ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points -- A Long Two Years And A Long Two Weeks

[ Posted Friday, March 11th, 2022 – 18:23 UTC ]

Let's start with some good news this week, because we could all use some, right? Two years ago today Tom Hanks announced to the world he had contracted COVID-19, on the same day that the virus people were then largely calling "the novel coronavirus" was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. This was when it all hit home for many -- that this could quite possibly be a very big deal indeed, even though the president of the United States was desperately trying to get the American public to believe otherwise. Salon provides a good rundown of what we all went through next:


We were soon learning new phrases like "social distancing" and "flatten the curve" and started wearing make-shift masks everywhere, hoarding toilet paper and inexplicably sterilizing our canned goods. Quarantined in our homes watching the horror unfold on TV, seeing the hospitals and morgues over flowing, bodies being stored in refrigerator trucks. Watching the case numbers grow exponentially was bizarre and disorienting. Many Americans still had to go out into the world and do their jobs. Health care workers, grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, cops and food providers were forced to expose themselves and their families to this deadly plague every day just to keep the country going. Many of them died.

The unemployment rate went from 4.4% in March to 14.7% in April. The stock market fell out of bed repeatedly, schools and businesses closed, and a whole lot of people started getting very sick and dying. None of us had ever been through anything like it.

We learned very quickly that the nation was unprepared for a public health emergency like this. The consolidation of hospitals in recent years resulting in fewer beds for more people left us extremely vulnerable to a mass illness event and our lack of supplies and inability to get the ones we had to where they were needed was a clear national disgrace, all of which was exacerbated by the sheer ineptitude of the Trump administration's federal response.

Two years ago today, the number of cases in this country had just topped 1,000. A total of 29 Americans had died of it. Today, the country's grim death toll is approaching 1,000,000. The total number of cases has topped a jaw-dropping 80,000,000. And it's still not over -- roughly 1,500 Americans still die of COVID-19 every day.

But the good news is that we have weathered all the waves of the virus, the numbers have plummeted since the Omicron peak and they're all still headed downwards (the death rate, always a lagging indicator, will be the last to fully fall). In numeric terms, we are approximately where we were last May. Remember the start of last summer? That is pretty much what we are approaching now -- all the mandates have either been ended or will soon end, people are breathing a sigh of relief and returning to some sense of normalcy, and we're all sick and tired of dealing with the pandemic. Of course, that is an instructive parallel since even though by July the numbers had all dropped to very reassuring lows, Delta was still waiting to pounce. Another variant could come along at any point, and there's no guarantee it will be less lethal (as Omicron thankfully turned out to be).

Even so, it has been a very long and very hard two years, and we deserve at least a cautious sense of optimism that the whole thing could be over -- or "over enough" for things to get back to normal again at least for a while. And that's a good thing to contemplate, especially when all the rest of the news is so grim.

Speaking of grim news, the war in Ukraine is only a day over two weeks old, but it also seems like it has been going on a lot longer than it actually has. It is turning into a very slow slog where Russia makes small advances but at a very high cost. The ineffectiveness of their military, which should by all rights be dominating the Ukrainians by now, is a subject of speculation among experts. Perhaps it is due to the soldiers not exactly being motivated to shell civilians indiscriminately -- loss (or absence) of good morale can sap an army's strength from within. Perhaps it is due to all the Russian military and governmental leaders treating the country's military budget as their own private piggy bank (the amount of corruption in their supply chains is rather legendary). Perhaps it is due to garden-variety corruption from the suppliers themselves, in a country with no independent media to expose such things. Perhaps the Red Army just was never as good as they were cracked up to be. Perhaps the Ukrainians' fierce resistance and sky-high motivation to fight has surprised them so much that their blitzkrieg war plan fell apart without any Plan B in place. But no matter what the real reason, the fact remains that the Russian military has performed pretty poorly in what was supposed to be a very easy cakewalk for them. This has heartened not only the Ukrainians fighting them but the entire free world as well. Everybody likes to cheer for the underdog, after all.

This all could change, however. The Russians still have an overwhelming advantage just in terms of size. If the Ukrainians are making them pay a very high price, well, they can afford to pay it for quite some time. They can replace destroyed equipment and dead, wounded, or captured soldiers without much trouble at all. So the outcome isn't guaranteed. The underdog still may lose in the end, with all of Ukraine's cities in absolute ruin. If Putin is ruthless enough, he can turn Kyiv or any other city into rubble, given enough time, enough bombs, enough missiles, and enough artillery shells. Which he seems entirely willing to do.

Here in America, the war has largely united the country. There simply is no question who the bad guys and the good guys are in this fight. There is (as Liz Cheney put it this week) a "Putin wing" of the Republican Party, to be sure, but they've mostly been pretty quiet since the fighting began. With a few notable exceptions, of course, starting with Donald Trump, who still refuses to call Putin "evil," even after Sean Hannity practically begged him to. And there are still Republicans so addled with Putin-envy that they will still spout Russian propaganda ("Ukraine is creating biological weapons! Putin had to invade!") or publicly say things like:

Remember that [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy is a thug. Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt, and it is incredibly evil, and it has been pushing woke ideologies.

That's Representative Madison Cawthorn, speaking to a group of supporters this week. As of this writing, we are unaware of any prominent Republican who has denounced Cawthorn's words. As Cheney said, a pro-Putin wing of the Republican Party does indeed exist, even if most of them are being very quiet right now.

In fact, some of them are even using the "soft on Putin" charge against their fellow Republicans. Down in North Carolina, former governor Pat McCrory has released a campaign ad ripping into his Trump-endorsed opponent for his praise of Putin. So we'll have to see if this is the start of the trend, as primary season heats up in the GOP.

Over on the Democratic side of things there are no Putin apologists, unless you count the likes of Tulsi Gabbard, which we don't (we just don't consider her influential in any way shape or form and we have our doubts about her even being a Democrat, if truth be told). However, there was one snafu this week that was rather embarrassing.

Last weekend, Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave a "green light" to Poland to transfer some MiG-29 fighter jets to the Ukraine military. He did so during an interview on Sunday morning, for all the world to see. But then days later, the Pentagon and White House pronounced the whole effort a non-starter and any possible deal fell apart.

Now, there is an argument to make for not provoking Putin by this transfer. Personally, however, we do not buy it. We wrote our reasoning out earlier in the week, just before the total "red light" was flashed by Team Biden. And perhaps it would have actually happened if it hadn't been for the Europeans announcing the plan in public before it happened, who knows? It would have been a lot easier if the plan had remained secret until after the planes were already flying over Kyiv, but that opportunity was lost.

Even so -- no matter how you feel about the idea -- what nobody has bothered to explain at all (at least, that we have seen) is how the secretary of state could say that publicly without speaking for the president himself. Did he "get out over his skis"? This is doubtful, since all cabinet members know full well what they're supposed to say when they agree to such Sunday-morning interviews. Either Blinken had checked with the White House and they had no problem with his statement at the time or he failed to check with them and should apologize for misstating the president's position. But he hasn't done so, and as far as I can tell, no reporter has bothered to dig out this discrepancy in policy. Which really should happen, one way or another. Leaving Blinken's credibility as a speaker for the president on the world stage at this particular moment in time is downright dangerous, one would think.

In other war news, President Biden halted Russian oil and gas from being shipped to America, and just today announced he would seek to overturn Russia's "Most-Favored Nation" trade status. The consequences for Vladimir Putin and Russia just keep ramping up, in other words. Worldwide corporations are fleeing Russia in a stampede, as well, which might just bring the Russian economy back to Soviet-era living standards. And the 1980s were a pretty bad time in their particular history.

Ever since giving his State Of The Union speech right after the invasion had begun, Biden's poll numbers have been turning upwards, which is good news for him and for his fellow Democrats. Not enough polls have happened to tell whether this will increase or only be a modest boost, or whether it will be a lasting phenomenon or temporary, but it is the first movement upward in the polls for Biden in a while, so it is a positive thing to see.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, told a group of donors what he would be doing right now if he were still in charge: paint out the U.S. flag on a bunch of American fighters, paint a Chinese flag in its place, and then fly them over and use them to "bomb the shit" out of Russia. No, really:

Former president Donald Trump mused Saturday to the GOP's top donors that the United States should label its F-22 planes with the Chinese flag and "bomb the s--t out of Russia."

. . .

"And then we say, China did it, we didn't do it, China did it, and then they start fighting with each other and we sit back and watch," he said of labeling U.S. military planes with Chinese flags and bombing Russia, which was met with laughter from the crowd of donors, according to a recording of the speech obtained by The Washington Post.

But getting back to the good news of the week... Congress actually passed an omnibus budget bill, which is notable because for once they actually met one of their deadlines instead of having to punt the ball another four or five days to get it done. But it's not really all that impressive when you consider the original deadline was the start of last October, when this budget really should have been in place. Even so, it does represent the first budget Biden and the Democratic Congress put together (instead of just automatically extending the last budget Trump passed, as was the case up until now). So this was a legislative win, for Democrats and for Biden.

More good news: after over 100 years of trying, a federal antilynching bill finally passed Congress. The vote was 422-3 in the House and unanimous in the Senate. Makes you wonder what took so long, eh? Here was Chuck Schumer's reaction:

"After more than 200 failed attempts to outlaw lynching, Congress is finally succeeding in taking the long overdue action by passing the Emmett Till Antilynching Act. Hallelujah. It's long overdue," said Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in remarks on the Senate floor after the bill's passage.

That it took so long to pass is a "bitter stain" on America, the New York Democrat added.

"The first antilynching legislation was introduced a century ago, and after so long, the Senate has now finally addressed one of the most shameful elements of this nation's past by making lynching a federal crime," he said.

The legislation is named in honor of 14-year-old Emmett Till, who was brutally murdered in a racist attack in Mississippi in 1955, an event that drew national attention to the atrocities and violence that African Americans faced in the United States and became a civil rights rallying cry.

We have to admit while "better late than never" sprang to mind to describe how we feel, in fact another phrase fits a whole lot better: "justice delayed is justice denied."

And finally, some downright excellent news to close on. Not only did Democrats win a big Supreme Court victory against Republican attempts to gerrymander their state maps in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, but when all the dust has settled, it looks like an unbelievably fair playing field for the midterm House elections nationwide. Here's the whole story:

For years, America's congressional map favored Republicans over Democrats.

But that may not remain the case for long.

In a departure from a decades-long pattern in American politics, this year's national congressional map is poised to be balanced between the two parties, with a nearly equal number of districts that are expected to lean Democratic and Republican for the first time in more than 50 years.

Despite the persistence of partisan gerrymandering, between 216 and 219 congressional districts, out of the 435 nationwide, appear likely to tilt toward the Democrats, according to a New York Times analysis based on recent presidential election results. An identical 216 to 219 districts appear likely to tilt toward Republicans, if the maps enacted so far withstand legal challenges. To reach a majority, a party needs to secure 218 districts.

The surprisingly fair map defies the expectations of many analysts, who had believed that the Republicans would use the redistricting process to build an overwhelming structural advantage in the House, as they did a decade ago.

As recently as a few months ago, it had seemed likely that Republicans could flip the six seats they needed to retake the House through redistricting alone. Instead, the number of Republican-tilting districts that voted for Donald J. Trump at a higher rate than the nation is poised to decline significantly, from 228 to a figure that could amount to fewer than the 218 seats needed for a majority.

Democrats could claim their first such advantage since the 1960s, when the Supreme Court's "one person, one vote" ruling and the enactment of the Voting Rights Act inaugurated the modern era of redistricting.

There isn't any one reason in particular Democrats didn't get wiped out in the mapmaking, but instead several factors. The courts threw out the worst GOP gerrymanders, both sides gerrymandered aggressively where they could (rather than Democrats sitting back and letting the Republicans get away with it), and more and more states have non-partisan groups setting the maps, leaving less chances for such shenanigans. But one big factor was the surprising shift in suburban voters under Trump -- because districts the GOP previously considered safe suddenly weren't, so they had to use their gerrymandering efforts more in defense than in offense.

Whatever the ultimate reason, it means that Democrats will have a fighting chance at proving all the "they're going to lose at least the House" inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom this November.

And that is mighty good news indeed.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We have to at least acknowledge that Vice President Kamala Harris has been at the center of the diplomatic efforts in NATO countries this week, which has put her on the world stage in the midst of a war. So far she seems to be doing a good job listening to and reassuring our allies, so she deserves at least an Honorable Mention for all her travels.

But this week we are doing something unprecedented with our main award. We are changing the capitalization, for one week only. Because this week the award we are handing out will be for the Most Impressive democrat Of The Week. This is non-standard (by our very own stylebook), but highlights the unique nature of this award. Because we are handing our first-ever MIdOTW to none other than Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

We should also note (since we're explaining stylebook subjects) that we spell his name in the Ukrainian fashion, with a double-y at the end. This is all part of moving away from Russian terminology like "the Ukraine" and "Kiev," and as such is more than a little symbolic.

Zelenskyy is, as many have noted, a former comedian. But unlike most comedians, he actually earned a law degree before he started his showbiz career -- which is impressive. He went on to many acting gigs (including dubbing the Ukrainian voice of Paddington Bear in both recent movies), including starring in a hit show where he played an average guy who became the president of Ukraine. Life imitated art, and he actually did get elected president in 2019. It be akin to Julia Louis Dreyfus or perhaps Martin Sheen getting elected in America (or even, as many have pointed out, a washed-up reality show host).

But Zelenskyy is no joke as Ukraine's president. He famously refused to knuckle under to Donald Trump threatening to withhold necessary military aid unless Zelenskyy dug up some dirt on Hunter Biden, which featured prominently in Trump's second impeachment. Zelenskyy was at the other end of Trump's "perfect phone call," in case anyone has forgotten.

Since the invasion began, Zelenskyy has heroically led his people. He refused to leave Kyiv and fly to a safer spot further west (or even out of the country entirely), instead he stayed behind to show he and his country were unafraid of Putin's bullying. By doing so he didn't just inspire his people to a level not seen since Winston Churchill's time, he also inspired the entire world as a genuine hero of democracy.

Zelenskyy even achieved the impossible right here at home -- because he has united the American public in a way not seen since the days following 9/11. Very few people are defending Russia or Putin these days (although there are always a few, over on the far right). Public support for Zelenskyy is deep and unified. As we said, that is pretty impressive to see in our own perpetually-divided nation.

For personally being the beacon of hope and the champion of democracy worldwide, we hereby award Volodymyr Zelenskyy our first-ever Most Impressive democrat Of The Week award. Stay strong, and stay safe. We're all behind you on this one.

[We don't believe we've ever given an award to a foreign politician, but we have to say our inclination is that it would be improper for us to provide contact information for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, so you'll have to figure out another way to show him your support. Besides, he's got more important things to do right now than to read fanmail on social media anyway.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

The budget just passed by Congress will finally shift the spending priorities of the federal government from Donald Trump's agenda to Joe Biden's. However, since the massive bill was haggled over until the last minute, a few little-noticed things got either left out or inserted at the last minute (as always). And we were shocked to learn about one of them.

Which is why we regretfully have to award President Joe Biden this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. Because it seems the old drug warrior mentality in Biden has yet to evolve, especially on the War On Weed. Biden continues to stand in the way of changes that really need to be made, which we consider downright shameful (especially with a Democratic Congress).

Here is the sad story, from Politico:

A rider which prevents [Washington] D.C. from establishing a regulated cannabis market -- commonly known as the Harris Rider -- was left in the omnibus funding bill, H.R. 2471, released on Wednesday. It came as a surprise to some advocates, because it was not included in funding packages put forth by the House and Senate. However, President Joe Biden's proposed budget did include the controversial provision.

This leaves marijuana legal in D.C., but without a legal marketplace. Meaning the city cannot tax it or regulate it and people cannot legally buy or sell it. The situation is insane, to put it mildly. All to assuage drug warriors in Congress (and in the White House, apparently) that they are not "soft on drugs." Or something. We thought that sort of attitude was long gone, but apparently not.

But it gets worse. Because the bill also refused to make one particular change that could have sweeping ramifications if any future White House (or this one, for that matter) decides to launch a crackdown from the Justice Department on legal recreational marketplaces in general:

The omnibus spending package also failed to extend protections for state legal markets. Since 2014, there's been a prohibition on spending federal dollars to crack down on state medical markets. The budget package that passed the House extended those protections to adult-use markets, but that provision didn't make the final bill.

Democratic leaders have vowed to eliminate federal marijuana penalties, boosting hopes in the $25 billion industry. But so far Congress hasn't done anything to loosen restrictions despite the fact that 37 states now have legal medical or recreational markets.

Let's put that another way, shall we? Three-fourths of the United States are essentially ignoring federal marijuana laws. They have legalized either medical or recreational use. The federal government still classifies marijuana as "having no accepted medical use" at all. They have not changed this designation since the War On Weed began, all evidence to the contrary. Personally, we think that three-fourths of the states passing laws allowing its use fits the definition of "accepted," but sadly this will not change one iota of federal law.

We have long had our doubts about Joe Biden's ability to evolve on marijuana anywhere near as fast as he famously evolved on the subject of gay marriage. So while we have to say we weren't entirely surprised by these moves, we were still pretty disappointed. Which is why we're handing Biden this week's MDDOTW.

[Contact President Joe Biden on his official contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 654 (3/11/22)

We've got a lot to get to this week before we even get to the talking points. First, we do like a good political joke, so we had to at least mention the local election in Illinois where a Republican named Ashley Gott is running for re-election against... Ashley Gott. Who was known as Erin Perry, right up until she changed her name in early January.

That certainly is a novel tactic to get elected, we have to admit!

To differentiate between them, they newly-named Ashley Gott will appear on the ballot with a line stating she changed her name in January. Seems pretty extreme to get elected county treasurer, but hey -- points for creativity, at least!

Second, we thought about it but decided not to include a talking point that Joe Biden rolled out this week when he announced the ban on Russian gas and oil. He's taken to calling the rise in gasoline prices at the pump for American consumers "Putin's price hike." At first glance this seems interesting, but we kind of wonder if it's going to backfire on Biden since Republicans are already attacking it. So we decided to leave that one for Biden to defend this week instead.

We do have one update from last week's sixth talking point, because it has become clear as day that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is simply not going to punish either of the members of his caucus who appeared at a White supremacist conference. This week, McCarthy -- while admitting that Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar will face no punishment -- had the chutzpah to claim: "There will be no place for what has gone on with that organization. There never will be in this party. It will never be tolerated." Except that, you know... there they are, being tolerated right there within your own party, Kevin.

OK, with all of that out of the way, let's get to this week's list.

 

1
   Zelenskyy Democrats, Putin Republicans

This first one is also a reprise of a talking point from last week, admittedly, and as always we have to give credit where it is due for superior wordsmithing abilities.

"Representative Sean Patrick Maloney is right, there is really one way to look at the 'debate' -- if you can call it that -- over the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine: I am a Zelenskyy Democrat and I denounce the Putin Republicans who are now doing nothing more than repeating whatever propaganda and lies the Kremlin urges them to. Some are openly praising Vladimir Putin while others merely refuse to condemn him or call him evil. This absolutely disgusts me, since for me the choice is easy -- I stand with Zelenskyy, not with the Republican shamefully standing with Putin."

 

2
   "Thug?" "Evil?" Really?

Pile on this one in particular.

"Madison Cawthorn just told a group of his supporters that, and I quote because I want to get this right: 'Remember that Zelenskyy is a thug. Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt, and it is incredibly evil.' Unquote. That is despicable. You'd think, in fact, that it would be pretty easy to say so. A Democratic National Committee spokesperson immediately denounced the remarks, saying: 'It's only natural that a Republican Party led by Donald Trump, who regularly praises Vladimir Putin as a "genius" and "savvy" as he launches an unprovoked and unjustified war on the Ukrainian people, would evolve to attack the democratically elected president of Ukraine who has shown true heroism in the face of Russian aggression.' Democrats in the House responded as well: 'Putin Republican shows his true, disgusting colors. Another day, another anti-democracy tirade from the House GOP.' That's all to be expected, I suppose, but what I wonder are where are the Republican voices denouncing Cawthorn's words? Again, it would seem to be a no-brainer to do so, but I hesitate to use the term 'no-brainer' in its usual sense, since we are speaking of a Putin Republican calling the leader of Ukraine 'a thug' and the Ukrainian government 'incredibly evil.' "

 

3
   And that's not the only thing about him...

He also likes to break the law in his spare time.

"It was revealed this week that very same Madison Cawthorn was pulled over earlier this month in North Carolina for erratic driving and then received a ticket for driving on a revoked license. This is the second time he has been charged for the same offense, in fact. And it's not the only thing on his rap sheet, as he's also facing punishment for being cited driving 89 miles per hour back in October and another for driving 87 miles per hour in January. This is a man who became partially paralyzed because of an auto accident, in case you hadn't realized it. You'd think he'd be a very law-abiding and cautious driver after that experience, but it clearly seems that he thinks traffic safety laws somehow just don't apply to him. Shows his disdain for the rule of law in general, don't you think? What a absolute disgrace of a poor excuse for a congressman."

 

4
   Oh, you just know they're going to try

This could be very helpful in the midterm campaigns, especially in Senate races.

"Senator Ron Johnson kind of let the cat out of the bag this week, when he admitted that if Republicans retake control of the Senate, that they should 'actually make good on what we established as our priorities.' What does that mean, you wonder? Well, he clarified this in the next sentence, as he laid out how Republicans are still hell-bent on repealing Obamacare. Yep, they've just never given up on this even though tens of millions of Americans would lose their health insurance in an eyeblink if Obamacare was repealed. So for any voters wondering what the Republican agenda will be if they take back control of either chamber of Congress, it's now pretty plain to see what will be pretty near the top of that list: kicking everyone with pre-existing conditions off health insurance for the rest of their lives. That's what Republicans want for the future of this country, folks."

 

5
   Voter and election fraud rampant... in one party, at least

A clearer case of projection we have never seen.

"Ever since Donald Trump began his world-record-worthy tantrum after losing the last election, the Republican Party has been absolutely obsessed with passing voter-suppression laws in the name of fighting 'voter fraud' and 'election fraud.' The state of Florida just created a dedicated elections police force, in fact. All this despite there being absolutely zero evidence for voter fraud or election fraud on the scale it would take to overturn a single election. Republicans insisted that we had to root out each and every case, though. The only problem is that the cases that keep appearing are of Republicans blatantly committing voter or election fraud. Take the case of the county clerk in Colorado who just got charged with 10 criminal counts for sneaking an unauthorized person in during a secure upgrade to the elections machines under her control -- who then copied all the data, which later wound up in Mike Lindell's hands. Oh, did I mention she's currently running for secretary of state in Colorado? The office which oversees the entire state's elections? But that's not even the worst one to appear this week alone, because it turns out that that voter fraud Trump was so worried about was actually coming from inside the White House! Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, apparently registered to vote in North Carolina at a mobile home that he never owned and most likely never even set foot inside. Which is, of course, illegal. It is, quite plainly, voter fraud. Which isn't a surprise, really, because it always seems like the ones decrying voting fraud the loudest wind up being the only ones guilty of actually committing the crime themselves."

 

6
   Going around in circles, watching the birdies

We wrote about this one yesterday, if anyone missed it.

"Seems like the so-called 'People's Convoy' turned into a big fat nothingburger. American truckers drove across the country to protest... well... I'm not sure what exactly since there is no vaccine mandate for truckers and the masks have all come off everywhere... but gosh darn it, they were protesting something. Or trying to, at any rate. Seems like a case of monumental bad timing, since the rest of the country has moved on from the pandemic anyway and world events are showing us all what the words 'freedom' and 'tyranny' truly mean. So the truckers are left burning up a bunch of fuel driving in circles while they watch all the people driving next to them flip them the bird. You'd think they'd have better things to do with their time, wouldn't you?"

 

7
   Grifters gotta grift

Hoo boy, how embarrassing....

"Seems Donald Trump's plane had to turn back in midflight recently, after it lost power in one of its engines. Or maybe that's not strictly accurate, since by 'Donald Trump's plane' I really only mean the one he was flying in at the time -- not that he owned it or anything. Turns out it had been loaned to Trump by a generous donor, because Trump doesn't actually own a plane that can get in the air right now. His old 757 (you know, the one with his name painted in giant letters on the side) has been sitting in a small airport outside of New York City gathering dust and rotting away because Trump didn't bother to pay the upkeep on it while he was president. So he's now sending out fundraising letters begging people for money so he can get what he now apparently calls 'Trump Force One' off the ground again someday. Grifters gotta grift, right? What's truly amusing is Trump was returning from New Orleans, where he was supposed to have dinner with one lucky donor chosen at random -- yet another one of his moneyraising pitches -- but it turns out Trump couldn't even be bothered to do that. No dinner happened, and the shiny prize dangled in front of the marks turned out not to be real. Like I said, grifters gotta grift!"

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

198 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- A Long Two Years And A Long Two Weeks”

  1. [1] 
    andygaus wrote:

    That isn't the first time Trump has held a contest where the prize was having a meal with him, and then not awarded the prize (if you call it that) to anyone.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here in America, the war has largely united the country. There simply is no question who the bad guys and the good guys are in this fight.

    Yeah, that's pretty much the picture here in Canada and, I dare say, across Europe and much of the world.

    The talk is all about what can be done, what weapons can we keep sending to prolong the war. I mean, nothing is being sent that would allow a victor or emerge. So, 'prolonging the war' is precisely what NATO is currently engaged in.

    There is little talk of a negotiated settlement by the US and its allies.

    And, all Zelensky's admirers in the media can seem to say about it is that any negotiated way out of this mess will be akin to Ukraine putting up the white flag of surrender. Which, unsurprisingly, couldn't be further from the truth of the matter/reality on the ground, even before the invasion.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Couldn't agree more with this week's MDDOTW award.

    Just wanted to make that clear.

    Which reminds me, the scotch and soda cabinet is dry at the moment but, I do have some flower left to grind around here somewhere. But, I still hate smoking it, even when I do it right, MtnCaddy! ... will probably end up giving it away.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As for the MIdOTW award ... I'm not surprised by it.

    Zelenskyy has certainly become the media darling of this war and everyone, it seems, is swooning over him, up here and everywhere.

    I have a somewhat different view of Zelenskyy.

    He was in a position to prevent this war from ever happening. Now, he will probably have to give up more to get out of this unnecessary humanitarian disaster.

    Here is the pertinent part of a Jerusalem Post article about the prospects for a negotiated settlement out of this mess which I link to below:

    "Zelensky can fortify Ukraine's independence but will have to pay a heavy price, the sources said. Assumptions are that he will be forced to give up the contested Donbas region, officially recognize the pro-Russian dissidents in Ukraine, pledge that Ukraine will not join NATO, shrink his army and declare neutrality. If he declines the proposal, the outcome may be terrible: thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of Ukrainians will die and there is a high probability that his country will completely lose its independence."

    So, it seems the Ukrainian leader has a critical choice to make - Zelenskyy can be a martyr (or popular celebrity) or a real leader.

    He can prolong this war and watch more Ukrainians be killed and cities destroyed or he can sue for peace. He can prevent the total collapse of his country and rule over a largely intact Ukraine, recognizing autonomy of a kind for the Eastern regions and leaving behind, for now, any aspirations of NATO membership.

    Time is of the essence, though, and the longer he waits the narrower the opening for negotiations and the greater the chances are that he will lose the whole country.

    The US and its NATO allies have a role to play here, too. They can persuade him to accept the Russian offer, noted above. Which would merely be acknowledging the actual reality on the ground before the war and the only way out of it now.

    What is going on in negotiations between Russia and Ukraine?

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have learned that Zelenskyy has reportedly rejected the Russian offer noted above after being urged by the Israeli PM Bennett to "strongly consider the deal".

    Perhaps, Zelenskyy has convinced himself that he is Captain Ukraine and, therefore, can win a war with Russia, even if he can't force NATO to get more directly involved.

  6. [6] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    what's the deal? it's one thing to monday morning quarterback, but in this situation it's pretty clear who the good guys and bad guys are. i really don't get why you're taking the contrarian view.

  7. [7] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    This all could change, however. The Russians still have an overwhelming advantage just in terms of size.

    Let's look at the numbers. While geographic size is unimportant Russia enjoys a 142 to 43 million population difference.

    But Russia's military numbers only a million and coin and even if -- contrary to what we've seen to date -- Putin occupied Ukraine he'd need 800,000 of those troops to pacify Ukraine.

    If the Ukrainians are making them pay a very high price, well, they can afford to pay it for quite some time. They can replace destroyed equipment and dead, wounded, or captured soldiers without much trouble at all.

    Sure, assuming the military, the oligarchs and the Russian people don't mind losing 4,000 Russians every two weeks to accomplish...nothing.

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua[6],

    I don't think I'm guilty of monday morning quarterbacking, since I have been saying the same thing since before the invasion, number one ...

    ... and, number two, like you, I can tell the good guys from the bad guys pretty well. But, how does that recognition get the fighting to stop?

    Or, do you suppose the fighting won't or can't stop until there is nothing left of Ukraine? In other words, do you think that there is no diplomatic path out of this mess? Will Ukraine win the war and that will be the end of it?

    I don't understand where you are coming from on this and what suggestions you have to bring this nonsense to an end. Am I missing something?

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    in prior columns you criticized NATO, in this column you're criticizing ukraine. at what point does ending the conflict become the responsibility of the guy who started it?

  10. [10] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Leaving Blinken's credibility as a speaker for the president on the world stage at this particular moment in time is downright dangerous, one would think.

    Man, you got that right. Another example (like the Afghanistan withdrawal) of the Biden administration being nowhere close to perfect, a-yup. No matter what it's still miles better than Trump would have done

  11. [11] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    The consequences for Vladimir Putin and Russia just keep ramping up, in other words. Worldwide corporations are fleeing Russia in a stampede, as well, which might just bring the Russian economy back to Soviet-era living standards. And the 1980s were a pretty bad time in their particular history.

    Which is why Putin will lose his war and more likely than not, his life. He's too dangerous alive and Russian's don't play around in these situations.

    As long as Ukraine and NATO don't fold.

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,

    I have always been a big fan of NATO. There was time, for a short while, when I was openly advocating for Russia to be invited into it! Well, those days didn't last very long.

    It is deeply disturbing to me to see what is happening in Ukraine. A Ukrainian colleague of mine has been trying to persuade her elderly parents who speak only Ukraine and who are not terribly mobile to leave Kharkiv and head clear across the country to Poland and then come here. My heart breaks for them and for all of the families who have lost loved ones and have had their lives completely and utterly upended.

    Of course, Putin is responsible for this horrific war. He started a completely unnecessary war. If I haven't written that here, I certainly have elsewhere and I do so right here right now. I could shout that from my rooftop and I would if I thought it would help to bring this war to an end by way of a political settlement and by what I believe to be merely an acknowledgement of reality vis-a-vis the geopolitics of Russia and Eastern Europe.

    I ask again! How do you think the suffering in Ukraine ends? Are you content to leave that up to Putin, alone? I am offering up ways out of this war. That is what I wish to have a discussion about.

  13. [13] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Whatever the ultimate reason, it means that Democrats will have a fighting chance at proving all the "they're going to lose at least the House" inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom this November.

    While voter suppression still remains a threat this is an important step in the right direction. Thank you, Cheetogod!

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    at what point does ending the conflict become the responsibility of the guy who started it?

    Did you read that Jerusalem Post piece about Israeli PM Bennett's 'shuttle diplomacy' and about the Russian offer?

    The good news is that the divide between Russia and Ukraine may be narrowing, as I noted earlier with Zelenskyy willing to put NATO membership aside and Putin willing to discard his goal of regime change in Kyiv.

  15. [15] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [2]

    The talk is all about what can be done, what weapons can we keep sending to prolong the war. I mean, nothing is being sent that would allow a victor or emerge. So, 'prolonging the war' is precisely what NATO is currently engaged in.

    No, Putin is prolonging this war. Please tell me what part about

    ...capitulate in Ukraine and the Baltic States are next. Then NATO has the shooting war that it so dreads... that you don't get?

    Appeasement won't work any better today than it did in Munich, 1938. A bad peace is not a peace but rather a timeout from the bloodshed, nothing more.

  16. [16] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [4]

    He was in a position to prevent this war from ever happening. Now, he will probably have to give up more to get out of this unnecessary humanitarian disaster.

    How? By unilaterally giving mean old Putin what he wants against the wishes of the country he doesn't rule? So Putin keeps chomping away?

  17. [17] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Zelensky would have not survived politically for two seconds if he'd done that.

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    I'm not saying that NATO shouldn't be supplying Ukraine with weapons and other support.

    I am saying that NATO, the US, and its allies should be doing more than that - they should be actively engaged in an effort to end this war by mediating between the two side and find an accommodation that everyone can live with.

    I just don't see any other option.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don't see anything coming from you that would be helpful to Ukraine.

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    How? By unilaterally giving mean old Putin what he wants against the wishes of the country he doesn't rule? So Putin keeps chomping away?

    Now, THIS is what I would call a classic case of a failure of imagination!

    But, you may be right ... the negotiating skills may just be as incompetent as you imply, all around ... :(

  21. [21] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    Small typo--surely it's: Whatever the ultimate reason, it means that Democrats will have a fighting chance at proving wrong all the "they're going to lose at least the House" inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom this November.

  22. [22] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Assumptions are that he will be forced to give up the contested Donbas region, officially recognize the pro-Russian dissidents in Ukraine, pledge that Ukraine will not join NATO, shrink his army and declare neutrality. If he declines the proposal, the outcome may be terrible: thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of Ukrainians will die and there is a high probability that his country will completely lose its independence."

    So d'ya know why you have to dig to find a map of the "front lines?" Because they're not moving much. This conventional wisdom refuses to accept the reality on the ground.

    Time is of the essence, though, and the longer he waits the narrower the opening for negotiations and the greater the chances are that he will lose the whole country.

    The US and its NATO allies have a role to play here, too. They can persuade him to accept the Russian offer, noted above. Which would merely be acknowledging the actual reality on the ground before the war and the only way out of it now.

    First, if Putin could win he would have done so by now, hello?

    Second, even if Putin defeats Ukraine he cannot occupy it without 800,000 troops permanently stationed there.

    Third, Ukraine can and will hold out longer than Russia can.

    Forth, NATO cutting off all support for Ukraine wouldn't stop Ukraine from fighting. It's arrogant to think NATO controls the situation.

    Fifth, appeasing Putin let's him off the hook for this abomination and tells him he can go after the Baltic States, Poland and so on because the West will capitulate.

  23. [23] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [12]

    I ask again! How do you think the suffering in Ukraine ends? Are you content to leave that up to Putin, alone? I am offering up ways out of this war. That is what I wish to have a discussion about.

    Please review my comments above and let's talk!

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy, now you are just wasting my time.

  25. [25] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I am saying that NATO, the US, and its allies should be doing more than that - they should be actively engaged in an effort to end this war by mediating between the two side and find an accommodation that everyone can live with.

    Do you mean, NATO isn't trying that right now? Does Putin not going along mean that every last country in the world isn't trying? Again, you're blaming anyone besides Vladimir Putin.

  26. [26] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    Had Zelenskyy (as shorthand for the nation of Ukraine) given way to Putin, how long before the next pretext for more territory? 'Chomping away' as MtnCaddy puts it? And then those poor 'Russians' in Latvia, and in Poland, and the Czech Republic? Oh, and don't forget the Balkans....

    It's not a secret that Putin wants to effectively restore the Iron Curtain boundaries.

    Russia is not the first colonizing power to argue that the presence of colonists gives the colonizer rights over the territory and resources of another people. Most of them, however, gave up on that years ago.

  27. [27] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [19]

    You talking to me, Elizabeth?

    Why not read and address in my points and straighten out my bad thinking?

  28. [28] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    MtnCaddy, now you are just wasting my time.

    Really? You have not addressed a single one of my points so if anyone's time is being wasted it would be mine.

    So whaddup? I've gone through this effort because you're not a troll and you can be reached. So don't be a troll that ducks and weaves.

    It appears that you hate the bloodshed so much a bad peace is better than no peace. Believe me, you are nowhere nearly as desirous of peace as I am. But I'm not so emotional that I don't see the reality that appeasement doesn't work.

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    WOW... We sure have come a long way in such a short time..

    So many comments to sincere point/counter-point comments address..

    And the return of an old frenemy.. :D

    This is REALLY awesome..

    But first, some house-keeping... dsws, Liz, MtnCaddy...

    How in the HELL do ya'all do that inline link thingy?? Enquiring minds want to know...

    Thanx in advance..

    Now let me go back to yesterday's comments and bring those discussions forward before I address todays.. It's gonna be a long day... I love it!! :D

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    Let me reword my response:

    By all means.. :D

    Sorry, but the Democrats being in charge of the Executive and both Houses of the Legislative branches of government might help push federal agencies to go electric, but it would not have the influence over local and state agencies that you seem to imply it would. And for the entire private fossil fuel-based trucking industry, they wouldn’t have any effect! They cannot force companies to buy new trucks nor are you necessarily going to be aware of when these companies start using EV semi’s.

    You have yet to explain how the Dems being in power would have led to the trucks being implemented nationally. The technology is out there. Truck maker Nikola has their new EV rigs now being used at the ports in LA and Long Beach. Amazon stopped using fossil fuel based trucks and have gone to EV trucks.

    This discussion is getting into the weeds.. The problem with that is any little quasi-factual nitpick doesn't address the original point..

    This whole discussion started because andygaus wants to do away with fossil fuels (IE petroleum) and I said that is simply not possible given our current level of technology and reminded andygaus how much his own live is connected to petroleum products.. As an aside to andygaus, please feel free to correct me if I misrepresented your original point.

    Then Bashi chimed in and seemed to think that the entirety of the US fossil fuel-based vehicle fleet, more specifically our trucking/transport industry will become EV in a few years.. Bashi? Same aside...

    I stated that such an accomplishment is decades away..

    And the facts bear this out..

    Fossil fuels for vehicles are going to be with us as our primary form commercial/civilian transport for a long time to come..

    Even if we see an onslaught of EVs, they will STILL depend on the fossil fuel industry to be created and maintained..

    https://internationalleathermaker.com/images//10222.photo.2.jpg

    Irony at it's finest...

    The point about Democrats was brought in because *IF* EVs were so close to taking over all the duties of our Trucking/Transport industry, then the Green part of the Democrat Party would be screaming that fact to the high heavens.. The fact that such a concept is NOT in the public consciousness would indicate that such a transformation is DECADES away.

    Yes, the technology is out there..

    Yes, *AN* EV Semi may roll off the production line in a few years..

    But either of those facts or even both facts combined are a long long LONG way from a mass exodus from our current fossil fuel based Trucking/Transport infrastructure to a fully EV one...

    Decades... If not longer...

    And, if Putin starts tossing nukes... Centuries...

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Zelensky appears to be ignoring the the Israeli leader's efforts to find that diplomatic off ramp. In fact, we all know what that it is and calling it surrender is more than disingenuous, it is a way to prolong this war to the bitter, bloody end.

    Zelensky can be forgiven for wanting to ignore the Israel leader's advice..

    Because the Israel leader's advice consisted of one word...

    SURRENDER...

    Shameful advice made even MORE shameful coming from the leader of ISRAEL!!!

    One has to wonder how the Israeli Leader would react if Biden suggested that Israel should SURRENDER to Iran, Hamas and the PLO.. :^/

    Netanyahu would NEVER have given such advice!!

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    The new seasons of both Picard and Discovery ROCK! Have so enjoyed them!

    I may have to give Discovery more of a chance then...

    But total agreement on Picard... It's kick ass... Made even more so by the fact it's not some high and mighty cerebral thought-game, but just a good old fashioned kick ass time travel story...

    But I have to wonder why they just didn't tie it in with the well-established Canon of the Mirror Universe and The Alliance?? It would have made a nice tie-in with Season 1 of Discovery...

    Why create a whole new baddy alternate universe with the Confederation???

    That point needs to be explained..

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    It's funny. This column is about the nothing burger protest. Certainly a yes, of course column. So now we've got an EV thread paralleling a Ukraine thread. Plus the usual spewage to scroll through.

    Com'on MC.. It's obvious I am making an effort here..

    Can't you meet me halfway???

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    He is one of the obstacle to peace. But, I am not in the business of playing the blame game. I have no interest in it. Never have.

    I'm looking for solutions to this mess and to stop the killing and dying while Zelensky, seemingly, is enjoying the love-infused limelight of his new-found celebrity.

    I have to agree with MtnCaddy in saying that appeasement is not the solution..

    Peace at ANY cost is not true peace but usually the ones who have that attitude being the enslaved..

    There are somethings worth fighting and dying for..

    The freedom of one's country and one's people is one of those things..

  35. [35] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Not sure if anyone saw the interview with the Ukrainian man who called his father who lives in Russia to let him know where his family was going to try to relocate to… His father did not believe the son when he said Russia was attacking them! The father supports Putin and does not believe that he would do something so horrible. The Russian people aren’t going to protest a war that they haven’t been told about!

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    I was thinking yesterday that the path to a negotiated settlement to this thing was closing fast but, today I am more optimistic. Of course, I just got home from work and haven't delved into my emails or any news yet, so ...

    There is no diplomatic solution that leaves Ukraine as a free and sovereign nation..

    Having Ukraine as free and sovereign will require a military victory..

    Because Putin has absolutely no incentive for a diplomatic solution because he will win Ukraine without one..

    So, the ONLY solution for a Ukraine win is a military solution. And the ONLY way that there can be a win for Ukraine is if NATO squares off against Putin..

    QED...

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    {{{What if we give Putin carte blanche to steamroll over Ukraine.}}}

    Countries around the world will notice. Many of them with more powerful neighbors will decide that they need to get nuclear weapons, or risk suffering the same fate as Ukraine. A world with two nuclear-armed powers in a stance of mutually assured destruction is relatively stable. We can probably survive a world that also has Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea, at least for quite a while. In a world with a hundred such countries, humanity winds up extinct within a few decades.

    Yep, exactly.. So, obviously the goal here should be make sure Putin doesn't steamroll Ukraine, eh??

    {{{What will stop him from going on to Poland?}}}

    There are thousands of US troops in Poland. If he tries to steamroll over them, he's in a conventional war that he can't win.

    I disagree... Allow me to game it out..

    Why would NATO defend Poland and not Ukraine?? A signed piece of paper??

    If NATO allows all the death and destruction of Ukraine on the strength of a piece of paper??

    Well, that says a lot about NATO.. None of which is very good...

    I am betting that Putin is thinking that NATO won't defend Estonia or Poland or Latvia or Lithuania any more than NATO would defend Ukraine...

    And I don't think the American people would be inclined to support Poland if NATO didn't support Ukraine..

  38. [38] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    But I have to wonder why they just didn't tie it in with the well-established Canon of the Mirror Universe and The Alliance?? It would have made a nice tie-in with Season 1 of Discovery...

    Why create a whole new baddy alternate universe with the Confederation???

    Remember, this reality that Picard finds himself in is one of Q’s creations. It’s tied somehow to the tragedy that Picard has been holding on to since his childhood. The Alliance’s hierarchy is established cannon…not sure if the writers wanted to be restricted by those details. It seems that whatever caused Picard to become a xenophobic bigot is why the Confederation came to be.

    Very happy to hear that the cast is just finishing up filming Season 3! They shot 2&3 back-to-back, so maybe we won’t have to wait too long for season 3 once 2 is done.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    But it's definitionally impossible to build a colony on Mars. No matter what we build there, there are no indigenous people to displace or subjugate, and no ecosystems to devastate, so whatever we build won't be a colony.

    Now yer just splitting hairs.. :D

    How about we substitute "colony" for "settlement"... :D

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    MtnCaddy

    Don't worry, Elizabeth. I don't play that juvenile silence means consent foolishness, as I find it unbecoming.

    I do as well..

    Which is why I am surprised that the Democrat Party has made it such a staple of their existence..

    Not, not really surprised.. :D

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK That finishes up yesterday's comments.. :D

    WOOT!! :D

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    The talk is all about what can be done, what weapons can we keep sending to prolong the war. I mean, nothing is being sent that would allow a victor or emerge. So, 'prolonging the war' is precisely what NATO is currently engaged in.

    Well, when you put it like THAT... It sounds so bad..

    But I agree.. This has gone on long enough..

    NATO should piddle or get off the pot..

    Either HELP Ukraine win or surrender and acquiesce to the inevitable..

    And, all Zelensky's admirers in the media can seem to say about it is that any negotiated way out of this mess will be akin to Ukraine putting up the white flag of surrender. Which, unsurprisingly, couldn't be further from the truth of the matter/reality on the ground, even before the invasion.

    The *ONLY* diplomatic solution IS surrender on the part of Ukraine..

    That's it... Fini... Game Over...

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    Remember, this reality that Picard finds himself in is one of Q’s creations. It’s tied somehow to the tragedy that Picard has been holding on to since his childhood. The Alliance’s hierarchy is established cannon…not sure if the writers wanted to be restricted by those details. It seems that whatever caused Picard to become a xenophobic bigot is why the Confederation came to be.

    OK that makes sense..

    But Q said that the diversion point came in 2024.. That is too far in the past for Picard to have been involved at all, since Picard wasn't born til 13 Jul 2305.. I would say it's too far for even an ancestor of Picard's to have much influence 300 years later??

    Oh well, I am sure we'll find out and it will be awesome..

    But I get your point that the writers probably didn't want to be restricted by the established Canon of the Mirror Universe.. I just think that a character (Picard or someone) needs to explain why this is a different baddy universe than the established Mirror Universe..

    Kinda like that one line in STAR TREK 90210 where Uhura stated for the audience that this was an alternate timeline than the "real" Kirk/Spock timeline..

    One line cleared up a whole slew of questions..

    Very happy to hear that the cast is just finishing up filming Season 3! They shot 2&3 back-to-back, so maybe we won’t have to wait too long for season 3 once 2 is done.

    Now THAT is some good news!!!

    I hate this new Hollywood/TV schedule where they do a 10-12 episode "season" and then take a couple years off..

    I am STILL waiting for Season 2 of The Orville, fer christ's sake!! :D

    Hell, had to wait almost 2 years for Season 2 of UPLOAD...

    Grrrrrrrr

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    Sure, assuming the military, the oligarchs and the Russian people don't mind losing 4,000 Russians every two weeks to accomplish...nothing.

    According to the facts on the ground, it's not clear whether the Russian people even KNOW there is a war going on, let alone the extent of it..

    I mean, let's face it.. Living in Russia is suffering to begin with.. Will the people notice more suffering??

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    Man, you got that right. Another example (like the Afghanistan withdrawal) of the Biden administration being nowhere close to perfect, a-yup. No matter what it's still miles better than Trump would have done

    The facts say different.

    Putin was afraid of President Trump.. Why do you think he was quiet between Odumbo and Biden?? :D

    The facts clearly show that none of this would have happened under a President Trump administration.

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    I am saying that NATO, the US, and its allies should be doing more than that - they should be actively engaged in an effort to end this war by mediating between the two side and find an accommodation that everyone can live with.

    If by "mediating" you mean pounding the shit outta Russia positions with smart bombs and missiles..

    I completely agree.. NATO and the US should be "mediating"... :D

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Zelensky can fortify Ukraine's independence but will have to pay a heavy price, the sources said. Assumptions are that he will be forced to give up the contested Donbas region, officially recognize the pro-Russian dissidents in Ukraine, pledge that Ukraine will not join NATO, shrink his army and declare neutrality. If he declines the proposal, the outcome may be terrible: thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of Ukrainians will die and there is a high probability that his country will completely lose its independence."

    In other words, an effective Ukraine surrender..

    To become a satellite state of Russia and Putin..

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Odumbo? And, things were going so well. ;)

    Seriously, I couldn't be happier! :)

    About those multiple links ... if I could learn how to do them, ANYBODY can. Heh.

    Of course, I had A LOT of help from MtnCaddy!

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mezzomamma,

    Had Zelenskyy (as shorthand for the nation of Ukraine) given way to Putin, how long before the next pretext for more territory? 'Chomping away' as MtnCaddy puts it? And then those poor 'Russians' in Latvia, and in Poland, and the Czech Republic? Oh, and don't forget the Balkans....

    It's not a secret that Putin wants to effectively restore the Iron Curtain boundaries.

    Exactly...

    If the US or NATO won't stop Putin in Ukraine, there is NO REASON to expect that the US or NATO will stop Putin in Poland..

    And if the US and NATO are willing to stop Putin in Poland, then why not save all the lives lost and destruction and stop Putin in Ukraine??

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Odumbo? And, things were going so well. ;)

    You have to allow me one.. I gave up the Basement Biden.. Don't make me give up my Odumbo.. :D

    Hell, I don't think I can even SPELL Obaamaaeieio... :D

    About those multiple links ... if I could learn how to do them, ANYBODY can. Heh.

    Of course, I had A LOT of help from MtnCaddy!

    Well, stranger things have happened.. :D

    Maybe dsws will grace me with his wisdom.. :D

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Scroll to the end of the comments.

    Click on "Commenting Tips".

    Scroll ALL THE WAY to the bottom to where it says, Customizing Your Links

    It's all right there.

    It takes a while to wrap your mind around it. Okay, it took ME a while to wrap MY mind around it. But, then it becomes second nature, just like MtnCaddy predicted!

    Just practice it - I promise I won't laugh!

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK going to do some testing.. Bear with me..

    Man, you got that right. Another example (like the Afghanistan withdrawal) of the Biden administration being nowhere close to perfect, a-yup. No matter what it's still miles better than Trump would have done


    Bill Maher: Why Putin invaded Ukraine under Biden, not Trump, is 'worth asking'..


    62 percent of voters say Putin wouldn't have invaded Ukraine if Trump were president: poll

    Let's see if this works out.. :D

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'll be dipped in shit!!!

    It worked!!!

    First time!!!! :D

    Thanx MtnCaddy!!! :D

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Heh.

    You promised!! :D heheehehehehe J/K

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    I’ve studied the possible trajectories of the Russia-Ukraine war. None are good

    But scores of war games conducted for the US and allied governments and my own experience as the US national intelligence officer for Europe suggest that if we boil it down, there are really only two paths toward ending the war: one, continued escalation, potentially across the nuclear threshold; the other, a bitter peace imposed on a defeated Ukraine that will be extremely hard for the United States and many European allies to swallow.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/mar/08/russia-ukraine-war-possible-trajectories

    That's pretty much it...

    Either NATO intervenes and forces PUTIN to back down..

    Or Ukraine surrenders it's soul and the US and NATO tuck their tails between their legs and slink home..

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    The nuclear option that has been most frequently discussed in the past few days involves Russia using a small nuclear weapon (a “non-strategic nuclear weapon”) against a specific military target in Ukraine. Such a strike might have a military purpose, such as destroying an airfield or other military target, but it would mainly be aimed at demonstrating the will to use nuclear weapons, or “escalating to de-escalate”, and scaring the west into backing down.

    Some analysts have questioned Russia’s ability to actually carry out such an operation, given its lack of practice. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only or even the most likely option available to the Kremlin. Based on war games I ran in the wake of Putin’s 2014 invasion, a more likely option would be a sudden nuclear test or a high-altitude nuclear detonation that damages the electrical grid over a major Ukrainian or even Nato city. Think of an explosion that makes the lights go out over Oslo.

    Those war games indicated that the best US response to this kind of attack would be first to demonstrate US resolve with a response in kind, aimed at a target of similar value, followed by restraint and diplomatic efforts to de-escalate. In most games, Russia still responds with a second nuclear attack, but in the games that go “well”, the United States and Russia manage to de-escalate after that, although only in circumstances where both sides have clear political off-ramps and lines of communication between Moscow and Washington have remained open. In all the other games, the world is basically destroyed.

    This is some really scary shit here..

    A few days ago, I had just starting cooking dinner for my wife and I when the power went out.. My first thought was that Russia had nuked Mayport...

    Turns out I had all the lights on, the AC running and the jacuzzi out back going and when I turned on the stove... POP.. The lights went out..

    But it was a sobering moment.. My ammunition supplies are ridiculously low and I have seriously considered buying ammo in 1000rnd bulk, plus stocking up on commercial MREs and such..

    In other words, the shit's getting real..

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    NO, no ... I am impressed!

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    Even in the better case where both sides take their fingers off the triggers, the nuclear taboo has been broken, and we are in an entirely new era: two nuclear superpowers have used their nuclear weapons in a war. The proliferation consequences alone would be far-reaching, as other countries accelerate their nuclear weapons programs. The very fact that the nuclear taboo had been broken increases the odds that the nuclear threshold is crossed again in future conflicts, not just between Russia and America, but also with China, between India and Pakistan, in the Middle East, or elsewhere. Even this outcome in which the world is “saved”, the United States is far worse off than it was before the war in Ukraine broke out last month.

    Imagine a world where nukes have flown....

    Even small tactical battlefield nukes...

    It would be a vastly different world..

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    I won't quote the rest of the article, but I highly recommend it..

    It's a VERY good read and it shows that where we go from here is not going to be pretty and not going to be pleasant..

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That's two articles that I promise to read/discuss ...

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    You'll like both of them..

    But that one above.. VERY scary...

    Made even more so by the fact that it's very realistic and possible...

  63. [63] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Two years, two weeks. What about two months?

    It will be interesting in two years to find out some of the things the big money politicians have slipped by the last two weeks and over the next two months while the media distracts citizens with the war in Ukraine.

  64. [64] 
    dsws wrote:

    The total number of cases has topped a jaw-dropping 80,000,000.

    That's diagnosed and recorded, right? If so, the overall number of instances of people catching covid is probably quite a bit higher. I suspect I've had it, for example. I got a notification on my phone that I'd been near someone who was diagnosed. At the time the at-home rapid tests weren't available yet, and I never developed any of the symptoms that would be a reason to go to the doctor about it, but I had a somewhat odd cold that lasted a bit longer than usual. I'd had my booster shot, so it wouldn't be surprising for me to have had a very mild case.

    --

    Here's another thing I previously posted on Facebook:

    We hear a lot about anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, but with all the trillions of dollars we've spent on our military, we must have something that can suppress Russian artillery. Today I think we should send large numbers of counter-battery weapon systems to Poland, enough to destroy every artillery piece that Russia owns, and bring corresponding numbers of Ukrainian personnel to Poland to train on how to use them. As long as Russian artillery doesn't target population centers, most of the hardware stays in Poland. My guess is that it will protect Ukrainians better that way than if we just send it to Ukraine.

  65. [65] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    It is always funny when you write about gerrymandering.

    You pretend that somehow a balance between the Deathocrats and Republikillers or a Deathocrat advantage is somehow a good thing and not partisan gerrymandering.

    The important gerrymandering distinction that you ignore is:
    The big money party (Deathocrats and Republikillers are two divisions of the one big money party)- all the districts.

    Other parties- zero districts.

    Unbelievably fair playing field?

    You're right- it's not believable.

    Get Real.

    Wake Up.
    Wise Up.
    Rise Up.

    TAKE THE VACCINE!

  66. [66] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @m/russ,

    spoilers!

    @m[36],
    precisely, we're in full agreement on this. until the military situation changes, there's ZERO diplomatic solution available that doesn't give putin everything he wants and encourage him to take even more later. it'd be 1939 and neville chamberlain all over again.

    i'm quite sure biden is enough of a student of history that he's not going to go that route. when dealing with an expansionist dictator, you need your diplomacy to be backed up by force.

    JL

    p.s. netanyahu has been horrific for israel, to the point where bitter rivals from across the political spectrum formed alliances once practically unthinkable just to get rid of him. so please, stay in your lane.

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    @m/russ,

    spoilers!

    DOH!!! Apologies....

    We haven't revealed much you can't learn in the trailer promos..

    But yer right.. We need to be more mindful of that..

    Mea culpa...

    precisely, we're in full agreement on this. until the military situation changes, there's ZERO diplomatic solution available that doesn't give putin everything he wants and encourage him to take even more later. it'd be 1939 and neville chamberlain all over again.

    Exactly...

    The only way this ends with Ukraine having ANY semblance of freedom and sovereignty is militarily...

    i'm quite sure biden is enough of a student of history that he's not going to go that route. when dealing with an expansionist dictator, you need your diplomacy to be backed up by force

    It's clear that Biden has made the decision not to commit NATO to protect Ukraine... Which means it's not clear whether Biden will commit NATO to protect Poland..

    In other words, Biden's hands off policies are EXACTLY going the way of Neville Chamberlain...

    p.s. netanyahu has been horrific for israel, to the point where bitter rivals from across the political spectrum formed alliances once practically unthinkable just to get rid of him. so please, stay in your lane.

    As you well know, I have a kindred affection for Israel, having spent time there and worked with their military during my military career... Netanyahu was great for Israel in the same vein that President Trump was great for the US..

    The mere fact that forces of evil banded together to get rid of Netanyahu, just as they did to get rid of President Trump, does not mean the forces of evil are morally or ethically or even LEGALLY in the right.. If ya have to work with assorted terrorists and scumbags to vanquish your foe, then perhaps your foe is the one who has the moral high ground, eh? :D

    And I have a feeling that the forces of evil in both the US and Israel have only accomplished a temporary victory.. The forces of good and just (President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu) will return again... You just HAVE to know that is factually accurate..

    My lane, indeed.. harrumph.... :D

  68. [68] 
    dsws wrote:

    We are changing the capitalization, for one week only.

    Good call.

    This is all part of moving away from Russian terminology like "the Ukraine"

    I thought "the Ukraine" referred to the region, and just "Ukraine" referred to the nation-state, regardless of who was saying it, and it's just that the Russians talk about the region because they deny the legitimacy of the nation-state.

    --

    Russia doesn't need to occupy Ukraine. Russia only needs to defeat Ukraine. If Ukraine permanently loses even half the territory Russia has conquered so far, no future Ukrainian government will dare offend Russia. If twenty million Ukrainians die in Holodomor II, no future Ukrainian government will dare offend Russia. And so on through any other form of Ukrainian defeat. And likewise for any other country Russia threatens.

  69. [69] 
    dsws wrote:

    [7]
    assuming the military, the oligarchs and the Russian people don't mind losing 4,000 Russians every two weeks to accomplish...nothing.

    If they defeat Ukraine, every government they threaten with war will make all its decisions in light of what happened to Ukraine. That is not "nothing". That is empire. That is Russian victory, more so than if they annex Ukraine outright.

    [22]
    appeasing Putin lets him off the hook for this abomination and tells him he can go after the Baltic States, Poland and so on because the West will capitulate.

    I don't think it tells Putin that he's free to conquer countries that have thousands of US troops already stationed there. It just tells the governments of Moldova, Finland, Sweden, Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan that when Putin even looks as though he might say "jump" they have to cower in terror and try to figure out how high.

    [29]
    How in the HELL do ya'all do that inline link thingy?? Enquiring minds want to know...

    Let's see if I can get this to show up right ...

    <a href=" URL "> text to display </a>

    Ok, going to post with that before reading more, in case I messed it up.

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    If they defeat Ukraine, every government they threaten with war will make all its decisions in light of what happened to Ukraine. That is not "nothing". That is empire. That is Russian victory, more so than if they annex Ukraine outright.

    Well said...

    I don't think it tells Putin that he's free to conquer countries that have thousands of US troops already stationed there. It just tells the governments of Moldova, Finland, Sweden, Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan that when Putin even looks as though he might say "jump" they have to cower in terror and try to figure out how high.

    I wish I had as high an estimation of NATO deterrence as you do...

    But let's say you are correct, that NATO can deter Putin..

    This begs the question..

    WHY let Putin rape and pillage and have it's way with Ukraine..

    If a sure stopper to Putin's aggressions is NATO..

    WHY didn't NATO (in the form of Biden) stop Putin in Ukraine??

    Surely it makes more sense, from a compassionate saving lives perspective, to stop Putin in Ukraine rather than in Poland..

    Which is why I don't believe Biden/NATO will defend Poland..

    Because if Biden/NATO thought they could defend Poland, there was absolutely NO REASON not to defend Ukraine..

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's see if I can get this to show up right ...

    text to display

    Ok, going to post with that before reading more, in case I messed it up.

    Thanx, dsws... :D

    I was able to look at the source code for yesterday's commentary.. Looking at MtnCaddy's example, I was able to figure it out..

    :D

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apologies.. I thought you were finished when I responded with #70..

    I'll kewl my shit out and let you finish.. :D

  73. [73] 
    dsws wrote:

    [37]
    So, obviously the goal here should be make sure Putin doesn't steamroll Ukraine, eh?

    Or that if he does it's a thoroughly Pyrrhic victory, leaving Russia as a bigger, poorer, weaker version of North Korea, if it continues to exist at all.

    [42]
    NATO should piddle or get off the pot..

    Either HELP Ukraine win or surrender and acquiesce to the inevitable

    Why? As long as Russia is destroyed, humanity can have a decent chance of surviving. If we "piss", i.e. go to undeniable direct combat between the US and Russia, then the ICBMs launch and humanity is extinct. If we "get off the pot", i.e. let Russia completely defeat Ukraine and maintain the credibility of threat that will let them dominate a large sphere of influence, then every country in the world feels the need to get nuclear weapons or be conquered, and in a few decades something goes not-according-to-plan somewhere, and humanity is extinct. If we let the war and Holodomor II grind on indefinitely, so that forty million Ukrainians die in the process of killing a million or so Russian invaders, then every country in the world will understand that no one wants to be the next Russia. Forty-one million dead is horrible, but it's not as bad as eight billion dead.

    There's no way Ukraine can win. For Ukraine, it's a question of losing badly or losing really, really badly. Even if the Crimea and the Donbas are restored, Ukraine has already been damaged so badly that every country Russia threatens will be cowed -- if Russia isn't harmed much, much worse.

    [52]
    The explanation in the previous post was unnecessary. Cool.

    Ok, enough for now.

    Russia delenda est

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    {{{Either HELP Ukraine win or surrender and acquiesce to the inevitable}}}

    Why? As long as Russia is destroyed, humanity can have a decent chance of surviving.

    At the cost of how many millions of Ukrainian lives.. I think that is too high of a price to pay for a vanquished Russia...

    If NATO steps into it NOW, we can (probably) achieve the same result (a vanquished Russia) without millions dying in Ukraine..

    If we "piss", i.e. go to undeniable direct combat between the US and Russia, then the ICBMs launch and humanity is extinct.

    Not necessarily...

    There's no way Ukraine can win. For Ukraine, it's a question of losing badly or losing really, really badly. Even if the Crimea and the Donbas are restored, Ukraine has already been damaged so badly that every country Russia threatens will be cowed -- if Russia isn't harmed much, much worse.

    As I see it, the ONLY way that Russia can be harmed much MUCH worse is by NATO intervening..

    Any other scenario leaves the world cowering in fear of what Russia might do next..

    I see what you are saying and, to a certain extent, I agree with you..

    The question is, do we want to live in a world dominated by Russia??

    If Russia is allowed to succeed in Ukraine and Biden/NATO do nothing beyond platitudes and supplies..

    Then US and NATO cede all moral authority on the planet...

    And if Russia DOES move on to Poland et al and THEN NATO enters the fray, there will be those who wonder, "IF NATO WAS WILLING TO FIGHT FOR POLAND, WHY WASN'T NATO WILLING TO FIGHT FOR UKRAINE"...

    Which will be a legitimate question that goes far beyond the "It was because of a piece of paper" answer..

    Moral authority stems from the willingness to do what's morally right, not because a piece of paper says so but because it's morally right..

    "Let's speak the truth. And the truth is, we acted too late. Only when our own national security was threatened did we act. Radek's regime murdered over 200,000 men, women, and children, and we watched it on TV. We let it happen. People were being slaughtered for over a year and we issued economic sanctions and hid behind the rhetoric of diplomacy. How dare we? The dead remember. Real peace is not just the absence of conflict, it's the presence of justice. And tonight I come to you with a pledge to change America's policy. Never again will I allow our political self-interest to deter us from doing what we know to be morally right. Atrocity and terror are not political weapons and to those who would use them: your day is over. We will never negotiate. We will no longer tolerate, and we will no longer be afraid. It's your turn to be afraid."
    -Harrison Ford, AIR FORCE ONE

    Or, if you prefer..

    "Finally, and I say this to all nations who may wish us ill, the United States of America will not tolerate attacks on our country, our possessions, or our citizens. From this day forward, whoever executes or orders such an attack, no matter who you are, no matter where you might hide, no matter how long it may take, we will come for you. I have sworn an oath before God to execute my duties as President.

    That I will do. To those who wish to be our friends, you will find no more faithful friend than we. To those who would be our enemies, remember that we can be faithful at that, too."
    -President Jack Ryan, EXECUTIVE ORDERS

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    “We will defend every single inch of Nato territory with the full might of a united and galvanised Nato.

    We will not fight a war against Russia in Ukraine. Direct confrontation between Nato and Russia is World War Three, something we must strive to prevent."
    -Joe Biden

    So, WWIII is acceptable if it's defending NATO territory..

    But WWIII is NOT acceptable if it's defending Ukraine...

    I just don't get the "logic" of such a position..

    If you defeat Putin in Ukraine, then you don't HAVE to defend NATO territory...

    And if you can't defeat Putin in Ukraine, then what is NATO membership worth??

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay dsws...

    Will Weigantia's Wordpress allow one to use SPOILER tags that actually hide text???

  77. [77] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    So, WWIII is acceptable if it's defending NATO territory..

    Let’s be clear — “WWIII” isn’t actually a threat as long as other countries recognize that there can be no benefit in their supporting Russia’s aggression.

    This is when I realize how idiotic and destructive it was for us to neuter the United Nations from being able to act as this planet’s law enforcement agency. Our greed and arrogance caused us to believe that our country has the right to do what it wants without being held to the same rules that we expect everyone else to be held to.

    I love Star Trek and the dream of intelligent life from other planets making first contact with us. But I recognize that no intelligent life form would ever make first contact with a world that does not work for the betterment of all of its peoples above all else. If we cannot work together as an unified planet, why would any other planet think us capable of working with them? If we cannot get along with those just like us, why would we think we could get along with those that are very different from us?

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let’s be clear — “WWIII” isn’t actually a threat as long as other countries recognize that there can be no benefit in their supporting Russia’s aggression.

    According to Biden's statement, the US and Russia at war is de-facto WWIII...

    But I get what you are trying to say and I agree with you except for your assessment of the UN..

    The UN is THE most corrupt and bureaucracy-riddled agency on the planet.

    And THAT says something..

    The UN is useless unless it's razed to the ground and replaced with an organization that works for it's people and not for itself..

  79. [79] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    JL [66]

    @m/russ,

    spoilers!

    That’s on me! Sorry, I tried to keep it to only info that they show in their commercials, but even that can be seen as a spoiler I realize.

  80. [80] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    IN 8½ minutes this Beau of the Fifth Column guy explains just how effed Russia's economy is about to be, seemlingly overnight, due to the sanctions and company pullouts already in place. With more on the way.

    This reality (not wishful thinking on my part) is why I maintain that Putin and his spineless pack of sycophants miscalculated. As in, Russians will bring a weapon to kill or "retire" the Boss before they'll give the Boss any bad news level miscalculated.

    WATCH THIS VIDEO.

    Remember that I'm a politics-history-anthro junkie and Ukrainian blood flows in me so I know the scene.

    Mark my words:

    Putin will be gone long before Ukraine gives up the fight.

    Ukrainian Grandfathers want their own AK-47 so they can go kill Russians, for Pete's sake!

  81. [81] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Wow, there was a fairly good debate about the problems of actually achieving peace in Ukraine, for about 30 posts. Then things fell apart and the comments board was, once again, unreadable for the following 50 posts or so.
    Too bad.

  82. [82] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [77]

    Good, weighty questions my man, er, person!

    For all we know the Federation of Planets has declared our species to be off limits, and put us on double-secret probation.

    We surely deserve it.

  83. [83] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale

    I hate this new Hollywood/TV schedule where they do a 10-12 episode "season" and then take a couple years off..

    I am STILL waiting for Season 2 of The Orville, fer christ's sake!! :D

    Hell, had to wait almost 2 years for Season 2 of UPLOAD...

    PREACH!!!

    I was just gonna ask you about UPLOAD… loved the first season! Only got to watch the first episode of season 2, but plan on binging it tonight.

    Also wanted to plug my favorite Canadian show — LETTERKENNY Brilliant writing in the same way that SOUTHPARK’s writing is truly brilliant — it seems crude; but once you get past the silliness you can see just how much thought was behind it.

    Just rewatched Tim Minchin & the Heritage Orchestra Live at the Royal Albert Hall on Netflix and was reminded of what a comedic genius he is as well as an amazing musician! Seriously, the music is so incredible that I suggest running it with closed captioning on so you don’t miss some of the best lines.

  84. [84] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    MtnCaddy

    Beau is GREAT! Love his daily musings. Don’t always agree with him, but he is clearly very thoughtful in his comments. His videos are not meant to cause controversy.

  85. [85] 
    dsws wrote:

    Will Weigantia's Wordpress allow one to use SPOILER tags that actually hide text???

    I don't know.

    Maybe.

    Let's find out.

  86. [86] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    March 12th, 2022 at 03:58 ]
    [33] Michale wrote:
    MtnCaddy,

    It's funny. This column is about the nothing burger protest. Certainly a yes, of course column. So now we've got an EV thread paralleling a Ukraine thread. Plus the usual spewage to scroll through.

    Com'on MC.. It's obvious I am making an effort here..

    Can't you meet me halfway???

    Dammit, today I started peeking at some of your comments Michale (first time in two months) and yes, you are making

  87. [87] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ...an effort.

    That's what sucks about the trolling. You have a brain and if you could stick to persuading rather than annoying people for fun you could be a great help in Weigantia. You could be the Rush Limbaugh of Weigantia, IMO often wrong but sometimes deadly spot on.

    Same thing with Brother Don Harris. His political humor is dope -- I mean wicked dope -- so obviously he has a brain. But he keeps repeating himself endlessly and as yourself, Big Guy, fails to enlighten and maybe even persuade anyone.

    Us Libtards go off the deep end, too. That's why your side of the aisle needs to get it together because Trump Fan Club is not the answer to any of America's problems.

  88. [88] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I mean, all respect to Trump (because IMO he did some some good things for our country) but he's old news and most of America is over Trump.

  89. [89] 
    dsws wrote:

    Ok, not with that tag. I don't have any other ideas right now.

    "IF NATO WAS WILLING TO FIGHT FOR POLAND, WHY WASN'T NATO WILLING TO FIGHT FOR UKRAINE"...

    Because in MAD you have to be clear where your red lines are, and not cross the other side's red lines. Direct, acknowledged combat between US and Russian military forces is a red line. If Russian troops fire on US troops or vice versa, we're in across-the-line territory, and we're at unacceptable risk of launching the ICBMs. This only applies to troops who are there openly. It wouldn't apply to "Georgian" separatists (who everyone knows are Russian soldiers) exchanging fire with "Georgian" government troops (who everyone knows are American). We're still alive because we have limited proxy wars instead of total war.

    So, WWIII is acceptable if it's defending NATO territory..

    But WWIII is NOT acceptable if it's defending Ukraine.

    WWIII is set off by Russia if they attack NATO territory. WWIII is set off by the US if we attack Russian troops openly in Ukraine.

    [77]
    “WWIII” isn’t actually a threat as long as other countries recognize that there can be no benefit in their supporting Russia’s aggression.

    There can be benefit. China can benefit: if the rest of the world refuses to buy Russian oil and gas, Russia has to sell to China at whatever price China feels like paying. Belarus can benefit: if Russia marches its troops through Belarus without anyone complaining, the potential complainers aren't found to have committed suicide under circumstances that no one says are suspicious at all. Ok, that last one isn't exactly a benefit, but it's a pretty compelling incentive, if you happen to live within Russia's sphere of influence.

    Let's not allow Russia's sphere of influence to expand and intensify.

    This is when I realize how idiotic and destructive it was for us to neuter the United Nations from being able to act as this planet’s law enforcement agency.

    The UN was never able to act as the planet's law enforcement agency. The world has always had sovereign countries and spheres of influence.

    Our greed and arrogance caused us to believe that our country has the right to do what it wants without being held to the same rules that we expect everyone else to be held to.

    Truth. And we really, really need to mend our ways.

    [80]
    IN 8½ minutes this Beau of the Fifth Column guy explains just how effed Russia's economy is about to be

    I like Beau in general, but I think he's overstating things this time. What he describes is all stuff that happens during an ordinary economic downturn. What we need to inflict on Russia, if humanity is to survive at all, is more like the Great Depression times three.

    Enough for now.

    Russia delenda est

  90. [90] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John[81],

    Seriously!? Unreadable?

    Well, I for one think this thread is a real treat, start to finish. :)

  91. [91] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Caddy-
    Once again repeating the I keep repeating stuff nonsense?

    CW keeps repeating the propaganda and I keep repeating my opinion and you keep repeating that I keep repeating.

    Of course, CW does not address my arguments and rarely does anyone else actually engage in rational discussion which could lead to someone being persuaded if they were more interested in finding out whether there is a way for citizens to use democracy to regain control from the big money interests instead of just using the dodges and nonsensical claims such as your repeating stuff claim perhaps because you don't want to be persuaded as you would rather have confirmation that you are already doing what you should or can do.

  92. [92] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [90]

    Me, too, Miss Vancouver. Maybe you drew Michale out with what I regarded at the time to be naivete, but perhaps Michale can provide me a service that I'm confident he can render.


    I want Michale to hone -- to refine -- my Liberalism. I want someone to point out when I'm full of doo-doo and MOST IMPORTANTLY say why.
    We'd both know we weren't going to convert each other, but while he was making me a better American Citizen I maybe could help him likewise refine and sharpen his Conservatism. 'Tever.

    You hear me, Michale? I know you have it in you...

  93. [93] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [91]

    Question, Brother Don:

    Do you think anyone here doesn't agree that Big Money is a big problem in America?

  94. [94] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    And do you think that just because Big Money is a problem that OD is automatically the solution?

  95. [95] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Really, Michale I've been looking for a Conservative to set me straight but, regrettably, they keep declining the opportunity.

    You care.

    You have the brains.

    Do you wanna troll and effect exactly zero influence, or do you want to help set Murica straight, one Libtard at a time?

    It's on you, Dawg.

    BTW, for the record: I've bagged on you over the "include the kids" thing but I feel ya, in that Westerners are way the bleep too uptight about sex and their bodies. So I see where you're coming from even if I'm not 100% on board with the practice.

  96. [96] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [89]

    ...military forces is a red line. If Russian troops fire on US troops or vice versa, we're in across-the-line territory, and we're at unacceptable risk of launching the ICBMs.

    A no-fly zone would surely bring both sides into open warfare. No doubt thats s result everybody wants to avoid.

    Not so likely if the Russians have figured out that if they cannot defeat Ukraine’s air force they would likely get killed by NATO's air forces, no?

  97. [97] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [89]

    The UN was never able to act as the planet's law enforcement agency. The world has always had sovereign countries and spheres of influence.

    True, that.

  98. [98] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [89]

    I like Beau in general, but I think he's overstating things this time. What he describes is all stuff that happens during an ordinary economic downturn. What we need to inflict on Russia, if humanity is to survive at all, is more like the Great Depression times three.

    I got the impression that Beau was describing just that horrific scenario for Russia -- and that's only the sanctions to date. More will pile on until Russia retreats.

  99. [99] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [89]

    For the record, Beau reminds me that part of the reason the Union needed so damn long to beat them Rebels was because at that time most of America's military talent came from the South

  100. [100] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Dammit! Radio silence, again!

    I thought it was Sunday Night already.

  101. [101] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    And remember, people:

    Just because idiot Putin has nukes doesn't mean he'll write his own Death Sentence by launching them.

    Won't happen for the same reason it hasn't happened since the Soviets went nuclear. If everybody dies everybody loses, simple as that.

  102. [102] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Russia will, one way or the other, remove Putin before we get remotely close to nuclear Armageddon.

  103. [103] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [91]

    Brother Don, you haven't been excused! Man up, please, and answer my (above) questions when you return to these pages.

  104. [104] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [103]

    Please.

    Brother Don, let me be crystal clear that Big Money is an abomination in our politics, and that I'd love to fix that before I die.

  105. [105] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [104]

    Ergo, I'm naturally predisposed to support OD or anything that would fix that.

    Again, I've seen nothing to indicate that our fellow Weigantians remotely disagree with that and that it's just that I and others remain unconvinced that OD will do the trick.

    Same to you as to Brother Michale...

    Persuade me. Don't annoy me because you're willing to settle for trolling rather than persuading.

    To do so would be to waste your time on Earth.

  106. [106] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    'Miss Vancouver'

    Ya know, I really, really like the sound of that!

  107. [107] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I used to be Don's biggest fan around here, MtnCaddy ...

  108. [108] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    My Gawd, Michale and Don Harris!

    Make it better rather than simply making it more hateful. Grateful, not hateful, huh? Be a constructive humanoid. You know you have it in you.

  109. [109] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    Persuade me. Don't annoy me because you're willing to settle for trolling rather than persuading.

    Would you please give that a rest! There is no need for that, anymore.

    The next person to utter the word 'troll' or any related such words is a dirty, rotten egg. Ahem.

  110. [110] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    My Gawd, Michale and Don Harris! it better rather than simply making it more hateful. Grateful, not hateful, huh? Be a constructive humanoid. You know you have it in you.

    STOP!

  111. [111] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [106]

    Got news for you, Miss Vancouver, I love it, too!

    Aaand...we shall meet for coffee or adult beverages in Vancouver. With a view, although word on the street is that all of Vancouver has a view. 'Tever, it'll be fun.

    Most of my DNA/family tree is in Canada, and I wasn't kidding about the "world needs more Canadian politeness" stuff because, duh, it's sooo true, no?

    It really bothered me that after I responded to some of your Ukraine comments you didn't address my replies but rather told me that I was of no damned use to the conversation.

    But that's okay. Go ask your Ukrainian-Canadian buddies what they think and they'll convince you that Ukraine won't ever surrender.

  112. [112] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [109]

    Elizabeth Miller inextricably wrote:


    Persuade me. Don't annoy me because you're willing to settle for trolling rather than persuading.

    Would you please give that a rest! There is no need for that, anymore.
    ...
    The next person to utter the word 'troll' or any related such words is a dirty, rotten egg. Ahem.

    My Gawd, Michale and Don Harris! it better rather than simply making it more hateful. Grateful, not hateful, huh? Be a constructive humanoid. You know you have it in you.

    STOP!

    Elizabeth, do you have even the slightest clue as to what I'm trying to accomplish here? Lemme Caddysplain...

    Both Michale and Don Harris present as smart guys who are settling for annoying Weigantians instead of doing the harder work of persuading Weigantians. If they persuade I'm all in. If they troll then not so much.

    Michale undeniably elected to be Alt Michale in this thread. I have to respect that for! That means Michale may help straighten out my thinking in some areas. What I want.

    I hadn't read a single fucking Michale quote since 29 December. Glad I checked in and I hope Michale cares enough to stand and deliver.

    Sorry you don't see it but that's okay. You're still Miss Vancouver even if one of us acts the foole!

  113. [113] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i've been to vancouver, and the view really is beautiful.

  114. [114] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    To be specific about just who is acting the foole in this case...

  115. [115] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    plus, one of my favorite people in the world lives there.

  116. [116] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    But I get what you are trying to say and I agree with you except for your assessment of the UN..

    The UN is THE most corrupt and bureaucracy-riddled agency on the planet.

    And THAT says something..

    The UN is useless unless it's razed to the ground and replaced with an organization that works for it's people and not for itself..

    That’s the point I was trying to make, but failed to do so.

    We chose not to allow ourselves to be held culpable for our actions even if we demand it of everyone else. I am all for burning the UN down and starting completely new with a world governing agency that has teeth and cannot be ignored by any nation.

    Between 1946-1948, the IMTFE (better known as the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal) convicted 25 Japanese leaders for crimes against humanity, specifically including torture by waterboarding. We put to death enemy combatants as war criminals for committing the same actions Dick Cheney & friends openly admitted to ordering be used! The precedent on this subject matter cannot be denied, nor can there be any justification that would validate the use of torture. Our country has a responsibility to charge these people as war criminals! America must show the world that we will not turn a blind eye to crimes against humanity simply because they are being committed by our countrymen.

  117. [117] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    I just wish you would simply take 'Yes' for an answer, so to speak ... with regard to the new dynamics here in Weigantia, you know.

    And, I hope you'll come by Sunday Night with your favourite tunes!

    By the way, how long does flower last before you must grind and smoke it? :(

  118. [118] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Russ,

    Just want to say that I have been enjoying reading your comments, especially the last few days!

  119. [119] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,

    plus, one of my favorite people in the world lives there.

    Something tells me I should know to whom you refer. But, alas, my memory is pretty terrible.

  120. [120] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [117]

    MtnCaddy,

    I just wish you would simply take 'Yes' for an answer, so to speak ... with regard to the new dynamics here in Weigantia, you know.

    And, I hope you'll come by Sunday Night with your favourite tunes!

    By the way, how long does flower last before you must grind and smoke it? :(

    First off, the :( just kills me, especially when I don't see how I merited it.

    Second, I am not only reading his comments after months but I have thence recognized that Michale appears to be kinda sorta (don't tell him, for God's sake!) reaching out to this Libtard. Or even Libtards in general.

    Thirdly, I thought that asking Michale to sharpen my Liberalism by pointing out when my Liberalism is full of donkey-doo was reaching out to him, and I ...might even sharpen his Conservatism as well. Then we'd both be better Citizens, huh?

    I did my best...wasn't hard when I dwell with the spirit of Kumbaya...so what remains unclear, Elizabeth?

  121. [121] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Op! Elizabeth, regarding your flower question:

    It's not time but rather hydration that determines shelf life.

    WHEN you keep your flower,

    1- properly hydrated (moist but not growing a fungus) and

    2- store the flower in your refrigerator,

    ...your flower will have more weeks of shelf life than you probably need. How to keep moist? Cut a 3cm x 3cm square of lettuce and put it into the cannabis container for four hours, give or take. Trust me, not a whole lot longer least you risk eventual fungus.

    Dry cannabis burns and tastes harsher. Weed that's properly hydrated demonstrates some bouquet and smokes rico y suave, Señorita.

  122. [122] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Satanic Cannabis 201,

    If the weed is dry -- and you trust that the weight is true -- buying dry weed actually means you get more cannabis and less water weight for your money. You can always rehydrate the weed, as above.

  123. [123] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Right. I'm throwing it out.

  124. [124] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Great advice ... just a day late and a dollar short. Heh.

  125. [125] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I think you and Michale will be good pals.

  126. [126] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Radio silencio??

  127. [127] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    It may be rather late in the evening before I can properly start up our little Sunday night shindig and, since I haven't heard from Kick, of late, I'm wondering if you might get things started tomorrow night and then I'll be able to join in later ... I'm hosting a celebratory dinner party, so .,.

  128. [128] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [116]

    Thanks for reminding We the People that Our Government is every bit as capable of hypocrisy as is, um...most other Governments? Throughout history?

    Methinks that seeing what's in my mirror doth much reduce hubris, no?

  129. [129] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [123]

    What? Are you effing kidding me? You're killing your street creed here, Gurl! YOU ARE EMBARRASSING us North Americans.

    Do. Not. Throw. Out.

  130. [130] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Dammit!

    ...KILLING your street cred here...

  131. [131] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    125] Elizabeth Miller wrote:
    I think you and Michale will be good pals

    Haha Michale! Get a load of Elizabeth! She's killing me!

  132. [132] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    It may be rather late in the evening before I can properly start up our little Sunday night shindig and, since I haven't heard from Kick, of late, I'm wondering if you might get things started tomorrow night and then I'll be able to join in later ... I'm hosting a celebratory dinner party, so ...

    So, all of the sudden some so-called celebratory dinner party is more important than us poor unenlightened schmucks down here in The States, eh?

    Aaand...I 'spose I'm 'sposed to just pick up your slack and pretend that I didn't notice the poor schmucks down in the States implications...

    Fine. Be that way!

    Ahem. Being that to be the state of affairs I hereby declare Sunday evening's theme to be anything whatsoever besides C anadian

  133. [133] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ...anything whatsoever besides Canadian power bands.

    Too late, Led Zeppelin rules!

  134. [134] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [127]

    Um, would you have any guidance about a Sunday evening target start time?

  135. [135] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM CT

    Wow, there was a fairly good debate about the problems of actually achieving peace in Ukraine, for about 30 posts. Then things fell apart and the comments board was, once again, unreadable for the following 50 posts or so.
    Too bad.

    Com'on man.. Peace is breaking out all over!! Bask in the glory!!! :D

  136. [136] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    I was just gonna ask you about UPLOAD… loved the first season! Only got to watch the first episode of season 2, but plan on binging it tonight.

    Now I have to admit that this is the PLUS side of the new way TV Shows have gone.. Granted a 9-12 episode "season" is really annoying..

    But to have the entire "season" to watch all at once??

    REALLY awesome!!!

    We just finished watching 1883 last night.. If yer a Yellowstone fan I would highly recommend 1883..

    If you are not a Yellowstone fan I would HIGHLY recommend becoming one.. It's a great show and you have 4 Seasons to watch to catch up! :D

  137. [137] 
    Michale wrote:

    MC,

    With your permission I would like to simply shorten the salutation to MC.. Less typing for my old brittle fingers.. :D

    {{{{Com'on MC.. It's obvious I am making an effort here..

    Can't you meet me halfway???}}}}

    Dammit, today I started peeking at some of your comments Michale (first time in two months) and yes, you are making an effort.

    "That's great! Actual, physical contact!!"
    -Ray Stantz, GHOSTBUSTERS

    :D
    Us Libtards go off the deep end, too. That's why your side of the aisle needs to get it together because Trump Fan Club is not the answer to any of America's problems.

    This is probably a point we'll never agree on.. But as long as we can disagree civilly, I am OK with that..

    President Trump might not be the answer to America's problems. But considering how well President Trump did the first time around, he will do until the "real" answer comes around.. :D

    Look at the bright side.. After 2029, you Lefties will never have to worry about President Trump again.. :D

    I mean, all respect to Trump (because IMO he did some some good things for our country) but he's old news and most of America is over Trump.

    I think you are going to be sorely disappointed.. America is far from over President Trump..

    Put another way.. If that were factually accurate, then there would be no need for the 6 Jan Committee or all the other witch hunts going on..

    And please.. Don't insult my intelligence by claiming that President Trump's criminality should be punished.

    You and I both know that President Trump's political actions and business actions are simply run o the mill actions that ALL politicians and ALL high end business people are guilty of..

    While immoral and unethical and maybe even quasi-illegal, they are how business and politics work these days..

    Do you HONESTLY believe that Pelosi's (both Mrs and Mr) actions and business dealings would withstand President Trump level scrutiny?? What about Chuck Schumer's or Occasional Cortex's (that's another one you have to give me, Liz.. I am SOO in love with "Occasional Cortex" :D) political and business and ethical dealings??? Could they withstand a complete baring of the facts?? Would we find even a glimmer of shady dealings?? You and I both know we would..

    What about George Soros or Warren Buffett.. If we crawled up their asses with a microscope, what would we find about how their value/devalue their holdings to fit whatever deal they want to push thru..

    Let's agree that ALL of these legal proceedings against President Trump have ONE sole purpose in mind..

    It's NOT to see justice is done.. If "justice" was the goal, then we would need to line up a whole bunch of Democrats for "justice" as well..

    No, the SOLE goal of all of this crawling around President Trump's colon is to prevent President Trump from running again in 2024..

    Which is fine.. Hay, it's politics and that's what politics is all about..

    But lets not fool ourselves into believing this is some high and mighty pursuit of justice and "the right thing"... It's not..

    Apologies if this got real deep and if it looks like I am trying to rip up old wounds.. I am not.. I am thrilled to death that we can talk about this... :D

    And I am certain you don't agree with most, if not all of it.. Just as I am sure your passions against President Trump likely run as deep as my passions FOR President Trump...

    But, as I said above... After 2029, neither of us will have to worry about President Trump again.. :D

  138. [138] 
    Michale wrote:

    MC,

    Really, Michale I've been looking for a Conservative to set me straight but, regrettably, they keep declining the opportunity.

    You care.

    You have the brains.

    Do you wanna troll and effect exactly zero influence, or do you want to help set Murica straight, one Libtard at a time?

    It's on you, Dawg.

    I am going to go with option B.. :D

    BTW, for the record: I've bagged on you over the "include the kids" thing but I feel ya,

    Not sure exactly what that means, but I am going to take it in the best way possible. :D

    in that Westerners are way the bleep too uptight about sex and their bodies. So I see where you're coming from even if I'm not 100% on board with the practice.

    I am going to have to clarify exactly what you mean here.. I mean, I can go off on what I THINK you mean and put down a whole litany of thoughts, only to learn that you were on a totally different plane of existence.. :D

    So, if ya don't mind, clarify for me..

  139. [139] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    Ok, not with that tag. I don't have any other ideas right now.

    It's my experience that the Weigantia Wordpress is VERY limited in what it allows.. It's not that big a deal..

    This is the SPOILER text

    It just would be nice.. :D

  140. [140] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK the '' tag didn't work.. :(

    Oh well..

  141. [141] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Caddy (93,94, etc.)-
    There you go again.

    Asking questions that I have answered many times as if I had never answered them.

    NO. OD is not automatically the solution.

    But it is a solution that uses the basic principles of democracy to achieve the goal of getting big money out of politics.

    You can say you are against big money in politics, but if you keep voting for big money candidates they have no incentive to stop taking big money.

    Basic democracy.

    Now it is your turn. You can run away as you have in the past and prove you are the one that is acting the fool or man up and answer my question.

    How exactly does voting for big money candidates get them to stop taking big money?

  142. [142] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale[138],

    Very nice! It put a smile on my face ... I was scratching my head on those, too ...

  143. [143] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale, in response to CT and JM[135],

    Com'on man.. Peace is breaking out all over!! Bask in the glory!!! :D

    Indeed!

  144. [144] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy[132,133]
    (Re. CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party)

    Heh.

    Fair enough. In fact, it sounds great to my ears!

    This dinner is in celebration of my continued existance, comfortable though sad as it sometimes is, as I have known it for all my adult life. Been renting in a very nice building - location, beautiful backyard and inground pool. Owners of my unit wish to sell and have given me first digs. Unfortunately, I'm not able to get a mortgage on a unit in a "co-op" building even though it is moving to condo status but at a very, very slow pace. So, my uncle has helped me get a huge line of credit to purchase the place. Which I will be working 'til I die to pay off, as I would never want to move. (Did I say there is a beautiful pool in the tree-filled back yard that can feel very much like you are living at a resort!)Anyway, suffice to say that moving would mean The End for me. Hence, the celebratory dinner for him tonight. :)

    Gotta run now - I'm trying something new, sill me, and have to prepare.

    Have fun tonight and I'll be there later!

  145. [145] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Caddy-
    Let's see how you respond to persuasion (though it will be repetitive because I have made these arguments before). The question is whether you will respond with dodges again or not.

    Legislation will not accomplish the goal because the big money legislators will only pass legislation that primarily benefits the big money interests and the big money interests have no interest in getting the big money out of politics.

    This includes public financing and a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United as that would require legislation.

    The only way to pass such legislation would be to first replace the big money legislators with small donor legislators. The problem has to be solved before legislation to solve the problem can be passed.

    As there are no small donor candidates to vote for citizens can either wait another forty or fifty years for the big money politicians to offer it on their own which is unlikely to happen even in the next hundred years as long as citizens keep voting for them when they take big money or citizens can use the basic principles of democracy to demand that candidates run small donor campaigns in order to earn our votes.

    Ralph Nader has said that politicians want our votes more than big money.

    And power concedes nothing without a demand.

    Making this demand and enforcing it with our votes in 2022 can begin a process that can begin having an impact in 2024 and 2026. Much faster than a slim chance in fifty to one hundred years.

    !0% of voters in 2022 participating in One Demand will encourage more citizens to participate in 2024 and this will inspire candidates to run small donor campaigns to get the votes and money of those citizens.

    !0% of 2020 voters investing just one hundred dollars in contributions to small donor candidates would total 1.5 billion dollars and be just the tip of the iceberg as more citizens participate in each election cycle.

    There are enough states where write in votes are allowed and will be counted for the purpose cast to get it started in 2022 and can be worked on in other states for 2024, 2026, etc. if needed, but by then citizens in those states may have small donor candidates on their ballot.

    This approach will either force the big money politicians to stop taking big money or enable citizens to replace them with candidates that do not take big money.

    The politicians tell you before the election whether they will represent you or the big money interests by how they finance their campaigns.

    By voting for big money politicians you are telling them it is okay to represent the big money interests.

    That has not worked for the last forty years that I have been voting.

    It may not be perfect, but One Demand is the best chance to achieve the goal at all and also the one that can be effective in the shortest amount of time.

  146. [146] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    That's 10%, not !0%.

  147. [147] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [139]

    Yes, it was meant in the best possible way.

    I read the "maybe include the kids in the proper circumstances" on what is your undoubtedly ancient Swinger's profile. While I'm in the leaving kids out of adult sexual activity camp, I think we share the same sentiment... that Westerners are way fucked up about sex, nudity and their bodies. I've always regarded the Swinger scene as a reaction to this insane level of prudeness. That's all I was trying to say...not going to call you Cho'mo anymore...start going to Church more...

  148. [148] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Oh, and @MC is fine. You got here first so plain old @M is yours, of course.

    You're an old man? Older than my 63 years 4 months?

  149. [149] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh, and @MC is fine. You got here first so plain old @M is yours, of course.

    You're an old man? Older than my 63 years 4 months?

    What's that old saying??

    "If you are not a liberal in your 20s or 30s, you have no heart.
    If you are not a conservative in your 50s or 60s, you have no brain.."
    :D

    I hit the big six oh this year... :D

  150. [150] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale (149)-
    Two out of three ain't bad, but that saying is not complete unless it includes:

    "If you are either at any point in your life you don't know how to use your brain if you have one." :D

  151. [151] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    [118] Liz,

    Thank you. I appreciate you saying that!

    Russ

  152. [152] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You are most welcome, Russ ... now, I hope you don't mind my next few posts!

  153. [153] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Welcome, everyone to a late start for the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party!

    Well, dinner turned out okay and I don't feel like doing the dishes. Also, we need a break from what's happening in Ukraine, if only for a few hours, so...

    Great news! It was announced this week that Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

    Bryan and Jim make up one of the most prolific songwriting teams that ever was. Bryan's Cuts Like A Knife album featured many songs by this songwriting duo, including https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VZhSkREYBc">Cuts Like A Knife

  154. [154] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Jim and Bryan wrote my favourite Bryan Adams tune, Lonely Nights

  155. [155] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    They also wrote PRiSM's most commercially successful song, so far ... Don't Let Him Know

    This was also the first PRiSM hit without Ron Tabak, who was fired from the band at the end of 1980 in one of the most self-destructive moves that any rock band has ever made in the history of bad moves by rock bands. Ahem.

    But, Henry Small does a very good job on the lead vocals of this one and I have come to like it. :)

  156. [156] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here's one of my favourite PRiSM tunes, written by Bryan Adams, featuring the brilliant voice of Ron Tabak, off PRiSM's 1979 Armageddon album ...

    You Walked Away Again

  157. [157] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Jim Vallance was PRiSM's original drummer and principal songwriter for the band's debut album which included Open Soul Surgery, Spaceship Superstar, Take Me To The Kaptin, Vladivostok, Ameilia, Julie and It's Over

    PRiSM's eponymous 1977 debut album, by the way, was the first debut album by a Canadian artist to achieve platinum status in Canada! How awesome is that!?

  158. [158] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The Ukrainians will ultimately throw out the Russians (on their asses) using the same fundamental strategy the Afghans used to throw out the Russians in the 1980s. Does anybody around here remember that?! It’s fundamentally the same strategy the Afghans used to throw out the United States not so many months ago! It’s not rocket science, although rockets, smart or dumb, can be useful tools to achieve the goal. It’s mostly about patience, knowing the people and the terrain and the weather patterns and realizing that the game is not zero sum. Putin has badly miscalculated.

  159. [159] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Jim Vallance also wrote with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith ...

    Deuces Are Wild

  160. [160] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    TS,

    Do you have a tune to go along with that comment!?

  161. [161] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Jim Vallence co-wrote What About Love, recorded by Heart in 1985.

  162. [162] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Pretty Woman - the Musical with original music and lyrics by Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams!

  163. [163] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, I almost forgot!

    This one goes out to Kick and Joshua ... nothing about Titanic cats or even pie but, I think you'll both like it!

    Phil Palmer in the studio with Wings of Pegasus

    And, I think that is about it for me for tonight.

    Just want to send out a big CONGRATULATIONS to Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. Can't wait for September 24 at Massey Hall in Toronto for the big ceremony. I'm even going to try to get tickets!

    And, with that, it's over to you MtnCaddy ... or take me away, TS!

  164. [164] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [158]

    This is what I think, too. Even this Ukrainian-American was as surprised as anyone that this invasion has gone as poorly as it has.

    Like the Afghanis and the Viet Cong before them all Ukraine has to do is keep fighting and let an economically trashed Russia withdraw.

  165. [165] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [158]

    This is what I think, too. Even this Ukrainian-American was as surprised as anyone that this invasion has gone as poorly as it has.

    Like the Afghanis and the Viet Cong before them all Ukraine has to do is keep fighting and let an economically trashed Russia withdraw.

  166. [166] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [158]

    And remember that the spring Rasputitsa mud season is forthcoming. The Mongols,, Napoleon and the Nazis will tell you it shuts down offensive operations for weeks every spring and autumn.

  167. [167] 
    Michale wrote:

    Stig,

    The Ukrainians will ultimately throw out the Russians (on their asses) using the same fundamental strategy the Afghans used to throw out the Russians in the 1980s. Does anybody around here remember that?!

    All too well... But I have to disagree..

    Putin is no Leonid Brezhnev..

    Brezhnev had to hold back because the USSR was not in the same position has Putin is today.. The USSR did not have China covering the USSR's flanks..

    Putin has PLANNED for all the sanctions and whatever the West can throw at him. Plus Putin has China... And, to a lesser extent, Germany..

    No, things are MUCH different in Ukraine than in Afghanistan in '79..

    If NATO doesn't step in, Ukraine will go to Putin.. The only question is how many lives will be lost and how much of Ukraine will be destroyed in the process..

    But, in the end, Ukraine will be Russia's in one form or another..

    One needs to keep in mind.. Brezhnev was a soldier/leader. Granted, he was a political officer and not a real soldier, but Brezhnev prosecuted the Afghanistan as a soldier would..

    Putin is a spy/leader.. He is prosecuting the Ukraine war as a spy would do.. Layer upon layer of intrigue and guile and mis-direction..

    This is why I take ALL reports of Russian troubles in Ukraine with a HUGE grain of salt.. More or less, Putin is only showing us what he WANTS us to see...

    But, if NATO doesn't save Ukraine, there is only ending possible..

    A subjugated and beaten Ukraine..

  168. [168] 
    Michale wrote:

    MC,

    This is what I think, too. Even this Ukrainian-American was as surprised as anyone that this invasion has gone as poorly as it has.

    But has it REALLY gone that poorly?? Or does Putin just want us to THINK it's gone that poorly??

    As I said to Stig.. Putin is a spy.. He is playing this war as a spy would.

    Putin has had ample time to study the US. He probably knows what we are going to do 3 steps before WE know what we are going to do...

    The end of this slog is going to be VERY different than what we think it will be..

  169. [169] 
    Michale wrote:

    What we're going to see now is Putin inching ever closer to NATO lines.. Bombings and missile attacks closer and closer to Poland..

    Then, there will be an "accident" where a missile "malfunctions" and hits an empty area in Poland..

    Putin will gauge the US/NATO's commitment in their response.. If Biden/NATO let it slide, then another "accident" will strike a very small insignificant Polish settlement. Maybe an empty factory... Something that would give an excuse for US/NATO forces to ignore it..

    Remember, Putin is thinking 3, 4 even 5 steps ahead.. You don't rise to the head of the USSR's infamous KGB by being a dullard and unable to predict and prepare for all contingencies..

    If Putin is satisfied that US/NATO will take any excuse NOT to get involved, then Putin will prosecute his war accordingly. Giving the US/NATO forces just enough of a reasonable excuse NOT to get involved..

    Putin is playing long-term 3D chess, while US/NATO politicians are thinking conventional short term tiddly-winks. Biden's primary focus is going to be November 2022. All of Biden's actions will be taken with his eye on the mid-terms..

  170. [170] 
    Michale wrote:
  171. [171] 
    dsws wrote:

    [101]
    Just because idiot Putin has nukes doesn't mean he'll write his own Death Sentence by launching them.

    Revise, not write. He's already written everyone's death sentence. Humanity cannot survive in a world of eighteenth-century imperial geopolitics and twentieth-century weapons.

    --

    I just saw the NY Times editorializing in an article, hoping for unconditional surrender by Ukraine. That's depressing.

    That's all for now.

    Russia delenda est

  172. [172] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    perhaps if mr. burns demanded sixty years later for the anthill to be free from unfair ant domination.

  173. [173] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

    Mr. Burns surprises me. Putting a State Department guy in at the CIA was a masterstroke, or so I thought.

    But, then again, all of this was pretty much inevitable when Biden decided to take NATO membership for Ukraine off the table when it actually comprised one of the legs of the table.

    My disappointment with Biden and Burns knows no bounds and, at this late stage, redemption is not even possible.

  174. [174] 
    Michale wrote:

    perhaps if mr. burns demanded sixty years later for the anthill to be free from unfair ant domination.

    I see no unfair ant domination...

    The Palestinians could live in peace side by side with Israel if they would just be content to live in peace side by side with Israel..

    But the Palestinian people *ELECTED* Hamas as their government..

    The Palestinian people said to Israel in ONE VOICE..

    "WE WANT A TERRORIST GOVERNMENT!!"

    How the hell is Israel SUPPOSED to react? Hold state dinners honoring Hamas terrorists??

    Every hardship that Palestinians have to endure in the here and now can be traced back to HUGE Palestinian mistakes of the past...

    While Israel is FAR from completely blameless, she has the moral, ethical and legal high ground, solely based on the Palestinians embrace of terrorism as their go-to plan...

  175. [175] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mr. Burns surprises me. Putting a State Department guy in at the CIA was a masterstroke, or so I thought.

    But, then again, all of this was pretty much inevitable when Biden decided to take NATO membership for Ukraine off the table when it actually comprised one of the legs of the table.

    My disappointment with Biden and Burns knows no bounds and, at this late stage, redemption is not even possible.

    There are many MANY reasons why Ukraine should NOT have been offered NATO membership..

    Placating or appeasing Putin and Russia is simply NOT one of them...

  176. [176] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    I just saw the NY Times editorializing in an article, hoping for unconditional surrender by Ukraine. That's depressing.

    Iddn't it though?? :^/

  177. [177] 
    Michale wrote:

    While Israel is FAR from completely blameless,

    Which is completely understandable. When your entire society is a warzone and you have a loaded, cocked and locked weapon pointing at your head 24/7.....

    Well, one tends to shoot first and ask questions later...

    Or, as one of my old military buddies said, "Michale would just shoot first, shoot some more and then ask questions.."

    My response was simple.. "Wait?? We're spose to ask questions!??"

    :D

  178. [178] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    There are many MANY reasons why Ukraine should NOT have been offered NATO membership..

    Placating or appeasing Putin and Russia is simply NOT one of them...

    PRECISELY!

  179. [179] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now we have a NEW dynamic entering the picture..

    There are reports that Russia is seeking China's assistance in the war in Ukraine..

    So, this begs the question..

    Is NATO joining the fray NOW more appropriate??

  180. [180] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I highly doubt Russia has asked China for military assitance.

    Do you think Z is capable of doing something to force NATO into this thing? I mean, he is STILL calling for a no fiy zone ...

  181. [181] 
    Michale wrote:

    I highly doubt Russia has asked China for military assitance.

    There are credible reports from several sources that this is the case..

    Do you think Z is capable of doing something to force NATO into this thing? I mean, he is STILL calling for a no fiy zone .

    I am sure he is.. But that might be just pro forma requests because, beyond the possibility of China's involvement, the situation on the ground has really not really changed much at all.. Ukraine is still getting their ass pounded..

    I am still of the same opinion..

    If US/NATO forces are sufficient to deter Putin, then why didn't Biden use that deterrence to save Ukraine...

    And, as I mentioned above, Putin is inching closer and closer to NATO territory...

    Biden is fast approaching a decision as to whether to put up or shut up..

    If factually accurate, this new China wrinkle may force Biden's hand...

  182. [182] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Criminal Conspiracy Against Donald Trump

    The Jan. 6 Select Committee on which they sit issued a court filing recently that proclaims “a good-faith belief that Trump and others may have engaged in criminal and/or fraudulent acts” in their efforts to prove the 2020 election was stolen.

    Mind you, this has nothing to do with the Jan. 6 riot. The violence that occurred is irrelevant to any assertion that he “engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States.” Instead, what is being alleged is that President Trump had no right under law to contest the election in the United States Congress, and that by seeking to prove that the election was fraudulent, he himself is guilty of fraud.
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2022/03/14/the_criminal_conspiracy_against_donald_trump_147321.html

    How badly have Democrats so perverted the rule of law as to twist it to say that President Trump's LEGAL and LEGITIMATE efforts to question the results of the 2020 election amount to criminal "fraud"...

    Such a position is ESPECIALLY ironic when one considers the LENGTHS that Democrats and Trump/America hating Republicans went to question the legitimacy and results of the 2016 election..

    Democrats are SOOO afraid of President Trump running again in 2024..

    Why??

    Because they know he will win...

  183. [183] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Caddy-
    It is unclear from your response whether you have been persuaded or not.

    You are like a magic 8 ball that only comes up "try again later". Perhaps a reflective self-defense mechanism developed by putting yourself behind the 8 ball so often. D

  184. [184] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Mrs. Betty Bowers asks Vlad to stop making American Christians look bad.

  185. [185] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russia-Ukraine war: Congress eyes MiG-29 fighter jet transfer as next White House pressure point

    Biden admin worries about potential escalation from Russia if jets are provided

    A growing and bipartisan group in Congress is pushing President Biden to facilitate the transfer of Poland's MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine amid Russia's brutal invasion, despite statements by the U.S. military that such a move would be high-risk, low-reward.

    The White House is leaning on that position from the military in its opposition to providing the jets, including that Ukraine does not really need the aircraft. But Biden already ceded to pressure from Congress to take a tougher stance against Russia multiple times since the war started. And dozens more members from both parties Sunday called on the president to help Ukraine get its hands on the Polish fighter jets President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is petitioning for.

    "We, the 58 members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, urge continued U.S. commitment to the sovereignty of Ukraine and the freedom of the Ukrainian people in the face of Russia’s ongoing invasion," the moderate, bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC) said Sunday. "We strongly believe that the U.S. must provide additional defense materiel to Ukrainians protecting their nation."
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ukraine-russia-biden-mig-fighter-jets-escalate

    Biden needs to quite trying to protect Ukraine and PROTECT Ukraine..

    Putin is going to escalate no matter WHAT Biden does..

    "If we are to be damned, let us be damned for who we really are..."
    -Captain Jean Luc Picard

  186. [186] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Caddy-
    Your response is not consistent with your previous comments or the spirit of the new dynamics.

  187. [187] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [186]

    Hey, Don. One tro -- er, commenter at a time, please.. I mean, Kumbaya and all and yes, the new dynamic is undeniably encouraging.

    I'll get back atcha.

  188. [188] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Caddy-
    Again not consistent with the new dynamic.

    "I'll get back atcha."

    Based on previous such statements that is doubtful.

    I'll believe if I actually see it.

  189. [189] 
    Michale wrote:

    Com'on DH..

    If I can curtail my massive amounts of comments (more because of the war drums and less because of the kumbaya here in Weigantia) surely you can afford to have a little patience..

    I mean, the world here in Weigantia has turned upside down and nukes can start flying at any time...

    Let's take a moment to smell the roses, eh? :D

  190. [190] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [185]

    @M

    I went to your link and read the whole thing. Fox News or not it struck me as straight up news reporting with no bias whatsoever.

    Would you spend (8:36) of your time listening to this Southern Gentleman Beau of the Fifth Column add at tell me what you think?

  191. [191] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [185]

    @M

    I went to your link and read the whole thing. Fox News or not, it struck me as straight up news reporting with no bias whatsoever. I would have summarize the whole story in my own words and pointed out that...

    JUST AS Afghanistan was a fiasco for Biden because he believed the same people who have predicted imminent victory for 20 years now -- ha! The fool!

    NOW Joe is wussing out on helping Ukraine turn back Putin. Instead of your boldified copy and paste job which, to be candid, is needlessly hard on my eyes. And which needlessly promotes absent minded scrolling through your contrarian contributions to Weigantia, if you must know.

    But that's just me.

    THAT ASIDE would you give (8:36) of your open mind listening to this Southern Gentleman Beau of the Fifth Column and thence tell me what you think about this YouTube Guy?

  192. [192] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Being a Southerner actually adds credibility in my mind because some much military talent keeps issuing forth out of the South.


    Don't like no Rebels but I gotta respect them.

  193. [193] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ...SO much military talent...

  194. [194] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [191]

    IN FACT, forget about who this guy is. Who cares Do? Do you agree or disagree with him?

  195. [195] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale-
    And I thought giving Mtn Caddy another chance to engage in real discussion was being patient considering how he has avoided it so many times in the past.

    But since the nukes could be flying at any moment it seems the time for patience has expired. :D

  196. [196] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    And that may not be all that has expired as the smell from Mtn Caddy's response is nowhere close to roses. :D

  197. [197] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-167

    China is covering the wrong flanks from too far away.

    Putin worked for a spy agency but he was functionary not a spy. Putin has created an image of himself in the style of James Bond but it’s bullshit. His martial skills are meh, the sort I meet at the gym. Judo Olympians have called him on this. Large swaths of Ukraine will be occupied,but that will not contain an Afganish resistance of the sort that ultimately sent the Russians home from Afghan….as were the Americans who ignored the Russian lesson.

    The Russian invasion has been cruel, but inept. They were supposed to have the business over in 4 days. They can’t supply their own troops. Rubbling cities will just make the street fighting tougher.

    Those who ignore history are 1) doomed to repeat it and 2) dumb asses.

    People who base their opinions are Fox News are double dumb asses.

  198. [198] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    TS,

    That's awfully close to insulting one of your fellow Weigantians.

    Which is now frowned upon around here.

    Let's stick to criticizing ideas and not disrespecting each other. It's more fun that way!

Comments for this article are closed.