Monday, December 9, 2019

Monday Reading

As always, please go to the links for the full articles/ op eds.

Cheating cheaters cheat, get banned again:

The World Anti-Doping Agency executive committee handed down the most severe punishment to date in the years-long Russian doping saga, issuing a four-year ban that will bar Russia from competing at the next two Olympic Games.

The decision means Russia will have no formal presence at next year’s Summer Games or the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing and will be barred from most major international competition through 2023, including FIFA’s World Cup, the Youth Olympic Games, Paralympics, world championships and other major sporting events subject to World Anti-Doping Code.

Similar to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Russians who have not been implicated in the country’s state-sponsored doping scheme will be allowed to compete in Tokyo as unaffiliated athletes. In PyeongChang, 168 Russians competed as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”  (our emphasis)
John Cassidy writes that, even in the likely event existential threat Donald "Impeachable Me" Trump is not convicted by the Republican Senate, the actions taken by House Democrats will keep the energy of the 2018 midterm elections alive into the 2020 election:
If Trump is to be defeated next year, his opponents will have to maintain that energy and build upon it. To do so, Ezra Levin, the co-founder and co-executive director of the Indivisible movement, which now has more than five thousand affiliated local groups, insists, it was utterly necessary for the Democrats to react to the shocking Ukraine revelations by issuing the ultimate congressional rebuke to Trump. Speaking hours after Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed that the House Democrats would go ahead and file articles of impeachment, Levin said, “I see only positive sides to this. I see a system that is working. For all the millions of people who got involved with politics after 2016, it shows that all the hard work they did mattered. That is going to get them involved again in 2020.”
From this perspective, the key thing isn’t whether the Senate actually removes Trump from office. Levin, who is also the co-author of a new book, “We Are Indivisible: A Blueprint for Democracy After Trump,” said that he wasn’t making any predictions about the outcome. But he added, “It was vital to demonstrate that elections do have consequences and that the Democrats will use their power to stand up to Trump.” If Pelosi and her colleagues had refused to launch an impeachment process, Levin went on, “it would have been enormously demoralizing for all these people who were newly engaged after 2016.”  (our emphasis)
Meanwhile, the incompetent dealmaker's threats and flattery don't seem to have worked out with the infinitely more cunning Kim Jong Un.  Is "heedless and erratic old man" essentially the same as "dotard"?:
North Korea insulted U.S. President Donald Trump again on Monday, calling him a “heedless and erratic old man” after he tweeted that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wouldn’t want to abandon a special relationship between the two leaders and affect the American presidential election by resuming hostile acts.
A senior North Korean official, former nuclear negotiator Kim Yong Chol, said in a statement that his country wouldn’t cave in to U.S. pressure because it has nothing to lose and accused the Trump administration of attempting to buy time ahead of an end-of-year deadline set by Kim Jong Un for Washington to salvage nuclear talks.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted: “Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way ... North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, has tremendous economic potential, but it must denuclearize as promised.”  (our emphasis)
Note to Dotard:  Kim won't be giving up his nuclear weapons in exchange for a couple of bedbug- ridden Trump resorts.

Brother blogger Infidel 753 is stepping away from posting for an indefinite period, and we'll miss his unique voice greatly. This is an excerpt from a recent musing of his on what makes blogging what it is:
Much of the fascination of blogs is their individuality.  Each blog is so different because each one represents the style and interests of its owner.  I've seen blogs focusing on every subject from atheism to gardening to movies to art to humor to occultism to book reviews to photography to space travel to sex to poetry to feminism to cartoons to Halloween to travel to politics to education, and various unexpected combinations of subjects that happen to interest the author.  People have different styles of writing and different ways of using pictures, videos, links, etc. to help make their points.  No other medium makes it so easy for so many to express their individuality so exuberantly in front of the whole world.
That's what makes blogging what it is.  Don't write what you think the audience wants -- write what you want to write, and those who want to read it will find their way to you.
And, as always, we highly recommend checking out his latest link round- up for the finest collection of links anywhere we've been able to find.  We wish him the best.

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