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September 10, 2022 07:00 AM UTC

Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Politics is the art of controlling your environment.”

–Hunter S. Thompson


42 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. So “everyone” knew that Ukraine’s offense was going to be South to take Kherson. And they are doing that.

    ‘But the also did a brilliant job with a push in the NorthEast toward Izyum and Kupiansk that Russia was not prepared for at all. And it is succeeding brilliantly. It looks like Russia has been forced to pull out of the North end of the Donbas.

    And the Russians are reportedly running away. It’s not a fighting retreat in good order, it’s a rout. Which shows the world that Ukraine can beat Russia offensively and take back their country.

    Equally important, the Russian army is losing the will to fight. The next couple of days will likely show even greater advances. This is amazing.

    and a thought. The Russian army was considered the second most powerful army in the world. As the Ukrainian army is kicking its ass, does that mean the Ukrainian army is actually the second most powerful army in the world?

      1. I'm guessing it is getting harder and harder to motivate Russians to die for Putin. And when you start handing them 50 year old, Soviet Era munitions you bought back from Kim Jung Un…I'm guessing morale takes a hit.

      1. I think they may soon hit the problem Patton hit in Europe, he could have continued to Berlin if he had been able to get supplies. He outran the supply service. From some tweets I've read one thing slowing them down already is they can't handle the volume of POWs surrendering to them.

        But even if they slow down and solidify their gains, they have shown they can kick the Russian's ass when they want to. That's game changing.

        1. Looks like they had plans for a rapid breakthrough with fresh troops in reserve leapfrogging the ones on the leading edge.  Incredibly well coordinated with contingencies on top of contingencies.  Russian/Putin losses will dwarf anything that happened in Afghanistan to Biden.  Ukraine winning so decisively before the US mid-terms will also be another loss for Republicans.

      2. I just looked it up, the Thunder Run in the invasion of Iraq was 3 days to go 10 miles. There was resistance. A lot. But in Ukraine they've gone 70km I believe in 3 days. That means very little resistance.

        And there's pictures of supply dumps being captured and they're very neat and orderly. No effort was made to destroy anything.

        It may be panic (I hope). It may be "fuck this shit." But clearly they aren't fighting much.

        I'm hoping it's like this. Near the end of WWII there were so many prisoners that they just pointed them where to go with no guards.

      3. Things are happening so fast in Ukraine over the past four days.  Per DailyKos, Russia has lost the war, but that the war won't be finished for sometime.  That means that thousands more will needlessly die.  Kos has been incredibly accurate in analyzing the war since its beginning — far better than any media outlet.

        Here's the latest post by DailyKos that is just a few hours later than what davebarnes posted above: 

      1. Not likely at this point. Putin is still lost in dreams of at least gaining the rest of the Donbass and his Black Sea land bridge to Moldavia. And Ukraine is looking at the collective damage they've inflicted on the Russian military and the LPR/DPR militias and eyeing up retaking territory lost in 2014, maybe even Crimea. Russia would never agree to that last and not likely the former.

  2. Well, you can dodge the bullet but you can't dodge the volley.  My son-in- law, wife and moi now have Covid, since  about Monday.

    I'm fully vaccinated and double boosted and my immune syste is kick ing Covid 's candy ass like the FBI  is kicking trump.  Some coughing and shortness of breath, but the latter is a chronic condition to me.

    thinking of you wonderful folks — even, on alternate Thursdays — Pear and Moody.  Your passion keeps democracy alive.

    1. V'ger — best wishes for a speedy recovery for you and your family! 

      I hope to get my updated booster shot this afternoon.  The sign up was easy and there were plenty of appointments available.

    2. Sorry to hear the germs are sneaky enough to get past defenses and jump on the 3 of you. May your energized antibodies work quick to limit the consequences. And may others around you be fortunate enough to not join the infected's ranks.



  3. Tough weekend for [most] Colorado college football fans.

    Air Force routs Colorado 41-10

    Middle Tenn. beat Colorado St. 34-19

    Wyoming’s 33-10 win over Northern Colorado

    even Colorado Mines wound up with a L —  27-30 OT

    In politics, Daily Kos had Colorado Republican wants to 'bring balance to women's rights.' Gee, thanks on Friday.  I just had a chance to read it and the snarky & vehement comments that followed.  My favorite:

    MissKT   Sep 09, 2022 at 08:46:56 PM

    All I hear is some old boss man wants to have control over our bodies…and we have to go along. Cuzz he’s the boss man who knows what’s best for me and all women in his state. What is this “balance” shee-it? It sounds like some kind of diet with all the food groups. Does this mean for every baby I have I can have an equal amount of abortions?

    The thought of Joe 'Sushi' O'Dea as a diet plan promoter just hit me right this morning.

  4. MAGA =  “Making Attorney’s Get Attorneys”.

    From EmptyWheel:

    Being Trump’s lawyer — being Trump’s associate generally — seems to be a non-stop game of prisoner’s dilemma, a constant weighing of whether he’ll sell you out or provide means to loot the country with impunity.

    Years ago, when Trump was President, that prisoner’s dilemma turned out to be pretty easy. He would pardon anyone who lied to keep him out of trouble. So no matter how grave your legal exposure, your real criminal exposure was just a few years (and that’s before Billy Barr started selectively freeing Trump associates under COVID release programs).

  5. Batteries and Drones

    Noah Smith explaining why we need some Socialism. (Capitalism on it's own won't solve certain problems, which is so obvious with health care – where does the supply-demand curb meet with health needs)

    Transforming the U.S. economy in order to more effectively compete with China and Russia will involve industrial policy. There’s a very basic economic reason for this. The industrial structure that the free market will tend to produce if left to its own devices does not take national security — or indeed, any political considerations — into account. Thus, if we want to have an economy that’s optimized not just for consumption but for protecting the nation and its allies, government will have to put its thumb on the economic scales in some way. This certainly happened in past wars like the Civil War and WW2, but industrial policy is not purely a wartime tool. During the Cold War, the U.S. built the interstate highways, the modern university and national laboratory systems, and a strategic trading regime. Luckily, those actions probably eventually increased national consumption as well, when private industry benefitted from Cold War infrastructure and innovation. 

    Anyway, competition with the China-Russia axis is heating up, and it’s time to think about what sort of industrial policies the U.S. can use to meet the challenge. In an earlier post, I explained why the first order of business — and the focus of the flawed but important CHIPS Act — is to shore up the U.S. and its allies’ domination of the all-important computer chip industry.

    Today I’m going to talk about another major cluster of high-technology industries that the U.S. should target with industrial policy: batteries and drones.

    Currently, China dominates both of these industries. Most of the lithium-ion batteries in the world are made in China:

  6. Small data point on Ukrainian manpower for their army. The programmers I know there, who are mostly military age and in decent shape, are still working as programmers. If they were coming up short in manpower, these guys would all be drafted.

    1. I noticed on her Twitter: "I’m here to protect your God-given rights: life, liberty, and property. Those are in the Constitution." 

      Confusing John Locke with the Declaration of Independence for the Constitution… 

      Is she herself a sardonic satire of the Republican party?

  7. It’s been an extraordinary six days of Ukrainian advances into Russian occupied territory.  The incomparable Anne Applebaum writes in the Atlantic about the need to plan for a Ukrainian victory and what that means for Russia.  She notes that unlike the Soviets there is no succession mechanism to replace Putin (i. e., there is no longer a Politburo).  That doesn’t mean we should be supporting Putin or working to undermine him.   But, we need to prepare for an unstable Russia.

    1. If we have a lot of major figures discussing how they should react to Putin getting replaced, with the basis of it being that it's very likely, that will cause Putin to get more paranoid. And a paranoid Putin will lead to more mistakes in Ukraine by the Russians.

    2. Read Kamil Galeev on Twitter.

      He suggests that Russia has a more-or-less colonial structure, with power and money flowing to Moscow. The “colonies” are the outlying regions. 

      Replacing Putin with another “tzar” wouldn’t change anything; just another nationalist leader from the elite hierarchy with the same policies and interests. In other words there is no “liberal” opposition, it would just be another Russian autocrat/mafioso.

      Also, Galeev doesn’t see collapse around ethnic interest groups. But he does think regional governors are the weak point as they might decide that allegiance to Moscow would not be viable as their local economies collapse. The war has caused differential pressure on some regions – much worse for high-tech Russian ethnic areas; much better for agricultural regions.

      Another way to see Russia is that it is basically a mafia complex – the Avocado farm. It is easy to maintain a mafia structure with a flat corporation (bosses and avocado harvesters) which applies to extractive industries. Complex corporate structures like IT, machine tools, automobile factories, military-industrial, etc just don’t work because you need all the internal layers of techs, scientists, skilled labor.

      Finally, you realize that Russia imports virtually ALL its industrial machinery from Europe, i.e. Germany. Likewise it exports all its gas & oil to Europe because it doesn’t have any pipelines to China.

      Cut off the German exports & imports and Russia would collapse in a couple of months.

      Once the Ukraine invasion was starting, I had to relearn the maps of that part of the world. I didn’t realize that the Russian province of Kaliningrad was not contiguous with Russia. You have to go through Belarus or else through Estonia, Lithuania & Latvia (a three hour flight) to get to Russia proper. Um, the nuclear Baltic fleet is based in Kaliningrad.

  8. "I'm getting married in the mooorning".

    Heather Cox-Richardson has announced that she's taking an extra day off to marry her photographer "friend", Buddy.

    I care more for her than for a random celebrity's death.

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