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  • Why the MAGA Movement Loves Putin
    The Far Right's adulation for Putin is closer to mainstream GOP thinking than many would have you believe.

    It says everything about the modern Republican Party that in the days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it wasn’t clear whose side the GOP would be on. Much of the party spent the last five years either echoing or staying silent about Donald Trump’s cozy relationship with Putin. Many, many Republicans beyond Trump praised Putin and dishonestly absolved him of his interference in the 2016 election.

    But as the horrors of the invasion unfolded on live television and social media feeds, the bulk of the Republican Party united behind the Ukrainians in their fight against the Russians. Sure, there are partisan squabbles over various tactics. And there are cynical political opportunists trying to score points against President Biden, but there was a comforting normalcy to the politics of Russia.

    Some Republicans even pushed back (ever so mildly) against Trump’s praise of Putin just as Russian tanks started rolling towards Kyiv. But the Republican establishment doing the bare minimum to support a U.S. ally being invaded by an adversary should not obscure the raging pro-Putin sentiment on the Right. Pay attention to what Tucker Carlson, Steve Bannon, and others are saying because the sentiments of the Far Right are a leading indicator of where the party is headed. Donald Trump’s birtherism and racist nationalism was laughed at by all of the Republicans until he won the nomination. The same is true for the apocalyptic anti-government ignorance of the Tea Party. Therefore, it’s worth understanding why the Far Right is so enamored with Putin and other authoritarians around the world. The answer helps explain how Trump rose to the top of the party and why the next Trump may be more dangerous than Donald.

    An Authoritarian Obsession
    I have no problem being unfair to the Republican Party. They lost the benefit of the doubt a long time ago, but I want to make it clear that I am not cherry-picking the comments of random Twitter users to expose the Right Wing obsession with Putin. Heck, don’t take my word for it. Russian state television has been re-running clips of Tucker Carlson’s comments in support of Russia and critical of Ukraine. Most dangerously, Carlson has been aggressively pushing a debunked piece of Russian propaganda about biolabs in Ukraine. If you want to read more about what a dishonest dupe Tucker Carlson is, check out thisNew York Times fact check. And speaking of dupes, Sean Hannity recently quoted the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as evidence of his long-running bullshit claims about Biden’s cognitive abilities. Fox’s pro-Putin commentary has been so consistent that Lavrov recently praised Fox’s coverage.

    As Aaron Rupar pointed out in his newsletter, no one at Fox went on air to push back against the gold star they received from a murderous propagandist. It’s not only Fox. Steve Bannon, and others spoke critically of Zelensky, pushed Russian propaganda, and justified the rationale for the invasion.

    The Far Right’s obsession with authoritarians goes beyond Putin. Carlson has long praised Victor Orban, the Hungarian dictator. Despite the absence of a free and fair election, Trump even endorsed Orban for reelection. The Conservative Political Action Committee — a ComiCon for White nationalists, buffoos, and grifters — even scheduled its conference in Budapest.

    Why the Right is Obsessed with Putin

    Trying to understand the logic behind the sentiments of Donald Trump and the cavalcade of extremist morons comprising the Far Right seems like a fool’s errand. With that important caveat, I think there are four reasons some Republicans can’t quit Putin:
    1. Addicted to Strength: The concept of strength is the axis on which Republican politics has long rotated. Every Republican political campaign is about portraying the GOPer as strong and the Democrat as weak. This is why so much hay was made of Michael Dukakis’s tank photo op. Republicans worked hard to undermine John Kerry’s military service, and pushed false narratives about the health and cognitive abilities of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. The type of strength and how it is used is irrelevant. When strength at all costs is emphasized at the expense of empathy, compassion, and morals, Putin can become the ideal leader for a morally bankrupt political party.
    2. An Apocalyptic Mentality: The public tends to gravitate towards strongman-like figures out of fear. And fear is a central feature of Republican messaging. Watch any GOP campaign ads or consume Right Wing media and experience a constant stream of apocalyptic imagery. America is under ceaseless assult from immigrants, terrorists, criminals, and an array of non-White bogey men and women. Partly, this is a political strategy designed to keep the shrinking, mostly White GOP in a rabid state. According to a JanuaryNPR/Ipsos poll, 47 percent of Republicans strongly agree that “America is in crisis and at risk of failing” compared to 29 percent of Democrats
      The driving force in the politics of fear is that before too long White people will represent a minority of Americans and the dominant political position that many believe is their birthright is at risk. Putin’s restorative nationalism is appealing to this segment of the population. His death grip on power and aims to restore the Soviet Union is essentially a platform to Make Russia Great Again. Supporting Trump doesn’t necessarily equate to becoming a political apologist, but the sentiments driving the very Far Right to embrace Trump above all else are the same sentiments causing the folks to side with Putin right now.
    3. White Power: There is something grossly ironic about the America First movement idolizing a former KGB agent trying to reestablish America’s greatest adversary. But “America First,” really means “White America First.” As Emily Tamkin wrote in the New York Times: “Many of the admirers of the world’s strongmen on the American right appear to believe that the countries each of these men lead are beacons of whiteness, Christianity and conservative values… The white nationalist Richard Spencer has referred to Russia as ‘the sole white power in the world.’” Matthew Heimbach, a founder of the Traditionalist Worker Party, told The Times in 2016, “I see President Putin as the leader of the free world.” As the nomination of Trump indicates, the White nationalist fringes of the Republican Party are the tail that wags the dog. If you are skeptical about the central role of race, ask yourself why the Far Right loves Putin and Orban but disdains Xi Jinping of China? Pay close attention to what they are saying today in order to be prepared for tomorrow.
    4. The Perverse Incentives of the Internet Attention Economy: Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, and Tucker Carlson have a lot in common. One of these commonalities is an inherent understanding of how to get and maintain attention in a media ecosystem powered by outrage. There is financial and political incentive to say outrageous things that generate backlash. You get attention for what you said and then you get to scream “cancel culture” when people get mad. The anger and outrage fuels the algorithms pushing your content to even more people, lining your pocket and increasing your political power. So, if you are looking for someone to blame, feel free to add Mark Zuckerberg and other tech folks to your list.
    In the modern Republican Party, the distance between extreme and mainstream is often traversed in the blink of an eye. Today’s loons are tomorrow’s leaders. Attention must be paid. I suspect the pro-Putin fascination is only the beginning of a larger trend.
    ______

    That last bit is incorrect. It isn't merely the modern Republican Party. It's the modern Right, period.
    “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

    Comment


    • While it isn't entirely incorrect to say The Conservative Political Action Committee is "a ComiCon for White nationalists, buffoos, and grifters," one saves a lot of ink by using initials.

      K. K. K.
      Trust me?
      I'm an economist!

      Comment


      • Originally posted by DOR View Post
        "a ComiCon for White nationalists, buffoos, and grifters,"
        Who says the Republicans can't create a large tent for a diverse crowd?
        “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

        Comment


        • Marjorie Taylor Greene Inadvertently Exposes Ugly Truth About GOP In New Ad
          The reality of the GOP in 2022 is laid bare in extremist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) own words in a progressive group’s biting new attack ad.

          Greene’s claim that lawmakers like her are “not the fringe” but “the base of the party” is put on loop in the edited, online spot that the PAC MeidasTouch released Tuesday.

          The conspiracy theorist’s comments are cut alongside footage of her parroting Kremlin talking points about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug” and former President Donald Trump hailing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression toward his neighboring country as “genius.”

          The video, below, garnered more than 340,000 views in its first 10 hours on Twitter alone.

          "We are not the fringe!!"


          The clip went viral as Greene faced backlash for blaming Ukraine for being invaded by Russia.

          “You see Ukraine kept just poking the bear and poking the bear, which is Russia,” she told the Voice of Rural America Network. “Russia is being very successful in their invasion, even though we hear different things on television,” she added. Independent reports suggest Russia misjudged the strength of Ukrainian resistance and is incurring higher casualties than expected.
          ___________

          Just in case there was any question where the Party of Trump stands during this horrific crisis.

          *Spoiler Alert*

          They stand with Russia. As they have for years.
          “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

          Comment


          • U.S. Makes Contingency Plans in Case Russia Uses Its Most Powerful Weapons
            A team of national security officials has been assigned to sketch out responses if President Vladimir V. Putin unleashes chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

            BRUSSELS — The White House has quietly assembled a team of national security officials to sketch out scenarios of how the United States and its allies should respond if President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia — frustrated by his lack of progress in Ukraine or determined to warn Western nations against intervening in the war — unleashes his stockpiles of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

            The Tiger Team, as the group is known, is also examining responses if Mr. Putin reaches into NATO territory to attack convoys bringing weapons and aid to Ukraine, according to several officials involved in the process. Meeting three times a week, in classified sessions, the team is also looking at responses if Russia seeks to extend the war to neighboring nations, including Moldova and Georgia, and how to prepare European countries for the refugees flowing in on a scale not seen in decades.

            Those contingencies are expected to be central to an extraordinary session here in Brussels on Thursday, when President Biden meets leaders of the 29 other NATO nations, who will be meeting for the first time — behind closed doors, their cellphones and aides banished — since Mr. Putin invaded Ukraine.

            Just a month ago, such scenarios seemed more theoretical. But today, from the White House to NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, a recognition has set in that Russia may turn to the most powerful weapons in its arsenal to bail itself out of a military stalemate.

            NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, underscored the urgency of the preparation effort on Wednesday, telling reporters for the first time that even if the Russians employweapons of mass destruction only inside Ukraine, they may have “dire consequences” for people in NATO nations. He appeared to be discussing the fear that chemical or radioactive clouds could drift over the border. One issue under examination is whether such collateral damage would be considered an “attack” on NATO under its charter, which might require a joint military response.

            The current team was established in a memo signed by Jake Sullivan, Mr. Biden’s national security adviser, on Feb. 28, four days after the invasion began, according to the officials involved in the process, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive planning. A previous iteration hadworked for months, behind the scenes, to prepare the U.S. government for the likelihood of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

            That team played a central role in devising the playbooks of deep sanctions, troop buildups in NATO nations and arming the Ukrainian military, which have exploited Russian weaknesses and put its government and economy under tremendous pressure.

            Mr. Stoltenberg, sounding far more hawkish than in the past, said he expected “allies will agree to provide additional support, including cybersecurity assistance and equipment to help Ukraine protect against chemical, biological, radiologic and nuclear threats.”

            As Mr. Biden flew to Europe on Wednesday, both he and Mr. Stoltenberg warned of growing evidence that Russia was in fact preparing to use chemical weapons in Ukraine.

            These are questions that Europe has not confronted since the depths of the Cold War, when NATO had far fewer members, and Western Europe worried about a Soviet attack headed into Germany. But few of the leaders set to meet in Brussels on Thursday ever had to deal with those scenarios — and many have never had to think about nuclear deterrence or the effects of the detonation of battlefield nuclear weapons, designed to be less powerful than those that destroyed Hiroshima. The fear is that Russia is more likely to use those weapons, precisely because they erode the distinction between conventional and nuclear arms.

            Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat who heads the Armed Services Committee, said on Wednesday that if Mr. Putin used a weapon of mass destruction — chemical, biological or nuclear — “there would be consequences” even if the weapon’s use was confined to Ukraine. Mr. Reed said radiation from a nuclear weapon, for instance, could waft into a neighboring NATO country and be considered an attack on a NATO member.

            “It’s going to be a very difficult call, but it’s a call that not just the president but the entire NATO Council will have to make,” Mr. Reed told reporters, referring to the governing body of the Western alliance.

            “The bottom line is this is a NATO decision,” Mr. Reed said. “It won’t be the president’s decision alone. I don’t think he’d want to take action unilaterally.”


            One major issue the Tiger Team is looking at is the threshold that could prompt the alliance to use military force in Ukraine. Mr. Biden has made clear that he is enormously reluctant to to do so, fearing that direct confrontation with Russia could escalate the conflict beyond control. “That’s World War III,” he noted recently.

            A second team of officials, also created by Mr. Sullivan’s Feb. 28 memo, is looking at long-term opportunities for the United States to improve its geopolitical position as a result of Mr. Putin’s invasion. Inside the White House, it has become an article of faith that the Russian leader made a huge strategic error — one that will diminish Russia’s standing, cripple its economy and alienate potential allies for years. But it is early in the conflict, other officials caution, and that conclusion may prove premature.

            The immediate concern is what Mr. Putin may do next — driven by a desire to rescue a failing military effort or re-establish his credentials as a force to be feared.

            Officials believe the chances that Mr. Putin will resort to detonating a nuclear weapon are small. But Russia’s steady stream of reminders that it has its arsenal at the ready, and could use it in response to anything it perceives as an “existential threat,” has put Washington on high alert.

            Mr. Biden will take up with allies “how to deal with the rhetoric and the commentary coming out of Russia on this whole question of the potential use of nuclear weapons,” Mr. Sullivan told reporters on Wednesday.

            “We haven’t seen anything that’s made us adjust our posture, our nuclear posture, but it is of course something we will have to continue to stay in close consultation with allies and partners on, as well as communicate directly to the Russians.”

            Several officials said the White House and Pentagon have had some tension over how much detail the Defense Department is willing to share on its highly secretive war planning — especially concerning responses to any use of nuclear weapons — even in the classified setting of the Tiger Team. (The term has been used for many years to describe an emergency task force inside the National Security Council.)

            A U.S. official said Mr. Biden remained adamant about keeping American forces out of Ukraine. But the official said the administration believed it would be misguided not to closely examine the thresholds, if any, under which the president would reverse himself, or to be prepared to deal with the consequences of the use of weapons of mass destruction.

            A senior administration official said any use of a “small” tactical nuclear bomb by Russia — even inside Ukraine and not directed at a NATO member — would mean that “all bets are off” on the United States and NATO staying out of the war. But when pushed, the official declined to lay out the responses under discussion.


            The official said American and NATO intelligence communities had not seen any activity by Russian military officials that suggested preparations to use a nuclear weapon. But he said that during internal discussions, administration officials were urging caution, because there was more at stake than just Ukraine.

            If Mr. Putin did strike a NATO country intentionally, he would not only bring the force of the military alliance to bear on Russia, but also probably find himself facing NATO troops inside Ukraine, Artis Pabriks, Latvia’s defense minister, told reporters traveling in his country this month with Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

            “He will get Article 5,” Mr. Pabriks said, in a reference to the NATO pledge that an attack on one alliance member is an attack on all.

            “If he gets that, basically that would also make us involved in Ukraine,” Mr. Pabriks said, adding: “He has no way out of that. So I don’t think he should be so stupid.”

            Senator Angus King of Maine, an independent and a member of the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services Committees, visited the Polish-Ukrainian border over the weekend, meeting with officials from allied countries, visiting a refugee processing center and talking with Ukrainians. Mr. King said that as Russian forces struggle to make headway, Mr. Putin could try to strike a diplomatic agreement, intensify his bombardment of Ukrainian cities and level them, or lash out against the West with a cyberattack.

            “The fourth is escalate to de-escalate, which is a tactical nuclear weapon,” Mr. King said, using the term for a Russian military doctrine in which it would employ a nuclear weapon as a warning — and then negotiate.
            ________
            “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

            Comment


            • Inside a rare US meeting with a Russian general in Moscow

              CNN —A rare face-to-face meeting between Russian and US military officials last week led to an “outburst” of emotion from a normally stoic Russian general, a “revealing moment” that the Americans present believe hinted at larger morale problems in Russia’s military, according to a closely held US military readout of what transpired.

              The readout, which was reviewed by CNN, describes the perspective of the two defense attachés who attended and their own impressions of what they saw and heard. It does not offer a definitive explanation of the Russian general’s behavior. Readouts of sensitive meetings are never made public by the military or intelligence community because they are scrutinized for clues about an adversary’s thinking and intentions.

              The meeting, held at the Russian ministry of defense in Moscow, is a rare instance of Russian and American defense officials sitting down in person since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. The readout describes the meeting as tense, with visible signs of stress on the Russian side.

              It makes particular note of the behavior of Russian Major General Yevgeny Ilyin, deputy chief of the main directorate of international cooperation who has a long track record of dealing with American officials. In a break from typical practice, Ilyin spoke with no notes or set talking points, according to the readout.

              As the meeting was breaking up, one US defense attaché “casually inquired” about Ilyin’s family roots in Ukraine, and the Russian general’s “stoic demeanor suddenly became flushed and agitated,” according to the readout. The Americans reported Ilyin responded “yes,” and said that he was born in Dnipropetrovsk before moving with his family moving to Donetsk, where he went to school.

              But the US officials reported Ilyin then added that the current situation in Ukraine is “tragic and I am very depressed over it” – and then he walked out without shaking hands, according to the readout.


              It’s unclear why the meeting was held or the circumstances behind it. CNN does not know if there’s additional documentation describing the meeting. The readout does not include the names of the American attachés in the meeting, and CNN has been unable to learn their identities. The Pentagon and State Department declined to comment. CNN has reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment.

              The US team had the sense, according to the readout, that Ilyin stopped just short of accusing US and Ukraine of atrocities against his family. It’s not clear what specifically caused them to reach that conclusion, but one of the attachés said, “The fire in his eyes and flustered demeanor left a chill down the spine.”

              The readout said one of the attaché’s jaw dropped, and both Americans reported they had never “witnessed such an outburst by Russian counterparts at an official meeting.”


              US meetings with Russian officials are typically scripted affairs. While it’s not clear from the summary what precisely led to Ilyin’s reaction, the two US defense attachés who attended the meeting assessed the general’s reaction as a possible sign of morale problems.

              “At the very least, it is clear that morale problems among Russian forces are not limited to front-line troops,” the readout concludes.

              A glimpse into US-Russia military relations
              The readout provides a peek behind the scenes of a Russian military that has failed in its apparent goal of quickly taking Kyiv after launching the invasion last month. Senior US military officials have said publicly and privately that the morale of Russian military forces is suffering as they enter the fourth week of their invasion of Ukraine – an invasion that US officials think Russian President Vladimir Putin believed would go much more quickly and smoothly than it has.

              In an interview Tuesday with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov disputed US assessments that Russian troops had morale problems. “You would probably have to doubt this information,” Peskov said. “You have to doubt it, and you have to think twice whether it is true or not.”

              The Kremlin has continued since well before the invasion to refuse direct high-level contact between senior US generals and Russian counterparts making this meeting one of increased interest. The US has a deconfliction phone line of communication with the Russian military that has been tested daily but has not been used.

              The US believes that the refusal for high-level meetings is due to Kremlin worries that the encounters would show them to be vulnerable if they allowed such meetings, because it risks a tacit admission that an abnormal situation exists, according to the readout.

              The Russian general did not deviate in the discussions from the win-at-all-costs Russian strategy of the invasion of Ukraine, according to the readout. In this instance, the two Americans believe they witnessed a Russian general who was “clearly in distress over the situation but who had nowhere to project his anger except in line with Kremlin’s state sponsored narrative,” according to the readout.Even before the remarkable end to the meeting, the US officials reported that Ilyin’s stoicism began to wilt in the meeting when the Americans called the Ukraine situation a crisis, and the Russian general quickly “corrected and countermanded” them.

              The readout notes the Americans are not discounting the encounter may have underscored the hardening of the Russian position on the war and the Russian military officials’ need to fulfill their orders because they have no other choice.

              A senior defense official said last week that the US has “picked up anecdotal indications that morale is not high” in some of the Russian forces’ military units.

              “We certainly have indications that morale is a growing problem inside the Russian forces that are fighting in Ukraine,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters Tuesday. “As time goes on, and they continue to fail to achieve the progress on the ground that they want to achieve, we’ve seen increasing indications that morale and unit cohesion is a problem.”

              _________
              “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

              Comment


              • Poll shows Americans support Russian sanctions, think Biden should be tougher
                A majority of Americans are supportive of the harsh sanctions on Russia but believe Biden needs to be tougher on the Kremlin after its invasion of Ukraine, according to a poll commissioned by the Associated Press and NORC released Thursday.

                The poll, which surveyed 1,082 U.S. adults from Thursday to Monday, found 56% of Americans believe Biden's response to Russia hasn't been tough enough, including a majority of 53% of Democrats. A very small percent, about 6%, said they thought Biden had been "too tough," the poll shows.

                Across the board, Americans of both political parties were supportive of the harsh economic blows to Russia. The poll showed 68% were supportive of economic sanctions in general with 70% saying they supported the recent banning oil imported from Russia, which in turn caused gas prices to rise.
                ______________

                Sure would love to know what more these armchair generals want the U.S. to do

                Or have they forgotten that nuclear weapons exist and Russia is one of the foremost nuclear powers in the world?
                “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                Comment


                • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                  Sure would love to know what more these armchair generals want the U.S. to do

                  Or have they forgotten that nuclear weapons exist and Russia is one of the foremost nuclear powers in the world?
                  I saw that too.

                  My feelings are that after you are asked what your opinions are about the sanctions and you say he needs to be tougher then a follow up question needs to be asked. Simple, such as "what do you suggest?" If no response they are eliminated from the poll.

                  The average American and polls... a match made in heaven. I recall, when in Europe back in 1976, I was impressed by how much they knew about the United States and what was going on. Far more than the average American back then who couldn't think beyond their city limits. I'm quite sure both Kato, OOE and Bigfella know more than the average American of today and then some.

                  Comment


                  • Cards still to play
                    Close Russian consulates in the US, they have 4.

                    Allow the Ukrainian government to sue Russian assets in the US.

                    Issue Interpol Red Notices against oligarchs.

                    Scrap the Iran deal and immunize the Saudi crown prince in trade for mass increases in oil production.

                    Announce sanctions on accessing the US financial markets for any forgien business doing business in Russia.


                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
                      I saw that too.

                      My feelings are that after you are asked what your opinions are about the sanctions and you say he needs to be tougher then a follow up question needs to be asked. Simple, such as "what do you suggest?" If no response they are eliminated from the poll.
                      I think we need to put those responses down to people wanting to do more without getting into the details. In some ways I see it as a positive because it allows for Biden to consider further action. As Z pointed out, there are still a few possibilities. It also makes it easier for him to respond if Russia escalates.

                      The average American and polls... a match made in heaven. I recall, when in Europe back in 1976, I was impressed by how much they knew about the United States and what was going on. Far more than the average American back then who couldn't think beyond their city limits. I'm quite sure both Kato, OOE and Bigfella know more than the average American of today and then some.
                      Thank you for the compliment. As always I defer to the Colonel. Kato & I can have a cage match for second. ;)

                      Sadly my non-WAB experiences suggest that you are correct. I started out expecting that pretty much every American I encountered would be way better informed on US history & politics. Apparently not. Not even close, in fact. On the other hand (and again outside WAB), Americans discussing Australia at best know about 3 things about us, two of which are at least partially wrong. During COVID I rapidly worked out that it was pointless trying to explain that we had states with different laws. Too much detail.

                      sigpic

                      Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Bigfella View Post

                        Sadly my non-WAB experiences suggest that you are correct. I started out expecting that pretty much every American I encountered would be way better informed on US history & politics. Apparently not. Not even close, in fact. On the other hand (and again outside WAB), Americans discussing Australia at best know about 3 things about us, two of which are at least partially wrong. During COVID I rapidly worked out that it was pointless trying to explain that we had states with different laws. Too much detail.
                        Past Crocodile Dundee and possibly Finding Nemo not much more

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by zraver View Post
                          Cards still to play
                          Close Russian consulates in the US, they have 4.

                          Allow the Ukrainian government to sue Russian assets in the US.

                          Issue Interpol Red Notices against oligarchs.

                          Scrap the Iran deal and immunize the Saudi crown prince in trade for mass increases in oil production.

                          Announce sanctions on accessing the US financial markets for any forgien business doing business in Russia.

                          True, but most too beyond the normal person to think of. The average American doesn't know about Consulates, Interpol, financial markets, or a Saudi Prince. If asked exactly what many would probably say something that had more boom.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

                            Past Crocodile Dundee and possibly Finding Nemo not much more
                            And shiraz.
                            Never forget Shiraz!
                            Trust me?
                            I'm an economist!

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by DOR View Post

                              And shiraz.
                              Never forget Shiraz!
                              to visit again to stock up so we can finally catch up in person.
                              sigpic

                              Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
                                Past Crocodile Dundee and possibly Finding Nemo not much more
                                The less people knows about world awarding winning Australian single malts, the better it is for the rest of us snobs.
                                Chimo

                                Comment

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