Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Who said that's important?

That your death should be meaningful.

Who gives a shit?

Surprise

Reading Murder at the Savoy, Sjowall and Wahloo, for perhaps the fourth time.

In a brilliant polar by two Cold War Swedish communists, the Swedish state security services are depicted as fascist clowns far more worried about communists than the CIA.

And it is cause for anger, contempt, or dismay that the Swedish government is in some measure deferential to the American government.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Gedankenexperiment in districting

The US state of Absurdia has 1 million voters and comprises 5 US Congressional Districts.

The state government is in course of settling district lines for the US Congress, the state senate, and the state chamber of deputies.

Two plans are under consideration under which the districts of each type will contain, as nearly as mathematically possible, equal numbers of voters (in thousands).

Under both plans, each US Congressional district will be subdivided into 10 state senatorial districts, each in turn divided into 10 state house districts.

Both plans are such that all state senate and chamber districts preserve the ratios of party representation among voters that would exist, under that plan, in the US Congressional Districts within which they are located.

There are two political parties that together encompass all the voters of Absurdia, the Blues and the Greens.

475 thousand of the state's voters are Blues.

525 thousand are Greens.

The two plans under consideration were prepared by the two parties, one being the Blue Plan and the other the Green Plan.

The Blue Plan draws lines so that voters, by party, are located in the US Congressional Districts as follows (in thousands).

Districts

                                  1                      2                    3                      4                   5

Green Voters           200                   81                  81                    81                 82

Blue Voters                0                    119                119                  119                118

Results of this plan, assuming straight party ticket voting.

In the US senate, the Blues would have no seats and the Greens 2.

In the federal Congress, the Blues would have 4 seats and the Greens would have 1.

In the Electoral College, the Blues would have 0 Electors and the Greens 7 or, under the Maine rule, the Blues would have 4 Electors and the Greens 3.

In the state senate, the Blues would have 40 seats and the Greens would have 10.

In the state chamber, the Blues 400 seats and the Greens would have 100.

The Green Plan, as follows, is quite otherwise.

Districts

                                  1                      2                    3                      4                   5

Green Voters           105                   105                105                105                105

Blue Voters               95                    95                   95                  95                  95

Results of this plan, assuming straight party ticket voting.

In the US senate, the Blues would have 0 seats and the Greens 2.

In the federal Congress, the Blues would have 0 seats and the Greens would have 5.

In the Electoral College, the Blues would have 0 Electors and the Greens 7 or, under the Maine rule, the Blues would have 0 Electors and the Greens 7.

In the state senate, the Blues would have 0 seats and the Greens would have 50.

In the state chamber, the Blues would have 0 seats and the Greens would have 500.

One might want to sneak in some sort of proportional representation.

Note that the US Constitution does not require that representatives in the House be chosen by districts.

They could, like federal senators, be chosen in state-wide elections, under such rules that seats would be awarded to parties proportionate to their statewide votes, as nearly as mathematically possible.

In that event, there would be no US Congressional Districts in Absurdia, and its US House Delegation would comprise 2 Blues (47.5% of voters) and 3 Greens (52.5%).

If US senate seats were also allotted proportionately, both senators in each state running always in the same year, then in Absurdia each party would have one seat.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cuz why?

"Cause why? " in The Reeves Tale, v 293, means "Why?"

The Canterbury Tales.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

And this is a good thing?

Buchananites of all countries seem to be unanimous on wanting to destroy, and not merely remove their own countries from, the EU.

Even in America, they want to destroy the EU.

Why?

FARAGE: If Le Pen Wins, The EU Is Over

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Department Q

Netflix has three Danish TV movies made of three of Jussi Adler-Olsen's novels.

They are excellent, not least because they lean toward the darkness.

In the novels, the curmudgeonly character Carl Morck seems too clownishly like Backstrom.

Not at all in these films.

Netflix has several fine foreign polars, subtitled in English.

Nice to see life can exist in countries that lack a divine mission to lead the world.

Putting an end to evil-doers and making the world safe for democracy, and all that.

To hear our politicians talk, the American people would have no idea what to make of politics, or even life, without American exceptionalism, our divine mission, and our unique status as the indispensable nation, the world's only superpower.

Or maybe it's just they who would have no idea.

An Epicurean Thanksgiving weekend

Thursday, just the wife and I.

A 12 pound Turkey roasted with a bag of very lightly seasoned stuffing inside it, the stuffing prepared beforehand with a little water and a quarter pound of butter melted in.

Gravy out of a jar.

24 ozs of canned yams prepared with nearly a quarter pound of butter and 2/3 cup of brown sugar and cinnamon to taste, sprinkled with crushed pecans.

Tasty.

Leftovers packed for the fridge, white and dark meat, and also stuffing, in separate baking dishes, moistened with stock made fresh from the neck and giblets (not the liver), covered with aluminum foil.

Leftover yams packed in a sealed plastic container.

Friday, again just we two.

Leftovers nuked.

Saturday, the big meal with the kids and grandchildren.

Meat and stuffing heated in the oven in those baking dishes.

Another can of yams prepared as above, to go with the leftovers, all of it heated in a big orange frying pan.

Hawaiian rolls and butter.

Instant mashed potatoes prepared with light mayonnaise, and nuked frozen niblets.

Shiraz and Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Giant Eagle pumpkin and apple pies.

Redi-Whip and crushed pecans applied.

The chardonnay was great with the meal.

The shiraz was splendid with the pies, and after.

Making good memories to enjoy when things are not so good, as Epicurus recommends.

Or any time.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Serves them right

We stopped watching The Walking Dead.

So did lots of others.

Despite near-record high ratings in the US for the resolution of the Negan cliffhanger in October, it's been reported that viewership on AMC has dropped sharply in the US from 17 million viewers to 11 million in four weeks.

They killed Abraham and Glenn to stay loyal to the comic books.

Not to the TV audience.

Over 2 %, says the Guardian

Hillary's lead.

Not much of a mandate if most of the voters are against you, eh?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

White nationalists have a think tank?

Energized By Trump's Win, White Nationalists Gather To 'Change The World'

"The alt-right is here, the alt-right is not going anywhere, the alt-right is going to change the world," Richard Spencer, head of the white nationalist think tank the National Policy Institute (NPI) promised at a press conference.

About 300 people — split nearly evenly between conference attendees and protesters of the conference outside — were on hand at the downtown D.C. event.

Spencer told journalists that he doesn't believe Trump himself is alt-right, the term he coined that's come to embody white supremacist, anti-Semitic and sexist ideas. 

But it was clear that his surprise election has given the once fringe movement a jolt, and on Saturday they were eager to take a victory lap. 

Spencer called Trump's campaign "the first step towards identity politics in the United States."

Read Spencer's further remarks on Trump and his people, his ideas about NATO and foreign policy.

Schumer makes some interesting points

Schumer Delivers A Warning: GOP Will 'Rue The Day' They Repeal Obamacare

Trump, after meeting with Obama, said he'd like to keep popular pieces of the six-year-old law, including the requirement to extend coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and the provision allowing young adults to stay on their parents' health plans until age 26.

But Schumer said it was a non-starter to try picking off favored pieces of the Affordable Care Act.

"There is no way that you can keep those things without keeping the ACA," Schumer insisted. He added that he'd made similar points directly to Trump, but declined to share the president-elect's response.

. . . .

"He should not even try to think about repealing Dodd-Frank," Schumer said. "We will have enough votes to beat that back."

. . . .

But the Brooklyn-born Schumer pledged to work with fellow New Yorker Trump when possible, arguing that to do otherwise would amount to a "a dereliction of our responsibility to the millions of Americans who need work, who need protection."

Indeed Schumer argued that on some issues Trump has more in common with the Democrats than Republicans, suggesting a strategy that would amount to forming alliances with Trump where possible against the wishes of conservative Republicans and GOP leaders on the Hill.

"Donald Trump in his campaign advocated many things or a good number of economic issues that Democrats support and Republicans have opposed," Schumer said, pointing to trade, spending on infrastructure, and a financial loophole benefiting wealthy Wall Street interests.

Medicare at risk

And where the hell are the Democrats?

Nobody seems to be listening to Josh Marshall.

[W]hat the Democrats need are issues that cut across the regional/racial/class divide we saw in the 2016 election.

Medicare does that.

. . . .

Stopping Republicans on Medicare Phaseout will reduce their ability to push their damaging agenda on other fronts.

. . . .

Donald Trump won the presidency promising to defend the economic interests of ordinary people from the 'crooked' elite on Wall Street and in Washington. 

Whether or not he believes or believed that he has rapidly allied himself with the Paul Ryan privatizers who want to eviscerate the federal programs which are the bedrock of the American middle class. 

Social Security and Medicare are at the top of that list. 

If you look at the faces in the crowds at Trump's most poisonous speeches I guarantee that you that very few of those people thought they were voting to lose their Medicare.

Getting rid of or gutting Medicare is incredibly unpopular. 

It can only be accomplished by a mixture of bamboozlement, scare tactics and unified party government which will allow the GOP to push the change through regardless of public opinion. 

Saving Medicare or giving everything in the effort to do so is a tailor-made way for Democrats to cut across the Trump-Clinton divide and undermine the idea that Trump or the GOP have the interests of the middle class or really anyone but libertarians and the extremely wealthy at heart.

I'll summarize my point. Medicare is hugely important for everyone, for the reasons I noted above. 

But it should become a central focus even if those who don't see it as the most important issue because it is an issue where Democrats can score a win and in doing so they will empower the opposition to defeat the Trump GOP on other critical fronts. 

Critically, it is a cross-cutting issue. 

They will either drive a wedge between Trump and the GOP or undermine for many voters who supported Trump the belief that he cares about the needs of people like them.

Well, that's annoying

A snow day before Thanksgiving.

27° F and light snow.

Just a dusting on the grass, but still.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Megyn Kelly justifiably freaks

And Now We're Talking About Internment Camps?

How is such a registry not a roundup list?

What is it for if not to facilitate a roundup, down the road?

About the Muslim registry.

Carl Higbie, a former Navy Seal and vocal Trump supporter, told Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly that he thinks such a proposal could pass legal muster, citing the internment camps as precedent.

"You can't be citing Japanese internment camps for anything the president-elect is going to do!" Kelly replied.

"Look, the president needs to protect America first," insisted Higbie, "and if that means having people that are not protected under the Constitution have some sort of registry until we can identify the true threat and where it's coming from, I support it."

"You get the protections once you come here," Kelly said.

Say what? On what planet?

Dear White People: What Are You Willing to Sacrifice for a Worried Muslim Woman Like Me?

I keep reading these Facebook posts apologizing to Muslims, to queer people, to immigrants, to people of color for the election of Donald Trump. 

I know these posts are meant in solidarity, but right now they just make me feel like I am already being mourned: 

The worst has happened, the world is ending, and I will not save you—I will just lament the loss of your existence.

In two weeks, three months, a year, when these white allies who are outraged and appalled and disgusted realize that a Trump presidency will not significantly impact their day-to-day lives, are they going to abandon us?

So the whole thing, in her mind, was and is only about a threat to minorities?

And MoJo liked this piece so much they asked to her to expand it and then headlined it.

So the Democrats really are the party for everybody except white people?

Yep. Reality based.

"Darkness is good"

Steve Bannon

"I'm a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist," he said in the interview. 

"The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f---ed over. If (the Trump White House delivers), we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed. They were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about."

Bannon also said he wanted to scrap the establishment Republican Party and start anew with Trump's movement.

"Like (Andrew) Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement," he said. 

"It's everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Shipyards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution -- conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement."

Shipyards?

Ironworks?

So these "infrastructure projects" are not to be about bridges and roads so much as government giveaways to magnates of heavy industry?

Is Turkey part of Europe?

Turkish bill to clear men of child sex assault if they marry their victims

The Erdogan government is behind this bill.

No one in philosophy would have described Rorty as obscure

'Something will crack': supposed prophecy of Donald Trump goes viral

A sample.

Imagine a Bernie Sanders, pessimistic to the point of despair.

In the book, Rorty predicted that what he called the left would come to give “cultural politics preference over real politics”. 

This movement would contribute to a tidal wave of resentment, he wrote, that would ricochet back as the kind of rancor that the left had tried to eradicate.

Rorty suggested that so long as “the proles can be distracted from their own despair by media-created pseudo-events, including the brief and bloody war, the super-rich will have little to fear.”

But as democratic institutions begin to fail, workers will begin to realize that governments are “not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or jobs from being exported”, Rorty wrote. 

They would also realize that the middle classes – themselves desperately afraid of being downsized – would not come to their rescue.

“At that point,” Rorty wrote, “something will crack.”

“The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for – someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots.”

Rorty said that “nobody can predict” what such a strongman would do in office, but painted a bleak picture for minorities and liberal causes. 

“One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out,” he wrote. 

“Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion.”

Intolerance and “sadism” would “come flooding back”, he continued. 

“All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.”

Rorty, a hero of the old left, hoped his peers would abandon what he perceived as anti-Americanism and return to a more pure-hearted, pragmatic view of liberalism. 

But he did not hold out much hope. 

Ultimately, he wrote, the so-called strongman would be powerless to do anything but “worsen economic conditions” and “quickly make his peace with the international superrich”.

Trump appears to have already fulfilled this prediction, filling his transition team with lobbyists, including for oil, telecom and food industries. 

He has named a Republican loyalist to be his chief of staff, and a far-right nationalist – himself a former Goldman Sachs executive – as his “chief strategist”.

Could this happen?

Embracing the popular vote

And how will he be on torture?

On tagging people on the watch list?

On preventive detention or even mass internment?

Jeff Sessions Was Deemed Too Racist To Be A Federal Judge. He’ll Now Be Trump’s Attorney General.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

All the walls are made of glass

Zamiatin's We.

Giuliani has reportedly suggested everyone on the terror watch list be electronically tagged, their locations tracked at all times.

So if something happens at 5th and Main at 10 o'clock they can review the record to see who, if anyone, on the watch list was there at that time.

But since you are far more likely to be killed by your spouse than a terrorist, shouldn't we tag your spouse?

So if you are killed . . . .

Oh, heck.

Why stop with all the marrieds, eh?

That awful Obama. Those wicked Democrats. They have destroyed America.

Jobless claims rate hits 43 year low

Worth far more than a thousand words


An absolute mountain of white nationalist conservative bullshit, captured in a single image.

That Sean Hannity would present this to The Duce for hanging in the White House about sums up what has happened, where things stand.

I still have that bad feeling in my stomach.

The one I have had since election night.

I may not get over it.

This is the worst shock since America elected Ronald Reagan, the man who said Medicare was communism and would end American liberty, twice.

And then they outdid themselves for stupidity by rewarding GW, the man who promised us a "humble" foreign policy and then personally created the mess in the Muslim world by destroying not just one but two countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, by electing him a second time.

Crazy for crazy and atrocity for atrocity, are the Taliban as bad, or nearly as bad, as ISIS?

Or are ISIS now the Islamic record holders for crazy and atrocity?

Trump victory as seen by Muslims in America

An Islamophobic Presidency

Not good for America.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

So that tells you about their priorities

169 Congressional Democrats Call On Trump To Fire Bannon

And most progressive writers are spending their ink, this week, flipping out about the perils of Bannon and white nationalism in the White House, yelling about racism, misogyny, and anti-Semitism.

But the politicians and nearly the entire liberal commentariat have been silent about a problem that seems only to worry Josh Marshall, so far.

Greasing the Skids for Medicare Phase Out

Marshall and others at his site have been writing for days about Ryan getting his way with entitlements very, very soon in a Trump administration.

Will Trump's Trumpism, the whole list of ways in which he has all along rejected the agenda of establishment Republicanism, turn out to have been nothing but hot air?

Will he turn out to be a sock puppet for the standard issue, Wall Street Journal, Koch Brothers Republicans?

Or will geezers be thrown under the bus by him, despite his promises to them, in return for cooperation from Ryan and the rest on Trumpist agenda items closer to Il Duce's political heart?

Ryan and the establishment will want to use Trump's first two years to shove through as much of their radical agenda as possible, destroying as much as they can of what progressivism has achieved in nearly a century and a quarter, since the dawn of the 20th Century, while they control both houses of congress.

They will want to give him as little of his own, distinctive, Trumpist agenda as they can.

And the struggle is already underway.

Thing is, his only real weapon against them, the only tool he has to control them, is the same one Obama had, the presidential veto.

That and the bully pulpit.

No idea how this will play out.

An amendment to protect us from amateurs and blowhards

It's time to kill the Electoral College

Why does every discussion about abolishing the EC contain worries about where candidates would campaign?

Shouldn't they campaign wherever they think they can find votes?

If not, why not?

Jesus, people, we have a system that prioritizes sagebrush and cows over actual humans.

What the fuck, anyway?

And do we need to waste so much stupid ink worrying about the allegedly scary aspects of majority rule in this particular matter?

Really?

The Electoral College is clearly not the institutional device to filter out demagogues, and does nothing but sabotage democracy by diminishing the significance of blue voters concentrated in populous states while magnifying the importance of red voters out in the boonies.

As for the demagogues, it's up to the parties to fix their methods of selecting their candidates.

But here's a thought.

A constitutional amendment to restrict eligibility for the presidency to persons who have served at least one full term as a governor or in the US Senate, or at least two terms in the US House, would keep out the ignorant amateurs and blowhards without either personal regard for our actual political system or first hand knowledge how to work within it.

Such a requirement would not have protected us from Governor George Wallace, but it would have protected us from Il Duce.

But it would have kept out Eisenhower, you say.

So, do you think we need to allow for that rarity, a five star general who has achieved victory in a major theater of a global war?

Buchananism in Europe

Nationalist populism in the Old World

A very good "long read" in The Guardian.

They look a lot like Breitbart, these Euro-populists, but perhaps with more openness toward the welfare and regulatory state than Trump, Bannon, or the Breitbart crowd have shown.

Trump has repeatedly sworn support for Social Security and Medicare, but how serious was that?

And what are Bannon's views, or those of the Breitbart crowd, on such things?

And those Trump infrastructure initiatives look pretty Big Government to me.

None of that is acceptable to the fiscal conservatives who make up the Republican congress and the whole of the party establishment.

Culture Wars

Atheists, agnostics, and secularists against believers, sure.

But also and maybe mostly non-eurowhites against eurowhites.

That is how it is, on the left, today.

Once upon a time, even Protestants and liberals would have seen the Catholic conquistadors as the heroes freeing the natives from Mexican and Central American religions of mass human sacrifice.

You could say that even they, most of them, believed in the white man's burden much as Hillary believes today in the white woman's burden, overthrowing the subjection of women and persecution of LGBTs around the world, and perhaps especially in Islam.

How about that?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Protectionism and robots

American workers want to be more expensive than robots, and robots are more expensive than the wildly exploited and exploitable labor of the Third World who have gotten so many American jobs under free trade.

But from the look of it protectionism would protect robots more than workers, or workers only if they agreed to work for little or nothing more than the current going wage - or the price of a good robot.

So the goods the robots or workers got to produce in America, thanks to protectionism, would cost more for American consumers or businesses, but American workers would gain little or nothing by way of better wages.

And doesn't that mean they would actually be worse off?

Just wondering.

The Pope of Buchananism defines it for us

The Trump Doctrine

But Steve Bannon has been assigned a much more significant role in Trump's White House than Pat Buchanan ever had in Nixon's or Reagan's.

And Buchanan has been offered no role at all.

So how far is it just wishful thinking on PB's part, a passé old man's fantasy, that he thinks Trump - or Bannon, for that matter - is a perfect Buchananite?

To some extent, clearly, or else why John Bolton, who could not possibly be a worse fit for the Buchananite policy Trump has publicly espoused regarding Russia, Syria, the Middle East, and NATO?

Maybe Il Duce needs to surf Antiwar.com.

People will die

Don't let Donald Trump become the new normal

He's right. People will die.

But he's an arrogant, racist toad, and that's actually his role at The Guardian.

Imagine how he would react to a widely read newspaper and online pundit who said, "People will die, but what really bothers me is that so many white people will die."

Has he no idea that it's decades of people writing like him that have made the alt.right what it is, today?

Anybody who isn't at least a millionaire is shooting himself in the foot if he votes Republican.

So how does he think so many white folks who are far from millionaires got it into their heads that the Democrats embrace people who hate them and privilege their interests and goals, and even say outright that the party that's for white people is the Republican Party?

How does he suppose that happened?

How does anybody suppose that happened?

Monday, November 14, 2016

The system is rigged

The media are full of postmortems about what Trump did right and what Hillary did wrong.

How her voters weren't motivated and didn't show up but his were and did.

How she lost and he won.

But all these postmortems mask the simple truth that, so far as we can tell at this point, Hillary Clinton won the election.

Her voters showed up in greater numbers than his, hers were motivated as well as or better than his, and she and her team ran with a winning strategy that got her the stamp of approval from significantly more voters than his.

Donald Trump is not President Elect because she did anything wrong or he did anything right.

Donald Trump lost the election, and is President Elect only because our presidents are selected according to an expressly anti-democratic and anti-national 18th Century process that has twice in 20 years stolen the presidency from a Democrat who won the election, and given it both times to a Republican.

The postmortems should overwhelmingly be about that astonishing fact, that twice in two decades the Electoral College system stole the election from the Democratic candidate with the suffrage of the people and gave the presidency to a Republican loser.

They should be focusing on the colossal irony that though the GOP are the ones forever yelling about it the system really is rigged, but in their favor, to steal presidential elections from the actual majority of voters thanks to both the de facto gerrymandering that concentrates blue votes in blue states and the assignment of disproportionate weight in the EC to votes cast in red states.

Why are the postmortems not doing that?

Because everybody knows the only defense of the EC is just as idiotic as any other form of pro-GOP propaganda addressed to the great mass of American blockheads, that the anti-democratic weighting in the EC is valuable just because it throttles the influence of voters in populous states containing America's bigger cities.

That is a good thing, the argument goes, because those voters favor "urban interests," and it would be a tragedy for America for those interests to prevail just as far and as often as the actual majority of all American voters would want them too.

And the unmentioned concentration of blue voters who are personally concerned with those "urban interests" in a few blue states just makes it all the easier to diminish the impact of those votes.

Whether we take that plea as a racist dog-whistle or just an appeal to the party interests of the GOP, either way it's an outright and undisguised demand for a system that undervalues Democratic voters and overvalues GOP voters, and thus once in a while actually steals the office from the election's Democratic winner in order to hand the presidency to a GOP loser.

A loser like GW Bush.

Remember how well that worked out?

And a loser like Donald Trump.

And everybody knows that even if we shine as much light on this as we can and the whole country can't help seeing it, we won't be able to remedy the problem.

The Republicans will just frankly and openly say they have to save America, even from itself, and even at that cost.

And the Article V amendment process, in which all states are equal so that the 585 thousand red state voters of Wyoming have exactly as much to say about amending the constitution as the 39 million blue state voters of California and the Republican Party is thus even more fantastically privileged, will absolutely ensure the EC is never done away with, so long as it rigs presidential selection in the GOP's favor.

38 states out of the 50 would have to agree, and there are not nearly that many blue states.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Come to that, in the senate, the 585 thousand red state voters of Wyoming have exactly as much to say about anything as the 39 million blue state voters of California, and the Republican Party is again fantastically privileged.

And notice that really annoying last clause of Article V that says "no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."

That clause could be deleted by the normal Article V process, without the consent of any particular state, since the deletion would not deprive any state of its equal representation in the senate.

And then after that an amendment could be passed in the usual manner, again without the consent of any particular state, to make representation in the senate proportional to population.

But that, too, will never happen.

So, hey, is the system rigged?

Wow.

You bet it is.

No wonder Republicans and the entire conservative movement just loooooove that old time US Constitution.

About that Supreme Court

I can't find anything to link, but I read someplace earlier today that Trump has just said he will appoint judges who would return the abortion issue to the states (overturn Roe, I guess) but not remove constitutional protection for gay marriage.

I have no idea where he will find judges who think like that.

They had other priorities, back in the day

Trump.

Dick Cheney, to whom we owe that explanation why he avoided service in a war he favored - the Vietnam War.

And, of course, Bill Clinton.

At the time and ever since, I have thought keeping out of the clutches of Uncle Ho was an entirely understandable goal for South Vietnam, its government, and its people.

And that it was worth some assistance from the US.

But not as much as we actually provided, and certainly not involving use of draftees.

And in the end there was no acceptable way to defeat Ho, who was willing to fight on to the death of the last Vietnamese, so long as China and Soviet Russia continued to provid arms and other supplies.

Donald 'I Love The Veterans' Trump Didn't Attend A Single Veteran's Day Event

How Donald Trump avoided the draft during the Vietnam War

Van Jones is a racial polemicist. But he is right.

Van Jones Clashes With Mary Matalin

As she quotes them:

JONES: I said and stand by it. I said that race was a part, and there was a part, that alt-right part, that was a part of the whitelash. And if you listened to the whole quote, you would agree with what I said.

MATALIN: I did listen and again you said what do I tell the kids? What I would tell your kids, I'm a black man in America who went to Yale, who has written books, who served a president and now...

JONES: And ninth generation American, ma'am, and I'm the first one in my family born with all my rights. I'm a ninth generation American. And so we have not escaped because I went to Yale all the problems of this country.

MATALIN: So, you should be a racial polemicist. You should be a racial reconciler.

He does so want to move fast

Trump looking at fast ways to quit global climate deal

The Paris accord won enough backing for entry into force on Nov. 4, four days before the election.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday in New Zealand the Obama administration would do everything it could to implement the Paris accord before Trump takes office.

The accord says in its Article 28 that any country wanting to pull out after signing on has to wait four years. In theory, the earliest date for withdrawal would be Nov. 4, 2020, around the time of the next U.S. presidential election.

The source said the future Trump administration is weighing alternatives to accelerate the pull-out: sending a letter withdrawing from the 1992 international framework accord that is the parent treaty of the Paris Agreement; voiding U.S. involvement in both in a year's time; or issuing a presidential order simply deleting the U.S. signature from the Paris accord.

Wait four years because the Obama administration wanted to box him in?

Not a chance.

The Duce chooses


The ADL’s chief executive, Jonathan Greenblatt, welcomed Priebus’s appointment but said of Bannon’s: “It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed antisemites and racists – is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house’.”

John Weaver, a Republican strategist who worked for Ohio governor John Kasich’s presidential campaign, tweeted: “The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office. Be very vigilant, America.”

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Dems demand popular election of the President

Eric Holder Says The Electoral College Must Be Abolished

The duo later discussed why, despite President-elect Donald Trump’s claims throughout his campaign that the election was rigged against him, the electoral college system actually meant the opposite. 

This is a progressive agenda item whose time will never come.

Holder is far from the only Dem to urge this.

But too many interests will make the cumbrous Article V process fail, and this is something the most activist, liberal Supreme Court in history would not dare to do on its own hook with some ludicrous appeal to our "living Constitution".

People have tried several times to get rid of the EC and the same forces always kill the effort.

For that matter, too many Democrats even now defend the EC and oppose abolition.

Some even side with George Will and other Republicans in wanting to abolish popular election of senators through repeal of the 17th Amendment.

Hillary's mandate keeps growing

Hillary Clinton’s Popular Vote Victory Keeps Growing

Remember this when Republicans start claiming Trump has a mandate, or that the voters rejected Hillary and the Democrats, or that the voters rejected the establishment and the system.

Or when Bernie supporters make the same false claims.

The Trump voters did those things.

But most voters did the opposite.

The chose Hillary, the Democrats, the establishment, and the system, and repudiated Il Duce, Buchananism, and all he stands for.

If anybody got a mandate, it was Hillary.

She is up by 1.8 million votes, with millions still being counted in California.

Hillary Clinton not only won the popular vote in Tuesday’s election. It is now clear that she won it by a margin larger than two candidates who went on to win the presidency.

David Leonhardt, a columnist for The New York Times, noted on Friday that with a 1.7-percentage-point popular vote lead over Donald Trump,Clinton will have a larger margin of victory than Richard Nixon had over Hubert Humphrey in 1968 or John F. Kennedy had over Nixon in 1960. 

(Her edge is also larger than Al Gore’s popular vote victory over George W. Bush in 2000, though he too was stymied by an electoral college loss.)

In raw numbers, that amounts to an edge of roughly 1.8 million votes as of Saturday.

Votes are still being counted, however, with the outstanding ballots overwhelmingly concentrated in Democratic bastions like California, Washington state and New York. 

The Times’ Nate Cohn estimated on Saturday that there were a total of 7 million votes left to be counted nationwide. As of Thursday, more than 4 million votes had yet to be counted in California alone.

That means that Clinton’s lead will almost certainly grow in the coming days, as it has since election night.

Possible Trump Chief of Staff and Buchananite leader hires FN leader

Steve Bannon hires Marion Marechal-Le Pen for Breitbart

They already have Farage and Wilders on board.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A glimmer of hope?

Lib Dems 'will vote against article 50 if there is no new referendum'

The Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, has said the party would vote against article 50 unless the British people were given a referendum on the final Brexit deal.

The party has only eight MPs but their attempts to derail any article 50 bill are likely to have more success in the House of Lords, where they have more than 100 peers. 

“We have said we will vote against article 50 if our red line is not met, and it is a single, simple red line which is that we want to respect the will of the people and that means that they must have their say in a referendum on the terms of the deal,” Farron said.

“It is the only logical and it is the only democratic option on the table. There will be a referendum at the end of this process so that nobody would have imposed upon them something they didn’t vote for.”

Farron said he respected the result of the June referendum, where 52% voted to leave the EU, but said it “must not now end up with a stitch-up, with a deal being imposed on the British people that absolutely nobody voted for”.

Labour MPs, including Catherine West, David Lammy and Helen Hayes, have also said they would vote against any trigger of article 50, reflecting the views of their constituents.

. . . .

The high court ruled last week parliament must be given a say on triggering the two-year process for leaving the EU, which the government had argued it could do using prerogative powers. 

The government will appeal against the case at the supreme court in early December, but if the ruling is upheld a bill will have to be prepared that must pass both houses.

Best Buds

Nigel Farage arrives in New York ahead of possible Trump meeting

Lot of stories about these two in The Guardian.

Not sure what the point of all this is

Anti-Trump protesters gear up for weekend demonstrations across the US

Portland, Miami, New York, and elsewhere, thousands and in some places tens of thousands.

No room for buyer's remorse, I'm afraid.

There is no way to fire a president, other than impeachment.

And that certainly is not going to happen.

An essay on Veteran's Day by Doctor Zoom

Fine Here Is Your Bloody Kurt Vonnegut For Armistice Day And The Death Of America. So It Goes.

Good stuff about Trump, Obama, war, and specifically WW2.

But the best thing in it is the first quote.

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Why is Trump the working class hero?

Why the white working class ditched Clinton

And yet she says nothing about the elephant in the room.

Elephant.

Get it?

Not my demonstrators

Anti-Trump protesters march for 3rd night; Portland police call it a 'riot'

Close enough.

Yeah, but that won't happen, either

If the left can woo back white voters, it would benefit everyone

Remi Adekoya writes in The Guardian.

The liberal movement can only help minorities if it can retain the white vote and gain power. 

If that means focusing less on identity politics, then so be it.

. . . .

I’m not suggesting progressives throw minorities under the bus and cease fighting racial or sexual discrimination, but regular white folk need to see progressives as their defenders too, not just champions of minorities, which is too often the perception many white people have of the “cosmopolitan left”. 

The left needs much more focus on socioeconomic issues such as inequality and stagnant wages, the stuff that resonates with regular white voters. 

Of course, it resonates with me too – it’s not as if this would be to switch to an issue which excludes minority interests.


Some of the current anti-immigration sentiments in the west are racially motivated, but some of it results from exhaustion with the fierce competition neoliberalism has thrived on in recent decades. 

Some people enjoy competition, but for most it is stressful, exhausting and keeps them on edge. 

Small wonder many want to restrict movement of labour. 

If neoliberalism makes everything a competition, it should be no surprise that white majorities have come to see newcomers as rivals for jobs and resources. 

. . . .

In the US election this week, the biggest voter swing to Trump (16-points), came from those earning less than $30,000 a year, the very group that has to compete with Mexican immigrants for low-skilled jobs. 

Again, Trump promised them the prospect of less competition from Mexican migrants, via his wall, and they grabbed it. 

These were voters who backed Obama in 2012 so we should not so readily call them racists.

And anti-immigrant sentiment is not restricted to the west. 

When black South Africans physically attacked and killed black African migrants in South Africa last year, it wasn’t because they hated them for being black, they hated them for being unwanted competition. 

“They are stealing our jobs”, the South Africans claimed. 

Sound familiar?

There is no denying a racial aspect to the current rightwing surge in the west and there are well-off white people supporting the likes of Trump or Marine Le Pen in France, but there are probably enough white voters more concerned with economic issues than race, to be able to make the left competitive again if it can woo them back. 

Many are exhausted by neoliberalism’s “compete or die” approach and are desperate for some respite. 

The right is currently the only side of the debate offering something tangible, by promising to drastically reduce the competition immigration brings with it.


The left needs to focus more on everyday economic issues, less on identity politics and “celebrating diversity”. 

Diversity is great. 

But many white voters need to feel that leftist-liberals care about them as much as the minorities they seek to protect. 

If I were a straight white plumber from Luton, I don’t think I’d feel that the current leftist elites care much about me or my problems.

The children of Zinn are supposed to change their tune?

The folks at #BLM?

Denise Oliver Velez, who tells "white people of good faith" to "look in the mirror" to see whose fault the Trump victory was?

Even main stream Democrats, who decided to make the next chair of the DNC a black congressmen of Muslim faith?

Are you kidding me?

So we've heard the last howls about the names of sports teams like The Washington Redskins and The Cleveland Indians?

No more bombarding American whites with accusations of 500 years of genocide on Columbus Day and Thanksgiving?

No more bullshit about "cultural appropriation" when white people play jazz (but not when black people play the piano)?

Have we heard the last complaint about white privilege, and the last whine from leading Democratic women about Republican misogyny and the war on women by those ghastly old white males?

Yeah, sure.

And even if they tried the damage done by decades of anti-white race-baiting cannot be undone just by suddenly turning off the sewage.

And the Buchananites just have to smile every time somebody angrily or scornfully denounces the GOP as the white people's party.

They just have to smile.

Resurgent Sanders-ism

The pro-Sanders types are now blaming the Democratic Party - and most of the Democratic voters - for having chosen the moderate progressive instead of the radical, capitalism-hating, system-hating, mad as hell socialist who spent most of his campaign shouting about corrupt Hillary and the corrupt Democratic Party to be their nominee.

And they are wagging their fingers, insisting the Democrats can win back the working class only by lurching left.

The Clinton supporters are blaming people who voted for minor party candidates as well as the media for giving Trump free publicity and giving maximum effect to the email craziness.

Oddly, only Michael Moore so far seems to be blaming the Electoral College system, because of which Trump is President Elect though Hillary got the most votes.

[Correction: KOS has a petition up calling for abolition of the EC. Won't happen, but I signed on anyway.]

But USA Today has come out with a defense of the EC appealing to the usual claptrap, all the same.

Moore is right.

Though Huffpo writers are now calling for the EC to reject Trump there is no real chance they would dare ever to save us from this or any future demagogue, the proper occasion to filter out characters like Trump being the process of candidate selection carried out by the individual political parties.

No smoke-filled room was ever going to give us Donald Trump.

Given that, the real impact of the EC in our time is to give an edge to voters in red states that has twice in less than 20 years put a minority president in the White House - he and his party both times claiming a firm mandate.

So we should get rid of it.

But that won't happen.

Anyway, all of this is a bit like blaming everybody but the Nazi voters for the rise of Hitler.

I suppose in a while we will be hearing that we are all guilty, we are all to blame for this.

That's usually how this stuff ends.

Phooey.

Wow. Reality based, huh?

The Electoral College Was Designed to Prevent Trump. You Can Make This Happen.

Douglas Anthony Cooper writes.

So, how do you accomplish this? The process is simple: write to Republican electors in states that went red, and beg them to vote their conscience. You can download a template for a short petition — a joint letter from you and your colleagues — on this site. The complete list of relevant electors can be found here, with contact information: United States presidential electors, 2016.

I’m urging everyone to do this: not simply Democrats, but responsible Republicans. Modern history has witnessed few events more admirable than bipartisan efforts to thwart racist demagoguery: most recently in France, when decent people on the left and the right combined — despite their mutual loathing — to prevent the election of Marine Le Pen.

So, embrace decency. It’s not just a civic duty; it’s a moral duty. It is a categorical imperative.

. . . .

Trump supporters will scream; there will likely be violence, and perhaps riots. But these people did not write the Constitution; they do not get to rewrite it; and they are bound by it. It will not be civil war. Genuine Trump supporters are a minority within a minority; they will be opposed by genuine Republicans, as well as Libertarians, Democrats, and Greens. They will lose.

Occupy the Constitution. The alternative is unthinkable.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Inclusive Trump

The victory speech

Short, happy, and gracious.

Not a word about mass deportations, the wall, or putting Hillary in jail.

I guess that all comes later.

When does the sick feeling in my stomach go away?

The mad lemmings of the markets

The same market that panicked at the prospect of a Trump victory in recent days is up more than 200 points so far, today.

Go figure.

The skinheads of Europe are thrilled.

Donald Trump’s Win Hailed by Europe’s Populists

Will the wave of crazy finish off the EU?

And what about NATO?

Virginia went blue but Pennsylvania went red

Depressing, but not surprising.

The white working class has utterly lost its senses, driven into the arms of a party that would reduce them to slavery by lunatic preoccupations with race.

Years of mocking and angry propaganda on the left that the GOP had become the white people's party while the Democrats had become the party of everyone else is now also all but openly the propaganda of the right.

And it has now become pretty much the fact of the thing, with the Buchananite takeover of the party's leadership and of the White House.

Most white men, most white women, most educated whites, and most uneducated whites, most whites over 65, and even most poor whites, all voted for The Duce.

The wife and I survive on Social Security, Medicare, and savings that have been just adequate.

We both have chronic medical issues that cost us thousands every year, thanks mostly to the donut hole in Part D.

I cannot help but dread what the Republican radicals in the congress and Trump will do to us, both by wrecking entitlements and by undermining the value of our savings through damage to the economy.

Elections have consequences.

Sometimes we all pay for the fecklessness of others.

The Electors choose the president and veep

Hillary has conceded.

Come to that, so has Obama.

The irony is she is ahead and still expected to win in the popular vote.

She will not be president only because the Electoral College chooses the president, with electors in nearly all the states chosen by the rule that all go to the winner in that state's popular vote.

Once you have enough votes in a state to get all its electors, all additional votes for you in that state are wasted.

They would have done you some good in other states where you lost only by a little.

Of course, the Electors could still save us from The Duce and choose Hillary on the plea that she is the popular vote victor and anything else would be a slap in the face of democracy and the people; but they won't.

And if they tried the Supremes would announce that faithlessness of Electors is in fact unconstitutional, though of course it is not.

It is absolutely out of the question, in any case, that the Republicans or the supporters of The Duce would accept that.

And probably the entire political establishment, Hillary and most Democrats included, would reject it.

So we need to remember.

Not every Italian was a Fascist on October 28, 1922, or at any time thereafter

Not every German was a Nazi on January 30, 1933, or at any time thereafter.

Not every Spaniard was a Nationalist on April 1, 1939, or at any time thereafter.

At no time was every Russian a Bolshevik.

To live in profoundest opposition is possible.

A kind of internal exile familiar to people who have lived through Latin American dictatorships, too.

Oh, Scott L thinks we should get rid of the Electoral College.

The Electoral College - and the states' equal representation in the senate - effectively rig the system to disproportionately empower the voters of red states full of Trump and GOP loving white and rural folks.

Real Americans, in other words.

And that plus Article V are why we won't get rid of it.

What should the Democrats have done?

Well, should the Social Democrats have "stolen the Whigs'" - the Nazis' - "clothes" by promising to make Europe Jedenfrei?

What should the Democrats have done to win back uneducated whites, of whose economic interests they have been the staunch champions for over a century, as compared to the Republicans?

In a nutshell, robots, not coolies, have killed the high paying manufacturing jobs in America.

Clueless blowhard and faker Trump is not going to fix that.

Hillary concedes?

Called for Pat Toomey in PA. Podesta says go home.

0157 hrs EST.

Rachel says Roe is at risk more than ever before.

The GOP will get to appoint more than one dangerous judge if they have the White House and kill the filibuster for judges.

Podesta at 0203 hrs EST tells the folks at Javits to go home and get some sleep.

Nothing more will be said tonight by the Hillary people.

Mussolini in the White House?

Brexit strikes America.

Even if Hillary wins - which seems very unlikely right now - the polls have been so astoundingly wrong it is barely believable.

The Clinton crowd in New York at the Javits Center is in despair.

Trump may be about to become the most disgraceful president in American history.

Chauncey Gardner with the soul of George Wallace.

Except that George Wallace was a real politician with plenty of experience and achievement behind him as an actual politician.

Donald Trump has not spent one day of his life in public service.

He has never run for or won or served in any public office in all his life.

Add to that that this is the best day in David Duke's life.

Rachel is weirdly and repeatedly pointing out that the Johnson vote is bigger than the lead Trump has over Clinton, castigating those who opposed Trump but could not bring themselves to vote for Hillary.

As if the second choice of Libertarian voters would have been Hillary, of course.

On the other hand, she is the only one in the pack of talking heads at MSNBC who insists on taking him at his word, in contrast to Chris Matthews who is now saying campaign rhetoric is all bullshit so we shouldn't be scared.

She is right that he is winning by spiking the white vote and she is, I fear, right to fear he will be in the awful ways many feared a man of his word.

At 0130 on 11/9 she and Chris are arguing hotly and he is defending the white working class and blaming Hillary for being soft on illegal immigration, and the Democrats for being that for the sake of the votes it gives them.

Chris may be right about that but she is right to insist on taking Il Duce's rhetoric seriously, and he is wrong to forget that even if he is right that white workers are suffering Trump is a malignant airhead with not a hint how to make anything better.

Gene Robinson more than once, but more or less alone (except for Rachel), has expressed alarm that a huge wave of white voters totally overwhelmed a giant turnout among blacks and Hispanics for Hillary.

And he's right that it's so much about race.

On policy and agenda the Democrats are and have been the party of the white working class since FDR.

That has not yet ended.

But the white working class has deserted the Democrats en masse over issues of culture and race, and in truth it seems to be mostly race.

This loss to The Duce was not brought about by fastidious leftists who went for Jill Stein.

But all the same we may have to face the Trump presidency people like Ron Chusid said would be better for America and its future than a Clinton victory.

I guess we'll all see how that works out.

As for me, I see this as something shockingly close to a victory for Buzz Windrip.

It looks like the GOP will control both the senate and the house, and in that case they will certainly not do anything to stop Trump from even egregious violations of the constitution by, for example, abolishing Obamacare by executive order, as he has said he would.

Their only real tool, after all, would be impeachment.

And who thinks a GOP house will vote to impeach a GOP president, no matter what he does?

MSNBC is now explaining how Hillary can win big in the popular vote while losing the Electoral College vote and hence the White House.

Still undecided at 0150 hrs EST.

I must say I will never take pollsters more seriously than my own gut, ever, again.

My gut told me for long this could be a Trump election.

And even if she wins . . . .

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Huffpo optimistic, for sure

Wow.

Just now, at their site.


HuffPost Forecasts Hillary Clinton Will Win With 323 Electoral Votes

The HuffPost presidential forecast model gives Democrat Hillary Clinton a 98.2 percent chance of winning the presidency. 

Republican Donald Trump has essentially no path to an Electoral College victory.

Clinton’s win will be substantial, but not overwhelming. 

The model projects that she’ll garner 323 electoral votes to Trump’s 215. 

The first challenge

MSNBC reports at 1320 hrs EST that Trump people went to court to exclude some early voting votes from a Nevada polling station located in a Hispanic neighborhood, claiming people were allowed to vote who should not have been.

The rule is people in line when the polls close are allowed to vote, but people are not allowed to join the line from that time on.

The claim is people joined the line and were allowed to vote.

No idea how many, but clearly the idea is to disallow a bunch of votes that were all but certainly mostly for Hillary.

A game of inches, eh?

Update, there's a question whether somebody at that polling place unlawfully chose to extend voting hours, too.

OK, we did it

The wife and I just voted.

Three people ahead of us to check in, about a two minute wait for an open machine.

Straight Democratic ticket, both of us.

Why are there lines, anywhere?

Not enough polling places and poll workers, fellas.

Nobody challenged us, nobody who was not a poll worker had any sort of questions for us.

The poll worker just asked who we were and where we lived, and asked us to sign a ticket out of the voter book.

I guess that's their way to track who has already voted and who not.

PS, a laugh watching TV.

A first time millennial Puerto Rican voter in Florida voted for Jill Stein.

The newsie interviewing her asked, "You know she's not going to win, right? It will be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton who wins, right?"

And she replied with skepticism in her voice, well, that's what all the establishment media say, sure, but . . . .

Were all four of your grandparents born in America?

Ann Coulter's voting rights rule.

If only people with at least 4 grandparents born in America were voting, Trump would win in a 50-state landslide.

That would exclude a very large part of the Hispanic vote, but very little of the black vote and none of the Hillbilly and DAR vote.

She might be right.

Hmm.

I'm pretty sure my mother's parents were both born in the US, though likely some or all of their parents were not.

Everybody who would know is dead, so I can't ask whether both of my father's parents were born in the US.

And I don't recall, and am unsure whether I ever knew.

Both were already dead by my early childhood, and their siblings did not much outlast them.

Either or both of them might have been born in Canada.

Jake Tapper's tweet is a marvel of the sudden and stupid non-sequitur.

But then Trump couldn't run, since his mom and paternal grandparents weren't born in the US. So, um, yeah. 

She said nothing about qualifications for the office.

Nor did she say anything about the definition of citizenship, though that appears to be the connection he made in his head.

No idea why.

There have always been and still are citizens who cannot vote, such as children, felons in some states, the mentally incompetent, and up to about a century ago women.

But none of that affects whether you can stand as a candidate, anyway.

Would Ann Coulter have been able to vote?

WSJ's last word

The Big Reveal is the hollow men of the Republican Party.

Ron Chusid urges his readers to vote for a minor party this year

The five percent solution

Voting for Clinton is essentially a vote for war, while Trump has shown no coherent understanding of the issues and the results, of his election are quite unpredictable. 

Voting for one of them will only perpetuate the problem.

. . . .

The best solution is to vote third party. 

Historically third parties have been among the most effective ways to force the major parties to listen to outside views. 

In the twentieth century, Democrats often adopted progressive positions to avoid losing votes to third parties of the left.  

Without that pressure, we are seeing the Democratic Party move steadily toward the right.

This year, only third party candidates such as Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party have shown any interest in issues such as reducing foreign interventionism, curtailing the surveillance state, or ending the drug war.

. . . .

This isn’t about whether a third party candidate can win as there are huge benefits for a third party to reach 5 percent, which is possibly achievable even if victory is not this year. 

It isn’t even about whether you want Jill Stein or Gary Johnson specifically to be president. 

Neither will be, and the vote is really for their party platforms and to influence the direction of politics in the future.

He says Hillary is a sociocon, which is a gross falsehood.

He says she is a neocon and will not put a stop to America's 15 years of war against Jihaders by just stopping it.

Then so is Obama, and so is Bernie Sanders, and so is every politician who refuses to just walk away as the cancer of Jihad eats up ever more of the Muslim world and increasingly threatens all the rest of us, or walk away from our integration with NATO, our alliances in the Pacific, and our commitment to non-proliferation.

And anyway I don't want the Democrats to be more like the Greens in ideology or agenda.

Nor like the Libertarians.

Later today, the wife and I will drive to the rec center and vote for Hillary Clinton and the straight Democratic ticket.

Put your game face on!

This Is It! Election Day 2016: A historic moment arrives

A little too much of the phony moral equivalence, but . . . .

Americans are casting their verdicts on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Tuesday after an exhausting, acrimonious campaign that at times revolted the nation and tore at its fabric.

History will be made no matter how the vote turns out. Clinton would become the first woman to win the presidency in the 240-year history of the United States. 

A Trump triumph would represent a massive repudiation of the Washington establishment not seen in generations.

Both candidates argue the election presents an unusually significant choice for a divided nation. Democrats warn that Trump, with his rhetoric on race, gender and immigration, would represent a rejection of core American values. 

Trump insists his outsider campaign represents America's last chance to drive out a corrupt political establishment that has turned its back on blue-collar workers.

Somebody rang my doorbell this morning at just after 7.

When I went to the door a bit later (I was still asleep) I found no one and no indication what it had been about.

No political flyers, for example.

Odd start to the day.

Monday, November 7, 2016

No doubt at all how the lemmings feel about it

Market surges on election news

Financial companies led a broad rally in U.S. stocks in early trading Monday as investors reacted to news that the FBI's review of newly discovered Hillary Clinton emails found no evidence warranting criminal charges against the presidential candidate. 

Traders have been anxious in recent weeks over signs that the presidential race was tightening.

The Dow gained more than 350 points, or nearly 2 percent. 

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose more than 2 percent after falling for nine straight days, its longest losing streak since 1980. 

The Nasdaq also added more than 2 percent.

FBI Director James Comey announced late Sunday that a review of new Clinton emails did not change the bureau's recommendation that she should not face charges. 

The market had wilted on Oct. 28 after the FBI notified Congress that it was reviewing newly discovered emails linked to Clinton.

Who are the voters?

Still older, whiter, and less educated than was thought in the aftermath of 2008 and 2012.

There Are More White Voters Than People Think. That’s Good News for Trump.

Exit polling serious missed this.

A counterpoint to Dolan

Pope Francis Names Joseph Tobin to Lead Archdiocese of Newark

In his latest move to reshape the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, Pope Francis on Monday named a moderate known for standing up for refugees and nuns to be the next leader of the Archdiocese of Newark, a large and troubled diocese.

Francis’ pick is Joseph W. Tobin, currently the archbishop of Indianapolis. 

He made national headlines last year when he rebuffed Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, now the Republican vice-presidential nominee, by refusing to stop Catholic Charities from resettling a family of Syrian refugees.

Archbishop Tobin is so clearly in the pope’s favor that he is among 17 churchmen being made cardinals in Rome later this month. 

The Archdiocese of Newark has never before been led by a cardinal, the rank of those entrusted to select new popes.

His transfer to New Jersey places a second cardinal in bridge-and-tunnel proximity of the nation’s media capital, where Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York is now the undisputed spokesman on Catholic matters.

What sort of Court do Americans want?

Back in February, Pat Buchanan defended the Republican refusal to even consider an Obama nominee to replace Scalia with the ludicrous idea that he was a lame duck and so the seat ought to be left to the winner of the 2016 election to fill.

That, he said, was the right and democratic and legitimate thing to do.

That would be letting the American people decide what sort of court they want.

What kind of Supreme Court do the American people wish to have? 

That is a question to be decided in 2016 — not by a lame-duck president, but by the American electorate in November.

Does the nation want an activist judiciary to remake America into a more liberal society, as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor would like to see it remade?

Or do the American people want a more constitutional court that returns power to the people and their elected representatives?

Let’s have it out.

Republicans should tell the American people that when they vote in November they will be deciding not only the next president, not only which party shall control Congress, they will be deciding what kind of Supreme Court their country should have. 

Which is as it should be.

Of course, when he wrote that he was still taking for granted, and letting us take for granted, the fundamental legitimacy of the electoral process and the right of the majority of the people to make that sort of choice, however indirectly, by choosing their legitimate rulers, the President included, and he has since then abandoned that view when it suited his hero, Il Duce, to do so.

But, anyway, and not that I want to jinx it, I will for the moment assume a Clinton victory and say I can't wait to see whether Pat urges the new senate not only to provide due and formal consideration for her nominees but also to actually confirm enough of them to fill up any actual vacancies on the Supreme Court. 

Somehow I don't think so, especially in light of his commitment to the claim that the election, if the people choose Clinton, is rigged and the process illegitimate.

But even putting all that aside, most of the GOP leaders who have said anything about the question have been promising their voters that if Hillary wins the White House they will not allow her to appoint a single judge to the Supremes, anyway.

And throughout the Obama years Pat Buchanan has been a staunch supporter of all of the most radical demands and behaviors of Republicans in Congress.

I fully expect him to go back on his word if Hillary wins and angrily and vociferously urge the Republican senate to refuse to confirm any of her nominees, and perhaps even to refuse to give them proper formal hearings.

Update, 11/15/2016.

A clear majority of the people gave Hillary their suffrage so Trump, an Elector College only victor, has no popular mandate to do anything at all.

The people voted for Hillary.

Will PB now insist that the people have indeed chosen what kind of court they want, and it's the kind Hillary wants, so Trump should let Hillary choose his nominees and the GOP senate should confirm them?

Ho Ho Ha Ha.