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March 22, 2017

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Some interesting perspective regarding Russia:

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russian-federation/2017-03-10/russia-trump-and-new-d-tente


We had a perverse case recently in RI of 97 year old twins perishing within minutes of each other after apparent falling accidents and exposure.


Some interesting perspective regarding
Russia

I find it a bit ironic that after hundreds of years of Russian autocracy/totalitarianism, the United States is blamed for the failure of Democracy after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Chuck Lorre and Chuck Norris are nervous today.

We don't want to lose Chuck Schumer anytime soon, though.

Chuckle Brother Martin McGuinness also gone this week, lamented by some, not at all by others:
http://www.itv.com/news/2017-03-21/how-bitter-foes-paisley-and-mcguinness-became-peace-process-chuckle-brothers/

I fear for Chuck E. Cheese...

I generally avoid stuff from IBT, but this was too much to resist. Could things be any weirder, you know, presidentially speaking?

With any luck, Trump will soon be learning about Rule 34.

Is 2017 going to match it? Or was Trump getting elected enough pain?

It really just comes down to this: all us Baby Boomers are getting to the age where we start dropping. And the folks, like Chuck Berry, who we watched growing up are even further down that path. So yeah, probably 2017 will at least match last year. And 2018 will likely be even higher.

hsh, you really should have included the quote from the young lady:

I think it’s, pardon my French, [f------] outrageous that the president of the United States has his team scouring the internet for sites like mine to send out cease and desists and legal action claims if we don’t shut down,” Lucy told the Observer in an email. “Meanwhile, he tweets about The Apprentice ratings and sends out power-drunk tweets about phone tapping. HOW ABOUT BEING THE PRESIDENT?”

Seems like a girl with her head on straight. Certainly she raises a question which has occurred to a lot of others.

Snarki, what Trump needs is Gibbs' Rule 13.

What was striking about 2016 was how many famous artists died relatively young, and in several cases while still active. Dying at 90 is not a tragedy like dying before 60 can be.

Does anyone else find this to be an amusing headline?

"Payless Is Said to Be Filing for Bankruptcy as Soon as Next Week"

What will their creditors get?

What will their creditors get?

wisdom

"Dying at 90 is not a tragedy like dying before 60 can be."

Only under the absurd rules of the human condition. Ninety is 25 years away for me, which given the accelerating rate of passing time, is beginning to look bloody tragic enough.

Perhaps less surprising than croaking next week, but still bad news.

I expect to die unexpectedly no matter what age.

Hard to know where to post this, but since it's an open thread:

The attack on Westminster today was carried out using a car as a weapon, then a knife. The death count so far (while still too many) is 4. This is why nobody in the UK can believe their eyes and ears when we see what kind of arms any Tom, Dick or Harry, teenaged or mentally ill, can get their hands on in the States. A semi-automatic operated at one of London's prime tourist attractions, just outside the legislature, would have produced a total massacre.

having the freedom to be murdered by someone exercising their freedom to own and operate the tools that make murder easy is something you Brits just don't appreciate.

Even considering things that aren't made for killing, but that can be used for it in a pinch, I think our American baseball bats make for much better weapons than whatever you call those cricket thingies.

So true, cleek. Our concept of freedom is sadly limited.

Yes, but right up until Dylan Roof gunned down those innocent Christians in South Carolina, he was protecting them by carrying his weapons.

Right up until the Denver movie theater shooter mowed down his fellow movie lovers, he was protecting those audience members from a terrorist attack.

Right up until the moment the Columbine High School (mile and a half from my house at the time) shooters butchered their classmates and a teacher those school kids were protected from liberal influences by the presence of the shooters' weapons in that school.

I notice one of the threads here mentioned the other day the relative usefulness of referring to right wingers as Hitler and fascists. I don't know, maybe America has merely bred a particularly toxic mix of assholes and jagoffs is all, and their increasing and looming presence, now at the highest levels of government and business, will be just as damaging to civilization as murderers with exotic sounding names like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.

Same necessary solution to stop them ...... savage violence ..... but "assholes" and "jagoffs" won't have the same world historical ring as Nazis and Communists when historians years from record what happened to them.

You don't need a Timothy Snyder to tell which way the wind blows.

I think our American baseball bats make for much better weapons than whatever you call those cricket thingies.

However, if you want to kill at a distance...

Kurt Eichenwald Case: Texas Grand Jury Says a GIF Is a ‘Deadly Weapon’

According to the DOJ complaint against Rivello, he sent messages to his friends after tweeting the seizure-inducing GIF to Eichenwald. One of the messages read, "I hope this sends him into a seizure." Another read, "Spammed this at [Eichenwald] let's see if he dies."

sounds like intent to me.

From Trump's cease and desist letter to kitten girl:

as I’m sure you’re aware, the Trump name is internationally known and famous.

I'm at a loss. It sounds like something drunken Englebert Humperdinck would say if he was trying to pick up somebody's mom at an oldies gig.

Maybe the whole 'President Trump' thing is a prank.

What will their creditors get?

wisdom

Always the optimist.

What will their creditors get?

wisdom

Shy. As in once bitten....

" those cricket thingies."

Uh, bats.

russell, that Humperdinck has (by court order) to use a different artist name in Germany in order not to be confused with the Hänsel&Gretel composer (I can't remember who successfully went to court over this, I guess the heirs of the opera composer). Iirc he has to go by 'Engelbert' around here.

...and don't get Hartmut started on "Budweiser", also, too.

Uh, bats.

Yeah, well, that would be like calling soccer "football," as if anyone would do that.

I'm sure they have a colorful, quintessentially British-sounding name, like squinkies or choffles or duck-slumbers. Just think of something Dick Van Dyke would say in Mary Poppins in that perfect English accent of his.

Yes, but "sticky wicket" sounds like it's a bit kinky, innit?

What will their creditors get?

wisdom

Always the optimist.

not always


http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2010/07/running_introductions.html?cid=6a00d834515c2369e20133f2ccc79f970b#comment-6a00d834515c2369e20133f2ccc79f970b

Charming upbringing.

What are the chances of Trump getting impeached and his staff and friends jailed? I gues I donlt have much faith in the FBI and no faith whatso ever in Congressional Repubicans. But perhaps I am too cynical. But I think tha the investigation will end in a coverup and Trump will skeate the same way Reagan did over Iran contra. Please tell me I;m wrong.

wonkie, it's a matter of time. If you're thinking "in the next year or two" then yeah you're probably not wrong.

But consider. The time from the Watergate break in until Nixon was gone was two years. Suppose it takes two years for the investigation to fight thru to a conclusion. Say summer of 2018.

By that point, we're on the brink of an election. Either
a) the Republicans vote impeachment in the hopes of electoral survival, or
b) the Democrats win big and do the removal.
Either way, once Trump is gone, anybody else involved is probably toast.

Nothing like a certainty, of course. But not at all beyond the bounds of possibility.

Thanks for the link, Yama.

Snarki, I do not care for beer so don't expect any sexual-intercourse-in-a-canoe rants from me on that. At best I will joke about mainland Scandinavians calling their beer oil (beginners notoriously confuse øl [beer] with olje [oil]). Icelanders kept 'bjor'. I guess only the Brits still make a difference between ale and beer because hop was introduced so late into Britain.
What makes Germans rotfl is the Norwegian term for light beer: fad-øl because 'fad(e)' in German means 'lacking taste/aroma' or simply 'boring' (light beer would be 'Dünnbier' (thin beer)).
As said above, I do not care about the stuff, so this is about language (tongue) not taste (perception by tongue).

Please tell me I;m wrong.

People who care about it need to keep complaining, loudly, to their Congresspeople. I'm going to wait until the healthcare vote is done, then Trump's impeachment is going to be my main rant.

It would help if people on the "left" would quit saying "Nothing to see here!"

What are the chances of Trump getting impeached and his staff and friends jailed?

my prediction: if things get too hot they'll find somebody to throw under the bus and move on. so far that looks like mike flynn, but it's early days.

to the degree that any of this depends on the (R) congress, nothing will happen at all.

as far as trump himself goes, the challenge will be distinguishing between garden variety mobbed-up shady business deals and plain old law-skirting venality, as compared to actual crimes against the nation.

in other words, trump will personally always have access to the "that was just business" dodge, and it may be impossible to prove otherwise.

Is anyoe on the left saying ther eis nothign to see? That's crazy. theres lots and lots to see. I think the problem is that the scandal is too big to register--the idea of a Manchurian candidate who is a puppet of the Russians is just too much. It was easy to get outraged over Monica or over Watergate, but this...

Kind of like how American seems to have amnesia about the war in Iraq. The invasion was such a horribly immoral act with such devastating consequences, so shameful that it defies description--so there is an unspoken agreement to just not talk about it.

Russians influencing our election? Evidence now of Russians feeding fake news to Breitbart and Infowars, which means rightwingers who have a tradition of claiming to be more patriotic than thou got played by an enemy nation. Multiple connections between Trump and his former staffers with Russians. Russians busily killing off witnesses. Its all too much. Its the plot for a thriller, the kind of book some people read on airplanes or at the beach but no one takes seriously.

I just hope the CIA and the FBI are taking it seriously.

Outrage fatigue. You're soaking in it.

"I just hope the CIA and the FBI are taking it seriously."

Cranking up the impeachment proceedings, or even the 25th Amendment, is very very likely to provoke Trump into a destructive reaction.

If the reason Trump has to be removed is something that the IC has a stake in (like Russian influence), they might be tempted to used "kinetic methods".

we'll see what happens.

money is speech and corps are people now over here in the usa. for-profit corps can even love jesus in their mercenary little hearts, so says the scotus.

and the POTUS can't have a conflict of interest.

we're through the looking glass. who knows where any of this is going.

Evidence now of Russians feeding fake news to Breitbart and Infowars

Trump's base won't care. they've already adopted the position that all other news sources are corrupt, so they'll just claim that this is the establishment trying to smear the right for being honest.

and Trump will never be impeached. the GOP likes him. the GOP base likes him. the Dems have no power.

There's our optimist!

An analysis of subreddit The Donald by FiveThirtyEight. The results aren't terribly surprising (by which I mean they aren't at all surprising). But the analysis is interesting.

I think the only problem with impeachment is in the vein of what Russell said, showing an actual crime at the Trump level. I am a little confused about the Manafort discussion because I thought he resigned because of his Ukraine/Russia dealings. I'm trying to understand what's new.

Now if in the investigation that is being relooked at for criminality it certainly provides the administration with a clear fall guy to go with Flynn.

Collusion is hard to prove in the world where .any of these people shave global connections. Wilkerson, Sessions, etc.have perfectly valid reasons to be talking to lots of Russians, as did Hillary's people.

It's not clear to me yet that a broad set of charges is likely based on the language, "indications" etc.

An analysis of subreddit The Donald by FiveThirtyEight.

that's some clever stuff.

and, hey look, actual data to support "deplorable". though we mustn't say it.

From subReddit link "What can we say about the animating force behind r/The_Donald? For one, it’s probably not universal among Trump supporters; nearly 63 million Americans voted for Trump, and the 382,000 members of r/The_Donald represent less than 1 percent of that."

I am a little confused about the Manafort discussion because I thought he resigned because of his Ukraine/Russia dealings. I'm trying to understand what's new.

we knew he was involved in Ukrainian elections. we knew he was receiving secret payments from the "Party of Regions".

According to documents obtained by The Associated Press, in 2005 Manafort was paid $10 million by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska to -- as Manafort described it -- “greatly benefit the Putin government” by lobbying and influencing news coverage in the United States, Europe and the former Soviet Republics.”

the guy was literally in the business of manufacturing US news for the benefit of Russia.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/03/22/timeline-paul-manaforts-long-murky-history-of-political-interventions/

Is anyone on the left saying there is nothing to see?

Glenn Greenwald and the Intercept, folks at the Nation, etc., call it new McCarthyism, and say that both sides do it so why complain that a fascist dictator in Russia helped get a fascist regime elected, and policies implemented, in the U.S. I'm not going to link to them, but if you're interested, I'm sure you can find plenty. Glenn Greenwald has been a frequent guest of Fox News saying all of this. Of course, how else would a patriot act?

In reading about the Gorsuch hearings it occurs to me that the role of the Office of Legal Counsel at the DOJ and really anyone advising the President in his official capacity as POTUS (as opposed to advising the President on his personal legal matters) needs to be substantially revised if not completely re-thought.

From reading, Gorsuch seemed to rely a lot for explanation of his views while working at DOJ and being involved in the legal issues surrounding torture and prisoners of the war on terror that he was just providing legal advice to his "client" (which is basically John Yoo's view/excuse). This frame, ISTM, too easily lends itself to the kind of "my side vs. your side" POV that many lawyers adopt - quite rightly in most cases - when representing an individual client: any non-frivolous argument about the law is just fine (i.e., it would not be subject to Rule 11 sanctions).

But this is not the typical lawyer-client situation. Indeed, I would take the position that POTUS should not be viewed as a "client" of DOJ and the OLC at all. Instead, if anyone should be viewed as the client it should be the American People writ-large and/or the Constitution. In such a case I would say the role of OLC/DOJ should be to determine what the "most correct" answer is when it comes to Constitutional and other legal questions.

But instead, we have a situation where, ISTM, OLC is writing opinions that are designed to provide a "plausible" argument for question X - e.g., does POTUS have the power to do this thing? - rather than what the most likely answer is. That is, instead of adopting the position that would likely carry the day in front of a judge, they feel comfortable blessing actions by POTUS even if they are not the supported by the balance of the evidence/precedent as long as some non-frivolous argument can be mustered in support of the actions.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding how OLC operates, but that's how it looks like to me from the outside - they are on the President's "team" and thus any legal justification for opining that what he wants to do is legal - no matter how thin - will be used to bless the action in question. That should not be the role of the DOJ/OLC in our Constitutional structure. That is, in their they are not lawyers, but policy makers, or at a minimum policy enablers, and should be viewed/treated as such.

"That is, in their they are not lawyers, but policy makers, or at a minimum policy enablers, and should be viewed/treated as such."

Including prosecution for aiding and abetting war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

If only.

Yes cleek, but most of that outline was known when he resigned. And not one of those payments was recorded after 2012. So here is a guy who has been in US politics as an advisor, manager for decades who got paid to run campaigns and marketing for Ukrainian and Russian officials as part of a firm that did that for a living.

I am really trying to see what is new, or criminal. That's all.

Gorsuch is a weasel.

russell: my prediction: if things get too hot they'll find somebody to throw under the bus and move on. so far that looks like mike flynn, but it's early days.

No doubt they will try tossing people under the bus. That's Trump at his most Trumpian.

But at some point, you run out of even vaguely plausible candidates to toss. At that point (or maybe even before it's reached), we are probably looking at a drummed up foreign crisis, probably with military action.

How that plays out depends on whether they can come up with something relatively plausible. North Korea could do it. A spat with India or Japan wouldn't -- but does Trump even have a clue on that?

And, once he tries to start something, how does the rest of the government, from the Congress to the military high command, respond? And yes, I can envision a circumstance where the military would say "Illegal order!" and refuse to act. Not easy to get to that, but Trump has impressed with his ability to decide to try the wildly improbable.

I think the business deals - Manafort, Page, Flynn with the Turks, the various entangled Trump et al real estate deals involving Russian principals - are not likely to yield anything that will lead to impeachment.

Grifters gotta grift. Opportunity attracts opportunists. Everybody wants to be a billionaire.

In the case of Russia in particular, it can be very hard to draw a line between business interests and the interest of the state. It may be very hard to demonstrate collusion for political ends. There may in fact not actually be very much collusion for political ends.

Maybe Putin hacked everybody, and just dumped stuff about Clinton because he really dislikes Clinton. Payback for her interference in stuff in Russia's preferred zone of control.

The fact that people in Trump's circle were also knee-deep in oligarch wheeling and dealing could very easily just be coincidental.

The big smell, to my eye, is the change of the GOP platform on the Ukraine. It could be that Trump sincerely thought the GOP policy up to then was wrong-headed, and wanted the platform changed purely due to his analysis of the geopolitical situation, uninfluenced by any connection he or his circle may have had with either Putin or the pro-Russia factions in the Ukraine.

That could be possible.

But it's pretty freaking smelly.

My guess is that Trump et al will be forgiven anything that was simply a desire to get their hands on big buckets of oligarch money.

Business is business. The real American motto.

Doing favors at a policy level is (maybe) a different story.

The thirty perecenters will always support authoritariansim.

Isn;t lying an impeachable ofense? And hasn;t Trump already lied about the Russian connections?

"...it’s probably not universal among Trump supporters; nearly 63 million Americans voted for Trump, and the 382,000 members of r/The_Donald represent less than 1 percent of that."

True, and while I have stated on many occasions here that I don't think the now-familiar list of -isms was the primary force behind Trump's election, there is a lot of space between the maximum of "(probably) not universal" and the minimum of what could be called considerable or significant.

That 1% is likely representative of some larger percentage of Trump voters, though almost certainly not all of them.

Isn;t lying an impeachable ofense?

Only if congress thinks it is under the circumstances, including the political circumstances.

the endless news reports of people harassing minorities in Trump's name, the multiple polls that tell us Trump supporters are more likely to be racist and sexist, the fact that his sexual assault was passionately defended - if not happily embraced - by his supporters, his enthusiastic support among out-and-proud -ists, and the fact that i've seen multiple coal-rollin' pickup trucks sporting "I'M A DEPLORABLE" stickers have convinced me that Clinton's estimate was in the ball park.

Isn;t lying an impeachable ofense?

Lying per se, no.

Clinton was impeached for lying under oath, which is an impeachable offense.

The big smell, to my eye, is the change of the GOP platform on the Ukraine. It could be that Trump sincerely thought the GOP policy up to then was wrong-headed, and wanted the platform changed purely due to his analysis of the geopolitical situation, uninfluenced by any connection he or his circle may have had with either Putin or the pro-Russia factions in the Ukraine.

That could be possible.

But it's pretty freaking smelly.

IF Trump and his campaign had said that Yes, they got the change to the platform made. And they did if for that reason. Then it would be no big deal. Policy changes happen all the time.

What moves it from being a difference of opinion on policy to something seriously problematic is that they denied, loudly, repeatedly, and even now, that they had anything to do with the change. Which makes it hard to attribute the change to just a different policy view.

Isn;t lying an impeachable ofense? And hasn;t Trump already lied about the Russian connections?

No, lying is definitely NOT an impeachable offense. Lying under oath** (i.e. perjury) is, because it is a crime. But you can stand up and lie yourself blue in the face (Ah! What an image to conjure with!) and that's not criminal and therefore not an impeachable offense.

So, while it looks more and more like Trump has lied about his Russian connections (among many, many other things), that isn't grounds for impeachment.

** That's what got Bill Clinton.

I am really trying to see what is new, or criminal. That's all.

If you're talking about Manafort, there's the fact that he didn't register as a foreign lobbyist, which is a felony if he was working as one. And whether his work with the Trump campaign was being done in connection with his secret contract with Putin. And whether there was money laundering involved, etc.

He's not "guilty" until convicted, of course.

So, while it looks more and more like Trump has lied about his Russian connections (among many, many other things), that isn't grounds for impeachment.

What's impeachable under the Constitution "high crimes and misdemeanors" clause is pretty much up to Congress to decide. It doesn't necessarily have to be an actual crime.

'And whether his work with the Trump campaign was being done in connection with his secret contract with Putin."

Are you referring to his secret contract with Putin from 2012 and before? And was he a foreign lobbyist to our government at the time, since he essentially ran campaigns in the Ukraine?

And, I am not being difficult. I wouldn't defend Manafort for a second, or Trump if there were actual evidence of collusion. My challenge is the allegations seem to have barely more substance some of Trumps. The public information seems to be based on timelines and assumptions that bad characters will be bad.

At this point, they are suspicions, not allegations. We're not going after Clinton, after all.

Well, none of them killed Vince Foster either.

From the AP Report: "Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin's government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse."

Italics added for emphasis. Sounds like working in the US to me. Do we know when his strategy plan was supposed to have been implemented?

My comment got eaten, Marty, so hope this doesn't appear twice, but here's a link to the AP story.

Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin's government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse.

My comments are disappearing.

wj: The spam filter has been working overtime. I at least got a couple of them published.

AP Story:

"Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin's government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse."

For some reason, I can't make the AP story link show up. It specifically says that Manafort would influence politics inside the United States.

Actually Sapient, I think I did read that it said that also. So that is a good point. So depending on lobbying rules etc. it may very well be that he should have registered. If so he should be held accountable to whatever penalty is associated with that.

But I have seen no indication that he still worked for them past 2012, and none that he was acting on their behalf while working for Trump.

He clearly has been a player in Republican politics for decades so it could be his interest in the Trump campaign, and role, was what he did for Reagan and the first Bush.

Its a bigger stretch to me that he was some dark character undermining the American electoral process for nefarious Soviet purposes, than it is to believe he was an unscrupulous political opportunist that was hired to run another campaign and had to resign when the optics were bad.

But it is certainly not unbelievable that he could have taken a payment to impact the policy stances. So, while I am not convinced, I am not convinced either way.

Thanks, wj.

Well, now we understand why the State Department budget needed to be increased cut. From Reuters:

He has also ordered a ‘mandatory social media check’ for all applicants who have ever been present in territory controlled by the Islamic State, in what two former U.S. officials said would be a broad, labor-intensive expansion of such screening.
[emphasis added]
Wonder if they even realize that the folks who do this latest bit of "extreme vetting" are part of the State Department.

I'm also wondering if the steady drumbeat of crazy will eventually wear down my capacity for amazement.

actually, betting that bad actors will do bad stuff is not unreasonable.

Considering how many times Benghazi was investigated, I'd say this deserves some level of scrutiny.

honestly, i think if Trump was personally involved in some kind of under-the-table election influence/rigging he'd be unable to stop from dropping hints about how awesome he was at getting the job done.

I assume you've all seen this Time interview?

http://time.com/4710456/donald-trump-time-interview-truth-falsehood/

SNL will not require scriptwriters anymore.

"SNL will not require scriptwriters anymore."

Good thing that Al Franken found different job, then.

I wouldn't defend Manafort for a second

But I have seen no indication that he still worked for them past 2012

second's up...

The things is, if you break the law through sheer ignorant incompetent hapless chaotic ham-handed stupidity and greed, you still break the law.

Even if you didn't mean to, and were only trying to get absolutely filthy stinking rich.

So, we'll see where it all lands. I hope the FBI and whoever else is looking into it is allowed to follow it all where it leads.

I'm not invested in Trump being impeached, neither am I interested in cutting any of those bozos any slack. Every new thing we find out reaffirms my opinion that they are a bunch of greedy freaking lampreys.

It's true, I would be inclined toward that opinion anyway, and I don't mind owning up to that. But they're not doing anything to make me think any different.

I think that it is essential that there be serious consequences os some kind given to people conspired with the Russians to influence the election and to influence policy. I see that kind of behavior as a very serous threat to representative government. Mabye not as seroius as gerrymandering and voter supporesssion laws and packing the judiciary with Ayn rand wackadoodles, but serious.

And on the OT, "who's next" is apparently Sib Hashian, former drummer for the band Boston and a local (to these parts) musical luminary. Apparently he passed while playing on a "Legends of Rock" cruise. 67 years old, which seems younger and younger to me every day.

I once walked into a rehearsal at a space a buddy of mine had, the band was a bunch of local veteran players, Sib was playing drums. He was the loudest freaking drummer I ever heard in my life. It was alarming.

Loud, accurate, good sound, and his time was well-rooted and right down the middle. Everything you want in a big-room rock drummer.

R.I.P Sib.

wonkie, to this I agree completely:

I think that it is essential that there be serious consequences os some kind given to people conspired with the Russians to influence the election and to influence policy. I see that kind of behavior as a very serous threat to representative government.

I think it's about as bad as it gets.

Two pieces of British arcana for y'all's delectation (or is it "all y'all" now as the plural...? I lose track).

First, the "secret" (which is to say "not widely circulated because it's kinda morbid") plan for the days after the death of The Queen:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/16/what-happens-when-queen-elizabeth-dies-london-bridge

At 86 she has an average of 4 and a bit years left, so it would be a bit of a surprise if it was this year.

Second is that today the City of London is electing its representative to Parliament, the Remembrancer (for those who read William Gibson's The Peripheral the job title will be familiar; I didn't know it was real myself).

What's special about this election? Corporations literally get a vote (thousands of votes, in some cases!), and you can only stand if you are a freeman of the City of London -- a status mostly only granted to members of one of the City's various medieval-origin "livery companies".

http://www.unlockdemocracy.org/blog/2017/3/23/britains-most-undemocratic-election-the-city-of-london-corporation?utm_content=bufferbdecd&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

sanbikinoraion, I don't know if you are British or not, but this may be the place to say that whenever I use y'all I feel a frisson of embarrassment, as if I am not entitled. But it's a) so useful, and b) so charming, I can't resist. I realise it may be cultural appropriation, but I'm hoping nobody here minds!

As long as you don't write 'you all', you'll be fine...

Just keep your mitts off "youse guys" and no one gets hurt.

If lobbying on behalf of other countries with rotten human rights records is bad, Manafort should have been dog meat decades ago. Better late than never, but promising to lobby for countries with bad human rights records is absolutely bog standard stuff. This is from the early 90's

https://cloudfront-files-1.publicintegrity.org/legacy_projects/pdf_reports/THETORTURERSLOBBY.pdf

I would be very interested in knowing how many lobbyists for countries with bad human rights records have chummy relationships with politicians in DC. But for people who are really good at it the first rule of lobbying is that nobody respectable talks about your lobbying.

If lobbying on behalf of other countries with rotten human rights records is bad, Manafort should have been dog meat decades ago

Yes, he should have. But when the torture lobbyists actually become the government, as they just have, we've really got problems. You see, some things might be bad, and still others way worse. The Trump administration is cruel just for the hell of it.

We've had this problem forever, in both parties. I think Trump is on track to be one of the worst Presidents ever on virtually all fronts. But I am interested in this Russia thing for the precedents it sets, good and bad. One good one -- apparently it is bad for politicians to have sympathetic relations with nasty people overseas and for their underlings to lobby for them. Who knew?

Black Manafort Stone and Kelly--

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Black,_Manafort,_Stone_and_Kelly

GftNC -- born in Glasgow, raised in Doncaster, currently somewhere between Munich and Reading. I have a friend in North Carolina, though, and over the years I've noticed "y'all" moving from definitely plural into a general purpose "you", thus defeating its minor benefit of allowing you to differentiate between you (singular) and you (plural). In fact it seems that the local residents were sufficiently aware of this that they ginned up "all y'all" as a new plural form. Who knows where this linguistic rollercoaster will go next...?

That reminds me of the monosyllabic "liked" not sounding past-tensey enough (I believe particularly among Puerto Ricans in and around NYC), so it became "likeded." Now I've heard it morph into "likededed" for even greater past-tensity.

The converse of hairshirt's "likeded" (which I haven't run into; maybe it's regional?) -- people saying "text" (or "tex-t"? or whatever they're thinking, or not-thinking) for "texted."

Also: the use of "may" for "might" ("If it hadn't rained yesterday, he may not have had the accident.") I've got a lengthening file of examples for this one.

Also: headlines in the past tense on news websites.

Also, millions of dollars at stake for lack of a comma:

Judge Barron, bless him, spent 29 pages examining the absent comma from every conceivable angle.

He looked at the 214-page Maine Legislative Drafting Manual – yes, there is such a thing.

Right there on page 113, it specifically advises, “Although authorities on punctuation may differ, when drafting Maine law or rules, don’t use a comma between the penultimate and the last item of a series.”

I wouldn't like to be the person who drafted that drafting manual. But then, I *wouldn't* be that person, because as far as I'm concerned, the comma always stays in. WTF is the benefit of leaving it out in the first place?

(which I haven't run into; maybe it's regional?)

AFAIK, it's at least mostly a Nuyorican thing.

What about incidence, instances, and incidents?

I was recently at a work meeting when someone brought up a new "smoking sensation" program. (No, it wasn't John Smoketoomuch.)

Eats, shoots and leaves.

AFAIK, it's at least mostly a Nuyorican thing.

Yeah, you said that in the first place. I was just racing along too fast. :-)

****

How about "utilize" where "use" would do just fine? Or "assist" for "help"? But no, "use" and "help" aren't highfalutin enough.

Or "impacts" for "affects"?

But it's a) so useful, and b) so charming, I can't resist. I realise it may be cultural appropriation, but I'm hoping nobody here minds!

Kind of hard to object, when America is all about cultural appropriation. Our culture is a conglomeration of stuff people brought when they came here, all mashed together. (Sssh! Don't tell the America First!ers -- they'd just die . . . except that they'd write it off as "fake news.")

And what would you give for the chance to go down in history as a "thought leader"?

sanbikinoraion, I was particularly taken by this line from your link:

Not long afterwards, [Dr] Dawson injected the king with 750mg of morphine and a gram of cocaine – enough to kill him twice over – in order to ease the monarch’s suffering, and to have him expire in time for the printing presses of the Times, which rolled at midnight.
[emphasis added]

We think too much today is done because of the media. But here it was in 1936, making a difference in when someone died. Wow. Just wow.

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