It is crucially important over the next (however long the Trump-Pence administration lasts) to be vigilant against outrage fatigue. The GOP has long since mastered the strategy of throwing so many horrible things at the left, one after another, that it becomes nearly impossible to keep up with them all. And it works. Eventually the ability and will to fight back succumbs to a kind of numb "Everything is Terrible All the Time" feeling. Most of us are not professional activists. We can only handle so much.

So, it would be useful to avoid getting in a huff about things that have almost no conceivable chance of happening.
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Much will be Proposed in the near future. It's not difficult to introduce a bill in the House. Remember, thousands of bills are introduced in every Session and few even get to a floor vote let alone sent on to the President.

As an example, a bill to withdraw the U.S. from the U.N. was introduced this weekend. Terrible, right? I have a better chance of being nominated to the Supreme Court than this bill has to become a law. We may live in an age in which the most implausible things seem possible, but there is a limit. A small amount of logic will lead you to the conclusion that this bill is DOA.

First, without its seat on the Security Council, how will the U.S. continue to be the special protector of Israel? Does Israel carry a lot of weight in political circles in the U.S.? Are Republicans staunchly pro-Israel in Congress? Yes, that's what I thought.

Second, several "old school" Republican Senators have already stated that they will not under any circumstances vote to remove the U.S. from NATO or the U.N. Not only do these guys loathe Trump – Graham, McCain, Rubio, etc. – but their hawkish positions on foreign policy run directly contrary to removing the U.S. from these institutions.

Finally, the Republicans have a majority in the Senate of exactly two seats. The slightest amount of defection on any bill will torpedo it. Even with full party support they will have a hard time working around threats of filibuster.

I wouldn't be surprised by much of anything at this point. Mitch McConnell could pull off a mask and reveal Andy Kaufman and we'd all shrug and say, "Yeah I suspected as much." Nonetheless at a time in which there will be more crises than any reasonable person could handle it makes sense to bear in mind that tons of bills are introduced and tons of policy changes are proposed. Unless I missed something and Congressional Republicans suddenly don't care about Israel and want to abandon it to its fate, this bill is unlikely to be worth losing sleep over.


  • 's Funny, though it may be that the "GOP has long since mastered the strategy of throwing so many horrible things at the left", the one horrible thing that sicks in my mind is Paul Ryan pushing Granny off the cliff. I don't think this Guinness record in bottom feeding inference could be surpassed, but perhaps I missed some.

    Any bets on the UN being around in a meaningful way in five years? There'll only be a UN for as long as the US, representing 0.5% of the membership, is patsy enough to pay around a quarter of the UN budget.

    Will it matter to us if there isn't? Heck no, and certainly Israel will be protected by the US with or without the UN.

  • 's Funny, though it may be that the "GOP has long since mastered the strategy of throwing so many horrible things at the left", the one horrible thing that sticks in my mind is Paul Ryan pushing Granny off the cliff. I don't think this Guinness record in bottom feeding inference could be surpassed, but perhaps I missed some.

    Any bets on the UN being around in a meaningful way in five years? There'll only be a UN for as long as the US, representing 0.5% of the membership, is patsy enough to pay around a quarter of the UN budget.

    Will it matter to us if there isn't? Heck no, and certainly Israel will be protected by the US with or without the UN.

  • This will come down to whether the Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists outnumber the evangelical dispensationalists in the GOP base.

  • @Isaac

    There is definitely a huge overlap, which will make this very interesting. My impression as a Yankee, and thus far from the heart of these debates, is that the NWO conspiracy theorists have been much more successful at conversion than the dispensationalists. I know several people concerned about Agenda 21 who couldn't give a damn about that silly rapture. I suspect that there are more people like that than the inverse.

  • Carrstonebot 5000 says:

    Carrstone has been replaced by a random-number generator connected to a database of conservative talking points.

    Productivity has increased by 12.5%

  • If people put any stock by what Carrstone parrots from his cackhandlers, they might think that he doesn't give a fuck about anything but his own warped worldview.

  • Not far from where I lived in NH was a guy who had a scale model of the Trojan Horse in his front yard, with "US out of the UN" painted on its side. I'm pretty sure carrstone lived there.

  • We really, truly think that the world cannot go on without America in the UN? That we're the glue that holds the whole damn planet together?

    Perhaps our citizens are that stupid, but I'm fairly certain that our leaders, underneath all of their "American exceptionalism" bullshit, are not.

  • Chill peeps, and cheer up. Everything isn't terrible all of the time.

    Didn't you see the latest report on the Russian hackers? Certainly you must've. It was on Buzzfeed and picked up by CNN.

    But God Emperor Trump has found one of Father Obama's programs that he really loves and is going to fully fund. The Death Beagle program is still going ahead! So don't worry, as most are unarmed, you won't last long. ;)

  • @Skipper

    It's time for you to repeat K-2 but this time pay attention. You clearly missed the bit where they teach you not only the skill, but how to read for understanding.

    My comment was more sagacious than you suggest, not simply about 'in or out', more watch what happens to the UN when the money runs out. You know, that same threat that hangs over the head of socialism.

  • @democommie

    My mother taught me not to say anything if I couldn't say anything nice. But then she, for one, was a loving mother who cared about me.

    What went wrong for you?

  • Even leaving the issue of Israel aside, leaving the UN means losing our hegemony. After all, the UN is the place where we give it the most exercise. Here we have a organization with actual power over its member states and we control the outcome of anything of significance. Whatever we spend to support it is worth the price.

  • Carrstone says: I use big words, even when I'm not sure exactly what they mean, so people will think I'm photosynthesis.

  • @Skipper

    Aren't you the guy I just suggested might benefit from repeating K-2? You clearly don't take well-meant advice well.

    Now, if you'd said 'photogenic', I might have thought that you've seen me somewhere. However, under the circumstances, it's not a good thing to put words in someone's mouth.

    That's how the Democrats lost the election; they didn't pay attention, either.

  • @democommie

    Ah, what mastery of repartee, what facility with words, what breadth of vocabulary, I bend my knee in awed admiration at the skillful way you craft your insults.

    A prime example of the American education system at work.

  • It's not that bills like this are likely to become law. It's that one of the two major parties in our national legislature includes members sufficiently batshit to introduce such bills, or members with constituents sufficiently batshit that introducing a bill like that helps, rather than harms, their reelection prospects.

  • Carrstonebot 6000 says:

    (It's smug-o-matic!)

    Much like Newt Gingrich, I sound like what a stupid person thinks a smart person sounds like.

  • It's interesting times when it's the Left that is speaking of America increasing its hegemony as a good thing, and it's the Right that that's opposed to this.

  • xynzee:


    You say that as if I didn't already know it. You're a piece-of-shit who seems to be enjoy being told that he is. I think that I've mentioned it before, but in case it hadn't sunk in; there are people who make a living heaping abuse on folks like you who seem to require it.

  • @democommie

    So much flatulent fury and all because you believe that I don't agree with your political opinion. But you won't find evidence of that because you have no opinion worthy of that name, just a faux frenzy.

    No style, no class.

  • People need to stay focused on the damages that are being done at breakneck speed. Freezing all grants and contracts at USEPA means no new grant funds or contracts issued for building new drinking water treatment or wastewater treatment facilities or cleaning up or testing for hazardous waste. These actions will disproportionately damage communities of color, rural communities and poor communities.

    This is one of the first directions on the roadmap of disaster capitalism.

    The obsession of Trump and his minions on illegal voters is proof they know they stole the election. It is classic behavior accusing your opponents of what you have actually done. We should ask for a national recount in every state to find these illegal votes.

  • @greatlaurel

    Are you even aware that Trump didn't win the popular vote? And that, by your sly innuendo, you are accusing the Electors of malfeasance?

  • Folks,
    Please don't do this. The only effective method for dealing with trolls is to ignore them. Nothing else works. I really enjoy the intelligent discussions that Ed promotes. There are enough flame-wars in other parts of the interwebs. Please don't add one here.

  • Carrstone 6000:

    What is really scary is that you make a lot more sense than the other commenter who uses that name.

    Are you a pal of Modus Operandi who works over at Ed Brayton's "Dispatches from the Culture Wars"?

    @ Totoro:

    Crappstain is perfectly content to come in here, drop turds in the punch bowl and leave them. He's a piece-of-shit, himself, so it's like he's a starfish, shedding body parts, one indistinguishable from another.

    Ed chooses not to ban him (or me, yet) so we each deal with him in our own way. I choose not to ignore ratfucking cockroaches.

  • A conservative (Carrstone is no such thing) post now and then might be interesting. They are hard to find. What we get from him is even more incoherent tweet-like spewing than from than the country's seven-year old tweety, bigley orange meanie.– (SAD!!!!)

  • @democommie

    See, now, I would never think of banning someone with whom I didn't agree.

    I'd argue my pov most aggressively, but banning? That would be lower than coming third in a two-man race and a clear admission that I'd been bested – no, I think the 1st Amendment is the showpiece of American culture, more resonant than Batman Returns, and, as the saying goes, "I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.'

    If I couldn't understand what he's on about, I'd ask him to explain – it's that easy. You may still not agree, but at least you've been a Mensch.

    I sympathize with your inability to lift your arguments out of the pool of insults of which you avail yourself. Did you learn them from people throwing them at your head?

  • Speaking of bills with no chance of success, I think it's a genius move on the part of some of the Democrats to reintroduce the Equal Rights Amendment. Of course in this day and age it should not be controversial to assert that there should be no discrimination on account of sex. But this may force Republicans to put themselves on the record for or against it. If "for" in sufficient numbers, the ERA finally passes. If "no," it's a big stick that Democrats can hopefully beat Republicans over the head with in Nov. 2018.

  • Coprolite:

    Buddy, your POV is that of one of the blind men identifying the elephant. I suspect that your observation would be that the animal was a funny tasting python–especially it it was a bull elephant.

    As for banning those with whom I disagree; it's not the "POV" or my "disagreement" with that POV, moron, it's the complete lack of critical thinking that generates your fever dreams. There's a lot of people that I meet at the variety store or on bus stops who have issues with reality. I usually try to be compassionate, but then they're not assholes.

  • @democommie
    Even when working as hard as you do at insulting me, you can't get above the belt line, can you? But then, I'm at a contextual advantage to you. The reason my pass-remarkable comments resound as well as they do is because of the echo-effect supplied by the cavernous empty space between your ears.

    What I resent most in these exchanges with drones like you, is that there is no debate unless it follows the party line selfishly and is not debate. You exhibit no hint that you know what your own utopian credo of egalitarianism demands of you, there's certainly no respect for the other person's pov – why, even in your last denigrating comment you can't resist making it all about you.

  • Carrstone:

    I don't give a fuck what you think. You're a tiresome piece-of-shit and you should go hang out with likeminded fuckheads.

    BTW, I have no "party line"–unless there's an "I hate assholes" party that I've missed hearing about. I've been dealing with self-made (read self-absorbed) fuckwads like you all my life. If you had anything like the dreamlife you claim to live, you'd be far too busy to waste your time dealing with us untermenschen.

  • @Major Kong
    Well, there is that old saw, "Was sich liebt, das neckt sich." I don't feel driven to reciprocate, but perhaps he can't help himself, the dear boy.

  • Seriously people, I think he just enjoys getting a rise out of you. He's certainly not here to argue in good faith and he's wasting everyone's time. I know because I used to be a guy like him (her? the overbearing pompousness sounds like a he though), a Libertarian (actually worse, an Objectivist) gadfly more interested in getting a sting in here and there than actually having a functional and honest debate. People like this aren't really capable or interested in having their world-view challenged given that it's already been neatly packaged up by Friedman, Rand or Nozick.

    Just let it go and ignore him.

  • actually worse, an Objectivist

    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged.

    One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world.

    The other, of course, involves orcs.

    – John Rogers

  • @Major Kong

    I can't judge from what you say, you haven't said enough that's worth judging, but which one did you read?

  • @jcdenton

    Again with the labels. I know it's a much quoted mantra that you've got to know what ails you. But don't forget the implicit bit, that the healing can only start when you do know. And you don't know me.

    Let me correct your perspective. You need to see me as a fine old wine, mature, rich and full of contrasting flavors enhanced by years of quiet contemplation. Please don't let my 'pompous' language frighten you, it's called English and spoken, to great effect, by more than a billion people around the world.

  • @ Maj. Kong:

    Mea culpa. I always feel dirty after I spend time in the vicinity of scum like Crockk-o-shit, but his only purpose in life is to rile people up. I, btw, am not seething with anger when I tell him to go fuck himself–the feeling is somewhat akin to what I feel when I yell at my 15 pound roommate for shitting on the floor. I know that I'm not really angry at him, but he doesn't so he does it less often. Otoh, the dog is only shitting on the floor, not demonstrating a total disregard for anyone who isn't HIM.


    I find that trolls–which are a sort of cyberbully,imo–respond to being ignored by finding bigger turds to drop in the punch bowl. They are, in a sense, chopping off their own piece-of-shit body parts to do so. However they are like a sea star and capable of regenerating those parts.

    Assholes like Cruddstripe have wormed their way into some blogs I used to go to and hijacked a lot of threads.

    I have an idea. Why don't you and the other reasonable people continue to ignore the asshole and I'll ignore him, too–as soon as he goes somewhere else to jerk himself off*.

    * I have to admit that he has SERIOUS one-hand keyboard mojo.

  • @xynzee

    I love becoming an archetype. One non-conformist comment and I become the LEFT. But still, we set up the UN from the get go to give us that control. It would a mistake to relinquish it because we definitely would not like who would snatch it up.

  • @Major Kong

    Not to be condescending but, if you never move outside your safe zone, you'll never come across an opposing opinion. Eventually, you'll even come to believe that your ordure doesn't smell.

  • "Not to be condescending but, if you never move outside your safe zone, you'll never come across an opposing opinion."

    Wow! Projection, the name is Carrstone.

    Holy fuck.

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