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the cabinet
What Tillerson Means

Rex Tillerson, Exxon’s CEO and Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of State, seems to have a less certain path to 51 votes in the upper chamber than any of the president-elect’s other prospective cabinet members. The Wall Street Journal reports:

GOP hesitation over Mr. Tillerson marked the first sign of division between congressional Republicans and the Trump team over its likely cabinet picks. All of President-elect Donald Trump’s other nominees so far appear likely to be confirmed by the Senate.

Mr. Tillerson, a seasoned deal-maker whose company has a long history of doing business in Russia, is drawing unease from senators on both sides of the aisle. Republicans can likely afford to lose only two GOP votes next year in the new Congress when it meets to consider Mr. Trump’s nominees.

The timing of Trump’s announcement—just as heated charges about Putin’s involvement in the U.S. election were starting to resurface—has contributed to the public pushback against Tillerson, who has worked closely with the commanding heights of the Kremlin as CEO of Exxon, and opposes sanctions against Russia. Some commentators have described this as a tactical slip-up on the part of the incoming president, suggesting that he was caught flat-footed by Russia-related concerns about his nominee. We’re not convinced; more likely, he is dead-set on a Russia realignment and sees Tillerson’s experience as an asset.

Lawmakers should do their due diligence vetting the Secretary of State nominee, but it’s worth remembering that shooting him down is unlikely to seriously change the course of the Trump Administration’s Russia policy. The selection of Tillerson amounts to a signal that the administration will indeed try to lead the U.S. toward some kind of rapprochement with Moscow. It has been one of Trump’s most consistent messages on foreign policy since the primary campaign, and its implementation does not depend on the confirmation of the Exxon CEO.

The Tillerson confirmation hearings promise to feature a vigorous debate about U.S.-Russia relations. This debate is productive insofar as it helps to clarify the incoming administration’s position on key questions and let the public and its representatives push back if they so choose. But in the end, a vote blocking Tillerson is not likely to block Trump’s foreign policy agenda; it would in all likelihood mean that the same agenda would be carried out with an individual with a thinner record on Russia heading Foggy Bottom. With this in mind, Senators might do well to consider the Tillerson confirmation exercise as less an up-or-down vote on aggressive Russia policy and more an assessment of Tillerson’s integrity, competency, and experience—which, as of yet, there are no credible reasons to doubt.

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  • Tom

    This has been the pattern followed by Clinton, Bush 43, Obama, and now apparently Trump. The President will attempt a conciliation in his first term, but by his second term figures out that Russian and American interests do not align on a great many things. Trump, apparently, is falling into the same rut.

    • FluffyFooFoo

      I think we are going to see something different. Fewer lectures about human rights and more realpolitik. Trump has the street smarts to stand up to Putin.

      • JR

        I’m afraid Tom is right, but I hope that you are right.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Street-smart gang leaders do not war with each other. They just divide the “territory” (never mind that they don’t even own any of it) and agree to keep intimidating everyone else—–not each other. They never engage in lectures on human rights, of course, because they don’t believe in them.

        • JR

          so Trump is a gang leader now?!?!? Man, you are on FIRE today.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Fluffy was talking about street smarts. Being the leader of a gang on the streets is what that is about.

          • JR

            Given the roll you are on today, I fully expect from you a comparison of Trump to the anti-Christ or at least Hitler. Don’t go soft on me now.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Okay, both—-maybe in different degrees. But, understand, I am only responding to the prompting offered to me directly from your subconscious mind.

          • JR

            Awesome. How is Trump like anti-Christ? Can you give me some specific examples? Thanks in advance.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Bearing in mind, YOU raised this issue and I didn’t. So, here is someone writing about the AntiChrist
            http://christianity.about.com/od/endtimestopicalstudy/a/antichrist.htm

            She says she found people who had their reasons for believing George Bush, Barack Obama and the Pope were the AntiChrist.
            You can read her writing and draw your own conclusions about Trump. Remember, I’m just along for your ride, here.

          • JR

            No no no no…. I could give afuck about what some lunatic is writing about on a blog. I was looking for some original Friendly Goat ranting and raving. Like you so correctly pointed out, you are my pet fool, and I just wanted you to do some foolish things to amuse me. But for some reason, you are playing coy and refusing to entertain me. Oh well. At least my taxes are gonna go down, so I can’t really get too upset about much these days. The dark cloud of Obama still hangs of course, but the Lord was kind enough to let us live long enough to see the day he will finally be gone.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Backing away from your own AntiChrist idea, I guess. Remember, it wasn’t mine.

          • JR

            You don’t want to be my pet Left-winger tonight. But I’m not too concerned, your Trump Derangement Syndrome will rear its head once again.

          • FriendlyGoat

            You don’t have to rely on me. There are other sources of concerns about Trump. I can’t predict where things go.
            http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/12/14/putin-involved-election-hack/95453054/

          • JR

            There are a lot of fools on the Internet. But only you are my pet fool.

          • FriendlyGoat

            You need a better pet. There are some really nice doggies out there who would listen to your speeching all day and like you anyway—-as long as you don’t hit them. They might even make your kids happy—-something I don’t and can’t do.

          • JR

            Nah…. I’m a one pet Leftwinger kind of guy. My ability to enter long-term committed relationships is what got me a wife who is WAY out of my league.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I’d be tempted to call her WAY out of her mind, but I won’t really go there. Perhaps she can tame you in ways that no one else can.

          • JR

            I mean, in a world where an imbecilic Statist like yourself can get a wife, everything is possible. What a wonderful world!!!

          • FriendlyGoat

            45 years and counting. A real beauty with both brains and heart. I won’t be really knocking yours either. I would add, though, that I would have to imagine your first date with her was not in the TAI comment section.

          • JR

            Fair enough.

          • Jim__L

            FG, JR is trolling you. This is just sad.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I know. Lots of things are sad. Beats me why great numbers of people misuse comment sections, but I’m aware that many of them on the right-side sites are filled with silliness and meanness—-AND—–many of them on the left-side sites are as bad or worse. I use them to collect my own thoughts anyway—-and whoever has a need to “troll” those thoughts does so. A lot of this is not much different, really, than the teenagers who torment each other in person and online.

          • Jim__L

            I wouldn’t say silliness and meanness are the only things motivating him — frustration is another. Frustration more than meanness, as a matter of fact.

            It really is irritating to the point of frustration to see what could be an interesting discussion interrupted or derailed by an irrelevant or over-treaded tangent — tax policy on a thread where taxes are irrelevant, for example.

            JR could just ignore you (although he’s free not to.) You could just ignore JR (although you’re free not to.) He makes some good points sometimes, and satire / polemic are valid ways to make those points… and he’s more eloquent about it than many other places on the web, thankfully. There are actually threads where a comment or two on tax policy would be appropriately sticking up for your point of view… I try to make it a point to support you on the occasions where that happens.

            It would certainly increase the signal-to-noise ratio of these boards if the predictable back-and-forth came to an end, though. If that’s something you value here, you could consider what you can do to make it happen.

          • FriendlyGoat

            You have an odd idea of “sad” which seems to amount to suggesting that liberals just collapse their beliefs in the face of conservative bullies. As for analyzing JR, go talk to him. I’ve already got his number.

            As for tax policy, I have often maintained that Republicans are about nothing else than tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the country. So in any political discussion, why should we waste time on other matters? You will soon be seeing how this works in practice, after all.

          • Jim__L

            I don’t think you’ve got JR’s number at all. I think that he makes valid points (couched in unhelpful rhetoric, it’s true) that you ignore because you equate considering the truth and value in alternative points of view to be “collapsing” your beliefs.

            Are your beliefs really that fragile?

            I think you’re being pushed very hard here, and it’s making you increasingly, irrationally rigid in your ideology. I’m surprised you don’t have more empathy for Trump supporters — you certainly have a lot in common with many of them.

          • FriendlyGoat

            1) I can turn off the woefully negative spirits of JR and several others here at any moment I choose to do so. My computer has a switch, you know? You anonymous people in the comment section are not any more REAL to me than I am to you. So don’t take your uniform views too seriously. You might wake up some morning with no one to ridicule here except yourselves in the proverbial circular firing squad.

            2) I fully expect to someday have some empathy for some Trump supporters, those from the churches, few as they might be, who finally accept that they were misled on GOP politics, who either fix their churches in that regard or bail out of them completely. Maybe one of those will be you. Maybe not. Stay Tuned for 2017.

          • Jim__L

            1) That sounded like an “I can quit anytime I want” speech. It’s not very convincing, especially after that long and pointless exchange between you and JR.

            2) I don’t think most churches have any illusions about Trump’s virtue (or lack thereof.) I certainly don’t see it in the church I go to, or in the churches I’m aware of.

            In fact, the best evidence that I have that sometimes nominal Christians can be misled on politics… is you.

            Are you ever going to be disillusioned by the Democrats and their
            shredding of Scripture? Are you even capable of becoming
            disillusioned toward the Democrats for hewing to that idea Hillary
            espoused, that Biblical teachings would just have to *change* because
            the Democrats said so?

          • FriendlyGoat

            I actually can quit any time I want to. There are other sites and other people

            The church people followed Trump like the pied piper. Eighty-one percent of those describing themselves as born again is not a small number. It is actually a gigantic number for any particular demographic. I’m expecting a few of them to eventually realize that the alignment they enabled is actually a steam-roller to flatten little people—-maybe even some church members, many of whom are not rich and never will be. Or—-if you insist—–maybe I’ll have to concede that every last one of them will forever retain the sensitivity of an armadillo.

          • Jim__L

            Many people who are not rich and will never be have found a very

            healthy outlet in valuing something other than money — culture, family, tradition, principles, religion — and Hillary Clinton was the candidate of steamrolling all of those things. I think it’s safe to say that as appalled as churchgoers (including myself) are at Donald Trump, the prospect of a Hillary presidency was worse.

            That’s the thing, FG; you don’t simply have to prove that Trump is bad. It’s a futile effort, not because anyone’s blind to Trump’s faults, but because everyone knows what they are already, and it didn’t matter. You have to prove that God’s-Word-has-to-change, regulate-the-life-out-of-everything Hillary would have been better. And that’s pretty much impossible.

            Anyway. Populism may change the Republicans in significant ways. I’m curious what you think of the following article:

            http://thefederalist.com/2016/12/14/populism-can-rejuvenate-american-conservatisms-ideas/
            They even talk about how the GOP has an unhealthy obsession with reducing the top tax rate…

          • FriendlyGoat

            What I think of that article is that it is written by a conservative who is beginning to feel both embarrassed and sick about what is going to soon happen, so he is spinning an absolute fantasy about what Republican “principles” SHOULD be, instead of what they actually are. As of now, there is no indication other than that entire pent-up GOP agenda is going to be shovel-loaded onto the nation. And, yes, it is mostly high-end tax cuts. And, yes, those will be relegating a lot of people to permanent irrelevance while helping others be American Royalty.

            The Trump populism? It was a shtick for morons. You’re appalled at Trump? You should be appalled at those who believed the shtick. I am. It was 81% of the evangelical church. Soon, very soon, people will find out how duped they were. The only way this does not happen is if three or more GOP Senators plant their feet and say they aren’t going along.
            Heard anything of that? I haven’t.

          • Anthony

            FG, something shared with me from Mediate: “All through 2013-16, most liberals thought the hate-filled, ignorant, stupid, malicious drivel published day after day on thousands of right-wing websites was the work of a small minority. Despite all the evidence, they chose to think most right-wingers were decent, intelligent people who would disown the tripe peddled by self-labelled ‘conservatives’ if they had a chance.

            Most liberals were wrong. When you read WND, or Daily Caller or Breitbart or Gateway Pundit or Michelle Malkin or Cold Fury or Just One Minute or Townhall or any of the other countless cesspits of bitterness, mindless rage, hatred, bigotry, and lies, you’re getting an accurate picture of the way the American right feels and thinks.”

            The friend wanted me to contrast my human optimism with his idea of what’s the challenge – so I pass his forwarding take on to you.

          • FriendlyGoat

            The “astonishment which has no name” is that liberals and moderates of every stripe expected the people of the churches to be following the traditional aura of “Sunday School”—-WHILE they were instead being dragged away by Limbaugh, 20 years of Fox News, and THEN the eight you mentioned (WND, Daily Caller, Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, Michelle Malkin, Cold Fury, Just One Minute, Townhall) plus cynical encouragement to do so by the likes of Jerry Falwell, Jr., Tony Perkins and James Dobson.

            Just so you know, the “astonishment which has no name” is a phrase I just made up. It is intended to express disappointment with what was SUPPOSED to be America’s “balance wheel” of gentile decency. Guess what? 81% of it has been co-opted to meanness.
            This cannot be over-emphasized. It is the single driver of the election result.

          • Anthony

            Well, as I written before I get your disappointment! And because you asked me about two weeks ago how could WRM have such meanness occurring regularly, when my friend forwarded me the quote I immediately thought of you – here may be part of answer.

            The phrase “astonishment that has no name” is apropos and I may forward it on. Meanwhile my friend said realistically recognizing the opposition forces you to ask yourself: now, what am I going to do about it “as right-wingers are not expected to change anytime soon”.

            By the way, this morning on the radio a segment considered the on-going split among some evangelicals since /before election.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Sorry, I added on another paragraph to you, just as you were replying.

            The answer to your question is that the “reasonable” side of liberal politics does not “get its country back” until it fixes the church. If and when this ever happens, the upper end of Republican wealth and power will have been greatly enhanced in irreversible ways. We do not give away the tax code and then get it back. We do not give away Supreme Court precedents and then get them back.

          • Anthony

            That’s okay. Nevertheless, you are right in one respect: components of the Protestant Church (it’s evangelical partisan concentration) and its politicization need to be thought through. But underneath the pretense, FG, it really is about “power and money” – any dispensable souls are usable under any name (now I know that’s not how it’s supposed to be but…). Moreover until that is reconciled inside and outside of the Church, misdirection reigns (nimbler wits, nimbler wits).

          • FriendlyGoat

            Yes, the “world” operates on power and money. The church is supposed to be the mitigating factor. When it doesn’t know its purpose, it ends up supporting the power and money game. It just did—–and apparently does not know what it did.

          • Anthony

            I believe some know what they did and may or may not care (beyond self-serving justifications); others perhaps may care and don’t know (concession to your heart) but we (world/America) need mitigating factor in our lives – much work to do FG.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, there is much more hope to reach the “care, but don’t know” side than the “know, but don’t care side”. Perhaps the first strategy is to sort out which is which in each flock.

          • Anthony

            Hope dies last (so am told), after all! So, I’m with you; parcel and reach whom we can.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Reading an AP piece today about whether Trump either can or will jump-start infrastructure building in the way he promised, I ran across a startling statement from Trump which supposedly was in a post-election interview of him by the NYT.

            He acknowledged that during the campaign he did not realize that his New-Deal style proposals to put people to work building infrastructure might conflict with Republicans’ small-government philosophy. They quoted him as adding “That’s not a very Republican thing—–I didn’t even know that, frankly”.

            Good grief! Not only do the people not know what Republicanism amounts to. Even the candidate does not know—–and sold the people on something the Congress is not on board for.

            So—AFTER people have been slapped for a while, AFTER they suffer a bunch of permanent damage, any hope for waking them up?

          • Anthony

            Well, here’s an opinion: “a reality-show electorate that likes to root for the villan just elected a president not even his supporters think is a role model. The office won’t redeem him but they (supporters) don’t care.”

            Will they wake up? Trump is now our national avatar and unless/until some real pain sets in (among his enthralled supporters) there may be little hope – as many have embraced the act. But true reality can compel the most fanciful thinking to pause and reconsider, then the hope you imagine may spring forth (for those shorn of mixed motives).

          • FriendlyGoat

            Just like with Reaganism (which as far as I’m concerned produced the present frustration of working people giving rise to Trump), the pain develops over time. Even those in pain from the Reagan catastrophe don’t know the cause.

            A massive bait and switch for Congressional priorities is now in progress. Whether the duped will notice they were duped is an open question. One would think Trump reducing or eliminating his own estate tax might be enough—–but maybe not. Some of the folks seem to think Eric and Don Jr. will be calling them any day with an offer for a great job.

          • Anthony

            You’re assuming rational behavior when research indicates otherwise.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Oops. Looking for rationality again. Sorry.

          • Anthony

            Keep looking and hoping because succeeding generations can only benefit from the standard.

          • Anthony

            prospect.org/article/audacity-hope

          • FriendlyGoat

            Thanks, glad to hear some solid talk on fascism. So many think it’s about the same as communism and it isn’t.

          • Anthony

            You’re welcome. My take away: “…that will take passionate and strategic engagement…despair is not an option.” (and if anyone reads they could easily determine that communism and fascism are distinct)

          • FriendlyGoat

            Fascism slips up so much more easily because people think that those guys at the top must know what their doing. Mix some nationalism, some mean-side religion and some high-level secret business together and what have ya got?

          • Anthony

            It’s the unconscious drive towards authoritarianism, quasi-order, imagined ethnocentricity, demonized opponents, etc. which subliminally attracts – and you got what you named.

        • FluffyFooFoo

          Yeah, I don’t think I am gang member led by a gang leader. I might if I were Russian though.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, Russians have some experience being led by Putin. You (we) don’t have any experience being led by Trump. His start is still over a month away.

          • FluffyFooFoo

            This is true of all newly elected Presidents. We’ll be fine. We will hold your hand and you will get through it. 🙂

          • FriendlyGoat

            I’m beginning to think you really do believe you are now a gang member led by a gang leader.

        • Tom

          FG, question. Why is it that your first thought when someone says “street smarts” is “gang leader”?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, in the context of Putin and Trump, it’s not MS-13 on some corner selling drugs. But there similarities. They both have big egos and consider themselves leaders of people. They both have more firepower than they know what to do with. They both are distrustful by nature. They both are in charge of territory and interested in who controls other territory. They both have power to promote or demote lieutenants and to tell (to a large extent) their nations “how things are gonna be”. They neither have any intention of being “bested” by the other. They neither are elected on platforms of human rights.

            So, what do a pair like that do? Split the territory, eye each other warily and—–occasionally—-intimidate opponents in tandem. What else?

  • Fat_Man

    My guess is that Tillerson will go over to the Senate, and schmooze the senators. The senators will roll over on their backs, stick their paws into the air, and let him rub their tummies. They will then be happy.

    The Republican senators will vote to approve Tillerson because they have no desire or incentive to get crosswise with Trump — yet.

    The Democrats will vote against Tillerson because he is an oil industry executive from Exxon, which they know is the APOTHEOSIS of EVIL. I don’t think they can filibuster Tillerson under the Reid Rule, but if they try, they may lose the privilege altogether.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Pretty much spot on. I suspect that a lot of this is grandmaster-level trolling by Trump, if the Dems want to die on this hill, let them.

      • Fat_Man

        I think his cabinet picks have a.) been very good, and b.) are making liberal heads explode. — hwat you called grandmaster-level trolling.

  • Evan Seitchik

    Trump is making the same mistake with Russia that the Right has been making with Islamic extremism. Russia’s not a superpower, they’re a regional petro-state in economic decline. Islamic terrorists aren’t waging a vast civilizational conflict with the West, they’re 20,000 or so extremists trying to enforce their version of Islam and get the West to pull out of the Middle East.

    Russia has a lot to gain from our help advancing their interests, but what do we need from them that’s worth the price? Putin is salivating at this opportunity, I just hope Trump doesn’t give him the farm for nothing.

  • Andrew Allison

    If the GOP Senate doesn’t support the President-elect who captured the slam-dunk-for-Hillary position, they’re out of their minds.

    • Boritz

      The Republican elites are disappointed that Hillary the preserver was pushed aside. They aren’t out of their minds. They have different interests and priorities that aren’t served well by Trump.

      • f1b0nacc1

        I suspect you are right, but I also suspect that some of them (at least) are beginning to figure out that the rules of the game are changing and that they (the elites) currently do not hold winning hands. Right now Trump is popular and his approval is riding high…not the time to start a petulant fight. If Trump stumbles, the knives will come out….

        • NPZ

          “Right now Trump is popular and his approval is riding high”
          It’s all the way up to 43%!

          By comparison, in January 2009, newly-elected President Obama had an approval rating of 63%.

          http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/trump_favorableunfavorable-5493.html

          • f1b0nacc1

            Trump hasn’t been portrayed in the press as the second coming, the way Obama has….comparing the two shows your own ignorance more than anything else…

          • NPZ

            We can then compare to George W. Bush in 01/2001: 57% approval rating.

            http://www.gallup.com/poll/116500/presidential-approval-ratings-george-bush.aspx

            Bush wasn’t portrayed as the “second coming” either, and came into office under similarly contentious circumstances of a popular/electoral vote split. Yet his starting approval rating is a closer mirror to Obama ’09 than Trump ’16/’17.

            You were saying something about ignorance?

  • jsdozcn9

    Trump should threaten to nominate Clinton if Rex is not approved.

  • f1b0nacc1

    Clever choice by Trump. Rex is a pretty clear indication that he is going to bypass the striped pants brigade at State, and run foreign policy with or without their approval. It is also clear that the current administration’s climate change fantasy is done for, and that the idiotic diversion into virtue signalling that we have wasted time and resources on for the last 8 years is gone with it.

    Trump seems to have determined that the biggest problem he faces is an entrenched bureaucracy determined to thwart him, and is taking steps to disarm them as quickly as possible, specifically by appointing leadership that actively opposes the self-proclaimed ‘mission’ of the organizations that they will be leading. the next logical step (after they take control) will be to truncate the careers of those civil servants who don’t wish to go along with the process, and reward those that do.

    • Jim__L

      Sometimes I wonder if the whole Climate Change thing isn’t just a throwback to the Left’s opposition to the Bush clan’s (and the GOP’s) strong position in oil in Texas. These things can take on a life of their own…

      • f1b0nacc1

        You are more generous than I am. The climate change kerfuffle strikes me more as yet another attempt by the Left to bypass the pesky limitations of democracy, and acquire absolute rule by decree. After all, once you buy into the climate change religion, it naturally follows that someone must control energy production, and by extension, the economy as a whole. That is as close to absolute power as you or I are likely to see.

        Regarding the Bushes and AGW, you will remember that the whole thing started to gather momentum in the 90s, before Bush was president, though while he was governor of Texas. It strikes me as unlikely (but certainly not impossible) that AGW hysteria owes its roots to any particular animus to Bush, or to the GOP in general. Much easier to argue that it creates a nice pseudo-religion that also provides the perfect basis for undermining democratic institutions, and placing total power in the hands of a few unelected elites.

        • Jim__L

          Didn’t GHWB make money in Texas oil as well?

          • f1b0nacc1

            Some, but the Left never hated Daddy Bush (who they regarded as an idiot patrician, though not an evil one) they way that they did W.

          • Jim__L

            Do you happen to remember when the whole “good vs. evil” thing started to take hold of the mainstream Left? I remember the old accusations of stupidity, but can’t seem to recall the level of levels of Manichean acrimony being as high as they were 30 years ago. Maybe it’s because I was just a kid then, but I was precociously politically aware, so it’s something I’d think I’d have noticed.

          • f1b0nacc1

            If I had to guess at it, I would argue that it probably began with 1968 election, got some speed in 1972 (the McGovernites are widely regarded to be the forerunners of today’s Occupy crowd of Bernie Bros), and was cemented into place in 1984. There are exceptions of course (GWHB wasn’t excoriated as badly in 1988, and Bob Dole escaped any real abuse in 1996), but that seems to me to be the way things developed.

          • Fat_Man

            Yes he did. He was a founder of Zapata Oil, which was one of the pioneers of offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. He was helped by access to capital from his father Sen. Prescott Bush (R CT) and connections to the Harriman family (W. Averell was Truman’s secretary of Commerce and an Ambassador). It ain’t what you know, etc. Although it must be conceded that GWHB acted entrepreneurially and took risks in a risky business. He was not content to wait for his father to pass and leave it to him.

        • Fat_Man

          The real trigger was the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. The left realized that the needed a new sales plan.

          • f1b0nacc1

            I would agree that this is what gave it real power…

      • Fat_Man

        No climate change (a/k/a global warming) as a political cause dates back ~28 years ago (1988) when Sen. Tim Wirth (D-CO) held a hearing starring James Hansen from NASA. It was in the summertime and Wirth turned off the a/c in the room. Algore published his book “Earth in the Balance” in 1992, before being nominated to be VP.

  • Jim__L

    “Senators might do well to consider the Tillerson confirmation exercise
    as less an up-or-down vote on aggressive Russia policy and more an
    assessment of Tillerson’s integrity, competency, and experience—which,
    as of yet, there are no credible reasons to doubt.”

    Integrity, competency, and experience — just what we’d need to *win* in a duel of deals with Russia.

    I think that the Senate should assess America’s basic strengths, Tillerson’s basic approach to dealmaking vis-a-vis those strengths, and decide from there.

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