Open Thread 6 May 2019

Rothko (1)

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26 Responses to Open Thread 6 May 2019

  1. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    tayyip’s lackeys cancelled the Istanbul municipal elections citing “fraud” -an excellent demonstration of “islamist democracy” where elections are repeated until the desired outcome is secured. In the meantime the economy is in deep trouble and the Syrian debacle keeps growing. Seems like the regime is running out of options. It will be interesting to see how this all will turn out.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  2. Linda says:

    I have a question for all of you.. After countless references and many explanations, I still don’t understand the concept of “deep. state”. Is it neocons hiding in the shadows waiting for their chance to leap out and take over again (a la Bolton) or some cabal of government employees working against whatever President we have? I can’t figure it out. So perhaps someone, or several someones, can help me out with this. Please!

  3. blue peacock says:

    “The trade deal under negotiation this month is not a deal between two similar systems seeking closer ties, as its cheerleaders on Wall Street and in the media and academia argue. Rather, this is a fundamental clash between two radically different economic models.
    The best U.S. result is a detailed document in which China renounces its predatory, confiscatory and mercantilist practices while providing ample means to monitor and promptly enforce the agreement.
    The best CCP result is to get the tariffs lifted by filing reams of paper with false, unenforceable promises that will allow it to run out the clock on the Trump administration and hope for a less antagonistic Democratic alternative.”

    The experience with China in the WTO should provide a clue. Whenever they have lost a WTO ruling all they did was thumb their noses and continued with their practices. The West in their greed for Chinese cash and hopes that they could sell into the Chinese market allowed China to skate. Anyone that has tried to do business in China knows that it is a closed market and this concept of JVs with forced technology transfer is one method they deploy to steal.
    Half the country pillories Putin and believes that Russia significantly influenced the 2016 presidential election. They are quite happy to ignore the real threat in the CCP. Who hacked the Office of Personnel Management & stole all the information on US government employees?

  4. Eugene Owens says:

    SAA advancing on Hama-Idlib axis.

  5. Fred says:

    Orange Man bad, Orange Julius, Orange Crush….

  6. ISL says:

    My Border collie puppy, Perla, (14 months) is a challenge to train as she prefers tug of war and jumping.
    Still, lifetime training delays mental aging, so it is important to persist.

  7. rho says:

    “where elections are repeated until the desired outcome is secured”
    Meh. That happens a lot in the EU, too. Alternatively, the outcome of a referendum can simply be ignored in some cases:
    Denmark voted twice until it accepted the Treaty of Maastricht.
    Ireland voted twice until it accepted the Treaty of Nice.
    France and the Netherlands rejected the Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe, which prompted the EU to slightly reframe the document such that France and the Netherlands could approve it without referenda.
    Ireland, which had not held a referendum on the Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe (because the project got killed before that could happen) voted twice until it accepted the Treaty of Lisbon, with is the revised version of the “Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe”.
    Also fun:
    Greece rejected the bailout in 2015, but the government took it anyway.
    The Netherlands voted against the Ukraine-EU Association agreement (the agreement was key reason why Maidan and the Donbass war happened), but that didn’t matter because it was only advisory. Later on, the Dutch government repealed the Dutch “Advisory Referendum Act” to make sure such embarrassing referendum results could not happen again. They even made sure that the repeal of the act could not be subject to an advisory referendum of its own.

  8. Seamus Padraig says:

    They’ve been “quite happy to ignore the real threat in the CCP” for thirty years now. I wish I could say that’ll change in the near future, but I must confess that I am skeptical.

  9. EEngineer says:

    Think of it as “group think” of the bureaucratic and professional political classes in Washington DC.

  10. jon stanley says:

    I’ll take a crack at an–not necessarily THEE—answer. The deep state comes out only when it perceives its vital interests, *perilously* threatened. Otherwise, in good times, it is the concept of permanent government bureaucrats. Those whose positions do not change when a political change occurs, i.e. Dems out, GOP in, or GOP in Dems out. They tend to represent policies and practices, rather than given individuals. However, they are not exclusive to the govt. They can morph out of the govt, and into think tanks, lobbying firms, law firms, etc. But the general policies stay the same, with tweaks. Their main driving force is their concern with their professional careers. Many of which are tied policy however. For instance, lets say you are a big NATO guy/gal, who has successfully networked inside a policy that seeks to strengthen and expand NATO. You’ve probably structured you educational path around a certain policy. You went to the same doctrinal programs. Met people from the EU in these programs. Developed expertise in such areas as to make yourself a great candidate. You get very, very, nervous when you hear ANY talk about reducing our footprint in NATO, or cutting back on expanding it. If you happen to be in the military, specifically, in say the mechanized wing of the military, you might also get nervous for the same career reasons. you have invested a lot of capital, intellectual and networking capital, building a career. To the extent large scale, old school, WWII style, admittedly updated, combat is downplayed from a policy and funding perspective you begin to feel like someone is coming for your slice of bread.
    Now none of what I written precludes a strong political, as opposed to a career perspective on this. It just happens to work out that when your career hinges on NATO growth, surprise, you tend to be a big ideological proponent of it as well. Recall the old saying, where you sit (eat at the table), is where you stand. Ideologically.
    I picked NATO because it is one of the biggest, and simplest (sort of, anyway) examples. But the dynamic I highlight is spread across many agencies and policies. Lets say you are a big cybersecurity guy/gal. Working DHS. And suddenly border protection becomes the very hot topic of the day. And occupies most of the Sec of DHS’s attention. From a budget perspective, i.e. a career perspective, this is not good for you. You balk. You undermine where you can. You battle for funds. Attention. Promotion.
    Or with Environment, the EPS, lets say you are big into closing down/converting coal burning plants. That’s where your career path is taking you. That’s where the funding is going. And into the White House, and into the head of EPA comes someone not big on this policy. You are threatened. And recall, you may have been working at this ten or fifteen years. You know how the system works, perhaps better than someone recently appointed, at the top. So you have a pretty good idea precisely where and how to place the stick in the spokes of change with peak efficiency. How to undermine the pace of change. Till someone more aligned with your view wins an election.
    At the Dept of ED you might be very big into No Child Left Behind testing measures. Suddenly someone comes in who desires and professes to change this policy. Amber lights flash for your career.
    Multiply this dynamic, as I wrote, across all govt agencies and the think tanks and lobbyists that work with them.
    this is the battle in normal times of change.
    However, the Deep State comes out when the threatened change is radical. Or, perceived, anyway, as radical. this is when things can get very very ugly.
    Some would say, think, Nixon in 1972. A man of strong opinions, with an intimate knowledge of how the Bureaucracy works, and more importantly, where it is vulnerable to dramatic change. Nixon had just won a huge mandate for change in his landslide win in 72. Alarms bells go off. Nixon goes down.
    Or Reagan in 1984. Another huge landslide. Another mandate (argued, anyway) for massive change. Reagan nearly goes down in Iran Contra.
    Fast forward to Trump. The alarm bells never sounded louder in DC since 1932 and FDR’s coming to power. NOw the normal inside the beltway daily battles turn deadly Many in DC begin to take ‘anticipatory retaliation’ to coin an old DOD term. Also known as first strike. A kill shot. then you get lots of people putting sticks in the spokes, and worst. Much worst. The investigations begin, the leaks right behind that. And then the dissemination of the leaks across the Nation. Each time disseminated, a bit more exaggerated. Force multiplier for the leaks. Next up, a Mueller like investigation, with all that implies.
    Look, I don’t mean to imply this is all some clockwork conspiracy theory right out of Karl Marx’s school of historical determination. Human frailties and flaws encourage the counter attacks. Admins get sloopy and cocky, and overreach with big political mandates at their backs. People get weary in second terms. Or if their ego is big enough they can over play a close election win. Think Trump. They often walk into the trap. this is especially close if they don’t exactly know how govt really works in DC. Like a relative newcomer like Trump. NYC street sense is one thing. It is not always transferable in DC
    One thing I would argue with certainty–which is not to say I am automatically right–but I am certain. Anyway. And that is, these kinds of campaigns, Watergate, Iran Contra, Clinton’s impeachment, Trump’s Mueller investigation, they all have the strategic rhythm to them, a tactical logic to them, that allows one to say, ‘ok, now if i got this right, the next shoe to drop (leak) is probably gonna be…..and lo and behold, there it is the next day. This was/is a campaign, a well thought out one. And THAT is the deep state kicking back.
    My first crack at this. And I’m a good lawyer, or was a good lawyer before i retired from the law, so i could punch holes in my own arguments, if ya paid me. But in the end, I still go with my first take.
    Sorry to go on for so long.

  11. Eugene Owens says:

    IZ –
    I have to wonder whether the election results spurred Erdogan to finally allow Ocalan’s lawyers to visit him at Imrali after an eight year interval with no contact. Any speculation or opinion on that?

  12. Joanna says:

    IZ, interestingly, caught it by accident on the news, they interviewed a couple of people with a Turkish background up North from Cologne. Strictly in my federal district. Showed us two people. Both considered it the right thing to do. I forget the first, it wasn’t that unusual, but the second stated: Hopefully I get him right, maybe, they better do, it will stop rumors.
    Now of cause there has been quite a bit of Gülen cleaning going on, and some seems to have reached the courts were the original decision was made.
    take care, be well

  13. Joanna says:

    Why orange, anyway? He’s not from the house of Orange-Nassau. Irony alert: Or did I miss something. Obviously I did.

  14. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    So, do you think the tayyiban polity is starting to behave more like the West or vice-versa?
    Ishmael Zechariah
    P.s: tayyip has a famous quote you might remember: “Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off.
    ( )

  15. optimax says:

    Philip Giraldi wrote an article in Untz about the over reaction to the NYT cartoon of Netanyahu being portrayed as a dachshund leading Trump with the leash in his hand.
    Caving to the cries of antisemitism, the NYT apologized and affirmed their loyalty to the Zionists by saying heads will roll.
    I find it ironic Jewish pundits find it offensive Bibi is portrayed as a dog when there is an ancient, indeed biblical, tradition of Jews labeling gentiles as dogs. Would they feign offense if Trump had been portrayed as a poodle loyally following Bibi.Probably. It’s a fact Trump is willing to please Bibi and Adleson. The Israelis are so pleased with our president’s submission they want to name a settlement after him. Zionists do not want gentiles to know the truth about our two countries one-side friendship. Let us hope our leaders don’t shred the 1st amendment to please this and other paranoid groups afraid of open debate.

  16. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Eugene Owens,
    Ishmael Zechariah

  17. different clue says:

    People who are considered to be artificially tanned, either from sunlamps or especially skin-coloring drugs, are sometimes referred to as “orange colored”. So this is, I believe, an insulting referrence to the artificial tan which President Trump is being imputed to have.
    Here is a skin-coloring product which promises a more natural-looking apparent tan. It boasts of leaving “no streaks, no orange color”. Which shows that “orange person” is a thing. Or at least can be.
    Speaker of the House John Boehner was derisively referred to by some of his enemies and detractors as ” Agent Orange”.;_ylt=AwrEzev3rdNcL9QAxn1XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyZzZzdjBhBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjcyMzBfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=john+boehner+agent+orange&fr=sfp

  18. different clue says:

    Here is a video by a person with a very creative solution to the problem of spattering hot fat while frying.

  19. Jack says:

    Looks like Xi may have miscalculated according to this story in the WSJ. While there are many indicators that the US economy is slowing, it is still robust enough. In any case it would be better for Trump to have the deceleration now rather than in 2020. He’s setting up the Fed to open the spigots by calling for rate cuts and more QE. China actually may be in a tougher situation. Growth is declining. And once again they’re ramping up fixed asset and real estate investment through their already bloated banking system. Belt & Road requires lots of USD. With the USD rising Chinese companies that have borrowed in USD to fuel their overseas forays have to pay more. But the simplest way they’re likely to get around the tariffs is to devalue RMB which is now pushing through 6.8. If it gets to 7, will Trump with Schumer’s backing label them a currency manipulator?
    The Game of Chicken is on. China will retaliate if tariffs increase on Friday. Trump may have no choice but up the ante.

  20. PSWebster says:

    Thank you for your explanation. I struggle with this definition as well. I do not see the “strategic rhythm” or “tactical logic” you suggest; nor do I see the similarities between the investigations you see (except they are investigations). What is the referent for “this was/is a campaign, a well thought out one…the deep state kicking back”?
    Sounds a little too conspiratorial to me.

  21. jon stanley says:

    Well, and it is not my intention to be snarky, I don’t know if you mean relevance or reference when you wrote “referent”.
    I’m a lawyer. That means I have an inclination (skillfully or not) to think in trial like patterns. i.e. what pieces of evidence am I missing, what gaps to fill, what would be helpful to put the full puzzle together. To me there was a pattern this Russian story followed. If something was needed, or, I felt was needed, anyway, it seemed to pop up. This is not the forum to go over the events in detail. That might seem like a cop out answer, but I think it reflects reality. Time is limited.
    The link I SEE, anyway, between Nixon’s landslide victory, Reagan’s landslide victory, Clinton’s sizable victory in 96, and Trump close victory is that in all these cases the permanent bureaucracy perceived the potential for dramatic, core threatening, change coming. And I suggest such threats brought out the worse in it. In each case, Watergate, Iran Contra, Monica, and the Russian hoax the goal was to end the Presidency of each victor. Further, I generally regard the ‘too conspiratorial’ meme as another way to say stop thinking, stop analyzing, stop talking. And it very effective in conversations and threads. And sometimes it is accurate and wise advice. And many times it simply a styfiling device. So I generally don’t give it a lot of thought or attention.

  22. Why do I get the feeling that man was a bachelor?

  23. smoke says:

    @jon stanley
    Agreed, as far as that troubling, apparent pattern of deeply organized or semi-organized resistance to significant change led by an activist Executive. What is missing in your explanation and my putative conspiracies are 1) mechanisms and 2) explanation of how the indispensable media become fully enlisted in the effort.

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