Weekend Open Thread

“Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in.'”

–Ronald Reagan

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  1. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    With Trump, instead of a status quo, we get quid pro quo. Or perhaps a chaos quo

    (Pardon the Latin, there doesn't seem to be a specific antonym to "status quo" in the Latin to English dictionaries I consulted.  Anyone versed in Latin who can come up with one?)

  2. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    I did not yet find an answer to your question, but came across a phrase that my Cat and I decided could basically explain how it seems the OD has the GOP by the balls. Attributed to Seneca the Younger, "Res est profecto stulta nequitiae modus".

    "It's stupid to stop in the middle of a crime."

  3. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Your family needs you, Pear.

    QAnon Believer Teamed Up With Conspiracy Theorists to Plot Kidnapping, Police Say

    Colorado mother Cynthia Abcug became an unlikely star on the fringe right last year thanks to a battle with her state’s child-welfare department over custody of her son, which became a cause célèbre among believers of the bizarre pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory.

    But a recently unsealed arrest warrant alleges that Abcug had bigger plans, working with other armed QAnon believers to plan a kidnapping.

    Montana police arrested Abcug in Kalispell, Montana, on Dec. 30, on a felony conspiracy to commit kidnapping arrest warrant issued in Colorado. Abcug had allegedly teamed up with other QAnon believers to carry out the kidnapping, according to witness statements to police.

    The alleged target of the purported kidnapping is redacted in court documents, but the individual is described as once having been in Abcug’s “care.” The 50-year-old’s son was taken from her by Colorado child-welfare officials in the spring of 2019.

  4. DENependent says:

    Back in 2002/3 I was against the drum beat for war in Iraq. I thought it would be a distraction from finishing off al-qaeda. I said nothing because I worried, “What if S. Hussein really has a weapons program?” I was fooled and I was silent. I doubt that me speaking up would have changed anything, but it is this memory that makes me speak up now.

    This strike is clearly a trick by Trump. He has no evidence, he has no plan, he just wants to go to war because he thinks America is stupid. He thinks Americans will mindlessly support him and let him keep ripping them off if he’s a “war president”. Even if this were real, he’s still an incompetent fool. He needs to be removed from office so that if we end up at war we at least won’t have an idiotic arm chair general running things.

    As much as I dislike Pence, he’s got to be better than this mess. Republicans, it’s time. You’ve got to get rid of Trump for the good of America and the good of your party.

    • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

      The trouble with that assessment, DEN, is that at this point Pence could run twice. Nearly ten years of him would do more damage domestically than could be repaired in a lifetime. Goodbye civil rights for sexual minorities, hello State religion. Pence would, indeed, be competent in the job, his level of competency is what worries me.

       

      • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

        Pence could run … but he'd have to clear the primaries.  Various Republican male Senators don't REALLY believe Pence is the best Republican leader — Cruz, Rubio, Cotton, Hawley — each thinks HE is.  Mike Pompeo.  Nikki Haley. Don Trump Jr. Ivanka Trump. Gov. Ron DeSantis.  No shortage of possibility thinkers.

        • kickshot says:

          Pence has his own list of impeachable offenses too.

          He knew about Flynn's contacts with the Russians. Sally Yates got fired instead.

          He won't release the emails that Schiff says show that he knew about the Ukraine shakedown.

          He does a really lousy Rod Serling/Paul Harvey imitation.

          • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

            The latest numbers from the GOP indicate the popularity among todays' Republicans of the T***p dynasty. A recent poll indicated only Pence was a more popular choice among the Pubs than Don II or Ivanka to replace their father…probably out of deference for his office.

            I suspect many in the T***p circle aren't really comfortable around the sanctimonious prude.

             

      • DENependent says:

        The critical word is “could”. Pence could win. So could Ted Cruze. So could AOC. So could H. Clinton. There is no law against any of them running and winning. There are only four natural born US Citizens barred from running for President.

        Is Pence more likely to win the presidency than Trump? Really? Because almost everyone was saying in 2016 that there was no way that he could win. Turned out that was wrong. I was wrong. I was sure that Clinton was going to win right up until 8pm mountain time election night.

        Humans are terrible at predicting the future. I don’t know if Trump being removed from office will be better for Democrats or Republicans. What I know is that right now the US has committed an act of war against Iran and we have an incompetent crook leading us. Saying he should not be removed from office is like saying, “Don’t give me chemotherapy for the cancer. That might damage my heart and I don’t want to die of a heart attack.”

        Are you really prepared to argue that one to five more years of Trump with maybe a Democrat after that would be better for America than the possibility of one to nine years of Pence?

        • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

          The ascension of Mike  Pence to the office of President will surely be the actual advent of an American Caliphate. There are two immutable positions held by the Christian Taliban…on gender identity and abortion. T***p gave them the Supreme Court in exchange for his presidency. Mike Pence is the personification of his quid pro quo with the evangelicals.

          If he becomes president, it will get worse.

          • kickshot says:

            "Christian Taliban" aka Dominionists and include the likes of Michele Bachman and Rick Perry.

          • DENependent says:

            The presidency is not a mind control device.

            Pence as president would be as empowered as his abilities to manipulate the public would take him. Is Mike Pence & Co. better able to get the press and machine of government to dance to his tune than Trump? To get the public to give in to him? To win an electoral college majority?

            And as others have pointed out he is implicated. If a significant part of the Republican base turns on Trump they’re not going to thrilled with Pence either.

            • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

              To be perfectly honest, I think a yes answer is possible for each of your questions. The supposition that Pences' ruthlessness and certitude would empower him to wield the immense power of the office in very self serving ways, isn't at all far-fetched.

              Worse? Who is to say? Is one cancer better than another? 

              Truly, your point is taken though. The loose cannon aspect of T***s insanity gives him a trump card (ahem) on that score.

  5. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    War is a class conflict, too. The rich and powerful who open war escape the consequences of their decisions. It’s not their children sent into the jaws of violence.

    It is often the vulnerable, the poor, & working people -who had little to no say in conflict – who pay the price. https://t.co/jlC35MYsQq

    — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 3, 2020

  6. kickshot says:

    Report (not from Weld County)

  7. kwtreekwtree says:

    Over 70 Protests in Iran and across the US, including in DenverMany people think the assassination of Soleimani was an act of war,  and want to protest the air strikes and escalation.
     

    If $rump thought that this would make him popular or distract from his corruption and impeachment, he was wrong…again. 

    • Meiner49erMeiner49er says:

      Wars of distraction ala "Wag the Dog" are so 1990s, and certainly not 45's game. What 45 and the GOP does so well since the late 1990s, and are doing again, is "Wagging the Dems."

      What his base hates most is liberal self-righteousness. Spark the possibility of war, and here we go quoting international law and taking to the streets in peaceful protests. His base eats it up! Later, when he defuses the "war" he never intended to start, he'll look strong and these Dem's will look like a bunch of ineffective worry-worts. Happened with the Wall, the Kavanaugh nomination, you name it.

      We laugh when 45 claims he has god on his side, but we do the same thing with our notions of "right" and "wrong." It's time we stopped proclaiming we are "right" expecting the public to see the light, and just start calling his bluff so we can get back to playing our game rather than his.

      • kwtreekwtree says:

        Meiner: Political assassination is more serious and consequential than mere “trolling the Libs”. Political assassination has been known to trigger world wars. You wrote:

        Wars of distraction ala "Wag the Dog" are so 1990s, and certainly not 45's game. What 45 and the GOP does so well since the late 1990s, and are doing again, is "Wagging the Dems."

        Trump certainly considered Wagging the Dog, aka, distracting from real problems by sensational, outrageous statements and starting wars. He accused Obama of it several times from 2011-2013.  

        What his base hates most is liberal self-righteousness. Spark the possibility of war, and here we go quoting international law and taking to the streets in peaceful protests. His base eats it up! Later, when he defuses the "war" he never intended to start, he'll look strong and these Dem's will look like a bunch of ineffective worry-worts. Happened with the Wall, the Kavanaugh nomination, you name it.

        You think that $rump will“defuse” a war? First, he may not have a choice. The ball is in Iran’s court now. Iran is flying the red flag of war. They have an Air Force, unlike Iraq, and warned that 35 US bases are within missile range. 
         

        Second, have you ever seen our President act diplomatically, cautiously, like a statesman? Ever? He, like Bush, has always wanted to be a “war president”, judging by his actions, not his words.And now he gets his chance. 

        We laugh when 45 claims he has god on his side, but we do the same thing with our notions of "right" and "wrong." It's time we stopped proclaiming we are "right" expecting the public to see the light, and just start calling his bluff so we can get back to playing our game rather than his.

        Locking up children in cages: morally wrong. Putting the country 22 trillion dollars in debt to finance tax cuts for the top .01 percent: morally wrong. Cutting Medicare, Medicaid, basic health care for millions of Americans: morally wrong.

        What the hell do you mean “start calling his bluff” as an alternative to protests? Let him start a war? Our representatives (and our Constitution) disagree
         

        Apparently, you really dislike us “self-righteous liberals” and define this as anyone who ever marches or condemns this administration’s actions. You see yourself as more reasonable and intellectually superior to us, as well. I wonder what you’ll be saying when the missiles start killing Americans. 

         

        • Meiner49erMeiner49er says:

          From last to first, no, I don't dislike liberals. Count myself among them. But declaring our own righteousness and expecting the opposition to come to its senses is no different than the opposition's declarations of faith with expectation that we will bow to their imaginary friends. You're right. All the things you list are wrong in my opinion, and perhaps objectively so. The latter matters less to me than that I've worked actively to address several of them.

          As for "defusing the war," Trump is famous for creating crises from which he backs away, as is Iran. That's why I find all the fear of WWIII unfounded. US v. Iran is a match made in hell, but it won't lead to a war, other than the one we've been fighting with Iran for 40 years across several administrations, maybe longer if you go back to 1955. The fact of the matter is that a cold war between us is more mutually beneficial to both sides than a hot war.

          As for calling bluffs, that is exactly what Trump did on to Obama in the examples you cite: he short circuited the policy option BEFORE it was exercised, not after.  Yes, he did this strike at a time when he faces impeachment, but it was not to distract from impeachment. It was to make him look strong while the Dems remain impotent before the Senate in terms of getting a fair trial.

          Were I in Pelosi's shoes, or the Dem leadership in general, I would not be complaining that Trump didn't inform me or that the "act of war" was illegal (there are far too many Democratic examples of such acts for such rhetoric to hold water). I'd be making whatever offers/deals I could to get 4 Republican Senators on board for a fair Impeachment Trial in the Senate. That would settle Donny-boy down, right quick. 

          Finally, if all of that makes me seem to be more reasonable, I don't see that as a problem. When we react emotionally, we get played by the GOP, and I'm tired of watching that happen over, and over, again.

          • kwtreekwtree says:

            What makes you think that Obama ever adjusted his foreign policy on the basis of what $rump said? Your claim that $rump “short-circuited the policy option before it was exercised” is nonsensical.

            Pelosi is quite savvy. I’m sure she and Schumer are coordinating, making deals and offers to try to get 4 R Senators on board for at least a trial rules agreement. Dem Congresspeople in general can walk and chew gum, legislate and negotiate on several fronts.

            Your blanket criticism that Dems are “too emotional” when we protest in the streets does not seem to align with the calm, lawyerly impeachment process, nor in general with the reaction to the assassination of Soliemani. There is room to criticize Trump’s violation of the War Powers Act, even if Dems have done the same thing in recent history. We need activism on all fronts: in Congress, in the media, and yes, on the streets. 
             

            I see your posts as more circular firing squad blather, blaming our side for crimes that conservative Republicans have perpetuated. If you were successful in your condescending attempts to silence all “emotional” protest and dissent, do you really imagine that that would curb Republican emotionalism ? (the war drums are fueled by hate and fear of Muslims). 

            If we were shamed by your scolding into silence, would $rump suddenly turn reasonable and sane?
             

            You’re also neglecting the corruption/money angle in all this. Whatever Trump does, follow the money. Who benefits from a hot Mideast  war? 
            Oil companies, military contractors, and ???

             

          • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

            Is this considered an emotional protest, M49?

            PS: Flynn's sentencing is nearing. 

        • MADCO says:

          It shouldn't trigger world war.

          Putin + side with Syria, Iran and Venezuela. Maybe Brazil.
          China sticks some regional satellites.

          NATO sticks together – except Turkey, sort of.
          House of Saud sticks with US.

          It's pointless and scary for no good reason.
          And I agree with you on the rest. His base sticks with him.
           

  8. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    "If $rump thought…" You could have stopped right there, kwtree

  9. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    For folks who may not get why white evangelicals are (in apparent hypocrisy) such big Trump fans, it's because they're all in for the world to end in fire.  A quick Twitter thread:

    The evangelicals I'm talking to see the escalation of Iran as fulfillment of End Days prophecy, cementing their perception of Trump as a faulty messiah used by God. Many are bragging openly about their foresight in prepping, others are purchasing more weapons.

    Seems as good a time as any to remind everyone of what I call the Cult of the Shining City, which is white identity Christianity that blends segregationism, prosperity gospel, and nationalistic occultism that originated as a response to the Civil Rights Movement.

    As Civil Rights leaders used Christianity as a means to push for equality, white evangelicals responded by changing the gospel to focusing on wealth and power. Trump is part of this tradition and the Cult of the Shining City sees him as an embodiment of their teachings…

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