Sandinista!

The Washington Post editorial board fellated Pinochet’s rotting corpse, but this is news?

Mr. de Blasio, who studied Latin American politics at Columbia and was conversational in Spanish, grew to be an admirer of Nicaragua’s ruling Sandinista party, thrusting himself into one of the most polarizing issues in American politics at the time. The Reagan administration denounced the Sandinistas as tyrannical and Communist, while their liberal backers argued that after years of dictatorship, they were building a free society with broad access to education, land and health care.

Fuck yeah, I like this guy.

121 replies
  1. 1
    some guy says:

    my favorite line in that story is where America’s policy to support the Nicaraguan terrorists is, shockingly, describe as a “policy of terrorism” by one of the people de Blasio worked with back in the day.

  2. 2
    kindness says:

    Funny thing is you gotta know the people who released this (oppo) research thought they were going to hurt de Blasio.

  3. 3
    Hunter Gathers says:

    This will piss off white New Yorkers, but not enough to matter against Joe ‘I would have skull-fucked those cute kittens’ Lhota.

  4. 4
    Jay B. says:

    The Reagan Administration also back nun-killing death squads in both Nicaragua and El Salvador, the former backed illegally with funds accrued from a country who held Americans hostage for more than a year in exchange for weapons. de Blasio backed the right people, even if Ortega was flawed, the Reagan Administration backed quite literally the worst people on earth in defiance of US law.

  5. 5
    BGinCHI says:

    He’s obviously one of them.

    You know, them: 99% of the people who aren’t rich assholes.

  6. 6
    Sly says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    This will piss off white New Yorkers

    You mean “White New Yorkers over the age of fifty who weren’t going to vote for de Blasio anyway”

    Oh, and people who support the lobbing of grenades into schoolhouses.

  7. 7
    raven says:

    Wait till he gets in office and the “left” jumps ugly on him.

  8. 8

    One of the center’s leaders once likened American efforts in Nicaragua to a “policy of terrorism,”

    You arm and fund a few death squads that terrorize the locals and people pull out the “terrorism” word. Sigh… what is the world coming to?

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    The Washington Post editorial board fellated Pinochet’s rotting corpse, but this is news?

    Well, yes, of course it is. Because Reagan = Good; Democrats = Bad. Anything a Democrat does that was or is contrary to what Reagan did is therefore bad. If a Republican does it, it’s because of “sound conservative principles” and “times are different and Reagan would have done it this way now.”

  10. 10
    MDC says:

    I’m trying to figure out if the NYT cherry-picked all the red-scare stuff in this story simple because they are big neoliberals, or because Diblasio has a huge lead right now, and they want to make it a tighter race to help them sell more papers and get more clicks.

  11. 11
    raven says:

    @Jay B.: You say that like it’s some kind of negative thing?

  12. 12
    David Hunt says:

    the Reagan Administration backed quite literally the worst people on earth in defiance of US law.

    Nuh Unh! It was a well known fact that the Commies were literally the worst people in the world. ANYTHING done fighting them was morally justified. /Zombie Reagan

    The sad part is that although I wrote that in hyperbolic form trying to be funny, I don’t think it’s really an exaggeration of the views that held sway in the Reagan Administration or Reagan’s brain…

  13. 13
    flukebucket says:

    broad access to education, land and health care.

    No wonder the damn Republicans hated them.

  14. 14
    Suffern ACE says:

    @MDC: The Time’s type “liberals” do not want a democratic mayor that they have not selected. He is from the wrong end of the party.

  15. 15
    Chris says:

    Mr. de Blasio, who studied Latin American politics at Columbia and was conversational in Spanish, grew to be an admirer of Nicaragua’s ruling Sandinista party, thrusting himself into one of the most polarizing issues in American politics at the time. The Reagan administration denounced the Sandinistas as tyrannical and Communist, while their liberal backers argued that after years of dictatorship, they were building a free society with broad access to education, land and health care.

    The Sandinista government transitioned to democracy well inside of a decade from its arrival to power.

    By contrast the time elapsed from the moment the Somoza dynasty the contras were fighting to bring back and the moment the Somozas went democratic was…

    Oh, right. It never happened at all.

    Should also be noted that once the transition to democracy happened and it turned out the public wanted the Sandinistas there… the Reagan administration went “yeah, okay, but that doesn’t count, because it’s not really democracy unless our candidate wins,” and went right on funding the contras until the next election, in which Nicaragua went to the right largely because it was the only way to end U.S. sponsored terrorism and embargos.

    I admit it’s hard to argue with Reagan about the use of the word “tyrannical;” he seemed to know all about it.

  16. 16
    Keith P. says:

    Old leftist was once a young leftist? Scoop of the century.

  17. 17

    You just know that Ollie North’s gonna get in on this.

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    @MDC: Wall Street!

  19. 19
    DaveinMaine says:

    You mean he was trying to help people being hurt by a civil war as opposed to funding nun-raping rebels? Gosh, what an asshole…

  20. 20
    Belafon says:

    According to Daily Kos, the NYT article on de Blasio included the following:

    “Karl Marx,” “unfettered leftist,” “Sandinista,” “Barricades,” “Marxist Agenda,” “Communists, traitors, radicals,” “ragtag peace activists,” “anarchists,” “democratic socialist.”

  21. 21
    raven says:

    @Belafon: You rang?

  22. 22
    jl says:

    WaPol editoriial page produces crude social propaganda that misleads. Twenty years of social democratic rule that started soon after Pinochet’s departure had nothing to do with Chile’s current economic performance. And the current governing party, which I understand to be a center right (with emphasis in right) party that opposed Pinochet late in his regime, also has nothing to do with current conditions in Chile.

    OK.

  23. 23
    Svensker says:

    @Belafon:

    ragtag peace activists

    An article about me and mine? Sweet!

  24. 24

    In what world do these people live? Communism is history, the Soviet Union is no more, and there is no Cold War. Hit piece, FAIL. Try again, NYT.

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    @Belafon: Out of curiosity, how many people in the US under the age of 40 have any feelings about the word “Sandinista” one way or the other? Does that work to scare people? Same question with “Karl Marx,” “unfettered leftist,” “Marxist Agenda,” “Communists,” “ragtag peace activists,” and “democratic socialist.” The only words I can see that would have any impact on someone under 40 are “barricades,” “traitors,” “radicals,” and “anarchists.” Those are more common words that aren’t tied as much to the Cold War era.

    At this point, a little Marxism doesn’t sound all that bad, considering the US has become a corporatocracy.

  26. 26
    Belafon says:

    @raven:
    @Svensker:
    Heh. You guys aren’t their audience, obviously.

  27. 27
    jl says:

    Seems appropriate illustration for the post, even if a bit disrespectful to cane toads and bats

    Cane toad scores a bat.

    Alien-like creature actually a toad with a big appetite

    Park ranger in Peru captures rare and comical image showing a cane toad after a bat had flown into its mouth, leaving only the wings and tail visible

    http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor.....-appetite/

  28. 28
    raven says:

    @Belafon: venceremos!

  29. 29
    Suffern ACE says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Well, if he was “suckered” into admiring one Soviet tool, who knows what he’ll do as mayor. Also, government supported daycare is almost exactly like land redistribution. Also, fixing the messed up 9-11 system is almost like liberation theology.

  30. 30
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    Doug, I offer a new tag for every post featuring the serious thinkers of the WaPo’s editorial board:

    So you grow up and you calm down

  31. 31
    diana says:

    The only thing bad that I’ve heard about him is that he’s taken a lot of money from the taxi medallion owners: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09.....&_r=0

    This is bad because owning a taxi medallion — as opposed to driving a cab — is a pure rent-seeking activity, akin to being a landlord but without the maintenance obligations: “Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, took immediate exception to the candidate’s remarks, calling Mr. Yassky “the most pro-driver chairperson we’ve seen.” She cited last year’s commission-approved increase in cab fares, which went directly toward higher wages for drivers, and wondered if the next administration would instead be at the “beck and call” of the taxi industry, given the campaign contributions.”

    David Yassky has also been independently very good for bikers and bike lanes, but the fact he ran the taxi commission meant that in addition all of Bloomberg’s bikelanes, citibike share, and bike stand additions went down without a peep of public criticism from the taxi drivers. The only other people who drive cars in NYC are rich fools who think their money entitles them to live in the city as if they were living in suburbia so the criticism came mostly from them.

  32. 32
    dan says:

    Dude walks the walk.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    goblue72 says:

    Every one of these “hit” pieces against de Blasio, whether from the New York Establishment crowd, Wall Street or the national right-wing media, just further cements his support amongst New York Dems and the New Yorkers in general who aren’t members of either the 1% or the Archie Bunker Brigade.

    There’s a whole swath of New York that is pretty tired of having its needs and concerns essentially ignored for the past decade while Bloomberg made New York into a playground for the rich at everyone else’s expense.

    Dude lives in Brooklyn and has made it clear the boroughs not named Manhattan deserve a seat at the table? Bring it on.

    Dude is literally married to a black lesbian and has a kid with an Afro? Bring it on.

    Dude used to hang out with lefties protesting the bombing of nuns in Latin America? Bring it on.

    Dude gonna tax the Wall Street crowd so regular New Yorkers can send their kids to preschool? Oh hell yeah bring it on.

    Dude is a Red Sox fan? Bri…OK, waitaminuteholdon…WHAT?!?!?!?!?

  35. 35
    Chris says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Well, yes. But what else are you supposed to call your political opponents? “People who think you can raise taxes on the richest assholes in society from their lowest point in eighty years to their previous lowest point in eighty years and still not bring about the apocalypse?” That almost makes them sounds like people you could vote for. So, “Communist” it is.

    @Violet:

    Yes, and that’s what I think is the main reason for that poll showing that people in my generation prefer the word “socialism” to “capitalism” by a slim margin. We grew up after the end of the Cold War, when there was no longer a socialist bloc. The only context in which the word means anything is as a slur that conservatives and libertarians break out to describe anything they don’t like, up to and including that Postal Service the Founding Fathers put into the constitution.

    And when the word “socialism” has been so thoroughly bastardized that it no longer means anything except “what teabaggers and 1%ers don’t like,” suddenly it’s not so bad anymore.

  36. 36
    Warren Terra says:

    The Reagan administration denounced the Sandinistas as tyrannical .. while their liberal backers argued that .. they were building a free society with broad access to education .. and health care.

    Mind you, a modern Winger sees no disagreement here. Is there any greater tyranny than “broad access to education .. and health care”?

  37. 37
    PeakVT says:

    Least surprising hatchet job ever. And the first of many the ‘paper of record’ will run over the next few months.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Citizen_X says:

    Oh hell yeah, let’s talk more about Saint Ronald Fucking Reagan and his legacy of Iran-contra and arming terrorists. Let’s hear about his support for Salvadoran death squads and Guatemalan genocide while we’re at it. That’ll turn the kids against de Blasio, for sure!

  40. 40
    Ash Can says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    You just know that Ollie North’s gonna get in on this.

    Oh, I hope so. I hope he cannonballs in and makes a huge, noisy splash, so that it’s all over the news and sets tongues a-waggin’ and makes everyone in the nation 40 years of age and younger sit up and notice and listen to the story and figure out how happy and eager Ronald Reagan was to trash any and all basic principles and decency in the quest to fight his personal bugaboo. Come on, Ollie. Do it. Educate a whole new generation on just who it was who held your leash.

  41. 41

    Thread needs kitteh, the pawer that runs the web and my blog which BTW has 100 posts as of today!

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The entire WaPo Editorial Board should be treated to El Salvador style dealing with nuns action.

    Put up against the fucking wall, and dealt with accordingly.

    Fascist maggots, every last one of them.

  43. 43

    @Gin & Tonic: Everyone looks tiny in photos with DeBlasio in it.

  44. 44
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Warren Terra: Look. those oligarchs had a good thing going in Central America and here you come along telling the masses that they could have something better? Who is going to stand up for the oligarchs?

  45. 45
    Jay C says:

    @MDC:

    I’m trying to figure out if the NYT cherry-picked all the red-scare stuff in this story simple because they are big neoliberals, or because Diblasio has a huge lead right now, and they want to make it a tighter race to help them sell more papers and get more clicks.

    Probably a bit of both: though the pinko-bashing tone of the Times’ FP article does strike one as a little retro: how many people in 2013 really give a good goddam about the Sandinistas c. 1979? C’mon, even the Sandinistas have moved on from knee-jerk leftism: at least Bill De Blasio should get a similar break….

    OTOH, The Times DID run this editorial – which presumably is something like their “official” opinion – basically calling BS on Joe Lhota’s and the Republicans’ stock line that a De Blasio mayoralty will/must inevitably lead right back to 1977, and an urban dystopia with ” disaster [ ] right around the corner in the form of squeegee men and vagrants, crack houses and near-bankruptcy.

  46. 46
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Hard to find a Central American freedom fighter without a little blood on his hands.

  47. 47
  48. 48

    @Ash Can: Last week some fb friends were at a convention where Ollie North was a speaker so my timeline was filled with pics of him and declarations that he is an “American Hero”. How the fuck did that happen that Ollie’s a hero? So confused. Yr right, maybe some sunlight on the true nature of his reputation will do some good.

  49. 49
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: He’s reported to be six-five.

  50. 50
    Mino says:

    @goblue72: That pesky fly….

  51. 51
    Chris says:

    @Ash Can:

    Oh, I hope so. I hope he cannonballs in and makes a huge, noisy splash, so that it’s all over the news and sets tongues a-waggin’ and makes everyone in the nation 40 years of age and younger sit up and notice and listen to the story and figure out how happy and eager Ronald Reagan was to trash any and all basic principles and decency in the quest to fight his personal bugaboo.

    Yes, but OBAMA sold guns to Mexican drug cartels AND covered up/participated in/didn’t call it terrorism/wev the terrorist attack on Benghazi AND covered up evidence of his being born in Kenya and raised by Bill Ayers.

    Now, I’m not saying Reagan didn’t have a few blemishes as well. After all, both sides do it, you know. But first of all, nobody died during Iran-contra. Second of all, it was all so long ago. And third of all, unlike Iran-contra, no one’s going after Obama for this. The mainstream media is covering it up. Even the RINOs in the Republican Party don’t dare to go after him. Why isn’t anyone talking about this?

    /wingnut

  52. 52
    David in NY says:

    Anybody know anything about the “reporter” Javier C. Hernández? Note the retention of the accented syllable? Check his twitter feed, he’s practically creaming all over himself. (On second thought, don’t. Really, don’t.)

  53. 53
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    The Time’s type “liberals” do not want a democratic mayor that they have not selected. He is from the wrong end of the party.

    TRUER WORDS.

  54. 54
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Ever since the Clinton admin. And boy does it make me want to puke.

  55. 55
    SarahT says:

    @jl: GAH !

  56. 56
    Letters from Godwin says:

    GOP Contra-apologists/Rayguns-apologists are the same breed who defended Barbie in France. //not the doll, JFGI kids & get off my lawn!

  57. 57
    Chris says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    Didn’t a big chunk of the country (certainly more than 27%) come out of the Iran-contra hearings thinking that Oliver North was a hero?

    He’s been milking it ever since first as a political candidate in Virginia (defeated, thank God), then as a Fox News talking head, then as one of the gaggle of dime novel writers who wish they were Tom Clancy, while in the meantime memories of Iran-contra fades, so I can only imagine that his popularity went up, if anything.

  58. 58
    David in NY says:

    The Times seems to be unaware that the Sandinistas are the current governing party in Nicaragua, their leader, the President.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    Out of curiosity, how many people in the US under the age of 40 have any feelings about the word “Sandinista” one way or the other?

    At best, I think people would be thinking, “What does he have to do with The Clash?” And that’s assuming they recognize the word at all.

    Well, except for Latinos under 40. But they remember it more like, “When my aunt and cousins had to flee Nicaragua and move in with us to avoid being murdered by the contras.”

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    Every Marine I’ve ever discussed Oliver North with despises him.

    He’s a fucking disgrace to the uniform…particularly his stunt of appearing in uniform before Congress.

    He should have been dismissed for the good of the service. Instead, the shitty grade-Z movie star intervened to allow him to retire with pension.

  61. 61
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    You arm and fund a few death squads that terrorize the locals and people pull out the “terrorism” word. Sigh… what is the world coming to?

    And it’s those people are are the true terrorists. Am I right?

  62. 62
    Punchy says:

    My child is a SandBoxdinista

  63. 63
    Letters from Godwin says:

    @Jay C:

    OTOH, The Times DID run this editorial – which presumably is something like their “official” opinion – basically calling BS on Joe Lhota’s and the Republicans’ stock line that a De Blasio mayoralty will/must inevitably lead right back to 1977, and an urban dystopia with ” disaster [ ] right around the corner in the form of squeegee men and vagrants, crack houses and near-bankruptcy.“

    Idiocy. The Ray Kelly apologists keep bleeting about the end of Stop’n’Frisk and how de Blasio will be Dinkins II, because they refuse to accept the reality that the field of criminology does NOT accept NYPD policing tactics as having any significant impact on crime rates in the Big Apple. There’s no way you have a crime drop that matches the secular average, engage in different tactics from everyone else, and then credit the tactics. Plus, NYPD is fudging their violent crime figures and everybody knows it. It’s impossible to get a careless driver charges with vehicular homicide, for example, because that would trash the district’s COMPSTAT figures for the quarter. Or ask anyone who’s been raped lately.

    Truth be told, Stop&Frisk is probably causing more ECONOMIC damage than anything else. (Which eventually feeds into crime, ie increases it, but that’s a second order effect in my uninformed opinion.)

  64. 64

    @Chris: Apparently I was blissfully unaware of recent-ish Oliver North developments (going back to mid 90’s). Thx for clarifying.

    @Villago Delenda Est: I do remember that he got his retirement. Wingnut welfare comes in many forms.

  65. 65
    SarahT says:

    @raven: Exactly. Might as well start right now: “I voted for DeBlasio and it’s been a whole week and I still don’t have a cheap apartment or a magical pony or even an awesome Afro like Dante, wah !”

  66. 66
    eldorado says:

    …those washington bullets want castro dead

  67. 67
    Another Holocene Human says:

    The Times seems to be unaware that the Sandinistas are the current governing party in Nicaragua, their leader, the President.

    “Now, now, let’s not quarrel about ‘oo killed ‘oo.”

  68. 68
    MikeJ says:

    @David in NY:

    The Times seems to be unaware that the Sandinistas are the current governing party in Nicaragua, their leader, the President.

    Not only that, after the revolution they had open elections and when the Sandinistas lost, they stepped down. They ran for office and won again.

  69. 69
    jl says:

    @Chris: Obama got a secret time machine and eleven dimensional chess analyzer from someplace, too. He sure didn’t build them himself. Probably stole it from the military, and nothing’s been done about it. Conspiracy! Outrage! Doom!

  70. 70
    Punchy says:

    I always thought it was Lentdinista, especially in the Boston area.

    /chuckles

  71. 71
    Suffern ACE says:

    Honestly, this whole Sandinista thing, and the fact that it has to probably be ‘splained to the young folk, is just making me feel old. I feel like getting out my REM cassette tapes and wondering where the time flew.

  72. 72
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @goblue72:

    Dude is a Red Sox fan? Bri…OK, waitaminuteholdon…WHAT?!?!?!?!?

    That’s gotta hurt but at least he’s not rooting for the motherfucking Yankees.

  73. 73
    Ben Franklin says:

    He’ll be fine if he keeps it local. As soon as he enters the mainstream of Nat’l politics and the inevitable place in our two-party system, he’ll need to give up at least one of his balls for the sake of incremental progress.

  74. 74
    jl says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    The VSP corporate media establishment follows the GOP into spewing an opaque archaic language few understand anymore.

    Quire a few of these antiquarians on the right are younger than me, but they have managed to warp time and have become true olds, speaking dead languages.

    Many languages of small communities deserve preservation. This one doesn’t. I guess the GOP and corporate VSP will learn that, and I hope it too late

  75. 75
    Ash Can says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Hell, it began during the Iran-Contra Congressional hearings. Handsome young Ollie North, in his dress uniform, and his beautiful secretary Fawn Hall were way too glamorous to have done anything wrong. Only ugly people were crooks; everyone who’d paid attention to fairy-tale storytime in kindergarten knew that.

    It was during the Reagan administration that I learned not only what the right wing of the GOP was capable of but what the voters of this nation were capable of, specifically regarding jettisoning all the principles of decency and justice that had made this nation great. Nobody fucking cared that these two good-looking people broke the law, and nobody fucking cared that our president was buddy-buddy with some of the worst monsters on the planet. People made excuses for Reagan up the wazoo, and castigated those nasty Democrats in Congress for being so mean to that nice soldier and that pretty girl. It was utterly demoralizing.

  76. 76
    Belafon says:

    @Ben Franklin: This is New York City. There is very little local about it, or the mayor. We’re certainly not talking about the mayoral election in any other city.

    So, sorry, no pony for you.

  77. 77
    jl says:

    I think this is werid

    Graham Disagrees With McCain: ‘Allahu Akbar’ Is A ‘War Chant’

    “When somebody yells ‘Allahu akbar’ in the Middle East, I duck,” the senator, who’s running for re-election, told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade on Monday as quoted by The Hill. “It’s not like, ‘Hey, how you doing Lindsey.'”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....-war-chant

  78. 78
  79. 79
    fuckwit says:

    Yeah, but did he actualy buy that Clash album? It was shit.

  80. 80
    Thlayli says:

    @fuckwit:

    It took 79 comments for someone to bring up the Clash album? What is wrong with you people?

  81. 81
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @jl: That’s funny, when glazed-eyed Evangelical start out a conversation with “God is Great–All the Time” I start looking for cover too.

  82. 82
    drkrick says:

    @PeakVT:

    Least surprising hatchet job ever. And the first of many the ‘paper of record’ will run over the next few months.

    And god willing, years.

  83. 83
    Tom Q says:

    @Chris: My recollection is the public attitude toward North broke along the same line as Lt. Calley (for us old-timers): 1/3 hated his guts, 1/3 thought he was a hero, and the remainder was ambivalent but thought he was mostly a scapegoat for superiors.

    The fact that North couldn’t beat the deeply-compromised Chuck Robb, on the best GOP night of the century, in Virginia (which was far more Repulican-leaning in 1994), indicated the public at large didn’t buy the GOP/media spin he was a hero.

  84. 84
    Amir Khalid says:

    I guess The New York Times story does raise a legitimate concern about the kind of foreign policy Bill de Blasio might pursue as mayor of New York City. We all know how American cities are nations in their own right, so mayors get to conduct their own foreign policy, don’t we?

  85. 85
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Belafon:

    NYC is just as local as Cleveland, or Boise, but I’m sure New Yorkers would object because they are so exceptional. The pony can be found on the Central Park carousel.

  86. 86
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Concatulations!

  87. 87
    drkrick says:

    @Chris:

    He’s been milking it ever since first as a political candidate in Virginia (defeated, thank God),

    That race was a real peach. Chuck Robb (right after the Miss Virginia in Virginia Beach revelations) and North both would have lost in a landslide to any remotely credible opponent, but the Commonwealth managed to match up the only two people who could make it a race against each other.

  88. 88
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Ben Franklin: Well, if you want to be wrong, you live in those cities you just mentioned. What were they again? Burlington or Cincinnati or something?

  89. 89

    @Warren Terra: Unions, living wages, sound and safe working conditions, environmental laws, taxes,

  90. 90
    drkrick says:

    @fuckwit:Hey, I named a cat after that album! (She was “Sandy” for those that didn’t need to know …)

  91. 91
    Belafon says:

    @Ben Franklin: Yeah, let me know when we’re talking about the financial center of Boise affecting commerce in London or Beijing. Or when the US and Iranian presidents are sparing diplomatically in Cleveland.

    I live in Texas and know that New York and Washington, DC represent the US and that being mayor of DC is not even like being the mayor of Dallas.

  92. 92
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Belafon:

    You’re talking degrees of power and spheres of influence. How is NYC not local? And if it’s such a powerhouse why have no NYC mayors ascended to the WH? (Because POTUS is a step down from Mayor or some other nonsense?)

  93. 93
    The Moar You Know says:

    Man I am old. Sandanistas and contras. I remember the “equivalent of the founding fathers of America” raping nuns and gutting priests and then kicking them out of helicopters. I definitely remember John Paul II was more than OK with that.

    Eugene Hausenfus and his Air America flights. Oh, that was a howler when that shit went down. And I couldn’t believe it! Reagan really was made of Teflon! That incident alone would have gotten any other president executed right on the spot in the Oval Office, but not Grandpa Ronnie.

    You had to be there. If you weren’t, be glad.

  94. 94
    Jeremy says:

    @Ben Franklin: Well New York City is not Cleveland or Boise. It’s the most populated city in American, and it’s a major international city.

  95. 95
    El Caganer says:

    @jl: So that “God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for our food” thingie is all, like, shariah ‘n stuff? Learn something new every day.

  96. 96
    jl says:

    Hayek’s predictions for Scandinavia and the UK didn’t pan out, so have to pick different bogus object lessons, with even more distorted history, and those are getting old.

    There was at least some truth to the UK picking a market socialist path right after WWII, with nationalization focused on public utilities and producers of primary and secondary commodities and services.

    The more recent object lessons from the UK are the smashing success, or maybe better, smashing smash, of privatized social security and passenger rail. But, oops, those go in the wrong direction.

    So why not focus on countries that have a lot in common with high income developed countries with long histories of relatively peaceful and functioning democracy, like Cuba, Nicaragua, Chile, North Korea, and such like. That only people older remember in real time when they were adults.

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    Jeremy says:

    @Ben Franklin: “why have no NYC mayors ascended to the WH?” That’s a ridiculous question. How many mayors around the country have ascended to White House ? Most presidents were former governors, senators, generals, or representatives.

  98. 98
    jl says:

    @El Caganer:

    “God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for our food”

    Well, that was the standard chant in my college dorm right before the food fight began. War cry!

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    Jeremy says:

    @Jeremy: correction : America.

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    The Moar You Know says:

    “When somebody yells ‘Allahu akbar’ in the Middle East, I duck,” the senator, who’s running for re-election, told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade on Monday as quoted by The Hill. “It’s not like, ‘Hey, how you doing Lindsey.’”

    @jl: Cut Lindsey a break. His foreign language experience is confined to about 12 different types of toe-tapping and a wide stance.

  101. 101
    Lyrebird says:

    @Violet:

    (and to Belafon, Raven, & other awesome folks)

    Even among people JC’s age (ahem, and mine), i.e. a little OVER 40, only the ones who were big-time political junkies in high school are gonna have much of a clue… Not too many middle-aged white voters on the UWS are gonna answer that whistle.

    Sad to see what the NYT has become.

    Wonderful to get to know de Blasio, who has a family, a sense of humor, and a family w/a sense of humor!

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    fuckwit says:

    @Ash Can: It was the Reagan era when the right wing learned how vain and superficial Americans are, and how to take advantage of that.

    Re-read Ballard’s great 60s-era essay “Why I Want To Fuck Ronald Reagan”.

    See, in 1960, Kennedy was the good looking young guy, and NIxon was the ugly-looking old creep. And who won? And why? It wasn’t for the reasons you’d think it should have been. And the 1% learned that lesson. Well.. though slowly. Tt took another couple decades for that lesson to fully settle into the Rethug infrastructure. How to be “media savvy”.

    Reagan’s “teflon” was that Hollywood avuncular smile and rootsy ranch. He looked like a movie star, because he was a movie star. It was pure image. And Americans fell for it, badly.

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    Ben Franklin says:

    @fuckwit:

    Thanks. It was new to me. Had to laugh at the rat-fucking of Reagan at the Convention (1980) as copies were handed out to delegates who thought it was the result of a think-tank’s conclusions about Reagan’s appeal. Too funny.

  104. 104
    Chris says:

    @Ash Can:

    It was during the Reagan administration that I learned not only what the right wing of the GOP was capable of but what the voters of this nation were capable of, specifically regarding jettisoning all the principles of decency and justice that had made this nation great.

    I had the same experience during the Bush administration. If I’d delved as much into “recent” U.S. political history then as I have by now, though, I’d have been a lot less surprised by what the Bushies did.

    I suppose Iran-contra is a landmark moment because it was the first time that the status of the President and the national security state was officially and publicly enshrined as above the law. Everyone knew about J. Edgar Hoover’s shenanigans and those of various counterparts of his at Langley, but it was all done under the blanket of official secrecy, wink-wink-nudge-nudge. Nixon pushed things so far that all these dirty dealings were actually brought into the open, but when they were, he was actually punished for it (if not impeached, still forced to resign in disgrace).

    Iran-contra was when an administration decided to engage in criminal activity, and it went public and came to trial (or whatever you call these hearings in Congress), and Official Washington determined in full view of the entire nation that fuck it, if the president does it, it’s not illegal, or at least nothing should be done about it. All the crimes they (Bush most notably) have committed since stem from the confidence that gave them.

  105. 105

    @The Moar You Know: Ain’t it the truth. I remember my father saying “remember how horrified everyone was about Nixon? The Iran contra stuff is gonna make Watergate looking like a fucking pussy tea party when it all comes out.” Of course he was correct but nobody really cared, it seemed. I’m old.

  106. 106
    Chris says:

    @Tom Q:

    Interesting. I’m actually not sure exactly where I fall… “scapegoat” is definitely the wrong word, because he was the front man and as such, absolutely up to his neck in everything. He deserved to go to jail. Only question after that is who else in the administration was involved, as it’s equally certain that Ollie wasn’t acting on his own.

    And throw tomatoes at me if you will, but I actually think it’s totally plausible that Reagan didn’t know anything about it. I’m not even talking about his Alzheimer’s; I mean that his administration (in a way typical for Republican presidents) seems to have been set up in such a way that he really was just the grinning public face of the administration, while all the decisions were made by his cabinet. I don’t mean he was a puppet either – I have no doubt he could’ve made decisions, he was just too bored and lazy (and, towards the end, senile) to do it.

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    maye says:

    @kindness: this exact thing happened in an episode of House of Cards.

  108. 108
    liberal says:

    @Letters from Godwin:

    There’s no way you have a crime drop that matches the secular average, engage in different tactics from everyone else, and then credit the tactics.

    Yep.

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    Viva BrisVegas says:

    There should be a Ronnie Reagan award for chutzpah.

    While Nancy was at the front door with “just say no to drugs”, Ronnie was out the back dealing crack with his Contra buddies.

    You’ve got to admire the size of those cojones.

    You’ve also got to admire the steadfast way the MSM stoically ignored it all.

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    El Cid says:

    Brazil is currently led by a woman who joined Marxist guerrilla forces to fight to US-backed subfascist tyrants who were staving off democracy there.

    You think Dilma Roussef is going to see de Blasio’s pro-Sandinista involvement as a negative?

    No, like most of the hemisphere, she’ll be on the side of the people who weren’t in favor of imprisoning, torturing, and killing her.

    Michelle Bachelet has already been President of Chile and on her way back to that status as an elected Soshullist once again. Her father died under imprisonment and torture at the hands of the US=backed subfascist tyranny of Pinochet and his freedom thugs.

    The New York Times fired (reassigned) Ray Bonner for accurately reporting the death squad massacre achievements by Reagan’s freedom slaughterers in El Salvador, when pro-massacre administration hack Elliot Abrams complained.

    Shit-head US power media might look back and hallucinate that a pro-Sandinista view is some odd rarity, but most of the governments of this hemisphere, representing a much greater total population than the US, are on their side.

    Good for de Blasio.

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    fuckwit says:

    @Chris: Indeed, Bush was his Cheney,

  114. 114
    Chris says:

    @fuckwit:

    Really? Bush?

    I thought they were political rivals more than anything else. Even though Bush eventually adopted all of Reagan’s policies once it was his turn at the wheel.

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    Hugely says:

    @Thlayli: I think somebody put in a Washington Bullets lyrics before this comment. Sandinista is a great album BTW

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    nastybrutishntall says:

    I call dibs on hating him first for whatever it is he’ll most likely be helpless to prevent.

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    ArchPundit says:

    @Jay B.:

    You mean is flawed. He is the current President of Nicaragua–otherwise largely agree. Compared to shitheads who raped and killed literacy workers for fun, Ortega was better. Not great, but better.

  119. 119
    ArchPundit says:

    @Chris:

    I was there in ’91 and the President of the National Assembly–an opponent of the Sandinistas actually made some decent points about the Sandinistas being slower than the transitions in Eastern Europe. That said, he didn’t like the fucking Contras either and he was the political opposition to the Sandinistas.

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    ArchPundit says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Hausenfus

    Bless you. Or Goodzuntight if you prefer.

  121. 121
    ArchPundit says:

    Oh, and if you want to bitch about Ortega, bitch about when he backed up Qadafi during the Libyan revolution right before the Colonel found himself in that sewer drain. Those of us old enough to remember the 80s felt a hysterical bit of deja vu as Cuba, Nicaragua,a nd Libya were reliving the anti-Reagan days.

    Ortega and his family are largely petty thiefs, but petty thiefs who tend to distribute it better than anyone else who has ruled the country in over a century.

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