Brexit Vote Fails Again

It’s Groundhog Day, ladies and gents: Parliament rejected Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement by 344 votes to 286, according to the BBC. May says it portends a crash-out on April 12. Corbyn called for May to resign and call a new election.

What will happen? Fuckifino. But courtesy of valued commenter Tony Jay, we have a comprehensive and hilarious Brexit explainer to put the looming catastrophe in context:

There’s been perfectly understandable confusion expressed here, by more than one commentator, wondering why the British Parliament doesn’t just ‘cancel’ Brexit. The sheer weight of evidence showing how damaging any form of it will be is so clear, the level of corruption (including foreign funding and meddling) surrounding the 2016 Referendum is so obvious, the scale of the divisions it will leave in British society are so terrifying – why on earth are the democratically elected representatives of the British people still going ahead with it in the face of all that? What’s wrong with them? Why do the British people stand for it?

It’s a fair question, so let me answer it with another question.

Given the huge damage that the Trump Administration is doing to America, and given that the level of corruption (including foreign funding and meddling) surrounding the 2016 Election is so obvious, and given that the scale of division Trumpism is causing in American society is so terrifying, why on earth haven’t the democratically elected representatives of the American people done the right and obvious thing and removed the Gelatinous Orange Pustule from office? What’s wrong with them? Why do the American people stand for it?

In both cases, it’s the same sad boringly predictable answer. The people who want to stop it are a majority within the country, and they might be a majority within the Legislative branch, but they are not a majority within the Governing Party. While the minority Party, which does have a (large) majority in favour of stopping the whole shit-parade, is a MINORITY, with a small minority of members within it (some of them in pretty senior posts) who don’t really want to stop it. It can’t force or win a vote to stop anything without substantial crossover support from members of the Governing Party, and the members of the Governing Party who think it should be stopped will not give that support unless they absolutely and unavoidably have to in order to save their own skins. They won’t even loan their votes to slowing it down unless they’re face to face with a sharp-fanged decision-point that they can’t avoid, and as soon as that vote has taken place it’s straight back into Line of Battle and clocks are reset to zero.

Another obvious question, given the relatively simple proposition that Anything Else > This Parade of Gobshittery, is why there isn’t a majority within the Governing Parties to stop Brexit/dump Trump? Or, more realistically, why won’t the minority of elected members of the Governing Party who believe it/he should be stopped/dumped join with the minority Party to make it happen? Again, it’s the same answer for both countries. Fear. The very real and well-supported fear these elected representatives have of losing their access to high-status positions and post-politics employment in the ‘Studfarm for Past Favours’ sector if they don’t stick to the Party line; either through being deselected by the radicalised membership of their local Party branch, or by being denied electoral funding by the Party leadership.

How did seeing through Brexit/protecting Trump become unchallengeable Party policy? Well, that’s the result of decisions made earlier. They put themselves in this position through being half as smart and twice as cowardly as they thought they were. In the case of the Tory Party it was the decision to put a referendum on E.U. membership into its 2015 manifesto in order to finally lance the boil of Europhobic bastardy and give the slightly less insane leadership room to move on the European stage, a decision which blew up in Cameron’s face when the national vote of his Liberal-Democrat Coalition partners (who he was banking on to veto the idea of a referendum for him once they returned to office) completely cratered and the Tories actually became a majority Government with an obligation to meet their manifesto promises. While for the Republicans it was the decision to go all-in on Total Obstruction and White Power in the face of Obama’s tyrannical melanin levels, which led directly to the popularity amongst GOP Primary voters of the Birther-in-Chief and the mainstreaming of his brand of sneering, liberal-baiting racism.

Once those twin errors had achieved electoral ‘success’ the Parties were trapped within the ideological cages they represented. Cameron had to have a Referendum, the GOP had to have Trump as their candidate. Both were destructive decisions based at their inception on maintaining internal party-political unity at all costs, screw the greater good, but both were errors the respective Party leaderships thought they could get away with once the voting public – rather than the extremists within the Party electorate – got a good look at the reality of what they were offering. No one would be stupid enough to actually vote Leave/elect Trump, would they?

(Insert image of surprised looking bear crouched behind a woodland bush reading a newspaper with a prominent “Is the Pope Catholic?” headline)

Enter Fake News and illegally funded campaigns aimed at leveraging widescale public fear of changing socio-economic realities and the ever-pulsing vein of white racism into a multi-tool for getting people to vote against ‘something’, against ‘anything’, against every bloody thing that pissed them off, because it was all THEIR fault and THEY needed to be taught a lesson. Enter compliant and complicit Media entities that wanted the drama and the controversy, that were so fixated on ginning up an eyeball-dragging horserace that they were quite willing to overlook overwhelming evidence of cheating on behalf of the ‘underdogs’ if it made for sellable conflict. In Britain, as in America, established and provable facts were put in the dock alongside barefaced lies and debunked conspiracy theories, with ‘so-called experts’ forced to justify and explain their entire field of expertise in 30 second soundbites while spittle-flecked nutcases in red, white and blue romper-suits were given uninterrupted airtime to puke-funnel any damned thing they wanted into the bemused face of a general public that were less informed at the conclusion of campaigning than they’d been at the start.

In the end the loudest shouters won. And while their shocked enablers in the establishment media turned all of their time and energy towards sending expeditions of bead-and-button carrying urban sophisticates out into the Wild to bring back precious recordings of the sacred ways and eternal truths underpinning the unspoilt, rough-hewn and not-at-all racist Homo Sal-in-Terra cultures who had delivered these electorally narrow but also – in a sensuously metaphysical sense that just flicked the hell out of every savvy, everything you know is wrong bean in the infotainment industry – somehow incredibly portentous and paradigm-shifting victories at the polls for White Suprema…(Editor’s Note – Are you sure you meant to say this?) …..Working-Class Populism, the Parties found themselves lumbered with the job of translating the cut-and-pasted ravings of comment section misanthropes into national and international policy. The ambitious and the deeply stupid flocked forward to take up the challenge, while the guilty sloped away to hurriedly change their shoes and deny in indignant tones any responsibility whatsoever for tracking bull-shit over the nation’s creamy carpets.

In both cases what we’ve had since is the result of putting nearly unfettered power over the nation’s present and future into the hands of utter fuckwits; people who achieved prominence in the field of fuckwittery by steadily building up a portfolio of crass stupidity, whining victimhood and uninformed wrongness for all to see, taking the retrograde side of every argument and proving themselves suitable for no post more challenging than bringing up the rear in a Human Centipede. But these are the people with the whip-hand in our respective Governments. We’ve got Brexiteers and you’ve got Freedom Caucus types. They may not have the numbers, but they’ve been empowered by their Party leaderships to set the terms of acceptable debate and that’s what’s killed any hopes of good government or compromise. It’s their way or… well… that’s your only option. They’ve been reborn as avatars on Earth for the Dark Lord Willadapeepul and their Word is Law. With the Right-Wing Media providing the songbook and the establishment Media happily humming along to the chorus their malicious lunacy has been given an unearned patina of plain-spoken common-sense and amplified across the nation with a result similar to sticking a trumpet up a hippo’s arse – it’s noisy, the shit goes everywhere and only the deeply kinky are smiling.

So, basically, neither of our countries can have nice things because the Parties in Government are in the grip of ideological tractor-beams dragging them further and further away from reality, and the Media are either leading the way on behalf of their Europhobic publishers or are happy to go with them in pursuit of ratings and promotions. What this means over here is that, as the prospect of Brexit begins to resemble the ‘Libera te tutemet ex inferis’ scene from ‘Event Horizon’, the nutters are digging in their heels and making the choice for anti-Brexit Conservatives stark. They either break with the Party whip and grab onto the next available life-raft, whether that means backing a confirmatory referendum on May’s deal, revoking Article 50, or backing a Labour vote of no-confidence in the Government to force a General Election. They are the only people who can stop this, but in doing so they’ll break their Party for a generation and probably never win elected office again.

It’s in their hands. Even Theresa May says so.

So, the UK needs preening, self-interested cockwaffles to put country over party and career, and thus far, that’s not happening. Sounds strangely familiar. Anyhoo, good luck with that, friends. Good luck to us all.






232 replies
  1. 1
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Why do you keep banging your head against the wall?

    Because it will feel so good when I stop.

  2. 2
    Barbara says:

    ‘Studfarm for Past Favours’ Sector

    This should become an expression so widely used that people inhabiting this space should feel mocked and humiliated on a daily basis. And the rest of it, hard to read precisely because it is so GD accurate.

  3. 3
    kindness says:

    May & Corbyn should both resign. I’m not sure there are any sane one’s left over there. Seems as if both Labour and the Torries are controlled by the haters & racists. I don’t understand how that happened.

  4. 4
    Barbara says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Yeah, as I said in a comment last night, going back to the EU at this point is like an exercise of national body slamming. There is a reason it died out as a dance fad.

  5. 5

    @kindness: This has always been the case, unless you think that the British Empire was an exercise in benevolence.

  6. 6
    plato says:

    One big difference between the cons across the ocean is that unlike the craven cowards that are rethugs, british cons, rightly or wrongly, are willing to speak against and even vote against their party leader.

  7. 7
    Momentary says:

    general election general election general election is it a general election yet plz

  8. 8
    Sean says:

    Also first-past-the-post ridings have created some weird configurations. 65%+ of Labour voters for example are remainers but Labour-held ridings for remain are a little less than half of all Labour seats. Plus, the Labour leader and a lot of the frontbench inner circle are shit – they care more about forcing a GE without the self awareness that even facing a Tory party asking to be put out of its misery, they would still lose. There is a faction of Labour that is Bernie Bros on steroids and they are running the ship.

  9. 9
    plato says:

    bbc: It is the 17th government defeat for Mrs May in this Parliament and all of them have been Brexit related.

  10. 10
    hitchhiker says:

    Last night we were talking about Brexit (which I have been focused on because I find USA politics too painful to look at), and Mr H suggested that we may have crossed a line when it comes to the possibility of stable self-governance on this planet.

    It’s like there’s been a confluence of slowly developing factors that combine to make representative democracy untenable, and it’s slipped past the point of no return. Whatever happens next, it won’t be in our power — here or in the UK — to manage.

    That’s super dark, and I know why he’s saying it, but I still believe we can save it.

  11. 11
    Barbara says:

    @Sean: Yes, but you can’t expect the opposition to save you from yourself. That’s just not how politics works.

  12. 12
    Immanentize says:

    Betty — Thank you!

    And Tony Jay, once again, bravo!

  13. 13
    Felanius Kootea says:

    Why build a sophisticated army and intelligence apparatus focused on external threats when one political party can crater your country with its self-interested loons? Elected by the people. And supported by billionaires whose wealth means that they just fly over to country Y, buy new passports and help destroy another society. For profit.

  14. 14
    randy khan says:

    If we had the levels of defection here in the U.S. that May is seeing in the UK*, things would be very different. On the other hand, all of those defections haven’t changed much in the UK, as there’s still no apparent path to a real decision.

    *As I typed this, I found myself wondering how “U.S.” got periods and “UK” did not. Of course, if you look around, the periods in “U.S.” would seem to be slowly disappearing, but still it’s odd that one gets them and the other doesn’t.

  15. 15
    Momentary says:

    @Sean: GE doesn’t need to give a Labour majority. It just needs Labour + SNP + Plaid + LD + Green > Tories + DUP + UKIP, and for the Labour leader, whether Corbyn or a successor, to be willing to meet Nicola Sturgeon’s price.

  16. 16

    This is an excellent analysis. Thanks to Tony Jay and to Betty for frontpaging it.

  17. 17
    Sean says:

    Also, another point from Jay that may be overlooked: selection. Party members select candidate lists in the UK. Actual dues paying party members on both sides are way down and overall membership is no longer a good reflection of the wider electorate.

  18. 18
    stinger says:

    Thank you, Betty, and thank you, Tony.

    I like the TV series Madame Secretary a lot, but this week’s episode had a pretty annoying bit. The President and his senior advisors are in the Oval Office discussing a situation, and the President shrugs and says “Fake news, what can you do?”

    Three words, mister “president” — Federal. Communications. Commission. YOU could put some teeth back in it. In the real world, of course, we have to wait for Dems to take power again, and I really want the candidates to address this issue. What Tony says about experts vs. spittle-flecked nutcases doesn’t HAVE to be how things work.

  19. 19
    Kylroy says:

    “… in doing so they’ll break their Party for a generation…”

    I want to point out, this *exactly* what the Democrats did in the 1960s by supporting Civil Rights. So, faced with a very similar decision, the American left actually did the right thing.

  20. 20
    Kylroy says:

    @randy khan: I think the important point to remember is that the levels of defection will *always* be short of accomplishing something. If you voted against your party on something they passed anyway, you get to pass your self off as a freethinker while your colleagues roll your eyes; if your vote actually led to the party failing to get what they want, your colleagues *will* make sure you never get elected again.

  21. 21
    Amir Khalid says:

    It was not quite a decade ago that President Obama urged Democrats in Congress to do the right thing for the people and support Obamacare even if it cost them their seats. They did, and and many did indeed lose their seats; but not in vain, because America is a better place for it. Britain faces an existential crisis. yet May and her party will take no road but the one leading over the cliff.

    Even as we comment, Theresa May is working on a plan for a fourth vote. Or failing that, something else just as obviously unworkable. I’m saying it again: May is frighteningly stupid.

  22. 22
    rikyrah says:

    Thank you, Tony Jay, for making sense out of this nonsense

  23. 23
    stinger says:

    @randy khan: The Brits don’t use a period after Mrs or Dr either.

  24. 24
    Immanentize says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Cheryl, I’ve been meaning o catch you. Sort of OT, I know. But do you think Trump is a proliferator?

  25. 25
    AThornton says:

    UK should never have been a member of the EU in the first place. Once past the short term economic pain the EU will be vastly better off.

  26. 26
    daveNYC says:

    @kindness: May actually promised to resign if her deal passed, which is completely backwards from how those things usually go.

    There’s a lot of other horrible ingredients in the shit stew that is UK politics at the moment. May is a horrible PM, but every other potential Conservative candidate for the post is worse. Boris Johnson or Jacob Rees-Mogg for example. Corbyn is awful on Brexit and useless as an opposition leader, but he handily saw off one leadership challenge and isn’t going anywhere. At least he is moderately competent when it comes to campaigning and outside of Brexit (other than that how was the play Mrs. Lincoln) he has some good policy ideas. The real sticker is that the Fixed Term Parliament Act means that you’d need a no-confidence vote in order to have a general election and the incentives for the Tories and their allies the DUP are all on the side of sticking it out regardless. The Tories won’t want one because whoever replaces May will be even more of an idiot and could possibly manage to be even less charismatic, while DUP is in the sweet spot right now since the Tories are willing to throw money at them to maintain their support and there’s no guarantee that a general election won’t leave them out in the cold.

  27. 27
    Sean says:

    @Momentary: That’s the current config in the oppo though (minus DUP of course, which would never be of use – to anyone) but with FPTP it gets tricky. There will be no change in numbers from the Scottish and Welsh parties. The Lib Dem alternative to supporting Labour (since Lib Dems are unequivocally remain) also brings FPTP into play – big risk.

  28. 28
    VeniceRiley says:

    @randy khan:

    If we had the levels of defection here in the U.S. that May is seeing in the UK*, things would be very different. On the other hand, all of those defections haven’t changed much in the UK, as there’s still no apparent path to a real decision.
    *As I typed this, I found myself wondering how “U.S.” got periods and “UK” did not. Of course, if you look around, the periods in “U.S.” would seem to be slowly disappearing, but still it’s odd that one gets them and the other doesn’t.

    Just a guess: it is due to the fact that us is a word and uk is not, and people want to make that clear for US here in the U.S.

  29. 29
    Aleta says:

    Thank you Tony Jay.
    But jeez.

  30. 30
    Tony Jay says:

    Mad isn’t it? Why can’t we just sort it out with a great, big Pie Fight?

    I’m in the process of trying to put into words just what in the everloving fuckitty-boo has been happening with Brexit over the last few days, but it’s my Mum’s 70th so I’m not going to be at the laptop until later this evening, well-seasoned and awash with equal measures vitriol, glee and restaurant beer.

    Y’all have fun now.

  31. 31
    Amir Khalid says:

    @daveNYC:
    The deal has failed again, as everyone expected. So now May doesn’t have to resign. I believe this is her “thinking”. That her failure to lead is the real reason she should resign seems to have escaped her understanding.

  32. 32
    debit says:

    @Tony Jay: Happy Birthday to your Mum!!

  33. 33

    @Tony Jay: Did you see Jeremy Hunt’s op-ed in Wash Post? Any comments?

  34. 34
    Immanentize says:

    @AThornton:

    Once past the short term economic pain the EU will be vastly better off.

    Hhahaahhhaaaahahaha! So true! But I thought we only cared about the UK! HA!
    Oh, I needed that.

  35. 35
    Sean says:

    @Barbara: In this case though there are Tories willing to break ranks (unlike in the States) and the problem is Labour is also – to a lesser degree than the Tories – too focused on internal politics. A more united oppo front could have pushed more effectively for a much softer landing (they could have gotten some Tory support – as well as SNP, Indies, Plaid, Greens, etc.) but Labour is also at odds with itself. True, as the opposition, it would be almost impossible to ignore the referendum result but they could have helped shape the terms of the debate given that the Tories lost ridings in the post ref GE and are essentially a minority government propped up by the DUP. A missed opportunity.

  36. 36
    Doug says:

    @Tony Jay: “I’m not going to be at the laptop until later this evening”

    By which time everything will have changed at least twice anyway.

    Happy birthday to your Mum!

  37. 37
    Immanentize says:

    @Tony Jay:
    Happy Birthday,
    Birther of Tony Jay!

  38. 38
    rikyrah says:

    Rob Reiner (@robreiner) Tweeted:
    When the ranking member of the House Intel Committee demands that Chairman Schiff resign, we know we’re in an out and out war for the soul of Democracy. The GOP cult will do anything to protect the Corrupt Autocrat. Don’t let down. Dig in. Long fight ahead. https://twitter.com/robreiner/status/1111266523824287745?s=17

  39. 39
    Sean says:

    @AThornton: Like a true Brexiter – a slogan with no explanation why.

  40. 40
    rikyrah says:

    Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) Tweeted:
    Wow! The U.S. government is trying to force a Chinese company that owns the gay dating app ⁦@Grindr⁩ to relinquish control over concerns that China could use personal information to blackmail or influence American officials.

    https://t.co/knIigQ201Y https://twitter.com/keithboykin/status/1111361103165046785?s=17

  41. 41
    randy khan says:

    @Kylroy:

    In the UK, the levels of defection have been high enough to keep May from getting what she wanted, much more significant than the one-off defections you see in the U.S. (often with explicit permission), and people have faced consequences, including having to resign from cabinet positions.

  42. 42
    rikyrah says:

    Good!

    skeptical brotha 🌈 (@skepticalbrotha) Tweeted:
    House Dems expand voter suppression probe to Kansas and Texas https://t.co/fdrHr3msD6 https://twitter.com/skepticalbrotha/status/1111365390884573186?s=17

  43. 43
    Momentary says:

    @Sean: All true, but the numbers are so close that it would not take much. The DUP may lose seats as their sane constituents aren’t too happy with them playing with setting Good Friday on fire. If LD and Greens are willing to put electoral pacts in play with Plaid and SNP (which there has been some openness to) then there are potential gains to be made in Wales (for example my own Montgomeryshire is currently held by an aging useless Tory who previously said he wouldn’t stand again, and is the only constituency in Wales never to be held by Labour).

  44. 44
    rikyrah says:

    These evil azz muthaphuckas

    skeptical brotha 🌈 (@skepticalbrotha) Tweeted:
    DHS will ask for sweeping authority to deport unaccompanied children https://t.co/Qi7nb5yOYm via @nbcnews https://twitter.com/skepticalbrotha/status/1111418463489126405?s=17

  45. 45
    randy khan says:

    @AThornton:

    Unless you think the rest of the EU is being solicitous about the UK’s economic health, the extent to which they’re willing to give the UK time to come to its senses suggests that they disagree.

  46. 46
    rikyrah says:

    Clap Clap Clap Clap

    skeptical brotha 🌈 (@skepticalbrotha) Tweeted:
    u may think it’s okay that Beto O’Rourke is friends w/ GOP Rep. Will Hurd.

    u may think it’s okay Beto didn’t endorse a Democrat 2 unseat Hurd & she lost by 800 votes.

    u may think it’s okay Hurd called 4 Schiff’s resignation today & is complicit w/ Russian collusion.

    i don’t.
    https://t.co/Hb5RlEX02Z
    https://twitter.com/skepticalbrotha/status/1111442786857816064?s=17

  47. 47
    Momentary says:

    @randy khan: Ireland.

  48. 48
    Kylroy says:

    @randy khan: But isn’t what May wants explicitly *not* what the hardcore pro-Brexit folks want? (If only because what they want is an absolute impossibility.)

  49. 49
    L85NJGT says:

    @Kylroy:

    Both sides are wishing away a realignment to the cornfield.

    This is like every episode of Fawlty Towers. The body politic abhors power vacuums. Sooner or later a Sybil will come home to sort things out.

  50. 50
    Anonymous At Work says:

    May’s best bet is to figure out a way to “step back” from outright leadership, appoint Farrange and Johnson as in charge without needing their permission, and let them deal with Brexit and the EU. Once they fail, become minority leader and wait for Corbyn to piss someone off enough to have early elections again. That is May’s only recourse to becoming Prime Minister without the Brexit question tying her down.
    Barring that sequence of events, she’s the Brexit-only PM and it shows.

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    There’s been perfectly understandable confusion expressed here, by more than one commentator, wondering why the British Parliament doesn’t just ‘cancel’ Brexit. The sheer weight of evidence showing how damaging any form of it will be is so clear, the level of corruption (including foreign funding and meddling) surrounding the 2016 Referendum is so obvious, the scale of the divisions it will leave in British society are so terrifying – why on earth are the democratically elected representatives of the British people still going ahead with it in the face of all that? What’s wrong with them? Why do the British people stand for it?

    It’s a fair question, so let me answer it with another question.

    Given the huge damage that the Trump Administration is doing to America, and given that the level of corruption (including foreign funding and meddling) surrounding the 2016 Election is so obvious, and given that the scale of division Trumpism is causing in American society is so terrifying, why on earth haven’t the democratically elected representatives of the American people done the right and obvious thing and removed the Gelatinous Orange Pustule from office? What’s wrong with them? Why do the American people stand for it?

    This answer is not quite correct. There is a significant difference between canceling Brexit and removing the President from office in the US. Brexit is the result of a non-binding referendum. The vote to leave has no legal or constitutional effect or implication for Parliament and/or the British government. It can simply be ignored, though the domestic British political ramifications on the members of Parliament for doing so most likely cannot. There is no legal or constitutional procedure in the US to declare a presidential election null and void because we can demonstrate that it was fouled by the actions of a hostile foreign actor who through those actions was able to install the candidate of their choice in office. There is a legal and constitutional procedure for removing the President who is the beneficiary of those actions: impeachment.

    And this is where the difference comes in. The British government, including Parliament, can legally and constitutionally just ignore the results of the Brexit referendum. And other than some of them being voted out of office, there is nothing the British citizenry can do about it (barring some selectively applied low intensity political violence). The US government could not in November 2016, could not in January 2017, and cannot now legally and/or constitutionally just ignore the results of the 2016 presidential election. Those elections results, specifically the Electoral College results, are legally and constitutionally binding. These are not the same type of problems and one – canceling Brexit – has an actual simple and easy remedy while the other – removing the President from office – does not.

  52. 52
    Aleta says:

    When a BBC reporter asked a cabinet minister why the prime minister would hold the vote when she almost certainly faces defeat, he was told: “F— knows. I am past caring. It is like the living dead in here.” (WaPo)

  53. 53
    Kelly says:

    @Tony Jay: Absolutely mad, Thank you Tony Jay

  54. 54
    catclub says:

    @daveNYC:

    May actually promised to resign if her deal passed, which is completely backwards from how those things usually go.

    I agree.

    The quote I saw was that she would leave sooner than she had planned. If she wins her version of Brexit ( apparently not happening)
    and I were her, I would say ” I won it. I planned on 40 years, maybe I’ll stop at 30, fuck off wankers.”

    Not enough submarines made of cheese in the main post.

  55. 55
    BobS says:

    @rikyrah: Agreed. Beto is dead to me until he shows what side he’s on.

    I’m guessing the same issues that were described in the OP would apply to any MP’s getting behind the idea of a new referendum?

  56. 56
    AThornton says:

    @Immanentize:

    I care more about the EU.

    And it’s a good question if the UK will still exist in 10 years. Scotland voted overwhelming to Remain. When the “fruits,” i.e., severe recession to depression, of Brexit become apparent the chances of Scotland leaving skyrocket.

  57. 57
    catclub says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The vote to leave has no legal or constitutional effect or implication for Parliament and/or the British government. It can simply be ignored,

    Not only that, the UK government understanding that the “parliament is sovereign” means that there should never even have been a referendum.

    I find it interesting that even with “parliament is sovereign” May is saying if the parliament tells here to do something she does not want to do, she won’t do it.

  58. 58
    rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    Trevon D Logan (@TrevonDLogan) Tweeted:
    Historical wealth capture depleted black wealth. It’s an untold story in economic history. We focus on “skills gaps” but never tell the story of how whites simply stole black wealth—running blacks from their homes and stealing their property.
    https://t.co/6AiM4b5ubp
    https://twitter.com/TrevonDLogan/status/1110301798923939840?s=17

  59. 59

    @Immanentize: Oh boy, that is a hard question. I have been following the events that I think are behind your question, and they require a long explanation.

    The simple answer is that Trump has no idea what anything in nuclear policy means, to the US or to the world. “It’s the destruction” he likes, as he has said. He’s also said, in effect, that he’s fine with Japan and South Korea have nukes.

    I wrote up some stuff on the companies associated with Michael Flynn that are pushing selling nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.

    Mike Flynn’s Nuclear Adventure – The Companies
    Mike Flynn’s Nuclear Adventure – The Plan
    Michael Flynn’s Nuclear Adventure – The People

    A bottom line is that this seems to be a multifaceted con, and a very dangerous one.

    I’ve been discussing this with other people who know more than I do about some aspects of what’s happening. We all are being careful about what we publish, and I don’t want to use their material to scoop them. The care is because it’s hard to know what is happening, and how malign the players may be.

  60. 60
    PJ says:

    @rikyrah: I wonder if Lindsay Graham is behind that one.

    I’ll see myself out.

  61. 61
    stinger says:

    @Tony Jay: Hipy papy bthuthdy to your mum!

  62. 62
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    That’s some fine writing. Thank you, Tony Jay, for contributing and BC, for posting.

  63. 63
    catclub says:

    @Momentary:

    and SNP

    Do you know why the SNP boycotted the series of eight votes on paper that came out yesterday? I think that was 35 votes which would probably have come down in favor of either remain,
    or the very lightest Brexit. Some of those would have passed.

  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: This has Pence and Pompeo and their religious nutbar minions prints all over it. Questions regarding one’s sexuality are not asked about for clearances any longer. One’s sexuality is not considered to be a potential insider threat any longer. Having affairs could, potentially, place one at risk, but that would be regardless of one’s sexuality. It would also require most of the CIA to be terminated or, at least, heavily dosed with saltpeter.

  65. 65

    Day That Ends In Y: Tories call up a Brexit vote, it fails.
    Day That Ends In Y: Tories call up a Brexit vote, it fails.
    Day That Ends In Y: Tories call up a Brexit vote, it fails.
    Day That Ends In Y: Tories call up a Brexit vote, it fails.
    Day That Ends In Y: Tories call up a Brexit vote, it fails.
    Day That Ends In Y: Tories call up a Brexit vote, it fails.
    …does Parliament work on a Sunday? If so, Day That Ends In Y: Tories call up a Brexit vote, it fails.
    /headdesk

  66. 66

    @rikyrah:

    So what about the RUSSIAN dating apps for heteroes cheating on their spouses? How much of a security risk are those?

  67. 67
    catclub says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: without reading it all, I suspect Elliot Broidy and Erik Prince are there, under some
    cockroaches. Oh and Felix Sater?

  68. 68
    catclub says:

    @PaulWartenberg: asking for a friend?

  69. 69
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Kylroy: Actually far from being an impossibility, what the hard Brexiteers want is the default position. Without an agreed deal with the EU we crash out on WTO terms, which is exactly what they want.

  70. 70
    ocean dude says:

    You had me at “ideological tractor beams”, a third of the nation has walked off the map of reality.

  71. 71
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @catclub: Eez a puzzlement!

  72. 72
    Momentary says:

    @catclub: The SNP is trying tactically for the best possible chance at remain while it still seems possible (as confirmed by Nicola Sturgeon on twitter) which is why they supported the revoke and referendum options in the indicative vote. They may support other options on Monday depending on how the situation stands.

  73. 73
    Doug R says:

    @Sean: I was wondering why Corbyn doesn’t sack up and say:
    “We know that the EU is bureaucratic and democratically unresponsive. But being outside the EU is worse for Britain and Europe is better and stronger together. We pledge to do all we can to work inside the EU to make it a better place.”
    But I hear he’s on the spectrum of old guard Labour that wants to bring back buggy makers and dig coal, still afraid of trade and “foreigners”.

  74. 74
    Ksmiami says:

    @Amir Khalid: she’s also incredibly rigid and high on her own supply/ego. It reminds me of Republicans and Global warming

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PaulWartenberg: Nuwt eh rizq et ul darlink!

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    This answer is not quite correct. There is a significant difference between canceling Brexit and removing the President from office in the US. Brexit is the result of a non-binding referendum. The vote to leave has no legal or constitutional effect or implication for Parliament and/or the British government. It can simply be ignored, though the domestic British political ramifications on the members of Parliament for doing so most likely cannot

    This is how I understand it too.

    Especally, since it was sold under false pretenses, which you can see with everyone pushing Brexit being out the door within days of the vote. They were phucking lying , AND you now know about outside forces.

    So, have a second vote, and have a REAL Brexit plan on the ballot. ..and see, how people vote now that it’s based in reality and not ponies and unicorns.

  77. 77
    rikyrah says:

    Corbyn is a horrendous leader….

  78. 78
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug R: I understand he has an interest in steam powered catapults!

  79. 79
    Momentary says:

    @Momentary: Also important to emphasize that the indicative voting was meant to be a baby step exercise in finding consensus points, it wasn’t about “passing” anything. It was meant for finding which points could plausibly be in play for the second round on Monday. The reporting on this has mostly been terrible.

  80. 80
    cliosfanboy says:

    There is a dog rescue situation in Dayton, Ohio. I sent pics a.c and details to Adam to post.

  81. 81
    Lapassionara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thank you, Adam. This is a key difference between our situation and the British one. That is why seeing Brexit continue careening down the road is so painful.

  82. 82
    Jinchi says:

    344-286?

    The “second referendum” option lost yesterday by:

    285-268

    Am I the only one who’s baffled by the fact that the vote totals on these are all completely different?

  83. 83
    Momentary says:

    @rikyrah: The really fucked aspect of this is that if it had been a binding referendum, it would likely have already been legally set aside because of all the illegal fuckery that went down. But because it was only an advisory referendum, there’s no way for it to be “set aside”.

  84. 84
    daveNYC says:

    May is talking about having a MV4 (meaningfu/meaningless vote) on her deal next week. Basically a runoff with whoever won the indicative votes this week (think it was customs union).

    Having the UK in the EU is a net benefit for the EU, but there are some benefits for the EU if the UK leaves. Generally the UK’s role has been to limit EU integration, and with the US being flaky as hell right now and Russia getting up in everyone’s business, having the UK gone might allow the rest of the EU to tighten things up among the remaining countries.

    This isn’t to say that the EU wants the UK to leave, just that having the UK sit out for a few years might have some benefits.

  85. 85
    Momentary says:

    @Jinchi: Abstentions?

  86. 86
    Hoodie says:

    @Jinchi: You had a lot of people sitting on their hands on the various straw votes. For example, it looked to me that a disproportionately high number of Labour MPs abstained on revocation of Article 50, but I bet many would be in favor of it when it comes to nut-cutting time. I wonder if they’re afraid that revocation would pass and that would let May off the hook by allowing her to blame Labour for no Brexit.
    SNP was also strategically abstaining.

  87. 87

    @Amir Khalid:

    May is frighteningly stupid

    May and the other Tory leaders are die-hard anti-EU, the party had been for ages ever since the Common Market arguments. She and the others will IGNORE every bit of real-world evidence that their Brexit efforts will cause massive harm to their own nation. They are pushed on by the Murdoch far right media outlets eager to have their nationalist agendas confirmed. She will keep repeating this until driven from office, probably the day before the deadline, or until she gets what she wants (which not enough fellow Tories believe in). She’s playing chicken not with the EU or Labour but with her own party, trying to get them to sign onto her bad Brexit plan by forcing *them* to the edge of the cliff. I’m surprised the Speaker of the Commons hasn’t stopped her from repeating the same bad bill, I thought he warned her against doing that.

    April is the Cruelest Month, after all.

  88. 88
    A Ghost To Most says:

    I don’t know much about this Brexit stuff, but my wife and I both renewed our drivers license this morning in less than 10 minutes, at the DMV.
    The machine spit out her ticket, then immediately she was called.

    I’m taking it as a positive omen. It used to be a trip to hell.

  89. 89
    PIGL says:

    Meanwhile Anne Applebaum fears for the decline of “The West” because millennials don’t love democracy enough. Why should they? They’ve never lived in one.

  90. 90

    @daveNYC:

    Exactly. Anyone who thinks the EU is getting punished by losing the UK market is foolish. Anyone who thinks this will force the EU to make needed reforms (it does, by the by) is extremely foolish.

  91. 91

    @catclub: They may be. The meeting in the Seychelles may figure in as well. We haven’t put it all together enough to be sure how this fits. I’ve mostly been looking at the companies Flynn was associated with, and boy do they look crooked.

    ETA: By and large, it appears that the interactions with Russia are separate from the interactions with Saudi Arabia. The early pipe dream of selling Russian reactors has been jettisoned by IP3. So I suspect that Sater is not a part of this particular con. Plenty of con men to go around.

  92. 92
    Peale says:

    @rikyrah: Yeah, that’s possible, and probably a bonus for the Chinese, but really they want that information to police their own gay population. Between blued and grindr, the Chinese do in fact have quite a bit of information available to them on the locations of gay men who are active on that system – which is quite a few gay men. Most Chinese mainland gay men who are young and sophisticated enough are probably on Blued at some point. But for those that aren’t – well…I think this purchase had more to do with Xi’s plan to give all Chinese citizens social desirability ratings based on their networks plus the crackdown on gay rights organizations and media that might imply that the government there needs to recognize rights. They don’t want their to be a gay rights social movement there that they don’t control. I don’t think blackmailing Lindsay Graham was the point. It was making sure that those Blued and Grindr organize gay men in China in very specific ways.

  93. 93
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Only sorta OT, is Mark Hibbs still working in this field?

  94. 94

    @Jinchi:

    Each MP has a differing agenda, ergo some votes will be different from others even if the objective of the votes are the same.

  95. 95
    Fair Economist says:

    @randy khan: The indicative votes showed there *is* a path forward. There is a majority in favor of soft Brexit, maybe with a referendum, if the alternative is May’s deal. Monday will show if the majority can agree on a single approach.

    My prediction is that Monday will see a majority for an indicative plan and May will immediately call a general to prevent it from being adopted.

  96. 96

    @catclub:

    Nah, I gave up years ago. Nobody wants to steal info, uh I mean date an aging fat 49 year old librarian with no social skills.

  97. 97
    Immanentize says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: That is so very helpful and exactly what I was wondering about — Also,
    Brazil? Is Bolsonaro restarting his country’s nuclear program with Trump blessing?

  98. 98
    Jinchi says:

    @Momentary: Yeah, but why? This is a pretty consequential issue that has Britain tied in knots.

    If they won’t vote on this issue what are they there for?

  99. 99

    @Doug R:

    It’s amazing how hidebound socialists can get.

  100. 100
    Sloane Ranger says:

    was the decision to put a referendum on E.U. membership into its 2015 manifesto in order to finally lance the boil of Europhobic bastardy and give the slightly less insane leadership room to move on the European stage, a decision which blew up in Cameron’s face when the national vote of his Liberal-Democrat Coalition partners (who he was banking on to veto the idea of a referendum for him once they returned to office) completely cratered and the Tories actually became a majority Government with an obligation to meet their manifesto promises

    Good summary by Peter Jay but I disagree with this. All the evidence is that the Tories deliberately targeted Lib Dem seats for Tory gains in order to get an outright majority so, there was no expectation of needing to form a new coalition. My guess, Cameron had already won 2 Referenda and was arrogant enough to assume he would win a third.

    In the meantime we have less than a fortnight to pass something acceptable to the EU or we crash out with No Deal. There’s talk of a General Election, but we can’t organise and hold one in the time available so would have to get the EU to agree to the longer extension period.

  101. 101

    @Immanentize:

    yup. trump is a pro-nuke guy (must have money in the industry) and he’s happy to let fellow autocrats and dictators get a piece of the atomic pie.

  102. 102
    Ohio Mom says:

    @rikyrah: Add on to that list the results of the Great Recession, and all the wealth stole through foreclosures and leaving properties under water.

    A lot of wealth went upwards, never to return to where it originated, and Black Americans were/are disproportionately affected.

  103. 103
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @PaulWartenberg: I think the point was that yesterday there was a total of 553 votes and today there was a total of 630. I don’t know what the total membership is.

  104. 104
  105. 105
    Immanentize says:

    @Doug R: Labour is made up of a good dose of old, racist hard line Brexiteers. That is what is so odd and damaging about this issue — it is generational more than it is party-based. Yes, the Conservatives have more olds and nut jobs, but Labour has a significant share as well.

  106. 106
    Fair Economist says:

    @Doug R: Corbyn wants a (soft) Brexit because he wants to nationalize industries, which is effectively barred under EU rules. He is putting this goal above the optimum chance of winning a GE.

  107. 107
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jinchi: Try using base 8 math for your analysis.

  108. 108
    MattF says:

    I suppose we can feel grateful that the English are keeping their distance from most foreigners, given the record of British foreign involvement of the past couple of centuries. It’s somewhat OT, but this is a review of the recent US/Trump stupidity in the negotiations with NK. One can only imagine how bad it could get if the UK was involved also.

  109. 109
    rp says:

    How is that the UK can’t hold another referendum because “the people already voted and it wouldn’t be fair!,” but May can hold 12 different votes in Parliament on the same f**king proposal?

  110. 110

    @Immanentize: I haven’t heard anything about Bolsonaro starting a nuclear weapons program, although he said a couple of threatening words during his campaign.

  111. 111
    errg says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That’s a very good point which I was going to say…!

    And the other huge difference, is that unlike Brexit, which is pretty much bad for everyone (with some small exceptions), Trump is giving the paymasters of the Republican party exactly what they want, tax cuts for millionaires. And he’s giving the 27% what they want too, pissing off the libs.

    So there’s no way that he’s leaving office through any action of the Republicans.

  112. 112
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Hoodie:

    SNP was also strategically abstaining.

    I lived in Scotland for 3 and a 1/2 years, no one in the SNP abstains, strategically or otherwise.//

  113. 113
    Fair Economist says:

    @catclub: The SNP didn’t boycott all the votes. They boycotted votes which had no possibility of stopping Brexit. The clear message is that they will support a plan with a confirmatory referendum. They have also said they will support a soft Brexit if there is *no* way to stop Brexit. The Lib Dems are in the same place.

    Right now the critical negotiations are between unconditional soft Brexiters and Remainers like the SNP.

  114. 114
    Doug says:

    @Sloane Ranger: “My guess, Cameron had already won 2 Referenda and was arrogant enough to assume he would win a third.”

    Arrogance is also a reason they didn’t put in a circuit-breaker like needing not just an overall majority but a majority in each of the constituent parts of the UK. That would have scuppered Brexit from the start. The failure to do that may yet blow up the UK.

  115. 115
    J R in WV says:

    @AThornton:

    … the chances of Scotland leaving skyrocket.

    Yes, and stupid May seems oblivious to this. Isn’t Wales also technically a separate nation? If the bovine by-product really hits the air-conditioner, they may bale too, and seek re-admission to the EU. And a closed border with Lonely but more pure England.

    PM ruling over no longer Great Britain? Lessor Britain? just plain olde England? Perhaps the Former British Wasteland?

  116. 116
    CaseyL says:

    @hitchhiker: I get the same feeling, frequently.

    In fact, I’ll go further: I think humanity – having, in general, exempted itself from the usual selection process ongoing in non-human species – has an unconscious death wish that becomes activated when the (global) population hits a certain density level. In the past this sort of thing leads to wars where millions are killed, or pandemics where millions die, tyrannies where millions are murdered, and so on.

    I think we’re in one of those cycles now.

  117. 117
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    OT, because you asked down below, I watched Cold War and really liked it. I loved the way they used the music, especially the “Two hearts, four eyes” song — it’s breathtaking as it moves through a metamorphosis through the movie.

  118. 118
    Kay says:

    Michael Tracey
    ‏Verified account
    @mtracey
    34m34 minutes ago
    More
    I’ll be going on @SamSeder at approximately 1:20pm EST to explain why Marcy Wheeler, aka @emptywheel, is the Judith Miller of the Trump/Russia saga — except her ethical violations were much more egregious, damaging, and extreme. Tune in!

    The collapse of the online, super cool, Left over Trump/Russia is fascinating. The Trump faction on the Left will find a home on the Right, is my bet. Greenwald is already a Fox News personality.

    It reminds me a little of when they all went anti-Obama in 2010 or so, and ended up promoting alliances with Grover Norquist. That was the first split. Now they’re splitting into smaller factions.

  119. 119
    Bc in Illinois says:

    @randy khan:

    I found myself wondering how “U.S.” got periods and “UK” did not.

    Benjamin Dreyer, Vice-President and chief copy editor of Random House, (Dreyer’s English, p. 23) thinks that U.S. keeps the periods so that it doesn’t look “like the (shouted) objective case of ‘we.'”)

    If you type US, people may read it as meaning “us, dammit, not them.”
    If you type UK, nobody reads it as a reaction to food (rhymes with “yuck”).

    + + +
    My question for the Brexit debate is this:

    How realistic is it for Scotland to dream about leaving the UK and remaining / joining the EU?

    Europe, let’s continue our love affair. Scotland is open. Scotland is now.

  120. 120
    Momentary says:

    @Jinchi: In most cases because of deep splits within their own party. For Labour, there are some points where half the frontbenchers would resign if forced to vote yes, and the other half would resign if forced to vote no. At some point the day of reckoning will come, but for the indicative votes it wasn’t an unreasonable tactical decision to have the frontbenchers abstain so as to not have too many days of reckoning all happening at once.

  121. 121
    mdblanche says:

    @catclub: May has already said she will step down by the next regularly scheduled election in 2022. Note that she never said anything about stepping down if there’s an early election.

    @Jinchi: They’re there because they want to be there and they want to stay there. What do you want, for them to make sacrifices for everyone else’s sake?

  122. 122
    Peale says:

    @Kay: On the plus side, had the “Left” on the blogs I used to follow not gone anti-Obama, I would never have landed here. Which I think was one of the few islands of “we still love Obama and are still Democrats” blog sanity during their meltdown.

  123. 123
    Kay says:

    Bernie Sanders said Trump was too close to Russia so they’ve shunned him. Now even Bernie doesn’t meet the test.

    I don’t think it matters for elections- they’re a sub-faction of the (online) “Left” (supposedly) so the majority Left will stay with Bernie, but I did not see that coming, that even Saint Bernard wouldn’t make the cut. And for Russia! For a corrupt Right wing oligarchy!

  124. 124
    Momentary says:

    @J R in WV: I was at a Yes Cymru (Welsh Independence) meeting last night, and the joke everyone was cracking was that if England would just secede from the rest of Britain, then that would solve everything.

  125. 125
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    The Tory government could have and definitely should have ignored the referendum, which it had been unwise to hold in the first place. The problem is that it has instead chosen to comply, which is irrational given the obvious and very damaging consequences. I think May has intentionally painted Britain into a corner by refusing all the sane alternatives, in order to implement Brexit. And that this destructive strategy is an instance of her frightening stupidity.

  126. 126
    Momentary says:

    @rp: A question asked by many =P

  127. 127
    Plato says:

    Good gawd. Cnn has its stupid brexit countdown clock on.

  128. 128
    Peale says:

    @Bc in Illinois: It would be funny if the Queen declared that the Crown dependencies would be remaining in the EU and decided that she like Balmoral enough that she’d prefer to remain with Scotland than go along with Little England.

  129. 129
    Kay says:

    @Peale:

    The anti-Obama people then became the Bernie people and now they’re splitting again. I honestly think they end up on the Right. IMO, they always had a weird authoritarian bent, a yearning for a Strong Man. They don’t seem disapproving of Trump- they seem envious. Like if they had a Lefty Trump they’d be happy.

    But defending the Russian government? It’s run by Right wing oligarchs who are absolutely horrible for ordinary people there. It’s desperately poor. Why would they conflate the Russian government with the Russian people? No one is accusing “Russians” of election interference. They’re accusing the Russian government- the individual state actors. That’s no more “Russia” than Trump is “America”. It’s not the same thing.

  130. 130
    catclub says:

    @Jinchi: @PaulWartenberg:

    May is frighteningly stupid

    I continue to disagree. My understanding was that all the top leaders of the Tory party that were highly pro-brexit dropped out right after the referendum,(also Cameron – the prime idiot) and she took the job instead. She has survived a no confidence vote both within her party and parliament wide.
    She is clearly stubborn, but she has also won all the votes that threatened to throw her out. Nobody else wants her job.

    I see her as deciding to force through what the referendum said. Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. Is her operating theory.

  131. 131
    mdblanche says:

    @rp:

    How is that the UK can’t hold another referendum because “the people already voted and it wouldn’t be fair!,” but May can hold 12 different votes in Parliament on the same f**king proposal?

    Here’s your answer.

  132. 132
    Momentary says:

    I recommend following Ian Dunt on twitter if you enjoy trenchant play by play Brexit commentary laced with an appropriate quantity of fucks: https://twitter.com/IanDunt

  133. 133
    Fair Economist says:

    @Amir Khalid: Oh, they could have implemented the vote competently. First have a study period to predict consequences of various Brexits. Then have an indicative vote process. If they could get a majority for something, *then* activate Article 50. Put the resulting deal to a confirmatory referendum.

    Really, it’s not hard if the goal is good governance. The problem is the the leadership of both parties is trying to blackmail the country for political goals – immigration restrictions for May and nationalizing industries for Corbyn.

  134. 134
    Plato says:

    @catclub:

    Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. Is her operating theory.

    Nah, she has always been an anti immigrant hawk. Brexshit is just a convenient excuse to push her agenda.

  135. 135
    Ruckus says:

    One common theme of both countries.
    Rupert Murdoch.

  136. 136
    mdblanche says:

    @catclub: I don’t think seeking and clinging to a job nobody else wanted to touch is much of a sign that she isn’t stupid. But pathological stubbornness is definitely her fatal flaw. And Corbyn’s too.

  137. 137
    Aleta says:

    @Kay: In response to collusion talk, the story early on was “we are standing against McCarthyism.”

  138. 138
    daveNYC says:

    @Fair Economist: They could have, but that would have decreased the chances of Brexit actually happening. Starting the Article 50 clock was a smart move if you’re a Brexit true believer.

  139. 139
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: Jerry Rubin in Do It! wrote that if the left ever took control in the U.S., they would have people go to thought school seven days a week.

  140. 140
    Momentary says:

    @daveNYC: Also it is true that the EU position was that negotiations with the EU could not begin until Article 50 was invoked. The UK could still have done its homework first, but working out the deal with the EU before invoking was not an option.

  141. 141
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Ruckus: Also Russian interference.

  142. 142
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: I’m not a big fan of Wheeler’s, but she certainly doesn’t deserve this.

  143. 143
    scav says:

    And why should the Little Englanders stop after their sloughing off of Scotland, Ireland and
    Wales. Back to the Glory days of Wessex, Sussex or maybe Mercia!

  144. 144
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    The collapse of the online, super cool, Left over Trump/Russia is fascinating. The Trump faction on the Left will find a home on the Right, is my bet. Greenwald is already a Fox News personality.

    There are those of us who knew they weren’t shyt for awhile, Kay, and tried to tell folks.

  145. 145
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Agreed. She has been breathless and a little too certain some times, but she works really really hard. I think this is pay back for her working with the Mueller investigation about known compromised assets.

  146. 146
    rikyrah says:

    This thread 👏👏👏

    F**k all you fake “woke” MFs trying to turn Kamala’s truancy policy into a sympathy fest for parents who refused to send their kids to school. Let me tell you something, in the black community… EDUCATION IS RESISTANCE. For years, white supremacy has tried everything & anything

    — 45…get your hands off Puerto Rico’s Medicaid (@Kamalaallday) March 29, 2019

  147. 147
    Momentary says:

    Oh look:

    Nigel Dodds tells me the UK should stay in the EU if that was only way to preserve NI’s place in UK. ‘I would stay in the European Union and remain rather than risk Northern Ireland’s position. That’s how strongly I feel about the union.’— Nicholas Watt (@nicholaswatt) March 29, 2019

    The DUP are stone cold fuckers who were always going to stick the knife into their allies eventually.

  148. 148
    Momentary says:

    @scav: The classics prof Mary Beard ran an awesome thread which touches on this:

    OK one and all, let's have the future exam questions that might get set on Brexit… 20/50/100 years hence. Any level from GCSE to degree! Make them smart and challenging!— mary beard (@wmarybeard) March 27, 2019

  149. 149
    Brachiator says:

    @Sloane Ranger

    In the meantime we have less than a fortnight to pass something acceptable to the EU or we crash out with No Deal. There’s talk of a General Election, but we can’t organise and hold one in the time available so would have to get the EU to agree to the longer extension period.

    Yep. This makes sense.

    @Fair Economist

    Right now the critical negotiations are between unconditional soft Brexiters and Remainers like the SNP.

    Problem is, there is not much support for a soft BREXIT and the deal has already been negotiated with the EU.

    I’ve missed most of the BREXIT commenting, but here is my totally uninformed, but totally accurate speculation.

    There are two parallel fights going on here. The battle for BREXIT on top of a power struggle between hard core Tories, moderate Tories, and the DUP, Northern Ireland Unionists. Labour wants to fight, but since they are not in power, they have been reduced to looking for an opening.

    Parliament keeps rejecting May’s plan, which has already been approved by the EU. Like Monty Python’s Dead Parrot, this plan ain’t coming back. But there is no alternative plan and the EU has said they are not negotiating another one.

    So, May could revoke Article 50 and stay in the EU. This seems extremely unlikely.

    May could dither with further attempts to get her deal passed. This also seems unlikely. And when she offered to step down, she foolishly did not count the votes beforehand. She knows how to hang on, but that’s about it.

    May could ask for a longer extension. This would be crazy. A long extension would require that the UK elect members to the EU Parliament and participate in the EU. While simultaneously trying to get out of the EU. Like I said, this is crazy.

    It would be like a spouse saying, “I’m fucking your best friend and intend to divorce you. But meanwhile, I still am going to live here at home and buy some new furniture.”

    They can’t get anything done by a shorter extension. And neither a long extension or a short extension offers any advantage since there is no hint that anything would be resolved.

    The DUP is insane. They object and say no, but they are just standing in the way of anything happening.

    The UK journalists reporting on this are also caught up in the system and seem reluctant to really deal with the consequences of the power battle between the various factions.

    May only wants her deal. The hard core Tories want no deal. May would have had to put together a cross party coalition to get anything else done. But no one wants to give up power.

    Also, no one so far is willing to seriously allow a new referendum. The EU wants the UK to either clearly stay or to clearly go. The EU will be meeting on April 10 and if there is no deal, the UK would have to leave by April 12.

    Now, here is the fun part. One way to resolve this would be to do a no deal BREXIT and then to call for a General Election. This would allow a new prime minister to try to negotiate a new arrangement with the EU without being committed to any past deal. This would also give the Conservatives and Labour a chance to form a new government. Any other play might see another odious conservative taking over for May.

    The extra fun part. Right now, citizens probably rightly hate everyone in Parliament. No party has any advantage anymore. This opens the door to extremists and nut cases along with the usual gang of idiots.

    Also, the fools playing these games don’t seem to see that their fighting may not result in a stronger UK, but may see Northern Ireland and Scotland becoming bigger problems.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I fully expect May to do something stupid involving trying to run out the clock again with the same old offers.

  150. 150
    Momentary says:

    @Brachiator: If no deal Brexit happens, I suspect it will become May’s deal Brexit within weeks, just because everything will be on fire and May’s deal is what is already negotiated and can be put in place by the UK pressing the panic button. But I think that will only happen by accident, as there are enough players with enough power working hard to prevent it.

  151. 151
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Immanentize:

    Agreed. She has been breathless and a little too certain some times, but she works really really hard.

    Likewise. Only been tracking her for several months but appreciate that she notices/spots aspects other than the obvious/superficial.

  152. 152
    rikyrah says:

    Schiff shames grandstanding GOP with litany of Trump corruption
    Rachel Maddow shows how little of the Mueller report is actually in A.G. Barr’s memo to Congress, and shares video of Rep. Adam Schiff excoriating Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee for condoning Donald Trump’s conduct with regard to Russia after they tried to make a show of condemning him.

  153. 153
    Kay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m not a big fan either and I agree. It’s odd to me how they’re all “journalists” now- that that’s the ethical frame they use.

    I don’t see how being full time media critics is helpful to the broader Left’s agenda. Not that it’s “right” or “wrong” but just that it’s not policy. It’s irrelevant to most people and it’s not really a governmental function. These are private, for-profit businesses. They can’t be regulated into covering or not covering something. The First Amendment just isn’t implicated here- they’re saying the CONTENT is bad. They do the same conflating of First Amendment protections with content and access that the Right does. It’s not a constitutional offense to not pay Glenn Greenwald for political commentary on MSNBC. They just didn’t hire him. They’re not silencing him. Obviously, since he’s on Fox every 20 minutes.

  154. 154
    Chyron HR says:

    @Kay:

    Do they understand that even the whitewashed Barr memo freely admits that everything Russia was accused of was true?

  155. 155
  156. 156
    The Pale Scot says:

    @PIGL:

    Why should they? They’ve never lived in one.

    Word..

  157. 157
    Kay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Maybe it’s helpful to the political agenda in the same way it’s helpful on the Right- to discredit everyone except the leaders.

    Trump fanatics are at the point where they dismiss as “fake” anything that doesn’t come from Trump directly. That’s a control mechanism. He’s the One True Source. It’s the authoritarian impulse.

  158. 158
    mdblanche says:

    @Momentary: Say what you will about the DUP, they are infinitely more principled than the Tories. And given the Tories’ historical dealings with Irish unionists, sticking the knife in them first is just preemptive self-defense.

  159. 159
    catclub says:

    @Immanentize:

    they would have people go to thought school seven days a week.

    do they know that people HATE having to think? Was the idea to foment counter-revolution?

  160. 160
    Momentary says:

    @mdblanche: Indeed, I look forward to the Tories getting everything they deserve from the DUP!

  161. 161
    Mike in NC says:

    Has anybody ever bothered to explain to PM May the definition of doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result?

  162. 162
    Chyron HR says:

    @Mike in NC:

    The Aristocrats?

  163. 163
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: With Greenwald it goes beyond that. He repeatedly states, on any platform that he can get access too, that there is 1) no evidence the Russians actually meddled in the 2016 election and 2) even if they did, it didn’t matter as there is no evidence that the meddling was effective. Unfortunately for Greenwald, we’re not blind, nor stupid. There is a naive 25 year old veteran in Federal prison right now because she trusted Greenwald based on the image he’d created and cultivated that he was the go to person for leaks regarding the US government covering up significant, serious information from the American people. So she found, downloaded, airgapped (moved classified information to a non-classified transmission system) without permission, and sent to Greenwald the US intelligence assessments that delineated actual tampering by the Russians with US voting systems. Greenwald’s publicly stated response was to attempt to verify this with the US government by sending them the documents he’d been sent. WITHOUT REMOVING ANY OF THE METADATA OR OTHER INFORMATION THAT WOULD BURN HIS SOURCE!!!! And within 48 to 72 hours Reality Winner was in jail. Where she’ll spend a lot of her adult life unless some future president pardons her. Greenwald will, however, continue to make $500K a year doing whatever it is he does for The Intercept. All while claiming there is no evidence, despite him having been in receipt of highly classified assessments that included that evidence, that 1) the Russians meddled in the US election and 2) they actually did tamper with voting systems.

  164. 164
    Kay says:

    @Chyron HR:

    No, because when they’re not being journalists they fall back on strictly legalistic interpretation. That was clear from the start. It had to be “collusion” or it was nothing. It is my understanding that “collusion” isn’t the term of art anyway- Comey said it is “coordination” which sounds more like the idea behind the charge to me. But Trump used “collusion” for political purposes and media parroted him, including online Left media. It doesn’t matter if you’re a normal voter asking the relevant question- “did Russia interfere in the election and to what extent and involving whom?” but “coordination” would matter in terms of a statute. They flip flop between using journalistic conventions and legal designations.

    It’s funny because that’s why I don’t like Wheeler. She needs to decide- is she writing a news story or drafting an indictment? It’s two different standards. Greenwald does the exact same thing he is accusing her of doing, except he’s far worse. I know WHY they do it- because they can the looser standards and definitions when those fit the narrative and then switch to “no one was charged with C-O-L-L-U-S-I-O-N” when it’s time for that, but if it’s legal analysis you can’t get away with that. They blur it. It’s a bad idea. You see it with their treatment of Clinton (who wasn’t charged) as against their treatment of Trump (who wasn’t charged). They say Trump is exonerated but Clinton is still guilty- of something or other. They have to choose.

  165. 165
    BobS says:

    I’m puzzled by the (mild) anti-Wheeler sentiment being echoed.
    No one goes into the weeds like she does, regularly.

  166. 166
    catclub says:

    The DUP is insane. They object and say no, but they are just standing in the way of anything happening.

    @Brachiator: I disagree. The DUP has principles: 2)”Under no circumstances fuck up the present peace in any way.” 1)Northern Ireland never leaves the UK – over many dead bodies.

    They may also be willing to shiv erstwhile allies to maintain these principles.
    Now why the Tory party took them on as allies, knowing all this, and expects them to back the present Brexit plan, is on them.

  167. 167
    Red Apple Smokes says:

    @hitchhiker: To be honest, my current operating theory is this– democracy, diversity, and justice, pick two.

  168. 168
    Brachiator says:

    @Momentary:

    If no deal Brexit happens, I suspect it will become May’s deal Brexit within weeks, just because everything will be on fire and May’s deal is what is already negotiated and can be put in place by the UK pressing the panic button.

    To be clear, “no deal BREXIT” is a clear option. It means that the UK would leave the EU and fall under WTO rules. Note that the EU is already preparing for a no deal BREXIT. This might be very painful in the short term, and leave lasting economic scars. Parliament claims not to want this, but has done nothing to prevent it.

    They have rejected May’s deal three times. Also, right now, given May’s promise to step down, it would be very difficult for Labour to have any of their people vote for May’s plan and see a hard line Tory replace her as prime minister.

    @mdblanche:

    Say what you will about the DUP, they are infinitely more principled than the Tories.

    This is not saying much. The DUP’s refusal to back May and not to offer anything in return is stupid, and potentially suicidal. They also suggested that they be given some potential veto power over subsequent decisions involving Northern Ireland, which obviously would be unacceptable to the UK and to other Irish political entities.

  169. 169
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: It is. It is part of the influence operations I wrote about here:
    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/03/05/the-2020-elections-will-be-open-information-warfare/

  170. 170
    The Pale Scot says:

    @J R in WV:

    Perhaps the Former British Wasteland?

    Well at least it will provide material for the next Peter Townsend and Sid
    Vicious

  171. 171
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: Please shoot me an email.

  172. 172
    Momentary says:

    @catclub: Also, standing in the way of anything happening is/was a great strategy for the DUP, because it extends the period of time in which they can extract blood £ from the Tories in exchange for their support.

  173. 173
    BobS says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Tim Shorrock, at Washington Babylon, is doing an interesting dive into Greenwald/Omidyar/The Intercept as a possible intelligence operation for the US and/or foreign governments.

  174. 174
    Momentary says:

    @Brachiator: Things that are not tenable now are likely to become much more tenable in the face of food, antibiotic, and insulin emergencies.

  175. 175
    greenergood says:

    @Bc in Illinois: Lurker/v. infrequent commenter here: Nicola Sturgeon is walking a very fine line just now. The 2014 Scottish referendum was very, very close, with a difference of only 4 poll points a week before the referendum. The ‘Better Together’ (anti-indy faction) insisted that if Scotland voted for independence, Scotland would be forced out of the EU and would need to re-apply, with terrible economic consequences. With the entire mainstream media anti-indy and many dirty tricks deployed, the result was 55% stay, 44% independence. Fast forward to 2016 UK referendum, where Scotland voted 62% Remain 38% Leave. And now we’re told we have to stay with the UK, as it goes off the Brexit cliff.

    Some pro-indy people are now castigating Sturgeon for not going all-out for independence rather than her focusing on stopping Brexit. My unsophisticated take on this is that a) if she hammers on about independence, she will dismissed as an opportunist; b) she doesn’t want a crazy Brexit-y neighbour south of the Border; c) her practical, direct approach has marked her as one of the adults in the room just now, compared to most other high-profile pols here, which d) impresses many previously anti-indy voters, who are gradually coming to realise that the Englsh-based Parliament doesn’t give a hoot about Scotland except as a place for supplying them with oil revenue, grouse-shooting estates and a place to station their aging nuclear weapons, as far from London as possible. They are becoming aware that Parliament has completely ignored any attempt by the Scottish Government to even discuss Brexit at a Cabinet level. It will be a struggle, but the tide may be turning.

  176. 176
    Momentary says:

    @greenergood: Well said.

  177. 177
    Kay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I have always felt he is a prosecutor without a state role or office. Someone who wants that power. He just doesn’t think like a defense lawyer, or a civil libertarian. Those people think a certain way, and it’s consistent. He levels CHARGES against the people he opposes. Accusations. Indictments. It’s a prosecutorial mindset. He doesn’t oppose “the powerful”. He’s furious he’s not one of them. I read a lot of lawyers so it’s familiar to me. He does one thing that makes me smile when I see it because it’s such a marker for a hack. He uses “clearly…” when he’s making a dishonest or unsupported point. That’s a classic – it’s not even sophisticated or clever lawyering or legal writing. It’s ordinary lawyer bullshit.

  178. 178
    rp says:

    I know people like to joke about whether Greenwald is a Russian intelligence asset, but HE ACTUALLY IS A RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE ASSET.

  179. 179
    Kay says:

    @BobS:

    Omidya has a huge ed-tech presence. It’s supposedly “philanthropic” but they lobby to get into K-12 public schools. I assume it’s for the market- public schools are huge buyers- but it could be used the same way Christian conservatives in Texas wrangled their way into the K-12 textbook market, with all the anti-climate change and “the Civil War was about states rights!” bullshit.

  180. 180
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BobS: She’s in the weeds on legal documents, but she is not a lawyer. She is in the weeds on intelligence analysis, but she is not an intelligence analyst or other form of intelligence professional. She is in the weeds on national security concepts and materials, but she is not a national security professional. She has a PhD in English literature.

    I don’t do posts here on Shakespeare do I?

  181. 181
  182. 182
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BobS: I don’t think it is an intelligence operation for the US. Hostile foreign power? That I could see.

    Do you have a link?

  183. 183
    Brachiator says:

    @catclub:

    The DUP is insane. They object and say no, but they are just standing in the way of anything happening.

    @Brachiator: I disagree. The DUP has principles: 2)”Under no circumstances fuck up the present peace in any way.” 1)Northern Ireland never leaves the UK – over many dead bodies.

    The DUP opposed the so-called Irish backstop but never, never, never, ever offered any alternative. They kept talking about holding to a “blood red line.” A powerful, but empty metaphor.

    They also talked about how important it was that there be no difference between Northern Ireland and the UK, and yet Northern Ireland does have some very different laws (e.g. same sex marriage prohibitions).

    To be fair, there are some very difficult to resolve issues. The Republic of Ireland is a member of the EU. Northern Ireland would not be after BREXIT. By definition, it would be difficult to simultaneously observe the old pre-BREXIT regulations and new post-BREXIT regulations. Some flexibility is required.

    And yet, Parliament and PM May kept pretending that these issues were no big deal or could be easily paved over. And yet, the Irish backstop has (as anyone with a brain predicted) been a sticking point.

  184. 184
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @zhena gogolia: Way late in responding, but I’m glad you enjoyed it. Couldn’t help wondering how much of the Polish dialogue you got – I found myself half-listening and half-reading.

  185. 185
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: I found the gmail address I had for you and sent you something.

  186. 186
    Peale says:

    @rikyrah: I guess what I’ve learned from the the “She was a cop” critics of Kamala Harris is that it is obvious to them that the Democratic party has long stood in favor of home schooling and truancy and that its platform supports the legalization of prostitution as the only solution to that problem. I had no idea that those have been mainstreamed in the platform forever and Harris stands outside the mainstream of liberal thought on those issues. Again, that’s all been news to me, since I’ve been a Democrat for a long time and don’t remember our candidates supporting anything like truancy rights and legalized prostitution, but then I could just have been missing those parts of their stump speeches.

  187. 187
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rp:

    but HE ACTUALLY IS A RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE ASSET.

    That’s the joke.

  188. 188
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Why am I not laughing?

  189. 189
    Brachiator says:

    @Momentary:

    Things that are not tenable now are likely to become much more tenable in the face of food, antibiotic, and insulin emergencies.

    Leavers and Parliament don’t believe that these emergencies will happen. They have until April 10 or so to come to their senses.

    A longer extension is possible, I guess, but doesn’t resolve old issues and brings new complications. The weird, stupid thing, is that Parliament somehow believes that they can take as long as they want to figure out what they want to do, but the EU is taking steps to cut things off and to try to look after the interests of its members.

  190. 190
    BobS says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I didn’t know she had a PhD in English lit (nor anything else about her background), but that training would explain her ability to do the exegesis she does on the things she does. The comment section on her site would suggest that professionals (lawyers, at least) endorse her work. With respect to intelligence and security, it’s not like she’s not advising policy-makers, she’s critiquing and reporting. EW isn’t my only source for news on the things that are covered there, but I get a perspective that I value.
    And how do you know we wouldn’t be entertained by a post by you on Twelfth Night?

  191. 191
    Kay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    This is it in a nutshell, I think:

    Jeet Heer
    @HeerJeet
    ·Mar 26
    What’s sad is that some in the American anti-imperialist left don’t see the need to oppose Bannon’s project to create a global alliance of white people to fight POC.

    Bannon sees it accurately, I think. Going after Trump on Russia got in the way of their hoped alliance with Russian government rightwingers. Because it’s more than just Trump. It’s the NRA and part of the religious Right too.

    Lefties have decided to die on this hill? It’s insane. It’s such a crazily attenuated and roundabout way of getting where they (supposedly) want to go. Democrats and Big Media are discredited and Trump and Putin are defended and then what? The Left rises in the ashes of the alt Right, eventually? Why would that happen?

  192. 192
    rp says:

    @Adam L Silverman: He’s still funny, but not “haha” funny. https://frinkiac.com/caption/S04E01/1047046

    (Unfortunately, I can’t find the clip on youtube.)

  193. 193
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Not that kind of joke.

  194. 194
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BobS: She has excellent exegetical skills. And I applaud her for using them. But I’ve watched her correct former Deputy Assistant Attorneys General on air over DOJ policy. I have issues with that. I was trained in doing deep exegesis on historical and archival documents. I understand what she’s doing. But I don’t apply the skills to things outside my expertise.

  195. 195
    sherparick says:

    @A Ghost To Most: They @Kay: It worked so well in 1933 Germany. And the Communists did get the Eastern part of Germany under Russia in 1945 after 12 years and 60 million dead, so some eggs had to be broken. And then the Socialist paradise evaporated despite walls and secret police to keep them in 44 years later so that worked out well all around.

    Meanwhile, Briexit is just a cheese submarine. https://twitter.com/hugorifkind/status/1072222230791229440?lang=en

  196. 196
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: Yep.

  197. 197
    waratah says:

    @rikyrah: I know that Beto is not attacking the other candidates. Every time he spoke in Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Ohio, Nevada he said who ever she or he wins the nomination we will all need to work and win the election.
    Beto cannot help that Hurd has no integrity. Hurd was an incumbent and seemed to be well liked.
    I just had to say something because I think we have enough outsiders trying to destroy our candidates we do not need this.

  198. 198
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Bc in Illinois: How realistic is it for Scotland to dream about leaving the UK and remaining / joining the EU?

    The big issues are that like Wales, NI and England north of Liverpool, Scotland gets a large piece of its government funding from the laundromat for Russian money in London. I been trying to find out what what happens to the oil/gas leases in the N.Sea? What happens to fishing rights? A separate Scotland cuts London’s claim right off. A big new gas find has happened in the N.Sea, and Scotland is said to have to the most potential of any country for wind power generation. A power cable is planned to send wind energy to the continent. Also, the UK submarine base at Faslane Bay. Pulling out would cost billions the HMN doesn’t have. And there are mothballed nuclear submarines that have to be decommissioned, the Scots are already pissed about UK’s secret plan to dump 22 nuclear submarines in Scotland

    And switching from the Pound Sterling to the Euro while that’s going on.. well. It’s obvious that any UK government existing or potentially feasible doesn’t have the competence. And there are Orange Orders in Scotland as in NI, people like this woman

  199. 199
    Momentary says:

    @The Pale Scot: My understanding is the Orange Orders in NI are largely descended from transplanted Scots…

  200. 200
    rikyrah says:

    Expectations grow for legal battle over Mueller report release
    Rep. Jim Himes talks with Rachel Maddow about Rep. Adam Schiff’s confrontation with House Intel Republicans, and the looming battle for Congress to get access to the full Mueller report.

  201. 201
    Lee Hartmann says:

    I needed a cigarette after reading that, and I don’t smoke.

  202. 202
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Bc in Illinois: Scotland is open.

    And they have piper flash mobs

  203. 203
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Momentary: According to the Fenians, England tried again and again to subsume Irish culture by sending colonists. Time after time the colonists ended up taking on Irish ways. Then they sent dirt poor Calvinist border Scots who lived by the feud, and they are there still there, unchanged.

  204. 204
    rikyrah says:

    Trump fabulism seen in overinflated claims of wealth
    Rachel Maddow reviews some of the lies Donald Trump told in documents that purported to show his net wealth, as uncovered in new reporting in the Washington Post.

  205. 205
    Aleta says:

    @Kay: What you said about the authoritarian impulse and control mechanisms is so succinct; also describes Greenwald’s behavior on the internet. When his logic or motives are challenged, he keeps attacking, tries bullying, reverts to name calling (loyalist! coward!), lets his supporters rise up to defend him.

    It’s also interesting to think about the authoritarian desire to be unchallenged, a One True Source as you called it for Trump, together with what you mention and maybe Greenwald. Thanks.

  206. 206

    @Kay: I’m not sure that categorizing Greenwald and the other deniers of Russian connections with the Trump administration as left. I’m partly compaining about a definitional thing: the left-right distinction has represented American politics poorly for a long time.

    What I see in Greenwald, Taibbi, Stephen Cohen, and a few others is that they started out as critics of American excesses, which made them look lefty in the loose way we use that word. But they also have a strong strain of libertarianism that says they should be able to do whatever while criticizing others. It’s a very one-sided libertarianism, but they were able to flaunt it in a way that made it look reasonable to some.

    Now we have overwhelming evidence that Russia messed with the 2016 US election bigtime. Heck, even AG Bill Barr admits it. Trump doesn’t; in the Hannity interview, he was quite clear that nothing could have helped or hindered his destined ascent to greatness (forgive the purple prose).

    When you’ve constructed a worldview over the years that posits Russia as the holder of at least as many virtues as the US, if different ones, and the US as usually wrong in the ways you want to think it’s wrong, added in the cognitive dissonance of Donald Trump’s love of Russia combined with his dictatorial tendencies and general ignorance, you’ve got to blame someone.

    Let me back up a bit on that cognitive dissonance. It comes out of the fact that the Russia that those folks constructed their view around no longer exists. The Soviet Union and its sunny view of itself that they looked up to. Today’s Russia has dropped anything to do with collective good and is full-up in favor of unrestrained capitalism for the favored ones. Greenwald et al. can’t recognize that because it would disrupt their worldview in a big way: the crony capitalism they criticized in the US is now the major feature of the country whose policies they used in that criticism.

    It’s hard to admit that you’ve got to change your worldview that much, easier to attack folks who are dealing with some elements of that change.

    And, not entirely OT, I’ve been wondering how much libertarism has contributed to our current dysfunction.

  207. 207
    rikyrah says:

    Documents show Trump practice of misrepresenting his wealth
    David Fahrenthold, reporter for the Washington Post, talks with Rachel Maddow about documents showing Donald Trump presenting a distorted picture of his financial holdings to make himself appear to have more wealth, and whether such lying comes with any legal liability for Trump.

  208. 208
    WhatsMyNym says:

    @Brachiator: Don’t forget the 7 members of Sinn Féin (Northern Ireland) who don’t even take their seats in the House of Commons. Those votes would have meant a lot early in the process.

  209. 209
    rikyrah says:

    Odd twist in leadership at office overseeing Mueller-tied cases
    Rachel Maddow reviews some of Robert Mueller-related cases being transferred to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., and notes an unexpected twist in a change in leadership at that office.
    March 28, 2019

  210. 210
    eemom says:

    @Kay:

    No, because when they’re not being journalists they fall back on strictly legalistic interpretation. That was clear from the start. It had to be “collusion” or it was nothing. It is my understanding that “collusion” isn’t the term of art anyway- Comey said it is “coordination” which sounds more like the idea behind the charge to me. But Trump used “collusion” for political purposes and media parroted him, including online Left media. It doesn’t matter if you’re a normal voter asking the relevant question- “did Russia interfere in the election and to what extent and involving whom?” but “coordination” would matter in terms of a statute. They flip flop between using journalistic conventions and legal designations.

    Holy shit. I never focused on that before, frankly because I never got into the weeds on the Russia stuff, but you are absolutely right — it is grossly irresponsible to fuck around with statutory language like that, especially if you’re a journalist purporting to inform people…..and still more especially if you’re a journalist purporting to inform people about the fucking LAW. There’s a huge difference between “coordinate” and “collude”, and if the statute only requires the former, any responsible journalist would be all over EXPLAINING that to the public.

    Fuck Greenwald, and fuck Wheeler. They are both poseurs. Yes, Greenwald has a law degree, but despite his much touted cred as a former “civil rights lawyer” he had jack shit in the way of experience in, you know, practicing LAW before he became a full time whateverthefuckheis during the GWB years. Graduated law school in the mid 90s (my high school bestie was in his class at NYU), worked as a typical BigLaw drone for a few years, and then launched his own short lived “civil rights” career, the crowning glory of which was representing neo nazi Matthew Hale.

  211. 211
    romeo24 says:

    @randy khan: I wonder if the reason is something simple like, if you remove the periods from U.S., it could be read that you’re shouting “us!”?

  212. 212
    The Pale Scot says:

    @catclub:

    The DUP has principles: 2)”Under no circumstances fuck up the present peace in any way.”

    Absolutely Uh Uh. The DUP are about the only people that want The Good Friday Agreement terminated. They prefer murder to sharing power

  213. 213
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That’s part of the problem though, isn’t it?

    One of the few people consistently digging deep in the weeds is a self published English Major blogger.

    Not a “journalist”, they are busy chasing the puke funnel and spreading the gaslighting,

    Not an “investagative journalist”, they are busy hunting Kardashians,

    There’s a massive and rich(money) news media in the US and we have to rely on foul mouthed Mommy Bloggers, Food Blogs and almost top 10,000 lefty blogs for information and context.

  214. 214
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I don’t do posts here on Shakespeare do I?

    I for one, look forward to that day

  215. 215
    Steeplejack says:

    @randy khan, @VeniceRiley:

    [. . .] I found myself wondering how “U.S.” got periods and “UK” did not.

    I think it’s a stylebook thing. In the U.S. press the style is to use periods in two-letter abbreviations (but not in those of three or more letters).* In Britain the style is not to use periods for much of anything.

    I think the “U.S. but UK” thing arises because the Brexit issue is “crossing the streams.” We’re seeing stories from both the U.S. and U.K. press, and the U.K. press uses “UK” in their references. We don’t see “U.K.” much at all because the U.S. press tends to refer to “Britain” or “British,” not “the U.K.”

    This is a short, glossy explanation, but I am too rushed and tired for more. If required, I will play one of my rare “argument from authority” cards.

    ———
    * There are some odd “branded” two-letter abbreviations that traditionally don’t use periods, like the AP, because God forbid that those old Teletype machines should have to bang out two extra characters all the time for every wire story transmitted.

  216. 216
    eemom says:

    I don’t do posts here on Shakespeare do I?

    I’ll ghost write one for you.

  217. 217
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I’m late in responding to you — I enjoyed kind of following along and trying not to read the subtitles. It’s such a beautiful language.

  218. 218
    CapnMubbers says:

    @Lee Hartmann: So do I, and I quit smoking 33 years ago.

  219. 219
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: you could do Shakespeare/substitute food goddess crossover posts.

    Perhaps you have a recipe for a charm that doesn’t use “liver of blaspheming Jew”? (That’s from Macbeth, for the philistines in the house)

  220. 220
    Ruckus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I’ve been wondering how much libertarism has contributed to our current dysfunction.

    I’d imagine quite a bit. We are a label country. Along comes a label that sounds liberal, but isn’t and the people who follow libertarianism don’t like either of the defining limits of liberal-democrat nor conservative-republican and you have a place to fit them and for them to fit in. In a parliamentary system, they would have a home. In our system they don’t. But in many regards they are conservative and restrictive, they just don’t want to admit it. So they sound more on the left side of the spectrum by a label but they really are not. In a parliamentary system conservatives and libertarians would probably caucus together, much as the libertarians run with conservatives in out system. Neither one of them wants a working government, the reasons are somewhat different but the goals are the same.

  221. 221
    Ruckus says:

    @Mike in NC:
    Do you think that would help, or even get through in any way?

  222. 222
    Matt says:

    @hitchhiker:

    It’s like there’s been a confluence of slowly developing factors that combine to make representative democracy untenable

    Not quite – there’s been a single slowly developing factor that’s been sold like it’s a bunch of different ones, namely the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few batshit-crazy old white dudes. Democracy has not become untenable, it’s been sabotaged by decades of deliberate propaganda effort.

    We face a very stark choice: either we tell this handful of people that they don’t get everything they want, or we sit on our hands while our species goes extinct.

  223. 223
    Jinchi says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I didn’t realize Reality Winners leak was related to Russian attacks on voting machines. Given that her arrest and conviction is pretty solid confirmation of the documents, I’m astounded how credulous he is about the spin on the Murller probe.

  224. 224
    Michael J Allen says:

    @VeniceRiley: Yeah, USA doesn’t use periods generally.

  225. 225
    Brachiator says:

    @Ruckus:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I’ve been wondering how much libertarism has contributed to our current dysfunction.

    I’d imagine quite a bit.

    I wonder. There country has always had a streak of anti-authoritarianism.

    Neither one of them wants a working government

    to be fairly unfair, some libertarians think that there should not be a government. They don’t care whether it works or not. That it exists at all is a problem. Of course, this is a silly ass fantasy.

  226. 226
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So she’s sort of an multi-profession Portia, if you will? With a tad less charm? I think you should post about Shakespeare just for giggles. Maybe give us some recipes for the feast scenes.

    ETA: Damn you Steve in the ATL. And yours was more clever.

  227. 227
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: blind pig, truffle….

  228. 228
    TomatoQueen says:

    @Steeplejack: They don’t use acronyms much either, and don’t understand why we do. The Graun usage Nasa always makes me point and laff at them as I don’t know what they’d make of my agency’s org chart (ten years in and I’m just getting good at this and management bawstids realign major components, thus an entirely new acronym series.).

  229. 229
    Bobby Thomson says:

    More or less, except that the Trump “takeover” of the Republican party is a myth. He’s a symptom of its core white supremacist values, not the cause.

  230. 230
    Sanjeevs says:

    Tony Jay

    Really great piece. One of the best I’ve read on Brexit

    I see Dominic Grieve was deselected last night.
    The vote was 182 to 131.
    Rounding up 132 people was all it took to remove a former Attorney General of the U.K.
    That’s going to scare the shit out of every non ERG Tory
    The vote was organized by an ex UKIPer

    These people have identified all the weaknesses in the system
    and attacked them.
    And in the U.K. if those is that the 2 major parties are not mass movements anymore, especially the Tories.

  231. 231
    Barry says:

    @Momentary: “If no deal Brexit happens, I suspect it will become May’s deal Brexit within weeks, just because everything will be on fire and May’s deal is what is already negotiated and can be put in place by the UK pressing the panic button. But I think that will only happen by accident, as there are enough players with enough power working hard to prevent it.”

    No, because the Bexiteers will blame everything on the EU, Labour, Furrinerz, Wreckers and Saboteurs. If the collapse happens quickly enough, it won’t work. If it’s a long, slow decline, they might get away with it.

  232. 232
    Barry says:

    @Brachiator: “A longer extension is possible, I guess, but doesn’t resolve old issues and brings new complications. The weird, stupid thing, is that Parliament somehow believes that they can take as long as they want to figure out what they want to do, but the EU is taking steps to cut things off and to try to look after the interests of its members.”

    A long extension has to be granted by the EU, and I can see them thinking now that there’s nothing to be gained.

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