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News selectors, pages, etc.
By islander
February 23, 2022 2:45 pm
Category: News

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The Trumpsters like HTS and even some other Republicans actually like Putin more than Biden. Theyíve been trained to do just that. Along with Trump, who sees himself and Putin to be Ďgeniusesí, they too have swallowed Trumpís carnival huckster show, hook line and sinker. 

Putin†did†get Trump to do real damage to NATO. He got Trump to largely abandon Syria. Trump made a humiliating deal with the Taliban that would result in the US withdrawing its military from Russiaís back door. After years of Russia having to work hard to highlight American hypocrisy on human rights, Trump did things like pardon war criminals, forever tainting Americaís claim to be exceptional.

And through it all, Trump created his own authoritarian-supporting militias, heavily armed troops inspired by resentment who have the ability to make the United States ungovernable. Trumpist Republicans are making localized efforts to dismantle democracy. Trumpís Supreme Court nominees have abandoned legal precedent.

Which brings us to this moment.

I think Putin faced a moment of diminishing returns. Republicans are finally beginning to wake up from their Trump cult. If COVID subsides and the US economy takes off, Democrats might surprise at midterms. I wouldnít be surprised, either, if Russia expected some details of what it has done over the last decade ó involving Julian Assange, involving 2016 (with the prosecution of Vladislav Klyushin), possibly even involving Trump ó to become public in the near future. And so Putin chose this moment to launch a war to try to solidify the efforts he has made over the last decade.

Thus far, however, things havenít gone Putinís way.

I believe that Putin thought he could demonstrate Five Eyes fragility by conducting war games off the Irish coast without inciting the nationalism of a bunch of Irish fisherman. I believe Putin expected the US and/or Europe would fail to fully incorporate Ukraine in its planning, thereby discrediting Volodymyr Zelenskyy. I believe that Putin expected he would be able to peel away France and Germany (after Olaf Scholzís initial announcement that it is halting Nord Stream 2, there seems to be some hesitation). I believe Putin expected his false flags would work. I believe Putin believed heíd be able to blame someone else for this invasion. I†agree with Dan Drezner, thus far Biden has done just about everything right.

I believe that Putin believed his invasion would split NATO, the EU, and the US. Thus far it has had the opposite effect.

Which brings us to the weird pivot that Trump and his top Fox associates: white nationalist Tucker Carlson,†Chief of Staff Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham.

Yesterday, Trump†hailed†Putinís actions as genius.Ē

* excerpt from Empty Wheel---

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  1. by Curt_Anderson on February 23, 2022 3:18 pm
    There is a good commentary in The Bulwark likening Carlson to the notorious anti-Semite, pro-Hitler radio talker Father Coughlin.

    Like Coughlin, Carlson has spewed venom for years. And, like Coughlin, he has gradually made his treachery, nihilism, and bigotry unmistakable. If anyone still thought there was an innocent explanation for his behavior, Carlson's latest monologue, delivered on Tuesday night, rendered such generosity indefensible.

    To begin with, Carlson mocked the idea that rolling tanks into another country was wrong. In the view of liberals, he joked, "Invading America is called 'equity'"—apparently he was referring to illegal immigration—but "invading Ukraine is a war crime." He delivered this line with scornful incredulity, ignoring the fact that Russia's invasions of Ukraine—this is the second one in eight years—are indeed acts of war and violations of international law.

    Carlson downplayed the putative moral differences between Russia, Ukraine, Canada, and the United States. He asked why Americans should side with Ukraine against Russia, since Ukraine was "not a democracy." (Actually, on the Freedom House democracy scale, Ukraine gets a rating of 39 out of 100. Russia gets less than seven.) Carlson also ridiculed the notion that "dastardly old Vladimir Putin" is "much worse than Justin Trudeau," the prime minister of Canada, who—according to Carlson's absurd lie—has imposed "martial law" and reduced Canada to a "failed democrac[y]." Turning to his own country, Carlson denounced America's current leaders, saying they "don't care at all" about our country's stated principles.

    In his monologue and in a follow-up interview with former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Carlson promoted the slander—often featured in Russian state propaganda—that when American politicians talk about defending freedom or democracy, they're really just serving their own commercial interests. He offered two explanations for the U.S. government's support of Ukraine: corrupt financial ties between Ukraine and President Joe Biden and a secret plot to drive up energy prices. "Maybe expensive energy would be good for the many renewable deals their friends and donors are invested in," he speculated—the "they" referring to Biden and other Democrats. In the interview with Gabbard, Carlson nodded along—"Right," he interjected—as Gabbard accused the American "power elite" of betraying both "the American people" and "the Russian people."

  2. by islander on February 23, 2022 4:13 pm

    Very good article, Curt.

  3. by HatetheSwamp on February 23, 2022 6:07 pm

    It was a good article. Fictional. But, inventive.

    Unlike you, I actually watched through the Tulsi interview. She is one fine babe!

    Tucker and Tulsi mocked the potential effectiveness of Joe's sanctions.

    I must admit to being mystified over what Carlson is thinking.

    My theory is that he seriously hates the Bidens. Well, clearly he hates, especially, Hunter. And, of course, Hunter's most infinite scam involved Ukraine.

    As much as it suits youz guy's hate, I can't pick up any admiration for Putin. As far as I can tell, this is all about hating Ukraine.

  4. by Curt_Anderson on February 23, 2022 6:36 pm
    You wouldn't be able to pick up Tucker's admiration for Putin if you caught the two of them in flagrante delicto under the sheets of a Motel 6 bed.

  5. by Curt_Anderson on February 23, 2022 11:07 pm
    "Former President Trump's adulation of Putin today — including calling him a 'genius' — aids our enemies," said Rep. Liz Cheney on Twitter. (R-WY) "TrumpĀfs interests donĀft seem to align with the interests of the United States of America."

  6. by HatetheSwamp on February 24, 2022 4:12 am

    I've never been a Tucker fan. I'm certainly not one now. Until I began to pick up TuckerDS on MSNBC, I hadn't ever watched more than a few minutes of him.

    I have watched lately to try to figure him out and, from what I can tell, he doesn't even think about Putin. IF YOU EVER ACTUALLY INVESTIGATE HIS POINT OF VIEW, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SET ME STRAIGHT.

    Carlson despises Ukraine.

    Of course, Tucker can see that Putin will run circles around our very own doddering old fool, but honestly...


    ...don't you know that, too?

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