[News] Post a Political News Story

Ongoing discussion of the political news of the day. This thread is for 'smaller' stories that don't call for their own thread. If a story blows up, please start a new thread for it.

Gremlin wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Conservatives are “having a real one” right now.

https://www.vox.com/2019/6/5/1863739...

Kavanaugh crying about being accused of attempted rape seems to have been a big moment for a lot of conservatives, in a way I don't quite get. I mean, I understand the visceral fear of being accused of something you think you're innocent of...but Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court.

That really does seem to be the main inciting event that caused a number of crazy, but still mainstream conservatives to lose their minds.

Gremlin wrote:
Spoiler:

It's probably at least partially symptomatic of feeling like their sexual mores have become unmoored. The cultural shift from purity-ethics to consent-ethics looks a lot like unbridled anarchy, particularly if you've spent your entire life thinking that every one who isn't your particular flavor of Christian is deliberately rebelling against God. Hence the Armani position, deathly afraid of cross-dressing because policing rigid gender roles is essential to prevent your children from even thinking about non-heterosexual married sex. (Thinking about means inevitably being tempted to do it. Better not to know about it.)

Trumpism is absolutely headed towards autocracy. Though the theocratic bunch is unlikely to be happy with the results in the long term, his sexual values line up with theirs in the short term (and Pence-and-co have been running to domestic morals side of things anyway).

Conservatism is now the neoliberal wing vs. the religious conservatives (further splintered into evangelical, traditional catholic, and others) vs. libertarians vs. white power. Some parts are more compatible than others.

(The left side of the spectrum has it's own factions: neoliberals, centrist liberals, leftists, democratic socialists, etc. But the internal divisions there are along lines of affinity as much as they are about ideology...)

This feels right. I think the reason this has caught my attention is because of listening to *other conservatives* freaking out that some of their friends sounds like they were getting ready to setup Gilead.

Had a couple of those races flip here in NC too. I wonder if any of the same happened

Majority of American millionaires support a wealth tax on American millionaires

When Elizabeth Warren proposed a Thomas Piketty-style wealth tax (2% annually on family fortunes over $50m, 1% more on fortunes over $1b), she ballparked the returns at $1.9-2.75t over the first ten years.

Her opponents disagreed with her math, saying that the 75,000 US households whom the tax would apply to would never sit still for this kind of thing, and instead they would spend fortunes moving even larger fortunes offshore, hiding them in tax-havens, or even surrendering their US residency and citizenship.

This is a common response to any progressive taxation proposal, and while I've known a few people who cashed out big on startups and effectively went into exile in the Grand Caymans or wherever rather than paying tax, most of them ended up getting terminally bored living in a place full of drunken wastrels and trustafarians and moved back home, paid their tax, and got stuck in doing their Next Thing. If you're a genuinely driven entrepreneur, yacht life is f*cking boring and besides, paying 2% annually on the portion of your fortune exceeding $50,000,000 is not going to leave you a pauper. Neither you nor your kids nor their kids would ever have to work again if you managed that sum carefully.

Now, a CNBC poll has found that 60% of American millionaires support Warren's wealth-tax; at the "upper tier" of Americans with a net worth in excess of $5m, the proposal enjoys 66% support.

Other redistributive policies had different showings: while there was strong support for AOC's proposed 70% top rate of income tax, other proposals like eliminating mortgage deductions (which subsidize home owners but leave renters, who tend to be poorer, out in the cold) or Ron Wyden's plan to tax unrealized capital gains, are polling poorly.

Polls show that a majority of Americans also back a wealth tax. But the support from millionaires, some of whom would presumably pay the tax, shows that some millionaires are willing to accept higher taxes amidst growing concern over inequality and soaring fortunes of the rich.

While 88% of Democrats support the wealth tax, 62% of independents support it along with 36% of Republicans. Even the upper tier of millionaires, those worth more than $5 million, support a wealth tax, with two-thirds in favor.

Well, this is a f*cking mess.

Here is video purporting to show evidence of IRGC naval assets removing a dud limpet mine after the attack.

Several thoughts.

1. IRGC are stupid and crazy enough to do this.
2. POTUS 45 is stupid and crazy enough to react to this.
3. Tonkin Gulf and Iraq WMD immediately come to mind.

TL; DR. f*cking mess.

Tanker owner seems to dispute U.S. account of Gulf of Oman attack

CBS News wrote:

The Japanese owner of the Kokuka Courageous, one of two oil tankers targeted near the Strait of Hormuz, said Friday that sailors on board saw "flying objects" just before it was hit, suggesting the vessel wasn't damaged by mines.

That account contradicts what the U.S. military said as it released a video Friday it said shows Iranian forces removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the two ships that were hit.

The Japanese tanker was attacked twice Thursday, damaging the vessel and forcing all 21 crew members to evacuate.

Company president Yutaka Katada said Friday he believes the flying objects seen by the sailors could have been bullets. He denied any possibility of mines or torpedoes because the damage was above the ship's waterline. He called reports of a mine attack "false."

Funny how Trump is so certain that this assessment of who was responsible for an attack, but just can't be sure about who was attacking during the last elections. Could've been anybody!

I hope that if we attacked the tanker the news comes out sooner rather than later.

You know, before a few million people die again.

OG_slinger wrote:

Tanker owner seems to dispute U.S. account of Gulf of Oman attack

CBS News wrote:

The Japanese owner of the Kokuka Courageous, one of two oil tankers targeted near the Strait of Hormuz, said Friday that sailors on board saw "flying objects" just before it was hit, suggesting the vessel wasn't damaged by mines.

That account contradicts what the U.S. military said as it released a video Friday it said shows Iranian forces removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the two ships that were hit.

The Japanese tanker was attacked twice Thursday, damaging the vessel and forcing all 21 crew members to evacuate.

Company president Yutaka Katada said Friday he believes the flying objects seen by the sailors could have been bullets. He denied any possibility of mines or torpedoes because the damage was above the ship's waterline. He called reports of a mine attack "false."

I am less concerned with this aspect of the story, tbh. Human memory and preception are unreliable.

I remember one ambush we had where we all had vastly different recollections of how it went down. I distinctly remember seeing projectiles heading towards our lead humvee and then the explosions.

It turned out that what I actually saw was pieces of that humvee's engine being blown away from the vehicle and IED blast site after they hit the IED.

For whatever reason, my visual and auditory perceptions are effectively out of order compared to reality.

The take away here is that whoever is behind these attacks is attempting to goad two major powers into a volatile regional conflict.

There is no way the US can be goaded into war with our stable genius running things.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

There is no way the US can be goaded into war with our stable genius running things.

And the government is completely stable with a clear, unified foreign policy that addresses international crises with multiple mechanisms of statecraft.

Reaper81 wrote:

The take away here is that whoever is behind these attacks is attempting to goad two major powers into a volatile regional conflict.

I wouldn't call it goading when the National Security Advisor of one of the powers *really* wants that conflict to happen.

Bolton has wanted to invade and regime change Iran for nearly two decades now. He's also received nearly $200,000 from an extremist Iranian opposition group--a group he's been chummy with for a decade, even when the US classified them as a terrorist organization--including $40,000 to give a keynote speech just months before he was appointed where he told the group that "the declared policy of the United States of America should be overthrow of the Mullah's regime" and promised they'd be celebrating in Tehran by 2019.

OG_slinger wrote:
Reaper81 wrote:

The take away here is that whoever is behind these attacks is attempting to goad two major powers into a volatile regional conflict.

I wouldn't call it goading when the National Security Advisor of one of the powers *really* wants that conflict to happen.

Bolton has wanted to invade and regime change Iran for nearly two decades now. He's also received nearly $200,000 from an extremist Iranian opposition group--a group he's been chummy with for a decade, even when the US classified them as a terrorist organization--including $40,000 to give a keynote speech just months before he was appointed where he told the group that "the declared policy of the United States of America should be overthrow of the Mullah's regime" and promised they'd be celebrating in Tehran by 2019.

Bolton is trying to goad the US and 45 into war and I believe that he would use clandestine forces in a false flag operation to do just that.

The IRGC would absolutely do the same thing.

I agree with you 100%.

Edit: Hell, the Israelis would totally do something like this.

Good thing that the current US administration is known for being honest and forthcoming, following the pattern set on the first day of the administration.

Reaper81 wrote:

The IRGC would absolutely do the same thing.

Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons because it knew it couldn't survive a conventional conflict with the US and the US doesn't invade countries with nukes.

It makes absolutely no sense for them to provoke a war that they know they'd lose.

OG_slinger wrote:
Reaper81 wrote:

The IRGC would absolutely do the same thing.

Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons because it knew it couldn't survive a conventional conflict with the US and the US doesn't invade countries with nukes.

It makes absolutely no sense for them to provoke a war that they know they'd lose.

IRGC doesn't operate in the same way our military does. It is going to do what it believes is in it's best interests.

Edit: in a way that is culturally unique and distinct from US military culture and doctrine. The DoD / US military are absolutely self-interested.

Similar to our Border Patrol. Ostensibly under federal jurisdication but Border Patrol are some rampant motherf*ckers.

Gremlin wrote:

Good thing that the current US administration is known for being honest and forthcoming, following the pattern set on the first day of the administration.

From that thread, February 2017: "The complete list of all 80 false things [Individual 1] has said in his first 4 weeks as president."

Ah, we were so young and innocent back then.

Apparently, our diplomatic situation with Iran is a mess:

https://twitter.com/brett_mcgurk/sta...

On the current situation with Iran, absent a critical review of assumptions in DC and adjustment of current policy the risks of military confrontation — intended or unintended — will continue to rise. I wrote in @ForeignAffairs last week
OG_slinger wrote:
Reaper81 wrote:

The IRGC would absolutely do the same thing.

Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons because it knew it couldn't survive a conventional conflict with the US and the US doesn't invade countries with nukes.

It makes absolutely no sense for them to provoke a war that they know they'd lose.

I don't think Iran's nuclear program ever was at a point that could make one confident to say that they were pursuing nuclear weapons. The most enriched Uranium they ever had was a small amount in the 20%s (well below the 80+ you need for it to be weapons-grade), they were always under strict observation by the IAEA and have not, as far as I recall, been found to enrich Uranium beyond what is typical for use in energy production.

Meanwhile with international tension is running high, the White House, GOP, and Democrats are staring down another looming budget deadline. If history taught us anything, there’s going to be a lot of finger pointing, blame games, posturing before the political leadership will once again kick it down the road so we’ll deal with it again in a year or two.

With democratic government tendency to kick tough issues down the road (deficit, college debt, climate change, heck, just agreeing on Brexit), one could see why some people could see strong men who promises to get things done appealing.

IMAGE(https://www.socialtalent.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/dodgeball-gag-nausea-puke.gif)

Cladmir wrote:

With democratic government tendency to kick tough issues down the road (deficit, college debt, climate change, heck, just agreeing on Brexit), one could see why some people could see strong men who promises to get things done appealing.

I suppose it has to work at least once. You just have to keep trying.

Cladmir wrote:

Meanwhile with international tension is running high, the White House, GOP, and Democrats are staring down another looming budget deadline. If history taught us anything, there’s going to be a lot of finger pointing, blame games, posturing before the political leadership will once again kick it down the road so we’ll deal with it again in a year or two.

With democratic government tendency to kick tough issues down the road (deficit, college debt, climate change, heck, just agreeing on Brexit), one could see why some people could see strong men who promises to get things done appealing.

No, fascism is bad.

NathanialG wrote:
Cladmir wrote:

Meanwhile with international tension is running high, the White House, GOP, and Democrats are staring down another looming budget deadline. If history taught us anything, there’s going to be a lot of finger pointing, blame games, posturing before the political leadership will once again kick it down the road so we’ll deal with it again in a year or two.

With democratic government tendency to kick tough issues down the road (deficit, college debt, climate change, heck, just agreeing on Brexit), one could see why some people could see strong men who promises to get things done appealing.

No, fascism is bad.

Oh I agree that it is bad, but if you look around it would seem that the rise of strong-men in democratic countries around the world has been seemingly tied to the bloated, corrupted, and mostly ineffective government that preceded it. If you get screwed long enough people will become mad enough that they just want to burn the house down.

I mean, drain the swamp was a catchphrase for a reason.

Except the fact that he’s been filling that swamp with sewage.

Wink_and_the_Gun wrote:

Except the fact that he’s been filling that swamp with sewage.

And yet we have a good chunk of the population turning a blind eye to it. I feel like I'm living in an episode of The Twilight Zone a whole lot these days. I mean, the man says fake news! and people just move on! Is that a magic word or something? Is he a sith lord? Is there a mass hypnosis, chemical in the water, or alien mind control going on?

Cladmir wrote:
Wink_and_the_Gun wrote:

Except the fact that he’s been filling that swamp with sewage.

And yet we have a good chunk of the population turning a blind eye to it. I feel like I'm living in an episode of The Twilight Zone a whole lot these days. I mean, the man says fake news! and people just move on! Is that a magic word or something? Is he a sith lord? Is there a mass hypnosis, chemical in the water, or alien mind control going on?

I just read “The Origins of Totalitarianism” and it makes complete sense to me now. Arendt talks about atomized and lonely people being susceptible to mass movements.

The reason it often feels like his most die hard followers are members of a cult is because they’re acting like it. Right and wrong no long matter. Being consistent no longer matter. Only the movement lead by the leader matters. If he changes his mind the die hards change their minds.

It’s one of the most shocking things I’ve ever watched, but reading Arendt it makes some sense.

The most shocking thing is when you realize the leader doesn’t matter. Trump isn’t particularly charismatic. He’s just tapped into something that was pressure waiting there latent. An atomized and lonely people looking for meaning. And they found it.

There’s truth in the idea that they get meaning from “owning the libs”. That’s what the movement is about. Revenge for imagined grievances.