Wagging the Dog Won’t Work for Trump

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War room still shot from the 1997 film “Wag the Dog.”

President Donald Trump is only half-lying when he claims to be the “most transparent president” in history. It’s true that Trump has gone to great lengths to obstruct any and all investigations into his own criminal misconduct most of his adult life, including his past three years as commander-in-chief of the world’s last remaining superpower.

But it’s also true Trump has shattered the norms of presidential behavior, laying bare for all to see the foundering of the American empire on the rocky shoals of forever wars.

The dishonorable high-tech assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani by targeted drone strike near Baghdad ordered by draft-dodger Don from the comfort of Mar-a-Lago on Jan. 3 is the latest case in point. Through this naked act of war, Trump has once again demonstrated his campaign promise to end America’s forever wars was and is a blatant lie. For all his railing about the deep state, he’s given elements of the congressional-military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the real deep state, their long sought-after war with Iran.

Soleimani was head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force and as such organized and sometimes fought with local Shia militias throughout Iraq, Lebanon and Syria during the past two decades, most recently on the side of the United States in the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Contrary to nearly every mainstream media report on his death, neither Soleimani nor Iran provided the “explosively formed projectiles” Iraqi forces resisting the 2003-2011 U.S. invasion and occupation used in roadside bombs to kill and maim hundreds of American troops.

Turns out that’s just another bogus claim made by the Bush administration, previously debunked like Iraq’s non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction but nevertheless resurrected and dutifully recycled by today’s cable TV, talk radio and podcasting pundits across the political spectrum. They’re hell-bent on convincing all of us Soleimani was a terrorist on par with Osama bin Laden, rather than a battle-hardened soldier from a war-torn region who’d risen through the ranks to become the second most revered figure in Iran.

Name any recent U.S. general who’d have millions of mourners turn up for his funeral.

I’m waiting.

In fact, Soleimani worked with the U.S. military to identify Al Qaida targets in Afghanistan immediately after 9/11, organized the local Iraqi Shia militias that brutally re-established law and order in Iraq in the wake of the U.S. invasion, and was instrumental in helping defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq with those same local Shia militias, right up until Trump snuffed him out.

He was our guy … until he wasn’t. A familiar story in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, let’s examine the evidence for Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s justification for Soleimani’s assassination, that the Quds commander was about to launch imminent attacks against Americans in the Middle East. Oh, wait! There is no such evidence, and therefore no justification, nearly two weeks later! What then was the rationale for taking out Soleimani?

Because he was on a peace mission brokered by Iraq between Saudi Arabia and Iran, as Iraq’s president claims? Well, come to think of it, the deep state isn’t so keen on peace, so that could be reason enough.

It’s much more likely that Trump the TV reality show personality, a creature of the degenerate liberal Hollywood culture his supporters decry, has seen the 1997 film “Wag the Dog.” In the dark comedy, a fictitious president facing reelection amid credible child sexual abuse allegations hires a hard-nosed political consultant and a billionaire Hollywood producer (hilariously played by Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman), who concoct a fake war with Albania to distract from the sex scandal. It works.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Trump, who has already been impeached by the House for the Ukrainian affair and may face trial in the Senate as early as next week, impulsively chose to wag the dog when presented with a series of Middle East options by End Times-believer Pompeo.

Naturally, Trump picked Armageddon. He is the Lamb of God, after all.

War with Iran is the option favored by the aforementioned deep state elements, Republicans and Democrats alike. It also happens to jibe with Trump’s right-wing evangelical base, right-wing American Zionists such as casino magnate Sheldon Adelson (the Republican Party’s largest donor), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (who quickly distanced himself from Soleimani’s assassination, which tells you how over-the-top it was) and Saudi Arabia’s chief head-chopper, Mohammed Bin Salman.

And don’t kid yourself. Mainstream corporate media from Hannity to Blitzer to Maddow is itching for Trump to pull the trigger again. War is good ratings and they prefer to be paid well for disseminating government disinformation.

But here’s the deal. In 2016, Trump convinced millions of working-class men and women he knew the score when it comes to the forever wars draining U.S. blood and treasure, including me. There are several studies out there on the web that claim antiwar sentiment is what got Trump elected.

He did put on quite a show. By now, everyone’s seen the 2011 tape of Trump predicting President Barack Obama would “wag the dog” and start a war with Iran just to win the 2012 election. It played well at the time, because despite inking the Iran nuclear deal, Obama expanded our military footprint in the Middle East and North Africa—after promising not to do so during his first campaign.

At his rallies, Trump railed about the trillions of dollars wasted since 9/11 and the tens of thousands of American service members who’ve died or been injured. (Not a word of course about the millions of people U.S. troops have killed in Iraq alone.) Bring the troops home he said, and the money (because it’s always about the money with Trump), and let’s make America great again!

Trump’s assassination of General Qassem Soleimani is exactly the opposite of that.

Right now, corporate mainstream media is trying to convince us the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian jetliner carrying Iranians of various different nationalities by the Iranian aerospace forces after taking off from Tehran during the fog of war is somehow going to lead to regime change.

Don’t bet on it. The Iranians were smart to warn the U.S. military in Iraq that a volley of ballistic missiles targeting two U.S. bases would soon be on the way. The result was a perfectly targeted warning shot across America’s bow with zero American casualties.

Trump the stable genius would be wise to heed the warning, as well as Iraq’s request that we pull all of our troops from their country. And why stop there? All U.S. troops out of the Middle East and North Africa! After all, isn’t that exactly what he promised way back in 2015?

Sadly, Trump is insane, a certified malignant narcissist by scores of psychiatrists who’ve observed the president’s transparent behavior patterns, a diagnosis confirmed by three-quarters of the planet after Soleimani’s assassination. After junking the nuclear deal and waging a “maximum pressure” economic sanctions campaign against Iran, no Iranian citizen believes Trump when he says he’s cared most about them from the very start.

Neither should working class Americans, the families whose kids get sent to our forever wars, believe Trump gives a damn about them. He’s a spoiled rich kid with a joystick, and he’s going to get our sons and daughters killed if someone doesn’t stop him.

Iran will play the long game. Expect things to ratchet up soon.

There’s one silver lining amidst these dark clouds. People are waking up. If Trump thought this was going to help his impeachment trial, he appears to be sadly mistaken. He may survive conviction by the Senate, but he’s all but ensured he’ll lose the working class vote this November.

Without them, he’ll lose, badly.

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas. He can be emailed at RVScheide@anewscafe.com.
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82 Responses

  1. Avatar Randy says:

    “I looking forward to hearing testimony from J. Biden, his son Hunter, Romney’s son would be nice. Nancy’s son and Kerry’s step son about how and why they all ended up on the boards of Ukraine Energy companies”

    Can you tell us in some comprehensible way exactly what “the Bidens” have to do with Trump using his power of office and US approiated money to squeeze personal favors out of a foreign leader?

    • Avatar Ruben says:

      If you’re looking forward to hear testimony from these people you just mentioned……You’re not going to……They didn’t commit the crime, Trump did….Face it you too got CON by a corrupt president….either that or you watch to much propaganda from fox news….The truth will prevail….

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I’d be fine with Hunter Biden testifying, so long as he answers every question thusly:

      “Two members of Trump’s immediate family—people with zero experience in government and diplomacy—are key senior advisers in the White House. They are engaged in activities that directly impact the security and future of the United States—they represent our interests, negotiating with foreign governments. They, and the POTUS they serve, are routinely mocked by foreign leaders, including our allies. And here we are, examining my token membership on the board of a foreign energy company.

      With all due respect, blow it out your collective @$$.”

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I’m totally down with Joe and Hunter Biden testifying at the impeachment trial. I thought it was dumb for Joe to even get in the race because of the obvious conflict of interest with Hunter getting the Burisma job, along with Joe’s lifelong record as corporate Democrat. By all means, et’s drag it on for months, as many witnesses as possible. As bad as Joe has been, Trump in his 3 short years in politics has surpassed him. Even Biden can beat Trump.

      • Avatar Randy says:

        I was responding to Earl B. by copying his comment and then asking him what the Bidens have to do with the charges against Trump. Guess his comment disappeared. As for the Bidens, if there is enough evidence to charge them of criminal activity or abusing position of public office then they should face the legal system just as Trump has to do.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          Randy, your original comment was correct. The Biden’s don’t have anything to do with Trump abusing his power and obstructing Congress. I think this is the beauty of the impeachment.

  2. Avatar Common Sense says:

    Earl drank the Kool Aid! This is the perfect example of the 38% that are now left that will mount that flag pole up in the back of their pickup and put their Trump 2020 flag on it and race to the nearest Rally!

    MORE Articles of Impeachment coming soon!

    Putin has been proud of his Puppet thus far! The Putin Plan has divided our Country and has caused some Chaos.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      My theory CS is that 38 percent support for Trump is getting steadily eaten away every time he opens his mouth or plays with his joystick.

      Putin is not stupid. He understands Trump is a disaster. If he’s got kompromant on Trump, he best use it soon, because once he’s out of office, November at the latest, it will be worthless.

      • Avatar Common Sense says:

        You could be right R.V. It might be down to 35% now. Then about 30% or so after Lev Parnas takes a blow torch to the W.H Mob!

        That Cognitive Dissonance Runs awfully Deep!

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          It’s that damned right-wing hate radio. I listen to it all the time, it’s fucking unbelievable. Bernie scares the hell out of them!

  3. Avatar George Koen says:

    A scorpioA scorpion arrived at the rivers’ edge. It was smart enough to know that it could not cross the river because it could not swim. Yet it needed to; had to cross said river. Fortuitously, a frog swam by, stopped and curiously wondered about the scorpion.

    “Hello scorpion”
    “Well, hello frog”
    “What are you doing scorpion”?
    “Well, I need to cross this river but I cannot swim”.
    “I see. That is a problem”.
    “Well, good luck then”, said frog.
    “Um…. frog. Do you think you could help me?”
    “How would I do that? “, asked frog.
    “Well, I could climb on your back and you could swim us both across”.

    Frog thought for a minute….
    “How do I know that you won’t sting me”?
    “Think about it frog. If I sting you, then we will both drown. I know that I do not want to die! I promise I will not sting you”.
    After considering the logic of scorpion, frog decided he would help.

    Scorpion hopped onto frogs back and off they swam. They were about halfway across when scorpion stung frog. As the venom began to course through frogs body, he asked scorpion why he broke his promise not to sting.
    “We are both about to die scorpion. Why would you do this? Why break your most solemn promise? Why would you kill yourself”.

    “I cannot help myself frog. It is my nature to sting. It is who I am”.

    • Avatar Jenny says:

      And [most] people knew Trump was a scorpion when we met him. Some still feel betrayed, and some may always deny he is a scorpion at all.

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        I only had to be stung once, when Trump lobbed those cruise missiles into Syria because unlike Obama, Trump fell for the typical false flag chemical weapons incident that plagues the reporting coming out of Syria. For the record, both incidents have been proven false flags, yet the mainstream media, all of it, continues to pretend they were real. And Just like his latest killing, Trump ordered it from Mar-a-Lago, while eating “the most perfect piece of chocolate cake” with Chinese President Xi.

        I realized right then Trump was the scorpion. It is not to late for the frog to make it to the bank. Thanks George for the allegory.

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      George you should have disclosed that the scorpion/frog tale was from The Crying Game, just watched it again on Netflix.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        “The Scorpion and The Frog” fable dates back quite a ways…its precursors all the way back to the Babylonian Talmud. The version where the scorpion stings the frog and justifies it with “I am what I am” is more recent, and is usually meant as a metaphor to suggest that capitalism will eventually destroy itself.

      • Avatar George Koen says:

        You are right Bruce. I approached it with the thought that folks probably are aware of its origin. My bad.

  4. Avatar Mark Twitchell says:

    I think that Trump got lucky when the Iranians screwed up so badly by shooting down the airliner. Focused attention away from him.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      He did get lucky, the fog of war moved in. The Iranian government has come clean and today charged several military members for screwing up. The fog will lift though, and Iran will continue to push the U.S. out of the Middle East.

  5. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    Why was Earl Boek’s remark removed but the replies weren’t?

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Well Bruce, Earl’s comment and my reply to it were deleted, I think, because our comment moderator sensed a bloodbath was about to ensue. A wise move, even the though Earl’s post and my reply were pretty hysterical.

  6. Avatar Greg Winters says:

    Really? If you can’t argue the facts- thump the bible (which version of the true and unalterable word is your choice).

    My one cavil for R.V.’s article is that there is some reporting that the late general was not all that loved in Iran and that attendance at his going-away parties may have been somewhat on the mandatory side.

    Otherwise, spot on.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Good point, Greg. The Iranian people are not some monolithic entity mirroring the mullahs. No doubt many Iranians detested Soleimani and his ruthless tactics in law enforcement, in Iran and Iraq. However, that vast majority of Iranians consider him a national hero, and you have to be very careful about U.S. mainstream media reports coming out of Iran. For example, Masih Alinejad, an Iranian “journalist/activist”, as appeared everywhere from Fox to CNN to MSNBC claiming there’s a significant movement against the Iranian theocracy. This is bullshit regime change propaganda and no network has pointed out that she’s an employee of the U.S. government at Voice of America, Persia.

      • Avatar Greg Winters says:

        So many interesting facts, so little “journalism” these days. Why do they publish without investigation? Maybe because it is too expensive and detracts from dividends…

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          You hit the nail on the head, investigation is expensive, an the internet disrupted the ad market. I go bonkers listening to all the major cable news networks, not just FOX. Facebook has reportedly throttle any post perceived at too pro-Iranian, which means this story will get throttled on Facebook. They’re all on the same side, Trump is their sideshow.

  7. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    Trump, a racist misogynist, has turned the Republican Party into a white nationalist fear based organization that will back his criminal activities, a war with Iran is one of them. For years Trump has seen conflict with Iran as a way to rally his white nationalists and used his birther conspiracy theory that Obama was a Muslim, born in Kenya Africa (believed by many right here in Redding) as part of his racists nationalist behaviors.

    Tump from the start banned people of Islamic faith from visiting the county (unless you were a Saudi here to give him money) ripped up the The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, developed by Iran and the P5+1 (Major world powers) together with the European Union, that brought a trust but verify relative peace to the region. Trumps hate for Obama and for Iran, along with his delusional thinking that he could “do a much better deal” was and is fueled by his white nationalist – pro fascist staff and his bass is fueled by that in return. Now, we are at the brink of war.

    Trump has had the option of killing for over seven months, it was not a present or imminent attack. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper reported he had no specific knowledge of any attack, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied and then admitted he had no specific knowledge and is now downgrading the importance of an “imminent attack.” Not one embassy was notified or evacuated. The Gang of Eight (congressional leaders) was not notified and Trump says Democrats support terrorism, a simple fascists FOX NEWS information tactic. Trump and his FOX NEWS war mongers saw this as a perfect move to divert the fact he has been impeached (is for life) and a wonderful campaign rally stunt for his white nationalists. Trump of course says, “I have an Article 2 where I have the right to do whatever I want as president,” and says there is no need for a congressional war powers authority or congressional anything but giving him money.

    The horrid sickness of people like Qassim Suleimani, has been matched by the sickness of Trump and the Republican Party that rallies behind his lies and criminal activity, as Trump assaults the US Constitution in plan day light. Suleimani was a very bad actor, and needed to go but this was not because of that, it’s been on the table for seven months, it was a pure political move. Trump has brought us to the brink of war, at home and abroad. Suleimani never attacked the US Constitution, but Trump does daily!

    What is sad is that his racism, fascist tendencies and 1% make me richer is now the mantra of the Republican Party. Please, if you are not happy with this terrible sate Trump has put us in know that it’s not too late. Register – Vote and use what Constitutional power of the ballot box we have before it’s too late.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Of all the fascistic proclamations that Trump has spewed since being sworn in—and there’s a lot of competition—his claim that “I have an Article 2 where I have the right to do whatever I want as president” is the worst.

      Article II is his job description. It defines his responsibilities, powers, and limitations on those powers. It doesn’t make him emperor.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I’m sorry Christian, but I’m not joining the “Soleimani was a bad guy but …” brigade. He cut his teeth in the bloody Iran-Iraq war, in which the U.S. funded its proxy, Iraq and Saddam Hussein, to take out the Iranian regime, including providing the means and the logistics to rocket the Iranians with chemical weapons–not a false flag! Nevertheless he realized the dangers posed by Saudi Wahabism terrorism, and sided with the U.S. after 9/11, until Bush speechwriter David Frum, seeking for a hook, coined the phrase “axis of evil,” North Korea, Iraq, and North Korea.

      Soleimani’s next great “crime” was supervising Hezbollah’s 2006 defeat of the highly vaunted Israeli army in Lebanon, which Israel invaded. You can bet the Israelis consider him a “terrorist,” they’re still licking their wounds.

      Despite Soleimani’s obvious issues with Israel, the U.S. hired him again and again to organize and supervise local Shia militias, first to crack down on Iraq under the occupation, then to crack down on ISIS. For those who’ve forgotten, ISIS was the inevitable blow back from Obama and Hillary Clinton’s destruction of Libya.

      Dehumanization is always the first step to war. I’m not playing. Was he bad guy? Sure. Worse than Eddie Gallagher, the U.S. war criminal recently pardoned by Trump?

      Not a chance.

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        North Korea, Iraq and Iran. Whoops!

      • Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

        Soleimani was a bad actor… So is Gallagher. Both were used by tRump as political pawns. Looks like we have used Soleimani more than I realized, and we also used Asama B and his crew against the Russians. I guess the point l was making is that we are not officially at war with Iran, a sorvern nation, so the hit was used as a political feather in bone spur’s white nationalist cap more then for national security. That said, seems like Soleimani was indirectly involved in US Troup death and lots of Islamic death in the name of Iran. And American war in the Middle East is directly involved in lots of civilian death as well. Remember, the CIA overthrew Democracy in Iran, what, back in the 50’s?

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          The CIA sure did, and installed the Shah and 30 years of despotism. They worked with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and look where they ended up. They also collaborated with the Saudi wahabists that morphed into ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Amidst all this carnage and double-dealing, it’s highly inaccurate to call Soleimani a terrorist. I don’t give our warmongers a single inch.

  8. Avatar Greg Winters says:

    Who disappeared Earl and Urban Prophet? They were entertaining although out to lunch.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I’m kinda sorry that I missed seeing those comments, judging from the responses that remain. I can only guess that they read something like the following:

      Hummina humming hummina hummina expletive-laced ad hominem hummina hummina….

      • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

        Steve, Boek’s comment, first of the day, was not expletive laced, others have posted worse, he just showed his Trump supportive claims which went against RV’s article. I have always been at odds with Boek’s comments, here and in the RS, but is there now a selective few that are allowed to comment would be my question?

        • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

          To: answer your question: comments with name-calling are deleted.

          • Avatar Bob says:

            No true! It’s ok to name call Trump, our Winning President.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Bob — I’m pretty sure she’s referring to calling each other hurtful names. Commander Bonespurs is fair game.

            Most of us remember the vile things the Obama’s were called in comments on conservative websites.

            Finally, there’s a jackass on Twitter who routinely dispenses junior high-level name-calling. Crooked Hillary. Shifty Schiff. Crazy Nancy. Sleepy Joe. Lyin’ Ted. Little Marco. Slimeball James Comey. Cryin’ Chuck. Pocahontas. Crazy Bernie. (Ad infinitum.)

            Turnabout is always fair play.

          • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

            The internet has taught users that very often a commenter can use offensive names on forums such as this and walk away from the wreckage unscathed. This might be entertaining to some people but they are detrimental to civil conversation; allowing them to continue will cause others to back away and pretty soon it’s Troll City.

            The internet is large and mostly unmonitored so there are many places such people can go and enjoy calling names, though I suspect it’s really only fun when they can sling hate where their targets are likely to see it. Like here.

            Which is why such comments are sent into the ether.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I missed the Urban Prophet. Tim?

  9. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    The response to the downing of the Ukrainian commercial jetliner inside of Iran says so much about how we’ve chosen the wrong side.

    We support a totalitarian theocracy in Arabia whose monarchy has embraced a deal with the Devil—support by the fanatical Wahhabi Sunnis. A nation whose hair-on-fire religious zealots attacked our country and killed almost 3,000 people. A nation whose military trainee at a Pensacola military base was responsible for the most recent terrorist attack on Americans on our soil.

    Meanwhile, we reject Iran—a nation whose citizens are currently demonstrating by the tens of thousands, horrified by their government’s accidental downing of a civilian passenger jet. Iran’s Shiites—persecuted for centuries by the repressive Sunnis and f***ed over by the United States when we eliminated their democratic government and installed the Shah—have developed something a pronounced persecution complex. But the Shiites are also comparatively tolerant of other religions, including minorities within Islam such as the Sufi branch (as opposed to the 100% intolerant Wahhabis).

    And unlike Saudi Arabia’s Sunnis, Iran’s Shiites embrace scholarship, the arts, and other secular pursuits. Iran’s literature, music, cinema, fine arts, architecture, cuisine, and sports are renowned. The Western World’s universities and hospitals are staffed with excellent professors from Iran—particularly in the fields of engineering and medicine. (My back specialist—the best in town—is Iranian.) Iran’s liberal Green Movement is pro-democratic and looks to integrate with the secular west.

    But thanks to Dick Cheney, our ally is the goddamned House of Saud—a bunch of lazy-assed playboys who will be back to herding goats as soon as the oil runs out. I only hope that I will live to see the day.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Riddle me this, Steve: If America is now energy independent, as claimed by Trump and the petroleum industry, is spending trillions of dollars in the Middle East to protect the oil in America’s BE BEST interest?

      The answer is no, but it’s complicated.

      Yes, it is in our interest, because America is not energy, i.e. oil, independent. That’s a deliberate obfuscation by Trump and the fracking industry. We simply export slightly more (much of it dirty oil destined for third world countries with no regulations) than we import. We still need a large chunk of imported oil.

      If the Strait of Hormuz was blocked tomorrow by Iran, or if 100s of ballistic missiles took out the Saudi oil fields, experts estimate the price per barrel will shoot up to $300, destroying the global economy. So no, that’s not in America’s interest, and Trump has virtually guaranteed this will happen.

      Neither is it in America’s interest to spend trillions of dollars defending fossil fuel supplies we need to stop using anyway if human civilization is going to survive, say, the next 1000 years.

      That’s two nos to one yes, so the neys have it. Spending our treasure and blood on oil isn’t worth it.

      So what’s left for American interests in the Middle East? Israel of course. I have maintained since before 9/11 that U.S. foreign policy has been decidedly harmful to Israel. Most Americans are completely unaware that Israel has an estimated 40-100 nuclear weapons. This is a sufficient deterrent to all of their non-nuke neighbors. Yet Bibi Netanyahu can’t stop fear-mongering. The deep state graft is addicting!

      Imagine if the Soleimani assassination had sparked a regional revolt. The policy of mutually assured destruction would undoubtedly take effect … and perhaps spread like a virus.

      That’s not in Israel’s or anyone else’s interest.

      This is the beauty of Trump’s “transparency.” He’s exposing the levers of power for all to see. When I first saw “The Terminator,” way back in the 1980s, I marveled at the AI drones that had decimated the human population. What the heck or those, I wondered.

      Now I know. Cheers, Steve. Trump is a goner.

  10. Avatar Barbara Stone says:

    Wag the Dog…YES…that is exactly what I thought about when this whole Iran thing started: another diversiom from what’s really going on! Only unlike the movie, real people have already died.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Barbara, as is becoming increasingly clear as the news rolls in, Trump totally wagged the dog!

      What a loser! In the last act of the movie, De Niro and Hoffmann suffer numerous pitfalls to their plan, including a private plane crash, a war hero plucked from military prison who gets shot and killed by the farmer’s daughter’s father, that should have doomed it.

      It’s just a movie! Stupid Trump.

  11. R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

    For readers wondering about those first two posts being removed, especially readers who think the comment guidelines don’t apply to me, my comment to Earl’s Trumpian rant was also deleted. I compared his rant to Jeanine Pirro cause he used “Demon Rats.” Yep. I basically called Earl a shrieking hysteric. I apologize for the meanness, but I still think it’s pretty damned funny!

  12. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    Reading about the Democratic debate it seems the candidates are still in their eat each other mode. And the candidate who wasn’t there and is trying to buy the nomination, Bloomberg, tweeted constant fallacy/facts ala Trump to show that he is the Democratic mirror of Trump. Trump will win hands down in 2020 because the Democrats are unable to pick a candidate, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      Bruce,
      At this point we Democrat’s don’t need to make a choice.
      Nearly half of voting democrats say they are willing change their choice of the candidate they support today. We are in no rush to anoint a candidate as the world, and especially our influence in world teeters on the brink of a significant military event.
      If you actually watched or listened to the debates you would of seen a lot of agreement on the issues.
      From healthcare to military spending to middle American issues, like childcare, jobs and wages.
      This agreement from the candidates is what Americans want to talk about.

      For trump to stand a chance against any of the democrat candidates he has to overcome his own dismal record in world affairs, domestic failures and all the while losing support from real republicans who are getting fed up with lies, his racist policies and his fascist actions.

  13. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    Actually what has come out of all these debates is what I, along with a few others, predicted. Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee. He is the voice of reason amongst all the other squabbling candidates as reported by all the news media. Quit watching Fox news, none of us conservatives do.

  14. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    Prediction: President Pete Buttigieg, the 21st Century likeness of John F. Kennedy. PB is honest, brilliant, an instant commander and world sooth-sayer. Some of you simply have to put aside that he’s not married to a female.

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      I could see Biden tapping Buttigieg as his VP and I think that would be a winning combination.

      • Avatar Common Sense says:

        Indeed Bruce! Buttigieg would be a grand addition to any winning Dem! I am not sure Main Stream America is Quite Ready for him as President yet.Perhaps 2024?

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      Mayor Pete is certainly presenting himself in a serious, and competent manner.
      Amy Klobuchar is also a strong candidate. She is willing and open to many of the issues Americans are considering.
      Any of the democrats on the debate stage will bear trump.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Don’t let the latest fireworks fool you. Bernie is going to be the nominee, with Warren as VP.

  15. Avatar Mark D Twitchell says:

    “Neither is it in America’s interest to spend trillions of dollars defending fossil fuel supplies we need to stop using anyway if human civilization is going to survive, say, the next 1000 years.”
    Next 1000 years? I’m thinking more like the next 50.

  16. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    Using the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” one could probably connect most posters on here with dealings in Ukraine, Iran, NK and membership in Bethel, ACLU, Nation of Islam.
    That is how all these Facebook conspiracy theories are started.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      (1) I debate here with a guy named Doug Cook. (2) Doug Cook is a sycophantic, fawning apologist for Commander Bonespurs. (3) Commander Bonespurs’ lawyer is Rudy Giuliani. (4) Rudy Giuliani tried to strong-arm the president of Ukraine into launching a fake investigation of Joe Biden and his son.

      Boom. Did it in just 4 degrees.

      • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

        1 I debate with Steve Towers 2 Steve Towers is from oil and gas Colorado 3 Steve Towers went to liberal UC Davis 4 Steve Towers owned an environment business with government contracts 5 Steve Towers knowingly admitted traveling often to France a hotbed of Muslim terrorism
        Steve Towers is an agent for Nation of Islam.
        Took me five degrees.
        1 I am from Utah(Romney and Mormons)
        One degree for me.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Tim is the exception to this rule.

  17. Avatar Common Sense says:

    GOP Senators now backed into a corner. If they don’t call Bolton to testify they are really playing with fire in the 2020 Election after what Lev just did!

    Lev Parnas, from totally unknown to Singing like a Canary, a Sweet Song!

    BAM! Now the Stakes are Upped!

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      CS, it’s very interesting how quickly the Soleimani assassination has been supplanted by the impeachment trial in the headlines. I think Johnny Joystick scared the shit out of a lot of Republicans senators murdering the second most powerful person in Iran, and they’re looking for a reason to turn on Trump. Lev could be the spark!

      • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

        RV, you are wrong, it was the Democrats who were holding up the sending of impeachment papers to the Senate but Trump grabbed the spotlight with his drone killing but then the Dems marched the papers over to the Senate to grab the spotlight back. A game of spin the bottle or musical chairs that is played in every kindergarten classroom and these are our leaders, beam them up, all of them, Spock.

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      Yes.
      Not to mention the situation the VP is now facing.
      Remember he canceled his trip to zelinsky’s inauguration to make sure the Canada Mexico trade agreement was going along!
      In fact he cancelled because Ukraine were not playing along with the Biden witch-hunt.
      I’m sure mother is not happy with his lies and deceit.

  18. Avatar Gary Tull says:

    Apparently, Lev is crooning quite the ditty to Rachel Maddow… sort of a solo operetta describing a cast of intriguing characters. Featuring; Gen. Bone Spurs and the Tabernacle Toadettes – interestingly enough, in pitch-perfect key. AG barr, the House Intel Committee Ranking Member and others are onboard as well. Tune to MSNBC tomorrow night- same time. A splendid time is guaranteed to most.

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      Actually Lev has not said anything about the Ukraine quid pro quo we did not already know.
      He is simply reinforcing the fact that our commander in Chief, is a liar and was “all in” on this treasonous actions.
      Certainly Lev is a crook, no different than Giuliani, trump, Pompeo, mick, and the rest of trumps enablers.
      He is obviously attempting to save his ass in the court of public opinion.
      It is working.

  19. R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

    Bruce, in regards to your comment on Pelosi’s timing, I stood by it at the time and still do but … turns out 11 of our soldiers at those bases in Iraq were severely concussed by the rocket explosions.

    In the story, I called Iran’s missile strike a shot across America’s bow, but that’s a little too close for that metaphor to work. It’s like 11 star quarterbacks getting knocked out in the divisional playoff. Fortunately, we’ve had a cooling off period …

    But here comes the timing problem. End Times Mike is running the show, Trump is just his puppet. Could I be wrong? Is it Pompeo, a crazy ass evangelical freak, who is the Lamb of God, and Trump really is just his Cyrus?

    For you Bible bangers out there, I suggest my reading of Revelation is correct. We are on the fifth seal. Look it up, Bill Johnson, I’d love to talk to you about my interpretation.

    In other words, the timing of a strike on Iran seem ripe, and Trump might take it, wag the dog again. Except Pompeo’s doing the wagging. Here’s the heroes who got concussed because the president of United States is out to lunch.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/01/eleven-us-troops-had-to-be-medevaced-for-brain-injury-after-the-iran-strike-as-trump-was-tweeting-all-is-well/

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      RV, don’t forget the 170 innocent lives lost in that barrage. My opinion is America has a bunch of spineless ego freaks on both sides of the aisle more worried about political gain then the people. Defending Trump or Pelosi is a deranged attack on insanity. The whole thing makes me sick but I am not going to become a keyboard warrior while I can still actually help people in need.
      My vote does matter here in Arizona unlike Shasta County, a Trumpian oasis in a Pelosi desert.

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        The whole thing makes me sick, too, Bruce. My full-time job is teaching special ed students. My half-time job is journalism. That’s 12 hours a day! I’m not sure which one is more rewarding.

  20. Avatar Candace says:

    Hi Bruce, I’m curious. What do you consider to be the definition of a “keyboard warrior?” You’re using a keyboard to type strong statements disparaging Trump (personally I think he’s a moronic thug, not sure he’s insane) and Pelosi (she bugs the crap out of me but I definitely don’t think she’s insane; far from it) and sharing those statements on a public forum. How’s that different? I’ve said before that I applaud your volunteer work and I still do but it seems to me that voicing your strong opinions (which I have no problem with – you’re allowed to do that same as the rest of us) and then in turn disparaging others that comment while what I interpreted as inferring they’re not helping others in other tangible ways like you (?) to be a bit unfair. It’s what’s called “hit and run” posting. Maybe you meant something else and I misunderstood? Hope so. Finally, while I whole-heartedly agree that here in Shasta County we have some good ‘ol boy (and girl) problems it’d sure be nice to not constantly hear that my vote doesn’t matter.

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      Candace, my definition of a keyboard warrior is one who constantly complains that others are uninformed while the keyboard warrior knows all. There is a lot of posting on here by some who feel that Shasta County, the nation and the world is in trouble because of the rural uneducated folks. I am one of those rural uneducated folks and I guarantee the worlds problems are not due to uneducated rural rupes.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Personally I’ve always preferred the phrase “laptop bombardier,” but I get where Bruce is coming from. America is tired of this endless barrage of insane Trump news. His malignant narcissism drives him to dominate the news cycle every day with some new transgression of societal norms, and the mainstream media laps it up. A steady diet of this kind of news will drive you insane, I know this from personal experience. I feel a lot better after a day helping special ed students than a day writing a rant.

      Helping other people who need help is the most wonderful job in the universe.

      • Avatar Candace says:

        R.V. I agree that helping people who need/want help is the best. I also agree that a steady diet if msm Trump hair-on-fire news is crazy making and depressing. I guess I misinterpreted Bruce as I was thinking that he was referring to local, frequent commenters rather than in the broad sense you’re speaking of. In fact, I was just recently talking to Doni about how commenting on this site can become habitual and not always in a good way ( speaking for myself) and that sometimes depending on the subject matter and who I’m “speaking” with I end up more often than not starting to feel not so great about myself because basically I accomplished nothing and/or contributed nothing of real value. That’s when I try to back off for a bit and try to simply read and listen. It’s a process. Sort of like now, lol.

  21. Avatar Candace says:

    Bruce, thank you for answering me. I believe you and I share the same level of education (I wish I’d gone further). For me there’s a huge difference between someone not having a high level of formal education and someone who digs in their heels, sticks their head in the sand and chooses to be willfully ignorant. Those who do the latter, who choose not to educate themselves regarding facts (on any issue) or open their minds and at least listen to others with differing opinions and yet still vote on propositions, candidates, etc.? Those are the people that frustrate me to no end. To be very clear, I’m not referring to you . As far as those who pound out opinions on a keyboard thinking they know it all, well, I think probably we’re all guilty of that ( myself included) from time to time, lol. I suppose there are some who think they’re never wrong and choose to not acknowledge others who apologize or correct incorrect statements but the way I figure it, that’s on them. Sometimes I choose to engage and sometimes I choose to walk on by. Again, thanks for answering me, enjoy your day.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Candace, there’s a huge exception to your rule, and that’s people like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. First in his class at West Point, Harvard etc., and yet he’s still a completely insane right-wing evangelical Zionist who believe in the End Times. Pompeo, despite all his education, doesn’t understand that when you read the Bible, it reads you.

      • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

        Ulysses S. Grant graduated 21st in a class of 39 at West Point class of 1843.

        I now live a couple of blocks from where he likely went on a historic bender during the winter of 1853-4.

        “During the fall of 1853 the war department promoted Lieut. Ulysses S. Grant to the grade of captain as a recognition of excellent service in the Mexican war, and assigned him to the station at Fort Humboldt, in California. He arrived about the end of October, 1853, and remained only five months. During his stay, there was a great deal of rainy weather which made him despondent; he was unable to agree with his superior officer at the Fort, and his wife and children were in the East. He left the county in 1854, having resigned from the army.”

        “Grant’s stay at Fort Humboldt was one which, in after years, the great
        general must have looked back upon as a nightmare that he would blot from life
        and memory. His memoirs make no mention of it, nor do any of his biographers
        give any account of the five months which he spent at dreary Fort Humboldt, the
        most western garrison of the United States, which was more remote and isolated
        in 1853 than the sealing stations of the Aleutian Islands are today.” – Rootsweb

        And yet he won the Civil War. Not singlehandedly, of course; other factors were at play. Still: being first in one’s class – or last – is not indicative of the person within.

  22. Avatar Candace says:

    R.V. I wouldn’t say it’s my rule, I was using my own lack of higher formal education as a parallel to Bruce’s comment. I was meaning that willful ignorance exists whether one is highly educated or not and whether one is or isn’t shouldn’t be an excuse for choosing to remain ignorant. Guess I didn’t say it very well. Anyway, I think Pompeo is both dangerous and awful which tragically seems to be a winning combination these days in the current administration.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      I’m curious Candace why you think Pompeo is so awful and dangerous. I find him to be an effective and smart Secy of State. What has he done, in your opinion to justify your claims?

  23. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    I have been married almost fifty years to a woman from Hayfork. In the old RS the comments from the Redding flatlanders have been mostly derogative about Hayfork, from the drive to the people, and I have responded not gentle, probably due to my low education. And that derogative trend still continues today. Look up the excellent article, printed on Anews, about the Rancho Tehama shootings. A few of the comments from so called educated folks on here said the Rancho Tehama community had the same backwoods mentality as Trinity County.
    There have been many successful people from Trinity County and I am honored, and will defend them, to call many of them my family and friends.

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