The Devolution Of A Superpower And The End Of The American Century Part III: It Appears The President Will Withdraw The US From The JCPOA

As we wait for the President’s public remarks regarding whether the US is going to pull out of the JCPOA, there are already leaks that the President has telegraphed what he is going to do. Specifically that the President has already notified President Macron of France and congressional leaders that the President has made the decision to pull out.

President Trump told President Emmanuel Macron of France on Tuesday morning that he plans to announce the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, according to a person briefed on the conversation.

Mr. Trump’s decision unravels the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor, Barack Obama, isolating the United States among its allies and leaving it at even greater odds with its adversaries in dealing with the Iranians.

The United States is preparing to reinstate all sanctions it had waived as part of the nuclear accord — and impose additional economic penalties as well, the person said.

A second person familiar with negotiations to keep the 2015 accord in place said the talks collapsed over Mr. Trump’s insistence that sharp limits be kept on Iran’s nuclear fuel production after 2030. The deal currently lifts those limits.

Senior administration officials also have begun informing congressional leaders of the president’s intent to withdraw, according to a third person familiar with the discussions.

Unfortunately for the President, Iran has a plan.

From the al-Monitor:

During a speech May 7, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani suggested that if the United States were to exit the comprehensive nuclear deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, European countries could keep the deal alive.

“The people must be certain that we have taken into consideration various possible scenarios in dealing with the United States,” Rouhani said on the possibility of the United States exiting the nuclear deal on May 12. He added, “In this direction, what we want from the nuclear deal is either guaranteed from countries other than America, or if we see what we want out of the nuclear deal is not secured, we will follow our own path and plans.”

Rouhani said what Iran had sought in the nuclear deal was the “removal of oppressions such as sanctions.”

Regardless of what happens with the United States, Rouhani said that this will not be a “long-term” issue. He noted, “If America takes actions against its own commitments, world opinion and countries around the world — with the exception of a few — will know America to be at fault.” He added that this likely action by the United States will not be like previous eras in which the Security Council would support the United States as it had done previously through sanctions and other measures.

Iran’s stated strategy here is to continue to comply with the agreement, keeping it in place with the other signatories – China, France, Russia, the UK, Germany, and the European Union. By doing so Iran intends to isolate the US. As future IAEA reports of compliance are reported, and as Iran maintains the deal with the other signatories to mitigate the reimposition of US sanctions and the imposition of any new ones, Iran will have positioned itself as the good citizen of the global system and the US, under the current President, as the rogue nation.

One of the reasons that Iran is able to do this is because the US officially defines treaties differently than any other nation-state and international law. The US constitution defines a treaty very narrowly. As an agreement between the US and one or more other nation-states and/or non-state actors that is ratified by the US Senate. Every other nation-state and international law define a treaty as any agreement between one or more nation-states and/or non-state actors. From the perspective or Iran and the other signatories, this is a fully articulated treaty properly entered into. As we saw with Senator Cotton’s letter to Ayatullah Uzma Khameini, the US does not. As with everything else over the past forty years or so, treaties and other agreements negotiated by the US have been weaponized by the GOP caucus in the Senate. This is why we still don’t have a ratified Law of the Sea Treaty even though it was primarily negotiated by a Republican administration.

The US withdrawal from the JCPOA, despite the IAEA certifying Iran’s ongoing compliance because the President and his enablers don’t understand the agreement and how it works or because they’d rather go their own way and threaten military attacks and war, is another example of the devolution of the US from a superpower, the diminution of its power and influence within the international system, and the end of the American century. Here America First clearly means America alone. Which makes sense given the President’s longstanding belief that US alliances and partnerships only leave the US weaker because our allies and partners use these alliances and partnerships to rip the US off.

Despite the President’s zero sum, hyperbolic style of negotiation, the Trump Doctrine isn’t in play with the Iranians. They don’t care if the President feels as if he, and by extension the US, is being treated “fairly”. They’re not going to invite him for a summit, roll out the red carpet, and schedule a military review for his edification. They’re also not going to empower someone close to the government to do business with his companies. And they don’t care about the “or else”. The Iranians are not concerned with a reimposition of US sanctions because they’ve decided that if they stay in compliance with the JCPOA that France, Germany, the EU, China, and their strategic partner in the region Russia will not reimpose their own sanctions or go along with reimposed US sanctions. Moreover, because the leadership of our British, French, and German allies personally intervened to ask the President to stay in the JCPOA and he disregarded their entreaties, he has further isolated the US from its traditional allies. Chess was invented in India. Its name is an anglicization of the Persian word shah or king and the Iranians have been playing the game for thousands of years. They know and understand the game better than almost anyone and have maneuvered the pieces on this game board to isolate the American king. Just think of the cost for the President ordering the US withdrawal of the JCPOA as the price required to Make America great again.

Here’s the live feed for the President’s remarks about the JCPOA:

Stay frosty!

Open thread

289 replies
  1. 1
    TenguPhule says:

    Shit is fucked and All hell is about to break loose.

    Another day ending in WHY FSM WHY?!!

  2. 2
    TenguPhule says:

    Chess was invented in Iran. They know and understand the game better than almost anyone and have maneuvered the pieces on this game board to isolate the American king.

    And they are playing three dimensional chess with a bloated orange pigeon.

  3. 3
    kd bart says:

    “Whatever it takes to piss off the Libtards is all right with me.”-Trump voter

  4. 4
    Elizabelle says:

    And: NPR is off, much as I enjoy their mid-day classical programming. Special programming; Trump’s speech.

    And no, I do not care to listen to whatever comes out of Mara Liasson’s piehole, either.

    FWIW, NPR here in central Virginia is running a promo with some woman “listener” saying she loves the station because they’re truly “fair and balanced.” If you want to find “both sides”, or even “all fifty”, you can find it here. I wonder about the genius that allowed that advertising.

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    There’s a lot unknown about Trump’s plans for additional sanctions. That could split us from our allies, which is what Putin wants.

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Happy Infrastructure Week! There’s cake in the break room.

  7. 7
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    The only thing I think could disillusion Trumpers and the GOP voters at this point would be the United States getting the crap beat out of it like Germany and Japan did in WW2. Same with the Ottoman Empire in WW1 and it’s successor state, the Republic of Turkey. Democrats could easily play the same role the Young Turks played by leading the country down a new path. The trouble with this is that while you never fight a land war in Asia, fighting a war in the continental US is a big no-no as well. Invading the United States was a fool’s errand 100 years ago and still is.

    The way I see it, these morons are coddled by the US’s current economic position as well as its traditional geographic isolation. Add in new, destructive weapons of war and we have a recipe for eventual internal collapse instead of being checked by other nations in war.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: This sentence was originally worded as:

    They know and understand the game better than almost anyone (not named Kasparov and not playing the game in a park as I type this)

  9. 9
    Mike in NC says:

    Chess was invented in Iran.

    Doubtful if Trump and Pence were left alone in a room together they could figure out how to play Checkers.

  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Great, he’s slurring his speech from the get go.

  11. 11

    Chess was invented in India as was the decimal system with zero. Arab traders took it to the rest of the world.

  12. 12
    HeleninEire says:

    So, Adam can we sum this up as “Iran leaders pwn Trump?” Cuz that would be even better than them pwning Cotton.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in NC: Chutes and ladders.

  14. 14

    Iran is a bad actor.

  15. 15
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Mike in NC:
    They couldn’t even figure out how to play Hungry-Hungry Hippos or Rock’em Sock’em Robots let alone Checkers.

  16. 16
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Happy Infrastructure Week!

    I hate how Trump has utterly ruined the meaning of the word “Infrastructure”.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @HeleninEire:

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    Since I’m on antenna, my viewing options are slim. Every network interrupted regular broadcasting, so I put on PBS. Somehow watching Curious George is a better option.
    Let me know if he says John Kerry. At that point, I might decide it’s five o’clock.

  19. 19
    D58826 says:

    Chess was invented in Iran. They know and understand the game better than almost anyone and have maneuvered the pieces on this game board to isolate the American king

    They have been playing this game for 4000 years. They used to go by the name of Persia and gave the Roman and Greek empires (300 Spartans anyone) fits.

  20. 20
    Mike J says:

    @kd bart:

    “Whatever it takes to piss off the Libtards is all right with me.”-Trump voter

    I tweeted a reply to somebody saying, “And a year from now we’ll be solidly into the ’20 campaign. It will be considered anti-American to say anything negative about Trump.” and then somebody with “Deplorable” in their name liked it.

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: And he’s once again conflated returning Iran’s own money back to it in compliance with a court order with a bribe.

  22. 22

    He is not sounding good.

  23. 23
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Great, he’s slurring his speech from the get go.

    And it will surely only get better from there. //s

  24. 24
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And he’s once again conflated returning Iran’s own money back to it in compliance with a court order with a bribe.

    Trump would have stolen that money if he’d been given a chance at it.

    We all know this is true.

  25. 25
    D58826 says:

    @Mike in NC: doubt that they could find the floor

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: And he seems to think this was supposed to be a comprehensive peace agreement, which it wasn’t and isn’t supposed to be.

  27. 27
    HeleninEire says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Indeed.

  28. 28

    @Adam L Silverman: As usual. Now he’s claiming that Netanyahu’s PP proves Iran continued to work on a bomb.

  29. 29
    MomSense says:

    I’m so angry. Suppose he’ll mention his stupid lie about the cash in this announcement?

    Why the hell does Israel think this will be good for their interests??

  30. 30
    Dave says:

    @HeleninEire: It’s basically what it is; that and accelerated erosion of our power and influence which honestly wouldn’t bother me that much except that the ones most responsible for it will freak out the most when it becomes obvious even to them. I’m just hoping we avoid a major military disaster in the meantime.

  31. 31
    Cermet says:

    This is not a big deal; Iran will operate fine without us and our sanctions mean little as long as Europe does not follow. Like most of the orange fart cloud’s foul body sounds coming out of his ass, these statements are only something his followers will breath deeply in and claim they smell flowers; everyone else will just smell the same fart cloud that thugs expel through their anus (aka also called their mouth’s.)

  32. 32
    Mike J says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Chess was invented in India as was the decimal system with zero.

    Meso Americans independently invented the zero and about the same time.

  33. 33
    TenguPhule says:

    @JPL:

    At that point, I might decide it’s five o’clock.

    Why wait?

  34. 34
    Calouste says:

    The only effect of this is that it enforces what other countries have learned already in the last year, that the US is no longer to be trusted, that you should not make concessions to the US because you don’t know if they will keep their word, and you sure as hell don’t want to enter into bilateral agreement with the US. And it’s the US, not just the shitgibbon. It’s the broken system that allowed the shitgibbon in.

  35. 35
    GregB says:

    President Chowder-Nuts is wheezing like Darth Vader in his waning moments.

  36. 36
    MomSense says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And there’s my answer.

  37. 37
    TenguPhule says:

    @MomSense:

    Why the hell does Israel think this will be good for their interests??

    Israel the state doesn’t. Their current head of government is a corrupt asshole two levels down from Donald Trump.

    That’s the problem.

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Now he’s claiming that Netanyahu’s PP proves Iran continued to work on a bomb.

    I have wingnut Yahtzee.

  39. 39
    Jeffro says:

    Adam:

    The Iranians are not concerned with a reimposition of US sanctions because they’ve decided that if they stay in compliance with the JCPOA that France, German, the EU, China, and their strategic partner in the region Russia will not reimpose their own sanctions or go along with reimposed US sanctions.

    And they’re correct. Full stop.

    “American First = America Alone” fits on a bumper sticker, how about that?

  40. 40
    JWR says:

    WTF is up with his hair?!! I mean, it usually looks like hell, but this cotton-candy doo is off the rails.

  41. 41
    Tokyokie says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    They couldn’t even figure out how to play Hungry-Hungry Hippos or Rock’em Sock’em Robots let alone Checkers.

    So what? It’s not like they wouldn’t cheat anyway. That’s what cheaters do.

  42. 42
    Jeffro says:

    @GregB: I’m telling y’all, he’s popping pseudoephedrine from “executive time” ’til bedtime cheeseburger #3.

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: But of course. Bibi had an audience of one.

    Also, what is a north careaehr?

  44. 44
    Waynski says:

    Watching with the sound off. I know he doesn’t drink, but he looks drunk.

  45. 45
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Calouste:
    Exactly. Our system is to blame for allowing this to happen and so are many of us. We are all ultimately responsible for the world we live in and Trump is ruining everything. The GOP and those in the media allowed him to get to this point. The media didn’t take him seriously enough in the beginning and the GOP is so intellectually and morally corrupt that it made him their frontrunner and eventual nominee.

  46. 46
    Cheap Jim, formerly known as Cheap Jim says:

    @Mike J: Aha! Evidence of a link between them; get Thor Heyerdahl on the line!

  47. 47
    Captain C says:

    He sounds drugged. Usually, he gets excited over this kind of hating, but he sounds like a student on Valium reading a report that was prepared for him and he doesn’t quite understand.

  48. 48
    Mary G says:

    @Calouste: This. It’s another nail in the coffin of the State Department.

  49. 49
    Elie says:

    As I have said… I am convinced that he is a tool of Putin and/or other forces to destroy this country and so far, he is succeeding. Each day that goes by with this horror in place, we are further damaged and diminished. I am past hand wringing. I know we are going to need both luck and supreme will to change the path we are on….

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MomSense: He already did.

  51. 51
    CliosFanBoyNeeWoodrowfan says:

    @Cermet: I agree. it just isolates the US. everyone one else will continue…

  52. 52
    Cacti says:

    With this move, not only does Kim have a green light to walk away from any negotiations in Korea, he can point to American fecklessness and look like the reasonable one to the rest of the world.

  53. 53
    Jeffro says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Now he’s claiming that Netanyahu’s PP proves Iran continued to work on a bomb.

    Every intelligence agency in the world has got to be like, “That’s it? That’s all it takes to get what we want out of this guy – a PowerPoint presentation with lots of pics and two-word summaries? He doesn’t believe his own agencies and people, just what he sees on the TV?”

    (not that they didn’t already know this…but still…)

    edit: with apologies to Adam at #43 who got there first…great minds and all that…

  54. 54
    HeleninEire says:

    @Dave: I agree with this entire post. All empires crumble; perhaps it’s America’s time. We got fat and happy and stopped looking after each other. But I try not to be obnoxious; I try to be humble, both because I am “inEire” and because I have many, many people in the US who I love.

  55. 55
    Elie says:

    @Mary G:

    The State Department!? The COUNTRY — as I see it….

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: You’re like Chekov from Star Trek. Everything was invented in India…//

  57. 57
    TenguPhule says:

    Iran ‘prepared for all scenarios’ if Trump nixes nuclear deal, officials say

    What could possibly go wrong go wrong?

    Rouhani’s first vice president, Eshaq Jahangiri, said the government has “a plan for managing the country under any circumstances.”

    In remarks reported by Iran’s Tasnim News Agency, Jahangiri, a popular reformist, said it would be “naive” to enter into negotiations with the United States again.

    The comments underscored a growing debate among political factions in Iran over what to do if the United States scraps the deal. Some politicians have urged the government to continue to work with Europe to salvage the accord, which lifted key international sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.

    “If the Europeans are willing to give us sufficient guarantees, it makes sense for us to stay in the deal,” the deputy speaker of Iran’s parliament, Ali Motahari, said in remarks carried by the Iranian Students’ News Agency.

    Motahari said Iran should wait several months to see whether Europe plans to resist U.S. pressure to disengage from the Iranian economy, where European companies have invested in sectors ranging from auto manufacturing to oil exploration and tourism.

    If Europe succeeds, “this is a victory for Iran, because it will have created a gap between the United States and Europe,” he said.

    But others have been less forgiving, urging Iran’s leaders to immediately withdraw and restart suspended elements of the country’s nuclear program if the United States leaves the deal. Fliers circulating online called for a rally in Iran’s northeastern city of Mashhad to “set the JCPOA on fire.” The nuclear deal is also known as the JCPOA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

    The Iranian parliament’s Nuclear Committee published three actions that the government could take if Trump leaves the deal, including installing more centrifuges and enriching uranium beyond the levels allowed under the accord. Enriched uranium can be used as fuel for nuclear power plants or — if enriched at much higher levels — as fissile material for nuclear weapons.

    If Trump confronts Iran, “we will not remain passive,” the head of the National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said Tuesday in an interview with the Hamshahri newspaper.

    He said Europe made a mistake when its leaders appeased Trump by attempting to extract further concessions from Iran, including a potential halt to its ballistic missile program. The nuclear deal was the result of painstaking negotiations over two years between the Rouhani administration and the world powers, including the Obama administration.

    I am sure that there is no room for error, misunderstandings or other potentially catastrophic mistakes to be made. //

  58. 58
    Cacti says:

    @Elie:

    As I have said… I am convinced that he is a tool of Putin and/or other forces to destroy this country and so far, he is succeeding. Each day that goes by with this horror in place, we are further damaged and diminished. I am past hand wringing. I know we are going to need both luck and supreme will to change the path we are on….

    I’ve thought that for a while now.

    If you start from the premise that Trump is a Manchurian candidate, put in place to hollow out the US as a super power, then everything he does makes perfect sense.

  59. 59

    @Mike J: Mesoamericans used zero as a place holder but they did not have a decimal system.
    From Wikipedia:

    The origin of the modern decimal-based place value notation can be traced to the Aryabhatiya (c. 500), which states sthānāt sthānaṁ daśaguṇaṁ syāt “from place to place each is ten times the preceding.”[33][33][34][35] The concept of zero as a digit in the decimal place value notation was developed in India, presumably as early as during the Gupta period (c. 5th century), with the oldest unambiguous evidence dating to the 7th century.

  60. 60
    rikyrah says:

    Despite the President’s zero sum, hyperbolic style of negotiation, the Trump Doctrine isn’t in play with the Iranians. They don’t care if the President feels as if he, and by extension the US, is being treated fairly. They’re not going to invite him for a summit, roll out the red carpet, and schedule a military review for his edification. They’re also not going to empower someone close to the government to do business with his companies.And they don’t care about the or else. The Iranians are not concerned with a reimposition of US sanctions because they’ve decided that if they stay in compliance with the JCPOA that France, German, the EU, China, and their strategic partner in the region Russia will not reimpose their own sanctions or go along with reimposed US sanctions. Moreover, because the leadership of our British, French, and German allies personally intervened to ask the President to stay in the JCPOA and he disregarded their entreaties, he has further isolated the US from its traditional allies. Chess was invented in Iran. They know and understand the game better than almost anyone and have maneuvered the pieces on this game board to isolate the American king. Just think of the cost for the President ordering the US withdrawal of the JCPOA as the price required to Make America great again.

    This is a fantastic paragraph.
    On point.

    Phuck with the Persians if you want. It will not turn out like you think

  61. 61
    Yutsano says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Arab traders took it to the rest of the world.

    Not quite. It was in fact the Iranians under Khosrau that spread it to Rome and then the West. The Iranians did modify the rules of the original Indian game however.

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I changed it to this:

    Chess was invented in India. It’s name is an anglicization of the Persian word shah or king and the Iranians have been playing the game for thousands of years.

  63. 63

    @Jeffro: Extra points if you present it on Fox & Friends!

  64. 64
    cmorenc says:

    How long, if ever, is it going to take us to dig out from the toxic cesspit, internationally and domestically, Trump and hard-core RW GOP are busy digging for us? What arrogantly stupid, greedy, corrupt, dishonest to the core jackasses they are.

  65. 65

    @Adam L Silverman: Not everything but zero definitely. Also too, chess.
    Chinese gave us tea and gunpowder!

  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Please see Ann Laurie on the mezzanine to claim your prize!

  67. 67
    oatler. says:

    @HeleninEire: Very in tune with this “Catch-22” scene:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeVWupFBkA8

  68. 68
    Elie says:

    @MomSense:

    Israel is being led by the same people that surround Trump. Their distorted view of their own singularity and the irrelevance of anyone else is going to lead to their diminishment as well. They will not be able to have a viable US international presence to avoid the consequences that will accrue ….

  69. 69
    TenguPhule says:

    @cmorenc:

    How long, if ever, is it going to take us to dig out from the toxic cesspit, internationally and domestically, Trump and hard-core RW GOP are busy digging for us?

    Not sure we can at the rate they keep digging.

  70. 70
    japa21 says:

    So let’s see.

    First step to pariah nation: Getting out of the Paris Accord.

    Second step to pariah nation: Getting out of Iran deal.

    Third step to pariah nation: Screwing up the whole NK thing and making Kim the hero of the farce.

    Actually, move all those numbers up one. The real first step was having Trump become President.

  71. 71
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JWR: The regular one had to go to the vets for its annual check up and shots, so this is the emergency back up.//

  72. 72
    TenguPhule says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I will always appreciate that India gave us curry.

  73. 73

    @Yutsano: I was talking about zero and the decimal system. The court language of the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire was Persian and many Indian languages including the the two I speak have many Persian words.

  74. 74
    Elizabelle says:

    OT, and in happier news: Barbara Underwood will take over temporarily as NY Attorney General; she sounds wonderful. NY Post:

    Currently … the state’s solicitor general since 2007 …. also worked in the Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn district attorneys’ offices.

    She’s argued 20 cases before the US Supreme Court and many other cases in the state and federal courts of appeals … As solicitor general, she oversaw the AG Office’s Division of Appeals and Opinions, which argues civil and criminal appeals cases in both state and federal courts.

    Per her bio on the AG office’s website (link within NY Post article, and not updated yet — still says Schneiderman):

    She was Professor of Law at Yale Law School, Visiting Professor at New York University School of Law, and Adjunct Professor at Brooklyn Law School. She was a law clerk to Chief Judge David L. Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court. She received a B.A. from Harvard University (Radcliffe College) and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

    Solid choice. I guess there will be an election for AG this fall??

  75. 75
    Jeffro says:

    Kasich already weighing in, calling it a mistake.

    Just wait ’til all the other GOP scuzzwads internalize the fact that one way or another, Trumpov isn’t going to (be able to) run in 2020.

  76. 76
    Jeffro says:

    @japa21: You forgot the TPP.

  77. 77
    Elizabelle says:

    @Waynski: Oh, that’s a good idea. Watching with the sound off.

    I could maybe stand that. For a minute.

  78. 78
  79. 79
    Ohio Mom says:

    I have some old, very hard-core lefty friends who have always bemoaned the American Empire, have always held that the world would be better off without the US calling so many shots.

    I wonder if they appreciate the irony that their long wished for world is coming into being because of Trump. I don’t feel like asking.

  80. 80
    Yutsano says:

    @Elizabelle: Yup. Any chance we could convince her to run for the position?

    @schrodingers_cat: Zero and the decimal system was eagerly adopted by Muslim scholars as part of the Mughal conquest. The concept survived the sacking of Baghdad only by the Moor conquest of Spain and Morocco.

    EDIT: The real point is that there were lots of connections with the east and the west long before the western Europeans started sprouting colonies all over the world. India was very much a known quantity to the Romans, although the spice trade would have to wait until the Muslim Arabs really opened up the Silk Road.

  81. 81

    @TenguPhule: Actually you need to thank the Brits for that abomination.

  82. 82
    Cacti says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I’d love to see Preet Bharara take a run at NY Attorney General.

  83. 83
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Shakhmati, conservatives…

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: Thank you.

  85. 85
    Brachiator says:

    As we wait for the President’s public remarks regarding whether the US is going to pull out of the JCPOA, there are already leaks that the President has telegraphed what he is going to do.

    Trump is, as usual an idiot.

    This is a sad day. Trump does something stupid, totally unaware of the consequences of his actions.

    However, there may be better days ahead. This should add to the zeal with which sane voters get rid of this vile regime. There’s your regime change.

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I have some old, very hard-core lefty friends who have always bemoaned the American Empire, have always held that the world would be better off without the US calling so many shots.

    Ask them how they like having China and Russia calling all the shots instead. Recommend to them that they start learning a second language if you really feel like being mean.

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Congressman Zeldin is a really, really dumb person who thinks he’s a really, really smart person.

  88. 88
    Jeffro says:

    @Elie:

    I am convinced that he is a tool of Putin and/or other forces to destroy this country and so far, he is succeeding

    The question to ask wingnut friends and relatives is, “If Trumpov were a Russian tool…what would he be doing differently?” /head splode when they can’t think of anything

    However…other than the tax cut giveaway, and Gorsuch + other judicial appointments…he hasn’t destroyed anything we can’t fix in relatively short order, provided that we win back the House in 2018, and then the rest in 2020.

  89. 89
    Elizabelle says:

    I absolutely detest Trump shitting on everything that Obama and his administration worked so hard to accomplish.

    Fuck him, and the enablers who put him there. May they all rot in Hell, Trump after losing his wealth, his health, his illegitimate perch in the White House, and I guess I’m good with his dick falling off too.

    If you want to know what I think …

  90. 90

    @Adam L Silverman: So in other words, A Republican.

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: The AG was on the ballot this November regardless. Up until last night Schneiderman was running as the incumbent.

  92. 92
    Duane says:

    Trump has broken his record for most lies in one speech. Shocking, even for him. Terrible, dangerous foreign policy decision. People remember the Iraq War build up. Trump thinks we’re idiots that’ll believe anything. He is as always wrong.

  93. 93

    making this worse is that trump & company can use the Iranian refusal to crumple under his sanctions to escalate into “military action” that would further isolate our natural allies with Western Europe. Where we barely had a “Coalition of the Willing” in 2003 to invade Iraq we won’t have that level of support today. If any nations join us it will be Israel and Saudi Arabia, and neither of them can provide that much support due to the potential instability in their own nations that support can cause.

    Meanwhile, Russia and China are likely to get better situated dealing with Iran to their own benefits, something that clearly Putin will enjoy using to screw the United States further into Third-World status.

    I can’t wait to see trump’s reaction when – not if – other nations impose sanctions on the United States for our belligerency towards Iran.

  94. 94
    japa21 says:

    @Jeffro: Hard to remember everything this bozo does. Thanks. Although a lot of people here thought it was a good thing he did that. I’m not sure that counts as contributing to pariah status, just stupid status

  95. 95
    Jeffro says:

    @Elizabelle: be strong, Barbara Underwood, whomever you are. You’ve got a big Heap-O-Shit express hurtling down the tracks…a grateful country sends its best as you keep it on the tracks and bring it in at full speed to Trumpov Tower.

  96. 96
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Elizabelle:

    So we have an appellate lawyer taking over the part of a strategic thinking and tactical manager.

    Two differing skill sets. The appellate lawyer is a methodical plodder by nature as opposed to a nimble puncher. My deep malaise increases.

  97. 97

    @Adam L Silverman: Have you seen Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj ke khiladi (Chess Players.)

  98. 98
    Elizabelle says:

    @Yutsano: She’s 73. Sounds like she’s considered an interim leader.

    I am good with Preet Bharara, and AG Underwood could work seamlessly with him. Her background as New York state’s Solicitor General — exceptional background for working with SCOTUS. She’s too valuable to be allowed to retire!

    Viva Barbara Underwood. We have to look for the helpers, and work around the circus clowns, monkey and the shit they fling around.

    Eyes on the prize.

  99. 99
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Too lazy to look, but does New York law allow the party to name a replacement candidate, since we’re past filing deadline?

  100. 100
    Tokyokie says:

    @TenguPhule:

    @schrodingers_cat: I will always appreciate that India gave us curry.

    I thought Steph attended Davidson.

  101. 101
    Waynski says:

    @Elizabelle:

    @Waynski: Oh, that’s a good idea. Watching with the sound off.

    Well, he always telegraphs everything he’s going to say in advance, and even if he doesn’t, you can assume it will be stupid.

  102. 102
    JWR says:

    @Cacti:

    If you start from the premise that Trump is a Manchurian candidate, put in place to hollow out the US as a super power, then everything he does makes perfect sense.

    Truer words were never writ. Also, I think that this daily shtshow of news has, over time, altered my mental health, and not for the better. Just feeling angrier a lot of the time these days.

  103. 103

    @MomSense:

    Why the hell does Israel think this will be good for their interests??

    Not Israel. Netanahayu’s interest. The Far-Right of Israel’s interests. They view a nuclear Iran as dangerous – if not more – as a nuclear Iraq. But they know they can’t get their hands dirty on this so they’re getting their buddies among the GOP Neocons to do the work for them.

  104. 104
    Elizabelle says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Not like she doesn’t have an actual brain trust, with actual brains, from all over the country. And her skills are amazing for strategizing about the Supreme Court.

    People can surprise you. Pleasantly.

  105. 105
    Bill Arnold says:

    @japa21:

    First step to pariah nation: Getting out of the Paris Accord.
    Second step to pariah nation: Getting out of Iran deal.
    Third step to pariah nation: Screwing up the whole NK thing and making Kim the hero of the farce.
    Actually, move all those numbers up one. The real first step was having Trump become President.

    This. As A.L.Silverman says at top, America is being actively unraveled as a superpower. I hope we can avoid thermonuclear war. (Actually, he doesn’t say actively, but I do.)

  106. 106
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jeffro:

    he hasn’t destroyed anything we can’t fix in relatively short order,

    All the government agencies hollowed out by his appointed assholes will take decades to recover.

    All that lost knowledge and experience will not replace itself without a lot of help and time.

  107. 107
    sherparick says:

    @JPL: I think the dream is that Trump will impose secondary sanctions and that European and Japanese firms will have to choose between the U.S. market and the Iran market. Also, especially after Trump gives away the store to North Korea and calls it “the best deal, the greatest deal,” he will start tweeting threats at Iran about military action.

    There will also be a rising media chorus from the neocons, particularly as sanctions prove ineffective, calling for war and “regime” change in Iran to “solve the nuclear threat” of the “terrorist” state of Iran having the bomb. Eli Lake is a good example of what to expect at Bloomberg.

    I don’t know what will happen next, but it is not likely to be good as much of the hard line foreign policy establishment, not just Trump, has delusions about Iran (and particularly insane delusions at that on one hand Iran is an existential threat to the U.S. on the same level as Nazi Germany and on the other hand, the regime is so fragile that a few bombing sorties (2,000 apparently the magic number) will cause the regime to collapse – no U.S. ground troops needed!!).

  108. 108
    HeleninEire says:

    @oatler.: Wow. Never saw the movie. Please tell me that was a very young Art Garfunkel. Looks just like him.

  109. 109
    Cermet says:

    @TenguPhule: Russia, out side of nukes is not and will remain a minor player. China, historically, and likely still, does not like being the top dog on the world stage. That all said, damn right I had my daughter learn a second (and soon, a third) language! The world is changing and not for the good. Ray-gun started this downward spiral but both AGW and the world catching up, was bound to result in our decline; however, all things are relative and in that respect, we will remain a super power regardless.

  110. 110
    Cacti says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I have some old, very hard-core lefty friends who have always bemoaned the American Empire, have always held that the world would be better off without the US calling so many shots.

    I wonder if they appreciate the irony that their long wished for world is coming into being because of Trump. I don’t feel like asking.

    “The _____________ empire is bad!” is usually true in some respect. What isn’t true is the assumption that whatever replaces it will be something better, or bring about a better world order.

    The ascendant power of the moment is China. A single party, authoritarian state that does not adhere to western concepts of human rights. I’d ask the fringe lefties if that’s what they’d like to see as the world’s hegemonic power, but I’m afraid of the answer.

  111. 111
    japa21 says:

    Mrs Japa is currently refusing to watch anything related to politics on TV. She is finding it too depressing. So she just asked me if he pulled out. After I said, “Obviously not in time because we are still burdened with Ivanka, Don Jr and Eric” she groaned and gave me a look.

    Being married for 43+ years, I have finally figured out what the look means.

    So I got serious and said, yes he had, but he was delaying reimposing sanctions for 6 months. Then I said I think he is doing that for 2 reasons.

    1) November is the mid terms, which is when the six months will be up. If he avoids imposing sanctions now, it may not cause gas prices to go up very much and he believes that will help the GOP.

    2) He will also get a sense of what the country thinks and he could, just before the six months is up, if the national reaction is bad, say he is recommitting to the treaty and be a hero.

    She then rolled here eyes and said I was giving Trump too much credit for thinking ahead and having any coherent strategy in his brain. I, because I am a smart husband, acknowledged her superior wisdom. And also because she is right.

  112. 112
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Ah, thank you. NY AG was already up for election this fall. Good to know.

  113. 113
    TenguPhule says:

    @Elizabelle:

    and I guess I’m good with his dick falling off too.

    With mechanical assistance?

  114. 114
    ruemara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I should introduce you to a friend who’s Chinese and a former army sergeant in Iraq. EVERYTHING was invented in China. He’s also quite technically brilliant, which means you can’t explain a damned thing to him, especially what he doesn’t know. He’s corrected me on things you’ve talked about in NatSec, which always amuses me because, yes, he’s a republican. Better than most, but still republican.

    @Jeffro: Dude, you are way underestimating the unconfirmed appointed positions, the dominionist judges and the fact that Americans – left & right – have proven they are entirely untrustworthy to decide who should lead their economically, militarily powerful nation.

  115. 115
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: No.

  116. 116
    Death Panel Truck says:

    Iran deal is gone.
    Putin is jumping for joy.
    We’ll all be dead soon.

  117. 117
    Adam L Silverman says:

  118. 118
    Mary G says:

    And oil goes back above $70 a barrel, making Putin very happy indeed.

  119. 119
    Brachiator says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    As usual. Now he’s claiming that Netanyahu’s PP proves Iran continued to work on a bomb.

    What Adam said.

    But of course. Bibi had an audience of one.

    Netanyahu knew he could sell it to that gullible old fool, Trump. Hell, it was staged like one of Trump’s own snake oil pitches. I loved this rejoinder from Michael J. Koplow:

    Netanyahu’s unusual English-language prime time presentation on Israeli television last week of the intelligence collected by Israel about Iran’s previous efforts to build a nuclear weapon was almost certainly aimed at Trump, either in an effort to convince him to exit the deal, or to provide cover for him to do so….

    So long as Iran itself remains in the deal and no evidence exists that it is violating the core provisions that prevent it from pursuing a nuclear weapons program – and the evidence Israel revealed last week pertained to Iran lying about its previous activities but was silent on whether it is doing so now – the Iranian government will be able to continue on its current path.

    Bibi knew that he didn’t have to present anything about what the Iran is doing now in order to sell Trump on the idea that Iran was a clear and present danger to America and to the world.

    But it appears as though Iran was ready for the US decision. We will see what happens next.

    Meanwhile, Trump will be preparing for his next foreign policy “success,” the summit with North Korea.

    ETA: forgot link to article. what a day.
    https://www.haaretz.com/amp/middle-east-news/iran/.premium-donald-trump-is-about-to-put-israel-in-immediate-danger-1.6070248

  120. 120
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I’m never surprised by appellate types with long stints in appellate slots. They plod. They toss about vague and academic doctrinal phrases and by nature, they’re neither rude nor mean to opponents.

  121. 121

    @Yutsano: True. In Tom Friedman parlance, the world was always flat. You also have the connections between Sanskrit and Latin and west European languages like German and English. Alexander had an ambassador at the court of Chandragupta Maurya and so on.
    ETA: Are you conflating Mughal with Muslim because Mughal rule in India was a 16th century phenomena.
    Zero had traveled west earlier than that.

  122. 122
    Sab says:

    @Cermet: Except it is probably not easy to bid construction contracts these days when you don’t know the costs of materials ( tariffs) or fuel (gas for your equipment.)

    Not that I am feeling sad for them, because mostly all the construction contractors and their workers that I know voted for Trump. Reap what you sow, guys.

  123. 123
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I expect those numbers to worsen once the bombings resume.

  124. 124
    TenguPhule says:

    As soon as Trump gave his speech the DOW dropped like a rock.

    -88.

  125. 125
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: I have no idea. I lived in NY for just shy of one year.

  126. 126
    Elizabelle says:

    @TenguPhule: Nah. It can just shrivel, turn green or black or both, and then fall off.

    I don’t care what is the mechanism ….

  127. 127
    Tokyokie says:

    @HeleninEire: Yeah, that was when Artie was trying his hand at acting. Think Catch-22 was his first movie role, though he later worked for Mike Nichols again in Carnal Knowledge.

  128. 128
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @japa21:
    You wife’s right, he isn’t that smart. But even if it were intentional, it’s still not going to help the GOP in the mid-terms. Too much is currently working against them, more than just the Iran deal or even gas prices. People are unhappy with Republican rule, even Repubicans apparently, as the numbers of registered Rs is decreasing.

  129. 129
    Elizabelle says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: I bow to your experience; I have none there.

  130. 130
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sherparick: If you had 144 Eli Lakes you’d have gross stupidity.

  131. 131
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @TenguPhule:

    TPP, Paris Accords, damage to NATO, the Iran deal, increased oil prices.

    So much winning – for Putin.

  132. 132
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @ruemara: Sounds like he has the makings of an excellent Chief Warrant Officer.

  133. 133
    JPL says:

    @sherparick: Blackmailing our allies is so the new normal. Thanks for the information.

  134. 134
    Gex says:

    @TenguPhule: Not to mention the lifetime appointments to the bench that will invalidate the legislation and regulations and structures we attempt to install to fix things.

  135. 135
    HeleninEire says:

    @Tokyokie: He went to high school with Adam Silverman’s mom. I was late to the thread a week ago when Adam told us that, but I said out loud to no one in the room “Forest Hills, represent” I lived there for 16 years and within a mile of it Elmhurst, Rego Park, for a total of 30 years. Headed back in 3 weeks. Looking forward to seeing the old neighborhood(s).

  136. 136

    @ruemara: I don’t think everything was invented in India. I just want credit where credit is due.

  137. 137
    Elie says:

    @Jeffro:

    However…other than the tax cut giveaway, and Gorsuch + other judicial appointments…he hasn’t destroyed anything we can’t fix in relatively short order, provided that we win back the House in 2018, and then the rest in 2020.

    You are dreaming my friend. His minions are eating up our agencies and long standing safety net policies like termites. We’ll have holes and it will take years and billions/trillions that we won’t have from all the wars we WILL have to fix. Meantime, the rest of the world goes on without us. We will never catch up. When you lose a seat at the table, you can’t come back to the table. Your place is taken by someone else. All those lefties wanting the end of the US empire — well, you have your wish… How does it feel?

  138. 138
    eemom says:

    @Elizabelle:

    It’s so tiny and covered in fat he might not notice it’s gone. 🤢

  139. 139
    raven says:

    @HeleninEire: You never saw Catch-22? I camped on the bay where it was filmed in Mexico in 1972!

  140. 140
    Chyron HR says:

    Yeah but Bernie said that Hillary is a “whore” who stole his nomination and that the world must burn for denying him.

  141. 141
    Sab says:

    @schrodingers_cat: SC: Off Topic. I vented yesterday about an NPR (or possibly PRI or Marketplace) piece I heard on my local NPR station about Bhutan’s happiness index, and that they were arguably the happiest country in the world.

    Seeing as how my smallish city has several thousand Bhutanese refugees who fled here in fear of their lives, I am wondering which geniuses at NPR national, and also at our local station, allowed this piece of ‘journalism’ on the air.

  142. 142
    rikyrah says:

    @Cacti:

    I’d love to see Preet Bharara take a run at NY Attorney General.

    So would I.

  143. 143
    Jeffro says:

    @TenguPhule: I said “relatively”.

    Just think of all the fresh hires in 2021 with “Obama Foundation” on their resumes? No?

  144. 144
    Jeffro says:

    @Cermet: China what?? Does not like being/doesn’t want to be top dog? Oh my….

  145. 145
    germy says:

    When @DevinNunes is a private citizen next year maybe he'll work as a film critic who doesn't bother to watch the movies he pans
    — Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) May 7, 2018

  146. 146
    trollhattan says:

    @PaulWartenberg:
    Trump is doing Likud’s bidding so well I’m wondering what’s Hebrew for “Dance motherfucker, dance!”

    “No puppet, no puppet…” rinse and repeat.

  147. 147
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Even our conventional might aside, invading the US is not an option for anybody in an era of nuclear ICBMs; that’d just be global suicide. So nobody is going to try it.

  148. 148
    eemom says:

    @HeleninEire:

    As I mentioned on that thread, Paul Simon wrote The Only Living Boy In New York for Art (“Tom”) when he left for Mexico to film Catch 22. Beautiful song.

  149. 149

    @Adam L Silverman: Its an awesome movie. Great performances by Shabana Azmi, Sanjeev Kumar, Tom Alter and Amjad Khan. Its about the Nawab of Awadh and his courtiers who spent their days playing chess, hunting writing poetry, choreographing a new dance form (Kathak) while ignoring the enemy(the British) at the gates.

  150. 150
    randy khan says:

    I don’t find it surprising – you could have predicted this from his campaign rhetoric – but it is remarkable how much this Administration has turned from working with other countries to going it alone. It’s not exactly isolationist, in that the Administration wants to deal with other countries, but the approach more or less is to insist that everyone fall in line with the U.S., whether or not it makes any sense to the other countries (or even for the U.S.). As mentioned above, you saw it with the Paris Accord, but also in pulling out of the TPP (rather than trying to fix it) and even in dealing with NATO and the new NAFTA negotiations. It reflects a profound misunderstanding of how foreign policy works.

  151. 151
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jeffro:

    he hasn’t destroyed anything we can’t fix in relatively short order

    I disagree. He’s made it extremely clear in international relations that, even if a sane administration takes over in the future, nothing we say can be trusted over the long term–we’ll someday happily pull out of any agreement that upsets right-wingers.

  152. 152

    Is it better or worse that Team Trump is barely trying to convince anyone who wasn’t already against the deal?

  153. 153
    rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    Amid crab industry labor shortage, Maryland Rep. Harris says approval of 15,000 guest worker visas ‘imminent’
    BY Scott Dance
    The Baltimore Sun

    Federal immigration officials have agreed to approve 15,000 new guest worker visas for seasonal work, including in a Maryland crab industry grappling with a significant labor shortage, U.S. Rep. Andy Harris said Thursday.

    U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services would not confirm any changes to its H-2B visa program, which brings 66,000 immigrants to the country for work that employers can show they are unable to hire Americans to do.

    But Maryland’s lone Republican congressman said the expected approval was imminent, and that he is working with President Donald Trump’s administration to find a way to raise the cap on the visas or to allow Maryland seafood businesses to employ workers through a different visa program.

    Still, he acknowledged that the 15,000 additional visas “is probably not going to be adequate.”

    ………………………………………….

    The visa program was overwhelmed with demand this year, leaving Eastern Shore seafood processing plants without 40 percent of their typical work force, which picks the crabs and produces the meat used in restaurants and sold in supermarkets.

  154. 154
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Brachiator:
    In that Haaretz piece one thing stood out boldly to me. Hoping the Iranians have carefully thought this through.

    The one thing that could upset this balance is Iran launching a war against Israel, either directly or by activating Hezbollah and its hundreds of thousands of guided missiles pointed at Israeli targets from Lebanon.
    Should this happen, it will certainly provoke a severe diplomatic response from the U.S. but will also make it eminently more difficult for the E3 powers – Britain, France, and Germany – to argue that Iran is behaving responsibly and that it is worth continuing to engage with the regime.
    Iran does not want to give any of the countries on the other side of the Iran deal an excuse to exit it. The best excuse it could provide would be a war that targets Israeli population centers and infrastructure, decimating the north and sending millions of Israelis into bomb shelters.

  155. 155
    ruemara says:

    @HeleninEire: Forest Hills? Lol, how many queens folks are here? I actually may be back in town for NYCC in Octo.

    @schrodingers_cat: I know. But the exchange reminded me of my friend.

  156. 156
    TenguPhule says:

    And to cap off an already shitty day, the BJ ads are fucking yanking the screen around to demand they be watched.

    Goddamnit Alain!

  157. 157
    rikyrah says:

    When I think of Iran and those who want war, I always go back to the movie – Syriana.
    In it, there’s a scene of a ‘ Committee for a Free Iran’….
    and, everyone in the meeting was a White Male.
    That scene always stuck with me.

  158. 158
    TenguPhule says:

    @rikyrah:

    The visa program was overwhelmed with demand this year, leaving Eastern Shore seafood processing plants without 40 percent of their typical work force, which picks the crabs and produces the meat used in restaurants and sold in supermarkets.

    I don’t eat crab.

    Sucks to be them.

  159. 159
    germy says:

    @trollhattan:

    Trump is doing Likud’s bidding so well I’m wondering what’s Hebrew for “Dance motherfucker, dance!”

    Donald and Bibi both want war with Iran, but I wonder if they can be stalled until they’re both led away from their podiums in handcuffs?

  160. 160
    HeleninEire says:

    @raven: Nope. Read the book but probably back in HS.

    And of course you were on the bay. Your life has been so much more fascinating than most of us here. Also, too? 1972??? I was 10 years old in 1972 OLD MAN!!!

  161. 161
    TenguPhule says:

    @trollhattan:

    well I’m wondering what’s Hebrew for “Dance motherfucker, dance!”

    בן זונה ריקוד, מחול!

  162. 162
  163. 163
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Gex:
    These are Trump appointees right? They’ll do so much illegal/unethical shit that will warrant them being removed.

  164. 164
    TeezySkeezy (formerly the T S you hate) says:

    @Matt McIrvin: The only chance is if we utter obliterate their influence at the polls. De-gerrymander if we get the chance and let the inevitable demographic shift in voting take hold sooner rather than later.

  165. 165
    Cermet says:

    @Jeffro: Sorry, but as the number two economic power, it still has a very small blue water navy and nuclear force nor is it really expanding those significantly – certainly not like russia which China dwarf’s economically. China will be an economic power but with 1/3 of its population at third world level of poverty, and no chance of that changing in the next twenty years, it isn’t going to be the #1 super power even if it tried (and it knows this.) Back to my main point: Historically, it has always avoided such a status (the super power) because of its basic philosophically of looking inward – that is hard to change in a culture. I still don’t see any signs that it is aiming for the goal of being the world’s dominate super power – China wants to be respected by us, yes; dominate us, no.

  166. 166
    rikyrah says:

    Atlanta has a new mayor named Keisha.
    Well, New Orleans won’t be stopped…they have a LaToya :)

    New Mayor LaToya Cantrell takes office: New Orleans ‘A city open to all’
    Updated May 7, 1:32 PM; Posted May 7, 11:51 AM

    By Kevin Litten klitten@nola.com,
    NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

    Mayor LaToya Cantrell ascended to New Orleans’ highest public office Monday (May 7), becoming the first woman to lead the city in its 300-year history, and telling a large audience at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre that “There’s only you and me and the work before us.”

  167. 167
    Amir Khalid says:

    @eemom:
    As I understand, one of the things that drove Artie Garfunkel to try acting was Paul bossing their musical relationship. (They’ve been quarreling since they were 12, those two.) He and George Harrison talked about having that issue in common: being dominated by a guy named Paul.

  168. 168
    trollhattan says:

    Lame duck simultaneously a toad says

    Top Republican Paul Ryan released a statement calling the Iran Deal “deeply flawed” and supporting Trump’s decision.

    “The president is right to insist that we hold Iran accountable both today and for the long-term. There will now be an implementation period for applying sanctions on Iran.

    “During that time, it is my hope that the United States will continue to work with our allies to achieve consensus on addressing a range of destabilising Iranian behaviour – both nuclear and non-nuclear.”

  169. 169
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    They’ll do so much illegal/unethical shit that will warrant them being removed.

    You need to study your federal judicial history a little more.

    There is a lot of shit they can get away with that doesn’t meet impeachment level.

  170. 170
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Elie:
    Well, guys I guess we should slit our wrists now and get it over with.

  171. 171
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    57% of Arab youth surveyed this year see the U.S. as an enemy, and 35% consider the U.S. an ally. That’s almost a complete reversal of the numbers from 2016.

    Damn.

  172. 172
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    Checkmate Libtards ! Yarrrrghhh !

  173. 173
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Define impeachment level

  174. 174
    TenguPhule says:

    @trollhattan: Amazing how we hold them accountable by both revoking the deal and not applying sanctions until a later date.

    Schrodinger’s Accountability.

  175. 175
    Sloane Ranger says:

    CNN reporting that the Pentagon has Intel that Iran is preparing to attack Israel. Israeli MOD saying bomb shelters being prepared in Golan Heights.

    How convenient!

  176. 176
    HeleninEire says:

    @eemom: I saw them in Central Park in 1982. I had just moved to NYC an independent woman in what it turns out was a hell hole full of crime. I was 19 and didn’t care (and quite frankly didn’t know). I was out of the hell hole in which I was living.

    Anyway, I was on the subway going back to Queens a little bit drunk. I pulled the paper sign off the subway window announcing the concert and telling people how to get there by public transportation. I wanted it as a souvenir. Some dumb ass old lady called me a dirty name (can’t remember what) and I flipped her the bird. MY FIRST BIRD FLIPPED TO AN ADULT EVER).

    Good times.

  177. 177
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @ruemara:

    I lived in Flushing for a year, in 1965-66. May I play? :-)

  178. 178
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Being able to legally remove them from the bench.

  179. 179
    rikyrah says:

    Harry and Meghan to Move Into Flat Next to William and Kate, With Connecting Door
    Harry and William have always been close. Now they’ll be closer than ever, as their apartments will have an interconnecting door.
    TOM SYKES
    05.08.18 8:35 AM ET

    Talk about brothers-in-arms.

    Prince Harry is to move in next door to his brother Prince William shortly after his marriage to Meghan Markle, according to reports.

    Harry, 33, is to take over Apartment 1 in Kensington Palace, which boasts an interconnecting door to apartment 1A, better known as the home of Prince William and Kate Middleton and their ever expanding family.

    “Apartment” is in fact something of a misnomer, since both apartments are enormous townhouses spread over some 20 rooms.

    According to a report in the Daily Mail, Harry and Meghan will move into their new apartment as soon as renovations on the property, which has until now been occupied by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, are completed.

    ………………………..

    Harry and Meghan are also reportedly in line for another house in the country—it is said they will be handed York Cottage, in the grounds of the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, by the Queen.

  180. 180
    Bill Arnold says:

    Transcript link (NYTimes, only one spotted so far):
    Read the Full Transcript of Trump’s Iran Nuclear Deal Speech

    The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terror. It exports dangerous missiles, fuels conflicts across the Middle East, and supports terrorist proxies and militias such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

    What’s the story with Iran/Al Qaeda? Is there any substance to it or is it a story (perhaps not true) generated by e.g. some Arab US allies?
    Iran, Saudi Arabia in war of words over allegations of aiding al-Qaeda

  181. 181
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: No, we slit their wrists and use their human resources to fertilize our barren fields. Classic Greek Tragedy as Farce!

  182. 182
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Haven’t federal judges been caught in crimes in the past?

  183. 183
    TenguPhule says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    What’s the story with Iran/Al Qaeda? Is there any substance to it or is it a fiction generated by some Arab US allies?

    Iran is Shiite, Al Queda is Sunni.

    Its not rocket science.

  184. 184
    germy says:

    @HeleninEire:

    I saw them in Central Park in 1982.

    I was there, too. I remember Paul making a joke about a “little concert in the park”

  185. 185
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Sab:

    I represent some Bhutanese refugees (really people of Nepali extraction previously resettled in Nepal but denied Nepali civil rights). It’s pretty damned heartbreaking.

  186. 186
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Haven’t federal judges been caught in crimes in the past?

    Very very rarely. And only because they’ve been stupid.

    Making shitty decisions with no basis in prior law is unfortunately, not disbarring or impeachable.

  187. 187
    D58826 says:

    @germy:

    Donald and Bibi both want war with Iran, but I wonder if they can be stalled until they’re both led away from their podiums in handcuffs?

    Bibi wants to fight a war with Iran to the last American

  188. 188
    germy says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Paul bossing their musical relationship.

    That’s odd. I remembered reading that Artie and their producer bossed the crap out of Simon. I found that odd because he was the one writing the hits. Paul would come to them with various musical ideas, and they’d both say “Nah, we’re not gonna do that.”

    Which led Paul to release his own solo records, doing whatever he wanted, and getting hits on his own. (Here Comes Rhyming Simon, etc.)

  189. 189
    TenguPhule says:

    Iran to negotiate with Europeans, Russia and China about remaining in nuclear deal

    Breaking at Wapo.

    Iranian Pres. Hassan Rouhani said he has directed his diplomats to negotiate with European countries, Russia and China about remaining in the nuclear deal despite the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement.

    But Rouhani said Iran is ready to start unlimited uranium enrichment if these negotiations do not yield benefits in a couple of weeks.

    I’m sure this will go over well in Trumpland. //

  190. 190
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @yeh1a

    Iranian president Rouhani: “Iran will be conferring with the world’s two super powers, Russia and China”

    Burn !

  191. 191
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Ben Zonah (the first two words from right to left in the Hebrew you copied and pasted) means son of a bitch, not motherfucker.

  192. 192
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @randy khan

    Conservatives have issues with the difficulty of multilateral agreements – there are a lot of moving pieces and they tend to be zero sum thinkers.

    Thing is, it was the confusing linkage of bilateral agreements which marked the world diplomatic structure in the run up to The Great War, and we saw how well that worked.

  193. 193
    Brachiator says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    As I understand, one of the things that drove Artie Garfunkel to try acting was Paul bossing their musical relationship. (They’ve been quarreling since they were 12, those two.) He and George Harrison talked about having that issue in common: being dominated by a guy named Paul.

    There was a recent article suggesting that Simon and Garfunkel were each driven by insecurities and an inability to be able to talk things out honestly.

    Searching, I can’t find the damn thing. Reading it was sad. You could see the obvious missed opportunities, and how they misread each other despite having been friends since, what elementary school.

    Lennon and McCartney had similar issues. In a Playboy interview, John trashed some of Paul’s best songs as garbage, and then complained that Paul did not help enough to improve John’s contributions.

  194. 194
    HeleninEire says:

    @ruemara: I’ll be back in November. I want to watch the election live. If you change your plans for Nov. let me know
    @SiubhanDuinne: Yes. Yes you may. Where in Flushing?

  195. 195
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Have you seen the caliber of his hires. Some of these nominations are fucking bloggers with very little experience. These guys are right-wing freaks who won’t be able to resist stepping on their own dicks.

  196. 196
    germy says:

    @D58826: Doesn’t Israel have universal healthcare and unionized fast food workers?

    Try explaining that one to a conservative fox news viewer who hated Obama for being mean to Israel. “Can we have what Israel enjoys?” would be a good question to ask them.

    I tried, but they change the subject.

  197. 197
    beergoggles says:

    They may have invented chess, but they are playing against a bunch of white pieces and it’ll be a heavy lift for those pieces to cast aside centuries of racism and split up.

  198. 198
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    An attack on the Reich by the Poles is imminent.

  199. 199
    Elizabelle says:

    @TeezySkeezy (formerly the T S you hate): Welcome under your new name.

    And I agree with your comment.

  200. 200
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Again, doesn’t rise to the level legally required to remove their asses from the federal bench. Typically the Supreme Court was the one historical check that slapped down the really crazy judges.

  201. 201
    TeezySkeezy (formerly the T S you hate) says:

    @Sloane Ranger: I have no doubt Iran is preparing for war…I mean, John Bolton is advising the President, and we just pulled out of the Nuclear deal, and there is a lot of sabre-rattling going on in Israel and the US. No wonder they are preparing to be attacked.

  202. 202
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sloane Ranger: Nothing on their website, nor on their twitter feed. Got a link?

  203. 203
    Kelly says:

    Right now I’m thinking the most of the US has an underlying misunderstanding of our history and prosperity that’s somewhere along the lines of ” born on third base thinks he hit a triple “

  204. 204
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    You’re still misunderstanding. I’m talking about them getting involved in really obvious pay-to-play scandals that break federal laws.

  205. 205
    Amir Khalid says:

    @germy:
    Well of course Simon and Garfunkel see it all differently. That was Simon’s take on it, right? Like I pointed out, they’ve been quarreling since they were twelve.

  206. 206
    ruemara says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Hey, NYC accepts everyone.

    @HeleninEire: Much hinges on what happens in June, i.e. if I get the tv writing fellowship. Huge longshot, but so am I.

  207. 207

    Trump is a traitor to his country. It’s time congressional democrats said as much.

  208. 208
    D58826 says:

    @germy:

    who hated Obama for being mean to Israel

    I wish Obama hated me to the tune of a 30 billion dollar arms deal with Israel.

  209. 209
    Gex says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Is it your belief a critical mass of them can/will be impeached, thus negating any long term effects of Trump’s appointments?

  210. 210
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    This is one of those Trump speeches where he sounds like his staff gave him a Xanax before he walked out.

    He came out quite late, looking a slight bit zonked (hard to be sure but that was the impression from his motions), then read from the teleprompter[1] sounding drugged on anti-anxiety meds, yes. Wondering what happened in that extra 10 minutes.
    [1] I presume. Didn’t see the teleprompter but he’s no good at impromptu complex speeches.

  211. 211
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: And legalized, subsidized abortion on demand.

  212. 212
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Kelly:
    Yup, a bunch an entitled, coddled fools who are going to find out that nothing lasts forever.

  213. 213
    HeleninEire says:

    @raven: Beautiful. Was also loving the Daniel Boone FB pics of Lil Bit and Bohdi. Just looked back. That was 7 years ago? How old is Bohdi? My bestest favorite pic of them is outside the bakery when Bohdi walked up to you and Lil bit and said “Take me home. Look how still I can sit next to my brother even though I am a puppy. TAKE MY PIC NOW. I AM A PUPPY. I CANT STAND LIKE THIS FOREVER.”

  214. 214
    germy says:

    @Brachiator:

    John trashed some of Paul’s best songs as garbage, and then complained that Paul did not help enough to improve John’s contributions.

    John started a PR campaign against McCartney (aided by the despicable Allen Klein) that was dishonest and vile.

    https://beatlebioreview.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/you-live-with-straights-an-excerpt/

    https://beatlebioreview.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/you-live-with-straights-excerpt-ii/

  215. 215
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    I’m talking about them getting involved in really obvious pay-to-play scandals that break federal laws.

    Have you not been paying attention to the Supreme Court decisions lately?

    Pay to play is essentially legal in all but name under the new requirements required to convict for bribery.

    ETA: see McDonnell v. United States

  216. 216
    Brachiator says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    In that Haaretz piece one thing stood out boldly to me. Hoping the Iranians have carefully thought this through.

    Yeah. Sadly, this just underscores how much a fool Trump is. You don’t have to pick any sides to see that Iran, Israel, Syria, Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US (among others) all have interests in the area, and saber rattling and ignorance can set off any number of bad options, plus a few more that no one has even contemplated.

    And the central American fallacy, more neocon than other, but shared by many, is that only what the US wants matters. The second fallacy is that the US is magically so powerful that it can do anything.

  217. 217
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Cacti: Yes, I agree, the idea that another powerful nation, one with fewer redeeming features than ours, would step into the vacuum once we were no longer the world’s biggest actor was never part of those ultra-lefties’ calculus.

    I think they never got past imagining that Central and South America would flourish without us. To be fair,
    we haven’t always been on the side of angels in our hemisphere. But of course the world is bigger and more complicated than that.

  218. 218
    germy says:

    @D58826:

    I wish Obama hated me to the tune of a 30 billion dollar arms deal with Israel.

    That particular detail was not discussed much on Fox News.

  219. 219
    Jeffro says:

    @Matt McIrvin: wasn’t that always the case?

    The only thing different now is, the world understands the US – unless it fixes the flaws that allowed “this” to happen – is just like the rest of them, and doesn’t always make progress in a straight line

  220. 220
    cwmoss says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Pedantry Patrol here. It’s “its,” not “it’s”.

    As you were.

  221. 221
    Yutsano says:

    @ Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) :

    as the numbers of registered Rs is decreasing

    This is unfortunately temporary. Once it’s safe to be a Republican again they’ll come back home.

  222. 222
    Jeffro says:

    Obama just dropped his statement on Trumpov Hoo boy

  223. 223

    @rikyrah: Huh. I wonder if someone kicked the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester out to make room!

  224. 224
    HeleninEire says:

    @ruemara: Well keep in touch. I lived right outside of NYC for 19 years and then 35 in the city. I can send you in the right direction.

  225. 225
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Well,then I guess there will be have to be “accidents” arranged for them.

  226. 226
    Jeffro says:

    There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. That’s why the United States negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first place.

    The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working – that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense. The JCPOA is in America’s interest – it has significantly rolled back Iran’s nuclear program. And the JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish – its inspections and verification regime is precisely what the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea. Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes – with Iran – the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans.

    That is why today’s announcement is so misguided. Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated. In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.
    Debates in our country should be informed by facts, especially debates that have proven to be divisive. So it’s important to review several facts about the JCPOA.

    First, the JCPOA was not just an agreement between my Administration and the Iranian government. After years of building an international coalition that could impose crippling sanctions on Iran, we reached the JCPOA together with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia, China, and Iran. It is a multilateral arms control deal, unanimously endorsed by a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

    Second, the JCPOA has worked in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. For decades, Iran had steadily advanced its nuclear program, approaching the point where they could rapidly produce enough fissile material to build a bomb. The JCPOA put a lid on that breakout capacity. Since the JCPOA was implemented, Iran has destroyed the core of a reactor that could have produced weapons-grade plutonium; removed two-thirds of its centrifuges (over 13,000) and placed them under international monitoring; and eliminated 97 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium – the raw materials necessary for a bomb. So by any measure, the JCPOA has imposed strict limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and achieved real results.

    Third, the JCPOA does not rely on trust – it is rooted in the most far-reaching inspections and verification regime ever negotiated in an arms control deal. Iran’s nuclear facilities are strictly monitored. International monitors also have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, so that we can catch them if they cheat. Without the JCPOA, this monitoring and inspections regime would go away.

    Fourth, Iran is complying with the JCPOA. That was not simply the view of my Administration. The United States intelligence community has continued to find that Iran is meeting its responsibilities under the deal, and has reported as much to Congress. So have our closest allies, and the international agency responsible for verifying Iranian compliance – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    Fifth, the JCPOA does not expire. The prohibition on Iran ever obtaining a nuclear weapon is permanent. Some of the most important and intrusive inspections codified by the JCPOA are permanent. Even as some of the provisions in the JCPOA do become less strict with time, this won’t happen until ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years into the deal, so there is little reason to put those restrictions at risk today.

    Finally, the JCPOA was never intended to solve all of our problems with Iran. We were clear-eyed that Iran engages in destabilizing behavior – including support for terrorism, and threats toward Israel and its neighbors. But that’s precisely why it was so important that we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Every aspect of Iranian behavior that is troubling is far more dangerous if their nuclear program is unconstrained. Our ability to confront Iran’s destabilizing behavior – and to sustain a unity of purpose with our allies – is strengthened with the JCPOA, and weakened without it.

    Because of these facts, I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake. Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East. We all know the dangers of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. It could embolden an already dangerous regime; threaten our friends with destruction; pose unacceptable dangers to America’s own security; and trigger an arms race in the world’s most dangerous region. If the constraints on Iran’s nuclear program under the JCPOA are lost, we could be hastening the day when we are faced with the choice between living with that threat, or going to war to prevent it.
    In a dangerous world, America must be able to rely in part on strong, principled diplomacy to secure our country. We have been safer in the years since we achieved the JCPOA, thanks in part to the work of our diplomats, many members of Congress, and our allies. Going forward, I hope that Americans continue to speak out in support of the kind of strong, principled, fact-based, and unifying leadership that can best secure our country and uphold our responsibilities around the globe.

  227. 227
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Brachiator:
    When Paul took part in the NYC March For Our Lives this year, he said it was important to him because he’d lost “one of my best friends” to gun violence nearby. Relationships are complicated.

  228. 228
    Sab says:

    @cwmoss:
    Adam:
    Ta-nehisi Coates can’t spell either, and much of what he writes is brilliant.

  229. 229
    ruemara says:

    @HeleninEire: Oh, I grew up in NYC. It looks like a Disneyfied wonderland right now and my small town attuned senses are on overload within minutes of landing, but, still a NYCer.

  230. 230
    Brachiator says:

    @germy:

    John started a PR campaign against McCartney (aided by the despicable Allen Klein) that was dishonest and vile.

    And they never had a chance to make things right. Sad.

    @rikyrah:

    Mayor LaToya Cantrell ascended to New Orleans’ highest public office Monday (May 7), becoming the first woman to lead the city in its 300-year history

    Well, if you ignore that week when Marie Laveau took over…

  231. 231
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sab: The difference is that Coates writes for publications with actual editors to catch these things.

  232. 232
    Elie says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Nope. But we must not have any illusions about the damage being done and what its gonna take to fix. If we go about it like snap snap, it will be fixed… we won’t be able to have the gumption for the long haul. It will be a long haul that we must make, but I would rather be clear eyed about what that means.

  233. 233
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Israel has upped the ante:

  234. 234
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    US, under the current President, as the rogue nation.

    Make America Great Again!

  235. 235
    The Moar You Know says:

    I don’t think everything was invented in India. I just want credit where credit is due.

    @schrodingers_cat: India invented the swastika, but somehow nobody wants credit for that.

  236. 236
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Jeffro:
    I miss this guy so much.

  237. 237
    eemom says:

    @HeleninEire:

    We are the same age! And I was at that concert too.

    Ah, to be young again…..

  238. 238
    Brachiator says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    When Paul took part in the NYC March For Our Lives this year, he said it was important to him because he’d lost “one of my best friends” to gun violence nearby.

    Yes, I saw that. There was something about the way he said, “one of my best friends,” not “John, Lennon, of the famous Beatles.”

  239. 239
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Jeffro: You know that’s all good and all, but it’s whole sentences with correct grammatical structure. In MAGA land right now there are many hardons, that is all that counts.

  240. 240
    Elizabelle says:

    @eemom: When we were young, we had the Beatles.

    That is huge.

  241. 241
    ohthatguy says:

    c’mon America!
    Don’t be dumb.
    Don’t be shortsighted
    Don’t be unreliable

    BE BEST!

  242. 242
    Jeffro says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: The replies on his FB page are funny…”can you please run again, but like under a different name or something? Schmarack Schmobama?”

  243. 243
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: When just ONE tail wagging the dog won’t do…Bibi’s there to help!

  244. 244
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Fuckity fuck.

  245. 245
    germy says:

    There are few issues more important to the security of the US than the potential spread of nuclear weapons or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. Today’s decision to put the JCPOA at risk is a serious mistake. My full statement: https://t.co/4oTdXESbxe— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 8, 2018

  246. 246
    eemom says:

    @TenguPhule:

    McDonnell v. United States

    God, that thing is fucked. I still can’t believe it was unanimous. WTF, Breyer/Sotomayor/Ginsburg/Kagan??

  247. 247

    @The Moar You Know: Swastika was appropriated by the Nazis. Hindu swastika is red and not tilted at an angle. You will find it used in religious ceremonies and functions all over South Asia. So yes the swastika has Indian origins as the does the word Aryan which means pure in Sanskrit. So fucking what?

    ETA: I don’t see why India needs to be ashamed about what Nazis did with the symbol they appropriated from Hindu iconography.

  248. 248
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Haaretz is reporting that Israeli jets are blowing shit up in Damascus in “anticipation” of Iranian retaliation for a previous Israeli raid.

    I’m eager to see Netanyahu and the rest of his Likud cabal stand some human rights/war crimes trials.

  249. 249
    Sab says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Ours are the same (Bhutanese nationals, ethnic Nepalis). I hope yours are doing well. Ours have revitalized a very troubled part of my city. Commercial districts that have been boarded up since the sixties riots are now open for business, with Nepali grocery stores, restaurants and clothing boutiques. Also furniture stores and accounting firms. I know teachers in those schools who are thrilled with these students.

    Sanctuary cities, yeah!

  250. 250
    The Moar You Know says:

    Obama just dropped his statement on Trumpov Hoo boy

    @Jeffro: Now every Republican in the goddamn world thinks that asswipe Trump did the right thing. Not that any of them can or will read past the first iteration of “this was a mistake”.

  251. 251
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @HeleninEire:

    Where in Flushing?

    Sanford Avenue. Couldn’t begin to tell you the address, but Main Street was the nearest intersection, and we were close enough to Flushing Meadow to see (and hear!) the World’s Fair from our living room.

  252. 252
    japa21 says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: So they are doing a retaliatory raid against a retaliation that hasn’t happened yet.

  253. 253
    HeleninEire says:

    @eemom: Nah I gotta disagree. Young is good. But I swear I LOVE being 55. If someone had told me that getting old would be this good I would have done it years ago. I love this age.

  254. 254
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Brachiator:

    You don’t have to pick any sides to see that Iran, Israel, Syria, Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US (among others) all have interests in the area, and saber rattling and ignorance can set off any number of bad options, plus a few more that no one has even contemplated.

    Yeah. Everyone interested in peace in the Middle East has just had big piles of carnivorous worms dumped on their plates.
    (Some of the pro-war advocates are Armageddon-now types.)

  255. 255
    Sab says:

    @schrodingers_cat: We have an early twentieth century apartment building in my city on hill overlooking downtown with a giant swastika in the brickwork. Its black, and not on an angle. I always figured it was a ‘wheel of life’ and not Nazi, but it’s still jarring to see.

  256. 256
    burnspbesq says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Give her a fucking chance, Eeyore.

  257. 257
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Haaretz is reporting that Israeli jets are blowing shit up in Damascus in “anticipation” of Iranian retaliation for a previous Israeli raid.

    AKA trying to provoke Iran’s proxies into an attack on Israel. Evil.

  258. 258
    HeleninEire says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Yeah I know exactly where you were. If you ever get back to Queens I will take you there. For old times sake.

  259. 259
    Sab says:

    @HeleninEire: @Adam L Silverman: That was back when he blogged for the Atlantic. Now his editors do catch those things.

  260. 260
    Jeffro says:

    @The Moar You Know: They would have thought that regardless of what Obama did or said. The statement is for the rest of us, the sane ones. Also history.

  261. 261
    afanasia says:

    @JPL: I hope your station is still airing Mr Rogers reruns. He’s been very helpful this year.

  262. 262

    @Sab: Usually in Hindu religious ceremonies a small swastika is drawn to consecrate the ground/space in either water, sandalwood paste or red paste. Its usually tiny, 2 to 4 inches at most.

    ETA: And wiped away after the ceremony is over.

  263. 263
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @japa21: Preemptive retaliation. All the cool warmongers are doing it!

  264. 264
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @HeleninEire:

    Would be fun to see it again, although we were there for only a year or a little less. We moved to Manhattan (7 West 14th Street, corner of 5th, before you ask) and lived there the next three years. When I think back on NYC, that’s what I usually remember. The Gristede’s in the apartment building and everything.

  265. 265
    Bill Arnold says:

    From the transcript (and the audio was just as irritating):

    …this disastrous deal gave this regime — and it’s a regime of great terror — many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash — a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States.

    No, D.J. Trump. Besides the counterfactual[1] (not a gift, it was their money), You Do Not Speak For All American Citizens.
    10s of millions of them are embarrassed (horrified, more like) that you and your team are dismantling the positive aspects of the reputation of the USA, substantially increasing risks to the US, and damaging the US economy. Who benefits from this?
    [1] “casual lie”

  266. 266
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    In a weird twist, Native Americans/American Indians are also pissed that Hitler stole the swastika, because it’s also an ancient symbol among North American tribes, especially the Navajo.

    If the current theory is right that the people who populated the Americas came from Central Asia, one wonders if the symbol is even older than currently thought and was brought to the Americas over 20,000 years ago? 🤔

  267. 267

    @Mnemosyne: The Catholic cross too, is not so different is it? Its just a bold graphic symbol that human beings have gravitated towards since forever.

  268. 268
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Ben Zonah (the first two words from right to left in the Hebrew you copied and pasted) means son of a bitch, not motherfucker.

    Come for the pet pics, stay for the education!

  269. 269
  270. 270
    randy khan says:

    @eemom:

    @TenguPhule:
    McDonnell v. United States

    God, that thing is fucked. I still can’t believe it was unanimous. WTF, Breyer/Sotomayor/Ginsburg/Kagan??

    Speaking as someone who lives in Virginia, that was a seriously strange case. There’s no doubt in my mind that McDonnell did what he did because of the largesse he received, and there were some pretty odd details that pushed it home, like the loan of a sports car (a Ferrari, I think), but Virginia did not have any limits on gifts to politicians at the time, and the case really turned on the question of what constituted official acts that would be sufficient for it to be a crime. McDonnell didn’t, for instance, direct state employees to give the company licenses or permits; essentially what he did was facilitate meetings and expose the company to people who might help it. Since the Supreme Court generally takes the view that you read criminal laws narrowly, it decided that those things weren’t enough. If it had been me, I might have had a different view, but it’s actually pretty consistent with how the Court has ruled in criminal cases before. It’s one of the things that they all tend to agree about.

  271. 271
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    The cross supposedly shows what the Roman execution device looked like, but I think it’s fair to say that it caught on because humans like designs that have two intersecting lines. Russian and other Orthodox crosses are a bit more elaborate and have additional short parallel lines decorating the main two lines.

    The ancient Christians used a fish as their symbol, but it didn’t really catch on with attempted converts who lived inland. I’m sure some scholar has written about how and when the change in symbols happened.

  272. 272
    Kathleen says:

    @Cacti: Not just what Trump does. Look at the how the media have behaved . Look at what’s been going on in the states. Trump is a piece of a big puzzle, which, when you put the pieces together, spells “Coup”.

  273. 273

    @Mnemosyne: Hindu rituals also use hand prints and foot prints. Elaborate designs like rangolis are used on special occasions. Yellow and red are auspicious but black is not. Banana leaves, mango leaves, betel leaves and of course coconut are all used in poojas. I am not particularly religious but I love the smell of all these fragrances mingled with sandalwood, incense, camphor etc. Very therapeutic and the Sanskrit chants too.

  274. 274
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Literally it is son of a whore (woman who violates the sexual laws), but it is the closest thing in Hebrew to son of a bitch, so that’s what’s used. Hebrew actually has few of what we’d think as curse words and my understanding is that a lot of the curse type insults are literally borrowed from Arabic.

  275. 275

    @Adam L Silverman: Wow you can curse in Hebrew! I has an impressed. My Sanskrit is at the kindergarten level.

  276. 276
    Kathleen says:

    @Sab: Too busy scavenging for economically anxious and skeeeeered Trump voters.

  277. 277
    Chris says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    The only thing I think could disillusion Trumpers and the GOP voters at this point would be the United States getting the crap beat out of it like Germany and Japan did in WW2. Same with the Ottoman Empire in WW1 and it’s successor state, the Republic of Turkey.

    The U.S. got the living shit beat out of it in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and it didn’t exactly cover itself with glory in Korea either. But I agree that it probably needs to lose by much worse for it to have an impact, which is unfortunate not only for the obvious reasons, but also because I can’t see any loss like that happening today without ending in a nuclear exchange.

  278. 278
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I used to be non native fluent in Hebrew and functional in Arabic. Now I can barely speak English.

  279. 279

    @Adam L Silverman: Bad influence of the jackals or the Florida man?

  280. 280
    Chris says:

    @MomSense:

    Why the hell does Israel think this will be good for their interests??

    Israel for now is like America, under the thumb of what is essentially a fascist faction. Such people aren’t exactly renowned for either understanding their country’s interest or caring about it. And like America, it’s going to stay that way until the non-fascists get their shit together.

  281. 281
    J R in WV says:

    @HeleninEire:

    I was in the USN handling torpedoes as cargo in 1972… about to be drafted in ’70, so I enlisted. Interesting, never would have learned what I did learn without that Navy hitch.

  282. 282
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    However, there may be better days ahead. This should add to the zeal with which sane voters get rid of this vile regime. There’s your regime change.

    As long as the U.S. government keep going back and forth between Democrat and Republican every few years, though, that’s not a long-term solution.

  283. 283
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @schrodingers_cat: ha!

  284. 284
    Chris says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    @Cacti: Yes, I agree, the idea that another powerful nation, one with fewer redeeming features than ours, would step into the vacuum once we were no longer the world’s biggest actor was never part of those ultra-lefties’ calculus.

    You know how much these lefties’ opposition to U.S. hegemony is tied to U.S. promotion of hardcore, laissez-faire, exploitative, rapacious capitalism? One thing I wonder more and more is if any of them realize how many other countries, including great powers, are run by elites that are every bit as bad on that front as the U.S. and then some. There are robber-barons in Russia, in China, in Brazil, etc, that would eat the Koch brothers for breakfast, pick their bones clean, grind them down into soylent, and feed it to their children. Their fantasy of bringing down U.S. hegemony isn’t somehow going to magically make the world less exploitatively capitalist, not with these people waiting to fill the vacuum.

  285. 285
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Haven’t had any reason to use them. So the skills have diminished over time.

  286. 286
    Chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I actually thought I was making progress with my Persian after those couple months of an intensive language class at ASU. Then I didn’t go back the following summer because something came up, and then I had no time to study because writing a thesis is a time-consuming bitch, and, and, and… and now I don’t even remember the phrase for “please sir where bathroom?”

    Languages are like riding a bike, except, the exact opposite.

  287. 287
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mnemosyne: The swastika seems like the kind of symbol that would be easy to re-invent independently. Lots of cultures all over the world use some kind of multi-armed pinwheel symbol. Sometimes they have three arms instead of four, sometimes the arms are curved instead of bent. Sometimes it’s anthropomorphic legs, like the symbol on the flag of the Isle of Man.

    Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan had this weird idea that it came from a prehistoric apparition of a spinning comet with multiple jets coming out of the nucleus, but I really don’t think you need any such hypothesis.

  288. 288
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Matt McIrvin: might be easy to reinvent if it hadn’t been the symbol of such horror. Genocide and whatnot hurt brand value.

  289. 289
    Tehanu says:

    @randy khan:

    It reflects a profound misunderstanding of how foreign policy works.

    No, it reflects a profound contempt for every other country in the world based on total ignorance: “We’re the richest and most powerful, ergo, all those other places are just worthless and their people are scum we can do whatever we want to.” “Misunderstanding” assumes that Dump et al. actually try to understand, or would be willing to admit they were wrong about anything.

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