The Only Way Out is Through: There Can Never Be a Return to What Was Normal

I cannot count how many times – in briefings, in operational planning team meetings, in working groups, in other meetings – that I have stated to Soldiers, members of the other uniformed Services, and civilians from the Interagency that one of the end states we should be trying to achieve is not a return to what was normal. That there is no going back to how things were, whether in real life in Iraq or Afghanistan or in a war game’s scenario, the minute before the enemy invaded, the tanks rolled across the border, and/or the air campaign began. Whatever existed politically, socially, economically, religiously, and in regard to kinship as normal for that state and society ended as soon as the invasion started. The whole point of what we were trying to achieve is to establish enough stability to create enough space to begin to build a new normal. And that while the new normal would include some of the old normal, a lot of what existed in the old normal was gone forever. And trying to get it back or reestablish it was a waste of resources.

I was heartened to hear Mayor Buttigieg express this reality during his speech at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame Dinner yesterday (it should be queued up at the 4:31 mark):

For those who can’t watch the video, for whatever reason, he said:

We’re not going to win by playing it safe or promising to return to normal. We are where we are because normal broke.

This is not the first time that he has said something like this. From January:

I get the urge people will have after Trump. ‘Look at the chaos and the exhaustion: Wouldn’t it be better to go back to something more stable with somebody we know?’ But there’s no going back to a pre-Trump universe. We can’t be saying the system will be fine again just like it was. Because that’s not true; it wasn’t fine. Not if we could careen into this kind of politics.

I’m not advocating anyone support the Mayor, let alone anyone else. There are three candidates in the Democratic primary that I’m very enthused about, and another 1/2 dozen or so who I could live with as the nominee and eventually as president. Though I expect that most of the candidates will be out of contention and out of the campaign by the late Fall. But what Mayor Buttigieg is stating is something that is very, very important for everyone to hear, understand, accept, and internalize. And that’s not just because it is what I’ve been telling military and Interagency personnel for over a decade. Or that it’s nice to imagine that Mayor Buttigieg read one of my assessments during his time mobilized in Navy Intelligence and internalized the point I was trying to make. Rather it is because this is our real reality.

There is no going back to how things were before January 21, 2017 or November 8, 2016 or June 15, 2015. The America that we knew on those days – good, bad, and ugly – no longer exists. We can no more restore that America as we can the fantasy of a bygone America that lives in the minds of the Freedom Caucus members, the Tea Partiers, Senator McConnell’s gilded age fetishism, or the theocratic herrenvolk democracy of Vice President Pence.

We can only move forward and attempt to establish a new normal, a new American political, social, economic, and religious equilibrium. That new normal will include some parts of the old normal, hopefully the best parts, but it cannot be the old normal. And doing so won’t be easy. It is easy to break a state, a society, a culture. It is hard to repair them once broken.

The only way out is through.

Open thread.

110 replies
  1. 1

    Late to the party, but congrats, Adam! Just saw your earlier post.

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I’m very proud of putting up the Judiciary Committee hearing live feed. One of my best posts.

  3. 3
    wjs says:

    Ever since CNN and Fox and whoever else began carrying the Trump rallies live, the media conglomerates have been addicted to the revenue that outrage brings to the table. Not only can we not go back to normal, we cannot expect them to swallow the idea that a competent Democrat won’t have a scandal brewing every time their ratings dip. The media will work with whatever is left of the post-Trump GOP to investigate or gin up anything that is fake, no matter how ridiculous it might look.

  4. 4
    Jeffro says:

    Don’t repair, create! Create brand new, Dems – it’s inspiring, it draws people in, and hopefully it makes folks NOT settle. Dream big, fire on all cylinders, all that (‘cause it’s what gets people to the polls!)

    If nothing else, remember the Other Side is dreaming big too – and they need to see that our vision is much broader, more inclusive, more realistic, more future-oriented than theirs.

    Time after time we see poll results that show that Millenials and iGen (or whatever) are looking for new politics. They have largely already written off the GOP. Let’s give them something to vote FOR.

  5. 5
    Suzanne says:

    Seriously think that there is nowhere near enough examination in the mainstream media or the academic press about how visual culture shapes our politics. The new normal will actually look different.

  6. 6
    Another Scott says:

    @Jeffro: Sounds good. We can start tomorrow in Virginia with the state Democratic primary.

    Here’s hoping all my Virginia peeps turn out and vote for progress.


  7. 7

    Open thread? Just found $220 round-trip tickets to Madrid. Booked for early October.

  8. 8
    mvr says:

    Except that the current reality was always latent in the old “normal”. Not to quibble too much because the basic point, that we need to adapt and when we do things are not the same, is fine.

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:


    Not to quibble too much

    You forget how things work here?//

  10. 10
    Dan B says:

    @Jeffro: I’m right with you but there are any number of minority communities that are terrifird and want stability. I’m in one of them. But the courrs are stacked against LGBT, and …. immigrants, POC, and probably women, for decades. We won’t have stability. The GOP, and far right went to war with the majority of Americans and are itching to withdraw from the world, except Russia it seems.

    I ran into some young gay guys who wondered why we need to support LGBT organizations “Since gay people are mainstream. Why nit just fonate to yhe ACLU?” We pre-Stonewall gays were dumbstruck.

    One of the biggest challenges we face is our Libertarian-regulated media and tech. It can’t exist as is with democracy and justice. We’re going to have to balance freedom and justice without losing either.

    But first let’s get people excited!

  11. 11
  12. 12
    waratah says:

    Adam I think that is what Beto is trying to do. This is just my opinion I am not an expert.
    He seems to think that the change should come by giving the voters the power. Having town halls where politicians talk to the voters not only during elections but also while in office. This way they can get better information that is not the horse race. He came out with a voting protection plan that should help if we can get it passed.

  13. 13
    satby says:

    @Major Major Major Major: so jealous! I’m trying to decide where to go next winter, and Spain and Portugal have been calling me. I’m blaming Elizabelle 😉
    @Another Scott: Good luck and fingers crossed for a great turnout.

  14. 14
    Dan B says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m getting on the helicopter, because I know how things work around here…

  15. 15
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    Wasn’t a “Return to Normalcy” Warren G. Harding’s campaign slogan?

    Apparently “normal” was the Teapot Dome scandal.

    The bigger scandal was normalising the word “normalcy”.

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    and yet, some things never change

    Marlow Stern @ MarlowNYC
    Axios CEO Jim VandeHei called AOC the “Donald Trump of the Democratic Party” tonight on ‘Axios on HBO.’ What crazy nonsense.

    for one of the biggest of Beltway Bigfeet, a freshman backbench MoC who wants to increase taxes to guarantee health care is a mirror image of an authoritarian, racist POTUS who is destablizing the international order and puts children in cages
    (VdH was rumored to have a framed copy of Clinton’s bill of impeachment in his home office)

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Jeffro says:

    @Dan B: Amen (on getting people excited). “We can’t go back…so let’s go BETTER”.

    I like what Adam’s saying and what Buttigieg’s saying…if the ‘old’ allowed this country to get this far off the rails, let’s create something new.

    Someone’s campaign speech, late 2019: “We won’t have stability…who wants to stabilize this? Who even wants to go back to where we were, to wait for a smarter or less obviously corrupt trumpov to come along? Americans deserve better, far better. Hell, even genuinely principled conservatives deserve better than this. Trumpov, McConnell…they’re selling America OUT. They don’t believe in democracy or American values. But WE do…”


    Anyway, it makes the work both harder at first and then easier. It’s eye-opening and requires some folks to make a leap of faith when wishing for some past stability would be easier. But once they start to think about it? Given all the other headwinds the GOP and trumpov most especially are facing? I like our chances.

  19. 19
    satby says:

    @waratah: a great voter protection plan was already passed by the House and went to die in the Turtle’s Senate. All the Democratic candidates have voter’s rights platforms. Not saying Beto’s isn’t good, just that it’s something they all will have.

  20. 20
    Jeffro says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Only thing to do is call it what it is: la-zy. LAZY. No more both sides or false equvialencies. That’s just lazy (lazy AT BEST).

  21. 21

    Do any of us even remember what used to be normal?

    More seriously, the disasters Trump is constantly inflicting and flirting with have brought home a great many issues that we need to deal with, and in some cases, like global warming, have highlighted that we’d better get moving.

    That’s a good basis for what we’ll need to do when we remove the orange growth from the White House.

    And congrats on the gig, Adam. Miss Bianca is good people. And the Arkansas Valley is getting to be a swinging place.

  22. 22
    Ruckus says:

    The old is the holly grail of conservatives.
    But the old is never what people remember. It was never as good and often never as bad.
    This is true in warfare as in daily life. I have cancer. I had cancer before I knew I had cancer. The prognosis was good, but even then the possibilities were that my life would never be the same as it was. And it isn’t, my cancer was growing, now it is in remission. My numbers aren’t as good as the doc wants but they are dramatically better and they are good. And yet I’ll never be the same. This is what life is, it’s never the same, it can be good or bad or inbetween but life is never the same. And the earth’s rotation doesn’t reverse, time doesn’t go backwards nor does it stand still. I’ve seen dramatic change in my very close to 70 yrs on this rock and I know that tomorrow will look really, nothing like today, which looked absolutely nothing like it did 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 or how many ever years ago you want to talk about. We can not go back ever, humanity does not have a do over button or a reverse gear. We have to pick up the pieces when the sun comes up or when we blow it up, whatever that means. Life only has a forward gear and for the last 180 years photographs to remind us of what was. What Was.

  23. 23
    WTF says:

    Due deference to Hume and his guillotine, I recall a quote from a novel Thomas Y. Davies used in a legal treatise from a law journal. “Recovering the Original Fourth Amendment.”

    “The past is a foreign country: They do things differently there.”

    Hello Adam. It’s been a while. Here’s another Jefferson Quote you’ll like.

    “When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property…

    I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty.”

    T. Jefferson

  24. 24

    @rikyrah: cheaper than a flight I recently booked to Montreal, which is like an hour away.

  25. 25
    FelonyGovt says:

    So many government departments, institutions, rules and norms have been broken. It will take a strong, courageous and hard working President to start cleaning up the mess and yes, it will look very different from anything we think of as “normal”.

    ETA or: what Cheryl said.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jeffro: it’s that for sure, but it’s also a deep-seated refusal to acknowledge* the role race played and plays in trump’s politics, because they never wanted to admit the role it played in pre-trump Republican politics. The latest manifestation of voter suppression predated trump’s birtherism by about ten years, and VdH and his ilk rang for the smelling salts whenever anyone pointed out the role race played in that. Like a lot of white people, they’ve defined racism down to using That Word, or as Jamelle Bouie put it, as bad manners.

    * also corruption and literally dangerous incompetence

  28. 28
    Zelma says:

    It is so much easier to break something than it is to fix it. And the country is broken. I’m not sure that it can be repaired. I fear the great American experiment is over. The Constitution failed in 2016. Or maybe it was destroyed by the greed and irresponsibility of our monied elite and their lackeys in the Republican Party.

    Even if the Democratic candidate wins the Presidency in 2020, holds the House, and retakes the Senate (a daunting proposition given the unrepresentative nature of that body), the damage has been done. Humpty Dumpty and all that.

  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WTF: They do indeed.

  30. 30
    laura says:

    @Major Major Major Major: actually inside the plane both directions? That’s some seriously affordable shoulder season international travel value! I hope a pack of jackals join you. . . .cough lamh36 cough….

  31. 31
    James E Powell says:

    The one point that neither Mayor Buttigieg nor anyone else wants to mention is that while the system is flawed, the real problem is the deeply rooted bigotry and misogyny of the American people. Sure, the Republicans have nurtured them and regularly fanned the flames, but it is the American people and their effed up ways that support the Republican hate machine. The Rs would be nowhere without them.

    The Democrats can say what they want, run whoever they want, but those people are still going to be there.

  32. 32
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Andrew Lawrence @ ndrew_lawrence
    Tucker Carlson: “I think people don’t really understand the degree to which George Soros is successfully remaking this country”

    Not the Mercers, or the Koch brothers, or the Ricketts, one of whom is actually governor of a state (and who are about to host a giant GOPfund-raiser at Wrigley Field which may turn out to be a huge own goal given the demographics of the surrounding neighborhood(s). )

    To say nothing of the fact that Tuck’s team controls two and half of three branches of government.

  33. 33
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    So I anonymously trolled an ancap on Tumblr a few days ago on Trump-Russia. To them, Trump is the victim of the big evil surveillance state and the Trump Tower meeting was a “set up” between “Russian and Clinton operatives” according to this RealClear Investigations article he linked me to. Oh, and that Trump had “no obligation to assist in his indictment from a fraudulent investigation” in response to “these aren’t the actions of an innocent man” re: Trump’s obstruction. Oh, Mueller is a “company man” and Barr said Mueller’s decision not to indict Trump on obstruction had nothing to do with the DOJ memo.

    It’s fucking Bizarro World. I have no idea who “Lee Smith” is but the little bit of that article I did read is crazy pants.

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Anti-Semites going to anti-Semites on the Swanson Frozen Dinner Trust Fund Hour of White Power Glower Hour.

  35. 35
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Swanson Frozen Dinner Trust Fund Hour of White Power Glower Hour.
    Nice. I will steal it if ever I have occasion to talk about Tucker. I don’t know how many of my meatspace acquaintance know who Tucker is, much less his connection to the Swanson fortune.

    Interesting glimpse into the Carlson family dynamic a few weeks ago when Tucker went on a rant about men being emasculated by wives who out-earn them Tucker was ten when his pappy married the heiress.

  36. 36
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Here you go. Former executive editor of the Village Voice’s literary supplement. Radicalized by 9-11, went to work for The Weekly Standard as their foreign/Middle East correspondent. Now bills himself, from his perch at the Hudson Institute, as a terrorism expert.

  37. 37
    mrmoshpotato says:


    actually inside the plane both directions?

    “Here’s your luggage tag. Get in the box.”

  38. 38
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    BTW, congrats Adam! I’m not sure what since I didn’t read the post the announcement was made in, but congrats all the same. I don’t read this blog as much as I used to, unfortunately : c

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Bless his heart!

  40. 40
    Hkedi [Kang T. Q.] says:

    I’m solidly on team broken glass, but currently my dream ticket is a Warren/Buttigieg ticket. Biden is well cocooned in DC logic (see the long term Anita/Hyde/hands error), and as well is senator B.S. (his initials seem to match his actual political actions well).

    I had early concerns for Warren’s age, but she is holding up well, both personally and ground-game wise, after the first round of the conservative and news puke-funnel. My first pick a couple of months ago was Harris/Buttigieg, but Harris currently hasn’t broken to the 2nd tier, and unless there is an upset (very probable, but in which direction?) she is probably not going to win the nomination. (She would be a lovely head of the DOJ. *evil cackling)

    You might have noticed my vice president pick has been the same, and for good reason. If any woman candidate is the top of the ticket, I think Buttigieg is the best vice president. Basically he’s a boring white gay Christian, which is the utter nightmare of the conservative religious right whom have given up all of their morals to follow Donald Trump. A strong Christian progressive, who speaks fluent Christian, (I’m Agnostic/Deist myself) would be the worst wedge for the conservative evangelicals that could possibly happen for them.

  41. 41
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: any thoughts on Reince joining the Navy?

    Adam Weinstein @ AdamWeinstein
    The 47-year-old O-1, commissioned alone by the VP whose political party he ran, at a full press conference in choker whites. This is such a fucking joke

    Am I wrong in thinking this is a bone tossed to a disdained but loyal former underling who now gets to cosplay as a Navy officer while working, if twitter Nixon has it right, as a minor bureaucrat?

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: I’m not really sure congrats are actually in order, but thanks.

  43. 43
    opiejeanne says:

    have you seen this?

    Kamala Harris at a town hall

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It is what it is. To be honest, he’s failed upwards his entire life. So letting him into the reserves, with a special exemption to policy that got him out of even having to go through boot camp, is just testament to how his entire adult life has gone. That said, I’ve known two Navy human resources officers. Both of whom were complete morons. So he should fit right in at the office.

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

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Thanks, Adam.

    This all stemmed from a post making the rounds on Tumblr where a linked news article made the connection between the new Chernobyl show and Trump. Basically, authoritarianism (of any political/economic system) leads to an environment of fear where people don’t report politically inconvenient things. The parallel is obvious to me, but the Tumblr right lost their collective minds about it.

    My ancap refused to see my point and allowed his anti-Marxist bias to cloud his judgement. I mean, yeah, communist regimes have historically done some pretty fucked up things. I really don’t understand pro-Trump ancaps. Well, ancaps generally.

    The moron also used AOC as an example of Marxism being promoted in mainstream American politics.

    Edit: BTW, what was everyone congratulating you about?

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Why the fuck would anyone want to be a 47 y/o O-1?

  47. 47
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Rinse Pubics, apparently

  48. 48
    BellyCat says:

    This concept is as subtle as it is important.

    Thanks for reminding us now, Adam, and for your prior efforts with the military.

    What does the new “normal” for the media look like, optimally?

  49. 49
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @opiejeanne: I have. She’s very, very, very good.

  50. 50
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: found an article in another twitter thread

    n a statement submitted to the Navy and obtained by The Post, Priebus wrote that he has proudly watched his sister serve as a Navy doctor and remembers his father teaching at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois when he was growing up. He added that he especially felt called to serve after an Oval Office meeting in which Trump met with the wife and children of Senior Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, 36, a Navy SEAL who was killed early in the administration in a Special Operations raid in Yemen.

    Mattis wrote him a letter of recommendation

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Priebus was spotted at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland in July while considering joining the Navy Reserve and was open to doing legal work, human resources or intelligence, Politico reported at the time.

    They didn’t want him as lawyer or /snort/ an intelligence officer

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: I didn’t ask who. I asked why.

  52. 52
    Dan B says:

    @Jeffro: Just to reiterate I want to lead with exciting visions. I guess as a gay guy who was around in the days the GOP wants to return to their (in)gloriousness and was in Jim Crow south, I realize we can’t get traction with “exciting” unless we detail what we want to preserve, even if most minorities and many women know it was a fiction.

    I loke Adam’s and Pete’s framing. It serms like a simple statement of reality. We can’t put Himpty Dumpty back together and now he’d be broken befire he got on the wall, and where the heck did that wall go!?

    I’m waiting for the Dems to start talking about media. It’s slanted towards a vision of a rational GOP that ceased to exist in 2000 and vanished in 2012. There must be some simple frames that will communicate to the majority of Americans. Only Trump is talking about their distrust of the media. We can turn it around on Trump and the GOP. It’s not just their issue.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Mattis wrote him a letter of recommendation

    That is hilarious. Mattis must have really disliked him.

  54. 54
    James E Powell says:

    @Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]:

    I had early concerns for Warren’s age, but she is holding up well, both personally and ground-game wise, after the first round of the conservative and news puke-funnel.

    Trump won because a very large number of white women hate Hillary Clinton so much that they were more comfortable with a guy who bragged about grabbing women by the p. My concern with Warren was whether white women hate her as much as they do Hillary.

  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Bonus points for making me laugh out loud.
    The moron’s moron.

  56. 56
    Wapiti says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: As an old Army guy, that Prebius appointment makes me want to see the House Armed Service Committee look into the direct appointment process and identify which are political. Need to put a halt to that; the Reserves are political already without jumping people into the service at (young) middle age.

  57. 57
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Because he’s a boring mediocrity who needs validation?

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: He’s a Navy Reservist HR officer. Because of the manner of his direct commissioning he is exempt from conventional entry-level training. So he does the minimum reserve commitment per year from now until he’s 67 and then retires with a full retirement. That’s all it is. And he gets to say he’s an officer in the US Navy. My guess is as soon as the administration changes over, either he’ll find a reason to seek separation and leave the Navy or he’ll find that the Navy is no longer particularly tolerant of Ensign Priebus; career fuck up.

  59. 59
    Dan B says:

    @James E Powell: It’s my feeling that the end of the Fairness Doctrine, the rise of FOX, and the penetration of libertarian social media (libertarian / anarchy freedom) has made a business model of making the rubes angry and made their prejudices badges of honor. The same is true worldwide. Part of it is our unwillingness to state their are limits to the free market and to freedom itself in this digital age. Are we going to let everyone have their own propaganda apparatus?

    AI is going to ramp that up to the point that Big Brother and Goebbels will serm quaint. We are still primitive meat packages on some levels that fail to see the value of order and cooperation until it’s war, or at least the chaos we are living at this moment.

  60. 60
    Dan B says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: H.G.Wells didn’t realize the War of the Worlds would be Earth vs TV Dinners.

    Oh no, the humanity! They’re bringing out the Tucker Ray Beam! We’ll all be frozen stupid!!

  61. 61
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BellyCat: I honestly don’t know. I think it looks like serious anti-trust efforts to break up the big social media platforms and the big search platforms – Facebook and Instagram, Google and YouTube, etc. I think it also means that you have to have real competition in the cable/satellite TV and high speed Internet space. Not what we’ve had, which is that each big company basically carves up the country to ensure their profits. I also think it means that the limits on who can own and how many stations they can own in the local TV and radio space need to be brought back. Sinclair and Murdoch shouldn’t be able to do what they do with local affiliates. Same thing with the big radio conglomerates.

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The exception to policy issued for him had to include the military occupational specialties that are covered under the direct commissioning policy. None of which are HR.

  63. 63
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: He was a partner in one of the largest firms in Wisconsin (and one with a reasonable national presence). He was chair of the WI GOP and then the RNC,, etc. I can’t see what validation becoming the lowest officer rank in the military could give him. His fellow junior officers will find him to be a joke. The enlisted people below him will laugh at him behind his back. There really is no upside that I can see.

    Now if he had chosen to do as John Profumo did and volunteer to clean urinals at a public charity, I could respect that. But he didn’t.

  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: My guess is that Mattis decided that if this is what he wanted, he should get it good and hard. I fully expect that had Mattis remained as SecDef, that Ensign Priebus would not be assigned to a cushy office in DC. Rather he’d be doing Navy HR work in Afghanistan.

  65. 65
    opiejeanne says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: What does” ancap” mean?

  66. 66
    Mr. Kite says:

    So what is really going on with Priebus? Is he that unemployable now that he has to join the Navy as an ensign at 47? Nobody has a sinecure for him? WTF?

  67. 67
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    “Anarcho-capitalist”, virtually the worst kind of anarchist out there

  68. 68
    Jay says:



  69. 69
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I figured that BS about being inspired by the Navy service member who died in 2017 or his father’s history with the Navy had something to do with it. Adam’s answer is probably correct

  70. 70
    Origuy says:

    DId the site update or part of it just happen? I restarted my laptop and the fontsize of the post titles is huge. The blockquotes are different, too. The title of this post seems particularly appropriate.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I spent some time in a Brigade S-1 shop while I was waiting for my resignation paperwork to get processed. I got to be the “shitty-little jobs officer.” Seating charts for St. Barbara’s Day Ball. Escort officer for the local Furst von Blah-Blah-Blah at events. Etc. It did leave time for skiing in the alps and bouncing through the Greek Islands.

  72. 72
    Peale says:

    Odd. I’m 49 and from Wisconsin originally. Last night I had a very odd dream that I was graduating from high school and everyone was congratulating me for joining up and wishing me well because I was going to muster up the next day. I didn’t remember agreeing to join the service, didn’t know which service I was supposed to have joined and was panicking because I’m 49, out of shape, need to lose weight. Have respiratory issues and didn’t know how I’d survive boot camp and was angry that I even passed the physical. Like who passed me, and why was I graduating again? it was vivid enough that I woke up wondering if I had in fact been in the army at some point and forgotten about it. Now I know. Reince Priebus and I are somehow connected where he is forced to live my nightmares. It makes sense. What can I do with these powers? How does one purposefully give oneself nightmares.

  73. 73
    plato says:

    Trump told aides to deny that his internal polling showed him trailing Joe Biden in many of the states he needs to win, NYT reports, even though Trump is also trailing in public polls from key states like Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 10, 2019

  74. 74
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    What can I do with these powers?

    Use them for good, not evil.

    How does one purposefully give oneself nightmares.

    Drugs. Or clown videos. Or both.

  75. 75
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Sorry to repost this question (it was an edit in a long comment), but what were you being congratulated for?

  76. 76
    opiejeanne says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Ok, thanks. Why would you want to talk to them, even if you’re just trolling them? Doesn’t sound like much of a troll, more like you were earnestly arguing your case.

  77. 77
    Dan B says:

    @opiejeanne: That clip of Kamala is great. She always seems effortless in communicating what she thinks and hiw she feels. I love her drmeanor and her presence. I love Warren’s policy chops and passion, but she seems to be trying too hard at times. She and Kamal serm to love each other and respect each other so I’m confident the best aspects will rub off on each other.

    Pete’s got some top nitch rhetoric so let’s take advantage of that. Lending library?

  78. 78
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    Well, maybe trolling wasn’t the right word. Basically, they pissed me off. I gave up after I realized they were operating from a completely different set of facts, were too deluded, and I had better things to do with my time. This took place off and on over 30 mins

  79. 79
    opiejeanne says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Geez. Just go back two or three posts and read it. It’s short.

  80. 80

    @Omnes Omnibus: Clown videos and a bad acid trip are the same thing.

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  82. 82
    opiejeanne says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: They ALWAYS operate from a dishonest/delusional space. That was 30 minutes you could have done something useful and/or fun, like writing your book.

  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: You know I know that.

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Origuy: No. Part of the fix to the porn issues created this new issue of oversized title and funky quote boxes. Alain’s trying to figure out how to fix that without it either recreating the porn issues or creating something new and even worse.

  85. 85
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’m sure the 6th Fleet needs someone to do filing…

  86. 86
    opiejeanne says:

    @Dan B: right now I’m Team Harris but Warren is nearly tied with her in my esteem. They are both great. Mayor Pete needs more experience. He’s got some good ideas but I don’t think he’s ready yet. I feel the same about Beto, but I’d vote for either if that was the choice. Broken glass and all that.

    I will not vote for Tulsi. I don’t know what I’ll do if she’s the choice we are left with, which is doubtful anyway. Bernie seems to be sinking in the polls which is really a good thing. He was asked a couple of days ago about his plans for his PET proposal, getting rid of student debt. This is what he said: “Specifics ? – “I don’t have the plan in my pocket right now.”

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: I’m honestly not sure. All I did was a sort of housekeeping post with links to two recent publications elsewhere. And to information about a conference I’m going to be giving the keynote at. It was intended as sort of a public service announcement/in case anyone was interested, but apparently it was interpreted as something important that I should be congratulated about.

    So thank you and everyone else for the congratulations.

  88. 88
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    It wasn’t a big deal. I actually did some writing afterwards for a short comic I plan on getting commissioned

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Thanks, Adam!

  89. 89
    eemom says:

    @Another Scott:

    We can start tomorrow in Virginia with the state Democratic primary.
    Here’s hoping all my Virginia peeps turn out and vote for progress.

    Indeed. I’ve lived here for 28 years and I’ve never seen a primary over local government so fiercely fought.

    I especially love the anti-developer, pro-teacher memes.

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @opiejeanne: Right now, the ticket I would like to see is Harris/O’Rourke. Those are also the two people I see as being the most charismatic. Harris seems to be everything people have been saying about her, and O’Rourke would force the GOP to spend time and money on TX. Every dollar they spend there is a dollar they can’t spend somewhere else.

  91. 91
    smike says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Since he cares so much about sacrifices by the armed services he surely wants to work with wounded soldiers. Up close. Every day of his commitment.

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  93. 93
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Everyone his age will be O-6+ or E-8+. The whole thing just weirds me out a bit.

    @Adam L Silverman: Uh huh. Humble brag, I see.

  94. 94
    AxelFoley says:

    @James E Powell:

    The one point that neither Mayor Buttigieg nor anyone else wants to mention is that while the system is flawed, the real problem is the deeply rooted bigotry and misogyny of the American people. Sure, the Republicans have nurtured them and regularly fanned the flames, but it is the American people and their effed up ways that support the Republican hate machine. The Rs would be nowhere without them.
    The Democrats can say what they want, run whoever they want, but those people are still going to be there.


  95. 95
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It’s weird, there’s no argument from me about that.

    Nope, not a humblebrag at all. Just wasn’t something I was expecting to receive congratulations for.

  96. 96
    tobie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Harris/O’Rourke is my dream ticket too. O’Rourke’s commitment to participatory democracy runs deep and is his answer to the quagmire we’re in. There’s not an ounce of nostalgia in his or Harris’s campaign. Both have their eye on the future — Harris by focusing on K-12 education, O’Rourke in emphasizing the importance of immigration for our civic life and shared prosperity.

  97. 97
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    My fellow Americans, as a young boy I dreamed of being a baseball. But tonight I say we must move forward, not backward! Upward, not forward! And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!!!

    Bill Clinton (link)

  98. 98
    Brachiator says:

    We’re not going to win by playing it safe or promising to return to normal. We are where we are because normal broke.

    What a dilemma. The fantasy promise of America used to be the myth of creating a New World, free of rigid tradition.

    And then Trump, trying to outdo Reagan, peddled the false nostalgia of a return not to the good old days, but a return to the great old days which never existed, of a strong America which everyone fears.

    Against this is a vaguely psychological, vaguely sociological, vaguely therapeutic promise of psychic restoration of norms and soothing of frazzled nerves.

    We might get lucky. After the American Revolution, some were just looking for a clean up of the Articles of Confederation. Instead, they got a whole new country.

  99. 99
    jl says:

    @Brachiator: I think best way to solve that dilemma is to propose specific policies that will uncrap the average voter’s area of operation, which is currently crappy and getting crappier every year. And explain clearly now they will uncrap the average voter’s area of operation.

    That’s why I am supporting Warren, who is doing great work, whether she gets the nomination, or doesn’t, but pushes Democratic field in the best direction to win.

  100. 100
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    So long sad times
    Go long bad times
    We are rid of you at last
    Howdy gay times
    Cloudy gray times
    You are now a thing of the past

    Happy days are here again
    The skies above are clear again
    So let’s sing a song of cheer again
    Happy days are here again

    Altogether shout it now
    There’s no one
    Who can doubt it now
    So let’s tell the world about it now
    Happy days are here again

    Your cares and troubles are gone
    There’ll be no more from now on
    From now on

    Happy days are here again
    The skies above are clear again
    So, let’s sing a song of cheer again
    Happy times
    Happy nights
    Happy days
    Are here again!

    I’m sure glad a Democrat never ran on that theme. It would have been a sure loser.

    Oh wait….

  101. 101
    sukabi says:

    @James E Powell: it took 25 -30 years of constant media “conditioning” to reach the levels of hate Hillary received. E. Warren hasn’t been vilified for nearly as long or as viciously as was Hillary. Plus there’s not the ultimate sin of standing by a cheating husband (would have also been a sin if she left).

    Plus the attacks on Warren have been half-assed racist and ridiculous.

    So no. There will be the standard misogyny and age attacks, but Warren does have what Hillary was missing…she’s willing to meet the attacks head on with a strong, clear rebuttal. People like and respect that.

  102. 102
    tobie says:

    Besides Biden, is anyone running a campaign based on the idea of restoration? Seriously? I know Buttigieg’s pitch from the start has been that there are no agains in politics but judging from his Iowa speech he still has not fleshed out what that means.

    I’m not a Yang fan, but he’s right to say that an industrial revolution has taken place and we’ve played ostrich instead of owning up to automation; I’m not a Warren fan but she’s right to point out that economic gains have fallen to a few at the top while the majority still struggles; I’m not an Inslee fan but he’s right to say that if we don’t deal with climate change now we’ll be faced with a crisis of untold propositions in 20 years. I can name others, the point is that I don’t hear much from Buttigieg beyond slogans about ‘no going back’ and ‘no do-overs in life.’ Sorry…that doesn’t cut it for me and I don’t actually buy it. To me it speaks to his inexperience and relative youth that he thinks that his age is absolutely unique and like none other before. America’s toyed with fascism before. The McCarthy era comes to mind. Such threats require a strong response. How do you get people involved in the political process? How do you make them stakeholders in political and economic life? These are the kinds of questions I’d like candidates to grapple with. If I want purple prose, I can read George Will’s columns.

  103. 103
    sukabi says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Preibus as a reserve ensign? I smell another trumper who couldn’t land a job. This sounds like a combination call in a favor / desperation move.

  104. 104
    James E Powell says:


    I’m Harris, but if not then Warren and if not then I don’t effing know. We need someone who can win the campaign, so we have to see who can win over people who are not like us. It’s a strange and painful process every time.

  105. 105
    tobie says:

    @James E Powell: Everything feels so hyped up and accelerated this time around. It could be because campaigns are waged on social media and cable. Hard to believe we’re still 8 months out till the first caucus vote is cast!

  106. 106
    Planetjanet says:

    I have no doubt that this is good advice for where we are as a country right now. It also feels like good advice for where my life is right now. Sense of real wisdom. Thanks, Adam

  107. 107
    Another Scott says:

    @tobie: +1

    Probably the thing that bothers me most about Buttigeig is that he’s so young and seems to be in a big hurry. He ran for DNC chair and lost. Why did he think he should be DNC chair when he had no national political experience? Why does he think he should be President?

    He has a good resume and can give a good speech, so do and so can lots of people. What’s his hurry? It feels like we’re being asked to buy a pig in a poke to me.

    That said, Team Broken Glass, etc., etc.

    It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out over the next 6-9 months.


  108. 108
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Not a Buttigeig fan, but thank God someone finally exposed the fetishization of “normal.”

    MLK and Gandhi weren’t “normal.”

    “Normal,” in and of itself, has no value. “Progressives” aren’t supposed to be all about the status quo.

  109. 109
    chopper says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    back in 2003 i hooked up round trip to madrid for a hundo, thanks to an airline website screwup.

  110. 110
    Ithink says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    Why not buddy? We/I was missing you here!

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