Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, July 23, 2018

OTP 2018 July 23: How sports and American politics made each other

In January 1942, as the United States committed itself fully to World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt decided that baseball, then the national pastime, should sustain civilian morale during the lengthy struggle ahead. He implored its commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, to make sure the games went on, despite worldwide armed conflict. And so they did. Professional baseball players, Roosevelt argued, “are a definite recreational asset.”

Roosevelt did not extend that consideration to professional football players, whose sport did not register politically. As a result, the National Football League nearly shut its doors during World War II. So many players were called to serve that several franchises had to merge. In fact, the league didn’t take off until it closely associated itself with national politics. For the past half century, the intertwining of American football and politics has sustained both pastimes.

 

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 23, 2018 at 08:42 AM | 1431 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: football, off topic, politics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 14 of 15 pages ‹ First  < 12 13 14 15 > 
   1301. . Posted: July 28, 2018 at 09:39 PM (#5717543)
No, it's true. I swear on my grandmothers' graves: I like spaghetti.


Good for you! Make sure to wipe the sauce off your face and wash your shirt and bib when you're done.
   1302. BDC Posted: July 28, 2018 at 09:45 PM (#5717546)
the fact that the Clinton campaign agent took a bunch of meetings with Russia


Bear, even trolling is no fun when you randomly make stuff up. You might as well say that the Clinton campaign took a bunch of meetings with the Space Aliens.
   1303. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 28, 2018 at 09:46 PM (#5717547)
Fake lawyer doesn't know the difference between an agent and independent contractor. Film at 11.

Utterly meaningless distinction in this context. Completely and totally. Might fool some people, who knows? Smart people know better.


Which smart person told you that?
   1304. tshipman Posted: July 28, 2018 at 09:46 PM (#5717548)
LOL. Of course, the Clinton campaign did exactly the opposite. It took a bunch of meetings with Russia
Still lying, I see. You're as sociopathic as your hero Trump.


The thing about this, and I know that you know this, is that even in SBB's tortured reading of the practice of opposition research, the Clinton campaign never took a meeting with any Russians.

Like, even if you say that "any Russian" = "Russia". For SBB's statement to be true, you'd have to consider a subcontractor to a subcontractor to a subcontractor "The Clinton Campaign."

That's just such a tortured stretch of logic, but he breezes by with it. It's pretty impressive.
   1305. zenbitz Posted: July 28, 2018 at 09:46 PM (#5717549)
my statement that just informing the FBI would be allowing a foreign government to influence the election. As obviously it would be.


Well you get 1000 Pedant points for out pendanting David, but you get zero points for actual sense. I suppose it WOULD be influence, in a trivial and irrelevant way. What you are (probably von purpose) missing is that it's not the raw TRANSFER OF DATA that's relevant, it's the presumed quid pro quo for PROVIDING such information, as well as impact of obscuring the *source* of the information.


   1306. zenbitz Posted: July 28, 2018 at 09:48 PM (#5717550)
The Russians have ~ 20,000 tanks;


These would probably pretty useful if they invaded Poland and Germany. In 1944.
   1307. BrianBrianson Posted: July 28, 2018 at 09:48 PM (#5717551)
What a chump. Penne is the money pasta.


Depends on the sauce - for a thick sauce, penne. For a buttery sauce, spaghetti.

For fun, scoobi doo.
   1308. . Posted: July 28, 2018 at 09:48 PM (#5717552)
Bear, even trolling is no fun when you randomly make stuff up.


There's no "make up," and it's utterly bizarre that this continues to be insisted. Read the dossier. Its sources are meetings with Russia and Russians, including senior Kremlin people.

Have you read it?
   1309. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 28, 2018 at 09:53 PM (#5717554)
Are some people here suggesting that without the US that Russia could invade and conquer Europe? Because that is what seems to being said and I want clarification before I start calling anyone who believes that sort of nonsense an imbecile.

If that is not what is being said, then exactly what are people suggesting with this "paper tiger" nonsense?
   1310. Srul Itza Posted: July 28, 2018 at 09:54 PM (#5717555)
If you think that, it's because you don't understand it.


You're the one who does not understand.

Every time you respond to him, he wins.

It does not matter what he said. It does not matter what you said.

Every time you respond to him, he wins.

   1311. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 28, 2018 at 09:59 PM (#5717557)
You think tanks are relevant in modern nation state conflicts?

Everybody does. You need something to stop them.


Russian Air Force: 422 modern attack and fighter aircraft

Germany: 219

France: 247

UK: 304

Poland: 98

Italy: 182
   1312. Srul Itza Posted: July 28, 2018 at 10:00 PM (#5717559)
Why else would he suffer constant insults and enter so many arguments he nearly always loses?


You can't lose an argument, unless you actually care about whatever it is you are arguing about.

If all you care about is making the other guy respond, then so long as he responds, YOU WIN.

For further reference see this
   1313. tshipman Posted: July 28, 2018 at 10:06 PM (#5717561)

You think tanks are relevant in modern nation state conflicts?

Everybody does. You need something to stop them.


I struggle to think of someone looking at the last 30 years and using # of tanks as a serious heuristic to evaluate threat.
   1314. Morty Causa Posted: July 28, 2018 at 10:16 PM (#5717563)
A law education nurtures and fosters that which is contrarian in us. Urges us to refine and hone the ability. Law school instills in you (some say brainwashes you) the belief that any side in any argument on any issue can be presented as being at least plausible. This applies to criminal defense, treason, medical care costs, or John C. Calhoun. Everything is in some sense defensible. As an attorney it is your job to shellac that turd.
   1315. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 28, 2018 at 10:22 PM (#5717566)
Well that's the problem. A non-lawyer just sees you playing with ####.
   1316. Morty Causa Posted: July 28, 2018 at 10:34 PM (#5717567)
That's what Ray and YC and SBB are doing with Trump. Shellacking the turd, like the song about balling the jack.
   1317. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 28, 2018 at 10:43 PM (#5717568)

Which smart person told you that?
FLTB's picture is in the dictionary next to Dunning-Kruger.
   1318. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 28, 2018 at 10:57 PM (#5717569)
Russian Air Force: 422 modern attack and fighter aircraft

Germany: 219

France: 247

UK: 304

Poland: 98

Italy: 182

These things aren't decided on paper. Current German military readiness is abysmal:
Among the failures: none of Germany’s submarines is operational, only four of its 128 Eurofighter jets are combat-ready and the army is short dozens of tanks and armored vehicles needed for NATO missions. In addition, troops are short on the basics: body armor, night vision gear and cold-weather clothing. The situation is so dire that 19 helicopter pilots from Germany’s Bundeswehr were forced to turn in their flight licenses because of a lack of training time.

Not much better for the French:
French warplanes and helicopters may be battling jihadists in the deserts of Africa and the Middle East, but the French Air Force on the whole is in a disastrous state, with 56 per cent of all its aircraft unfit to fly at any given moment, according to a senior minister.

There are reasons that recent American Presidents of both parties have urged the NATO allies to increase their defense spending. They can barely perform a limited role now, much less deter or defeat a Russian attack in Ukraine, Poland, or the Baltics, on their own. They don't have enough planes, or the ability to operate without regard to Russian air defenses, at that distance. It's even more questionable that they'd have the will to do so. If they did, wouldn't they already be making the modest expenditures necessary to keep their current forces operational?
   1319. tshipman Posted: July 28, 2018 at 11:19 PM (#5717571)
If they did, wouldn't they already be making the modest expenditures necessary to keep their current forces operational?


I assume their tanks are in pristine working condition.
   1320. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 28, 2018 at 11:27 PM (#5717572)
These things aren't decided on paper. Current German military readiness is abysmal:
Among the failures: none of Germany’s submarines is operational, only four of its 128 Eurofighter jets are combat-ready and the army is short dozens of tanks and armored vehicles needed for NATO missions. In addition, troops are short on the basics: body armor, night vision gear and cold-weather clothing. The situation is so dire that 19 helicopter pilots from Germany’s Bundeswehr were forced to turn in their flight licenses because of a lack of training time.

Not much better for the French:
French warplanes and helicopters may be battling jihadists in the deserts of Africa and the Middle East, but the French Air Force on the whole is in a disastrous state, with 56 per cent of all its aircraft unfit to fly at any given moment, according to a senior minister.


Cool stories. How about the Russians?

There are reasons that recent American Presidents of both parties have urged the NATO allies to increase their defense spending. They can barely perform a limited role now, much less deter or defeat a Russian attack in Ukraine, Poland, or the Baltics, on their own.


Russia spends $66 billion on the military. Germany, France, and the UK alone spend $150 billion, but somehow it's Russia with the huge advantage in readiness? The EU outspends Russia by over 3-1. If that sort of spending advantage leaves them woefully underprepared, as you allege, then WTF good would more spending do? Sounds like the problem is not money. Or maybe there's no problem at all.

They don't have enough planes, or the ability to operate without regard to Russian air defenses, at that distance.


In this hypothetical, the Russians are the invaders. It is they, not NATO, who would have to deal with air defenses.


   1321. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 28, 2018 at 11:35 PM (#5717573)
In this hypothetical, the Russians are the invaders. It is they, not NATO, who would have to deal with air defenses.

Not if you're counting on non-US NATO air power alone to win the battle in Eastern & Central Europe, which is the premise others are asserting.
   1322. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 28, 2018 at 11:38 PM (#5717575)
I did not change my argument. I continue to state, and to stand by, and to maintain, my statement that just informing the FBI would be allowing a foreign government to influence the election. As obviously it would be.

Oh okay. Your argument is just stupid, but you're clinging tenaciously to it until you inevitably deny you said it.

Great. I'm done here.


"Someone doesn't subscribe to the same TDS-addled thought processes that I do. Great. I'm done here."

I mean, sure, if that's the way you want it.

The hypothetical is:
1. The Russian government comes to Candidate Hillary and says we have evidence that Candidate Trump sexually assaulted 12 women, let us show it to you.
2. Hillary tells the FBI.
3. The FBI investigates, looks at the evidence the Russians have, and verifies the claim.
4. Candidate Trump is charged with sexual assault.

This is a good and just outcome. But anyone who claims that Hillary did not allow an enemy foreign government to influence the election is dealing you the cards from the bottom of the deck. They're not playing it straight with you.

And therefore the principle that it's horrible for campaigns to allow foreign governments to influence our election has been shown to be intellectually bankrupt.
   1323. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 28, 2018 at 11:40 PM (#5717576)
Not if you're counting on non-US NATO air power alone to win the battle in Eastern & Central Europe, which is the premise others are asserting.


If Germany, with a $47 billion budget can field no tanks and only 4 combat aircraft, HTF is Russia supposed to field 20,000 tanks in addition to air cover? Either money matters, or the paper numbers matter. You can't pick and choose depending on what suits your argument. Or are you asserting that the Russians are more efficient than the Germans?
   1324. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 28, 2018 at 11:51 PM (#5717577)
I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?).

Trump's latest diversionary tactic should really throw sand into the special counsel's gears. Robert Mueller probably doesn't even remember the time he convicted John Gotti with testimony from a mobster who cut a federal deal. But Sammy Gravano was only a vicious murderer, whereas Michael Cohen is involved with taxi cabs maybe.


What fictitious trial are you speaking of, Gonfalon? You don't know what you're talking about. It's not a crime for Trump to lie to the public about whether he knew about a meeting.

In any event Trump couldn't win a credibility battle with most people. Cohen is not one of those people. In this imaginary trial you foresee taking place (because you totally are not suffering from TDS), where Mueller charges Trump with the non-crime of lying to the public about some meeting, no jury would convict Trump based on Cohen's word. There would have to be corroborating evidence.

It is impossible to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt based on the word of Michael Cohen.
   1325. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 28, 2018 at 11:57 PM (#5717578)
I did not change my argument. I continue to state, and to stand by, and to maintain, my statement that just informing the FBI would be allowing a foreign government to influence the election. As obviously it would be.


More nihilism. Boiled down to it's essence, this is no different than the infamous Bobby Knight quote "I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it."


Didn't you just say you had me on ignore?
   1326. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 29, 2018 at 12:06 AM (#5717579)
Let's not be silly here. Russia has demostrated the ability to operate militarily on its borders; non-US NATO hasn't demonstrated the ability or will to successfully oppose those operations. It's seems absurd to suggest that countries that are unwilling to meaningfully increase their defense spending, despite pressure by U.S. Presidents of both parties, will suddenly be willing to take on the burden of opposing Russia on their own, even as they elect to funnel billions to Russia to meet their energy needs.

It has become apparent that the default European response to polite requests to increase their NATO defense spending is an equally polite response committing to meeting some vague goal years down the road if circumstances permit, which they have no actual intention of doing if there is any political cost, which there always is. So Trump is being more assertive, playing hardball to the point of suggesting that U.S. support for NATO may actually be dependent on mutual levels of support for the alliance. It remains to be seen if this approach will be any more successful than previous efforts, but those suggesting that Europe doesn't need the U.S. to defend itself from the Russians are ignoring reality.
   1327. zenbitz Posted: July 29, 2018 at 12:25 AM (#5717582)
France is a nuclear power with hundreds of warheads on submarines.
   1328. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 12:46 AM (#5717584)
Those cheese-eating surrender monkeys? hAW HAW HAW!
   1329. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 03:45 AM (#5717595)

If Germany, with a $47 billion budget can field no tanks and only 4 combat aircraft, HTF is Russia supposed to field 20,000 tanks in addition to air cover? Either money matters, or the paper numbers matter.
I don't understand your point; those are the same thing, not either or.
You can't pick and choose depending on what suits your argument. Or are you asserting that the Russians are more efficient than the Germans?
The Russians care more about military readiness than the Germans.
   1330. Greg K Posted: July 29, 2018 at 07:21 AM (#5717599)
It has become apparent that the default European response to polite requests to increase their NATO defense spending is an equally polite response committing to meeting some vague goal years down the road if circumstances permit, which they have no actual intention of doing if there is any political cost, which there always is. So Trump is being more assertive, playing hardball to the point of suggesting that U.S. support for NATO may actually be dependent on mutual levels of support for the alliance. It remains to be seen if this approach will be any more successful than previous efforts, but those suggesting that Europe doesn't need the U.S. to defend itself from the Russians are ignoring reality.

I may be wrong, but hasn't European military expenditure been on the rise before the Trump administration came into office? I don't doubt that Trump has helped convince European nations that they're going to have to take on a greater burden of defence themselves, but I think this might be over-stating the US influence on European policy. Without having the numbers in front of me I would guess Russian involvement in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea have been just as important drivers of European military spending (not to mention the recent moves to increase EU military co-ordination).

I think the biggest danger isn't so much that the European nations can't beat Russia, but that the answer to that is unclear. If the US is in the mix there is no question. If it's not, then who knows (which perhaps leads to a guy like Putin gambling).
   1331. Greg K Posted: July 29, 2018 at 07:28 AM (#5717600)
The Russians care more about military readiness than the Germans.

Yeah I would think the Russians have all sorts of advantages. Germany, who would presumably lead a European coalition against them, is perhaps the most unwilling military power in history. In addition, Germany's not exactly leading a coherent block of allies. The more divided the EU is, the easier it is for Putin to dabble in things that fall short of triggering a NATO response in the east. Meanwhile Brexit threatens to push one of the two viable military powers in Europe further away.

It opens up some interesting opportunities for France. If Macron can keep his head above water, and Germany's government continues to struggle at home, France might start to look like more of a leader in Europe (or at the very least a more equal partner with Germany).
   1332. BDC Posted: July 29, 2018 at 08:26 AM (#5717605)
I think that the danger of a Russian (re)-annexation of one or more Baltic States, à la Crimea, is real enough. As often noted, all Putin has to do is to declare that the Russian minority in Latvia, let's say, is being oppressed, and it's the will of the people there to be reunited with the motherland, etc.

Ultimately it's a matter of whether the US sees an independent Latvia as important to its interests. If so, it's pretty easy to protect Latvia. You just talk up NATO, emphasize that any attack on Latvia will be treated like an attack on San Diego, and you cut out the whiny BS about Latvia not spending enough.

But the argument that Latvia is vital to the US, except that we won't defend it unless Belgians and Italians understand its vitalness to us, because so there, is the sort of drunken-uncle-on-barstool spiel we've come to expect from Donald Trump.

It would be easy in some respects for Russia to (re)-conquer Poland, too, just in terms of conventional military operations: though of course the plan for such wars, for a long time now, is not to stop the Russians at the Polish border but to gear up and liberate Poland afterwards. The economic power of NATO would be very difficult for the Russians to cope with in the medium- and long-run, no matter how many tanks they have in working order right now.

And then you also have to ask why the Russians would do such a thing. Ultimately it comes down to the idea that one should never discount the greed and stupidity of Putin types. But the last time that Poland was part of the Russian sphere really didn't work out that great for Russia. We often used to see the Warsaw Pact as lockstep dependencies of the USSR, but it now seems like they were more of a colossal 40-year pain in the ass. I don't want to seem Pollyannish, but isn't the best way to establish peace with Russia actually to trade with them, encourage their investment in Poland, have them build their pipelines, bring them into the European economic sphere? Given that scenario, Putin would have to be damn stupid indeed to send tanks out to seize the pipeline that is bringing in the money to fund the tanks.

I guess it's ultimately a matter of whether you think it's 2018 now (with its own particular dangers), or whether you think the present day is substantially identical to 1956, 1939, or 1914.
   1333. DavidFoss Posted: July 29, 2018 at 08:28 AM (#5717607)
I may be wrong, but hasn't European military expenditure been on the rise before the Trump administration came into office?

Yes. Bush/Obama SecDef Gates was talking about this seven years ago. There was already a timetable for the rest of NATO to contribute more. Trump's tweets have implied an acceleration of that timetable. I am not sure if that is true.
   1334. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5717611)
If Germany, with a $47 billion budget can field no tanks and only 4 combat aircraft, HTF is Russia supposed to field 20,000 tanks in addition to air cover? Either money matters, or the paper numbers matter.

I don't understand your point; those are the same thing, not either or.


Clapper cited Russia's 20,000 tanks and asked what is going to stop them. I cited NATOs vast superiority in attack aircraft. Clapper said you can't just point to total numbers of weapons systems and cited some articles claiming NATOs under preparedness in combat readiness and said that's why they need to spend more. I then cited NATO's vast superiority in military spending. So, if spending = readiness, as Clapper implied, then how come Russia is so more ready while spending less than 1/3 of NATO - the US?? Germany alone spends 2/3 of Russia, and according to Clapper, they have only 4 combat ready aircraft. So if spending is so dispositive, how ready can Russia be? How many of those vaunted 20,000 tanks can actually move?
   1335. Lassus Posted: July 29, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5717612)
But the last time that Poland was part of the Russian sphere really didn't work out that great for Russia.

Greg, even with family and travel, I'm reasonably certain you know more about contemporary Poland than I do; but, I mean, all things being equal and all unanimity being ultimately false, I'm pretty sure Poland would fight to the last human against a Russian invasion and then probably go Masada on whomever was left. Poland is generally not particularly fond of Russia in the way that Millwall is not particularly fond of West Ham United.
   1336. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5717616)
The Russians care more about military readiness than the Germans.


So, then, what is Germany spending that $44 billion defense budget on? If they spent $22 billion more, equalling Russia, would they be as ready as Russia? Would they be close? If not, then what's the point of urging them to spend more?
   1337. Greg K Posted: July 29, 2018 at 10:14 AM (#5717620)
Greg, even with family and travel, I'm reasonably certain you know more about contemporary Poland than I do; but, I mean, all things being equal and all unanimity being ultimately false, I'm pretty sure Poland would fight to the last human against a Russian invasion and then probably go Masada on whomever was left. Poland is generally not particularly fond of Russia in the way that Millwall is not particularly fond of West Ham United.

You're quoting BDC there*. Russia being able to conquer and occupy Poland does seem pretty far-fetched. They certainly wouldn't be getting any "greeted as liberators" bonus points.

*[Edit: Unless, is BDC's Christian name Greg? That simply won't do, we have too many of those already.]

I'm guessing Russia's goals are much less ambitious. Stoke anti-EU sentiment in Poland. For instance, in the next EU budget (I believe 2019?) there is talk of withholding EU payments to Poland (which the eastern members thrive on) until they roll back their judicial and constitutional reforms. You play that up as an invasion of sovereignty, get other eastern nations on board the Poland and Hungary train. Anything that keeps European nations from presenting a united front gives Russia greater flexibility.

It's one of the interesting elements of the eastern expansion of the EU. In the heady days of the 1990s and early 2000s the Western European nations treated expansion as another step in integration - spreading prosperity and democracy for all. But I think many of the eastern European nations took a harder-nosed approach. Definitely with an eye to the economic benefits, but also the geo-political. As you say, a nation like Poland tended to be much warier about the return of an aggressive Russia than Germany or France might have been in the good old days of Yeltsin. EU integration was in part a way to bind Poland and Hungary to Western allies to ensure they didn't get sucked back into the orbit of Russia.

Those eastern countries are kind of getting pulled in both directions now. Russia is as threatening as its been since 1989, and yet populist political movements are just as likely to see the EU as the threat.
   1338. Greg K Posted: July 29, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5717622)
So, then, what is Germany spending that $44 billion defense budget on? If they spent $22 billion more, equalling Russia, would they be as ready as Russia? Would they be close? If not, then what's the point of urging them to spend more?

The Economist harps on this quite a bit. It's not so much the total defence spending of Western European nations, it's that their spending is not terribly efficient since its fragmented into so many different national military systems. I think the EU's estimate is that integrating EU military equipment could save around $30b. In other words, totalling up the military expenditure of EU nations gives you a number that is less than the sum of its parts.

There's also the question of whether spending is geared towards European conflict, or humanitarian interventions (in Africa for instance).

I think there's a case to be made that in a European conflict, Russia might get more bang for its buck in military spending. At least initially.
   1339. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5717623)
The Economist harps on this quite a bit. It's not so much the total defence spending of Western European nations, it's that their spending is not terribly efficient since its fragmented into so many different national military systems. I think the EU's estimate is that integrating EU military equipment could save around $30b. In other words, totalling up the military expenditure of EU nations gives you a number that is less than the sum of its parts.

There's also the question of whether spending is geared towards European conflict, or humanitarian interventions (in Africa for instance).

I think there's a case to be made that in a European conflict, Russia might get more bang for its buck in military spending. At least initially.


Sure, I get that. But it's not that NATO - the US has a small advantage on Russia. they have a huge advantage. More than 3X more. Say they are only 66% as efficient. That advantage drops to 2X more. Which gets me to my point. Apparently it's not a matter of money. Sure, if they spent more, they could get to a real 3X advantage. But it strikes as the bigger problem is the will to confront Putin, and spending the money more wisely. But as usual, Trump misses the nuance and settles for a twitter headline instead, of NATO not paying their dues and ripping us off, and his useful idiots like Clapper lap it up.
   1340. Greg K Posted: July 29, 2018 at 10:34 AM (#5717625)
Sure, I get that. But it's not that NATO - the US has a small advantage on Russia. they have a huge advantage. More than 3X more. Say they are only 66% as efficient. That advantage drops to 2X more. Which gets me to my point. Apparently it's not a matter of money. Sure, if they spent more, they could get to a real 3X advantage. But it strikes as the bigger problem is the will to confront Putin, and spending the money more wisely. But as usual, Trump misses the nuance and settles for a twitter headline instead, of NATO not paying their dues and rising us off, and his useful idiots like Clapper lap it up.

Yeah I'd say following the recent developments in EU military integration is the important stuff to follow, not so much GDP percentages. But drawing distinctions between the French and German models of integration probably isn't conducive to popular politics.
   1341. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5717626)
But drawing distinctions between the French and German models of integration probably isn't conducive to popular politics.


Napoleon once said "I would rather fight allies than have allies."
   1342. BDC Posted: July 29, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5717627)
Unless, is BDC's Christian name Greg? That simply won't do

No. Actually my first name is the same as Lassus', so the various handles really do work to prevent confusion …

   1343. Lassus Posted: July 29, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5717628)
Lies. All lies. BDC's name is not Lucifer Anton ------- . (My mom was going through kind of a phase.)
   1344. Lassus Posted: July 29, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5717630)
@realDonaldTrump

I would be willing to “shut down” government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!

9:13 AM - Jul 29, 2018
   1345. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 11:13 AM (#5717632)
So, then, what is Germany spending that $44 billion defense budget on? If they spent $22 billion more, equalling Russia, would they be as ready as Russia? Would they be close? If not, then what's the point of urging them to spend more?
Well, even if one doesn't spend it efficiently, spending more does make one more ready. But the point -- not Trump's point, because I think he actually thinks that they are supposed to be giving the money to us -- is for them to spend it on the right things, not just to randomly increase their defense budgets.


But you understand that comparing raw dollars spent would be misleading no matter what,, right? The cost of living in Russia is much lower, so you can buy a lot more soldiers for the same $ in Russia than you can in Germany or the US.
   1346. Lassus Posted: July 29, 2018 at 11:13 AM (#5717633)
A haven for white supremacists

The younger Burnside said he joined NSM four years ago but has long harbored anti-Semitic views and is a practicing Odinist – the pagan religion Odinism is popular among some neo-Nazis. Burnside does not see Trump as a leader of the NSM cause but as a politician who amplified long-standing white-nationalist views at the right time.

“Personally, I don’t know about Trump,” he said. “You won’t necessarily see MAGA hats at an NSM meeting. We’re anti-Semitic. Something’s off about Trump with the Jews. That said, we’re strategically aligned. When Trump says something that aligns with us – close the borders, build the wall, look after your own – that’s good: We’ve been saying this for 25 years, but he has made it mainstream.”

“We’re still a white nation, and I respect that he supports that,’ Burnside added. “He’s also highlighted social problems. The kids who go to bed hungry, people who can’t pay their bills, the damage being done to society.”
Bolded for Jason and Clapper.

William Fish, a 72-year old carpenter, recalled as a child accompanying his mother as she delivered blankets and shoes to the shacks where black field workers lived.

“We’re not a racist town, but there are people who will turn a blind eye when they see racism happening. That’s why we have this history,” he said. "I think it has got worse since Trump, I honestly do. I also think our young people do not today share the same rotten values as older people.”

Belinda Empson, 59, said it pained her that veterans in the Memorial Day parade had to march past Nazi signs.

“My grandson is 8 years old and he’s already asking about the Nazi flags,” said Empson, a retired waitress. “And I don’t want to explain to my grandson what it means, what they’re about. We should have settled this stuff years ago.”

Empson said Ulysses had been divided since Trump’s victory: “I think Trump has opened the gate and said, ‘It’s OK.’ It was not a license, but a subtle, ‘It’s OK.’ I think we are seeing that now.”

“It bothers me,” she added, “because we have good people in this town.”
For SBB. More derangement and decline, I suppose.
   1347. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5717643)
This whole "Ohhh, Russia is scary!" thing is so very dumb. Russia might be "more ready", but so what?

Can one of the Russia = Tiger morons lay out a scenario where Russia militarily endangers NATO, even if the US sits and plays with itself in a corner the whole time? Honestly so very dumb. You can even feel free to ignore nuclear capability, even though clearly that is the very first line of defense against any kind of wide spread war in Europe.

Russia is a danger to the Baltic states if the US and NATO do nothing and probably Ukraine, but that is about it. Russia is not a military threat to Germany, which is exactly why Germany doesn't care that much about immediate military readiness. Absent nuclear war any kind of widespread European war would be slow and drawn out and the massively greater economic and military might of NATO would grind Russia into dust and both sides know it. EVERYONE knows it.

Even JE admitted it when this came up before, and so he would always resort to a Little Green Men tale where evil Russia annexes tiny countries or bits of them while NATO gives up. And that is the only chance Russia has, if NATO just gives up and decides it is not worth fighting Russia for whatever the Russian target is.

And that is why Trump is such a threat. The military spending stuff is meaningless, it is NATO solidarity and willingness to defend all of NATO that is important here and the US has a strong place in that and it is that solidarity that Putin and Trump together (whether on purpose or not) have been working to defeat. That is the danger Trump represents and that is why people know Trump is in effect Putin's dupe in this situation. And no number of toothless sanctions or random small bands of Russian mercenaries comes close to making up for that threat.
   1348. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5717647)

Russia is a danger to the Baltic states if the US and NATO do nothing and probably Ukraine, but that is about it. Russia is not a military threat to Germany, which is exactly why Germany doesn't care that much about immediate military readiness. Absent nuclear war any kind of widespread European war would be slow and drawn out and the massively greater economic and military might of NATO would grind Russia into dust and both sides know it. EVERYONE knows it.
The hypothetical we're positing is an Americaless NATO. And, no, "everyone" does not know what you claim in that context. In fact, you're completely wrong.
   1349. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5717650)
The hypothetical we're positing is an Americaless NATO. And, no, "everyone" does not know what you claim in that context. In fact, you're completely wrong.


Pbbbt. Like I said an Americanless NATO would utterly destroy Russia in a drawn out full on conventional war. And yes everyone with a drop of sense knows that. Have a look at the relative economies, military spending, population and everything else. The USSR at the height of its power struggled with freaking Afghanistan and you have visions of it (well less than it, Russia) challenging the rest of Europe? That is lunacy dude. Stick to the law and pedantry.
   1350. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5717651)
But hey military expert David, why don't you lay out the scenario where Russia challenges a NATO sans the US? Go for it, give us the plausible scenario. What happens first?
   1351. jmp Posted: July 29, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5717652)
What happens first


Go after power plants?
   1352. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5717654)
Go after power plants?


Maybe. Even if Russia somehow conquered Europe (hard to believe) and the US stayed out of it (Ummm, yeah, sure) what on Earth would Russia do with it? The USSR could barely hold Afghanistan; similarly the US in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan in the face of determined resistance; and those countries are tiny compared to what some here have Russia attacking. Russia in recent years has fought in Georgia, Chechnya, and Ukraine and had mixed successes beating up on a vastly smaller military backed by low grade economies and crappy political leadership - and those places are adjacent to Russia and former vassals with large ethnic Russia populations that could be friendly.

Europe is none of that. NATO would crush Russia and even if miraculously it failed to do so Russia would gain nothing but sorrow after the "successful" invasion. Russia is a global nuclear power and a regional military power, where the region is former USSR republics and vassal states like Syria. It is not more than that and pretending otherwise is extremely silly.

Russia knows all this and so does NATO. Which is why readiness is not something most NATO countries are all that frantic about. Especially since it would take immense amounts of time for Russia to mobilize for such a European military adventure, especially getting the supply train for those far flung forces ready to go. Back in the cold war the USSR was all tooth and no tail, while NATO in theater was the reverse, even if all of the "tooth" of Russia could be deployed effectively against NATO and had initial successes troops still need to eat, guns need ammo, and vehicles need fuel. But sure let's just count tanks and pretend that is all that matters. Sheesh.
   1353. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5717658)
But sure let's just count tanks and pretend that is all that matters. Sheesh.


Clapper cited tanks. I cited airplanes. THEN Clapper brought up details, like readiness, but only on the NATO side. Russia apparently has 20,000 tanks ready to move, because that's what Wikipedia cites as the total number in their inventory. But Germany has only 4 attack aircraft ready to go, despite Wikipedia saying they have 219 in their inventory.
   1354. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5717661)
Clapper cited tanks. I cited airplanes.


I wasn't making fun of you at all. I mean seriously has Clapper or David looked at a map of Europe? Do they think Russia is going to teleport all those tanks into Germany? The Baltics and Poland (to pick one route) are between Russia and Germany, even if each and every one of those tanks is ready to go.

Germany doesn't need to be ready at a moments notice. NATO as a whole needs to have token forces ready, to slow down Russia and give them enough time (while Russia is churning through small nations) to be ready for when Russia finally arrives. And then the asswhupping starts (assuming Russia made it that far).

Scenarios where NATO gives up the Baltic nations to Russia are MUCH more plausible, and is much more dangerous to NATO. It also happens to be exactly the sort of thing Trump seems to be trying to enable with all his nonsense. So the idea Trump is working against Russian goals is as wrong headed as it is possible to be.
   1355. Greg K Posted: July 29, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5717663)
I don't think the danger is of a long drawn out war (or at least, that's not a particularly likely danger). The danger is in hybrid warfare, or the grey-zone, or whatever buzzword security theorists are using this week. The kind of aggression that falls short of open warfare (mostly because the aggressor knows it would lose an all-out war).

I think the real danger (if there is any) comes from nations hedging. Which I think you see a lot more in South East Asia than Eastern Europe at this point (likely because NATO is lot sturdier than whatever backing the US promises Vietnam or the Philippines). If you're a small nation that's not sure how all the major actors are going to act, you start trying to protect yourself on both sides. I don't think anyone doubts that if Russia and Europe were to replay WW2 (even without the US) that Russia would not be winning. But the more relevant question for individual nations is "will Europe/US fight a general war for me?" I think a lot of nations in southeast Asia seem to be worried that the answer is "no". And while NATO seems sturdy right now, I think the concern is for the future. If the US isn't willing to step in for Latvia, will Europe do it on its own? European leaders may look at their relative military power with Russia and determine, "yeah, we can take them...but should we?"
   1356. Greg K Posted: July 29, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5717664)
Sorry, just to add:

All of that is to say that there are two levels. The first level of the Latvia, or Estonia and how sure they are of NATO back-up. At the moment, I imagine things are pretty squirrely, but if something were to happen today I bet they're confident they'd have NATO backing.

The second level is the medium-term, for Europe as a whole. Are they confident that in 10-20 years time the US is still going to be fully committed to NATO? If not, are they confident that they have the political will and overwhelming force to fulfil NATO obligations without the US? I think they are starting to prepare for that day, because it's not entirely clear right now what the answer to that question is. And it's the uncertainty that's the big problem. Putin incorrectly thinking he can intimidate the European powers into backing down is in some ways a more frightening scenario than him being right about it.

In other words, uncertainty is bad. And a build up of European military power (and just as importantly, EU military integration) is worthwhile insurance against America's increasingly uncertain role in Europe. Trump didn't invent the US shift away from Europe after all. This is a long-running issue that won't go away even if Trump is impeached this afternoon.
   1357. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5717665)
If the US isn't willing to step in for Latvia, will Europe do it on its own? European leaders may look at their relative military power with Russia and determine, "yeah, we can take them...but should we?"


Exactly. And who is encouraging that? Hmmm?

Trump says defending tiny NATO ally Montenegro could result in World War III

Trump answered: "I understand what you're saying. I've asked the same question. Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people. … They're very aggressive people. They may get aggressive, and, congratulations, you're in World War III."


And there are plenty of other related nonsense about NATO from him. The idea that Trump is strengthening NATO against Russia, because he is whining constantly about NATO upping its budgets is exactly backward and wrong.
   1358. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5717666)
In other words, uncertainty is bad. And a build up of European military power (and just as importantly, EU military integration) is worthwhile insurance against America's increasingly uncertain role in Europe. Trump didn't invent the US shift away from Europe after all. This is a long-running issue that won't go away even if Trump is impeached this afternoon.


I think there are two different conversations that can be had here - Trump, NATO and Russia short term, and the long term future of the US and NATO. Right now I am talking about the short term impact of Trump on the strength of NATO, and that has been sharply negative, because he is dividing NATO and reducing confidence in how the US would react (which is way more important than any tiny increase in military budgets he might plausibly claim to have increased by his actions).

The medium and long term consequences from Trump and that existed before Trump is a very different conversation and IMO much more complex, uncertain and nuanced.
   1359. Greg K Posted: July 29, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5717667)
I think there are two different conversations that can be had here - Trump, NATO and Russia short term, and the long term future of the US and NATO. Right now I am talking about the short term impact of Trump on the strength of NATO, and that has been sharply negative, because he is dividing NATO and reducing confidence in how the US would react (which is way more important than any tiny increase in military budgets he might plausibly claim to have increased by his actions).

Yeah I'd say that Trump didn't invent the future uncertainty about NATO's role in the world. But he seems to be going about addressing the problem in such a way that exacerbates things.
   1360. Morty Causa Posted: July 29, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5717673)
1352

I don't have occasion to go along with Mellow Mouse often, much less applaud his analysis, but I do here for the most part.

With some qualification and qualms, however. It's true that the European countries are better armed overall and have richer economies to support a drawn-out military conflict, and in the long haul should prevail over Russia in a protracted conflict. But, they are also fragmented and without the US they may be directionless. They don't even seem to have a taste for playing diplomatic hardball (except for Britain sometimes). Remember the fall of France within a few weeks, followed by Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. That, too, was not supposed to happen.

We have seen that scenario and mindset with untoward consequences before. More than once. It's not enough just to win in theory. The adversary who can act swiftly and concertedly and unexpectedly can reek havoc and even prevail, at least in the short term. He who can deliver a sucker punch often sees it result in a coup de grâce.

Also, all analysis assumes everyone will act rationally. But, this amounts sometimes to a mere presumption, especially as to autocrats. (Again, recent history is replete with examples.) It only takes one crazy who doesn't give a #### deciding to roll the dice to create chaos. And who knows what follows chaos.
   1361. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 29, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5717680)
Twittermonster Joy Reid and guests:

REID: "Michael Cohen seems to be involved in everything in Trump world. Cutting him off, as a layperson, doesn't seem smart." Joy Reid said to Jennifer Rubin.

JENNIFER RUBIN (WASHINGTON POST): "We also forget, because there are so many facts, we forget the bad facts from a month ago or two months ago. He was involved during the campaign on the Moscow/Trump Tower escapade with Felix Sater."

REID: "And involved in the Ukraine peace deal?"

RUBIN: "Yeah. It's hard to think of something Donald Trump was doing that Michael Cohen was not involved in. And I think they've made a decision, if you can think of it as a rational decision, which is, 'He knows so much, we just have to ruin the guy. We have to make him seem like a complete liar.' That's short-sighted thinking, because there are going to be corroborating witnesses for what Michael Cohen is saying."

REID: "And he tapes people."

RUBIN: "Right. You won't tape -- he has 100 tapes, we learned. There are other people in these meetings. These people have left a trail of evidence a mile wide. The attack on him comes from their political philosophy: we're just going to ruin the people attacking us. It doesn't work in the legal realm because there are facts that matter, and evidence that matters, and there's a whole realm of documentary evidence that will support them. So, yeah it's stupid, but understand why they do that. They always operate this way."

[FORMER W.H./STATE DEPT ADVISOR] NAYVERA HAQ: "It's also, they're not winning in the court of public opinion anymore either. They expected that that would maybe supersede and prevail, get them through the next election, but we're seeing his polling numbers drop among the people who helped him get elected. There's a very small, narrowing hard base that will be there."
   1362. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: July 29, 2018 at 03:39 PM (#5717683)
"That's all wishful thinking" say the Dancing Monkeys.
   1363. Greg K Posted: July 29, 2018 at 03:51 PM (#5717687)
I just finished "Slow Burn" a podcast on Watergate. It was relatively informative for someone like me, whose understanding of Watergate comes mostly from Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. But there was a persistent sub-text of linking Trump and Nixon. I instinctual recoiled from the connection, but it must have wormed its way into my head because I keep being reminded of 1974. #1361 is a good example.

EDIT: I think the problem I have is that many of the strategies that the Nixon and Trump camps have in common in battling against scandal are effective whether you're covering something up or not. In other words, sharing a common strategy does not necessarily mean sharing common guilt.
   1364. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 29, 2018 at 03:52 PM (#5717688)
An actual Rudy Giuliani tweet from this morning:
You


It did not go unnoticed.

YTwitic:
Even this is a lie.


Willie Geist:
.... you got what I neee-eeeed!
   1365. BDC Posted: July 29, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5717691)
You


… complete me?
   1366. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 29, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5717693)
More Giuliani "You" tweetplies:


Julie DeCaro:
are so beautiful
to me

Dave Itskoff:
Fredo, I know it was

Faux Pelini:
can’t judge a book by its covfefe

Molly Jong-Fast:
....are not a very good lawyer.

Smith:
... know he's guilty.

David Hogg:
Trump: "Who's going to be indicted next?"

Postimus Maximus:
Uh oh Mueller got him before he could finish his tweet.

Sarah Cooper:
Why doesn't CNN throw this tweet up on the big board and analyze it for 3 hours

Ed Balls:
Rudy Giuliani

Then there's this visual response from The Faolín on the Hill.
   1367. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5717696)
Twittermonster Joy Reid and guests:

REID: "Michael Cohen seems to be involved in everything in Trump world. Cutting him off, as a layperson, doesn't seem smart." Joy Reid said to Jennifer Rubin.


As opposed to continuing to associate with the target of a federal investigation who may well end up as a witness against Trump?

RUBIN: "Yeah. It's hard to think of something Donald Trump was doing that Michael Cohen was not involved in. And I think they've made a decision, if you can think of it as a rational decision, which is, 'He knows so much, we just have to ruin the guy. We have to make him seem like a complete liar.' That's short-sighted thinking, because there are going to be corroborating witnesses for what Michael Cohen is saying."


Michael Cohen _does_ seem like a complete liar. One doesn't have to work to "make him seem" like that.

At any rate I've seen no "ruining" of the guy. The lying liar Rudy Giuliani called the lying liar Michael Cohen a lying liar. Big whoop. And you can't ruin a guy who has already ruined himself.

   1368. Omineca Greg Posted: July 29, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5717699)
You

...come on like a dream, peaches and cream, lips like strawberry wine. You're sixteen, you're beautiful, and you're mine.

Oh.....Rudy Giuliani...I thought you said Roy Moore...
   1369. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5717705)
LOL. You mean like the Clinton campaign did? I mean, pay no heed to the fact that the Clinton campaign agent


Fake lawyer doesn't know the difference between an agent and independent contractor. Film at 11.

Utterly meaningless distinction in this context. Completely and totally. Might fool some people, who knows? Smart people know better.


David has crafted the defense for Hillary that she didn't know what Steele was doing -- and perhaps even didn't know that Steele had been hired -- and since Steele was an independent contractor not an agent, Hillary isn't liable for what Steele did.

First, by the very argument David is conceding that what Steele did was bad. (David really should pick a lane.) Thus the only way Hillary is absolved of dirty hands in what Steele did is if she had no knowledge of it.

This defense for Hillary presumes that Hillary had no knowledge or control over major bad actions that her campaign was involved in. That would be an argument that Hillary is an ineffective and incompetent leader, a dunce who was taken advantage of by her subordinates or agents (or independent contractors!) who didn't care whether they took bad actions that made her campaign look bad -- or, alternatively, a person whose subordinates or agents or independent contractors knew wouldn't care about bad actions they took on behalf of her campaign.

Note also:

1. David is making a defense for Hillary that Hillary herself has not made. To my knowledge Hillary has only made one comment on this entire issue; I forget the exact comment but it suggested she did have knowledge. Maybe Baravelli can find her comment. She certainly didn't deny having knowledge.

2. We might ask ourselves WHY we don't have Hillary's comments on this. To my knowledge the white knights in the media haven't so much as ASKED the questions of her. "Did you know that Steele had been hired?" "Did you know that Steele was getting information from the Russians?" "Did you know that that information was being peddled to the media and to the FBI?" We might ask why the media hasn't been interested in asking Hillary these questions. Again, by the very argument David is putting forth -- independent contractor vs. agent -- if Hillary had knowledge or control over what was happening then Hillary has done something bad. Thus the questions are relevant.

Certainly what Steele was doing was within the scope of what he was hired to do. It's not like he took the money and used it to fund a heroin factory that was irrelevant to the campaign; he took the money and used it to do actions on behalf of the campaign. Thus it's not entirely clear why the agent vs independent contractor issue is relevant. What seems more relevant to Hillary's culpability or lack thereof is what Hillary knew about what Steele was doing and what control she had over it, now that David has implicitly conceded that what Steele did was bad by arguing that Hillary's defense is that she had no knowledge or control over it. And if she had knowledge or control then either Steele was an agent or if he was still an independent contractor then that distinction has no relevance to the issue at hand.

3. If we're investigating Russian interference in the election then Hillary and her campaign should be put under oath along with Steele -- as the government has put some of the Trump campaign under oath and seeks to put Trump under penalty of perjury -- to learn what everyone knew about what Steele was doing and who was directing hin. If we're interested in Russian interference in the election.

Troll pretends not to know the difference between the Russian government and someone from Russia.


This continues to be dishonest:

Senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure (Source A).

Former top level Russian intel officer still active inside the Kremlin (Source B), via trusted compatriot.

That's according to Steele himself, as set forth in the dossier.

How David can continue to just blatantly lie about the sourcing of the dossier and nobody here calls him out on it is an exercise left for the reader. Do the lemmings on this board even understand that David is manipulating them? At this point I have to conclude they do not.
   1370. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:20 PM (#5717707)
First, by the very argument David is conceding that what Steele did was bad.


That's a pretty big assumption, considering you don't let ANYONE else make similar assumptions of actions from the Trump side of things.
When it is pointed out that Trump lied (repeatedly) about not knowing about the Trump Tower meeting, you fight against the assumption that he lied about the meeting because it was part of the collusion with the Russians.
   1371. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5717709)
When it is pointed out that Trump lied (repeatedly) about not knowing about the Trump Tower meeting, you fight against the assumption that he lied about the meeting because it was part of the collusion with the Russians.


You contradict yourself in this single sentence. You first say that Trump lied - repeatedly. You then say it's an assumption that he lied.

I, meanwhile, have taken no position on whether Trump lied. I haven't the foggiest clue whether he lied. He's a liar, but so is Cohen, so without corroborating evidence one way or the other I can't conclude who to believe. (Presuming it's a fact that Cohen is saying Trump knew about the meeting.) Meanwhile I understand Trump Jr. testified under oath that Trump Sr. did not know about the meeting. That would seem to tilt the inquiry in Trump Sr.'s favor.

What I've said -- I'm sure Baravelli can find it -- is that even if Trump is lying about not knowing about the nothingburger meeting that's not a crime, nor is Trump having knowledge about the nothingburger meeting. I've also said that I don't care if Trump is lying about a nothingburger meeting.

But nice job Whatabouting here, RTG.
   1372. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:29 PM (#5717711)
Donald Trump: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."

Ray: "Maybe Baravelli can find her comment."
   1373. Swoboda is freedom Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5717712)
A friend of mine is in Army intelligence(Just retired after 30 years as a colonel) He was part of the team that analyzed the performance of the Russians that took Crimea. He was very impressed with the operation. They were good troops and well trained. But he said, this was 50,000 of the best they had, practically all special forces. He said they might have 200,000 troops max (out of the million in the military) who could stack up to US standards. He does say that they have gotten a lot more experienced lately as they have rotated troops through Syria and Ukraine for live fire training.

The most likely scenario is trying them trying to take back Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania. It would start with a Russian backed "save the poor Russian oppressed minority" in the region.

Does Russian have any chance of successfully taking over Poland or Germany? No. But Germany and the rest of the EU/NATO without the US has almost no ability to project power into the Baltic States.
   1374. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:41 PM (#5717719)
First, by the very argument David is conceding that what Steele did was bad.
Ray isn't a litigator. Therefore, he does not understand that arguing that one element of a cause of action is not satisfied does not mean that one is "conceding" that other elements have been. Sorry, Ray, but no. That's neither the way the law works nor the way logic works.

This defense for Hillary presumes that Hillary had no knowledge or control over major bad actions that her campaign was involved in.
Setting aside your mistake about my "concession," you've tried this pathetic argument before; it fares no better when you repeat it. The whole point of "this defense" is that her campaign wasn't involved in them.

We might ask ourselves WHY we don't have Hillary's comments on this. To my knowledge the white knights in the media haven't so much as ASKED the questions of her.
For the same reason they didn't ask Ted Cruz if his dad assassinated JFK: no sane person actually thinks this is an issue in the first place. Everyone else isn't driving the wrong way on the interstate; just you are.
   1375. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:46 PM (#5717721)

This continues to be dishonest:

Senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure (Source A).

Former top level Russian intel officer still active inside the Kremlin (Source B), via trusted compatriot.

That's according to Steele himself, as set forth in the dossier.
Finally you admit it, but really you should preface all your comments on the topics of Trump or Hillary with "This continues to be dishonest."

As I have repeatedly explained, the fact that someone may be a government employee does not mean that they're trying to advance the government's agenda when they leak information. The Washington Post and NYT and CNN all routinely report ("fakenews") about how various people in the administration say Trump is retarded and incompetent. Those people are "Senior Foreign Ministry figures" (Rex Tillerson was one of the people quoted as saying this) or the like. They are not speaking for Trump when they say these things.
   1376. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:46 PM (#5717722)
First, by the very argument David is conceding that what Steele did was bad.

Ray isn't a litigator. Therefore, he does not understand that arguing that one element of a cause of action is not satisfied does not mean that one is "conceding" that other elements have been. Sorry, Ray, but no. That's neither the way the law works nor the way logic works.


Which means that the entire "agent vs independent contractor" thing is utterly irrelevant to this issue, as SBB said.
   1377. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:48 PM (#5717724)
For the same reason they didn't ask Ted Cruz if his dad assassinated JFK: no sane person actually thinks this is an issue in the first place. Everyone else isn't driving the wrong way on the interstate; just you are.


Another lie? Most people on the right -- who see that double standards are at play by the TDSers -- think this is an issue. That's tens of millions of people, perhaps around 63 million people. It's far from just me.
   1378. BrianBrianson Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5717725)
Yeah, Russia has really excellent special forces ... though the rest of their army is usually too busy begging for cabbage leaves in the street to do adequate training.

With Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the EU, the EU powers would be very motivated to mount a defence. If you were in NATO but not the EU, I'd be more worried. (But, does America really watch as Russia invades Canada?). The idea that the EU, which is continuous with and integrated with the Baltics, can't project force there is nuts. France dicks around all across Africa whenever the mood strikes them. Yeah, if the Germany army is reduced to walking, well, it's about a week's march from Berlin to Vilnius.

The Crimea takeover relied on the Ukraine being unable to project police power internally because it was in revolution. That's a real hard game to play in Estonia - it works in Georgia or the Ukraine because they're not in the EU. If the Baltic states weren't in the EU & NATO, they'd be where Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova are today.
   1379. Srul Itza At Home Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:50 PM (#5717727)
The USSR at the height of its power struggled with freaking Afghanistan


Russia itself had trouble with CHECHNYA, and took years to pacify it.

And both examples may be wholly irrelevant, because Russia has been working hard to reform its military, and gaining experience in Syria and Ukraine.

However, people often do not understand Ukraine. Russia did not roll in and conquer Eastern Ukraine against the will of its people. The people in that part of the country welcomed them, because Ukraine is a crappy nation, badly run; they identify more with Russia; and they hate Kiev.

The Baltics are not crappy, badly run nations. The people there are much better off financially and personally than the Russians, and far better off than the Ukrainians. Russia would not be welcome there, the way they are welcome in eastern Ukraine and South Ossetia and other such places.
   1380. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:50 PM (#5717728)
Someone tell the Omega Dancing Monkey that a lot of stupid people voted for Trump.
   1381. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:51 PM (#5717730)
As I have repeatedly explained, the fact that someone may be a government employee does not mean that they're trying to advance the government's agenda when they leak information.


You're trying to take it as a given that they're NOT advancing the Russian government's agenda when they leak to Steele. You haven't the foggiest clue about that. Nor to my knowledge does the dossier say that. Instead the dossier characterizes them as I quoted in 1369. You're just making it up.
   1382. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5717733)
As always I am amused at the efforts Ray and others go to present Trump as innocent and Hillary as the real guilty party. No one here is pulling for Hillary or cares about her innocence one way or another. If an investigation(the five thousand and first such investigation) finds her guilty of something then great, prosecute away. However, her guilt or innocence says nothing about the guilt or innocence of Trump.

So talking about Hillary, as Ray and stretchy so often do, is meaningless noise.

The Mueller investigation will discover evidence of wrong doing or it will not. Until then Trump is legally presumed innocent, but the rest of us can drawn inferences and man if he is innocent then he is doing an amazing multiyear impression of the most guilty person in the world, complete with tons of circumstantial and hearsay evidence of his guilt. But it cold be, I guess.
   1383. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5717734)
Ray's frenzied post barrage is totally working. I've completely forgotten about his year of lies, slander, amoral virtue signaling and cockholster cowardice.

Maybe Baravelli can unearth Baravelli's post from last week.
   1384. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:58 PM (#5717735)
By the way, to re-quote what you said:

"Troll pretends not to know the difference between the Russian government and someone from Russia."

That is simply dishonest. "Someone from Russia." No, as described by Steele they are far closer to "the Russian government" than "someone from Russia":

Senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure (Source A).

Former top level Russian intel officer still active inside the Kremlin (Source B), via trusted compatriot.


SBB was correct. And you're misleading the lemmings on this board who are incapable of understanding anything other than "Trump bad."
   1385. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:59 PM (#5717737)
Oh.....Rudy Giuliani...I thought you said Roy Moore..


You rat soup eating ############!

Oh, I thought you said Rudy Ray Moore.
   1386. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:59 PM (#5717738)
1382. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5717733)
As always I am amused at the efforts Ray and others go to present Trump as innocent and Hillary as the real guilty party.


Speaking of.
   1387. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 29, 2018 at 06:00 PM (#5717739)
Ray to David N, #1384:
You're misleading the lemmings on this board who are incapable of understanding anything other than "Trump bad."


Don't be jealous of David's cult leader abilities, Ray. You're unifying the board in your own special way.
   1388. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 06:06 PM (#5717742)
When it is pointed out that Trump lied (repeatedly) about not knowing about the Trump Tower meeting, you fight against the assumption that he lied about the meeting because it was part of the collusion with the Russians.

You contradict yourself in this single sentence. You first say that Trump lied - repeatedly. You then say it's an assumption that he lied.


Some of the best low-key comedy on this forum is the ridiculous spectacle of our own Little Lord Fauntleray completely unable to parse English despite his purported years of honing this sort of skill in law school.
   1389. tshipman Posted: July 29, 2018 at 06:09 PM (#5717744)
You're trying to take it as a given that they're NOT advancing the Russian government's agenda when they leak to Steele.


No, not at all.

This is where you keep getting confused, so I'm going to speak in small words.

To collude, you have to both want the other country to help you, and you have to know that they know that.

If these Russian officials don't represent themselves as doing the Russian government's bidding (or heavily imply it), collusion is impossible. Now, the Clinton campaign could have been *mislead* by a leak campaign, but they did not collude.

***

Again, would just like to remind everyone that this whole conversation is pointless and Ray is arguing from a place of deep, deep dishonesty.
   1390. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 29, 2018 at 06:23 PM (#5717746)
Twittermonster Joy Reid and guests:

I suppose if Trump has lost Joy Reid he must be doomed.
   1391. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: July 29, 2018 at 06:26 PM (#5717749)
I suppose if Trump has lost Joy Reid he must be doomed.


No, but you're gonna find out why he's doomed, though, soon enough, Monkey.
   1392. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 06:37 PM (#5717751)
though the rest of their army is usually too busy begging for cabbage leaves in the street to do adequate training.


Yeah but think of the cost of living savings!
   1393. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 06:53 PM (#5717759)
First, by the very argument David is conceding that what Steele did was bad.

Ray isn't a litigator. Therefore, he does not understand that arguing that one element of a cause of action is not satisfied does not mean that one is "conceding" that other elements have been. Sorry, Ray, but no. That's neither the way the law works nor the way logic works.
Which means that the entire "agent vs independent contractor" thing is utterly irrelevant to this issue, as SBB said.
Nope. FLTB is not only not a litigator, but is a troll; you shouldn't rely on him.

An employee of mine is involved in a car accident and someone else is killed; that person's family tries to hold me liable as the employer. There are two defenses readily available: (1) he wasn't actually acting in the scope of his employment when he was driving, so I am not liable for his acts; (2) he wasn't negligent in his driving, so neither of us are liable. On summary judgment, I argue the first theory: that he wasn't acting in the scope of his employment, so respondeat superior doesn't apply. By doing so I am most certainly not "conceding" that he was negligent. Sure, obviously if he wasn't negligent then it doesn't matter if he was acting in the scope of his employment. By the same token, if he wasn't acting in the scope of his employment then it doesn't matter if he was negligent. Each is an independent reason that I am not liable; therefore, neither one is "irrelevant."
   1394. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 06:56 PM (#5717762)
France dicks around all across Africa whenever the mood strikes them.
Sure. Against Boko Haram or the like, not the Russian army.
   1395. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 07:05 PM (#5717764)
You're trying to take it as a given that they're NOT advancing the Russian government's agenda when they leak to Steele. You haven't the foggiest clue about that. Nor to my knowledge does the dossier say that. Instead the dossier characterizes them as I quoted in 1369.
Right; the dossier felt the need to conceal their identities, something that would be unnecessary if the Russian government wanted this info out. Even more importantly, if Putin wanted to put out this information about Trump, why on earth would he tell people to tell a British business intelligence guy? Why not just send the info to Wikileaks?

EDIT: Also what Shipman said in 1389.
   1396. Srul Itza At Home Posted: July 29, 2018 at 08:51 PM (#5717783)
Sure. Against Boko Haram or the like, not the Russian army.



The issue is not the opponent. The issue is the ability to move troops.

The fact is that all countries have some limitations in that regard.

Russian advances against Europe would require the kinds of movements that would be noticed. Even as against the Baltics.

   1397. Howie Menckel Posted: July 29, 2018 at 08:57 PM (#5717786)

CNN
‏Verified account @CNN
2h2 hours ago

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she hopes to stay on the Supreme Court at least five more years until the age of 90 https://cnn.it/2LRXrAh
   1398. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 29, 2018 at 08:58 PM (#5717788)
Russian advances against Europe would require the kinds of movements that would be noticed. Even as against the Baltics.


Correct, and the hypothetical has Russia invading at least one NATO country, so Russia is at a disadvantage since they are moving their troops through hostile country in order to advance, while NATO moves its troops through allies the whole time (until Russia is crushed that is).

Also, as fractured as NATO might look now, it would take about five minutes after a Russian invasion for all the small countries and anyone in the invasion path to get on board. The rest of NATO would be close behind.
   1399. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 29, 2018 at 09:08 PM (#5717793)
Sure. Against Boko Haram or the like, not the Russian army.

The issue is not the opponent. The issue is the ability to move troops.
No, the issue is the opponent, because that determines what kind and how many troops you need to move. There are only a few thousand French troops hanging around West Africa conducting counterterrorism operations, and not many French tanks.
   1400. zenbitz Posted: July 29, 2018 at 09:30 PM (#5717796)
I just remembered Belarus isn't even still part of Russia. I guess they are pretty Russia friendly (would they remain so if Putin reclaimed the Baltics...)
Page 14 of 15 pages ‹ First  < 12 13 14 15 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Brian
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - A New Season is Upon Baldrick
(857 - 9:44am, Sep 22)
Last: Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB).

NewsblogPadres fire manager Andy Green; communication issues cited
(3 - 9:41am, Sep 22)
Last: Jeff Francoeur's OPS

NewsblogCubs are living to regret Craig Kimbrel's $43 million contract
(6 - 9:37am, Sep 22)
Last: Barry`s_Lazy_Boy

NewsblogHow did World Series champions who missed the subsequent postseason respond the year after?
(3 - 9:19am, Sep 22)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogJoe West ejects Yankees’ Boone amid clash with rookie ump
(2 - 8:41am, Sep 22)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogOT - August/September 2019 College Football thread
(416 - 6:56am, Sep 22)
Last: Weekly Journalist_

Gonfalon CubsApproaching the Finish Line
(83 - 3:40am, Sep 22)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogKC Royals’ Danny Duffy talks bullying, anxiety, depression | The Kansas City Star
(39 - 2:41am, Sep 22)
Last: JAHV

NewsblogWhat’s the best WEIRD baseball video game ever?
(13 - 2:39am, Sep 22)
Last: winnipegwhip

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for the weekend of September 21-22, 2019
(142 - 2:26am, Sep 22)
Last: Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes

NewsblogA’s Jesús Luzardo forced to adapt as a kid. Now his stuff is ‘almost unfair’ - SFChronicle.com
(9 - 11:49pm, Sep 21)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogAubrey Huff, Seth McClung feuding on Twitter
(5 - 11:24pm, Sep 21)
Last: Itchy Row

NewsblogPostgame: Royals' starter ejected, said umpire "was after me personally"
(7 - 10:14pm, Sep 21)
Last: Sweatpants

NewsblogAlonso slugs 50th, now 2 away from Judge's mark
(3 - 9:50pm, Sep 21)
Last: Booey

NewsblogCC Sabathia to Pitch Out of Bullpen for Remainder of 2019 Season
(5 - 7:44pm, Sep 21)
Last: Best Dressed Chicken in Town

Page rendered in 0.9481 seconds
46 querie(s) executed