Open Thread: Fake Wall, Real Suffering

By Anne Applebaum (hardly a bleeding-heart liberal squish), via the Washington Post:

The hard truth is that the wall has no function. Its only purpose is to serve as a talisman, as a fairy tale, as a mythical, “beautiful” piece of concrete that will be paid for by Mexico. The only difference between the wall and the now-forgotten, equally mythical “caravan” that we discussed during the election is that construction will cost real money. We, not Mexico, will pay for it in taxes and, therefore, in lost productivity. Or we will pay for it in interest on the national debt. Or we will pay for it by sacrificing spending on fighter jets or health care or roads.

It will make our nation weaker and poorer — $5 billion poorer. That’s why this isn’t a debate about border policy. It’s a debate that tells us which of our politicians cares about the real world inhabited by real Americans and which prefer to live in a fantasy world created by the president’s imagination. For the future of the country, it’s important that reality wins.

123 replies
  1. 1
    Yarrow says:

    History will shit on your grave and I’ll be there to cheer.

    Yes. This.

  2. 2
    artem1s says:

    I seriously hope the new House Majority Leader decides to have a full investigation on who was going to profit on this wall deal. No way does this Idiot keep whipping this horse unless he believes there is a payout at the end of it. Either the Trump family or someone they owe money has game in the outcome of this particular agreement. Not the previous funding (most of which has gone unspent) but this particular agreement. Like that ridiculously, narrowly defined tax write off that was written to benefit Ross Perot.

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    @Yarrow: The line to piss on his grave will be long. Selling tickets would probably be quite a lucrative endeavor.

    Jared, call me, we can do a deal.

  4. 4

    “Are there no prisons? And the workhouses, are they still in operation?”

  5. 5
    Yarrow says:

    @dmsilev: That’s how we can pay for healthcare!

  6. 6
    BC in Illinois says:

    Not like the mighty woman with a torch
    Of world-wide welcome — No! the fear-washed voice
    Calls us to cowering hide behind a wall
    With golden letters of the words, “Not you!”
    The light of freedom then is hid away
    From huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
    Too wretched are the homeless, tired, poor
    Who might bring down our city on the hill.

    And yet the woman with the torch still cries;
    To us, not to the ancient lands, she speaks;
    She lifts her lamp to people, who are gifts!
    She looks, not up to gleaming cities high,
    But valleys filled with exiles sent — like us
    The sons and daughters still of immigrants.

    December 20, 2018

  7. 7
    Schlemazel says:

    I have mentioned it here before & tweet it to people who need to hear it.
    Dump’s Burial site will be YOOGE! There will be very long lines to get in. The Guiness people will certify it as the worlds largest public urinal

  8. 8
    Gin & Tonic says:

    13 or 14 years from now my grand-daughter will be a junior in high school taking something like what is now called US Government. If I’m still alive, I expect her at some point to look at me and say “WTF?”

  9. 9
    debbie says:

    Is Adder*ll a forbidden word? Why aren’t my posts showing?

  10. 10
    plato says:

    If this is true, will his bigoted base see the fraud that the fraud is perpetuating on them?

    BREAKING: NJ AG has evidence that managers at Trump’s golf club gave fraudulent green cards & Social Security numbers to employees. When evidence was uncovered the AG didn’t trust Sessions, so they contacted Mueller. Now the FBI & Mueller are investigating the immigration crimes.

    — Scott Dworkin (@funder) December 29, 2018

  11. 11
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @debbie: Names of medications, and sometimes even the name of the place where you get them, are often bad words.

  12. 12
    debbie says:


    Bet those ticket sales would pay for quite a wall around Mar-a-Lago.

  13. 13
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @plato: No.

  14. 14
    debbie says:

    @Gin & Tonic:


    For the love of God, up his Adder*ll.

  15. 15


    No way does this Idiot keep whipping this horse unless he believes there is a payout at the end of it.

    Trump was once willing to pay for a full page ad in the New York Times to declare that five brown-skinned teenagers should be executed, with no expectation of material or social reward. He’s a white supremacist, quite possibly a Nazi. He believes all this bullshit about brown hordes and drugs and terrorists, sincerely believes it. Throw in pride and a baby’s tantrum that he knows Mommy is about to come home and spank his ass, and no payout is required to make him passionate about the issues. Bonus points that McConnell and Ryan didn’t let him sneak out of this by signing something on the quiet, like previous occasions.

    EDIT – Full disclosure, I don’t think the bit about not being allowed to sneak out is a bonus. I think it’s critical. He previously got handed budgets he said he would veto, and could do it without publicly admitting he was backing down. Now he’s being forced to say it, and he can’t.

  16. 16
    Anne Laurie says:

    @debbie: I checked behind the curtain. Not only is the A-word forbidden, your comments using it didn’t even get caught in the spam filter — they were dumped directly in the Trash bin!

  17. 17
    Punchy says:

    It’s almost funny to watch the daily, inexorable negative progression of blaming and name-calling by the Orange Asshole. It”s clear he’s never been told “No” before and has no idea what to do about it now that it happens day after day. Today he blamed Dems for the border deaths of 2 kids; tomorrow they’ll be blamed for pancreatic cancer. By Tuesday he’ll be accusing them of genocide of Hopi Indians. If peeps weren’t sweating their next mortgage payment, this would be hilarious.

  18. 18
    Ruckus says:

    I can see it now, it will look like a stage show, everyone pisses at the same time, the pee tape will look like amateur hour.
    @Gin & Tonic:
    She isn’t saying this now? Because I am. And I know WTF the cause is.

  19. 19
    Jay says:


    Poll after Poll, focus group after focus group, shows that less than 2% of Gullibillies, Deplorables and Nazis believed that Wall was anything more than election retoric, that Wall would ever be built, that Wall would ever be real.

    The only people who really care about Wall, are Faux and Fiends, KKKCoulter, 88Hannity, Trucker Speed Jones and Ilsa the She Wolf Ingrahm.

    Faux and Fiends dictate what the Great Orange Bloat does on Wall.

  20. 20
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    A grown man using “soooo” is very sad. The president using it is pathetic. How can anybody be his supporters? That’s a rhetorical question btw.

  21. 21
    debbie says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Thanks, I never would have guessed it would be a problem. :/

  22. 22
    snoey says:

    I just want an asparagus stand.

  23. 23
    debbie says:

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

    This is what gets me:

    it is because IN THE SENATE WE NEED 10 DEMOCRAT VOTES, and they will gives us “NONE” for Border Security!

    PROOFREAD, you fat bastard.

  24. 24
    dmsilev says:

    @Punchy: To me, what’s even more amusing is watching Mr. Master Dealmaker steadily lowering and lowering the amount of Wallcash he’s asking for, with his desperation becoming more and more obvious with each passing day.

    But, as you rightly point out, there’s a real cost to the shutdown which is hurting real people, so the amusement is bittersweet at best.

  25. 25
    Schlemazel says:

    SEE! That comment is why we need to have upvotes on comments!

  26. 26
    Gin & Tonic says:


    She isn’t saying this now?

    No. Because she’s 3 and doesn’t know who’s President.

  27. 27
    jl says:

    Wall did start as a joke, or at least a game for Trump to get more cheers out his rally crowds when things got quiet. One of Trump’s cronies suggested it would play well. Even a person as ignorant and dumb as Trump thought it was a stupid idea. But it riled up his crowds when he tried it out, and a BS campaign promise and policy was born. So, it did start as a game, and I think every news report should mention that it started as a joke to get more crowd noise at Trump rallies.

    Trump tweets are getting increasingly despicable. The US had a good policy that worked very well for undocumented families before Trump that did not involve locking them all up.

    I heard a news interview a week or so ago with a physician representing health care workers group. So, she said interdisciplinary teams of health professional volunteers have offered basic first aid and medical services for months, for free. Trump administration always turned them away. I heard a news report a day or so ago that finally, Trumpsters will do basic first aid medical exams when these people are taken into custody. I would say WTF!?, but it was obvious since the first child’s death that they weren’t even doing that basic minimum. Trump and his flunkies are responsible for the deaths and exactly not one other person on this earth is responsible for them.

  28. 28
    debbie says:


    After reading the tweets up top, I want someone to ask him to explain the financial wisdom of putting $587 billion trade at risk.

  29. 29
    dmsilev says:

    @debbie: He sounds like Gollum. We wants it, our Precious, and the nasty hobbitses Democratses stole it from us.

  30. 30
  31. 31
    NotMax says:


    “I’m going to need a bigger dustbin.”
      – History

  32. 32
    debbie says:


    Trump makes Gollum look sane.

  33. 33
    Ken says:

    Wall must be like Brexit, which gives the UK an extra 350 million pounds a week for healthcare.

  34. 34
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    It’s a sad day in America when you can’t trust the Attorney General of the United States.

    OT: I looked up why Eisenhower ran as a Republican. It was something I’d always wondered about. He ran to counter the isolationist wing of the GOP and to moderate the party. He had always considered himself a moderate conservative that cherished civil rights and the legacy of Lincoln.

    When Eisenhower won, the Congressional Republicans introduced 107 amendments to the Constitution to be voted on. At least one of the proposed amendments would repeal the New Deal and another would have gotten rid of the separation between church and state.

    Some like to speculate when the GOP went crazy. They’ve always been horrible. Nearly two decades of being in the political wilderness (from FDR’s first election in 1932 to 1952 with Eisenhower’s victory) didn’t change them.

  35. 35
    jl says:

    @plato: Trump idiot racist base will think it’s great. First Trumpster I met, right after Trump announced, was a drunk staggering out of a convenience store mid afternoon. He said I was a white man (true) and therefore oppressed. He showed me some cheatp trinkets and candy bars in his pockets he said he filched from the store. He was going to vote for Truimp gawdammit. He was just like Trump, he knew how to work the system. Then he staggered off.

    When I think about how die hard Trumpsters react to whatever vile or stupid senseless thing Trump does, I think about the drunk and how he would think about it.
    I think I’ve typed up this story before, but i just happened to have a up close and personal experience with a Trumpster and it left an impression. Maybe that is why I don’t bother to look at the corporate media interviews trying to peer into the minds of the die hard Trump voters.

  36. 36
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    why Eisenhower ran as a Republican

    They asked him first.


  37. 37
    jl says:

    @jl: And Baud swears that was not him, before he decided to run.

  38. 38
    James E Powell says:

    At this point I don’t think the wall is about anything but showing his base and the Village Courtiers that he still owns the libtards. He really doesn’t have any policy goals, just performances.

  39. 39
    jl says:

    @NotMax: Eisenhower’s work to save the GOP was less successful and long lasting that his effort on Europe. But he gave both a good shot.

  40. 40
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    There are far-right people out there that like to hold themselves to some pretentions of intelligence. They seriously think that their ideological opponents are communists and that Antifa are “terrorists”. That the entire political left in the US are communists. Whenever anybody talks about “communists” in a modern context like above, it just goes to show that they’re all deeply out of touch with poltical mood of this country and the problems of real people.

  41. 41
    jl says:

    Apparently Trump thinks the Nancy Smash boogie-woman with lady parts scary monster will still scare people, even after the display he himself has put on for the last two years. I am thinking that, well, times do change. Can’t keep living in yesterday. Dogs need to learn new tricks. Outside the hard core Trump base, I think most people who got irked or worried about Pelosi ten years or so ago will have a different perspective now.

  42. 42
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    His constant lying bothers me more, but I sympathize. In that section you quoted, he claims that Democrats are unwilling to give him any funds for border security when this is plainly false. Dems have made offers, just ones that don’t include money for a stupid, racist boondoggle of a wall.

    Also too, I’m so glad “wall” has become a meme. Nielson is good for at least one thing.

  43. 43
    Ohio Mom says:

    @NotMax: I just googled this because I had no idea the Democratic Party ever asked Ike to run. I found out that both parties tried to recruit him, but (and I am condensing the story here) he always identified as a Republican. I can’t see this as a loss for our side.

  44. 44
    NotMax says:


    To elaborate a bit, Truman dithered on whether or not he was going to run again for so long (it was the end of March 1952 when he made the formal announcement that he would not be a candidate) that the Rs had Ike sewn up already.

    Trivia: Truman had secretly entreated Eisenhower to run as a Democrat in 1948 and when that didn’t pan out, decided to run himself.

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

    I do wonder if he ever would have run as a Democrat and what effects that would have had on the political landscape of the last 60 years.

  46. 46
    Karen says:

    @jl: Feature not a bug.

  47. 47
    Baud says:


    Trivia: Truman had secretly entreated Eisenhower to run as a Democrat in 1948 and when that didn’t pan out, decided to run himself.

    Source? I recently read that a bunch of New Dealers who were upset at Truman (think Bernie Bros) wanted to support Ike blindly. But I’ve never heard that Truman wanted Ike to run in 48.

  48. 48
    NotMax says:

    @Ohio Mom

    Good short read on Ike and the ’52 campaign here.

    …at the time of his nomination, Eisenhower was not even a registered Republican (or a registered voter for that matter). For many, Eisenhower as the World War II hero seemed to be “above politics.”

    Though running nominally under the Republican ticket, Eisenhower co-opted many of the traditionally liberal positions that his opponent, the Princeton-educated Adlai Stevenson, had already staked out. As political theorist Russell Kirk reflected, Ike was not a conservative, “he was a golfer.” Though not exactly progressive, Eisenhower’s beliefs had little in common with the rest of the 1952 GOP party platform: he agreed with most of the progressive legislation of the 1930s and 1940s, from social security to various labor laws, and he vowed on the campaign trail “not to turn the clock back – ever.” Indeed, Henry Wallace, the leader of the Socialist-backed Progressive party, would decide in 1952 to endorse Eisenhower over Stevenson, claiming that Eisenhower advocated most strongly for the progressive platform.

  49. 49
    Schlemazel says:

    Remember that Ike buried us in Vietnam (first USMC sent in 1957 to disrupt the free elections that would have unified the nation under Ho)
    Overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran and installed the Shah
    Overthrew the democratically elected Government of Guatemala which gave the Soviet Union the opportunity to gain power

    There were other things but internationally he laid a lot of landmines we were going to trip over

  50. 50
    Karen says:

    @jl: Once the investigations start, Trump won’t cooperate or deal with her. He’ll degrade her by not taking her seriously and constantly tweet about her.

    I totally admit I don’t know how Congress works. Can Nancy SMASH Trump?

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    OK sorry. I was figuring maybe 4. And 4 is old enough to know that something in OZ isn’t right. And it’s the asshole who is playing the character of president. And playing rather badly at the very least. But 3 is just too young to know or even care.

  52. 52
    Geeno says:

    @John Revolta: “Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.
    “Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
    “And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”
    “They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.”
    “The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.
    “Both very busy, sir.”
    “Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.”
    “Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?”
    “Nothing!” Scrooge replied.
    “You wish to be anonymous?”
    “I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer.”

    Dickens was brilliant at describing that state.

  53. 53
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    And then just over a decade later, the Republicans nominated Goldwater in 1964.

    I guess my source was a little wrong.

  54. 54
    NotMax says:


    It’s footnoted at the link offered Ohio Mom in #48 above. Different citation:

    Harry Truman always denied that while in the White House he entertained the idea of having Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower run for president in 1948 — with Truman as his running mate.

    But a newly discovered diary written by the nation’s 33rd president reveals that Truman did make the offer while talking politics one summer afternoon with Eisenhower. Truman worried that Gen. Douglas MacArthur would run for president on the Republican ticket.

    “I told Ike,” Truman wrote, “that if he (MacArthur) did that he (Eisenhower) should announce for the nomination for President on the Democratic ticket and that I’d be glad to be in second place, or Vice President.” Source

  55. 55
    stinger says:

    Oh, Washington Post, Washington Post — is the subjunctive dead? Or just your editors?

  56. 56
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:


    I’ve always thought his farewell address warning about the MIC was always odd given his foreign policy record.

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @NotMax: Thanks. Sounds like a conditional offer, but interesting anyway.

  58. 58
    plato says:

    Questions about vampires in Poland and vegetarian sausages are among the most bizarre phone calls made to consular staff, the Foreign Office has said.

    It has compiled the strangest calls from Britons abroad in 2018 in a bid to remind people its helpline is meant to be used in an emergency.

    It received more than 330,000 calls from people asking for help.

    But some of the other odder queries to the Foreign Office included:

    A man checking whether there were vampires in Poland because a woman he met online had asked what blood type he was before they met for their first date

    Another man requesting the Foreign Office speak to a massage parlour in Bangkok on his behalf, as he fell asleep during a massage and felt he shouldn’t have to pay for it

    A caller in New Delhi asking what time the British High Commission opened, as he’d heard it sold vegetarian sausages and he wanted to buy some

    A Foreign Office spokesman said: “I can regretfully confirm that the Foreign Office isn’t able to offer advice on vampires, rogue stray cats or Strictly contestants.

    “And our capacity to deploy veggie sausages remains sadly lacking.”

  59. 59
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    FYI, film of Truman’s announcement that he wouldn’t run in ’52. Looked up the date for that dinner: March 29, 1952. Crowd reaction is a tell on how startling it was.

  60. 60
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Ruckus: This is why I favor the Trump Memorial Urinal at the southern border somewhere. Accessible from both US and Mexico. It could even include a couple of feet of wall.

  61. 61
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:


    Thanks for the source by the way! Like that article said, there is no final verdict for history.

  62. 62
    plato says:

    File it under voting matters.

    Brazil’s incoming far-right president has said he will seek to issue a decree loosening the country’s gun laws.

    Jair Bolsonaro, who takes over on 1 January, had made the pledge a key part of his presidential campaign.

    Brazil currently has strict gun ownership laws, requiring any prospective owners to undergo psychological tests.

    But Mr Bolsonaro has said more guns would allow “good people” in Brazil help combat violent crime.

    Mr Bolsonaro, a former paratrooper, is an avid supporter of America’s National Rifle Association, and the door of his campaign office was emblazoned with the slogan: “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

    Reuters reports that shares in Brazilian gun maker Taurus Armas SA climbed by about 88% year-on-year amid expectation gun rights would be relaxed.

  63. 63
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I’d say the Republican Party probably had the relative moral high ground up until about the Rutherford B. Hayes administration… then again, a whole bunch of them got hip deep in the Credit Mobilier swindle as early as 1867.

  64. 64

    @plato: my read on this is that the Home Foreign Office is well aware of the vampire situation in Poland, but (like the cowards they are right now) refuse to acknowledge it.

  65. 65
    khead says:

    So now it’s down to $2.5 bil? Betty’s offer was nothing. Not even the fee for the gaming license.

    Pretty sure Nancy Smash is gonna make that happen.

  66. 66
    Baud says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I’d give it to them through Teddy.

  67. 67
    NotMax says:

    On a whim, added some white pepper to the challah ingredients currently doing their thing in the super duper bread machine.

    May have gone a little overboard. House smells wonderful, but with decidedly peppery tang.

  68. 68

    @Baud: Teddy was more the exception than the rule with turn of the century Republicans.

  69. 69
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Yeah, but Dems at that time had few redeeming qualities.

  70. 70
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    I (think) the ideology of the GOP when Lincoln was president very pro-business. Another interesting alt-history what if: what Lincoln’s second term would have been like.

  71. 71
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:


    Honestly, up until the 1930s, the ideologies of the two political parties was mostly unrecognizable from today. I couldn’t imagine voting for any of the parties from the 1850s and earlier for example.

  72. 72
    NotMax says:


    Yup. Other than choice of fashion and style and floridness of language McKinley would blend right in with today’s G.O.P.

  73. 73
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    That really didn’t leave the Dems a lot of time to draft anybody, let alone Eisenhower.

    So would Robert Taft, for that matter.

  74. 74
    Jay says:


    Nancy can SMASH The Orange Bloat.

    Nancy will SMASH The Orange Bloat.

  75. 75
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    As Robert Taft’s middle name was Alphonso, maybe not. Too suspiciously foreign.


  76. 76
    Martin says:

    @Baud: MacArthur was a political lunatic. He’s the one who decided to send tanks in to support the removal of the Bonus Army. Lots of desperate options would have played out had MacArthur run.

  77. 77
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @NotMax: I’m surprised that they were surprised. Truman was quite unpopular at this point (maybe the Korean War had something to do with that), he’d served almost two full terms, and the only reason he wasn’t term-limited out was the grandfather clause in the 22nd Amendment. He was just returning to general practice pre-FDR.

  78. 78
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Both parties behaved generally genocidally toward Native Americans.

  79. 79
    Jay says:

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

    Under Ike, the Cold War “infrastructure” started to take shape, the MIC that dominates the US to this day.

    And it was during Ike’s Administration that the Monster first demonstrated that it had a mind of it’s own, it’s own Agenda, the ability to corrupt men, and an insatiable demand for money, men and power.

    ie. The Bomber Gap.

  80. 80

    @Matt McIrvin: even then, I mean, easy choice if you care about slavery.

  81. 81
    Mike in NC says:

    @Martin: MacArthur was a malignant narcissist long before Trump arrived on the scene.

  82. 82
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Ruckus: The Watergate scandal played out when I was 4-6 years old. I actually knew vaguely that it was happening by watching TV news, but I was naturally unclear on the details and was firmly pro-Nixon even though my parents very definitely weren’t, because I’d somehow developed the idea that the President was by definition a good guy.

    I also recall having an argument with my uncle Jim about who was the Vice-President. Jim said it was Spiro Agnew and I said it was Uncle Sam. How exactly I’d come to believe that Uncle Sam was the Vice-President, I don’t know, but I may have figured that this fellow in the star-and-stripes costume had to be some high official and knew he wasn’t the President, so concluded he must be the Vice-President by a process of elimination.

  83. 83
    James E Powell says:

    Is there any doubt that Georgia and Ohio State would have given us better games than Notre Dame and Oklahoma?

  84. 84
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Well, there were the War Democrats during the Civil War.@Matt McIrvin:
    True. Which is another reason I never would have voted for them.


    So his farewell speech was some admission that he’d fucked up horribly by allowing this infrastructure to develop?

  85. 85
    NotMax says:

    About to scarf down the last of the Christmas dinner leftovers. Back to plebeian food mañana.

  86. 86
    Patricia Kayden says:

    This needs to be sent to Trump via Twitter since that’s all he reads.

  87. 87
    Jay says:

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

    There’s a lot of things that President’s don’t control. There’s a lot of things that the House and Senate control, lot’s of things the Generals, Admirals and Alphabet Agencies control, and a lot of things that money and Corporations control.

    At the end of WWII, the US started demobilizing, but the start of the Cold War, deColonialization and other events, changed all that. The reality is the last shot’s of WWII conflicts were fired in 1958, and the “settlements” ending WWII sparked new wars, which continue to this day. As an example, the OSS was as “out of control” under Roosevelt, as the CIA was under Truman, Ike, Kennedy, Nixon, or since Bush 1.

    Reigning in the US MIC requires every arm of the Government to make common cause with the voters.

  88. 88
    Punchy says:

    @James E Powell: How DARE you speak so rudely of CFB Royalty!

    80+ y.o. sportswriters who still think its 1947 and ND is still legit or something

  89. 89
    Redshift says:

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

    In that section you quoted, he claims that Democrats are unwilling to give him any funds for border security when this is plainly false. Dems have made offers, just ones that don’t include money for a stupid, racist boondoggle of a wall.

    That one seems to be straight out of the right wing noise machine rather than originating with Trump (though he’s obviously using it.) They all pretty much simultaneously started using the lie that the wall = border security, and therefore Dems are against border security. It doesn’t seem to be working as well as it used to, though; everyone knows this is about Trump and his wall.

  90. 90

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

    So his farewell speech was some admission that he’d fucked up horribly by allowing this infrastructure to develop?

    As Jay pointed out above, one does not simply “disallow” the national security apparatus from developing along its own lines. Regardless, who better to know of the danger?

  91. 91
    jl says:

    @Schlemazel: Yes, Eisenhower had great faults. But not sure he stands out as especially egregious wrt to foreign policy compared to other GOP and Dem presidents. But, yes, he learned some wrong lessons from covert operations in WWII, among other problems.

    I was also going to type that Eisenhower did screw things up domestically, because he did want to scale back what he considered ‘big government’ programs that were not needed. He had a free market fanatic agriculture secretary who he had to fire after attempts to reinstate a mythical golden age of unregulated free market agriculture. That didn’t work out, especially for small farmers. Point was not that Eisenhower was perfect or even close to it. Just miles better than the mess the GOP turned into.

  92. 92
    Jay says:


    Reichwing Nosemachine + Wall = Treason Twitler’s “policies”.

    There are lot’s of Treason Twitler’s policies that can be substituted for Wall.

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    Yarrow says:

    @NotMax: Did you decide what soup to make?

  94. 94
    Redshift says:

    @Jay: Well yeah, I know most of his “policies” are “act on whatever Fox is ranting about today,” but in this case I was referring to the Wurlitzer’s dictating a script about how to talk about what they’re doing, rather than dictating policy. For example, Lindsey Graham started using the same language at the same time a few days ago. (Which I actually think undermines the effect; when the script gets parroted by people who the Village thinks better off, like Graham, the robotic quality becomes obvious even to them.)

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    Jay says:


    They all “trapped” in the Reichwing Noisemachine. It used to parrot them back in Newt’s day, now they parrot it.

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

    @Jay: @Major Major Major Major:

    Fair enough and point taken

    It doesn’t seem to be working as well as it used to, though; everyone knows this is about Trump and his wall.

    Which is why in recent polls, he’s being blamed the most for the partial government shutdown. He actually thinks he can win this by bullying which is how he’s “solved” every problem in his life.

  97. 97
    Redshift says:


    They all “trapped” in the Reichwing Noisemachine. It used to parrot them back in Newt’s day, now they parrot it.

    Yeah, and it’s pretty frickin’ scary. Hard to believe things were better back when the electeds knew it was just BS for the rubes. They moved up to greener ($) pastures in wingnut welfare and speaking engagements, and left running for office to the rubes, and now the entire party is high in their own supply.

  98. 98
    joel hanes says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Both parties behaved generally genocidally toward Native Americans.

    … pretty much from birth until Obama became President.

    viz. : creation of the Oahe Reservoir in 1948-1960 by flooding essentially the only habitable parts of the Cheyanne River and Standing Rock reservations. Or the theft of the “Indian Trust Fund”, 122 years of continuous fraud by the US Government, finally resolved by Obama and settlement payments not really starting until 2018.

  99. 99
    frosty says:

    @Mike in NC:

    MacArthur was a malignant narcissist long before Trump arrived on the scene.

    Agreed. I just finished Halberstam’s The Coldest Winter and I kept getting echoes of Trump in both MacArthur and Kim Il Sung. FSM save us from narcissists in charge.

  100. 100
    Suzanne says:

    It’s an open thread, so RANT.

    I have been experiencing severe sinus congestion for the past few weeks. I have had sinus problems for years, but usually manage it well. Anyway, the past few weeks have been really hard. I am a side sleeper, and when I sleep on my right side, my right turbinate swells shut. So I roll over to the left, and the left one swells shut instead. (ENT wants to do surgery but I am very freaked out by that.) I have Flonase and Zyrtec, and usually that is sufficient, but it is not cutting it this season.

    So I went looking for a pillow that would keep my head from flopping around when I lie on my back, so hopefully I could sleep in that position. I found some suggested products and purchased one that has a neck pad and some pads on the side to keep my head from flopping around. All of them advertised themselves as “anti-wrinkle” pillows. This is such beauty standard bullshit. I just want to fucking sleep and breathe.

  101. 101
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @James E Powell: SEC! SEC!

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    Mike in NC says:

    @frosty: I have it on the shelf but have yet to read it. But I have read many other books on MacArthur and he would have loved being as esteemed in America as was the Emperor of Japan in his country.

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    Chris T. says:


    I am a side sleeper, and when I sleep on my right side, my right turbinate swells shut. So I roll over to the left, and the left one swells shut instead. (ENT wants to do surgery but I am very freaked out by that.)

    I have the same problem, but the Flonase (now available as a non-name-brand at Costco!) does the trick.

    I have considered turbinate reduction surgery but worry about “empty nose syndrome”. The RF ablation method seems the simplest and safest, but still… errgh.

  104. 104
  105. 105
    Luthe says:

    @Suzanne: What kind of surgery? Because I have heard very good things about the kind where they shove a balloon up your nose…

    (yes, that is a real thing)

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    chopper says:


    trump is like that awful office manager that puts quotation marks around words and phrases that do not in any way need it.

  107. 107
    frosty says:

    @Mike in NC: You should take it off your shelf and read it, not just for the MacArthur stuff. The Korean War is totally forgotten, it’s amazing how our military had faded just a few years after WWII. And like many other wars, it took too long and too many lives to get the useless bullshitters out of command and put officers in charge who knew how to fight and how to avoid disasters. MacArthur and his sycophants in Tokyo were the former.

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    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mike J: mort de rire

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    Ruckus says:

    I bought a down pillow and that has mostly solved my back sleeping problems. It actually supports me far better than I thought it would. Not cheap but I sleep a lot better.
    Now my main issue is not now as you describe but it was one. My docs put me a while back on loratadine (the active ingredient in Claritin) once a day. This can be bought online/some drug places far cheaper than Claritin. Like 300 for around ten bucks. Works great.
    ETA loratadine is the generic

  110. 110

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Lincoln was at least bordering on socialism.

    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.

    And the Radical Republicans such as Thaddeus Stevens were to his left at least on matters of race and arguably overall. Of course, there was much wider ideological diversity among the party during those days than there is now.

  111. 111
    Suzanne says:

    @Luthe: There are multiple kinds of turbinate reduction surgeries. Some involve radiofrequency, the one my ENT suggested involves electrocautery. I am very ehhhhhhh on that. I think the balloon is another method. At this point, I am tempted to shove fucking bendy straws up there.

    I am Flonasing it up right now but it ain’t doing shit for me in the past six weeks.

  112. 112
    Suzanne says:

    @Ruckus: Claritin used to work for me, but in the past three years or so, I have had much better luck with Zyrtec. Never had much effect from Allegra. Costco sells generic Zyrtec and Flonase, which is waaaaaay more affordable. Problem is that even these trusted friends have been failing me for the last six weeks or so. I’m getting goddamn desperate. I have been a stark raving lunatic for the past three days because I’m really tired and full of snot and my face hurts.

  113. 113
    Mike in NC says:

    @frosty: OK. I am currently finishing up “The Road to Verdun” by Ian Ousby and will be glad to take a break from all the WW1 material for a bit.

  114. 114
    Ruckus says:

    I used to find that switching around every once in a while helped. And I stopped the loratadine for a couple of days once when it stopped working and that was all it seemed to need. But we are all different when it comes to these things. But I would suggest a change or stopping for a day or two if for no other reason to see if it’s no longer doing it’s job.
    Whatever happens good luck, not being able to breathe is not a fun way to go through life.

  115. 115
    Ruckus says:

    I’d bet you have but have allergies ever been discussed?
    For example there is only two soaps I can buy in stores that don’t make me itch. Neutrogena and Safeguard. Satby sent me some great hypoallergenic samples and they made me itch. And yes I know I’m weird.
    But it’s entirely possible that some common thing around you is causing a reaction. Some cats block me up in minutes, others don’t bother me at all. Stuff like that drives one up the wall looking for them and ends in rarely getting good answers.

  116. 116
    suzanne says:

    @Ruckus: I am allergic to everything. Was tested for the fifty most common environmental allergens in my area—and I reacted to forty. Dogs and cats, summer and winter grass, all the trees in my yard, dust mites and mold spores. So, you know, everything that surrounds me all the time and that I cannot avoid. Normally I do okay, but this season has been terrible.

  117. 117
    Ruckus says:

    I figured if you are a long time sufferer then you’ve been tested but damn that’s a rough level. I have over the years figured out what most of mine are because I don’t have the rashes or anything like that, I just do like you, lose the ability to breathe and rather rapidly. And I found out about bees as a child, by getting stung and not knowing what it was, didn’t see the bee. But he left his stinger and to save everyone I won’t describe the gory details except to say, the ER doc was nice, he pulled out the stinger and gave me a shot. Fun times.
    Anyway good luck with finding something that works. Decades ago snow was good for clearing me up but it also wasn’t the best medicine, what with the side effects/end results and is still rather illegal.

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    frosty says:

    @Mike in NC: Verdun. Well, you’ll be switching from one kind of grim to another.

  119. 119
    NotMax says:


    Not yet. Still waiting to hear what the rest of the menu will be.

  120. 120
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    I think it’s a official, Trump is literally so dumb he couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with instructions on the heal and that damn idiot is president. We’re going to have a recession thanks who his incompetence.

  121. 121
    debbie says:


    I am allergic to everything too. Astel*zine has worked for me in regard to nasal/sinuses; what I can’t get to improve is the lungs/asthma stuff.

  122. 122
    Mart says:

    Change the law to imprison Trump and his ilk for hiring people withot the right papers and problem solved.

  123. 123
    SWMBO says:

    @debbie: I take Breo Ellipta (once a day inhaler) and generic Singular. I still have to watch myself but it has cleared up my breathing to the point that I don’t have bronchitis 3 or 4 times a year.

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