• ssu
    1.5k
    It's times like this that I wish Sarah Palin were back running the show in Alaska. It was only her steely resolve, diplomatic finesse, and deep knowledge of the intricacies of geopolitics which kept Russia at bay (did you know you can see Russia from Alaska? Really see it!).Arkady
    Yep.

    But actually you touch an interesting point, that is namely the states or districts, below the national level, and their role in international relations. Many times, especially in the forgotten North where your stable genius isn't building a wall, the states and local actors that share the border with another country (like Canada) do have a genuine need and urge to establish relations with their neighbours at the local level. I remember here the governor of Lapland (female btw, as Sarah Palin, but there the similarities end) saying: "We have more connections and a need for more connections to Finnmark, Norway, than to the capital Helsinki" and continued that basically the Capital was a thorne in the side for Lapland in these issues.

    With the government shutdown and with the debacle called the Trump administration, it might create and environment where US states might decide "Fuck this, we'll deal with our neighbours ourselves" and there might be similar aspirations on the other side.
  • Arkady
    762

    True, however, the situation for one country doesn't necessarily smoothly translate to another. For one thing, the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution grants Congress powers to regulate commerce between the US and foreign nations. The Treaty Clause also places the power of negotiating and ratifying treaties with foreign powers in the hands of the President and Congress, respectively.

    If the states start doing something that the federal government doesn't like, the President and Congress have a certain amount of latitude in reigning them in. (California for instance, being an especially large state and large economy, has a lot of economic muscle to throw around, and has butted heads with the federal government on certain issues, e.g. emission standards for autos.)
  • frank
    2.9k
    And their pets! Think of the puppies!karl stone

    Karl, I'm concerned that you might have become a zombie.
  • karl stone
    430
    And their pets! Think of the puppies!
    — karl stone

    Karl, I'm concerned that you might have become a zombie.frank

    Are you? Did you bite me?
  • frank
    2.9k
    That's exactly what I would expect a zombie to ask.
  • praxis
    1.4k
    It'll be interesting to see what kind of spin conservative pundits will put on Trump caving in the shutdown today.
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    I like Pelosi's quote. " If we planted flowers along the border, trump could convince his supporters it was a wall. Whatever happens Trump will declare victory. That is what his greatest teacher Roy Cohn taught him to do
  • Arkady
    762

    Trump's die-hard supporters are so credulous they would likely believe that flowers were a wall. A columnist recently suggested that, since Trump lies incessantly anyway, and his supporters simply lap up the lies, in order to get out of the government shutdown stalemate prompted by Congress not funding his wall, Trump should simply lie and say the wall was funded, is being built, or even is already built. His supporters will believe it, Trump will save face, and the shutdown can end.
  • Rank Amateur
    1.6k
    how about we just make a deal with him, that if leaves right now, we will agree he has finished making America great again, he can go and tell everyone he was the greatest president ever, and didn't even need 4 years to do it.
  • Arkady
    762

    Declare victory and withdraw...I'd agree with that suggestion, except that then we'd have President Pence, which I fear would be worse. Trump is a largely incompetent blowhard who lurches from one ill-conceived idea to the next. Pence, on the other hand, is an experienced statesman who knows how to work the levers of power, and he is an extremist theocrat who would likely pursue that ideology legislatively.
  • Maw
    1.5k
    wow what a day
  • Arkady
    762
    Trump has agreed to a deal to at least temporarily end the government shutdown, and he's already being blasted for this decision by Ann Coulter. Coulter has heretofore had Trump's back, and I presume that he's enjoyed her support, but he is an extremely thin-skinned person, and doesn't react well at all to criticism. Can you imagine a Trump/Coulter Twitter war? That would reach levels of crazy not yet seen on planet Earth.
  • karl stone
    430
    That's exactly what I would expect a zombie to ask.frank

    Only because you have no braaaaains!
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    Trump is a largely incompetent blowhard who lurches from one ill-conceived idea to the next.Arkady

    I detect the master hand operating his strings, don't you? There's a consistency to his actions - the outrageousness of them - that even an incompetent blowhard couldn't manage. Yes? No? Who runs him?
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    There's Donald Trump bad and then there's Roger Stone bad.
  • ssu
    1.5k
    If the states start doing something that the federal government doesn't like, the President and Congress have a certain amount of latitude in reigning them in. (California for instance, being an especially large state and large economy, has a lot of economic muscle to throw around, and has butted heads with the federal government on certain issues, e.g. emission standards for autos.)Arkady
    California is equivalent to something like Germany being the 5th biggest economy in the World (if counted separately). Hence if these state level actors would actively start creating their own relations because Washington DC isn't capable of doing it, that might make things interesting. As long as they get their agenda pushed through their people in Congress, everything works fine. But if for some reason it becomes even worse than now, states may opt being more independent. Yet the biggest obstacle for true secession is an ideological and truly important one: Californians relate to being Americans, not being separate as Californians. Even with the Texans, their brief stint with independence is more of a peculiar historical oddity now, not something that Texans truly relate to. Nothing compared for example to the Scots and their heritage of Scotland or how it is with Catalonia and Spain.

    In fact, it seems to me that the rare discourse of state secession in the US is mostly a hypothetical one usually discussed by people who are not happy about the current state of the federation.
  • Arkady
    762

    Perhaps Putin and Pence have a joint custody agreement concerning their toddler.
  • frank
    2.9k
    Only because you have no braaaaains!karl stone

    I think you're stuck in the president's reality distortion field. Do you have any aluminum foil?
  • karl stone
    430
    I think you're stuck in the president's reality distortion field. Do you have any aluminum foil?frank

    It takes vast amounts of energy to produce aluminium. It would probably be less environmentally damaging just to spray a whole can of hairspray on my head everyday - like President Evil does! Unless it were renewable energy - then it wouldn't matter so much if I had a tin foil hat! But it's not renewable energy, is it? So it's not me in the tin foil hat - it's anyone who thinks they can simply ignore reality - and use a can of hairspray everyday, and keep combing it over until there's nothing left.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    It would probably be less environmentally damaging just to spray a whole can of hairspray on my head everydaykarl stone

    There is a hair-care product better than aluminum foil or hair spray. I recommend SUAVE DAILY CLARIFYING SHAMPOO.

    Daily Clarifying Shampoo is loaded with nanoparticles and neurotransmitters that burrow through the scull, right into that tangle of confused neurons and synapses. Daily Clarifying Suave dispels the fog of bad information, misapprehensions, mistaken notions, confusions, vague anxieties, unjustified biases, wrong ideology, and politically abhorrent memes. Through regular application of this fine product you may progress from being a complete idiot to a much sought-after guru. (Results will vary.)

    Bring out the sparkle in whatever mind you have left! That's DAILY CLARIFYING shampoo.

    GUEST_0bcd71e6-a849-4f57-893d-017ae58d4dcc?wid=488&hei=488&fmt=pjpeg

    It's fixes your head, if not your hair.
  • karl stone
    430
    It would probably be less environmentally damaging just to spray a whole can of hairspray on my head everyday
    — karl stone

    There is a hair-care product better than aluminum foil or hair spray. I recommend SUAVE DAILY CLARIFYING SHAMPOO.

    Daily Clarifying Shampoo is loaded with nanoparticles and neurotransmitters that burrow through the scull, right into that tangle of confused neurons and synapses. Daily Clarifying Suave dispels the fog of bad information, misapprehensions, mistaken notions, confusions, vague anxieties, unjustified biases, wrong ideology, and politically abhorrent memes. Through regular application of this fine product you may progress from being a complete idiot to a much sought-after guru. (Results will vary.)

    Bring out the sparkle in whatever mind you have left! That's DAILY CLARIFYING shampoo.

    It's fixes your head, if not your hair.
    Bitter Crank

    Those are some big claims for a shampoo. They copied that right off the label of "Lilly the Pink's medicinal compound" - but at least had the decency to add the disclaimer, 'results may vary' rather than the bogus claim to be 'efficacious in every case.' Pardon me if I don't buy it.
  • frank
    2.9k
    I happen to be an expert on both aluminum and clarifying shampoo. This is me:

    Goran-Djukanovic-profile.jpg?ssl=1
  • karl stone
    430
    I happen to be an expert on both aluminum and clarifying shampoo. This is me:frank

    So how much energy does it take to produce aluminium? It's a lot, right! You could use renewable energy to create hydrogen fuel, and burn that to power these energy intensive industrial processes. I understand, the entire world's current energy demand could be met from a square of solar panels 450 miles to each side. That's over 200,000 square miles - but we cut down 170,000 square miles of rain-forest every year! And it wouldn't have to be one 450x450 mile square. The best place for such installations, I would argue - is at sea, because there's water that can be transformed into both hydrogen fuel and fresh water - piped inland, to burn in traditional power stations, and do things like irrigate wastelands for agriculture - rather than clear cutting and burning the forests.
  • frank
    2.9k
    My great-grandfather saved bits of string and aluminum foil and passed them down. I inherited them and use them to filter out alien broadcasts and lies from Donald Trump.

    You meanwhile go on and on about aluminum production costs while completely unprotected. You do the math.
  • karl stone
    430
    My great-grandfather saved bits of string and aluminum foil and passed them down. I inherited them and use them to filter out alien broadcasts and lies from Donald Trump.

    You meanwhile go on and on about aluminum production costs while completely unprotected. You do the math.
    frank

    Is that a threat? I understand the things I'm talking about are sensitive - but given the little I have to lose, and the possibly infinite opportunity cost for humankind, I cannot in good conscience concede to any such threat. I seek to fulfill what I see as a naturally occurring obligation, to take what has been built from sticks and stones by the struggles of all previous generations, to secure the future for humankind. It is technologically possible to support a large human population sustainably. The difficulties are ideological - and I'm trying to deal with those questions honestly and sensitively. On paper, the prognosis is good. We are actually very well placed to achieve sustainable markets, providing for high standards of human welfare, leveling off at around 11 billion people by 2100. But not if we stick our head in the sand.
  • S
    10.6k
    Only because you have no braaaaains!karl stone

    :clap: :rofl:
  • Inis
    243
    Donald Trump donated his last quarter salary to alcoholism research.
  • S
    10.6k
    I happen to be an expert on both aluminum and clarifying shampoo.frank

    How can you be an expert on something you can't even spell properly?
  • frank
    2.9k
    On paper, the prognosis is good.karl stone

    Without a global coalition to do it? Are you thinking that China will do it unilaterally? I mean, notice how vehemently Euros hate Americans and it's the same culture. How could a global coalition come into being?
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