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The thing about a carrier strike group and John Bolton

Friday, May 10th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — strategy / metacognition — here’s an easy to feel, hard to conceptualize notion: the threat to Iran is a human+carrier-group threat, not just a carrier-group threat, okay? ]
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The U.S. Navy’s Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group includes guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf, and missile destroyers USS Bainbridge, USS Gonzalez, USS Mason and USS Nitze. Photo by MCS3 Stephen Doyle

As the son of a captain RN, I can’t resist images like this:

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Aside:

Let me start by noting that MSNBC’s Richard Engel today mentioned that North Korea expresses varying levels of frustration by exploding underground nukes when “really, really angry” — and then in descending order firing off ICBMs and then short-range missiles — the stage we’re at this week, indicating “moderate displeasure — but why? — And Engel suggests the Kim regime is signalling that it “wants to get back to the bargaining table”..

So the firing of missiles, albeit into the Sea of Japan, an act of aggression on the face of it, and plausibly a bit of a threat — an example of “saber-rattling”, as Engel goes on to say — can carry a message of tghe wish to negotiate, if not for actual reconciliation.

I mention this merely to indicate that threat — along with such related categories as exercise, deployment, war-game, &c — is a polyvalent matter.

But that’s just to open our minds to the matter of The thing about a carrier strike group and John Bolton…

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Main point:

John Bolton just announced that the USS Abraham Lincoln was hastening to the Persian Gulf “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”

That’s a threat.

Presumably, as far as Bolton is concerned, the threat in this case is the Lincoln strike group and accompanying bomber wing — the deployment of massive lethal force.

I don’t think that’s the threat — or to put it another way, I think that’s only half the threat, or more precisely, it’s y in the threat xy.

What I’m getting at is on the one hand patently obvious, and on the other, conceptually difficult to handle: that the threat is in fact John Bolton force-multiplying the carrier strike group..

John Bolton is a hawkish hawk — Trump himself said today with a laugh that he’s the one who has to “tempers” Bolton, rather than the other way around — Bolton, if I may say so, is somewhere between a rattling saber and a loose cannon. He may be in complete control of himself, full of sound and fury purely for effect, and far more cautious in purpose and action than he lets on. But his hawkishness is unpredictable, and it’s that unpredictable bellicosity — multiplied by the lethality of the carrier group — that constitutes the real thread.

It’s easy to feel that, particularly if you’re an Iranian honcho — but not so easy to think about it or discuss it strategically, because there’s no such conceptual category as a human-warforce hybrid.

We need that category.

Because the threat to Iran is a human-warship threat, not just a warship threat. And when the human is John Bolton — watch out!

Chyrons, quotes, etc, 18

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — CPAC and Fox, Kushner and the Judiciary Committee, India and Pakistan, even a mention of epistemology, still plenty going on ]
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Misc:

BrownPundits:

It puts India and Pakistan on the same moral plane, right?
You talk about India and Pakistan being rivals. It’s just both sideisms of the most mendacious kind.

??:

No doubt Trump‘s dealing with Cohen and Kim are leading stories about now, so this headline deserves to lead this post, but — wait for it —

— it’s the bit about muscling reality into submission that caught my attention. Just muscling into submission would be metaphor enough for me to take notice — but when it’s reality itself that’s being wrestled down, we’re clearly in epistemological territory, perhaps of the variety Michelle Goldberg: talked about the other day:

..The epistemological terrorism that the Trump administration practices on us every day to keep us in this state of kind of derangement and feeling slightly off-center and not being able to get your bearings in this moment.

Terrorism? Not in the usual natsec sense — but hang on, terror itself is a framing of reality, located in the mind-heart-brain complex, and that’s the stage par excellence on which epistemological experience plays…

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If I could access it, there’s a dueling breaking news chyron at the end of Bryan Williams’ 11th hour for February 26th.

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Dom Donilon:

North Korea of course is the combination of a cult and kind of a mob operation

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A Day of Reckoning for Michael Jackson with “Leaving Neverland”

It is admittedly difficult, while watching “Leaving Neverland,” to hold in mind two contradictory but equally imperative ideas: that victims should be believed, and that the accused are innocent until proved guilty. The first is wildly crucial if we wish to protect the disenfranchised from egregious abuses of power. The second remains the crux of the American criminal-justice system. Can these two ideas coexist? Right now it feels as if they have to, which means that we are sometimes required to make personal choices about how we accept or dismiss the information made available to us.

The ability to hold in mind two contradictory but equally imperative ideas is a strong version of F Scott Fitzgerald‘s definition of genius — strong because Fitzgerald didn’t insist on the ideas in question being imperative.

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There’s a lot of balancing, even mirroring, going on here:

Postpone Brexit? Maybe Get a Do-Over? The Negotiations Enter a High-Stakes Game-Theory Stage
By Amy Davidson SorkinF

Brexit, at the moment, is an exercise in game theory. This week, both Prime Minister Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, grudgingly agreed to open the way for options that could help to break the current deadlock over the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union. In May’s case, the option was a possible vote in Parliament to delay Brexit, which is now scheduled, ready or not, for March 29th; in Corbyn’s, it was a new referendum that might overturn Brexit altogether. Both May and Corbyn were acting because of rebellions within their own ranks, which escalated last week—when both Labour and Conservative M.P.s resigned from their parties—and threatened to spread. May reportedly made her offer because three members of her cabinet were about to quit, taking a dozen junior ministers with them.

Z
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3-4-2019 MSNBC, a few items

MTP:

Pres Trump:

Russia, if you’re listening ..

Katy Tur:

It suredoesn’t seem as though the Russians thought it was a joke ..

43: RT is starting their propaganda campaign that mirrors WikiLeaks which then mirrors what Donald TYrump is saying..

Melber, The Beat:

Paul H:

We’re not at Impeach yet, but we’re definitely on the road, the car is on the road. And this is the gas for that car, this investigation.

Paul, if this is a car a lot of people thought Bob Mueller was driving it. Thelasttime people remember an Impeac hment proceeding,we had prosecutor Ken Starr now driving it. ARe you suggesting that Jerry Nadler is now really in that

[more — Clift, Hommer, Prius]

Eleanor Clift:

He knew the game was over ..

The document demand:

Ari:

That’s just Kushner..

Richard Painter:

We don’t haveconclusive proof that the President is a Russian mole, but it sure seems like it .

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Hardball:

Sen Klobuchar: Rail, class one rail, down to four companies, the same number we’re seeing on the Monopoly board. And this consolidation that we’re seein in our country cries out for tougher action on anti-trust.

Hemmer argues that Fox—which, as the most watched cable news network, generates about $2.7 billion a year for its parent company, 21st Century Fox—acts as a force multiplier for Trump, solidifying his hold over the Republican Party and intensifying his support. “Fox is not just taking the temperature of the base—it’s raising the temperature,” she says. “It’s a radicalization model.” For both Trump and Fox, “fear is a business strategy—it keeps people watching.” As the President has been beset by scandals, congressional hearings, and even talk of impeachment, Fox has been both his shield and his sword. The White House and Fox interact so seamlessly that it can be hard to determine, during a particular news cycle, which one is following the other’s lead.

Chris Matthews:

Chris M:

Who’s the toy here, the Presidentt? or Fox?

Chris M:

Why is the President of the United States working for Fox?

Jane M:

Despite the discouragement, Falzone kept investigating, and discovered that the National Enquirer, in partnership with Trump, had made a “catch and kill” deal with Daniels—buying the exclusive rights to her story in order to bury it. Falzone pitched this story to Fox, too, but it went nowhere. News of Trump’s payoffs to silence Daniels, and Cohen’s criminal attempts to conceal them as legal fees, remained unknown to the public until the Wall Street Journal broke the story, a year after Trump became President.

All In

Ken Liu:

We want to connect the dots and really put out a narrative of what happened, why it happened, and how we prevent this from happening again

Wajahat Ali:

That’s my slight concern about Biden and Bernie Sanders and Trump, that 2020 is like going to be the ticket of Bengay vs Vick’s Vapor Rub vs Metamucil .

Last Word, O’Donnll:

Frank Rich:

Well, look, everything that Trump is guilty of, he’s accused somebody else of doing — so he’s accused Hillary of having all the questions when he had them, he accused Barack Obama of playing golf all the time when he plays golf all the time, and many worse sins than that

Anita Kumar:

They don’t like her policies, but they say she (AOC) has political game

Katy Tur:

Is she going to be the white whale?

Seb Gorka:

That’s why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has introduced the New Green Deal: it’s a watermelon, green on the outside, deep, deep, Communist red on the inbside.

Brian Williams:

One of his legal ppl:

I think she’s showing rmarkable patience. One day, Brian, Roger Stone will be a convicted felon, and this judge will be the one who decides how long he goes to jail. He’s playing a short game, she’s playing a long game.

3/5/2019 Brian Wms:

Gen McCaffrey:It’s amazing what’s available through unclassified commercial satellite photography [***** ourob][ .. ]

We’re being played by the North Koreans, and President Trump is negotiating with himself [ .. ]

Let’s .. talk about those exercises. The President now openly referring to them as war games –

— [Brian contd] It is possible he did not know that that phrase existed until now

It’s a chyron blizzard 16

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — kushner’s clearance, the koreas, impeachment and other topics of interest, chyrons, screen-grabs &c ]
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Chyrons:

Velshi:

Meet the Press:

Ari Melber:

Spares:

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Quotes with associated chyrons, Melber:

Howard Fineman:

In the campaign, I spent some time on the 26th floor of Trump Tower, in Donald Trump’s office talking to Donald and some other people. And it reminded me of nothing so much as a somewhat more upscale back room at the Bada Bing!

It was Donald Trump sitting behind the desk, and various people milling around, nobody sitting down because Donald Trump had too many trophies and paintings and other things on the chairs and seats, there was nowhere to sit down, but everybody milling around the office and only one person who mattered and who was making everybody else argue with each other, and that was Donald Trump.

Fineman cont’d:

Is this basically a giant RICO case? That’s what we’re dealing with.

Barbara McQuade:

You know, Robert Mueller, and prosecutors in general, are scrupulously careful not to overplay their hand. And so they are correct, they are all correct that there was no direct statement by Donald Trump directing Michael Cohen to lie { .. ]

All they said is, the statement was not accurate. They did not say that President Trump did not in some way imply or indirectly indicate and instruct Cohen [ .. ]

[ .. ] because of statements Donald Trump had said, saying There’s no business in Russia, Michael, and in the same breath asking about the status of the negotiations with Russia [ .. ]

He sent a message to everybody, Get on board, that’s the message.

Barbara, cont’d:

It can be very difficult to prove when someone is so careful and maintains that plausible deniability by talking in code, it’s something that drug dealers do with each other, and mobsters do with each other — but if you can get enough people together to say, That’s how he communicated, then I think you can show his intent.

Ken Dilanian:

Conspiracy theorists on both sides of the Trump Russia story need to fall back.

This is a really complicated story, right, there’s a lot of ins and outs to the facts, and we can disagree, reasonable people can disagree on the implications of the evidence we have seen so far.

Dilanian, cont’d: But the people who need to fall back are those on the right who insist that the whole Mueller Russia investigation is a deep state plot and a coup against the President, and the people on the left who insist that Donald Trump is the Manchurian Candidate, that he’s a puppet of Putin. Because there’s no evidence to support either side of that.

Final chyrons from Melber:

I told you, this was a blizzard..

Hardball:

Ken Dilanian:

We have a new statement from Jared Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, who said at the time that Kushner got his clearance by the book, there was no special interference, he’s now saying that he, Mr Lowell, was not aware that the President had intervened. Speaking for himself now, not his client.

Mieke Eoyang:

What we saw in the Cohen testimony earlier this week is how exactly the President gives these kinds of instructions to people. What he repeats what he wants. He gives a meaningful look, he expects his order to be followed. SO when he says, I didn’t do this, he expects everyone to fall into line — even though we know now, he did.

Greg Brower:

I guess his [Manafort;s] team thought they had nothing to lose and perhaps something to gain by taking a swing at the Special Counsel, but I can’t believe it’s going to work..

Steve Kornacki:

Kornacki:

At the very bottom, there he is: Jimmy Carter from Plains, Georgia, the peanut farmer, the famous story. He went from worst to first, didn’t just win the Democratic nomination, but won the Presidency. That’s the most famous example, I think, of a dark horse who emerged..

AIsha Moodie-Mills:

Let’s remember that the point of impeachment proceedings is ultimately to open up a formal investigation, to be able to get to the heart of the heart1 of the things that Donald Trump is hiding. They also were able to pull out names, like Allen Weisselberg, and others, and also start to ask questions about Trump’s tax returns that really teed up the opportunity for them to follow up on some of the conversation that was politically feel like started at this hearing. So whether they feel like they are at a place to formally call it impeachment proceedings and to start that process, I think what we’re going to see is surely an investigation that mirrors the question-asking and the interrogation that impeachment would provide. [ .. ]

He’s literally being shown to act like a mobster in the way that he conducts himself with the people he works with.

Kornacki:

A felony was committed to conceal a politically damaging extra-marital affair.

David French:

You will see a complete flip-flop on both sides.[ .. ]

You’re going to see the waters being muddied with people who were a No on Clinton being a Yes, and Trump people who were a Yes on Clinton being a No on Trump, the only thing we can be sure of would be that hypocrisy would abound.

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Okay, that’s Melber and Hardball, I’ll put the next programs in a separate post.

Metaphoric chyrons 13, the Cohen testimony, continued

Friday, March 1st, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — that same history-making day of congressional testimony from michael cohen— part 2 of 2 ]
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Hardball:

Chyrons:

Steve Kornacki: .. dramatic split-screen when we return

Quotes:

Steve Kornacki: The unbelievable political theater from one Republican on the committee defending the president ..
Noah Rothman: I think in a lot of ways he’s trying to ingrate himself with the anti-Trump left, and he’s been singing the sermons of the Resistance to the hilt ..
42 Tulsi Gabbard: Kim saw what happened in Libya, he saw how we promised Libya’s dictator Gaddafi that if he gave up his nuclear weapons program, that we would not over that throw him. Well, he gave up those weapons, he gavee up that program and we blew him away. And so Kim’s not going to make this mistake..
Jackie Speier: I think we’re getting closer and closer to being able to put all those puzzle pieces together and have a pretty profound picture to show the American people ..

All In, Chris Hayes:

Chyrons:

Quotes:

14 Chris H: It’s a Chinese finger-art type of situation
Cohen: You don’t know him. I do. I sat next to this man for ten years and I watched his back ..
Rick Wilson: It’s the “my black friend” theory, it was cringe-inducing ..
It’s high school drama class ..
Danielle Moodie-Mills: The proximity to power and money — it’s an incredible aphrodisiac, and that’s what we saw today, that’s what Michael Cohen said, don’t be like me ..
Rick Wilson: You know who doesn’t give a damn about high school drama? Southern District of New York, Robert Mueller. The facts that Cohen’s revealing today today are going to be remembered, and known and litigated long after this playtime is over ..
[ 56 visual split screen ]
he doesn’t give you questions, he doesn’t give you orders, he speaks in a code ..
Hayes 58: he doesn’t tell you something,

Rachel Maddow:

Quote:

This is a feast-day for the news gods ..

And that’s it for yesterday, the 27th February, 2019

It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 9

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

{ by Charles Cameron — dishes, grills, tightens gag, silences, burns, pretends, plays — a mixed bag — wait for the next post to drop! ]
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I’m hurrying through this post to get to the next, which will be a special chyron issue on the concept of a Second Civil War

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Gagging Stone chyrons:

Misc chyrons:

Mueller end-game chyrons:

And a couple of headers:

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Quotes:

Nicolle Wallace:

In Vietnam time he’s going to have his first day of meetings scheduled so far with Kim Jong Unon Wednesday. Wednesday night in Vietnam 9s going to be the morning here in Washington when Cohen is testifying, so if Trump is going to be paying attention to that Cohen testimony, he’s not going to be getting much sleep between his first night and meeting with Kim Jong Un and his second day of meetings with Kim Joh Un on Tuesday.

It could be quite a split screen moment for the President [in Vietnam when Cohen testifies

The New York Attorney is expected to charge Paul Manafort, seemingly check-mating him ..

Heidi Przybyla: Islamic terrorism is more promoted in oress releases by the Department of Justice than these incidence of home grown white nationalist domestic terrorists ..

Eugene Robinson: When the reality is exactly the opposite; the reality is exactly the opposite, the real threat is from white nationalist hoke grown terrorists..

It’s a cult of personality ..

Ari Melber, The Beat:

We’ve talked about staying in lanes ..

Hardball, Chris Matthews:

04 I think once Paul Manafort left the Trump campaign, there were all these questions about him specifically, so I think he was a little bit radioactive ..
08 Kristof: I don’t know if the sentencing memo is going to connect those dots for us ..
NK: the dots are all over ..
Manafort has been double-dealing*** with the prosecutor ..
Noah Rothstein: The President will be just one dot in those many dots ..
He might just be a bit-player*** ..
[57: chyron or clip: kamikaze: ]

All In, Chris Hayes:

Was there any talk about this [??] during the Nixon days? I wonder whether this is a strategy that has been worked out before, or war-gamed before..
Elie Mystal: Southern District of New York is coming at Trump like syphilis. It’s going to make him crazy, and it’s never going away ..
Rutger Bregman at Davos: It feels like I’m in a fire-fighters’ conference, and no-one’s allowed to talk about water ..


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