Friday Open Thread | What the Loss of Mattis Means

Mattis wasn’t perfect. Not even close. But, because of the rest of the clown car surrounding Dolt45, he was reassurance for the world that there was at least of pocket of normalcy. But, he’s gone….and, yes, things are as bad as you think.

Has anyone ever spoken about a President like this? Out loud? For all the world to see?

Even when we were in the depths of the bowels of Dubya, did we ever think this low of a President?

From Former National Security Adviser Dr. Susan Rice.:

The Threat in the White House
With the impetuous decisions that drove Jim Mattis into retirement, President Trump does more to undermine American national security than any foreign adversary.

By Susan E. Rice
Ms. Rice is a former national security adviser and a contributing opinion writer.

This country’s national security decision-making process is more broken than at any time since the National Security Act became law in 1947. Nothing illustrates this dangerous dysfunction more starkly than President Trump’s reckless, unilateral decisions to announce the sudden withdrawal of all 2,000 United States troops from Syria and to remove 7,000 from Afghanistan.
These decisions went against the advice of the president’s top advisers, blindsided our allies and Congress, and delivered early Christmas presents to our adversaries from Russia and Iran to Hezbollah and the Taliban. The costs of this chaos are enormous, starting with the blunt, unnerving resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, one of the last senior administration officials committed to preserving American global leadership and alliances.
In a stunning tweet Wednesday, Mr. Trump declared the Islamic State defeated and promised the rapid return of all United States forces from Syria. In fact, the Islamic State is not defeated, though it is greatly weakened. The Pentagon estimates that 2,000 to 2,500 fighters continue to control territory in southeastern Syria, while tens of thousands more remain throughout Syria and Iraq. Although many militants have melted back into the population, they can re-emerge, as we saw after the American withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. Stabilizing the areas liberated from the Islamic State to prevent its revival remains as important as ever.
Cutting and running from Syria benefits only militants, Turkey, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Russia and Iran. We are abandoning our Kurdish partners, leaving them vulnerable to Turkey’s offensive, after they did the hard work of undermining the Islamic State.

We are walking away from our British and French allies that deployed forces on the battlefield, and from the coalition of over 70 countries we painstakingly built to counter the Islamic State — without even the courtesy of consultation. We are leaving Israel alone to confront Iran and Hezbollah’s hostility, while relinquishing our remaining influence over the future of a fractured Syria.


First, it appears that the national security adviser, John Bolton, rarely convenes his cabinet colleagues, known as the principals committee, to review the toughest issues. Instead, key players are cut out, as reportedly the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was from the final, fateful meeting on Syria. Mr. Bolton has not named a replacement deputy national security adviser, leaving vacant a crucial position whose holder typically coordinates the national security agencies in drafting and carrying out policy.


But a second factor — Mr. Trump himself — has dealt the death blow to effective policymaking. The president couldn’t care less about facts, intelligence, military analysis or the national interest. He refuses to take seriously the views of his advisers, announces decisions on impulse and disregards the consequences of his actions. In abandoning the role of a responsible commander in chief, Mr. Trump today does more to undermine American national security than any foreign adversary. Yet no Republican in Congress is willing to do more than bleat or tweet concerns.
Against this backdrop, Mr. Mattis’s resignation is even more worrisome. Even though his record was mixed, he provided desperately needed reassurance to our allies, an unabashed if private counterweight to the president’s worse instincts, and experience and stature too great for Mr. Bolton to ignore. His departure will leave the administration all but devoid of wise, principled leadership and the guts to check a president who consistently places politics and self-interest above national security.

Entire article at link above.

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111 Responses to Friday Open Thread | What the Loss of Mattis Means

  1. rikyrah says:

    ReclaimingMyTime (@MonieTalks_1) Tweeted:
    The reason Beto is viewed as a threat to one particular candidate is that he takes the talking point of “Democrats don’t talk to the WWC were I came from” away. Beto visited every county in TX, moved with ease discussing police brutality, raised record monies without PACs.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Kimberly Atkins (@KimberlyEAtkins) Tweeted:
    I’m reminded of something a Republican said to me during the attempted Moulton revolt: “Nancy Pelosi is as good as Mitch McConnell thinks he is.” Anyway, Trump v. Pelosi in 2019 will be lit.

  3. Ametia says:


    mage from the Mueller page of reddit:

  4. Ametia says:

    HA HA HA HA HA Steny “Have a seat, Mark, but NOT in our HOUSE.

    House Democrats will not seat a North Carolina Republican amid questions about integrity of election, Hoyer says

    Election officials are investigating whether an operative working on behalf of Republican candidate Mark Harris illegally collected incomplete ballots from voters.

    “Given the now well-documented election fraud that took place in NC-09, Democrats would object to any attempt by Mr. Harris to be seated on January 3,” incoming House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a statement Friday to The Washington Post. “In this instance, the integrity of our democratic process outweighs concerns about the seat being vacant at the start of the new Congress.”

    North Carolina on Friday dissolved its elections board without certifying the midterm results in the 9th Congressional District. Harris and Democrat Dan McCready are separated by about 900 votes, according to unofficial returns.

    Read more »

  5. As much as I want Susan Rice to run and defeat Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins in 2020, she shows the world again today what I’ve known for a long time: she has the chops to be President.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Cohen again denies Prague visit despite report of intel, evidence

    Barbar McQuade, former U.S. attorney, talks with Joy Reid about the legal implications for Michael Cohen if the information reported by McClatchy, that Cohen was in Prague as the Trump dossier says, is true, and why it wouldn’t already have been mentioned in Cohen’s charges.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Why the Bernie Movement Must Crush Beto O’Rourke
    By Jonathan Chait

    The first skirmish of the 2020 Democratic primary, a wave of attacks on Beto O’Rourke by supporters of Bernie Sanders, took almost everybody by surprise. On the outside, it looks like one of those inscrutable, personality-driven online spats that characterize the Twitter era. But the feud is neither petty nor personal nor irrational. It’s the first shot in a war that may well continue for the next year and a half.

    I have opinions about the parties involved in this conflict that are not difficult to guess. But my aim in this article is not to persuade readers of the merits of my preferences, but instead to provide a descriptive account of an important conflict that I believe is being widely misunderstood. Indeed, I think the online warriors of the Bernie movement are getting too little credit, and their mainstream liberal antagonists would benefit from a better understanding of their motives and thinking.


    The rise of Beto O’Rourke poses an obvious threat. The Texas congressman has replicated aspects of Sanders’s appeal — his positivity and refusal to accept PAC money — while exceeding it in some ways. Sanders is charismatic in an unconventional way, the slovenly and cranky but somewhat lovable old uncle, while O’Rourke projects a classic handsome, toothy, Kennedy-esque charm that reliably makes Democrats swoon. Hard-core loyalists find the contrast irksome. “Reading Karl Marx is cool,” said Nomiki Konst, a Sanders loyalist and candidate for New York City public advocate, to NBC. “Doing a livestream while you’re doing your laundry is a gimmick.” The comment sums up the left’s well-grounded fear that Sanders’s hard-core ideological appeal can be easily disarmed with personal charisma.

    And while O’Rourke has yet to decide on a presidential campaign, and would have to overcome an enormous field if he does, the Sandernistas are hardly paranoid to discern the kind of groundswell that could quickly propel O’Rourke to the front of the pack. Former Obama strategist and current Pod Save America host Dan Pfeiffer wrote a piece urging O’Rourke to run (without endorsing him). O’Rourke reportedly met with Obama, who favored him with public praise. “What I liked most about his race was that it didn’t feel constantly poll-tested,” Obama said. “It felt as if he based his statements and his positions on what he believed.”


    One of the deeper strategic goals of the left is to equate progressive maximalism with authenticity, like Sanders did. They want candidates who take uncompromising left-wing positions to be seen as authentic, and candidates who adopt more moderate lines to be seen as calculating and phony. The socialist left will attack any non-Sanders candidate, but O’Rourke is especially dangerous to their project precisely because of his Obama-like personal appeal.

    The frequently invoked comparisons between O’Rourke and the 44th president explain both O’Rourke’s wide appeal within the party ranks and the mistrust he has inspired on the far left. Socialists generally regard Obama as a failure; Sanders often critiqued Obama implicitly, sometimes explicitly.

    • Ametia says:

      You attack PBO or Michelle Obama AKA OUR FLOTUS, YOU.ARE.TOAST!

      Fuck Bernie Sanders. Enough already!

      • I had this one person who had been following me for a long time and they responded to my telling Maggie Haberman to go to hell about the article she posted about Beto O’Rourke. I see what that bish is trying to do. Anyways, this follower began to bash Beto and I immediately suspected it was a Bernie supporter. I checked their timeline and boom I was right. They’re going hard against BETO. They know he’s a threat. Fuck them!

  8. rikyrah says:

    New McClatchy report: Cohen cell phone pinged in Prague in 2016

    Greg Gordon, investigative reporter for McClatchy News, talks with Joy Reid about the information behind his new reporting that Michael Cohen’s cell phone was observed to have pinged cell towers in the area of Prague in the summer of 2016, and an Eastern European intelligence agency eavesdropped on Russians discussing his presence there.

  9. rikyrah says:

    U.S. suffering effects of Trump gutting environmental protections

    Eric Lipton, investigative reporter for the New York Times, talks with Joy Reid about extensive new reporting in the Times about the observable environmental impact of Donald Trump rolling back Obama-era environmental and anti-pollution regulations, and hiring the likes of Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke to run the EPA and the Interior Department.

  10. rikyrah says:

    In Major Move, Census Bureau Offers Up Citizenship Data For Redistricting
    By Tierney Sneed
    December 28, 2018 12:37 pm

    In what could be a major change for voting rights and the distribution of political power between urban and rural areas, the Census Bureau signaled Friday that it is willing to work with state and local officials charged with drawing voting districts if they want citizenship data for the redistricting process.

    The move to inject citizenship into redistricting has been feared since the Trump administration decided to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The addition of the citizenship to the census remains embroiled in litigation.

    The indication came in the form of a federal registry notice with the Office of Budget and Management outlining the next steps the Census Bureau intends to take as it prepares for the decennial survey.


    However, Nate Persily, an election law expert at Stanford Law School, noted that the data set being referenced in the notice was the minimum thought to be necessary for redistricting that the Bureau makes available for state and local officials.

    “By providing citizenship data with the initial salvo of data that states will have for redistricting, they are not only enabling the drawing of VRA-compliant districts but they are also enabling the drawing of districts based on the whole number of citizens rather than the whole number of people,” he said.

    TPM tried to call the Census Bureau communications office to inquire about the notice, but met an automated message noting the partial government shutdown. The Bureau did not immediately respond to TPM’s email inquiry about the notice.

    Drawing districts based on the number of citizens instead of the number of residents has been a long sought goal of conservatives. While the Supreme Court in a recent case reaffirmed the use of total population for redistricting, whether states or localities could use another metric is a more open legal question.

    Doing so would be a major electoral advantage for Republicans, as it would boost the number of representatives that less diverse, more rural communities received while diminishing the representation of urban, more immigrant-friendly areas.

  11. Ametia says:


    • Ametia says:

      The side-by-side pic of Beto & Bernie?


    • Liza says:

      Democrats need to prepare for taking over the presidency for DECADES, not just the next two elections.

      That means two strong candidates on the ticket. The VP must be the next presidential candidate.

      I do believe that means a woman or POC on the ticket.

      And young.

    • i would amend Keith’s statement to read: a woman AND a person of color.

    • majiir says:

      I don’t agree with Boykin on this matter because I don’t vote on the basis of race, but on how well the candidate’s view of the nation and goals for the nation’s future align with my own. I like quite a few of the potential Democratic 2020 presidential candidates, but the one I don’t like is Bernie Sanders. I’d never vote for him in our GA Democratic presidential primary. He lost the primary to HRC in 2016, and I see the same thing happening here, if he chooses to run in 2020.

      • Ametia says:

        Thank you, majiir. It’s called being PRAGMATIC.

        We’ve never been afforded the luxury of voting on basis of race

        I remember when candidate Barack Obama was campaigning for POTUS, and the raging debate over black voters who would vote for him simply because he was black. That narrative didn’t set well with me, however, it did give me the opportunity to examine my thoughts and reasons for why I would vote for him.

        Barack was a pragmatist and he is a black man.

        It was helpful, because the vey same folks who made that claim, wouldn’t vote for Barack Obama under any and all circumstances for the same damn reason—BEING BLACK

        I do believe we have viable black women who are POTUS material, Stacey Abrams, for one. I’m not a fan of Kamal Harris. I’m doing my homework as I always do.

        As a black woman, I.WOULD.NEVER.VOTE.FOR BERNIE.SANDERS.

      • eliihass says:

        I too want the best person – regardless of race and gender ..

        There must be no preemptive clearing of the field and no shenanigans.. And no quota picks..

        Have the registered, committed DEMOCRATS interested in running, prove themselves .. in a competitive, vibrant, civilized, primary. Just as we had in 2008.

        And may the best person win. And may they have the freedom and good sense to pick the right running mate – without pressure or quota insistence. Just as we saw happen in 2008, against all odds and in the face of not so veiled threats ..

        It worked out..

        If we don’t allow this thing to play out organically, Dems will lose – meaning, no quota demands, no shenanigans, no poobah and big donor interferences – and no non-registered Dems – or anyone else for that matter, interfering in the process..

        And absolutely no force-feeding us a pre-selected candidate, or clearing of the field for any candidate.. and the person who ultimately wins the nomination has to win it fair and square, and should not have to negotiate or be strong-armed into ‘picking’ a pre-decided running mate based on a race/gender quota thingy..

        I’m going to bite my tongue for now re: some of the folks now being effusively touted as Dem ‘front-runners’.. But let’s be clear fam, the Democratic Party can certainly do a whole lot better than the seriously fluffed-up mediocrity suddenly being passed off as the Dems ‘best hope’ slot of 2020 presidential candidates..

        To be forewarned is to be forearmed.. They won’t cut it.. no matter how faux-shiny the manufactured package..

        I don’t care what color or gender they are either, fluffed-up mediocrity is still fluffed-up mediocrity..

        We can do better …so much better..

        And as soon as folks stop touting the same list of ho-hum, preening, perpetual auditioners and stop acting like this arbitrary ‘shortlist’ is a done deal …perhaps then and only then will other really impressive, formidable folks come forward ..

  12. Ametia says:

    On Netflix, if you’re interested in viewing it.

    • eliihass says:

      Excellent piece.. very well done..

      Notice Don McGhan… like that ubiquitous weasel to be found wherever profound evil is cooking courtesy of the Neocon oligarchs

      The very public Karmic flogging that will be meted out to him, will be almost as satisfying to watch as that of the treasonous buffoon and those who own, enable and prop him up..

    • Ametia says:

      This TURD needs to be flushed down the toilet with a quickness!

      This interview was in FEB of this year

      Sen. Bernie Sanders On Russia: ‘We Knew What We Knew, When We Knew It’

      In an interview Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders said he was unaware that Russian interference was promoting his 2016 presidential campaign.

      During a live interview on Vermont Edition, host Jane Lindholm raised the effort by foreign bodies, specifically Russia to convince American citizens “to believe something other than what they might otherwise believe.”

  13. Ametia says:

    Ya’ll remember this?

    FLOTUS: It’s the screaming BANSHEE or me. Ya’ll decide.

    • eliihass says:

      I long ago decided that I’d not let the agenda-driven media decide what was highlighted, trumped-up and focused on.. and what was actively downplayed and ignored.. in a bid to conveniently one-dimensionally define..

      I remember watching this 11 years ago, and marveling.. Even Larry King who’d just met her, was completely blown away .. Years later he’d share that she easily connects, and completely reels you in – a real natural; He said she remains the sincerest, most genuine, most refreshing and wittiest guest he ever had on.. He went on to interview her 3 more times before he was forced into retirement.. He still speaks often and very highly of her on the little show he does now … often asking his guests their thoughts on her ..and sharing his …

  14. Not feeling good today.

    • eliihass says:

      Don Lemon seems to have decided to go all in… Good for him.. And about time too..

      I only wish they’d all stop legitimizing the treasonous buffoon with an honorific that not only undeservedly bolsters him, but the repeated use of which ends up weakening issues surrounding his criminality… and for that matter, any serious charges against him and his family and cohort..

  15. Ametia says:

    Has anyone seen this movie?

    it’s on Netflix. I plan to catch it at the theater.

    • eliihass says:

      Funny thing.. my sister and her hubby watched it over Christmas .. their daughter, my brilliant, gorgeous, seriously woke niece insisted her parents watch it (she’s all grown up now – but the same little one who as a toddler once stared at her plate of mixed veggies and politely told me there were ‘too many people in her food’😂)

      Haven’t seen it yet, but plan to find time to watch it..

  16. rikyrah says:

    Today is Day 7 of the partial government shutdown.

    Republicans still control the White House, the Senate, and the House.

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 28, 2018

  17. rikyrah says:

    Peanut watched Little Women for the first time last night. (Winona Ryder as Jo)
    She absolutely loved it and now wants to read the book. I felt happy and sad..I think all girls need to read Little Women…and yet, she’s old enough to really appreciate it. And, it was so interesting, listening to her thoughts about it. She’s growing up…sniff..sniff…I’m just not ready….sigh….

    • Awe! Good for Peanut!

    • Ametia says:

      Aw Peanut. I feel you, Rikyrah. These kids are growing up so fast.

      it’s wonderful that you get to chat with her and get her take on what she’s watching,

      Was there one take away Peanut shared with you about Little Women?

      • rikyrah says:

        For me, it was interesting that she understood right away why Jo turned down Laurie. It took me years to get it. And, that she understood that the Professor spoke to the soul of who Jo was – the writer..the intellectual…

        It was just so satisfying that a simple story, a human story first published in 1869, still resonates with kids surrounded by all the flash and technology.

    • Ametia says:

      Thank you, for sharing this precious learning experience about Peanut.

      There is great value in sharing our stories. It’s why Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” is so popular & the #1 selling book.

      Peanut is learning how to view life from her point of view, and she will be able to tell her OWN stories.

    • Liza says:

      Yeah, they grow up so fast. And kids today know so much, no one can convince me that my generation was like them and I just don’t remember.

      The silver lining is that you will have another really interesting person in your life, Rikyrah.

    • Ametia says:

      No surprises here.

      There’s one common denominator. Any guesses?

      • eliihass says:

        I’ve never bought into the whole ‘christian’ cloak an always very greasy and greedy Mark Burnett suddenly started to shroud himself in..

        There’s something slimy about him.. And it’ll all come out as stuff like this always does, ultimately..

        Like Michael Cohen and all those other keepers of Individual 1’s secrets, the irony is that Burnett’s shenanigans will probably come unraveled and catch up with him, long before his treasonous buddy gets his public Karmic flogging..

    • Ametia says:

      Propane Jane is NAILING IT.

      The media & print shucked & jived, covered up and selectively displayed what they wanted to write and talk about, in regards to 45.

      White folks created this shit, and they’re going to own every bit of it.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄 😄😄

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