Jump to content

Recommended Posts

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.
  • Hook 'Em 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

  • Hook 'Em 1
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

  • Hook 'Em 1
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

 

  • Hook 'Em 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
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

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
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

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

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)

Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
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
Link to post
Share on other sites
Ă—
Ă—
  • Create New...