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The CIA vs. Trump

2017 January 24
tags:
by Ian Welsh

Or, perhaps I should say, the intelligence community vs. Trump.

Let us be clear, the fact that the left is against Trump and that the intelligence community is against Trump should not mean, to anyone with sense, that the CIA, NSA, or any other alphabet soup agency is good, or noble, or our friend.

It just means we have the same enemy.

In World War II, the USSR and the US had the same enemy. After WWII, they almost immediately turned on each other.

If the CIA were to take out Trump, they would immediately go back to attacking left-wingers, as they have for their entire history.

From the POV of the left-wing, the best outcome of the intelligence community/Trump war would be mutual destruction.

And afterwards, salt the goddamn earth. The CIA and NSA are not the friend of any left-wing worth having: They are innately anti-democratic, anti-privacy, and anti-human rights. Secret agencies are anathema to any open government. At an existential level, intelligence agencies are at best a double edged sword, and by their nature, they always wind up serving the interests of the few, against the interests of the people.

The CIA and NSA are a greater long term threat than Trump. Indeed, it is the existence of a turn-key police/surveillance state like them which makes Trump so potentially dangerous. It is a good thing they don’t like him, or he them. But that is not because they believe in “liberty” or “democracy” or “the constitution.” For these agencies to pretend it is so, in the face of their long term actions to subvert all three, is laughable. (The NSA was found out to be spying on its own Congressional oversight committee. It is a rogue organization already.)

By all means, cheer the intelligence community on. But if you’re wise, you’ll be cheering Trump to destroy them at the same time. And you won’t trust either, but especially not the intelligence community, who are likely to be around long after Trump is dead, whether he dies from a convenient sniper on a hill or not.


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77 Responses
  1. January 24, 2017

    Trump is too ignorant and weak to destroy them. He will be working for them soon, if he isn’t already.

    With Mike Pompeo in as CIA Director, Trump has a strong ally in his goal of bringing back torture as a tool of the Deep State. It would not surprise me at all to see torture starting to be used as a tool of domestic law enforcement. After all, if waterboarding isn’t torture, then why not?

    And despite what Obama claims about torture ending, he essentially made it legal by failing to prosecute the torturers and their enablers from the previous administrations. A law is useless and meaningless if it isn’t enforced.

  2. Webstir permalink
    January 24, 2017

    Ian said: “The CIA and NSA are a greater long term threat than Trump. “
    Agreed. However, what is to stop them from becoming doubly so after Trump remakes the IC’s in his own image. My take from this post Ian is that the IC & Trump will forever be opposed to one another. But with new Directors at the top making heads role for anyone who steps out of line, what’s to stop them from resembling Trumps own personal gestapo, more than his bugbear?

  3. Ian Welsh permalink*
    January 24, 2017

    Oh, they could easily make peace or decide to get onside.

    We shall see. I simply am tired of left-wingers cheering on the CIA or, worse, acting as if they are “good guys”. Not a good idea.

  4. Ché Pasa permalink
    January 24, 2017

    The Left does not cheer the security state. The “left” on the other hand is another story.

  5. Webstir permalink
    January 24, 2017

    Yes, and the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” trope hardly applies, when historically, one enemy has eaten your lunch for decades, and the other is a newcomer that prefers McDonalds for lunch rather than your organic tofu and beansprouts salad.

  6. January 24, 2017

    Trump blocks TPP – so he can sell oil to foreign countries. You cannot make this up, and with Trump – you do not need to.

  7. January 24, 2017

    The disconnect around here is that a lot of people here (Ian included, it seems from this series of posts) want the battle lines to be drawn in a particular way, and thought that Trump’s election would actually validate their idea of what the battle lines actually are. And it is increasingly clear that the battle lines aren’t and were never what they thought they were. I can only imagine how frustrating that must be.

  8. markfromireland permalink
    January 24, 2017

    As I’ve remarked here before vast swathes of the American Public Services are out of control.

    Their military is out of control.
    Their Department of Justice and many if not most of its responding agencies are out of control.

    It comes as no surprise the ODNI and its responding agencies are out of control. They slipped the leash long before the military and law enforcement establishments.

    This isn’t even remotely surprising the American “left” or “progressives” or which label of self-description they’re currently applying to themselves turned their backs on participating in
    the military, law enforcement, and national security professions. They stood by and did nothing as those professions shifted evermore to the right and were staffed more and more by political right to extreme-right wingers and religious fundamentalists.

    But then as I keep on remarking the abject refusal of the American “left” to do anything other than engage in protests and actions that are very carefully calculated not to rock the boat isn’t surprising either. It’s not surprising because Americans “leftists” and “progressives” don’t actually have principles, ethics, or even policies, all they have is attitudes. Attitudinising is not the same as political engagement.

  9. January 24, 2017

    This isn’t even remotely surprising the American “left” or “progressives” or which label of self-description they’re currently applying to themselves turned their backs on participating in
    the military, law enforcement, and national security professions. They stood by and did nothing as those professions shifted evermore to the right and were staffed more and more by political right to extreme-right wingers and religious fundamentalists.

    Well it’s kind of hard to join a profession for whose very abolition you’re advocating…

  10. StewartM permalink
    January 24, 2017

    Ian–forgive me for a Hitler analogy, but I can’t help but think of Hitler versus the German Army after he came to power in 1933. The German Army, like the US intelligence agencies, had a long tradition of independence from the nominal civilian government and believing that “we know what’s best” for the country and for foreign policy working independently or even against the policies of that government (I recall that when Carter told our intelligence services to stop sharing data with South African intelligence, they just ignored him and kept doing it anyway).

    The German Army wasn’t enthusiastic about Hitler. But Hitler knew that he needed the Army to put his plans into motion. By a combination of carrot and stick (murdering his own SA rowdies who actually believed Nazi populist rhetoric, like Rohm, and also murdering some conservatives including two generals in the Night of the Long Knives) he was able to do what no leader since Federick the Great had done–subordinate the German military to civilian leadership. Although Hitler did replace its leadership to subordinates more faithful to him, the German Army prospered under his tenure (after all, he was planning to use it for war). Still Hitler never fully trusted the Army.

    Trump is as gung-ho about mass spying and as labeling whistleblowers as “traitors” as Clinton or Obama. He needs the Deep State, and despite the skirmishes now I predict some similar sort of accommodation will get worked out. I wish that this was a “beastie gegen beastie” conflict where both sides destroyed each other but I fear that’s not going to happen. And if Trump gets them on-board I agree I can see him using the Deep State against his enemies, both great and small, as you predict.

    An interesting aside which I just learned–despite the Clinton camp bellowing about the sanctity of elections in democratic states, our Deep State has done dirty work replacing democratically elected leaders with those more their liking–and not just in developing nations toying with ideas that threaten Exxon-Mobil’s profit line, but with First-World allies (Goth Whitlam in Australia, and Harold Wilson in the UK):

    https://shadowproof.com/2017/01/19/how-much-war-deep-state-undermine-trump/

    Funny how the US press never mentions even the allegations of this.

  11. Webstir permalink
    January 24, 2017

    Stirling, interesting theory, And at the risk of co-opting Ian’s subject I think it needs more exploration.

    First, I disagree. The TPP is just red meat for the base under the “they stole our jobs” meme. They, being China and Mexico if you listen to Trumps rhetoric. I think this must be viewed in a larger context.

    Given Tillerson’s recent statements about the South China Sea, I’m seeing more alignment between Russia and the U.S. to strangle China by cutting off the oil supply. Aligning with Russia kills many birds with one stone: (1) it makes it more expensive to manufacture in China thereby sweetening the pot for U.S. businesses to return to the U.S. (2) Russia and the U.S. already have an entrenched military presence in the middle east allowing them to dictate oil flow and price, (3) Tillerson is well versed in the Russian oil world, (4) Russia doesn’t pose a threat to manufacturing, but is content to be a petrostate, (5) Trump has a bogey man in China if war starts with them because his base already sees them as taking their jobs.

    I could go on. But the moral of the story is that attacking China and aligning with Russia is all upside for Trump’s base. What we will witness in the coming months will be nothing less than an attempt to completely overturn the prevailing military and economic world order.

  12. Ché Pasa permalink
    January 24, 2017

    Um, China has been targeted for years; the Trump regime’s hostility toward China is in line with the Imperial War State’s goals from way back.

    What’s different is the notion of an alliance with Russia to accomplish the ends of the War State and to do it more or less immediately rather than at some time in the future.

    Previous doctrine was to cripple/dismember the Russian Federation first, then “do” China. In other words, the China Project was to be done “later” perhaps a decade or more.

    By telegraphing their immediate intent, however, China has accelerated her counter-measures and is attempting to checkmate the US-Russia alliance before it even gets under way.

    The wild card is Russia. Tovarich Putin and the Kremlin have interests that don’t align with those of the Imperial War State and they have the means to ensure their interests are served regardless of China or the US.

  13. January 24, 2017

    2nd part of the Twitter Novel:
    https://symbalitics.blogspot.com/2017/01/twittversal-drawl-02-novel-on-twitter.html

    it is originally done here:
    https://twitter.com/SSNewberry if you want to support it. Yes, it is a parody.

  14. markfromireland permalink
    January 24, 2017

    @mandos

    Even by your standards of sub-sophomoric glibness that’s unusually trite. Most American “leftists” have no problem with other variously deplorable lesser breeds being in those professions. It’s just that they have the wholly specious attitude that they’re far too good, or pure, or sensitive, or whatever excuse they care to come up with, to participate in them.

  15. realitychecker permalink
    January 24, 2017

    Political leftists have clearly shown in this cycle and previously that they will cheerfully fellate anyone who seems to be supporting them in the moment. And will just as willingly seek to destroy the same guy if he does something perceived as adverse to them a few moments later.

    Low self-esteem leads to overeager embrace of any perceived ally, and that is where the left has always operated from.

    Drown that simple and concrete truth in all the verbose bs you want, but you can never obscure that all the data accords with this assertion.

  16. Willy permalink
    January 24, 2017

    Keep the left submissive, keep that damned mob under control. Infiltration, misinformation, demoralization, isolation… When power colludes with technology, what can one do?

  17. Peter permalink
    January 24, 2017

    I’ve read two comments about what happened at the Trump/CIA meeting that looked beyond the hysterical reports, by the media, about how he is toying with the media.

    There wasn’t space in the meeting room for all the employees especially the civil service ranks so he promised them a larger room so they all could meet in the future. He also commented on the columns that blocked peoples view in this room and promised there would be no columns in the new room. The civil service ranks were applauding and cheering Trump while the higher ranks were stone faced and silent throughout the meeting.

    Trump let the people who do most of the work at the Company know that he supports them wholeheartedly while sending them a slightly coded message that the fifth column will be removed.

    Pompeo is confirmed and I’m sure the list of names of the offenders to be removed is in hand waiting for the executioner.

  18. atcooper permalink
    January 24, 2017

    If he manages getting the IC under control, he’ll get my vote the next go around. I’d much prefer doing away with them entirely, and folding the bare minimum left into the military, but these days, I’ll take what I can get.

    It has been extremely disconcerting, seeing the D partisans cheering on the very IC that’s gelded them.

  19. markfromireland permalink
    January 24, 2017

    @realitychecker

    Which is why nobody with any sense allies themselves with them. Having no principles means that they are quite literally unprincipled.

  20. Hugh permalink
    January 24, 2017

    As long as the intelligence community gets their $70 billion a year, I don’t think they’ll care. Meanwhile back on Capitol Hill, it looks like it is quickly getting back to business as usual.

    14 Democrats voted for the pro-torture Mike Pompeo to be the agency’s next director. Two did not vote, both Democrats, both from Connecticut. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the sole Republican who voted against. The vote is indicative because it was unforced. Pompeo would still have gotten in if all 14 had voted against.

    Pompeo was confirmed (66-32).

    The 14:
    Donnelly (D-IN)
    Feinstein (D-CA)
    Hassan (D-NH)
    Heitkamp (D-ND)
    Kaine (D-VA)
    Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Manchin (D-WV)
    McCaskill (D-MO)
    Risch (R-ID)
    Schatz (D-HI)
    Schumer (D-NY)
    Shaheen (D-NH)
    Warner (D-VA)
    Whitehouse (D-RI

    The two not voting:
    Blumenthal (D-CT), Murphy (D-CT)

    The top Democrat in the Senate, and now one of the two top ranking Democrats in the country, Chuck Schumer of New York/Wall Street voted for, as did Tim Kaine of Virginia, Hillary’s running mate. Schumer and Kaine also voted for the generals John Kelly for Homeland Security (88-11) and James Mattis for Defense (98-1). Gillibrand of New York is the only Senator who voted against all three.

  21. Hugh permalink
    January 24, 2017

    Correction: I accidentally included Risch, a Republican, in my list. The 14th Democrat is actually Reed of Rhode Island.

  22. Ché Pasa permalink
    January 24, 2017

    The CIA should have been abolished during the Kennedy administration (they were still administrations then; they didn’t become regimes until Nixon). We know how that turned out though, don’t we?

    Both major political parties have an ongoing co-dependent relationship with the CIA and the other three-letter agencies. Don’t forget, the Bush2 regime tried to kneecap the CIA and failed. The point being to politicize the intelligence to conform with the wishes of the regime in all cases.

    Obama didn’t seem interested in tangling with the intelligence community, and we see the results. Trump seems intent on the same course Bush-Cheney. He may win given the apparent rot and exhaustion that characterized much of what passes for “intelligence” these days.

    For those who only saw bits and pieces of Trump’s remarks at the CIA, the other day, it would be worthwhile to look at the whole thing and study the transcript. While he claims that he is beloved by the Agency, after witnessing his full performance for them, they may have a somewhat different point of view.

    Don’t forget, they’re better liars than he is.

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/president-trump-speaks-cia-headquarters

  23. Arthur permalink
    January 24, 2017

    Each day brings more insanity. Bring on the pipelines, crack down on women, create one’s own reality. . .not even a week and the madness is endless. We are at the end. The only question is how long. Oh and don’t you know that everything is rigged. Millions of illegals voted for Clinton. And what happens in 2020 (should we get that far) when Donald loses? Does he say it’s rigged and refuse to leave? Where is Smedley Bulter when we really need him. Don’t know Butler? Look him up. He just might have saved the country in the 30s. Take care.

  24. Olga permalink
    January 24, 2017

    Just one note – USSR did not turn against the USA after WWII. It is not correct to say that they both turned against each other. USA turned against the USSR – by wanting to use nuclear bombs against it. Stalin was in fact shocked at the changed US attitude with Truman in charge (and after FDR’s death). Based on the agreements with FDR, Stalin expected a completely different world to emerge after the war – certainly one of cooperation and even some friendship. That did not happen. But it was not his choice. Accuracy in history is veery important if we are to make any sense of the world.

  25. bruce wilder permalink
    January 24, 2017

    Mandos: The disconnect around here is that a lot of people here (Ian included, it seems from this series of posts) want the battle lines to be drawn in a particular way . . .

    Speaking only for myself, I wanted there to be battle lines of some sort.

    Not the emoluments clause and the “Russkies ate my email” and how many people lined the mall.

  26. Tom permalink
    January 25, 2017

    Oh there will be battles and in the chaos, Trump will remake the government in his image while all his opponents take his troll bait and run on it instead of focusing on his actions and message.

  27. Ché Pasa permalink
    January 25, 2017

    Olga is correct about the post WWII change in relationship between the US and the Soviet Union.

    It appears to have been a calculated pivot engineered by an anti-Soviet cabal within the Roosevelt administration which Roosevelt rejected and then was ambivalent about. Truman went along with it, wittingly or not. It’s not clear to me how much he knew about backstage machinations in the last part of the Roosevelt administration or how directly involved he was with the anti-Soviets within it. Choosing Truman over Wallace for Vice President, however, was seen as a signal within the government that the cozy relationship with the Reds would be terminated.

    And so it would be.

  28. January 25, 2017

    Even by your standards of sub-sophomoric glibness that’s unusually trite. Most American “leftists” have no problem with other variously deplorable lesser breeds being in those professions. It’s just that they have the wholly specious attitude that they’re far too good, or pure, or sensitive, or whatever excuse they care to come up with, to participate in them.

    You know, I had the chance to live among older lefty Vietnam draft-dodger types for a little while, and let me tell you, they’re more or less convinced that the “professions of violence” are mostly superfluous, and there’s something degraded about people who would join them for reasons other than sheer economic need. Your caricature that they’re perfectly happy with it if other people do it rather than they themselves — does not fit what I know about their emotional landscape.

    Sure there are people who have a vague sense of dislike of having to do the physical dirty work. Those people are not the “American left”. Sure there may actually be problems and ideological oversights in the position, certainly there may be a kind of naive emotionality about it, but the actual American left has an ideological position that is deeply uncomfortable with the concept of “police” or “weapon” or “security”.

  29. January 25, 2017

    Speaking only for myself, I wanted there to be battle lines of some sort.

    Not the emoluments clause and the “Russkies ate my email” and how many people lined the mall.

    Those are the battle lines — like it or not. The German language has a great word for this: Deutungshoheit, literally something like “meaning highness” but really “sovereignty of interpretation”. The question of how many people lined the mall is one of the battlegrounds for Deutungshoheit. It’s a matter of vast importance, surely dwarfing such questions as to whether people can put food on the table for their children or whether Miami will sink under the waves or trivial issues like that.

    Like I said, I’m getting the feeling that people think that the election of Trump and defeat of the Clintons represents a break in which the issue of who lost from globalization, etc, are going to matter. And, I agree it should matter. But what it has unleashed is actually a battle over Deutungshoheit. Deutungshoheit is ultimately what brought out millions of people for the Women’s March. I would like, as many of the rest of you, to think that Trump’s re-election is going to depend on whether he brings home the bacon, but I suspect it’s much more likely that it will hinge on who maintains sovereignty of interpretation over an emotional landscape populated mostly by materially-disconnected cultural abstractions.

    For the same reason, as comparatively excellent as Jeremy Corbyn’s policy attitudes might be, he turns out not to be very good at maintaining sovereignty of interpretation. Yes, some will say that that’s just the mainstream media’s power or whatever, but the mainstream media did not prefer Trump either. Trump and his team, however, do understand the importance of Deutungshoheit — so they fight tooth and nail to maintain that he had the biggest rally ever. TPP? Probably not more than a sideshow.

  30. Hugh permalink
    January 25, 2017

    Stalin was not some puppy dog but a cold blooded killer who slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens. He was a totalitarian and if you want a good dissection of Stalin I would direct you to the third section of Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism where she compares Hitlerism and Stalinism. Hint: Totalitarians don’t have friends, only victims.

  31. Tom permalink
    January 25, 2017

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HjXFh0qBCw

    Spread this guy around. Maybe Liberals will finally realize its time to bitchslap the DNC and get a scrapper who can make the case for Liberalism.

  32. Anti-Schmoo permalink
    January 25, 2017

    It’s interesting how Stalin is still demonized in relation to real history.
    He was the right man, at the right time, for the Soviet Union.
    Our monsters do not pale in comparison to the days of Stalin. Rather, given today’s context, Stalin pales by comparison to the crimes of the U.S. empire in contemporary times.
    Get a grip…

  33. Hugh permalink
    January 25, 2017

    Trump said he didn’t mock disabled reporter Serge F Kovaleski even as there is video of him doing so.
    Trump compares the intelligence community to Hitler and then says at an address at Langley, the CIA’s headquarters, that this was all made up by the media and he is the intelligence community’s biggest supporter.
    He says that his Inauguration was the biggest ever when photos from his Inauguration show lots of empty space on the National Mall and far fewer attendees than for previous Inauguration. Ditto for television viewership.
    Trump says he won the popular vote because millions of illegals voted for Clinton, an allegation that is denied by virtually all the states Secretaries of State.

    I can’t help thinking at some point Trump is going to start accusing the Martians of undermining his regime and sign Executive Orders to build a missile shield to keep them out, ban immigration by Martians, and slap a 35% tariff on Mars Bars. He will then tweet that Matt Damon is vastly overrated, sad. I figure a majority of his supporters will either take this in stride or else rail against all those who continue to believe their lying eyes.

  34. realitychecker permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @ Tom

    Oooooh, you said “bitchslap.” You must be one of those nasty violent misogynist types I hear so much about lately.

    Where my safe space, gimme shelter. 🙂

  35. Hugh permalink
    January 25, 2017

    Orwell would be so proud of Olga and Anti-Schmoo for their ability to see so clearly that “War is peace” and “Freedom is slavery” and up is down. You go, guys. There is nothing that could possibly discredit you more than letting you talk.

  36. Anti-Schmoo permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @ Olga
    January 24, 2017

    Thank you so much for that reality check.
    Right on…

  37. Ché Pasa permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @Hugh, re: Stalin.

    Yes, yes, yes, we all know about his totalitarianism and propensity for mass murder. It did not matter to the US government when an alliance with the Soviet Union was convenient. And it really didn’t matter — except for propaganda purposes — during the Cold War, nor does it matter to the US government now any more than Putin’s murderousness (assuming) matters.

    I’ve interviewed some of the survivors of the Great Patriotic War, and their admiration for Stalin could hardly be greater.

    This year is the 100th anniversary of the Revolution, and apparently the Russian people are engaged in a prolonged re-consideration of every aspect of the Revolution and its aftermath, including re-assessments of Lenin and Stalin and all the other Communist leaders. According to a report I heard, Stalin is regarded favorably by 50% of the Russian population. Lenin may not be as highly regarded — because in a sense, he was a failure, whereas Stalin is seen as a success.

    Of course we condemn totalitarianism and genocide on principle; on the other hand, the US has had a long and deplorable history of committing genocide and installing and supporting genocidal, totalitarian regimes.

    To those who rule us, it really doesn’t matter and it never did.

  38. Anti-Schmoo permalink
    January 25, 2017

    Ché Pasa
    January 25, 2017

    A timely post and well spoke.
    Hugh is off his med’s apparently.
    Genuine history, devoid of dogma/belief, is most important for clear viewing of reality…

  39. realitychecker permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @ Che Pasa

    Wow, wow, wow.

    First we have newly arrived harpies adrena and anonone proclaiming their blase attitude re hypocrisy, now we get you proclaiming your blase attitude toward totalitarian mass murder.

    Does anybody on the left have a moral compass anymore? It does not appear so, rather it appears that nothing outrages modern lefties so much as use of an unapproved word.

    The patheticness quotient is overwhelming.

  40. Anti-Schmoo permalink
    January 25, 2017

    realitychecker
    January 25, 2017
    First we have newly arrived harpies adrena and anonone proclaiming their blase attitude re hypocrisy, now we get you proclaiming your blase attitude toward totalitarian mass murder.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Harpies? Just what planet did you arrive from?
    Since when did women, “strongly” stating their opinions, become a problem/objects of ridicule?
    You’re a rather self righteous egoist, who has lately dominated this blog, with much dogma and arrogance of attitude and political correctness.
    Maybe time for you to back off and think; you know, reflection, consideration.
    Nah, not your style; so charge on fool…

  41. Ché Pasa permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @rc

    re: “moral compass”

    To those who rule us [DJT incl] it really doesn’t matter and it never did.

    Capice? Bueno. Fatuo.

  42. realitychecker permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @ Anti-Shmoo

    Who the fuck are you, Stalin-boy? And why would I give a shit about what you think?

    Get back under your rock.

    FYI, just lacking a penis does not transform every ignorant rageful remark from a female into wisdom for the ages. It’s pathetic that you would think so.

    Kindly go drown yourself in your PC bathtub.

  43. realitychecker permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @ Che Pasa

    “Everybody does it, so don’t single anyone out for condemnation” is just a way to normalize the unacceptable.

    Get it?

  44. Anti-Schmoo permalink
    January 25, 2017

    First we have newly arrived harpies adrena and anonone;
    adrena has been here for years, fool. And anonone less so, but no less relevant.
    Pack up your old kit bag and go away.
    You’re a distraction, an egoist dominator, who adds nothing to the substance of Ian’s blog; be gone witch hahahahahahahahahahah….

  45. Anti-Schmoo permalink
    January 25, 2017

    realitychecker
    January 25, 2017
    Apparently I struck a note.
    Due carry on; we could care less…

  46. Anti-Schmoo permalink
    January 25, 2017

    Oh fuck, my bad, should have been “do” carry on…
    Hahahahahahahahahah

  47. realitychecker permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @ Shmoe

    Let’s see some of those old comments, then. In any event, a newly arrived fool is no worse than a previously-acquainted fool. A fool is a fool is a fool, and any fool deserves zero respect.

    But you just feel free to keep being the word police, while the world turns its back on you. That’s how evolution works.

    We have definitely reached the “have to hit the mule upside the head just to get its attention” point.

    Aggressive snowflakes will get melted. Fair warning.

  48. realitychecker permalink
    January 25, 2017

    See, Shmoe, that’s what pukes like you ALWAYS DO WHEN THEY LOSE A ROUND, i.e., “I must have struck a note,” so, the only way for you to NOT have won is for me to become silent? Then you’d say, “Gee, no response, I won.” I’ve seen this literally thousands of times from mental defectives like you. This typifies why dogmatic lefties, who always claimed to be the smart ones, are now regarded as the stupid ones.

    What twisted logic infests your puerile mind.

    Sorry, puke, it was just a “note” of disgust at your idiotic childish mentality.

  49. Anti-Schmoo permalink
    January 25, 2017

    realitychecker January 25, 2017
    Fair warning.
    You stupid fuck. You have no idea.
    But then that’s been your mantra…
    Play on fool; your stage has been set, and it’s all here for all to see…
    Rage on…to no avail.
    I’ll engage you no further; clearly a fools errand…

  50. realitychecker permalink
    January 25, 2017

    Oh, gee, I MUST HAVE STRUCK A NOTE.

    LMFAO

    Your silence will be golden, Stalin-boy. But thanks for being an object lesson for the edification of the wider audience here.

  51. Tom permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @Realitychecker, I know how they think and this is my answer.

    Fuck PCness, Liberals will never get anywhere if they don’t fight the sellouts and get their message out. While amonone and andrena focus on a self-defeating gender war, actual Liberals in five Muslim Majority Nations have elected female presidents and prime ministers and kept the crazies in check.

    Trump won because he didn’t start a gender war and his message was lets work together and speak honestly without PC bullshit because we might hurt someone’s feelings.

    Seriously Liberals, suck it up and sling it back, and get your fucking message out and bitchslap the sellouts and deep state in the way. Or continue to fight the wrong fights on the wrong issues and turn off half the electorate you need on your side.

    Pro-choice is the wrong fight, pisses off men who also have a hand in the procreation and says they don’t matter. Don’t you think that telling them their unborn child was aborted causes them distress? Cutting them out of the decision is Misandry and makes the Pro-choicers hypocrites.

    Also if you want equal pay and all that, then work the Overtime, meet the same physical standards, and make the same fucking sacrifices, don’t ask us to lower fucking standards just so you can keep up. Do so and you earn respect, don’t and you earn contempt.

    Learn from Trump or keep underestimating him.

  52. nihil obstet permalink
    January 25, 2017

    Stalin — the Andrew Jackson of Russia.

  53. Ché Pasa permalink
    January 25, 2017

    If you think the Democrats — the other neoliberal party — don’t know how to lie, deceive, make airy promises, run roughshod over their base, “bitchslap” their rivals as you so love to say, yadda yadda, you don’t know anything about politics at all, and you’re just pleasuring yourself with foolishness and stupidity. It makes you feel good, to be sure, but it has little or nothing to do with what’s going on — except in your fantasies.

    Trump’s rule hasn’t even got off the ground and it’s already cratering. He’s said or done plenty of things that are supposed to please the high and the mighty or the plebs, but since nobody can take him at his word, and so much of his word is just crazy or crazy-making, it’s at best a show, gold-plated but mostly inoperative. There’s no there there.

    He huffs and he puffs and throws his tantrums and some of you get off on it, but it’s not a display of Power, it’s weakness, getting weaker all the time. Scott Adams thinks it’s masterful persuasion, but all it has ever been is a con. It may have worked in his real estate and casino enterprises (though the experience of Atlantic City argues otherwise), but it doesn’t work trying to rule the USofA.

    It isn’t working now. The revolt is spreading through the permanent government, the defiance is more and more open, and there’s nothing he and his band of thieves can do about it. It’s too late for Gleichschaltung. The chaos is magnified by the continuing protests and direct actions spreading across the country. It probably wasn’t wise to reactivate the Water Protectors…

    The Emperor has no clothes. Never did.

    So what is to be done? He’s down to very few options. The best choice for him is to retreat to the Winter Palace in Florida and never be seen again. But he’s not going to do that. He’ll try to bull his way forward and will no doubt commit some gross abuse that even his defenders can’t abide, and he will be… defenestrated one way or another.

    How it’s done remains to be seen, but at this rate, he won’t last another month in office.

    Chaos was inevitable, no matter who assumed the throne. 

    Whatever happens, it’s not going to be pretty.

    And too many who shouldn’t will suffer.

  54. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @Tom – The best quote I’ve seen on that topic, via Sailer: No one will ever win the gender war, there’s too much fraternizing with the enemy.

  55. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @Hugh,

    Trump said he didn’t mock disabled reporter Serge F Kovaleski even as there is video of him doing so.

    Even I fell for this one, until I read Ann Coulter’s rebuttal. The gesture supposedly “mocking a disabled reporter” is one of Trump’s mannerisms that he’s used in many other contexts.

    Trump compares the intelligence community to Hitler and then says at an address at Langley, the CIA’s headquarters, that this was all made up by the media and he is the intelligence community’s biggest supporter.

    Sounds smart to me. He’s obviously opposed to the CIA’s attempts to overthrow him, but it seems smart to signal that he’s not an enemy of the rank and file. In a war, you want to encourage defectors from the opposing ranks.

    He says that his Inauguration was the biggest ever when photos from his Inauguration show lots of empty space on the National Mall and far fewer attendees than for previous Inauguration. Ditto for television viewership.

    I commented on this twice on a previous thread, so I won’t repeat myself.

    Trump says he won the popular vote because millions of illegals voted for Clinton, an allegation that is denied by virtually all the states Secretaries of State.

    Like the inauguration crowd sizes, this is on the level of war propaganda. The left/media is pushing a narrative of illegitimacy. What do you want him to do? Meekly agree with it? There’s no reason to concede to the enemy an unproven premise that illegals don’t vote. The *only* reasons why illegals are even here are 1) cheap labor and 2) vote Democrat. You’re telling me you’re absolutely certain that illegals aren’t voting in California’s sanctuary cities? That you trust the California Secretary of State’s evidence-free assertions on this subject? Really?

    Either way, we likely will have clarity on this question soon. The administration is already showing a pattern of swift, resolute action. If AG Sessions can’t conclude an investigation on the question of illegals voting, then likely no one can.

  56. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    January 25, 2017

    By the way, the CIA comments are a perfect example of taking Trump literally but not seriously, whereas his supporters do the opposite. No effort is made to understand what he’s doing, instead it’s just “lol, look at the idiot contradicting himself”.

  57. Willy permalink
    January 25, 2017

    I’ll be heading over to realitychecker’s favorite safe space, Gateway Pundit, to get my Trump fix.

  58. January 25, 2017

    Isn’t a society whose leaders you’re supposed to take seriously but not literally exactly the kind of untruthful society that around here is supposed to result in collapse and mass death? And Trump is cited as the most outstanding exemplar of that? Hmm.

  59. realitychecker permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @ Willy

    Good god, man, can’t you stop embarrassing yourself for even a moment?

    Sure, moron, go to Gateway Pundit or any other conservative website you can find (use Google so you don’t miss any), and then come back and report about any trace of me that you ever find at any of them.

    I’m not a conservative, but I am also not a dogmatic lefty. On balance, I am mostly in sympathy with left-wing goals, just not with the stupid extreme excesses that expose our side to ridicule and irrelevance.

    When you grow up, perhaps you will learn that there is room for some sublety and nuance in this world. Just not in your world, apparently.

    Meantime, hold onto your willy, it’s the best way to resist typing more moronic bullshit that makes people laugh at you and wonder when you got your lobotomy.

  60. realitychecker permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @ Mandos

    Remember HOPE AND CHANGE? Did you take Obama literally? Are you disappointed?

    Sure, we would like to get truth from our leader, but Trump is wading into a cesspool of professional liars and entrenched Establishment types who have proven they will do anything to take him down and retain their power.

    You really think he should let them know all his inner thoughts at all times?

    If so, that may explain why you have not been chosen to be the leader of anything.

    He will play the game as necessary until he has things arranged more to his liking. Just like he did through the primary and general election seasons, because it was necessary in order to stay in the game at all.

    Then we’ll see.

    Take some Valium while we wait.

  61. Willy permalink
    January 25, 2017

    Integrity cannot easily be forced onto others (still curious, and currently leaning towards the belief you have the emotional maturity of a toddler).

    Apparently the integrity you’re trying so hard to instigate here involves saying you “don’t give a shit” then compulsively returning again and again to conversations. LOL

    BTW, what do you base your predictions of Trumps behaviors on?

  62. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    January 25, 2017

    Mandos, what happened to your oft-repeated doctrine of emotion as the primary driver of politics and political support?

    Rhetoric appeals to emotion, while dialectic appeals to reason. Trying to refute rhetoric with dialectic is to a knife to a gun fight.

    The media is firing these rhetorical shots under the pretense of objective reporting. “Losing the popular vote” isn’t relevant to the Presidential election, but it makes effective rhetoric. Trump could respond logically, but he’s savvy enough to return rhetoric for rhetoric. Claiming that millions of illegals voted is equally questionable, but it has the rhetorical impact to counter the original attack.

  63. realitychecker permalink
    January 25, 2017

    Reprinted from the last thread:

    realitychecker permalink
    January 25, 2017

    @ Willy

    “If everybody was as rational and integrous as you’re ‘trying’ to get lefties to be, you never would have had a law career.”

    Please, just shut up, it’s too painful to watch you self-demolish.

    At the least, please don’t direct any more comments to me. People like you never learn anything, anyway.

    Since you’ve come back at me after reading that, it’s amusing to see you calling me the compulsive one. Please don’t waste my time anymore, surely there are other important things for you to do. And I’m starting to feel bad for dumping on one so obviously mentally limited.

  64. Willy permalink
    January 25, 2017

    Who’s dumping? I haven’t gotten this much lovely abuse in years. And then your talk about my willy. Strange feelings. Would you be so kind as to link a picture of yourself…

  65. January 25, 2017

    RC, BOO: Oh no, I don’t disagree that the right strategy for Trump is to counter rhetoric with rhetoric. I’m perfectly comfortable with the idea of taking Trump seriously but not literally. That doesn’t mean I don’t abhor much of what he stands for in substance and act, merely that I don’t think his approach to the media is necessarily a sign of strategic failure.

    But when I suggest that a particular way of handling and relating to truth is not a politically smart one, and may have gotten us even further from where I would like the world to be if it had any effect at all, I’m pilloried for it from certain quarters. However, when Trump’s actual main selling point is that he has an indirect approach to meaning, to say the least, he is painted as a strategic genius and his victory well worth having wiped Clinton off the game board.

    Obama did not, at least, tell us not to take HOPE AND CHANGE anything other than literally. That he didn’t deliver on the promise and in some cases did even worse in large areas is another matter entirely. We are, however, expected not to take Trump literally. And I’m fine with that! But then, when I suggest people not take a literal approach to progressive politics, dare I expect a different reaction from the one I often get?

  66. Lemonhead permalink
    January 26, 2017

    Reporting this thread to the FBI. Not sure what you liberal nutters are on about. What your problem with Trump is, I don’t know – maybe he’s shining some sunlight on your precious snowflake asses.

    Maybe you should stop listening to Ian. If you had done the opposite of everything he says you would have bought Bitcoin and be rich right now. Stay poor you liberal goofballs

  67. January 26, 2017

    I thought Bitcoin was supposed to be about liberty?

  68. Ian Welsh permalink*
    January 26, 2017

    The only time I’ve given anything that could even be considered investment advice was leading up to the financial crisis.

    Still get the occasional “you saved my ass” note due to that.

    But generally I don’t. I’m very good at economic forecasting, and not good at investment forecasting, because they are two different things. Might have been better off personally if I’d put my time and effort into #2 instead of #1, admittedly.

    The FBI, if they bother to read this, will wind up thinking Lemonhead is the nutter, but eh. Good thing I’m not a centrist moron or I’d think that having both right wingers screaming at me for being anti-Trump and left-wingers moaning about me being too nice to Trump meant I was correct.

  69. Hugh permalink
    January 26, 2017

    It’s a good point about economics and investment being different animals. I have always thought it was funny that people hang on every word about the economy by savvy and very successful investors like Buffett and Soros. Their knowledge of the economy and economics varies between the pedestrian and wrong.

    Re free speech, post-9/11, the First Amendment has taken a beating in practice. In law, however, Brandenburg v. Ohio 1969 remains the precedent and establishes the imminence doctrine:

    Freedoms of speech and press do not permit a State to forbid advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.

    So yes, Virginia, you can advocate the overthrow of the government. You can even advocate the violent overthrow of the government, –just as long as it happens your speech isn’t directed to people with guns and bombs in one hand and their car keys in the other.

  70. realitychecker permalink
    January 26, 2017

    @ Mandos

    I know you are trying to do good with your writing, and I also know we share many goals as to how we think a just society should look and function, but you are caught up as so many others in the ocean of bs and multi-layered untruths that have been carefully engineered for us over the last few decades.

    You want to break through that stuff? Start with a commitment to rejecting anything and anyone who seeks to benefit themselves by lying to you, regardless of what team they are affiliated with.

    But even more important, accept the responsibility of speaking directly and clearly yourself. You write so many sentences that contain multiple negatives, three, four, sometimes more. The reader can’t have much confidence in such convoluted renderings. It just enables you to hide behind all convenient ambiguities, without being held responsible for any direct statements. Much like the people we are discussing.

    Final point: Trump’s enemies are many, and they are proven to be against the People, and they are all accomplished and prolific liars. I cannot conceive of how I would be able to take on such united foes without playing their game a little, and doing it better than them. Can you?

  71. realitychecker permalink
    January 26, 2017

    @ Hugh

    “Freedoms of speech and press do not permit a State to forbid advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.

    So yes, Virginia, you can advocate the overthrow of the government. You can even advocate the violent overthrow of the government, –just as long as it happens your speech isn’t directed to people with guns and bombs in one hand and their car keys in the other.”

    Yes indeed, amigo, that is a correct statement of the actual law; however, reality is a bit less reassuring, in that government goons get to interpret one’s speech in their own twisted way in the first instance, and have full power to plunge a citizen into a hellish legal process that can be life-destroying no matter what the final legal disposition turns out to be.

    That is why I am such a fanatic about preserving the processes which are the guts and the means of delivery of the benefits and value of the rule of law–it makes the leash shorter on the government goons.

  72. January 26, 2017

    I know you are trying to do good with your writing, and I also know we share many goals as to how we think a just society should look and function, but you are caught up as so many others in the ocean of bs and multi-layered untruths that have been carefully engineered for us over the last few decades.

    And yet, while pointing your finger at others, you’re willing to accept and embrace it when it is convenient to the story of the world you’re trying to tell.

    You want to break through that stuff? Start with a commitment to rejecting anything and anyone who seeks to benefit themselves by lying to you, regardless of what team they are affiliated with.

    But even more important, accept the responsibility of speaking directly and clearly yourself. You write so many sentences that contain multiple negatives, three, four, sometimes more. The reader can’t have much confidence in such convoluted renderings. It just enables you to hide behind all convenient ambiguities, without being held responsible for any direct statements. Much like the people we are discussing.

    Thank you for the writing advice but: a fundamental and unalterable truth is that the world is somewhat complex and ambiguous. I use negations carefully in order to ensure that I am describing precisely what I want to describe, and nothing else. Anyone who tells you that the worlds truths are simple and the answers are simple is trying to sell something to you, point final. And that is a very simple truth.

    Final point: Trump’s enemies are many, and they are proven to be against the People, and they are all accomplished and prolific liars. I cannot conceive of how I would be able to take on such united foes without playing their game a little, and doing it better than them. Can you?

    I consider Trump to be “against the People” in that sense — he’s a kleptocrat on the take as are all his cohort and helpers. He is not playing their game a little, he is their game, he has merely found a successful “hack” to make his game better than theirs, and it looks to you for some reason as though he has slain a dragon. I am perfectly in favour of finding and using such hacks for the cause of good, but I am far from certain that outside certain things (just like Obama!) Trump is using his for that. Your apparent and rather strange hero-worship has made you inconsistent in the principles you claim to have.

  73. realitychecker permalink
    January 26, 2017

    @ Mandos

    Sorry, Mandos, but you are a hopeless idiot. I am a bit of an idiot for thinking anything good could come from addressing you respectfully.

    Never again.

    Rave on, with your oh-so-precise multiple negatives, etc. I’m sure you’ve got everything just right. Which is why things are going so well for your team.

  74. January 26, 2017

    RC: Civility is one thing. Giving condescending writing advice on a point that you know is a matter of ideological disagreement is another. I take very little personally, but I do know that what you were doing was anything but addressing me respectfully. The unkindest cut of all, however, is when you make a pretense of woundedness when I point this out, knowing full well that you were talking down to me rather than with or even at me.

  75. realitychecker permalink
    January 26, 2017

    Well, Mandos, you’re wrong again, but I guess that is where you are most comfortable.

    Only a moron would deny the superior communicative value of simple declarative sentences.

  76. January 26, 2017

    Fortunately I’m not a politician. It’s not my job to “communicate,” I am not even that concerned if anyone agrees with me. I’m only interested in describing as precisely as possible how I see the world.

  77. realitychecker permalink
    January 26, 2017

    @ Mandos

    Oh, pardon me, I gave you the benefit of the doubt for having it not be all about your own little ego.

    I actually thought the purpose of forums like this was to try to share wisdoms, raise awareness and promote general enlightenment.

    Now I understand your writing style. Carry on.

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