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Joe Biden 2021


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It’s still amazing to me we elected president a guy who never drinks and hates dogs. 
 
If you came up to me and said hey I got a guy, a potential rich client, who you should meet, but don’t drink in front of him and put the dogs up because he hates dogs, I would tell you to tell that guy to get bent and fuck off. 

You then follow him on the course and not only does he cheat at golf, but messes with your ball. Then, drives his cart on the green. You then have steak dinner with him and he orders his steak burnt to a crisp and douses it with ketchup.
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4 hours ago, Eskimohorn said:

You then follow him on the course and not only does he cheat at golf, but messes with your ball. Then, drives his cart on the green. You then have steak dinner with him and he orders his steak burnt to a crisp and douses it with ketchup.

And he spends the whole dinner making jokes about your dad killing JFK, or your mom being an illegal alien from Mexico, or he makes fun of your height, your wife's looks, her mental illness, etc.

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8 hours ago, Eskimohorn said:


You then follow him on the course and not only does he cheat at golf, but messes with your ball. Then, drives his cart on the green. You then have steak dinner with him and he orders his steak burnt to a crisp and douses it with ketchup.

The whole messing with other peoples golf balls will always be amazing to me. 

I mean we all knew trump cheated at golf. Hell, I cheat at golf all the time with my ball because I’m so bad it it nobody cares anyway and I’m just out there to hang out with friends. That was no surprise at all.

But actively going out on the course to mess with another persons ball? Not only had I never heard of that before, but in fact that the thought someone would do that had never even crossed my mind because it’s just so unbelievable. It’s psycho level shit.

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15 minutes ago, Anastasis said:

The natural gas must flow. 

Geopolitical positioning as the battle lines harden in the China v. Western saga.

https://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/2021/06/why-joe-biden-has-been-forced-accept-russia-and-germany-s-energy-relationship

Why Joe Biden has been forced to accept Russia and Germany’s energy relationship? 


The removal of US sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is an attempt to push Germany towards confrontation with China.

Spoiler

In May this year, the Biden administration rescinded the 2019 sanctions the US Congress had placed on Nord Stream 2 – a second pipeline under the Baltic Sea that takes gas from Russia to Germany. This is a significant reversal. During his confirmation hearings in January, Biden’s secretary of state, Antony Blinken, insisted he was “determined to do whatever we can to prevent [its] completion”.  

The dependency of many European countries on Russian gas and oil exports has long troubled American presidents. But the German decision in 2005 to collaborate with Moscow on the first Nord Stream pipeline exacerbated Washington’s frustrations. Once the pipeline was completed, Russian gas could flow into Germany without transiting through Ukraine. For Kiev, which sees transit services as a matter of its security, this was a disaster. Poland, fearing any kind of geostrategic manoeuvring that weakens the states between it and Russia, was also incredulous – the then Polish defence minister, Radek Sikorski, compared Nord Stream 2 to the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939 that carved up Poland, including parts of present-day Ukraine. Insensitive to these geopolitical considerations, Angela Merkel doubled down during her third term by committing Germany to Nord Stream 2. Now, the Biden administration has decided confrontation with Berlin is a luxury it cannot afford, even though, just weeks before the decision to rescind sanctions, Russian troops had amassed on Ukraine’s border.

For Biden, this is world where almost every decision must be oriented towards strategic competition with China, and the place of German-Russian relations at the heart of Europe now seems no exception.

The importance of German-Russian relations to the present geopolitical conflict between the United States and China is analogous to what happened in the late 19th century, when the Middle Kingdom was in sharp decline. That was a world where the British empire had naval pre-eminence, Russia had expanded across Eurasia into Manchuria, and Germany aspired to be a world power. After Japan’s victory in 1895 in the First Sino-Japanese War, Russia, Germany and France intervened to force Tokyo to yield some of its territorial spoils in north-east China. Russia gained the Liaodong Peninsula and a warm-water Pacific port at Port Arthur. Germany secured concessions in the Shandong Peninsula on the other side of the Bohai Sea.

[See also: Trapped in the Cold Web]

Fearful of this continental alliance in the Far East, Britain sought an ally in Japan. Although the 1902 Anglo-Japanese alliance prevented France from coming to Russia’s aid when, in 1904, Japan attacked the Russian Pacific Fleet at Port Arthur, it did not end the prospect of a Russia-German axis. Indeed, during the course of the Russo-Japanese war, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II agreed a secret treaty, with Wilhelm telling Nicholas that it could be prelude for “a United States of Europe”.

Writing in 1904, in an essay entitled “The Geographical Pivot of History”, the British geographer Halford Mackinder saw a world transformed by the transcontinental railways that the Russians and Germans were building to the Pacific. Mackinder believed that in the event of a Russia-German permanent axis, this reordering offered the possibility of what he called “the empire of the world”.

This new order never materialised. The winner of the imperial contest over China was Japan. After destroying the Russian navy in May 1905, Japan took Shandong from Germany in November 1914. After the First World War, Britain had to defend its position in China in relation to the maritime powers of Japan and the United States, not the Soviet Union and Germany.

But in his essay, Mackinder also imagined a future world where China ­remade Eurasia while enjoying the great advantage over Russia of a coastline replete with natural harbours. Today, China is indeed the rising power, building high-speed railways across Eurasia under its Belt and Road Initiative. Russia in this new Eurasia has a vast market for its oil and gas and Germany is part of the Belt and Road in all but name, with an ever expanding freight railway network running from China to Germany’s coastal and inland ports.

In attempting to peel Germany away from Beijing, Biden has treated eastern European concern about Nord Stream 2 as collateral damage. In explaining his Nord Stream reversal, he said that maintaining sanctions would be “counter-productive in terms of our European relations”. But there can be no common relations with the EU where Russia is concerned. Predictably, the Polish government is furious with the sanctions decision.

[See also: Joe Biden’s big week: the US perspective on the G7, NATO and Vladimir Putin]

Moreover, there is little evidence Germany is open to the compromise offered. Merkel persisted with Nord Stream because she has never seen reason to make geopolitical trade-offs around German commercial interests. Merkel’s welcoming gift to Biden when he became president was to have pushed the EU to complete the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with China. Ratification of the treaty is now suspended, and the Greens’ candidate for Chancellor, Annalena Baerbock, says she wants a tougher China policy on human rights. But Baerbock would be in no position to decouple the German economy from China’s Eurasian Silk Road. The person still most likely to be the next Chancellor, Armin Laschet, is the premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, host in Düsseldorf to Chinese tech firm’s Huawei’s European headquarters. Nor are the geographies of Nord Stream and the Belt and Road separable: the German port of Mukran, used by the Russians to construct Nord Stream, is the terminus of a new railway route that runs from central China though Russia and across the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland.

The China foreign ministry’s readout on a call between Merkel and Xi Jinping this April said that the Chinese premier “hopes that the EU will make correct judgement independently and truly achieve strategic autonomy”. There can be no such independence. It is now the European countries that must navigate the big powers’ strategic rivalries.

The problem for the Biden administration is that Mackinder had a point about the advantages that the geography of Eurasia gives China, not least in relation to Russia and Germany.

 

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16 minutes ago, washparkhorn said:

Geopolitical positioning as the battle lines harden in the China v. Western saga.

https://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/2021/06/why-joe-biden-has-been-forced-accept-russia-and-germany-s-energy-relationship

Why Joe Biden has been forced to accept Russia and Germany’s energy relationship? 


The removal of US sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is an attempt to push Germany towards confrontation with China.

  Reveal hidden contents

In May this year, the Biden administration rescinded the 2019 sanctions the US Congress had placed on Nord Stream 2 – a second pipeline under the Baltic Sea that takes gas from Russia to Germany. This is a significant reversal. During his confirmation hearings in January, Biden’s secretary of state, Antony Blinken, insisted he was “determined to do whatever we can to prevent [its] completion”.  

The dependency of many European countries on Russian gas and oil exports has long troubled American presidents. But the German decision in 2005 to collaborate with Moscow on the first Nord Stream pipeline exacerbated Washington’s frustrations. Once the pipeline was completed, Russian gas could flow into Germany without transiting through Ukraine. For Kiev, which sees transit services as a matter of its security, this was a disaster. Poland, fearing any kind of geostrategic manoeuvring that weakens the states between it and Russia, was also incredulous – the then Polish defence minister, Radek Sikorski, compared Nord Stream 2 to the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939 that carved up Poland, including parts of present-day Ukraine. Insensitive to these geopolitical considerations, Angela Merkel doubled down during her third term by committing Germany to Nord Stream 2. Now, the Biden administration has decided confrontation with Berlin is a luxury it cannot afford, even though, just weeks before the decision to rescind sanctions, Russian troops had amassed on Ukraine’s border.

For Biden, this is world where almost every decision must be oriented towards strategic competition with China, and the place of German-Russian relations at the heart of Europe now seems no exception.

The importance of German-Russian relations to the present geopolitical conflict between the United States and China is analogous to what happened in the late 19th century, when the Middle Kingdom was in sharp decline. That was a world where the British empire had naval pre-eminence, Russia had expanded across Eurasia into Manchuria, and Germany aspired to be a world power. After Japan’s victory in 1895 in the First Sino-Japanese War, Russia, Germany and France intervened to force Tokyo to yield some of its territorial spoils in north-east China. Russia gained the Liaodong Peninsula and a warm-water Pacific port at Port Arthur. Germany secured concessions in the Shandong Peninsula on the other side of the Bohai Sea.

[See also: Trapped in the Cold Web]

Fearful of this continental alliance in the Far East, Britain sought an ally in Japan. Although the 1902 Anglo-Japanese alliance prevented France from coming to Russia’s aid when, in 1904, Japan attacked the Russian Pacific Fleet at Port Arthur, it did not end the prospect of a Russia-German axis. Indeed, during the course of the Russo-Japanese war, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II agreed a secret treaty, with Wilhelm telling Nicholas that it could be prelude for “a United States of Europe”.

Writing in 1904, in an essay entitled “The Geographical Pivot of History”, the British geographer Halford Mackinder saw a world transformed by the transcontinental railways that the Russians and Germans were building to the Pacific. Mackinder believed that in the event of a Russia-German permanent axis, this reordering offered the possibility of what he called “the empire of the world”.

This new order never materialised. The winner of the imperial contest over China was Japan. After destroying the Russian navy in May 1905, Japan took Shandong from Germany in November 1914. After the First World War, Britain had to defend its position in China in relation to the maritime powers of Japan and the United States, not the Soviet Union and Germany.

But in his essay, Mackinder also imagined a future world where China ­remade Eurasia while enjoying the great advantage over Russia of a coastline replete with natural harbours. Today, China is indeed the rising power, building high-speed railways across Eurasia under its Belt and Road Initiative. Russia in this new Eurasia has a vast market for its oil and gas and Germany is part of the Belt and Road in all but name, with an ever expanding freight railway network running from China to Germany’s coastal and inland ports.

In attempting to peel Germany away from Beijing, Biden has treated eastern European concern about Nord Stream 2 as collateral damage. In explaining his Nord Stream reversal, he said that maintaining sanctions would be “counter-productive in terms of our European relations”. But there can be no common relations with the EU where Russia is concerned. Predictably, the Polish government is furious with the sanctions decision.

[See also: Joe Biden’s big week: the US perspective on the G7, NATO and Vladimir Putin]

Moreover, there is little evidence Germany is open to the compromise offered. Merkel persisted with Nord Stream because she has never seen reason to make geopolitical trade-offs around German commercial interests. Merkel’s welcoming gift to Biden when he became president was to have pushed the EU to complete the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with China. Ratification of the treaty is now suspended, and the Greens’ candidate for Chancellor, Annalena Baerbock, says she wants a tougher China policy on human rights. But Baerbock would be in no position to decouple the German economy from China’s Eurasian Silk Road. The person still most likely to be the next Chancellor, Armin Laschet, is the premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, host in Düsseldorf to Chinese tech firm’s Huawei’s European headquarters. Nor are the geographies of Nord Stream and the Belt and Road separable: the German port of Mukran, used by the Russians to construct Nord Stream, is the terminus of a new railway route that runs from central China though Russia and across the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland.

The China foreign ministry’s readout on a call between Merkel and Xi Jinping this April said that the Chinese premier “hopes that the EU will make correct judgement independently and truly achieve strategic autonomy”. There can be no such independence. It is now the European countries that must navigate the big powers’ strategic rivalries.

The problem for the Biden administration is that Mackinder had a point about the advantages that the geography of Eurasia gives China, not least in relation to Russia and Germany.

 

It’s interesting. It’s like there is a whole series of geopolitical chess moves playing out, and these sanctions are just the part of the game visible to most. I don’t think that we really give two shits about navalny. But some guy in Russia that has little support and has aligned himself with the far right gives us cover to do what we want with sanction pressure.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/russias-wealth-fund-to-ditch-dollar-amid-u-s-sanctions-threat-11622730123

Russia’s Wealth Fund to Ditch Dollar Amid U.S. Sanctions Threat 

The decision, part of a drive to de-dollarize Russia’s economy, comes days before a summit between President Biden and President Putin

ST PETERSBURG, Russia—Russia is to ditch the dollar from its sovereign-wealth fund, the country’s finance ministry said, as Moscow accelerates steps toward weaning its economy off the greenback amid the continuing threat of U.S. sanctions.

The finance ministry said the National Wealth Fund, which holds part of the country’s oil revenues, will cut the share of dollar assets it holds to zero from 35%. The $186-billion strong fund will then hold most of its assets in euros, yuan and gold, the finance ministry said. 

The move would further strengthen the role of the Chinese currency in Russia at a time Moscow and Beijing are pursing closer ties.

“This is a sensible decision, it is connected, among other things, with the threats of sanctions that we received and received from the American leadership,” First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, the country’s flagship investment event.

 

 

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14 hours ago, washparkhorn said:

Geopolitical positioning as the battle lines harden in the China v. Western saga.

https://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/2021/06/why-joe-biden-has-been-forced-accept-russia-and-germany-s-energy-relationship

Why Joe Biden has been forced to accept Russia and Germany’s energy relationship? 


The removal of US sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is an attempt to push Germany towards confrontation with China.

One of the things that was really interesting about the NATO summit last week was the inclusion of language strongly criticizing China in the final readout. This is the first that I recall NATO taking on China in such direct and confrontational language and it will be very interesting to see whether the electorates within Europe get on board with shifting (at least some of) the focus of the alliance towards a much more distant adversary.

 

Quote

55.         China's stated ambitions and assertive behaviour present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to Alliance security.  We are concerned by those coercive policies which stand in contrast to the fundamental values enshrined in the Washington Treaty.  China is rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal with more warheads and a larger number of sophisticated delivery systems to establish a nuclear triad.  It is opaque in implementing its military modernisation and its publicly declared military-civil fusion strategy.  It is also cooperating militarily with Russia, including through participation in Russian exercises in the Euro-Atlantic area.  We remain concerned with China’s frequent lack of transparency and use of disinformation.  We call on China to uphold its international commitments and to act responsibly in the international system, including in the space, cyber, and maritime domains, in keeping with its role as a major power.

https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_185000.htm

 

If conflict with China truly is in the cards, and the Europeans are expected to participate, being able to effectively convince Western Europeans to change their views will be one of Biden and his administration's biggest tasks.

 

From a European Council on Foreign Relations poll from earlier this year (all of which is worth a read for an eye-opening wrt European views on the US):

 

ECFR: The Crisis of American Power: How Europeans See Biden's America

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On 6/19/2021 at 11:49 PM, JimmyJames said:

The whole messing with other peoples golf balls will always be amazing to me. 

I mean we all knew trump cheated at golf. Hell, I cheat at golf all the time with my ball because I’m so bad it it nobody cares anyway and I’m just out there to hang out with friends. That was no surprise at all.

But actively going out on the course to mess with another persons ball? Not only had I never heard of that before, but in fact that the thought someone would do that had never even crossed my mind because it’s just so unbelievable. It’s psycho level shit.

you wouldn't understand True Alpha Dominance™ 

Stare a man dead in his eyes as he walks towards his ball and kick it fully into the rough, maintain eye contact.

You will now win BIGLY in the next negotiation

 

 

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We blew all our political capital on the Iraq coalition. (not to mention all the shit since then: getting caught spying on Germany, the Trumps trade wars, Trump being a clown in general, etc)

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21 minutes ago, DigglerontheHoof said:

USA:  "We're not quite as bad as China and Russia."

Russia is a much more naturally western aligned than China ever will be. 

NYT opinion piece related to some of the recent exchanges...

 

The Strange Death of Liberal Russophobia

Last August, I predicted that Donald Trump’s electoral defeat would encourage a lot of Republican politicians to embrace Don Draper’s mantra from “Mad Men,” his explanation of how easy it is to bury an inconvenient piece of your own past: “This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.”

You can definitely see the Draper method at work in the let’s-just-not-talk-about-Trump wing of the G.O.P. these days. But what’s equally striking are the ways that liberals are practitioners as well. This week, for instance, Joe Biden held a summit with Vladimir Putin — a banal event in the context of past Democratic administrations, but a remarkable one in the context of the world as the liberal Resistance interpreted it from 2016 through 2020.

In that world, Putin was a figure of extraordinary menace, the leader of an authoritarian renaissance whose tentacles extended everywhere, from Brexit to the N.R.A. He had hacked American democracy, placed a Manchurian candidate in the White House, sowed the internet with misinformation, placed bounties on our soldiers in Afghanistan, extended Russian power across the Middle East and threatened Eastern Europe with invasion or subversion. In this atmosphere every rumor about Russian perfidy was pre-emptively believed, and the defense of liberal democracy required recognizing that we had been thrust into Cold War 2.0.

Now comes Biden, making moves in Russia policy that are essentially conciliatory — freezing a military aid package to Ukraine, ending U.S. sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Germany to Russia, a return of ambassadors — and setting up a summit that can reasonably be regarded as a modest propaganda coup for Putin. And suddenly almost everyone wants to act as though the Trump years never happened: Not just the Republicans accusing Biden of being soft on Moscow, but the Democrats who have apparently decided that it’s fine to hand concessions and photo ops and promises of “stability” to the regime that just yesterday was the Great Reactionary Enemy, the liberal order’s greatest threat.

But this isn’t actually a column about liberal amnesia or hypocrisy. It’s a column about the wisdom of the Biden administration, in recognizing that certain Trump-era hysterias within its party can be safely put to sleep.

Spoiler

 

Some of those hysterias belong to the progressive left, and plenty has been written about Biden’s refusal to let woke Twitter set all his political priorities. But the Russia hysteria was a paranoia of the center, an establishment overreaction, so it’s notable to see Biden and his team steer away from it as well.

In this case, what the White House seems to grasp is that pieces of Trumpist foreign policy are worth preserving: not the dodgy business ties (well, depending on where Hunter Biden resurfaces) and the weird man-crushes on dictators, but the general idea of a U.S. foreign policy reoriented away from Europe and the Middle East and reorganized to contain the threat of China, with late-1990s fantasies about the inexorable expansion of the liberal order left behind.

This reorientation does not require friendship with Putin, which would be morally undesirable and strategically unlikely. But it requires treating Russia policy primarily as the management of a weak and therefore mischief-making competitor, rather than a grand crusade against a number-one geopolitical adversary. Hence the summit and its talk of “strategic stability,” hence the conciliatory moves that if Trump had made them would have headlined every hour on MSNBC.

Notably, Biden can get away with this — meaning his stiff-arms to the center-left Resistance as well as the woke left — not just because of the power of Draper-ish partisan amnesia, but because his core support within the Democratic Party didn’t belong to either of the groups he’s stiff-arming.

In his new book, “Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal,” George Packer portrays an American liberalism divided between two competing tribes, each blinkered in their way — what Packer calls “Smart America,” which is basically meritocratic elites, and “Just America,” which is basically the younger activist left. But as New York magazine’s Eric Levitz pointed out in a response to Packer, the Biden presidency was made possible by Democratic voters who don’t belong to either group: blue-collar whites, culturally conservative African-Americans, less-educated and religious voters.

This base gives Bidenism a genuine opportunity for Democrats to escape from Packer’s binary — from the “smart” liberalism that wanted to blame all its own failures on Russian disinformation and the “just” liberalism that thinks justice lies in making sure everyone says “Latinx” and “birthing people.”

But Biden is old and his constituencies aren’t powerful among the party’s young cadres and future elites, where Packer’s groups predominate. (There’s a reason language like “birthing people” creeps into administration documents.) So for liberalism’s longer run, it isn’t enough for this president to eschew the mix of wokeness and Russophobia that became his party’s organizing theories in the Trump era. He would need to establish Bidenism as something coherent in its own right, with its own young adherents and consistent theory of the world.

Otherwise the opportunity will fade, the suppression will weaken, and the hysteria that’s been opportunistically forgotten will probably return.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Nivek said:

I thought you didn’t believe in the bounty report?

I don't believe that Putin placed bounties on American troops.  And neither does Joe Biden.

ETA: Wait, are you referring to the opinion piece I just linked? I think that you may have missed the "In that world" lead in...

Edited by Anastasis
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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Anastasis said:

I don't believe that Putin placed bounties on American troops

Why not?  I believe it but the outrage over it I found to be a bit ridiculous.  Like yeah, we literally handed Afghans stinger missiles and millions in weapons to kill Russian soldiers in the ‘80s so seeing Russia operate in a similar fashion isn’t surprising. 

Edited by Hugo Stiglitz
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On 6/19/2021 at 2:41 PM, JimmyJames said:

It’s still amazing to me we elected president a guy who never drinks and hates dogs. 

The dislike of dogs with him is well-known. What I want to know is why Trump has been taken at his word about drinking? A man who lies seemingly every time he talks is somehow honest when it comes to this? I do not believe for one second that he abstains from alcohol. There is a less than zero percent chance of this. He has definitely drank since he first assumed the office of the president in 2017. 
 

If Trump said he has never used drugs would anyone believe him outside of the death cult? 

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55 minutes ago, UpperWestside said:

The dislike of dogs with him is well-known. What I want to know is why Trump has been taken at his word about drinking? A man who lies seemingly every time he talks is somehow honest when it comes to this? I do not believe for one second that he abstains from alcohol. There is a less than zero percent chance of this. He has definitely drank since he first assumed the office of the president in 2017. 
 

If Trump said he has never used drugs would anyone believe him outside of the death cult? 

I 100% believe he doesn't drink. He's just that weird.

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1 hour ago, UpperWestside said:

The dislike of dogs with him is well-known. What I want to know is why Trump has been taken at his word about drinking? A man who lies seemingly every time he talks is somehow honest when it comes to this? I do not believe for one second that he abstains from alcohol. There is a less than zero percent chance of this. He has definitely drank since he first assumed the office of the president in 2017. 

He's definitely the dude who convinced himself that his brain power is too important to inhibit with alcohol, and that he needs to be running at full capacity...while he devours McDonald's and watches 7 hours of Fox News. That I absolutely believe. 

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Just now, Hugo Stiglitz said:

Why not? 

Because the intelligence was flimsy at best, leaked to the media for purposes unrelated to national security imo, the Centcom commander and Pentagon conducted an in depth review and could not corroborate the weak intelligence with evidence. Look at how Biden has measured his language around the topic after the election, his actions, and how Psaki has dodged direct questioning.    

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11 minutes ago, wildcat09 said:

@immamac, is there any chance the search feature could be updated so that it's sortable by poster? It's pointless, but I'd love to be able to easily count how many times certain posters have used the word "server."

Correlation to "brain worms" would be cool, too.  Or "clowns".

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15 minutes ago, wildcat09 said:

@immamac, is there any chance the search feature could be updated so that it's sortable by poster? It's pointless, but I'd love to be able to easily count how many times certain posters have used the word "server."

Why just certain posters? Surely both sides of every debate are equally at fault, right?

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, let's run the search script against the old site as well so as to capture full timeframe. 

 

ETA: And maybe tack on for "bounties" on as well. 

Edited by Anastasis
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If we all think about the server, maybe we can finally move past the Russia, Russia, Russia hoax. Maybe we can all forget what the Mueller report established. 

 

  

  

  

 

• Mueller report confirmed that Trump campaign chairman and deputy chairman Manafort and Gates were sharing internal polling data with an operative who Gates had thought was a Russian spy.
 • The Mueller report confirmed that Trump campaign manager and convicted felon Paul Manafort offered to give private briefings during the campaign to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
 • Following Trump's public call for Russia to find Clinton's missing emails he privately directed former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to find them.
 • The Mueller report confirmed that foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos attempted to arrange meetings between Putin and Trump and that the President approved of Papadopoulos's work.
 • The report also confirmed that Trump campaign surrogates met with Russians in Trump Tower soliciting damaging information on their political opponent. The report goes on to mention that Trump surrogates who attended the meeting weren't charged with violating campaign finance law because there wasn’t admissible evidence to show that Trump surrogates knew that what they were doing was illegal.
 • The report confirmed Russia's extensive election interference.
 • Over the course of the investigation we learned that a Trump campaign adviser was directed to find out about future DNC leaks. Roger Stone was in contact with Wikileaks and the Russian hackers known as Guciffer 2.0 and is currently on trail.
 • Over the course of the investigation we learned that the President's long time personal attorney and convicted felon Michael Cohen lied to Congress about the Trump Organization pursuing a lucrative hotel project in Moscow during the 2016 election.

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7 minutes ago, GW Hayduke said:

• Mueller report confirmed that Trump campaign chairman and deputy chairman Manafort and Gates were sharing internal polling data with an operative who Gates had thought was a Russian spy.
 • The Mueller report confirmed that Trump campaign manager and convicted felon Paul Manafort offered to give private briefings during the campaign to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
 • Following Trump's public call for Russia to find Clinton's missing emails he privately directed former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to find them.
 • The Mueller report confirmed that foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos attempted to arrange meetings between Putin and Trump and that the President approved of Papadopoulos's work.
 • The report also confirmed that Trump campaign surrogates met with Russians in Trump Tower soliciting damaging information on their political opponent. The report goes on to mention that Trump surrogates who attended the meeting weren't charged with violating campaign finance law because there wasn’t admissible evidence to show that Trump surrogates knew that what they were doing was illegal.
 • The report confirmed Russia's extensive election interference.
 • Over the course of the investigation we learned that a Trump campaign adviser was directed to find out about future DNC leaks. Roger Stone was in contact with Wikileaks and the Russian hackers known as Guciffer 2.0 and is currently on trail.
 • Over the course of the investigation we learned that the President's long time personal attorney and convicted felon Michael Cohen lied to Congress about the Trump Organization pursuing a lucrative hotel project in Moscow during the 2016 election.

You might as well be talking to a wall.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/21/2021 at 8:30 AM, Anastasis said:

Russia is a much more naturally western aligned than China ever will be. 

NYT opinion piece related to some of the recent exchanges...

 

The Strange Death of Liberal Russophobia

Last August, I predicted that Donald Trump’s electoral defeat would encourage a lot of Republican politicians to embrace Don Draper’s mantra from “Mad Men,” his explanation of how easy it is to bury an inconvenient piece of your own past: “This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.”

You can definitely see the Draper method at work in the let’s-just-not-talk-about-Trump wing of the G.O.P. these days. But what’s equally striking are the ways that liberals are practitioners as well. This week, for instance, Joe Biden held a summit with Vladimir Putin — a banal event in the context of past Democratic administrations, but a remarkable one in the context of the world as the liberal Resistance interpreted it from 2016 through 2020.

In that world, Putin was a figure of extraordinary menace, the leader of an authoritarian renaissance whose tentacles extended everywhere, from Brexit to the N.R.A. He had hacked American democracy, placed a Manchurian candidate in the White House, sowed the internet with misinformation, placed bounties on our soldiers in Afghanistan, extended Russian power across the Middle East and threatened Eastern Europe with invasion or subversion. In this atmosphere every rumor about Russian perfidy was pre-emptively believed, and the defense of liberal democracy required recognizing that we had been thrust into Cold War 2.0.

Now comes Biden, making moves in Russia policy that are essentially conciliatory — freezing a military aid package to Ukraine, ending U.S. sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Germany to Russia, a return of ambassadors — and setting up a summit that can reasonably be regarded as a modest propaganda coup for Putin. And suddenly almost everyone wants to act as though the Trump years never happened: Not just the Republicans accusing Biden of being soft on Moscow, but the Democrats who have apparently decided that it’s fine to hand concessions and photo ops and promises of “stability” to the regime that just yesterday was the Great Reactionary Enemy, the liberal order’s greatest threat.

But this isn’t actually a column about liberal amnesia or hypocrisy. It’s a column about the wisdom of the Biden administration, in recognizing that certain Trump-era hysterias within its party can be safely put to sleep.

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Some of those hysterias belong to the progressive left, and plenty has been written about Biden’s refusal to let woke Twitter set all his political priorities. But the Russia hysteria was a paranoia of the center, an establishment overreaction, so it’s notable to see Biden and his team steer away from it as well.

In this case, what the White House seems to grasp is that pieces of Trumpist foreign policy are worth preserving: not the dodgy business ties (well, depending on where Hunter Biden resurfaces) and the weird man-crushes on dictators, but the general idea of a U.S. foreign policy reoriented away from Europe and the Middle East and reorganized to contain the threat of China, with late-1990s fantasies about the inexorable expansion of the liberal order left behind.

This reorientation does not require friendship with Putin, which would be morally undesirable and strategically unlikely. But it requires treating Russia policy primarily as the management of a weak and therefore mischief-making competitor, rather than a grand crusade against a number-one geopolitical adversary. Hence the summit and its talk of “strategic stability,” hence the conciliatory moves that if Trump had made them would have headlined every hour on MSNBC.

Notably, Biden can get away with this — meaning his stiff-arms to the center-left Resistance as well as the woke left — not just because of the power of Draper-ish partisan amnesia, but because his core support within the Democratic Party didn’t belong to either of the groups he’s stiff-arming.

In his new book, “Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal,” George Packer portrays an American liberalism divided between two competing tribes, each blinkered in their way — what Packer calls “Smart America,” which is basically meritocratic elites, and “Just America,” which is basically the younger activist left. But as New York magazine’s Eric Levitz pointed out in a response to Packer, the Biden presidency was made possible by Democratic voters who don’t belong to either group: blue-collar whites, culturally conservative African-Americans, less-educated and religious voters.

This base gives Bidenism a genuine opportunity for Democrats to escape from Packer’s binary — from the “smart” liberalism that wanted to blame all its own failures on Russian disinformation and the “just” liberalism that thinks justice lies in making sure everyone says “Latinx” and “birthing people.”

But Biden is old and his constituencies aren’t powerful among the party’s young cadres and future elites, where Packer’s groups predominate. (There’s a reason language like “birthing people” creeps into administration documents.) So for liberalism’s longer run, it isn’t enough for this president to eschew the mix of wokeness and Russophobia that became his party’s organizing theories in the Trump era. He would need to establish Bidenism as something coherent in its own right, with its own young adherents and consistent theory of the world.

Otherwise the opportunity will fade, the suppression will weaken, and the hysteria that’s been opportunistically forgotten will probably return.

 

 

What is that column? Bret Stephens  latest search for bofa?

Edited by Bozo_Casanova
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7 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

You might as well be talking to a wall.

If you really want, I'd be happy to go through that point by point, but you'll have to take it to the Mueller thread.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, GW Hayduke said:

If we all think about the server, maybe we can finally move past the Russia, Russia, Russia hoax. Maybe we can all forget what the Mueller report established. 

 

  

  

  

 

• Mueller report confirmed that Trump campaign chairman and deputy chairman Manafort and Gates were sharing internal polling data with an operative who Gates had thought was a Russian spy.
 • The Mueller report confirmed that Trump campaign manager and convicted felon Paul Manafort offered to give private briefings during the campaign to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
 • Following Trump's public call for Russia to find Clinton's missing emails he privately directed former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to find them.
 • The Mueller report confirmed that foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos attempted to arrange meetings between Putin and Trump and that the President approved of Papadopoulos's work.
 • The report also confirmed that Trump campaign surrogates met with Russians in Trump Tower soliciting damaging information on their political opponent. The report goes on to mention that Trump surrogates who attended the meeting weren't charged with violating campaign finance law because there wasn’t admissible evidence to show that Trump surrogates knew that what they were doing was illegal.
 • The report confirmed Russia's extensive election interference.
 • Over the course of the investigation we learned that a Trump campaign adviser was directed to find out about future DNC leaks. Roger Stone was in contact with Wikileaks and the Russian hackers known as Guciffer 2.0 and is currently on trail.
 • Over the course of the investigation we learned that the President's long time personal attorney and convicted felon Michael Cohen lied to Congress about the Trump Organization pursuing a lucrative hotel project in Moscow during the 2016 election.

But why did Trump decapitate the FBI leadership, fire his AG, and attempt to fire Mueller? 

Edited by Hugo Stiglitz
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28 minutes ago, Anastasis said:

If you really want, I'd be happy to go through that point by point, but you'll have to take it to the Mueller thread.

I'd rather have my hemorrhoids removed via my nostrils.

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3 hours ago, DonkeyCigars said:

I 100% believe he doesn't drink. He's just that weird.

Yeah if he drank you’d never hear the end of how he could drink anyone under the table

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On 6/20/2021 at 11:48 AM, washparkhorn said:

Geopolitical positioning as the battle lines harden in the China v. Western saga.

https://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/2021/06/why-joe-biden-has-been-forced-accept-russia-and-germany-s-energy-relationship

Why Joe Biden has been forced to accept Russia and Germany’s energy relationship? 


The removal of US sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is an attempt to push Germany towards confrontation with China.

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In May this year, the Biden administration rescinded the 2019 sanctions the US Congress had placed on Nord Stream 2 – a second pipeline under the Baltic Sea that takes gas from Russia to Germany. This is a significant reversal. During his confirmation hearings in January, Biden’s secretary of state, Antony Blinken, insisted he was “determined to do whatever we can to prevent [its] completion”.  

The dependency of many European countries on Russian gas and oil exports has long troubled American presidents. But the German decision in 2005 to collaborate with Moscow on the first Nord Stream pipeline exacerbated Washington’s frustrations. Once the pipeline was completed, Russian gas could flow into Germany without transiting through Ukraine. For Kiev, which sees transit services as a matter of its security, this was a disaster. Poland, fearing any kind of geostrategic manoeuvring that weakens the states between it and Russia, was also incredulous – the then Polish defence minister, Radek Sikorski, compared Nord Stream 2 to the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939 that carved up Poland, including parts of present-day Ukraine. Insensitive to these geopolitical considerations, Angela Merkel doubled down during her third term by committing Germany to Nord Stream 2. Now, the Biden administration has decided confrontation with Berlin is a luxury it cannot afford, even though, just weeks before the decision to rescind sanctions, Russian troops had amassed on Ukraine’s border.

For Biden, this is world where almost every decision must be oriented towards strategic competition with China, and the place of German-Russian relations at the heart of Europe now seems no exception.

The importance of German-Russian relations to the present geopolitical conflict between the United States and China is analogous to what happened in the late 19th century, when the Middle Kingdom was in sharp decline. That was a world where the British empire had naval pre-eminence, Russia had expanded across Eurasia into Manchuria, and Germany aspired to be a world power. After Japan’s victory in 1895 in the First Sino-Japanese War, Russia, Germany and France intervened to force Tokyo to yield some of its territorial spoils in north-east China. Russia gained the Liaodong Peninsula and a warm-water Pacific port at Port Arthur. Germany secured concessions in the Shandong Peninsula on the other side of the Bohai Sea.

[See also: Trapped in the Cold Web]

Fearful of this continental alliance in the Far East, Britain sought an ally in Japan. Although the 1902 Anglo-Japanese alliance prevented France from coming to Russia’s aid when, in 1904, Japan attacked the Russian Pacific Fleet at Port Arthur, it did not end the prospect of a Russia-German axis. Indeed, during the course of the Russo-Japanese war, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II agreed a secret treaty, with Wilhelm telling Nicholas that it could be prelude for “a United States of Europe”.

Writing in 1904, in an essay entitled “The Geographical Pivot of History”, the British geographer Halford Mackinder saw a world transformed by the transcontinental railways that the Russians and Germans were building to the Pacific. Mackinder believed that in the event of a Russia-German permanent axis, this reordering offered the possibility of what he called “the empire of the world”.

This new order never materialised. The winner of the imperial contest over China was Japan. After destroying the Russian navy in May 1905, Japan took Shandong from Germany in November 1914. After the First World War, Britain had to defend its position in China in relation to the maritime powers of Japan and the United States, not the Soviet Union and Germany.

But in his essay, Mackinder also imagined a future world where China ­remade Eurasia while enjoying the great advantage over Russia of a coastline replete with natural harbours. Today, China is indeed the rising power, building high-speed railways across Eurasia under its Belt and Road Initiative. Russia in this new Eurasia has a vast market for its oil and gas and Germany is part of the Belt and Road in all but name, with an ever expanding freight railway network running from China to Germany’s coastal and inland ports.

In attempting to peel Germany away from Beijing, Biden has treated eastern European concern about Nord Stream 2 as collateral damage. In explaining his Nord Stream reversal, he said that maintaining sanctions would be “counter-productive in terms of our European relations”. But there can be no common relations with the EU where Russia is concerned. Predictably, the Polish government is furious with the sanctions decision.

[See also: Joe Biden’s big week: the US perspective on the G7, NATO and Vladimir Putin]

Moreover, there is little evidence Germany is open to the compromise offered. Merkel persisted with Nord Stream because she has never seen reason to make geopolitical trade-offs around German commercial interests. Merkel’s welcoming gift to Biden when he became president was to have pushed the EU to complete the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with China. Ratification of the treaty is now suspended, and the Greens’ candidate for Chancellor, Annalena Baerbock, says she wants a tougher China policy on human rights. But Baerbock would be in no position to decouple the German economy from China’s Eurasian Silk Road. The person still most likely to be the next Chancellor, Armin Laschet, is the premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, host in Düsseldorf to Chinese tech firm’s Huawei’s European headquarters. Nor are the geographies of Nord Stream and the Belt and Road separable: the German port of Mukran, used by the Russians to construct Nord Stream, is the terminus of a new railway route that runs from central China though Russia and across the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland.

The China foreign ministry’s readout on a call between Merkel and Xi Jinping this April said that the Chinese premier “hopes that the EU will make correct judgement independently and truly achieve strategic autonomy”. There can be no such independence. It is now the European countries that must navigate the big powers’ strategic rivalries.

The problem for the Biden administration is that Mackinder had a point about the advantages that the geography of Eurasia gives China, not least in relation to Russia and Germany.

 

No no no. Joe Biden capitulated on the pipeline. Period. End of sentence. All other priorities rescinded. Crew expendable.

There is no other way to equate Biden to Trump who none of his supporters will admit to supporting. That is the key issue. Trump was a felatio-trained lapdog to Putin which is the same thing as allowing a pipeline that will benefit Germany as well as Russia, likely strengthen NATO, and prove useful for ongoing statecraft.

NO! Pipeline = Blowjob lapdog. It's all ye know and all ye need to know.

YOU LOSE!!!!!!!!!!! YOU FUCKING SOCIALIST SHEEP!!!!

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5 hours ago, Hugo Stiglitz said:

Why not?  I believe it but the outrage over it I found to be a bit ridiculous.  Like yeah, we literally handed Afghans stinger missiles and millions in weapons to kill Russian soldiers in the ‘80s so seeing Russia operate in a similar fashion isn’t surprising. 

American troops and aircraft fucking slaughtered "private" Russian troops in Syria, and nobody gave a fuck.  I don't even think the Russian troops killed a single American.

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On 6/21/2021 at 5:33 AM, Shady Ray said:

One of the things that was really interesting about the NATO summit last week was the inclusion of language strongly criticizing China in the final readout. This is the first that I recall NATO taking on China in such direct and confrontational language and it will be very interesting to see whether the electorates within Europe get on board with shifting (at least some of) the focus of the alliance towards a much more distant adversary.

Some Europeans/European nations are a little nervous about China's moves in Africa, which is practically NATO's backyard (and some NATO countries are probably still a little possessive of Africa).

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On 6/21/2021 at 8:18 AM, Neonmoon said:

We blew all our political capital on the Iraq coalition. (not to mention all the shit since then: getting caught spying on Germany, the Trumps trade wars, Trump being a clown in general, etc)

Yea. We owe Germany a pipeline for leading the Free World for four years.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/21/2021 at 8:34 AM, Anastasis said:

I don't believe that Putin placed bounties on American troops.  And neither does Joe Biden.

ETA: Wait, are you referring to the opinion piece I just linked? I think that you may have missed the "In that world" lead in...

Frankly, the bounty story wasn't really a big deal to me even if the Russians were paying it. In all the ways that Trump kowtowed to Moscow, it's typical that our news media and then the punditry then the public focus on this instead of the other events of his administration.

We supplied the Afgan fighters with Stinger missiles to kill Russian pilots. They supplied the N. Vietnamese with the means to kill Americans. We fight nasty little proxy wars just about constantly. 

The notion of a bounty payment just sounds weird. Do you bring the head of an American soldier to Vlad's desk and collect? We just about never lose a body, so how do you provide the proof? Further, would the Taliban really change their actions much for a bounty?

Trump equated the US with Putin's murderous policies. We kill a lot of people. Mostly foreigners, some domestic black people. We generally don't use murder in domestic politics or against non military targets.

Trump met with Putin with no witnesses more than once.

Trump lied about his business dealing with Russia prior to the election.

The Deutchebank money laundering scandal smells like a dumpster stuffed with dead rats on a Houston summer day. Trump swims among those rats. So do Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs.

But let's talk about alleged bounties on our soldiers! That's more like stuff in an action movie back before it was all super heroes!

Idiot World. It's not just for Trumpists.

I think I'm with Anastasis on this one.

edit: I see Hugo covered the substance of my post more succinctly. Well done. 

Edited by RomaVicta
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8 minutes ago, Anastasis said:

Speaking of talking to a wall. 

No, I am just fully aware of the way you fail to argue in good conscience.  I mean, it's not like you do it unknowingly -- you get off on it.

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9 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

No, I am just fully aware of the way you fail to argue in good conscience.  I mean, it's not like you do it unknowingly -- you get off on it.

Last time I engaged you in good faith on that particular topic you ducked and bailed and came back later after some time to complain that you didn't understand what was being said, something about wonk-speak, but refused to point out what exactly you were bogged down on so that it could be clarified to further the exchange. You may be able to fool others jimmy, but don't fool yourself. 

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8 minutes ago, Anastasis said:

Last time I engaged you in good faith on that particular topic you ducked and bailed and came back later after some time to complain that you didn't understand what was being said, something about wonk-speak, but refused to point out what exactly you were bogged down on so that it could be clarified to further the exchange. You may be able to fool others jimmy, but don't fool yourself. 

I'm sure you have it archived, you have everything archived.  Bring it on, your spectral self will no doubt jizz over your perceived victory.

Let's be clear:  you write with no clarity.  As I have pointed out many times before, you are a horrible communicator, yet you seem to think you're above us all.

And with that, I bow out.  I'm watching baseball.  I suggest you do the same, it's a good game.

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