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sofa king

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Member since: Wed Apr 14, 2004, 04:27 PM
Number of posts: 9,298

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An early fight between the fat guys is possible.

I consider Jeb! to be the primary suspect in the question of who, exactly, dropped Bridge-gate on Christie, and if they don't know for sure I'm sure the Christie people also think Jeb! is the culprit. Long ago I predicted that the mole would wind up in Jeb!'s camp, so we'll see about that soon enough, too....

The reason Jeb! needed to torpedo Christie so early was because of all these mooks Christie was the only one with a solid long term plan that was showing results.

Christie used a Senatorial appointment to gain his personal representative permanent Senate floor access, and carefully played his cards to win himself the Chair of the most powerful lobbyist group in the US, the National Governors' Association. He has surely been using that position to solidify his national network and also freeze out most other potential gubernatorial candidates (remember that Republican voters are very partial to governors over other politicians, probably because of the authoritarianism their offices command).

One possible strike back would be for Christie to secretly back the entry of yet another candidate into the fray: current Florida governor and nakedly ambitious sociopath Rick Scott. Christie could use Scott as a poop-throwing proxy, and Scott's doomed candidacy would be sure to ablate and disaffect a few Florida voters away from Jeb!, and also do us a favor at the same time, so let's hope for that.

Remember that Richard Scarry story?

Where they keep packing vermin into the airplane until it splits down the seam, and the boa constrictor has to hold the plane together so that it can fly?

Well, the Republican Party is not lacking in snakes, so there's always room for one more.

Chafee ain't no damned Democrat.

He was the guy you could count on to come down on your side, when it didn't fucking count.

Look at his voting record and you will see that Chafee's votes against the herd only came down when that bill was sure to pass (thanks in large part to fake Democrats on the other side of the Senate aisle, but that's another story). Use of force in Iraq; same-sex marriage; partial-birth abortion; Medicare Part D; blah blah blah. Bullshit.

Look at where it counted like in packing the courts with insane judges or not investigating W for his myriad crimes or approving criminal budgets which didn't account for war expenses, and he was all for it, every time, the good little soldat making sure that the criminals in charge got rich and safely away.

Fuck that guy. He deserves only our scorn, and we would be fools to imagine someone this morally corrupted could serve honorably as a Democrat. Mark my words on that, he will dishonor our party as surely as he did theirs.

Ha ha! It's a trap!

Here's a fine example of two untrustworthy authorities contradicting one another in public statements. We see this all the time and I'd like to share my own deeply cynical opinion as to what one can do with "dirty information"--lies, propaganda, doubletalk, and evasion between two untrustworthy parties.

The first thing to do is to set aside the debated facts and assume that both of them are lying about them. One cannot easily deduce factual information from a debate between two dishonest parties.

If you made a judgment call as to which one of them is telling the truth, you're automatically wrong! Unless of course you have some secret knowledge that the rest of us don't have--then you're a cult leader.

In this case, proof needs to come through corroboration from a more reliable third party--and neither of these entities, nor the three nuclear superpowers involved, can fill that role. I don't know who the corroborator could be, or how that would work.

So until then, it's safe to assume that most or all of the statements from both sides are heavily tainted with bullshit.

That does not make the statements useless, because there is a deeper truth at work here. Here's what's certainly true: each side's statement, regardless of fact, will represent something close to the best possible interests of the speaker.

So on the surface, it's possible to make some tentative guesses about the objectives of each side. They could still be double-crossing chess-moving ninja-style doublecrossing each other and us, but the statements wouldn't be issued if they were not self-serving in some way.

So here, I think, is what little we can conclude from the interview and the counter-statement:

1) Snowden really really REALLY doesn't want to be tagged as a spy.

2) NSA is using the backfire effect to draw support and erode Snowden's credibility.

NSA's position is easier to hold because by directly contradicting Snowden, they're fueling the backfire effect, a popular (with Republicans) form of psychological manipulation.

Here's some semi-prophetic stuff I wrote about this phenomenon back when Mitt Romney was trying to use it on President Obama.


It bothers me some because I know that NSA knows what it is doing, and that it comes dangerously close to running a psyops on the American public, which is reputedly illegal.

As for Snowden, I've bored all of you elsewhere with my rantings about how the circumstantial evidence overwhelmingly suggests that Snowden is, in fact, a spy. So I won't repeat that.

(Edit #36: Okay, I will repeat it:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=4900311 )

Bottom line is both of 'em are dirtballs, both of 'em are lying, and neither can ever again be trusted.

I think evil is real.

I think that most humans (as with most animals) have a biological inhibition against killing one another or causing one another severe harm.

That inhibition seems to be very closely related to empathy, the ability to recognize the emotions of other people (and some critters).

So that's evil to me: the willingness to do deliberate harm to people for inadequate reasons. In order to be that way, one has to lack empathy for others most or all of the time (one can also be mechanically trained to do so, which is how most modern soldiers are trained; but the overwhelming majority of those folks do not commit acts of evil in civilized society, as Republican politicians do).

Some of us, like Dick Cheney, have little to no empathy for most others, except of course his own offspring, which is why Cheney's one progressive opinion (in favor of gay marriage) happens to be the one that would benefit his own child. Cheney doesn't give a fuck about any of the rest of us; we're as insignificant to him as the tens of thousands he had tortured, murdered, and dumped in the streets of Iraq.

Dick Cheney has publicly displayed virtually all of the criteria needed for a psychologist to make a diagnosis of anti-social personality disorder--as close as it gets to the Hollywood villain in real life:


Cheney's ignorant pawn, George W. Bush, also lacks empathy most of the time. This permitted Bush to okay stealing elections, lying to start a war, torture, murder, frequently dropping his dog onto pavement, and so on. But Bush seems to have publicly displayed most of the criteria needed to make a different diagnosis, of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:


The interesting thing about narcissists is that while they also are capable of acting with malice, sooner or later their beat-down Jiminy Cricket of a conscience turns into a locust, and rips the self esteem of the subject to shreds. The narcissist is prone to "moments of clarity" and subsequent deep depression, in part out of regret for their own actions.

That is probably the answer to the question, "why did George W. take two years of vacation during his tenure as President?" My guess is that a team of psychologists and family members were desperately working behind the scenes to re-inflate the ego of this broken and incompetent person, who can only function when he believes the lies he tells about himself.

It's almost certainly why Bush paints now, because unlike Dick Cheney, Shrub is not immune to the scratches of the Furies who will pursue him to his much-deserved grave. Look at this picture again, knowing Bush is a narcissist who has done unspeakable evil, and cannot forget it:

Here's a guy who can't look at himself full in the face in a painting of a reflection in a fucking mirror. Because he hates himself for the evil he has done and it gnaws at his very soul. That's hardly punishment for what he has done, but it's nice to know that W, at least, cannot escape himself.

So there's two evil people and how they excuse themselves for it (Cheney: easily; Bush, never). It's possible to be co-morbid with both APD and NPD. I think Mitt Romney was one of those rare birds; fortunately, his evil was easier for most to see.

You're all fucking wrong.

I don't fully understand why the public cannot see that this was an intelligence operation--a Chinese intelligence operation--from the beginning. Some of the inconvenient facts most of you choose to avoid:

1) Snowden's revelations were made public only hours after the Secretary of State deeply offended the Chinese by discussing the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Mrs. Clinton started a row in September, 2012 by setting up a press conference at the edge of the square itself:



It caused two state newspapers to get in a fight and forced the leader-apparent of China to duck out.

Less than three months later, Snowden first contacted Greenwald.

Then, in June, 2013, Clinton really pissed off the Chinese by commemorating the anniversary yet again after the Chinese had told her not to do it again in 2009:



At virtually the same moment that the rhetoric escalated, Greenwald began publishing Snowden's disclosures.

"When he emerged and when he absconded with all that material, I was puzzled because we have all these protections for whistle-blowers. If he were concerned and wanted to be part of the American debate, he could have been," she said. "But it struck me as—I just have to be honest with you—as sort of odd that he would flee to China, because Hong Kong is controlled by China, and that he would then go to Russia—two countries with which we have very difficult cyberrelationships, to put it mildly." Hillary Clinton, April 23, 2014

2) Most if not all of Snowden's disclosures were previously revealed by Glenn Greenwald years previously.

Really, this comes as no surprise to DU readers, who were familiar with virtually everything that Snowden reputedly "disclosed" for the first time.

I'm not going to belabor the point by going back through nine years of posts about Greenwald's own work here at DU. Go look it up if you must.

There is a simple operational reason for this, from an intelligence point of view. Anything useful to the Chinese and the Russians was not disclosed publicly; anything that was already out there was happily repeated.

3) Any claim that China was not involved in the protection and movement of Mr. Snowden after his disclosures is totally false:


The Chinese appear to have brokered the first in-person contacts between Snowden and Greenwald, then protected Snowden, refused to extradite him to the US, and let him go after months of debriefing.

I'm pointing all of this out because I have seen this sort of psyops being played out on the American people dozens of times. The Man is encouraging lots and lots of you to go out on a limb for these fellows, Snowden and Greenwald. Then, when the time is right, they're going to pull away the curtains and smear most of you with the commie patsy brush.

You can say what you want to me now, but I'll come right back with this thread in the summer of 2016 and remind you that the mass discrediting of liberal journalists was part of the "make lemonade" damage control efforts of US counterintelligence, after the Chinese spanked the shit out of us with this embarrassing event.

And you watch: John Kerrry ain't gonna say jack shit about Tiananmen Square on this year's anniversary.

You may now hate me.

I think this is our Bush-mole.


The Port Authority official who oversaw the lane closing at the George Washington Bridge said that he had he informed Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey about it at a Sept. 11 memorial while the closings were occurring, according to an internal investigation released on Thursday by lawyers for the governor.

The official, David Wildstein, told Mr. Christie’s press secretary of the Sept 11 conversation at a dinner in December just before his resignation from the Port Authority, according to the report.

So, let's just see if that fellow doesn't land on his feet--and on the Bush campaign staff.

Jeb will destroy him, too.

There's plenty of time, and some must be spent allowing Republican sheep to wander into Rand's herd.

Rand will be allowed to grow his little flock for awhile, but eventually--probably before the end of 2015--Jeb's people will crush Rand in a public relations debacle, and Jeb will be there step in as shepherd.

Clearly Senate Democrats do not fear that.

Touching off the nuclear option is a clear, obvious signal that Democrats in the Senate no longer fear the possibility of a Republican resurgence in the Senate... ever again.

I'm totally serious about that. Republicans aren't coming back from this. It's a bit of an anthropomorphic argument, I'll freely admit, but I see it like this: one simply does not use this sort of a rules change if one's opponent is in a position to come back. Instead, we are using it as a hedge for our expected margin of victory: either we bag a supermajority in the next election, or we implement a series of majority-rule changes that have already been tested in practice over the course of 2014.

Democrats have been winning statewide elections somewhere between 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 over the past two elections, and one can use Virginia's off-off year election this November as an indicator that those conditions continue to prevail. Un-sticking the log-jam of nominations in the Senate will break the conservative hold on the courts. It's going to flush out the Bush stay-behinds in the Executive Branch and prevent the next election cycle from being tainted by Republican-generated "scandals" within the Obama administration and make election-theft-by-judge less likely.

The reason for this, and I encourage all of you to begin looking into it, is because thirty years of voracious conservative policy has devoured the American middle class--but it chewed through rural, conservative America first. Over the past twelve years, rural Republicans have been at least as likely as Democrats to lose their good jobs, their homes, their pensions, their retirement accounts, their health care, their farms and property holdings, and so on. Rural America is where Wal-Mart turned on the vacuum cleaners and sucked every small business out of the region, so once they hit the skids in rural America, what do they do?

They wander into the cities, seeking better services and shorter transit times to the things one needs--the "socialist" services they once tried so hard to kill. But once there, the ignorant conservative's vote is completely absorbed by the more realistic people around them, and the more realistic Republicans realize that they are now the targets of Republican victimization. They are learning empathy the hard way: by having the results of their policies fall squarely and even disproportionately among themselves and the vanishingly small number of people outside of themselves that they actually care about.

The conservatives sacrificed their own lives and treasure to keep gay people from marrying in 2004, so it's awfully damned hard for me to summon up a lot of empathy for them and their callous stupidity--but chances are good there was an empty seat at your own table yesterday, because someone you loved--one of the conservatives all know and love and consider part of our families--fell to conservative policy in the past few years. Make no mistake, this is a human tragedy of enormous proportions, and I think Democrats have become the beneficiaries of it by failing to prevent it from happening, though none of us can be accused of not trying. But others may look at it differently.

Some, for example, might see this past four years as a little bit like a past season of the Walking Dead, where an angry authoritarian leader punished his constituents for failure by killing them all. The Republican Party may be on its way to dead, but the evil that animated it for most of its existence is bigger, meaner and more powerful than ever.

That's assuming a lot there.

As noted above, Democrats have a chance to flip the House, lord willing and the creeks don't rise.

But if we have to deal with a Republican-controlled House in the next Congress, we'll almost certainly be dealing with John Boehner as Speaker, for a number of reasons.

First, Boehner and the combined staves of the House Republican Leadership are infinitely more adept at exploiting parliamentary rules than the Tea Partiers who have slashed their way into the Republican works. Being a Tea Partier almost necessarily shackles that person with predictable um, abilities, or lack thereof. One of those lacking traits is an inability to learn easily or well. Yes, I am calling them stupid. Stupid Congressmen make stupid choices about their own staff and stupid choices about how they execute their plans--as we have so vividly experienced in the past month.

A right-wing authoritarian loses to a sociopath who pretends to be a right-winger, like Boehner, every time. This is because the socipaths are not beholden to any moral, ethical, or dogmatic considerations. It's true that Republican leadership has been losing its grip over the past several years. In the past I have likened this process to a melting peanut butter cup: a thin shell of evil containing an oozing mass of stupid inside. The hold of "evil" Republicans over "stupid" Republicans has been steadily eroding, to be sure, but I don't think they're going anywhere just yet--not in this case, anyway.

Second, Boehner has successfully fought off such challenges in the past and those opponents, such as Eric Cantor, have quite likely already been neutralized through threat of disclosure. It is entirely safe to assume, I think, that all Republicans in Congress are corrupt, and therefore vulnerable to disclosure of some sort. The longer they stay in the House and the more times they plot to usurp the standing leadership, the more likely those people are to have already had the dirt dug on them. So the new kids get no help from the schemers on the fringes of Republican leadership, this time.

Third, the position of the Speaker, historically, has been most powerful when wielded against one's own party. Consider for example the failed coup attempt against Newt Gingrich in mid-1997. John Boehner himself and a fellow you've never heard about named Bill Paxon plotted to overthrow Gingrich and put Paxon in his place, but their plan was betrayed by Dick Armey to Newt Gingrich. Gingrich totally destroyed Paxon's up-and-coming career, forever (by threatening to toss Paxon out of the closet, I have it on the best authority).


Boehner himself was ejected from his leadership position the following year and he spent eight years on ice until his scheming against Tom Delay finally paid off in 2006. He shall never forget that lesson.

So Boehner knows all the tricks, tips and pratfalls of this game, and his opposition is too stupid to learn them. Speaker or Minority Leader, we are still likely to be dealing with him.

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