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Total number of comments: 30 (since 2017-05-06 16:42:47)

del berton

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  • The US Role in Turning Countries into Shitholes and provoking Immigration
    • And just a few minutes ago he denied using that profane description. But we know from watching this man the last few years that he's a congenital liar. Yes, he surely called those countries "shit holes." It's just - I simply can't deal with this nonsense each and every day. We're talking about the President of the United States. This is just extraordinary. And his other doozy of a tweet this morning explaining his decision not to visit the US embassy in London is equally revolting.

      Please, people, don't screw it up again. Get off your asses, organize and - above all - VOTE! And don't waste that precious vote on 3rd party fringe candidates who don't have a shot at being elected dog catcher. We need a progressive alternative and even if that candidate doesn't meet all the requirements on your checklist, do the right thing.

  • Are Iran's protests Economic or Political?
    • Would love to hear your thoughts on the narrative that this round of protests will be harder to contain because the bigger demonstrations are found in smaller cities, rather than Iran. Do those arguments carry weight? Are there obstacles preventing the regime from mobilizing its militias and local police to crack down in 2nd and 3rd tier population centers?

  • No, Trump, you don't want more Climate change for Northeast
    • OK, give him his wish - and let's see what happens to Mar-a-Lago. Safe to believe that he may change his tune once his precious golf course - aka "White House South" - becomes a new home for tropical fish.

  • Trump's disastrous Year in the Middle East: Syria
    • Gotta disagree with you about that point, Sherm. As I look back at the past year, I need to acknowledge that I was flat wrong when it came to Trump. I never thought he'd win the GOP nomination and I NEVER, EVER thought he'd win election as President. But let's give this guy credit for being more clever than he seems. I won't make the mistake of underestimating him again - and that's why I intend to work my butt off in 2018 to help elect progressive candidates. Long story, short, he's not being "programmed" by Bannon or any other of that crowd; rather, it's an echo chamber that reflects whatever gauzy convictions he holds about foreign policy. So, yes, he shoulders responsibility for what's going on and it's perfectly fair to criticize his mistakes.

  • What does the Muslim Scripture say about the Birth of Jesus?
    • The tragedy through the centuries is that men consistently lose their minds and have willingly enlisted in murder and rapine against innocents who did not share their beliefs in one religious fable or another. Humans are weak creatures and need their comforting cruxes. But it interferes with the business of learning to live together on a shared planet.

      Peace out.

  • How Trump could avoid another $7 trillion bill in Mideast: Back off war with Iran
    • I'm going to go out on the limb and predict this won't materialize.

      Then again, I'm betting that the so-called "adults" in the WH can restrain this blithering ignoramus from pursuing what would be a mad decision.

      It's almost as if he's pell-mell bent on crapping on everything that Obama did, fired by some psychological need to prove that he measures up to his predecessor.

      All I can say, peeps, is that it's on us to get out and vote in the next election. If you sit on your asses watching Netflix, or take a pass because your choice doesn't include a perfect candidate, then what happens next is on you.

  • World, horrified at Trump, sends US Ranking Plummeting
    • At the risk of piling on, how does our nation expect to command respect on the international stage when the POTUS consistently gives in to his juvenile predilection for insults? I can't get inside the man's head but he can't control his mouth. Is it any wonder that other nations scratch their heads and wonder whether the inmates are now in charge over here?

  • Former CIA Dir.: Trump is afraid of Putin Kompromat
    • You have already heard - and doubtless will hear eve more - criticism of the intelligence community's findings. The argument boils down to, `Well, you blew it badly on Iraq so why on earth ought we believe you now.' Painting with too broad a brush leads to sloppy results. Yes, US intelligence failed in Iraq. That doesn't mean that they're brain-dead and got it wrong here. What with the recent revelations by Twitter, Google and Facebook, the evidence of a Russian campaign to sway last year's election in Trump's favor is very persuasive. At this point, nobody's claiming that Trump ordered his subordinates to collude with Putin's KGB operatives. But let's not allow the past to color our reading of the the evidence that's being brought to light today.

  • Top 5 reasons Roy Moore could still Win, despite Sex Scandals
    • Here's a No. 6 to add to the list:

      The white people of Alabama continue to cling to a racist, illiberal worldview that's all about sticking it to the "other." Unfortunately, they're just fine with the Kochs, Scaifes, etc raking it in - just as long as the government can inflict pain on the pointy-headed intellectuals and those welfare-grubbing minorities.

      Wish it weren't so but the track record of white Alabama suggests otherwise.

  • Saudi Saturday Night Massacre: Billionaire Bin Talal, dozens of others Arrested
    • Democracy, in action.

      Oh, um, never mind.

      Rest assured, our freedom-loving POTUS is gonna be behind them 1000%.

      If the leadership in Iran - where they actually do conduct periodic elections - had pulled off this sort of stunt, Huckabee-Sanders would be out in front of the cameras the next day moralizing and lecturing until our eyes rolled in the backs of our heads.

  • Top Six Trump Admin. Crimes that ought to bring Indictments
    • Let it be.

      They're all guilty of pushing lousy policies and there's no small amount of conflict of interest. Whether any of that meets the legal level of a crime in office is unclear - particularly given that no GOP-appointed prosecutor would ever dare file charges.

      But what is clear is that Trump has appointed a collection of deplorables to direct much of the federal bureaucracy - and it will result in damage to the US and the rest of the world.

  • Barzani gambled it all and Lost-- Kurdistan Pres. ending Career
    • Barzani may be out of picture shortly, but the question of Kurdistan remains unsettled. There's no indication that Abadi and the government in Baghdad can offer a political solution acceptable to most Kurds. It's also highly unlikely they can compel the Kurds militarily to lay down their arms and bury their hopes independence.

  • George W. Bush & GOP lack standing to bash Trump for Racism
    • Juan,

      Your points are all well taken. Bush has a LOT to answer for. And I look back on his administration as the worst in my living memory. Unfortunately, Trump has a good chance to displace Dubya.

      But at the same time, I give the man credit. What he said in that speech needed to be said. And by someone with the stature of a former president. These are difficult times and I'll take support from any quarter. We can - and should - assess blame for what went down a decade-and-half ago. But it's 2017 and we have new struggles to combat.

  • Germany: Immediate Danger of Mideast War if Trump dumps Iran Deal
    • Interestingly, there was a story that made the rounds yesterday quoting senior Israeli officers arguing that the US not abrogate the accord. They saw an opportunity to continue to work with Tehran and build on the deal. But Trump's blind insistence to make good on a silly electoral talking point is likely to create an unnecessary mess. We see the same MO at work with his undermining of the ACA. He could have fixed the shortcomings in Obamacare but instead chose to blow it up because...well, because.

      Yeah, it's as bad as the pessimists predicted. And there are still a couple of months left in Year One. I hope Jill Stein is happy.

  • Trump and the Faustian Bargain of Corker and the GOP
    • I've been saying for months that the GOP rank & file made a Faustian pact. For the most part, they rarely publicly blast Trump when he says or does something outrageous. And that will continue as long as he continues to follow their lead and tries to pass their agenda items. Looked at another way, the GOP and conservative politicians in power are willing to abdicate their responsibility to the common weal for a bigger pot of gruel. It's only when one of them decides to retire - like Corker - that they discover their moral compass. I suppose better late than never but that's a cowardly way out. We need more Republicans like McCain who are willing to call out the White House when it veers into batshit crazy territory.

  • Plummeting in Polls, will Trump 'Wag the Dog' with Iran, N. Korea?
    • As long as Mattis/McMaster/Kelly/Tillerson remain in their posts, I doubt Trump would go bonkers/looney tunes.

      If they finally do resign because their POTUS is an insufferable idiot - or as our Sec. of State astutely noted, an "effin' idiot - well, better start heading to the bunker.

  • Was Ayatollah Khamenei right about Washington? Trump Reneges
    • If Trump intends to decertify the deal, that's not the same as pushing for a reimposition of sanctions. I'm going to take the glass half full approach here. President "Effing Moron" hasn't thought deeply about this. Given his track record, I think he may be more interested in the optics so he can show his base that he did something to fix a hated arrangement that's red meat to his supporters. But if Congress doesn't vote sanctions, then the issue fades from view as he finds something new to tweet about.

      Am I totally off base here?

  • The Gasoline Car will be History before you Know it
    • Amen to that.

      We already lease a Leaf (and put solar panels on our roof 3 years ago.) Our other car is a 2012 Ford Focus. When that one gives up the ghost, we're not replacing it. Will either use Uber/Lyft or one of the services that allow you to rent vehicles by the day. Hopefully, their fleets will either be hybrid or electric by that point.

  • Iraq strikes Back: Kurds under air travel ban, Turkey blocks Oil
    • This is about to get, um, fugly. The Kurds deserve their own nation but its neighbors are going to do their best to strangle that hope - much as they've done since 1919.

  • The Anti-Bouazizi: Did Russia try to 'flash mob' a Trump Victory?
    • You avoided Juan's point. It's clear that Moscow worked behind-the-scenes to promote Trump. This constituted an extraordinary and unparalleled interference with our domestic affairs, using the relatively new tool of social media (as well as more vintage espionage to conduct email hacks to benefit the GOP.

      The result: Putin saddled us with a truculent and incompetent POTUS who's caricatured notions are going to cause misery for the US - and the wider world.

      This isn't the time to shelter behind moral relativism. This is the time to mobilize behind moral outrage.

  • Trump as Stephen King's 'It': Lashing out at Clinton, N. Korea
    • It's enough that a 71 year-old businessman would resort to these types of juvenile antics. The fact that said 71 year-old is also POTUS is....well, every day I wake up hoping that it was all a dream.

      Unfortunately, it's a real nightmare.

      But enough kvetching. It's all fine and good to gather here or other online watering holes and whine and toss - justifiable - snark. Peeps, don't sit out the off-year elections any longer. Get off your collective duffs. Get involved in your local races. Organize or contribute to the candidate of your choice. Whatever.

      But if you sit this one out or vote for a Jill Stein because you're just to precious to soil your hands with the dirty reality of contemporary US politics, you're helping the Trump forces stay in power. Remember that.

  • Iraqi PM to Secessionist Kurds: "You're Playing with Fire!"
    • A bit late in the game, no? Iraq's governments - going back even before Saddam - had ample opportunity to better integrate the Kurdish population. The chickens are only coming home to roost.

  • Russia rebuffs Israeli demand for 40 mi. Buffer with Iran in Syria (Haaretz)
    • For once, Bibli has a legitimate grievance. The last thing his government wants is to see is a cohort of Iranian soldiers right across the border from Israeli villages. Putin views Syria as a sphere of influence and doesn't give a fig about the security of civilians in northern Israel. But if the Russians continue to turn a blind eye, that's going to lead to more instability along the border.

  • Take that, Trump! 5% of California New Car Sales now Electric
    • We're leasing our second Nissan Leaf and we love it.

      Downside: A full charge only gives us 116 miles. Yeah, that's enough to get us around the city and the nearby burbs. But long trips are a bit tricky, especially if we're heading through the wide open spaces.

      Upsides: We have solar panels on the roof and I'm generating my own non-polluting power. Also, the next version of the car will have a more extended range. Bit by bit, we're getting there.

      So Donald Trump, bite me.

  • "Fire & Fury" or "Shock and Awe": it is always the start of a Quagmire
    • To the contrary, the "maniacs in the American military" are anything but that. As we saw in today's calmer comments from Mattis, the US military is quite sober and rational - unlike our utterly unhinged POTUS. And they also know the effects or drifting radiation.

      Also, yes, we can blame North Korea for developing nukes. There's no rationale. The US has conducted desultory talks over the decades and they can continue. Unfortunately, it's been a hard slog. If the Kims and their fat cat friends in authority insist on building nukes while impoverishing and repressing their citizens, that's revolting and they deserve our contempt.

      But no, there's no immediate reason to launch a war against Pyongyang.

  • Top 4 Lessons Trump can Learn from Napoleon in Russia
    • Given Trump's shaky acquaintance with of history and his penchant for exaggeration, I doubt very much that Macron didn't know about Haussmann. More likely that Trump once again made something up to suit his talking points.

  • Sorry, Trump, Electric Car sales doubled last Year, dooming dirty Fossil fuels
    • We've got solar panels on our house and we lease a Leaf. It's not our primary car - for long distances - but we use it the majority of the time.

      Oh, and Trump, fuc* you.

  • "Can you believe the World we Live in?" Trump doesn't understand "Classified"
    • Trump doesn't have a coherent world view, let alone a foreign policy. He's influenced by the last and loudest voice in the room. His admiration for authoritarians is now documented so it's hardly a surprise that he's fine with Putin. Unfortunately, he's too dim to understand much beyond that.

    • Years ago, Bruce Mazlish did a psychohistorical examination of Richard Nixon. Sure, there are problems attempting a long-distance psychological explanation of any political leader but it was still a fascinating and revealing read. Would love to read a similar attempt to get inside of Trump's brain. Yes, he is a braggart. And his habit of constant self-promotion - to the point of caricature - speaks volumes about deeper insecurities.

  • Trumpcare is the best Advertisement for Nationalizing Insurance
    • "It is not clear why there is private health insurance"

      Oh, that's an easy one, Juan. The industry spent more than $40 million last year on lobbying. Here's the breakdown by Open Secrets (link to which tracked 717 lobbyists working on behalf of the industry.

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