REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

Mass exodus at the State Department

POSTED BY: THGRRI
UPDATED: Friday, February 23, 2018 12:50
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Thursday, January 26, 2017 5:03 PM

THGRRI


They don't want to work for Trump

Senior officials are fleeing the State Department in the first days of President Donald Trump's administration, according to The Washington Post.

Patrick Kennedy, the State Department's undersecretary for management, and three of his top officials resigned abruptly recently, The Post reported. All are career diplomats who have served under presidents from both parties.

Two other senior leaders in the State Department left earlier this month. Post columnist Josh Rogin characterized it as an "ongoing mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don't want to stick around for the Trump era."

David Wade, who was the State Department's chief of staff under Secretary of State John Kerry, told The Post that it's "the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember."

http://www.businessinsider.com/state-department-quitting-trump-2017-1

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Thursday, January 26, 2017 6:57 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by THGRRI:
They don't want to work for Trump

Senior officials are fleeing the State Department in the first days of President Donald Trump's administration, according to The Washington Post.

Patrick Kennedy, the State Department's undersecretary for management, and three of his top officials resigned abruptly recently, The Post reported. All are career diplomats who have served under presidents from both parties.

Two other senior leaders in the State Department left earlier this month. Post columnist Josh Rogin characterized it as an "ongoing mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don't want to stick around for the Trump era."

David Wade, who was the State Department's chief of staff under Secretary of State John Kerry, told The Post that it's "the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember."

http://www.businessinsider.com/state-department-quitting-trump-2017-1


That sounds like the best news of the week.
Finally get rid of all that Obama Clinton (and Swiftboat Ketchup) deadwood.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017 7:26 PM

RIVERLOVE


More resignations like this will help the new Administration's goal of a 10% reduction in the size of government. I hope many others follow the fine example set by these career bureaucrats.

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Friday, January 27, 2017 12:32 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Yep. Agree with you guys. This all seems like good news to me for several different reasons.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Friday, January 27, 2017 8:37 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


You know how they say "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"? It would have been better if Trump would have been able to re-assign these assholes to some meaningless position, like Ambassador to Antarctica, or something.



-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


According to you GSTRING, if I discuss something I'm over-reacting. If I DON'T discuss something, I'm hiding.

You see? You're a troll. YOU don't want to discuss the subject, all you want to do is look for an excuse for personal attacks. So the reason why I'm NOT discussing this with you further is because (1) You've been demonstrated to be wrong about five ti

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Friday, January 27, 2017 9:41 PM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
You know how they say "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"? It would have been better if Trump would have been able to re-assign to reassign these assholes to some meaningless position, like Ambassador to Antarctica, or something.



Can't reassign people who quit. Not surprised you don't respect their decision.

____________________________________________

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Friday, January 27, 2017 11:33 PM

REAVERFAN


Trump's idiotic belligerence and lack of class is going to get him in a lot of trouble. The world hates him already. He's not going to do the USA any favors.

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Saturday, January 28, 2017 12:23 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
You know how they say "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"?




On the flip side of that, if they really are leaving because of Trump, I think that's a big mistake. These are high ranking officials that could have ran some defense against Trumps policies. It's not as if they can do much other than bitch and whine from the side lines.

If they really are leaving because they don't want to work for Trump, that's really juvenile, and they're doing their party and the country a disservice by throwing their little temper tantrums and quitting their jobs.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Saturday, January 28, 2017 1:21 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


I've read so many versions of this story I couldn't even begin to guess which one is true. They were fired ... they resigned ... it's traditional for an incoming president to ask for letters of resignation from all political appointees but then keep them on - only Trump didn't keep them on. Even the NYT and the WaPo have dueling memes. In any case, I guess it would have been better to make them ambassadors to Antarctica, or the Moon, or Tuvalu. otoh it would have been worse to keep them in place. All in all, them leaving by whatever means necessary is not a terrible situation. At least their bloody hands are nowhere near the levers of power.






How did your beloved 'democratic' party fuck up so badly?

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Saturday, January 28, 2017 9:34 AM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
You know how they say "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"?




On the flip side of that, if they really are leaving because of Trump, I think that's a big mistake. These are high ranking officials that could have ran some defense against Trumps policies. It's not as if they can do much other than bitch and whine from the side lines.

If they really are leaving because they don't want to work for Trump, that's really juvenile, and they're doing their party and the country a disservice by throwing their little temper tantrums and quitting their jobs.

Do Right, Be Right. :)



No Jack, they have to represent the point of view of Trump while he is president. They won't do that so they left. There's nothing juvenile about that. Much of what is being said in this thread is emotional and baseless.

____________________________________________

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Saturday, January 28, 2017 9:36 AM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
I've read so many versions of this story I couldn't even begin to guess which one is true. They were fired ... they resigned ... it's traditional for an incoming president to ask for letters of resignation from all political appointees but then keep them on - only Trump didn't keep them on. Even the NYT and the WaPo have dueling memes. In any case, I guess it would have been better to make them ambassadors to Antarctica, or the Moon, or Tuvalu. otoh it would have been worse to keep them in place. All in all, them leaving by whatever means necessary is not a terrible situation. At least their bloody hands are nowhere near the levers of power.




Cites please. I ask because it appears you are making shit up again to dismiss the point.

____________________________________________

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Saturday, January 28, 2017 9:48 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by THGRRI:
No Jack, they have to represent the point of view of Trump while he is president. They won't do that so they left. There's nothing juvenile about that. Much of what is being said in this thread is emotional and baseless.



No THGGRI, the President is not the King.

I don't like the idea of a President with little opposition. We got that for a few years with both Obama and Bush Jr. and those years were the most damaging of the last 16 for the country.

So I will say again that not only are they doing the Democrats a disservice, but the entire nation.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Saturday, January 28, 2017 10:55 AM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Quote:

Originally posted by THGRRI:
No Jack, they have to represent the point of view of Trump while he is president. They won't do that so they left. There's nothing juvenile about that. Much of what is being said in this thread is emotional and baseless.



No THGGRI, the President is not the King.

I don't like the idea of a President with little opposition. We got that for a few years with both Obama and Bush Jr. and those years were the most damaging of the last 16 for the country.

So I will say again that not only are they doing the Democrats a disservice, but the entire nation.

Do Right, Be Right. :)



Jack, the president determines foreign policy. Our ambassadors have to promote what the president says. That fact that you don't understand that means there's nothing for us to discuss.

____________________________________________

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Saturday, January 28, 2017 10:56 AM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!



They resigned, after being fired.

There's an old saying at the State Dept...

" Presidents come and go, but State Dept is forever. "

Meaning those who work in the bureaucracy of the State Dept believe they are the true arbiters of US foreign policy. That's been the problem in this country for decades.


It's a new day in America.


Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured... but not everyone must prove they are a citizen

I'm just a red pill guy in a room full of blue pill addicts.

" AU, that was great, LOL!! " - Chrisisall

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Saturday, January 28, 2017 11:47 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Trump's idiotic belligerence and lack of class is going to get him in a lot of trouble. The world hates him already. He's not going to do the USA any favors.
Not "the world" REAVER. Only the globalist/ CIA part of the world. Yanno, the part that wants full spectrum dominance.



-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


According to you GSTRING, if I discuss something I'm over-reacting. If I DON'T discuss something, I'm hiding.

You see? You're a troll. YOU don't want to discuss the subject, all you want to do is look for an excuse for personal attacks. So the reason why I'm NOT discussing this with you further is because (1) You've been demonstrated to be wrong about five ti

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Saturday, January 28, 2017 12:49 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


I thought this was an interesting article. It discusses in detail the divisions between the President (Obama) and his supposedly loyal staff, including the supposedly loyal Hillary Clinton in the State Department and the supposedly loyal Gates and Petraeus in the Pentagon.

I have often thought that the Obama foreign policy was a result of parts of his staff surprising Obama with their own little side projects, that Obama was not fully in control of events. He seemed to be lurching from one stance to another: drawing red lines and then ignoring them, destroying Libya and then making a deal with Iran, waffling endlessly in the Mideast and conducting his fight against terrorists with drone strikes and desultory bombings.

The open letter of protest from 50 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) analysts telling the world that they were unhappy that their analyses of the Syria policy (backing "moderates" who would never be an effective organization for "regime change" while sending arms into a terrorist-filled theater which would eventually attempt becoming a caliphate) were constantly being overwitten by higher ups into happy-news that the moderate rebels were doing just great ....

To be followed several months later by an open letter of protest from 50 STATE DEPARTMENT staffers who thought Syria needed a more "kinetic" (i.e. bombing) approach

... revealed the level of disunity and possibly even treason among the various entities which - supposedly- do what the President tells them to do.

When Obama said that Libya was the greatest mistake he ever made, he didn't directly lay the blame for that on Hillary, but it was certainly Hillary's pet project, as was Ukraine. I've been thinking for a long time that the State Department had an agenda of its own, and was disloyal to Obama (ETA) by attempting to activate its own goals aside from the President's. But since Obama was partly malleable, they found him partly useful. Now that Trump is in office, they've completely exposed their lack of loyalty to the President. Too bad there aren't mass defections from the CIA. But then again, if there were we would never know.

Anyway, on to the article ...

Quote:

Obama Bequeaths a More Dangerous World
January 24, 2017

Special Report: President Obama may have entered the White House with a desire to rein in America’s global war-making but he succumbed to neocon pressure and left behind an even more dangerous world, reports Robert Parry.

Any fair judgment about Barack Obama’s presidency must start with the recognition that he inherited a dismal situation from George W. Bush: the U.S. economy was in free-fall and U.S. troops were bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. Clearly, these intertwined economic and foreign policy crises colored how Obama viewed his options, realizing that one false step could tip the world into the abyss.

It’s also true that his Republican rivals behaved as if they had no responsibility for the messes that Obama had to clean up. From the start, they set out to trip him up rather than lend a hand. Plus, the mainstream media blamed Obama for this failure of bipartisanship, rewarding the Republicans for their nihilistic obstructionism.

That said, however, it is also true that Obama – an inexperienced manager – made huge mistakes from the outset and failed to rectify them in a timely fashion. For instance, he bought into the romantic notion of a “Team of Rivals” with his White House trumpeting the comparisons to Abraham Lincoln (although some of Lincoln’s inclusion of rivals actually resulted from deals made at the 1860 Republican convention in Chicago to gain Lincoln the nomination).

In the real world of modern Washington, Obama’s choice of hawkish Sen. Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State and Republican apparatchik Robert Gates to remain as Secretary of Defense – along with keeping Bush’s high command, including neocon favorite Gen. David Petraeus – guaranteed that he would achieve little real foreign policy change.

Indeed, in 2009, this triumvirate collaborated to lock Obama into a futile counterinsurgency escalation in Afghanistan that did little more than get another 1,000 or so U.S. soldiers killed along with many more Afghans.

In his memoir Duty, Gates said he and Clinton could push their joint views – favoring more militaristic strategies – in the face of White House opposition because “we were both seen as ‘un-fireable.’”

Seasoned Operatives
So, Obama’s rookie management mistake of surrounding himself with seasoned Washington operatives with a hawkish agenda doomed his early presidency to maneuvering at the edges of change rather than engineering a major – and necessary – overhaul of how the United States deals with the world.

At least Trump hasn't made that mistake.

Quote:

Obama may have thought he could persuade these experienced players with his intellect and charm but that is not how power works. At moments when Obama was inclined to move in a less warlike direction, Clinton, Gates and Petraeus could easily leak damaging comments about his “weakness” to friendly journalists at mainstream publications. Obama found himself consistently under pressure and he lacked the backbone to prove Gates wrong by firing Gates and Clinton.

Thus, Obama was frequently outmaneuvered.

Besides the ill-fated counterinsurgency surge in Afghanistan, there was his attempt in 2009-10 to get Brazil and Turkey to broker a deal with Iran in which it would surrender much of its enriched uranium. But Israel and the neocons wanted a “regime change” bombing strategy against Iran, leading Secretary Clinton to personally torpedo the Brazil-Turkey initiative (with the strong support of The New York Times’ editorial page) as Obama silently acquiesced to her insubordination.

In 2011, Obama also gave in to pressure from Clinton and one of his key advisers, “humanitarian” warmonger Samantha Power, to support another “regime change” in Libya. That U.S.-facilitated air war devastated the Libyan military and ended with Islamic militants sodomizing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with a knife and then murdering him, a grisly outcome that Clinton celebrated with a chirpy rephrase of Julius Caesar’s famous boast about a conquest, as she said: “We came, we saw, he died.”

Clinton was less upbeat a year later when Islamic militants in Benghazi, Libya, killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. personnel, launching a scandal that led to the exposure of her private email server and reverberated through to the final days of her failed presidential campaign in 2016.

Second-Term Indecision
Even after Clinton, Gates and Petraeus were gone by the start of Obama’s second term, he continued to acquiesce to most of the demands of the neocons and liberal interventionists.

Yanno, people who think we need to remake the world to our fashion.

Quote:

Rather than act as a decisive U.S. president, Obama often behaved more like the sullen teen-ager complaining from the backseat about not wanting to go on a family trip. Obama grumbled about some of the neocon/liberal-hawk policies but he mostly went along, albeit half-heartedly at times.

For instance, although he recognized that the idea of “moderate” Syrian rebels being successful in ousting President Bashar al-Assad was a “fantasy,” he nevertheless approved covert shipments of weapons, which often ended up in the hands of Al Qaeda-linked terrorists and their allies. But he balked at a full-scale U.S. military intervention.

Obama’s mixed-signal Syrian strategy not only violated international law – by committing aggression against a sovereign state – but also contributed to the horrific bloodshed that ripped apart Syria and created a massive flow of refugees into Turkey and Europe. By the end of his presidency, the United States found itself largely sidelined as Russia and regional powers, Turkey and Iran, took the lead in trying to resolve the conflict.

But one of the apparent reasons for Obama’s susceptibility to such fruitless undertakings was that he seemed terrified of Israel and its pugnacious Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who made clear his disdain for Obama by essentially endorsing Obama’s 2012 Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
Netanyahu and Obama

Although Obama may have bristled at Netanyahu’s arrogance – displayed even during meetings in the Oval Office – the President always sought to mollify the tempestuous Prime Minister. At the peak of Obama’s power – after he vanquished Romney despite Netanyahu’s electoral interference – Obama chose to grovel before Netanyahu with an obsequious three-day visit to Israel.

Despite that trip, Netanyahu treated Obama with disdain, setting a new standard for chutzpah by accepting a Republican invitation to appear before a joint session of Congress in 2015 and urge U.S. senators and representatives to side with Israel against their own president over Obama’s negotiated agreement to constrain Iran’s nuclear program. Netanyahu and the neocons wanted to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran.

Yes, who could forget Netanyhau's speech before Congress, made without even visiting the President, much less asking permission? If anyone should be castigated for interfering with our internal politics, I imagine Israel would take the top spot.

Quote:

However, the Iran nuclear deal, which Netanyahu failed to derail, may have been Obama’s most significant diplomatic achievement. (In his passive-aggressive way, Obama gave Netanyahu some measure of payback by abstaining on a December 2016 motion before the United Nations Security Council condemning Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands. Obama neither vetoed it nor voted for it, but let it pass.)

Obama also defied Washington’s hardliners when he moved to normalize relations with Cuba, although – by 2016 – the passionate feelings about the Caribbean island had faded as a geopolitical issue, making the Cuban sanctions more a relic of the old Cold War than a hot-button issue.

Obama’s Dubious Legacy
Yet, Obama’s fear of standing up consistently to Official Washington’s neocons and cowering before the Israeli-Saudi tandem in the Middle East did much to define his foreign policy legacy. While Obama did drag his heels on some of their more extreme demands by resisting their calls to bomb the Syrian government in 2013 and by choosing diplomacy over war with Iran in 2014, Obama repeatedly circled back to ingratiating himself to the neocons and America’s demanding Israeli-Saudi “allies.”


King Salman greets the President and First Lady during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Instead of getting tough with Israel over its continued abuse of the Palestinians, Obama gave Netanyahu’s regime the most sophisticated weapons from the U.S. arsenal. Instead of calling out the Saudis as the principal state sponsor of terrorism – for their support for Al Qaeda and the Islamic State – Obama continued the fiction that Iran was the lead villain on terrorism and cooperated when the Saudis launched a brutal air war against their impoverished neighbors in Yemen.

Obama personally acknowledged authorizing military strikes in seven countries, mostly through his aggressive use of drones, an approach toward push-button warfare that has spread animosity against the United States to the seven corners of the earth.

However, perhaps Obama’s most dangerous legacy is the New Cold War with Russia, which began in earnest when Washington’s neocons struck back against Moscow for its cooperation with Obama in getting Syria to surrender its chemical weapons (which short-circuited neocon hopes to bomb the Syrian military) and in persuading Iran to accept tight limits on its nuclear program (another obstacle to a neocon bombing plan).

In both cases, the neocons were bent on “regime change,” or at least a destructive bombing operation in line with Israeli and Saudi hostility toward Syria and Iran.

I just want to emphasize that Israel and Saudi Arabia share many common goals, and operate side-by-side.

Quote:

But the biggest challenge to these schemes was the positive relationship that had developed between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin. So, that relationship had to be shattered and the wedge that the neocons found handy was Ukraine.

By September 2013, Carl Gershman, the neocon president of the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, had identified Ukraine as “the biggest prize” and a steppingstone toward the ultimate goal of ousting Putin. By late fall 2013 and winter 2014, neocons inside the U.S. government, including Sen. John McCain and [HILLARY CLINTON EMPLOYEE] Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland

whose husband, Robert Kagan, appears later and often in this article

Quote:

were actively agitating for a “regime change” in Ukraine, a putsch against elected President Viktor Yanukovych that was carried out on Feb. 22, 2014.

This operation on Russia’s border provoked an immediate reaction from the Kremlin, which then supported ethnic-Russian Ukrainians who had voted heavily for Yanukovych and who objected to the coup regime in Kiev. The neocon-dominated U.S. mainstream media, of course, portrayed the Ukrainian conflict as a simple case of “Russian aggression,” and Obama fell in line with this propaganda narrative.

After his relationship with Putin had deteriorated over the ensuring two-plus years, Obama chose to escalate the New Cold War in his final weeks in office by having U.S. intelligence agencies leak unsubstantiated claims that Putin interfered in the U.S. presidential election by hacking and publicizing Democratic emails that helped Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

Smearing Trump
The CIA also put in play salacious rumors about the Kremlin blackmailing Trump over a supposed video of him cavorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel. And, according to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. counterintelligence agents investigated communications between retired Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security advisor, and Russian officials. In the New McCarthyism that now surrounds the New Cold War, any conversation with Russians apparently puts an American under suspicion for treason.

The anti-Russian frenzy also pulled in The New York Times, The Washington Post and virtually the entire mainstream media, which now treat any dissent from the official U.S. narratives condemning Moscow as prima facie evidence that you are part of a Russian propaganda apparatus. Even some “progressive” publications have joined this stampede because they so despise Trump that they will tout any accusation to damage his presidency.

Besides raising serious concerns about civil liberties and freedom of association, Obama’s end-of-term anti-Russian hysteria may be leading the Democratic Party into supplanting the Republicans as America’s leading pro-war party allied with neocons, liberal hawks, the CIA and the Military-Industrial Complex – in opposition to President Trump’s less belligerent approach toward Russia.

This “trading places” moment over which party is the bigger warmonger could be another profound part of Obama’s legacy, presenting a crisis for pro-peace Democrats as the Trump presidency unfolds.

The Real Obama
Yet, one of the mysteries of Obama is whether he was always a closet hawk who just let his true colors show over the course of his eight years in office or whether he was a weak executive who desperately wanted to belong to the Washington establishment and underwent a gradual submission to achieve that acceptance.

I know some Obama watchers favor the first answer, that he simply bamboozled people into thinking that he was an agent for foreign policy change when he was always a stealth warmonger. But I tend to take the second position. To me, Obama was a person who – despite his intelligence, eloquence and accomplishments – was never accepted by America’s predominantly white establishment.

Because he was a black male raised in a white family and in a white-dominated society, Obama understood that he never really belonged. But Obama desperately wanted to be part of that power structure of well-dressed, well-schooled and well-connected elites who moved with such confidence within the economic-political system.

An instructive moment came in 2014 when Obama was under sustained criticism for his refusal to bomb the Syrian military after a sarin gas attack outside Damascus that was initially blamed on the government though later evidence suggested that it was a provocation committed by Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate.

Despite the uncertainty about who was responsible, the neocons and liberal hawks deemed Obama “weak” for not ordering the bombing strike to enforce his “red line” against chemical weapons use.

In a 2016 article in The Atlantic, Obama cited his sarin decision as a moment when he resisted the Washington “playbook” that usually favors a military response. The article also reported that Obama had been informed by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that there was no “slam dunk” evidence pinning the attack on the Syrian military. Yet, still Obama came under intense pressure to strike.

A leader of this pressure campaign was neocon ideologue Robert Kagan, an architect of the Iraq War and the husband of Assistant Secretary of State Nuland. Kagan penned a long essay in The New Republic entitled “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire.” A subsequent New York Times article observed that Kagan “depicted President Obama as presiding over an inward turn by the United States that threatened the global order and broke with more than 70 years of American presidents and precedence.”

Kagan “called for Mr. Obama to resist a popular pull toward making the United States a nation without larger responsibilities, and to reassume the more muscular approach to the world out of vogue in Washington since the war in Iraq drained the country of its appetite for intervention,” the Times article read.

Obama was so sensitive to this criticism that he modified his speech to the West Point graduation and “even invited Mr. Kagan to lunch to compare world views,” the Times reported. A source familiar with that conversation described it to me as a “meeting of equals.” So, Obama’s subservience to the neocons and liberal hawks may have begun as a case of an inexperienced president getting outmaneuvered by rivals whom he had foolishly empowered. But Obama’s descent into a full-scale New Cold Warrior by the end of his second term suggests that he was no longer an overpowered naïf but someone who had become a committed convert.

How Obama reached that point may be less significant than the fact that he did. Thus, the world that President Obama bequeaths to President Trump may not have all the same dangers that Bush left to Obama but the post-Obama world has hazards that Obama did more to create than to resolve — and some of the new risks may be even scarier.


https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/24/obama-bequeaths-a-more-dangerous
-world
/



-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


According to you GSTRING, if I discuss something I'm over-reacting. If I DON'T discuss something, I'm hiding.

You see? You're a troll. YOU don't want to discuss the subject, all you want to do is look for an excuse for personal attacks. So the reason why I'm NOT discussing this with you further is because (1) You've been demonstrated to be wrong about five ti

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Saturday, January 28, 2017 2:24 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by THGRRI:
Jack, the president determines foreign policy. Our ambassadors have to promote what the president says. That fact that you don't understand that means there's nothing for us to discuss.



And you're going to honestly tell me that you believe that everybody who works every job does whatever their boss tells them to do? Even if they just vocalize their opposition to his decisions that means something. But only if it comes from a position of relative power.

You think Trump gives a shit what they think at all when they're not anywhere near his level? Especially when they quit?

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Saturday, January 28, 2017 3:26 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


The State Department’s entire senior administrative team just resigned
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/josh-rogin/wp/2017/01/26/the-state
-departments-entire-senior-management-team-just-resigned/?utm_term=.d5a3ba28120d


In Break With Precedent, Obama Envoys Are Denied Extensions Past Inauguration Day
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/us/politics/trump-ambassadors.html
Mr. Trump, by contrast, has taken a hard line against leaving any of President Obama’s political appointees in place as he prepares to take office on Jan. 20 with a mission of dismantling many of his predecessor’s signature foreign and domestic policy achievements.


And just to be inclusive in the MSM war:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/politics/top-state-department-officials-
asked-to-leave-by-trump-administration
/
Trump administration asks top State Department officials to leave


So, considering how scrambled the media message is, this is my interpretation - WaPo has OBVIOUSLY been carrying the neo-liberal/ neo-con line for the Obama administration for a number of months. I expect it's still getting the propaganda it's supposed to push, through alternate (not federal administration) sources. I conclude the neo-liberal/ neo-con agenda is to prop up the personal reputations of its former flunkies.




How did your beloved 'democratic' party fuck up so badly?

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Saturday, January 28, 2017 3:39 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.







How did your beloved 'democratic' party fuck up so badly?

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Saturday, February 4, 2017 10:02 AM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
The State Department’s entire senior administrative team just resigned

WaPo has OBVIOUSLY been carrying the neo-liberal/ neo-con line for the Obama administration for a number of months. I expect it's still getting the propaganda it's supposed to push,



This is not like Russia's dictatorship. Its policy not propaganda. And here if you find you disagree with the presidents policy and cannot support it, you resign. You don't wind up dead or missing.

Still waiting for you to take a stance on Russia's decriminalizing domestic violence.

____________________________________________
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence

Russia's parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause "substantial bodily harm" and does not occur more than once a year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decri
miinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/

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Saturday, February 4, 2017 10:24 AM

REAVERFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by THGRRI:
Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
The State Department’s entire senior administrative team just resigned

WaPo has OBVIOUSLY been carrying the neo-liberal/ neo-con line for the Obama administration for a number of months. I expect it's still getting the propaganda it's supposed to push,



This is not like Russia's dictatorship. Its policy not propaganda. And here if you find you disagree with the presidents policy and cannot support it, you resign. You don't wind up dead or missing.

Still waiting for you to take a stance on Russia's decriminalizing domestic violence.

____________________________________________
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence

Russia's parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause "substantial bodily harm" and does not occur more than once a year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decri
miinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/



You're oddly quiet on that one, Ruskie. Please tell us why you're OK with beating women.

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Saturday, February 4, 2017 10:32 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Wrong thread.



-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


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Saturday, February 4, 2017 10:45 AM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Wrong thread.



Really SIG, that's your response. Especially since everyone here has witnessed you posting different topics in thread after thread intentionally to deflect.

So there we have it folks. By virtue of SIG and 1kik's silence, it's ok with them if men abuse their wives.

____________________________________________
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence

Russia's parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause "substantial bodily harm" and does not occur more than once a year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decri
miinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/

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Saturday, February 4, 2017 11:28 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Tell me why you're a troll - an everyday sadist.
Quote:

Originally posted by reaverfan:
Quote:

Originally posted by THGRRI:
Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
The State Department’s entire senior administrative team just resigned

WaPo has OBVIOUSLY been carrying the neo-liberal/ neo-con line for the Obama administration for a number of months. I expect it's still getting the propaganda it's supposed to push,



This is not like Russia's dictatorship. Its policy not propaganda. And here if you find you disagree with the presidents policy and cannot support it, you resign. You don't wind up dead or missing.

Still waiting for you to take a stance on Russia's decriminalizing domestic violence.

____________________________________________
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence

Russia's parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause "substantial bodily harm" and does not occur more than once a year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decri
miinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/



You're oddly quiet on that one, Ruskie. Please tell us why you're OK with beating women.






How did your beloved 'democratic' party fuck up so badly?

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Saturday, February 4, 2017 11:50 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


The most recent information is that people were fired - https://www.google.com/#q=state+department+employees+fired+resign&
start=10


That makes the reports that they resigned FAKE NEWS.






How did your beloved 'democratic' party fuck up so badly?

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Saturday, February 4, 2017 3:48 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.



So there we have it folks. By virtue of THUGR'S silence, it's ok with him if

Saudi men abuse their wives
Qatari men beat their wives
American men beat their wives
Cops kill black people
Black people kill black people
Saudis aid and abet terrorists
The USA bombs brown people by the hundreds of thousands
Kiev bombs civilians and kills thousands
South Sudanese leaders are all corrupt
So are the Mexican leaders.
In fact, add Brazil to the list.
Oh, what the hell, add most world leaders to the list!
Saudi Arabia bombs Yemeni civilians
Lance Armstrong doped
Chickens are raised and slaughtered under brutal conditions
Human traffickers sell young girls

I can point out dozens upon dozens of injustices that you've been silent on, THUGR. I guess you're OK with them.

If you want to know what I think, look here: http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?tid=61329

Now back to our regularly scheduled topic ....



-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


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Saturday, February 4, 2017 10:16 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

By virtue of THUGR'S silence, it's ok with him if... SIGNY

You can't be serious. - GSTRING

Well, I figure if THUGR can make shit up, so can I. After all, I was just quoting him and using the same "logic".



-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


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Saturday, February 4, 2017 10:59 PM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

By virtue of THUGR'S silence, it's ok with him if... SIGNY

You can't be serious. - GSTRING

Well, I figure if THUGR can make shit up, so can I.



Prove me wrong SIG instead of lying. Answer the question put to you and 1kiki a dozen times.

DO YOU CONDEM THE RUSSIANS FOR VOTING 380-3 TO DECRIMINALIZE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
____________________________________________
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence

Russia's parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause "substantial bodily harm" and does not occur more than once a year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decri
miinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/

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Saturday, February 4, 2017 11:02 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

By virtue of THUGR'S silence, it's ok with him if... SIGNY
You can't be serious. - GSTRING
Well, I figure if THUGR can make shit up, so can I. - SIGNY

QUOTED IN ITS ENTIRETY BY THUGR



I guess you agree with me then, THUGR!

Now, if you want to know what I think about the law, go to the gorram thread about it, stupid.



-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


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Sunday, February 5, 2017 9:07 AM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

By virtue of THUGR'S silence, it's ok with him if... SIGNY
You can't be serious. - GSTRING
Well, I figure if THUGR can make shit up, so can I. - SIGNY

QUOTED IN ITS ENTIRETY BY THUGR



I guess you agree with me then, THUGR!

Now, if you want to know what I think about the law, go to the gorram thread about it, stupid.




Not sure SIG but I believe this is a, I know you are but what am I response. Time to grow up.

____________________________________________
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence

Russia's parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause "substantial bodily harm" and does not occur more than once a year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decri
miinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/

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Sunday, February 5, 2017 10:27 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


THUGR, I used YOUR QUOTE to justify what I did. To refresh your memory, this is what you said:
Quote:

So there we have it folks. By virtue of SIG and 1kik's silence, it's ok with them if men abuse their wives. = THUGR


And this is what I said
Quote:

So there we have it folks. By virtue of THUGR'S silence, it's ok with him if
Saudi men abuse their wives
Qatari men beat their wives
American men beat their wives
Cops kill black people
Black people kill black people
Saudis aid and abet terrorists
The USA bombs brown people by the hundreds of thousands
Kiev bombs civilians and kills thousands
South Sudanese leaders are all corrupt
So are the Mexican leaders.
In fact, add Brazil to the list.
Oh, what the hell, add most world leaders to the list!
Saudi Arabia bombs Yemeni civilians
Lance Armstrong doped
Chickens are raised and slaughtered under brutal conditions
Human traffickers sell young girls

I can point out dozens upon dozens of injustices that you've been silent on, THUGR. I guess you're OK with them. [But] If you want to know what I think, look here: http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?tid=61329
Now back to our regularly scheduled topic ....



I know what YOU are .... because you outed yourself. You're either and idiot, or a paid troll.




-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


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Sunday, February 5, 2017 10:28 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Meanwhile, I still think this was the best ON TOPIC article

Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
I thought this was an interesting article. It discusses in detail the divisions between the President (Obama) and his supposedly loyal staff, including the supposedly loyal Hillary Clinton in the State Department and the supposedly loyal Gates and Petraeus in the Pentagon.

I have often thought that the Obama foreign policy was a result of parts of his staff surprising Obama with their own little side projects, that Obama was not fully in control of events. He seemed to be lurching from one stance to another: drawing red lines and then ignoring them, destroying Libya and then making a deal with Iran, waffling endlessly in the Mideast and conducting his fight against terrorists with drone strikes and desultory bombings.

The open letter of protest from 50 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) analysts telling the world that they were unhappy that their analyses of the Syria policy (backing "moderates" who would never be an effective organization for "regime change" while sending arms into a terrorist-filled theater which would eventually attempt becoming a caliphate) were constantly being overwitten by higher ups into happy-news that the moderate rebels were doing just great ....

To be followed several months later by an open letter of protest from 50 STATE DEPARTMENT staffers who thought Syria needed a more "kinetic" (i.e. bombing) approach

... revealed the level of disunity and possibly even treason among the various entities which - supposedly- do what the President tells them to do.

When Obama said that Libya was the greatest mistake he ever made, he didn't directly lay the blame for that on Hillary, but it was certainly Hillary's pet project, as was Ukraine. I've been thinking for a long time that the State Department had an agenda of its own, and was disloyal to Obama (ETA) by attempting to activate its own goals aside from the President's. But since Obama was partly malleable, they found him partly useful. Now that Trump is in office, they've completely exposed their lack of loyalty to the President. Too bad there aren't mass defections from the CIA. But then again, if there were we would never know.

Anyway, on to the article ...

Quote:

Obama Bequeaths a More Dangerous World
January 24, 2017

Special Report: President Obama may have entered the White House with a desire to rein in America’s global war-making but he succumbed to neocon pressure and left behind an even more dangerous world, reports Robert Parry.

Any fair judgment about Barack Obama’s presidency must start with the recognition that he inherited a dismal situation from George W. Bush: the U.S. economy was in free-fall and U.S. troops were bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. Clearly, these intertwined economic and foreign policy crises colored how Obama viewed his options, realizing that one false step could tip the world into the abyss.

It’s also true that his Republican rivals behaved as if they had no responsibility for the messes that Obama had to clean up. From the start, they set out to trip him up rather than lend a hand. Plus, the mainstream media blamed Obama for this failure of bipartisanship, rewarding the Republicans for their nihilistic obstructionism.

That said, however, it is also true that Obama – an inexperienced manager – made huge mistakes from the outset and failed to rectify them in a timely fashion. For instance, he bought into the romantic notion of a “Team of Rivals” with his White House trumpeting the comparisons to Abraham Lincoln (although some of Lincoln’s inclusion of rivals actually resulted from deals made at the 1860 Republican convention in Chicago to gain Lincoln the nomination).

In the real world of modern Washington, Obama’s choice of hawkish Sen. Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State and Republican apparatchik Robert Gates to remain as Secretary of Defense – along with keeping Bush’s high command, including neocon favorite Gen. David Petraeus – guaranteed that he would achieve little real foreign policy change.

Indeed, in 2009, this triumvirate collaborated to lock Obama into a futile counterinsurgency escalation in Afghanistan that did little more than get another 1,000 or so U.S. soldiers killed along with many more Afghans.

In his memoir Duty, Gates said he and Clinton could push their joint views – favoring more militaristic strategies – in the face of White House opposition because “we were both seen as ‘un-fireable.’”

Seasoned Operatives
So, Obama’s rookie management mistake of surrounding himself with seasoned Washington operatives with a hawkish agenda doomed his early presidency to maneuvering at the edges of change rather than engineering a major – and necessary – overhaul of how the United States deals with the world.

At least Trump hasn't made that mistake.

Quote:

Obama may have thought he could persuade these experienced players with his intellect and charm but that is not how power works. At moments when Obama was inclined to move in a less warlike direction, Clinton, Gates and Petraeus could easily leak damaging comments about his “weakness” to friendly journalists at mainstream publications. Obama found himself consistently under pressure and he lacked the backbone to prove Gates wrong by firing Gates and Clinton.

Thus, Obama was frequently outmaneuvered.

Besides the ill-fated counterinsurgency surge in Afghanistan, there was his attempt in 2009-10 to get Brazil and Turkey to broker a deal with Iran in which it would surrender much of its enriched uranium. But Israel and the neocons wanted a “regime change” bombing strategy against Iran, leading Secretary Clinton to personally torpedo the Brazil-Turkey initiative (with the strong support of The New York Times’ editorial page) as Obama silently acquiesced to her insubordination.

In 2011, Obama also gave in to pressure from Clinton and one of his key advisers, “humanitarian” warmonger Samantha Power, to support another “regime change” in Libya. That U.S.-facilitated air war devastated the Libyan military and ended with Islamic militants sodomizing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with a knife and then murdering him, a grisly outcome that Clinton celebrated with a chirpy rephrase of Julius Caesar’s famous boast about a conquest, as she said: “We came, we saw, he died.”

Clinton was less upbeat a year later when Islamic militants in Benghazi, Libya, killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. personnel, launching a scandal that led to the exposure of her private email server and reverberated through to the final days of her failed presidential campaign in 2016.

Second-Term Indecision
Even after Clinton, Gates and Petraeus were gone by the start of Obama’s second term, he continued to acquiesce to most of the demands of the neocons and liberal interventionists.

Yanno, people who think we need to remake the world to our fashion.

Quote:

Rather than act as a decisive U.S. president, Obama often behaved more like the sullen teen-ager complaining from the backseat about not wanting to go on a family trip. Obama grumbled about some of the neocon/liberal-hawk policies but he mostly went along, albeit half-heartedly at times.

For instance, although he recognized that the idea of “moderate” Syrian rebels being successful in ousting President Bashar al-Assad was a “fantasy,” he nevertheless approved covert shipments of weapons, which often ended up in the hands of Al Qaeda-linked terrorists and their allies. But he balked at a full-scale U.S. military intervention.

Obama’s mixed-signal Syrian strategy not only violated international law – by committing aggression against a sovereign state – but also contributed to the horrific bloodshed that ripped apart Syria and created a massive flow of refugees into Turkey and Europe. By the end of his presidency, the United States found itself largely sidelined as Russia and regional powers, Turkey and Iran, took the lead in trying to resolve the conflict.

But one of the apparent reasons for Obama’s susceptibility to such fruitless undertakings was that he seemed terrified of Israel and its pugnacious Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who made clear his disdain for Obama by essentially endorsing Obama’s 2012 Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
Netanyahu and Obama

Although Obama may have bristled at Netanyahu’s arrogance – displayed even during meetings in the Oval Office – the President always sought to mollify the tempestuous Prime Minister. At the peak of Obama’s power – after he vanquished Romney despite Netanyahu’s electoral interference – Obama chose to grovel before Netanyahu with an obsequious three-day visit to Israel.

Despite that trip, Netanyahu treated Obama with disdain, setting a new standard for chutzpah by accepting a Republican invitation to appear before a joint session of Congress in 2015 and urge U.S. senators and representatives to side with Israel against their own president over Obama’s negotiated agreement to constrain Iran’s nuclear program. Netanyahu and the neocons wanted to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran.

Yes, who could forget Netanyhau's speech before Congress, made without even visiting the President, much less asking permission? If anyone should be castigated for interfering with our internal politics, I imagine Israel would take the top spot.

Quote:

However, the Iran nuclear deal, which Netanyahu failed to derail, may have been Obama’s most significant diplomatic achievement. (In his passive-aggressive way, Obama gave Netanyahu some measure of payback by abstaining on a December 2016 motion before the United Nations Security Council condemning Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands. Obama neither vetoed it nor voted for it, but let it pass.)

Obama also defied Washington’s hardliners when he moved to normalize relations with Cuba, although – by 2016 – the passionate feelings about the Caribbean island had faded as a geopolitical issue, making the Cuban sanctions more a relic of the old Cold War than a hot-button issue.

Obama’s Dubious Legacy
Yet, Obama’s fear of standing up consistently to Official Washington’s neocons and cowering before the Israeli-Saudi tandem in the Middle East did much to define his foreign policy legacy. While Obama did drag his heels on some of their more extreme demands by resisting their calls to bomb the Syrian government in 2013 and by choosing diplomacy over war with Iran in 2014, Obama repeatedly circled back to ingratiating himself to the neocons and America’s demanding Israeli-Saudi “allies.”


King Salman greets the President and First Lady during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Instead of getting tough with Israel over its continued abuse of the Palestinians, Obama gave Netanyahu’s regime the most sophisticated weapons from the U.S. arsenal. Instead of calling out the Saudis as the principal state sponsor of terrorism – for their support for Al Qaeda and the Islamic State – Obama continued the fiction that Iran was the lead villain on terrorism and cooperated when the Saudis launched a brutal air war against their impoverished neighbors in Yemen.

Obama personally acknowledged authorizing military strikes in seven countries, mostly through his aggressive use of drones, an approach toward push-button warfare that has spread animosity against the United States to the seven corners of the earth.

However, perhaps Obama’s most dangerous legacy is the New Cold War with Russia, which began in earnest when Washington’s neocons struck back against Moscow for its cooperation with Obama in getting Syria to surrender its chemical weapons (which short-circuited neocon hopes to bomb the Syrian military) and in persuading Iran to accept tight limits on its nuclear program (another obstacle to a neocon bombing plan).

In both cases, the neocons were bent on “regime change,” or at least a destructive bombing operation in line with Israeli and Saudi hostility toward Syria and Iran.

I just want to emphasize that Israel and Saudi Arabia share many common goals, and operate side-by-side.

Quote:

But the biggest challenge to these schemes was the positive relationship that had developed between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin. So, that relationship had to be shattered and the wedge that the neocons found handy was Ukraine.

By September 2013, Carl Gershman, the neocon president of the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, had identified Ukraine as “the biggest prize” and a steppingstone toward the ultimate goal of ousting Putin. By late fall 2013 and winter 2014, neocons inside the U.S. government, including Sen. John McCain and [HILLARY CLINTON EMPLOYEE] Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland

whose husband, Robert Kagan, appears later and often in this article

Quote:

were actively agitating for a “regime change” in Ukraine, a putsch against elected President Viktor Yanukovych that was carried out on Feb. 22, 2014.

This operation on Russia’s border provoked an immediate reaction from the Kremlin, which then supported ethnic-Russian Ukrainians who had voted heavily for Yanukovych and who objected to the coup regime in Kiev. The neocon-dominated U.S. mainstream media, of course, portrayed the Ukrainian conflict as a simple case of “Russian aggression,” and Obama fell in line with this propaganda narrative.

After his relationship with Putin had deteriorated over the ensuring two-plus years, Obama chose to escalate the New Cold War in his final weeks in office by having U.S. intelligence agencies leak unsubstantiated claims that Putin interfered in the U.S. presidential election by hacking and publicizing Democratic emails that helped Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

Smearing Trump
The CIA also put in play salacious rumors about the Kremlin blackmailing Trump over a supposed video of him cavorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel. And, according to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. counterintelligence agents investigated communications between retired Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security advisor, and Russian officials. In the New McCarthyism that now surrounds the New Cold War, any conversation with Russians apparently puts an American under suspicion for treason.

The anti-Russian frenzy also pulled in The New York Times, The Washington Post and virtually the entire mainstream media, which now treat any dissent from the official U.S. narratives condemning Moscow as prima facie evidence that you are part of a Russian propaganda apparatus. Even some “progressive” publications have joined this stampede because they so despise Trump that they will tout any accusation to damage his presidency.

Besides raising serious concerns about civil liberties and freedom of association, Obama’s end-of-term anti-Russian hysteria may be leading the Democratic Party into supplanting the Republicans as America’s leading pro-war party allied with neocons, liberal hawks, the CIA and the Military-Industrial Complex – in opposition to President Trump’s less belligerent approach toward Russia.

This “trading places” moment over which party is the bigger warmonger could be another profound part of Obama’s legacy, presenting a crisis for pro-peace Democrats as the Trump presidency unfolds.

The Real Obama
Yet, one of the mysteries of Obama is whether he was always a closet hawk who just let his true colors show over the course of his eight years in office or whether he was a weak executive who desperately wanted to belong to the Washington establishment and underwent a gradual submission to achieve that acceptance.

I know some Obama watchers favor the first answer, that he simply bamboozled people into thinking that he was an agent for foreign policy change when he was always a stealth warmonger. But I tend to take the second position. To me, Obama was a person who – despite his intelligence, eloquence and accomplishments – was never accepted by America’s predominantly white establishment.

Because he was a black male raised in a white family and in a white-dominated society, Obama understood that he never really belonged. But Obama desperately wanted to be part of that power structure of well-dressed, well-schooled and well-connected elites who moved with such confidence within the economic-political system.

An instructive moment came in 2014 when Obama was under sustained criticism for his refusal to bomb the Syrian military after a sarin gas attack outside Damascus that was initially blamed on the government though later evidence suggested that it was a provocation committed by Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate.

Despite the uncertainty about who was responsible, the neocons and liberal hawks deemed Obama “weak” for not ordering the bombing strike to enforce his “red line” against chemical weapons use.

In a 2016 article in The Atlantic, Obama cited his sarin decision as a moment when he resisted the Washington “playbook” that usually favors a military response. The article also reported that Obama had been informed by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that there was no “slam dunk” evidence pinning the attack on the Syrian military. Yet, still Obama came under intense pressure to strike.

A leader of this pressure campaign was neocon ideologue Robert Kagan, an architect of the Iraq War and the husband of Assistant Secretary of State Nuland. Kagan penned a long essay in The New Republic entitled “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire.” A subsequent New York Times article observed that Kagan “depicted President Obama as presiding over an inward turn by the United States that threatened the global order and broke with more than 70 years of American presidents and precedence.”

Kagan “called for Mr. Obama to resist a popular pull toward making the United States a nation without larger responsibilities, and to reassume the more muscular approach to the world out of vogue in Washington since the war in Iraq drained the country of its appetite for intervention,” the Times article read.

Obama was so sensitive to this criticism that he modified his speech to the West Point graduation and “even invited Mr. Kagan to lunch to compare world views,” the Times reported. A source familiar with that conversation described it to me as a “meeting of equals.” So, Obama’s subservience to the neocons and liberal hawks may have begun as a case of an inexperienced president getting outmaneuvered by rivals whom he had foolishly empowered. But Obama’s descent into a full-scale New Cold Warrior by the end of his second term suggests that he was no longer an overpowered naïf but someone who had become a committed convert.

How Obama reached that point may be less significant than the fact that he did. Thus, the world that President Obama bequeaths to President Trump may not have all the same dangers that Bush left to Obama but the post-Obama world has hazards that Obama did more to create than to resolve — and some of the new risks may be even scarier.


https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/24/obama-bequeaths-a-more-dangerous
-world
/



-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


According to you GSTRING, if I discuss something I'm over-reacting. If I DON'T discuss something, I'm hiding.

You see? You're a troll. YOU don't want to discuss the subject, all you want to do is look for an excuse for personal attacks. So the reason why I'm NOT discussing this with you further is because (1) You've been demonstrated to be wrong about five ti





-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, February 5, 2017 10:49 AM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
THUGR, I used YOUR QUOTE to justify what I did. To refresh your memory, this is what you said:
Quote:

So there we have it folks. By virtue of SIG and 1kik's silence, it's ok with them if men abuse their wives. = THUGR


And this is what I said
Quote:

So there we have it folks. By virtue of THUGR'S silence, it's ok with him if
Saudi men abuse their wives
Qatari men beat their wives
American men beat their wives
Cops kill black people
Black people kill black people
Saudis aid and abet terrorists
The USA bombs brown people by the hundreds of thousands
Kiev bombs civilians and kills thousands
South Sudanese leaders are all corrupt
So are the Mexican leaders.
In fact, add Brazil to the list.
Oh, what the hell, add most world leaders to the list!
Saudi Arabia bombs Yemeni civilians
Lance Armstrong doped
Chickens are raised and slaughtered under brutal conditions
Human traffickers sell young girls

I can point out dozens upon dozens of injustices that you've been silent on, THUGR. I guess you're OK with them. [But] If you want to know what I think, look here: http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?tid=61329
Now back to our regularly scheduled topic ....



I know what YOU are .... because you outed yourself. You're either and idiot, or a paid troll.




By posting a list that can not possibly be verified, and is irrelevant to my question to you and 1kiki, all you are doing here is showing your desperation to avoid answering the question and Condemn Russia's actions.

I am continually finding ways to point out that you are only interested in bashing the west on behalf of Russia, and interactions like this are designed to prove my point.

And they always do.

____________________________________________
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence

Russia's parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause "substantial bodily harm" and does not occur more than once a year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decri
miinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/

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Sunday, February 5, 2017 11:09 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


There are no actions to condemn. You flat out lied about something that happened, and the very article you posted proves that you lied about it.

You continue to lie about it every time you leave that quote in your signature.

Maybe you're not wittingly lying about it. Re-read the article.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Sunday, February 5, 2017 11:54 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

By posting a list that can not possibly be verified ...THUGR
Of course it can be verified. So far, you have not posted any objections to ANY of these injustices. Therefore, by your logic, you must be for them.

SIX- THUGR is so thoroughly deluded he doesn't even know when he's making a mistake, see above.



-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


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Sunday, February 5, 2017 10:14 PM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

By posting a list that can not possibly be verified ...THUGR
Of course it can be verified.




Wow that's great SIG, verify away. This ought to be good.

____________________________________________
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence

Russia's parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause "substantial bodily harm" and does not occur more than once a year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decri
miinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/

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Sunday, February 5, 2017 11:00 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Actually, this is one of those things that really COULD be verified - though Haken would be grumpy. All it would take is simply reposting all of your posts.




How did your beloved 'democratic' party fuck up so badly?

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Monday, February 6, 2017 4:42 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Please... Let's leave Haken out of any of this crap.

You guys seem plenty capable of digging up old posts.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Monday, February 6, 2017 7:06 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

By posting a list that can not possibly be verified ...THUGR
Of course it can be verified.- SIGNY
Wow that's great SIG, verify away. This ought to be good.- THUGR



OK THUGR - here is my verification of my posts. This is what you've posted on any of the injustices that I listed:

Quote:

...[crickets] ...


There!
Now prove me wrong.
Yes, I know, this gives you a great opportunity to post-edit your posts. But at some point, it will becomes obvious to everyone including your great friends here in the board- when "quotes" start appearing out-of-context in random threads throughout the board - that you're .... what's that word again? ... oh, yes .... lying. So, start lying. I expect that you will be done in about two weeks of feverish work. Don't forget to sprinkle in a quote for each corrupt political leader on the globe. That's roughly 200 nations. And when THAT'S done, I'll give you ANOTHER set of injustices that you haven't previously objected to and assume by fact of your silence that you're "for" them too!




-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


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Monday, February 6, 2017 10:33 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Okay, THUGR, I hope you see the flaw in your logic.

The world is a complex place, and it would be impossible to notice, let alone think on, or post about, the billions of events happening around the globe every day.

Almost everyone wants to create a narrative. KPO's narrative is about the plucky band of underfunded freedom-loving pro-democracy rebels in Syria, fighting Big Bad Russian and the Assad regime with rifles and even rocks. You will never find him posting about their tanks, armored personnel carriers, and howitzers, as well as their neck-sawing allies.

The BBC's narrative is "good westerners who love freedom/ bad Russians who kill people". On Zerohedge it's always "the end" of something ... the end of the dollar, the end of the stock market, the end of central banking, the end of society, the end of the world!

I have recommended looking at the timing and tempo of various topics. Some topics get relentless coverage, and some suddenly go quiet (like Syria). You CAN detect a bias from what people don't post, as well as what they DO post. But it's awfully hard to ascribe a specific opinion from what somebody doesn't say. I haven't, for example, posted anything about the happenings in Mauritania. Does it mean I'm "for" them?







-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


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Tuesday, February 7, 2017 10:48 AM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
Actually, this is one of those things that really COULD be verified - though Haken would be grumpy. All it would take is simply reposting all of your posts.




So what you're suggesting is that Haken take over for SIG and verify what SIG claimed she could easily verify. If that's true Hakens' services are not required. Just prove I did not condemn what she claims by proving I did not. And remember, I have proven the two of you troll on behalf of Putin. So, many of my responses may be to point out you are trolling. Due to this, many times I may not show deference to you and your topic.

____________________________________________
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence

Russia's parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause "substantial bodily harm" and does not occur more than once a year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decri
miinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017 8:04 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


I keep hearing that his proclaimed mass exodus is another prime example of Fake News, perpetrated by the Looney Lefty Lying Libtard MainStreamMedia.

Are there any facts involved with this claim?

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017 8:57 PM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
I keep hearing that his proclaimed mass exodus is another prime example of Fake News, perpetrated by the Looney Lefty Lying Libtard MainStreamMedia.

Are there any facts involved with this claim?



Yes the facts are showing it was not unusual or a mass exodus. The mainstream news media have gotten caught up in reporting things before they are verified. There have been mistakes and they need to do a better job.

I have to admit my mistake for running with it and starting this thread.

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16 Fake News Stories Reporters Have Run Since Trump Won


Journalists, media types, reporters, you have two choices: you can fix these problems, or you can watch your profession go down in flames.





Daniel Payne
By Daniel Payne
February 6, 2017



Since at least Donald Trump’s election, our media have been in the grip of an astonishing, self-inflicted crisis. Despite Trump’s constant railing against the American press, there is no greater enemy of the American media than the American media. They did this to themselves.

We are in the midst of an epidemic of fake news. There is no better word to describe it than “epidemic,” insofar as it fits the epidemiological model from the Centers for Disease Control: this phenomenon occurs when “an agent and susceptible hosts are present in adequate numbers, and the agent can be effectively conveyed from a source to the susceptible hosts.”



The “agent” in this case is hysteria over Trump’s presidency, and the “susceptible hosts” are a slipshod, reckless, and breathtakingly gullible media class that spread the hysteria around like—well, like a virus.

It is difficult to adequately sum up the breadth of this epidemic, chiefly because it keeps growing: day after day, even hour after hour, the media continue to broadcast, spread, promulgate, publicize, and promote fake news on an industrial scale. It has become a regular part of our news cycle, not distinct from or extraneous to it but a part of it, embedded within the news apparatus as a spoke is embedded in a bicycle wheel.

Whenever you turn on a news station, visit a news website, or check in on a journalist or media personality on Twitter or Facebook, there is an excellent chance you will be exposed to fake news. It is rapidly becoming an accepted part of the way the American media are run.

How we will get out of this is anyone’s guess. We might not get out of it, not so long as Trump is president of these United States. We may be up for four—maybe eight!—long years of authentic fake news media hysteria. It is worth cataloging at least a small sampling of the hysteria so far. Only when we fully assess the extent of the media’s collapse into ignominious ineptitude can we truly begin to reckon with it.



Since Trump’s election, here’s just a small sampling of fake news that our media and our journalist class have propagated.

Early November: Spike in Transgender Suicide Rates

After Trump’s electoral victory on November 8, rumors began circulating that multiple transgender teenagers had killed themselves in response to the election results. There was no basis to these rumors. Nobody was able to confirm them at the time, and nobody has been able to confirm in the three months since Trump was elected.

Nevertheless, the claim spread far and wide: Guardian writer and editor-at-large of Out Zach Stafford tweeted the rumor, which was retweeted more than 13,000 times before he deleted it. He later posted a tweet explaining why he deleted his original viral tweet; his explanatory tweet was shared a total of seven times. Meanwhile, PinkNews writer Dominic Preston wrote a report on the rumors, which garnered more than 12,000 shares on Facebook.

At Mic, Matthew Rodriguez wrote about the unsubstantiated allegations. His article was shared more than 55,000 times on Facebook. Urban legend debunker website Snopes wrote a report on the rumors and listed them as “unconfirmed” (rather than “false”). Snopes’s sources were two Facebook posts, since deleted, that offered no helpful information regarding the location, identity, or circumstances of any of the suicides. The Snopes report was shared 19,000 times.



At Reason, writer Elizabeth Nolan Brown searched multiple online databases to try to determine the identities or even the existence of the allegedly suicidal youth. She found nothing. As she put it: “[T]eenagers in 2016 don’t just die without anyone who knew them so much as mentioning their death online for days afterward.”

She is right. Just the same, the stories hyping this idea garnered at least nearly 100,000 shares on Facebook alone, contributing to the fear and hysteria surrounding Trump’s win.

November 22: The Tri-State Election Hacking Conspiracy Theory

On November 22, Gabriel Sherman posted a bombshell report at New York Magazine claiming that “a group of prominent computer scientists and election lawyers” were demanding a recount in three separate states because of “persuasive evidence that [the election] results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania may have been manipulated or hacked.” The evidence? Apparently, “in Wisconsin, Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots.”

The story went stratospherically viral. It was shared more than 145,000 times on Facebook alone. Sherman shared it on his Twitter feed several times, and people retweeted his links to the story nearly 9,000 times. Politico’s Eric Geller shared the story on Twitter as well. His tweet was retweeted just under 8,000 times. Dustin Volz from Reuters shared the link; he was retweeted nearly 2,000 times. MSNBC’s Joy Reid shared the story and was retweeted more than 4,000 times. New York Times opinion columnist Paul Krugman also shared the story and was retweeted about 1,600 times.



It wasn’t until the next day, November 23, that someone threw a little water on the fire. At FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver explained that it was “demographics, not hacking” that explained the curious voting numbers. “Anyone making allegations of a possible massive electoral hack should provide proof,” he wrote, “and we can’t find any.” Additionally, Silver pointed out that the New York Magazine article had misrepresented the argument of one of the computer scientists in question.

At that point, however, the damage had already been done: Sherman, along with his credulous tweeters and retweeters, had done a great deal to delegitimize the election results. Nobody was even listening to Silver, anyway: his post was shared a mere 380 times on Facebook, or about one-quarter of 1 percent as much as Sherman’s. This is how fake news works: the fake story always goes viral, while nobody reads or even hears about the correction.

December 1: The 27-Cent Foreclosure

At Politico on December 1, Lorraine Wellert published a shocking essay claiming that Trump’s pick for secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, had overseen a company that “foreclosed on a 90-year-old woman after a 27-cent payment error.” According to Wellert: “After confusion over insurance coverage, a OneWest subsidiary sent [Ossie] Lofton a bill for $423.30. She sent a check for $423. The bank sent another bill, for 30 cents. Lofton, 90, sent a check for three cents. In November 2014, the bank foreclosed.”

The story received widespread coverage, being shared nearly 17,000 times on Facebook. The New York Times’s Steven Rattner shared it on Twitter (1,300 retweets), as did NBC News’s Brad Jaffy (1,200 retweets), the AP’s David Beard (1,900 retweets) and many others.

The problem? The central scandalous claims of Wellert’s article were simply untrue. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Ted Frank pointed out, the woman in question was never foreclosed on, and never lost her home. Moreover, “It wasn’t Mnuchin’s bank that brought the suit.”

Politico eventually corrected these serious and glaring errors. But the damage was done: the story had been repeated by numerous media outlets including Huffington Post (shared 25,000 times on Facebook), the New York Post, Vanity Fair, and many others.

January 20: Nancy Sinatra’s Complaints about the Inaugural Ball

On the day of Trump’s inauguration, CNN claimed Nancy Sinatra was “not happy” with the fact that the president and first lady’s inaugural dance would be to the tune of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” The problem? Nancy Sinatra had never said any such thing. CNN later updated the article without explaining the mistake they had made.

January 20: The Nonexistent Climate Change Website ‘Purge’

Also on the day of the inauguration, New York Times writer Coral Davenport published an article on the Times’s website whose headline claimed that the Trump administration had “purged” any “climate change references” from the White House website. Within the article, Davenport acknowledged that the “purge” (or what she also called “online deletions”) was “not unexpected” but rather part of a routine turnover of digital authority between administrations.

To call this action a “purge” was thus at the height of intellectual dishonesty: Davenport was styling the whole thing as a kind of digital book-burn rather than a routine part of American government. But of course that was almost surely the point. The inflammatory headline was probably the only thing that most people read of the article, doubtlessly leading many readers (the article was shared nearly 50,000 times on Facebook) to believe something that simply wasn’t true.

January 20: The Great MLK Jr. Bust Controversy

On January 20, Time reporter Zeke Miller wrote that a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the White House. This caused a flurry of controversy on social media until Miller issued a correction. As Time put it, Miller had apparently not even asked anyone in the White House if the bust had been removed. He simply assumed it had been because “he had looked for it and had not seen it.”

January 20: Betsy DeVos, Grizzly Fighter

During her confirmation hearing, education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos was asked whether schools should be able to have guns on their campuses. As NBC News reported, DeVos felt it was “best left to locales and states to decide.” She pointed out that one school in Wyoming had a fence around it to protect the students from wildlife. “I would imagine,” she said, “that there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies.”

This was an utterly noncontroversial stance to take. DeVos was simply pointing out that different states and localities have different needs, and attempting to mandate a nationwide one-size-fits-all policy for every American school is imprudent.

How did the media run with it? By lying through their teeth. “Betsy DeVos Says Guns Should Be Allowed in Schools. They Might Be Needed to Shoot Grizzlies” (Slate). “Betsy DeVos: Schools May Need Guns to Fight Off Bears” (The Daily Beast). “Citing grizzlies, education nominee says states should determine school gun policies” (CNN). “Betsy DeVos says guns in schools may be necessary to protect students from grizzly bears” (ThinkProgress.) “Betsy DeVos says guns shouldn’t be banned in schools … because grizzly bears” (Vox). “Betsy DeVos tells Senate hearing she supports guns in schools because of grizzly bears” (The Week). “Trump’s Education Pick Cites ‘Potential Grizzlies’ As A Reason To Have Guns In Schools” (BuzzFeed).

The intellectual dishonesty at play here is hard to overstate. DeVos never said or even intimated that every American school or even very many of them might need to shoot bears. She merely used one school as an example of the necessity of federalism and as-local-as-possible control of the education system.

Rather than report accurately on her stance, these media outlets created a fake news event to smear a reasonable woman’s perfectly reasonable opinion.

January 26: The ‘Resignations’ At the State Department

On January 26, the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin published what seemed to be a bombshell report declaring that “the State Department’s entire senior management team just resigned.” This resignation, according to Rogin, was “part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior Foreign Service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era.” These resignations happened “suddenly” and “unexpectedly.” He styled it as a shocking shake-up of administrative protocol in the State Department, a kind of ad-hoc protest of the Trump administration.

The story immediately went sky-high viral. It was shared nearly 60,000 times on Facebook. Rogin himself tweeted the story out and was retweeted a staggering 11,000 times. Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum had it retweeted nearly 2,000 times; journalists and writers from Wired, The Guardian, the Washington Post, Bloomberg, ABC, Foreign Policy, and other publications tweeted the story out in shock.

There was just one problem: the story was more a load of bunk. As Vox pointed out, the headline of the piece was highly misleading: “the word ‘management’ strongly implied that all of America’s top diplomats were resigning, which was not the case.” (The Post later changed the word “management” to “administrative” without noting the change, although it left the “management” language intact in the article itself).

More importantly, Mark Toner, the acting spokesman for the State Department, put out a press release noting that “As is standard with every transition, the outgoing administration, in coordination with the incoming one, requested all politically appointed officers submit letters of resignation.” According to CNN, the officials were actually asked to leave by the Trump administration rather than stay on for the customary transitional few months. The entire premise of Rogin’s article was essentially nonexistent.

As always, the correction received far less attention than the fake news itself: Vox’s article, for instance, was shared around 9,500 times on Facebook, less than one-sixth the rate of Rogin’s piece. To this day, Rogin’s piece remains uncorrected regarding its faulty presumptions.

January 27: The Photoshopped Hands Affair

On January 27, Observer writer Dana Schwartz tweeted out a screenshot of Trump that, in her eyes, proved President Trump had “photoshopped his hands bigger” for a White House photograph. Her tweet immediately went viral, being shared upwards of 25,000 times. A similar tweet by Disney animator Joaquin Baldwin was shared nearly 9,000 times as well.

The conspiracy theory was eventually debunked, but not before it had been shared thousands upon thousands of times. Meanwhile, Schwartz tweeted that she did “not know for sure whether or not the hands were shopped.” Her correction tweet was shared a grand total of…11 times.

January 29: The Reuters Account Hoax

Following the Quebec City mosque massacre, the Daily Beast published a story that purported to identify the two shooters who had perpetrated the crime. The problem? The story’s source was a Reuters parody account on Twitter. Incredibly, nobody at the Daily Beast thought to check the source to any appreciable degree.

January 31: The White House-SCOTUS Twitter Mistake

Leading up to Trump announcing his first Supreme Court nomination, CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jeff Zeleny announced that the White House was “setting up [the] Supreme Court announcement as a prime-time contest.” He pointed to a pair of recently created “identical Twitter pages” for a theoretical justices Neil Gorsuch and Thomas Hardiman, the two likeliest nominees for the court vacancy.

Zeleny’s sneering tweet—clearly meant to cast the Trump administration in an unflattering, circus-like light—was shared more than 1,100 times on Twitter. About 30 minutes later, however, he tweeted: “The Twitter accounts…were not set up by the White House, I’ve been told.” As always, the admission of mistake was shared far less than the original fake news: Zeleny’s correction was retweeted a paltry 159 times.

January 31: The Big Travel Ban Lie

On January 31, a Fox affiliate station out of Detroit reported that “A local business owner who flew to Iraq to bring his mother back home to the US for medical treatment said she was blocked from returning home under President Trump’s ban on immigration and travel from seven predominately Muslim nations. He said that while she was waiting for approval to fly home, she died from an illness.”

Like most other sensational news incidents, this one took off, big-time: it was shared countless times on Facebook, not just from the original article itself (123,000 shares) but via secondary reporting outlets such as the Huffington Post (nearly 9,000 shares). Credulous reporters and media personalities shared the story on Twitter to the tune of thousands and thousands of retweets, including: Christopher Hooks, Gideon Resnick, Daniel Dale, Sarah Silverman, Blake Hounshell, Brian Beutler, Garance Franke-Ruta, Keith Olbermann (he got 3,600 retweets on that one!), Matthew Yglesias, and Farhad Manjoo.

The story spread so far because it gratified all the biases of the liberal media elite: it proved that Trump’s “Muslim ban” was an evil, racist Hitler-esque mother-killer of an executive order.

There was just one problem: it was a lie. The man had lied about when his mother died. The Fox affiliate hadn’t bothered to do the necessary research to confirm or disprove the man’s account. The news station quietly corrected the story after giving rise to such wild, industrial-scale hysteria.

February 1: POTUS Threatens to Invade Mexico

On February 1, Yahoo News published an Associated Press report about a phone call President Trump shared with Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto. The report strongly implied that President Trump was considering “send[ing] U.S. troops” to curb Mexico’s “bad hombre” problem, although it acknowledged that the Mexican government disagreed with that interpretation. The White House later re-affirmed that Trump did not have any plan to “invade Mexico.”

Nevertheless, Jon Passantino, the deputy news director of BuzzFeed, shared this story on Twitter with the exclamation “WOW.” He was retweeted 2,700 times. Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Barack Obama, also shared the story, declaring: “I’m sorry, did our president just threaten to invade Mexico today??” Favreau was retweeted more than 8,000 times.

Meanwhile, the Yahoo News AP post was shared more than 17,000 times on Facebook; Time’s post of the misleading report was shared more than 66,000 times; ABC News posted the story and it was shared more than 20,000 times. On Twitter, the report—with the false implication that Trump’s comment was serious—was shared by media types such as ThinkProgress’s Judd Legum, the BBC’s Anthony Lurcher, Vox’s Matt Yglesias, Politico’s Shane Goldmacher, comedian Michael Ian Black, and many others.

February 2: Easing the Russian Sanctions

Last week, NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander tweeted out the following: “BREAKING: US Treasury Dept easing Obama admin sanctions to allow companies to do transactions with Russia’s FSB, successor org to KGB.” His tweet immediately went viral, as it implied that the Trump administration was cozying up to Russia.

A short while later, Alexander posted another tweet: “Source familiar [with] sanctions says it’s a technical fix, planned under Obama, to avoid unintended consequences of cybersanctions.” As of this writing, Alexander’s fake news tweet has approximately 6,500 retweets; his clarifying tweet has fewer than 250.

At CNBC, Jacob Pramuk styled the change this way: “Trump administration modifies sanctions against Russian intelligence service.” The article makes it clear that, per Alexander’s source, “the change was a technical fix that was planned under Obama.” Nonetheless, the impetus was placed on the Trump adminsitration. CBS News wrote the story up in the same way. So did the New York Daily News.

In the end, unable to pin this (rather unremarkable) policy tweak on the Trump administration, the media have mostly moved on. As the Chicago Tribune put it, the whole affair was yet again an example of how “in the hyperactive Age of Trump, something that initially appeared to be a major change in policy turned into a nothing-burger.”

February 2: Renaming Black History Month

At the start of February, which is Black History Month in the United States, Trump proclaimed the month “National African American History Month.” Many outlets tried to spin the story in a bizarre way: TMZ claimed that a “senior administration official” said that Trump believed the term “black” to be outdated. “Every U.S. president since 1976 has designated February as Black History Month,” wrote TMZ. BET wrote the same thing.

The problem? It’s just not true. President Obama, for example, declared February “National African American History Month” as well. TMZ quickly updated their piece to fix their embarrassing error.

February 2: The House of Representatives’ Gun Control Measures

On February 2, the Associated Press touched off a political and media firestorm by tweeting: “BREAKING: House votes to roll back Obama rule on background checks for gun ownership.” The AP was retweeted a staggering 12,000 times.

The headlines that followed were legion: “House votes to rescind Obama gun background check rule” (Kyle Cheney, Politico); “House GOP aims to scrap Obama rule on gun background checks” (CNBC); “House scraps background check regulation” (Yahoo News); “House rolls back Obama gun background check rule” (CNN); “House votes to roll back Obama rule on background checks for gun ownership” (Washington Post).

Some headlines were more specific about the actual House vote but no less misleading; “House votes to end rule that prevents people with mental illness from buying guns” (the Independent); “Congress ends background checks for some gun buyers with mental illness” (the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette); “House Votes to Overturn Obama Rule Restricting Gun Sales to the Severely Mentally Ill” (NPR).

The hysteria was far-reaching and frenetic. As you might have guessed, all of it was baseless. The House was actually voting to repeal a narrowly tailored rule from the Obama era. This rule mandated that the names of certain individuals who receive Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income and who use a representative to help manage these benefits due to a mental impairment be forwarded to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

If that sounds confusing, it essentially means that if someone who receives SSDI or SSI needs a third party to manage these benefits due to some sort of mental handicap, then—under the Obama rule—they may have been barred from purchasing a firearm. (It is thus incredibly misleading to suggest that the rule applied in some specific way to the “severely mentally ill.”)

As National Review’s Charlie Cooke pointed out, the Obama rule was opposed by the American Association of People With Disabilities; the ACLU; the Arc of the United States; the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network; the Consortium of Citizens With Disabilities; the National Coalition of Mental Health Recovery; and many, many other disability advocacy organizations and networks.

The media hysteria surrounding the repeal of this rule—the wildly misleading and deceitful headlines, the confused outrage over a vote that nobody understood—was a public disservice.

As Cooke wrote: “It is a rare day indeed on which the NRA, the GOP, the ACLU, and America’s mental health groups find themselves in agreement on a question of public policy, but when it happens it should at the very least prompt Americans to ask, ‘Why?’ That so many mainstream outlets tried to cheat them of the opportunity does not bode well for the future.”

Maybe It’s Time to Stop Reading Fake News

Surely more incidents have happened since Trump was elected; doubtlessly there are many more to come. To be sure, some of these incidents are larger and more shameful than others, and some are smaller and more mundane.

But all of them, taken as a group, raise a pressing and important question: why is this happening? Why are our media so regularly and so profoundly debasing and beclowning themselves, lying to the public and sullying our national discourse—sometimes on a daily basis? How has it come to this point?

Perhaps the answer is: “We’ve let it.” The media will not stop behaving in so reckless a manner unless and until we demand they stop.

That being said, there are two possible outcomes to this fake news crisis: our media can get better, or they can get worse. If they get better, we might actually see our press begin to hold the Trump administration (and government in general) genuinely accountable for its many admitted faults. If they refuse to fix these serial problems of gullibility, credulity, outrage, and outright lying, then we will be in for a rough four years, if not more.

No one single person can fix this problem. It has to be a cultural change, a kind of shifting of priorities industry-wide. Journalists, media types, reporters, you have two choices: you can fix these problems, or you can watch your profession go down in flames.

Most of us are hoping devoutly for the former. But not even a month into the presidency of Donald J. Trump, the outlook is dim.

Daniel Payne is a senior contributor at The Federalist. He currently runs the blog Trial of the Century, and lives in Virginia.


Betsy DeVos Donald Trump drive-by media fake news Josh Rogin Mainstream Media Media media bias Media Criticism Steve Mnuchin the press viral news


http://thefederalist.com/2017/02/06/16-fake-news-stories-reporters-hav
e-run-since-trump-won
/




____________________________________________
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence

Russia's parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause "substantial bodily harm" and does not occur more than once a year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decri
miinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017 1:23 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Quote:

So what you're suggesting is that Haken take over for SIG and verify what SIG claimed she could easily verify.
Not at all. Somebody - not Haken - could verify this by reposting all of your posts. Haken would be grumpy because he's running a database on a server and all that reposting could stretch the database beyond its capacity, use up a lot of space, and take up bandwidth. He's spent money, time and effort to put this website together and keep it running. I'm pretty sure he'd be sorely tried to see it being used like that.




How did your beloved 'democratic' party fuck up so badly?

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017 10:03 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

So what you're suggesting is that Haken take over for SIG and verify what SIG claimed she could easily verify= THUGR

I've already verified it. I quoted everything that you posted on the injustices that I listed, which is .... nothing.

Proving a negative ... proving that something DOESN'T exist .... is logically impossible and for practical purposes very difficult. For example it's like proving that Saddam didn't have WMD .... some people will always conjecture that somebody "missed something" ... that the weapons were moved into Syria, or buried, or what-have-you. (At some point, though we could say that there weren't enough weapons or large enough production to make any material difference in a military situation.)

So, if you haven't posted anything at all about the injustices that I listed, and then used your silence on the topic to indict you, while it would be extremely difficult for me to verify that you haven't posted anything, it would far easier for you to show that you DID post something because you would have evidence to bring forward.

It's in the nature of hypothesis testing: that's the way it works. It's easier to DISPROVE a hypotheses than to PROVE one. So prove me wrong. GO find those quotes that you should be more aware of than anyone else here, and link them.



-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


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Wednesday, February 8, 2017 10:13 AM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

So what you're suggesting is that Haken take over for SIG and verify what SIG claimed she could easily verify= THUGR

I've already verified it. I quoted everything that you posted on the injustices that I listed, which is .... nothing.



yeah right, we'll take your word for it. That's some funny shit SIG.

____________________________________________
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence

Russia's parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause "substantial bodily harm" and does not occur more than once a year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decri
miinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017 10:16 AM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
Quote:

So what you're suggesting is that Haken take over for SIG and verify what SIG claimed she could easily verify.
Not at all. Somebody - not Haken - could verify this by reposting all of your posts.



Or you could do what SIG just did and say there aren't any and leave it at that. Besides, what I did is ask you both a direct question. That's different than when I am questioning your motives for starting the thread, and what you are posting.

It's also different than when I have to point to your sources and facts as being wrong and untrustworthy, creating different needs other than a direct response. That is what I generally have to do when dealing with the subjective bullshit the two of you post.

So 1kiki, ready to condemn Russia?
____________________________________________
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence

Russia's parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause "substantial bodily harm" and does not occur more than once a year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decri
miinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017 11:05 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

It's simple: You rightly say it's impossible to post on everything, but when you IGNORE a simple question asked of you, THEN you can detect bias - there's a reason you aren't answering. That could be:

blah blah blah



I didn't think that particular post was worth dwelling on. I answered it, and that was enough.

First of all, I'm not "condemning" the new Russian law. I think it's unfortunate and I'm sorry that it passed - I don't see how the outcome could be good. But I save "condemnation" for more important things, like Pol Pot or the destruction of the Middle East by the west: the killing a hundred thousand or more, and displacing tens of millions of people. People get their priorities all twisted- what is worse: Temporarily banning people from some Muslim nations, or killing them? Condemn the former, ignore the latter?

You might notice that I, myself, don't go around "condemning" other nations very much. There are thousands of heinous policies, events, and people I could focus on, but I generally limit myself to posting about OUR (United States) problems because I feel that WE (Americans) have both the authority and the responsibility for OUR national policies. We also have some responsibility for the (military) actions of those nations which we support militarily, like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Germany etc.

But I feel very strongly that we have the duty to clean up our act FIRST, before we go stomping our boots and dropping our bombs all over anyone else. The sort of blind righteousness that people like THUGR display is just a hook to get people like THUGR to buy into yet another round of nation-destruction ... it has nothing to do with the REAL reasons why we've destroyed so many nations lately! Yanno, if there's a problem and we want to help, then we should HELP, not bomb. But I guess that's too simple.

THUGR, son .... it would be extremely easy for you to prove that you care about the injustices that I listed, all you have to do is find a one post for each of them ... or even some of them. Or, by your logic, you stand indicted on being "for" them.



-----------

"Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor"- William Blake


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Wednesday, February 8, 2017 11:33 AM

THGRRI


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

It's simple: You rightly say it's impossible to post on everything, but when you IGNORE a simple question asked of you, THEN you can detect bias - there's a reason you aren't answering. That could be:

blah blah blah



I didn't think that particular post was worth dwelling on. I answered it, and that was enough.

First of all, I'm not "condemning" the new Russian law. I think it's unfortunate and I'm sorry that it passed - I don't see how the outcome could be good. But I save "condemnation" for more important things, like Pol Pot or the destruction of the Middle East by the west: the killing a hundred thousand or more, and displacing tens of millions of people. People get their priorities all twisted- what is worse: Temporarily banning people from some Muslim nations, or killing them? Condemn the former, ignore the latter?

You might notice that I, myself, don't go around "condemning" other nations very much. There are thousands of heinous policies, events, and people I could focus on, but I generally limit myself to posting about OUR (United States) problems because I feel that WE (Americans) have both the authority and the responsibility for OUR national policies. We also have some responsibility for the (military) actions of those nations which we support militarily, like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Germany etc.

But I feel very strongly that we have the duty to clean up our act FIRST, before we go stomping our boots and dropping our bombs all over anyone else. The sort of blind righteousness that people like THUGR display is just a hook to get people like THUGR to buy into yet another round of nation-destruction ... it has nothing to do with the REAL reasons why we've destroyed so many nations lately! Yanno, if there's a problem and we want to help, then we should HELP, not bomb. But I guess that's too simple.

THUGR, son .... it would be extremely easy for you to prove that you care about the injustices that I listed, all you have to do is find a one post for each of them ... or even some of them. Or, by your logic, you stand indicted on being "for" them.




I read your post here and I have to laugh. You're against the law sort of. That's followed up by your fallacy of relative privation. Your attempts to suggest that what goes on in Russia should be ignored because there are more important problems in the world. Even though the issues you list are completely unrelated to the subject under discussion.

I read your post here and I have to laugh because we have years of threads started by you. Threads where you are outraged about things going on in the world that don't rise to the level of what just transpired in Russia, regarding their domestic violence laws. And 1kiki has yet to even say she's against it sort of.

Finally, I see another text book example of subjective posting in your cumulative post. I ask about domestic violence laws in Russia and you comment on some of our allies, completely off topic, and I quote" We also have some responsibility for the (military) actions of those nations which we support militarily, like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Germany etc." You state this and then go on to suggest you don't discuss what other nations do.

As you post you contradict yourself SIG and that's subjective posting. Or as I like to say, bullshit.

____________________________________________
Russia parliament votes 380-3 to decriminalize domestic violence

Russia's parliament voted 380-3 on Friday to decriminalize domestic violence in cases where it does not cause "substantial bodily harm" and does not occur more than once a year.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/27/russian-parliament-decri
miinalizes-domestic-violence/97129912/

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017 11:30 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Quote:

Besides, what I did is ask you both a direct question.
Whatever. Ask me if I care about your inane posts.
Quote:

That is what I generally have to do when dealing with the subjective bullshit the two of you post.
Said the troll who never posts links to facts.




How did your beloved 'democratic' party fuck up so badly?

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