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On “Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition

Serj Tankian has a decent version as well.

The only versions I can wrap my head around are the Country Joe ones.

On “Buy American: President Biden’s Executive Order

If a spoonful of "America First" prevents another Trump from showing up, it's not too much of a price to pay.

On “Rebuilding from Ashes

I'm not suggesting that they do it because it would be good if they did.

I'm suggesting that they are already doing it now and they're being careful to do it in such a way that doesn't piss off Uncle Sam.


Is it that it cannot be done, even in theory?

Or is it merely The Mother Of All Coordination Problems?

On “The Perils of Impeachment

I think that finding him guilty in the Senate is probably a necessary pre-req to going away and being quiet. Let NYC and NYS do their thing afterwards... (though I admit to suspecting that the NYC/NYS charges were blown out of proportion).

Because that's the goal, right? Like, Trump not going to Gab or anything like that, just spending his autumn years painting.

I can easily imagine a divorce or something and that turning into tabloid fodder for the next thousand years... but, politically, we want him to not have existed. Like, the Semiquincentennial is coming up. We want Bush and Obama sitting in the box and waving to people, we want Joe to be there, and maybe Kamala... But that's it and nobody talking about the elephant in the room.

On “Rebuilding from Ashes

Corporations could probably write that spectrum allocation policy. They could probably write it fairly well. Have a somewhat Senior Congressperson explain to the corporations "we'll need a reasonable band for Military and a different reasonable band for Government and another reasonable band for Something Else That I'm Not Going To Tell You."

And everybody's happy except for hobbyists, I guess.

On “Impeachment: A Briar Patch With No Rabbits

He's exceptionally well-read and has a lot of connections with a lot of people in local government who do stuff like "talk about this sort of thing".


Well, CJ, there are plenty of ways to talk about the mistakes made in 2016.

The mistakes that take the form "I was too trusting", "I believed that people were better than they are", and "I loved too deeply" are not particularly interesting. "Hillary Clinton was too good of a person, too willing to reach out to Black people, LGBT+ people, and Hispanics" is not a particularly interesting post-mortem.

When it comes to Biden, I have been arguing that he'd beat Trump for years. I even had a silly little formula for it: "Does he win Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania? Then he wins the election. Easy peasy."

The Democrats absolutely did *NOT* repeat the mistakes of 2016! They ran someone who was not historically awful at retail politics.

My criticism, as ever, is not that "The Democrats can't win elections!"

They can and they do. Indeed, they did.

My criticism is that if they cannot tell why Clinton was a bad idea and if they cannot figure out why she screwed up, they won't be able to tell the next time something gets screwed up.

Biden beat Trump! Hurray!

Trump is arguably on the list of worst three Presidents of US History.

Biden beat arguably one of the worst three Presidents in US History! Hurray! (Razor thin margin in a handful of states, though...)

If the Democrats can't explain that Clinton was actively harmful on a handful of things without wrapping it in "she loved too much" framing, they won't be able to tell whether things are going wrong when Kamala Harris starts loving too much.

And that's just around the corner.

(As for "name three", I can probably find you some threads where people argue against Clinton doing a handful of things differently, if you'd like. But, yeah, that is a conversation *HERE* and not a book about how Clinton did too much outreach to Black people.)

On “The Perils of Impeachment

There's an Anniversary version out!

Grab the kids and tell them "we're going to play one of the games that *I* played when *I* was your age!"

Then make them use the original parser.


There's also another dynamic swimming under everything. Trump was good for the attention/outrage economy. He was a Gold Rush.

And, much like the original Gold Rush, the real money was in selling equipment to the Miner 49'ers.

The gold mines are tapped, now.

The impeachment might be the last vein.

After this, it's cold turkey.

On “Impeachment: A Briar Patch With No Rabbits

Impeachment as bargaining chip!

Republicans get on board in exchange for the following: P, Q, R

Democrats let it fizzle in exchange for the following: X, Y, Z

No wonder Jackson didn't have the Scouring of the Shire in the movie.


Yes, of course. This is one of those things that showed up a lot in the year 2000.

"Clinton wasn't impeached!"
"He was impeached!"
"They didn't find him guilty!"

Yes, of course. Trump was impeached twice.

Please allow me to amend my vaguely disjointed thoughts and change "impeached" to "found guilty by the senate trial" or whatever the proper term would be.

On “The Perils of Impeachment

Part of the problem is that there aren't a lot of really good options.

There are a lot of really good *OUTCOMES*. Trump vanquished, humiliated, and frogmarched to prison! His tax returns released! We find out whether he's really a billionaire! Future Trumps dissuaded!

"Will Impeachment do that?"
"Um. No."

What Impeachment will do is give Trump an L. An unprecedented L.

Hurray!, we could say. He got an L!

Now we just have to ask "what will that cost?" and take into account the whole thing where we're not particularly good at measuring costs.

What would be an acceptable outcome? Trump goes away and is as quiet as Dumbya managed to be. (Maybe we can have The New Yorker or CNN do a story about Trump's new painting hobby in a decade.)

What would it take to make Trump just go away and be quiet? What would the price of that be?

On “Impeachment: A Briar Patch With No Rabbits

Maybe this is one of those things where doing it poorly is better than not doing it.

If so, well. Full speed ahead.

On “Rebuilding from Ashes

Trump was a bullet dodged.

If we impeach Trump, Impeach Jared, and Impeach... oh, Josh Hawley, I guess. Then that might be a good message to send to the insurrectionists and that's that.

But having dodged the bullet, we're still in a place where the shooter is still there and there may be more bullets in the gun.

I said a million times back in 2015/2016 that Trump didn't scare me. The guy who comes *AFTER* Trump? He scares me. (This doesn't necessarily mean "The Republican Nominee Come 2024". I mean, theoretically, it could be Rubio or something and I could see someone asking "You weren't afraid of Trump, are you going to be terrified of *RUBIO*?" and that's not what I'm saying.)

Trump is a symptom of a disease. He's an indicator of things bubbling.

The Technocratic Elite vs. Populist thing hasn't gone away. If someone who knows how stuff works picks up Trumpism, we're going to have a huge problem... especially if the person who picks it up has better mastery of aesthetics.

Maybe Trump was lightning in a bottle. He was charismatic and funny and knew, instinctually, how to wrestle a media narrative (the only two things he couldn't make go away were impeachment and Covid).

Maybe Trumpism cannot be led by someone who is not lazy, not stupid, and not incurious. That's something I'd tell myself, if I wanted to stop thinking about it, I guess.

On “Impeachment: A Briar Patch With No Rabbits

What were the opinion polls of going into Iraq during the Bush administration?

On “Sunday Morning! “In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower” by Marcel Proust

Every now and again, I look up names in the google as they occur to me.

I had a dream about a bully from 10th grade and, yep, she's a gramma now. A dear friend from 8th grade is a carnivorous plant aficionado. (He's got a beard? He wasn't a beardy guy in 8th grade!)

Kids from when you were kids and you know better than to google for "Timmy" or "Jon Jon" but don't remember if Tim was his middle name because his first name was his Dad's or if the two Jons were short for John or Jonathan.

And Goodness help you if you want to look up someone with a first name from one of the Gospels and the last name that also happens to be an English word for a pre-computer profession. (Hey, we should have people whose last name is stuff like "Coder" or "Sysad".)

And the faces that were so bright are now wrinkled. Maybe there's a sparkle in the eyes that you remember from when you were singing in music class or when she made a great point in American History.

My friends who dreamed about saving the world (or running it) are now doing middle management jobs at middle companies and posting pictures of their kids to facebook and they might not have a sparkle anymore.

But, man, remember when *SHE* walked into the classroom and smiled? Not at you, at someone else, but smiled anyway?

Ah, jeez.

On “Impeachment: A Briar Patch With No Rabbits

I didn't know that.

Huh. You'd have think that that would have been covered in the news differently.


How many 9/11s do you think it's fair to expect?


Yeah, back in 2002, I was pro Afghanistan, pro Iraq... and I got into arguments with Democrats who explained that it was our meddling in the Middle East in the first place that caused 9/11. We just need to stop meddling, they told me!

That was the part of Osama's letter that I quoted to them.

On “Saturday Morning Gaming: Returning with Better Tools

Speaking of games, I understand that Tom Brady won one, finally.

On “Impeachment: A Briar Patch With No Rabbits

If you go back and re-read the 9/11 letter that Osama wrote, it talks about America in Saudi Arabia and how Israel treats the Palestinians. (Like, there was *A LOT* of stuff about the Palestinians in there.) It gets into some weird stuff about sex and some weird stuff about usury.

I mean, I know why *I* would read that letter and say that, okay, *MAYBE* he's got a point when it comes to 10-20% of it, but the rest of it is just *NUTS*.

I mean, Ted Kaczynski had a pretty good essay.

Osama's essay? Nowhere near as good.

So, of course, everybody scanned the letter, wadded it up and tossed it in the trash, then started explaining that if only we had followed the advice I've been yelling for the last decade, we could have avoided this.

Personally, I think we should have legalized pot.


Why not drop the contrarian stance and just say “Yeah, the Democrats are better than Republicans”?

The Democrats *ARE* better than Republicans.

"I'm glad that you agree that the Democrats are good! That they're above criticism!"


A fun thread from March 2016.

I was wrong about a lot of things! But right about a handful.

There are dynamics at play in the country that seem to have gone to sleep rather than having been abandoned.

If all we're playing is 2nd Foundation after a diversion into Foundation and Empire, then we're going to find ourselves with another Mule.