Monday, February 27, 2017

What's up with that, Bozo?

Mexico paying for the wall?

The wall actually being approved and built?

The big investigation of three to five million illegals voting for Hillary?

The new and improved executive order on foreign travel and refugees, to replace the one the courts stopped?

Meanwhile, McCain and Graham in the senate and Issa in the House are demanding, fruitlessly, an independent investigation of the campaign's ties with Russia.

All Democrats and some Republicans, those who have opposed Trump from the beginning both as an individual and especially on his anti-immigrant, pro-Putin agenda, are doing their level best to make it impossible for Trump to lead the country into a significant revision of its defense commitments to NATO and other foreign allies.

The huge dust of suspicion and scandal about Russian meddling in the election and the Trump campaign's possible complicity in it, as well as hints of corruption and even treason, all serve to disable Trump in this area.

And, anyway, The Duce can't find anybody for the role of national security advisor who actually shares his foreign policy views.

HR McMaster is a standard issue establishment globalist who sounds like Obama and Clinton on Jihaders and on our global alliances.

He made a point of firmly stating these views in meetings with White House folks.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Elementary in book form

Adam Christopher has written a novel based on the TV characters.

Not bad, but his insistence on the politically correct singular they is obtrusive to the point of more than usual annoyance.

And he doesn't seem to know what "salubrious" means.

Reading The Ghost Line.

33° F and clear in Our Town

Not one flake left on the ground.

26° F in Our Town, right now.

And it's snowing.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The big, bad isms

I saw an ad for some black guy's show on some cable news channel.

Might have been MSNBC.

Or something.

It said his thing is to attack the most dangerous isms on the planet: racism, sexism, and colonialism.

As the man used to say, I kid you not.

Marxism is so passe, despite China.

Or Cuba.

And Islamism, aka Muslim fundamentalism?

Not even on the map, though the more or less global war against it dominates and has dominated the headlines since 9/11/01.

And colonialism, gone these 50 years, at least?

That is among the most dangerous isms on the planet?

God, I hate the shithead left.

Bozo outdoes himself, moves up from clown to total asshole

Donald Trump’s CPAC speech proves it: He’s totally obsessed with the media

So, are we all distracted from the fact that it's Friday and we have seen no sign of the promised new executive order on visitors, refugees, etc.?

White House blocks CNN, New York Times from press briefing hours after Trump slams media

Fact-checking President Trump’s CPAC speech

76° F in Our Town

Not that I mind having the doors and windows open and the furnace off on February 24th, but it does seem odd.

The lemmings are really thrilled to have Bozo in the White House, I guess. Dow = 20,821.76

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Strategically playing up the threat

Geert Wilders suspends election campaign over alleged security leak

Dutch media reported earlier this week that a member of the far-right politician’s police security team had been arrested on suspicion of leaking details of his whereabouts to a Dutch-Moroccan criminal gang.

The Algemeen Dagblad newspaper reported on Thursday that the officer and his brother, both previously members of the Utrecht police force, had been investigated in connection with suspected leaks of confidential information.

The DBB security service, responsible for the safety of the royal family, diplomats and high-profile politicians, said the officer – who is of Moroccan origin – was not one of Wilders’ bodyguards but screened locations for his public appearances.

. . . .

The Dutch police chief, Erik Akerboom, told Dutch radio an investigation had been opened but insisted Wilders’ safety had not been compromised, prompting Wilders to reply that if he could not trust the DBB, “I can no longer function”.

The justice minister, Stef Blok, insisted Dutch politicians could “campaign safely on Dutch streets” and said the alleged leak had endangered no one.

It was such a dark time, too. And so loooooong ago.

'Walking Dead' T-Shirt Pulled for Being 'Racist'

[W]hat happened was a guy in Sheffield, England was at a Primark (U.K. department store) with his wife and they saw a "Walking Dead" T-shirt quoting Negan's now infamous line: "Eeny Meeny Miny Moe," with a picture of Lucille, the barbed-wire-covered baseball bat Negan uses to kill.

This guy's mind went immediately to a dark time in history when the "Eeny meeny" rhyme included the n-word instead of the word tiger.

("Pulp Fiction" used the n-word version.)

Pair that with a weapon, and he saw something very different from TWD fans.

. . . .

Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Negan, and he tweeted out a link to the story, including his own commentary on the state of humanity: "Holy crap people are stupid!"

I foresee an extorted apology in Morgan's future.

The race commissars, you know.

CNN says gender identity is a thing

Trump's reversal on transgender bathroom directive

The Trump administration's reversal of Obama-era protections that allowed transgender students in public schools to use bathrooms that corresponding with their gender identity has angered civil rights groups.

Young Republicans for Russia


73% of the youngest group of Republicans see Russia as a friendly state or even an ally of the USA.

Media explanations include boisterous Trumpery, but lean most on distance from the era of the Soviet Union.

They do not include reactionary Christianism, homophobia, or hostility to abortion and women's rights, features of Buchananist admiration of Putin with which Trump seems to have shown some sympathy.

The truth is Putin's strong man rule is still better than most regimes in the world, and he is our adversary only because we have set our faces against him, playing our role of worldwide meddler and unique superpower.

Excess anti-Trumpery, by the way, and again distance from the Cold War, doubtless account for the extraordinary severity of Democrats' views of Russia.

It was a Democrat speaking to Rachel who ludicrously insisted on the Russian menace, urging against Trump in anger and alarm that Putin is dead set on spreading his hateful authoritarianism through the entire world.

And I suppose we have to see this reversal of the Cold War positions of the two major parties in part as a success of the media propaganda war that has been going on since the campaign.

A war of publicity that has pit Trump against the entire foreign policy establishment on America's role as globocop, during which the customary anti-interventionism of the left has gone amazingly dark, leaving us the very odd spectacle of folks like Rachel urgently supporting the American commitment to nuclear war with Russia to defend Estonia.

Of course, among anti-Trumpists who don't want to admit there actually is a serious question about America's military role in the word, there are always conspiracy theories.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

69° F in Our Town

So far this winter one really noticeable cold spell (single digits, briefly below zero) and two snows leaving enough on the ground to shovel.

Other than that, a little air snow and lots of warm days.

And it's February 21.

Homo politicus

It is untrue that Nietzsche has no politics.

It is just that his politics are unspeakable.

He is a bloody minded brute of the right.

He makes Hamilton look like a wild-eyed democrat.

Human, All Too Human, Part I, section 8, A Look at the State, for example.

See epigram 460, the great man of the masses, for an anticipation of Donald Trump.

In several of his epigrams, Neitzsche anticipates Ortega y Gasset and Marcel.

In others, he parrots apologists of slavery.

See 457, slaves and workers.

But see 462, my utopia.

A utilitarian, malgré lui!

See also 439, culture and caste.

His utopia, it seems, has been common in history.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Schopenhauer's greatest disciple

Nietzsche is Schopenhauer's greatest student.

He is a profound pessimist whose originality is to rather madly say "Yes" to the very same world from which pessimism has always urged flight.

Reading his biography by Daniel Halevy.

Nietzsche says he is a pessimist in the preface to Human, All Too Human, Part II, aphorism 2.

He says in aphorism 1 that Schopenhauer is his greatest teacher.

He is a pessimist who rejects romanticism, he says.

A pessimist who affirms rather than rejects life.

60° F in Our Town

Encountered a swarm of gnats in the front yard.

The wife said they think it's spring.

On February 20th.

What nature wants

It is only too obvious that in all successful species of animals of which it seems right to predicate desire and aversion, pleasure and pain, nature has sculpted desire in subordination to reproduction so far that these three, far from being equivalent, fall asunder: individual interest, happiness understood hedonistically, and satisfaction of desire.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Pence, Mattis vigorously deliver the Boss's message


Even as Merkel refuses to step up more quickly, Pence points out countries not paying at least 2% are in violation of Article 3, every bit as binding as Article 5.

On his first visit to Europe since taking office, Mike Pence said “some of our largest allies do not have a credible path” towards paying their share of Nato’s financial burden.

Although he did not name individual countries, his targets included Germany, France and Italy.
“The time has come to do more,” he said.

. . . .

He was speaking immediately after the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, made it clear she would not be bullied by the US over defence spending.

She said Germany had made a promise to increase defence over the next decade and would fulfil that commitment rather than be forced into the faster rises that Trump is looking for.

Merkel said the focus on defence spending could be misleading.

Even if Germany was to spend more, there was not the military capacity available to invest in.

She added that Germany saw spending on development in countries in Africa and elsewhere as vital to security as military spending.

. . . .

Pence went further than the US defence secretary, James Mattis, at Nato headquarters on Wednesday in warning Nato allies to stump up more.

He said: “As of this moment, the US and only four other Nato members meet that basic standard.”
Those four countries are the UK, Estonia, Greece and Poland.

The other 23 Nato members do not meet the target of spending 2% of GDP on defence.

In a thinly veiled warning, Pence said that while the US was bound by Nato’s article five– an attack on one member would be an attack on all – he also reminded the audience that article three contained a commitment to sharing the financial burden, echoing Trump’s warning last year that he did not feel bound to come to the defence of countries that did not pay their share.

How do you defend Estonia and Poland but not Germany and France?

What does Trump do about NATO members that don't budge, and when does he do it?

A drawdown of forces stationed in those countries?

How big and how soon?

48° F in Our Town

Headed for 62°, says the Weatherbug.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The deep state vs Bozo

Left and right meet in seeing the leaks on which so much anti-Trump news and publicity is based as originating in "the deep state".

Some on the Trump supporting right claim to fear its supposed determination to "take him down," while some on the Trump opposing left have great hopes for it.

Apparently, Russian propaganda is now pessimistic about Trump's supposed efforts to improve relations with Russia, saying the American deep state, committed to Cold War II, won't allow it.

But conspiracy theories and paranoid references to the deep state are unnecessary.

Very nearly to a man, the grim and the powerful of the Washington establishment, regardless of party and including those in Trump's own administration, both the cabinet and the White House, are deathlessly committed to Cold War II, and that is no secret from anyone.

They will resist any effort by Trump to back away from that commitment even to the point - a point some of them have already reached - of labeling such efforts as treason and people engaged in them as traitors.

When Jane Fonda was visiting North Vietnam the Democrats and most of the American establishment accepted the dogma of the left that there can be no crime of treason giving aid and comfort to anyone against whom the US had not at the time declared war.

The word has already been used more than once against not only Flynn but against Trump, himself.

Even lefties one would ordinarily expect to oppose Cold War II, and so be rather pleased at efforts to back away from it, are engaging in relentless scare propaganda demonizing Putin, Russia, and the very idea of better relations with him and his country.

But who knows what Trump is really about, or even if he is really about anything?

In the space of a few days he deserted the one China policy of decades in favor of the Cold War two China policy, and then returned to orthodoxy after freaking everyone out.

As for getting NATO itself to withdraw its protection from all states that used to be controlled by Stalin, or at least those that were part of the Soviet Union, something Anne Applebaum has suggested might be Trump's goal, that does not actually seem to be on the table.

Not now, anyway.

But her call for a new European security pact to tie everyone together from Ireland to Latvia is understandable.

And would make tempering or even ending American defense commitments to Europe a lot easier and safer for everyone, I must say.

A valiant gesture

Bernie Sanders Unveils Social Security Expansion Bill On The Day Millionaires Stop Paying

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced a bill on Thursday to expand Social Security benefits by lifting the cap on earnings subject to payroll taxes.

The progressive lawmakers presented their proposal on the day that Americans with wages of $1 million or more stop paying into Social Security for the year.

Workers now contribute to Social Security based on the first $127,200 they earn every year. 

The new legislation would apply the 6.2-percent payroll tax to ordinary earnings of $250,000 or more, as well as to unearned income, like capital gains and dividends, above that threshold.

Rather than increase benefits for those high-earning workers based on their additional contributions, the bill would use the revenue to extend Social Security’s solvency until 2078, and to boost benefits across the board with a disproportionate impact on low earners.

“We can expand benefits, we can extend the life of Social Security, if we have the guts to tell the millionaires and billionaires, yes, they are going to have to pay a bit more in taxes,” Sanders said at a press conference on Capitol Hill.

Sanders was joined by DeFazio; Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.); Democratic Reps. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) and Paul Tonko (N.Y.); and representatives of progressive organizations like Social Security Works, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and the Alliance for Retired Americans.

. . . .

There is virtually no chance of the legislation advancing in the Republican-controlled Congress. 

More rules from the PC race commissars who put Trump in the White House

Why do you think Breitbart, Fox, and the like so love to publicize this stuff?

White people are not to be portrayed as, in any manner or sense of the term, rescuing people who are not white.

And such portrayals are to be scorned and greeted with contempt.

So, no more movies about Lincoln, LBJ, John Brown, John Quincy Adams, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, and so on.

So when whites play the heroes in action films in which the people they save are not white, a line is crossed, blame and scorn are distributed, guilt assessed, and apologies demanded.

Tom Cruise better be damned careful, is all I can say.

But if you must have white characters fighting to save nonwhites, that is permitted if you portray them as intellectually, morally, or otherwise inferior to the nonwhites, as Jonathan Kim explains.

No, ‘The Great Wall’ Isn’t Racist Whitewashing

Also to be scorned and blamed is whitewashing, perhaps by the same people who wanted Idris Elba to be the next James Bond.

Olivier played Othello and the Mahdi in blackface.

Brilliant, both times, though his efforts to have a black walk and black glutes in the former were a bit comic.

If Elba played Macbeth, how would you make him look white?

Whiteface?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Not the kind of attack Trump cares about

Pakistan: IS attack on Sufi shrine in Sindh kills dozens

A suicide attack in a popular shrine in southern Pakistan has killed at least 72 people, police say.

The bomber blew himself up among devotees in the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in the town of Sehwan, in Sindh province, police said.

Muslim on Muslim violence.

Trump blames the press for Putin's bad behavior

Trump was an hour and a half late for an impromptu presser he personally called, that went about an hour and a half.

And you can get so much utter bullshit into an hour and a half that it would take a week for the press to respond.

Basically, he charged the press with lying about him, with putting out an ocean of fake news about him every hour of every day because of their extraordinary hatred for him.

The shortest lived lie, shot down by a journo in a question that came up quickly, was Trump's claim, not even within shouting distance of the truth, to have had the greatest electoral college victory since Reagan.

Perhaps the most pointed truth was his remark that he won the election talking to the press personally in his own free-wheeling way.

The most important point was Trump explaining Putin's recent provocations, including the flyovers and the spy ship off the coast and the deployment of cruise missiles contrary to an agreement with the US, as a result of him concluding, from the constant hoopla in the press about Trump, his people, and Russia, that the improvement in Russo-American relations Trump has been talking about cannot happen.

After giving this remarkable explanation, and in a sense even defense, transparently false as regards deployment of those cruise missiles, of Putin's conduct by laying the blame for the Russian's hardening attitude on the press, a journo asked whether he thought Putin was testing him.

Trump shrugged and said no, and in substance that the explanation of Putin's behavior lies in the bad behavior of the press and the Democrats, who have by their hate-driven attacks undermined his efforts toward improved relations with Russia, though he still hopes for improvement and will continue to try.

Oh, I forgot.

He began the presser announcing nomination of Alexander Acosta for Secretary of Labor.

About Flynn talking to the Russians and perhaps telling them not to sweat the new US sanctions because Trump would be a lot less confrontational, the Democratic news agencies are denouncing the move as a horrifying violation of a "long-standing policy that we have only one president at a time."

Uh huh.

Nobody has yet made the comparison to Nixon sabotaging the Paris peace talks during the campaign of 1968, which perhaps actually did prolong the war for another 7 years - certainly not the intended consequence - and which Democrats have damned as a crime of the century.

But that will come, I think.

20° F and flurries in Our Town

A couple days of winter.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Top Trump aide spins pro-Nazi Dad as "anti-Communist"

Gorka Says He Wears Nazi Ally's Medal To Honor Dad's Anti-Communist Efforts

Trump aide Sebastian Gorka told Breitbart News that he wears a medal associated with a Nazi ally, last spotted on him at one of the President's inaugural balls, in order to commemorate his father’s anti-Communist efforts in mid-century Hungary.

Gorka, a former Brietbart News editor himself, explained in an “exclusive” video the site published Tuesday evening that the medal he wore to the Liberty Ball —shortly before joining the Trump administration as deputy assistant to the President—reminds him of what his parents “suffered under the Nazis and under the Communists.”

Some Hungarian scholars told TPM the medal is identified with a knightly order founded by the Hungarian admiral and statesman Miklós Horthy, who oversaw the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.

“In 1979, my father was awarded a decoration for his resistance to dictatorship, and although he passed away 14 years ago I wear that medal in remembrance of what my family went through and what it represents to me as an American,” Gorka said in the video.

Left unmentioned are the origins of the medal and Horthy's renewed popularity among the ultranationalist Hungarian right-wing. 

Those far-right conservatives have started a Horthyite revival over the past few years, with some towns erecting statues to the former admiral and statesman. 

They've also taken to dressing in attire like the black braided “bocskai” jacket, which Gorka also wore on inauguration night and was popular in Horthy's time.

From Wikipedia.

Gorka is a member of the Order of Vitéz (Vitézi Rend), an hereditary order of merit which was founded by Miklós Horthy in 1920.

Although required to list and renounce his membership in the Vitézi Rend, an order prohibited along with other Nazi-linked organizations, on his N-400 Application for Naturalization in 2012 when he sought U.S. citizenship, Gorka appeared on FOX News on Inauguration evening dressed in the uniform and wearing the badge, tunic, and ring of the Vitezi Rend.

Bozo, the blustering blunderer, impulsively signs onto Cold War II

Where will he get us into a war first, Korea or Ukraine?

Trump: Crimea was 'taken' by Russia

He hits back at whatever is hitting him at the moment with whatever right wing meme will sting.

As the set of right wing memes is egregiously inconsistent, so are his tweets and so would be any foreign policy, or foreign policy expectations, erected on them.

Under a firestorm of adverse publicity in which his enemies, who are legion, use his own pro-Putin and anti-NATO posturing against him he flips, complains Obama was too weak and let Putin take the Crimea, insists Putin must stop the violence in eastern Ukraine and return Crimea.

The Graham/McCain team hit him from both sides, Graham demanding investigation of the Trump administration's connections with the Russians while McCain demands we provide lethal aid to Ukraine to fight back against Putin-supported Russian separatists.

Meanwhile, Putin amuses himself and patriotic Russia by publicly slapping Bozo around, buzzing our ships in the Black Sea, deploying cruise missiles forbidden by an arms control treaty with the US, and sending spy ships along our coast from Cuba.

And Mattis, playing to the wrong meme at the wrong time and to Russian amusement, castigates NATO allies over money and threatens the US might "moderate its commitments".

It is notorious that a diplomatic blunder by Dean Acheson, whose public remarks about American security commitments led Stalin to think we would not fight over that country, precipitated the Korean War.

Bozo's remarks at various times have been publicly construed, even by the relevant enemies, as indicating a reluctance to fight North Korea or Russia in defense of threatened allies, though we are committed by treaty to do so and failure on his part to live up to that treaty would be an impeachable offense.

If anybody was in the mood.

The boy tyrant of NK

Death of Kim Jong-nam

The Guardian view on North Korea

31° F in Our Town

The ground has been bare for days.

It just started to snow.

No accumulation expected.

Cold War II

Some Democratic legislator was on Rachel, last night, urging alarm about Flynn, Trump, and Putin, doing his best to scare Americans, declaiming in alarm and anger that Putin is out to spread "his brand of authoritarianism" all over the world.

My wife bought it, though I scoffed, expressing skepticism about Uruguay, in particular.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Is this how drug companies should recoup research and development costs?

EpiPen alternative to hit market at more than seven times the price

Pharmaceutical company Kaléo – already under fire for raising the price of an overdose antidote – now plans to put an alternative to the EpiPen on the market for more than seven times the cost of the leading $608 drug.

Kaléo’s epinephrine injector, used to stop severe allergic reactions, will go on sale for $4,500 for a pack of two beginning on 14 February. 

The auto-injector’s innovative audio instructions walk caregivers through administering less than $5 worth of epinephrine.

There has got to be a better way, consistent with private enterprise leading the march in this area, taking risks and reaping rewards.

Spicer presser. Trump a tougher globalist than Obama?

Tough talk of the president demanding Russia back off in eastern Ukraine and return Crimea to Ukraine.

Obama blamed for letting Russia take possession of the Crimea.

A little tough talk about standing with Japan and firmness toward North Korea.

As for the Flynn story, Spicer is totally in the dark or a really first rate liar, in my opinion.

Kim clips a loose end


The estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been murdered in Malaysia, a South Korean government source said on Tuesday.

Kim Jong Nam, the older half brother of Kim Jong Un, was known to spend a significant amount of his time outside North Korea and had spoken out publicly against his family's dynastic control of the isolated state.

The South Korean government source who spoke to Reuters did not immediately provide further details.

In Washington, a U.S. government source said the United States believed that North Korean agents were responsible for the murder, but did not provide firm evidence to support that conclusion.

The alt.right White House


OK, it's interesting JS is trying to do in Miller, Bannon's puppy and so Trump's own at one remove, who surely deserves it.

Think how the English Civil War edged closer when Parliament forced Charles to execute a key man for doing something Charles had personally ordered him to do.

First Flynn, then Miller?

Anyway, another point.

Sunday at the local Barnes and Noble I was tempted to buy the somewhat pricey Jacksonland, but chose to wait until I can buy it used.

That's a book about the President Jackson who played a leading role in the destruction of the Five Civilized Tribes in a career of near genocide and outright ethnic cleansing, and made himself rich through exploitation of slave labor on a network of plantations.

Yes, the same Jackson who won the Battle of New Orleans and opposed the national bank, only to be memorialized on the face of a Federal Reserve Note, the 20 dollar bill.

I know because Rachel pointed out the ironic humor of putting him on that bill during the period when the changes to the currency coming in 2020 were announced.

Harriet Tubman, black heroine of the Underground Railway, is to replace the celebrated Indian fighter.

When that was announced, Pat Buchanan and other guardians of the White Man's honor went wild in defense not only of Jackson and his career but also of the national celebration of Jackson.

Much in the spirit of Ann Coulter defending white controlled institutions and white individuals of the South flying the flag of the Confederacy, which she pointedly referred to as their flag.

And what brought all that to mind was this.

Then there's the Andrew Jackson thing.

Trump is such an admirer of the seventh president that he hung a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office.

Obama celebrated Lincoln.

Trump celebrates the US president who's the best approximation to Jefferson Davis.

He misses by having opposed nullificationism and the alleged right of states to leave the Union.

Of course, that was before the slave South he so helped create feared abolition by Yankees.

The alt.right White House.

But would he defend South Korea?


They can already send a nuke as far as Japan or Guam, and want to be able to hit the continental US.

Then they will be ready for The Second Korean War.

Buchananism counsels withdrawal from the far Pacific, the Far East, and Oceania.

Trump is on record denouncing the burden of these alliances and suggesting Japan and South Korea get their own nukes.

All the same, Trump plays the globalist.

President Donald Trump vowed Saturday that the United States supports its ally Japan "100 percent" after North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the sea, in what appears to be its first missile test since Trump took office.

The launch at 7:55 a.m. Sunday Seoul time toward the Sea of Japan came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is on a visit to the United States to meet with Trump.

The Flynn story

The Wind Is Sown

I think Flynn was on that call with the Russians, the very same day Obama announced the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats as spies, on Trump's behalf, promising Putin a turnaround in the US attitude toward Russia, NATO, and Russia's dealings with bordering states that were part of Stalin's USSR.

There is nothing going on that we could not have seen coming, based on Trump's announced skepticism about NATO and rejection of an adversary relation with Russia going back to the campaign in 2016.

It is entirely possible that Pence, a standard-issue globalist Republican, was in the dark about all this.

Anyway, the globalists of both parties and the Democrats, especially, are busy spinning this mendaciously as a corruption and espionage thing, an incompetence thing, a feckless White House thing, a scandal involving possible Russian blackmail of the National Security Adviser, General Flynn.

Pshaw.

It's not that, but none of these folks really want to open a public controversy about whether the US really ought to continue as part of, let alone leading, NATO and the other alliance systems around the world America built up in the Cold War years of anti-Communist frenzy, rooted in capitalist panic and a popular "inordinate fear of Communism," as Jimmy Carter once put it.

Communism is gone, and Trump seems to join Bannon and Buchanan and many others in denying the good sense of continuing American involvement in such an, as they think, obsolete globalism.

This looks like something done pursuant to that view of things.

And that is a view of things that is utterly anathema to nearly all of official Washington, of both parties.

The role of Russia in the 2016 election and the President's relationship to Russia has been the un-ignorable question hanging over President Trump for months.

Flynn's resignation does not come close to resolving it.

It is highly likely that the Flynn/Russia channel was authorized by the President himself.

There's much more to come.

Nancy Pelosi, still painting this as some sort of corruption scandal, says Flynn tweeted "Scapegoat," and she will tweet "Stonewall".

Saturday, February 11, 2017

53° F in Our Town, right now

My kind of winter.

Bozo the foul

A Fyodor moment in a closed door meeting with senators.

Trump to Dems: 'Pocahontas is now the face of your party'

He is such a foul man.

Fyodor-like, he exults in his own foulness.

Polls for all

A quick Google search for poll data on the travel ban finds partisans on both sides announcing recent polls show most Americans, registered voters, or whomever are on their side.

After the shock of Trump, who thinks polls are anything but bullshit?

People in America are afraid

They are afraid of Trump and the Republican tide.

People who need Obamacare, seniors, Muslims, aliens, minorities racial, religious, and sexual, and many others.

People who fear war.

People afraid what will happen to their jobs, their Medicaid, their savings, or the economy.

Afraid.

This strand of Democratic propaganda is actually true.

Who is pleased?

The plutes whose prospects the Dow celebrates.

The Koch brothers.

Bikers for Trump.

White, working class idiots who could see nothing of Obama but his skin.

Tyrants die in bed, rich, old, and revered.

Mao, Castro, Stalin, Papa Doc, Kim Il Sung, and countless others.

And crime pays.

Very well, indeed, for some.

Friday, February 10, 2017

An inevitable development: Federal Judicial Review

Not actually in the constitution, the power of the federal courts to invalidate federal and state legislation, regulations, and acts for non-compliance with the constitution is a more than reasonable development arising out of Articles III and VI.

Nobody is too strict in his constructions to accept it.

Polling on the ban. And a different kind of constitutional disobedience.

Rachel last night said whopping majorities both disapprove Trump's travel restrictions and disapprove ignoring court rulings to impose them.

But Trump voters support the restrictions and 51 % would be OK with him simply ignoring any court decision or decisions against them.

They elected him to be The Duce, after all, and impose his and their will even against opposition from the rigged, corrupt, and undemocratic system in DC.

At a guess, the idea is widespread on the right that the particular liberal lies about the constitution they object to, the ones that make them insist on strict construction on those issues, are actually wholly usurpatious and illegitimate lies, with no real authority in the eyes of anyone loyal to real constitutional government.

To do it right, liberals should have got amendments passed to make legitimate changes to the constitution affecting these matters rather than imposing their effects via a blatantly mendacious jurisprudence.

What should a people, a movement, a party, or a president do, confronted with a judiciary wedded to egregious lies of which they heartily disapprove about what is and what is not constitutional?

Disobey the courts and obey only the constitution, on these points?

Note that these virtuous almost-rebels who so insist on Article V neither ask nor answer the question why they themselves are not bound to rely on the amendment process to impose their own preferences on constitutional law.

Others, more frank, would insist without apology the constitution ought to be both strictly constructed and too hard to change, though the admission makes nonsense of their pose as champions of democracy and the sovereignty of the people.

That in defense of presidential defiance of the courts, in deference to the constitution as, according to them, it ought to be read.

Looks like Gorsuch may be confirmed via the "nuclear option," abolition of the filibuster for nominations to SCOTUS

Jeff Sessions was confirmed as AG

Bozo lost in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

He just wanted the temporary restraining order lifted.

So now the travel ban cannot be put into effect until somewhere a decision is reached on the questions whether it is illegal or unconstitutional.

Last night on MSNBC every constitutional law professor asked opined it is neither, under current law and precedent.

Romero of the ACLU and at least one other insisted it is unconstitutional, apparently looking for something new, as I have written earlier.

It looks like they rest their hopes on the establishment clause and the equal protection clause to effectively strike down the broad powers of the president in current law - the first to disallow discrimination by religion (the "Muslim ban" claim) and the second to disallow discrimination by nation, religion, or other suspect categorization.

One newsie suggested the president expects to win at least 5 to 3 in the Supreme Court if the issue gets there before Gorsuch, counting on 4 Republicans and at least one Democrat - an expectation he, at least, thought reasonable.

But others did not think the matter would get there before Gorsuch, anyway.

BTW, the 3 judge panel denied the claim of unreviewability, insisting the president's judgment on the question whether the ban served the interests of the United States, in this case regarding national security, was reviewable under the minimal standard of reasonableness.

The court did not rule on the questions of legality or constitutionality.

14° F in Our Town, right now

Jeez.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The most unchallenged lie in American politics


Duff quotes, of all people, the American Thinker.

He should, of course, read up on it in my posts on the topic.

The offending quotation:

The Leftist constitution includes the rights to abortion, anal intercourse, and gay marriage.

The Right, reading the “supreme law of the land” as it was actually written, sees no such rights anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.

The Thinker is right about the left, but lying about the right.

The right is still in love with Lochner, Scalia embraced the lie of incorporation via due process to foist the 2nd Amendment on the states, and the libertarians go there with their First Amendment absolutism via privileges or immunities.

All of these fake strict constructionists embrace the Air Force, paper money, the Federal Reserve System, judicial review, and on and on and on.

On reflection, nobody but an idiot insists judges could or should enforce the actual US Constitution.

That is pap for rubes who march about on patriotic holidays wearing three-cornered hats and carrying replica muskets.

For them and for children, like Santa and the Elf on the Shelf.

Bumper sticker drivel.

So what are the real differences between the ways the left and right use the constitution?

They all use it to favor their own sides in the class and culture wars of American politics.

And they are on opposite sides.

Gagged

Too much leftist rage, they said.

The talking heads speculate the Republicans want her to be the Democratic nominee in 2020.

So McConnell did this to raise her status among Democrats while focusing right wing hatred, similar to the hatred of Hillary. 

Or is that a double fake?


"The bottom line is, it was long overdue with her," he said.

"I mean, she is clearly running for the nomination in 2020."

"The Democratic Party is being pushed really hard by the most extreme voices in their community, and they just don't know how to handle it," he added.

A pot, kettle moment, there.

"If they empower her, then I think the Democratic Party is gonna lose way with the vast majority of the American people."

Hey, stupid! Listen up!


You voted for Trump because Hillary Clinton was going to be in Wall Street's pocket.

Trump wants to repeal Dodd-Frank and eliminate the Fiduciary Rule, letting Wall Street return to its pre-2008 ways.

You voted for Trump because you thought the Clinton Foundation was "pay for play."

Trump has refused to wall off his businesses from his administration, and personally profits from payments from foreign governments.

You voted for Trump because of Clinton's role in Benghazi.

Trump ordered the Yemen raid without adequate intel, and tweeted about "FAKE NEWS" while Americans died as a result of his carelessness.

You voted for Trump because Clinton didn't care about "the little guy."

Trump's cabinet is full of billionaires, and he's taking away your health insurance so he can give them a multi-million-dollar tax break.

You voted for Trump because he was going to build a wall and Mexico was going to pay for it.
American consumers will pay for the wall via import tariffs.

You voted for Trump because Clinton was going to get us into a war.

Trump has provoked our enemies, alienated our allies and given ISIS a decade's worth of recruiting material.

You voted for Trump because Clinton didn't have the "stamina" to do the job.

Trump hung up on the Australian Prime Minister during a 5 p.m. phone call because "it was at the end of a long day and he was tired and fatigue was setting in."

You voted for Trump because foreign leaders wouldn't respect Clinton.

Foreign leaders, both friendly and hostile, are openly mocking Trump.

You voted for Trump because Clinton lies and "he tells it like it is."

Trump and his administration lie with a regularity and brazenness that can only be described as shocking.

Actually, he voted for Bozo, the Musolinni impersonator, because he liked the show.

Or because he was the only chance for the Republican agenda.

Or because he hates Democrats and all their running dogs.

Trump v. Gorsuch.


Flapdoodle.

Gorsuch appears a stuffed shirt, a thin-skinned ingrate, a willing tool of anti-Trumpists.

But Trump v. Blumenthal is amusing.

Flapdoodle between two draft-dodging liars.

Trump's dig at Blumenthal's military service is a reference to Blumenthal's past misrepresentations about his service during the Vietnam era.

Blumenthal obtained multiple military deferments to avoid getting drafted into the Vietnam War and ultimately landed in the Marine Corps Reserve and never deployed to Vietnam, though he claimed multiple times he had served in Vietnam.

Blumenthal apologized for misrepresenting his service in 2010.

While Blumenthal enlisted in the Marine Reserve after multiple deferments, Trump -- who was also eligible for the draft during the Vietnam War -- never enlisted, instead obtaining multiple student deferments and ultimately a medical deferment for a bone spur to avoid the military draft.

Amazing how many who avoided Vietnam service have worked in or near the Oval Office.

Clinton, Bush, Cheney, Trump.

Likely a host of others.

So many "had other priorities," as Dick Cheney put it.

21° F right now in our town. 3 or 4 inches on the ground and still snowing.

A temporary return of winter, they say.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Trump, the Absolute?

Trump on Immigration Power: I Can Do Whatever I Want

Immigration law prohibits discrimination by race or religion.

But federal law also says the president can temporarily ban any class of people whatever if he views their admission as detrimental to the interests of the United States.

Trump seems to think the claim that it's being done for reasons of national security is unreviewable, and that whether reasons of national security justify the move is also unreviewable.

Totally his call, in other words, so long as he, the president, says it's about national security.

On that point, in fact, law and precedent seem to be on Trump's side, given that exclusion for national security reasons counts as exclusion on the grounds that admission would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.

Was the district court in Seattle already wrong to stop execution of the executive order?

Maybe.

“The exclusion of aliens is a fundamental act of sovereignty,” the Supreme Court held in the 1950 Knauff case, “inherent in the executive power to control the foreign affairs of the nation.” 

The courts are not meant to second guess the executive’s conduct of foreign affairs, or intrude on its plenary power in this area. 

“It is not within the province of any court,” the court noted in that decision, “unless expressly authorized by law, to review the determination of the political branch of the Government to exclude a given alien.”

Can the president, completely on his own, unreviewable determination, temporarily ban for as long as he wishes entry to the US of any aliens or class of aliens?

Looks it.

Second, it’s hard to get around the relevant federal immigration law, which says, “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

Does the constitution forbid the president to temporarily stop entry by nationality or religion, or the Congress to make an immigration law that so discriminates?

Not according to a recent, relevant case.

Finally, aliens residing outside the United States have no right to come here. 

The Supreme Court held in the 1982 Landon case, “an alien seeking initial admission to the United States requests a privilege and has no constitutional rights regarding his application, for the power to admit or exclude aliens is a sovereign prerogative.”

But in any case a law cannot permit what the constitution forbids.

And whether a law does that is not his call, but a call for the courts, which are totally free to disagree with rulings of earlier courts.

So these questions can be raised.

Does the constitution forbid the president, even in the name of national security, to temporarily ban openly by race or nationality?

If not quite openly then de facto?

And does it forbid the Congress to write an immigration law that does either?

Those questions are for judges, and we know where the liberals want the judges to go.

But be careful what you wish for.

It is not difficult to conceive dozens of scenarios in which the president can prevent grave harm to the Unites States, even a nuclear detonation, only by immediately interrupting some or all travel to the US by some or all aliens - or even citizens! - for some period of time, determinable only by him.

It would not be good for a judge to try to suspend such a determination merely because it was costly to a lot of American interests.

And there might be terrifyingly good reason why the reasons for the decision ought not to be bandied about in even a secure court, or even shared among enough people to make that possible.

Still, under the statute, the discretionary power of the president over travel into the US is startlingly sweeping. 

A thought.

Does Bozo, at some point, just decide to ignore what a court says?

At which point or points?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Bozo lies as constantly as he breathes

He's the king of fake news.

He makes Bannon seem an unimaginative fibber.

What’s largely and glaringly missing from Trump’s list of terrorist attacks: Non-Western victims

It begins with off-the-cuff bullshit.

On Monday in Florida — the same state devastated by the Pulse nightclub massacre last year — President Trump told members of the military that the news media were purposely not covering terrorist attacks.

“You’ve seen what happened in Paris, and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening,” he said at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. 

“It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”

Then Sean Spicer backs away to a less obvious lie that is still utter crap.

Reporters, who heard the president’s remarks, asked White House press secretary Sean Spicer what Trump was talking about. 

Spicer clarified that the president’s beef was actually with terrorist attacks they deemed “underreported.”

Hours later, Spicer offered the reporters a list — with 78 examples from September 2014 through December 2016.

The list was shoddy and slapped together and contained high profile attacks that got enormous coverage.

Among them were the Pulse nightclub massacre, the Bastille Day attack in Nice, France, the coordinated shootings and explosions in Paris, and the holiday party shooting in San Bernardino, Calif.

. . . .

As The Washington Post’s Phillip Bump noted, the list could be Spicer’s way of doing damage control and manipulating the media — a concept called “working the refs” — by whipping journalists into a fact-checking frenzy over global terrorism.

But what’s more telling, perhaps, is not what Trump’s list included — but what it didn’t.

About 95 % of the victims of terrorism are Muslim.

You would never know that from the White House list.

Is this all just a Trump strategy to distract the media with craziness that, to his adorers, make them look like bad guys while his serious crap gets under-reported?

On the other hand, how scared does The Duce want us to be?

Scared enough to be glad of his bullshit efforts to make us all safe again.

How scared should you be?

Trump fears terrorists, but more Americans are shot dead by toddlers

When the president uses his executive powers to ban more than 200 million people from entering America, ostensibly in the interests of security, and then, in the same week, the House of Representatives relaxes background checks for gun ownership, one is compelled to question the sense of proportionality when it comes to security. 

Whom do they intend to keep safe? 

By what means? 

And at what price to liberty?

Let us leave aside for the moment the fact that since 9/11 not a single American has been killed in a terrorist attack by a citizen from the countries on this list. 

The reality is that an American is at least twice as likely to be shot dead by a toddler than killed by a terrorist. 

In 2014 88 Americans were shot dead, on average, every day: 58 killed themselves while 30 were murdered. 

In that same year 18 Americans were killed by terrorist attacks in the US. 

Put more starkly: more Americans were killed by firearms roughly every five hours than were killed by terrorists in an entire year. 

It is unlikely that scrapping a rule requiring extended background checks for gun purchases by some so

58° F today in our town

Monday, February 6, 2017

57° F today in Our Town

Can we really get away with this?

Salander and Blomkvist, again

The Girl in the Spider's Web, David Lagercrantz.

Excellent.

Poirot, again

The Monogram Murders, Sophie Hannah.

Ms. Hannah has written and published two Poirot novels, so far, and they are brilliant.

You cannot not see and hear David Suchet.

But where are Hastings, Japp, and Miss Lemon?

Anyway, fine stuff.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Welcome to the majors, Mr. Trump

Trump just got checked and balanced

A federal judge has stopped execution of the immigration and refugee order, nationwide.

The federal bureaucracy has told everybody at airports everywhere to go back to the business as usual of the day before the order, as if it never happened, pending continuing litigation.

And it's beginning to look like discrimination in immigration by national origin or religion may soon be declared unconstitutional, though nothing pertinent to that question in the constitution has changed since the Civil War Amendments, and nobody thought the constitution bore any impediment to the frankly discriminatory racism and nationalism of immigration law right up to the 1950's.

Appeals Court Rejects Request to Immediately Restore Travel Ban

Remember that DC establishment he spent his entire campaign denigrating and promising to crush?

That rigged system he was going to smash on behalf of his forgotten men?

It will not go quietly.

Trump is every day more transparently unprepared and unsuited to the job of the presidency, so much so that I find it every day more disturbing that mainstream Republican venues like RCP are still giving equal time to his defenders.

Would they defend Mussolini?

If the courts settle it that discrimination in immigration is in fact unconstitutional and strike down his executive orders on that basis, and then Bozo tells them to go to hell and orders the relevant bureaucracy to carry them into effect, what will these Trumpist Republicans do?

Will they effectively absolutize the power of the presidency by insisting he gets to blow off court rulings and orders he disagrees with?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

In lieu of objective goodness

Goodness is subjective and relative, and right and wrong are a hoax.

So God's choice cannot follow objective value but only his own subjective desire.

So why does God desire what he desires?

Whence God's utility curve, so to speak?

How can it be necessarily the utility curve that a necessary and perfect being necessarily has?

If that makes no sense, God cannot be a person, and he cannot choose a world, and he cannot prefer one thing to another.

So far, so good

Not much of a winter, so far.

But Aristotle said count no man happy until he is dead.

Bozo ignores Quebec. Why?


An exclusive report by Reuters suggests the White House is planning to "revamp and rename a US government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism."

According to Reuters, the program, "Countering Violent Extremism" will be renamed "Countering Islamic Extremism" or "Countering Radical Islamic Extremism," and will reportedly "no longer target groups such as white supremacists" who have been responsible for the vast majority of terrorist attacks on American soil in the last 15 years.

In Trump's world, it seems, the only extremism that matters is Islamic extremism.

.  .  .  .

Domestic, right wing terrorism is a far bigger security issue for US law enforcement.

These facts explain why, according to the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, "law enforcement agencies in the United States consider anti-government violent extremists, not radicalized Muslims, to be the most severe threat of political violence that they face."

Indeed, in a survey the New York Times conducted in 2015, "74% of law enforcement agencies reported anti-government extremism as one of the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdiction."

So, considering the facts, why might the White House choose to stop targeting what is almost unanimously considered to be the gravest domestic terrorist threat to Americans and to focus instead solely on Islamic terrorism?

The answer is simple: Trump is playing to an influential part of his constituency.

After all, these people form the radical core of his political support.

They are the people who helped put him in the White House.
.  .  .  .

Simply put, by promising to no longer focus on white supremacist, anti-government, and right-wing extremist groups, President Trump is doing what most politicians do after being elected: he is taking care of his own.

Bozo, the man of the people

Trump rushes to protect the forgotten man from selfish elites and the crooked system.


President says bill meant to prevent another financial crisis is crippling the economy as critics charge that Trump is caving in to Wall Street.

Actually, it's a twofer.

Donald Trump moved to roll back the financial regulations brought in after the last financial crisis on Friday, directing a review of the Dodd-Frank Act, which was enacted to ensure there would never be another 2008-style meltdown.

The US president said his latest executive order was necessary because the regulations were too onerous on business and hurting the economy.

But the move was largely symbolic – only Congress can rewrite the legislation.

A second directive is expected to halt the implementation of an Obama-era rule that would have required brokers to act in a client’s best interest when providing retirement advice, rather than seek the highest profits for themselves.

Who's that in bed with Goldman Sachs?

Is that Hillary?

Why, no.

I do believe that's Bozo the Malevolent, the Joker of the White House.

Mattis again affirms US globalism


This is not Buchananite neo-isolationism, not consistent with Trump's complaints about US defense agreements or his remarks they should get their own nukes and not count on us.

China has accused the US of putting the stability of the Asia-Pacific at risk after Donald Trump’s defence secretary said Washington would come to Japan’s defence in the event of a conflict with Beijing over the disputed Senkaku islands.

James Mattis, on a two-day visit to Japan, said the islands, which are controlled by Japan but also claimed by China, fell within the scope of the Japan-US security treaty, under which Washington is obliged to defend all areas under Japanese administrative control.

Mattis also made clear that the US opposed any unilateral action that risked undermining Japan’s control of the Senkakus, a group of uninhabited islets that are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and potentially large natural gas deposits.

Court stops Bozo's travel bans


Customs officials have reportedly told US airlines that they can board passengers who had been barred from entering the country after a federal judge in Seattle ordered a temporary halt on Donald Trump’s travel ban for refugees and people from seven predominantly-Muslim nations.

District judge James Robart granted a temporary restraining order on Friday after hearing arguments from Washington state and Minnesota that the president’s order had unlawfully discriminated against Muslims and caused unreasonable harm.

Friday, February 3, 2017

On Fideism

Many of the most fundamental things we believe, we believe without proof.

The external world, the past, the future, other minds, the general reliability of memory, that the future will resemble the past, that logic as we know it is reliable, and so on and on.

Why not God?

Especially me, with my crowded and colorful ontology of abstracta, possibilia, and immateria.

Which is not to say I have not, at various parts of my life, accepted arguments for God.

The argument a contingentia mundi, for example.

Or from the possibility of a necessary being.

But I don't actually see that it makes any practical difference.

No more than believing that there are sets, or propositions, or properties, say.

On hearing my granddaughter, age 12 today, practice the violin.

The Hallelujah Chorus.

It's not even Christmas.

It's her birthday.

The things skeptics say we believe without proof optimists describe as self-evident.

Look up Plantiga and whether the existence of God is self-evident.

And the picture of God presented by that beautiful chorus is wholly wrong.

The idea of God as a king and lawgiver derives from the mythology of the Bible, and is religious fiction with no basis in fact.

In fact, it is by no means clear that or why an infinite, necessary, perfect, immutable, eternal being would create a world of contingency, imperfection, and constant change, at all.

Let alone then ape a needy human monarch, commanding and threatening and posturing like some pathetic Trump.

Fooled you, didn't he?

Don't think he won't go there.


The new deputy director of the CIA allegedly ran a “black site” prison in Thailand where suspects were waterboarded, a form of torture that Donald Trump supports.

Gina Haspel, selected by Trump and appointed by CIA director Mike Pompeo on Thursday, reportedly had a leading role in the intelligence agency’s covert post-9/11 programme in which simulated drowning and other painful interrogation techniques were used on detainees overseas.

She briefly ran a black site in Thailand where suspected al-Qaida members Abu Zubaydah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri were tortured in 2002, and Haspel later helped carry out an order that the CIA destroy its waterboarding videos, US officials told Reuters and Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

CIA cables on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah at the site, codenamed Cat’s Eye, were declassified last month.

They revealed he was waterboarded 83 times in a month and had his head repeatedly slammed into walls.

Interrogators also used sleep deprivation and kept Abu Zubaydah in a “large box”, the documents said.

His captors later decided he held no useful intelligence.

Ifrastructure on credit?

Don't count on it.

Hill Republicans revolt over Trump's plans to build border wall

So far, the Republican establishment that runs Congress has given him nothing contrary to its own political proclivities.

Nothing.

They don't even want to give him his stupid wall.

So far, the Trumpist populist revolt is all talk, showmanship, and executive orders.

Even the executive branch has not entirely changed course, with Mad Dog Mattis out there sternly showing the flag in the Far East.

Reassuring

The crazy man of Pyongyang vs the crazy man of DC.

Everybody gets one Bay of Pigs

Pentagon Points Finger of Blame at Trump

Actually, nowhere near as bad as the B of P.

Frank Rich has a sense of humor


By Frank Rich

In the case of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, it’s a no-brainer: It is not hyperbole to say that the Republican Senate majority stole a Supreme Court appointment from President Obama on the spurious grounds that he only had a year left in his presidency when Scalia died.

The Democrats can argue no less spuriously that a president who lost the popular vote lacks the standing to fill that same seat.

Of course, it is exactly hyperbole, but still.

And didn't he mean no more spuriously?

Well, maybe not.

Bozo in charge

Trump defends chaotic foreign policy: 'We're going to straighten it out, OK?'

The wheelhouse of the presidency, and he's floundering.

Waving his arms and cackling comically.

Nuclear power is the answer?

Hell, no.

Fukushima radiation levels at highest level since 2011 meltdown

Read it.

Chilling.

Bozo's spiritual brownshirts

They're not just in the FBI.

Former Norway PM held at Washington airport over 2014 visit to Iran

Democrats, awake!

Indissoluble marriage?

Criminalization of adultery and fornication?

Legal persecution of gays?

Total legal suppression of porn, obscenity, and profanity?

Legal suppression of contraception?

A regime of carefully inculcated shame and inescapable guilt?

Legally required church contributions and attendance?

Exclusion of Jews and other non-Christians, or reduction of their numbers to insignificance?

Mandatory prayer and religious lessons in public schools?

Who really wants all that back?

Criminalized miscegenation?

Exclusion of non-whites from the vote, from juries, and from political office?

Legally mandated segregation in schools and in residential areas?

Racial discrimination in employment?

The color line in all social relationships?

Exclusion of women from education, from professions, from property ownership, from office, from the vote?

Should the liberal judges who did away with all that by constitutional fabrication really be faulted for it?

Especially in view of Article V and the paralysis, fecklessness, and backwardness of the political branches?

Should the human and legal rights at issue in these matters be left subject to change as easily as the tax laws?

Shouldn't the affirmative right to counsel and the exclusionary rule be protected by the constitution, in state as well as federal courts?

Shouldn't the Bill of Rights,  reasonably construed, constrain states and locales as well as the general government?

Shouldn't the constitution be amenable to revision by enlightened and experienced liberal elites, more readily than by masses spurred on by demagogues like George Wallace, Donald Trump, or Steve Bannon?

What kind of country do we really want?

Don't we want responsible and liberal judicial review?

Don't we want strong privacy rights?

Don't we want a government big enough and strong enough and rich enough to protect us and our children and our planet from the arrogance, power, and rapacity of the plutocracy?

Don't we want a vibrant, powerful, and creative economy that works for all of us and not just the few?

Don't we want secular and public, tuition free education and training of all sorts, at all levels?

Don't we want quality universal health care?

Don't we want social insurance and retirement programs to eliminate poverty and secure reasonable comfort and well-being for all?

Don't we oppose exclusion of non-whites and non-Christians from our schools, our neighborhoods, our workplaces, and our country?

Stop bullshitting around!

Stand up and say it.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Measure the risks

If you are an ordinary American, the chance of being materially harmed or even killed by Republican domestic policy is far greater than the chance of suffering Jihader violence.

Trump's domestic policy.

Bozo The Duce.

Would he have won?

O reportedly said he would have won.

Maybe so, maybe not.

But I sure as hell would have voted for him.

I voted for Hillary and would have for Bernie.

I voted for O, twice, and never regretted it.

Trump is the opposite of O, and that's not a good thing.

What white workers will get for their support

With all eyes on Trump, Republicans are planning to break unions for good

Yup, Trump is on their side, all right.

Just a working class hero, he is.

The whole race thing has always been nothing but sucker-bait for the right.

Trump is the perfect betrayer.

They have fallen for him hook, line, and sinker.

Gratuitous malevolence?

Bozo and probably Bannon picked this guy

European parliament leaders call on EU to reject Trump's likely ambassador pick

So American policy under Bozo the Malevolent is to insult, malign, and undermine the EU.

America First?

How is this to the advantage of the United States?

How on earth is the EU an enemy of the United States?

Trump throws tantrums on his calls

Reports like this are increasingly frequent.

Trump bashes 'very bad' U.S.-Australian refugee deal

Fewer than 2,000 refugees are involved.

This psycho is the president.

WAPO quotes CATO to oppose Trump and support liberals on immigration

Trump administration circulates more draft immigration restrictions, focusing on protecting U.S. jobs

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Recordings of Bannon surface

Of Bannon on radio shows urging an end to all Muslim immigration and, on another occasion, complaining about engineering or medical students from South Asia staying on to work here and taking jobs from Americans, urging an end to immigration - not temporary visas for education or other purposes - altogether.

These are presented as damning recordings of a racist, religious bigot and his crazy man ravings.

Seen and heard on MSNBC.

All you need to know about Neil Gorsuch

Scalia, in defiance of his own earlier and popular writings, embraced the dogma of incorporation based on the due process clause in order to impose the 2nd Amendment on states and locales, rather than incorporation based on the privileges or immunities clause, much more defensible as an understanding of the actual wording and the legislative intent.

And that was the conservative reading of the 2nd according to which it protects an individual right effectively independent of the individual's membership in either a militia (public or private) or the National Guard.

Nobody has yet said anything about Gorsuch's detailed legal views, alleging only that he is an admirer of Scalia and is the same sort of "strict constructionist" as him.

Originalists, textualists, and other forms of strict constructionists, though sharing a general approach, don't necessarily agree in details.

Crucially and one might say definingly, all species of strict constructionists agree in disapproving and holding as fanciful and, er, not strict, interpretations of the constitution that, while not defensible as narrow, literal, textualist, or adhering to original intent, are crucial to the sexual and civil rights revolutions, as well as many other parts of progressivism in the law.

My concern would be with how far he is willing to overturn past courts in major decisions such as Roe or even Griswold, or overturn established institutions such as Medicare and Social Security via long known readings, preferred as strict, of the general welfare and necessary and proper clauses that flatly rule them both out.

I am, I confess, an old fart, and such things worry me.

And also how far he is in sympathy with conservatives' renewed interest in and respect for Lochner, based though it is on a reading of due process that is not remotely literal, textualist, narrow, or plausibly based on original intent, that threatens just about any form of federal or state regulation of the labor market, wages, working conditions, and the like.

People so easily seem to ignore that the conservative "main stream" is in fact very, very radical in a right wing, counter-revolutionary way.

Everything from unemployment compensation to the affirmative right to counsel, from federal and state workplace and product safety regulation to prohibitions of discrimination in employment, actually the whole and entire ball of wax, depends on rulings of constitutionality that strict constructionists are known to profoundly deplore.

Everything since McKinley is at risk, every day one of these guys sits on any federal court.

Of course, strict construction is a fraud, anyway.

In addition to their defections from narrowness, original intent, and adherence to the actual text noted above, I am not aware of anyone of the tribe who, for example, holds that the free exercise clause protects human sacrifice, and pretty much all of them seem to agree it disallows, in some cases (e.g., Quakers refusing to perform military service) if not in all (e.g., parental refusal to provide medical care to their sick children), requiring people to do what their religion forbids.

Gorsuch, for example, is on record as agreeing, in the Hobby Lobby case, it disallows requiring people or even businesses in the hands of people whose religion forbids doing A to provide the means for someone else, not of their religion, to optionally do A.

(How then defend taxation of pacifists to support the military?)

Everyone pretty much accepts that the First Amendment covers electronic or recorded media as well as the paper press and in person, real time speech.

And Republicans are notorious for the conviction that paying somebody else to publish or speak is protected by the Amendment that in so many words protects only speaking and publishing.

But pretty much - though not quite - none of them accepts the blatant absolutism of "Congress shall make no law."

And pretty much everyone agrees wiretaps and most forms of electronic eavesdropping require a warrant.

And there is much else, besides, including the Air Force and paper currency.

Much, much more.

BTW, are any of the judges who might be tempted to overturn Roe of a mind to do so without overturning Griswold?

Without overturning Lawrence?

Would they be content with only that much of restoration of American Christian clericalism and Christian sexual morality?