Dec. 13 Open Thread: James Bond, Meet Maria Butina

Filed in National, Open Thread by on December 13, 2018

A team of Australian public health officials at what must be Sherlock Holmes University issued a report that sounds like parody: After studying the cinematic evidence, they concluded that James Bond has a drinking problem. Not only does 007 consume 109 alcoholic beverages in about 52 hours of screen time, the authors also note, quite accurately, that Bond often engages in risky behavior, including fistfights and high-speed car chases, after imbibing. Yes, this sounds like the easiest research ever, but remember they had to sit through that George Lazenby film, too.

Real-world spies don’t operate that way anymore. These days all Russia has to do is send a young woman to an American university in Washington, have her profess a love of guns and conservative politics, and Republicans will welcome her with open arms. That’s all Maria Butina had to do, according to her guilty plea and cooperation agreement. Although I can’t swear no alcohol was involved.

Besides, the Russians don’t need spies when they’ve got Trump in their corner. It’s so bad that the nation’s spooks are going public, albeit anonymously, telling WaPo that Trump ignores their briefings and makes public statements that contradict what he’s being told. My guess is that this story was planted to put more pressure on Republicans to do their jobs. GOP senators already know this, but now we know they know it.

Anyone unclear about why social unrest is breaking out might get a clue from this Economic Policy Institute report on the reasons for growing economic inequality over the past 40 years, focusing on the labor market. Their conclusion is that the right’s war against unions had a major effect. If you don’t care for economic arguments, here’s the key factual point: In 1978, the bottom 90 percent got 58% of the total paid for labor. That figure is 46.6% today. The difference represents about $10,800 in income per household.

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  1. jason330 says:

    These days all Russia has to do is send a young woman to an American University in Washington, have her profess a love of guns and conservative politics, and Republicans AND CHRIS COONS will welcome her with open arms.


  2. RE Vanella says:

    Wherein the Clintons’ loyal soldier is not you’re friend and thereby proves why this neoliberal trash needs to stop. If you’re thinking of coming on here with some Biden, Beto, Bloomberg type nonsense in the next two years I’m not, repeat not, going with be civil to you. Tag this under fair warning.

    also, again, subscribe to Current Affairs.

  3. puck says:

    Rape accusation survivor released after 40 years of wrongful imprisonment.

    More details:

    He [the victim] received a second parole violation after failing to accept responsibility for his crime in order to receive a certificate of completion for his classes.

    “He refused to because he’s always maintained his innocence…that sent him back to jail,” said Igwe [the victim’s lawyer].

    Igwe, who’s working for Daniels pro bono, said he uncovered flawed testimony and that shows Daniels was wrongfully convicted and incarcerated.

    “Mr. Daniels is not someone getting out on a technicality, he’s not a guilty person getting out on a technicality, rather he’s an innocent man, and we have provided empirical evidence that establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Daniels is, in fact, innocent.” […]

    Daniels’ attorney said his client was first offered a commutation, and then, a pardon.

    “We refused both the commutation and the pardon because my client is innocent.”

    Somewhere a rapist is a free man. We weren’t even looking for him.

  4. mouse says:

    This stuff is surreal. Maybe it will bankrupt the NRA. So ironic how the people who for decades fear mongered and justified every policy on the looming threat of the Soviet communists are now in bed with them..