Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A younger and less abrasive Scalia

Trump picks Colo. appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court

His moral and religious views seem also quite conservative.

Gorsuch said in a speech last spring that as a judge he had tried to follow Scalia’s path.

“The great project of Justice Scalia’s career was to remind us of the differences between judges and legislators,” Gorsuch told an audience at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland.

Legislators “may appeal to their own moral convictions and to claims about social utility to reshape the law as they think it should be in the future,” Gorsuch said. 

But “judges should do none of these things in a democratic society.”

Instead, they should use “text, structure and history” to understand what the law is, “not to decide cases based on their own moral convictions or the policy consequences they believe might serve society best.”

But . . . .

Likewise, Gorsuch has not ruled on abortion. 

But activists on both sides of the issue believe they know where he stands. 

They point to language in his book “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” in which he opines that “all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”

Additionally, his rulings on behalf of those who challenged the Obamacare mandate that employee insurance coverage provide all approved contraceptives seemed instructive. 

He noted the provision would require the objecting businesses to “underwrite payments for drugs or devices that can have the effect of destroying a fertilized human egg.”

Hard to see that moral view playing no role in any future rulings on the matters at issue.

Bill Maher sick of Democrats' PC chicken shit

Bill Maher: Liberals, We Lost Because We're Offended All The Time And We Act Like Emasculated Husbands

You can see the whole clip at BM's own site, but I don't know for how long.

A clip from 1/27/17.

Quebec City mosque attack

Alexandre Bissonnette: A pro-Trump alt-right terrorist?

Mosque Shooting Suspect in Canada Known for Extreme Views

Looks it.

What blockheads like this never get is that the first and principal victims of Jihaders are other Muslims. 

Other Muslims who can help, and deserve our compassion. 

Are the mainstream media in full oppo mode?

Well, yes.

Pre-emptive hysteria? Looks it.

Trump promised a ban on Muslim immigration during the campaign, and Trump shows signs of being a promise-keeper.

So is all this racket about his 7-country, temporary interruption (and full stop on Syrian refugees) an effort to stop him before he gets that far?

USA Today reports.

Last Friday, President Trump signed an executive order suspending refugee resettlement and entry into the U.S. of people from several countries. 

The move prompted protests, court cases and more. 

Here’s what we know about the order, who it may impact and more.

Trump suspended all refugee resettlement into the U.S for four months and refugee resettlement from Syria indefinitely. 

He also suspended for three months entry by citizens of seven majority-Muslim nations — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — on immigrant or non-immigrant visas, including apparently people holding dual citizenship with other nations.

CNN reports.

Trump fires acting AG after she declines to defend travel ban

President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates Monday night for "refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States," the White House said.

"(Yates) has betrayed the Department of Justice," the White House statement said.

Dana Boente, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, was sworn in at 9 p.m. ET, per an administration official. 

A few hours later, Boente issued a statement rescinding Yates' order, instructing DOJ lawyers to "defend the lawful orders of our President."

Trump didn't call Yates to dismiss her, she was informed by hand-delivered letter, according to a different administration official.

The dramatic move came soon after CNN reported Yates told Justice Department lawyers not to make legal arguments defending Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees.

The move set up a clash between the White House and Yates, who was appointed by President Barack Obama and was set to serve until Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's nominee for attorney general, if confirmed.

"My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts," she said in a letter. 

"In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution's solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right."

There is lots of confusion in the press, apparently due to the wording of the original White House announcement, and even in Sean's comments about what she refused to do.

Looks like the issue was defending the legality of the orders against challenges in court.

And this is why it matters.

ABC News.

Democratic Attorneys General Start Challenges of Trump

They are claiming that the executive orders concerning travelers from the 7 target countries and refugees from Syria are both contrary to the 1965 immigration law that forbids discrimination by, among other things, religion or national origin and unconstitutional because discriminatory by religion.

The second claim is untrue as the orders do not even mention religion and the constitution does not preclude such discrimination in immigration policy or law in any case.

The claim, in reality, is no more than an invitation to liberal judges to launch into a new fit of lying about the constitution in order to build liberal values into that document.

Worth a roll of the dice, eh?

Though punching Bozo in the nose like that could provoke a very unfortunate response. 

The first claim might be right, but Democrats are not in a good position to make the case since Obama imposed a six month ban in 2011 on travelers from Iraq.

And the list of 7 high risk countries was a creation of the Obama administration, too.

Did Trump have every right to fire Yates for refusing to defend his orders in court, by the way?

Absolutely. 

But how is it Trump has the discretionary power to do the things she didn't want to defend? 

Vonnegut's pessimism of the big brain

Learned from Schopenhauer or Leopardi.

Galapagos.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Pat's own Buchananism

What Pat wants from that wall

It's not just about keeping up white majority status.

It's about a dream of making whites somehow again the overwhelming majority, others reduced to about 10 % of the whole.

And it's about magically restoring something that is no longer here to be preserved, the Christian clericalist America of the 1940's and '50's, the cultural world of Pat's own youth.

It's about Pat's own identity politics.

But is that the Buchananism of Steve Bannon?

Of Ann Coulter?

Of Milo Yiannopoulos?

Pshaw.

At 68, I know perfectly well what it is to remember a very different America.

Forced to choose between the cultural, political worlds of 1957 and 2017, I'll take 2017 without a moment's hesitation.

And his absurd Anglophilia, his weird affection - for an Irish Catholic - for the distinctly English past of the United States, the English culture and racial stock of its colonial beginnings, and the British Empire of Churchill's day, are just bizarre.

Most white Americans are no more English than Pat, and far less sentimental about things English.

And the Catholic Irish?

Ho.

Pat is like some Algerian child of the banlieues reciting from his French history text some nonsense about "Our ancestors, the Gauls."

He just doesn't know it.

Breitbart hits a false note

FAKE NEWS: Daily Beast Falls for Quebec Mosque Attack Hoax, Blames ‘White Supremacists’

OK, but who do they think it will turn out to be, anyway?

6 dead in Quebec mosque shooting

Yes, the recent travel ban and halt to admission of refugees gave encouragement to this.

Lemming watch

Dow today below 20,000, reportedly on Trump worries.

The market is mindful of his commitment to protectionism and his recent moves on immigration cause them to worry he might actually do what he said he would do.

Horrors.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

People will blame Trump

They will be right, even if he vigorously condemns this.

Five killed and several injured in attack on mosque in Quebec City.

Richard Wolffe.

Trump prepares his foreign policy revolution?

As GW once said, elections have consequences.

Most portentous stuff yesterday was not about immigration or Muslims.

Bannon and Priebus on the NSC, but not the generals or intelligence chiefs.

The Russians saying Trump suggested some sort of partnership with them in his call to Putin.

Add the sudden firing of the top State Department folks and perhaps it's all preparation for Trump's America First, foreign policy revolution.

Anne Applebaum just now on MSNBC speculated on what she called "a new Yalta," a new US acceptance of Eastern Europe as a natural Russian sphere of influence, perhaps extending south into the Balkans and the Middle East or Central Asia.

You have to wonder.

Mattis can make all the promises he wants, but he's not the boss and while he's making his promises the boss seems to be up to something quite else in the background.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The left splits

NAACP Vows to Oppose Trump’s Voter Fraud Investigation

Trump’s Voting Investigation Is a Great Idea

Let it happen.

It will certainly prove Trump's claim that three to five million illegals voted for Hillary is a lie.

It will almost certainly prove there is no significant problem, whether or not involving illegals.

So?

Unless they fear some giant propaganda fraud as brazen, damaging, and egregious as the initial, totally baseless claim that all of Hillary's lead and more is made of 3 to 5 million fraudulent votes cast by illegal aliens.

Gives one pause.

Backing away from alliances in Asia? Nope.

Is Fyodor Karamazov actually in charge?

Does he actually want to be?

Trump says what he wants and his leading appointees do what they want.

Apparently.

And not just about torture.

US defence chief heads to Japan and South Korea to strengthen ties

The new US secretary of defence, James Mattis, is to reassure Japan and South Korea of Washington’s commitment to the security of the volatile Asia-Pacific region, despite suggestions by Donald Trump that he was ready to scale down the US’s military presence there.

. . . .

Trump rattled nerves in Tokyo and Seoul during the presidential election campaign when he suggested he would withdraw tens of thousands of troops from Japan and South Korea unless their governments paid more to maintain US forces based there.

In an interview with Fox News last April, he also intimated that the two countries should be able to develop independent nuclear deterrents – a move that would trigger a potentially catastrophic Asia-Pacific arms race.

South Korea hosts about 28,500 US troops, mainly along its heavily armed border with North Korea. Japan is home to about 47,000 US military personnel, more than half of whom are based on the southern island of Okinawa, where a row over the construction of an offshore runway for use by the marines has fuelled anti-US sentiment.

Japanese officials have pointed out that Japan contributes almost 75% of the total cost of hosting US troops in the country. 

. . . .

Japan and South Korea are eager to build on the close military ties they enjoyed under Barack Obama, amid rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme and China’s military buildup in the South China Sea.

North Korea has restarted reactor to make plutonium, fresh images suggest

A report by leading US-based nuclear expert Siegfried Hecker published by 38 North in September last year estimated North Korea had stockpiles of 32kg to 54kg of plutonium, enough for six to eight bombs, and had the capacity to produce 6kg, or approximately one bomb’s worth, a year.

North Korea also produces highly enriched uranium for atomic bombs and would have had sufficient fissile material for approximately 20 bombs by the end of last year, and the capacity to produce seven more a year, that report said.

In a New Year speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said his country was close to test launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and state media has said a launch could come at any time.

Trump’s defense secretary plans to visit Japan and South Korea next week and concerns about North Korea are expected to top his agenda.

He actually did all that

Executive actions.

Long handled Weishi 9306 FL

Bought one on ebay, and it came in the mail Thursday with 10 Dorco blades.

Just in a box, like the far too aggressive Edward London I threw in the trash.

No case of hard plastic or soft leather.

In heft and beauty it compares to the Merkur 180.

Maybe it's just that heft, but it seems a bit more aggressive than the short handled Weishi 9306 F.

Still no question at this time that it's acceptably mild, though.

I need to be kept safe from my unsteady, arthritic hands.

And I definitely prefer the longer handle.


Hirsch Small Batch Bourbon


A birthday gift from my step-daughter, Thursday.

I turned 68.

Good whiskey, but at 92 proof a bit more potent than I am used to.

At $ 37 for 750 ml, it kind of has to be good.

The stuff I regularly buy is 80 proof Canadian Gold, about $16 dollars for 1,750 ml.


Friday, January 27, 2017

What's your point?

As Dan would say.


In one short week in the White House, Donald Trump has managed to shatter the tradition of the honeymoon period enjoyed by new presidents.

While predecessors eased themselves into the role and were showered with national adulation, he has prompted widespread criticism with a stream of provocations.

Trump has proclaimed war on the media, was accused of serial lying, declared open season on environmentalists and undocumented immigrants, outraged the Mexican president, begun stripping millions of Americans of healthcare coverage, and revived the prospect of torturing terror suspects.

The pugilism of his pronouncements has left even Trump-hardened observers aghast, prompting speculation that such an adrenalin-charged opening to his term couldn’t possibly be sustained.

Tell that to the people of Macomb County in Michigan.

“Thank the Lord for Donald Trump!” exclaimed the waitress in Angelo’s diner when asked how she thought he was doing.

“He’s awesome, he’s great,” said the car worker.

“I absolutely love him,” the window cleaner said.

“I’m 100% for Trump,” the pawn shop owner said.

Well, all that is just what Bozo's army of deplorables wanted.

Will Americans at the salad bar - and American car buyers - pay for Bozo's wall?

Maha on the story.

Pressed to explain how Mexico would be made to pay for the wall, Bozo's minions late today suggested a 20 % tax on Mexican imports.

Apparently, they don't understand who would pay that tax.

Or they think we don't.

Or they think Trump supporters are every bit as stupid as we do.

Note, by the way, Maha suggests the wall may cost $ 20 billion.

And wasn't there to be a 20 to 25 % tariff on Mexican goods, anyway?

So that still means we pay for it.


Spicer also said the Trump administration had “been in close contact with both houses [of Congress] in moving forward and creating a plan”, adding: “It clearly provides the funding and does so in a way that the American taxpayer is wholly respected.”

Told you they think his voters are stupid.

Oops.

This will not pay for the wall, necessarily, anyway.

Some Republicans, Ryan especially included, want to cut corporate taxes by whatever this tax brings in.

At a party gathering in Philadelphia, House Republicans interpreted Spicer’s statement as an endorsement for their broader plan to overhaul the corporate tax system by implementing a border adjustment tax, long championed by Ryan, which would only tax goods imported into and sold in the US.

Under the plan, the resulting revenue would be used to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%.

So a tax on consumers in general replaces a tax on the rich.

Norquist loves it, too.

And they may be right, since Bozo the Malevolent has all along advocated both imposition of tariffs and significant cuts to corporate taxes.

But this.

Not all Republicans embraced the proposal. Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, an ardent critic of Trump, tweeted simply: “Tariffs are a tax on American families.”

This sentiment was echoed by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who tweeted his thoughts in more colorful terms: “Simply put, any policy proposal which drives up costs of Corona, tequila, or margaritas is a big-time bad idea. Mucho Sad.”

However you slice it, Mexico is not paying.

We are.

Cats

The world is full of cats.

Along comes Fred, who offers a definition of "cat" such that nothing previously identified as a cat is a cat.

And then all the biologists accept Fred's definition and commence to explain to everyone that there aren't really any cats, it's all a figment of everybody's imagination.

And if you look at them funny and keep on calling "cats" and regarding as cats the things everybody has always regarded as cats, they become very annoyed.

For "cats" put "races".

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bozo the Malevolent: Empty gesture, bombastic lie

Bozo the Malevolent, the malignant clown in the White House, signed an executive order launching a federal investigation of fraudulent voting in America.

No money, no plan, no hint who will do what to investigate, and so on.

Pure bombast.

Shep Smith at Fox on the topic.

No torture? Oh, OK.

Bozo, the malignant clown in the White House, says experts always tell him it works and he favors its use.

But if his picks to lead the intelligence and military communities tell him they don't want to use it, they don't need it, he'll let them have their way, he says, with a shrug.

So he's waiting for the inevitable next major terrorist attack, perhaps in the US, to say "I told you so," and push it down their throats.

McConnell says the wall will cost ten billion

Mexico isn't paying.

We are.

"Something must be done. This is something . . . . "

Bozo is still saying Mexico will pay.

Mexico is still saying it won't, and the Mexican president has just cancelled a meet with him.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Lemming watch

The Dow closed today at 20,068.51.

First close ever at or above 20 K.

Will it last?

House moves to ban coverage of abortions for some private policies

Republicans push ahead with plans to hinder insurance coverage for abortions

Republicans in Congress are advancing a bill that imposes a far-reaching ban on private insurance coverage for abortion services for as long as the Affordable Care Act remains in effect and would make permanent a longtime ban on the use of Medicaid to cover abortions.

The bill, H R7, would allow Donald Trump to fulfill a promise that helped his volatile presidential campaign secure the support of major anti-abortion rights activists. 

In an open letter published in September, he vowed to sign the Hyde amendment, a perennial budget rider that Congress has approved every year for 40 years, into permanent law. 

Since 1976, the Hyde amendment has prevented millions of women who rely on Medicaid, the government-funded insurance for low-income individuals, from using it to cover their abortions.

But if the bill passes, the most immediate changes will be felt on the insurance exchanges where millions of women purchase healthcare coverage.

HR7 prohibits insurance carriers from offering policies that contain abortion coverage on the exchanges set up under Obamacare to sell insurance coverage to individuals. 

It prohibits low-income women who qualify for a healthcare subsidy from receiving it if they purchase a healthcare plan that covers abortion. 

And it would withhold the small business tax credit from employers who offer policies with abortion coverage.

How would they reject Roe?

The least disruptive thing would be to reject it without comment, but I doubt that would happen.

Alternatives to that, however, would likely be very disruptive.

Prior to Roe, there was no federal or authoritative legal view as to the personhood of fetuses or zygotes, I believe, nor had the recently invented constitutional right to privacy been applied to the question of abortion.

As I recall, Roe insisted both that the fetus is not a person in the legal sense of the term and hence has no constitutionally protected rights, and that the right to privacy guarantees self-determination regarding whether a woman will abort her pregnancy, at least in the first trimester, and subject to health or other regulation under the police power of the states.

If the Supreme Court rejected Roe by declaring the fetus a person that would certainly not restore the legal status quo ante and would raise hell with fetal research, the handling of zygotes, and maybe the law of adoption.

If the Supremes rejected the existence of the constitutionally protected right to privacy per se, essentially rejecting Griswold to reject Roe, that would allow a return to 1950’s style state use of the criminal law to enforce Christian sexual morality.

A minimally disruptive way to reject Roe while actually giving a reason might be to deny that the right to privacy guarantees self-determination regarding abortion, and deny it precludes the right of the states to criminalize it, while accepting its existence and leaving its application to other legal questions - such as the legal prohibitions of contraception, fornication, adultery, homosexual acts, and so on - undisturbed.

It would also be possible, I suppose, in the same decision to insist on a limited right to abortion for health or other reasons, though on what constitutional basis I have no idea.

That sort of strategy might leave things where Trump has said he wants them: abortion criminalizable by the states with constitutionally protected rights concerning gay sex and gay marriage undisturbed.

After all, quality bullshit is what we pay judges that heavy coin for.

Trump's crew did not invent "alternative facts"

This movie is to what happened at Sarajevo what Stone's JFK was to what happened in Dallas.

The assassination of Franz Ferdinand was not a German/Austrian plot but a Serbian one of which some Russian officials, at least, were aware.

The script is fascinating and so is the story, and I do recommend it, but the film is not flawless, even apart from its dramatizing a conspiracy theory.

I am thinking of the total silence and relative immobility of the crowds at the scenes of both the first (a bomb) and second (a pistol) attacks, and at the hospital gates.

We have all seen actual video of crowds at scenes of attacks, and they are not remotely silent and far from immobile.

Media report expectations rather than deeds of The Duce

Reportedly, he will today sign executive orders to reconsider black sites and enhanced interrogation, keep Gitmo open, deny visas to nationals of six Muslim states (religious minorities are excepted), and stop allowing refugees into the country from Syria and elsewhere.

The use of torture is illegal still, said John McCain when asked about this, and that is not going to change.

People on the news are saying both the Congress and the intelligence agencies are adamant against water-boarding or worse, and against black sites.

If this president and his CIA are later exposed as lawless on this matter, who thinks a Republican controlled Congress will impeach him?

The Duce to move on building the wall today, media say

Democrats commonly make the argument against this that there is very little illegal immigration from Mexico right now, and mostly traffic has been in the other direction.

So now, they say, is not the time.

But normally you fix the roof in dry weather, and not when it's raining.

Fortunately, this is not the only argument.

The Duce moves on voter fraud

He has tweeted he will launch a federal investigation of voter registration issues such as people being registered in more than one state (as when they move), or the names of the dead being left on rolls.

These create opportunities for fraud not specifically related to aliens voting.

But you have to know who has moved or died, where they live, whether they are still registered, and so on.

As it was notorious the long ago Mayor Daley of Chicago certainly did, though I don't recall any hint aliens were involved.

And generally registrations lapse if a voter misses a few elections, anyway.

Is there a problem, or even a possibility, of aliens registering to vote?

They would then show up to vote in their own names.

No impersonation involved.

Update, 1/26, 0023 hrs EST.

Turns out states screen new registrants in various ways to be sure of citizenship. 

So aliens registering and then voting is not likely a big issue. 

Just doesn't look good for that 3 to 5 million claim of The Duce's.

Cultural illiteracy

Few know who Fyodor Karamazov is, or remember what he is like.

So in comments I just call Trump "Bozo."

Lemming watch

The Dow hit 20,000.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

HHS nominee would scuttle Obamacare and Medicare, both, in 2017

Rep Price Attacks TPM In Senate Hearing!

During and even after the campaign, Trump repeatedly promised credulous geezers he would safeguard Social Security and Medicare, absolutely.

This is the guy he nominated for HHS.

By Josh Marshall

Price is an arch-supporter of phasing out Medicare, in addition to being an extreme critic of Obamacare and virtually any effort to make quality health care broadly available and affordable to all citizens. 

Indeed, in November he was pushing for a Medicare phaseout bill to be enacted in 2017! 

Many Republicans have expressed unease about phasing out Medicare the same year they're trying to phase out Obamacare.

Calvera: If God did not want them sheared, He would not have made them sheep.

(Eli Wallach was awesome.)

Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi

I haven't fully mastered the frothing part, but I find I do like Turkish coffee.

My mistake may be that I have stirred the coffee to mix it well with the water before heating.

Apparently you are supposed to let the coffee and sweetener float on top as the water heats.

The heating water will cause the coffee to sink and dissolve, and then you can stir a small amount just to make sure the sugar is mixed properly.

Or maybe my error has been letting the water get to a boil.

You have to stave off boiling to get that frothing stage.

Turkish coffee is never supposed to actually boil.

What are you going to do about all that vote fraud?

A reporter characterized the president's claim that 3 to 5 million illegals voted in the elections as, if true, the greatest scandal in American history, and asked whether the administration has launched an investigation and what does it plan to do about it?

Quiet chuckles and snickers.

Sean: No and nothing.

Another reporter pursued the question and Sean, of course, blew it off.

A reporter pointed out the VA hospitals have 41,000 unfilled medical jobs, nationally, and that the VA was not an exception to the hiring freeze, asking what about that?

Sean: We know there are a lot of problems with VA hospitals and hiring a lot of new people won't help.

When the president has his meeting with Theresa May on Friday will he inquire about her pussy?

Will he try to touch it?

Update.

Steve King Says 'I Ran The Numbers', Found 2.4M 'Illegal Votes' Against Trump

Ah.

Good to see someone checked.

No doubt a national, blue-ribbon commission will be appointed to find ways to fix this.

A quick move against abortion

Trump signs order defunding International Planned Parenthood, foreign abortions

In his very first pro-life action, President Donald Trump signed an executive order today reinstating the “Mexico City Policy” banning government funding of foreign pro-abortion groups like the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

A cultural political football, the policy was first enacted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and was maintained by President George H.W. Bush until it was rescinded first by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1993. 

Eight years later, President George W. Bush reinstated Mexico City and it was in effect until Barack Obama reversed it upon entering office in 2009.

The Mexico City Policy bans funding to organizations that perform abortions overseas or lobby for legalizing them in foreign nations.

Not exactly a surprise, eh?

FBI Director James Comey says president asked him to stay and he agreed

FBI Director James Comey, whose handling of the federal inquiry into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of State was harshly criticized by both Republicans and Democrats during the contentious presidential campaign, is expected to remain under new President Trump, an official with knowledge of the matter confirmed Tuesday.

Comey, more than three years into a 10-year term as chief of the federal law enforcement agency, told top aides in recent days that Trump had asked him to stay on, said the official who is not authorized to comment publicly on the matter. 

The director and Trump briefly discussed the matter during their first meeting in New York about three weeks ago.

Although FBI directors are appointed to decade-long terms, they can be removed by the president.

So, how many illegals voted, and how did they do it?

No evidence, no documentation, not one bleat out of any of the mostly Republican state officials who control elections and are responsible for their integrity.

Trump just plain made it up, that he won the popular vote among actual citizens and lost only because of 3 to 5 million illegals voting illegally.

He pulled that number out of his ass, in part, I would guess, with the mischievous intention of being outrageous.

Parliament can stop it

Not clear they want to, or would dare.

Supreme Court says Parliament must give Article 50 go-ahead

Parliament must vote on whether the government can start the Brexit process, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The judgement means Theresa May cannot begin talks with the EU until MPs and peers give their backing - although this is expected to happen in time for the government's 31 March deadline.

But the court ruled the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies did not need a say.

Brexit Secretary David Davis promised a parliamentary bill "within days".

Sources have told the BBC the bill - to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and get formal exit negotiations with the EU under way - will be introduced this Thursday, with an expectation that it could pass through the House of Commons in a fortnight.

Put up or shut up


A group of senior Senate Democrats on Tuesday plan to unveil their own $1 trillion plan to revamp the nation’s airports, bridges, roads and seaports, urging President Trump to back their proposal, which they say would create 15 million jobs over 10 years.

The Democrats said their infrastructure plan would rely on direct federal spending and would span a range of projects including not only roads and bridges, but also the nation’s broadband network, hospitals run by the Department of Veterans Affairs and schools.

. . . .

Advisers to Trump have said they would rely on federal tax credits and public-private partnerships rather than federal spending to pay for a new infrastructure program.

Trump supporter

Did she really say that?

I have the right as an American citizen to support whomever I want – I can support Satan if I want.

The thing is, I respect you for your opinion but you must respect me for mine.

Satan is not a citizen.

There is no need to respect her for her idiocy.

She voted for a malignant Bozo.

Thank him for Trump


It's all about him.

Always.

Lock him up.

He didn't misspeak

Sean Spicer defends inauguration claim: 'Sometimes we can disagree with facts'

About that suit

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

So says Article I, section 9, clause 8 of the US constitution.

Emolument at dictionary.com.

A Chinese diplomat paying his bill for staying at a Trump hotel in DC is not paying Trump personally an emolument, and anyway is not a king, prince, or foreign state.

But if the Chinese government contracts for a service with him, personally, that would count.

What if it contracts with some corporation he owns rather than with him, personally?

I would guess not.

Does it matter if he signs for the company?

I would guess not.

Not everything bad is forbidden by the Constitution.

Or Trump would not be president.

And, anyway, which party controls the Congress, if he or they think he needs an OK?

Monday, January 23, 2017

This clinches it. Trump is Fyodor Karamazov.

Fine, you were never big on Russian Lit and Dostoevsky's books are too damn long.

So see the movie.

Lee J. Cobb is brilliant in the role.

Fyodor Karamazov is absolutely our president, and this stuff is not going to stop. 

This is who his voters chose for the White House.

I learn from Lawrence O'Donnell that Trump explained Hillary's nearly three million vote lead in the popular vote, perhaps in his CIA speech the other day, by claiming three to five million illegal aliens voted for her.
Brian Williams said later Trump made that claim in a meeting today with Congressional leaders of both parties.   
You have to wonder if anybody laughed, or told him he was full of, er, beans.    
Or maybe they just all froze, rigid for a moment, taken aback and speechless at such a ludicrous stink-bomb.    
A perfect Fyodor moment.    
And O says all the Trump voters he personally knows explain her lead in the same way.

Oh, my.

Tribe, who really should give it up and retire, was on arguing a flaky case that Trump's hotels and other interests in foreign parts are a violation of the emoluments clause.

Nah.

And Trump said twice to the CIA we "should have kept the oil," when we were in Iraq, and that we might get another chance.

O'Donnell showed clips of him publicly saying the same long before he even ran for president.

O pointed out that is a war crime and a violation of the Geneva Convention, and that Bush the Elder made war against Saddam Hussein because the Iraqi dictator had invaded Kuwait in order to "take the oil."

Are we all waiting for The Duce to publicly say, again, we ought to be torturing terrorists and "going after their families"?

Or will he publicly deny that he ever said it, and say it is a vicious liberal media lie to say he said it?

Or make Sean Spicer do it, thus adding to his amusement?

And remember all that talk with Billy Bush about grabbing pussies?

Perfect Fyodor.

Especially if he knew it was being recorded.

For the next four years, unless he is out before then, everyone will studiously pretend that the emperor is not only clothed but beautifully so.

They will do their utmost to do business as they would with a real president, pretending constantly that that is not Fyodor Karamazov in the White House.

What does it mean that Dostoevsky named this character after himself? 

Smearing by focusing on the fringes

The White Nationalists Come to Washington

Claiming these guys typify Trump or any significant number of his supporters is even worse than claiming Michael Moore typifies Democrats.

Maybe like claiming the anarchist loonies of the inauguration day protests, or of the Seattle riots, typify them.

Pshaw and Phooey.

Far too many on both sides engage in this sort of smear.

Rutte sounding like Wilders

‘Integrate or Leave’

Just one day after polls which gave Geert Wilders’s insurgent populist party a nine-point lead on the ruling conservatives, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has drifted again politically closer to the rival he last week ruled out a coalition with.

Borrowing heavily from rhetoric commonly employed by Mr. Wilders, Prime Minister Rutte took out a full page advert and spoke in an interview with Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad to tell migrants they should integrate or leave, and to issue a call for a return to “common decency”. 

He wrote:

“I tell everyone. If you don’t like it here in this country, get out, get out! That’s the choice you have. If you live in a country where the ways of dealing with others annoys you, you have a choice, go away. You do not need to be here.”

Oh, birds of a feather.

Breitbart is a megaphone for all this stuff.

Notice Wilders' remarks about the African population explosion.

This is racial and cultural and also political lifeboat ethics on a very grand scale.

And it is a tune Pat Buchanan has been humming for some decades in the US.

Some will recall his favorable views of the book Camp of the Saints.

If this is really what they are about, expect support for policies intended either to diminish non-white fertility in Europe or Africa (or both) or to enhance white fertility in Europe.

It is noteworthy that, as this all unfolds, the leaders of these movements are less and less bothered with being labeled racists or with their advocacy itself being labeled hate speech.

Basically, more and more, they just shrug it off with a sort of "So what?"

Clueless in the White House

Trump tells business leaders he wants to cut regulations by 75% or 'maybe more'

How much of his agenda is just childish, spontaneous maliciousness?

As he did on the campaign trail, Trump said his plans to push American manufacturing and renegotiate trade deals do not mean that he wants to abandon free trade.

Huh?

Maybe this is among those "inherently self-contradictory" ideas Soros had in mind.

Trump also touted his push to "massively" cut taxes for the middle class. 

Some independent analyses have concluded that Trump's across-the-board tax cut proposals will balloon the national debt by trillions, but his administration has argued that economic growth will cancel out the effect.

Uh huh.

Soros on Trump, Brexit

Soros

On the eve of Trump’s inauguration as president, Soros delivered a scathing assessment, saying the “impostor and con-man” was “gearing up for a trade war” which would have “a very far-reaching effect in Europe and other parts of the world”.

The “would-be-dictator … didn’t expect to win, he was surprised”, Soros told an audience of business leaders and journalists in Davos where the World Economic Forum is being held.

“I personally have confidence that he’s going to fail … because his ideas that guide him are inherently self-contradictory,” added Soros, who was a supporter of Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton during the 2016 US presidential election campaign.

Soros said he expected financial markets to “not do very well” because of the uncertainty generated by the Trump administration.

On Theresa May and Brexit, Soros predicted economic upheaval in Britain and substantial difficulties in bringing about a clean break with the European Union – and the prospect of the UK quickly joining again or entering a successor arrangement once the referendum mandate of leaving the EU was fulfilled.

“In my opinion it is unlikely that prime minister May is actually going to remain in power. Already she has a very divided cabinet, a very small majority in parliament. And I think she will not last,” he said.

“At the moment the people in the UK are in denial. The current economic situation is not as bad as was predicted and they live in hope. But as the currency depreciates, and inflation will be the driving force, this will lead to declining living standards.

“This is going to take some time, but when it does happen they’ll realise that they are earning less than before because wages won’t rise as fast as the cost of living.

“The divorce is going to take a very long time. It’s much harder to divorce than to get married, so I think the desire for rapprochement will develop, and in theory or maybe even in practice you could have a situation in 2019 or 2020 when Britain will leave the EU, because it does have to take place, but they could leave on a Friday but join over the weekend and have the new arrangement in place in Monday morning.”

Never too late

Time to act on this suggestion?

Is Mark Zuckerberg considering a US president bid?

Trump's victory has proved that, right now, just any jackass can be president.

You should be afraid.

Lemming Watch

Stocks slide amid anxiety about Trump's policies

Spicer!

Hilarious.

Trump so far

Who is Trump?

Mussolini?

Mary Lincoln?

Maybe we should look at literature rather than history.

Fyodor Karamazov, as played by Lee J. Cobb?

I like it.

It fits pretty well.


Among other things, he withdrew from negotiations re TPP.

And he told the National Park Service not to tweet after it retweeted side-by-side images showing the crowd at former President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration and Trump's inauguration.

And he will renegotiate NAFTA.

When the rubber finally hits the road he will discover the senate has to OK any changes to existing treaty arrangements.

And tariffs will require congressional approval.

Has he even begun to discuss any of this with Congressional leaders?

The Republican Party leadership is pretty firmly wed to free trade.

This is what he promised to do on his first day.

Call Bernie Sanders

Or Michael Moore.

Yours for $250m: the most expensive house in America

How the far fewer than 1% live.

Bipolar, without meds?

Is Trump Mary Todd Lincoln?

That would fit much.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

No joy

Three cornered logrolling? Maybe not.

Trump Cannot Do This Job

BooMan's take is deeply pessimistic.

A cheering thought

As Of Today, Obamacare Has Better Poll Numbers Than Trump

According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal" poll, 45% of Americans now believe the Affordable Care Act was a "good idea" compared to 41% who think it was a bad idea[.]

And Trump?


And bear in mind that the polls that showed Hillary ahead among voters right up to the day before the election were not wrong.

It's not the media, entirely. It's reality.

True enough, segments of the media are indeed anti-Trump and regularly refuse The Duce the benefit of the doubt.

But reality is also anti-Trump.

He is the most egregious liar in politics, a bully, a thug, and the president of thugs and bullies.

Fox apart, the media will not be bullied into silence.

One hopes.

(And sometimes not even Fox.)

(The Weekly Standard.)

And Breitbart apart, of course, a shameless megaphone for Il Duce.

Reince Priebus: Media Obsessed With Trying to ‘Delegitimize’ President Trump

But his real complaint is that they don't accept Trump's lies or hide his outrages.

Efforts to "delegitimize"?

That was birtherism, a propaganda line enthusiastically adopted against Barack Obama by The Duce, himself, back in the day.

A deal's a deal?

Iran Nuclear Deal: Alive or Dead?

Pat Buchanan hopes this deal's a deal.

NAFTA and NATO, maybe not so much, eh?

Trump's war against the GOP establishment will take place in his own cabinet meetings, too

There’s no joy in Moscow after tough talk from Trump appointees

As I have pointed out many times, Buchananism has no bench.

Not just his VP but much of his cabinet will be in clear dissent from some key tenets of Trump's own, not entirely orthodox Buchananism.

Again that silly constitution

A constraint that no one could be president who had not previously served a full term as governor of, or US senator from, an American state, or 2 or 3 terms in the US house, would have prevented all this.

A more practical solution than demanding the parties adopt less open or less democratic methods of selecting their nominees in order to keep out irresponsible, gormless demagogues with no respect for or personal loyalty to constitutional government, I think.

About "America First"

Is the use of that expression intended as an endorsement of the movement that attempted to resist FDR's efforts to get us into the war in Europe?

I do not say an endorsement of Hitler or of anti-Semitism, but of the effort to keep us out of that war.

That would be consistent with the views of some of today's paleocon isolationists, and perhaps of Pat Buchanan, the eponymous founder of Buchananism.

Could it be anything else, except for an airhead ignorant of the relevant history?

And, OK, Trump is an ignorant airhead in many ways.

But is he ignorant of this history?

I think not.

And the people around him are not.

I take this as a deliberate signal to Europeans and fans of NATO expansion of an intention to back off from our global, and particularly European, defense commitments.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

"Whooping"? Surely you mean "whopping."

Trump claims 'a million and a half' at his inauguration—delivers whooping lie in front of CIA

And here's another indicator of how much Mussolini is really in Trump.

Trump tells CIA "maybe we’ll have another chance" to take Iraq's oil

Indigenista propaganda on Hawaii Five-O

Phooey.

Abolish all reservations.

Or grant white minorities in South Africa their own little homelands.

Or something.

The Duce pitches a shocking public fit by proxy

Sean Spicer's shouted press briefing

Over an hour late, my guess is the staff spent that hour trying to cool Trump down, and it just didn't work.

So Sean came out and acted the Trump role.

He did a hell of a job, too.

The briefing was almost entirely composed of a shouted tirade at the press for filling the world with "fake news."

Spicer was literally shouting at the press for lying about the sizes of the crowds yesterday and today and lying that some statuette of MLK was removed from the White House.

Trump's crowds were much bigger, he angrily and loudly insisted, on the authority of Trump, himself.

As for the other, it was an error yesterday for which the reporter quickly apologized and whose apology was quickly and coolly accepted on Twitter by Sean Spicer, also yesterday.

The only other story was Trump's visit to CIA headquarters where he was greeted warmly and, according to Sean, got a five minute standing ovation - all going to show the stories of recent weeks portraying enmity between Trump and the American intelligence community were all just more outrageous media lies.

And for good measure, Sean yelled at the press that the Trump White House would call them out in future with equal vigor on all their lying attacks on him and the American people whom he represents and on whose behalf he intends to govern.

When he was done yelling at the reporters he stalked out of the meeting without so much as noticing their shouted questions.

I wonder how many Trump voters will either accept the Trump version of reality, despite their own eyes, or not mind and perhaps even enjoy this furious, blatantly lying, outrageous and, one might almost say, Mussolini-like attack on the press?

Let me be very clear.

This does not bode well for Trump's behavior under pressure in the international arena.

I am frankly afraid of what might happen when this disgraceful thug, this foolish clown gets that 3 am call.

And it does not bode well for the First Amendment.

Working the refs like this, Trump and his allies can intimidate and bully the press into dhimmitude harmful to us all.

Brennan bashes Trump

Trump Administration Goes To War With The Media Over Inauguration Crowd Size

ISIS, Vandals of Palmyra, again

Isis destroys tetrapylon monument in Palmyra

Marchers in Pittsburgh, too

Pittsburgh groups march for women, diversity, voice concerns with Trump

Organizers had estimated 400 attendees in their permit application, received around 4,000 RSVPs via social media, and attendance appeared to be close to the latter number. 

Guy Costa, the city’s chief operations officer, estimated that the participants numbered 25,000.

Organizers said it was one of 673 marches today in 50 states and 80 countries, with an estimated 2.2 million participants.

The thousands of women and men marched peacefully down Fifth Avenue, carrying signs with slogans including, “Cervix says not my prez,” “Russian hacked Putin backed” and “Make America Think Again.”

Market Square was packed, nearly wall-to-wall. 

There, Mayor Bill Peduto said that he met with other mayors in Washington, D.C., early this week, and there was a sense that cities will be on their own during Mr. Trump's administration. 

He added that there are no laws that can take away compassion, and that Pittsburgh is a city that shares and shows love.

Also around 11 a.m., near East Liberty’s Penn Plaza apartments, a gathering called the “Our Feminism Must be Intersectional Rally/​March" began.

On the site where a controversial new Whole Foods Market has been slated for construction, more than 500 people gathered to support women of color, LGBT and non-binary people, non-able-bodied people and what they referred to as other oppressed populations.


Thank you for marching today, if you did.


(WAPO is saying the global total was "more than a million".)

More than 2 million people across the world, led by hundreds of thousands who overwhelmed the nation's capital, protested the first full day of President Trump's tenure Saturday.

What began as a Facebook post by a Hawaii grandmother the day after Hillary Clinton's loss in November's election  blossomed into a massive protest uniting people of all ages, races and religions who crowded downtown Washington.

Massive marches across the country

Much bigger turnout than expected.

Lots of people showed up who were not on anybody's list.

In DC, for example, city residents who stayed home yesterday walked out of their houses and apartments to join the anti-Trump crowds.

Some are the usual lefty cranks, especially including people with the megaphones.

But lots are just people freaked at Trump and his agenda.

Much as the masses who marched against the Vietnam War mostly had no sympathy with either hippie ideology or the radicalism of, say, SDS.

As it has turned out, the demonstrations are not just about women's issues, partly because so many additional people showed up that organizers didn't even arrange for, many to march about other Democratic issues like climate change and immigration and Obamacare.

These are giant Democrat rallies.

They are happening in many, many cities across America and there are sympathy rallies elsewhere in the world like Australia, New Zealand, Britain, France, and Germany.

Interesting that these popular Democratic causes seem to include, anyway for many, support for the EU and expanded NATO, and the broad collective security represented by US participation in and leadership of the global alliances built up after WW2.

Few of these folks are pro-Brexit or anti-NATO, much less anti-UN.

For all we could gather from this day, Democrats are mostly not isolationist, let's-go-it-alone America Firsters.

But would they really want America to fight Russia to defend Latvia?

At the risk of actual, massive war in Europe between NATO and Russia?

Would these Democrats accept sending American draftees by the tens or hundreds of thousands to such a war?

I don't believe it.

Would they risk an outright nuclear war for Latvia?

An odd and not very realistic suggestion, I think, in view of how they, their parents, or their grandparents felt about America fighting a purely conventional, though expensive and bloody, war to defend South Vietnam from Uncle Ho and the reds.

I opposed direct American participation in the Vietnam War with our own troops, particularly draftees, because it was a good cause not very important to the US, and far from important enough to me, personally. 

I had other priorities. 

And anyway America's official policy of containment drew our outermost defensive lines way too far out, in my opinion, all due to the ludicrous Cold War panic of American capitalists - what Jimmy Carter rightly spoke of as an excessive fear of Communism.

And I would oppose an American war against Russia to defend former territories of the Soviet Union for exactly the same reasons.

I think non-interventionism is preferable to the aggressive globalism currently, and very oddly, supported with little visible dissent by Democrats and the broader American left.

So why don't I support Trump if I agree with significant pieces of his agenda?

Well, Mussolini did make the trains run on time, as was famously said in his defense; but, hey, it was Mussolini.

Better the trains should be late. 

Images from lots of places.

Action-packed at the end

With a rather unearned happy ending.

Rob Roy.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The argumentum ad Hitlerum

ABC News’ Terry Moran: Trump Inauguration Speech Had ‘Anti-Semitic Overtones’

He didn't like the "America First" reference.

Nor did Chris Matthews or Rachel Maddow.

They have gone for the bait from day one.

They don't even know when they're being played.

Krauthammer sees the point of it, I think.

For many people around the world, the British in particular, that [America First] is quite a resonant phrase, and it says to them, to the free world, since Harry Truman and Eisenhower, we constructed a world where we carried a lot of you—economically, militarily, etc. 

That game is over, you are on your own. 

That is an amazing message for an inaugural address.  

We heard it on the campaign, but that is policy now and it’s going to have a huge effect around the world.”

Coming from him, this is not an expression of approval.

That he despised Obama and all his works does not make him a Trump fan.

Our kind of guy

Bikers for Trump - old, white - wished a reporter "Happy Nobama," and explained that The Duce was a real patriot, all about America, and their kind of guy.

Trump, the white billionaire born with a gold shovel up his backside, and raised in and to a long life of wealth and privilege.

As opposed to Obama the mulatto, born in poverty and raised by a by no means well off single Mom, with help from her not especially well-off parents.

Bradley Manning to be out in May

Manning to Be Released Early as Obama Commutes Sentence

Leave it to the Times to refer to Manning, a person of the male sex, as "she" throughout, stylistically accepting the mythology of human biological, psychological gender distinct from and sometimes ill assorted with biological sex.

President Obama on Tuesday commuted all but four months of the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Army intelligence analyst convicted of a 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted Mr. Obama’s administration and brought global prominence to WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures.

The decision by Mr. Obama rescued Ms. Manning, who twice tried to kill herself last year, from an uncertain future as a transgender woman incarcerated at the men’s military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. 

She has been jailed for nearly seven years, and her 35-year sentence was by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction.

He was treated with great cruelty from the day he was arrested.

President Trump's inaugural address

The Duce gave a short and concentrated version of his aggressive, anti-establishment, anti-elites, anti-Washington, anti-politicians, anti-political parties campaign message.

Donald Trump inauguration speech

Conservative pundits saw this as a nationalist, but not conservative speech.

No surprise, since they and we have known for long that his is a nationalist, but not conservative, outlook and agenda.

Rich Lowry

Jonah Goldberg

Stephen F. Hayes

Certain Buchananists were quite happy about that.

Including the Founder, already warning that the nationalist, America First president might actually be stymied by the standard conservatives by whom the Republican Party is still totally dominated and who populate both houses of Congress and even Trump's own cabinet.

January 20th

As regards the White House, it is an international day of mourning.

It also is my brother's birthday.

He is 65.

Happy birthday, Chuck.

The ambition of Rashleigh

Ambition.

Is it ever not a vice?

Rob Roy.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lemming watch

5 day losing streak for the DOW as traders reportedly ponder the start of The Duce's term.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

So, they expect to lose?

Pittsburgh Steelers are lowering expectations, painting the Patriots as some kind of intergalactic football superheroes.

Helen MacGregor

The wife of Rob Roy, she is an absolute savage worthy to be an ISIS commander.

Chapter xxxii.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

SOB

That's a medical abbreviation for shortness of breath, sometimes indicative of anxiety or fear, and sometimes a sign of heart attack.

Butterflies in the stomach or nausea are in the same boat.

Feelings I get when I allow myself the thought that Trump will be inaugurated in three days.

The Gaulliad

Perhaps Scott made it up.

His Chapter xxxi of Rob Roy begins with a verse ostensibly from an otherwise unidentified poem, The Gaulliad.

Google brings up nothing but references to this very page of Scott.

Annoying, because I meant to cite it against those who take too seriously the idea of law of war.

Look it up.

In this chapter, Rob Roy's wife is introduced, a martial commander and an unspeakably bloody harridan exulting in atrocities.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Frankly, I think our guys will lose.


The disappointing win against the Chiefs did not inspire confidence.

Not in us and not in the players.

Bell said "Our A game won't be enough."

"There are a lot of things to do to be successful against them," Roethlisberger said.

"They are the best in the world for a reason. We've got to score points, can't turn the ball over."

A bad feeling like Clinton v Trump.

Steelers v Chiefs

They won a squeaker with 6 field goals for a final score of 18 points.

Not one other point did they score.

Not one.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

What's your point?

Dan used to ask that in Night Court, when someone castigated him or his conduct.

Brought to mind by Bernie sputtering in outrage that repeal of Obamacare would result in thousands a year dying for lack of care.

And the famous reply shouted out from the audience at a conservative venue to the question what should be done about the uninsured sick, "Let them die!"

The past is so far away

On the bookcase below the foot of my bed is a blurry black and white picture of my father, my brother, and me.

My father is crouched, smiling rougishly with his Clark Gable mustache and ears, wearing his CAP uniform, white gloves, spats, and all.

I am wearing his white helmet liner.

Chuck and I, tiny, are sitting against the hillside on either side of him in our maternal grandfather's driveway, and behind us three are a lawn and pine trees.

At a guess, it's the spring or summer of 1955.

23 Electric Street, Worcester, Massachusetts.

I am 6 and Chuck is 3.

Dad is 38.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Pot roast for four days

The Giant Eagle had Angus chuck on sale for $2.88 a pound.

I bought two pieces of chuck, each just shy of 2.5 pounds.

I have a huge, deep turkey roaster I never use for turkeys.

I cut each chuck roast in half and braised the four pieces in canola oil.

I put one piece in each corner of the roasting pan and added, already peeled and cut - by me, of course - , 6 restaurant potatoes, 6 yellow onions, 4 carrots, 4 parsnips, and 4 turnips, along with half a medium cabbage cut into 4 pieces.

To that I added half a bottle of Argentine Malbec, 2 cups of water into which 4 beef bouillon cubes had been previously dissolved, another 3 or 4 cups of water, and the oil in which I had braised the meat.

The meat was fully submerged but much of the vegetable load stuck above the surface of the fluid.

After 3 hours in the oven at 350° F the fluid had cooked down only a little, so I added none.

I flipped over the meat, still mostly covered by the fluid, and all vegetables not fully submerged, and put it all back in the oven for another 2 hours.

Then into the fridge, split evenly into two covered containers, including the surviving fluid.

Tomorrow, I'll reheat the contents of one container on the stove top for two hours and we'll have it for supper with a friend of the wife's who had us over to her place for a fine New Year's pork roast.

We'll drink the rest of the Malbec, or some Pinot Grigio I have chilled, if that's anyone's pleasure.

Or both!

Stupidity and misogyny.

Too stupid to be sincere.

And hence profoundly, intentionally, and gratuitously disrespectful and insulting.

The mingled light and shadows gave it [the landscape - PV] an interest which naturally did not belong to it; and, like the effect of a veil flung over a plain woman, irritated our curiosity on a subject which had in itself nothing gratifying.

Our hero, Francis Osbaldistone, in Rob Roy, the first paragraph of chapter 28.

Is there any distance between our author and our hero, here?

I don't see it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

54° F at 2310 hrs.

Nice.

Gibberish, most of it

God, I hate writing in dialect.

Rob Roy.

53° F In Our Town

Yay!

Trump presser

Watched for a few minutes and turned it off.

Seemed like just another campaign event with The Duce making the same brags and promises.

Still wed to the wall, repeal of Obamacare, and trade protectionism.

Combined with his infrastructure projects and his top-end and corporate tax cutting, it looks like we're in for a bad time and a big rise in the national debt.

Racism alive and well at Salon

Chauncey Devega

It was the racism, stupid: White working-class “economic anxiety” is a zombie idea that needs to die

He has this much right, and only this much.

White backlash to leftist anti-white race-baiting and the cultural clout of "get whitey" played a significant role.

And it really annoys Chauncey.

But a household income of $ 72 K in today's America is working class, and not very well-off working class, at that.

Comey a stooge for Trump

Donald Trump’s new Russian scandal

The FBI knew about the allegations before the election, it seems, and kept it dark.

And they are still keeping it dark.

All we can say for sure right now is that this is a perfect illustration of the way Comey improperly inserted himself into the election. 

These scandalous rumors connecting Trump to the Russian government information is unproven and unverified, and the FBI director was right not to reveal it prior to the election. 

He completely ignored that principle when it came to Clinton, and there can be no doubt that it made a difference in the outcome. 

The fact that Comey clearly knew at the time that it was at least possible Trump had been compromised by a foreign government makes his decision even more shameful.

John McCain exposes the Siberian Candidate

Just a tad too late, eh?

But this stuff certainly looks hot.

Lots more than I can quote.

John McCain passes dossier alleging secret Trump-Russia contacts to FBI

Senator John McCain passed documents to the FBI director, James Comey, last month alleging secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow and that Russian intelligence had personally compromising material on the president-elect himself. 

The material, which has been seen by the Guardian, is a series of reports on Trump’s relationship with Moscow. 

They were drawn up by a former western counter-intelligence official, now working as a private consultant.

. . . .

An official in the US administration who spoke to the Guardian described the source who wrote the intelligence report as consistently reliable, meticulous and well-informed, with a reputation for having extensive Russian contacts.

Some of the reports – which are dated from 20 June to 20 October last year – also proved to be prescient, predicting events that happened after they were sent.

One report, dated June 2016, claims that the Kremlin has been cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years, with the aim of encouraging “splits and divisions in western alliance”.

It claims that Trump had declined “various sweetener real estate deals offered him in Russia” especially in developments linked to the 2018 World Cup finals but that “he and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.”

Most explosively, the report alleges: “FSB has compromised Trump through his activities in Moscow sufficiently to be able to blackmail him.” 

The president-elect has not responded to the allegations.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Betrothed to the convent from the cradle

It is a convention of modern literature - especially of the French, who approach the subject almost pornographically - to deplore childhood commitments to the clergy almost exclusively of girls, though boys were also commonly committed.

And more than arranged marriages or commitments to a trade, or even to the military or merchant service.

"Die" Vernon in Rob Roy, Sir Walter Scott, must enter the convent or marry an unsuitable Osbaldistone.

Curses!

Young Francis O, who loves her and is not a candidate, has himself been banished by his father for refusing Dad's choice of career.

O curses!

It's 48° F in Our Town

That's more like it.

From Obama to Trump

It makes you want to cry.

Or maybe that's just the wine.

A nice Italian Pinot Grigio.

Monday, January 9, 2017

It's -1° F in Our Town

Coldest it's been here so far this winter.

Lying for The Duce

Donald Trump 'not denying Russia was behind hacking campaign', says Priebus

Over the last week he has repeatedly and emphatically, even scornfully and mockingly, denied it, and said the Democrats were making this up only to discredit him and delegitimate his victory.