how they need to be "better people". That'll really work this time. Maybe talk down and tell them they need to be upset and outraged by this. People just LOVE being taked down to.

This is why Trump won. This is why the GOP controls most state legislatures, etc. The dems don't get it and never will.

People are idiots. Instead of trying to change it, work with it.

This was essentially the Hillary (technocrat) or Bernie (demagogue) question.

That said, it also did not help that the dems had a really weak candidate in Quist (a singing hippie-cowboy with no experience doesn't exactly inspire confidence). We obviously had the same problem with both Hillary (who inspired distrust) and Bernie (who inspired disdain). But keep in mind, Gianforte did just lose the Montana gubernatorial race a few months ago to a better dem candidate in Bullock. So just as with the presidential race, where a better dem candidate (like Biden or Warren) would have obviously been helpful, the same likely would have been the case here.

That said, this still is an embarrassing situation, and if nothing else, makes one wonder if journalists at Fox are beginning to feel like they have opened Pandora's Box.

fionwe1987
05-26-2017, 08:10 PM
Exit polls show this incident literally had nearly zero influence on any votes. Once again the Democrsts and the media misconstrue how middle America actually works. Maybe lecture them again on their behavior and how they need to be "better people". That'll really work this time. Maybe talk down and tell them they need to be upset and outraged by this. People just LOVE being taked down to.

This is why Trump won. This is why the GOP controls most state legislatures, etc. The dems don't get it and never will.

People are idiots. Instead of trying to change it, work with it.

Look, I get that the incident didn't make a difference. But should this really mean you ignore incidents like this and say whatever will please "middle America" or whatever to get their votes? If pandering to this slice of America is the only way to get power, how will the Dems be any different from the Republicans?

And it really isn't "talking down" to say that a person who can lose his cool and react physically to a journalist's tough questions is unworthy of office. Its hardly a liberal position, and that it didn't have an impact doesn't say anything wrong about liberals/Dems, it says something is wrong with Montanans. They're getting the government they deserve. When they lose their healthcare, their disability benefits, their education, they'll have made their own shit-salad.

The alternative, where Democrats descend to the same low bar as the Republicans, is far far worse, I'd say.

fionwe1987
05-26-2017, 08:13 PM
If you don't want to be surprised after you've done early voting but before actual voting day, then there is a very simple, legal, and time honoured method: vote on voting day.

You're assuming everyone can afford the luxury of taking the time off on election day. I still don't get that about this country. It is absolutely bizarre that election days aren't holidays.

In states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Mississippi. you can change your early vote. The idea is, I believe, that you can vote early for whatever reason, but if something should happen after that, closer to election day, you can go to the polling station and change your vote. It is very possible, like in this case, and even the Presidential election in November, that late breaking news close to the election can change your view, both of whom to vote for and whether the cost of taking time off work is worth it.

GonzoTheGreat
05-27-2017, 03:22 AM
You're assuming everyone can afford the luxury of taking the time off on election day. I still don't get that about this country. It is absolutely bizarre that election days aren't holidays.
I am assuming (based on experience) that it is possible to organise elections in such a way that voting doesn't take hours. But that requires politicians who actually approve of people voting, and I admit that this isn't what is available in the USA.

One could also acknowledge the reality that voting has been made far more difficult than necessary and have a national holiday reserved for it. But once again, that requires that the politicians want to make voting easy, and they don't.

So what it boils down to, is that the voters have only themselves to blame, since they could easily vote for politicians who strive to make voting easier and fairer. If they do that just a few election cycles, then the current crop of gerrymandering louses will be gone.
The USA has had over 2 centuries to work out the voting system it wants. Whining about how it turned out is justified for some minorities, but definitely not for the majority. They only have themselves (and their parents, and their grandparents) to blame.

Terez
05-27-2017, 04:13 AM
But anyway, this thread is about Trump.

Jared Kushner is reportedly under scrutiny for espionage:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-ambassador-told-moscow-that-kushner-wanted-secret-communications-channel-with-kremlin/2017/05/26/520a14b4-422d-11e7-9869-bac8b446820a_story.html

Nefarious or naîve?

This is probably the biggest bombshell of this scandal so far. The evidence points to this particular meeting having been held in Trump Tower because that's where Trump was at the time. So he was most likely there, and Jared was most likely acting at his behest when he requested a back-channel communication with the Russian government out of the Russian embassy or consulate where their communications couldn't be monitored by American intelligence.

The funny part about that is that we apparently only know about this because the Russian ambassador told someone about it on the phone and his communications were monitored.

Kimon
05-27-2017, 11:10 AM
But anyway, this thread is about Trump.

Jared Kushner is reportedly under scrutiny for espionage:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-ambassador-told-moscow-that-kushner-wanted-secret-communications-channel-with-kremlin/2017/05/26/520a14b4-422d-11e7-9869-bac8b446820a_story.html

Nefarious or naîve?


Probably a bit of each.

This is probably the biggest bombshell of this scandal so far. The evidence points to this particular meeting having been held in Trump Tower because that's where Trump was at the time. So he was most likely there, and Jared was most likely acting at his behest when he requested a back-channel communication with the Russian government out of the Russian embassy or consulate where their communications couldn't be monitored by American intelligence.

Maybe, but this has the feel more of run-of-the-mill corruption and shady business dealings - i.e. using the presidency to initiate bribes and money. Basically exactly the kinds of things that one should expect from such an overtly corrupt real estate mogul who has so much of his business interests hidden away in 3rd World backwaters (i.e. ex Soviet Republics, Turkey, and Florida).

I still think the more nefarious, i.e. maybe actual treason rather than just corruption will come from a combination of Flynn + Trump's own financial holdings and debt analysis. It would require quite a bit of suspension of disbelief to not read quite a bit into Trump's continued unwillingness to distance himself both from Flynn and from the Russians. It can't just be obstinacy. Flynn must know too much. Maybe Kushner does as well, but unless Mueller is able to find enough viable evidence to threaten both he and Ivanka with serious jail time as well, it is difficult to imagine that he would be willing to be so personally responsible for destroying his father-in-law. Flynn on the other hand is actively shopping for immunity. The only question there would seem to be does he know enough to earn it.

Oh, and happy birthday.

Kimon
05-27-2017, 02:26 PM
Duterte apparently is trying to remind the world that Trump is somehow not the most batshit crazy democratically elected leader.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40072315

While speaking at a military camp after imposing martial law across the south of the country, he said they were allowed to rape up to three women.
This was the second rape joke Rodrigo Duterte has been condemned for making since announcing his candidacy.
A human rights group said his comment was "sickening" and Chelsea Clinton tweeted that rape was never funny.
Mr Duterte's words were: "I will be imprisoned for you. If you rape three (women), I will say that I did it. But if you marry four, son of a whore you will be beaten up."

GonzoTheGreat
05-28-2017, 03:37 AM
Somebody should remind Duterte of Deuteronomy|22:25-29, which describes how Christians (and Jews) should deal with such matters.

But I'm not sure either Duterte or Trump get to claim the title you talked about, yet. Maduro in Venezuela is very strong competition, after all.

Kimon
05-28-2017, 10:53 AM
But I'm not sure either Duterte or Trump get to claim the title you talked about, yet. Maduro in Venezuela is very strong competition, after all.

Maduro would require an asterisk, as...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-37724322

...not really democratically elected anymore.

Ozymandias
05-30-2017, 01:23 PM
Let me respond in kind, then.


limiting them to south of the Ebro in Spain. The events at Saguntum, with Hannibal's besieging of a city just north of the Ebro, recognized in Rome's sphere thus touched off the inevitability of war being renewed.

No quarrel with the first part, but Saguntum is south of the Ebro, and it isn't even close. Saguntum requested Roman aid for an internal dispute, so Rome became involved with the city in some way (they may or may not have been granted allied status), but in any case clearly formed a friendly relationship with the city and Rome perceived them as a client. A client tribe of the Barcid's was engaged in fighting with Saguntum, and Hannibal intervened on their behalf.

Note that at no point did Hannibal or Carthage violate their treaty with Rome, even in spirit, while it can be very clearly assumed (though we don't know the exact terms of whether Rome wasn't supposed to intervene south of the Ebro) that Rome did, seeing as they took on as a client a city-state in Carthage's sphere of influence; a sphere Rome had laid down.

They eventually, after some devastating defeats, finally brought Hannibal to his knees, imposed an even more crippling indemnity, made Carthage abandon Spain and everything essentially but the cty itself, limited their navy to but 10 ships, and ordered that their foreign policy, especially concerning waging of war with anyone, had to first receive permission from the Roman senate.

All of which the Carthaginians faithfully complied with. In fact, even the later Romans were pretty aware of their own poor record in wiping out Carthage in 146, as the Carthaginians hadn't violated any of the clauses of their treaty.

Now Saddam obviously never had anyone even remotely as capable as Hannibal at his disposal, though his name was clearly a somewhat similar bugaboo for certain elements on the right, as is made abundantly clear not only with Bush's odd fixation with the man (like Cato's for the memory of Hannibal), but yours as well.

Hannibal lived on in the cultural memory of Rome as the man who brought the Republic nearly to its knees.

Saddam was a genocidal tyrant who was only being prevented from completing his genocide and starting further wars by the daily military action of American and British forces. That isn't a "fixation". Saddam was a real and current threat; he was involved in the (effectively) daily shooting at of allied planes, and was still the head of state of a highly militarized polity. I know we won't agree on this, but you cannot honestly tell me that Saddam wasn't a threat when we had to implement and maintain a whole cordon of military force around him. It would be impossible for it to be any more obvious that Saddam was a threat.

Nonetheless, we defeated Saddam in the 1st War, pushed him out of Kuwait, set up no-fly zones in both the south and north (for the Kurds' protection - similar to Rome's removal of their navy, and removal of their territories outside the city itself)

The timing is off here. We put the No Fly Zones in after it became obvious that Saddam was brutally massacring his own people.

Rome could at least conceivably have the excuse that the disarmament of the Carthaginian Navy was to prevent them from threatening Rome. Our disarming Saddam was for the protection of his own people!

, imposed economic sanctions and an embargo (like Rome's war indemnities imposed on Carthage), ordered the oversight and abandonment of the chemical and nuclear weapons programs (again like Rome's requirements on the limiting of Carthage's naval strength).

Of course, the economic sanctions put on Saddam basically led to the death of hundreds of thousands of children from starvation, while doing nothing to hamper Saddam, his lifestyle, or his commitment to (a) maintaining a strong army (which we didn't disarm, which would be the proper parallel to Carthage) and (b) maintaining the ability to restart his chemical weapons program for the day America tired of maintaining an effective siege of Iraq and he could go back to invading Iran again.

Both Carthage for the Romans, and Baathist Iraq for us thus were by the time of that 3rd Punic War/2nd Gulf War broken enemies, but enemies whose names still carried a mnemonic power that could be exploited to create the pretext for a new, but unnecessary war.

Again, you simply cannot ignore the difference in modern vs ancient geopolitical reality. Whether or not Saddam had chemical weapons/the ability to make them at will, it was extremely clear that he both wanted them, and was perfectly willing to use them. If the USA had stopped militarily policing him, he would have restarted his weapons program, and the difference between Carthage in 146 and Iraq in 2003 is that Saddam could conceivably have financed terrorists and supplied them with WMDs and sent them off to kill people around the globe, including Americans. That is a real threat.


Rome's demands weren't particularly outrageous, they were however quite similar to our demands to Saddam to let inspectors back in - which he did. We wanted that war, not Saddam. He hadn't done anything to justify our declaration.

Both in the modern and ancient sense, this is false.

Under the terms of the treaty that ended the Second Punic War Carthage agreed on a massive indemnity and to submit all disputes with neighbors to Rome, instead of fighting. Which they did, and which Rome, obviously, exclusively decided in favor of the non-Carthaginian polity (usually Numidia). After repaying their debt, Carthage believed the terms of the treaty to be expired, and waged a war against Numidia, which they lost, and which Rome punished them for by instituting another indemnity (to Numidia). The Roman Senate then decided that since they didn't like the fact that Carthage no longer owed them money, and had no financial reason to restrain themselves, the further demanded that Carthage "satisfy the Roman People", as opposed to just the Senate, which is blatantly ridiculous by any standard of statecraft/diplomacy in any era. It was an obvious land grab, and both Romans at the time and later knew it.


Not by the 3rd War, but they had actually killed literally hundreds of thousands of Romans, something which Saddam never was capable. Regardless, the key element here is that Saddam had no such capability. He was not a threat.

Again... because the US was actively restraining him the entire time. The only difference between 2001 and 2003 was the scale of US military involvement in the region.

And Saddam has killed millions of people, so lets not split hairs by saying their not American. This comes down to a basic philosophic difference; I think American hegemonic power can and should be used to alleviate suffering and relieve obvious injustice, you think it should be used only when a direct American interest is at stake. Which begs the question of why we should even bother having a military or an interest in external affairs. You would have made a fine America First member.

No it does not. There are clear parallels in terms of politics, motivations, and tactics and strategies to be seen here. There was already very little point in having this conversation yet again (since we've written nearly these same replies back and forth in various older threads), but if you're not able or willing to see even this, then clearly it is time for me to just shake my head and walk away.

Then walk away. As I've said repeatedly, and again, never been refuted, Saddam is the classic case of a dictator who need removing. He was involved in corrupting international governmental officials. He was involved in a litany of human rights offenses on a day to day basis, including some of those that call for international intervention. He was very clearly not in compliance, with either the spirit or the letter of the earlier disarmament treaties, nor Special Resolution 1441. He openly declared he wouldn't cooperate with UN inspectors. It was only after the Bush Administration threatened forcible regime change that Saddam was brought to the table. And even then Hans Blix, who couldn't be a more ardent anti-interventionist, agreed that Saddam's assistance in opening up munitions facilities was not in concordance with SR 1441.

So we have a man in open, blatant defiance of the international strictures placed on him. A man who had so suborned foreign governments through oil money payments that he had an effective veto on Security Council resolutions in all but the most egregious cases. He's a confirmed genocide, had barely spent a year in power without launching an aggressive war of conquest when not being actively restrained from doing so. He was harboring terrorists. He was causing mass death and torture among his own population. How is this man any more defensible than someone like Hitler? And the international community would have given him everything he wanted, because he would have taken it inch by inch and assumed (rightly, from what we know) that the UN would have treated it as a fait accompli.

Ozymandias
05-30-2017, 01:39 PM
If, on the other hand, the USA had continued the policy which had been working quite well for over a decade already*, then what would have happened?

Should have combined posts by forgot, sorry for the doubling down.

US policy explicitly wasn't working. Saddam had thrown out all weapons inspectors. Oil-for-Food was an unmitigated disaster which resulted in the suborning of multiple international officials (unsurprisingly, from those countries that proved to later be friends of Saddam's Iraq, such as France and Russia). Children were dying by the hundreds of thousands in Iraq so that Saddam could live a nice lifestyle; the sanctions hurt innocents, not him. Throughout the nineties, the US was continually stepping up its attacks on Iraqi targets, in part as a response to ongoing Iraqi attacks on American and British planes.


Or, alternatively, if the USA had overthrown Saddam and then actually established a viable democracy with rule of law, freedom of the press, freedom of and from religion, and so forth, what would have happened?

I'd be very interested to see this AU. Obviously, that is what should have been striven for, instead of the half assed job that was done and the criminal incompetence of the people doing the planning (or lack thereof).

But instead the USA overthrew Saddam, declared itself above any laws, locked up anyone who they thought disrespected them, fired at the hotel where they knew journalists were staying, and did everything they could think of to spark off a religious war.

This is absurd. The US didn't declare itself above any laws. In fact, the intervention in Iraq was about the only possible case I can think of where foreign help was required to right a wrong. IIRC, signatories to the 1948 Genocide Convention are more or less required to take action against genocides, and certainly that was becoming more prevalent after Rwanda and Kosovo in the 90s.

Why do you think that fourth option (counting your straw man as the first) would have been the best?
I can think of one reason and one reason only: utter American incompetence. If the US Marines didn't have the balls to do what needed to be done or their political leaders did not have the will for it, then it would have been impossible. It was for this precise reason that I was against the invasion from before it happened: I thought that Bush would botch it.

I forget what my arguments were and they're too far down the thread to find again, but you aren't disagreeing with me. If your main or only reason for opposing regime change was the thought that President Bush would cock it up, then you are more or less agreeing with my point, that Saddam was a dangerous madman who needed to be removed from power for the safety of his own people as well as the international community at large. The bungling of reconstruction isn't an argument against intervention, because successful reconstruction is obviously possible and has been done at various times in modern history.

* A policy that could be summed up as "distrust, but verify".

Again, this isn't true. US policy was one of active and ongoing military engagement with the Iraqis. If we had left Saddam alone, and he had left the world alone, it would have been all well and good by me (or, moreso, at least). But that is not the case. The US was spending a great deal of treasure and time on hemming in Saddam, and Saddam was likewise trying every day to force the Americans to leave. And there was no verification going on, because Saddam had kicked out all the inspectors doing the verifying years beforehand.

Kimon
05-30-2017, 05:36 PM
No quarrel with the first part, but Saguntum is south of the Ebro, and it isn't even close. Saguntum requested Roman aid for an internal dispute, so Rome became involved with the city in some way (they may or may not have been granted allied status), but in any case clearly formed a friendly relationship with the city and Rome perceived them as a client. A client tribe of the Barcid's was engaged in fighting with Saguntum, and Hannibal intervened on their behalf.


Correct, and while I'm wondering why I'm bothering to respond again, nonetheless, the key here is that while both sides were looking for a pretext for justifying the re-initiating of hostilities, that it was Hannibal (and the nervous citizens of Saguntum) that was especially guilty of this, driven by anger at the humiliation both to his father's own pride (Hamilcar had been one of the primary Carthaginian generals of the 1st War), and to Carthage's pride, primarily their pique at the way the Roman senate had forced Carthage to cede Sardinia to the Romans. He was itching for revenge. But keep in mind, this was the 2nd Punic War, not the 3rd. It is that 3rd Punic War that I was comparing to our ill-fated and ill-justified 2nd Gulf War.

Regardless, there is some equivalency here with Saddam. Pique at the humiliating defeat at the hands of the Americans. Pique at the continuing humiliation of the No-Fly Zone. This is, for instance, why he occasionally shot at American and British planes maintaining the No-Fly Zone. But that was a mere demonstration of defiance, not an attempt to force a renewal of actual hostilities. The fact that he clearly and openly allowed the inspectors back in made this clear. It was the Bush administration that was looking for any pretext to re-initiate those hostilities, not Saddam.

Saddam was a real and current threat; he was involved in the (effectively) daily shooting at of allied planes, and was still the head of state of a highly militarized polity. I know we won't agree on this, but you cannot honestly tell me that Saddam wasn't a threat when we had to implement and maintain a whole cordon of military force around him. It would be impossible for it to be any more obvious that Saddam was a threat.

We clearly have very different, and irreconcilable, definitions of what constitutes a threat. We clearly are never going to agree on this issue.

We are thus at an impasse (not that we weren't already), but I want to respond to one last point, albeit one from your back and forth with Gonzo.

This is absurd. The US didn't declare itself above any laws. In fact, the intervention in Iraq was about the only possible case I can think of where foreign help was required to right a wrong. IIRC, signatories to the 1948 Genocide Convention are more or less required to take action against genocides, and certainly that was becoming more prevalent after Rwanda and Kosovo in the 90s.

I assume what Gonzo was mostly referring to here was torture and rendition.

Not sure why you are bringing up defense against genocide as a possible pretext, certainly that would be even more absurd than the Bush Administration's at least plausible, but unproven, assertion of weapons of mass destruction. There was no ongoing genocide. If he had been currently attempting to commit the genocide of the Kurds, the Yazidi, the Christians, or the Shia, then that would have been an ironclad casus belli. But he wasn't. There was close to a genocide campaign against the Kurds in the early '80s during the Iran-Iraq War, but those actions were both decades in the past, long prior even to the First Gulf War's onset and cessation, moreover, these were almost indistinguishable from recent actions taken by Erdogan (indeed even less so, as Saddam's crimes were two decades in the past, and already interceded by one war he had fought against us, while Erdogan's crimes are recent and ongoing), so unless you are trying to make the case for regime change with Erdogan as well, this hardly seems a rational justification for any action against Saddam at the time of the 2nd Gulf War's onset. It was justification however for that No-Fly Zone. That however was already in place. Already effective. A new war wasn't needed.

In any case, Ozy, this argument has once again become both pointless and tedious.

GonzoTheGreat
05-31-2017, 03:53 AM
US policy explicitly wasn't working. Saddam had thrown out all weapons inspectors.
Repeating that lie does not make it any more true, does it?

The inspectors had left, not because Saddam threw them out, but because the USA had said "we're gonna bomb, whether or not you are there". They then left, so as to avoid being killed by American attacks.
All Saddam had done was quibble with them (which was his right, even though he lost most of those arguments and then had to give in anyway).

Oil-for-Food was an unmitigated disaster which resulted in the suborning of multiple international officials (unsurprisingly, from those countries that proved to later be friends of Saddam's Iraq, such as France and Russia).
Which could have been avoided by not making it a market driven scheme, but capitalism had to be triumphant, so the corruption was just a side effect of that deliberate policy.

Children were dying by the hundreds of thousands in Iraq so that Saddam could live a nice lifestyle; the sanctions hurt innocents, not him.
Which, you may have noticed, was never considered a reason to stop those sanctions and try others, or try something else. Instead, Saddam was blamed for the expected results of Western policy.

Throughout the nineties, the US was continually stepping up its attacks on Iraqi targets, in part as a response to ongoing Iraqi attacks on American and British planes.
And those attacks were at least in part a response to the stepping up of the attacks. How long do you think you could slap a police officer in the face before he started using force against you?
That is not as stupid a question as it should seem: legally speaking, Saddam was the local cop.

I'd be very interested to see this AU. Obviously, that is what should have been striven for, instead of the half assed job that was done and the criminal incompetence of the people doing the planning (or lack thereof).
The American foreign office (I think, may have been Defence instead, or a combination thereof) had specific plans worked out, long in advance, for what to do and how to handle things in case it became necessary to occupy Iraq. Rumsfeld decided to dump all those plans. Before the invasion, we had a debate on Iraq here on this board, in which I provided links to this.

This is absurd. The US didn't declare itself above any laws.
If an Iraqi had an argument with a US soldier, in which specific court of law could that Iraqi press charges for assault, sexual harassment, or the like? The truth is that the coalition troops had been given immunity from prosecution, and that was that.
This even turned into a political problem when a bunch of mercenaries abducted and raped one of their own (a US citizen) and the woman could not press charges against any of the perpetrators, because they had that same immunity.

In fact, the intervention in Iraq was about the only possible case I can think of where foreign help was required to right a wrong. IIRC, signatories to the 1948 Genocide Convention are more or less required to take action against genocides, and certainly that was becoming more prevalent after Rwanda and Kosovo in the 90s.
Which would have been a far stronger argument if the USA had actually done that. But, when the Iraqi population rose up at the end of Desert Storm, at the urging of then president Bush, the USA did not support them. Instead, they stopped the attack, and let the population fend for itself. When it looked as if they would actually succeed, the No Fly zone in the south was temporarily switched off, allowing Saddam to use his helicopters to slaughter the Shia insurgents. Something you may have forgotten, but they hadn't.

Then, when GWB needed an excuse for the invasion (since the WMD turned out to be not there, as both the inspectors and Saddam had told him would be the case), he used his fathers decision to allow that massacre as a new justification.

I forget what my arguments were and they're too far down the thread to find again, but you aren't disagreeing with me. If your main or only reason for opposing regime change was the thought that President Bush would cock it up, then you are more or less agreeing with my point, that Saddam was a dangerous madman who needed to be removed from power for the safety of his own people as well as the international community at large. The bungling of reconstruction isn't an argument against intervention, because successful reconstruction is obviously possible and has been done at various times in modern history.
I do not agree that Saddam was still a danger to the outside world. For that, the North Koreans would do far better, as would the Pakistani military. But both had nukes, so the USA picked a victim that they dared bully instead of one that needed it.

And I think that the bungling is a good argument. Open heart surgery has been done effectively and safely many times. But that doesn't mean that you should just let some random idiot with a knife try that, is it?
This particular bungling cost hundreds of thousands of lives, and the results (including ISIS, Boko Haram and so forth) are still ongoing all over the globe. I would say that that attack on the Ariane Grande concert in Manchester was yet another consequence of this bungling, and in my opinion the world would have been better if it hadn't happened.

Again, this isn't true. US policy was one of active and ongoing military engagement with the Iraqis. If we had left Saddam alone, and he had left the world alone, it would have been all well and good by me (or, moreso, at least). But that is not the case. The US was spending a great deal of treasure and time on hemming in Saddam, and Saddam was likewise trying every day to force the Americans to leave.
By bungling the invasion, the costs for both Iraq and the USA became a lot higher, still.

And there was no verification going on, because Saddam had kicked out all the inspectors doing the verifying years beforehand.
That is not true. UNMOVIC was withdrawn from Iraq in March 2003. And March 2003 was also the month when the invasion started (on the 20th of that month). So they had been gone for at most five percent of one year, quite possibly less than that, and they left not because Saddam sent them away but because Bush did.

I understand why people repeat this lie, I do not understand why people still fall for it.
Did you believe it yourself, or did you merely hope that others wouldn't know any better?

Davian93
05-31-2017, 07:58 AM
But anyway, this thread is about Trump.

Jared Kushner is reportedly under scrutiny for espionage:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-ambassador-told-moscow-that-kushner-wanted-secret-communications-channel-with-kremlin/2017/05/26/520a14b4-422d-11e7-9869-bac8b446820a_story.html

Nefarious or naîve?

This is probably the biggest bombshell of this scandal so far. The evidence points to this particular meeting having been held in Trump Tower because that's where Trump was at the time. So he was most likely there, and Jared was most likely acting at his behest when he requested a back-channel communication with the Russian government out of the Russian embassy or consulate where their communications couldn't be monitored by American intelligence.

The funny part about that is that we apparently only know about this because the Russian ambassador told someone about it on the phone and his communications were monitored.

Who knew international conspiracies could be so difficult?

GonzoTheGreat
05-31-2017, 09:00 AM
Who knew international conspiracies could be so difficult?
Maybe Trump could apologise to the Russians for spying on them.

connabard
05-31-2017, 09:32 AM
It's all pretty obvious, now, that Covfefe is responsible for all of this. He (she? it?) is running the show, pulling the strings.

#prayforcovfefe

Brita
05-31-2017, 09:59 AM
It's all pretty obvious, now, that Covfefe is responsible for all of this. He (she? it?) is running the show, pulling the strings.

#prayforcovfefe

Lol- so ridiculous.

Rand al'Fain
05-31-2017, 04:17 PM
It's all pretty obvious, now, that Covfefe is responsible for all of this. He (she? it?) is running the show, pulling the strings.

#prayforcovfefe

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Covfefe

connabard
06-01-2017, 03:51 PM
So I guess Trump officially pulled out of the Paris Agreement... nice

Kimon
06-01-2017, 04:15 PM
So I guess Trump officially pulled out of the Paris Agreement... nice

Disappointing, but likely inevitable. This also just reinforces yet another way in which he has abdicated American leadership throughout the world - first by pulling us out of the TPP (and thus allowing for the extension of Chinese hegemony in the East), then in alienating NATO and the EU (forcing Merkel essentially to become the leader of the free world due to our abandonment of our traditional friends all so that Trump can continue to fellate Putin), and now this. What a disgrace.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40127326

But hey, maybe we'll reopen a couple of nearly empty coal mines in Appalachia...

Davian93
06-01-2017, 04:24 PM
Has anyone asked the leader of the free world how she feels about Trump's latest move? I mean, Merkel has to be pissed.

Southpaw2012
06-01-2017, 05:32 PM
Ah the ignorance on this site continues to grow. It's laughable that anyone could call Merkel (or any leader in Europe) leader of the free world is absolutely laughable, and dangerously ignorant. The stupidity is too much to even waste time and energy on.

Kimon
06-01-2017, 05:53 PM
It's laughable that anyone could call Merkel (or any leader in Europe) leader of the free world is absolutely laughable, and dangerously ignorant.

Then enlighten us. Why? How has what Trump done made us more influential internationally?

The stupidity is too much to even waste time and energy on.

Take a second and reread this.

Southpaw2012
06-01-2017, 08:35 PM
The Paris agreement was a lose lose for Americans. By pulling out, we will see an increase in job creation. It's a win for the American people, though that doesn't mean much to entitled armchair scientists on the Left who regard left-wing bs to be the word of God.

Kimon
06-01-2017, 08:51 PM
The Paris agreement was a lose lose for Americans. By pulling out, we will see an increase in job creation. It's a win for the American people, though that doesn't mean much to entitled armchair scientists on the Left who regard left-wing bs to be the word of God.

Do you believe in global warming? Do you believe in climate change?

Kimon
06-01-2017, 09:23 PM
This decision will be good short term perhaps for the coal industry, but it is quite telling when even Exxon was urging staying in the accord.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-31/exxon-conoco-back-paris-climate-deal-as-trump-weighs-pact-exit

President Donald Trump faces some unlikely opposition to the idea of pulling the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris climate accord: Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, two of the world’s biggest oil producers.

Both companies reiterated their support Wednesday for the global agreement to cut greenhouse gas pollution amid reports that Trump planned to ditch a pact he says hurts the U.S. economy. Their argument: The U.S. is better off with a seat at the table so it can influence global efforts to curb emissions that are largely produced by the fossil fuels they profit from.

Exxon Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods took it a step further during the company’s annual investor meeting in Dallas, saying that oil demand will continue to grow in the coming decades, even with the Paris agreement in place.

“Energy needs are a function of population and living standards,” Woods said in his first annual meeting since becoming CEO on Jan. 1. “When it comes to policy, the goal should be to reduce emissions at the lowest cost to society.”

Woods has been a staunch advocate for keeping the U.S. in the Paris group, as was his predecessor Rex Tillerson, who is now Trump’s secretary of state. In his first blog post after becoming CEO, Woods advocated low-emission fuels, carbon capture and biofuels as tools for meeting the goals of the Paris agreement.

This was incredibly short-sighted even from a business perspective, but unless you are actually a climate change denier (which frankly, seems all but certain - unless you are just someone's parody account), Southpaw, this decision should strike you as insane.

More than anything else, what is frightening about the republican party, is that they have begun to treat science as an enemy. This was not always the case. A few decades ago, one would have expected most republicans to have answered in the affirmative if asked if they believed in evolution. Now, such a position would seemingly make one a heretic within your party. The same seems true of the science of climate change.

Davian93
06-01-2017, 10:47 PM
The Paris agreement was a lose lose for Americans. By pulling out, we will see an increase in job creation. It's a win for the American people, though that doesn't mean much to entitled armchair scientists on the Left who regard left-wing bs to be the word of God.

How many work in the coal industry?

How many work in renewables now?

Which is the bigger number and which is the future?


Also, how are you this short-sighted when it comes to the world we live in?

GonzoTheGreat
06-02-2017, 04:12 AM
Do you believe in global warming? Do you believe in climate change?
Those are just Chinese inventions, as Trump has said. They were probably foisted off on the West when Nixon visited Mao in the 1970s. Mind you, this theory is slightly inconvenienced by the fact that actual scientific work on understanding climate change and global warming began in the 19th century (in the USA, no less), but I'm sure that facts don't matter to Trump supporters, so no worries here.

connabard
06-02-2017, 09:07 AM
Jesus, man, the world isn't going to ever be the '70s again. Coal is done. It's not going to create more jobs, and if by some miracle it does, they won't last.

Renewable has far more jobs than coal currently, and it's the future. Coal is finite. Renewable is not... by definition.

The way the GOP seems to jerk itself off about "more jobs for Americans" seems a little insane and beyond even short-sighted. Completely blind.

GonzoTheGreat
06-02-2017, 09:42 AM
The way the GOP seems to jerk itself off about "more jobs for Americans" seems a little insane and beyond even short-sighted. Completely blind.
Oh, I'm sure they're not stupid enough to believe that nonsense themselves. But plenty of voters are, and most of those do not want to learn better. So trying to educate them (as the Democrats do) doesn't work. They are simply deplorable, but calling them that did not work either.

Davian93
06-02-2017, 11:34 AM
Oh, I'm sure they're not stupid enough to believe that nonsense themselves. But plenty of voters are, and most of those do not want to learn better. So trying to educate them (as the Democrats do) doesn't work. They are simply deplorable, but calling them that did not work either.

Its almost as if people are incredibly stupid as illustrated by the stunning surge in Republican confidence in the economy from Dec to Jan:

http://content.gallup.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/ep-my7k77u6znuovca-auq.png

Amazing what having their own guy in the white house will do for their confidence, eh?

fionwe1987
06-02-2017, 11:35 AM
The Paris agreement was a lose lose for Americans. By pulling out, we will see an increase in job creation. It's a win for the American people, though that doesn't mean much to entitled armchair scientists on the Left who regard left-wing bs to be the word of God.

PRetty much every reason the Republicans gave for not signing the agreement have been proven to be bullshit. No, this won't create more jobs, this will mean massive loss of jobs in the coming decades in renewables and renewable-related industries. This is why CEO's from the tech sector and the oil sector came out against pulling out of the agreement.

The other argument was that China and India would never truly pull away from coal and oil, because they wanted development. Well, that's gone down the toilet too. With solar finally outcompeting coal on cost, India canceled all new coal power plants, and has met about 15% of its renewables commitments, commitments that they have 20 years to fulfill, in 2 years.

What this has done is give Europe, India and China a huge jump in setting up their renewables industries without the US, and without US companies benefitting as much as they could have. It gives China the chance to claim the mantle as the only superpowered economy that shares the world's concerns about climate change.

The United States gets to keep Syria company (Nicaragua doesn't count, since they didn't sign because they felt the Accords didn't do enough. They'll easily meet and then exceed any targets the Accords would have set up for them). Kim Jong Un has better sense than this.

Trump has proved that "America First" really means "America Alone". Good luck. Frankly, I hope the world has the sense and the political courage to impose sanctions on the US. It has made itself a rogue state that will continue to harm the world while everyone else tries to stem that harm. And the fact is, by pulling out of NATO and other existent treaties, Trump makes it only easier for other nations to treat the US as a pariah state, because that is what it is becoming. Not in the next 2-4 years, but if this trajectory continues, that's what'll happen, and the US will deserve what it gets.

fionwe1987
06-02-2017, 11:52 AM
Also, did anyone see this:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/31/15716778/trump-birth-control-regulation

Any company, no matter their religious view, will be able to stop covering birth control for its employees with just an email sent to them to inform them of the change. :mad:

connabard
06-02-2017, 12:13 PM
Guess it's time for all Americans to prepare for the impending apocalypse.

Thank god I'm Canada... things can't get too bad for the neighbouring country. Right?

Kimon
06-02-2017, 12:32 PM
Guess it's time for all Americans to prepare for the impending apocalypse.

Thank god I'm Canada... things can't get too bad for the neighbouring country. Right?

Climate change is unfortunately a difficult threat to see in terms of immediacy. Unfortunately, so many Americans, even some congressmen, still believe in magical solutions...

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/06/01/tim-walberg-climate-change-trump-paris-agreement/102389286/

Michigan GOP Rep. Tim Walberg isn’t concerned about the effects of climate change — if it exists — because God will “take care of it.”

Walberg was speaking to constituents in Coldwater, Mich., last week when he was asked about climate change.

Walberg, who has previously questioned the existence of global warming, first joked that he could take some global warming at home in Michigan because it was too cold and some global cooling in Washington because of the humidity.

Walberg then conceded that the climate was changing, before adding that wasn't anything new.

“I believe there’s climate change,” Walberg said, according to a video of the exchange obtained first published by the Huffington Post. “I believe there’s been climate change since the beginning of time. I think there are cycles. Do I think man has some impact? Yeah, of course. Can man change the entire universe? No.”

“Why do I believe that?” he continued. “Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”

Davian93
06-02-2017, 03:08 PM
Also, did anyone see this:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/31/15716778/trump-birth-control-regulation

Any company, no matter their religious view, will be able to stop covering birth control for its employees with just an email sent to them to inform them of the change. :mad:

Good, I'm sick of employees getting benefits and having rights.

Bring back the death camps!!!!

GonzoTheGreat
06-03-2017, 03:36 AM
Good, I'm sick of employees getting benefits and having rights.

Bring back the death camps!!!!
They'll be far more bigly than any that Obama ever made.

As for Rep. Walberg: he should read (maybe reread, if he's ever bothered to read it before) Matthew|25:31-46. That should (but probably won't) teach him that Jesus expected humans to actually do things themselves rather than just treat God as a slave.

Infidel
06-03-2017, 12:11 PM
Ah the ignorance on this site continues to grow.

Every time you post.

...absolutely laughable, and dangerously ignorant.

Fits you to a tee.

The stupidity is too much to even waste time and energy on.

This much, and no more.

Eat shit, die, and burn in hell.

Kimon
06-03-2017, 02:41 PM
This much, and no more.


I just hope this is a sufficient wake up call for '18 and '20, but even beyond the difficulties inherent within the republicans gerrymandered House advantage, there is also the overwhelming problem of crippling ignorance...

http://www.gallup.com/poll/211679/majority-say-religion-answer-problems.aspx?g_source=Politics&g_medium=newsfeed&g_campaign=tiles

55% of all Americans think that religion can answer most problems. And it isn't just the republicans...

71% of Republicans believe this, 47% of Democrats

This is at least a slight improvement, but probably too slow to help save the Earth.

In 1957, a time of greater religious commitment in the United States, 82% of Americans said that religion could answer all or most of the day's problems. As recently as 2002, 66% of U.S. adults expressed the same sentiment. But the measure has declined since then, reaching 51% -- the all-time low -- in May 2015. However, Americans' views on religion's relevance in answering problems have since stabilized in the 53% to 55% range. The broad trend aligns with declines in church attendance and fewer Americans saying they believe in God or a creationist viewpoint.

Meanwhile, the 34% of Americans who today say religion is "largely old-fashioned and out of date" is up from 7% in 1957 and near the all-time high of 35% for this view.

And, more generally on the environment (this one is from March, above from May):

http://www.gallup.com/poll/206900/partisan-gap-environment-widens-trump-election.aspx?g_source=environment&g_medium=search&g_campaign=tiles


64% of Republicans say quality of environment is "excellent" or "good"

37% of Democrats say the same

53% of GOP say environment is improving; 22% of Democrats agree

Republicans are also more optimistic than Democrats when asked about the future of the environment, with 53% saying it is getting better rather than getting worse, compared with 22% of Democrats.

Kimon
06-05-2017, 02:11 PM
At some point republican leaders really need to stand up and emphatically tell Trump to stop being a dick and to shut up.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40163567

US President Donald Trump has again lashed out at London Mayor Sadiq Khan over his assurances to Londoners following a terror attack.
Mr Khan had said people should not be alarmed by an increased police presence on the streets.
But Mr Trump on Sunday accused him of playing down the threat and on Monday said the mayor's clarification of his statement was a "pathetic excuse".
Seven people were killed and 48 injured in the attacks on Saturday night.
After the tragedy, the mayor said: "Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed."
The US president tweeted in response: "At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is 'no reason to be alarmed!'"

Along somewhat similar lines (though at least this insult wasn't immediately following two terrorist attacks on our closest friend), apparently McMaster and Mattis had promised all of our NATO allies prior to Trump's speech that he was going to re-affirm Article 5, and then...

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/05/trump-nato-speech-national-security-team-215227

When President Donald Trump addressed NATO leaders during his debut overseas trip little more than a week ago, he surprised and disappointed European allies who hoped—and expected—he would use his speech to explicitly reaffirm America’s commitment to mutual defense of the alliance’s members, a one-for-all, all-for-one provision that looks increasingly urgent as Eastern European members worry about the threat from a resurgent Russia on their borders.

That part of the Trump visit is known.

What’s not is that the president also disappointed—and surprised—his own top national security officials by failing to include the language reaffirming the so-called Article 5 provision in his speech. National security adviser H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson all supported Trump doing so and had worked in the weeks leading up to the trip to make sure it was included in the speech, according to five sources familiar with the episode. They thought it was, and a White House aide even told The New York Times the day before the line was definitely included.

It was not until the next day, Thursday, May 25, when Trump started talking at an opening ceremony for NATO’s new Brussels headquarters, that the president’s national security team realized their boss had made a decision with major consequences—without consulting or even informing them in advance of the change.

“They had the right speech and it was cleared through McMaster,” said a source briefed by National Security Council officials in the immediate aftermath of the NATO meeting. “As late as that same morning, it was the right one.”

Added a senior White House official, “There was a fully coordinated other speech everybody else had worked on”—and it wasn’t the one Trump gave. “They didn’t know it had been removed,” said a third source of the Trump national security officials on hand for the ceremony. “It was only upon delivery.”

The president appears to have deleted it himself...

Davian93
06-05-2017, 03:27 PM
Breaking up NATO would be huge for Russia...so it makes sense that their agent would delete such a line and not give such a guarantee.

Kimon
06-05-2017, 03:48 PM
Breaking up NATO would be huge for Russia...so it makes sense that their agent would delete such a line and not give such a guarantee.

There is also this odd tension unfolding in the Middle East between the Saudis (plus a few other Sunni powers) and Qatar (also Sunni). The Saudis seem to be trying to sell this as a result of Qatar being too close with terrorists, but the situation smells off.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40164552

This seems catalyzed by Saudi hatred of Al Jazeera combined with too much willingness apparently on the part of the Qataris to try to mend relations between the Sunni powers and Iran.

fionwe1987
06-05-2017, 06:40 PM
Trump also plans to give back two Russian spy compounds in the US back to them, with nothing in return. Seriously, this is insane. These compounds were seized as part of the very sanctions Flynn was caught discussing with the Russians. Who the fuck is moronic enough to lift those sanctions right while the secret dealings are undergoing so much scrutiny from so many directions?

I'm beginning to pity Putin. On the one hand, this seems to be the gift that keeps on shamelessly giving. On the other hand, any pretence that this is on the up and up looks ludicrous. He's now left comparing hackers to artists!

And the Qatar situation is quite serious. Emboldened by Trump's words, the Saudi's have decided to push back against Al Jazeera. But this seriously harms US operations against ISIS, since the Airforce headquarters are in a Qatari Airbase... Talk about the law of unintended consequences.

GonzoTheGreat
06-06-2017, 03:28 AM
And the Qatar situation is quite serious. Emboldened by Trump's words, the Saudi's have decided to push back against Al Jazeera. But this seriously harms US operations against ISIS, since the Airforce headquarters are in a Qatari Airbase... Talk about the law of unintended consequences.
Why should that be a problem?
Trump can simply take the side of Qatar and Iran against Saudi Arabia, can't he? Have US Marines occupy Mecca and Medina, and see what happens next.

Kimon
06-06-2017, 09:49 AM
Why should that be a problem?
Trump can simply take the side of Qatar and Iran against Saudi Arabia, can't he? Have US Marines occupy Mecca and Medina, and see what happens next.

No, but unfortunately with Trump there often is that suspicion that this may actually be less the nefarious explanation (which would be all but inevitable if this was any more intelligent president), and really just be that he is so terrifyingly naive that he is being manipulated by some of the worst actors internationally (i.e. Putin, Netanyahu, and the Saudis).

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40175935

US President Donald Trump has claimed credit for the pressure being placed on Qatar by Gulf neighbours who accuse it of supporting terrorism in the region.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Yemen, Libya's eastern-based government and the Maldives have all cut diplomatic and other ties with Qatar.
Mr Trump said he was told during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia that Qatar was funding "radical ideology".
He added that the visit was "already paying off".
Analysts say the timing of the move, two weeks after a visit to Saudi Arabia by Mr Trump, is crucial.
Mr Trump's speech in the Saudi capital Riyadh, in which he blamed Iran for instability in the Middle East and urged Muslim countries to take the lead in combating radicalisation, is seen as likely to have emboldened Gulf allies to act against Qatar.
"During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!" Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
He later tweeted: "So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding... extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"

Davian93
06-06-2017, 03:06 PM
Is Trump even aware of how many American troops are based out of Qatar? I'm betting no.


Also, in other news, Trump is planning to live tweet Comey's testimony on Thursday. No way in hell that backfires on him.

Kimon
06-06-2017, 08:22 PM
Is Trump even aware of how many American troops are based out of Qatar? I'm betting no.


Also, in other news, Trump is planning to live tweet Comey's testimony on Thursday. No way in hell that backfires on him.

I'm just hoping that he at least understands the difference between the Sunni and the Shia and realizes that ISIS and Iran are on opposite sides of a sectarian divide - probably an unrealistic hope.

In other news, Trump, continuing in his quixotic tantrums, has now turned even on Sessions.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-offered-in-recent-months-to-resign-as-attorney-general/2017/06/06/030366fc-4b17-11e7-bc1b-fddbd8359dee_story.html?utm_term=.20ad44883ced

Southpaw2012
06-08-2017, 10:46 AM
I'm old enough to remember when Democrats (including just about everyone on this board) ridiculed Romney for calling the Russians the greatest threat to America. Funny how things change.

I actually feel sorry for Comey. He made many mistakes, but was stuck with liar-in-chief Barack Hussein Obama and nut-job Donald Trump. It's unfortunate for the American people that ignorant people, aka the Left, began calling for Trump's impeachment prior to the election based on his "hurtful" comments. There is no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians, but that the Russians hacked and leaked truthful documents about Hillary prior to election 2016. It's be interesting to see how much further along everything would be if people sat back and allowed the investigation to proceed before making definitive judgments. I wish Republicans would pull the race card, but that bs argument is reserved to the party with no valid arguments to begin with.

Davian93
06-08-2017, 10:51 AM
I'm old enough to remember when Democrats (including just about everyone on this board) ridiculed Romney for calling the Russians the greatest threat to America. Funny how things change.

I actually feel sorry for Comey. He made many mistakes, but was stuck with liar-in-chief Barack Hussein Obama and nut-job Donald Trump. It's unfortunate for the American people that ignorant people, aka the Left, began calling for Trump's impeachment prior to the election based on his "hurtful" comments. There is no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians, but that the Russians hacked and leaked truthful documents about Hillary prior to election 2016. It's be interesting to see how much further along everything would be if people sat back and allowed the investigation to proceed before making definitive judgments. I wish Republicans would pull the race card, but that bs argument is reserved to the party with no valid arguments to begin with.

Well, nobody expected a Presidential candidate and an entire political party to knowingly coordinate election fraud with a foreign power.

I mean, that does sort of up the threat a little, eh?

People were worried about Trump due to the indications of highly criminal activity by him and his team, not "hurtful comments". The only "hurtful comments" that really concerned me was his admission of enjoying sexually assaulting women just because he could. That struck me as something that should be disqualifying for the Presidency.

Kimon
06-08-2017, 11:33 AM
I'm old enough to remember when Democrats (including just about everyone on this board) ridiculed Romney for calling the Russians the greatest threat to America. Funny how things change.


The critique at the time was not that the Russians did not pose a threat, merely that they were not a more significant threat than Islamic extremism and terrorism. Many of us were guilty of losing focus on the continuing dangers potentially posed by Russia and Putin, but this was in context of the the lead-up to that 2012 election. That context does matter. The chaos in Ukraine did not truly begin to spiral until 2014 (though the beginnings of that chaos obviously went quite a bit further back, as did Russia's interventions in the stability of their former vassal/province). Their invasion and annexation of Crimea immediately followed, also in 2014, and then, of course, also their destabilizing and creation of the still ongoing civil war in the east of Ukraine. Likewise, the connectivity between the KSB (and other Russian intel outfits) with Wikileaks was less well established and understood. Nor did we yet have such clear Russian involvement in hacking the DNC, and attempting to hack various elements of our electronic voting infrastructure. Nor had we a president with such suspicious connections to the Russians.

Romney deserves some credit for highlighting this, but Romney is not the president. We on the left would all thoroughly prefer him to Trump.

I actually feel sorry for Comey. He made many mistakes, but was stuck with liar-in-chief Barack Hussein Obama and nut-job Donald Trump. It's unfortunate for the American people that ignorant people, aka the Left, began calling for Trump's impeachment prior to the election based on his "hurtful" comments. There is no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians, but that the Russians hacked and leaked truthful documents about Hillary prior to election 2016. It's be interesting to see how much further along everything would be if people sat back and allowed the investigation to proceed before making definitive judgments. I wish Republicans would pull the race card, but that bs argument is reserved to the party with no valid arguments to begin with.

If by "hurtful" you are referring to his pussy-grabbing, that was a stupid comment, but certainly not something that has any bearing on whether or not he should be impeached. We think that he is at minimum corrupt and untrustworthy. Trump University makes this clear, as does the pattern of his business ventures and his manipulation of bankruptcy law that has allowed him to personally enrich himself while cheating his workers and taxpayers out of so much money. But what really worries us is the suspicion that he also is either being at best simply manipulated by the Russians, and at worst, that he, and various underlings, are not merely colluding with the Russians, but actively committing treason.

We didn't like Reagan. We didn't like the Younger Bush (if you notice, most of us don't have much of a problem with the Elder Bush). We didn't particularly like Romney either. But we weren't worried that any of them were working for the Russians either by intent or by accident. With Trump we are.

Kimon
06-08-2017, 11:52 AM
As should be expected, there really wasn't anything particularly revelatory in Comey's public testimony, excepting, of course, for his willingness to admit these elements...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40205461

Mr Comey said it was a matter of circumstances, the subject matter and the "person I was interacting with".
"I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting" he told the panel of Mr Trump.
"I knew there would come a day that I might need a record, not just to defend myself, but to defend the FBI," he said.

He made clear that unlike with the Younger Bush and Obama, he felt it necessary to record his meetings with Trump because he thought that Trump's wasn't trustworthy, tacitly questioned his ethics, and flat out called him a liar. The above article fails to include the other two most interesting (at least to me) nuggets - that Flynn was, and presumably is, definitely in criminal jeopardy, and that he admitted not merely to leaking his memos, but that the explicit purpose of that leaking was to force the appointment of a special counsel. That last bit is perhaps indicative.

Davian93
06-08-2017, 01:09 PM
Maybe Romney made those comments because the same people that approached Trump approached him in 2012 and he was smart enough to say no instead....

Kimon
06-08-2017, 01:29 PM
As an aside, at least I wasn't the only one that had no clue what McCain was trying to ask or to imply.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/06/08/sen-john-mccains-bizarre-questioning-of-comey/?utm_term=.ef78a44fd640

But several of his questions confused viewers, and seemingly Comey himself, and occasionally became incoherent. He referred to “President Comey,” and at times looked confused and frustrated with Comey's answers.

It honestly had a bit of a feel of dementia.

Davian93
06-08-2017, 01:38 PM
He turns 81 this year...I wouldn't be surprised if he is pretty much going senile now.

Speaking of senility, Trump was reportedly unaware that we had 11,000 troops and a major command based in Qatar and only found out after his idiotic tweets about the country.

I'm not sure I can handle anymore winning.

Davian93
06-08-2017, 04:07 PM
Early exit polls projecting that the Conservatives lost a good number of seats and there may be a Hung Parliament.

Good work, May!!!

Kimon
06-08-2017, 04:29 PM
Early exit polls projecting that the Conservatives lost a good number of seats and there may be a Hung Parliament.

Good work, May!!!

If anything, that it probably more an indictment of just how incompetent Labour has been, that even with the greater understanding of just how foolish Brexit has been, that they still can't beat the Tories. Part of that is likely due to the SNP, but speaking of the SNP...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/08/scotland-election-results-live-will-snp-nicola-sturgeon-do/

An exit poll for the BBC, ITV and Sky suggests the SNP will win 34 seats, down from 56 in the last general election. SNP MSP Aileen Campbell told BBC Radio Scotland: "That would still put us with the most seats across the country."

However, Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser told the broadcaster it was an "astonishing decline".

The Conservatives are aiming to make gains in areas including the Borders and North East Scotland - with the SNP's deputy leader Angus Robertson in Moray among the big hitters the party hopes to topple.

Ruth Davidson's message on the day before polling was to say that only her party was "serious" about keeping Scotland in the UK.

"With us it's clear - no to a second referendum, no to more uncertainty, and no to the division it would cause our country," the leader of the Scottish Conservatives said.

GonzoTheGreat
06-09-2017, 03:56 AM
There is no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians, but that the Russians hacked and leaked truthful documents about Hillary prior to election 2016.Well, there is the evidence that Trump called in public (during a campaign rally, I think) upon the Russians to do such hacking.

It's be interesting to see how much further along everything would be if people sat back and allowed the investigation to proceed before making definitive judgments.Of course, there'd be no investigation in the first place. Why weren't you clamouring for this to get cleared up right from the beginning?

I wish Republicans would pull the race card, but that bs argument is reserved to the party with no valid arguments to begin with.
What valid argument do the Republicans have for supporting Vladimir Putin against the American people?

ShadowbaneX
06-09-2017, 07:08 AM
I'm old enough to remember when Democrats (including just about everyone on this board) ridiculed Romney for calling the Russians the greatest threat to America. Funny how things change.

I actually feel sorry for Comey. He made many mistakes, but was stuck with liar-in-chief Barack Hussein Obama and nut-job Donald Trump. It's unfortunate for the American people that ignorant people, aka the Left, began calling for Trump's impeachment prior to the election based on his "hurtful" comments. There is no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians, but that the Russians hacked and leaked truthful documents about Hillary prior to election 2016. It's be interesting to see how much further along everything would be if people sat back and allowed the investigation to proceed before making definitive judgments. I wish Republicans would pull the race card, but that bs argument is reserved to the party with no valid arguments to begin with.
I love how "we weren't investigating Trump" all of a sudden means "there's no evidence Trump did anything wrong." Ugh, no, it just means they weren't investigating him. It doesn't mean there's no evidence it means that if they're going to level charges on the man occupying the Oval Office they're going to be iron clad, and until that time, no they are not investigating him.

If you want to take that as vindication he's done nothing wrong, well, that's your perogative. At the very least if he is completely innocent of any wrong doing he's guilty of being inept, ignorant and utterly incompetent.

GonzoTheGreat
06-09-2017, 07:39 AM
At the very least if he is completely innocent of any wrong doing he's guilty of being inept, ignorant and utterly incompetent.
Then again, being a conservative isn't a crime, is it?

Davian93
06-09-2017, 07:45 AM
Looks like May will try to form a gov't with the DUP's backing. That should be fun for her and the Tories.

What an utter joke..."Hmm, I'll demand a snap election to shore up my support for Brexit. What's that? Despite the opposition being badly fractured, I lost a nice chunk of my seats? Guess that's a sign from the people that I should continue to stay in power with a shaky as hell coalition".

ShadowbaneX
06-09-2017, 07:47 AM
Then again, being a conservative isn't a crime, is it?

If that's the way they're running things, then it should be.

GonzoTheGreat
06-09-2017, 09:29 AM
If that's the way they're running things, then it should be.
Ah, but they're writing the laws, which greatly helps to make things be "not a crime".

ShadowbaneX
06-09-2017, 09:53 AM
Ah, but they're writing the laws, which greatly helps to make things be "not a crime".

Hence "should".

Crispin's Crispian
06-09-2017, 11:14 AM
I didn't realize Obama's middle name was Hussein. I wonder about the significance of that.

Davian93
06-09-2017, 01:02 PM
I didn't realize Obama's middle name was Hussein. I wonder about the significance of that.

I know you're joking but its the Right's way of emphasizing his "non-American Muslimy background" as they see it.

See, his middle name is the same as a former dictator so he must be bad. And he's black and from Kenya and clearly he's not from here. He's not "one of us"

So whenever you see someone do it, its a giant dog whistle for their right wing friends. Same as when they say the "Democrat Party" instead of the "Democratic Party".

Yes, they actually think this is clever and funny. It tells you a lot about their personalities that this is the case.

Kimon
06-09-2017, 02:52 PM
Kirsten Gillibrand apparently thinks that the dems should get a bit more salty with their rhetoric...

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/09/politics/kirsten-gillibrand-fbomb/index.html

Crispin's Crispian
06-09-2017, 03:29 PM
I know you're joking but its the Right's way of emphasizing his "non-American Muslimy background" as they see it.

See, his middle name is the same as a former dictator so he must be bad. And he's black and from Kenya and clearly he's not from here. He's not "one of us"

So whenever you see someone do it, its a giant dog whistle for their right wing friends. Same as when they say the "Democrat Party" instead of the "Democratic Party".

Yes, they actually think this is clever and funny. It tells you a lot about their personalities that this is the case.

Wait, you're telling me he's black, too?

Ivhon
06-09-2017, 03:36 PM
Wait, you're telling me he's black, too?

Yes. Hence "liar-in-chief." Because, you know.

GonzoTheGreat
06-10-2017, 03:28 AM
Wait, you're telling me he's black, too?
Yes. Hence "liar-in-chief." Because, you know.
The current one is orange, which, as everyone knows, is the new black.

ShadowbaneX
06-10-2017, 11:46 AM
The current one is orange, which, as everyone knows, is the new black.

https://i.imgur.com/tEHqG7P_d.webp?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=high

Kimon
06-10-2017, 01:37 PM
Looks like May will try to form a gov't with the DUP's backing. That should be fun for her and the Tories.

What an utter joke..."Hmm, I'll demand a snap election to shore up my support for Brexit. What's that? Despite the opposition being badly fractured, I lost a nice chunk of my seats? Guess that's a sign from the people that I should continue to stay in power with a shaky as hell coalition".

The DUP sounds a lot more like our republicans than do the Tories...

http://www.bbc.com/news/election-2017-40217141

The party, which returned 10 MPs to Westminster, has garnered a bit of a reputation for its strong and controversial views.
It opposes same-sex marriage and is anti-abortion - abortion remains illegal in Northern Ireland, except in specific medical cases.

DUP East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson, a devout climate change denier, was once Northern Ireland's environment minister.
Mervyn Storey, the party's former education spokesman, once called for creationism - the belief that human life did not evolve over millions of years but was created by God - to be taught alongside evolution in science classes.
He has also objected to an exhibition on evolution in the Ulster Museum and signs at the Giant's Causeway in his North Antrim constituency.

GonzoTheGreat
06-11-2017, 07:10 AM
The DUP sounds a lot more like our republicans than do the Tories...
Which is why a lot of Europeans don't think the USA has an actual left wing. In Europe, Liberals (like the Tories) are right wing, or maybe just about centre. In the USA, there's nothing to the left of the Liberals, apart from the occasional deluded Libertarian*.

* Who can be basically all over the place, since Libertarianism is internally inconsistent.

Kimon
06-11-2017, 11:03 AM
Which is why a lot of Europeans don't think the USA has an actual left wing. In Europe, Liberals (like the Tories) are right wing, or maybe just about centre. In the USA, there's nothing to the left of the Liberals, apart from the occasional deluded Libertarian*.

* Who can be basically all over the place, since Libertarianism is internally inconsistent.

It is a matter of perspective. The dems are clearly philosophically to the left of the republicans. Where they would fall within the spectrum if placed into another country or region is a separate issue from where they would fall within our own. It is thus possible to refer to it both as left wing from our perspective, and centrist, or even slightly right wing from yours. Regardless, clearly from either perspective the dems quite clearly fall to the left of the republicans.

Much of this debate still, at least to me, seems to derive from a simple difference between our two systems - ours is binary, yours is more myriad. Our dems thus can in ways look more like a coalition of tories and labour brought together by their mutual terror at the opposition party, the republicans (basically a coalition itself similar to dup and ukip in Britain). In Britain, DUP just got 10 seats (our of the 650) and 0.9% of the vote. UKIP got no seats, though had slightly more of the vote, 1.8%. If the republicans were getting even remotely as little as that then the dems could splinter and focus on more specific issues rather than coalesce into a looser alliance. But our far right wing (the republicans) has much more support. Even minute splintering of support on the left (our left) thus can be consequential.

Kimon
06-11-2017, 03:53 PM
On a related note...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/11/us/democrats-midterm-elections.html?action=click&contentCollection=U.S.&module=Trending&version=Full&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

I really want Bernie to go away.

Mr. Sanders and many attendees enthused over the surprise showing of the British Labour Party, under the left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn, in last week’s election. Democrats can electrify voters, they warned, only by embracing the Sanders agenda of universal health care, free college tuition and full employment.

Speaking for just under an hour, Mr. Sanders, who was met with chants of “Bernie, Bernie” and pleas of “2020!,” crowed that while he may have lost the 2016 primary, “we have won the battle of ideas and we are continuing to win that battle.”

He assailed President Trump in blistering terms, but earned some of his loudest cheers for attacking the party whose nomination he sought last year. “The current model and the current strategy of the Democratic Party is an absolute failure,” Mr. Sanders said to booming applause, arguing that Democrats need “fundamental change.”

“The Democratic Party must finally understand which side it is on,” he said.


Perhaps someone could remind him that his equally incompetent brother just came in 4th in Oxford East.

Yet the party’s elected leaders, and many of its candidates, are far more dispassionate, sharing a cold-eyed recognition of the need to scrounge for votes in forbidding precincts. They have taken as a model the Democratic campaign of 2006, when the party won control of Congress in part by competing for conservative corners of the country and recruiting challengers who broke with liberal orthodoxy.

Outside Atlanta on Friday, Jon Ossoff offered a decidedly un-Sanders-like vision of the future in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, a conservative-leaning patchwork of office plazas and upscale malls, where voters attended his campaign events wearing golf shirts and designer eyewear.

In a special election that has become the most expensive House race in history, Mr. Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional aide, presented himself as essentially anti-ideological. Greeting suburban parents near a playground and giving a pep talk to volunteers, he stressed broadly popular policies like fighting air and water pollution and preserving insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Bucking the left, Mr. Ossoff said in an interview that he would not support raising income taxes, even for the wealthy, and opposed “any move” toward a single-payer health care system. Attacked by Republicans for his ties to national liberals, Mr. Ossoff said he had not yet given “an ounce of thought” to whether he would vote for Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, in a future ballot for speaker.

Friction has already flared between Democrats heavily invested in Mr. Ossoff’s race and activists closely aligned with Mr. Sanders. In April, Mr. Sanders declined to say if he considered Mr. Ossoff a progressive, causing an uproar that he calmed by urging Mr. Ossoff’s election.

Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator who is on the board of Mr. Sanders’s political organization, suggested in Chicago that Democrats risked slumbering through the revolution, offering an unofficial slogan for the party: “Hashtag, ‘Not Woke Yet.’”

“Unity for unity’s sake,” she warned, “is not going to happen.”

This is why we're not going to retake the House, why we probably won't take the Senate, and why Bernie cannot be our candidate in '20. This is why Bernie is just as bad as Nader. Why his "movement", and his followers are just as bad as the Tea Party.

StrangePackage
06-11-2017, 05:59 PM
I'm hoping Father Time can go ahead and make Bernie a mascot or a martyr, rather than a candidate.

I got no use for him.

Kimon
06-11-2017, 06:38 PM
I'm hoping Father Time can go ahead and make Bernie a mascot or a martyr, rather than a candidate.


I just don't trust him. Neither his judgment, nor his intentions. I see little difference between him and Jill Stein. Both are demagogues first and foremost. That said, I don't wish him getting his head bashed in with a rock, nor a stroke, either.

I got no use for him.

This. He is part of the problem, not the solution. The only saving grace is that he is old. I do wish that Elizabeth Warren was ten or so years younger. She should have been our candidate this cycle, but in '20 she will be arguably too old as well. Likewise Joe Biden, who would have been the other logical option.

Our bullpen at present unfortunately looks pretty pathetic. Maybe Joaquin Castro. Or his brother Julian. Not Bernie.

Kimon
06-11-2017, 07:19 PM
Results are in for Puerto Rico's statehood vote today.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/11/us/puerto-ricans-vote-on-the-question-of-statehood.html

SAN JUAN, P.R. — With schools shuttered, pensions at risk and the island under the authority of an oversight board in New York City, half a million Puerto Ricans voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to become America’s 51st state, in a flawed election most voters sat out.

With nearly all of the precincts reporting, 97 percent of the ballots cast were in favor of statehood, a landslide critics said indicated that only statehood supporters had turned out to the polls. Opposition parties who prefer independence or remaining a territory boycotted the special election, which they considered rigged in favor of statehood.

On an island where voter participation often hovers around 80 percent, just 23 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Voting stations accustomed to long lines were virtually empty on Sunday.

That low turnout unfortunately will provide sufficient cover for this to be ignored, or at least questioned (as to its veracity) in Washington. They should have just had this be a vote-by-mail binary option to a simple, straightforward question - Do you want Puerto Rico to become a state, yes or no.

GonzoTheGreat
06-12-2017, 03:09 AM
If American elections provided simple and clear options, then the voters would actually know what they were doing, and thus might very well pick their own preference rather than that of their bipartisan masters. The masters don't want that; so they make sure that the elections are rigged.

Davian93
06-12-2017, 07:51 AM
https://i.imgur.com/tEHqG7P_d.webp?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=high

There is not enough rep in the world for how awesome this jpg is...

Davian93
06-12-2017, 07:55 AM
I really want Bernie to go away.

Only if he takes Hillary with him...can they both just please go away and let a new generation of Democrats run the party please?

Oh but Biden can stay...because Uncle Joe is just awesome.

On Puerto Rican statehood, I have a better chance of becoming Secretary of State than Puerto Rico has of becoming a State under the current administration. There is zero chance they're going to give the Dems two Senate seats and 4 Representatives (roughly what they'd be entitled to based on the last Census).

ShadowbaneX
06-12-2017, 08:25 AM
There is not enough rep in the world for how awesome this jpg is...

Glad to know you got a good laugh out of it. I can't take credit for it, but I'm happy to share. =D

GonzoTheGreat
06-12-2017, 08:51 AM
On Puerto Rican statehood, I have a better chance of becoming Secretary of State than Puerto Rico has of becoming a State under the current administration.
Let's see what your qualifications are:
-You're not a Republican. For now, that counts against you, but by next year it'll be a plus.
-You've met a foreigner (maybe more than one) without getting into a fistfight. By next year, that's definitely a plus.
-No Senator will be blamed if you get appointed and then mess up. That's a definite plus.
-Trump doesn't know you personally. Another definite plus.

All in all, you will have to wait a while, but then you run a significant risk of being appointed. The only real question is: will you see it coming, or will you learn about it because your name appears on a news show while you're in a meeting somewhere?

Bonus question: given these facts, how high is the chance that PR will become a US State in 2018?

Kimon
06-12-2017, 08:57 AM
Only if he takes Hillary with him...can they both just please go away and let a new generation of Democrats run the party please?


Yeah, Hillary has to go away too. This one however is inevitable. Bernie? I'd be surprised if Bernie doesn't run in '20.

Back to Trump...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40244607

This is an insult to Julius Caesar.

Davian93
06-12-2017, 09:58 AM
Caesar was one of the most gifted men of his generation on a variety of levels. He's everything that Trump could never be.

Trump wishes he was that awesome.

Ozymandias
06-12-2017, 10:46 AM
can they both just please go away and let a new generation of Democrats run the party please?


I honestly think this is one of the major problems with both parties, is that they've been so dominated for so long by a small political elite that new voices have not had a time to come through.

One of the main reasons I would never have voted for Hillary Clinton was that I thought it unhealthy for democracy that we go Bush as VP, Bush as POTUS, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, Clinton as SoS, and then one year without a Clinton or Bush in a major position of power into another Clinton Presidency. Which isn't fair to Hillary personally, I guess, but whatever.

I think the consolidation of intraparty power by the Clintons over the last two or three decades was an awful thing for the Democrats, and that shone through this year. And an equally bad thing for the Republicans in years past. Most of the current extremism on the right has to do with a black man having been President, I'm sure, but the fact that the bland and relatively centrist Bush clan ran the party for 20-30 years doesn't help either.

Kimon
06-12-2017, 10:47 AM
Caesar was one of the most gifted men of his generation on a variety of levels. He's everything that Trump could never be.


Caesar was a brilliant strategist and tactician. He was an eloquent orator. He was magnanimous and merciful towards his vanquished foes - to his mortal detriment. And he was a gifted writer who not only wrote his own novels, but whose novels are still school texts - one of them (the Commentarii de Bello Gallico) is still half of the AP Latin Exam (along with the Aeneid).

Trump didn't even write Art of the Deal.

That's not to say that Trump doesn't remind of certain Julio-Claudian dynasts - Tiberius especially seems an apt comparison in the Plutarchian mold.

Tangentially, Trump just got hit with another legal suit today.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40250700

Officials in Maryland and Washington DC are expected to sue Donald Trump for accepting payments from foreign governments via his business empire.
The lawsuit cites the US constitution's emoluments clause, which says no federal official should receive a gift or a fee from a foreign government.
The legal action alleges "unprecedented constitutional violations" by the US president, the Washington Post reports.
It would be the first such lawsuit filed by government entities.

While the lawsuit by the District of Columbia and Maryland isn't the first attempt to force the president to more fully separate himself from his real-estate empire, the two governments bring a new level of legitimacy and resources.
The first hurdle the states face is whether they have the proper legal grounds to file this case. Given that this is judicial terra incognita, there's no telling how the courts will react.


There's never been a businessman-turned-president quite like Mr Trump, so there's never been a lawsuit quite like this one.

Here's hoping that even if Trump does not serve as a wake-up call to republicans that govt is indeed best left to professionals, and that govt should not be run like a business, that perhaps at least he will serve as a cautionary tale for other narcissistic amateurs from the business world.

GonzoTheGreat
06-12-2017, 11:03 AM
Here's hoping that even if Trump does not serve as a wake-up call to republicans that govt is indeed best left to professionals, and that govt should not be run like a business, that perhaps at least he will serve as a cautionary tale for other narcissistic amateurs from the business world.
You mean: that they'll see how they can earn money by playing at politics?

I'm not sure I want much more of that particular caution, thank you very much.

Kimon
06-12-2017, 11:04 AM
I honestly think this is one of the major problems with both parties, is that they've been so dominated for so long by a small political elite that new voices have not had a time to come through.

One of the main reasons I would never have voted for Hillary Clinton was that I thought it unhealthy for democracy that we go Bush as VP, Bush as POTUS, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, Clinton as SoS, and then one year without a Clinton or Bush in a major position of power into another Clinton Presidency. Which isn't fair to Hillary personally, I guess, but whatever.

I think the consolidation of intraparty power by the Clintons over the last two or three decades was an awful thing for the Democrats, and that shone through this year. And an equally bad thing for the Republicans in years past. Most of the current extremism on the right has to do with a black man having been President, I'm sure, but the fact that the bland and relatively centrist Bush clan ran the party for 20-30 years doesn't help either.

Point taken, but in retrospect would you still prefer Trump to Jeb?

Kimon
06-12-2017, 11:06 AM
You mean: that they'll see how they can earn money by playing at politics?


They already do this - Citizens United.

Most of them accomplish this without ruining their name and their legacy.

Ozymandias
06-12-2017, 03:14 PM
That's not to say that Trump doesn't remind of certain Julio-Claudian dynasts - Tiberius especially seems an apt comparison in the Plutarchian mold.


Doesn't seem very fair to Tiberius, my good man! Tiberius was an able (though perhaps not exceptional) military commander, governor, and politician. He just didn't really want to be most of those things. And the smears he encountered came from a jealous Senatorial class, and reflect his declining interest in actively governing. 2nd term George Washington might be a better analogy, as someone essentially press-ganged into service.

I would have gone with Caligula (minus the age). As bereft of talent as he was full of pride, willing to accept symbolic victories as opposed to substantial ones, focused on increasing his own power and gratifying himself, an interest in public works projects, and most of all, perhaps, the slow fall from grace of being the darling of the masses to being despised by all.

Kimon
06-12-2017, 04:11 PM
Doesn't seem very fair to Tiberius, my good man! Tiberius was an able (though perhaps not exceptional) military commander, governor, and politician. He just didn't really want to be most of those things. And the smears he encountered came from a jealous Senatorial class, and reflect his declining interest in actively governing. 2nd term George Washington might be a better analogy, as someone essentially press-ganged into service.

It was Drusus (Tiberius' brother) that was Augustus' best general. Drusus was supposed to be Augustus' heir, but as with most of Augustus' intended successors, Drusus died. Tiberius wasn't a bad general, but the successes were mostly his brother's, not his. Even his brother's son, Germanicus, was arguably a better general, or at least better loved by his soldiers. Tiberius didn't become Augustus's heir due to his own abilities, it was because Augustus outlived his intended heirs (Drusus and Germanicus) and was stuck with no other option within the family.

It is his paranoia (largely due to Sejanus' and Agrippina the Elder's machinations, but also jealousy of his nephew Germanicus), his absence from the capital (on his pleasure isle, Capri - similar to Trump's Mar a Lago), his age, and his perversions (I not aware of any stories of dwarf prostitutes with Trump, but nothing would particularly surprise anyone) that I was mostly thinking of however. Trump does seem a bit more loyal to his family than Tiberius. Suetonius thought that Tiberius (the other usual suspect was Piso working alone - Agrippina the Elder (Germanicus' wife) ensured that Piso at least had to commit ritual suicide as recompense) had Germanicus poisoned out of jealousy. She seemed to think that Tiberius was also involved. We know that he eventually arrested, imprisoned, and either murdered (or forced to commit suicide - Tacitus wrote that what exactly happened was uncertain) Agrippina the Elder and her oldest two sons - Nero and Drusus (not the infamous Nero nor famous Drusus). Her younger children, Caligula and his sisters, were spared, but were psychologically traumatized and abused by their uncle, Tiberius, on Capri.

I would have gone with Caligula (minus the age). As bereft of talent as he was full of pride, willing to accept symbolic victories as opposed to substantial ones, focused on increasing his own power and gratifying himself, an interest in public works projects, and most of all, perhaps, the slow fall from grace of being the darling of the masses to being despised by all.

Caligula is tempting because of the incest angle - but keep in mind, Caligula was getting it on with his sister (definitely with Drusilla, probably not the other two), not his daughter. Caligula was a megalomaniac, but the problem of comparison here isn't just age, he was far more unstable even than Trump. If Trump appoints his toupee to the senate (Caligula appointed his horse), or declares war on the sea and starts killing seashells, or impregnates and then tries to eat Ivanka's baby to try to recreate the birth of Minerva, then a comparison to Caligula might start making more sense.

Nero might be more fitting, but I don't get the impression that Trump hated (or murdered - Nero had his mom, one of Caligula's other sisters, Agrippina the Younger, killed for annoying him) or murdered his mom. He also doesn't strike me as much of a music or horse-racing enthusiast.

Kimon
06-12-2017, 08:09 PM
It is at times difficult to remember that this is not merely a farce.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ARgUIpM6f0


http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/337509-trump-considering-firing-special-counsel-mueller

Davian93
06-12-2017, 10:27 PM
It is at times difficult to remember that this is not merely a farce.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ARgUIpM6f0


http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/337509-trump-considering-firing-special-counsel-mueller

This is what we call "floating a trial balloon to see how the base reacts". If they don't flip out, Mueller is gone this week. After all, he's part of the Deep State...Trump is just draining the swamp.

Ozymandias
06-13-2017, 09:08 AM
It was Drusus (Tiberius' brother) that was Augustus' best general. Drusus was supposed to be Augustus' heir, but as with most of Augustus' intended successors, Drusus died. Tiberius wasn't a bad general, but the successes were mostly his brother's, not his. Even his brother's son, Germanicus, was arguably a better general, or at least better loved by his soldiers. Tiberius didn't become Augustus's heir due to his own abilities, it was because Augustus outlived his intended heirs (Drusus and Germanicus) and was stuck with no other option within the family.

It is his paranoia (largely due to Sejanus' and Agrippina the Elder's machinations, but also jealousy of his nephew Germanicus), his absence from the capital (on his pleasure isle, Capri - similar to Trump's Mar a Lago), his age, and his perversions (I not aware of any stories of dwarf prostitutes with Trump, but nothing would particularly surprise anyone) that I was mostly thinking of however. Trump does seem a bit more loyal to his family than Tiberius. Suetonius thought that Tiberius (the other usual suspect was Piso working alone - Agrippina the Elder (Germanicus' wife) ensured that Piso at least had to commit ritual suicide as recompense) had Germanicus poisoned out of jealousy. She seemed to think that Tiberius was also involved. We know that he eventually arrested, imprisoned, and either murdered (or forced to commit suicide - Tacitus wrote that what exactly happened was uncertain) Agrippina the Elder and her oldest two sons - Nero and Drusus (not the infamous Nero nor famous Drusus). Her younger children, Caligula and his sisters, were spared, but were psychologically traumatized and abused by their uncle, Tiberius, on Capri.

Oh I don't know about all that. Accusations of perversion and incest and all that nonsense is typical Roman political invective.

And his campaigns in Raetia, and especially against the Marcomanni, prove his bona fides as a general. I'm not saying he was a military genius on par with Caesar or even Drusus, but he was clearly the most competent general (who also was/became emperor) of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

I think it's also unfair to say that Tiberius wasn't Augustus' heir due to his abilities or lack thereof. He clearly was a favorite of Augustus in his younger life, and openly defied Augustus' succession plans. I would argue that his marriage to Julia constitutes about the most open signal of Imperial favor one could have. His later retirement from politics was a slap in the face to Augustus. It seems reasonable to me to conclude that after the death of Drusus a couple years later, Tiberius is the heir apparent. Augustus may have preferred his grandsons, but the plan seems to have always been to have a transition of power so someone safely in middle age could smooth the way for the younger men.

And as for all the invective... well, you hear the same thing in the late Republic. Tiberias took steps to curb the power of the Senate as well, and as a first transition in which the power of the princeps was laid bare as hereditary and not solely the province of Augustus, it isn't surprising there was backlash. At the end of the day, the picture of a man consumed by brutality and excess is not at all in keeping with his actions, strengthening the empire through diplomacy as well as force, and leaving a treasury full to bursting. More likely, he was a lonely, unhappy man for much of his later life, and once princeps withdrew from politics as he had tried years before. His crackdown on Senatorial corruption, combined with his absence from Rome, led rise to all the wild stories about his time on Capri (not to say I don't believe he didn't indulge, he wouldn't be Roman if he didn't, but some of the more absurd stories are probably just that).

Caligula is tempting because of the incest angle - but keep in mind, Caligula was getting it on with his sister (definitely with Drusilla, probably not the other two), not his daughter. Caligula was a megalomaniac, but the problem of comparison here isn't just age, he was far more unstable even than Trump. If Trump appoints his toupee to the senate (Caligula appointed his horse), or declares war on the sea and starts killing seashells, or impregnates and then tries to eat Ivanka's baby to try to recreate the birth of Minerva, then a comparison to Caligula might start making more sense.

Haha well we haven't gotten to the end of the term yet; we're still in the first few months!

And appointing Jared Kushner to solve every problem in the world seems like a fitting analogue to Incitatus being nominated for consul....

ShadowbaneX
06-13-2017, 10:20 AM
This is what we call "floating a trial balloon to see how the base reacts". If they don't flip out, Mueller is gone this week. After all, he's part of the Deep State...Trump is just draining the swamp.

That would be quite the shit show to see. It'd be like the 4th of July only instead of various materials oxidizing in various colours it would be excrement exploding across the skies.

Kimon
06-13-2017, 11:27 AM
Oh I don't know about all that. Accusations of perversion and incest and all that nonsense is typical Roman political invective.


I'm always somewhat amused/confused when you try to argue Roman or Greek history with me, but anyway...

The main sources for Tiberius are Suetonius and Tacitus. There are a few others, but those are the two that are most extant and relevant. Both come in the generation after Tiberius - they were both friends of Pliny the Younger, so weren't contemporaries of Tiberius, but were contemporaries of each other. Tacitus worked under the Flavians. Suetonius under Trajan and Hadrian. Domitian aside, the Flavian emperors (Vespasian and his sons - Titus and Domitian), and the so-called Five Good Emperors (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius) were all significantly better leaders than the Julio-Claudians.

Tacitus is more reliable than Suetonius, and much of the really scandalous information comes from Suetonius, not Tacitus (the most infamous example is the Great Fire - blamed on Nero in Suetonius, explicitly told that the rumor was nonsense by Tacitus). Still, while Suetonius is more prone to including tabloid fodder, most of the controversies and unpleasantness with Tiberius derive from Tiberius' lieutenant Sejanus' machinations, and his friction with Agrippina the Elder. These events are mentioned by both. We know that they happened. Some of the details in Suetonius likely are exaggerated for effect, but unlike with the Fire, there is no clear reason to discredit his description here.

Indeed much of the troubles with Tiberius directly derive from the period when Sejanus convinced Tiberius to retire to Capri, and allow Sejanus to run things for him in Rome. This happened in 23 AD, and he never returned to Rome again. Tiberius ruled until 37 AD, but those last, most chaotic years, he basically just said fu*k it, it is someone else's problem - Sejanus' until he had Sejanus killed in 31 AD.

Sejanus, the Praetorian Prefect, was thus essentially emperor in all but name from 23-31 AD. With Macro and Caligula essentially in control from 31-37 AD. It was during his consolidation of power that he convinced Tiberius that Agrippina and her sons were a threat to Tiberius (or at least a threat to Sejanus), and so convinced Tiberius to let him arrest and arrange accidents for them. How Sejanus' fall occurred is not uniformly described. Cassius Dio seems to think that Tiberius himself grew jealous of Sejanus, and was convinced in his paranoia that Sejanus was planning to murder him so that he could become emperor in name also. Tacitus says that Macro convinced Tiberius. Robert Graves (I, Claudius is a great watch, or read, it was originally a novel, then the BBC made it into a miniseries, for all these events) thought that Caligula perhaps was the source of these rumors. Certainly Caligula would have ample reason to want revenge on not just his uncle (Tiberius), but also on Sejanus, for the murders of his father (Germanicus), mother (Agrippina the Elder), and brothers (Nero and Drusus). Tacitus also thought that it was Macro and Caligula that were directly behind Tiberius' suspicious death. Suetonius and Cassius Dio give a number of different variant rumors on the events - all pointing at Macro and Caligula. No one really knows for sure, but are generally trusted as accurate.

And his campaigns in Raetia, and especially against the Marcomanni, prove his bona fides as a general. I'm not saying he was a military genius on par with Caesar or even Drusus, but he was clearly the most competent general (who also was/became emperor) of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

Again, no. Drusus was clearly the better general. Now if you are merely saying was he the only actual emperor of the dynasty with any command experience (even including Augustus)? Yes - the other Julio-Claudian emperors took no direct role in war, leaving it entirely to their generals. Caligula, Claudius, and Nero never even served in officer training roles as had Tiberius and his brother under Augustus. This perhaps helps explain why this dynasty was so egregiously awful. But he was not as skilled as his brother (Drusus). He was not on par with Caesar or Drusus. He was not incompetent or incapable, but that is not the same thing. He was a slightly above-average general. Basically the type that would have been commonfold back in the Republic.

I think it's also unfair to say that Tiberius wasn't Augustus' heir due to his abilities or lack thereof. He clearly was a favorite of Augustus in his younger life, and openly defied Augustus' succession plans. I would argue that his marriage to Julia constitutes about the most open signal of Imperial favor one could have. His later retirement from politics was a slap in the face to Augustus. It seems reasonable to me to conclude that after the death of Drusus a couple years later, Tiberius is the heir apparent. Augustus may have preferred his grandsons, but the plan seems to have always been to have a transition of power so someone safely in middle age could smooth the way for the younger men.

Again, no. Keep in mind, Tiberius was the older brother, not Drusus. Yet it was Drusus that was Augustus' heir. But Drusus died young - he was 29 when he died in 9 BC. He had three children - Germanicus (poisoned by Piso, probably on Tiberius' orders), Livilla (who later became Sejanus' mistress), and Claudius (the emperor - his stutter seemingly why neither Tiberius nor Caligula had him killed, thinking him not a threat). Drusus death also did not make Tiberius the heir. Next were Augustus' grandchildren, Gaius and Lucius - the sons of Julia and Agrippa. Livilla's first husband was this Gaius (her second husband was Tiberius' son Drusus, whom all the sources think was murdered by Livilla and Sejanus). But he died in 4 AD. His brother Lucius died just before him in 2 AD. This is why Augustus was stuck with Tiberius. Drusus, Gaius, and Lucius were all dead. So was his friend Agrippa. The options left to him were thus Tiberius or Germanicus. And it was unclear even then which of the two was his heir, but when he died (in 14 AD) only one of the two men was in Rome - Tiberius. Germanicus was on the Rhine. And Tiberius never seemed to trust him. Germanicus was murdered just a few years later in 19 AD.

As for his marriage to Julia, after Agrippa died, it was Tiberius that married Julia, not Drusus, because Drusus was married to a more important woman, Antonia Minor, (Antonia Minor was Augustus' niece - she was Octavia's daughter), whereas Tiberius had only been married to one of Agrippa's daughters.

Kimon
06-13-2017, 12:22 PM
That would be quite the shit show to see. It'd be like the 4th of July only instead of various materials oxidizing in various colours it would be excrement exploding across the skies.

If he does this might force discussion of a second charge - Abuse of Power.

It will also get us closer to what happened with Nixon in another way - Trump can't fire Mueller, Rosenstein would have to. So if he orders Rosenstein to fire Mueller (Sessions can't because of the recusal), we may see a re-enactment of the infamous Saturday Night Massacre in even closer parallel than with what happened with Comey. Because just as with Archibald Cox, Rosenstein, assuming he has any ethics and dignity (which seems the case), will refuse, and then just as with Richardson's and Ruckelshaus' resignations, Trump may have to scrounge around for another man devoid of ethics (like Bork) to wield the hatchet.

That said, as to Dav's point about Trump's base, yeah, not sure if his base would turn on him even if he punched a baby on live tv.

ShadowbaneX
06-13-2017, 12:58 PM
If he does this might force discussion of a second charge - Abuse of Power.

It will also get us closer to what happened with Nixon in another way - Trump can't fire Mueller, Rosenstein would have to. So if he orders Rosenstein to fire Mueller (Sessions can't because of the recusal), we may see a re-enactment of the infamous Saturday Night Massacre in even closer parallel than with what happened with Comey. Because just as with Archibald Cox, Rosenstein, assuming he has any ethics and dignity (which seems the case), will refuse, and then just as with Richardson's and Ruckelshaus' resignations, Trump may have to scrounge around for another man devoid of ethics (like Bork) to wield the hatchet.

That said, as to Dav's point about Trump's base, yeah, not sure if his base would turn on him even if he punched a baby on live tv.

Well, I've seen this referred to as the "Watergate Speedrun" so it would make sense that they'd have a repeat of the Massacre as well. I think even his base might balk at this 4th firing of individuals investigating this while thing though...I hope.

Davian93
06-13-2017, 01:31 PM
Well, I've seen this referred to as the "Watergate Speedrun" so it would make sense that they'd have a repeat of the Massacre as well. I think even his base might balk at this 4th firing of individuals investigating this while thing though...I hope.

I dont see his base ever revolting against him...no matter how revolting they are as human beings.

ShadowbaneX
06-13-2017, 01:54 PM
I dont see his base ever revolting against him...no matter how revolting they are as human beings.
I still have hope...it's possibly that it's because I'm Canadian and not American.

Infidel
06-13-2017, 03:08 PM
...yeah, not sure if his base would turn on him even if he punched a baby on live tv.

If it was a lily-white, God-fearing, innocent Christian baby they would.

If it was a soulless, heathen, black Muslim-Islamic-Terrorist baby, they'd all join Ted Nugent in a chorus of "'Murica, Fuck Yeah!!!"

Ozymandias
06-13-2017, 03:51 PM
I'm always somewhat amused/confused when you try to argue Roman or Greek history with me, but anyway...

Because you don't know as much as you think, it seems, but seeing as you know a lot and are really well read, it is to my benefit to engage you in discussion? Having to argue your position makes you rethink your own notions of what you know, and might/should occasionally change your mind? I've already caught a few mistakes you've made; I don't mean to imply I know more than you, as I probably don't, but it doesn't mean you don't have gaps in your knowledge that I might not know.


The main sources for Tiberius are Suetonius and Tacitus. There are a few others, but those are the two that are most extant and relevant.

Paterculus as well. Who was a contemporary, so I'd say that makes him relevant.

There are a few others, but those are the two that are most extant and relevant. Both come in the generation after Tiberius - they were both friends of Pliny the Younger, so weren't contemporaries of Tiberius, but were contemporaries of each other. Tacitus worked under the Flavians. Suetonius under Trajan and Hadrian. Domitian aside, the Flavian emperors (Vespasian and his sons - Titus and Domitian), and the so-called Five Good Emperors (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius) were all significantly better leaders than the Julio-Claudians.

Again, this isn't just "a fact". As you say said, most of the main sources for this period are writing during the reigns of the Flavians or the early "Five Good Emperors" (mind you, you've excluded Lucius Verus, which... sure, he was a nonentity and common scholarship dismisses him, but he still held power and if he did nothing with it, well, that just gives the lie to the accepted wisdom of five excellent emperors. Nerva didn't do much either, IIRC). Tacitus was a small child for the only part of Nero's reign he lived through, and I don't think Seutonius was born during his reign at all. Maybe a little piece of his last regnal year.

My point being, these are men writing, often with express or at least implied imperial patronage, during the reigns of emperors eager to distance and differentiate themselves from the Julio-Claudians. Of the five Julio-Claudians, one is arguably the greatest emperor in history, Claudius is well above average, perhaps even more than that. Tiberius may not have been great, but he was an accomplished man and if he more or less allowed the ship of state to sail itself, he certainly didn't do it the kind of active damage that Emperors like Caligula or Elagabalus did. So taking the word of writers who are predisposed to view the Julio-Claudians as bad, and the subsequent Flavians as good, as gospel is a mistake. If you take the ad hominem attacks out of it, Tiberius is one of the more successful emperors. The military conquest of his youth is replaced by diplomacy, the economy does well, and there is internal peace. That this was done at the expense of the Senatorial class is what gives the later historians such an aura of bitterness, since they are patrician senators or wealthy equestrians, and not the whole of the body politic.

These events are mentioned by both. We know that they happened. Some of the details in Suetonius likely are exaggerated for effect, but unlike with the Fire, there is no clear reason to discredit his description here.

Why not? Many sources mention Caesar being a submissive lover to Nicomedes, but that doesn't make it true. Tacitus is a Senator writing for his class; of course he will repeat what his readers want to hear. He wasn't a historian in the modern mold, any more than Julius Caesar was when he wrote his Commentaries. I'm sure both are accurate in broad strokes, but the emphasis and exaggeration in both can't be ignored.

To my mind, and that of other historians (or rather, historians, since I am not one), Tiberius is a competent general and politician who didn't want to be involved in politics. His withdrawal to Capri is just the sequel to his withdrawal to Rhodes in 6 BC. If his lieutenants were abusing his absence to inspire a reign of terror, I suppose that must be laid at his feet in large part, but the presumption of innocence on the part of the accused isn't necessarily right either.

I will agree that he bungled the succession, but again, he was in a fairly unique position in that he had to maintain the balancing act between first citizen and true emperor that Augustus had mastered, and there weren't many capable adult members of his family left.


Again, no. Drusus was clearly the better general.

Which I agreed with... I am saying Tiberius was a competent, perhaps even good or great general. Doesn't mean he's better than some other great general.


Now if you are merely saying was he the only actual emperor of the dynasty with any command experience (even including Augustus)? Yes - the other Julio-Claudian emperors took no direct role in war, leaving it entirely to their generals. Caligula, Claudius, and Nero never even served in officer training roles as had Tiberius and his brother under Augustus

Well, I won't lecture you, but for the benefit of those reading along, there is no "officer training role". There is the cursus honorum, which still existed, and it was expected to contain military service as part of your preparation for political life in the Republic and later Empire. As it happened, Nero and Caligula ascended to the imperial honors at very young ages; Nero too young to have been serving on anyone's staff, and Caligula having spent his adult years as a virtual prisoner. And Claudius was blackballed from politics because of his history of the Civil War. Politics and military service were linked; to be excluded from one was essentially to be excluded from the other.

This perhaps helps explain why this dynasty was so egregiously awful.

Except for Augustus and Claudius at minimum. And Julius, if you want to include him. And again, Tiberius. The State was better off for having him as Emperor. Compare him to... tons of emperors. Nerva didn't do much. Domitian may not have either, again our sources are biased. The later Severan Emperors were no prizes. And who is there after that? Aurelian, and Diocletian?

But he was not as skilled as his brother (Drusus). He was not on par with Caesar or Drusus. He was not incompetent or incapable, but that is not the same thing. He was a slightly above-average general. Basically the type that would have been commonfold back in the Republic.


I disagree with this. Most generals in the late Republic were idiots. Who are the above average generals? Sulla, Marius, Caesar, Pompey, Agrippa. Perhaps you say Labienus since he held proconsular imperium in his own right. Maybe Lucius Lucullus, though not causing your troops to mutiny because they hate you so much is part of being a successful general. Varro and Afranius got their asses kicked by Sertorius. Crassus managed to beat a bunch of runaway slaves (which doesn't inspire much confidence in those who couldn't) but got annihilated at Carrhae. The point being, there were dozens of men holding pro/consular or pro/praetorian imperium, and we only hear about a very few of these being successful. Go back to the Second Punic War. Every general until Scipio got his ass handed to him by Hannibal, not just losing but being routed humiliatingly, except Fabius, and his strategy was "don't fight". Who else was so successful? Aemilianus Paullus?

I agree that the superiority of the legions made barely competent commanders into winners, and quite often, but I think it is absurd to pretend that Tiberius was some no name. He wasn't a great commander, but he won victories, avoided defeat, and managed the politics of being a general in an age where successful generals of ANY stripe were viewed with increasing suspicion and opprobrium.

Again, no. Keep in mind, Tiberius was the older brother, not Drusus. Yet it was Drusus that was Augustus' heir.

Well, technically Agrippa was the heir. After his death, his sons were supposed to be the heirs. Drusus may have been favored over Tiberius, but one could argue this had as much to do with Tiberius not wanting the office anyway if Lucius and Gaius were the "true" heir apparents.


and Claudius (the emperor - his stutter seemingly why neither Tiberius nor Caligula had him killed, thinking him not a threat).

Well I think it's more accurate to say that his stutter and limp and other evidence of deformity kept him almost entirely out of politics, which made him no threat, rather than the stutter being the direct reason, but point taken.

As for his marriage to Julia, after Agrippa died, it was Tiberius that married Julia, not Drusus, because Drusus was married to a more important woman, Antonia Minor, (Antonia Minor was Augustus' niece - she was Octavia's daughter), whereas Tiberius had only been married to one of Agrippa's daughters.

Fair enough, but Tiberius is still being honored with a politically important marriage. I am not trying to imply that Drusus wasn't the favored stepson, merely that this idea that Tiberius is some kind of average nobody bumbling along into power is wrong. He was a very able political actor, which is why he was included in the succession plans at all, unlike someone like Claudius.

Kimon
06-13-2017, 04:31 PM
Paterculus as well. Who was a contemporary, so I'd say that makes him relevant.


He is typically referred to as Velleius. And he isn't a reliable source. His work consists only of two books and covered all of time (i.e. Greek mythology down to 29 AD). His account of Tiberius is universally viewed as a mere panegyric. By contrast, while parts of his Annals are lost, Tacitus' work (by far the best for the period), covers Tiberius - Nero in 16 books. As is often the case in our discussions you simply do not know which sources are reliable, and which are not.

Again, this isn't just "a fact". As you say said, most of the main sources for this period are writing during the reigns of the Flavians or the early "Five Good Emperors" (mind you, you've excluded Lucius Verus, which... sure, he was a nonentity and common scholarship dismisses him, but he still held power and if he did nothing with it, well, that just gives the lie to the accepted wisdom of five excellent emperors. Nerva didn't do much either, IIRC). Tacitus was a small child for the only part of Nero's reign he lived through, and I don't think Seutonius was born during his reign at all. Maybe a little piece of his last regnal year.

Lucius Verus was a co-emperor in name only. Again, you simply do not know what you are talking about when it comes to the Romans and Greeks.

My point being, these are men writing, often with express or at least implied imperial patronage, during the reigns of emperors eager to distance and differentiate themselves from the Julio-Claudians. Of the five Julio-Claudians, one is arguably the greatest emperor in history, and two are at least above average, especially considering what came after the Severan dynasty (Claudius and Tiberius). So taking their word as gospel is a mistake. If you take the ad hominem attacks out of it, Tiberius is one of the more successful emperors. The military conquest of his youth is replaced by diplomacy, the economy does well, and there is internal peace. That this was done at the expense of the Senatorial class is what gives the later historians such an aura of bitterness, since they are patrician senators or wealthy equestrians, and not the whole of the body politic.

First off, these are the canonical Julio-Claudians - Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero. Augustus is typically separated. All four were awful, just of varying degree. Caligula and Nero being worse than Tiberius and Claudius. Typically with Claudius being considered the best of the lot.

Why not? Many sources mention Caesar being a submissive lover to Nicomedes, but that doesn't make it true. Tacitus is a Senator writing for his class; of course he will repeat what his readers want to hear. He wasn't a historian in the modern mold, any more than Julius Caesar was when he wrote his Commentaries. I'm sure both are accurate in broad strokes, but the emphasis and exaggeration in both can't be ignored.

This is nonsense. Tacitus was arguably the greatest historian of antiquity - alongside Thucydides, Polybius, and Sallust. But both he and Caesar have heavily influenced history writing, indeed all scholarly writing.

To my mind, and that of other historians (or rather, historians, since I am not one), Tiberius is a competent general and politician who didn't want to be involved in politics. His withdrawal to Capri is just the sequel to his withdrawal to Rhodes in 6 BC. If his lieutenants were abusing his absence to inspire a reign of terror, I suppose that must be laid at his feet in large part, but the presumption of innocence on the part of the accused isn't necessarily right either.

But I am.

Well, I won't lecture you, but for the benefit of those reading along, there is no "officer training role".

Yes there was. That's why Augustus had Drusus and Tiberius serving as military commanders. Tiberius was first sent as a lieutenant under Agrippa in the East in 20 BC. Drusus, being the younger brother, wasn't first sent out as a lieutenant (holding the office of quaestor) until 15 BC in Raetia. They both held various other underling commands before being sent out later as the actual general. Drusus held his first consulship in 9 BC, but had been governor of Gaul already prior to that, as well as giving extensive independence in his commands already by 14 BC. He was the quicker learner at strategy.

You see much the same happen with Drusus' son Germanicus. Less so with the others. Tiberius never gave Caligula the chance to command soldiers. Nor Claudius. He didn't trust them. Generals were a potential danger. he had to trust someone though, and that was first Sejanus, then Macro - his Praetorian Prefects, both of whom eventually wielded the true power and became dangerous. So none of the later Julio-Claudians had military experience. The next emperor with command experience was Vespasian (the first Flavian), but all three Flavians (especially the first 2), and 3 of the 5 Good Emperors were generals, with Trajan and Marcus Aurelius both being very gifted commanders.

Except for Augustus and Claudius at minimum. And Julius, if you want to include him. And again, Tiberius. The State was better off for having him as Emperor. Compare him to... tons of emperors. Nerva didn't do much. Domitian may not have either, again our sources are biased. The later Severan Emperors were no prizes. And who is there after that? Aurelian, and Diocletian?

Augustus I mentioned above. If you want to include him amongst the Julio-Claudians that is fine, but would be atypical. Caesar was never emperor, any more than Sulla was. Caesar was a dictator, which was still at least technically a republican extension, even if both he and Sulla abused their power by extending it beyond the allowed 6 months. Your knowledge of those later emperors is clearly faulty. Diocletian is usually considered if not the greatest emperor, second only to Marcus Aurelius. Nerva was a nonentity, the only thing he did was abdicate and adopt Trajan as his heir. But Tiberius would never be placed above any of those 5, even Nerva. Nor above at least the first two Flavians. Vespasian and Titus were both universally remembered as excellent emperors. The later Severans tended to be disappointments, but the first, Septimius, was a good, if somewhat harsh, emperor as well.

Well I think it's more accurate to say that his stutter and limp and other evidence of deformity kept him almost entirely out of politics, which made him no threat, rather than the stutter being the direct reason, but point taken.

Claudius is almost universally viewed as the greatest of the Julio-Claudians (seeing as Augustus typically isn't considered amongst them). The stutter itself is debated. Some think it may have been a clever affectation. Either way, it wasn't indicative of mental defect, it was either subterfuge or else a nervous reaction to being surrounded all his life by paranoid lunatics and ambitious backstabbing relatives - including his own wife (his cousin, Agrippina the Younger - one of Caligula's sisters), who murdered him so that her son, his stepson, Nero, could become emperor. Agrippina tried to rule through Nero, and eventually Nero had her killed.

Ozy, sometimes you just need to admit defeat. You do not know anywhere near as much on this topic as do I. This is my job.

Ozymandias
06-13-2017, 06:52 PM
He is typically referred to as Velleius. And he isn't a reliable source. His work consists only of two books and covered all of time (i.e. Greek mythology down to 29 AD). His account of Tiberius is universally viewed as a mere panegyric. By contrast, while parts of his Annals are lost, Tacitus' work (by far the best for the period), covers Tiberius - Nero in 16 books. As is often the case in our discussions you simply do not know which sources are reliable, and which are not.

I didn't make any claim that he's the most reliable source. I merely pointed out that he's a contemporary; again, this comes to the question of how you interpret the sources. Velleius, if you prefer, is pro-Tiberius because he writes during his reign, and therefore has a vested interest in (a) receiving patronage and (b) relatedly, avoiding being punished or killed for being negative. Tacitus and Seutonius are writing under the Flavians, where it was more important to portray the old masters in a bad light (save Claudius, in the beginning) and the new in a very good light.

You have a habit of outright dismissing the sources you dislike as unreliable or not valuable. But even an unreliable source can give insight into the period, and occasionally your focus on Classical history leads you to outright ignore other contemporary evidence.

Lucius Verus was a co-emperor in name only. Again, you simply do not know what you are talking about when it comes to the Romans and Greeks.

This is just not right, and it goes to my point about your dismissing facts you don't like. Yes, Marcus Aurelius was the senior emperor, but Lucius Verus received many the important markings of imperial power; he held formal imperium and the personal inviolability of the tribune.

That he chose not to exercise any of his authority in any meaningful way does not make him "emperor in name only". Being a wastrel does not diminish the formality of his power, even if it was secondary to Aurelius. The later Caesars and junior Augustus of the Dominate held actual power, even if there were others with more (especially Maximian).

History has forgotten him because he was, at best, uninterested in ruling, and more likely just a total incompetent to boot, and because he died quite early, and because he is compared to Marcus Aurelius and Hadrian and Trajan and the rest of the best emperors of Rome. Geta was no less an emperor/princeps despite the fact it would have been equally obvious that he was the junior partner with Caracalla.

First off, these are the canonical Julio-Claudians - Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero. Augustus is typically separated. All four were awful, just of varying degree. Caligula and Nero being worse than Tiberius and Claudius. Typically with Claudius being considered the best of the lot.

Who says Augustus isn't a Julio-Claudian? And who says Claudius was awful? Modern scholarship doesn't say any such thing, and even the ancient sources go back and forth depending on how the regime in power decided he was supposed to be commemorated. He and his son were lauded by the early Flavians, and disparaged by the later, so you tell me.who to believe.

This is nonsense. Tacitus was arguably the greatest historian of antiquity - alongside Thucydides, Polybius, and Sallust. But both he and Caesar have heavily influenced history writing, indeed all scholarly writing.

And Herodotus is known as the Father of History, but was just a teller of tall tales. Just because Tacitus was a better historian than many of his predecessors/contemporaries, doesn't mean he wrote anything near what we would call a "history". Caesar wrote to glorify his own achievements and make sure the voters knew he was fighting for the Republic, not to keep the information for posterity. Tacitus was writing for the Senatorial class; his views were biased by this. Does he ever take the side of the princeps over the Senate? Barely, or at least not that I can remember. Understanding the bias implicit in our sources and accounting for it is imperative, and it's why history is a matter of debate and not absolute cold fact; we have to make judgement calls about what we are told.

But I am.

Which doesn't mean you're right. And it doesn't mean you cannot fall victim to the same biases that non-historians do. We argued earlier about the influence of the Minoan collapse on the Late Bronze Age collapse, in which for all your deep knowledge of Bronze Age Greek history, you displayed a complete lack of knowledge of, or interest in, Assyriology, something I happen to have a degree in.

Which, to my point - you shouldn't be disdaining my or anyone else's arguments, because they may be better or more recently read in a specific era or subject of history than you, and even if they're not, your thoughts on the matter (sometimes) reflect one side of an ongoing scholarly debate.


Yes there was. That's why Augustus had Drusus and Tiberius serving as military commanders. Tiberius was first sent as a lieutenant under Agrippa in the East in 20 BC. Drusus, being the younger brother, wasn't first sent out as a lieutenant (holding the office of quaestor) until 15 BC in Raetia. They both held various other underling commands before being sent out later as the actual general. Drusus held his first consulship in 9 BC, but had been governor of Gaul already prior to that, as well as giving extensive independence in his commands already by 14 BC. He was the quicker learner at strategy.

This is also known as a political career, as you well know. Nearly every Roman Senator, and many high ranking equestrians, did something similar, with only a few exceptions. The Late Republic isn't a perfect analogue, but how many prominent Senators can you name that didn't serve in the provinces in some capacity on their way up the cursus honorum? Cato and Cicero are the only two I can think of, and even they did so, just without the military aspect.

Again, I am not arguing that Drusus was a superior general to Tiberius. But one can be a very good general without being great, and the insinuation that even below averagely talented Romans succeeded in the military due to the innate superiority of the Roman military machine is not fair.


You see much the same happen with Drusus' son Germanicus. Less so with the others. Tiberius never gave Caligula the chance to command soldiers. Nor Claudius. He didn't trust them. Generals were a potential danger. he had to trust someone though, and that was first Sejanus, then Macro - his Praetorian Prefects, both of whom eventually wielded the true power and became dangerous. So none of the later Julio-Claudians had military experience. The next emperor with command experience was Vespasian (the first Flavian), but all three Flavians (especially the first 2), and 3 of the 5 Good Emperors were generals, with Trajan and Marcus Aurelius both being very gifted commanders.

Claudius didn't command for other reasons entirely. I agree with you on the remaining pieces.

Your knowledge of those later emperors is clearly faulty. Diocletian is usually considered if not the greatest emperor, second only to Marcus Aurelius. Nerva was a nonentity, the only thing he did was abdicate and adopt Trajan as his heir.

I was including Diocletian as the an absolute outside bookend, because he was clearly considered superior to most if not all previous emperors. My generic point was that of all the men to lead Rome, there aren't THAT many considered men of huge talent.

And I think you'd find a number of folks who would argue that Augustus, Trajan, and perhaps even Aurelian can jockey for positions with Diocletian and Marcus Aurelius. Both of them failed to adequately provide for a succession; Commodus was a disaster, and while I don't see any alternative to the Tetrarchy in practice, it still fell apart within Diocletian's lifetime.

But Tiberius would never be placed above any of those 5, even Nerva.

I agree, except perhaps for Nerva.

Nor above at least the first two Flavians. Vespasian and Titus were both universally remembered as excellent emperors. The later Severans tended to be disappointments, but the first, Septimius, was a good, if somewhat harsh, emperor as well.

Well, see, here's exactly my point. Why is Septimius Severus a good emperor and Tiberius isn't?

Severus executed a ton of Senators, and they hated him for it. Cassius Dio tells us he also became totally owned by his Praetorian Prefect. And unlike Tiberius, Severus set the stage for the Crisis of the Third Century by openly acknowledging that the legions and not the Senate or People of Rome were the power in the Empire. He further debased the currency to pay the army. The only respect in which he was different than Tiberius is that he was considered (and again, not preaching to you, but people who might be reading along) extremely diligent, whereas Tiberius in his later years was not.

And by the way, I think he was the right man for that time, and in the aftermath of the Antonine Plague and the Year of the Five Emperors, a strongman was needed to bring stability. But in many respects, he acted no different than Tiberius. We just have better and more extant sources recording the Senatorial dislike of Tiberius than we do for Septimius Severus and his dynasty.

Claudius is almost universally viewed as the greatest of the Julio-Claudians (seeing as Augustus typically isn't considered amongst them).

Again, by who? Plenty of classical scholars consider Augustus a Julio-Claudian. Even just googling it, I find institutions as venerable as the Met including him, so I don't think this is quite as clear cut as you'd like to make it out to be.

The stutter itself is debated. Some think it may have been a clever affectation. Either way, it wasn't indicative of mental defect, it was either subterfuge or else a nervous reaction to being surrounded all his life by paranoid lunatics and ambitious backstabbing relatives - including his own wife (his cousin, Agrippina the Younger - one of Caligula's sisters), who murdered him so that her son, his stepson, Nero, could become emperor. Agrippina tried to rule through Nero, and eventually Nero had her killed.

He was supposed to have a limp as well. Also possibly an affectation

Ozy, sometimes you just need to admit defeat. You do not know anywhere near as much on this topic as do I. This is my job.

Great. I'm happy to learn from you, then. But you clearly don't know everything, even within your sphere (well, depending on what your specific sphere is). So maybe you can possibly consider that a well-read amateur might have some nugget of knowledge you don't have (see Saguntum, location of), or at the very least that I might parrot the belief of another scholar of the era who holds a differing view point than you.

Just googling Julio-Claudian dynasty takes me to the Encyclopedia Britannica, which claims Tiberius is the most able of the Julio Claudians (incidentally, they agree with your definition of the dynasty). Which isn't to say that the EB should be a definitive source, but it's a reputable one, and there is clearly some scholarly disagreement here.

There isn't necessarily a right or wrong here. You think Tiberius is a disaster and a pervert who gave up Rome to the predations of Sejanus. I think he's a talented and able guy who didn't want the imperial office, and retreated into seclusion to avoid a life he didn't want (twice). Those don't have to be mutually exclusive, and it's possible to debate the relative merits of each without you condemning any position of mine as without merit merely because you think you have (and almost certainly do have) more familiarity with the subject. That Tacitus and Seutonius might also fall subject to their own biases, the same as Valleius Paterculus does for his own reasons, does not mean that (a) you are wrong or (b) that they are less reliable. Scholarly opinion is constantly shifting on some of these issues, so its disingenuous of you to represent your views as final in general.

Davian93
06-13-2017, 07:31 PM
FWIW, I'd enjoy it if you both keep going at it...as a history major (of a totally different period mind you), I find the discussion quite interesting.

Kimon
06-13-2017, 07:50 PM
I didn't make any claim that he's the most reliable source. I merely pointed out that he's a contemporary; again, this comes to the question of how you interpret the sources. Velleius, if you prefer, is pro-Tiberius because he writes during his reign, and therefore has a vested interest in (a) receiving patronage and (b) relatedly, avoiding being punished or killed for being negative. Tacitus and Seutonius are writing under the Flavians, where it was more important to portray the old masters in a bad light (save Claudius, in the beginning) and the new in a very good light.

You have a habit of outright dismissing the sources you dislike as unreliable or not valuable. But even an unreliable source can give insight into the period, and occasionally your focus on Classical history leads you to outright ignore other contemporary evidence.


It's not just me. Your lack of familiarity with the Classics here is the issue. You do not know enough about the sources to differentiate the good from the bad. I do. We had this same discussion about the sources for the Persian Wars.

This is just not right, and it goes to my point about your dismissing facts you don't like. Yes, Marcus Aurelius was the senior emperor, but Lucius Verus received many the important markings of imperial power; he held formal imperium and the personal inviolability of the tribune.

Lucius Verus was not one of the 5 Good Emperors. Those were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius. Five Good Emperors. Not six. Not sure how much more clear I can make this. He was the nominal co-emperor of Marcus Aurelius, but it was Marcus Aurelius that held the actual auctoritas. It was Marcus Aurelius alone that held the accompanying title of Pontifex Maximus. The reasoning for this need to include Lucius Verus at all went back to a requirement that Hadrian had made to his own heir, Antoninus Pius, decades ago when Antoninus had officially been adopted as Caesar by Hadrian. The senate had not intended to bestow the title at all upon Verus, they only did so upon Marcus' insistence, as he wished to fulfill Antoninus Pius' promise to Hadrian. There was no ambiguity about who was the real emperor.

Who says Augustus isn't a Julio-Claudian? And who says Claudius was awful? Modern scholarship doesn't say any such thing, and even the ancient sources go back and forth depending on how the regime in power decided he was supposed to be commemorated. He and his son were lauded by the early Flavians, and disparaged by the later, so you tell me.who to believe.

Julio-Claudian refers to the two gentes - Julian and Claudian. Augustus wasn't really a member of the Julian gens - He was of the gens Octavia. He was related to the Julians through his mother. Caesar lacked a male heir and so adopted a male relative. Tiberius was a member of the Claudian gens, not the Julian, and so was married into the Julian nominally via his marriage to Julia but he was technically not related to the Julians at all, as Julia was not truly of the Julian gens either except through her father's adoption. Caligula was the first truly Julio-Claudian as he had both Julian and Claudian blood. This is mostly semantic however. Nonetheless, typically the dynasty is described as beginning with Tiberius.

And Herodotus is known as the Father of History, but was just a teller of tall tales.

Herodotus is more of an ethnographer. History properly descends from Thucydides, not Herodotus.

Just because Tacitus was a better historian than many of his predecessors/contemporaries, doesn't mean he wrote anything near what we would call a "history".

Yes he did. That you continue this calumny against ancient historians really annoys me. Not all of them were good historians, but refusing to recognize Thucydides and Tacitus (and many others) as writers of true history is ludicrous. They didn't use APA style citations and footnotes, but they definitely still fell within both the ancient and the modern meanings. Here is the original Greek word and its meaning - ἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation".

Which doesn't mean you're right. And it doesn't mean you cannot fall victim to the same biases that non-historians do. We argued earlier about the influence of the Minoan collapse on the Late Bronze Age collapse, in which for all your deep knowledge of Bronze Age Greek history, you displayed a complete lack of knowledge of, or interest in, Assyriology, something I happen to have a degree in.

Here we go again. You were emphatically wrong on all of your stances and assumptions here. You simply do not have a good understanding of Greek or Roman history.

I'm not going to bother with any of the rest. I've thoroughly made my point. If you can't recognize that you're wrong yet, clearly nothing more that I add will change that.

Davian93
06-13-2017, 08:04 PM
Kimon, do you have any knowledge of the later Eastern Empire after the formal split? If so, do you have any recommendations on good books to read on that subject? I know its a vast subject period (a full millennium and all) but anything in that area would be appreciated.

Kimon
06-13-2017, 08:12 PM
Kimon, do you have any knowledge of the later Eastern Empire after the formal split? If so, do you have any recommendations on good books to read on that subject? I know its a vast subject period (a full millennium and all) but anything in that area would be appreciated.

George Ostrogorsky's History of the Byzantine State (in translation unless your German is strong).

It's a bit old, the original German edition is from '52, my English edition is from '69, but it's quite good.

If you want to look at any primary sources, two of the most obvious, and interesting:

-Procopius's Secret History
-Anna Komnene's Alexiad

Ozymandias
06-13-2017, 09:31 PM
It's not just me. Your lack of familiarity with the Classics here is the issue. You do not know enough about the sources to differentiate the good from the bad. I do. We had this same discussion about the sources for the Persian Wars.

I may not have your familiarity with them, but I know enough to know that Velleius Paterculus is considered a sycophant of Tiberius whereas Tacitus and Seutonius are not. I also know enough about the era to know that even good historians are writing with a political purpose in mind, which means any modern historian worth their salt has to view those sources in that light.

Every piece of Roman political invective, speaking generally, involved adultery, or perversion, or incest. So when an ancient author levels those accusations, maybe we take them with a grain of salt.


Lucius Verus was not one of the 5 Good Emperors. Those were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius. Five Good Emperors. Not six.

Please don't treat me like a child. I may not have your level of knowledge, but I know a damn sight more than your average college student and I'd appreciate it if you didn't take every point I make as something an idiot is reading off Wikipedia.

You and I both know that the term itself was coined by Machiavelli, and that the strong implication is that they were "good" in large part because they were adoptive and not biological children, which gives the impression of selecting for talent. My point about Lucius Verus is that the fact that he was a co-emperor of Rome upsets that nice narrative.


Not sure how much more clear I can make this. He was the nominal co-emperor of Marcus Aurelius, but it was Marcus Aurelius that held the actual auctoritas.

I beg you to be more clear, because your current explanation is factually incorrect, which I am sure is because you think I don't understand the terms involved. You and I both know that auctoritas is not limited to a single individual, but is a concept by which prestige, and to a certain extent seniority in Senate proceedings, was gauged in the Republic. Marcus Aurelius had MORE auctoritas than Verus, on account of his consulship, his age, and his holding co-imperium with Hadrian, but that does not mean that Lucius Verus had none. Compared to your average senator he had quite a bit.


It was Marcus Aurelius alone that held the accompanying title of Pontifex Maximus.

Which is one, but not the totality of, the honors associated with the Princeps.

The reasoning for this need to include Lucius Verus at all went back to a requirement that Hadrian had made to his own heir, Antoninus Pius, decades ago when Antoninus had officially been adopted as Caesar by Hadrian. The senate had not intended to bestow the title at all upon Verus, they only did so upon Marcus' insistence, as he wished to fulfill Antoninus Pius' promise to Hadrian. There was no ambiguity about who was the real emperor.

No, there was no ambiguity about who was the senior emperor. That is a different concept, as even you must admit. Lucius Verus played a very public role and by all accounts fulfilled those parts of his job very well. Given the long history of co-emperors, it just is not correct to dismiss Lucius Verus because he was the junior partner, and an apathetic one at that.

Julio-Claudian refers to the two gentes - Julian and Claudian. Augustus wasn't really a member of the Julian gens - He was of the gens Octavia. He was related to the Julians through his mother. Caesar lacked a male heir and so adopted a male relative. Tiberius was a member of the Claudian gens, not the Julian, and so was married into the Julian nominally via his marriage to Julia but he was technically not related to the Julians at all, as Julia was not truly of the Julian gens either except through her father's adoption. Caligula was the first truly Julio-Claudian as he had both Julian and Claudian blood. This is mostly semantic however. Nonetheless, typically the dynasty is described as beginning with Tiberius.


I, and apparently many other historians of note, disagree. Not with the genealogical portion, but with the common naming. The Five Good Emperors (Plus the Bad Sixth and Seventh) were all members of the Nerva-Antonine Dynasty, despite Nerva having no blood relation to any of his heirs. The Senate offered him the job, and he adopted Titus to co-opt the army. Adoption had the legal force of blood, as you know, and the names we assign to the various "dynasties" are for historical convenience. The Julio-Claudians, in their own time, stressed their connection to one another as their right to rule and inherit the auctoritas and position of their predecessor. The Flavians were actually related, but the Nerva-Antonines (or whatever the proper tense is there) acted the same as the JC's until Commodus.


Herodotus is more of an ethnographer. History properly descends from Thucydides, not Herodotus.

Again, I agree with you wholeheartedly, but I was making a point. Herodotus considered himself, and was considered, a historian. We have revised that because modern definitions of what constitutes a history are not the same as what it was 2000 years ago. Tacitus saw himself as writing a history, and compared to Herodotus it was. That doesn't mean he wasn't writing with an agenda, or above including gossip and invective in his books.

Yes he did. That you continue this calumny against ancient historians really annoys me. Not all of them were good historians, but refusing to recognize Thucydides and Tacitus (and many others) as writers of true history is ludicrous. They didn't use APA style citations and footnotes, but they definitely still fell within both the ancient and the modern meanings. Here is the original Greek word and its meaning - ἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation".

You are deliberating mistaking a point I have been quite clear about. I am not saying that we should distrust all that Tacitus or Thucydides or Seutonius wrote. Only that "knowledge acquired by investigation" is not our definition of history. It wouldn't take much "investigation" for me to figure out that George W Bush was behind 9/11 and Barack Obama was a Kenyan Muslim Socialist.

Seutuonius quotes omens as historical facts, despite the fact we know they aren't. Does that make him useless as a historian? Obviously not. But it does mean we are required to think critically about what is being said, and why, and perhaps make our own determinations.

Here we go again. You were emphatically wrong on all of your stances and assumptions here. You simply do not have a good understanding of Greek or Roman history.

OK. If you would like to say so, that is your business. I've very clearly and definitively been right in cases where you are wrong, on actual factual matters and not matters of interpretation or opinion, so obviously your outright dismissal is based on something other than straight knowledge. Besides which, even times when we have direct source material, that does not make matters clear, necessarily. To take an example you may not be familiar with but I am, Sargon's Eight Campaign is one of the more famous (and, importantly, directly and contemporarily attested to) campaigns in ancient Mesopotamia. But despite a long litany of place names and facts, modern scholars are not in agreement of the sequence of events, despite a fully detailed narration of it! It means it is an opportunity for discussion and debate, in the hopes of clarifying matters. Similarly and even more subjectively, debating a "Best Of" list is fraught with problems of fact and provenance in our sources, so you shouldn't be dismissing mine or anyone else's arguments. You seem to be swallowing Tacitus and Seutonius as pure unadultered truth to come to your conclusions about Caligula and Nero and Claudius and Tiberius. Which... fine, I can't stop you, and I'm happy to debate their relative merits. But I don't think they were recording a history that was meant to be consumed as pure fact as opposed to politically-inspired opinion, and I think even modern historians are incapable of erasing bias from things they eyewitness.

I'm not going to bother with any of the rest. I've thoroughly made my point. If you can't recognize that you're wrong yet, clearly nothing more that I add will change that.

You haven't actually made a point. Or rather, your point has been, literally "this is my job, I know more, shut up and take my word for it." Which... obviously isn't how the entire process of scholarship works, for one. And two, even if it was, its worth it to hear other opinions. Obviously I'm not some nutjob coming out of the woodwork, as I would hope my posts have underlined. I may not have your professional depth of knowledge, but I know enough to quote other professionals, so to speak, and I think I've shown on several occasions thus far that debates that you consider closed (such as the definition of the Julio Claudian dynasty) are anything but. In fact, I think I know a damn sight more than your average person, and though you've treated me like I'm a raw high school student coming to this for the first time, I happen to (a) know quite a bit, and (b) might have a perspective on it, given my own expertise (which you have roundly ignored, now and in the past, so thanks), that could add to your field of knowledge as well.

There are facts, and on that basis I wouldn't challenge you (and in fact, if you go back, you'll see I agree with you overwhelmingly, and if I don't I concede to your superior knowledge in the matter), and then there are interpretations. To say "Tiberius is a monster and one of the worse emperors" is not a fact, it is an opinion. And yet you treat your own proclamations on the matter as if they aren't subject to question. That is awful scholarship and hopefully isn't representative of how you conduct yourself professionally. Folks from the Cato Institute know vastly more than I do about economic theory, but that doesn't make their opinions right or moral or anything.

ShadowbaneX
06-13-2017, 10:05 PM
FWIW, I'd enjoy it if you both keep going at it...as a history major (of a totally different period mind you), I find the discussion quite interesting.

I don't mind if they continue it...in another thread. I mean, I know TL is crazy right now with new ones so it might get lost, but I think the software can handle the load.

Kimon
06-13-2017, 11:18 PM
I don't mind if they continue it...in another thread. I mean, I know TL is crazy right now with new ones so it might get lost, but I think the software can handle the load.

Yeah, I'm not interested in continuing that nonsense either.

So, for the sake of returning this to Trump, in addition to the rather boring Sessions testimony today, Trump also decided to do this...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/us/politics/trump-in-zigzag-calls-house-republicans-health-bill-mean.html


At a White House lunch with more than a dozen Republican senators, Mr. Trump alerted his guests that a bill passed by the House this spring — one he lauded last month in the Rose Garden as a “great plan” that was “very, very incredibly well-crafted” — was now “mean.”

GonzoTheGreat
06-14-2017, 03:45 AM
Wouldn't it be interesting* if Donald turned out to be the founder of a dynasty of presidents of whom he was by far the most competent, just as Augustus had done?

* As in "may you live in interesting times".

ShadowbaneX
06-14-2017, 07:05 AM
Wouldn't it be interesting* if Donald turned out to be the founder of a dynasty of presidents of whom he was by far the most competent, just as Augustus had done?

* As in "may you live in interesting times".

Go watch Idiocracy (http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/). It's a hopeful view of such a future.

StrangePackage
06-14-2017, 07:07 AM
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StrangePackage
06-14-2017, 07:09 AM
Go watch Idiocracy. It's a hopeful view of such a future.

I keep having to remind people who reference that movie that we're actually sub-Idiocracy at the moment.

In the movie, they found the smartest man alive and put him in charge of everything. Whereas we...

StrangePackage
06-14-2017, 07:13 AM
Ah fuck. The Reichstag just caught fire.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40275055

GonzoTheGreat
06-14-2017, 07:20 AM
Maybe Trump will propose a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Wouldn't it be interesting to see what his followers think of that?

Davian93
06-14-2017, 07:46 AM
Ah fuck. The Reichstag just caught fire.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40275055

He probably had it coming just like when Giffords was shot and the GOP laughed.

Southpaw2012
06-14-2017, 09:04 AM
There is still no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians, and saying otherwise is just more proof that the Democrats don't believe in the peaceful transfer of power. The Russians aren't the enemy, the nut job liberals are.

Oh wow, a Republican congressman was shot during a baseball game. It appears that the gunman asked whether the players were Republicans or Democrats, and when he was told, he open fired. My guess is it was an "anti-fascist" (lol) Antifa savage.

ShadowbaneX
06-14-2017, 09:21 AM
There is still no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians, and saying otherwise is just more proof that the Democrats don't believe in the peaceful transfer of power. The Russians aren't the enemy, the nut job liberals are.

Oh wow, a Republican congressman was shot during a baseball game. It appears that the gunman asked whether the players were Republicans or Democrats, and when he was told, he open fired. My guess is it was an "anti-fascist" (lol) Antifa savage.

And I'm sure you'd share an equal amount of cate and concern if it was democrats that were attacked. Oh, no, wait. You'd call it a false flag operation to drum up support for and to distract how "badly" the investigation is going, my bad.

In my defense those two are pretty close and easily confused.

Kimon
06-14-2017, 09:23 AM
There is still no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians, and saying otherwise is just more proof that the Democrats don't believe in the peaceful transfer of power. The Russians aren't the enemy, the nut job liberals are.


Agreed on your first statement, but it is the cover up by the president that is creating so much of the suspicion. He is the one that continues to make this more of a story. Part of the problem here is the use of that word - collusion. That is almost certainly a misrepresentation. It is difficult to imagine that he and his campaign actually colluded with the hacking. The issue isn't really that, it is the question of why such friendly relations and stances toward Russia? Why such hostile stances toward our NATO allies? Why hire so many men with connections to Russia? Why continue to stand by and protect Flynn even after all the damning evidence on Flynn was revealed? If it had just been Flynn, it would be one thing, but coupled with Manafort and Page, and especially with his own unwillingness to reveal his own tax returns and business holdings. The rest of your statement was biased nonsense. If you can't see what is so suspicious about how the president is acting, if you aren't troubled by how he has treated our allies, and how he has treated Russia, if you aren't troubled by his unwillingness to admit to what the Russians did...

Oh wow, a Republican congressman was shot during a baseball game. It appears that the gunman asked whether the players were Republicans or Democrats, and when he was told, he open fired. My guess is it was an "anti-fascist" (lol) Antifa savage.

No one should be making jokes about this. This isn't in any way akin to the Reichstag Fire. The person who did this was a pos. I hate guns period. This type of violence is never justified. Should never be joked about. At least all these congressemen survived, but it should no more have happened to them than to Gabby Gifford.

StrangePackage
06-14-2017, 09:38 AM
Oh wow, a Republican congressman was shot during a baseball game. It appears that the gunman asked whether the players were Republicans or Democrats, and when he was told, he open fired. My guess is it was an "anti-fascist" (lol) Antifa savage.

It does not appear that way at all. I know you graduated from an absolutely shitty law school, but even a pathetic lawyer would be able to follow the witness statements thus far:

Duncan has brief conversation with man in running clothes, who asks if that was the Democrats or Republicans on the field. Duncan then leaves. Duncan attributes his statements to shooter

Flake remains on scene to assist during shooting. Describes shooter as wearing blue shirt and jeans.


However much you paid for your pathetic legal education, you were robbed. I know a couple good lawyers who might help you be able to sue the shitty school that gave you a JD even though you demonstrated you aren't able to follow simple fact patterns.

Kimon
06-14-2017, 10:16 AM
We know who the shooter is now, and the identity is somewhat unexpected - an old white guy from Illinois.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/14/baseball-shooting-james-t-hodgkinson-gunman-opened-fire-congressional/

The gunman who opened fire at the congressional baseball practice this morning has been named as James T Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, by law enforcement officials.

Mr Hodgkinson, 66, owns a home inspection business.

Mr Hodgkinson was vociferous on social media about his dislike for Donald Trump and reportedly volunteered on political campaigns for Bernie Sanders.

StrangePackage
06-14-2017, 10:27 AM
We know who the shooter is now, and the identity is somewhat unexpected - an old white guy from Illinois.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/14/baseball-shooting-james-t-hodgkinson-gunman-opened-fire-congressional/

A boomer and a Berner? Lawd, talk about a truly obnoxious combination.

Davian93
06-14-2017, 10:45 AM
We know who the shooter is now, and the identity is somewhat unexpected - an old white guy from Illinois.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/14/baseball-shooting-james-t-hodgkinson-gunman-opened-fire-congressional/

Part of the Deep State no doubt...and a good reason to crack down on all Libtards.

Davian93
06-14-2017, 10:47 AM
And I'm sure you'd share an equal amount of cate and concern if it was democrats that were attacked. Oh, no, wait. You'd call it a false flag operation to drum up support for and to distract how "badly" the investigation is going, my bad.

In my defense those two are pretty close and easily confused.

We could go back and see if he commented on the boards when Gifford was gunned down by a constituent after Palin and her SuperPAC actually called on people to "take out these these Congressmen" and used bulleyes on the map for each.

I'm sure he was outraged then too.

Brita
06-14-2017, 11:28 AM
We could go back and see if he commented on the boards when Gifford was gunned down by a constituent after Palin and her SuperPAC actually called on people to "take out these these Congressmen" and used bulleyes on the map for each.

I'm sure he was outraged then too.

I took a quick peek- that was probably before his time as there are no posts from him.

Davian93
06-14-2017, 11:49 AM
I took a quick peek- that was probably before his time as there are no posts from him.

I did too...Sandy Hook was also before his time so we don't have any other opinions from him on gun violence.

StrangePackage
06-14-2017, 01:27 PM
This Arlington mass shooting is boring. The gunman is dead, the victims all lived, and it seems like cuz he's white this will be filed away under "mental health" just like every other mass shooting done by white people.

Let's talk about the San Francisco mass shooting! What do we rampantly speculate about that one?

Davian93
06-14-2017, 01:37 PM
This Arlington mass shooting is boring. The gunman is dead, the victims all lived, and it seems like cuz he's white this will be filed away under "mental health" just like every other mass shooting done by white people.

Let's talk about the San Francisco mass shooting! What do we rampantly speculate about that one?

The most interesting thing to me is that Mark Zuckerburg has his own hospital named after him in SF.

StrangePackage
06-14-2017, 01:47 PM
The most interesting thing to me is that Mark Zuckerburg has his own hospital named after him in SF.

You throw enough money at something and they'll name it after you. If I had Zuckerburg money you'd see Strange Packages everywhere.

Kimon
06-14-2017, 02:17 PM
Let's talk about the San Francisco mass shooting! What do we rampantly speculate about that one?

I really do not understand this country's love of guns. Why is it when this kind of insanity happens in other countries the response seems to be - let's get guns off the streets, make them harder to acquire, or ban them. Here the response seems to always be that this could all be averted if everyone - man, woman, and child - was packing heat. Why is it so controversial even to simply want a return to background checks and waiting periods? Why is it so controversial to have gun registries?

The situation in Arlington was very lucky. Had Scalise not been there, his extra security detail isn't there, and probably at least a few of those congressmen are dead. But is that justification for more guns (since none of us are suggesting that police shouldn't have guns), or should it be realization that this would have been a lower chance of fatalities in the first place if the attacker was forced to use knives instead.

Why do so many dems seem to care more about free trade issues instead of this?

Davian93
06-14-2017, 02:30 PM
There were two trained police officers (ie good guys) with guns...and they did their job. A bunch of untrained concealed carry yahoos being there wouldn't have helped at all.


Congressman Scalise reportedly in critical condition following surgery. So who knows if he'll recover or not.

Davian93
06-14-2017, 02:31 PM
On your other question...gun control is a lost cause issue and all it does is lose elections for the Dems. The GOP uses it as a massive wedge issue. Running on gun control is a non winner and has been.

Sure, I think that's ridiculous but it is what it is.

StrangePackage
06-14-2017, 03:27 PM
On your other question...gun control is a lost cause issue and all it does is lose elections for the Dems. The GOP uses it as a massive wedge issue. Running on gun control is a non winner and has been.

Sure, I think that's ridiculous but it is what it is.

The NRA isn't a rights group, it's a trade association for gun manufacturers. They have the financial ability to swamp anyone who runs on a platform of limiting in any way the marketability of their products.

Davian93
06-14-2017, 03:35 PM
The NRA isn't a rights group, it's a trade association for gun manufacturers. They have the financial ability to swamp anyone who runs on a platform of limiting in any way the marketability of their products.

The NRA used to be a rights group...well, a very very long time ago but it hasn't been one in decades.

Kimon
06-14-2017, 04:20 PM
The NRA used to be a rights group...well, a very very long time ago but it hasn't been one in decades.

We've managed to turn against cigarette manufacturers and to curtail the use of cigarettes. Of course, along those lines, it would be helpful if we at least had all dems willing to agree that gun manufacturers should be subject to liability litigation.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/01/bernie-sanders-vote-gun-immunity-black-market/

StrangePackage
06-14-2017, 06:09 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/special-counsel-is-investigating-trump-for-possible-obstruction-of-justice/2017/06/14/9ce02506-5131-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html?utm_term=.731c5f4003d3&tid=sm_tw

Time for another firing.

ShadowbaneX
06-14-2017, 08:51 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/special-counsel-is-investigating-trump-for-possible-obstruction-of-justice/2017/06/14/9ce02506-5131-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html?utm_term=.731c5f4003d3&tid=sm_tw

Time for another firing.
Haven't you been paying attention SP? Comey himself said Trump wasn't being investigated so he obviously did nothing wrong, and all these investigations are a waste of tax payers money at best and a witch hunt against and the greatest electoral college win of all time at worst.

I mean, it's Anti-American for Trump not to fire people. That's what he did on his TV show to rave reviews and massive ratings. People elected him to do it from the Oval Office as well. Why do you hate Freedom SP?

Kimon
06-14-2017, 10:37 PM
These smaller changes tend to be overlooked, but...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/business/student-loans-for-profit-schools-colleges.html

The Trump administration is delaying — and considering dismantling — two new rules that were a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s crackdown on predatory for-profit colleges.

The announcement by the Education Department on Wednesday throws into limbo changes that would speed up and expand a system for erasing the federal loan debt of student borrowers who were cheated by colleges that acted fraudulently. It also freezes the implementation of key parts of what is known as the gainful employment mandate, which cuts off loans to colleges if their graduates do not earn enough money to pay off their student debt.

Davian93
06-15-2017, 12:24 PM
These smaller changes tend to be overlooked, but...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/business/student-loans-for-profit-schools-colleges.html

I smell a comeback for Trump University!!!

ShadowbaneX
06-15-2017, 12:55 PM
I smell a comeback for Trump University!!!
I'm probably being naive again, but who would sign up? Unless the goal is to defund all the other post-secondary education institutes and make it so that Trump is the only name in education...at which point, yer all so horribly, horribly screwed. Wow, it is turning into Idiocracy.

Davian93
06-15-2017, 01:20 PM
I'm probably being naive again, but who would sign up? Unless the goal is to defund all the other post-secondary education institutes and make it so that Trump is the only name in education...at which point, yer all so horribly, horribly screwed. Wow, it is turning into Idiocracy.

Republicans...just to stick it to the libs!

ShadowbaneX
06-15-2017, 01:35 PM
Republicans...just to stick it to the libs!
Judging from Southpaw's comments and education you may have a point.

Kimon
06-15-2017, 05:03 PM
Sessions is going to have to provide another "correction" to his testimony.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/lobbyist-russia-contradicts-key-jeff-sessions-claim-article-1.3250418

He'll probably avoid perjury (if only because so many of his answers, when they weren't just intentional rambling or evasive semi-assertions of executive privilege, were of the "I do not recall" variety), still, at some point (if they have any ethics, which...) even the republicans need to start admitting that this man, at minimum, should have to resign.

A lobbyist for Russian state-owned businesses says he attended two dinners hosted by Jeff Sessions — contradicting a key claim the U.S. Attorney General made during his Senate testimony this week.

Richard Burt told The Guardian on Thursday that he went to two events with Sessions and former GOP officials during the 2016 campaign.

But Sessions said in his hearing that he did not “believe” he had contacts with any lobbyists working for Russia during the presidential race.

Burt, who last year lobbied for a company controlled by Russia’s state-owned Gazprom energy conglomerate, said he was not sure whether Sessions knew about his work with Russia.

Ever proving collusion will be nigh impossible (proving obstruction of justice by contrast will be much easier), but let's be blunt, we all know what the real crime was, even if we can't prove it - the Russians were funneling money to Trump, Trump's family, and his associates (the bribes almost certainly going to family members to make it still harder to track) in exchange for influence and hope of getting the sanctions removed. Is that collusion? Maybe. Is that a crime? Does anyone, even Southpaw, really not think that was (and maybe still is) what was happening?

StrangePackage
06-15-2017, 06:02 PM
I did not have meetings with the Russians.
And if I did, I do not recall.
And if I do recall, it was probably no big deal.

Davian93
06-15-2017, 07:12 PM
Because he has nothing to hide, Mike Pence has now lawyered up too.

StrangePackage
06-15-2017, 09:46 PM
I just want the record to reflect that if Steve Scalise survives to continue to be a white supremacist/anti-lgbt activist shithead it will be, in large part, due to the actions of the lesbian African-American capital police officer Crystal Griner.

ShadowbaneX
06-15-2017, 10:07 PM
I just want the record to reflect that if Steve Scalise survives to continue to be a white supremacist/anti-lgbt activist shithead it will be, in large part, due to the actions of the lesbian African-American capital police officer Crystal Griner.
Win/win for her. Knowing that she saved his life is going to rankle him for the rest of his life. That said, knowing his type, he probably blames her for getting shot in the first place.

fionwe1987
06-16-2017, 11:57 AM
There is still no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians,

No, but there IS evidence that he tried to interfere with investigations that would have found out if there was any such collusion. The coverup has overtaken the (potential) crime, now. Would you deny that?

Davian93
06-16-2017, 12:23 PM
No, but there IS evidence that he tried to interfere with investigations that would have found out if there was any such collusion. The coverup has overtaken the (potential) crime, now. Would you deny that?

For an innocent guy, he sure as hell is acting guilty as hell.

Continually attacking and undermining Mueller is completely the action of an innocent man. Same with all of the rest of his behavior. Not to mention, the case for obstruction is already pretty strong with what we publicly know...he outright stated on national television that he fired Comey because of the Russian investigation. That's textbook obstruction and it gels completely with Comey's testimony.

Kimon
06-16-2017, 01:00 PM
For an innocent guy, he sure as hell is acting guilty as hell.


Guilty and envious as hell. He destroyed another of Obama's accomplishments today.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cuba-idUSKBN1970EC

For a party that pretends to rail against special interests, we have now seen a withdrawal from Paris that will benefit a few oligarchs and a few thousand coal workers to the detriment of a few billion. And a return to our Cuban Embargo? Another failed endeavor that only a few thousand bitter "refugees" in Miami give a sh*t about, and which clearly was not working, nor will it.

fionwe1987
06-16-2017, 02:27 PM
For an innocent guy, he sure as hell is acting guilty as hell.

Continually attacking and undermining Mueller is completely the action of an innocent man. Same with all of the rest of his behavior. Not to mention, the case for obstruction is already pretty strong with what we publicly know...he outright stated on national television that he fired Comey because of the Russian investigation. That's textbook obstruction and it gels completely with Comey's testimony.

I agree. Further, now that Mueller is reportedly looking into the finances of Trump and his close associates, including Jared Kushner, Tump is going to want to fire him even more. Which means even more obstruction of justice.

I don't know that there necessarily was collusion between the Trump campaign at the highest levels and Russia. It is very possible that Trump himself refuses to say anything against the Russians, and seems to be helping them so much, is entirely separate financial entanglement between the Trump organization and Russia.

The problem for Trump is that his idiotic firing of Comey ended a fairly narrow probe and replaced it with a fairly broad one. Good job Trump!

Kimon
06-16-2017, 02:53 PM
I agree. Further, now that Mueller is reportedly looking into the finances of Trump and his close associates, including Jared Kushner, Tump is going to want to fire him even more. Which means even more obstruction of justice.

I don't know that there necessarily was collusion between the Trump campaign at the highest levels and Russia. It is very possible that Trump himself refuses to say anything against the Russians, and seems to be helping them so much, is entirely separate financial entanglement between the Trump organization and Russia.

The problem for Trump is that his idiotic firing of Comey ended a fairly narrow probe and replaced it with a fairly broad one. Good job Trump!

Tangentially, Rosenstein has a bit of an ethical dilemma - to recuse, or not to recuse? He seems to think that he may have a conflict of interest due to his role in firing Comey, i.e. the fact that he wrote the memo that was used as the pretense/justification. Yet, is this truly an ethical issue, or is it his way of potentially avoiding another, potential, ethical dilemma? Doing so would pre-emptively remove him from the loop and thus avoid any potential necessity to refuse and then resign should Trump fire Mueller. So, ethics, or cowardice?

At least he seems torn himself.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/deputy-attorney-general-rosenstein-sees-no-reason-to-recuse-himself-from-russia-probe-justice-department-says/2017/06/16/ba1dafd4-52ae-11e7-91eb-9611861a988f_story.html?utm_term=.3e36ece9536a

Terez
06-16-2017, 08:24 PM
Maddow did an interesting segment on Pence's lawyer last night. Apparently he has a history of representing Republicans who are fighting corruption within their own party: Caldwell Butler during Watergate, and Paul Trible during Iran-Contra.

tworiverswoman
06-18-2017, 04:21 AM
I've gotten fairly addicted to Rachel Maddow in the last five months. She has a marvelous technique of beginning the show talking about something out of left field, sometimes from 20-30 years ago, and step by step she brings you through to how that affects the newest bit of Trump weirdness to hit the front pages. I lived through the Watergate stuff - but she's taught me things I didn't know or had forgotten about those days/months/years. Sometimes that ratings need for "breaking news" gets irritating but in general I really like her presentations.

Here's my speculations - I'd be curious to know how far off-base I am.

We know now that Russia actually hacked into the systems of companies that handle the voting process in THIRTY-NINE STATES - nearly four out of five states. We've been told bluntly that they didn't actually change any of the votes. I have to believe they have some way to verify that. Ostensibly, the Russians belived that Hillary would win, then they would cast doubt on the validity of her win when it came out that the servers had been hacked. Instead, they got Trump. I think they really didn't want him, because they have no more ability than we do to predict his responses.

However - during the campaign, various people (including Kushner, Sessions and others) were trying to get Trump's praise and approval by working up some way to re-normalize relations with Russia, so Trump could go back to getting lots and lots of money by doing business with them. This required the sanctions to be removed. This required that Trump's group win the game. So - "what can you/we do to get this result?" This doesn't actually require that Trump even know what's going on - the assumption would be that this result would please him - don't bother him with the details.

Take note that an attempt to do what was necessary to remove the sanctions was nearly the first thing Trump's team after they got into the White House. It got delayed because of the frantic calls to Dan Fried that caused him to notify some people in Congress who managed to shut it down, or at least put up roadblocks.



I have yet to see a single sign that Trump "loves America" as he likes to say. In my opinion, he loves being rich and powerful, and in his mind, nothing really matters except that he won, and it pisses him off that people keep interfering with his ability to gloat.



I get the biggest kick out of watching various shows (usually comedy shows, but sometimes real news shows, too) explode his lies for what they are by showing a video of him making some ridiculous claim, "I never said that!" or "That's not what I promised!" etc. and then showing a video of him saying EXACTLY that, and promising EXACTLY the other. I don't think it's possible any more to list all his falsehoods without making it a novella, at the very least.

But I bet Southpaw thinks Comey's lying and Trump's "I never said that, but if I did, what's wrong with that?" is the truth. I really don't understand how anyone with the brains to write a coherent sentence (never mind Southpaw's reasoning, he isn't without language) can actually listen to a word Trump says without wanting to puke in disgust. The cognitive dissonance is stunning.

GonzoTheGreat
06-18-2017, 07:16 AM
But I bet Southpaw thinks Comey's lying and Trump's "I never said that, but if I did, what's wrong with that?" is the truth. I really don't understand how anyone with the brains to write a coherent sentence (never mind Southpaw's reasoning, he isn't without language) can actually listen to a word Trump says without wanting to puke in disgust. The cognitive dissonance is stunning.
Yes, the cognitive dissonance is strong in that one.
So far, I haven't felt a disturbance in the cognitive dissonance.

Well, the cognitive dissonance is what gives a right wing politician his power. It is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds Washington together.

fionwe1987
06-18-2017, 11:38 AM
I was listening to a podcast interview of Masha Gessen, a Russian-American journalist who has been somewhat sceptical of the collusion claims. I think I've come to see it her way, in that it wasn't so much a master plan which Trump participated in or orchestrated, but one that began with questionable contacts with some Russians because the Trump campaign had no friggin clue what is allowed and what is not, and was mixed in with Trump wanting to ease ties with Russia due to his financial ties.

Ie. totally shady and possibly illegal, but maybe not the legal definition of collusion.

GonzoTheGreat
06-18-2017, 12:15 PM
I do agree that it seems very unlikely that Trump ever had any kind of plan for anything at all beyond "Gimme!"

Still, his asking the Russians to hack computers and the Russians then hacking computers does seem awfully coincidental.
Southpaw, if Trump was merely duped into becoming president by Putin, instead of having actually schemed with him for that purpose, would that make it better, from a legal point of view?

ShadowbaneX
06-18-2017, 01:27 PM
I do agree that it seems very unlikely that Trump ever had any kind of plan for anything at all beyond "Gimme!"

Still, his asking the Russians to hack computers and the Russians then hacking computers does seem awfully coincidental.
Southpaw, if Trump was merely duped into becoming president by Putin, instead of having actually schemed with him for that purpose, would that make it better, from a legal point of view?

The strongest argument against Trump being in collusion with anyone is that it's Trump. I'm not saying he couldn't plan his way out of a wet paper bag, because unless someone is there to offer him a huge bribe to come out, he'd probably want to stay in there because it's the best wet paper bag ever. He's probably try to brand them and sell them, but wind up losing massive amounts of money in the process.

What I'm saying here is that he's too dumb to pull off actual collusion. He's probably the Jacques Clouseaux of, well, whatever it is that Trump does.

StrangePackage
06-18-2017, 07:04 PM
Anyone else notice that Truamp's attorney Sokolov or whatever bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Burns' attorney?

Behold:

https://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/simpsons/images/e/ef/Blue_Haired_Lawyer.png/revision/latest?cb=20100727224053

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/590952848990478336/rdaLnb0e.jpg

ShadowbaneX
06-18-2017, 07:26 PM
Anyone else notice that Truamp's attorney Sokolov or whatever bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Burns' attorney?

Behold:

https://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/simpsons/images/e/ef/Blue_Haired_Lawyer.png/revision/latest?cb=20100727224053

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/590952848990478336/rdaLnb0e.jpg
Totally off base there. He's smiling way too much.

Terez
06-20-2017, 07:49 AM
I've gotten fairly addicted to Rachel Maddow in the last five months. She has a marvelous technique of beginning the show talking about something out of left field, sometimes from 20-30 years ago, and step by step she brings you through to how that affects the newest bit of Trump weirdness to hit the front pages. I lived through the Watergate stuff - but she's taught me things I didn't know or had forgotten about those days/months/years. Sometimes that ratings need for "breaking news" gets irritating but in general I really like her presentations.
I'm glad you discovered her; IMO she's the best thing on cable news by a long shot. She's not perfect; she's not immune to overt messaging to the point of propaganda, but she's the only one who bothers trying to give coherent historical context for anything, and when it's not historical context, she puts breaking news in the context of more recent news that other outlets don't seem to care whether or not you remember. She gets a little bit overenthusiastic whenever she gets an exclusive scoop, but along those lines, she's always very concerned with letting you know exactly who broke what news, whether it was her or not, and she's very supportive of other journalists she respects.

The breaking news interludes are always going to be with us; she has no choice but to cover those things. But I think she and Chris Hayes have reached a sort of balance between them; she focuses on Russia (she loves mysteries) and he focuses on the day-to-day policy issues that liberal voters care about the most. Between the two of them, they hit all the high points.

We know now that Russia actually hacked into the systems of companies that handle the voting process in THIRTY-NINE STATES - nearly four out of five states. We've been told bluntly that they didn't actually change any of the votes. I have to believe they have some way to verify that. Ostensibly, the Russians belived that Hillary would win, then they would cast doubt on the validity of her win when it came out that the servers had been hacked. Instead, they got Trump. I think they really didn't want him, because they have no more ability than we do to predict his responses.
This is one of those things that Maddow generally won't talk about. I've noticed that with her; she's very wary of anything that might cause her viewers to lose faith in the democratic process.

As for the rest of your post, I find it hard to believe that Trump was kept completely in the dark with the Russia stuff. There were too many big-shots on his team with previous ties to Russia, and he was the one making picks. And I'm not talking about small-time ties; I'm talking about people like Manafort (to this day no one really knows why Trump picked him) and Flynn, not to mention Tillerson and Carter Page and various others. It's hard to see him actually plotting treason as such, but when it comes to his money interests, it's easy to see him willing to break ethics norms and even laws to benefit himself and people whose interests align with his own.

tworiverswoman
06-21-2017, 04:36 AM
I find it hard to believe that Trump was kept completely in the dark with the Russia stuff. There were too many big-shots on his team with previous ties to Russia, and he was the one making picks. And I'm not talking about small-time ties; I'm talking about people like Manafort (to this day no one really knows why Trump picked him) and Flynn, not to mention Tillerson and Carter Page and various others. It's hard to see him actually plotting treason as such, but when it comes to his money interests, it's easy to see him willing to break ethics norms and even laws to benefit himself and people whose interests align with his own.Yeah, I do find it hard to believe he was ignorant - but one thing I've come to realize is that he doesn't even THINK in the same world as normal people. I'd be willing to bet that his only concern was opening up the barriers to "business as usual" and the idea that doing all this unilaterally might be considered treason by some people never really got any headway in his mind. The sanctions were in his way. People had mocked him publicly and he needed to "show them all." Combine the two and you have a man running for President with absolutely no interest whatever in the country's actual well-being. Couple that with the fact that he's a dyed-in-the-wool conspiracy theorist along with being a climate-change denier and despiser of regulations "that choke business" and you have a perfect storm. Also bigot, misogynist, bullshitter extrordinaire and "like a smart guy."

Sigh.

StrangePackage
06-25-2017, 08:12 PM
I love how the GOP has gone from the law and order party to the "doesn't everyone spy on us, who cares, let the Russians do what they want. Oh and why do we need investigations, let's fire everyone and cut the FBI's budget!" party

GonzoTheGreat
06-26-2017, 02:31 AM
Well, the GOP has been the party of "do as we say, not as we do" for a very long time, so it isn't as much of a change as you seem to think.

Davian93
06-26-2017, 07:13 PM
Well, the GOP has been the party of "do as we say, not as we do" for a very long time, so it isn't as much of a change as you seem to think.

The GOP has trended towards authoritarianism and fascism basically since Nixon was in office.

The Dems, however, continually snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

I wish there was a legitimate 3rd option...or I wish I had enough money to just move overseas. If I had the cash, I'd find a nice little house in the south of France and disappear.

GonzoTheGreat
06-27-2017, 02:35 AM
I wish there was a legitimate 3rd option...
Most Americans seem to share that wish. Strangely enough, not a single one of them has ever come across the concept of the "self full filling prophecy". I wonder whether there's any connection. Nah, probably not.

ShadowbaneX
06-27-2017, 06:03 AM
The GOP has trended towards authoritarianism and fascism basically since Nixon was in office.

The Dems, however, continually snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

I wish there was a legitimate 3rd option...or I wish I had enough money to just move overseas. If I had the cash, I'd find a nice little house in the south of France and disappear.
You could come to Canada. We have some French-ish type people...not exactly the weather of the South of France though.

GonzoTheGreat
06-27-2017, 06:15 AM
Some bits of Canada are at the same latitude as the north of France is.

ShadowbaneX
06-27-2017, 08:17 AM
Yeah, but that's southern Ontario, which is way too close to either Toronto or Niagara Falls...and the weather is totally different.

StrangePackage
07-01-2017, 08:55 AM
How's the Third Lady's anti-Cyberbullying campaign going?

StrangePackage
07-01-2017, 08:57 AM
After the president’s tweet, I must withdraw my support for everything but his agenda (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2017/06/30/after-the-presidents-tweet-i-must-withdraw-my-support-for-everything-but-his-agenda/?utm_term=.1f05e7a0f0d4)

StrangePackage
07-01-2017, 09:40 AM
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/06/30/remarks-president-signing-executive-order-national-space-council

So, I just want to tell you that we are now going to sign an executive order, and this is going to launch a whole new chapter for our great country. And people are very excited about it and I can tell you, I’m very excited about it. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

(The order is signed.)

COLONEL ALDRIN: Infinity and beyond. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: This is infinity here. It could be infinity. We don’t really don’t know. But it could be. It has to be something -- but it could be infinity, right?

Okay. (Applause.)

END
3:10 P.M. EDT

Davian93
07-07-2017, 01:19 PM
Trump meets with Putin for 2 hours and then...

Trump wants to set up a joint cyber task-force with Russia.

Also, Trump accepts that Russia did not interfere with the election...this despite every single US intelligence body saying they did.

What a POS.

connabard
07-07-2017, 02:05 PM
I feel like I keep asking this question but I guess uh

How long until America is just Russia but in the west?

Infidel
07-07-2017, 02:09 PM
Trump meets with Putin for 2 hours and then...

Trump wants to set up a joint cyber task-force with Russia.

Also, Trump accepts that Russia did not interfere with the election...this despite every single US intelligence body saying they did.

What a POS.

The puppet does the bidding of the Puppetmaster.

Kimon
07-07-2017, 05:02 PM
Trump meets with Putin for 2 hours and then...

Trump wants to set up a joint cyber task-force with Russia.

Also, Trump accepts that Russia did not interfere with the election...this despite every single US intelligence body saying they did.

What a POS.

Either his ego won't allow him to separate the reality of what happened from the implication that the Russian involvement helped him win the election, or he knows, but just doesn't care. Either option, or a combination of the two, seem quite possible. The same seems essentially true of most conservative voters, and unless Fox, Breitbart, and Infowars decide to care, that won't change.

Along similar lines, he also seems incapable (perhaps his whole administration, including perhaps even Mattis & McMaster) of recognizing just how thoroughly duped he/they were by the Saudis over all this continuing nonsense with Qatar.

Rand al'Fain
07-07-2017, 07:06 PM
Either his ego won't allow him to separate the reality of what happened from the implication that the Russian involvement helped him win the election, or he knows, but just doesn't care. Either option, or a combination of the two, seem quite possible. The same seems essentially true of most conservative voters, and unless Fox, Breitbart, and Infowars decide to care, that won't change.

Along similar lines, he also seems incapable (perhaps his whole administration, including perhaps even Mattis & McMaster) of recognizing just how thoroughly duped he/they were by the Saudis over all this continuing nonsense with Qatar.

Probably the one thing Erdogan has gotten right in recent times.

Davian93
07-07-2017, 07:56 PM
Either his ego won't allow him to separate the reality of what happened from the implication that the Russian involvement helped him win the election, or he knows, but just doesn't care. Either option, or a combination of the two, seem quite possible. The same seems essentially true of most conservative voters, and unless Fox, Breitbart, and Infowars decide to care, that won't change.

Along similar lines, he also seems incapable (perhaps his whole administration, including perhaps even Mattis & McMaster) of recognizing just how thoroughly duped he/they were by the Saudis over all this continuing nonsense with Qatar.

It's not the first time that he's seemingly agreed with whoever the last person he spoke to in both cases. Goes to Saudi, all of a sudden is carrying water for them against Qatar. Meets with Putin and he's carrying water for him...though he's been doing that for almost a year now publicly.

One other thing of interest is he didn't try any of his alpha male BS handshake with Putin...basically the only person he didn't try it with since he's been President. Makes you wonder there.

Rand al'Fain
07-09-2017, 02:02 PM
John McCain continues to be one of the few voices of reason from the GOP.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/2-gop-senators-suggest-bill-repeal-health-care-175248191--politics.html

Kimon
07-09-2017, 06:26 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/09/us/politics/trump-russia-kushner-manafort.html

President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.

The meeting was also attended by his campaign chairman at the time, Paul J. Manafort, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kushner only recently disclosed the meeting, though not its content, in confidential government documents described to The New York Times.

In a statement on Sunday, Donald Trump Jr. said he had met with the Russian lawyer at the request of an acquaintance. “After pleasantries were exchanged,” he said, “the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”

He said she then turned the conversation to adoption of Russian children and the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers. The law so enraged President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia that he retaliated by halting American adoptions of Russian children.

“It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting,” Mr. Trump said.

Ms. Veselnitskaya is a formidable operator with a history of pushing the Kremlin’s agenda. Most notable is her campaign against the Magnitsky Act, which provoked a Cold War-style, tit-for-tat dispute with the Kremlin when President Barack Obama signed it into law in 2012.

Under the law, about 44 Russian citizens have been put on a list that allows the United States to seize their American assets and deny them visas. The United States asserts that many of them are connected to the fraud exposed by Mr. Magnitsky, who after being jailed for more than a year was found dead in his cell. A Russian human rights panel found that he had been assaulted. To critics of Mr. Putin, Mr. Magnitsky, in death, became a symbol of corruption and brutality in the Russian state.

An infuriated Mr. Putin has called the law an “outrageous act,” and, in addition to banning American adoptions, he compiled what became known as an “anti-Magnitsky” blacklist of United States citizens.

Among those blacklisted was Preet Bharara, then the United States attorney in Manhattan, who led notable convictions of Russian arms and drug dealers. Mr. Bharara was abruptly fired in March, after previously being asked to stay on by President Trump.

This still seems more along the simple corruption spectrum than actually criminal, but it is yet another Russian meeting that they had long tried to cover up. Doubtless there are others of a similarly embarrassing/suspicious, perhaps even treasonous nature. The Bharara connection is likely just coincidental, but even aside from the inappropriate friendliness towards Russia coupled with the hostility towards our NATO allies, even the sanctions on Russia clearly would have been repealed at Putin's behest but for the disgust of a handful of semi-honest Republican senators - especially McCain and Graham.

At some point it would be helpful if a few more republicans demonstrated some pragmatic concern.

Kimon
07-11-2017, 01:21 PM
Trump Jr may be the idiot that brings down all these schmucks.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40574564

US President Donald Trump's son has released an email chain showing he was keen to accept "sensitive" information on Hillary Clinton from a Russian national.
Publicist Rob Goldstone tells Donald Trump Jr that there is information that is "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr Trump".
Mr Trump Jr replies: "If it's what you say, I love it."
The emails led to a meeting in New York with a Russian lawyer.
It appears to be the first confirmation that a Trump associate attended a meeting in the expectation of being handed sensitive information from Russian officials.
US officials are currently investigating alleged Russian meddling in the US election.
The emails to Mr Trump Jr, which he released on Twitter, say "the crown prosecutor of Russia" (a role that does not exist) had "offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father".

StrangePackage
07-11-2017, 03:44 PM
John McCain continues to be one of the few voices of reason from the GOP.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/2-gop-senators-suggest-bill-repeal-health-care-175248191--politics.html

http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/i-dont-want-to-hear-another-fucking-word-about-john-mcc-1792493680

Kimon
07-11-2017, 04:26 PM
http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/i-dont-want-to-hear-another-fucking-word-about-john-mcc-1792493680

This is obviously a much more distant issue, but considering that much of the cause for praise from the left for McCain comes from his lukewarm support for campaign finance reform, it's important to remember that he was on Keating's payroll in one of the more obvious examples of blatant corruption in Congressional history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keating_Five

Keating was mostly operating in Arizona, so McCain being one of his pet senators is perhaps unsurprising, the other 4 corrupt senators in that scandal were dems (one of them no less than John Glenn, the ex-astronaut), but only McCain is still in the senate.

Davian93
07-12-2017, 07:54 AM
Are we ready to be outraged yet about Russian interference and blatant collaboration between Russia and Trump's campaign yet?

Or are Trump Jr's self-released damning emails just more fake news?

ShadowbaneX
07-12-2017, 08:52 AM
Are we ready to be outraged yet about Russian interference and blatant collaboration between Russia and Trump's campaign yet?

Or are Trump Jr's self-released damning emails just more fake news?

Dammit Dav. He was being honest and transparent by posting those emails. Give him some slack. At least he didn't delete them like Hillary did. That's the real crime here.

Kimon
07-13-2017, 05:25 PM
Still not convinced that republicans will ever be able to actually repeal or replace the ACA. McConnell came out with his slightly less evil version of the House Republican plan today...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/13/us/politics/senate-republican-health-care-bill.html

WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders unveiled a fresh proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, revising their bill to help hold down insurance costs for consumers while keeping a pair of taxes on high-income people that they had planned to eliminate.

But the measure was immediately imperiled when two Republican senators, moderate Susan Collins of Maine and conservative Rand Paul of Kentucky, announced they were not swayed — even on a procedural motion to take up the bill next week, a motion to proceed.

Obviously for different reasons - Susan Collins thinking that it is too evil, and Rand Paul urging that it is not callous enough.

One more defection would doom the bill and jeopardize the Republicans’ seven-year-old quest to dismantle the health law that is a pillar of President Barack Obama’s legacy. In a sign that more could follow, two other Republican senators, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, unveiled their own alternative plan, just minutes before Senate leaders offered their latest.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia, expressed “serious concerns about the Medicaid provisions” in the latest draft, although she did not reject it.

Not exactly clear how different Graham's version was supposed to be, but in general this seems to describe both his version, and McConnell's:

Republicans said the revised bill would provide roughly $70 billion in additional funds that states could use to help reduce premiums, hold down out-of-pocket costs and otherwise make health care more affordable. The bill already included more than $100 billion for such purposes.

But the new bill, like earlier versions, would still convert Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement to a system of fixed payments to states. In the event of a public health emergency, state Medicaid spending in a particular part of a state would not be counted toward the spending limits, known as per capita caps, a concession to moderate Republicans but perhaps not enough to get the 50 votes needed for passage.

Overall, the new version of the bill made broad concessions to conservative Republicans who had maintained that the initial draft left too much of the Affordable Care Act in place. Mr. McConnell then backfilled the bill with money intended to placate moderates. That jury-rigging of the bill left neither side completely satisfied.

For instance, in a departure from current law, the bill would allow insurers, under certain conditions, to offer health plans that did not comply with standards in the Affordable Care Act. Under that law, insurers sell regulated health plans through a public insurance exchange in each state.

But health care experts worried that such a change would send healthy consumers to low-cost, basic health plans, leaving sick and older consumers to buy more comprehensive health policies at much higher prices. To compensate, Republican leaders added billions of dollars to try to offset rising premiums.

Seems like both are designed with the intent of abandoning the immediacy of the tax cuts for the rich that the House Plan was really aimed at, instead likely leaving that for passage in a subsequent, separate, bill.

As an aside, I'm still not quite sure what Susan Collins is still doing in the republican party. It's not like she'd have any more difficulty winning as a dem in Maine, and all the other New Englander Rockefeller type republicans have long since switched colors. She certainly does not seem much like a republican in the modern sense. That said, the current lack of those relatively progressive (at least in a social policy sense) Rockefeller type northern republicans, as well as the now lack of the corresponding racist hillbilly southern dems, is part of why the two parties no longer have as much overlap, and hence as much cooperation, or at least cordiality, as they did back in the '70s and '80s.

Kimon
07-13-2017, 08:44 PM
Rachel Maddow is talking to an ex-Pentagon Russia expert right now, and this recent article...

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article160803619.html

Mike Carpenter, who in January left a senior Pentagon post where he worked on Russia matters, also has suspicions about collaboration between the campaign and Russia’s cyber operatives.

“There appears to have been significant cooperation between Russia’s online propaganda machine and individuals in the United States who were knowledgeable about where to target the disinformation,” he said, without naming any American suspects.

By Election Day, an automated Kremlin cyberattack of unprecedented scale and sophistication had delivered critical and phony news about the Democratic presidential nominee to the Twitter and Facebook accounts of millions of voters. Some investigators suspect the Russians targeted voters in swing states, even in key precincts.

Russia’s operation used computer commands knowns as “bots” to collect and dramatically heighten the reach of negative or fabricated news about Clinton, including a story in the final days of the campaign accusing her of running a pedophile ring at a Washington pizzeria.

One source familiar with Justice's criminal probe said investigators doubt Russian operatives controlling the so-called robotic cyber commands that fetched and distributed fake news stories could have independently "known where to specifically target … to which high-impact states and districts in those states."

As more has been learned about the breadth of the Russian cyber onslaught, congressional Democrats have shown growing resolve to demand that the Republican-controlled intelligence committees fully investigate ways in which Trump associates may have conspired with the Russians.

Among other things, congressional investigators are looking into whether Russian operatives, who successfully penetrated voting registration systems in Illinois, Arizona and possibly other states, shared any of that data with the Trump campaign, according to a report in Time.

“I get the fact that the Russian intel services could figure out how to manipulate and use the bots,” Virginia Sen. Mark Warner told Pod Save America recently. “Whether they could know how to target states and levels of voters that the Democrats weren’t even aware (of) really raises some questions … How did they know to go to that level of detail in those kinds of jurisdictions?”

The Russians appear to have targeted women and African-Americans in two of the three decisive states, Wisconsin and Michigan, “where the Democrats were too brain dead to realize those states were even in play,” Warner said.

Twitter’s and Facebook’s search engines in those states were overwhelmed, he said, meaning they couldn’t discern fake news from real news.

“On your news feed, you suddenly got … ‘Hillary Clinton’s sick’ or ‘Hillary Clinton’s stealing money from the State Department,’” said Warner.

Kushner’s pivotal role in the Trump cyber effort was underscored by his hiring in 2015 of Brad Parscale, a Texas-based digital guru who previously had done work for the Trump Organization, said two GOP operatives familiar with the campaign.

Parscale’s company raked in about $90 million for work targeting many states with paid advertisements, social media messages and other cyber tools.

As the Trump campaign’s top digital director, Parscale ran much of the operation from his San Antonio offices. He is expected to appear before at least one of several congressional committees investigating aspects of Russia’s interference in the election.

If any of this can be proven, we would be well beyond just suspicions of collusion.

tworiverswoman
07-14-2017, 03:24 AM
Just want to post my utter disgust for FOX News' "spin" on the Trump, Jr. collusion. Hannity is particularly obscene.

Intent matters. No one says "attempted murder isn't a crime because, after all, no one actually DIED."

I loved Colbert's take on the latest attempt to reverse-accuse the Dems of "setting him up" for this meeting. I mean, if they did it to discredit the Trumps, how come they never USED it? "But we're losing ground!" "Hold... Hold!" "He's won the Presidency!" "Hold... Hold..."

StrangePackage
07-15-2017, 10:55 AM
The people who are now saying that the collusion was bungled or that the meeting was a bust and that no information changed hands are the same people who for the last year have been flatly denying that such a meeting ever took place. Why the fuck should we listen to them now?

StrangePackage
07-15-2017, 10:57 AM
That idea that potential conspiracy (which is where we are now- collusion has been proven, we're on to criminal conspiracy) to engage in illegal acts with a foreign government to undermine an election doesn't bother a significant portion of the country is actually worse than the conspiracy itself. The latter is merely the failings of a small group of specific people, the former indicates that political victories for said group are more important to them than fair elections and the sovereignty of our country, or the peaceful transition of leadership according to our laws. Ignoring corruption because it benefits you or your in-group is a systematic failing and one that the country would have a much harder time overcoming.

GonzoTheGreat
07-15-2017, 11:30 AM
For decades, the Republicans have been saying that they don't like government, that they want to destroy it. Why be surprised when they seem to have been honest about this?

ShadowbaneX
07-15-2017, 12:36 PM
For decades, the Republicans have been saying that they don't like government, that they want to destroy it. Why be surprised when they seem to have been honest about this?
because they've never been honest about anything before?

Davian93
07-15-2017, 09:35 PM
That idea that potential conspiracy (which is where we are now- collusion has been proven, we're on to criminal conspiracy) to engage in illegal acts with a foreign government to undermine an election doesn't bother a significant portion of the country is actually worse than the conspiracy itself. The latter is merely the failings of a small group of specific people, the former indicates that political victories for said group are more important to them than fair elections and the sovereignty of our country, or the peaceful transition of leadership according to our laws. Ignoring corruption because it benefits you or your in-group is a systematic failing and one that the country would have a much harder time overcoming.

My educated opinion on this situation is as follows: We be fucked.

We are past the point of no return and regardless of what happens, our country and form of gov't has been fatally wounded.

I wonder how long till we have some sort of strongman seizing power...Trump is merely the first attempt. It will get worse in our lifetimes and it will happen shockingly fast.

Kimon
07-17-2017, 09:00 AM
Probably the one thing Erdogan has gotten right in recent times.

Erdogan, and the Turks, are not Arabs. This geo-ethnic-political strife however just keeps getting more intricate.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40630602

The United Arab Emirates has denied it was behind the alleged hacking of Qatar's state news agency in May.
The Washington Post cited US intelligence officials as saying the UAE had orchestrated the posting of incendiary quotes attributed to Qatar's emir that he insisted were fabricated.
The incident helped spark a diplomatic rift between Qatar and its neighbours.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told the BBC on Monday the Post's report was "untrue".
He also reiterated that the UAE and five other Arab nations had not written to Fifa to demand that Qatar be stripped of the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

The Washington Post's story cited unnamed US intelligence officials as saying newly-analysed information confirmed that on 23 May senior members of the UAE government had discussed a plan to hack Qatari state media sites.

Later that day, the official Qatar News Agency quoted Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani as criticising US "hostility" towards Iran, describing it as an "Islamic power that cannot be ignored", and calling Hamas the "legitimate representative of the Palestinian people".
Qatari officials said the agency had been hacked by an "unknown entity" and that the story had "no basis whatsoever". However, the remarks were reported across the region and caused a stir.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt responded by blocking Qatari media.
Two weeks later, the four countries cut all links with Qatar over its alleged support for terrorism and relations with Iran. The boycott has caused turmoil in the oil- and gas-rich emirate, which is dependent on imports by land and sea for the basic needs of its population of 2.7 million.

Clearly Qatar's quick rise from sandstrewn nonentity to rich, influential, and powerful metropolis that is overshadowing the international prestige of its other Arab neighbors, has massively pissed those other Arab states off. Just as clearly, it would also be useful if we had a president that was more than just a clueless, narcissistic, corrupt schmuck, or say a State Department that hadn't been treated by that pos like one of his businesses that he had run into bankruptcy while he lined his own pockets.

Davian93
07-17-2017, 10:03 AM
We should have just left the Turks in charge of the Middle East after WWI. It was short-sighted of the Brits and French to divide up those territories and 90% of our current issues in that region are directly the result of that division under Sykes-Picot. It was idiotic at best and completely in line with the colonial mentality of the time. David Fromkin's A Peace to End All Peace was a good quick overview of those issues.

Kimon
07-17-2017, 09:40 PM
Looks like the healthcare bill is again, at least in this iteration, dead in the senate.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/amid-uncertainty-about-mccains-health-senate-returns-with-gop-agenda-in-flux/2017/07/17/6dd31530-6b02-11e7-9c15-177740635e83_story.html?utm_term=.31660ead8c41

Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) issued statements declaring that they would not vote for the revamped measure. They joined Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), who also oppose it. With just 52 seats, Republicans can afford to lose only two votes to pass their proposed rewrite of the Affordable Care Act. All 46 Democrats and two independents are expected to vote against it.

“In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations,” Lee said in a statement.

Moran said the bill “fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address healthcare’s rising costs.”

So three extreme right wingers, plus one progressive (Collins). If they move it further towards the callous to appeal to the base, more of the non-sadistic republicans will join Collins.

The sadists are now obviously calling to just watch the world burn...

Conservatives have suggested moving a bill that simply repeals the 2010 health law and set up a timeline of several years to figure out how to replace it, a politically risky move that also might lack support to pass.

McConnell and Graham seem to be trying to fish for whether they can finally just do the pragmatic thing, but...

The other move, which McConnell threatened recently, would be to work with Democrats to prop up the insurance exchange markets that have been imploding in some states -- which would likely win passage but would infuriate the conservative base that has been calling for the end of Obamacare.

This would obviously be the responsible thing to do, but then if they were responsible they wouldn't be republicans.

GonzoTheGreat
07-18-2017, 03:36 AM
This would obviously be the responsible thing to do, but then if they were responsible they wouldn't be republicans.
Parties (and people) change. Maybe they've all suddenly come to their senses. Maybe they will even manage to explain things to their base, making their voters support them in this new direction as well. That is not impossible, is it?

StrangePackage
07-18-2017, 07:40 AM
It'll be back.

Also, now that it's dead, McCain is kicking the corpse. I really loathe him.

Kimon
07-18-2017, 10:54 AM
It'll be back.

Also, now that it's dead, McCain is kicking the corpse. I really loathe him.

McCain isn't exactly deserving of his "maverick" epithet, but there are far more republicans worthy of ire than he. He doesn't exactly strike me as part of the let's sit back and enjoy watching the world burn crowd - speaking of which...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40646625

Oh, and along similarly evil, incompetent, and corrupt lines, Trump also is trying to remind the world today that he is not just Putin's bitch, but that he also will still accept marching orders from Riyadh and Jerusalem.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40647994

ShadowbaneX
07-18-2017, 11:25 AM
McCain isn't exactly deserving of his "maverick" epithet, but there are far more republicans worthy of ire than he. He doesn't exactly strike me as part of the let's sit back and enjoy watching the world burn crowd - speaking of which...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40646625

Oh, and along similarly evil, incompetent, and corrupt lines, Trump also is trying to remind the world today that he is not just Putin's bitch, but that he also will still accept marching orders from Riyadh and Jerusalem.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40647994
Trump's not anyone's bitch. He's a business man that will take custom from anyone. Whoever pays him will get him to sprout off some non-sense for a little while. How long depends on how much he's paid.

Rand al'Fain
07-18-2017, 12:00 PM
Trump's not anyone's bitch. He's a business man that will take custom from anyone. Whoever pays him will get him to sprout off some non-sense for a little while. How long depends on how much he's paid.

I don't know. Rumors when he and Putin get some alone time spread some rather "interesting" topics...

http://static.yourtango.com/cdn/farfuture/2wRHOzmBsEkkXMcwveq4YtH5ieoCaQ6lw74k5LTw3gA/mtime:1487459020/sites/default/files/styles/body_image_default/public/image_list/Trump14.jpg?itok=yta0vUyn

ShadowbaneX
07-18-2017, 12:24 PM
I don't know. Rumors when he and Putin get some alone time spread some rather "interesting" topics...

http://static.yourtango.com/cdn/farfuture/2wRHOzmBsEkkXMcwveq4YtH5ieoCaQ6lw74k5LTw3gA/mtime:1487459020/sites/default/files/styles/body_image_default/public/image_list/Trump14.jpg?itok=yta0vUyn
Probably still got paid for it.

StrangePackage
07-18-2017, 01:36 PM
McCain isn't exactly deserving of his "maverick" epithet, but there are far more republicans worthy of ire than he. He doesn't exactly strike me as part of the let's sit back and enjoy watching the world burn crowd - speaking of which...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40646625

Oh, and along similarly evil, incompetent, and corrupt lines, Trump also is trying to remind the world today that he is not just Putin's bitch, but that he also will still accept marching orders from Riyadh and Jerusalem.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40647994

He'll express "grave concern" and then vote lockstep on every. single. goddamn. bill.

He's fucking useless and his "maverick" persona is entirely a fiction. He's like an NPC in an RPG, who if you click on him says things like "This cannot be allowed to pass!" or "This is deeply disturbing" but isn't scripted to take any action whatsoever.

And for someone who isn't content to sit back and watch the world burn, he sure hasn't done fuck all to stop it. So fuck him. He gets more credit for doing less than almost any human being alive, and I'm just sick of it.

Kimon
07-18-2017, 02:10 PM
The Repeal-Only Plan is now dead as well.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/18/15991020/3-gop-women-tank-obamacare-repeal

It’s the “revenge of the GOP women,” Associated Press congressional reporter Alan Fram pointed out, as it became apparent that Republicans would soon have no choice but to throw in the towel on their Obamacare repeal efforts.

By Tuesday afternoon, three Republican senators — all women — had come out against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to push a vote on a clean Obamacare repeal bill — enough to sink it altogether. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) confirmed they would not vote for a repeal bill that delayed enacting the policy by two years.

At some point the republicans are going to have to stop holding the exchanges hostage and actually start fixing all the damage they have created, or else the insurance, medical, and hospital lobbies will all start openly turning on them.

Davian93
07-18-2017, 07:26 PM
So Trump apparently met secretly with Putin during the G-20 meetings and the only people in the meeting were Trump, Putin and Putin's interpreter.

That is unheard of...he could look more compromised by Russia if he tried.


Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia (MSNBC): Never seen a meeting like this (hour-long, no U.S. translator, no read-out, no public disclosure).

- Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) July 18, 2017

This is more than Trump not learning; it's actively dismissing & ignoring policy specialists, standing American policy, & American interests

- Brent E. Sasley (@besasley) July 18, 2017

As an intelligence officer in Afghanistan, I always preferred it when my sources came alone. I'm sure Putin feels the same way. https://t.co/P99VN6gQu1

- Jason Kander (@JasonKander) July 18, 2017