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Open mike 08/12/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, December 8th, 2019 - 122 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

122 comments on “Open mike 08/12/2019 ”

  1. Adrian Thornton 1

    "Journalist Aaron Maté shares why the impeachment saga is not resonating outside the Washington bubble."

    Good short conversation discussing the obvious major flaws in the logic of impeachment and more with the ever reliable Aaron Mate'…

    • Andre 1.1

      Do you think it's OK for the president to withhold Congress approved and taxpayer funded aid to try to extort a foreign country into smearing a political opponent of the president?

      If you don't think it's OK, what do you think Democrats in the House should do about it?

      • Adrian Thornton 1.1.1

        I think the Democratic party has…

        A. Decided to fight and die on the wrong hill, aand we all know they will lose this battle.

        B. IF Democratic party was seen to be fighting for the poor and disenfranchised citizens of their country with even half the energy and time and resources that they have wasted on this pointless exercise and the failed Russia bullshit smoke and mirror conspiracy they would be looking good to take down Trump about now..but of course not, they are just as much part of the problem as Trump is…

        "Hundreds of Thousands Are Losing Access to Food Stamps"

        Haven't seen the Democratic party or liberal MSM lose their shit over this and give it around the clock coverage..fight it tooth and nail, nope..just more and more and more Russia/Ukraine red scare bullshit, that only useful idiots buy into. unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any shortage of those war mongering nutters.

        The Agriculture Department gave its final approval to the first of three rules that are ultimately expected to cut more than three million from the food stamp rolls.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/food-stamps.html

        • Andre 1.1.1.1

          Nice evasion. They are very simple questions, and the first only needs a yes or no answer. You can even pretend it's hypothetical if that makes it easier for you to answer:

          Do you think it's OK for the president to withhold Congress approved and taxpayer funded aid to try to extort a foreign country into smearing a political opponent of the president?

          If you don't think it's OK, what do you think Democrats in the House should do about it?

          • Adrian Thornton 1.1.1.1.1

            Are you serious?, in the overall scheme of geo politics, no I don't care, in fact I don't give a fuck about that.

            One dodgy old politician trying to smear another dodgy old politician sounds like business as usual for those corrupt old men to me.

            • Andre 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Thank you for your honesty that you don't give a fuck about good governance, electoral integrity, corruption and outright misuse of state power for personal benefit.

              However, I find it difficult to reconcile your lack of concern about a wannabe authoritarian dictator trying to use the power of the state to set himself up as an actual authoritarian dictator with your outrage about reports covering your favoured dodgy old white men politician idols when those reports fail to be sufficiently adulatory towards your idols.

              • weka

                one side is in denial of neoliberalism and the other side is in denial of fascism. They bicker and meanwhile, fascism appears to be winning.

                • joe90

                  Only one mob routinely sides with fascists.

                • Andre

                  Those that seem willing to accept fascism as the antidote to neoliberalism would do well to review how fascists usually end up giving quasi-state powers to favoured corporates. Those favoured corporates then become some of the fasces (small sticks) that get bundled together with the strong intrusive state to become the strong bundle of fascism.

                  Those who object (rightly) to the excessive influence corporates have under neoliberalism ain't seen nuthin'. That gets turbocharged under fascism.

                  • weka

                    I think it's more that they deny Trump is a fascist (afaict).

                    So we have the centre-left saying Trump is worse than the Dems and thus not reforming the left, and the alt left saying Trump's not that bad or that the Dems/Repubs are as bad as each other, and thus Trump is in power. Impasse. Obviously the fascists win, but I'm not sure that anyone on the left can take the moral high ground here.

                    • Andre

                      What kind of "reforming the left" do you think should happen and is actually achievable?

                      Sure if there were 218 AOC clones in the House and 60 in the Senate, there's a shit load of reform that could and would happen. But the electoral reality is there's maybe a couple dozen House districts an AOC clone could win, and maybe 4 states where an AOC clone could win a senate seat.

                      The sad reality is even after a Dem tsunami election, the 218th House rep is going to be someone like Conor Lamb, the 50th senator will be someone like Kyrsten Sinema, and the 60th senator will be someone like Joe Manchin.

                      So when Dems do get power, that's why most of their efforts go into simply reversing years of Repug vandalism of things like the food stamp program of the Voting Rights Act, and even feeble inadequate baby steps of progress like Obamacare are such a rarity.

                    • weka []

                      Not supporting Biden would be a start. Let the AOC’s shine.

                      I’m not so interested in the same old tired TS arguments (I can take either side). I’m pointing to the problem of the left bickering over this while fascism rises.

                    • Andre

                      Who is supporting Biden? Of TS regulars I can think of precisely one Biden supporter (and seemingly likely a former Biden supporter, from their recent comments).

                      But if Biden ends up being the nominee (dear God, please no), by virtue of the collective choices of the 30odd million Dem primary voters, then sure as shit I will support him in the general election. I'll have my hazmat suit on, but it will be support nonetheless. Because as flawed and reactionary as he is, he will still not be actively regressive, and may actually pull off a tiny bit of progress, if everyone is incredibly lucky.

                    • weka []

                      Sorry, I mean the Dems supporting Biden. Which was a response to the idea that the left in the US could reform. Nothing to do with who to vote for is he gets the nomination.

                      Which is a separate issue from the debate on TS.

                    • Macro

                      Yes I can see the desire you have that the Dems do not go for another moderate such as Biden or even Mayor Pete – and I hope that in the final few months the progressive side of the Dems will win out. But having said that I concede that the fact remains, that overall the voting public and the hugely gerrymanded state of American "democracy" does not support a massive swing away from what is now government of the people, by the rich, for the rich.

                      I take some heart in the rise of women, and activists for more progressive policies, but when you consider that around 50% of males support Trump…. You see the enormous hurdle that any progressive politician must overcome.

                    • weka []

                      “You see the enormous hurdle that any progressive politician must overcome.”

                      Yes. I think this probably tempers my pragmatic, the Dems are actually quite conservative, side. That there is an upsurge in such women is an incredibly good sign, and suggests that there is something being missed here by conventional analysis.

                      My comment about Biden wasn’t even so much that he is moderate as the problem of having another creepy dude in the WH. Not that Biden is in the same class as Trump, but I think on this a Biden presidency will be regressive.

                      As always, the money is a serious problem.

                    • Andre

                      @weka Keep in mind, the "Dems" you're talking about are the tens of millions of primary voters all across America, not some secret cabal of backroom plotters.

                      Interestingly, Biden has a very strong base of support among older black Americans. These are people that have seen times way shittier than now, as crappy as now may be.

                      Best guess is, they want improvement, not a revolution. Because most of all, revolutions create opportunities for amoral opportunists, and they are most likely to come out worse off.

                      Personally, I really don't agree with their apparent conclusion their best interests lie with Biden. But I do respect it.

                      https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/01/politics/joe-biden-black-voters-poll-of-the-week/index.html

                    • weka []

                      I wasn’t talking about those Dems though. I was referring to the ones in positions of power. In the same way that I might criticise Labour for hanging onto neoliberalism for so long.

                      I’m not interested in arguing the other side from the position you take. As mentioned, I see that argument as counter productive to preventing fascism.

                • Adrian Thornton

                  Former Democratic presidents have a long a sordid history of supporting 'friendly' fascists and authoritarians of one shade or another, so I fail to see your point?

                  As far as I can see one of the main problems for the progressive Left is that so many good, smart motivated lefties have brought into the DEM smoke and mirror ploy of Russiagate/Trump and taken their eye off the ball, that ball being the project of transformative progressive change as the number one objective. For some reason these easily sidetracked and/or deluded lefties seem to think the beginning of the end of US 'democracy' started on Friday, January 20, 2017, and if they don't think that, then they make a very good impression that they do.

                  Another centre left free trade neoliberal Dem party in the US, or in the UK or for that matter in NZ is exactly what we don't need at this pivotal moment….the markets cannot and will not provide the answers to the serious questions that need answering right now..but the progressive, transformative radical left can.

                  Corbyn 2019
                  Sanders 2020

                  That is where the beginning of our our real hope lay.

                  And btw in answer to Joe 90, the reason lefties go on Tucker Carlson is because MSM liberal media has completely blocked any dissenting Left voices from their platforms..so I wouldn’t go blaming them to quickly. And further I see no problem in trying to reach outside of members of your own ideology to invite discourse, and if you have to go on Fox to do that..then do it I say.

                  • weka

                    “so I fail to see your point?”

                    Let me restate it. While the centre left and the alt left are arguing over what the left should be (and by arguing, I mean trying to take each other down), the fascists are winning.

                    • adam

                      The centre right don't you mean. The corporate establishment of the democrat party in the USA is right wing economically and socially – especially policy wise – as represented by people like h.r.c and biden.

                      The alt left or what ever you want to call it, is arguing if you want to fight trump then do it. This falling for conspiracy theories and doing these b.s side shows whilst people suffer is a waste of time.

                      If you believe that impeachment is the answer – then your asking the wrong question. The economy is problem and trump and co are just part of that problem.

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      There is no argument, the transformative progressive Left is the only way forward, the freemarket, liberal third way left are already dead in water (like a chicken without it's head, they just don't know it yet), they already had their turn, and as we can all plainly see, it hasn't worked whatsoever…Obama's legacy is Trump, enough said.

                      What you don't seem to get (or at lest I haven't seen you acknowledge) is that the 'neoliberal' left has more in common ideologically with the right than they do with a real transformative progressive Left, and will defend their debunked ideology extremely aggressively, as we have witnessed in the UK and the US.

                      I guess that is why Obama has pretty much said he would try and block Sanders path to the leadership of the Democratic party if that were looking likely.

                    • weka []

                      there is an argument and because of it I’m already thinking what it will be like moderating here next year during two elections.

                      My politics generally don’t sit easily within the left/right spectrum you are arguing about. So while of course I can see the difference between the neoliberal left and what you call the progressive left, that’s not where my politics begins and ends, and I think that the fight between liberals and lefties is dangerous. I don’t mean that you should stop criticising liberals, I mean that while that fight is happening in tunnel vision, all sorts of other social and politics dynamics are going on and those aren’t being accommodated by the liberal vs leftie battle.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Your accepting Andres obvious smear of Adrians position as a basis for discussion?

                  • McFlock

                    Andre asked a clear question and got a clear answer (eventually). Dunno how one can "smear" an I-don't_care response to outright corruption.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Assuming your genuine. You must not have noticed that being pretty ok with what Trump did in Ukraine, is not the same as being happy with all forms of corruption.

                    • McFlock

                      It's just being happy with a pretty goddamned blatant form of corruption that targets both personal benefit and undermining the democratic system.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      No, I can in fact read Andres comment and it makes very broad accusations amounting to a smear. Actually your characterisation is probably more broad than what Adrian doesn't worry about also.

                    • McFlock

                      Q:

                      Do you think it's OK for the president to withhold Congress approved and taxpayer funded aid to try to extort a foreign country into smearing a political opponent of the president?

                      A:

                      in the overall scheme of geo politics, no I don't care, in fact I don't give a fuck about that.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      So your not even going to include the actual smear comment in your quote?

                    • McFlock

                      I quoted the comment that I can't see being "smeared", given how contemptable it already is. How about you tell me what you're clutching your pearls over?

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Hint, the smear is not in the text you quoted… Though you may be more familiar with the form, when did you stop beating your wife?

                    • McFlock

                      was it:

                      Thank you for your honesty that you don't give a fuck about good governance, electoral integrity, corruption and outright misuse of state power for personal benefit.

                      Because that seems a pretty accurate characterisation of Adrian's response. Not a smear at all.

                      Or maybe it was the idea that not caring about the corruption of the repug administration helps nazis? That's not a smear, either: the white house has stephen miller and had that breitbart fuckofascist in it, too. They kidnapped children with no way of returning them to their parents. People are dying. They literally put people in camps with insufficient water and sanitation. Dolt45 has given full pardons to war criminals that even the US military was prosecuting. Not "careless with bombs" criminals, "slits throats of unarmed and wounded captives" criminals. So no, that's not a smear, either.

              • Macro

                Here is my take on the whole fiasco and the apparent lack of spine being displayed by those Repugnants in Congress :

                1. The Ukraine scandal is clear impeachable conduct by Trump and should result in his removal from office. However, it won’t. That’s because the thing at the heart of the Ukraine scandal—an attempt to steal an election—is a thing that’s just A-OK with the GOP.

                2. Let’s face it. Stealing elections isn’t just something that’s OK with the GOP; it’s the only way they have to stay in power and they’ve been doing it for DECADES. Voter suppression, gerrymandering, illegal campaign contributions, outright lies/slander of opponents. You name it.

                3. Russian election interference and, now, trying to coerce Ukraine to interfere, are just natural extensions of what the GOP has been doing all along; it’s cheating, and the GOP are cheaters. They’re not going to convict Trump for that. They’re going to pat him on the back for it.

                • Adrian Thornton

                  Holy crap…do you guys actually realize that if we were living in 1955, you are exactly the types who would have been passing on perceived and baseless information about your fellow citizens to the FBI that would have destroyed their lives…how does that make you feel?

                  • Macro

                    ??????

                    What are you on Adrian?

                    And how does that comment relate in any way to mine?

                  • Bill

                    My team must win. My tribe is righteous. I do no wrong.

                    • McFlock

                      My tribe may be a bunch of jerks, but they don't kidnap children at the border and then adopt them out because no paperwork was kept of who were the actual parents.

                    • Bill

                      Your tribe, just like the other tribe, is led by gaggles of jerks who unleash heinous shit on humanity. Fuck you all for the waste you engage in/support/excuse.

                • Bill

                  Ukrainian interference was bent on preventing Trump from winning. (But hey.)

                  Russian interference? What was that again? That shown by all that jail time for US citizens on charges of collusion/conspiracy?

                  • McFlock

                    Mueller's investigation showed the oaf's lickspittles were too stupid to actually manage collusion, even though their own emails showed they were all for it.

                    Big indicators of interference are the indictments of Russian nationals for interference.

                    • adam

                      Cambridge analytica – oh wait 5 eyes buddy should not mention them…

                    • Bill

                      lol

                      So they're guilty of being too stupid to collude with a foreign government? These emails…you've got a link to their contents right? And they'll show how they wanted to enter into a conspiracy with the Russian government and (presumably) also lay out in exquisite, painful detail the process of them falling flat on their own faces, yes?

                      If you don't have that, maybe you'll provide a feasible explanation of how it is that the indictment of Russians who will never set foot in the US fits in with the indictment of precisely zero US nationals for collusion/conspiracy with those self same (or other) Russian nationals.

                    • McFlock

                      Just for you, Bill:

                      https://www.google.com/search?q=don+jr+email

                      Surprised you haven't seen that link before.

                      As for your apparent belief that collusion is a prerequisite for interference, it's not. If anything, interference is a prerequisite for collusion.

                    • Bill

                      The emails from 'junior'…they were in relation to that UK music promoter, yes? The one who freely admitted to making shit up? And the meeting that took place involved a Russian lawyer (forget her name) trying to get traction on the Magnitsky sanctions – it's in her testimony. (Correct me if I'm wrong on any of that and provide the content of the emails you referenced before – not a dumb arse google search page, cheers.)

                      I haven't ever suggested that collusion is a prerequisite for interference. I haven't ever said there was likely no interference from foreign actors in the US elections either (Russian or otherwise).

                    • McFlock

                      Which leads me to ask: why are you requesting evidence of collusion when Macro's comment was about interference?

            • Gabby 1.1.1.1.1.2

              That's very enably of you thornty.

        • joe90 1.1.1.2

          Talking points arrived, huh?

          /

          • alwyn 1.1.1.2.1

            How sad. And you have to remember that the father of the Food stamp program was a republican Senator from Vermont.

            He was way ahead of his time of course. In 1966 he proposed to Lyndon Johnson the very simple solution to the Vietnam War.

            " He said that if a face-saving device was needed to pull out of the fighting, President Johnson should simply ''declare the United States the winner and begin de-escalation.''

            On its face, the suggestion seemed simplistic. But in 1973, after the Administration of President Nixon had negotiated a Vietnam pullout plan that would obviously lead to an eventual Communist takeover in South Vietnam, Mr. Aiken could say: ''What we got was essentially what I recommended six years ago – we said we had won, and we got out.''

            And now a former Democrat, today claiming to be a Republican is scrapping his other great idea.

        • Gabby 1.1.1.3

          I think they're doing it to stick Bitch McTurtle in a corner thornty.

      • alwyn 1.1.2

        Impoundment of funds was regarded as completely normal from the formation of the US until 1974. Thus it was there, and used, for almost 200 years. It was only in Nixon's time that it was banned.

        Almost every President since, and an awful lot of candidates think that act should be repealed and things should revert to the previous approach.

        For a while Clinton had a line item veto which did something similar but the Supreme Court threw that out.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impoundment_of_appropriated_funds

        I doubt that many Americans feel that a President not spending a bit of money that has been approved by Congress is really a hanging offence.

        Instead of talking impeachment the Democrats should be going to Court.

        • Andre 1.1.2.1

          The difference is the personal political benefit aspect of Donny Dotard's Ukraine extortion scheme. Previous quid pro quo arrangements where funds were withheld were to extract something that was in the US national interest. Whereas now, even Repug senators that are so far up Drumpf's ass they can shake hands with Hannity aren't even trying to argue the Ukraine extortion was for some kind of US national interest purpose.

          I too suspect the number of minds that will be changed is a tiny fraction of the usual polling margin of error. But it will harden the view among the 52ish% of Americans disapprove of his job performance that on no account should he be given a second term.

          • alwyn 1.1.2.1.1

            "But it will harden the view ………"

            I fear it is going to have the other effect. It might cause the opinion in those who have supported him in the past to veer around to one that says that the Democrats are trivialising the act of impeachment and trying to do it for something far below the "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" mentioned in the Constitution.

            Look at what happened with Bill Clinton. The impeached him for, finally, having an affair and lying about it. He was impeached but it was a joke by that stage and he was acquitted in the Senate. I fear the same thing will happen here and it will strengthen Trump for next year.

            God knows, I thought that Trump would be a disaster as a President and he has turned out to be even worse than I feared. I think that if he is re-elected we are going to get a nuclear arms race starting up. Trump has no concept at all of the role the US has had and anyone who thought that the US would help protect them is going to abandon ship. I can see South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and The Philippines among the countries that will start seriously looking at developing such weapons. After all the US under Trump won't help them if they are attacked. In the Pacific, as well as The Philippines I'll bet Taiwan is worried about an invasion because Trump won't help out. He abandoned the Kurds, staunch American allies though they were, because he simply doesn't care.

            I want the Democrats to elect a competent centrist. To hell with Bernie and the others on the left. I want someone who can, and will beat the imbecile currently in the White House.

            • Andre 1.1.2.1.1.1

              The Clinton impeachment sure does hang like a spectre.

              But one significant difference is that Clinton's misconduct was in no way related to his duties of office, unlike the present case.

              Remember it grew out of the second or third investigation into Whitewater the moved onto anything and everything they could possibly think of – travel agents, Vince Foster. The impeachment didn't even talk about the actual abuse of power, a powerful man taking advantage of a star-struck young subordinate (maybe coz that was just viewed as a perk of being a powerful man?), just that Clinton didn't spill everything about it when he was asked. Investigations has been going on for years turning up nothing, so people were pretty fatigued.

              Whereas the current case is about a clearly proven case of actual abuse of the power of office, for his personal interest and the detriment of the national interest.

              There's also plenty of credible people arguing that Clinton's impeachment cost the Dems in 2000, that without the impeachment Gore would have won handily and the Dems possibly taking the House.

              https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/would-democrats-really-face-a-backlash-if-they-impeached-trump/

            • Macro 1.1.2.1.1.2

              While the current impeachment has is pretty much split the American public down the middle – actually there are slightly more in approval for impeachment than against – this is a different situation to that of Clinton, where it was a matter of sexual morality and lying about it, This goes right to the heart of the Constitution – bribery and corruption and in some eyes a far more serious matter worthy of Impeachment. I do not think the argument that this will have a flow on effect of increasing support for the Presidency will occur in this case. The lack of support for Trump has been pretty much the same throughout the past 3 years and if anything has been tracking south. It is never more than 40%. As the effects of the so call "tax cuts" kick in the average American can see that the so called great economy that Trump continues to bluster about is not for them and there are many polls that show his support in swing states is well below what is was in 2016.

              • alwyn

                The main problem as I see it is that it is now less than 11 months to election day. Wouldn't it be better for the Democrats to fight the election on the basis of what they will do for America rather than the focus being on a quarrel that no-one understands about what did, or did not, happen in a country that very few citizens of the US would be able to find on a map?

                Like it or not a very large number of US people revere the office of the Presidency. If they don't understand why he is under what can be seen as partisan complaints they are likely to adopt the "My President. right or wrong" attitude if they think that the President is being attacked for what they do not see as particularly important reasons.

                I hope I am wrong. However I worry that Trump will survive because those who voted for him in 2016 will gather in behind him if they see those eggheads and pointy headed East Coast liberals trying to drag down The (drum roll) President of The United States (salute).

                Even if he really is an Emperor with no clothes.

                • Andre

                  It's almost certainly in the interests of the candidates to, at most, only refer to the impeachment obliquely in terms of things they won't do and what qualities they'll restore to the office.

                  It's also a dynamic that will probably hurt the candidates that are also sitting senators, ie Warren, Sanders, Booker, Klobuchar, because they will have to be in DC participating in the trial. Whereas Biden and Buttigieg can keep completely out of it.

                  But as for leaving it the voters, I'm with the idea that the things the FakeBronze Fuhrer has provably done are such egregious violations of his oaths and duties that there's no choice but to go ahead with impeachment. Because if you just let it slide because there's an election soon, then even the idea of impeachment becomes meaningless, and presidents basically become unaccountable kings for four years.

                  https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/27/politics/impeachment-2020-voters-bill-clinton-richard-nixon-trump/index.html

                • Macro

                  Unfortunately the Trumpers and Trumpettes will always be with us, as will the alt right "religious" conservatives – who support this adulterer, because he has promoted todate 170 ultra right wing (and in many cases completely unqualified) people to the role of federal and district judges. A position they will hold for life, and which will affect the judicial system in the US for decades, thereby allowing ridiculous laws passed by conservative administrations to perpetuate for a lifetime.

                  eg: Alabama Abortion Law temporary blocked – but in the future such action will have no hope of being successful if Trump has his way:

                  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/29/us/alabama-abortion-ban.html

                  The current estimate of the size of the Trump base is around 28 – 32% of the voting public. This is where the Republicans only hope for re-election lies, and why they have cravenly given up all sense of a moral compass, because they realise that should they turn against Trump that sizable proportion of the voting public will turn against them. But as you can see – it is not a majority. Their only hope to the White House is through again winning the swing states that they only won by a handful of votes in 2016. (around 11,000 votes in one state and not much more in the other 3). It was in these swing states that Russian intervention was the most prevalent, and there has been little to no action by the Trump Administration to prevent such action happening again. Indeed 2 top cyber security officials are due to leave their positions early next year!

                  https://www.wsj.com/articles/top-u-s-cybersecurity-officials-to-depart-as-election-season-enters-full-swing-11575658194

                  Two top government officials with broad cybersecurity and election-integrity portfolios have announced they are stepping down this month, a loss of expertise in a critical area less than a year before the 2020 presidential election.

                  Amy Hess, the executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation will depart for a job as the chief of public services in Louisville, Ky.

                  Jeanette Manfra, the most senior official dedicated exclusively to cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, will leave her post at year’s end for a job in the private sector.

                  Senior U.S. intelligence officials have warned the elections are likely to be targeted online by Russia and other foreign adversaries following Moscow’s success in disrupting the 2016 race.

                  Ms. Hess’s exit comes barely a year after she assumed her current jobat FBI headquarters after previously running the Louisville, Ky., field office. She took the job following a leadership turnover at the FBI cyber division earlier in 2018, as several top executives departed for lucrative private-sector jobs amid concerns about flagging morale.

                  Mieke Eoyang, vice president of the national security program at the centrist think tank Third Way and a former Democratic intelligence staffer in Congress, said there had been “tremendous turnover of senior cybersecurity personnel” during the Trump administration. Leadership changes, she said, were often more disruptive in the cybersecurity area because the government’s approach to the issue is less institutionalized than in other areas, such as terrorism.

                  • Macro

                    Seth Meyers take a look at some of the Trump appointments that are now being pushed through the Senate by Moscow Mitch McConnell – who refused to allow any under Obama.

                    Indeed this is about all that the Senate is currently considering – the House have passed around 400 Bills in the past year up to the Senate where McConnell causes them to lie unconsidered. This is the great travesty of the Repugnants in power. If any one is worse than Trump it probably has to be McConnell. At least he knows what he is doing.

          • Sacha 1.1.2.1.2

            so far up Drumpf's ass they can shake hands with Hannity

            Beautiful turn of phrase, thank you

            • Andre 1.1.2.1.2.1

              Unfortunately, the idea is not originally mine. If only I could remember where I first saw it to properly attribute it. Prob'ly yet another case of a man stealing intellectual property from a woman then getting credit for it.

      • xanthe 1.1.3

        Andre

        You ask a dishonest question. instead of actually looking at the clip and understanding what Aaron is saying.

        I dont like dishonesty!

        • Andre 1.1.3.1

          I was interested in what Adrian personally thinks.

          I am really not interested in what Aaron Mate thinks, it became clear to me long ago that whatever place he's coming from, it has at best a tenuous connection with reality. And I'm especially not interested in sitting through a fifteen minute verbal wankfest to get content that would take at most 2 or 3 minutes to absorb if it were presented in a written format.

          • xanthe 1.1.3.1.1

            So the result of your disinterest is a dishonest question pushing the MSM meme, hmmm looks like you are the one with " a tenuous connection with reality." maby get out more?

            • Andre 1.1.3.1.1.1

              That Tinyfingers Tantrump was extorting Ukraine to smear a political opponent by withholding congress allocated and taxpayer funded aid is proven over and over and over again by the sworn testimony of those caught in the middle. Some of it very reluctant sworn testimony provided by Don the Con's allies he had personally appointed to those positions in the middle.

              Transcripts of that sworn testimony are in the public domain, if you're interested you can go read them yourself.

              If you want to pretend that's some kind of deceptive MSM meme, rather than proven fact, then hey, that affects your credibility not mine.

            • Ad 1.1.3.1.1.2

              Here's the nice short factual executive summary of the House report on the matter:

              https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2019/12/politics/trump-ukraine-impeachment-inquiry-report-annotated/#executive-summary

              Here's the annotated transcript of the key phone call from President Trump to President Zelinsky:

              https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2019/09/politics/trump-ukraine-transcript-annotated/

              So forget everyone opinions: read through them both and make your own mind up.

              Whether Trump is fired through a Senate trial or not, Pelosi is doing her constitutionally-specified job of ensuring that Trump is held to account.

              • adam

                "I stayed at the Trump Tower"

                There the bribe – staying at trump tower.

                Jimmy Carter sold his farm to avoid any allegations of corruption. trump has from day one taken money via his business from foreign governments – with the Saudis topping the list.

                If pelosi and co had their act together they would have got him on this ages ago. Rather than the whole russian conspiracy theory we had to suffer through.

                The grey speculative bits added to the transcript are a pain. Mind you without the propaganda – how could they get you to think the right way.

                trump is an idiot, sheesh he just really is a t.v. reality star in over his head.

                • McFlock

                  Pelosi definitely was reluctant to impeach (I suspect mostly because the repugs will find him "not guilty" if he shot somone on live TV, on fifth avenue, and then tweeted why he did it). I think the deciding factor was when his corruption wasn't just personal financial gain, but it started to involvefederal funds, foreign governments, and all the rest.

                  • adam

                    Still does not explain the months of conspiracy theories.

                    The same proponent of the conspiracy theories is telling more porkies about about Sanders these day. If only she accepted the fact she lost because she was shitty candidate, with shitty policy, representing 40 odd years of failed economics – who ran a shitty campaign.

                    We might actually be in a position to oppose trump well – rather than half assed and divisively.

                • alwyn

                  You appear to be giving a rather distorted view of Jimmy Carter selling his farm.

                  You seem to be implying that he sold it when he became President. He did not. He put it into a trust. That was run so poorly that when he left office the business was heavily in debt and he then sold the business. That was after he left Office and would be equivalent to Trump selling up in 2021 after he, hopefully. loses the Presidential election next year.

                  https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/17/when-jimmy-carter-left-office-his-peanut-business-was-deep-in-debt.html

                  • adam

                    OK, in trust which he had no control of which was poorly run – so he effectively sold his farm to avoid any notions of impropriety.

                    The point was he did it to avoid corruption, be it local or offshore – trump has not. trump has a trust – but it's a family run one – from memory.

                    • alwyn

                      It doesn't really matter whether you put you property into a trust or not. It has to be a trust where you have no idea what is in it for it to matter.

                      As long as Carter knew he still owned a peanut farm, and he did, he could have taken actions that affected his property for the better.

                      The fact that it was poorly run doesn't matter. That simply shows he had lousy judgement in picking a manager. The critical fact was that he still owned the place and things he did for US agriculture policy could affect him.

                      About the only US official who really cut his wealth off from his actions was Alan Greenspan who was Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006.

                      He put all his money into 30 year US Government bonds and left it there. Short of actually giving everything to charity before he took office that seemed about the only possible way of removing his assets from the actions that he took in his job.

    • adam 1.2

      I don't know why you bother Adrian Thornton, the soft left are still in lala land over this.

      Their russians in the corner paranoia has led to quite a few conspiracy theories.

      If they actually had a spine, and/or any nous – trump could have been impeached on day one – the bribes he is taking at trump tower from the Saudis are still on going, and hardly anyone is even talking about it. Until now that is.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/saudi-funded-lobbyist-paid-for-500-rooms-at-trumps-hotel-after-2016-election/2018/12/05/29603a64-f417-11e8-bc79-68604ed88993_story.html

      But hey oil, bribes, and head chopping allies are better than those pesky russians.

      quick, check the cupboard

  2. greywarshark 3

    Good work protesters to ODT about Garrick Tremain's slick cartoon. He could find something funny about the Holocaust but wouldn't because the weight of their adverse judgment would fall on him. Bit he's been making funnies at brown people's plight for quite a time, but when there is a raging virtual plague of measles in Samoa, with new gloomy facts about additional long-term affects on the immune system, to make a quip about the reaction has been enough to silence him, and that should be final. The Editor has personally apologised and so he should.

  3. joe90 4

    To the hour.

  4. Cinny 5

    For those following the UK elections, an excellent episode of The Listening Post this week…

    Misinformation, lies and media spin: Inside the UK election

    From political manipulation to complaints of bias, all eyes are on the media before UK vote. Plus, purpose advertising.

    There's also a fascinating story about purpose advertising, companies playing on our emotions with a particular style of product marketing.

    Full episode is 26mins, UK election story is the first one up….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yGCcGHX3j4

  5. adam 6

    Anyone who has a muppet in the family who will argue over the death penalty at xmas – good timing by the intercept. These four pieces are a heavy read, but they just lay bare the injustice and utter stupidity of the death penalty.

    https://theintercept.com/series/the-condemned/

    • Craig H 6.1

      I don't think there's a place for it at all, but the US system seems particularly flawed.

  6. joe90 7

    Fucking Nazi pig spouts dehumanising eugenics/master race rhetoric.

    https://twitter.com/TheLabourLeftie/status/1203030312160284672

    • Peter 7.1

      I didn't click to hear Boris talk about the measurements applying to inequality when some have IQs higher than 100 yet are fuckwit, moronic lowlives and in some cases, in Parliament.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.2

      And people still vote for the guy. The human race forever shoots itself in the foot, it seems.

    • AB 7.3

      The right’s belief in the existence of intrinsic, ‘natural’ hierarchies of humans is a real thing. It's always the bullshit rationalisation they trot out in some form or another to excuse inflicting avoidable suffering on their fellow citizens.

      For the conservative/patrician right, hierarchy is based in the family you come from, the school you went to, the firms you worked for and who you know. For the neoliberal right, natural hierarchies are revealed (like God’s grace) by success in the market – if you make money it is because you are of intrinsically of higher merit or intelligence. And for the fascist/identitarian right, it is based on race, religion and culture – though this is usually disguised by talk about “western civilisation” or some such thing. Individuals can obviously believe in mixtures of all of these classification systems – there are tensions among them, but they also intersect.

      The only thing that counters these sociopathic right-wing trash is the moral conviction that humans are completely equal in their capacity for joy and suffering.

    • Fireblade 7.4

      I'm confused. Does Boris like Cornflakes or not?

    • greywarshark 7.5

      The IQ measurement was useful in the 20th century in sorting out who was to be regarded as second rate, now it is everyone who hasn't got money and the right attitude of conformity to whatever group has been allocated.

      EQ and study about human values and how to be in a world of machine-technology addiction should be the main study. All else can be looked up. Knowing stuff hasn't done us much good as in the last century – important, vital, things have been ignored. So education itself won't save us – discernment might.

      EQ:

  7. joe90 8

    Shorter, black and brown people don't matter.

    https://fair.org/home/with-people-in-the-streets-worldwide-media-focus-uniquely-on-hong-kong/

  8. Bruce 9

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2444193685703510&id=796085293847699

    Boris is only better than a crack whore because he was born to money

    I couldn't get it to work as reply to 7

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Don't run working girls and boys down. They have a hard job – just regard them as if they were sportspeople operating in a different field. Sports people are respected – why shouldn't people who are active in the sex field?

      I think that Donald and Boris are lesser than working girls and boys; they have to deliver or look out and rarely live in luxury. They are often too busy paying the ultimate controller over their drug dealer in crack? who might be from Dons and Boorish’s peer group.

  9. adam 10

    GAZA –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcsEYRt_jGY&ab_channel=RTAmerica

    Time to stop buying Israeli goods and services. Fight the apartheid state were it will hurt it – in the pocket.

    • joe90 10.1

      Action Group for Palestinians of Syria say at least 3,708 Palestinians have been killed during the Syrian civil war, and 1,673 are being held in Assad regime abattoirs. At least 477 Palestinian-Syrians have been tortured to death in those abattoirs since 2011.

      During the siege of the Yarmouk camp Assad forces and allied militias killed hundreds of Palestinian refugees with indiscriminate barrel bombs and elephant missiles.

      Barely a murmur.

      /

      • adam 10.1.1

        Refugees, and who made them such? The Syrian civil war is a awful bloody mess, and it will continue being such until outside forces like Saudi Arabia, England, Russia and the USA stop arming the disparate groups.

        Assard is a prick, nothing changes on that front.

        Gaza is not at war with Israel, and the Great March of Return is a peaceful protest. Stones gets thrown sure – but in two short years the casualty lists are huge. In the thousands. Including disabled people in wheelchairs, journalists and medics. Not forgetting children, and pregnant women.

  10. joe90 11

    So much winning.

    UNITED NATIONS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations said on Saturday that denuclearization is off the negotiating table with the United States and lengthy talks with Washington are not needed, the starkest statement yet emphasizing the gulf between the two sides ahead of a year-end deadline set by Pyongyang.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-usa/north-koreas-un-envoy-says-denuclearization-off-negotiating-table-with-united-states-idUSKBN1YB0FG

  11. Peter 12

    Pie to Boris: "You are a microwave meal Prime Minister … a microwave meal full of shit, no nutritional value at all, just an unremarkable turd waiting to happen…"

    • joe90 12.1

      Frankie Boyle:

      Boris Johnson, who looks like something you’d keep your pyjamas in, and who no reasonable person would choose to lead them into a chorus, has a strangely hunched demeanour; perhaps from all the time he spends crammed inside married women’s wardrobes, like a randy jack-in-the-box. This confused sex yeti has been booed by nurses: people who can remove a dressing, examine a festering wound, and still look up at you with a smile. Has any party ever elected a new leader so tired and dated? With a delivery best approximated as a living checklist of stroke warnings, his bumbling posho shtick almost resembles buffering, a kind of 3G Wodehouse. He doesn’t even seem to enjoy it; throughout the campaign he’s sported a face that looks as if it’s been kneaded by a baker going through a particularly bitter divorce, and the irony that comes into his eyes every time he crowbars in a catchphrase means that he breaks the fourth wall more than Deadpool. We thought the office of prime minister was what he lived for, his consuming ambition. It’s all been a bit like hearing Tony The Tiger talk about his diabetes.

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/07/frankie-boyle-election-countdown-praying-prorogue-next-parliament

  12. pat 13

    The late and much missed Clive James wrote: “For years now – all my life, in fact – there’s been something building up in western liberal democracy that should have been foreseeable, but perhaps was too obvious. There will be a penalty paid for prosperity and stability, and the penalty is that the young will forget. Liberal democracy in the west can die of itself. It doesn’t need an enemy, it can create its own enemies.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/08/brace-yourself-the-flood-of-lies-in-this-election-is-about-to-become-a-torrent

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