|Image via Axiomatica.|
David Brooks columns I didn't finish reading:
|Image via Axiomatica.|
|Would you take a Titus Andronicus from this man? Henry de Vere, 18th Earl of Oxford, via Wikipedia.|
In recent days, the press has reported that President Obama signed an order (or on second thought, maybe it’s just an unsigned decision that can’t be FOIAed, so don’t start anything, Jason Leopold) basically halting and partly reversing his plans for withdrawal....Aside from noting that there is no reason to suppose that the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is being in any way halted, let alone reversed, "basically" or otherwise, as opposed to what has been announced, that the boots are going to be in some sense slightly more on the ground than seemed to be the plan, Hagel has been fighting the cuts he was hired to implement in the defense budget from July 2013 until four days ago. His chief firing offense, according to the Times account, was his hysterical public disagreement with the president's hopeful suggestion that the "Islamic state" was less than an existential threat to the entire world:
And now that Obama has made it clear he will spend his Lame Duck continuing — escalating, even — both forever wars he got elected to end, he has
firedforced the resignation of the Secretary of Defense he hired to make peace.
|Vincent van Gogh, Old Man in Sorrow. Via.|
At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community, I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message. At my direction, Department officials have conveyed these concerns to local authorities.Good. Although it seems it was too late. We'd been hearing about the Ferguson police preparations for tonight for weeks, now, I think, and I'd imagine the Justice Department could have been hearing about them too, and relaying their concerns a little sooner.
|Emperor Ninkō of Japan (1800-46). Wikipedia.|
Shorter Ross Douthat, Apostolic Nuncio to 42nd Street, "The Making of an Imperial President":
How did Barack Obama, campaigner against the imperial presidency, turn into the autocrat of America, ruling our country as Nero ruled Rome?
1. The public keeps expecting him to do something, because they're so weird nowadays.
2. The opposition doesn't know what it wants and is hard to deal with, leaving him to be an autocrat by default.
3. He wants to be the liberal Ronald Reagan, which makes him the liberal Richard Bruce Cheney.Nice to see you acknowledging, Monsignor, that emulating Ronald Reagan is an anti-democratic approach, and confirming our fears that Cheney exercised imperial power during the so-called "Bush administration".
|Little did these guys imagine that one day adult white Republicans would be in an almost identical position, suffering from somebody not getting deported. Via Libraries Linking Idaho.|
Most Hollywood movies are about romantic love, or at least sex.Googling "2014 Hollywood movies" yields a banner listing X-Men: Days of Future Past; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Guardians of the Galaxy; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Dumb and Dumber To; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; How to Train Your Dragon 2; The Amazing Spider-Man 2; Interstellar; The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Nations; Hercules...
|Poster by Mungo Thomson, 2004.|
@matthewstoller @emptywheel @AlexanderAbdo @froomkin I know that, Matt- I've never, ever thought "reform" would come from USG - still don't.No, of course, how could a branch of government institute reform in a government agency? Like, how would that even work? It makes no sense at all!
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 18, 2014
|John Ford, The Quiet Man (1952), via The Age of Discernment.|
A familiar number on the caller ID screen. I gave it three rings, enough to grab a shluk from the vodka bottle and stash it back in the desk drawer, then picked up. The voice was familiar too, male, patrician, a little weary. "Brooks?"
"Who wants to know?" I asked, knowing all too well.
|Image via gopixpic.|
Shorter Ross Douthat, Apostolic Nuncio to 42nd Street, "Who's Afraid of Executive Action?", New York Times, November 17 2014:
Sure the president's proposed immigration actions aren't illegal, but if they were they'd have exactly the same consequences. So how is that not frightening?Yesterday the Monsignor, who may not as a matter of fact be quite on board with the Church's immigration policy, came out to join the chorus complaining about Obama's "caudillismo"—Ross's elegant term—in insisting on his presidential prerogative in the decision over which undocumented immigrants get deported, even though he himself had said it would be a "betrayal of our political culture" to do so, according to an exposé in the Free Beacon of his wicked designs.
|Sumerian temple worshiper, alabaster with shell eyes, late 28th c. B.C.E. Via Wikipedia.|
Two major questions leap out: First, what exactly is the strategy? Second, before we put training troops into Iraq, has Iraq agreed to a new Status of Forces Agreement? The first problem is, perhaps, the more problematic. In part this is because the President really has not described one. Right from the outset he has not said what our new national military strategy will be in this new conflict. Although apparently that omission was entirely missed by the majority of reporters covering this story.Incidentally can anybody tell me when this became a thing, that the authorities have to publicly detail and justify their strategy? "General Eisenhower, it's May 1944, we've been at war with Germany for two and a half years and they're still occupying most of Europe. What's your strategy for getting the Wehrmacht out of France?" "Sure thing, Chuck. Our atom bomb is a little behind schedule, so we'll be invading Normandy in a couple of weeks, depending on the weather. Just don't tell those Jerries! Anything else you need?"