Australia, Mexico and the Hysteria Cycle

So yesterday, the internet erupted with claims that Donald Trump had threatened to invade Mexico and had a testy phone call with the Prime Minister of Australia. I tweeted a little bit about but was a bit skeptical. But I did keep my policy on blogging about Trump-related news, which is this:

I will not blog about anything bad Trump supposedly does until it is confirmed, either by audio, video or in writing. I do this for my own sanity, if not for the sake of the debate.

To give you an example, I tweeted and blogged very quickly about last weekend’s airport debacle because it was obviously real. People were being detained and sent back, an EO had gone out, Whitehouse spokesmen had gone on record that it applied to green card holders. But I didn’t blog about rumors about an anti-LGBT EO that was supposedly on the way because it was all anonymous sourcing.

Now it turns out that the Australia phone call was a bit overblown. Trump is upset about the deal to send 1250 refugees here. But we have no idea how often world leaders get into these sort of tiffs and the Australian PM downplayed it. Trump took to Twitter to complain and it does appear he lashed out at the PM in some fashion. So it’s a bit concerning, but not exactly the start of a war. Meanwhile, Mexican and US authorities have denied that the phone call was confrontational and the transcript indicates that his “threat” to send troops down there was more of light-hearted joke and both sides saw it as such.

This is becoming a very big problem in the Trump Era. Things have moved very fast for the last two weeks. And, unfortunately, there has developed a tendency for the entire internet to jump at shadows. Garbage stories flourish with thousands of retweets and posts. The corrections are buried. The opposition is losing their damned minds, freaking out over everything Trump supposedly does only to find out later that at least half of it was fake news.

There are now dozens of Twitter accounts claiming to be “rogue” accounts inside NASA, the Parks Service and even the White House itself. There is zero evidence that these accounts are anything but trolls. In fact, one Tweeter contends that the spelling and diction indicate they are being run out of Russia (and Trump thought Putin was his friend). And yet these unsourced unreliable accounts have thousands of followers and every time they tweet something that confirms liberal biases, they get tens of thousands of retweets. Anonymous sourcing is taken as gospel. Rumors become headline news. It’s insane. It’s exhausting. It’s so discrediting that many people think it’s Trump’s team doing it to make the media look unreliable.

I realize that Trump scares a lot of people (including me). But if you turn the volume up to 11 on every whisper of malfeasance, you will exhaust yourself and everyone else. People who support Trump or are in the middle or are not political junkies will tune out. It’s not like there’s a shortage of real stuff to get mad about.

During the Obama years, I cautioned against screaming over everything he did. The same goes double for Trump. Focus on the bad stuff that’s real, not rumors. Support him when he does something right. Don’t burn your energy up and exhaust the nation chasing phantoms.

41 comments:

  1. West Virginia Rebel

    OK, I admit it-I did post about this on my own blog but mostly because I was thinking about the historical parallels and the surreal nature of it all.

    Speaking of stuff that causes hysteria:

    http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2017/02/01/navy-special-forces-flew-trump-flag-convoy/97369810/

    Meanwhile, Trump is threatening Bezerkeley over their funding due to the anti-Milo “free speech” riot while lefties are openly calling for a military dictatorship to “stop” him. Panic time, indeed.

     

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  2. Hal_10000 *

    Another hysteria today: TRUMP RENAMED BLACK HISTORY MONTH AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH.  Followed hours later by: “oh, no wait. Obama did that too.”

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  3. InsipiD

    You have to know it’s fake news when the word “unprecedented” comes out.

    Trump may get things wrong.  Everybody does.  That said, he’s solidly in the more good than bad column right now for me, and I was just short of being anybody but Trump in 2016.

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  4. Hal_10000 *

    Oh, and yet another media freakout. REPUBLICANS REPEAL LAW BANNING GUNS FROM MENTALLY ILL!  Except that this repeal was supported by massive coalition of groups, including the ACLU, who thought it not only took guns away from disabled people w/o due process but encouraged them not to seek help for any mental health issues.

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  5. stogy

    Trump may get things wrong.  Everybody does.  That said, he’s solidly in the more good than bad column right now for me,

    Just as well you aren’t a Navy seal pinned down by heavy fire on a botched raid in Yemen, after being sent into a firefight based on faulty and inadequate intelligence, then hey? At least you’d know that the President was right there, in the situation room, watching a lot of heavy shit go down… or not.

    Regardless of whether you or I think the raid was based on reasonable risks and benefits, it clear that some fellow servicemen/women did not, and went out of their way to brief the media on Trump’s responsibility for the raid. Sean Spicer has so badly blown his credibility with the media that most members of the press don’t put much stead in what he says, so if he declares the raid a success and announces that significant intelligence materials were obtained, then…. well, who knows? And Donald Trump wasn’t even in the situation room at the time, but gave authorization over dinner?

    I am guessing that would be one for um….. your bad column…. If it had been Obama (and yes, Obama did screw up, but even this was too bad a setup for his approval), Alex would have calling for impeachment again by now.

     

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  6. blameme

    My understanding Stogy is that this raid was approved by the Obama administration back in November and then again before the inauguration. The wait for so long was due to weather and moonlight conditions. So apparently, this bad call spanned two administrations. I could be wrong, but that is my understanding.

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  7. blameme

    And now it looks like what I posted may not be true. Some are saying it was started but not approved by Obama, others are saying it was approved. Regardless it was a cluster. I don’t think, sadly, we will ever get a clear answer from any leaders from now on as to what happens regarding anything. It’s a sad state of affairs.

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  8. richtaylor365

    So, it has come to this. The Trump Derangement Syndrome is so strong only 2 weeks in (stronger than anything ever witnessed by the other side in 8 years of Obama) that Trump is now being criticized for OK’ing a mission planned while Obama was in office, then not being in the situation room, a mission mind you only tasked for intel gathering, not any kill or capture or any high stakes targets, just intel gathering only, yet he wasn’t in the situation room so shame on him. You guys just crack me up. And how honest of your link, stogy, to include a picture of Obama in the situation room on the night of getting OBL, like this intel gathering routine mission was anything similar, nope, no TDS there. I guess Obama was in the situation room during the thousands of raids and mission carried out on his watch, gee, when did he ever have time for golf? Doesn’t matter that Trump was getting live action updates, it only matters where his kyster was parked while he was getting those updates. Yep, everything is Trump’s fault, he planned the mission, gave all the orders, flew the helicopter in and fired all those rounds that killed, what 300 innocent civilians? Not 300? give it a day or 2, it will be.

    What went wrong was that the second they touched down they were taking intense enemy fire from all sides. Yeah, in combat, situations are  fluid and sometimes thing go to shit real quick, but all on Trump, for sure.

    Of course no credit for him flying to Dover un announced to meet the body of that fallen SEAL, he should have been in the situation room. With him physically there I’m sure the mission would have been a screaming success.

     

    You and CM have shark jumping down to a fine science. I get that your girl lost, the most qualified candidate in the history of history losing to a scurrilous morally bankrupt con man, no doubt the disappointment and shock is overwhelming, maybe a little property destruction might help, no riots over “not my president” breaking out in your area?

    How about we save you some time, everything is Trump’s fault, everything. A terrorist attack at the louvre? All on Trump (according to CM, everything he does emboldens the terrorists and helps their recruiting). Crybaby leftest rioters destroy the Berkeley campus? All on Trump, Milo is a Trump supporter after all. Iran conducts ballistic missile tests in defiance of UN resolution 2231? Trump again, he did say the Iran nuclear deal sucked, what else could they do? We’ll stipulate that anything bad happens in the world, it will be Trump’s fault. And if by chance we get good news anywhere, well, it has to be attributed to the wise governance of the Obama administration.

     

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  9. Iconoclast

    Just to pile on a bit — from Vox:

    There’s no evidence the botched Yemen raid was Trump’s fault

    While the idea of the bumbling neophyte president carelessly ordering a doomed military raid over appetizers may jibe with many people’s preexisting fears about Trump, the bottom line is that if the operations plan for the raid was really that flawed, then the blame for the Yemen raid lies primarily at the feet of the nation’s military planners, not the new commander in chief.

    If it wasn’t a mature enough plan — if the military planners didn’t have “sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations,” as one of the unnamed military officials later told Reuters — then they shouldn’t have brought it to Trump to approve in the first place.

    Trump may be a brash, inexperienced, volatile president with some seriously dangerous ideas about foreign policy and national security, but that doesn’t mean everything is his fault — no matter how much some may want it to be.

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  10. richtaylor365

    Blameme, you were right the first time;

    Indeed, a more in-depth New York Times report shows that the operation was actually planned during the Obama administration but held over to Trump because the need for a dark night to minimize enemy visibility: President Barack Obama’s national security aides had reviewed the plans for a risky attack on a small, heavily guarded brick home of a senior Qaeda collaborator in a mountainous village in a remote part of central Yemen. But Mr. Obama did not act because the Pentagon wanted to launch the attack on a moonless night and the next one would come after his term had ended.

     

     

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  11. stogy

    Trump may be a brash, inexperienced, volatile president with some seriously dangerous ideas about foreign policy and national security, but that doesn’t mean everything is his fault — no matter how much some may want it to be.

    I also put this down to inexperience, rather than blaming the Trump administration directly. The Obama administration appears to have asked for a range of options on Yemen but elected not to take them further, as the election had already taken place, and then, as you said, they needed a moonless night. The new administration anxious for an early win, pushed ahead with it a little too quickly, when the smart thing to do would have been to hold off and build up further intelligence. They flew drones low over the compound from last week, tipping off the locals, and it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the raid was most likely to come at the new moon.The drop site selected was poor, and  seals appear to have been aware that the mission had been compromised before they landed, which means that it might have been aborted had there been a stronger presence in the situation room. There is no suggestion that the Navy seals acted improperly in the deaths of civilians, and the blame for that rests largely with the local fighters.

    Rather than openly, frothing at the mouth ranting about this, I am just really hoping that Trump learns from it: discussions on such raids are not conducted with general policy advisors over a WH dinner, that NSC adopt a cautionary principle to such raids, and that all necessary measures are taken to ensure the lives of civilians – three things that did not happen in this raid.

    And again, Sean Spicer said that important intelligence was gained. I agree that I am unlikely to ever know the truth of this. But the fact that he can’t get basic facts right, pronounce foreign leaders names, and has been caught out misleading the press on numerous issues leading up to this does not inspire confidence now that he requires us to believe him on something important.

    Regardless, an independent inquiry is in order, given the high number of civilian deaths and uncertain value of the raid.

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  12. blameme

    Rich, I thought I was but then I’ve have seen some tweets from those involved with the previous administration saying that they had no involvement. I’d err on the side they were covering their ass though and won’t be called on it. Plus Obama blamed Bush for nearly all 8 years, I figure Trump should get at least 2-3 weeks to blame Obama.

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  13. Hal_10000 *

    Yeah, I held back on commenting on the Yemen raid because everyone was jumping on it and seemed very smug.  Shit happens in war.  Even in the bin Laden raid, we had a helicopter destroyed.

    Another hysteria today.  Some anonymous source told some newspaper that Trump like women to dress “like women” and everyone’s screaming “sexism!”

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  14. stogy

    Of course no credit for him flying to Dover un announced to meet the body of that fallen SEAL, he should have been in the situation room. With him physically there I’m sure the mission would have been a screaming success.

    It was the right thing to do. He gets the credit for that.

    Iran conducts ballistic missile tests in defiance of UN resolution 2231?

    Actually, it UN resolution only “calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology” so they are in breach of the spirit of resolution, but not the letter.

    Regardless, imposing sanctions on Iran over this is a reasonable course of action. There isn’t much else that the US can do given Iran’s close relationship with the Kremlin, and their current role in Syria (which btw, includes forced ethnic cleansing of Sunni areas and repopulation with Shias from other parts of Syria and Iraq).

    I am also really happy with the WH statement overnight on West Bank settlements, saying that additional settlements are not helpful to the peace process.

    I also said that I conditionally support Gorsuch’s nomination for the SC.

    How about we save you some time, everything is Trump’s fault, everything.

    At the moment there are a few things in the good column, but more in the bad column. Most of this is because I see few people in the current team who are capable of planning and implementing evidence-based policy (yesterday’s reference to the Bowling Green Massacre, DeVos’ having no understanding of ‘equal accountability’ and many other examples). And a lot of deflection and blaming of others. The tiff with Turnbull was overblown, but much of that originated directly from the WH, not from outside.

    Again, this is not better government.

     

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  15. richtaylor365

    I also put this down to inexperience, rather than blaming the Trump administration directly.

    Inexperience on who, the military team that planned the mission in the first place? That same military team that had been in place all through Obama’s second term? From my link;

    While the president is often the ultimate approval authority for raids in sovereign countries, he does not design or plan the operation. Do you really want any modern American president not named Dwight Eisenhower checking, say, to make sure that the Navy has tasked a sufficient Super Hornets for support? More than fifteen years after 9/11, our military knows how to plan and carry out special ops missions, and a prudent president leaves the planning to military officials.

     The new administration anxious for an early win, pushed ahead with it a little too quickly, when the smart thing to do would have been to hold off and build up further intelligence.

    Evidence for any of that? Obviously you were not in the room when Trump was briefed on this. A mission months in the planning that Obama bought off on, just waiting for a moonless night, what other planning was needed?

    As for the mission being compromised, it was up to the military higher ups to weigh success given this new information, then abort if needed, that is not on Trump, who has zero expertise on military matters and must rely on the generals in the room.

     I am just really hoping that Trump learns from it:

    What lessons would you have him learn, that shit happens in war? Or would you like him to rely on his gut instincts alone and tune out any military advice on military matters?

    discussions on such raids are not conducted with general policy advisors over a WH dinner,

    Regarding that dinner;

    Oh, and it turns out that Trump approved the raid at a dinner attended not just by General Mattis, but also by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the vice president, and his national security adviser (a man who has enormous experience with special forces operations).

    I’d say he had it pretty well covered

    At the moment there are a few things in the good column, but more in the bad column.

    As a surprise to no one, I feel just the opposite, more good than bad. Yes, there has been some f*ck ups ( an unhealthy fixation towards inaugural numbers, unsupported claims of voter fraud, a ham fisted roll out of a poorly organized immigration policy, a juvenile resistance in abandoning his pugilistic nature in dealing with the  press-not smart enough to understand that is what underlings are for), but I expected a few rookie mistakes. The WSJ called it amateur hour, I agree, he needs to work his way into the job. That is why I wanted his cabinet confirmed without all the hissy fits by the dems. Funny, but no mention here of all the duplicity, the stalling tactics, not showing up for committee confirmation hearings, reminiscent of the dem Wisconsin legislators loading up in their Scoobie van to high tail it out of the state, in a lame attempt to avoid voting on a budget, douchebags, the lot of them.

    I’m happy to see you back, Rich. I wondered where you’d got to. :)

    I get tired of defending a guy I really never liked personally, so many character flaws, but it’s what we have. I think, once confirmed and in place, he will have smart people close by to save him from himself when he goes off the rails. A more savvy skilled principled conservative could accomplish so much, i’d settle for about one third of my wish list.

     

     

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  16. CM

    Lol @ Rich. Nice try but Trump should be judged on his own actions, not against the person he beat. And as your final paragraph in that ‘poor Donald’ rant – never have I claimed “everything is Trump’s fault, everything”. Never suggested “everything he does emboldens the terrorists and helps their recruiting”). And haven’t commented at all on any of the other examples. But hey, you be sure to come down on me hard if I complain about a private birthday party Melania throws, or something equally as pathetic.

    “We’ll stipulate that anything bad happens in the world, it will be Trump’s fault.” – sounds like what happened under Obama.

    “And if by chance we get good news anywhere, well, it has to be attributed to the wise governance of the Obama administration.” – you mean like how anything positive under Obama was “in spite if Obama”. I might be wrong but I can’t recall you or Alex giving Obama credit for a single thing.

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  17. CM

    Also Rich, even though you actively voted for him, doesn’t mean you’re obligated to defend him (and I forgot to point out that I’ve already credited him for dumping the TPPA, and I agreed that the Dems should pick their battles and confirm Gorsuch).
    Anyway, hope your tennis goes well.

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  18. stogy

    Evidence for any of that? Obviously you were not in the room when Trump was briefed on this. A mission months in the planning that Obama bought off on, just waiting for a moonless night, what other planning was needed?

    Actually, there is plenty of evidence. I don’t need to be in the room. In addition to the widely reported three unnamed defense personnel that said the the operation was poorly planned and that there was no emergency exit strategy and the had been no ground-level intelligence of the site, we have this:

    Mr. Trump’s new national security team, led by Mr. Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a retired general with experience in counterterrorism raids, has said that it wants to speed the decision-making when it comes to such strikes, delegating more power to lower-level officials so that the military may respond more quickly. Indeed, the Pentagon is drafting such plans to accelerate activities against the Qaeda branch in Yemen.

    Operations planned in haste, and executed without a recall option are likely to end in both greater civilian casualties and higher troop casualties.

    that is not on Trump, who has zero expertise on military matters and must rely on the generals in the room.

    He signs off on it, it’s ultimately his call.

    Regarding that dinner;

    Fuck that. If it was my son that had died, or parents of future servicemen going into action, I would have wanted the President and the NSC to be giving this their absolute uncommitted attention, not between “Can you pass the salt?” Whatever you think went down at that dinner, the message is bad for active servicepeople and their families.

    Really, fuck that!

    he will have smart people close by to save him from himself when he goes off the rails

    I could count the smart people on my left hand, and I could do that even if I was missing a couple of fingers. Most of the “team” are self-agrandizing ego-maniacs like the boss himself. Completely inexperienced and driven by ideology over evidence. We’re not heading in a good direction.

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  19. richtaylor365

     In addition to the widely reported three unnamed defense personnel that said the the operation was poorly planned and that there was no emergency exit strategy and the had been no ground-level intelligence of the site, we have this:

    Your link mentions nothing about 3 unnamed sources saying it was poorly planned, evidence please. Nor anything about an exit strategy, details.

    Operations planned in haste, and executed without a recall option are likely to end in both greater civilian casualties and higher troop casualties.

    Obviously, but you provided no evidence that this mission was “planned in haste” (Months in the planning, but you say that was in haste, OK) and that there was no exit strategy, does that make any sense to do? Are you really saying that missions like this have no mechanisms for aborting, really?

    He signs off on it, it’s ultimately his call.

    Of course, but tell me you get that whole dynamic of presidents relying on the experts, the military generals in the room for guidance on military matters.

     not between “Can you pass the salt?”

    Oh, I see now, its all a matter of geography with you.  So if those same people were in the situation room (lots of distractions in that place, ringing phones, noisy computer monitors, and if the president ever said ,”Janny, can we get some coffee in here please?”, the operation is blown) heaven forbid they brought some food in there and actually made it a working meal. Again, you were not there, you can flippantly dismiss the whole encounter as conversation over cocktails, like not enough thought went into this, but you have no factual basis for that position.

    I could count the smart people on my left hand

    You would rather he follow in Obama’s footsteps, hire tax cheats,9/11 truthers, white collar criminals, and academicians who never did an honest days work in their lives?

    We’re not heading in a good direction.

    We shall see.

     

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  20. AlexInCT

    I am loving the in depth analysis provided by our leftists here whose only expertise comes from whatever movies they have watched.

    Military operations are planned months in advance unless they are needed on the spot because some politician fucked things up (think Benghazi). Without the intense planning an preparation, operations are a risky business, likely to look very bad for the political class when things don’t go perfectly (again, think why we did nothing in Benghazi). Our military needs a serious cleanup of the top command, most of which are political appointees that the Obama admin. put in place so they could tell the military to fight the war they felt was the most existential and important one: AGW and the growth of the credentialed elite’s nanny state.

    Same applies to government. The major problem with the massive government bureaucracy is the fact that while we the voters elect democrats or republicans to office based on our preferences to lead, that is not the case with the vast majority of the members of the bureaucratic machine that comprises government. These inept know-it-alls are nothing but one massive inefficient, unaccountable, totally destructive & ineffective, unelected bunch of progressive assholes whose primary objective isn’t to serve the people of America, but to grow government and drive the progressive agenda while they are at it. The supposed opposition movement many of these incompetent and overpaid career paper-pushing government douchebags now claiming their insubordination and downright treasonous behavior towards Trump’s administration, want you to believe is their noble cause, is symptomatic of that disconnect.

    The only way to prevent the unlawful and downright fascist reaction from people that believe their allegiance isn’t to the American people, but the left and the democratic party, like we are clearly seeing now, is to drastically reduce the size of government and to destroy the PC culture that made it possible for government to be overrun by these lowlifes. And I remind all you assholes that are sure to reply to me about how noble this resistance is, that when all you douchebags believed Hillary was going to win, even the talk of behaving like the left is now was an act of subversion and a sign of fascist behavior. Now the real fascists are showing their colors.

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  21. stogy

    Your link mentions nothing about 3 unnamed sources saying it was poorly planned, evidence please. Nor anything about an exit strategy, details.

    True, but it was so widely reported that I didn’t think I needed to.Here’s the Reuters link.

    U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists.

    Sorry about the missing link :)

    Obviously, but you provided no evidence that this mission was “planned in haste”

    Let’s see….No eyes on the ground… low flying drones a week before the raid alerting the locals. Yeah, that’s a poorly planned raid. And if haste isn’t the excuse, then it’s actually worse. It suggests that the idea of signing off on missions at a lower level in the Pentagon is a really bad idea.

    Oh, I see now, its all a matter of geography with you.  So if those same people were in the situation room (lots of distractions in that place, ringing phones, noisy computer monitors, and if the president ever said ,”Janny, can we get some coffee in here please?”, the operation is blown) heaven forbid they brought some food in there and actually made it a working meal. 

    Yeah nah. Not acceptable. Sorry. You are actually telling me if it was your kid who died that you’d be comfortable with this? And even then – it sends a message that the WH doesn’t place sufficient importance on the lives of those it sends into combat. It looks bad. It looks like they don’t take the job seriously.

    You would rather he follow in Obama’s footsteps, hire tax cheats,9/11 truthers, white collar criminals, and academicians who never did an honest days work in their lives?

    No, not particularly. I already said I think the Obama administration was disappointing. I gave it a B- or a C. But as I keep saying, the “he did it too” defense is not a defense. It just shows that it’s still wrong.

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  22. stogy

    Military operations are planned months in advance unless they are needed on the spot because some politician fucked things up (think Benghazi). 

    No eyes on the ground. No idea of the number of opposition fighters. Dropped in the middle of a minefield surrounded by hostiles. No adequate exit strategy. A 50 minute firefight. One Navy Seal killed. As many as 30 civilians dead. Intelligence materials perhaps retrieved.

    According to Alex, that all went down exactly as planned.

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  23. AlexInCT

    No, not particularly. I already said I think the Obama administration was disappointing.

    Now that’s an understatement. These people made the Carter or Nixon years suddenly not look like they were so bad, and the sad thing is that they did this after they not only promised us the most ethical and honest administration ever, but swore they would make not just America better, but the globe. I bet you the idiots that gave him a Nobel prize wish they could take that all back. Just like the people that voted for him because he snowed so many into thinking he meant well and was just around the corner from getting things in order. Instead, we ended up with an administration that made Nixon’s illegal shit look amateurish, the ineptitude of the Carter admin look like it wasn’t so bad, and that imploded the leftist’s world order and the democratic party in the US, all after destabilizing the world and making it a far more dangerous and explosive place than the worst years of the Cold War.

    I gave it a B- or a C

    Heh! The only reason I give it an F is because there isn’t anything lower.

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  24. richtaylor365

    Nice try but Trump should be judged on his own actions

    Gee, you read that off the back of a cereal box? I think this falls under the category of ,”thanks again, Captain Obvious”. Who on earth ever said he shouldn’t be?

    I might be wrong

    Might be? The understatement of the decade, kinda like water is wet.

    but I can’t recall you or Alex giving Obama credit for a single thing.

    Again, where you always go off the rails is not being able to figure out who said what? I speak for no one but myself, why is that concept so difficult for you?

    As to me not ever giving credit to Obama for anything. First off, I am starting from the premise the Obama was the worst president in the absolute history of presidents, but I have mentioned a few things here, I realize your problem with remembering things. Interestingly I found something just the other day that he signed off on that I approve. Investing in renewable energy, repealing don’t ask/don’t tell, stem cell research, just a few things he did that I agreed with and have mentioned in the past. I even had a few (operative word “few”) good things to say about the concept of Obamacare, initially, before we found out what was actually in it and the manner in which it was passed, rammed down our throats in the dead of night without a single Republican vote and before anyone actually read it. Like immigration, healthcare needed to be looked at and fixed.

     

     

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  25. AlexInCT

    According to Alex, that all went down exactly as planned.

    As I predicted: someone with no clue spouting bullshit.

    What I said, was that operations are planned months in advance, meaning the order to do them came from Obama in this case. Anyone familiar with military operations and warfare also knows that the best laid plans also go out the window at the first contact with the enemy. The change for this happening goes up with the ineptitude of the people in charge, bringing me back to my comment that our top military brass after 8 years of Obama has been compromised, as the promotion schedule mostly pushed the PC agenda, loyalty to the Obama admin, and a focus on nonsense like making the military friendly to the progressive’s agenda instead of fighting wars (and then despite Obama starting a ton of them and making Boosh look like a piker).

    Keep it coming Stogy. Please. I love me some stupid talking about shit they have no understanding of.

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  26. AlexInCT

    but I can’t recall you or Alex giving Obama credit for a single thing.

    Of course you didn’t. It could have been bolded and underlined, and you would have ignored it. I can’t speak for Rich, but of the top of my head, there were quite a few things Obama did that I liked. I for one praised Obama on allowing the space race to go private instead of keeping that market locked for NASA. I also praised him for not letting the UN dictate what the US could or couldn’t do (like the left demanded Boosh do but then suddenly went quite on when Obama did it). Shit, I even praised him on the way he handled the corrupt Clintons.

    Now, I am certain none of these things registered with you, because to you they don’t count. After all, he was doing things the left didn’t approve off. You only consider it approval if it also is the dogmatic shit the left wants, and I feel no need to earn approval from the left by selling out on principles. You know, like when a republican does shit the left likes and then gets treated as a statesmen for it.

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  27. richtaylor365

    Here’s the Reuters link.

    And my link addressing that;

    Journalists spread the Reuters report far and wide, but anyone with the slightest experience in complex special operations missions should have been instantly skeptical. The anonymous attacks on Trump look a lot more like ass-covering than whistle-blowing. Absent truly extraordinary circumstances not outlined in the report, these officials seem to be relying on reporters’ ignorance and willingness to believe anything about Trump to cover to deflect criticism of a dangerous operation that turned out to be even more dangerous than anticipated. That happens in war. 

    Let’s see….No eyes on the ground…

    Where are you getting this from, or are just just making shit up? Seriously, your dubious link mentions insufficient intelligence, ground SUPPORT, and inadequate backup preparations, what source are you using that verifies ,”No eyes on the ground?”

    No idea of the number of opposition fighters

    Now you are just being silly. This was an urban operation, how were they supposed to know the exact number of opposition fighters in the area?

    No adequate exit strategy

    More making shit up again? What source do you have to verify this?

    Yeah nah. Not acceptable. Sorry.

    So you are confirming that with you, it is all about geography. This dinner was in the White House, the situation room is in the White House, do you know what room this dinner was held? Was it in the situation room? How about just outside the situation room in the hall? How about a room where they could look over thier shoulder and see  the situation room, would that be OK? Obviously the next executive order should be ,”No food or drink allowed in the vicinity where important stuff is discussed”, that should do it.

    it sends a message that the WH doesn’t place sufficient importance on the lives of those it sends into combat. It looks bad. It looks like they don’t take the job seriously.

    Not to me, not to any rational person. You are saying that important stuff can only be discussed in certain rooms in the White House, how dopey is that?

    But as I keep saying, the “he did it too” defense is not a defense. 

    And who are you saying that to, since I have never used that as a defense? I have said from the beginning that I like Trump’s picks for his cabinet, not ,”His picks suck, but they don’t suck as bad as Obama’s”, which you keep suggesting I do say.

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  28. richtaylor365

    I will say this, knowing that the mission (thru an intercept) was compromised, the decision to proceed seems reckless on it’s face. This was a tricky mission to begin with, hence all the planning, urban setting, some serious questions have to asked and answered as to why, given the changed circumstances, this mission was not aborted mid flight. But again, to even suggest that the mission was given short shrift because food was served while it was discussed, or to blame Trump because he was not in the situation room at the time, just dopey.

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  29. stogy

    Where are you getting this from, or are just just making shit up? Seriously, your dubious link mentions insufficient intelligence, ground SUPPORT, and inadequate backup preparations, what source are you using that verifies ,”No eyes on the ground?”

    My “dubious” link was either Reuters or the NYT? It also said:

    One of the three U.S. officials said on-the-ground surveillance of the compound was “minimal, at best.”

    Now you are just being silly. This was an urban operation, how were they supposed to know the exact number of opposition fighters in the area?

    And back to the New York Times:

    But the mission’s casualties raise doubts about the months of detailed planning that went into the operation during the Obama administration and whether the right questions were raised before its approval. Typically, the president’s advisers lay out the risks, but Pentagon officials declined to characterize any discussions with Mr. Trump.
    A senior administration official said on Wednesday night that the Defense Department had conducted a legal review of the operation that Mr. Trump approved and that a Pentagon lawyer had signed off on it.

    And if the planning for this raid was sloppy, how will things be when the policy of letting junior staff take over preparations so they can speed things up?

    The dinner, by the way, was in the Residence:

    “Usually, a President goes down to the Situation Room and is presented with what they call a full package for the attack. There’s a legal assessment of the legal authorities under which they’re doing these,” David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times,told PBS.
    “There’s a risk assessment to the commandos who would be doing it. There is a risk assessment of what could happen to civilians who are in the area.”
    He added: “It looks like President Trump got briefed on it, by and large, at a dinner, not in the Situation Room, not with legal advisers around.”

    And that’s where Trump was throughout the raid as well, where he was kept up to date by senior advisers. Again, this is his right – he can be wherever he likes to make whatever decisions he likes.

    But as I said earlier, it doesn’t matter what I think. It matters what active service people think, and what their families think. If it appears that Trump is treating their lives in a cavalier fashion, then they are unlikely to believe he won’t send them into harm’s way without good intelligence and sufficient attention to the risks. The “optics” are bad. Planning and execution were sloppy. Following this, of course he had to go and meet the fallen seal’s body as it arrived back. It was the right thing to do.

    As I also said earlier, whether you blame him for the failed raid or not, I hope that the Trump team learns from this. This is not the end of the world. It’s a raid that went wrong. But if they press ahead with the plan to lower the bar for future missions, then it is unlikely to be the last one.

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  30. richtaylor365

    “minimal, at best.”

    What does that even mean? If the mission was a success (use any metric you like here) would the surveillance be characterized as adequate? Was it “minimal at best” only because lives were lost? And how many eyes is considered minimal? And no matter how you slice it, minimal is not the same thing as “No eyes” which is what you claimed, along with no exit strategy, un proven.

    But the mission’s casualties raise doubts about the months of detailed planning that went into the operation during the Obama administration and whether the right questions were raised before its approval. Typically, the president’s advisers lay out the risks, but Pentagon officials declined to characterize any discussions with Mr. Trump.
    A senior administration official said on Wednesday night that the Defense Department had conducted a legal review of the operation that Mr. Trump approved and that a Pentagon lawyer had signed off on it.

    And the purpose of posting this paragraph was what exactly? Who exactly was supposed to raise these questions, Trump? Again, you really want him making military decisions in place of the generals in the room? And TBH, this sounds like nothing more than Monday morning quarterbacking. You and all your “objective” links have no idea how much preparation went into this mission, which military personnel conceived and planned the mission, how much time was spent (and what questions were asked) in briefing the president, it’s all speculation. A mission that was green lighted by Obama (must have been a pretty good plan) but was ultimately OK’ed by Trump (that plan was insufficient and lacking, who would buy off on that?)

     And if the planning for this raid was sloppy

    You have not proven that it was sloppy, not at all. The evidence we do have says they spent months planning this mission.

    how will things be when the policy of letting junior staff take over preparations so they can speed things up?

    You provided no evidence that this mission was overseen by “junior staff”, to the contrary, it was planned my military personnel that Obama had confidence in, and no evidence whatsoever that it was rushed, again on the contrary, the simple fact that it did not proceed when finalized and OK’ed by Obama due to Pentagon requests that they wait until optimal lighting conditions existed, tells us that the military moved when they thought best and not any junior staff official.

    He added: “It looks like President Trump got briefed on it, by and large, at a dinner, not in the Situation Room, not with legal advisers around.”

    So the guy (author) that is slamming Trump (like you) for not being in the situation room during the raid is speculating by ,”it looks like” as to where he was briefed. Again, it’s all geography to you. There are many rooms in the White House, why does it matter which room he was briefed in?

    If it appears that Trump is treating their lives in a cavalier fashion

    It only “appears” that way to someone who already is biased against him. I was in the military, been around military and law enforcement folks my whole life, never knew anyone accept you who would place any relevance at all in what particular room the president was briefed in, would not matter one bit.

    The “optics” are bad

    Only to some one who would rip him for not being in the situation room during the raid, to those folks nothing he does will be right.

     But if they press ahead with the plan to lower the bar for future missions, then it is unlikely to be the last one.

    No doubt Generals Mattis, Flynn, and Kelly will be thrilled that you consider their input on future military missions as lowering the bar.

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  31. stogy

    What does that even mean? If the mission was a success (use any metric you like here) would the surveillance be characterized as adequate? Was it “minimal at best” only because lives were lost? 

    No, it means that the three military sources thought it was insufficient. I doesn’t matter what I think.

    And the purpose of posting this paragraph was what exactly?

    That the procedure for signing off on such missions was mishmash and haphazard? (do mishmash and haphazard mean the same thing? Regardless, it sounds better with two things here).

    You have not proven that it was sloppy, not at all. The evidence we do have says they spent months planning this mission.

    Up to 30 dead civilians and a dead navy seal, plus the three military sources do strongly suggest that the planning was sloppy. If implementation was sloppy, then that would suggest that planning was sloppy.

    You provided no evidence that this mission was overseen by “junior staff”, to the contrary, it was planned my military personnel that Obama had confidence in,

    I didn’t say it was planned by junior staff. I said if this is the mess now, then how much worse might it be when there are junior staff planning it?

    and no evidence whatsoever that it was rushed, again on the contrary, the simple fact that it did not proceed when finalized and OK’ed by Obama due to Pentagon requests that they wait until optimal lighting conditions existed

    No, you’re right. There is no evidence that it was rushed. But again, flying low drones over the drop zone giving away the coming raid suggests to me that from the initial go-ahead and the actual implementation there was only a few days.

    Again, it’s all geography to you. There are many rooms in the White House, why does it matter which room he was briefed in?

    The room doesn’t matter as much as perceptions about the context: dinner. A working dinner in the situation room is likely to be quite different from a round table sit-down with staff serving a meal, and only half the usual team there. Note what the paragraph I posted before actually said.

    It only “appears” that way to someone who already is biased against him. I was in the military, been around military and law enforcement folks my whole life, never knew anyone accept you who would place any relevance at all in what particular room the president was briefed in, would not matter one bit.

    I have family in the military. I know they would be unhappy. The fact that there are sources from within the military leaking details of the raid also suggests that there are others that see it that way.

    No doubt Generals Mattis, Flynn, and Kelly will be thrilled that you consider their input on future military missions as lowering the bar.

    Again it doesn’t matter what I think. This is a cock up. Mr Flynn might like to reconsider the plan to:

     speed the decision-making when it comes to such strikes, delegating more power to lower-level officials so that the military may respond more quickly. 

    Anyway, let’s see what the enquiry says, shall we?

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  32. stogy

    I am hearing disturbing things about the decision-making process within the WH in general.  People that have little or no experience are in meetings that they have no business being in, while those who should be there are excluded. This is all coming from the leakiest WH ever.

    The failure of the Muslim ban is a case in point – the ban is poorly designed and badly executed, and as has been repeatedly pointed out, is quite possibly unconstitutional (something that SCOTUS is now likely to determine).  There have been late night war councils between senior appointees (including Mathis and Kelly) attacking Bannon, with Trump vacillating between them. But it extends way beyond this too. Regardless of whether you think the Yemen raid was a success or not, based on the information we have, the chain of command and the decision-making process is seriously sub-par.

    There are also reports that Steve Bannon wants to make sure there is no paper trail:

    “He is running a cabal, almost like a shadow NSC,” the official said. He described a work environment where there is little appetite for dissenting opinions, shockingly no paper trail of what’s being discussed and agreed upon at meetings, and no guidance or encouragement so far from above about how the National Security Council staff should be organized.
    The intelligence official, who said he was willing to give the Trump administration the benefit of the doubt when it took office, is now deeply troubled by how things are being run.
    “They ran all of these executive orders outside of the normal construct,” he said, referring to last week’s flurry of draft executive orders on everything from immigration to the return of CIA “black sites.”

    A learning curve is natural at the beginning of new administration, but there  is a point where the lack of political experience of the current team needs to be addressed. There is no chain of command, and critical decisions are being without proper consultation between key parties/secretaries and departments. Essentially this a failure of the chief of staff to effectively manage the process of government – that’s because Steve Bannon rather than Reince Priebus is running the show.

     

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  33. richtaylor365

    To save time I am not gong to cut and paste everything you said I have a problem with (most of it) I’ll just wrap it up with this, it seems to me your complaints (it was rushed, it was not planned well, insufficient eyes on the ground, no exit strategy, mishmash this, haphazard that) all comes down to what you perceive as an unsuccessful mission. The planners of the mission and the ultimate military bosses that gave the go ahead, they thought differently, otherwise they would not have authorized the mission in the manner it proceeded. Excuse me if I put no weight in your opinion or those of those so called 3 unnamed  military sources, they mean dick to me because they can’t go on the record and all of the criticisms are coming from this one single Rueters report. You (and these 3 sources) were not in the room when the mission was presented to the president, none of you witnessed the process,how much time went into it, what questions were asked, who exactly presented what, none of you, so to criticize this process it utter bullshit. Ditto with “one half the usual team there”, how do you know what a usual team is, how do you know who was there, how do you know what military planners came in and gave a presentation (grabbing a chicken wing on the way out), was in the vicinity or even gave phone reports? You know none of this. And still you are fixated on what particular room the briefings were given in and whether food was brought in, just too silly for words.

    Yes, I will grant you that inexperienced junior staff should not be authorizing military missions, isn’t that rather obvious to anyone? We don’t won’t inexperienced junior staff tasked with ordering lunch either. Now who has even hinted, including your gutless 3 military sources who don’t have the stones to go on the record, who has even suggested that in the future the Trump administration will allow these neophytes to make major decisions, on anything?

    I am hearing disturbing things about the decision-making process within the WH in general.  People that have little or no experience are in meetings that they have no business being in, while those who should be there are excluded.

    Doesn’t the president get to decide who attends his meetings? And don’t you get experience be attending/listening in on such meetings? And who exactly is being excluded? Details, please.

     This is all coming from the leakiest WH ever.

    No, that would be the Obama WH.

    The failure of the Muslim ban is a case in point – the ban is poorly designed and badly executed, and as has been repeatedly pointed out, is quite possibly unconstitutional (something that SCOTUS is now likely to determine).  

    First off, it’s not a Muslim ban (is there any leftest talking point you won’t regurgitate here?). I have already admitted this was a clusterf*ck in it’s implementation, absolutely horrible and not at all thought out. And I expect  more boneheaded decisions just like this. But didn’t we already cover this? Didn’t Obama have similar fits and starts (God bless short memories), he is not allowed 2 frickin’ weeks to work his way into the job without your carping? This is why I don’t respond to the half dozen comments you and CM post every single day about what a dunderhead Trump is, he did this and he did that.

    A learning curve is natural at the beginning of new administration, but there  is a point where the lack of political experience of the current team needs to be addressed.

    And I guess that point with you is 2 weeks in, no longer, I’m glad you are not my boss.

    Look, Trump has faith in both Bannon and Preibus, if they don’t work out then he should can them, what more do you want me to say? And as far as paper trails/chain of command/dissenting opinions, I really have to laugh considering what we saw under Obama; private servers, shredded emails, disappearing phone records (from multiple agencies) officials in contempt of congress. Yeah, keep telling me how Trump’s folks are not measuring up.

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  34. stogy

    Excuse me if I put no weight in your opinion or those of those so called 3 unnamed  military sources

    Well at least they got some useful intelligence… or maybe not. A 2007 training video that was taken down when reporters pointed out that it was a rerun that they’d seen before. I hope there was something else useful in there. It doesn’t look good that military intelligence were unable to recognize a widely circulated propaganda tape.

    First off, it’s not a Muslim ban

    My mistake. I was under the impression that this what the administration was calling it. It’s not a ban and it’s not Muslims, according to Sean Spicer, who has used both terms over and over again. Not necessary together.

    I really have to laugh considering what we saw under Obama; private servers, shredded emails, disappearing phone records (from multiple agencies) officials in contempt of congress. Yeah, keep telling me how Trump’s folks are not measuring up.

    There is a long history of this, and it does go back well beyond the Obama administration. But then, here we are back at the Obama defense again. The fact the he did it and was wrong to do so means that it is just as wrong now. So why are you defending it? Hey, here’s another one. Trump used to tweet about Obama going on holiday a lot (he didn’t) and the cost to US taxpayers of providing transport and security and… well, you can fill in the blanks here.

    he is not allowed 2 frickin’ weeks to work his way into the job without your carping?

    Should I wait until you give the OK before I critique bad policy and poor execution? I wasn’t allowed to until he had taken office. And then now I am still not allowed to? When would be the appropriate time for me to start? A learning curve doesn’t mean criticism gets turned off – in fact, it’s even more important.

    I’ve been reasonable – I didn’t attack him personally (well, not much). I have focused on critiquing poor decisions he and those around him have made – I said some were good, but more have not been. I even said that I expect this is part of a learning curve, and I didn’t specify when that had to end – I didn’t call for his impeachment or a firing squad for treason, like some here would have done had it been Hillary or Obama in the commander’s chair. I said I hope they learn from it. I think my approach is fair.

    Hope the tennis is good! I’ll gladly send my rain your way if it helps though. Oh wait… Physics.

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  35. richtaylor365

    . But then, here we are back at the Obama defense again. The fact the he did it and was wrong to do so means that it is just as wrong now. So why are you defending it?

    Stogy, I enjoy our little exchanges here (hopefully an example that dialogue can take place without ad hominems) but you are pulling the same crap that CM does. Did you even read my comment about cabinet approvals? There was no defense there and none here, why do you do this? Me pointing out Obama bad behavior is not justifying Trump’s bad behavior because  I never said his behavior (re: folks in his circle of influence) was bad. Me bringing up Obama bad behavior was in the context of you defending Obama all these years (his behavior joined at the hip)  then saying Trump’s behavior was bad, like ,”Hey, pot, meet kettle”. It is low hanging fruit to counter particular criticisms of Trump by those that supported Obama when Obama’s behavior in this instance was worse.

    Hope the tennis is good! I’ll gladly send my rain your way if it helps though. Oh wait… Physics.

    Just heading out the door now, courts are dry, but a rain storm is expected in the afternoon………..with any luck :)

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  36. stogy

    OK, fair enough. There is a lot of Obama defense going on here, but I recognized that this wasn’t what you were saying.

    It is low hanging fruit to counter particular criticisms of Trump by those that supported Obama when Obama’s behavior in this instance was worse.

    Yeah, early days. If the Trump pushes on with its “not a ban” on arrivals from certain countries there could be a full-blown constitutional crisis by the end of this coming week. And this is something that could have so easily been avoided had the right people been in the room at the time it was put together.

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  37. AlexInCT

    Well at least they got some useful intelligence… or maybe not. A 2007 training video that was taken down when reporters pointed out that it was a rerun that they’d seen before. I hope there was something else useful in there. It doesn’t look good that military intelligence were unable to recognize a widely circulated propaganda tape.

    You mean the military whose efficiency and capability I already pointed out had been drastically reduced because  the Obama admin spent its 8 years pushing PC bullshit instead of military capability? You have no fucking clue what you are talking about and are not even bright enough to realize that’s the case. Yeah, I know you need to have this idiotic narrative stick so you can blame Trump, because without that strawman you have nothing to flail at in anger.

    Yeah, early days. If the Trump pushes on with its “not a ban” on arrivals from certain countries there could be a full-blown constitutional crisis by the end of this coming week.

    You base this on what? We survived 8 years of the worst constitutional abuse ever in the history of this country, and now you want to pretend that the left lying about something to make it sound like it reaches to the level of the abuse of the Obama years, will create a crisis? Laughable.

    And this is something that could have so easily been avoided had the right people been in the room at the time it was put together.

    By the right people you mean what? More of those inept credentialed elitist scumbags that comprised the Obama admin and got us the destabilized and dangerous world we have today? Shit, if you – and people like you – had applied half the effort you are applying here to actually getting Obama called on the map for things ranging from “Fast & Furious” to Benghazi, or from the IRS to the DOJ abuses, I think Obama would have actually behaved, and if not ended up impeached.

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  38. stogy

    You forget your meds today, Alex?

    By the right people you mean what? More of those inept credentialed elitist scumbags that comprised the Obama admin and got us the destabilized and dangerous world we have today? 

    No, I meant: Mathis, Kelly, Flynn. None of them known to be bleeding heart liberals.

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