Conflicts of Interest: Sen. Graham Says Sending Billions to Kiev for Killing Russians Is the Best Money We’ve Spent

On COI #427, Kyle Anzalone discusses members of Congress pushing the world towards WWIII.

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41 thoughts on “Conflicts of Interest: Sen. Graham Says Sending Billions to Kiev for Killing Russians Is the Best Money We’ve Spent”

    1. Republicans haven’t been good since Lincoln. The Republican Party represents the business class, and has done so since long before I was born many decades ago.

      1. Peruse the Progressives actions in the progressive era with look into their love of the early 30’s version of Fascism and you’ll see how the Democrats are returning to Fascism while the other side is eschewing the country club set for a more populist Libertarian view of politics.
        In fact the there are more antiwar types in the GOP than in the DNC nowadays given Bernie and AOC are Liz Cheney neocons nowadays.

        1. I didn’t say anything about Democrats, and I don’t support them either. Both parties totally suck, and I find support for Republicans to be totally disgusting.

          1. Then what do you find support of Democrat as?
            Just as disgusting or do you have a tolerence for their foibles that have very ugly roots that go way back?

          2. I just said I don’t support Democrats, I don’t understand your question. I hate both parties equally, more on some issues and less on some depending on the issue. I agree that the only Ukraine anti-war votes in Congress have come from Republicans, but this is mainly an our-team-your-team thing than anything. If a Republican were president and prosecuting this war, few if any Republicans would be opposing it.

          3. You answered my question by sharing about the equality of your disgust.

        2. More faux-“populist,” yes. But they’re increasingly abandoning even the Goldwater/Reagan pretense of being kinda sorta on occasion a little libertarianish. Trumpism and the following GOP pivot toward “national conservatism” are just progressivism of the “leftover tuna casserole left in the fridge for too long before being re-warmed in the microwave with cheese on top and served as SEAFOOD SURPRISE” variety.

          1. It amazes me when those like you want to define others that you don’t agree with and believe you understand who they are because you’ve observed them while not quite understanding them.
            You might not like your quest of Libertarian to be interupted by populists but as the left returns to progressivism that trends towards Fascism, the right is eschewing its Country club wing that The Grahams and Bushes represent to return to populism that looks upon government involvement as a problem not a solution.
            Sure you Libertarians will complain about it all and how it needs to be different but no one cares like always.

          2. “populism that looks upon government involvement as a problem not a solution” is a reasonably good working definition of libertarianism.

            But Trumpism and “national conservatism” are neither populist nor anti-government-involvement.

          3. He sure isn’t as to what you define it as but that is not the last word, is it?
            Who out there that meets your personal definition that has a snowball’s chance after all?
            So one needs to look for the candidate that takes one closer to what one wants.
            Or tilt at windmills as you wait for someone to appear that is closer to what you want/desire.

          4. At the moment, I’m on the wagon when it comes to windmill-tilting. I haven’t been full-time-involved in a presidential campaign since 2008, or involved at all much beyond small-donor status since 2016.

            While I’m always willing to have a look, if past performance is any indication at all, both the Democratic and Republican nominees will be 180 degrees opposite what I want, and none of the differences between them will bring them closer overall to what I want than the other.

            I may or may not bother to vote (I didn’t in 2012, the party I’m currently registered with has indicated it won’t be running a presidential candidate in 2024, and the party I used to be an activist in was taken over by a GOP “infiltrate and neuter” operation last year).


          5. I look at trends and I can see one side that is returning to populism (add in “neo” to modernize the term perhaps?) and the other going towards the authoritarianism that the progressive movement in Europe as well as the US tacked towards that was acticulated somewhat well in the Doctrine by Mossolini.
            You can add in the ” manajorial class” stuff that the Swami is bringing up as if he thought it up (it’s modern day musings similar to those in France about the bourgeois during the Revolution) and that’s who the DNC represents to me.
            Joe and his designated replacement Harris are today’s authoritarians whereas the GOP is returning to a complete distrust of that authority and despite your personal definitions are trying to return to a modern day populism and share the view they are trying to.

          6. The current GOP completely distrusts authority exercised by Democrats and falls all over itself praising the idea of authority being exercised by Republicans.

            All parties and movements throw out a certain amount of populist rhetoric/guff. Odd that you would posit Mussolini as an opposite of that when he was a huge practitioner of it.

            Populism is just an assertion of a struggle between two classes — the oppressed masses and the expoiting elite. Which is both true and a commonplace. The key is identifying those two classes correctly.

            Marx identified “labor” as the oppressed masses and “capital” as the exploiting elite. Hitler identified working class Germans as the former and Jews as the latter.

            Of course, Marx cribbedm the framework his theory from the guys who got it right, the authors of libertarian class theory, Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer. They correctly identified the oppressed masses as the productive class and the exploiting elite as the political class. Marx substituted his classes and threw in an idiotic theory of value to become the first major right-deviationist from libertarianism.

          7. Once again you are trying to make your personal beliefs as the last word in a discussion about definitions and interpretations of history with the always present misinterpretation of what I was sharing.
            Nice try though….lol.

          8. I just pointed out the idea that the current GOP is either “populist” or “libertarian” is nonsense on stilts.

            If you don’t want to accept that fact, no skin off my ass. And you’re free to have the last hallucinatory word on the matter.

          9. I’m not the only one who sees this as a return to populism within the GOP as currently represented by Trump while the Democrats are returning to an authoritarianism that some call Fascism.
            For you to get personal for my agreeing with a popular view in some quarters because you do not agree with definitions nor even the interpretation of events is hubris and quite honestly is why I find these type of discussions with you hilarious.
            I do not agree with your personal definition that plenty of others do not agree with as well but I’m hallucinating?
            You are so full of yourself without much reason nor actual scholarship if we are going to get personal as you just did.
            Perhaps you can write a column describing your views, that unlike quite a popular view that the GOP is returning to a new kind of populism, you can find some examples why so many well read writers and talking heads are wrong and you are correct?
            That ought to be interesting instead of you trying to tell me I’m wrong as you seem to want to do by this definition dance and personal attacks about hallucinations?
            Here are a couple of links to others who have similar views as me as to left-wing fascism and the return to populism, but I’m sure they do not agree with your definitions nor scholarship on the matter as if that matters to their veracity….;-)

          10. Sure that effort was pulp akin to a Fox News host history book.
            It was a fun piece for a paticular audience is all I read to be honest.
            I’m sharing a view that the GOP is returning to populism whereas the DNC is once again flirting with fascism
            I provided you with links of disparate voices that also share that view but all you have is a demand I follow your particular view of terms that quite a few disagree with as do I.
            Please tell me how you disagree with those links I provided because it’s really getting boring for me to read how you know better than me because you read some obscure books that made you think and view things differently than I and quite a few others as well.

          11. ” it’s really getting boring for me to read”

            There are three little dots at the upper right of each comment.

            If you click on the three little dots you get a drop-down list with a “block user” option.

            You read what I write entirely because you want to, and for no other reason.

          12. Are you getting hurt because I refuse to acquiesce to your views on various topics?
            I provided you some disparent voices on both leftwing fascism and the very popular view that their opposites are returning to populism with even some more links contained within to some more well written pieces on the topic as well.
            These were not “guest columnists” giving light weight cookie cutter taunts at Trump btw….
            They also provide views of a topic you evidently are not well read on little alone wrote papers on in college.
            You can’t address these two linked topics because evidently you are not very familure with them so you go the route of underclass kids who believe arguing about definitions makes one look smart instead of arguing the concept itself which is beyond you.
            How are the 4 different links wrong? Is that too hard? Or are you just comfortable disagreeing with me and silly definitions?

          13. “Are you getting hurt”

            Nope. Well, other than tripping over a creeping vine while running day before yesterday and pulling a muscle in my leg, anyway. Online discussions don’t “hurt” me. Since that seems to be a running theme of yours, I assume that you place a lot more emotional importance on them than I do.

            I should, however, have thanked you for the links, which I am perusing when I have time and will continue perusing. I’m not sure why you want me to “address” the fact that other people have opinions that differ from mine, though. Of course they do — and that’s fine!

            To return the favor, I’ll recommend a book series that I find fascinating, but I must include the disclaimer that they’re written by a friend of mine, Darcy Richardson (himself an interesting political figure, who among other things managed one of Eugene McCarthy’s presidential campaigns and came within one convention vote of being the 2016 Reform Party presidential nominee with me as his running mate). The series is called “Others,” and can be found on Amazon. The whole series is interesting, but the second volume, “Third Parties During the Populist Period,” especially so vis a vis this particular topic. They’re kind of expensive and don’t seem to be available in Kindle format, but there are used copies around.

          14. So you don’t want to address the topic you decided I’m suffering from hallucinations by mentioning and you want me to read a book instead.
            I will try once again.
            The DNC is returning to Fascism while the GOP is returning populism as they both were prior to WW2.
            You said that was so nutty I must be suffering from hallucinations yet I provided 4 different links to different musings on that from wildly different sources that you refuse to address.
            I’m hallucinationing ….
            Is the writer from Harvard seeing thingstoo?
            How about the Marxists from Australia? Do they see things too?
            How about the other two? Are they crazy too?
            Heck I can provide articles from major media discussing thectopic as well but I’m hallucinating……

          15. You were somewhat more specific than the GOP “returning to populism.” You threw in “a complete distrust of [government] authority,” “looking upon government involvement as a problem not a solution,” and “a more populist Libertarian [emphasis mine] view of politics.”

            In the meantime, what the GOP is ACTUALLY doing is endorsing “industrial policy” to control trade, “national security” to ban “Chinese-controlled” speech apps, “family values” to ban entertainment conservatives don’t like, etc.

            That it may use — and be accused of using — “populist” rhetoric to justify such things, that doesn’t magically make those things “populist,” especially of a “libertarian” variety. Democrats also use “populist” rhetoric when they think doing so will work for them. Populism is an underlying rhetorical component of pretty every political faction.

            Hell, there’s an entire wing of “progressive populists” like Jim Hightower, and “labor Democrats” talk a great “populist” line when called upon to do so as well. In the last decade or so, Democratic rhetoric has tended more toward “technocratic” (a managerial bent closely related to fascism) than “populist,” and that tendency got a boost from COVID-19.

          16. So it is a personal disagreement of yours with how most others view the topic.
            That I can understand but to say my sharing of a mainstream view that you disagree with does not not deserve you saying I’m hallucinating to continue with the view.
            If you had tried that one when papers were presented and debated you’d be laughed out of the room and I’m not going to be nice in return here.
            You have a disagreement with how terms are used by me and darn near everyone else it appears except the few reources you seem to believe is the last word or something as foolish.

          17. Either words mean things or they don’t. The idea that advocating for larger, more authoritarian government is advocating for smaller, “libertarian” government is incoherent.

          18. You remind me of thse who don’t know a topic well so you are all about terms. As if anyone serious engages in small ball debates except maybe kids in their 2nd year of college and are trying to impress the 1st years…
            What I shared is mainstream in that there is plenty of quality writing about it not just crap on blogs like what you shared about Trump.
            You do know that what you shared about Trump would garner a failing grade if used as a resourse in a college paper?
            That is how low most consider newspaper columns in regards to using such stuff in one’s research paper.
            I even had one professor who shared a USA Today column was worse than a Wikipedia source and would get you an automatic failing grad just as a Wikipedia entry would.
            I hate to think what that effort of yours would get one if that was included in a research paper’s list of sources. Likely that F and not even a redo just like Wikipedia would get you.
            I shared links to research papers not a blog post yet you still are trying to pretend what you write, no footnotes, no list of resources, just your snarky opinions is similar to that very well researched Harvard research paper that directly contridicts your views on how certain political philosophies terminology may be used.
            When you are published in peer reviewed publications making your silly ascertions that certain terms may only used in the manner you dictate I might take you seriously but right now you are just a joke digging the hole you find yourself in even deeper.
            I’d get a huge laugh if you tried to pull this definition nonsence with my former classmates little alone the professors who were friends.

          19. I hate to think that you’re mistaking commenting on a blog for a college research paper.

            But I guess if that’s what you need to do to make yourself feel superior by finding a way to work in a mention every day or two that you went to college and knew professors, knock yourself out.

          20. You are the
            one trying to dictate termonology as if you are a efing college professor.
            I used “populist” and ” fascist” as they are in current academic writings as well as in popular media publications of which you have named dropped.
            You had the gall to tell me I was hallucinating if I continued to use the term and I had to tell you just how full of yourself you are to try to dictate venacular as if you are the end all in regards to terms.

            I know I got ugly by sharing how musings in popular publications are viewed in academia but for you to believe as a writer in those popular media publications can dictate terminology that is used commonly in academia when writing about the DNC and the GOP and I use here frequently is complete hubris on your part.

            Sure one can easily share how both parties do not fit the terms especially in the classical sense but then that is history and we are speaking of today.
            This argument is similar to the one some have with the term “colonialism” used with China.
            You can find well written papers that use that question of is it or not as a stepping off point for a discussion of how it meets classical definitions as well as how they modernize.
            But there is quite a belief , well respected, that they in someways are a colonial power and those terms are used all the time even though some may object, as they as well use the terms to posit their objections.
            For you to make a catagorical statement it must not be used because it does not meet your personal criteria is hubris.
            Do you want a dozen peer reviewed papers in well respected journals using the terms as I do as links to prove my point? 2 dozen?
            Are they hallucinating too?
            I do not feel superior to you; you are not better than I nor am I better/superior than you.
            I am kind of disappointed that you really are doing small ball definition stuff that quite honestly seems to be not something you would do because it really is silly given just how widespread my view is and has been written about.

          21. “For you to make a catagorical statement it must not be used because it does not meet your personal criteria is hubris.”

            Yes, it would be, if I did any such thing.

            But I didn’t.

            I just disagreed with you, that’s all.

          22. You shared I was “hallucinating ” if I persisted in such heresy and that is what set me off.
            You have to admit the return to populism is a mainstream thought, not hallucinations.
            I can easily withstand disagreement but dude come on I’m not broaching a topic (that I’ve long held) that others also view the same.
            I see where you are coming from (possibly) that what you view as populism as is not what the GOP is nor is the crazy Orange dude a populist but I would never say you were hallucinating (which is what schizophrenia causes one to do) to persist in something I disageed with especially for something within mainstream thought.
            You have to admit others, like that last link I shared (of which any time you can use ale drinking as a stepping off point for a Marxist leaning exploration of mostly European populism, it’s the obvious the writer is having fun) many do not share your views but I would never say you were hallucinating for holding them, in fact as I shared the link you shared of your musings could easily had been included in my link’s exploration about the symbolism of Ale drinking (and Trump’s McDonald’s) if one wanted to explore how some view what they/mainstream call today’s populism does not comport with some’s views in rhe US antiwar community (that are not hallucinations;-).

          23. I’ll be trying to give your links the dedicated attention they deserve, but it may be a few days. I’ve spent all weekend on things like replacing a bad CV axle and water pump/thermostat housing on my wife’s car, and burying my dog, who died overnight.

          24. I’ve actually been so broke I “carefully” ground the grooves down on the joint on a S-10, reassembled it ( even bought a new band instead of a black wire tie which works just as well) and got 50,000 miles out of it (old school rebuild before it was computerized like the used to do at the rebuilders) so I know your pain.
            I hope you had the tools or was able to make them (Honda needs a special balljoint bushing adaptor for the c-clamp thats expensive but isn’t too hard to make and other makes always has a tool that’ll expensive;-)
            The first set of 4 are good but the populism symbolism one is the fun one if you can forgive the marxist leanings.
            There was another one that was well written, pure Bernie Marxist though to give it a flavor, that shared Bernie was a true populist because of historical reasons (their version of history was “interesting” as those silly myopic American Marxists tend to be) but while yuo read it you kept saying to yourself just how can Bernie be a old time populist while being identified with Progressivism too?
            Really? Lol? Just how does that work?
            That, while a good read, was nothing to waste another’s time with.
            You have fun with that joint, I seriously feel your pain; my cousin’s car got a homemade, with a wire tie that time, rebuilt joint done on a dirt floor of a barn so I know how hard it is to do with the limited tools a professional writer must have on hand.
            Harbor Freight is your friend…

          25. The car’s done — I was just assisting a real mechanic on doing the work. Basically I got covered in grease and worked my muscles without really having to know much. I used to work on my own cars to at least a degree, but that was in the 1980s when my cars were models built in the 1960s and 1970s. Once they went from carburetors to fuel injectors, got computerized, etc., I couldn’t really keep up. And even then if it was more complicated than e.g. replacing a starter or alternator, doing a brake job, etc., I went to a shop.

            I’ve got nothing against “Marxist leanings” in political writing. While I disagree with Marx’s basic premises, his ideas remain quite influential. Not as influential as, say, the John Birch Society might want us to believe, but influential. At one point, regimes explicitly based on those ideas ruled 1/3 of the world, and even e.g. European social democrats have at least a modicum of Marxist influence.

          26. Marxist leanings is not an issue with me either as some of the most interesting perspectives come from them in the oddest places.
            For instance I was perusing a good piece on the view that unlike the pervailing view that Japanese colonialism in Korea helped them to advance and advance more than if a western power had done so
            She posited it was not true, did it from a Marxist perspective (she readily shared it was within the body as she went into theory)
            But the biggest pull away I got from it was in her Marxist view the US colony in the Philippines was a “good” even a more moral effort instead of the traditional European efforts as she demonstrated Japanese colonialism of Korea was not “better” but in quite of few quantitative ways it was worse than others.
            Who knew Marxists albeit Korean ones could say nice things about American colonialism?
            But then they are more readily to recognize Chinese colonialism as their western “comrades” are not willing to do.

          27. “Who knew Marxists albeit Korean ones could say nice things about American colonialism?”

            Well, they sound like real Marxists.

            A lot of people who call themselves “Marxists” don’t realize what a huge fan of capitalism Marx was. He pretty much defined the term in the popular consciousness and considered it an absolutely necessary precondition for any transition to socialism.

            That’s why he never thought Russia had much revolutionary potential — it had only developed a small industrial proletariat and a very weak bourgeois class. The accumulated capital invested in industrial production capacity just wasn’t there to be expropriated by the working class. He expected the revolution to start in Germany or Britain.

            Real Marxists may have had moral problems with colonialism, but economically they saw it, up to a point, as the engineer that pulled “backward” societies up toward industrialization, thus bringing them closer to socialism.

          28. To tell you the truth, it seems nowadays if Marx was alive today and who he is in regards to his looks and where he’s from, those who are on the Left in this country would look upon him as just another guy who writes alot (we are leaving his ideas out of this) he’d be excoriated for how he looks and where he is from.
            Remember this is coming from a tribal card carrying meember of a Indian tribe that has not been “pure-bred” from the late 19th century. (Native American is a guilty white folk label; my tribe calls themselves a “tribe” not some silly Native ;-) so this is not coming from one of “those” folks with tiki torches (I honestly do not like to even ID them in comments).
            As to his beliefs, you are correct; you’d been fun to listen to as you joined me in college debating for a few weeks with the self proclaimed communist Canadian history professor who claimed until he had to admit he was wrong (good professors actualy do that) about the Soviet Union and colonialnization. He went from they “don’t have a word for it”
            (so wrong;-) to they weren’t doing anything like those evil Brits used to do it (he was Canadian) in the Caribbean.
            OK, the Brits don’t do it the same as the French who don’t do it the same as the Japanese……
            And besides your hated Brits operated colonies differently throughout their empire ……so do the Soviet’s actions meet some of the criteria you share for those who you believe is?
            Honestly the same debate in some ways about China.

            Logic gets the logical most of the time…lol.
            You get him with history; I’d get him with a little research………

          29. Here is a fun musing about populism in Europe mostly but visits Trump and the GOP within it. I know I was real harsh about your writing but this is what I’m refering to and actually within the body one could easily imagine your musings that you shared could be included very easily if it was more USA based. It really is not as dry as the abstract btw.

            Take it as you may but I believe we’ve beat this into the ground in our weekly blowup.

            You’ll notice it’s mostly on Brexit with a Maxist tinge (peruse the biblography;-) but it is a fun read of the topic of symbolism as the stepping off point for a exploration of European Brixit populism.
            Populism as Symbolic Class Struggle. Homology, Metaphor, and English Ale
            Linus Westheuser


            This contribution links the study of populism as a stylistic repertoire with Bourdieusian class analysis. The starting point is Ostiguy and Moffitt’s observation that the populist repertoire draws on symbols of the ‘sociocultural low’ and ‘the popular’ produced in non-political fields like food and leisure. Borrowing from Lévi-Strauss and Bourdieu, the article proposes to view these elements as metaphors for positions in vertical and horizontal class relations. Metaphorical signification rests on homologies between the symbolic sphere (‘culture’) and politics grounded in the divisions of social space (‘the class structure’). This perspective allows us to situate the populist repertoire in social structure and analyze its entanglement in struggles over the classification of groups, or symbolic class struggles.

            DOI Code: 10.1285/i20356609v13i1p256

            Keywords: Populism; Class Analysis; Culture; Bourdieu; Lévi-Strauss; Structuralism; Homology

          30. The lesser-of-evils argument is a false choice. Of course one should advocate for what they believe in, not support or vote for candidates because they’re not quite as bad as their opponents. This lesser-than-evil crap is a main reason that the U.S. moves ever further in the wrong direction.

            We obviously disagree on a lot of issues and want different things out of the government and elected officials. But regardless of one’s ideology or agenda, you have no chance of getting what you want if you support and vote for the lesser evil instead of what you want.

            Saying that a candidate or movement has no chance is either defeatism or saying that you don’t want it to succeed. I’ve learned from playing and watching sports that if you keep trying you never know what might happen, regardless of how bleak things may look. Hope and realistic expectations are two different things, and we should always maintain hope and fight for what we believe in unless it becomes literally impossible.

          31. I look at trends happening (with disruptions that change the trend) and try to participate in furthuring that trend. But I do get where you are “coming from” (to coin a phrase;-)

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