Monday Open Forum

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. de stijl says:

    Less than totally impressed with Better Call Saul last night.

    It was decent moving story forward, and inelegant story-telling. There is a major difference.

    I liked aspects of the b&w Omaha open. The paranoia.

    What worked best in the episode was Kim’s hesitations. Their inability to look one another square in the eye. That worked.

    A new episode tonight. I want better than last night. Last night was underwhelming judged against what these folks can do.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In my email box this AM from Heirloom Solutions:

    Some Bad News

    The outbreak of the coronavirus is already affecting Chinese seed shipments of all kinds to the U.S. and the rest of the world. All markets and seed shipments are completely shut down. Many ports are closed until further government notice.

    Little known is that China ships around 20 million dollars in seeds at “wholesale” to the U.S.

    Here’s the important part: Of all the vegetable seed imports that come into the U.S. each year… 86% of it comes from China.

    Fact: Big seed companies import a staggering amount of vegetable seeds from China each year.

    This means potential shortages of some vegetable seeds (maybe all). Frankly, not sure how it will all play out. It’s in God’s hands I suppose.

    2
  3. wr says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I wrote a show for HBO Asia that shot last year. It’s been in post ever since — many hundreds of effects shots to do. I just heard that post-production has been shut down on the last couple of episodes because they’ve been doing it in Beijing and everything there has ground to a halt. They’re looking to move it to another country, but haven’t decided where yet.

    Not that my series amounts to a hill of beans in this crazy world. But if this kind of business is getting shut down, what is actually running?

    2
  4. de stijl says:

    @wr:

    In the fairly near future, green lights and red lights will mostly be controlled by Chinese money.

    We were the world’s largest economy for about a century and and a half. Wake up time.

    When God closes one window, a Chinese billionaire opens another.

    What will happen to Hollywood?

  5. Bill says:

    The headline of the day-

    Schumer admits to spending thousands on cheesecake

    Now if it was this type of cheesecake*, there might have been a problem.

    *-I’m showing my age by my remembering this archaic slang term.

  6. de stijl says:

    @Bill:

    Cheesecake is best dessert. If I had discretionary funds, cheesecake would be super high on my list.

    1
  7. Teve says:

    @nash_official

    aliens: *landing on earth* take us to your leader

    america: alright but … sorry

    aliens: *wincing* jesus christ are there any others we can talk to?

    uk: here’s ours? also sorry

    aliens: okay look that’s clearly the same guy as before

    5
  8. Slugger says:

    Trump is in India. There must be some Desis who read this site. What is the consensus opinion about him over there?

  9. EddieInCA says:
  10. Gustopher says:

    If the race comes down to Bloomberg and Bernie, my hope is that the diehard Bloomberg Boys are as irritating as the BernieBros. Just to help support the “we are living in the worst possible timeline” theory.

    1
  11. An Interested Party says:

    @EddieInCA: Republicans won’t have to paint Sanders as a commie symp, he’ll do that all by himself…

    4
  12. de stijl says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Any 2020 election where Trump is not the super obvious Putin stooge, is a total failure on D messaging.

    2
  13. Fortunato says:

    Am I misreading the zeitgeist, or is the mercilessly battered, ptsd (post-Trump16-stress-disorder) left/progressive/democrat slowly finding a way to accept a… President Sanders?

    For 3+ years now (seems like thirty) Donny Two Scoops and his growing team of Capos and Consiglieres have taken a daily giant, public sh*& on precedent, law, reason, the constitution, morals, ethics and even sanity.
    Week, after week, after week the assault has been relentless. It’s actually hard to even contemplate how someone can find the time to commit such a voluminous, all encompassing array of so many truly heinous actions.
    Day in and day out it’s a never ending firehose of licentiousness and debauchery, all of it served up to the whir of helicopter blades and sprays of spittle illuminated by the morning sun.

    At what point in this soul crushing onslaught does one actually embrace the dissolution of the insurance industry as we know it, as an actual step in the direction of reason and normalcy?
    I mean – does someone out there really like their insurer? Has anyone ever uttered the phrase; ‘Boy, my insurer sure treated me right on that one’. ?
    And, do our youth -all of them- not need access to a better education, if only a two year trade school? Does that somehow not seem like a ‘normal’ American need.
    And at 60 years old, ever since I can remember I’ve watched or read decade upon decade of reports of offshore tax havens and massive corporate profits shielded from contributing to the roads, bridges, electrical grids, water and sewer lines and the educated work force that make those profits possible.
    Same is true for our -largely political-, tax exempt, houses of worship.

    After a 40 year sustained march of plutocrats, ever-increasing inequality, catastrophic climate change denial and the slow suffocation of the American Dream, is the path Bernie is proposing really that radical?
    One thing that certainly strikes a cord in Bernie’s presentation of today, just as it did when first given voice by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968:
    “This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor”.

    Maybe the time has come, or maybe I’ve just finally surrendered to the relentless onslaught of the Crime Family that occupies our White House.
    But.. if not now, when?

    7
  14. Kathy says:

    On other things, I’ve discovered a great ingredient: tomato paste.

    It’s not commonly found, nor used, in Mexico. I thought it was like tomato puree. Hardly. It’s more like liquid tomato bouillon. Of course, I’m stating the obvious here, like a five year old who discovers ice is frozen water.

    But it’s made the making of Mexican rice (rice with liquefied tomato) a lot easier.

    2
  15. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    Get the little metal tubes. (The ones that look like old school toothpaste tubes.) You can control the amount very well.

    Tomato paste is a great add to many dishes. This sounds way too foodie, but it’s true – you can add tons of umami with a quite small squirt.

    Also, add mushrooms to almost everything.

    (My spellcheck wanted to change umami to Miami, which amused me.)

    3
  16. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    Everytime I go serious grocery shopping, I always buy something new, never had before. I recommend that.

    Often, it is spices or herbs, but it could be anything.

    Not going to be pushy like you *must* do this, but it is a behavior that works for me and I find intetesting.

    Give it a try if you want.

    1
  17. Kurtz says:

    @Fortunato:

    After a 40 year sustained march of plutocrats, ever-increasing inequality, catastrophic climate change denial and the slow suffocation of the American Dream, is the path Bernie is proposing really that radical?
    One thing that certainly strikes a cord in Bernie’s presentation of today, just as it did when first given voice by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968:
    “This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor”.

    Maybe the time has come, or maybe I’ve just finally surrendered to the relentless onslaught of the Crime Family that occupies our White House.
    But.. if not now, when?

    No, it’s not radical. But, unfortunately, what is and is not radical can only be evaluated from the position of an individual.

    However, there is valid concern from Reynolds and others that Sanders cannot win, or if he does win, will lose Dem control of the House, and/or ensure the Senate cannot be won.

    I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment, but the concern is valid. The thing is, none of us can really know. I agree with you. This is arguably the best opportunity the Left will have anytime soon to enact some real change.

    But it’s best to remember that we don’t know, and given the dangers Trump presents, no one can really be blamed for taking the safest route to electoral victory.

    The other day, I was guilty of being a dick–acting like a Bernie bro–to Reynolds and Jen, because I am just as frustrated as they are. I’m still waiting for Jen to pop back up so I can directly apologize.

    I don’t envy their position. They are caught between two factions, just trying to maintain some level of sanity.

    Anyway, I agree with you. But there is plenty of room for disagreement here.

    3
  18. Scott says:

    Intersection of public health, health insurance, and global pandemic.

    A Miami man who flew to China worried he might have coronavirus. He may owe thousands

    After returning to Miami last month from a work trip in China, Osmel Martinez Azcue found himself in a frightening position: he was developing flu-like symptoms, just as coronavirus was ravaging the country he had visited.

    Under normal circumstances, Azcue said he would have gone to CVS for over-the-counter medicine and fought the flu on his own, but this time was different. As health officials stressed preparedness and vigilance for the respiratory illness, Azcue felt it was his responsibility to his family and his community to get tested for novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19.

    He went to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he said he was placed in a closed-off room. Nurses in protective white suits sprayed some kind of disinfectant smoke under the door before entering, Azcue said. Then hospital staff members told him he’d need a CT scan to screen for coronavirus, but Azcue said he asked for a flu test first.

    “This will be out of my pocket,” Azcue, who has a very limited insurance plan, recalled saying. “Let’s start with the blood test, and if I test positive, just discharge me.”

    Fortunately, that’s exactly what happened. He had the flu, not the deadly virus that has infected tens of thousands of people, mostly in China, and killed at least 2,239 as of Friday’s update by the World Health Organization.

    But two weeks later, Azcue got unwelcome news in the form of a notice from his insurance company about a claim for $3,270.

    Yes, our health care system is also a danger to the general public.

    5
  19. EddieInCA says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Actual Bernie quotes:

    “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”

    “In Vermont, everybody knows that I am a socialist and that many people in our movement, not all, are socialists. And as often as not — and this is an interesting point that is the honest-to-God truth — what people will say is, ‘I don’t really know what socialism is, but if you’re not a Democrat or a Republican, you’re OK with me.’ That’s true. And I think there has been too much of a reluctance on the part of progressives and radicals to use the word ‘socialism.’”

    “For better or for worse, the Cuban revolution is a very profound and very deep revolution. Much deeper than I had understood,” Sanders wrote. “More interesting than their providing their people with free health care, free education, free housing … is that they are in fact creating a very different value system than the one we are familiar with.” (Ed- Good people on both sides, amirite?)

    “These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger. Who’s the banana republic now?”

    4
  20. Kathy says:

    On other, other things, Harvey Weinstein’s been found guilty on two counts.

    He still has charges pending in California.

    Chances are he’ll die in prison.

  21. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I often look at items I don’t commonly use and ask “What can I make with this?”

    And this also applies to leftover samples at work, where aside from common staples like rice, oats, beans, and cooking oil, we sometimes get different things. Last year, we got lentil flour, dried peas, packaged cooked shredded chicken (and beef), among other things. I’ve used all that.

    1
  22. Kurtz says:

    @EddieInCA:

    “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”

    This is the quote at issue.

    So, dictators cannot have any redeeming qualities, ever? If a dictator does something good, isn’t it fair to say, well that program was successful even if it isn’t worth giving up freedom? Wouldn’t it be the responsible thing to do to figure out if that program can be implemented without gulags, torture, and political repression?

    More to the point, isn’t this the same thing for which virtually every commenter and author on this blog (rightfully) criticizes the social left?

    Don’t answer. It is the same thing. Reject, reject, reject.

    We get you don’t like Sanders. Stick with your other criticisms–that you like your health insurance and you sacrificed to pay student loans.

    Or argue that many voters won’t see the distinction, and Trump represents an existential threat so defeating him is the highest priority.

    Or that Sanders will be ineffectual executive.

    Those approaches are more honest than ignoring one part of a quote to make the other part look worse than it is.

    5
  23. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    I am now a curry fiend.

    Explore!

    Two weeks ago I made a boneless beef rib red curry. It was tremendous.

    I then realized I did a fairly traditional Indian dish with beef. I wasn’t trying to be offensive. No one knew but me, but still. In my defense it was really good.

    1
  24. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: Oh, No!!! Sanders actually acknowledged that Castro wasn’t actually Satan reborn on earth!!!!! He’s dooooomed!!!!

    4
  25. wr says:

    @de stijl: “What will happen to Hollywood?”

    I’m working in Taiwan and Amsterdam. Hollywood can kiss my ass.

    (Unless they want to give me money. Then I love them.)

    1
  26. EddieInCA says:

    @Kurtz:

    This is the quote at issue.

    No. It’s not. It’s a 40 year record of quotes that is at issue.

    2
  27. de stijl says:

    @wr:

    That’s a very good answer.

  28. Kurtz says:

    @EddieInCA:

    That have all been qualified by Sanders with the same thing–that endorsing the aim of a policy doesn’t require endorsing the execution of the policy nor does it require endorsing the bad shit the regime does.

    Joyner linked to a USA Today op-ed the other day that was disingenuous to the maximum. The author criticized Bernie for “praising” the Soviet medical system.

    Sanders praised that the system made an effort to cover everybody. He made it a point to criticize the quality.

    Most of the links posted around here about the USSR trip are fond of calling it a “honeymoon.” They also fail to mention that it was an official visit aimed at establishing a sister-city relationship with a Soviet city during the era of glasnost and perestroika.

    Look, if Sanders is as bad as you say, then you shouldn’t have to be disingenuous to make your point. I gave you three different avenues of argument that don’t require dishonesty.

    What is it? You don’t want me to criticize you for having two Porsches? I won’t take that line, I promise. 😉

    1
  29. de stijl says:

    @wr:

    You gave me a World Party earworm a few weeks back. Inadvertantly, you did not mean to do so.

    I had to throw the whole army of catchy songs at it to defeat it. I picked up a slight Divinyls echo effect, but it faded.

    The cool bit is that defeated earworms can go into the daily rotation. So it now is.

  30. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    There is a lot of collagen in boneless beef ribs. It marries with red curry flavors quite nicely.

    In anyone Hindu reads this, I really am sorry and am not trying to be provocative at you.

  31. gVOR08 says:

    In yesterday’s open thread there was mention of it being the 75th anniversary of the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi. http://ww2today.com/ notes that today is the 100th anniversary of the Nazi Party. On the 25th anniversary the Russians were well inside Germany with the German Army and masses of civilians desperately fleeing westward. In the west the Anglo-American armies were also inside Germany’s borders and advancing quickly. Night and day the allied air forces were destroying German cities and towns. Eventually the country would be split with the East under a new Russian autarchy and the West luckier, under occupiers who were willing to be generous in return for support against the new Russian enemy. Autarchies don’t last forever, but this is what it took to get rid of the German dictatorship once it was established. Same with the Italian and Japanese dictatorships. The Russian autarchy lasted another 40 plus years, collapsed under it’s own weight, and then started up again.

  32. Mister Bluster says:

    @Fortunato:..Has anyone ever uttered the phrase; ‘Boy, my insurer sure treated me right on that one’. ?

    Almost…I said that about AAA Insurance of Southern California. The company that covered the elderly woman who backed out of a parking space and crashed into my rental car stopped in the traffic lane directly behind her. She gave me her insurance info and drivers license number.
    When I rented the car at LAX I did not pay for the Collision Damage Waiver. What could go wrong?
    I was visiting my brother and his family in Glendora. I know that it was 1983 as my now 37 year old niece was about 2 or 3 weeks old.
    The accident occurred in San Diego where I had driven to catch up with one of my former college roommates.
    The car was drivable and when I returned to Glendora I went to the local AAA office and gave the insured’s information to Bambi. The claims agent who took my report. I told Bambi that I had not purchased the CDW on the rental and that I would have to cover the damage out of pocket and that it would sure be nice if I could be reimbursed before I left California 10 days later. She just smiled and said she would see what she could do.
    Bambi got back to me and said she had contacted the woman who hit me. The woman admitted it was her fault and said she had not reported the accident because she was afraid that she would be arrested and lose her drivers license.
    I turned in the car and wrote the rental agency a check on my Money Market account to cover the several thousand dollars damage as I puckered my butt.
    About a day before I was scheduled to fly back to the Midwest Bambi called and said my check was on her desk and I could pick it up any time.
    Thanks Bambi. Thanks AAA of Southern California.
    You sure treated me right on that one!

  33. EddieInCA says:

    @Kurtz:

    That’s all fair. And irrelevant. It took you multiple paragraphs to distill what Bernie “meant”. The US Electorate doesn’t do nuance. Never has.

    Bumper Sticker: “Bernie praised Castro’s Cuba” or “Bernie says Venezula offers more hope than USA”. Both factually true based on Bernie’s own words.

    What’s the response? “Oh… He only likes one part of the regime’s policies, while hating the rest?” Or “Castro isn’t all bad due to his literacy program”.

    Good luck with that.

    You’re giving the American electorate way, way too much credit.

    4
  34. Kurtz says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Fair enough.

    I didn’t need to use multiple paragraphs. I chose to use multiple paragraphs.

    But your point is taken. I disagree that it is as shallow as you say. But that id an argument that is at least honest.

    However, you spreading those quotes around without context makes you look just as shallow.

    Almost like owning not one, but two penis enhancers. 😉 And yes, that is a joke. (I just prefer penis enhancing sedans.)

  35. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    “I just prefer penis enhancing sedans” may be one the best throw away English sentences ever written.

    My cat is freaking out at how hard I am laughing.

  36. de stijl says:

    @gVOR08:

    Fascism on the defense and in fatal retreat is a great anniversary. People alive now need to pay attention.

  37. Teve says:

    We Are Outraged Yet Again.

    Blowing up one annoying/racist/whatever D-bag into a national story got tedious a long time ago.

    1
  38. mattbernius says:

    I had missed this last week, but the Hill’s review of John Solomon’s articles was published and they basically stated that he engaged in a lot of shady dealings and intentional water muddying:

    https://thehill.com/homenews/news/483600-the-hills-review-of-john-solomons-columns-on-ukraine

    3
  39. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I use curry powder on occasion.

    I haven’t made it in years, but rice ends up rather well boiled in coconut milk, rather than water, with a dose of curry and turmeric.

    Another odd ingredient I use now and then is peanut powder. I used to use peanut butter, but the powdered peanut is enough on its own(*). I add it to tomato sauce for pasta, which I make with tomato puree (too much work using tomatoes from scratch), along with cinnamon, oregano, thyme, paprika, and lots of garlic.

    Peanut powder also goes well with oatmeal.

    (*) cheaper, too, but you have to grind it in a food processor.

    1
  40. Mister Bluster says:

    @Teve:..Blowing up one annoying/racist/whatever D-bag into a national story got tedious a long time ago.

    Was it Rush Limbaugh that said racism is dead in this country? I thought I read or heard that somewhere but I can’t find the quote.
    I have heard many white people claim that there never has been any racisim against Black American Citizens.
    Maybe we should just ignore all the “local ‘bags” and racism against Black American Citizens will just go away.

  41. de stijl says:

    @mattbernius:

    They failed to mention he was paid by sources to flog their shit. A pretty grievous oversight. Even if he was ideologically attuned with their shit.

    Solomon will be the albatross about their neck for years, decades. Maybe forever. It was a major breach of trust.

  42. Fortunato says:

    @Kurtz:

    But, unfortunately, what is and is not radical can only be evaluated from the position of an individual.

    And even more unfortunately, for the MAGAhordes what is and is not radical is based not on fact, reason or reality.
    It is instead based on the malinformation that has been spoon fed them over two decades by grifters like Hannity, Beck, Limpbaugh, Ingraham, Jones, Levin etc..
    A right wing entertainment complex that has profited wildly by the deliberate manipulation and gaslighting of – at a minimum – 60,000 million Americans.
    These are people that are more likely to believe in Bigfoot than climate change. More likely believe that HRC is still running a child prostitution ring out of Pizza Parlors all over America than that immigration is vital to our economic prosperity.
    That Trickle Down economics really works and Donald Trump is at all times the smartest man in the room and – likely a better President than even Lincoln or Washington.

    The more I think about it, the more willing I am to throw Bernie in and just blow this this gd nightmare up.
    Let the MAGAloons grab their guns and their bibles. Let them scream “Soshulism!!’ We’ll take a page out of the Koch Bros. TEAparty bus tours of the past. We’ll meet the frothy hordes at the gates – not with guns – but with a Lee Greenwood cover band, a few shiny baubles and some free ham sandwiches.
    Rube Rebellion, quashed

    And, I pretty much agree with all your points.

    2
  43. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    Never seen packaged peanut powder. Have always ground my own.

    I have two grinders: one for coffee and one for spices. They both smell amazing.

  44. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I saw some once in a local Walmart some years ago. It was hideously expensive(*). It was also around the time I wanted to make my own peanut butter.

    (*) It was also certified organic, which means those peanuts were never used for packing Amazon shipments. Whew!

    1
  45. Kurtz says:

    @Fortunato:

    Yeah, nihilism is a real danger right now.

  46. Mister Bluster says:

    @Bill:..Schumer admits to spending thousands on cheesecake

    Using the numbers in the CNN “Cake News” story, if they can be trusted, that works out to about $23/week.
    I spend more than that on chicken wings. What’s the big deal?

    3
  47. Jen says:

    @de stijl: My Madur Jaffrey “A Taste of India” cookbook notes that although millions of Hindus are vegetarian, 3,000 years ago forbears ate meat, including beef.

    And of course a Thai red curry could easily be prepared with beef, it is in fact one of my favorite preparations.

    1
  48. de stijl says:

    Trying to do this by memory:

    Garlic
    Garlic powder
    Minced onion (do it on the box grinder)
    Minced ginger (again box grinder)
    Salt
    Coarsely ground black pepper
    Cumin
    Coriander
    Cayenne
    Serrano peppers charred and deseeded minced
    Curry spice
    Curry paste
    Coconut milk
    Ground peanuts
    Peanut butter
    Tomato paste
    8 oz Tomato sauce
    Lime juice
    Lime zest
    Chicken stock enough to saucify (That’s a word now)

    Braise small cubed meat in above for as long as you can stand but more than 45 minutes. Longer is better.

    Serve over rice with scallions and cilantro garnish. Squeeze a quarter of a small lime.

    I probably missed one or two.

    3
  49. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I can get at least eight meals out of that for maybe $12 up front cost.

    This is contentious: I sometimes top with crushed pineapple.

  50. Kurtz says:

    @Jen:

    Ah, Jen! I thin it’s appropriate to offer an apology. How I treated you the other day was entirely unfair and rude. I took the easy way out and directed my anger toward you rather than work through it. To tell you the truth, it was unrelated to politics–it was something going on in my personal life. Posting here was a way to avoid it.

    But there is no excuse for how I treated you. You deserve better. I apologize.

    11
  51. EddieInCA says:

    @Kurtz:

    That’s an apology! Kudos.

    3
  52. Mister Bluster says:

    For better or for worse, the Cuban revolution is a very profound and very deep revolution.
    Deep six?

    I remember back in 1959 when I was 11 years old watching the 15 minute
    Douglas Edwards with the News on TV.
    Film of Castro’s revolutionaries executing their enemies. Several blindfolded men would be standing in front of a trench in the jungle with soldiers pointing their rifles at them. No sound. Just the poof of smoke from the gun barrels as the poor saps fell backwards into their grave.

  53. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    That a cool thing to say to Jen.

    2
  54. Mister Bluster says:
  55. Kurtz says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Something should be noted in this thread. The nature of political revolution is complex; I don’t wish to simplify it. Nor do I think we should ignore summary execution such as what you describe.

    But revolutions rarely occur out of thin air, for no reason. How one evaluates the justification for violent revolt and its aftermath is likely to be dependent upon the political views of the observer.

    Related to this is that the disposition of the resulting regime plays a large part in shaping how one views the bloodshed–if it leads to a more equitable, just society, the executions, imprisonment, and repression that occurred is likely to fade from memory or be judged in a much different light.

    As far as Cuba specifically, the role of the US is generally omitted from discussion, as is the coup that reinstalled Batista to pre-empt his loss in an election.

    Batista, with US support, engaged in the very tactics for which we condemn Castro. That is to say, as bad as Castro’s regime has been, it replaced exploitative, repressive leadership.

    Batista and Pinochet good; Castro and Allende bad. Making this argument is to indulge in a dangerous fantasy. Distrust the liar; beware the one who believes his own bullshit.

    2
  56. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Mister Bluster: He ain’t lying either… Frankly, it was a miracle that Obama won here twice.

    1
  57. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Kurtz: Very few people really care about the factors political scientists and political junkies like to muse about in analyzing geopolitics. The Cuban revolution is a real thing felt in Florida. It’s not something people only know from text books. Even the younger generations understand it through the lens that their family got a raw deal, life is Cuba for the non-Castro connected suck, they would never return to live on Cuba, their extended family still there would very much like to get the hell out.

    Btw, it came out a few years ago that the Russians pulled the plug on their military support of Castro when it became clear that his paranoia made him serious about launching a first-strike nuclear attack on the eastern seaboard. That was a bridge too far…they got all the nuclear capabilities off the island.

    Maybe the Dems have a path to victory without Florida. They’ll need one if Sanders is the nominee.

    2
  58. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: we don’t agree on some things, but if someone can be critical of themselves, it’s a good function.

    3
  59. gVOR08 says:

    I see the stock market is down today, reportedly in reaction to the corona virus. Some months ago there was a lot of media chatter about impending recession and it’s effect on Trump. Then conventional wisdom decided there wasn’t qoing to be a recession and Trump was safe. And that seems to still be the conventional wisdom.

    But China’s economy is hurting. Japan had a bad last quarter and will probably be officially in recession when this quarter’s data is in. Germany is weak. The UK is cheerfully Brexiting themselves in the foot. Can we start talking about recession again?

  60. de stijl says:

    Much more impressed with Ep2.

    Crisper. Cleaner. Wilder.

    They got psyched out by the season opener. Too much pressure. It got over edited, over produced. Flattened.

    This was spiky.

    A long while back I knew two guys.

    Ignacio y Ignacio. Dos Nachos.

    The woman who kept popping out of the wall was awesome.

    Back on track.

  61. Jax says:

    @gVOR08: I’m old enough to remember a time when Trump tweeted that any President in charge while the stock market lost 1,000 should be shot out of a cannon….

    I’d be happy to take him up on that. Aimed for the Marianas Trench. 😉

    2
  62. de stijl says:

    As to amounts in “recipe” above.

    As much as you want. Whatever feels right to you. Don’t go too nuts. Add, subtract. It’s a curry! Be you.

    Bloom the spices in a hot pan before adding wet components.

    1
  63. Kurtz says:

    @Teve:

    I try to be. I mean, it’s hard sometimes. As far as general tone, I can be a bit harsh. I’ve mellowed over the years, but I’m still working on it.

    It seems that you and I are pretty aligned policy-wise. But I seem to be a little different on tactics and overall philosophy. But you usually have a viewpoint that makes me think.

    Then there are our squabbles about education. Though I think we could probably figure each other out on that one too. But there are bigger fish to fry atm.

    2
  64. de stijl says:

    I know nothing about Dispatches From Elsewhere but the trailers.

    We can all agree “Hey, Ya!” is the song song of the century so far. Yes?

    Andre Benjamin. Andre “Ice Cold” 3000. Hey, now, ladies.

    I’m so in I could say “all right” like 14 times in a row really fast. (It’s too fast to properly count, I always lose track.)

    What’s cooler than being cool?

  65. de stijl says:

    Also, second best karaoke song ever after Damaged Goods (sorry, but I got the jones in a punk rock karaoke setting) by Gang of Four.

    Any idiot can sing Damaged Goods. It requires almost zero actual singing ability.

    It super kills. People like that song even though 99% have never heard it and claim they don’t like punk.

  66. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kathy:

    Chances are he’ll die in prison.

    Good. On behalf of the majority of men who don’t rape and don’t use power or intimidation to get laid, may I just say that he can die in a concrete hole. There are so many ways Weinstein earns contempt, but the conceit that he was some kind of visionary, an artist no less, an aesthete, who thought what, that heaving is body on top of some crying girl was aesthetically pleasing? That’s the picture he leaves for the world? That’s his vision?

    He’s a man who’d wipe his ass with the Mona Lisa, a pig.

    3
  67. de stijl says:

    Punk karaoke nights are a really good time and place to get your feet wet if you’ve never.

    No one cares if you fuck up, they will cheer you on. It’s a good scene. Pound on tables. Sing along.

    And if some prick gives you crap, you have 18 new friends to set them right.

    These boots were made for stomping
    And that just what they’ll do

    Keep stompin’, boots!

    Joy Division is a great choice. You get so much old school street cred, plus any idiot can sing Ian.

    Go for Ceremony. Pro tip.

  68. de stijl says:

    I like it when weirdos succeed.

  69. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    He may get a chance to play the part of his victims yet.

  70. Robert Sharperson says:

    @EddieInCA: Spot on. Voters do not need nor or they interested in the details of the social political economic history Authoritarian Socialist regimes. Bernie needs to develop a concise statement on the definition of Democratic Socialism and drill it into voter’s minds. Bernie needs to bring his combative fighting spirit to Trump and leave his professorial condescending nature in Vermont.

  71. Robert Sharperson says:

    @Mister Bluster: I do not understand why Bernie felt the need to expand on Fidel and Cuba at this time but the media and Democratic establishment is freaking out over his statement and completely taking it out of context. It feels like Florida politics of the 1980s is back. This is not 1980 and I doubt many Cubans have the same emotional connection Trump as they did for Reagan

  72. Mister bluster says:

    @Robert Sharperson:..I do not understand why Bernie felt the need to expand on Fidel and Cuba at this time

    I suspect that he doesn’t have a clue how this plays with many citizens whose votes he will need if he gets the nomination. As far as I can tell he’s a zealot.

    2
  73. wr says:

    @de stijl: “You gave me a World Party earworm a few weeks back”

    And if you don’t behave, I’m going to sic Prefab Sprout on you…

  74. Jen says:

    @Kurtz: A sincere thank you. I like and respect the vast majority of commenters here, and that did sting a bit. You’re a gentleman to offer an apology like that–I hope you have a wonderful week and that all is well.

    2
  75. Robert Sharperson says:

    @Mister bluster:That is what I do not like about him.

  76. de stijl says:

    @Jen:

    That seemed like a good resolution.

    I like resolutions where everybody feels square, and not maltreated.

  77. de stijl says:

    @wr:

    Lloyd Cole & The Commotions.

    Everything they do is catchier than the catchiest thing Prefab Sprout ever did. I am pre-anaesthetized.

    Lloyd Cole is catchier than Prefab Sprout. Guaranteed.

    Jennifer She Said will kill your world.