If We Beg the Chinese, Do You Think They Will Take Over?

Just kill me now:

In the spirit of the Holiday season and the Starbucks tradition of bringing people together, we have a unique opportunity to unite and take action on an incredibly important topic. As many of you know, our elected officials in Washington D.C. have been unable to come together and compromise to solve the tremendously important, time-sensitive issue to fix the national debt. You can learn more about this impending crisis at www.fixthedebt.org.

Rather than be bystanders, we have an opportunity—and I believe a responsibility—to use our company’s scale for good by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together and reach common ground on this important issue. This week through December 28, partners in our Washington D.C. area stores are writing “Come Together” on customers’ cups.

Sometimes it is just embarrassing to be American.

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117 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I guess “Hey Republicans, stop being asshats” was too big to fit on the cup?

  2. 2
    feebog says:

    Where were these guys 10 years ago, when it was already apparent that the Bush tax cuts were going to explode the debt?

  3. 3
    The Dangerman says:

    …partners…“Come Together”…

    Apparently, their Editor saw that Scarlett Johannson pic in the last thread.

  4. 4
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Lemme guess-Starbucks taxes go up if we go over the cliff?

  5. 5
    Brachiator says:

    If We Beg the Chinese, Do You They Will Take Over?

    If they can write accurate blog headings, it might be worth it.

    Did you mean, Do You Think They Will Take Over?

  6. 6
    danimal says:

    Dear Starbucks, I prefer the Aerosmith version, if that matters.

  7. 7
    Marc says:

    No, no, no, a global megacorporation asking its minimum-wage “partners” to scrawl boomer platitudes on overpriced coffee cups on a week when Congress is out of session is guaranteed to bring sensible centrism to Washington, DC.

  8. 8
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    For my sins, I am sitting with my ailing dad and listening to wingnut radio. I guess I should be grateful the Fox News portion of the program has not yet started.

    Oh well. It’s better than having him stuck in the hospital.

  9. 9
    handy says:

    Heh, a veritable coffee party movement is brewing. Everyone come together for the good of the country! Embrace your inner centrist!

  10. 10
    SRW1 says:

    Lovely to see how corporate tax dodgers are ‘worried’ about the deficit.

  11. 11
    Joshua Norton says:

    “Come Together”

    Dr. Ruth has been pushing that for years.

  12. 12
    eclecticbrotha says:

    This week through December 28, partners in our Washington D.C. area stores are writing “Come Together” on customers’ cups.

    Right naow.

    Over me.

  13. 13
    MikeBoyScout says:

    I don’t have a source, but I’ve heard rumors that Dunkin’ Donuts is going to counter by having its staff write
    “Relax don’t do it. When you want to come” on its cups.

  14. 14
    dead existentialist says:

    “Come Together” seems appropriate enough for the circle-jerk that is the GOP caucus.

  15. 15
    eclecticbrotha says:

    Also, may I suggest “Two Words, One Cup” as an alternate title for this thread?

  16. 16
    Rosalita says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    Lemme guess-Starbucks taxes go up if we go over the cliff?

    The Milk Cliff will certainly effect their business

  17. 17
    handy says:

    I guess the Ghosts of David Broder past, present and future visited the CEO of Starbucks this Christmas.

  18. 18
    Napoleon says:

    Starbucks goes on my “do not patronize” list.

  19. 19
    Paul says:

    @feebog:

    Where were these guys 10 years ago, when it was already apparent that the Bush tax cuts were going to explode the debt?

    Or March 2003, when Bush decided to start the unfunded Iraq war debacle. So far, $1 trillion completely wasted. I still don’t understand why people that were opposed to this dumb war have to pay for it.

  20. 20
    jayjaybear says:

    @handy: Played by Broder’s carefully centered corpse, Bobo, and Chunky Bobo.

  21. 21
    Tomolitics says:

    The comments on this drivel are quite amusing at least. Actually gives me hope that most Americans see through the debt porn puppet theater perpetuated by the plutocrats behind Fix The Debt.

  22. 22
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    Since Starbucks in HQ’d in Seattle, I blame our state’s new pot laws.

    It’s called “responsible usage,” gang, and firing up a doobie behind the HQ building before a corporate-message brainstorming session is the opposite of what that phrase means.

  23. 23
    Soonergrunt says:

    Because this is just what we need right now. Overpriced burnt coffee cups with slogans written on them in Sharpie by minimum-wage slaves, to be drunk by members of the public who are not Congresspeople or their staffs who aren’t in town to drink them. That will fix everything!

    ETA:Marc beat me to exactly the same thought.

  24. 24
    Yutsano says:

    Test

  25. 25
    different-church-lady says:

    Somehow the snark “First World Problems” doesn’t even begin to cover this. I think we’re going to have to move into negative numbers.

    Rather than be bystanders, we have an opportunity—and I believe a responsibility—to use our company’s scale for good by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together and reach common ground on this important issue.

    In other words, “Don’t just be bystanders! Be bystanders with Sharpies!

  26. 26
    Aet says:

    They had to workshop it for a bit, because ‘Surrender’ was proving too depressing in focus groups.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    The Dangerman says:

    Starbucks would be far more effective if they promised to “Come Together” in an Anthony Anderson kinda way.

    /Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

  29. 29
    different-church-lady says:

    @eclecticbrotha: Hell, I’d be happy if the existing title were converted to English.

  30. 30
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Brachiator:

    Nixon went to China, ergo; he’s a liberal.

  31. 31
    Matt says:

    Wow, as if terribly over-roasted coffee served by wage slaves wasn’t sufficient reason to avoid SBux, now we have this outburst of Pete Peterson knob-slobbering to add to the list.

  32. 32
    huckster says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I guess “Hey Republicans, stop being asshats” was too big to fit on the cup?

    Slows the line down man.

  33. 33
    japa21 says:

    According to CNN, Geithner is saying the debt ceiling will be hit Monday. Since that is still 2012, does Obama still have the power to raise it unilaterally?

  34. 34
    Felonius Monk says:

    U.S.A. = United STARBUCKS of America

  35. 35
    BGinCHI says:

    In the spirit of the Holiday season and the Starbucks tradition of bringing people together over roasting coffee beans until they taste like charred dirt as well as peddling sugary drinks to idiots who think they’re drinking coffee, we are fucking stupid and apparently don’t know shit about shinola in addition to coffee.

    There, fucking fixed.

  36. 36
    Warren Terra says:

    It’s good to see Starbucks so concerned about government deficits. I don’t know what they do here in the US, but they sparked a nationwide boycott in Britain when it was reported that Starbucks UK had used accounting tricks to avoid paying any taxes on their massively profitable ventures.

  37. 37
    Felonius Monk says:

    Shorter Starbucks’ CEO: We really don’t have a clue, so let’s all stand around and shit in our hats. That will make them take notice.

  38. 38
    Comrade Carter says:

    Starbucks… You going to be selling all those coffee cups that were made in China? I like Starbucks, but the coffee cups are pushing me to Alterra or Caribou.

  39. 39
    burnspbesq says:

    The Chinese have their own issues. We’re on our own.

  40. 40
    David in NY says:

    @japa21:

    According to CNN, Geithner is saying the debt ceiling will be hit Monday. Since that is still 2012, does Obama still have the power to raise it unilaterally?

    Whoa!

  41. 41
    mothra says:

    Go over and comment.

  42. 42
    different-church-lady says:

    @BGinCHI:

    In the spirit of the Holiday season and the Starbucks tradition of bringing people together over roasting coffee beans until they taste like charred dirt as well as peddling sugary drinks milkshakes to idiots who think they’re drinking coffee, we are fucking stupid and apparently don’t know shit about shinola in addition to coffee.

    Not fuckin’ fixed enough.

  43. 43
    NotMax says:

    Have never so much as set foot inside a Starbuck’s.

    Once (and only once) a friend brought over an iced coffee from there for me.

    While it wasn’t the worst cup of coffee I’ve ever tasted*, it holds the runner-up position, poised to take over the title should the holder be unable to fulfill its duties.

    For truly good coffee, flavorings and frills are superfluous gilding of the lily.

    *That one was in a poor excuse for a Chinese restaurant in Aberdeen, Scotland just after Christmas in 1974.

  44. 44
    Anoniminous says:

    Also Sprach Starbucks Spokesmoran:

    “Rather than be idle spectators we will initiate a vacuously idle action which we hope will ensure to drive Public Debate and Discourse to the intellectual level of a retarded iguana.”

  45. 45
    BGinCHI says:

    @different-church-lady: I accept your friendly amendment.

    Starbucks is the Windows of coffee.

    /hides under desk

  46. 46
    Librarian says:

    I guess “Democrats, cave in and fuck over the poor and the middle class” was too long to fit on the cups.

  47. 47
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    BLARGABARBLE

    Dear Media,

    Please point out that the Fiscal Cliff is the solution to our debt. This is why you don’t fix the debt during a recession.

  48. 48
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: We can’t all just grab some Kona! ):

  49. 49
    Quicksand says:

    @Tomolitics:

    The comments on this drivel are quite amusing at least. Actually gives me hope that most Americans see through the debt porn puppet theater perpetuated by the plutocrats behind Fix The Debt.

    Not just amusing — I’d call them quite good, actually. Especially considering they’re attached to a Starbucks CEO PR blog post.

    I honestly would have expected YouTube-like or local-newspaper-level comments.

    As I write this, there are 11 comments, 10-to-1 in favor of basically calling Schultz a massive twit.

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    sending a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together

    I’m sure this would have worked in 1860, too.

    Fuck the teatard scum. One does not negotiate with terrorists, or fascists. We learned how to properly deal with the latter in WWII.

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    @BGinCHI:
    Starbucks is the Windows of coffee.
    Can’t decide who is getting dissed more. Although both deserve to be getting dissed to the max, and for the same reason, they both sell crapola.

  52. 52
    gene108 says:

    @eclecticbrotha:

    NO!

    I cannot unsee what I have seen, with regards to that video. If only I could burn out my eye balls, reach into my brain and wipe the slate clean, could I find some relief.

    Do not ever mention it again.

  53. 53
    gene108 says:

    @Warren Terra:

    they sparked a nationwide boycott in Britain when it was reported that Starbucks UK had used accounting tricks to avoid paying any taxes on their massively profitable ventures.

    I heard the accounting trick was to incorporate in Ireland and/or Luxemburg.

    This is what happens, when Empires die…

  54. 54
    Joel says:

    As long as the Sonics remain in Oklahoma City, Howard Schultz can go fuck himself.

  55. 55
    Raven says:

    Here is Mr Lang’s latest comment in regard to the GUN HYSTERIA:

    “Short of changing the constitution—doubtful; or a revolution by those who oppose gun ownership—also doubtful as they would have a hard time maneuvering in the Birkenstock’s—any solution must be based on common sense and must be constitutional; at least one would hope.”

    See you sissy motherfucking hippies, you are just hysterical punks. If you want to read it all he continues to be linked on this blog.

  56. 56
    gene108 says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The Chinese have their own issues. We’re on our own.

    But, but, but China’s like the most super-amped up country evah and they’re going to take us over and own us, just like the Japanese have done, since the 1980’s or the Arab oil sheiks did after the 1970’s…

    @Quicksand:

    Schultz a massive twit.

    He is a massive twit for buying the Seattle Supersonics, then realizing running a basketball team wasn’t just about maximizing profits, deciding to sell it to some Oklahoma based investors, who were going to move the franchise out of Seattle.

  57. 57
    maya says:

    Starbucks could have put on moar wordies if only they had switched to higher capacity clips cups.

  58. 58
    Brachiator says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    Nixon went to China, ergo; he’s a liberal.

    You speak non sequitur really well.

  59. 59
    Soonergrunt says:

    @BGinCHI: “Starbucks is the Windows of coffee.”
    Actually, it’s the Apple of coffee. Very fashionable, looks very nice, overly expensive for what it does. Leaves you with a feeling of having been ripped off once you’ve bought it and realized you could have had better product exactly the way you wanted it for less money.

  60. 60
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Brachiator:

    Heh. But you got the point nevertheless. My hat tips to you.

  61. 61
    Walker says:

    Uh, if you are telling us to go to a website called Fix the Debt to learn about the fiscal cliff, then you are either incredibly right wing or incredibly ignorant.

  62. 62
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Aet: and it was seen as a cheap trick..

  63. 63
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Perhaps we need a category of “lemming brands”.

  64. 64
    Elizabelle says:

    That will keep me out of Starbucks for a few weeks.

    And no buying bags of coffee either.

    The “fix the debt” campaign is appalling in its manipulativeness.

    Which is readily apparent, and why it might not be working.

  65. 65
    Raven says:

    @Soonergrunt: Bah, I’ve never felt “ripped off” about any of my Apple products.

  66. 66
    Maude says:

    @BGinCHI:
    Windows 8. No body knows what to do with it either.

    Poppy Bush is very sick. Am I the only one that dreads a former president dying because of the endless hoopla?
    Is there a support group for this?

  67. 67
    Elizabelle says:

    Did you read the comments on “Howard S’s” plea?

    He’s getting slammed.

    Don’t comment here (first); walk your snark over to JC’s link and have at it.

  68. 68
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @Maude: Hoopla will be minimal.

    Poppy is loved by few. Tolerated is pretty much his upper limit. He didn’t do much in office (except raising taxes) and he’s done nothing for the country after leaving office.

  69. 69
    Raven says:

    @Maude: Still pisses me off that Saint Ronnie kickin off ruined the dedication of the WWII Monument.

  70. 70
    Gravenstone says:

    @danimal: Sacrilegious bastard.

  71. 71
    Elizabelle says:

    Here’s what’s already up on the “Let’s Come Together, America” page:

    Howard, please do not beclown yourself with this stuff. Just spend your $60+ million per year and quit pretending to be an American who cares. You. Do. Not. And we all know it.

    Thank you. (And thanks to whatever corporate scribe you had gin up this maudlin sheaf of wet sentiment.)

    and

    Nobody cares about the deficit. If they did, they’d go over the cliff with enthusiasm. All the rich care about is their effective tax rate, and, in a perfect world, how they could steal your Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid money.

    I guess I’ll be drinking through the balance I have on my Starbucks card and, from now on, buying my lattes at the many local cafes I have to choose from in San Francisco. Howard, I never agreed with my friends that your coffee stinks, but your politics does.

    and

    Give it up. No matter how many different colors of lipstick you put on that pig, you are not going to get popular support for the idea that we should all sacrifice so that the people who actually crashed the economy don’t have to pay a little bit more in taxes.

  72. 72
    cathyx says:

    Just another rich guy who thinks we’re all too stupid to know why the deficit really doesn’t matter and who is protecting his money.

  73. 73
    Maude says:

    @Raven:
    This. And the Beirut Marines are still dead.

  74. 74
    Gunner says:

    Those cups will look great next to my “Whip Inflation Now” coffee mugs.

  75. 75
    Raven says:

    @Maude: And then he cut and ran.

  76. 76
    gogol's wife says:

    @Raven:

    I wish you would get some traction with that.

  77. 77
    Waldo says:

    New Englanders may remember when Bess Eaton donut shops started printing Bible verses on their cups — right before the company went bankrupt.

    Sadly, that’s probably too much to hope for in this case.

  78. 78
    Anna in PDX says:

    It was a pain in the ass to register as a Starbucks patron in order to comment, but it was worth it. I note that all the comments were somewhat similar to mine. As for me, I’m one gift card away from boycotting them for the foreseeable future.

  79. 79
    Maude says:

    @Raven:
    And sold weapons to terrorists. Ollie North. Now, part of the scam with Hannity.
    It’s the whole lying in state and all. It is endless.

  80. 80
    cmorenc says:

    @handy:

    I guess the Ghosts of David Broder past, present and future visited the CEO of Starbucks this Christmas.

    Broder’s ghosts said to the CEO: “These are the inanes I forged in life…”

  81. 81
    Elizabelle says:

    From Howard S’s message (and doesn’t Howard S sound like his Alcoholics Anon name?):

    It’s a small gesture, but the power of small gestures is what Starbucks is about! Imagine the power of our partners and hundreds of thousands of customers each sharing such a simple message, one cup at a time.

    Imagine Starbucks coffee shops, emptier than usual through December 28, while smarter Americans avoid this simple — nay, simplistic — message.

  82. 82
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Walker: I’m going to take him at face value and assume he really believes that the fiscal cliff will be bad for the debt.

    If the last few years have taught me anything, it’s that many of the ultra-rich are very, very, very stupid.

  83. 83
    Djur says:

    @Elizabelle: Huh, that first guy is ‘vanderleun’. Wonder if that’s this Vanderleun, also known as Mr. “I am aware of all Internet traditions”.

  84. 84
    Djur says:

    I love that this creep has to explain his company’s Orwellian term “partners” with the parenthetical “(employees)”. Because they’re employees, not partners, and calling them ‘partners’ is a cruel and stupid lie.

  85. 85
    cathyx says:

    Just another rich guy living in his rich guy bubble. I hope all the comments wake him up. He’s probably shocked at what he’s reading and what those 99%ers think.

  86. 86
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Maude:

    The horrors of the Reagasm will probably never be repeated.

    The asshole sired the deserting coward. That alone is a crime against humanity that can never be forgiven.

  87. 87
    Poopyman says:

    @Soonergrunt: (Golf claps)

  88. 88
    Elizabelle says:

    @Djur:

    Most interesting about vanderleun. The original or a tribute?

    And yeah, partners = employees struck me as insane too.

    I guess Starbucks doesn’t want to have just “associates”, like other retail corporations.

    Title inflation, but you’re still a peon.

    Barista is fine.

  89. 89
    Raven says:

    You have GOT to see Joan Walsh rip Tweety and Dick Armey a new asshole when they replay Hardball. She was awesome.

  90. 90
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I blame Twitter for the illusion that repeating the same two words over and over to random strangers will change anything.

  91. 91
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    The Milk Cliff will certainly effect their business

    @Rosalita: As a former Starbucks employee, thank all the Gods no longer, I can tell you that this is precisely the issue. Of all their ingredients, the #1 expense is milk. A doubling in the cost of milk – to be accurate, milk being forced to be sold at its true market price – will render every single store instantly unprofitable.

    And kill their stock price in the bargain.

  92. 92
    Maude says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I was offended when Poppy stood up for Son after Son got so many US soldiers killed in Iraq and all the rest.

  93. 93
    Maude says:

    @Elizabelle:
    At one time Starbucks had a drink machine that took two hours to clean after the stores closed.

  94. 94
    Elizabelle says:

    Forbes magazine on Starbucks’ misfire:

    by any objective measure (cc: Nate Silver) writing trite phrases on thousands of coffee cups is going to rank quite low in the annals of political persuasion. Yet that’s exactly what Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has decided is just the ticket to deal with Washington’s crisis du jour, the Fiscal Cliff.

    Mentioning Sandy Hook shooting victim Lauren Rousseau in a screed against the debt — when taxes fund our schools and law enforcement and mental health services, and are the price of a civil society — is pornographic.

  95. 95
    MikeJ says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Title inflation, but you’re still a peon.

    It’s even worse. They have a title called “shift supervisor” who Starbucks claimed had no actual power and was most certainly *not* management. They weren’t management so they could be allowed to participate in splitting the tips. If they were no longer tipped Starbucks would have to pay them more in addition to calling them supervisors.

    There was a lawsuit over it, but I don’t remember the outcome.

  96. 96
    Elizabelle says:

    I don’t feel right slapping at GHW Bush.

    He is a better man than just about all of the GOP presidential candidates who followed him.

    He did serve his country in WWII, at personal peril.

    He was a moderate Republican until that became uncool, although Clarence Thomas is the legacy he left.

    (That and putting W in proximity to the White House.)

    Am sure he lived long enough to regret what his party has become, and probably understands, on some level, what a disaster his son’s presidency was.

  97. 97
  98. 98
    Raven says:

    @Elizabelle: Dig a little deeper into who he is before you decide.

  99. 99
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I don’t feel right slapping at GHW Bush.

    I feel great about it. Willie Horton, anyone? Lee Atwater?

    Oh sure, he regretted creating Frankenstein, most of Frankenstein’s creators do, after they see all the damage. But he did it all the same, with a whistle on his lips and a song in his heart.

  100. 100
    danimal says:

    The irony of this little episode is, that as far as mega-rich billionaires, Howard Schultz is somewhat reasonable in his politics.

    If we do go over the cliff (as I’m hoping), it will be fun to watch the class solidarity crumble as all the rich bastards who benefit from government spending protect their own very special businesses from federal spending cuts. “Austerity for thee, but not for me” will soon be the name of the game.

  101. 101
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @Comrade Carter: The sbux was selling US made cups this summer, in a style so old one could only love it ironically. Unfortunately one of the zombies in marketing had ugly metal sbux badges glued to the cups unironically, rendering then unpurchasable by me. Dunno ’bout y’all.

  102. 102
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I don’t feel right slapping at GHW Bush

    The GHB admin had all manner of foreign policy fuckups (AfPak, anyone?) but I give them credit for handling the decline and collapse of the Soviet empire well. Things can get very complex and dangerous very quickly when a major empire collapses; great power wars happen that way. I don’t think GHB and his team get as much credit as they should for getting us thru that period without it turning into a global clusterfuck of epic proportions, because of course the epic global clusterfuck didn’t happen. Instead we got a lot of little clusterfucks. We could have done much worse. The thought of how any contemporary Republican administration would handle the same sort of events today is simply too frightening to even contemplate.

  103. 103
    El Caganer says:

    @Elizabelle: Frankly, the only “small gesture” that comes to mind in connection with Howard S.’ drivel is curling my fingers into a fist and rapidly moving my hand forward and backward in front of my crotch.

  104. 104
    Maude says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:
    Except he recognized Yugoslavia and set off a mess. He was asked by many countries not to do that.

  105. 105
    WaterGirl says:

    @BGinCHI: Wow. i thought I loved you before, but now I know for sure.

    Between your windows comment and the possiblilty that Obama might be able to raise the debt ceiling & flip the republicans the bird, I am a happy girl.

  106. 106
    BGinCHI says:

    @Soonergrunt: I can’t hear you from under the desk.

  107. 107
    Oltrol says:

    @Raven:

    They must have edited….that’s not my idea of “ripping a new asshole” to someone, even on the TeeVee.

  108. 108
    Oltrol says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    You Starbucks folks ever try just getting the “coffee of the day”, it’s $2 for a Grande, leave it down a bit for your fav addition.
    Same as most C-Stores, but I like 7-11 coffee too.

  109. 109
    ruemara says:

    @Soonergrunt: I like you, but fuck off about Apple. Having worked on both systems for design and video, I’d work on an Apple every time. And considering once you upgrade a Wintel cheapola to the standards of a Mac, you’re spending about the same, I’d rather get it right, out of the box.

  110. 110
  111. 111
    redshirt says:

    Are there no Starbucks supporters? I like the place, though I don’t go into one very often.

  112. 112
    Stacy says:

    I much prefer Tim Horton’s campaign where you roll up the rim of your cup to see if you won a free donut, coffee etc. Just don’t do it when it’s full of hot coffee. Ouch!

  113. 113
    mclaren says:

    Sometimes?

  114. 114
    Svensker says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I know a couple of peeps who worked (at fairly low level) in the GHWBush admin and they said he was a great guy as a boss. Very much concerned that everyone was treated fairly, was concerned about “his people” and always remembered names, who had kids, spouse info, etc. A genuinely nice man to work for, according to these folks, who also happen to be Dems.

  115. 115
    redshirt says:

    Does anyone know of any crimes committed by Dunkies?

  116. 116
    different-church-lady says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    …and realized you could have had better product exactly the way you wanted it for less money.

    Unless, of course, what you wanted is a computer that worked reliably for three years longer than the typical PC.

  117. 117
    PJ says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: The Bush Administration was caught with its pants down when the revolutions started happening in 1989 (so much for the CIA), and I heard (and admittedly this is second hand from embassy employees) the official State Dept. policy was to discourage any kind of revolt lest it create the dreaded instability. Whereas Truman, with the Marshall Plan, ponied up money and know how to reconstruct Western Europe, both Bush and Clinton squandered a twice in a century opportunity, leaving behind kleptocracies and, in the case of many of the post-Soviet states, virtual dictatorships.

    From Tony Judt’s great Ill Fares the Land:

    When Communism fell in 1989, the temptation for Western commentators to gloat triumphantly proved irresistible. This, it was declared, marked the end of History. Henceforth, the world belonged to liberal capitalism – there was no alternative – and we would all march forward in unison towards a future shaped by peace, democracy and free markets. Twenty years on this assertion looks threadbare.

    There can be no question that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the domino-like collapse of Communism states from the suburbs of Vienna to the shores of the Pacific marked a very significant transition: one in which millions of men and women were liberated from a dismal and defunct ideology and its authoritarian institutions. But no one could credibly assert that what replaced Communism was an era of idyllic tranquility. There was no peace in post-Communist Yugoslavia, and precious little democracy in any of the successor states of the Soviet Union.

    As for free markets, they surely flourished, but it is not clear for whom. The West – Europe and the United States above all – missed a once-in-a-century opportunity to re-shape the world around agreed and improved international institutions and practices. Instead, we sat back and congratulated ourselves upon having won the Cold War: a sure way to lose the peace. The years from 1989 to 2009 were consumed by locusts. (pp. 137-38)

    As anyone who has traveled or lived in post-Communist eastern Europe will know, the transition from repressive egalitarianism to unconstrained greed is not attractive. There is no shortage of people in the region today who would enthusiastically second the view that the point of political freedom is to make money. Certainly this is the point of view of President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic, and he is not alone. (p. 146)

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