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December 07, 2018

Comments

Interesting.
One can find nuance in the most unlikely places:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2018/12/08/ammon-bundy-spoke-kindly-about-migrant-caravan-backlash-has-him-rethinking-his-supporters/

What struck me after Bush died was the number of commercially published articles, blog posts and comments, and social-media posts and comments reminding everyone not to forget all the bad stuff Bush did when he was president. Each one written as though it was the lone voice reminding everyone of these things while everyone else was whitewashing his legacy.

One that stands out in particular was (at least partly) titled "Is History Being Too Kind to Bush?" This was 2 days after he died, when you should expect the sort of hagiography that goes with eulogizing the recently departed - not the sort of thing I would refer to as "history."

It doesn't particularly bother me that people were criticizing Bush, and I didn't dispute any of the facts presented, but I thought there was an obvious lack of perspective on display.

What struck me after Bush died was the number of commercially published articles, blog posts and comments, and social-media posts and comments reminding everyone not to forget all the bad stuff Bush did when he was president.

I took those to be reflections of the urge to demonize one's political opponents, root and branch. After all, Bush was a Republican who pushed things like the Clean Air Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the 1991 Civil Rights Act -- in short, things that Democrats support and utterly unlike Trump. And in a (political) world where everything is strictly black or white, either totally good or utterly evil, such a thing is anathema.

Another fox for the pile.

Regarding GHW Bush, he did some good things, he did some bad things. Some folks take the occasion of his death to throw rocks at him, others take the occasion of his death to make him out to be a saint.

I have no strong opinion about the man either way.

Bush seemed to me, as a liberal, to be about as good as one can expect from a conservative president. He did conservative things? Duh. He did things that were typical of conservatives of his day? Wow.

Some of these “Bush was actually super terrible and we should hate him” takes just seem gratuitous and needlessly bitter. He was a Republican, liberals are naturally going to think he made a lot of bad decisions. But I can’t help but think people who can summon so much bile for GHWB probably have too much bile to begin with.

I didn't come across very many "Bush was actually super-terrible" articles.

Heck, the liberal media can even find halfway nice things to say about Ted Cruz on occasion...
https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/12/ted-cruz-beard-is-good.html

I think Loomis at LGM did at least four of them.

Most of my mass media exposure is CNN and MSNBC because that's what my client watches. I also read Wapo.

What I saw was nostalgia for a time when "conservative" didn't mean "Stupid, mean, morally and ethically bankrupt, self-righteous and intellectually dishonest hypocrite".

Of course no one came right out and said that, so it could just be my interpretation.

I'd say the elder Bush was not a pure ideologue and not in it primarily to personally profit from it. That is far more than can be said about most big profile GOPsters these days.
And I did not get the vibes that he in any way felt entitled to the POTUS position or acting out of an inferiority complex.

From a purely German perspective: there are very good reasons to assume that there would not have been a peaceful reunification without him persuading Thatcher, Mitterand etc. that Kohl could be trusted and that there was nothing to fear from a united German state. And I read that he trusted Gorbachov before Reagan did and thus became eesential in the process leading to the end of the Cold War.

So at least a wee bit of nostalgia seems to be justified whatever else one thinks of his policies and deeds (and imo we could have hanged all US presidents since at least Wilson if strictly following US laws).

Of course no one came right out and said that, so it could just be my interpretation.

Nobody had to come right out and say it. It was pretty blatantly obvious. To the point that even Trump was visibly getting the point during the eulogies.

He was a Republican, liberals are naturally going to think he made a lot of bad decisions.

Mostly, I resent that he pardoned the Iran-Contra criminals, pardons that also stopped the inquiry into his own culpability. It's not a coincidence that William Barr, Bush's Attorney General, is being called back into service in that he has some experience with how to get rid of pesky investigations.

Also, the fact that no one has the bad taste to bring up his affairs (with work subordinates), when that cad Clinton is still the constant object of public shaming, is a bit annoying. It's the double standard that's frustrating. I'm not suggesting that prying into and publicizing people's consensual sex life is the outcome I endorse, but geez. Another instance of IOKIYAR.

Gosh sapient, I had no idea he had affairs, let alone with subordinates, which kind of supports your point. I wonder why everyone has been so reticent? What are the facts (at least regarding the subordinates issue)?

I don't know, I feel about GHWB a bit the way I felt about McCain:

What I saw was nostalgia for a time when "conservative" didn't mean "Stupid, mean, morally and ethically bankrupt, self-righteous and intellectually dishonest hypocrite".

Yup, that's pretty much the kind of nostalgia I feel.

GftNC, it's all "alleged". There was an alleged long-term affair with someone named Jennifer Fitzgerald, who worked for Bush in a succession of jobs. There are rumors about other dalliances. You can google. Why have people been so reticent? Because that's the way it used to be about consensual, discreet affairs - they were the subject of tabloids, not everyone's business. Which, IMO, is fine, until the double standard ensues. Without a freaking $30 million investigation by Ken Starr, under penalty of perjury, we might not have known about Clinton's most famous affair either. Or it may have been tabloid fodder.

Whatever.

Bush was, by all accounts, a pleasant and thoughtful human being. My point isn't to drag him through the mud about his alleged personal life.

The Iran-Contra issue is something I remember vividly, though, having recently finished law school, and retaining some idealism about the integrity of the Constitution and the legal system. Reagan won in part because he made a deal with the Iranians to free the hostages [prior to the election] that Carter tried to save in a failed military mission. Then, later, after the Democratic Congress rejected Reagan's policies to support Central American death squads, a secret Republican rogue military unit subverted democracy to do the Iran-Contra deal. Bush was involved, and exonerated himself by pardoning the conspirators. That was ugly. "Nice" as he was, is a continuation of a pattern of increasing Republican lawlessness.

I can't deny that I enjoyed seeing the former heads of state being gracious with each other, including GWB sneaking candy to Michelle. But the deeper story is very problematic. Republicans don't respect democracy. They make that more apparent every single day, and it started quite awhile ago, including with GHWBush.

By the way, how much of Clinton's legacy (health care for children, the halting of genocide in former Yugoslavia) are we going to hear about when he dies? Or this?

We're not going to get the reverent bullshit, believe me.

Thanks, sapient. I had googled - couldn't find much or anything definitive. I'll check out the Jennifer Fitzgerald link out of interest. All the stuff you refer to above re the Reagan deal with the Iranians to free the hostages, and the Iran-Contra shenanigans, is indeed hard to forget, let alone forgive. But on your point that Republicans don't respect democracy, God knows that's exactly how it feels now, but somehow it didn't seem that way with the McCains and GHWBs of this world. Maybe you're right, but on the other hand weren't there some very questionable electoral practices by e.g. the JFK campaign? I don't know, perhaps politics has always been a dirty game, but it's just made a quantum leap for the worse in the last little while.....

JFK v. Nixon? Of course, there were rumors that JFK stole the election, because ... Nixon!

Whatever. I'm not saying that Democrats for the past century were perfect people. But certainly, they have shown a respect for voting rights, and democracy generally, in spades, way more than Republicans.

Also, just to rant a little more since the commentary here seems sparse:

Iran-Contra wasn't about an election. It was about a secret foreign policy that totally subverted the will of the people as exhibited by the Boland Amendment, a law of Congress. Note that Oliver North and Erik Prince are good buddies now, trying to create a private corporate military to do whatever unaccountable evil in favor of right-wing interests around the world.

This stuff is seriously [and because I'm talking to you GftNC, maybe I shouldn't say fascist?] right-wing nationalist paramilitaryish. It was so during the Iran-Contra era, and it is now.

Thanks, GftNC. Needed to vent.

There was an alleged long-term affair with someone named Jennifer Fitzgerald, who worked for Bush in a succession of jobs. There are rumors about other dalliances. You can google. Why have people been so reticent? Because that's the way it used to be about consensual, discreet affairs - they were the subject of tabloids, not everyone's business.

Of course, there's the detail that a lot of what was in the tabloids had about as much relationship to reality as Fox News commentators. In fact, you could easily consider Fox News as merely a technological update of the tradition. (And yes, there were those who believed what they read in the tabloids, too.) All the link really demonstrates is that there might have been an opportunity for an affair.

I don't know about anybody else here, but there were certainly such opportunities in my past which weren't. Affairs, that is -- one of the ladies is my best friend these days, but we never even went on anything you could call a date back in the day. Just saying, allegations and opportunities don't necessarily equate to actuality.

As for JFK vs. Nixon, I hadn't heard the rumor about Texas. But at the time there were certainly rumors about (Chicago Mayor Richard) Daley "voting the graveyards" to swing Illinois' electoral votes.

Also interesting to see that, even half a century ago, California's absentee votes could swing the vote totals for President. ;-)

I agree that we're worse off today, but nostalgia shouldn't lead us to collective amnesia - and in fact one could argue that Bush laid the groundwork (e.g. Flight 655 response, "babies torn from incubators" propaganda, Panama, Carlyle Group) for the mess we face today.

Also, as person he had a remarkable capability for callousness and what some admire as his "patrician" demeanour only thinly masked his strong sense of entitlement.

JFK’s VP was notorious for ballot irregularities (‘landslide Lyndon’j, and came within an ace of having his political career ended over them.

US electoral politics has never been entirely bright and shiny.

I’m not a great fan of Bush, but I don’t think he was one of history’s cup villains, either.

An article on the other side of the conflict in Yemen (caution, some of the detail is fairly graphic, and quite horrific)
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/12/08/world/just-let-die-yemeni-prisoners-describe-rampant-horrific-torture-houthi-jails/#.XA0UYxqnyhA

On the day guards thought Baakar had died, then realized he was still alive, they untied him and allowed two prisoners to feed and clean him.

As Baakar began to recover from his wounds, other detainees who had been tortured began asking for his help. He tried to heal the injured. He carried out simple surgeries, without anesthesia, using electric wires, the only tool he had in prison.

Sometimes the guards allowed him to go about his medical work. Other times, he says, they turned on him and punished him for helping his fellow prisoners....

It doesn’t begin to excuse Saudi policies, but it does go some way to explain what the conflict is about - which doesn’t get much discussion.

All the link really demonstrates is that there might have been an opportunity for an affair.

And don't you think that Lawrence Walsh should have taken up investigating that aspect of Bush's conduct, just to make sure? Yeah, no. Me neither.

Ten western state governments (red and blue), the Bureau of Land Management under Bush and Obama, private conservation groups, ranchers, and the drilling industry spent more than a decade developing a plan that they could all live with to preserve greater sage grouse habitat. The sage grouse is an indicator species: if we're preserving enough habitat for the grouse to do well, there's a lot of other species that will also do well. On Thursday the administration announced that it will be "relaxing" the restrictions on BLM lands, opening up very large areas to oil, gas, and coal development.

Should have added to my comment that despite the apparent disarray in Washington, Zinke/Pruitt/Perry have mounted a well-coordinated and effective effort to make drastic changes to federal land policy in the West, with resource extraction becoming the primary goal.

And add that Andrew Wheeler, Pruitt's temporary (and quite possibly permanent) replacement, is every bit as bad on policy but more competent in terms of knowing the federal processes.

Yes, Trump is an environmental as well as political saboteur.

Came across this (in the Washington Post):

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on “Face the Nation” that “there’s a very real prospect” that Trump may be indicted the day he leaves office and that he “may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time.”

“We have been discussing the issue of pardons that the president may offer to people or dangle in front of people,” Schiff said. “The bigger pardon question may come down the road as the next president has to determine whether to pardon Donald Trump.”
[emphasis added]

It occurs to me that this might be a solid argument against impeachment -- not giving a President Pence the opportunity to pardon Trump.

If it’s a state AG bringing charges, as it fairly likely, then that wouldn’t arise.

Conspiracy to Commit a Fraud on the US might lead to his impeachment, but financial charges would follow that.

It occurs to me that this might be a solid argument against impeachment -- not giving a President Pence the opportunity to pardon Trump.

There's Supreme Court precedent that the President can issue pardons for crimes both known and unknown. Unless the Donald is even dumber than I think, he'll resign if necessary in order to be pardoned by President Pence. If things are written up in advance, the whole thing takes what -- minutes? Trump signs the letter and hands it to the Sec of State, a federal judge administers the oath to Pence, Pence signs the pardon.

I think, he'll resign if necessary in order to be pardoned by President Pence. If things are written up in advance, the whole thing takes what -- minutes? Trump signs the letter and hands it to the Sec of State, a federal judge administers the oath to Pence, Pence signs the pardon.

IANAL, but it seems to me you could make a strong case that resigning with a pre-written pardon from Pence would constitute bribery. That is, an official (Pence) getting something of value (the Presidency) in exchange for an action in his official capacity. Bribery by Trump; acceptance of a bribe by Pence.

Anyone know what impact it has, as a matter of law, on the validity of a government action if it is shown that it was taken due to a bribe? Is it automatically void? Or just voidable in court? Or does it stand regardless, even if the official goes to prison for taking a bribe?

I have had an amusing, if nasty, follow-on thought.

Assume they set up the resign-and-pardon scheme. Complete with pre-written pardon. Trump resigns. Pence is sworn in. But then, knowing that he'd be on the hook for accepting a bribe, Pence exhibits a positively Trumpian approach to paying debts and declines to sign the pardon.

As I say, an amusing, if nasty, scenario.

I need to make a bumper sticker: TRUCK FUMP

President Pence may want one for his limo.

--TP

IANAL either, although I had to pretend to be for three years, but given the enormously broad power of the President to pardon, I'd hate to have to argue the bribery case.

Oh, I expect the pardon for Trump (by Pence) would be upheld. But who would pardon Pence for taking the bribe?

But who would pardon Pence for taking the bribe?

the Senate

Ah, but would they? Pence doesn't have Trump's cult following among the base. So the blow-back would be far less.

Not to mention that criminal indictments are not within the purview of the Senate.

His mother

who comes after Pence in the line of succession?

that's why the GOP will move heaven and earth to make sure that Pence never leaves, if Trump does.

I can't imagine the number of heads that would explode if there was a President Pelosi.

Speaking of Pelosi, does anybody here have a congressman who is one of the Democrats opposing her for Speaker? (russell?)

If so, please call that congressman and let him know that he can be a Democrat who votes against anybody he wants within the Democratic caucus, but any congressman who votes against the Speaker nominee of the Democratic caucus on the House floor has no business calling himself a Democrat.

--TP

That sounds a little harsh.

After years of reading about RINOs, why shouldn't we be reading about DINOs? It's not like there's any validity to either charge. Just a burning desire by some to enforce what they see as purity. Which is both unnecessary and undesirable.

I can't imagine the number of heads that would explode if there was a President Pelosi.

Is it possible for a head to explode in a good way? Because I think that would happen to me.

I cant think of a better thing than Pelosi taking over sometime in 2019. Preferably June or july.

wj,

Do not confuse partisanship with "purity". As I have pointed out many times, the only functional definition of a congressman's party affiliation is his vote, on the floor, for Speaker. His policy preferences define his "purity", but that's separate from his partisanship.

I know partisanship has a bad odor (except IOKIYAR) but you can't consider it essential to have two "parties" and simultaneously disparage party discipline.

--TP

As I have pointed out many times, the only functional definition of a congressman's party affiliation is his vote, on the floor, for Speaker.

I guess all I can say is that I disagree. I think it's entirely possible to have such a different view of what your party is (or should be) that the particular individual that a couple of hundred party members approve of is unacceptable. Now if you voted instead for the candidate for Speaker put up by the other party, that would be a different story. But (to the best of my admittedly limited knowledge) none of the Democrats opposing Pelosi would consider voting for McCarthy.

you can't consider it essential to have two "parties" and simultaneously disparage party discipline.

I guess I just don't see party discipline as an absolute. Yes, someone who disagrees with the rest of the party on most points should probably consider a different affiliation. (Noting, again, that the members of the House do not, by themselves, define "the rest of the party.") But disagreeing on some points? Not seeing that as a disqualification.

wj: But disagreeing on some points? Not seeing that as a disqualification.

Not "some points", one point: your party's nominee for Speaker.

Nothing is absolute, wj, but some things are pointless. Calling yourself a Democrat (or a Republican) while refusing to vote, on the floor, on the first ballot, for Pelosi (or McCarthy) for Speaker is as pointless as calling yourself a Boston Patriot while refusing to block for Tom Brady, on the field, in the Superbowl.

--TP

Sorry, Tony But I'm just not seeing a vote for Speaker as definitive of party membership.

"Don't believe everything you think."

does anybody here have a congressman who is one of the Democrats opposing her for Speaker? (russell?)

My rep (Moulton) is more or less heading up the effort to oust Pelosi. I wrote to him and told him to knock it off.

He's one of those guys who looks in the mirror and sees a future POTUS. He's a pretty good guy, great resume, but I would really rather he focus on representing his constituents, e.g. me.

I actually liked his predecessor (Tierney) better, but Tierney was unfortunately related by marriage to felons. Turns out that's an electoral liability.

After years of reading about RINOs, why shouldn't we be reading about DINOs?

I believe the current argument in the party is over who gets to call themselves ‘progressive’, which is at leat a more interesting one.

If you are seeking some light relief from US politics, the Brexit clusterfumble continues...
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46509288

Th ECJ surprised me today when they said that a member can unilaterally rescind an Article 50 notification -- so long as no withdrawal agreement has been signed and the two-year limit hasn't been reached -- apparently without consequences. I thought there would at least have to be compensation to businesses that had, eg, started relocating operations out of the leaving country to keep those within the EU.

The ECJ surprised me today when they said that a member can unilaterally rescind an Article 50 notification

May be the best news for the UK, specifically its economy, in a couple of years. Now all they need is the wit/will to run another referendum to grasp the straw which has come available.

It occurs to me that this might be a solid argument against impeachment

The strongest argument against impeachment that I can think of is that it would give Trump exactly the thing that works best for him - an opportunity to play the victim, and to stir up sense of victimization that is such a big part of his bond with his supporters.

Let Mueller finish his work. What will come to light will likely expose Trump as a fraud, a crook, a huckster, and worse of all, a fool and an incompetent.

And then ignore him. Carry on with the people's business and pretend he doesn't even exist. Let him rattle around the White House with his creepy kids and circle of sycophants and spend his days watching Fox and tweeting.

And ignore him. Him, and all of his bullshit.

In two years more or less, he'll be out of office, and will then be available for prosecution, likely under any of a variety of charges, without the shield of office. Whoever's POTUS next can pardon him for the federal stuff, but I think he'll still be liable for the state charges. And civil actions.

In the meantime, let him run around with his pants down. Preferably metaphorically. Trump as incompetent clownish fool, laughing stock of the world, for the next two years. It's likely the only thing that will get his base to wake the hell up.

Who knows, maybe they'll make better choices in 2020.

The other thing I'll say is that the (D)'s should consider running somebody from the mid-west or the west for POTUS in 2020. Get the stupid 'culture war' bullshit arguments off the table.

If people want 'heartland', give them 'heartland'. If that's what floats their boat, fine with me.

The other thing I'll say is that the (D)'s should consider running somebody from the mid-west or the west for POTUS in 2020. Get the stupid 'culture war' bullshit arguments off the table.

I presume that by "the west" you mean somewhere other than (i.e. east of) the actual West Coast. Because no way the culture warriors see us as part of the "heartland." (Actually, it's a bit amazing that House Republicans are willing to accept Mr McCarthy, who is from California, as Minority Leader.)

ignore him. Him, and all of his bullshit.

If only.

Now all they need is the wit/will to run another referendum to grasp the straw which has come available.

Much of what I have read seems to suggest that there are no easy/quick paths to getting Parliament to vote on the question of rescinding the Article 50 notice before March 29. In particular, that a second referendum would require on the order of 24 weeks. Nigel?

Does rescinding actually require a Parliamentary vote? I mean, did the government get a vote before submitting the Article 50 notice? Or did it just act, following the referendum vote?

If the latter, May could just act, lose the ensuing confidence vote, and call an election. Which could include a new referendum. Worst case, the next government submits a new Article 50 notice . . . but with more time to allow the new government to demonstrate how brilliantly they can do what May could not.

The other thing I'll say is that the (D)'s should consider running somebody from the mid-west or the west for POTUS in 2020. Get the stupid 'culture war' bullshit arguments off the table.

i'm of the opinion that "the heartland" is only as sacred to "conservatives" as morality and religion and fiscal responsibility. given them reason to side against it and the will, a flash.

what they want is to hate liberals. if liberalism of any kind finds purchase in the middle of the country, "conservatives" everywhere else will remember that they've always hated the decadent heartland and that Real America has always been in the south or the mountains or the desert or can only be found in people of pure Anglo blood.

in other words: it's all a sham. conservatism is a way to stay opposed to people who want to change things.

conservatism is a way to stay opposed to people who want to change things.

I would really, really appreciate it (not that I have any real expectation that it will happen) if folks making comments like this could see their way clear to put "conservatism" in quotes. Because actual conservatism, as opposed to the reactionaries who have hijacked the label, are fine with changing things.

The world is constantly changing, and our society and institutions must change in response. A conservative prefers small changes, when possible, in the interests of preserving the good parts of what we have. But that is a long ways from rejecting all change. Let alone trying to recreate some fantasy of how things were decades ago.

Take something from recent enough past that we can all remember it. As society reached the point of accepting homosexuality, the issue of legal recognition of gay relationships arose.

Reactionaries (styling themselves as "conservatives") demanded reverting to having homosexuality be illegal. Because, after all, that has worked so well throughout history for making it cease to exist.

Real conservatives, in contrast, asked: what's the minimum change which will address this? The answer being, fairly obviously, to tweak the marriage laws -- where they said "a man and a woman" change it to "two adults." (There would also have been some tweaks to divorce law required. But the pattern would apply there, too.) Eventually, and with an unfortunate false start of "domestic partnerships", we got there.

It was a (legal) change necessary to accomodate an alteration in the (social) world we live in. But it was a small change -- smaller, in fact, than the whole domestic partnerships fiasco required.

There are several things the government, or Parliament could do within the time available, though that is extremely limited now.
May is determined to plough on, and her explicit strategy is to delay until a choice between her unpopular deal, and a Brexit with no deal (which is the automatic legal default if no action is taken between now and the end of March) is unavoidable.

The government could rescind A50 in a day. It is not entirely obvious, though, how Parliament could do so without replacing the government with one which was prepared to do so - this one isn’t.
And that’s where thing fall apart.

The Paliamentary maths are that there are somewhere over 100 supporters of ‘no deal’, 200 of May’s deal, and 300 of remain - but remain seem to be just below a majority.
The Tories don’t want to bring down the government, as they are afraid of letting Corbyn in. Corbyn himself doesn’t really care as much, one way or another, about Brexit as much as he does about getting into government (as has been clear since his half hearted efforts during the referendum).
Constructing a majority for any particular positive course of action is therefore extremely difficult.

Forcing a general election would be a huge gamble anyway, as it would further run down the clock, and it might anyway result in as indecisive result as the last one, if polls are accurate. And it would require more than just a bare majority of votes, in a Confidence Vote, thanks to the Fixed Term Parliament Act.

A referendum could conceivably be held in the time available, but again to do so would be difficult for Parliament to do without the cooperation of government.

About the only thing that is clear is that there isn’t very much time left is Parliament is going to do anything. The ECJ ruling is a glimmer of hope, and the polling of the last couple of weeks indicates opinion is now marginally in favour of remaining a member of the EU, but we are otherwise in a tangled mess.

Does rescinding actually require a Parliamentary vote? I mean, did the government get a vote before submitting the Article 50 notice? Or did it just act, following the referendum vote?

There was a length legal case which settled that question, which was beforehand entirely unclear:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/R_(Miller)_v_Secretary_of_State_for_Exiting_the_European_Union

Howeve, I don’t think Parliamentary approval would be necessary to withdraw A50 (though I could be wrong, and it would be subject to similar legal proceedings).
The government isn’t going to do so, which renders the question moot. It’s seriously doubtful (though again unclear) that Parliament could do so on its own, without installing a new government willing to do so.

another day, another fox
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/aramroston/jerry-falwell-jr-michael-cohen-pool-attendant-lawsuit

This was via TPM, and I think the article is behind the paywall
https://talkingpointsmemo.com/prime-beta/very-very-curious-evangelical-swimming-pool-edition

The pool boy!

TRUCK FUMP.

I really kind of like this.

But in the immortal words of James Gleason, 'I ain't never seen a dame in distress'.

Just feel the power. Its all over for this clown.

C'mon back Count. They always get over it.

To add to the mix, I’ve seen it suggested that Corbyn is actually quite prepared to see a no deal Brexit, as the Tories will get the blame for the inevitable economic fallout.
Whether that’s true, who knows - but it’s certainky true that continued membership of the EU would constrain some of his economic plans (nationalisation/state aid for industry, for example).

Next time they have an Oval Office photo-op, Nancy Pelosi needs to say:

"Don, I will address you as Mr. President when you start addressing me as Madam Speaker."

--TP

Maybe she will actually be the Spesker by then...

So the title of "Speaker" doesn't persist after they leave that position, unlike "Mr. President" or military ranks?

Just wondering, seems like a quaint point of etiquette for this Deplorable Year Two.

This web site says not. Of course, it says that using President for a former President is also incorrect even though common. I was rather looking forward to watching interviewers struggle to avoid saying "President Clinton" or "Mr. President" to Bill when Hillary was standing right next to him.

Today in " you can't make this stuff up", we have
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/11/congresswoman-google-ceo-why-when-i-search-idiot-do-i-get-pictures-trump/

And it turns out it's true. Google it yourself.

So, did the Washington Post stylebook change to replacing the first character of the last name with the first character of the first name when only the last name is referenced?

Zoe Lofgren ~ Zofgren

Maybe she will actually be the Spesker by then...

Ms. Pelosi would suffice.

Yup, that's pretty much the kind of nostalgia I feel.

My nostalgia for either of the Bushes can only be measured in nanometers. But how do we take the measure of a man who plumped for a few good public policies, but whose overall public record is measured in policies and actions that resulted in utterly unnecessary death, disease, and privation for the many and the protection of the wealthy few?

I may be a bitter old partisan, so I offer this as a bit more measured take on the Bush legacy and the obvious efforts being undertaken to burnish it.

The turd polishing needs to be called for what it is.

This is a rather strange story of Russian businesses at the very least tangentially involved in US military and intelligence computing systems contracts:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46489689

That's a good piece, bobbyp. Until the advent of Trump, I thought I could hardly despise a president more than Dubya, it's been salutary to see that there's always a greater evil. As for 41, I'm sure it's all true, and it's important to be reminded. But still, compared to Trump, the man was a paragon...

it’s certainky true that continued membership of the EU would constrain some of his economic plans (nationalisation/state aid for industry, for example).

Sorry, but that's not correct - nationalization is perfectly possible under EU law and state aid rules will continue to apply even under WTO rules or any realistic FTA with the EU.

It's also perfectly possible that Corbyn is not actually aware of this...

"Zoe Lofgren ~ Zofgren"

Isn't it usually (or supposed to be) "Zoë"?

My Snarki sense is tingling; might be a unicode/windows control sequence issue.

My Snarki sense is tingling; might be a unicode/windows control sequence issue.

Windows actually does fine with unicode diacritics. (And I've spent the last couple of years up to my elbows in them.) I suspect it's more that English language users tend to ignore/miss diacritics because English doesn't use them.

The real fun there will come when we start seeing a significant number of domain names, especially Top Level Domain names (like .com, .org, .de, etc.) which include them. Will you notice that .сом isn't upper case Latin letters (which your browser will convert to lower case), but rather Cyrillic (and all lower case, as domain names technically must be)?

How about noticing that obsídíanwíngs.blogs.org isn't actually us (those are I with an acute diacritic, rather than lower case I)? The opportunities for bad actors are obvious. Fun times ahead!

it has a name: the "homograph attack"

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/19/phishing-url-trick-hackers

it has a name: the "homograph attack"

Yes, but we may need a new name. Because a lot of things are not, quite, homoglyphs. E.g. i vs í or i vs ı (dotless I)**. And there are an enormous number of them coming along with the Internationalization of Domain Names. Lots more attack possibilities. And even if they aren't as strong as an exact homoglyph, they are still going to cause problems.

** Some of you may recall a little experiment I ran here on exactly that.

аррӏе.com
vs
apple.com

Well, there is some hope. A few years ago, ICANN (the body in charge of such things) required the owner of facebock.com to transfer ownership to the owner of facebook.com, on the grounds that the names were so similar as to cause confusion.

The problem, of course, is that it can take a while (and do some damage) before that kind of solution happens.

Having helped build a couple of technical organizations, this kind of stuff takes a very long time to repair.

This is a quite good summary of the consequences of a No Dal Brexit next March:
https://www.explaintrade.com/blogs/2018/12/11/world-trade-deal

that's some very labor-intensive spamming.

now removed -- wj

The spammers are getting more sophisticated, I see. Copying previous comments is at least a step up from saying "Great post."

My alumni "email forwarding for life" account was virtually shut down for a few days recently by unmanageable floods of spam. Not that much of my email comes to me through that pathway, and I suppose MIT's best minds are occupied elsewhere, but if MIT can't deal with it, then who can?

Still, finger in dike and all that.

If you're going to miss links to holi images, ipl 2019 schedule, and diwali wishes, let me know and I'll stop intervening.

Wait, wj beat me to it! Yay!

But it took cleek pointing it out for me to notice. Oblivious, that's me!

If Hillary had run on a "we will SHUT DOWN all email/phone/text spammers, by violent means if necessary", she'd have won in a history landslide.

The world elites are insulated from the concerns of the rest of us, so they never notice this.

The elites also have administrative assistants to deal with junk snail mail. Same old problem, just a different medium.

what they want is to hate liberals. if liberalism of any kind finds purchase in the middle of the country, "conservatives" everywhere else will remember that they've always hated the decadent heartland and that Real America has always been in the south or the mountains or the desert or can only be found in people of pure Anglo blood.


I don't think this is quite right. I think it is a bit more accurate to say that Republican base voters love to hate everyone else---EVERYONE else. They vote for a fairy tale: Republican politicians are going to save the real true good Americans from the evil threat of everyone else! The specifics of how they hatemonger against varies year to year but there is always a boogeyman..


But it really doesn't have anything to do with conservatism except that the haters use that label to make their snobbishness look like a philosophy. And they aren't hating the rest of us on philosophical or ethnic or religious or even racial grounds; it's just that primitive frea of the other from our caveman days combined with the ego gratification of believing themseslves to be the entitled ones. They see politics as a zero sum game and they assume that others are gaining at their expense.

That's my opinion, anyway.

shorter laura: "haters gotta hate"

Its hard to picture the US Senate voting unanimously over anything more significant than naming a post office. But yesterday, the did. https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-prepares-vote-to-curtail-us-support-for-saudi-led-military-effort-in-yemen/2018/12/13/cf934a96-fed7-11e8-862a-b6a6f3ce8199_story.html
A unanimous vote that the Saudi Crown Prince was responsible for Khashoggi's murder. No matter what the President says.

Maybe Trump's lock on Republicans is starting to slip.

It’s not nothing, wj.
But than again, when it comes to saving a species from ext8nction...
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/14/orcas-washington-state-killer-whales

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