Friday, August 23, 2019

There is one conceivable thing that still might get the GOP to turn on Trump

I have said this in offline land for the last year or so, but I think the thing that will finally get a critical mass of Republicans to turn against the President is if he ruins the economy. Republicans are fine with the racism, xenophobia, erratic foreign policy, general destruction of democratic norms, et cetera, but they won't put up with someone if they think they are hurting their precious moneyed class.

Odds are, the GOP will ride the Trump titanic all the way to the bottom of the Atlantic. But if the economy really tanks, they might suddenly get really concerned about Trump's mental stability and general fitness for office.

The world is divided into the bombable and non-bombable countries

I have mentioned this before, but both the U.S. and Israel operate under the assumption that some countries can be bombed without any consequences. It doesn't apply to all countries, just some. The bombable ones, countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, probably most African countries, are not going to retaliate in any meaningful way to a bombing on their territory, even if the government gets really mad about it. That leaves countries like the U.S. and Israel (and also a handful of other countries that are so inclined, like the UK and France) a free hand to bomb whenever they want to. They would never bomb a site in say, Germany or China, without the cooperation of the government of those countries. Those countries have economic or military clout. They can hit back, one way or the other. The countries that can't hit back are fair game for the more powerful countries in the world.

Sometimes I think that is what is really driving the North Korea issue. Not too long ago, North Korea was a bombable country. Now that it has nuclear weapons, it probably isn't., at least not without a pretty horrendous cost. That leaves the U.S. and other major powers at a total loss of how to deal with a government that does whatever the fuck it wants, notwithstanding the wishes of the rest of the world. We really have only one way to keep those lesser countries in line.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Under Water

The first day back in the office is the worst.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

proving the point

It seems to me that if Israel wants to counter the claim that it is a racist apartheid country, it shouldn’t mimic the actions of South Africa in 1972, when it denied a visa to a black member of Congress.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Biden is a terrible candidate, part gazillion

If you have to hide him from the public to limit the number of stupid comments he makes that could cost him the Democratic primary, how the hell can you think he will be a good candidate in the general?

Seriously, running for President (and, for that matter, being President) is an inherently public job. If your advisers think being in public is a negative, you're not qualified for that job.

How to boost an independence movement

If you are going to write a serious story about Trump's possible plan to maybe buy Greenland from Denmark, reporters should, at the very least: (1) find out of Denmark is selling, and (2) ask some Greenlanders what they want. Especially #2. This is not the 19th century. We should not be trading in territories from faraway capitals where actual people who have a compelling interest in what government rules them live.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

"Religious discrimination" only means one specific kind of discrimination

For the people in the administration who push these kind of rules (cough cough, Pence) "religious discrimination" exclusively means discrimination against Christians. If the rule goes through (and, let's face it, it will), I am looking forward to the consternation that follows some contractor that decides hiring evangelicals or people who eat pork is against their religious values.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The air is clear here

At one point before we left, I was wondering if any smoke from Siberian fires would reach us in Kazakhstan. Our first two stops, Almaty and Taraz, are quite far from the Russian border, but here in Astana we are less than three hundred miles away from Russian Siberia. Still, the air is clear and it looks like the smoke is heading North not South. So Alaska and Greenland are getting it, not Kazakhstan.

The bottom tier would do better doing something else

Actually what would really be great is if Hickenlooper did this and he started a trend with some of the other barely 1%er presidential candidates. A lot of them could be strong candidates for other offices. They just don't have a reasonable shot at being president, so I don't get why they would bother.