1. #22606
    Extraordinary Member Robotman's Avatar
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    A conman finally being held accountable for his actions. It's delightful.

    A First for an American President, and a First for Donald Trump

    In the final moments of his presidency, Mr. Trump is confronting an unfamiliar fate: He is being held to account as never before for things he has said.

    ....

    “He has had a habit of saying outrageous things and then saying he was being sarcastic, he was kidding, that people shouldn’t take him literally — and in fact, if you do, what an idiot you are,” said Gwenda Blair, a biographer of the Trump family. “It’s both deniability for himself, but it’s also deniability for his followers. He gives them something to hold onto so that they can then continue to believe in him.”

  2. #22607
    Invincible Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malvolio View Post
    That was kind of my point. When someone promises you $2000, but only gives you $600, one's common response would be, "Where's the rest of it?" But if that same someone gives you $1400 a few months later, you either say, "Thank you," or "It's about time!" You don't say, "But you promised me $2000!" because he has now given you a total of $2000.
    Funny...

    There is nothing in here about what one's response should be if they have been evicted in the time since that other someone promised them the two grand only to start sandbagging actually getting it to them.

    There is a lot of talking like folks just had a Scrooge McDuck pool of cash to coast on while they waited for that two grand.

    Which is just baffling.

    Forget "Thank You..."

    A perfectly reasonable response would be to deck them for playing a bunch of "Mickey Mouse..." games while you were having to watch every dime.

  3. #22608
    Astonishing Member PwrdOn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    That is simply ludicrous. I suppose you consider the Stone Age people New Guinea who traded in flint an empire.
    The ability to trade profitably depends on having enough bargaining leverage to negotiate favorable terms, it didn't really take long for most tribal peoples to figure out that you could get a lot more bang for your buck if you showed up with some armed dudes and the development of organized states and empires proceeded from there. Of course nowadays we can tell ourselves that countries can trade peacefully because we have a rules-based international order that guarantees safety and fair terms for everyone involved, of course it just so happens that we wrote the rules on which the order is based...

    Look, the point of all this is not to say that America is a uniquely bad actor on the world stage, but just to point out that a lot of things we take for granted come about because we leverage our military and economic power to make it so, and that if we were to stop doing that, we would be facing the same kind of uphill climb that the countries we routinely mock as shitholes do. Do you really think that the reason that America is so much better off than Haiti is that we have free speech? If it were so easy to simply embrace American values and become modern and prosperous, without having to do any of that nasty violent business, why don't more countries just do that?
    Last edited by PwrdOn; 01-16-2021 at 06:43 PM.

  4. #22609
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    Phony credentials, a loaded gun and 500 rounds of ammo. Jesus! More proof that having a business as usual inauguration day in these volatile times is a fool’s errand on steroids and should be moved indoors to a secure location that NOBODY knows about. All it would take is one psycho with a gun to get close enough and turn a celebration into a tragedy. Why is it Biden, Pelosi, Schumer and the Dems can’t see that?
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  5. #22610
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPhillyPunisher View Post
    Phony credentials, a loaded gun and 500 rounds of ammo. Jesus! More proof that having a business as usual inauguration day in these volatile times is a fool’s errand on steroids and should be moved indoors to a secure location that NOBODY knows about. All it would take is one psycho with a gun to get close enough and turn a celebration into a tragedy. Why is it Biden, Pelosi, Schumer and the Dems can’t see that?
    They can, only they don't want to keep the inauguration secret. It woudl be a bad start to Biden's presidency if he is seen as hiding and running scared.
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  6. #22611
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That feels simplistic, IMO. Nixon was the one who went to China and started Detente with Brezhnev. Carter continued and extended that, and he also managed to oversee the Camp David Accords. Reagan was the one who went Cold War Extra at the outset.
    Nixon wasn't a dove. He bought in Kissinger who he was very close with and installed Pincochet, he favored bombing Vietnam into compliance - killing 50,000 to 100,000 people, Nixon focused on Cuba during the Cold War until he and Soviets same to an understanding not to use Cuba as a staging area for nuclear attacks. He set the stage for Reagan. He's also incredibly racist and paved then way for the Southern Strategy.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...-nixon/595102/

    The day after the United Nations voted to recognize the People’s Republic of China, then–California Governor Ronald Reagan phoned President Richard Nixon at the White House and vented his frustration at the delegates who had sided against the United States. “Last night, I tell you, to watch that thing on television as I did,” Reagan said. “Yeah,” Nixon interjected. Reagan forged ahead with his complaint: “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries—damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!” Nixon gave a huge laugh.

  7. #22612
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    Quote Originally Posted by PwrdOn View Post
    Despite all the pearl clutching by the DC blob, Trump's foreign policy was not really a major departure in substance from what previous administrations have done, and just as with domestic policy, what got people offended was more of just him saying the quiet part out loud. All this hand wringing about Trump ignoring our allies and trying to prioritize American interests kind of ignores the obvious fact that America has NEVER treated any of our allies as equal partners and only ever supported them to the extent that it furthered our own interests. The only difference is that under Obama, we would butter them up with sweet talk in public while whipping them into line in private, whereas Trump as always demanded overt shows of fealty which many countries bristled at, not because it was some kind of sea change in substance but because it was just another confirmation that they have been subordinate to the US all along, and this just made it all the more urgent for them to start prioritizing their own agendas over just being loyal American clients.
    When did Obama turn on all his US allies and cozy up to dictators? This both sides are the same crap isn't slick.

  8. #22613
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tami View Post
    They can, only they don't want to keep the inauguration secret. It woudl be a bad start to Biden's presidency if he is seen as hiding and running scared.
    Biden stopping a bullet from some deranged MAGA maggot would be a worse start to his presidency. Changing the inauguration day event from outdoors to indoors wouldn’t be seen as cowardly, but prudent, there’s too many crazies out there having swilled two months worth of Trump’s lies about the election having been stolen from him to take any chances. Last Wednesday’s madness only cemented that opinion.
    Last edited by WestPhillyPunisher; 01-16-2021 at 07:51 PM.
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  9. #22614
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    Quote Originally Posted by PwrdOn View Post
    The ability to trade profitably depends on having enough bargaining leverage to negotiate favorable terms, it didn't really take long for most tribal peoples to figure out that you could get a lot more bang for your buck if you showed up with some armed dudes and the development of organized states and empires proceeded from there. Of course nowadays we can tell ourselves that countries can trade peacefully because we have a rules-based international order that guarantees safety and fair terms for everyone involved, of course it just so happens that we wrote the rules on which the order is based...

    Look, the point of all this is not to say that America is a uniquely bad actor on the world stage, but just to point out that a lot of things we take for granted come about because we leverage our military and economic power to make it so, and that if we were to stop doing that, we would be facing the same kind of uphill climb that the countries we routinely mock as shitholes do. Do you really think that the reason that America is so much better off than Haiti is that we have free speech? If it were so easy to simply embrace American values and become modern and prosperous, without having to do any of that nasty violent business, why don't more countries just do that?
    Unquestionably, empires use trade as a tool of domination, but your view of the sole means of taking benefit from trade is simplistic, although I can understand how one can form a low opinion of it. There are certainly enough dim and predatory examples to cite.

    That said, resources of almost every kind are asymmetrically distributed across the world. Water, protein, building materials. Almost nothing above barest subsistence needs are ubiquitous. So unless your contention is that humanity should remain at the most primitive stage of hunter-gatherer social organization, your claim that trade serves only empire-building is, at best, exaggerative.

  10. #22615
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPhillyPunisher View Post
    Phony credentials, a loaded gun and 500 rounds of ammo. Jesus! More proof that having a business as usual inauguration day in these volatile times is a fool’s errand on steroids and should be moved indoors to a secure location that NOBODY knows about. All it would take is one psycho with a gun to get close enough and turn a celebration into a tragedy. Why is it Biden, Pelosi, Schumer and the Dems can’t see that?
    Frankly the thing that scares me more is that the government is compromised. Senators and security had a hand in what happened at the capital meaning that even Biden's security team could be compromised. So even if it occurs at a secure location it just takes one Trump loyalist to take the shot and we could loose our President or VP. Worse yet both.

    Republicans basically became terrorists and Biden has to share DC with them. We can only hope that things go smoothly Wednesday.
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  11. #22616
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Inquisitor View Post
    When did Obama turn on all his US allies and cozy up to dictators? This both sides are the same crap isn't slick.
    Exactly, he walked away from the Paris Accords, the Iran Deal and Salt. He betrayed our Kurdish allies for Putin and Turkey, and has given the Taliban a leg up in Afghanistan. He angered NATO and tried to have Ukraine interfere in our election. He also reversed our opening with Cuba.. Not really different? What bull!
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  12. #22617
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    Trump Spends Final Days Focused on GOP Defectors, Senate Defense

    As he prepares to depart, advisers describe the president as sullen and regretful about the events of the last week, though he says he is not responsible for prompting them. Many of his aides say they are ready to turn the page.

    “It’s complete shellshock,” said a person close to the president of the mood in the White House. “People are praying for the inauguration to come and to get Trump the hell out of there.”

    Mr. Trump began his final full week in office awarding the Medal of Freedom to one of his most vociferous defenders during his first impeachment, Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio).

    In a private Oval Office ceremony on Monday, attended by a handful of advisers, a subdued Mr. Trump read a brief statement highlighting Mr. Jordan’s record and thanking him for defending him during an investigation into his ties to Russia and the first impeachment, according to a person briefed on the event.
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  13. #22618
    Astonishing Member PwrdOn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Unquestionably, empires use trade as a tool of domination, but your view of the sole means of taking benefit from trade is simplistic, although I can understand how one can form a low opinion of it. There are certainly enough dim and predatory examples to cite.

    That said, resources of almost every kind are asymmetrically distributed across the world. Water, protein, building materials. Almost nothing above barest subsistence needs are ubiquitous. So unless your contention is that humanity should remain at the most primitive stage of hunter-gatherer social organization, your claim that trade serves only empire-building is, at best, exaggerative.
    I don't think it's really that difficult to piece together - if you control some type of valuable resource then you need to be able to defend your territory so that others will have to buy it from you instead of just coming in and taking it, but the same weapons that let you defend your own turf also give you the means to attack others and potentially steal their stuff, and so the entirety of human history has proceeded from there. Trade and empire building are inextricably linked, and especially for a nation like America that may be rich in natural resources but consumes even more, continued prosperity absolutely does hinge on leveraging our military might to secure access to resources and to force favorable terms of trade, to believe otherwise would be extremely naive.

  14. #22619
    Mighty Member TheDarman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PwrdOn View Post
    I don't think it's really that difficult to piece together - if you control some type of valuable resource then you need to be able to defend your territory so that others will have to buy it from you instead of just coming in and taking it, but the same weapons that let you defend your own turf also give you the means to attack others and potentially steal their stuff, and so the entirety of human history has proceeded from there. Trade and empire building are inextricably linked, and especially for a nation like America that may be rich in natural resources but consumes even more, continued prosperity absolutely does hinge on leveraging our military might to secure access to resources and to force favorable terms of trade, to believe otherwise would be extremely naive.
    The issue does become that, should a country choose to disengage entirely from this scheme, we end up in a situation where 1) a country has fewer resources than the demand is there for them and 2) there are other bad actors looking at building trade alliances and military alliances looking at your stuff with a glimmer in their eyes. Ironically, becoming more entwined in trade, not less, will lead to a world that will be petrified of going to war with one another because such an enterprise is mutually assured destruction. As bad as it is, the use of force has been rationalized for eons now and soldiers are expected to be willing to die at a moments notice. But economies impact everyone's well-being, including the rich folks. That is the best way to not only sway policy diplomatically, but also to encourage peaceful resolutions.

    (EDIT: I know people hated the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but let's be clear that there were prescriptions to enforce, legally, new climate change regulations. Additionally, there were changes made to bring regulations on labor and intellectual property rights more in line with what we might consider to be particularly appropriate. So, these things have legal force and they come with a carrot rather than a stick. And, if we want to actually make meaningful international changes on climate policy, we need to be able to use both--which non-binding agreements like the Paris Climate Accord, or other international agreements that Sanders hinted at during his runs, fail to do.)

    It is, also, how you mostly get issues with domestic terrorists in the countries you trade with. There is an abundance of ignorance about the problems and it does help to give rise to populist rhetoric which, left unchecked, can lead to nationalist rhetoric that reeks of xenophobia and racism.
    Last edited by TheDarman; 01-16-2021 at 10:36 PM.
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  15. #22620
    Incredible Member 4saken1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by numberthirty View Post
    Funny...

    There is nothing in here about what one's response should be if they have been evicted in the time since that other someone promised them the two grand only to start sandbagging actually getting it to them.

    There is a lot of talking like folks just had a Scrooge McDuck pool of cash to coast on while they waited for that two grand.

    Which is just baffling.

    Forget "Thank You..."

    A perfectly reasonable response would be to deck them for playing a bunch of "Mickey Mouse..." games while you were having to watch every dime.
    I think the disconnect is in the distinction as to whether they 'promised' you the money or whether they said that they would fight to get you the money.
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