They dream of becoming the thought police


I watched scattered bits of the Strzok grilling yesterday (if you weren’t paying attention, Wonkette has the most interesting interpretation/”transcript” of the day). The one thing that struck me was how all the Republicans were hammering on one point: Strzok had his own opinions of Trump, and that his presence in any investigation means they were biased and unfair. It reminded of how the media goes flocking to “undecided voters” in every election, as if ignorance and vacillation and equivocation are some kind of ideal state of mind. As Strzok pointed out over and over, what matters is how he acts; does he act objectively, does he work with others who have different biases to reach a consensus? You are not going to find any intelligent person whose mind is devoid of opinions.

But there the Republicans sat, insisting that everyone who participates in any difficult analysis is not allowed to have any kind of independent perspective. There seems to be a total lack of understanding that everyone has biases, including goddamned Republicans, and that we have mechanisms to try and overcome them. But no, they want mindless lackeys doing all the work for them (which does, I admit, tend to give Republicans an edge in working for the government).

What we really have to worry about, though, is more mind-reading dentists running for congress.

I had no idea dental schools were a predecessor to the Psi Corps.

Comments

  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    Nine out of ten dental hygienists agree: The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father.

    Be seeing you, Mr. Garibaldi.

  2. Akira MacKenzie says

    The analogies between Babylon 5 and current events are striking:

    Trump: President Clarke
    Nightwatch: Various teabagger and white supremacist thugs.
    Morden: Michael Cohen
    The Shadows: Putin’s Russia.

  3. laurian says

    And if you let the good dentist take measurements of your skull he can tell your future.

  4. Owlmirror says

    Morden: Michael Cohen

    Wrong, wrong, wrongity wrong wrong.

    Morden: Stephen Miller

  5. says

    One think I kind of wish Strzok had done: pull out tweets and documented public comments by those very same Republican Congresscritters expressing great condemnation of President Obama, and ask the exact same questions about them. After all, if absolute loyalty to the president is necessary to holding a job in government, well….

  6. says

    the Republicans were hammering on one point: Strzok had his own opinions of Trump, and that his presence in any investigation means they were biased and unfair.

    Huh. So when will these Republicans be apologizing to Hillary Clinton for their bias and unfairness when they were investigating her?

    Or did they not think that far ahead?

  7. Jeremy Shaffer says

    The one thing that struck me was how all the Republicans were hammering on one point: Strzok had his own opinions of Trump, and that his presence in any investigation means they were biased and unfair.

    And as usual, the Republicans engage in exceptional projection. Of course they can’t imagine anyone acting objectively despite their opinions otherwise because they don’t even make a show of trying. They know their actions are fueled by their own prejudices, thus no one can act in a manner contrary to their private thoughts.

  8. jrkrideau says

    It looks to me as if the Republicans must do anything possible to discredit the Mueller enquiry lest they fall off the gravy train. Desperate character attacks are par for the course.

    I don’t even believe the fantasy that the Orange One is controlled by Putin/The Russian Evil Empire but Trump is likely open to so many criminal charges involving money laundering and other serious financial crimes with oligarchs from Russia, other former Soviet republics and the Gulf States that if Mueller gets to make a complete report Trump is dead meat. And he could take a few members of Congress and the Senate with him.

  9. cartomancer says

    It’s not easy being British and seeing the kind of dithering, inconsequential buffoons we’ve elected to parliament. Then I look across the pond at your lot and it doesn’t seem nearly so bad. Rather like being served week-old food in a restaurant, then looking over at the poor guy in the corner who is being served raw sewage in a bowl.

  10. says

    jrkrideau #11 — My personal theory is that any investigation into Trump’s criminal and potentially treasonous deeds will end up uncovering similarly criminal and potentially treasonous deeds among many Republicans in the House and Senate. That is the only explanation that makes sense about why GOP Congresscritters are so hell-bent determined to hobble and stonewall the investigation until they can end it completely.

  11. bryanfeir says

    @jrkrideau:
    I don’t believe the Orange One is controlled by Putin either, but that’s mostly because I think ‘Trump’ and ‘control’ don’t belong in the same sentence. He doesn’t seem to have enough concept of long-term personal consequences to actually be properly bought off.

    That said, Putin wanted to weaken NATO, destabilize the U.S., and get sanctions lifted. Two out of three achieved so far, and still hopes for the third. He doesn’t need to control Trump, he just needs to make sure Trump thinks his own allies are easier targets. And that’s easy enough to do to someone who obviously considers diplomacy as weakness.

  12. quotetheunquote says

    @bryanfeir #14.

    +1

    If the goal is to wreck the china shop, you don’t need to control the bull – you just have to get him in there.

  13. Richard Smith says

    Re B5:
    Perhaps in the near future, people will have a chance to look up at all those involved, smile, and wave – like this… Metaphorically speaking, of course…

  14. Ragutis says

    Gregory in Seattle

    13 July 2018 at 11:50 am

    One think I kind of wish Strzok had done: pull out tweets and documented public comments by those very same Republican Congresscritters expressing great condemnation of President Obama, and ask the exact same questions about them. After all, if absolute loyalty to the president is necessary to holding a job in government, well….

    While I think that would be a hilarious pantsing of the Republican trolls on the committee, it’s just not going to work. All this theater is absolutely worthless. I don’t even see why they bother or are so willing to waste taxpayer dollars on it. All they need to do is state their position and FOX takes care of the rest. FFS, members were leaving while Stzrok was in the middle of answering their questions/accusations. In fact, they’d probably be better off just letting Hannity handle it in order not to provide any opposing candidates with free fodder.

    Anyway, Stzrok can’t, though he did do a good job at fighting back on a few accounts. So, it’s not the same, but you might enjoy this part of the hearing:

    https://youtu.be/MXN1qJMsVKc

  15. Akira MacKenzie says

    Richard Smith @ 16,

    “Oh, Mr. President, I haven’t even started with you yet…”

  16. jrkrideau says

    @ 13 Gregory in Seattle

    Excellent point and one I had never really thought about seriously. It may have fleetingly crossed my mind and disappeared into the dustcloud that is my mind.

    I think there is some chance that there may be some Russian money there but I’d also be inclined to look for Gulf State monies and “American” money in support of Israel (which likely is not illegal but ethically dubious).

    Come to think of it, we have not been hearing much about China and both the Chinese Gov’t and many Chinese corporations have a lot of spare cash…

  17. says

    Regarding Gosar as I said elsewhere I suspect the dental health of a lot of his patients improved after he became a politician.

    nomaduk@6 I’m not quite sure what your post has to do with this thread specifically.

  18. jrkrideau says

    @ 14 bryanfeir
    Putin wanted to weaken NATO, destabilize the U.S., and get sanctions lifted.

    I cannot say I blame him. One has to remember that, basically, his sole responsibility is the welfare of Russia and the Russian people. Currently NATO and the US are treating Russia as an enemy.

    I think Putin and the rest of the Russian Gov’t feel betrayed by the USA which promised no NATO expansion in the East. That meant east of Germany on the European landmass. Currently there are NATO troops about 50–75km from St. Petersburg.

    I have never been able to figure out if any of those sanctions were justified or were just due to American paranoia and inability to distinguish between the “communist” USSR and the modern, roughly speaking, capitalist Russia.

    Trump is an outstanding case of a case of Dunning Kruger Syndrome going into a meeting with Putin.

    We are seeing an intellectually challenged person, ignorant of most anything to do with international affairs—his behaviour at the G7, NATO, and British visits is illuminating—meeting with a highly intelligent, very highly experienced head of state who has top notch advisers and listens to them. And one who, through his KGB training, probably has the academic equivalent of a master’s degree in International Affairs. Trump on the other hand may have trouble locating Russia on a map.

    He doesn’t need to control Trump, he just needs to make sure Trump thinks his own allies are easier targets.

    I have been thinking about this. Trump seems to think that he is the equivalent of a mafia capo di tutti capi and that the NATO leaders are his subordinates. The attacks on Merkel and May look like an attempt to threaten the weakest of his capos to enforce obedience (the Serengeti Strategy/Wounded Zebra approach to gaining agreement).

    I think that Trump is the type of bully that, almost instinctively attacks the weakest. Both Merkel and May are in nasty political situations and are politically weakened so Trump’s instinct is to attack them. He is totally unlikely to attack Putin because Putin has power that Trump cannot touch. See the breastfeeding imbroglio as an example.

    Putin does not have to do anything but sit back and watch. Still, as any good politician would do, I am sure Putin will press for advantages for Russia. He does have the added advantage that the Dumkopft seems to be the only American politician or adviser in Washington to appreciate that better relations with Russia are desirable.

    I’d say it is a bit embarrassing for Washington that the village idiot understands the basic issue better than they do.

    Encouraging Trump to doubt or make mad demands on US allies sounds like a decent strategy for Putin but some kind of reconciliation move might be better tactic. You can be sure that Putin, his cabinet and other advisers have been discussing such alternatives for weeks or months. I suppose we can hope that Trump can remember who the current Secretary of State is.

  19. says

    One has to remember that, basically, his sole responsibility is the welfare of Russia and the Russian people.

    The idea that Putin is looking out for the welfare of the Russian people is fucking absurd.

  20. says

    I have never been able to figure out if any of those sanctions were justified or were just due to American paranoia and inability to distinguish between the “communist” USSR and the modern, roughly speaking, capitalist Russia.

    Yeah, that’s a headscratcher. AYFKM?

  21. nomaduk says

    nomaduk@6 I’m not quite sure what your post has to do with this thread specifically.

    timguegen@22: It’s just that Wonkette adds the Skripal story as yet another charge against the omnipotent Russian state, when, as with many other things, it’s far from ironclad that they were responsible. The current administration and the idiots in it are more than capable of fucking things up totally without any assistance from Vlad.

  22. says

    Let’s review:

    “I think there is some chance that there may be some Russian money there but I’d also be inclined to look for Gulf State monies and ‘American’ money in support of Israel (which likely is not illegal but ethically dubious).”

    “I cannot say I blame him. One has to remember that, basically, his sole responsibility is the welfare of Russia and the Russian people. Currently NATO and the US are treating Russia as an enemy.

    I think Putin and the rest of the Russian Gov’t feel betrayed by the USA which promised no NATO expansion in the East.”

    “I have never been able to figure out if any of those sanctions were justified or were just due to American paranoia and inability to distinguish between the ‘communist’ USSR and the modern, roughly speaking, capitalist Russia.”

    “…meeting with a highly intelligent, very highly experienced head of state who has top notch advisers and listens to them. And one who, through his KGB training, probably has the academic equivalent of a master’s degree in International Affairs.”

    “He is totally unlikely to attack Putin because Putin has power that Trump cannot touch.”

    “Putin does not have to do anything but sit back and watch. Still, as any good politician would do, I am sure Putin will press for advantages for Russia. He does have the added advantage that the Dumkopft seems to be the only American politician or adviser in Washington to appreciate that better relations with Russia are desirable.

    I’d say it is a bit embarrassing for Washington that the village idiot understands the basic issue better than they do.”

    “Encouraging Trump to doubt or make mad demands on US allies sounds like a decent strategy for Putin but some kind of reconciliation move might be better tactic. You can be sure that Putin, his cabinet and other advisers have been discussing such alternatives for weeks or months.”

    My god, you’re such a Putin apologist.

  23. says

    nomaduk @ #27:

    timguegen@22: It’s just that Wonkette adds the Skripal story as yet another charge against the omnipotent Russian state, when, as with many other things, it’s far from ironclad that they were responsible.

    They were responsible, and I’ve about had it with the fucking Putifascist bullshit here. No one claimed they’re omnipotent. In fact, today’s indictment is a likely turning point. But Putin is a murderous thug and kleptocrat who systematically has his opponents harassed, silenced, threatened, and killed.

  24. says

    I think most people here would concur with criticisms of US domestic and foreign policy.

    I hope that in accordance with the same principles we can agree that Putin’s is an odious, corrupt, authoritarian, reactionary, inegalitarian, aggressive, dishonest, intrusive, cheating, cynical, callous, anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-science, kleptocratic, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, racist, theocratic garbage regime, and reject its propaganda.

  25. jrkrideau says

    24 SC (Salty Current)

    The idea that Putin is looking out for the welfare of the Russian people is fucking absurd.

    And can you explain your reasoning for this statement?

    At my last check, Putin, and his government, have taken a Russia that was a total basket case, with life competency nose diving, almost no food, and so dangerous that visiting businessmen needed bodyguards in St Petersburg and Moscow to a fairly prosperous country that is hosting the World Cup.

  26. says

    At my last check, Putin, and his government, have taken a Russia that was a total basket case, with life competency nose diving, almost no food, and so dangerous that visiting businessmen needed bodyguards in St Petersburg and Moscow to a fairly prosperous country that is hosting the World Cup.

    You’re adorable. Don’t ever change.

  27. jrkrideau says

    @ 28 SC (Salty Current)
    My god, you’re such a Putin apologist.
    Why thank you.
    I actually read real articles about Russia and about Putin. And I have even read books about the Russian Empire and about the USSR. I may even have some slight idea about what I write.

    You seem to to have been listening to or reading too much US propaganda to be able to form any reasoned opinion of Putin. Believe it or not, there is no evidence that he has cloven hoofs or a spiked tail. And he is not from Mordor. Actually, he is from St. Petersburg.

    I am not from the USA and I am rather old. I tend to remember all the times that the USA has blamed others for everything from power outages to the Oklahoma bombing only to find it was an internal issue.

    And I tend to remember the lies the US has told from the Gulf of Tonkin incident, to Grenada, to the weapons of mass destruction and the Iraqi support for Al Quaida in the lead up to the Iraqi invasion. Remember “yellow cake”?

    I have no reason to believe just about anything the US Gov’t or its lackey press tells me about Russia, Putin, or just about anything in the international sphere.

  28. says

    “the lies the US has told from the Gulf of Tonkin incident, to Grenada, to the weapons of mass destruction and the Iraqi support for Al Quaida in the lead up to the Iraqi invasion. Remember ‘yellow cake’?”

    “the US Gov’t or its lackey press”

    LOL, yes, I must’ve been mistaken.

  29. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    It would have been a riot had the damning TXT been, “We’ll fuck him” instead of “We’ll stop him”.
    For Gowdy to then imply they wanted to rape “45”.

    don’t these lizard people ever talk casually, and understand the generic, expansive, use of we to refer to everybody, and not only the exclusive, you and me.

  30. Kreator says

    @jrkrideau:
    So you deny that Putin promotes homophobia and toxic masculinity among Russians?

  31. Akira MacKenzie says

    Keaton @ 41

    I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that jrkrideau well aware of Putin’s brutality, he just somehow doesn’t think it’s relevant to this conversation or he doesn’t really care overall. Putin is making the trains run on time and poisoning dissidents, bashing gays, beating women, and sending Pussy Riot to Siberia is the small price the Родина must pay.

  32. indianajones says

    Also chemical weapons attacks, shooting down civilian airliners, murdering journalists and annexing large parts of the Ukraine.

  33. KG says

    At my last check, Putin, and his government, have taken a Russia that was a total basket case, with life competency nose diving, almost no food, and so dangerous that visiting businessmen needed bodyguards in St Petersburg and Moscow to a fairly prosperous country that is hosting the World Cup. – jrkrideau@33

    And he’s made the trains run on time!! No, what am I saying, ahead of time!!!!! And all without killing more than a few tens of thousands of people, or stealing more than a paltry few billion dollars*.

    *For his personal use. Of course, he’s had to buy the support of enough oligarchs for them to buy up half the most expensive properties in London, but hey, you can’t make an omlette without poisoning a few innocent bystanders.

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