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July 14, 2018

Comments

My first thought is that the minute we try to tinker with the system (different # of justices, eliminating/revamping the EC, changing the composition of the Senate), the whole house of cards is going to collapse and we will have Michael Cain's prediction coming true in some form or other.

Short of that, maybe it's worth noting that the states do their upper houses in a variety of ways. In Maine, a state senator represents more people than a state representative, but they both serve two-year terms. In other states, senators serve longer terms.

So I wonder: is there any proposal floating around to make the US senate somewhat more representative?

Numbers:

In 1790, Virginia and PA had not quite 10 times the population of Delaware, the smallest state. Now, California has almost 68 times the population of Wyoming.

Then there's the House::

Congress has capped the number of Representatives at 435 since the Apportionment Act of 1911 except for a temporary increase to 437 during the admission of Hawaii and Alaska as states in 1959. As a result, over the last century, congressional districts have more than tripled in size—from an average of roughly 212,000 inhabitants after the 1910 Census to about 710,000 inhabitants following the 2010 Census.

In 1790ish, a US House member represented about 60,000 people. Right now, a Maine senator represents about 37,000 people.

It's not all that surprising that a system originally designed in a way that made it roughly proportional to what we have right now in the overgrown village called Maine is getting a little worn and unwieldly.

So I wonder: is there any proposal floating around to make the US senate somewhat more representative?

here's my proposal: abolish it. use the space as a place to put 1000 new house members.

replace it with a 6-year term House, if you think we need two legislative houses.

but, the way it stands now, it's merely yet another way that the minority of the country dominates the majority.

The Senate was deliberately set up that way, to "equalize" representation between large and small states. It would be interesting to know if the Framers imagined a situation like now, with the electorate so polarized that we no longer share a common understanding of something as basic as "the common good."

If the current trend bears true, so that the majority city/coast dwellers are essentially captives of rural/inland voters, the country will absolutely come apart at the seams. Particularly as climate change gets worse and entire swaths of the country become uninhabitable due to a lack of water. Those, BTW, are precisely the areas which will be over-represented in Congress.

The Senate was deliberately set up that way, to "equalize" representation between large and small states.

Yes, but.

The Senate was set up that way to represent the interests of the states. Not the interests of the population of the states, but of the states as entities themselves. Since the 17th Amendment (direct election of Senators) a century ago, that is no longer the case.

There is something to be said for having a second house of the legislature. One with longer terms, and therefore less subject to the political fad of the moment. There is also something to be said for one small enough that all the members can personally know each other as individuals, and so have a chance to deal on something other than a group/institution basis.**

The current Senate seems to accomplish those ends increasingly poorly. The question becomes:
-- What would be better solutions?
-- Of those, which might have a prayer of being implemented? That is, can we get from here to there?

** As a side note, we have also discussed the increasing polarization and incivility in the legislature. There are multiple causes for that. But I would suggest that a significant factor is the fad for legislators to leave their families back at home in their districts. That leads to 3 day "work weeks" and long weekends, so less gets accomplished. And without weekends, school events, etc. with fellow legislators, it's easier to see opponents as enemies and not real people.

The Senate was deliberately set up that way, to "equalize" representation between large and small states. It would be interesting to know if the Framers imagined a situation...

Though I didn't make it explicit, this was why I brought up the ratios then and now. The framers obviously thought it was okay to have the 10 to 1 ratio that existed at the time. But this is one of those issues where I don't much care what the framers would have thought about the current 68 to 1 ratio. I don't think I'd go as far as cleek, but I do think the current imbalance is lethally unfair, and not sustainable in the long run.

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/07/red-vs-blue-2020.html

"As a side note, we have also discussed the increasing polarization and incivility in the legislature. There are multiple causes for that. But I would suggest that a significant factor is the fad for legislators to leave their families back at home in their districts. That leads to 3 day "work weeks" and long weekends, so less gets accomplished. And without weekends, school events, etc. with fellow legislators, it's easier to see opponents as enemies and not real people."

Newt Gingrich, a diabolical, despicable piece of unAmerican garbage, the most devisive politician in American history, maybe on a par with John Calhoun and Preston Brooks in the 1850s leading up to the Civil War, with Luntz's help, devised that crap.

Delay, Armey, that entire crew will required Second Amendment remedies.

He also discouraged any fraternization between his rabid caucus and their enemies across the aisle.

When Civil War redux begins and Gingrich bursts into fire, encourage the flames by pouring gasoline on him.

Gingrich assassinated Seth Rich.

American innovation could lead to internecine genocide on the Indian sub-Continent:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/facebooks-latest-scandal-whatsapp-disseminates-deadly-fake-news-in-india-2018-07-12?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

An interim step would be to reduce Senate membership to a guarantee of one per state and then parcel the rest out according to population.

Another issue is, how much can one Presidential candidate win the popular vote by yet not win the Presidency before the winning party admits the result is unjust and agrees to change the system I used to think 5million votes but now I think there is no such number.

Baker v. Carr Uber alles

The GOP’s nationwide voter suppression effort is disgraceful and disgusting. Yet it persists through all evidence. That really should be enough for people of rational means to abandon it. And yet.

The voter suppression efforts, like the more extreme examples of gerrymandering, are basically efforts to hold back the rising tide with piles of sand. Effective enough in the very short term, but inevitably doomed in the long run. The big question being: does it work long enough to make the eventual collapse a catastrophic one?

My expectation is, it won't. Even the imbalances we are discussing here can only hold things back so long. If they get bad enough, I could see a big (paid) population relocation for the purpose of swinging a few elections.

How hard would it be, just for example, for the Democrats to decide to site their national HQ in Wyoming and move a bunch of their supporters there? Enough, given Wyoming's low population, to flip the state blue. If it works, it wouldn't be the last example.

The Senate was deliberately set up that way, to "equalize" representation between large and small states.

Sort of. The debate at the time was whether representation should be proportional to population, or not.

The answer they came up with was "both". One house one way, one house the other.

It would be interesting to know if the Framers imagined a situation like now, with the electorate so polarized that we no longer share a common understanding of something as basic as "the common good."

I'm not sure there was ever a common understanding of what "the common good" means.

For "polarized electorate", I refer you to the election year 1800. Which was the third one ever. Polarization goes back a long ways.

Nowadays, I don't think there is a consensus that "the common good" is even a desiderata in the first place. Which is, perhaps, a more profound problem.

It isn’t a total solution, but taking federalism seriously and letting states do VERY different things, is one possible solution.

@wj: Jim Crow lasted for 100 years after black Americans were allegedly given the vote. They could string it along for a long time.

I'm thinking they're going to try to strip citizenship (and therefore voting rights) from basically all naturalized citizens, and then from native-born descendants of immigrants going back a few generations, after overturning US v. Wong Kim Ark and reinterpreting "under the jurisdiction thereof" in the 14th Amendment as meaning some wacky thing about parentage. That'd probably be enough to give the Republican majority of the dwindling white plurality political dominance for a long time.

It isn’t a total solution, but taking federalism seriously and letting states do VERY different things, is one possible solution.

Is that a solution at all, and if so, what problem does it address other than the desire of one group to live in a different country from another ?

Of the post-civil war amendments to the constitution, todays GOP would oppose the 16th, 17th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 26th.

And maybe the 19th, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt on that one.

I’m actually kind of astonished that the 23rd and 24th passed when they did.

To the SCOTUS point, the GOP has won the popular vote for POTUS exactly once since 1988, and that was by an incumbent President who did not win the popular vote on his first try.

Yet they will have appointed half the Justices in that time (I’m excepting Thomas).

The NYTimes article in the link below notes that if Kavanaugh is confirmed, which he surely will be absent a LBDG revelation (and maybe even then, hi Roy!), it “will cement a solid pro-business majority on the nation’s highest court”.

Pro-business and Justice don’t really go together, he says, expecting the answer no. Feh.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/14/us/politics/judge-brett-kavanaugh.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

What is LBDG?

Hamilton

Second. It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure.

There are but two methods of providing against this evil: the one by creating a will in the community independent of the majority that is, of the society itself; the other, by comprehending in the society so many separate descriptions of citizens as will render an unjust combination of a majority of the whole very improbable, if not impracticable. The first method prevails in all governments possessing an hereditary or self-appointed authority. This, at best, is but a precarious security; because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties. The second method will be exemplified in the federal republic of the United States. Whilst all authority in it will be derived from and dependent on the society, the society itself will be broken into so many parts, interests, and classes of citizens, that the rights of individuals, or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority.


Fed 51.

so, Hamilton expected a patchwork of overlapping factions. he was mistaken that it would be sufficient.

What is LBDG?

Live boy, dead girl.
The canonical only things that can destroy a political career in Washington when found in one's bed.

It isn’t a total solution, but taking federalism seriously and letting states do VERY different things, is one possible solution.

The states can already do whatever very different things they want except where the Constitution doesn't let them (directly, or as interpreted by SCOTUS). So -- sure. Let's rescind the Constitution and start over. But as I said at the top: if that happens we will not end up as one united country, absent the victory of some kind of tyranny that will make all these questions moot.

And yes, I'm aware that the federal government uses all kinds of carrot and stick mechanisms to induce the states to do "the same thing" in a lot of ways. (Right on red with caution or no highway funds comes to mind, incongruously. But I lived in Mass. at the time and it was a big deal.)

Even so. To let go of all that and massively reduce the role of the federal government would be tantamount to dissolving the US as it currently exists. And (for the third time) I don't think it would survive as a single country if that happened.

To let go of all that and massively reduce the role of the federal government would be tantamount to dissolving the US as it currently exists.

Putin apparently wants to weaken the EU and NATO.

it occurs to me that that might not be his only target.

that that might not be his only target

Indeed.

Thanks Hartmut!

I'm thinking they're going to try to strip citizenship (and therefore voting rights) from basically all naturalized citizens, and then from native-born descendants of immigrants going back a few generations, after overturning US v. Wong Kim Ark and reinterpreting "under the jurisdiction thereof" in the 14th Amendment as meaning some wacky thing about parentage. That'd probably be enough to give the Republican majority of the dwindling white plurality political dominance for a long time.

Matthew, a couple things. As a minor point, I'm not sure you could make it last long unless you set the number of generations pretty high and insist that it apply to all ancestors, on both sides of the family. And that's going to be discovered to disenfranchise a huge chunk of the conservative base as well. Awkward! (Although it would be amusing to watch Ted Cruz' reaction to having his right to vote revoked.)

But more important, to date most of the effectively "whites only" folks have been very careful to conceal their intent. In a lot of cases, I suspect, even from themselves. Going very far down this road would make that impossible.

Also if it was applied retroactively, things get dicey when you are taking things away from people. Try to do it en masse and you discover the hard way that minority rule has problems -- not least because a big chunk of your enforcement tools (i.e. the police and the military) are made up of people you are disenfranchising.

Putin apparently wants to weaken the EU and NATO.

"Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe

Trump said that, today.

fuck the GOP.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trump-interview-cbs-news-european-union-is-a-foe-ahead-of-putin-meeting-in-helsinki-jeff-glor/

You can be sure that fascist ICE mpers, under orders from the White House, are rifling thru Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's entire extended family's immigration documents as we speak.

Expect arrests in late October.

I think Matthew McIrvin's dystopian musings on conservative plans for immigration are right on. You can't exaggerate or go far wrong in gaming out what conservative scum have in mind for this country, popular opinion and honest ballots be damned.

Tell me one ridiculous-sounding claim/threat about the conservative program over the past 40 years hasn't been put into operation by those malign thugs.

Nah, they'd NEVER try that.

Meanwhile, when it comes to ballot box corruption, don't underestimate how widely the net of savage violence against those who steal the vote may have to be cast in this entire country:

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/07/15/vengeance-is-mine-sayeth-joseph-crowley/

The Other in America have no friends.

Trump said that, today.

NO COLLUSION!!

NO COLLUSION!!

Pretty sure Trump's position would be "Two great minds [his and Putin's] with but a single thought." Those with a more accurate take on the quality of his mind might naturally be disinclined to agree.

FOXNews and Russian State-Owned Pravda agree to merge:

http://juanitajean.com/trump-putin-summit/

VGTRK is consolidating operations with Sinclair and The National Enquirer with a one central editorial desk.


Pretty sure Trump's position would be

I'm pretty sure that, when all is said and done, Trump's position is going to be "Yeah, I did it. So what?".

And then we'll see what we will see.

Why are British security forces not booting Bannon and Brownback out of the country, and killing them if they resist, and shuttering the American embassy in London and consulates across the country:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/bannon-calls-founder-of-violent-anti-islam-group-the-backbone-of-britain

Did the guy's name have to be Lennon?

He's fucking remains unshot and the good Lennon comes to America to be gunned down by American filth.

Pretty sure Trump’s position would be...

Again, Lin Manuel’s historical musical proves prescient....

JEFFERSON]
Yeah, you know what? We can change that. You know why?

[MADISON]
Why?

[JEFFERSON]
‘cuz I’m the President.

mp lies about his c*nt father's birthplace:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-european-union-is-a-foe-my-dad-was-born-in-germany-he-wasnt

Check his papers, and next time he goes abroad, put down papers everywhere he goes to clean up the American dogshit.

mp's most recent precursor on the "world stage":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4JhyHz3M5U

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/chicago-police-shoot-man-exhibiting-characteristics-of-an-armed-person

If this is the new profiling procedure, then every republican in the country, particularly the white male ones, are fair game to be shot down in the street by law enforcement.

Kavanaugh should look suspicious to any wily D.C. beat cop.

The new American prototype personality:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-calls-thailand-cave-rescue-diver-a-pedo-in-twitter-outburst-2018-07-15?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

White, male, asshole, jagoff, billionaire, republican.

And you can bet those thrity percent wil spend all their time whing about coastal elites while demanding that other people's tax dollars be spent on them.

via Hullabaloo:

https://thinkprogress.org/russia-election-interference-robert-mueller-conservatives-guccifer-dcleaks-donald-trump-sean-hannity-russian-propaganda-046a2f90a237/?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=5b4a01f84b7385000745f162&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

They requested the material and then lied, with meticulous coordinated organization, about what was in the shit.

A brazenly stolen presidential like 2016 in a country serious about maintaining its form of government would lead to absolute chaos and savagely violent retribution.

America is a joke, not a country with rule of law.

The new American prototype personality:
...

White, male, asshole, jagoff, billionaire, republican.

You left out "immigrant" and "(ex-)South African". Plenty for the far right to hate there, too.

Yep, his naming of ships after Culture Minds just stopped being enough to generate any liking.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/trump-putin-russia-collusion.html

She tried to tell us. But she's a hawk, right? Makes me think we should all be hawks.

Oh, and about that slogan thing?

Stronger together.

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/07/who-is-america

I'm four years old. Say hello to my little fwiend.

It isn’t a total solution, but taking federalism seriously and letting states do VERY different things, is one possible solution.

"Taking federalism seriously" led directly to a bloody civil war.

"Taking federalism seriously" cemented the odious construct of state sponsored racial segregation and overt racial subjugation.

"Taking federalism seriously" placed the fate of LGBT rights at the whim of the Supreme Court.

"Taking (fucking) federalism seriously" is a fundamentally unserious concept, because it is just a legalistic fig leaf for conservative ascendancy.

Let us, just for once, call it out for what it really is, OK?

Appreciated.

Taking federalism seriously gave us a higher minimum wage in many states that needed it.

Taking federalism seriously allows stronger building standards in California and better gas mileage cars.

Taking federalism seriously allowed breaks in the stupid federal pot regime leading (it looks like) to a huge change nationwide.

And those are things I can come up with while I'm tired and unwilling to research. ;)

This is alarming:

The Trump Administration is planning to eliminate a vast trove of medical guidelines that for nearly 20 years has been a critical resource for doctors, researchers and others in the medical community.

Not sure what the point of this is, except to screw a lot of people over. Maybe Putin's plan?

Where's Donald Johnson, and what does he have to say? McKinney? Is it disrespectful to ask? Or smarmy? I can't keep up with the etiquette here.

Sapient, if you can't keep up, I can relieve you of the burden of figuring out if you like. Quick rule, if you have to ask, you are probably doing something wrong.

Stop with the smart-alecky shit, not only do you you not do yourself any favors, it's disruptive of any attempt at a conversation. I say this as a person who is generally sympathetic to your point of view. If you'd like to talk about something that is being discussed here, do so, stop trying to make things personal.

how much can one Presidential candidate win the popular vote by yet not win the Presidency before the winning party admits the result is unjust

There is no limit. The Republican Party wants power, however much it's in the minority. It will gerrymander, suppress votes, and abuse process to get it. It holds the presidency, the Supreme Court, the Senate, and the House, despite being the minority party, and it uses that power to change procedure and force through policy which will please its donors, regardless of the good of the people.

Sapient's link is an example. The point of it is that the guidelines make it a bit harder for rich people to get richer selling expensive but ineffective medical procedures.

This is not the "tyranny of the majority" Mill and then Hamilton warned of, it's tyranny of the minority covered by a figleaf of democratic legitimacy.

Hamilton wrote that the Electoral College was created so that "the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications". And now we have Trump. The US system of governance is no longer fit for purpose. Throw it away and build something better.

You'll have to win elections first, despite the thumbs on the scales.

I know this is not an open thread, nor can I remember if anybody has already linked this, but in case they have not, this is a very important piece and partly on topic, namely the creeping failure of democracy:

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/07/12/how-the-bbc-lost-the-plot-on-brexit/

And those are things I can come up with while I'm tired and unwilling to research. ;)

two-shay.

Stop with the smart-alecky shit

it's about to get real quiet in here if smart-alecky shit is forbidden.

federalism is the default, so, ya' know, if it's not forbidden it's permissible, not the other way 'round

It isn’t a total solution, but taking federalism seriously and letting states do VERY different things, is one possible solution.

a lot hangs on the word VERY.

i'm generally in the 'do what you like' camp. i don't object to federalism on principle. but i think our experience has been that it doesn't take long for one state's preferences to create problems for other states.

see also, acid rain.

in any case, the powers granted in article I, while limited, are quite broad. any way you want to read them. and the senate is a consequential institution, not just for legislation, but as a barrier to the judiciary.

70% of the senate appointed by 30% of the population, where the 30% are fairly homogenous and not representative of the majority of the population, is gonna be a problem.

Federalism, like originalism, sounds perfectly reasonable and straightforward in the abstract. It gets more complicated in practice. That's why these conversations tend to go down the rabbit hole pretty quickly.

The originally random and corruptly chosen location of state boundaries kills me. Maybe we should reconfigure, re-gerrymander them every so often like we do voting districts.

Gerrymandering is basically vote-packing. Why CAN'T we pack the Supreme Court too, if we do the former.

Why is there a North AND a South Dakota? (Hint: because it was gerrymandered by a guess what) Why not a West and an East Dakota? Same with the Carolinas. Are you telling me Jesse Helms couldn't have been a bonafide southern racist asshole just as well on the other side of the Carolina border?

http://mentalfloss.com/article/55274/why-are-there-two-carolinas-and-two-dakotas

When you look at the shrugging surveyor make-it-up-as-we-go-along reasons why things are as they are and then compare them to the idea that it's all set in constitutional stone, you really just wanna re-start a drinking habit and not fail at it a second time.

If a guy sleeping in a bed in Pennsylvania 100 feet to the east of the Ohio border wakes up in the morning to find the border has been moved one mile to his east overnight so he now is an Ohioan, why does he care?

"Hey, hold on, I'm a Pennsylvanian born and raised."

Well, yeah, but only by a hundred feet or so. Do you really feel any different whether you are an Ohioan or a Pennsylvanian, whatever those are?

I see the point of Billy Joel's song "New York State of Mind" and maybe "California, Here We Come", but John Denver's "West Virginia" not so much. True, I wish they all could be California girl, but drive through West Virginia from southwestern Pennsylvania to southeastern Ohio.

You are the same person, and so are the girls, the entire trip, as is the geography, though maybe in a different watershed.

Water is water.

Is West Virginia Unconstitutional?

https://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1423&context=californialawreview

111 pages and 389 footnotes to come up with "probably not."

People on the Law Review were not happy.

It isn’t a total solution, but taking federalism seriously and letting states do VERY different things, is one possible solution.

a lot hangs on the word VERY.

A lot also hangs on the word "different". I'm OK with a bit of this federalism thing as long as it is not used in the traditional sense to promote racism, segregation, sexism, misogyny, voter suppression, using the state to impose moral and/or religious preferences, shoveling pure pork to rich people, and generally using the state to fuck people over because the Constitution does not "explicitly" forbid it. LOL.

Other than that, have at it.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-way-trump-and-the-gop-deal-with-russian-attacks-is-textbook-treason

what's the federalist solution to acid rain in NY caused by coal-burning powerplants in OH?

Federalism is beneficial when it lets a couple of states try out a new idea, and work some of the bugs out. See the Massachusetts trial run for Obamacare. (Although they didn't catch the issue with the website not being up to the task.)

On the other hand, when it lets some states maintain an old bad idea indefinitely, it becomes a different story. We definitely need to have a mechanism (or two) in place to address that when it happens. Which, I would argue, we do -- even if not perfect ones.

We can all find cases of both, of course. So the question is how the costs and benefits balance out. Discussing that requires more than just tossing out a couple of examples which validate our pre-existing preferences. Anybody know of an actual big study on the question?

Thanks, Count. Our country has faced an existential threat and succumbed.

what's the federalist solution to acid rain in NY caused by coal-burning powerplants in OH?

Federalism, at least as I understand it, still gives the Federal government authority to address cases like this, where something happening in one state impacts other states.

As a side note, IMHO that would apply to gun control laws as well. After all being able to buy military grade equipment in one place definitely impacts it's prevalence in places which forbid it. And no, the 2nd Amendment is not in conflict with regulation of guns. It even says "well regulated" right there in the text of the amendment!

what's the federalist solution to acid rain in NY caused by coal-burning powerplants in OH?

The absence of all heavy handed thuggish regulation by the State + the pure competition theory of the firm + acid rain futures will capture all market externalities and deliver the greatest social benefit at the optimum cost.

Trust me on this.

Our country has faced an existential threat and succumbed.

it ain't over until it's over.

Our country has faced an existential threat and succumbed.

Say rather that a big chunk of the country has acquiesced. But a bigger part of the country is not.

wj: Say rather that a big chunk of the country has acquiesced.

Which part?
The "white working class"?
The "pro-life" evangelicals?
The tax-cuts-grow-the-economy morons?
The Federalist Society?
The NRA?
Mitch McConnell?

You want to take back your party, wj? I wish you luck winning over those chunks.

--TP


You want to take back your party, wj? I wish you luck winning over those chunks.

At this point, it's pretty clear that it will take an enormous amount of luck. Doesn't mean that it isn't worth trying. At least until a better alternative alternate party comes along.

Today Trump announced in public that he believes Putin's claims over carefully evidenced analysis from the FBI.

Impeach him.

lj (to sapient): Stop with the smart-alecky shit

cleek: it's about to get real quiet in here if smart-alecky shit is forbidden.

I second cleek.

My sensitivities were probably blunted by extensive exposure to usenet long ago, and I recognize that blogs are a different thing, but I must say:
1) Asking what certain regular commenters might have to say about a recent news story is hardly offensive. I've done it myself.
2) Snark is great, snark is good; let us thank it for our food (for thought).

--TP


Morning all,
I was directly addressing sapient, so to add some more detail

Stop with the smart-alecky [of constantly questioning moderation requests and acting like you can't figure out what 'personal' entails] shit

Asking regular commenters to voice their opinion is not the problem, it is 1)the asking when the questioner is only looking to score points and 2) the constant pushing of the envelope.

It would have been tempting to match snark for snark, either the 'I don't have a clue what you are talking about, why in the world would you want to know what Donald and McT think about this?' or the probably more enraging 'gee, aren't you going to thank me for letting you back in? I did it right as Macron was trying to put a move on Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović in her fascist one piece* ', but I'm past that.

Given the time differential, I don't want to be waking up and opening a thread that started talking about something interesting but is now a smoking ruin because one commentator in particular can't respect that she can't demand that other commenters be at her beck and call whenever she wants them to pop up. "I just wanted to know what so and so thought" is the defense, I'm sure. If anyone believes that sapient was actually interested in Donald or McT's opinions, I have some deeds to the Brooklyn Bridge that might be of interest.

I wrote about privilege to Sebastian, but to pick that thread up here, privilege is really about assumptions. If you assume that someone is supposed to pop up and answer whatever comes into your head whenever you stroll over to the keyboard and type it in, and then badger them when they don't, the temp here is going to rise quite quickly.

Of course, that ignoring can be weaponised, and if a person commenting on something clearly ignores reasonable questions put to him or her, that increases the temperature as well. This is why 'just ignore them' really only works because it provokes the troll to step over clearly demarcated lines, which then forces whoever has (or takes) responsibility to then do something. Maybe I'm doing something too early, but if it is too late, it won't be me doing anything.

I hope that might give some food for thought, though I'm afraid it is not in a snarky package, though I hope that I have sprinkled enough snark throughout this to make it digestible for those who require it.

*in reference to the fact that the red and white design is from the flag of the Ustashe, who were a Nazi puppet state during WWII. Others would point out that the design precedes that period, so it's no problem. Discuss.

If anyone believes that sapient was actually interested in Donald or McT's opinions, I have some deeds to the Brooklyn Bridge that might be of interest.

If you'll notice, McKinney and I had a reasonably civil exchange once he showed up.

I obviously have less power than you in this relationship, lj, but let me just point out that the conversation had moved on when you decided to post your lengthy recap. As I've explained, apologized, and relented before, I'm sometimes impulsive, and let my anger get the best of me. Maybe that flaw will eventually get me permanently banned. I hope not, because I like looking in here. I would apologize, but I'm sure it will happen again, not because I want it to.

I have put a blocker on the whole site that I have to unlock every time I enter to see if that helps to inspire me to exhibit the appropriate amount of reverence.

Is this comment too snarky, smarmy or smart-alecky?

I suggest that we move on to discuss the fact that our country has been taken over by a foreign government, and what we're going to do about it, especially since the integrity of our elections is at risk, and our hopes for 2018 may be thwarted. If I have to be banned again while the rest of the people here talk about that, whatever. I hope not. I can still look in, though, to see if you have any ideas about what to do. If you're organizing something, I'm going to try like hell to be there.

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/07/16/another-huge-arrest-in-the-russia-investigation/

Think of all of the time and money spent to uncover everything I and others have been revealing here for three years, and longer.

Take the all of the NRA leadership's and five million membership's weapons and ammo away from them. If they resist, kill them.

They are Red Dawn. They are the "queers and commies" under every bed and in every gun safe in America who McCarthy, a straight racist Nazi, sought to eliminate.

Finally, we've found them. It's like Smiley's People meets Ben Hur and a cast of thousands.

Atlas Burst An Aneursym.

The five million dead will be a downpayment on what's coming to the republican party and conservatism at large in this country, formerly known as America.

We're gonna skip the expensive hearings this time around on account of the fucking budget deficit.

Oh goody, something to parse!

If you'll notice, McKinney and I had a reasonably civil exchange once he showed up.

Which was after I gave you a warning. See, it works!

I obviously have less power than you in this relationship, lj, but let me just point out that the conversation had moved on when you decided to post your lengthy recap. As I've explained, apologized, and relented before, I'm sometimes impulsive, and let my anger get the best of me. Maybe that flaw will eventually get me permanently banned. I hope not, because I like looking in here. I would apologize, but I'm sure it will happen again, not because I want it to.

Yes, but I don't have the power that I want to have, which is to create the situation where I don't have to worry about you participating on this list in a way that makes it descend into petty shit. So, when I am forced to use my power, it is either to warn you, give you a cooling off period, or aw a last resort, ban you. Given that I can't control that power to a fine level, it falls to you to avoid having me use it. And given that you've gone thru the first two levels, you do realize that the only power I have now to exercise is the final one. I realize that has the quality of victim blaming (oh why oh why did you make me ban you?) But when you get unbanned and immediately pop up with this bs, I'm thinking that that's what you want. Convince me I'm wrong. Only you can do it.

I have put a blocker on the whole site that I have to unlock every time I enter to see if that helps to inspire me to exhibit the appropriate amount of reverence.

You see, rather than look at the blocker as a way to help you take responsibility for what you write, you make the last word 'reverence' to suggest that I want you to genuflect to me. I could answer that with a fuck you, but I assume that you have the emotional intelligence to see that you are just trying to get a rise out of me? Or are you so out of touch with your rhetoric that you can't see that?

Is this comment too snarky, smarmy or smart-alecky?

Again, if you have to ask the question, you probably shouldn't be asking it.

I suggest that we move on to discuss the fact that our country has been taken over by a foreign government, and what we're going to do about it, especially since the integrity of our elections is at risk, and our hopes for 2018 may be thwarted.

I suggest that _you_ learn how to moderate your interactions and stop "suggesting" to the people here, who are much more diverse than you seem to credit. If you believe that ObWi should be a hub for organizing resistance to the government, I think you should try to find some other space.

If I have to be banned again while the rest of the people here talk about that, whatever. I hope not.

'Oh Lord, please make my sacrifice worthy". You do realize you are acting out Nietzsche's slave morality to a T? I also hope that you don't have to be banned, but looking below the surface of this reply, I don't hold out a lot of hope.

I can still look in, though, to see if you have any ideas about what to do. If you're organizing something, I'm going to try like hell to be there.

Now this, maybe you just don't realize, is pretty meaningless. It seems like the only thing worth doing is what you think is worth doing and even then, if it is not done in a way you feel is sufficiently robust, it is worth denigration.

Stop trying to be so clever, I do think you are going to be hurt more by getting kicked off this board than we are by the lack of your presence. If I were you, I would do my best to reverse that.

“Where's Donald Johnson, and what does he have to say? “

Your snark frequently doesn’t make sense. I read your link and agree with you that this is yet another despicable thing Trump has done. Our arguments, nasty as they have been, have generally been about foreign policy. I mostly just lurk on other issues because others here defend the positions I would take much more effectively than I would.

I avoided jumping into the Nazi discussion a week or so back, but the regulars know what I would say —Yemen is ( so far) the closest thing to a crime against humanity that Trump has committed. The scale is far short of Nazi level killing, but there is a clear Saudi intent to kill civilians, wreck the economy, and cause children to starve to death. And the UAE is busy torturing people too. But US support for that disgusting war began in 2015 and its blatant sadism was evident very early on.

Evidence, particularly from his wife and Roy Cohn, reveals Joe McCarthy may well have been gay.

Political conservatives been been discriminating against all sorts of people for the wrong reasons for way too long. Pol Pot was a conservative; he didn't approve of the four-eyes among us, but like McCarthy, he was nearsighted and wore eyeglasses in private.

Time to discriminate against conservatives and republicans for the right reasons .. because they are republican and conservative, a conscious decision.

Their plumbing and sexual preferences, their race, their ancestry, their religion, their need for eyeglasses, all things they are pretty much born into, have nothing to do with anything.

Their plumbing and sexual preferences, their race, their ancestry, their religion, their need for eyeglasses, all things they are pretty much born into, have nothing to do with anything.

That's true. I'm wondering what inspired that comment though. It's usually not Republicans who have to explain their plumbing, etc. It's the rest of us, right? What did I miss?

I read your link and agree with you that this is yet another despicable thing Trump has done.

Thanks.

Milo Yiannapoulos can wave his plumbing all over college campuses and it's fine by me. If he wants to alter his plumbing, come back and show us that too, Barnum.

It's the other end, the talking end, of his alimentary canal that needs to be shut down permanently. He's at best a witting dupe, as are most republicans, and I expect he is at worst a paid agent of the Russian/right wing conspiracy.

Republicans pretty much accept what he does with his plumbing because the other end of his alimentary canal talks anti-American funny like they do and furthers their murderous plans for America.

All other gays not in the bag for the right wing shit show, natch, will be forbidden marriage and cake.


More on the United Soviet Red States of America and their occupying militia forces:

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/07/trumps-russian-gun-nut.html

The right-wing evangelical movement works with the Kremlin to eliminate gay rights in America, among 50 other items.

It isn’t a total solution, but taking federalism seriously and letting states do VERY different things, is one possible solution.

It's no solution at all, IMO.

I'm fine with states dealing with strictly state-level issues. (By the way, I wish the advocates of decentralized government would speak up for letting cities mange their affairs as well.)

The problem is that Congress deals with national issues - foreign policy, the federal budget, environmental law, confirming federal judges, etc.

Lots of other things can't be handled at the state level either, if you want to retain the right f people to move freely to another state. .

I love it when conservative ho's tell it like it has always been:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a22217835/conservative-judges-lower-courts-federal/

Scaling up the required savage, unending violence against the entire conservative edifice in Pigfuckica is merely a technical hurdle.

As John Adams, founding father, stated to Abigail:

"There will come a day when Americans will thank us for looking far into the future and bequeathing them the God-given intelligently designed First Amendment right to the fully automatic AR-15 in public affairs. Call Ben Franklin on the cellphone we knew would be invented, my little pug-nosed feminazi, and ask him how he's progressing on that nuclear bomb contraption. I see Texas in our future and our poor citizenry in 2018 will find it a handy preventative to national insanity."

Ho, out of his hoohaw, provided the bedrock reasoning for Citizens United.

If you want to murder post-born Americans, you have to be free to pony up the big bucks to the hit men.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/07/17/russias-ministry-of-defense-is-ready-to-implement-the-international-security-agreement-negotiated-at-the-helsinki-summit-wait-what/

All it means is that Russia will be permitted to have six floats featuring their long-range nuclear warheads in mp's next July 4's military goosestepping parade down the National Mall.

The warheads will then be deployed near Bethesda and aimed at California, for national security purposes. wj will identify one california republican who will express reservations about this deployment in a press release: "Please don't nuke us before we are able to cut off food stamps to postborn children and can cackle over their emaciation. Give us that at least."

Russia will also be permitted to contract with U.S. Defense contractors and the steel and aluminum industries to employ the latter's American workers in the manufacture of the latest military technology for the Russian Army, Navy, their space-based deployment.

mp will order Medicare to begin accepting rubles from the workers' paychecks for their bi-weekly contributions.

But they'll have to solicit medical care from doctors in the very narrow Lubyanka Soviet doctor's network.

Use the back basement entrance.

The password is "dupe".

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fbi-official-overseeing-election-meddling-task-force-has-left-1531576801?mod=e2twp

https://twitter.com/donmoyn/status/1019064984473661441/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1019064984473661441&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com%2F2018%2F07%2Frussian-2016-electoral-interference-just-proof-concept

To understand conservative wolves, you have to speak their language.

Man is Wolf to Man. Understand that if you want to get close to the Man who is Wolf to all that is good in America.

Ask yourself and then listen: What does the Wolf say?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcCHBZshTA0

Everything conservatives and republicans do turns to shit:

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/07/need-a-new-washing-machine-the-trump-tax-is-gonna-cost-you/

The executives of Whirlpool, like those of Harley Davidson, are conservative mp lickspittle c*nts, even when the wolf eats THEM.

I would be happy to open Federal Bureau of Management Lands to mass, tax-free graves to bury their bodies.

I am in the market for a new washer and dryer. Now that this affects me personally, I am outraged!

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mcconnell-says-there-is-indusputable-evidence-that-russians-tried-to-affect-2016-election

Yes, as Barack Obama told executed traitor McConnell in the summer of 2016, the latter of whom refused categorically to open Senate hearings on the matter, because the only time conservative filth notice a nigger is then they are unarmed and running away way from a conservative hail of gunfire.

Fuck off.

Count, I totally understand how outraged Monday has made you. (You and pretty much everyone. Even the White House has had to fall back to a "Trump is simply insane" meme to deal with it.) But still, it may be time to step back and go play ball or something for a bit.

Just a thought.

Count, I hope you've seen the original video for that song, it's hysterical. Not to mention (I hate to be so literal) London is overrun by urban foxes, and everybody who has the fortune or misfortune to have them in their back gardens knows exactly what they say. However, with regard to the wolf, you give me the opportunity to post (not for the first time - but now with a sick feeling) my favourite New Yorker cartoon from before the 2016 election:

https://condenaststore.com/featured/he-tells-it-like-it-is-paul-noth.html

Golf?!?

When the so-called president of the so-called United States is allowed back into the country after openly meeting with his KGB case officer and kissing his kleptocratic ass on international television, "play ball" takes on a whole new meaning.

--TP

Golf?!?

Heaven forfend!! Basesball, of course.

"play ball" takes on a whole new meaning.

Well he must be playing Putin's. Since, manifestly, he has none.

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