erik lundegaard

Politics posts

Thursday October 25, 2018

Lock Him Up

Mr. Trump’s aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, and they have told him that Russian spies are routinely eavesdropping on the calls, as well. But aides say the voluble president, who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones. White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them. ...

The issue of secure communications is fraught for Mr. Trump. As a presidential candidate, he regularly attacked his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 campaign for her use of an unsecured email server while she was secretary of state, and he basked in chants of ‘lock her up’ at his rallies.

— from the article, ”When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn," in The New York Times

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Posted at 04:37 AM on Oct 25, 2018 in category Politics   |   Permalink  
Monday October 22, 2018

Caravans

Yesterday, after listening to NPR, I checked to see how often The New York Times wrote about the caravan to Mexico this month.

From Oct. 1 to Oct. 12? Bupkis.

The first time the story appeared was on Oct. 13, an AP piece entitled “Spontaneous Caravan of Migrants Winds Way Through Honduras.” What did the migrants want? What they usually want: “...reaching a better life in the United States.” Also this tidbit: They organized via WhatsApp chats. Trump isn't mentioned.

The second time, from the same day, Reuters mentions an earlier caravan in April, along with Trump's zero-tolerance policy. 

The next day, the caravan was “growing” and “swelling” as it crossed the Guatemalan border. The day after is when Trump politicized it and the story exploded. 

I don't know what the answer is. You can't let in everyone who wants to come to the U.S. But demonizing the group is obviously a political stunt by Trump to stir up hatred for the midterms—or just generally. Because that's what he does: stirs up hatred. See Stephen King's reaction:

Last night, I came across the following in Jill Lepore’s ”These Truths: A History of the United States,“ about the settling of the Oregon territory, where I live. 

More immediately, [Pres. James K.] Polk wanted to acquire Oregon, an expanse of achingly beautiful land that included all of what later became Oregon, Idaho, and Washington, and much of what later became Montana and Wyoming.

”Our title to the country of Oregon is clear and unquestionable,“ Polk announced, as if willing this to be true. Britain, Russia, Spain, and Mexico had all made claims to the Oregon Territory. Americans, though, had been staking their claim by moving there. They'd been heading west from Missouri along the arduous Oregon Trail, a series of old Indian roads that cut across mountains and unfurled over valleys and snaked along streams. In 1843, some eight hundred Americans traveled the Oregon Trail, carrying their children in their arms and pulling everything they owned in wind-swept wagons. With Polk's pledge behind them, hundreds became thousands. They traveled in caravans, guided by little more than books like Lansford W. Hastings's Emigrants' Guide to Oregon and California...

A group of people moving in caravans to new lands and, rather than assimilating, taking it over. Either we don't know our history, or what we fear is ourselves.

Extra credit: They Might Be Giants' ”James K. Polk,“ and Van Morrison's ”Caravan." 

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Posted at 03:21 AM on Oct 22, 2018 in category Politics   |   Permalink  
Friday October 19, 2018

These Machines Kill Fascists

These machines kill fascists

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Posted at 07:47 AM on Oct 19, 2018 in category Politics   |   Permalink  
Wednesday September 26, 2018

They All Laughed

[Laughter]

Yesterday, Trump gave a speech before the U.N. General Assembly. This is the line that's getting all the attention:

In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country. America is so thrilled.

It's getting attention because of what happened next:

[Laughter]

For a moment, Trump actually looked embarrassed. Or angry? His face reddened. As did America‘s—if we could be embarrassed any further. What an idiot. What idiot people around him. He goes to the U.N. to upend longstanding American foreign policy, the basic agreements that have kept our world wars leveled off at II, that have prevented us from finishing and ruining that odious trilogy (cf., “Spider-Man 3”), but first he has to brag about what he thinks he’s done? He tries to get world diplomats to buy into the dumb buzz in his brain? The Bizarro world that he runs because the real world is too difficult? And he thinks they‘ll go along with him as if he’s talking to the dolts at CPAC? 

Hence his next line:

I did not expect that reaction.

Of course not. Because you don't look at the world the way it might be. 

But that wasn't the worst of his speech. The worst of it was the upending of long-standing U.S. and NATO policy. 

For similar reasons, the United States will provide no support and recognition to the International Criminal Court. As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority. The ICC claims near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, violating all principles of justice, fairness, and due process. We will never surrender America's sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable global bureaucracy. America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism. Around the world, responsible nations must defend against threats to sovereignty not just from global governance, but also from new forms of coercion and domination.

Vladimir Putin couldn't have created a more damaging American president if he'd built one from scratch.

It does seem the way to go, though. Laugh at the fucker. And vote. 

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Posted at 01:29 AM on Sep 26, 2018 in category Politics   |   Permalink  
Friday September 21, 2018

Mr. Plow

Mitch McConnell

“Here's what I want to tell you: In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the U.S. Supreme Court. So my friends, keep the faith. Don't get rattled by all this. We‘re going to plow right through it and do our job.”

— Sen. Mitch McConnell, Biggest Asshole in the World, at a summit for social conservatives earlier today. As many have noted, “plowing” a Supreme Court nominee through the process isn’t exactly the smartest language to use considering what Kavanaugh's been accussed of, but what's worse to me is McConnell's admission that due process doesn't matter. Right and wrong don't matter. It's all about power. He has it and he's going to use it as willfully and awfully as possible. As he's done in the past. As he will continue to do until the day he no longer has power. Let's make that day come sooner rather than later. 

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Posted at 10:53 AM on Sep 21, 2018 in category Politics   |   Permalink  
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