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Thursday Open Thread

Sorry about the lack of open threads the past few days. Here's a new one, all topics welcome.

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    Let's Give Trump the Credit He Deserves (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by RickyJim on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 05:33:34 PM EST
    President Trump has ended the clandestine American program to provide arms and supplies to Syrian rebel groups, American officials said, a recognition that the effort was failing and that the administration has given up hope of helping to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
    Link.

    I'm sure if you listen hard enough, you (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 07:07:38 PM EST
    can hear the Russians applauding...

    President Trump is shutting down the CIA's program to arm and train rebels fighting the Syrian government, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, a victory for Russia, which has called for the move for years.

    Officials told the Post that shutting down the program, begun by the Obama administration in 2013, is a sign of Trump's attempts to work with Russia, which has viewed the U.S. attempts to force out Syrian President Bashar Assad during that country's civil war as an attack on its own interests.

    [...]

    One current official told the Post that the decision is a massive concession to Moscow, saying that "Putin won in Syria."



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    You Can Hear Many Americans Applauding Too (none / 0) (#12)
    by RickyJim on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 07:32:49 PM EST
    The US has no ability to figure out who is a good guy and who is a bad guy in the Muslim world.  The more we withdraw from messing with them, the less we will have to worry about terrorism directed towards us.  Do I have to recount our long history of ineptitude and failure leading to many unnecessary deaths ?  At least there is one thing in which I am in agreement with Trump.  Russia having bases in Syria is no threat.

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    "The Muslim world" ... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Yman on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 07:40:51 PM EST
    ... is not a monolith.  "Many Americans" is meaningless, and the type of language someone uses when they have no idea how many Americans agree with it.  The only ones that have won are Putin and Assad, a murderous dictator who gases women and children.

    You can applaud Trump all by yourself.

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    There is No Guarantee (none / 0) (#15)
    by RickyJim on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 08:22:01 PM EST
    that US actions in Syria would lead to somebody better than Assad, as far as the Syrians and the US are concerned.  We thought we were smart to support the Mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Russians and look at our reward.

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    and (none / 0) (#16)
    by linea on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 08:46:46 PM EST
    the u.s. proxy-war: the cia provided military training at saudi bases, massive funding of 'opposition' forces, the high-tech anti-tank weapons -- is the reason most every town is destroyed and massive numbers of refugees (virtually the entire population of the country) are trying to escape. the u.s. started all of this.

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    Yes yes "Assad must go" (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by jondee on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 07:45:09 PM EST
    but almost nary a word about the regime in Saudi Arabia, which makes human right's organization's worst of the worst list year after year.

    Transferred from Simpson (none / 0) (#1)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 01:46:26 PM EST
    This is off topic, but, we don't have a current open thread. Last one was last Saturday. There's so much going on in the world and no place to discuss them.

    Jeralyn handled it in a flash!
    **************

    First, I'm thinking about the recent death of James McGill Buchanan. Buchanan was an American economist known for his work on "public choice theory." Basically, his thesis was, Capital rules, the hell with everyone else. It's not just an obscure idea dreamed up by a crazy person. It's a program to privatize everything in America that Government now manages, and its (stealthy) implementation has already begun, supported and financed, in part, by Charles Koch. It clarifies, and puts into perspective the actions of The Far Right that have already been set into motion. (Trump?)

    Some background.


    Perlstein on your background source (none / 0) (#3)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 01:58:12 PM EST
    "It pains me very deeply to say this, as Nancy Maclean is a friend whose past work I deeply admire, and whose broad political aims I share, but I totally endorse this article [The Farrel/Teles Vox piece linked in my post] about her book "Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for Democracy." Maclean really does, at times, distort quotes from the subject to claim they mean the opposite of what they actually mean. Yet more damningly, in my opinion, the foundation of the entire book is a conspiracy theory that suggests that if you understand THIS ONE SECRET PLAN, you understand the rise of the right in America in its entirety. Which suggests you don't need to understand any of a score of other important tributaries, some of them not top-down conspiratorial at all but deeply, organically bottom up, which gave us the political order of battle we know now. That you don't need to read anything else. Which is actively dangerous to historical understanding."


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    Thanks for your response, Abdul (none / 0) (#5)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 02:31:42 PM EST
    Of course, this is just the very beginning of a long, long discussion on the topic I believe is fundamental if America is going to function successfully going forward: "What kind of a country do we want to live in?"

    That Slate article was just to give those interested a place to get some information on the topic.

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    The Kochs, some years back (none / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 06:23:22 PM EST
    had another house-trained uber-libertarian economist on a leash. Roger something. I do remember hearing he was afflicted with a fairly severe case of Asberger's Syndrome..

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    Asperger's (none / 0) (#9)
    by jondee on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 06:32:30 PM EST
    sorry about that.

    Not Roger, Vernon. Vernon Smith.

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    Pension versus 401k/IRA thread (none / 0) (#2)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 01:50:10 PM EST
    Pension payments cut.

    Both government and private sector pension funds are noted for chronic underfunding and assuming HUGE rates of return that mostly never come to pass.

    Yes if the stock market tanks its bad for your 401k, but its bad for a pension fund as well.  At least with a 401k, you have ownership of actual money from day one rather than owning a promise from an outfit that may look sound today, but that can change decades out.

    I will return this evening and (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 02:05:21 PM EST
    hopefully have something on the upcoming Russia hearings and Trump and Sessions. That New York Times interview just floored me-- Trump is just so tone deaf. I also am sorry to learn about John McCain.

    Weird (none / 0) (#6)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 04:59:13 PM EST
    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to close an office that coordinates with other countries on cybersecurity and fold it into a bureau focused on economic issues, Bloomberg is reporting.
    and
    A Russian official says that the United States and Moscow are negotiating to set up a joint cybersecurity working group.

    Link
    Link

    Thank you for that report, Joe. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 20, 2017 at 07:14:03 PM EST
    And in other related news, Michael "The Nose" Mancuso of the Bonnano syndicate and U.S. Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions are currently engaged in discussions concerning a possible joint anti-racketeering initiative. No word as of yet from the other members of the Five Families as to whether or not they'll participate.

    ;-D

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