Syria Is A Black Box

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Amid the killing, the horrors, and the tragedies in Syria, there’s also an ideological civil war among eleven players and even more agendas. In addition to exchanging bullets and bombs, in this war, every claim from one player is instantly challenged by another’s counter-claim.

We might have described Syria as an abyss or black hole had the civil war occurred during Hafez al-Assad’s regime. Under his son Bashar it’s a black box.

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The Jester And The Sage (Myths About The Smiths)

There are two types of Smiths fan. One type believes that Morrisey drives the band. The other believes Johnny Marr does. (I will only talk about The Smiths in the present tense. Deal.) Granted, those of us in the the Johnny Marr camp need a few drinks to argue the case successfully. But we eventually win because of the happy haze of a drunken Rickenbacker guitar.

And we have this video as the closer.

In it Morrisey is the jester. Marr is the sage. Quite Jungian. And one of the reasons why they are legends together but average on their own.

These are age old archetypes. But times change, and in our time, science always wins over myth. Magic is for madmen and sissies. And the boy will always have a thorn in his side.

That, ultimately is what The Smiths were about, the last gasp of the industrial age before it went all post-this and meta-that and Reagan fired air traffic controllers and Thatcher fired miners and then told the world that society doesn’t exist.

But that’s OK. My generation trades Mick and Keith for Morrisey and Marr all day and makes a killing. ‘Cause if it’s not love …

@dexterkflowers

Resisting Trump Is Fine, But We Should Also Resist The Democrat Smear Machine

Garbage mouth Neera Tanden of Think Regress is at it again, guarding the Democratic Party’s corporate neoliberal left flank while pretending to be a real progressive.

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Here’s what Tanden is talking about:

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“Ryan’s Choice” The Truth about Paul Ryan’s Phantom Majority

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In February, former House Speaker John Boehner spoke about Republican plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

“They’ll fix Obamacare … I shouldn’t have called it repeal and replace because that’s not what’s going to happen. They’re basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it.”

Terence Burlij. “Boehner: Obamacare Repeal And Replace ‘Not What’s Going To Happen'”. CNN. 2017.

Fast-forward exactly one month. Boehner sounds more elder statesman than hardball politician. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) that Trump championed as “tremendous” was dead last Friday before a single vote was cast:

“The most conservative members of the House didn’t think that the American Health Care Act would go far enough to eradicate Obamacare, and moderates were concerned about an estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that 24 million Americans would be left without insurance.

Republican leaders bent to the will of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of about 30 hard-line members, agreeing to remove several federal mandates for minimum benefits, including mental health services and some maternity care. But this move still didn’t go far enough to appease members of the caucus. And the concessions alienated several moderates.”

Katie Rogers. “How The Health Care Vote Fell Apart, Step By Step”. New York Times. 2017.

After House Republicans spent years working on repealing the ACA without a clue of what a replacement would look like, Trump, Ryan, and the rest of their party are shifting what’s left of their congressional capital to massive tax cuts.

Continue reading ““Ryan’s Choice” The Truth about Paul Ryan’s Phantom Majority”

Pied Piper Putin

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On 12/15 Donald Trump received “A very nice letter from Vladimir Putin,” to which the then President-elect added: “His thoughts are so correct.”

On 12/16 the Russian military reportedly launched a missile capable of destroying low-orbit satellites:

“The high rate of testing is an indication the program is a military priority and is progressing toward deployment.

The new anti-satellite missile is among several new strategic weapons systems being developed by the Russian military.

The Nudol is viewed by the Pentagon as a so-called “direct ascent” anti-satellite missile. Russia, however, has sought to mask the missile’s anti-satellite capabilities by claiming the missile is for defense against incoming ballistic missiles.

The Pentagon is worried about the development of anti-satellite weapons by both Russia and China.”

Russia Conducts Fifth Test of New Anti-Satellite Missile” | The Washington Free Beacon | Bill Gertz| 12/21/2016

About this, Trump has said nothing.

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