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Mike 03

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Modesto California
Home country: United States
Current location: Arizona
Member since: Mon Oct 27, 2008, 06:14 PM
Number of posts: 12,536

Journal Archives

How wonderful to hear some Elvis Costello

Hearing "Get Happy" and "Imperial Bedroom" for the first time when I went away to college was like an epiphany of my musical awakening. I had no clue what was out there. Before Elvis Costello, I thought there was only Kiss, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and The Police.

The musical universe opened up after that.

Kicking. From a book review by Timothy Snyder:

Hitler believed in telling lies so big that their very scale left some residue of credibility.


When a society consists of somewhere between 30% and 35% of its population who believe not just small lies but Total Lies, what is that society to do?

90% agree.

I also think the people around him, like Barr, Miller and (now) John Yoo are beginning to push the boundaries of the Constitution to see what the legal reaction is, and how far they might be able to go between now and November.

I hope I'm overreacting, but I see this as an incredibly dangerous moment, not just the secret police but the executive orders and treaty violations coming down the pike.

Maybe Rudy is no friend of the New York mob, but he seems to have buttered his bread

with money from the pro-Russian Ukrainian mob and maybe the Russian mafia/KGB.

I'm trying to recall if Rudy is mentioned in Craig Ungar's book House of Trump, House of Putin. Ungar does write in some detail about the Russian mafia moving into New York too, during the exact times you're talking about. They started small and grew and grew, at one point gaining extraordinary power in NYC.

I'd like to see that series you're talking about. Sounds fascinating.

Damned right.

Think about that the next time you see some privileged woke dude on Twitter claiming Biden is just as bad as Trump.

Or the next time someone on Twitter tries to get you to distrust The Lincoln Project because they might not be our friends four or eight years from today. Why? So that their funding dries up and they become less effective?

Book review by Timothy Snyder:
How Did the Nazis Gain Power in Germany?

I've seen these attacks on Twitter as a recurring theme

And I don't trust the motives of these attackers. I think it's yet another effort to cause us to lose confidence in and distrust an important part of our team and divide us on a sideshow issue. I wish there was some way to track down the origin of social media accounts attacking the Lincoln Project, because I'm half-convinced we'd discover some of them are of foreign origin.

Finally, you have to ask yourself the obvious question of who would be trying to get us to distrust the Lincoln Project? Someone who fears the Lincoln Project. Someone who finds them effective and wishes they would go away.

Always think about motive.

This post overlooks something very obvious.

Trump is surrounded by people who are none of these things, who have found someone highly susceptible to influence and easily manipulated at a time when both the interests of Trump and the interests of far right powers within the Republican party have come into perfect alignment. Authoritarianistic aims is the only hope of survival for these people, so expect them to execute authoritarian policies.

When two such entities find their goals in alignment, it is a moot point how "bored" or stupid Trump is. John Yoo isn't stupid. William Barr isn't stupid. Stephen Miller has totalitarian aims, and so do many of Trump's most prolific donors. It is a movement with tremendous money and evil ingenuity behind it.

In my opinion, people downplay the significance of what is unfolding at tremendous risk.

Listen to people like Timothy Snyder.

Check out this NYT piece:

American Catastrophe Through German Eyes

Trump says he wants to protect law-abiding citizens. In 1933, Hitler issued his ‘Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State.’


American Catastrophe Through German Eyes (NYT Opinion)

New York Times
By Roger Cohen
Opinion Columnist
July 24, 2020

Trump says he wants to protect law-abiding citizens. In 1933, Hitler issued his ‘Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State.’

PARIS — No people has found the American lurch toward authoritarianism under President Trump more alarming than the Germans. For postwar Germany, the United States was savior, protector and liberal democratic model. Now, Germans, in shock, speak of the “American catastrophe.”

A recent cover of the weekly magazine Der Spiegel portrays Trump in the Oval Office holding a lighted match, with a country ablaze visible through his window. The headline: “Der Feuerteufel,” or, literally, “the Fire Devil.”

Germans have a particular relationship to fire. The Reichstag fire of 1933 enabled Hitler and the Nazis to scrap the fragile Weimar democracy that had brought them to power. Hitler’s murderous fantasies could now become reality. War, Auschwitz and the German catastrophe followed.

I have known many thoughtful German diplomats over the years, including Michael Steiner, who labored to stop the Balkan wars of the 1990s, and Wolfgang Ischinger, the former German ambassador to the United States. It always seemed to me that their particular passion for freedom, democracy and openness stemmed from the knowledge of how easily these are lost.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/24/opinion/trump-germany.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Here's a link to the Michelle Goldberg/Timothy Snyder piece referred to

in this interview:

Trump’s Occupation of American Cities Has Begun


“This is a classic way that violence happens in authoritarian regimes, whether it’s Franco’s Spain or whether it’s the Russian Empire,” said Snyder. “The people who are getting used to committing violence on the border are then brought in to commit violence against people in the interior.”

Timothy Snyder's book Bloodlands is monumental; I can't recommend it highly enough.

Same here. I feel like we're in that moment now where we're going to have to

admit that we can't stop him, and that creates an impasse that's hard to circumvent.

In past crises we at least pretended we knew what to do next. We'd issue a subpoena, file a lawsuit, hold a hearing, ask for an injunction, take something to a federal judge, demand an investigation, write a report. Or, the Senate "could do something" or "might do something", or we can pass a bill and talk about how we passed a bill. Impeach him. (And we did the right thing).

It's like Mary Trump writes at the closing of one of the chapters in her book: He always gets away it.

We have the federal troop situation, and we also have a legal test coming where John Yoo is going to help Trump rule by decree. We have a president flouting that he's ignoring transgressions by Russia against our troops, our country and our election.

And I think it's getting harder to believe there is any way to stop it. Yesterday I listened to Senator Merkley trying to explain what we could do about the federal police coming into our cities, but in truth, he ended up explaining why we actually couldn't do anything except write letters, make inquiries of DHS and the Border Patrol, and pass bills that the Senate won't take up.

Lastly, what on earth will Trump do to screw up the election? John Yoo believes he can have unlimited power now following the DACA decision by the SCOTUS.

I hate to sound pessimistic, because I'm usually optimistic, but we're hitting an impediment now that will take real ingenuity, creativity and some great legal minds to smash to pieces.

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