Saturday Morning Open Thread: It’s Good to Be A Democrat

We fight the *good* fights!

Even when they’re not the easy fights…

After all, it’s not as though the Repubs will go away easily…


Donny Dollhands: King of the Frailly Masculine!

239 replies
  1. 1
    Kathleen says:

    Good Morning, AL & fellow Juicers. Summoning energy to go to the Y in this rain.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    @Kathleen: Good morning.

  3. 3
    Central Planning says:

    @Kathleen: You can do it! I’m heading out to exercise in 20 minutes.

  4. 4
    Kathleen says:

    @Baud: Good Morning, Baud!

  5. 5
    Kathleen says:

    @Central Planning: Good Morning! I wanted to run outside this morning because it’s warmish but way too wet. Trying to figure out what to do indoors. StairMaster is usual fallback. Have a great workout.

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄 😄😄

  7. 7
    rikyrah says:

    You can do it 🤗

  8. 8
    Betty Cracker says:

    You gym rats are making me feel guilty; we’re about to go to IHOP! But we will work off our Froot Loop and cream cheese sugar topped pancakes by scraping walls and painting all day. Rainy here too.

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    Dragging this up from downstairs as a television FYI for others who expressed a fondness for the like of Detectorists.

    Speaking of shows, as I recall you mentioned liking Detectorists, so a couple of on the gentle side dramedies from New Zealand found on Amazon Prime which you might or might not find a decent pastime. Both innocuous enough that one doesn’t have to be paying strict attention and can have them playing while puttering around doing real stuff. Not recommendations so much as just pointing them out, but not thumbs down either.

    Nothing Trivial – centers around a group of people who make up a team at the local pub quiz. Synopsis.

    Step Dave – Thing I most liked was the way the kids were written. Not in the precocious or overly cutesy way too many American shows tend to depict them, they came across as just real kids, particularly the young son. Synopsis. Also visually amusing because, depending on the camera angle, the guy who plays Dave sometimes looks like he stepped in from Brobdingnag – one of those people who (contradictory as it sounds) could be described as too tall for his height. A few almost too unlikable (the way they’re written, not the way they’re played) supporting characters, though.

    @Betty Cracker

    So old can remember when IHOP’s menu actually listed offerings by country.

  11. 11
    Kathleen says:

    @rikyrah: Good Morning, rikyrah. Thanks for the encouragement! I’m slowly pulling myself together.

  12. 12
    John S. says:


    I remember those days, too!

    It really put the “International” in “International House of Pancakes”.

  13. 13
    Kathleen says:

    @Betty Cracker: Enjoy IHOP! I’m headed to Tampa later this week for grandson’s college graduation and it looks like it may be a tad coolish, though that will be improvement over Cincinnati weather for the week.

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:


  15. 15
    Raven says:

    @Kathleen: I’m headed to Ft Myers Tuesday! Tight lines.

  16. 16

    We’re going to Einstein’s for bagels.

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Looking at regions by what they search for: erectile dysfunction, hair loss, penis enlargement, penis size, steroids, testosterone + Viagra; Then overlaid with voting patterns.

    That great big super dark splotch S/SW of Chicago? That’s SE Misery and S IL w/ a little bit of KY and AR. Yep, where I live. No wonder I feel like I just don’t quite fit in.

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: In moderation… for quoting something Anne put in the post. I should’ve known better.

    Looking at regions by what they search for: erectile dysfunction, hair loss, p3nis enlargement, p3nis size, steroids, testosterone + Viagra; Then overlaid with voting patterns.

    That great big super dark splotch S/SW of Chicago? That’s SE Misery and S IL w/ a little bit of KY and AR. Yep, where I live. No wonder I feel like I just don’t quite fit in.

  19. 19
    NotMax says:


    Blech indeed.

    Reordered cigars by phone on Monday, minutes after the place opened at 9 a.m. their time, and was assured the package would ship out that same day (which it usually does for orders placed in the morning).

    Checked just now and it didn’t ship out until very late on Tuesday. USPS site says delivery today, Saturday. Fingers crossed that is so, otherwise am ewed-scray. Have been experiencing massive delays from USPS for the past month, including 11 days for a priority letter (not package, letter) to arrive from the east coast. Going the other way though, the opposite. Card mailed to step-sister in NY six days before her birthday got there in two.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    NotMax says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor

    And here I thought people only went to Einstein’s in theory.


  22. 22
    Cermet says:

    Morning Jackals. Glad the Smash is making a diverse group to support her.

    Me, more floor work putting new carpet down in all the bedrooms. Then breaking to study more General Relativity and related tensor calculus. All in all, a normal weekend.

  23. 23
    JPL says:

    @Kathleen: Congrats to the grandson!

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: Considering we are on the cusp of the holidays…

  25. 25
  26. 26
    NotMax says:


    Am reminded of Northern Exposure. “We’re on the cusp of the Alaskan Riviera.”


  27. 27
    Lapassionara says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: SE MO is Mississippi on steroids, politically speaking. Where Rush L was born and raised, among others.

    Good morning, everyone.

  28. 28
    delk says:

    @Raven: number 1 on that list just closed.

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lapassionara: You know the Hall of Famous Missourians in the capitol building? You know Rush is honored there? I don’t know but I have heard that every morning they have to clean up a puddle of puke from in front of Mark Twain’s bust.

  30. 30
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ondrea Patrick had worked at the Kmart in Rockford, Illinois for nine years. In September, Patrick’s store announced it would close as its owner, Sears Holdings, struggled with falling sales and mounting debts.

    A month later, Sears, once the world’s largest retailer and a part of America’s cultural fabric for more than 100 years, filed for bankruptcy – putting thousands of workers’ jobs at risk.

    Patrick said: “I am a mother who has four biological children and one stepson, and my income is all we have. When you take away our only income, you leave us with nothing – and we don’t deserve nothing. Mentally and physically it drags on you. It’s like saying you’re not good enough. And we’re all good enough.”

    Sheila Brewer worked at the same Kmart in Rockford for 17 years as a full-time employee. Four weeks into receiving severance pay, a bankruptcy court stopped the rest of the payments. In the meantime, Sears executives have petitioned to receive up to $25m in bonuses.

    Brewer said: “It was a big toll emotionally and financially. It’s a big slap in the face, them telling me I can’t get the rest of my severance because of bankruptcy.

    “Yet they’re petitioning in court to get bonuses for the executives when that money could go into a plan or some kind of package deal for full and part-time employees to receive some sort of package. [It would help] to pay bills to help us get back on our feet.”

  31. 31
    Platonailedit says:

    2018 lesson for dems. Don’t ever fucking concede before all votes are fucking counted.

  32. 32
    Immanentize says:

    Katherine Clark, my former State Senator who won Markey’s House seat when he beat Scott Brown to go to the Senate…

    She is now #5 in House leadership! Vice Caucus Chair. That right there was a meteoric rise (she is sitting, far left)

  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I love the smell of cave mud in the morning. Time for me to head for the darkness. Y’all play nice now, ya heah?

  34. 34
    NotMax says:


    You know Rush is honored there?

    No Jesse James or Little Britches? Repubs haven’t tried to sneak in Kenneth Lay and James Earl Ray?

  35. 35
    Immanentize says:

    Katherine Clark’s nice name checking of the top leadership team:

    Today, we took another step forward by electing a leadership team that similarly reflects the American people and their vision for our democracy. With Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, Majority Whip Clyburn, Assistant Democratic Leader Lujan, Caucus Chair Jeffries, and the rest of the leadership team, House Democrats are ready to move an agenda forward that puts the needs of the American people first.

  36. 36
    Immanentize says:


    Kenneth Lay

    I still think there is something super fishy about Lay’s death. Not ill before, Lay suddenly dies (just before having to go to prison) at a family mansion with no others around. Quickly cremated, no autopsy allowed.

    That death, because his case was on appeal, meant he was never officially convicted and his family got to keep all his wealth. Hmmmm.

  37. 37
    debbie says:


    They’re talking about thunderstorms later today. Freakin’ freakish.

  38. 38

    Yay Ben Ray from NM!

  39. 39
    debbie says:


    Jeez, that is some sacrifice for his family.

  40. 40
    MomSense says:


    Lay of the precarious E. Yup that was a very well timed death.

  41. 41
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: or one required by his family.

    How’s retirement today?😎. I hope you have a great celebratory weekend.

  42. 42

    Whatever way you may want to dis George H. W. Bush, please remember that he managed the response to the breakup of the Soviet Union in a way that kept things relatively peaceful and avoided nuclear war. I recall a couple of times, as things spun out, when it wasn’t at all clear that the outcome would be peaceful. He understood an old-fashioned form of diplomacy that we haven’t seen since. It’s not at all clear that any of his successors could have done as well.

  43. 43
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    Came across a delightful piece of artwork in my FB feed this morning. It looks like a knockoff of Guido Reni’s Archangel Michael with the heads replaced: Michael is now Bobby Three Sticks, Satan is Donnie Two Scoops. Poking around took me to a twitter thread that seems to be the earliest appearance.

  44. 44
    debbie says:


    Thanks. It will be if this stupid rain ends. (Yes, it’s better than snow, but…)

  45. 45
    Haroldo says:


    And I’ve got ol’ Seth Moulton. The ignominy, the ignominy.

  46. 46
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Have fun going down. I prefer to go up.

  47. 47
    Platonailedit says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    It’s not at all clear that any of his successors could have done as well.

    Clinton & Obama would have failed? Really? Your gop bias shows.

  48. 48
    Immanentize says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: I like the image, but why does everyone use these super saturated colors nowadays? Is it a product of computer design palette limitations? (See? Everyone is a critic)

  49. 49
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Have a good time.

  50. 50
    Immanentize says:

    @Haroldo: perhaps your Moulton problem can be solved in 2020?

  51. 51
    JPL says:

    Congrats to Lucy McBath also.

  52. 52
    Haroldo says:


    It’ll be Primary Time, fer shure.

  53. 53
    Ken says:

    I take it this means the “Democratic revolt” against Pelosi as Speaker has fizzled? I don’t think the House has actually voted yet – it would be after they convene in January.

  54. 54

    @Platonailedit: It’s not a matter of party but rather of a level of knowledge of the other’s viewpoint and subtlety in one’s moves and ability to apply that knowledge. And I’m talking about the teams as much as the presidents. Clinton definitely couldn’t have done it. He botched a lot, even with the foundation Bush laid. Obama’s team might have done it, but we would have been even more unnerved several times along the way. The weakness in both of them was that they were too political, too willing to triangulate rather than chart a clear diplomatic path and stick to it.

    And Bush 43 and Dolt 45 – well.

  55. 55
    MomSense says:

    So HW regifted me a book Tricksy Dicksy gave him. Both signed it. It’s one of those books from Nixon’s paying for legal fund days. Think I should sell it?

  56. 56
    Platonailedit says:

    @Ken: It was the 3rd rated msm dems in disarray bs as usual.

  57. 57
    Immanentize says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I agree. Also, Bush as former head of the Company had insights developed over years of work regarding the specific player’s motivations. I have many complaints with Papa Bush, but his handling of Soviet dissolution is not one. I credit him with the nuclear “clearing” and buy back program which really reduced the loose nukes problem. At one point, Ukraine was the third nuclear power in the world….

  58. 58
    Immanentize says:

    @MomSense: I’m not sure you could get much for it. I hear Roger Stone has stopped collecting. See if Junior will also sign it when he’s back up in K-Port?

  59. 59
    Schlemazel says:

    @Immanentize: I bet Ukraine wishes they still were.

  60. 60
    Platonailedit says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    What foundation did Bush exactly lay that Clinton botched it up?

    I credit Gorbachev (despite Yeltsin’s antics) for handling the USSR break-up rather than saint raygun or shrub senior.

  61. 61
    HeleninEire says:

    Morning, morning crew. Working up the courage to tell my boss on Monday that I’m leaving. She’s a good boss, but she’s unpredictable. So much so that I may not use her as a reference.

  62. 62
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Bush had the benefit of a Democratic Congress who weren’t going to sell out the country to score cheap political points.

  63. 63
    Immanentize says:

    @HeleninEire: hi HinE

    Answer from days ago question:. Trinity

  64. 64
    Ken says:

    @Platonailedit: Yes. I remember hearing a few days ago that she’d won caucus support and would be Speaker. I just wanted to check that they haven’t actually voted for Speaker yet.

    (I heard about the caucus support from an “MSM again” comment here on BJ. The vote for Pelosi was actually stronger than that for Ryan – fewer defectors, larger absolute number, etc. But of course that was framed as “embattled Pelosi barely fends off challengers”, where Ryan’s was along the lines of “brilliant leader unites party behind him”.)

  65. 65

    @Platonailedit: You don’t seem to know the history. Bush completed a number of arms control agreements that laid the basis for our situation today. HIs son managed to start breaking up that foundation in a big way. Clinton simply ignored that part of it in favor of palling around with his friend Boris.

    Gorbachev indeed deserves a great deal of credit, and he is one of my forever heroes. But it’s never just one country’s business, particularly when that country is one of the two in the Big Cold War Faceoff. If you want to pick out just one big thing that Bush 41 did right and that made all the difference, it was his removal of a large number of nukes from deployment. That assured Gorbachev and, just as important, those who might consider a coup against him, that the US was not going to take advantage of the Soviet Union’s disarray.

  66. 66
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    I didn’t know Bush 41 was older than Jimmy Carter. If Carter lives for about 4 more months he will be the oldest living president ever. I am guessing he is trying to live at least beyond Trumpov’s reign so he doesn’t have to have him give a eulogy. I know I sound selfish here but I this Bish 41 death has taken the media focus off Russia and given Trumpov at least a temporary reprieve.

  67. 67
    HeleninEire says:

    @Betty Cracker: IHOP has the best hash browns. Yeah there’s some potatoes in there but mostly the potatoes are a vehicle for the butter.

  68. 68
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Standing behind Pelosi’s left shoulder is David Cicilline, from my neighboring district, RI-1. Perhaps the only openly gay member of the leadership team (but I like the fact that his sexuality isn’t even mentioned any more in the news.) Quite a step up from Fernand St. Germain.

    First sunny Saturday here in quite some time. Need to finish leaf cleanup, which is way behind schedule, so coffee, then outside.

  69. 69

    @Baud: Definitely a help. Nor had Newt Gingrich come on the scene to break Congress.

  70. 70
    MomSense says:


    It’s a really bad book, too.

  71. 71

    I’ll post only two tweets from this thread. The whole thing is worth reading. But these are principles of arms control that have largely been forgotten, and a few of the levers in foreign policy that HW understood and knew how to work.

  72. 72
    Amir Khalid says:

    It has Richard Nixon’s signature on it. First of all, you need to stab it through with the sword of Godric Gryffindor. After that, it should be safe to handle.

  73. 73
    Kathleen says:

    @Raven: I like Ft Meyers. My grandson attended Gulf Coast University for 2 years. He’s graduating from University of South Florida in Tampa. Will there be fishing?

  74. 74
    Kathleen says:

    @JPL: Thank you!

  75. 75
    Percysowner says:

    @Mai Naem mobile: Trump should use the funeral as a way to keep the attention off himself, but well, it’s TRUMP so somehow he will make it all about him and how much better he was then HW. Or it will rain and Trump will be afraid he’ll melt and not go.

  76. 76
    Raven says:

    @Kathleen: Yea, my homie lives there and lives to fish so we’ll hit local stuff and go to 10,000 Islands Thursday for a 8 hr charter.

  77. 77
    Kathleen says:

    @Lapassionara: Gillian Flynn’s book “Sharp Objects” paints a chilling portrait of southern Missouri. Very Gothic.

  78. 78
    Immanentize says:

    @Kathleen: Congrats, proud GM. What plans are in the young fellow’s future? I assume NOT moving to Cincinnati…

  79. 79
    Platonailedit says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Bush did what any a minimally sane US prez would have done. It’s odd that you conveniently forgot the ‘history’ of Obama’s efforts to secure nukes as a senator and as a prez and managed to trash him. You can keep your Bush hagiography but I am not buying it.

  80. 80
    Kathleen says:

    @debbie: We’re supposed to get up to 57 woot! I’d heard thunderstorms for Cincy today earlier in the week but no mention in this morning’s forecast.Tomorrow is sunny and 60’s. Crazy.

  81. 81
    Mary G says:

    @MomSense: I sold a book with Nixon’s signature in it on eBay for the thrift store my mom started in 1964. It went for a little less than $100, which is not nothing. GHWB stuff will be hot right now, I would think.

  82. 82
    Immanentize says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The Northeast (plus NY) has a LOT of power in the upcoming house. Neal (MA) Chair of Ways and Means. McGovern (MA) Chair of Rules….

  83. 83
    Kathleen says:

    @debbie: Oh, and I was late in the thread when I wished you a Happy Birthday! If you didn’t see it I will wish you a Happy Belated Birthday! I hope you enjoyed it.

  84. 84
    Kathleen says:

    @Raven: Have a beautiful trip!

  85. 85

    @Platonailedit: I suggest reading some history after you take off your partisan spectacles.

  86. 86
    Platonailedit says:

    WSJ: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent at least 11 messages to his closest adviser, who oversaw the team that killed Jamal Khashoggi, in the hours before and after the journalist's death, according to a highly classified CIA assessment.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 1, 2018

    And as usual, the totus thug lied about CIA.

  87. 87
    Kathleen says:

    @HeleninEire: My friend and co-worker would describe that as “a butter delivery system” (she created term “peanut butter delivery system” to describe the various ways we allow ourselves to eat peanut butter at work – carrots, celery, pretzels, crackers, whatever. We’re not picky.

  88. 88
    Platonailedit says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: And I advise you to do the same.

  89. 89
    Schlemazel says:

    I am waiting to see how Dump screws up his tweet about GWB’s death. Note that his staff is an extension of the incompatancy he wallows in. Any decent admin would have had something out pretty quickly after the announcement. These clowns cannot even handle therote stuff

  90. 90
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Immanentize: I don’t know enough about the image. It could be an image of the original painting run through a couple of filters and airbrushed a bit to make it all consistent with the artwork for the faces. It’s clearly not just the original image plus filters.

  91. 91
    Kathleen says:

    @Immanentize: Thank you! He majored in Communications & Marketing and is quite adept in the cybers. He’s talked about getting a job in radio, which is what his great grandfather (my father) did for over 60 years. He and his girl friend spent a week with me last summer and they both loved Cincinnati. Though her family is Puerto Rican, she was born in Indiana. I don’t know if a move to Cincinnati is possible, but who knows. They both loved the hills, river views, revitalized downtown and diversity. We shall see! How are your son’s plans progressing?

  92. 92
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Good for Warren for realizing opposing Drumpf will be great 2020 politics. Biden long ago figured this out, while Wilmer is still pandering to the WWC racist demo.

  93. 93

    @Schlemazel: The staff is on point. Of course, Trump has the opportunity to mess up later.

  94. 94
    debbie says:


    Thanks! I did.

  95. 95
    Schlemazel says:

    I wonder how the family will handle the current occupants attendance at the funeral. Since the time of modern travel has there been a former POTUS planted without the current one in attendance?

    It seems to me though that current is never happy at events where he is not the center of attention. I guess that is something he and I have in common, we look forward to a funeral where he is the center of attention – Pasta hear my plea

  96. 96
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Schlemazel: Generally, no. Nukes are a mixed blessing.

  97. 97
    Schlemazel says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    I missed that. Went looking specifically because I expected a dumpster fire.

  98. 98
    Schlemazel says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    It was a joke given the grim situation they currently find themselves. An exchange between Ukraine & Russia would be a nightmare.

  99. 99
    different-church-lady says:

    @Immanentize: Please: It was Elizabeth Warren who vanquished Brown — poetic symmetry for Coackly’s botchery.

  100. 100
    JPL says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Trump didn’t write either tweet. I hope that Clinton offers an eulogy and trump has to just sit and listen.

  101. 101
    MomSense says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Ha!! Horcruxes are very dark magic indeed.

  102. 102
    JMG says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I would argue that 1. Obama had to be President with one hand tired behind his back as the first African-American President, he always had to triangulate, to be high-minded and conciliatory., because he could never count on national unity in response to a crisis. 2. Circumstances change. Obama was elected in large part due to the revulsion with Iraq War 2. His voters wanted less international involvement. But Bush 41 handled the circumstances he found as well as could be imagined, especially considering that both the collapse of the Soviet Union and the invasion of Kuwait were complete surprises calling for entirely new responses.

  103. 103
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: START II was never ratified by Congress and it collapsed after Idiot Son blew up the ABM Treaty in 2002 resulting in the Russians pulling out of what they had committed to in START II, mostly the removal of multiple warhead delivery (MIRV) busses from silo-emplaced missiles. It was a nice try but it didn’t work.

    The Russians have problems keeping a large fleet of silo-based missiles operational hence their continued deployment of MIRV systems on smaller numbers of launchers — the US has about 450 single-warhead missiles, the Russians about 90 or so and the SS-18 replacement program seems to be not going well for them, probably resulting in even fewer total ready missiles once it’s complete.

  104. 104
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    More significantly (it doth seem to me) nukes are so damn big now that it’s just unthinkable to use them in war. Now I think of it, was there ever a military point to the Cold War era race to build bigger and bigger nukes?

  105. 105
    Dr. Bloor says:

    @Immanentize: Anybody who tries to convince you that Pelosi isn’t setting up the next generation in the caucus is ratfucking you or stone cold ignorant.

  106. 106
    MomSense says:


    If you want to see how moneyed WASPs throw shade, watch the funeral. It will be subtle but deadly.

  107. 107
    Immanentize says:

    @different-church-lady: of course! You are right! Markey = Kerry after a few months by Mo Cowen. It was all so close together — just 6 months or something apart….
    Signed, losing my edge.

  108. 108
    Spanky says:

    @Kathleen: Marketing. Radio. Cincinnati.

    You know that for those of us of a certain age, that combination applies to one certain TV character, right?

  109. 109

    @JMG: I won’t disagree that presidents are tied by the historical circumstances surrounding them. But I think that Clinton started a “seat-of-the-pants” (make of that what you will) approach to diplomacy that set that historical tone for his successors. Thus it was easier for 43 to withdraw from the ABM Treaty (along with the increasing, thanks to Newt, Republican opposition to treaties in general). Obama has a sense of what diplomacy requires, but because of the difficulties you mention and because he did not have the personal history of, for example, being head of CIA and the depth that brings, could not fully put it into action. As I said, I think he could have handled the breakup of the Soviet Union, but it would have been a bumpier ride.

    @Robert Sneddon: I don’t think HW can entirely be blamed for what his idiot son did. And none of that negates my argument that those treaties form a basis for how to think about arms control.

  110. 110

    @Schlemazel: I thought the Bushes loathed Trump. I hope they tell him he’s not wanted, the way McCain’s family did.

  111. 111
    Immanentize says:

    @Kathleen: my cousin (who I like a lot) lives near Cincy — worked for P&G as an engineer. Loves it, but says the politics are hard….

    Meanwhile, both Imm and Immp are still alive after two rounds of applications. Although that was not a certain outcome. November 30 deadlines were met — last night! But he now has 7 solid potentials in the mix. December is clean up month plus the two foreign schools he is applying to: Trinity in Dublin and St. Andrews in Scotland.

  112. 112
    Amir Khalid says:

    I would expect Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, fellow POTUSes (POTi?) and personal friends of HW, to be invited to deliver eulogies. I rather doubt Trump will be invited at all. The funeral will not be a state event, the Bushes are not obligated to invite him, and would any sane family want him at their dad’s funeral?

  113. 113
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Quite a step up from Fernand St. Germain.

    Don’t know much about the person but that’s the kind of name you don’t often find outside of novels

    @Cheryl Rofer: interesting discussion that I don’t really know enough to take part in, but I wonder how much of it was generational, not just in our own political class, but abroad. For all the trouble Gorbachev had with his own people, I imagine there were a lot of people around him who had seen the horrors of WWII, the failure of the Soviet system and just wanted peace.

    As I said last night, one of the things that frustrated me about Poppy was he had it in him to be a much better president (and person) than he was, and a lot of his failures came from a weakness/cynicism in the face of domestic politics. When the country and I were much younger and more naive, his ’88 campaign seemed like a real gutter operation. Then his son’s outfit seemed like the tiger that the monkey had let out of the cage. Now….

  114. 114
    rikyrah says:

    Always was questionable to me too.

  115. 115
    Platonailedit says:

    Trump fundraiser and former deputy RNC finance chair Elliott Broidy received laundered funds, according to federal prosecutors.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 1, 2018

    Every single one of them is a corrupt thug.

  116. 116
  117. 117
    Kathleen says:

    @Spanky: Herb Tarlek I’m sure

  118. 118
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: also

    Peter Baker @ peterbakernyt
    One of the last people to visit George H.W. Bush? Barack Obama, who saw “my buddy 41” while in Houston on Tuesday. At an event that night, Obama said Bush and James Baker “deserve enormous credit for managing the end of the Cold War in a way that could have gone sideways.”

  119. 119
    tobie says:


    In the meantime, Sears executives have petitioned to receive up to $25m in bonuses.

    Any chance the House will put changing individual and corporate bankruptcy laws on the agenda for 2019? It’s obscene that companies that file for bankruptcy are able to cancel all obligations to workers but can still protect the top management’s compensation packages.

  120. 120
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    But I think that Clinton started a “seat-of-the-pants” (make of that what you will) approach to diplomacy that set that historical tone for his successors.

    This seems a bit of a stretch given how Reagan approached foreign policy. I think he’s more of an “intellectual” forbear to W. And Trump than Clinton.

  121. 121
    Baud says:


    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump confirmed that they will attend the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush. Bush died on Friday at age 94.

  122. 122
    rikyrah says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    I thought that all funerals of Former Presidents were State Events

  123. 123
    rikyrah says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    44 visited with 41 just this past week

  124. 124
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Kathleen: In today’s Enquirer, article about a radio station expanding in to-be-built building in Madisonville. Supposedly bringing over a hundred new jobs.

    And I hear Madisonville is the next new Northside (though I remain unconvinced).

  125. 125
    rikyrah says:

    Good luck to Little Imma.
    I am going to date myself…
    May he have a number of fat envelopes in the Spring 🤗

  126. 126
    Amir Khalid says:

    Here’s what I would say to them executives: if the business is doing so badly it must be closed down, they have obviously not done their jobs well enough to deserve bonuses.

  127. 127
    rikyrah says:

    That will not go well.

  128. 128
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Fred was as crooked as a 3-dollar bill. Other than being a Democrat, he’d fit in well in the current administration. He was a co-sponsor of one of the key banking deregulation bills in the early 1980’s that led to the “S&L crisis” of the late 1980’s. Needless to say, he lived the high life courtesy of bank lobbyists.

  129. 129

    @Cheryl Rofer: I defer to your expertise where nukes are concerned and how Bush I handled that. But they did not do much to help with collapsing economy after the fall of the Soviet Union. The power vacuum gave rise the oligarchy eventually to be headed by Putin.
    As for the gratuitous swipe against Obama’s foreign policy team being more political, that’s a matter of opinion isn’t it? Because you didn’t back it up with any examples like you did with Bill Clinton’s team.

  130. 130
    Thoughtful David says:

    Thanks for the recommendations.
    I’m a Detectorists fan, though, and I have to disagree about it being something you can put on in the background while you do other stuff. Case in point is a scene in the 3rd season where the important action is going on wordlessly in the distant background while two main characters talk about something completely different in the foreground. You weren’t watching carefully, you missed it.
    Another thing I really appreciated about the show was that they never hit you over the head with the jokes. Most of them were delivered and then immediately moved on with no recognition that there had been a joke there. Not like every US sitcom that has to give you a laugh track or a cutaway of the characters rolling their eyes or mugging for the camera, to show you they told a joke. In Detectorists, if you weren’t paying attention, you would have missed a lot.

  131. 131
    dr. bloor says:

    @rikyrah: Bloor jr went through the process last year. They don’t send “fat ones” any more, they send fucking media kits.

    Naturally, though, first notifications are online, precisely at 7:32 pm Greenwich Time on some date TBD.

  132. 132
    tobie says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: I think Wilmer shot himself in the foot when he said after the midterms that some white voters in Georgia and Florida were uncomfortable pulling the lever for a black candidate for governor but their discomfort doesn’t mean they are racist. Chris Hayes may have moved past this comment but black voters have not. Nor should they. It was a gross statement.

  133. 133
    Amir Khalid says:

    Matbe, if Adam is around, he can enlighten us on this.

  134. 134

    @Baud: Being an old school R, Cheryl has a soft spot for Bush I and is disgusted by the crude Bill Clinton, like the old country club Rs in Maine, I used to know. Its fairly typical.

    ETA: Most Rs I know in IRL have been fairly well off, upper middle class to filthy rich. Most working people, including MSM favorite WWC I have known have been all Ds.

  135. 135
    Immanentize says:


    fat envelopes in the Spring 🤗

    Ha! Now it’s maybe an email — but check your portal!

  136. 136
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Just checked his Wikipedia and learned that he spelled his surname “St Germain” and not “St. Germain” – no period, because he said he was no saint. On that, at least, he was truthful.

  137. 137
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Immanentize: The Cincinnati outer suburbs remain pretty red but Hamilton County is getting bluer — for the first tine in my 40 years here, all three county commissioners are Democrats, and the newest one is an African-American woman. Even though it’s true, it remains almost unimaginable to me, it is pinch-yourself territory.

    If Ohio is to have any future, we need a younger population. And less gerrymandering.

    Anyway, what an exciting time for Immp! I can’t be believe he’s old enough to apply to college. How quickly they grow up!

  138. 138
    NotMax says:

    @Cheryl Rofer

    Please take care not to strain your back while shoveling out such a massive load of manure. While others would have done worse, all he demonstrated was the barest level of competence accompanied by no alteration of hidebound behaviorism in tandem with the sudden change in circumstances. He didn’t rise to the occasion, he coasted on it.

  139. 139
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I’m ok giving Bush his props on Russia, which could have ended up a lot worse. While I value post hoc analysis, I don’t believe in Monday Morning quarterbacking. It’s why I often resist participating in arguments how Obama could have handled the financial meltdown better.

    But I am also skeptical of reflexively blaming Clinton (or the Clintons) for everything that followed.

  140. 140
    tobie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: My father is 86 and it just so happens that on Wednesday we were talking about previous presidents because we were heading to a lecture on Carter, and my father said that although he had opposed HW Bush during his tenure, in hindsight he had to say that he managed the ending of the Cold War extraordinarily well. I need to call him today to see how he’s dealing with the news of HW’s passing. When you reach a certain age, the death of prominent people in your generation is always a reminder of your own mortality.

  141. 141
    B.B.A. says:

    In honor of Poppy Bush, I’m going to Japan to puke on the Prime Minister.

  142. 142

    @Baud: When in doubt, blame a Clinton. Its the first rule of punditry.

  143. 143

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Definitely a generational thing. In the late 40s and early 50s, a political battle was fought in the US over whether the policy toward the Soviet Union should be containment or rollback. It was a faction of the Republican Party, led by Robert Taft and John Foster Dulles, that wanted rollback. Ike won with containment. That was the consensus US position, held by Democrats and the Republicans referred to as the liberal internationalists, of which GHWB was one. The rollback faction never went away and arose like a zombie under Newt Gingrich, having been freed from the Cold War necessity of a unified front. We see it in the triumphalism over the end of the Cold War, even in Trump’s tweet today:

    President Bush guided our Nation, and the world, to a peaceful and victorious conclusion of the Cold War.

    The words I’ve bolded are that triumphalism. Also not mentioning Gorbachev. GHWB would not have put it that way.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I saw a tweet today from someone whose plane from Houston was delayed by the arrival of “an important person.” Looks like Peter Baker cleared up who that was.

  144. 144

    @Baud: I’ll give you Reagan as the originator. But Clinton definitely followed in the tradition.

  145. 145
    ruemara says:

    @tobie: you’re missing a lot he did to lose the black vote in 2016, but yeah.

  146. 146
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    It’s ironic that the Clinton years were actually among the most peaceful the U.S. has had in the last 50 years or so.

  147. 147

    @schrodingers_cat: GHWB was president for only a year after the Soviet Union fell. The botching of economic issues falls squarely on Clinton.

    You’re the second to accuse me of a “gratuitous swipe” at Obama. When I use the word political, it’s not an accusation, just an evaluation. Obama had to be more political because, as someone else noted, he was limited in some ways by being the first black president. So yes, he had to take domestic issues into account in a way the very establishment GHWB never had to. He also had the Gingrichized congress to deal with. So yes, he had to be more political. He understood that. But it limited his ability to deal with international issues.

  148. 148
    Immanentize says:

    The failure to help the collapsing Russian economy, sady. Lay at the feet of Clinton and Congress. There were good proposals to aid the former SU directly, and some of them happened. But the so-called Republican Revolution of 1994, after the failed health care fight, and the Deficits! cry pretty much ended Clinton’s efforts to “bailout” Russia. Yet another very short sighted move by team USA.

  149. 149

    @Baud: That’s because of the great work Bush I did.

  150. 150

    @Baud: True, but not because of any brilliance on Clinton’s part. The Russians were too weak to make much trouble, and much of the warring that went on during the Cold War was inspired by the US v USSR rivalry. It took a while for everyone to regroup. Within some of the states that emerged from the USSR, it wasn’t so peaceful. Ask Nicolae Ceaușescu.

  151. 151
    Immanentize says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    I know. Stay tuned to this channel for my ultimate freakout of ultimate destiny next September.

  152. 152
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: We see it in the triumphalism over the end of the Cold War, even in Trump’s tweet today:
    President Bush guided our Nation, and the world, to a peaceful and victorious conclusion of the Cold War.

    I wonder if that will piss off Boss Putin enough to release a bit of damaging information… Just a bit.

  153. 153
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: thank you for this reminder.

  154. 154
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: That’s why I said for the U.S.

    And as with Bush, Clinton could have done a lot worse in managing foreign affairs, so I decline to give him no credit.

  155. 155
    Immanentize says:

    @Baud: @schrodingers_cat:
    I don’t blame Clinton, but some extraordinary things happened in 1992. After the building Reagan dissilusionment and the focus on the Soviet fall, Clinton — and the people who elected him — wanted domestic issues to be prominent. “It’s the economy, stupid” was a clear eyed slogan of that view. So Clinton got to work on health care. Huge effort, lots of resources and political capital spent. Then, two years later (like post-Obama push) the Republicans kicked Dems asses in the midterms. Clinton wasn’t elected to finish the tough work of winning the peace, and he never really got the chance to do so. Or at least that’s how I think it went down.

  156. 156

    @Baud: Clinton brokered peace in Ireland. Also Kosovo. I was not following politics that closely in 90s since I was busy with college but vaguely remember Clinton being criticized for relying on air power alone in Kosovo.

  157. 157
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    I’ve always felt that the victory in the Cold War was that it never quite flared up into a hot war, which both sides would inevitably lose regardless of how the shooting/bombing contest turned out..

  158. 158
    Baud says:


    History is complex, but I’ll say something simple Bush invaded Panama. Clinton did not invade Iraq after the first WTC bombing.

  159. 159
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: He also had the Gingrichized congress to deal with. So yes, he had to be more political. He understood that. But it limited his ability to deal with international issues.

    I think what too often gets left out of discussions of Obama’s FP, especially in the Middle East, especially wrt to Syria, is the fact that the American people were sick of military interventionism. The McCain-Friedman dominated worldview of The Blob is that US military is the solution to every problem, we just have to figure out how. Trump’s EC victory was in no small part a reaction against this view. The Blob had forgotten all about Iraq by 2010, it was just a thing that happened. Trump’s lies about his support for the war got him a lot of votes, and the fact that people didn’t see any contradiction between “we’re gonna stay home” and “we’re gonna bomb the shit out of them and take the oil”

    I listened to Chris Hayes’ podcast with Dexter Filkins, whom I mostly like, talking about the current state of MENA, KSA and Iran, and even Hayes just kind of glossed over the role Bush II’s war (which Bush I opposed to the extent he could) in elevating Iran

  160. 160

    @Baud: Have you also noticed how our deficit obsessed MSM never gives Bill C any credit for changing those deficits to a surplus.

  161. 161
    Immanentize says:

    Panama — shit! I saltue your memory of those four years. I was in Miami of all places when that happened and Noriega was being tried. At least Panama was bigger than Grenada!

    Oh fun times.

  162. 162
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Immanentize: Yes, I imagine a nest is even emptier without a beloved partner to go through the adjustment with.

    I am sure everyone here will be available for hand-holding. And who knows, after a while you might find your own set of adventures to parallel Immp’s.

  163. 163
    Wapiti says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Now I think of it, was there ever a military point to the Cold War era race to build bigger and bigger nukes?

    I think there were real technical factors. They probably couldn’t trust their targeting, especially early on. Would they get within 100m? 1km? A larger bomb covers more area, so allows imprecision in targeting, but there’s a cube function on blast effects, like 2x distance to target means 8x (2^3) explosive yield is required.

    But the desire to one-up the opponent is real. Individual 1 had the US military drop a huge bomb in Afghanistan, to accomplish pretty much nothing.

  164. 164

    @Immanentize: That’s a nice moderate way of putting it. I don’t recall all the specifics, just the sense of watching Clinton let opportunities fall away, over and over again. I cannot say how many times I was horrified at his foreign policy. Congress was indeed also a brake on doing good things.

    And for those who insist on making foreign policy partisan, that was the time when I was moving over to the Democratic Party. This is another generational thing: I don’t believe that my party is always right, nor do I insist on that.

  165. 165
    Platonailedit says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Every treaty or negotiation among nation states is all ‘political’. What is your point?

  166. 166
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Ohio Mom: I will add that with texting, no offspring is ever as out-of-reach as we were at that age.

  167. 167
    NotMax says:

    @Cheryl Rofer

    It will be a surprise indeed to Romania to be called a part of the USSR. It was put firmly under Moscow’s control and domination (see: Yalta conference), but none of the Eastern Bloc countries were Soviet republics which comprised the union.

  168. 168
    Immanentize says:

    @Ohio Mom: my fondest wishes are for Immp, but I save some for myself. But right now my heart and adventure mind seem pretty boarded up.

  169. 169

    @Amir Khalid: Ronald Reagan summarized it nicely:

    A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

    There are some policy people who are forgetting that.

  170. 170
    tobie says:

    @ruemara: You’re right. I should have said his latest most egregious and offensive comment on race and the WWC. At this point we have binders of insensitive comments from him.

  171. 171

    @NotMax: Thank you. But the unrest there was part of the breakup, no?

  172. 172
    Elizabelle says:

    Love Nancy Smash in her white blazer. Not a white Stetson, but the calvary has arrived. The good guys and girls are back, and they have strength and plans.

    Happy Saturday, jackals.

  173. 173
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Baud: Clinton was handed the hot potato of Somalia as a going-away present by GHW Bush resulting in Black Hawk Down which could have been as bad for him as the Iranian Embassy hostage rescue that sunk Carter. That probably soured Clinton on Excellent Foreign Adventures and the few times he did in fact use US military forces abroad he got roundly derided for it — Wag the Dog, for example for his efforts going after an unimportant Arabic loon called Osama bin Laden who had initiated the WTC bombing in 1993.

  174. 174
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I can’t remember the particulars now– as in when it happened or who was in the White House or how close things came to actually happening in the way they author clearly would have wished–, but I read an interesting article a couple of years ago arguing that the great error in post-Soviet/US relations was the expansion of NATO rather than fostering by the US/West of a sort of buffer alliance from the Baltics to the Balkans (under the leadership of Poland, as I recall th author arguing) to ease the Russian fears of encircling enemies. Whether this is a thing that might have actually happened or just an old diplomat’s lost dream of a road not taken I can’t say.

  175. 175
    trollhattan says:

    They ALWAYS wave it off as coincidence in the form of the Tech Bubble, because as a Democrat Clinton could never have steered a successful economy. Bush II sure took the hell care of that. “It’s your money.” i.e., “There are some rich people who really need that money and because government bad, I need to break government.” Neocon treason.

  176. 176
    NotMax says:

    @Cheryl Rofer

    Romania, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, eventually non-Warsaw Pact countries Yugoslavia and Albania. All part and parcel demonstrations that political nature abhors a vacuum.

  177. 177

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I don’t believe that my party is always right, nor do I insist on that.

    Neither do I. I have often criticized Bill C for signing that horrible immigration bill that Gingrich Congress came up with more than once, which is largely responsible for the immigration morass of today. But your comments on this very thread show that you are not above it all, and you too have blind spots. If we disagree with you that does not make us bickering children.
    I don’t love everything that Ds do but Rs are so far out there on every important issue of the day, that there is seldom any competition on who to back on a particular issue. Besides unlike the Rs, the Ds don’t question my very existence.

  178. 178
    debbie says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    He’ll be allowed to attend, only because Bar isn’t around to forbid it.

  179. 179
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @debbie: the old man was an instutionalist, and the survivors want to preserve the good will of The Base for George son of Jeb, who endorsed the man who pantsed his father, which had to hurt, and which Jeb deserved

  180. 180
    moonbat says:

    I give George HW Bush credit for being the last Republican president with a good dose of realpolitik in his make up. Ex-CIA directors have few illusions, I imagine. And in addition to winding down the Cold War in orderly fashion, he did have the sense to back the hell out of Iraq before he destabilized the entire region — something he would have done well to teach his son about. However, he was also up to his neck in Iran-Contra — not a shining moment in foreign relations or domestic politics. The signal it sent the rest of the world that the political elite of America will sell out their own constitution and subvert government institutions to a national enemy to serve the agenda of one political party was heard loud and clear. And I would submit that the fact that our current Republican president is at the beck and call of Putin is the direct legacy of that. There was a little good in GHWB, but it was mostly bad for the rest of us.

  181. 181
    debbie says:


    He was also rightfully criticized for dithering before acting on Kosovo. I believe he says that was his biggest mistake. Of course, Bush I and Reagan dithered themselves into comas.

  182. 182
    Ksmiami says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: don’t forget too the Kosovo conflicts and the civil war breakdown in Yugoslavia- it certainly took attention an guts to prevent that from becoming a larger debacle even though Republicans accused Clinton of wagging the dog.

  183. 183
    debbie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Obama also didn’t want to act alone (you know, like the current clown). He wanted Congress to sign on, which never happened because of the 100% Obstruction Policy.

    How different the world would be today if Congress had agreed to act far faster on Syria! Or even before that, if Congress had supported Clinton’s efforts to get OBL before he even got to Afghanistan.

  184. 184

    @debbie: Clinton had many flaws and so did Obama. However only Presidents of one party are held to account while the press will sing hagiographies of Reagan and Bush I

  185. 185
    debbie says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Or he could just move next door to whichever campus Immp chooses.

  186. 186

    @schrodingers_cat: Yes. That is how things are now, but it is not how they always have been. Or how they might be.

  187. 187
    germy says:

    Reading Trump tweets
    — Tamoor Hussain (@tamoorh) February 8, 2017

  188. 188
    Emma says:

    A generic comment: people have got to grow up. Politics/diplomacy/other people are seldom good/evil (not talking about Trump, obviously; he’s the exception that proves the rule, or something). In general every human being can do something magnificent one day and be an utter shit the next. First President Bush did a number of very good things and he fell flat on his face a number of others. A dispassionate historical assessment should account for that. It isn’t “worship” to say he was good at the diplomatic game and our arms control efforts benefited from it, and it isn’t “hatred” to say that Iran-Contra was a disgusting act that didn’t benefit anyone.

  189. 189

    @Cheryl Rofer: Rs have been like this since at least the late 90s, before that I was not following politics that closely

  190. 190

    @schrodingers_cat: I am thinking before the mid 90s. And then, Newt worked his magic.

  191. 191
    debbie says:


    Maybe because I grew up surrounded by Republicans, I could separate a person’s humanity from their politics. I was slightly sad when Reagan died, not for any of his fucked-up policies, but because I could see that his kids loved him. Same with Bush I. It’s impossible to do that now because the GOP sold their collective soul to All Things Evil when Clinton had the audacity to oust Bush I, and nothing’s changed since then. It’s impossible to separate them now. They are venal and beneath contempt.

  192. 192
    MomSense says:


    First, he never should have gone to Iraq. Remember James Baker’s reason? “Jobs”. It was very cynical and Kuwait wasn’t exactly an innocent party. Once the blunder was started, yes it’s a good thing he got us out promptly – but did we have to signal to the Shia’s that if they went against Hussein we would have their backs? The people took to the street only to be massacred. It didn’t end there. The reprisals continued long after we left. Then there was the long period of starvation and illness that continued for a decade until his son visited an even worse hell upon them. Does anyone wonder why the Iraq war went so wrong the next time? The Iraqi Shias were never ever going to trust us or work with us after we led them to their slaughter. You would have thought we would have learned after what we did to the Hmong but we can behorribly cruel and indifferent.

  193. 193
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Can the stock market survive a nuclear holocaust? “Yes,” says our next guest. And he’ll tell us what stocks to buy and what to sell in the event of a thermonuclear exchange right after these messages.

    Head Office (1985)

  194. 194
    MomSense says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Before the mid 90s? Clinton literally had 93 and 94 and a recession.

  195. 195
    chopper says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    that is true. the saying used to be “politics stops at the water’s edge”, but during the O years the GOP threw that away and put up roadblocks in front of every attempt of his at foreign policy. it’s hard to say what he would have accomplished had he been working in the earlier paradigm. i think he would have been very successful. however, it’s clear that O’s foreign policy work was constrained in a way that had to be dealt with politically, at home, a great deal more. he just wasn’t allowed the latitude that a guy like GHWB was.

  196. 196
    rikyrah says:

    We have those receipts.
    Another receipt from 2018 is Wilmer being a MUTE while the lone Black legislator in Vermont quit due to harrassment.
    He didn’t say shyt about it.😡😡

  197. 197
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Very good take on Bush.

  198. 198
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Platonailedit: That you need to understand the complexities and gray areas of history, maybe?

  199. 199
    J R in WV says:


    But the so-called Republican Revolution of 1994, after the failed health care fight, and the Deficits! cry pretty much ended Clinton’s efforts to “bailout” Russia. Yet another very short sighted move by team USA.

    Don’t you mean “…another very short sighted move by Team Republican!” as opposed to team USA??? I mean, that’s what you actually said, really…?

  200. 200
    patrick II says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I don’t think HW can entirely be blamed for what his idiot son did.

    In a perverse way I think he can. Idiot son was the Oedipal presidency — the rejection of the father. HW had the “big picture” problem, Jr. went with his gut and ideology; HW stopped short of Baghdad, Jr. went the rest of the way; HW raised taxes, Jr. lowered them; HW said ” “Don’t mess with Social Security.”, Jr. tried to privatize it; HW agreed to missile treaties, Jr. destroyed them. Etc. Jr. was driven to “correct” what he perceived to be his father’s shortcomings for his mother’s love.

  201. 201
    J R in WV says:


    …none of the Eastern Bloc countries were Soviet republics which comprised the union.

    After seeing Russian/Soviet tanks roll into various nations of Eastern Europe, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, etc, isn’t slicing which puppet states were Soviet Republics and which were merely wholly owned puppet states a little pointless? Certainly slicing very thinly!

  202. 202
    Burnspbesq says:


    Bush hagiography

    You’re out of your damn mind. What Cheryl is putting forth is a reasoned, balanced assessment. If you can’t see that, that’s on you.

  203. 203
    J R in WV says:

    @patrick II:

    Idiot son [Bush II] was the Oedipal presidency — the rejection of the father.

    This is so true… and is somewhat like Trump’s attempt to reverse everything Obama ever accomplished. Probably because of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner when President Obama made fun of Trump, at a dinner where everyone is supposed to be roasted, one after the other, including the President of the US.

    But Trump is special! Can’t be roasted, even after choosing to join politics with his Birther racist nonsense!! And to prove it, Trump is President now, and will arrest anyone who dares to joke about him – not! And to his very great enragement.

  204. 204
    sp98 says:

    Sorry if this has already been referenced, but LGM’s Eric Loomis has an interesting take on Poppy.

  205. 205
    joel hanes says:


    Rs have been like this since at least the late 90s

    They were better before Reagan.
    To illustrate: go read the Wiki bio of George Romney, Mitt’s father.

  206. 206
    laura says:

    @Immanentize: my fondest wishes are for Immp, but I save some for myself.
    Imm, your Grace in this simple statement brought tears to my eyes. Living with loss is so damn hard, and still, you persevere and your efforts to get imma on his way in the world . . .. damn, I admire you so much.

  207. 207
    joel hanes says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Newt worked his magic.

    The racism course was charted by Nixon and Mitchell, and embraced by Reagan, and ramified by Poppy Bush and Lee Atwater. Willie Horton, for God’s sake. Neshoba County Fair. Those were fucking blatant.

    The intellectual rot and abandonment of integrity started with Reagan, whose administration held the record trifecta for most people indicted, convicted, and imprisoned.
    (Trump, of course, bids fair to smash that record).

    Newt was just riding a wave that was generated by his predecessors.

  208. 208
    NotMax says:

    @J R in WV

    No, not really. Was a corrective to referring to Romania as a former state of the USSR, which it is not.

  209. 209
    Shana says:

    @delk: Oh man, that’s my old neightborhood. Lived just sound of Belmont for a couple of years, and then on Aldine for a few more years. Met my husband at Rickey’s one Sunday morning 33 years ago.

  210. 210

    @joel hanes: It was Newt who broke Congress, which, along with the feeling that the US was and would remain the only superpower, that opened the way to rejoicing in all those bad things. He deserves a big dollop of credit for our current predicament.

    The racism can be traced back to the settlement of North America by Europeans. I think it’s a silly to try to attribute big trends, good or bad, to any political actor as THE originator. But we can note significant events, which you and I have done.

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    trnc says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I think Obama’s team would have been up to the task, but it would have been much harder with all of the kneecapping from professional republicans. Which would be ironic, given that they all want to be besties with Vlad, but it ain’t like there’s a shortage of irony where republicans are concerned.

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    StringOnAStick says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I recall a professor who taught Western Civ putting up a may of Europe that showed that the USSR was an area entirely surrounded by hostile countries. Sometimes I think the fact that the US is mostly surrounded by friendly countries and a lot of ocean doesn’t help us see what things look like from another country’s POV, and that colors our vision far too much. We also didn’t get nearly completely destroyed by WWII or suffer the casualties that Russia did, and that matters too.

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    trnc says:


    Have you also noticed how our deficit obsessed MSM never gives Bill C any credit for changing those deficits to a surplus.

    And the little credit that was given from the MSM never mentioned that it was done with a budget passed with zero republican votes.

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    joel hanes says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    The racism can be traced back to the settlement of North America by Europeans.


    Yes, yes, of course, but explicit appeals to racism against black folks, by the former Party of Lincoln and Abolition and high-minded WASPs from New England, was the deliberate political decision of the actors I have named: these Rs decided that since the Dems had abdicated as the party of Jim Crow, the Republicans could hold on to power if they simply abandoned that part of what the GOP had originally stood for, and incidentally their own integrity (assuming they ever had any) by adopting all those racist voters and their policy preferences. And dog-whistling it so as not to scare away the WASPs.

    I agree that Newt is a historical villian: I’m just trying to counter what looks to me like a complete inability on your part to assign Reagan any responsibility for what he indubitably did.

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    Kathleen says:

    @Ohio Mom: Thanks for that info. I’m too cheap to subscribe to I keep hearing great things about Madisonville as well. My neighborhood, Price Hill Incline District, is considered up and coming also. There’s lots of development money being poured into Lower Price Hill as well, plus new businesses. I hope we don’t become gentrified.

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    @joel hanes: Not an inability to assign Reagan responsibility. Just looking at a different historical period.

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    Reagan is a whole nother big topic. Today I’m talking about George H. W. Bush, and I’m concentrating on his dealing with the Soviet Union.

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    Kathleen says:

    @Immanentize: I was going to ask you about how you felt about him considering colleges overseas. I think I got my answer! I personally would hate it. Hell, I cried for 3 days after my daughter got married and she had moved out the year before her wedding.

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    Kathleen says:

    @Immanentize: As well they should be! You deserve and need to honor your feelings about the process. I only have one child and I don’t know if that makes it harder.

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    japa21 says:

    In the whole discussion of Clinton vs Obama vs Bush I, I think we are looking at it the wrong way. Instead of looking at how Clinton or Obama would have handled it is say 1994 or Obama in say 2010, with all the political obstacles in their way, we perhaps should be looking at it in terms of how they would have handled in back when Bush I did with the political realities of that time period. At that point in time, I am not sure Clinton would have fared as well as the other two, although he would have done far better then Bush II or the current interloper in the WH. I think Obama would have done fairly well. He has a real sense of realities when it comes to the international scene. However, I think Cheryl is right in that Bush I was probably the best equipped to handle it at that time. Does it make up for everything else? Not sure, but that isn’t really relevant to the discussion.

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    Lalophobia says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Look, I’m far from an expert on history, but even I could tell you that G.H. Bush’s presidency, like all presidencies, didn’t exist in a vacuum. What every president does shapes, in various ways, what the next president will do or be able to do.

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    Aleta says:

    My fam on the US side are deeply committed Dems for generations*, and me also. I loathed everything I saw Reagan (from outside) and Bush (I arrived back last 5 mo of his campaign) do. Cheryl’s input didn’t strike me as biased. I appreciate the info and a different take from someone whose important work was involved with their policies.

    The comments here about Bush’s failings, skill, atrocities, background and the political environment are to me the best way to talk about a politician when he dies.

    @schrodingers_cat: I don’t agree with you that Cheryl has acted above it all, claimed to be without blind spots, treated anyone like bickering children, or refused to engage with people who disagree in good faith.

    *until two of my sibs went haywire in the late 80s-90s

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    And for those who insist on making foreign policy partisan, that was the time when I was moving over to the Democratic Party. This is another generational thing: I don’t believe that my party is always right, nor do I insist on that.

    I was referring to this particular quote.

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    joel hanes says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    whole nother big topic

    Got it.

    I’m a crank on the subject, because the Reagan’s teflon and the golden-halo way he’s remembered by so many simply grate on me: I was almost 30 when he assumed office, and watched him closely, and found little to respect, and much to loathe.

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    I find a discussion like this very enlightening. My view extends back to a bipartisan foreign policy and a Republican Party that believed in governing. You all help me to see how it looks when your political consciousness extends back to the eighties or nineties and from various personal backgrounds.

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    sm*t cl*de says:


    the USSR was an area entirely surrounded by hostile countries

    The hostility to the USSR from all the countries sharing a border with it is itself a statement on history.

  227. 227
    sm*t cl*de says:

    @joel hanes:

    because the Reagan’s teflon and the golden-halo way he’s remembered by so many simply grate on me

    It is gratifying to know that Trump will not be remembered in history as “The first US President with dementia”.

  228. 228
    NotMax says:

    @Cheryl Rofer

    extends back to a bipartisan foreign policy and a Republican Party that believed in governing

    So, Teddy Roosevelt?


    Ike was the exception. Harding, Coolidge, Hoover and later the belief became one in the trappings of governing, not in the mechanics, with application directed to the self-interest of priesthood.

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    japa21 says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I would say that means you are old, but since I also remember those things, I would also be calling myself old, so I won’t.

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    Lulymay says:


    We have a saying for that (it’s probably one of Shakespeare’s many gems) says:

    “Hoisted by his own petard!”

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    @NotMax: You have very nicely made my point. Just as I recall Eisenhower’s (and others’) Republican Party, others in this discussion recall Reagan or the Congress of the 1990s as theirs.

  232. 232

    @NotMax: Johnson-Reed Act, which restricted or banned immigration from “undesirable” countries and Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act which put in restrictions on trade were all authored by Republicans well before Reagan or Newt Gingrich were a political force. Rs have been terrible on policy for a long long time.
    ETA: The current President is the logical heir of Rs not an aberration.

  233. 233
    JamesRLindley says:

    In re Rep. Barbara Lee’s selection as one of three people who will name committee members after losing the election as Caucus Chairman in party to Joe Crowley’s anger that Ms. Lee supported the Democratic Party’s nominee in NY-14. Good on Speaker Pelosi and FUCK YOU, Joe Crowley.

  234. 234
    NotMax says:


    Sort of the point of reaching all the way back to TR.

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    Ken says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    The hostility to the USSR from all the countries sharing a border with it is itself a statement on history.

    I forget the author, but remember a similar response when someone asked why Japan doesn’t contribute more troops to peacekeeping operations. Something like “No country bordering the western Pacific will ever let Japanese soldiers on their soil again.”

  236. 236
    Ken says:

    @sm*t cl*de: He’s still the first President to brag that he passed the tests for dementia.

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    @NotMax:I am in complete agreement. And I was illustrating your pt with examples. Perhaps I should have addressed my comments to CR.

  238. 238
    Jay says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    The hostility to the USSR in the beginning was a product of long hostility to Imperial Russia, WWI, Germany propaganda and the ideological/Civil Wars post WWI between internal Socialists/Bolshivicks and Plutocrats/Nationalists.

    Post Cold War Independence, it was due to all the past history, plus the post WWII history.

    Funny thing is, very little of the Yugoslav “break up” issues are rooted in Yugoslavia, but instead Austro-Hungarian/ Ottoman conflicts.

    It’s kinda like the many roots of the US Political divorce, trace back to the pre-Civil War, Civil War and Reconstruction.

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    afanasia says:

    @Immanentize: Baroque and Mannerist artists often used supersaturated color – look up Bronzino’s “Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time”.

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