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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 06:39 PM
Number of posts: 22,660

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How long before Red State economies will significantly suffer from"brain drain" etc.?

The escalating extremist anti-reproductive health laws being enacted in Red States in some cases directly threatens the lives of women of child bearing age, in many more cases it restricts their freedom to make fundamental life altering decisions. It is not just abortions, increasingly the use of birth control is threatened.

Meanwhile a reign of censorship terror is descending on educational institutions, from kindergarten through college. Libraries are removing books from their shelves, history is being whitewashed, art is being censored in the name of "morality." Members of the LGBTQ+communities, and their allies, are increasingly being targeted with repression and made to feel unwelcome. Automatic weapons are being openly fetishised. Businesses are being told how they can and can not train their own employees to make workplaces open and inclusive .

At what point will the difficulty of attracting and retaining employees under 40, make corporations wary of basing their operations inside of Red States? When will Red State universities no longer be able to attract the best and the brightest to either their faculty or student bodies? University graduates often settle in the states where they attended college. They are a primary souse of renewal and innovation. Red States are playing with long term fire if they continue on their path of cultural warfare.

No I won't totally boycott Twitter posts on DU, but they now start out with two strikes against them

If Twitter use went down by another 50%, Twitter itself would go down. And if Twitter goes down, it won't be that long before some other way to share info online rises to replace it: nature abhors a vacuum and all of that.

From now on I'm going to cut back significantly clicking on threads that link to Twitter posts here. Yes, I will still do so when the content is of exceptional importance, or when it contains significant content unavailable anywhere else. But I can do without reading most Twitter posts, no matter how insightful or funny they may be, And if important breaking news is coming across Twitter it will soon be talked about everywhere.

Yeah, sometimes I won't know what I'm getting into before I open an OP, but I can always cut my losses and move on without commenting and bumping a Twitter thread.

I just can't stand Elon Musk and want as little to do with supporting his personal platform now as I possibly can.

Right about now I'm glad the DOJ filed charges against 1,000+ in that insurrection mob

Much credit where much credit is due. Sure, I am unhappy that almost no one who was pulling strings for the insurrection has been charged yet, but a lot of people whose strings were pulled have been. THEY, and the crowd they all hang with, know the legal system stands ready to ensnare those who riot against the government.

Good old fashioned deterrence at work. No doubt Trump can still sit up some trouble, but hundreds of his shock troops are already sitting in jails, and many times that number now know exactly where they will end up if they take part in violent protests.

Jack Smith was a War Crimes Prosecutor. He worked for the International Criminal Court

From 2008 to 2010, Mr Smith served as Investigation Coordinator in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC). In that capacity, he supervised sensitive investigations of foreign government officials and militia for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Prior to being appointed Special Council by Attorney General Garland to investigate former POTUS Donald Trump, he was working at The Hague, investigating Kosovo war crimes committed by government leaders. Jack Smith is wired into the global institutions that bring criminal heads of state to justice. No doubt Smith knows ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan personally. Smith knows full well what a bold step it was for Khan to issue an arrest warrant for the Russian President Vladimir Putin. No head of state of one of the 5 permanent members of the United Nation's Security Council has ever individually been charged with a war crime before. No American ex-President has ever been indicted for any crime before either.

The timing of the charges filed against Putin may well have been dictated solely by the pace of the workings of the ICC, but whether adventent or not, the message it also sent Jack Smith can not be louder or clearer: The high and mighty MUST and SHALL be held accountable for their crimes. Everything we know about Jack Smith indicates that this is a truth he long ago internalized, but the warrant just issued against Vladimir Putin can't help but stiffen his resolve.

When I was a late teen the phrase "Question Authority" was widely considered radical and unpatriotic

Leaders, and authority figures in general, were defacto regarded as the embodiment of America. My father, an essentially good and kind working class man, internalized that world view. He thought stability depended on a respect for authority, and that questioning authority would lead to chaos. Granted, that was back in the 60's, but a conservative mindset doesn't change much. What has changed, for those with that inclination, is their working definition of being an American.

Newt Gingrich may be credited by many for the lurch toward extreme partisan polarization in Congress, but on a broad cultural level it was the emergence of voices like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter who glorified division, on a mass level, within the American people. As the saying goes, "There's nothing new under the sun." so of course they weren't the first to do so. But the potency of their appeal, and the popularity of their poison, represented a modern inflection point for the creation of the current partisan chasm that replaced our traditional partisan divides.

I remember (naively in hindsight) being taken aback when Ann Coulter's 2003 book "How To Talk To A Liberal (If You Must)" became a runaway best seller. It was the part of the title in parenthesis, if you must that was jarring to me. The implicit call for separatism, the clear assertion that it is best to not talk to "liberals" at all, felt like a dangerous shift in emphasis. The preferred option was no longer to win a debate, it was to avoid debating to begin with. "Real Americans" shouldn't waste their time with"liberals." We were no longer "One nation, under God, indivisible..." in the eyes of right wing activists, we were in a cold civil war, with Us Vs Them clearly delineated, and "Them" morphing into "the enemy."

Which brings me back, in a roundabout way, to how I started this piece. Cultural conservatives still bristle at the notion of "questioning authority", it's just that more and more of them each day no longer consider elected Democrats as "American" leaders. To many of them, Democrats are now something "other" than "American." So the authority of a "President" Joe Biden, or a "Governor" Gretchen Whitmer should be questioned, if not out right rejected. If Democrats are "the enemy", they have to be opposed, and increasingly the rules of war apply.

Donald J. Trump, by historical consensus, is the acknowledged 45th President of the United States. When the highest authority figure in America declared the 2020 presidential election to be a total sham, and claimed that those who refute that "fact" are enemies undermining our democracy, for those who regard him as America's real leader, what is there left to "talk" about with "liberals"?

Trump knows he'll never be "most loved". He wants to be the "most consequential" U.S. President

since George Washington. That is the only status, which fits his ego, that he was the potential to attain. That makes Trump even more of a nihilist than he is a fascist, because it is only by destroying the United States (as we currently know it) that history will record Trump as a truly consequential figure, one whose name will be remembered for millennia as a pivotal figure of the 21st century.

So Trump is inexorably drawn toward destruction like a moth is to flame. In his fevered mind there is no meaningful difference between being remembered as a "Great Leader" or as a "Great Villain." Both terms begin with "Great."

Manchin can do whatever he wants now as far as I'm concerned, except run for President

We've gotten as much from him as is possible for a Senator from West Virginia. His vote was crucial to making Schumer Majority Leader in the last session of Congress, and he enabled SOME of Biden's agenda to pass, giving his presidency some noteworthy and important accomplishments.

Essentially I think of him as a centrist Independent from a State that otherwise elects right wing Republicans. He can call himself a Democrat now or not, I don't care. There used to be other Democrats like him in the Senate. If he chooses to say that the Party left him, I don't give a damn. I'll take his vote when we can get it, I don't look to Manchin for loyalty to Democrats. Unlike in Arizona, there is no potential upside in any other Democrat running against him in West Virginia.

Manchin just needs to stay the hell away from running against Biden in either a primary, or the General Election as an Independent., If so I won't give that much more thought to him than I do to Lisa Murkowski.

Purely speculative but: Could Biden be withholding F-16's to Ukraine as long as China withholds...

...lethal arms aid to Russia? I always used to think in terms of the U.S. being somewhat cautious about what weapons we send to Ukraine to avoid triggering a Russian overreaction, tactical nukes or whatever. Over time that type Russian response started seeming very unlikely to me, unless the U.S. or N.A.T.O. literally entered the fighting or unless Ukraine took the fight aggressively into Russia proper. But China starting to arm Russia directly with lethal aid could substantively effect the fighting in Ukraine. So could the U.S. and N.A.T.O actively helping Ukraine establish clear air superiority inside of Ukraine. Could the threat of sending F-16's to Ukraine be being used behind the scenes to deter China sending weapons of their own to Russia? I don't think that's the type of thing that would be openly acknowledged if true.

As long as Trump is running for President 1/4th of Americans will essentially be Pro Putin

One eight of Americans are fully inclined to fall into that camp even if Trump never existed, or were he to disappear tomorrow. But the fact that Trump has an established cult of personality around him, that he is a former POTUS, and that he is a favorite to win many if not most Republican presidential primaries, means he will personally galvanize opposition to American support of Ukraine while on the campaign trail, thus strengthening Putin's hand. I am sure Putin keeps that in his calculations, and Putin will hold out hope that America's will to oppose his imperialist expansion will falter as long as Trump is a serious contender for President, with a chance to actually regain that office.

Most American's reflexively are inclined to root for the underdog, for the little guy against the big bullies of the world. It is in our national character to cheer on people fighting against the odds for their freedom and survival. That isn't an absolute, but it is a real tendency. The Ukrainian people for so many reasons (not least of which the fact that they are white Europeans), are intrinsically sympathetic to most Americans. Cultural affinities make most Americans much more likely to identify with Ukrainians than they did with the people of Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan. And unlike in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, Americans are not themselves fighting and dying in Ukraine, which makes a huge difference in regards to our staying power there.

The war in Ukraine, in the political sphere, will become a wedge issue. Americans will tend to polarize around it further the longer that the war continues. A large percentage of Americans will fall in behind Trump as "America First" Putin apologists, but I call it a wedge issue because the cleavage of opinion on it will not be closely divided. A clear majority of Americans can and must be rallied behind our continued support for Ukraine, for all of the factual and emotional reasons that we can muster, and there are many.

Both Biden's values and political instincts are spot on correct about Ukraine. This is a hill we choose to fight on, that gives us the upper hand and the moral high ground. Support for Ukraine is a banner we can proudly carry into the 2024 elections.

So no new mass conscriptions? No closing of Russia's borders? No drastic war time economy decree?

Am I missing something? So much was being rumored. Putin, personally, can't afford to lose in Ukraine. The fact that he isn't pulling out all the stops indicates that he's stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea; damned if he escalates dramatically, damned if he doesn't.
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