« SCOTUS Justices are not Judges | Main | Change of Pace: Memory and Memoir »

July 14, 2018

Comments

What Pro Bono is advocating for is essentially altruism - and I am in agreement with that.
Rather than try to re-engineer the whole of society, though, an endeavour which is IMO likely to fail, why not try to nudge what we have now in that direction ?

As an example the UK commits to spending 0.7% of GDP on overseas aid. Whether that is high enough (I think not, although it’s quite high in a global comparison), and whether it is well directed, which is also debatable, doesn’t matter in this context. It’s an example of a pot of resources which is being directed altruistically.
It quite possible to imagine a fund along these lines committed to improving healthcare where the market does not provide incentives.
I’d argue that this is both a better approach, and more likely to succeed, than Pro Bono’s alternative.

Here is a little piece the Count, and others may find intetesting https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/07/20/how-i-miss-obama/

How I miss Barack Obama.

And I say that as someone who worked to defeat him: I was a foreign policy adviser to John McCain in 2008 and to Mitt Romney in 2012. I criticized Obama’s “lead from behind” foreign policy that resulted in a premature pullout from Iraq and a failure to stop the slaughter in Syria. I thought he was too weak on Iran and too tough on Israel. I feared that Obamacare would be too costly. I fumed that he was too professorial and too indecisive. I was left cold by his arrogance and his cult of personality.

Now I would take Obama back in a nanosecond. His presidency appears to be a lost golden age when reason and morality reigned.

Time, perhaps, to entertain the possibility that I'm not the only Republican who vastly prefers Obama to Trump.

Two .... and counting.

Have a good weekend, wj.

https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/july-august-2018/how-the-right-wing-convinces-itself-that-liberals-are-evil/

That previous cite explains why all of THIS is so deliciously deserving:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/07/republican-congressmen-probably-covering-trump-part-theyre-implicated

Defending Obama is beside the point.

Hounding republicans/conservatives for the NEXT 65 years to a burning Hell is what's up next.

via Balloon Juice, this important message:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/opinion/trump-corporations-white-working-class.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Two .... and counting.

The longest journey begins with a single step.

A good weekend to you as well.

More on the medical database republicans want deep-sixed, again, in the same acid bath in which they dissolved global warming data:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/opinion/trump-medicine-data-hhs-ahrq.html?action=click&module=MoreInSection&pgtype=Article&region=Footer&contentCollection=Opinion

The republican party is a murderer and does not discriminate by race, creed, or sex.

The only ones who get out alive are those with money.

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

the count's link at 6:11 seems about right, to me.

Agreed, that 6:11 makes a lot of sense.

Giving some context to the Trump/Putin meeting, this is an interesting link for those who don’t know who Bill Browder, and why he is rightly in fear of his life from any co-operation between the grifter and the kleptocrat:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/07/bill-browder-on-being-called-out-by-putin-during-the-helsinki-press-conference.html

This is a very persuasive theory about what Putin’s hold over Trump might be:
https://www.newyorker.com/news-desk/swamp-chronicles/a-theory-of-trump-kompromat
The scenario that, to my mind, makes the most sense of the given facts and requires the fewest fantastical leaps is that, a decade or so ago, Trump, naïve, covetous, and struggling for cash, may have laundered money for a business partner from the former Soviet Union or engaged in some other financial crime. This placed him, unawares, squarely within sistema, where he remained, conducting business with other membuers of a handful of overlapping Central Asian networks. Had he never sought the Presidency, he may never have had to come to terms with these decisions. But now he is much like everyone else in sistema. He fears there is kompromat out there—maybe a lot of it—but he doesn’t know precisely what it is, who has it, or what might set them off.

I saw Bill Browder interviewed on C4 News the other night, Nigel, you probably did too. I think, and have thought for a long time, that he is phenomenally brave. Not many people would have done what he has done, and exposed themselves to the kind of risk he has. I hope he survives.

Do you still think that, after Helsinki, Trump is finished? It doesn't (yet) look like it to me, but if by any chance you were right it might just be the mills grinding slowly (and hopefully exceeding small).

This is a very persuasive theory about what Putin’s hold over Trump might be

It seems quite possible, to me, that the mark in all of this mess is Trump. With the Russians, with Manafort, quite possibly with Cohen. Who knows, maybe with his son-in-law.

He's a vain, suspicious man, who thinks he's a genius with "good genes". Volatile, readily susceptible to provocation and flattery. Greedy.

Vulnerable.

As the author of the piece notes, there may not have even been a particularly well worked out long range plan. He might have simply wandered into the wrong playground.

That's all on him, he is who he is. What continually amazes me are all the folks who would believe the moon is made of green cheese before they'll consider that their champion is not much than a malicious buffoon.

While Mueller is hesitating to indict Trump (which he could; there is NOTHING in the constitution or Federal statutes or judicial rulings that says he can't; just some handwaving by Admin lawyer-shills)....he CERTAINLY could indict a lot of Congress. And should.

Being a 2018 congresscritter with an "(R)" after your name? Prima facie evidence of Treason.

European statesmen should steal a page from Jim Crow era southern sheriffs and their "citizens" and disappear them thar outside agitators who sneak into town and stir up trouble:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-bannons-plan-to-hijack-europe-for-the-far-right?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

All Americans ... tourists, business travelers, U.S. government agents, including me .... disembarking in NATO and EU countries should be held over by security forces for questioning and physical harassment regarding their political loyalties.

Never trust a fucking American.

This is a very persuasive theory about what Putin’s hold over Trump might be...

I've been saying all along that the most likely thing Mueller would find given access to the Trump Organization's books is that some years back the Russians bailed out the family. Either by making a timely loan, or not calling a note they could have called, and as a result the Trumps avoided one of those long slow cascading failure bankruptcies to which large complex family-held business empires are prone.

None of the Emoluments Clause, financial disclosure laws, or expectations for a President to divest his business interests were/are equipped to handle a Trump sort of structure where it might take a decade to unwind things without taking huge losses. From my own background, I am reminded of John Malone in the days when cable TV took off. When John decided to simplify his life due to his wife's health issues, it took years to shuffle all of the directly- and indirectly-owned parts into places where he could own big blocks of stock in and sit on the boards of publicly traded companies.

Trump's open fury at Cohen, as revealed in his latest tweet, seems to me an indication that this (and whatever else Cohen taped) is likely to be truly dangerous for him. Maybe not if it's just sex stuff (we know already he survives that easily), but anything else about business or financial matters.

Being a 2018 congresscritter with an "(R)" after your name? Prima facie evidence of Treason.

Yes.

no, Trump isn't finished. he's perfectly safe as long as the GOP Congress is afraid to cross the GOP base, which they are, because they've told us they are. and the GOP base adores their TV tough guy.

Maybe not if it's just sex stuff (we know already he survives that easily)...

I want to see Melania's pre-nup agreement. At what point can she just walk with Barron and a big pile of money?

cleek, I'm rather inclined to agree with you, the rest is just wishful thinking (no false dawns til dawn etc).

None of the Emoluments Clause, financial disclosure laws, or expectations for a President to divest his business interests were/are equipped to handle a Trump sort of structure where it might take a decade to unwind things without taking huge losses.

Then that should disqualify you from holding office.

If what you do for a living involves making deals with officials in other nations or the people who run them, holding licensing or other IP agreements from other nations or the people who run them, or doing any of that on behalf of somebody else in a way that benefits you, and you can't step away from any of that in a credible way, YOU DON'T GET TO BE POTUS.

Executives of any significant organization, public private or otherwise, are held to a bar no lower than that, every single freaking day.

If you're going to assume a position of responsibility, you have to remove yourself from things that will present obvious opportunities for conflicts of interest.

The President is a crook, and we're all going to pay for it.

I want to see Melania's pre-nup agreement. At what point can she just walk with Barron and a big pile of money?

My bet is, at no point.

Clickbait doesn't enter into agreements like that. And where would Melania the recent immigrant have gotten a lawyer to negotiate for her in good faith? Clickbait probably got the lawyer for her, indirectly. We already know he did something like that with IIRC Stormy Daniels.

Or, see the twists and turns of the Karen McDougal story. Clickbait didn't pay her off, oh, no, but his fans at the National Enquirer paid her for her story and then sat on it.

Also, I didn't realize that Melania's parents are in the country on......what kind of visa? I thought chain migration was anathema.......but of course not, because it's okay if you're the crook POTUS.

Being a 2018 congresscritter with an "(R)" after your name? Prima facie evidence of Treason.

Only if you believe that anyone on a jury who votes Not Guilty is therefore an accessory (after the fact) if it turns out the accused was guilty. Being stupid and/or gullible doesn't mean you are culpable.

Not to say that there aren't some, Rohrabacher leaps to mind, who aren't quite possibly agents of a foreign power. But I doubt that most of them are quite that far gone. Bad. Horrible even. But not treasonous.

I should have put "chain migration" in quotes. It's not a term that people of good faith should use literally.

Another term people of good faith shouldn't use literally: "white working class".

If I have ever failed to put quotes around "white working class" in these pages, it was by oversight. When I refer to the "white working class" as a demographic that voted for He, Trump I do so with full intent to be snarky. I do so with full intent to mock whoever it was that coined the term, and whoever it is that still uses it "literally".

More snark there: read literally it encompasses practically all of us who are white and work for a living, including Marty, McKinney, russell, JanieM, and of course myself.

Read as a brand name, White Working Class (TM) is an insult to the father of Ms. Smarsh, who appears to be not racist, not xenophobic, and not stupid. Whoever coined the term was merely trying to white-wash (if you'll pardon the expression) a darker and more sinister "identity" in our politics.

--TP

After careful consideration, the DNI decides abasing himself before Trump is more important than honesty...
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44915199

the GOP is a ... ?

http://cultresearch.org/help/characteristics-associated-with-cults/

This is where we are headed.

I don't really have words for how angry this bullshit makes me. Trump's people are breaking the nation. For a fucking tax cut.

There is a point, which you can actually kind of see from here, where the wheels simply come off. Keep this shit up, Trumpers, and we will surely get there.

I appreciate and respect wj's desire for a sane (R) party, but I think that ship has sailed. (R)'s, at the national level, are a pack of scoundrels, beginning with the leadership and extending out from there.

The worst thing about it is all of the people who think it's just fine. Spoiled, frightened children, happy to see the world go to hell in a handbasket as long as their personal world is not disturbed.

Dentists with boats.

Enjoy your tax cut.

i hope the 'blue wave' predictions are right. actually, i hope it's more like a blue tsunami that washes the GOP clean out of DC - leave some remnants clinging on the rocks, maybe, so we don't forget what they look like.

even if Trump doesn't get impeached, seeing a thorough repudiation of the cowardly GOP would be satisfying.

I'd like to see a blue tsunami too, but I'm ever more pessimistic about it. I'm afraid that the constant drip drip of this kind of thing is going to get too many people disgusted with the Democrats in much the same way that too many people (I know some) were disgusted with Hillary Clinton in part because twenty-five years of (worse than) drip drip drip about her alleged failings distorted their impressions of her.

My only hope is that all enough of politics is local so that we start with bottom-up enthusiasm for the candidates who are within our voting reach.

After careful consideration, the DNI decides abasing himself before Trump is more important than honesty...

And sadly he may be correct. Currently, the President can remove/waive sanctions on individuals (e.g Russian kleptocrats). But Congress is in the process of passing legislation which would mandate that the DNI make those decisions. In which case you wouldn't want Coats fired and replaced by a toady who would just do whatever Trump wants for his Russian friends/handlers.

Someone is probably going to come along and, in effect, accuse me of concern trolling about concern trolling. This is and will continue to be why I keep my real and metaphorical mouth mostly shut about this topic.

Eh. Back to the attic.

The worst thing about it is all of the people who think it's just fine. Spoiled, frightened children, happy to see the world go to hell in a handbasket as long as their personal world is not disturbed.

You left out the part about them also being (willfully?) blind to the obvious repercussions of what their awesome leader is doing on their behalf. Repercussions which will disturb their world far more.

After careful consideration, the DNI decides abasing himself before Trump is more important than honesty...

And sadly he may be correct

I believe I raised this dilemma in the general case earlier on in the thread.
It is essentially insoluble - except by electoral means.

The Soviet Union infiltrated the Republican Party and captured our government with Citizens United.

Their agents have all of the money.

Who does Art Pope really work for? The Kochs, all that Soviet contact during the 1930s? What, they were merely picking up borscht recipes?

The Soviet Union infiltrated the NRA and other so-called "guns rights" groups and created its own guerrilla militia on American soil to kill any and all domestic opposition from the citizenry when the time comes ripe.

ICE and Immigration are now merely an auxiliary gummint militia to aid the NRA and the republican party in its conquest to kill all opposition.

Their agents have all of the weapons.

They have infiltrated the Armed Forces, especially among the enlisted. Mattis will be killed by them when the time comes .... unless he turns out to not be a simple dupe, but rather a confederate.

They have infested our media and our internet.

Gateway Pundit is run out of a dropbox in a sleepy

Trust no republican or conservative, especially if they are family members or friends. You are being watched.

These words are going directly to the NSA. Whose side are they on?

All was foretold with bad acting, the only kind shithead subhuman conservatives appreciate. Pretty close:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Qc8jJ0TjSY

Or, if you prefer, we were tipped off by this allegory, ostensibly regarding Commie domination.

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

The republican party themselves and worldwide fascist conservative movement itself are the "queers and commies" republican pig hero Joseph McCarthy raged against.

Maybe mp is handling Putin and we have it wrong.

Or, maybe republican cadres in America, led by their conservative vermin in Congress, and Putin, together, are handling mp, each cooperatively to achieve their own ends.

Did William F. Buckley throw Ayn Rand over because he learned she was a deep-cover Soviet agent, OR was it because she signed up for Medicare and therefore sullied her capitalist bonafides?

WHO WAS William F. Buckley?

Makes no difference. If we aren't killing ALL of them within two years, we aren't serious Americans.

If ya'll were conservatives and republicans and mpers, all scum, you'd be hanging on my every mimicked Limbaugh/Hannity/Beck/Jones word, sending me money and buying my swag, calling it Truth, while polishing your gun scopes on the sleeves of your tatty bathrobes as FOX News drones in the background.

But we're too smart and benign for that.

Unfortunately, we are at a point in history, not the first, in which the stupid and the malignant and the willfully ignorant among rule the day.

They are dangerous and deadly. They'll wave with their middle fingers as our trains head east.

Coats' sloppy groveling is most dispiriting.

You republicans are an impressive, courageous lot, you fucking shits.

Despite rumors to the contrary, mp must have one hell of an impressive horse cock, that so many tens of millions can't resist putting their mouths around it and whistling Dixie.

What does Pence's wife do when hubby is on his knees?

Crochet pious homilies to leaking underground gasoline reservoirs?

mp must have at least that perused that volume of Hitler's speeches on his bedside, because this monstrousness is far beyond any of Dale Carnegie's hokey inspirational nothings.


... in a sleepy Croation village.

They have infiltrated the Armed Forces, especially among the enlisted. Mattis will be killed by them when the time comes

I think you seriously underestimate the extent to which the members of the military are committed to their oaths to support and defend the Constitution. And their commitment to the principle of Chain of Command. (Not to mention their understanding of their duty not to obey illegal orders.)

I've seriously underestimated, try as I might all these years, everything, the malignant conservative movement has pulled off and the tactics it has employed to do so.

Oaths and commitment and duty are mere norms.

Norms are out the Overton window.


Norms are out the Overton window.

Norms are out the window among some groups. Not, however, among all groups. Some groups even expend significant effort to enforce their norms, whenever someone appears to have lost the thread.

They have infiltrated the Armed Forces, especially among the enlisted.

I think you seriously underestimate the extent to which the members of the military are committed to their oaths to support and defend the Constitution.

Officers swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.

Enlisted military swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and to obey the orders of the POTUS and the officers above them in their chain of command.

In the case of enlisted personnel, it's not clear who wins the toss if the POTUS, their officers, and/or the Constitution are not in alignment.

Hopefully this will remain an academic question.

Enlisted military swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and to obey the orders of the POTUS and the officers above them in their chain of command.

That's "obey the lawful orders...." It's an important detail.

Granted there can be some challenges in determining whether a particular order is lawful; thete are always grey areas in the law. But absent an immediate combat situation, there's usually time to get an expert (JAG) opinion. And things like assassinating American civilians or superior officers (e.g. the SecDef) aren't gray areas -- everybody knows those aren't lawful orders.

wj: considering that the troops stationed at Abu Ghraib, and the CIA officers at 'black sites', didn't immediately shoot dead their superiors when ordered to torture, I have little confidence that that "Oath" thing will protect us from "all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC".

"Go to Stanford, arrest Michael McFaul, and fly him to Moscow."

Lawful order? Clearly unlawful? One that needs "consultation with advisers" to determine its legality?

He, Trump is like any other president in this single respect: He cannot, all by Himself, tackle and handcuff anybody, drive him to the airport, load him on a plane, and pilot it to Russia. He needs to issue orders to people who issue orders to people who issue orders to people who work for a living.

At each step, the orders become lower-level and more specific. "Fly this plane to Moscow" is a detailed order some Air Force general might issue to some Air Force pilot completely legally in totally benign circumstances -- or it might be the order to execute the last operational step of a treason plot. How is the poor pilot to know the difference?

I don't know how far down the chain of command you have to go before the illegal high-level order has been reduced to operational orders of sufficiently limited scope that no individual one of them can reasonably be questioned. But it does seem to me that it's the people at the top of the chain who stand the best chance of recognizing the illegality of an order from the POTUS. And since those people are all He, Trump's toadies and lickspittles, the best chance is a slim one.

--TP

"Go to Stanford, arrest Michael McFaul, and fly him to Moscow."

Lawful order? Clearly unlawful? One that needs "consultation with advisers" to determine its legality?

Clearly unlawful.

As you say, a pilot ordered to fly a plane to Moscow might well be OK . . . assuming he didn't know (as he well might not) who was aboard. But the folks picking up McFaul would be expected to have something resembling an arrest warrant. A civilian arrest warrant, unless he was being accused of a crime involving the military. The crime would have to be specified. And I'm not sure how transport outside the US would be rationalized.

It's possible that a sufficiently complex set of orders, to a big enough cast of actors, could be created to make it happen. In a more competent administration; in this one, I have my doubts.

But while it might be possible to successfully pull off something aimed at a small number of individuals, what the Count, back where this started, was postulating was a broad military coup. Well before you get to that point, the difference in scale becomes a difference in kind.

It's possible, with some care in selection, to find a few "the ends justify the means" types to do a few bad things. ("few" being still a large number; but comparatively few.) But of the scale factor makes that impossible here.

Deal boy has set nuclear war on a near schedule:

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/07/its-better-than-alternative.html

wj, the trick is the slow corruption. Issue borderline orders often enough that they become to seem nrmal, then shift the border a bit and reapeat the process. Let the slope be gentle and not overly (visibly) slippery and within a few years you can get even quite decent people to do horrible things without thinking twice. The few incorruptibles can be weeded out during the process.
The corruptors just tend to be too impatient and try to do with the easily spotable bad eggs, not thinking about a steady supply.

i'm less worried about rogue military, and more worried about the 3% and oath keeper style freelancers.

That would be 45%:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trumps-approval-rating-inches-higher-buoyed-by-republican-support-1532293201

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad