Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 20, 2020

Open Thread 2020-13

News & views ...

Posted by b on February 20, 2020 at 13:23 UTC | Permalink


Could ErDOGan be pretending to fight SAA while he withdraws Ahrar Al-Sham to northern Syria and therefore abandons Washington's Al Qaeda (HTS) franchise in Idlib?

Posted by: The Wonderer | Feb 20 2020 13:36 utc | 1

ANNA-News has released a new 49-minute documentary Tiger Forces: The Road to Aleppo about the liberation of the M5 highway.

There are two versions:

  1. The original, high-resolution version in Russian (1080p).
  2. A low-resolution version in Russian with English subtitles (720p48, but feels like 480p).
Some of the footage is just incredible: Syrian artillery hunting for jihadi APCs bringing reinforcements to the battlefield—captured from a drone, nighttime tank aiming and firing captured from inside a T‑90 tank, helmet cam footage of a Syrian assault squad pinned down by enemy fire behind boulders. It’s ANNA-News at its best and a must-see.

Posted by: S | Feb 20 2020 13:38 utc | 2

for years I've been writing about how a financing mechanism called Tax Increment Financing has contributed to the affordable housing crisis in my community in Missoula, Montana. last October it was announced our little mountain town would get a big event center/hotel/condo tower by developer Nick Checota, from Wisconsin, and the project will be receiving 16.5 million dollars in Tax Increment Financing.

members of our community have been galvanized into action, regularly showing up at City Council meetings. one of those community members is staff sergeant Brandon Bryant, a whistleblower on Obama's drone program. Google him if you're not familiar with him.

because of a threatening video Bryant uploaded (and a third party cyber stalker sent to council members) he is currently in jail on a felony charge of threatening public officials and held on $100,000 dollar bond. there is a lot more to this story, so instead of taking up more space here I'll direct you to this post and this post.

there is also a go fund me page.

a lot of commenter here like to talk shit on ignorant Americans. here is a chance to support an American with the courage of a conscience who has paid a price, and is continuing to pay a price for standing up for what's right.

Posted by: lizard | Feb 20 2020 13:42 utc | 3

The ultimate article about contemporary Japan, from a macro-economic point of view. Must read:

Japan: Abenomics revisited (or: the end of Japan as we know it)

Posted by: vk | Feb 20 2020 14:27 utc | 4

I noticed this paragraph: "The militants were supported by Turkey that shelled the Syrian Army’s positions. Yet, the Turkish forces stopped the artillery barrage after Moscow contacted Ankara, the ministry added."

Posted by: nick | Feb 20 2020 14:32 utc | 5

nick | Feb 20 2020 15:08 utc | 6 (rockets)

Puts the Imperium in a fix, don't it? I mean, if the "patriot" missiles are "given" to Erdo everybody will see that these don't work - and That would be bad for sales...

If they do work, then, alas, it would be necessary to destroy the launch sites.

Either way, the Empire Sales Department would suffer.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 20 2020 15:18 utc | 7

The ostensibly female criminal agent with the suicide problem is, it is said, the "load" the rich guy agent is shilling for... see>

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 475

Mike Bloomberg is paying & paving the way for Hillary Clinton (Video)

Yeah, well, duh!

(see> (YT) It's the Old Army Game (1926) - Louise Brooks, W. C. Fields At Minute 56:20 +)

(Brooks her self is an interesting person, what she must have heard in pillow talk!)


Fred @ UNZ has a nice essay, romantic revisionism, but with telling truths too.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 20 2020 15:35 utc | 8

Coronavirus in Iran: two older folks in Qom, who had not been out of the country, have been diagnosed with the virus according to reports on presstv. They're not sure how the two got the virus.

Posted by: liveload | Feb 20 2020 15:35 utc | 9

“Boeing finds debris in wing fuel tanks of undelivered 737 MAXs, orders inspections”

In the latest of a string of quality control issues, Boeing discovered debris that mechanics left inside the wing fuel tanks of several undelivered 737 MAXs during the aircraft assembly process.

Posted by: David G | Feb 20 2020 15:45 utc | 10

Watered-down "polite" drivel> "a string of quality control issues".

No kinna QC at all. No policy. Bad moral. Bad management. Sabotage.

(Though I have near zero airplane experience, I've done plenty of turbine work... "foreign material exclusion" is simply part of every task)

I recall a guy who worked the assembly line at Kaiser - the T&M department gave him 20 seconds to put in the 10 bolts - so he put in 4 and tossed the rest of them into a corner...

Posted by: Walter | Feb 20 2020 16:06 utc | 11 And now even their own reports are confirming what I was warning about for years. Yet, it saddens me. GMJ

Posted by: GMJ | Feb 20 2020 16:08 utc | 12

Walter @ 8

'Mike Bloomberg is paying & paving the way for Hillary Clinton' yes, that would seem to be the case, a billionaire paving the way to power for a millionaire. How utterly depressing and how symptomatic of the farcical, kleptocratic, money-driven pantomime that US politics has become...

Posted by: Richard | Feb 20 2020 16:41 utc | 13

Will Trump pardon Roger Stone today or tomorrow?

Posted by: gottlieb | Feb 20 2020 16:53 utc | 14

Say it again Sam, ..."Erdogan has been circling the bowl for a while now. It nice to see Putin ready to push the lever on this rat. Like all rats, they cannot smell their own smelly cheese flatulence! It's a long way to the sewage plant there Erdogan, good luck with the swim. Congrats, Dr. Assad and Syria.'...

Posted by: Taffyboy | Feb 20 2020 16:59 utc | 15

President Putin was interviewed by TASS in a series reviewing his 20 years leading Russia. The Kremlin's website has a transcript of the first session. Here's the TASS report on its project, which informs us that the full film of the interview will be published and aired on 26 March, the 20th anniversary of his winning his first presidential election.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 17:20 utc | 16

Global Times followed Pompeo to Africa and published a biting op/ed about his performance and its aims. It's plain to see that China poses the fundamental problem that's confronted the Outlaw US Empire since the end of WW2--the threat of a better political-economic example or model as the author describes:

"Witnessing China's growing influence in the world and the success of the Chinese model, Washington has clearly been sitting on thorns. The US' constant attacks against China in terms of African affairs are only a display of exasperation."

This impartial nugget shows facts Pompeo's rhetoric can't veil:

"Over the past decade, Africa has gradually grown as a new pole of global economic growth, in which China's supporting role is prominent. In 2019, China-Africa trade exceeded $200 billion, making China Africa's largest trading partner for 11 consecutive years. According to a McKinsey report, China has been helping 'accelerate the progress of Africa's economies' and 'no other country matches' the depth and breadth of China's engagement in Africa." [My Emphasis]

It seems the Outlaw US Empire cannot figure out what to do with the Crouching Dragon and Hidden Tiger. Perhaps changing the focus of policy ought to be considered.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 17:34 utc | 17

They call them super delegates and I call them Dem-Ayatollahs or politburo members who decide who people can vote for.

I am completely with b on Sanders’s stand on foreign policy. The good thing I can say about this is that he has been slowly but continuously moving in the right direction. He is still not where I want him to be. But I could persuade myself to vote for him IF the Dem-Ayatollahs and the politburo members allow him to run AND if he chooses Tulsi as his VP.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Feb 20 2020 17:35 utc | 18

@ GMJ | Feb 20 2020 16:08 utc | 12 ( link goes 404 / standards Mil)

see "West Point Prof Pens Blistering Takedown of U.S. Military Academies"

Really though, this is a product of low quality, a result. As such the "fix" is not to be discovered, as it does not exist. Rather the LQ is a signal of moral loss, perhaps akin to a terminal disease in the matter of Empires...

Posted by: Walter | Feb 20 2020 17:39 utc | 19

While I complain about being controlled by oligarchs, I feel I should offer that in my experience as serf, Bloomberg was a decent leader - as mayor of New York City.

Far better option than Butthead, I believe.

Any mention of Hillary would ruin the deal however.

Sanders seems a decent person, but has no support in Congress (as neither did Trump until he proved he was willing to pay blood-thirsty zionist). And as with Trump he does not have record of accomplishment - is outsider.

Any guidance on new head spook (Grennel)?

Posted by: jared | Feb 20 2020 17:40 utc | 20

What is Elizabeth Warren's game? She bragged and poopoo'd other candidates claiming she is the only one not supported by a SuperPac. Well, Ms. High and Mighty now has a SuperPac supporting her FLAILING campaign.

Elizabeth Warren and the equally failing campaign of Israel shill, Klobuchar, both now have similar pacs supporting them, and Warren's and Klobuchar's policy platforms are world's apart. And yesterday she agreed with everyone on stage, except Bernie, that the Nominee shouldn't be decided on who gets the majority of pledged primary states delegates. Really, Liz...REALLY??! So what gives with Warren?

Bet she wouldn't say that if she invested a whole four years of work organizing the best grassroots movement in the history of the Party and was winning like Sanders is doing!

What is this SHET??? Cause she knows Bernie is carrying her policies to victory.

So what can it be that's driving her to hurt Sanders campaign and her own platform???

Warren doesn't even have the diverse minority vote that Sanders or even Biden have. She has no freakin' path to victory, or even close! So, why does she want to take it to the convention, why is she refusing to drop her campaign, and endorse the ONLY candidate who has her platform including protecting women's rights, and who's winning and can defeat Trump??!

This smells of BETRAYAL. The question is who's being betrayed, cause it ain't just Sanders, people?

Warren is NOT who she pretends to be, but I always said from the beginning, that I didn't completely trust her, and my intuition rarely fails me. I was just hoping this time, I was wrong!

As far as democracy goes, Chuck Todd's question was the most important, revealing, telling moment of the debate.

The Left need to hold her feet to the fire and make her come clean! Warren deserves to lose support all the way to the convention for this.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 20 2020 18:15 utc | 21

@20 jared. I'm guessing you ain't black or latino, or you wouldn't be singing Bloomberg's praises, but you're definitely aipac-type Zionist. Who else would have a good opinion of a racist, Ziofascist shill for Israeli oppression, Apartheid and theft?

If Sanders becomes President, there will be changes and Congress will adapt or he will VETO and sign Executive Orders until the clean up is through! He ain't a chosen, Ziofascist Neocon stooge with ZERO integrity like Trump. As a matter of fact Zionist Pacs are stalking Sanders with dirty ads spending millions in every state to take him down. Gee, I wonder why? On second thought, NOT.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 20 2020 18:30 utc | 22

8;Louise Brooks was a good looker,and Pandora Box was great film.Saw it on TCM other night.

Posted by: dahoit | Feb 20 2020 18:35 utc | 23

@16 Cont'd--

I hadn't read the complete interview when I posted the links, but now I have and suggest it very highly. What you'll learn is more about Putin's personality, his method of governance and get a peek at his philosophy on that point. You'll also learn why the decision to change the government was done in the manner pursued and more about the new PM, Mikhail Mishustin. You'll also learn more about how Russia's government functions. 19 more segments over the next 33 days. Perhaps b will run an article when they're done. I plan to at my VK Space.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 18:48 utc | 24

Brooks' bio, not without bias, is informative...And yes indeed, she's hot - and stayed hot for many years. She knew powerful men...and was a smart gal. She heard things we don't. With WCF and without, I'll re-watch - cool lady. She live long enough to reflect, and did, some.

see> Adeyinka Makinde

The American Malaise: Reflecting on Whether U.S. Politics is "Beyond Repair"

Well, duh!

status ante is not a realistic goal...

Posted by: Walter | Feb 20 2020 18:52 utc | 25

Thierry Meyssan has a review piece up on the Rumsfeld-Cebrowski plan to ruin several ME states, and how Trump has allowed the Pentagon to transfer the unending dirty work to NATO while withdrawing from the field.

Trump no doubt sees bringing the troops home will ensure his re-election and can safely count on the media's favorable consideration.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Feb 20 2020 18:55 utc | 26

: karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 18:48 utc | 24

Dudly do-right meets the eagle scout in the new communist man at the KBG...(press through, add catalysts and reagents) and cook in the crises) and "Presto!"

(it worked)

Yes, so it seems, the USSR and KGB produced a real soviet man....and he's saving the world? By saving Rus.

It worked? Film at 11 / or maybe...

Yeah, that's a cartoon...but it seems like it might be true.

(I always read his stuff, because he does not lie. He's a boy scout (not the sodomite americanski type, but real).

Posted by: Walter | Feb 20 2020 18:59 utc | 27

Walter @27--

I wonder if the Belgians will remark about Putin's barb. I think Boris and Natasha spent too much time on Moose & Squirrel and should have concentrated on Tennessee Tuxedo and his pal Chumley. Or perhaps they should've tried to compromise Roger Ramjet with Penelope Pitstop?

We sure were fed some crap when kids.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 19:27 utc | 28

Putin *not* an authoritarian? Only in the sense that this word is far too mild for a high Stalinist Secret Police officer who has been running Russia as KGB head and de-facto President for a quarter-century now. During those many years not a single one of the kleptocrats who, during that decade of the Yeltsin-Putin régime "privatised" everything that had been built up by generations of Soviet workers, was ever prosecuted for *those* crimes. And isn't Stalin's Moscow-Trial capital sentence against the organizer and leader of the October Revolution still eternally on Putin's statute books?

Posted by: bolshevik | Feb 20 2020 19:50 utc | 29

Posted by: bolshevik | Feb 20 2020 19:50 utc | 29

You lost me at "quarter-century", when it's "only" been 20-years

Even so, playing fast & loose with easily verifiable data undermines the rest of your hyperbole

Posted by: xLemming | Feb 20 2020 20:22 utc | 30

Max van der Werff has analyzed leaked documents from the JIT investigation which further undermine the frame job and further confirms the investigation is a malicious coverup and fraud. It seems that the maximum range of the Buk is 46 km. That would mean that no Buk from anywhere on Russian territory would have been in range to shoot down mh17. Yet, the JIT
has supposedly changed their story to insinuate that the missile was fired from Russian territory. It might
be that Russia has irrefutable proof that no Buk unit ever crossed its border and therefore the JIT was forced
to retract its conceit that the russian buk had been transported from Russia to Snizhne. Will the JIT now
backtrack and return to its previous vomit? The JIT has refused refused to comment on the leaked documents.

Posted by: evilempire | Feb 20 2020 20:42 utc | 31

karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 19:27 utc | 28 (Boris & Natasha)

see (YT) "Boris and Natasha, Goof Gas"

and (YT)"Bullwinkle "Goof Gas" Outtakes (1963)"


bolshevik | Feb 20 2020 19:50 utc | 29

Each action is the proper place, "it's a bit like mathematics".

The design is obvious...there is possible and not possible...first VVP must establish peace with a reformed US and prosperity in Rus, then socialism, then communism...these things have a rhythm of their own, Comrade Brother. Marxism is, after all, not an ideology but an evolving science...where we learn from errors, including those created for us by corrupt capitalist criminals.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 20 2020 21:07 utc | 32

March for our Lives endorsed Bernie Sanders campaign today, but the fake media are totally ignoring this news and instead yammering on and on about Warren their new darling. Last week it was Klobuchar. 2 weeks ago, Buttigieg, before that Biden...but never Sanders for the fake corporate media.

March for our lives with Bernie

Sanders will defeat Trump in November. The favorites of the fake media won't make it past March although they'll keep resuscitating failure up to the convention.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 20 2020 21:30 utc | 33

Maria Paez Victor has a good article at Counterpunch today entitled "Canada Trapped By Its Own Folly" about the Group of Lima which may interest fellow Canuckistanis.

Posted by: spudski | Feb 20 2020 21:42 utc | 34

I enjoy Circe's enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders. Just as Trump's Drain the Swamp+lock-her-up and Obama's Yes, We Can-healthcare-for-all, Bernie will disappoint. The bankers will select the members of his Cabinet. And all the holdovers in the Departments will run the show.

Bernie is now leading in national polls. Bloomberg has just as much luggage as HRC sans the body count.

Bloomberg should throw some funds in Bernie's pot since He has offered to spend from his personal fortune to help Democrats win the election even if he is not the eventual candidate.

Just imagine the costs of this election?
January: Bloomberg has already spent $409 million [$409,000,000] on his campaign .!!! $221,000,000 in January alone.

Posted by: Likklemore | Feb 20 2020 23:15 utc | 35


Any use of Patriots against Russian jets will result in . . . Turkey asking the U.S. for new ones after the Russians immediately destroy the batteries that attacked their aircraft. Whether located in or out of Turkey.

Posted by: zakukommander | Feb 21 2020 0:09 utc | 36

Taffyboy @ 15:

That Boris Zilberman tweet that the ZH article links to is hilarious.

Erdogan being Erdogan, he'll try to have both the Patriot missiles and the S400 anti-missile systems.

Better hope Russia hasn't transferred the S400s yet and instead threatens to send them to Syria instead if Ankara has already paid for them.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 21 2020 0:18 utc | 37

S @ 2; Thanks for the links. Wishing the Syrian people well, to regain control of their own destiny, with the help of Russia.

@ Circe; Keep swinging, you're much better at it than I. I support Bernie all the way, but, I still believe a brokered convention that leads to a second ballot, will loose the "bought and paid for" super delegates, and subvert his nomination.

All those who support him, do it with your $ also. And while you're at it, sent b a bit too.

Posted by: ben | Feb 21 2020 0:31 utc | 38

Jen - 37

I've always assumed that Russia can turn off the S-400 if needed. What I really wonder is if they have put enough backdoors in them to actually be able to take control of them; would be inconvenient for the Turkish Air Force if their very own S-400 took out their very own planes. Though if this were actually possible, I'd suspect Russia would only use that feature as a last resort in a very dire situation, if only for fear of losing its juicy foreign market.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 21 2020 0:49 utc | 39

to spudski thanks for the heads up. I missed that article on my morning circuit. I had not realized that canada was actually the founder of the Lima Group. I had thought that the honours went to colombia and chile. It seems to be safe to say that to know Trudeau is to really dislike him. There was recently in Counterpunch another article about his malfeasance with the indigenous peoples.

Some details not mentioned: re guyana - Exxon now has apparently the contract the extract the oil in guyana's territorial waters. There is a long standing dispute with venezuela over the exact location of the border in territorial waters - so look for excitement in that area.

Not stated in the article, but perhaps assumed, is the fact that murka directly financed the coup in bolivia and has backed Lenin Moreno. What remains a puzzle is chile. The article mis-states the metro fare increase. It was US$00.03 - three cents - not 3%, and applied only to rush hour. Students have always had discounted rates. The protests against 30+ years of financial abuse, however, are completely legitimate and the Pinera gov has done practically nothing to improve the situation. It is interesting to note that his predecessor, Bachelet, accomplished practically nothing as well. The allegations of "crimes against humanity" are to my mind exaggerated. It is nothing like bolivia which has suffered a large number of assassinations and brutality from the military.

Also not mentioned but worth noting with regard to the huge fires in the brazilian amazon - murkan mega-investment firm Blackstone is a major stakeholder in that region. Good old fashioned burning and looting.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Feb 21 2020 1:16 utc | 40

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Feb 21 2020 1:16 utc | 40

Judging from readers' comments to CBC articles published today, not all Canadians agree with their Trudeau's desire to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela.

murka directly financed the coup in bolivia

Coincidentally, Bolivia has now joined the Lima Group...

Posted by: farm ecologist | Feb 21 2020 2:10 utc | 41

Thom Hartmann interview with economist R. D. Wolff;

Posted by: ben | Feb 21 2020 3:22 utc | 42

Miss Lacy | Feb 21 2020 1:16 utc | 40 "I had not realized that canada was actually the founder of the Lima Group"

Cant have darkies running things. five eyes is anglo.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 21 2020 3:53 utc | 43

"China Virus: Protesters in Ukraine Clash With Police Over Quarantined Evacuees"

Remember Maidan in 2014? but......

"Ukraine's effort to quarantine more than 70 people evacuated from China over the new virus outbreak plunged into chaos Thursday as local residents opposing the move engaged in violent clashes with police. Buses carrying evacuees were finally able to reach the designated place of quarantine after hours of clashes. The masked evacuees, exhausted by the long journey...."

Posted by: JC | Feb 21 2020 4:02 utc | 44

The various US Presidential candidates do not differ in their objectives, regardless of parties.

They differ only in the methods to achieve them.

So, little point in spending time on the election process, except perhaps as soap opera.

Posted by: jiri | Feb 21 2020 4:16 utc | 45

An important piece by Elijah J. Magnier that presents a big picture view:

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 21 2020 4:46 utc | 46

I hope Circe will be ok when Bernie sells out all his supporters, again.
You can come cry on my shoulder, Circe.

Posted by: Cadence calls | Feb 21 2020 4:56 utc | 47

Below is a ZH link that has a title that says it all...that we know now

Houthi Missiles Target Aramco Facility Just After Pompeo Arrives In Saudi Arabia

Where is the Beghdad Green Zone bombing for this week?

Go, Axis of Resistance!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 21 2020 5:23 utc | 48

Thanks for the "Canada Trapped By Its Own Folly" article (

We have the vile Chrystia Freeland, not mentioned in that article, to thank for that.

"How Chrystia Freeland Organized Donald Trump’s Coup in Venezuela"

The Freeland-Trudeau regime is currently seeking a Security Council seat to better serve US/neocon aims.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 21 2020 5:23 utc | 49

20 Questions with Vladimir Putin


We are launching a special project entitled "20 Questions with Vladimir Putin". The Russian leader answered questions about amendments to the Constitution, the government’s resignation and other major domestic and international political events.

The first episode is about new government. Vladimir Putin: “We cannot afford to muddle along here. Russia cannot stay a whole year without any government”

Posted by: Mao | Feb 21 2020 5:25 utc | 50

I can't find who provided the link in Asia Times to the latest Pepe Escobar piece about the Munich Security Conference.that the following are the last words to......thanks
An absolute highlight of the MSC was when diplomat Fu Ying, the chairperson on foreign affairs for the National People’s Congress, reduced US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to dust with a simple question: “Do you really think the democratic system is so fragile” that it can be threatened by Huawei?

What continues to gall me is the obfuscation that exists around the issue of public/private core finance that has folks conflating democracy against socialism when they both exist in the West right now.

I keep wanting one of the folks from China to stand up at one of these meeting and cut through the obfuscation hiding the comparison between the socialist core finance model and the private dictatorship model version in the West.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 21 2020 6:30 utc | 51

I think the classical Ottoman empire vs membership in the nation state system is causing chaos in the mind of the Turks.
The Ottoman culture is endemic to the Muslin world but the local nation state franchise called Turkey strongly conflicts with that ancient world Ottoman culture. Its a modern world vs ancient world cultural dilemma that propaganda cannot overcome in one or two generations. Hence the seeming, not trustworthy Erdogan is a juxtaposed result of the conflict between two non intersecting cultural vectors, his culture mind conflicts with the requirement <=that leaders of one of the franchised states of the nation state system, ==> behave as vassal puppets in serve to the oil and gas, petrodollar controlled, nation state system. Except for a few wars, neither Russia nor Turkey has been molested by the other.

Posted by: snake | Feb 21 2020 9:03 utc | 52

Except for a few wars, neither Russia nor Turkey has been molested by the other.

Posted by: snake | Feb 21 2020 9:03 utc | 52

Except that they have been at daggers drawn since the 18th century at least. Crimea, Balkans, Armenia.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 21 2020 9:34 utc | 53

karlof1 #16

Thank you for that link to the Putin 20 questions interview. I am looking forward to reading the whole set. He is working closely with Mishustin in the design and development of the project. They seem like a strong collaboration.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 21 2020 10:19 utc | 54

Korea overwhelmed by soaring number of new coronavirus cases

Capitalist darling South Korea, with almost one month extra, is "overwhelmed" by the COVID-19.

Nobody is blaming the system, though...


The US and China are both in crisis – but Trump can be voted out

You know who was also castigated by a plague and couldn't be voted out? Marcus Aurelius, western darling, honorary Christian, embodiement of paideia - the ideal western man.

He also ordered the execution of at least two apocalyptic prophets during the plague.

But seriously now:

1) China is not in crisis. This epidemic will have an extraordinary impact on its economy, but it will rebound and compensate for this loss next year. Economically, this epidemic is the same thing as a big earthquake or volcanic eruption, coupled with a general strike. Yes, they hit hard, but they don't happen often. Punctual events don't hurt an economic system unless they are on a "meteor that extinguished the dinosaurs" level. But even then, it would not be the CCP's fault, because plagues are natural events.

2) Trump can be voted out, but it is not Trump's fault the USA is in crisis. The crisis begun in 2008, not 2016. Americans can change the POTUS, but they can do nothing against the capitalist class (private sector), which is the true ruler of the country. Trump is a symptom, not the cause, of the American crisis.

Posted by: vk | Feb 21 2020 11:57 utc | 55

to farm ecologist: yes, I knew that the self appointed preznit of bolivia had joined the Lima Group. They have also bowed down to Izzyhell and appointed a chilean mining expert to over see the pillaging. It is really quite horrible. What I'm trying to figure out is where exactly is chile in all this. At the moment there is a social crisis which from time to time paralyzes the country. I'm having trouble seeing who's pulling the strings and to what end. Meanwhile in argentina, the IMF is apparently refusing to accommodate on the HUGE loan made to the disgusting O'Bomber puppet Macri. Cristina was right !!! when she threw the IMF out. Now they will need to start all over with a much bigger debt.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Feb 21 2020 12:55 utc | 56

to Peter in OZ hahahahahaha that was a good one. Well played sir.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Feb 21 2020 12:56 utc | 57

jiri | Feb 21 2020 4:16 utc | 45 (soap opera)

Indeed yes. However local elections in especially rural area often matter.

And even though the Prez is selected by a "college" in a fixed or rigged mechanism, it has often happened that the "wrong" man got selected...then we have the entertainment of events like Dallas or Watergate...or Bush/Gore (Gore won, Bush got elected because 911 was scheduled and Gore wouldn't a gone along) Prez has more or the quality of Pharmacos, less as leader... The lies necessary to bamboozle the Rubes are a vastly amusing affair, every time.

Withal, more Farce than Soap Opera.

I myself shall await the coronation...

Posted by: Walter | Feb 21 2020 14:03 utc | 58

TASS's second installment of their Putin Interview Series is done. Here's the Kremlin's transcript and vid segment. TASS also has its Interview main page here where you can select a segment to watch from a dropdown menu that now displays all the topics.

As for the idiotic and futile attempts to revive Russiagate, Putin and Russia have far more important tasks to accomplish.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 21 2020 18:04 utc | 59

More climate change fun:
The latest panicmongering press release: methane emissions from fossil fuels unprecedented! source
The problem with this statement is that the US NOAA monitors methane levels worldwide, and has done so for a long time. ESRL web site
And if you look at the NOAA Methane Matters site, it doesn't show any pattern of atmospheric methane increases or decreases for the past 35 years: historical NOAA methane presence in atmosphere record

Secondly, NOAA says that the largest sources of methane in the atmosphere are rice, landfills and livestock. Flaring is visible but tiny compared to the rest.Atmospheric methane sources

This is not to say that fracking/flaring doesn't have a role - the increase since 2013 could possibly be due to fracking. But it might not, either, since the 35 year record shows several such spikes.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 21 2020 18:53 utc | 60


First my deep appreciation for your post here - and second, today (after reading through all comments on the latest Democratic party debate, for today I am going to imagine that I am a Russian citizen who is proud of her president but enjoys very much listening to cricket as it is played throughout the world but particularly in her native land (so long as the wind doesn't blow too hard and the rain only comes during the final session of the day.)

Thank you.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 21 2020 20:45 utc | 61

juliania @61--

Thanks as always for your reply! I read the transcript of the second session, which is all about Ukraine, but Putin seems to just get started when it closes. He conveys lots of information that most in the West won't know. His observation about the late 19th century Ukrainian nationalists is definitely correct. I got a hold of an abridged translation of Mykhailo Hrushevsky's History of Ukraine published prior to 1917 when I had access to the University of Hawaii, Manoa's libraries which I liberally used to self-educate myself on Russian and Soviet history. Keep yourself well!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 22 2020 0:51 utc | 62

@karlof1 #62

There’s a mistake in the translation. When Putin explains that the word ukrayintsy originally referred to those living on the frontiers of Rus’—whether in the northwest, in the south or in the east—it should be translated to English as ukrainians, with a lowercase “u”. He’s talking about ukrainians in general, not about the Ukrainians (Malorussians, Little Russians).

Posted by: S | Feb 22 2020 1:46 utc | 63

S @ 63--

Thanks for the tip! I figured it out via the context. Putin's mental acumen is fantastic. I'd enjoy asking him a few questions!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 22 2020 5:59 utc | 64

karlof1 S

I believe the word ukraine means borderlands.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 6:16 utc | 65

Dumb as dogshit yanks.

"WASHINGTON/LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders warned Russia on Friday to stay out of 2020 White House elections after U.S. officials had told him Moscow was trying to aid his campaign.
“The intelligence community is telling us they are interfering in this campaign, right now, in 2020. And what I say to Mr. Putin, if elected president, trust me you are not going to be interfering in American elections,” Sanders told reporters in Bakersfield, California."

Even if Sanders was wakeup to this shit which I doubt he is, He would still have to say this stuff to get votes from the dumb as dogshit electorate and he Sheepdog perchance won, he would have to keep it up.
Not to worry. Trump and his dial a nuke will have another term.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 8:04 utc | 66

A recent Defense Department inspector general report said the U.S. military did not properly account for or adequately store nearly $715 million in weapons and equipment for vetted Syrian partners fighting ISIS.

The report said officials with Special Operations Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve and 1st Theater Sustainment Command did not maintain a central list of gear and equipment for Syrian partner forces complicating efforts to track or inventory the weapons.

Posted by: Mao | Feb 22 2020 9:31 utc | 67

The Germans,politics and citizens alike,are very angry about Richard Grenell's promotion to the position Trump's security moghul.Mostly because they still won't get rid of this very much hated character as an ambassador to Germany.And besides that he is also Trump's envoyé spéciale to the Balkans.This guy has three full time jobs now,none of which he'll be able to assure correctly.So this is another sign of Trumps weakness and impending downfall.

Posted by: willie | Feb 22 2020 10:20 utc | 68

Barbarossa 2.0 get's pretty shiny nukes units to Poland...

Duran speculates about those jolly N-bangers being moved from Turk to Poland "What’s on board the C-17 Globemaster III flying from Turkey to Poland?"

Geewhiz, I thought transferring atomic explosives to a non-nuclear state was illegal..silly Wally...he forgot that Treaties only apply when it's useful.

They say that Able-Archer persuaded USSR that attack was real - and there are stories about preparation USSR made for pre-emptive (atomic) sabotage that was called off at the last moment...

Recently it has been stated that Ru will destroy build-ups that prepare attacks on Ru.

So Wally has question> When do they decide it really is "Barbarossa 2.0"???

And, while he thinks Texas Bentley is an outlier and a bit of a nut, Wally also thinks the predictions Texas made about a showdown in April might be valid.

Another question bothers Wally, will we need fishing licenses after the war?

Posted by: Walter | Feb 22 2020 13:40 utc | 69

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