More gruel
Fighting Rage Fatigue

Fighting Rage Fatigue

This week Trump granted the Russians their biggest prize yet by withdrawing from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Now the Russians have a free hand to test and develop cheap tactical nukes, weapons for which we have no use and no plans, whose purpose is to intimidate the Baltic states and Europe. Our European allies are now officially alone, and our last ready tools for limiting the Russians’ expansion of their nuclear arsenal have been destroyed.

It’s the same week that supposedly “pro-life” activists spun up their propaganda machine to spew lies about new abortion bills in Virginia and New York. Meanwhile, administration officials acknowledged in an ACLU lawsuit that the government cannot locate the immigrant children sent off to concentration camps. “Pro-life” activists, who unleashed this regime on the world, were silent. It is undeniable now that the pro-life movement will inflict any and all necessary harm to living human beings to achieve their dream of universal forced birth.

Texas Republicans launched a brazen voter purge aimed at limiting Democratic gains in 2020. Their campaign was aided by air-cover from Trump, who Tweeted a discredited lie about illegal votes in the state.

Andrew Wheeler, the coal industry lobbyist who now runs the EPA, just appointed a collection of climate trolls to the agency’s Science Advisory Board. One of the new appointments, Alabama professor John Cristy, is that state’s official climatologist. Bet you didn’t know they had one. Would you be surprised to learn that he also earned a degree from a Baptist seminary? If you’re under 30, you’ve never experienced a month below Earth’s long-term average temperature. But don’t worry, your planet is in the hands of faithful religious believers.  

As if that weren’t enough, Trump is touting solid job creation numbers as evidence that Americans’ deal with the Devil is paying off. Here’s what job creation actually looks like since 1995.

Can you spot the Trump miracle in this graph? Of course you can, if you believe The Leader!

Damage is piling up and relief from this unfolding disaster hangs beyond the horizon. The tide has irrevocably turned against this regime and its collaborators, but like life in Europe in 1944, the worst remains ahead. For those of us who genuinely care about this country, people who were proud to be Americans and felt an investment in this country’s future, the damage is personal. It’s like living in a beautiful old home rotting away from leaking pipes and vandalism.  

Sustained anger can feed paranoia. Alternatively, it can build determination. The latter will be badly needed, as cleaning up the damage from this regime will likely take decades. A focus on long-term outcomes, rather than an obsession with the day-by-day casualty report makes a key difference. How do we manage the burden of rage fatigue?

For the love of all that’s decent and holy, turn off cable news. It’s a mania machine, a civic cancer tuned to stoke momentary passion at the expense of clarity or vision. Round the clock cable news has all the health value of Mountain Dew.

Stop trying to engage your enemies. Don’t waste breath yelling at them or listening to them. We do not live in a healthy democracy. Your political opponents in the Republican Party do not have your interests at heart. Most of them, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, are convinced they’re hearing the voice of God himself in Donald Trump. Anyone who remains sympathetic to this regime at this point won’t be moved by any rational argument. People who care about civic discourse and civility don’t lose track of the children they kidnapped and placed in concentration camps. Every second of engagement with Republicans will produce frustration and pointless anger. If you fail to out-organize, out-maneuver, and out-vote them, then your country has a very troubled future. Focus your energy on what matters, and it isn’t them.

Be careful with social media. Despite its increasingly poor reputation, social media platforms are the most powerful tool for political organization ever invented. Use them for practical purposes, building connections and coordination with allies. Distrust it always as a source of information. Pause before you retweet or repost. Take a few breaths before you believe anything you read online. Even the most committed journalistic sources make mistakes in the moment. Time is the ally of truth.

Avoid all sources of outrage porn. When lynch mobs assemble around unsubstantive allegations of misbehavior, like Gov. Ralph Northam’s yearbook photos, move slowly and with caution. Those scenarios are likely to produce bitter regrets. Hovering from one social media outrage to the next undermines focus and takes a toll on mental health. It also leaves you vulnerable to manipulation and disinformation.  

Get connected to politics where you live. Not just your county or your town, but your precinct. Know your neighborhood. If you have detailed opinions about matters of national or international politics and you don’t know the name of your city councilman, you are adrift without an anchor. Winning an online flame-war and losing your precinct means you lost, period. Keeping your feet on the ground in the real world of local issues is a powerful mediating force that tempers political anger, forging it into action.

Most of all, prepare for the long haul. It’s unlikely that Trump will even be on the ballot in 2020, but we have to keep his memory alive. People who sold their souls to protect this administration must not be allowed to whitewash their crimes. Wherever Trump is in 2028, he must remain squarely on the ballot in rhetorical terms.

Rehabilitating our country will take patience born of slow-smoldering rage. Ration it. Keep it banked by reason, good sense and historical perspective. Avoid being swept into the virtual-reality of social media mobs by staying tied to concrete realities in the place where you live. Don’t hold out hope for a quick fix. For many of us this will be the work of a lifetime, built on patience, grit, sacrifice and hope. Breath. Slow down. Brace for a long haul.


    1. Great article EJ. Nowhere is there a more painful example of capitalism gone amuck than in Americas healthcare system. It leads the world in cost per capita while leaving millions uninsured or vastly underinsured. Sadly, with too few exceptions, America’s health outcomes fall well behind other developed countries despite its achievements in many areas of medicine.

      It is tragic that a system that started so well has disintegrated so rapidly. Greed is a powerful force.and these times are disproportionately rewarding those who are selfish. One of the perquisites of aging is perspective. Chris has reminded us in several posts that the “golden years” really weren’t so golden for all people. May I suggest that fewer Americans are participating in the great wealth of our nation now than in the halcyon golden years. Wealth is concentrated in the hands of relatively few people. It is no wonder that a monster such as Donald Trump could emerge as a rotten symbol of capitalism at its worst.

      Thanks for link. I love to read articles that challenge the status quo.

  1. This piece in yesterday’s WIRED Magazine by Garrett Graff is a concise breakdown and timeline and what Mueller already knows and has disclosed in his indictments to date.

    His analysis strongly suggests that final indictments and his report will illustrate and support conspiracy charges. I don’t care how crazy Trump supporters are…he is going to lose in 2020.

    1. That article points out the curious thing about Mueller’s court filings. – the voluminous detail. He is either building a grand narrative for some major indictments to come or he is concerned that that the investigation will be shut down or the final report squashed. Actually, probably both. By including the detail and keeping it redacted, the basis for Congress, at this stage the House, can pick up the investigation should the investigation be shut down or the final report squashed. By being included in the court filings, the House can obtain that information should it be necessary. The House seems to be proceeding slowly and deliberately, so there will be a sound basis for action in the courts and if required impeachment. Personally, I feel that is necessary, because that is the only way that an incontrovertible case that might be able to get the 2/3 vote in the Senate that would be required for confirmation and removal from office. That is largely how the House conducted the 1974 Nixon investigations. Since those investigations were so thorough, Nixon was told that his only choice was to resign or have the Impeachment confirmed, i.e. he was given an offer he could not refuse.

      I would dearly love for the Trump matter to come to a head in 2019, and not have to wait until 2020. But we may have to.

      1. The fatal flaw in your logic is that there is ANY path to getting 2/3 of the Senate to vote for impeachment. If mcconnell was done with the useful idiot, he would have him impeached in 72 hours.

        But there is still so much the fascist party wants to accomplish before then. Women still have some rights, immigrants (read as mostly non-fascists) are still allowed to vote once they become citizens, religion is not yet “officially” sharing the same levers of power as non-religious institutions, Israel has not yet started a war that will invoke Rapture….

        There is much the puppet tyrant can do for the fascist party before they scapegoat him.

        The ONLY path to impeachment is the fascists renounce him, then shout “see, we renounced Satan, we are wonderful, we have every right to stay in power”, as ploy to win over voters with the memory of goldfish. But that ploy is based on the assumption that any “elections” still retain a sense of fairness. One of the priorities of the fascists is to make an election in the U.S. as meaningful as one in Russia.

      2. It is no wonder that while you were in the Far East , trump’s legal team added an additional 17 attorneys to his stable. The irony is not lost on me that nowhere is government more overstaffed than in the legal division assigned to Donald trump’s defense.

      3. Let me be clear – I continue to feel that Trump is unlikely to be removed from office via the Senate confirming impeachment. But as Mary hints, he is very worried, so is preparing for a long battle. I also feel that provided a solid case can be built for something the public would consider a “high crime or misdemeanor”, impeachment has merit. It would make it clear to the public (including his base) just how corrupt and perhaps how close to treason the Trump administration is. If the Senate fails to convict under such circumstances, the Democrats might end up with a supermajority for the next Congress despite the difficult 2020 map.

        Of course, getting rid of Trump ASAP (and hopefully Pence) is much to be desired.

    1. Aaaannnddddd….the Dem’s begin the process of dooming the country to more fascism.

      Even if someone convinces Schultz not to run (I am REALLY hoping someone gives him an offer he can’t refuse), this is setting up to be the same chaos as the fascists went through with 18 people lined up on stage.

      The election is 21 months out, and how many candidates so far? There has to be a small group of primary candidates, with minimal fringe cases.

      1. Thanks, Bobo. I had not seen it. When I served on the Lafayette, LA Parish School Board, this was a constant source of concern and irritation to me. Like the Baton Rouge School Board, our board was struggling to meet our obligations amidst community reluctance to increase taxes and growing student population. In researching these tax breaks for business, (as I am wont to do (-: ) I realized that no one was monitoring these businesses to confirm that the promises they made (jobs, growth) were actually materializing. One would have thought the local chamber would have been sympathetic to fiscal accountability but they sided instead with incentivizing these zones and didn’t seem concerned that they might not be fulfilling their end of the bargain. Of course, most of the chambers’ members had their children in private and parochial schools so their main issue was to pay as little in taxes to maintain the public school system as possible. In poor, and poorly educated states, it’s easy for these sophisticated companies to come in and sweet talk their way past governing bodies. I was a voice in the wilderness on this issue, unfortunately.

      2. The video appears to mimic your research.

        An executive order by a former governor is why local school boards can now say no to tax relief for some of the largest corporations in the world.

        I hope they can hang onto that right.

  2. Because I miss Texas – at least some parts of it – and all my progressive friends from Montgomery County who worked and continue to work to rebuild the TX Democratic Party and engage with Republicans at the polls.

    Chris has tutored us about the nasty tricks republicans will play to achieve their goals. They plan ahead. Note this whole scenario was set in place in 2013. The article spells the whole sordid mess out. Until more democrats learn that they are going to have to fight smarter, things like this illegal voter campaign will continue, and continue until we outnumber them at the polls. These are not nice people.

  3. It’s a good thing for America that Nancy Pelosi isn’t giving up the fight. All the advice above is important but our elected leadership needs to enjoin the battle. Pelosi continues to show creativity, her knowledge of parliamentary procedure, along with a wicked sense of humor. Of course this may end up well for his highness but not without a price for the GOP.

    1. Color me insane for a moment, but I’m wondering just how far the executive’s emergency powers could expand if Republicans let Trump go through with it, particularly with respect to the filibuster.

      Hear me out here. We’ve all heard the scenarios that Dems might use to leverage these powers if given the chance (gun control, the environment, healthcare, etc), but I’ve yet to hear anyone entertain the idea that a president would unilaterally declare the filibuster to be a national emergency and render it null and void. Technically it’s not in the Constitution, and so… what if?

      Would that really be such a stretch from anything else we’ve heard, and if so, how?

      1. According to the Constitution, the House and Senate make their own rules. Even wimpy Republican senators wouldn’t let Trump mess with the filibuster.

        Also, if Trump declares a national emergency over the wall, Pelosi will immediately push through a resolution ending it. By law, the Senate will have to vote on the resolution within 15 days, I think. I have to believe McConnell will go to great lengths to prevent this from happening.

      2. Sry I didn’t clarify, I wasn’t talking about Trump. I was inferring a Democratic president – with a solid majority in the House and a slim majority in the Senate – would use it if Trump sets the precedent; in effect utilizing a workaround to advance policy goals that were being filibustered by Republicans.

        Say we had a mass shooting and, hell, 1,000 people were killed. Democrats try to advance legislation to address gun violence in America and Republicans block it with the filibuster – so instead of declaring a national emergency and instituting said policies directly, a Democratic president declares the filibuster *itself* to be part of the emergency and unilaterally nixes it.

        See what I mean?

  4. Ok, I’m going to be naughty….as in, change the subject and talk about “le wall.” It seems that concrete and steel are so “yesterday” when, ta da, fiber optic will be effective, be less expensive, and won’t require anyone’s land be taken, (including the Butterfly Preserve.) Yet, this “known” technological solution is being ignored. Why?

    1. Any one who is remotely familiar with state-of-the-art security system technology is aware that there are much more effective and less expensive systems for monitoring intrusions and getting personnel to the site rapidly. I am not familiar with this particular technology, as I’ve not designed an intrusion monitoring system in several years. However, I am definitely aware that there are better systems than walls.

      As to why it is not being discussed, the answer is politics. The whole wall “debate” is not really about effectively monitoring and securing the Southern border. Rather it is more about demogoging the issue for political advantage. Additionally the industries that would benefit from wall construction are old technology operations that have contributed heavily to the Republican Party and to the Trump campaign. Walls are also easily understood by the low information people that predominate in the Trump base and who wish to return to the mid-20th Century. Trump himself falls into that category. Even though he and most of his base use modern conveniences, such as smart phones, they no concept of how they operate or the technology involved. Trump’s actual understanding plateaued early in the 1950s and has not progressed. The entire concept of the “wall” originated as a mnemonic to remind him to talk about border security during his campaign. It was simple and something to which he could relate.

      An actual physical barrier does have some utility at some locations near established points of entry to control flow of people, cars, etc. However, a wall along the entire border is a total waste of resources and money. Even the Israeli Wall, which is touted as being very effective, is more than a wall, it is rather a multilayered intrusion protection system, consisting of multiple barriers, constant patrolling and makes use of modern sensing technology. It is more like the DMZ in Korea or the old border between East and West Germany, particularly in the Fulda Gap area.

      The Democratic Party in the House has been proposing to reinforce border security by more appropriate means, but as I said this is more a power struggle between the people who want to move ahead into the 21st Century and people who want to return to the the mid 20th Century, or in some cases to the 19th Century.

  5. It’s the end of the day and this article caught my attention. It speaks to how estranged Americans have become from interacting with one another in a meaningful way and how this contributes to our political dysfunction. It’s a little off the beaten path but very thoughtful. I hope you’ll find it interesting. I continue to search for understanding.

  6. A few thoughts on the Northam Brouhaha

    I have some sympathy for the guy. I was a White college student in the South in the 1980s-90s and I can tell you that I wouldn’t have even blinked at another White kid wearing a Blackface Michael Jackson costume to a party in those days. That I have no such transgressions on my record is not due to any knowledge at that time of the horrid legacy of Blackface, but rather being a nerd and looking to Star Trek, Star Wars, and Dungeons and Dragons for costume ideas. For many people like me, we didn’t think much about race in our youth because we had the luxury not to. We were ignorant in those days.

    Also I see him as a victim of timing. The shock waves from the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church massacre are still reverberating through our society, which are making people who want to do the right thing re-evaluate these things from the past that once seemed like no big deal, and also sometimes over-compensating (as Americans are wont to do) to correct it. We don’t have a good set of standards to evaluate how bad someone’s past racial insensitivity is and what is the most appropriate response, and we need some badly. To me it’s a sliding scale. Blackface in 2005 is worse than Blackface in 1984. Blackface post-Charleston is absolutely inexcusable. Blackface used to mock victims of a natural disaster is far more egregious than Blackface used to dress as a pop star. Blackface donned by someone in elected office is a bigger transgression than Blackface worn by a student. The older you are, the worse it is, on the principle of you’re old enough that you should know better. How many of these incidents are in your past? How long since the last one? All these things matter, and looking at all transgressions as equally bad isn’t going to help.

    I would also say the same sort of things apply about coming to terms with past sexist behavior.

    But I can also say that Northam totally blew it with his response. You have one chance to address such a situation correctly, and changing your story is a guaranteed fail. He may be too damaged by that self-inflicted wound to stay in office for his whole term, as the Dems are eager (sometimes too eager) to make examples these days. This is a warning to any other White Dem politician 40 and older- you better go back and review your photo albums, yearbooks, school newspapers, etc. to see if you have any of these racial insensitivity skeletons in your closets, and if you do, you’d better make a plan for how you’re going to deal with it. Your initial response can make or break you.

    1. Thanks, that’s a perfect summary of how I feel as well. Plus it’s not like dems would lose the governorship. The lt governor appears like a great guy to take over. He would even be allowed to run for another 4 years in 2021 since the one term limit only applies to being elected.

      1. The irony of LT Governor Justin Fairfax being a black man is not lost on me. One man’s disaster can be another’s great opportunity. VA does have a small Republican majority in each chamber thus if Northam does resign, and Fairfax ascend, it will be exceedingly interesting to see that dynamic work. My hope is if this is what happens that Fairfax is able to succeed mightily.

      2. Uhm I think I have to take my praise for Fairfax back. Now that the accuser has identified herself I don’t see how this accusation can just be a political hit job.

        Looks like the Virginia dems have really screwed themselves and the Republicans must be enjoying this show like crazy. I still think it’s better to lead by example and do the right thing even if the other side plays dirty and is laughing at us for having some morals.

  7. You say

    Stop trying to engage your enemies. Don’t waste breath yelling at them or listening to them. We do not live in a healthy democracy. Your political opponents in the Republican Party do not have your interests at heart.

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot, on what to do now, so I appreciate your point of view.

    Yesterday I went to a meet-and-greet at a bar scheduled by our newly elected [Republican] US Congressional rep. I knew that a significant number of district Dems planned to be there and I was curious about what might occur.

    A group of moms seeking sensible gun control had difficulty talking to the congress critter because a loud drunk kept shouting over them.

    Underage Rice students couldn’t even get in the place to express their concerns.

    My take away is that I will follow the guy on social media, use social media and phone calls if response is called for. The end.

    Locally, our city council rep position is open. Although municipal races are nonpartisan, everybody knows what’s what.

    I have been unable to find a candidate to put forward. So far, the only announced candidate came out of Dan Patrick’s office. That in itself is gag-worthy.

    So it goes.

      1. I’m way too old.

        Truth is, though, I’d step in just to give the existing political group we grew last election a candidate to support.

        But I also have imperfect health. Makes me sometimes unreliable.

        So I’m out.

        But I thank you for your vote :-).

  8. Not going to say much about the long haul. That is just fantasy. We all know the memory of the standard voter, and this regime’s actions, including those in the Senate, in fact ESPECIALLY in the Senate, will be forgotten in less than 2 years. Worrying about the legacy of the puppet tyrant in 2028 is silly, since the next far more capable tyrant will be sniffing at power by then long before then, whoever he will be. And yes, it will most definitely be a “he”.

    What is more terrifying is that the world in 10 years will likely have seen at least one nuclear exchange, either with Germany’s nuclear arsenal (yeah, they have no choice to build one now) in conjunction with America-less NATO against Russia, or Pakistan and India over water rights as the glaciers of the Himalayas disappear.

    The ONLY way this gets stopped is how I have stated ad nauseam. Radical, immediate changes are necessary, not incremental steps.

    1. EJ

      We’re not going to build a nuclear arsenal. We don’t need one.

      Firstly, because France already has a monstrously scary nuclear arsenal which is fully sufficient to wipe any given polity off the map; and secondly, because fighting a nuclear war would be an evil act that nothing could justify.

      More importantly, let us remember that one of the critical reasons that the Soviet Union collapsed, was the immense amount of money that they poured into building those senseless, useless but vastly expensive weapons. If the modern Russians also wish to bankrupt and collapse their state by the same means, that would be historically symmetrical. Germany doesn’t need to take part in it.

      1. EJ, better check your NATO playbook.

        Battlefield nukes to stop invading Russian armor has always been part of the battleplan. When the U.S. pulls out of NATO, which seems inevitable, or at least the puppet tyrant makes clear that the U.S. has no issues with Russian incursions into the 3 Baltic states, yeah, nukes are definitely on the table.

        The French and British combined have actually quite a small arsenal.

        The Brit’s is based exclusively on their 4 Vanguard subs, and is essentially only a strategic response, based exclusively on the Trident missile, and the total British nuclear arsenal consists of less than 200 active warheads, actually more like 120.

        The French arsenal is more diverse, and larger, at approximately 300 warheads. But once again, the bulk of the warheads are based around the SLBM M45 and M51 designs. The SCALP cruise missile I believe is designed to carry 300KT nukes, launched from fighter jets.

        But those two countries are nowhere near enough to stop a Russian general invasion of the Baltic’s.

        As for conventional weapons, Germany has somewhere between 250 and 300 tanks. France has around 400. The Brits have around 300 Main Battle Tanks.

        The Russians: Their armored fleets are measured in the thousands.

        So yeah, when the Baltic states invoke Article 5 of the NATO treaty, and Russian armour starts moving, and the U.S. says “nah, we are just not feeling like helping out”, the nukes WILL fly. And Germany will have to be part of that defence.

  9. I try to remain grounded in reality where American politics is concerned. Despite the endless atrocious actions from this president, I worry that our national economic strength will provide the ballast needed to keep trump in power. Republicans have submitted to every outrageous action in silence. We know too well the twin levers suppressing dissent – abortion/ SCOTUS appointments and greater profits for those at the top. It seems inevitable that the economy will be used to justify continued support for trump, graphs and charts notwithstanding.

  10. Is there no end to this man’s destruction? As concerning as it to consider the many ways in which Russia might utilize the vacated missile treaty, there is so much else to worry about that it leaves one overwhelmed by the crisis of the moment.

    Consider this arrogant, extremely dangerous decision to move plutonium stored by truck from SC to NV – in violation of a judges order! This administration isn’t even going through the motions of hiding their arrogant actions.

  11. Hi all, I’m back from Vietnam. It was a good trip. I was with a party of twelve; 2 couples from Ontario, a retired doctor from Maryland, a woman from St. Louis, the leaders and organizers from the Dayton, Ohio area, a guy from the Sacramento, CA area, a couple from Olympia, WA and myself. Trump was DESPISED by all twelve of us. Of course, I do understand that birders are not inclined to support T, in that we value nature and natural things. Which T does not. Nevertheless, we had different outlooks and from different regions of the country. We were generally able to follow national news through the internet and WIFI.

    i also had some interesting conversations regarding presidential candidates, which I will discuss later.

      1. EJ, you are correct that Vietnam is a great place to visit, both with the forests and the modern cities on the coast. We were not on the coast as we were focused on observing the various bird species. Of course the inland areas were considerably less developed.

        To me, who was stationed in the Saigon area in 1965 and 1966, the change was amazing. All the highways are now paved. Super highways and freeways have been constructed. A multi-lane highway tunnel under the highlands has been constructed North of Danang. The traffic is well regulated. Scooters have replaced the pedicabs that were prevalent then, tractors are used in the rice paddies, rather than water buffalo, essentially the entire country has been electrified, cell phone use is almost universal, etc. A light rail system is being constructed in the Ho Chi Minh City area. The people seem to be relatively satisfied and prosperous.

        As a retired electrical engineer, I was amazed to see that a double circuit 500 kiloVolt class, quadruple conductor per phase, electrical transmission system has been constructed all the way from Hanoi in the North to the Ho Chi Minh City area. There are two parallel lines from the Hanoi area to near the former DMZ, where they appear to split. One line appears to follow the coast and serve the coastal cities. the other is routed through the Central Highlands towards Ho Chi Minh City. Near there the lines converge using a single set of towers. The system could be operated as a loop to provide a high capacity, electrical transmission backbone for the entire nation.

        All this in a country the US regards as a backward third-world nation. Yet in the US we find it almost impossible to construct or upgrade our Interstate Highway system, to construct or maintain enhancements to our rail system, or even to modernize our airports, not to mention our electrical transmission system. I have to wonder if our particular implementation of capitalism is so great?

        I’d be happy to share photos, once I have an opportunity to download them and review them.


    Chris – if you could embed this picture, it might help accentuate the point of why “little nukes” are BAD.

    The Bikini nuclear test turned out to be a disaster because the military wanted to test the feasibility of nuclear torpedoes. The army ran simulations scenarios where commanders had access to nuclear artillery. Guess what? more often than not the commanders chose to use them rather than retreat. Even though the commanders understood it would certainly result in a global exchange.

    Intermediate Ballistic Nukes significantly increases the probably of Mutual Assured Destruction becoming a reality.

  13. A couple of things I don’t understand about this Treaty business:

    1) what is the benefit of prohibiting intermediate range missiles? Long range missiles exist and can do anything an intermediate-range missile would be needed for, right?
    2) If Russia is not abiding by the treaty, I doubt there’s any benefit to keeping it around. After all, it’s unlikely that Russia will feel any embarrassment as a result of being exposed. They will just lie and say they’re in compliance, and if they aren’t, well, what are you going to do about it? So what’s the value of maintaining the treaty and pretending to believe Russia’s not in violation of it?

    1. There are differences between skirting a treaty in a manner that’s difficult to prove and disregarding it altogether. There are also enforcement and sanction options that were available to both the Obama and Trump admins that could have been pursued for enforcement. That’s all gone now.

      Intermediate nukes are very nasty. They are a technique for small(er)-scale horror that the current Russian government would likely pursue in the kind of wars they are most likely to wage – wars of retribution against former Soviet Republics on their margins. Reagan’s win on this treaty was key to holding NATO together during the nuke scares of the 80’s, as these are the weapons of greatest concern to our EU allies. Dropping this deterrent is a giant FU to NATO.

      1. Sorry, I still don’t understand what’s so dangerous about intermediate-range missiles, given that long-range missiles exist. The scale is simply a factor of the size of the nuke you put on the end. Small-scale horror can be accomplished just as well by putting a smaller warhead on a ballistic missile.

  14. Count me as one who doesn’t believe Gov. Northam should resign. After all, we have a US SC Justice who survived unscathed from consequences of sexual abuse, and a president who…well…the list is long and the sun is shining. You know what I mean.

    To watch the democrats piling on to Northam is insane.

    1. I am watching c-span in which gov. Northam is holding an open press conference. This is a good man, trying to deal with a tough issue. I am impressed with his honesty, humility, and desire to do the right thing for his state and his party. I highly recommend viewing this discussion.

    2. Mary, can you elaborate why you feel he shouldn’t resign? I have spent hours researching this but from what i gathered over the past 30 minutes he yesterday admitted to it being him and now today said he wasn’t in that picture? He may be a good man trying to deal with a tough issue, but it does not sound honest to change the story within 24 hours.

      My personal opinion is that if that is truly him in the picture, then he should resign. I can guarantee you that every democrat would call for a Republican’s resignation if they were identified in a picture like this. Black face alone could be argued as a “juvenile mistake, not understanding that it is racist” but the Ku Kux Klan hood is so clearly racists that there is no “we didn’t know any better answer.

      So i actually admire that the party is taking the high road on this even if it is one of their own. Of course it sucks that Republicans will protect their own and as a result they stay in power, but if we as Democrats don’t lead by example on this we have lost any moral compass ourselves.

      We could have a discussion whether mistakes like this in our juvenile past should ruin a current politician’s career. But that would then also have to be applied to all individuals regardless of party affiliation. I don’t want to compare to Kavanaugh since the allegation in his case was about a sexual assault = a crime. But some people said that even if he didn’t commit sexual assault, the year book comments alone should disqualify him. By that same standard, Northam has to resign too. Or we all agree that non criminal juvenile mistakes should not be held against somebody 30 years later unless there is a clear record that the behavior has been continuing all these years.

      1. Did you have an opportunity to listen to Northams press conference carried on c-span? If yes, and you still feel Northam should resign then nothing I can say matters. If not, you will find it helpful.

        Here’s where I come down. Northam should have deferred comment until he had time to research yearbook photos He still has no copy of the actual yearbook and never purchased one. The seriousness of the photos demanded a more deliberative Response.

        Northam is a good person. Using black face for his michael Jackson dance was insensitive at best. He has had a fine medical career and has also served his state as governor. In looking at the totality of the man, I certainly don’t think black face compares to Kavanaugh s alleged deed (fyi: I believe his accuser) and doesn’t come anywhere close to trump’s many sexual escapades nor that of many members of Congress. Relativity matters.

        I believe Northam is sincere in his apology, and has a long and fine record of service. That should count. In summary, I believe he was shocked when confronted with the photo, bespoke out too hastily, upon deeper analysis is certain the people in the photos are someone else, and has accepted responsibility for the one incident he recalled.

      2. Mary, I just have a hard time with the change in story. I just can’t see how I would ever admit and apologize for being in such a negative picture when my first reaction is: that’s not me! If this was a year book prank, then why not say that yesterday? If it weren’t for this change in story, I would have been more willing to forgive him, even if it was him in the picture. As I said earlier, I am absolutely fine with judging people by who they are now and not by who they were 30 years ago. But he lost my trust by changing his story. I also won’t be swayed by a personal appearance, some people can be good actors and I don’t know the guy personally.

        And even if his story is true that he made a mistake yesterday by admitting to being in the picture while he actually was not in the picture. That’s a really bad mistake for a senior politician that can hurt the Democratic Party. With changing his story he created shady optics that are now really difficult to fix, even if all he did was dress up as Michael Jackson and the year book picture was some prank. So while I feel really bad for him, the way he has handled this so far, has only made this whole thing much messier than it had to be. That’s my main reason for asking him to resign: either he is lying now about not being in the picture, or he made a big mess that just looks really bad and is tough to get out of.

      3. RHOU, This article better expresses my frustration with how the Northam matter went down. The hypocrisy of Republicans is on full display – not just for ignoring trump but for ignoring decades of racist double standards that had far worse affects than appearing in blackface. Laws that discriminated against equal access to everything from education, to jobs, to social status. Northam is a big boy and he will do what he has to do. I am just as convinced republicans will not do what they should do. Thanks for the link.

    3. Mary, I respectfully disagree. If African American and other communities of color had not supported Northam & Democrats, Ed Gillespie would be governor of Virginia today and their legislature might still be Republican-controlled.

      The call for Northam to resign is the right thing to do based on the hurt that he has caused communities of color.

      1. It’s a hard call. I’m going to wait to see how this plays out. Northam has stated that if this issue interferes with the state’s ability to function properly, he will step down. The array of forces lined up against him are huge but it gauls me that there are so much more egregious wrongs occurring every day in this administration that are going unchallenged and dems are focusing on blackface? Somehow the comparison looks disproportional.

        Thanks for your thoughts. Tough times.

    4. Reports are that he will resign ‘for the good of Virginia.’

      This whole incident I think encapsulates the entire problem I have with “woke” culture: instead of focusing on actually improving the lives of the disadvantaged in this country, we’re spending it on idle gossip and policing people’s past based on photos or statements that clearly do not reflect who that person is in the present. I am not aware of any anti-African American policies that Northam has put forward or enacted.

      Also, I don’t know if Chris reported on it or not, but besides the abortion bill, the big fight in Virginia right now is between the government and the teacher’s union (a strike is imminent) over pay, with the unions asking to cancel the tax breaks given to Amazon for its new HQ. The lieutenant governor is very sympathetic to the unions’ position whereas Northam was an unknown. Color me skeptical as to why this suddenly came to light now of all times.

      The real question I have, of course: even back in the 80s, why the fun would a medical school EVER have a picture like THAT in a yearbook in the first place?!?!

  15. Bailing from this treaty is unimaginable. and yet, Trump did it and I have not heard one protest from the GOP! What the hell has happened to them? I know, they are scared to death of a primary! But, hell, people have fought and died for this country and our democracy! And are still fighting and dieing to protect our way of life! Trump will leave office with having achieved damage to our country the Russians could not even imagine.
    I ran into a relative who told me a priest in Rome found a brick with Trump’s name on it, proof positive that God wanted Trump to be President!
    I do not even try to engage this kind of lunacy!

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