Today in Presidential Farewell Addresses: President Eisenhower

An excerpt from President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address. It is especially compelling as he wrote and delivered these words at the height of the Cold War, the first one…

II.

We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America’s leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

III.

Throughout America’s adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology–global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle–with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research–these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs-balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage–balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise.

 

And:

VI.

Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

And finally:

You and I–my fellow citizens–need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nation’s great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America’s prayerful and continuing aspiration:

We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.

Click across to read the rest.

Updated with video!

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122 replies
  1. 1
    Elizabelle says:

    Ah, the famous military-industrial complex speech. Have always meant to read this.

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: Yep.

  3. 3
    Betty says:

    Those words are truly wise. How did we get to this place?

  4. 4
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, thank you.

    Have to read a lot of history and warnings this year, as we live through what should have been avoided, if enough people looked at history. And had enough empathy. But they did not. And so we learn (or try to) again, and at what cost this time?

  5. 5
    резидент американской области Российской Федерации says:

    Trying a new nym.

  6. 6
    Rob in CT says:

    The things I’d do to swap out Trump for zombie Ike…

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    Ike looks pretty damn good, in the rearview mirror.

    I like Ike too.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    zhena gogolia says:

    @резидент американской области Российской Федерации:

    Great nym!

    I was considering За Америку без Трампа

  10. 10
    hovercraft says:

    @Elizabelle:
    It seems that we have a problem remembering the past. People dispute the root cause of the Civil War, basic facts about our history are constantly disputed, and not just our ancient past, which is actually not at all ancient compared to most countries in the world. We are so busy trying to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table that we don’t know basic things about hat is going on in our country. People are inundated with lies, and because they can’t be bothered or don’t have the time, they believe them, or are so confused that they attribute it to politicians squabbling and or lying. This is where the both side bullshit comes from, forget history, all of these people suddenly noticing that Obamacare is the ACA. I’d be happy if people could just knew what the hell was going on in the country right now. People voted for the shitgibbon, and now suddenly they are shocked that he’s a train wreck coming right at them. Who knows the price we will all pay for these peoples stupidity, but it will be steep, and take a long time to dig out of.

  11. 11
    zhena gogolia says:

    @резидент американской области Российской Федерации:

    But I think you want житель and not резидент.

  12. 12
    zhena gogolia says:

    @резидент американской области Российской Федерации:

    Or maybe гражданин (citizen). “Rezident” is a weird word, and I only know it as part of “resident minister.”

  13. 13
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Ike isn’t even on the same planet with today’s Republicans.

  14. 14
    hovercraft says:

    Via TPM

    The majority of American voters believe that President-elect Donald Trump should delete his Twitter account, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

    Sixty-four percent of respondents thought that Trump should ditch his Twitter account, which he continues to use to ignite feuds with celebrities and announce policy proposals, once he is officially installed in the White House.

    Thirty-two percent of respondents thought he should keep it, and five percent were unsure or did not answer.

  15. 15
    Neldob says:

    Amazing to see how the Republican party has deteriorated. There hasn’t been a decent R pres since Ike.

  16. 16
    The Moar You Know says:

    We were warned in plain, direct language written at a level that even a grade-schooler could understand of a grave internal threat to the United States of America.

    We said “eh, fuck it, what could go wrong?”

    History of America in two sentences.

  17. 17
    Lizzy L says:

    @hovercraft: This, yes a thousand times. Our ignorance will destroy us.

  18. 18
    David in NY says:

    @Elizabelle: Thank you Elizabelle. Thought that ought to be there and glad you got it.

  19. 19
    ruemara says:

    @The Moar You Know: To be fair, history of humanity in two sentences. I just had hoped you guys could delay imploding until I was dead for about a century or so.

  20. 20
    Spanky says:

    @hovercraft: Had I been asked, I would have said that the twitter account should delete him.

  21. 21
    Betty Cracker says:

    @hovercraft: That same Q poll says Trump is starting off with a 39% approval rating. Thirty. Nine. Even the wretched W, sleazed into office by a dad-appointed GOP-majority SCOTUS, came out of the starting gate with much higher ratings.

  22. 22
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Yes, which Ike dropped off on his way out the door, rather than bringing up the issue when, you know, he could have done something about it.

  23. 23
    HeleninEire says:

    Wait. What? How many of these are we gonna have? Adam? Its 5 hours to Obama. Yeah don’t think I’ll be able to stay awake.

  24. 24
    Stan says:

    Only very slightly off topic: I keep an Eisenhower quote on my office wall that maybe Trump and his minions should read.

    On June 5, 1944, the day before the Normandy invasion, Eisenhower wrote out, in his own hand, a message. The message going to be released to the press in case the Normandy invasion failed. Thankfully he never had to release the message and it sat in his coat pocket until an aide rescued it for him. Here it is:

    “Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”

    I use this to teach new leaders how to take full and complete personal responsibility for anything their teams fail to do. Notice how Ike didn’t mince words. No “mistakes were made…” bullshit.

    Trump and his crew take responsibility for nothing and no one.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    hovercraft says:

    European Allies Warn Trump Against Cozying Up To Putin

    by Nancy LeTourneau

    January 10, 2017 3:12 PM

    Donald J. Trump
    ‎@realDonaldTrump

    Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only “stupid” people, or fools, would think that it is bad! We…..

    10:02 AM – 7 Jan 2017

    There are those who would disagree. Most notably, some of our European allies.

    Josh Rogin reports today on a letter he obtained that has been sent to the president-elect from “leaders, fighting on the front line of the battle against Putin’s drive to upend the democratic world order.” Signatories include Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and several former heads of state/foreign ministers from Romania, Estonia, Latvia and Sweden.

    Here are some excerpts from the letter:

  27. 27
    The Moar You Know says:

    We are so busy trying to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table that we don’t know basic things about hat is going on in our country.

    @hovercraft: Horseshit. Everyone knows what’s going on. The only “problem” people are having is the huge mental effort of forcing those immutable facts to match up with their own self-perception. Most of America spends most of their days scrambling for data to reinforce their chosen narrative, not trying to figure out any sort of “truth”.

    Proof: ask any GOP voter if they are racist. The mental and verbal gymnastics you’ll get treated to are Olympics-worthy.

    ETA: the most valued industries in the United States do not make anything. They distribute thoughts and information so that people can build “walled gardens of thought” and feel safe; one example: Facebook.

  28. 28
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @The Moar You Know: If there are history books in 50 years, they’ll focus less on how horrible and unlikable and shrill and bitchy Hillary was, and instead on how SHE WARNED US ABOUT EVERYTHING and was ignored because of an IT issue. At least that’s the book I’ll write.

  29. 29
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @hovercraft:

    Trump’s Twitter account should be placed in a blind trust and operated by the village idiot of a random Rust Belt town for the duration of his term in office.

  30. 30
    Miss Bianca says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    We were warned in plain, direct language written at a level that even a grade-schooler could understand of a grave internal threat to the United States of America.

    Oh, oh, I got it! Emails, right? A private email server was the absolute gravest threat to American national security EVER, right? Right?

    Oh. Wrong? OOPS.

    History of America in two sentences.

    You’re damn right, as the man said about Shaft.

  31. 31
    Kay says:

    andrew kaczynskiVerified account
    ‏@KFILE
    HarperCollins pulls Trump pick Monica Crowley’s book amid plagiarism revelations

    There’s something horribly broken in meritocracy. Lying thieves keep getting promoted and making tens of millions of dollars.

    We have low quality white elites, in addition to our problems with white working class. They’re bad people and they don’t earn anything or work very hard yet they make bushels of money. Did we used to have higher quality elites or is that just romanticizing? These people are all borderline criminal types. There isn’t an ethical standard anywhere among them.

  32. 32
    MomSense says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    In other words a seamless transition. May even be an improvement.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Gin & Tonic says:

    In reply to @hovercraft at #26, who has a borked reply button, it’s not just European allies. One of the outcomes of today’s Cabinet shake-up in Canada is the appointment of Chrystia Freeland as Foreign Minister. As a Canadian of Ukrainian heritage, she is also very
    strongly anti-Putin.

  35. 35
    Calouste says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): How would we notice the difference?

  36. 36
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Kay: Yep. Crowley is yet another Rightwinger who keeps falling upwards. Trump is about to give her incompetent behind a cushy job just for chatting him up.

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The writer? Hasn’t she written some good articles for The Economist, etc?

    How interesting.

  38. 38
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @MomSense:

    A win for everybody!

  39. 39
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Did you see this over at Josh Marshalls Blog?
    It’s TLDR yet, but do you have any thoughts about it. It’s not like you have anything better to do than read shit we can’t be bothered to read ;-) If you get a chance I would appreciate your thoughts, as we wrap up the Obama presidency, Syria will be a big point of contention for historians.

    America’s Failure — and Russia and Iran’s Success — in Syria’s Cataclysmic Civil War

    Joshua Landis is head of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and publishes the influential blog “Syria Comment.” He is, perhaps, the nation’s foremost expert on Syria. He has been consistently right about the events of the last five years. When most Washington policy-makers were predicting that Syrian President Basher al-Assad would fall, Landis warned that he would hang on to power. While liberals and conservatives were calling for military intervention in Syria to overthrow Assad, Landis advised caution. In this interview, he assesses the Obama administration’s policy in Syria and the prospects facing the new Trump administration as Russia and Iran consolidate their hold over the Northern tier of the Middle East. It is, in my opinion, the clearest and most comprehensive analysis of why the United States failed to get its way in Syria and what it should do now. – John Judis

    Click over for the interview.

  40. 40
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Calouste:

    I was aiming for the proverbial “seamless transition.”

  41. 41
    hovercraft says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    I have to run now, but I’ll get back to you in a half hour if you are still here.

  42. 42
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elizabelle: She was a writer/columnist for the Financial Times before she became an MP in Canada.

  43. 43
    Calouste says:

    @Elizabelle: Except for that whole f’ing up Iran bit.

  44. 44
    Lizzy L says:

    @Kay:

    There isn’t an ethical standard anywhere among them.

    You’re absolutely right. That’s why the Republicans in the House wanted to get rid of the Ethics Committee. No need for it at all!

  45. 45
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I should clarify that she was born and raised in Toronto, and currently represents a riding (legislative district) there. My previous post made her sound kind of carpetbaggerish.

  46. 46
    Calouste says:

    @Gin & Tonic: In that same line, why has the shitgibbon complained about the US abstaining on that Israel resolution in the UN, but hasn’t said a word about Russia actually voting for it?

  47. 47
    debbie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It’s now down to 37%, compared to Obama’s 55%. With 10 days to go, I’m hoping Trump will be in single digits!

  48. 48
    ruckus says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    I thought it was “How hard could it be?”

    Far, far, harder than drumpf is capable of.

  49. 49
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    It must have killed Rupert to do that.

  50. 50
    ruckus says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):
    So you are thinking that it will be improved somewhere in the neighborhood of 5000 percent?

  51. 51
    ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    We didn’t have better elites, but we did have fewer of them.

  52. 52
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @ruckus:

    I just want to help make America great again.

  53. 53
    Calouste says:

    @Betty Cracker: Hasn’t the shitgibbon twattered anything yet about how Qpac are losers who can’t do polling?

  54. 54
    Yarrow says:

    Speaking of Trump and Twitter, he’s going to take ownership of the POTUS Twitter feed once he’s inaugurated. So don’t forget to unfollow if you don’t want to see him.

    I have a question about tweets made by the account prior to the handover Once it’s changed over it will probably have a picture of Trump, Will that work backwards so that anything tweeted by Obama will also have Trump’s picture and say “President Trump”? If someone looks back at an old tweet, will it have Trump’s photo/name?

    Also, do you think Trump and his people will keep any of President Obama’s tweets or will they delete everything and start over?

  55. 55
    Mike in NC says:

    No worries, folks. Word is that Jared is putting the finishing touches on a draft Trump-Putin Nonaggression Pact, which will sail through the GOP-controlled Congress. Nothing could possibly go wrong there.

  56. 56

    @debbie: The Trump people react to that contrast in favorability as if they’re being cheated out of something they’re entitled to, as if willing the election meant they also won all the respect.

  57. 57
    ruckus says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):
    I hope you are using the real definition of great, not drumpf’s.

  58. 58
    Gravenstone says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): Granted, NYC doesn’t count as a rust belt town, but the account is operated by that village’s idiot.

  59. 59
    Pogonip says:

    @Kay: The American ruling class has always been pretty bad. Only the threat of the country going socialist or Communist kept them in line. What little sense of noblesse oblige they had is also pretty much gone, and with the younger generations knowing little or nothing of Western civilization, I don’t expect that to change. I expect things to get a lot worse.

  60. 60
    Frans says:

    Compared to this the Trumps and Kushners are classless, ignorant and malevolent arrivistes. Even as a European, wasf.

  61. 61

    Al D’Amato was thrown off a plane yesterday for ranting at the crew. I have to admit, the story puts me on Al’s side. The flight was majorly delayed and they asked people who’d paid for extra leg room to move for balance issues.

  62. 62
    Spanky says:

    @debbie:

    I’m hoping Trump will be in single digits!

    As always, the floor is 27%.

    Did you know that 28% of all eligible voters voted for Trump? I think that’s well within the MOE for That Number.

  63. 63
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Kay: I keep wondering, how the hell do *I* get in on this grift? How can I, too, do well by doing Bad? I don’t seem to have the knack.

  64. 64
    debbie says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    Can you really blame Trump for thinking that? I doubt he has any concept of “earning” anything.

  65. 65
    Spanky says:

    @Mike in NC: Thank Dog! Peace in our time!

  66. 66
    debbie says:

    @Spanky:

    I think there are some in that 27% that are already regretting their choice, which is why I think it can go lower than 27%.

  67. 67
    debbie says:

    @Mike in NC:

    He didn’t set that aside to bring us peace in the Middle East, like his dad-in-law said he would?

  68. 68
    Mike in DC says:

    The all time low approval rating for Gallup is around 21 or 22 percent. Truman and Nixon got the lowest ratings (Truman after firing McArthur). Let’s help Trump set a new record in his first 6 months!

  69. 69
    debbie says:

    @Mike in DC:

    But has anyone else had that low of a rating even before taking office?

  70. 70
    randy khan says:

    WTOP, the big news station in DC, has done a little survey of hotel availability for the inauguration. Short version: Plenty of places have rooms, some pretty expensive, but some not very. The Trump hotel is sold out, but that’s no surprise.

    There’s room at the inn.

    Speaking as someone who was out of town for the 2009 inauguration, that was not the case then. We lent our house to friends, but could have made a bundle if we’d wanted. There are more hotels in D.C. than there were back in 2009, but probably not that many more.

  71. 71
    Elizabelle says:

    @debbie: Yeah. I think that’s the crucial part.

  72. 72
    gene108 says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    To be fair, in Ike’s day, you could still say nigger in public. Probably helped tremendously with the economic anxiety of the white working class, so leaders could focus on other, more pressing, issues like the Space Race or installing the Shah in Iran.

  73. 73
    Calouste says:

    @randy khan:

    The Trump hotel says it is sold out, but that’s no surprise.

    Adjusted to reality.

  74. 74
    ThresherK says:

    Is this farewell address marathon just an exercise in making me imagine each of these Presidents asking, “Miss me yet?”

    Because it’s having that effect on me.

  75. 75
    Elizabelle says:

    @randy khan: My guess is that this is going to be the least-attended inauguration in decades.

    Meanwhile, Charlotte Church has sent her regrets. Will not perform.

    The award for most emphatic response to playing Trump’s inauguration goes to classical singer Charlotte Church, who responded to Trump himself directly on Twitter. “A simple Internet search would show I think you’re a tyrant,” Church tweeted at the president-elect, topping it off with a handful of poop emoji.

    And I guess Cyber DJ Barron can’t be everywhere.

    In addition to the inauguration ceremony itself, Trump’s team also needs to line up DJs and performers for the various inaugural balls to be held in Washington, D.C. Moby wrote on Instagram that he had been approached to DJ one of them. Like Rebecca Ferguson, he made a very specific demand. “I guess I’d DJ at an inaugural ball if as payment #trump released his tax returns,” Moby wrote on Instagram.

    From EW magazine: Every artist who won’t perform at the Trump inauguration.

    I am still not seeing any new performers.

  76. 76
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Wow, Moby appeared in that Holy s–t video. How could they think he’d do it?

  77. 77
    gene108 says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    That same Q poll says Trump is starting off with a 39% approval rating.

    I wonder what the geographic spread of that approval rating is, because getting more people to vote for you is no longer a guarantee of winning the Presidency.

    You need those votes in the right geographic distribution.

  78. 78
    Elizabelle says:

    Dylann Roof sentenced to death?

    I don’t think that’s right. Life in prison would do. Show mercy. The families requested mercy.

    Bloodthirsty federal prosecutors.

  79. 79
    debbie says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Oh boy, you know he didn’t take poop emoji well.

  80. 80
    Mike in DC says:

    @debbie:
    No. 51% is the lowest. Primarily Democrats have an extremely low approval already (in the teens), while Republicans are in the 80s. Independent voters are decidedly tepid.

  81. 81
    Taylor says:

    @Kay @Adam L Silverman: : If Columbia does not take Crowley’s plagiarism seriously, then they get in trouble with Middle States accreditation.

    If they get in trouble with Middle States, they jeopardize Title IV funding.

  82. 82
    Elizabelle says:

    @debbie: Yeah. The cherry on the shit sundae. Good for Charlotte.

  83. 83
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @hovercraft: You do know Syria has always been a Russian ally? That’s why Obama was never keen to get us that involved in their civil war.

  84. 84
    Pogonip says:

    @gene108: Well, that’s always been in the case. I don’t approve of the electoral college myself–to me, a vote’s a vote’s a vote, or should be–but since the parties always think they can game the system, and often they’re right–I suspect we’re stuck with it.

  85. 85
    резидент американской области Российской Федерации says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Gotcha!

  86. 86
    Pogonip says:

    @Elizabelle: I do wish prosecutors would take into account the family’s wishes. However, in this case, you don’t want him alive to spread his evil for 70 years or so. So I can see their point.

  87. 87
    rikyrah says:

    I am going to miss my President. What a fine man he is. A man of upstanding character.

  88. 88
    catclub says:

    @Calouste: The Dulles brothers have a lot to answer for – and mostly got a pass. Iran and Guatemala
    for starters,

  89. 89
    catclub says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Bloodthirsty federal prosecutors.

    plus a unanimous jury.

  90. 90
    rikyrah says:

    Roof gets the Death penalty.

    Good.

  91. 91
    Elizabelle says:

    @Pogonip: Dylann Roof is so young. He was 20(?) when he murdered all those wonderful people? No remorse, I agree, but maybe that’s immaturity.

    I’d hoped he might come to his senses in prison. And he still may.

    I’d thought the federal death penalty might be on its way out, but with the Grifter-Elect …

  92. 92
    lamh36 says:

    Naw…really…

    @JuddLegum 7m7 minutes ago
    There is apparently a credible report that Russia has compromising personal and financial info on Trump, according to this CNN report

    Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him @CNNPolitics

  93. 93
    резидент американской области Российской Федерации says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    I actually rejected “citizen” though, because that implies having a voice in the governance of the oblast. What about крестьянский? I’m feeling very peasant-like.

  94. 94
    Felonius Monk says:

    Donald Trump on Tuesday tapped Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a leading promoter of the debunked theory that vaccination can lead to autism, to lead a commission on vaccine safety and science.

    After a meeting at Trump Tower, Kennedy told transition reporters that “President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policy.”

    (Source)

    I guess Jenny McCarthy wasn’t available.

  95. 95
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @lamh36:

    No way! I am shocked—shocked!

  96. 96
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Betty Cracker: Think about it, that 39% is before Trump actually takes office and starts doing things and loses his political virginity, which is the big part of his appeal. It’s possible that Trump could surprise everyone, but considering the past two month have shown his inner circle fell they are the smartest people in the room and lack any government experience pretty much rules that out so the missteps are going to come early and often, likely followed up with scapegoating rather that introspection. It’s easy to see Trump down at 30% in six months which is why an impeachment isn’t a fantasy. At that point with Congress facing a midterm bloodbath all it would take is a good solid scandal for the GOP to decide President Peance sounds better.

  97. 97
    debbie says:

    @rikyrah:

    I know you know his successor is only going to make this president look all the more better.

  98. 98
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    Okay, this is getting into Steve Bannon “Burn it all down!” territory.

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    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Except that Pence is a shit sandwich all his own self.

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    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Felonius Monk: What’s next from Trump, the host for Ancient Aliens as the head of NASA?

  101. 101
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    What’s next from Trump, the host for Ancient Aliens as the head of NASA?

    I wonder if they both have the same hair stylist?

  102. 102
    hovercraft says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    I agree with you that many people are willfully ignoring reality, because it doesn’t fit their worldview. But I’d say even more are simply ignorant, we are junkies, but most people truly have no idea what is going on, just look at the fact that barely a third can tell you what the three branches of government are, how many supreme justices there are, who the VP is. Remember the combined viewership of cable news is well under 10 million, people are busy with their lives, and like I said they haven’t a clue. Even something like the book of faces, which almost half the country is on, most of what people are sharing and chatting about is not politics, more people today if asked can tell you about Kim Kardashians Parisian chauffeur getting arrested for the jewelry heist than can tell you anything about Sessions hearing or else that happened with the shitgibbon today. People do not have a clue, and too many of them have heard the same racist tropes for years, and they have absorbed them, everyone has sub-conscience and implicit bias, and most people when confronted with their prejudices gets defensive. As a black woman I am the first one to point out that much of what happened was overt racism, but those people were never going to vote for our side. But many people were just ignorant and chose to vote with their tribe. Race was a major factor for a large group of voters, but there was also another group of ignorant voters who voted for change who had no idea what they were voting for, the media told them both candidates were terrible, and so they voted for change and entertainment. These are the people who have suddenly realized now that it’s too late that they fucked themselves. The people who tipped the election by staying home, voting third party, or voting for him, were not the best informed voters, ( I exclude the Wilmer folks from this group).

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    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer:

    Except that Pence is a shit sandwich all his own self.

    Well from a nationalist view point Peance at lest isn’t a Russian sockpuppet and has government experience. From a Liberal perspective Peance only took the job because he couldn’t be re-elected as governor, widely loathed among conservatives so the perfect guy for the conservatives to appoint as a follow up to Trump. Drums the point home all the Republicans are just useless jerks home.

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    Miss Bianca says:

    @hovercraft:

    Race was a major factor for a large group of voters, but there was also another group of ignorant voters who voted for change who had no idea what they were voting for, the media told them both candidates were terrible, and so they voted for change and entertainment. These are the people who have suddenly realized now that it’s too late that they fucked themselves.

    Best and most generous take on it I’ve seen yet. You’re far more gracious than I would be. Please to allow me to quote you on this?

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    Eljai says:

    @lamh36: Oh my! That press conference tomorrow should be interesting…if it doesn’t get canceled.

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    Dave C says:

    Can we please get a new post about this:

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/10/.....index.html

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    Patricia Kayden says:

    @hovercraft: He should keep his twitter account. His tweets show that he lacks the demeanor to be a decent human being. I have no problem with that.

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    Chris says:

    @Kay:

    We have low quality white elites, in addition to our problems with white working class. They’re bad people and they don’t earn anything or work very hard yet they make bushels of money. Did we used to have higher quality elites or is that just romanticizing? These people are all borderline criminal types. There isn’t an ethical standard anywhere among them.

    I don’t know if ethics is the difference. I think we used to have more farsighted elites, if nothing else. Not all of them by a long shot, but enough to make a real difference.

    A funny thing about U.S. history is that for much of it, the “big business” and “big government” factions are the same. Northeastern-based capitalist elites, i.e. the people who were Federalists and then Whigs and then Republicans, tended to support a larger role for a more centralized government, and when they got to take charge of the country from the Civil War onwards, they guided things accordingly.

    It was very much a “centralized larger government” to fit their interests, mind you. They supported it because they saw the profit in it: in a developing and mostly rural nation, there was a ton of infrastructure to be built that would require a federal government to at least take part in it. Many of these people also supported civil service reform in the second half of the nineteenth century (in contrast to the spoils system favored by Democrats); another thing you can see the profit in, since it means stability and consistency. Many of these people also supported and funded the creation of the original think tanks back in the early twentieth century, for the opposite purpose of what they fulfill today – to provide a place for research with a degree of separation from politics (another thing you can see the profit in: people whose fortunes were often built on technology needed good and accurate research and development).

    Were those elites more moral than the current ones? No. Too many examples to list, everyone knows them already, and much of twentieth century liberalism focused on reining in the problems they caused. At least a little more farsighted and rational? I’d argue yes. In the “sane billionaires versus insane billionaires” debate, I’d say it had more of the former than now. Our modern elites are petty and vindictive assholes, who’ve forgotten everything about how the system got to where they are, and who are just as willing to cut off their nose to spite their face as any stereotypical redneck.

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    HeleninEire says:

    @Eljai: There will be no press conference.

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    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Betty Cracker: And his unfavorability rating is likely to sharply increase after January 20th. All those fantastical things he promised the American people during the endless presidential campaign don’t exist.

  111. 111
    D58826 says:

    @Dave C: from the cnn piece

    ‘Some of the allegations were first reported publicly in Mother Jones one week before the election.
    One high level administration official told CNN, “I have a sense the outgoing administration and intelligence community is setting down the pieces so this must be investigated seriously and run down. I think [the] concern was to be sure that whatever information was out there is put into the system so it is evaluated as it should be and acted upon as necessary.”

    what is the old cliche about living in interesting times!

  112. 112
    randy khan says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Obama’s low point in the Gallup approval rating poll was 38% in the 3-day average and 40% in the weekly average. He started at 67%.

    Just saying.

  113. 113
    danielx says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Unfortunately most people do not read much history after high school, and many don’t read anything at all after graduating from high school or college unless necessary for their work. For high schoolers, even the Vietnam war has about as much significance as the first battle of the Marne. Which is a great pity because all of human folly is there, in great and not-so-glorious detail. From one episode in April of 1862:

    At midnight, a violent thunderstorm poured down the battleground, with thunderbolts lighting up the figures of the dead that lay strewn everywhere, while the wounded cried out for help as all were soaked to the skin. The corpses lay in heaps and pigs gorged on the bodies. Blood ran literally in rivulets across the battlefield.

    One Conferate later wrote: “O it was too shocking too horrible, God grant that I may never be a partaker in such scenes again … when released from this I shall ever be an advocate of peace.”

    – Private Augustus H. Mecklin, 15th Mississippi Volunteers

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    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    I’m still convinced that the transition and the confirmation hearings, et al, are distractions. The real question is what are Bannon and Manafort cooking up. I remember the promise that one of them made that Trump would be busy all day after the swearing in with signing executive orders. And I remember that the PATRIOT Act was sitting there, just waiting for something like the WTC attack, and I wonder what’s coming next.

  115. 115
    hovercraft says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:
    Yes, I know that the main reason Russia is so heavily invested is that it is their only warm weather port. As noted in my post, I haven’t read the whole thing yet. I did see that he started off by saying that he agreed with Obama keeping us out, contra every FP commentator, which was why I was asking Adam if he had any thoughts about the article.

  116. 116
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @danielx: Instead, we’re living in a time of “Hold my beer and watch this!”

  117. 117
    Chris says:

    @catclub:

    @Calouste: The Dulles brothers have a lot to answer for – and mostly got a pass. Iran and Guatemala
    for starters,

    Iran is unforgivable for me, strategically as well as morally. Here you had a country that actually had worked damn hard for half a century to try to build democratic institutions, which fucking hated the Russians, and which, while it hated the British just as much (and good God, who can blame them), actually tended to be pretty pro-American at the time. (We hadn’t had much time to establish a bad rep in the region). Taking a country like that and turning it into a dictatorship for the near-term profit of a few oil companies has to have been one of the biggest squandered opportunities of the entire Cold War. We’re still paying for it today.

  118. 118
    hovercraft says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Help yourself, I’m in a generous mood at the moment. Soon enough I’ll be back to ranting about the racist assholes who elected a racist asshole.

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    Elizabelle says:

    @danielx: Very descriptive. What a horror.

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    ThresherK says:

    @Elizabelle: I am of the opinion that there is more suffering for someone like Roof (or many people in his position) in a life sentence than the death penalty.

    This position is open to review, because I haven’t had to go thru anything violent with friends or family.

  121. 121
    Elizabelle says:

    @ThresherK: Yeah. Could be.

  122. 122
    zhena gogolia says:

    @резидент американской области Российской Федерации:

    Just call yourself мужик or крепостной человек

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