More Docks and More Vids

    Brett Weinstein has ab idea about a third party challenge. This is the best short description I have seen. 


    Hope this embed of your link works:


    Thanks Emma.

    I highly recommend this video from BloggingheadsTV for the views and observations of Nikita Petrov, A Russian who lives in Russia and comments on the culture, the political situation, Putin, etc. John Horgan is usually a much better participant than in this case, IMHO. The first two thirds of the video are what I recommend.  In this instance too much towards the end Horgan got in the way of Petrov's subject which I am much more interested in than the metaphysics which Horgan wants to pursue. 

    How Biden's Foreign-Policy Team Got Rich and how strategic consultants will define Biden's relationship to the world.

    "Shadowy", eh. A 36-year senator & 2-time VP finally writes a successful book, and he and his wife promot it for $8k-$90k a speech - a pittance in DC - and another scum-sucking bunch of fucktards want to try to make that sound suspicious. It's assholes like that which Is why we have Trump to begin with - they couldnt focus on Trump's very real criminal activity And his lack of an actual business model - they had to bask in innuendo about Hillary's awful emails And how She "cackled" about Qaddafi. And here's Lulu again carrying their water. It's how Washington works, Lulu - the amounts of money you mention are so fucking unremarkable that Its just crazy they would even put it in an article. A 2-time VP gets $500k/year for a foundation bearing his name, that's a gold star for a major university, UPenn, an Ivy League school? Well fuck me, i mean, every jerkoff board member on Wall Street or Silicon Valley probably gets that much.

    Here's 25 companies, half paying their board members in the $325k-$500k range, the other half $700k - $2 millon - perhaps avg salary $600k-$700k from all.- note - all the board members, not just the few superstars.

    The title and subtitle are what the article, which is over 3000 words long, is actually about. Here are the the total of 109 words about Biden’s worth and how he acquired it:

    The Obama campaign in 2008 made a pledge to exclude lobbyists from policy deliberations and, once in office, policymaking. “Lobbyists are not bad people,” then-Sen. Joe Biden said. “Special interest groups are not bad people. But they are corrosive.” Biden was the most modest vice president in recent history, coming into office with a net worth of less than $150,000. But afterward, he made big money, profiting from a multimillion-dollar book deal and earning $540,000 annually from a University of Pennsylvania center named for him that doesn’t involve any teaching. He nevertheless promoted himself as Middle-Class Joe. “I work for you—not any industry,” he tweeted last year.

    That’s it. That is all there is about Biden’s personal wealth. That is what you find as the horrible charges made against Biden by the author and shamefully linked to by me. I don’t see where the article suggests that any of Biden’s wealth has shadowy origins. The rest of the over three thousand word article is about people who are now his advisers and about those expected to be in very important places in his prospective administration.The article is about their career paths and what those paths indicate we can expect from them.   

    Do you believe that there is such a thing as the military-industrial complex? Do you believe there are actual people in it that are playing actual roles that make it what it is?

     In your overwrought response you ignore the point of the piece entirely and do not challenge a single statement of fact as presented in the article, and there are a lot of them about the people that the article is actually about, people that are not Biden.  Your main point about the article itself which you think is significant is that the couple million for a book and $540,000 a year for a non-job is just trivial bucks in the world where Biden operates. That is true enough but in making the only pertinent part of your rant be about how Biden got his money fair and square you are defending a charge that was not made. Have you looked up the definition of troll lately. 

    Yes, the title signals it's a shitshow from the beginning. Th y seriously underrepresent Michele Flournoy and her impressive 20 year gov career arc before joining BCG (, then they seem amazed that a defense professional with serious chops and experience who helps multiply public sector/defense consulting by 32 in 3 years to $32 million would then make $450k a year as a partner (which btw, isnt quite "rich", especially with DC housing prices, though with her husband as undersecretary at the VA, they have a decent family income.)

    Whatever, the article Is full of bitchy little asides. Sure, if they stopped to Focus on Biden's record with Malíki and Mubarek, i might be persuaded, but they have to find a trash Talking point, how ever meager, on every character in the story.

    ... but they have to find a trash Talking point, how ever meager, on every character in the story.

     Now that's funny. 

    BTW, Under Secretary of Defense probably made $150k in 2011, seriously below market rates in the private sector (And i doubt her think-tank work paid well either) Which Is an issues for all gov executive employees, taking a pay cut for public service for a decade or two. And then an article comes along and snipes about performance-based pay in line with other private sector executives (who may not be performing nearly as well as this one). What do *you* think the point of the article was - to be fair and balanced?


    She studied at Harvard College where she received a bachelor of arts degree. She received an M.Litt. in international relations in 1983 from Oxford University, where she was a Newton-Tatum scholar at Balliol College. From 1989 until 1993 she was at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she was a Research Fellow in its International Security 

    Flournoy served as a political appointee under the Clinton administration in the U.S. Department of Defense, where she was dual-hatted as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy. In that capacity, she was responsible for three policy offices in the Office of the Secretary of Defense:

    Flournoy was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service in 1996, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1998 and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2000.[7]

    Public policy researchEdit

    She then joined the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University (NDU) as a distinguished research professor, founding and leading NDU's Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) working group, which had been chartered by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop intellectual capital in preparation for the Defense Department’s upcoming QDR in 2001.

    She then moved to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she was a Senior Advisor working on a range of defense policy and international security issues before co-founding the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), to which she was named President, in 2007 with Kurt M. Campbell.[2] Flournoy and CNAS co-founder Kurt Campbell wrote a policy paper called "The Inheritance and the Way Forward" that advocated for a U.S. foreign policy "grounded in a common-sense pragmatism rather than ideology".[2][8]

    What do *you* think the point of the article was ...   

    I have answered that question several times above. 

    Chadda's credentials are a bit underplayed as well:

    Senior Advisor to the Secretary of DefenseIOffice of the Secretary of Defense

    Feb 2016 - Jan 2017

    Director, Middle East and North Africa
    National Security Council, The White House
    Dec 2011 - Dec 2015

    Quite a bit of difference between "speechwriter to Sr. Advisor" and "Director MENA, NSC for 4 years". Still not "Marquee", but up near the top of the security game for sure. Did the Authors miss that on purpose?

     profiting from a multimillion-dollar book deal

    Book deals are rarely gifts or bribes. The advance is usually made in the expectation of sufficient sales in excess of the advance and the large profits only come if there are equally large sales. We might bemoan that in our opinion people are buying books we find trivial or from people we don't like but in a free society we have to accept that anyone has the right to write a book and people have the right to buy what ever book they want. I still am one of the old school liberals that support free speech even for the trivial and for my enemies

    I agree with everything you say here but it begs the question: What is your point? I'm sure that you will correct me if I am wrong but the innuendo in your comment seems to suggest that someone in the article, or maybe in the comments, said or implied that Biden shouldn't have written his book and/or that he shouldn't have profited from it.  I don't see that and I don't see any way that your old school values you remind us of have been violated by anything that either the author or I have stated. 

    Oh come on. The authors thought it important enough to bring up and I doubt that choice was neutral and was clearly not meant as praise for the value of the book. It seemed to me to be at least an implied criticism. In the circles this article will circulate the mere suggestion that a person made millions is alone considered suspect. 

     In the circles this article will circulate the mere suggestion that a person made millions is alone considered suspect.

    OK, we have both expressed how we feel about the treatment of Biden in the article.  But, as can be verified by anyone who chooses to read it, the article, except for the one short paragraph quoted above, is not about Biden and how he made his money but rather is about the people expected to be in his administration.  I think the article treated Biden's post-VP earnings fairly and did not attempt to give them any gloss of impropriety by merely stating that they were substantial, although I agree with PP that they were not at all great compared to what is made by many in Biden's universe. The author gave Biden's long political career credit for not making him a rich man by reporting that fact too. 


    Gave him credit but then implies that he and all his new cronies are now busy figuring out ways to cash in.

    Of course we could write an interesting article, "how do new , high tech and innovative ideas get past the usual gatekeepers to let the Pentagon/DoD evolve quicker for 2020 challenges", which might involve interviewing these same new breed of consultants to see what types of solutions they're helping train  their clients to pitch to higher-ups, presumably hitting their needs and must-have buttons, rather than just offerlring whores and foreign junkerts to exotic places.

    Matt Yglesias gets neutered on his home terf.  If the current controversies over free speech and appropriate speech and cancel-culture are of interest to you I recommend at least five minutes of this this vid.

    Dare i say pretty good?

    Some pushback again Re: the Tom Cotton/NYTimes bit - calls for excessive military actions should be pushed back on hard.

    Melissa Harris-Perry had a weekend show on MSNBC that had better ratings than some weekday MSNBC programs. The show featured guests that represented voices not usually heard on network news. MSNBC halted the show. Was Harris-Perry a victim of Cancel Culture? Did MSNBC cancel her free speech rights?

    Is free speech limited to government action, or can a group of elites decide that they don't like getting feedback from the great unwashed?


    MSNBC is a for-profit entity so even the fairness rules of broadcast TV don't apply. It's on cable TV so their profit comes from fees not advertising. They can have whatever shows they want on their channel and you can start your own channel. Or you could start a fan club for the show you like and try to pressure them to "uncancel".

    (Though this has been undoubtedly become more complicated by the fact that these cable TV channels get some income from advertising on their websites. I don't believe that is enough income, though, for a boycott of advertisers to have any kind of effect.)

    I don't see their programming as having anything to do with cancel culture. It's merely offering an ideological/politic slant of programming. Like most blogs do as well. You don't say a blogger is practicing cancel culture just because he features certain people and topics and not others. You say he is practicing cancel culture if he starts a campaign to get everyone to start dissing and ignoring another blogger and try to get them fired from their job.

    People are disinvited from campus speeches. This happens as a result of protests from the Right and the Left.

    Thomas Chatterton Williams and John McWhorter built careers by being contrarians. If they did not get pushback, their livelihoods are severely impacted.  I don't see those who signed the letter as at risk of being canceled. 

    Crissy Teigen, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Dave Chappelle have been cancelled but still survive. R Kelly is truly cancelled, but that is because of suspected crimes. Perhaps, people who have been cancelled should have written the letter.


    One must never cry for Yglesias, though, he's got that utter kind of laid-back confidence that is instilled by the best private schools where you learn that everyone with power is actually another person with flaws just like you. As usual he's snarking as much as he can about the whole thing, and is throwing in self-deprecation jokes once in a while, as far as he can take it without upsetting Ezra Klein (nominally his "boss") with whom he made an agreement about what kind of social media commentary he would do after this latest brouhaha.

    For example, here's the latest Matt I've run across:

    When you've lost Shatner...

    — Alice (@AliceFromQueens) July 9, 2020

    TIL I was blocked by Shatner

    — Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) July 9, 2020

    The point is: nobody is going to shame him about doing anything one way or another. He's too confident. He just happens to care about what it does to others who aren't equally confident.

    By the way, from those who don't know his background, he doesn't come from ultra-rich background, just from a moderately successful artsy family, writers who valued education and managed to make some money at it.

    The "Alice from Queens" account is relatively new to me, I've just managed to figure out she's sort like some kind of Maureen Dowd of the younger set? She seems to snark in-jokes to media cognescenti that I don't always totally get. Not that I think anyone needs to spend time on figuring it out.


    One must never cry for Yglesias, though, ...

    I won't worry about Yglesias but plenty of people are getting hurt by the perversion of the rules of accepted discourse.

    A recent Biden campaign event demonstrated that when it comes to Venezuela, policies of regime change, sanctions and a refusal to engage in dialogue, VenezolanosConBiden and MAGAzuela are two sides of the same coin.

    Is there a despot in the world you don't support?

    Leonardo Flores is a longtime Chavez/Maduro supporter. The 'greyzone' is a garbage site pushing Maduro propaganda. It uses links to itself as it's source for unsupported conjectures/opinions presented as facts. A classic line from your link below, which anybody with two connected brain cells could tell is second rate propaganda:

    Biden’s surrogates claim he will grant TPS (temporary protective status for immigration to the US) to Venezuelans on Day One of his administration and Biden says he will stop financing the wall. These differences are minimal though, especially considering that Biden will continue the policies that have led millions of Venezuelans to flee.... A Biden administration would seek “a huge increase in aid”, not just for Venezuela but for Colombia and other countries with Venezuelan migrants. They would build an “international coalition” to rebuild Venezuela. They would persecute key supporters of the Venezuelan government, regardless of where they are in the world.

    "Regardless of where they are in the world" HAHAHA, Why do you think they aren't in Venezuela???

    They aren't in Venezuela because they took the money and ran!

    Drained it of the millions or billions that now may be frozen, I can find no reputable source on any total amount. Of course. Oh and Maduro, and his buddies "wherever they are in the world" must get off scot free from the looting and the disaster they created for their fellow citizens in engineering the nation's collapse.

    Flores can say TPS is "minimal", because he got out of Venezuela, but TPS in the US beats a lot of other options for desperate Venezuelans that Flores and you claim to have so much concern.

    Is there a despot I do not support?  The wanna-be despot that I absolutely do not support is named Donald Trump. Among the reasons I don’t are his terrible policies. How  do you see Trump's policies re Venezuela as effectively different than what Biden says his policies will be, or does it even matter to you if they are not different as long as it is Biden administering them and Trump is gone?   The crimes against Venezuela did not begin with Trump and they certainly will not end with Biden if he does as he says he will. By effectively different I mean difference of a kind that will ease the suffering in Venezuela and encourage partnership with it that will help both countries. 

     The Bush administration actively worked in the shadows to the extent that they could do so to instigate and support a coup against Chavez when he was extremely popular among the masses of his people. Obama overtly raised the ante by declaring that Venezuela is a threat to the national security of the U.S.A. He did so in order to “legally” initiate sanctions. Trump blustered and staggered like the jackass he is through that door opened by Obama and increased the sanctions to a much more killing level. He did so with all the intelligent study he applies to all his policies.  Venezuelan people are dying in great numbers as a result. That is not a hyperbolic statement.

     Do you believe that Venezuela actually is a threat to our National security? How?  Do you think that our nation or our government or the American populace, or you, or me, much less the Venezuelans themselves will be safer if the people of Venezuela, who have continued to vote for the Chavista Bolivarian government, are starved into submission and a right wing government takes over and administers the country like South and Central American right wing governments always have?  If the number includes, oh say 500,000 dead children to reach that goal, will you echo Madeleine Albright and say that you think it is a terrible price that all those *other* people paid but, hard as it may be, that you think it is worth it? Worth it to who? To you? To what end, for what purpose, do you support that and all the other carnage that obviously would be, that actually is, happening concurrently? To believe we have those rights and are in the right in Venezuela is a truly “exceptional” as well as a truly sociopathic position to take. 

    For many reasons including my direct experiences when traveling through Venezuela, although it was a long time ago, I firmly believe that the Venezuelan people like and admire the American people and could be, would choose to be, a firm ally of our country but do not want to be under the thumb of right wing leaders effectively installed by us. I don't see how it helps anybody except some rich or otherwise cynical power hungry fucks if we succeed in making them into a vassal state. Are there any of the first person kinetic or the proxy or the economic wars that the U.S. is waging which you do not wholeheartedly support?


    Yes, you support Maduro.  You support his military and security apparatus who have brought a rich nation not just to it's knees, but the edge of it's grave. You feel for his buddies mentioned in your link who packed up the loot they stole and left for greener pastures. 

    BTW,  in 2014 Obama sanctioned 7 (seven) of Maduro's henchmen, for "erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses in response to antigovernment protests, and arbitrary arrest and detention of antigovernment protestors, as well as significant public corruption". An emergency order was necessary to do so.

    FYI in 2014, under Maduro's leadership, Venezuela already had the highest inflation in the world. Over 3 million Venezuelans have since fled the despotism of the Maduro regime.

    Was Chávez just a Trumpian charismatic fraud from the start? Was that attention to poverty just a cynical app to dismantling of Democratic fixtures, using the oil wealthy as easy ATM? The Maduro part of the story Is of course a cruel joke - as if Jared or Kellyanne took over from Trump.

    El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago is a Bolivarian Revolutionary? From Atlantic link:

    "At the height of his power, Chávez appeared every Sunday on his own surreal, unscripted reality-television program, called Aló Presidente. He would interview supporters, hire and fire ministers, insult people, even declare war while on air, using television much as President Trump uses Twitter, to shock and entertain.. "

    And now for something completely different. My adventure travel days are probably behind me now but I have been following "Itchy Boots" for awhile and enjoying with vicarious pleasure her impressive trips. I hope you do too. 

    Lifetime achievement award for Thomas Friedman: Friedman at 50 Friedman Units: What Did We Do to Deserve This?

    Where did this guy come from? Oh Yeah, almost forgot.




    Response to the "lots of money" allegation.

    A SuperBowl ad Costa $5.6million.

    Manafort made $26 million off his PAC in 2016 (including $2.5 million paid out months after he "quit")

    One campaign event was $1 million for some consultants just to show up in Kiev fór 2 days (it got cancelled)

    Brad Parscale got paid $94 million.

    Karl Rove spent $325 million on his wildly unsuccessful efforts to oust Obama.

    Mark Penn got maybe $15 million for his disastrous job with Hillary 2008.

    This episode talks about $16 million for a talented group of ex-Bushies - campaign and ad pros - who went from popular Twitter feeds, op-eds and talk show appearances to a suite of clever heavy-hitting viral videos.

    We're talking about Manna in the desert - right now the country is between Covid and street protests, Biden is reduced to a few cute Grandpa ads, AOC Is largely mellow, and Pelosi is reduced to running out the clock. No live rallies on the Den side, no Convention, so little other cheerleading aside from Sarah Carter.

    So say the 7 founding members of Lincoln Project made $1.5m each - $10.5m - it's a decent payday for a supershitty election year where almost no consultants get paid, campaign event a are near-nil, And most media outlets have lost their usual boost to viewership (the head of CNN boasted theyd made a billion dollars in the 2016 cycle promoting Trump Krazy - and here we are in a drought).

    So welcome, Lincoln Project - a little bit of sun on a gloomy gloomy day.

    And of course Lincoln Project does have startup costs, that will get amortized as the 2nd phase of internet video and in-public actions get launched.

    Just my reaction when anyone starts complaining about money - by itself $16 million has no reference sobseems like a lot maybe. Do quick comparisons, Factor in # of people, level of difficulty, level of success and future promise, plus how are the other efforts going?

    Looks a lot different.



    An article in the NYT Magazine on Sunday tells us how the CIA helped cook the evidence to invade Iraq and why Colin Powell should have resigned rather than go along with it.

    Well, that's news

    There is a follow up article today. Why Our Analyses on Powell and Iraq Matter Today Short answer is: It is simply because we are still living today with the serious consequences of those events.

    Another shocking reveal

    Being how it is so obvious it can't hurt to point at it. Might even help some recognize its mirror image when it comes out of the shadows. 

    An obvious piece of opposition research (both sides engage in it) was taken as the basis of an FBI investigation into a presidential campaign, which was then amplified ad infinitum by a corrupted news media, that learned nothing from its admitted errors and distortions in the Iraq story. 

    What stupid bullshit Is this, Lulu? If I find such counterevidenctial already debunked crap in the first few paragraphs, why should i continue reading? Why didnt you catch this yourself, since Its a major misleading rightwing taking point used to deny the validity of investigating cockauckers talking to and wheelingdealing with Russia on the sly? 

    Team Trump entertained the Russians in Trump Tower in May 2016 - Steele didnt make that up. Russians then hacked the Democrats - Steele didnt make that up. Manafort, Trump's campaign manager, was on the Russian payroll to the tune of $20 million and was feeding campaign data to the Russians for hacking purposes. Roger Stone worked with Assange to coordinate stolen  DNC leaks in Aug/Sept/Oct 2016, with Team Trump fully informed - Steele didnt make that up. Flynn was secretly an agent for Turkey plus started renegotiating Obama's sanctions on Russia *before* in office with Trump's full knowledge and lied to the FBI about it. Why are you peddling this skanky ass tripe around here? Take it to Reddit or Redstate or wherever they like mulching on pedophile pizza.

    PS - "amplified by media"? The NY Times put out a front page ad for Donald a few days before the elections saying the FBI had cleared Trump of any Russia-snuggling. No amount of post-election spin was going to fix that big ass smooch from the Gray Lady

    PPS - Trump's lawyer was convicted of illegal payments to bail out a Trump scandal. Flynn pled guilty to his lies. Stone was convicted for his lies and obstruction of Mueller's investigation. Manafort was convicted for his multimillion money laundering. Many others were convicted or pled guilty for a variety of crimes, including creating fake PayPal accounts for Russian hacking, possibly vote rigging. Trump himself wasn't charged only because Mueller believes the Constitutiin demands impeachment as the only proper way to charge a sitting president - which the House did (including a Russiagate-like extortion of Ukraine for dirt against his new opponent), though for only a small subset of Trump violations. Steele didnt make any of this shit up. Your Consortium buddies can go hang.

    Why is everybody so mean to Bari Weiss

    Good article. Bari's resignation letter is a bit comical.

    I like traveler stories. 




    We will coup whoever we want says Elon Musk who 'wants' Bolivia's lithium. 

    Musk always says stupid, provocative things on social media. He lashes out angrily with nonsense. Like when he called the diver who was trying to rescue the Thais trapped in a cave a pedophile. Why anyone would take anything that comes out of his mouth seriously is a mystery to me.

    I can't follow in detail everything that happens in every country in the world but as I recall Morales held a referendum to change the term limits for president so he could run again. He lost, so he turned to the Bolivian equivalent of the Supreme Court to rule on the issue. Since he had packed the court with his allies they determined term limits were unconstitutional. By any reasonable interpretation of the law he should not have run for president. Did he then cheat to win  election or did the opposition use false accusations and other means to force him out? I can't answer that question.

    If Trump ran for a third term after losing a referendum to change the term limits and then used the Supreme Court to strike them down as unconstitutional who would you support if the military removed him over accusations of election fraud?

    I'll take your word for it that Musk often says stupid provocative things on social media.  That being the case, there is plenty of evidence that in the plane of U.S. society and power in which Musk travels his stupid provocative comment on who-could-coup-who and how everybody else can just "deal with it" is indicative of widely held opinion.  "The arrogance toward the political life of other countries, and the greed toward resources that people like Musk think are their entitlement" is one reason that I believe we should pay attention to Musk's saying out loud what so many believe. 

      By any reasonable interpretation of the law he should not have run for president.

    That is debatable and has been debated with strong arguments on both sides.  Whether he should have run for another term or not and whether or not the courts would have ultimately deemed the election legal and valid, I accept the preponderance of evidence that he did win the popular vote in that election. The OAS report is not credible. What is not debatable is that Morales had some months to go in his then current term of office when he was 'encouraged' to leave office and get the hell out of the country.

     I propose a question only slightly different from the one you posed in your final paragraph:  Consider a scenario in which Biden had somehow got to appoint two or three Supremes in his first term, and then, between being elected for a second term in an election that was disputed by Republicans but decided, by those same Supremes which Biden had appointed, to be valid. Then while undisputedly still the legitimate President in his first term but before inauguration to his second term, was 'encouraged" to resign and leave the country along with his VP because his life and the lives and property of his family and supporters depended on it and then an obscure Representative from the Republican Party that only a very small percentage of voters had ever heard of claimed the Presidency and got away with it. Would you believe it was a coup? Would you believe that justice had been done?  Would you believe we then had a legitimate President? Would you support that Presidency?   



    Your example is not analogous. Morales was not in his first term. He had to change the constitutional term limits to even run. If Obama had a referendum in 2014 to over turn term limits and it failed to pass. If he then turned to a Supreme Court that he had appointed a majority of members to to declare term limits unconstitutional I would not support him for a third term. If he won a third term I would consider it a successful coup that I would never support. I would never consider Obama's third or fourth term etc legitimate. If the military removed him I would consider it a coup against a coup. 

    Morales, how ever benign he began, did as it so often the case with corrupt politicians. Whether they are from the right or the left. He used his power to corrupt the judiciary to cling to power. It's no different than what Putin is doing in Russia. 

    We can debate what is worse, the corrupt president  or the corrupt military removing the corrupt president. That sort debate about the degree of evil is very subjective. But to portray Morales as some sort of white knight and a victim as your article does is imo gross and wildly incorrect spin. I don't believe you can discuss the results of this election without considering the over turning of the term limits and what is imo Morales' illegal run for a fourth term as president. You can claim it's debatable but you can't dismiss or refuse to make that debate.

    To quote Burroughs, "as an old Black faggot once told me, 'Some people are shits..., sweetheart'" These are not the ramparts to die on, the drones you are looking for.

    Could it finally be time for some Realistic Realism. The first link is to an essay by Stephen Walt who suggests that the idea of state sovereignty should get a bit more respect. Then a Bloggingheads TV discussion with Emma Ashford of the Cato Institute, who identifies with the realist school of foreign policy thought and discusses Russia's 2014 intervention in Ukraine. Third is an eight minute segment on “rising” about foreign policy that references Venezuela for a recent and ongoing example of how stupid our country’s is in so many instances. As a bonus there is another segment at the same site about the possibility of a contested election which makes some very important points, IMO.

    Not possible to just describe the points you think worth noting? I mean, state sovereignty for China to imprison Uighurs or for Sweden to attempt herd immunity or for the UK to not make Prince Albert testify re: sex crimes? I've had a piece in the headlines on stolen elections since Forever. As fór Morales or Putin/Ukraine, ugh, no, yuck..

    The ideas expressed about State sovereignty and about Realism as a political philosophy are mostly dealing with the subject in general.  There is, in the Blogging Heads piece, some discussion about the particulars you bring up.  I realize that audio blogs don't work for lots of people and even for those who follow a number of them the usual lack of a transcript makes discussing them using quotes a whole different ball game.  All that said, I think the BHs discussion is quite informative about the thinking within that school of thought as well as the problems that Realism cannot solve.  Skipping to the final link: The question is asked whether Democrats will accept the results, and should they, if Trump wins again and the validity of the election is questioned as it most certainly will be regardless which side wins. 


    The essay Is as usual full of holes. He talks about the expansion of democracy followed by "going in reverse", when the expansion of Freedom was 14points followed by a dip of only 2-3, largely due to corrupt populist-stoking nationalists like Putin, Modi, Bolsinaro, Erdogan and Trump reversing gains of the previous decades, including the economics & political liberalization of ex-Soviet Union, China itself, as well as the gains for tiny neglected Nations - reducing extreme poverty from 30% to 8%. Fortunately this smaller Nations have largely held onto their gains pre-Covid (He contends we should have just left Libya alone, ignoring Qaddafi's movement from international terrorism to a more benign charm offensive with a pan-African movement, arguably much less cynical than China's "Belt and Road" economic and mineral rights colonization of the continent 15 years later, nor the Soviet/Cuban intrigues of the generation before. No, Virginia, the US didnt invent international influence-mongering).

    It is the desire of leaders or peoples in different states to have a greater say in how they live, even if it means somewhat less material prosperity.

    Ha! It Is the desire of populist leaders to pretend others external are lowering their material prosperity. Britain was crap in the 70s, inspiring Bowie and industrial punk's bleak dystopian visions. International political/economic unions brought reforms while retaining the majority of local identity and self-determinism. Criminal actors like Putin spend a good deal of their energy stoking dissension in these areas, to increase populist unrest and lower international cohesion. Arguably countries of the Mideast need more international intervention, not less, but of a European Union-type model - agreements to reform and improve conditions over time, not just solve decades & centuries of embedded issues via an explosive Arab Spring that failed as much through lack of peaceful compelling Democratic on-ramps, instead just the usual supply of arms. Iran, especially youth,would overwhelmingly favor EU accession as an alternative to decades od horrid war And international sanctions. Self-determinism? Its largely curtailed by continual international chess-playing. Trade agreements and political alignments often *bolster* self-determinism And self-identity. The British Midlands' suffering isnt a bunch of East European intruders - It's a lack of new replacement jobs where *no one* can survive loss of obsolete industry. Over 70% of Spalin Is hollowing out and losing population (the coasts are thriving). Perhaps virtual offices & remote teams along with other solutions can reverse thhis flow, but the immigrants (neither British transplants nor African migrants) didnt cause it. Of course global competition plays a role, but with the Brits and Americans kicking ass internationaloy in so many areas, to then demand protectionism in a few select seems harebrained and downright bitchy.

    With the death on Friday of former National Security Adviser Gen. Brent Scowcroft at 95, Consortium News looks back at a very telling encounter the late founding editor had with the general.


    Oops, been caught stealing - stealing the CIA's software tools ain't what most consider "journalism", is it.

    What US constitutional rights do foreign citizens have on foreign soil? The answer for the whole of American history is none. The US position has always been that we can spy on any foreign citizen in a foreign country.

    If a foreign national is being spied on in a foreign nation what US constitutional rights do American journalists who interview him have? I think the answer is probably almost none. 

    As an Australian citizen what Australian constitutional rights did Assange have against being spied on by the Ecuador officials? None.

    Any journalist that didn't realize that at least three governments, Ecuador, GB, the US, and likely also Australia,  had access to recordings of Assange constantly is a fool. Every journalist knew the moment they stepped into the room they were being recorded. Even in America a journalist doesn't have the right to interview a prisoner in an American jail without being recorded.

    To find out if Assange or journalists constitutional rights were violated I'd have to study the Ecuadorian constitution. Without that study I'd still guess with a fair degree of confidence that Ecuador didn't.

    Assange and wikileaks is a  “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia” and should have been spied on. Just because a Trump official said it and I hate Trump and every high ranking official in his government doesn't mean every thing they say is incorrect.


    Excellent argument.

    I disagree. US law enforcement has limitations on surveillance of any American abroad. They will pretend to not know an American is on a call to get around this, but they have legal obligations once they know. For journalists, add traditional leeway given to the press. Even some discretion given for foreign press.

    However, once an entity makes itself an intelligence target by stealing the CIA's tools, all bets are off. Whether surveillance is only for intelligence or for potential prosecution, they're obliged to examine every anal polyp. The danger with Assange is prosecuting for more journalistic activity revealing atrocities in Iraq, et al - embarrassing, but what hard-hitting journalists should do. Trying to interfere with an intelligence service, then revealing their tools and tactics to the enemy? Well, fuck Assange very much. He both screwed the USA and made journalist's jobs much harder. Sadly Reality Winner got caught in the backlash - even if she had spent a year in the pen for divulging needed info, it was worth it. But now it's hugely punitive and unfair, considering people like Stone, Erik Prince, and Manafort are all out.

    US law enforcement has limitations on surveillance of any American abroad.

    I'm sure there are limitations and honestly I'm not entirely sure specifically what those limitations are. But the governments right to spy on foreign nationals directly and Americans abroad who interact with them incidentally has been codified in federal  law. There is no need to pretend they don't know. It's not an area of expertise and I won't be upset to be proved wrong. But I've read enough to hold this opinion with a high degree of confidence.

    I'm not sure exactly how what you're saying is different than what I said in my post

    I'm saying there are protections, but once you're ratfucking the Intel services,those protections rapidly disappear

    The comments so far all center on Assange and the legalities and justifications to spy on him and his contacts and his associates.  That and opinions on how guilty he is.  I think that is missing the point.  The main story of the article, as indicated in the title, is about the U. S. media.  Blumenthal makes a case that the reporting and non-reporting begs many questions. Any thoughts? 

    Most journalists didn't report on it because it wasn't news. What's the story?

    I expected Assange to be spied on and recorded while in the Ecuador embassy. I knew that if he was spied on as was likely I too would be recorded when I interviewed him. It turned out my guesses at the time were correct. He was spied on and I was recorded when I interviewed him. Nothing unconstitutional happened. 


     The US position has always been that we can spy on any foreign citizen in a foreign country.

    I should have added that this isn't unique to the US This is the position of every government. During the German investigation of American spying on German officials Merkel practically admitted that Germany was doing similar spying on allies too.

    The Grayzone's Aaron Maté testifies at UN on OPCW Syria cover-up. Previous reporting on same subject going back to May,2019 is here.

    Election Time in Venezuela


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