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 A Corrierino Awareness Thread 
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Anyone else think that there's a great deal of relief in Republican ranks to have passed their tax bill just before Trump's lawyers are due to meet with Mueller? Almost as if they sensed that Trump could have jeopardized the effort by doing something rash (like, firing Mueller before Christmas)?

On the other, more optimistic, hand, maybe getting the tax bill through will mean that Pubs will have far less incentive to cover for Trump once the shit goes down. I'm not sure what else they hope to get out of him at this point. I'm not sure if the tax bill isn't so unfair a price for impeachment.


Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:20 am
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Since Mueller seems to still have a job today, I'll take the opportunity to focus on an entirely different controversy that has been brewing this week.

Coates Vs. West.

Cornel West has decided to call out Ta-Nehisi Coates, calling him the "neoliberal face" of black resistence, which is akin to labeling him a "sellout", or worse an Uncle Tom for America's Wall Street and Pentagon prerogatives. I'm going to avoid a lot of the tangents of commentators on the subject, whether those choosing sides or those making historical parallels to historic black intellectual schisms (black people don't think alike - who knew?) or even those who are protesting that we really shouldn't even be talking about such things in public, and instead I'll take a note on the tone of the debate, because, more so than the differences of issues being discussed, it seems to best reflect the real dilemma of our current era of dispute and discussion. West makes many good points in his criticism, but then he, rather disingenuously, adds: "It would be wrong to construe my quest for truth and justice as motivated by pettiness. Must every serious critique be reduced to a vicious takedown or an ugly act of hatred?" Good question. Maybe that should have been answered before starting and ending an essay with a sweeping condemnation of someone's worldview and attitudes, made only petty by the fact that Coates needed to respond by pointing out all of his writing criticizing Wall Street and American foriegn policy - which only happen to be the exact things West has accused him of ignoring. This is not a good faith salvo for constructive dialogue. In fact, in light of West's claim that Coates has no interest in "black fightback", not only is this not true, but Coates' support for Antifa-style violence is something that perhaps deserves criticism for something else entirely (and something that West unfortunately fully supports).

Ta-Nihisi Coates is worthy of being criticized for something that West mentions almost peripherally. Once West has exhausted his irritation, perhaps envious, over Coates' acknowledgement of Obama's significance, at least socially symbolic, he hones in on what he calls Coates' "apolitical pessimism". I don't find this pessimism - which is really 'racial fatalism' - to be particularly apolitical, but it deserves scrutiny. There have been a number of articles which have done just that, but tellingly without resorting to character assassination. These criticisms revolve around Coates' perspective that white people, being congenitally self-interested, are simply immune to moral appeal to conscience, and the ways in which he consistently describes white supremacy as "inevitable", as being the insurmountable foundational fact of the arcless path of chaotic history which "likely to the end of our days, we must invariably return". This pessimism is addressed in the above Steinmetz-Jenkins article, where Coates' concept of "black atheism" is demolished. Coates' contorted definition of atheism defies those atheists who believe that God is not a necessary prerequisite for humans to be compassionate, conscientious, justice-seeking, or otherwise moral agents. Coates instead assumes Judeo-Christian religion correct that these attributes are essentially given by God, so therefore, in a universe with no God, there is a universe likewise with no compassion, conscience, justice or morality. This bleak view reinforces white supremacy, rather than as an atavistic sin of xenophobia and tribalism which we're to evolve beyond, but as a tragic and inevitable fact of a Godless world.

I can more easily get behind West, or Coates' other critics, on this particular criticism. I've noticed some other dispirited denials of the importance of engaging in social progress, increasingly and unfortunately in the black community. Ana Duverney's excellent documentary, The 13th, unfortunately includes a couple of attempts to make the ludicrous claim that there have been no substantial improvements in black lives in America since Jim Crow, an insult to the efforts and achievements of the Civil Rights Movement. In a similar dismissal of the profound oppression of pre-60s black life, there is a growing chorus to overturn Brown v. Board of Education and reestablishing segregation. (This article cites that 80% of American teachers are white women, but perversely fails to offer the novel idea of promoting more black students to pursue teaching careers.)

Of course Coates is still a fantastic writer, whose work and thought is worth considering and discussing. His critics cited here, outside of West, all acknowledge his value to the conversation. The problem is then that we simply cannot have a conversation when people are overly concerned with ad hominem straw-manning and a compulsion to "pick sides". And, of course, a conversation is impossible when many people, white and black, are refusing to talk about it publicly.


Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:19 am
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I knew vaguely about this but didn't give it much thought, maybe West hitting at Coates for not being left enough felt less important than a lot of other things. so uh, West ought to do more thorough research next time I guess.

I've read enough of Coates work to know just how pessimistic he is; I'd like to think he would admit that things are better since Jim Crow but probably still frustrated that all the ground still left to cover and why it hasn't been covered yet after all this time. plus how the election of someone like Trump just confirms a lot of those feelings (I know it confirmed a lot of mine). but as long as he is being civil about his pessimism and others' critiques.

(maybe Coates knows that if he puts out an article that mentions the progress made since Jim Crow (in spite of the progress yet to be made) it will get picked up by the Ben Shapiros of the world as, "see, things aren't so bad! even Ta-Nehisi Coates will admit that. so stop being a victim and blaming all your problems on someone else!" and such. if there are to be any issues in having those conversations.)


Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:39 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
plus how the election of someone like Trump just confirms a lot of those feelings (I know it confirmed a lot of mine).

I think Coates was on-point with his article about Trump being the First White President, in that Trump is almost necessarily a reaction to Obama's ceiling-breaking success. But I see this as more pendulous in nature, rather than a representation of some innate American truth. There are many, too many, Americans who cling to their white, semi-automatic Jesus, it is true. As I would point out to Ben Organa, this is unfortunately part of a global trend (ie, recent elections in Poland, Czech, Austria, etc) which also reflect growing ethno-authoritarianism. But I would also qualify Trump as an anomoly that would be more difficult to determine outside of the context of Obama, and there've been historians who've pointed out that Trump (specifically this 2016 incarnation) would have been less likely to win without Obama providing a catalyst. I think Trump says a lot of about contemporary America - combining late capitalism and celebrity worship with the white grievances - than he reveals about American nature more generally. I may be an optimist, but I still feel that Obama, in fact, is the more accurate metric of American social values (and a cynic like Coates may be inclined to include acquiesence to Wall Street and the Pentagon as part of those values).

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
(maybe Coates knows that if he puts out an article that mentions the progress made since Jim Crow (in spite of the progress yet to be made) it will get picked up by the Ben Shapiros of the world as, "see, things aren't so bad! even Ta-Nehisi Coates will admit that. so stop being a victim and blaming all your problems on someone else!" and such. if there are to be any issues in having those conversations.)

This gets to my overall point about the state of discourse. We're stuck in such a rigidly binary way of thinking that it's even considered conceivable that Shapiro could possibly have a valid point here. Either we've made no progress over the last century - in which case progressive action becomes an impotent endeavor - or we've made total and complete progress - in which case minorities need to stop their whining. Notice how one party (anti-progressives) win with both scenarios? We need to be a lot more aware about how these false dichotomies are constructed to frame debates in rather unwinnable ways, and the left is not immune to constructing similar unwinnable either/ors. The first step should be to instantly distrust such restrictive options. The discourse itself should be valued more than "winning", and all parties seem to be OK with shutting down any discourse that is not employed for this purpose. This is why campus liberals cannot be bothered to actually debate Ben Shapiro's rather feeble sophism. Like Trump (I known it hurts), they imagine winning as the power to ignore the discourse altogether.

I don't know if your example is a reference to what actually happened in the Coates v West thing this week, but it all came to a head when West's screed was retweeted by Richard Spencer. Somehow, I doubt that Spencer is sympathetic to West's Marxist Utopianism. Instead, this is clearly his reveling in some internecine in-fighting, throwing gas on whatever flame harms his enemies. Only someone with a rigid either/or perspective on politics could possibly be fooled by such "allegiance".


Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:59 am
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I've stopped caring about "winning" since how does one know if you've "won"? I can easily point to the thing that happened at UConn as a good example of bad conduct from people who probably thought they won the day. I dunno if carrying on a civil conversation with the speaker would have helped (if any dissidents could be trusted enough to do so) or if it would have been more productive to just not show up to the event and let the size of the attendance speak for itself.

I didn't see the Spencer thing but yeah, that is incredibly cynical. I can remember the first time I noticed that tactic when I saw Glenn Beck (or at least his FB page) using James Hansen's criticism of Obama's climate policy for similar means.


Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:42 am
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for a while I've been doing a pretty good job of not getting too wrapped up in news about the Russia conspiracy stuff. maybe it's because I'm working more. either way as long as I'm not at risk of going full-Louise Mensch. but! I did want to post this: Fusion GPS has decided to go on the offense and tell the GOP to cut the bullshit.

Quote:
A generation ago, Republicans sought to protect President Richard Nixon by urging the Senate Watergate committee to look at supposed wrongdoing by Democrats in previous elections. The committee chairman, Sam Ervin, a Democrat, said that would be “as foolish as the man who went bear hunting and stopped to chase rabbits.”

Today, amid a growing criminal inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, congressional Republicans are again chasing rabbits. We know because we’re their favorite quarry.

In the year since the publication of the so-called Steele dossier — the collection of intelligence reports we commissioned about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia — the president has repeatedly attacked us on Twitter. His allies in Congress have dug through our bank records and sought to tarnish our firm to punish us for highlighting his links to Russia. Conservative news outlets and even our former employer, The Wall Street Journal, have spun a succession of mendacious conspiracy theories about our motives and backers.

We are happy to correct the record. In fact, we already have.

Three congressional committees have heard over 21 hours of testimony from our firm, Fusion GPS. In those sessions, we toppled the far right’s conspiracy theories and explained how The Washington Free Beacon and the Clinton campaign — the Republican and Democratic funders of our Trump research — separately came to hire us in the first place.

We walked investigators through our yearlong effort to decipher Mr. Trump’s complex business past, of which the Steele dossier is but one chapter. And we handed over our relevant bank records — while drawing the line at a fishing expedition for the records of companies we work for that have nothing to do with the Trump case.

Republicans have refused to release full transcripts of our firm’s testimony, even as they selectively leak details to media outlets on the far right. It’s time to share what our company told investigators.

We don’t believe the Steele dossier was the trigger for the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russian meddling. As we told the Senate Judiciary Committee in August, our sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp.

The intelligence committees have known for months that credible allegations of collusion between the Trump camp and Russia were pouring in from independent sources during the campaign. Yet lawmakers in the thrall of the president continue to wage a cynical campaign to portray us as the unwitting victims of Kremlin disinformation.

We suggested investigators look into the bank records of Deutsche Bank and others that were funding Mr. Trump’s businesses. Congress appears uninterested in that tip: Reportedly, ours are the only bank records the House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed.

We told Congress that from Manhattan to Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., and from Toronto to Panama, we found widespread evidence that Mr. Trump and his organization had worked with a wide array of dubious Russians in arrangements that often raised questions about money laundering. Likewise, those deals don’t seem to interest Congress.

We explained how, from our past journalistic work in Europe, we were deeply familiar with the political operative Paul Manafort’s coziness with Moscow and his financial ties to Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin.

Finally, we debunked the biggest canard being pushed by the president’s men — the notion that we somehow knew of the June 9, 2016, meeting in Trump Tower between some Russians and the Trump brain trust. We first learned of that meeting from news reports last year — and the committees know it. They also know that these Russians were unaware of the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele’s work for us and were not sources for his reports.

Yes, we hired Mr. Steele, a highly respected Russia expert. But we did so without informing him whom we were working for and gave him no specific marching orders beyond this basic question: Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?

What came back shocked us. Mr. Steele’s sources in Russia (who were not paid) reported on an extensive — and now confirmed — effort by the Kremlin to help elect Mr. Trump president. Mr. Steele saw this as a crime in progress and decided he needed to report it to the F.B.I.

We did not discuss that decision with our clients, or anyone else. Instead, we deferred to Mr. Steele, a trusted friend and intelligence professional with a long history of working with law enforcement. We did not speak to the F.B.I. and haven’t since.

After the election, Mr. Steele decided to share his intelligence with Senator John McCain via an emissary. We helped him do that. The goal was to alert the United States national security community to an attack on our country by a hostile foreign power. We did not, however, share the dossier with BuzzFeed, which to our dismay published it last January.

We’re extremely proud of our work to highlight Mr. Trump’s Russia ties. To have done so is our right under the First Amendment.

It is time to stop chasing rabbits. The public still has much to learn about a man with the most troubling business past of any United States president. Congress should release transcripts of our firm’s testimony, so that the American people can learn the truth about our work and most important, what happened to our democracy.


Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:24 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
either way as long as I'm not at risk of going full-Louise Mensch. but!

I don't see how you are risking "going full-Mensch" by following the Mueller investigation, but I do see a common risk across the spectrum to use such false associations (insert whichever illegitimate conspiracy monger, from Alex Jones to Loose Change) as a means of prematurely shaming those asking questions. It's like the concept of 'conspiracism', which proposes that the act of supposing that some powerful people may be coordinating their power out of the public eye is itself some form of mental illness. The latter illness is more about the compulsion to believe the worst possibility without evidence, but the problem with the Russia investigation is the inconvenient fact of empirical circumstantial evidence combined with a lot of unanswered questions (and, more tellingly, a refusal to answer those questions that have not already been lied about or expeditiously forgotten).

Pinning the tin-foil tail on those of us who have noticed a suspicious lack of candor and a rather felicitous indulgence in fabulism among Trump and his principals is just one of many tools in the current armory to confuse and dissemble the facts - as can be best determined at the moment - surrounding this issue. We shouldn't be afraid to apply judgment to what is in front of us and follow where it leads.

I'm happy to see Fusion's response because there has been a lot of confusion manufactured around it. First and foremost is the idea promoted by pro-Trump media that the entire Mueller case flies or dies on the legitimacy of the Steele Dossier. National Review writer Andrew McCarthy (not the lovable 80s actor) has spent most of the last couple of months (since Mueller's began producing indictments) trying to dismiss the integrity of the dossier, and here's a recent example I read a couple of weeks ago. Setting aside that we've learned a lot since then (and, being the holidays, this may not be as well known as it should be), such as the "source" of the FISA warrants against certain Trump associates were not based on the dossier, but on George Papadopoulos' drunken bragging to an Australian diplomat. McCarthy characteristically has ignored this development in his articles since then, just as he entirely ignores Papadopoulos in that particular article, and his already guilty plea about lying about contacts who - with prescient accuracy - had claimed to have thousands of damaging emails on Hillary just two weeks after the DNC was hacked. McCarthy also ignores all of the known forensic facts regarding this cyber-effort (calling it "alleged" -heh). According to McCarthy, who views the dossier as an all-or-nothing proposal, unless every "salacious" detail in the dossier is verified, the entire document is illegitimate. In other words, unless there's an actual pee tape, then all of the other verified details in the dossier - regarding Russia's motive to support a candidate who could remove the sanctions on their energy sector and Putin's allies - have to also be thrown out. That's about as dishonest an assessment as McCarthy's claim that the dossier was "the Clinton campaign's Trump/Russia project", or that Obama "colluded" with Clinton by using this obviously fabricated narrative to illegally surveil and harass members of Trump's team.

Which of these scenarios strikes you as being the most Mensch-esque? I'm guessing that those who seem to be more willing to bend facts, logic and vocabulary to such ridiculous lengths are the ones who are most in need of the fear of being labeled as paranoid nuts.

And now Manafort is suing Mueller, asking a federal judge to either remove him (he's also suing Rosenrod for appointing him in the first place) or to limit his scope. We're expected to believe that there's no connection between Manafort's loyalty to Putin's circle in years past and his most significant act as campaign manager, removing a defense of Ukraine from the RNC platform. Considering how Manafort has already been caught lying about the latter, by multiple witnesses at the RNC, I wonder which one we should believe in this case?


Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:24 am
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It's quite astonishing that even Steve Bannon is aware that the collusion between the Kremlin and "the brain trust" of the Trump campaign has already been proven to be a fact. Even if Don Jr. didn't get the dirt he was looking for from "Russia and its government's support" (and the fact is that we don't really know yet the extent of the info that Veselnitskaya provided, outside of what they've claimed themselves), the attempt is already a conspiracy charge. Maybe a lawyer in the room could have pointed this out.

All I know is that this Michael Wolff book is going to be hilarious.


Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:26 am
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if the revelation that Trump mounted a presidential run so that he could later monetize right-wing rage turns out to be true, one would assume that would be the moment when his supporters realize they've been played for rubes. (akin to the last act of A Face in the Crowd) but things are never that simple.....


Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:48 am
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I'm also taking Wolff's speculations about Trump's cognitive decline with a grain of salt, mostly because of his history with creative reporting.

but again.... it's hardly provocative to have speculations, right? most of us aren't speculating because we're foremost concerned with Trump's health for the sake of being concerned with Trump's health. I'll admit to that at least. if a year down the road we found for sure that Trump is sick, are any of us really going to say "well, we couldn't have known for sure", most of all his colleagues

for now, I'm just going to stick with believing he is merely a spoiled, lazy, narcissistic and that that's bad enough.


Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:43 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I'm also taking Wolff's speculations about Trump's cognitive decline with a grain of salt, mostly because of his history with creative reporting.

That's why I think it will be "hilarious", as opposed to britches-shitting frightening, which once one is forced to take seriously the reality of this clusterfuck would be the only truly sane response. I'm just trying not to worry and love it.

An example of this hilarity is that there's now word that Trump is seriously thinking about suing Wolff and Bannon over this. The problem is that the grounds being discussed - violating non-disclosure agreements - is a tacit admission that the book happens to be true.


Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:38 pm
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About this business with Oprah running for president. Sure, I'd vote for her in this environment. I'd vote for Maury Povitch too, against Trump.

But, as a brainstorm, maybe let's stop voting TV stars into public office altogether?


Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:51 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
About this business with Oprah running for president. Sure, I'd vote for her in this environment. I'd vote for Maury Povitch too, against Trump.

But, as a brainstorm, maybe let's stop voting TV stars into public office altogether?


And also, the culture needs to stop vaunting presidential candidates to the level of messiah and instead spend more time talking about congresspersons. Oprah will not save us. Trump will not save us. Obama didn't. They can help nudge the ship, but they won't be transformative.

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Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:22 am
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DaMU wrote:

And also, the culture needs to stop vaunting presidential candidates to the level of messiah and instead spend more time talking about congresspersons. Oprah will not save us. Trump will not save us. Obama didn't. They can help nudge the ship, but they won't be transformative.

It would be nice to do away entirely with the attraction of the cult of personality. In a way, this is why the "TV celebrity" thing is so worrisome, because combining one form of worship with another is such a dead end.


Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:02 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
It would be nice to do away entirely with the attraction of the cult of personality. In a way, this is why the "TV celebrity" thing is so worrisome, because combining one form of worship with another is such a dead end.


Seriously. "Only Oprah can save us" is The Who's "meet the new boss."

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Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:20 am
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Oprah vs Trump 2020

Lol, America


Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:33 am
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if Trump crashes and burns as bad as I think he will, I'd like to think it will deter fewer celebrity presidents from emerging. so yes, I'm also hoping Oprah doesn't run (but still continues to be a force for good). or I'd be much more apt to vote for her if she were to build a suitable resume first.

sidenote: I'm also hoping Bernie Sanders doesn't run because 79 is too goddamn old to be president. I hope I'm not being ageist but being president is a hard-as-fuck job. I'm sure he's much more fit than most people his age but then most people his age aren't running one of the biggest countries in the world.


Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:20 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
or I'd be much more apt to vote for her if she were to build a suitable resume first.
Hey, we've already got a daytime talk show host with a notable political background sitting in the wings:

Image

I can hear it now from the floors of the 2020 Democratic National Convention: "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!"

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Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:33 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
if Trump crashes and burns as bad as I think he will, I'd like to think it will deter fewer celebrity presidents from emerging.

so yes, I'm also hoping Oprah doesn't run (but still continues to be a force for good). or I'd be much more apt to vote for her if she were to build a suitable resume first.
I think the whole precedent Trump set by "winning" this election bust the floodgates open and the democrats are in search of their own power figure. The political resume doesn't matter in wake of the clout and Oprah competes with Trump in regards to net worth, and is arguably far more influential as a public figure. I mean, how effortlessly did Oprah wind people up here, what other democrat is capable of inspiring this kind of motion? Oprah, imo, would kick the shit out of Trump, and...

YAS QUEEN

Okay, I needed that. If Trump doesn't get impeached we're going to need far more than what's been going on in the democratic party. I feel like strength of politics are dying in this equation and that the future election will be dictated by strength of marketing


Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:50 am
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BL wrote:
I can hear it now from the floors of the 2020 Democratic National Convention: "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!"

As a transparancy advocate, I can only admire the integrity of a public official thoughtful enough to pay for prostitutes with personal checks.


Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:51 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
As a transparancy advocate, I can only admire the integrity of a public official thoughtful enough to pay for prostitutes with personal checks.
That just goes to show he's a job creator.

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Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:53 am
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Alas, Jerry was born in England. It will go down as the stipulation that doomed a nation.

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Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:56 am
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Torgo wrote:
Alas, Jerry was born in England. It will go down as the stipulation that doomed a nation.
That point will be moot once Trump invades Europe. England becomes America retroactively. #MEGA

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Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:57 am
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the Fusion GPS testimony transcript was released although at 300+ pages it is going to take a long time to digest

https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/3/9/3974a291-ddbe-4525-9ed1-22bab43c05ae/934A3562824CACA7BB4D915E97709D2F.simpson-transcript-redacted.pdf


Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:59 am
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:shock:

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Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:57 pm
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Oh, Franco.


Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:59 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Oh, Franco.
I could only watch part of his denial on Colbert, but I am disappointed that he's getting so many likes/defenders in the comments; dude was not convincing in his statement at all, even if you forget that multiple women are accusing him of this shit.

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Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:52 am
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Stu wrote:
I could only watch part of his denial on Colbert, but I am disappointed that he's getting so many likes/defenders in the comments; dude was not convincing in his statement at all, even if you forget that multiple women are accusing him of this shit.

The consistency of the accusations is telling. I'd also like to know more about this Studio 4, and why it went out of business so quickly. The red flag, for me, is in how Franco became "visibly angry" when girls would refuse nudity. A responsible director would be able to explain why it was necessary for the scene (as I believe it is sometimes), but this reaction suggests something else entirely. Such an emotional reaction suggests something far more compromising - or manipulative - about his presumption of their working relationship. It doesn't help to read that a similar tactic was used by James (300 accusers) Toback, by coercing actresses into these "difficult, vulnerable, uncomfortable" situations. That tactic seems to be the same here, shaming those who weren't willing to bare themselves for the art, or whatever. (Franco is such an artist, as we all know.)


Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:11 am
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"Shithole countries" is a great start to 2018. It's like a book sequel that starts out with an "argument" that sets up everything you might've forgotten from the previous volume.

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Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:43 pm
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advocating for citizens from shithole countries seemed like good talk when it was useful for bludgeoning Hillary.

silver lining: maybe now we can sell Trump on a healthcare plan modeled on Norway's, why not


Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:03 pm
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DaMU wrote:
"Shithole countries" is a great start to 2018. It's like a book sequel that starts out with an "argument" that sets up everything you might've forgotten from the previous volume.

God Emperor of Dunce

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Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:18 am
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Looking over the predictable defenses for Trump's comments from the likes of Ben Shapiro, Tucker Carlson, Tomi Lahren. They all have a variety of refrain about "if they aren't shitholes, why are people leaving?", conveniently and not too honestly ignoring the entire point of Trump's comment.

But the best must be from Jessie "Chachi" Watters, who with some admirable amount of candor pointed out that, since Trump's base are already racist as fuck, that this won't ultimately matter much to his voters.


Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:45 am
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Post Re: A Corrierino Awareness Thread

I don't know why I was thinking that Michael Steele calling the president a racist would have stirred more controversy than it has. I don't know why I still get surprised anymore.

I know that Bannon is out and Kobach had his committee taken away, but it's hard not to think of the "turd-eater" immigrants from Camp of the Saints, which they both kept on their night table.


Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:57 am
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Post Re: A Corrierino Awareness Thread

Sorry to get immature here, but this was just too much fun:


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Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:54 am
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Post Re: A Corrierino Awareness Thread

Jinnistan wrote:
Looking over the predictable defenses for Trump's comments from the likes of Ben Shapiro, Tucker Carlson, Tomi Lahren. They all have a variety of refrain about "if they aren't shitholes, why are people leaving?", conveniently and not too honestly ignoring the entire point of Trump's comment.

But the best must be from Jessie "Chachi" Watters, who with some admirable amount of candor pointed out that, since Trump's base are already racist as fuck, that this won't ultimately matter much to his voters.


Shapiro is coming to UConn in a few weeks. maybe I'll ask him why he thinks those shithole countries became so shitty. (heh)


Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:31 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:

Shapiro is coming to UConn in a few weeks. maybe I'll ask him why he thinks those shithole countries became so shitty. (heh)

If you have connections to UConn, please don’t show up to his event. In fact, please discourage others from showing up and, if you can, try to document a lack of turnout. Liberal venom only feeds trolls like Shapiro. It’s only the notion that these dulards are either irrelevant or insignificant to the opposition that reaally hurts them.

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Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:52 pm
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it's a 30-minute drive on a weeknight so there is a 99.9% chance I won't. but it hasn't stopped me from thinking about what I might say were I in the same room as him.

you're right, he is not worth it and not just because I'm a bleeding-heart virtue-signaler. I still get chagrined when the discussion of LDCs fails to account for how they get in the state they are in, leaving open the idea that their people are naturally predisposed to being corrupt, violent, dirty, etc. and that's all there is to it.

and we better hope climate change turns out to be exaggerated or those shitholes will just get shittier.


Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:49 pm
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Post Re: A Corrierino Awareness Thread

because I am young and full of folly, last night I decided to enter into a conversation with a peer who was excusing Trump's description of LDCs.

I don't respect this person's opinion and I know he doesn't respect mine. nothing will be gained from our dialogue. I thought I had enough self-control to stop myself from doing things like this as I've been able to avoid these conversations in the past with people I don't care for.

I feel like you'd be disappointed in me, BL. but not as disappointed as I am in myself. :/


Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:12 pm
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BL wrote:
If you have connections to UConn, please don’t show up to his event. In fact, please discourage others from showing up and, if you can, try to document a lack of turnout. Liberal venom only feeds trolls like Shapiro. It’s only the notion that these dulards are either irrelevant or insignificant to the opposition that reaally hurts them.

I would agree not to show up with "venom" or outrage or any other overly sensitive protest, but I would support those who want to show up with some form of sober engagement, if only to prove the lie to the claim that this is what someone like Shapiro is actively looking for. I don't find the feeble rhetoric of Shapiro to have the integrity to hold up under very much sparring, and, again, when he flees from this engagement that point will only be made more clear.


Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:47 am
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Post Re: A Corrierino Awareness Thread

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
because I am young and full of folly, last night I decided to enter into a conversation with a peer who was excusing Trump's description of LDCs.

I don't respect this person's opinion and I know he doesn't respect mine. nothing will be gained from our dialogue. I thought I had enough self-control to stop myself from doing things like this as I've been able to avoid these conversations in the past with people I don't care for.

I feel like you'd be disappointed in me, BL. but not as disappointed as I am in myself. :/

Since it appears that a good many of Trump's supporters, as well as other GOP politicos, are similarly engaged in doubling down on defending this, I think it's important to go ahead and pierce the flanks.

As I pointed out earlier, this issue is not about "shithole countries" - as in whether or not some countries have less than ideal living conditions. Many of Trump's supporters are trying to turn this into a PC thing about not being able to speak this truth. Don't fall for it. Hold them to the phrase "people from shithole countries". This is the crux of Trump's point, and should not be obfuscuted. He doesn't want the people here. The point is to make inextricable the conditions of these countries and the value of those aspiring to better their lives. What Trump is saying - which a child can easily understand - is "why are we taking in shithole people?" Once we can get down to this basic point, then the value of these human lives is what's being questioned, and the blatant racism is exposed. If your friend - or others - wish to make a defense for the racist opinion that shithole people need to stay in their....let's call them "huts"....then at least there can be some kind of honest confrontation over the issue involved.

People do not emigrate from countries where they live in ideal conditions. No one packs up their family to travel halfway around the world to a place that is wholly unfamiliar without a good, usually desperate, motive. Since Trump mentioned Norway, let's look at the Scandinavian immigration to America in the 19th Century. These were farmers ravaged by famine who not only took the toll of the perilous travel, but endured the hardships of the new world - as recounted in Moberg's novels. The question was never asked what a shithole this suddenly barren Scandinavia had become. And the question was never asked why, today, a Norwegian would be willing to leave a country with ample education, health care and a liberal justice system to come to a predatory, dysfunctional shithole of provincial corruption and finely incited violence.


Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:13 am
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fwiw, my not-friend isn't arguing that we shouldn't take it people from shithole countries, he's defending the right to call them shithole countries because no one should be defending them because of their corruption, filthiness, violence, etc. and the people doing so are signaling their virtue and that rankles him. I mentioned that many of those countries can attribute their shittiness to outside exploitation and he was all "(paraphrasing) yeah but a lot of those countries failed by their own merit before colonization and then afterwards and by the way plenty of countries have done well following colonization e.g. South Africa...." and if that's where his head is I just figured this isn't worth putting in a lot of effort. were I a better person I would just have just looked at his initial message and said "bless his heart" and went back to whatever it is I do at 1 in the morning.

he's not a Trump supporter, he's a "I'm not a Trump supporter but..." kind of guy.


Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:42 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
fwiw, my not-friend isn't arguing that we shouldn't take it people from shithole countries, he's defending the right to call them shithole countries because no one should be defending them because of their corruption, filthiness, violence, etc. and the people doing so are signaling their virtue and that rankles him. I mentioned that many of those countries can attribute their shittiness to outside exploitation and he was all "(paraphrasing) yeah but a lot of those countries failed by their own merit before colonization and then afterwards and by the way plenty of countries have done well following colonization e.g. South Africa...." and if that's where his head is I just figured this isn't worth putting in a lot of effort. were I a better person I would just have just looked at his initial message and said "bless his heart" and went back to whatever it is I do at 1 in the morning.

he's not a Trump supporter, he's a "I'm not a Trump supporter but..." kind of guy.

This is why I think that it's important to nip this line of argument in the bud (as per your respective patience), as it seems to be the default of a lot of those defending Trump. Again, the controversy isn't whether or not Haiti or El Salvador (and, as you say, both countries have suffered from 'unfortunate' neoliberal intervention) are shitholes, but whether or not America should feel compelled to help those who are seeking to escape those conditions. Trump didn't refuse the countries, he refused the people. Now if, by pointing this out, your interlocutor then claims that the shithole in question is a congenital condition of its people, then that's fine. Feel free to call them a racist and walk away, because that's the dictionary definition of the term.


Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:14 am
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Post Re: A Corrierino Awareness Thread

he says it's a congenital condition of their governments; my opinion was that the line between citizens and government is a blurry one.


Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:29 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
he says it's a congenital condition of their governments; my opinion was that the line between citizens and government is a blurry one.

Not necessarily - the point of most corruption is to widen and solidify that line.

But regardless, Trump wasn't offering an opinion about importing those governments.


Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:04 am
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then hopefully my acquaintance isn't putting the blame on the citizens for not doing enough to fix their governments. or whatever he means by those countries failing on their own merit. *shrug* otherwise I'm gonna have to brush up on the history of how these LDC countries have fallen into corruption, with or without the help of colonist intervention.

I'm gonna get a longer defense of his view of colonialism before I tap out. I'm guessing it's going to track with Ayn Rand's views on Native Americans and Arabs. then I can live alone with my self-loathing once more.

EDIT: one day I will get over how disgusted I am with myself for starting this conversation. there's a morality I want to argue but Lord help me, I just don't have the acuity. not when we're using the contrast between 1800's Europe and 1800's sub-Saharan Africa's GDP per capita to excuse their subjugation. these are objective facts! Christ, I'm fucking weak. fix me a drink, Janson.


Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:17 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
fix me a drink, Janson.

I've always been less concerned about virtue-signalling than I am with resisting bullshit, and with a lot of these discussions, it's more like some kind of missile defense shield, shooting down these logically pathetic little rockets of rhetoric. I suppose the virtue that I am signalling is less about protecting the more vulnerable (although I never apologize for empathy) and much more about not tolerating the sophic dissembling of virtually dishonest communigens. It isn't simply a difference of opinion regarding proverbial shitholes, or the decorum of casual profanity, but about a very deliberate effort to distort the issue while gaslighting those who happen to be paying attention. This is why I dismiss the point about post-colonial dysfunction and neoliberal exploitation, not because these aren't essential to understanding these geopolitics, but simply because these geopolitics have nothing to do with Trump's positions on his preference of immigrants, and so it only further diverts from recognizing the fundamental racist presumption in what he said and more importantly in what policy he intends to implement.

I'm not going to encourage you to continue a debate that makes you miserable, but I wanted to point out some ways to handicap the dialogue before it gets successfully diverted off the relevant path. Most of the defenses of Trump's quote by these media pundits I mentioned (now that they've ceased even trying to deny the obvious fact that he said it) have not been good faith attempts to reconcile the meaning of the quote. More honest have been the tail-tucking ("unfortunate" - Paul Ryan) or the shadier pragmatism (Shapiro's "he really shouldn't say these things out loud") that both neatly avoid condemning what he believes instead of his lack of wisdom in so frankly saying it. Or like Ryan said earlier in 2016, "let's keep this in the family".


Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:52 am
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aye. although next time I still shouldn't get so reactive to people who see it as more important to condemn sanctimonious condemnations of racism than the racism itself. because if that's what they see as the foremost problem, then that's their prerogative and God bless 'em and all that.

of course imo should any of Trump's critics "virtue-signal" by romanticizing third-world countries, it only allows the sort who are genuinely racist and genuinely xenophobic to (correctly) cite those countries' poor conditions and then believe that is reason enough to refuse citizens. which again, I feel ducks the question of exactly what factors contributed to their poor condition, especially if our country is one of those factors. but that's getting off the topic of Trump....


Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:02 am
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Post Re: A Corrierino Awareness Thread

Aziz Ansari has replaced Garrison Keillor as the most ridiculous accusation to emerge in the post-Weinstein era.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:53 am
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I know it's not on the level of Louis CK but it's still disappointing.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:48 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I know it's not on the level of Louis CK but it's still disappointing.

It's disappointing that this is where we are. Looking over her account, there's little evidence she explicitly rejected his advances, and its not quite clear how this was expressed. Basically she accuses him almost entirely based on his ignoring what she calls "clear non-verbal cues". Since Aziz's reaction to the allegation is surprise, I'm going to guess that what she thought was clear was not so clear. The subjectivity of these cues is a crucial point. So let me see if I can find these cues in her telling.

As she describes the initial physical contact, on the marble counter, she doesn't relate any resistence as he kissed her, hand on her breast, "he was undressing her, then he undressed himself", and during this there is no indication that any of this was against her consent. "She remembers feeling uncomfortable at how quickly things escalated", but she appears to have allowed it, for the moment. Maybe Aziz should have detected this unease, but this is why "non-verbal cues" are problematic.

Aziz told her he was going to get a condom, and for the first time she put on the brakes. "Whoa, let's relax for a sec, let's chill". So Aziz steps back to kissing her. They are still undressed, and she allows him to kiss her and perform oral sex on her. I have to point out that for most of her account, she remained naked, giving no indication that she was kept from dressing whenever she felt that sexual activity was off the table. Aziz likely took her preference to remain nude as a non-verbal indication that she was still expecting some kind of foreplay. That and the non-forced oral sex that she twice performed on him. "He sat back and pointed to his penis and motioned for me to go down on him. And I did." (This was after her strongest resistence of "I don't want to feel forced", but "motioning" is not forcing. Aziz likely felt she was still willing by this voluntary action.)

"I was physically giving off cues that I wasn't interested", "didn't want to fuck him at all", but she remained undressed, and continued to give him oral sex. "She thought that would be the end of the sexual encounter", but she continued to "make out" with him while undressed. There's no verbal indication that Aziz was aware that the sexual encounter was ended. No clear, "this is not happening tonight", followed by putting on clothes.

Eventually, we get to a more definitive refusal, but it's difficult to say how much time has elapsed. "No, I don't think I'm ready to do this, I really don't think I'm going to do this." That's clear. Aziz suggests putting their clothes back on. At this point Aziz and her both probably should have called it a night. Aziz should not have attempted his final move at foreplay kissing, but it's notable that she claims to have already felt "violated" at this point, which isn't exactly clear from her own account.

Obviously some miscommunication going on, but much of her discomfort and resistence is dependent on the subjective interpretation of these non-verbal cues. Perhaps Aziz is too thick to read them, or perhaps they weren't as articulate as she believes. We can definitely criticize Aziz for some of his awkward moves, if accurately depicted. I don't see any evidence of malice or intended harm on Aziz's part, and, frankly, don't see why this incident needed to be publicized, even anonymously. Also, the accusation that he was trying to get her drunk doesn't mesh with her complaining about his not letting her finish the bottle of wine at the restaurant. I think this story is petty, an awkward date, but I don't see why she could not have removed herself at any time she felt like it. I say that due to the fact that when she did finally leave, Aziz didn't appear angry, hugged her, and apparently thought the date went swell. Aziz just might be thick, maybe inexperienced. But this wasn't assault or a violation. It was a bad date with two confused participants.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:47 pm
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