Links 3/12/17

Guam’s plague of snakes is devastating the whole island ecosystem, even the trees ScienceAlert (Chuck L)

Storm to hit Northeast; blizzard watch for NYC, Boston Associated Press

Soils could release much more carbon than expected as climate warms ScienceDaily (Dan K)

Designer Chromosomes Point to New Synthetic Life-Forms MIT Technology Review (David L)


It’s finally over: Mastermind behind Prenda Law porn trolls pleads guilty ars technica (Chuck L)

Meet RAMBO: The 3D-printed grenade launcher that could shape the future of warfare International Business Times. Chuck L: “Look at the upside when this use of 3D printing becomes commonplace in firearms production. It might put arms smugglers out of business because all the bad guys have to do is hack the right computer and download the design files, then print however many of their own as they need.”

These are the biggest mysteries about marijuana that researchers are still trying to solve ScienceAlert (Chuck L)

South Korea

Korea celebrates Park’s ouster Korea Herald (Micael)

Constitutional Court removes South Korean President Park from office WSWS (Micael)


Is Google another step closer to being unblocked in China? South China Morning Post (J-LS)

Burma’s nationalist monk banned from delivering sermons Thai PBS (furzy)

Fury in Cambodia as US asks to be paid back hundreds of millions in war debts Sydney Morning Herald (Ron A)

Modi leads BJP to landslide victory in state elections Financial Times


May Urged to Prepare for `Real’ Risk of a No-Deal Brexit Bloomberg

Dutch police break up pro-Erdogan protest BBC. Lead story on the website now.

Dutch deport Turkish minister; pro-Erdogan protesters clash with police in Rotterdam Haaretz (furzy)


Richard Gere to Haaretz: Settlements are an absurd provocation, the occupation is indefensible Haaretz (furzy)

US accuses Moscow of aiding warlord in battle for Libya oil ports Guardian (resilc)

New Cold War

Brace Yourself for a New Cold War World Affairs Journal (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

This USB firewall protects against malicious device attacks ZDNet. A public service announcement from Chuck L.

How the UK police can coerce journalists into surrendering photographs CityTor (Chuck L)

Trump Transition

Quick Takes: A Trade War in the White House Washington Monthly (resilc)

Foreign-Policy Elites Have No Answer For Trump Nation

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Says He Did Not Resign and Was Fired by DOJ NBC. As reader Li points out, this isn’t that bad. Preet has been mainly chasing insider trading cases, which is hardly a great use of the DoJ. NY desperately needs someone to oust Cuomo, whose term is up in 2018 and Preet wants the job. Failing that, he could go after Eric Schneiderman, who has been a real disappointment at attorney general.

Sessions’s Firing of 46 Obama-Appointed U.S. Attorneys Isn’t Scandalous National Review (Jim Haygood). I hate using National Review as a source, but the MSM seems oddly silent about this bit of history.

Merkel to Warn Trump That U.S. Tax Changes May Spark Retaliation Bloomberg

Muhammad Ali’s son held up at D.C. airport after testifying about first detainment Washington Post

Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest scandal ‘will eventually be too much to take’, Obama’s ethics lawyer says Independent

How the DudeBros ruined everything: A totally clear-headed guide to political reality Salon (Oregoncharles). Today’s must read.


Trump Suggests Obama Designed the ACA to Collapse in 2017 New York Magazine

‘Is that not correct?’: Male GOP lawmaker asks why men should pay for prenatal coverage Washington Post (furzy)

Replacing Obamacare: The real reason Donald Trump and Paul Ryan are pushing a Republican health care bill that no one wants Quartz (resilc)

What If Trump And Hillary Swapped Genders? Reenactment Of Debates With Genders Switched ‘Shocks’ Liberal Audience Daily Wire. Mentioned in comments a few times. Wish NYU had uploaded the full debate.

Early Sedition: How a Thin-skinned U.S. President Jailed a Vermont Newspaperman Vermont’s Independent Voice (resilc)

Bernie Sanders: Trump Should Avoid a Bad Zika Deal New York Times

ACLU challenges warrant to search Facebook page of Dakota Access opponents The Hill (Robert H)

Fake News

World wide web creator Tim Berners-Lee targets fake news BBC. Not very-informative headline but a positive development. Berners-Lee wants to go after algos and mis/undisclosed use of user data, not content providers.

Trump’s Plan on Fannie and Freddie? Clues May Emerge Soon Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Peak Foiled Grist

Don’t Let Trump — Or Any President — Take Credit For Strong Jobs Numbers FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

U.S. States Renamed for Countries With Similar GDPs Big Picture

Guillotine Watch

Sydney eyebrow artist summoned to LA for the Oscars Sydney Morning Herald (Robert H)

Class Warfare

A Crisis With No End: Why Flint is Still the Issue Counterpunch

White Evangelicals Say They Face More Discrimination Than Muslims Atlantic. As Lambert points out, where were those liberulz defending Muslims Because Trump during the utterly bogus “Muslim mosque” row in lower Manhattan? Someone wanted to put a Muslim cultural center, which was to promote understanding, a few blocks from the Twin Towers site. It suddenly became a “mosque” within eyeshot and oh so tolerant Manhattan didn’t stand up to the hysteria.

Antidote du jour. Melody: “From the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Otter pups now out in the main area with their family.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. skippy

    Hay YS O/T…. whats up with this members thingy attached to comments over at MB that you link on occasion….

    disheveled…. not like the comments section and some authors are blatant austrian – neoliberal mouth organs….

        1. bronco

          Painting with an overly broad brush there. I’m an Austrian , I believe in sound money and want to return to the gold standard but I don’t have the urge to murder people in other countries and steal their stuff.

          1. bob

            It’s not about you. Libertarianism never is. Top down, follow the leader.

            It’s about the aims, and funding of the label, and organizations.

            You should be more familiar with this stuff before trying to defend it.

            1. bronco

              I don’t buy it , its nonsense. Thats no different than saying democrats that supported Bernie are to blame for the actions of Hillary Clinton . You are talking about original sin.

              You should be more familiar with this stuff before trying to attack it.

              1. skippy

                The Road from Mont Pèlerin -The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective

                Edited by Philip Mirowski – Dieter Plehwe

                What exactly is neoliberalism, and where did it come from? This volume attempts to answer these questions by exploring neoliberalism’s origins and growth as a political and economic movement.

                Although modern neoliberalism was born at the “Colloque Walter Lippmann” in 1938, it only came into its own with the founding of the Mont Pèlerin Society, a partisan “thought collective,” in Vevey, Switzerland, in 1947. Its original membership was made up of transnational economists and intellectuals, including Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, George Stigler, Karl Popper, Michael Polanyi, and Luigi Einaudi. From this small beginning, their ideas spread throughout the world, fostering, among other things, the political platforms of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and the Washington Consensus.

                The Road from Mont Pèlerin presents the key debates and conflicts that occurred among neoliberal scholars and their political and corporate allies regarding trade unions, development economics, antitrust policies, and the influence of phianthropy. The book captures the depth and complexity of the neoliberal “thought collective” while examining the numerous ways that neoliberal discourse has come to shape the global economy.

                Bronco it seems your lacking in some areas of knowlage which might make things confusing. You might also search the NC archives for more. Good luck with informing yourself.

                Hay bob…. you missed the other bit where non paying “members” had “Freeloader” affixed next to their name. Then the admin aka spambot clearly stated that members would get more latitude [rights] than non members in the comment section…. that’s right bob – money “buys” more rights….

                Disheveled…. Bob thats not to mention that all the Austrians over there bang on about neoliberalism like its some Liberal, Frankfurt school, or leftie thingy… it makes old Beardo’s twisted tails look like the paragon of logic and historical accuracy….

                1. bob

                  I just get a kick out of any Organization for Libertarians. That’s not allowed by the Law of Murray, who thought that mothers should be able to sue their unborn children for freeloading.

                  Original sin, you say?

                  1. skippy

                    Yeah…. the terms organization and libertarian is a bit of a matter – anti matter dilemma that is resolved with magic…

                    Murray is a panty waist, the real ™ or natural ™ libertarians favor Hopple et al…

                    disheveled…. you can never go to far bob… when rhetoric has no boundaries….

                    1. skippy

                      “That’s worth at least 250k a year. Where’s my fellowship?”

                      Ahem…. pro rata with your productivity and some health care….

                      disheveled…. remember who has the money here, were not coming to you, your coming to us, there is a long line of – willing – applicants…

                  2. bronco

                    Now that you have decreed that all Austrians are Libertarians who are of course neoliberals , doesn’t mean that democrats are Austrians too?

                    Virtue signalling in the comments section of a blog LOL , careful you don’t fly to close to the sun Icarus

                    1. skippy

                      Post hoc propter hoc.

                      Please refrain from connector and stick to the OP, Austrian or AET was and is a cornerstone to neoliberalism.

                      Rather than taking the information offered and suggestions to seek more information you have decided to argue from ignorance and engage in sophist rhetoric.

                      This is not about your personal feelings or emotions, its about facts and not opinions.

                      Since the historical back drop put before you can be completely ignored and negated by semantic word games I would offer you the opportunity to challenge your biases.


                      Go look at your first response bronco, now look at the historical record proffered, you posed a rhetorical response couched as a question…. it was answered.

                      disheveled…. now as your time permits check the link I have offered which provides a detailed critique of AET methodology. I’ll start off with just pointing out its axioms are inaccurate or worse.

    1. Dead Dog

      Skip, it shows who has paid the Authors and is a member of their echo chamber. It shows who is free loading on the comments.

      MB It’s still one of the few lone voices challenging the bullshit of this government.

      1. skippy

        “you missed the other bit where non paying “members” had “Freeloader” affixed next to their name. Then the admin aka spambot clearly stated that members would get more latitude [rights] than non members in the comment section…. that’s right bob – money “buys” more rights….”

        Um no, it supported the LNP until TTone did his moldy rye bread shtick and then backed Malcolm to save the day. Once Malcolm did not do what was expected, by most, then the call for a 3rd party to step up to the plate was voiced. Of course this party is expected to ascribe to libertarian ethos and the positive money AMI monetary preference [AET free banking or gold standard].

        Anyone that dares to point out the more nuanced and granular perspective behind both is not looked on well.

        Disheveled…. its the clumsy rhetoric and Bernays like misdirection that gives me the shits…. always wrapping the true agenda up in half truths and other gaming devices, rather than plainly state it for those without the back drop to evaluate such. The disingenuous of it sticks in my intellectual craw…

        1. Dead Dog

          Cheers for replying Skip.

          MB hasn’t got any of my money. I offered $50 to become a ‘Member’, all I got was an advertisement for their ‘special reports’. Still, you can get a reasonable summary of what’s happening there and some of the comments are better than the articles. Learned a lot there, but you have to have a good bs detector to get the most of it. Also get impression they are mistrusting of strangers, which is becoming more commonplace where I live at least, and that deters me from getting involved and making a contribution to the conversation. Just don’t feel welcome.

          At least here, I don’t have to contribute money or be sold anything to comment – provided of course I am respectful and on topic, which isn’t hard. The hardest part here is the timezones and I often comment long after the NC herd (no offense intended) has moved onto the next post. But I keep trying as I get more out of a blog this way.

  2. Steve H.

    : What If Trump And Hillary Swapped Genders? Reenactment Of Debates With Genders Switched ‘Shocks’ Liberal Audience

    “We both thought that the inversion would confirm our liberal assumption”

    At different times they refer to the ‘project’ and the ‘experiment.’ Credit them for sticking with it as it turned from one into the other.

    1. mle detroit

      Also, the NYU profs are going to make, and put up on the web, a version “as seen on TV.”
      Maybe IRL we can find out what would happen if Hillary is played by Nina Turner.

    2. Robert Hahl

      The clip is fascinating:

      The female Trump seems smart and genuine, the male Clinton seems like a fool in over his head. I didn’t realize before seeing this reenactment that Trump actually forced her into a real debate, not just a sequence of questions followed by BS responses.

      1. jrs

        true but that’s debate performance and it seems foolish to vote just based on debate performance without considering a persons history. It makes a contest of who can say the best things, but all that really matters is whether they will do what they say when in office. Waiting for Trump on NAFTA and Godot …

  3. allan

    Video and story about town hall yesterday by Tea Party Rep. Tom Reed, who represents parts of the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier in NYS. Reed deserves credit for doing these (4 yesterday and 4 a few weeks ago).
    He’s become a far better, more reasonable sounding speaker in his years in office,
    but I think his use of straw men and gotcha technical terms (assuring a woman that she would be able to be `continuously covered’) is going to eventually come back and bite him and others who aren’t in deep-red districts. There is a lot of anxiety and anger. Messing with Medicaid so early in 2017 was a real mistake.

    Passionate crowd asks Rep. Tom Reed for answers at town hall

  4. nycTerrierist

    Good piece in Salon (links):

    “When “the left” endlessly debates which core issues or constituencies must be sacrificed for political gain, as if economic justice for the poor and the working class could be separated from social justice for women and people of color and the LGBT community and immigrants and people with disabilities, it is no longer functioning as the left.”

    1. Arizona Slim

      It is functioning just fine. Anyone remember a time when the left wasn’t a collection of single-issue siloes? I sure don’t.

      1. Deadl E Cheese

        Most subcultures are a collection of single-issue silos. See: greens, fundamentalist Christians, neocons, STEM professionals, abortion activists, etc. It happens so often that you should become suspicious of anyone who claims that their ideology can’t largely be boiled down to a small bundle of single issues.

        With that in mind, the most insidious and dishonest aspect of center-liberal discourse is when they pretend that they don’t have an issue which warps all other aspects of their ideology.

        In case you don’t know what it is (understandable, since they fear this issue coming to light more than their collection Dragonball Z condoms) their single-issue is this: the promotion of technocratic capitalism.

      2. windsock

        In the UK, the Labour Party is still a genuine voice for the left – hoarse, sometimes grumpy and not aware of the consequences of using somewhat outdated ideas in a fast moving world, but still there, still trying, and being invigorated by many different ways.

    2. Carolinian

      Perhaps this is all a problem of terminology. When Wolcott says “alt left” what he really means is “left” and when he calls himself and the Dems “left” what he really means is “centrist” if not in some ways “conservative.” Words are tricky.

      One hopes that Wolcott and other TDS sufferers such as Garrison Keillor will, with rest and plenty of fluids, get over the disease and realize that the whole world doesn’t revolve around who is president. Objectively Trump’s actions so far are not that different than Obama’s except perhaps for trade and even there there is internal pushback from the Goldman faction within his administration. What really seems to bug the people that Salon is skewering is that having Trump as president is a blow to their identities–the thing that matters to them most.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Part of the problem with the Dems is they have so many people who aren’t anything. There is no “there” there. “Computers”, “facebook”, and “innovation” are panaceas for these people.

        Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, both popular vote achievers with an inability to “connect” to voters, reached their nomination status through family connections. Gore would never have entered Congress at age 28 if his father wasn’t a beloved Senator. Hillary avoided questions about her work history as a candidate’s wife. Americans should be embarrassed.

        The Democrats recruit bland candidates with no messy backgrounds who can self fund. The result is a political class of nothings attached to the status quo.

        There was a candidate in one of the safer districts for Republicans in Virginia, and the Dem challenger’s website was about the grace and style of the Obamas and Kennedys. The guy should have been laughed at. He did drop out, so maybe he was ridiculed. Another district in an open seat, the Democrats ran a former head of a local chamber of commerce who wanted to bring the Internet to rural areas and people could check out her website for more information. This is a winnable district, but no one is going to replace a GOP moron with an Democratic Moron. (The retiring Republican was a grade A constituency service worker bee, so there wasn’t a particular distaste for him).

        1. Carolinian

          Shorter Dems: more smoke, mirrors. Of course politicians are always going to be politicians but the Dem identity crisis seems to run deeper than that of the Republicans who are quite comfy servicing the plutocrats. Left populism would seem to be the only way out.

          1. tiebie66

            To resolve this identity crisis they have now resorted to splitting hairs about what’s Left.

            Others think a new party is called for without considering the fact that the new party will end up, soon enough, like all the old parties. A completely new approach is called for IMO – perhaps by selecting people for “Congress Duty” at random.

            1. UserFriendly

              I’d rather not have joe six pack who can’t find ukraine on a map be the one deciding if we should bomb them.

              This is something that has been bothering me though. I’ve been playing around with a few hypothetical solutions in my head. I am somewhat partial to the idea of more informed voters having a larger say. So I would make a 100% optional multiple choice quiz to go along with the ballot. But the questions aren’t basic civics or anything like that, they are just policy proposals from each candidate and you just have to pick which candidate it goes to.

              So your vote still counts even if you are clueless, but it gets weighted up if you know whats what.

              Biggest hurdles: Increased time to vote when lines are already a problem and
              poll workers/ campaigns/ corrupt people along the way get a hold of the questions and tell one side the answers.

              It would be interesting to see what would happen if that were done honestly though.

    3. David

      No, because the Left knows (or used to) that the only realities are wealth and power, not who gets to use which toilet. A bunch of single-interest groups has taken over the structures and parties of the Left in different countries. They are welcome to their political crusades, but the Left itself needs to remember its universalist tradition, and that universalism is not the same as the total produced by adding up every special interest group you can think of.

      1. Montanamaven

        Very well put. But the meme that you often hear from Democrat operatives, consultants, politicians is “We are a big tent.” So “it’s like herding cats.” But as you say, it would be as simple as changing that damaging meme/talking point/weasel phrase to something like MLKjr’s “fighting the triple evils of economic injustice, racism, and warmongering.”

        1. witters

          A: “These Democrats! It’s like herding cats!”
          B: (shaking head) “You can do something with cats.”

  5. Linda

    Gender Swap.

    Many were shocked to find that they couldn’t seem to find in Jonathan Gordon what they had admired in Hillary Clinton

    I’m going to guess that if Hillary’s words were given by another woman, they would not be received that well either.

    At least for Clinton’s super supporters/base, perhaps it was that they were so invested in just the thought of Hillary Clinton, President and, so in love with their projection of who she was, that they couldn’t see or hear her objectively at all. Love is blind. All they saw was the “Hillary Clinton.” Now they watch someone else saying the same things and they see and hear it for the first time.

    “Someone said that Jonathan Gordon [the male Hillary Clinton] was “really punchable” because of all the smiling.”

    Women are taught to smile, or so I am told. Hillary was probably advised to smile as much as possible. It only added to our perception that she is inauthentic because, of course, the constant smiling was not real.

    I too wish they had shared more video.

    1. Deadl E Cheese

      I’m going to guess that if Hillary’s words were given by another woman, they would not be received that well either.

      Hillary Clinton, even moreso than Barack Obama, was the perfect synthesis of these diseased lanyard doofuses’ ideologies and especially identities. It’s unsurprising that they would take Hillary going down so hard, because she was the culmination of their hopes and dreams and worldviews.

      Like, think back to how all of these doofy liberal dogs completely fell over themselves to promote their avatar. Doyle and Chait and Klein and Kos and Tanden and Marcotte and so on and so-forth. The only non-left liberal pundit who did anything approaching critical thinking towards Abuela’s worldview was Jon Stewart and Matt Yglesias, the latter being more of a bipedal potato fueled by burritos and contrarianism than a liberal.

      1. oh

        “…more of a bipedal potato fueled by burritos and contrarianism…”
        Funny! I wonder if he’s full of simple carbs?

    2. andyb

      From the time I was a young lad, I often heard the expression “he/she thinks their shit don’t stink”. It wasn’t until this last election that I realized that this form of extreme narcissism has been encapsulated in Hillary her whole life and, I feel, was the principal reason she lost. Remember the screech “I should be ahead by 50 points”. Even cognitively dissonant voters woke up on that one.

    3. Plenue

      Gee, it’s almost like Clinton was a shitty candidate (not to mention a shitty person), whose supporters used her gender as a shield because she couldn’t be defended on any other grounds. When stripped of that shield her own words are damning.

    4. JCC

      This may also have had something to do with the various reactions, at least with the male audience:

      “The Jonathon Gordon character’s effeminacy also came up with some observers. Salvatore said the actor received no notes to be more effeminate in his portrayal. “I was particularly struck by the post-performance discussions about effeminacy,” Salvatore said. “People felt that the male version of Clinton was feminine, and that that was bad. As a gay man who worked really hard, especially when I was younger, to erase femininity from my body—for better or worse—I found myself feeling really upset hearing those things.”

      1. perpetualWAR

        Maybe the males’ viewpoint “effeminate” was skewed by Gordon’s need to smile as much as Hillary did? Smiling, a feminine trait?

      2. Rhondda

        To my midwestern-inflected eyes and ears, Barbara King seemed Jewish (her hand gestures) and Jonathan Gordon seemed gay (his voice, the way he spoke)…

        Perhaps it’s not as simple as ‘gender inversion’.

  6. Merf56

    Re: Fury in Cambodia…. first off I had no idea about reunited Vietnam not being recognized by the US until that had paid off the debts of the old Vietnam….I should have known this. But threatening Cambodia to pay off millions after what we did to them is breathtaking in its absurdity…. what a nation we are…… smh

    1. MoiAussie

      I’m optimistically hoping the demand for repayment may be a stick to induce “Lord Prime Minister and Supreme Military Commander” Hun Sen to dial back his dictatorial behaviour. (He’s recently passed a law that allows him to effectively ban opposition leaders and dissolve opposition parties on trumped up grounds.) If he backs off from destroying the opposition, perhaps the debt might be kicked down the road.

      1. jo6pac

        Thanks for the info on the Cambodia leader.

        Yes Vietnam paid off their debt but have very little to do with Amerika other than manufacturing. They have moved closer to Russia.

        1. Mel

          They were eager participants in the TPP, or — somebody figured on scoring points somehow by saying they were.

        2. robnume

          You might enjoy reading – well, maybe enjoy is not the right word here – a book on Cambodia which a friend gave me back in the ’90’s titled “To Destroy You Is No Loss.” It tells of the odyssey of a Cambodian family under what the U.S. left to them after the bombing campaign brought on that country by Nixon and Kissinger, the Khmer Rouge. It’s a tough read, emotionally speaking, but for those of you younger NC readers I believe it will be extremely educational.

    2. Bill Smith

      They did not agree to pay off any of the South’s debts that had directly to do with the war/military equipment. There was about $1 billion of that outstanding.

      They only agreed to pay off the loans to build roads / bridges. power plants and food aid. The total agreed to was less than $150 million and they got 20 years to pay it off.

      it was part of Vietnam’s plan to “close the door on the past and open the door to the future”. You will hear that slogan more than once if you travel through the country these days.

  7. Jane

    Re: The Dude Bros piece

    There is no left left in the Left and there hasn’t been for a long time. Even Bernie supporters don’t appear to be Left but only Progressive on various issues … until we remember that we are all in this shite together, that no one can be left out, enemies and friends alike, there won’t be a Left again.

    1. Katharine

      By this standard

      until we remember that we are all in this shite together, that no one can be left out, enemies and friends alike, there won’t be a Left again.

      there never was.

      1. witters

        Oh, there was! (Though not, it seems clear, in the USA). We knew we were all in this shite together, and even the capitalists were alienated and suffering.

    1. fosforos

      Merkel & co. are harvesting the poisoned fruit of their shameful capitulation to Erdogan’s blackmail over the refugees, whom he and his Gulf Islamist buddies did so much to immiserate. Now, having become openly fascist (and openly Nazi in the Kurdish areas), having jailed opposition leaders and journalists on charges of truth-telling while purging the public service of more than a hundred thousand workers suspected of imperfect loyalty to his regime, Erdogan is staging a Hitler-style referendum (whose results will be those chosen in advance by the regime) as an enabling act for the installation of full scale Islamofascism–and trying to impose his will on the Turkish workers in Europe. His propagandists, ministers of repression, should not be given a platform anywhere in europe–and no European government should permit him to hold the voting for his fraudulent referendum on european soil.

  8. Persona au gratin

    RE: Brace Yourself for the New Cold War. Let me see now, less than 60 days in and Trump has apparently been completely captured by the IC/MICC, just like all his predecessors. “New” Cold War? Nope. Sounds just like the “old” Cold War to me. Can’t say that I ever noticed it going away in the first place. It’s going to take far more than something so trivial as a presidential beauty pageant to root out the Dulles’ legacy. Obama might have done it had he actually tried. Trump is now already essentially a lame duck. Full of hot air and bluster and little else of substance.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry, not at all true. Did you miss that the USSR fell in 1989? Do you think history began in 2010?

      Russia wasn’t an issue of big concern until the consequences of Clinton violating a promise made by James Baker, that NATO would never move into the former Warsaw Pact states, came home to roost. None other than George Kennan said it would prove to be the worst foreign policy mistake the US ever made. That was 1997 but even then it took a while for the inevitable to play out. When the US destabilized Ukraine, which would be tantamount to Russia destabilizing Quebec, Russia took countermoves, with the eventual result that our little ploy backfired by virtue of Russia winding up with Crimea. Russia also managed to play its weak hand much better than ours in the Middle East. Snowden wound up in Putin’s lap which didn’t make the intel types very happy either.

      Had you been at all paying attention to the press, you’d know the regular demonization of Putin is recent.

      In other words this is the new Cold War. I’m old enough to remember the original one. I suspect you aren’t.

      1. Pavel

        Good analogy, Yves — “tantamount to Russia destabilising Quebec”. I get so sick of the “Russians INVADED Crimea” line pushed by the NYT and others (no doubt Maddow and Olberman on their nightly Russia-bashing shows). Putin is no angel, of course, but is it too much to ask for a little bit of historical knowledge?

        I’ve taken an interest in old maps recently and saw one in Montreal last year of “Nouvelle France” way back when — it was enormous, spanning from Quebec to Louisiana. Somehow I missed that hour of “social studies” in my youth. And the original 18 states asked the Quebecois if they wanted to join the USA… probably wisely they said “non merci” :)

        1. jsn

          Yep, that’s how St Louis somehow cropped up in the Mid-West.

          That episode in US history was a black hole to me also until I read “The Half Has Never Been Told”: Napoleon sold “Louisiana” and its then vast hinterlands to Jefferson only after the Maroons in Haiti obliterated the second French army he sent to “put them down”.

          Both of those French armies had been intended to expand the French footprint and power in North America. For that favor, Jefferson and his successors blockaded Haiti until 1863.

          1. Jason V

            I’ll look into reading that. “Lies My Teacher Told Me” gets into a lot of the problems in social studies curriculum as well.

      2. tgs

        Stephen F. Cohen, in his weekly talks with John Batchelor, emphasizes that this new cold war is much more dangerous than the first, and given the flash points around the world, the build up in the Baltics, Syria and the Ukraine, could easily become ‘hot’ very quickly.

        Here is their most recent discussion: The ‘Fog of Suspicion’ and of Worsening Cold War

      3. Teleportnow

        I too am old enough to remember the Cold War. And what I remember is that Russia is not, never has been, and never will be “our friend.” Putin doesn’t need any help with “demonization”. He does a really good job of earning that description all on his own.

        I agree substantially with the argument continuously put forth here (really continuously) that Democrats blew this election because they don’t stand for anything but the occasional bone toss to keep the peasants from rioting. But Trump voters didn’t put him into office for a cozier relationship with Russia, or a military build up that will lead to another Cold War. They want jobs. And a functioning government that provides useful services to it’s citizens in exchange for the taxes they pay. It’s looking more and more everyday like Trump is in no way actually interested in the latter.

        1. sid_finster

          Putin and Russia will never be our friends because of the old Cold War is what you’re saying, I think.

          Putting the absurdity of that statement aside, Russia doesn’t so much want to be our “friend” so much as to be left alone without unceasing provocations and attempts to expand our sphere of influence at their expense.

        2. Plenue

          >And what I remember is that Russia is not, never has been, and never will be “our friend.”

          Says who? The propaganda you grew up with?

          Regardless, they’ve certainly never been our enemy until we made them our enemy. Stalin himself made ‘Socialism in One Country’ the policy of the Soviet Union. An objective look at the history of the USSR shows that it was mainly concerned with maintaining internal order. The times it ventured outside its borders to confront the US were always in response, as when they tried to put nukes in Cuba. They did so to have a strategic counter to our nukes on their doorstep in Turkey.

          Remember, we’re the ones who started the Cold War when we nuked Japan as a show of force to the Soviets.

          >Putin doesn’t need any help with “demonization”. He does a really good job of earning that description all on his own.

          On the international scene all I see is a guy attempting to cockblock the further US-lead destruction of the middle east, and to secure his European borders. He may be a monster internally, I don’t know (what with the sheer amount of comically ridiculous anti-Russian propaganda in the air), but what happens within Russia is only the business of Russians.

          The idea that the side that *hasn’t* destroyed three countries in the last decade and a half is some sort of world threat is offensively stupid.

          1. Bill Smith

            In the early 1990’s parts of the KGB archives were briefly opened to Westerners. At the same time one or two KGB’s agents went west with their own files they had saved which in some cases numbered many thousands of pages.

            Interesting reading. Anyone interested might start with “The Sword and the Shield”. About a half dozen books after that one. It should be at least interesting to see their take on events.

            Doesn’t quite line up with a lot of stuff I read here and in other places.

        3. WheresOurTeddy

          My deceased grandmother felt the same way about the Japanese, as her brother was killed on the Bataan Death March in WW2 and his body was never recovered.

          My Honda runs great.

        4. Praedor

          I was a cold warrior, not just a sideline watcher civilian. Russia never was a real threat. Russia NEVER had plans to invade Western Europe. That crap was pushed to justify ever-expanding and wasteful military spending on the side of the West.

          The original Cold War was ENTIRELY manufactured out of nothing and pushed to make some MIC elite some serious cash.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            The CIA pumped up the figures about the Soviet economy to make them appear to be an unstoppable global player. The reality after the dust settled, as one economist stated, was more like “Belgium plus vodka”.

            1. oh

              The CIA couldn’t se the Soviet Union collapsing despite the billions of $$$$ they were given to spend. They exist to further their own goals not the people’s or the country’s. Now they’re pushing the same memes through the DimRats.

          2. rkka

            Me too, & I totally agree about the origins of the first Cold War. USG is now doing just what it did then to make an enemy out of a country that had just had its best-developed part occupied & devastated, with the occupied civilian population suffering a population loss of over 20%, on top of 8.5m military fatalities, all followed by the worst drought since 1891 in 1946, in which mass famine was narrowly averted. And the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite & Punditocracy (AFPE&P) was still able to persuade its populations that this ruined country was on the verge of attacking! It worked then, and it’ll probably work this time too.

          3. Will S.

            Oh man, I know you probably can’t expound too much upon that but I sure would love to hear more about the Cold War from the “front lines,” so to speak.

            As someone who definitely ISN’T old enough to remember the original one, I am always amazed by how cavalier my father is in discussing the specter of world-annihilating nuclear war that seems to have hovered over life. A main reason I favor seeking detente with Russia is that I cherish the knowledge that my generation’s apocalypse is a decade or two away and hopefully mitigable, not lurking around the corner every moment.

            1. Praedor

              I was B-52 crew. We sat (at the beginning, before there was a bit of a thaw with the USSR during Gorbachev’s time) on nuclear alert one week every month, babysitting nuclear-armed bombers, each with a dozen nuke cruise missiles on the wings and a bunch of nuke bombs in the bomb bay. Sometime during each week the “horn” would go off signaling war. You never knew when it was coming but you did know at some point it was coming at any time of day. You also never really knew if it was real or an exercise. The klaxon blew, we all dropped whatever we were doing and ran to the bombers, fired them up and taxied down the runway to get into position for takeoff.

              On board, me and the radar navigator (senior navigator…I was an EWO – electronic warfare officer in charge of jammers and detectors, the expert in SAMs, AAA, and defensive maneuvers) would go over the “traffic”, the alpha-numeric code that was broadcast at some point during taxiing, that had to be decoded to see if it said “proceed to targets” or “return to base”. During my stint of 7+yrs we never actually left the ground.

              One week a month, every month. The rest of the time we practiced-bombed various locations in the US during training flights, complete with ground-based radar emitters simulating various Soviet SAM and AAA systems so I could practice identifying them, jamming them, and providing the pilots with defensive maneuvers against each “threat” while the navigators got us over the target and dropped the “bombs”.

              The Cold War 1.0.

        5. clarky90

          I wholeheartedly agree with you Teleportnow. Democratic Russia is an existential threat to the wealthy Trotskyites (Internationalists) who have infiltrated the USA Deep State, using surrogates, and have possibly taken it over. The Trotskyites blew the USA Presidency election, to their unmitigated annoyance! Putin understands them, in their heart of hearts, so they passionately loathe and fear him.

      4. rkka

        This isn’t the New Cold War, because the old one never ended. The USG continually made greater efforts to hedge against the re-emergence of a strong Russia than they expended to support Russia’s transformation. Further, the USG supported every lunatic Russophobe in the post-Soviet space they could find.

        What did happen is that the USG suspended active hostility to Russia as long as the Russian get submitted to US dictate. Thus Yeltsin, and the early Putin didn’t cause the USG to be openly hostile to Russia.

        Then Putin took down Dick Cheney’s golden boy, the tax fraud Khodorkovsky, and the information war against Putin began. It escalated after Putin’s 2007 Munich speech, and has continued to escalate since then.

        But the point is, the Cold War never ended, but was suspended, as long as the Russian gvt submitted to US dictate, which is now so very over.

      5. lyman alpha blob

        Yes, I also remember growing up with Brezhnev on the 6 o’clock news seemingly every other night in his bug furry hat and coat watching over the goose-steppers and missile launchers parading past the Kremlin. After the Berlin wall came down though and the End of History was declared, Uncle Sugar switched its focus to the Middle east when looking for boogeymen to keep us all up at night. This lasted for the better part of two decades and Russia wasn’t discussed much at all except maybe to snicker at Yeltsin’s drunken escapades.

        Then there was President W gazing into Putin’s soul in the early Aughts and declaring everything pretty much OK. The Georgia/Ossetia dustup put the Russia back into focus a little but it really wasn’t until the US decided to back the Ukrainian coup that the temperature starting dropping again.

        1. Eclair

          I sensed a slight dip in temperature just after Russia offered asylum to Edward Snowden. As in, ‘how dare they!’

        2. Praedor

          Georgia/Ossetia…first of the post-Soviet neocon attempt so strip a country from the Russian sphere. Ukraine is just another one (getting deep into the collapse of Yugoslavia was another that split the diff). Oh, and Syria. Going after Syria was ANOTHER attempt to screw with Russia. All this US aggression all over the place and all I ever hear is “Russian aggression” whenever Russia RESPONDS to US/NATO aggression.

      6. visitor

        Did you miss that the USSR fell in 1989?

        Pedantic mode on: the USSR fell in 1991.

        1989 was the fall of the Berlin Wall — and of the GDR.

      7. clarky90

        IMO, The “Democrats” hate Putin (and Russia) because he is NOT a Communist. However, they are fine with Communist China. Interesting times we are living in, no?

        1. clarky90

          I have never heard the “Democrats” (what an ironic name IMO) refer to Communist Russia. Everybody who has gone to high-school (and paid attention) knows that the USSR fell 27 years ago. The implication is always that a Totalitarian Communist State has meddled in the “sacred” USA elections. But the reality is, that they fear that a Democracy (Russia) has meddled in their undemocratic putsch by their, bought and paid for, USA Deep State.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      In spite of its topic this link seemed comical.:
      “President Donald Trump, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton before him, hoped to “reset” Washington’s dismal relationship with Moscow, but that was always the longest of long shots.”
      “Russian dolls adorned with Trump’s face are available in stores all over Moscow and beyond.”
      “So when his cyberagents hacked the Democratic National Committee and released what it found to WikiLeaks, Putin was attacking the presumed incoming president of the United States.”

      Without any further citations the topper for me was the image of Putin’s “Eurasianism” Strategist — Alexander Dugin. Scanning down the link I spotted the image –doubletake — Rasputin? — no Dugin? Dugin needs to work on his eyes but he has the right general outline.

      In any case the “Cold War” this link warns of seems much less scary than the “reset” of the dismal relationship with Moscow Hillary advocated.

      1. sid_finster

        Dugin has no particular influence on the Russian government or Russian policies. In fact, afaik, Putin has never bothered to meet the man.

    3. Eclair

      As a country, we do babble on about the evil Russian Empire, their land grabs, their occupations. While we never seem to feel the same way about the British Empire. The Russians are concerned about intrusions on their borders; the British, whose borders are ringed by oceans, go merrily tromping into far-away countries … India, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong … obliterating the resident natives and imposing English customs and language. And, we seldom refer to the British as the ‘evil’ Empire.

      My maternal ancestors immigrated from Ireland; it was that or die from ‘the hunger.’ Or be hanged for stealing food. Their country had been occupied by the British for 800 years; the Gaelic language had been almost entirely wiped out. The Irish who settled in the US spoke English as their ‘native’ language. So, when uprisings of the ‘natives’ occurred in Ireland, they were branded as violent rebels; the IRA was regarded, not as a patriotic liberation force, but as bunch of violent thugs. (Not saying which they were, here.)

      My paternal grandparents came here from Russia just before the turn of the last century. At least, that was their official country of origin. The language they spoke was Lithuanian and they described themselves as Lithuanians. Lithuania had been occupied by Russia (and Poland at times) since the end of the 18th century. Russian, and to some extent, Polish, became the official language of the government and the church. When Lithuanians rose to throw off the second Russian occupation that occurred after WWII, it was described as a liberation, by patriots.

      So, why do we always knock the Russians but give the English a pass? Is it because we in the US see ourselves as benign English? (The Lakota, the Kiowa, the Chumash, the Seminole, the Seneca, the Dineh and the 100 plus other Native American nations, lord knows, see us as rapacious occupiers.) The Russians, at least, confine themselves to oozing into countries on their borders. We, English and Americans, helicopter in to countries thousands of miles from our borders, imposing our language and our laws, KFC and Big Macs.

      1. Montanamaven

        My new favorite person is Dimitri Peskov, Putin Press Secretary. I can’t stand Fareed Zakalik, but I turned on CNN this morning when he was interviewing Peskov. When Zakaria asked Peskov about whether the Russians interferred with our election he responded that the Americans were “self-humiliating yourself” by saying a great country like the US with a stable electoral process could have another country easily intervene in that process.
        When asked why the Russian ambassador Kislyak talked to so many Trump people.
        “It’s his job”.
        Peskov on Putin

        1. oh

          Watching CNN should give unbiased souls an eyeache, upset stomach and a backache (in the rear). What a joke of a channel it is. They repeat the same news every 5 minutes. People insist on turning on that channel or Faux News at public places. If any of my friends or relatives turn that channel on in my presence, I leave the room. The other channels on TeeVee are just as bad. I cut my cord a long time ago and get the decent news from NC and other select websites such as CounterPunch, TruthOut and TruthDig. It’s easier for me to watch (ugh!) some of the sports shows.

          BTW, I forgot to add PBS and NPR to the no watch list.

  9. petal

    From the NY Post last night: “Gov. Cuomo has hired two Florida fundraisers, a sign he’s building a national network to launch a presidential bid, sources told The Post.

    The two consultants — one is former Hillary Clinton money man Jon Adrabi — will help plan events and build relationships with Democratic donors in the key swing state, sources said.”


    1. Sam Adams

      Oh what fresh hell are the establishment Democrats planning?
      Cuomo as Democrats’ candidate, please help us.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s a party of Cuomo Juniors. They are incapable of thought.

        He’s “Hillary without the celebrity. ”

        This is Cuomo. If he had any rationale plans to run, he would be chained to an abortion clinic being closed due to zoning ordinance changes. His entire career was gifted to him by his last name, but he has developed no skills or accomplishments in the mean time. He believes he can run for President because no one has said no to him, but he has no charisma. Democrats might have forgotten with the Hillary and Obama celebrities, but the Obama “yes we can” story is what primary campaigning is really like. The early primary states are full of people who take this seriously. The questions candidates face are impressive. Cuomo will be a train wreck. Stock up on pop corn.

    2. KurtisMayfield

      Expect the Teachers unions to not support Cuomo at all, he has said that his goal was to break the Teachers Union in the past. I don’t know how he convinces the UFT or NEA otherwise now.

    3. Jim Haygood

      Love it. Cuomo has some distinctly Hillaryesque traits: not much of a people person; a bit shady on the ethical side; exhibits a plodding lawyer’s mentality.

      In other words, he’s the perfect candidate to complete the fiery destruction of the Democratic party and — God willing — its doppelgänger the R party.

      Cuomo 2020!

      1. neo-realist

        Andrew’s lack of personable appeal outside NY and the beltway region will lose him the nomination, not that he has much appeal in NY outside of his dad’s name. Now Booker, on the other hand, corporatized and financialized to the hilt he may be, is a far more personable guy who could garner enough broad appeal to win the primary, particularly with the youth vote. A lighter skinned Obama w/o the ethnic name to stir muslim/nativist anxieties and antagonisms.

        1. Sam Adams

          Are you talking about Corey Booker who voted to protect big pharma and let cancer victims die without their affordable medicines? Just want to check the Democrats are on track…

    4. Pat

      That the NY Post is late to the party? Or is it only now that Clinton is (hopefully) over that we are to officially notice it?

      It has been clear that Cuomo has been positioning himself for a Presidential run for at least four years, which is when I noticed that he was following the Chris Christie pattern. From the grandstanding for good things, to the blame game for disasters, the corruption, the ‘favors’ and most of all the commercials clearly not meant to sell him to NYers, but to visitors to NY. Nah, this is a long game, and he has been playing it since before his reelection (damn that Teachout for almost spoiling it…)

      Sadly for him, Booker is a better politician and a much better salesman. Think of it as Obama/Clinton v. 2. Unfortunately as with version 1, there is no good in there for the American public.

      1. petal

        Yeah he went up to Rochester this week (so did Schumer) to rail against RG&E about the wind storm damage/power being out. It’s so obvious.

    5. bob

      Look at the NY primary map.

      Hillz lost Albany County. This being the county that still has half it’s buildings named after Bruno, who still isn’t in jail. He’s joined, not in jail, by Silver. Both convicted, both not in jail. But Preet!

      The Preet story may be part of this too. He was long rumored to be ‘about to go after’ Cuomo. I never believed it.

      I think it might be a stretch for NY to vote Cuomo for prez. His whole area of support is downstate/NYC area. The other area that gets showered in Albany money is the Albany area(Albany, Saratoga, Hudson Valley). That whole area voted against Hillary, and for Bernie.

      Did he even bother to look at his maps? Full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes! We need Florida man!

  10. TomT

    Re: Discrimination Against White Evangelicals

    It seems like evangelicals interpret any checks on their privilege as oppression. I guess that’s just another take on the “reverse discrimination” argument, so maybe it’s not unique and shouldn’t be surprising.

    1. David

      In a liberal society such as we inhabit, our fundamental goal is perfect autonomy. Anything that stops us doing what we want to do is by nature oppression and must be fought. The problem, of course, is that what I want to do may conflict with what you want to do, or your deeds or words may offend me and vice versa, and it’s not clear who wins out. But that’s liberalism for you: indefinitely extended childhood.

      1. witters

        “But that’s liberalism for you: indefinitely extended childhood.”
        Neoliberalism is an earlier stage – early infancy. My proof? Well, I have just been told that penallty rates for Sunday work are an affront to economic freedom because my interlocutor felt he should be able to have provided for consumption whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted it. As Mummy did when he was a wee bairn.

  11. HBE

    Just got this in my inbox from credo (Becky bonds former home), and definitely support the bill and idea (although it is quite open for funding, airstrikes, etc.). But I’m quite irked that after years of ignoring Syria alltogether or calling for more intervention liberals have suddenly turned anti war.

    The petition to Congress reads:
    “The U.S. should not be putting conventional ground troops in Syria. Support ‘’Prohibit Expansion of U.S. Combat Troops into Syria Act,’’ Rep. Barbara Lee’s bill that would prohibit the Department of Defense from deploying soldiers or hiring private contractors to engage in ground combat in Syria, with the exception of rescue missions.”

    I knew this temporary shift in liberal “values” would come about if trump won (something I often mentioned here as a positive to his winning prior to the election). But the level of hypocrisy, even though I knew it would exist, is still maddening.

    So much so, that my first gut reaction upon reading the email was not; “great, we absolutely need to keep troops out of Syria” rather it was “are you facking kidding me, for 6 years you didn’t care about Syria at all, now you do.” I find something deeply abhorrent about the complete lack of any consistent values.

    While I’ll always support an anti war bill (or a slightly less war one like this). I still have an extremely hard time getting past the hypocrisy to understand if I support the policies.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The hypocrisy is possibly explained with the Democrats’ desire for Republican presidents.

      “Now, we can be against troops in Syria. We can be ourselves again (or so we appear to the voters”)

  12. Corbin Dallas

    Lambert, I’m not sure if you live in NYC but there were *many* “librulz” defending the muslim cultural center at that time. Anyone liberal – eg HillaryHead – or actually Left that I knew, and Gothamist, and plenty of local blogs (at the time there were more; now sadly bought up by Joe Ricketts and the dnainfo trump-leaning right, thats another shonda for local news) and the more left-leaning Jewish cultural organizations, and the ACLU, and even mayor effing bloomberg, neoliberal extraordinaire, was behind it.

    Literally the only people against it were the shrieking harpies of south brooklyn and Staten Island, right-wing places where killer cops (eg Joe Pantaleo, who murdered Eric Garner) and politicians live. Oh, and the national right-wing media trash (glenn beck, etc) who were actively causing harm and fear in Muslims’ lives I knew here at the time.

    The false equivalency and self-flagellation in these pieces sometimes does this site’s thesis much more harm than good.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I wrote this post and I was here in NYC at the time. Yes, Bloomberg did defend it. But the Manhattan that voted 90% and the Brooklyn that voted 82% for Hillary weren’t able to stop this stupidity even with the Mayor’s support. So tell me how hard they were really fighting for it?

      1. Corbin Dallas

        Yves, nobody can answer “how hard they were really fighting”. From what I recall, there was a lot of pushback; I was there one day protesting the “protesters” (eg anti-Muslims) and yeah, you don’t win every battle, especially when Gingrich and Giuiani and the garbage class that hates “inner cities” (but curiously all live in Manhattan) is the louadest.

        IIRC, part of the issue was that the cultural center was being promoted by a really rich real-estate developer, so that murks the easy “identity politics” a bit more; people don’t always want to rally for Muslims when this particular man was a 1%. In the end, capitalism won and screwed over us New yorkers even more – now there’s just luxury condos there.

        My larger point is how much hate is showered on the (reclaimed?) ‘librulz’ that is based on a flattened, NY-times lens of said librulz. Its like drinking the koolaid a bit, and there’s a hypocrisy there; you want to reject flattened interpretations of red-staters as “dumb” or “uneducated” “hicks” but you don’t want to reject flattened interpretations of blue-staters as latte-sipping effete 1% liberals.

      2. jsn

        There was no institutional support for a “liberal defense” of the Muslim Center while the “Ground Zero Mosque” meme was obviously financially backed in some way.

        At the time, I was interested in The Tea Party, which was just taking shape. By chance I ended up car pooling with Tim Cox, who was so far as I know the first to attempt to “app” democracy with his “GOOOH”, Get Out Of Our House (an internet based “party” “designed” to retake US House as a representative body in 2010) and Pamela Geller, the single most loathsome human I’ve ever met. She and the Republican Party hacks at the Tea Party event were very clearly paid for by someone, for the Party hacks right up to and visibly including suitcases of cash in the trunks of brand new BMWs.

        Once I realized what I’d blundered into, I spent the whole day anthropologically transfixed. It ended at an Italian restaurant in Rockland County with me listening to the hacks talk strategy and payoffs while Cox and Geller talked about the horrors of Obama’s islamic socialism…with Geller talking about all the production support she got from her AIPAC connections and Fox News teams. Cox, bless his heart, couldn’t understand why Fox didn’t want to support his gambit to put the House back in the People’s hands.

        Geller’s equipment was all state of the art and new, but she probably did originate as an independent, Randian ideological zealot/bigot making her a perfect stalking horse for Fox and the Republicans: she had already personalized an ideology they were actively trying to promote and by simply giving her air time she pulled all the Overton frames the right was interested in in the direction they wanted. There was no such force for moderation or Civil Rights. There were several “liberal” counter demonstrations on Park Place but the groups organizing them were all local professionals who had precarious day jobs they were trying to hold down. I was myself one such at the time and briefly attended the counter marches my neighbors a block up Park Place told me about. Somehow the right had a permanent presence with people who could be there 24/7 for months on end: that doesn’t happen in New York unless it gets paid for somehow.

        To be clear, however, I also spoke with a great many ur-Tea Partiers that day in Rockland County, it was maybe a week into the whole phenomenon, and they were mostly decent people that could as easily have been drawn into a Sanders rant against the Wall Street Restoration by Obama as they had been by Santelli’s giant lie that deadbeat debtors had just destroyed America with Obama’s help. In any case, that Tea Party experience convinced me that a great many of those older white voters could easily have pulled the lever for Sanders and even in 2010, had Obama cared anymore for them then than the Democrats do now could have come out in force to support a Democratic restoration of the New Deal, something most of the folks I talked to remembered approvingly. I’m completely with Yves, the “liberals” were not fighting this, like rights in general they were just giving lip service. If you can defeat someone as contemptible as Geller, or Trump for that matter, its because you’re not really trying.

        I think a distinction cannot be drawn strongly enough right now between Liberals and the Left. While I agree with CD there are a lot of decent people who self identify as “liberal” or “progressive”, these people in particular need to understand how the NeoLiberalism of the current Democratic party is fundamentally anti “liberal” and anti “progressive” in the way most people who think of themselves in those terms conceive it.

        1. Corbin Dallas

          Thanks for that little bit of ethnography! Very good insight and I agree wholeheartedly, people who could have been convinced to draw for Sanders (or even any other Dem but Hillary) went full tea-party.

          The fly in the ointment is Black Lives Matter (what NC has been admirably covering as “black injustice tipping point”. I wonder how much that put “otherwise decent” people off.

          1. marym

            This is backwards. Black Lives Matter isn’t the cause of the “otherwise decent” not being effective in advocating and organizing for justice. It’s one of the outcomes.

            1. Corbin Dallas

              Oh, I agree marym.

              I don’t think many who voted R would agree. I think that BLM – with its mirror to the heart of the class, race and structural horrors of the Black experience in the US – scared them more than any horror movie (except for Get Out, which was excellent).

              1. marym

                Thanks for clarifying. I think a subset of Clinton voters, and Clinton, though considering themselves “decent” on matters of race, would also distance themselves from the reflection in that mirror.

        2. jsn

          If you can’t defeat someone as contemptible as Geller, or Trump for that matter, its because you’re not really trying.

          A typically decisive typo.

          1. cnchal

            > A typically decisive typo

            I read right through it.

            Thanks for your great comment above. The question is, where is the money coming from?

            1. jsn

              I just assumed it was from the GOP, they three guys and a gal with the satchels of cash were proudly and loudly representing the Republican Party.

              And thanks for the positive feed back!

        3. Katharine

          I agree with your last comment. I think one of the problems we run into in these discussions is that individuals who think of themselves in certain terms are not always distinguished from institutions that could be identified with the same labels. It leads sometimes to disputes where there is actually little underlying disagreement.

          There is always a drawback to labels anyway. They are too easily borrowed and corrupted. There are people I would scarcely consider liberal in the old sense, which I found more respectable than the current one, who are now trying to pass themselves off as progressive. Not content with having debased one term, they have moved on to the next, and already I hear people sneering at progressives because they have been misled by these phonies.

    1. Eclair

      Well, I have been playing little scenarios play in my head, where the bull charges, knocks the girl over, gores her, then stomps her tiny body into the dust. This is reality, when a single person stands up to Power.

      Better statuary; huge group of little people, standing in front of Bull, waving red flags, blowing annoying horns, jumping up and down, etc. Behind them, but hidden from the Bull, they have dug an enormous pit.

    2. perpetualWAR

      Personally, the only statue I would advocate for WallStreet would be a fully functioning guillotine.

  13. tgs

    Since the liberal media has become unlistenable, I have been watching Fox news a bit. Recently, the generals and military guests have been saying that that the US will soon be forced to ‘take out’ the NK nuclear program. I ran across this article yesterday about how such a strike would go down:

    The US is considering a direct strike against North Korea — here’s how it would go down

    It is plausible that our installation of the Thaad system is an important piece of the puzzle in minimizing retaliation in the event of such a strike.

    You will not be surprised to hear that Washington is doing nothing to defuse the situation. Here’s a good look at this situation by a person who is sane:

    North Korea Fears ‘Regime Change’ Strike

    1. tgs

      A footnote: during the campaign, Trump said he would be willing to talk to the NK leadership and was pilloried for saying so by the media. Now that he has surrounded himself with generals, talk is probably off the table.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        People come here to this blog and read and learn (change their thinking).

        We should not be too prideful to think it is because ideas bandied about here are, by themselves, virtuous or what not. It is more likely the many ideas are freely exchanged.

        Similarly, any person is influenced by the people around him or her.

        That’s why we have to try to be there….’try’ being the relevant word in an imperfect world…not just once…maybe he turned you down a few months ago…

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I’m not sure what the THAAD system would do to protect Seoul. Missiles aren’t the only threat. Seoul is within range of North Korean artillery. I don’t watch Fox News so I don’t know what thinking or lack thereof is behind any “Regime Change” talk regarding North Korea. If you’d like a Russian connection — I recall past suggestions that Russia and South Korea would like to extend the Trans-Siberian Railroad line down to South Korea.

      [Maybe the makers of the THAAD systems need a little money in their coffers?]

      1. dontknowitall

        A couple of years ago South Korea started moving all of its important government offices out of Seoul to the far south and away from arty range. That said North Koreans could just as easily pack their nukes on the back of a mule and take it across in one of the many tunnels across the border. I hope Trump is considering giving peace a chance.

        1. David

          Most of the important military and defense HQs have been south of Seoul for a generation. The city itself would last about five minutes at the start of a conventional war because it’s in range of a large number (hundreds, maybe thousands) of long range artillery pieces dug into the hills over the border. There are also an unknown but large number of Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles targeted on the ROK but also on Japan. For the latter, you don’t have to aim at anything more specific than the Tokyo-Osaka corridor. Translation: we can do more damage to your interests than you would find acceptable, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

      2. Bill Smith

        The North has many hundred of missiles. They can carry conventional or chemical warheads. THAAD is there to protect the US forces and bases from those missiles. Lately the North has been firing multiple missiles at the same time. The guess is that is practice overwhelming any missile defenses in the South.

  14. Brian

    I am amused and entertained by people trying to describe other people that they believe are different from themselves ideologically. Some believe others have only one belief that decides all their choices for them, and that this one can tell you whether someone is right or left. If such a view is wrong, wouldn’t this prohibit understanding and help maintain a bias or perception alive solely in the subjective viewpoint?
    I don’t know anyone that is right or left. But when we put someone else in a bag, might we be disappointed if after sharing a few ideas realize that both are in agreement about several other things you each believe to be important? You might find common ground far more inclusive than labeling will allow.
    But if you politicize your one choice, you do stand alone. Your politics may not be like any other, but your needs and wants may be very similar. Why look for a fight when you are looking for consensus?
    I have noticed that neither politics nor the cloudy urinary stream coming from the MSM allows you to have an independent thought without checking if your party approves. Isn’t that bassackwards?

  15. shargash

    OMG, that Guardian article on Libya is bad. Truly, the Guardian has become one of the worst of a bad lot of western newspapers.

    For five years the US and other western powers worked to unite Syria’s disparate rebel factions, combat Islamic State and broker a peace deal with Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

    No, you propagandistic hack, the western regimes weren’t trying to broker a peace deal with Assad. They were trying to oust Assad. It was Russia that has been trying to broker a peace deal since at least 2012, but the western powers would have none of it. There is, of course, a peace deal being brokered now, by Russia of course, but it could only happen by cutting those same western powers out of the process.

    The rest of the article may be even worse. After having destroyed Libya and triggered a civil war, the west realized they didn’t control either of the sides in the civil war, so they decided to create a third side, the Orewellian “Government of National Unity.” The GNU has no presence in Libya at all, so NATO is busy hiring warlords and jihadist to fight for it.

    About the only true statement in the article is the American general who said that Russian is trying to do in Libya what it is doing in Syria — trying to stop a civil war and help a stable government form. The problem is that the general, and the western powers, thinks that’s a bad thing.

      1. shargash

        The comments at the Guardian are always interesting, at least the ones that get through the censorship filter.

    1. Montanamaven

      Thank you. I was going to post the awfulness of the article and I got distracted by real life. Refuting fake news is really a full time job. So thank you once again for Yves and Lambert.

    2. David Mills

      I invented a new word for this article – “Twattle”. Twaddle written by a twat.

      The article displays the typical memory hole of the mainstream media. On the lighter side, after Libya there is almost no chance of another fake R2P resolution getting past the Security Council. Canada’s involvement is an embarrassment, so much for the Joe Canada Rant ideal of Canadian foreign policy.

  16. Edward E

    Re: Guam Move the wild boars that invaded the towns around Fukushima to eat the snakes. Porkers make short work of snakes, seen it before.

  17. Jef

    Peaked foiled gets it sooooo wrong. In order to progress in the right direction it needs to be understood that Peak Happened.

    None of the true peak oil researchers ever thought we would “run out” of oil, just like we will never run out of water, this is a water planet. What we have run out of is massively abundant, extremely high grade, cheap almost free oil, (and it is happening to water too).

    The WOrld has thrown tens of trillions at it and the WOrld is still unable to crank up real growth and GDP.

    If the world could afford $100 to $150 a barrel oil then everything would be just fine…for a while. It can’t. So called “Renewables” are essentially the same as $100 a barrel oil to the world economy. Not going to do it.

    1. jrs

      they were wrong in their focus, we have enough fossil fuels to destroy the habitability of the planet and probably will.

  18. MoiAussie

    Politics downunder:
    The voters of the state of Western Australia have just dumped the incumbent Liberal (~conservative neolib) / National (~farmers & miners) coalition government, who were decimated by a massive 16% loss of support. Main beneficiary was Labor party (centrist), who will claim about 40 of the 58 lower house seats. It’s just one state, but the swing is decidedly bad news for the Federal coalition government who are drifting ever rightward but still being squeezed from both sides.

    Most notable was the crash of the populist anti-immigrant PHONy party (Pauline Hanson’s One Nation). While polling up to 13% support during the short campaign, they actually achieved less than 5% and look to have got precisely 0 seats. The apparent explanation is the PHONies offended many supporters by doing a preference swap deal with the Liberals, and few wanted to take the chance of having the Liberals re-elected on PHONy preferences.

    More details here and here.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest scandal ‘will eventually be too much to take’, Obama’s ethics lawyer says Independent

    When every time a president acted a certain way for his legacy, wasn’t that also conflict of interest?

    When he acted to boost his falling poll numbers, wasn’t that, again, conflict of interest?

    It’s like that all the time.

    Is non-violence (like denying food and medicine) somehow more morally superior than violence?

    Is lusting after power or legacy more morally superior than lusting after money?

    Is constant nagging after some person for 50 years not killing?

    “He did it for legacy!”

    1. Deadl E Cheese

      When every time a president acted a certain way for his legacy, wasn’t that also conflict of interest?

      If I’m polite to my clients and work overtime to get projects done on time because I’m concerned about my image in the company, is that a conflict of interest?

      That said, whether Obama’s (whom I think you were trying to draw a comparison to) bootlicking of the overclass and MiC is a conflict of interest is murky. It’s clear he acted with some expectation of private sector reward, but even if he wasn’t would he have acted differently? I think that Obama, unlike the Clintons, really does buy into that liberal horseshit about meritocratic technocracy being the best way forward. I could imagine that Chicago university debate club nerd sticking up for Geithner and Bowles-Simpson even if someone said that he’d be POORER coming out of the Presidency than when he went in.

      That said that said, I would strongly support legislation that required public servants above the municipal level to surrender all of their economic assets and get paid by a pension pegged to some multiple of the median income for the rest of their lives. Any money earned in excess of that is confiscated.

      I’d also strongly support the American government simply buying Trump out. He surrenders everything he has, gets a portion of it upfront, and the rest at the end of his Presidency.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        From googling the term, conflict of interest, definition 2:

        a situation in which a person is in a position to derive personal benefit from actions or decisions made in their official capacity.

        If one derives personal benefit, then, yes.

        The next question is, then, when there is conflict of interest, does it motivate a person to do something he/she would not do otherwise.

        One might be always polite. One might not always act but for legacy.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Don’t Let Trump — Or Any President — Take Credit For Strong Jobs Numbers

    In the article, it is suggested that one possible explanation is the warm weather in February.

    Now, that means Trump can’t take credit for February.

    One month, for one president.

    How does it get generalized to ‘any president’ (with an intermediate generalization of not taking credit for every month of Trump presidency)?

    I believe presidents, through the power of the office, can impact economy and with this job numbers.

    1. Deadl E Cheese

      How does it get generalized to ‘any president’ (with an intermediate generalization of not taking credit for every month of Trump presidency)?

      I believe presidents, through the power of the office, can impact economy and with this job numbers.

      To be fair, it’s been standard liberal orthodoxy* that Presidents personally don’t have much impact on job numbers since at least the Clintons. The people you really want to blame is Congress. If you’re at or to the right of Krugman, you can also claim that the Fed Chairman and Treasury Secretary have much more power.

      * It’s pretty self-serving, though. Liberals will hastily retreat back to this position when MMTers take them to task when they start crowing about the ‘Clinton economy’.

    2. jrs

      Trump is doing what he can to help speed up climate change (more hotter winters!), but he’s only one man and President of one country afterall and it has global causes many of which predate him. But he’s trying his best to do everything he can to help climate change along. We need to give him credit for that.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We deserve some credit ourselves as well, for global warming.

        It’s not like we inhale CO2, and exhale oxygen.

        1. dontknowitall

          Fresh from its ginormous ‘success’ predicting the result of the election is now dipping its toes in economics…I think I am going to keep a handful of salt handy for when I read their ‘well-considered’ bs

      2. clarky90

        “Let He and She, who have never flown in an airplane or ridden in a car, cast the first stone”. I respect bicycle riding and foot walking environmentalists. The globetrotting know-it-alls, not so much.

  21. allan

    Infrastructure grants could be on chopping block in Trump budget [The Hill]

    Infrastructure grant programs are expected to be on the chopping block in the White House budget, according to one GOP senator, despite President Trump’s promise to revitalize U.S. roads, bridges and airports.

    The administration is putting together a separate $1 trillion package to upgrade the nation’s crumbling infrastructure through public and private financing.

    But the optics of slashing federal transportation funds in his budget proposal while pushing for a separate financing package underscores Trump’s challenge of balancing his promises of massive infrastructure investment and dramatic cuts in government spending. …

    Republicans prefer putting the private sector in charge of infrastructure projects through public-private partnerships, which they say bring down costs and speed up delivery. …

    Democrats and rural Republicans have warned that private financing won’t address all of the nation’s infrastructure needs, because investors will only be attracted to large-scale projects they can use to recoup their investments through toll ways or user fees. …

    A few days ago a commenter posted a video of the reconstruction work on the Oroville dam’s spillway.
    Not a public-private partnership in sight. Go figure.

    1. jrs

      Yea our roads have potholes (although less so if your state isn’t run by loonies and actually funds pothole repair, looking at you WI), but even more urgently water supplies like in Flint still have lead. Are public private partnerships going to fix that?

    1. artoo

      Just ridiculousness…multiple billionaires saw Trump win and now think they have a chance of becoming President because of their money and connections. Their world view is along the same lines as the Democrat Party leadership — of “meritocracy” and social issues over class issues, and their candidacies will go nowhere because they fail to even acknowledge the fundamental problems facing many/most Americans.

    2. dontknowitall

      I suspected Zuckerberg wanted to run when he started his thirty cities listening tour last Fall…the whole thing is transparent and he does protest too much…

    3. jrs

      so they think people just want to vote for billionaires especially? If anything about being rich and famous helped Trump, it’s mostly the famous, which Zuckerberg doesn’t have. Me thinks this is clickbate, noone can actually be that dumb, can they?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        “Yes” men are part of the problem. My guess is no one in the circle will tell Zuckerberg it’s not a good idea. Take Cuomo. The guy doesn’t have a prayer of registering a percentage point, but he’s going to try to run. “Take it from a real New Yorker” will be his slogan. He’ll try a tough guy person a to counter Booker’s self help guru hucksterism. Rahm Emmanuel has made trips to Iowa and New Hampshire before.

        Trump has a carnival barker type charisma. Interacting with voters won’t bother him, much like successful politicians. Zuckerberg created a social media network to avoid talking to real people. He’s done.

  22. Bernard

    this rush to blame Russia (for everything wrong) is very scary. such a wonderful “con” run by those in power, can’t image reality undoing the lies. There is no Wall to fall, no detente to agree to or recognition of our “common” humanity. No attempt to reach out and touch, just outright blaming and shaming. Our Way : aka the Highway/American Exceptionalism; running amok.

    The PR (War on Russia/Other) campaign has a life of its’ own, and we citizens are blindly tossed about by the hubris of the Warmongers

  23. JEHR

    Why would the billionaires who now run the government want to do anything to assist the public good? Why have any health care at all? Why have Social Security? Why pay any taxes at all? The way things now are, the rich will get richer and the poor will suffer. What a future that is!

  24. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “Designer Chromosomes Point to New Synthetic Life-Forms” — Now that Science has become yet another Neoliberal handmaiden and regarding the wonders Monsanto has created I find little comforting in this progress toward building synthetic life-forms.

    I thought the effort made to remove the “junk” DNA strange given what I thought were indications that the so-called “junk” contained information for controlling the expression of genes.

  25. dontknowitall

    On “Designer Chromosomes Point to New Synthetic Life-Forms”…I know Jeff Boeke and he’s a brilliant guy but I doubt he called the DNA he surgically excised out of those engineered yeast strains ‘junk DNA’ as the article states. He, like many others, knows junk DNA is one the places where new genes are invented and where the organism stashes its knowledge of failed experiments of the past and plans for new ones, so it is a repository of evolutionary inventiveness and the brains of the operation for future generations.

  26. carycat

    Indeed, I’ve been around long enough to remember the freakout when somebody stationed missles 100 miles off the US coast. Now we are moving missles into position right off the Russian border and people wonder why the Russian government is upset and acting to counter it. I don’t look forward to telling youngsters to get off my glowing radioactive lawn.

  27. Carey

    The ‘How the DudeBros Ruined Everything’ article at Salon was just great!


    (Old) DudeBro

  28. skk

    re: the massive win by Narendra Modi’s party – the BJP – in the Uttar Pradesh state elections has to be food for thought for those who say de-monetisation is a failure. They won 40% of the vote, a swing of 24%, 80% of the seats, from just 47 in 2012 to 312 now.

    There’s gotta be some rethink surely in the west about the popularity of demonetisation in India, poor and rural India particularly – since that’s what UP is in the main.

    Why the win ? some arguments are that he’s modern – and appeals to the youth and also superb ground-work and pathetic opposition. The BJP even won some Muslim majority areas, The media says its due to Muslim women voters, due to an open discussion of constitutional rights v the “triple talaaq” divorce issue. Quora has some interesting non-MSM discussions and views –

    1. dontknowitall

      Oh please…Trump gave fair warning to all US attorneys back in January of their impending dismissal. This is a lot of ethics theater. The ethics watchdogs knew since then the clock was ticking at main justice.

      Quote from Politico from 1/17/2017 story titled “Trump will allow U.S. attorneys to stay past Friday”…
      “Currently serving U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshals were informed today that they are able to stay in place after January 20th while the process for identifying and confirming successors is further determined,”.

      The BS is so deep these days you need a paddle board…

      1. Edward E

        But all of them at the same time not that long after they’d been asked to stay on? But, from what I hear, Attorney General Robert E Lee also uncovered multiple instances of them actually doing their foking jobs.

  29. robnume

    Obama has an “ethics lawyer?” Oh, goody. More walking contradictions; just what we need.

  30. tongorad

    The college debt crisis is even worse than you think

    Jennifer Roberts, a consultant and former senior financial aid official at several local colleges, is even more pointed. Having grown up in a Southie triple-decker as the youngest of six children to a single mother, she can’t help but see herself in the low-income students who are now mortgaging their futures for college. “I think students are being duped by being told this is the American Dream,” she says. “The American Dream cannot be to live in debt for the rest of your life.”

    1. Jen

      Depends on whose version of the American Dream you’re talking about. For our wall street overlords, this definitely IS the American Dream.

  31. Alex Morfesis

    Last Monday of the tsar…100 years ago, the protests in petrograd gathered steam and the nobility were having none of it, with quiet meetings designed to create the opportunity for survival by removal of the tsar…

    The nobility had been much annoyed by the morganatic marriage rules that had been skated by ukase #35731/1489 aka pauline laws having been used to keep the nobility in line, yet used to allow nicholas 2 to bestow for uncle paul, prince & princesses paley and george brassov for brother michael…but having all begin with the rule change for tatiana in 1911…

    it was surely one of many afronts to the russian nobility, who decided they had had enough of the romanovs with the open and unpunished murder of raz-putin in late december…

    But to the victor go the history books…most “imagine” the tsar, the romanovs were removed by a “communist” revolution…how pedestrian…

    Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin were nowhere in this revolt, the Bolshevik krewe having been previously reduced to a shambles, with Lenin being the first to return, having been sent by the german high command and nobility a month after the abdication on a private train starting from Switzerland where Lenin had been hiding for over a decade…Stalin and Trotsky would arrive later…

    Beware the ides of march they say…

    Great revolutionaries…bah, humbug…

    1. Annotherone

      Your post underlines for me that, during the past few days I keep “bumping into” Russian-related items. Maybe this is because my mind’s pushed in that mode just now due to current news and gossip in relation to 2016’s election. Or… perhaps there’s something in the air!

      Last evening, watching episodes in some later episodes of Downton Abbey (on Amazon Prime) a Russian connection emerged in the form of characters who had fled from Russia during pograms in the early 1900s (and some earlier). Earlier yesterday, searching for artists born in years past on 17 March, for a future post on my blog, I found one, then discovered he was born in Omsk, Russia in the mid-19th century. Then today, looking at TCM’s schedule to discover whether I should watch TV this afternoon rather than surf around the net, I find them showing “Anastasia”! Having spent a longish time reading about Russian history online this morning, having eyes well and truly crossed from overload – I decided not to watch the movie.

      I’ve never paid much attention to Russian history before – now I believe my appetite has been whetted!

      1. AbateMagicThinking but Not money

        Be prepared for your mind to be blown. You might notice that the Russians have closed in on one of their targets of the1850’s.

        My current analysis is that the Russians suffered a great and far-reaching spiritual wound caused by their aristocracy speaking a foreign language: French.

        My other main thought is that if Stalin had not been subsumed by paranoia, but had concentrated on raising standards instead, the world could have been a much happier place.

        By the way, better Brideshead Revisited (long TV version) than Downton Abbey – if you can get it.

    1. Baby Gerald

      Thanks for this link dcblogger. Judging from the comments section to the article, however, it would appear that the bitter losers refuse to see past their conspiracy theory that Trump and Putin are best buddies and that Roger Stone, Julian Assange, and guccifer2.0 are all part of a vast cabal to keep Hillary out of office so Russia can take over the world.

      1. sd

        Bwahahaha – Boris Badinoff.

        Seriously, can they even hear themselves? We have a dear friend who has gone off the deep end with conspiracy theories. A perfectly intelligent rational woman. She’s become utterly bat sh*t crazy with full blown CT.

  32. Kurt Sperry

    Re “Is Google another step closer to being unblocked in China?” If large corporations like FB or Google can legally be banned from the PRC market under existing multilateral trade laws, what would prevent other countries from banning the imports of products from some of China’s own largest corporations under similarly arbitrary pretexts? We are constantly told how protectionism is illegal under modern trade rules between signatory states, but here we have the world’s largest market arbitrarily closed to two of the largest American companies for purely political reasons and, as far as I can tell, not a word is said about it in terms of it being an illegal barrier to trade.

    If such blocking is deemed legal, there really are no rules and countries can just do whatever they please.

    1. AbateMagicThinking but Not money

      Censorship is a small price to pay for all that imported stuff that is practically free – as viewed from the U.S. end of the economic telescope, plus all that nasty manufacturing pollution is concentrated elsewhere Quid pro Quo.

  33. Alex Morfesis

    April 17th will be an interesting day…no matter what happens with the vote, erdogan and his party are still the biggest political force and so close to 50%, the opposition is easy to divide and conquer…if he wins, will he tone down his hegemon strut or will europe not even give him that opportunity, & foolishly double down and react as if it is being pulled from both ends by the past(uk) & the now on doubt future(turkey)…

    Anyone can see there is no door open for turkey, even if they became Switzerland…there probably never was any such door, with europe using turkey as another free ride in nato, with the country being a southern flank against any russian moves on germany…as if the russians had a need for land…they already extract economic tribute via nat gas and oil…

    This Netherlands declaration of war against the party of erdogan will probably not end well for europe…

    1. drexciya

      Come on, Erdogan calling other countries Nazis and undemocratic is something you simply should ignore? And inciting violence with this campaign? Turkey requires foreign money and tourism to keep it afloat, and if the EU would really show some spine (as The Netherlands just did) they could simply boycot them, and see the Turkish economy crash and burn.

      Erdogan needs to put in his place, just like Putin did, but now by the EU. The fact that he’s willingly messing up relations with the EU, just to get a better chance of passing his referendum shows how unhinged he has become.

      1. Foppe

        But the point is that the Netherlands didn’t. It only “did” because the elections are 3 days hence, and I imagine they’ll shut up as soon as it’s over (unless / except to the extent that this gets a life of its own). “We” are certainly not very likely to go for sanctions, or to destimulate tourism, as a matter of policy. It’s just that Rutte wanted to preempt Wilders, and start a pissing contest, to look tough.

  34. TK421

    As Lambert points out, where were those liberulz defending Muslims Because Trump during the utterly bogus “Muslim mosque” row in lower Manhattan?

    What on Earth does this sentence mean?

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