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Saturday Open Thread

Our last open thread is full. I'd like nothing better than to hang around today and chat, but I'm about to head up to the jail in Georgetown. Georgetown is the last exit on I-70 heading west from Denver before the Eisenhower tunnel. It's a beautiful day for the ride.

I know there's a Russian indictment and a new Supreme Court Justice and Donald Trump is out of the Country. Rising on the UK Music charts: Green Day's "American Idiot".

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Wednesday Open Thread: All Over the Place | Near Unanimity: Trump Flops in Helsinki >
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    Republicans, with (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 04:06:39 PM EST
    their partisan incontinence, seem unable or unwilling, to grasp the gravity of the Russian cyber-attack, apparently, as Trump faithful leemings, they cheer on, or say Amen, to Trump's rally cry of hoax (the hoax that took place on Obama's watch), and ignore Putin's past and future attacks, because they helped Trump win and Hillary lose.  And, because liberals.

    But, you might think that impairing, obstructing and defeating the lawful governmental functions of the US by criminal means so as to interfere with the US electoral process might cause, at least, a little change of heart.

     The Russian intel officers infiltrated state-level election systems,including the computer networks of state election boards and company that supplies software used to run elections.  Stealing in one state a half million voters personal information,including names, addresses, birth dates, and partial social security numbers. Stealing and posting online under false identifies. Equifax only wished they would be so forgiving.

    On the same day of the devastating indictments, July 13, Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, said that the "warning lights are blinking red."

     The response of House Republicans is to draft impeachment articles for Rod Rosenstein. Of course, on the heels of their humiliating Strozk hearing.

     While not a worry as long as an impeachment is in the hands of the hapless Republican Judiciary Chair Goodlatte, Asparagus aspersions Gohmert, and the merry band of House Republicans, who are either incompetent or masquerading as such to cover their treasonous complicity. Or both.

    Partisan Incontinence? Classic. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 08:44:39 PM EST
    The Ustashe-member Croats (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 08:42:52 PM EST
    during WWII, did a little more than just scrappily survive enemy invasions, as I recall..

    Making too-sweeping generalizations about large swathes of humanity, whether they happen to speak French or Croatian, will get you into trouble every time.  

    I know nobody wants to talk about Trump (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 07:41:27 AM EST
    And even less his tweets but this is really pretty unbelievable

    Russian Foreign Ministry 'likes' Trump tweet on American 'stupidity'


    Trump posted on Twitter Monday ahead of a meeting with Vladimir Putin in Finland that relations between Washington and Moscow had "NEVER been worse."

    He added that the deterioration was "thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt,"

    The Foreign Ministry, also an active Twitter user, first "liked" the post from the American president.

    After it was noticed by reporters, the ministry put out a less subtle message saying "we agree" with Trump.



    He gets more (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 08:18:39 AM EST
    and more brazen regarding his relationship with Russia and the GOP sits around with their thumbs up their butts doing and saying nothing.

    Parent
    We are going to have a cyber 9/11 (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 08:31:14 AM EST
    If you believe Dan Coats (none / 0) (#88)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 09:35:00 AM EST
    And I am not saying I do, it could be Russia that has a cyber 9/11.  He just said as much in an interview.  'You want to play this game, ok, we will beat you.'

    I go back and forth  

    I think there is no doubt we could beat them.  Russia I a small pretty insignificant power these days.  The economy is in tatters.  We have 10 times the resources and a massively more powerful military.

    Clearly there is a group that wishes to remind him of this.

    I think that recent round of indictments more than anything was aimed at Putin.  Look, this is how much we are willing to tell you we know about what you have done and what you are doing.  Imagine what ESLE we know.

    Parent

    The best (none / 0) (#89)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 11:05:14 AM EST
    gif I have seen on this whole thing is where Putin says the communists were so stupid. They spent millions on weapons and I (Putin) bought the party of Reagan for kopeks on the ruble.

    Parent
    I thought Mueller's Fri indictment (none / 0) (#90)
    by smott on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 11:11:28 AM EST
    Was a flat out message to Putin that "we know what you're doing, who's doing it, and how".
    Basically a message about who would win a cyber war.

    Of course, they probably are already capable of shutting down our power grid, so....

    Parent

    And I would guess (none / 0) (#92)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 11:16:11 AM EST
    We are even more capable of shutting down theirs

    Even if Trump does not Putin understands Trump has a shelf life.

    Parent

    Why don't we (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 12:27:15 PM EST
    zap Putin's personal bank accounts and make a few million Rubles disappear?  Maybe just temporarily?

    Or, maybe make his mistress's accounts disappear--this would be twofer:  we show him we know who his mistress is and show him we have control over her money and life.

    Parent

    So someone told Dan Coates (none / 0) (#108)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 01:02:18 PM EST
    He can unleash his pit bulls? I doubt it. I doubt this President would allow that.

    Parent
    This president (none / 0) (#126)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:17:09 PM EST
    Has a shelf life

    Parent
    So uhhh (none / 0) (#131)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:30:32 PM EST
    How do I get this compromised traitor off the shelf?

    Parent
    Have a drink (none / 0) (#134)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:44:11 PM EST
    Have a joint

    Watch the show

    Parent

    I see the show where Fox News (none / 0) (#148)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 07:08:10 PM EST
    Just gave what % of the United States a propaganda interview with Putin? Trump's undying base is what? 30% of Americans?

    30% of Americans just got worked by the KGB and they loved every minute of it. There is no show to watch IMO. We are most likely to suffer some kind of Russian cyber attack bringing down infrastructure or even the stock market.

    Parent

    Why would this surprise? (none / 0) (#153)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 08:15:11 PM EST
    If one thing has become clear it's 30% give or take will believe anything.  Anything.  Pay any price.  Bear any burden.

    I do not think there will be a frontal attack.  It would be foolish.  They have Trump, they think, why would they fu@k that up.  That would be the one sure way to turn that final 30%.

    Parent

    What do you do in (none / 0) (#158)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 17, 2018 at 07:24:20 AM EST
    November if our elections are disrupted. I think you mistake that there aren't more punches coming.

    Parent
    And having an entire US news network (none / 0) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 17, 2018 at 07:25:28 AM EST
    Spewing Russian propaganda, that's disturbing.

    Parent
    Just Dan Coates new statement (none / 0) (#110)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 01:10:37 PM EST
    Should we start a betting pool on when Coates gets fired?

    Parent
    Just got done (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by smott on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 01:21:09 PM EST
    Flame mailing Sens Sasse, Flake, Corker, Collins, Murkowski, Toomey, Manchin over today's Treason Broadcast.
    Lindsey Graham doesn't take emails, requires paper. PUTZ.

    My (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by FlJoe on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 02:59:09 PM EST
    my, Mueller has captured himself a "sparrow"
    A Russian woman with close ties to the National Rifle Association was arrested Sunday and charged with "conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government," according to a criminal complaint unsealed Monday.

    Mariia Butina is accused of acting as an unregistered agent on Russia's behalf between 2015 and 2017, in collaboration with "others known and unknown, including an official of the Russian Federation," according to the complaint.

    Butina is a former assistant of Alexander Torshin, a top official at the Russian Central Bank who is reportedly under investigation by the FBI for channeling money to the NRA to benefit Trump's 2016 campaign. The pair have been under scrutiny by journalists and investigators for months, thanks to a bombshell January report in McClatchy that first revealed the FBI's financial probe.

    sing little birdie sing.

    Still getting up to speed (none / 0) (#121)
    by ragebot on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 04:48:57 PM EST
    but Butina's lawyer said she was interviewed by Mueller's peeps in April and was cooperating fully with him.  The definition of an unregistered foreign agent is not clear to me, less yet how serious the charge is.  The Podesta brothers basically saw their lobbying firm bite the dust when they were sorta found to be acting as UFA(unregistered foreign agents); and lots of MSM stories made the claim that half the peeps in DC were unregistered foreign agents (an exaggeration to be sure but it does make a point).  My understanding is that as a rule those found guilty of being an UFA a fine is the normal punishment, and often not even that; you were just required to register or stop being an agent

    Maybe Peter G can weigh in on how serious this charge is.  Also interested in any previous cases under this charge that went to court and what the sentence/fine was.

    In any case I am not sure just what she could sing about.  The facts in the case seem to be that she was advocating for more 2A rights for Americans.  There was some claim that she said she could get peeps jobs in the Trump administration; but that is again probably true of half the peeps in DC.

    Just as an aside every blurb I have seen about this went to some length to make clear

    The case is being handled by the Justice Department's National Security Division, not by special counsel Robert Mueller's team probing Russia meddling in the 2016 election.


    Parent
    Read (none / 0) (#124)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:05:55 PM EST
    the indictment. It goes into great detail about how she was attempting to influence elections. The NRA was either a colluder or a useful idiot in her goal of setting up a channel directly to the Kremlin for the GOP. She was involved with David Keene, Sheriff Clarke, NRA President Pete Brownell, and others. She is a Russian spy.

    Parent
    Classic (none / 0) (#170)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jul 18, 2018 at 03:41:39 PM EST
    Honey trap  
    During the course of this investigation, the FBI has determined that Butina gained access through U.S. Person 1 to an extensive network of U.S. persons in positions to influence political activities in the United States. Butina, age 29, and U.S. Person 1, age 56, are believed to have cohabitated and been involved in a personal relationship during the course of Butina's activities in the United States. But this relationship does not represent a strong tie to the United States because Butina appears to treat it as simply a necessary aspect of her activities. For example, on at least one occasion, Butina offered an individual other than U.S. Person 1 sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization. Further, in papers seized by the FBI, Butina complained about living with U.S. Person 1 and expressed disdain for continuing to cohabitate with U.S. Person 1.


    Parent
    Maybe (none / 0) (#127)
    by FlJoe on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:18:07 PM EST
    this
    The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy....

    ...The extent to which the FBI has evidence of money flowing from Torshin to the NRA, or of the NRA's participation in the transfer of funds, could not be learned.

    Glad to be of service.
    This Torshin guy happens to be Butina's boss

    Erickson is closely linked with a Russian woman named Maria Butina, a well-known gun rights activist who also worked as a special assistant to the deputy governor of Russia's central bank, Alexander Torshin.

     and she has boasted about her influence
    Butina has bragged that she helped connect the Trump campaign with the Kremlin, according to The Daily Beast, and it's possible her statements were not just bravado. Torshin requested that Trump meet with him on the sidelines of the National Rifle Association's convention in May 2016. He never met with then-candidate Trump, but he did succeed in securing a meeting with Trump's son Donald Trump Jr.
     I'm aware that Mueller is not running this investigation, but if and when she sings he will surely be in the front row.

    Parent
    Read that in January (none / 0) (#135)
    by ragebot on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:57:33 PM EST
    when it came out.  Not seeing anything new here.  In terms of total spending the NRA above board political contributions are a drop in the bucket; maybe $US3,500,000 and if you add in PAC money somewhere around $US60,000,000 and those numbers are spread out over local, state, and federal.  Plenty of other interest groups make that look like pocket change.

    RANT ALERT

    The first thing I would do to start cleanup politics is eliminate 501c and 527 tax dodges (and other stuff I probably don't know about.  Every political ad would have to have in big letters (not fine print) where the money came from.  Same thing for financial disclosures for pols.  None of this stuff with ranges of income, I want to see a financial document that meats generally accepted account standards to the penny.  When I see how many pols have a seven figure net worth while earning low six figure incomes and living in a high cost MSA I wonder how that is possible.  Hillary spent well over a billion on her last election loss and Trump probably 2/3 of that.  I have no idea on the total spent on local, state, and federal elections in 2016 but it has to be obscene.

    As Bob Dylan sang 'money doesn't talk, it swears'.

    Parent

    Hillary? (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:00:55 PM EST
    Seriously?

    Parent
    Seriously (none / 0) (#141)
    by ragebot on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:11:05 PM EST
    are you ignoring the fact that Hillary spent tons of money on the election, so much so that most talking heads on TV said Trump could not win because he would be out spent by such a large amount.  Not to mention the in kind contributions from Hillary's far superior ground game compared to Trump's ground game.

    But my point was that there is a huge amount of money in politics, on both sides.  And that pols seem to get rich while in office, a lot richer than any normal person would be with the same income.

    Parent

    Gee (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:14:02 PM EST
    I dunno

    Maybe hacking election systems is a better investment?

    Parent

    Nice (5.00 / 3) (#140)
    by FlJoe on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:10:28 PM EST
    try at deflection. What was well reasoned speculation months ago is now ensconced in legal documents that's new.

    When tRumpers get caught flat footed with facts, they always deflect. What's your excuse?

    Parent

    National (none / 0) (#122)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 04:58:57 PM EST
    Fu@king "prayer" breakfast

    Parent
    Dana Dana Dana (none / 0) (#128)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:20:08 PM EST
    The Democrats now have their slogan (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:14:37 PM EST
    for 2018 and beyond.

    "Trump is a Traitor"

    And anyone in the GOP who continues to stand with him is as well.

    Every Democrat should utter this phrase in every interview, every TV appearance, every town hall, every meeting and every campaign. Drive that message to the masses .

    If today is not made (none / 0) (#133)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:38:12 PM EST
    A fu@king gold mine if election ads dems do not deserve to win

    Parent
    I'm dying (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:28:52 PM EST
    Is that Fox News Putin just did an interview with? And he brought up the JFK assassination?

    Nothing like half this country being worked by the KGB/GRU.

    Never thought I would see this in my lifetime.....EVER...EVER...EVER EVER EVER!

    No one did (none / 0) (#138)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:04:11 PM EST
    This is next level.  Really.  Even Mitch and Paul are back peddling

    Today is history.  

    Parent

    It's nice to know (5.00 / 4) (#171)
    by CST on Mon Jul 23, 2018 at 08:36:42 AM EST
    That if we were all just nicer to each other the government will stop threatening my family.

    Glad we're bringing some civility and decency into the conversation about whether or not certain types of people really deserve to be American.

    I'm especially happy we're not getting hyperbolic about the fact that the President of the United States is willing to hand over American citizens to dictators if they ask really nicely.

    It all feels a bit like Obergruppenführer John Smith from The Man in the High Castle.  So polite.

    It's a virus (none / 0) (#172)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 23, 2018 at 09:25:34 AM EST
    Everything is fine (5.00 / 5) (#173)
    by CST on Mon Jul 23, 2018 at 10:21:33 AM EST
    Because an extra $50 every pay period will totally make up for the fact that retirement savings are stuck in neutral and it costs a lot more to get to work.

    So because of that extra $50 we should just ignore the fact that our president desperately wants to be a Dictator and is about to appoint someone to the Supreme Court who thinks Nixon should've been able to hide the Watergate Audio after all.

    Isn't it so lovely we're all being nice about it.

    I think the most frustrating thing is that I know some people will read these posts and think "see this is the hyperbole I'm talking about" when literally nothing I've mentioned is hyperbole.

    Parent

    Don't stop (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 23, 2018 at 10:27:56 AM EST
    Seriously


    Parent
    Eff nice. (none / 0) (#175)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Jul 23, 2018 at 01:51:18 PM EST
    Like your snark.

    But I ain't being nice no more. Was leaving the casino north of Harrisburg yesterday. There was a nice newish big white SUV sitting at valet with the owners getting out. (My wife was picking me up out front in her new (well new to her, a 2015) red convertible Camaro (yeah I'm a great husband). In the back window was a big red "Trump" sticker. As I was getting into the car, I asked the owner of the white SUV what it was like being part of a treasonous cult. He was a bit taken aback, yet didn't have a response.

    A side note, all this BS in the press early on after Bone Spurs' winning the election about economic issues and jobs and immigrants taking jobs is just that, pure unadulterated BS. Around my area and northern MD (Cecil and Hartford counties) most of the Trump signs and continued support that I see comes from people who live in nice upper middle class homes and McMansion. There are nice newer autos in the driveway. I find it impossible to believe these people support his orangeness because of economic difficulties. The core of support is, of no doubt to me, driven by racism, xenophobia and white nationalism. Period.

    Parent

    To Peter (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 12:20:37 PM EST
    Since the last thread was dead I wanted to say thanks for the info on the Northern Baptists. IIRC the reason there is American Baptist and Southern Baptist is due to the Civil War where a split happened between the Baptists over the south's support of slavery.

    According to the Wikipedia article (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 03:19:48 PM EST
    that I linked in my previous post, the schism did focus on slavery but came prior to the Civil War. The article says the Southern Baptists originated as a breakaway faction in the 1840s, after the national convention resolved that slave-owners were not qualified to function as a Baptist missionary.

    Parent
    TV and film reviews (none / 0) (#4)
    by linea on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 04:29:19 PM EST
    Season 2 of GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) is terrible. Apparently, someone had a show concept for a first season but didn't what to do when it was renewed for a second season.

    Jurassic World. Tedious, boring, and predictable. A volcano is going to erupt on the now defunct Jurassic Park island. Star Lord and his plucky assistants are tasked with rescuing the dinosaurs but the mercenaries who are assisting have different orders. All the bad guys get mauled or eaten by dinosaurs and all of the good guys escape unharmed. At no time, does Groot appear. This film is little more than the set-up for the next in the series where dinosaurs run riot in L.A.

    Oceans 8. Has none of the thrill or excitement expected of a heist film.

    Incredibles 2. Much better than the original (I disliked the parents arguing in the original) and the animation is excellent.


    Thanks, looking (none / 0) (#5)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 04:39:00 PM EST
    for a good movie, did you like Post?  Or, Small Town Crime.   Any other heist, cop type, thriller, spy movie?    

    Parent
    I liked... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by linea on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 06:06:47 PM EST
    Hi KeysDan!

    I liked The Post. Great story writing and the best acting. But was I subjected to mansplaining after the film, `Did you learn something? It's about freedom of the press. That's the First Amendment.'

    Deadpool 2 is still showing in theatre. It's rather amazing that the writers and producers made this film humorous enough (I'm clearly not the target audience or demographic) that even I was entertained. And then I was taken to an excellent Korean dumpling restaurant.

    I've never heard of Small Town Crime. I liked Molly's Game.

    MY NETFLIX LIST
    The End of the FxxxING World
    Okja
    Talulah
    Great Gilly Hopkins
    Sadie's Last Day on Earth
    Alias Grace (mini-series of 6 episodes)
    What Happened to Monday (SciFi)

    Netflix documentaries I recommend:
    Wild Wild Country
    Natascha Kampuchea: The Whole Story

    Parent

    And... (none / 0) (#12)
    by linea on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 08:00:45 PM EST
    For more twisted:

    Breathe (2014) Director: Mélanie Laurent
    I loved this film even though I hate foreign language films and hate the French formulaic.

    Sister, My Sister (1994) Director: Nancy Meckler
    In my opinion, the best English language depiction of the true Papin Sister incident (Christine and Léa Papin) of any film.

    Parent

    much (none / 0) (#16)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 08:26:55 PM EST
    Appreciated. A good list.

    Parent
    watched the (none / 0) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 08:46:18 PM EST
    Post tonight, pretty accurate history. Superb acting, and timely. Justice Black's opinion that the freedom of the press is for governed not the government sure has currency. Very good movie.


    Parent
    Red Sparrow was good (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 07:17:36 PM EST
    I'm watching Handmaids Tale.  

    Wow

    Not what you would call escapism.  At least not these days.  But so good.

    Parent

    Red Sparrow (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 07:21:18 PM EST
    Is currently on PPV

    Parent
    did enjoy (none / 0) (#17)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 08:30:18 PM EST
    Red Sparrow.

    Parent
    In the interest of accurate information (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 07:00:56 AM EST
    here's a partial list of sites streaming PPV movies

    As well as anyone who has any form of cable

    I use Red Box sometimes.  They tend to get movies earlier than others.  sometimes.

    Parent

    PPV? (none / 0) (#22)
    by linea on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 09:33:55 PM EST
    Pay Per View? Like boxing?

    FYI: If it's not on Netflix or Amazon (and Hulu) it's not generally accessible.

    Parent

    Definitely (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 08:07:57 PM EST
    not escapism but I see it as a cautionary tale to look for certain things that are going on. Some of the things in the show or the book already have happened.

    Parent
    God it's grim (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 08:11:14 PM EST
    And almost to real.  

    Parent
    I think it's really too bad more (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 08:15:35 PM EST
    People are not seeing it.  The fact it's only on Hulu is great for Hulu I guess but this is something every person in this country needs to see.

    Parent
    How far along are you? (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 10:53:22 PM EST
    I really needed shots after 3 episodes.  I thinkin it probably doesn't get more upbeat.

    You know what's interesting, how dark it is.  Not thematically tho it definitely is that.  It's shot SO dark.  Have you noticed this?  so much of it is shot in almost total darkness I had to change the settings on my tv.  Even the outside in the sunshine shot seem dark.

    Parent

    I started watching on Friday (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 12:49:17 AM EST
    Only two episodes so far

    Parent
    I have watched the (none / 0) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 05:52:32 AM EST
    entire series. I started a few weeks ago and then I had to wait until every Wednesday when a new one was released.

    I too noticed how dark it was shot. Even outside every day looked overcast.

    And no, it generally does not get more upbeat though there are moments.

    Parent

    IMO (none / 0) (#42)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 05:53:42 AM EST
    the first episode was the most depressing. Of course, the child snatching that was going on in Gilead is what Trump has been ordering here.

    Parent
    The third episode did me in (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 07:49:59 AM EST
    Watched it last night when I couldn't get back to sleep

    Parent
    I can't watch it (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Zorba on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 12:03:47 PM EST
    I read the book, then I watched a couple of episodes, and I can't watch it any more.
    It's just too frigging depressing.  And too d@mned close to what our very own Evangelical Christian Taliban would like to impose on us.  (Molly Ivins, may she rest in peace, used to call them "Talibaptists.")
    I have enough problems reading the news.  I don't need shows that make me even more depressed.

    Parent
    The GOP would be fine (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 07:51:31 AM EST
    Hanging someone for being gay. They would refer to some obscure bible passage too.

    Parent
    It's very interesting how (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 08:07:14 AM EST
    They have perverted religion fully to a political weapon.  Just like they are trying to do now.  Tearing down all the Catholic churches was a nice touch.  Believable.  One of my favorite scenes is when June finishes a bible quote bAck to Aunt Lydia giving it context and gets a cattle prod in the face.  

    I assume they are following the book which I never read but may have to.  But the fact Atwood ties in "reducing the carbon footprint" and "saving the planet" shows she was unable to imagine how truly evil they are.   In more recent time one thing that's become clear is the people who would do this could care less about saving the planet waiting as they are for the rapture.

    Parent

    Over the 4th, some folks we visited (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 08:29:01 AM EST
    And the subject came up that the University of Vermont asks students how they want to be identified...if they want to be identified hetro lgbtq. One person for some reason was outraged that a Q was added. They were really upset about this questioning thing and they wanted to start some big ragathon about this.

    I wasn't kicking off my holiday this way. I looked them in the eye and said I really didn't care if someone was questioning their own sexuality. And I didn't understand why I should get all flustered and care. It doesn't really affect my life.

    The upset person said that now we would be guilty of using the wrong pronouns....sigh

    I'm already guilty. One of the students I recently did a costume for is trans. I messed up a couple of times though when I was extremely focused on the costume and fitting. Just apologize!

    The student understood, I grew up in a world I was told was all straight and everyone had one set of gonads or the other :) They really really lied to us because 4% of human beings are not born anatomically clear in this respect but only pediatricians knew this "secret". Sadly my brain is old. But just apologize! Apologies in the age of Trump are some sort of outrage though.

    Parent

    You know (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 11:04:44 AM EST
    that person really just spilled the beans inadvertently on what is going on. What shall I say is their main concern. I can't handle all this is the mindset. It's change is bad is their mindset. I'm like you. I really don't see how any of this affects me but then I'm not as self centered as a lot of these people are and they just can't get past the "me" part of the equation.

    Parent
    And what does affect us? (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:02:06 AM EST
    When young people are so miserable inside they can barely function. Their suicides.

    These internal issues and external issues have always been there though. We just didn't name them outside of backhanded whispers.

    They don't want to lose that ability to backhand others verbally and socially.

    Parent

    Secret is right (none / 0) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 09:01:34 AM EST
    I read recently Jamie Lee Curtis was born "ambiguous".   In the 80s in NY my female room mate worked for one of the primary doctors in the city that did the surgery.  I was exposed very early.

    just reading this

    For proof, one need only look south to Mississippi, where an extreme anti-LGBT law known as HB 1523 remains in effect, in part thanks to the Supreme Court's January decision not to hear a challenge to it.

    That law specifically enumerates a small handful of religious beliefs--namely that marriage is between a man and a woman and that gender can't be changed--and then expressly protects discrimination based on those beliefs. HB 1523 doesn't just apply to wedding-related services; rather, it can, as The Daily Beast's Jay Michaelson noted, be cited by virtually anyone: doctors, therapists, landlords, employers, and so on.

    Back to Handmaids Tale
    After several episodes it seems Atwood assumed in 1985 that when this happened it would be primarily about power and religion would simply be a tool and a weapon.  And that the ones (men) behind it had very little as far as any real beliefs.  That pretty clear from the actions of many of the characters.  Don't know if you have gotten to June's reunion with Moira yet.

    This was just as Reagan was encouraging the crazy religious right to spread their wings.

    It seems in real life, while it's clearly about power I think their twisted beliefs play at least an equal role.  And unlike the story where even the "wives" are totally under the thumb, and not entirely happy about it, there seems no shortage of women playing an equal and active role in the subjugation.  Because it's turning out to be not entirely about women but a whole list of "others" that plenty of women are more than happy to target

    If real life now was a  blatantly gender based as the series I think it would be easier to fight.  I suspect they have read Atwood and took lessons.

    Parent

    I left it at episode 3 (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 09:19:21 AM EST
    It was a lot to take in in our current situation

    Parent
    The thing (none / 0) (#61)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 11:00:01 AM EST
    that I found most interesting is the fact that women are willing to subjugate other women. Serena Joy basically treats June like trash most of the time.

    I actually see a lot of evangelical community in the use of religion as a weapon. How many evangelicals have twisted the bible for their own means? And evangelicals would be just as happy to eradicate mainline Christians as they were in the story. In fact one of the goals of evangelicals is to eliminate the competition so to speak and have everyone absorb their beliefs so that the only religion is evangelical Christianity.

    The first season pretty much follows the book. Season two adds onto the book. At the end of the book it talks about Gilead in historical perspective and finding Offred's diary and alludes to the fact that Offred escaped from Gilead. So I am guessing season 2 on is about filling in the blanks between the years.

    Parent

    YES! Evangelical women subjugate other women (none / 0) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:50:17 AM EST
    I experienced this once. I was having a disagreement with my spouse and I got a bible verse quoted to me by a Christian woman I barely knew. It was some crap about how my husband is the master of my life.

    My husband was instantly let off the hook hahaha. I can't even remember what the disagreement was. I just remember her and my pivot toward her and what I spoke next. I said that I don't believe that "stuff"...any of that ridiculous religous "stuff".

    That's right, if someone attempts to subjugate me using their faith I will call their faith "stuff" and ridiculous. I was shocked at how easily women did that to each other in Southern Alabama. And that's how you get a majority of white women voting for the child molester.

    Parent

    What was (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:28:44 AM EST
    her reaction if any?

    I was pregnant with my oldest around these people and if you think they say something about an argument you cannot imagine what they say when you are pregnant. They are baby obsessed. It's like you are no longer a person. You are an incubator.

    Parent

    She acted like I had slapped her (none / 0) (#78)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:45:13 AM EST
    We were constantly recruited by (none / 0) (#79)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:51:50 AM EST
    Different churches. I was raised Lutheran so we decided to attend a Lutheran church to end the recruitment effort and "fit in". I guess the church was also in the midst of a Methodist takeover, not certain I would have cared about all that. But the minister announced that we would now sing Onward Christian Soldiers in honor of our troops in combat. I was overcome by a hacking fit and got up and left. I wasn't faking it either.

    Parent
    There are always collaborators (none / 0) (#80)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 07:12:17 AM EST
    Always some who are willing to accept their own subjugation if it means they may get a few crumbs of power or maybe it will hurt their enemies more

    Look no further than the Russian annexation of the republican and media right fringe

    Parent

    I finished season one (none / 0) (#81)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 07:18:58 AM EST
    I can tell you it does get a bit better.  A few sprouts of hope.  
    I read about season 2 and the plans for season 3 and there is likely to be at least a season 4.  And yes they left the book behind at the end of season one.

    You really should dive in again.  Even Serena Joy appears to have an interesting story arc.

    Parent

    If you went to the (none / 0) (#82)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 07:20:12 AM EST
    one in Enterprise it's a Missouri Synod Lutheran church. My oldest went to a preschool at one of those and I liked the people at the preschool. So we went one time and having family that are Lutherans I had been in the Lutheran church many times. So we went to that church and I thought what has happened to the Lutheran church I once knew? Well, after talking to my family who are Lutherans they told me that you have to look at the kind of Lutheran church it is. I thought it was like Southern Baptist meets Lutheran. My cousins told me Missouri Synod Lutherans are whacked and Wisconsin Synod Lutherans are double whacked. They said that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the normal Lutherans.

    Parent
    I wasn't there long enough (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 08:14:21 AM EST
    To sort all that out.

    I was told that adults attended bible school before regular service too. So I did, I tried it.

    The first thing that was discussed was a verse about not being saved through good works. That was so counter to what I was taught as a child. And I was not taught exactly that good works would save me, but I was taught that giving to those in need keeps my spirit healthy. This whole over focus on that good works verse seemed to me to be encouragement to be selfish and self centered.

    Then we discussed what we learn when we go through hardship. I thought that was a good discussion until someone began talking about "the word" and how intoxicating "the word" was and their eyes glazed over and they went into some sort of transfixed state. Nah! I'm not doing that crap :)

    Parent

    That whole (none / 0) (#87)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 08:33:36 AM EST
    "not saved by good works" thing is big in Southern Baptist churches but since you've probably never been to an SBC church you probably didn't recognize it. IIRC the Missouri Synod church we visited that one time the entire sermon was about the evils of abortion.

    The whole "saved" thing is a bunch of hooey in my opinion and I told some Southern Baptists who came to my door as much.

    Parent

    If you want to argue with any (none / 0) (#117)
    by Zorba on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 02:50:17 PM EST
    so-called Christian who tells you that all you need to be "saved" is faith (and declaring Jesus as your Savior), just ask them what James meant when he wrote in James 2:26:
    "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
    And tell them to read James 2:14-25 as well.

    The Missouri Synod Lutherans are pretty much evangelical conservatives, and the Evangelical Lutherans tend to be way more on the liberal side, not that either of these are perfect descriptors.  But two of the most liberal people I know are retired Evangelical Lutheran ministers.

    Parent

    The Book (none / 0) (#53)
    by jmacWA on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 10:16:06 AM EST
    Actually, I think they are now into a time the book doesn't cover.  I've only seen the first season, but it seemed to me that it ended pretty close to where the book ended.

    Parent
    I'm really really hoping (none / 0) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 10:23:14 AM EST
    They get some payback.  My brain will need it

    Parent
    Yeah, (none / 0) (#59)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 10:51:51 AM EST
    it is strange. There is a lot of things that are similar yet not.

    Parent
    In a way (none / 0) (#60)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 10:58:53 AM EST
    For me,  that makes it a bit easier to watch.

    YES, my rational brain says,  this is fiction.

    I think that is not by chance.  Show runners want a show people will watch not they will hang themselves after the 3rd episode.

    Season three.
    I think they are going to give us payback.

    Otherwise it really feels like masochism  

    Parent

    Not going (none / 0) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 11:01:12 AM EST
    to spoil it for you but I will tell you that at the end of season 2 it does look like payback is coming.

    Parent
    WOO HOO (none / 0) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 11:06:11 AM EST
    Watch yer butt Commander.

    Seriously, I can't remember if this guy won anything at the EMMYs but he should

    A more perfect portrait of slithering evil I can't remember

    Parent

    Joseph Fiennes (none / 0) (#68)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 12:17:41 PM EST
    Also played Cardinal Timothy Howard in American Horror Story.

    Parent
    Really enjoying the World Cup (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 04:40:50 PM EST
    This past week. It was hard to watch Belgium lose to France. Both such good teams right now. And I really don't know who to root for tomorrow either. I think France is the better technique team, but my God Croatia has heart, fearless heart and their country is going through hell right now.

    I don't pay attention (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 06:42:10 PM EST
    ...to "football" except for World Cup.

    A professional or club player is looking for a long career, or at least a long season.  

    Not these guys.  They play every game with desperation and no tomorrow. They will risk career ending injuries. This is more than a game.  

    Amazing that small countries are competitive with big ones in this sport.  If you have eleven guys who can play, that's all you need.

    Parent

    2-1, France over Croatia (none / 0) (#56)
    by Peter G on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 10:29:57 AM EST
    At halftime. Great game so far.

    Parent
    4-2, Vive la France (none / 0) (#66)
    by Peter G on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 11:35:55 AM EST
    Final

    Parent
    I really loved that Belgian team myself (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 08:52:37 PM EST
    that Hazard-De Bruyn-Lukaku counterattack when it was clicking was amazing. But France may just have the new Pele with Mbappe. He's one of those wildcards that France's opponents so far haven't been able to find an answer for.

    All props to Croatia though. I hope the final is as great as it has the potential to be.

    Parent

    Belgian ice cream!! (none / 0) (#23)
    by linea on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 09:34:37 PM EST
    I find myself disappointed in Mbappe :) (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 08:05:10 AM EST
    He seems to have that skill that Pele had, about knowing where everyone on the field is and projecting out possible plays a couple of plays out. But Pele also seemed to carry himself with great dignity. Maybe I have that perception of Pele because I was just a kid.  Mbappe is only 19 too right now.

    Can you imagine being 19 yrs old and making 1.7 million a month doing what you love?

    Parent

    Pele was one of a kind (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 11:39:43 AM EST
    pretty much the gold standard. Guys like that see the game unfolding six moves ahead like a chess master.

    The other thing about Pele is that he seemed to make his teammates play better, which is something guys like Messi and Christiano Ronaldo, as great as they are, don't seem to do.

    When I watched Argentina play, they like a team with one fantastic player but with no leader. Somewhat at sea..

    Mbappe may get there though. He's got the talent.

    Parent

    Pele's home is in (none / 0) (#101)
    by fishcamp on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 12:12:56 PM EST
    Bahia Salvador, Brazil and every taxi driver asks if you have seen it yet.  It's way out of town in a remote area and is painted with bright colors due to the African heritage in that part of Brazil.  The rest of the houses are rather drab looking.  They sell Pele futbol shirts, hats, statues, trinkets, and everything else you can imagine.  They also have the tallest coconut palms I've ever seen.  Drivers always pull over at a friends coco loco stand so the owners young relative can scamper up to the top, with just a rope around the tree, barefoot, to get a fresh coconut.  It's quite a show.

    They also practice the original form of Macumba, which is similar to Voodoo and Santeria.  Then they have an elaborate form of knife dancing and I forget the name of that but it's fun to watch.  Bahia is a terrific  place to visit.

    Parent

    I hate sports (none / 0) (#9)
    by linea on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 06:57:15 PM EST
    But would cheer for Croatia 🇭🇷 over France any day.
    Even the French hate France.

    Croatia is a `scrappy fighter' having survived threats from the Ottoman Empire, French imperialism, Nazi Germans, and the Soviet Communists.
    Gotta love 💕 that.

    Napoleon Bonaparte invaded the region with his Grande Armée after key wins during the War of the Fifth Coalition forced the Austrian Empire to cede parts of its territory. Integrating the land into France was Bonaparte's way of controlling Austria's access to the Mediterranean and Adriatic Sea and expanding his empire east. Bonaparte installed four governors to disseminate French bureaucracy, culture, and language.

    P.S. I am intending the informal pedestrian usage of `scrappy' to mean `determined' so I don't want any criticism for my colloquial word choice.

    Parent

    Croatia aligned itself with Nazi Germany ... (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 10:21:01 PM EST
    linea: "Croatia is a `scrappy fighter' having survived threats from the Ottoman Empire, French imperialism, Nazi Germans, and the Soviet Communists. Gotta love 💕 that."

    ... upon the Wehrmacht's conquest and occupation of Yugoslavia in April 1941. The Independent State of Croatia functioned as a willing Nazi puppet state, and the Croats were given free rein to persecute all non-Croat peoples residing within its borders, which included Jews, Roma and Serbs. And wielding their dreaded militia, the Ustaše Black Legion, they did just that with some real gusto, patterning their race laws after those of their Third Reich mentors.

    The Serbs, on the other hand, resented and resisted the German presence, and suffered dreadfully for it, often at the hands of the Croat Ustaše militia. It's been estimated that some 400,000 Serbian civilians were wantonly slaughtered by the Ustaše during the Second World War, and those atrocities are often cited as the root source for the lingering animosity which still exists between present-day Croatia and Serbia.

    After the Second World War, with Ustaše leader Ante Pavelić having escaped Allied capture to flee to Argentina, Yugoslavia was reconstituted as a communist-led totalitarian state under the heavy-handed leadership of Josip Broz, aka "Marshal Tito" or "Tito," who subsequently proved himself to be no Soviet puppet.

    During the war, Tito had proved himself an effective military leader as head of the Yugoslav Partisan resistance, a fierce and formidable guerrilla movement that ultimately tied down nearly two dozen German divisions in the Balkans which were otherwise sorely needed elsewhere. And unlike the other nations of Eastern Europe, the Yugoslav Partisans had effectively liberated themselves by the fall of 1944.

    Following the war, Tito soon defied Stalin, and by 1948 Yugoslavia had broken away from the Soviet-dominated Cominform, which was perhaps better known as the Warsaw Pact. Under Tito's post-war leadership as Marshal of Yugoslavia, the title he held from 1943 until his death in 1980, the country was well known for its non-aligned status and relatively harmonious relations with the West.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Jesus Christ. (none / 0) (#32)
    by linea on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 11:03:01 PM EST
    This is supposed to be a light-hearted discussion of footballers and France v. Croatia.

    I don't know anything about Croatia.

    But if you want to be insanely nitpicking than I should have written: `The Croatian people are scrappy fighters having survived... `

    A mere recitation of the historical record does not suffice in presenting the true story of World War II in Croatia. Using monuments of victims of the War as well as available published sources, the author has determined that a listing of those Croats killed as Partisans or as Victims of Fascist Terror would allow readers to come away with a better understanding of the War in Croatia and an appreciation of the deep memories of the Nazi and Italian Fascist occupation which continue to inhabit the Croatian psyche.

    The roots of Anti-Fascism in Croatia date from the appearance of Fascism in neighboring Italy. Italian Fascism embodied imperialist ambitions toward ethnic Croat areas, as vividly shown in Istria and Rijeka (Fiume). The poet Gabriele D'Annunzio, a progenitor of Mussolini, and his thugs known as the Arditi seized control of Rijeka to thwart any peaceful negotiations concerning the disposition of Rijeka following World War I. Ultimately, Italy annexed Rijeka and Zadar (Zara), the entire Istrian Peninsula, the islands of Cres and Lošinj and a number of other islands, despite the fact that ethnic Italians constituted a small minority of the population in these areas.

    Mussolini's Fascist state took stringent measures to convert these areas to purely ethnic Italian territory. Fascist authorities banned the public use of Croatian in all forms. They even prevented new born children to be registered with Croatian and other Slavic personal names. The Croatian intellectual and business class fled. An estimated 100,000 Croats left Istria alone by the early 1930s while special Fascist tribunals sentenced many Croats to long prison terms even executed others (e.g., Vladimir Gortan). The plight of Istria, Rijeka and other areas annexed by Italy remained an issue close to the hearts of all Croatians during the inter-War period.



    Parent
    Let's be clear here (none / 0) (#33)
    by linea on Sat Jul 14, 2018 at 11:24:26 PM EST
    • The Germans were the militaristic racist Nazis.
    • The Russians were the Totalitarians murdering millions and sending millions more to slave labor camps in Siberia.
    • The Italians were actual Fascists who commited war crimes.

    Reasonable people don't pick on poor little counties swept up in a world war.


    Parent
    Lets be even clearer here (5.00 / 9) (#37)
    by jondee on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 03:41:19 AM EST
    if you have an aversion to confronting the limits of your historical knowledge, don't be the one to inject French imperialism, Soviet communism, and the Nazis into a discussion of the World Cup.

    Parent
    A thousand 5's (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 07:53:42 AM EST
    Hahaha

    Parent
    France willfully collaborated with Nazi Germany (none / 0) (#34)
    by linea on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 12:19:00 AM EST
    Smithsonian Magazine

    Was Vichy France a Puppet Government or a Willing Nazi Collaborator?

    The misconception that the Vichy Regime was the lesser of two evils endured only for the first few decades after the war. Since then, as more archival material has come to light, historians have gradually come to see the collaborators as willing participants in the Holocaust. Before the Nazis ever demanded the Vichy government participate in anti-Semitic policies, the French had enacted policies that removed Jews from civil service and began seizing Jewish property. The Vichy French government participated willingly in the deportations and did most of the arresting.

    jewishvirtuallibrary.org

    The Holocaust: The French Vichy Regime
    The "French state," (L'État Français) in contrast to the "French Republic," willfully collaborated with Nazi Germany to a high degree: raids to capture Jews and other "undesirables" were organized by the French police not only in the northern zone - occupied by the German Wehrmacht - but also in the southern "free zone" which was occupied only after the Allies invaded North Africa in November 1942.

    Really? You want this agrument over who to pick in the France v Croatia football game?

    Parent

    That's one of France's dirty little secrets from the Second World War. The unilateral decision by Gen. Charles De Gaulle and Free French forces to refuse to recognize their country's surrender to Nazi Germany on June 25, 1940 and to continue fighting was not necessarily representative of overall French public opinion at the time.

    The tragic but militarily necessary British assault on French naval forces in port at Mers-el-Kébir, Algeria on July 3, 1940, which effectively prevented the French fleet from defecting to the Germans, was the immediate source of tremendous French ill will,. That ill will was further extended to the Americans upon U.S. entry into the war in December 1941.

    As a result, it's also true that the first shots fired by U.S. forces during their North African invasion at the Battle of Casablanca (Nov. 8-16, 1942) were against Vichy French forces defending Morocco, and not against the Germans. Four U.S. troopships and five French warships were sunk, and 174 American and 462 French military personnel were killed in the protracted naval engagement, which was a U.S. victory.

    But that said, I was merely responding to your earlier comment about Croatia, in which you clearly stated that the country had resisted the Nazis during the Second World War. And as I subsequently noted in clarifying the historical record, that was simply not correct.

    One of the most unfortunate and ugly truths about the Second World War is that in the course of carrying out their systematic crimes against humanity, Nazi German forces had received an awful lot of local help from fellow fascist collaborators throughout occupied Europe.

    And for obvious reasons, I consider it vitally important for people to always remember that, if only to recognize the innate capacity of men and women to later rationalize their own subsequent behavior and folly during times of great national distress.

    Because over the coming months and years, as the full extent and ugly truth regarding Donald Trump's collaborative efforts with Vladimir Putin's Russia and other fascist movements around the world comes to light, we're likely going to see and hear a lot of Republican attempt to subsequently recharacterize their own respective roles in facilitating Trump's rise to power in our own country.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Maybe (none / 0) (#71)
    by ragebot on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 02:52:01 PM EST
    America will switch sides with Russia as many times as Finland did in WWII.

    Worthy of note is that Finland is the only country that repaid it's WWII debt to the US.

    Parent

    Since Finland's sole purpose for ... (none / 0) (#120)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 04:37:41 PM EST
    ragebot: "Worthy of note is that Finland is the only country that repaid it's WWII debt to the US."

    ... entering the war against the Soviet Union in 1941 was to recover the territory it had lost to the Soviets in the "Winter War" of 1939-40 and further, since it neither declared war against nor waged war with either Britain or the United States, I would offer that Finland's war debts to our country from the Second World War were likely negligible, not to mention irrelevant to this discussion.

    Finland did, however, accrue some $8 million in debt to the U.S. in the immediate years after it declared its independence from Russia in 1918, for the purpose of alleviating and averting famine in the country as a result of acute food shortages. That's likely the debt to which you are referring -- although it was not a war debt, per se.

    And yes, it was repaid -- many times over, as a matter of fact, because the loan terms were not exactly friendly. Specifically in 1924, Finland agreed to repay the $8 million over a 62-year period at 3% annual interest for the first 10 years, and then 3.5% thereafter. Even during the Second World War, the country continued to meet its debt obligations to the U.S., using neutral Sweden as the go-between.

    After Finland made its final loan payment in 1976, the monies were used by the United States to create the Finnish-U.S. Educational Trust Fund. Finland has long held to a non-aligned status in European affairs, even as it's maintained friendly relations with the West.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    I dated/had a crew member from (none / 0) (#123)
    by ragebot on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:04:40 PM EST
    Finland.  While I am sure you are correct on the facts I am just as sure she viewed the debt you note as a war debt.

    While her English was quite good it probably did not include what I will call the subtilties you are aware of.  Not to mention my knowledge of the subject was from conversations while down island; not from reading books.  I also had an encounter with a group of Finns when diving with the whale sharks and they were also of the same mind as Elise that Finland repaid their war debt to the US.

    My experience has been that every Finn I have met claims the Finns are the best snipers in the world and that they are the only country that has repaid their debt (war debt or not) to the US.  As an aside I am never shocked when I am down island and meet Finns, Swedes, or Dutch girls; they all seem to love the tropics.

    Parent

    Those loans to Finland were made between ... (none / 0) (#147)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:53:18 PM EST
    ... 1919 and 1923. Given the end of the First World War in November 1918, how exactly is that a "war debt"? I just explained to you what the money was for; it was used to buy food and fend off famine during a time of acute shortages.

    Let's please not rewrite history to fit our preferred narratives. We often end up fooling only ourselves when we do, and sometimes that can lead to adverse consequences.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    being paid back over 63 years at 3.0/3.5% is "not exactly friendly?!"

    Dang, I'd have a mansion on the beach in Malibu if I could have gotten those terms...

    Doesn't really impact the rest of what you wrote, I would guess.


    Parent

    Howdy and Linea, stop the (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 12:44:26 AM EST
    bickering. No one is interested in your insults to each other. If you have something to say, by all means comment. If you disagree with another poster, just do so civilly. I've deleted several of your comments in this thread, and have better uses for my time. I also don't want you deteriorating the conversation with your insults to each other.

    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 05:44:09 AM EST
    I know better

    Parent
    The Hell of the North today (none / 0) (#38)
    by ragebot on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 04:17:31 AM EST
    the infamous Paris-Roubaix bike race is one of the most feared single day classic.  Today's leg of the Tour includes some of that course; to wit the cobble stones which take a terrible toll on both the bikes and riders destroying machines and rattling the teeth of their riders.  Every day of the Tour gets at least half a million sets of real time eyeballs watching the action in person and a days of spectators often tops a million peeps watching in person.  The entire event will have between fifteen to twenty million peeps watching the race in person.  The TV audience is even larger.

    In 1985 (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Repack Rider on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 10:17:37 AM EST
    ...I got a magazine assignment to cover the Giro d'Italia, the Italian three-week stage race that features pretty much the same people.

    I rode in the follow car with the coach of the American team.  For 100+ miles or about six hours you drive down a road lined three deep on both sides with cheering fans, an eerie corridor of noise that never lets up.

    Parent

    Hard to understand the (none / 0) (#69)
    by ragebot on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 02:45:40 PM EST
    Tour (or the other two classics, the Giro or Vuelta) unless you have been there in person.  While there are crowds all along the roads there are some places like the cobblestones of the Hell of the North and some brutal ascents or the finish at Champs-Élysées where the crowds are so massive many of the spectators are not able to see anything, and often not hear anything but the crowd noise.  There have been several times where a spectator has affected the riders by contact; like today when Richie Porte crashed or when Lance got his handle bar caught in a spectator's bag.  I am not aware of any other big time sporting event where spectators have the same level of contact they do in the classics.

    The Tour in 1985 was won by Bernard Hinault who was probably past his prime and got great support from his American team mate Greg LeMond, in return for a promise to support LeMond in the next years race.  When Hinault failed (according to some) to keep his word LeMond won the next year (becoming the first American to win the Tour) and Hinault who came in second retired.

    After recovering from a hunting accident LeMond returned to win two more Tours including the in 1989 edging Laurent Fignon by eight seconds on the final day.  I was able to go to France that year and probably could write a book about the memories from that race.  As a 15 time Ironman triathlon finisher I was a early adopter of the same aerobars LeMond used in the time trial the final day to win, as were most triathletes of that era.  LeMond was an inspiration to Americans and to some extent a thorn in the side of Europeans who viewed Americans as upstarts in cycling.  Even though LeMond was fluent in French and his last name was the same as the name of maybe the most popular French newspaper he still was often viewed as an outsider.

    Parent

    I raced bicycles (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Repack Rider on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 12:42:31 AM EST
    ...in the '70s, just enough to find out how hard it was and realize my future lay elsewhere. But riding in a peleton beats the hell out of reading about what it's like.

    Every one of my bachelor roommates was a bicyclist. One, Kent Bostick, made the Olympic team four times and was National Road Champion at the age of 35. My friend Mike Neel was the coach of the 7/Eleven international team, and I accompanied him to both the Giro and the Coors Classic.

    Greg Lemond came over to our house after winning a local criterium when he was 18. He was riding for Hinault's team La Vie Claire when I was at the Giro, and because they were not the team I was with, there was little mingling other than perfunctory greetings.  Of course all the Americans knew Greg, but he was with the French team.

    Right now Peter Sagan is my favorite bicyclist.  I have a photo of him holding a copy of my book.

    One of my other roommates was named Gary Fisher, a Category I racer.  A few years later we rented a garage and started building bikes. we called our two man business MountainBikes.

    Parent

    I'm not a big racing fan but I am fan (none / 0) (#72)
    by McBain on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 03:00:27 PM EST
    of LeMond. He was the real deal.  

    Parent
    The queen took one (none / 0) (#52)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 10:12:14 AM EST
    for the team.  A skilled diplomatic host at her castle despite Trump's oafish behavior.

    So was Teresa (5.00 / 4) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 10:38:03 AM EST
    When it came to it.  They know what they are doing.

    After Tomorrow I think it's unlikely any western democracy will share any Intel with us as long as Trump is in the oval.

    It's said some or maybe most of Trumps animus toward them is the likelihood they shared Intel that will be his undoing.

    Parent

    That's what he means (none / 0) (#70)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 02:47:40 PM EST
    when he said, as he did today, that the "European Union" is a foe.  His.

    Parent
    Unfortunately for her country, ... (none / 0) (#150)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 07:12:48 PM EST
    ... Prime Minister Theresa May is handling Brexit very poorly. Even though there's clearly a sense of buyer's remorse amongst the British populace over the passage of the Brexit referendum, she just put the kibosh on holding a second referendum, which would likely bail out the country from a very bad decision.

    In so doing, the prime minister is pandering to a vocal and belligerent minority which mistakenly believes that somehow, Britain can unilaterally dictate the terms of its own withdrawal from the European Union by sole virtue of their "Brititude." As now-former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson discovered to his chagrin, the real world doesn't necessarily work that way, and Whitehall can't just send the Royal Navy to Brussels to impose its will.

    I really don't know if Mrs. May can last the summer. Aloha.

    Parent

    My heart belongs to MANDZUKIC (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 10:47:32 AM EST
    What a fearless badass

    I'm watching (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Peter G on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 11:13:29 AM EST
    France's 19-yr-old Mbappe.

    Parent
    First teenager since Pele (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by jondee on Sun Jul 15, 2018 at 12:16:00 PM EST
    to score a goal in a World Cup final.

    Parent
    I purchased a very old china cabinet (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:12:56 AM EST
    Yesterday on the app OfferUp. It is a commonly available antique in this area. I've seen many variations of it, but this one was one of the nicest. The mouldings more elaborate than most. Now that it is home I understand why I see this specific cabinet over and over again. The stamps on the back read made in Baltimore.

    But the person I was purchasing from requested that I pick it up well before or well after the World Cup game. I told him no problem. When I went to get it I was greeted by a Croatian immigrant. Such a nice family too. They had just bought a house and the cabinet didn't fit. I felt terrible leaving with the beautiful cabinet though. When they first got here they furnished their home out of thrift stores and I was taking one of their precious finds.

    I love living here. I love all the people I get to meet here.

    Parent

    We're not perfect here in (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by Zorba on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 12:06:42 PM EST
    Maryland, but we're a bit different than Alabama, as I'm sure you're finding out.  ;-)

    Parent
    I went to a neighborhood party Friday night (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 12:45:50 PM EST
    A Springbrook parents party yesterday. Zorba, I am having a great time :)

    Terrible drivers, rude as hell, but the best parties hahaha

    Parent

    Hahahaha! (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by Zorba on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 02:52:57 PM EST
    Rudest drivers we ever encountered, though, were in Boston.
    :-D

    Parent
    If I visit Boston (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:32:52 PM EST
    I might find some gratitude for Bethesda huh?

    Parent
    It's true (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by CST on Tue Jul 17, 2018 at 09:19:25 AM EST
    Every driver here is in a constant state of frustration verging on rage, and we aren't exactly well known for our subtlety.

    Parent
    I love calling associates in Boston. (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 17, 2018 at 12:48:09 PM EST
    They often answer their business phone with an annoyed "yeah?"

    I'll be there on Friday, I'm sure my driving habits will adapt quickly...

    Parent

    I still have my t-shirt (none / 0) (#163)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 17, 2018 at 09:28:33 AM EST
    From Boston with a map of spaghetti lines and the caption BOSTON - DRIVE - IF YOU CAN.

    I was there during the big dig

    Parent

    We lived there for several years (none / 0) (#167)
    by Zorba on Tue Jul 17, 2018 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    when we were both in graduate school.  I never saw such rude drivers before that, or since.
    And they honk constantly!  It's enough to give you a headache.

    Parent
    Anyway this presser is basically (none / 0) (#91)
    by smott on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 11:12:13 AM EST
    Treason on live TV.
    Brennan is calling it out.

    He is (none / 0) (#93)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 11:17:08 AM EST
    Don't despair

    We are not lost.

    Parent

    Mueller' indictment timing was good (none / 0) (#95)
    by smott on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 11:43:02 AM EST
    Is this going to wind up a mistake for Trump?
    Or will the press remain as supine as the GOP?

    Really, this might as well have been a hostage video. Like the July 4th GOP Captives.

    No faith the MSM will take that tack tho.

    Parent

    IMO (none / 0) (#96)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 11:49:47 AM EST
    Which is worth exactly squat

    More, Americana indictments are coming.  The tide is about to turn.

    Parent

    Ehh...I do not see the endgame (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by smott on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 12:01:27 PM EST
    Maybe a legal eagle like Jeralyn or our friend Peter can spell it out for us...but at this point even Mueller raining down a load of criminal indictments up to and including recommending Treason....well, the GOP has made it pretty clear they won't do a thing.

    I mean I do believe the indictments will be breath-taking, and implicate many Republicans who have remained silent to protect themselves . And of course will also target the WH team including Trump.

    I just do not see how anything moves forward. The GOP will ignore it. There's no chance of 67 votes for impeachment.

    And with Kavanaugh on the court, any challenge that makes its way there will fall in Trump's favor. (I fully believe Kavanaugh has pledged loyalty.)

    Talk me down someone!

    Parent

    Ha (none / 0) (#99)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 12:04:59 PM EST
    Breath
    Drink or whatever it takes

    They WILL NOT WIN

    You can quote me

    Parent

    Well, I'll soon become a day-drinker lol (none / 0) (#102)
    by smott on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 12:20:49 PM EST
    But this seems a total doubling-down by Trump, likely directed by Putin.
    Trump's tweets this AM were clearly written by someone else (has he given the Russians access to his account?)

    The GOP July 4th Hostages clearly show Putin is stepping up his influence, and absolutely owns multiple Senators. (Don't forget they hacked the RNC too.)

    At some point we have to realize we are at war with Russia and act accordingly.  But that won't happen with the existing government, and I don't see a path to changing that.
    Trump will declare martial law if he has to.

    Time for my meds!

    Parent

    The USA is not "at war with Russia" (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Peter G on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 12:48:27 PM EST
    unless it so declares, or at least acts as such. That is not to say that Russia is not engaging in acts of war against the United States.  I have been pondering this way of looking at the charges in the latest Mueller indictment since MT raised the point in the previous thread. In fact, I am wondering whether a hostile act committed by a foreign power (here, officers of the Russian military, acting in their official capacity, it is alleged) against a vital piece of U.S. infrastructure (our electoral system), when they remain on their own soil but aim at doing harm inside the U.S., is even an indictable crime at all, rather than being pure and simple an act of war, addressable only at the U.N. or in the World Court. Would/could a US federal prosecutor indict foreign military officers for launching a missile aimed at a U.S. target?

    Parent
    "Theft," I suppose, (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 12:59:44 PM EST
    is a fairly prosaic way to describe Russian hacking and cyber attack.

    But "theft" it is; the issue being do national security concerns provide some type of immunity, or pre-empt enforcement of criminal statutes.

    If a missile strikes kills someone, then it is murder; if someone is hurt, then battery; if just property damage, then a  property crime.  And, if the missile lands here, jurisdiction here seems appropriate.

    Or, so it seems to me based on my criminal bar review course.

    And, under the Nuremberg Principles, Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes would be applicable charges.
       

    Parent

    Well, no, as to almost every aspect (none / 0) (#115)
    by Peter G on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 01:53:24 PM EST
    of those thoughts, MKS, it seems to me. As a matter of abstract or academic legal theory, hostilities between nation-states are not governed by domestic criminal law. They are governed by a separate body of law, a subpart of international law (and of military law, as to one's own soldiers) called the law of war. Launching a missile strike is absolutely not considered "murder," when committed by a government (except in pacifist political rhetoric, with which I admit to having some sympathy). And no, venue in criminal cases is not ordinarily where the crime's impact is felt, but rather where the act is done that constitutes the crime. Finally, "crimes against humanity" and other war crimes are prosecuted in the International Criminal Court (such as the Nuremburg Tribunal), not in the victim country's domestic criminal court.

    Parent
    Well, we have no (none / 0) (#156)
    by MKS on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 09:24:04 PM EST
    trouble trying terrorists in the States.   One man's terrorist is another's soldier in a war.  If a Russian national commits an act of terrorism in the U.S., I have no doubt he would be tried here for terrorism if caught.

    The designation as an act of war is more about nation-state actors than the individual perpetrators.

    With respect to trying people for violations of the Nuremberg principles, etc., that is a very interesting question.  Now, today, it is customary to defer to or rely on the Criminal Court at The Hague.  But is it required?   The Israelis did not have any hesitation in kidnapping Adolph Eichmann and trying him in Israel.  

    And what we did at Nuremberg was just create law and procedure out of thin air.  Crimes Against Humanity was a new "crime."  Standard War Crimes were barred under treaties and then-existing law but consisted of mistreatment of POWS and an enemy country's people, etc.  The challenge with the Nazis is that much, but not all by any means, of what they did was to their own people inside the borders of Germany, according to duly enacted German laws.  The cover of German law was one of the chief defenses at Nuremberg.  Standard "War Crimes" would not cover these acts.

    So, we just invented a new crime, the "Crime Against Humanity", and used a wholly made-up court and tribunal system from scratch.....Those who intellectually justified this process posited that there were inherent crimes, akin I suppose of violation of Natural Law.   No treaties needed.  No pre-existing court.

    So Nuremberg did not involve using a court system and laws agreed to by treaty.   If we could make it up then, because of some inherent right to enforce basic norms of decency, why could we not do so now?  The Israelis would agree.  

    Parent

    We usually agree on legal stuff (none / 0) (#157)
    by Peter G on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 09:46:30 PM EST
    but not here, mostly. Your example of trying terrorists in U.S. courts as criminals for acts done in this country does not undermine my point. I don't dispute that, as long as there is a criminal law on the books that prohibits the act prior to the time the act was committed. My thought (which I was hoping someone would engage with) was whether it is legally valid to treat an official foreign state actor as a criminal, under the law of the victim country, for an act done within that person's own country and directed against a government process of the foreign victim country. Because to me, the charged conduct sounds like an act of war, not a crime, and I question the assertion of extraterritorial jurisdiction, as well as the venue. I don't disagree with you about the potential Ex Post Facto nature of the charges at Nuremberg, although the counter-argument is that the Nazis' crimes violated jus cogens (the common law of international law). Finally, Israel did not make up a law to charge Eichmann; it had passed a statute against Genocide in 1950, to implement the U.N. Convention of 1948. Genocide (like piracy and slavery) are internationally recognized as crimes over which there is universal jurisdiction, that is, venue and jurisdiction wherever the perpetrator may be found or brought.

    Parent
    That the Israelis (none / 0) (#160)
    by MKS on Tue Jul 17, 2018 at 07:27:37 AM EST
    passed an internal statute is irrelevant.  So what?

    That statute was not an international treaty:  and neither Germany nor Argentina were signatories. Eichmann never lived in Israel, so why would that internal statue ever apply to him?   Eichmann's capture should be honestly acknowledged as similar to Lincoln's suspension of Habeas Corpus--without any technically valid legal underpinning but acceptable because of the circumstances.  I understand the need for the fig leaf legal arguments, but they are not really valid.

    Within that "person's own country."   The act may have commenced elsewhere but its effect was designed to and did occur here, according to your hypothetical.  We currently have no problem establishing jurisdiction, in the civil context, for internet activities designed to reach within a state from the other side of the country.  And, again, I do believe that categorizing something as an "Act of War" is irrelevant--that applies to matters of state, and does not apply to the responsibility of the individual.  Although I suppose some type of immunity might attach in some situations to someone who is acting on behalf of another nation.

    And International Common Law is just a fancy way of saying someone else did it first, and there is always a first time in exceptional circumstances to set precedent.  Allowing for Common Law crimes is allowing Ex Post Facto prosecution.  I have no problem with that depending on the circumstances.   I understand the potential danger and that that is the reason why various legal terms and jargon are used to justify such--to make it all sound legally consistent when it is not.

    You cite piracy and slavery and indicate there is universal agreement on those.   Well, how does such agreement begin, and why would your hypothetical not fit within the rubric of just being another incremental step in the direction of the consensus on piracy and slavery?

    Parent

    All of my responses to your (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by Peter G on Tue Jul 17, 2018 at 11:13:17 AM EST
    totally legit questions are included in my previous post(s) on this thread. How about we call it off now? Just a thought experiment, really. I appreciate your engagement, MKS.

    Parent
    While the Donald held that ridiculous presser (none / 0) (#168)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 17, 2018 at 01:44:55 PM EST
    This just happened per Tom Winter

    NEW: The Special Counsel's Office notifies the court that they will seek immunity for up to 5 people to testify under conditions of immunity in the upcoming trial against Paul Manafort in Virginia.

    They say these people have not been publicly named before in the case.

    Parent

    The President can do whatever he feels (none / 0) (#109)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 01:04:55 PM EST
    He needs to do to protect the nation for 90 days. Not that this President is going to protect us from a serious Russian cyber attack.

    Parent
    In 2011 the Pentagon said (none / 0) (#112)
    by smott on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 01:18:52 PM EST
    Cyber attacks count as acts of war

    https:/www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/05/pentagon-cyber-attacks-act-war/351239

    Parent

    Sadly this has become a battlefield (none / 0) (#129)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 05:24:30 PM EST
    My cousin tries to protect Schreiver. I think it is likely he does a pretty good job. He makes more money than my spouse who is twice his age:)

    Parent
    Committed day drinker (none / 0) (#103)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 12:26:30 PM EST
    IMO this day will be seen as pivotal

    This day plus the coming indictments.

    Which, I repeat, means SQUAT.

    Parent

    I totally (none / 0) (#111)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 01:13:33 PM EST
    get where you are coming from. I have called my GOP rep and literally BEGGED the guy to stand up for America and he continually refuses.

    Parent
    Here's what I think (none / 0) (#154)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 08:28:08 PM EST
    For what it's worth.

    Republicans are freaking because Trump is killing them on multiple levels.  From Putin to tariffs he is dragging them down with everyone except that 30%.  And 30% does not win elections

    They can not cross him because they also can't win WITHOUT that fu@king 30%.

    I THINK when this happens

    indictments will be breath-taking,

    A significant number of republicans will welcome the excuse to throw Trump under the bus and back it up a couple of times.

    That's what I think.

    Parent

    And speaking of indictments, ... (none / 0) (#146)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:43:14 PM EST
    ... take a good look at the woman in this photo, who's posing with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. Her name is Maria Butina and over the last few years, she's been acting as a lobbyist for the NRA, albeit an unregistered one.

    However, Ms. Butina is also a Russian national and last night, she was arrested by the FBI and charged with being a Russian spy:

    "A Russian woman has been charged with spying for Moscow in the US by infiltrating the National Rifle Association (NRA) in an attempt to influence the Republican party and American politics. Maria Butina, who purported to be a pro-gun activist, met American politicians and candidates to establish "back channels" and secretly reported back to the Kremlin through a high-level Russian official, according to the US Justice Department."

    Likely because she's been deemed a flight risk, Ms. Butina is currently being held without bond, pending her arraignment in federal court on Thursday.

    The NRA has already backpedaled on prior denials, and has thus admitted financial links to at least 20 Russians. My instinct tells me that number is about to get much bigger, since the organization is suspected of having laundered at least $31 million in Russian money for the Trump campaign and the GOP during the 2016 campaign -- and perhaps more.

    From David Ignatius in Friday's Washington Post:

    "Looking at this case through a counterintelligence lens raises an intriguing new series of questions. In putting all the detail into the indictment, Mueller was giving Russian intelligence a hint of how much America can see. But this public disclosure may mask much deeper capabilities -- perhaps a capacity to expose many more layers of GRU military-intelligence operations and those by the Russian civilian spy services, the FSB and the SVR. American intelligence agencies rarely tip their hand this way by disclosing so much in an indictment; clearly they did so here to send messages.

    "Explains one former CIA officer: 'Given that we clearly had so much of the Russian internal communication and cyber footprints, they must be asking what else do we have? Do we have communications between the units and more senior officers in the GRU? With the General Staff? With the Kremlin? With Putin? Probably not the latter directly, but the Russians are very bureaucratic and it's hard for me to imagine there is not a clear trail of higher level approvals, progress reports, etc.'

    "Friday's indictment is a legal document. But it's also a shot across the Kremlin's bow. The message is: If you don't stop cyber-operations against the United States, we have the detailed information to identify and disrupt your intelligence services, officers, sources and methods. Mueller isn't asking Russia to stop; he's warning them of the consequences of going forward.

    "The indictment also sends a message to President Trump and members of his entourage who are potential targets of Mueller's probe: Here's a hint of what we know; how much are you willing to wager that we don't know a lot more about Russian contacts and collusion? For example, the indictment is a proffer of Mueller's information about contacts between GRU cut-out 'Guccifer 2.0' and Roger Stone, Trump's friend and adviser. What else does Mueller have?" (Emphasis is mine.)

    Diese Scheiße wird den Ventilator treffen, meine Freunde. Lassen Sie das Festival von Schadenfreude beginnen!

    ;-D

    Parent

    UPDATE: Towanda, this is for you. (none / 0) (#152)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 07:51:52 PM EST
    It's a fundraiser event photo of Gov. Scott Walker with accused Russian spy Maria Butina and another shady character, Russian banker Aleksandr Torshin, who's since been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department.

    Please pass it on to all your friends back home. To paraphrase Roger Stone and flip his quote back upon him, let this be the Republicans' time in the barrel. They've committed a profound act of betrayal upon their country, and they are as guilty as original sin. For our country's sake, they don't deserve any benefit of doubt. They pose an existential threat and need to be driven from office at the very least, if not drawn and quartered.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Oh, it's in the news here (5.00 / 2) (#169)
    by Towanda on Tue Jul 17, 2018 at 07:46:03 PM EST
    along with quotes from Butina's blog about meeting Perp Walker -- who, she said, spoke fluent Russian.

    Yikes. But that may not be enough to beat him, because state Dems are in their usual disarray.

    Parent

    Trump doesn't get it and Putin does. (none / 0) (#114)
    by fishcamp on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 01:23:19 PM EST
    Since the end of the Cold War we've been so busy high fiving each other that we failed to understand Russia was never going to roll over and become "Westernized."  We wanted a simple outcome, similar to our Western movies or action films where the good guys win and the Russians lose.  We think our American "democracy" can be exported like a McDonald's franchise.  We still don't realize Russia is a giant, complex country with traditions we just don't understand.  Trump hasn't figured this out, none of us really have either.  The Russians think they are responsible for ending WWll, and will keep fighting until they win.  We need to wake up.

    Trying to figure out the Papa John scandal (none / 0) (#116)
    by McBain on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 02:05:33 PM EST
    John Schnatter recently resigned from the company he  founded after he used the N word on a conference call. Papa John's is now trying to distance themselves from Schnatter by removing his image from their marketing and kicking him out of his office.  

    Schnatter claims to have been pressured into using the word and being blackmailed...

    The 56-year-old billionaire now claims his words were taken out of context and that he was pressured to use the slur.

    "The agency was promoting that vocabulary [...] And I made it real clear: `Listen, we're not gonna go there. We're not gonna talk about this,'" Schnatter told Louisville radio station WHAS. "They pushed me and it upset me, and I just said, `Listen, other people have used that word. I don't, and will not use that word and people at Papa John's don't use that.' And that was the comment. But they actually wanted to get into that vocabulary, and I said absolutely not."

    also,

    In another interview with WLKY, Schnatter accused the aforementioned marketing agency of trying to blackmail him after he was "pushed" to use the N-word. He said he refused to meet their demands.

    "They wanted $6 million to make it go away. I'm like, `I'm not paying you $6 million,'" he told the radio station. "And they made it pretty clear [...] the words were `If I don't get my (bleep) money, I'm going to bury the founder,' said one of the executives.

    What I don't understand is if this was some kind of a set up, or out of context rush to judgement, why did Schnatter resign?  

    What's to figure out, really? (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 07:22:17 PM EST
    John Schnatter resigned because it's now 2018 and not 1958, and his continued presence at company HQ rendered him a toxic liability to Papa John's bottom line.

    Which is funny, because I always considered the company's toxic liability to be that flat-boxed grease trap which they call a "pizza."

    ;-D

    Parent

    FBI official (none / 0) (#137)
    by ragebot on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:02:44 PM EST
    overseeing election-meddling task force leaves.

    Not a lot of details yet.  Anyone know what the story is.

    What do you not understand? (none / 0) (#139)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:07:46 PM EST
    Senior FBI official Jeffrey Tricoli has left his position overseeing a government task force that's been looking into Russian interference in U.S. elections, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    Tricoli, who had been at the FBI for 18 years, reportedly left last month to take a job with Charles Schwab Corp.

    "So far there has not been a lot of substance yet from the task force," a congressional intelligence panel staffer told the Journal



    Parent
    Wow (none / 0) (#143)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:16:26 PM EST
    Trumps is being called ridiculous insulting passive and disgusting

    ON FOX NEWS

    just saw a mash up

    Here (none / 0) (#145)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:25:38 PM EST
    Putin offered to help with the Russia investigatio (none / 0) (#144)
    by ragebot on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 06:19:56 PM EST
    and (5.00 / 2) (#149)
    by FlJoe on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 07:11:10 PM EST
    you, of course, believe him.

    Parent
    Judge in Manafort case (none / 0) (#155)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 16, 2018 at 08:30:57 PM EST
    Postponed till Monday a hearing scheduled for tomorrow.

    Lots of breathless speculation about why.

    As in, is he flipping.

    DIETLAND (none / 0) (#161)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 17, 2018 at 09:10:29 AM EST
    You should be watching.

    I'm probably partial because the lead character, Plum, is so much like a woman who was one of my best friends the whole time I lived in NY.  Face, hair (especially hair), size, attitude it's odd because Robin would be in her 70s now.

    It's like looking back in time to see her in her prime

    And it's a very thought provoking show

    CASTLE ROCK (none / 0) (#176)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jul 25, 2018 at 08:57:52 AM EST
    Dropped the first three on HULU.

    Boy, is it good

    Guess I have to keep HULU for a couple of months.

    Seriously (none / 0) (#177)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jul 25, 2018 at 03:21:12 PM EST
    Good

    If you never heard of Stephen King you could enjoy this as a story.  But if you are a fan your enjoyment will increase on a scale relative to the depth of your fandom.
    I am a fan.  I have the first 20 or 30 books in hardcover.

    This is not an adaptation of any existing story but new stories using characters and locations from many of the stories.  The Easter eggs come faster than you can catch in one viewing.
    But they did another really interesting thing.  They not only use characters from his stories but many of the actors playing them are recognizable from memorable King movie adaptations
    Starting with the central character who was recently "IT" and the girl from ROSE RED.

    it's a sort of brilliant thing to do in what is basically an homage

    Parent