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January 16, 2019

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"On Wednesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) asked President Trump to delay his State of the Union address due to security concerns stemming from the government shutdown. Alternatively, Trump could simply submit a written statement in lieu of an in-person speech, noted Pelosi.

If Trump opted for the latter, this would be by far the best thing to come out of the shutdown. The elaborate spectacle of the modern State of the Union speech—a yearly production—is wholly unnecessary. The country would be well rid of it."
Pelosi Moves to Cancel Trump’s State of the Union Speech. Good Riddance.: The shutdown may force the government to cancel the State of the Union.

Yup, "asked". Like when your mother "asks" you to straighten up your room.

Since she's the one who makes the invitation, or not, it's not like there's a lot of optional there.

If Trump wants to give a SOTU with the level of public interest that (he thinks that) he deserves, he should give the SOTU while standing on the pointy top of the Washington Monument.

EVERYONE will be watching with bated breath. Ratings GOLD.

Since she's the one who makes the invitation, or not, it's not like there's a lot of optional there.

I see that McCarthy has said that he disagrees with the decision, but didn't say a word about it not being within Pelosi's authority as Speaker.

I wanted to do something to include the Brexit mess....

I think pffffffffffffffft.... just about covers it.

I think pffffffffffffffft.... just about covers it.

Sure. But is it pfffffffft, we're going to end up with the disaster of a no-deal Brexit? Or the pfffffft of we're going to do a general election, followed by starting over on negotiating Brexit? Or pfffffft, we're going to do a new referendum, followed by decades of polarized hostility based on the outcome (especially, as it appears from a distance, the new outcome is not Brexit at all)?

https://goo.gl/images/4e4PJm

I'm actually getting rather worried now - the EU should put the UK in special measures until they see the error of their ways.

NB in 2015 nobody in the UK was talking about the EU except for some pub bores and perennial malcontents - now Brexit is like religion in the 30 years war.

"now Brexit is like religion in the 30 years war"

Surely it would be Cavaliers vs. Roundheads?

But perhaps the UK is going to try a New Model Brexit.

The following Senators voted in favor of lifting sanctions on Putin's buddy Deripaska because He, Trump's lackey Mnuchin told them the Boss has debts to pay. They may be traitors. Or maybe they simply fear the pub bores and perennial malcontents in MAGA hats who would gladly have voted for Putin over Hillary in 2016. If Democrats think they can defeat Putinism by "looking forward, not back" after 2020 they are kidding themselves.

--TP

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blackburn (R-TN)
Blunt (R-MO)
Braun (R-IN)
Burr (R-NC)
Capito (R-WV)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cramer (R-ND)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Perdue (R-GA)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Romney (R-UT)
Rounds (R-SD)
Scott (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Young (R-IN)

The following Senators...

I notice that both Collins (R-ME) and Gardner (R-CO) are missing from the list. I can't speak to Collins in any detail, but Gardner is no longer head of the NRSC, has minimal committee assignments, and is trying desperately to convince the Denver suburbs that he's as good as a Democrat. With the new majority in the Senate, McConnell apparently doesn't care how Gardner votes, so long as he votes to keep McConnell as majority leader.

I notice that Lamar Alexander, Plaid Shirt Candidate for President for a brief shining moment, voted with Putin.

I notice that Richard Burr, Serious Republican Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and allegedly Grown-up Person, voted with Putin.

I notice that Mitt Romney, formerly of "Trump is a charlatan" fame, and Central Casting's Idea of a Presidential Candidate, voted with Putin.

I notice that Lindsey Graham, Spittle-Flecked Strutting Bantam who stood up to Christine Blasey-Ford, voted with Putin.

Can we please stop pretending that Republicans are a pro-American party?

--TP

Can we please stop pretending that Republicans are a pro-American party?

Can we quit pretending that they're anything but Russian agents? Everything they do destroys America.

Can we stop pretending that they are patriotic? YES! I am going to the local women's march this Sat and I will be carrying an American flag and giving flags away. I am also bring a Russian flag to give to any antis that show up. I hope to get on the news--I did last time. Me and my flag, American flag.

I hope to get on the news--I did last time. Me and my flag, American flag.

Good for you! Perhaps I will follow your lead.

It's convenient that the modern Russian flag is also red/white/blue (but so is the dreaded French also), so these guys don't have to lie when they say that they stand firmly with the rw&b.

Fake polls!

https://news.google.com/articles/CAIiEHFXmKpM0A4234U-3MKNAiYqFQgEKg0IACoGCAowxYgCMIBNMOGXAg?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen

A second referendum is marginally more likely now that the LibDems have decided that they will not back any more No Confidence votes, in order to try to force Corbyn's hand on the issue (most Labour voters want one, according to polls; Corbyn doesn't).

Other than that, still pfffffffft (which is indicative of an expansive but despairing shrug...).

Fake polls indeed. But what is notable is that Cohan was reimbursed (more than he actually paid, of course) for them.

I'm shocked ... SHOCKED!!! ... to find that a Trump associate would pocket the money!

The more I think about it, the more ironic(?) it seems that, at every turn, the people who were once associated with Trump but later turned against him are discredited by Trump and his defenders as being untrustworthy and dishonest. Why did he associate with so many untrustworthy and dishonest people, I wonder?

I suppose this is to be expected. AFAICT, this is how it works with many criminal organizations. The witnesses that get turned are themselves criminals who were involved in the enterprise. Aside from undercover operatives who infiltrate the organization, who else is going to know the inner workings other than crooks?

Why did he associate with so many untrustworthy and dishonest people, I wonder?

Perhaps he has a different definition/criteria for what constitutes "the best people" than you or I have...? Because it does seem remarkably consistent.

A second referendum is marginally more likely now...

Would it be a binding referendum this time? Would it include options that probably can't be delivered?

I'm still betting that the government and Parliament are going to fritter away the time, and the UK will crash out without a deal on March 29. I am waiting to see what May offers as "plan B" next Monday. I expect more stalling.

It strikes me that Parliament has never taken Brexit entirely seriously. Their working assumption all along seems to me to have been that the only thing that would change would be control of who could enter the country on what terms, and sending money off to the EU government. Once the Article 50 notice was given, I kept expecting to read that Parliament was preparing to set up (and fund) all the things that would have to be done: standards setting, goods inspection, passport control, agreements for things like energy and air traffic, etc.

Also to admit that Northern Ireland was f*cked. They could be part of the UK with a border in one place; or they could be part of the ROI with a border in a different place. Independence (with an eye on the Scots) would be right out, of course.

I heard parts of this talk in the car a week or so ago -- Fintan O'Toole of the Irish Times talking about Brexit and Ireland. The parts about the border were heartbreaking. It's not only Northern Ireland that will be f*cked -- the whole island will be somewhat f*cked, given that people are now moving freely across the border and have gotten used to it.

Such a thoroughly Irish analogy (paraphrasing): "There's not a cigarette paper's worth of difference between the positions of the Republic and the EU on the subject of the border." (I.e. they both want to keep it open.)

I've got to go back and listen to the whole thing when I get time.

O'Toole is one of the smartest writers on Brexit - this by William Davies is also a good analysis:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/2019/01/16/william-davies/leave-and-leave-again

The fundamental unseriousness, ignorance and carelessness of almost everybody pushing for Brexit is downright scary - I am reminded of Homer Simpson working in the nuclear plant...

Thanks for the link, novakant. Having read the essay, I will quibble with your scary list only so far as to say you forgot to mention greed.

Novakant, I thought this one line summed up both the article and the situation with Brexit:

...the successive exits of David Davis and Dominic Raab from the office of Brexit secretary conveyed a sense that theirs was an ideology that couldn’t survive its own implementation.
And I suspect the same is true (over the medium, let alone long, term) of Trumpism. It may not be as immediately, inescapably, disasterous as Brexit. But reality wil force itself on its fans just the same.

i wouldn't assume its fans are either smart enough to accurately identify the cause of their problems or willing to listen to sources outside the GOP noise machine for facts.

a big chunk of the population will never admit or learn that Trumpism was the cause of anything but MAGA.

cleek, I'd say that it could play out that way. But given the (in)competence in evidence, I'd say that there's a good chance that Trump manages to do something dumb that visibly hits them where they live.

"Nobody every lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public"

Nobody every lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public

Alas, the British public too apparently.

I'd say that there's a good chance that Trump manages to do something dumb that visibly hits them where they live.

I'd say that's already happened. And, I don't think that has any relevance to cleek's point.

He's their guy. They'll love him no matter what.

He's their guy. They'll love him no matter what.

He's started hemorraghing support in all his core crosstabs : first and most among non-college-educated white women, but in the most recent days, also among evangelicals and non-college-educated white me.

I think that in another week, this will be an unmistakable disaster for the Rs.

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

My guess is he'll never go below 25% approval. I'd put solid money on 20%.

I'll be happy to be wrong.

In any case I will by no means interrupt the man. Please proceed, Mr president.

He's their guy. They'll love him no matter what.

Some of them, sure. Some people still argue for a flat earth, too.

Probably his current ~40% (and dropping) support bottoms out well above zero. But I'd guess that it gets low enough that it's no longer enough to primary legislators in more than a handful of districts. In other words, the remaining Trump true believers become about as important as the Lost Cause true believers. (And bigoted as it may be of me, I figure significant overlap there.)

My guess is he'll never go below 25% approval.

Rigorous research by Kungfu Monkey has determined that the floor is 27%, and a number of subsequent events have corroborated that figure.

But Darth Cheny managed to break 20% at one point.

I think Trump is just the guy to break Cheney's record.

Circular firing squad:
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/17/giuliani-mueller-collusion-investigation-1110671

It would be deeply amusing if it proves to be Giuliani who brings Trump down.

Nixon made 24%:
https://historyinpieces.com/research/nixon-approval-ratings

Trump is a different beast - 60% approval is a pipe dream for him. On the other hand, his core of believers is likely far more committed than Nixon's.

Somewhere around 25% sounds about right - though of course there is margin of polling error to be considered.

more on brexit

This is more succinct:
https://twitter.com/tompeck/status/1086264773149380608

God knows I have very little to quarrel with in the analysis laid out in bobbyp's link, except to say that the slow-motion car crash of Brexit is the fruit of not just upper-class incompetents and liars nostalgic for their conception of Britain's past greatness and/or cynically eager for their own advancement (Johnson), but of a true confederacy of dunces including shady hustlers on the make (Farage) and almost certainly on the take (Farage and Arron Banks et al). However, on the subject of Mountbatten, I have this (possibly apocryphal) story to contribute: when Mountbatten was commanding the Kelly in 1941, and it was sunk, with survivors surfacing near each other, one of the lower ranks surfacing near Lord Mountbatten said to him "Funny how scum always rises to the top". This was later presented as being either because he had not recognised his skipper, or an example of jolly British stiff upper lip humour, but personally I have my doubts.

The piece at bobbyp's link draws connections between the Brexit mess and the hasty British partition of India (which was a "mess" that cost at least a million lives).

That page has a link to another essay focused on Northern Ireland that includes this:

Prime Minister May formed a coalition with the D.U.P. [Democratic Unionist Party] after losing her parliamentary majority in last year’s snap election. In exchange for keeping her in office, she gave the hard-line Unionists veto power over Brexit negotiations. The D.U.P., which has a history of ties to gunrunning and paramilitarism, has never been easy to deal with. Its leadership is based in the Free Presbyterian Church, the fundamentalist sect founded in 1951 by the former D.U.P. leader Ian Paisley. It has been described by the journalist Owen Jones as “the political wing of the 17th century.” During the 1980s, campaigning against Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s negotiated settlement with the Irish Republic, its slogan blared from every lamppost in Northern Ireland: “Ulster Says No.”
Ulster is saying no again. Mrs. May, to satisfy her party, has to get Britain out of the European customs union, restoring a customs border between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The D.U.P. welcomes that. But the Good Friday agreement presupposes a “soft” border between the north and south of Ireland. Mrs. May, to preserve the agreement, proposes keeping Northern Ireland in the customs union. That means a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain. There, the D.U.P. draws a “blood red” line. That, it says, mortally threatens the Union.

"The political wing of the seventeenth century" -- zing. If only it weren't actually so.

GFTNC:

One must have the foresight not to go into the drink as the ship goes down only to have the entire cast of Monty Python surface next to one, collectively spit out a snout full of seawater, and wax hilarious at one's expense.

More delicious bon mottery in lieu, temporarily, of the approaching apocalypse:

http://crookedtimber.org/2019/01/17/marina-hyde-competition/

"Here comes voluminously overcoated Jacob Rees-Mogg, who still resembles an 11-year-old Jacob Rees-Mogg sitting on Nanny’s shoulders for a nursery game called Disaster Capitalist’s Bluff."

"And here comes the affectedly shambling figure of Boris Johnson – not so much a statesman as an Oxfam donation bag torn open by a fox – who could conceivably still end up prime minister of no-deal Britain."

Bye.

Pankaj Mishra's "Age of Anger" is a riveting read.

Yes, I read that Marina Hyde piece, it was full of such excellent, hilarious and bitter descriptions. And as a matter of fact, I remember the 11 (and even 8) year old Jacob Rees-Mogg, and am frequently filled with disbelief that this is a politician that anybody in their right minds takes seriously. Further to Janie's comment, he is often referred to as "the member for the 17th Century".

Brexit is a movement aiming to give more power to the British ruling classes. Politicians who see themselves as entitled to rule (Johnson, Rees-Mogg) naturally support it. But so, bizarrely, do politicians (UKIP) who in every other context have nothing but contempt for the competence of our rulers. And, as the last two years have shown, rightly so.

I'm reminded of supporters of GW Bush's wars, who plaintively asked "how were we to know he'd make such a mess of it?".

And as for ousting May, I am reminded of my favourite slogan of the activist group Billionaires for Bush who held up signs, before his 2nd election, saying "Why change horseman in mid-apocalypse?"

It would be deeply amusing if it proves to be Giuliani who brings Trump down.

While it doesn't (that I spotted) get quoted in Nigel's link, Giuliani made a great point of saying "President Trump" did not collude. That's mostly being taken as leaving open the position that others on the campaign did so without his knowledge.

But I think it may be far simpler than that. President Trump didn't collude during the campaign . . . for the simple reason that he wasn't President yet. It's the kind of careful parsing that lawyers do....

More delicious bon mottery

The Scots for creative profanity, the Irish for grand flights of lyrical abuse, and the English for slipping the knife in with acerbic wit.

We Americans cannot hold a candle to our fellows across the pond.

From the cou... oops, Thullen's link:

I’ve always thought of Mitch McConnell as Grand Vizier to Yertle the Turtle. Hyde would probably call him an ambulatory sack of sausage rolls. And not those posh sausage rolls from Waitrose either, those nasty Tesco ones.

Over here, we would recognize those as Jimmy Dean brand sausage rolls.

Does it mean I'm a bad person if this makes me laugh out loud?

"By the end, the viewer is left with the impression that the referendum amounted almost to a coup—a coup pulled off by a clique of obsessives with a mad genius in tow and some sort of unspecified link to Trump.

In fact, the referendum represented almost precisely the opposite. Britain's elites were clinging to the 1950s ideal of a united Europe long after it had passed its sell-by date. What carried the day was the warm and optimistic conviction of the non-political classes that decisions should be made closer to home. What country, after all, ever got poorer as a result of becoming more independent? The United States voted Leave in 1776; and, from where I'm standing, things seem to have worked out OK for you."
What the New HBO Brexit Film Gets Wrong: Leavers aren’t the sinister, racist, champagne wasters they’re made out to be.

CharlesWT,

Assuming you personally subscribe to the notion that "decisions should be made closer to home", can you please clarify how close to home?

For instance: there are surely towns (if not states) in the US whose close-to-the-people governments would happily fund churches with (local) tax money, except for that goshdarn one-size-fits-all 1st Amendment enforced by that Leviathan of a government in far-away Washington. What's the principled Libertarian position on that one?

--TP

Charles, it sounds from the link like what the film gets wrong is that in suggests a link (via Mercer) to Trump. Whereas the documented foreign intervention was from Russia.

Leavers aren’t the sinister, racist, champagne wasters they’re made out to be.

I can't speak to the "champagne wasters" allegation. But otherwise? Yeah, pretty much.

That's for those pushing it, of course. Those voting for it also included people with a variety of other motives. And a disinclination to accept the reality of how EU membership benefits Britain -- which reality is coming home as devising an actual, as opposed to theoretical, Brexit is attempted.

Isn't the world wonderful when we let the market sort it all out?

Otherwise known as "they who grab the most win."

Charles WT:

Daniel Hannan? come on, really?

(amongst other things, he wants to turn the UK into Singapore - he's completely delusional)

I blame Charles' libertarian aversion to and forced austerity for gummint spending on health and social service programs.

https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-blame-for-brexit-51547842253

What country, after all, ever got poorer as a result of becoming more independent?

Let's ask Adam Smith about that.

Were the UK a colony of the EU, the analogy to the US in 1776 might be apt.

In any case, we don't have to speculate. The Brexiteers are going to run an experiment for us, we can resolve the question empirically.

The Brexiteers are going to run an experiment for us, we can resolve the question empirically.

And in the best scientific fashion, we can fashion predictions, based on our theory of choice.

If flat-out libertarian theory is correct, Britain will take a hard Brexit and flourish. Anyone (besides Charles) want to take bets on that? Note that you have to get in all your caveats about "Well if only they had...." ahead of time. No ex post facto justifications for why it didn't happen.

Alternatively, if Adam Smith is correct, any kind of Brexit will leave Britain poorer.

Okay!
I just came up with a new solution for Brexit, which is mine. Although if someone wants to suggest it to someone in the UK that could implment it (Gftnc, hint hint), they're welcome to do so.

For the hard/soft border between the Republic of Ireland and NI, or between NI and the rest of the UK:

Catholics in NI can travel and trade freely with the Republic of Ireland (soft border), but not the rest of the UK (hard border). Protestants in NI can travel and trade freely with the rest of the UK (soft border) but not with the Republic of Ireland (hard border).

The UK could still get critical goods from the EU, but it would require cooperation between Catholics and Protestants in NI.

Although if someone wants to suggest it to someone in the UK that could implement it (Gftnc, hint hint), they're welcome to do so.

Reports of my contact with those holding the levers of power have been greatly exaggerated.

If flat-out libertarian theory is correct, Britain will take a hard Brexit and flourish.

Weird that our CharlesWT is supporting closed borders. Thought that was anathema to libertarians (one of the few things I like about them).

Catholics in NI can travel and trade freely with the Republic of Ireland (soft border), but not the rest of the UK (hard border).

I'm assuming that Catholics in Ireland these days are "cultural Catholics" or some variation of Catholic that doesn't include adherence to the rape conspiracy. [I was brought up Catholic, and have practiced Catholicism intermittently during my adulthood, so I'm hoping no one accuses me of religious bigotry. If so, we can talk.] Anyway, Snarki's laws might have some twists.

Assuming you personally subscribe to the notion that "decisions should be made closer to home", can you please clarify how close to home?

Decisions should start with the individual and work outward.

If decisions you don't like are being made at the state and local level, you can live with them or work to change them. Or vote with your feet. Which a lot of people around the country are doing these days.

If you don't like the decisions made at the national level, you may just have to just live with them or leave the country. Fat chance, in most cases, of getting them change. In the case of the US, if you leave the country, you also have to renounce your citizenship to completely escape. For example, the IRS tried to shake down Boris Johnson for capital gains taxes because he was born in the US but hasn't lived there since he was five.


amongst other things, he wants to turn the UK into Singapore - he's completely delusional

While the UK isn't a free market Mecca, it did score 78.0(8th) to the US's 75.7(18th) on the 2018 Index of Economic Freedom. While the UK may be well positioned, at least geographically, to be the Singapore of the West, I guess the delusion is thinking that you can get there from here. It would take a major upheaval of the UK's cultural, social, and political status quos.


Anyone (besides Charles) want to take bets on that?

Good chance it will go badly. At least in the short term. Like a 10% decline in GDP. In the long term, who knows. Politicians can always make a bad situation worse.


Weird that our CharlesWT is supporting closed borders. Thought that was anathema to libertarians (one of the few things I like about them).

I have never supported close borders. Although it's quite possible that I've written something that seems to imply that I did. I think we should make it as easy as possible for people to come here to live and work.

About that Index of Economic Freedom...

http://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/FreedomIndex.html

There you go again, lj, injecting reality into a lovely little ideology bubble. It always does such nasty things to the view through the rose tinted glasses....

What country, after all, ever got poorer as a result of becoming more independent?

Haiti?

Decisions should start with the individual and work outward.

Most decisions that are topics of discussion here are broader in scope than individuals. The upper limit to what can be resolved in a satisfactory way by individuals is achieved pretty quickly.

Blue shirt or white shirt? Whatever floats your boat. We're not talking about blue shirts and white shirts.

You have to understand that libertarianism is, at heart, a teenaged fantasy.

About that Index of Economic Freedom...

A response. Unfortunately some of the links are dead.

"In a March 26 "special report" that's been circulating on the Web, Henwood condescendingly notes the truism that "correlation doesn't prove causation." We agree, and we have never claimed otherwise. The data show only that changes in the Index score and growth rates rise and fall together."
The Index: Setting the Record Straight

What's the principled Libertarian position on that one?

Leave. Some principle.

You have to understand that libertarianism is, at heart, a teenaged fantasy.

Responses.

"Corning, and so many like him, could learn a little humility from history. Just because violent nation states engaging in social engineering and forced redistribution are the flavor of the day doesn’t mean they’re the best system for enabling people to lead rich and rewarding lives.

But having that discussion demands much more than painting your opponents as moral monsters who reject the very foundations of what it means to be human. In other words, it demands more careful study than Peter Corning appears ready to muster."
How Not to Argue Against Libertarianism: Cogently attacking libertarianism means, at the very least, wrestling with what libertarians actually believe.


"Evidently Corning believes that a libertarian world would be too selfish to care about the few who fall into misfortune. But there is no evidence that greater freedom results in greater selfishness in the sense of not caring about others. So here we have an article that seeks to apply psychology to an ideology, but with no evidence and with flaws in logic. Psychology here is being applied as a cover for ideological views. Has this been peer reviewed, or are the peers just as biased and lacking in scientific principle?"
Libertarianism and Psychology

Just because violent nation states engaging in social engineering and forced redistribution are the flavor of the day doesn’t mean they’re the best system for enabling people to lead rich and rewarding lives.

Forgive me if I'm reading this unfairly. But it rather seems to assume facts which are perhaps best described as "not in evidence."

Are some (though by no means all) nation states today violent? Yes. Is anyone arguing that their being so is desirable (which is how I take "flavor of the day")? No doubt a few, since there are lunatics supporting pretty much any view you can imagine. But not a significant number.

Do nation states today engage in social engineering? Yup. And so has every nation state in history. And, I submit, so will every one in the future. What differs is what kind of society they strive to create or maintain. All objecting to "social engineering" means is that you dislike the kind of society that the particular nation state favors. And would prefer that it engineer something more to your liking -- which, purely by coincidence no doubt, happens to be one that you personally think you would do well in.

Do nation states today engage in forced redistribution? Again, yes. If you are going to have a tax system (and you can't have a nation state without one) it will necessarily result in some kind of redistribution. All this complain reduces to is "they are taking too much from the worthy, i.e. me and people like me, and giving too much to the unworthy, i.e. everybody else."

You can argue that changes to the social system being promoted, or to the sort of (re)distribution being done, would make groups that you think deserve a better shake or even people generally better off. But claiming that it wouldn't be social engineering too, and redistributive too, is simply not true.

Unless you decide to totally eliminate government. (Viewed from the outside, perhaps inaccurately, as the ultimate libertarian ideal.) Even that is social engineering, of course. And history suggests that, in rather short order, groups will be getting together to establish some kind of government again -- probably by force in at least some areas. Because, whether in a modern technological world or at the hunter/gatherer level, things work better for most people that way.

And, just to be clear, running a society without some kind of mechanism to enforce contracts, etc., doesn't work beyond an economy involving a few dozen people. Which is something government does, and necessarily involves at least the threat of force if all other enforcement fails.

Corning, and so many like him, could learn a little humility from history.

Humility is not the word that comes to mind when I hear libertarians speak, and more so when I read the links. And learning from history as well.

As for responses, try these on for size
https://www.openstarts.units.it/bitstream/10077/5817/1/Grcic_E%26P_XIII_2011_2.pdf

http://crookedtimber.org/2012/07/01/let-it-bleed-libertarianism-and-the-workplace/

https://www.salon.com/2013/09/12/11_questions_to_see_if_libertarians_are_hypocrites/

Charles, Brexit is about closed borders, at least less open ones.

What is the libertarian answer to who goes first at a four way intersection?

Q: What is the libertarian answer to who goes first at a four way intersection?

A: The one with the biggest.

Libertarians prefer roundabouts...

The biggest vehicle with the gun turret and mud flaps will go first.

Or, each of the four drivers will submit bids electronically in a "Who goes first?" auction. The one who submits his or her bid in Bitcoin currency automatically wins. Or maybe the person who offers up a live chicken as a bid wins ..... but then they won't have the chicken to trade for the colonoscopy procedure they are late for with Dr. Paul in attendance.

Or, lady drivers will go first. By whom I mean teenage conservative male drivers wearing wigs and lipstick and possessing the heaviest foot.

Wait, there won't even BE intersections. Each citizen will have their own road, parallel to everyone else's roads, each maintained according to each's means.

My libertarian car is not required by government to have brakes, turn signals, or a horn, so I'm coming through no matter what.

There's a roundabout near me with a libertarian in a VW belching diesel smoke stuck on it going round and round continuously for the past year.

He claims he didn't approve of any of the exit choices made available from this particular roundabout by city planners, and besides there is no road that can take him where he wants to go, which is not so much a geographic destination, but rather a pie .. in the sky.

He'll have a flying car soon to get there.

Some Libertarians like going around in circles, some like charging ahead unhindered. I'd love to see traffic camera footage from a Libertarian roundabout.

We all have philosophies, and most of us believe other people, not just we, would be better off if they all adopted our particular philosophy. Convincing those other people can be hard, of course.

My own philosophy amounts to a societal version of the Least Action Principle from physics. It boils down to: minimize fuss and bother. Although I am a founding member of the International Lazy Men's Association (which you have never heard of because we were too lazy to proselytize), I do not hold that fuss and bother are best minimized by sheer laziness. A certain amount of effort is indeed warranted, today, to avoid foreseeable problems tomorrow. Life IS fuss and bother; we can only minimize it, not eliminate it.

Still, you have to admit that laziness has its virtues. Few wars get launched by lazy people, for instance. Or philosophical jihads, for that matter. So the fuss and bother of deprogramming Libertarians is not high on the priority list of the ILMA.

Do I believe that Libertarians would be happier by becoming lazier? Sure I do. But I'm too lazy to do anything about it right now.

--TP

I am a founding member of the International Lazy Men's Association

At long last, a club I would be pleased to join.

Charles, I have no doubt that you only intend the best of all possible worlds. I'm just not seeing how your concept works in real life.

Sloth: mankind's most underrated virtue. It is, in fact, responsible for all human progress. (Especially technological progress.)

Who invented the wheel? Some guy who was too lazy to carry stuff on his back. Who invented agriculture? Some guy (actually, gal more likely) who got tired of traipsing around the countryside looking for vegetables. The list goes on.

There's speculation that agriculture developed due to the need for a consistent supply of grain to make beer.

What makes the Hottentot so hot?

"sloth" and "beer" ARE two great tastes, that go great together.

Sounds like some of you might be interested in The Idler, I'm on the phone but I think it's idler.co.uk

International Lazy Men's Association

And now we see the evil hand of the Patriarchy!!!

And now we see the evil hand of the Patriarchy!!!

Absolutely! If women were allowed to be lazy, who would take care of the lazy men????

An interesting possible solution to the Democrats’ red state problem, which makes sense on its own merits as policy:
https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/01/14/how-democrats-solve-their-geography-problem/

The Right to Be Lazy

I'm trying to figure out what measure generated the red/blue map at the top of Nigel's article. None that I can think of generate a map quite that lopsided.

Michael: state legislatures?

It's misleading even so, because the link says there's one divided legislature (info as of 12/10/18). But the chart at the link says 18 legislatures are controlled by Democrats, and there are 18 blue states on that map.

But it can't be right, because it's the wrong states.

Still, such a map would be about that lopsided. Maybe it's from a few years ago.

Anyhow, fudging shit is perfectly acceptable when your punch line is going to be to sneer at people to check their privilege.

That map is similar to the fivethirtyeight.com map of what the election would have looked like if just men had voted

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/election-update-women-are-defeating-donald-trump/

The only differences are that Michigan and Colorado are blue in the WashMonthly map, but red in the 538, New hampshire is switched and Maine is double colored because of their system of assigning electoral vote, and Alaska and Hawaii are left off.

And what JanieM said.

maybe rural red-state folks should examine the privilege their over-representation gets them, and see if they can find a way to make life better for people other than themselves.

I'm trying to figure out what measure generated the red/blue map at the top of Nigel's article.

Perhaps it's just someone trying to apply the new political paradigm to the Democrats: ignore reality and post whatever will support the point you are trying to make.

Red/blue maps aside, I would welcome any effort to constrain modern de facto monopolies.

And, I think it would help with the issues Glastris calls out.

map at the top of Nigel's article...

Well, it's not exactly my article - and I have to confess I barely glanced at the map itself.
I thought the proposal an interesting idea which could conceivably result in a sellable policy.

For Caro fans:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/01/28/the-secrets-of-lyndon-johnsons-archives

Just a note:
"25 Days and Counting" has now become 30.

With no evidence of an end. Frankly, I don't think we'll see an end until the airports start seeing lots fewer flights due to unpaid Federal workers not showing up. Big donors unable to travel? That will get politicians' attention!

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