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Ztolkins

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Gender: Male
Member since: Thu Dec 18, 2008, 09:16 PM
Number of posts: 334

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Kafka in Foggy Bottom: impeachment transcript reveals fear of Trump tweets

Source: The Guardian

What shines through the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch is her disorientation. She is a veteran diplomat at the peak of her career, and in one of the most challenging but important posts in US foreign policy. But she had no clue what was happening inside her own government.

On 24 April this year, she received a call from Carol Perez, the director general of the foreign service, speaking to her in cryptic tones as if Yovanovitch’s life was in danger if she remained at her ambassadorial post in Kiev. She spoke as if there was a threat too awful to describe clearly on a phone line.

“She said that there was a lot of concern for me, that I needed to be on the next plane home to Washington,” Yovanovitch recalled in her testimony to the congressional committees conducting impeachment hearings. Taken aback, the ambassador to Ukraine wanted to know what the sudden panic was about. Perez just told her: “I don’t know, but this is about your security. You need to come home immediately.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/05/impeachment-marie-yovanovitch-ukraine-transcript-reveals-fear-and-chaos-in-the-state-department



These guys weren't afraid of foreign threats, they were afraid of the president.

Makes their testimony look even better.

I was just rewatching headliners on MSNBC

The Warren episode. I did not know in 2018 that she gave out money from her campaign to other campaigns or to the DNC across the country, I think is what was said. If she ends up getting the nomination, I'm going to say that this what is one of the smartest moves she could have made before she even announced she was running for president.

I'd really like to see her win the nomination and select Harris as a VP. Or Mayor Pete.. I recommend the episode to anyone who has not seen it.

JON STEWART Goes OFF On Congress During 9/11 Hearing

Worth the whole watch. Damn, I miss him.


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Parkland Dad Manuel Oliver Responds to Louis C.K. With a Brutal "Standup Set" About His Murdered Son

There’s dark humor, there’s black humor, there’s gallows humor, and then there’s this “standup set,” miles past the event horizon of some distant black hole, from Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin died in the Parkland mass shooting almost a year ago. Oliver didn’t appreciate his son’s death being comedic fodder for disgraced workplace masturbator Louis C.K., who has been trying out Parkland-related standup material lately; here’s C.K.’s joke about resenting the fame and attention the Parkland survivors got by calling for gun control after their classmates were shot to death in front of them, as told in a leaked set from December:

"You’re not interesting because you went to a high school where kids got shot. Why does that mean I have to listen to you? Why does that make you interesting? You didn’t get shot, you pushed some fat kid in the way, and now I gotta listen to you talking?"


After that joke—along with some really fresh material about the link between ethnicity and penis size—went over like a lead balloon, C.K. dropped it in favor of this reverse backflip in a San Jose set last month:

"If you ever need people to forget that you jerked off, what you do is you make a joke about kids that got shot."


So here’s Manuel Oliver’s response, in a promotional video for ChangeTheRef.org, a non-profit organization he and his wife founded Patricia Oliver founded in their son’s memory to fight for gun control.



[link:https://slate.com/culture/2019/02/manuel-oliver-louis-ck-joaquin-oliver-parkland-standup-change-ref.html|

Obama Did What He Had to Do

William Saletan's piece in Slate on Obama's handling of Russia is fair and definitely worth the read.


There’s plenty to second-guess in Obama’s management of this episode. But the idea that he failed because Trump won is wrong. Obama’s job wasn’t to prevent the election of a particular person, even one as awful as Trump. Obama’s job was to preserve the country. That meant protecting the integrity of our elections and public faith in them, which he did, to the extent possible after Russia had already hacked into the Democratic National Committee and spread misinformation. The next task—exposing the full extent of Russia’s interference, punishing it, and deterring future attacks—is up to Trump. If he fails, the responsibility to hold him accountable falls to Congress. And if Congress fails, the job of electing a new, more patriotic legislature falls to voters.

According to the U.S. intelligence community’s Jan. 6 assessment, Vladimir Putin’s long-term goal in directing the interference campaign was to “undermine public faith in the US democratic process.” Obama responded accordingly. “We set out from a first-order principle that required us to defend the integrity of the vote,” Obama’s former chief of staff, Denis McDonough, told the Post. Russia’s hacks and leaks were bad, but corruption of voter rolls and election tallies would be far worse. So the Obama administration focused on alerting state officials, fortifying cyberdefenses, and privately threatening Russia with retaliation.






http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/06/obama_s_response_to_russian_interference_he_did_his_job.html

When it Comes to the Poor, No Lives Matter

Body Count: No Lives Matter





Warning: full of salty language but definitely worth the view. Ice-T's group. I hope songs like this are the beginning of a trend during the Trump era in which punk bands get up off the their asses and write some good music. It has been awhile since I've listened to a punk/rock album that's had any depth to it.

Igor Panarin runs through my head

I remember reading about Panarin, a Russian academic (as he's described), after the '08 election and thought he was nuts. He predicted a Soviet-like collapse would take place by 2010. Clearly, that didn't happen but this article from the WSJ back then resonates a better today. Some of the details, like "The California Republic" being under Chinese control, are a bit absurd:

As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.

He based the forecast on classified data supplied to him by FAPSI analysts, he says. He predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.


http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB123051100709638419

I've a feeling Russia has been working on this kind of outcome for awhile now

New York Times Brutally Subtweets Trump With Hitler Biography Review

In Michiko Kakutani’s recent review of a new Adolf Hitler biography, she doesn’t once mention Donald Trump, the Republican Party, or the current election.

At least not in so many words.

As many New York Times readers have noticed, Kakutani’s synopsis of Volker Ullrich’s Hitler: Ascent 1889–1939 instead makes it impossible not to draw your own chilling parallels between the rise of the Nazi dictator and the current ascendancy of Trump.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nyt-hitler-review-trump_us_57ebecc9e4b024a52d2bf804?section=&

The book review can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/28/books/hitler-ascent-volker-ullrich.html?action=click&contentCollection=books

Hitler was often described as an egomaniac who “only loved himself” — a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization and what Mr. Ullrich calls a “characteristic fondness for superlatives.” His manic speeches and penchant for taking all-or-nothing risks raised questions about his capacity for self-control, even his sanity. But Mr. Ullrich underscores Hitler’s shrewdness as a politician — with a “keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of other people” and an ability to “instantaneously analyze and exploit situations.”

• Hitler was known, among colleagues, for a “bottomless mendacity” that would later be magnified by a slick propaganda machine that used the latest technology (radio, gramophone records, film) to spread his message. A former finance minister wrote that Hitler “was so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth” and editors of one edition of “Mein Kampf” described it as a “swamp of lies, distortions, innuendoes, half-truths and real facts.”

I Wrote That I Despised Hillary Clinton. Today, I Want To Publicly Take It Back.

By Isaac Saul

When Hillary Clinton became the presumptive Democratic nominee, I was distraught. Months before I had written about her on Huffington Post, explaining that I despised her not for her gender — as some of her supporters accused — but for her hawkishness, her center-left policies, her husband’s crime bill that incarcerated so many people of color, her support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and her inability to get progressive on climate change policy.

I’ve spent almost every waking hour of every day following this election, reading about Hillary, Donald Trump, both parties’ platforms, and the under-qualified Libertarian and Green Party candidates running. During these months of obsessing over my choice, I’ve watched my position slowly shift. I’ve felt myself start advocating for Hillary more than advocating a vote against Trump, culminating in last night’s debate when she finally, totally, completely won me over.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/isaac-saul/i-wrote-that-i-despised-hillary-clinton-i-take-it-back_b_12220124.html?

Here is his original article: http://www.democraticunderground.com/12511881934

He's a little late, but he's here. Interesting read
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