Latest reader comments

  • Reply to: The face of GOP extremism in North Carolina   7 hours 39 min ago

    It's always sad to see a professed Christian who is so full of hate.

  • Reply to: Edward Snowden granted Russian citizenship   16 hours 16 min ago

    But they had to tiptoe during the Trump Presidency. I mean, even though Trump booted him rather quickly, he did put Steve Bannon on the National Security Council after he was sworn in.

    It must have been a frustrating time for intel folks, with that dipshit at the helm.

  • Reply to: Edward Snowden granted Russian citizenship   17 hours 45 min ago

    I'm about as Lefty as they come and I agree with you on the necessity of intelligence operations and secrecy with proper oversight.

    That's why who you elect to office in Congress or the Executive branch - they can use this information wisely to protect us or use it for their own political purposes.

    Reading this, I'm reminded of observing the Cold War when I was growing up. Back then, I was a shortwave band listener and international shortwave stations were a very active propaganda outlet for both sides. It was curious, for example, to hear the defenses of Apartheid all through the 70s and 80s coming from Radio South Africa while the press on the ground was showing us a very different picture.

    The propaganda broadcast by the USSR was particularly interesting. While, at times, it could sound quite reasonable with their point of view, even featuring commentaries from some Moscow journalists that would be quoted in US media, there was an undercurrent of ridiculous misinformation - stories about Soviet research on UFOs or ESP, quack medicine, conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination and other topics, or stories designed to stir up racial or religious animus.

    All of these themes were kept alive on the shortwave bands (and right-wing AM talk) after the end of the Cold War, the rise of the Internet and shutdown of international shortwave broadcasters.

    What struck me during the Trump years and seeing Putin's social media campaign to influence the US elections used the same techniques and themes I heard on Radio Moscow way back in the 1980s, designed to attract the local crackpots that would believe anything.

    This is the type of thing that an intelligence service can point out, since they have an institutional history that can see these trends.

    Probably the biggest failure of our elected leaders since the end of the Cold War wasn't publicizing what I'm sure our intelligence analysts were seeing about foreign influence in US elections in a way that more clearly showed how Putin was using the same themes and techniques he was familiar with from the USSR years. The right, with the kind of tepid and not well thought out release of this information, simply branded election interference as just a fake conspiracy theory, much like Radio Moscow would have done forty or fifty years ago.

  • Reply to: The face of GOP extremism in North Carolina   19 hours 31 min ago

    For Congress anyway, the only requirement (for residency) is that he lives in the State. He probably would move to avoid being criticized for not living in x district, but then again he ain't the shiniest spoon in the drawer...

  • Reply to: The face of GOP extremism in North Carolina   19 hours 36 min ago

    Kanye has a long history of mental illness, combined with a long history of bigotry and being an asshole. He's gotten to the point that he can't control himself in public, lacking any self awareness, and is just letting any random thing that pops into his brain go directly to his mouth.

    Robinson reminds me of Madison Cawthorn - an inexperienced neophyte thrust into the political spotlight. Both Cawthorn and Robinson are one-note politicians on the core issues of guns, bashing gays and immigrants, and some vague liberal conspiracy about controlling your lives. Robinson adds a layer of evangelical extremism on top of that.

    Cawthorn's downfall came when he started talking to far-right wing media outlets away from his handlers, going off-script. I could see the same thing happening with Robinson, where his zeal and inexperience will get him in trouble if he's talking with fellow extremists.

    Remember that Robinson's not the guaranteed final candidate for the governor's race on the GOP ticket - he still has to make it through a primary. The moneybags in the state GOP don't seem so enamored with him and might field a candidate that's perceived as less erratic and able to keep their mouth shut at the right time. The Lt Governor's position is basically a do-nothing job that doesn't have much impact on the day to day work that the legislature carries out - the Governor's job is much more high-stakes.

    I'm not certain about this, but I have the impression that most of Robinson's backing and financial support is coming from gun nuts here in NC and out of state donors that prop up the GOP's Insurrection Caucus in Congress. They're really just interested in vocal mouthpieces for clips on FoxNews and other right-wing outlets to further their cause.

    When primary time rolls around, if the NC GOP leaders are tepid about running Robinson for Governor, I could see his out of state backers getting him to run for a seat in Congress.

    Robinson's primary residence is in Colfax in the 6th Congressional district, currently held by Democrat Kathy Manning. Redistricting made it a solidly blue district that includes Greensboro, Winston, and High Point. So, if Robinson quietly changes his residence from Colfax to another district in the lead in to 2024, expect him to run for the US House instead of Governor.

    His handlers didn't pay to get him a ghost-written autobiography just to promote him as state-level figure.