Friday, June 21, 2019

Last Call For Race To The Bottom, Con't

You can argue whether or not the act of opposing reparations itself makes you a racist, but when your reasoning for doing so is literally "We won, you lost, that's that" not only does it make you a racist, but an unrepentantly awful one.

Fox News star Laura Ingraham waded into the ongoing debate over reparations for descendants of slaves during her podcast on Thursday by proclaiming there are no “do-overs” after a “conquest.”

Talking to Kentucky State professor and ‘Hate Crime Hoax’ author Wilford Reilly about the recent House hearing on reparations, Ingraham played a clip of author Ta-Nehisi Coates taking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to task for saying reparations are unnecessary because Americans elected Barack Obama as president.

After praising McConnell’s remarks, Reilly stated that the logistics of paying reparations would be far too difficult before wondering if Native Americans would then be next to request compensation over their treatment.

“I mean, obviously both white and black soldiers, frankly, took this country from the Indians—the first people,” Reilly added.

“People would argue that the whole world, and I would, the whole world has been reshaped by people taking other people's land,” Ingraham weighed in. “It's called conquest.”

Mentioning past empires and how there was a “totally different map” in the past, Ingraham—whose own brother thinks she is a “monster”—then complained that “they want to live in a fake world,” presumably talking about liberals.

“As Trump always says, ‘You don't get do-overs,’” she declared. “No do-overs, that's it. There was an argument, sometime—I think it was the 1980s. There was a quote, you won, we lost, that's that. Describing world politics, we won, you lost, that's that. That's just the way it is.

Seems the white supremacist lady on FOX (and there's quite a few white supremacists on FOX News these days, isn't there) doesn't like the idea.

Look, I actually do understand the argument of "Well *I* didn't enslave black people, why should I have to pay up for it?" but as Ta-Nehisi Coates said earlier this week:

The matter of reparations is one of making amends and direct redress, but it is also a question of citizenship. In H.R. 40, this body has a chance to both make good on its 2009 apology for enslavement, and reject fair-weather patriotism. To say that a nation is both its credits and its debts. That if Thomas Jefferson matters, so does Sally Hemings. That if D-Day matters, so does black Wall Street. That if Valley Forge matters, so does Fort Pillow. Because the question really is, not whether we will be tied to the “somethings” of our past, but whether we are courageous enough to be tied to the whole of them.

At what point does America answer for its past and present so that it can have a real future?

Our Little Domestic Terrorism Problem, Oregon GOP Edition

Meanwhile in Oregon, Republicans in the state Senate have apparently walked out of the state legislature and are apparently threatening an armed insurrection along with domestic terrorist white supremacist militia groups in what could be a bloody standoff with state police.

Tensions were already smoldering in the Oregon Senate Wednesday, when Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas, poured gasoline on the situation, suggesting he would shoot and potentially kill any state trooper sent to haul him unwillingly back to the Capitol. 
After Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr. said Tuesday that his caucus was “prepared to take actions” to prevent passage of a major climate change bill, Gov. Brown announced on Wednesday that she was ready to answer Republican stonewalling by calling lawmakers back for a special session. 
Brown hinted that she would be willing to send state troopers to round up Republicans if they walk out in the final days of the regular legislative session, saying in a statement that she is “in close communication with Oregon State Police.” That’s an option Democratic senators and the governor did not use earlier this year, when Senate Republicans first brought the Senate to a standstill by walking out and preventing the necessary quorum. 
The governor’s hint that she would consider sending troopers in the event of a second walkout triggered an aggressive response from Boquist, which was captured by a KGW news team at the Capitol. 
“This is what I told the superintendent,” Boquist said, referring to OSP Superintendent Travis Hampton. “Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”

And no, this isn't just some goober yelling "SPARTA!" before getting ganked at Thermopylae,  Social media accounts of armed militia groups in the state like the Three Percenters are saying they will "provide security" for Republican state senators who as of Thursday had fled the state completely and gone into hiding.

Oregon state police are downplaying the incident.

The Oregon State Police says its officers intend to retrieve the missing senators "in a peaceful, gentle, and process-supporting way." 
The official statement offers few details on what tactics troopers will use to fulfill the governor's order. "She has now given a lawful directive which OSP is fully committed to executing," the statement says. "OSP is utilizing established relationships to have polite communication with these Senators. While we obviously have many tools at our disposal, patience and communication is and always will be our first, and preferred, option."

This could get ugly, and fast.  To recap, Oregon Republicans are willing to resort to deadly, lethal force by working with domestic terrorism groups in order to try to nullify the Oregon state legislature.

These assholes are committing seditious conspiracy as elected lawmakers.

Stay tuned.

The Drums Of War Just Got Very Loud

President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions. 

As late as 7 p.m. Thursday, military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.

The abrupt reversal put a halt to what would have been the president’s third military action against targets in the Middle East. Mr. Trump had struck twice at targets in Syria, in 2017 and 2018.

It was not clear whether Mr. Trump simply changed his mind on the strikes or whether the administration altered course because of logistics or strategy. It was also not clear whether the attacks might still go forward.
Asked about the plans for a strike and the decision to hold back, the White House declined to comment, as did Pentagon officials. No government officials asked The New York Times to withhold the article.

Two scenarios on this:  Scenario One, this is Trump's super ham-fisted attempt at screaming "Hold me back" while motioning at his guys to do so before taking a swing at an MMA fighter at a bar. Occam's razor, and we'll be at war the next time Iran so much as breaks wind.

Scenario Two however makes a lot more sense.

Amid increased tensions between Iran and the U.S., Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the U.S. that a military conflict with Iran would be “catastrophe” and said that Iran was observing its commitments under the Iran nuclear deal.

Speaking during his annual phone-in event, Putin said that he was concerned by the shooting down of an American drone by Iran this week and worried that the U.S. had no ruled out using military force against Tehran in the ongoing crisis between the two countries.

“I will say it straight, it would be a catastrophe, at a minimum for the region,” Putin said, adding it could lead to a new mass exodus of refugees.

What is far more likely is that as with Venezuela, Trump was talked into this but the Russians, having compromised the hell out of us, responded immediately on the hotline and Trump's boss Vlad told him no as this was going down, and in order to save face, Trump concocted this pullback story and leaked it to the press so he can be the big hero.

Our incoherent and dangerous foreign policy that very nearly started a shooting war with Iran was short-circuited last night because the one goddamn person Trump listens to is one of the worst autocratic crooks on Earth, and it's bad for business when one of his client states is bombing another.

That's it.  That's the answer to the mystery of the "sudden pullback".

But there's one more mystery...the leaks for this story landed quickly enough and were confirmed quickly enough that the NY Times dropped this story last night, maybe a few hours after this was all called off.

Did Trump leak this himself all in order to save face after Putin's warning, or did Bolton leak all this in order to force Trump's hand?  Or did somebody else leak this, like intelligence agencies? Or maybe it was Russia?

Or maybe it was more than one of these, which is why it got confirmed and published so quickly.

That's just as much the story as Trump's "pullback".

We deserve to know both stories.


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