Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 08, 2017

Michael Brenner - A Lexicon Of Politics

by Michael Brenner

Every sphere of life has its own vocabulary. Surely that is true of the political world. Certain words and phrases repeat themselves with striking frequency. They serve as a sort of shorthand for the cognoscenti who instinctively understand their connotations. They also are handy verbal shortcuts that spare politicos, pundits and media mannequins overly taxing mental effort.

Here is an annotated explication of a few of the most common words of convenience.

TABLE – as in “All Options Are On The Table”

President Trump repeatedly has said that all options are on the table when it comes to responding to the North Korean “threat.” Before, he had said the same about Iran. So did Barack Obama. The Assad government in Syria prompted a similar statement from both. So did ISIS.

That makes for a pretty heavily loaded table. Let’s imagine it. Nuclear weapons are the centerpiece. Probably small, tactical ones so as better to fit the limited space. Surrounded by Tomahawk missiles, stealth bombers, army units and a few Special Forces. Also on the table are economic sanctions; they are considerably lighter. Perhaps a symbolic bag of Persian pistachios, a bolt of Damask cloth, a bowl of rice, and a tin of Beluga caviar for good measure.

“Talking,” too, have been on the table. They are fluffy and weigh next to nothing. President Trump saw fit to remove them on Monday nonetheless. He vehemently declared that “talking is not the answer!” It was placed back on the table by Secretary of Defense General James “Mad Dog” Mattis. They may be hidden behind the floral display. White House Communications Director Hope Hicks did not return our calls asking as to where “talking” had spent the night before being retrieved.

Let’s visualize the scene. We’re in the Situation Room in the depths of the White House. High-tech electronic displays cover the walls. Dominating the room is an elongated table made of brilliantly polished walnut – a sturdy affair able to handle the load placed on it by all those options (and elbows). Around the table sit Trump, National Security Advisor General HC McMaster to his immediate left, Chief of Staff General John Kelly to his immediate right, Mattis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchen, Jared Kushner, and the Intelligence chiefs: the CIA’s Mike Pompeo, Admiral Michael Rogers Director of the National Security Agency, and General Vincent Stewart from DIA. Medals flash and ribbons shine. The brass alert to any sign that the Orange One might reach for an ICBM – mistaking it for a cigar – and ready to impale his hand to the table with a steak knife. Rex Tillerson is there, too, seated below the SALT.

At each place setting a menu inventories all the options available, and a GPS app pinpoints their location relative to each other.

The President personally had taken ‘talking’ off the table the previous night. The next morning it mysteriously had reappeared – in the form of an English-Korean dictionary. Its discovery sent shivers through the White House – and beyond. After a few tense hours, Mattis stepped forward to declare his responsibility. He did deny rumors that he had used Dennis Rodman as his agent – secreting him into the building at the time of the photo-op with the champion Golden State Warriors in anticipation of just such a clandestine mission.

Whether ‘talking’ will hold its current inconspicuous place, come out of hiding, or disappear in the wee hours of the morning is unpredictable. The table definitely will remain sturdily in place to handle all and any options- at least until the fat lady sings.

BUS – as in “thrown under the bus.”

In the old Soviet Union, unwelcome persons were “liquidated.” Or, “eliminated.” In Latin America they are “disappeared.” The Mafia fitted them with cement shoes as an aide for swimming across the Hudson River. (As Albert "the Executioner" <>Anastasia reputedly said, "real men don’t use water-wings!") Elsewhere in America, they are “thrown under the bus.” It’s a traditional practice rooted in the country’s vehicular culture. The image also suits the American “pro-active” temperament – the mind picture of lifting someone high in the air and then to body-slam them under the wheels of a massive bus resonates – after all, even a he-man Congressional candidate can do it on national television and his rating among his ardent Republican base spikes.

Trump has been especially energetic in pursuing this pastime. Think of Yates, Comey, Bannon, Spicer, Priebus, Scaramucci and several other less prominent “wreakers” dispatched for the good of the Republic. Our current President is by no means the only power holder who relishes this method of disposal. The term itself has become so popular that it now refers to any act of rough justice dealt a subordinate, a competitor, a rival, or a celebrity whose 30 day star turn has reached its sell-by date.

Washington remains the Mecca for this bus-throwing sport. So many people are being thrown under the buses that it is creating a crisis for the Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). With dozens of buses in the repair yards for front axle replacement, it’s hard to keep an adequate sized fleet on the streets. Moreover, the bus drivers are suffering from low morale. Their training doesn’t prepare them for the stressful situation they now face routinely. For example, when you see a well-dressed individual in the grasp of an official-looking guy with19-inch biceps, should you brake - or should you speed-up and expedite the elimination of a redundant public figure?

The drivers’ union also has raised the question of whether it would not be more efficient for all parties concerned to throw these outcasts under Metro subway trains. Permanent disposal would be assured – whereas encounters with buses are not always fatal. Survivors might actually overcome their injuries and reemerge to further torment us - see James Comey on this. In addition, METRO cars are better able to handle such a minor collision without damage that puts them out of service. There is one big drawback to this option. The METRO simply is not reliable enough to ensure that an on-coming train will be available when needed. Think of the embarrassment were it to become known that ‘wreakers’ were being shipped to Beijing or Tokyo in order to be thrown under subway cars there. That smacks of outsourcing; it certainly does nothing to make America great again. If Democrats want to embarrass themselves by looking abroad to dispose of their undesirables, let them.

CLOSET – as in “coming out of the closet.”

An incredible number of people are coming out of the closet these days. It’s a veritable tsunami as an amazing variety of previously hidden groups and individuals flow into the mainstream. Gays, lesbians, transgenders, racists, neo-Nazis, salafists of every creed, suicide bombers, financial deviants. So many questions!

How did they all fit in the closet? Even with the popularity of walk-ins that give every family of any means space that would make Imelda Marcos envious, there are natural limits. The density must have been awesome. Then, imagine these naturally averse types living cheek-by-jowl all these years. One would think that mayhem would be the order of the day. Yet, their survival suggests otherwise – a remarkable level of mutual forbearance. How did this come about?

Did the psychologists among them organize sensitivity training sessions on a mass scale? Had pot been legalized? Did they receive counseling from Barack Obama on how to achieve “common ground?” Did his ethic of bi-partisanship (or tri or quadro-partnership) find fertile soil denied him by the Republicans?

Finally, how are we going to use all that now vacant space freed up by the mass exodus out of the closet? Will home-owners turn them into social media-free zones? Can they be used to help ease the national housing shortage? Should we keep them in reserve in the event that hiding places will be needed for Muslims, Latinos, and Putin apologists?

Or, how about storing all those options that may be removed from the table – like Christmas decorations, yet could be of possible use when the next crisis arises?


Posted by b on September 8, 2017 at 13:52 UTC | Permalink




Posted by: Shh | Sep 8 2017 14:09 utc | 1


Sadly that is right on.

Posted by: jo6pac | Sep 8 2017 14:13 utc | 2

All Options Are On The Table

is just recurrent braggadocio,

which serves to elude, by juxtaposition, that all options are actually under-the-table,

all the time.

Posted by: john | Sep 8 2017 15:03 utc | 3

if they could put the table and the bus in the closet, and get the bus to run over the table and those in the closet before they come out - that would simplify things...

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2017 15:05 utc | 4

Maybe Michael Brenner needs to come out of his israel-first closet, first.

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 8 2017 15:19 utc | 5

Does "wreakers" come from the phrase "to wreak havoc*"? Or...?

*Which shows up as "wrecking havoc," which is the opposite of the meaning of the phrase. But language is pliable, right?

Posted by: jawbone | Sep 8 2017 15:39 utc | 6

In the UK we are getting 'our knickers in a twist' over the exact meaning of 'Brexit'. Our esteemed PM keeps telling us 'Brexit' means 'Brexit', which does not advance matters greatly. She is, however, a master of the cliche and platitude, which is all that the average Tory expects from a leader. Imagine their shock when a large percentage of the electorate were found, at the last General Election, not to have similar expectations.

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Sep 8 2017 16:16 utc | 7

Very witty!

I really enjoyed reading that!

Posted by: Justi | Sep 8 2017 16:40 utc | 8

Neocons against Trump

Posted by: Ben | Sep 8 2017 16:42 utc | 9

lexicon: the vocabulary of a person, language, or branch of knowledge.

It's disgustingly pretentious to describe the current list of tiresome clichés deployed by edu-phobic politicians as a Lexicon.
Like the vast majority of Christian Colonial Chickenhawks masquerading as 'leaders' in the West, Oz's Prime Minister, Malcolm (Mr Motherhood) Turnbull, has adopted the EXTREMELY ANNOYING HABIT of addressing the electorate with speeches assembled entirely from simpering platitudes and meaningless clichés.
Fortunately, it's giving so many people in Oz the shits that if someone bumps him off there'll be 24 Million suspects +/- 1,000 or so paid-up Members of the Liberal Party.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 8 2017 17:09 utc | 10

There is hope. New research from Harvard Law School shows that the percentage of lawyers in the U.S. Congress has declined dramatically since the 1960s.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 8 2017 17:40 utc | 11

The White Helmets Terrorists – Further Extensive Evidence of Direct Collusion with Islamic Terrorist Groups – (Set 4)

Post presents extensive additional evidence that the White Helmets are terrorists linked with the FSA and al-Qaeda in Syria. It will also provide evidence that these groups are being openly promoted by mainstream media and governments in Europe and the United States. It encompasses over 100 screen-captured Facebook images that have been cached from the Facebook accounts of over one dozen White Helmet members and will highlight the fact that the White Helmets post images to their own Facebook accounts that are in support of the FSA and various designated murderous terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, al-Qaeda, and others.

Posted by: liam | Sep 8 2017 17:48 utc | 12

Alas, Brenner does not give us the whole story.

You see, the Bus is on the Table, the Table is in the Closet, and the Closet is on the Bus. They exist in a "Swamp" which must be drained if there is any hope of untangling the hairball.

There is bi-partisan agreement on draining the Swamp but both sides also profit handsomely from dumping their raw sewage into the Swamp. The Swamp creatures that facilitate this dumping are both well known and untouchable.

Importantly, we learn about the Swamp only when things go awry. Like dark matter and the dark net, most of what goes on there is not known to the public and is sometimes referred to ominously as "the Deep State".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 8 2017 19:46 utc | 13

Maybe it should be called "dark politics" to better make the connection to "dark matter" and the "dark net".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 8 2017 20:02 utc | 14

I never expected b to get so poetic.

This is so cool.

Posted by: blues | Sep 8 2017 20:48 utc | 15

Excellent entertaining stuff, b.

Drain the Swamp. How many times have we heard it? Some old billionaire with zero political experience, his gold and his trophy wife and a lot of dealings with various mafias along his real estate/casino way was going to drain the swamp. Yeah? He was going sort all 16 or 17 intelligence agencies, Wall Street, the Pentagon, the Clintons, the media, all those revolving doors, the Fed, the democratic and republican parties, the corporate thieves at Lockhead, Boeing, and the list goes on and on. Out they would all go in one fell swoop. Quijote-like he was going to single-handedly take on the entire rotten demonic violent supermafia in its super swamp with his Sancho Panza buddy, Bannon, the guy with the face of a permanent hangover. Dumb and dumber against a still well-organized mob of the vilest, greediest, most vicious duplicitous bastards who’ve ever walked the face of the earth. In Hollywood they would have said in response to a script like this, “It’s a comedy, yeah?”

Posted by: Lochearn | Sep 8 2017 21:02 utc | 16

Maybe it should be called "dark politics" to better make the connection to "dark matter" and the "dark net".
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 8, 2017 4:02:32 PM | 14

Give that jackrabbit the Nobel Prize for Modesty!
Dark Politics and Dark Matter are products of the same Horseshit Factory.

Equally mysterious.
Delightfully vague definitions.
Evidence generally limited to incomprehensible twaddle & speculation.
Hard to prove or rebut.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 8 2017 21:35 utc | 17

@15 blues.. note the author the piece...

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2017 21:49 utc | 18

Words--the fundamental basis of discourse. How they're framed, warped and splintered has significant cultural importance. I prefer to go beyond Brenner's small list to the scroll used by Paul Street as he attempts setting the record straight now that HRC's supposed tell-all book is now available. In a word, his essay's incendiary and a far better read than Brenner's,

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 8 2017 22:49 utc | 19

Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist who advocates a tougher US stance toward China, has agreed to speak at an event hosted by a unit of the biggest state-owned Chinese brokerage.........The September 12 talk will focus on “American economic nationalism, the populist revolt and Asia,” according to a CLSA spokeswoman.....

A Bannon representative was unsure whether he’ll receive a speaking fee for the event, which will be his first company-sponsored appearance since leaving the government......

Posted by: OJS | Sep 8 2017 23:43 utc | 20

Good lesson in semantics b, an American tradition..

Posted by: ben | Sep 8 2017 23:59 utc | 21

Michael Brenner is brilliant, I hope he keeps em' coming.

Posted by: Sol Invictus | Sep 9 2017 0:00 utc | 22

Michael Brenner is brilliant, I hope he keeps em' coming.

Posted by: Sol Invictus | Sep 9 2017 0:00 utc | 23

ot - @19 karlof1... the dem party threw bernie under the bus.. clinton made sure all options were on the table in this regard.. all her skeletons however, kept coming out of the closet!

not to go over the same tired election talk, but bernie as nice of a guy as he seemed, was also a guy attached to the party at a time when his own party and the 2 party system is a complete failure and rejection of democratic ideals... not being american, i might not be able to appreciate him as much as you.. i feel he skipped over the polluted nature of his own party, to continue on in the charade.. what did he get for it all? honour? it is hard to honour a system and party as corrupt as either of the 2 parties the folks in the usa have a choice of.. i think it is another reason trump won... the republicans were in a funny way, ready to reject the party politics and go with a self serving nutcase free of that baggage..

Posted by: james | Sep 9 2017 0:06 utc | 24

That sick fuck needs to go down asap Netanyahu renforcé par les affaires

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the subject of two judicial investigations and his wife, Sara, of a third.

These investigations follow the call of his predecessor, Ehud Barak, to bring him down by the judicial process in order to protect the country against apartheid being legitimized.

However, the more the investigators surround the Prime Minister, the more popular he becomes. In one of the ongoing cases, almost all of his closest friends have been charged, including his chief of staff and his lawyer. If Justice did not succeed in charging Benjamin Netanyahu, she asked how he could surround himself with such mafioses.

Paradoxically, the more these inquiries cast doubt on his honesty, the more they make him popular. His own constituents describe him as a dangerous character, but it is for this reason that they support him. While the majority of Israelis do not share her dream of a Greater Israel, but simply hope to live in peace, she feels threatened by the Arabs and sees in this prime minister the only man able to protect her against a new Shoah . Playing cleverly on the fantasies of Talmudism, Benjamin Netanyahu is transforming his country into a ghetto completely closed by a Wall; a project worth more than $ 1 billion.

It appears that despite the elements accumulated against him, the Prime Minister will not resign. It can only be stopped by a judicial conviction, which is not impossible in a country that has imprisoned a former president (Moshe Katsav) and a former prime minister (Ehud Olmert).

Posted by: ProPeace | Sep 9 2017 0:06 utc | 25

i guess you could say michael brenner at the top of the post and by michael brenner countless times, and some folks would still think it was b that wrote it! i'm with taxi @5 here..

Posted by: james | Sep 9 2017 0:08 utc | 26

karlof1 @19

Well, I must quibble a bit with what Paul Street has written.

Firstly, Street's focus on Hillary's bad behavior dulls his acknowledgement of Sanders as sheepdog. This is a key failing that many analysts make. It is illogical at best to depict Sanders as sheepdog AND victim. It is so difficult to see that SANDERS WAS IN ON IT.

That is why he ignored Hillary's bad behavior time and time again. That is why he betrayed his base. And (I suspect) that is why he didn't release his tax returns for 2015 despite claiming that they were "boring".

And, Street ignores the most obvious case of Bernie's sheepdogging. When Hillary asked Bernie to name ONE TIME that she changed her vote for money, Bernie could have easily done so - but he didn't. It is well know in lefty circles that Elizabeth Warren had proven that Clinton changed her vote for the Credit Card industry.

What people hate about the Democrats is the lying and double-dealing that is endemic to the party. But they do it slyly, like when Sanders said: “No matter what I do, I will not be a spoiler. I will not play that role in helping to elect some right-wing Republican as president of the United States.” In the end, he WAS a spoiler, though indirectly. By sheep-dogging for Hillary - a seriously flawed candidate - he WAS helping to elect Trump.

In the end, it's difficult to reach any conclusion except that they ENTIRE RACE WAS RIGGED. Trump was in the race to demolish the Republican Party or to win if Hillary couldn't. In the end, Hillary's email scandal was proved too egregious and Trump offered the hope of a negotiation with Putin that might bring Russia back "on side".

Street seems like a "doofus" when he fails to see that Hillary isn't a hater, she's schemer - as is the entire Democratic Party mis-leadership. The Democratic Party wants to turn the page and start fresh by dumping Hillary. But the rot remains - as proven by the election of Tom Perez as chairman in February. The deck is being cleared for the next conman or women.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 9 2017 0:16 utc | 27

@19 karlof1

Just got back from reading the Street article. I found it excellent. I take your point, that words mean nothing to these people except their value to manipulate people who have no protections built against lies. Paul Street is saying that the Democratic Party is neoliberal at core, and simply strings along the true liberals, who are, even so, easily persuaded to rally to the party.

I would add only the observation that the Democratic Party has specialized in co-opting and neutralizing forces that threaten the establishment.

In this, what the party did with Bernie was a text-book example. The contempt afterwards is what Paul Street is trying to illustrate, and stomach.

I can't find the authority to support the proposition that the Democratic Party has long worked to co-opt movements that threaten the status quo. It does exist but I've lost it. I would appreciate anyone's help here to find it.

In the time of the Occupy movement there was a moment when Occupy charged that the Democratic Party was trying to co-opt the Occupy grass roots movement. During that time there was much discussion about this trait of the party: to align with grass roots movements, and to take them over, soften them for "broader public acceptance" or whatever the words used were, and effectively de-fang and neuter these movements.

There was a woman who had written a book about it, and she was regarded as having done a great job of research and analysis. I could have sworn I bookmarked her book and her web footprint. But now it's lost and no corporate search engine can find her.

Does anyone know who this is I'm trying to recall? She is known for her authoritative work demonstrating how the Democratic Party for all of its existence has been a ploy to subsume, encompass, appropriate and neuter grass-roots movements that were showing signs of being effective.


@28 Jackrabbit. Mild disagreement regarding hate versus calculation. Everyone in serious politics is a schemer. What I think is so distinctive about Hillary Clinton is that she very much IS a hater. She seems to have zero emotional intelligence. She can't keep her pique to herself, and I think this is what happens when hubris - or maybe just jaded venality - hits saturation point in a person.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 9 2017 1:03 utc | 28


You can't have it both ways. If Sanders is a sheepdog then he is not deserving of sympathy. Hillary may pretend that he was not a sheepdog but it is a pretense that we don't have to buy into (and we shouldn't, of course).

Furthermore, Hillary MUST KNOW that her attack on Sanders will turn off many Democrats. She is attacking Sanders purposely. The resulting sympathy for Sanders (Hillary's loyal sheepdog!) will strengthen him against more radical elements in the Party.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 9 2017 4:03 utc | 29


Sanders is not necessarily personally loyal to Hillary/Clinton's. He is probably MORE loyal to the Democratic Party establishment.(as a whole) which includes Obama, Clinton's, Schumer, and funders like Soros and Bloomberg.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 9 2017 4:13 utc | 30

New research from Harvard Law School shows that the percentage of lawyers in the U.S. Congress has declined dramatically since the 1960s. Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 8, 2017 1:40:16 PM | 11
Yeah, the HLS lawyers finally wised up,, they know as lobbyist the risk of public disgrace is less and the money to be made is different by three figures ( 6 figures/ transaction as an elected stooge of the Pharaohs vs 9 figures / transactions to provide lobby support for murder, regime change, sanctions or weapon deals).
Serving as one of the 527 elected, salaried pharaoh puppets is old hat, ancient stuff, the newer better more lucrative way for a HLS grad to do well is to form a foreign government funded USA based NPO and use it to provide lobby services to those who need a war, regime change, weapons deal, mercenary army, drug deal or change in oil field ownership. The fees are enormous, the work conducted in bars in some of the best hotels in the world and no one has to deal with pesky reporters and inquisitive citizens.

Posted by: fumdier | Sep 9 2017 4:48 utc | 31

I enjoyed Bremmer's piece, which was a lot more amusing than too much of the 'reality' media distorts to keep its audience of consumers engaged between purchases.
I totally acknowledge that I parked any dark thoughts about the writer's prefered stance on the ME/Palestine and corporate capitalism while I did so, but let's face it if we confined ourselves to only permitting exposure to those who shared our views, life would be considerably more tiresome than it already is.

Anyway I came past today for an entirely other reason and somehow this thread fits with the overall tenor of what I wanted to post.

There is currently an election campaign going on in Aotearoa, one where the incumbent conservative (by kiwi standards, in many areas bleeding heart liberal by amerikan) government suddenly appears to be in great danger of losing.

I have studiously avoided following the contest because there is a lot of the duopoly about current large kiwi political parties although the complex system of mixed member proportional representation (MMP) does mean that there is generally a candidate who has a good chance of success for any view which commands at least 5% support among the population.
A couple of days ago I decided to get my head into the campaign as a learning exercise for my youngest boy who has a number of disabilities and as such is likely to be one of those kiwis for whom the outcome will majorly impact. The challenge for me is to present information about the candidates sufficiently objectively that he will decide that a/ he should express his POV at the ballot box and b/ that POV is based upon what is actually happening rather than what people are being told is occurring.

The chief motive I have for us living where we do is because after sampling different types of community I decided that size matters, a smaller community is much more likely to respond to citizens' views, plus any constructed persona which pols try to project are less likely to be viable.

Anyway, as part of my reluctant move into the cesspit of a political contest I came across this article from the NZ Herald, a media outlet which distinguishes itself by advancing untenable rightist viewpoints at every opportunity - except right now, when the proprietors appear to have decided they would rather aid a microscopically, slightly left of center candidate now than later be overwhelmed by an angry population who want to elect a genuine humanist. We should expect more of this attitude, Mr Corbyn's influence and the reaction to it extends far beyond england's borders.

The writer is talented and his own political POV rarely intrudes, but he does show how much more accessible and tied to the real world politics can be, if the population isn't overwhelmingly large.
Natch this piece uses kiwi colloquialisms and discusses stuff which may seem obscure to non-kiwis, if anyone does read it and needs further clarification ask away & I will try to explain.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 9 2017 5:15 utc | 32

Now that we know what being thrown under the bus, putting all options on the table and coming out of the closet mean, could Michael Brenner also explain the meanings of the following?

A) Russia
B) Syria
C) North Korea

I don't mind if MB needs three posts to draw out what they mean in the Lexicon.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 9 2017 5:34 utc | 33

Looks like YouTube is trying to put North Korea in the closet. Let's hope it's got a good lock on it.

ICBMs, thermonuclear capability, all options on the table - yes! Let's stick them in the closet. There's loads of space there. Out of sight out of mind. What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by: Poster formerly known as oneoffposter | Sep 9 2017 8:06 utc | 34

so much talking about talking when all options on the table is little more than a veiled threat of nukes

and all they really need is just a poorly executed false flag attack like they did so many times with poison gas in Syria, except with nukes, retaliation is swift, and all is quickly lost in fog of war, at least for the next 50 years

Posted by: Cahaba | Sep 9 2017 12:17 utc | 35

@ Grieved | 29

Re: I can't find the authority to support the proposition that the Democratic Party has long worked to co-opt movements that threaten the status quo.

I don't know if this is "the authority" you reference, but I highly recommend "The Democrats - A Critical History" by Lance Selfa.


Selfa's historical analysis rigorously supports the proposition that the Democratic Party has long worked to co-opt movements that threaten the status quo.

** Att'n, B: The "U" (underline) tag doesn't work. (?) **

Posted by: Ort | Sep 9 2017 17:18 utc | 36

@37 Ort - thank you! This may or may not be what I was thinking of, but it's a book I need to read.

Thanks again.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 9 2017 19:52 utc | 37 a gnat in my ear i hear the United States of America's ambassador to the United Nations, her Freudian trope, begging for war.

Posted by: john | Sep 9 2017 20:14 utc | 38

Debsisdead @33 -- important stuff happens in New Zealand

Watching what is going on down under is very important IMHO, because I am an advocate of invading Tuvalu and this endeavor would require at least tacit approval of New Zealand and Australia. Following the kind advise, I check Google News:
New Zealand hit by 2200 lightning strikes in 24 hours 2h ago

New Zealand tsunami threat passes after huge earthquake in Mexico 21h ago
[good example for my Wrath of God theory, the Almighty was hesitating whether to direct it at Mexico or New Zealand, now we should watch if Mexico will be clobbered with a hurricane as well. In another close contest, Miami wins over Tampa.]

The Guardian
'Jacindamania' soars anew as New Zealand PM sprinkles 'stardust' on rival
The Guardian Sep 7, 2017

Personality v policy: What really motivates New Zealand voters?
From New Zealand Sep 8, 2017

Let look at the local perspective from Stuff (they are really good at counting thunders and other possible marks of the Wrath of God):

There's nothing new about attempts to put a human face on politics. But has it gone too far? Nikki Macdonald asks whether Jacinda Ardern's meteoric rise shows personality increasingly trumps policy.

[That gave me a pause. Going too far with putting a human face. Apparently, NZ Labour Party got a leader that not only looks like a human in a grainy photo made from a suitable distance, but even when we take a closer look. On top of that, she is reasonably pretty, unlike her sketchily human-looking opponent. For shame, LP, for shame!]

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 9 2017 22:44 utc | 39

POTUS, these days, is an actor.

Acting. Playing a part.

Trump's part is to harness pissed and very pissed off hard working American families, and to convince them that someone gives a shit.

They don't.

But things in the US have got to such a stage that someone in authority has to pretend that they do.

That's Trump's role.

Problem is that it's precisely Trump supporters who are the target of the elites.

And Trump is elite, now or becoming, having spent much time in a lesser lordship in NYC.

It's win-win for the families.

They love their big families.

Not so much ours.

Posted by: Timmy | Sep 10 2017 2:39 utc | 40

You can't have it both ways. If Sanders is a sheepdog then he is not deserving of sympathy. Hillary may pretend that he was not a sheepdog but it is a pretense that we don't have to buy into (and we shouldn't, of course).
Thank for this site

Posted by: طراحی سايت | Sep 10 2017 11:57 utc | 41

james @25--

Yeah, Street managed to use all 3 of Bremmer's words without actually using them. During the campaign, I argued Sanders wasn't trustworthy whatsoever and took H-bomb levels of heat for that stand, as did Street. Now, I barely pay attention to his pronouncements. He is not any sort of political savior.

Grieved @29--

The Populist Party decision to again fuse with Bryant's Democrats in 1900 essentially destroyed their movement's political strength; and while Bryant attacked the status quo, the Democrats had too much negative baggage he failed to overcome.,_1900

IMO, the Populists would have served their constituency and the nation much better had they not fused with the Democrats, as the D Establishment wasn't about to relinquish its hold on power to a group of people it deplored. IMO, the Populists would have supplanted the D Party and changed the political course of the nation for the better.

Jackrabbit @28--

IMO, you're too critical of Street, perhaps because you haven't read him as much as I, although I do agree with your appraisal of Sanders.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 10 2017 20:36 utc | 42

BANKRUPT- A jizzed economy and exceptionalist society leaving in bubble-up froth like a leafhopper or earwig, waiting not so much for Godot, as for some marvelous new technology, like the PC revolution that turned around 20 years of economic and societal tailspin, only to have the wings fall off anyway with the PNAC New Pearl Harbor and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Banker Coup of 1999, followed by the Pentagon Coup of 2001.

Posted by: Chipnik | Sep 13 2017 13:55 utc | 43


Visiting American tourists can now be paired with real ADF troops and live automatic weapons (set to single fire one would hope) in 'bootcamps' to pretend shooting down 'jihadi terrorists (hopefully paper targets and not Palestinian school children.)

How is Israel not Nazi Germany The Sequel? And will they all move to France or Germany after Israel falls, or God forbid, USA? Greatest economic disparity in all of Europe.

I did notice this year at the gun range fewer auto-weapons and more skeet shooters. It's become a social fad, close to 100 F250+trailers camped for the weekend, this year non-stop skeet barrages both days. Practicing for bird hunting in Arizona in the winter? Or getting ready for the zombie Apocalypse?

70% of Wall Street trades are now nothing but algos and supercomputers, chasing each other in waves of choss. Then in November of 2017, the network became self-aware, lol.

Posted by: Chipnik | Sep 13 2017 14:15 utc | 44

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