Thoughts and Prayers


Boy, if there was anything else the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee could do. Sadly, he can’t, so I sure hope Baby Jesus is listening.






191 replies
  1. 1

    Genocide is coming

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  2. 2
    MJS says:

    Unless they get the opportunity to actually ask question, reputable media outlets should stop simply running statements provided via tweet or other means. Otherwise, Graham gets to look like he’s opposing Trump, without the bother of having to actually respond to questions like, “What are you going to do about it?” and “Does this make you rethink your blind support of this president?” In other words, don’t amplify the spin. Make them earn it.

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  3. 3
    feebog says:

    Maybe if you hadn’t been enabling this orange turd for the past three years the Kurds would not be in this position.

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  4. 4
    dmsilev says:

    Graham is too busy licking Trump’s boots to do anything substantive. Specifically, he’s trying (a) to get all of the Senate Republicans to sign a letter saying that Trump did nothing wrong in that infamous phone call and (b) is trying to get Giuliani to testify in front of his committee to say the same thing. All of that is a full schedule, so a little sympathy here.

    A really really little sympathy.

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  5. 5
    Raoul says:

    Graham claims Congress will take some sort of action. What?

    Turkey is a NATO member. And they are announcing basically immediate genocide.

    Putin is getting exactly what he wants, a cold war alliance in shreds, war in the Mideast and our country in paroxysms over Trump’s many, many wrongs.

    Lindsey definitely helped build this.

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  6. 6
    MattF says:

    Graham’s dumber than I’d thought. It’s hard to imagine that he doesn’t see the problem here. (Hint: it’s spelled t-r-u-m-p).

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  7. 7
    john not mccain says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    The Turks definitely have experience in that area, of which fact they should be constantly reminded.

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  8. 8
    Noncarborundum says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Genocide is coming

    Not to worry, Lindsey will send healing thoughts.

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  9. 9
    Raoul says:

    It’s a quick read, but Charlie Sykes piece in Politico a couple days ago about the total humiliation of Graham is worth a read. (On my phone so linking us a pain. But easy to find)

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  10. 10
    jl says:

    I read that Paul Ryan is going to work for Fox News, and he said that he is really excited about it, because there, he can do something about Trump, unlike when he was speaker of the House. Maybe Graham can do the same and really make a difference. Graham is right about this, but that is a stopped clock being right twice a day thing

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  11. 11
    Barbara says:

    It would be better for Graham to say nothing because this is just fucking shameless. Hey, Lindsay, while you’re at it, why don’t you write 100 times on a blackboard somewhere, “I am a sycophant, I am a sycophant . . .”

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  12. 12
    Kent says:

    How good actually is the Turkish army? The Syrian Kurds have been fighting for a decade and must be pretty well armed. Is it a given they are going to impose their will on the region? The Saudi’s have an even larger and more modern military (at least in terms of defense spending) and have had their asses handed to them in Yemen.

    I’m just asking here. I have absolutely no idea. But is it possible that a lot of Turkish draftees are going to find themselves in a meat grinder?

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  13. 13
    Barbara says:

    @jl: JFC. Ryan is a special case of shamelessness, finding excuses time and again for abandoning principle and doing nothing when he held actual power in order to not jeopardize his pay out when he gave up that power.

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  14. 14
    Archon says:

    After the TPP debacle, the Iran Deal and this it’s a wonder why any country would still try to make any strategic or political arrangement with the U.S.

    The United States is an unreliable partner.

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  15. 15
    Raoul says:

    @MattF: He isn’t dumb. He is incredibly craven.
    The moaning about the Kurds is to try (in vain) to preserve his reputation, such as it is.
    The bootlicking on impeachment is to stay on Trump’s good side (of which there is none).
    But of course, two years of Linds polishing Trump’s offal didn’t even earn a phone call before the decision to sell out the Kurds. What a failure.

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  16. 16
    SFAW says:

    @john not mccain:

    The Turks definitely have experience in that area, of which fact they should be constantly reminded.

    As I noted yesterday, the Turks are just pissed they couldn’t commemorate the Armenian genocide’s 100th anniversary with a new one. And they get extremely pissed if anyone in the US government mentions it, as in “Apologize for talking about it, or GTFO of Incirlik” level.

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  17. 17
    Yarrow says:

    @jl: Ryan isn’t “going to” work for Fox News; he joined the board of Fox News in March. See how effective he’s been at “doing something about Trump.” Amazing stuff. Real difference-maker that guy.

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  18. 18
    bbleh says:

    Lindsey Butchmeup is in a tough spot. If he gets too badly crossways with the Dear Leader, some wingnut will primary him. And South Carolina is not exactly South Bend, Indiana, if you take my meaning.

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  19. 19
    Archon says:

    @Kent:

    That’s why the Kurds are asking for a no fly zone. Without that Turkey would have a hella of a time defeating them.

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  20. 20
    Raoul says:

    @Archon: Oh, we’re very reliable. To our new client master.

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  21. 21
    SFAW says:

    @Archon:
    I think I saw that Turkish jets are attacking positions in Syria, but I might be mixing up stories.

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  22. 22
    New Deal democrat says:

    Here is what I said a year ago in what looks increasingly like a sickeningly prescient post:

    https://bonddad.blogspot.com/2018/11/on-my-wall-colors-on-maps-are-running.html

    It is 2019. Every adversary of the United States is beginning to cash in their chips:

    – Turkey invading Syria
    – Russia about to invade Ukraine
    – Israel annexing the West Bank (at least if Bibi stays prime minister)
    – China (crushes freedom in Hong Kong?)
    – Saudi Arabia – already went after Yemen
    -Iran ???

    The more impeachment and removal look like real possibilities, the faster they will move. All of them want the moves to be irreversible by the next US president.

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  23. 23
    Yutsano says:

    @Kent: Unknown. My big concern is Turkey has a history of genocide. Unless NATO issues a smack on the nose (and NATO really isn’t designed for that) then there’s really nothing stopping the Turks from rooting the Kurds out of northern Syria.

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  24. 24
    Mandalay says:

    @Raoul:

    Charlie Sykes piece in Politico a couple days ago about the total humiliation of Graham is worth a read

    Indeed, and it indirectly explains why Graham is lashing out now:

    Despite Graham’s compulsive turd-polishing of the past few years, Trump didn’t even consult him before making the decision to abandon the Kurds. Graham, who had given up so much self-respect to prevent just this outcome, was not even in the room. He didn’t even get a text.

    Graham desperately needs Trump’s support to hold onto his seat, and Trump needs Graham for….absolutely nothing at all.

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  25. 25
    ET says:

    Looks like Erdogan didn’t wait long…….

    (comes as no surprise to anyone except the decider in chief)

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  26. 26
    Cacti says:

    @Archon:

    After the TPP debacle, the Iran Deal and this it’s a wonder why any country would still try to make any strategic or political arrangement with the U.S.

    The United States is an unreliable partner.

    The sanity of the Obama years is starting to look like an aberration, considering they’re bookended by two of the biggest dumpster fires in the history of the American Presidency.

    I wish I could say I believed better days were ahead for the country, but I’m not sure I believe it anymore.

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    Kay says:

    @Mandalay:

    Like nearly every mean-spirited asshole I’ve ever encountered, Trump has more contempt for the people who kiss his ass than the people who stand up to him. He’s right to have contempt for them too.

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  28. 28
    jl says:

    @Yarrow: Thanks for info.

    @Archon: Is creating that feasible? Could Trump and US military make that happen? (Though even if so, no point in thinking Trump has the wits or integrity to do it, despite his promise to put a check on Turkish incursion if they abused Trump’s gracious and merciful dispensation to them.

    I heard a news report of WH leaks that said, basically, Trump caved to Erdogan staged a BS tantrum over being supposedly slighted at the recent conference, and wanted Trump to do something to make up for it. Trump did something very stupid and very cowardly and very counterproductive for US security because Erdogan yelled at him over the phone. Impeach and convict and remove this criminal clown now.

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  29. 29
    Yutsano says:

    @SFAW: What I recall seeing: the Turkish Air Force is attacking the border crossings between Syria and Iraq trying to cut off avenues of escape. That pretty much makes their intentions clear here. But I think I saw that the US Air Force isn’t letting the Turks near the actual Kurdish positions. So it’s kind of mixed right now? This situation sounds very fluid and there might not be much good reporting until the slaughter has stopped.

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  30. 30
    Raoul says:

    @Mandalay: I’ve been against term limits. But the ways that politicians (even some good ones) hang on to power endlessly is a serious problem.
    We have a multi-front war to maybe, possibly save our republic. Campaign finance needs to be one of them. Though this scotus will be very hostile to any of that.
    So then we add expanding the Supremes to a looooong list of urgent needs.
    I’m glad EWarren has a plan for all this (not snark, or, not just cynicism maybe…)

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  31. 31
    Kay says:

    Not that it matters, but Trump promised that this wouldn’t happen yesterday. He’s such a chump. They were gearing up while he was bellowing ineffective threats. They completely and utterly ignored him.

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  32. 32
    Raoul says:

    @jl: Erdogan knows Trump will roll over for a little cheap praise, belly rubs, and modest bribes.
    Perhaps NATO and our generals can manage some limitations, but it’s likely to be very bad.

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    Mandalay says:

    Boy, if there was anything else the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee could do.

    I was going to joke that Graham could write a sternly worded letter to the Turkish Government, but yesterday he tweeted it instead:

    To the Turkish Government:

    You do NOT have a green light to enter into northern Syria.

    There is massive bipartisan opposition in Congress, which you should see as a red line you should not cross.

    I think the judicious use of all caps should convey the seriousness of the situation to Erdogan, who must be shitting his pants over Graham’s sternly worded tweet.

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  34. 34
    Mary G says:

    @Kent: I am no expert, but my understanding is that the Turks have airplanes and the Kurds don’t. They relied on us for that and we bailed out on them. David Ignatius at WaPo tweeted also that Russians were coming with tanks from the south and ISIS sleeper cells in Kurdish cities had activated. In short, they are fucked.

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  35. 35
    kindness says:

    @Kent: I suspect we did not give the Kurds Stingers (or what ever the current shoulder fired missile is). Can’t really use rifles against modern bombing aircraft.

    Republicans have trashed America in the eyes of our allies and non allies around the world. As far as they are concerned having the judges and the tax cuts makes it all worth it. We are screwed.

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  36. 36
    Kay says:

    @Raoul:

    Maybe it will get bad enough that there will be real structural change. I wasn’t and am not a “burn it down and start over” person but since they’re burning it down, well, that debate seems…moot.

    Events overtook it.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Leto says:

    To America's remaining allies: You're next. Sincerely, Donald J. Trump. P.S. I love you, Vladdy.— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) October 9, 2019

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  38. 38
    Raoul says:

    @Cacti: Not to get too far afield, but I think the anger at Ellen is that many of us remember what a horror Dubya Bush was.
    Making him a friend you go to ballgames with is really gross. The man used anti-marriage amendments to hold power.
    He made key phone calls to get Kavanaugh through the hearing process.
    Bush may be pleasant in a billionaire sky box, but he is a moral sewer.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    Kent says:

    So from what I have read in the coverage, what Turkey is actually trying to do is create a 30 mile “buffer zone” along the border which they will depopulate of Kurds and repopulate with Syrian Arabs.

    However from what I understand, this is actually Kurdish homeland. In other words, all the towns, villages, and farms are Kurdish. So it is really a massive Turkish land-grab and attempt to “cleanse’ the area of the native Kurds who belong there and have claim to the area.

    Am I understanding this correctly? Turkey is really attempting to drive a 30 mile slash through the Kurdish homeland and populate it with Syrian Arabs who are not from the area. Essentially no different from what Myanmar is doing with the Rohingya.

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  40. 40
    Yutsano says:

    TOTS N PEARS TIME PEOPLE! HAVE YOU NO RESPECT FOR TEH TOTS & PEARS???

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  41. 41
    The Moar You Know says:

    Genocide is coming

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yes it is. We’ve sold these people out three times in just the last 30 years. I am ashamed of what our nation has done to these folks over and over again.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    Raoul says:

    @kindness: What I’ve read, the US pushed the Kurds to disarm in exchange for “protection”. Thereby facilitating this coming cleansing (a horrific word, one that bizarrely sanitizes displacement, terror and murder.)

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  43. 43
    Leto says:

    @Yutsano: It takes a good guy with a country to stop a bad guy with a country because when we outlaw countries only bad guys will have countries. TOTS AND PEARS!

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  44. 44
    Duane says:

    @jl: Trumpov could be quickly impeached if the cowards in the Senate would stand for our country and do their damn jobs. Stop Trumpov now assholes. It’s only going to get worse. He’s going down in flames and they’ll go with him. Idiots.

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  45. 45
    Raoul says:

    BTW I recommend following this man. His main focus is the Balkans but he applies what he learned in those horrors to other events. Oh and he has feels about the NYT (tweet from 2018, but apropos):

    @JasminMuj
    The NYT continues its policy of publishing shockingly uninformed and outright dangerous commentary on the #Balkans. There is no such thing as “peaceful ethnic cleansing” or partition for that matter. How does this even need to be said?! https://t.co/Dgo7Fyii1O

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  46. 46
    Kay says:

    PublicPolicyPolling
    @ppppolls
    · 1h
    Trump trails Biden 51-46, Warren 49-46, and Sanders 50-47 in NC. Ties Harris at 47%, leads Buttigieg 47-46.
    Electability differences are overblown. Trump gets 46-47% no matter who Dem is. Dems get different levels of support depending on level of fame:

    North Carolina. Wow.

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  47. 47
    Kay says:

    @Raoul:

    Josh Marshall
    @joshtpm
    ·3h
    Times ran Schweizer’s Bannon-funded propaganda in its news section in 2016. Now runs his concern trolling oped with his Biden smear. Amazing.

    Their political coverage is horrendous. I get that they’re “an institution” but 2020 is going to be EXACTLY the same as 2016 at that newspaper. They are once again relying on Right wing operatives for their election coverage.

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  48. 48
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Raoul:

    the US pushed the Kurds to disarm in exchange for “protection”

    Got them exactly as much protection as Ukraine got for denuclearizing with the Budapest Memorandum.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
  50. 50
    Kent says:

    @Kay: You are surprised? North Carolina has been close the past several elections. Obama won in 2008. The GOP won in 2012 and 2016 with narrow margins.

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  51. 51
    Kay says:

    @Kent:

    I’m pleased. D’s need a new big state. South and/or west. I don’t care at all which one it is. It would sort of make sense that it’s North Carolina, following Virginia.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    Yutsano says:

    @Kent: Give the high school teacher from Texas a cigar!

    It’s the same play book with the Armenians, except they’re getting a twofer in that not only do they purge the Kurdish “threat” from near their border they get to relieve their Syrian refugee problem. It’s Erdoğan’s best case scenario, and Drumpf is going to sit back and just let it happen because Erdoğan promised him something.

    I want that call readout now too.

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  53. 53
    Yarrow says:

    @Raoul: Rich people. Ellen’s rich, W’s rich. They all hang out together in rich people places. Maybe the being rich part takes precedence over everything else.

    Speaking of rich people being buddies with questionable leaders, maybe Dr. Oz can have a word with Erdogan. (This is from 2013 so possibly things have changed. Don’t know.)

    Oz, whose parents moved back to Turkey after many years in the United States, visits them every year and is known to enjoy close relations with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    Mary G says:

    Also, too, the Kurds are holding thousands of ISIS prisoners they will probably have to let loose. Trump asked the countries they came from to take them and when they refused, said they’re not our problem. They can restart their caliphate and fuck up Iraq some more.

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  55. 55
    Another Scott says:

    @Kent: I’ve seen the width as being reported as 20 miles (32 km).

    I have a feeling that this isn’t going to go as Erdogan plans. “The enemy gets a vote” after all.

    Grr…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    Mike in DC says:

    Syrian government forces, supported by Russia, said to be attacking to the south at the same time. That is a formula for genocide. And any new president will come to power too late to undo most of the damage done by Trump’s stupid, reckless move.

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    Mandalay says:

    @bbleh:

    Lindsey Butchmeup

    Thankfully, many people have moved on from that mentality. You should try it.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    Yarrow says:

    @Duane: That Trump was going to take the GOP down with him was known since the 2016 election. Lindsey himself even said it:

    If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed…….and we will deserve it.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 3, 2016

    So, if Lindsey Graham knows Trump is going to destroy the GOP and he’s part of the GOP, why is he sticking with Trump? He’s not going to escape that destruction. Trump will throw everyone under the bus before he goes.

    That infamous golf outing where Graham went from a Trump detractor to the strongest Trump defender must have been something special.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Yarrow: Dude’s a fucking quack. What makes you think he’d lift a finger?

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    Elizabelle says:

    Earning its name. Fuck the Fucking New York Times today, the op ed page.

    Opinion
    What Hunter Biden Did Was Legal — And That’s the Problem
    We need a Washington Corrupt Practices Act to stop political families from self-dealing.

    By Peter Schweizer
    Mr. Schweizer is the author, most recently, of “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends.”

    Has an article up by “investigative journalist” Peter Schweitzer about political corruption. Of Hunter Biden and the McConnell-Chao family.

    Neglects to mention this guy is the author of “Clinton Cash.” The word “Trump” appears once. Identifying President Trump as Elaine Chao’s employer. Never touches a Trump otherwise.

    You cannot make this shit up. (The NY Times reader commenters are asking, how did you miss including the Trump children?)

    Again, fuck the fucking New York Times.

    Only bright spot: maybe this means the Clinton Cash-fellating NYC FBI field office now has Mitch and Elaine in their sights. That could be good.

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    Barbara says:

    @bbleh: No, we don’t want your meaning and we wish YOU would drop it or take it elsewhere.

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  62. 62
    Yarrow says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Nothing. Just highlighting their connection.

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  63. 63

    @Raoul: Who cares what Ellen does? Is she supposed to be some kind of a paragon of virtue?
    I found her act with Michelle Obama where she goes to CVS and acts like a rude doofus, annoying.

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Yarrow:

    I figure an envelope full of photos and printouts of texts, messaging app logs and Grindr account details was involved.

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  65. 65
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kent: NC’s Republicans are so baldly anti-democratic BECAUSE the state is on the edge of turning blue, like Virginia was 15 years ago. They’re living on borrowed time they got by winning in 2010 and rigging everything. They know it.

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  66. 66
    The Moar You Know says:

    How good actually is the Turkish army?

    @Kent: Very, very good. And they have the latest and greatest weaponry from both sides save for the F-35.

    The Syrian Kurds have been fighting for a decade and must be pretty well armed. Is it a given they are going to impose their will on the region?

    The Kurds might have the most combat-hardened army, but they are not terribly well armed and there’s not enough of them. The outcome of this is not in any doubt.

    The Saudi’s have an even larger and more modern military (at least in terms of defense spending) and have had their asses handed to them in Yemen.

    The Saudis, as we found out in Gulf War I, WILL NOT FIGHT. They are fine with dropping bombs (they’re not even very good at that) but they refuse to put themselves in any personal danger. They are perhaps the most-well armed worthless army the planet has ever seen.

    I’m just asking here. I have absolutely no idea. But is it possible that a lot of Turkish draftees are going to find themselves in a meat grinder?

    Oh sure. But Erdogan is a dictator, legally. He won’t give a shit about a massive casualty count if he can tell the Turkish people that he has finally destroyed the Kurds for all time. It’s not like he can be removed from office.

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  67. 67
    Elizabelle says:

    So, Schweitzer was the shit in the FTF NYTime’s diaper today.

    Here comes the urine. Why yes, it’s pantswetter Thomas Edsall.

    How Can Democrats Keep Themselves From Overreaching?
    And is that even the right question for 2020?

    Illustrated with photo of a field full of Democratic presidential candidate signs. Be askeered of the Democrats. Be afraid of their radicalism.

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    Mike in NC says:

    The Trump crime family couldn’t figure out a way to profit off the Kurds, so it cut them loose. Just business.

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    Yarrow says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Maybe. We do know the Russians hacked Lindsey Graham’s campaign email account because he told us. What did they hack that we don’t know about?

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  70. 70
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Somewhere about the time the Turks are driving on Mosul, it’ll sink into the deadbeat’s brain that he fucked the pooch royally.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    Kent says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Bush was an absolute disaster of a president. But I do give him credit for exiting the stage in 2008 with grace and not getting involved at all during the 8 years of Obama or now with Trump. He could have done shitty things to undermine Obama and he chose not to.

    As for who sits with who at a Cowboy’s game? FFS, who cares.

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  72. 72
    jl says:

    Link to an article with some info on Trump’s disastrous call with Erdogan. Source is an NSC staffer who heard the call. Key quote from staffer “the president has no spine and that’s the bottom line.” Which is a nice quote, has a beat, you can dance to it.

    The article is vague on the details of the back and forth between Trump and Erdogan. News report I heard said Erdogan yelled at Trump for being slighted at the UN General Assembly, and yelled more at Trump about some BS about a pending arms deal was unfair and not nice to Turkey. it’s confusing, but probably because any time Trump attempts to actually do something, things get confusing because of the ignorant and arrogant nitwit’s complete incompetence.

    EXCLUSIVE: OFFICIAL WHO HEARD CALL SAYS TRUMP GOT ‘ROLLED’ BY TURKEY AND ‘HAS NO SPINE’
    https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-official-who-heard-call-says-trump-got-rolled-turkey-has-no-spine-1463623

    I’m going to keep my eye out for a more complete report, since I have a morbid curiosity about how this mess could happen. I wonder if there are two anonymous sources who were in on the call leaking, giving different details of Trump’s abject incompetence and weakness when confronted and challenged, even when the pretext is ridiculous.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    Bruce K says:

    I just saw an editorial on the English-language website of the Greek conservative paper Kathimerini. The gist of it: the “Pax Americana” is over, and now it’s every nation for itself. Link here. The neighboring editorial wondering about Pompeo’s rhetoric in support of Greece is also amusing, in an if-I-don’t-laugh-I’ll-cry sense.

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  74. 74
    Kent says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: How so? The man is a Russian agent and Russian asset of that there is no doubt. This move clearly advances Russia’s interests in the region. So it’s all good. He’s doing as his masters bid him.

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    Elizabelle says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I am hopeful about North Carolina too. They’ve got the Research Triangle, Charlotte, a lot of good colleges and universities, and a lot of incoming residents who are not all about the textile industry and small town USA (Mayberry is actually Mount Airy, NC).

    2016 broke my heart, because they had such good Democratic candidates running for the major federal and state offices, and Roy Cooper was the only one elected. As governor. But for that, North Carolina would be streaking towards Alabama and Mississippi practices.

    Trump “won” by almost 4 points. Richard Burr beat Deborah Ross by about six. It was so sad.

    They’ve been told to cut it out with the gerrymandering, so I hope the next couple of elections will return sanity to that state.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Yarrow:

    I’m picturing the fat orange fuck sitting in the golf cart chortling as Miss Pittypat flips through the contents of the Manila envelope with his golf-gloved hands trembling, a few tears rolling down his cheek, his visor catching the sweat as it pours off his head.

    His golf shirt is soaked and he’s struggling to not shit his pants.

    ReplyReply
  77. 77
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: The interesting thing to me is that the variations in these head-to-head general election polls seem to pretty closely follow how well the candidates are doing in the primary. That is, they’re likely not providing any extra information about which candidate to choose.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    Yarrow says:

    The best people:

    The assessor of Arizona's largest county has been indicted in connection with 11 felony offenses, including human smuggling, sale of a child and communications fraud in an adoption fraud scheme, authorities said. https://t.co/ieFbeNyeNu— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 9, 2019

    Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen. He’s a Republican, of course.

    ReplyReply
  79. 79
    Yutsano says:

    @Mike in NC: Dolt45 has a licensee in Istanbul. I’m certain Erdoğan promised him some sweet dosh related to that in exchange for Kurdish blood.

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  80. 80
    The Moar You Know says:

    Trumpov could be quickly impeached if the cowards in the Senate would stand for our country and do their damn jobs.

    @Duane: Stop pretending that this is even a possibility. It isn’t. Dems need to make plans for going forward that do not include the willing cooperation of any member of the Republican party in any way, shape or form. Dems need to make plans for managing the impeachment process up to the elections that don’t include throwing it over to the Senate, as they will acquit him that day.

    Every last one is owned 100% by Donald Trump. We need to accept that and work within those parameters. Everything else is self-destructive wishful thinking.

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    Ksmiami says:

    @kindness: wipe them out – all of them.

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  82. 82
    Kay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    They adore Bannon. So disruptive and interesting! They’re really suckers for these mean-spirited, rich douchebags.

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    Ksmiami says:

    @Kay: I wasn’t either but with these vandals in power all bets are off

    ReplyReply
  84. 84

    @Elizabelle: I would actually be fine with outlawing skeezy influence peddling? I believe warren even has a plan for that™.

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    The Moar You Know says:

    I’m picturing the fat orange fuck sitting in the golf cart chortling as Miss Pittypat flips through the contents of the Manila envelope with his golf-gloved hands trembling, a few tears rolling down his cheek, his visor catching the sweat as it pours off his head.

    His golf shirt is soaked and he’s struggling to not shit his pants.

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: You know that’s exactly how this went down during that famous “golf outing”. Well, it was an outing of some kind, no doubt. They probably have Graham’s primary challenger already picked out and ready to go, with the contents of that file folder, because you know that Trump will do that to him just for fun.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Yarrow:

    Didn’t the Abramoff – Ralph Reed thing involve a gigantic bunch of Marshall Islands skullduggery?

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Kattails says:

    I am seething with disgust, frustration and fury right now. What can I do besides keep calling my own representatives, who are all Democrats? Can I call or write to assholes like Graham? It seems that if I’m not their constituent they can just hang up on me. Is it call all the media people and tell them to grow spines? What? Damn every last one of these toadying sycophants to hell. If I were an elected Democratic official right now I hope I’d be out there tearing the skins off these people on the floor, in the media, and in their faces.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    Kay says:

    @Ksmiami:

    Maybe no one ever says “burn it all down and start over”. Maybe someone else burns it down and they’re then required to start over, like it or not, and they claim agency and planning after the fact.

    ReplyReply
  89. 89

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    I figure an envelope full of photos and printouts of texts, messaging app logs and Grindr account details was involved

    Fun national security fact: the majority shareholder of Grindr is a Chinese company. What could go wrong!

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Elizabelle: Someday, if the republic as we know it survives, the Republican stranglehold on the South is going to break. It’s the Dems’ next frontier after the far West. But it might not happen fast enough because we’re losing the northern Midwest/Rust Belt, and Florida. (Predictions not necessarily valid for 2020 cycle.)

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    Yarrow says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: I believe so. The evangelicals are involved in child trafficking through their adoption schemes. It’s part of how their fondness for Russia developed. The kids coming across the border are also getting caught in it. It’s really awful.

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
    The Moar You Know says:

    Didn’t the Abramoff – Ralph Reed thing involve a gigantic bunch of Marshall Islands skullduggery?

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Northern Marianas. Slavery (for real) and forced abortions.

    Amazing how much Republicans care about abortion until they don’t.

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: oh, a lot of people say “burn it all down and start over.” Most of them are on Twitter.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    Mike in DC says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I don’t think we’re losing Florida per se, due to Puerto Rican and Haitian immigration there. And the Rust belt erosion is a bit overstated.

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Weirdly, I’d be likely to trust Chinese spymasters to ignore things of a sexual nature – it doesn’t seem to be part of the cultural makeup.

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    The Moar You Know says:

    @New Deal democrat: Your prescience is noted. You saved my 401k back in 2007, you called it right and I listened to you. Lost about 50 bucks all told. I cannot ever thank you enough for that.

    Still read you guys a lot. More so nowadays, as shit is getting real again. Think this time there will be far less warning. Hope I’m wrong.

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    Yarrow says:

    @Kattails:
    Sign up with Postcards to Voters and get involved in elections happening this year. It’s not going to necessarily move any national issues, but Virginia has state elections and winning those big may push a few Republicans either to retire or think a bit more about what they are going to do. Doing something is the best medicine when you feel helpless.

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    cain says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    This is a good time for Armenia to start speaking up. They know what genocide looks like. But it seems that our fucking asshole of a President is going to just let this happen. American promises are nothing now. It seems only need to be paid off. The ultimate corruption.

    ReplyReply
  99. 99

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Weirdly, I’d be likely to trust Chinese spymasters to ignore things of a sexual nature – it doesn’t seem to be part of the cultural makeup.

    It’s a blackmailer’s job to operate within the cultural context of the victims. I guarantee they’re keeping tabs on Grindr usage. Along with a bunch of other people; it is a famously non-secure piece of software. The US government has even raised concerns about the Chinese ownership.

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    Yarrow says:

    @The Moar You Know: Republicans have never cared about abortion except as a tool to control women and gain and consolidate power.

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    Ksmiami says:

    @Kay: all I know is the retrograde institutions that give more power to the idiots don’t work for a modern society and will need a vast upgrade and new guardrails. Additionally, Presidential powers need to be severely curtailed and the GOP needs to be either brought to heel or smashed into bits. I’m not sure we recover from Trump and McConnell in the near term without abandoning the system that empowered them.

    ReplyReply
  102. 102
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Yarrow:

    I remember when every smarmily earnest childless white wingnut couple was running to Mama Russia to get cute little red cheeked white babies – most of whom were born with fetal alcohol syndrome.

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    Chris says:

    @Raoul:

    He murdered over a hundred thousand Iraqis. And that’s even without counting the dead from all the fallout his war has had and is continuing to have in the region.

    ReplyReply
  104. 104
    Kay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Oh, sure. I meant actual revolutions. Not Twitter revolutions. Most people were probably like ” they’re burning it down! Stop them! Too late. Now what do we do? Oh, OKAY, I’ll go along, structural change, whatever”.

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    hells littlest angel says:

    Pray for the Kurds? Hey, just throw them a requiem mass.

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    Dmbeaster says:

    @Kent: The Kurds cannot match Turkish firepower. They may be better on a soldier by soldier basis, but they are not armed with the full array of modern weaponry, such as artillery, tanks, planes, helicopters, etc. They will be crushed.

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    Leto says:

    @schrodingers_cat: @Kent: It’s always interesting to see how we respond to our LGBTQ community when they voice their opinions/concern.

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    Yarrow says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Yep. And that was facilitated by Russia who saw a way to cement ties between themselves and evangelical Americans. Looks like it worked.

    @Major Major Major Major: Yes, this. The Chinese themselves may not care about sexual issues but they know Americans do. So it’s good blackmail dirt.

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    The Moar You Know says:

    Someday, if the republic as we know it survives, the Republican stranglehold on the South is going to break. It’s the Dems’ next frontier after the far West. But it might not happen fast enough because we’re losing the northern Midwest/Rust Belt, and Florida. (Predictions not necessarily valid for 2020 cycle.)

    @Matt McIrvin: We have a population movement issue that is overwhelming any demographic advantage we may have had from an increased Hispanic population who – FOR NOW – tend to vote Democratic.

    People are moving to the cities and the blue urban areas because that’s where the jobs and the money are. The left-behinds are bitter and enraged (for good reason, but they’re mad at the wrong people) and commanding an increasing share of Senate and electoral college votes. They are not voting for Democrats and never will. I freely confess this is a problem I don’t know how to address. People should want to live in the blue states! We have jobs, and money, and infrastructure! But that just leaves an ever-shrinking remnant of those left-behinds with an enormous amount of political power that they’re not using to better anyone’s lives, not even their own.

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
    jl says:

    @Mike in DC: I don’t know much about Florida, but I think the problem with the Rust Belt is that it did experience a punishing shock to state economies in the 2000s and then again in the Great Recession, and they haven’t recovered. Commentary dismissing the regional pain focused on national trends in manufacturing employment and its role in supporting the economy. But national trends hid large differences between regions.

    Manufacturing employment was not substantially shrinking in the Rust Belt states. It suffered two sudden negative shocks much larger and more sudden in anything in the post-WWII economy. They suffered severe economic and social disruption. Anybody can go to FRED St Louis and get the time series in a few minutes.

    I don’t doubt that the latent bigotry was a big part of it, angry people wanted to take their grievances out on somebody or something, and the fact that they did so by voting for a known racist is no coincidence. But Trump’s victories there were razor thin, so only a small fraction of the Trump voters have to salvaged and convinced not to commit economic, social and political suicide by voting GOP in order to win back those states.

    I think Democrats have to do better than starting with ‘The jobs aren’t coming back’, and vague talk about retraining. They need a specific plan and clear explanation and vision for a much better economy. Does any candidate have a plan for that? I hope so. I don’t know if Warren does, but it should be on her to-do list. Democrats can get Rust Belt back.

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    Yarrow says:

    I saw this yesterday and it’s just amazing:

    On July 25, 1974, Vice President Gerald Ford told a Republican audience that the Watergate impeachment inquiry was in large part "an attempt to try and undo the election results of 1972 — and don't you forget it."

    Two weeks later, President Richard Nixon resigned.
    pic.twitter.com/Sb5TIjERVn— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) October 9, 2019

    Click through for the image of the newspaper clipping.

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    Chyron HR says:

    So are Bernie’s Young Turks going to deny the Kurdish genocide as well, or do they have to wait until it’s all over first?

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mike in DC: They’re not voting. The old white people in The Villages are voting.

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @The Moar You Know: Also, old, bigoted white people keep moving into Arizona and Florida, and keeping them just on the red side of purple. FL is a big problem because it has so many electoral votes– if Florida is permanently lost every single Presidential election is an uphill battle.

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    MattF says:

    Oh, it just occurred to me. Trump doesn’t actually have a problem with genocide. Why not, then, do Erdogan a favor? So simple, once you see it.

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    jl says:

    @Chyron HR: Why don’t you go look and tell us.

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    Yarrow says:

    @Mike in DC: Listen to the Floridians. The Democrats there are crap at organizing. Betty C was talking about it this morning in the morning thread. They didn’t organize and get the Puerto Ricans registered to vote and out to vote. Don’t count on the PR voters unless you see real improvement in what the FL Dems are doing.

    @Matt McIrvin: Yep. Old white people vote and they’re a growing demographic in Florida.

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    James E Powell says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Who cares what Ellen does? Is she supposed to be some kind of a paragon of virtue?

    According to right-wing world, she speaks for all liberals.

    ReplyReply
  119. 119

    Speaking of assholes, thanks to everyone who confronted the asshole troll in yesterday’s thread.

    (It was the sort of vitriol that we trans people deal with on a regular basis.)

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @bbleh:

    I have absolutely no respect for Lindsey Graham either, but please just knock it off with the homophobic slurs. Criticise his policies and hypocrisies all you want, but leave his sexuality out of it.

    ReplyReply
  121. 121
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Elizabelle:

    How Can Democrats Keep Themselves From Overreaching?
    And is that even the right question for 2020?

    The FNYFT should just start tweeting “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” instead to save time. Fuck ’em.

    ReplyReply
  122. 122
    NotMax says:

    @Mike in DC

    Puerto Ricans are American citizens, not immigrants.

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
    cain says:

    @kindness:
    They believe that they can be belligerent because of nuclear weapons. I think soon, our own allies are going to turn against us if this continues and it will be economic sanctions more than anything else and we would deserve it.

    ReplyReply
  124. 124
    Another Scott says:

    @The Moar You Know: OTOH, Warning – AEI:

    Michael Rubin – June 30, 2017

    There are five main reasons to be worried about the future of Turkey’s military, which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has fatally undermined with his ambition, ideology, transformative agenda, and paranoia.

    The Kurds in the region have a long history of battling better armed foes and surviving. Erdogan has done a lot of damage to Turkey (and the Army). It’s not assured that this is going to go the way that Erdogan expects.

    Interesting that Erdogan has a $0.8M bounty on Rubin’s head

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  125. 125
    Kattails says:

    @Yarrow: I emailed last night and have a response to respond to. I should have been working at home today dammit. Did some postcards last year but it may have been with a different organization.
    Called my reps again, called and left a message w/Speaker Pelosi’s office praising her to the skies.
    Still want to grab certain people by the ears and bang their heads against a very hard wall. And I am ordinarily a very nice introvert who carefully captures icky spiders and puts them outside.

    ReplyReply
  126. 126
    b1narys3rf says:

    @Kent:

    Buck Fush. Now and always. He continues to serve his Mammon.

    https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2018/october/former-president-george-w-bush-lobbied-to-help-brett-kavanaughs-confirmation-nbsp

    And there’s a news source in this case you CAN definitely trust.

    ReplyReply
  127. 127
    jl says:

    @jl: Sorry, looked at some economic growth and employment graphs from FRED St Louis. Rust belt employment suffered two of the second largest shocks in post-WWII economy. I forgot about the Texas energy boom and bust in the 1980s. OTOH Southwest started recovery right after the bust, Rust Belt not so much. So that might be a critical difference. Interesting that only Far West is doing noticeably better under Trump than recent trends, and much better, big divergence in recent growth there than rest of the country, Blue areas like New England and Mid-Atlantic recovering to trend before Great Recession. Trumper regions have suffered under Trump, noticeable downtrend, but which started at an unfortunate time, 2015 and 2016. Wonder if that will wake people up.

    ReplyReply
  128. 128
    cain says:

    So apparently, Trump is also limiting how much money Cubans can send back to Cuba in remittance. I wonder what lil Marco thinks about that? Pissing off Cuban americans, there is no end to what demographic this man will piss off and yet the part continues to remain silent.

    The chaos is going to continue.

    ReplyReply
  129. 129
    JaySinWA says:

    @Mary G:

    Also, too, the Kurds are holding thousands of ISIS prisoners they will probably have to let loose.

    I doubt very much that they will be let loose. Some may escape but many are likely to be killed either by Kurds or by Turks.
    I may be mistaken, but I don’t see how it is in the interest of either to let them go free.

    ReplyReply
  130. 130
    NotMax says:

    re: above

    Um, folks? Old white people are not a politically monolithic bloc.

    Need evidence? This blog.

    Save the broad brushes for wallpaper paste, please.

    ReplyReply
  131. 131
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @mrmoshpotato: “Democrats always overreach” is one of Maureen Dowd’s stock phrases. I’m not even sure she knows what she means by it.

    ReplyReply
  132. 132
    jl says:

    @NotMax: You forgot hobby horses. Some commenters have an infinite supply, they need to do something with it, I guess.

    Edit: though there is a problem with Trump bald face lying to them about his plans for old age social insurance, particularly Medicare. So, that demo can be solidified with enough lies that are allowed to stand and go uncorrected.

    ReplyReply
  133. 133
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Archon:

    After the TPP debacle, the Iran Deal and this it’s a wonder why any country would still try to make any strategic or political arrangement with the U.S.

    The United States is an unreliable partner

    This type of right-wing, ultranationalism is infecting plenty of other countries. Just look at the UK, or India. The US is not necessarily unique

    ReplyReply
  134. 134
    NotMax says:

    @SiubhanDuinne

    Thank you for that.

    ReplyReply
  135. 135
    Ruckus says:

    @Yutsano:
    Shit for brains was offered nothing. And will get nothing. He was offered a possibility, possibly, but nothing more. The people he thinks he’s getting something over on can and are playing his dumb ass. And doing it very well, for themselves.

    ReplyReply
  136. 136
    Yarrow says:

    @Kattails: Is there any district near you that you can claim some sort of affiliation with. You work in it, or maybe you’re close to a district line? You could call them. Any other associations, like owning property in another place or working frequently elsewhere? Something like that would give you a reason to call. Maybe you’re thinking of moving to another district? Call their rep.

    Don’t forget to call Schumer. We haven’t heard much from him and it’s not bad to let him know what you think.

    ReplyReply
  137. 137
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @NotMax: I’m talking about who wins elections here. That depends on statistical averages. I’m a middle-aged affluent white man. I’m liberal but the fact is that on average, people like me are assholes who vote like assholes. I have no trouble saying that if you have an influx of middle-aged affluent white men it probably means you’ll elect assholes in your area.

    ReplyReply
  138. 138
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Erickson is now demanding impeachment and removal posthaste in order to save the Kurds.

    At least until he changes his mind again.

    ReplyReply
  139. 139
    jl says:

    @Ruckus: I think the real issue underneath the sad circus is that the US does have a plan for protecting the Kurds and continuing to support them as allies, while mollifying Turkey about their supposed concerns about Kurd terrorism, though I think most, though not all, of that is a bogus pretext. I think, left to US national security an Pentagon, bureaucracy and tradition, finalizing and implementing those plans was taking forever.

    If Trump has some spine, and had bothered to learn something, anything, about the region and its history, he could have accelerated those plans, and found a way to deflect Erdogan’s BS. But obvious from Trump’s statements that he know absolutely nothing about what is going on and he caved because Erodgan either yelled at him, or offered him a bribe or something close, or both.

    Edit: or as a commenter suggests above, Erdogan just fooled Trump into rushing into a swindle, made Trump think it was some win win deal where the US got some big win, and Trump, in complete and bathetic ignorance, fell for it. Trump doesn’t even seem to know how ISIS was defeated or who is holding the ISIS prisoners.

    ReplyReply
  140. 140
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @cain:

    Pissing off Cuban americans, there is no end to what demographic this man will piss off

    Is said group’s skin darker than a manila file folder?

    ReplyReply
  141. 141
    Another Scott says:

    @jl: Hillary had detailed plans for that. It wasn’t enough to win Ohio. At least in part because of voter suppression.

    […]

    But the [June 2018 SCOTUS] ruling and the policy itself raise an old question on voting laws: What problem was Ohio trying to solve?

    It wasn’t about resources. Having inactive voters on the rolls isn’t an urgent drain on the budget; in fact, there’s a case to be made that it take more resources to aggressively pursue and remove those voters the way Ohio does.

    It also wasn’t about voter fraud. There have been no reported cases of Ohio voters who’ve moved elsewhere and attempted to vote twice. Even if there were a case or two, that’s a tiny fraction of the more than 7,500 Ohio voters who went to the polls in 2016 and were turned away because they had been purged.

    But the reason for Ohio’s policy can be found in those 7,500 — as well as the 144,000 people a 2016 Reuters study found were purged in Ohio’s three largest counties. In those locales, neighborhoods with more poor, African-Americans were hit the hardest. “Voters have been struck from the rolls in Democratic-leaning neighborhoods at roughly twice the rate as in Republican neighborhoods,” the study found.

    It’s no coincidence that 17 generally Republican states filed a brief with the court supporting Ohio’s policy. Twelve Democratic-led states filed a brief in support of Larry Harmon, a software engineer who found he had been stricken from the rolls after failing to vote in one general and two midterm elections.

    Simply put, the policy was a different way to execute an old GOP strategy: Give yourself a better chance to win elections by making it harder for your opponent’s supporters to vote.

    […]

    We need to do everything we can to make sure that people can vote and not let the GOP pick its voters. Otherwise, all the plans and messaging in the world aren’t going to be enough.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  142. 142
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Well color me unsurprised! And fuck her.

    ReplyReply
  143. 143
    PPCLI says:

    @Raoul: In the Hungarian movie Mephisto, the central character Höfgen (Klaus Maria Brandenauer) is a renowned German actor who decides to stay in Germany even though his friends and wife have fled, because he has a promise of protection from Göring in exchange for staying and running the German national theatre. The movie follows out his gradual corruption and constant humiliation as he sells his soul bit by bit, though he justifies it to himself because he is occasionally granted a small favor like allowing a non-Aryan lover to emigrate. He feels he is important, that he matters. At a core scene before the end, he hears that a close friend is being sent to the camps, and he goes to Göring to save him. Göring dismisses him with complete contempt: “Why should I care what you want? You’re just an actor.”)
    [Maybe slightly inaccurate recall from memory]

    I don’t know why I happened to think of that scene just now.

    ReplyReply
  144. 144
    NotMax says:

    @jl

    All Erdogan has to say is “nice little airbase you’ve got at Incirlik. Be a shame if that went away, wouldn’t it.”

    ReplyReply
  145. 145
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Erickson is now demanding impeachment and removal posthaste in order to save the Kurds.

    How adorable of Erick son of Erick. Even with impeachment and removal, Erickson will still vote for a GrOPer in 2020.

    ReplyReply
  146. 146

    @NotMax: American presence at Incirlik going away is a problem. But the 20 or so thermonuclear weapons stored thate are more of a problem.

    ReplyReply
  147. 147
    jl says:

    @Another Scott: Thanks for link and info. But I still think presentation was a big problem for the Democrats. They did use slogans like ‘Those jobs aren’t coming back’ and IIRC, those always led the news headlines, and particularly broadcast and cable media headline news. I don’t have link, so I admit that is my hunch. Maybe fixated in my brain stem, because I remember wincing every time I heard it on the headline news.

    ReplyReply
  148. 148

    It’s not just the genocide of Kurdish communities.

    These attacks are going to free up 10,000 or more ISIL prisoners who will get out and resume their terror attacks across Syria and Iraq (and even TURKEY!) which will continue to destabilize the region for years/decades.

    It’s like Edrogan (and Putin) *want* chaos and blood and war in the Middle East forever. This is horrifying.

    ReplyReply
  149. 149
    PPCLI says:

    @NotMax: I don’t think Trump cares at all about that. “Nice little Trump Tower Istanbul you’ve got there…” on the other hand, gets his attention.

    ReplyReply
  150. 150
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    There are maybe 8 predictable, reliable, stable allies and trade partners among industrial, highly developed economies right now:

    Canada, NZ, Netherlands, Denmark, France, Germany, China, Japan and Vietnam.

    I’d also add South Africa/Namibia into the mix, albeit not quite developed.

    ReplyReply
  151. 151
    NotMax says:

    @PaulWartenberg

    Per various reports ~2000 of whom hold foreign passports and whose home countries refuse to accept them.

    ReplyReply
  152. 152
    L&DinSLT says:

    @john not mccain: 115 years ago my Nana, four years old at the time, disembarked with her family on Ellis Island. I saw her very rarely growing up because we were an Air Force family and she didn’t fly. She did come to see us in Hawaii in 1959 when we were stationed at Wheeler AFB, taking the Matson liner SS Lurline. I was in first grade and she seemed very exotic to me. She was stunning. Many years later when my father retired and we moved to southern California I asked her why her family had come to the US and she answered, “Because the Turks were slaughtering the Armenians.” In Nana’s memory, I never forget.

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  153. 153
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Another Scott: In the good old days, the good old Turkish Army would long ago have unseated the government & thrown him and his top aides into jail; it’s even money that he & a couple dozen of his best buddies would already have swung from the neck until dead. This is how the Army, as “guardians of the secular Turkish republic” established by Ataturk, dealt with threats to it in the past, starting with Adnan Menderes’ government in 1960. (In this as in later coups, the Army took on a caretaker role & restored democracy within a couple of years.)

    Unfortunately the officers who took seriously their role as “guardians of the secular republic” misfired in a 1996 coup attempt against Erdogan & secular elements were purged from the Army & replaced by Erdogan sycophants.

    FTR I would be the least surprised poster on Balloon Juice if, within the next couple of weeks, Erdogan is assassinated by a Kurd or Kurd sympathizer who’d been infiltrated into the palace guard.

    ReplyReply
  154. 154
    Raoul says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I rarely give a fig what Ellen thinks, says or does. But she’s being used as a tool of the oligarchy right now and it pisses me off. She may be rich, but she is never really going to be a full member since she’s a lesbian. Not sure how she doesn’t know that (PPCLI’s story above is instructive, tho).

    ReplyReply
  155. 155
    Gravenstone says:

    @Leto: This seems to be a hyperaggressive means of instituting American isolationism – make it so that everyone else hates us and refuses to work with us on anything, ever again. Fortress America, indeed!

    ReplyReply
  156. 156
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @NotMax:

    And thank you for this!

    ReplyReply
  157. 157
    NotMax says:

    @Gravenstone

    “First in war, last in peace and who gives a flying f*ck about the hearts of our countrymen.”

    //

    ReplyReply
  158. 158
    jl says:

    @NotMax: Maybe Erdogan talked up that angle. Trump has a decades old resentment against European countries who happen to be NATO allies, thinking that they have been unfair to us and robbed us in trade and military spending. That would be bait Trump jumped at.

    Fact that this is a trivial problem, and that Trumpster policy on foreign nationals is even more extreme than Europe’s wouldn’t occur to him. I did a quick search, and US policy is to repatriate captured ISIS fighters, but the estimated numbers are small relative to other countries (a couple of hundred), the US has brought back less than 2 dozen, and Trump’s plan for them has fallen through because it is incompetent, and probably illegal. So, US not doing significantly better than Europe, even though it has a far smaller problem. But zero percent chance Trump has any awareness of any of this.

    Despite Trump’s Guantánamo Threats, Americans Who Joined ISIS Are Quietly Returning Home
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/americas-isis-members-are-coming-home

    If Erdogan swindled Trump with a fake win, I wonder if it was a sketchy promise that Turkey would take care of the ISIS prisoners, and handling them had been vary unfair, and not nice to the US?

    ReplyReply
  159. 159
    Repatriated says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: There must be a contingency plan for destroying them in their storage sites.

    I keep thinking it probably involves a Lieutenant trapped in a vault with the weapons and a few boxes of demolition charges.

    The fallback plan would include airstrikes.

    Either way, it’d be a radioactive mess afterwards.

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  160. 160
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    If “Far West” means California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington, we’re doing well because we’re flipping the bird to Trump and doing our own thing.

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  161. 161
    NotMax says:

    @jl

    Repatriation also a simmering on the back burner dilemma in Canada.

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  162. 162
    jl says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Trump went from ignorantly calling the Kurds and Turks ‘natural enemies’ to kindly informing us that, gosh golly gee, Kurds, (despite being a minority and many of them oppressed in Turkey -I put that in parentheses, since Trump didn’t say that and surely doesn’t appreciate it), play a very important role in Turkish society and government.

    Looks like some staffer who has enough guts to try to inform Trump is explaining things to him in real time (a day late and a dollar short), and as he has in the past, Trump is informing us about this arcane information he has in his infinite stable genius, but which should be common knowledge for anyone who is serving in high office in federal government.

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  163. 163
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    They did use slogans like ‘Those jobs aren’t coming back’ …

    Um, no, they did not. They said, “Those jobs aren’t coming back, so here’s my plan to create new ones for you,” and the MSM only reported the first half of the sentence. Did you not realize that?

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  164. 164
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes I realize that. The problem was the reporting. But how the media reports what politicians say is a problem that candidates, political parties, are responsible for solving by figuring out the best way to state their positions. Unfair and difficult, but that is the reality we have to deal with, a corrupt and incompetent media. Complaining about it doesn’t do all that much. So I stand by what I typed.

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  165. 165
    SRW1 says:

    @PPCLI:

    The Höfgen figure is based on a historical person, namely Grustav Gründgens, who was the most famous German actor during the Nazi regime.

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  166. 166
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
    Yup. The whole world is going crazy it seems

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  167. 167
    Another Scott says:

    @jl: Obama in 2016 – some jobs “are just not going to come back,” while others are in flux or rebounding.

    The political press can (and does) gin up outrage about anything. We need to continue to be the party that tells the truth.

    I’m reminded of his horses and bayonets comment, also too.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  168. 168
    Mandalay says:

    @jl:

    how the media reports what politicians say is a problem that candidates, political parties, are responsible for solving by figuring out the best way to state their position

    This.

    And it wasn’t just “those jobs aren’t coming back”. There are several other Democratic one liners that got distorted by the media. such as “you didn’t build that”, “they cling to guns or religion” and “basket of deplorables”.

    With hindsight they were all dumb things for Democrats to say. Not because they were false, but because the word word choice was susceptible to misrepresentation. As you point out, politicians need to be mindful of that at all times.

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  169. 169
    NotMax says:

    @SRW1

    Subjective, but would name Johannes Heesters the most famous actor in Germany of that time, albeit not being a native German.

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  170. 170
    Another Scott says:

    @Mandalay: Of your examples, the only one I would agree with was Hillary’s basket of deplorables.

    “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Clinton said. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

    She shouldn’t have said “half”. She should have said “far too many” or something similar. (Even if it actually is 1/2 or 3/4, she shouldn’t have put a specific number on it.)

    That’s it.

    As I said above, too many in the press will gin up outrage about anything. We have to be willing to be the party that tells the truth and not be afraid that 3-5 words will be taken out of context.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  171. 171

    @Leto: I have no idea what this means. I should be upset about what Ellen does because? I was never a fan. I don’t find her funny or charming nor have I ever watched her talk show except for some clips.

    ETA: Also, my low opinion of W is not going to change because of who sat next to him, be it Ellen or Michelle Obama.

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  172. 172

    @Raoul: Tool of the oligarchy? Please enlighten me.

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  173. 173
    jl says:

    @jl: @Mandalay: @NotMax:
    I think this issue is one wheee many of us will have to agree to disagree.

    I should probably lay all my cards on the table, and say that I think the phrase that “some”, “all”, or “those” “jobs are not coming back” is not accurate. A lot of the dislocation was driven by US macroeconomic and domestic and international financial policy. I disagree with the idea that a sudden shock like that was driven by technological change. For that, look at California, where what was a bust in the Rust Belt, looked like a soft landing from a moderate manufacturing expansion, and many of the manufacturing jobs that were lost were eventually replaced with other manufacturing jobs, and that produced a very gradual decline in share of employment, not a cliff with some finely pulverized scree at the bottom. What happened in the Rust Belt was just as much a policy choice as anything else.

    So, in part, I simply disagree with the statement, so prejudiced against it, and think it was a mistake to ever lead any policy proposal with it.

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  174. 174
    NotMax says:

    @jl

    Confoozled why you linked back to me about this, moreso to a comment about actors in Nazi Germany.

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  175. 175
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Another Scott:

    She shouldn’t have said “half”. She should have said “far too many” or something similar. (Even if it actually is 1/2 or 3/4, she shouldn’t have put a specific number on it.)

    I doubt it would’ve mattered to the deplorables themselves or his less reprehensible supporters. I think it would have played out the same

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  176. 176
    James E Powell says:

    @jl:

    Anybody can go to FRED St Louis and get the time series in a few minutes.

    Totally OT, but Fred St Louis would be an excellent pseudonym for the front man of a hipster alt rock band.

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  177. 177
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Another Scott: I think the press would’ve still screamed their heads off even if Hillary said some of Dump’s supporters are deplorable.

    With the press having it out for her, there was no way she could’ve framed it to ward off attack. Especially with such an ugly truth having to be said.

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  178. 178
    jl says:

    @NotMax: Sorry, I messed up the links. Didn’t catch it in time to fix them. Meant to link back to Mnemosyne and Another Scott

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  179. 179
    Repatriated says:

    @mrmoshpotato:
    She DID say that only some were deplorable. And the media did in fact scream their heads off regardless.

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  180. 180
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    But how the media reports what politicians say is a problem that candidates, political parties, are responsible for solving by figuring out the best way to state their positions.

    Dude, blame the victim much? I’m guessing you haven’t heard the latest smear attempt against Warren. It’s all about taking her words out of context to claim she lied about being discriminated against.

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  181. 181
    James E Powell says:

    @Another Scott:

    We need to do everything we can to make sure that people can vote and not let the GOP pick its voters. Otherwise, all the plans and messaging in the world aren’t going to be enough.

    Completely agree, but it seems like everyone is begging someone else to do something about it. I blame this on the decline and in some places the absence of local parties. Every precinct needs a team of people who go door to door, register, remind, remind, remind, and push to the polls. Nothing beats face to face.

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  182. 182
    patrick II says:

    With American backing the Kurds fought a pretty standard Wow againat ISIS. I imagine Turkey will face guerilla warfare if they try to clean out the Kurdish population. It is going to be a sad long slog for all involved. Except for us. We get to leave intact — except for pride and reputation.

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  183. 183
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think we just have to agree to disagree on this, along many dimensions. Major political candidates and parties are not innocent oldsters walking down the street and set upon by robbers for hit by drunk drivers. I disagree with the victim analogy that you are making.

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  184. 184
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Repatriated: Yes, I know. Sorry for being unclear.

    What I’m saying is the press would’ve screamed about it even if she said something like, “A small percentage of Trump’s supporters are deplorable. The racists, sexists, xenophobes…”

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  185. 185
    Jay says:

    What the fuck.The Washington Post published this propaganda piece by THE COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR OF TURKEY. https://t.co/pf3bbQ46k1— Avi Bueno (@Avi_Bueno) October 8, 2019

    For those writing off the YPG, keep in mind, when everybody else in Syria and Iraq were surrendering to ISIL or running away, the YPG held Kobane, and rescued the Yazidis from the mountain, and only started to recieve Western support afterwards.

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  186. 186
    donnah says:

    Bill Neely, the international journalist, is reporting from the Turkey/Syria zone and he’s clearly distraught. He says this is not an establishment of a neutral zone for Turks, but rather ethnic cleansing of Kurds. Turkey wants to eliminate the Kurds from the region who have been building an autonomous settlement. He said it’s chaotic and frightening and people are fleeing the region to save their lives.

    Neely also was upset because Trump gave the green light for Erdogan to go this far. And that Trump has betrayed the Kurds, our allies. It’s sickening.

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  187. 187
    Ruckus says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
    No. It. Won’t.
    I don’t call him Shit for Lack of Brains for nothing. He’s earned that.

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  188. 188
    Ruckus says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    Exactly.

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  189. 189
    Kattails says:

    @Yarrow: Thanks for checking back on this. Hadn’t thought of Schumer, will do. Also wanted to call Ted Lieu. Locally, Democrats in town have organized and are working together; it’s an early primary state so there are still lots of thought variants swirling around. We did our own local postcard mailing for the last election. Very nice and committed people, sometimes too polite for me, as can be the general issue with Democrats. Sometimes ya gotta say “rules? in a knife fight?”. Looking at the comment above (#186 by Donnah) while I type–Bill Neely clearly “distraught”–I believe its time to show focussed outrage.
    I have limited time to devote to this right now, so letters to the editor, postcards and so on are probably best because they can be picked up here and there.

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  190. 190
    Jay says:

    This is the second time in 2 weeks that the @washingtonpost gave Turkey opinion space to push their propaganda.On September 29th, they published this by Erdogan, the President of Turkey, wherein he pretends he's a fierce defender of journalism & truth.https://t.co/TJMNL2qdQw— Avi Bueno (@Avi_Bueno) October 9, 2019

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  191. 191
    Dan B says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: I was pleased by the response to the anti-trans troll. It also reinforced how Russian bots operate to sow chaos. And Chris the guy who blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica and the Russian hacks was on Amanpour last night. It was scary listening to his description of how easy it is to play people against each other and distract from big threats. Persuading people that their crowd is correct, and not paranoid conspiracy, is easy. We’ve got family who have fallen down that hole so it resonates with us.

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