Patterico's Pontifications

12/30/2022

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:56 am



[guest post by Dana]

Happy weekend and Happy New Year! I don’t have the wherewithal to compile a Best Of and Worst Of 2022 post. Feel free to share your take on the closing year and hopes for the new year, or anything else that interests you.

Here are a few news items. Ready or not, here we go.

First news item

Trump’s tax returns released:

Trump and his wife…paid $0 in income taxes for 2020, according to a report released late Tuesday by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. The nonpartisan committee’s findings also raised several red flags related to the filings, namely Trump’s carryover losses, loans to his children that may or may not also be considered taxable gifts, and deduction-related tax write-offs.

That year, as the COVID pandemic hit, the Trumps reported a loss of $4.8 million. For 2018 and 2019, the then-president’s reported income increased and they paid approximately $1.1 million in federal taxes each year.

What’s more, the Internal Revenue Service only started to audit Trump’s 2015 tax filings on April 3, 2019, more than two years into his presidency…

Second news item

Two despicable peas in a pod meet:

China and Russia should “strengthen strategic coordination” and “inject more stability into the world,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin via video link on Friday, according to Chinese state media Xinhua.

China is “ready to work” with Russia to “stand against hegemonism and power politics” to oppose unilateralism, protectionism and “bullying,” as well as to safeguard sovereignty, security, as well as international equity and justice, Xi said, according to Chinese state media.

Third news item

Read Sudden Russian Death Syndrome:

Here is a list of people you should not currently want to be: a Russian sausage tycoon, a Russian gas-industry executive, the editor in chief of a Russian tabloid, a Russian shipyard director, the head of a Russian ski resort, a Russian aviation official, or a Russian rail magnate. Anyone answering to such a description probably ought not stand near open windows, in almost any country, on almost every continent.

Over the weekend, Pavel Antov, the aforementioned sausage executive, a man who had reportedly expressed a dangerous lack of enthusiasm for Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, was found dead at a hotel in India, just two days after one of his Russian travel companions died at the same hotel. Antov was reported to have fallen to his death from a hotel window. The meat millionaire and his also-deceased friend are the most recent additions to a macabre list of people who have succumbed to Sudden Russian Death Syndrome, a phenomenon that has claimed the lives of a flabbergastingly large number of businessmen, bureaucrats, oligarchs, and journalists. The catalog of these deaths—which includes alleged defenestrations, suspected poisonings, suspicious heart attacks, and supposed suicides—is remarkable for the variety of unnatural deaths contained within as well as its Russian-novel length.

Fourth news item

It’s done:

President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a $1.7 trillion federal spending bill that includes a number of administration priorities and officially avoids a government shutdown, ending what he called a “year of historic progress.”

“It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, (Violence Against Women Act) funding – and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine,” Biden wrote in a tweet.

He added: “Looking forward to more in 2023.”

The legislation includes $772.5 billion for nondefense discretionary programs and $858 billion in defense funding…package includes roughly $45 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and NATO allies, an overhaul of the electoral vote-counting law, protections for pregnant workers, an enhancement to retirement savings rules and a ban on TikTok on federal devices…will provide a boost in spending for disaster aid, college access, child care, mental health and food assistance, more support for the military and veterans and additional funds for the US Capitol Police…And the legislation contains several major Medicaid provisions, notably one that could disenroll up to 19 million people from the nation’s health insurance program for low-income Americans.

Fifth news item

Iranian protests and the survival of the IRGC:

It was an understandable impulse to wonder whether Iran’s protest movement might continue to grow until it reached a threshold that would cause the country’s security forces to back down and side with the demonstrators over the regime. Afshon Ostovar, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, explains why this expectation was always rooted in naivete. Iran’s most powerful security force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was designed precisely not to back down in such a situation.

During the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Ostovar explains, “it was the Iranian military’s decision to declare neutrality and stand down that signaled the end of the Pahlavi dynasty, setting Iran on a new course.” But by demanding an end to the Islamic system, Iran’s current “protesters challenge the IRGC’s very raison d’être. The IRGC cannot exist under a form of government that is no longer defined by the Islamic Revolution. If the current order is overturned, the IRGC will have no place in whatever comes next.” Which is why they will fight to protect it to the very end.

Sixth news item

What a neat surprise :

Snowbirds are a common sight in Southern California in wintertime — except when they’re actually a bird. A snowy owl to be exact.

Crowds of bird-watchers have been showing up regularly in an Orange County neighborhood to gawk at a snowy owl, a species normally found around the Arctic, Canada and several northern U.S. states.

It’s current home is a rooftop perch in the balmy city of Cypress.

Nice photo of the visitor at the link.

Seventh news item

Of course they’re keeping quiet:

Weeks after winning a district that helped Republicans secure a razor-thin majority in the US House of Representatives, the congressman-elect George Santos is under investigation in New York after acknowledging lying about his heritage, education and professional pedigree as he campaigned for office.

Santos has conceded he lied about his background, but there is also growing scrutiny over his campaign spending and whether it ran afoul of campaign finance laws.

Santos spent more than $40,000 on air travel alone, a staggering amount that outpaced other congressional candidates and even leading members of Congress, the New York Times reported…Nick LaLota, another Republican congressman-elect from Long Island, spent $3,000 on airfare, according to the Times.

There are also questions about whether Santos used campaign funds to pay for personal expenses including housing, the Times reported. Dozens of items listed on his campaign disclosures are for $199.99, one cent less than the amount required to keep receipts, according to the paper.

The top House Republican, Kevin McCarthy, and his leadership team have kept silent about Santos, who remains set to take the oath of office on Tuesday even after publicly admitting to fabricating swaths of his biography…Santos has shown no signs of stepping aside, punting the decision to hold him accountable to his party and Congress, where he could face an ethics investigation.

Before Big Media reported on the questionable claism of George Santos, a small local outlet sounded the alarm about the Republican.

MISCELLANEOUS

This is just unbelievable:

And two lovely stories about kindness and generosity:

Couple takes in tour group stuck in the snow:

A group of South Korean tourists whose van couldn’t make it through the wicked winter conditions in the Buffalo, New York area found shelter thanks to a helpful stranger this past weekend.

Alexander Campagna, a dentist, wrote on Facebook that he received a “frantic knock on the door” in the Village of Williamsville on Friday. Two men from a group of ten tourists were at the door to ask for shovels to dig out their vehicle stuck in front of his home…

The couple provided the ten tourists with places to sleep and – during the unexpected weekend stay – the group watched a Buffalo Bills game and also ate Korean meals together, food that the Campagnas love to consume, the newspaper reported.

“It was kind of like fate,” Choi told the Times.

“We will never forget this,” Campagna said.

And also from Buffalo, woman saves developmentally disabled man stranded in the storm:

Sha’Kyra Aughtry said she was home when she heard someone screaming on her street. When she looked out her window, she saw a man calling for help in the frigid cold.

Aughtry’s boyfriend carried the man, 64-year-old Joe White, into the house, and she used a blow dryer to melt the ice off his red and blistered hands and used a “grass cutter” to take his rings off, she said in a Facebook livestream.

White is now recovering in the ICU with fourth-degree frostbite after arriving the hospital Sunday night, his sister Yvonne White told CNN.

“I’m hoping and praying for the best,” she said.

Have a great weekend!

–Dana

557 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Hello!

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. Posted on a earlier thread:

    The FBI has arrested a suspect in the Idaho college student murders.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  3. I always suspected a drifter. And half-suspected that he would be a “migrant” long repatriated to his home country.

    nk (bb1548)

  4. https://nypost.com/2022/12/24/latest-batch-of-twitter-files-shows-cia-fbi-involved-in-content-moderation/

    Biggest government scandal since Watergate completely ignored by so many becaause it served the purpose of fortifying the election.

    NJRob (7e72a9)

  5. Thank you, Dana! You week-end posts are more than I deserve. Your choice of links never fail to engage my attention, and the resulting comments provide me with hours of reading during those, otherwise, awkward silences in my home(s). Heh, some of you know what I mean, some of you might, and some of you will!

    Merry Christmas JD, Elise, and MD in Philly – wherever you are!

    [Since I am still President of the MD in Philly fan club, let me repeat]

    Official Md in Philly Fan Club Fan Song
    (sung to the tune of Big Rock candy mountain)

    In the great big MD fan club
    Our clinics will make you grin
    And you can walk right out again
    As soon as you are in

    No rectal examinations
    No scalpels, saws, nor pricks
    You get to have your way – where you sleep all day
    ’cause we hung the jerk that invented work

    In the great big MD fan club!

    felipe (484255)

  6. In yo FACE, nk!

    urbanleftbehind (e8ae7a)

  7. Apparently a highly educated drifter:

    A Ph.D. student by the same name (Bryan Christopher Kohberger) is listed in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University, which is a short drive across the state line from the University of Idaho. Messages seeking more information were left for officials at WSU.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  8. Those campuses are veryclose geographically for being in 2 different states, 8.5 mi, I think only University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan U are closer (at 5.8 mi, using football stadiums as the marker) within the FBS.

    urbanleftbehind (e8ae7a)

  9. First news item

    Trump’s tax returns released:

    Did anybody believe that it was not the sole purpose of the “”bipartisan”” committee all along? I am not Trump’s biggest fan but …. Just “but….”

    nk (bb1548)

  10. “”bipartisan”” “”nonpartisan””
    And add “pull the other one, ha, ha, ha!”

    nk (bb1548)

  11. More Election Fraud:


    Jason T. Schofield, Rensselaer County’s (NY) Republican elections commissioner, is scheduled to plead guilty to federal criminal charges in January in connection with an ongoing investigation of voter fraud by the U.S. Department of Justice.
    ………
    Schofield’s scheduled guilty plea to felony charges on Jan. 11 would mark the second conviction in the federal investigation that’s being spearheaded by the FBI and has focused on the harvesting of absentee ballots in elections over the past two years. A source close to the case said Schofield’s plea agreement includes a pledge to cooperate in the wide-ranging investigation that has also examined the use of county resources and employees to gather absentee ballots.
    ……..
    The FBI’s ongoing investigation of voter fraud is running parallel to a similar investigation by the state attorney general’s office. State prosecutors recently served a grand jury subpoena on Rensselaer County seeking a trove of absentee ballot documents that were handled last year by county Operations Director Richard W. Crist and Jim Gordon, the county’s director of purchasing.

    …….. Schofield was arrested in September outside his residence by the FBI on charges detailed in a nine-page indictment accusing him of fraudulently obtaining and filing absentee ballots using the personal information of at least eight voters without their permission.
    ……….
    The federal grand jury probe being handled by the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office led to the guilty plea of a former Troy city councilwoman, Kimberly Ashe-McPherson, a 61-year-old Republican who had been a councilwoman in North Troy for more than seven years. She pleaded guilty in June to fraudulently submitting absentee ballots in last year’s primary and general elections as she sought re-election to the City Council. She subsequently resigned from public office.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  12. Trump’s tax returns released:

    Did anybody believe that it was not the sole purpose of the “”bipartisan”” committee all along? I am not Trump’s biggest fan but …. Just “but….”

    nk (bb1548) — 12/30/2022 @ 11:45 am

    The House Ways and Means Committee is bipartisan-25 Democrats and 17 Republicans.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  13. During the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Ostovar explains, “it was the Iranian military’s decision to declare neutrality and stand down that signaled the end of the Pahlavi dynasty, setting Iran on a new course.”

    How The CIA Overthrew Iran’s Democracy In 4 Days

    Mohammad Mossadegh was a beloved figure in Iran. During his tenure, he introduced a range of social and economic policies, the most significant being the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry. Great Britain had controlled Iran’s oil for decades through the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. After months of talks the prime minister broke off negotiations and denied the British any further involvement in Iran’s oil industry. Britain then appealed to the United States for help, which eventually led the CIA to orchestrate the overthrow of Mossadegh and restore power to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran… On Aug. 19, 2013, the CIA publicly admitted for the first time its involvement in the 1953 coup against Iran’s elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. The documents provided details of the CIA’s plan at the time, which was led by senior officer Kermit Roosevelt Jr., the grandson of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. Over the course of four days in August 1953, Roosevelt would orchestrate not one, but two attempts to destabilize the government of Iran, forever changing the relationship between the country and the U.S.’

    https://www.npr.org/2019/01/31/690363402/how-the-cia-overthrew-irans-democracy-in-four-days

    DCSCA (babecd)

  14. welcome to Portlandistan, where democrats put the homeless in charge:

    Woman accused of shoving child onto MAX train tracks

    JF (e99bad)

  15. Rip Murdock (0a5177) — 12/30/2022 @ 12:01 pm

    Rip, who admits to fraudulently signing petitions, frowns on election fraud LOL

    JF (e99bad)

  16. Trump’s tax returns were requested and released by the House Ways and Means Committee, not the January 6 committee, which has the right to request any return. It was tied up in court for more than two years.

    The IRS started its audit the day after the Democratic Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee asked if they were doing that. It is not a law that they must audit every president’s returns, but an IRS regulation

    They assigned one person to do the audit When they wanted to raise it to 3, Trump’s lawyers objected. Later it was raised to three.

    I said once that Trump had (I guessed) 600 small businesses. It is more like 400 (pass through corporations) and some 27 different Schedule C businesses/

    Someone wrote in the New York Times two months ago that this was all (or a lot would be) legal (it being Trump paying no taxes) and the fault of Congress, which has granted tax break after tax break to real estate businesses.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/30/business/trump-taxes-real-estate.html

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/congress-slashed-trumps-tax-bill-ways-and-
    means-deduction-real-estate-credit-loopholes-code-11672223001

    The House Ways and Means Committee plans to release Donald Trump’s tax returns Friday and has already put out a report faulting the former president for paying little or no income tax in recent years. But the fault lies with Congress. Mr. Trump benefited from every tax loophole that lawmakers have made available to real-estate businesses. These include deferral of income, conversion of ordinary income into lower-taxed capital gains, nontaxable income, tax credits, and artificial tax losses that ordinary taxpayers can’t obtain.

    Entrepreneurs who purchase or construct a building can obtain depreciation deductions, together with deductions for mortgage interest on the loan. Using “cost segregation,” they can accelerate the depreciation deduction. A large mortgage with a low down payment magnifies the interest deduction. As the property should appreciate in value, it is arguable that a resulting tax loss is artificial. One can borrow against the appreciation to purchase more properties and investments, gaining more deductions.

    Unlike the rest of us, “real estate professionals” are exempt from the passive-loss limitations on their rental properties. All their rental losses are deductible. Net operating losses can be carried forward indefinitely until used.

    Gains from selling real estate used in a business or for investment can be deferred indefinitely by exchanging the property for another (so-called 1031 exchanges), usually in a three-way transaction using intermediaries, that resembles an outright sale. Should the seller add equity or debt to the exchange, he can obtain a more expensive property with more depreciation and interest deductions. Property sold at a loss can result in an immediate tax deduction.

    There are rehabilitation credits, such as for preserving an old building facade. Sometimes a developer will tear down an old building, preserve lower exterior walls at great expense and erect a new skyscraper inside the facade. Credits helped Mr. Trump renovate the Old Post Office in Washington into a hotel. And there is a credit for low-income housing, which might not get built without generous tax incentives.

    The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 created new energy credits that can be sold for cash by entities that can’t use them because they pay no income tax.

    Conservation easements provide a triple benefit. The donor gets a large charitable deduction for donating a partial interest in property that he continues to own and use. The donor escapes the capital-gains tax on the donation because he didn’t sell it. The deduction can be excessive based on “highest and best use” rather than fair market value. The new appropriations act limits this deduction to 2.5 times a taxpayer’s basis in property held less than three years, but only for partnership syndications, not individuals. A better standard would require deduction values to be based on recent comparable property sales.

    As a practicing CPA, [he writes] I’ve seen how real-estate deductions can result in zero income tax for clients with high incomes. These are legal and proper deductions even if they seem unfair. One reason [given] for low tax liability is laws intended to stimulate job creation, housing, offices, all the materials that go into building and supporting them, and the great economic activity that real estate generates for decades following completion. Real estate isn’t an easy business. Some investors go broke, while others do get rich and pay little income tax for energizing an economy that benefits us all…

    Years ago, there was a since repealed provision that enabled Trump to deduct losses of other people’s money (borrowed funds) that he never eventually repaid, without adding the losses back to his income..

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  17. I already heard yesterday people talking on the radio like 2022 was already last year.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  18. “it was the Iranian military’s decision to declare neutrality and stand down that signaled the end of the Pahlavi dynasty

    The key thing that put Khomeni in power was later, on Feb 12, 1979, and the neutraility was at the rurging of Alexander Haig sent by Jimmy Carter to deliver that medsage.

    As a reward, many of them were executed.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  19. Shhhhhhhhhhh

    White House officials met with Sam Bankman-Fried four times this year

    The disgraced founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX met with Ricchetti, who serves as a counselor to the president, as recently as Sept. 8, according to Bloomberg.

    Bankman-Fried’s younger brother Gabriel also reportedly participated in a meeting on May 13.

    The report further demonstrates the close political connections Bankman-Fried developed in Washington before his stunning downfall.

    The Washington Free Beacon reported in November that Bankman-Fried was welcomed to the West Wing for two meetings with Ricchetti on April 22 and May 11.

    The former crypto mogul is accused of defrauding investors out of at least $1.8 billion.

    Earlier this month, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to say whether Biden would ask his aides to return 2020 campaign contributions from the accused cryptocurrency con man.

    Bankman-Fried, 30, was a major Democratic Party donor before the collapse of FTX, giving $50,000 to the Biden Victory Fund in October 2020 and another $2,800 directly to the Biden campaign that same month, according to Federal Election Commission records.

    Bankman-Fried also spent $10 million backing Biden’s 2020 campaign through indirect donations.

    Ahead of November’s midterm elections, Bankman-Fried donated some $39.2 million to congressional Democrats – a total bested only by left-wing billionaire George Soros.Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York charged Bankman-Fried earlier this month with eight criminal counts, including conspiracy to commit campaign finance violations.

    JF (e99bad)

  20. News Item: (Brazil President) Bolsonaro Rules Out Military Intervention in Brazil, “I Have No Support from Other Institutions to Act Against Lula!”

    TrumpWorld disappointed:

    Anyone holding out hope that our military is going to do a damn thing other than follow the orders of their swamp bosses might want to think again. …….. That’s how I see it. More at command level but the troops would “just follow orders”……… Our beloved CIA and State Department lose another nearby country to commies…….What the heck do we have them for?!?……. We are not Brazil. At some point the military will step in. …….Never happen. The US military is deeply opposed to regular America. It is completely defiled. ……. I use to believe our military would step in but I also believed in Santa Claus until I was enlightened by reality……..

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  21. Ever wonder what it’s like living in California? Here’s a rundown on the new laws being added for 2023.

    Such as:

    * Coroners will be prohibited from holding an inquest after a fetal death, including in cases in which drugs are suspected of causing a stillbirth.

    * California’s public colleges and universities are required to protect college students from accidental overdoses by having Narcan on campus

    * …expands California’s paid family leave law to allow employees to add to the list one extended family member or a person they consider to be family.

    * Lunar New Year becomes an official state holiday. State workers can receive “eight hours of holiday credit” for that day, Juneteenth, Genocide Remembrance Day or Native American Day.

    * Businesses are prohibited from charging different prices for goods just because they are marketed toward women, such as deodorant, shaving cream and razors [Lawyers take note]

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  22. Rip, who admits to fraudulently signing petitions, frowns on election fraud LOL

    JF (e99bad) — 12/30/2022 @ 12:13 pm

    And if I get arrested (ha!) I will post that too. 😜

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  23. They just noticed yesterday Santos’ claims about his mother and September 11th: (but it was earlier reported in Newsweek)

    Six days ago:

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/george-santos-congress-mother-funeral

    His campaign website paints a picture of success: “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.”

    But now it’s a fresh story again: (I also think some people are focusing on claims that aren’t criminal.)

    https://www.newser.com/story/329725/george-santos-claims-about-moms-911-death-doubted.html?

    In a tweet Wednesday, journalist Yashar Ali drew attention to two tweets from Santos in 2021, one that said 9/11 claimed his mother’s life and another that reflected on the fifth anniversary of her 2016 death, which took place some 15 years after the 9/11 attacks, the Washington Post reports. According to the US representative elect’s campaign website, his mother “was in her office in the South Tower on September 11, 2001, when the horrific events of that day unfolded” and “she passed away a few years later when she lost her battle to cancer.”

    While cancer has killed many 9/11 survivors, Rolling Stone reports that legal firms and advocacy groups have no record of Santos’ mother, Fatima Devolder, ever filing a compensation claim or taking part in any lawsuits related to the attacks. “Nobody can verify it,” John Feal, founder of the Fealgood Foundation victims’ advocacy group, tells the magazine.

    They are leaving out from the story the claim that his mother was a financial executive, which was probably the main focus of the lie that put her in the South Tower on September 11, 2001.

    Good point – his claim could be sort of true that she died because of it if she was included in the victim’s compensation fund so it was agd idea to look for that – but she wasn’t.

    I don’t know anything he said about his father beyond him saying he was a Catholic. Is he alive? Were he and his mother divorced or separated?

    .

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  24. Jason T. Schofield maybe believed his own propaganda about election fraud.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  25. Remember Wi Spa?

    As with all media narratives, you have to let them simmer a few months before you confirm it’s all BS.

    Transgender ‘pervert’ is arrested 15 months after she ‘exposed herself to women and girls at Wi Spa in LA’ triggering violent protests from Antifa goons who branded allegations a bigoted hoax

    A transgender person wanted for exposing their naked, half-erect penis to women in two separate changing room incidents in Los Angeles has been arrested after more than 15 months on the run.

    The suspect, 53-year-old Darren Agee Merager, had been charged with five felony counts of indecent exposure for the incidents – including an infamous altercation at Wi Spa, where Merager exposed herself to several women, including an underage girl.

    Merager – a convicted sex criminal who identifies as a woman – had previously rebuffed the allegations, claiming to be a victim of transphobia.

    The story was then, for months, swept under the rug by the mainstream media – with many, including the leftist radical group Antifa, defending Merager.

    The incident spawned month protests – many of them violent – all while Merager’s previous sex crimes continued to come to light. Eventually, Merager was unmasked as a registered sex offender, convicted for similar incidents in 2002 and 2003.

    Also unearthed was a warrant for the sex pest’s arrest for a separate locker room incident in December 2018, and a laundry list of offenses stretching nearly two decades, including burglary and trespass.

    Here is an example of the ridiculous MSM take on the incident months before:

    “I think this is one of the horrible things that we experience every single day within our society,” Bamby Salcedo, CEO of the TransLatin@ Coalition, said.

    Salcedo said the woman’s behavior was rooted in ignorance and said she hoped one day all transgender people would be treated with respect.

    “The trans community, particularly trans women, we experience this type of violence every single day of our lives,” she said.

    LOL

    JF (e99bad)

  26. Trump and his wife…paid $0 in income taxes for 2020

    Damn few ultra rich pay much in income taxes because they generally arrange not to have “income.” They either borrow against appreciated stock, or they just have a pile of money in the bank.

    Consider: suppose you won $100 million in the lottery. You’d pay a lot of tax that first year, but after that? Not much, especially the way interest rates have been, until recently.

    Now, sure, Trump may have added some lies to the picture (and more likely in loan applications than in tax returns). It’s what he does. But the near-zero income taxes are par for the course for people who don’t really need>/i> income.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  27. Lying about his mother’s death in the WTC on 9/11 is probably a worse sin in NYC than anything else.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  28. Fraudulently signing election petitions, with an eye to making the petition fail, IS election fraud. At least morally, if not legally (and intent is hard to prove). It also shows a certain lack of integrity — accepting cheating as a means to winning.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  29. @28. Reaganomics.

    DCSCA (24c4a1)

  30. Biggest government scandal since Watergate completely ignored by so many becaause it served the purpose of fortifying the election.

    Of all the things that the GOP is talking about investigating, this is something that they should look into. If these charges are true, and government agencies attempted to censor social media by leveraging their regulatory powers, it really should see the light of day.

    The Democrats should agree: What is used for you can always be used against you.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  31. a small local outlet sounded the alarm about the Republican.

    Many of these details have not yet made their way into more prominent publications.

    The possible criminal charges won’t catch up for him before he is sworn in or before the election for Speaker is over unless maybe it goes on for days and weeks.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  32. government agencies attempted to censor social media by leveraging their regulatory powers,

    It is possible there was some of that, but mostly it was officials and former officials lying or making unsupported statements with, in some cases, the possible connivance of the Biden campaign.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  33. They have to seat Santos, but they don’t have to keep him. The GOP’s best move is to take the lead in expelling him. It takes 2/3rds but the Democrats can hardly vote no.

    The by-election might go to the Democrats, and I’m sure that McCarthy would hate that, but keeping him on is a short term win — 2024 will see that seat go away, perhaps forever. But taking the lead in fixing the problem, and perhaps blaming it on Trump, their next candidate has a chance.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  34. Of the 195,783 George Gascon recall signatures found invalid:

    • Not Registered: 88,464
    • Max Number of Times Signed (Duplicate): 43,593
    • Different Address: 32,187
    • Mismatch Signature: 9,490
    • Canceled: 7,344
    • Out of County Address: 5,374
    • Other: 9,331

    I look forward to the prosecutions.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  35. Did anybody believe that it was not the sole purpose of the “”bipartisan”” committee all along?

    I think it was Ways & Means, not the special committee. But sure. I wonder if they lied to the courts on this point.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  36. They have to seat Santos, but they don’t have to keep him. The GOP’s best move is to take the lead in expelling him. It takes 2/3rds but the Democrats can hardly vote no.

    McCarthy needs Santos more than anyone. The House Republicans will delay any action for as long as possible, pinning their hopes successful state and federal investigations.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  37. Rip Murdock (0a5177) — 12/30/2022 @ 12:50 pm

    more succinct Rip: “It’s only wrong if I’m prosecuted.”

    LOL

    JF (e99bad)

  38. Mohammad Mossadegh was a beloved figure in Iran. During his tenure, he introduced a range of social and economic policies, the most significant being the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry.

    How The CIA Overthrew Iran’s Democracy In 4 Days

    Try: How the CIA Saved Iran from a Hugo Chavez-style Economic Meltdown

    The disaster was allowing the Shah to fall. The people of Iran have been paying for that mistake for over 40 years.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  39. Didn’t Trump pay $700K in 2015? Or was the point about the audit and Trump’s claims that he didn’t disclose the return because he was under audit? Did he specify IRS and if he did say IRS, was he using “IRS” for “tax agency”?
    Real estate entities are always under audit by some federal, state, local collections bureau. From occupancy tax, to income. He also is likely audited privately by his insurance etc annually. I am.
    Or maybe Trump lied, or maybe Trump lied about the IRS but was also under audit by another government entity.

    2020 he paid zero. I paid a S-ton (for me anyway) in 2020 due to an unforeseen sale that triggered large capital gains and could not care less. It was a great problem to have and being in that position to have to write that check was a blessing. But Trump paid zero. OK. I’m somewhat jealous in the sense that I would have loved a 2020 jubilee, but I did not have the offsets Trump had, so that is how my cookie crumbled and his cookie didn’t.

    I would be more cynical about Hillary’s 2015 untaxable expenses paid for by her legal foreign donation laundering scheme of a foundation.

    steveg (8b1c8f)

  40. Biden escapes his luxury St Croix villa to play golf: President takes grandson Hunter, 18, on beachfront course on family vacation – after flying in $1.7 trillion omnibus bill to sign

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11586377/amp/Biden-escapes-luxury-St-Croix-villa-play-golf.html

    Putz for dough. Play like Palmer, Nicklaus– or Bing, Joe? Perfect place for a crime family to talk criminality, too. Hey Pepsi Generation Joey- did you know 74 year old Bing Crosby died after finishing a round of golf?

    “That was a great game of golf, fellas. Let’s go have a Coca-Cola.” – Bing Crosby’s last words 10/18/77

    DCSCA (24c4a1)

  41. What’s more, the Internal Revenue Service only started to audit Trump’s 2015 tax filings on April 3, 2019, more than two years into his presidency…

    those with unfounded outrage about the audits of Comey and McCabe seem unusually quiet

    JF (e99bad)

  42. I look forward to the prosecutions.

    So, cheating is ethical if you get away with it?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  43. McCarthy needs Santos more than anyone.

    Only until Jan 4th.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  44. The disaster was allowing the Shah to fall. The people of Iran have been paying for that mistake for over 40 years.

    The disaster was all subverting Iran’s democratically elected leader and installing the Shah… for oil. and the seeds of disaster were sewn. They have long memories longer than 40 years.

    FIFY.

    This is what happens when meddlers meddle.

    DCSCA (24c4a1)

  45. A number of the Shah’s relatives absconded here with lots and lots of cash. They set up in old walled, gated estates. They liked to use Israelis for security.

    steveg (8b1c8f)

  46. So, cheating is ethical if you get away with it?

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/30/2022 @ 1:01 pm

    It’s the American way. For example, in CA you are required to report a use tax on their tax return (equivalent to the sales tax for your county, which can be more than 10%) on out of state purchases when the seller doesn’t include it in purchase price.

    Since the state doesn’t know when you make these purchases, what are the odds most people don’t report the use tax on their returns?

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  47. George santos would make the perfect republican candidate for 2024 and he can run from jail as others have! His campaign slogan I tell more lies then joe biden!

    asset (dac00e)

  48. The disaster was all subverting Iran’s democratically elected leader and installing the Shah… for oil. and the seeds of disaster were sewn. They have long memories longer than 40 years.

    DCSCA is correct. PBS had an excellent two-part American Experience documentary on the hostage crisis, which demonstrated the arrogance of the British and American governments overthrowing an Iranian government that dared to challenge their control of Iran’s oil, and the arrogance of the Shah with a “let them eat cake” attitude towards his own people.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  49. McCarthy needs Santos more than anyone.

    Only until Jan 4th.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/30/2022 @ 1:02 pm

    With a five seat majority McCarthy needs every Republican vote to advance his legislative program (such as it is). Why would Republicans cut their majority to four?

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  50. George santos democrat opponent george zimmerman was such a corporate establishment DNC controlled stooge that voters preferred a liar! Zimmerman was the candidate of the NY democrat corporate establishment who hates AOC more then they hate rethugliKKKans! Zimmerman was raking in the corporate cash and would be a wall street “asset” like hillary clinton. I got my handle when helbot clinton called Tulsi Gabbard a russian asset. The head of NY democrat party lives in this district and cost democrats 4 seats in NY.

    asset (dac00e)

  51. George santos democrat opponent george zimmerman was such a corporate establishment DNC controlled stooge that voters preferred a liar!

    The details of Santos’s prevarications were not known until after the election.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  52. So, cheating is ethical if you get away with it?

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/30/2022 @ 1:01 pm

    Ask the FBI and other state agencies not to mention Harry Reid, Lizzie Warren, Immigration defrauder Omar, the Baltimore Pelosi clan and on and on

    NJRob (0c14c6)

  53. Since the state doesn’t know when you make these purchases, what are the odds most people don’t report the use tax on their returns?

    They fixed that. Most out-of-state sellers are required to collect the tax now.

    I do wonder if Jerry Brown paid the tax back when it amounted to something.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  54. His campaign slogan I tell more lies then joe biden!

    asset (dac00e) — 12/30/2022 @ 1:27 pm

    He needs to get busy if that’s going to be ready for 24. Although, technically, he could just count that as one of his lies.

    frosty (988f70)

  55. With a five seat majority McCarthy needs every Republican vote to advance his legislative program (such as it is). Why would Republicans cut their majority to four?

    For about 90 days. Instead, they can hold onto their albatross as he makes daily headlines with his continuing lies and outrageous actions, and not only have to give him up when they haul his ass off to jail (dropping the vote margin at a time of the Democrats’ choice) but also writing off that district for the foreseeable future as the voters correctly feel disrespected.

    They should cut their losses now and pretend to have some integrity.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  56. “I’m a Republican” could be one of his lies.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  57. * California’s public colleges and universities are required to protect college students from accidental overdoses by having Narcan on campus

    I’m not seeing the problem with that one.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  58. I’m not seeing the problem with that one.

    It’s not so much a problem as a signpost.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  59. They should cut their losses now and pretend to have some integrity.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/30/2022 @ 3:01 pm

    LOL! 😂

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  60. Rip @ 55,

    Check out the link at the bottom of the seventh news item. People were alerted. Just not enough saw the report, and certainly not enough who mattered. If a small town paper that focused on local journalism could dig this up, why wasn’t the local or state GOP able to?

    Dana (1225fc)

  61. Hi Dana at #65

    Whoever was in charge of vetting Santos, or maybe back to whomever was supposed to assign someone to vet Santos did not get the job done.
    Local politics is like that. Maybe his wife scheduled a two week vacation for them in a cabin, just the three of them alone with her mom, very special. Or maybe Hooters had a special on beer AND wings

    steveg (20904b)

  62. He won, didn’t he? If the people who gave Trump the 2016 Republican primary with 60% of the vote are miffed with him, it’s because he was so flagrant about it.

    But I doubt that they’re miffed with him. He’s one more Republican seat, isn’t he? If they’re miffed, it’s with the people who outed him.

    nk (bb1548)

  63. 2016 *New York” Republican primary

    nk (bb1548)

  64. If a small town paper that focused on local journalism could dig this up, why wasn’t the local or state GOP able to?

    Dana (1225fc) — 12/30/2022 @ 4:06 pm


    If the story isn’t in the NYT or WaPo, politicians ignore it. What’s also surprising is that the NY papers, including the Daily News and NY Post, didn’t pick up on it.

    Local political leaders don’t “vet” candidates and determine who can run, like it was done by political machines in the 19th century. US political parties are weak organizations, unlike in Britain, for example. Primary elections allow anyone to run and anyone to vote for them.

    It really is up the press to vet candidates. One small paper beat them all, and I hope The North Shore Leader receives a well-deserved Pulitzer.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  65. Off his meds:

    ………

    “Civil war will break out in the U.S.,” (Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of Putin’s advisory security has council tweeted). …….. “California and Texas becoming independent states as a result.

    “Texas and Mexico will form an allied state,” “Elon Musk’ll win the presidential election in a number of states which, after the new Civil War’s end, will have been given to the GOP.”
    ………
    He continued to say that Poland and Hungry will occupy Ukraine and a “Fourth Reich will be created” that would encompass “the territory of Germany and its satellites, i.e., Poland, the Baltic states, Czechia, Slovakia, the Kiev Republic, and other outcasts.”

    “War will break out between France and the Fourth Reich. Europe will be divided, Poland repartitioned in the process,” he said before adding that Northern Ireland will up and leave the U.K. to reunite with the Republic of Ireland.
    ……..

    Good times!

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  66. RIP Barbara Walters (93).

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  67. Rip Murdock (0a5177) — 12/30/2022 @ 6:29 pm

    Example #1 of political parties not being able to vet candidates: all the Trump-endorsed Senate candidates that lost.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  68. Whoever was in charge of vetting Santos, or maybe back to whomever was supposed to assign someone to vet Santos did not get the job done.
    ……..
    steveg (20904b) — 12/30/2022 @ 4:36 pm

    Political parties don’t vet, voters do. Parties are mainly for fundraising and GOTV. And even with negative media coverage of a candidate’s flaws, sometimes the voters don’t care.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  69. “Elon Musk’ll win the presidential election….”

    I think he needs to be a natural born citizen.

    As to Trump’s tax release. It seems pressed to believe this is just about the Presidential audit not being properly performed. It’s an uncomfortable precedent, though one brought on by Trump ditching and debasing the norm of self disclosure. The norm is appropriate especially for someone with no political background and with so many investments abroad…and someone unwilling to go the blind trust route. Maybe the norm should be mandated by law….the question might be whether it’s a good idea to mandate that for more than the Chief? I question the wisdom of weaponizing financial statements and like medical records, only a synopsis should be made public. Again, the extreme will make this country ungovernable.

    But here my opinion is that if his taxes show that a crime was committed, then charge him with the crime. Otherwise, as much as I want him to go away, embarrassing him does not seem possible and the complexity of the tax law will bore most to sleep.

    AJ_Liberty (811aff)

  70. R.I.P. Barbara Walters

    Music and passion;
    Were always in fashion;
    At the Copa… eh, Babs…

    DCSCA (caf7dc)

  71. Read Sudden Russian Death Syndrome:

    It’s not widely known but when HRC gave Lavrov the reset button it came with a copy of her book How to remove friends and influence people: A practical workbook with examples for him to pass along to Putin.

    frosty (4b9100)

  72. Excusing the leftists who corruptly leaked Trump’s taxes? Why am I not surprised AJ.

    Now do Biden’s 10%.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  73. Russian Media Watch:
    ………
    A minute-long clip featuring Kremlin propagandist Olga Skabeyeva’s comments was shared on Twitter by Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, on Tuesday.

    “We are all adults and we are well aware that war depletes the Russian state in every way,” Skabeyeva said, according to a translation of the remarks.

    At the same time we, being adequate and normal people, of course, are not capable of enjoying military action, war and each one of us, I am convinced, would like an end to hostilities.”
    ……….
    Skabeyeva, who has been dubbed the “Iron Doll of Putin TV,” said many had “clung” to a recent article in The Washington Post that she said “allegedly reported” that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had been told by U.S. officials to “sit down” and “make a deal” to end the war.

    “But if you open this article and start reading it carefully, it offers us three scenarios,” Skabeyeva said.

    She said all of the possible scenarios were unacceptable to Russia and “could only make us shoot ourselves.”

    “We can’t go through with it because then it would make a ‘special military operation’ meaningless which means that we would betray both ourselves and our country,” she added.
    ………
    Twitter users linked her comments to the concept of the “sunk-cost fallacy,” which describes a person’s reluctance to abandon a course of action because they have already invested heavily in it, even after it becomes clear that abandoning the path is the better option.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  74. I do not agree with the personal attack on AJ_Liberty, but I do agree that the pretexts that the Democrats in Congress used to obtain and reveal Trump’s tax returns was a corrupt and criminal thing.

    A fraud on the public, a fraud on the IRS, and a fraud on the courts, including the Supreme Court. But even if they weren’t protected by the Speech and Debate Clause, who’s gonna do anything about it?

    nk (520b95)

  75. Now do Biden’s 10%.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 12/30/2022 @ 8:03 pm

    I look forward to the House investigations and impeachment hearings to reveal the billions of dollars Hunter and Joe Biden have received. I mean, it must be hard to hide Joe Biden’s 10% of omnibus spending bill ($170,000,000,000).

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  76. Two-fer

    A drunken Russian soldier conscripted in President Vladimir Putin’s mobilization for the war in Ukraine allegedly beat one of his officers to death while on a troop train, according to Russian media reports.
    ………
    The Russian media report doesn’t indicate a motive for the attack but said the sergeant is facing up to 15 years in prison.
    ………

    Oh so sad!

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  77. Link for post 81.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  78. …….. I do agree that the pretexts that the Democrats in Congress used to obtain and reveal Trump’s tax returns was a corrupt and criminal thing.

    Then Republicans should repeal 26 U.S. Code § 6103(f) and (g). (F) allows tax return disclosures to the “chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation” and their committee chiefs of staff; and (g) allows disclosures to the President.

    This is not new, a number of examples are listed here.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  79. Baba Wawa, RIP. Her career was legendary.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  80. North carolina will not prosecute mark meadows for voter fraud say AG. Now if he had been a black woman trying to register to vote for democrats like that black woman in texas who got 5 years in prison. Just because the state told her she could tuff! Law and order for poor black women. Mercy and forgiveness for rich white republicans. The golden rule those with the gold rule! Besides he voted for trump.

    asset (45103a)

  81. @77 What is your evidence that the left did it? The only evidence is that sammy the fish alito did it to keep wavering justices in line.

    asset (45103a)

  82. “Texas and Mexico will form an allied state,”

    State and anti-state more likely. Put them together and it explodes.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  83. @83: The purpose of the law is to allow returns relevant to an investigation be released as appendices to the investigation report. Here the “investigation” (nudge nudge wink wink) was apparently conducted in an afternoon. Pure pretext, and probably someone lied to the Supreme Court about the purpose of the request.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  84. Saint Peter: “Sorry, there doesn’t seem to be a “Wawa” here….”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  85. @77 What is your evidence that the left did it? The only evidence is that sammy the fish alito did it to keep wavering justices in line.

    What evidence is that? That he once had an overdue library book?

    We all know it was Sotomayor as she was the one who warned that the Court would be held in disrepute (by following the Constitution). And she’s stupid.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  86. @90 he told about hobby lobby decision to right to lifers.

    asset (45103a)

  87. Asset,

    That claim was made by a fabulist who is a repeated liar that makes up stories to put himself at the center of events. I’ve linked as much previously.

    All the relevant parties say he’s full of it. For you to still run with that nonsense shows a lot.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  88. Too funny not to share: Nigelb’s joke about George Santos.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  89. This story seems, to be honest, more than a little creepy:

    Former president Donald Trump adores the 1950 classic “Sunset Blvd.,” the saga of a silent-screen legend eternally ready for her close-up and plotting a comeback long after her star has dulled. Trump has repeatedly praised the movie. He declared it “one of the greatest of all time” — on this, he will get little disagreement — and held screenings at the White House and Camp David. He lauded it during a 2020 speech, where he disparaged the Oscars for awarding “Parasite” Best Picture.

    But as Trump mounts a third presidential run amid the lacerating Jan. 6 report recommending four criminal charges against him, multiple other investigations and lawsuits, his election fraud-claiming endorsees losing in the midterms and a depleted inner circle, comparisons between his misfortunes and “Sunset’s” sunsetting Norma Desmond seem increasingly apt.

    (I corrected a typo.)

    For the record: I have never watched the movie and don’t plan to, though I agree that it probably sheds some light on Trump’s psychiatric problems.

    Fo those who haven’t seen it, a description of the movie.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  90. Jim…That’s almost the Kari Lake story as well; probably missed on her call-up to the MSM cable news when they were still relevant and she’s not blond or ravishing brunette enough to get on to FOX.

    urbanleftbehind (881ecf)

  91. Hollywood can be pretty good at making movies based on itself. Like “Brokeback Mountain”, which simply transposed what actors do in public restrooms to a Wyoming sheep camp, and was billed as a Western.

    nk (520b95)

  92. For the record: I have never watched the movie and don’t plan to

    You really should. It’s a masterpiece. It’s also quite a bit of self-referencing as Gloria Swanson’s actual life was very similar to Nora Desmond’s fictional one. I had little expectations before I watched it, but it’s one of those movies that you’ll never forget.

    Not seeing a “10” movie because Trump liked it is absurd.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  93. As far as Trump parallels to Norma Desmond? Um, no. Desmond had class the whole way, despite her delusions. She would not have approved of Donald Trump.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  94. https://www.breitbart.com/latin-america/2022/12/30/democrat-sen-ron-wyden-spends-winter-break-with-communist-leaders-in-cuba/

    Anyone still pretending leftists in the Senate and House aren’t communist?

    NJRob (6cee0b)

  95. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (95) has died.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  96. Now do Biden’s 10%.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 12/30/2022 @ 8:03 pm

    Why don’t you provide the evidence that President Biden (or anyone else) receives a 10% kickback from either government appropriations or contractors?

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  97. Things not to watch: Alpha Males: “Explores the new masculinities and how four friends in their forties face the loss of the privileges that their status as men used to bring them and the changes brought about by a society where equality is imposed.”

    Hollywood is not getting any better.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt18482892/

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  98. Sunset Boulevard also features a young Jack Webb as Wliiam Holden’s good time buddy (before his face fossilized into what you see in Dragnet).

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  99. Another storm hero:

    Police in New York are praising a man for his “heroic actions” during the holiday weekend blizzard after he forced his way into a school to help two dozen people escape the storm.

    Jay Withey, 27, of Kenmore, N.Y., found himself stranded east of Buffalo in Cheektowaga on Friday as the winter storm bore down around him, according to NBC News.

    On Christmas Eve, Withey journeyed through the snow to Pine Hill School after his car began running low on fuel, and broke a window to get himself inside, per the report. Then, he went back for others who were stranded and needed help.

    “My mission was just to keep going out and grabbing as many people as I can and to just keep going,” Withey said, according to NBC News. “I just kept walking, and I walked until I cried and I couldn’t walk any further. I was just beat.”

    The Cheektowaga Police Department said it learned of the forced entry after a keyholder for the school was alerted to the broken glass on Friday. An officer was not able to reach the school until everyone had left the premises — but he did find a note that Withey had left behind.

    “I’m terribly sorry about breaking the school window and for breaking in the kitchen,” Withey wrote in the note, as seen in a photo shared by the CPD on Facebook.

    https://people.com/human-interest/cops-find-thank-man-broke-into-school-saved-people-stranded-new-york-blizzard/

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  100. <blockquoteAnyone still pretending leftists in the Senate and House aren’t communist?

    NJRob (6cee0b) — 12/31/2022 @ 9:02 am

    Yes. Leftists in the Senate and House.

    frosty (06bf6f)

  101. Swanson, Holden, Von Stroheim and Nancy Olsen, and director Billy Wilder were all nominated for an Oscar, as was the movie itself. None won, with most of the awards going to “All About Eve.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  102. They aren’t communist, in the Marxist-Leninist sense. They are simply dedicated Statists who distrust markets and want the economy run directly from DC.

    See the difference?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  103. Why don’t you provide the evidence that President Biden (or anyone else) receives a 10% kickback from either government appropriations or contractors?

    Rip Murdock (0a5177) — 12/31/2022 @ 9:30 am

    At least not US government appropriations and contractors?

    frosty (06bf6f)

  104. Authorities tracked the Idaho student killings suspect as he drove cross-country to Pennsylvania, sources say
    ………..
    Investigators honed in on Kohberger as the suspect through DNA evidence and by confirming his ownership of a white Hyundai Elantra seen near the crime scene, according to two law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation.
    ……….
    He drove cross-country in a white Hyundai Elantra and arrived at his parents’ house in Pennsylvania around Christmas, according to a law enforcement source. Authorities were tracking him as he drove and were also surveilling his parents’ house, the source said.

    An FBI surveillance team tracked him for four days before his arrest while law enforcement worked with prosecutors to develop enough probable cause to obtain a warrant, the two law enforcement sources said.

    Genetic genealogy techniques were used to connect Kohberger to unidentified DNA evidence, another source with knowledge of the case tells CNN. The DNA was run through a public database to find potential family member matches, and subsequent investigative work by law enforcement led to him as the suspect, the source said.
    ………
    (Moscow Police Chief James Fry) told reporters Friday state law limits what information authorities can release before Kohberger makes an initial appearance in Idaho court. The probable cause affidavit – which details the factual basis of Kohberger’s charges – is sealed until the suspect is physically in Latah County, Idaho and has been served with the Idaho arrest warrant, (Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson) said.
    ………..
    Cue The Doors.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  105. 107,

    They’re more communist in the everything in the state, nothing against the state sense.

    frosty (06bf6f)

  106. Actually, they do favor personal liberty, so long as that liberty, like tolerance, is confined to things they like.

    (yes, all of this is tongue-in-cheek)

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  107. Genetic genealogy techniques were used to connect Kohberger to unidentified DNA evidence

    New California law: DNA from sexual assault victims cannot be later used to identify a perpetrator by a DNA match.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  108. More from the LA DA files:

    Gunman who killed Riverside County deputy should have been jailed on ‘three strikes,’ sheriff says

    A Riverside County sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot Thursday afternoon during a traffic stop in Jurupa Valley, sparking a high-speed chase across multiple freeways that ended with deputies killing the gunman in a shootout.

    The shooter was a violent felon who should have been incarcerated under California’s “three strikes” law after a recent conviction but was released on bail while his case was pending, Sheriff Chad Bianco said at a news conference Thursday night.

    Deputy Isaiah Cordero, 32, was conducting a traffic stop just before 2 p.m. near the 3900 block of Golden West Avenue when the suspect pulled out a gun and shot him as he approached the vehicle, Bianco said.

    The killer, William McKay, was killed by deputies after a high-speed pursuit. He was out on bail.

    McKay’s criminal history dated to the 1990s and included kidnapping, robbery and multiple assaults with deadly weapons, Bianco said.

    “This terrible tragedy should have been prevented by the legal system,” Bianco said. “McKay has an extensive, violent past and was convicted of his third strike in November of 2021.”

    That case involved kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, the sheriff said.

    “Instead of sentencing him to 25 years to life, which should have happened, the judge lowered his bail, allowing him to be released,” Bianco said.

    The sheriff declined to name the judge.

    McKay was arrested again for failing to appear at his sentencing “and additional criminal charges,” but he was released by the same judge, Bianco said.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  109. Ooops, not the DA but a similarly inclined judge.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  110. New California law: DNA from sexual assault victims cannot be later used to identify a perpetrator by a DNA match.

    The victim’s DNA, Kevin. The victim’s:

    SB 1228 protects sexual assault survivors and other victims by prohibiting the retention of DNA profiles collected from victims by local law enforcement agencies — including rape kits for sexual assault survivors. It also prohibits victims’ DNA from being used for any purpose other than identifying the perpetrator of the crime. Thus, a victim’s DNA could not be used in the future against the victim.

    Let’s be clear about that.

    nk (520b95)

  111. What a tragedy. The laws are there and, if used, could have protected law enforcement and society.

    DRJ (676a53)

  112. #97 “Not seeing a “10” movie because Trump liked it is absurd.”

    Actually you have my position reversed. I disliked Sunset Blvd. long before Trump came on the political scene — and am slightly more inclined to watch it, having learned that he loves the movie. (I think watching it might give me a little more understanding of his psychiatric problems. But not enough more to make me watch a horrible story, however brilliantly filmed.)

    My tastes in movies are rather different from those running Hollywood in recent decades. Similarly, my tastes in books are rather different from most in that world.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  113. @115: Yes, I thought it was clear. So, if a woman is assaulted, then commits murder, her DNA on file is off limits for an investigation of the murder. AAUI, if the woman’s cousin commits murder, the rape victim’s DNA is off-limits for a familial match, too.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  114. But not enough more to make me watch a horrible story

    It’s not a horrible story.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  115. For the record: I have never watched the movie and don’t plan to

    Directed and co-written by Billy Wilder. A classic. Worth watching if only to see CB DeMille and HB Warner playing themselves and the ‘Great Stone Face’ Buster Keaton playing cards.

    “Pass.” – Buster Keaton ‘Sunset Boulevard’ 1950

    DCSCA (1518a9)

  116. 115,

    I’m curious how that works in a case like Kohberger’s. Would the DNA from victims of assault not be used to find relatives who had committed crimes? If so why?

    I’m also expecting a future version of CSI:Tulsa that involves the nifty trick of inviting the suspects parents in for questioning to surreptitiously get a DNA sample.

    frosty (06bf6f)

  117. Here’s Politico’s annual list of the worst political predictions of 2022.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  118. 118,

    I’m also waiting for the next crime drama involving a woman who claims to have been assaulted to get her DNA blacklisted as part of an elaborate revenge scheme against her rich white husband and his new girlfriend (who’s DNA isn’t blacklisted and conveniently has a motive).

    frosty (06bf6f)

  119. I read an interesting aspect to the George Santos story. He ran for the House seat back in 2020, and lost by something like 30 points (going from memory). In fact, there never was any real question that he would win, so it seems like he was largely ignored by local media at the time. Then when he ran two years later, the assumption was made by both parties and the media that Santos had been properly vetted since he had sought the seat two years earlier.

    What I like about this is that it shows how our lazy media treats elections like horse races or ball games; they don’t cover the candidates themselves so much, they instead focus on the campaigns. There is a lot of failure to go around here, but our ridiculous political media deserves a great deal of it.

    JVW (6458d0)

  120. I wish you all a wonderful New Year’s Eve, and let’s all hope for a less bitter 2023.

    Simon Jester (f97b12)

  121. Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/31/2022 @ 10:14 am

    The judge who released Deputy Cordero’s killer was in San Bernardino County. Los Angeles County had nothing to do with it.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  122. I disliked Sunset Blvd. long before Trump came on the political scene……

    Any particular reason?

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  123. @120-

    And Erich von Stroheim.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  124. I’m curious how that works in a case like Kohberger’s. Would the DNA from victims of assault not be used to find relatives who had committed crimes? If so why?

    Were any of the victims raped? It only applies to sexual assaults.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  125. There are any number of rules of evidence which are there for reasons of public policy and not because of the relevancy, materiality, or prejudicial effect of the evidence excluded.

    First and foremost, of course, the exclusionary rule for Constitutional violations; “other sexual behavior” of rape victims; mental health treatment records; the attorney, physician, spousal privilege; and more.

    nk (520b95)

  126. Memo to George Santos, the GOP and Kevin McCarthy:

    Hold a presser, say nothing— just let Joey do the talkin’… by playing this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEL1098WV24&t=1s

    Never grows old. The only bigger azz is stitched to the butt-end of the King Kong exhibit at Universal/Orlando.

    “I’ve done some dumb things. And I’ll do dumb things again.” – Squinty McStumblebum, 1988

    … and Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (1f4a6a)

  127. The California law appears to be DNA from the victim of any crime, not only sexual assault. If you have been stabbed before, for example, your DNA on that previous attacker’s knife cannot be used to find the guy who stabbed you this time.

    nk (520b95)

  128. The California rape DNA law came about when a rape victim’s DNA was collected as part of a rape kit and retained by police in a database. The DNA profile was subsequently used to identify her as a burglary suspect.

    The new law

    …..prohibits using the DNA profiles collected by police from sexual assault survivors and other victims for any purpose other than aiding in identifying the perpetrator. Local law enforcement agencies would also be prohibited from retaining and then searching victim DNA to incriminate them in unrelated crimes under the legislation.

    Hope this clarifies.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  129. The DNA profile was subsequently used to identify her as a burglary suspect.

    Why is this wrong? Are rape victims somehow above the law? Do they get a couple get-out-of-jail-free cards?

    My problem with this is that it is misguided. Not only does it make the DNA database of questionable utility if ANY victim’s DNA is off-limits, but it hampers the investigation of all crimes.

    So, question: Why should a crime victim’s DNA not go into the database? If this is somehow “unfair”, why are other DNA samples take in investigating the same crime (for [successful] elimination purposes) acceptable?

    Please defend from some principle.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  130. There may be some rules we would like to have to limit use of DNA, and not just by the police. Insurance companies would like to run your DNA. Organ transplant agencies might want a look-see. Your employer might feel they have a need. Not just police.

    So, what rules? Only those charged with a felony? What if they’re not convicted? Or do we just collect it like we collect fingerprints (driver’s licenses, professional licenses, government contractors, etc). Or maybe just at birth. If it saves one kidnapped baby, it’s worth it!

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  131. I’m also expecting a future version of CSI:Tulsa that involves the nifty trick of inviting the suspects parents in for questioning to surreptitiously get a DNA sample.

    CSI is not restricted by facts or even physics. I remember one episode where they have a videotape of a basketball game. After “enhancement, they see a suspect in the stands. Upon further “enhancement” they see he has something in his breast pocket. “Enhancing” still further, they see that it is a plane ticket to Rio (or some such).

    It’s like finding countless integers between 2 and 3.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  132. Please defend from some principle.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/31/2022 @ 11:35 am

    If, as a crime victim, I knew that by reporting a crime my DNA would end up in law enforcement database, I would probably not report a crime or cooperate in its prosecution. That is theory behind this law. A rape victim may not report her rape if evidence she gave in a rape kit could be used against her at some future date.

    Rape victims are not “above the law,” in fact the law gives them more protections than ordinary crime victims (as does the media by not reporting their names).

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  133. So, what rules? Only those charged with a felony?

    There are dozens of laws across the country (state and federal) that regulate the use of DNA profiles, both for law enforcement and other purposes.

    In California DNA from convicted felons (as well as misdemeanor sex offenders) is collected.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  134. What I like about this is that it shows how our lazy media treats elections like horse races or ball games; they don’t cover the candidates themselves so much, they instead focus on the campaigns. There is a lot of failure to go around here, but our ridiculous political media deserves a great deal of it.

    JVW: Once upon a time, a generation ago, the ‘political media’ did– and did their jobs very well:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEL1098WV24&t=1s

    It’s all on every twit- left, right and disgruntled ideologues who betrayed their own party and voted for this bum. Without doubt this is the worst U.S. president in my lifetime– and a deceptive, terrible, lying POS. Which keeps Americans suffering, Xi grinning… Vlad smiling… the Taliban partying… and Kim lofting missiles more often than Joey’s Amtrak trains arrive on time.

    DCSCA (1f4a6a)

  135. Please defend from some principle.

    How totalitarian do you like your police state?

    It’s the same principle that, so far, has kept you from getting a knock on the door and a government phlebologist asking you for a sample for the national DNA database. So far.

    Why should victims of crime have a lesser right to that particular privacy than non-victims?

    nk (520b95)

  136. What I like about this is that it shows how our lazy media treats elections like horse races or ball games; they don’t cover the candidates themselves so much, they instead focus on the campaigns. There is a lot of failure to go around here, but our ridiculous political media deserves a great deal of it.

    JVW (6458d0) — 12/31/2022 @ 11:01 am

    Specifically the NY media; the national political media would have no interest in an obscure Long Island district. I hope Santos has a long career.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  137. “So, what rules?”

    What are acceptable rules depends on one’s confidence in the government not losing control of the data or misusing it. There is also that pesky 4th amendment. Right now, probable cause is required for police to collect your DNA. They can’t just rummage your trash can for a soiled tissue to get your DNA. So with the victim of sexual assault, any DNA collected and saved would run afoul of consent and some minimal requirement of probable cause. That principle would then suggest that a general requirement to provide your DNA due to your residence in the U.S. would also violate the 4th amendment and its protection of privacy.

    I’m sure there is a lot of data that investigators would like to have about me….from internet search history to GPS location data…all of which could rule me out of or ensnare me in investigations. Hey if my DNA shows up innocently at a crime scene, I do want some 4th amendment protections. I like CSI and I liked that BTK was ultimately found by linking to a relative’s DNA….I’m pro law enforcement…I’m generally not paranoid about government databases, but I think privacy and consent are important as well.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  138. Why don’t you provide the evidence that President Biden (or anyone else) receives a 10% kickback from either government appropriations or contractors?

    Rip Murdock (0a5177) — 12/31/2022 @ 9:30 am

    I understand you only get info from and quote leftist sources so you don’t understand that the 10% Biden gets is from his son’s graft. Not sure what that has to do with the rest of your remarks other than to create a strawman for you to attack or a deliberate distraction.

    NJRob (446220)

  139. The ‘Red Wave’ Washout: How Skewed Polls Fed a False Election Narrative
    ………
    ……… Surveys showing strength for Republicans, often from the same partisan pollsters, set Democratic klaxons blaring in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Colorado. Coupled with the political factors already favoring Republicans — including inflation and President Biden’s unpopularity — the skewed polls helped feed what quickly became an inescapable political narrative: A Republican wave election was about to hit the country with hurricane force.

    Democrats in each of those states went on to win their Senate races. (Senator Patty) Murray clobbered (Tiffany) Smiley by nearly 15 points.
    ……..
    Traditional nonpartisan pollsters, after years of trial and error and tweaking of their methodologies, produced polls that largely reflected reality. But they also conducted fewer polls than in the past.

    That paucity allowed their accurate findings to be overwhelmed by an onrush of partisan polls in key states that more readily suited the needs of the sprawling and voracious political content machine — one sustained by ratings and clicks, and famished for fresh data and compelling narratives.

    ……… It fed the home-team boosterism of an expanding array of right-wing media outlets — from Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast and “The Charlie Kirk Show” to Fox News and its top-rated prime-time lineup. And it spilled over into coverage by mainstream news organizations, including The Times, that amplified the alarms being sounded about potential Democratic doom.
    ………
    Surveys creating the misimpression of a red wave proved particularly useful to right-wing media outlets. Among their audience, evidence pointing to Republican victories and Democratic defeats was in high demand — particularly on Fox News.

    The network’s own polling unit, respected throughout the news industry for its nonpartisanship and transparency, was not detecting a Republican wave. But in September, Sean Hannity’s prime-time show began showcasing the pollsters Robert Cahaly of Trafalgar and Matt Towery of InsiderAdvantage, who predicted that Republicans would take the contests in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia, among other places.

    Unmentioned was that the Fox News Poll, amply covered in the network’s straight-news programming, showed all those races leaning Democratic.
    ………
    But history points to a likely explanation: ratings, which determine advertising revenue and have tended to rise and fall with Republicans’ prospects.
    ………
    Perhaps no platform gave more oxygen to the notion of a once-in-a-generation red wave than Mr. Bannon’s show “War Room,” a six-day-a-week podcast and streaming web show popular on the right.

    Often citing polling from Trafalgar and aggregations by RealClearPolitics, Mr. Bannon repeatedly predicted a pickup of between 50 and 100 House seats for Republicans in the midterms.

    He also relied heavily on a pollster named Richard Baris, whose polling firm was given an “F” rating and banned by FiveThirtyEight. Mr. Baris consistently forecast a Republican landslide. “The levee’s about to break,” he said in mid-October.
    ………
    But Mr. Bannon applied that bullishness to another purpose: In the final two weeks of the campaign, he had more than two dozen candidates for office on “War Room” and urged his listeners to donate to them.

    Also exploiting red-wave polling to raise money was Mr. Trump, who cited it in dozens of appeals for his Save America PAC.
    ……….
    ………. Traditional surveys using over-the-phone interviews, with human beings asking the questions, have grown astronomically more expensive as Americans become harder to reach and less willing to sit through time-consuming questionnaires with strangers.

    Reputable pollsters like Gallup and Pew have phased out “horse-race” polling entirely; others have cut back. Quinnipiac University conducted just a few statewide surveys in the final stretch this year. “Frankly, cost is an issue,” Doug Schwartz, Quinnipiac’s polling director, explained.

    At the same time, it has never been easier or cheaper to conduct lesser-quality polls using internet questionnaires or automated phone services.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  140. I understand you only get info from and quote leftist sources so you don’t understand that the 10% Biden gets is from his son’s graft.

    Actually most the references to “Biden’s 10%” I see come from comments here, hardly a leftist forum, directly refer to the “Big Guy’s 10%”.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  141. With the 10% coming from federal spending.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  142. Rape victims are not “above the law,” in fact the law gives them more protections than ordinary crime victims

    I guess you don’t see the tension in that sentence.

    You also did not address the other innocents who are asked for exculpatory DNA, whose data IS entered into the system. Why, if we are worried that someone might refuse, are others given a dandy excuse to refuse other that “I did it.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  143. Again, I look forward to the House investigations/impeachment hearings to reveal all the details.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  144. Rape victims are not “above the law,” in fact the law gives them more protections than ordinary crime victims

    I guess you don’t see the tension in that sentence.

    I guess you don’t see the intended compassion for rape victims.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  145. Why should victims of crime have a lesser right to that particular privacy than non-victims?

    Why should some non-victims have lesser rights as well?

    And, really, we are talking about the DNA being compared against the DNA left by the perpetrator of some later [serious] crime. Why should a previous victim of a crime have protection against being identified as a criminal?

    Again, many non-victim non-criminals are coerced into providing the same, for the convenience of officers. Sure, they could refuse, if they want jump to the front of the suspect line.

    I suspect that, should I apply for a security clearance again, I will be asked for a blood sample.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  146. I guess you don’t see the intended compassion for rape victims.

    Sure. All those rape victims, sitting there worrying about how their planned rash of carjackings might be impacted by giving this blood sample.

    You say “compassion”, and I say “pandering.” And, as nk points out, it’s not just rape victims, but all victims.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  147. How moderate Elsie Stefanik became the Trumpain firebrand that she is now.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/31/us/politics/elise-stefanik.html

    Elise Stefanik had had enough.

    In the wake of the 2018 midterms, the young congresswoman was sick of commuting to Washington from upstate New York and weary of dialing for campaign dollars. She was demoralized that Republican primary voters had spurned so many of the women she had helped persuade to run for Congress. She was annoyed that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the democratic socialist who had displaced her that fall as the youngest woman ever elected to the House, had not shown her the respect she felt was her due.

    But it was bigger than that. For years, Ms. Stefanik had crafted her brand as a model moderate millennial — “the future of hopeful, aspirational politics in America,” as her mentor, Paul Ryan, would describe her in Time magazine. But as her third term unfolded, according to current or former friends and advisers, it was becoming painfully clear that she was the future of a Republican Party that no longer existed. The party was now firmly controlled by Donald J. Trump, a populist president she didn’t like or respect — a “whack job,” as she once described him in a message obtained by The New York Times. Fox hosts attacked her for not supporting Mr. Trump enough. Her friends criticized her for not opposing him more forcefully. You don’t understand, she would tell them. You don’t get how hard this is. Democrats were back in charge in the House. Mr. Ryan was gone, driven into early retirement. She told friends she was thinking of joining him.

    Instead she embarked on one of the most brazen political transformations of the Trump era.

    But read the whole thing.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  148. Right now, probable cause is required for police to collect your DNA. They can’t just rummage your trash can for a soiled tissue to get your DNA.

    Actually, I think they can, so long as that trash can is accessible from the street. They cannot walk up your driveway to get it, but if you bring it to the street, they can. You’ve discarded it.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  149. Why should victims of crime have a lesser right to that particular privacy than non-victims?

    nk (520b95) — 12/31/2022 @ 12:19 pm

    The question is should non-victims have a lesser right? If the reporting is correct the people in the dna database weren’t suspected of committing a crime.

    And we don’t need to have government collect dna. They simply go to the corporations who people have willingly given it to.

    frosty (4b9100)

  150. So, AJ, if your next door neighbor is assaulted and the police ask you for an (exculpatory) DNA sample, and you have no alibi, what is your response?

    My objection is to the pandering, the frothy reporting (“rape victims”) and the exclusion of only SOME of those affected by the crime for the protections afforded others.

    The application of 4th Amendment rights here is spotty, and much like other coercive “requests” from law enforcement. If you actually want to protect people from some imagined police state, the law should SEVERELY limit DNA databases to convicted felons.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  151. I suspect that much of the unease about DNA has to do with supposed misidentification and/or prosecutors, judges and juries who haven’t the first clue about statistics and who misuse partial matches as if they were gold.

    In most places, the reliability standards are now well understood, and partial matches are only corroborative evidence. If the evidence is just a partial match, that’s not good enough, but if you also have “red hair wearing Vans shoes and carrying a bag of donuts” it may help.

    Further, as was discussed here at some length a number of years ago, the more people you have in the database the more reliable matches can be. If you only have felons in the database, a match is really “the closest matching felon”, not an exhaustive search.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  152. How totalitarian do you like your police state?

    It’s only a matter of time. Eventually everyone will have someone statistically close enough to them with DNA in either corporate or government databases. We might already be there. It shouldn’t be that hard to start with an unknown dna sample and using dna databases, cell phone records, public records, and social media produce a short list of viable suspects.

    Carving out an exception to keep rape victims dna out of the system is just spitting in the sea.

    frosty (4b9100)

  153. So, Covid XBB.1.5.

    Before anyone comments on how the current vaccines don’t stop the spread of this, I’ll point out this is a tautology. The vaccine stops what it’s designed to stop and stuff it doesn’t stop, it isn’t designed to stop.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  154. I must say that the Chinese weapon designers did a bang-up job on the flexibility and mutagenic agility of this thing. They can rest assured that a real payload will be unstoppable.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  155. The State of California collects DNA into its database from the following:

    Any person (adult or juvenile) who is newly convicted/adjudicated of a felony offense, or who is newly convicted/adjudicated of a misdemeanor but has a prior felony (California or equivalent out-of-state crime) of record;

    (b) Any person (adult or juvenile) currently in custody or on probation, parole, or any other supervised release after conviction for any felony offense committed prior to November 3, 2004;

    (c) Any person (adult or juvenile) currently on probation or any other supervised release for any offense with a prior felony (California or equivalent out-of-state crime) of record. (See Cal. Pen. Code, §§ 295, 296, 296.1.)

    Samples are also collected from misdemeanor sex and arson offenders. As of January 1, 2009, adults arrested for any felony offense are subject to DNA collection.

    However, it appears that police departments can add samples from other persons, hence the new law.

    You say “compassion”, and I say “pandering.”

    Not good politics.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  156. It’s not a blood sample, a cheek swab will do.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  157. <blockquotehref=”https://www.forbes.com/sites/craighooper/2022/12/28/if-nato-wont-give-ukraine-offensive-weapons-maybe-defensive-tanks-will-do/?sh=32846ad04100″>If NATO Won’t Give Ukraine Offensive Weapons, ‘Defensive Tanks’ Will Do
    ………
    ……… Ukraine’s transformation to a NATO arsenal has been waylaid by timorous bureaucrats that preemptively defined tanks as “offensive” weaponry and deemed “escalatory” by Russia’s erratic leadership.

    The concerns are misplaced. Modernized T-72s are already flowing into Ukraine with little response from Russia, so drawing the line at modern tanks seems an absurd exercise in unilateral demilitarization. But if it helps, NATO should tinker with their overly-broad parameters, adopting a simple definition for “defensive armored vehicles.”

    A defensive armored vehicle could simply be older, lighter Western vehicles that maintain, say, a 105mm main gun (rather than the larger caliber main guns on modern main battle tanks). That points Ukraine firmly towards Leopard I tanks, M-60 Patton Main Battle tanks, early-model Abrams tanks and even the U.S. Army’s unwieldy up-gunned, eight-wheeled Strykers.
    ………
    But redefining older NATO tanks as “defensive” gives NATO’s cautious sensibilities a path towards rationalizing Ukraine’s grab-bag of battlefield spoils and second-hand Warsaw Pact cast-offs. At least NATO can define a path forward for Ukraine, and start training future Ukrainian tankers and maintainers in the gear they may soon receive.

    For example, if Ukraine knew Germany would offer Leopard I’s, they can focus more maintainers towards their already-donated Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, which is built on the Leopard I chassis. Or, if America’s balky-but-big-gunned Strykers are available, Ukraine can direct resources towards really maintaining their donated set of LAV armored vehicles.

    Defensive tanks make sense. A NATO-standard tank armed with an 105mm gun is not going to go toe-to-toe with Russia’s dwindling supply of top-tier tanks. The older NATO tanks can be a boon on the Ukrainian battlefield, but they’re not capable of carrying out a full-fledged assault on the gates of Moscow.
    ########

    Related:

    America’s Tough M2/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles Are Perfect For Ukraine Fight
    ………
    ……… As an amphibious troop carrier, clocking in at half the weight of an Abrams tank, the Bradley offers Ukraine a defensive, albeit robust, armored presence. Not considered a weapon for offense, the Bradley is still quite capable of dispatching almost any Russian vehicle on the battlefield.
    ………
    The gambit just might work. America’s large stockpile of almost 6,000 M2/M3 Bradley fighting vehicles may well offer Ukraine just the right combination of armored mobility, supportability, and “inoffensive” offensive punch to evict Russian invaders.
    ……..
    Today, the Bradley comes two basic flavors, the M2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the M3 Cavalry Fighting Vehicle. But the only real difference is that the M3 swaps out infantry space for a larger ammunition load. Both are “mini-tanks,” centered around a turret-mounted 25mm M243 Bushmaster and a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. Firing specialized tungsten armor-piercing ammunition, a Bradley can use the big chain gun to dispatch T-72 tanks. But that may not be necessary, since both Bradley variants carry Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles, capable of destroying any tank currently in Russian service.
    ……..
    ……..(During Desert Storm) almost 90% of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle fleet could move, shoot, and communicate over the course of the battle. ……. killing Soviet-made tanks with the main gun and employing the TOW missile to destroy tanks up to 3,700 meters away.

    Logistically, the Bradley is a better fit for Ukraine than almost any large NATO main battle tank. ……..
    ………

    Just. Do. It.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  158. Link for post 162.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  159. Visegrád 24
    @visegrad24

    BREAKING:
    Explosions reported in Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh and Rostov moments ago.

    The picture is from Rostov.

    Happy New Year’s Eve to Russia from Ukraine

    Sad!

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  160. Colby Badhwar 🇨🇦🇬🇧
    @ColbyBadhwar

    💥 Unconfirmed video allegedly taken in Belgorod, Russia. Seems to be a subsonic missile coming in on a low, flat trajectory. 💥

    Sad! (If true.)

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  161. Rip Murdock (0a5177) — 12/31/2022 @ 1:24 pm

    I don’t go to democraticunderground and use that as my examples. You don’t go look around for any serious discussions, just rabid posts that you can use to further your remarks.

    And you’ve gotten away from discussing Biden’s 10% that the media and FBI worked so hard to cover up. Good job.

    NJRob (f7981f)

  162. @145. Rip Murdock (0a5177) — 12/31/2022 @ 1:23 pm

    C’mon, Rip. Rob wouldn’t have to call you out on your lying leftist lying if you’d just look to more reliable sources. Is that too much to ask?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  163. And you’ve gotten away from discussing Biden’s 10% that the media and FBI worked so hard to cover up. Good job.

    What’s your evidence, Rob? Far as I can tell, there’s a single mention in an email found on Hunter’s laptop.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  164. Simon Jester – And a happy new year to you! (And to our gracious hosts.)

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  165. lurker (cd7cd4) — 12/31/2022 @ 2:59 pm

    LOL! Touché! My mistake!

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  166. rabid posts that you can use to further your remarks.

    Speaking of rabid posts……

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  167. And you’ve gotten away from discussing Biden’s 10% that the media and FBI worked so hard to cover up. Good job.

    I have posted topics I find more interesting and relevant, and leaving to you the conspiracy theories.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  168. Here’s a story of confirmed collusion between Putin and Xi, specifically in the coordination of their propaganda.

    Since the war broke out in February, experts have been struck by a convergence in Russian and Chinese media narratives. While some of the convergence was likely happenstance, occurring when storylines aided both governments’ goals, documents found in a trove of hacked emails from Russia state broadcaster VGTRK show that China and Russia have pledged to join forces in media content by inking cooperation agreements at the ministerial level.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  169. Excuse to act a fool thwarted / purge delayed: https://www.fox32chicago.com/news/illinois-state-supreme-court-puts-safe-t-cash-bail-act-on-hold

    urbanleftbehind (8b2c94)

  170. Rip Murdock (0a5177) — 12/31/2022 @ 1:18 pm

    Re: “Red Wave” Polling Washout: TrumpWorld Not Amused

    ………. no, polls were more honest than democrat run elections. …….The election fraud machine is here to stay. …….. The people who promise something for nothing will win every election until it is proven that they cannot deliver. So far, the Fed and and the Congress have done nothing to stop them from delivering. ……

    …….. Pollsters didn’t take into account two important factors: 1). The emergence of legions of hyper-leftist Gen-Z voters and 2) The broad popularity of abortion in this country. ……… Do you want to win elections? Pick good candidates, and highlight issues that are important to people. …….. Two of the dumbest campaign promises was a federal ban on abortion and the sunset provision for social security. Republicans were idiots to even mention those. So much for states rights and getting rid of social security is a political death knell. ……

    ……… The election was stolen by early voting, ballot harvesting and lack of voter ID. …… There should have been a red tsunami. The election was stolen. It’s those Italian satellites.And no one can tell me differently. Q talked about it. ……. There is no conservative “silent majority” waiting to take back the country – most Americans may not be flaming wokists, but nor are they MAGA – but the Dems have the social and cultural infrastructure in this country and know how to pull the levers. ……..

    …….. My experience is that folks in Penn are pretty parochial. That’s why a native Democrat with a potato brain has the advantage over a Muslim from New Jersey…… What happened in 2022 was a result of voter fraud and legalized voter fraud in the form of cheat-by-mail and ballot harvesting. ……. The polls were correct. The mail-in ballots were fake and incorrect. ……. Stop with the “better candidate” nonsense. Better candidates will not make them stop cheating in elections. ……

    …….. Because everyone knows what rural (PA) voters want in a canidate is a fat gobby loser who has never had a real job in his entire life, who looks like a grossly fat Uncle Fester, and is in fact seriously brain damaged. Why can’t we get good candidates like that? ……..

    …….[While there remains some residual desire among the voting public to be left alone, too many just want government to make all of their problems go away – and hear conservative talk of personal responsibility as a horrible threat to their freedoms rather than as a necessary component to guarantee them. ] ……… And there is some truth in this argument. …….

    …….But think if (Biden) did win with 81 million. Anyone that blieves that should find a new hobby because no Republican will ever get close to 81 million votes in the general. We might as well give up. ……. When the hens view abortion as THE top issue, that sways a lot of elections……..

    …….To me all it does is prove what I don’t want to believe – People vote far more on emotion then for any bother reason. They’ll even vote against their interest if they’ve bought deeply enough emotionally into the candidate.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  171. This is kind of offbeat
    What is the athletic team nickname of the University of Health Sciences & Pharmacy St. Louis?
    The “Eutectic” of course.
    First time I’ve ever had to look up a team nickname since grade school

    steveg (cb11d7)

  172. I don’t go to democraticunderground and use that as my examples. You don’t go look around for any serious discussions, just rabid posts that you can use to further your remarks.

    Im surprised, as the commenters at Free Republic are always discussing the issues you feel don’t receive the attention they deserve here.

    For serious discussions I go here.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  173. 178

    I’m guessing Musk still sleeps well at night, but one never knows.

    steveg (cb11d7)

  174. Elon Musk Becomes First Person in History to Lose $200 Billion

    “Solon! Solon! Solon!”

    No, I’m not telling you. Look it up for yourselves.

    nk (520b95)

  175. I’m gonna be like Kevin and stay in tonite. Happy New Year to the rest a you mucks.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  176. https://hotair.com/david-strom/2022/12/31/texas-supreme-court-condemns-boy-to-trans-treatment-in-california-n520828

    California is in a state of insurrection and has declared war on children and parents.

    NJRob (c7b6b2)

  177. I have posted topics I find more interesting and relevant, and leaving to you the conspiracy theories.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177) — 12/31/2022 @ 3:50 pm

    Yeah. You prefer to promote the leftist agenda and work against conservatives. I’m aware.

    NJRob (c7b6b2)

  178. @99 They are not communists. If they were you would no the difference. AOC isn’t even a real socialist who wants the state to take over the means of production. You remind me of gary kaultbaum who refers to anyone who wants to raise his taxes as a marxist communist! His show is really good on stock market analysis and timing the market so I have to put up with far right political B.S. In europe the democratic party would be considered center right. Raising taxes on the rich and medicare for all does not make you Che Guevara! The very conservative otto von bismarck came up with social welfare state to stop the incessant revolutions braking out in 19th century germany. See what happened to rich conservatives in the paris commune. Even AOC doesn’t want to stop you at a peoples road block to dispense revolutionary justice to rich people. So stop with the silly name calling. All it does is distract from your argument. All with out name calling so it is easily done try it.

    asset (f058b8)

  179. @175 Because you don’t like abortion being “the hens” (sexist) top issue the voters did! The polls measured likely voter sentiment not angry pro choice voters who registered to late or same day to be caught in polling. I posted this before the election ;but it works both ways democrats lost four seats in NY over democrat party punting on crime issue.

    asset (f058b8)

  180. Happy New Year to everyone, even the marginally insane. Here’s to hoping to make it close to midnight! Let’s make next year better….

    AJ_Liberty (811aff)

  181. Elon Musk Becomes First Person in History to Lose $200 Billion

    Ol’Whiskerpuss has him beat:

    Uncle Sam.

    DCSCA (c57f2f)

  182. @186. No.

    Don’t and won’t wish that brain-damaged bum in St. Croix a Happy New Year at all.

    Not even a pleasant bowel movement.

    DCSCA (c57f2f)

  183. >>>You say “compassion”, and I say “pandering.”

    Not good politics.

    If you can’t stand up to emotional blackmail you shouldn’t be in politics.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  184. urbanleftbehind (8b2c94) — 12/31/2022 @ 4:19 pm

    Now the law will get enough attention that more people will notice what is going on. It is really amazing that so many people in catch-and-release counties think that the problem is the police won’t arrest people.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  185. Is Tesla a buy at $100/share (Market cap of about $300 billion)?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  186. RIP Anita Pointer (74). Of the four Pointer Sisters, only Ruth remains.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  187. NJRob (c7b6b2) — 12/31/2022 @ 6:42 pm

    As you consider everyone here who disagrees with you a leftist, I’m in good company.

    Rip Murdock (0a5177)

  188. Happy New Year, everybody!

    nk (bb1548)

  189. When narratives collide.

    What’s your evidence, Rob? Far as I can tell, there’s a single mention in an email found on Hunter’s laptop.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 12/31/2022 @ 3:06 pm

    Hacked emails are inherently suspect! This is no proof!

    Here’s a story of confirmed collusion between Putin and Xi, specifically in the coordination of their propaganda.

    Since the war broke out in February, experts have been struck by a convergence in Russian and Chinese media narratives. While some of the convergence was likely happenstance, occurring when storylines aided both governments’ goals, documents found in a trove of hacked emails from Russia state broadcaster VGTRK show that China and Russia have pledged to join forces in media content by inking cooperation agreements at the ministerial level.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 12/31/2022 @ 4:00 pm

    Hacked emails are the smoking gun! This is confirmed evidence!

    Something consistency something hobgoblins something.

    frosty (06bf6f)

  190. But redefining older NATO tanks as “defensive” gives NATO’s cautious sensibilities a path towards rationalizing Ukraine’s grab-bag of battlefield spoils and second-hand Warsaw Pact cast-offs.

    This is where the non-stop propaganda and lying gets us.

    A defensive armored vehicle could simply be older, lighter Western vehicles that maintain, say, a 105mm main gun (rather than the larger caliber main guns on modern main battle tanks)

    By this logic defensive is determined by relative capability. That’s going to make it hard for NATO to claim to be a purely defensive organization.

    If NATO hawks want to give UKR tanks then advocate for it. This is just pushing propaganda that is meant to influence NATO audiences.

    frosty (06bf6f)

  191. “That’s going to make it hard for NATO to claim to be a purely defensive organization.”

    What a bizarre formulation. What territorial ambitions does NATO (or Ukraine) have? Which parts of Russia is NATO (or Ukraine) eyeing to grab? Somehow opposing Russian expansionism is now “offensive”. Ukraine is fighting for its very existence and you’re quibbling over whether weapons it is using to do that are offensive or defensive. Russian rockets are pulverizing the Ukrainian civilian population. NATO helping the Ukrainians fight back is not the problem here.

    AJ_Liberty (811aff)

  192. So, Covid XBB.1.5.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 12/31/2022 @ 2:03 pm

    Not getting a booster then? Someone might compare you to a drunk driver.

    It’s been a rough year for the covidians and the new year doesn’t look like it’s going to be much better. I wondered for a bit where they were getting their death pr0n fix but then I remembered the drone videos and stats coming out of UKR. So, at least they’ve got that.

    frosty (459541)

  193. Babylon Bee headline writes itself

    Ex-stripper mom of Hunter Biden’s child wants kid to have ‘powerful’ last name

    Attorney Clinton Lancaster told an Independence County court that Navy Joan Roberts would “benefit from carrying the Biden family name,” which he said was “now synonymous with being well educated, successful, financially acute, and politically powerful.”

    Neither Hunter, the first son and lobbyist-turned-painter, nor the child’s grandfather, President Biden, have ever met young Navy, according to her mother. This week’s filings said the first family remained “estranged from the child.”

    “To the extent this [estrangement] is misconduct or neglect, it can be rectified by changing her last name to Biden so that she may undeniably be known to the world as the child of the defendant and member of the prestigious Biden family,” Lancaster wrote.

    JF (733f87)

  194. Hacked emails are inherently suspect! This is no proof!

    Deflection, frosty. What’s the evidence that Biden took or is taking 10%?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  195. BTW, nice try with the bogus comparison, frosty. The deal between Xi and Putin was a signed agreement, and the evidence that it was put into practice was obviously apparent after Putin’s invasion escalation 11 months ago.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  196. AJ, I’d add that “defense” is a strategic goal, not a classification for a specific type of equipment. A tank used to prevent Russia from taking additional territory in UKE is a defensive weapon. If that same tank is used to seize land Russia is currently holding, either in UKE or RUS it becomes an offensive weapon. Though taking back land Russia has occupied would still be considered “defensive” in a way seizing Russian lands would not.

    Saying NATO is a defensive alliance means NATO won’t (as a group) seize other country’s territory. Not that NATO will never project force at a country that is attacking them.

    Time123 (23b800)

  197. @201, Paul, thank you for sharing the links. Interesting reading and good information.

    Time123 (23b800)

  198. time123
    Happy New Year

    I would amend that definition of defensive alliance to “won’t (as a group) seize and hold other countries territory

    steveg (92b396)

  199. @204, good addition. that’s an important point.

    Time123 (23b800)

  200. Also, Happy New Year!

    Time123 (23b800)

  201. #127 Rip – I don’t like “Sunset Blvd.” because I think that — for too many people — life imitates art. People take clues from the movies they see, and the books they read.

    For example, “13 Reasons Why”:

    After the series’ release, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that suicide among teenagers rose by 28.9% in the month after Netflix launched the show.

    Another example, which I won’t link to, is 50 Shades of Gray. (I have read that the franchise has taken in a billion dollars — so far.)

    There’s not much worth imitating in “Sunset Blvd.”, as far as I can tell.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  202. Labeling something defensive or offensive is largely meaningless in this context. A SAM system that defends an airport works by attacking aircraft. The aircraft defending against SAM attacks works by attacking the SAM site.

    But this is all irrelevant. NATO redefining something for the purpose of limiting RU options isn’t happening. RU options are limited by NATO weapons capabilities not how they are described. Describing them as defensive is simply meant to manipulate people within NATO who may not want to go along with a particular idea.

    frosty (459541)

  203. If you can’t stand up to emotional blackmail you shouldn’t be in politics.

    Politics is about creating an emotional bond between the candidate and the voters so they will vote. Coldheartedness is an emotion, but not one that creates a positive bond.

    Rip Murdock (3c89fe)

  204. 204,

    If NATO were attacked by RU that would take and hold territory as needed to accomplish strategic objectives. We can pretend NATO would eventually give territory back to someone if that makes you feel better.

    It would be much better to just stick with the idea that NATO has a policy against 1st strikes.

    If Putin is just spreading propaganda about NATO there’s no reason to be so defensive about it.

    frosty (459541)

  205. Jim Miller (f29931) — 1/1/2023 @ 10:46 am

    Thanks. I didn’t see 13 Reasons Why or Fifty Shades (not really interested in flavor of the month pop culture). For me Sunset is a brilliant satire of the failure Hollywood stars to adapt to the change from silents to sound and the star system.

    Norma Desmond was right, the pictures have become small.

    Rip Murdock (3c89fe)

  206. It’s been a rough year for the covidians and the new year doesn’t look like it’s going to be much better. I wondered for a bit where they were getting their death pr0n fix but then I remembered the drone videos and stats coming out of UKR. So, at least they’ve got that.

    So, the wife and I have been going through all the old One Chicago shows in a long-term binge (Med,Fire,PD,Med…). Last night we saw the first of the Covid-era shows, particularly Chicago Med, and amid the incredible pathos, I thought of the folks *I* knew who died in those first few months and how they never stood a chance without the vaccine.

    They I thought of all you vaccine-deniers whose FIRST thought about the vaccine was “It’s a trap!” and thought some really terrible thoughts. I may apologize for what I was thinking, but this post puts that moment off a little while.

    Right now I think people should need to show proof of vaccination to vote. Probably not very democratic. I’ll get over it in time.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  207. Oh. And Happy New Year.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  208. There’s not much worth imitating in “Sunset Blvd.”, as far as I can tell.

    But you haven’t seen it, so you really CAN’T tell.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  209. Some wisdom from David French at the Dispatch

    “We’re caught in a vicious cycle. Radicals tend to alienate the majority—causing them to retreat from politics. After all, who needs that level of anger in their lives? At the same time, radicals tend to radicalize their targets and further radicalize each other. And because radicals are more energized and engaged than anybody else, they can’t help but exercise disproportionate influence in shaping our perceptions of the other side.”

    Inside the article he lays out data that show that most Americans are closer on most issues than what we perceive. Some of this is media, but some of it is the outsized effect of some of the angriest among us. And a great concluding thought

    “We simply cannot delegate our political and cultural engagement to the angriest wings of American life. They’ll drive us apart even when our differences are not that stark.”

    He concedes that we need activists to shake us from our slumber on some issues. The problem is that to be seen and heard, every gripe becomes an existential threat that demands fealty to a tribe…and leads to political toxicity that makes the country ungovernable. And the cycle of griping just grows….and we end up fielding candidates that feed this need for poisonous rhetoric. I put it out to our extreme commenters here: do you believe that tribalism is corroding our democracy and, if so, what are a couple of things that can be done to improve the situation?

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  210. “But you haven’t seen it, so you really CAN’T tell.”

    I saw the play before Covid in NYC. Glenn Close played Nora. It was a captivating performance…I would encourage people to see it for the acting if nothing else. It’s hard to take away too much from the story…as some sort of generalized commentary on society or life. It’s more a look at how Hollywood treats its fading stars….and the sad desire for those stars to stay relevant in the business. That kind of makes it timeless. Nora is enabled by Max and comes in and out of madness, with it building to a frightening end.

    Maybe madness and vanity aren’t Jim’s thing. There are certain movies that one has to be in the mood for to watch. Schindler’s List was certainly one for me. I look at Sunset Blvd being less about Hollywood preaching some unwanted value, and more about Hollywood taking a mirror up to itself. It still amazes me that Swanson didn’t win the Oscar for the role…but maybe that was Hollywood punching back!

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  211. There’s not much worth imitating in “Sunset Blvd.”, as far as I can tell.

    I don’t think art is created to be imitated in real life. I wouldn’t imitate the vast majority of film plots or novels; nor would I imitate or admire the lives of actors. Most plots are pretty silly or sordid, but I can enjoy the storytelling. Films, books, paintings, etc. can be admired, entertaining, or rejected by the audience.

    Rip Murdock (3c89fe)

  212. I read that this morning, AJ. What stood out to me was this:

    Again, this was my experience. When I was president of FIRE, we maintained a healthy, balanced perspective in part because our staff was ideologically split. Conservatives and progressives worked together to preserve individual liberty on campus. It was impossible to caricature “them” because you worked with “them” every day. It was a unique work environment.

    But everything changed the instant I moved into Christian public interest law firms. While there were different flavors of conservatives on staff, we were largely united by both faith and ideology. Thus, our primary personal contact with progressives was with progressives who’d censored or silenced Christians and their lawyers. This was not a representative sample of the left-leaning population.

    When we isolate ourselves with only those who share our political viewpoints, we become convinced that our viewpoint is correct. And the longer we self-segregate, the more those who don’t think like us morph into the “enemy”. That label is constantly supported by those surrounding us who also beat the same drum.

    This is why I get very frustrated with all-or-nothing, black-or-white myopic views. Life and politics are not that absolute. There are nuances and layers too take into consideration. I believe most people fall somewhere in the middle ground rather than the no middle ground absolutism that the tribalists insist upon.

    Dana (1225fc)

  213. A brief word about NATO and, by extension, Putin.
    In their entire 70-plus years, they’ve neither taken nor threatened to take any Russian or Soviet territory, so Putin’s alleged fears about NATO expansion are unfounded, but it hasn’t stopped him from using it as an excuse for aggression. Bottom line, there’s no way NATO could ever accept a Ukraine with two of its regions are under enemy occupation, so his rationale that he was invading Ukraine to stop NATO expansion is a blatant lie.

    Putin’s belligerency against his neighbors is more closely timed to his neighbors breaking from Russian influence and moving closer to Europe, not when eastern European nations were attempting to join the alliance, as Person-McFaul well point out.

    As an example, what prompted Putin to invade the Donbas-Crimean regions in 2014 wasn’t NATO, it was because Ukraine sought inclusion in the EU, and his stooge who was preventing this from happening (Yanukovych) fled the country because of his gangster behavior.

    It’s true that NATO has taken less-than-defensive postures in the Balkans and Libya, and bombing the latter until Gaddafi was dead was a disaster, so it’s all the less reason for NATO to abandon its defensive posture against Putin.

    Another lie that Putin trots out is that the US broke its promises about NATO expansion, but Gorbachev himself stated that that wasn’t the case, and he was in the room where it happened.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  214. Putin Has No Red Lines
    ……….
    ………..Red lines are red herrings. There are better ways to think about strategy.

    “Red lines” implies there are defined limits to the actions that a state — in this case, Russia — is prepared to accept from others. ……..

    There are three flaws to this reasoning. First, it assumes that red lines are fixed features of a state’s foreign policy. This is almost never the case. ……..
    ……….
    The second flaw of “red line” orthodoxy is that, in fixating on a state’s escalatory response, it considers only the risks and dilemmas this would impose on an adversary, and not those that the escalating state itself faces. …… Escalation is a choice, not a tripwire — one an adversary can deter by credibly conveying the costs this would incur.

    The third flaw is that preoccupation with red lines invites deception. ……..Fear of escalation thus encourages an escalation of bluff.

    …….. Concerns about Russia’s “red lines” are driven above all by the fear that Russia might resort to nuclear escalation. The West should avert this by deterring Russia rather than by restraining itself — or pressuring Ukraine to do so — for fear of “provoking” Russia. It can do so by communicating the certainty of severe consequences should Russia use nuclear weapons……..
    ……….
    ……….(T)he West should now aim to persuade Mr. Putin that withdrawing his forces from Ukraine is less perilous than fighting. He will be likely to do so if he understands that a long war threatens his regime — whose preservation seems to be the only thing he values more highly than a subordinated Ukraine — by fatally weakening domestic cohesion or by escalating out of control.

    America should focus on three things. First, it should no longer declare that there are measures it will refrain from taking, and weapons systems it will not provide, to support Ukraine. ………

    Second, America, with its partners, must make clear that time is working against Russia — not in its favor, as Mr. Putin still believes. The West should demonstrate readiness to mobilize, and quickly, its huge economic superiority to enable Ukraine to defeat Russia and to impose further severe sanctions. ……..

    Third, the West should make clear to a wide range of Russian audiences that it is safe to end the war by leaving Ukraine. An orderly withdrawal is unlikely to lead to regime change, let alone the breakup of Russia. ……(I)f Russia’s elites conclude that it is as dangerous for Russia to leave Ukraine as to stay, they have no incentive to press for an end to the war. Reassurance does not mean compromise.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (3c89fe)

  215. @215. Some whining from David French at the Dispatch….

    FIFY

    DAVID FRENCH JOINS SOUTHERN BAPTIST LEADERS IN PRAISING JOE BIDEN FOR ‘CHARACTER’

    https://christianresearchnetwork.org/2020/11/10/david-french-joins-southern-baptist-leaders-in-praising-joe-biden-for-character/

    The boob is part of the problem. With poor judgment he endorsed, backed and voted for “the character” of a serial plagiarist; a half-century poop shoveler full of blusteryswamp gas w/a history of lies so profuse it forced him to leave the race in ’88; a creep who sniffs women’s hair, touches people uncomfortably, showers w/his daughter, protects his drugged out kid and won’t even acknowledge the grandchild the sleazeball fathered; has been corn-popped wrong on virtually every foreign policy decision and domestic in half-a-century. French opposed his party’s incumbent nominee, voted for the Biden disaster, then retreats to an echo chamber behind a paywall.

    DCSCA (37eb48)

  216. “We simply cannot delegate our political and cultural engagement to the angriest wings of American life. They’ll drive us apart even when our differences are not that stark.”

    We are being governed by third-parties. The main characteristic of third parties is that they contain nothing of the center and, over time, move further away from it as one gets attention in a third party by being purer than the others.

    Right now, both “major” parties are a full standard deviation off the mean, and leading elements of each (AOC, MTG) are pushing towards 2-sigma.

    What this says is that there is an incredible political niche, containing about 2/3rds of the electorate that is unserved by either major party. Nature abhors a vacuum. Trump succeeded because he found a much smaller unserved group (~20%) (largely the non-college-educated former middle class). It seems reasonable that someone will try to tap into the left-center and/or right-center before too long. They may have to form a new party to do it, but that’s not terribly hard if you have the right message, as Perot showed.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  217. It’s more a look at how Hollywood treats its fading stars….and the sad desire for those stars to stay relevant in the business.

    It is made the more ironic by the real life story of Gloria Swanson and Erich von Stroheim. This was Swanson’s first major film in a decade; she never transitioned well to talkies.

    Trivia:

    As the butler in Sunset Blvd. (1950), [von Stroheim] is in the projection room when Norma Desmond and Joe Gillis are watching one of Norma’s old films. The film is actually Queen Kelly (1932), which von Stroheim directed and which starred Gloria Swanson, who is playing Norma Desmond.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  218. that it was put into practice was obviously apparent after Putin’s invasion escalation 11 months ago.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/1/2023 @ 9:08 am

    Setting aside the double standards; this is new news why? Is it just now occurring to you that CN would help RU destabilize NATO or try to weaken the US? If that’s news did you know that they are sharing military technology? Or that CN is buying RU oil?

    Or did you think CN was participating in sanctions and trying to keep RU from invading other countries?

    Maybe CN is trying to weaken both RU and US allies at the same time.

    The better question is how much propaganda you accept comes from CN?

    frosty (459541)

  219. It still amazes me that Swanson didn’t win the Oscar for the role…but maybe that was Hollywood punching back!

    A later and much different film, Blake Edward’s S.O.B. (1981) which lampooned Hollywood with an excellent dark comedy (the cast included William Holden in his last role) got no Oscar nominations, although it did get on the Golden Globe shortlist for best picture. It also got Razzie nominations for “worst director” and “worst screenplay”, richly undeserved.

    Well worth watching, and self-referencing in other ways.

    Starring Julie Andrews (as a fading G-rated star), Richard Mulligan, Holden, Robert Preston, Robert Vaughn, Loretta Switt, Larry Hagman and a 22yo Rosanna Arquette.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  220. Trump succeeded because he found a much smaller unserved group (~20%) (largely the non-college-educated former middle class).

    Smaller unserved group??? Nonsense. 62,985,106 Americans voted for Trump in 2016; 74,223,975 Americans voted for Trump in 2020. That’s an increase in the number of angry Americans fed up w/t swamp creatures of the past. And they all aren’t uneducated, former middle classers. It’s why populism is rooting deeper and deeper– and castles get stormed. Neither party is immune– and rightly so. People are pissed. Trump merely carried the long populist flag to a win- a trend building for decades– w/savvy, in your face media skills. He beat 14 weenies for the nom and a fireplug/ They’ve tasted victory and upset the apple cart. And the Royalists are trying to quash it. But given the incompetence of the current old fool who excels at being wrong, there’s a good chance another populist will win next cycle. Their numbers are growing- and they’ll be around or several cycles to come.

    DCSCA (37eb48)

  221. #215 AJ_Liberty – This recent guest column by Amanda Ripley supports the argument that French makes, and cites this study, which is not behind a paywall.

    Here’s some wisdom from Ripley:

    Many of our disagreements are manufactured. We are being played by conflict entrepreneurs — people and companies who exploit conflict for their own dysfunctional ends, and it is getting harder and harder to avoid their phantom traps and have the right debate.

    Three years ago, More in Common did another report on the gap between Americans’ actual beliefs and our perception of each other. That study found that partisan Americans who watched a lot of news or had fewer friends across the aisle were the ones who were most ignorant about their opponents. They wildly misunderstood the other side. The rest of the country, which consumed less news, was much more accurate about who really thought what.

    (Emphasis added.)

    I am reminded of the admission by Les Moonves that he thought Trump was bad for the nation, but said he loved the profits the Trump coverage brought to CBS.

    (Ripley has written a book on the subject.

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  222. Some wisdom from David French at the Dispatch

    Is this the same French that’s In favor of the US IC and tech companies working together to manipulate public opinion? For the common good of course.

    do you believe that tribalism is corroding our democracy and, if so, what are a couple of things that can be done to improve the situation?

    At this point accusing people of tribalism is just a form of gaslighting used to try to control the discussion. And French isn’t innocent of that. This never ending plea for everyone to just go back to doing what they’re told by their betters is just pathetic.

    If we want to stop corroding our democracy then we should stop allowing the US IC to run disinformation campaigns against the American people. We should punish the 50 IC officials who lied about the laptop prior to the election. We should punish Clapper for his numerous lies. We should punish Schiff for his numerous lies.

    frosty (459541)

  223. Dana: “When we isolate ourselves with only those who share our political viewpoints, we become convinced that our viewpoint is correct. And the longer we self-segregate, the more those who don’t think like us morph into the “enemy”…..There are nuances and layers too take into consideration. I believe most people fall somewhere in the middle ground rather than the no middle ground absolutism that the tribalists insist upon”

    This is all true. The question becomes, what can be done about it? Certainly the greatest tribalists don’t read French, or if they do, consider him to be one of those enemies (and immediately attack the messenger). He’s not validating their most hyperbolic claims. Kevin advocates for 3rd parties, but absent the charismatic person with deep pockets, like Perot, it’s hard to beat the machinery that is in place by the Republicans and Democrats. Of course, Trump-Biden II would scream for a rational alternative (as did Trump v. Hillary). But finding that person who can credibly draw from both sides would be tough. Most prominent moderates have been killed off or are regional anomalies. Could a Sununu or Hogan be that guy? What Democrat could run with them and create an acceptable platform that doesn’t scare off moderates? I’m not against it….I just don’t see it happening in time for 2024.

    Also, I worry that taking-our-ball-and-going-elsewhere doesn’t address the root causes of the radicalization. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of oxygen for moderation or cooperation. It always seems like the snap-out-of-it that I’m expecting is going to require a calamity of sorts…and post-covid, I’m not even sure that that event wouldn’t be weaponized. There is too much money and attention associated with being radical. It’s unclear how to lessen that or get people to want something different.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  224. Since there appears to be interest in my tastes in movies, I’ll add that tonight I plan to watch “Mr. Jones”. (The 2019 film about Gareth Jones, not either of the earlier films by the same name.)

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  225. Setting aside the double standards; this is new news why?

    What “double standards”? Why isn’t a coordinated media propaganda operation involving our two largest geopolitical foes not newsworthy? I really don’t know why you’re having kittens about this, and I’ll take the rest of your questions as rhetorical and disingenuous.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  226. I am reminded of the admission by Les Moonves that he thought Trump was bad for the nation, but said he loved the profits the Trump coverage brought to CBS.

    Reaganomics.

    DCSCA (37eb48)

  227. Jim, but what will you be eating 🙂
    I watched Amsterdam yesterday. Interesting but silly. I wonder what a more straight portrayal would have looked like. Still, I loved Margot Robbie….though couldn’t stop hearing some Harley Quinn popping out.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  228. Certainly the greatest tribalists don’t read French, or if they do, consider him to be one of those enemies (and immediately attack the messenger).

    No. Just irrelevant now. A hypocrite on the outs. A whiner; a flea brushed out of the tail that no longer wags the dog. He backed Biden, reaffirming his self-serving interests- and poor judgment.

    DCSCA (37eb48)

  229. I put it out to our extreme commenters here: do you believe that tribalism is corroding our democracy and, if so, what are a couple of things that can be done to improve the situation?
    Niche issue tribalism is corroding our national discourse and that of course spills over into politics.
    How can we improve the situation?
    Stop with the censorship, keep the marketplace of ideas open and competitive.
    We need compromise. If I agree to let queer drama into the schools, can we agree to have grades K-4 excluded
    Be an honest broker, deals should be honored, and deals that go bad should be acknowledged

    A degree of tribalism is inevitable and I’d say it is also inextricable from the human condition. Tribalism in politics is brought about in part, by intense competition for the resource of power.
    Competition is good, censorship is not, and what French describes at FIRE is a tribe of free speech advocates competing against the “shut up” tribe.

    Here is what French describes after he goes to work at Christian public interest law firms. While there were different flavors of conservatives on staff, we were largely united by both faith and ideology. Thus, our primary personal contact with progressives was with progressives who’d censored or silenced Christians and their lawyers. This was not a representative sample of the left-leaning population. I would add that his opponents were likely also united by faith and ideology.

    I think what French is saying in the second instance is that his group or tribe was a representative sample of conservative Christians who were engaged in direct competition with a tribe made up of a representative sample of progressives who all shared a common penchant for censorship of Christians… censorship of Christians being a pernicious niche issue that required competition, opposition from the other tribe.

    steveg (92b396)

  230. The 10 worst things Joe Biden did in 2022
    ……..
    10. He presided over a plethora of disasters

    On Biden’s watch this year, our country experienced the worst inflation in 40 years, the largest decline in real wages in four decades, the highest gas prices ever recorded in the United States, the biggest annual rise in food prices since 1979, crisis-level labor shortages and the worst crime wave in many cities since the 1990s. Not since Jimmy Carter has a president unleashed so many calamities at once.

    9. He called Georgia’s election law “Jim Crow 2.0”
    ……..
    8. He and his party urged Republicans to reject extremists while promoting them in GOP primaries.
    …….
    7. His administration discharged thousands of troops for refusing coronavirus vaccination
    ……..
    6. He begged foreign despots to produce more oil while weakening domestic production
    ……
    5. In an unconstitutional power grab, he canceled up to $1 trillion in student loans
    ………
    4. He has failed to avenge the Kabul airport bombing that killed 183 people, including 13 Americans
    ……..
    3. He signed into law an Inflation Reduction Act that will not reduce inflation or climate change
    ……..
    2. He made the worst border crisis in U.S. history even worse.
    …….
    1. He slow-rolled military aid to Ukraine out of fear of provoking Vladimir Putin

    …….. Biden forced Ukraine to defend itself for months primarily with antiquated Soviet-era weaponry — and blocked Poland from transferring Soviet-designed MiG-29 jets to Kyiv, terrified that stronger U.S. support could cause “World War III.” (This prompted Zelensky to ask, “What is NATO doing? Is it being run by Russia?”) Biden waited more than nine months to give Ukraine just one Patriot air-defense system, allowing Putin to destroy schools, homes, hospitals and critical infrastructure. When he finally did deliver the game-changing High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), they had been secretly modified so they couldn’t fire long-range rockets. And Biden still refuses to give Ukraine longer-range Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles because they could (theoretically) reach Russia or M1 Abrams tanks. As a Ukrainian reporter asked Biden at his news conference with Zelensky: “Can we make long story short and give Ukraine all capabilities it needs and liberate all territories rather sooner than later?” Zelensky added: “I agree.” Biden’s refusal to do so is dragging out the conflict, leading to thousands of civilian deaths and delaying Putin’s defeat. …….
    ………

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  231. Kevin advocates for 3rd parties, but absent the charismatic person with deep pockets, like Perot, it’s hard to beat the machinery that is in place by the Republicans and Democrats.

    This isn’t accurate. What I said is the the Democrats and Republicans ARE BEHAVING LIKE 3rd parties and this leaves a huge gap in the middle for a new MAJOR party — center, center-left or center-right.

    Sure, incumbent parties have an advantage, particularly the way they write laws to frustrate opponents, but ballot access is easy if you have money (Perot), message (Perot) or at least possible with dedicated foot-soldiers (LP).

    And remember, Perot, post-meltdown, post-VP debate disaster, still got 1 vote in 5.

    Since 1992, the parties have moved MUCH further apart. Even Biden, supposedly a centrist, has done and said some VERY radical things. What you need is a credible set of candidates and a reasonable centrist message. It doesn’t even have to be all that centrist.

    Consider, for example a Ryan-Webb ticket.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  232. The 10 worst things Joe Biden did in 2022

    Thiessen also offered 10 best things Joe Biden did in 2022

    10. He acted to prevent a crippling national rail strike
    9. He is sending B-52s to Australia to counter China
    8. He launched a “full-court press” against China’s domestic semiconductor industry
    7. He signed the first bipartisan gun legislation in decades
    6. He secured extradition of the terrorist charged with bombing Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 190 Americans
    5. He kept Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations
    4. He won support for Finland and Sweden to join NATO
    3. He killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri
    2. He declared the United States will defend Taiwan
    1. He saved Ukraine

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  233. It would be much better to just stick with the idea that NATO has a policy against 1st strikes.

    Neither NATO nor the United States have a nuclear “no first use” policy. In fact, NATO doesn’t control any nuclear weapons at all. The US has approximately 100-150 variable yield B61 gravity bombs scattered around Europe, but they remain under US command and control:

    The United States maintains absolute control and custody of their nuclear weapons forward deployed in Europe, while Allies provide military support for the DCA mission with conventional forces and capabilities. ……

    And the British and French nuclear forces are independent of NATO:

    The independent strategic nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France have a deterrent role of their own and contribute significantly to the overall security of the Alliance. These Allies’ separate centres of decision-making contribute to deterrence by complicating the calculations of any potential adversaries. In other words, should an adversary decide to attack NATO, they must not only contend with NATO’s decision-making, but also make a judgment about decision-making from the leaders of the United States, United Kingdom, and France.

    The current iteration is the B61-12 bomb.

    The new …..guidance assembly combines new guided freefall capability with the existing ballistic (unguided) delivery capability of the B61 bomb. Equipped with four manoeuvrable fins, the tail section offers high levels of accuracy and limited stand-off capability over the previous variants.
    ……….
    The B61-12 air-launched tactical bomb will carry a low-yield nuclear warhead to destroy military targets with minimum collateral damage. Located in the bomb’s middle section, the warhead will have four yield options, including 0.3kt, 1.5kt, 10kt, and 50kt.

    The bomb uses an inertial navigation system (INS) to achieve high kill probability, while improving the survivability of the launch platform. The weapon is expected to have an accuracy of approximately 30m.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  234. Year in Review: Biden’s top 10 blunders of 2022

    ‘MATH IS HARD’: BIDEN HAS ‘TWO WORDS: MADE IN AMERICA’

    Though there are too many to recount on such a short list, the Washington Examiner dug through and found what we felt were the top 10 Biden blunders of the year. In no particular order, they are as follows:

    “Repeat the line” – The president endured a major teleprompter fail in July when he accidentally read instructions rather than doing what those instructions told him to do. “End of quote. Repeat the line,” he said at a White House event. Though a White House staffer claimed Biden was saying, “Let me repeat that line,” the damage was done, and another slip-up entered the history books.

    “I… have cancer” – During the same month, the president raised eyebrows by appearing to say he had cancer during a speech in Massachusetts. The president was speaking in Massachusetts to announce $2.3 billion in new funding to combat climate change when he detailed a story from his childhood about air pollution. “That’s why I and so damn many other people I grew up [with] have cancer,” Biden said. “For the longest time, Delaware had the highest cancer rate in the nation, but that’s the past.” Biden’s latest presidential bill of health noted that prior to entering office, he had a number of cancerous lesions removed. He was also diagnosed with asthma as a child, which kept him from serving in Vietnam. But he does not have cancer today. During the same speech, Biden referred to a male Massachusetts lawmaker as “she” and said Glasgow was in England rather than Scotland.

    “Where’s Jackie?” – One of the most cringe-inducing blunders came during a September speech, in which Biden appeared to call out for Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN), who had died in a tragic car crash almost two months prior. “Jackie, are you here?” Biden asked. “Where’s Jackie? I thought she was going to be here — to help make this a reality.” Just as bizarre as the statement was the White House press team’s response, which involved press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeatedly saying that Biden simply had Walorski “top of mind.” “The president was naming the congressional champions on this issue and was acknowledging her incredible work,” she told reporters, adding he will soon see her family. “So, of course, she was on his mind.” Jean-Pierre even claimed, “I don’t think it’s at all unusual” that the president called for the deceased congresswoman. Reporters persisted with several follow-ups, but the press secretary stuck with her line.

    Selfish troops – The military at home and abroad received a lot of attention following the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. But Biden appeared to say the opposite of what he meant during a summer speech in the Middle East. “For the first time since 9/11, an American president is visiting this region without American troops being engaged in combat — in a combat mission in the region,” Biden said in Saudi Arabia. “We’ll always honor the bravery and selfishness — selflessness — of the, and sacrifices of the Americans who served, including my son, Maj. Beau Biden, who was stationed in Iraq for a year.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken, situated near the president during the speech, became noticeably uncomfortable after the awkward slip of the tongue.

    Wrong country – Also in reference to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Biden said President Vladimir Putin will never win over the people — of Iran. “Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks,” the president declared, less than a week after Russia launched its invasion. “But he will never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people.”

    How many Delaware senators? – Biden is proud of his adopted home state, which he represented in the Senate for 36 years before becoming vice president in 2009. He often mentions the First State in speeches, usually with accurate statements. That wasn’t the case in May, when the president appeared to suggest he’s the first-ever senator from Delaware. “There have not been many of the senators from Delaware. It’s a small state. As a matter of fact, there has never been one,” he said at a White House event marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. “And so I want to take advantage of making sure I introduce [a fellow Delaware native].” In case it isn’t obvious, Biden meant to say president rather than senator. There have in fact been 58 Delaware senators since 1788.

    Swiss Miss – The president switched Sweden for its European neighbor Switzerland in touting the former’s ascension to NATO in a June speech. “Some of the American press will remember when I got a phone call from the leader of Finland saying could he come and see me,” Biden said. “He came the next day and said, ‘Will you support my joining, my country joining NATO?’ We got on the telephone, and he suggested we call the leader of Switzerland — Switzerland, my goodness. I’m getting really anxious here about expanding NATO — of Sweden.” Switzerland is a historically neutral nation that shares a border with NATO members Italy, France, and Germany, but it has yet to express interest in joining the alliance. However, Sweden has applied for NATO membership, a point on which Biden quickly corrected himself.

    “Accommodate the Russian oligarchs” – Biden issued plenty of tough talk about Russia and its infamous oligarchs throughout 2022 as he decried the invasion of Ukraine. But there were still blunders to go around. “I’m also sending to Congress a comprehensive package of — that will enhance our underlying effort to accommodate the Russian oligarchs and make sure we take their ill-begotten gains,” Biden said in April. “Ha, we’re going to ‘accommodate’ them,” he added, laughing at his own mistake. He also struggled to pronounce the word “kleptocracy.” “But these are bad guys,” he added.

    Kamala’s president? – Biden has referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as president more than once. Perhaps he’s giving a subtle nod toward which Democrat he wants to replace him in the Oval Office — or maybe it’s just another slip-up. “Kamala won’t be the last woman to be vice president or president,” Biden said in September.

    Three is more than two – Biden began an October speech in Maryland with one of his quickest blunders, which went unnoticed among most of the gathered crowd. “Let me start off with two words,” he said from a Volvo factory in Hagerstown. “Made in America.” Math is hard.

    “One of the most congresswoman” – Speaking of math, we’re going off-script to offer an 11th entry in our top 10 list. In this bonus entry from October, Biden offered a head-scratcher in introducing “one of the most congresswoman in the Congress” from New York.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/white-house/biden-top-10-gaffes-of-2022

    DCSCA (19542d)

  235. I don’t hear many rumblings for a 3rd MAJOR party….am I missing something? I mean, I wish there were because it would mean that the vast middle was fed up with what the R’s and D’s have been offering…and how they have been politicking. I also greatly admire Paul Ryan and would likely vote for him in a heartbeat (though he doesn’t have executive branch experience). Jim Webb is getting a little long in the tooth, but he generally fits the bill as moderate. I’m not sure how many votes they would pull from Democrats though. I’m also not sure how this gestates and materializes in time for 2024. Some deep pocket currently unknown person will have to bankroll it. Would Ryan/Webb be embraced by the polarized media? Where do they gain traction? How do they shape a platform to try and pull some Democrats? I still anticipate Biden pulling out, so there can still be big uncertainty where the DEMs go next (though I strongly doubt they tack toward the middle). If DeSantis is nominated, how many Republicans would be eager to jump ship? I just don’t see strong forces creating a workable path…maybe

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  236. Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/1/2023 @ 2:22 pm

    The ten worst things plays better. No one believes Biden could do anything good.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  237. Trump Suggests He’d Be Willing to Exercise the Bull Moose Option in Cryptic Truth Social Post
    ………
    ……… Like any good bull in a china shop, it seems much more likely that he’d start to break things.

    And such is what Trump himself suggested he would do in a Truth Social post, simply posting the link to an American Greatness article titled “The Coming Split: What should we do when a majority of Republicans want Trump, but the Republican Party says we can’t have him?“. In the December 27th article, the author, Dan Gelernter, said:

    Last week I wrote about Teddy Roosevelt and Donald Trump. My comparison wasn’t between the two men as presidents—though they had some similar personality traits—but between how the two men were treated by the Republican Party. The Republican Party of 1912 decided it would be better off renominating William Howard Taft, even though its voters would have preferred another Roosevelt term. The resulting split ushered in Woodrow Wilson and the first academic globalists, whose bright ideas laid the groundwork for a second world war on the eve of the conclusion of the first.
    ………
    But, despite the obvious differences, we’re heading for a 1912-repeat, in which the Republican Party ignores its own voters. The Republican machine has no intention of letting us choose Trump again: He is not a uniparty team player. They’d rather lose an election to the Democrats, their brothers in crime, than win with Trump.
    ………
    You could go even further and say that the two-party system, in addition to preserving systemic stability, has prevented us from having any real say in our own government, except to the smallest extent. The Republicans and Democrats appear like the guard rails on either side of the road they’ve decided we should all be traveling on.

    Trump simply posted the link to the article with no commentary, but Trump isn’t a particularly subtle person so the message seems easy to understand: Trump’s willing to go full “Bull Moose” Teddy Roosevelt and split the Republican Party if the elites try to keep him out of the White House.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  238. A brief word about NATO and, by extension, Putin.
    In their entire 70-plus years, they’ve neither taken nor threatened to take any Russian or Soviet territory, so Putin’s alleged fears about NATO expansion are unfounded, but it hasn’t stopped him from using it as an excuse for aggression.

    That is certainly how we see it, but I doubt very much that’s how Putin sees it. I’m sure that to him former Soviet provinces such as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are Russian territory (as part of what Stalin used to like to call “Greater Russia”) so to him NATO has indeed taken Russian territory. And even we would have to admit that NATO has indeed taken what was once Soviet territory, though we certainly don’t have to apologize for it.

    JVW (6458d0)

  239. 1. He saved Ukraine

    Good Lord, that’s obnoxious. I’m happy to give Biden a certain amount of credit for standing with Ukraine (though it’s entirely fair to criticize him for arriving late and waiting too long to fully comprehend Putin’s aims, as Theissen does), but to say that Biden “saved Ukraine” is not only premature, but also entirely unfair to the brave Ukrainians who are putting their lives on the line defending their homeland.

    JVW (6458d0)

  240. Norwegian Cruise Line Ordered to Pay $110 Million for Use of Cuba Port
    ………
    The decision by U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom in Miami follows her March ruling that the use of the Havana Cruise Port Terminal constituted trafficking in confiscated property owned by the plaintiff, Delaware-registered Havana Docks Corp.
    ………
    Havana Docks had also sued cruise lines Carnival, Royal Caribbean and MSC, an Italian cruise line, under the Helms-Burton Act, which allows U.S. nationals to sue over the use of property seized in Cuba after 1959.

    The ruling could fuel more lawsuits by Cuban exiles pursuing claims, which according to one estimate are worth $2 billion, involving asset seizures under late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
    ……….
    The Trump administration also allowed U.S. citizens to sue third parties for using property seized by Cuban authorities, a provision of the Helms-Burton Act that had been waived by every previous president since the law’s 1996 passage.
    ………
    According to the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, a nonprofit that provides information on relations between the two countries, the 5,913 certified claims for property seized in Cuba represent nearly $2 billion in liability.

    Forty-four lawsuits have been filed under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, the organization says.
    ………

    I wonder if the Big Guy will get his 10%? 😉

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  241. This is why I get very frustrated with all-or-nothing, black-or-white myopic views. Life and politics are not that absolute. There are nuances and layers too take into consideration. I believe most people fall somewhere in the middle ground rather than the no middle ground absolutism that the tribalists insist upon.
    Dana (1225fc) — 1/1/2023 @ 12:16 pm

    nothing screams middle ground and nuance quite like “NeverTrump”

    trumpers are so absolutist, they’re transferring that absolutism to support a DeSantis or Youngkin or pretty much any candidate that has a reasonable chance to get the nomination

    JF (a18007)

  242. This one on Thiessen’s Best List is particularly curious:

    2. He declared the United States will defend Taiwan

    Not once, not twice, but four times since taking office (most recently in September), Biden has vowed that the U.S. military would defend Taiwan if Communist China attacked. Beijing is on notice: The policy of “strategic ambiguity” is dead (notwithstanding White House aides who tried to walk back Biden’s comments each time). It is U.S. policy to defend Taiwan against unjust aggression.

    The whole point of Joe Biden is that no one can put any stock into anything he says, knowing that his team is likely to walk it back and that — let’s face it — Joe Biden is probably not the decision maker in his Administration. I kind of like the fact that the President has China wondering just what the hell is going on, but in the end of the day I’ll bet they have the same impression of how the Biden Administration truly works as I do.

    JVW (6458d0)

  243. @245. LOL … Kabul won’t be another Saigon… and the priceless poop shoveled:

    “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… 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, 2019

    He’s been wrong on foreign policy issues for half a century. Corrupt Ukraine won’t be any different in the end. For recent reference, ask the Afghans, the Taliban– and the 13 U.S. dead at the Kabul Airport. Just be sure you check you watch when doing it.

    Never grows old:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEL1098WV24&t=1s

    Only he does.

    “I’ve done some dumb things. And I’ll do dumb things again.” – Squinty McStumblebum, 1988

    DCSCA (912504)

  244. @244. Would say NATO has ‘take Russian territory’ so much as clearly expanded its presence, which is the core of Putin’s POV– and that POV is his rationale for his behavior. W/t Warsaw Pact buffer zone gone, his ‘NATO’ is Russia nuclear weapons use policy– which differs from the Westen perspective, chiefly the U.S., which is to deter. They’re just different policies.

    DCSCA (912504)

  245. JVW (6458d0) — 1/1/2023 @ 3:12 pm

    Biden’s comments on defending Taiwan (which I applaud) weren’t gaffes, they were a change in policy.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  246. Of course if Putin incorporates Ukraine his border will again be right up against NATO.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  247. Good Lord, that’s obnoxious.

    The full quote from Theissen:

    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.

    And then his summary:

    One accomplishment that does not make a compilation of the good things Biden did but deserves grudging admiration nonetheless: Despite presiding over the worst inflation in 40 years, the worst collapse in real wages in four decades, the highest gas prices on record, the worst crime wave since the 1990s and the worst border crisis in U.S. history, Biden turned in the best first midterm performance of any president since John F. Kennedy (except for George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks). That is an impressive achievement.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  248. Of course if Putin incorporates Ukraine his border will again be right up against NATO.

    Of course if Putin incorporates Poland his border will again be right up against NATO, too.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  249. The ten worst things plays better. No one believes Biden could do anything good.

    Did you happen to notice the midterm results?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  250. Biden’s comments on defending Taiwan (which I applaud) weren’t gaffes, they were a change in policy.

    We will only know that if and when China invades. And I hope that none of us live to see that. But you’re going to have a hard time convincing me that the Biden Administration will follow through on their promise, and I see nothing about the entire lot of them that makes me believe this.

    JVW (6458d0)

  251. Yes, Kevin M, notice how Thiessen ends his paragraph on Biden and Ukraine: “Biden deserves credit for saving a free and independent Ukraine.” Once again, he doubles-down on the obnoxious claim that Biden is the one who saved Ukraine. I find that to be fantastically ignorant on his part.

    JVW (6458d0)

  252. Once again, he doubles-down on the obnoxious claim that Biden is the one who saved Ukraine.

    Ukraine was, and is, incapable of saving itself without the billions in US military support.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  253. @255 Midterms were a protest vote against supreme court abortion ruling and generation Z beginning to vote and vote democrat hard! NY 4 seat switch to gop was vote against crime in NY.

    asset (ace89c)

  254. He ‘saved Ukraine’ for non-taxpayers… but lost the U.S. southern border wars to swarms of illegals storming across the Rio Grande.

    Attaboy, Joey.

    DCSCA (70c00e)

  255. Of course if Putin incorporates Poland his border will again be right up against NATO, too.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/1/2023 @ 3:33 pm

    A nonsensical statement as a) Poland was never part of the USSR proper (as Ukraine was), and b) Putin would be suicidal to attack a NATO member, which is the only fact saving the Baltic states from Ukraine’s fate.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  256. Did you happen to notice the midterm results?

    Joey lost the House: “I trust his judgment.” – Nancy Pelosi

    “Oops!” – Rick Perry

    DCSCA (70c00e)

  257. No one believes Biden could do anything good.

    Not running again would be a start.

    Resigning for health reasons is less viable given the track record of the Kamala option available. And dying in office would only cost the government more money to plant him.

    DCSCA (70c00e)

  258. @247 when you stand in the middle of the road you get run over. That is how trump and the populists took over the republican party. Party was an empty vessel funded by rich donors who represented nobody but themselves. Jeb please clap bush and the other dwarfs were for free trade and pro immigration who supported the war in iraq. The populist majority in the republican party did not. they did not have the donor class money to fight back against them until the populist elements of the tea party and trump crushed them.

    asset (ace89c)

  259. Biden’s comments on defending Taiwan (which I applaud) weren’t gaffes, they were a change in policy.

    And just as much bogus bluster as his claims regarding Putin in 2019:

    “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… 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, 2019

    The current logistics and basic geography make it extremely difficult for the U.S. to claim it will defend Taiwan– especially after the PRC ‘liberates’ it and restores it to their ‘sovereignty.’

    DCSCA (70c00e)

  260. @241 The vast middle is actually not vast. 45% vote republican and 46% vote democrat 2% vote third party leaving 6 to 7 % true independents. However they do decide elections as the R’s and the D’s cancel each others votes out.

    asset (ace89c)

  261. @265 “after the prc liberates it” What if they don’t want to be liberated like the ukraine? Defensive weapons have made great strides over offense in the last twenty years you can ask putin about that. Also look on the internet for videos on the difficulties of invading taiwan. US and other countries have been supplying taiwan ever more sophisticated weapons all the time. Like russia prc has a large amount of unsophisticated weapons. Some years ago china invaded vietnam how did that turn out?

    asset (ace89c)

  262. And I hope that none of us live to see (China attack Taiwan).

    We will, probably within the next five years. Better to explicitly let China know that we will defend Taiwan than have China assume we may not. A byproduct of the West’s support of Ukraine is that China needs to take it into account in its decision making.

    Does anyone seriously doubt the US will defend Taiwan? Taiwan has one of the largest political lobbying operations (dating back to the 1950s) in Washington to influence Congress. The political pressures from Congress to defend Taiwan will be immense. You won’t see the same opposition that you see to supporting Ukraine.

    The Biden Administration continues to sell/transfer billions of dollars in weapon systems to Taiwan:

    In September, the administration approved more than $1.1 billion in arm sales to Taiwan, the largest in President Joe Biden’s tenure, which included up to 60 anti-ship missiles and up to 100 air-to-air missiles.
    ……..
    In August 2021, the administration put forward a $750 weapons sale to Taiwan consisting of 40 M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems and related equipment.

    News of the latest approval comes after Biden signed into law last week a sweeping new defense bill that included the establishment of a defense modernization program for Taiwan to deter Chinese aggression.
    #######

    The most recent sale was for $180M for the M136 Volcano Vehicle-Launched Scatterable Mine System.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  263. Better to explicitly let China know that we will defend Taiwan than have China assume we may not.

    Actually the worst thing we could do is vow to defend Taiwan and then, when the shinola hits the fan, change our minds. Recall Barack Obama’s “red line” in Syria?

    JVW (6458d0)

  264. JVW (6458d0) — 1/1/2023 @ 4:24 pm

    See my post and linked article on “red lines”.

    Again, the political pressures from Congress and voters will be too great to avoid defending Taiwan. There are a lot of Asian-American voters, and just over a million Taiwanese-Americans, which happen to live in three of most politically important states: Texas, New York, and California.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  265. Rip Murdock (479f9d) — 1/1/2023 @ 4:38 pm

    And one of those Taiwanese-American voters is married to the House Minority Leader.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  266. A nonsensical statement

    Only if you require people to comment without irony or allusion.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  267. “Biden deserves credit for saving a free and independent Ukraine.” Once again, he doubles-down on the obnoxious claim that Biden is the one who saved Ukraine. I find that to be fantastically ignorant on his part.

    If Biden had turned his back, Ukraine would have lost by now. They’d be out of food, bullets and most likely soldiers. Theissen DID criticize Biden for his half-measures, but without those, Ukraine would have died no matter who their leader was.

    Similarly, FDR saved Britain.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  268. Actually the worst thing we could do is vow to defend Taiwan and then, when the shinola hits the fan, change our minds. Recall Barack Obama’s “red line” in Syria?

    No, actually the worst would be to say we would NOT defend Taiwan and then they invade. At least if you are Taiwan. TO Taiwan, it would be a LOT better if the US pledged to defend. If, later, they don’t, oh well but the invasion would have been delayed.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  269. A nonsensical statement

    Or maybe it was, but now how you meant it. If Russia were to invade Poland and NATO didn’t defend, Russia would not be “right up against NATO” because NATO would be dead.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  270. A lot of the seemingly anti-Ukraine sentiment is really anti-Biden and anti-anti-Trump sentiment. Bad because it makes Biden look good. Bad because it’s Biden doing it and not Trump.

    nk (34cdca)

  271. I don’t hear many rumblings for a 3rd MAJOR party….am I missing something?

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 1/1/2023 @ 2:45 pm

    I’d much prefer a centrist third party to either major party, but that doesn’t mean I’d vote for it. As hard as it is to imagine something worse than the Democrats, the democracy-threatening Trump GOP pulled it off. And as much as I’d love to see a governing party unburdened by the fringe psychos on either side, I place an even higher value on keeping Trump, the Trumpists and the Trump-lites out of power. That makes voting for any party but the one likeliest to beat the GOP more risk than I’m willing to take. I suspect that view may be fairly common among the anti-Trump center that could otherwise be attracted to a new party.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  272. Bad because it makes Biden look good.

    Not even hair plugs could do that.

    DCSCA (fb2e50)

  273. Russia (and the Soviet Union before it) have been “right up against NATO” since NATO was founded.

    (If that’s mysterious to you, take a look at a map of Norway.)

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  274. Neither NATO nor the United States have a nuclear “no first use” policy.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d) — 1/1/2023 @ 2:42 pm

    We went from talking about defensive weapons and taking and keeping territory to nukes? Did you just pick up at the very end without reading along? Then you drifted into something about the B61 which is decidedly not a defensive weapon.

    frosty (a968ad)

  275. #279. Hey, Russia’s only 55 miles from the US (Sarah Palin joke omitted), and we’re in NATO.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  276. If Biden had turned his back, Ukraine would have lost by now.

    Nonsense. Crimea, part of Corrupt Ukraine, was annexed by Russia in 2014… “lost”… as the Obama/Biden administration watched; because it’s not an American problem to manage.

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

    And the history of the region is the tell: European nations have been battling over the place for nearly a thousand years, long before there was a USA. Corrupt Ukraine is Europe’s mess to clean up. America is not the world’s policeman.

    DCSCA (fb2e50)

  277. (If that’s mysterious to you, take a look at a map of Norway.)

    Jim Miller (f29931) — 1/1/2023 @ 5:20 pm

    Not exactly. Norway has historically followed a very different policy from most other countries in NATO for exactly this reason. This changed recently but Norway isn’t an example of “RU has always been next to NATO”.

    frosty (a968ad)

  278. I don’t hear many rumblings for a 3rd MAJOR party….am I missing something?

    As most voters are now indies, apparently so… it’s a simmering oil fire waiting to explode… and deepening populism is the spark. The only way the major parties have quashed it in the past has been to recognize the ‘danger’ and absorb if not champion the key changes fueling much of the populism at a given time. In our current climate, both parties have waited far too long and kept too much deadwood in charge- the Royalists– and their only immediate reactions so far has been to prosecute a symptom– and sanction the murder of Ashli Babbitt. This festering populism is not going away any time soon nor will it be addressed and quelled by parties top heavy w/octogenarians schooled in the politics of the last century.

    DCSCA (fb2e50)

  279. Better to explicitly let China know that we will defend Taiwan than have China assume we may not. A byproduct of the West’s support of Ukraine is that China needs to take it into account in its decision making.

    If what’s going on in UKR sends a message to CN it probably isn’t as strong as you might think. The primary audience is TW, ie that we will feed them resources if they are invaded.

    The misunderstanding about UKR is that we are defending them. We are not defending them. We are, at best, helping them defend themselves.

    Does anyone seriously doubt the US will defend Taiwan?

    I seriously doubt that we can. I also doubt that we will.

    frosty (a968ad)

  280. From the Wikipedia article on Norway: “[Norway] is bordered by Finland and Russia to the northeast . . . “

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  281. Are we certain Donald Trump isn’t NJRob?

    “HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of the Radical Left Democrats, Marxist Lunatics, China loving Coco Chow and her Obedient Husband, Mitch, and Clueless RINOS, who are working so hard to DESTROY our once great Country. More importantly, HAPPY NEW YEAR to the Incredible, Brave, and Strong American Patriots who Built, Love, and Cherish America. The REAL leaders of our Country will always remain FAITHFUL and LOYAL to you. The USA will be back, Bigger & Better & Stronger than ever before. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!”

    I mean, has anyone ever seen them somewhere at the same time?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  282. No, actually the worst would be to say we would NOT defend Taiwan and then they invade. At least if you are Taiwan.

    That’s true: it would be worse for Taiwan. But the other scenario — promising defense and then reneging — would be horrible for U.S. interests in the Pacific and elsewhere.

    JVW (6458d0)

  283. Similarly, FDR saved Britain.

    Well, the major difference between our respective viewpoints is that I find that sort of hyperbole utterly obnoxious in that it diminishes the role that the real heroes are playing.

    JVW (6458d0)

  284. Trump says ‘abortion issue’ responsible for GOP underperforming expectations in midterms
    ……..
    Trump said in a post on Truth Social on Sunday that many in the GOP handled the issue poorly, especially those who “firmly” insisted on no exceptions to bans on the procedure, including in instances of rape and incest.
    ……….
    Trump said Republican voters who pushed against abortion for decades “got their wish” from the Supreme Court in overturning Roe v. Wade and “just plain disappeared.”
    ………..

    TrumpWorld reacts:

    ……. It certainly didn’t help. I think if they would have waited until after the midterms of what it turned out differently.…….. Trump is right. Going against what young women want is GOP suicide. ……. forced pregnancy?? what the hell dude. You are a delusional leftist for not KNOWING that women equally partake in the decision to have sex and therefore the ‘risk’ of getting pregnant with ANOTHER life. Glad to hear you’re so close to the devil here. ……

    …….. If one innocent life was saved because of the Dobbs decision, than it was worth it. Some things transcend politics. ……. It was the fraud. …… It is never in the interest of a civil society to shed innocent blood. Never.

    ………. What a bizarre time. I can remember many folks here who wouldn’t vote the R because they weren’t pro-life enough. Those same folks now are agreeing with this. Apparently even the right has it’s selling price. Disappointing. ……. There is no neutrality on this topic, and Trump is wrong. ……. Many freepers don’t mind ditching their principles to slobber over Trump. …….

    …….. The Dems cheated…pure and simple. You’d think a former President would know that, having had an election stolen out from under him in 2020. ……. the woman in question isn’t making a personal decision on her own death, she is killing someone else. …….

    …….States rights go out the window on life and liberty. Life is life. That is why so many prolife people have been aghast at the state argument over killing babies. ……..

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  285. Similarly, FDR saved Britain.

    That would be news to the RAF.

    My own father– as well as myself– got a quick, bit-hlapping education from the locals when a ‘similiar’ Yankee Doodle boast was made in a London pub.

    We were soundly ‘blitzed,’ of course- figuratively– and literally. 😉

    DCSCA (032e4e)

  286. lurker (cd7cd4) — 1/1/2023 @ 6:41 pm

    Related:

    Former President Donald Trump ignored a question about the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and boasted of his “fantastic” gpoll numbers at his New Year’s Eve party at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
    ……
    Fringe conservative media outlet Right Side Broadcasting Network posted a video of Trump speaking for just minutes to what sounded like a very few reporters outside. He slammed the FBI, called for a “strong border,” and opposed any help for Ukraine against Russia’s invasion there.

    He “walked away from a question about how this week’s second anniversary of the Jan. 6 violence and alleged coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol should be observed,” reported The Palm Beach Post. He also ignored queries about whether he supports an abortion ban and about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ call for an investigation into COVID-19 vaccines.

    Trump turned his greeting to his worshipful Mar-a-Lago members inside the venue into a political speech as he bashed inflation and the “raging” war in Ukraine. …….

    The Palm Beach Post pointed out a notable lack of celebrities who have attended Trump parties in the past, reporting that the highest-profile attendees were the usual suspects in his political circle, such as Rudy Giuliani, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and second eldest son Eric Trump and his wife, Lara.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  287. He concedes that we need activists to shake us from our slumber on some issues. The problem is that to be seen and heard, every gripe becomes an existential threat that demands fealty to a tribe…and leads to political toxicity that makes the country ungovernable. And the cycle of griping just grows….and we end up fielding candidates that feed this need for poisonous rhetoric. I put it out to our extreme commenters here: do you believe that tribalism is corroding our democracy and, if so, what are a couple of things that can be done to improve the situation?

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 1/1/2023 @ 11:45 am

    Tribalism is not “corroding democracy.” Tribalism is the essence of democracy. The more a society democratizes, the more tribalistic it gets as each group begins vying for their own particular interests.

    I’d say you really have no room to gripe here. You crave politics that are amiable, and require no effort on your part whatsoever. That’s not democracy, but consensus, which requires a hegemonic culture–and because your faction flees in terror at the mere thought of defending culture, you surrender any credibility you have that you’re invested in preserving society. You want a cultural and political consensus without doing any of the work necessary to make it come about.

    If you’re unhappy with the current state of the political environment, then look in the mirror at the cause of it. If you and those like you hadn’t spent decades punting on politics, particularly on the cultural front, denigrated serving in government as something only corrupt people would do (an especially ironic turn considering how much you revere actual parasites like Fauci, because no matter the rhetoric, you’ll reflexively believe what the Nice Man In the Suit on teevee tells you), and then mush-mouthed every advance of the left on the cultural front the last 30 years while excusing “fiscal conservatives” who didn’t actually do anything fiscally conservative, then maybe you’d have room to complain about our supposedly toxic political environment.

    And that’s not even touching on the Dubya years, which did more than anything else to kick off this radicalization that you so abhor.

    So you can do what you always do, which is sit back and continue to wring your hands about it all, or you can get off your butt and start being involved in politics, even if it’s just at the local level. Don’t defer that responsibility to others and then complain when you don’t get the results you’d like.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  288. Similarly, FDR saved Britain.

    Well, the major difference between our respective viewpoints is that I find that sort of hyperbole utterly obnoxious in that it diminishes the role that the real heroes are playing.

    JVW (6458d0) — 1/1/2023 @ 7:10 pm

    ISTM that’s a false choice. An event can have multiple independent causes. If you smell smoke coming from my house and call the FD, I’ll say you saved me, even if the firefighters alone, who also saved me, performed heroics.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  289. “If you and those like you hadn’t spent decades punting on politics, particularly on the cultural front, denigrated serving in government as something only corrupt people would do”

    So I take it you really don’t do civility…while obnoxiously presuming away. If we were at a hotel bar, this would be when I would bid you goodnight….and nod to the bartender to consider cutting you off.

    AJ_Liberty (7c711d)

  290. ISTM that’s a false choice. An event can have multiple independent causes. If you smell smoke coming from my house and call the FD, I’ll say you saved me, even if the firefighters alone, who also saved me, performed heroics.

    The analogies with Biden and FDR would be closer to them moving their cars out of the way of the firetrucks and loaning the FD some axes, hoses, and ladders. Certainly helpful, but not the same as risking one’s own life. But to each his own.

    JVW (6458d0)

  291. Certainly helpful, but not the same as risking one’s own life.Not even in the same league as risking one’s own life. Neither is calling the fire department in the same league as rushing into the burning building. But can’t they all be life-saving without any of them being equivalent?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  292. Doh! Fixing the formatting…

    Certainly helpful, but not the same as risking one’s own life.Not even in the same league as risking one’s own life.

    Neither is calling the fire department in the same league as rushing into the burning building. But can’t they all be life-saving without any of them being equivalent?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  293. OK. Tell that bartender to stop serving me. Last time, this time I promise:

    Certainly helpful, but not the same as risking one’s own life.

    Not even in the same league as risking one’s own life. Neither is calling the fire department in the same league as rushing into the burning building. But can’t they all be life-saving without any of them being equivalent?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  294. lurker: “I’d much prefer a centrist third party to either major party, but that doesn’t mean I’d vote for it. As hard as it is to imagine something worse than the Democrats, the democracy-threatening Trump GOP pulled it off. And as much as I’d love to see a governing party unburdened by the fringe psychos on either side, I place an even higher value on keeping Trump, the Trumpists and the Trump-lites out of power.”

    It’s funny. I vaguely recall that this past summer Christine Todd Whitman and Andrew Yang formed the centrist Forward Party. Of course, I haven’t heard anything more about them since the big unveiling. It’s still going to come down to the strength of any 3rd party candidate (force of personality and character), how that candidate distinguishes himself from the other two, and what is the handful of priorities that he wants to address. One would have thought two ex-governors…modestly popular….could have done more in 2016 when the major parties laid two rotten eggs. Alas, their strategy sucked…more than just a bad Aleppo moment. So I get your point. Unless lightning strikes, that new party will inevitably just function as a spoiler and not be an actual electoral vote threat.

    AJ_Liberty (7c711d)

  295. I hope you are all having a good New Year’s day and that no one here got defenestrated by the Russians. I’m not making any resolutions, just hoping that more of our surprises are pleasant than unpleasant and that, after the last 3 years, the year treats us all gently.

    Nic (896fdf)

  296. That could have been embarrassing had I not internalized the foundational Trumpian ethic: Be shameless in all things!

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  297. So I take it you really don’t do civility…while obnoxiously presuming away. If we were at a hotel bar, this would be when I would bid you goodnight….and nod to the bartender to consider cutting you off.

    AJ_Liberty (7c711d) — 1/1/2023 @ 8:47 pm

    If you didn’t consistently couch your political cowardice behind your passive-aggressive, mewling bromides, maybe you’d have less “toxic political environment” to complain about.

    Politics is hard work, at the ground level on up, something you and your political faction are even more allergic to than preserving conservatism in any form other than the one wearing silver slippers and expressed in the most anodyne of forms.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  298. From the Wikipedia article on Norway: “[Norway] is bordered by Finland and Russia to the northeast . . . “

    Jim Miller (f29931) — 1/1/2023 @ 6:24 pm

    I’m getting the impression you think this proves your point. Norway hasn’t allowed other NATO countries to put military resources within its borders. It did that for precisely the reason we’ve been discussing. It was seen as a threat to the USSR.

    frosty (a968ad)

  299. frosty (a968ad) — 1/1/2023 @ 10:11 pm

    For someone as well-read as Jim claims to be, it’s telling that his main source of information on nearly anything he’s trying to argue seems to be Wikipedia, which is the go-to source for intellectually lazy college students and journalists.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  300. If you didn’t consistently couch your political cowardice behind your passive-aggressive, mewling bromides, maybe you’d have less “toxic political environment” to complain about.

    Where ever could AJ have gotten the notion that you scorn civility?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  301. Where ever could AJ have gotten the notion that you scorn civility?

    lurker (cd7cd4) — 1/1/2023 @ 10:49 pm

    You two always resort to tone-policing because you’re otherwise pathetic at getting anything else accomplished.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  302. >>Similarly, FDR saved Britain.

    Well, the major difference between our respective viewpoints is that I find that sort of hyperbole utterly obnoxious in that it diminishes the role that the real heroes are playing.

    Also saving Britain were Churchill, the RAF, the British people, The Dunkirk squadron, etc. But were it not for FDR getting the US into the war, none of that would have mattered. And, similarly were it not for most of the rest, what FDR did would not have mattered.

    The point I was trying to make is that FDR enabled Britain to fight. It was a necessary, but not sufficient, condition. Just as Biden backing Ukraine ALLOWED Ukraine to have the time and material it needed.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  303. But were it not for FDR getting the US into the war

    And for the pedants here, also lend-lease before the war.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  304. would be horrible for U.S. interests in the Pacific and elsewhere.

    Yes. One of the reasons we were compelled to continue far too long in Vietnam.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  305. I don’t hear many rumblings for a 3rd MAJOR party….am I missing something?

    Yes. The GOP and Democrats are not behaving like major parties. They are increasingly fringe groups and anyone within them who attempts to look to the center is treated with contempt.

    There are two reasons why a person supports one or the otehr

    1) They are also on that fringe, or
    2) They are afraid the other fringe, further away from them, will win.

    It is this second, larger group that a centrist party could attract. It simply has to be credible. Luckily both major parties are rapidly ejecting seasoned politicians who won’t drink the Kool-Aid.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  306. Comparisons of Biden to FDR are less Franklin Roosevelt and more Wilton Parmenter.

    “The Great White Pigeon!” – Chief Wild Eagle [Frank DeKova] ‘F-Troop’ ABC TV, 1965-67

    DCSCA (6c0cc9)

  307. The point I was trying to make is that FDR enabled Britain to fight. It was a necessary, but not sufficient, condition. Just as Biden backing Ukraine ALLOWED Ukraine to have the time and material it needed.

    Resulting in this:

    [Leland B. Morris] MR. CHARGE D’AFFAIRES:

    The Government of the United States having violated in the most flagrant manner and in ever increasing measure all rules of neutrality in favor of the adversaries of Germany and having continually been guilty of the most severe provocations toward Germany ever since the outbreak of the European war, provoked by the British declaration of war against Germany on September 3, 1939, has finally resorted to open military acts of aggression.

    On September 11, 1941, the President of the United States publicly declared that he had ordered the American Navy and Air Force to shoot on sight at any German war vessel. In his speech of October 27, 1941, he once more expressly affirmed that this order was in force. Acting under this order, vessels of the American Navy, since early September 1941, have systematically attacked German naval forces. Thus, American destroyers, as for instance the Greer, the Kearney and the Reuben James, have opened fire on German submarines according to plan. The Secretary of the American Navy, Mr. Knox, himself confirmed that American destroyers attacked German submarines.

    Furthermore, the naval forces of the United States, under order of their Government and contrary to international law have treated and seized German merchant vessels on the high seas as enemy ships.

    The German Government therefore establishes the following facts:

    Although Germany on her part has strictly adhered to the rules of international law in her relations with the United States during every period of the present war, the Government of the United States from initial violations of neutrality has finally proceeded to open acts of war against Germany. The Government of the United States has thereby virtually created a state of war.

    The German Government, consequently, discontinues diplomatic relations with the United States of America and declares that under these circumstances brought about by President Roosevelt Germany too, as from today, considers herself as being in a state of war with the United States of America.

    Accept, Mr. Charge d’Affaires, the expression of my high consideration.

    December 11, 1941.

    RIBBENTROP

    According to George F. Kennan, a diplomat who worked with Morris, after reading the declaration, Ribbentrop screamed at Morris, “Ihr Präsident hat diesen Krieg gewollt; jetzt hat er ihn” (“Your President has wanted this war, now he has it”), turned on his heels and left the room. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declaration_of_war_against_the_United_States

    DCSCA (6c0cc9)

  308. @290You seem sincere in your beliefs ;but the majority of americans disagree with you and we are just as sincere and determined as you. You say baby killing. I say a fetus in the first trimester and probably the second trimester is not. We all can debate rules on third trimester. It is not a baby. We had the same problem over slavery that is how the southern babtist and souther methodist churches came about in support of slavery. We are prepared for what ever it takes. As the new year start we will be gathering signatures to put pro choice on the ballot of states like az. Other states that don’t have voter initiatives we will have to go after republican politician with the justice department as many are corrupt. The famous case of dalton trumbo in prison along with a corrupt congressman who denouced him for being a communist sympathizer and hollywood ten.

    asset (098b50)

  309. @300 Ballot access for third party is difficult now as the libertarian party every year spends most of its time and money just getting on the ballot in all 50 states The green party you had to write in the candidate in nearly half the states in 2020 after costing clinton the 2016 election. Democrat party and republican party will change the rules again if center third party gains traction and the judges beholding to the two parties will rule in their favor as they have done in the past. The indiana ruling on libertarian ballot access is one of the most glaring.

    asset (098b50)

  310. NeverTrump saved Ukraine. Doubt it? All you have to look around for which dipsh!ts are siding with Russia.

    nk (34cdca)

  311. @184 AOC isn’t even a real socialist who wants the state to take over the means of production.

    That I believe. She not only would not know what to do with the means of productions, she probably does not even know what they are. Her means of production are a phone. To call “daddy” for money.

    AOC cannot run a factory. She cannot run a country. The only thing she can run is her mouth.

    nk (34cdca)

  312. @ 316 All you have *to do* is look around

    nk (34cdca)

  313. NeverTrump saved Ukraine. Doubt it? All you have to look around for which dipsh!ts are siding with Russia.

    nk (34cdca) — 1/2/2023 @ 6:24 am

    Hopefully they all get their very own special medals from JB and Z. Why do I think you’ve pulled the “I pay your salary” routine with a cop?

    What about your beloved Azov regiment and the glorious Defenders of Mariupol?

    frosty (fa5689)

  314. Why do I think you’ve pulled the “I pay your salary” routine with a cop?

    No idea. I am not a psychiatrist.

    What about your beloved Azov regiment and the glorious Defenders of Mariupol?

    We could have done more. We should have done more. Just one Iron Dome battery could have saved the city.

    So what? If Trump had been reelected, all of Ukraine would now be a part of Russia.

    nk (34cdca)

  315. Where ever could AJ have gotten the notion that you scorn civility?

    lurker (cd7cd4) — 1/1/2023 @ 10:49 pm

    This would work better if what you were referring to was actually civility.

    frosty (fa5689)

  316. If Trump had been reelected, all of Ukraine would now be a part of Russia.
    nk (34cdca) — 1/2/2023 @ 7:19 am

    and El Paso wouldn’t be part of Mexico

    JF (bdd42d)

  317. We could have done more. We should have done more. Just one Iron Dome battery could have saved the city.

    nk (34cdca) — 1/2/2023 @ 7:19 am

    Maybe. Since we’ve only purchased two from IL we could have given them one of those. I’m sure IL wouldn’t mind us running the risk of it falling into the hands of RU. Why not give them both?

    A single Iron Dome wouldn’t have covered all of Mariupol but anything would have helped I suppose. When would we have deployed that and who would have operated it? It’s not a trivial weapons system. Maybe we could have done that back when JB promised “severe and coordinated economic response” to a “minor incursion” by RU.

    frosty (fa5689)

  318. “If Trump had been reelected, all of Ukraine would now be a part of Russia.”

    The broader question is whether we would even still be in NATO if Trump had won. Certainly Congress would have a say and, as proposed by Senators Rubio and Kaine, could block unilateral Presidential action. But the President, as commander in chief and through his significant foreign policy powers, could starve U.S. participation and re-deploy assets. The same goes for the Korean peninsula as well. Would this result in mass resignations and chaos across DoD?

    So what drives these Trumpian disengagement ruminations that his cabinet members and security advisors have worriedly detailed? Trump doesn’t really say and he doesn’t have a Svengali-like foreign policy mouthpiece to flush out the long-term details and ramifications. I think this semi-opaque reasoning is even worse than Bush’s flawed Iraq policy.

    AJ_Liberty (284bff)

  319. Similarly, FDR saved Britain.

    yes, I agree Biden saving Ukraine is just like that. Something at odds with reality. Like the Jan6 committee saved democracy.

    JF (bdd42d)

  320. and El Paso wouldn’t be part of Mexico

    Irrelevant and immaterial. The subject was whether Biden saved Ukraine. Granted, the discussion is trivial to begin with, as is the question of the value of an Iron Dome battery to the defenders of Mariupol, but we can at least pretend that we say here, among ourselves, matters.

    nk (34cdca)

  321. The broader question is whether we would even still be in NATO if Trump had won.

    if only Trump had been president for four years we could’ve found out

    it’s one of the big what ifs of history

    and, if he had ever been president we could’ve found out for sure if Ukraine could survive without war, mass death, and devastation

    but alas I guess we’ll never know

    JF (bdd42d)

  322. What about your beloved Azov regiment and the glorious Defenders of Mariupol?

    What about them?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  323. Where ever could AJ have gotten the notion that you scorn civility?

    Civility is only part of it. We’re not doing more than just sitting around talking among ourselves. Do we want the conversation to be pleasant or unpleasant?

    Our hosts put in a lot of time and work to give us something to talk about. Do we want our “contributions” to add to the conversation or to befoul their posts?

    nk (34cdca)

  324. asset (098b50) — 1/2/2023 @ 12:59 am

    My post @290, and all similar posts that say “TrumpWorld reacts” or “Not Amused” are not my views but those of commenters here, and are designed to illustrate the views of the Trump voting base. That’s why the quotes are in italics and use ellipses.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  325. What about them?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/2/2023 @ 8:06 am

    It’s an odd sort of fantasy where pushing obvious propaganda, spending other peoples money, and having other people fight and die gets redefined as saving UKR.

    I’m in awe of the stunning and glorious bravery of NeverTrump. They are an example that will ring down through history for everyone. We should probably start looking for space around the National Mall for a monument.

    frosty (fa5689)

  326. We’re not doing more than just sitting around talking among ourselves.

    The neocon tribal motto.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  327. Happy New Year

    Dozens of Russian soldiers were killed in a massive missile strike early on New Year’s Day in the country’s Donetsk region, Moscow said, marking what could be one of the deadliest attacks on Russian forces since the start of the invasion.
    ………..
    In a statement posted to Telegram, the Department of Strategic Communications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine provided little detail, suggesting sarcastically that the incident was the result of “the careless handling of heating devices, neglect of security measures and smoking.”
    ………..
    Russia’s defense ministry blamed Kyiv for the strike and said that the Ukrainian military had fired four long range missiles from U.S.-provided High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), two of which were shot down.

    Daniil Bezsonov, a senior Moscow-backed official for the region, wrote on Telegram that just after midnight on New Year’s Day a Ukrainian missile had struck a vocational school in Makiivka that housed soldiers.
    ……….
    Igor Girkin, an ultranationalist figure who led Moscow-backed separatists during the conflict in Donbas in 2014 and regularly criticizes Russia’s military decisions, said that the building had been “almost completely destroyed” and alleged that ammunition stored in the building had compounded the damage.

    “Almost all of the military equipment was also destroyed, which stood right next to the building without any disguise whatsoever,” Girkin wrote on Telegram, saying that “many hundreds” had been killed and wounded and that many were still missing under the rubble.
    ………..
    “No one is assuming the responsibility for the needless deaths” said Anastasia Kashevarova, a pro-Russian blogger. Andrey Medvedev, a Russian propagandist, wrote that “housing personnel in buildings instead of housing them in shelters directly aids the enemy.”

    Photos and videos posted to social media appeared to show the wreckage of the building, with firefighters combing through the rubble. The Russian-installed administration said at least 25 rockets were fired at the region overnight on New Year’s Eve.

    The attack on Makiivka follows an uptick in reported attacks on targets deep inside Russia.
    …………

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  328. Irrelevant and immaterial. The subject was whether Biden saved Ukraine. Granted, the discussion is trivial to begin with, as is the question of the value of an Iron Dome battery to the defenders of Mariupol, but we can at least pretend that we say here, among ourselves, matters.
    nk (34cdca) — 1/2/2023 @ 8:03 am

    When you are eight, nk, you are right.

    felipe (484255)

  329. Heh! Not “eight”, “right.”

    felipe (484255)

  330. It’s an odd sort of fantasy where pushing obvious propaganda, spending other peoples money, and having other people fight and die gets redefined as saving UKR.
    What “obvious propaganda”?
    FTR, I didn’t say that we “saved Ukraine”, but you can’t deny that our aid has been invaluable, especially in the last six months where Ukraine has reclaimed significant amounts of their homeland.
    Also, what about Azov? That seems to have triggered you.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  331. When did Russia invade it’s neighboring nations? Under Obama and Biden. It was conspicuously silent during the 4 years inbetween yet the usuals suspects claim nonsense that never existed.

    Why is that?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  332. It is this second, larger group that a centrist party could attract. It simply has to be credible.

    Well, that’s the rub, isn’t it? The last person to attract a significant centrist following came along 30 years ago, and was marginalized by the media for the very reason that he represented a threat to the political status quo.

    But the centrists of today won’t start up a third party of any real effectiveness. They’re just along for the ride, because they keep expecting someone else to step up, like some sort of secular messiah, and save the country from all these icky cultural and political disagreements that have accumulated since the 2000 election. They never strive against wind and tide, and simply go along with whomever is the dominant socio-political faction at the time, because they don’t have the energy or will to actually push back where it counts. That involves hard work at the grassroots, and centrists are far more comfortable sitting back and letting others do the work for them.

    Not to mention the fact that there won’t even be a consensus on what a “centrist” party is supposed to represent even if one was actually established, which means it’s inevitably doomed to fail.

    The reality is that there is never going to be this supposed groundswell of “centrism” just waiting for its moment to emerge as a supposed “sane” alternative, because even when people call themselves “independent,” they still have preferences for one side or another and will support that side when the rubber hits the road.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  333. 326,

    If you don’t believe the things you say are relevant or material why say them? Why would we pretend something matters if it was never meant to be taken seriously? Is this just supposed to be some improve sort of thing?

    329,

    This is fine and I agree. Except there’s a common trend where commenters will start to drift toward personal insults and snark and away from “contributions” when they can’t defend their comments and then complain about civility. For example, you don’t keep things pleasant. Going by your own example the answers to your own questions are “willing to be unpleasant” and “willing to befoul”. Or do you think 316 was both pleasant and adding to the conversation?

    frosty (fa5689)

  334. The subject was whether Biden saved Ukraine.

    ‘Burning the village in order to save it.’

    Attaboy, Joey.

    DCSCA (0e4ce9)

  335. Heh! I wrote what I wrote. You’ll have to look elsewhere for the exegesis. I don’t play “I didn’t say that/Here’s what I meant”.

    nk (34cdca)

  336. Looking at the map, Norway’s border with Russia isn’t exactly the springboard to Moscow. Anyone who would try to launch a modern army invasion from the Norway/Russia border into Russia is too stupid to drool.

    steveg (722893)

  337. What “obvious propaganda”?

    I’ve mentioned several examples over the past week or two but one right off the top of my head the claim that this discourages Xi.

    FTR, I didn’t say that we “saved Ukraine”,

    No. What you did was jump into the middle of a conversation where nk said NeverTrump “saved URK” and started trying to divert and deflect.

    but you can’t deny that our aid has been invaluable, especially in the last six months where Ukraine has reclaimed significant amounts of their homeland.

    And I haven’t.

    Also, what about Azov? That seems to have triggered you.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/2/2023 @ 9:14 am

    I’m triggered? Project much? You might want to re-read these comments.

    NK has been a fan of Azov in the past but now wants to allocate credit to NeverTrump. I’d think that people who actually fought, bled, and had comrades die alongside them might be better candidates for saving UKR than a group whose health risks include apoplectic fits over DT’s latest comments.

    frosty (fa5689)

  338. When did Russia invade it’s neighboring nations? Under Obama and Biden.

    Also under Bush, in 2008 when Putin invaded and occupied parts of Georgia, and is still occupying to this day.
    We don’t have the benefit of sliding into an alternate universe to know whether Putin would invade Ukraine during a fictional Trump 2nd term.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  339. No. What you did was jump into the middle of a conversation where nk said NeverTrump “saved URK” and started trying to divert and deflect.

    No, what I did was ask you a simple question about Azov, which you still haven’t answered.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  340. Looking at the map, Norway’s border with Russia isn’t exactly the springboard to Moscow. Anyone who would try to launch a modern army invasion from the Norway/Russia border into Russia is too stupid to drool.

    steveg (722893) — 1/2/2023 @ 9:48 am

    If you go into google maps you might notice that right next to that border is Murmansk and Severomorsk. Try typing “why is Murmansk important to russia” into the openai chatgpt. What it doesn’t tell you is that there’s basically one road between there and St. Petersburg that can be used to supply the RU northern fleet.

    So, yes, no one would launch an invasion of Moscow from Norway. They would use it to take out a large part of the RU navy.

    frosty (fa5689)

  341. No, what I did was ask you a simple question about Azov, which you still haven’t answered.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/2/2023 @ 10:07 am

    I did. You just didn’t like it. Why are you so fixated on Azov?

    frosty (fa5689)

  342. Why are you so fixated on Azov?

    You brought it up, and your only response was to b!cth about nk. I don’t call that an answer.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  343. When did Russia invade it’s neighboring nations? Under Obama and Biden. It was conspicuously silent during the 4 years inbetween yet the usuals suspects claim nonsense that never existed.

    Why is that?

    An honest and straightforward question.

    I would start my guess by pointing out that the prior incursions were nowhere near as ambitious as this one. Moreover, they were in in heavily Russian-populated areas; were disguised as local insurrections; and had the cooperation of traitorous Ukrainian military officers and civilian officials.

    Finally, that Putin overestimated Russia’s military, diplomatic, and economic strength, and the EU’s dependence on trade with Russia; and underestimated Biden’s, NATO’s, and Europe’s resolve and, I think, Europe just getting tired of him. I mean, seriously, Switzerland broke its neutrality! Who would have expected that? During WWII, the Swiss were shooting down both German and Allied planes that entered their airspace!

    nk (34cdca)

  344. Kevin McCarthy makes major concession to conservatives as his speaker bid hangs by a thread
    ………
    McCarthy’s central concession is allowing for any five Republican representatives to force of vote of no confidence in the speaker. He also vowed to end the practice of proxy voting and virtual participation in hearings, requiring lawmakers to be in Washington to participate in hearings and votes.

    “Just as the Speaker is elected by the whole body, we will restore the ability for any 5 members of the majority party to initiate a vote to remove the Speaker if so warranted,” he wrote in a letter to his Republican colleagues on Sunday.
    ……….
    Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., and Bob Good, R-Va., have already vowed to oppose McCarthy’s bid. He also faces potential opposition from GOP Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Chip Roy of Texas, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Andy Harris of Maryland and Andrew Clyde of Georgia, along with Rep.-elects Andy Ogles of Tennessee, Anna Paulina Luna of Florida and Eli Crane of Arizona, among others.
    ………
    “Every single Republican in Congress knows that Kevin does not actually believe anything. He has no ideology,” Gaetz wrote in a December op-ed for the Daily Caller. “Some conservatives are using this fact to convince themselves that he is the right leader for the moment, as McCarthy is so weak he’ll promise anything to anyone.”
    ………..

    Related:

    When the House needed two months and 133 votes to elect a speaker

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  345. @314: More than 2/3rds of Americans think 1st trimester abortion should be legal. After that point, however, a majority disagrees and that disagreement increases with the length of gestation.

    The Democrat position seems to be 1) nobody has an elective 3rd trimester abortion, but 2) elective third trimester abortions must remain legal, and 3) minor girls must have absolute control over abortion decisions. They do everything possible to hide this position, conflating everything with the first-trimester case, but it has remained their bottom line. Until that changes, no compromise is possible. This is exacerbated by their reluctance to allow parental control, or even knowledge regarding abortions, which is an absolute non-starter for the GOP.

    The GOP position seems to be 1) all (or most) elective abortions must remain illegal, and 2) There may be exceptions for some causes, and 3) parents must have some input to the reproductive choices of their minor daughters. They disagree on the fine print of #2, and only grudgingly allow for elective abortions in part of the 1st trimester. The issues with minors again complicate everything.

    Polls generally conflate or ignore the separating points, which makes them almost useless for finding a path to compromise, or even finding a center point that the PUBLIC actually agrees on. Most polls seem to be functionally push-polls, and most of those push in the same direction. What’s amazing is that the polls don’t function as desired and the public’s attitude does not seem to have been moved by the normal “I want to fit in” dynamic.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  346. The super-Trumpists are doing the country a favor. McCarthy dirtied himself too much in the Trump sty to be third in line for the Presidency and second in power to the President.

    nk (34cdca)

  347. Ballot access for third party is difficult now as the libertarian party every year spends most of its time and money just getting on the ballot in all 50 states

    Having been involved in that in the misty past (1992 and 1996), several things:

    1) While states constantly change their laws, ballot access today is not noticeably different than it was in 1992. See Richard Winger’s invaluable https://ballot-access.org/ of the current play-by-play.

    2) Petitioning in general has gotten easier, as several restrictions on petition circulators (e.g. must be state residents) have been struck down by federal courts.

    3) The LP’s success is indeed through heavy effort, but that is mostly because they can’t pay to have it done so they have to rely on a small number of dedicated people. The Greens seem unable or unwilling to expend the same effort. There are no laws that make it harder for the Greens, although some crooked judges may.

    A broad-based new party would not have these problems. Perot’s Reform Party began as a broad-based centrist movement. It QUICKLY got on the ballot in every state (I collected signatures in West LA). The opposition (who would harass signature gatherers and prospective signers) was mostly from wingnuts in both parties. Perot, a very flawed candidate with an apparently senile VP choice, got 19% of the vote in the general election, coming in front of a major party in two states.

    It isn’t certain that a new centrist party with qualified candidate(s) that had left the legacy parties in disgust would do worse than Perot did. Again Perot got 19% of the vote from people who KNEW that he could not win, but disliked GHWB or Bill Clinton. Consider also that a Biden-Trump election might cause more disaffection than in 1992.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  348. @351, abortion is now a state issue. Mississippi and Massachusetts will arrive at different public policies. That’s federalism. Yes, Congress can try to compel a Republican or Democrat vision….but it has enough problem passing a simple appropriation bill. It may take an election cycle or two, but compromises will arise as the the electorate works thru the edge situations. There’s not a lot new in the debate…both sides spin the edge situations to activate the electorate. If this is your issue, are you doing the most that you can to help women get to term and the children who may need to be adopted?

    AJ_Liberty (284bff)

  349. The super-Trumpists are doing the country a favor. McCarthy dirtied himself too much in the Trump sty to be third in line for the Presidency and second in power to the President.

    Worse, he has given away so much in his quest to satisfy people who won’t be satisfied. And he will still lose unless he pivots his pandering to the Democrats.

    The only other choice seems to be Scalise. Jim Jordan won’t get more than 50 votes, and someone more moderate than McCarty (even without the weasel factor) will have a worse time than McCarthy.

    I’d bet on Scalise at 3-1 odds. McCarthy gets 2-1. After that I’d bet on a party schism and Pelosi again as speaker, maybe 10-1. I’d bet the house against any of the HFC becoming speaker.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  350. @354,

    No real disagreement here AJ. The situation here has been frozen, as have all the arguments, for 50 years. We’re now in the land-rush phase, but pretty soon the extreme positions will weaken as they are exposed to the voters.

    It is important for both sides to find a more centrist position, and to expose as much as possible the REAL limits of the other side’s position. The pro-abortion side has been winning of late because they successfully camouflage their second- and third-trimester positions, while the GOP cannot bring themselves to argue that their “horrific” “bans” are pretty much the 1st world standard. Mostly because thy have a hard-core base that wants the NEVER EVER EVER rules and won’t accept an alternative.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  351. AOC cannot run a factory. She cannot run a country. The only thing she can run is her mouth.

    She couldn’t run a lemonade stand. But that will not stop her from bringing chaos if she can. And, when the chaos gets too much, she’ll bring this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GemJWrp0nAM

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  352. So what? If Trump had been reelected, all of Ukraine would now be a part of Russia.

    Also Finland, Norway and the rest of Georgia.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  353. Bush’s flawed Iraq policy.

    I’m of two minds about Iraq. Perhaps it would have been better not to invade and just crush Afghanistan. It certainly would have been better to deal with North Korea in 2003 instead of Iraq. I mean they actually had nuclear ambitions and enforcing the NPT would have made Iran’s choices clearer.

    But Iraq was not a policy blunder. It was an execution blunder. The whole thing with Turkey was fatal to the effort, taking the anvil away from the hammer. W’s weakness there was piss poor.

    After the invasion, Iraq parallels Southern Reconstruction in its progress and eventual political failure. Even the two party’s positions were similar.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  354. @353, Perot was a billionaire with an eclectic personality and a populist message. He was Trump except with military service, a faithful marriage, satisfied business customers and contractors, and a general decency. I still think you need a headliner for the new party that has significant gravitas and some small range of issue positions that can distinguish him/her from the major parties. Now maybe saying I’m not a lying crybaby or dementia riddled ticking bomb is enough. That probably gets my attention.

    But any 3rd party candidate will be pressed for how he/she can cobble together a governing legislative coalition. This can’t just be seen as a vanity exercise or propping up yet someone new who is just not up to the job. We don’t need another used-car salesman or know-little reality tv star. Finding someone with bona fides, who looks presidential, and can handle the scrutiny is no easy task. You literally have no one in media or politics that will help you. That’s where the billions buys access.

    AJ_Liberty (284bff)

  355. Heh! Not “eight”, “right.”

    I bet nk was precocious at eight, too.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  356. Rip Murdock (479f9d) — 1/2/2023 @ 10:34 am

    If Not Kevin, Who?

    ………
    The threat that some of Mr. McCarthy’s allies have dangled — that moderate Republicans could band together with Democrats to elect a Democratic speaker should he fail — is highly improbable.
    ………
    The Deputy: Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana
    ………
    The party’s hard-right flank is not altogether trusting of Mr. Scalise, in part because the whip has sometimes quietly staked out neutral or mainstream positions when his colleagues have gone the other way. …….
    ………
    Still, many rank-and-file lawmakers regard Mr. Scalise as a solid alternative and one seen by some conservative lawmakers as a more palatable option than Mr. McCarthy.

    The Firebrand: Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio
    ……..
    It is unclear whether the more moderate lawmakers in the party would back a bid by Mr. Jordan for speaker. But the Republican has a number of disciples among the far-right group of lawmakers who have vowed to oppose Mr. McCarthy.

    The Dark Horse: Representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina
    ……..
    He is the only Republican lawmaker whose name has been floated as a possible candidate for speaker who voted to certify the 2020 presidential election.

    The MAGA Warrior: Representative Elise Stefanik of New York
    ……..

    Of course it could almost anyone who is stupid enough to want a job which makes herding cats look easy.

    Donald Trump, anyone?

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  357. @360: Yesterday I suggested a Paul Ryan-James Webb ticket. There are others, but neither of those has any pathway withing the major parties, and Ryan is known to retain presidential aspirations.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  358. @362: After Scalise the rest are 10-1 or worse. Stefanik just got savaged by the NYT, and is clearly as unprincipled as McCarthy.

    If I had to bet, it would be on McCarthy, somehow, or Scalise. After that, it’s Pelosi in disgust.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  359. OK, not Pelosi, but Jeffries.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  360. @asset:

    On October 28, U.S. District Court Judge James Sweeney, a Trump appointee, issued an order in Green Party of Indiana v Sullivan, s.d., 1:22cv-518. This case challenges the number of signatures needed for minor party and independent candidates, 2% of the last vote cast for Secretary of State.

    The judge rejected the state’s request to dismiss the case without a trial. The state argued that the law had been upheld in 1985. But, it had only been in effect for one year at that time. Therefore, the judge said, the old decision isn’t binding.

    https://ballot-access.org/2022/12/27/December-2022-ballot-access-news-print-edition/

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  361. Just checking but

    I really don’t know why you’re having kittens about this, and I’ll take the rest of your questions as rhetorical and disingenuous

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/1/2023 @ 1:57 pm

    after accusing me of being rhetorical and disingenuous you’re now having kittens about me not answering:

    Also, what about Azov? That seems to have triggered you.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/2/2023 @ 9:14 am

    to your satisfaction? I’m a little curious what your plan here is. What were you expecting other than the answer I already gave you?

    frosty (fa5689)

  362. A Republican got savaged by the NY Times. Oh heaven no. That is a fate worse than death. If the Times doesn’t support you then it must be because you aren’t pushing the radical left agenda fast enough.

    They do have nice things to say about Romney and Cheney though. They used to be much meaner to those two. I wonder what changed…

    NJRob (3c534e)

  363. Meanwhile, moronic article in WSJ may give more talking points to anti-vaxx:

    Are Vaccines Fueling New Covid Variants?

    “The virus appears to be evolving in ways that evade immunity.”

    News at eleven: evolution favors survival traits

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  364. I’m a little curious what your plan here is. What were you expecting other than the answer I already gave you?

    Given your history, you non-answered just as I expected.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  365. BTW, frosty, I do take your series of questions…

    Is it just now occurring to you that CN would help RU destabilize NATO or try to weaken the US? If that’s news did you know that they are sharing military technology? Or that CN is buying RU oil?

    …to be disingenuous and rhetorical. Patronizing, too.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  366. Also Finland, Norway and the rest of Georgia.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/2/2023 @ 11:19 am

    It’s hard to square this with reality. Given RU’s performance in UKR they would not fare well in FI or NO. They barely made it out of GE as it was. The RU military is having issues with logistics inside RU. They aren’t going to be able to get very far into FI or NO.

    It might make a decent plot for a Tom Clancy book back in the day or one of the modern prepper/apocalypse stories though.

    The back cover would need something really dramatic, “In a world were the US has a RU mole for POTUS and CN has hacked all european countries and turned off the lights Boris and Natasha waltz across the border into FI. This is the story about a group of FI teenagers with ambiguous pronouns who are the last hope against authoritarianism.”

    frosty (fa5689)

  367. When did Russia invade it’s neighboring nations? Under Obama and Biden. It was conspicuously silent during the 4 years inbetween yet the usuals suspects claim nonsense that never existed.

    Why is that?

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 1/2/2023 @ 9:22 am

    Because Trump’s actions furthered Russia’s goals to discredit and delegitimize Ukraine’s government and to drive a wedge between the US and Europe. Trump wavered in his commitment to supporting Europe under Article 5 of the NATO treaty, and reportedly discussed withdrawing from NATO. He repeated Russian disinformation that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in US elections. And he withheld $400M in exchange for Ukraine opening a bogus investigation to discredit the Bidens.

    Why mess things up by invading Ukraine when your adversary is doing your dirty work for you?

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  368. It’s hard to square this with reality. Given RU’s performance in UKR they would not fare well in FI or NO.

    That may be true, but that would not be the basis for Trump’s decision. Or, as it seems, Putin’s.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  369. Because Trump’s actions furthered Russia’s goals to discredit and delegitimize Ukraine’s government and to drive a wedge between the US and Europe.

    No.

    The wedge drivers are the freeloading, dead beat, sponging off the USA EUROPEANS:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpwkdmwui3k&t=5s

    DCSCA (9e058e)

  370. That repetitious cowbell you hear in the background is DCSCA’s 57,234th repetition of his “Not our problem” shtick.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  371. you non-answered just as I expected.

    I gave you an answer you didn’t like. If you want to pretend that was some sort of 4d chess I wish you the best of luck. I was hoping for something more interesting like some set for talking points about the Azov regiment or something.

    …to be disingenuous and rhetorical. Patronizing, too.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/2/2023 @ 12:17 pm

    Why are you complaining when you resort to being disingenuous, rhetorical, and patronizing so often?

    frosty (fd5c57)

  372. That repetitious cowbell you hear in the background is DCSCA’s 57,234th repetition of his “Not our problem” shtick.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/2/2023 @ 12:39 pm

    And that covers just this weekend.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  373. Why are you complaining when you resort to being disingenuous, rhetorical, and patronizing so often?

    Amateurish, frosty, you trying to turn this back on me.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  374. Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/2/2023 @ 11:45 am

    Lee Zeldin

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  375. Gingrich: ‘Never McCarthy’ House Republicans Have a ‘Psychological Problem’

    ……….
    Gingrich said, “This is a fight between a handful of people and the entire rest of the conference. And they’re saying they have the right to screw up everything. Well, the precedent that sets is; so do the moderates, so do the members from Florida. I mean, any five people can get up and say, ‘I’m going to screw up the conference, too.’ The choice is Kevin McCarthy or chaos.”
    …….
    He added, “These five guys decide to go out as kamikazes and see if they can sink the whole Republican Party. That’s what they’re doing. It’s not about Kevin McCarthy. It’s about the right of any five members to basically throw away the entire rest of the conference and tell the rest of the conference it doesn’t matter.”
    ……….
    Gingrich said, “I think it’s a psychological problem. These guys can’t count straight. They can’t play tic-tac-toe. They can’t accept victory.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  376. Rip Murdock (479f9d) — 1/2/2023 @ 1:10 pm

    TrumpWorld not amused.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  377. @338 Exactly 1/3 of independents reliably vote for each party leaving 1/3 that is gettable. Look up independent party voting. You can sell a base candidate to the moderates in the party after all they are moderates then sell a moderate to the base. Example jeb “please clap” bush. Sanders voters voting for jill stien even though bernie ask them to vote for clinton.

    asset (16aee4)

  378. @381 gingrich is the one with mental problems. The constitution says they represent their districts not the donor class of the party. This is why the founders opposed political partys. They are supposed to vote the way their voters want them too!

    asset (16aee4)

  379. @376 It does get old after awhile.

    asset (16aee4)

  380. This is why the founders opposed political partys.

    Washington did, but Washington didn’t need one, being the richest man in America. Everyone else saw their necessity and by the election of 1800 there were two major (and tribal) parties.

    And to be a member of a party means that you give some and you take some. It’s a team. And when some of the blockers are running a draw play when the quarterback called a pass, it just does not work.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  381. Of course, 230 years ago, the richest man in America had wooden teeth. Something to think about when you think about “the good old days.”

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  382. @366 My post was about a far earlier decision when the libertarian party sued for equal ballot access many years ago. The republican appointed judge said putting third partys on ballot equal with R’s and D’s would lead to chaos!

    asset (16aee4)

  383. @383: “Jeb” might have one either of the last two elections as a centrist independent. Not my choice, but in a Biden-Trump contest any port in a storm.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  384. WON

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  385. Public Domain Day 2023

    On January 1, 2023, copyrighted works from 1927 will enter the US public domain. They will be free for all to copy, share, and build upon. These include Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse and the final Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, the German science-fiction film Metropolis and Alfred Hitchcock’s first thriller, compositions by Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller, and a novelty song about ice cream. …….

    Here are just a few of the works that will be in the US public domain in 2023.  …….. (To find more material from 1927, you can visit the Catalogue of Copyright Entries.)
    ……….
    ………There is a lot to celebrate: a modernist masterpiece, poetry from the Harlem Renaissance, children’s verses featuring Winnie-the-Pooh and other characters, and early works from Hemingway and Faulkner. Copyright will also expire over Arthur Conan Doyle’s final Sherlock Holmes stories—you can read more about copyright over characters and the Doyle estate’s attempts to artificially extend rights over Holmes and Dr. Watson.

    [Movies include]:

    Metropolis (directed by Fritz Lang)
    The Jazz Singer (the first feature-length film with synchronized dialogue; directed by Alan Crosland)
    Wings (winner of the first Academy Award for outstanding picture; directed by William A. Wellman)
    Sunrise (directed by F.W. Murnau)
    The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (Alfred Hitchcock’s first thriller)
    The King of Kings (directed by Cecil B. DeMille)
    London After Midnight (now a lost film; directed by Tod Browning)
    The Way of All Flesh (now a lost film; directed by Victor Fleming)
    7th Heaven (inspired the ending of the 2016 film La La Land; directed by Frank Borzage)
    The Kid Brother (starring Harold Lloyd; directed by Ted Wilde)
    The Battle of the Century (starring the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy; directed by Clyde Bruckman)
    Upstream (directed by John Ford)

    1927 marked the beginning of the end of the silent film era……..
    ………..
    This year’s musical line-up includes Broadway hits, early blues songs, jazz standards, and more. Only the musical compositions—the music and lyrics that you might see on a piece of sheet music—are entering the public domain, not the recordings of those songs, which are covered by a separate copyright. …….

    ……….This year no sound recordings are entering the public domain—for that, we will have to wait until January 1, 2024, when recordings from 1923 will become open for legal reuse.  …….
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  386. @376/@378/@385: ‘Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and are established in the present truth.’ – 2 Peter 1:12

    https://www.biblehub.com/2_peter/1-12.htm

    DCSCA (e9a79d)

  387. I would start my guess by pointing out that the prior incursions were nowhere near as ambitious as this one.

    Which would be news to the locals in Crimea.

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

    DCSCA (e9a79d)

  388. Washington did, but Washington didn’t need one, being the richest man in America.

    Hmmmmm. Except he wasn’t; seems Washington, George didn’t make the cut ‘230 years ago..’:

    List of richest Americans in history

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

    This list names the richest American by half decade starting in 1770:

    1770: Peter Manigault
    1775: Robert Morris
    1780: William Bingham
    1785: Benjamin Franklin
    1790: John Hancock
    1795: Elias Hasket Derby
    1800: Thomas Willing
    1805 to 1830: Stephen Girard

    etc.,

    DCSCA (e9a79d)

  389. I know about Murmansk. WWII Lend Lease, Russian Navy Base, big Joint mission air base.
    Zoom in on the border. Look close. Figure out logistics. Invasion overland through Norway looks dubious. Look at nearby Russian military infrastructure vs. complete lack thereof in nearby frontier Norway
    Nearest NATO base is in Bodo, Norway. 500 air miles from Murmansk. Bodo to border is a 17 hour drive through the Russia via Norway. It’s shorter if you drive through Sweden and Finland, but not by much.
    How to conduct this invasion from the Norwegian/Russian frontier with a 1100KM supply line on a slow winding road through swamps, around fjords, herds of reindeer and no airbase?
    (I can’t even see how to evacuate the wounded expeditiously). I don’t think you invade Russia from there.

    steveg (054b24)

  390. Amateurish, frosty, you trying to turn this back on me.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/2/2023 @ 1:01 pm

    I do not regret not being at your level of professionalism.

    frosty (39e40e)

  391. @395. Steve, great comment.

    Time123 (2c8f42)

  392. Wow frosty, you’re even less than pleasant than normal. Were the holiday’s bad this year? Your grandkids decline to spend time with you or something?

    Time123 (2c8f42)

  393. “Jeb” might have one either of the last two elections as a centrist independent. Not my choice, but in a Biden-Trump contest any port in a storm.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/2/2023 @ 1:35 pm

    I’m not sure where this idea is coming from that Jeb would have been a winning candidate in 2016 or 2020. He was clearly being set up to job out to Hillary in 2016 (no way would he have gotten Michigan, Pennsylvania, AND Wisconsin), and the Bush name is completely dead as a viable candidate for anything after Dubya made it electorally toxic for at least a generation. George P. couldn’t even win the primary for Texas AG, and he was probably the family’s last, best hope for carrying on its political legacy.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  394. I partially agree with FWO that the bush name is badly damaged. But I think that HRC was a very beatable candidate and Jeb would have had 50/50 shot at it.

    Time123 (08a85c)

  395. Brazilian Authorities Will Revive Fraud Case Against George Santos
    ………
    ……… law enforcement authorities intend to revive fraud charges against Mr. Santos, and will seek his formal response, prosecutors told The New York Times on Monday.

    The matter, which stemmed from an incident in 2008 regarding a stolen checkbook, had been suspended for the better part of a decade because the police were unable to locate him.

    A spokeswoman for the Rio de Janeiro prosecutor’s office said that with Mr. Santos’s whereabouts identified, a formal request will be made to the U.S. Justice Department to notify him of the charges, a necessary step after which the case will proceed with or without him.
    ……….
    Mr. Santos admitted the fraud to the shop owner in August 2009, writing on Orkut, a popular social media website in Brazil, “I know I screwed up, but I want to pay.” In 2010, he and his mother told the police that he had stolen the checkbook of a man his mother used to work for, and used it to make fraudulent purchases.
    ……….
    Despite his earlier confessions, Mr. Santos has recently denied any criminal involvement, telling The New York Post, “I am not a criminal here — not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  396. The main threat to Norway from Russia isn’t a land invasion (especially with their performance in Ukraine), but Russian cyber and drone attacks on Norwegian oil and gas platforms and pipelines.

    And as we have seen in Ukraine, Russia could launch missiles, artillery, and aircraft against Norway.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  397. Russia will never attack Norway (directly) given the fact Norway is a NATO member.

    Rip Murdock (479f9d)

  398. On January 1, 2023, copyrighted works from 1927 will enter the US public domain. 

    Next year it will be Mickey’s turn, unless they renege again. 95 years is too long, Microsoft MS-DOS 1.0 is protected through 2077.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  399. Up to now, no sound recording has entered the public domain via expiration of copyright. Extending the copyright of an existing work by law is a Taking from the Public Domain and the People.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  400. @394,

    Far be it from me to dispute your Wikipedia research, but many sources put Washington as the wealthiest colonial American. Others have it as Hancock. It really depends on what you measure (e.g. do you count slaves?) and how you bring it to a common valuation.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  401. Norway hasn’t allowed other NATO countries to put military resources within its borders.

    Not true any longer.

    Exercise Cold Response 2022 – NATO and partner forces face the freeze in Norway

    Cold Response has held since 2006.

    Rip Murdock (3b8596)

  402. Factory Working Orphan (bce27d) — 1/2/2023 @ 3:25 pm

    Way to come into the middle of a conversation with a non sequitur correction.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  403. There’s an extradition treaty between Brazil and the USA, which is unfortunate for Mr. Santos.

    Just a month before his 20th birthday, Mr. Santos entered a small clothing store in the Brazilian city of Niterói outside Rio de Janeiro. He spent nearly $700 using a stolen checkbook and a false name, court records show.

    Mr. Santos admitted the fraud to the shop owner in August 2009, writing on Orkut, a popular social media website in Brazil, “I know I screwed up, but I want to pay.” In 2010, he and his mother told the police that he had stolen the checkbook of a man his mother used to work for, and used it to make fraudulent purchases.

    A judge approved the charge in September 2011 and ordered Mr. Santos to respond to the case. But by October, he was already in the United States and working at Dish Network in College Point, Queens, company records show.

    Despite his earlier confessions, Mr. Santos has recently denied any criminal involvement, telling The New York Post, “I am not a criminal here — not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world.”

    It’s a smallish crime, but still a crime. The bigger question is how he gave $705,000 of his own money (purportedly) to his campaign.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  404. Up to now, no sound recording has entered the public domain via expiration of copyright.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/2/2023 @ 4:50 pm

    Not true.

    Rip Murdock (3b8596)

  405. The point was that in a HRC – Trump race or a Biden – Trump race, a centrist candidate might have taken ALL the disaffected voters, or which there were many. Most of the voters for either party hated their candidate but did not want the other party to win. The “Binary choice.”

    My comment was that a centrist alternative a Jeb!-like candidate with adequate backing might have gained enough votes.

    The only case we have in modern times is Perot who got a respectable 19% despite having melted down and quit while the polls showed him LEADING, then re-entered the race late in the game.

    A solid candidate (no, Jeb isn’t my choice either) might have had a chance. But the displeasure with the two parties in 1992 is NOTHING like it is today.

    If I were picking from those who have nothing left to lose, I’d go with Paul Ryan with a centrist Democrat like Jim Webb.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  406. Not true.

    OK, it WAS true until 2022 and the law was passed because it WAS true.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  407. @409: Extraditing a sitting Congressman, especially over a minor infraction, would be a Constitutional issue. More so given that the administration would see a political advantage.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  408. Red Notice?

    nk (a7c26b)

  409. He’s not Brazil’s problem. He’s America’s problem. Let’s see how low we will go. But in any event, let it no more be heard … “Alcee Hastings”.

    nk (a7c26b)

  410. Extraditing a sitting Congressman, especially over a minor infraction, would be a Constitutional issue.

    How so? Unlike other countries, there is no immunity for members of Congress. Aside from the the political optics, I don’t see any Constitutional issue. I’m sure it will be debated in the media for the next couple of weeks.

    Santos is in the catbird seat. McCarthy needs his vote to become Speaker, and his vote on his legislative program. And the Republicans don’t have the votes to expel him (I assume the Democrats will want hang this around the Republicans necks for awhile.)

    Rip Murdock (3b8596)

  411. “Alcee Hastings”

    How bad was it?

    In 1981, after a sting operation by the FBI against attorney and alleged co-conspirator William Borders, Hastings was charged with conspiracy to solicit a $150,000 bribe (equivalent to $447,090 in 2021) in exchange for a lenient sentence for Frank and Thomas Romano on 21 counts of racketeering and the return of their seized assets.

    In his 1983 trial, Hastings was acquitted by a jury after Borders refused to testify in court, despite having been convicted in his own trial in 1982.[7] Borders went to jail for accepting the first $25,000 payment, but was later given a full pardon by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office.

    Hastings was then impeached and convicted, then got elected to Congress.

    I think that Hastings still holds the honors.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  412. Do you suppose that Clinton pardoned Marc Rich to avoid the scandal of pardoning Borders?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  413. And the Republicans don’t have the votes to expel him (I assume the Democrats will want hang this around the Republicans necks for awhile.)

    The Democrats cannot refuse to expel him, or they own him.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  414. Let me think of creative ways to get rid of Ilhan Omar. Perhaps Somalia has a warrant.

    I think that you’ll find that Congresspeople have immunity from extradition. They have diplomatic passports when abroad.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  415. Scary and sad and tragic moment on Monday Night Football, and it looks like they’ll cancel the game.
    I saw the hit that paralyzed Darrell Stingley back in ’78, and it feels like the same thing. They’re saying Hamlin has a pulse but cannot breathe on his own.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  416. The Democrats cannot refuse to expel him, or they own him.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/2/2023 @ 6:33 pm

    We’ll see.

    Rip Murdock (3b8596)

  417. That assumes the Ethics Committee recommends expulsion, those investigations take months.

    Rip Murdock (3b8596)

  418. Paul, he got up fine, walked 2 steps and collapsed.

    24 year old. No health issues.

    NJRob (512bc6)

  419. 395,

    Yep. I agreed with your land invasion theory. That isn’t the strategic threat that Norway represents.

    What you are describing is the result of post WWII decisions by NO and NATO. It has nothing to do with it being remote. There is no US base across the border in Norway because, even though they are part of NATO, Norway won’t allow it. If they did and the US thought they could get away with it there would be something there.

    The argument that RU shouldn’t have a problem with a NATO country because of Norway doesn’t work. It ignores 70+ years of history and the stated policies of a whole host of countries. If this is coming from the idea that Putin made up this NATO issue recently as a pretext that doesn’t work either. It wasn’t made up recently or by Putin. It was a defining element of the Cold War.

    frosty (5da517)

  420. I doubt that Santos will be expelled over his prevarications while campaigning (if that happened just everyone would be gone), only if he was charged/convicted with a crime. Again, a months long process.

    Rip Murdock (3b8596)

  421. Damar Hamlin

    Age: 24 Free Agency: 2025 (UFA)Accrued Seasons: 2
    Height: 6’1″Weight: 195 College: Pittsburgh
    Entry: 2021 Draft, Round 6, #212 overall (Bills)
    2022 Salary Cap Charge: $865,119 (0.41% of cap)
    2022 Cash Payout: $825,000 (0.31% of spending)
    2022 Cash to Cap Ratio: 0.95
    Contract Value: $3,640,476 ($910,119 APY)
    Fully Guaranteed Money: $160,476
    Contract Ranking: 126/198 at S
    2022 OTC Valuation: $5,123,000

    https://overthecap.com/player/damar-hamlin/9676

    DCSCA (7751dc)

  422. 398,

    Hey time. Nice to see you commenting.

    frosty (5da517)

  423. New Norway – USA Defense Agreement Allows Extensive US Authority in the North
    ………
    According to the agreement, the USA will have unconditional right to access and use of four “agreed areas”. In Northern Norway, the two areas in question are Ramsund Naval Base and Evenes Air Base.

    So-called “agreed areas” are basically limited places to be used jointly by the USA, Norway, and other allies for military purposes. In these areas, the USA can conduct training and exercise, deploy forces and store equipment, supplies, and other gear.

    The agreement also opens up for providing the USA with exclusive access and right of use to parts of the areas following special agreements. In and immediately near these areas the USA will also have authority to exert authority over Norwegian citizens.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (3b8596)

  424. Paul, he got up fine, walked 2 steps and collapsed.
    24 year old. No health issues.

    Don’t tell me you’re going to be one of those Instapundit nutjobs and say the vax did it.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  425. He does have an edgy game play history:

    Damar Hamlin ejected for brutal hit on Jakobi Meyers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLWrruXl3dM

    Damar Hamlin Late Hit on Kenny Pickett | Steelers vs Bills

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwZim2kZ39w&t=7s

    DCSCA (7751dc)

  426. Don’t tell me you’re going to be one of those Instapundit nutjobs and say the vax did it.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 1/2/2023 @ 7:14 pm

    They will.

    Rip Murdock (3b8596)

  427. Paul,

    Unlike you I’m not speculating. Try and not be a jerk for once. I’m correcting your remarks about the hit.

    NJRob (512bc6)

  428. Rip loves his freepers.

    NJRob (512bc6)

  429. Rip loves his freepers.

    NJRob (512bc6) — 1/2/2023 @ 7:22 pm

    Just exposing their craziness. 🤪

    Rip Murdock (3b8596)

  430. People are already saying that on the Twitter feed that you linked, Paul.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  431. Rip loves his freepers.

    NJRob (512bc6) — 1/2/2023 @ 7:22 pm

    Just exposing their craziness. 🤪

    Rip Murdock (3b8596) — 1/2/2023 @ 7:26 pm

    In fact they remind me of you.

    Rip Murdock (3b8596)

  432. Sports doc says not a vaccine issue but a heart cycle matter timed w/t hit:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-G9mziXL9w&t=1s

    DCSCA (7751dc)

  433. They remind you of yourself Rip. I agree.

    NJRob (512bc6)

  434. I’m correcting your remarks about the hit.

    No, you didn’t, Rob, because my link showed the hit. Speaking of jerks, try again.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  435. Paul,

    Keep doubling down. You’re on block for now. Tired of your nasty trolling.

    NJRob (512bc6)

  436. Actually, the video I intended to show was deleted, but I saw the hit the same as you, Rob.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  437. That’s fine, Rob, block me, but everyone knows you’re the asshole around here.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  438. But here it is, from another source, until Musk deletes that one.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  439. Such is the role television plays in professional sports today…

    Should the game have been stopped/suspended and another player sent in off the bench and played on? It is a rough and tumble sport after all.

    Consider even WW2’s Tojo and Adolf dented, but couldn’t stop football or baseball games playing on. Hamlin’s standard NFL medicals may have missed a pre-existing problem– or it was a fluke hit.

    https://pearlharbor.org/american-sports-during-world-war-ii/

    DCSCA (7751dc)

  440. Here’s Instapundit at its worst.
    Dude1394: Democrat mandated Covid vaccine killed him…
    JimmyCrackCorn: Another vax success story
    Fred the Head: This man was coerced into getting vaxxed, no doubt.
    FedoratheExplorer
    Ancient Aviator: VAXed? Or do we ignore the vax as we do muzzie terrorist adventures?
    The Masked Marvel: What’s the betting that half this comment thread will declare any autopsy report that doesn’t blame the jab to be fake?
    Stanmo42: It’s the VAX

    It just goes on and on. This is the Batsh-t Party, folks.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  441. 445,

    There’s that civility and pleasantness nk was looking for. And the professionalism.

    frosty (f3184e)

  442. @406. Given the sources they listed, it is peculiar that he’s not even mentioned on any of the listings.

    DCSCA (7751dc)

  443. They remind you of yourself Rip. I agree.

    NJRob (512bc6) — 1/2/2023 @ 7:37 pm

    Actually they are the opposite.

    Rip Murdock (3b8596)

  444. It just goes on and on. This is the Batsh-t Party, folks.

    Go easy on yourself- blame your go-to guy:

    “It’s Putin’s fault.”

    DCSCA (7751dc)

  445. One possibility is commotio cordis, which explains the CPR, and may well have saved his life.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  446. Kevin mccarthy in a last desperate attempt to get george santos’s vote has proposed gutting the office of congressional ethics to protect santos.

    asset (3d5d2d)

  447. Let’s hope for the best for Hamlin and his family. I suppose it’s good news that his condition is still fluid. It’s just sobering to think how many times he has probably made a similar tackle. It’s got to be a helpless and numbing feeling for the family. Best thoughts.

    AJ_Liberty (f6c977)

  448. I remember Daryl Stingley hit. Jack Tatum.

    asset (3d5d2d)

  449. “You two always resort to tone-policing”

    The blog here is certainly not huge….maybe 20 regular commenters and another 10 or so that emerge occasionally. Perhaps best described as a weird dysfunctional family of sorts….without the love and investment. I’m sure the reasons that folks post here also spans the gambit. There’s no doubt that conversation might languish if there was no disagreement….or differences of philosophy. No one here wants complete group-think. But too, no one wants to be insulted or abused by bad faith argumentation.

    It’s a weird time politically. And many of us use this site to process the weirdness…and hope for it to pass. It’s strange to me that some are here specifically to spit at NeverTrump…all 14 of us here, with Patterico out there…somewhere. It’s become less about persuasion and more about just hectoring…as if the gray crayola is missing from their box. Yeah I wish we could be more civil and less abusive….some are unable, others are just running out of patience. It’s hard when you feel like you’ve run out of other cheeks to turn.

    Some just bring a nastiness that couldn’t last long face-to-face. Maybe friends of 20 years can call me….what was it….a coward mewling bromides….and we can chuckle about the aptness or inaptness of that. But it’s tough to take seriously from a stranger hyped up on his own self righteousness. It’s the whole walking in the shoes thing and hesitating…a bit…in throwing that glass-breaking stone.

    We all out-punt our coverage occasionally. And it’s a really imperfect medium…without edit buttons or the least bit of accountability. We can be historically wrong and mean….and here and only here…not lose much reputation or standing. What temptation. It’s interesting as a dynamic. The Golden Rule turned on its head: do unto others because you know they’re just waiting to do it unto you…and good and hard. Is this who we are…who we want to be….or is there a better us that has more to offer? Pffft indeed.

    AJ_Liberty (f6c977)

  450. One possibility is commotio cordis, which explains the CPR, and may well have saved his life.

    Initially I thought an aneurysm had popped, but you don’t revive from that so maybe you’re right.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  451. @457 Almost everyone here disagrees with me because they are more conservative then I am. Norman mailer was once asked why he claimed to be the best writer he said I get in the ring and see if somebody can knock me out! I do the same. I argue without name calling or personal attack and most do the same back.

    asset (3d5d2d)

  452. @457. Thanks for as usual taking the high road. I’m not as good a Christian, but I’ll try not to stray too far.

    Civility matters because, in addition to civility being a virtue in and of itself, Gresham’s Law of the Internet is a thing. More than one erstwhile Patterico commenter has told us they were driven out by the insults and animosity. Who knows how many others were too that just we don’t know about? Few of us may complain about it, but the loss of those contributions is a price we all pay. Not many hands here are perfectly clean — mine aren’t — but the small clique of anti-anti-Trumpers who wield incivility as a cudgel in their jihad against RINO apostates disseminate the vast bulk of that toxicity. Some of us do occasionally lose patience and respond in kind. Even that “occasionally” is too often, but let’s keep some perspective.

    If saying those things makes me a hall monitor or the tone police, well… I don’t think it does but I can live with it. If “hall monitor” and “tone police” were the worst things anyone was called around here, we’d be doing great.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  453. @459. FWIW I very much appreciate your genial manner. I confess I find your views as nutty, often even objectionable, as I do those of the anti-anti-Trumpers, but your refusal to sink to name-calling or other personal attacks makes you IMO a welcome part of the mix.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  454. that just we don’t know about *Sigh* You know what I mean. Serves me right for trying to be coherent at this hour.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  455. Since we learned that vaccination does not prevent Covid transmission — vaccinated persons can still contract the disease and infect others — but it does make for a much less severe disease in, and a much higher survival rate for, the vaccinated, we might as well let the anti-vaxxers be the voluntary universal control sample if that’s what they want.

    nk (c51fab)

  456. 457 and 460,

    If you don’t want the things you complain about then don’t do them. Complaining about running out of cheeks to turn or the vast bulk of toxicity coming from other people is just picking and choosing what you count. We’ve got a few people that run counter to the common views here so this issue of the small clique is an issue of concentration and not total volume. If the cohort of people who usually complain about insults and trolls themselves stopped insulting and trolling we’d probably get down to one, or maybe two, people who were trolling into the wind.

    And I think a lot of the problem is

    I find your views as nutty, often even objectionable

    which is to say, there’s a lot of commenters who simply find the views expressed by others worthy of a response “in kind”, no matter how they are expressed, but don’t see how that could also apply to themselves. And then complain about the other person degrading the conversation when they push back.

    I’ve also seen people change their position, or mischaracterize others, simply because they need to be on the other side of someone. And then complain about the other person pointing out their hypocrisy or mischaracterization.

    An additional problem is that a number of commenters have staked out positions they’re going to have trouble walking back. Their options will be to either stop commenting, or threaten to, and likely complain they’re doing it because of toxicity, or try to drive off anyone that brings up one of the things they want to forget. Both options will require a lot of baiting and complaining.

    frosty (5da517)

  457. 463,

    I’m amazed that this was ever a controversial topic.

    frosty (5da517)

  458. AJ_Liberty (f6c977) — 1/2/2023 @ 9:54 pm

    This is navel-gazing on a level that shouldn’t be possible.

    Civility matters because, in addition to civility being a virtue in and of itself, Gresham’s Law of the Internet is a thing.

    What a shock that lurker cited a neocon Democrat rag that argues for censoring conservatives who espouse wrongthink.

    the small clique of anti-anti-Trumpers who wield incivility as a cudgel in their jihad against RINO apostates disseminate the vast bulk of that toxicity.

    There’s nothing toxic about strong disagreements, and to the extent it becomes personal, well, that’s mainly because your side is as invested in your own political tribalism as ours is, even though you like to pretend otherwise. Remember, this all started back when the Tea Party started in up, first in response to the TARP bailouts, then when the establishment GOP responded to that populist upsurge by blithely dismissing the frustrations the party’s base had with their policies. Even Patterico has admitted that the GOPe’s response was to give the Tea Party base “the back of their hand,” yet you guys continue to be baffled as to why the Tea Party voters simply decided that you weren’t worth the effort anymore. It’s not that you’re “apostates,” it’s because you’re a bunch of smug do-nothings who’d rather pontificate on “ideas,” rather than stick your necks out for anything other than stomping on social conservatives, and selling the country out so you can save 10% on your retail purchases to buy cheap crap from one of our main global adversaries.

    we might as well let the anti-vaxxers be the voluntary universal control sample if that’s what they want.

    nk (c51fab) — 1/3/2023 @ 4:55 am

    If it means more Branch Covidian vaxxers dying of cardiac arrest like Julie Powell, I’m fine with that.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  459. And along comes the buzzword regurgitator to prove AJ_Liberty right.

    But “neocon Democrat rag”? Good grief!

    nk (c51fab)

  460. And why Julie Powell? Did she cut in front of you in line at the Walmart or something?

    nk (c51fab)

  461. And along comes the buzzword regurgitator to prove AJ_Liberty right.

    Magnificent circular reasoning from Mr. “Spray ’em with DDT”.

    But “neocon Democrat rag”? Good grief!

    nk (c51fab) — 1/3/2023 @ 6:21 am

    Seems nk doesn’t like an accurate description of the people who run The Bulwark.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  462. I don’t like meaningless nonsense pulled at random out of a paper shredder.

    nk (c51fab)

  463. Hey, it was worth a try.

    AJ_Liberty (f6c977)

  464. And why Julie Powell? Did she cut in front of you in line at the Walmart or something?

    nk (c51fab) — 1/3/2023 @ 6:25 am

    Just a couple of choice cuts from the late, unlamented “Julie and Julia” author:

    Julie Powell
    @licjulie
    Replying to
    @queerBengali
    I would argue that COVID does kill some of the right people. The anti-vaxxers/maskers are dying in legions.

    But yes. It’s a real shame about Kavanaugh.
    9:55 AM · Oct 1, 2021

    Julie Powell
    @licjulie
    I really can see the argument for slaughtering white people in the streets. It’s not going to happen, because most people are better than me, but Jesus. I see the temptation.

    I’m gonna get banned, aren’t i?
    12:32 AM · Jul 10, 2020

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  465. I don’t like meaningless nonsense pulled at random out of a paper shredder.

    nk (c51fab) — 1/3/2023 @ 6:27 am

    Yes, I realize reading anything that wasn’t hyperlinked for you, and accurate descriptions of your allies is a challenge. That’s why you hide your lack of substance on anything and everything behind your own meaningless glibness.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  466. Heh!

    nk (c51fab)

  467. which is to say, there’s a lot of commenters who simply find the views expressed by others worthy of a response “in kind”, no matter how they are expressed, but don’t see how that could also apply to themselves. And then complain about the other person degrading the conversation when they push back.

    frosty nails it

    there’s also the fact that commenters of a certain political bent know they can get away with a certain level of insult, and they leverage that to the hilt

    I doubt you or I could get away with calling another commenter an “asshole”

    JF (c398c2)

  468. I don’t like meaningless nonsense pulled at random out of a paper shredder.
    nk (c51fab) — 1/3/2023 @ 6:27 am

    any more Brokeback Mountain thoughts??

    JF (c398c2)

  469. Flat Earthers take any hint of disagreement as a personal attack.

    nk (c51fab)

  470. Hey, it was worth a try.

    AJ_Liberty (f6c977) — 1/3/2023 @ 6:28 am

    Ah, the beauty there is what “it” is that you are referring to. Again, if you really want less trolling and snark then start with your own comments.

    It’s one thing for someone like felipe to come in and post a comment like that.

    It’s another for someone hip deep in mud, standing beside their own barrel full of mud, and flinging mud with both hands, to bemoan the current tragedy of mud flinging while trying to catch their breath.

    frosty (5da517)

  471. And they respond accordingly.

    nk (c51fab)

  472. With non-sequitors.

    nk (c51fab)

  473. JF,

    And that was the second insult by the same person. The first was to try and put words in my mouth when all I did was say the guybstood up and walked so it’s not a spinal paralysis.

    But that’s common for many who aren’t social conservatives.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  474. Well said frosty and FWO.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  475. NJRob (eb56c3) — 1/3/2023 @ 7:29 am

    yes, and it’s hilarious how the tone police didn’t call that out, then launched into a thesis on civility just a few comments later, targeted elsewhere of course

    JF (c398c2)

  476. 475,

    I feel like the d1psh!t comment would also trigger constructive feedback going in a different direction.

    Once you see the pattern though it helps keep things in perspective.

    frosty (5da517)

  477. Hamelin’s been diagnosed as having a heart attack on the field.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  478. 483,

    That’s basic gaslighting. I’m not sure all of it’s even on purpose. Conversations that can’t be controlled can create a lot of anxiety and that will trigger an automatic response.

    frosty (5da517)

  479. Sudden cardiac death among young athletes has been around a lot longer than Covid vaccines.

    nk (c51fab)

  480. Correction. Cardiac arrest. To a layman they’re interchangable, but a medical doctor would correct me. And an AED is only used to restart the heart after electrical impulses go haywire.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  481. Usually, they’re younger athletes, with undetected congenital defects. By age 24, it has already had a chance to happen.

    I’m not clear about the (rare) connection between a Covid vaccine and heart issues – probably an autoimmune response. One of the reasons the vaccine stop working is that the antigens are very limited.

    Sammy Finkelman (83f81b)

  482. George Santos has noo only lied – he misled people and lied about what lies he told.

    I think some lawyers could]d be in trouble.

    Sammy Finkelman (83f81b)

  483. frosty: “It’s one thing for someone like felipe to come in and post a comment like that. It’s another for someone hip deep in mud, standing beside their own barrel full of mud, and flinging mud with both hands…”

    If you hate me soooo much, why don’t you just ignore my comments. My 2023 resolution is to only interact with people who are civil. Maybe we can chat again next year.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  484. Kevin McCarthy tried to make some concessions but it’s not enough.

    Nobody may actually be sworn in in the House because that comes after the election of a Speaker. The first steps are a prayer, then the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, then a quorum call..

    Kevin McCarthy will not win on the first ballot. There may be as many as 15 votes for Biggs or some other Republican., Some of the people voting against him may just want to fulfil their commitment, There will be a second ballot, with the Biggs people introducing a second, alternative candidate. It may go a few ballots, then a recess till tomorrow.,

    One possibility, if the deadlock continues, could be maybe to elect a temporary Speaker (they always have one anyway, I think) just to allow the House to be organized, committee members appointed etc.- this would have be a member who is almost retired.

    Sammy Finkelman (83f81b)

  485. I see the Love is spreading all around already in 2023. Do better, AJ. Leave the BS opinions and eloquent obfuscations to the legal professionals who do it for a living.

    Colonel Haiku (468d09)

  486. If you hate me soooo much,

    I don’t hate you. And I certainly don’t hate you “sooo” much. But this is part of my point. You’re mind reading and projecting your bias on to me. If I made this comment to you you’d call it out and one or two others would join in. It will be interesting to see what that same cohort does with your comment.

    why don’t you just ignore my comments.

    Why do you need to control the conversation?

    My 2023 resolution is to only interact with people who are civil. Maybe we can chat again next year.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 1/3/2023 @ 8:27 am

    Good luck. Based on your comment history this might get difficult and lonely fast.

    frosty (fd5c57)

  487. I have never met an internet thread that stays entirely civil. I don’t find the threads here unusually nasty.

    Appalled (7f0c63)

  488. And it’s a really imperfect medium

    Indeed. Face-to-face you have body language, facial express and tone of voice to moderate words spoken. There is always the reluctance to get punched in the mouth that requires some diplomacy.

    God knows I stray over the line, too. It’s so easy sitting here behind a keyboard to forget that the unfortunately misinformed target of my wit still deserves whatever minimum high regard I can muster. I always try to do better, and I effing hate to make amends, so I try to avoid creating the necessity.

    Still, if something I post seems too biting, please remember that the tone you see as you read it may not be the tone I meant when I wrote it.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  489. I probably owe a general apology to some. Notably frosty, FWO and NJRob who I probably disagree with most often, and whom I probably could address more reasonably than I have.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  490. Kevin McCarthy tried to make some concessions but it’s not enough.

    And at the same time, it’s too much. He has probably lost net votes with these concessions. Pandering to your enemies at the expense of your friends is a losing game.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  491. we might as well let the anti-vaxxers be the voluntary universal control sample if that’s what they want.

    Yes. I agree. Forcing vaccinations on people, in general is unwise. I still feel that those employed as caretakers for the aged or immunocompromised should be vaccinated as a condition of that employment. They can always find the same work with less vulnerable clients.

    But otherwise, vaya con Dios.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  492. McCarthy Proposes Gutting Office of Congressional Ethics in Bid for Speaker
    ……….
    ……….McCarthy’s proposal would require OCE to hire its staff for the 118th Congress within 30 days of the resolution’s adoption, a requirement that sources familiar with the process tell TIME would make it exceedingly difficult for the office to have the resources it needs to conduct its investigations, given how long it takes to hire candidates for roles in the federal government. The proposal would also block OCE from hiring new employees over the next two years if someone leaves their position, sources say.
    ……..
    The resolution would also impose eight-year term limits for members of OCE’s eight-member board, which is composed of four Democrats and four Republicans. The move would result in three of the four Democrats being forced to vacate their seats effective immediately. ……
    ……..
    Some of the defectors also happen to be among the lawmakers who stand to benefit the most from a castrated OCE. Last month, more than 30 former members of Congress of both parties requested the ethics panel to investigate the lawmakers who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021 attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, a move that increases the spotlight on OCE and which investigations it chooses to pursue in the new Congress.

    The OCE was also expected to investigate George Santos, the Republican Congressman-elect from New York who appears to have fabricated large swaths of his biography, including his employment history, his educational credentials, and even the circumstances of his mother’s death.
    ………
    ………The panel was intended to be an independent body separate from the House Ethics Committee, which advocates have long criticized as ineffectual and lacking in transparency.

    But the two work hand-in-hand. When the OCE finds evidence of misconduct, it sends a report of its findings to the House Ethics Committee, which then chooses whether to censure a member for a violation.
    ……….

    George Santos most relieved.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  493. I’m amazed that this was ever a controversial topic.

    1) Hindsight is wonderful.

    2) You may think that Covid was “just a bad flu” and maybe it was for you, but people my age and older were watching friends die in 2020 and 2021 and really didn’t think that your irrational fear of a vaccine was worth considering.

    3) If someone talks to me about the “death jab” I will know they are a fukwit. I may not SAY exactly that — civility — but I will certainly think that and discontinue the conversation.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  494. 497,

    For what’s it’s worth I’d say no apology is needed. I agree with you on somethings and others not so much. Reasonable people can disagree. I consider the back and forth to have improved, in a relative sense, my ability to make and defend a point, given me a thicker skin, and helped me view different perspectives.

    Some days I see it as a sparing partner situation. Other days Cato and Clouseau. (neither of those comparisons is meant to be an insult)

    Some days I even get a laugh. Especially when I thought I agreed with someone but a minor point gets a different response than expected and it’s Donkey Kong time.

    frosty (fd5c57)

  495. Kevin McCarthy would have a hard time losing net votes, except for maybe giving his opponents more hope, because his friends have nowhere to turn It may make them more ready to give up – but there’s not too people who would be more amenable to the 15 or so and also more amenable to those among the 200 who don;t like the concessions.

    The House of Representatives is split:

    212 mostly solid Democrats

    208-213 Republicans McCarthy has managed to corral. This can reach a maximum of 217 but it’s really less

    9-14 Never McCarthy Republicans (from the right side of the spectrum)

    1 vacancy (a re-elected Democrat from Virginia who died in late November)

    And the thing about his opponents – House ethics rules , committee assignments and investigations they can get, but to get any legislation, it needs to pass the Senate, avoid a filibuster and/or be part of a deal (and they’re against big bills) and get President Biden’s agreement.

    They are not going to remove those 87,000 new IRS agents or de-appropriate spending with the House alone. They asked fir more membership on committees, but did they ask fr more representation on conference committees?

    Sammy Finkelman (83f81b)

  496. RIP Fred White (67); drummer for Earth, Wind, Fire.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  497. What the OCE and the House Ethics Committee in the past seem to have done is make sure to balance the number of Republicans and Democrats accused of something

    Sammy Finkelman (83f81b)

  498. Kevin M,

    No apology needed. I know you are genuine in your beliefs and speak them honestly and from personal experience. Reasonable people can disagree and do so honestly and passionately.

    What gets me is that this site used to have people from all over the political spectrum, but they were honest about their beliefs and political positions. That’s changed over the past few years and the discourse is worse for it. People should be honest about their positions as it’s impossible to have a reasonable discussion without it. It’s why I hate mobys so much. They are there to manipulate and destroy. No reasonable discussion is possible with them poisoning the well.

    Lastly,

    If you are a social leftist, you’re a libertarian (at best) or a leftist. You cannot claim to be a conservative. This ia a general remark and not intended for any specific person.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  499. AJ, I think it’s about what you’re looking to get from interacting in the comments section here. I’m glad you do as I find your comments often to be thought provoking and interesting. When I post a serious comment I’m usually trying to better understand something. The act of creating the comment forces me to organize my thoughts and present my idea. The reaction from some of the more thoughtful commenters here helps me refine or change my thinking based on the information presented. I think you’re getting something similar, (only with much better writing). I also get value in understanding others points of view. Among other’s Dustin, Whembly, and FWO have been helpful and kind enough to explain to me how they view things, which I appreciate.

    What I want (and what I think you want) requires civility.

    Not everyone here is after the same thing. Some regular commenters are seem more interested in yelling at people they view as their ‘enemies’ and sharing conspiracy theories.

    The comment section is essentially unmoderated at this point unless you email a specific complaint so you either need to use the blocking script or skim past the less sane/honest commenters.

    Time123 (4e5652)

  500. 1) Hindsight is wonderful.

    I never said anything that wasn’t known at the time and I’m not saying anything now that I didn’t say them. I haven’t needed to make a hindsight adjustment.

    2) You may think that Covid was “just a bad flu” and maybe it was for you, but people my age and older were watching friends die in 2020 and 2021 and really didn’t think that your irrational fear of a vaccine was worth considering.

    I never said it was a bad flu. Early on I actually said that it wasn’t. I also said that because it wasn’t a lot of people would see friends die and that watching friends die in 2020 would make people irrational. It did.

    I never had a fear of the vaccine, rational or otherwise. I never told anyone to not get the vaccine. I never implied that anyone shouldn’t get the vaccine. I pointed out what was obvious then and what people are starting to slowly, and very begrudgingly, acknowledge now.

    3) If someone talks to me about the “death jab” I will know they are a fukwit. I may not SAY exactly that — civility — but I will certainly think that and discontinue the conversation.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/3/2023 @ 9:19 am

    I feel this way about people who still push 2020 covid “but the science” talking points. Well, not exactly this way. Is there some version of fascistwit? But I also understand the irrational fear and the need to have some level of control. Even if illusory. So, I don’t see any reason to discontinue the conversation.

    frosty (fd5c57)

  501. 503,

    The link hits a paywall so I’ll ask; is it an effort to blame all vaccines or one specific vaccine? If it’s the later do you consider the text you included with the link in your comment to be an honest summary of that?

    frosty (fd5c57)

  502. “The inevitable, grotesque effort to blame vaccines for Damar Hamlin’s collapse” is WaPo’s headline, not Rip’s commentary.

    nk (c51fab)

  503. 507,

    It’s true that a moby pollutes discussion but only to a degree. They’re usually obvious once you see the pattern. Then you can engage them without getting pulled into the briar patch.

    The question is why are you engaging? If it’s to persuade them then it’s a lost cause. You’re just wasting time. There are reasons to engage but that shouldn’t be one of them.

    frosty (5da517)

  504. 511,

    A) that doesn’t change my question and B) you can probably give Rip a few minutes to post the usual “I’m not responsible for anything I copy-paste” disclaimer and C) I think those disclaimers are implied on his posts at this point.

    You’re also welcome to answer the question if you’d like.

    frosty (5da517)

  505. If you are a social leftist, you’re a libertarian (at best) or a leftist. You cannot claim to be a conservative. This ia a general remark and not intended for any specific person.

    I guess you have to define “conservative” then. I could reasonably argue that a New Deal Democrat was a “conservative” — they want to keep things as they were 70 years ago. Such a New Deal conservative might argue that a “social conservative” who otherwise favored small government was not a “conservative” at all.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  506. 503,

    The link hits a paywall so I’ll ask; is it an effort to blame all vaccines or one specific vaccine? If it’s the later do you consider the text you included with the link in your comment to be an honest summary of that?

    frosty (fd5c57) — 1/3/2023 @ 9:50 am

    Here is a free link.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  507. watching friends die in 2020 would make people irrational. It did.

    Actually, a defensive reaction to people like me dying is entirely rational. Almost the definition of rational.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  508. you can probably give Rip a few minutes to post the usual “I’m not responsible for anything I copy-paste” disclaimer

    I am responsible for what I post, but the views I post are for discussion, not to generate an echo chamber.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  509. Thank you, Rip!

    nk (c51fab)

  510. Appalled: “I have never met an internet thread that stays entirely civil. I don’t find the threads here unusually nasty”

    Unusually? I probably agree. But please check out the Dispatch at some point. It’s rare for people to hurl “liar” and trolling is minimal. Maybe it comes down to if you’re paying for something, you value it more. I used to enjoy Volokh’s threads because you had actual lawyers (and judges) making informed and respectful comments. Trolls and performance artists kind of make it a sh*t show any more. It’s not amusing to me to watch people acting at their worst and ideological (and personal) grudges that rage daily for years.

    Now when Patt was more actively involved, there was more consequence attached to personal attacks. A warning or two and then you were gone (mg most recently). He was also diligent in policing misrepresentation…mainly in terms of what he had written but generally too. I think with him stepping back and a dwindling commentariat, babysitting is not especially worth the time and trouble and self-policing has proven ineffective.

    I do agree that it’s difficult to remain civil. But who instigates and who responds? Does Time123 not comment as much any more because he bored of making personal attacks against others? Yeah right, no. nk sticks up for him and now nk is supposedly abusive. I don’t think so. Some here actively play games because they can and there’s no consequence…they thrive on spinning people up and then play the martyr. The site does need an injection of new blood…..but I understand why some prefer the Dispatch and Bulwark…less personal, but also less personal, if you get me. Again, I know why I came to this site and participate….it was Patt’s and Dana’s perspectives. I’m not sure why some others are here…there seems to be general derision of those perspectives. At least that’s how I see it…

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  511. What the vaccine debate has shown to me is that the lack of numeracy in most of the adult population is a clear and present danger. Did not used to be that way.

    Being able to compare odds and realize the nature of risk is a prime (npi) aspect of numeracy. When people allow a 1 in 10 million threat to dissuade them from getting a vaccine for something that kills 1 in 100 who contract it (a 5 order of magnitude difference) then they really ought not be allowed to go outside lest they injure themselves.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  512. Operation Warp Speed to bring out the vaccine was likely Trump’s most selfless act in office given the reaction from his most faithful.

    nk (c51fab)

  513. @519. Echo chambers.

    DCSCA (d69388)

  514. 1785: Benjamin Franklin

    Benjamin Franklin?

    Sammy Finkelman (83f81b)

  515. Kevin McCarthy tried to make some concessions but it’s not enough.

    So the last of the swampy, boastful Young Guns [Cantor, Ryan, McCarthy] is shooting blanks? 😉

    DCSCA (d69388)

  516. @523. Not surprising; he invented a lot of stuff; bifocals, stoves, etc.,.

    DCSCA (d69388)

  517. They don’t teach math in an understandable way, to avoid racial issues. So kids just can’t grasp math concepts.

    DRJ (676a53)

  518. And it has been that way for 20+ years, more in some places, so multiple generations of adults were affected.

    DRJ (676a53)

  519. Operation Warp Speed to bring out the vaccine was likely Trump’s most selfless act in office given the reaction from his most faithful.

    And then they back-stabbed him by foot-dragging on the vaccine announcement until after the election. That (and many other things, some within Trump’s control) was the difference in a very close election.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  520. Franklin was the Bill Gates/Elon Musk of his era.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  521. @Kevin@520 I don’t think it’s a lack of numeracy, as much as people paying more attention to the shouting rather than the numbers. THIS PERSON MAYBE DIED OF VACCINE is getting way more play at a far higher volume in some places than that person 1,096,689 died of Covid.

    Nic (896fdf)

  522. Second ballot in progress. Kevin McCarthy is on course to lose this one also. There are about 19 holdouts. They are voting for Jim Jordan this time. Jordan has endorsed McCarthy. He’s their idea if a compromise candidate. If they don’t adjourn or recess, they just keep voting.

    Sammy Finkelman (83f81b)

  523. i know Franklin invented the “Franklin stove” whatever that is,

    Also started the Post Office and the public library in Philadelphia.

    Sammy Finkelman (83f81b)

  524. And believed in Pennsylvania printing money in 1729-30 (backed by land)

    Sammy Finkelman (83f81b)

  525. Even if they get nothing else, the core holdouts will want to be responsible for defeating the presumptive Speaker. It will mean they did something.

    Now, actually, the people who hate McCarthy the most are the No More Trumpers. The result could be more moderate. But they don’t care about that.

    This is like an old-time Presidential nominating convention.

    Sammy Finkelman (83f81b)

  526. It went to 9 ballots in 1923m and was resolved because they changed the rules for electing a Speaker.

    Sammy Finkelman (83f81b)

  527. @526 I was taught math the old fashion way back in the 1950’s and I still come up with 2+2 =3!

    asset (7ec37e)

  528. Kevin,

    Pretty sure social conservativism speaks for itself. But if you consider Christian beliwfs to be nothing more than bigotry, I don’t see how you can portray yourself a conservative.

    Libertine beliefs are on the Libertarian side.

    NJRob (805766)

  529. I do agree that it’s difficult to remain civil. But who instigates and who responds?

    This is key. There’s a lame attempt going on to equate serial unprovoked name-calling and misrepresentation with the inevitable if unfortunate response. Neither may be OK, but treating them as otherwise comparable is ridiculous. There’s also the problem of some still not seeming to get that while attacking opinions is an unavoidable, even necessary part of argumentation, name-calling the person who expresses them is not. It’s just zero-value incivility. A distinction which I suppose may only matter if you believe civility itself matters.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  530. @532. Bifocals, too.

    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S INVENTIONS

    https://www.fi.edu/benjamin-franklin/inventions

    19 Benjamin Franklin Inventions and Achievements

    https://www.inventiongen.com/benjamin-franklin-inventions/

    _________

    Independent voters abandon Biden, choose DeSantis and Trump

    ‘Independent voters have lost faith in President Joe Biden to handle the problems facing the United States and would choose former President Donald Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis instead in 2024, according to a new post-election survey of the influential and growing group.

    In a new Zogby Poll shared with Secrets, just 36.9% of independents approve of Biden, with another 60.7% signaling disapproval, a huge gap for a president considering a reelection bid.

    DON’T BE FOOLED, TRUMP AS STRONG AS EVER, WARN POLLSTERS

    Even worse, just 21.9% of independents see the country heading in the “right direction,” while 70.4% see the U.S. on the “wrong track.” ndependent voters in the past have generally fallen in between Republicans and Democrats on key issues, though they have been trending in the direction of the GOP, and Jonathan Zogby’s poll tracks that shift.

    Overall, in his survey of independents taken shortly after the November election, there is no good news for Biden.

    Currently, Biden remains in the 2024 race with only Trump, despite a long list of problems on his Oval Office desk, including inflation, a potential recession, the historic border crossing crisis, a two-year supply chain disaster, and questions about his mental capabilities.

    In a head-to-head matchup with independent voters, Trump just edges Biden, 38%-37%. But against DeSantis, it’s a blowout with the Florida governor ahead, 43%-34%.’ -Washington Examiner.com

    DCSCA (759c75)

  531. I guess you have to define “conservative” then. I could reasonably argue that a New Deal Democrat was a “conservative” — they want to keep things as they were 70 years ago. Such a New Deal conservative might argue that a “social conservative” who otherwise favored small government was not a “conservative” at all.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/3/2023 @ 10:19 am

    In what sense was a new deal D a conservative and at what point in time are you working from? Which 70 years ago are you talking about? The new dealers were largely progressives or liberals and FDR drifted left.

    I don’t know why they would argue that a social conservative wasn’t a conservative. They generally weren’t social conservatives themselves.

    frosty (ddaeb7)

  532. I used to enjoy Volokh’s threads because you had actual lawyers (and judges) making informed and respectful comments. Trolls and performance artists kind of make it a sh*t show any more.

    It seems to me the death knell for the Volokh comment section was the move to Reason. While the decline before then was long and steady, situating alongside the cesspool of Reason’s regular commentariat crossed an event horizon from which there’s no hope of return.

    BTW, I remember when you were a frequent, and needless to say thoughtful commenter at Volokh. Seems a long time ago. Was that before Washington Post?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  533. “It seems to me the death knell for the Volokh comment section was the move to Reason.”

    Yeah that spelled the demise. There are still good and interesting people who comment, it’s just a horrible signal to noise ratio. I don’t recall when I came upon the VC, but it was definitely before WaPo. Even people I disagreed with gave me important perspectives to consider…..I’m sure I was ribbed, but don’t ever recall being called a liar. I don’t recall if the legendary troll JukeBoxGrad haunted that site or somewhere else.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  534. “It seems to me the death knell for the Volokh comment section was the move to Reason.”

    Also the fact that Prof. Volokh himself has a broad view of free speech and co-founded the Journal of Free Speech Law, though I do agree that the comments section is less interesting than here.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  535. That groan you’re hearing is from the Putin Wing of the GOP, lamenting all the unseasonably warm weather in Europe, thus lessening European demand for Putin’s oil and gas.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  536. 545,

    I don’t think that’s what I’m hearing.

    frosty (5da517)

  537. Is that an admission that you’re in the Putin Wing?

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  538. 547,

    If I were wouldn’t I be hearing the laments loud and clear?

    What I’m hearing though is harder to make out. It sounds more like “hall … cull … sap” or maybe “… is … of snap”. It’s a bit garbled.

    frosty (5da517)

  539. @540. A Royalist mouthpiece; his fate of irrelevancy is sealed.

    DCSCA (910815)

  540. When people allow a 1 in 10 million threat to dissuade them from getting a vaccine for something that kills 1 in 100 who contract it (a 5 order of magnitude difference) then they really ought not be allowed to go outside lest they injure themselves.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 1/3/2023 @ 10:32 am

    Hey, all I know is that my un-Covid vaxxed wife and kids are walking around healthy, happy, and in great shape, while Vaxxinators like Julie Powell and Uche Nwaneri literally dropped dead of cardiac arrest at relatively young ages.

    After one shot, I’ll happily take those odds, especially as a giant middle finger to everyone who supported the mandates, celebrated the deaths of unvaxxed people, and otherwise indulged in their little totalitarian fantasies against anyone who didn’t go along with the conventional wisdom.

    Factory Working Orphan (bce27d)

  541. celebrated the deaths of unvaxxed people

    This was a constant thing across multiple media outlets and the same people are now acting shocked at mentions of any possible linkage between the covid vaccines and deaths.

    frosty (5da517)

  542. Today’s Wordle in two with DOPEY as my starter word.

    Why should you care, you ask? No reason at all. No more than I care whether you’re vaxxed for Covid, since I learned that vaccination does not prevent infection and transmission, it only makes the Covid less hard on you.

    But I told you how special I am in only one sentence for solving Wordle, while it took you several pages to tell me how special you are for not being vaxxed. That makes me specialer.

    nk (ad607e)

  543. No more than I care whether you’re vaxxed for Covid, since I learned that vaccination does not prevent infection and transmission, it only makes the Covid less hard on you.

    It doesn’t prevent them, but it does reduce their likelihood. So I care, especially since those who eschew the jab are also least willing to keep their cooties to themselves (i.e., mask).

    Sorry for stepping on what was no doubt (mostly?) a joke. My sense of humor about Covid is admittedly impaired. If it’s any consolation, I needed three for Wordle, and my starter word – STEAL – gave me more letters.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  544. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 1/5/2023 @ 4:54 pm

    Kevin McCarthy takes boastful pride reminding voters he holds the record for the longest speech on the floor of the House of Representatives after speaking for more than eight hours.

    Was it voters or other members of Congress he wanted to remind people of that?

    To show how much perseverance he has.

    Sammy Finkelman (cd9b95)

  545. I know someone who had all the vaccinations and boosters. He came down with Covid this week (probably Tuesday night to Wednesday) He wears masks and all that.

    They’re advertising the booster. They make two points, It is against both the original virus (which is extinct! And a diversion for the immune system ) and omicron (this summer’s variants) But Omicron is not just one thing, The radio ad is misleading. Very misleading.

    It’s being said it should be of some help against later variants, No studies, of course, just a half-educated optimistic guess – and it supposedly can’t hurt for more than 2 or 3 days.

    Sammy Finkelman (cd9b95)

  546. The vaccines are too tightly targeted,

    The best treatment would be the neutralizing monoclonal antibodies, if they would only change them rapidly enough, And they caan – if the drug approval process would allow it., And the risk of side effects distinct from that caused by the infection itself should be minimal.

    Sammy Finkelman (cd9b95)

  547. The dishi=onest radio ad — and it deserves that characterization even if it is entirely consistent with what the CDC says – is some sort of public service announcement. To talk of it being against original (or Mar 2020) Covid (which is not actually the original strain but stems from the second lab leak) as if that was a good thing and not a strong criticism!

    Sammy Finkelman (cd9b95)


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