OT I'm Gonna Give "The Dispatch" A Look-See...

Discussion in 'Blazers OT Forum' started by ABM, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. ABM

    ABM Happily Married In Music City, USA!

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    Looks to be an interesting conservative balance to Fox News. We shall see....

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/why-conservative-pundits-and-pols-are-denouncing-trumps-syria-move

    A New Conservative Voice

    The Dispatch, which goes live Wednesday, is described by Jonah Goldberg as neither “pro-Trump” or “anti-Trump,” but “post-Trump.”

    “We think there’s not a lot of reporting on the right,” Goldberg told me in describing the web/newsletter/podcast venture with Steve Hayes. “They just aim all their fire leftward…A lot of what passes for reporting on the right is really de facto opposition research, going after Democrats.”

    Goldberg says they envision their media venture in the mold of the New Republic in the 1980s and ’90s, a lefty magazine that included such right-leaning voices as Fred Barnes and Charles Krauthammer. “Everyone knew they were liberal, but they weren’t afraid to call BS on Democrats.”

    The founders are gambling on a business model in which the website will carry no ads. Instead, after a period of offering free content, they are hoping to reap revenue from members who sign up because they want conservative reporting and writing that doesn’t necessarily cheerlead for Trump.

    “So much of what’s on the web now, left and right, is geared toward clickbait, making people angry,” Goldberg says, “and we think a lot of people are sick of it.”
     
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  2. ABM

    ABM Happily Married In Music City, USA!

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    Intro --> https://thedispatch.com/p/what-are-we-doing

    1st Issue Today --> https://thedispatch.com/

    The Morning Dispatch: October 9, 2019
    Syria On The Brink
    Oct 9 at 6:32 am Public post here. The team of Jonah Goldberg, Toby Stock, and Steve Hayes will be adding many more newsletters and podcasts in the coming weeks. Lots to cover today, so we’ll get right to it.

    “This is Going to All Be Directly Laid at the President’s Doorstep”

    Just two days after the Trump administration shocked the world by announcing that the United States would pull back from its position supporting the Kurdish military in northeastern Syria, the situation is deteriorating with astonishing speed. (CONTINUED)
     
  3. Lanny

    Lanny Original Season Ticket Holder "Mr. Big Shot"

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    Good luck. I gave up on them a long time ago.
    I notice they still have yet to win a single honor for their journalism. That really ought to tell you a lot, unless, of course, you see conspiracies everywhere including in your sleep. I don't mean you when I say you, I mean unhinged people.
     
  4. Hoopguru

    Hoopguru Know where you are going or end up somewhere else!

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    Honest question?
    Should the UDA get involved in other countries civil wars?
    I wouldn't want other countries involved in the one we are having here, including Russia, Cuba, Spain, China, whoever...
     
  5. Lanny

    Lanny Original Season Ticket Holder "Mr. Big Shot"

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    What is the UDA? I'm thinking you might have meant USA but I'm not sure.
     
  6. Hoopguru

    Hoopguru Know where you are going or end up somewhere else!

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    yeah...USA
     
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  7. ABM

    ABM Happily Married In Music City, USA!

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    It's a brand new publication.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/...aunch-conservative-media-company-the-dispatch
     
  8. ABM

    ABM Happily Married In Music City, USA!

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    The Morning Dispatch: Friday, October 11, 2019
    Turkish Incursions, Republican Criticisms, Giuliani Associates, & Chinese Censorship
    Oct 11 Public post [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Grim news out of northern Syria, where Turkish forces are continuing their advance into Kurdish-controlled land. The Turks, who are attempting to seize control of a wide band of the Kurds’ territory in which to resettle refugees from the Syrian civil war, have battered Kurdish towns with airstrikes and heavy artillery. Meanwhile Turkey’s border towns have been hit with rockets from Syria. Civilian casualties are piling up on both sides, and the U.N. estimates that 70,000 civilians in northern Syria have been newly displaced.

    After his surprise announcement that the U.S. would cease its military support of the Kurds earlier this week, President Trump seemingly left the door open for another strategic shift Thursday:

    [​IMG]Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump
    ....We have one of three choices: Send in thousands of troops and win Militarily, hit Turkey very hard Financially and with Sanctions, or mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds!
    October 10th 2019

    13,979 Retweets56,848 Likes

    It would make sense for Trump to try to walk this back, as it’s hard to overstate just how far out on a limb he is with GOP lawmakers here. By The Dispatch’s count, 24 GOP senators and 38 House members have distanced themselves from the White House’s new Syria policy, with only a handful actively praising it. The president is counting on a lot of loyalty from his party as Democrats prepare for impeachment—he can’t be thrilled to see those numbers increasing.

    But do these defections truly spell political danger for Trump, as some pundits have suggested? A three-day deep dive into lawmakers’ reactions reveals that while members are growing testier, there’s little indication yet that congressional Republicans objections on Syria are bleeding into their stances on the impeachment-related issues that could threaten his grip on the White House.

    GOP Temperature Check

    If a GOP lawmaker did see the Syria disaster as a “come to Jesus” moment, what would that look like? We don’t have to speculate: Illinois Republican John Shimkus called Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds “despicable” and said, “I pull my name off the ‘I support Donald Trump list.’”

    A few more dressed down the Syria policy in surprisingly scornful language.

    [​IMG]Adam Kinzinger@RepKinzinger
    Ah the other 10,000 no biggie, at least you got the “big two.” Campaign promise fail.
    Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

    In case the Kurds or Turkey lose control, the United States has already taken the 2 ISIS militants tied to beheadings in Syria, known as the Beetles, out of that country and into a secure location controlled by the U.S. They are the worst of the worst!
    October 10th 2019

    475 Retweets2,209 Likes

    But a huge majority of the Republicans who distanced themselves from Trump’s Syria policy took pains not to suggest they were criticizing the president. Of those who did express concerns, the boldest said that Trump had merely made a “mistake.” Others simply urged the U.S. to take a different tack, but without mentioning that the current tack was the one Trump had chosen. And then there was Representative Mark Green, from Tennessee, a decorated combat veteran of both Afghanistan and Iraq, whose official bio reports that he interrogated Saddam Hussein. Discussing Trump’s Syria decision on NPR’s “Here and Now,” Green offered what might be the best distillation of the uneasy tension between Capitol Hill Republicans and Trump. "Yeah, I disagree with what he’s doing now, I wish it wasn’t happening, but I still fully support it."

    That same sentiment describes the approach of many GOP lawmakers on the president’s use of Ukraine (and China) to target Joe Biden. But publicly there’s little GOP movement on any of the president’s Ukraine-related controversies. Is private frustration there feeding public disagreement on Syria? Perhaps. But so far not a single Republican has moved from disagreement over Trump’s treatment of the Kurds to denunciation of bad behavior in Ukraine.

    And speaking of Ukraine…

    Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better

    Two associates of Rudy Giuliani were arrested Thursday on federal campaign finance charges. Prosecutors allege that Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman attempted to funnel foreign money to a former GOP congressman, hoping to enlist him to convince the Trump administration to fire then-ambassador to Ukraine Maria Yovanovitch. All this, in turn, was apparently part of a hamfisted scheme to get in good with Ukraine’s state natural gas company.

    The arrest took place at Washington’s Dulles airport as the pair were attempting to board a one-way flight to Vienna. It comes just days after the Associated Press detailed Parnas and Fruman’s attempts to game both the Ukrainian government and our own. If you missed that, here’s the gist:

    • Parnas and Fruman, along with an oil baron named Harry Sargeant, hatched a plan to ingratiate themselves with senior executives at Ukraine’s state natural gas company, Naftogaz, by talking up their close political connections to Trump.

    • As part of their pitch, the schemers let on that they had insider knowledge of the Trump administration’s strategy for the region. They told one executive, for instance, that Trump planned to replace the then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine—Marie Yovanovitch, who was indeed recalled two months later—“with someone more open to aiding their business interests.”

    • Later that month, Rudy Giuliani met with Parnas and another personal associate, Healy Baumgardner, the CEO of a Houston-based lobbying group called 45 Energy Group, to discuss a potential energy deal and the status of Ambassador Yovanovitch—although Giuliani maintains this potential deal involved Uzbekistan, not Ukraine.

    • Giuliani, who, it is always worth pointing out, is Trump’s personal attorney and has no official government role, also acknowledged pushing Trump to replace Yovanovitch, and has previously described Parnas and Fruman as personal clients.
    President Trump distanced himself from the whole sordid affair Thursday, telling reporters he didn’t know the men and that if they wanted more information, “you’d have to ask Rudy.” (Photographs of Trump and Giuliani with the two men quickllyy zipped around social media.) He also said he hoped Giuliani wouldn’t be indicted as well.

    This new web of alleged corruption is all tangential to the main accusation that’s had Democrats pressing toward impeachment: that Trump extorted the Ukrainian government to investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden, seemingly even holding back military aid appropriated to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia until he got what he wanted. (Trump’s defense received a boost yesterday when Ukrainian president Zelensky said he didn’t think he was being blackmailed.)

    As these Giuliani-related stories continue to drop—and the smart money seems to be they will keep dropping—it will be interesting to see whether Democrats fold them into their impeachment narrative, or continue to stay laser-focused on the single abuse of power.

    But the two Ukraine scandals converge in one key respect. In order to justify the Biden ask to the public, Trump has been forced to lean hard on a pretty flimsy argument: That he was interested in getting dirt on Biden not for his own political gain, but simply because he couldn’t stand to see anybody get away with political corruption.

    This claim strained credulity before. Now we get the opportunity to see it tested in real time. Will Trump spend the days to come aggressively trying to get the Ukrainian government to get to the bottom of alleged Giuliani-related grift? We wouldn’t bet the milk money on it.

    Ted Cruz Weighs In on the NBA Saga

    Long heralded by progressives for its social stances and commitment to player empowerment, the NBA has quickly shed its status as the “woke” sports league after its shameless attempts to appease authoritarian thugs in China.

    After Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, the NBA went into overdrive mitigating the fallout with the Chinese Communist Party to protect what has ballooned into a $4 billion market for the league. Chief communications officer Mike Bass issued an embarrassing statement, requiring Commissioner Adam Silver to clean it up a few days later. A Rockets employee shut down a CNN reporter who asked superstar James Harden if, after this week, he had new reservations about speaking his mind freely. (The NBA later apologized). Capital One Arena employees confiscated signs during Wednesday’s Wizards game for being too “political” while the Star-Spangled Banner played in the background. Typically outspoken Warriors coach Steve Kerr, when asked about Chinese human rights abuses, offered an utterly asinine example of moral equivalency, avoiding criticism of the country that systematically imprisons ethnic minorities in order to castigate his own.

    [​IMG]Sam Hustis@SamHustis
    Steve Kerr on if he's ever been asked about human rights during his previous trips to China: "No. Nor has (America's) record of human rights abuses come up either... People in China didn't ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall." [​IMG]
    October 11th 2019

    1,443 Retweets4,563 Likes

    But the NBA isn’t alone in pandering to these wannabe apparatchiks in Asia. Apple removed an app from its App Store that helped protesters in Hong Kong monitor police activity after the CCP-run newspaper People’s Daily called the app’s approval an “unwise and reckless decision.” Nike pulled all Rockets memorabilia from at least five stores in China. Activision Blizzard, a video game company, suspended a professional gamer and revoked his earnings after he shouted “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time” on a livestream.

    The episodes raise serious questions about the role American corporations have in promoting democratic values and human rights as they expand into global markets. In August, the Business Roundtable—a trade association representing CEOs of the largest companies in the country—updated for the first time since 1997 what it believes to be the purpose of a corporation. In addition to simply creating shareholder value, BRT members committed to “dealing fairly and ethically with our suppliers” and “supporting the communities in which we work.” Apple CEO Tim Cook was a signatory.

    Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been beating this drum on China for years, tells The Dispatch:

    American companies should not be willing instruments of the Chinese Communist Party. When they act that way, they set an unfortunate and dangerous precedent of kowtowing to a communist regime with an appalling human rights record and brutally oppressive policies trampling on free speech and free expression. The N.B.A., Nike, and Apple should know that when they do business in China there are at a minimum enormous reputational risks entailed and when they bend to the will of China at the expense of free speech and free expression, they import the regime’s repressive policies to the United States and the rest of the world.

    Cruz—joined by a bipartisan group of lawmakers including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mike Gallagher, Ron Wyden, and Ben Sasse—signed a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver earlier this week criticizing the league’s handling of Morey’s tweet. “It’s not unreasonable,” the group wrote, “to expect American companies to put our fundamental democratic rights ahead of profit The very rights that have fostered their success and our nation’s wealth.”

    To most American politicians, standing up to China’s authoritarian practices is like facing an 89 mile per hour fastball from Clayton Kershaw in the NLDS. For Donald Trump, it’s a little trickier to hit. The president said Wednesday the league has to “work out their own situation,” and on a June call with Chinese President Xi Jinping he allegedly pledged to “remain quiet on Hong Kong protests as trade talks progressed” (and not the kind involving James Harden). He also tweeted congratulations on the 70th anniversary of communist Chinese rule.

    Why Has China Been So Pissed?

    Protesters in Hong Kong have been taking to the streets for months; at first over a Chinese extradition bill that would have limited Hong Kong’s judicial sovereignty, and subsequently in response to the violent crackdown against the initial demonstrators. What many Westerners see as an admirable fight for democratic norms, the Communist Party of China—and in turn the Chinese people whose information diet is limited to what the CCP wants them to know—views as a dangerous group of rioters, propped up by foreign adversaries, pushing a separatist movement.

    So when Morey tweeted his support for these pro-democracy dissidents, what the Chinese saw was a direct affront from the top executive of their favorite team—the one that drafted the Shanghai-born Yao Ming first overall in 2002.

    There are signs, however, that China is changing its strategy. The New York Times reported early Friday morning that the government was moving to tamp down protests of the NBA they’d previously been whipping up for days: “Editors at state news outlets have told reporters to avoid emphasizing the N.B.A. issue for fear that it might become overheated, according to interviews with three journalists on Thursday.”

    What Else We’re Reading/Watching

    • Former commander of U.S. Central Command General Joseph Votel and counter-terrorism fellow at the Middle East Institute Elizabeth Dent highlight the danger of abandoning our Kurdish partners in a piece in The Atlantic.

    • Toni Fitzgerald tells the story of Julia Sand, a 19th-century Manhattan woman who changed the course of Chester A. Arthur’s presidency by sending him a series of 23 letters “imploring him to be a better man.” Kim Jong-un, we see what you’re up to.

    • John McCormack has an excellent profile of senator, Uber driver, and Runza vendor Ben Sasse over at National Review. The Nebraskan was 67 minutes late to the interview, but he brought beer.
    Presented With No Comment

    [​IMG]Dan Diamond@ddiamond
    KAMALA HARRIS: My pronouns are she, her and hers. CHRIS CUOMO: Mine, too. HARRIS: Alright. [​IMG]
    October 11th 2019

    708 Retweets3,148 Likes

    Toeing The Company Line

    A note from our fearless editor-in-chief, Jonah Goldberg:

    “Seeking and blundering are good,” the German man of letters, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “For it is only by seeking and blundering we learn.” Goethe, if web sources are to be believed, was full of wise and pithy insights that seem relevant to our endeavor here at The Dispatch. For instance, Goethe observed, “To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.”

    We are trying to do exactly that with The Dispatch, to provide something we think the world should want, even if acting on it proves quite difficult. Goethe warned that the “things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” And here we disagree with the sage of Frankfurt, the wiseman of Weimar. We believe in sweating the small stuff, because we don’t think it’s really small. Whether it’s grammar and spelling or facts and figures, we want to get things right every single time. We understand that’s an impossible ideal. Still, when we fall short, we think it’s vital to be honest and transparent with our members about it.

    Which brings us back to Herr Goethe. While he apparently did say, “There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity,” he did not in fact say “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid,” a quote we misattributed to him in our introductory post. That was Basil King, the largely forgotten Canadian writer. On the Internet, the quote is widely (mis)attributed to Goethe—almost surely because of the film “Almost Famous.” We regret the error and we promise that as we get our sea-legs we will be more diligent in rooting out this sort of thing. After all, as Abraham Lincoln famously said in his first, and only, televised debate with Stephen Douglas, not everything on the Internet is to be believed.

    Let Us Know

    Which of the below is not a company owned by Giuliani clients Lev Parnas or Igor Fruman? We promise, two of them are real.

    • Fraud Guarantee

    • Crime Doers, Inc.

    • Mafia Rave
    Answer: Crime Doers, Inc.
     
  9. ABM

    ABM Happily Married In Music City, USA!

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    The Morning Dispatch: Quid Pro Quo, or No?
    Plus: The Doral delusion, a liberated libertarian, and Hillary gets hokey.
    Oct 21 Public post

    Good morning, and happy Monday. The resident Bears fan on staff is starting to think Mitch Trubisky might not be the answer. (The resident Packers fan points out that the Bears drafted Trubisky before Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.)

    Is There a Quid Pro Quo to Get Over?

    Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged in a press conference last Thursday that aid to Ukraine was withheld, in part, due to Trump’s interest in “corruption related to the DNC server.” When ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked him directly if what he was describing was the quid pro quo the White House had long denied, Mulvaney said it was. This kind of thing happens “all the time with foreign policy,” Mulvaney argued. “I have news for everybody: Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.”

    But the shift from “no quid pro quo” to “hell yeah, quid pro quo” didn’t last long. Almost immediately, Trump’s external legal team and officials from the Department of Justice distanced themselves from Mulvaney admission. Trump truckler Sean Hannity lashed out at Mulvaney on his radio show. “What is Mulvaney even talking about? I just think he’s dumb, I really do,” Hannity said. “I don’t even think he knows what he’s talking about.”

    Mulvaney isn’t dumb. He is without question one of the smartest people working in the White House. The bigger problem for Hannity’s argument: Mulvaney spoke with great authority on these issues because he wasn’t merely relaying hearsay or characterizing what others claimed; as he made clear, he was describing his own involvement in withholding the aid and characterizing his own conversations with the president and other top officials.

    Nonetheless, Mulvaney tried to “clarify” his admission by claiming he hadn’t said what we’d all heard, blaming the “media” for misconstruing his comments. “Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election,” he said in a mop-up statement later in the day on Thursday. He tried to defend his new position with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. You can watch the whole interview here, but the exchange below gives you a sense of how it went:

    WALLACE: Here's my first question. Why did you say that in that briefing that President Trump had ordered a quid pro quo, that investigating the Democrats, that aid to Ukraine depended on investigating the Democrats? Why did you say that?

    MULVANEY: Again, that's not what I said. That's what people said I said.

    Top officials close to the president (and reportedly the president himself) clearly wish Mulvaney had not admitted what he did on Thursday, and have fought to keep “no quid pro quo” as the official line.

    But the day after Mulvaney’s presser and subsequent walkback, the Trump campaign launched a line of “Get Over It” T-shirts appearing to embrace and highlight Mulvaney’s initial argument rather than the line we saw on Sunday. A press release from the campaign said the “Get Over It” slogan “represents a call for Washington politicians to put aside political theater and false accusations and get back to work for the people of the United States.” When asked for comment on the potential discrepancy, the campaign told The Dispatch:

    There was no quid pro quo and President Trump has done nothing wrong. Democrats have been fixated on impeaching the President since before he took office. They should get over it and get back to work for the people of the United States.

    So while the “Get Over It” T-shirt may have been inspired by Mulvaney’s comments, the campaign contends its use of the slogan does not confirm the chief of staff’s original intent.

    Poor Mulvaney

    If that wasn’t enough, Mulvaney also had to answer to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday about another scandal of the president’s creation, and the original reason for Thursday’s press conference: the selection of Trump’s own Doral resort as the location for next year’s G-7 Summit, a move that was followed by a hasty reversal from the president on Saturday night.

    Pressed by Wallace on why the Trump caved to pressure—which had mounted not just from Democrats and the media, as Trump claimed, but Republicans as well—Mulvaney said the White House was “surprised at the level of pushback” the decision generated, but also that “it's the right decision to change.” If it truly is the right decision to change venues, it follows that it was the wrong decision to try and host the summit there in the first place.

    In a more candid moment, Mulvaney also acknowledged his week could have been a lot better had Trump not tried to sneak such an obvious ethics violation by the American people: “It's not lost on me that if we made the decision on Thursday, we wouldn't have had the press conference on Thursday regarding -- regarding everything else.”

    ‘I Wouldn’t Rule Anything Out’

    When Michigan congressman Justin Amash abruptly left the Republican Party earlier this year, many observers wondered whether he was harboring higher aspirations than the House of Representatives.

    Amash’s message Sunday to those observers: Keep wondering!

    Asked by Chuck Todd if he would commit to defending his House seat, or whether he might seek a seat in the Senate or—gasp!—the Libertarian presidential nomination, Amash demurred. “No, I wouldn’t say 100% of anything. I’m running for Congress, but I keep things open and I wouldn’t rule anything out.”

    The prospect of a long-shot Amash candidacy is interesting for a couple of reasons. He could provide a place for non-Trumpy conservatives and small-government independents to park their votes in a race that featured, say, Trump and a far-left Democrat like Elizabeth Warren. More consequentially, perhaps, would be his potential impact in his home state of Michigan, a state that is crucial to Trump’s electoral prospects. Trump has already drawn a motley trio of GOP primary challengers: former Reps. Mark Sanford and Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld. Their conservative bona fides vary: Walsh was formerly a bomb-throwing back-bencher in Congress, Sanford is a fiscal hawk with roots in the Tea Party, and Weld is a genteel New England liberal Republican.

    But not even Sanford stacks up to Amash when it comes to his advocacy for limited government. Amash was elected to the House in 2010 as a Tea Party Republican, and continued to buck the party regularly on legislation that expanded the size and scope of the federal government—particularly with respect to the national debt and government surveillance—long after many of his Freedom Caucus peers fell in line. More recently, he’s enjoyed a strange new respect on the left, given his unabashed willingness to criticize the president: This spring, he became the first (then-)Republican to say Trump’s actions met the threshold for impeachment following the release of Robert Mueller’s report.

    Amash hasn’t completed the transformation by simply recasting himself as a centrist: He’s the same wonky libertarian he’s been all along. This alone makes him an interesting guy to watch.

    The Week Ahead: Syria

    Facing open GOP revolt over his decision to allow Turkey to invade Kurdish lands in northern Syria, President Trump called an audible last week, sending Vice President Mike Pence on a last-second trip to Ankara to try to broker a peace agreement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    It didn’t go well. Pence entered negotiations with a radically weaker hand than the U.S. had held mere weeks before: Turkey, after all, had already made the most of Trump’s unexpected green light, seizing miles and miles of Syrian land, displacing tens of thousands of Kurds as they advanced. Despite Trump’s dire threats to destroy the Turkish economy, Pence agreed to lift U.S. sanctions against Turkey and to require the remaining Kurdish forces to withdraw from the territory seized from them. In short, Turkey got everything it wanted, making only a single “concession”: a five-day cease-fire that would allow the remaining Kurds to withdraw from their own land without further bloodshed.

    But President Trump isn’t one to be deterred by bad news. And so he spent the weekend behaving as though Pence had secured a perfect victory: He bragged repeatedly about the deal on Twitter, saying that it had saved “thousands and thousands of lives” (and, bizarrely, that America had “secured the oil”). Over the weekend, in keeping with Trump’s “mission accomplished” rhetoric, U.S. personnel began withdrawing from Syria. (Not to come home, however—troops previously stationed in Syria are now being deployed to Iraq.) The message couldn’t be clearer: It is the position of the United States that the Turkish incursion into Syria, though arguably regrettable, has been brought to a satisfyingly peaceful conclusion.

    There’s only one problem: The already-shaky cease-fire ends Tuesday evening, and it’s far from clear the Kurds will have retreated to Erdogan’s satisfaction by that time. The Turkish leader has made his intentions very clear if the Kurds don’t: “We will start where we left off and continue to crush the terrorists’ heads,” he said during a television address Saturday.

    If things go that way—and there’s no reason yet to believe they won’t—Trump will find himself more stranded on Syria than he was before. The Pence visit was a Hail Mary pass. What do you do after declaring it a major victory if things end up as bad as they ever were—or worse?

    Adding to the Syria Protests: Petraeus

    Domestic critics of the Syria withdrawal are growing louder and more numerous. The latest prominent voice to decry the move: retired Gen. David Petraeus, who told CNN Sunday that America had abandoned the Kurds without benefiting strategically.

    “This does not end an endless war,” Petraeus said. “It probably prolongs it because this gives ISIS an opportunity for a resurgence.”

    What Else We’re Reading/Watching

    • McKay Coppins has had the ear of Mitt Romney dating back to his days as a candidate for president. Coppins checks in with Romney in a new piece for The Atlantic and finds a senator “unconstrained by consultants, unconcerned about reelection,” and “thinking about things such as legacy, and inheritance, and the grand sweep of history.” Romney is looking to lay the foundation for a Republican Party post-Trump, but will he vote next month to expedite that reality?

    • The other losing presidential nominee of this decade also made some news over the weekend, as Hillary Clinton decided to go on a podcast and accuse current Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard, without evidence, of being “groomed” by Russia. Read Tom Nichols on why this was a mistake.
    Presented Without Comment

    [​IMG]Hillary Clinton@HillaryClinton
    Found in the archives... [​IMG]
    October 20th 2019

    34,191 Retweets160,824 Likes

    (Okay, presented with one tiny comment: Maybe Kamala Harris should be focused on deleting a different 2016 presidential nominee’s Twitter account.)

    (Okay, one more comment: Even if you can’t be POTUS, you can still be a poster.)

    Pop Culture Recommendation

    Parasite, the latest film from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, might just be the movie of the year. The picture tracks two families—the down-on-their-luck Kims and the new-money Parks—as their fates become increasingly intertwined and identifying the protagonist becomes increasingly complicated. If you don’t take our word for it, it won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and has a 99 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. To avoid spoilers, we advise against reading any more about the movie than this. Just go see it.

    Something Fun

    In the aforementioned McKay Coppins piece, Romney admits to having a secret Twitter account he uses to follow along the political conversation. Less than 12 hours later, Slate’s Ashley Feinberg published a piece saying that she’d found it. Three hours after that, Romney confirmed that the account, registered under the name Pierre Delecto, was his.

    The account is now private, so be sure to read Feinberg’s full piece for a glimpse into what the senator was up to on the interwebs, including liking a few tweets from our very own David French.

    Toeing The Company Line

    • Another G-File was birthed into the universe on Friday afternoon, and if you haven’t read it yet, be sure to add it to the queue. Jonah takes a look at the relationship between power and money—and how both corrupt—while providing an explanation of the difference between monarchy and democracy to government officials who really shouldn’t need one.
    Let Us Know

    Which celebrity burner Twitter account made for the best story?

    • Kevin Durant (Link)

    • Mitt Romney (Link)

    • Bryan Colangelo (Link)

    • James Comey (Link, also discovered by Ashley Feinberg)
    Reporting by Declan Garvey, Andrew Egger, and Steve Hayes.

    Answer to Friday’s Let Us Know:

    Which defense of Trump using the presidency to boost business at his private company is the most patriotic?

    • “Show me where there’s a violation of law. I’m not sure that there is, not that I’m aware of.” Mike Rounds

    • “It may seem careless politically, but on the other hand there’s tremendous integrity in his boldness and his transparency.” Kevin Cramer

    • “Anything that draws a major event like that to Florida is not something I would discourage.” Marco Rubio

    • “This was by far and away the best choice.” Mick Mulvaney
     
  10. julius

    julius Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator

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  11. ABM

    ABM Happily Married In Music City, USA!

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    LICYWHRO
     
  12. barfo

    barfo commie pinko... now with added syphilis! Staff Member Global Moderator

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    ITLRQTTNRSMWUOUHDSRSTIANWOTCCBSUBTTNALTD

    barfo
     
  13. andalusian

    andalusian Season - Restarted

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    Hubert Blaine Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff Sr.
     
  14. ABM

    ABM Happily Married In Music City, USA!

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    You really feel that way? Then screw you!
     
  15. julius

    julius Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator

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    Look, I can't yell who has real oranges?
     
    andalusian and riverman like this.
  16. riverman

    riverman Writing Team

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    When y'all start talking in tongues I keep an eye out for swamp snakes!
     
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  17. barfo

    barfo commie pinko... now with added syphilis! Staff Member Global Moderator

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    I guess I need to remember to use green font.

    barfo
     
  18. TorturedBlazerFan

    TorturedBlazerFan Well-Known Member

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    It's just the lights.
     
  19. ABM

    ABM Happily Married In Music City, USA!

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    Me, too... :smiley-hug:
     
  20. CupWizier

    CupWizier Well-Known Member

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    Testimony from Taylor yesterday doesn't look good for your boy and now we have on the record trump lying about McConnell telling him his call to Ukraine was innocent and perfect. Things just keep on unraveling no matter how many lies and spins trump and his supporters can put forth.
     

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