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The General 'Murican Politics Thread

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1 hour ago, KHCast said:

Amazing how many people are in support of the strikes. And believing 100% the whole “we’re doing it to protect people” line. To me it just seems like an incredible waste of money, and time.

So, uh... Why?

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13 hours ago, Patticus said:

I don't understand why Assad would launch a large chemical weapon attack at this late stage of the Syrian Civil War, when his victory is all but assured via conventional means, and when chemical attacks are one of the few things likely to draw foreign powers in on the rebels' side.

I think it's basically Syria playing a game of chicken. They know they can use the weapons with relative impunity because for the weapons to really be stopped, someone would have to be willing to risk Russian casualties.

6 hours ago, KHCast said:

Amazing how many people are in support of the strikes. And believing 100% the whole “we’re doing it to protect people” line. To me it just seems like an incredible waste of money, and time.

The problem is the US' hands are kind of tied on the matter. When we issue a warning, we have to follow up on it for reputation's sake. States have reason to follow up on any threat or agreement they make considering what will happen in the future. We see a similar issue with the Iran deal: whether or not one likes it, most diplomatic types would say it needs to be honored, or else no one has any reason to trust the US government's word in the future.

This is where things get complicated with Syria: they know they have Russia's backing, so they'll keep goading us to attack in a game of chicken. For us to really put an end to the chemical weapons usage, we'd have to target areas where there'd be likely civilian or Russian casualties.

It's overall a dumb situation brought on by posturing over the weapons. We should have stuck to why we're really there: to limit ISIS' strength in the eastern part of the country. It's no secret the USA has relations with several states with subpar human rights records.

Unfortunately, we took it upon ourselves to dress up and play Superman, except our version of Superman is also taking bribes from Lex Luthor.

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7 hours ago, Tornado said:

So, uh... Why?

essentially what Ogi has said. Were only just acting in Syria and claiming it’s to end “chemical warfare” when other areas are also potential threats. It doesn’t look like this is gonna lead anywhere great unless we start targeting other areas as well. I mean if it does great, but like I said, it currently seems like a waste if Syria (at least the areas we’re  targeting there) is all we’re gonna focus on. It feels like a out of nowhere not well thought out decision 

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4 hours ago, KHCast said:

essentially what Ogi has said. Were only just acting in Syria and claiming it’s to end “chemical warfare” when other areas are also potential threats.

Except that's not really true; and not terribly relevant even if it was. Syria having chemical weapons and that being unacceptable internationally is not something that they are just now being taken to task over; and certainly not the first time the issue has been raised in the region in general. Other areas being potential threats or the US doing business with countries having a "subpar human rights records" is not something that invalidates Syria having chemical weapons it claims to have gotten rid of years ago and using them to fight their civil war multiple times since it started; even ignoring the questionable stability of the Assad government to begin with and the fact that the groups they are using them against in their civil war include a major terrorist organization that would probably love to have them itself.

 

It should not be amazing at all that people are widely supportive of actions against a country saying it doesn't have honest-to-goodness working WMDs anymore after international sanctions just a few years ago and then using them anyway. It should not be amazing that people are buying into the government's reasoning that they are doing so to protect people, since it's not news (and hasn't been news for over a hundred years) that chemical weapons are very bad or that Assad isn't Mother Theresa. And since the US actually has a decent amount of international support this time since it currently looks all the world like Syria is deliberately daring international response, this is probably the most valid use of military action the country has exercised since 2002. Russia can get fucked if it wants to claim the high ground on the matter just because they want to shield Assad since it is anti-ISIS; just like the US could get fucked in the 1980s when it did the same thing for Saddam vis a vis Iran.

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I guess you make some fair points. Still, I’m still not entirely sure where we’re expecting this to go, long run, if anywhere, and given what’s going on with trump atm, still comes off like a diversion to that, whether he’s getting the support of allies for it or not. Idk, I’m not exactly feeling like this was a genuine well thought out strategy by him and his administration, and feel like it was more luck. I mean wasn’t he years back saying how launching on Syria was a bad idea(could be wrong on that)?

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It probably wasn't a thought out strategy, since Trump keeps making it clear that he wants to leave the country right up until Syria keeps forcing everyone's hand. If Russia decides that enough is enough and actually tries to plead a case (instead of vague sabre rattling) Trump could be in real trouble (though I'm assuming France at the very least wouldn't have contributed to this at all if they didn't have an out for that situation).

 

 

But it also doesn't take much effort for major world powers like France, the UK and the US to hurl missiles and bombs at factories in countries that can't really defend against them; so a long term strategy isn't really needed for now so Trump probably is going to try and bask in a good approval boosting war against an indefensible boogeyman as much as he can. Certainly if it can make him look like he's no great friend to Russia in the process.

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From CNN:

"It's a sad day for the world, the UN, for its charter -- which was blatantly, blatantly violated -- and for the Security Council which has shirked its responsibilities," Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said.

lmfao Russia put forth a UNSC resolution condemning the Syria attacks and when it naturally failed due to veto power, they did this.

Like they haven't used their veto power to protect their little buddies.

Kind of wish we could go back in time and give the Soviet Union's veto power to someone else. The US ironically sponsored Russia receiving the Soviet Union's vote after its dissolution, because we figured they'd stay an ally.

Sadly Yeltsin was a massive turd.

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So due to the recent raid on Michael Cohen's stuff by the FBI (he's Trump's lawyer), he's been forced to disclose the name of one of his other major clients.

And it's Sean fucking Hannity.

Considering Cohen is less a lawyer and more a 'fixer', this throws an interesting curveball into the whole investigation. Hannity being in orbit of someone who could very well be deeply involved in various criminal activities is not a good look for him, at least.

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2 hours ago, Candescence said:

So due to the recent raid on Michael Cohen's stuff by the FBI (he's Trump's lawyer), he's been forced to disclose the name of one of his other major clients.

And it's Sean fucking Hannity.

Considering Cohen is less a lawyer and more a 'fixer', this throws an interesting curveball into the whole investigation. Hannity being in orbit of someone who could very well be deeply involved in various criminal activities is not a good look for him, at least.

And here I thought he was nothing more than a conservative mouthpiece on Fox News...

Gotta say, I did NOT see that coming.

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Hannity seems to be downplaying it extremely saying he wasn’t actually a client of Cohen, and only went to him for a few questions and the like. Which if that’s the case, is the outrage and shock blown out of proportion?

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If that claim is true, Hannity is effectively saying that Cohen and his lawyers willfully committed perjury on something that could be refuted in minutes.

 

So either Hannity's lying, or Cohen and co. are lying. In court. Badly.

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9 minutes ago, KHCast said:

Hannity seems to be downplaying it extremely saying he wasn’t actually a client of Cohen, and only went to him for a few questions and the like. Which if that’s the case, is the outrage and shock blown out of proportion?

I don't really know, but I can say that it's not going to look good for either party.

One of them isn't telling the truth, and my bet at this point is on Hannity being the liar here given that he's not exactly someone who's all that trustworthy to begin with. I wouldn't say Cohen seems trustworthy either, but given that he went an outright revealed Hannity as his client and Hannity is denying it, it just smells fishy on the latter's side than the former.

I could be wrong about it, but it's obvious this house of cards is falling in on itself at this point.

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Is this the part where the right wing splinters on who is fake news and who isn't? On who is the establishment and who isn't? Like how people who loved Romney or McCain suddenly bared their teeth at the two when Trump entered the picture?

Given Hannity has partially confessed to some of the connections, that means Trumpers and Hannity viewers could have a split among themselves.

Logical unity works until several of the key players in that logical unity are no longer together. How can you claim "all the sources are biased except the ones I listen to" when the sources you follow have conflicting statements?

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/10/trump-welfare-programs-513814

Meanwhile, he was who born with a daddy who could give him a small loan of a million dollars has ordered a review of all federal assistance agencies to find ways to push people off them. Food stamps, rent subsidies, cash assistance, Medicaid, the works. The assumption is that work requirements will be added to all these, at least that's the end goal.

He never had to worry a day in his life about hunger or homelessness and yet he has the nerve to say people need to work for their money. L. M. F. A. O.

Also shows how obsolete his Economics degree is. Natural rate of unemployment is a thing. Not everyone can work at the same time. Work requirements are something floated by the privileged and/or people who really just do not understand how a market economy works.

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http://thehill.com/policy/defense/383509-north-south-korea-may-announce-official-end-to-korean-war-report

Some breaking news: it sounds like Kim Jong Un is going to declare an official end to the Korean War when he meets with the South Korean President next week. The two powers are working on a direct line of communication. This follows on the heels of once-unthinkable gestures of cooperation like participating as a single team at the Olympics and working to repatriate prisoners and allow families to visit each other.

Of course, declaring peace is as thorny as removing nuclear weapons. North Korea's regime basically builds itself on being in a state of perpetual war with the West, so for this to really bear fruit... Kim would have to be getting ready to begin loosening the screws. If the bogeyman of the West is removed, it becomes harder to internally justify how terrible the government is for its people.

Despite the brutal massacres that followed Kim's ascension to power, there is historical precedent of dictators relaxing their grip on power. Maybe this will be one of them? Will it turn out that Kim - or someone close to him - is a reformer, and his bloody coronation was just tying up loose ends who might prevent reform?

It seems crazy, but so did the idea the Soviet Union would suddenly be taken over by a reformer who would turn it into a US ally in a matter of years.

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Well that's already not true. I mean Fuck Trump all the way, but he's not starving his people and running a totalitarian dictatorship. Not that he's capable of doing so (and I'm sure you were joking) but there are limits to these things.

 

Anyway, I hope this only means good. Obviously it won't be a quick fix, and maybe nothing will really change at all, but hearing that NK is capable of shifting on anything must mean something for the better (I mean, assuming this isn't some assassination plot, which I could see happening). I feel like someone's gonna mumble "can you maybe just not say you're gonna nuke everyone all the time though?" and just like that it's gonna be over.

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I think, much better than Nancy Pelosi and her confederates complaining that Trump my not have acted within the spirit of the Team America rules set up after 9/11, they might want to try repealing those and replacing them with something that doesn't just let a President wander into a country, blow shit up and make vague motions about "terrorism" to justify it to Congress after the fact.

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On 4/17/2018 at 2:18 PM, Bergamo (Ogilvie) said:

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/383509-north-south-korea-may-announce-official-end-to-korean-war-report

Some breaking news: it sounds like Kim Jong Un is going to declare an official end to the Korean War when he meets with the South Korean President next week. The two powers are working on a direct line of communication. This follows on the heels of once-unthinkable gestures of cooperation like participating as a single team at the Olympics and working to repatriate prisoners and allow families to visit each other.

Um...

Holy crap.

How is it that North Korea has been more open to peace talks than the freaking UNITED STATES?

Fuck's sake Trump...

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Kim Jong-un only agreed to meet after Mike Pompeo, CIA Director and Trump's nominee for the vacant Sec of State position, secretly met with the DPRK's dictator a few weeks ago. Clearly there's a lot going on behind the curtain that we're not privy to, but given Pompeo's hawkish credentials, I'd hazard a guess that existential threats were issued.

I'm coming around to the view that Kim Jong-un might be taking a leaf out of Putin's book, and will be manipulating Trump via his ego, in order to get away with murder (and then some).

Do remember, though, that South Korea's President Moon Jae-In did make improving relations with North Korea a key plank of his election campaign, and he was the man who made all that Olympics stuff happen. If peace between the two Koreas becomes a reality, Trump will loudly claim all the credit, but he probably won't be responsible, and hopefully the Nobel committee will see that.

 

Trump to initiate his own Saturday Night Massacre today or very soon? A police memo has been leaked...

police-email.jpg

Now, Trump's at Mar-A-Lago all week, where he's typically surrounded by a lot of people who want Mueller and the FBI investigation gone. This, while Comey is doing his book's publicity tour, without the people who used to manage him (Hope Hicks etc), and Trump having a lot more time than normal to binge watch TV and get very angry. When you think about this confluence of events and those involved (or not, as the case may be), it's difficult to see Mueller, Rosenstein et al making it out of this week with their jobs intact.

Trump's Saturday Night Massacre taking place in a midterm year when a blue wave's very existence may turn on that very action (or lack thereof) shows a complete lack of awareness for how bad his party and agenda's chances are. Or maybe he is aware, and feels like he has nothing to lose. Or, perhaps, he believes this North Korea thing will pan out exactly as planned and that he and the GOP will ride that wave to victory in November.

Bizarre times.

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3 hours ago, Patticus said:

Trump's Saturday Night Massacre taking place in a midterm year when a blue wave's very existence may turn on that very action (or lack thereof) shows a complete lack of awareness for how bad his party and agenda's chances are. Or maybe he is aware, and feels like he has nothing to lose. Or, perhaps, he believes this North Korea thing will pan out exactly as planned and that he and the GOP will ride that wave to victory in November.

Bizarre times.

https://www.themaven.net/theresurgent/erick-erickson/a-congressman-s-profanity-laced-tirade-in-a-safeway-grocery-store-SeHI2l5bIECGQn4gmnzGaw/?full=1

It's funny if he does think that, because his loyal supporters will quietly admit off the record that they think he's going to be a disaster for the Party in the midterms and quite possibly 2020.

"I read you writing about this, about wanting to say nice things when you can and criticize when you need to. He may be an idiot, but he's still the President and leader of my party and he is capable of doing some things right," he says before conceding it's usually other people doing the right things in the President's name. "But dammit he's taking us all down with him. We are well and truly f**ked in November. Kevin [McCarthy] is already circling like a green fly circling sh*t trying to take Paul's [Ryan] job because nobody thinks he's sticking around for Nancy [Pelosi]. She's going to f**k up the cafeteria again too. [Lord's name in vain], at least I'll probably lose too and won't have to put up with that sh*t."

"It's like Forrest Gump won the presidency, but an evil, really f*cking stupid Forrest Gump. He can't help himself. He's just a f**king idiot who thinks he's winning when people are b*tching about him. He really does see the world as ratings and attention."

"Judiciary is stacked with a bunch of people who can win re-election so long as they don't piss off Trump voters in the primary. But if we get to summer and most of the primaries are over, they just might pull the trigger if the President fires Mueller. The sh*t will hit the fan if that happens and I'd vote to impeach him myself. Most of us would, I think. Hell, all the Democrats would and you only need a majority in the House. If we're going to lose because of him, we might as well impeach the motherf**ker. Take him out with us and let Mike [Pence] take over. At least then we could sleep well at night[.]"

 

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“Take him out with us and let Mike [Pence] take over. At least then we could sleep well at night”

I sure as fuck couldn’t...I mean yeah I get that compared to trump he’s better, but still...is fucking Pence. And I have tons of issues with the guy that would have me not breathing a sigh of relief to see him as leader 

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