Things related to the 2012 Republican primary

As little as possible

I hate to keep beating this horse, but I’m wondering if maybe the Trump-Russia story is one of those things that establishment media just isn’t set up to cover. I don’t mean that they can’t cover individual pieces of the story but that they aren’t able to put it all together. I had the same feeling when Josh Marshall was breaking the Bush US Attorney story, which was also ignored by establishment media. I guess some stories have too many moving parts and say things that are too negative about powerful people for establishment media to handle.

We have an “All The President’s Men” press corps but we’re living in a “Chinatown” world.

So good on the Times for finding this fact out but shame on establishment media for being unwilling to think the whole thing through. Josh Marshall:

I don’t know how much attention it’s received. But the appearance of the name of Felix Sater in this new article in the Times is one of the biggest shoes I’ve seen drop on the Trump story in some time.

[…]

Having spent some time studying the matter, the biggest red flags about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and businessmen around Vladimir Putin have always been tied to the Trump SoHo building project in Lower Manhattan, from the first decade of this century. I base my knowledge of this on this rather cursory but still quite good April 2016 article from the Times and my own limited snooping around the Outer Boroughs Russian and Ukrainian emigre press. (I summarized the most salient details of the earlier Times article in Item #3 of this post.) This was a key project, perhaps the key project in the post-bankruptcy era in which Trump appeared heavily reliant on Russian funds to finance his projects. Sater was at the center of that project. The details only came to light after the project got bogged down in a complicated series of lawsuits.

After the lawyers got involved, Trump said he barely knew who Sater was. But there is voluminous evidence that Sater, a Russian emigrant, was key to channeling Russian capital to Trump for years. Sater is also a multiple felon and at least a one-time FBI informant.

I never know how seriously to take John Schindler, but this is interesting too:








You’ll be on some Sputnik, baby, I’ll be underground

I just read an absolutely brutal take-down of Putin’s useful idiots on the left. I’m not a hippie-puncher and I don’t think the number of Putin apologists on the left is very large. And of course it’s the Republican party that actually nominated a pro-Putin stooge, not the Democratic party. But Jill Stein, Assange, and some of the commentators at The Nation relation truly disgraced themselves during the last election cycle. There’s no way around that reality.

A lot of the #NeverTrump right is going in that direction too. Eli Lake, Damon Linker, Charles Lane, and others are now screaming about Deep State coups rather than worrying about the fact the White House is quite possibly being run by covert Russian effects.

I understand that there was a lot of paranoid red-baiting that went on in American politics in the past. I don’t see what that has to do with a right-wing dictator interfering in our elections.

I understand that Russia is different from other countries culturally. All the ethnically Russian emigres from Russia that I know revere Putin, even though all are educated, whereas I’ve never met an educated person from, say, Turkey or Iran or Zimbabwe who supported their country’s oppressive regime. And Russia has never had a middle-class, so it is probably generations away from having a western-style democracy.But that doesn’t mean anyone on any side of the political spectrum should we make excuses for a dictator who has had over four dozen journalists assassinated.

Hating the Democratic party is a hell of a drug. I’m surprised that there are democratic socialists who hate Hillary Clinton so much that they’re willing to get into bed with Trump and Putin. I wish I could say I’m surprised that #NeverTrump right hates Democrats so much they are too.

Update. I’m not trying to say that Stein or other pro-Putin stooges have much influence on liberalism in this country or that “Bernie bros” love Putin or something like that. I think that’s completely untrue. Likewise, I don’t think the #NeverTrump people have much influence within the Republican party. I just find the actions of both groups to be remarkably pathetic and transparent.








The four people you meet in hell

A few years ago I did a post about the three different kinds of conservatives in the media. I decided they were:

  1. “Atlas Shrugged” conservatives: Megan McArdle, the Reasonoids, Larry Kudlow, etc.
  2. “Chronicles Of Narnia” conservatives: Ross Douthat, Peggy Noonan, many other Catholic conservatives.
  3. “300” conservatives: Victor David Hanson, war bloggers, any neoconservatives.

I thought it might be time to revisit this classification in the age of Trump. Enough media conservatives have come out against Trump (and, not surprisingly, many even-the-liberals are busily enabling Trump) that I don’t want to make this about conservatives per se but about Trump supporters and enablers. The front page of Reason was almost all anti-Trump today, and Jen Rubin’s column these days could double as a Daily Kos diary, so to start, I’m not putting neoconservatives or Reasonoids on the list…but Megan McArdle will remain, in a different category. And Narnians will also stay in the classification.

Here we go:

  1. Narnians: Peggy Noonan, Rod Dreher (supporters); Ross Douthat (enabler). These are folks who believe that the United States is first and foremost a magical Christian nation. Therefore, Trump is at best Aslan and at worst a boob who was brought to power by left-wing excesses.
  2. Narcissists: Megan McArdle, Charles Lane, Frank Bruni, Nick Kristof. These self-styled centrists can’t let their beautiful minds be consumed by partisanship, so they have to spend as much or more criticizing impolite protesters and the Oberlin student council as they do criticizing Trump. Show business kids making movies of themself, you know they don’t give a fuck about anybody else. It pains me to leave Ron Fournier off this list, but he’s been very tough on Trump.
  3. Nihilists: Bob Woodward, most Republican elected officials, everyone who works at Axios. The nihilists have no political convictions, they only care about access and power. If you haven’t noticed, B Dub is all the way in the tank for Trump. Republican elected officials would give Satan a rim job if it killed the Great Society. Axios has already run a great deal of Satan-sponsored content.
  4. Neo-Nazis: Marc Thiessen, everyone at Breitbart. Needs no explanation. Say what you want about their tenets…


007, 007, and Oceans 11

Al Gore was very fat last year:

Average surface temperatures in 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, were 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 2015

If you look at charts, the surface temperatures have gone up about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 25 years.

This is even scarier, while oceans have risen an average of about 0.11 inches a year since 1983, that could accelerate rapidly:

If high levels of greenhouse gas emissions continue, they concluded, oceans could rise by close to two meters in total (more than six feet) by the end of the century. The melting of ice on Antarctica alone could cause seas to rise more than 15 meters (49 feet) by 2500.








If I ever lose my faith in you

I’ve always been a big skeptic of having faithless electors choose someone other than Trump to be president (though I do admire conservatives who suggest this should happen). For one thing, I think it sets a terrible precedent. For another, most plans seem to involve installing a regular Republican like Kasich, and it’s not clear to me that a regular Republican wouldn’t do more damage than Trump. A regular Republican president would probably be more popular and possibly seen as less illegitimate, and that would give that president more latitude to do all the awful things Paul Ryan wants done on the domestic front.

The revelations about Russian interference in the election have changed my mind. I don’t think it’s a good thing to have a president who is beholden to Putin for his electoral victory, especially when that president has also expressed admiration for Putin and skepticism about NATO and has had advisors who got a lot of money from Putin and may owe a lot of money to Russian oligarchs, and so on. Maybe this makes me an idiot jingoist who can’t accept the true leftist fact that the US deserves to be run by foreign agents after what it did in Central America.

But it’s what I believe nevertheless.








We’re only making plans for Nigel

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the Western right’s love for Vladimir Putin. Here’s another example:

Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit movement in the UK and formerly head of the far-right UK Independence Party (he retired after the Brexit win), is in talks with the Russian government owned RT news network to a be roving reporter covering Donald Trump’s presidential campaign this fall.

And who knew crunchy cons loved repressive dictatorships so much (via)?

[N]ews broke about a young Russian atheist provocateur who got himself arrested by playing Pokemon Go inside a large Orthodox church in Yekaterinburg, his hometown…

[….]

They say he faces up to five years in prison. I find that excessive, but I don’t feel sorry for this jackass. His fellow atheists committed mass murder of and terror against Orthodox Christians when they were in power during the Bolshevik tyranny.

I don’t think there’s any measure by which Putin has been a successful leader, other than his ability to simply remain in power. He’s the head of a petro-state with a terrible economy and a GDP roughly the size of Mexico. He has a high approval rating in Russia but my impression is that they’d like any leader who is strong like bull (hope I’m not offending anyone).

But in a world under constant siege from black Jewish homosexual atheist feminazis, he’s the last bastion of white Christian male strength, I guess.