The Devolution of a Superpower into a Client State in Two Pictures

Officials of the Japanese and Chinese governments have agreed to move forward with talks on another economic partnership as the prospects for the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are unclear.

The officials met in Tokyo on Wednesday, with Japanese Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Keiichi Katakami and Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Yan attending.

They agreed on advancing talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP. The 16 member countries include Japan, China, and Southeast Asian countries, but not the United States.

US President-elect Donald Trump says he will take America out of the TPP deal.

Observers say China wants to make RCEP the basis for trade rules in the Asia-Pacific region.

They also say Japan wants RCEP to enable free trade at the same level as the TPP.

A Palestinian delegation to Moscow transmitted a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that asked him to work to prevent the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as American President-elect Donald Trump has announced is his intention.

The delegation was headed by Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization. They met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other senior officials to deliver their message from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Erekat said, “I came with an urgent message from Mahmoud Abbas. We request that President Putin use all the tools at his disposal to prevent Trump from relocating the embassy, because, for us, this is crossing a red line.”

Lavrov said that his country was interested in aiding in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He announced to the press, “We will do our best to help launch direct and substantive talks between Israel and Palestine. As you know, we were ready to host the leaders of Israel and Palestine in Moscow last September. We are ready for it at the present moment, as soon as both sides are able to confirm their readiness.”

Erekat responded, “The President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, accepted the offer of Russia’s president to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow. And our agreement for this suggestion is still in force”

 

When a longstanding regional partner (Japan), whose security you have guaranteed against their largest regional rival (China), decides that it is now time to partner with that rival against their protector you are no longer a superpower. When the leadership of one of the politically, economically, and militarily weakest nationalist movements (the PLO) in the last 100 years turns to your current rival/competitor (Russia) and asks them to get you to do something, you are now a client state.

We are off the looking glass and through the map…

196 replies
  1. 1
    hellslittlestangel says:

    I suppose that with Little Gloves in charge, it’s a good thing if we’re no longer a superpower…

    Is it possible to maintain a simple-minded optimism for four years?

  2. 2
    dm says:

    I hate to be a pessimist, but I can’t escape the feeling that “#nyetmypresident” is going to evolve into the birtherism of the left. “History repeats itself, first as farce, second as tragedy”, to revise Marx’s maxim for today.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    A nation that elects Donald Trump relinquishes its superpower status.

  4. 4
    Kryptik says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    I doubt it. Not at the pace we’re going. We’ll probably hit ‘third-world’ by the end of the year at this rate.

  5. 5
    Kryptik says:

    @dm:

    I would ask what the similarities are there, considering both the evidence involved (or lack thereof, where birtherism is involved) and the sheer scope of what the problem is.

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I made a two sentence edition at the end of the original post.

  7. 7
    gene108 says:

    What the America First crowd fails to realize is the world can and will carry on without the USA.

    I look forward to a time, when manufacturers will only sell us things in metric units, because we are not worth the trouble to cater to as being basically the only country not on the metric system in some form.

    Edit: And the explosion of wing-nut heads at the loss of being able to use British units of measure.

  8. 8
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m not a fan of TPP for some of the enforcement provisions that have been leaked. But the US was never going to be able to dictate trade policies to China in Asia and related spheres. It doesn’t matter what the most optimistic reading of the TPP was/is, China will be the 800 pound gorilla in that region for the foreseeable future.

  9. 9
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    I agree. I don’t know how people thought an “America First” was going to get us anywhere.

  10. 10
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Palestine doesn’t surprise me, but Japan sure does.

  11. 11
    Corner Stone says:

    When the leadership of one of the politically, economically, and militarily weakest nationalist movements (the PLO) in the last 100 years turns to your current rival/competitor (Russia) and asks them to get you to do something, you are now a client state.

    Wait…if Putin is now the Jimmy Carter of the 21st Century…does that now make him History’s Greatest Monster ™ ?

  12. 12
    Tom says:

    @dm: Given the political success that Birtherism and the Tea Party had, I’m fine with that.

  13. 13
    gene108 says:

    @debbie:

    They don’t think…that’s the problem…

  14. 14
    Corner Stone says:

    @dm:

    I hate to be a pessimist, but I can’t escape the feeling that “#nyetmypresident” is going to evolve into the birtherism of the left.

    I am not sure I understand what you mean by this?

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: Why don’t you just go ahead and divide by zero if you’re going to ask questions like that?//

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    Scarlett Johansson!

  17. 17
    amk says:

    @dm: nice false equivalence.

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Huh?

  19. 19
    debbie says:

    @gene108:

    Funny timing. My Trumpiest brother just posted the Inaugural Address on FB with this remark:

    Word for word Inaugural Address … no matter what party you are with, who you are; every American should appreciate President Trump’s commitment

    I want a new family.

  20. 20
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Tom:
    The birther-in-chief applauds your compliance.

  21. 21
    RepubAnon says:

    I expect that Putin will tell Trump to go ahead with relocating the US Embassy to Jerusalem – it would destroy any remaining standing the US has in the Middle East, and help Putin’s Russia gain dominance. Next step, Russia and Iran would help Hezbollah attack Israel, eventually forcing Israel back to the pre-1967 borders (due to Israel’s nuclear weapons, I’m not sure they’d eliminate Israel completely – but Israel’s use of its nuclear arsenal might further strengthen Russia’s position by making the US look really, really bad.)

    With Iraq and Iran in the Russian sphere of influence, and Trump having been tempted into a losing war and getting our armed forces decimated, there’ll be a period of Trump claiming that it’s all Obama’s fault for letting the military get weak. Nothing like a “stabbed in the back” excuse for motivating mobs violence against your political foes.

    The laughter you hear is Putin saying “remember how the US gutted the Soviet Union? Payback, baby!”)

    Meanwhile, China would be free to invade Taiwan…

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Speaking at rally. OT.

  23. 23
    Teddy's Person says:

    @Adam L Silverman: She’s speaking at the Women’s March in DC

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @debbie:

    every American should appreciate President Trump’s commitment

    Nope.

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Okay, I was worried you’d developed some strange version of Tourette’s where you randomly typed the names of female celebrities with exclamation points after their names.

    I saw Ashley Judd’s speech (and speech doesn’t do it justice as an audio-visual presentation) from earlier today.

  26. 26
    amk says:

    losing economic and political influence at the same time. donnie is indeed maga.

  27. 27
    Brachiator says:

    Sigh. Yesterday at work, a younger worker, age 33, dismissed the concerns of a another worker who has an excellent knowledge of history and politics, claiming that older people worry too much, and don’t understand how excited the generation raised on reality TV are to see what Trump will do next as president. This guy also believes that it doesn’t matter that Trump is ignorant and unprepared, because as far as he can tell, nobody elected to the office knows exactly what they need to know. It is, by definition, learn it as you go along.

    This worker is also Latino, so the usual angry white male Republican admonitions do not apply.

  28. 28
    cosima says:

    Tbh, I’ve been hoping that this would happen, that other countries would band together to strengthen their positions without relying on the US.

    I don’t actually see that this would be something that T/P voters would see as a bad thing at this point — they have too much contempt for the rest of the world, and think that they ‘obsolete’ UN & NATO are just blood-sucking parasites depriving them of 6-figure incomes & that TPP (and similar agreements) are all that stands between them and a job that provides said 6-figure income. When they have to pay $5000 for their 42″ flatscreen to watch the football game *then* they will care. But they will still find a way to blame other countries for that.

    Interesting that the PLO is approaching Putin for help, with Israel allegedly hailing the election of the shitgibbon — how does that work when the aims are diametrically opposed, and Putin/Shitgibbon in the middle? Is war inevitable, and would that have been Putin’s aim all along?

    What other voids will China step in to fill now that the US is essentially a vacuum with outsized military resources and a madman at the helm?

    I hope the intel reports start leaking soon, if not from the US, then from other countries who might do so to justify their decision(s) not to ally themselves with Putin/Shitgibbon.

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: ScarJo!

  30. 30
    Kryptik says:

    @debbie:

    What fucking commitment has he shown to anything but himself? How the hell have these people invented some self-sacrificing martyred Messiah out of Trump, especially after 8 years of pretending Obama was only interested in shitting on all of America for his own sake?

    What fucking mirror universe do these assholes live in?

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @RepubAnon: Putin will do whatever he thinks is best for Putin’s interests. Which Putin believes/knows are the same as Russia’s interests.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Kirsten Dunst!

  33. 33
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @gene108: They think America is the John Galt of nations.

  34. 34
    Brachiator says:

    @debbie:

    … every American should appreciate President Trump’s commitment

    I would appreciate having Trump committed.

  35. 35
    Kryptik says:

    @Brachiator:

    The myth of the demographic heat death of the GOP is one of the things that will doom us as a party, and I say this having believed it far too much early in Obama’s presidency.

    The millenial generation and the one after it continues to prove so goddamn much that it may be more racist and hopeless than even the ones before it.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    NeenerNeener says:

    @Baud:

    every American should appreciate President Trump’s commitment

    The whole world will appreciate Trump’s commitment to a mental institution.

    ETA: Brachiator got there first.

  38. 38
    Thoughtful David says:

    Here’s a question, Adam. I suppose you’ve answered it in various ways previously, but here it comes again.

    What will America’s foreign status and policy look like after four years of being locked out? If I were in the leadership of Britain, Germany, France, Poland, Lithuania, …, China, Japan, hell, even North Korea, I sure as hell wouldn’t be talking to Trump or to any of his staff–SoS, ambassadors, SecDef, ANYBODY, unless I was lying to them. I wouldn’t let my staff talk to any of the Trumpanzees, either, except to lie to them.

    While the entire Golden Shower dossier may not be true*, there’s enough smoke that you’d have to suspect that the cozy relationship between Trump and Putin would mean that anything you say to Trump or his flunkies will wind up in Putin’s ears. (I’m guessing that all of the spy agencies for all of those countries know a lot more about the Trump/Putin partnership too.) If I were France, for example, I wouldn’t be willing to talk to any Trumpanzee about troop levels in Europe. If I were Merkel I wouldn’t want to talk with Trump about the price of natural gas imports. I can’t imagine the Chinese wanting to talk about trade or anything else, because they know it would wind up in Moscow. I might lie to the Trumpanzees, though.

    So, what is our foreign policy like after four years of no real communication with any countries besides Russia, Afghanistan, and Zimbabwe? After we’ve been shut out of every possible multilateral group?

    * Like dm at #2, I also worry about the Trump/Putin thing becoming the left’s birtherism. There does seem to be a difference, though: even without things like the Golden Shower dossier being true, there seems to be a lot of evidence from credible sources (FBI, CIA, NSA, foreign spy agencies) and in public (changing the Republican platform, calling on Russia to hack the election; etc.), and circumstantial evidence (refusal to release tax returns), that there is some there there. Birtherism was actually quite quickly proved wrong to anyone with two synapses. The Putin’s Poodle thing already has more evidence going for it.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cosima: Let’s just put it this way, especially given that Putin was financing the Brexit stuff: would you preserve the US, for all our flaws and missteps, at the apex preserving the post WW II international order or would you prefer that order to be cracked open allowing Russia and China to remake the international order in their own image? Which do you think Britain in general and Scotland in particular is going to be better off living in?

    I’m not arguing that the post WW II global system is perfect. I’m not saying that the US’s actions throughout it have been always good or a net positive. Nor am I saying that we haven’t reached a point where we should consider how to adjust that system in order to adapt to the 21st Century. But there’s a difference between doing this in a thoughtful, intentional manner coordinated with allies and partners and just having it fall apart because of massive interference by the now revanchist, loosing side of the post WW II superpower contest.

  40. 40
    Kryptik says:

    @Thoughtful David:

    This may very well depend on just how many Trump-like victories for far-right insanity will happen between then and now, considering how it seems Germany and Austria, of all places, are the only countries holding somewhere near firm against the tide of ultra-nationalism.

  41. 41
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kryptik:

    The myth of the demographic heat death of the GOP is one of the things that will doom us as a party, and I say this having believed it far too much early in Obama’s presidency.

    I have been consistently telling people here that TX is not going blue anytime soon. They keep seeming to think the Latino population is going to erupt into some kind of political force any freakin day now.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: You may need to go see someone at the neighborhood Urgent Care before this progresses beyond easy treatment.

  43. 43
    ericblair says:

    @cosima:

    Interesting that the PLO is approaching Putin for help, with Israel allegedly hailing the election of the shitgibbon — how does that work when the aims are diametrically opposed, and Putin/Shitgibbon in the middle? Is war inevitable, and would that have been Putin’s aim all along?

    I’m wondering how long it’s going to be before China tells Putin to get the shitgibbon to lay off the trade war bullshit and Taiwan, or China starts putting the brakes on Russian trade deals. I can see Iran doing the same thing, albeit without as much leverage besides letting Syria go completely to hell. There are a lot of strange bedfellows being made here.

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’d prefer to see Scarlett Johansson or Kirsten Dunst.

  45. 45
    Percysowner says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    I suppose that with Little Gloves in charge, it’s a good thing if we’re no longer a superpower…

    He still has the nuclear codes. It doesn’t matter if we’re not a superpower, he can blow us all to Kingdom Come when he gets in a snit.

  46. 46
    Brachiator says:

    @Kryptik:

    .The millenial generation and the one after it continues to prove so goddamn much that it may be more racist and hopeless than even the ones before it.

    I think the larger problem is a vehement embrace of their right to be deeply, irredeemably ignorant, and for some, an insulation from serious problems, so that the only thing they worry about is that the battery on their smartphone will run out of juice before they read the next Facebook post on the Kardashians.

  47. 47
    Gravenstone says:

    @debbie: The only commitment from. Trump I’ll accept is him being involuntarily committed to an asylum.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Thoughtful David: Honestly I don’t know. Just as has been the case when people have asked me about how to assess the risks we may be facing domestically, here too with international affairs I don’t know how to. I know things are clearly going to change. Some change will be fast. Some slow. A lot will be bumbling simply because the handling of the transition and the failure to have personnel ready to go for the critical positions that don’t need Senate confirmation. And I think there will be overreach, both by the Administration and by the GOP majorities in Congress. They’ve already tipped their hands on that. But we are someplace we’ve not been in the US and I’m not sure anyone can quantify or qualify the risk or even say what will or won’t happen.

  49. 49
    Blueskies says:

    @Kryptik: Try talking with one them about…anything. It’s much worse than you think. If you are a connoisseur of Monty Python, think of the crowd scene of the witch “trial” in Holy Grail. Stupid, superstitious, mean, and ultimately, violent. At least they were funny. Our basket of deplorables are…Sad.

  50. 50
    Kryptik says:

    @ericblair:

    Not really strange when you approach it from the viewpoint that Putin is trying to fashion himself as the international Godfather of the World. You go to him, because he’s the one with all the strings, and you hope your enemies didn’t ask him first.

  51. 51
    azlib says:

    Be interesting if Trump backs off the Jerusalem promise because of Putin.

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kryptik: Germany and Austria do a damn good job of teaching the history of WW II and the Holocaust and the roles that the Germans and the Austrians played. My understanding from friends from France, one of whom is the daughter of a French Marshall (general officer), is that they got no education on Vichy France in school. As for the US, I think we’ve now concluded that even Americans that paid attention in US history class just aren’t paying attention.

  53. 53
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    It was all I could do not to post back, “Commitment to the Fourth Reich?” but I’m trying not to deal with him in any way.

  54. 54
    PIGL says:

    @dm: your concern is duly noted.

  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:

    @azlib: It was a stupid fucking thing to promise in the first place. Stupid and damned dangerous, for everyone involved. Now wtf is he going to do? Go forward with the change and get people killed? Or say he’s reconsidering it and have everyone ask him how Putin’s ass tastes?

  56. 56
    Kryptik says:

    @Brachiator:

    I think the larger problem is a vehement embrace of their right to be deeply, irredeemably ignorant, and for some, an insulation from serious problems, so that the only thing they worry about is that the battery on their smartphone will run out of juice before they read the next Facebook post on the Kardashians.

    Considering how crucial the internet and social media was to the seeming infinite rise of the modern right, I’m not sure we’re talking about different problems.

    @Blueskies:

    I’ve tried. I seem to run into it whenever I dare to step out of my personally cultivated bubble (crafted if only for the sake of my own sanity), and repeatedly come away with the feeling that they really do represent the majority of the country because of how seemingly unified and overwhelmingly hateful it gets.

  57. 57
    Kryptik says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Which makes it all the more galling that AfD is trying to tear down Germany’s sense of remembrance because of the ‘guilt’ it promotes.

  58. 58
    NotMax says:

    The RCEP feelers, including Japan, are nearly exactly the scenario offered here several months ago, which I was scoffed at for postulating at the time.

    Oh, and Adam, that should be whose security, not who’s.     ;)

    (Still don’t get what “off the looking glass” is intended to convey – through the looking glass, yes, but the other construction is an enigma to this silver head.)

  59. 59
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @azlib: The oldest US embassy is already in Jerusalem. It was the US embassy to the Ottoman Empire and is now the Consulate General in Jerusalem. Unlike other US Consulates the ConGen in Jerusalem is considered to be an embassy in all but name. And it represents US interests to the Palestinians and works to deconflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Its on Agron Street if I’m remembering correctly and the building, or at least its facade, is several hundred years old.

  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kryptik: Unreconstructed NAZIs, or in this case their social and political descendants, are going to run to type.

  61. 61
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @debbie:
    Don’t sweat. Reflexive feelings are reflexive; we work to overcome them.

    You should see me when a dog gets aggressive to me; I go for it reflexively.

  62. 62
    PIGL says:

    @debbie: America is clearly in decline China is rising and is very, very much closer. Why bother trying to cut a deal with the USA? They can wait till Cascadia forms and have someone sensible to talk to.

    The thing is, the Republican right separated from the Commonwealth 20 or 30 years age. now that the center left is finally starting to wake up and separate themselves emotionally from a hollowed out wreck, there’s nothing left. It’s the “yes, Jesus loves you, but I don’t” moment.

  63. 63
    James Powell says:

    @cosima:

    But they will still find a way to blame other countries for that.

    You left out blacks, immigrants, liberals, and Obama.

  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: I’ll fix it. I’m mixing, and mangling, two expressions: off the map and through the looking glass. I think either one, or the two combined in their normal configurations, do not convey where we are.

  65. 65
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I saw a documentary I don’t know how many years ago, which showed WWI veterans returning to small French villages. All of the villagers dropped what they were doing to greet and thank the veterans, feed them food and wine, and offer them bouquets of flowers. Small grandchildren recited the stories of bravery and heroism they’d memorized from their grandparents and great-grandparents’ repeated retellings. Most of the villagers hadn’t lived through the war, but their gratitude and thankfulness was as strong as if they had.

    I don’t see anything like that ever happening in this country. We don’t deserve to be the #1 superpower.

  66. 66
    Capri says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If the US $$ is no longer the reserve currency we’ll it’s all over. Until then, America is still in a privileged position Internationally. (Or so I’ve read).

  67. 67
    notoriousJRT says:

    BUT, the Winston Churchill bust is back in the Oval. This is my brother’s yardstick of a president who is “ready for prime time,” So there is that.

  68. 68
    Gravenstone says:

    @NotMax: Adam in intentionally conflating two aphorisms. Look at his whole phrase.

  69. 69
    cosima says:

    @Adam L Silverman: How do they preserve the post WWII balance/unity if the US = Russia?

    If I understand what you are saying, NATO/UN/Europe have to preserve their relationship with the US to prevent Russia & China from ascending. However, my (less informed than yours, I’m certain) position is that right now the US is synonymous with Russia, unless some earth-shattering intelligence is released that lays it all out on the table for the world to see what was done to enable Trump to run for & win the presidency, something so huge that it deligitimises more or less the entirety of the GOP & boots Trump out of office.

    The new president is actively conspiring, with Russia, to undermine the peace, survival & prosperity of Europe, in my opinion. How does Europe not decide to look elsewhere (the only real elsewhere right now being China)?

    Or did I miss what you were trying to say entirely?

  70. 70
    ericblair says:

    @Kryptik:

    Not really strange when you approach it from the viewpoint that Putin is trying to fashion himself as the international Godfather of the World. You go to him, because he’s the one with all the strings, and you hope your enemies didn’t ask him first.

    Well, that’s what Putin wants, except other countries won’t be asking but demanding. Putin has staked a lot of hopes on China’s goodwill, which is not really a sensible thing to do, and they can hurt Russia far more than Russia can hurt them. Plus, Russia has gone all in on Trump, and if Trump turns on them it’s going to be a huge domestic political disaster, which is especially likely if Putin tries to put the screws to our little Donnie. The Russian foreign ministry seems to understand the risks and are really cautious about the current political situation, but nobody in the Kremlin has listened to them in years.

  71. 71
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Capri: This is an important component of it. If you start to see movement to a different currency or a basket of them as a reserve, then the devolution will be complete.

  72. 72
    Kay says:

    DOJ says Trump can hire his son in law.

    Because we’re all about merit and hard work in the United States. Uh huh. Sure we are.

  73. 73
    notoriousJRT says:

    @amk: Yup.

  74. 74
    PIGL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I agree with a lot of what you say, Adam. I can’t develop this argument fully on my cell phone so let me just say that Putins ploy could not have succeeded if the USA wasn’t already falling apart from within.

  75. 75
    bluehill says:

    Appreciate the views in this thread. Another irony with Trump’s MAGA marketing slogan is that we are becoming weaker internationally. I guess there is some karmic justice for the neocons and their American exceptionalism bs.

    If I were Japan, I would start playing nice with China until I can figure out if my bigger brother is still around. It would also make sense for our other allies to do the same with the Russians and the Chinese. If the U.S. is really stepping back from the world stage, then other countries are going to fill the void. It would make sense too for those countries to start building their military capabilities, and now we start again down a familiar road.

    As for the folks hoping for economic improvement, Trump will try to bully companies into bringing jobs back to the U.S., and there will be some nominal successes, but costs are probably going to increase. Another potential consequence is that companies and countries will seek to reduce their reliance on the U.S. economy and particularly the U.S. dollar as the worlds currency. Without willing buyers of U.S. debt, interest rates are going up, which will have a dampening effect on economic growth in the U.S.

  76. 76
    raven says:

    “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

  77. 77
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    As you are the better versed in military speak, thought perhaps it was some kind of commonplace shorthand referencing Operation Looking Glass.

  78. 78
    sigaba says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    I suppose that with Little Gloves in charge, it’s a good thing if we’re no longer a superpower…

    The issue is we still have the largest military and nuclear stockpile on Earth by an order of magnitude, and we’re systematically destroying our means of resolving conflict diplomatically. Trump’s whole concept of getting what he wants from a foreign power is to put a gun to its head, or let someone else do it; sometimes guns just go off, and indeed sometimes they HAVE to if you want them to remain threatening.

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If they move the standard petro-dollar to a non-US bourse then we’ll have no choice but to declare war on somebody.
    I wonder if breaking the dollar as reserve currency was Bannon’s goal from the beginning.

  80. 80
    mai naem mobile says:

    I have extended family living in East Africa and the Chinese are eating our lunch,breakfast and dinner. Americans don’t travel so they think Africa still as a Tarzan movie. They have no idea how fast it’s developing and they’ve managed to get a few non banAna republic kind of leaders but we keep on fucking the same Iraq,Afganistan,NKorea chickens.

  81. 81
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cosima: Yes and no. You are correct that NATO and the EU and our Asian partners and allies, as well as anyone we’ve been assisting in Africa and Latin America, now have to figure out how to not only balance against Russia and China, but also against the US.

    This is separate from being okay with this happening. As what is happening is moving into something new and unknown for the global system and no one can know what these changes will produce or mean. For all its flaws, we are moving from the largely stable post WW II order, guaranteed/backstopped by the military, diplomatic, and/or economic power of the US, NATO, the EU, Japan, and our other allies and partners to something else. I have yet to see anyone, even those who seem to support this, be able to actually articulate what it is we’re moving to. How we transition there with a minimum of disruption, and/or how it would be better than where we are now.

  82. 82
    Blueskies says:

    @Capri: Ha! I suggested the point last night to some friends. Last night I was optimistic; today, I give us 10 years, max, before reserve currency is Chinese or no longer meaningfully exists.

  83. 83
    Teddy's Person says:

    @debbie: Here’s the thanks some American WWI vets received.

  84. 84
    Thoughtful David says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m thinking more about long-term foreign affairs. It’s just really hard for me to see something like the G7 having a real meeting that talks about anything serious. Oh, I can see them having a meeting with Trump, with a photo-op of everyone shaking hands, saying what good friends they are. But then the real meeting would be done somewhere else, without any Trumpanzees around, so they could talk about serious stuff.

    I’m just curious about how that kind of freeze-out would affect the US over 5 or 10 years (not assuming Trump still in power, but his lingering effects will still be with us). I know it’s hard to say. We are in uncharted territory.

  85. 85
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: It was not. Just combining and then reordering for effect “through the looking glass” and “off the map”.

  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: I have no idea how that would benefit Bannon. His wealth would suddenly not be.

  87. 87
    Mobile says:

    @Baud: @Baud: Am I the only person in the world who was unaware that Johansson is transgender? I have always been struck by her incredible beauty, although I know the two are not mutually exclusive.

  88. 88
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Thoughtful David: This is the issue. There are too many variables to assess the risk. Instead we’re left with “we know there’s risk, but…”

  89. 89

    @notoriousJRT: Fuck Winston Churchill. Although, even I have to admit that he never was a Stalin puppet.

  90. 90
    Byrookorbycrook says:

    I keep having a growing sense of impending catastrophe re: the next 4 months, let alone next 4 years. The spy plane crisis was 4 months into GWBs term and showed the world there were weaknesses in the US response. I expect China will poke Trump a bit soon. North Korea too. There will be a lot of probes from the major players and plenty of client states will act up. My guess is the Trump administration does nothing until we get down to a Grenada level of opponent. The only good news is that Russia will not poke, but will invite the Trump admin to join them in responses. Make the poodle follow the owner.

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mobile: She just had a baby a couple of year’s ago. Its why they shot all her scenes for Avengers: Age of Ultron, because she was pregnant and she couldn’t do some of the stunts as the pregnancy progressed. Its also why they used additional body doubles for full body scenes later in the movie’s filming,
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs.....ondon.html
    http://akns-images.eonline.com.....s.6314.jpg
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix....._large.jpg
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/5f/aa/37/5faa37eba7945534fb8376c4ce4f1815.jpg

  92. 92
    cosima says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m far from okay with it the UK/Europe/UN/NATO/etc uniting in opposition to the US/Russia. I see that, however, as having a better end result (stability & peace) than if they knuckle under to the US/Russia. If China is placing itself in opposition to Russia that gives it more certainty, at least in the short term. It feels, to me, that Russia is pretty certain that now with the US firmly in its pocket it can get whatever it wants in Europe and the UK, but that they might be less inclined to take on China.

    I guess that from where I’m standing/sitting we’ve (the world outside the US) now got to choose between the lesser of two evils — US/Russia or China.

    I would not in a million years have thought that we would get here already, but this election gave that progression, which likely was inevitable, a quantum leap.

    ETA: We could, at any point, find ourselves back in the US, but that would not change my position.

  93. 93
    notoriousJRT says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I understood what you were doing, Adam. Our situation exceeds the power of our old expressions to describe.

  94. 94

    @dm: Are these your new Brietbart approved talking points? CIA != Orly Taitz.

  95. 95
    Roger Moore says:

    @Baud:
    I would definitely appreciate it if Trump were committed to a mental institution.

  96. 96
    Chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    French, raised in French schools. I confirm this.

    Really, pretty much everyone BUT Germany has turned WW2 into a great patriotic epic, and tends to minimize any guilt they may share for that era.

  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cosima: Tracking and agree.

  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If you take his pro-Leninist statements at their word then it doesn’t seem like wealth is what he values.

  99. 99
    notoriousJRT says:

    @schrodingers_cat: It is not Churchill’s fault that right-wingers fetishize him. But, fuck him if you wish. My brother thought Obama was “not ready for prime time” because he did not follow Bush’s lead WRT the Churchill bust. I tried not to laugh in his earnest face.

  100. 100
    cosima says:

    @Mobile: WHAT? Did she say that? I seem to recall reading that her twin brother is LGBT, but not that she’s transgender. Apparently you are *not* the only person in the world. I am the other.

  101. 101
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chris: The French Marshall’s daughter is a friend and aikido student of mine from when I lived in Scotland. One night she stopped by my house and as we came into the parlor where I had the TV on she noticed it was a BBC documentary on Vichy France – largely because there was a historic clip of someone speaking French. She got real quiet, watched for a few minutes, started crying, and then asked me if this is true because they were never taught any of this in school in France. I was 24. She was about 12 to 15 years older than me. I told her the documentary was accurate, but it was also important to remember that not all the French collaborated, that there was a significant resistance – the Partisans, and that I was surprised they didn’t teach it in France.

  102. 102
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: This is true.

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cosima: Is I indicated in comment 91, she’s not:

    She just had a baby a couple of year’s ago. Its why they shot all her scenes for Avengers: Age of Ultron, because she was pregnant and she couldn’t do some of the stunts as the pregnancy progressed. Its also why they used additional body doubles for full body scenes later in the movie’s filming,
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..ondon.html
    http://akns-images.eonline.com…..s.6314.jpg
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix….._large.jpg
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/5f/aa/37/5faa37eba7945534fb8376c4ce4f1815.jpg

  104. 104

    @notoriousJRT: Fuck him because his policies were responsible for the death 3 million Indians during the height of WWII. When Indian soldiers were fighting and dying in the hundreds of thousands to save the home islands.

  105. 105
    trollhattan says:

    @notoriousJRT:
    Which president was Churchill, again? I forget.

  106. 106
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Your update didn’t come through on the mobile version of the site. But I can see it on my computer.

  107. 107
    Yoda Dog says:

    @notoriousJRT: google churchhill and Bengalese (famine of ’43) for an eye opener… They fetishize him for good reason.

    ETA: The cat beat me to it… Damn cats.

  108. 108
    Gravenstone says:

    @Mobile: A quick look shows that there appears to be a professional computer gamer of the same name who is transgender.

  109. 109
    sigaba says:

    Anybody have any idea how I should reallocate my portfolio after all this? I’m mostly in the US index funds but they’re all at historic highs right now and I’d like to be able to hedge.

  110. 110
    petesh says:

    I was raised British (b. 1949) and as an interesting side note, even though We Won the War was omnipresent, when us little kids divided up for militia-style games, it was always England vs France. Tradition won.

    That was while Britain was divesting itself of (most of) the Empire. The psychic adjustment was hard for many (and likely in part behind Brexit), but economically they recovered. I fled the sinking ship in the mid-70s, but I’m stuck in this one now, and actually believe that — after a terrible time which I expect to outlive — We Shall Overcome.

  111. 111
    Spanky says:

    @Byrookorbycrook: Boy, you’re an optimist! Think Straits of Hormuz.

  112. 112
    Gravenstone says:

    @Corner Stone: The acquired wealth may simply be the means to the end.

  113. 113
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Baud:

    I, for one, would definitely appreciate it if Trump were to be committed.

  114. 114
    petesh says:

    @Gravenstone: Also, Scarlett has a twin brother, which might have confused some of our less intellectually privileged cousins.

  115. 115
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): I have no idea why it does that. You’ve mentioned it before, I’ve passed it on as a bug, but it just seems to be one of those wonderful mysteries that exist in WordPress. This includes that some Front Pagers can embed video regardless of the source and some of us can only do so from YouTube. No one seems to ever be able to answer my requests for help on that one either.

  116. 116
    cosima says:

    Kids here in the UK spend a *lot* of time on WWI & WWII history, all aspects of it. That part of the curriculum, from an early age, gets weeks & weeks of study in primary school (our youngest not yet in secondary, and our oldest went to an International School) in the lead up to Remembrance Day. The depth of that study increases in secondary school. It is ingrained in their studies, the culture, art, and even sport (which is why the England team were willing to be fined to wear poppies for some football game that I did not bother to watch).

    All over Scotland there are reminders, bunkers & other things that I don’t know the names of, but my husband does. Most every village has a war memorial. In a nutshell, the UK still has tangible reminders of wars that killed a huge number of their men, women & children, here or away. That is the same in many of the other countries. I like to imagine that it reinforces a commitment to peace on the part of citizens.

    Where you see those sorts of memorials in the US you see a stronger feeling about our Revolutionary & Civil Wars than in other places — the US is so large that it’s difficult for someone like me (for example, raised in Alaska) to feel truly connected to our country’s battles — I simply do not feel the same passion about the Civil War as someone who has grown up in Atlanta, and what I was taught about it in (primary/secondary) school is likely to have been very different from a student there.

    Having lived on both sides of the pond, and with a husband who has lived in several countries, I’d say that a large part of the insular nature of the US is because so much of the US is so far removed from their own historical struggles (geographically), and most are unlikely to even visit the sites of battles in other countries. There’s a huge number (27%? or 46%?) who get their history from movies/Hollywood. Peace is for pu55ies for those types.

  117. 117
    Mobile says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Man. Did I get that garbled. She was talking about how important Planned Parenthood was in her life when he was 15 and becoming a woman. Yeah. I’m familiar with puberty and all, but I found the manner in which she described her transition to womanhood very confusing. Life is becoming way too complex for this old fart. Sorry for adding to anyone else’s confusion.

  118. 118
  119. 119
    cosima says:

    @Adam L Silverman: #103. I did see that, but wasn’t sure what it was in reference to (Baud’s shout-out?). I did know that she had a baby.

  120. 120
    cosima says:

    @Mobile: That actually made me smile. Thanks for making things a bit lighter.

  121. 121
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mobile: No worries. It happens.

  122. 122
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cosima: Just for clarification, I was speaking more about continental European nation-states than those in the UK. I know Scotland does a good job because, as you know, I’ve lived there. I would gather that England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland do as well.

  123. 123

    @cosima: How much time do they spend on discussing the glorious Empire on which the sun never set.

  124. 124
    cosima says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I wonder if that’s the case for other European nation-states. I’ll have to ask around (plenty of non-UK folk around me, but no Americans). I find it sad that France took (takes?) that approach, and wonder why that is, what led to that decision about curriculums.

    Education = power. Hence the push in the US from the right to eliminate that…

  125. 125
    debbie says:

    @Teddy’s Person:

    It was the same after the Civil War. Probably after every war, to some extent.

  126. 126
    Chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The darker version of that story is something my father discovered after marrying into a French family – that behind closed doors once we’re between friends and for people of a certain class, it was still perfectly respectable to maintain that the Vichy leaders were nice people who just did what they had to for France.

    As I recall from my own education, it’s not really denied that Vichy existed. But you come off with the impression that De Gaulle and the resistance were much more the norm than they actually were.

  127. 127
    Mobile says:

    @Adam L Silverman: In my defense, Johansson’s speech did follow shortly after Janet Mock’s, a trans activist, so I expect I may have been primed.

  128. 128
    dm says:

    @Kryptik: I’d hoped that reversing Marx’s “first as tragedy, then as farce” would have made my intention clear (i.e., not “false equivalence”), but I should have known better.

    The birtherism/Putin’s-puppet analogy comes from this: they’re both expressions of a desire to find some way out of having “that man” be President. As you note, birtherism was sheer desperation with no evidence behind it. Unfortunately, #nyetmypresident has a lot of shadowy, tantalyzing, I’m-afraid-they’re-still-rumors. These rumors are credible to (we) true believers at least a little bit because it “explains so much” (e.g., the reversal of the Republican Platform’s Ukraine plank, Trump turning his back on NATO, Trump filling his national security staff and the State Department with people who have questionable links to the Russian oligarchy…). But the people who know can’t talk about it nor the evidence they’ve uncovered until they’ve got an iron-clad case: and cases like this are very hard to clad in iron, especially when there are a lot of people who are paid not to believe it.

    I suppose it depends a lot on what was in that FISA warrant and what they have on tape.

    What I called “pessimism” comes from the fear that this will end up going nowhere, and we’ll have four years of it driving the left crazy instead of driving the left to action.

    @schrodingers_cat: I’m sorry I didn’t make myself clear and left you with that impression. But you bring up a good point: I’m sure we’ll start hearing that very idea from the Breitbart crowd if the story gets any legs.

  129. 129
    cosima says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I am guessing that you’re meaning British Imperialism? Very little, at least in primary school (little Cosima goes to secondary school in the fall, so we’ll see how it changes). I sincerely hope that we’ll still be here when it’s time for her to go to uni, and that she will have to an opportunity then to learn about *all* British history. It’s perhaps a bit heavy to teach 5-11 year olds about colonial oppression and other crimes against humanity perpetrated by our glorious (deceased) leaders.

    On Nov 9th when she found out that the shitgibbon won her first words were ‘What? Great, now we’re going to have a nuclear war.’ Mind you, cynical & politics-obsessed as I am, she did *not* get that from me — I try very hard not to discuss depressing political stuff around her. That came from school-yard (and classroom) talk amongst her peers.

  130. 130
    Petorado says:

    It’s been astonishing to see Trump speaking of foreign aid and other pots of money used for foreign engagement and maintaining our sphere of influence internationally as just another budget line item to be cut so he can justify cutting taxes for himself, his businesses, and his buddies. Republicans always sell away invaluable things of national importance for a pittance, just like Trump is willing to let go of sanctions that help hold Russia at bay for the chance to build a few hotels in former Soviet lands.

  131. 131
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cosima: National shame. Remember that Jaques Chirac’s family manse and the surrounding property and many of the works of and objets de art within it was confiscated from a French Jewish family and gifted to his family by the Vichy regime. His family has been fighting off lawsuits attempt to reclaim the property, or fair market value, for decades. Remember that Albert Dreyfuss has never been pardoned and every time it comes up it is buried as an unreasonable demand. There are many wonderful things in France, within French culture, society, and politics, and many wonderful French people. But they have their blindspots and seek to cover them up just like the rest of us do.

  132. 132
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m mixing, and mangling, two expressions: off the map and through the looking glass. I think either one, or the two combined in their normal configurations, do not convey where we are.

    I’d that with agree.

  133. 133
    Yoda Dog says:

    @dm: Спасибо за все, что очищая для нас, товарищ !!!

  134. 134

    @cosima: Primary is too early to discuss it. That much I agree with. In Simon Schama’s version of story of the British Isles it was a totally whitewash. Shorter Schama, it was an accident, but once it happened, the poor dears had to stay back to civilize the savages. He was talking in particular about India. Self-serving and smug to the nth degree.

  135. 135
    debbie says:

    @debbie:

    It’s reassuring to see the responses to my brother’s post. Only one guy likes it; the rest of the responses (both men and women) are appalled. Considering he lives in Georgia, this is a nice surprise.

  136. 136
    Yoda Dog says:

    @debbie: Yea I got family in Georgia that I could just as soon do without at this point too. It really sucks.

  137. 137
    Jeffro says:

    Woke up from my AWESOME Saturday afternoon nap, turned on the TV…holy cow, look at all the marchers! Go ladies (and gents) go!

    Flipped over to Fox News just to see how it was being spun…long segment on how inaugural celebrations are continuing, then a FN reporter at the White House talking with someone at Politico (I guess they really like having the WH in the background now?). Several questions about Dems “holding up” Trump cabinet nominees, and then a parting question about the march…Politico guy responds, and FN reporter wraps up noting the “enthusiasm gap” between all these marchers vs HRC support.

    Um, jackass, she got more votes.

  138. 138
    Ruckus says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    Is it possible to maintain a simple-minded optimism for four years?

    It hasn’t been possible for an entire day. So, No.

  139. 139
    dm says:

    @Yoda Dog: I got Adam’s “off the map” and “through the looking glass” allusion, but this one is beyond me.

  140. 140
    Ruckus says:

    @Kryptik:

    What fucking mirror universe do these assholes live in?

    It’s not a mirror universe, but you are close. I don’t have first hand proof but I’d bet that if you run around with your head up your ass, you’d have a shitty outlook on life, one that just might not have a reasonable view.

  141. 141
    Larkspur says:

    @Chris: A historical note: Charlotte Debro was a French resistance fighter who was arrested by Vichy police and transferred to German officials, who sent her and a group of her comrades to Auschwitz. She survived, and on her return to Paris, she tried to get the French police who arrested her (and had her husband executed) held accountable. No luck. She was told that just before the war ended, those men, realizing what was coming, switched sides and “joined the resistance”, so they were all on the same side and nobody wanted to talk about the ugly months and years before, so please shut up. (Charlotte Debro, Auschwitz and After)

  142. 142
    catclub says:

    @debbie:

    every American should appreciate President Trump’s commitment

    I would appreciate it if Trump were committed.

  143. 143
    catclub says:

    @dm:

    I suppose it depends a lot on what was in that FISA warrant and what they have on tape.

    There was also a time when FISA warrants were kept secret so the targets did not know about them.

  144. 144
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @debbie: Fuck your brother, and fuck Drumpf.

  145. 145
    cosima says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Perhaps part of the reason they find themselves on the razor’s edge right now, similar to another country… My closest friend here is Jewish, born & raised in Glasgow, sent to Jewish schools until she went to uni (the Jewish population there is no longer large enough to support a Jewish school, sadly) — I will ask about her on this, as she used to live in France for a time.

    @schrodingers_cat: Little Cosima is a social warrior (like her mother & big sister). She wouldn’t buy white-washing. Last year the big problem was getting her to be less outspoken in class about her thoughts/opinions (hyper-structured UK school system + child of American parents = challenge). She informed her teacher that something that was said was ‘hyperbole’ — the teacher told her that she was making up words, Little C said ‘am not’ the teacher said ‘fine, look it up in the dictionary for everyone’ and it all went downhill from there. The rest of the school year was interesting. That witch never ever got over Little C using the word about whatever it was that she was saying/teaching, and then made to look stupid in front of the class… Little C has a bit of ‘mad genius’ about her.

  146. 146
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @debbie: So, friends and relatives are on the right side. GOOD!

  147. 147
    Yoda Dog says:

    @dm:
    Казалось бы, есть много такого, что вы не в состоянии понять.

  148. 148
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I have yet to see anyone, even those who seem to support this, be able to actually articulate what it is we’re moving to. How we transition there with a minimum of disruption, and/or how it would be better than where we are now.

    A couple of things. Those who support this do not have any idea of what has gone before, nor of what lays ahead. They moronically think that the world is exactly like they see in their heads and that if they just keep pushing all conservative ideals hard enough, life will be fine. Second, how we transition will be messy, by definition, because a world devolving into chaos from a position of somewhat stability will always be messy, most likely violent, and never reasonable.

  149. 149
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dm:

    I guess my question for you is, what would constitute sufficient proof? Obviously, Trump and Putin are going to deny and cover up everything they can, so there will probably never be a “smoking gun” tape of the two of them discussing it on the phone or something like that.

  150. 150
    D58826 says:

    Interesting take on VOX

    The real target of Trump’s inaugural speech wasn’t Barack Obama. It was George W. Bush.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/.....;ocid=iehp

  151. 151
    hovercraft says:

    @debbie:

    Word for word Inaugural Address … no matter what party you are with, who you are; every American should appreciate President Trump’s commitment

    I want a new family.

    I’ll check with the family, see if we are accepting right now ;-)

    Anyone who thinks that screed was a commitment to anything other than feeding his ego and his coffers, is beyond willfully blind, they are in urgent need of mental help. I see that @catclub: has beaten me to the punch, they need to be committed alongside their hair furor.

  152. 152

    @Mnemosyne: dm’s take reeks of BS. IIRC dm is also a BS supporter. So I would take what they have to say with a grain of salt.

  153. 153
    EBT says:

    @cosima: Not only do we basically not focus at all on WWI (outside of an AP US history class taught by a teacher who loved history my official education on WWI can be put as “Chemical weapons are hellish”). We completely ignore swaths of information about the Revolution, such as the volume of hired mercenaries, the participation of LaFayette, and how terrible at being a competent military officer Washington was. Then the Civil War is polluted with lies such as Sherman burning a swath to the sea.

  154. 154
    liberal says:

    @schrodingers_cat: LOL. You’re such a tool.

  155. 155
    D58826 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    even those who seem to support this, be able to actually articulate what it is we’re moving to. How we transition there with a minimum of disruption, and/or how it would be better than where we are now.

    At least those who created the post WWII structure had a deep background in history, foreign policy, etc. The only thing Das Fuhrer knows about the world is how to get from one of his golf courses to the next on his private jet. And the people around him aren’t much better.

  156. 156
    Yoda Dog says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Comparing the Putin-Trump connection with birtherism is total fucking bullshit.

  157. 157
    liberal says:

    @Adam L Silverman: you sure about Dreyfuss? Wikipedia claims he was exonerated by a military commission.

  158. 158
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cosima: When I got to St. Andrews it was right before the Jewish High Holidays – about a month. I got a hold of the synagogue in Dundee – there certainly wasn’t one in St. Andrews. I wound up doing most of the chanting because I knew Hebrew. The congregation was the aging couple (late 60s) that maintained the building and about five or six families. One a medical doctor and professor at the university in Dundee who had grown up and gone to uni in Glasgow. They didn’t even have a real Torah, just a 5 inch high children’s memento one you’d buy in a gift shop. A year or so later when my future major advisor arrived from the US, the synagogue picked up four more bodies for the holidays – him, his wife, and their kids. The Jewish Student Union didn’t do much either at the university. And all of this was sad as Scotland, unlike England and many other European countries, never expelled its Jews.

  159. 159
    liberal says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thing is, El Douche opened the door with his public statement saying he hoped they were fucking with her campaign.

  160. 160
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @EBT:

    my official education on WWI can be put as “Chemical weapons are hellish”

    This is pretty accurate.

  161. 161
    PIGL says:

    @Mobile: not the only person (asking for a friend).

  162. 162
    D58826 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I don’t remember any of my middle school/high school history classes ever getting much beyond the Civil War. History must have ended in 1865 at the Ford Theater

  163. 163
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @liberal: Exonerated by a military commission and a posthumous pardon are not the same thing.

  164. 164
    cosima says:

    @EBT: As horrible as the US system is at teaching its own history, never mind history of countries/regions outside of the US (note that I am a product of the US system), it’s a wonder that there are people on the right who actually want students to know *less.* As I said above, education = power, and the right wants to make sure that 99% of US citizens have no chance of getting either of those.

    Our eldest did the IB programme at the International School here, and whilst helping her with history assignments I was in a continuous state of ‘this is harder than the stuff I did in university!’ Neither my husband nor I ever delved into the minutiae of history in *university* (undergrad) as she did for those classes, and the standard she was held to for her writing was very high. She would not have managed without me. Most of the children at that school were (and still are) children of highly educated upper-middle/upper class parents (expatriate community), and as smart as some of them were (are) the IB is rigorous, but what an education if you apply yourself.

  165. 165
    hovercraft says:

    @Brachiator:

    This guy also believes that it doesn’t matter that Trump is ignorant and unprepared, because as far as he can tell, nobody elected to the office knows exactly what they need to know. It is, by definition, learn it as you go along.*

    This worker is also Latino, so the usual angry white male Republican admonitions do not apply.**

    *All of life is learn as you go, but for certain important function we require that people learn first before they are allowed to perform that function. Obviously he is ignorant and unprepared for life, and so appreciates seeing someone like him achieve such a great height.

    **Stupid and being a thrill seeker is not confined to white male republicans. As the shitgibbon showed several times when he paraded his non stereotypical fans on stage, we all have idiots in our ranks.

  166. 166
    Elie says:

    @Kryptik:
    NPR had Ira Glass s show today where they interviewed attendees of the Trump “Deplora-ball. They were all trolls who “weaponized” the Wikileaks data. They featured troll specialists called “mean magicians”. They enjoyed mean for it’s own sake as kind of a “live action role play”. The person they interviewed considers Trump to be the “troll in chief”. That he trolled his way to commander in chief They did not see what they did as mean or cruel but FUN. They liked having common purpose and were very organized and specialized in how they rolled out these attacks. I tell you. It frightened me. The nihilism, the use of cruelty as entertainment. I am going to see if I can find it on the NPR web site under the Ira Glass show today. We need to know this

  167. 167
    liberal says:

    @Adam L Silverman: agreed. But is the latter necessary given the former?

  168. 168
    liberal says:

    @Adam L Silverman: perhaps, but Matt Meselson claims that pound for pound they’re not more effective than high explosive.

  169. 169
    liberal says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: well…left unspecified was what Twitler is committed to.

  170. 170
    Yoda Dog says:

    @Elie: Did Nice Polite Republican even bother to comment on how fucked up that shit is? Or just the usual stenography?…

  171. 171
    EZSmirkzz says:

    Well Adam, one does get the sense of living in Anglo-Saxon England at ease with the Britons in the hills, a day before Ivar’s fleet shows up on the horizon. As Churchill wrote, the incremental passage of our live prevents us from seeing what the future will regard as a massive historical upheaval in our lives. I remarked in an earlier post that our leaders, more so than before I fear, are trying to pound America’s challenges into the ideological molds of the twentieth century.

  172. 172
    Elie says:

    @Yoda Dog:
    Ira Glass is pretty cool dude and the woman who is his associate and did this interview let the interviewee speak for herself using a few pointed questions but letting her talk. I considered it a chillingly effective piece

  173. 173
    Ghost of Joe Liebling's Dog says:

    @Baud:

    When they commit him, maybe. Right now he’s free to roam around unsupervised.

    ETA : as apparently everyone thought of first …

  174. 174
    Taylor says:

    @dm: My worry is this assumption that The Truth Will Out with respect to the election. I’d say it’s more likely that the truth would be covered up, by Serious People reasoning that the country would be too damaged by public revelations of a President who is a Russian asset.

    I remind people that Patrick Fitzgerald never did deliver the unicorn that many were hoping for from the Valerie Plame outing investigation.

  175. 175
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @liberal: I’m not French, nor one of Dreyfuss’s descendants. All I know is that there is a repeated call, every time there is a new French government, for a pardon. There was, if I’m remembering correctly, much disappointment that Sarkozy, who’s father was originally Jewish before converting to Catholicism to marry his mother, did not issue the pardon. Given the nature of the injustice, and its historic place in French history, is, I think, what keeps the push alive. The court martial and conviction was used as cover for a deeper political purpose, rooted in the widespread anti-Semitism at the time, to achieve the then French government’s ends. I think that Dreyfuss’s descendants, as well as many within the Jewish community of France today, wish to see the historic wrong, so clearly rooted in anti-Semitism, righted.

  176. 176
    hovercraft says:

    @mai naem mobile:
    I can attest to China’s takeover of Africa, they attraction for most countries is that China has only one concern, commodities. They want /need the natural resources, no questions asked no strings attached. No good governance or human rights hypocrisy, they just want the resources. While we express an interest in human rights and other good things in principle, they all see that more important than any of that to us, is what is in our best geopolitical interests. Sisi can murder and jail with nary a peep from us, while others are threatened with sanctions. China doesn’t get involved in their domestic politics, unless it directly affects their ability to obtain your natural resources.

  177. 177
    Yoda Dog says:

    @Elie: I’ll check it out. It is interesting they were openly discussing their ratfuckery. All I ever heard about Glass was when he said Shakespeare was overrated. Not very smart, but everyone has a bad day. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt if you say he’s cool and try to keep an open mind.

  178. 178
    dm says:

    @Mnemosyne: Indictments would be good, convictions better. Impeachment (but I’m suspecting that Trump will cut his losses by letting a few underlings hang out to dry, and, frankly, I’d settle for resignation and disgrace).

    If you’re asking what it would take to convince me, I’m not someone who needs convincing.

    I suppose (as Adam likes to say), it would be nice if there was some innocuous explanation for all this and our national security apparatus isn’t now in the hands of people who owe Putin a lot of favors and who have little shame, but I’m not optimistic in that regard.

  179. 179
    Elie says:

    @Taylor:
    I disagree. Too many sources to control now compared to Valerie Plame period. Our access to information is unparalleled along with our inability to manage the consequences. Trump will find that out and chaos will be king but everything is gonna come out.

  180. 180
    cosima says:

    @Adam L Silverman: There is a smallish but committed Jewish community in the nearest ‘big’ city that Deb is quite active in. It is, however, a far cry from the environment that she was raised in, the school, the large Jewish community. It is very sad. Scotland could stand to do a lot more educating its students about that aspect of its WWII history.

    Case in point: Deb was working at a school in a village not far from here, talking to the students about Judaism, the Jewish community in Glasgow, etc. Later in the day, one of the boys goose-stepped past her. She was angry, sad, everything. I know this boy, have known him from a toddler, and his parents are the most amazing liberal couple, and we have been friends since Little C was a baby. Anyway, we were having dinner with them, and the husband says to me in a conversation about politics/state of the world/etc ‘you’ll never guess what XXXX (naughty son) did!’ and he told me the goose-step story, and said that when they got that news from the head teacher the first thing he did when XXXX got home from school was to sit him down in front of the computer and show him hours of WWII footage about Hitler, the concentration camps, etc. He had no idea that I already had this story from Deb.

    The failure to teach children about that aspect of Scotland’s history and its (Scotland’s) ties to the Jewish community, has fostered ignorance, and ignorance fosters hate.

  181. 181
    Elie says:

    @Yoda Dog:
    This show of his is excellent. Wish I had the name of the woman who is his associate and did the interview. She was excellent

  182. 182
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @liberal: They’re a weapon intended to terrorize. That’s where they value is.

  183. 183
    D58826 says:

    From Katy Tur’s twitter feed on Trump’s visit to the CIA –

    Trump now making very political, partisan, self-aggrandizing remarks to CIA staff. Actually complains about coverage of his inauguration

    more from josh marshall – http://talkingpointsmemo.com/e.....re–2

  184. 184
    Mike G says:

    We’re going to have the worst of both worlds. No longer a superpower, but we’ll be stuck funding a massively overbuilt military (now with expanded, useless, money-burning “missile defense”) and bombastic flag-waving militarized culture, because those those things suit Republican political (juicy opportunities for graft) and cultural (promoting authoritarianism and obedience) priorities and conceits.

  185. 185
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cosima: Yep.

  186. 186
    cosima says:

    @Elie: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/608/the-revolution-starts-at-noon?act=1#play

    I’m going to send this to my daughter. She & her peers are so easily manipulated by all that they read. She posts stuff on FB and I’ll say ‘wtf? where did that come from?’ I’d like to slap some sense into a lot of those purity types, and this may do the trick.

  187. 187
    dm says:

    @Taylor: Well, it took fifty years, but the truth about Nixon bollixing Johnson’s negotiations with Vietnam finally came out. I hope it doesn’t take that long this time.

    @Elie: I hope your optimism is borne out.

  188. 188
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    Redacted.

  189. 189
    GregB says:

    The pernicious effects of globalism are never laid at the feet of the man with the global media empire, Rupert Murdoch.

  190. 190
    Elie says:

    @cosima:
    Thank you for finding it!

  191. 191
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @GregB: Funny, that. It’s if all the talk of the evils of “globalism” are highly selective and severely uninformed.

  192. 192
    pluky says:

    @Mobile: What? She’s not transgendered. Why do you think so?

  193. 193
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It was not. Just combining and then reordering for effect “through the looking glass” and “off the map”.

    Shit or cut bait.

  194. 194
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mobile:

    Am I the only person in the world who was unaware that Johansson is transgender?

    I had no idea until just this second when I read your question.

  195. 195
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    And having continued to scroll through comments, I see now that she is not transgendered. Grateful for clarification.

  196. 196
    notoriousJRT says:

    @Yoda Dog: Thanks for this. This is history of which I was not aware. I was mocking the right’s butt hurt over Obama removing Churchill from the oval. Their obsession with things like this is constant and incredible to me.

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