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July 29, 2017

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Long time lurker (8 years), first time poster ...

I find McCain's foreign policy impulses odious almost to the point of immoral. He's also been a loyal Pub soldier far too reliably to really earn the "Maverick" tag.

But give the guy his due. Whether it was poking his finger in the eye of Trump or a come to Jesus moment spurred by his recent cancer diagnosis, that was a clutch "no" vote.

As an aside, as funny as I find this:

https://twitter.com/funder/status/890938602347167746/video/1

I wonder if this was Kabuki theater. McConnell had to know that if the skinny repeal went through the House without going to conference (and Ryan was not able/not willing to give complete assurances that it wouldn't), then this would have been a political disaster. McCain probably did the Pubs a favor.

Hopefully the Dems will listen to their backbenchers and push out proposals for fixing ObamaCare. We don't need leadership playing cute here with the politics when there is a policy crises that needs addressing.

Welcome, Pollo de muerte. I saw that this is happening. I'm glad they're working on something. I have no hope that anything gets done until D's retake Congress (if that's possible).

I think McCain booted the way I would have expected him to.

It was primarily theater. The changes that need to be done to the ACA ready can't be done through reconciliation. (I don't think it will be done at all, that's another story). So individual Republicans can say that they fulfilled their promise except for the Dems and those three, but Dems still own the failing system.

Politically probably a stalemate by election time.

And that was as much McCains calculus as anything else.

>>Politically probably a stalemate by election time.

That depends on how you define "stalemate". Rank and file Trump voters were not really that motivated by ACA repeal but the big money donors were. Where the Pubs could suffer a net loss is in the money game. Wealthy Pub donors are more likely to be horrified by Trump and are now fatigued by three consecutive elections where they were told that the Pubs just needed a little more control and they could kill ACA. Some of them are having buyer's remorse.

If Trump actually gets his tax plan through which (a) I doubt, but (b) really slams upper middle income earners, then the Pubs will lose some of that group of mid-level donors as well.

I agree that the reconciliation process was not going to fix the ACA. The problem in the Senate is that we don't have enough vulnerable Pubs running in '18 who need to appear bipartisan to get to 60.

>>I have no hope that anything gets done until D's retake Congress (if that's possible).

I agree, but I think it's vitally important to make a good faith effort to put something out there. Just being against Trump/Pubs isn't enough.

Just being against Trump/Pubs isn't enough.

the GOP's message has been essentially nothing but reaction for a decade now, and they're doing fine.

the Dems should try ideas and proposals? Clinton had volumes of ideas and proposals, nobody cared, nobody even believes it.

>>the GOP's message has been essentially nothing but reaction for a decade now, and they're doing fine.

A few thoughts ... (1) there is general fatigue regarding reactionary politics, especially amongst the persuadables; (2) Pubs were doing fine; (3) reactionary politics goes hand in glove with anger and resentment; libs and progs don't take to anger/resentment as well as conservatives and certainly don't sustain it as well in my experience.

>>the Dems should try ideas and proposals? Clinton had volumes of ideas and proposals, nobody cared, nobody even believes it.

Clinton had baggage and even as a sympathetic voter, I thought her stated position on free trade (TPP) was disingenuous and had little confidence that her programs would be implemented either because (a) the programs were presented for political purposes; or (b) she would be facing a hostile Congress and/or lack a mandate to get anything done.

I voted for Clinton because I had confidence she'd keep the country between the ditches in terms of foreign policy (in spite of my concerns that she'd be too interventionist) and the alternatives were horrible. Her ideas and policies didn't factor because I assumed they wouldn't see the light of day.

Just because Clinton was an imperfect messenger for various policies does not mean that the Dems should abandon a policy-heavy approach.

"policy-heavy" is great, go for it, but there's a huge segment of voters (ALL sides) that vote their tribe, or based on who they like/hate this week, or whatever.

"policy" is about as relevant as the "talent" portion of a beauty pageant.

Getting people to vote "against" can work pretty well. For a while.

However,
1) "Against" doesn't work nearly as well at motivating people to cough up big bucks, or to show up to do the grunt work involved in a political campaign, and
2) If you get as far as elected to control of the legislative and executive branches, you better deliver on all those negatives. While NOT delivering a bunch of pain -- even if the pain turns out to be part and parcel of the negatives.

That's where the Republicans are caught at the moment. They are not managing to deliver on a lot of the negatives, either at all (e.g. Obamacare repeal) or because doing so turns out not to fix the problem claimed (e.g. immigration). And, if/when they do, there base of support is going to be furious with the fallout on them.

After failing to deliver, or delivering dross, getting those voters back is going to be a challenge. The brighter folks there realize that they have a very narrow, and quite possibly one time, opportunity to do all the stuff that they have dreamed about and/or sold to their big donors for years. And whether you agree with what they want to do or not, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that they're blowing it. Big time.

that was a clutch "no" vote.

Fascinating usage of clutch, which I have never previously encountered (and had to look up). Always up for improving my vocabulary (ObWi has been great for this, especially with online-related acronyms). Thanks Pollo de muerte.

And whether you agree with what they want to do or not, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that they're blowing it. Big time.

Absolutely. Having cemented control of all three branches of the federal government, now is their time....but it tends to be a brief window.

They are flailing.

Somewhat lost in the shuffle last week was Trump's clarion call for more police brutality:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/07/28/trump-tells-police-not-to-worry-about-injuring-suspects-during-arrests/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.daec66138896

This comment https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/07/30/trump-doesnt-bother-to-disguise-his-thuggish-instincts/?utm_term=.ed7ee192fdd3 gives a look at what a not spineless conservative (yes, there are still a few out there) had to say.

>>Fascinating usage of clutch, which I have never previously encountered (and had to look up).

Given my username, you would be forgiven for assuming it was a meta-reference to eggs.

It is a fascinating username. Chicken of Death - is that right? A reference to World of Warcraft?

I think there has been some conflation in the thread between being reactionary in a political campaign and governing in a reactionary manner, which is understandable given the relationship between the two.

In general it's fine and appropriate for conservatives to be reactionary in filling that Burkean/Buckleyian role of standing athwart history, yelling Stop! The problem is the Pubs used such strident language in their campaign and have so utterly failed to live up to it after achieving complete electoral victory.

In a way, both parties have been playing against type to their detriment. Pubs/conservatives are not natural revolutionaries, but have increasingly used revolutionary language in their campaigns. Dems/progressives are naturally revolutionary, but from the third year of the Obama administration on, they have been in a defensive crouch.

They are flailing.

they certainly are.

my gut says Trump voters will find a way (or be shown a way) to blame everybody else but the GOP.

My guess is that the GOP's voters will start by shooting down in the primaries several otherwise safe US Senators. And then get upset when that results in Democrats beating the nut cases that they nominated instead.

Watching this pattern play out in California over the course of a couple of decades, here's where things may well go next. Places that were swing states start acquiring Democratic state administrations. Places which were moderately safe for Republicans become swing states. (States which were very safe for Republicans go down the path that Kansas has traveled.)

Whether the Democrats can capitalize on all this depends on how well they do at recruiting (and training) candidates at the state level. But if they get it right, 2020 and the redistricting that follows could be extremely good for them.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/31/why-corrupt-bankers-avoid-jail

I had come comments about this article, but decided to throw up instead.

Off to road trip starting Tuesday.

See you at the other end in the funny papers.

hope you're right, wj.

Trump's election pretty much wiped out my faith in common sense.

What cleek said. Plus, I now have (and have had for some time) a superstitious dread of predicting anything good, in case I alert the Evil Eye...

The boys down at the Niggerhead Ranch didn't approve of Harry Truman spending defense dollars on bleaching repigmenting black military recruits' skin in 1950 either.

http://juanitajean.com/rick-perry-lets-trump-grab-him-by-the-pussy/

cleek, keep these words in mind:

common sense isn't

common sense isn't

On that note, there's a very important gubernatorial race that's happening now in Virginia, with Ralph Northam, a progressive physician who has the right take on just about every issue, running against Ed Gillespie, former RNC hack who has been responsible for much of the very targeted and successful Republican gerrymandering throughout the nation, and specifically in VA, more often blue than not in statewide elections (although not safely so).

So working for Northam (after having voted for his challenger in the primary, just in order to bridge the gap to younger voters), I've encountered "progressive" single-issue voters who oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and plan to vote on that issue alone. Northam supports every progressive cause imaginable, but he hasn't stood strong against the pipeline. (Although I think he should, more to shut this argument down than because it's actually something worth worrying about. He has remained neutral.)

This race is so freaking important. Sigh.

I've encountered "progressive" single-issue voters who oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and plan to vote on that issue alone

Paging Jill Stein!

Paging Jill Stein!

And, you know, she's not even running. Ed Gillespie is running. Wonderful environmentalist, I'm sure.

I've encountered "progressive" single-issue voters who oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and plan to vote on that issue alone.

It is amazing (not to mention depressing), is it not, how many people seem absolutely determined to make the perfect the enemy of the good? I suppose that, in some respects, our politics is a competition between the parties to see who can better hold their purists at bay.

Since you call yourself a Republican, wj, I wish I could argue with you more. But, you know, I can't.

I wonder if these "progressives" that I speak of are also "anti-corporatist". Because Ed Gillespie, you know, has so much credibility on that front.

"One of [his] firm's clients was Enron, which paid it $1,225,000, including $700,000 to lobby the Department of Energy and the Executive Office of the President to resist efforts to re-regulate the western electricity market during the California Electricity Crisis."

little-picture "progressives" will be the death of us all - aided and abetted by know-nothing "conservatives", of course.

I agree about the little picture progressives. They are a pox. As for how the health care fiasco plays out with the thirty percenters: they will blame someone other than themselves. That's what they do. They know nothing and think less. Like Pavlov's dogs, they salivate (vote) on command of whoever best appeals to their desire to feel superior to everyone else by hating everyone else. It will never occur to them that if their representatives succeed in ruining Obamacare, they and/or their neighbors and fellow Americans will be harmed. When the harm comes they will do wha they always do: blame someone other than themselves and refuse to take any responsibility. They are a waste of time. The important issue is: how will the health care fiasco and any future problems with the exchanges affect the swing voters?

...how many people seem absolutely determined to make the perfect the enemy of the good?

Those of us honest and consistent enough to not see enough "good."

You know, Iraq vote, Libya, bank bailout etc whatever still no denial that Democratic are better, much much better than Republicans yet still the lesser evil that left-centrists claim is enough justification for a vote yet switch after the election to saying Obama or Clinton are no longer lesser evils but upon gaining great power then became somehow actually good.

Democrats are not good but lesser barely tolerable evils and shouldn't have complementary things said about them but always be held at arm's length in order to criticize and pressure.

Unless the question is about policing a comment section or other discourse and create qualifying tests of community or something. Not much into loyalty and community borders and boundaries, I can't claim to understand exclusionary desires.

Earlier this year, Congress voted on whether to repeal the methane rule controlling emissions from oil and gas drillers operating on federal lands. The rule was modeled on rules adopted by Colorado and Wyoming for drillers operating on state or private lands. McCain was the third Republican vote to retain the rule (also Collins and Graham).

I suspect the man knows the votes he casts this year may be the last he ever casts, and has looked at trends in the West and is thinking about how he will be remembered. (I suspect the same thing of Justice Kennedy as well.)

I've encountered "progressive" single-issue voters who oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and plan to vote on that issue alone

So GOP hack candidate (Gillespie) supports the pipeline. Dem governor (McAuliffe) practically birthed the project. Dem Senate candidate waffles because a significant part of his constituency opposes the project as did (gasp!) his primary opponent.

The horror.

But the real problem isn't the Gilded Age GOP and its loathsome public policies, it's a few "purists" and not a word is spoken about, say, some craft unions who support the pipeline in a similarly single issue single minded manner because 'jobs'. I guess they don't qualify as purists.

Everybody has hot buttons.

Everybody has hot buttons.

Just to clarify, Northam is running to succeed McAuliffe, who has been a way better than expected governor, having hand signed for hours and hours tens of thousands of felon applications to have their voting rights reinstated after courts tried to shut that project down.

bobbyp, you live in the Pacific NW, so just think a minute before you start waxing progressive on VA politics. And yes, the unions support the pipeline. I think the environmental arguments are very mixed if you grant that natural gas is not going away as a bridge to sustainable fuels. Transporting it through pipelines is much more eco-smart than carrying it in trucks. That said, I voted for the "anti-pipeline candidate" in the primary because I like him, and because I respect the "sustainable fuels now" sentiment that a lot of people have. Also because Tom Perriello had policy chops that extended way beyond "pipeline!".

In any case, Ed Gillespie is a nightmare, and his history of environmental degradation is legion (bobbyp, my comment about him referenced Enron and the California energy crisis), and gerrymandering will never end if he's elected.

But it's fine that purists want to let him win. Because pure.

Earlier this year, Congress voted on whether to repeal the methane rule controlling emissions from oil and gas drillers operating on federal lands. The rule was modeled on rules adopted by Colorado and Wyoming for drillers operating on state or private lands. McCain was the third Republican vote to retain the rule (also Collins and Graham).

I did not know that. Good on him (again).

But it's fine that purists want to let him win. Because pure.

I enjoy the arguments, and I am not by any means a purist. However, I do find the nonstop hippie punching at every conceivable opportunity to be utterly tiresome.

There are bigger fish to fry.

There are bigger fish to fry.

Yeah, thanks, and that was why people are out going door to door.

Still, it's discouraging to meet these ridiculous "single issue" progressives, who apparently don't give a rat's ass about health care, immigrants' rights, voting rights, wealth inequality, and (yes) the environment. All they care about is "The Pipeline!" because someone told them that it was the thing that made them a "true progressive". Is that hippy punching? I think it's a@@h@le punching, myself.

But the real problem isn't the Gilded Age GOP and its loathsome public policies, it's a few "purists" and not a word is spoken about, say, some craft unions who support the pipeline in a similarly single issue single minded manner because 'jobs'. I guess they don't qualify as purists.

Hell yeah, they do.

FWIW, I'm fine with natural gas as a bridging fuel, and I'm also fine with people not wanting pipelines running through their land and communities.

They want to run one of those through my county, and they can kiss my keister. In my area, we already host one of the handful - I think three - natural gas ports and tank farms, which happens to abut a residential area of the city of Boston, and we also host an off-shore natural gas transfer point.

That should be sufficient. Sorry, you can't f up the dominant local river and watershed to shift gas around more conveniently.

I'm not into taking private land and handing it over to for-profits to use to make a gazillion dollars. And I don't trust the "it's perfectly safe" dudes in suits who are happy to screw over anybody in their path if it means they can make their million.

Nothing hippie-punching about it.

If I personally slag Jill Stein, it's because she's a fruitcake. She's in my wheelhouse, she's from my state, I've voted for her on occasion, and as much as I'd like a credible Green party in the US, she's a nutty buddy.

FWIW, I'm fine with natural gas as a bridging fuel, and I'm also fine with people not wanting pipelines running through their land and communities.

Fine, and that's why I voted for the current nominee's opponent. But I'm not a "single issue pipeline opponent" when the other issues include people dead from all of the many other R policies, including every other freaking environmental issue, as well as Medicaid, voting rights, anti-ICE efforts, anti-gerrymandering initiatives, anti-corporate corruption initiatives, etc.

Sorry, dude. Single issue anti-pipeline folks are misguided. And saying so isn't hippy punching.

Hope nobody lives near a railroad or a highway.

Oh, wait.

I'd say we're going to have a colossal failure to communicate:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/07/behold-the-trump-communications-team/

It looks like the beginning of a superheros movie, before the League of Someone Please Save Our Asses is notified and mobilized, as the villains hit town and fuck everyone and everything up.

Fine, and that's why I voted for the current nominee's opponent.

In your place, I would work for and vote without hesitation for Northam. And if I ran into a "purist" or two, I'd try to engage a bit, but still wish them well.

But mostly, in political terms, I would not go out of my way to rub their noses in it, because at some other time, on some other important race or issue, they will be on my side, not some mythical "swing voter".

And perhaps at some point in the future, you will be in the distinct minority on your hot button issue.

And you won't get your way.

Hopefully you won't go all Zell Miller. But you never know, do you?

Hopefully you won't go all Zell Miller. But you never know, do you?

I pretty much know that I won't go all Zel Miller.

And I did exactly what you prescribed, and waited to rant about it here. You're welcome.

I've seen this playbook all my life, and that's one of two reasons we're here now. Reason 1: Republicans. Reason 2: Purist "progressives".

..and waited to rant about it here. You're welcome.

And I ranted back. It happens on the internets.

Thanks.

:)

Shocked, I am SHOCKED! that there is ranting on the internets!

...and cats. I blame the cats.

I'm not a "single issue pipeline opponent"

Nor am I.

Transporting gas is dangerous, whether it's done by pipeline, highway, or train. In my area, we already live with it. Natural gas is shipped through Boston harbor to a tank farm in Everett, which takes it under the major bridge connection to the north shore. The tank farm itself is close enough to residential areas that, should anything gang agley, there will be damage.

There are also a couple of gas distribution points off of Gloucester, which I think are more or less unused, because between the time they were planned and the time they were actually built, fracking took off, and importing gas just isn't a thing anymore.

Kinder Morgan proposed a natural gas pipeline route through the Ipswich River watershed, which is the primary river system in Essex Country, where I live. They did not cover themselves with glory in how they approached the towns, and the people, who would be affected by the proposal. It's a really densely populated area, and the pipeline would run through residential areas and close to schools and other places you don't really want a natural gas pipeline.

The gas companies have generally comported themselves as dicks, not just here but pretty much everywhere. They all want to make their billion freaking dollars. Best of luck to them, but the people who live places that will be affected by their operations are entitled to have, not just a voice, but a reasonable degree of control, over how their lives are affected by this stuff.

I'm not a single-issue voter, I completely get your point regarding your local race. But there's a really broad spectrum between "progressive purists" and people who simply want some agency over their own lives and that of their communities. The fact that I don't want a pipeline through my community has bugger-all to do with Northam's prospects in your district.

Best of luck.

John McCain:

Whenever I think of McCain, I think of this segment from the movie "Why We Fight".

Cheney should be investigated. But, first I gotta take his call.

I'm sure the editing contributes to making McCain look like a sold-out toady, but it is what it is. There was no investigation, McCain never asked for one to my knowledge. He just wanted to talk about it.

Politics is all about compromise. It's great to talk big ideas, but in the end it's a lot of scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours. McCain is no worse, but no better, then most folks in that business.

At least there's no video of him handing out checks on the Senate floor at vote time.

Someone made the comment upthread that both parties ahve to deal with their purists. Tats true, but I think the dynamic is very different for each party. With the Repubicans, the extremists have taken over the primaries so candidates pander to them, competing to see who can be the nuttiest to get the nomination. After the nomination, even the craziest Rep will get the votes of Republican voters who claim to be normal people and who express disapprovla of he exteremists in their party. Everyone pretends the nutty Repubican has pivoted to normalcy.

Thats why Congress is full of crazy Republicans: because the Republicans who are not purists and who claim to disapprove of exermism vote fo rhem.

The Dem primaries anc caucuses tend to be a rancourous agrument between those who see themselves ans insiders dn those who see them selves as outsiders The outsiders usually lose. A subset of the outsiders sulks and pouts and helps elect Repubicans.

So both parties have purists, but the Republicans elect their nutcases to office and then pretend they aren't nuts, whereas a to outlier Dem is unlikey to get nominated, but supporters of that outlier might not vote.

Very different dynamic.

After the nomination, even the craziest Rep will get the votes of Republican voters who claim to be normal people and who express disapprovla of he exteremists in their party.

I expect that's true in some cases. But there are also those of us who vote for sane candidates in the GOP primaries (yes, they are not unheard-of) . . . and then have to hope that the Democrats nominated someone tolerable.

FWIW, I'm fine with natural gas as a bridging fuel, and I'm also fine with people not wanting pipelines running through their land and communities.

Yep. But if they want electricity, they're going to have to make choices. Generate relatively locally and they need coal trains, or gas pipelines, or nukes with spent fuel storage issues. Or renewables, but there are damned few places where local sources of renewable power are sufficient. If none of that's suitable, then big power lines coming in from someplace that is willing to have coal trains or gas pipelines or nukes or commercial scale wind and solar farms. (I recommend driving I-70 across the middle of Kansas through the Smokey Hills wind farm -- serioiusly heavy industrial vibe.)

Really, who cares what WE think of John McCain.

Rump, Mulvaney and company want to punish the man with the brain tumor to achieve their sadistic goal of murdering Americans.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mulvaney-obamacare-insurance-companies-congress-trump-threat

Ruthless sadists spit on pathetic elections and the democratic process, messy as it is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_XL7GWq5w0

They are not our peers.

This will take a savage revolution to sort out. Killing fields.

Kiss it, cucks:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/conway-advises-white-house-staffers-trump-humility

Here's what the rank and file base of the soon-to-be stinking, heaving corpse of the republican party think of McCain:

https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2017/07/30/abc-s-week-finds-out-what-happens-when-you-have-fringe-radio-host-bill-cunningham-guest/217445

Certain reforms can increase the store of liberty and equality at the same time—which means both gubernatorial candidates should find them worthy of support.
5 Easy Ways to Make Virginia Better

The Count's Kellyanne Conway link is almost unbelievable. Perhaps it is a stratagem to see who was in the meeting and then to deduce who leaked it. The alternatives, that this woman could either a) believe the astounding, appalling shit she was talking or b) think that her manipulativeness in handling Trump in this way (although no doubt it works with him) would somehow make her look anything other than craven and pathetic, are frankly incredible.

It is true that in my experience Americans historically accorded their presidents more respect than we (or probably any other Europeans) ever accorded our leaders just by virtue of their office. I remember during the Thatcher/Reagan era I was out with a friend who was a quite senior American diplomat, and a bunch of other US diplomats of varying degrees of seniority. It was towards the end of Maggie's tenure, and I was telling them that many people, including some of her colleagues, were starting to wonder if she was going slightly mad. One of the US contingent (admittedly on his first tour) said to me "I can't believe how disrespectfully you speak of your Prime Minister." When I replied that over here it was customary to accord respect to the person if their behaviour warranted it, rather than to the office, he was vociferous in his denunciations. He was young, but I have never forgotten it. On the other hand, Kellyanne Conway-style arselicking, or in fact the behaviour we saw around the cabinet table the other day, would then have been frankly unimaginable.

He was young, but I have never forgotten it.

I imagine that diplomats are trained to speak respectfully of the President since they are representing his policy, but I don't think that the public at large feels that need. Not at all.

I'm curious what others think of this:

https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/535278/

Excerpt:

At the core of the issue is a troubling tendency, on both the left and right, that goes well beyond college campuses: a consuming obsession with sin. Given the right’s religious base, it’s not all that surprising that conservatives focus on moral transgressions—whether they violate God’s divine law, America’s founding ideals of liberty, ’50s-style norms of sexual behavior and good housekeeping, or other codes of conduct. But the left can be prudish and judgmental about the evils it holds in special contempt, too. On college campuses in particular, activists often take an almost religious approach to politics, rooted in a belief—sometimes stated, sometimes implied—in the irredeemable sin of America and its mainstream. Their work on vital issues gets diverted from real-world objectives and takes on the character of a church revival, with rituals to express its believers’ sin and salvation, and a fundamentalist attention to language and doctrine.

I'd say there's some there there.


Seems like un-italicisation(?) would be in order.

And maybe someone could put a permanent link somewhere to the magic formula for that, so it can be easily found any time.

There's there there but it's been like that since, what, the 1960s? College students going to excess over ____, yet American society churns along relatively fine (tho' I guess we'll see with Trump, but he's not the product of excesses of the "left" on college campuses).

Indeed, the paragraph says "well beyond college campuses" and yet the example of the troubling tendency of the left is.... college campuses.

I'll cop to not reading the entire article.

I'll cop to not reading the entire article.

I'm excommunicating you from The Left, sinner.

Interesting article hsh, and I agree with you about it.

At the core of the issue is a troubling tendency, on both the left and right, that goes well beyond college campuses: a consuming obsession with sin.

I think righteous indignation is kind of a standard rite of passage for people making the transition to adulthood.

Most folks get past it. Other things become important, being right all the time becomes less so.

All of that said, it would be good if the campus PC police would take themselves less seriously.

being seen as being anti-establishment is very important to a lot of people. my friends who think The Beatles are a crap band are the same people who think America should be burned down.

Ugh is right, that same "feature" was much in evidence in the 1960s.

I think the problem comes down to this: there is a tendency, on both sides, to think that their position is obviously correct. From which it follows that the other side is not merely wrong, but deliberately evil.

After all, since the correct position is obvious, they must know that what they are saying is wrong. So only malice can account for them saying it.

The idea that someone might be well-intentioned, but disagree about some issue, seems utterly foreign. I have no idea what failure in their up-bringing caused them to fail to recognize that opinions may differ. But my off-the-wall guess would be it comes from being reared in an excessively homogeneous environment. If you never encounter different opinions why you are young, you don't know how to deal with them in a civilized fashion.

The news is reporting that the Mooch has gone! Instigated by Kelly...

the clowns keep falling out of the clown car.

Trump fires Mooch. Thus proving that any operation can get something right occasionally.

"escorted from the White House grounds"

Only one publicity seeking narcissistic vulgar NY prick allowed in the WH at a time it seems.

The winning though, think of the winning. And hiring only the best people, the best. People tell me that.

Ugh is right, that same "feature" was much in evidence in the 1960s.

Well, I guess some of you here have forgotten the proliferation of Protestant sects and the 30 Years War. Those of you more familiar on the real "Left" also know a little bit about Stalin v. Trotsky and the proliferation of Marxist sects (the other Bob probably knows).

I'm not up to speed on the various iterations of right wing extremism. I assume they are legion.

This is not new behavior, folks.

One should also keep in mind that the so-called "center" also changes over time, so you might say they are as wrong about things as everybody else.

Enjoy your day!

OPEN THREAD!!!!

Contra Krugman, Lemieux is dead on about the Heritage Plan.

Don't give the GOP credit for ANYTHING. They have managed to transform themselves into a cult.

So call me an outlier.

I wonder if his wife will take him back, now.

The news is reporting that the Mooch has gone! Instigated by Kelly...

Buried in spreadsheets as I am, I read "Kelly" and thought "KellyAnne" -- wouldn't have been surprised, either.

If Kelly is actually going to clear out the snake pit...who will be left?

Certainly not Ms. Conway.

Although she has survived for an awfully long time, so maybe I should take that back. She even precedes Bannon, at least officially, IIRC.

Win:

https://twitter.com/CalebHowe/status/891800001537617926

sadly, if Kelly does his job of getting rid of the circus, the result will be ... a more effective Donald Trump.

sadly, if Kelly does his job of getting rid of the circus, the result will be ... a more effective Donald Trump.

That's my worry, too. But I also think there's a good chance that Trump will eventually do something stupid enough that Kelly won't be able to tolerate, meaning he either quits over it or criticizes Trump harshly enough that Trump pushes him out.

sadly, if Kelly does his job of getting rid of the circus, the result will be ... a more effective Donald Trump.

Agree. I was just starting to enjoy the show. A well run Trump admin. is not something to be devoutly wished for....and what hsh said.

When Kelly tells The Great Orange Satan that either he goes or Ivanka and Jarred go, well, then we'll know.....whose sh*t is going to hit which fan.

sadly, if Kelly does his job of getting rid of the circus, the result will be ... a more effective Donald Trump.

My worry too, and what hsh and bobbyp said.

So it's being reported that Kelly was so upset about Comey's firing, and the manner of it, that he called him to commiserate and said he was thinking of resigning. If true, I wonder how long Kelly will last...

5 Easy Ways to Make Virginia Better

I could go along with those, Charles. But it is not "government" that is the problem. It is interests bending policy to their preferences.

The distinction is important.

So it's being reported that Kelly was so upset about Comey's firing, and the manner of it, that he called him to commiserate and said he was thinking of resigning. If true, I wonder how long Kelly will last...

Something stinks about that story. I don't trust that Kelly was so upset about it, especially what is being reported now about Trump having composed his son's statements regarding the "meeting". Kelly is Trump's patsy one way or the other.

who knows, maybe kelly will whip everyone into shape.

we'll probably know if it's heading in that direction in a week, tops.

Real White House™.

I'm embarrassed to be waiting for tomorrow's episode. I try to exercise to relieve anxiety, but it only works for about an hour.

The plot thickens.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-dictated-sons-misleading-statement-on-meeting-with-russian-lawyer/2017/07/31/04c94f96-73ae-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html

"The claims were later shown to be misleading."

LOL

mistakes were made

Meanwhile, Wikileaks [Putin] screws Macron over.

Calling those of us who have cherrypicked Wikileaks for dirt on Hillary Clinton (and John Kerry). Will I forgive "those of us"? No. Not until they change.

I like this:

Trump, they say, is increasingly acting as his own lawyer, strategist and publicist, often disregarding the recommendations of the professionals he has hired.

“He refuses to sit still,” the presidential adviser said. “He doesn’t think he’s in any legal jeopardy, so he really views this as a political problem he is going to solve by himself.”

The plot thickens.

can we call that obstruction ?

i'll assume not.

Basically, Trump appears to have always assumed that he was immune. Not entirely and absolutely -- he occasionally had to settle a lawsuit. But that was just money; for practical purposes, he never had to give it a thought.

Now, being President, he feels even more immune, if that's possible. Something might be an attack on his self-image. But the idea that he might be in legal jeopardy, the kind that gets you tossed in jail, is simply inconceivable at this point. Which leads him to do things that are even more risky than he ever would have before.

Eventually, probably sooner rather than later, he is going to discover that is wasn't true. My prayer is that he doesn't decide to destroy the world, which has failed him by holding him accountable.

The mooch missed the birth of his child from natch, his estranged wife ..

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/30/anthony-scaramuccis-congratulated-estranged-wife-birth-child/

... to debase himself at rump's behest for 11 days and lose his celebrity apprentice gig.

Then, he died:

http://juanitajean.com/no-he-just-wishes-he-was/

Got a theory. As rump has been quoted, anyone who insults or crosses him will be destroyed. He HATES them. The mooch had some classic gangster putdowns of rump, all true, during the primaries and divulged a liking for Clinton.

The last 11 days was rump's vengeance on Mooch, and the mesmerized fuck Mooch swallowed all of it.

Everyone who comes into contact with rump ends up shampooing his crotch.

I'll bet rump ghostwrote the Mooch's profane bloviations to Ryan Lizza too. Go ahead, do this for me Mooch and show me how you will debase yourself in my name, was rump's thinking.

Forget dementia. This is a full-blown psychotic psychopath in high season.

Again:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-euUBK7LQXQ

Look what you have done, republicans. Look what you have done you dead fucking filth.

And look at these Christian murderous filth, blessing fascism and the destruction of the United States of America.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/07/well-he-certainly-does-have-some.html

he does not understand the nature, responsibilities, or limits of the office.

i was listening to somebody on the radio talk about trump being an authoritarian. i don't think he knows what that is. i doubt he has any particular ambition to be a dictator, it's just that by temperament and habit, that is the kind of political leader he will inevitably be.

he has never had to answer to anyone in any meaningful way, he has never had to operate anything on any kind of transparent basis. he started out with nine figures, and the only thing he has ever been is head of the family business, and a reality TV personality.

he has absolutely no idea what he is doing.

maybe kelly will break it down for him in a form he can understand and he'll get his shit together. it would require a fairly enormous change of perspective on his part. a truly profound one, a metanoia. the man is 70, and he gives no evidence of a capacity for self-reflection, or even the most basic degree of impulse control.

it's not impossible, but it's not likely.

cracks are starting to show in congressional (R) support. he needs to turn himself around, or else he's probably a short-timer.

if it turns out that way, i really really really hope the initiative comes from the (R)'s. probably fewer unhinged patriots going off their nut that way.

we'll see what happens.

he does not understand the nature, responsibilities, or limits of the office.

It's mostly about cracking jokes in front of a bunch of cops.

from a friend's FB feed:

"Then came the Kelly who fired the Mooch who shivved the Reince my father bought for two zuzim, chad gadya, chad gadya!"

@wj: Or, maybe, we will all discover that he's right: he really is immune, and he can go on a shooting spree on Fifth Avenue and nothing will happen to him.

Calling those of us who have cherrypicked Wikileaks for dirt on Hillary Clinton

People close to power, seeking power, or fantasizing about power, etc

can't seem to stop punching down

Some punch down on blacks;some on Jews; some on immigrants, many on women in strongly patriarchal societies; some on the small kid in the schoolyard. Roots of fascism. It's about showing power to a group without taking risks. Find the subaltern everybody hates and kick it.

And Democrats and liberals like to punch down on their Left, miniscule or impotent as it may be. Also fascism.

Do they think they are punching up when they attack Republicans? I think they are, but they may think Repubs are in political power but in every way socially, intellectually and morally inferior so it isn't so clear.

Always attack power, "speak truth to" power, wherever it may stand? Well, supporting and helping our side, our leaders and bosses, when attacked by those out of power and marginalized feels authoritarian and proto-fascist to me. Until they become so vulnerable that in supporting them you get ostracized probably best to stay adversarial. That doesn't mean you have to join in every fight, but if in doubt about say a fight between Native Americans and Obama, it is I think best to stand aside and watch rather than help. Obama never needs your help.

Of course every marginalized or minority group isn't equally worth protecting.

"[Trump] can go on a shooting spree on Fifth Avenue and nothing will happen to him."

Hey, how about Trump tries that in Florida first? I hear they have a 'stand your ground' law that solves all kinds of problems. NRA/Count approved!

maybe, we will all discover that he's right: he really is immune

Immune in the minds of his fans, quite possibly. But beyond that...? Ha!

New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites 7/27/15, WSWS

"Google continued, “Last month, we updated our Search Quality Rater Guidelines to provide more detailed examples of low-quality webpages for raters to appropriately flag.” These moderators are instructed to flag “upsetting user experiences""

In the three months since Google implemented the changes to its search engine, fewer people have accessed left-wing and anti-war news sites. Based on information available on Alexa analytics, other sites that have experienced sharp drops in ranking include WikiLeaks, Alternet, Counterpunch, Global Research, Consortium News and Truthout. Even prominent democratic rights groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International appear to have been hit."

New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites

no, it doesn't. Google doesn't control access to anything.

that have experienced sharp drops in ranking include WikiLeaks, Alternet, Counterpunch, Global Research, Consortium News and Truthout

that's probably because smart people have been blocking these trashbins from their FB feeds.

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