The Greatest Power on Earth

I’m of the opinion that, following the SoE Asia Fiasco, the Afghanistan Fiasco, and the 2 Gulf Fiascos, we need a new metric for measuring military power. Clearly, we are not the greatest power on earth, although we could atomize all comers in a WWII or Korea style war. It may be decades or centuries, if ever, before we have another WWII or Korea style war.

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33 thoughts on “The Greatest Power on Earth”

  1. Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, talks with Rachel Maddow in an exclusive interview about his interactions with Rep. Devin Nunes and his assistant Derek Harvey and his surprise at seeing Nunes in the House Intel impeachment hearings given his role in Donald Trump’s Ukraine scheme. Aired on 1/15/2020.

  2. Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, talks with Rachel Maddow in an exclusive interview about Donald Trump’s frustration that Ukrainian President Zelenskiy wouldn’t announce an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, and Mike Pence being assigned the task of making that expectation clear to Ukraine. Aired on 1/15/2020.

  3. NYTimes best of late night:

    On Tuesday, just a day before the House’s articles of impeachment against President Trump were delivered to the Senate, Democrats released new evidence that had been turned over by Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian businessman. He provided handwritten notes (some on Ritz-Carlton stationery) and other records detailing his work with Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, to pressure Ukraine’s president into announcing an investigation of Joe Biden.

    “Yesterday, the House Intelligence Committee released materials that they got from Parnas that have been described as ‘a trove of ridiculously incriminating impeachment evidence.’ That’s pretty bad, because when it comes to Trump crime, the scale goes: incriminating, very incriminating, ridiculously incriminating and Rudy on merlot.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

    “It turns out that one of Rudy Giuliani’s associates, Lev Parnas, actually wrote a note that said, ‘Get Zelensky to announce that the Biden case will be investigated.’ Trump was furious. He was like, ‘You stayed at the Ritz instead of one of my hotels?’” — JIMMY FALLON

    “Seriously? They wrote down the plot of their crime and then kept it? That is a literal paper trail.” — TREVOR NOAH

    “You don’t write the crime down, you dummy! It didn’t help that the next note was ‘leave paper trail of impeachable offenses’ and ‘steal Ritz-Carlton stationery.’” — STEPHEN COLBERT

    “In the final note, in big, bold letters at the bottom of the page, Parnas writes what is perhaps the most incriminating word of all: ‘Rudy.’ You have to write it down because if you say his name three times, he appears on Fox News and incriminates you in a crime.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

    “These guys are a lot dumber than the criminals on T.V. Those criminals are always using burner phones and switching cars, meeting in back alleys. In real life, these guys were texting each other and putting up posters on telephone poles that said, ‘Looking for thugs to do crimes. This is for Trump as citizen, not as president. He is my friend, here is picture of us.’” — SETH MEYERS

  4. also at NYT best of late night:

    “Following last night’s debate, Senator Elizabeth Warren appeared to turn down a handshake from Senator Bernie Sanders — also, a foot rub from Joe Biden.” — SETH MEYERS

    “Warren accuses Sanders of calling her a liar. Then he says she called him a liar. Look, there is a very easy way to settle this: You’re politicians, you’re both liars.” — JAMES CORDEN

    “There’s been a lot of speculation about what was being said. Some said they weren’t arguing, some said she didn’t want to shake Bernie’s hand because it smells like Brylcreem and gefilte fish.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

    “Bernie looks like a Delta gate agent who caught someone in zone two trying to board in zone one.” — JIMMY FALLON

    “This was the last debate before the Iowa caucus, and if we’re having fights, they should be about how to protect reproductive rights and how to fight gun violence and how Biden looks like he got run through the ‘Irishman’ de-aging machine.” — SAMANTHA BEE

    “And by the way, how cute is Tom Steyer? He is like oblivious to the whole tense situation. He‘s just — he’s so cheerful. He’s just like: ‘Wow, what a fun debate, guys. You guys thinking what I am thinking — T.G.I. Fridays? No, Bernie? Applebee’s? What do you want?’” — TREVOR NOAH

    “I mean, for socialists they’re not very social.” — JAMES CORDEN

  5. I watched Rachel’s interview with Parnas last night.  I even turned off a basketball game to see it.  Methinks all this Ukraine stuff is just the tip of an iceberg.  Eventually…   EVERYTHING will come out.  And it’s gonna make a hell of a book.
     
    Speaking of books…. after looking for months for a used copy of Rachel’s “Blowout” to no avail…  I finally ordered it and Rick Wilson’s new book on Amazon about an hour ago.

  6. xrep….   great column.  Yeah…   we need an administration that doesn’t send our kids to die on foreign soil based on lies.   And yes…  both sides have done it….    NO MORE!

  7. Parnas is a con man. You need to take everything he says with that in mind. As always “if it sounds too good to be true” then it probably is. 
    Too much of what has come out in the last few days seems to be aimed at getting left wing Democrats and the media to take the bait, 
    I would walk very carefully around this one, 
    Jack

  8. Jack, true enough about Parnas, but he is also under indictment and out on bail pending trial in SDNY and could lose that accommodation if he were to say the same things to, say, a federal investigator and the judge in the case determined that what he told the investigator was not true, so I’m guessing that his lawyer was beside him to keep him out of the ditch.

  9. There is enough redundancy in our strategic capability that others are assured of obliteration should they attack our homeland with nuclear weapons. That keeps us safe.

  10. jack,  I second pogo’s comment on your comment and add (what XR also noted last thread about the tea he drinks and door knobs he touches) the guy -no matter whether he’s lying or telling the truth – is doing everything he can to stay alive.  

     

  11. A healthy skepticism is a good thing, IMO.  Rachel obviously had a good dose of it while interviewing Parnas.  She told the audience that she made sure to come at him from at least 3 different angles with the same question…   so it would trip him up if he was lying.  He never stumbled.  
     
    Only time will tell if what he’s saying is true or not.  And I still think that eventually everything will come out about trump no matter who is or isn’t lying. 

  12. the hill:

    The Trump administration’s decision to freeze the release of security assistance to Ukraine violated the law, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a new report.

    The independent watchdog said in an opinion issued Thursday that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) withheld the appropriated funds last summer not as a programmatic delay but in order to advance the president’s own agenda.

    By doing so, the watchdog concluded, the White House violated what’s known as the Impoundment Control Act (ICA).

    “Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” the report said. “OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA)…Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA.”

    The GAO opinion touched on a matter at the center of impeachment proceedings against President Trump: The decision by the White House to withhold nearly $400 million in U.S. aid to Kyiv as it fights off pro-Russian separatists.

    [continues]

  13. The real question as I see it is whether when the dipwad republicans vote not to allow witnesses or evidence that has come to light since the impeachment inquiry began the American voting public will care enough in November to vote at least 4 of them out of office.

  14. Pogo – this last year after the mass murder in Virginia Beach mass shooting, the Virginia Assembly was called into special session to deal with the gun laws.  The greedy old perverts showed up, voted to leave, and did. 
     
    What I am thinking is the impeachment trial in the Senate is following the same greedy old pervert pattern, and Russian, plan of control, show up, vote to leave and do so.  Will there be a backlash similar to what happened in Virginia?  I hope so.  I hope there are enough Americans left out there, and allowed to vote, to vote the republicans out and no longer let them be part of this America.

  15. Mr Flatus, You’re right, but as a metaphor, we’re playing Championship level NHL hockey while the 3d world is playing mediocre soccer but scoring goals.

    We have lots of expensive stuff an enemy can wreck cheaply. We have lots of people who we’ve educated at enormous expense; an enemy can slay them cheaply, and does with regularity.

    We have an enormously expensive satellite system aircraft carriers, stealth aircraft with cruise missiles, but the potential enemies don’t have high value property or personnel.

    The differences have becomes so monstrous that the term asymmetric hardly informs us about actual conditions.

  16. So far four things argue the general truth of parnas’ statements and documents. The first is that what I have heard and read corroborates other sources and documents that we already had. OF course, there are new items we need to investigate in the parnas hoard. Nothing I have seen or read of parnas or his documents disagrees with data we had before, but again there is a good deal of untested new data. The third argument is that parnas as a prisoner did not have time to access and change the documents. The fourth argument is that parnas is making confessions and providing ‘evidence against his personal interest’, as litigators call it. Not only that, he is providing it, without having reached a plea deal. 
    There may be red herring in the pile, but I’m inclined to believe parnas. Nonetheless, I’d like to hear from the small fish who have been implicated. Trust, but verify.

  17. XR, I LOVE that sign. I’d like it as a bumper sticker, but here in East Bumfuck someone would damage or torch my car. 

  18. I’m getting suspicious, probably russian origin, sneaky pro-trump emails. Slick and glossy. It calls itself ‘PoliticalVoice.’
     
    The same source is sending me ‘Meet russian Girls.’ Very slick and glossy. Apparently it includes nekkid pix -but I didn’t open it, so I’m not really certain. Anywhat, it’s rippers, possibly russkie, busy at porn and pimping in both sets of emails.
     
    I’d like to show them to you, but I’m afraid it might pollute the Trail or my friends’ computers.
    Any suggestions on a way to display to you w/o injuring everyone, including me ?

  19. XR,  a fifth reason to kinda sorta half-way believe some of what the guy says is that nunes phone call that nunes now recalls and stupidly admits it was to his (the ranking member of the house intelligence committee coincidentally investigating trump-liani in Kiev)  CELL phone.  don’t know many people (major or minor) who give out cell phone numbers to strangers.

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