Sunday, April 30, 2017

As bad as Netflix

Bourrage de crâne.

Annoyingly anti-white, misandrist, anti-Christian, anti-capitalist, PC, pro-homosexual, post-Zinnite shills for physicalism.

Watching Doctor Who on BBC America.

"Wet brain, dry brain"?


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How is this acceptable?

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

But what is excessive has to be determined as relative to the means of the accused.

And what has happened in California reflects systemic violation.

Joseph Warren sees no sunlight and never gets fresh air.

The 60-year-old San Francisco man, locked up for more than a month, said he has become suicidal, rarely eats the jail food and tries to sleep as much as possible when he’s not crying in his small cell.

As a gay man, he is afraid he will be assaulted in the shower.

Warren is awaiting trial on welfare fraud charges.

Charged with stealing roughly $5,000 from the government – an accusation he denies – a judge recently set his bail at $75,000, which he can’t afford.

His only options are to plead guilty or stay incarcerated.

In the same region, another criminal defendant is preparing for trial in a very different setting.

Tiffany Li, a wealthy real estate heir who is accused of conspiring to murder the father of her children, is able to remain under house arrest after posting $4m in cash and pledging $62m in property for her bail.

She has a multimillion-dollar mansion 10 miles south of Warren’s jail.

The parallel cases moving through the San Francisco Bay Area’s courts have shone a harsh light on a system that critics say is fundamentally flawed and unconstitutional, where wealth can buy freedom even for those accused of the most serious offenses while others facing minor charges are jailed indefinitely simply for being poor.

Both reasonable bail and a speedy trial are regularly denied by the states, with horrific impact mostly on the poor.

That is not acceptable.

This could not occur in a criminal justice system doing everything reasonable to punish only the guilty.

Monday, April 24, 2017

What the press is not saying

Emmanuel Macron v Marine Le Pen: who are they and what are their policies?

Marine Le Pen is a French nationalist, a throwback who rejects the eclipse of both the ideal of nationalism and the pre-eminence of the nation-state in Europe.

And she is a pro-labor, pro-welfare state nationalist.

Were it not for her nationalism, or were the year 1940, she would serve well as a moderate French socialist.

But given the chance she would undo the EU, undermine NATO, close France to immigrants and refugees, and perhaps hand certain countries back to Russia with a shrug.

Macron is a standard issue center-right politician who rejects nationalism and whose patriotism is not a rejection of the growing significance of the European Union.

Given the chance, he would harm the position of the French working class.

But he would support the EU and NATO, and be less hostile to immigration and refugees.

France is the only country in Europe where nationalist, populist parties are not also opposed to the welfare and regulatory state and enemies of working people.

What outcome would be better for America?

The defeat of Le Pen.

A post-nationalist, united Europe is better for us as regards global security and as regards its effects on our domestic politics.

We don't need anybody pouring gasoline on the fires of tribalism and identity politics.

We need to strengthen, not fray, the ties that bind together the American people.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Crazy for all these years

While MSM Focuses on Insignificant Alt-Right, They Should Be All Over the Black Bloc

Sorry, who?

This is who.

Politico connects the dots

Trump, the champion of Buchananism.

A surprisingly sympathetic interview with PB, himself.

Buchanan, for his part, feels both validated and vindicated. 

Long ago resigned to the reality that his policy views made him a pariah in the Republican Party—and stained him irrevocably with the ensuing accusations of racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia—he has lived to see the GOP come around to Buchananism and the country send its direct descendant to the White House.

“I was elated, delighted that Trump picked up on the exact issues on which I challenged Bush,” he tells me. 

“And then he goes and uses my slogan? It just doesn’t get any better than this.”

No freedom to listen for Berkeley college Republicans and their fellow students

That's the important flip side of no free speech for Ann Coulter.

UC Berkeley students threaten to sue over Ann Coulter visit

The University of California at Berkeley students who invited Ann Coulter to speak on campus are threatening to sue the university if it doesn't find a proper time and venue for the conservative pundit to speak next week.

. . . .

Berkeley officials on Tuesday informed the Berkeley College Republicans and the nonpartisan BridgeUSA, which organized the Coulter event, that it was being cancelled due to security concerns.

The cancellation comes after a series of violent clashes this year on campus and in downtown Berkeley between far-right and far-left protesters who come armed with pepper spray, Molotov cocktails, brass knuckles and soda cans filled with concrete.

Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks said that police have "very specific intelligence regarding threats that could pose a grave danger to the speaker," her audience and protesters if the event goes ahead next Thursday.

Officials offered an afternoon event on May 2, when they can offer an "appropriate, protectable venue" but Coulter rejected it, saying she is not available that day.


The period is known as Dead Week, when students are studying for final exams.

Dhillon said the university offered eight possible venues for the event students had planned to take place between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. but then abruptly cancelled the event.

Patti said in a letter to Dhillon that university police and officials have determined neither the group's free speech nor the safety of the university's 36,000 students can be safeguarded on April 27.

Bernie Sanders and Robert Reich, both of the old-style left focused primarily on issues of class rather than identity, join Bill Maher, he who could give a shit about your pitiful, fragile identity, in sticking up for AC's right to speak.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Maduro leads Venezuela towards chaos

Venezuela's latest corporate target is Spain's Telefonica

Uncompensated seizure of private property for public use.

Maduro's announcement comes just a day after General Motors (GM) said authorities unexpectedly seized its auto manufacturing plant in Venezuela, showing a "total disregard" of its legal rights.

Huge swaths of Venezuela's economy have been nationalized in recent decades, including private oil, telecommunications, energy and cement businesses.

. . . .

The recent large-scale protests erupted after Maduro's administration barred opposition leader Henrique Capriles from holding political office for the next 15 years. 

At least nine people have been killed in the protests. Maduro has been accused by the opposition of behaving like a dictator.

In late March, the loyalist-backed Supreme Court tried to strip the opposition-led National Assembly of its powers, but quickly reversed course after a severe public outcry. 

The Supreme Court also blocked all reforms from opposition lawmakers.

GM isn't the only company in crisis in Venezuela

Latin America nations condemn Venezuela violence

And in a further lurch to the left, reminding us not only of Allende's subversion of the Chilean state but of Hitler's brownshirts and Mussolini's blackshirts, we see this.

Venezuela's Maduro to provide guns to 400,000 loyalists amid peaking tension

Venezuela's purely local mess can quickly become a national security problem for the US if Maduro allies his Bolivarian Revolution with Russia or China, or worse still with North Korea or Iran.

Will Buchananites praise Putin for this, too?

Russia just effectively banned Jehovah’s Witnesses from the country

Russia has an ugly history of persecution of the Witnesses, going back to Stalinist times.

Once a KGB thug, always a KGB thug.

Tu quoque

Rich people, or those who seem rich, are easily targeted as hypocrites when they rail against the obscenities of shockingly selfish superfluity.

But that does not invalidate their denunciations of inequalities capitalism generates and our bourgeois government tolerates far in excess of what is necessary to power aspiration and innovation in a mixed economy optimally ordered and regulated to best benefit all.

Or, certainly, those worst off.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A recipe for stupidity

Turkey referendum: Erdogan camp set to win after most votes counted

If you want to legally adopt a really stupid change to constitutional arrangements, put it to a plebiscite.

Adoption only requires more than half the votes cast in exactly one trip to the polls.

Sure, Article V is too demanding and gives way too much power to voters in tiny states at the expense of voters in populous states.

But the method of deciding on Brexit in Britain and on this change in Turkey is ridiculous.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

When will cops learn?

They can't count on getting away with brutality any more.

They will not be protected by their superiors when outed by videos.

They will be disciplined, fired, and in some cases prosecuted and jailed.

They have got to knock this shit off.

Is police misconduct treated differently in the cellphone video age?

A lib-fem trifecta!

The 16-year-old who told off Jeff Flake has a message for “old white man” Trump

Agist, racist, and misandrist, all in one sneer!

Silly, childish colored girl.

What did Xi and Bozo agree on?

A while back I mused on the desirability of regime change in North Korea, both for the US and its allies and for China.

That thought seems to have crossed the mind of another who has gone the extra step, speculating Xi and Bozo may actually have agreed to do something.

But a number of less radical possibilities exist, as to what Xi and the Duce may have agreed.

And among them, this seems the most radical and unlikely.

Less radical and quite humiliating would be the strike force shooting down the North Koreans' next test missile.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Um, actually, the voters picked Hillary

The Electors picked Bozo.

But it looks like he's channeling Hillary, anyway.

Lassie, come home

Ann Coulter, who pretty much owns Human Events, these days, finally checks in on the Duce's new look.

Bozo finds he likes it

Dropping MOAB on Afghanistan

After 16 years of war, the country is a wreck and the Taliban are far from beaten.

They,  al-Qaeda, and ISIS operate freely and the Taliban control or contest about a third of the country.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hell is other people

Report: Suspect in boy's rape, death planned jail escape

Police have filed an additional charge against a Butler County man accused of raping and killing his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son last month in a case the DA called “horrific.”

Keith Jordan Lambing, 20, has been charged with planning an escape from the Butler County Prison, where he is being held on homicide and sexual assault charges.

Mr. Lambing is accused of assaulting the boy, Bentley Miller, who was found bleeding and unresponsive in a car March 21 with Mr. Lambing's mother, Kristen Herold, at a business on Renaissance Drive in Butler. 

The boy was pronounced dead a short time later at Butler Memorial Hospital.

Butler DA weighing death penalty in 4-year-old's killing

The Butler County district attorney said Tuesday that a “horrific” case in which a 4-year-old boy was raped and killed calls out for capital punishment, but he will not make the decision until the case has moved past the preliminary hearing stage.

“It would appear on its face it asks for the death penalty,” said DA Richard Goldinger. “I’ve never seen anything like this.

Keith Jordan Lambing, 20, is accused of assaulting his girlfriend’s son, Bentley Miller, who was found bleeding and unresponsive in a car March 21 with Mr. Lambing’s mother, Kristen Herold, at a business on Renaissance Drive in Butler.

The boy was pronounced dead a short time later at Butler Memorial Hospital. He bled to death from his injuries.

Heading for another failure?

Trump's budget director on what's on, and off, the table for cuts

Mulvaney is as crazy as Bannon.

At the heart and soul of the anti-Washington, anti-federal government, crackpot right.

As President Donald Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney sits in the center of the storm. 

He is drafting a White House budget that members of both parties call dead on arrival. 

He's still trying to help bridge the gap between the White House and the House Freedom Caucus over the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

. . . .

Elected to the house amid the Tea Party rebellion of 2010, he struck a pugnacious stance on government shutdowns and the debt limit, and eventually helped found the Freedom Caucus. 


A retired general and news network consultant said recently the sane response to Korean development of a nuclear strike capability would be to deploy an effective system of missile defense.

That may be the best we can do.


News says China is considering cutting off Korean oil and state controlled media say China is tired of the strains of the nuclear issue right on their border.

Off the wall, I ask might not China and the US go to the table with South Korea and Japan and agree to regime change in North Korea, putting in place a non-nuclear and Communist regime on the Chinese model, friendly to China politically and similar to China in approach to economics and trade?

Could any such thing be done without war?

Probably not.

Too bad.

The real problem, after all, is that the North Korean regime is nuts.

Who but Cold War diehards and Korean nationalists is really hot for reunification under the capitalist, American allied South Korean government?

The general interest in diminishing tensions in the region would be much better served by the solution I have suggested.

But not a chance in hell, I suppose.

The gas attack, again

Russia vs. US

Are we merely assuming it was a government attack?

Is Nikki Haley assuming that and that the Russians knew about it in advance?

So many in America have been itching to smite Assad, and for a major clash with Putin.

Even more than GW itched to take out Saddam.

Why are we forcing such brinksmanship over this fetish about gas?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Well, that was clumsy

White House rechristens concentration camps as 'Holocaust Centers,' says Hitler not as bad as Assad

Well, actually, it was just Sean Spicer placing his feet, one at a time, into his mouth.

The son of a bitch so deserves it

'You Lie!': Obama-Heckling Congressman Gets a Taste of His Own Medicine

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) is perhaps best known for shouting "you lie!" at then-President Barack Obama during a joint session of Congress in 2009. 

It's a phrase that still haunts him almost a decade later, as proven by town hall attendees in his district late Monday.

“I’ve supported the local solicitor here, and the solicitor in Lexington on all efforts to make sure that violence against women is fully enforced,” Wilson told a roomful of constituents.

“You lie! You lie!” chanted hundreds in response.

Bozo approaching disaster?

In Korea, whose preemptive strike will come first, our clown's or theirs?

In Syria, Bozo scrapped prudence for stupidly righteous belligerence to push Siberiagate out of the news.

This is the guy with the launch codes.

This is the guy his voters - a really dumb minority - chose to deal with the 3 am call.

And yet, if she isn't woofing, Hillary would already have brought us much closer to war with Assad and Putin.

Bozo is blustering and blundering toward conflict.

She would have moved us closer, quite deliberately.

And Korea?

Meanwhile, the Top Banana of Buchananism makes all the arguments against jumping into Syria.

Even a broken clock . . . .

Is Trump Joining the War Party?

Well, from this latest about NATO expansion, I would have to say he is.

Trump Approves of Latest NATO Expansion

Another tiny and insignificant faraway place for Americans to die for.

So Trump figured out one way to silence the constant chorus of accusation he was in Putin's pocket would be to enlist in Cold War II.

And then he promptly did it.

And the chorus fell silent.


Monday, April 10, 2017

A very misleading news headline

New York just OK'd tuition-free college for middle class


And no one else?

Not the rich?

Not the poor?

Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced the tuition-free plan in January. 

Lawmakers agreed to include it in the state budget, which was approved by the Assembly on Saturday and by the Senate late Sunday night. 

The governor is expected to sign the budget bills.

Tuition will be free for residents who earn up to a specific income cap, which will be phased in over the first three years.

Starting this fall, undergraduate students who attend a State University of New York or City University of New York school will be eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship if their families earn no more than $100,000 a year. 

The income cap will lift to $110,000 next year and will reach $125,000 in 2019.

OK, so, not the rich.

But everybody else, including the poor and the very poorest, is in.

So why the totally misleading headline?

Come to that, tuition and other costs at these schools aren't that high, anyway, compared to private schools in pretty much any state.

Those eligible will pay nothing for tuition, which costs $6,470 annually at four-year schools and about $4,350 a year at community colleges. 

But they will still be on the hook for the cost of fees and room and board if they live on campus. 

Those other expenses can add up to $14,000 a year.

The ultimate reductio of Gaullism

The central fiction of Gaullism, parodied.

France's far-right presidential contender Marine Le Pen has prompted a major outcry by denying that the French government was responsible for the roundup of Jews in World War II.

Le Pen said Sunday on RTL radio "I don't think France is responsible for the Vel d'Hiv,"— a reference to the stadium where thousands of Jews were rounded up before being sent to Nazi death camps.

Some 13,000 Jews were deported by French police on July 16-17, 1942, many of whom were first holed up in harsh conditions at Paris' Vel d'Hiv — its Winter Velodrome stadium.

In all, about 75,000 Jews were deported from France to Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Only 2,500 survived.

. . . .

Le Pen later specified in a written statement that she "considers that France and the Republic were in London" during the war and "the Vichy regime wasn't France."

She argued that had been the position of France's heads of state, including Charles De Gaulle, until former President Jacques Chirac "wrongly" acknowledged the state's role in Jewish persecution during World War II.

"It does not discharge the effective and personal responsibility of the French who took part into the monstrous roundup of the Vel d'Hiv," she wrote.

War and Mrs. Clinton.

Hours before Trump bombs Syrian airbase, Hillary suggests it

She called for attacks to make all Assad's airfields unusable.

Trump did not even make one of them so.

The Tomahawk is the wrong weapon for that.

It's not clear he did any serious damage with that $30 + million headline changer.

And let's hope she is not the nominee in 2020.

Or ever again.

So, who's up, I wonder?

Hillary's bomb-throwing, liberal feminist interventionism is and has been wrong, all across the Muslim world.

There is no prospect of a sufficiently good outcome to justify us doing anything about Syria, in particular, beyond crushing ISIS.

Mission accomplished?

Well, they certainly pushed Russia-gate off the front pages.

And they're definitely not palling around with Putin, are they?

$ 30 + million spent on that Tomahawk attack and Assad did not lose the use of even one airfield, for even one day.

And not a single tweet to show us Bozo's true face, his leering, obscene, and repulsive clown face, in all this time.

Maybe somebody has handcuffed the real Trump and thrown him in the basement.

The guy in front of the cameras, first seen announcing the strike, is an imposter, put out there by Javanka.

And has there really been any change in US policy concerning Assad?

In truth, isn't Bozo's fake presidency an interregnum between real presidents, during which the government is continuing on automatic pilot, following it's last, previously set course?

Much as the empire would have done, had Caligula been, for a few years, succeeded by his horse.

President Bozo, aka Incitatus the First.

The true intent

If the point had only been to exterminate the Jews, that is what they would have done.

But that is not what they did.

What they did included that, but also and with unmistakable intent, politically and socially institutionalized sadism on a vast scale.

Extermination was not the capstone, but the end, of the Reich's orgy of cruelty toward the Jews.

Eugen Kogon, The Theory and Practice of Hell.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

ISIS kills 43 in attacks on two Egyptian Christian churches on Palm Sunday

ISIS claims responsibility for Egypt's Palm Sunday church bombings

Imagine the result if this had happened in the US.

Or even in Europe.

ISIS claimed responsibility for bombings that killed 43 at two Coptic churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday -- brazen strikes against a vulnerable minority on one of the most important days on the Christian calendar.

The terror group's Amaq media wing said "a security detachment" of the Islamic State carried out the attacks on churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria. 

The bombings also left scores wounded.

. . . .

In a statement, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi condemned the attacks, saying the "outrageous" action "targets both the Copts and Muslims of the homeland." 

He ordered investigators to "hunt down the perpetrators" and "take all measures to offer the necessary care for the wounded."

He has called an urgent meeting of his country's National Defense Council and declared three days of nationwide mourning.

All about the pictures?

So said Trump, in explaining his decisions regarding the use of gas in Syria and the acceptability of Assad's regime.

Has he seen the pictures of children killed by conventional weapons in that same war?

Guess not, or he might not have supported Assad until just the other day, or closed America to Syrian refugees.

Has he seen the pictures of children dying of famine in Africa, or from terrible viral diseases?

Guess not, or he would not have slashed the "foreign aid" money America has been spending in combating both.

Is it "either/or"?

Either the attack on Syria was truly an impulsive response to photos by a more dangerously foolish president than we thought we were stuck with or it, along with the sidelining of Bannon, the return of the conventional NSC, and Trump's firmness regarding the threat of North Korea, signals abandonment of the foreign policy Buchananism embodied in the slogan, "America First", for a return to normal DC globalism.

If not either of those, then what?

Probably not that Trump is really, somehow, doing all this in connivance with Putin in some deeply nefarious plot.

Revolution in the White House?

Nikki Haley spits it out

If she didn't do this on Trump's personal say-so she is not long for this job.

And if she did this is a huge repudiation of Trump's Buchananite position regarding Syria, a position he has espoused throughout his time in the White House and throughout the campaign, a position of support for the Assad regime based on the view that there is no one in the region to replace Assad but Jihaders.

On Sunday's "Meet The Press," Haley told host Chuck Todd, 

"In no way do we look at peace happening in that area with Iranian influence. 

"In no way do we see peace in that area with Russia covering up for Assad. 

"In no way do we see peace in that area with Assad as the head of the Syrian government."


As tensions rise, USS Carl Vinson heads to Korean peninsula

Amid rising tensions with North Korea, an aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson were heading toward the Korean peninsula.

The aircraft carrier and its accompanying ships had been scheduled to leave from Singapore for port visits to Australia on Saturday, but Adm. Harry Harris, head of U.S. Pacific Command, ordered the strike group to head north toward Korean waters instead.

. . . .

The China-U.S. presidential summit, held at Mar-a-Lago in Florida on Thursday and Friday, failed to deliver any concrete agreement on how to rein in North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs between the two nations. 

. . . .

“President Trump indicated to President Xi ... that we would be happy to work with them, but we understand it creates unique problems for them and challenges and that we would, and are, prepared to chart our own course if this is something China is just unable to coordinate with us," he said.

And that's not Buchananism, either.

During the campaign, Trump shrugged off nuclear proliferation in general as inevitable and suggested Japan and South Korea get their own nukes so they could defend themselves from the likes of China and North Korea.

But instead of executing a planned withdrawal of US forces from the peninsula, from Japan, and from the region, generally, Trump is sending more forces to the area.

Javanka rising?

Meanwhile, North Korea recites the line validated in advance for some years by Pat Buchanan, himself.

The Guardian throws added and slightly different light on the attitude of China.

Tillerson: China agrees on 'action' on North Korea as navy strike group sails

As the US navy deployed a strike group towards the western Pacific Ocean, to provide a presence near the Korean peninsula, the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said China agreed with the Trump administration that “action has to be taken” regarding North Korea.

Tillerson told CBS’s Face the Nation, in an interview broadcast on Sunday, that when Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping met at the Mar-a-Lago resort this week, they “had extensive discussions around the dangerous situation in North Korea”.

“President Xi clearly understands, and I think agrees, that the situation has intensified and has reached a certain level of threat that action has to be taken,” Tillerson said.

Tillerson described a “shared view and no disagreement as to how dangerous the situation has become”.

And Trump himself?

Trump tells Japan 'all options on the table' in face of North Korea provocation

Donald Trump has vowed to boost the US’s military capabilities to counter the threat from North Korean missiles, hours before he is due to meet the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, for talks that are expected to be dominated by Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

In a telephone call on Thursday morning, Trump told the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, that “all options are on the table” – including military action – to address provocations by North Korea.

Trump “made clear that the United States will continue to strengthen its ability to deter and defend itself and its allies with the full range of its military capabilities”, the White House said in a statement about the 35-minute call. 

“The president emphasised that the United States stands with its allies Japan and South Korea in the face of the serious threat that North Korea continues to pose.”

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Buchananites are not happy about the Syria attack

Trump’s Disillusioned Supporters

Ann Coulter, Milo Y, and others.

Can't find anything from Pat Buchanan, himself, yet.

It is being urged by many that such an aggressive, interventionist act is contrary to the America First policy he campaigned for.

And it is.

But Bozo's campaign was not particularly consistent on this.

He also campaigned on beefing up the military so America would be respected and not be pushed around any more.

And he specifically and repeated mocked Obama, during the campaign, for drawing a red line in the sands of Syria, telling Assad he dare not cross it by using chemical weapons - though at the time he himself was no hawk - and then wussing out when Assad called his bluff.

Assad went ahead and used chemical weapons and Obama, despite the urging of Kerry and others in and out of his administration, did nothing very much but complain.

The threatened punitive military action did not occur.

Bozo repeatedly and joyfully chided Obama for this during his campaign, and there was simply no way he was going to do anything that appeared retrospectively to ratify or justify O's failure to act.

That, probably, more than anything else, is why he did it.

Update, 040817, 1513 hrs EDT.

After Syria strike, populist supporters abandon Trump at home and abroad

Check out the reactions from Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen.

And this is about right.

Populists who applauded Trump for his disdain for US interventions overseas and his campaign declaration that the US "cannot be the policeman of the world" were aghast by the strike. 

In contrast, an international community that has often held Trump at arm's length stepped up to declare their rock-solid support for the new US president.

Oh, and why hasn't anyone but Pat Buchanan, himself, called Bozo for, again contrary to the America First thing, being as firm as he has been about standing up for Japan and South Korea?

If you're serious about Buchananism in foreign affairs you need to start withdrawing American troops from Korea, Japan, and the entire Pacific west of Hawaii.

Or at least planning for it.

And nobody is even talking about that.

But Bozo wants to increase military spending by some 50+ billion dollars.

Who thinks that makes the least sense if your plan is to draw back from all our global military commitments?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Well, they did it

Senate GOP triggers nuclear option to break Democratic filibuster on Gorsuch

On Morning Joe, today, the betting was that the legislative filibuster would go next, and soon.

Kushner rising?

Nothing new yet, it seems, about or stemming from the Duce's attack on Syria.

But just the other day Bannon got yanked and the NSC resumed its normal, globo-interventionist shape and membership, and now there are rumors Priebus may be on the way out.

Kushner rising?

And does that, what with the attack on Syria and the Duce's firm stand on Korea - bolstered by chumminess and smiles toward Xi - signal a significant shift toward the global interventionism of the DC establishment?

What would it mean for domestic affairs?

The Times story is very suggestive.

It is interesting that Bannon, Priebus, and their Roger Stone/Alex Jones type allies have taken to referring to Kushner, Ivanka, and their supporters as "the Democrats," partly because of their views and partly because Kushner was a lifelong Democrat who "converted" to run the campaign.

Especially since Trump, also, was a lifelong Democrat who converted to run his campaign.

That Breitbart thinks "the Democrats" are a threat is encouraging.

31° F in Our Town

And it's snowing.

That's April for you.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Strange talk, strange deed, for an isolationist

The Duce says idiotically, parroting Kerry of years ago, that he's defending a vital US interest.

Many people say the attack was proportional to the wrong done by the Assad regime.

So GW destroying both Afghanistan and Iraq over 9/11 was perhaps a trifle excessive?

Anyway, this is certainly not Trump the Buchananite, though he did less than Hillary would have done and actually called for.

And this is not the action of a man getting his orders from Moscow.

If Putin bought him, looks like he didn't stay bought.

This may not signal that Trump is now in favor of regime change.

It may only be that he wants Assad and everyone to see him as at last punishing Assad for crossing the line, exactly where Obama wussed out.

You know, that "Chemical weapons bad!" line.

If so, he'll find he gets little credit from the interventionists and some, maybe much, blame from the anti-interventionists.

Does Trump seriously think killing people - even children - with bullets, grenades, IEDs, or bombs is OK, though killing them with Sarin is not?

Who but the most obtuse liberal - Kerry, for example - could believe such priggish, pedantic nonsense?

Reportedly, the regime in Syria has used gas 161 times in this war.

Maybe Trump never saw the photos?

Maybe he didn't know?

What line did Assad cross that he hasn't crossed 161 times before?

What line drawn by Trump did he cross?

When did Trump draw it?

Trump has acted like a foolish man moved by photos of this single event, though 161 previous, like events cut no ice.

Those who believe this is not acting are alarmed at impulsive Trump.

Those who see this as acting by that inveterate actor, Fyodor Karamazov, are also alarmed.

What about Korea?

And was this, to some degree, also a message to the North Koreans?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The original Buchananist chides Bozo

Why Is Kim Jong-un Our Problem?

Pat Buchanan's apology for Kim is much of a piece with his apology for Putin, but without the white nationalist/Christianist admiration he feels for the Russian thug.

Here he scolds Trump for his apparent desertion of his campaign isolationism regarding our Pacific alliances.

And he tells us how the US can back away.

What would a true “America First” foreign policy look like?

It would restore to the United States the freedom it enjoyed for the 150 years before NATO, to decide when, where, and whether we go to war. 

U.S. allies would be put on notice that, while we are not walking away from the world, we are dissolving all treaty commitments that require us to go to war as soon as the shooting starts.

This would concentrate the minds of our allies wonderfully. 

We could cease badgering them about paying more for their defense. 

They could decide for themselves—and live with their decisions.

In the Carter era, we dissolved our defense pact with Taiwan. 

Taiwan has survived and done wonderfully well. 

If Germany, Japan, and South Korea are no longer assured we will go to war on their behalf, all three would take a long hard look at their defenses. 

The result would likely be a strengthening of those defenses.

But if we do not begin to rescind these war guarantees we have handed out since the 1940s, the odds are high that one of them will one day drag us into a great war, after which, if we survive, all these alliances will be dissolved in disillusionment.

This from a man who has never stopped insisting it was worth risking Chicago being reduced to a nuclear ashtray to keep communism out of Saigon, if not - and why not? - Phnom Penh.

Oddly, I do not recall him ever advocating, in his writings or on broadcasts, withdrawal of US forces from their overseas outposts, including perhaps especially those tens of thousands of tripwire troops in South Korea.

Meanwhile, other than to say little but "Ooooo! Isolationism bad!", no one seems to have addressed such arguments as Buchanan's, when voiced by him or by Trump.

Though, in the latter case, even peacenik Democrats reliably chorus, "Oooo! Isolationism bad!"

And of course they also chorus, "Ooooo! Putin's bumboy! Bad!"

Obama job growth continues still

Private payrolls grew 263K in March vs. 185K est.: ADP

Supporters like Drudge (Under a picture of a smiling Duce the link says, "Great Again! Jobs + 263,000 . . . ") are right, up to a point.

Meaning that so far Trump hasn't fucked it up.

The clown show never lets up

Rick Perry added to National Security Council’s core decision-makers

So Bannon has been replaced by a cowboy as dumb as his horse.

The Republican Party these days seems to be a vehicle for village idiots and blithering nincompoops.

We are far, indeed, from the days of Kissinger and Nixon.

And is the administration mostly just flimflam, anyway?

WH: Internal Bannon think tank never actually existed

Syrian government forces attack civilians with Sarin, Trump blames Obama

Death toll in Syrian chemical attack rises to 72

Donald Trump's response to Syria gas attack: blame Obama

Now that's hilarious

Trump Defends 'Good Person' O'Reilly From Sexual Harassment Allegations


Just the man for such a defense!

Palling around with liars

Alex Jones is a trashy, big-mouthed liar who supports Trump, but that is not to say that Trump supports him.

He might, for all I know; but he might not.

But Roger Stone, himself a trashy, big-mouthed liar, is a known pal of The Duce.

And Alex Jones and Roger Stone are not only birds of a feather, but cohorts.

Trump Ally Alex Jones Threatens To “Beat” Rep. Adam Schiff’s “Goddamn Ass” In Anti-Gay Tirade

And this, by the way, is a pretty good glimpse of the Trumpist right.

Oh, and here's another bird of that same feather, the notorious and inveterate liar in the White House, Donald Trump.

Trump, Without Evidence, Says He Thinks Susan Rice Committed A Crime

Just more of the dense, choking smoke he and his allies are using to hid the Russia scandal.

How America pisses off the hysterical right

In major ruling, appeals court finds federal civil rights law does cover 'sexual orientation'

In a first-of-its-kind decision, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against gay employees, foreshadowing a likely showdown at the Supreme Court.

. . . .

The Hively ruling represented a circuit split with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel ruled last month that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act doesn't prohibit workplace bias based on “sexual orientation.”

A good discussion of what might have been

What Trump might have done.

But didn't.

Why are they still trying?

They are getting nowhere because of the same internal divisions among Republicans that shipwrecked them some weeks ago.

But, as Ryan explained some time back, this period of legislative dominance during a Republican presidency is their best chance to pursue their conservative agenda, they have spent seven years promising their base to get rid of Obamacare, and anyway what they want to do about taxes depends in large part on tax arrangements that are actually integral to Obamacare.

Inside the GOP's faltering health care 2.0 effort

Compare to other, similar flaps

Black lives matter.

Black is beautiful.

White is purity.

Hand-wringers do what hand-wringers do

The Supremes have always been partisans and the parties have always appointed persons expected - sometimes wrongly - to protect or advance their values and agendas in their rulings.

Everybody with an ounce of sense has known this forever.

The Times claims to deplore either or both of two things, that the Supremes are becoming partisans or that Americans increasingly see them that way.

But what they actually deplore is the growing unwillingness of the parties - and that means mostly the Republicans - to allow nominees of the other party to assume office without bitter opposition.

A sort of bait and switch to be seen in this excerpt from The Times, in which the increasingly oppositional behavior of senators is cited as alleged evidence of increased politicization of the judges.

With rare exceptions, nominees to the court have been largely insulated from the escalating political warfare over the judiciary, and have been approved.

Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative standard-bearer, was confirmed with 98 votes. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon, got 96. 

Even Clarence Thomas, whose confirmation hearings marked a flash point in sexual and racial politics, drew no filibuster.

Now, however, partly as a result of its own actions, but more important as a result of increasing polarization in Washington and the nation as a whole, the court is devolving into a nakedly partisan tool.

Still, the parties behavior, and especially the behavior of Republicans, has steadily become more bitter over the decades.

All smoke at RCP

RCP, a site whose mission has been to legitimate right wing craziness by juxtaposition with main stream comment of the center and left, is today making smoke to shame the fleet.

Look! Over there!

Leaks are horrible crimes!

Obama was a criminal who, aided by deep state allies, illegally spied on Trump and his campaign and disseminated dirt on them throughout the government in order to fuel leaks, inspire scandal, and delegitimate the Trump presidency!

The Russia thing is a complete hoax with the same purpose!

Susan Rice is a criminal!

Bannon out, NSC back to normal

Steve Bannon Removed From National Security Council

President Donald Trump has removed Steve Bannon, his chief strategist, from the National Security Council, according to a filing in the federal registry.

As part of the shakeup announced Wednesday, two officials were added back to the NSC's Principal's Committee: the director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford.

To cushion the public blow to Bannon, Flynn - no longer in the administration, anyway - goes under the bus.

Bannon was put on the Principals' Committee only as a check against then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. 

Now that Flynn is gone, Bannon is no longer needed in that role, the official said.

There do not have to be congressional districts

See Article 1 of the Constitution.

States have representation in the House proportionate to their numbers, but nothing in the article baldly prevents their being elected at large, or by voting for statewide party lists.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Nope. Doesn't pass the smell test.

Judge rejects Trump defense against claim he incited violence at rally

Judge David J Hale in Louisville ruled on Friday that the suit against Trump, his campaign and three of his supporters can proceed.

Hale found that there were ample facts supporting the allegation that the protesters’ injuries were a “direct and proximate result” of Trump’s actions.

“It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ’em out of here’ advocated the use of force,” Hale wrote.

No, it's ridiculous.

They have GOT to kill that bastard, Negan!

Jeffrey Dean Morgan is as awesome in the role as people say.

Walking Deadseason 7 finale.

Walking Dead, season 8 comments.


Deadly Explosion Strikes Metro Train In St. Petersburg, Russia

Or was it an unusually bloody protest against Putin?

Or will Putin find it handy to claim it was that?

So far, though no one has claimed it, the reigning surmise is terrorism, perhaps courtesy of ISIS.

Two suspected terrorists are "on the run," says the Daily Mail.

They include lots of photos.

Two suspected terrorists are on the run after a nail bomb planted in a St Petersburg train ripped through the carriages - killing at least 10 people and injury 50 today.  

Several Russian media outlets have released the CCTV picture of the bearded suspect who was wearing a long, black top and a hat blamed for causing the carnage by detonating a bomb that was packed with shrapnel.

The terrifying incident took place on a train that was travelling between Sennaya Ploshchad and Sadovaya metro stations. 

A second explosive device disguised as a fire extinguisher was found and defused in a nearby station.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the explosion, but previous attacks on Russia have been blamed on ISIS and Chechens. 

A search warrant has now been issued for two people in connection with the attack - one for planting the bomb which detonated at Sennaya Ploshchad and the other for leaving an explosive device at Ploshchad Revolutsii station.

A source said: 'Two people are being sought on suspicion of planning the blasts, one of whom is thought to have placed the explosive device in the metro wagon and the second person for leaving a bomb at the metro station Ploshchad Revolutsii.'

Dozens have been injured, including at least three children, as it was reported the man left a briefcase on a train before moving carriages moments before the deadly blast.

Making History?

Democrats close to gathering enough votes to filibuster Gorsuch

In the teeth of GOP threats to change the rules on the spot and effectively if not formally abolish the filibuster for supremes, the Dems seem close to filibustering Gorsuch, anyway.

If they do and the GOP does reply by abolishing the filibuster, which some think unconstitutional anyway, that will be an important moment in senate history, making an anti-democratic institution less anti-democratic in its own internal workings.

Update, 040517.

Mitch McConnell was on today assuring newsies that there was absolutely no support in either party for abolishing or weakening "the legislative veto."

Meanwhile, some ignorant buffoon on CNN was misinforming audiences that the Founders - who of course had no idea of any such thing - , who wished the senate to be a more deliberate and wise body than the house, would be aghast at prospective abolition of the filibuster for judicial nominees.

Trump Welcomes Sisi

Trump to 'reboot' US-Egypt ties with Sisi meeting

The talking head on MSNBC said Obama wouldn't let him set foot in the White House.

He led the overthrow of the highly objectionable and Islamist elected presidency of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi.

He has recently put in place a severe and bloody crackdown not only on Islamists but also on some in the secular opposition.

The crackdown routinely defies every guarantee against executive lawlessness found in the US constitution, the "civil liberties" human rights organizations defend.

I have the distinct impression Sisi's government has less republican legitimacy than Putin's, and no democratic legitimacy at all, as it originated in a military coup against the democratically elected government of Morsi.

Sisi's government apparently sponsors levels of illegality and state violence that exceed those of the Russian Republic.

67° F in Our Town


O, how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away!

Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 1, Scene 3, ll. 389 - 392.

How lovely is the spring!

Flowers and dogwoods and magnolias bloom, and tiny leaves are on the lilacs.

After a very mild winter, longer days and more warmth are welcome, nonetheless.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

What about Syria?

Many have warned regime change in Syria would make things worse.

But that is the Russian and Iranian view, and the Russia scandals have made policies that seem to agree with Russia toxic.

Syria: Sean Spicer says U.S. must accept "political reality"

As the report points out, the Trump policy is actually the same as Obama's and Kerry's.

Regime change was not their goal and they were already cooperating with the Russians about Syria.