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April 20, 2018

Comments

hsh in the other thread: I've had this thought floating around in my head in a nebulous, non-verbal form for some time. Now I have the words,

There's a different one (well, there are many...) for which I don't have the words, at least no succinct words: That notion that talking about gun control after a mass shooting is "politicizing the tragedy" is infuriating. It suggests that people are using a horrible tragedy in the service of some bloodless debate, when what's really happening is the other way around: the thing being debated *is* the tragedy, and wanting stricter gun control is an attempt to avert instances of it. That is, the one-off tragedy that is a single mass shooting happens in part because of the ongoing tragedy of our American gun lunacy.

Of course, it might be easier to put into words by just observing the projection. Who is *really* politicizing the ongoing tragedy, instead of trying to end it? The people who want saner gun laws want to stop the tragedies from happening. The people who don't want saner gun laws want to keep the right to own military weapons of mass slaughter, and to ensure the profits of the people who make the weapons.

Every time there is a tragedy, including those which are natural disasters and those which are man-made (see the failure of a jet engine earlier this week), it gets "politicized." Which is to say, there are calls to "do something" to avoid having it happen in the future. Or, in the case of natural disasters, to reduce the impact.

Sometimes the response to "do something" is useful. Sometimes (e.g. most of TSA inspections at airports) is does nothing except allow politicians to say "steps have been taken." But it's all political action in response to events.

That notion that talking about gun control after a mass shooting is "politicizing the tragedy" is infuriating.

It's disrespectful to the victims. But what happens when the victims are the ones talking about gun control? Oh, well, then fnck 'em! They must be actors or, worse yet, one of their parents must have worked for the FBI, which means ...well, something.

It's such horsesh*t.

Every time there is a tragedy, including those which are natural disasters and those which are man-made (see the failure of a jet engine earlier this week), it gets "politicized." Which is to say, there is a strong desire in the fact-based community to LEARN FROM THE TRAGEDY and find SOLUTIONS [then there] are calls to "do something" to avoid having it happen in the future. Or, in the case of natural disasters, to reduce the impact.

Those who do not learn from the past, etc. etc.

Those who actively prevent us collectively learning from the past should be considered to have responsibility for the recurrence of tragedy.

You can't just compare trump and W on an absolute basis - what I think the sabermetric people call a "counting stat." You also have to consider "rate stats," like batting average, that take opportunity into account.

9/11 gave W a massive opportunity to go to war with Iraq - don't ask me why. Trump hasn't had that yet, but he certainly seems to be batting 1.000 or close to it on the opportunities he has had.

Open thread -- well, at least this time the site was only down for a few minutes....

W was exceptional in so many ways.

First presidential+VP to violate the 12th Amendment, before even taking office.

I blame those high-minded founder dudes that didn't include a death-penalty provision.

I’m not sure the comparison is useful, both being pretty awful in their own distinct ways. It’s possible that Trump’s mangling of the Federal courts and attack on long accepted political norms will be more consequential in the long run.

On the subject of norms, I thought this critique of Comey entirely persuasive, and a good explanation of their purpose.
Given what they are - a long accumulated consensus of the best way of doing things in given situations - it is extraordinary that people who call themselves conservatives seem so undisturbed by their wholesale destruction.

And I managed to forget to post the link...
https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2018/04/what-comey-did-wrong/558536/

it is extraordinary that people who call themselves conservatives seem so undisturbed by their wholesale destruction.

it is indeed.

it's almost as if the whole thing was a sham all along.

i like the DNC's new backstop lawsuit against Trump et al. now, even if Trump fires Mueller, the DNC's suit will still be there, digging in the same places, looking for the same things.

clever.

The DMV lawsuit is a recognition that Muellers investigation hasn't found anything actionable. The lawsuit can't really move forward until the criminal investigations have ended, which is why it hasn't been filed before, but the burden of proof is less to collect damages so they might be able to spin a tale to win.

Most important, and the primary reason for the suit is that it looks like Muellers collusion investigation might end before midterms and so far it is all they have been running on. So a civil suit let's them continue to talk about collusion.

DMV DNC same same

The DNC was hacked, has anyone been held accountable or even charged with that? Not that I know of.

That said, the DNC's complaint has not been winning many points from the legal observers I happen to follow, but they may be missing the broader context.

That said, the DNC's complaint has not been winning many points from the legal observers I happen to follow, but they may be missing the broader context.

Curious what you've read.

The DNC lawsuit is a recognition that Muellers investigation hasn't found anything actionable.

Actually, I'd take it as a recognition that firing Mueller looks increasingly likely. This provides an incentive not to, since discovery in the suit would make a lot of stuff public the a prosecutor would likely not find relevant to bring out.

I'd also note that lack of formal charges, yet, doesn't mean lack of evidence. Any competent prosecutor wouldn't stop when he had possibly convincing evidence. He'd keep going until as long as he was accumulating additional proof, just to make as solid a case as possible. (Note also that white collar crime cases, which is what this resembles, often involve quite extended investigations. This one isn't outside the norm yet.)

Not to mention the detail that, in several cases, indictments were filed, but kept sealed for some months. Are there more of those already out thete already? It wouldn't be surprising.

Muellers investigation hasn't found anything actionable that has been made public.

You left that last part out.

sapient - all on twitter who (a) I know are trial lawyers (b) I trust to have read the complaint; and (c) are on the left side of the political spectrum.

I suppose that doesn't count as in depth legal analysis but when they are mocking it and one saying it reads like someone filing pro se (though a law firm listed on the complaint), it doesn't inspire confidence.

Larry Tribe is defending it I saw.

Muellers investigation hasn't found anything actionable.

100 charges, 19 people, 3 companies.

That predates the Cohen raids, so more are on the way.

I think what you are trying to say is that the Mueller investigation has not yet brought charges or otherwise disclosed information of criminal or impeachable actions on the part of the POTUS personally or his family members.

"Nothing actionable" is not quite correct. And the investigation is still underway.

(a) While there is no case law that says that a sitting president can be indicted and criminally tried (although with nothing in the law that says contrary, either), there IS precedent that a sitting president can be forced to give deposition under oath in a civil lawsuit.

(b) Having Trump testify under oat is almost 100% guaranteed to result in perjury. That's just who he is.

(c) Trump can't fire the DNC lawyers.

(d) It's a RICO suit. Highly appropriate.

a coup at the Sauid Palace?

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/04/21/breaking-news-there-appears-to-be-an-assault-on-the-saudi-royal-palace-going-on/

how... exciting.

The DMV lawsuit is a recognition that Muellers investigation hasn't found anything actionable.

no, it really isn't.

it's a way to keep the thing alive if Trump decides to do the one thing nobody else in America can do : fire the people investigating you.

(this is the part where you'd be screaming "LAWLESS!" if a Dem was in the WH)

Muellers investigation hasn't found anything actionable.

tell that to Manafort.

remember, despite the right's lurid fantasy about a "slow motion coup", Mueller's mandate investigation isn't about Trump himself: it's about the Trump campaign (and anything that may "arise directly from the investigation"). Trump is certainly part of that. but he's not the only part.

A coup is defined as a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.

The institutions of the actual government investigating possible malfeasance and/or criminal activity by people in and/or associated with that government, over the course of months or years, leading to indictments that scrupulously follow the law of that government, is not a coup.

It's called "government".

It sucks when it makes your guy look bad, but that's the price we pay for rule of law.

"Mueller's investigation hasn't found anything actionable."

The colonoscopy results aren't back yet.

But Manafort, Cohen and much of mp's campaign entourage are walking like surgery has been scheduled for malignant masses up theirs.

Muellers investigation hasn't found anything actionable as regards collusion, which the press has characterized as the point of the lawsuit

I have not read the lawsuit so I am just looking at the press reporting of what it says.

As for Russell's 3:56 the abuse of one part of government to take over another is a coup. The Egyptians replaced a legally elected government using all the levers of government. Slow motion is certainly a modified to your initial definition.

But what's going on isn't government, it's contested government outside the rules we operate by, us conservatives don't like it when those norms are challenged.

"But what's going on isn't government, it's contested government outside the rules we operate by, us conservatives don't like it when those norms are challenged."

Give Merrick Garland a hearing.

...us conservatives don't like it when those norms are challenged.

pre-emptive war
torture
unitary executive

I hear ya', buddy.

what's going on isn't government, it's contested government outside the rules we operate by, us conservatives don't like it when those norms are challenged.

This seems to be your story and you're sticking to it, which is your prerogative.

That said, you have so far advanced nothing to demonstrate that what you believe is so. So, you're welcome to it, but don't expect the rest of us to play along.

And hell yeah, Garland is just the tip of the iceberg. If you're trying to spark any kind of outrage at Mueller's travesty of justice, you have a big lift ahead of you.

To my eye, every (R) administration in my lifetime has been a snakepit of malfeasance and abuse of power. I'm not saying that Mueller's investigation is tit for tat, because I do not thing it is. I am saying that complaints about Mueller's investigation coming from (R)'s seems pretty freaking rich. Especially when they talk about how "us conservatives don't like those norms challenged".

If you don't want stuff broken, don't break it.

Rachel Maddow had a long segment showing the parallels between the current Dem lawsuit and that filed by them in the Watergate affair. Ironically, the judge dealing with the current one was involved as a junior in the Watergate case too.

As for Russell's 3:56 the abuse of one part of government to take over another is a coup.

which is irrelevant here because the FBI is not trying to "take over" the Presidency. you can't insist on dictionary definitions for some words while being sloppy with all the others.

and the FBI is not even investigating the President. it's investigating the actions of the Trump 2016 campaign. you can read the special counsel letter that authorized Mueller. it's easy enough to find on-line.

what's going on isn't government, it's contested government outside the rules we operate by

Actually, it is well within the rules we operate by.

I don't agree with Russell et al that Garland was outside the rules. An abuse of the rules, perhaps, but within the letter of the law.

But neither do I agree that an investigation, carefully following legal procedures and notably refraining from leaking** (i.e. carrying on in public, rather than in a court of law), is anything but a careful following of the rules.

** As far as I can tell, all of the leaks which have occurred so far have been from people outside Mueller's team. That is, from witnesses, defendants, etc. Feel free to correct me if anyone knows of an instance to the contrary (with a link, preferably).

You know, I’ve been thinking all day about novakant’s and bobbyp’s insistence on the iniquity of Frum, with which I would once have enthusiastically agreed. I just want to add something to what I said about it in the other thread, FWIW. Before the election, when I was arguing with and trying to get NV to rethink her position and vote for HRC, and when we were all discussing the Trump situation, I remember saying that I thought that a Trump presidency would be an existential danger (or threat) to America. The thing is, in addition to the extraordinary practical damage done to the various government agencies (State, Energy, EPA etc) which will take many years to repair, I still truly believe that the destruction of norms, blunting of outrage, punch-drunk habituation to open corruption and scandal, and abandonment of even the pretence that America is capable of something better than this (and maybe often it was only a pretence), is actually a game-changer.

Of course some of this began under W (and Cheney), with cynical manipulation and lying to start the war, and the (hopefully temporary) legitimation of torture (not to mention with McConnell's handling of the Merrick Garland situation). I wouldn’t dream of denying it, and often vociferously condemned it. But you can choose to see the Trump phenomenon as just another notch or two down the scale on a continuum, or a true qualitative change, something different in kind. And that is how I see it. Clearly, some of this was enabled by past developments, but it seems to me that there was a change, during Trump’s campaign and after his election, a giving-in to hatred, white supremacy, nativism etc which most people (even those who felt these things) had until recently regarded as no longer possible to express, but now were suddenly free to vent. The ongoing spree of deregulation, installation of second-rate judges, damage to the ACA and the agencies I mentioned, bad though this all is, seems to me secondary to the damage done to America by the personality cult around Trump, with its indifference to (or even tacit approval of) racism, possible treason and certain financial corruption, its contempt for the rule of law, and following on from all this the degradation of America's view of itself, and the world’s view of it.

You may well disagree with this. But Frum clearly believes this too, and that is why I am suddenly tolerant of him. All the things we used to argue about now seem secondary to those of us who believe that the Orange Peril is a systemic, as opposed to just a topical, problem. Once this is over, and if things start being repaired, we can go back to the luxury of condemning the Frums of this world. Until then, they are brave, important and necessary to talk to the few conservatives left (20%? less?) who can still be reached.

I don't agree with Russell et al that Garland was outside the rules. An abuse of the rules, perhaps, but within the letter of the law.

To an extent, I agree with this wj, but it was well outside the norms of behavior for the Senate. As a country, the law only goes so far. The advice and consent of the Senate is required to confirm a nominee. The idea that a vote on advice and consent is withheld is contrary to the spirit of the process.

We can't keep a democracy going when one party continually does things like this to the disadvantage of the other party, which happens to represent the majority of the people.

One-party control by a party that represents a minority is a really dysfunctional system. Obviously, we won't be able to fix it until we can defeat the Republicans, but the more they tamper with voting rights and elections, the more unlikely it becomes that the concept of "we the people" has any meaning at all.

What GftNC said at 5:20 PM.

If you don't want stuff broken, don't break it.

Wisdom for the ages.

To an extent, I agree with this wj, but it was well outside the norms of behavior for the Senate.

Absolutely agree. And abandoning norms for behavior should not be done casually . . . which is what I think McConnell did. I was only saying that, however reprehensible, it was still at least within the letter of the rules. Which, compared to much of this administration, is better. Far, far from good, but still better.

There are well-established civilized norms and then there are the formalized rules, the former serving as a lubricant to make the gears of the latter mesh more smoothly, so we don't kill each other.

There aren't any actual cloaks hanging in the Senate Cloak Rooms.

Incitatus was a fucking horse, but no formal rule was broken, in the narrative that has survived.

Crime families and cults, the way they do "business", is they violate the norms of the first instance ... yeah, shame about his knees .. to force the the "rules" of whatever it is that hadda be done.

Thus the mp crime family meets the republican party cult.

I want war.

The Republican Party doesn't give shit about rules anyway:

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/04/today-american-ethnic-cleansing-19

This is a good piece on Comey by Benjamin Wittes, from hilzoy's feed (for anyone who doesn't check in there):

https://lawfareblog.com/behind-james-comeys-higher-loyalty

i make it out this way.

people wanted trump. so, they got trump.

trump is, somewhat famously, a sketchy dude. banks won't lend him money, he doesn't pay his hires, lotta bankruptcies, makes his living selling expensive stuff to anonymous offshore investors. the folks around him are beyond sketchy, as in mobbed up, done federal time.

if you elect an obviously sketchy dude to be potus, especially if his entourage is several steps beyond sketchy, then he is going to attract the attention of folks whose business it is to look into sketchy dudes.

so, wtf do you expect.

mueller is doing his damned job. it will land where it lands. the folks he has rolled up so far richly deserved it.

if that all seems unacceptable, then make better choices next time.

this is like complaining that water runs downhill.

What Russel said. And I don;t think Republicans can continue to claim personal responsibility as a conservative values as long as they keep lying to themselves about Trump because they dnt want to face the facts about him.

Also what GFTNC said, 5:20.

Democrats and Republicans can, sometime, get along...
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-43666657

I don't know, Santorum would go "ICK! and look askance at these brokeback cats and dogs in tents together.

It's so petshop boyish.

I hope those pets carry their own freeze dried kibble in backpacks because I certainly don't have room in my backpack, what with the bowling equipment, baseball encyclopedia, and five gallon jugs of bear repellent I'm already schlepping above treeline.

I'm still trying to board commercial aircraft with my 14-foot long companion saltwater crocodile.

I notice the passengers behave better and stay in their seats during the flight, with their feet curled up underneath them on the seat.

There was a woman wearing matching alligator shoes, purse, and carry-on luggage one time who requested an emergency landing our of the blue for some reason, but he was just being friendly, as she could surely ascertain by the snapping jaws and the wagging of his scaly tail.

I surmise he would come in handy in the unlikely event of a water landing.

Once he settles in the aisle, he's fine. It's the long slither down the gangway that's a bit dicey, though I do get better seats as the other passengers back up against either wall and courteously make way for us.

People are nice that way, given the incentive.

Needless to say, we get OFF the plane first too AND we have the people mover to ourselves on the way to baggage claim or our connecting flights.

Just so, there is none of that pointless leaping to the their feet by every single passenger on the manifest the very second the aircraft does its final bump up against the dock after landing and then standing interminably while their heads crack against the luggage being hauled out the overhead compartments, as if we're on the NYC subway and the doors are going to abruptly snap shut again and then your next stop is Tribeca.

I mean, we're disembarking from, not evacuating the plane, are we not?

Jennifer Palmieri’s take on Comey, with which I very much agree:
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/04/21/james-comey-book-review-clinton-jennifer-palmieri-218061

In contrast, Mueller is quite clearly doing his job.

Tom Perez on the DNC lawsuit. I think he's absolutely right.

FWIW, Jack Goldsmith shares some of Marty's concerns.

Goldsmith's a strong conservative, he's also the guy who resigned from W's OLC in response to the torture justifications.

Interesting times we live in.

i'm not seeing how the leaks about the fact that people in Trump's circle were compromised by Russia are a bigger issue than the fact that people in Trump's circle were compromised by Russia.

if you're trying to distract from the fact that people in Trump's circle were compromised by Russia, i guess you'd want to make the leaks seem important. but that doesn't change the fact that people in Trump's circle were compromised by Russia.

Jennifer Palmieri’s take on Comey, with which I very much agree:

The three words that best sum it up are “not his job.”

i'm not seeing how the leaks about the fact that people in Trump's circle were compromised by Russia are a bigger issue than the fact that people in Trump's circle were compromised by Russia.

Neither am I.

I didn't post the Goldsmith piece as an endorsement of his argument. It reminded me of some of the stuff Marty seems concerned about, so I thought it deserved mention. Plus, anyone who quit W's OLC over the torture BS gets one benefit of the doubt bonus point. From me, at least. I'll hear them out, at least once.

I'm also skeptical of Goldsmith's "this is the first time ever..." claims but I have neither the time nor the interest to go digging to fact-check it.

Eat the meat and spit out the bones.

Interesting times.

Interesting Comey piece, Nigel.

Also, interesting Goldsmith piece, russell.

One doesn't have to endorse his argument to see how the ongoing destruction or blurring of norms (no matter how righteous the cause seems/is in the short term) presents a possible danger for the future, or to see how someone of some integrity, arguing in good faith, can have an opinion opposed to one's own.

Jack Goldsmith:

Even if it turns out that Flynn and others close to Trump were in the bag for the Russians, many people will for a long time view the anti-Trump leaks as political abuse of intelligence to harm political enemies.
And we know some of those people, don't we?

"Strong conservative" Goldsmith must know perfectly well that the "intelligence community" is NOT staffed by SJWs or DFHs or libruls of any sort. The notion that the "intelligence community" is inclined to leak MORE against Republican or "conservative" politicians than Democratic or "liberal" ones is laughable.

Goldsmith again:

If surveillance comes to be seen through a domestic political lens, with domestic political winners and losers, the intelligence community will have a very hard time acting with needed public credibility. And that in turn means it will have a harder time doing what it needs to do to keep us safe.
I wonder what "acting with needed public credibility" is supposed to mean for an "intelligence community" which, according to Goldsmith, should always keep what it knows secret from The Public.

--TP

My recollection is that Goldsmith didn’t quit but rewrote some of the Yoo and/or Bybee memos. And of course the most damaging and partisan information out out by the “deep state” was by done publicly by the FBI...

And as always:

“The big loser in all this will probably be the national security bureaucracy itself and, to the extent it is weakened, the security of the American people.”

The “we need to spy on you and everyone else to keep you safe” is evergreen and of course unfalsifiable becuase, well, it’s secret!

Goldsmith deserves some credit but really,IMHO he did the bare minimum or close to it, which is better than Yoo and Bybee but not by a whole lot.

I didn't post the Goldsmith piece as an endorsement of his argument. It reminded me of some of the stuff Marty seems concerned about, so I thought it deserved mention

oops. yeah. i got that. should've made it clear.

Tony P, presumably he is saying that the investigation would continue and find out whether people were "in the bag for the Russians" without the leaks. The two need not be connected (although of course it is easier to stymie an inconvenient investigation if the public doesn't know about it). And similarly, he probably isn't saying the IC is leaking more against Rs than Ds, he is saying that the Trump phenomenon is triggering leaks that would not otherwise take place, and pointing out possible dangers of that.

But far be it from me to continue to argue his corner, my point is just that his viewpoint is not ridiculous or malign, even if you disagree with it.

if leaks during the campaign weigh so heavy on his mind, it's odd that Goldsmith never once uses the word "Clinton".

Goldsmith deserves some credit but really,IMHO he did the bare minimum or close to it

I read most of the piece, didn't agree with all of it, thought more than a little of it was kind of self-serving from point of view of the federal legal and intelligence communities.

Also, intelligence being used for partisan or other political ends is a horse that seems long out of the barn. Whether disclosed or not, and sometimes more so because not disclosed.

All of that said, it also raises the question of how folks who belong to what are intended to be (and need to be) non-partisan institutions should respond when (a) there is a lot of truly hinky crap going on, and (b) the institutions that *should* be addressing it, are not.

Is it harmful to disclose sensitive information? Could be.

Is it harmful to NOT disclose sensitive information? Could be.

Which is worse? It depends.

Marty's concerns don't seem to be about "WHAT" is happening but who and what political party it is happening against.

If Clinton had been elected in a free election and hadn't either died of a fake brain tumor or pneumonia or by Ted Nugenty republican gunfire soon after, the so-called "deep state" republicans smuggled into gummint during the Bush Administration, the deep state partisans beholden to McConnell and company, including the republican partisans in the NYC's FBI field office, would be transmitting their made-up filth about her via Brietbart, FOX, and the shiny new mp News Service, with simulcasts in Russian in Moscow, especially set up to destroy her and any attempt of Democratic Party governance.

She'd be a lesbian, Stalinist nigger with a chain of gummint subsidized pizza/child butt-schtupping parlors spreading like conservative principles throughout the land by the time the well-oiled vermin republican hate machine got done with her and any push back by Marty against that sort of conservative "adversarial" overreach would be expressed in such limp, passive-voiced terms that you'd be hard-pressed to tell whether it was on Mar-a-Lago stationary or not.

Marty's "take", I surmise, would be precisely bizarro opposite world to his current tender concerns regarding the integrity of the hallowed democratic system of government.

Until mp eradicates Marty's access to Obamacare and gets him searching in a free market, whatever that is in the context of American healthcare, for the cure for what ails him (and maybe Marty has is own private affordable health insurance by now if his life situation has improved) we will hear nary a bad word about mp and the conservative republican criminals carrying out his criminal agenda, regardless of the latter group's treason, mayhem, or murder.

Until then, it's Obama everything.

Apart from that, Marty is harmless and a decent human being with a sentimental attachment to Confederate mythology and victimization.

If he'd like to in turn tear me a new one right here, I'll let it go unremarked because I can handle it and probably deserve it.

Until mp eradicates Marty's access to Obamacare...

if I understand it all correctly, Marty got together with some of his executive contractor buddies and formed up a group, so they could get out of the individual private markets.

so, he's on a better footing now. all good.

but yes, the disparity between "Trump, nothing to see here", vs "Clinton, world historical evil personage" and "Obama the tyrant" is kind of glaring.

we've all tried to bring it to his attention.

Good to hear.

But he still has access to Obamacare as a backup.

You're welcome.

With suspiciously unAmerican Medicare also available for now ... give it two more election cycles ... and on the near horizon.

So win-win-win.

And still the lamb got it in the neck.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/was-abraham-a-murderer?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

Well, he wasn't the first or last guy to cover up filicide with barbecued lamb kabobs under tiki torch lighting.

OJ is still searching for the person who murdered Nicole and Ron, so why not Abraham?

At least OJ didn't blame Big Daddy.

The reward for finding the real killer hasn't budged in 4000-plus years.

Next we'll find out Noah left his bathtub to overflow into the neighbors' basements and called it the deluge when the authorities showed up.

Well, marsupials never knew the difference.

One day, I too will capitalize on and become wealthy by destroying America:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/alex-jones-protege-paul-joseph-watson-is-about-to-steal-his-crackpot-crown?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

It takes a naked good guy with a gun to stop a naked bad guy with a gun.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/four-dead-in-waffle-house-shooting-near-nashville-2018-04-22?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

So much for concealed carry.

I don't consider "condemning the Frums of this world" a luxury - he is one of the enablers of mass death and destruction.

The tolerance in these parts for war, violence and threats thereof continues to baffle me. Nobody here would promote or vote for a racist, homophobe or antisemite - even less so if they advocated violence against these groups. But advocating war and militarism is no biggie...

When the house is burning down, everyone should be welcome in the bucket brigade. When the fire is out, the crooks should be put [back] behind bars where they belong.

Well said, Janie!

You're a bunch of NIMBYs

it's gonna be pretty lonely in that Club Of Inflexible Moral Superiority, one of these days.

@novakant: Now that you've made yourself feel more all righteous by calling us all a mean name, I'm sure the problem will be solved much more quickly.

I hereby condemn the Frums of the world!

hsh saves the reputation of ObWi!

Hurrah!

From GBS's Major Barbara:

LADY BRITOMART [violently] Don't dare call me Biddy. Charles Lomax: you are a fool. Adolphus Cusins: you are a Jesuit. Stephen: you are a prig. Barbara: you are a lunatic. Andrew: you are a vulgar tradesman. Now you all know my opinion; and my conscience is clear, at all events [she sits down again with a vehemence that almost wrecks the chair].

UNDERSHAFT. My dear, you are the incarnation of morality. [She
snorts]. Your conscience is clear and your duty done when you
have called everybody names.

Janie, how is the problem solved by welcoming an unrepentant neocon warmonger into the fold? And how would you feel if it was an unrepentant antisemite, homophobe or racist?

Sometimes, you have to accept that you need help from a lesser evil in order to take down a greater one. Cf Stalin in WW II.

Now you can argue about which actually constitutes the greater evil. But that's a different discussion than whether to accept whichever is the lesser.

I don't agree with Frum on most policy issues, but having Donald Trump in office means that we don't care about policy. Donald Trump runs the country (badly) by whim. This makes democracy a joke, and means that we have no agency, and our opinions are moot.

In addition, Frum's policy views certainly earn him the appellation "unrepentant neocon warmonger", but since novakant applies that term to everyone, his use of it loses some of its sting.

drainin that swamp:

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/24/us/mulvaney-consumer-financial-protection-bureau.html

WASHINGTON — Mick Mulvaney, the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told banking industry executives on Tuesday that they should press lawmakers hard to pursue their agenda, and revealed that, as a congressman, he would meet only with lobbyists if they had contributed to his campaign.

“We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress,” Mr. Mulvaney, a former Republican lawmaker from South Carolina, told 1,300 bankers and lending industry officials at an American Bankers Association conference in Washington. “If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”

Febreeze Alert!

Janie, how is the problem solved by welcoming an unrepentant neocon warmonger into the fold? And how would you feel if it was an unrepentant antisemite, homophobe or racist?

Did you read my first comment about it, about the bucket brigade? If *your* house was on fire, would you put someone at the gate to make sure no neocon warmongers, homophobes, etc., were allowed in to help dump water on it? Thus removing both the neocon warmongers *and* the guard at the gate from being useful putting out the fire?

I'm not talking about any "fold," nor if I were would I expect to have any authority to "welcome" anyone into it. Frum has some opinions. Some of them are vile, some of them aren't. This may be beyond the realm of something you can imagine, but I actually know people in my daily life who are unrepentant homophobes and racists. (I don't think I actually know any antisemites who have outed themselves. Odd, that.) I don't think shunning them would make them suddenly repentant. Maybe they'll come around someday, maybe they won't. Meanwhile, they are not unmixedly evil, in fact, there are ways in which they too do even-what-I-would-call-good in the world.

Solzhenitsyn: “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

Janie, you are on fire with your perfect and perfectly apposite quotations!

I thought my condemnation precluded any into-the-fold welcoming. Maybe I should have used all caps.

hsh: where has all the automatic authority gone? Many people say it's time we had it back. Sad!

hsh: where has all the automatic authority gone? Many people say it's time we had it back. Sad!

Drat. Parodying Trump obviously wakens the blog gods against one...

Open thread: It really bugs me when I see young people smoking. I'm averse to being a scold, so I don't give in to my urge to say, "Please stop now, while you're still young, before it's too late."

People over 40 or so I figure don't need my advice, so I don't have that same urge. (Or maybe the do need my advice, but they aren't going to take it, so why bother?)

I have the sense that, after dropping off enormously, smoking among young people is picking up again. Have they somehow convinced themselves that "vaping" is cool (like my parent's generation's view of smoking)? Or have they just lost track of the health results of smoking, or don't think it applies to their new addiction? Both?

Better vaping than smoking. If various levels of government would leave people alone about vaping, maybe more them would switch to/stick to the less harmful habit. Or use it as a means of quitting.

I'm not even talking about vaping. That bothers me less, even if it shouldn't. I KNOW how bad cigarettes are for you. I don't know that about e-cigarettes. I'm sure they aren't good, but I haven't watched people suffer die from lung cancer because they vaped for decades.

suffer and die

Open thread - I was reading today about the increasing trouble of Scott Pruitt (the current head of the EPA). He's even getting negative comments from Senator Inhofe (D-OK)! When your home state Senator is trashing you publicly, you're in serious trouble.

And it occurs to me. Earlier I had seen speculation that Trump might fire Attorney General Sessions, and avoid the hassle of Senate hearings by appointing Pruitt as AG. (Since he has already been approved by the Senate for one position, apparently he doesn't need to be approved if moved to another one which would otherwise require Senate approval. Which seems daft, but....) So is that part of why Sessions hasn't been sacked yet? Because the prime candidate to replace him is on the ropes already?

"Juul, a discreet, streamlined e-cigarette developed by the innovative vaporizer company Pax Labs, is pretty cool. That's a problem for Juul Labs, which spun off from from Pax last year, because teenagers like cool things. Yesterday the Food and Drug Administration, responding to anecdotal reports of students who juul during school, announced that it is investigating whether the company is marketing its products to minors."
FDA Investigation of Adolescent Juuling Could Endanger Adult Smokers: What if the e-cigarette features that appeal to teenagers also appeal to grownups?

Senator Inhofe (D-OK)

no way. he's all your's!

Ack! What an embarrassing typo. (And I do know which party he's in.)

"What an embarrassing typo. (And I do know which party he's in.)"

You're pre-qualified for writing chyrons for Fox!

Working for the Trump administration requires a strong stomach. But I can see how someone might feel a patriotic duty to step up and try to keep things from being even worse.

However I can see no reason why any sane (or moral) person would work for Fox.

Janie, while I appreciate your efforts to educate me about the crooked timber of humanity, it is really not needed, thank you very much.

You might in turn appreciate that there is a bit of difference between tolerating the slightly racist uncle at a family reunion and a senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly.

I suspect that had David Frum published a series of homophobic, racist or antisemitic articles and stuck by them to this day, you wouldn't be so nonchalant about the matter.

Janie, while I appreciate your efforts to educate me about the crooked timber of humanity, it is really not needed, thank you very much

Equally not needed are your attempts to explain to me what I think, thank you not very much.

I wasn't trying to educate you, I was trying to explain what was in my own mind.

Since you prefer to substitute the phantasm in your own onto which you've slapped my name, I'll leave you to it.

I have to give it to Frum. He is a very effective anti-Trump advocate. However, do not let any temporary alliance with such folks dim the main issue in play: Trump is the embodiment of the GOP policy agenda. Opposing that agenda must be the primary focus of the opposition.

In that regard, the Frums of the world should retain the same significance for us as they currently have in GOP circles, i.e., none.

Somewhat contra Alex, "Lay down with dogs, get up with fleas."

JanieM: Notorious warmonger.

hsh: you forgot unrepentant......

JanieM: Notorious warmonger.

Almost certainly an international criminal mastermind too, like HRC

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