Patterico's Pontifications

12/23/2022

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:21 am



[guest post by Dana]

First news item

It’s still jarring to see Americans who boast about their patriotism, claim to love democracy, and exhibit an America-first thinking, complain bitterly about Ukraine and yet don’t complain or condemn Putin and the unlawful invasion of Ukraine and subsequent war. As if Ukraine is responsible for all the misery taking place now. I’m not going to post any of the tweets, you can search them out yourself, but suffice it to say that Russia is now praising useful idiots in America, like Tucker Carlson:

Garry Kasparov responds:

Because it’s so outrageous, I’m going to start at the bottom of the barrel with Tucker for this thread on Zelensky’s visit to DC, the Biden admin’s success and failure, and the future of American support for Ukraine and global security. 1/10

Carlson has moved from advocating for Putin to endorsing Russia’s genocide in Ukraine. I don’t know why Murdoch is allowing this on his network, or why advertisers support it, but I will not appear on Fox News again while Carlson is there. A bloody line has been crossed. 2/10

Carlson’s attacks on Ukraine and Zelensky personally are designed to dehumanize and to justify Russian atrocities, which are already ongoing, documented, and publicly known. It’s like still backing the Nazis after Auschwitz was uncovered. 3/10

Slandering Ukraine & Zelensky as anti-Christian, undemocratic, etc. sends the message it’s fine for Putin to slaughter as many as he likes. The truth is that Ukrainians are fighting and dying for the American values Carlson sold out for Trump and Putin. Go to hell. 4/10

Zelensky’s visit to DC was overwhelmingly cheered, so wasting time on a few GOP America First buffoons isn’t needed. Just don’t call them conservatives. They are undermining global & US security for.. what, exactly? Why is weakening Ukraine so important to them? I wonder. 5/10

Don’t squawk about budgets and resources. Helping Ukraine devastate the invading Russian military for 5% of the US defense budget is a bargain, mostly using warehoused arms. Even Kissinger admits eliminating the Russian threat long hanging over Europe is a boon. 6/10

Helping Ukraine isn’t charity. It’s paying a debt after decades of enriching and empowering Russian aggression. It’s a wise & essential security move, because if Putin attacks Lithuania American soldiers would go and die. Ukrainians are dying to prevent that risk. 7/10

More at the link.

Second news item

Government funding bill passes:

The Senate passed a $1.7 trillion government funding bill on Thursday in a 68-29 vote, sending the package to the House for approval on Friday…Before the bill cleared the upper chamber, senators voted to add more than a half-dozen amendments to the bill, including major policy provisions that would expand federal protections for pregnant workers and nursing mothers, in addition to helping 9/11 families…Congress now appears to be on a glide path to pass the spending package, which gives the Pentagon a 10 percent budget boost, includes about $45 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine and provides nearly $40 billion for disaster aid…Among the amendments added to the omnibus is one from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) that would add workplace protections for nursing mothers, known as the PUMP Act, which was approved in a 92-5 vote…Senators also added a proposal from Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) in a 73-24 vote that attaches the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to the year-end spending bill. That measure, which requires employers to provide pregnant workers with accommodations like bathroom breaks, has been stalled in the upper chamber over GOP concerns about religious liberty exemptions…In a voice vote, the upper chamber easily adopted a provision from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) that allows the seizure of Russian assets to be used as Ukraine aid. Senators also unanimously approved a tweak allowing states to use leftover federal pandemic aid for infrastructure, in addition to a proposal that extends pay and benefits to a Navy lieutenant currently jailed in Japan…Defeated amendments include one from conservative Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) that would strip funding for earmarks, or federal cash for lawmakers’ home-state projects, in the bill.

The hurdle:

The main hang-up centered on an amendment from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), which aimed to tie Department of Homeland Security funding to the preservation of Title 42…Lee had demanded a lower majority-vote threshold on his amendment, hoping to sway some Democrats who support the Title 42 policy. If even one Democratic senator had joined with all 50 Republicans to add the proposal to the bill, it would have tanked the broader spending agreement, generating pushback from House progressives…Instead, Democrats who support Title 42 were able to avoid that politically difficult vote, thanks to a competing proposal from Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) that would have maintained Title 42 while increasing funding for immigration courts and other border-related issues.

Third news item

Electoral Count Act:

Eighteen Senate Republicans rebuked former President Trump this week by voting to clarify that the vice president does not have the power to overturn a presidential election as Trump pressured then-Vice President Mike Pence to do on Jan. 6, 2021…Republican senators across the political spectrum said they want to slam the door on the notation that Pence had the authority to throw out a state’s slate of electors, which could open the door for future vice presidents to attempt to interfere with the Electoral College’s vote…

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who voted twice to convict Trump on impeachment charges and helped lead the negotiations to reform the Electoral Count Act, said Trump “certainly wouldn’t want [Vice President] Kamala Harris to pick the next president, right?”

Trump in a post on Truth Social Tuesday argued it is “probably better to leave” the Electoral Count Act “the way it is so that it can be adjusted in case of fraud.”

“What I don’t like are the lies and ‘disinformation’ put out by the Democrats and RINOs. They said the vice president has ‘absolutely no choice,’ it was carved in ‘steel,’ but if he has no choice, why are they changing the law saying he has no choice?” Trump posted.

Romney countered Trump by pointing out that argument would give Democrats, who now control the White House, the right to block a Republican from becoming president.

“Let’s do something which he’s not fond of doing, which is taking that to the next logical conclusion. On that basis, that means that Kamala Harris would be able to choose the next president. Does he really think that’s the right way to go?” he said.

Fourth news item

January 6 committee recommendation:

The House Jan. 6 committee’s final report asserts that Donald Trump criminally engaged in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election and failed to act to stop his supporters from attacking the Capitol, concluding an extraordinary 18-month investigation into the former president and the violent insurrection two years ago.

In a series of recommendations, the seven Democrats and two Republicans on the committee suggest that Congress consider barring Trump from holding future office. The findings should be a “clarion call to all Americans: to vigilantly guard our Democracy and to give our vote only to those dutiful in their defense of our Constitution,” says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a foreword to the report.

Fifth news item

As the Iranian protests continue, popular Iranian footballer accused of involvement with the deaths of three security officers, reportedly set to be executed:

Shahid Alikhani square is a nondescript part of the historic Iranian city of Isfahan. Its sole claim to prominence is the grand entrance to one of the city’s main metro stations.

But now it has become a place of pilgrimage for supporters of the high-profile Iranian footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani who fear the young man could be executed in the square, where an execution platform has been installed, a witness close to Nasr-Azadani in Iran told CNN.

Terrified Iranian families believe that while the Western world is preoccupied with Christmas celebrations, a wave of executions in the country is imminent…

CNN has verified documents, video, witness testimony and statements from inside the country which suggest that at least 43 people, including Nasr-Azadani, could face imminent execution.

The court last week said it obtained “video and sufficient documentation that prove he [Nasr-Azadani] is part of an armed group” and that the footballer had confessed to his crimes, state media IRNA reported.

Previous CNN investigations have found prisoners have been subjected to torture and sexual assault. Human rights groups say torture-tainted “confessions” have been used against the defendants in sham trials.

Iranian officials have defended the trials nevertheless. In recent days, one Iranian MP said he believes that those involved in the current unrest must be executed within 5 to 10 days after their arrest.

Sixth news item

The Taliban has always been this, nothing new. There will never be a kinder, gentler Taliban:

The minister of higher education in the Taliban government on Thursday defended his decision to ban women from universities — a decree that had triggered a global backlash.

Discussing the matter for the first time in public, Nida Mohammad Nadim said the ban issued earlier this week was necessary to prevent the mixing of genders in universities and because he believes some subjects being taught violated the principles of Islam. He said the ban was in place until further notice.

Other reasons he gave for the university ban were women’s failure to observe a dress code and the study of certain subjects and courses.

“We told girls to have proper hijab but they didn’t and they wore dresses like they are going to a wedding ceremony,” he said. “Girls were studying agriculture and engineering, but this didn’t match Afghan culture. Girls should learn, but not in areas that go against Islam and Afghan honor.”

What a vile and feeble-minded pathetic pustule on the ass of humanity.

Sixth news item

Christmas weather nightmare:

Storms on either side of the country this week are threatening to leave thousands in the dark and bitter cold…

With the eastern storm, winds are forecast to howl at nearly 50 mph as the storm system bombs out while moving toward the Northeast. Gusts as high as 70 mph are not out of the question. All of this happens as temperatures plummet.

At that speed, winds will most likely take down some trees and power lines and create power outages from the Great Lakes into the Northeast. Widespread power outages are possible in western New York and a large swath of interior New England. The coasts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut also face the threat of widespread power outages.

In the West, both Ice Storm and Winter Storm warnings, as well as Winter Weather Advisories, are up across Washington state and Oregon. As much as a half-inch of ice could accrete from Portland north to near Seattle along the Interstate 5 corridor. An icy glaze that thick will certainly weigh down trees and power lines, which could lead to numerous power outages. Snow elsewhere in the region could also bring down trees and power lines.

I hope you are safe and warm during this Christmas season. Out of state loved ones messaged me yesterday and said the temperature was -7 degrees there.

Wherever you might be, I hope you have a warm and wonderful weekend.

Merry Christmas to you all!

–Dana

456 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Good morning.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. Sixth news item:

    I’m looking forward to Christmas Day in the 70s-80s…..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  3. Question-

    Will Putin “discipline” anyone for failing to intercept Zelensky on his way to Washington? The Russians had a chance to attack his train while he traveled through Ukraine to Poland.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  4. Instead, Democrats who support Title 42 were able to avoid that politically difficult vote, thanks to a competing proposal from Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) that would have maintained Title 42 while increasing funding for immigration courts and other border-related issues.

    conveniently omitted is that the competing proposal “would set out a ‘path to legalization’ for 2 million illegal immigrants” and would only extend Title 42 for one year.

    And, the increased funding will just be to speed up the asylum turnstile process, which apparently migrants considering jumping the border are too dumb to look at as an added incentive.

    Those who rejected Lee’s amendment are actively working against our country’s security interests, while we fund Ukraine’s interests.

    JF (5ecbf1)

  5. Russian Media Watch:

    ……..
    On Thursday morning, decorated propagandist Vladimir Solovyov hosted Dimitri Simes, president of the Washington think tank The Center for the National Interest on his show, Full Contact. While Simes was speaking, footage of Zelensky was playing on the split screen. It depicted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris accepting and proudly holding up the Ukrainian flag, handed to them by Zelensky.

    Solovyov was apparently unnerved by the video of the warm reception extended to Zelensky in the United States.

    On the big screen behind him was an image of Zelensky that Russian propagandists wanted to convey: a photoshopped picture of the Ukrainian president shining Biden’s shoes, with the title: “A vassal has arrived.” The mockery clearly clashed with the real-time visuals being shown on another section of the split-screen. While Simes was droning on, Solovyov appeared to be furiously texting on his phone, eventually revealing that he was texting his producers and demanding that they stop replaying the clips of Zelensky before the U.S. Congress.

    Apparently, the producers were too slow to cater to the host’s demands—and he finally exploded. Interrupting Simes, he fumed: “Forgive me, Dimitri. Guys, get rid of this video, if you can’t read what is being written to you!”
    ………
    Simes described Zelensky’s speech as a total lie, from beginning to end. Solovyov and Simes bristled at comparisons to former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill, made by Pelosi. Resorting to a grotesquely Orwellian distortion, Simes claimed that Putin, in his speech to rile up the masses to support his invasion of a peaceful neighboring nation, was the one worthy of being compared to Churchill. In contrast, he described Zelensky—the president of a country fiercely defending itself from unprovoked Russian aggression—as an “evil poodle.”

    “As I watched the TV coverage, I also thought of comparisons to Churchill—not of Zelensky, but Putin. Of course, Putin didn’t travel to America to ask for American support, but Putin addressed his people and said that the nation is in danger, that its enemies have far-ranging plan…,” he said. “This was a speech worthy of Churchill! The speech of President Vladimir Putin.”
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  6. It’s still jarring to see Americans who boast about their patriotism, claim to love democracy, and exhibit an America-first thinking, complain bitterly about Ukraine and yet don’t complain or condemn Putin and the unlawful invasion of Ukraine and subsequent war.

    Yes, yes, being pro-American and against giving Ukraine a blank check is the ultimate hypocrisy.

    Ridiculous.

    But, let’s get a response from non-American Garry Kasparov.

    JF (5ecbf1)

  7. Kasparov: “Helping Ukraine isn’t charity. It’s paying a debt after decades of enriching and empowering Russian aggression.”

    Obscene

    JF (5ecbf1)

  8. I’ll take Tucker’s concept of democracy over Kasparov’s any day.

    @Kasparov63
    I’m not a US citizen, but my family and I live here, and if I pay NYC taxes why shouldn’t I have a say in how they are spent?

    JF (5ecbf1)

  9. In a series of recommendations, the seven Democrats and two Republicans 9 leftists on the committee suggest that Congress consider barring Trump from holding future office. The findings should be a “clarion call to all Americans: to vigilantly guard our Democracy and to give our vote only to those dutiful in their defense of our Constitution,” says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a foreword to the report.

    FIFY

    NJRob (3be67e)

  10. The thing is, comrades, that Tuckyo Rose and the other Trump-supporting crypto-Commies are not really peeved that we’re giving aid to Ukraine. No, no, what they’re miffed about is that the Ukrainians are putting it to good use. They’re not using it to buy champagne and caviar, they’re not buying NFTs, they’re kicking Russian tushie. And that sooner or later, Putin will give up on Trump and not help him steal the 2024 nomination and election like he did in 2016.

    nk (48d53d)

  11. Helping Ukraine isn’t charity. It’s paying a debt after decades of enriching and empowering Russian aggression.

    It’s a debt we owe because we’ve been bad people. You can’t be patriotic and love democracy without acknowledging how bad America is.

    It’s a wise & essential security move, because if Putin attacks Lithuania American soldiers would go and die. Ukrainians are dying to prevent that risk.

    Yep. UKRs are doing us a favor and it’s not free.

    frosty (5cf8cf)

  12. I’m looking forward to Christmas Day in the 70s-80s…..

    Are you expecting a Pet Rock… or an Atari? 😉

    DCSCA (8580b2)

  13. My only comment on the odious Tucker Carlson, is that it shows that advertisers will support anything that attracts eyeballs. This is good news for Twitter.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  14. @7/@8. Meh, he quilled this tirade from a foxhole in Ukraine or from his comfy NYC apartment? Kasparov has no credibility. Nobody is stopping him from liquidating his millions, cameoing up and joining the fight. Z would welcome him to the gang, too.

    But no. Chess players are mere opportunists who can play the game from either side of the board anyway- black or white [or Red vs. Red, White and Blue]. Never forget, ‘he joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1984, and was elected to the Central Committee of Komsomol in 1987.’ [wiki.bio] Had the Cold War played out differently he’d still be a Red Russian. And he has a personal grudge again Putin as it is- given the election battles with him.

    And regardless of any feelings about a mere TV/radio talk show host, Tucka Carlson is an American citizen. Kasparov, granted Croatian citizenship no less- is not.

    ________

    @Kasparov63 I’m not a US citizen, but my family and I live here, and if I pay NYC taxes why shouldn’t I have a say in how they are spent?

    LOLOLOLOL So pack up for Kyiv. Camo up; your move, chessmaster!

    DCSCA (8580b2)

  15. The new electoral count act, in the most current version of the bill available, does remove the dangerous language about disqualification of the purported president-elect on somewhat nebulous 14th Amendment grounds.

    This is good.

    But it also removes nearly every grounds for objection other than a state’s votes being incorrectly reported due to a fraudulent or forged certificate. The Congress would seem to have no power to object to a state submitting electors using a false vote total, or using something other than the people’s vote within that state. If, a day before the election, a state’s legislature passed a rule that the electors would be appointed by the governor, that rule would have to be accepted as valid. Only false electoral vote certifications are within their remit.

    The power of Congress to be the final adjudication of the election is essentially null under this new Act. Not only is the role of the Vice President ministerial, but so is the role of Congress. Only the federal courts have power to decide state ballot issues, and only then in a very limited timeframe.

    In the end, deciding the validity of electors and their votes is a political decision, not a legal one, and excluding the political branches from the decision seems an overreaction to what happened in 2020. Unelected judges with lifetime appointments are not responsible to the People, and should not be the final word.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  16. February 12, 1996: IBM supercomputer makes chess history by beating Garry Kasparov, the world’s best chess player.

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/feb/12/deep-blue-computer-beats-kasparov-chess-1996

    Did IBM’s Deep Blue hum, ‘I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy’ too?

    B-tch-slapped by a machine.

    Glorious.

    DCSCA (8580b2)

  17. Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/23/2022 @ 12:04 pm

    The Congress would seem to have no power to object to a state submitting electors using a false vote total,

    contrary to their own laws.

    or using something other than the people’s vote within that state.

    They can do that, but they have to legislate that some time before Election Day.

    If, a day before the election, a state’s legislature passed a rule that the electors would be appointed by the governor, that rule would have to be accepted as valid.

    That’s what the constitution says.

    The thing about this law, it may become applicable in a most unexpected way. That was the case with the 25th amendment. In 1973 and 1974 there was a scenario nobody had contemplated.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  18. As for Iran, their internal matters are probably not something the US can directly address with anything stronger than words, but their support for Putin and their delivery of weaponized drones is not an internal matter.

    We cannot use military force directly against Russia, for obvious reasons, but we CAN use force against Iran if it is directly proportionate to their activities in Ukraine.

    So, take out the utilities in Qom, the religious center of Iran. Turn off the mullah’s heat and light. Maybe hit one of the pipelines passing through the city while we’re at it.

    Bring the the consequences of Russia’s use of their drones home to Iran’s unpopular rulers.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  19. Tucker Carlson just proves the case that people who argue for enforcing immigration law are in general, evil. Both are premised upon the idea that the only people whose interests and welfare ought to be taken into account are citizens, and they carry this to an extreme. Of course once you do that, you have no reason to care about your neighbors, either.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  20. Donald Trump was being ask to call upon his supporters to disperse not merely to say that nobody should attack the police or commit acts of violence (which took a little while to get him to say). The committee indeed ignores his earlier tweets before the call to disperse.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  21. Yes, yes, being pro-American and against giving Ukraine a blank check is the ultimate hypocrisy.

    Nowhere have I said that Ukraine should be given a “blank check”. Obviously, any money sent to Ukraine has gone through proper channels and received majority support and approval from lawmakers (and by the American public).

    I’ll take Tucker’s concept of democracy over Kasparov’s any day.

    This says it all.

    Dana (1225fc)

  22. That’s what the constitution says.

    It’s a part of the Constitution that every state has — since the Civil War — declined to exercise. It’s moribund, and unused for 8 generations.

    God help the legislature that casts electoral votes for someone who lost in that state, but a power that has been relinquished to the People for that length of time should not be lawfully rescinded. Most times they can’t rescind a right they’ve granted to the people a week ago.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  23. I expect that, should the National Popular Vote thing come to be that a number of state courts will strike it down due to the People’s rights being rescinded, but I’ve come to not trust judges all that much.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  24. If Trucker Carlson (the modern Tokyo Rose) were to say what he had for breakfast, I’d assume it was a lie. He’s crazier than Trump.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  25. And, the increased funding will just be to speed up the asylum turnstile process, which apparently migrants considering jumping the border are too dumb to look at as an added incentive.

    I have big problems with people entering illegally, then trying to use asylum law as a backup. Take their fingerprints and photographs, then expel them and refuse them entry forever more.

    You want asylum, come to the front door, don’t sneak in. It’s insulting.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  26. Congressman-elect George Santos may not even be “openly gay.”

    Certainly not for 10 years

    He got divorced from a woman in 2019, 12 days before beginning his first campaign for Congress. He claims or has claimed to live on Long Island with husband and four dogs. (he is still registered to vote at a former address in Queens)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/23/nyregion/george-santos-republican-resume.html

    He seems to have made up a story about his Queens home being vandalized:

    The apartment drew attention after Mr. Santos claimed it had been vandalized in January 2021, after he and his husband returned from a New Year’s Eve gala in Florida at former President Donald J. Trump’s private club, Mar-a-Lago. Instagram photos that Mr. Santos posted of himself at the event were linked to in a Times article about guests’ forgoing masks despite coronavirus-related restrictions.

    Mr. Santos asserted on Twitter that stones and eggs had been thrown at his house and that he had spent four and a half hours filing reports with the police and insurance companies.

    Ms. Pothos, 72, [the landlady, who lives downstairs from the apartment she rented out] said that she did not recall any such incident. The New York Police Department, when asked if it had reports of violence, vandalism or disputes at the Whitestone address for early that January, said it had a report of an incident there in October 2021. It did not respond when asked to clarify if that was the only reported incident at the address that year.

    Mr. Santos told Newsday in March 2022 that he had left the Whitestone home, purportedly because of the vandalism, though he refused to share a new address. But Ms. Pothos said that Mr. Santos had not moved out until August and asserted that she had to spend $17,000 to repair severe damage left behind.

    Where Mr. Santos currently lives remains unclear, in part because he has offered conflicting accounts. In October, he suggested on Twitter that he still lived in Ms. Pothos’s apartment, citing a robbery “two blocks away from my home in Whitestone.”

    https://qns.com/2022/12/george-santos-divorce-records-woman

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  27. 23. It could be that a number of state courts could disagree on who won the national popular vote if it is close.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  28. But, let’s get a response from non-American Garry Kasparov.

    Over the response from un-Americans, certainly.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  29. Putin will give up on Trump and not help him steal the 2024 nomination and election like he did in 2016.

    I see that Don Jr is calling Zelensky an international welfare queen. Sees about right for the ignorant racist MAGA crowd.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  30. This, from Nick Cattogio (formerly Allahpundit):

    If you’re a post-liberal populist, particularly of the Very Online variety, watching Putin go belly up in Ukraine has dashed all sorts of political illusions. Your faith that strongmen are the best, most competent instrument for achieving political prerogatives is shaken. Your belief that woke Western militaries are no match on the battlefield for fascist machismo looks silly. Your hope of a great authoritarian victory over Ukraine that might inspire Americans to embrace nationalism and reject the global liberal order has disappeared along with 100,000 or so Russian soldiers. Even your sense of Putin as a champion of traditional Christianity has been … complicated by the Kremlin’s babbling about “desatanization” while bombing schools and hospitals.

    Putin has embarrassed you in every conceivable way. Naturally, you hate Zelensky for it.

    But you know what? Although most loud-and-proud MAGA populists will never admit it, they admire Zelensky. And that makes them angry too.

    These people have spent seven years—seven years—feeling obliged to apologize for Donald Trump’s full-spectrum cretinism, smelling his every political fart and praising it as a rare, exotic perfume. They are, understandably, quite sickand tired of it, especially now that that cretinism is weighing them down at the polls. This week alone, while Zelensky risked his life to lobby for his country while it’s under siege, they had to weather news about Trump being referred to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution, Trump cronies admitting they never believed his election lies, and possible Trump corruption at the IRS with respect to his tax returns.

    Day by day, their favorite domestic strongman and their favorite foreign strongman are finding new and exciting ways to embarrass them. Is it so surprising that having Volodymyr Zelensky, the toast of the global liberal order, show up in Washington in his combat “uniform” would feel like a personal humiliation in that context?

    It’s not about the money. If anything, U.S. spending on Ukraine has been freakishly efficient. And if we cut that spending tomorrow, their opinion of Ukraine’s leader won’t change. It’s what Zelensky represents that irks them—competence, sacrifice, bravery, honor. I don’t mean to idolize him by saying that; populist concerns about corruption within the Ukrainian government are well-founded. But you don’t need to be perfect or even good to behave honorably at a decisive moment. (See also Mike Pence, another figure despised by MAGA.) Zelensky has. He could have whimpered. He could have fled. He fought.

    Dana (1225fc)

  31. Santos only has to live in the state of New York, and only at the time of his election. Prove he was at his house in, say, Delaware that day and the Congress could refuse to seat him. Does NY have a law allowing Congresssmen to be recalled?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  32. Nowhere have I said that Ukraine should be given a “blank check”. Obviously, any money sent to Ukraine has gone through proper channels and received majority support and approval from lawmakers (and by the American public).

    Dana (1225fc) — 12/23/2022 @ 12:17 pm

    What’s your upper limit?

    frosty (8b80b8)

  33. It could be that a number of state courts could disagree on who won the national popular vote if it is close.

    There’s the funny thing that could actually doom the NPV compact. States need to finalize their certificates of election, and lists of electors 6 days before the Electors meet. States wishing to know what other states did might have to wait that long to find out, making it hard for them to determine who actually won.

    And those states not participating in the Compact would maybe wait until the last minute just for that reason.

    But, yes, a close election like the one in 1960, where the national vote was in recount territory and one state had questionable votes ten times the overall spread, would cause the NPV folks to melt down pretty badly.

    If I wanted to destabilize the USA, the NPV Compact would be a dandy tool.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  34. The only unfair thing that has happened to Trump is the outing of his tax returns, violating the spirit of tax law, if not its fine print.

    And here’s the thing: OF COURSE he paid no taxes. I doubt there’s a billionaire who pays anything more than pocket lint in taxes. It’s too easy not to. When you have that kind of net worth, it’s easy to leverage those assets into untaxed cash (e.g. loans), or have lots and lots of unused deductions (e.g. past charitable gifts of appreciated assets) for those years you take some gains.

    But all of this will be distorted or lied about. Because in the end, Trump vs the Press is a duel of liars.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  35. Sad to see people attack the strawman that if you don’t believe Ukriane should get access to our children’s future earnings it’s because you long for a strongman and are pro-Putin. But I’d expect no less from a keyboard warrior that’s also an anti-Christian bigot like AP.

    NJRob (d332ad)

  36. From the American, Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX):

    “What I appreciated about (Zylensky’s) speech, a couple of things. One were the parallels that he made to World War II. That would be my father’s war. When we go to Poland, they talk about 1939 and Hitler, and had we stopped him at that point in time, we would have saved so much blood, and treasure from occurring, and what we’re seeing right now is a struggle for the global balance of power in the world, and that is Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. Chairman Xi in China is looking at Taiwan and then Putin in Ukraine. You cannot bifurcate these world powers, and they’re all against freedom and democracy in the west. I was worried that it would be politicized, but I thought he gave a tremendous speech that was inspiring to not only the United States but to the world.”

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  37. ‘If anything, U.S. spending on Ukraine has been freakishly efficient.’

    Except it isn’t- and insisting otherwise behind a paywall echoes well but won’t make it so:

    Biden admin scrambles to track $20B in Ukraine aid as House Republicans warn of audits

    Biden’s admin reportedly inspected just 10% of weapons going to Ukraine between February and November

    ‘President Biden’s administration is scrambling to track the nearly $20 billion in military aid it has sent to Ukraine as Republicans warn of impending audits when they take control of the House in January. Likely future House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said his party will not be giving Ukraine a “blank check” to fend off Russia’s invasion. A potential audit would determine how much, if any, of the U.S. aid is ending up in the wrong hands. The Biden administration’s previous tracking efforts have inspected only a fraction of the aid provided to the country. The Republican push to ramp up oversight enjoys some bipartisan support in Congress.’https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-admin-scrambles-track-20b-ukraine-aid-house-republicans-warn-audits

    “America’s calling, Harry Truman’…

    Truman Committee
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truman_Committee

    “Extortion is my business.”- Ernst Stavro Blofeld [Donald Pleasence] ‘You Only Live Twice’ 1967

    DCSCA (c25135)

  38. Congress spends too much. Certainly. The various stimulus packages (so large that most states still have funds from that they don’t know what to do with) were inflationary, the latter ones piling up on the earlier ones until inflation was inevitable.

    But, like the batter who strikes out in the 9th inning to lose the game, it’s not only his fault — the batters in the other innings could have done better, too. So, anyone who wants to say that Biden spends too much has to look at what Trump did as well.

    But I digress.

    Yes, Congress spends too much. But it is silly, to the point of asinine, to object to any particular outlay on the basis of “we spend too much.” To do so simply shows that direct arguments have failed.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  39. BTW, Dana, thank you for the Weekend thread. I was jonesing.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  40. @28. Over the response from un-Americans, certainly.

    Pfft. Chess players are opportunists and play their game from either side of the board, loyal only to their own ends; not to either side, black nor white. Back in Reagan days, Ronnie was his enemy: ‘Kasparov joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1984, and was elected to the Central Committee of Komsomol in 1987.’ [wiki.bio] Had the Cold War played out differently he’d still be Russian Red. When he liquidates his millions, leaves the safety of his U.S. protected NYC hovel, camos up and joins the fight w/Z against his native land, Russia, get back get back to us. Otherwise, any American citizen paying the freight stands taller than that Kommie Kibitzer.

    DCSCA (c25135)

  41. I remember when conservatives cared about the size and cost of government. All of these senators voted for the Omnibus Bill. . Blunt, Boozman, Capito, Collins, Cornyn, Cotton, Graham, Inhofe, McConnell, Moran, Murkowski, Portman, Romney, Rounds, Shelby, Thune, Wicker, Young

    kaf (6fa9cd)

  42. We cannot use military force directly against Russia, for obvious reasons, but we CAN use force against Iran if it is directly proportionate to their activities in Ukraine.

    So, take out the utilities in Qom, the religious center of Iran. Turn off the mullah’s heat and light. Maybe hit one of the pipelines passing through the city while we’re at it.

    Bring the the consequences of Russia’s use of their drones home to Iran’s unpopular rulers.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/23/2022 @ 12:13 pm

    That wouldn’t be “directly proportionate” to IRs activities in URK. That would be a clear act of war by the US against civilian infrastructure in IR. I’m also guessing you’d be in favor of this without a declaration of war or trying to figure out how to shoehorn it into the WoT AUMF.

    It would let Biden pretend at being tough so I can see why some would be in favor of that.

    And while the tough talk sounds tough and manly you wouldn’t be able to do that without civilian casualties and risk to US personal. Something Biden, and warhawks generally, are keen outsource.

    I also love how everyone thinks this proxy war thing isn’t a real war because it can’t be for “obvious reasons”. I will not be surprised that people who believe this stuff will say “hey, that’s not fair” when this escalates.

    frosty (8b80b8)

  43. But, let’s get a response from non-American Garry Kasparov.

    He certainly has a far more relevant perspective as someone who grow up in the USSR, joined the Party (for six years), fled anti-Armenian pogroms in Baku, and organized political opposition to Putin’s Russia.

    Far more relevant than the beneficiary of the Swanson’s frozen food fortune.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  44. Are you expecting a Pet Rock… or an Atari?

    No, I am expecting to have Christmas on the beach.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  45. In a series of recommendations, the seven Democrats and two Republicans on the committee suggest that Congress consider barring Trump from holding future office.

    How would they do that? I’m pretty sure that Congress cannot pass a law declaring Trump guilty of “insurrection” or any other crime. Could they pass a law declaring that certain activities on J6 were “insurrection”? Pretty sure they can’t do that either.

    Article I, Section 9, Clause 3: No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

    Pretty sure we will shortly have a federal court ruling that excluding people from office due to the 14th Amendment requires conviction of insurrection, sedition or treason. I hope so, as anything less than that allows Calvinball.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  46. Are you expecting a Pet Rock… or an Atari?

    I may be the only one here who ever worked for Atari, Inc (which died in 1984).

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  47. I am constantly amazed at those whose view of, well anything, is based solely on whether it helps Biden or Trump. To call this tribal is to elevate it.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  48. History rhymes:

    President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam Addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress 5/9/57

    ‘The Vietnamese leader expressed gratitude to the United States for “moral and material aid.” He outlined the history of his country and his hope for its future. Diem concluded his 20-minute speech by linking Vietnam’s future “with the interests of the people of the free world. “In the face of increased international tension and Communist pressure in southeast Asia, I could not repeat too often how much the Vietnamese people are grateful for American aid, and how much they are conscious of its importance, profound significance, and amount,” Diem told Representatives and Senators.” ‘Course Diem left his fatigues in a Saigon palace closet and wore a tailored suit to Congress.

    https://history.house.gov/Historical-Highlights/1951-2000/President-Ngo-Dinh-Diem-of-South-Vietnam-addressed-a-Joint-Meeting-of-Congress/

    Suckers.

    “This letter’s post-marked, Vietnam’- SSgt., Barry Sadler 1966 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDnDM1MFi7o

    DCSCA (c25135)

  49. I also love how everyone thinks this proxy war thing isn’t a real war because it can’t be for “obvious reasons”. I will not be surprised that people who believe this stuff will say “hey, that’s not fair” when this escalates.

    Oh, I hope that Putin plays that card. I really do. Because then the gloves come off and his military is an empty shell.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  50. In a series of recommendations, the seven Democrats and two Republicans on the committee suggest that Congress consider barring Trump from holding future office.

    How would they do that? ……

    From the Final Report, Recommendation 4, page 690:

    Under Section 3 of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, an individual who previously took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, but who has “engaged in an insurrection” against the same, or given “aid or comfort to the enemies of the Constitution” can be disqualified from holding future federal or state office. The Select Committee has referred Donald Trump and others for possible prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 2383, including for assisting and providing aid and comfort to an insurrection. The Committee also notes that Donald J. Trump was impeached by a majority of the House of Representatives for Incitement of an Insurrection, and there were 57 votes in the Senate for his conviction.

    Congressional committees of jurisdiction should consider creating a formal mechanism for evaluating whether to bar those individuals identified in this Report under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment from holding future federal or state office. The Committee believes that those who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and then, on January 6th, engaged in insurrection can appropriately be disqualified and barred from holding government office—whether federal or state, civilian or military—absent at least two-thirds of Congress acting to remove the disability pursuant to Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Committee notes that Ms. Wasserman Schultz and Mr. Raskin have introduced H. Con. Res. 93 to declare the January 6 assault an insurrection and H.R. 7906 to establish specific procedures and standards for disqualification under section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment in the United States district court for the District of Columbia.

    Paragraph breaks added.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  51. @49 wrong rhyme Churchill addressing congress 1942 right rhyme. This is stalingrad not danang/kabul. What is the difference between lindberg, republicans and the bundists protesting lend lease and comrade carlson and the rethugliKKKan white supremacists doing now?

    asset (ea4570)

  52. It’s what Zelensky represents that irks them—competence, sacrifice, bravery, honor.

    Z’s a comedian, AlliNick. Are you trying to be one, too?:

    Ukraine’s president lashes out at too much ‘panic’ over Russia tensions

    KYIV, Jan 28 (Reuters) President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday did not rule out a full-blown war with Russia but said Ukraine was not a sinking Titanic and accused Washington and media of fuelling panic that weighed on the economy while there were “no tanks in the streets”… He said the White House was making a “mistake” in highlighting excessively the risk of a large-scale war, and that this was the message he gave U.S. President Joe Biden in their phone call on Thursday… U.S. and British moves to recall diplomats were a mistake and an exaggeration, he said: “We are no Titanic. Ukraine is moving ahead.”

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraines-zelenskiy-seeks-calm-down-panic-over-russia-tensions-2022-01-28/

    Yep; all the ‘competence, sacrifice, bravery, honor’ of ol’damn-the-ice-warnings-full-speed-ahead Captain Smith.

    “Iceberg. Right Ahead!” – Frederick Fleet, lookout, RMS Titanic, April 14, 1912

    DCSCA (c25135)

  53. @50 code pink like Janatte Rankin are anti-war pacifists who like Gandhi stood by their principles regardless of the consequences. I disagree with them ;but still honor them. All of the other isolationists swallows their principles and voted for war. Barbara Lee is another woman who stood up when democrat men sat down.

    asset (ea4570)

  54. The Brutal Alternate World in Which the U.S. Abandoned Ukraine
    ………
    ………Let’s imagine, just for a moment, a world without Ukrainian courage, or American and European weapons, or the unity and support of democracies around the world.
    …….
    …….Ukraine would now be pockmarked with the concentration camps, torture chambers, and makeshift prisons that have been discovered in Bucha, Izyum, Kherson, and all the other territories temporarily occupied by Russia and liberated by the Ukrainian army. …….The Ukrainian language would have been suppressed in all public spaces. Hundreds of thousands more Ukrainian children would have been kidnapped and transported to Russia or trafficked farther around the world.

    Russian soldiers, strengthened by their stunning victory, would already be on the borders of Poland, setting up new command posts, digging new trenches. NATO would be in chaos; the entire alliance would be forced to spend billions to prepare for the inevitable invasion of Warsaw, Vilnius, or Berlin…….
    ………
    This disaster would not have been confined to Europe. On the other side of the world, Chinese plans to invade Taiwan would be well under way, because Beijing would assume that an America unwilling to defend a European ally, and now totally bogged down in a long-term battle against an emboldened Russia, would never go out of its way to help an island in the Pacific. The Iranian mullahs, equally cheered by Russia’s success and Ukraine’s defeat, would have boldly announced that they had finally acquired nuclear weapons. From Venezuela to Zimbabwe to Myanmar, dictatorships around the world would have tightened their regimes and stepped up the persecution of their opponents, now certain that the old rules—the conventions on human rights and genocide, the laws of war, the taboo against changing borders by force—no longer applied. From Washington to London, from Tokyo to Canberra, the democratic world would be grimly facing up to its obsolescence.
    ……..
    ……..President Joe Biden and the U.S. Congress resisted the temptation of “America First” isolationism and rejected the cult of autocracy that now captivates a part of the American right. The leaders of Europe—with the sole exception of the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, one of the chief ideologues of that same cult—also resisted …..

    ……..Zelensky came to Washington to thank Americans on behalf of Ukraine, but in truth, it is we who should be thanking them.
    ########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  55. @52. Except it’s not. Dishonoring a 1942 Churchill visit w/t U.S. waging a two-front World War to/comparisons w/t Castro-costumed comedian extorting $ from Congress and not wealthy, modern Europe doesn’t help his argument w/savvy Americans, either. Let him put the squeeze in an address to the UK Parliment. Or the EU in Brussels. And watch them tell him to go pound [and Euro] sunshine.

    Echoes of Vietnam– there are U.S military personnel on the ground there already– and somebody has to teach the Ukies how to operate the complex Patriot batteries. And it ain’t gonna be Israelis nor Brits. Nor Froggies or Germans– both having their own excellent missile defense system to offer up. But don’t. Why bother when America is being suckered instead.

    DCSCA (c25135)

  56. Zelensky came to Washington to thank Americans on behalf of Ukraine, but in truth, it is we who should be thanking them.

    https://www.history.com/news/ukraine-timeline-invasions

    Yes, “we” should be thanking Europe for perpetual wars and sending America the bills. She outta take some time and learn some broader history of the region beyond her immediate lifetime.

    DCSCA (c25135)

  57. Show me a pacifist in a state of nature. They cannot exist except when defended by others.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  58. What is the difference between lindberg, republicans and the bundists protesting lend lease and comrade carlson

    Not much. As for white supremacists, there were few in the GOP before Trump, and there will be few in the GOP after Trump.

    Lindberg was not the GOP nominee in 1940, despite all the fiction. Wasn’t even a candidate at the convention. Wendell Wilkie, an interventionist, was the nominee.

    “Isolationists” were not confined to any one party, nor were antisemites like Father Coughlin (Coughlin was a Democrat until he split with FDR).

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  59. What is the difference between lindberg[h], republicans and the bundists protesting lend lease and comrade carlson and the rethugliKKKan white supremacists doing now?

    Time and Context. It’s 2022, not 1939. No comparison, really. No UN then; whole WW1 generations lost; lingering woes from a Great Depression… and the hundreds of years of conflict in the region rivals the endless waste in the Mideast. Ukraine is a problem for wealthy, modernm, 21st century Europe to finance and manage. And they’ve kept dousing that fire repeatedly over the centuries themselves– long before there was a United States to sucker into paying.

    DCSCA (97ee69)

  60. It’s a debt we owe because we’ve been bad people. You can’t be patriotic and love democracy without acknowledging how bad America is.

    frosty (5cf8cf) — 12/23/2022 @ 10:48 am

    I’d probably put our “debt” no higher than third on my list of reasons for supporting Ukraine (the top two in no particular order being our own national interest and a general moral duty to assist victims of unprovoked genocidal aggression). But to the extent it’s on my list at all, our debt arises from the Budapest accord.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  61. Let him put the squeeze in an address to the UK Parliment. Or the EU in Brussels. And watch them tell him to go pound [and Euro] sunshine.

    DCSCA (c25135) — 12/23/2022 @ 1:54 pm

    UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary and Luxembourg have all contributed a larger share of their respective GDPs to assisting Ukraine than we have.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  62. From the link in my comment @62 above:

    EU countries and institutions total nearly 52 billion euros in military, financial and humanitarian assistance until November 20. The commitments made by the U.S. add up to just under 48 billion euros.

    Of course that isn’t to minimize our huge, indispensable contribution. It’s only to put the lie to BS claims by DCSCA and other tacit Putin defenders that Europe sits idly by, smirking, while we shoulder the burden. That if asked for help they’d tell Zelensky “to go pound [and Euro] sunshine.”

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  63. The US has a GDP of slightly over $20 Trillion. To match Estonia’s contribution, we would have to give something north of $200 billion. Even with this new contribution passed today, we are well short of that. Since GDP is annualized, so is aid.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  64. #63: I disagree with the word “tacit.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  65. @62. Bull. Sober up:

    The US is by far the biggest contributor of military, financial and humanitarian aid to Kyiv. It has pledged nearly twice as much as all EU countries and institutions combined, according to an analysis by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

    The US latest pledge was nearly €12bn (£10.52bn) in support of Kyiv between August and October, bringing the total amount of American aid to just over €52 billion, according to data from the Kiel Institute.

    US military support accounted for €27.6bn, while humanitarian and financial aid accounted for €9.5bn and €15.2bn respectively in a period from 24 January to 3 October. Included in this are the famed HIMARS medium-range mobile rocket launchers, using accuracy and longer range have allowed Kyiv to reduce Russia’s artillery advantage.

    After multiple Ukrainian cities were pounded by Russian missiles… Joe Biden pledged further weaponry to Ukraine, including air defense systems, during a call with Mr. Zelensky.

    The US has previously committed to providing Ukraine with National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), which could be capable of engaging Russian cruise missiles.

    The US has already transferred more than 1,400 Stinger anti-air systems to Ukraine, as well as air surveillance and multi-mission radars, according to an official quoted by CNN. S-300 air defence systems have also been sent by Slovakia.

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/which-countries-have-contributed-weapons-to-ukraine-meagre-amounts-from-europe-as-us-shoulders-burden/ar-AA12QocE

    Don’t give a damn about Ukraine— especially when the quality of life in Dusseldorf is better than it is in Detroit. And it’s not sitting on asny oil field. Worse, that Castro-costumed weasel was warned what was coming and told the world to bug off. They’ve been fighting over Ukraine for centuries. UKRAINE IS NOT A PROBLEM FOR DEBT-BURDENED, INFLATION RIDDLED USA. Ukraine is wholly and fully a problem for wealthy, modern 21st Europe to manage- especially as it is the third significant, kinetic conflict on their continent in 115 years and by itys own decisions made itself dependent on Russian energy and commerce. American interests are at risk in Taiwan- not Ukraine.

    DCSCA (ffd12c)

  66. @61. Rubbish. We “owe’ those bastards nothing. It’s past time they managed their own neighborhood. And the 9,387 WW2 dead Americans buried at the U.S. Cemetary in Normandy along w/t 14,246 American dead buried at the WW1 Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France would agree.

    DCSCA (ffd12c)

  67. Speaking of Christmas weather, the black ice on Seattle area streets was treacherous. I’ve never seen anything like it. Dangerous as hell.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  68. @68. Winter weather. It’s Putin’s fault.

    DCSCA (ffd12c)

  69. Oh, I hope that Putin plays that card. I really do. Because then the gloves come off and his military is an empty shell.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/23/2022 @ 1:26 pm

    The only people I’ve ever heard talk like this are people who are confident they’re signing someone else up for all the blood, sweat, and tears.

    If you’re so eager to get this going why are you worried about “obvious reasons”? Why don’t we just have a rerun of Gulf War I? We just need to find a general who wears two watches right?

    frosty (a2e29a)

  70. @62. Bull. Sober up:

    […]

    DCSCA (ffd12c) — 12/23/2022 @ 4:37 pm

    Hey, Ding-Dong, you’re citing the same source I am, except your data is outdated and superceded. By mine. ACCORDING TO YOUR OWN SOURCE. Lol.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  71. @71. ROFLMAOPIP- ring-a-ding-ding- so your assertion is totally torpedoed- especially w/Joey and Congress w/another extortion $ this week– and in return, a flag!

    BOTTOM LINE: The U.S. is carrying the bulk of the load financial load AND IT IS NOT AN AMERICAN PROBLEM. It’s wealthy, modern 21st century Europe’s to manage. And they love idiotic American politicians being suckered into it.

    DCSCA (b9e4f1)

  72. #63: I disagree with the word “tacit.”

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/23/2022 @ 4:14 pm

    You can’t prove someone else’s mental state, so when he says he isn’t “pro-Putin” I take him at his word that he isn’t consciously, deliberately pro-Putin. Still, the consequences of everything he advocates are unambiguously pro-Putin. I’ll settle for “tacit.”

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  73. “Helping Ukraine isn’t charity. It’s paying a debt after decades of enriching and empowering Russian aggression” The US has spent trillions in todays money over the decades to check Russian power. Thousands of Americans gave their lives for it in s#!holes around the globe
    F and U. We don’t owe Ukraine anything. I’m OK with helping them against Russia, but the USA is not in decades of debt to Ukraine. Go badger the frickin Germans starting with Angela “you can take the girl out of East Germany, but you can’t take the east Germany out of the girl” Merkel and finish with Olaf and Macron.

    steveg (ad5a76)

  74. @72. So when proven wrong you simply repeat the debunked assertion? Do you think we can’t read?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  75. 62,

    I appreciate you posting that (not sarc) since it was something I didn’t know.

    But I think that just puts more focus on the overall cost. Now we’re claiming that it’s a bargain to spend 3x or more of RUs entire military budget for what amounts to a standoff in UKR.

    A bargain would have been BO/JB giving them heavy weapons and training pre-2016 and DT doing even more than he did.

    Can we at least admit the obvious? This isn’t cheap or a bargain.

    frosty (a2e29a)

  76. @#73. This isn’t about Putin. It’s about the common sense of demanding Europe carry the full burden and manage the consequences of its own decisions. For God’s sake, they were deadbeats on NATO dues for decades and blew the $ on healthcare systems, modern infrastructure and have a quality of life across the continent that puts the disintegrating U.S. to shame. And Americans should be pissed about it. THey’ve suckered Americans into covering these costs far too long.

    Those halcyon post WW2 days are over. Our own cities, infrastructure and health systems are crumbling. I’ve lived inEurope and seen how the love Amefican money- but not Americans all that much. Time to kick’em out of the basement. They made the decisions to deal w/Russia. There’s zero reasons for Americans to be dragged into any of this– other than 20th century muscle memory over a USSR that no longer exists. Russia is a regional power now after 1989. And the powerful nations in Europe can bring it to its knees if the had the balls to suffer and carry the burden themselves. And after WWI, WW2 and the Cold War costs to Americans- on top of bailing their asses out w/t Marshall Plan– and protecting them for half a century– it’s time to kick them in the ass. Trump was right about it and grilled NATO very publicly about it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpwkdmwui3k

    How DID they manage to quell conflicts in Ukraine for centuries before there was a USA to sponge off of?? =sarc= France and Germany are perfectly able to manage this all on their own. AMERICAN interests in the 21st century are in Taiwan, not Ukraine.

    DCSCA (b9e4f1)

  77. @72 In a democratic republic the people thru their representatives decide on aid to Ukraine. We just had an election and those who support aid to Ukraine won over putin’s white supremacists enablers. Did you oppose lend lease to england?

    asset (5a9f97)

  78. 74,

    The beauty to gaslighting is that it doesn’t need rhythm or reason. You’re expected to forget all of history since WWII. People who hate America get to tell you that patriotism requires you give them money.

    By my count there was only one real thing on Kasparov’s list and he didn’t make the case for it. That should be a red flag for how weak that argument is.

    frosty (a2e29a)

  79. Can we at least admit the obvious? This isn’t cheap or a bargain.

    No, and no.
    So far we’ve provided Ukraine around $22 billion of our surplus, and Putin’s has not only been stuck in a quagmire, he’s losing territory. That sounds like a great investment to me, and no American military lives have been put at risk.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  80. Nowhere have I said that Ukraine should be given a “blank check”.
    Dana (1225fc) — 12/23/2022 @ 12:17 pm

    LOL You literally called out McCarthy for saying the exact same thing.

    GOP Warns No ‘Blank Check’ To Ukraine if Republicans Take House Majority

    JF (06bc44)

  81. @75. It’s YOU proven wrong: The US is by far the biggest contributor of military, financial and humanitarian aid to Kyiv. It has pledged nearly twice as much as all EU countries and institutions combined, according to an analysis by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

    The U.S. is carrying the bulk of the burden. End of story. Just accept being suckered yet again by Europe. Congress has- and you’ll sleep well. But it’s why populiosm keeps rooting deeper– and castles get stormed.

    DCSCA (b9e4f1)

  82. DCSCA Your position is neither right nor wrong except in the moral sense. Most of the rest of us disagree with you. If you wish to convince come up with better arguments then Zelenskiy is a crook when his people are dying to stop russian aggression.

    asset (5a9f97)

  83. Putin has to be happier than a pig in poop. Russia was done. A second-tier, regional power. Then Joey upgraded him back into a world player. It’s a 20th century mindset. Putin is Xi’s b-tch now. And will run interference for China on command.

    DCSCA (b9e4f1)

  84. LOL You literally called out McCarthy for saying the exact same thing.

    That doesn’t negate her comment, JF, especially because McCarthy was engaging in a bogus argument, because you’d be hard put to find anyone of import who said that Ukraine should have a “blank check”.
    More specifically, where did Dana ever say “Ukraine should be given a ‘blank check'”?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  85. @83. He is a crook. And worse: an actor. Ukraine is nearly as corrupt as Russia– and it’s a gang fight going on for centuries… and not a U.S. problem at all… but Congress is, as Kirk said, ‘thinking with their glands.’ Sooner or later adults will recognize it and take charge. It happened w/Vietnam– but at great cost. Unfortunately, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

    DCSCA (b9e4f1)

  86. @83. Why? Because it’s on television? Plenty of global conflicts w/ people dying not televised. this is EUROPE’S PROBLEM to manage. The fire is in their backyard. European nations managed to deal w/it for centuries before there was a U.S.A. to sucker. They’re wealthy and well armed and can handle it now– skip dessert… and pick up the check.

    DCSCA (b9e4f1)

  87. Can we at least admit the obvious? This isn’t cheap or a bargain.

    frosty (a2e29a) — 12/23/2022 @ 6:28 pm

    I agree it obviously isn’t cheap. That it’s obviously not a bargain? No, that’s not obvious to me. On the contrary, the early indications are the value we get from degrading Putin’s military, deterring Xi, and generally shoring up the credibility of our commitment to stand with friends against expansionist tyrants may well be a bargain. On balance IMO it’s too soon to say.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  88. @75. It’s YOU proven wrong: The US is by far the biggest contributor of military, financial and humanitarian aid to Kyiv. It has pledged nearly twice as much as all EU countries and institutions combined, according to an analysis by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

    The U.S. is carrying the bulk of the burden. End of story. Just accept being suckered yet again by Europe. Congress has- and you’ll sleep well. But it’s why populiosm keeps rooting deeper– and castles get stormed.

    DCSCA (b9e4f1) — 12/23/2022 @ 6:46 pm

    JFC, are you being willfully obtuse? As I explained above, your Kiel Institute analysis was superseded by this Kiel Institute December 7, 2022 update. Try reading it this time.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  89. More specifically, where did Dana ever say “Ukraine should be given a ‘blank check’”?
    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 12/23/2022 @ 6:52 pm

    the fact that you can’t just say “ukraine should be given a blank check” or “ukraine should not be given a blank check” doesn’t obligate me to figure it out for you or anyone else

    JF (06bc44)

  90. @55: Russian soldiers, strengthened by their stunning victory….

    … jump a shark.

    JF (06bc44)

  91. @89. Talk about obtuse: The U.S. is carrying the bulk of the financial and military load for a conflict in region it has no interests in.

    DCSCA (b9e4f1)

  92. the fact that you can’t just say “ukraine should be given a blank check” or “ukraine should not be given a blank check” doesn’t obligate me to figure it out for you or anyone else

    It’s not about me, JF. You made a claim that Dana said something she didn’t say.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  93. @92: Now proven wrong twice, you just keep pushing the same debunked assertion. On Twitter that would be called “tweeting through it.”

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  94. On the contrary, the early indications are the value we get from degrading Putin’s military, deterring Xi, and generally shoring up the credibility of our commitment to stand with friends against expansionist tyrants may well be a bargain. On balance IMO it’s too soon to say.

    What we’ve ‘learned’ is the MIC vastly- in not purposely- over-estimated the competence and reach of a Russian military created to operate within the confines of their economy and budget. Our ‘commitment’ to stand w/friends rests w/t graves of among other cemeteries, those U.S. dead in Normandy and the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France.. along w/t 20 years blown in Afghanistan, the Gulf Wars, Vietnam and Korea…

    Ike was right:

    On Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower gave the nation a dire warning about what he described as a threat to democratic government. He called it the military-industrial complex, a formidable union of defense contractors and the armed forces. Eisenhower, a retired five-star Army general, the man who led the allies on D-Day, made the remarks in his farewell speech from the White House:

    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.” – D.D. Eisenhower.

    And it was Harry Truman who kept watch on the costs and abuses by these same contractors in WW2:

    The Truman Committee:

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

    DCSCA (b9e4f1)

  95. @94. Dream on:

    US Money Committed to Ukraine Has Already Exceeded Cost of First 5 Years Afghan War

    https://www.westernjournal.com/us-money-committed-ukraine-already-exceeded-cost-first-5-years-afghan-war/

    The U.S. has become the largest supporter of Ukraine after it approved a $13.6 billion package in economic, humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine in March, which has now been nearly exhausted.

    https://thehill.com/policy/finance/3469118-heres-where-us-money-is-flowing-in-ukraine/

    But then, you emote otherwise.

    DCSCA (b9e4f1)

  96. @90. When POTUS and Milley both publicly proclaim, ‘as long as it takes’– that’s government speak for ‘blank check.’ If there was ever a need for another kick-ass Truman Committee, it’s now.

    DCSCA (b9e4f1)

  97. How Much Money Has the United States Given to Ukraine?

    The estimated $54.43 billion from Kiel and the additional $37 billion proposal from the White House would total $91,430,000,000 for U.S. engagement in Ukraine… According to Kiel, the European Union’s member states and institutions have given Ukraine $30.45 billion. Russia’s most current yearly defense spending was estimated by the Jamestown Foundation to be $77.7 billion. Why would [Ukraine] bother tracking it when there are no expectations from the United States? The story with the financial aid might be different; perhaps there is a paper trail.

    Even so: The amount of money being channeled into one of the most dishonest nations in Europe is in the billions. How much of a paper trail can you believe? Money is gone, and no American politician will ever be held accountable or suffer the repercussions. Move Democracy. Last but not least, if you take issue with the headline referring to the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe as a proxy war, you should raise it with individuals like former Condaleeza Rice Counselor Eliot Cohen, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Phillip Breedlove, among others.

    All parties involved in the conflict concur that what is taking place is a proxy war between the United States and Russia rather than just a dispute over some border areas in Ukraine. Americans are being asked to pay for an enormous transfer of wealth and armaments to a nation that the majority couldn’t even identify on a map a month ago. Therefore, it is only a modest request that we at the very least fully comprehend the current situation.

    https://leedaily.com/2022/12/23/how-much-money-has-the-united-states-given-to-ukraine/

    Madness. This is why castles get stormed…

    DCSCA (b9e4f1)

  98. @84/85Putin is not happy and Biden did as little as he could and should have done a lot more like mig-29’s ;but he fears russia’s nukes. When we fought the revolution we were slave holders. DCSCA you are like Dr. samuel johnson when boswell asked him about the american revolution going on at that time. He said “I observe those who scream the loudest about freedom and liberty are the slave holding southerners!” Perhaps you object to france helping us? Except Vietnam is the wrong analogy as they would not fight for a corrupt south vietnam and ukrainians fight bravely for their country. Olny a third of americans supported the revolution here. Try a better analogy.

    asset (5a9f97)

  99. That doesn’t negate her comment, JF, especially because McCarthy was engaging in a bogus argument, because you’d be hard put to find anyone of import who said that Ukraine should have a “blank check”.

    More specifically, where did Dana ever say “Ukraine should be given a ‘blank check’”?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 12/23/2022 @ 6:52 pm

    Why do we have to play these games? You can’t say what would be enough. Dana can’t either. JB can’t. No one in favor of this open ended conflict can even give a realistic assessment of an end game that Putin and Z would both agree to. You, Dana, and the vocal group in favor of this ridicule and attempt to insult anyone who even asks.

    It’s not unreasonable to use the phrase “blank check” to describe that.

    But you want to play the “no one literally said that game”. Ok, what’s the limit? $500B? $1T?

    frosty (a2e29a)

  100. @100 Saying “I don’t claim we should be committed forever to unlimited spending” doesn’t require knowing what the limits are. Personally I have no idea what they should be. I lack anything approaching that expertise, which I assume would require input from actual experts in multiple areas (e.g., geo-strategic, military-strategic, military-procurement, petro and mineral markets, agricultural markets….) Yet I can confidently say we shouldn’t indefinitely spend every penny we can tax or borrow on Ukraine, or anything close to it. In other words, I oppose a blank check. Does that mean I’m playing the “no one literally said that game?”

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  101. Except Vietnam is the wrong analogy

    Except it’s not. Proxy war, mission creep… ‘as long as it takes’… and boots already on the ground.

    Ukraine is a European problem to manage; not an American problem. The Daddy Warbucks in the MIC are eagar to keep the cash cow fed that green cabbage. And it’s a lot easier for the Royalists to meddle in non-taxpayer messes- the non-citizens who don’t vote for them rather than deal with problems facing constituents who can hold them accountable.

    DCSCA (adabef)

  102. @102 Tell the families of 59.000 dead americans (actually with agent orange and other toxins uncounted more) that Vietnam was a proxy war. “Uncle sam has got himself in a terrible jam way down yonder in Vietnam/Iraq/Afganistan!” Country Joe Mcdonald. How many american soldiers have died fighting in Ukraine? The American people in the last election choose to vote for aid to ukraine by voting down trump appeasers like keri lake. blake masters, hershel walker and the other maggots. DCSCA the American voters heard your arguments and said NO! to you and the other isolationists and putin apologists. Name calling like daddy warbucks and cash cow are a propaganda technique not an argument.

    asset (5a9f97)

  103. but he fears russia’s nukes.

    That’s baloney; both use it as PR prattle. Like Dubya and Condi’s ‘the mushroom cloud’ crap. Russian nuclear weapons use is a part of their general defense poolicy and posture- their ‘NATO’ so-to-speak. In the West, nuke use is pitched to deter. They’re different policies. Every time Putin mentions nukes he knows he’s jerking the western media’s chain for 48 hours. He knows how to push the buttons of the talking heads. He’s not going to use nukes there any more than Biden would nuke the Mexican border to vaporize the cartels. Not the least bit concerned about nukes used in Ukraine. Especially w/Chernobyl as a glowing reminder. What should be a major concern it an accident damaging a nuke power plant by either Ukraine or Russia.

    DCSCA (adabef)

  104. @103. Exactly- that’s how it started- aid, advisors, weapons, trainers, then a faked incident in the Gulf of Tonkin and all in. Guess what- if ‘American voters’ had the secret Pentagon Papers in hand they’d have ‘said no’ to the MIC jerking them around years earlier. And that’s the point- the Royalists are doing the bidding of the MIC elitists who finance them. For God’s sake, Oliver North was on TV boasting of how proxy wars are wonderful Reagan policy personified and mean ‘jobs’ as Patriuot missiles cost a million bucks a piece– exactly what Jim Baker said at a presser as the Gulf War ramped up. this is madness– and the taxpayers are getting suckered by them again.

    DCSCA (adabef)

  105. The US is by far the biggest contributor of military

    It takes a special kind of um, person, who, when people reference spending by percent of GDP, one corrects them with “BS” then goes on to quote absolute dollar amounts.

    The US has a GDP of 20 trillion dollars. The GDP of Germany, the largest European economy is 18% of the US. To argue that they should be contributing similar amounts is pure propaganda. Did you get this from Tucker Carlson, or straight from Radio Putin?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  106. I think I’m done here for a while. Putin’s trolls have taken over the site.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  107. @106. ROFLMAOPIP- this from a fella who insisted there was no oversight in WW2. Accept the fact we’re foolish being suckered by Europe — again. Your desperation is showing. You have no arguement beyond the hand-wringing of how terrible it all looks on the TeeVee. The point is to make wealthy, modern Europe carry the burden and hold them responsible for their decisions. Way over due for the NATO deadbeats, sponging off American taxpayers in a long dead post-WW2 afterglow to carry the load; time for the Germans and French to step up and pay the price for their decisions to deal with Russia. It’s not for America to pull their chestnuts out of the fire again.

    DCSCA (adabef)

  108. It the kind of misrepresentation and dishonest argument that DCSCA spends his days dumping on this site that takes all the joy out of it.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  109. @109. ROFLMAO No argument to support you POV, just frustration laced personal slams?

    “And a very Merry Christmas to you, too Mr. Kringle!” – Julian Shellhammer [Philip Tonge] ‘Miracle On 34th Street’ 1947

    DCSCA (9857df)

  110. @105 Except Iraq did not have nukes. We do not have american soldiers in combat in ukraine. A lot of things “might” happen. We are fighting a proxy war with Iran in Africa and Syria with American soldiers dying NOW! As for the money you keep harping about. Instead of us getting bang for the buck destroying the russian military. If not there then it would go to building another aircraft carrier or submarine. 850 Billion for what? When was the last time an f-22 shot down an enemy aircraft or are latest stealth bomber snuck into enemy territory and bombed someone even the drug cartels. When was the abrams tank last tank battle? Russia’s only aircraft carrier under repairs for four years just caught on fire again! China’s carrier is a similar russian model. Remember the kursk?

    asset (5a9f97)

  111. @110 Its keeps me sharp taking your arguments apart to show they are easily countered. @107/109 On the contrary educating DCSCA on the weakness of his propositions and the errors of his arguments is public service information available to all!

    asset (5a9f97)

  112. It the kind of misrepresentation and dishonest argument that DCSCA spends his days dumping on this site that takes all the joy out of it.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/24/2022 @ 12:50 am

    One reason I left.

    DRJ (676a53)

  113. @111. We do not have american soldiers in combat in ukraine.

    =sigh= Except we do:

    U.S. forces now on the ground in Ukraine

    U.S. military personnel are now on the ground in Ukraine, keeping track of and inspecting weapons the U.S. has shipped to Ukrainian forces, a senior defense official announced during a Pentagon background briefing on Monday. These U.S. personnel are some of the first the Pentagon has acknowledged have entered Ukraine since Russia launched its large scale invasion of the country in February. The senior defense official who spoke on background during an official Pentagon event, said, “U.S. personnel have recently resumed on-site inspections to assess weapon stocks in country whenever and wherever the security conditions allow.” The official said “the return of our defense attaché and Office of Defense Cooperation personnel in country has allowed us to resume this critical function.”

    https://americanmilitarynews.com/2022/11/us-forces-now-on-the-ground-in-ukraine/

    And if any get killed- say hello to escalation.

    DCSCA (e31c10)

  114. This week, Politico’s Wuerker summarized the year with what he considered the best 36 cartoons, so there should be a few that you will enjoy, and a few that will annoy you. (That’s certainly true for me.)

    Here are four I liked: Kal’s Delicious, Ramirez’s criticism of EU policy, Horsey’s DeSantis, and Breen’s dogs.

    (The last made me think for a bit, before I got it.)

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  115. Does that mean I’m playing the “no one literally said that game?”

    lurker (cd7cd4) — 12/23/2022 @ 10:38 pm

    No. You switched to passing the buck to people who’ve a track record of lying to you and have shown they shouldn’t be trusted with the decisions you’re entrusting them with.

    frosty (a2e29a)

  116. It the kind of misrepresentation and dishonest argument that DCSCA spends his days dumping on this site that takes all the joy out of it.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/24/2022 @ 12:50 am

    As opposed to the misrepresentation and dishonest argument that paying UKR to fight off RU should be distributed based on GDP and that it’s cheap because we get to outsource it?

    There’s a reason no one focuses on the actual US national security issues involved.

    It amazes me that after so many examples of this going wrong there are so many people that love this US empire warmongering garbage.

    frosty (a2e29a)

  117. Instead of us getting bang for the buck destroying the russian military. If not there then it would go to building another aircraft carrier or submarine. 850 Billion for what? When was the last time an f-22 shot down an enemy aircraft or are latest stealth bomber snuck into enemy territory and bombed someone even the drug cartels. When was the abrams tank last tank battle? Russia’s only aircraft carrier under repairs for four years just caught on fire again! China’s carrier is a similar russian model. Remember the kursk?

    asset (5a9f97) — 12/24/2022 @ 1:40 am

    Yes. This is an argument for fighting RU via UKR with the existing military budget or with US forces in UKR directly. That’s why it’s ridiculous to claim this extra 5% is a bargain on top of everything we’ve already spent and on top of increased spending for the DoD. This is why we’re already spending to much money on defense.

    Which is the argument marxists would usually be making.

    My guess is the usual marxists aren’t making that argument because it’s not the current line from the CCP.

    What I don’t understand is why people who normally aren’t pro-CCP and are smart enough to see the complexities are playing along with this overly simplistic narrative.

    frosty (a2e29a)

  118. How is Putin’s Russia doing economically, compared to the US?

    Poorly. A few days ago, I picked up a copy of the December 10th Economist, to look at their “league table”, which compares the economies of 42 nations.

    (Yes, I know, some of the stats aren’t comparable because of different definitions, and some, including Russia’s are partly fictional, but we can still learn something from them, if we are careful.)

    The US economy is growing at about 1.9 percent; Russia’s economy is shrinking at about -4.0 percent. Prices are rising in the US by about 7.7 percent, in Russia by about 12.6 percent. The unemployment rate in the US is 3.7 percent, in Russia 3.9 percent. The basic interest rate in the US is 3.4 percent, in Russia 10.3 percent.

    Note that unemployment is still higher in Russia, even after Putin’s big call-up of cannon fodder.

    (Russia does come out ahead in the current account balance and the budget balance, but those have less immediate effect on the well being of ordinary people.)

    In some ways it is amazing to see just how much damage Putin’s “kleptocratic oligarchy” has done to Russia, considering the immense resources that nation has. There are rumors that Putin is the richest man in the world. I see no way to evaluate those rumors, but I have noticed tha Putin was unhappy when the Panama Papers were leaked.

    Putin is making the lives of ordinary Russians “poor, nasty, brutish, and short”, but not, so far, “solitary”.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  119. A small personal note: The ice storm here in Washington state stopped most travel, and has made even walking hazardous (as I found out yesterday). So I am especially grateful that people of our public utilities — Puget Sound Energy is the largest — have been working so hard to keep our power on. (In the days just before the storm hit I saw a private tree service trimming trees near power lines in my neighborhood, and was pleased by that.)

    I hope Paul Montagu is OK.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  120. Finally, here’s wishing a Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it today and tomorrow.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  121. =sigh= Except we do:

    U.S. forces now on the ground in Ukraine

    The odds that we’ve had SOF guys there for several months now is 100%–someone’s got to show the Ukrainians how to use those Javelin and Stinger missiles, and I’m sure the guys at Creech have been operating UAVs in the country for months now.

    Which is fine, because God forbid we have another incident like when they fired a missile into Poland because they didn’t know how to use those weapons, and the Russians would be doing the same thing if the situation was reversed, anyway.

    And if any get killed- say hello to escalation.

    DCSCA (e31c10) — 12/24/2022 @ 2:19 am

    Maybe, but with it being SOF guys, the odds are that their would just be a private ceremony and nothing would be publicly acknowledged, unless things kicked off more generally and the media got their marching orders to publicize it.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  122. As has been said multiple times before, there are a number of US credible foreign policy raised in Ukraine that justify the US’s support for Ukraine:

    Support for human rights, support for humanitarian efforts to end the genocide, and support for the principle of sovereignty. In addition, it is in our interest to limit the spread of Russian influence in Eastern Europe to reassure allies and undermine Rusdian influence. Further, this is degrading the Russian military and morale.

    DRJ (676a53)

  123. Why do we have to play these games? You can’t say what would be enough.

    It’s not hard, frosty. JF made an accusation, he should be man enough to back it up, with real names.
    If you want to talk “reasonable”, how is it reasonable that, in a fluid situation such as a criminal invasion by a hostile foreign power, military aid is sent to the victim as conditions warrant? That doesn’t mean “blank check”, which implies no end to the aid and no end to the spending. Bottom line, hacks like McCarthy are being disingenuous in making claims that no one has actually said, as Jonah noted

    Kevin McCarthy and the Heritage Foundation crowd insist that they’re opposed to giving Ukraine more “blank checks” when it comes to aid. Okay, me too. But the fact is that we never gave Ukraine a blank check or anything like one in the first place. It sounds like a serious position and a serious complaint. But it’s really a non-sequitur masquerading as a tough position. McCarthy could also say that he opposes giving Ukraine thermonuclear weapons or genetically modified rottweilers with lasers strapped to their heads—-and it would be just as germane.

    If your complaint is that it adds to our deficit, yes it does, but you Trumpists have no moral high ground when it comes to now, all of a sudden, hoisting yourself onto the mantle of fiscal conservatism or discipline, so I think your demands for a spending cap borders on silly.
    As it is now, the $22 billion we’ve provided is a pittance in the context of our latest $858 billion defense bill, it’s for a righteous cause, it upholds our commitments under the Budapest Memorandum (where we pledged security assurances) and the aid is helping to trash Putin’s hollowed out army. It sounds to me like one of the best allocations of aid I’ve seen in a good long time, so I’m really failing to see the “reasonable” behind your complaint.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  124. I hope Paul Montagu is OK.

    I’m a little bruised after running some errands, but body and Land Cruiser are intact.
    I made the mistake of driving some non-arterial streets in north Seattle and Lake Forest Park yesterday AM. Even going down slight inclines was dangerous, and I was lucky to have only bumped into a curb, but I was walking on a sidewalk while talking to Mrs. Montagu, and the distraction resulted in a complete yard sale.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  125. DCSCA (e31c10) — 12/24/2022 @ 2:19 am

    You’re employing a classic “heads I win, tails you lose” proposition, DC. You complain that we’re not tracking our aid to Ukraine, and then when US military does such tracking, it’s “there are American boots on Ukrainian soil!”
    Bad faith.
    It would be an issue if there they were in combat situations rather than the bean counting they were assigned.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  126. …there are so many people that love this US empire warmongering garbage.

    The irony is that the imperialist warmonger here is Putin, not us. I keep getting reminded, both here and at Instapundit, that the right-wingers of today sound like the Code Pink activists of 20 years ago.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  127. @126. Stop. If FedEx can do it, so can the Feds– w/o ‘boots on the ground’ in harm’s way–

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

    The MIC doesn’t want one- can’t imagine why…=$arc=.

    DCSCA (6099f9)

  128. The irony is that the imperialist warmonger here is Putin, not us. I keep getting reminded, both here and at Instapundit, that the right-wingers of today sound like the Code Pink activists of 20 years ago.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 12/24/2022 @ 9:59 am

    It’s not like there’s only one seat at the table for imperialist warmonger. Team GO America has people imagining we can bomb Iran and RU for fun and profit.

    Just listen to the justifications given. It’s about restoring our reputation. It’s about making sure the EU stays in our pocket. It’s a moral duty, our influence, etc. Not much actually said about actual national security issues. Most of the people discussing the issue aren’t even pretending that they’ve put any critical thought into it. They’re more than happy to explain how they’ve outsourced that.

    Which is why the True-Cons of today sound exactly like they did in Gulf War I and II. And why they can’t explain how we’re going to get a different outcome.

    frosty (09fc21)

  129. @123. Pick your poison; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_armed_conflicts

    So many are not televised or beamed into your hand gadgets…

    The United States is not the world’s policeman.

    The UN Charter gives the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security: https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/mandates-and-legal-basis-peacekeeping

    And it is in America’s interest for a debt-burdened, inflation-riddled USA, which now borrows billions from their chief 21st century adversary to function- the PRC- to finally force wealthy, modern, 21st century Europe to take responsibly for their decisions. They chose to deal w/Russia on commerce and energy issues and were warned of the risk. This is not an American problem to manage.

    It is wholly on these rich, well-armed European governments- protected at U.S. taxpayer expense for over 70 years as they built superb, modern infrastructures and social services systems- to bear the burden of managing the third kinetic conflict on their continent in 115 years. These nations today have excellent militaries and are well equipped w/world class armaments manufactured in their own countries. The halcyon, post-WW2 days are long over- especially when the quality of life is better in Dusseldorf than Detroit. America’s infrastructure and social systems are disintegrating and after WW1, WW2, the Marshall Plan, the Cold War costs… enough is enough. And President Trump publicly called them out on this– and regardless of how anyone may feel about his persona, he was right to do it– and it was long overdue:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpwkdmwui3k

    DCSCA (6099f9)

  130. I’m a right-winger

    So far we’ve spent $22B and got more than we did for a trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan. Are we smarter and better now? I don’t think so. What changed was Ukraine decided they were going to fight, and in doing so, exposed the weaknesses of the Russian military to NATO. (and the continuing low IQ US intelligence assessments) I have great respect for Ukraine electing to fight and for the ability to fight they’ve shown. The Ukrainians have made themselves easy to help. But we don’t owe them anything for that because those are actions that are supposed to be taken, behaviors that match the task at hand. I respect those actions and behaviors enough to continue support, increase support, but as a reward – not to fulfill an obligation incurred.

    steveg (b61982)

  131. If your complaint is that it adds to our deficit

    My complaint is that we’ve got a war going with non-stop propaganda to justify it. What we don’t have is any rational explanation for an endgame. There’s no agreement between Z and JB on the scope of the conflict and that was made clear in their most recent press conference.

    Other than making everyone think the US is awesome again there’s not much discussion about why we’re in this so far and getting in further. A person who hasn’t drank the kool-aid might be forgiven for thinking this is primarily about getting everyone to forget about Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria.

    If someone asks what’s needed to end this war there’s a better than even chance they’ll be labeled pro-Putin. But by all means let’s not say anyone has a blank check.

    I asked a fairly simple question. Would $500B be to much? Or $1T? I notice that everyone saying we’re not giving them a blank check won’t draw the line at $1T.

    frosty (09fc21)

  132. @131. Worse, Z was warned by multiple sources from ‘the powers that be’ of imminent invasion and he very publicly blew them all off w/talk of ‘not a Titanic’– even chastised nations for pulling their diplomats out to safety; the very weekend before hostilities erupted Ukrainians were strolling the streets and shopping as if all was serene. This is wholly a European mess to manage, not America’s to meddle in. They have the forces and finances to do it, too. U.S. interests are at risk in Taiwan, not Ukraine.

    DCSCA (6099f9)

  133. @55: Russian soldiers, strengthened by their stunning victory….

    … jump a shark.

    JF (06bc44) — 12/23/2022 @ 7:19 pm

    I’m sure you understand that Applebaum was writing about the consequences of what would have happened if the West hadn’t aided Ukraine, right?

    Rip Murdock (9e2068)

  134. Russia’s Oil Exports Nosedive Following Price Cap
    ……..
    According to one commodity-analytics firm Kpler, Russia’s seaborne exports fell by nearly 500,000 barrels per day…….. a 16% decline from the November average of 3.08 million bpd.

    Meanwhile, TankerTrackers.com, which tracks sea vessels using signals and satellite images, has reported that Russia’s crude exports fell by nearly 50%. With shipments from the Black Sea and Baltic ports accounting for most of the fall.
    ……..
    According to StanChart, …… analysts note that the insurance aspect is likely to cause significant issues. This situation leads analysts to predict that Russian crude output is likely to fall by 1.44 million barrels per day in 2023 thanks to a progressive shortage of high-quality equipment and a lack of access to international service companies.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (9e2068)

  135. @114 that is not combat troops fighting in ukraine we have observers and actual combat troops fighting in many places some have been killed in syria and africa. That is why I said it that way. We all wish to avoid american soldiers deaths if possible.

    asset (5441a9)

  136. And the wall came tumbling down:

    ………
    The Biden administration and the Republican governor entered into an agreement that Arizona will cease installing the containers in the Coronado National Forest — the only national forest along the border — according to court documents filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Phoenix.

    The agreement also calls for Arizona to remove the containers that were already installed in the remote San Rafael Valley, in southeastern Cochise County, and in the Yuma area where the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has an easement on the Cocopah Indian Tribe’s reservation. All this must be done by Jan. 4 without damaging any natural resources. State agencies will have to consult with U.S. Forest Service representatives.
    ……..
    The federal government filed a lawsuit (on Dec. 13th) against Ducey’s administration on behalf of the Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service.
    ………

    TrumpWorld reacts:

    ……. Hello one world government coming to a country near you. …….. Pussy….. Well, that was fast….. So, why would anyone think the State of Arizona was going to be able to maintain a wall, or anything else, on Federal land? That’s what the story is about. ……. Ducey, the gutless coward who helped Hobbs steal the election.
    …….[Replace it with a lead wall.] 38,45, 50 cal. lead. ……. Another RINO sham who also never lifted a finger to help Trump or Lake. …..

    Rip Murdock (9e2068)

  137. @118 Both are arguments defense cuts like useless military bases kept open for political reasons. I just want the money spent where it will do some good in Ukraine.

    asset (5441a9)

  138. @136. Nice try. They’re U.S. troops on the ground exposed to danger in Ukraine: a combat zone. All it takes is one errant strike- like the one into Poland killing those farmers and Z tried to blame on Russia and demanded retaliation by NATO– when out turned out to be a Ukrainian missile gone astray. Our troops are now in harm’s way. End of story.

    DCSCA (6099f9)

  139. @134. She’s not the sharpest thumbtack in the bulletin board, Rip:

    ‘According to Atlantic Magazine writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum, the [Hunter Biden] story never did matter because it was just not interesting and “totally irrelevant” to her.’

    https://jonathanturley.org/2022/04/07/applebaums-apathy-pulitzer-prize-winner-declares-the-legitimacy-of-the-hunter-biden-laptop-to-be-totally-irrelevant/

    DCSCA (6099f9)

  140. Military weighs training Ukrainians on Patriot in United States

    The Pentagon is considering training the Ukrainian armed forces to operate the Patriot missile defense system at a military base in the United States, according to two Defense Department officials.
    ……..
    The department is discussing whether to conduct all or part of that training in the United States versus a third party country, such as a U.S. base in Europe, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive conversations.

    It would make sense to do the training in the United States, most likely at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where most of the instructors and complex simulators are located, one of the officials said. Conducting the training in Europe would be doable but presents more logistical difficulties, the official said.
    ………..
    It’s likely the military will move a Patriot out of storage in the United States to Ukraine, instead of pulling a battery from a deployed location such as the Middle East or Europe, the official said. ……
    …….

    Rip Murdock (9e2068)

  141. @138. Tell that to the EU. It’s not an American problem to spend a borrowed dime on.

    DCSCA (6099f9)

  142. @141. Reaganoptics; and the MIC smiled:

    Training of Contras At U.S. Site Planned

    The Reagan administration has tentatively decided to train Nicaraguan contra troops in the United States after Costa Rica, El Salvador and Honduras objected to use of their territory, U.S. officials said yesterday. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps have been directed to make detailed recommendations for suitable training sites in the United States, sources said. They have been told the site must be remote to minimize adverse publicity and citizen opposition.

    Although Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga., has been used to train Salvadoran unit leaders and would be ideal in many respects, military sources said this site has too high a public profile. Air Force bases away from population centers are the leading candidates, officials said, although they would not specify which one is at the top of the list.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1986/10/27/training-of-contras-at-us-site-planned/6c7bcc9d-66be-43d9-ba4f-04db7b445e07/

    “Stupid is as stupid does.” -Forrest Gump [Tom Hanks] ‘Forrest Gump’ 1994

    DCSCA (6099f9)

  143. @137 Keri lake told moderate mccain republicans not to vote for her and they didn’t. Judges in AZ keep asking maggots where is your evidence that the election was stolen? Maggots say some people walked away because line was to long or they didn’t want to put ballot in door number 3 to be counted in voting tabulators at vote count center. Judges this didn’t stop people from voting. Maggots say stolen election! Cell phone pings anyone 10,000 jack asses.

    asset (5441a9)

  144. Reasons I don’t want us involved in the war:

    We are trillions in debt. Conservatives used to care about this (CUTCAT)

    If the policy of avoiding foreign entanglements whenever possible was good enough for Jefferson it’s good enough for me. CUTCAT – not neos of course.

    our federal government is way to big and constantly involving itself in every “crisis” all over the world is one of the excuses it uses to continuously grow in size. CUTCAT

    War is stupid so we should avoid being involved in it unless someone is directly attacking us.

    Russia is not an existential threat to us.

    The Ukrainian government is not a bastion of freedom. it is one of the more corrupt governments in Eastern Europe.

    I do not think our government is acting in good faith. it doesn’t want the war to end. it wants to extend it so it can continue to send billions of dollars to the defense industry companies. who then contribute to political campaigns so they have influence to get involved in the next crisis.

    we haven’t even tried any sort of real diplomatic efforts to end it. why is our first act to send arms to one side? why not try to get them to sit down at the bargaining table?

    our previous efforts in the last 25 years have not ended well: did we bring freedom and democracy (those might be a contradiction) to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen? No we didn’t. but we did manage to send billions and billions of tax dollars to defense contractors with just about nothing to show for it.
    I’ll grant that the first 3 months in Afghanistan was righteous. then Tora Bora happened, where we relied on Pakistan to catch the escaping Al-Qaeda guys. We had units in the area that were available to meet the retreating bad guys. but someone didn’t allow that and depended on Pakistan instead. Dumb or deliberate to allow the war to continue. we could have slaughtered all of Al-Qaeda and been done.
    our invasion of Iraq has made the Middle East less stable, ISIS would not exist if not for us going into Iraq.
    In Syria, our DoD was helping one side and the CIA was helping the other: https://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-cia-pentagon-isis-20160327-story.html
    Yemen. we are helping Saudi Arabia in the slaughter of thousand of civilians. Why?

    So, yeah, I don’t trust our federal government’s conduct of foreign / diplomatic / military affairs.

    kaf (6fa9cd)

  145. DCSCA You keep saying its not “OUR” problem. In a representative democracy the voters decide what are problems are. Not a minority of dispirited interest from white supremacists, maggots, putin apologists. Since I don’t name call what ever you decide you are.

    asset (5441a9)

  146. @146. In a representative democracy the voters decide what are problems are.

    ROFLMAO. That would be news to the voters in a representative democracy. Ask the authors and keepers of the Pentagon Papers– or a rancher on America’s southern border.

    DCSCA (6099f9)

  147. @126. It would be an issue if there they were in combat situations rather than the bean counting they were assigned. Until sme get killed. Yes, Ukraine is not a combat situation w/hostile and friendly fire reigning down across the region since February. Sheesh.

    Thanks for playing.

    DCSCA (6099f9)

  148. @145 reasons to aid Ukraine it is in OUR interests the majority. Money is better spent here then on another aircraft carrier or numerous other military boondoggles. We fought the war of 1812 because jefferson guessed wrong. Trillions in debt will not be cured by ukraine spending. Cons used to care about states rights to surrpress “negros”. Gay marriage, abortion unless they got their maid or underage girl pregnant. see dubya hershal walker ect. Glad to see you opposed the iraq war and yeah war is stupid and so is killing nuns in el salvador. Ukraine fighting for its freedom is corrupt so were the slave holding colonists fighting for freedom. The red coats freed slaves and France aid saved the revolution. It will send billions of dollars to the defense industry anyway this will at least be money will spent. This is about as good faith as our govt. gets. Russia is a real threat to us otherwise we wouldn’t spend money defending against them. Nukes pointing at us are not existential. Putin is not interested in a diplomatic solution until ukraine makes him interested. Our previous efforts were by you conservatives or war monger democrats like the clintons not my gal AOC who was booed for voting for aid to ukraine. I have tried to answer point by point as I am really good in debate as I have had to debate cons and neo-cons most of my life making me good at it.

    asset (5441a9)

  149. @147 The american people just voted on it. Americans might get killed we all hope to avoid it ;but the american people are willing to take the results even if you are not. The same thing happened in the atlantic before we entered world war II with german submarines. Then another so called existential threat from japan happened. So you want to be jannette rankin ok I respect that.

    asset (5441a9)

  150. Rip Murdock (9e2068) — 12/24/2022 @ 1:35 pm

    Another straw man dies. Up to now all Ukraine training has taken place in Germany, Poland, etc. Training in the US is no big deal.

    Rip Murdock (9e2068)

  151. @150. Dream on:

    When Did Congress Vote To Go To War With Russia?

    Americans are not being told the truth about the war in Ukraine. We need to pull ourselves back from the brink before it is too late.

    https://amgreatness.com/2022/12/13/when-did-congress-vote-to-go-to-war-with-russia/

    DCSCA (df1e7c)

  152. @145. Yep.

    DCSCA (df1e7c)

  153. @151. Except it is: U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill.

    DCSCA (df1e7c)

  154. For everyone repeating the talking points pro US war with RU; your best case is being made by asset and the best example so far is 149.

    frosty (09fc21)

  155. Mike Lindell has jumped over the moon:

    ………
    ………(C)onservative pundits have begun turning on the pillow maven over a new conspiracy theory that involves auditing Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2022 victory in Florida.

    “I don’t believe it,” Lindell said on his Frank Speech website Tuesday evening regarding DeSantis’ ten-plus point triumph. “So it’s just going to show everybody— just like we always tell you about Democrats where they stole their elections…I’m going to find out if Dade County—what happened there.”

    Lindell TV co-host Brannon Howse added: “Because that was historical, normally Republicans don’t win that county.”

    Like all of Lindell’s voter fraud claims that have come before, his latest, centered around a top Trump 2024 rival, lacks any merit. ……
    ……..
    “Lindell needs to go away,” former Newsmax TV host John Cardillo responded. “He’s being interviewed by a guy he funds, on his own network, spewing lunatic conspiracy theories. DeSantis did well in FL because he did an amazing job for FL. Lindell’s BS is pathetic, and he should stop listening to grifters using him for $$$.”

    An editor at the conservative blog RedState took it a step further and mocked Lindell, writing, “I mean, DeSantis’ victory margins are just as insane as THIS AMAZING NEW DEAL ON MYPILLOW IF YOU GO TO MYPILLOW DOT COM AND…”

    Late Wednesday evening, Lindell doubled down on “deviations” while vowing to push forward his Florida audit despite the right-wing pushback. “I don’t care,” he said, before saying his investigation could take upwards of two weeks to complete with “cast vote records.”
    ……..
    In a lengthy phone interview with The Daily Beast on Wednesday night, Lindell seemingly backtracked—and doubled down on his audit at the very same time. He additionally declared that his investigation could reveal voting “deviations,” which could help “get rid of these electronic voting machines.”
    ………
    As for his newfound right-wing critics, Lindell claimed to The Daily Beast that the conservative pundits “must have ownership in Dominion [Voting Systems].” “I think they are all probably part owners in Dominion, or they hate our country,” he concluded.
    ……….

    TrumpWorld reacts:

    …… Ah, The Circular Firing Squad is starting up already………… From what I know at this point about DeSanctimonious, I’m afraid he will become another Kemp or Ducey and manipulate Florida’s vote against PDJT in 2024. Ultimate betrayal from a sinister ingrate!!…… He wouldn’t be where he is without Trump. But DeSantis is now backed by scumbag billionaire Never-Trumpers Paul Singer and Ken Griffin. They made their billions as hedge fund cheaters inside Wall Street’s rigged casino stealing your 401ks. And unlike so many others, DeSantis now refuses to come out publicly that he is 100% in support of Trump ‘24, even though Trump has endorsed him twice. Eff the unappreciative DeScumbag…….. They want Newsom and DeSantis facing off in 2024. You see Trump needs to be taken down, and MAGA needs to go the way of the TEA PARTY. That is why DeSantis needs an a$$whoop. ……. He’s either on the take or back on crack. ……. Sort of like he did in 2020, DeSantis really manipulated the vote in that election. …… I applaud Lindell for being one of the most high-functioning r*tards I’ve ever seen. …… I think Mike is right. FL could’ve been stolen as easily as the other states. There’s a reason “they” let DeSantis win. It never smelled right to me, i.e., the major win there. ……. Pillow man has the receipts AND the data packets! …… The man is a certifiable nut. ……. Mike probably suspects the deep state cheated for the neocon DeSantis so his win would look more impressive and he would be in a position to challenge Trump. ……. People that don’t know Mike Lindell, don’t know how laser focused he is with attention to detail. He didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to prove fraud in FL elections. We can bet he’s had a crack team on this for a long time. …….

    Rip Murdock (9e2068)

  156. Shocked, I tell’ya:

    An Arizona judge on Saturday rebuffed an effort by Kari Lake, the defeated GOP candidate for governor in Arizona, to reverse the outcome of her November election, ruling against her after a two-day trial that showcased speculation about systematic malfeasance at the polls but failed to prove it.

    The finding was in line with recent judgments against Abe Hamadeh and Mark Finchem, the unsuccessful candidates for attorney general and secretary of state, respectively, who also challenged their losses. …….
    …….
    Lake’s complaint, which asked that she be declared the winner, centered on problems with printers in Maricopa County. Those problems required some voters to wait in line, travel to another polling place or deposit their ballots in secure drawers for tabulation at a central location. …….
    ………
    …… (I)n a 69-page filing, attorneys for Lake used a grab bag of unproven theories and anecdotal accounts to argue that “hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots infected the election in Maricopa County.”

    The claims reached far beyond the administration of voting to include conspiratorial allegations about efforts to combat election misinformation, which the filing deemed an “unconstitutional government censorship operation,” as well as evidence from the 2020 election.
    ………
    There was not convincing evidence that printer problems in Maricopa County were intentional, Thompson concluded, or that ballots were mishandled in a way that would have affected the outcome of the election. In his ruling, he made note that lawyers for Maricopa County had indicated they would be pursuing sanctions against Lake’s team and said such a motion must be filed by Monday morning.

    Tom Liddy, an attorney for Maricopa County, confirmed to The Washington Post that the county will be seeking sanctions.

    Liddy said. “Lake had to make up 17,117 votes. She failed to identify one lawful ballot that was not counted, or one ballot that was counted that should not have been — and she knew that before she filed the contest.”
    ………
    (Kurt Olsen, a former Trump election lawyer) in a closing statement, maintained, “The evidence shows that Kari Lake won this race.”

    But he backtracked immediately, saying, “At a minimum, we have put forth solid evidence that the outcome of this election is uncertain.”
    ………
    ……… Lake has escalated her rhetoric in recent days, calling for the imprisonment of Maricopa County officials before a crowd gathered in Phoenix for a conference hosted by the pro-Trump youth group Turning Point USA.

    “These people are crooks,” she said. “They need to be locked up.”.

    Interesting factoid: Tom Liddy is the son of G. Gordon Liddy.

    Rip Murdock (9e2068)

  157. Rip Murdock (9e2068) — 12/24/2022 @ 4:02 pm

    TrumpWorld not amused:

    Why am I NOT surprised? Only revolution will change things back to the way they were. Enjoy your chains Comrade. We have become what we hated and feared. …… [The witness insisted someone changed those printer configurations, a claim disputed by elections officials.] In other words, someone changed those printer configurations, probably remotely, as part of a planned scheme to rig the Maricopa County “vote”. ……. Or…maybe Lake simply didn’t get enough votes to win. ……. The days legitimate elections are gone…This has probably been going on in every election, every state, for decades. …… I’m done with voting, what’s the point. Even if a Republican wins, it will only be a “Republican” they approve of anyway. ……

    …… And we have plenty of time, 6 months to gear up for that then attempt to throw Hobbs out of office. RECALL HOBBS! …….[“America is now something very different from the past country that I once pledged to protect and defend.”] And like most everyone else here, including me, you’ll accept it. …… We tried the soap box and they called us conspiracy theorists. We tried the jury box and they told us we lacked standing. We tried the ballot box and they refused to count only the legally cast ballots. You all know what time it is. …….

    ……. Third-world hellholes have more honest elections than we do.……. It was over when they limited her case to intentional interference…….. She provided proof of what happened but was unable to prove “intent” ? Under these rules (not to mention cowardly judges), it will be impossible to reform our elections. …… Well, at least now it’s crystal clear that the judicial system is hollowed out by rot and utterly useless. So is the legislative branch as currently constituted,nad of course the executive branch as currently constituted. So, how to uproot the corruption? I think we know the answer.…… Guess again. Not enough people are willing to make the sacrifice, and the DEMs know this. ……. [You all know what time it is.] Does anybody really care? ……. There are no more political solutions…….

    ……Rona came out a few days ago and claimed Kari wasn’t a ‘good’ candidate. What a frikkin’ crock. ……. I don’t know if we will make it to 2024 before the end of America comes. I think it’s already done. Stick a fork in it done. It’s corrupted by rino/dem/globalists from top to bottom. The infestation of this plague happened right under our noses for many decades and now it’s too late to stop it. I understand why the puritans burned people at the stake now. They were the progressive communists of their time who deserved something more intense than a mere hanging or bullet to the head. ……. And yet we’ll keep voting in ‘24 . . .’26 . . . and pretend it matters. ……

    Rip Murdock (9e2068)

  158. Link to post 159.

    Rip Murdock (e96657)

  159. I understand not wanting to go to war or do anything that might make war more likely or worse. I don’t want our actions to make things worse. I don’t want to interfere or become the world’s policeman.

    I get those concerns, especially since we can’t know the future.

    What intrigues me is how certain the anti-Ukraine commenter are that they are right and other commenters are wrong. I don’t think you can be certain, which means this is just an argument they want to dominate, not a worthwhile discussion. And that is why this is pointless.

    DRJ (676a53)

  160. @160. History.

    Afghanistan. Multiple gulf wars; centuries of slaughter and fiscal waste in the Mideast– and similar centuries of fighting in the Ukraine region. Add to it the deceit of Vietnam; the stalemate of Korea. The distrust is well earned- as Ike warned and Truman monitored. Only the MIC wins. Westmorland’s ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ becomes blinding. And the costs in blood and treasure so wasteful. Plenty of red flags. And Ukraine is not a hill for American policy nor personnel to die on. It is so clearly Europe’s problem to manage. And it is past time for them to muster the courage and resolve to accept responsibility for their decisions and mange this themselves. They have the modern militaries, finances– and diplomats— to do it, too.

    DCSCA (720866)

  161. Hi DRJ
    I agree with you on all this:
    “I understand not wanting to go to war or do anything that might make war more likely or worse. I don’t want our actions to make things worse. I don’t want to interfere or become the world’s policeman.”

    I think I remember an earlier response you gave to a post of mine months ago where you mentioned societal forces in Russia becoming more anti war and anti putin. You might be interested in the twitter thread of Denis Zakharov on current deterioration in Russia. https://twitter.com/betelgeuse1922/status/1606249858926612485 He claims emptying prisons for cannon fodder has already caused smuggling of guns into Russia to be used in crimes. Gun crimes in Kursk Oblast (adjacent to Sumy Ukraine) are up over 600%. Moscow up over 200%.
    He says those are official numbers.
    Zakharov goes on to note that every year since 2000, the Russian Government has asked its citizens these questions:

    What do you think about the last year personally?
    What do you think it meant to Russia?
    What do you expect from the next year for Russia?
    What do you expect from the next year for the world?
    Who is the political figure of the year?

    For some reason they decided not to ask these questions this year.

    So, long way around to say I now admit you may, just maybe, have been onto something back then 🙂
    Have a Merry Christmas

    steveg (34e2d0)

  162. 160,

    It’s not clear from your comment which anti-UKR commenter(s) you’re referring to.

    For my part I’m not certain of anything re UKR. Everything I see in the media and online is either clearly UKR, US, or RU IC propaganda. But I don’t consider myself anti-UKR. I’d like to end the war with as little death and destruction as possible because I believe that’s the best outcome for the people of UKR.

    With respect to other comments here; I can be certain, for example, that lurker didn’t form an opinion on his own because he explained where he got his from. I can be pretty confident about other commenters who are simplify repeating the same set of talking points. I would agree that there’s no real value in debating those ppl. They didn’t form their own options. They’re just repeating an opinion they’ve outsourced. But that’s different from me being certain I’m correct.

    My POV is basically the inverse of yours. The pro-war group seems absolutely certain of a variety of positions that it’s either not possible to be certain about or common sense and experience would contradict.

    frosty (09fc21)

  163. In Syria, our DoD was helping one side and the CIA was helping the other:

    As bad as Iraq became, at least the chaos was mostly confined to the country itself because the Bush administration assumed the occupation would go swimmingly and other Arab nations would follow Iraq’s example. The Obama administration, on the other hand, tried to play God in the Middle East by inciting color revolutions across the entire region during the Arab Spring, and wherever things didn’t turn out ten times worse (Libya, Syria, Yemen) sustained or quickly returned to the status quo.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  164. Hi frosty
    I see your point as well.
    In my view Biden, Pelosi and others seem awfully smug when juxtaposed against the chances that the people that run Russia follow the lines they are feeding their propogandists.
    What will the Russian elites choose to do when faced with losing it all?
    I’ve been measuring it day by day, week by week, month by month and as of today it is paying off. So far we’ve been able to raise the stakes and call their bluff. There is a possibility there is a point soon where the Russian elites have lost everything they care about and they could give a rats behind about everyone else. Unlikely, but extremely dangerous.
    Personally, I don’t think Russian elites will push it to the nuclear option, and will take a sullen defeat, but would not bet my life on it

    steveg (cbb0e8)

  165. FWO
    The sooner we give up the idea that nations led by Islam are going to follow America anywhere but to a bank, the better

    steveg (cbb0e8)

  166. The pro-Putin propaganda talking points are that the invasion of Ukraine is some kind of game that Ukraine chose to sit in, and that we should not be backing Ukraine’s play because there’s no percentage in it for us.

    They can stick it their borscht.

    My point of view is that American’s biggest enemy for most of our lives invaded a country which had broken away from them, and is committing the foulest atrocities. We should help Ukraine just because we can.

    And they, as in “they”, can go find another place to stick their “US empire warmongering garbage” babble.

    nk (925faa)

  167. @163:

    I can be certain, for example, that lurker didn’t form an opinion on his own because he explained where he got his from.

    That’s news to me. Where did I do that?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  168. 168,

    I lack anything approaching that expertise, which I assume would require input from actual experts in multiple areas (e.g., geo-strategic, military-strategic, military-procurement, petro and mineral markets, agricultural markets….)

    After a reread my summation might be an exaggeration but I’m not sure by much. This was in the context of the blank check discussion where your position was that we shouldn’t

    shouldn’t indefinitely spend every penny we can tax or borrow

    but any real estimate

    would require input from actual experts in multiple areas

    correct?

    It’s not a bad position. And I don’t think it’s wrong in context but what would be the point in discussing how much the US should commit with someone who’s going to outsource anything short of “every penny”?

    frosty (a2e29a)

  169. and then there’s

    On the contrary, the early indications are the value we get from degrading Putin’s military, deterring Xi, and generally shoring up the credibility of our commitment to stand with friends against expansionist tyrants may well be a bargain. On balance IMO it’s too soon to say.

    The last part is correct as far as it goes. But how can the first part be your own opinion? And I don’t mean that in the sense that it’s wrong. I mean everything either of us knows about degrading the RU military is coming from UKR or US IC. That this is deterring Xi is in the same boat. Even if you haven’t admitted you don’t have the expertise if you did you don’t have accurate information.

    frosty (a2e29a)

  170. If Biden and Pelosi came out tomorrow and said that the US intelligence community had assured them that Russia would not use nukes, I’d get on a plane to Chile, first seat open and then head south from Santiago. I’d have opted for New Zealand, but its #1 on all the lists

    steveg (cbb0e8)

  171. When Did Congress Vote To Go To War With Russia?

    The ironically named “American Greatness” people — at least some of them — are pro-Putin, to the point of claiming he’s only responding to a “threat” posed principally by the United States, and claiming that helping Ukraine defend itself on its own soil amounts to “war on Russia.” The guy who runs the publication is morally offended by “crippling sanctions on Russia,” but apparently not by the vastly more crippling attacks that Russia has been raining down on Ukraine without provocation. And he has falsely portrayed the overthrow of Yanukovych in 2014 as being instigated by the U.S.
    Some natcons in the AG club see the United States as a destructive force in the world for “exporting liberalism” to people who supposedly don’t want it. The Ukrainian people have chosen an orientation toward the more liberal West and against Russian autocracy with its thin veneer of Christianity, and that makes the tradcon Putin-apologists angry. The people who identified Putin as an ally in a global culture war against “secular liberalism” are siding with Putin against Ukraine, against the United States, against NATO, and against liberal democracy.

    Radegunda (352f63)

  172. After a reread my summation might be an exaggeration but I’m not sure by much

    No, it’s two falsehoods each of which flatly mischaracterizes what I said. You claimed you can be certain I didn’t form an opinion of my own (falsehood #1, my opinion is mine and mine alone), since I had explained where I did get my opinion (falsehood #2, I did no such thing). All I did was disclaim the expertise required to perform a comprehensive geo-political/economic/military cost-benefit analysis. I needed no assistance to reach that conclusion. And I can’t help but note the irony that you announced your erroneous certainty about me right before criticizing others for their erroneous certainty.

    [W]hat would be the point in discussing how much the US should commit with someone who’s going to outsource anything short of “every penny”?

    If you think there’s no point discussing something with me because I admit there are things I’m not competent to opine on intelligently, then feel free not to. Just please don’t mischaracterize what I say or put words in my mouth.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  173. But how can the first part be your own opinion? And I don’t mean that in the sense that it’s wrong. I mean everything either of us knows about degrading the RU military is coming from UKR or US IC.

    I suspect I form my ad hoc opinions after reading the same news sources you do. If you’re telling me that none of us has access to sufficiently accurate, unbiased data to draw reliable conclusions, I’m just not sure how you square that with expecting us to be in a position to tell you how much our assistance to Ukraine should cost.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  174. @152 and putin smiled.

    asset (5dba3e)

  175. Radegunda (352f63) — 12/24/2022 @ 10:36 pm

    Well said. You may not have the quantity, but you make up for it in quality.

    Don’t expect it to register with the person quoting from American Greatness. Few things ever do. I doubt he’s ever changed his opinion due to anything written here.

    norcal (862cdb)

  176. My comments @149 is a reasonable hopefully well thought out reasons to aid ukraine which some here feel makes a good case. Some here disagree on aid ;but so far know one has question my given reasons. So I must have made a good case.

    asset (5dba3e)

  177. Merry Christmas:

    Russian shelling killed at least 10 people and injured 68 in the southern city of Kherson on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, turning central streets into a grisly scene of shattered glass, burned-out cars and bloodied corpses as the war entered its 11th month.

    Mr. Zelensky denounced the attack as targeting civilians, not military facilities. “This is not war according to defined rules,” he wrote on his Telegram channel. “It is terror. It is killing for the sake of intimidation and pleasure.”

    Mr. Zelensky posted photos showing cars ablaze and bodies strewn outside a food store. …….
    ………..
    Russia retains its aim of dominating Ukraine, and the Kremlin has said it would increase the size of its army and spend whatever it takes to win the war. Ukraine is expecting Russia to launch an assault early next year, most likely in the east, which Mr. Putin has declared a priority.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (9e2068)

  178. frosty (a2e29a) — 12/24/2022 @ 10:14 pm

    . I mean everything either of us knows about degrading the RU military is coming from UKR or US IC.

    That’s coming from all over, including anyone who seems to be familiar wth details who attempts an independent evaluation. It;s based on a lot of things including the fact Russia obtaining Iranian drones.

    The first one to say maybe – or to point it out in arguing, that NATO doesn’t need to worry about using up its stockpiles, that Russia’s military capability is being downgraded is Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

    How could anyone argue otherwise?\How far the reduction in Russian military capability goes is a more open question.

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/defense-secretary-austin-russia-ukraine-rebecca-grant

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/28/lloyd-austin-is-right-russia-weakened-ukraine-war

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  179. 68. 69. Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 12/23/2022 @ 4:47 pm

    Speaking of Christmas weather, the black ice on Seattle area streets was treacherous. I’ve never seen anything like it. Dangerous as hell.

    CSCA (ffd12c) — 12/23/2022 @ 4:56 pm

    @68. Winter weather. It’s Putin’s fault.

    It is indeed Putin’s fault. I’d forgotten about this.

    The same thing happened at the beginning of this war, and all over the
    oorld during the e=winter of 1944-5, which was a very cold one.

    Increased particulate matter in the atmosphere caused by the war, which leads to diminishing of the sun’s rays reaching the ground.

    In this case, increased bombardment of Ukraine, more fires, and heavy fighting with modern explosive weapons.,

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  180. hen we go to Poland, they talk about 1939 and Hitler, and had we stopped him at that point in time

    It’s 1936 when it would have been easy. Or at least 1938, if Czechoslovakia had been permitted to retain its defenses (so they say)\

    By September 1939 there was no prospect of saving Poland. That’s when Britain and France did declare war.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  181. The case for and against a new proposed law

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/16/health/congress-antibiotics-drug-resistance.html

    The law isn;t as bad as some clitics claim (it’s not a giveaway to Big Pharma for virtually useless new drugs) ut it doesn’t upend the entire system and preserves too much of the status quo. What is being proposed is inadequate maybe — what e critics propose would make things worse.\\You need some way to select novel antibiotics.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  182. Liddy said. “Lake had to make up 17,117 votes. She failed to identify one lawful ballot that was not counted, or one ballot that was counted that should not have been — and she knew that before she filed the contest.”

    Well, the claim was people were discouraged from casting lawful ballots (the Stacey |Abrams type of claim) and that this was done oo purpose. There may be no legal remediee even if true.

    And the fact is any ballots that were not capable of being read by the tabulating machines were counted if left in the polling place and put in |”Box 3)” The Republicans were telling people to leave them there pretty soon after the problem became well known (reversing their earlier advice)

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  183. Not much actually said about actual national security issues.

    Not much? A weakened Putin who doesn’t cause mischief on us and allies is our stated US policy, and that policy directly serves our national security interests. Our support of Ukraine against a Russian imperialist warmonger sends a direct message to the Xi regime about invading Taiwan, a nation whose semiconductor industry serves our national security interests.
    You can cherry-pick other folks’ reasons, but don’t pretend that you’re not aware of stated US policy.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  184. 130. DCSCA (6099f9) — 12/24/2022 @ 11:55 am

    The United States is not the world’s policeman.

    It pretty much ignores sub=Saharan Africa, and even in Haiti, being overrun by drug gangs, it is trying, to date unsucessfully, to try to get other countries to act the part of a policeman.

    https://www.npr.org/2022/11/04/1131254613/haiti-sanctions-foreign-intervention-protests-gangs-cholera

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/07/opinion/america-haiti-international-intervention.html

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  185. Other than making everyone think the US is awesome again there’s not much discussion about why we’re in this so far and getting in further.

    My take is you’ve heard arguments and just don’t agree with them. I’ve already stated two direct national security interests. We’ve also made security assurances to Ukraine, per the Budapest Memorandum, and our word should mean something, right?
    As for “getting in further”, we’re giving the military aid. That’s as “further” as it’s going to get, because no one here wants WWIII, despite your smears about “warmongering”.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  186. DCSCA (df1e7c) — 12/24/2022 @ 3:16 pm

    The AmGreat piece hasn’t gotten more honest since 12 days ago, when I first commented there.
    Providing military aid isn’t an act of war, so there’s nothing for Congress to vote on but for appropriations.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  187. It pretty much ignores sub=Saharan Africa, and even in Haiti, being overrun by drug gangs, it is trying, to date unsucessfully, to try to get other countries to act the part of a policeman.

    The US has also sat out the Iranian protests, allowing the regime to respond with violence and extrajudicial killings.

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  188. More things are becoming clear to me. For example, George Soros. His sin is that he steered ex-Soviet bloc nations towards Western liberalism instead of towards Mother Russia. And the Kremlin found fertile ground in our wingnuts for its hate campaign against him. Just as is happening now with Ukraine.

    nk (27662c)

  189. Accused Jan. 6 Rioter Is Now Charged with Planning ‘Assassination Missions’ on FBI Officials Investigating Him

    ………. Tennessee man Edward Kelley, 33, has some company in criminal court. Federal prosecutors charged Austin Carter, 26, as a co-defendant. For example, Kelley wanted to attack the FBI field office in Knoxville, Tennessee, investigators said.
    ……….
    Charges against Kelley and Carter are conspiracy, retaliating against a federal official, interstate communication of a threat, and solicitation to commit a crime of violence.

    All this stemmed from Kelley allegedly being among the Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021 to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral win. …….
    ………
    Kelley was arrested in May of this year. From there, things allegedly escalated to him plotting to take out the law enforcement personnel investigating him. He, Carter, and a witness went on a walk through Jarvis Park in Maryville, Tennessee, on Dec. 3. Kelley allegedly made a statement to the effect of, “with us being such a small group, we will mainly conduct recon missions and assassination missions.”

    “I don’t have the list now, but I will get you the list later on,” he said, according to documents.

    Kelley requested Carter and the witness to get intel on the people on the list, and asked the witness to “reach out to your cop buddies” to dig up information on those people, authorities said. On Tuesday, Carter and witness were at their workplace when Carter gave the witness an envelope containing “the list” and a thumb drive, documents said.

    “The envelope contained a printed document titled ‘The list’ with approximately thirty-seven names, positions and some phone numbers of the law enforcement personnel who participated in the criminal investigation of KELLEY,” court documents said. “The list specifically identified which law enforcement officers were ‘present at arrest or home search’ of KELLEY on May 5, 2022. The list appears to be a computer-generated word document. Additionally, the envelope contained a thumb drive of what appears to be video footage from KELLEY’s home security camera from the morning of the search of KELLEY’ s home on May 5, 2022, which depicts at least one law enforcement officer approaching KELLEY’s home.”
    ………..

    TrumpWorld reacts:

    (crickets)

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  190. West Point to Remove Confederate Monuments From Its Campus
    ……..
    Over the next year, West Point (will) remove, relocate, modify or rename busts, memorials, streets and buildings named after Confederate figures as part of a directive from the Department of Defense.

    During the (holiday) break, the academy plans to remove the portrait of (General Robert E.) Lee, as well as a stone bust of Lee, who was superintendent of West Point before he led the Confederate army…….

    The academy will also remove a triptych of bronze plaques that include Lee and other Confederate figures and an image of a hooded figure with the words “Ku Klux Klan” written below. …….
    ………
    In August, the (Congressionally-mandated Naming Commission) released a report that identified 13 Confederate “assets and memorabilia” at West Point to be removed, renamed or stored by December 2023. The report said the recommendations were not made with the intention of “erasing history,” but rather to continue teaching “future generations of America’s military leaders to represent the best of our national ideals.” The commission noted that cadets at the academy would continue to learn about the Civil War and its complexities.
    ……….
    The Naming Commission’s report said that after the Civil War ended in 1865, no Confederate leader was invited to the academy until 1898. It was not until 1930 that West Point accepted and installed Confederate memorials, the report said.

    The report noted that those memorials were installed at a time when the country was “gripped” by the “Lost Cause” ideology, which attempted to cast the Confederates in a positive light and minimized the role of slavery and horrific treatment of enslaved people. “Due to external pressures, the Army felt compelled to change its policy,” the report said.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  191. asset,

    Now that I am just lurking, I’m reading more suff. One comment I’ll make about your posts is you need to learn to use whitespace, both between sentences and vertically, between thoughts. Also capitalization.

    Why? Not be cause I care a lot about English 101, but because jamming everything together in lower case makes it VERY hard to read. I assume that your point in commenting is to get people to read it, but the format you use works against you.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  192. Sammy
    The French have taken the primary role in French Speaking sub-Saharan Africa. French speaking sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti have extraordinarily fluid governmental situations, cultural problems I do not think the US is equipped to mediate successfully, much less solve. Add into the mix the conflict between religions within boundaries and the French seem to be doing well just keeping the pot from boiling over

    steveg (f8ee98)

  193. I’m pretty sure that French intervention in Haiti would not be welcomed.

    France’s first intervention, shortly after independence, was an attempt to reconquer the island and return the inhabitants to slavery. This failed utterly. The second time, in 1825, with a much larger force, ended with a demand note being presented to Haiti for the value of the “stolen” slaves (150 million francs), In return France recognized Haitian independence. Having little choice, Haiti agreed, and the debt was paid off in 1947, after bleeding the island dry for 120 years. As of 1900 80% of Haiti’s government spending was debt repayment, leading to significant instability, and continued poverty.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  194. Paul

    I read that piece on American Greatness and interpreted it as being written by someone that is very worried that with each step we move out onto an increasingly steep and slipperier slope. Fair enough. Icy slopes are slippery, cornered primates and other animals are dangerous. There will always be people yelling to “be careful” and they’ll show up at the hospital to say “told you so”. Annoying, but they have a role to play, because without them some of us would become over confident and never consider that yes, there is actual danger.
    Personally am feeling the risk/reward ratio is still substantially in our favor. If you looked at my investment portfolio over the past 40 years, you’d see I’m comfortable with risk, but with that said, my experience shows that sometimes things go off the rails and there was nothing left to do but take a very hard, very unpleasant lesson.

    In an earlier post I said I do not trust our intel agencies, currently when it comes to Russia. Yes the US correctly predicted the invasion would occur and the EU indulged themselves in continued wishful thinking, but predicting a probable use of force by Russia back in January seemed similar to predicting snowfall in Buffalo, NY. No Buffalo meteorologist gets fired for predicting heavy snow that does not materialize, they get fired for predicting 14″ and getting 4ft. The Russians moved 150,000 soldiers to the fronts where they had continuously stockpiled ammunition, equipment, field hospitals. That is the equivalent of a front moving across Lake Erie, entirely prudent to predict extreme activity.

    My doubts surround how far we can go and what response do we get. We will get a response – maybe the Russians will capitulate and promise never to do it again, and actually keeping that promise- but that is doubtful. Russia has made many promises over the years and its best to assume they are not being completely truthful.

    Here is a statement by Putin back in September 21 that I believe to be truthful, not a “bluff”:
    “‘I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff. The citizens of Russia can rest assured that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence and freedom will be defended – I repeat – by all the systems available to us. Those who are using nuclear blackmail against us should know that the wind rose can turn around.’
    Putin has continued that rhetoric as recently as December by noting that Russian doctrine is changing and could allow for a “disarming” first strike.

    Its not a bluff, but clearly there are internal calculations that would have to be met. What do those calculations consist of beyond those that were spelled out? I don’t think we know, but can guess that the more humiliating the defeat, the more those calculations come into play emotionally layered. Nuclear war is likely to begin with an emotional decision.
    It is also likely to begin in this conflict via Belarus. February 27, Belarus voted to allow Russian forces and nuclear weapons and Russian forces to be hosted on a permanent basis. This meant Russia reneged on it promises in the Budapest Memorandum by placing nuclear weapons in Belarus. Belarus is within closer range to Kyiv, western Ukraine and this fits the Russian arsenal well. I’m currently in the place of having to trust our intelligence community that Russia has not yet moved short range nuclear weapons into Belarus- and don’t feel good about it.

    steveg (f8ee98)

  195. Merry Christmas, All.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  196. “In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff. The citizens of Russia can rest assured that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence and freedom will be defended – I repeat – by all the systems available to us. Those who are using nuclear blackmail against us should know that the wind rose can turn around.’

    If this were true Putin has failed to defend the “territorial integrity” of the Motherland since Ukraine is occupying territory previously annexed and incorporated into Russia.

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  197. steveg:

    This explains Putin’s statements in September 2022:

    ……..In an environment where Russia also has doubts about the effectiveness of its conventional forces, its doctrine allows for the possible use of nonstrategic nuclear weapons during a local or regional conflict on its periphery. The doctrines do not say that Russia would use nuclear weapons to preempt such an attack, but it does reserve the right to use them in response.

    Although Russia does not use the phrase in any of these recent versions of its military doctrine, analysts both inside and outside the U.S. government often refer to this approach as the “escalate to de-escalate” doctrine. Russian statements, when combined with military exercises that seemed to simulate the use of nuclear weapons against NATO members, led many to believe that Russia might threaten to use its nonstrategic nuclear weapons to coerce or intimidate its neighbors.

    The fact Putin has not used tactical nuclear weapons even after major defeats by the Ukrainian Army and invasion of annexed territories shows he will not risk international condemnation (even from China) for using nuclear weapons. And the West will not respond tit for tat, their response will be asymmetric. He is bluffing.

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  198. Source for quote in post 200, page 28.

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  199. See also here.

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  200. “Don’t threaten us with nukes, borscht-boy! We invented them.”
    (No source.)

    nk (08f046)

  201. @203. “Da. And you used them. On Japan. Twice.” (No source.)

    DCSCA (eb4fe7)

  202. ^@202

    DCSCA (eb4fe7)

  203. Rip

    Thanks for the discussion.
    I think we can say Putin is bluffing up until the point he isn’t. Putin is said to be a cold fish and so is seen as not likely to respond emotionally. I can’t rule emotion out, because Putin’s “lets get the Soviet band back together” is a least partially an emotion driven stance. I think Putin wants his legacy to be a restoration of Russian dominance, not a restoration of Russian greatness. Putin probably conflates the two, but I would guess his bias is towards declaring dominance predicates greatness.
    That is how I think, and I am wary of -thought to be unemotional- Putin wanting to using his ultimate weapon of dominance.

    Like I have said before, I favor continuing to arm Ukraine. The Ukrainians have treated US and NATO weapons with respect and are not selling them off to warlords like some predicted. US and NATO should continue to get more modernized weaponry and assistance to Ukraine and help Ukraine to find ways to reach into Mother Russian territory (not just annexed) to destroy ammunition, command, equipment, fuel etc. But we should know that each time we decide to do this we run the risk of finding out we crossed the line into where it is no longer a bluff.

    steveg (f8ee98)

  204. But we should know that each time we decide to do this we run the risk of finding out we crossed the line into where it is no longer a bluff.

    steveg (f8ee98) — 12/25/2022 @ 3:56 pm

    Which is why the West hasn’t transferred any aircraft or armored vehicles more sophisticated than APCs or MRAPs. The Russians have been generous in supplying Ukraine with heavy armor.

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  205. Here is a point of view that this is low risk very high reward.

    https://cepa.org/article/its-costing-peanuts-for-the-us-to-defeat-russia/

    If you read the article critically from the point of view of real world combined risk, you will begin to see more and more red flags, some of them have hammer and sickle.

    “US spending of 5.6% of its defense budget to destroy nearly half of Russia’s conventional military capability seems like an absolutely incredible investment” it is, assuming Russia will sit there and take it.

    “Meanwhile, replacing destroyed kit, and keeping up with the new arms race that it has now triggered with the West will surely end up bankrupting the Russian economy”
    Again, assumes Russia would not decide that everyone will share the pain

    “Just imagine how much more of a bargain Western military aid will be if it ultimately brings positive regime change in Russia.” I can. Again though, who says that will be allowed to happen without blowing stuff up on the way out the door

    “the war has served to destroy the myth that Russian military technology is somehow comparable to that of the US and West. Remember that Ukraine is using only upgraded second generation US technology but is consistently beating whatever Russia’s military can deploy” OK. But is Putin really going to have an epiphany: Oh my goodness, they are kicking our asses. We should quit? I think Putin’s attitude is more likely to this: Russia should be the greatest country in the world and if it isn’t the world can suck it.

    steveg (f8ee98)

  206. There’s another possibility we should not forget: Putin may flee Russia to safety. We know that he has squirreled away large sums of money in foreign nations. And I think it reasonable to assume that he has been moving money out of Russia in case he has to flee. At least in part.

    I don’t know enough to put a firm probability estimate on that possibility, but it would not surprise me if those whose job it is to make such estimates put it higher than 1 percent.

    And if those under him begin to worry about him fleeing, his power could crumble very quickly.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  207. Putin is not a kamikaze. And he could not care less what it’s costing the Russian people in blood or money. As long as he’s sitting pretty.

    His long-term strategy is to erode international support for Ukraine. Not nuclear war. The nuclear bluff is part of that strategy. We win as long as we don’t let him scare us.

    nk (d62cd2)

  208. I assume it’s been discussed among world powers, though I have no idea when or by whom, but there seems to have been an unwritten norm going back at least to Viet Nam that arming countries against a nuclear power isn’t a casus belli, much less an excuse for that power to use its nukes. The USSR armed N. Viet Nam to the teeth against us, and we armed the Mujaheddin less heavily but just as effectively against them. We armed Pakistan against India, and the Soviets armed India against Pakistan, in both cases with everything short of nukes themselves. In none of those cases was the targeted nuclear power considered a threat to retaliate with nukes.

    Of course there’s always the risk that a nuclear arsenal will fall under the control of a madman who ignores norms that perturb him — among the reasons nuclear non-proliferation is constantly urgent — but if we blink in the face of Mad Man Nuclear Blackmail, like all blackmail it will never end. From that moment forward the mad man will hold the keys to the asylum, and for all we know we’ll have done nothing to reduce the threat of a nuclear attack. Saying no to blackmail never feels tolerable, because it isn’t. It’s the worst possible thing to do, except for the alternative.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  209. steveg (f8ee98) — 12/25/2022 @ 1:29 pm

    I have other concerns about the AmGreat piece.
    One, Ukraine being “core to Russia’s strategic interests” doesn’t take precedence over Ukraine’s right to exist. Ukraine isn’t a vassal or rump state. They’re an independent sovereign country, so recognized by the Russian Federation and the rest of the world. They don’t require Putin’s permission on whom to ally with.
    Two, Putin’s excuses about NATO are a trope. There’s no way NATO could accept a country when two of its regions are under enemy occupation.
    Three, and this goes to Putin’s threats last September, but neither Ukraine nor NATO have threatened Russia’s borders, which makes his casus belli fully bogus. What he took from Ukraine by conquest and annexation from 2014 to date aren’t Russia, so they don’t count.
    Four, no one knows how much longer Putin can last in the wake of his strategic disaster of a war, but he won’t improve his chances of conquest with nukes. I suspect his demise will be swift and unexpected, like how the USSR disintegrated.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  210. Sad!

    Explosion sounds in Belgorod Oblast, Russia: part of Shebekino city lost power

    Sadder!

    Russia hit by third huge explosion in five days after gas pipeline goes up in flames

    Saddest!

    Blasts reported at Engels air base deep inside Russia – online media

    Engels is the same Russian air base attacked on Dec. 5th. Internet rumors say it was a preemptive drone strike while Russia was preparing another mass missile attack and that 2 Russian strategic bombers (possibly Tupolev Tu-160 (NATO code name: Blackjack)) were hit as well as Russian cruise missiles stored at the base. Engels is the only operating base for Blackjacks.

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  211. Thoughts on the Futility of Proxy Wars and Western Intervention

    ‘…Western interventionism is incredibly expensive. Vast resources of men, material and money are spent on both proxy wars and wars we fight directly. Again, this vast flow of funds sees little practical achievement. The power of the West has declined through these interventionist foreign policies, not grown.

    We have these lessons, which are very, very obvious lessons, right in front of us. We can see what was done in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria. We can see that Islamic terrorism in the West has not gone away. We can see that these nations have not been transformed into peaceful democracies. We can see that weapons we supplied were used against us, and warlords we encouraged turned against us, and nations we saved are in fact ruined.

    And yet with Ukraine, our policy is again to fight a proxy war, again to supply arms, again to pick a side in a conflict with little direct meaning to us, again to risk the possibility of our own intervention, but this time against a nuclear armed opponent. Our policy is again to let the same neoliberal CIA mandated hawks be put up in the media as the ‘adult voices in the room’ despite those adult voices advocating policies with decades of catastrophe to their name…’

    https://libertarianism.uk/2022/04/23/thoughts-on-the-futility-of-proxy-wars-and-western-intervention/

    … and the MIC smiled.

    DCSCA (eb4fe7)

  212. @181 even when hitler invaded poland neville chamberlain wanted to negotiate with him! Samuel hoare had to tell chamberlain That the cabinet would resign if he didn’t declare war on germany.

    asset (3324fd)

  213. @214 saying it over and over again does not make it true lives and equipment lost from vietnam to afganistan doesn’t equate with no combat troops on the ground and equipment being effectively used we have given ukraine no matter how many times you post it.

    asset (3324fd)

  214. Maggot terrorists are attacking power grid in washington state now. Biden’s justice department should start mass arrest of trumpster insurrectionists and maggot terrorists. Bobert, MTG, trump and the other seditionists at faux noise. North carolina and now washington state. California is being targeted by maggot terrorists.

    asset (3324fd)

  215. Paul
    I agree with 1,2,3 as framed and in reply to the Am Greatness article.

    None of those reasons or excuses make any sense, and belief in them is not based on facts but in fear and in the stupidity of being baffled by Russian BS.
    Whatever Putin’s motivation, fear, greed, std eating his brain, it is ridiculous to say we must let Putin level cities, subjugate the population because he has a fear, or he thinks the wealth belongs to Russia because “they” built the Highways, Bridges, Power Plants etc.

    I’d be interested in everyone’s exit strategy ideas on Ukraine/Russia. We haven’t done very well with that in the last 21 years.

    Everyone who is stressed about the cost, and everyone who sees this as a bargain has to know the real $$$ Billions to $1.1 Trillion as of today per Fortune Magazine is going to be in the reconstruction. That number could go way up from here or dwindle. Tactical nukes used by Russia to simply destroy infrastructure and housing would cause huge increases. Reconstruction is where we will see if graft and corruption are reasserted to pre-war levels.

    steveg (f8ee98)

  216. @181 even when hitler invaded poland neville chamberlain wanted to negotiate with him! Samuel hoare had to tell chamberlain That the cabinet would resign if he didn’t declare war on germany.

    You know what was the scariest thing? The guy everyone wanted to replace Chamberlain was Lord Halifax (Chamberlain’s pro-appeasement foreign minister). He didn’t want the job so Churchill got it.

    As it turns out, Halifax wanted to make a separate peace with Hitler when the Brits were being pushed back to Dunkirk. But Churchill wouldn’t have it. Good thing that Halifax didn’t take the PM job.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  217. steveg,

    We are talking about humans, government, war … so we should assume the worst choices and outcomes. There will be mistakes in policy choices. There will be bad exit decisions. There will be graft, lots of it. These things are true in every nation.

    Ukraine is showing courage, dignity and honor beyond what anyone expected. I admire that and want to support it with aid, munitions, military and technical expertise, and intelligence.

    Russia is at the other end of the spectrum, which makes helping Ukraine even better because it may further damage Putin’s status, Russia’s military, and Russia’s regional ambitions. Or not. That is a risk but it seems to me like a reasonable one.

    Other people don’t want any risk. I respect that but in this case I disagree with it.

    DRJ (676a53)

  218. I’d be interested in everyone’s exit strategy ideas on Ukraine/Russia.

    The US doesn’t need an exit strategy. Ukraine continues to inflict unacceptable costs on Russia, at which point either Putin decides he cannot win or he is replaced by someone who will.

    Ukraine is provided security guarantees by being all to join NATO. Russia has proved it cannot be trusted to simply arrive at a mutual peace agreement. It made such agreements in the past recognizing Ukraine independence and security, but then Putin took power and tore them up. In the end Russia will get the results it tried to avoid: an independent, militarily strong Ukraine backed by NATO.

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  219. Fair points, steve.
    I don’t know what an exit strategy will look like, because this really all comes down to Putin and his choices. He could choose to end the war tomorrow by stopping his invasion and deploying his forces back to Russia. Problem is, I don’t see him voluntarily surrendering what he’s taken.
    His best out, IMO, is to lie and declare victory, saying that Ukraine has been successfully de-Nazified, so the “Special Military Operation” is no longer necessary. After all, he lied getting into this war in the first place, why not lie about getting out. I doubt he will take such a tack, but it’s a face-saving way to do it.
    I also don’t know what a negotiation will look like because Putin talks about negotiating but has only made demands. Also, how does Putin negotiate with a nation that he doesn’t even recognize exists. It’s akin to how Hamas views Israel.
    Absent a good faith negotiations from Putin that involve a orderly withdrawal, Ukraine will just have to keep reclaiming their homeland, as they’ve been doing since last July, and the US and Europe can keep giving Ukrainians the tools to do so.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  220. “Negotiation” is Soviet Doctrine. Part of their military strategy.

    When you’re losing, stop the enemy’s momentum by getting the other side to agree to a ceasefire while you regroup, retrench, and redeploy. If you don’t agree, you are a “warmongering U.S. empire” aggressor.

    They were pulling it on us constantly in Vietnam. Paris bistros benefitted most.

    nk (15e191)

  221. Which came first? “Patriot missile” from Biden or “negotiate” from Putin?

    nk (15e191)

  222. “What’s our is ours. What’s yours is negotiable.”

    Cyrus Vance on the basic Soviet negotiating premise.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  223. Ukraine is showing courage, dignity and honor beyond what anyone expected.

    Among thieves? It is nearly as corrupt as Russia. So by that metric, Bugs Moran displayed ‘courage, dignity and honor’ gang-fighting w/Al Capone. And Valentine’s Day is coming…

    DCSCA (0fdb24)

  224. I’d be interested in everyone’s exit strategy ideas on Ukraine/Russia.

    I can’t imagine that Ukraine has any exit strategy other than Russia must leave. They are the unlawful invaders, aggressors, and the ones to perpetrate genocide. The only real option would appear to be that Russia leaves, whether willingly or forced out. An “exit strategy” is politic-speak, which doesn’t acknowledge the complete dishonesty of Putin and the Kremlin with regard to any sort of negotiations. I simply don’t believe there can be any “good faith” negotiation with Putin. He is what he has always been, only now with repeated humiliations since the war began, he is even more determined to spread disinformation, lie about the situation to his people, and even more determined to annihilate the Ukrainian people, and claim the territory for his own.

    It seems like many Americans have lost complete sight of the terrible monster that Russia is and Putin’s compelling need to force others to bend to their will and submit to their control. This isn’t a trustworthy leader to negotiate with. This is a leader that does not recognize Ukraine’s right to exist and live democratically. Putin and Kremlin actively fight against democracy, freedom of information, religion, and speech. They will not go down quietly.

    Ultimately, “the way to end the conflict is for Russia to leave Ukraine.” Period.

    Dana (1225fc)

  225. It would be unconscionable for any settlement not to include the return of the thousands of Ukrainian children kidnapped (and being brainwashed) by Russia.

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  226. Biden’s justice department should start mass arrest of trumpster insurrectionists and maggot terrorists.

    Just like they did with Antifa and BLM when cops started getting murdered from ambush and courthouses set on fire.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  227. If Putin really wants to open negotiations with Ukraine, like he claims he does, let it be conditioned on Russia leaving Ukraine first. If they refuse, then they aren’t really interested in any negotiations or ending the war.

    Dana (1225fc)

  228. Biden’s justice department should start mass arrest of trumpster insurrectionists and maggot terrorists.

    Just like they did with Antifa and BLM when cops started getting murdered from ambush and courthouses set on fire.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/26/2022 @ 11:36 am

    Didn’t the protests and riots begin under the Trump Administration?

    Rip Murdock (e96657)

  229. Dana (1225fc) — 12/26/2022 @ 10:54 am

    The only real option would appear to be that Russia leaves, whether willingly or forced out.

    Only real option for ending this war.

    How could we get Russia to that point? Easiest way: Scare Putin that he could lose more than he bargained for, and that if he waits much longer, he could lose even more.

    Of course, the war could go on and on, and Biden’s policy seems to be to be aiming by default at just that, because of his attempt to calibrate Ukrainian successes, figuring that Putin is likely to escalate if he is losing too badly. This is a non-strategy.

    It seems like many Americans have lost complete sight of the terrible monster that Russia is

    I don’t think there are too many people like that. There are a few who don’t care, and more who never knew. Some are desperately trying to make compromises with reality.

    This is a leader that does not recognize Ukraine’s right to exist and live democratically. Putin and Kremlin actively fight against democracy, freedom of information, religion, and speech.

    That’s what caused the war.

    Ultimately, “the way to end the conflict is for Russia to leave Ukraine.” Period.

    It’s like Germany in 1918.

    You can get a temporary ceasefire, if Putin has other fish to fry, (no one knows how long Germany would have honored the Treaty of Brest Litovsk) or you can scare him into trying to save what he can.

    Or you can go on and on. Biden’s trying to limit Russia’s capacity to inflict damage, without helping Ukraine too much on the ground or helping them inflict damage on Russia. That’s a formula for stalemate. Deliberate stalemate because of fear of escalation is what happened in Vietnam.

    It’s very hard to get this to end like the Korean War — and in that case there was no real negotiation, so nobody should talk about this in terms of settleing differences..

    Sammy Finkelman (c1d7bd)

  230. President Trump delivered an ultimatum to Minneapolis protesters on May 29 and suggested that the military could use armed force to suppress riots. On Twitter, Mr. Trump called the protesters “thugs” and said, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

    He also criticized the city’s Democratic mayor.

    “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City,” Mr. Trump said. “A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.”
    ………
    In remarks about the unrest in several cities across the United States, Mr. Trump threatened to deploy the military to states where governors and mayors could not bring violence and the looting under control.

    “If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents,” Mr. Trump said, “then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

    Source

    It was Trump’s failure to follow through and federalize the National Guard to suppress the riots and deploy the 101st Airborne to protect Federal property.

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  231. Ukraine needs victories, but even more, it needs to get them unexpectedly (from the Russian point of view) And it pays to pay attention to the mood in Moscow. There’s no point in any predictable victory

    Sammy Finkelman (c1d7bd)

  232. AP: Ukraine FM aims for February peace summit

    Ukraine’s foreign minister on Monday said that his government is aiming to have a peace summit by the end of February, preferably at the United Nations with Secretary-General António Guterres as a possible mediator, around the anniversary of Russia’s war.

    But Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told The Associated Press that Russia could only be invited to such a summit if the country faced a war crimes tribunal first.
    ………
    At the Group of 20 summit in Bali in November, Zelenskyy presented a 10-point peace formula that includes the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, the release of all prisoners, a tribunal for those responsible for the aggression and security guarantees for Ukraine.
    …….
    The foreign minister again downplayed comments by Russian authorities that they are ready for talks.

    “They regularly say that they are ready for negotiations, which is not true, because everything they do on the battlefield proves the opposite,” he said.
    ………
    ………Despite Putin’s comments, Moscow’s forces have kept attacking Ukraine — a sign that peace isn’t imminent.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  233. @227. What Americans have ‘lost sight of’ is 21st century Russia, post 1989 and the dissolution of the USSR, is no longer a global superpower– but a regional power. And it is the obsessive, Cold War, muscle-memory of old, 20th century-minded U.S. politicians [hello Mitt and Joey and assorted ancient, of fuddy-duddy senators] egged on by the self-interests of greedy, wealthy, modern European nations w/stellar infrastructures and social services, who keep feeding and building the faux image of a Russia being world power it no longer is- and granting ol’Vlad a seat at the big boy’s table too pitch his woo. Putin loves it. 21st century Russia is a regional power, like India, Pakistan, Israel, NorKo, France, the reunited Germany– ex-Empire Japan… even that 19th century world power has-been, the United Kingdom. Regional powers all. Only two global superpowers exist; a China on the rise– and an America in decline. To survive, Russia is now China’s b-tch; it will do their dirty work, test the waters where told to try and serve the longer-term future plans of the PRC. Time to make Europe America’s b-tch and forve them to take responsibility for their decisions.

    The solution to the Russo-Ukraine conflict is wholly for wealthy, modern Europe’s to broker– and they have the resources to do it, but not the motivation nor courage, especially w/t U.S. carrying the load since 1945. The UN can to proctor a peace as well. Certainly no overt American input beyond the UN is necessary as America only aggravates the scenario w/t powers that be. Europe was quite capable of quelling conflict in that region long before there was a USA. And in the 21st century, these wealthy nations have modern militaries w/world class weapons manufactured in their own countries; vibrant economies and the finances to manage a mess in their own backyards — and the diplomats to do it, as well. They just won’t– as long as they can shift as much of the responsibility and burden to a sucker-led USA.

    … and the MIC smiled.

    DCSCA (25d355)

  234. From the New York Times front page, Saturday, December 24m 2022:

    The House Jan. 6 committee’s 845-page final report is chock-full of new details about former President Donald J. Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election.

    It documents how Mr. Trump and his allies tried at least 200 times to convince state or local officials to throw out President Biden’s victory. It reveals that Mr. Trump did, in fact, push for the National Guard to be present on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021 — but to protect his supporters as they marched on Congress, not lawmakers.

    This raises more questions than it answers. Are they saying somee units of the National Guard were disloyal to the constitution? Or merely that the Congressional leadership didn’t trust Donald Trump?

    Sammy Finkelman (c1d7bd)

  235. How could we get Russia to that point? Easiest way: Scare Putin that he could lose more than he bargained for, and that if he waits much longer, he could lose even more.

    See, I think that Putin is far beyond any sense of reasonableness. I don’t think he is no longer mentally coherent and has become delusional. Therefore, I don’t think he would react with fear to much of anything because he wouldn’t believe whatever the leverage might be. It’s a fool’s errand to try and frighten him or reason with him. He is a madman and must be dealt with accordingly. I think that his poor health, and possibly cancer, has actually emboldened him.

    Dana (1225fc)

  236. Didn’t the protests and riots begin under the Trump Administration?

    “They” doesn’t necessarily refer to any specific authorities.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  237. The “Ukrainian Peace Formula,” explained


    ……….
    ………. (T)he Ukrainian government has expanded its negotiating objectives to ten areas of interest.
    ………
    (1) Radiation & Nuclear Safety
    …… (The IAEA, Russia, and Ukraine have) not been able to make headway on establishing demilitarized zones around the nuclear facilities, expelling Russian forces from the sites, or preventing attacks on power plants. Ukraine intends to achieve resolution on all those matters.

    (2) Food Security
    ………. Ukraine needs permanent provisions to ensure that its food and fertilizer exports can ship safely from its ports without requiring periodic negotiation with the Russians.

    (3) Energy Security
    …….. Ukraine must be able to guarantee that its people will have access to the power required to sustain their livelihoods……..

    (4) Release of all war prisoners and deportees
    ………

    (5) “Implementation of the UN Charter and the restoration of our territorial integrity and world order”
    Simply put, this is a declaration of Ukraine’s intent to liberate the areas of its country occupied by Russian forces……..(and) restore their internationally-recognized borders of 1991 (meaning the return of all the Donbas region and the Crimean Peninsula).

    (6) Withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities
    ……….

    (7) Restoration of justice through war tribunals and reparations.
    ………
    ………Neither tribunals nor reparations will happen with Russian consent, and as a nuclear power, the Russians possess the ultimate trump card if anyone were to attempt compel them to accept it. Instead, the best bet is for the international community to seize and liquidate Russian assets to pay what the Kremlin will not……

    (8) Countering ecocide
    ……..
    ……..(I)nclusion of this issue area as part of the Ukrainian Peace Formula is likely meant for diplomatic signaling. It is impractical to expect any meaningful agreements related to this from negotiations with Russia, but it highlights to the international community the depth of the negative effects that Russia’s invasion has had on Ukraine.

    (9) Security Guarantees for Ukraine
    ………

    (10) “Confirmation of the war’s end”
    ……….

    So, what should we make of all this?
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  238. This raises more questions than it answers. Are they saying somee units of the National Guard were disloyal to the constitution? Or merely that the Congressional leadership didn’t trust Donald Trump?

    Or that Trump thought the Guard would be loyal to him personally, when that was hardly true. Remember, this is a guy whose training in “civics” was about which officials to bribe and how much.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  239. Sorry for the lack of blockquotes.

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  240. @226 next day same corruption excuse as ukrainans die for their country. Americans died for our country even some blacks like rhode island unit and christopher atticus while we held them in slavery.

    asset (f7442c)

  241. 15 to 18 million americans set lose medicade that republicans forced to pass spending bill. Dana exit strategy when some russian gets close to putin and does his duty.

    asset (f7442c)

  242. I have no idea what you mean, asset.

    Dana (1225fc)

  243. Didn’t the protests and riots begin under the Trump Administration?
    Rip Murdock (e96657) — 12/26/2022 @ 11:48 am

    yeah Rip, you really nailed it

    Dallas shootings: police killed at Black Lives Matter protest

    JF (b8505c)

  244. George Santos Admits to Lying About College and Work History
    ……….
    Mr. Santos, a New York Republican who was elected in November to represent parts of northern Long Island and northeast Queens, confirmed some of the key findings of a New York Times investigation into his background, but sought to minimize the falsehoods in his first remarks since The Times published its findings last week.

    “My sins here are embellishing my résumé,” Mr. Santos told The New York Post in one of two interviews he granted on Monday to conservative-owned media outlets.

    “I am not a criminal,” Mr. Santos said, adding that he would still be an effective legislator. In a separate interview with WABC-AM radio, he said he still intended to be sworn in at the start of the next Congress.
    ……….
    Yet even as Mr. Santos, whose victory helped Republicans secure a narrow majority in the next House of Representatives, admitted to some fabrication, his actions will still not prevent him, in all likelihood, from being seated in Congress.

    ……… Top House Republican leaders, including Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, have largely remained silent.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (8ed0a2)

  245. @247. The NYT seems to have overlooked the ethics and embellishmets of a certain Joey Biden on this issue. Who cares what McCarthy says— watch Joey and the WH rodents comment and squirm over this nugget.

    “So?” – Daddy Darth.

    DCSCA (753299)

  246. @247 When is lying actually no more than just just folksiness? When it’s a democrat president instead of a republican congressman.

    JF (b8505c)

  247. Enough Really Is Enough’: Arizona Governor-Elect Katie Hobbs Seeks More Than $500,000 in Sanctions for Kari Lake and Her Lawyers
    ………
    “Courts are established by Arizona’s Constitution and statutes to resolve actual disputes between parties,” Maricopa County Deputy Attorney Thomas P. Liddy wrote in a 15-page memo. “They do not exist so that candidates for political office can attempt to make political statements and fundraise. And they should not be used to harass political opponents and sow completely unfounded doubts about the integrity of elections. All of those things happened in this matter.”

    Hobbs’s legal team joined Maricopa County’s motion for sanctions, court records show.
    ………
    If a judge sanctions Lake’s legal team, it wouldn’t be for the first time.
    ………..
    Maricopa County says that the client also deserves punishment.
    ………
    On Christmas Eve, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson dismissed and skewered Lake’s lawsuit for offering only “speculation or conjecture” about voter fraud in a ruling, which refused to overturn her 17,117-vote defeat.
    ……….
    “Every one of Plaintiff’s witnesses – and for that matter, Defendants’ witnesses as well – was asked about any personal knowledge of both intentional misconduct and intentional misconduct directed to impact the 2022 General Election,” Thompson wrote on Dec. 24. “Every single witness before the Court disclaimed any personal knowledge of such misconduct. The Court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in place of clear and convincing evidence.”
    ……..
    …….. Hobbs filed a separate motion for sanctions seeking $550,210 in fees, the vast majority of which (at $457,032.50) would go to their attorneys at the Elias Law Group. ……… The governor-elect, who currently serves as Arizona Secretary of State, also wants Lake to pay $83,725.50 in definite fees and expenses.

    Maricopa County is seeking a much smaller amount in attorneys’ fees: $25,050.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (e6d601)

  248. Katie Hobbs was head of the election and all corruption worked out for her. She fits in well with Castro.

    NJRob (6e7d32)

  249. Same thing happened in Florida with the Russian collusion lawsuit. Trumpists may not be able win elections, but they cannot win lawsuits either.

    nk (b9609e)

  250. @252. As if you could win a lawsuit adjudicated by a judge who admits he doesn’t find perfectly good conjecture clear and convincing.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  251. More rethugliKKKan voter fraud! Mark meadows trump chief of staff is being investigated for voter fraud in North Carolina. Meadows gave a trailor he never was at to get an absentee ballot sent to his home in Wash. DC. Since only black people get arrested for voter fraud in the south he should be ok. (DU)

    asset (ec50bd)

  252. @251 When the judges ask lake’s lawyer to prove corruption they said the could not prove corruption. He then asked them do you have personal knowledge of vote fraud or corruption lake and her lawyers said NO! Head of elections means what? Approving voter material. Early voting is done by county recorders. In Maricopa county a REPUBLICAN. Same day in person voting is handled by Maricopa County board of Supervisors all but one is a REPUBLICAN. The castro comment is name calling.

    asset (ec50bd)

  253. 15 to 18 million americans set lose medicade that republicans forced to pass spending bill. Dana exit strategy when some russian gets close to putin and does his duty.

    That’s because they signed up, even though they didn’t qualify, after the feds announced they wouldn’t check qualifications during the pandemic. Most of them made too much money for Medicaid. Literally 15 to 18 million welfare cheats.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  254. Americans died for our country even some blacks like rhode island unit and christopher atticus while we held them in slavery.

    Christopher Attucks was a free Black man living in Boston and working as a sailor when he was killed in the Boston Massacre in 1770.

    A number of Black units were formed during the Civil War for both free Blacks and from newly freed Blacks. The country they were fighting for did not have slaves. The country they were fighting against did, and executed any Blacks that they captured.

    And since no American now alive has ever enslaved someone, or been a slave, I object to your use of the word “we.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  255. The country they were fighting for did not have slaves.

    The border states would like a word.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  256. @257 Rhode island black unit was revolutionary war not civil war. I did not say attucks was a slave. Thanks lurker.

    asset (ec50bd)

  257. Katie Hobbs was head of the election and all corruption worked out for her.

    What corruption? To date, you have a failed CyberNinjas investigation and a Kari Lake lawsuit that was tossed because “the Court DID NOT FIND clear and convincing evidence…”

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  258. Regarding Mr. Santos, the newly elected GOP fraud, the following question is relevant…

    George Santos, a former call center employee falling behind on his rent, lent his campaign a staggering $705,000.

    Where did all that money come from? The Ethics Committee MUST start investigating immediately.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  259. Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 12/27/2022 @ 4:56 am

    George Santos, a former call center employee falling behind on his rent, lent his campaign a staggering $705,000.

    Where did all that money come from? The Ethics Committee MUST start investigating immediately.

    He claims he paid himself the money from his business (which he named) He did not explain how or why he suddenly got rich. In 2020, he claimed to have an annual income of $55,000.

    I don’t think he was too truthful about any of the other criticisms. He said the geneaologists were no experts or something, and that his grandmother told him something vague.

    He said different things anyway over the last year. He never mentioned Ukraine until April of this year. He said his maternal grandfather left (Ukraine) because of anti-semitism, (meaning most likely 1919) and he also said he fled Stalin and Communism. His grandfather was really born in Brazil in 1918 – his great grandfather was born in Belguim in 1863 and immigrated to Brazil in 1884 and was Catholic and his maternal grandmothr was born in Brazil in 1927.

    He said at one point that the 4 people who were killed in Florida in 2016 worked for the same company he did — or maybe it was they were going to work. Living in Florida in 2016 checks out, although I’m not sure Orlando.

    He said he indirectly worked for Goldman and Sachs and Citicorp.
    and didn’t choose the right words, If so he didn’t choose the right time period, too,

    He admitted he didn’t graduate from any college, I’m noit sure he even went.

    mo

    Sammy Finkelman (2135ea)

  260. He claimed the reason he fell behind on his rent was medical bills his mother owed, He said (and this may be true) that she was 60 years old when she died on December 23, 2016 and had just celebrated her birthday . He claimed it was that sad anniversary was the reason he didn’t say anything for a few days.

    He said he was born in a hospital in Queens (Elmhurst I think) on July 22, 1988 – the way he said it it sounded like he felt he had a point. He said he was not a criminal and had not committed any crimes either here or in any other country

    Sammy Finkelman (2135ea)

  261. https://redstate.com/alexparker/2022/12/27/aclu-fights-virginias-transgender-policy-and-the-unscientific-assumption-that-there-are-two-sexes-n679534

    As if we needed any further evidence that the ACLU is a subsidiary of leftist indoctrination, they want to get between parents and their children to indoctrinate their godforsaken believes on an unwilling populace.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  262. First rule of election fraud: Wait until the election is already won before investigating.

    State investigation of former FTX executive’s $500,000 donation to Democratic Party of Oregon passes one-month mark

    The implosion of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and arrest of its ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried on Tuesday has prompted questions nationally about the tens of millions of dollars that Bankman-Fried and his associates poured into congressional and local elections, largely to benefit Democrats.

    In Oregon, elections officials in the office of Secretary of State Shemia Fagan are still deciding whether there is enough evidence to ask Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to pursue a case against former FTX director of engineering Nishad Singh for donating $500,000 to the Democratic Party of Oregon under a false name.

    Fagan’s administration is also deciding whether there is evidence the Democratic Party violated the same state law against providing and accepting political donations under a false name. More than a month has passed since Fagan asked the Elections Division to investigate, citing a report in The Oregonian/OregonLive that revealed the $500,000 — the largest sum received by the Democratic Party of Oregon PAC on record in the state campaign finance database — did not come from the Las Vegas cryptocurrency company Prime Trust as reported by the party. Rather, Prime Trust representatives told The Oregonian/OregonLive that it functioned only as a pass-through.

    Under Oregon statute, it is a Class C felony to make a campaign contribution under a “false name.”

    The Democratic Party used at least some of the money to pay for multiple mailers attacking Republican candidate for governor Christine Drazan, according to disclosures on the mailers that identified Prime Trust as a donor. Democrat Tina Kotek won the election for governor.

    JF (619725)

  263. https://amgreatness.com/2022/12/25/what-will-the-fbi-not-do/

    The FBI did not merely engage in “correspondence” with Twitter to protect the company and its “customers.” Instead, it effectively hired Twitter to suppress the free expression of some of its users, as well as news stories deemed unhelpful to the Biden campaign and administration—to the degree that the bureau’s requests sometimes even exceeded those of Twitter’s own left-wing censors.

    The FBI did not wish to help Twitter “to protect themselves [sic],” given the bureau’s Twitter liaisons were often surprised at the FBI’s bold requests to suppress the expression of those who had not violated Twitter’s own admittedly biased “terms of service” and “community standards.”

    The FBI and its helpers on the Left now reboot the same boilerplate about “conspiracy theorists” and “misinformation” smears used against anyone who rejected the FBI-fed Russian collusion hoax and the bureau’s peddling of the “Russian disinformation” lie to suppress accurate pre-election news about the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s laptop.

    The FBI is now, tragically, in freefall. The public is at the point, first, of asking what improper or illegal behavior will the bureau not pursue, and what, if anything, must be done to reform or save a once great but now discredited agency.

    Consider the last four directors, the public faces of the FBI for the last 22 years. Ex-director Robert Mueller testified before Congress that he simply would not or could not talk about the fraudulent Steele dossier. He claimed that it was not the catalyst for his special counsel investigation of Donald Trump’s alleged ties with the Russians when, of course, it was.

    Mueller also testified that he was “not familiar” with Fusion GPS, although Glenn Simpson’s opposition research firm subsidized the dossier through various cutouts that led back to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. And the skullduggery in the FBI-subsidized dossier helped force the appointment of Mueller himself.

    While under congressional oath, Mueller’s successor James Comey on some 245 occasions claimed that he “could not remember,” “could not recall,” or “did not know” when asked simple questions fundamental to his own involvement with the Russian collusion hoax.

    Comey, remember, memorialized a confidential conversation with President Trump on an FBI device and then used a third party to leak it to the New York Times. In his own words, the purpose was to force a special counsel appointment. The gambit worked, and his friend and predecessor Robert Mueller got the job. Twenty months and $40 million later, Mueller’s investigation tore the country apart but could find no evidence that Trump, as Steele alleged, colluded with the Russians to throw the 2016 election.

    VDH nails the corruption in the FBI to the wall.

    The usual suspects will claim there’s nothing to see here or try and tar the messenger because they can’t argue against the message.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  264. The FBI did not merely engage in “correspondence” with Twitter to protect the company and its “customers.” Instead, it effectively hired Twitter to suppress the free expression of some of its users, as well as news stories deemed unhelpful to the Biden campaign and administration—to the degree that the bureau’s requests sometimes even exceeded those of Twitter’s own left-wing censors.

    The FBI did not wish to help Twitter “to protect themselves [sic],” given the bureau’s Twitter liaisons were often surprised at the FBI’s bold requests to suppress the expression of those who had not violated Twitter’s own admittedly biased “terms of service” and “community standards.”

    The FBI and its helpers on the Left now reboot the same boilerplate about “conspiracy theorists” and “misinformation” smears used against anyone who rejected the FBI-fed Russian collusion hoax and the bureau’s peddling of the “Russian disinformation” lie to suppress accurate pre-election news about the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s laptop.

    The FBI is now, tragically, in freefall. The public is at the point, first, of asking what improper or illegal behavior will the bureau not pursue, and what, if anything, must be done to reform or save a once great but now discredited agency.

    Consider the last four directors, the public faces of the FBI for the last 22 years. Ex-director Robert Mueller testified before Congress that he simply would not or could not talk about the fraudulent Steele dossier. He claimed that it was not the catalyst for his special counsel investigation of Donald Trump’s alleged ties with the Russians when, of course, it was.

    Mueller also testified that he was “not familiar” with Fusion GPS, although Glenn Simpson’s opposition research firm subsidized the dossier through various cutouts that led back to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. And the skullduggery in the FBI-subsidized dossier helped force the appointment of Mueller himself.

    While under congressional oath, Mueller’s successor James Comey on some 245 occasions claimed that he “could not remember,” “could not recall,” or “did not know” when asked simple questions fundamental to his own involvement with the Russian collusion hoax.

    Comey, remember, memorialized a confidential conversation with President Trump on an FBI device and then used a third party to leak it to the New York Times. In his own words, the purpose was to force a special counsel appointment. The gambit worked, and his friend and predecessor Robert Mueller got the job. Twenty months and $40 million later, Mueller’s investigation tore the country apart but could find no evidence that Trump, as Steele alleged, colluded with the Russians to throw the 2016 election.

    VDH nails the corruption in the FBI to the wall.

    The usual suspects will claim there’s nothing to see here or try and tar the messenger because they can’t argue against the message.

    Interesting. This disappeared into the ether with the link.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  265. We live in corrupt state of people who are plundering our nation till it collapses.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  266. https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2022/12/notes-on-the-twitter-files-10.php

    Just a reminder how the current administration directly violated the 1st Amendment to shut people up. They are no different than any other communist administration that tries to silence the opposition.

    For further evidence see FBI midnight raids on pastors protesting abortion.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  267. WH won’t say if Biden will return 2020 donations from Sam Bankman-Fried

    White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wouldn’t say Tuesday whether President Biden would ask his aides to return 2020 campaign contributions from accused cryptocurrency con man Sam Bankman-Fried, whom the Justice Department has charged with swindling investors out of at least $1.8 billion.

    Bankman-Fried, 30, was one of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors and even met with Biden’s White House advisers before his FTX currency exchange collapsed in one of the largest alleged frauds in American business history.

    Earlier Tuesday, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York charged Bankman-Fried with eight counts, including conspiracy to commit campaign finance violations. Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams claimed the illegal donations from Bankman-Fried amounted to “tens of millions of dollars.”

    “The president received campaign donations [from Bankman-Fried]. Will the president return that donation? Does he call on all politicians … to return those funds?” asked Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller.

    “So look, I’m covered here by the Hatch Act — [I’m] limited on what I can say and anything that’s connected to political contributions from here, I would have to refer you to the DNC,” Jean-Pierre said, citing the federal law that prohibits certain officials from advocating for candidates.

    Violations of the Hatch Act typically involve direct support by federal officials to a candidate or party — as opposed to making a statement that could apply to candidates of both parties, such as calling on politicians to offload historical contributions.

    Liar.

    JF (619725)

  268. Sam Bankman-Fried’s political donations totaled millions. FTX could sue to recover them.

    Sam Bankman-Fried and two of his close colleagues at the now-bankrupt FTX donated nearly $80 million to political candidates and causes, but those who received the money may have to return it as the company tries to pay back its creditors.

    That’s because bankruptcy courts often let companies claw back the money that they have given to others in the two years prior to filing for bankruptcy, according to Yesha Yadav, a law professor at Vanderbilt University with expertise in financial and securities regulation. Sometimes, that period is longer than two years, she said.

    Bankman-Fried’s largest donations were $27 million to his own super PAC, which supported Democratic candidates, and $6 million to a PAC that helps elect Democrats to the U.S. House. Bankman-Fried also gave the maximum $5,800 each to support dozens of candidates, mostly Democrats.

    President Joe Biden’s 2020 run for president was one of the major beneficiaries of Bankman-Fried’s donations. Bankman-Fried gave $5 million to a PAC that supported President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign, $50,000 to Biden Victory Fund, and $2,800 directly to Biden for President.

    Of course the money can be recovered, but the election results can’t.

    JF (619725)

  269. Katie Hobbs was head of the election and all corruption worked out for her. She fits in well with Castro.

    NJRob (6e7d32) — 12/26/2022 @ 7:45 pm

    Given the fact that the voting in Maricopa County was overseen by a Republican-controlled (five out of five members) Board of Supervisors it’s hard to figure that they would throw an election to a Democrat.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  270. Ukraine war: Five ways conflict could go in 2023
    ……..
    Could it conclude in the coming year and how – on the battlefield or at the negotiating table? Or might it grind on to 2024?

    ‘Russia’s spring offensive will be key’
    Michael Clarke, associate director of the Strategic Studies Institute, Exeter, UK

    Those who seek to invade another country anywhere across the great Eurasian steppes are condemned eventually to winter in it.

    Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin all had to keep their armies moving in the face of a steppes winter, and now – his invasion going backwards on the ground – Vladimir Putin is digging his forces in for the winter to await a new Russian offensive in the spring.

    Both sides need a pause but the Ukrainians are better equipped and motivated to keep going, and we can expect them to maintain the pressure, at least in the Donbas.
    ………
    For 2023, the key determinant will be the fate of Russia’s spring offensive. Putin had admitted that about 50,000 of the newly mobilised troops are already at the front; the other 250,000 of those just mobilised are training for next year.

    There is no scope for anything but more war until the fortunes of those new Russian forces are settled on the battlefield.
    …….

    ‘Ukraine will win back its land’
    Andrei Piontkovsky, scientist and analyst based in Washington DC

    Ukraine will win by restoring completely its territorial integrity by spring 2023 at the latest. Two factors are shaping this conclusion.

    One is the motivation, determination and courage of the Ukrainian military and Ukrainian nation as a whole, which is unprecedented in modern war history.

    The other is the fact that, after years of appeasement of a Russian dictator, the West has finally grown up to realise the magnitude of historical challenge it faces. This is best illustrated by a recent statement by Nato General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.

    “The price we pay is in money. While the price the Ukrainians pay is in blood. If authoritarian regimes see that force is rewarded we will all pay a much higher price. And the world will become a more dangerous world for all of us.”
    ………

    ‘There is no end in sight’
    Barbara Zanchetta, Department of War Studies, King’s College London

    Vladimir Putin expected Ukraine’s passive acceptance of its more powerful neighbour’s actions, with no meaningful involvement of other countries. This grave miscalculation has led to a protracted conflict, with seemingly no end in sight.

    The winter will be difficult, as Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure will try to break the morale and endurance of an already shattered population. But Ukrainian resilience has proved to be remarkable. They will stand firm. The war will drag on. And on.
    ………
    The costs of the war, both material and human, might break the level of commitment of the Russian political elite. The key will be inside Russia.

    Past wars in which miscalculation was a crucial element, such as Vietnam for United States, or Afghanistan for the Soviet Union, only ended in this way. Domestic political conditions shifted in the country that had miscalculated, making exit – either “honourable” or not – the only viable option.
    ……..

    ‘No other outcome except Russian defeat’
    Ben Hodges, former commanding general, United States Army Europe

    It’s too early to plan a victory parade in Kyiv but all the momentum is with Ukraine now and there is no doubt in my mind that they will win this war, probably in 2023.
    ……..
    By January, Ukraine could be in a position to begin the final phase of the campaign which is the liberation of Crimea.

    We know from history that war is a test of will and a test of logistics. When I see the determination of the Ukrainian people and soldiers, and the rapidly improving logistical situation for Ukraine, I see no other outcome but a Russian defeat.
    ……..

    ‘Expect more of the same’
    David Gendelman, military expert based in Israel

    Instead of “how it’s going to end” here is what each side would like to achieve in the next phase.
    ……..
    More probable is a continuation of current tactics – a slow grinding of Ukrainian forces on narrow directions and a slow advance, like in Bakhmut and Avdiivka areas, with possible same tactics in Svatove-Kreminna area.
    ………
    Significant Ukrainian forces were also freed after a Russian retreat from Kherson. For them the most strategically valuable direction is south, to Melitopol or Berdyansk, aiming to cut the Russian mainland corridor to Crimea. That would be a major Ukrainian victory, and that is exactly why Russians are fortifying Melitopol.

    Another option for Ukraine is Svatove – success there would endanger the whole northern flank of the entire Russian frontline.
    …….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  271. We live in corrupt state of people who are plundering our nation till it collapses.

    Trump and his minions learned from the Democrats. They are equally corrupt and drunk on power.

    DRJ (676a53)

  272. Trump and his minions learned from the Democrats. They are equally corrupt and drunk on power.

    DRJ (676a53) — 12/27/2022 @ 9:33 am

    Now do Mittens, Lizzie Cheney, Murkowski and the rest of the RINO establishment that ignores the will of the people to collude with radical leftists like Pelosi to advance statism as usual.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  273. Correction @273:

    Should read:

    Given the fact that the voting in Maricopa County was overseen by a Republican-controlled (five four out of five members) Board of Supervisors…..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  274. Now do Mittens, Lizzie Cheney, Murkowski and the rest of the RINO establishment that ignores the will of the people to collude with radical leftists like Pelosi to advance statism as usual.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 12/27/2022 @ 9:37 am

    There are elections to decide their fate. Cheney lost, Murkowski won, and Romney is up in 2024.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  275. I listened to (watched on cc youtube) an interview with the Ukrainian General over the artillery. Seems like a tough, smart, no nonsense general.
    Of course he was asked about NATO and US weapons. He claims Ukraine has 25% of the armored vehicles it needs to protect its infantry and for attacking mobility. He is artillery and needs more shells. He says the Ukraine ask list is less than a page, it is the quantities that are large. The interesting part of the conversation is when he explains why he thinks the US is not giving Ukraine everything it needs to win quickly and decisively, costing Ukraine blood. He thinks Washington is afraid that Putin would go psycho (his word) and use nukes if the fight turned into a rout, or if Putin is humiliated beyond some unknown threshold.
    So it looks like Washington is arbitraging around Putins nuclear bluff and then titrating the resources trying to keep the perfect combination. Ukraine understands this because Washington’s obligation is to American’s and to NATO, but they plan on continuing to ask for more and also remind the world they are dying for their country.

    I’ve said before I find Ukrainians easy to help because they choose to fight, they fight well, they have good morale and great attitude in that fight. I also understand Washington’s reluctance to even get close to calling Putin’s bluff. I think Washington would rather see Russia remain in some enclaves rather than see Putins cards

    steveg (2362ea)

  276. Given the fact that the voting in Maricopa County was overseen by a Republican-controlled (five out of five members) Board of Supervisors it’s hard to figure that they would throw an election to a Democrat.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 12/27/2022 @ 9:07 am

    Given the fact that they were openly outspoken against the Republican candidate, it doesn’t matter what flag they were pretending to wave. The other Bill Gates being an easy example as he was openly campaigning against her.

    So try your nondescript trolling elsewhere.

    It’s like Romney again working for the left saying he’d rather vote on a leftist package passed by Pelosi than one by the Republican McCarthy.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  277. Alaska changed the rules with massive funding to allow a corrupt soul like Murkowski to win an election she would’ve lost at any previous point in history. Reminds me of all the election rules that have “changed” in the past 4 years.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  278. Most likely result for Ukraine next year:

    More death and destruction, then a truce on terms Ukraine could’ve had a year ago before the first shot was fired. Untold number of fathers never coming home to their families. Massive tens or hundreds of billions to rebuild Ukraine. Then, all the smart people will get together and agree how smart it was to get this result.

    JF (619725)

  279. Man sentenced to 16 years for plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
    …….
    Adam Fox, 39, was convicted in August of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and to use a weapon of mass destruction to attack Whitmer, who had drawn the ire of far-right groups for her efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 in 2020.
    …….
    U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker questioned whether Fox was a true “natural leader” of the plot, worthy of a life sentence.

    “I don’t think life is needed to achieve the important public deterrent factors,” Jonker said in Grand Rapids, explaining the 192-month sentence.
    ……..
    “You have to calibrate, as judges, the overall seriousness of wrongdoing and the overall seriousness of the defendant’s history,” Jonker said.

    “I see nothing in the record … nothing that makes me think he’s (Fox) a natural leader and nothing that makes me think he’s the kind of person that anybody involved in this group was naturally going to follow.”
    …….
    Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler had said Fox was out to spark an all-out war and needed to be put away for life.
    …….
    “The problem is this defendant, he’s going to go into jail and probably emerge more radicalized than when he went in and will remain a danger to the public, your honor,” the prosecutor said.
    …….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  280. Alaska changed the rules with massive funding to allow a corrupt soul like Murkowski to win an election she would’ve lost at any previous point in history. Reminds me of all the election rules that have “changed” in the past 4 years.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 12/27/2022 @ 9:45 am

    At least it was Alaskan voters who approved of the change.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  281. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 12/27/2022 @ 9:53 am

    And was affirmed by the Alaska Supreme Court.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  282. George Santos prevaricating his background makes him an ideal Member of Congress.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  283. Mitt, Cheney, and Murkowski are clear about their beliefs. They don’t lie like Trump.

    DRJ (676a53)

  284. Trump voters like his lies.

    DRJ (676a53)

  285. “Of course the money can be recovered, but the election results can’t.”

    Hmm, for some reason you forgot to include this:

    Salame’s biggest donations were $15 million to his own super PAC that supported Republican candidates, $2.5 million to a PAC that helps elect Republicans to the U.S. Senate, and $2 million to a PAC that helps elect Republicans to the U.S. House.

    Davethulhu (02f479)

  286. Mitt, Cheney, and Murkowski are clear about their beliefs. They don’t lie like Trump.
    DRJ (676a53) — 12/27/2022 @ 10:04 am

    LOL, yes I’m sure Wyoming and Utah constituents knew they would vote for Democrat priorities

    These 9 House Republicans broke from the party to vote for the $1.7T funding package

    Nine House Republicans broke from the GOP to support a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill on Friday, ignoring leadership’s recommendation to vote against the measure.

    The nine Republicans broke from the GOP and voted for the bill were Reps. John Katko (N.Y.), Chris Jacobs (N.Y.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Liz Cheney (Wyo.), Fred Upton (Mich.), Rodney Davis (Ill.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and Steve Womack (Ark.).

    Only two — Fitzpatrick and Womack — are returning to Congress next year. The others either opted against running for another term or lost their reelection races.

    Congress passes federal budget – Romney is lone Utah yes vote

    JF (619725)

  287. More suspicious Russian deaths:

    Russian lawmaker Pavel Antov found dead in Odisha hotel, second Russian tourist death in a week

    Russian lawmaker and philanthropist Pavel Antov was found dead in a hotel in India, Russian News Agency TASS reported.

    The multi-millionaire was on vacation in the Rayagada region of Odisha where he was celebrating his 65th birthday. According to the police, he was allegedly found dead, having
    fallen out of a third-floor hotel window.

    This is the second death of Russian lawmakers within a week in the same Odisha hotel.
    ………
    Pavel’s death comes two days after the mysterious death of his party colleague, Vladimir Budanov, 61, who was also found dead in a hotel in Odisha’s Rayagada.
    ………

    Head of major Russian shipyard dies suddenly, no cause given

    A major Russian shipyard that specializes in building non-nuclear submarines said its general director had died suddenly on Saturday after 11 years in the job, but gave no details.

    Admiralty Shipyards, based in the western port of St. Petersburg, announced the death of Alexander Buzakov in a statement. He had been in the job since August 2012.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  288. He claims he paid himself the money from his business (which he named) He did not explain how or why he suddenly got rich. In 2020, he claimed to have an annual income of $55,000.

    After all the other lies he told, Sammy, his claims don’t carry any weight. You can say he claimed this or that, but so what.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  289. Pennsylvania certifies election results after recount delay
    ……..
    Recount petitions in at least 27 of the state’s 67 counties, covering 172 voting precincts, caused delays as some county elections boards waited until litigation was resolved before sending in their own certifications to the state.
    ………
    Conservatives voicing concerns about the accuracy and reliability of Pennsylvania’s voting machines and procedures filed most of the petitions. The majority were dismissed, but county judges did authorize at least 19 precinct recounts in six counties that moved vote totals barely or not at all.
    ##########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  290. My prediction is that the Democrats will refer Santos to the House Ethics Committee where it will die a quiet death. McCarthy won’t, he needs his vote.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  291. The border states would like a word.

    They were neither fish nor fowl.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  292. Mitt, Cheney, and Murkowski are clear about their beliefs. They don’t lie like Trump.

    DRJ (676a53) — 12/27/2022 @ 10:04 am

    That’s silly and you know it. Mitt has changed positions more time than we can count. Remember him kissing up to Trump to get a State position? Remember Romneycare? Remember him being pro-choice then life well before Trump?

    Murkowski has no ideology other than graft and using her name to cement her legacy. She’s a corrupt politician to the core.

    Cheney is a DC crony who pretended to be from the northwest to get elected then ignored her constituents till they kicked her out of the party. She’s the definition of a DC elitist.

    You know all of this. Don’t know why you’d try and claim they have any beliefs at all other than corruption.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  293. Davethulhu (02f479) — 12/27/2022 @ 10:16 am

    Salame is to the FTX political donations scandal as McCain was to the BCCI scandal, but media narratives can always use your help Davethulhu.

    The few Republicans involved make it an assurance that nothing will be done, and that’s just how you and the Dems like it.

    JF (619725)

  294. The FBI is now, tragically, in freefall. The public is at the point, first, of asking what improper or illegal behavior will the bureau not pursue, and what, if anything, must be done to reform or save a once great but now discredited agency.

    The “public” is back to watching football and swilling beer. As usual. The problem with populism is that is ebbs given the smallest redress, or simply time. One of the hugest mistakes that was made was to choose Donald Trump as the populist leader, as he defused the movement with bluster and very little action.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  295. George Santos prevaricating his background makes him an ideal Member of Congress.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 12/27/2022 @ 10:01 am

    TrumpWorld agrees.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  296. Alaska changed the rules with massive funding to allow a corrupt soul like Murkowski to win an election she would’ve lost at any previous point in history. Reminds me of all the election rules that have “changed” in the past 4 years.

    This is a woman who (at another point in history) won a WRITE-IN campaign after a Plain-backed insurgent took the GOP nomination. I think you misunderestimate her.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  297. *Palin-backed

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  298. Congress passes federal budget – Romney is lone Utah yes vote

    If Romney runs again, he will win again. Lee asked for his support in 2022, which means it had value to him.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  299. “The few Republicans involved make it an assurance that nothing will be done, and that’s just how you and the Dems like it.”

    What should be done? I’m old enough to remember the predictions that he wouldn’t be indicted because of these contributions. What’s the new prediction?

    Davethulhu (02f479)

  300. My prediction is that the Democrats will refer Santos to the House Ethics Committee where it will die a quiet death. McCarthy won’t, he needs his vote.

    Not so sure.

    1) Santos could switch parties and the Democrats would welcome him.

    2) Failing that, Santos serves as a evergreen gift for Democrats.

    3) The GOP needs to be concerned about that seat, as there is no way that Santos is even nominated again. Expelling him for bringing politicians into disrepute would end in a by-election in about 90 days, which the GOP could win. But if they back Santos to the hilt, they can whistle for that seat in 2024.

    4) Not sure the Ethics Committee has jurisdiction over conduct prior to office.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  301. Expelling him for bringing politicians into disrepute….

    Then most of Congress itself should be expelled. 🙂

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  302. 4) Not sure the Ethics Committee has jurisdiction over conduct prior to office.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 11:00 am

    There are questions about false statements on his financial disclosure reports, which must be filed by Congressional candidates.

    ………
    Financial disclosure reports reviewed by The Post show that Santos declared no assets or earned income in his 2020 report, and that his only compensation in excess of $5,000 from a single source came from a commission bonus.

    By comparison, in his 2022 financial disclosure, Santos declared that he had assets worth between $2.6 million and $11.25 million. It also said he had income from a family business, the Devolder Organization, between $1 million to $5 million and a salary of $750,000. The Times reported that the lack of information about the company’s clients was a “seeming violation” of the requirement to disclose compensation of more than $5,000 from one source.

    Among the assets Santos declared in his current financial disclosure were an apartment in Brazil worth more than $500,000; a checking account worth more than $100,000; and a savings account worth between $1 million to $5 million.

    Separately, Santos declared that he loaned his campaign $705,000.

    With the slim Republican majority in the House, some ethics experts doubted whether Santos would face any serious repercussions in Congress.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  303. Then most of Congress itself should be expelled. 🙂

    They grade on the curve.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  304. My prediction is that the Democrats will refer Santos to the House Ethics Committee where it will die a quiet death

    Given the pass Biden has gotten for half a century for exactly the same behavior, Santos is the headed for a POTUS nomination in 2032.

    … as Xi, with glee, watched Putin smile.

    DCSCA (c50105)

  305. There are questions about false statements on his financial disclosure reports, which must be filed by Congressional candidates.

    Hmmmn. US Term Limits v Thornton? 514 U.S. 779 (1995) States cannot impose additional restrictions, such as term limits, on its representatives in the federal government beyond those provided by the Constitution.

    Once seated, I can see Congress demanding financial disclosures (that’s a house rule, not a qualification for office), but before they can run? I think that falls if challenged.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  306. With the slim Republican majority in the House, some ethics experts doubted whether Santos would face any serious repercussions in Congress.

    Oh, I get that, but I think that there are other factors besides the immediate gratification. They are guaranteed losers there in 2024 if they let Santos “represent” that district. I think you could easily get a petition going with tens of thousands of GOP signatures in the district.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  307. Then most of Congress itself should be expelled.

    Expelled, hell: corporal punishment, Penguin-Nancy style:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5h2Lu7P4UQ

    DCSCA (c50105)

  308. Hmmmn. US Term Limits v Thornton? 514 U.S. 779 (1995) States cannot impose additional restrictions, such as term limits, on its representatives in the federal government beyond those provided by the Constitution.

    Once seated, I can see Congress demanding financial disclosures (that’s a house rule, not a qualification for office), but before they can run? I think that falls if challenged.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 11:37 am

    (Financial disclosure) reports are filed with the Clerk of the House as required by Title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended. 5 U.S.C. app. § 101 et seq. Section 8 of the STOCK Act of 2012, as amended, requires the Clerk of the House of Representatives to provide online public access to financial disclosure reports filed by Members of Congress and candidates for Congress.

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  309. Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 11:37 am

    Once seated, I can see Congress demanding financial disclosures (that’s a house rule, not a qualification for office), but before they can run? I think that falls if challenged

    it’s fifty year old campaign finance law. A candidate has to disclose some things, like about the source of his campaign money. There’s a high probability that George Santos lied about the source of his money, or committed some type of fraud to get money, but at this stage nobody can say anything specific.

    The House Ethics committee only investigated a member for something he did before coming to Congress, and that was in 2017, at the height of the Me Too movement, for sexual harassment. The Congressman did not resign but agreed not to run for re-election.

    The House might expel him by a 2/3 vote – but 2/3 is a lot. They probably don’t need any special grounds to expel a member, but many are wary of precedent. And he wasn’t elected because of his lies, although he may have gotten some campaign help and endorsements because of them, and his giving money to his own campaign was maybe an inducement also, but mainly he was swept in by the Republican wave in New York.

    There are no recalls anywhere in the country for election to Congress. Just like a state cannot impose term limits. Rules for federal elections are set by the constitution or by Congress.

    New York State does not have recall elections for any office. Not for District Attorney either – Republican candidate for Governor Lee Zeldin promised that on his first day he would remove Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg – which may go a bit beyond a Governor’s power. Appointing a special prosecutor for crimes Bragg isn’t interested in prosecuting or for crimes he is not handling well, like shoplifting and assault, though is completely legal even if it would be unprecedented and expensive to relieve him of 60% or more of his job.

    Anthony Weiner was pressured by is party to resign. I am not sure exactly how. They Bill and Hillary Clinton probably promised to help him make a living if he did — and to hurt him economically if he didn’t. He was married to Huma Abedin, Hillary’s chief aide. Democrats like to make problems, especially ones that that can lead to other problems disappear, if they can. (They couldn’t with John Fetterman, but anyway that only affected one election.)

    It’s prosecutors who could get George Santos, if they start an investigation (here is where referrals matter – it could be said to be non-political if it starts from a referral — but there are people who know how to manipulate the system anyway.)

    The thing to look at is any of his financial statements or where he got his money. He might agree to resign from Congress as part of a plea bargain. If he is contemplating that, he certainly won’t resign now

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  310. World’s largest turnstile under construction:

    Biden’s welcome mat for illegal migrants: Sprawling tent city springs up outside El Paso ahead of Title 42 expiring and chaos at the border

    A huge ‘tent city’ for migrants entering the US from Mexico is under construction on the fringes of El Paso as officials scramble to prepare for a surge in crossings when Title 42 ends.

    The massive processing facility, which covers an area the size of several football fields, is being built in a patch of desert about 20 miles northeast of downtown El Paso.

    JF (619725)

  311. Ethics in Government Act of 1978

    How’s that working out?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  312. But, Rip, is that a requirement to run for office? Or is that a regulation of campaign funding? If the latter then it’s a different question (1st Amendment) which I expect to see addressed again in the next few years.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  313. 307. DCSCA (c50105) — 12/27/2022 @ 11:37 am

    Given the pass Biden has gotten for half a century for exactly the same behavior, Santos is the headed for a POTUS nomination in 2032.

    This takes the cake.

    Biden may have a told a more significant lie in 2020. He pretended that the laptop might be Russian disinformation, when he darn well knew that the laptop was genuine and not hacked. (even if Hunter did not tell the truth to all the people he was trying to get money from — that is Joe Biden was probably not going to get 10%, but Hunter had to say that to sell his influence to CEFC (whose owner is now in the Chinese Gulag and his billion dollar company destroyed.

    https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2018/12/asia/patrick-ho-ye-jianming-cefc-trial-intl

    Ye Jianming was freelancing in 2017, and betting on a Biden comeback.

    Xi Jinping evidently did not take kindly to that – attempting to make himself indispensable.)

    Joe Biden knew at the time that his son was trying something and selected someone (Tony Bobulinski) to keep an eye on him and make sure it was legal. That was the extent of his involvement. After all, he didn’t wasn’t his son dealing drugs maybe

    Hunter and Joe’s brother Jim, cut Tony Bobulinski out, and Joe was probably none the wiser.

    Joe had better, safer, ways to make money, like $900.000 over two or three years for being a very part time professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

    https://www.statesman.com/story/news/politics/politifact/2022/04/29/fact-check-joe-biden-full-professor-four-years/9555102002

    According to the tax forms he has released, Biden received more than $900,000 from the university for holding the position between 2017 and 2019. His post “involved no regular classes and around a dozen public appearances on campus, mostly in big, ticketed events,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

    They probably paid him for the prestige. And Joe Biden got money for other speeches and appearances.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  314. A huge ‘tent city’ for migrants entering the US from Mexico is under construction on the fringes of El Paso as officials scramble to prepare for a surge in crossings when Title 42 ends.

    Biden didn’t want to do that till now.

    In New York they built a shelter for single men on Randall’s Island and even winterized it– then Texas Governor Abbott stopped sending buses, then they people in the shelter left (some probably for Florida to work after being sent to hotels acting as shelter) then some people from Senegal who were already in New York under the protection or custody of an imam moved there, then the shelter was emptied and torn down — now they could use again maybe.

    They are so afraid of building cheap housing.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  315. 303. Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 11:00 am

    Expelling him for bringing politicians into disrepute would end in a by-election in about 90 days, which the GOP could win. But if they back Santos to the hilt, they can whistle for that seat in 2024.

    I think the opposite s the case. The GOP would lose the by election (when control of Congress would not be at stake) but they could win in 2024 with a different candidate.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  316. Not much? A weakened Putin who doesn’t cause mischief on us and allies is our stated US policy, and that policy directly serves our national security interests. Our support of Ukraine against a Russian imperialist warmonger sends a direct message to the Xi regime about invading Taiwan, a nation whose semiconductor industry serves our national security interests.
    You can cherry-pick other folks’ reasons, but don’t pretend that you’re not aware of stated US policy.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 12/25/2022 @ 7:41 am

    FWIW, I was unaware that “doesn’t cause mischief on us and allies is our stated US policy” but I think it’s still fair to ask how much mischief is worth $1b, $10b, or $100b.

    The conflict in UKR has shown that RU has limited options to “cause mischief on” NATO countries. We don’t need $100b know that. What we’re planning to spend doesn’t actually counter the “mischief” RU represents to NATO countries unless you’re thinking that the US took out the nord stream pipeline.

    Have you any indication that this discourages Xi from invading Taiwan? The CN recently moved more military assets into the area.

    The message with UKR is that the US will spend $ to fight a proxy war with a country that it has limited economic ties with. Is there any reason for CN to think TW would put up the same resistance as UKR? Who would be the proxy be that we would send arms and money to? Would the US and it’s allies risk the economic impact?

    The other message with UKR is that the US does not want to directly engage a belligerent with nuclear weapons. Would we engage CN directly? What part of what’s going on with UKR sends that message?

    Now, I’m not convinced that CN can conduct large scale operations any better than RU but if we take everything at face value there’s nothing the US is doing with UKR that looks like it might convince CN of that.

    frosty (b1cc3c)

  317. Is Liz Cheney from the “northwest”?

    No.

    Elizabeth Lynne Cheney was born on July 28, 1966,[19] in Madison, Wisconsin,[20] the elder of two daughters of former vice president Dick Cheney and former Second Lady Lynne Cheney (née Vincent). At the time of her birth, her parents were studying at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her younger sister, Mary Cheney, was also born in Madison. Cheney attended part of sixth and seventh grade in Casper, Wyoming, while her father campaigned for Congress. The family divided its time between Casper and Washington, D.C., in the 1970s through the 1980s, following her father’s election to Congress.[21] In 1984 Cheney graduated from McLean High School in suburban Washington, D.C., where she was a cheerleader. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado College, her mother’s alma mater, where she wrote her senior thesis, “The Evolution of Presidential War Powers”.[2] She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School in 1996. While there, she also took courses in Middle Eastern history at the Oriental Institute.

    Enemies of the United States don’t like her, or her family. (For example, the Taliban tried to assasinate her father. So far Trumpistas have only engaged in character assassination. So far.)

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  318. George Santos lied about his mother’s work history also:

    https://www.newsweek.com/george-santos-claims-his-mom-was-world-trade-center-9-11-1769298

    Santos’ official campaign website states: “George’s work ethic comes from his mother, who came from nothing, but worked her way up to be the first female executive at a major financial institution.

    “On September 11, 2001, George’s mother was in her office in the South Tower. She survived the horrific events of that day, but unfortunately passed away a few years later.”

    His mother worked as a housekeeper in New York, and in Brazil, perhaps as a nurse. She died at the of 2016. George Santos was raising money online for her wake or funeral, and from the Roman Catholic Church:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11570137/George-Santos-worked-call-center-Queens-not-Goldman-Sachs-unpaid-debts.html

    DailyMail.com has also discovered a GoFundMe page that Santos set up to help to pay for his mother’s funeral in 2016.

    The page raised $1,850 of a $10,000 goal. On that profile, he wrote that he and his sister were not working at the time of her death because she needed 24 hour care.

    See

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/funeral-e-memorial-fatima-devolder

    The name of the family member there was Anthony.

    Anthony Devolver is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Anthony D Santos.

    George’s second name is evidently Anthony.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/george-santos-congress-mother-funeral

    CBS News has spoken with a pastor, Father Jose Carlos da Silva, of Saint Rita’s Catholic Church, in Long Island City, Queens, who says he knew Santos’ family, the Devolders, well. The Devolders came to the church once in a while, he told CBS News. The family, including George Santos, was Catholic, says da Silva.

    He also said that when Santos’ mother, Fatima Devolder, died in 2016, Santos approached him to ask for help from the church. Da Silva had ministered to the family during Devolder’s illness, and soon after she died, Santos told da Silva that the family couldn’t afford a funeral.

    A memorial mass was held at the church, which held a collection for the family. Da Silva said he didn’t count the money collected, but recalled that the amount raised was significant, and that he handed the collection directly to Santos….

    ….A 2013 public notice from a Rio de Janeiro court accused Santos of embezzlement, though it did not elaborate on the charges. It identified George Anthony Devolder Santos as a 25-year-old American teacher who was single. The citation states that Santos, at the time of the charges, was in “an uncertain and unknown location” and therefore could not be summoned. The document gave Santos 10 days to produce materials for his defense.

    He says he was taking care of her, but he voted in Florida in 2016 and registered to vote again in New York a few days later. The hospice at home– we don’t know how long it lasted (when it began)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  319. How the Democratic opposition research missed that (basically, they didn’t think this race was likely to be lost, and they were distracted by a bright, shiny object: Wall Street. And January 6.And abortion.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/22/opinion/george-santos-oppo-research-dccc.html

    …Let’s go through the opposition research process. A junior researcher is tasked to write a “book” — a comprehensive report laying out a buffet of opposition research attacks on a given opponent. Then a senior researcher oversees and edits the book. As the Democratic candidate was not chosen until Aug. 23 in a district Democrats won comfortably in 2020, this process probably started late and was rushed.

    Think back to that animal-rescue nonprofit, which reportedly was not registered as a charity. How did Mr. Santos get away with that unnoticed? He didn’t, exactly. We have a copy of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s research book on Mr. Santos, polished for public consumption and posted online in August. Sure enough, we see that Mr. Santos’s charity is documented as unfindable in an I.R.S. database.

    Documented, too, are evictions during the 2010s and instances of undisclosed personal finances that appear in the Times story. They’re in small sections interspersed through a nearly 90-page document, yet they’re there. Maybe given more time, the researchers could have gone further to confirm the nonprofit’s lack of state filings or could have contacted his former landlords.

    What about Mr. Santos’s apparently lying about his employers and education? The Times reported that Baruch College could not confirm that he graduated in the year he claimed, and companies he has listed, such as Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, found no record of his employment. Often, opposition research is the dark art of searching databases and copying and pasting information so you can write prompts for reporters. You’d be shocked to know what a 20-something given enough time and direction can find out about a person. But oppo researchers are not private investigators, and it’s helpful to consider their sources. During their work, a researcher may notice there’s not a single piece of evidence outside of the candidate’s own claims about his or her history.

    So how do you verify? There are sources like yearbooks and services used by employers for education checks, or you can always try asking politely. Employers and universities are under no requirement to share this information with anyone who calls — including a random person asking for the sake of political research. (Though I stress: The odds are better than you think if you ask.) An alternative solution is to bug newspaper reporters to ask those questions and hope their paper’s reputation compels an answer….

    …Let’s return to the research process: After a book is completed, communications staff members, campaign officials and consultants are briefed on the best hits the researchers could find for pitching to reporters and for advertising purposes. We can see one outcome of those briefings in a research-packed news release from the D.C.C.C. that blasted Mr. Santos as a “shady Wall Street bro.” Specifically, it highlights the absence of the nonprofit in the I.R.S. database and his previously undisclosed personal finances. It’s not the exact story, but months ago, a Democratic operative had the thought to call him “untrustworthy.”

    Then what happened? The D.C.C.C. research department probably moved on to the next project. This year, as they do every two years, Democrats competed in hundreds of House races. The junior staff member may even be moved to a position at a technically distinct division and be legally unable to communicate with his or her former co-workers. That’s how some lines of inquiries never progress beyond PDF files.

    Gently, however, I would suggest that the rest of the prepared Democratic research is quite compelling. Mr. Santos claimed he was at the Ellipse at the Stop the Steal rally in Washington, claimed in a video captured by trackers to have assisted with legal fees for Capitol rioters and said he supported a national abortion ban. Heavy stuff! That’s along with your standard politically toxic Republican agenda of cutting taxes for the rich while pursuing some form of partial privatization for Social Security.

    We’re waiting for the final data, but Republicans probably carried this New York district for governor and senator. And that’s despite Senator Chuck Schumer’s spending $41 million to his opponent’s $545,000 statewide. Perhaps a stronger attack on Mr. Santos as a possible fraud would have allowed his Democratic opponent to escape such gravity.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  320. https://www.newser.com/story/329609/russia-ukraine-must-demilitarize-itself-or-well-do-it.html

    Now we have peace conditons from both sides.

    So what??

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  321. 281. JF (619725) — 12/27/2022 @ 9:45 am

    then a truce on terms Ukraine could’ve had a year ago before the first shot was fired.

    Russia denied intending to invade and issue no ultimatum.

    And Putin tried to keep it a secret even from some of his own military.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  322. Enemies of Evil, war-monging, self-serving Vulcans, Neocon and war-profiteers don’t like her, or her family.

    FIFY.

    DCSCA (486bdf)

  323. OK, I have to ask, even after all this discussion:

    What principled reason does anyone have for allowing Russia to conquer Ukraine?

    1) We’re just spending too much money, and even if this was for building a wall across the entire southern border, I’d oppose it!

    2) We might get into WWIII if we don’t let Putin have his way.

    3) Biden sucks, and Biden wants this so I don’t!

    4) The US is not the world’s policeman. Let China and Russia handle that!

    5) We should not get involved in wars unless the UN says we can.

    6) Europe is only spending twice our contribution, GDP-wise. They should be spending more for me to be OK with it.

    7) We should drop absolutely everything until the Biden Administration starts enforcing immigration laws. Holding my breath starting NOW!

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  324. Have you any indication that this discourages Xi from invading Taiwan? The CN recently moved more military assets into the area.

    You ask questions that nobody has answers to, frosty. There are no exact dollar numbers, and there’s no way to get into Xi’s head, hence my comments that we send military aid as conditions warrant and that our actions send a message to Xi.
    For Putin, it’s apparent to me that his regime is weakened, in multiple ways, economically and militarily and politically, and all the while helping the victim in this situation. To me, Putin being stuck in the quagmire he created serves our interests.
    For the ChiCom regime, we’re also sending Taiwan military aid in addition to messages. I don’t know if Xi is going to pull the trigger, but he’s been given good reasons not to. Does he really want to break it off with his largest trading partner over an island the size of Maryland? To me, no.
    While we’re on message sending, Biden sent a big one in Aug-Sep 2021, with his complete cock-up of a withdrawal from Afghanistan. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that Putin started his military build-up along the Ukraine border just a month or so later. Putin thought he saw weakness.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  325. Is Liz Cheney from the “northwest”?

    Is anyone “from” anywhere anymore?

    Most California politicians were born somewhere else, starting with Ronald Reagan. Four of the 6 governors since were born outside of California (counting Jerry once).

    Only 40% of California residents were born in California. One quarter were born outside the US.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  326. Back in the 80’s, a common L.A. pickup line was “Where are you from?”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  327. Have you any indication that this discourages Xi from invading Taiwan?

    Have you any indication that rolling over for Putin would discourage Xi from invading Taiwan?

    As it stands what Xi is seeing is that, in the hands of largely untrained fighters and partisans, US weapons kick ass. Imagine what they could do in the hands of people who’ve trained with them for years.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  328. Jim,

    Where do you think Wyoming is?

    Pathetic.

    NJRob (ba8f28)

  329. Back in the 80’s, a common L.A. pickup line was “Where are you from?”

    Back in the dawn’s early light, a common pick-up line by the U.S. Border Patrol is: “Where are you from?”

    DCSCA (486bdf)

  330. @326

    OK, I have to ask, even after all this discussion:

    What principled reason does anyone have for allowing Russia to conquer Ukraine?

    1) We’re just spending too much money, and even if this was for building a wall across the entire southern border, I’d oppose it!

    2) We might get into WWIII if we don’t let Putin have his way.

    3) Biden sucks, and Biden wants this so I don’t!

    4) The US is not the world’s policeman. Let China and Russia handle that!

    5) We should not get involved in wars unless the UN says we can.

    6) Europe is only spending twice our contribution, GDP-wise. They should be spending more for me to be OK with it.

    7) We should drop absolutely everything until the Biden Administration starts enforcing immigration laws. Holding my breath starting NOW!

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 1:27 pm

    Can we not have nuance discussion vis-à-vis Ukraine and Russia?

    What’s wrong with defining limiting principles?

    What’s wrong with advocating for audits for these Ukrainian packages?

    What’s wrong with simply addressing what kind of foreign policy we’d like to see internationally?

    Why do questions like these are always retorted with framing that they’re pro-Putin?

    whembly (d116f3)

  331. Kevin M,

    How much of Europe’s spending is subsidized by the United States through either direct funding or allowing them to cheat on their obligations such as through NATO?

    Money is fungible.

    NJRob (ba8f28)

  332. But, Rip, is that a requirement to run for office? Or is that a regulation of campaign funding? If the latter then it’s a different question (1st Amendment) which I expect to see addressed again in the next few years.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 12:31 pm

    Your First Amendment argument would also apply to campaigns reporting to the FEC. Without public reporting, no one would know how many millions Sam Bankman-Fried donated to the Democrats (or Republicans).

    Given the longstanding approval of campaign funding disclosures by the Supreme Court, I don’t think a new First Amendment challenge will succeed.

    Modern campaign finance disclosure requirements have existed since Buckley v. Valeo (1976), and since then the Court has consistently upheld campaign disclosure requirements:

    …….[T]he Supreme Court has consistently held that transparent political spending served three distinct governmental interests: informing voters, fighting corruption, and preventing people from circumventing the law. In other words, the Court has recognized that elections require that voters know who is trying to influence them. The justices have also found that that transparency requirements lessen the risks of corrupt behavior and that publicly reporting political expenditures ensures that political spenders comply with contribution limits.

    The Supreme Court reaffirmed that disclosure requirements are constitutional in Citizens United v. FEC in 2010 and McCutcheon v. FEC in 2014.

    The Court most recently declined a challenge to disclosures in Doe, et al. v. FEC (2020).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  333. Arizona judge rejects governor-elect’s request to sanction election denier Lake
    ………
    Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson said in Tuesday’s ruling that Lake’s claims in the lawsuit were not groundless.

    “The fact that plaintiff (Lake) failed to meet the burden of clear and convincing evidence … does not equate to a finding that her claims were, or were not, groundless and presented in bad faith,” Thomson wrote in the judgment.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  334. More Election Fraud:

    U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, a Republican from west Georgia who has raised concerns in the past about election fraud, voted three times this year in Troup County. But Ferguson no longer lives at the address where he’s registered to vote after he sold his house in April and moved in with his wife two counties away.
    ………
    Ferguson’s spokesman, Brian Piper, defended the congressman’s votes in this year’s elections but didn’t respond to questions about why he continued to vote in Troup County after property tax records show he sold his house there.
    ……..
    Under state law and court cases, voters aren’t allowed to vote in their previous county, legislative district or voting precinct if they’ve moved more than 30 days before an election. Georgia voters are required to update their registrations after moving to reflect their new residence and districts.
    ……….
    The State Election Board has the power to levy fines of up to $5,000 per violation of election laws, but previous cases have resulted in light penalties.

    The board issued a public reprimand and a cease-and-desist order in September to a voter who lived in Baldwin County but voted in Hancock County.
    ##########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  335. Where do you think Wyoming is?
    Pathetic.

    Yes, pathetic. No one from the Northwest considers Wyoming the Northwest. Mountain West, yes.

    Paul Montagu (1888f5)

  336. #331 – Pacific Northwest

    In modern American politics, when we say “northwest”, we almost always mean the Pacific Northwest, specifically the three states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

    (Fun fact: George W. Bush carried the popular vote in Pacific Northwest in 2000, since his winning margin in Idaho was larger than his combined losses in Oregon and Washington.)

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  337. Enemies of the United States don’t like her, or her family. (For example, the Taliban tried to assasinate her father. So far Trumpistas have only engaged in character assassination. So far.)

    Jim Miller (f29931) — 12/27/2022 @ 12:45 pm

    LOL, for a family that loves sending Americans off to foreign countries to get killed, it’s the height of irony that none of them are eligible to be buried in a VA cemetery themselves for their “service.”

    Russell Rippetoe, a former classmate of mine and the first Iraq KIA to be buried in Arlington, was worth 100,000 Dick and Liz Cheneys. Pat Tillman, who went to the same university I did, was worth 100,000 Dick and Liz Cheneys. My grandfather, an AF veteran who served in Korea during the war, was worth 1,000,000 Dick and Liz Cheneys.

    For all the smug declarations about “Trumpistas” being part of the cult, the neocon cult of the Cheneys runs long, wide, and deep. They’re just mad that their own cult got usurped by heretics.

    Factory Working Orphan (6d6787)

  338. Yes Jim,

    Us Yankees read a map and break up a mation into North and South and East and West. Takes a “person” like you to be pretentious and set us straight because you want to avoid defending your nonsensical remarks.

    NJRob (ba8f28)

  339. The country [black units] were fighting for did not have slaves.

    The border states would like a word.

    They were neither fish nor fowl.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 10:38 am

    They were part of the country black units were fighting for (i.e., they didn’t secede). They had slaves.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  340. I do prefer Trump lies in the political world to those of Cheney, Murkowski and Romney – for the same reasons that in the financial world I’d rather be lied to by Trump than Bernie Madoff in his early years.

    steveg (ebe4bf)

  341. Difference between a crocodile sunning himself on a sandbar vs. a snake in the grass

    steveg (ebe4bf)

  342. It’s just another, desperate, faux pitch by the Kevin-types attempting to make Ukraine a U.S. problem to manage.

    Except it is not. The long historied, regional Russo-Ukraine conflict is NOT an American problem to meddle in.

    It is wholly, fully, totally and conclusively a problem for wealthy, modern, 21st century Europe to manage and take the responsibility for the consequences of their actions and decisions. These nations maintain well-armed militaries w/weaponry manufactured in their own nations, the finances- and the diplomats to manage and quell the third kinetic conflict on their continent in 115 years. They did it before there ever was a USA to sucker into carying the burden. Thay can do it today.

    DCSCA (486bdf)

  343. Can we not have nuance discussion vis-à-vis Ukraine and Russia?

    What nuance? Russia invaded a neighboring state (one that Russia had signed a treaty with) and is raping people, killing people, and taking their children to raise as Russians. They are acting about as bad as Heydrich’s SS in Poland. It’s like saying “Hey, can’t wee have a nuanced discussion vis a vis child molesters and kindergarten kids?”

    What’s wrong with defining limiting principles?

    Such as? We won’t protect countries being attacked by countries starting with “R”?

    What’s wrong with advocating for audits for these Ukrainian packages?

    Partly because it’s just an argument you’re thrown against the wall, partly because they aren’t getting actual money. They are getting weapons, and credit to buy more weapons. From us.

    What’s wrong with simply addressing what kind of foreign policy we’d like to see internationally?

    I have not heard that as yet, other than a blanket isolationism.

    Why do questions like these are always retorted with framing that they’re pro-Putin?

    They aren’t. Some of them are framed as if they are anti-Biden (which is probably more true).

    ===========

    The point being that there is no coherent reason for opposition. The ones I listed are pretty much what I’ve heard. If they sound incoherent, that’s not my fault.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  344. George Santos was interviewed yesterday in the 5pm to 6pm Cats at Night show with John Catsimatidis.

    You can hear it here – the audio continues past the end of that 12 minute 16 second segment into talking about the Buffalo snowstorm (which was mismanaged we heard today because they didn’t warn people to stay off the roads and didn’t pre-position snowplows and the like)

    https://wabcradio.com/podcast/cats-at-night-with-john-catsimatidis/

    Go to EXCLUSIVE: Congressman Elect Breaks His Silence| 12-26-2022

    He says that he can prove he is not wanted in Brazil because his passport shows many visits to Brazil.

    It was not quite so exclusive because he also spoke to the New York Post.

    https://nypost.com/2022/12/26/rep-elect-george-santos-admits-fabricating-key-details-of-his-bio

    Lydia on the Cats at Night show said today that tonight he is going to appear on Tucker Carlson but I can’t verify that.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  345. Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of things Biden’s administration is doing wrong around the world.

    North Korea should give up its nukes, today, or be a smoking hole in the ground. Talk about “what other people see” when they look at our policy. We know what Iran sees.

    The Southern border situation is a cluster-cluster-xxxx. It is hard to see how Biden could make it worse, but every day he surprises me.

    I don’t think we even have a policy in Central America. This is possibly better than Obama’s policy of encouraging leftist dictators.

    We are allowing China and Russia to recolonize parts of Africa.

    Our policy towards China itself is unclear. This is a nation of over a billion people on the edge of depression. Or maybe finding an external adventure to avoid that. We probably should be looking down the road a bit but near as I can tell we’ll just drifting with the tide.

    However, on Ukraine, Biden has it about right. Finally. It didn’t start that way.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  346. The United States actually does help some countries in sub-Saharan Africa — if the are in danger from Islamic terrorists.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  347. They were part of the country black units were fighting for (i.e., they didn’t secede). They had slaves.

    They didn’t secede because if they tried the US army was near enough to hang them.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  348. quell the third kinetic conflict on their continent in 115 years.

    It’s honestly baffling how people keep forgetting the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s happened. Byproduct of WW2 getting turned into a post-modern creation myth, I suppose.

    Factory Working Orphan (5a490a)

  349. 328. Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 1:38 pm

    Only 40% of California residents were born in California. One quarter were born outside the US.

    There’s a nativist streak in California.

    Consider the song:

    California, here I come
    Right back where I started from..

    …So open up those Golden Gate
    California, here I come

    But see he needs that excuse that he was born there.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  350. 351. Factory Working Orphan (5a490a) — 12/27/2022 @ 4:21 pm

    It’s honestly baffling how people keep forgetting the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s happened.

    I’m at least waiting to hear the argument as to how this war is bigger than that one or that that one was smaller. But I don’t hear it.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  351. 348. Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 4:18 pm

    However, on Ukraine, Biden has it about right. Finally. It didn’t start that way.

    You have about 86^ agreement in Congress — plus there are almost all of his appointees. I think they consider him too moderate and too afraid of war with Russia.

    He didn’t consider the Patriot missiles an escalation because, after all, they can only be used if Russia fires missiles — and that Ukraine not suffer too much is important to him.

    In the beginning he was hoping that Putin could be encouraged into only going after a tiny bit of additional territory in the Donbass. Didn’t work.
    /

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  352. You ask questions that nobody has answers to, frosty.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 12/27/2022 @ 1:37 pm

    Is it that or am I asking questions you don’t like the answers to? What reasons have we given Xi? That we’ll sanction them? That we’ll dump money into some country that will stand up to them? Do we really want to break it off? It’s not clear that we can even if we wanted to.

    If we really wanted to send a message to Xi and Putin there’d at least be a NATO enforced no fly zone over UKR. When you can honestly answer why there isn’t one yet you might have some idea what’s in Xi’s head.

    frosty (b42b69)

  353. Cuba is depopulating

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/10/world/americas/cuba-us-migration.html Not just to the USA. They can go to some other countries and are seriously considering it now. Some of them not so good.

    Katrin Hansing, an anthropologist at the City University of New York who is on sabbatical on the island, noted that the soaring migration figures do not account for the thousands who have left for other countries, including Serbia and Russia.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  354. There’s a nativist streak in California.

    Everything that is wrong with California started in New York.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  355. The consequences of enforcing immigration laws more strictly is people dying. There’s no two ways about it:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/17/world/middleeast/tunisia-parliament-elections.html

    “I see that the president has made promises,” she said. “But in reality, we can all see the economy is collapsing,” she added, pointing to Tunisia’s grim reality: prices too high, jobs too few, basics such as cooking oil and bottled water scarce on store shelves, and record numbers of people drowning off the coast in a desperate bid to migrate to Europe.

    This is partially because they stop people from sending out boats to rescue them. If you insist on enforcing immigration laws unreservedly you lose every single other value.

    The same thing goes on with Rohinga refugees in southeast Asia

    The argument that this is encouraged by a sort of open door may have some validity — but to get the numbers back down people will have to die.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  356. California is something special. In the 1930s they tried to pass an immigration law (quality only no quotas) against the rest of the country.

    https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/314/160/

    U.S. Supreme Court
    Edwards v. California, 314 U.S. 160 (1941)
    Edwards v. California

    No. 17

    Argued April 28, 29, 1941

    Reargued October 21, 1941

    Decided November 24, 1941

    314 U.S. 160

    Syllabus

    1. Transportation of persons from one State into another is interstate commerce. P. 314 U. S. 172.

    2. A statute of California making it a misdemeanor for anyone knowingly to bring or assist in bringing into the State a nonresident “indigent person” held invalid as an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce. P. 314 U. S. 174…

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  357. Have you any indication that rolling over for Putin would discourage Xi from invading Taiwan?

    As it stands what Xi is seeing is that, in the hands of largely untrained fighters and partisans, US weapons kick ass. Imagine what they could do in the hands of people who’ve trained with them for years.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 1:43 pm

    Have you any indication that I’ve said anyone should roll over? No, you don’t but you also don’t have any argument other than this false courage.

    If you wanted to discourage Xi we’d need to do in UKR what we’d need to do in TW. We’d need to put actual US assets at risk. Or we could drag out the conflict in UKR, let more civilians suffer and die, waiting for more opportunities to show Xi how much ass weapons they’re already familiar with kick.

    frosty (b42b69)

  358. Partly because it’s just an argument you’re thrown against the wall, partly because they aren’t getting actual money. They are getting weapons, and credit to buy more weapons. From us.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 4:06 pm

    It’s almost as if you can’t be bothered to look things up.

    Even without this fancy internet thing you’d think you’d wonder who’s paying the salaries on all these UKR government workers. Especially the ones giving us quality information.

    frosty (b42b69)

  359. Russia’s Nuanced Discussion About Ukraine:

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that the Kremlin will continue to pursue a military solution to the war until the Ukrainian government capitulates to Russia’s demands. Lavrov stated in a December 27 interview with Russian state news wire TASS that Ukraine and the West are “well aware of Russia’s proposals on the demilitarization and denazification” of Ukrainian-controlled territory and that the Russian military will settle these issues if Ukraine refuses to accept these proposals. Russian demands for “demilitarization” aim to eliminate Ukraine’s ability to resist further Russian attacks, while the demands for “denazification” are tantamount to calls for regime change in Ukraine. Lavrov added that Ukraine and the United States must recognize Russia’s seizure of occupied Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson oblasts. Lavrov stated that US-controlled Ukraine and the United States are responsible for prolonging the war as they could “put an end to [Ukraine’s] senseless resistance. ……

    …….. Lavrov stated that the United States and its NATO allies are pursuing “victory over Russia on the battlefield” in Ukraine “as a mechanism for significantly weakening or even destroying” the Russian Federation. Lavrov nonsensically accused US military officials of planning a decapitation blow against the Kremlin that included killing Russian President Vladimir Putin. Lavrov also accused the United States and NATO members of being de facto parties to the war in Ukraine and of engaging in dangerous nuclear signaling. Lavrov argued that Russian officials are unable to maintain normal communications or work on any proposals or agreements with the United States under these conditions, as the United States seeks to inflict strategic defeat against the Russian Federation. Lavrov stated that Russian officials are ready to discuss security issues in the context of Ukraine and in a broader, strategic plan, but only when American officials “realize the defectiveness of the current course” and return to “building mutually respectful relations on the basis of the obligatory consideration of legitimate Russian interests.”

    …….The Kremlin routinely portrays Ukraine as a Western pawn that lacks any actual sovereignty in order to disqualify Ukrainian officials from future direct negotiations and instead frame negotiations with Russia as being the responsibility of Western officials. The Kremlin routinely highlights its grievances with the West over the war in Ukraine instead of its grievances with Ukraine itself to capitalize on the Western desire for negotiations and create a dynamic in which Western officials feel pressed to make preemptive concessions to lure Russia to the negotiating table. ……
    ……..

    Footnotes omitted.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  360. ….in the hands of largely untrained fighters and partisans…..

    That’s a crock. NATO countries has been training the Ukraine Armed Forces for more than eight years.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  361. David French being like “the government has a first amendment right to police wrongthink” is my favorite episode of NeverTrump ever.”

    https://twitter.com/ironleaguethug/status/1607849097649602560?s=46&t=BGi3EAlOtmFRlPyhMD7ZqA

    https://thefederalist.com/2022/12/19/david-french-yes-the-dispatch-takes-money-to-help-leftists-keep-the-internet-conservatism-free/

    Obudman (6c7d77)

  362. However, on Ukraine, Biden has it about right…

    OFGS, get a grip:

    Robert Gates seems to double down on claim that Biden’s been wrong on top foreign policy issues for decades

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/gates-seems-to-double-down-on-claim-that-bidens-been-wrong-on-top-foreign-policy-issues-for-decades

    “Putin knows, if I am president of the United States, his days of tyranny and trying to intimidate the United States and those in Eastern Europe are over,” Biden boasted… “Vladimir Putin doesn’t want me to be President. He doesn’t want me to be our nominee. If you’re wondering why — it’s because I’m the only person in this field who’s ever gone toe-to-toe with him.” – Squinty McStumblebum

    https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/craig-bannister/biden-2019-if-im-president-putins-days-tyranny-and-trying-intimidate-us-and

    When it comes to f/p, the only bigger incompetent [and likely incontinent] ass on Earth than Joe Biden is stitched to the butt end of the King Kong exhibit at Universal Orlando.

    … and Jinping smiled.

    DCSCA (c1d7fd)

  363. @351. Rest easy- historians and time will eventually link WW1 and WW2 as a singular swathe of a conflicting turmoil w/a 20 year pause to regroup as vengeance festered and reignited the flames and fire.

    DCSCA (c1d7fd)

  364. They didn’t secede because if they tried the US army was near enough to hang them.

    What does whether the border states would have seceded if they weren’t afraid of the army have to do with your assertion that the Union had no slaves? The Union had slaves.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  365. It’s almost as if you can’t be bothered to look things up.

    It’s almost as if you don’t read what you look up and post.

    Except for one category, this is all aid-in-kind or loans to buy aid-in-kind. That one category, “Budgetary aid through the Economic Support Fund, loans, and other financial support” has *some* money, via loans and grants for particular purposes, all of it with strings attached, and all easily audited. And if you think the US government doesn’t know how to audit, you haven’t ever done business with them.

    What they don’t do is audit bullets and rifles and military aid. I guess it is possible that someone is selling it on the black market but everything I see says that doing so is a quick way to get shot by the Ukrainians themselves. Don’t you know there’s a war on?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  366. And “loans” to buy stuff from us is not in dollar bills. It’s in scrip (or, these days, credit balances), only usable at the company store.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  367. That’s a crock. NATO countries has been training the Ukraine Armed Forces for more than eight years.

    Many (most?) fighters are NOT regular troops.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  368. @365: DCSCA, that is such an absurd string of non sequitur factoids that it makes anyone who reads it lose brain cells. I still don’t know why the site management tolerates you.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  369. @372. Step away from the bong. No clear-headed human could possibly praise Squinty’s 50 year record of bad decisions on foreign policy issues. The record is clear– unless their native language is Russian, Chinese, Persian or Dari.

    DCSCA (3e2608)

  370. Biden has been wrong on every major foreign policy decision in last 4 decades

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/aug/16/biden-has-been-wrong-on-every-major-foreign-policy/

    Joe Biden Has the Worst Record Ever On Foreign Policy

    https://710wor.iheart.com/featured/mark-simone/content/2022-02-24-joe-biden-has-the-worst-record-ever-on-foreign-policy/

    Biden has been on wrong side of foreign policy issues for decades: former Bush assistant secretary of state

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-wrong-foreign-policy-decades-charles

    “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man!… They’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what, they’re not competition for us.”” Biden exclaimed.

    … and Jinping took another bite of Joey’s peanut butter sandwich… then smiled.

    DCSCA (3e2608)

  371. For those that care, today is the Stan Lee centennial.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  372. Many (most?) fighters are NOT regular troops.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 11:04 pm

    Define “many” or “most”. More than 25%? 50%?

    Outside of Russia, Ukraine has the largest military in Europe-1.2 million, which included 209,000 regular military; 900,000 reservists; and 102,000 paramilitaries (no doubt it’s much larger now).

    After Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine in 2014, the UAF gained important combat experience fighting Russian-led forces in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk (known as the Donbas). This led to a large proportion of trained and experienced veterans among Ukraine’s population. These veterans and other volunteers (including foreign recruits) were quickly mobilized into Ukraine’s new volunteer Territorial Defense Forces (TDF) and Reserve without the need for lengthy training. The high level of experience and training among recruits meant they were able to operate artillery, tank, and support systems that traditionally require more time for reservists or volunteers to master. These units have been crucial in supporting regular UAF units and enabling them to spearhead operations and counteroffensives.

    Source

    In general, it’s not shopkeepers or farmers fighting the Russians, it’s experienced troops, though they are recruiting and training civilians to fight.

    Rip Murdock (e6d601)

  373. 368…no surprise, brown exotic upbringing redpill is going to view the newest brown exotic upbringing redpill, even a far less attractive disgusting fraudulent one, as an existential threat to their grift. This does hurt the Mayra Flores – Yesli Vega – Ana Paula Luna brigades a bit though, people are going to not just settle for want of winning margin.

    urbanleftbehind (00993f)

  374. Is it that or am I asking questions you don’t like the answers to?

    Definitely the former. Can you get into Xi’s head? Do you know a precise dollar amount for military aid (assuming you support such aid, which I doubt) that will give Ukraine the upper hand? Do you know the future, about how Putin’s invasion will unfold and how his war of aggression will end? The answer to me is an an across-the-board nyet.

    If we really wanted to send a message to Xi and Putin there’d at least be a NATO enforced no fly zone over UKR.

    Why would our directly entering the war with an act of war like a no-fly zone be “really wanted”? To me, that sounds like some artificial bar you just created for yourself.

    When you can honestly answer why there isn’t one yet you might have some idea what’s in Xi’s head.

    And there it is, the implication that my answers have been less than honest. It always seems to end up there with you. I simply don’t agree that the only way to send messages is to start WWIII.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  375. George Santos is a surprise only to those who don’t know that Trump is a New Yorker.

    nk (dbbc38)

  376. And, BTW, Trump also overcame the (R) handicap in Staten Island. Carrying it “overwhelmingly” in 2016 and 2020.

    nk (dbbc38)

  377. Conservative columnist Marc Thiessen lists the The 10 best things Joe Biden did in 2022, beginning with preventing a national rail strike, and ending with:

    1. He saved Ukraine

    Biden’s handling of Ukraine tops both my best and worst lists this year. Here is the best: After Russia invaded, Biden rallied our allies to support Ukraine’s self-defense — providing arms, money, intelligence and diplomatic support that stopped Putin from seizing Kyiv. At the start of the conflict, no one thought Ukraine could survive; today, Ukraine’s courageous armed forces are on the offensive, retaking territory Russia unlawfully seized. For all the flaws in his Ukraine strategy, Biden deserves credit for saving a free and independent Ukraine.

    I was pleasantly surprised by Ukraine’s performance in this war — and by Biden’s.

    (In his next column, Thiessen promises to give us his 10 worst.)

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  378. #280

    I knew Trump was a New Yorker and had no knowledge of Santos whatsoever. So could you explain your brief and intriguing comment?

    Appalled (7e2a08)

  379. Except for one category, this is all aid-in-kind or loans to buy aid-in-kind. That one category, “Budgetary aid through the Economic Support Fund, loans, and other financial support” has *some* money, via loans and grants for particular purposes, all of it with strings attached, and all easily audited. And if you think the US government doesn’t know how to audit, you haven’t ever done business with them.

    What they don’t do is audit bullets and rifles and military aid. I guess it is possible that someone is selling it on the black market but everything I see says that doing so is a quick way to get shot by the Ukrainians themselves. Don’t you know there’s a war on?

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 11:01 pm

    There are three categories mentioned at that link. Two of them, the financial and humanitarian, are not weapons or credits to buy more weapons. The third is a mixed bag but also includes things that aren’t weapons or credit to buy more weapons. The first two are 52% of the funds they reviewed.

    I can’t read your mind but it seems like you’d be aware that the dod has failed 5 audits in a row. But here you are saying they’re good at auditing and keeping track of stuff.

    frosty (b42b69)

  380. steveg – Is that hit from Fleetwood Mac your favorite song?

    More seriously, you said: “I do prefer Trump lies in the political world to those of Cheney, Murkowski and Romney . . ”

    For some background, here’s Glenn Kessler’s little yearly list:

    It’s time for our roundup of the biggest Pinocchios of the year.

    False claims made by President Biden and conspiracy theories about the president dominate the list. Misleading claims about the coronavirus, by a Republican and a Democrat, also made the cut. Former president Donald Trump earned this dubious honor for the eighth straight year by spreading a baseless conspiracy theory about one of his supporters at the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who also appeared on last year’s Biggest Pinocchio list, earned two spots this year, while Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) appears in the tally for the second straight year with a coronavirus claim.

    As usual, Cheney, Murkowski and Romney are not on his list. If you have some examples of things they have said in the last year that should have put them on that list, you should share them with us.

    (Kessler does not call his “Pinocchios” lies, but falsehoods. For a statement to be a lie, the person saying it must know that it is false, and, since we don’t have telepathy, we usually can’t know what is in another person’s mind.

    I am a little more willing than Kessler to infer that something is a lie, when there is evidence suggesting that the person who said it knew what he was saying was false.)

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  381. Brazen lies are innate New Yorker traits. And in a Trump and Santos comparison, lies largely about the same things — education, wealth, religion, family, social background. But the brazenness is the most remarkable, and not necessarily any particular lie.

    nk (dbbc38)

  382. Do you know a precise dollar amount for military aid (assuming you support such aid, which I doubt) that will give Ukraine the upper hand?

    I’ve mentioned this already. The US and NATO should be able to deal with this out of their existing budget. And I’ve explained why.

    Do you know the future, about how Putin’s invasion will unfold and how his war of aggression will end? The answer to me is an an across-the-board nyet.

    I’m not the one making predictions and promises.

    Why would our directly entering the war with an act of war like a no-fly zone be “really wanted”? To me, that sounds like some artificial bar you just created for yourself.

    I explained that as well. But sure my bar is artificial and you thinking our UKR policy is really doing the job to keep Xi in line isn’t wishful thinking.

    And there it is, the implication that my answers have been less than honest. It always seems to end up there with you. I simply don’t agree that the only way to send messages is to start WWIII.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 12/28/2022 @ 6:10 am

    This is ironic after accusing me of being dishonest but that’s not the implication I made. You’ve also just described the message we’re actually sending to Xi.

    frosty (b42b69)

  383. Dave Barry’s “Year in Review” is out, and, as usual, is hilarious, while making sharp points.

    For example:

    … Ron DeSantis, who we remind you is governor of Florida, uses Florida state funds to charter two planes in Texas, which is not part of Florida, and has them transport a group of migrants from Venezuela, which is also not part of Florida, to Martha’s Vineyard, yet another place that is not part of Florida. This would be a hilarious gubernatorial prank if not for the fact that these are actual human beings, as opposed to Muppets to be deployed in a cynical game of Migrant Whack-a-Mole.

    Martha’s Vineyard responds to DeSantis’s stunt by welcoming the migrants with open arms and offering them a permanent home for nearly two full days before having National Guard troops ship them off to the mainland. For its part, the White House blasts DeSantis for undermining the administration’s program for dealing with the humanitarian crisis at the border, which is to pretend that there is no humanitarian crisis at the border.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  384. “You don’t know what we will do, Xi” is a better message than “Do what you want, Xi, we’ll just sit on our hands like your stooges tell us to in the guise of ‘America First'”.

    nk (11fc8d)

  385. I remember Bill Clinton as a “pathological liar” and all his “womanizing” and it seems as quaint as Granny Clampett’s possum gizzards and collard greens.

    nk (11fc8d)

  386. I remember Cheney’s claims of “WMD” and the resulting death and destruction and body bags and gold stars and it seems as quaint as Clinton’s cigar tricks.

    JF (3214a1)

  387. I can’t read your mind but it seems like you’d be aware that the dod has failed 5 audits in a row. But here you are saying they’re good at auditing and keeping track of stuff.

    They are good at conducting audits. And “failing the audit” IS a valid audit result. It says that the DoD’s internal accounting sucks, not that the Feds don’t know how to audit. They audit everything.

    The feds also fail at collecting all taxes due, but that does not mean they don’t know how to tax.

    Look, your complaint was that these activities were not audited. Those that involve MONEY are, such as payments to ensure continuation of government by supporting the Ukrainian bureaucracy in the absence of tax revenue.

    But again, when it comes to “money” to purchase material (of any kind) from the West, they are given credit/vouchers/scrip, not cash, and can only buy from suppliers who Uncle Sam will reimburse with cash. These transactions audit themselves.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  388. 389,

    It didn’t take long to switch from we’re sending a clear message about what we’ll do if CN invades TW to we’re sending a clear message that we’re unpredictable.

    Did the narrative go into roulette wheel mode?

    frosty (b42b69)

  389. Is that what the narrative did? Bad, bad, bad narrative!

    Even if you were right, and sending a message to Xi is wishful thinking, no message is still better than your message: “Just lie back and enjoy it.

    Even Putin was more honest than that. He said, “Whether you like it or don’t like it, bear with it, my beauty.”

    nk (11fc8d)

  390. Trump should be on the list of Brazen Lies every year whether or not there is a particularly egregious lie on the record.
    Liars like Trump are easier for a simple person like me to figure out. He overvalues his things at 2X to 4X and automatically discounts yours by 50%-75%.
    Shiny is used as a distraction, what looks like gold is not, anything that is out of sight behind a wall, underground etc. will have been done to the lowest standards because the subcontractor doing the work was relentlessly scalped. So to cut out the cost of the due diligence, establish provenance. Owned by Trump, built by trump, for sale by Trump trigger a hard pass which gains the added benefit of not having to listen to a blizzzard (extra z left for emphasis) of BS.

    When it comes to politicians- Trump to Obama (Obama is a very accomplished Madoff type liar) Trump to Obama, the most prudent course is to disbelieve everything and wait for the results. Look to see what they deliver on or not, see if there is a pattern or consistency and begin to build a little trust positive and negative- so far he has delivered on that, but this has always been BS. Liars of Obama’s type lure me in, make me feel stupid. Liars like Trump lure me in on a lie and I am stupid.

    Long story short, I find liars like Obama pernicious in a subtle way that I sometimes do not pick up on, so I prefer the people that lie to me to be obvious about it

    steveg (45487b)

  391. 392,

    It sounds like you’re making the case that the DoD can’t keep track of funds but this is ok because they know they can’t keep track of funds.

    It also sounds like you’re trying to make the case that some department with better accounting practices than the DoD can keep track of money we’re dumping into a country that has a reputation for being one of the most corrupt in the world. Which department do you think that is? Some part of the State Dept?

    To the degree that you seem to be admitting that we know they’d fail an audit so there’s no point in doing one I’d reply that the point of the audit was to not fail. If you’re willing to accept an unknown level of fraud and war profiteering then, yes, an audit seems like a waste of time.

    can only buy from suppliers who Uncle Sam will reimburse with cash. These transactions audit themselves.

    I’m not sure what to say about this. They audit themselves? Do you have any idea how much fraud there was with the PPP loans? Or ongoing fraud in the healthcare industry? You’ve shown yourself to be knowledgeable enough that it’s safe to assume you do. And these are inside the US using US banks. Audit themselves?

    frosty (b42b69)

  392. Architect of Mich. governor kidnap plot sentenced to more than 19 years in prison

    A man who was convicted as one of the key orchestrators in the 2020 scheme to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and blow up a bridge in hopes of inciting a civil war was sentenced Wednesday to 19½ years in prison, the longest sentence of the four men convicted on federal charges in the most closely watched domestic terrorism case in recent years.
    ………
    (Barry) Croft and his co-conspirator, 39-year-old Adam Fox of Michigan, were convicted by a federal jury after a second trial in August on two counts of conspiracy, while Croft also was found guilty of an additional weapons charge. Prosecutors depicted the two men as furious over covid-19 lockdowns and supposed “tyranny” by elected officials, and poured their anger into a violent plot they were eager to see grow into a bloody “revolution.”
    ……..
    Fox was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years in prison, while two more defendants pleaded guilty in 2021 and early 2022 and agreed to testify against Croft and Fox. Another two defendants were acquitted at their federal trial in April.
    ……..
    In explaining why he would not hand down a life sentence, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker said no one was ultimately injured and no infrastructure was destroyed.

    “The end of the conspiracy was never realized, thank goodness. And it was never going to be realized because law enforcement was never going to let it get that far,” Jonker said, in reference to the embedded agents.

    But the judge also noted that Croft “was in a different tranche” than his co-defendants and was involved for a longer time in anti-government activities.
    ……..
    While Croft’s sentencing wrapped up the federal prosecutions of six defendants, several more alleged collaborators still face state trials. …….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  393. 394,

    Except that’s not my message. You’ve managed to pack two lies into a relatively short comment. At least you’re efficient.

    frosty (b42b69)

  394. I realize I make my own case for not voting for Trump, but the choice was liar type Hillary vs. liar Trump. Joe vs. Trump was two similar liar types with Joe having the added defect of being a dementia patient. I miscalculated the ability of Washington insiders to prop up fellow insider Biden, and way miscalculated the ability of Washington insiders to torpedo an outsider

    steveg (45487b)

  395. Boy, there is a lot going on in these threads the last few days. I guess egg nog is a powerful stimulant.

    One interesting argument seems to be the “deterrence” aspect of our response in the Ukraine. I believe there is some. Frosty does, correctly, say that the best deterrence would be putting US troops there. I don’t believe that politically possible and I wonder if he does.

    Nevertheless, toltalitarians have a habit of believeing that democracies are decadent, weak, and won’t back military action. Biden certainly helped them in their belief with his badly executed Afghanistan pullout. The Ukranian determination to fight, and the West’s willingness to support the fight has got to give Xi pause. I’m not sure that prevents action on his part. But he may be less inclined to believe that a Taiwan invasion will be a three-day cakewalk.

    Appalled (6ee7ad)

  396. intervention in Bosnia and Somalia didn’t deter Saddam, and intervention in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan didn’t deter Putin. But sending Ukraine money and weapons is a whole different level.

    JF (3214a1)

  397. umm, reverse Kuwait and Bosnia/Somalia — you get the point

    JF (3214a1)

  398. Since many are talking about removing lying Congressman from office… any word on why Illhan Omar is still there?

    NJRob (143615)

  399. @400. One interesting argument seems to be the “deterrence” aspect of our response in the Ukraine.

    The United States in not the world’s policeman:

    Article 1, U.N. Charter:

    To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace.

    https://ask.un.org/faq/176175

    List of invasions and occupations of Ukraine

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

    The best ‘deterrence’ is for wealthy, modern, 21st century Europe to take responsibility for their actions and decisions- cease shifting the risks and burdens on to a debt and inflation riddled U.S. and manage a mess in their own back yard– just as they have done for 1,000 years in times before there ever was USA to sucker. It is wholly, fully and totally for Europe- with their first class infrastructures, vibrant economies and efficient social support systems, world class militaries w/equipment manufactured in their own countries to manage. They have the finances and the diplomats– and given the geography- the most immediate incentive to quell this, the fourth significant kinetic conflict [adding FWOs Balkan references to the list] in 115 years. The history is there: Corrupt Ukraine is Europe’s mess to clean up. It is not an American problem.

    Memo to the EU:

    ‘Only You can Prevent Forest Fires.’- Smokey The Bear, 1944

    DCSCA (caa3cb)

  400. Since many are talking about removing lying Congressman from office…

    The fish rots from the head down: start with Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.

    DCSCA (caa3cb)

  401. JF:

    Unlike the 1st Gulf War, we attacked Sddam without him having done anything other than bluffing on WMDs. I don’t know how the lessons of Bosnia and Somalia would apply.

    As for Afghanistan — our wavering (in the 2010s) and withdrawal in 2021 probably encouraged Putin.

    DCSCA:

    Corrupt Ukraine is Europe’s mess to clean up.

    It’d be easier to accept that you are making arguments in good faith if you didn’t feel the need to endlessly condemn the country that didn’t have the good sense to be located somewhere other than next to Russia.

    Appalled (6ee7ad)

  402. Frosty does, correctly, say that the best deterrence would be putting US troops there. I don’t believe that politically possible and I wonder if he does.

    Appalled (6ee7ad) — 12/28/2022 @ 9:23 am

    I don’t think a NATO enforced no fly zone would be politically unacceptable to the US. Other NATO members would be a different story.

    But whether it’s politically acceptable is exactly my point with respect to “sending a message to Xi”. If a no fly zone isn’t acceptable for UKR what we’d need to do for TW is even less politically acceptable.

    The deterrence argument is largely, if not entirely, a figment of propaganda. There is zero evidence that it’s doing that and some evidence that it’s not with CN.

    frosty (b42b69)

  403. It sounds like you’re making the case that the DoD can’t keep track of funds but this is ok because they know they can’t keep track of funds.

    No, I’m not. Obviously I’m not. Please don’t twist what I post then attack your twist.

    The audit did not succeed because they did not balance everything out. That does not mean there aren’t records, or audit trails, or anything of that sort. Quite the contrary. But the DoD is the biggest corporation on the planet, by quite a margin, and keeping track of EVERYTHING is just not going to happen. Probably 2nd Law.

    The audit, which covered the department’s $3.5 trillion in assets and $3.7 trillion in liabilities, involved 1,600 auditors conducting 220 in-person site visits and 750 virtual site visits. The Pentagon inspector general and independent public accounting firms performed the audit, which was expected to cost $218 million this year.

    The 27 individual audits that comprise the effort yielded nine clean opinions, one modified opinion and disclaimers for the rest, which McCord said was on par with last year’s results. The number of the DoD’s material weaknesses also stayed steady at 28.

    “I would say we failed to get an ‘A,’ ” McCord said. “I would not say that we flunked. The process is important for us to do, and it is making us get better. It is not making us get better as fast as we want.”…

    Both represent an “undeniable trend,” but because leaders and the workforce may be unfamiliar with them, they’re also a “cultural issue” for the DoD to overcome, he said.

    So, it turns out that military personnel don’t always follow best accounting practices. That does not mean they stole all the money. There is no organization, however, that can prevent people from being people, as much as accountants and lawyers try.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  404. Walmart also does not clear an audit. Shrinkage at the stores is now running over 2%.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  405. The point of an audit of a large corporation is not to find out where every paperclip is stored, but to get a handle on what is going on, which can be remarkably difficult in a huge endeavor, especially one where immediate needs are frequent, the cost of delay is high, and the conditions of operation don’t allow careful bookkeeping.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  406. Appalled: “The Ukranian determination to fight, and the West’s willingness to support the fight has got to give Xi pause. I’m not sure that prevents action on his part. But he may be less inclined to believe that a Taiwan invasion will be a three-day cakewalk.”

    I’m not sure what we think China achieves with a bloody invasion/attack on Taiwan. Xi’s team clearly understand the looming economic and political costs. The likely result is shattering the all-important semiconductor industry in Taiwan. At minimum, this will cause the mother-of-all-supply-chain disruptions as there is simply no way to off-load that throughput to Japan and S. Korea in any ordered manner. Markets will panic. There is no way that this is not met with sanctions and diplomatic repercussions, that probably mean world-wide recession and more dissent in China. You will see capital flight out of China and massive sell off. Does this square with China’s slow patient gobbling up of markets and resources? Now certainly Xi, like Putin, can historically miscalculate trying to make a grand show of power or cement a legacy…but that just doesn’t seem to be how China operates.

    They also have to weigh in the unknown costs of how specifically the U.S. and other regional powers will respond. It’s a logistical nightmare for the U.S., but its direct involvement probably means a much longer conflict and what do you have at the end of the day? An island full of people who will forever despise you and its most precious assets probably destroyed or rendered useless for the foreseeable future. I don’t think they play checkers there. The messages from Ukraine is that any military operation can implode, especially with much of the world against you. IMO, China can make a military point without going to war or inducing unacceptable costs. Plan for war, but recognize them for the rational actors that they are.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  407. #407 —

    I interpreted your earlier comments as suggesting we base US troops in Taiwan. If that’s not what you meant, then my mistake.

    Appalled (6ee7ad)

  408. “Unlike the 1st Gulf War, we attacked Saddam without him having done anything other than bluffing on WMDs.”

    Yeah, you can’t convincingly say that deterrence broke down with Hussein. Those from Bush I saw Hussein as an irritant who would always be a significant threat via terrorism tentacles. I heard Wolfowitz in a speech describe the need to change the regional dynamics. And this belief led to decisionmakers believing intelligence that they shouldn’t have. Even though he offered some regional push-back to Iran and undue Shia influence in Iraq, I don’t shed any tears for Hussein. Yes, it was a great lesson in the limitations of war and intelligence, but I’m not sure that broadly applies to Ukraine and NATO. This just seems to be a conclusion that the hard right has embraced.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  409. #411

    Xi seems to be marching down a path where he has less internal constraints on his actions. Meaning that what has been true of China for many years may be less true, as the whims of current leadership become mostly the whims of Xi. Personally, I think he is unlikely to launch an invasion of Taiwan. But I though Putin was unlikely to start the whole Ukraine thing again back in January 2022. We think leaders are rational actors. They aren’t always. We think there are guardrails. Sometimes, they have been removed.

    Appalled (6ee7ad)

  410. The problem with China is that they have severe economic problems, having pissed off many of their customers. Their economy would be shrinking even without the Covid lockdowns. As it stands, they may be looking at a Depression, which strikes at the heart of the Party’s rule (“We know what we’re doing, so stfu”).

    And the standard response to a bad economy is an external war.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  411. I think Putin saw economic leverage via energy and weakness in Biden via Afghanistan as tempting trappings that just aren’t there for Xi. Sure, the world is hardly ready for a second front for war, but few in the world don’t see the economic importance of Taiwan….heck JF and DCCCP are ready to put us in that grinder. I do want the adults running the foreign policy discussions, to minimize miscommunications. Hopefully Biden can offload much of that to people less prone to foot-in-mouth. Biden did misstate the US military commitment to Taiwan, but I still wonder if there was some intentionality to that. I can’t say that he has done anything wrong with China to this point.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  412. There are two things that have to be true for deterrence to work. The threat has to be real — the opponent has the capability to intervene; and the will has to be there to do so.

    In Ukraine, Biden is showing that, at least here, the will is quite real, as is the military power — we are defeating Russia with second- and third-string weapons, limited as to range, and using proxy troops.

    That may or may not impress Xi, but failing in Ukraine after failing in Afghanistan would have been a green light.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  413. It should also be noted that Biden-the-Senator had far fewer experienced foreign policy aides and far less information than he has now. So one would hope the really stupid ideas are kept to a minimum.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  414. We might also wish to consider that Ukraine did not give up all its nukes and what we might be trying to prevent is the tall man of smoke who wears a wide hat from visiting Moscow.

    nk (11fc8d)

  415. 412,

    In order to stop CN from invading TW, should they choose to, we’d need significant US naval resources committed to TW and it’s not clear it would work. There’s nothing going on with UKR that indicates the US is prepared to do what’s required to prevent that.

    But it’s not a question of what I’m suggesting we do. This thread started as a discussion about how UKR sends a clear signal to Xi that discourages an invasion of TW and how this signal is part of the value we’re getting out of our $ we’re putting there. I mentioned that as something that would actually be a clear signal.

    So, if as you say, it’s politically unacceptable to put US resources directly in the line of fire in TW the options for discouraging Xi rests on political and economic pressure and so far we’ve sent a signal about what we’re not prepared to do.

    The link between our actions, and any messages sent, in UKR and TW is a function of how similar those situations are. They’re only superficially similar and when you compare them it doesn’t support the idea that we’re discouraging Xi.

    For those that think this is “obviously” or “clearly” or even marginally impacting the thinking within the CCP can you point to a single fact as evidence?

    Personally, I’m willing to back actions in UKR and I don’t need this bad reasoning to support that. For ppl married to this deterrence option why?

    frosty (b42b69)

  416. 417,

    For an example to be effective it needs to have actually occurred. That is, before we talk about how ineffective the RU is at invading neighbors and awesome the US is at supporting countries against invading neighbors we might want to wait until we’ve succeeded.

    If after all this RU retains the territory it has taken, or gets more, we’ll have communicated that the US won’t intervene directly against an adversary with nukes and that the US spending whatever is necessary didn’t stop the crappy RU military from invading a country with NATO allies on its border.

    frosty (ba72b3)

  417. @372 why do you want to ban people like dcsca? I disagree with his views on ukraine and I wish he would not make personal attacks like the bong ;but I still don’t want him banned. As someone who has been banned many times over the year I am averse to banning others for their opinions. As Lincoln said as I would not be a slave I will not be a master. I am glad I have no power as I might be quite ruthless with it.

    asset (185696)

  418. I don’t think a NATO enforced no fly zone would be politically unacceptable to the US.

    A NATO-enforced no fly zone would require NATO (read US) aircraft to shoot down and kill Russian pilots (and vice a versa). It would only increase US involvement and justify Putin’s rhetoric about the Ukraine War as an anti-NATO war. The air bases in Germany, Poland, etc. would be justifiable targets of Russian missile attacks, thereby expanding the war to the whole of Europe.

    I’m not sure what we think China achieves with a bloody invasion/attack on Taiwan. Xi’s team clearly understand the looming economic and political costs. The likely result is shattering the all-important semiconductor industry in Taiwan.

    Xi doesn’t need to mount a bloody invasion of Taiwan. China can simply blockade the island and try to starve it into submission, and dare the US to break it.

    We might also wish to consider that Ukraine did not give up all its nukes…..

    Even if Ukraine did not give up all of their nukes, Kyiv never had command and control authority over them; that resided in Moscow. Ukraine also did not have an industrial base to support nuclear weapons.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  419. As for Afghanistan — our wavering (in the 2010s) and withdrawal in 2021 probably encouraged Putin

    What ‘encourages’ Putin— along w/t the invasion of illegals breaking into the U.S.A. via the Southern Border– Xi’s increasingly bold Taiwan teasing and NorKo Kim’s record year of launching missiles … [North Korea’s record year of missile testing is putting the world on edge – In 2020, North Korea conducted four missile tests. In 2021, it doubled that number. In 2022, the isolated nation fired more missiles than any other year on record, at one point launching 23 missiles in a single day. North Korea has fired more than 90 cruise and ballistic missiles so far this year, showing off a range of weapons as experts warn of a potential nuclear test on the horizon.’- https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/26/asia/north-korea-missile-testing-year-end-intl-hnk/index.html ]

    .. is the putrid pile of POTUS pig poop sunning his incompetent, brain-damaged, swiped from his azz hair plugged carcass in St. Croix as the rest of America is frozen solid this very day:

    The good, the bad and the ugly around the p[lanet have had this putz pegged for nearly half a century:

    Robert Gates Thinks Joe Biden Hasn’t Stopped Being Wrong for 40 Years

    “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says of Vice President Joe Biden in his book.”http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/01/robert-gates-thinks-joe-biden-hasnt-stopped-being-wrong-40-years/356785/

    More’s the pitty. As any “friend” [like Europe or NATO] or “foe” [like NorKo, PRC, the Taliban, Iran or Russia] would take advantage of this 18-wheeling, Corn-Poppin’ plagiaristic, crap-shoveling boob, ‘ya dig?

    “You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.” – Blondie [Clint Eastwood] ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ 1966

    DCSCA (1940a4)

  420. Biden did misstate the US military commitment to Taiwan ……

    Biden didn’t misstate the policy regarding Taiwan, he changed it. Saying the same thing four different times isn’t a mistake, it’s deliberate.

    “I think we can all be pretty certain at this point that it was not a gaffe — four times in a row … [means] what’s happening is there are people in the administration who think that by demonstrating a greater willingness to defend Taiwan, that’ll help reestablish deterrence,” said Oriana Skylar Mastro, center fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

    “Strategic ambiguity” became less and less serious the more the PRC intimidated Taiwan. Just this past week the PLA Air Force sent 72 aircraft in and around Taiwanese airspace.

    Taiwan has one of largest congressional influence operations in the US, probably second only to Israel. There is no doubt that the US would come to Taiwan’s aid in the case of an attack, the only question is how effective it would be.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  421. #422

    All I see is a nation state being formed and recognized, and Russia trying to put a stop to it. Another case of different people taking different lessons from history.

    Appalled (d6ccb9)

  422. #425

    I take it you won’t be supporting Biden for re-election then.

    Appalled (d6ccb9)

  423. @427. Get glasses: they’ve been fighting over it for A THOUSAND YEARS.

    It is NOT an American problem.

    Call the U.N.

    DCSCA (1940a4)

  424. U.S. will require airline passengers traveling from China to test negative for Covid

    The Biden administration will require airline passengers traveling from China to test negative for Covid before entering the U.S. as concern grows that widespread transmission of the virus in the world’s most populous country could result in new variants.

    All airline passengers 2 years and older originating from China, Hong Kong or Macau will be required to get tested for Covid-19 no more than two days before their flight to the U.S. and show a negative result to the airline upon departure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Wednesday.

    The requirements, which apply regardless of nationality and vaccination status, start Jan. 5. Travelers can get a PCR test or a rapid self test that is administered and monitored by a telehealth service. The rapid test must be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or the relevant national authority.

    Given the explosion in Chinese Covid cases and their ineffective killed-virus vaccine, this is a good idea.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  425. We might also wish to consider that Ukraine did not give up all its nukes and what we might be trying to prevent is the tall man of smoke who wears a wide hat from visiting Moscow.

    If so, the gatekeeper is Putin himself.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  426. @423.Facts bug him when they torpedo and sink grand assertions; like no oversight in WW2 [see the Truman Committee for details]… or calling out the multiple decades of foreign policy incompetence that is Joe Biden; lest you need another recent reminder:

    Biden Specifically Promised Kabul Would Not Turn Into the Fall of Saigon, But Pictures from Both Disasters Look the Same

    https://www.westernjournal.com/biden-specifically-promised-kabul-not-turn-fall-saigon-pictures-disasters-look/

    DCSCA (1940a4)

  427. Biden didn’t misstate the policy regarding Taiwan, he changed it. Saying the same thing four different times isn’t a mistake, it’s deliberate.

    Of course he misstated it. Because if he didn’t, then just like his bluster about Putin in 2019, he is pushing paper tiger poop. The U.S. is unprepared to unilaterally defend Taiwan successfully given the logistics problems w/supply lines and basic geography. When Xi wants oit, he’ll liberate it– and nothing Joe says can stop him. Every BS line Brandon blusters keeps him Mister Opposite to the world. It’s just like his blustery BS on Putin:

    ‘If I’m President, Putin’s Days of Tyranny and Trying to Intimidate U.S. and Eastern Europe are Over’- Squinty McStumblebum, 2019

    DCSCA (1940a4)

  428. People who wash and dry their hands regularly are much less likely to keep dropping microphones.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  429. Here’s a study with findings that should embarrass Americans:

    Our results show divergence in mortality impacts of the pandemic in 2021. While countries in western Europe experienced bounce backs from life expectancy losses of 2020, eastern Europe and the United States witnessed sustained and substantial life expectancy deficits.

    (Emphasis added.)

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  430. And people with no interest in wising up perseverating (not to be confused with persevering loons don’t tell them that it’s written “mic drop”.

    nk (11fc8d)

  431. George Santos’ Massive Campaign Loans May Not Be Legal
    ………
    Santos has already admitted using cash from his company, the Devolder Organization, to fund his campaign—a move campaign finance experts say could add up to an unlawful $700,000 corporate contribution.

    That’s because, while candidates for federal office may give unlimited amounts of their own money to their campaign, they cannot expressly tap corporate accounts to do so.

    Santos confirmed to The Daily Beast on Wednesday that he withdrew money from the firm to underwrite his campaign. He made the same claim in an interview on Monday, telling WABC radio host and Santos donor John Catsimatidis that the combined $700,000 in loans—scattered in varying increments across a period of more than a year—“was the money I paid myself through the Devolder Organization.” …….
    ………
    “You can fund a campaign with your own money to whatever extent you’d like, but the deal is it has to be your money,” (Jordan Libowitz, communications director of government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics) said. “Two major problems here. One, if it’s the company’s money, it’s not his money. If it were Santos personally doing business as the company—that is, if it were his bank accounts—that’s okay. But this is an actual corporation, and you can’t make a corporation to run money through to your campaign.”
    ………
    Merely transferring funds from Devolder’s account to Santos’ own account would not magically transform the funds into Santos’ personal assets, (explained Brendan Fischer, deputy executive director of government watchdog Documented).

    “A candidate may lend personal funds to his campaign, but they may not do so using corporate funds. A loan is treated as a contribution, and corporations are barred from making contributions,” he said.
    ……….
    In a conversation with The Daily Beast on Wednesday, Santos argued the money he moved from the Devolder Organization to his campaign was legally loaned from his own personal funds, because he was the company’s sole owner.

    But the company is not legally indistinguishable from Santos—it is registered with the state of Florida as an independent LLC, and it has its own accounts separate from him personally.

    Informed of the rules, Santos promised he would “immediately” look into the matter and rectify anything that needed to be addressed. ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  432. Biden Specifically Promised Kabul Would Not Turn Into the Fall of Saigon

    Because, he explained, the Taliban was not the North Vietnamese army.

    But the Afghan army was like the South Vietnamese army, or the Chinese Nationalist army in 1948 and 1949, or the French army in 1940, and the Tak=liban were far superior in intelligence,

    Sammy Finkelman (83098b)

  433. Santos was already aware of this problem in his WABC radio interview Monday, because, after a slight hesitation he said it was money he paid himself. If the money was really his, it’s a technicality, involving improper accounting shortcuts. I think his problem is probably far worse.
    .

    Sammy Finkelman (83098b)

  434. I think his problem is probably far worse.

    Given that he is a serial liar, his problem is that utterly no one will believe a word he says. Being a politician might make that worse.

    It’s not clear he’s the worst liar in Congress though. Tough competition.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  435. Given that he is a serial liar, his problem is that utterly no one will believe a word he says.

    ROFLMAOPIP -‘no one will believe a word he says…’ imagine that:

    Biden’s obsessive lies – small and large – are big trouble for America

    President Joe Biden keeps telling lies… It’s a schtick and a disturbing one: He invents stuff in order to make a seemingly personal connection with his audience, but it’s a phony connection. Biden has been in Washington almost his entire adult life, he’s not a blue-collar worker struggling to get by…

    It would be bad enough if Biden only told personal tall tales. But his reality distortion field now extends to national policy. He routinely insists “all the economists” back his plans, writes off inflation as a temporary spike, insists the border surge is just “seasonal,” even calls his disastrous Afghan bugout a “success” (while falsely claiming his generals didn’t object).

    Truth just doesn’t matter: He’ll say whatever he likes to get past the moment. He got away with it for most of his life because nobody bothers to fact-check a Delaware senator. Now he’s president, and his lies are going to hurt us all.

    https://nypost.com/2021/11/22/bidens-obsessive-lies-small-and-large-are-big-trouble-for-america/

    Year in Biden lies: How well do you know the falsehoods of our fibber-in-chief?

    Joe Biden may be president of the United States, but he’s putting in a bid for leader of Fantasyland. Known for making up stories from his past, exaggerating his accomplishments and generally saying things that make no sense, the 80-year-old hit new highs this year with his prevarications. How well do you know what the truth is? Take our quiz:

    https://nypost.com/2022/12/20/year-in-joe-biden-lies/

    NY Rep.-elect George Santos claims his lies no worse than Joe Biden’s

    When [Tucker Carlson guest host] Tulsi Gabbard asked Santos if he “had no shame,” the Republican turned the question back on the former Democratic lawmaker.

    “Tulsi, I can say the same thing about the Democrats and, and the party,” Santos responded. “Look at Joe Biden. Joe Biden’s been lying to the American people for 40 years. He’s the president of the United States. Democrats over-resoundingly support him. Do they have no shame?

    https://nypost.com/2022/12/28/rep-elect-george-santos-claims-his-resume-lies-are-no-worse-than-president-bidens/

    DCSCA (8af9d3)

  436. @438 The military industrial complex has been propping up their stooges since before vietnam war. Now those on the right have stopped calling anti-war protesters traitors who need to be arrested for sedition or shot down like at kent state and have kicked jane fonda off the anti-aircraft gun to sit on it themselves like tucker carlson. What ever DCSCA thinks he is doing I will leave it up to him to explain. Our troops can only prop up their hirelings and stooges for so long. The story of the elephant and the ants. Finally people want to fight back and ask for our aid not our combat troops to do the fighting for them. Now these chicken hawks on the right want to be anti-war peace-niks! Now their corrupt! Where were you about corruption in vietnam, shah/iran, central america/columbia, iraq and afganistan ?

    asset (24dab8)

  437. @427. Get glasses: they’ve been fighting over it for A THOUSAND YEARS.

    No, they haven’t. The Russian Empire started in 1721. Russia wasn’t even a place several hundred years before that.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  438. For ppl married to this deterrence option why?

    I won’t say “married”, but it was you who stated, “Not much actually said about actual national security issues.” Taiwan and its semiconductor industry is a national security issue for the US, hence our communicating to Xi that it’ll cost him if he invades Taiwan, similar to how Putin’s invasion is costing him.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  439. No, they haven’t. The Russian Empire started in 1721. Russia wasn’t even a place several hundred years before that.
    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 12/29/2022 @ 7:39 am

    You’re just comically wrong.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kievan_Rus‘?wprov=sfti1

    ‘Kievan Rus was a state in Eastern and Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century. The modern nations of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine all claim Kievan Rusʹ as their cultural ancestor, with Belarus and Russia deriving their names from it.’

    It’s like saying Israel wasn’t a state until 1948 so the Israeli-Arab conflict has only been going on for a few decades. LOL

    JF (538d77)

  440. The US and NATO should be able to deal with this out of their existing budget.

    What existing US budget? When was the last time Congress passed a budget? The fact is that Congress approved the aid by appropriation, like they do for all other spending, and it’s also a the DoD has the ability to supply the and then replenish what they sent to Ukraine. Your comment is a red herring.

    I’m not the one making predictions and promises.

    Neither am I, so what’s your point?

    But sure my bar is artificial and you thinking our UKR policy is really doing the job to keep Xi in line isn’t wishful thinking.

    Yes, I agree that your bar that only committing acts of war is artificial. Maybe your problem is that you’re conflating messages sent and messages received. We are certainly sending a message to Xi, but your issue seems to be how could a leader of the world’s 2nd largest economy–an economy that is inextricably intertwined with out–is not receiving such communication. My question to you is how could he not.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  441. It’s like saying Israel wasn’t a state until 1948 so the Israeli-Arab conflict has only been going on for a few decades. LOL

    No, because Moscow didn’t even exist for half a millennia while Kyiv was an established city and culture. Muscovy was a province of the Mongols for centuries prior to their self-determination. I recommend Dr. Snyder’s 23-lecture series. Bottom line, Russia has no more claim to Ukraine than does Greece, Turkey, Austria, Poland, Lithuania and Scandinavia.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  442. The English language Yated Ne’eman had a front page story that was an interview with the New York Post reporter who first was assigned to look at the Hunter Biden laptop. Talks about Twitter and Musk too, and their objections to stories about Jewish day schools that mostly don’t teach secular subjects..

    https://yated.com/i-have-hunter-bidens-laptop-the-scoop-that-upended-the-reporters-life/

    I think it’s the first time they had a headline about a non-Jewish story. (unless it’s there really because it’s a media story)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  443. 330. Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/27/2022 @ 1:43 pm

    s it stands what Xi is seeing is that, in the hands of largely untrained fighters and partisans, US weapons kick ass. Imagine what they could do in the hands of people who’ve trained with them for years.

    It’s not just the weapons, it’s the initiative and originality of the fighting units, and the military intelligence. (IN Afghanistan we knew almost nothing of what the enemy was doing)

    Ukraine is not corrupt in that way, although Germany is:

    https://www.euronews.com/2022/12/23/german-intelligence-officer-arrested-on-suspicion-of-spying-for-russia

    Germany doesn’t have all of the intelligence anyway, and Russia knowing some things can’t necessarily help them.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  444. The thing is, they’re not at the stage where they don’t believe a thing Biden says, or else they would have realized that Joe Biden was lying when he said he caused the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  445. George Santos has or had a lawyer, named Joseph Murray. I wonder how he was paid or expects to be paid But then Bernie Madoff had a lawyer.

    He accused the New York Times of defamation, which is true, but quite proper if the defamation is true.

    Santos is under investigation both by the Eastern District of New York (federal) and by the Nassau County district attorney, who is a Republican. She called the allegations shocking but was not more specific. It probably stems from a complaint that he stole somebody’s money.

    Santos claims now he made his money by flipping $20 million yachts and the like and collecting commission or something.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  446. nk (11fc8d) — 12/28/2022 @ 7:52 am

    I remember Bill Clinton as a “pathological liar” and all his “womanizing” and it seems as quaint as Granny Clampett’s possum gizzards and collard greens.

    Bill Clinton was a great liar.

    he claimed to have been “The Man from Hope” when actually he left Hope at around the age 6 and grew up in Hot Springs, Arkansas, when his step uncle, Buick dealer Raymond Clinton, was an important member of the revived political machine run by Owen Vincent (Owney the Killer) Madden (1891-1965) the founder of organized crime in America. (or one of the tp three or so)

    Bill Clinton claimed at the Democratic convention to have balanced 11 budgets in a row, when in fact he was not Governor for 11 years in a row, and Arkansas had a 2-year budget cycle.

    Bill Clinton claimed the tape with Gennifer Flowers was “doctored” (what we’d call now a deep fake) and got reporters to be very cautious as a result.

    Bill Clinton lied on his campaign finance reports and as result the Worthen National Bank was able to lend him money for his primary campaign. BCCI had connections to that bank.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  447. ‘Kievan Rus was destroyed by the Mongols in the mid 1200s but the dynasty continued for a long time in Russia.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  448. Moscow claimed to be descended from the Byzantine – no the Romand Empire.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  449. ………Let’s imagine, just for a moment, a world without Ukrainian courage, or American and European weapons, or the unity and support of democracies around the world.
    …….
    …….Ukraine would now be pockmarked with the concentration camps, torture chambers, and makeshift prisons that have been discovered in Bucha, Izyum, Kherson, and all the other territories temporarily occupied by Russia and liberated by the Ukrainian army. ……

    That is maybe what would happen now, but it could hae gone more like what hapeened in Crimea and in the Donbass, had the conquest been nearly bloodless. But it could turn bad later.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  450. *

    antos is under investigation both by the Eastern District of New York (federal) and by the Nassau County district attorney, who is a Republican. She called the allegations shocking but was not more specific. It probably stems from a complaint that he stole somebody’s money.

    Actually she said the word stunning in relation to his fabrications. So it may not mean she has any leads.

    https://nypost.com/2022/12/28/nassau-da-anne-donnelly-investigating-lying-george-santos/

    “The numerous fabrications and inconsistencies associated with Congressman-Elect Santos are nothing short of stunning,” DA Anne Donnelly said in a statement.

    “The residents of Nassau County and other parts of the Third District must have an honest and accountable representative in Congress,” added Donnelly, who spent 32 years as a prosecutor before being elected DA last year. “No one is above the law and if a crime was committed in this county, we will prosecute it.”

    Cue=rtis Sliwaw says he encountered George Santos at some sort of Republican function and he went up to him and said that he had a pet charity too (Curtis Sliwa has because of his current wife) He says he never liked him.

    He says SANTOS went up to old ladies – who like to give for pet causes) and that that (could be) how he got te $00,000)

    Santos, 34, acknowled

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)


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