Twigs and branches

by John Quiggin on January 18, 2021

Here’s the second of the regular open threads, where you can comment on any topic. Moderation and standard rules still apply. Lengthy side discussions on other posts will be diverted here. Enjoy!

{ 103 comments }

1

Kerrie Sinclair 01.18.21 at 8:04 pm

Hi there,
I’m interested in climate policy – am Australian, based in UK. BreakthroughCCR says we need net zero global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Peter Carter, an expert reviewer of previous IPCC reports, in November said he was now convinced we need energy and food systems decarbonized by 2025. Former UK chief scientist Sir David King says we needed net zero years ago, of course. Greenpeace UK talks about net zero globally by 2045. Any advice or pointers to previous blogs or other sources as to what we should be pushing for? Or BreakthroughCCR perhaps is the best reference with its ‘Climate Code Red’ report and other summaries?
Kind regards, Kerrie

2

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.18.21 at 9:27 pm

More Brexit nightmares:
Wine importers
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/jan/18/a-multiple-pile-up-in-the-fog-wine-agents-fury-at-brexit-red-tape
Regulations won’t be going away, but the EU will be applying strict scrutiny
http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=87856
Horse-racing industry disaster
http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=87855
meat and animal exports falling off a cliff
http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=87854
Fishing industry collapsing
http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=87851

3

KT2 01.18.21 at 10:01 pm

Luck. Please explain

4

Bart Barry 01.19.21 at 2:57 am

It’s a small but symbolically significant step that the Keystone pipeline deal will be scuttled on Biden’s first day in office.

5

Alan White 01.19.21 at 3:44 am

So tomorrow will be the last day of a perversity of a presidency that I will not have passed two words through my lips in verbal recognition of the results of 2016: “President F**k”, where the latter noun is utterly more appropriate than the actual one. Yes, four years not saying that once. But on Wednesday I will shout “President Biden” over and over and over again. Words matter–more than thoughts sometimes, as the last two weeks have shown. Down the street from me is a duplex where both apartments had maybe a dozen Trump signs, flags, and such. One took them down. The other has a 3×4 foot Trump–Pence sign still up (why the “Pence” has not been slashed out is a mystery to me), along with four smaller Trump signs and a huge Trump flag, announcing “No Bullshit!” Really. The King of bullshit flagshipped as the opposite. The annunciation of the true believer. I know people here have defended Agent Orange, usually by the same diversionary tactics that FOX “News” employs–yeah, but YOU LIBS. . . Trump’s people attacked the Capitol, not some police station on the west coast, and sure, I get that violence is wrong, but come off it–Trump and Cruz and Bannon and Giuliani etc. whipped up all this chaos and never, ever criticized racists and the like. Trump deserves impeachment–gawd knows he deserves worse–but the GOP in service to hatred and privilege and of course mainly their own skins will vote not to convict, rationalizing all the way. Republicans will stay the party of the Base, which they will not call by its proper names. The impulse to supremacist dictatorship was there all along, and thanks to Medal-of-Freedom winner Limbaugh–what a laugh–and his many cronies–they gave us Trump. Can we recover? I don’t know. But now I await the replies that try, try, try to say that what we would recover is that Democratic party-as-indistinguishable-from-what-Trump-did. Yeah, Clinton got his **** sucked and lied about it. But so did Agent Orange, and by more professional “clients”, and yet, Trump seems to have done a little more to betray the Constitution.

President Biden. I will say it every day.

6

bad Jim 01.19.21 at 5:03 am

Three score hours remain
until the atrocity
becomes history

7

nastywoman 01.19.21 at 5:52 am

and I have decided that I’m going to play the game that the election was stolen and tomorrow actually ”trump” will be sworn in as New President – as long as Hidari -(and Glenn Greenwald) doesn’t tell US that it was them who ”rigged the erection”.

And I hope all of you guys will play along with me – as it will be fun – keep on living in ”Trumpland”.
And what’s about putting ”Trumpland” in Florida and make at it’s major attraction a very private and exclusive 20 minutes ”ride” where you meet ”a Real American Republican” who knows that the election was stolen and tells you that you should NOT believe anything what the MSM is telling YOU.
And then takes y’all… golfing?

8

bad Jim 01.19.21 at 5:56 am

A holiday in the name of a King
in a nation disdaining his offering.
He tried, though he had no reason to trust us;
The arc of the moral universe bends to: just us.

9

nastywoman 01.19.21 at 11:02 am

”and I have decided that I’m going to play the game that the election was stolen and tomorrow actually ”trump” will be sworn in as New President”

BUT after I have read Mr. White’s… serious comment I might want to reconsider?

And that could be a… ”good” subject for this thread?
What’s the best way to get over such a deep and troubling TrumpTrauma?
And perhaps you guys have seen it –

https://youtu.be/KPCzEFItwJw

as when Trump got elected we had some beggars in Berlin – Versailles and Venice – outfitted as:
”Trump begging to Make America Great again” –
but they got such measly donations -(in Venice just 12 Euros from a Group of American Tourists) that we cancelled the experiment.

So – perhaps – now – there is a better… chance?

10

notGoodenough 01.19.21 at 11:15 am

Kerrie Sinclair @ 1

Apologies if this response will be unhelpful, but I’m not entirely sure I fully understand your question. I think you are essentially asking “here are a lot of opinions on what targets to aim for – is there a ‘best opinion’?” (again, sorry if I have misunderstood).

My short answer would be “the answer depends – emissions targets will depend on temperature targets, which is dependent on what you think is survivable”.

There are a number of good blogs which address the subject in a general sense (e.g. realclimate.org has some good links, ClimateActionTracker.org offers a basic overview of country-by-country targets, etc.) and, if you are interested, I believe Michael E. Mann offers a free online MOOC [1] which you might find quite useful.

However, while you probably know this all already, I will offer a basic response:

I am by no means an expert (my background is materials science specialising in energy storage), but my understanding is that the targets to push for are dependent on a) what goal you wish to target (e.g. “an Earth which is nice to live on” vs “civilisation can continue to exist” vs “humans will probably survive in pockets of habitable areas”) and b) what you think will be feasible (socially, politically, etc.). It is, of course, further complicated by the complexity of the system and having to make projections about at what point the self-reinforcing mechanisms start kicking in. The more cautious you are about at which temperature you think civilisation may be sustainable (depending on what you think is sustainable – e.g. how many wildfires, heatwaves, etc. people, animals, crops, etc. will tolerate), the earlier the emissions reductions need to be made. However, while it is worth bearing in mind that many models are more a guideline to help understand the situation rather than intended to be exact predictions [2], the IPCC report gives a reasonable overview [3].

The Paris accord targets limiting temperature to below 2 degrees – preferably below 1.5 – compared to pre-industrial levels. This isn’t, of course, an “ideal” target, but it is in the ballpark of “many civilisations will probably survive” (depending on where you are, of course – we can still anticipate famine, mass migrations, geopolitical instability, etc.). To meet this target, most scenarios are considering “net zero” by 2045, with reductions in transport and electricity to be made earlier (being the more “low hanging fruit”). This is already a hugely ambitious target, which is probably not going to be sufficient to maintain a reasonable quality of life for many people.

In short – we’re all a bit buggered, but the degree to which we are buggered is something we can still act on. We should push the steepest possible targets at the earliest possible dates to minimise the impact of climate change (although it will still be bad). Unfortunately, given the pushback, “steepest targets” and “earliest possible dates” are still going to lead to a bad situation – but we should just about avoid the destruction of civilisation. Sorry if this is just restating what you already know, but just to give an “in a nutshell”.

[1] “Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact”
https://www.edx.org/course/climate-change-the-science-and-global-impact?fbclid=IwAR2489S3KwivjvIyERj4vjD7UUH_Qh0PqqApKdZsbIu81-r6kG5-uHfKG6Y

[2] https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01125-x

[3] https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

11

notGoodenough 01.19.21 at 11:29 am

KT2 @ 3

I know “brevity is the soul of wit”, but you might wish to give a little more context as to what you want explained…

12

SusanC 01.19.21 at 2:13 pm

A controversial take on the events at the Capitol is that the axes of political debate have shifted from left vs right to Enlightenment Rationalism versus the religious, where the religious group is composed not so much of traditional Christianity but has more newer stuff, like QAnon

Kind of like political Islam in the Middle East, only with QAnon instead of Islam.

13

Hidari 01.19.21 at 3:57 pm

I hope we are all getting behind this.

‘Nancy Pelosi and I agree:

Congress needs to establish an investigative body like the 9/11 Commission to determine Trump’s ties to Putin so we can repair the damage to our national security and prevent a puppet from occupying the presidency ever again.’

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/1351297926769872899

14

Omega Centauri 01.19.21 at 5:29 pm

Kerrie,
I’d settle for getting 80% of the way to neutral by 2030. That seems more doable, but is still a huge stretch. At least recent modeling indicates that the climate will start cooling within not much longer than a decade after a sudden switch to neutrality, which is a lot shorter than previously believed. But, all these pledges to reach neutrality by 2040-2050 are far short of what is needed.

15

SusanC 01.19.21 at 7:23 pm

There’s a news story I missed at the time. AP News, 29 August 2020, “Far right extremists try to enter German Parliament”. It would appear that a counterpart to the US Capitol incident had already happened in Germany last year. The news story mentions neo-Nazi story insignia, but doesn’t go into specifics. The confluence of the far right, Nazi references, and New Age/occult stuff seems similar to the US incident,

I’m kind of imagining that attempting to overthrow the government while wearing clothing with Nazi references goes down even less well in Germany than it does in the US.

16

nastywoman 01.19.21 at 11:05 pm

@13
‘’Nancy Pelosi and I agree”:

Impossible! –
as Nancy Pelosi believes that the election wasn’t stolen –
while you -(and me?) know – that Trump won.

Right?

17

J-D 01.20.21 at 12:03 am

A controversial take on the events at the Capitol is that the axes of political debate have shifted from left vs right to Enlightenment Rationalism versus the religious

How is that made out to be a shift? Hasn’t the opposition between Enlightenment Rationalism and the religious always been aligned with the left-right axis?

18

Anarcissie 01.20.21 at 12:49 am

Hidari 01.19.21 at 3:57 pm (13): ‘I hope we are all getting behind this’ etc.

The excitement of Trump dies hard. Besides reinflating Russiagate, I received yesterday a message from a supposedly anti-war group urging me to support the expulsion of a number of Representatives from the House because they voted improperly — in other words, saving democracy by anti-democratically depriving a large number of people of elected representation — and Caitlin Johnstone reports ‘A new viral video calling on liberals to form “an army of citizen detectives” to gather information on Trump supporters and report their activities to the authorities has racked up thousands of shares and millions of views in just a few hours. The hashtag #TrumpsNewArmy is trending on Twitter as of this writing due to the release of a horrifying video with that title from successful author and virulent Russiagater Don Winslow. As of this writing it has some 20 thousand shares and 2.6 million views, and the comments and quote-retweets are predominantly supportive.’

(URL: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/01/19/viral-trumpsnewarmy-video-is-liberals-at-their-craziest-and-scariest/) [Note– I have not checked anything alleged to have appeared on Twitter because I don’t have a pole long enough.]

I am not sure what to make of the suggested purge. Last gasp or second wind?

19

Rapier 01.20.21 at 1:58 am

Conservatives since Nixon have been useful idiots for fascists. The fascists are 70% of white voters. This isn’t a top down phenomena at all. It’s what America is. The Conservatives as useful idiots comes clearly into focus with Trump where Conservatives spilled 50 gazillion pentagigabits of words and pictures to defend the indefenseable.

20

Nodnarb likes to 69 01.20.21 at 3:36 am

Have any of you heard of Daniel Deudney? His stuff on republicanism as a form of international relations is p-i-m-p, but nobody on the critical Left is willing to take a good hard look at it.

I wish we would!

21

Alan White 01.20.21 at 5:34 am

Just to say–nastywoman–you da man, as it were.

22

nastywoman 01.20.21 at 7:17 am

and about the mentioned ”luck”
(from the Intelligencer)

”And yet: For all of the mass death and democratic backsliding we’ve suffered these past four years, America is in far better shape than it might have been. Entrusting an authoritarian con man with the world’s most powerful elective office brought the United States catastrophe, but it has also left us with a historic opportunity for democratic renewal.

We are lucky that Donald Trump started no major wars (thanks, in no small part, to Iranian restraint). We’re lucky that Republicans came a few votes short of throwing millions off of Medicaid. We’re lucky that the GOP’s internal divisions on immigration prevented Trump from inscribing his most xenophobic policies into legislative statute, and, thus, that his nativist legacy is almost entirely revocable by executive fiat. Above all, we are lucky that Trump did not win reelection and that the incoming Democratic government will actually have the power to implement reform.

23

bad Jim 01.20.21 at 7:19 am

David Wallace-Wells, a major climate alarmist, seems to be chilling out:

The war on climate denial has been won. And that’s not the only good news

Two degrees warming is going to be very bad, but there’s reason to hope that it won’t be worse than that, is his message. A corollary is that adaptation, even some degree of geo-engineering, may well be necessary.

24

bad Jim 01.20.21 at 7:57 am

Trump has issued one less than a gross of pardons, none particularly egregious. I am cautiously hopeful that the last few hours of his presidency will not be catastrophic.

25

nastywoman 01.20.21 at 10:34 am

and as I headlined:
”What’s the best way to get over such a deep and troubling TrumpTrauma”?
and on another thread Betteridge’s law was brought up?
(“Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”
The reason why journalists use that style of headline is that they know the story is probably bullshit, and don’t actually have the sources and facts to back it up, but still want to run it)
I really would like to… to correct such a ”law” as neither the headline:

Was the election stolen?

nor:

”Is it better to believe in Science in a Pandemic”

can be answered with ”NO”.

26

SusanC 01.20.21 at 10:36 am

Google searches for information on the August 2020 Reichstag incident turn up some alarming historical parallels (“No, Google, I meant the 2020 incident not the 1933 one”) I can sort of imagine a parallel between Marinus van der Lubbe and the QAnon Shaman guy .. we might be in for endless historical analysis on whether QAnon shaman was set up by more dangerous people

27

nastywoman 01.20.21 at 4:23 pm

AND I’m just so unbelievable joyous to look at my next President –
the First Female US President –
in four years…

28

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.21.21 at 6:41 am

Anarcissie @ 18: (1) keep believing that your avatar Donald didn’t conspire with the Russians. Keep wishing for that. B/c not merely does every relevant report of the government contradict you, but now, now all the shoes will drop — the ones that Li’l Donnie kept secret these past four years.
(2) These senators & congressmen did a monstrous thing: they attempted to overthrow a duly certified election. You obviously don’t actually know your law, but their role was purely ministerial. They had no right to vote against the duly certified electoral votes of the states. And those votes were indeed duly certified, and every court that ruled, agreed with that.

What they were doing, is attempting to gin up that army that tried to take over the Congress. This was sedition. And these people should not merely be drummed out of Congress, but sent to federal prison. They’re traitors and should pay the price.

And why is this? Well, I’ll paraphrase what Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote. He asked: suppose that in fact the electoral votes were fraudulent. Then the army invading the Capitol would have the right of it, wouldn’t they? They would be defending our democracy. So the greater sin does not reside with that invading army, but with the people who ginned up the lie: the people who perpetrated a monstrous lie that the votes were fraudulent, to assemble that army and point them at the Capitol.

These congressmen are traitors.

29

bad Jim 01.21.21 at 7:39 am

The national anthem is frequently so badly sung that I advert to recording of its progenitor, The Anacreonitic Song, which is relentlessly silly.

On national holidays my town’s band, which is formidably professional, performs downtown, adjacent the beach. I know a couple of the members. When my mother was alive we’d bring chairs to their performances. I am no longer as likely to linger.

A few years ago the singer so mercilessly mangled “so long may it wave” that I departed as quickly as I could. The next year a younger singer rendered it so precisely that I angled for a position to applaud her lustily.

Lady Gaga took liberties with the tune, but she didn’t wind herself up the flagpole. Not bad at all.

30

bad Jim 01.21.21 at 8:58 am

1974, upon learning of Nixon’s resignation, I locked up the store, and Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley quickly spun up into its familiar party scene.

There were also festivities over the fall of Vietnam and a lunar eclipse. Any excuse for dancing in the streets. Bliss it was in this, that or the other dusk to be alive, but to be young was very heaven.

Which, to a first approximation, is almost trivially true: youth is beauty, and beauty youth.

31

J-D 01.21.21 at 9:25 am

I received yesterday a message from a supposedly anti-war group urging me to support the expulsion of a number of Representatives from the House because they voted improperly — in other words, saving democracy by anti-democratically depriving a large number of people of elected representation …,

It’s not clear how the House’s power to expel members is undemocratic: it deprives people of representation only until a special election can be held, so it’s no more undemocratic than allowing members to resign. The House did not expel Preston Brooks, but it would have been a good thing if it had, even if had been returned at a special election, just as he actually was when he resigned anyway.

Caitlin Johnstone reports ‘A new viral video calling on liberals to form “an army of citizen detectives” to gather information on Trump supporters and report their activities to the authorities has racked up thousands of shares and millions of views in just a few hours

Is it a bad thing if people report evidence of the commission of crimes? Is it a bad thing if people seek for evidence of the commission of crimes?

32

Trader Joe 01.21.21 at 1:50 pm

@31 JD
“Is it a bad thing if people report evidence of the commission of crimes? Is it a bad thing if people seek for evidence of the commission of crimes?”

If you legitimately aren’t sure of the answer to these questions, you should spend more time reading about the Gestapo during pre-war Germany and most all of the “KGB-affiliated” branches of the state police in the Cold War Soviet Block. Specifically informing against those who are not affiliated with the “in” party differs markedly from routine police help lines which most people can readily support.

33

Tm 01.21.21 at 2:20 pm

When I google “army of citizen detectives”, I get only right wing hits like Breitbart. Who cares what some dude said on the internet?

34

notGoodenough 01.21.21 at 3:47 pm

It is interesting how suddenly “arresting people for specific crimes” (such as, to pick an example purely at random, breaking into a building with the stated goal of murder) who are then prosecuted in a court of law (with a legal defender and the requirement of the prosecution to demonstrate guilt) is now apparently directly analogous to sending people to concentration camps.

It is also fascinating that should one consider the alleged attempts of Barr to charge BLM protestors with sedition to be deeply problematic, apparently one is guilty of hysteria. And of course, should one advocate that people guilty of planning abduction and murder should be prosecuted for planning abduction and murder, that too is hysteria (and, apparantly, equivalent to being a member of the Gestapo).

I find it a little amusing that apparently a video from some overly dramatic, asinine twitteratti is now proof that “liberals are at their craziest and scariest” – which is, of course, a sensible, sober, and deeply thoughtful analysis in no-way prone to any exaggeration.

I’ll admit, I am enjoying seeing how many people are employing inflammatory rhetoric to point out the dangers of inflammatory rhetoric. While we may be facing greatly diminished resources in the near future, clearly we still have vast untapped reserves of irony.

35

Bill Benzon 01.21.21 at 5:23 pm

@bad Jim #29: Lady Gaga’s approach was very interesting, starting in 4/4 and ending in 3/4. Adam Neely explains it, with some historical context: https://youtu.be/Y_GY3DB8pL4

36

Anarcissie 01.21.21 at 7:17 pm

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.21.21 at 6:41 am @ 28, etc. —
In regard to Russiagate, I don’t put it past Tsar Vladimir or the Emperor Xi or indeed a number of other entities, including domestic actors, to attempt to do political manipulation through social media or other Internet features; I just haven’t seen any believable evidence of significant interference given. This was one of my work specialities in recent years, so to some extent I know what I’m talking about.

The utterances of governments or other state institutions like the major media (to which you seem to refer in defense of Russiagate) must be taken with considerable skepticism, because knowledge is power and (political) power is rivalrous; therefore, it is strongly in the interest of those desiring to acquire and keep power to lie, filter, frame, or otherwise obscure the truth from others, lest their power be diminished. I hardly need to give examples from recent public life. As a friend of mine biblically says, ‘Believe nothing until it has been officially denied three times.’ Another imperfect solution is to seek corroboration from independent sources, for which see above.

Expelling duly elected Representatives because they voted legally but improperly (in your opinion) surely deprives their constituents of their Constitutional right to engage in democracy and must be accounted anti-democratic. There is currently no law against bad judgement. In addition, such an act would be a bad example to future Congresses which might be of a considerably different political coloration than the present one. Of course you may find the sort of democracy specified in the Constitution tiresome, but then the question arises of what you’re going to replace it with.

37

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.21.21 at 9:17 pm

Anarcissie @ 36: “In regard to Russiagate, I don’t put it past Tsar Vladimir or the Emperor Xi or indeed a number of other entities, including domestic actors, to attempt to do political manipulation through social media or other Internet features; I just haven’t seen any believable evidence of significant interference given.”

It’s not just America’s intelligence services who have stated that the SVR/GRU attacked America’s election. But also America’s allies. And America’s allies were also attacked. And sure, maybe you’re actually an area expert: for anybody to believe that, you’d have to, y’know, present your bona fides — after all, on the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog, yes?

And even -with- those bona fides, we’re talking about the preponderance of the intelligence services of the West, who have weighed-in on this.

“Expelling duly elected Representatives because they voted legally but improperly (in your opinion) surely deprives their constituents of their Constitutional right to engage in democracy and must be accounted anti-democratic.”

Two things: (1) indeed, nobody’s talking about expelling 49% of the House, on a vote of 51%.
(2) what we are talking about, is thorough investigations.

Also, as it turns out, there is case law that criminalizes incitement of imminent violence when those being incited are armed, gathered, etc.

But really, none of this matters. These people pointed a mob at my (our) Republic and told them to go rip it down, killing anybody who stood in their way. This is well-documented. If there are no consequences for this, it’ll just happen again.

Democracy requires that losers peaceably give way to victors. It. Requires. It. Those who refuse to abide by this rule need to be punished, made an example of, so that no others will repeat their treason.

38

Tm 01.21.21 at 10:04 pm

It’s funny how Anarcissie claims to be super skeptical and then quotes Caitlin Johnston‘s website as proof that the liberals are planning a „purge“ of all dissenters., or something. If only he took his friend‘s advice and waited for the official denial before believing any of the batshit fed to him by his trusted propaganda channels.

39

J-D 01.21.21 at 11:32 pm

If you legitimately aren’t sure of the answer to these questions, you should spend more time reading about the Gestapo during pre-war Germany and most all of the “KGB-affiliated” branches of the state police in the Cold War Soviet Block. Specifically informing against those who are not affiliated with the “in” party differs markedly from routine police help lines which most people can readily support.

One of us is having trouble distinguishing between ‘reporting evidence of criminal activity’ and ‘reporting evidence of opposition to the government’, but that one is not me, it’s you. Neither being a Republican nor being a Trump supporter is being treated by US authorities as if it were a crime, and there is no campaign encouraging people to denounce other people to the authorities for being a Republican or for being a Trump supporter.

40

J-D 01.21.21 at 11:52 pm

Expelling duly elected Representatives because they voted legally but improperly (in your opinion) surely deprives their constituents of their Constitutional right to engage in democracy and must be accounted anti-democratic. There is currently no law against bad judgement. In addition, such an act would be a bad example to future Congresses which might be of a considerably different political coloration than the present one. Of course you may find the sort of democracy specified in the Constitution tiresome, but then the question arises of what you’re going to replace it with.

The system specified in your Constitution explicitly incorporates a power of expulsion of members for each house of the Congress; I don’t know whether you find that tiresome.

Any specific decision made by either the House or the Senate to expel a member might be made for bad reasons or for good reasons. However, it’s impossible to evaluate as bad or as good any such specific decision which not only has not been made but has not even been proposed. No member of either house has even tried to introduce a motion to expel any current member. If that actually does happen, you may have a case that the proposal is unjustified, and it’s also possible I will agree with that case; but right now you have no such case. Right now the position you seem to be advancing is that neither house should ever expel a member, and the only justification you seem to have for that is the erroneous one that it would leave constituents without representation (erroneous because any expulsion would be followed by a special election).

As I mentioned in an earlier comment, the House of Representatives should have expelled Preston Brooks; that it failed to do so is not a good thing but a bad thing.

41

J-D 01.22.21 at 12:13 am

… I just haven’t seen any believable evidence of significant interference given …

There is a difference between seeing no evidence after a diligent search and seeing no evidence while having closed eyes (and a range of intermediate possibilities).

42

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.22.21 at 1:41 am

Anarcissie @ 36: “Expelling duly elected Representatives because they voted legally but improperly (in your opinion)”

This isn’t why their peers in the Senate and the House want them expelled: it’s not merely because of a vote. It is because they fomented insurrection, MURDEROUS INSURRECTION. And for you to say otherwise, is GASLIGHTING.

But also: you have neglected that democracies work on NORMS. The NORM is that when the states certify slates of electors, the Congress MUST accept those slates. And there is even a “safe harbor” date, so that states that certify before that date MUST be accepted. There isn’t any question that all the states (except WI) met that deadline.

And let me remind you that Senators take an oath including the words “I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office”. To accept duly certified slates of electors is a DUTY OF THE OFFICE.

So stop gaslighting, Anarcissie.

These are traitors, they sent mobs to murder their colleagues, and they violated their oaths of office.

And you, for defending them, are forever after now, a Trumpist.

43

bad Jim 01.22.21 at 7:20 am

Bill Benzon, thanks. That was instructive, but I have to admit most of it went over my head. A few years in chorus is the limit of my musical education.

44

JPL 01.22.21 at 11:41 am

And in the context of the national anthem, and in the context of the “stately” occasion, the last note she hit, at the onset of the word “brave”, in the context of that chord, was killer. When done with such care, and sensitivity to its possibilities, it’s quite an interesting song.

45

Trader Joe 01.22.21 at 12:26 pm

@39 J-D

Have you watched Ms Johnstone’s video? If you bother to do so, you should find it rather chilling. It quite literally asks people to specifically target Trump supporters and denounce them to authorities for whatever the “citizen army” member imagines to be a crime.

Had Trump or any of his supporters posted such a thing the cries of fascism would be deafening. Perhaps try seeing it for what it is – certain Dems are so preoccupied with Trump and Trumpism that they’ve stooped fully to his level in pressing their cause.

Perhaps Mr. Biden can restore some sanity – but after lecturing for 30 minutes about unity and then promptly signing 15 executive orders specifically repudiating his predecessor I’m not optimistic (even if I agreed with all of them).

46

JimV 01.22.21 at 4:59 pm

Some of those dis-unifying changes Trader Joe is crying about are detailed here:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2021/01/22/friday-morning-open-thread-celebrate-then-get-back-to-work/

Some would say they actually improve unification, of families and the cast-off.

47

Anarcissie 01.22.21 at 5:21 pm

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.22.21 at 1:41 am @ 42 — You might consider getting together with J-D to decide whether the idea of expelling Representatives because of their vote was to be taken seriously or not. I thought not; I mentioned it (in conjunction with Clinton’s call for a revival of Russiagate, and the video suggesting that we spy on our neighbors and turn them in) as a sample of the spirit of the times among some supposed liberals. As you seem impervious to my theory that the possession of power leads logically to a predisposition to lie or do other harms to truth — you mention ‘America’s allies’ as if they were not subject to the same logic — it seems useless to go on about it.

I cannot gaslight because I do not control the supply of gas. I agree it does seem to vary markedly from one moment to the next, but it’s not my doing.

48

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.22.21 at 6:25 pm

Trader Joe @ 45: The crowdsourcing people are trying to identify, y’know, TRAITORS in a murderous mob that attacked the Capitol, murdered a cop, put SIXTY cops in the hospital, and came a minute-or-two away from assaulting legislators. And that’s only the part we KNOW.

To pretend that these are mere “Trump supporters” is bullshit, you gaslighter.

Trader Joe is a gaslighter and a Trumpist.

49

Jerry Vinokurov 01.22.21 at 7:20 pm

Never thought I’d live to see the day when Caitlin Johnstone was being linked seriously on CT by self-described leftists, but here we are.

50

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.22.21 at 7:49 pm

Anarcissie @ 47: So much bullshit in so few words. It’s actually artistic in a sense:

“whether the idea of expelling Representatives because of their vote was to be taken seriously or not.”

When an official violates their oath, they ought to be expelled. But you also inflate things: nobody is talking about expelling the 100+ sedition caucus, but only the ones who were most public and vocal in inciting the crowd. But hey, Anarcissie believes that it’s 100% OK for Senators to call for the murder of their colleagues one day, and be seated next to them with full privileges the next. A-yup.

“Clinton’s call for a revival of Russiagate”

Again: every respected source agrees that the Russians attacked America’s elections, and those of a number of other Western allies; the EVIDENCE (like the Dutch penetrating the SVR (GRU?) facility and getting even camera footage) is overwhelming.

“the video suggesting that we spy on our neighbors and turn them in”

The videos I’ve seen suggest that we help identify COUP PARTICIPANTS who engaged in TERRORISM against our legitimate government. Next you’ll be telling me that we should all ignore FBI “most wanted” posters? And remember that this was at moment when the then-ruling authorities were not trustworthy to actually hunt down and capture these perpetrators, b/c some of them were in league with them.

Again: these are traitors who attacked OUR government with murderous force. They need to be tried, convicted, and imprisoned.

“you mention ‘America’s allies’ as if they were not subject to the same logic”

Wow. Just wow. I hope you don’t live in a Western democracy. Go live in Russia, find out what it’s like to not have the benefit of democracy. As bad as things can get in the West, and yes, they can get pretty damn bad, it’s nothing like Russia. Jesus.

“it seems useless to go on about it.”

Would that it were true. Finally, truth from Anarcissie the Trumpist.

51

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.22.21 at 8:53 pm

I’m curious whether Anarcissie thinks that Trump committed treason by inciting that mob at the Stop the Steal rally. Also whether Madison Cawthorn (an elected Rep) did so. Following along, whether Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz did so.

I’ll stop there. But if he thinks that these people aren’t traitors [yes yes, not in the literal sense as defined in the Constitution, but the common-sense meaning of “waging violence against the duly constituted government” … OK, sure, use “seditionists” if you wish] then that would be …. interesting to know.

52

Tm 01.22.21 at 9:25 pm

TJ 45: “Perhaps Mr. Biden can restore some sanity – but after lecturing for 30 minutes about unity and then promptly signing 15 executive orders specifically repudiating his predecessor I’m not optimistic (even if I agreed with all of them).”

Why not take this opportunity to list the orders in question that threaten sanity and national unity and cause so much pain and suffering! Here they are, first the orders from inauguration day:

Begin a “100 Days Masking Challenge”
Rejoin the World Health Organization
Restructure Response to COVID-19
Moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures
Continue “pause” on student loan payments until September 30
Rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement
End Keystone XL pipeline and revoke oil and gas development at national wildlife monuments
Racial equality through the federal government
Include undocumented immigrants in U.S. Census
Protect the “Dreamers” program
End the Muslim Ban
Change Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest priorities
Stop border wall construction and end the national emergency declaration
Keep protections for a group of Liberians in the country
Strengthen workplace discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity

And here are some of the orders signed January 21 and 22:

Requires mask wearing in airports and on certain modes of transportation
Calls on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to release clear guidance on Covid-19 and directs OSHA to enforce worker health and safety requirements
Directs FEMA to create federally-supported community vaccination centers
Enhances the nation’s collection, production, sharing and analysis of coronavirus data
Calls for assistance to those who are struggling to buy food, missed out on stimulus checks or are unemployed
Restores collective bargaining power and worker protections for federal workers, and lays the foundation for $15 minimum wage

How dare he!

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/22/politics/joe-biden-executive-orders-first-week/index.html
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/

53

J-D 01.23.21 at 12:08 am

Have you watched Ms Johnstone’s video?

If you mean* the two-minute video about ‘Trump’s New Army’, yes, I have now watched it (although not until after I found out it was only two minutes) and …

If you bother to do so, you should find it rather chilling.

… I did not and …

It quite literally asks people to specifically target Trump supporters and denounce them to authorities for whatever the “citizen army” member imagines to be a crime.

… it does not.

*I’m not sure why you would call that Ms Johnstone’s video. Was there another video you were referring to, which actually does contain the content you mentioned?

Perhaps Mr. Biden can restore some sanity – but after lecturing for 30 minutes about unity and then promptly signing 15 executive orders specifically repudiating his predecessor I’m not optimistic (even if I agreed with all of them).

The merits of an executive order can be evaluated with reference to its contents and its effects, but the idea that it must be bad if it reverses the decisions of the preceding President merits only ridicule. If the choice were between a President who would say that he was not going to reverse the policies of Donald Trump and who then (contrary to his statement) did reverse those policies, and a President who would say that he was not going to reverse the policies of Donald Trump and who then (true to his statement) did reverse those policies, then the former would be preferable (although Joe did not actually ever say that he would not reverse Donald’s policies, and to imagine that he did would be fatuous).

54

J-D 01.23.21 at 12:14 am

You might consider getting together with J-D to decide whether the idea of expelling Representatives because of their vote was to be taken seriously or not.

There has been no proposal to expel a Representative solely for the way that Representative voted. That is a falsehood, and there is no number of repetitions which will convert a falsehood into truth.

As you seem impervious to my theory that the possession of power leads logically to a predisposition to lie or do other harms to truth …

I’m not sure, but it’s possible that some theory of this kind might be true; but if that is the situation, how do you suggest responding to it? Choosing never to believe any statement by anybody who holds any power would be a foolish overreaction.

55

J-D 01.23.21 at 12:15 am

Never thought I’d live to see the day when Caitlin Johnstone was being linked seriously on CT by self-described leftists, but here we are.

I never heard of Caitlin Johnstone before. Who is she?

56

Orange Watch 01.23.21 at 12:59 am

CM@50:
Again: every respected source agrees that the Russians attacked America’s elections, and those of a number of other Western allies; the EVIDENCE (like the Dutch penetrating the SVR (GRU?) facility and getting even camera footage) is overwhelming.

So let’s connect the dots between this twigs thread and the last one. It’s unequivocal that election interference happened, and there was evidence that Trump was complicit. Fine. So let’s judge people by their actions, not their intent. Nancy Pelosi, who refused to bring Articles against Trump for these uncontroversial and well-documented charges (but did bring Articles when Biden was attacked)? Trumpist. Most of the Democratic Party? Trumpist. The sensible centrist liberals who supported the sensible centrist leaders who wouldn’t act against Trump? Trumpist. You, if you choose to defend these pols for playing politics instead of trying to reign in Trump? Trumpist.

Or does none of that actually apply, b/c when you say “Trumpist” you actually mean “person I disagree with who I want to tar with a broad brush”, and you don’t disagree with any of the aforementioned enablers? You’re using the term “Trumpist” so sloppily that it’s losing any coherent meaning. Manicheanism in politics is never enlightening about anything except your likes and dislikes.

57

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.23.21 at 1:43 am

Anarcissie @ 47: A word to the wise: you might want to, y’know, be circumspect in your defense of traitors, until all the shoes finally drop. Just today, two big pieces of news, one about Trump’s further efforts to overturn the Georgia election result, and another about the realtime comms of the Capitol Coup participants, have been published. One suspects that there will be a lot of shoes dropping in coming weeks.

Maybe you oughta hold your applause for the Sedition Caucus, so that you don’t have to, y’know, pick a new nym under which to comment.

58

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.23.21 at 1:48 am

More evidence of murderous intent (and coordination): https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/conspiracy-oath-keeper-arrest-capitol-riot/2021/01/19/fb84877a-5a4f-11eb-8bcf-3877871c819d_story.html
[this is discussing an Oath Keepers group that stormed the Capitol during the attempted coup]
In charging papers, the FBI said that during the Capitol riot, Caldwell received Facebook messages from unspecified senders updating him of the location of lawmakers. When he posted a one-word message, “Inside,” he received exhortations and directions describing tunnels, doors and hallways, the FBI said.

Some messages, according to the FBI, included,

“Tom all legislators are down in the Tunnels 3floors down,” and “Go through back house chamber doors facing N left down hallway down steps.” Another message read: “All members are in the tunnels under capital seal them in. Turn on gas,” the FBI added.

59

bad Jim 01.23.21 at 6:06 am

More or less what Chetan said.

“Russiagate?” Mueller detailed charges against Trump which he thought would prevail in court, had not INDIVIDUAL1 been the president. In other words, he had him nailed on numerous counts of obstruction of justice.

The idea that one ought to turn a blind eye to the criminal acts of one’s neighbors is astonishing. To be sure, the nature of the act has to be taken into account, which is rather the point. An assault upon the capitol to reverse the result of an election is not to be taken lightly.

60

bad Jim 01.23.21 at 7:12 am

Continuing the Gaga anthem theme, and in reply to JPL, the part that stuck in my head when I crawled out of bed this morning, was the lift of her hand and the variant monotonic ascent of “and our flag was still there!”

Washington burned, but Baltimore was saved.

61

bad Jim 01.23.21 at 9:02 am

Voices on the right, Karl Rove for example, complain that Biden decries racism while also calling for unity. They would prefer to hear that there are good people on both sides.

62

notGoodenough 01.23.21 at 12:08 pm

Presented without comment – Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has stated she has filed articles of impeachment against President Biden (1 day after he has been President).

I’ll let commenters draw their own conclusions.

63

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.23.21 at 1:38 pm

OW @ 56:
“Nancy Pelosi, who refused to bring Articles against Trump for these uncontroversial and well-documented charges (but did bring Articles when Biden was attacked)? Trumpist”

What bullshit. (1) It was clear at the time that the GrOPers in the Senate wouldn’t convict, and for the Mueller report, and it was too complicated to explain to the public what happened without exposing intelligence. Yeah: “let’s lay it all out on the table”. That was never going to happen, esp. not when some of that intel came from our allies (who would never have consented).

(2) Pelosi didn’t bring impeachment charges to protect Biden: at the time, Biden was a trailing candidate. She brought them, because she and her caucus saw clear evidence that Trump was AGAIN attacking our elections. And this time, the difference was that it was a year closer to the election, and the charge was simple enough to explain. It was till clear that there was no way the GrOPers would convict, but then, the goal was to explain to voters why the man was a menace, not to achieve the unachievable conviction.

Look: maybe you think that sternly-worded letter would do something salutary to rein in the tyrant: the Dems clearly did not. And events have borne that out: immediately after he was acquitted, Trump went back to criming. The Dems always knew that impeachment was about educating the public, and not about stopping Trump.

Because without a conviction in the Senate, impeachment is a dead letter.

Last: 40+% of the population thinks the Russian election attack is a hoax. Almost all GrOPers agree with that position. To say that it’s “well-documented and uncontroversial” is …. well, sure it’s reality-based, it’s TRUE, but it won’t buy you a conviction in the Senate, not with a GrOPer majority.

64

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.23.21 at 2:00 pm

OW @ 56″ The sensible centrist liberals who supported the sensible centrist leaders who wouldn’t act against Trump?”

Alright, Einstein, what are these “sensible centrist liberals” supposed to do? What? And how is it supposed to actually stop Trump? Pray tell. Because as it turned out, the only thing that stopped him was the voters. It turned out that if you control 1/3 of the Senate, you can’t be convicted pursuant to impeachment, and [following the GrOPer theory of the unitary executive — that applies to GrOPer Presidents and not Dem Presidents] you cannot be indicted for any actions during your term. So again: tell us all what the Dems didn’t understand, that they could have done?

65

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.23.21 at 2:20 pm

OW @ 56: “when you say “Trumpist” you actually mean “person I disagree with who I want to tar with a broad brush”, and you don’t disagree with any of the aforementioned enablers? You’re using the term “Trumpist” so sloppily that it’s losing any coherent meaning. Manicheanism in politics is never enlightening about anything except your likes and dislikes.”

Yes, indeed, when I call someone a Trumpist, I do so because I think it’s clear they’re minimizing and defending Trump and his minions. And I’d think, at this point, it should be obvious to all, even to you, that he and his feculent horde are beyond the pale. They tried to overthrow America’s Republic, dude.

They attempted a violent coup. Really, I’d think that you’d understand that that’s not on the spectrum of legitimate political positions.

66

Tm 01.23.21 at 2:47 pm

CM 64: Murc’s Law is getting tiresome isn’t it. Why didn’t centrist liberals use their magic powers against Trump? Why? Because they didn’t want to, that’s why! And that proves that everything Trump did is really the fault of centrist liberals. No excuses, everything is their fault, and therefore we are right to vote against the Dems next election time, and then when Republicans are back in power, it will be the fault of the Democrats because they are always running lousy candidates… and on and on.

In the meantime, that old neoliberal Biden has with a few strokes of a pen dismantled dozens of attacks on workers, consumers, and the environment, reversed dozens of policies aimed at making the rich richer and freeing corporations of government regulation, policies waged by Trump the greatest anti-neoliberal of all time!

And more is to come! How dare President Biden, how dare he!

67

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.23.21 at 3:08 pm

Tm @ 66: Heh indeed. Many of these children are so far gone in their hatred of “centrists” like Nancy Pelosi that they defend Trump. Those who don’t, have an underpants gnome level of understanding of how change happens:
1. Impeach Trump
2. ????
3. Profit! [or, y’know, Socialist Utopia]

It’s laughable, and thank goodness these idiots have no traction in the political system. Instead, it’s people like James Clyburn and Black voters, who did the slow boring of hard boards, and chose a Presidential candidate who would appeal to scared white people while still being someone they trusted.

An lo! An executive order was born unto the devastated workers: from WaPo: https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/01/22/biden-increase-food-stamps/

“And another asks the Labor Department to make clear that workers who refuse to return to working conditions that could expose them to the coronavirus should be eligible for unemployment insurance.”

What was that old chestnut about Obama? “He. Didn’t. Even. Try.”

68

Anarcissie 01.23.21 at 4:33 pm

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.23.21 at 1:43 am @ 57 — I haven’t defended any traitors, actually. Mostly, I leave the business of bourgeois institutions to those who belong to them. However, since approximately 2016 or so I have been disturbed by the McCarthyism and Manichaeanism* of centrist (i.e. conservative) Democrats, which, once begun against their usual opponents, could easily be extended to people of very different political and cultural colorations, like me. After all, their animus toward leftists of every description is of long standing and has sometimes been exercised in material ways. I hope to impede this tendency by noting its contradiction with supposed liberal principles; perhaps some liberals will repent.

A metaphor; no offense intended to actual Manichaeans (followers of the prophet Mani).

J-D 01.23.21 at 12:14 am @ 34 —
The movement to expel Representatives was presented to me precisely as a response to and punishment of their vote not to accept the results of the election, and nothing else. I can’t read everything, but that’s what I got, and people who supported it (again, in my non-infinite reading) seemed aligned with that notion.

The problem of the conflict between power and truth is of such difficulty and long standing as to have produced many proverbs and clichés. Pretending it doesn’t exist, as by blindly trusting governments, leaders, corporate managers, and so on, doesn’t solve it. You see, in the paragraph immediately above, how even a skeptic like myself was misled by a mere correpondent.

69

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.23.21 at 8:24 pm

[Anarcissie, surely you know the First Rule of Holes, eh? “stop digging”]

Anarcissie @ 68: “The movement to expel Representatives was presented to me precisely as a response to and punishment of their vote not to accept the results of the election, and nothing else.”

He pretends that it’s all about that vote per se, and about the way that these Reps & Sens used their vote (and speeches) to gin up a traitorous mob to attempt to murder Congressmen and overturn the election. But clearly he’s wrong (and gaslighting) b/c nobody is talking about expelling all 120-140 Members who voted against electoral slates — only those who were most vocal and most public in their opposition (and in doing so, ginned up that mob). But hey, let’s take Anarcissie at his word:

Anarcissie presents this as a “vote”, as if the Reps have the choice of which way to go. But a quick perusal of the Wikipedia entry for the Electoral Count Act of 1887 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_Count_Act#:~:text=The%20Electoral%20Count%20Act%20of,votes%20following%20a%20presidential%20election. ) tells us that this is quite untrue:

The Act sets out procedures and deadlines for the states to follow in resolving disputes, certifying results, and sending the results to Congress. If a state follows these “safe harbor” standards and the state’s governor properly submits one set of electoral votes, the Act states that that “final” determination “shall govern.”[5][6] The Act thus relegates Congress to resolving only a narrow class of disputes, such as if a governor has certified two different slates of electors or if a state fails to certify its results under the Act’s procedures.[7] Congress may also reject votes under the Act for other specific defects, such as ministerial error, if an elector or candidate are ineligible for office, or if the electoral college votes were not “regularly given.”[7][8]

The vote of Congress is purely “ministerial” as they say: unless some of the conditions above are violated (which they were not in 2020) Reps have no choice but to affirm and accept the electoral slates. To do otherwise is to break the law.

That Anarcissie refuses to accept the plain meaning (which has been affirmed by courts and well over a century of usage) of this Act, and instead pretends that somehow Reps have the right to choose freely to reject slates of electors, is prima facie proof of his Trumpism. Because under his interpretation, any Congress with a 2/3 majority in each House, can unilaterally decide to reject the electoral-vote winner. That is madness, and anyone who supports, supports the destruction of the American Republic.

70

J-D 01.24.21 at 12:51 am

However, since approximately 2016 or so I have been disturbed by the McCarthyism and Manichaeanism* of centrist (i.e. conservative) Democrats, which, once begun against their usual opponents, could easily be extended to people of very different political and cultural colorations, like me. After all, their animus toward leftists of every description is of long standing and has sometimes been exercised in material ways. I hope to impede this tendency by noting its contradiction with supposed liberal principles; perhaps some liberals will repent.

If there is a principle, liberal or otherwise, which says ‘Never take action adverse to anybody’, then it is a foolish principle. That you should not wish adverse action to be taken against yourself, or against people like you, is natural; but it’s an inadequate justification for a negative evaluation of adverse actions in all cases.

If there is some more specific principle you’re defending, or some more specific negative evaluation you’re making, it isn’t clear.

The movement to expel Representatives was presented to me precisely as a response to and punishment of their vote not to accept the results of the election, and nothing else. I can’t read everything, but that’s what I got, and people who supported it (again, in my non-infinite reading) seemed aligned with that notion.

This has little or no value as a contribution to the discussion without some detail of who it was that presented the movement to you in that way and why you believed them.

The problem of the conflict between power and truth is of such difficulty and long standing as to have produced many proverbs and clichés. Pretending it doesn’t exist, as by blindly trusting governments, leaders, corporate managers, and so on, doesn’t solve it. You see, in the paragraph immediately above, how even a skeptic like myself was misled by a mere correpondent.

It is folly to believe everything you’re told and equally folly to disbelieve everything you’re told. Each decison about how much confidence to place in something you’re told needs to be evaluated individually, just like each decision about how much confidence to place in any conclusion drawn from any evidence. Power relations are among the relevant circumstances but the issue exists independently of them, as your example shows (‘mere correspondent’ is not a position of power). Your remarks appear to hint at the possibility that people like me have been duped into supposing that whatever people in power tell us is true, but it is not the case that I believe that whatever people in power tell me is true.

71

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.24.21 at 2:17 am

Anarcissie @ 68: Oh, another thing: you pretend that these legislators were just representing their constituents’ views. When in fact, what happened was that these legislators and Trump and his other sycophants ginned up a Big Lie that there were election irregularities, convinced these voters, and then, well, y’know, Madison Cawthorn is just representing his constituents.

And y’know, what is their view? The view of the voters in NORTH CAROLINA is that the votes of voters in PENNSYLVANIA should be thrown out. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Invent a Big Lie; convince your voters; then you vote to overturn an election, b/c hey, it’s what your voters believe! And the LIE is about elections in states you don’t even represent.

Nice work if you can get it.

72

nastywoman 01.24.21 at 7:00 am

@
”Finally, truth from Anarcissie the Trumpist”.

which always reminds me on the many disputes I -(WE) had with ”Right-Wingers” – or ”Trumpers” as they often have no idea – that they are ”Right-Wingers” or ”Trumpers”

Like… –
just last week – we had this conversation with somebody who quoted Glenn Greenwald –
by insisting that ”the insurrection” was just a ”farce” and NOT a ”insurrection” –
and after we told him -(or her) – that such a statement qualifies for ”Right-Wing Nonsense” –
AND –
”a positive 73 percent Identification as a Trumper” by our Plagiarism Software –
the ”Trumper” was really surprised –
telling US – that –
but?
but??
but??? –
he always thought to be an… ”Anarchist”.

But he didn’t call himself
”Anarcissie”?

73

nastywoman 01.24.21 at 7:04 am

But he didn’t call himself ”Anarcissie”?

As – if you are really an ”Anarcissie” you need to say… words and phrases ”Anarcissies” say – and NOT typical ”Trumpers”!

As IF you say typical things ”Trumpers” say – you actually are ”a Trumper” –
(and NOT an ”Anarchist”) –
and – okay – there are often ”Trumpers” who say completely random or ”non-identifiable words” BUT according to the Plagiarism Program that is a definite ”Identifikationsmerkmal für einen Trumper –
too –
(at least by over 57 percent)

74

Gorgonzola Petrovna 01.24.21 at 8:59 am

Open threads was a great idea, very entertaining. I should read it more often, first thing in the morning. A charge of good mood for the whole day.

75

steven t johnson 01.24.21 at 4:10 pm

The username “Anarcissie” implies, perhaps unintentionally, some commitment to anarchism. As I consider anarchism to be fundamentally reactionary despite the best intentions of a handful of its exponents (the best representatives are the free love cohort, which reminds you how antiquarian anarchism truly is, doesn’t it?) I am not surprised if an anarchist can’t tell the difference between a bourgeois democracy and a cryptofascist dictatorship, just because they are both capitalist.

This kind of thinking is absurd, like thinking the American Revolution or the Civil War weren’t revolutions. (Or even, madly enough, counter-revolutions!) The usual excuse is to focus on race (not class, which means “property.) The fact that race not class was exactly the approach both in Reconstruction and in the Great Society, yet race not class has inexplicably failed but somehow gotten worse so that there is no real improvement since slavery days (!) is simply ignored.

The problem with abandoning all judgment of history is simple enough. If the American Revolution is the American Counter-Revolution and the Thirteenth Amendment was re-enslavement as the culmination of the Civil War and the New Deal was a racist attack and the Great Society was a racist attack, the same commitment to arbitrary assertion is just as good for Trump worshippers. The same absence of standards that says Obama was a great president can be used to say Trump was an economic populist.

And if the Russians can steal an election in 2016, then the Democrats can steal an election in 2020.

Everybody who posts at LGM is a dirtbag, yes. But nobody’s perfect, not even perfectly wrong. The gravity of what was attempted January 6 was weighty indeed and needs the appropriate response. No one has to buy in nonsense about Putin, that’s irrelevant, except to convince people that national elections are easily stolen. Only the losers need to simultaneously say elections can be swiped four years ago but couldn’t be swiped this year.

76

William S. Berry 01.24.21 at 11:25 pm

race not class has inexplicably failed but somehow gotten worse so that there is no real improvement since slavery days (!) is simply ignored.

I’ve read some stupid crap in CT comments but this one surely takes the cake.

It’s a good example of why most people here don’t read your comments or engage with you.

You write like you know everything important there is to know and no-one else knows jack-s**t about anything.

Good luck with building that revolution!

77

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.25.21 at 2:01 am

WSB @ 76: Um …. I don’t know whether steven t johnson (STJ)’s comments are in bad faith, or bullshit. I don’t -think- they are.

But this comment of yours is clearly in bad faith. You’re taking literally what STJ wrote, when he clearly meant it sarcastically.

STJ’s comment is a little difficult-to-follow, but it seems clearly to be arguing that there is a truth, a reality, and that when somebody just argues against that reality, what they produce is absurdist farce, like … well, the quote you used.

78

KT2 01.25.21 at 2:40 am

J-D quoted I think this “the genre of fiction where it is imagined how history might have turned out differently in which the writer asserted that in English-language fiction of the same kind it is most commonly imagined how history might have turned out worse (for example: the Axis wins the Second World War; the Confederacy wins the Second World War) whereas in French-language fiction of the same kind it is more commonly imagined how history might have turned out better (for example: a Napoleonic triumph): the commentator suggested that Anglophone writers might imagine that we live in an ideal world (so alternatives would be worse) while French writers know that we don’t (because English and not French is the globally dominant language).”.
https://crookedtimber.org/2021/01/23/branching-points/#comment-808226

Wow. Any french fiction to suggested J-D / others?

79

bad Jim 01.25.21 at 9:35 am

Sunday dinner with my brother, lamb curry prepared in a new apparatus, which was used in this instance as a pressure cooker but apparently has other capabilities, like “air frying”, which could be used to prepare fission chips. My nephew took umbrage when I suggested that we might also try fusion chips.

80

Hidari 01.25.21 at 1:14 pm

Fun article doing the rounds on social media.

‘Traditional newspapers never sold news; they sold an audience to advertisers. To a considerable degree, this commercial imperative determined the journalistic style, with its impersonal voice and pretense of objectivity. The aim was to herd the audience into a passive consumerist mass. Opinion, which divided readers, was treated like a volatile substance and fenced off from “factual” reporting.

The digital age exploded this business model. Advertisers fled to online platforms, never to return. For most newspapers, no alternative sources of revenue existed: as circulation plummets to the lowest numbers on record, more than 2,000 dailies have gone silent since the turn of the century. The survival of the rest remains an open question.

Led by the New York Times, a few prominent brand names moved to a model that sought to squeeze revenue from digital subscribers lured behind a paywall. This approach carried its own risks. The amount of information in the world was, for practical purposes, infinite. As supply vastly outstripped demand, the news now chased the reader, rather than the other way around. Today, nobody under 85 would look for news in a newspaper. Under such circumstances, what commodity could be offered for sale?

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the Times stumbled onto a possible answer. It entailed a wrenching pivot from a journalism of fact to a “post-journalism” of opinion’.

Discuss.

https://www.city-journal.org/journalism-advocacy-over-reporting

81

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.25.21 at 2:26 pm

Hidari @ 80: It takes a lotta cheek to link to well-known right-wing advocacy shop City Journal’s article titled “Advocacy over Reporting”. What next? A campaign for women to dress modestly …. in the pages of Playboy?

82

Tm 01.25.21 at 3:35 pm

While in a corner of CT fantasy world “liberals at their craziest and scariest” are engaged in the Great Purge, in the real world liberal journalists are hounded by right wing online mobs – sometimes with success.

https://www.vox.com/2021/1/24/22247390/lauren-wolfe-new-york-times-tweet-chills
https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/01/the-warriors-of-bad-faith-claim-another-victim

83

steven t johnson 01.25.21 at 3:48 pm

I’m afraid William S. Berry is quite sincere. Perhaps this insults WSB’s reading comprehension or general intelligence, but yes, I am sarcastic. And the general point as expressed by Chetan S. Murthy is indeed that ignoring reality in arguments is nonsense.

The sarcasm, the disapproval, for the offensive nonsense like nothing has improved in US race relations was inspired by actual examples. There is a book by a professional historian which openly labels the American Revolution a counter-revolution, on the specious grounds the British abolition of slavery fifty, sixty years later. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc is bad enough, but to put the cause after the effect, is truly amazing. (For those who think the Mansfield decision somehow threatened slavery in the mainland colonies but not the sugar islands, the Mansfield decision didn’t even threaten the slavery of Scottish colliers and salt makers!

Thirteen, the documentary on the thirteenth amendment, argued early on that the thirteenth amendment sought to reinstate slavery via the clause about “except for hard labor.” This same clause was in the Northwest Ordinance that forbade slavery in the territories north of the Ohio, so it is more probable this was simply copied from precedent. Sadly the use of black convict labor after the period of the Black Codes was more about a first, crude essay at death camps, meant to terrorize the black population by killing under color of law black men. Many if not most of whom were I strongly suspect were singled out as “threatening.” An effort to attack the Black Republicans ends up I think as an covert apology for mass murder.

And thinking things are worse now than ever? There is a scene towards the end of the second season of The Umbrella Academy, where a super-powered black woman from today goes back in time to Texas in the early Sixties. She explicitly tells the civil rights activist she falls into love with that things are not really better and the struggle has yet to be won. I don’t know whether the idea here is that a white franchise is not a white privilege, thus it’s abolition is not progress. Or whether, it is simply that now is fundamentally just as bad as Jim Crow.

The Good Lord Bird has the climax being where the boy tells off John Brown, who is indeed a maniac for thinking black slaves would revolt if given the chance. The movie Harriet erases Tubman’s engagement with John Brown, replacing it with genuine prophetic powers given by God. The movie Antebellum, judging from the reviews appears to be about how a modern black woman discovers the truth about her life as a slave by a strange temporal displacement into an antebellum plantation that literalizes the truth of her life.

It may be one thing to suggest the significance of things like this (and others) is over-large to me, that poetic license is the only license here. Well, as may be.

But I think nonsense like that peddled by Anarcissie here follows from starting with nonsense. And I firmly believe nonsense never helps anybody. January 6 was an attempted coup, with the real impetus coming

84

William S. Berry 01.25.21 at 5:03 pm

@Chetan Murthy: You’re both right and wrong.

I carefully re-read stj’s comment from the beginning and, yes, I did misapprehend his meaning somewhat (his style of writing is so convoluted it is easy to lose track of what he is saying; which is likely why JD, myself, and probably some others, tend to skip over his comments). As it turns out, I mostly agree with the basic thrust; but, I also agree with that Austrian fellow when he said: “what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence.

So (very qualified) appy-polly-logies to stj!

Your own comment, however, is problematic.

You say that I commented in “bad faith”. Notwithstanding that I am more likely to agree with your comments in these threads than I am to agree with the comments of many others, I have noticed before that you tend to be rather casual with that imputation. You should at least try to be sure that it makes sense in the context.

You say I read as literal what stj meant as sarcasm. If I did that in good faith (as why would I not?) then I simply misapprehended what he was trying to express (I am used to stj saying some wild s**t so wasn’t really surprised, but it did make me a little angry in the moment. I got over it.).

Making an honest mistake is not “bad faith”.

I do stand by the underlying point of my post, suggested by this paragraph (if I may quote myself):

You write like you know everything important there is to know and no-one else knows jack-s**t about anything.

That is still true and, while admittedly somewhat vituperative (no negative judgment intended, but you’re certainly familiar with that mode of discourse yourself!) was certainly not written in “bad faith”!

85

Anarcissie 01.26.21 at 12:35 am

According to some of the articles I read about the events at the Capitol on January 6th, the coup/insurrection/riot/farce was very differently perceived by different participants. (For instance, https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2021/01/the-organizational-capacity-and-behavioral-characteristics-of-the-capitol-rioters-first-cut.html). A great many seemed to think they were are a protest, while others indeed seemed to believe they were at the Revolution. So which word one would use to describe it would depend on one’s position, perspective, and interests. I found the event ominous rather than immediately threatening, on the theory that while the ineptitude of the participants as revolutionaries had its farcical aspects, there were others watching who, in the future, may prove more competent — and less easily identified.

‘Anarcissie’ is a portmanteau of ‘anarchist’, ‘narcissist’, and ‘sissie’. I am also a vegetarian and a bicycle rider, so I’m easy to hate.

In other news, I think it will be boring if I wade through the remains of all the disemboweled straw men I evoked.

86

Gorgonzola Petrovna 01.26.21 at 11:30 am

@Hidari
“During the 2016 presidential campaign, the Times stumbled onto a possible answer. It entailed a wrenching pivot from a journalism of fact to a “post-journalism” of opinion’.”

It’s definitely not any ““post-journalism” of opinion”, imo.

It’s indoctrination. From experience, quite similar to the Soviet mass-media of the 1970s and early 80s. The current Western kind feels cruder and more nauseating to me, but that’s probably the fog of nostalgia.

…first I wanted to talk about their ‘narratives’ (as many do), but then I realized that there is no ‘narratives’: it’s on a much more rudimentary level. Creating and strengthening (by repetition) a matrix of simple mental associations.

87

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.26.21 at 7:47 pm

William S. Berry : OK, fair cop. I should have replied more neutrally. My harsh comment was unjustified. Fair cop. Sorry.

88

nastywoman 01.27.21 at 6:15 am

@
”I am also a vegetarian and a bicycle rider, so I’m easy to hate”.

Good Lord?

Are you… ME?

89

nastywoman 01.27.21 at 6:20 am

”are you… ME?

and I HAD to ask that – as I post under so many different handles and identities that I sometimes forget…? but if you are ME – don’t I sometimes… on special occasions… like ”Thanksgiving” eat… a little… turkey?

So I’m NOT ”vegetarian” through and through…?

90

Gorgonzola Petrovna 01.27.21 at 12:37 pm

“According to some of the articles I read about the events at the Capitol on January 6th, the coup/insurrection/riot/farce was very differently perceived by different participants.”

It’s interesting how these discussions are all about the bad people who dared to storm the congress.

Recalling some recent incidents of citizens storming parliaments (Ukraine 2014, Georgia 2003, etc.), the prevailing Western attitude there was like ‘something is rotten in the state of Denmark’. Here, it’s more like: ‘dissolve the people and elect another’. Of course it’s perfectly consistent with their reaction to the result of the 2016 election.

91

Hidari 01.27.21 at 7:15 pm

@90

It’s hilarious how DNC-associated types (and their friends in the media) try and pretend that they are greatly concerned with the 5 deaths (all of the dead were Trump supporters, incidentally, and 3 died of natural causes) when in reality so many of them are clearly far more horrified by the idea of the Wonderful and Great (and Wealthy) Men and Women of Honour of the Congress, who selflessly struggle to enrich themselves serve their Glorious Nation, being forced to vacate the Hallowed Premises and having shirtless oiks (one of whom was, pass the smelling salts, unemployed) replace them, albeit briefly.

As you correctly point out, if this had happened in any other country and the rioters were, as the euphemism has it, ‘pro-American’, all of the people who condemned the Capitol Riot would have lined up to support it and condemn the ‘vicious crackdown’ by police that would inevitably have followed.

I see, incidentally, the National Guard currently occupying Washington are now due to stay there until March (at least) because reasons. All of which is completely healthy and normal and not in any shape or form something that we should ask questions about.

92

nastywoman 01.27.21 at 10:33 pm

@
”It’s hilarious how DNC-associated types (and their friends in the media) try and pretend that they are greatly concerned with the 5 deaths (all of the dead were Trump supporters, incidentally, and 3 died of natural causes) when in reality so many of them are clearly far more horrified by the idea of the Wonderful and Great (and Wealthy) Men and Women of Honour of the Congress, who selflessly struggle to enrich themselves serve their Glorious Nation, being forced to vacate the Hallowed Premises and having shirtless oiks (one of whom was, pass the smelling salts, unemployed) replace them, albeit briefly”.

”DNC-associated types”

”their friends in the media”

”pretend that they are greatly concerned with the 5 deaths”

”(all of the dead were Trump supporters, incidentally, and 3 died of natural causes)”

”when in reality so many of them are clearly far more horrified by the idea of the Wonderful and Great (and Wealthy) Men and Women of Honour of the Congress, who selflessly struggle to enrich themselves serve their Glorious Nation”

”being forced to vacate the Hallowed Premises and having shirtless oiks (one of whom was, pass the smelling salts, unemployed) replace them, albeit briefly”.

Can we ”steal” all of this for a script – or is it copyrighted?

93

nastywoman 01.27.21 at 10:38 pm

”Can we ”steal” all of this for a script – or is it copyrighted”?

Actually as most of it is already in ”public domain”
it’s just
”shirtless oiks”
– I’m inquiring about?

94

nastywoman 01.27.21 at 10:46 pm

and about ”the National Guard” –
there is this GREAT quote from a Disney Film called ”Fantasia” where Mickey says

”Herr, die Not ist groß! Die ich rief, die Geister, werd’ ich nun nicht los”!

and ever since I saw this film I was waiting for the perfect Illustration for this quote and now ”trump” did it.

95

CHETAN R MURTHY 01.28.21 at 12:21 am

Hidari, are you really Glenn Greenwald or Michael Tracey ? B/c sometimes you sound like them.

“I see, incidentally, the National Guard currently occupying Washington are now due to stay there until March (at least) because reasons. All of which is completely healthy and normal and not in any shape or form something that we should ask questions about.”

Riiiight, the big problem is the presence of the National Guard in DC, and not, y’know, that a fucking coup came minutes away from slaughtering our national legislature, and nobody, NOBODY among those who fomented that coup has been punished, and it is clear that they NEVER WILL BE.

Jesus, you’re such a caricature of the anti-anti-Trumpist, it’s embarrassing.

96

Hidari 01.28.21 at 7:38 am

‘Riiiight, the big problem is the presence of the National Guard in DC’.

Yes, that is precisely the problem, speaking as of now. I don’t see any rioters or ‘insurrectionists’ or ‘fascists’ on the streets of any American cities today, but I do see what amounts to the Army putting the capital city of a ‘democracy’ under what amounts to de facto military occupation. I also notice that the Government has been tremendously vague about when this occupation will end.

But the phrase ‘American military’ is literally synonymous with liberty, peace, democracy, justice and human rights, just ask the Afghans or Iraqis, so I’m sure everything will be fine.

‘a fucking coup came minutes away from slaughtering our national legislature’.

It’s very important to note that this literally and objectively did not happen, nor did it at any point look like happening, that this is an objective fact about the nature of reality and that people who claim otherwise are not entitled to ‘alternative facts’. They are just wrong.

97

J-D 01.28.21 at 8:19 am

Hidari, are you really Glenn Greenwald or Michael Tracey ? B/c sometimes you sound like them.

“I see, incidentally, the National Guard currently occupying Washington are now due to stay there until March (at least) because reasons. All of which is completely healthy and normal and not in any shape or form something that we should ask questions about.”

Riiiight, the big problem is the presence of the National Guard in DC, and not, y’know, that a fucking coup came minutes away from slaughtering our national legislature, and nobody, NOBODY among those who fomented that coup has been punished, and it is clear that they NEVER WILL BE.

Jesus, you’re such a caricature of the anti-anti-Trumpist, it’s embarrassing.

Strictly speaking, it is true to say that National Guard troops will remain in Washington for ‘reasons’. The announced reasons are that the National Guard has received requests from the US Park Police, the US Secret Service, the US Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, for assistance with security, communications, medical evacuation, logistics, and safety support. I suppose some people might imagine that the US Park Police, the US Secret Service, the US Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington are all acting together as agents of a conspiracy which has reasons for wanting the National Guard troops to remain in Washington which are different from the announced reasons, but I can’t imagine what those different reasons are supposed to be.

Also, strictly speaking it would be true to say that it’s not normal for the US Park Police, the US Secret Service, the US Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington to request this kind of assistance from the National Guard, but if they are facing abnormal threats they might well have an abnormal need for assistance.

98

Tm 01.28.21 at 9:11 am

“DNC-associated types (and their friends in the media)”

Is this the worst insult the faux leftist Trumpists can think of?

99

Gorgonzola Petrovna 01.28.21 at 9:50 am

@Hidari
“All of which is completely healthy and normal and not in any shape or form something that we should ask questions about.”

Sure it’s normal, considering the amount of bad citizens in the country. Must be at least 30% of all the governed, I reckon. Plus, a number of good citizens aren’t particularly enthusiastic about the new management either. Worse yet, the guardsmen themselves are, statistically, overwhelmingly bad people.

Very worrisome. You don’t suppose it’s time for the NATO allies to lend a helping hand? Albanians, for example, who certainly have a lot to be grateful for.

100

nastywoman 01.28.21 at 11:00 am

@
”Yes, that is precisely the problem, speaking as of now. I don’t see any rioters or ‘insurrectionists’ or ‘fascists’ on the streets of any American cities today”

How could you –
after ”trump” called the Army?

101

nastywoman 01.28.21 at 11:07 am

and about ‘alternative facts’
our Plagiarism Program identifies somebody called ”Kellyanne Conway” as the ”creator” of ”alternative facts” – did you ask her for her… her… ”release” – to use ”alternative facts”?

102

nastywoman 01.28.21 at 11:15 am

And thinking about it?
This could be really an important ”Branching point”?

As –
”Thinking back over the past two decades, which of the following events that took place since the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) are the important moments when something different could have been done that might have saved us from being in the situation we are in? How might history have unfolded differently? Are there key events to notice in Asia, Africa and Latin American that ought to be on the list? What is cause and what is merely symptom? Please suggest additional key moments in comments”.

103

steven t johnson 01.28.21 at 3:13 pm

Hidari@96 wrote “… literally and objectively did not happen, nor did it at any point look like happening, that this is an objective fact about the nature of reality and that people who claim otherwise are not entitled to ‘alternative facts’. They are just wrong.” What did not happen because Secret Service men blocked the doors still has no bearing on what might have happened, which means it remains merely a way to prejudice judgment. Clinging to a false argument is a symptom of bad faith. As for the claim it is an objective fact that a gallows objectively proves that nothing dire would have happened, this would be merely a joke, were it not obviously sincere. Ignoring the precedent set by the plans in Michigan is obviously insincere, in my best judgment.

It is a commonplace that the journees of the French Revolution, so pivotal in creating the Jacobin dictatorship, were no more desirable than Robespierre, St.-Just, Couthon et al. That is to say, entirely not. It is doubtful there are any significant numbers of Jacobin magazine writers who approve the journees and the real Jacobins. Lafayette shooting down protesters on the Champ-de-Mars are rarely deemed worthy of disapproval. Imagining some sort of class edge to disapproval of an attempted autogolpe is the kind of thing that gives populism specifically a bad name, and rhetoric in general a malodorous air.

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