Because China

Why will this man be happy when Trump vetoes the NDAA?

W.J. Astore

President Trump says he will veto the NDAA that funds the Pentagon at $740 billion for FY 2021. Congress appears to have the votes to override his veto.

What caught my eye was part of Trump’s rationale for the veto: China. China will apparently be outraged when Trump vetoes the bill. Here’s the report (from the Guardian):

Trump says he will veto defense bill

Donald Trump once again said he intends to veto the annual defense authorization bill, setting up a potential veto override by Congress.

“I will Veto the Defense Bill, which will make China very unhappy,” the president said in a tweet. “They love it. Must have Section 230 termination, protect our National Monuments and allow for removal of military from far away, and very unappreciative, lands. Thank you!”

We just witnessed four years of red-baiting by the Democrats against the Republicans and Trump (“Moscow Mitch”?) with Russia as the Bad Red Guy. Prepare for four years of red-baiting by Republicans against the Democrats and Biden (“Hunter, Made in China”?) with China as the Bad Red Guy. The winner: the military-industrial complex. The loser: the American people, and perhaps the world.

Actually, Trump has a point about the NDAA inhibiting his ability to pull troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s too bad he didn’t focus on that and the issue of bipartisan support of endless wars.

But he had to hit the China gong, and it will resound loudly in the coming years. You know what they say about payback, Democrats …

29 thoughts on “Because China

  1. I don’t see a link to full article. What was the Deranged One tweeting re: “protecting our national monuments”?? Are those the (still standing) Confederate monuments, or is it Mt. Rushmore, where he believes image of his mug is entitled to be enthroned? Must be funding for that incorporated in the budget bill?

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      1. All things “Donald Trump” put aside for the moment as transient and irrelevant:

        I can remember when a great many persons in the US justifiably condemned the Afghan Taliban for blowing up some gigantic ancient Buddhist statues on the grounds that these did not symbolically conform to the current doctrines of one rather intolerant Muslim sect. Now I see self-indulgent Americans demanding something similar. They think to expunge part of their own history by destroying its physical artifacts which they should preserve in order to learn from what those represent. Such persons apparently feel that they can signal their own “superior values” by eliminating evidence that in the past many Americans held different — if not “objectionable” — beliefs. I like to call this sort of atavistic, myopic iconoclasm Retroactive Revulsion.

        Now, specifically in reference to current, “non-Confederate,” American “values”, the US government under President Barack Obama — the son of a “free” African father — overthrew the North African government of Libya and had its leader, Moammar Gaddafi publicly murdered by a US-sponsored Jihadi mob. Now that utterly failed state features open-air slave markets for which the US government feels no responsibility, much less any impulse to intervene and correct. So much for Samantha Power’s “R2P,” or “Responsibility to Protect.” So much for the symbolic value of “persons of color” occupying the highest-levels of “government” in the United States.

        Furthermore, since the contemporary U.S. military willingly carried out the violent overthrow of the Libyan government so as to produce today’s slave markets there, why does any American want to remove statues of Confederate generals — or even their names — from U.S. military bases when it would seem more appropriate to add more statues of today’s generals alongside them.

        Finally, I do not for a moment think that President Trump reasons along these lines. He did however once tell an interviewer that “We’re not so innocent. We have our killers, too.” So at least a little credit for candor where due.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Okay, that makes sense. I think we should add #45 to Mt. Rushmore. He should be depicted massaging his aching heels (“bone spurs,” get it?)!

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  2. The legacy corporate media thoroughly disgraced itself over the past four years — in typical “WMD” fashion — flogging juvenile rumors and “intelligence community” propaganda about Donald Trump and “Russia.” Any conceivable aspersion against President Vladimir Putin can, and does, pass “editorial scrutiny,” no matter how sloppy and evidence-free. Just yesterday I caught this little fragment in a CNN News article castigating the current lame-duck US president (aren’t they all?) for not vanquishing the Covid-19 virus during his last month or so in office: “Instead, he [Trump] was scrolling through a list of potential pardons; ignoring a massive hack of the US government tied to Russia; . . .”

    What “hack”?
    How “massive”?
    How “tied” to Russia?
    In what way “ignored”?
    What US “government”?

    When I took a one-semester journalism class my sophomore year of high school (1962-63) we learned the 5W1H Rule for the first paragraph of any news article: Who? What ? When? Where? How? and Why? Now we get utter rubbish dished out to us according no coherent rules whatsoever. With unmitigated red-baiting crap like this still considered acceptable “journalism” in the United States, I see little possibility of a Jeffersonian “informed electorate” ever emerging to dispel the flatulent fog of venal, predatory misgovernment. The Empire has struck out.

    Since I wish to see the bloated, inept, utterly unnecessary US military defunded, disarmed, and demobilized, I really do hope that President Trump (1) vetoes the latest NDAA and (2) pardons Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning — along with any number of other deserving whistle-blowers. Trump has proven too lazy and unprincipled to actually END even one of the ruinous imperial “wars” he inherited from his predecessors. Still, if he really wanted to stick it to the “deep state” — and especially Barack Obama for his perverted use of the 1917 Espionage Act to assure that no accused person could ever mount a principled defense — he could do that with only the three pardons I have mentioned above. To paraphrase a famous passage from Macbeth, “Let nothing in his presidency become him as the leaving of it.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Michael Tracey @mtracey:

        “Amazing! Russia supposedly “hacked” the entire US federal government but never got around to “hacking” a few electoral jurisdictions in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia such that their Puppet President could receive another four years to carry out a pro-Kremlin geopolitical agenda.”

        In other words:

        Vladimir Putin’s DNA Detected

        The Russians did whatever some imagine
        they did because, you know, they’re Russians, so
        that tells you what explains your accusations
        as down the rabbit hole you glibly go.

        No need for evidence or proof presented.
        It is because it will be ’cause it was.
        Just utter word-like noises and transcribe them
        in spell-marks like the good factotum does.

        Then have your friends repeat what you have written
        till repetition makes the false seem “true”
        by which you mean “unquestioned” (not the same thing).
        Your credibility looks black and blue.

        Allege “the Russians did it” loud and often.
        No need to tell us what you mean by “it.”
        Believe whatever Deep State minions tell you.
        Say “classified” a lot (which smells like shit).

        Red-baiting worked out well for Richard Nixon
        and Joe McCarthy, two among the dregs
        of history. Now Democrats try their hand
        at teaching their grandmothers to suck eggs.

        Republicans invented “Russia-gating”
        before the “Water-” prefix made its mark
        So asking them for yet another lesson
        would seem like playing dinner for the shark.

        But Democrats and CNN think Fox News
        provides the best example of the art.
        So Rupert Murdoch wins while imitators
        produce pure wind not worth a squirrel fart.

        Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2020

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      1. The always excellent Caitlin Johnstone weighs in here with her trademark trenchant observations: Secret, Invisible Evidence Of Russian Hacking Is Not Actually Evidence (December 18, 2020). The rank stupidity on display in US Corporate Media right now has become such a self-parody that we have returned to the days when singer/satirist Tom Lehrer quit show business for a job teaching college mathematics because: “All comedy died the day Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize.”

        The Demented Rats: “Trump and the Russians did it.”
        The Repugnant Reptiles: “No. Biden and China did.”

        Welcome to the Pox Americana.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Considering reasons /
    excuses for not pulling troops
    from the failed fields of play
    I’ll file them
    Inside the cabinet
    Underneath the heading
    Dogs and Chewed Homework
    Phobias of fear
    Standing before crossroads
    Of truth intersecting saved face
    Simply more of the tired
    Old same
    As whatever was
    Here’s to the great American boogeymen
    Whoever can deliver
    Greater monetary returns
    Please take your place
    Upon the worn out world stage….
    I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I read the post on Same As It Ever Was
    This is one of my Bob favorites so…..
    I’ll close with Mr. Dylan’s
    “Disease Of Conceit”

    There’s a whole lot of people suffering tonight from the disease of conceit
    Whole lot of people struggling tonight from the disease of conceit
    Comes right down the highway straight down the line
    Rips into your senses through your body and your mind
    Nothing about it that’s sweet
    The disease of conceit.

    There’s a whole lot of hearts breaking tonight from the disease of conceit
    Whole lot of hearts shaking tonight from the disease of conceit
    Steps into your room eats into your soul
    Over your senses you have no control
    Ain’t nothing too discreet about the disease of conceit.

    There’s a whole lot of people dying tonight from the disease of conceit
    Whole lot of people crying tonight from the disease of conceit
    Comes right out of nowhere and you’re down for the count
    From the outside world the pressure will mount
    Turn you into a piece of meat
    The disease of conceit.

    Conceit is the disease that the doctors got no cure
    They’ve done a lot of research on it but what it is they’re still not sure

    There’s a whole lot of people in trouble tonight from the disease of conceit
    Whole lot of people seeing double tonight from the disease of conceit
    Give you delusions of grandeur and evil eye
    Give you the idea that you’re too good to die
    Then they bury you from your head to your feet
    From the disease of conceit.

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  4. Here’s the Guardian on the alleged Russian hack:

    Cyber-attack is brutal reminder of the Russia problem facing Joe Biden
    Analysis: new president must find a way to contain such hyper-aggressive behaviour from Moscow

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/18/cyber-attack-brutal-reminder-russia-problem-facing-joe-biden

    Assuming there’s some truth to the story, I’d say this:

    1. No country hacks more than the USA. That’s my guess, based on the extent of our computer resources and the scores of billions we dedicate to it.

    2. If the Russkies did it, congrats to them. Heads should roll in the U.S. government and Cyber Command for allowing this to happen. So who’s responsible and when are they being fired?

    3. We should have less secrecy in the world. Why isn’t hacking a form of transparency?

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    1. Obama boasted of having put “hundreds” (exact figure Classified, no doubt) of geeks to work to try to counter hacking efforts by foreign entities. It was said that US had penetrated power grids in the Russian Federation. I imagine the Russkies returned the favor, so we shouldn’t be shocked if, during an especially brutal cold spell in US, the lights suddenly go out with no obvious explanation. Tit for tat. I’ll say this: if those darned Russkies mess with Social Security’s ancient computers and cost me my monthly benefit, I will be in deep trouble financially. Please, Mr. Putin, have mercy on the working class! Also, I believe these potential calamities are targeting Windows-based networks, since Mr. Gates’s technology still dominates the field (with blessing of “trust-busters” in D.C.). Windows is notoriously vulnerable to malware, viruses, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Destruction of social security is a pet project of American capital. They probably don’t need any assistance from foreign influence. It’s embarrassing that the top 10% of wealth ownership do not seek to show greater concern for the retirement infrastructure of the American experience. They have enriched themselves at the trough of American productivity and felt sub standard wages would be suitable to sustain their employees well into their retirement years. These “great Americans” have shirked their responsibility to the senior citizens of this nation. Respect for elders is a sign of great cultures. Just ask them about what makes this country great; I’m sure they will say we are a world leader in the respect for our seniors. They are FREE to earn a wage well into their late 80’s in this great land of ours.
            We can’t even agree on a fair days work for a fair days pay. Certainly labor is not intellectually skilled enough to negotiate the terms of their employment. Strong wages is the foundation for the security of our senior social commitment. Instead of bailing out all those businesses that were not in need of partaking we n the stimulus to offset the viral impact; they should have sent the social security kitty a huge portion of their funding package; knowing full well that the weight of unemployment would drag down labors contributions and create significant strain on future funding. Instead, social security will get blamed for just about everything that is wrong with fiscal policy. It’s been tied to the whipping post since justice Powell’s brain started to have cramping.

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          2. Sorry
            Instead of bailing out those businesses that were we’re not in need of partaking in the stimulus to offset the viral impact; they should have sent the social security kitty a huge portion of their funding package;

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  5. Michael Tracey @mtracey

    “Great to see that reflexively demanding an escalation in nuclear-power brinksmanship before any evidence is publicly presented to establish the origin of this alleged “attack on America” is something that continues to unite both Democrats and Republicans.”

    This in response to:

    Nikki Haley @NikkiHaley

    “Vladimir Putin’s Russia just pulled off one of the worst hacks in American history. While the full extent of the damage is still being determined, one fact is clear: Russia must be made to pay for this attack on America.”

    But, anyway, “assuming there’s some truth to this story . . . “

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    1. I like the “Russia must be made to pay.” But we never seem to understand when other peoples want to make Americans pay for attacks.

      I guess they just hate our freedom bombs and our liberty hacks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. An entirely imaginary “currency” called Bitcoin is now “valued” at $20,000 per unit. And yet it can be “hacked,” has been in large “sums.” Looks like most of the world is living in La-La Land now, just waiting for The End to finally arrive.

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      2. Michael Tracey @mtracey

        [Secretary of State Mike] “Pompeo says: “I think it’s the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity.” Definitely the kind of precise, conclusive, unambiguous language we’d need to start planning aggressive retaliatory action against a nuclear-armed power.”

        Meanwhile, in a sure sign that the inmates of Bedlam have escaped the asylum and acquired cushy media sinecures, the always vigilant and articulate Caitlin Johnstone (December 19, 2020) informs us that The Washington Post Can’t Stop Babbling About Russians “Hacking Our Minds”. I kid you, not, fellow Crimestoppers:

        The Washington Post has published another article warning its readers that the Russians are “hacking our minds”, this one authored by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.

        “Russia hasn’t just hacked our computer systems. It’s hacked our minds.” blares the ridiculous, propagandistic headline for an article about “the Russian model” of propaganda which “rests on the principle that people get convinced when they hear the same message many times from a variety of sources, no matter how biased.”

        Which is funny, since this is not the first time WaPo itself has repeated this cartoonish narrative about Russian mind-hackers.

        These hysterical lunatics — not a one of them with an ounce of ironic self-awareness — just can’t refrain from doubling-down on their dumb-and-dumber drivel. As Tweedledee would illustrate Zakarian mental processes: “If it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

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  6. Boobie Tiresome “Terror” Tropes
    (from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America’s post-literate retreat to Plato’s Cave)

    The Boobie bureaucratic class
    Tried hard to think, then quit.
    They found it too exhausting so
    They staged a comic skit
    Where shadows on a wall stood for
    Some truly scary shit.

    They named the shadows “Russians” ‘cause
    They’d heard the sound before
    From friends of theirs at parties who
    Find facts a crushing bore
    Unsuited to disguising what
    They really have in store.

    These “leaders” pantomimed a farce
    And mimicked monstrous trolls
    And “heroes” who would fight them for
    A few votes at the polls
    And taxes paid for spell-marks on
    Some ancient parchment scrolls.

    “Democracy” they named this scam
    Where Boobies ruled the roost
    In theory. But in practice, frauds
    Gave wealth an upward boost,
    With subsidies for those who WAR
    Upon the world had loosed.

    But lest the Boobies focus on
    Their predatory “betters”
    Who’ve lied like rugs from dawn till dusk
    And wrapped them up in fetters
    The thieves scream “Russia!” “Over there!”
    Like terrified bed-wetters.

    Unfortunately for the frauds
    Some Boobies now can see it.
    The trick has gotten old and stale
    When graft can’t guarantee it.
    The proffered panic hasn’t sold:
    If “Russian,” then “so be it.”

    No damage have we heard or seen
    From those in far Eurasia
    Who do not share America’s
    Inculcated aphasia
    Where “Ignorance is Strength” deserves
    The swiftest euthanasia.

    So let us give up now since we
    Cannot prevent the “hacking.”
    Which, anyway, looks nothing like
    Traditional “attacking.”
    With no real enemies, that means
    Our “soldiers” can start packing.

    What need have we for “troops” and such?
    Why Sailors and Marines?
    Why Airmen and a “Space Force” just
    To prove that war demeans?
    To guard our brigs and embassies?
    To “save” the Philippines?

    We’ve only made-up foes to “fight,”
    Invented from whole cloth.
    So why spend blood and money on
    Such bogus mental sloth
    Delivered through some paid-for lips:
    All insubstantial froth.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2020

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Euthanasia” made me think of “youth in Asia,” Mike, perhaps because I’ve been reading George McGovern and his speeches against the Vietnam war and against the killing of youth in Asia, no matter their skin color.

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      1. Ha! Many years ago I mentioned euthanasia to a fairly well-educated new acquaintance and she said “What’s that about ‘youth in Asia?'” Shades of Gilda Radner’s character on SNL, Emily Litella!

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  7. Will someone please explain to me why President Trump thinks that vetoing the NDAA “will make China very unhappy”. I just don’t get it. Really. I guess that I ought to work on a second Ph.D.

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