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October 05, 2019

Comments

It's nice to know that the decline and fall of Western Civilization can now confidently be attributed to some hippie selling candles (and a bit of meth on the side) in 1968 when he uttered the infamous words, "Do your thang." Naturally "liberals" are brought into this, because as we all know, "liberals" do not believe in the TRUTH of ANYTHING, unlike conservatives who trot out Authority (capital A!!!!!), and thus have the epistemological upper hand.

Yeah, I've been on a college campus for enough years to know that the version of mass culture that rules on a campus is a particularly weird and polarized subset of the larger mass culture. I mean the right was positively frothing over what a handful of college students at Evergreen College were doing as if that were representative of All Libruls Everywhere!!!

Janie, the grammar is too good (and the vocabulary too large). I bet it's one the staff created -- albeit at his (vague) direction.

I'd buy that he's got a stenographer typing for him instead of his own fat fingers, but come on, a staffer wrote "my great and unmatched wisdom"? What are they doing, a Wizard of Oz remake?

Give it up, wj. The standard-bearer of your party is a sadistic lunatic who is making this country the laughingstock of the world, and the people who run your party don't give a sh!t as long as they get their policies enacted.

Janie, I see that tweet is in the context of Trump talking to Erdogan and then announcing that US troops are being pulled out of northern Syria ahead of an invasion Turkey is preparing.

And so the Kurds learn the same lesson as everyone else who has dealt with Trump. His word, and the promise of any organization (or nation) he heads, is worthless. Our other allies will doubtless note: Suspicions confirmed.

Supreme Court: Both parties each maintain an ongoing mutually accepted list of 10 (just to pick a number) candidates. When a vacancy comes up, throw all 20 names into a bag and pick one.

On the other hand, there is no taking the politics out of politics. So win a lot of elections, and crush the other side.

I have it on good AUTHORITY that it's always been done that way, and most likely will continue to be the case.

Who am I to argue with tradition?

How do we fix that?

Burn incense. I have some leftover holders from the 60's that I'll let go cheap.

If that doesn't inspire someone to try the 25th, nothing ever will

Which incredible tweet was of course exactly what Nigel was referring to, way upthread. By the way, my plea to the classically educated Hartmut should not deter any other classicists, lurking or otherwise, from giving any answers of which they might be aware!

Which incredible tweet was of course exactly what Nigel was referring to, way upthread.

True enough, credit where it is due. But I don't see the 25th as a remotely possible remedy. I would sooner think the senate would actually vote to convict than I would think anything could come of the 25th. It just wasn't made for this situation. Not that anything was, for who could have foreseen it?

Gandalf:

Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.

(Although unfortunately, we are now at the point where what weather they have may be ours to ruin.)

Although unfortunately, we are now at the point where what weather they have may be ours to ruin.

Very true, as is your comment immediately above it!

Who are those people...?

In the western states, in addition to the college towns russell mentioned, there are Indian reservations and mountain resort communities. The resort communities are full of young highly-educated people. An old joke here in Colorado is that at most restaurants in Vail or Aspen, chances are good your waiter or waitress has a better degree than you do.

West of the 100th meridian, those flat counties are really empty. A single resort town can make the whole county blue. Here's a blow-up of an area farther east. If you look at all the "empty" rural counties, there are actually significant populations there, so the counties look more like cobblestones of various heights, not flat like linoleum.

http://mcain6925.com/obsidian/counties_2016.03.png

The standard-bearer of your party is a sadistic lunatic who is making this country the laughingstock of the world, and the people who run your party don't give a sh!t as long as they get their policies enacted.

Of course he is. And has been since before he was even nominated. (*I* certainly didn't vote for him!)

But that doesn't change the fact that this was better than he is capable of producing. Some of the phrases sound like him, but then devout syncophants learn to do that.

Some of the phrases sound like him, but then devout syncophants learn to do that.

Ever watch and listen to Stephen Miller on the TV?
Frightening stuff.

this was better than he is capable of producing

So what?!?!?!?!?!?!?

What point are you trying to make? You think that makes it better, that he didn't write that garbage all by himself?

"I'm beginning to think you lived through the 60s but didn't understand them, wj."

I thought the rule was that if you could remember the 1960s, that was proof you DIDN'T live through them.

Let's remember this: It's not the longhairs, dharma bums, flower children, airheads who forgot their mantras, and antiwar folks who inherited the Earth and are now fucking everything they touch in this country.

It was the dumb shit conservative draft dodgers who saw the main chance in what was going on around them to fake bone spurs, anal cysts, and dodgy deferments to avoid getting their ample, asses shot off in Vietnam.

It was all a dry run for avoiding their personal responsibility to pay their fucking taxes in subsequent decades.

Hell, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren were conservative Goldwater Republicans until pretty late in the going.

Jerry Rubin, who in the Sixties campaigned to elect a pig as President, was working on Wall Street by the time the 1970s were halfway over.

He was right on the pig as President, but Rubin didn't live to witness the whole-hog bringing home of the bacon by the conservative movement.

Christ, by the end of the Nixon administration, truck drivers and fuckwad Archie Bunker union members were bashing liberals and towelheads over the their heads in the streets, while of course themselves sporting long hair and mustaches as they committed violence.

But, they inherited a pig in the poke, the shits, by embracing the conservative economic "program".

Who inherited the world? Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, or the murderous, criminal enterprise Hell's Angels the Pranksters mistakenly permitted into their midst for a short while and who now ride, threateningly on every fucking conservative parade for p there is.

Who levitated the Pentagon to its current untouchable position hovering over everything, every spending priority?

Abbie Hoffman? Gong show hook for you!

No, it was the conservative movement who levitated the Pentagon's budget above all other spending priorities.

There's a punk Catholic theocrat, among others, over at the American Conservative who wrote some months ago that the Sixties was a Godless debauch all the way down, which first shows that he actually wasn't there AND can't remember it, and second, shows that I will kick his punk, know-nothing, nationalist, Christianist ass when we meet.

God was everywhere, for the faithful, and was in the Birmingham Jail alongside Martin Luther King, conservative asshole!

Where God wasn't, was alongside Southern Confederate Sheriffs, Mayors and the racist oafs who now populate the p republican party.

But HE is NOW, from all reports.

Let's remember, Ted Bundy day job was as a canvasser/cadre for the Republican Party.

Charles Manson's "Helter Skelter" crackpot theory of the Negros coming out of the urban centers and wreaking mayhem on the white race was the precursor of Jesse Helm's racist bullshit, and every conservative AM right-wing radio and TV talk show host since in this benighted land.

Manson murdered liberal Hollywood types, precisely one of the many groups the Christian, conservative identity-mongers fucking hate to this day.

Stephen Miller, and Bannon, wrote the first draft of p's Inaugural speech, until the p daughter, her corrupt commercial interests in mind, softened the edges of what sources say was a fuck-you litany of threats of what the p subhuman vermin were going to do to their enemies when they entered the White House.

Yes, yes, the grammar and punctuation were adequate amid the pedestrian, spittle-flecked prose, much as you would expect from Mein Kampf, the sequel.

Here's how Miller will be executed.

He will be trussed up, alive, and hung by his ankle shanks among the sparkling concertina wire festooning the Mexico side of the Wall dividing the border town of Nogales in the sonoran Desert, until he is baked as black as a walnut in the sun (Nogales means: black walnut) and pecked and defiled by the crows and our good neighbors, allies and trade partners to the South.

ICE officers will join him.

I haven't concocted the death throes of Bannon yet.

My imagination has thus far fallen short.

Don't worry, my last post will be along shortly.

Great news for Trump: he's now got McConnell speaking out against him.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mcconnell-joins-other-republicans-in-rebuking-trumps-syria-withdrawal/2019/10/07/aef0d11e-e914-11e9-9306-47cb0324fd44_story.html

The US may be in the Kurd's debt yet again.

GftNC, at the moment I cannot come up with a source for that anecdote either. Ask me again next week, when I will be back at the university, so I can ask some professional latinist about that.

If I had to make a wild guess, the person is likely Persian. I vaguely remember that one Persian king ordered to remind him on a regular base of a defeat against the Greek, so he would not forget the need for revenge.
I know of no Roman (including Cato the Elder) who was that type of gaecophobe. Trying different Latin versions of the phrase did not yield anything. My classical Greek is too rusty to try (and finding original Greek phrases via Google is a nightmare anyway).

Edit: There is an anecdote that Dareios ordered a slave to daily call ou to him thrice at the eating table: 'My lord, remember the Athenians' Ὦ δέσποτα, μέμνησο Ἀθηναίων.
The source seems to be Herodotus 5,105

Many, many thanks, Hartmut. A Persian makes lots of sense. I'll keep searching, especially on Dareios, but since my Ancient Greek now may as well be non-existent (and was never very good) I probably won't get very far.

If you ever think of it again and get any more info, I'll be grateful, but I don't want to bother you when you are back at work.

Here is the chapter in question in English translation:

105. Onesilos then was besieging Amathus; and meanwhile, when it was reported to king Dareios that Sardis had been captured and burnt by the Athenians and the Ionians together, and that the leader of the league for being about these things was the Milesian Aristagoras, it is said that at first being informed of this he made no account of the Ionians, because he knew that they at all events would not escape unpunished for their revolt, but he inquired into who the Athenians were; and when he had been informed, he asked for his bow, and having received it and placed an arrow upon the string, he discharged it upwards towards heaven, and as he shot into the air he said: "Zeus, that it may be granted me to take vengeance upon the Athenians!" Having so said he charged one of his attendants, that when dinner was set before the king he should say always three times: "Master, remember the Athenians."

Again, Hartmut, thanks. I particularly love that he had first to be informed who the Athenians were!

Cyrus the Great also had to ask who the Spartans were when their emissaries (in his view) misbehaved in his presence.

Herodotus 1,152-3

152. Now when the messengers from the Ionians and Aiolians came to Sparta (for this business was carried out with speed), they chose before all others to speak for them the Phocaian, whose name was Pythermos. He then put upon him a purple cloak, in order that as many as possible of the Spartans might hear of it and come together, and having been introduced before the assembly he spoke at length, asking the Spartans to help them. The Lacedemonians however would not listen to him, but resolved on the contrary not to help the Ionians. So they departed, and the Lacedemonians, having dismissed the messengers of the Ionians, sent men notwithstanding in a ship of fifty oars, to find out, as I imagine, about the affairs of Cyrus and about Ionia. These when they came to Phocaia sent to Sardis the man of most repute among them, whose name was Lacrines, to report to Cyrus the saying of the Lacedemonians, bidding him do hurt to no city of the Hellas, since they would not permit it.

153. When the herald had spoken thus, Cyrus is said to have asked those of the Hellenes whom he had with him, what men the Lacedemonians were and how many in number, that they made this proclamation to him; and hearing their answer he said to the Spartan herald: "Never yet did I fear men such as these, who have a place appointed in the midst of their city where they gather together and deceive one another by false oaths: and if I continue in good health, not the misfortunes of the Ionians will be for them a subject of talk, but rather their own." These words Cyrus threw out scornfully with reference to the Hellenes in general, because they have got for themselves markets and practise buying and selling there; for the Persians themselves are not wont to use markets nor have they any market-place at all. After this he entrusted Sardis to Tabalos a Persian, and the gold both of Crœsus and of the other Lydians he gave to Pactyas a Lydian to take charge of, and himself marched away to Agbatana, taking with him Crœsus and making for the present no account of the Ionians. For Babylon stood in his way still, as also the Bactrian nation and the Sacans and the Egyptians; and against these he meant to make expeditions himself, while sending some other commander about the Ionians.

Michael Cain: An old joke here in Colorado is that at most restaurants in Vail or Aspen, chances are good your waiter or waitress has a better degree than you do.

That joke applies in Boston/Cambridge, as well. It makes for some interesting interactions.

I love these maps. If I were 10 or 15 years younger, I could see myself plunging into them in a big way, with what you've made available at your website. But at nearly 70, and recently retired from my techie job, I find myself reluctant to immerse myself even in the various coding-type projects I've had on my to-do list for a long time already. There's just too much else that's been waiting for a turn: writing, taking pics, sometimes just driving around the countryside exploring back roads.

So it's nice that I can at least enjoy the maps you make. Thanks again!

There's just too much else that's been waiting for a turn

I'm currently about 3 1/2 years away from retirement. What I am looking forward to, more than anything else, is spending most if not all of the hours of every day in the company of things that are actually alive.

Can't wait.

also: enough of this shit.

If Sondland doesn't show up to testify, have him arrested and placed in jail for contempt of Congress.

Or fine him a million bucks a day. Or an hour.

He's a hotel guy who got to be ambassador to the EU because he gave a million bucks to Trump's inaugural. Surreptitiously, of course.

You're the House of Representatives of the United States of America.

Kick his ass.

There's a time and place to be civil and decorous, and a time and place kick ass, take names, and knock heads until people wise up. We have achieved the latter.

the GOP Senate bears a huge amount of responsibility for this. they could have, and should have, told Trump to knock this shit off months ago. but instead, they've told him that there will be no real consequences for his actions (besides a possible asterisk next to his name in the history books), and now he's decided that he's going to flaunt his misbehavior and bet his supporters will love it enough to reelect him and the GOP.

(but, yes, liberals exist)

he's going to flaunt his misbehavior and bet his supporters will love it

In this, he is correct.

Fncking irresponsible children.

Interesting.

Sudafed just makes me sleepy.

I'm thinking about what term should be used for someone who abuses Sudafed. The "aholic" convention doesn't seem to work. Then I thought of all the "head" terms, like crackhead and meth-head. I'm going with "Sudaf-head."

There's a time and place to be civil and decorous, and a time and place kick ass, take names, and knock heads until people wise up. We have achieved the latter.

Indeed.

OT, but today is the release day for my wife's latest, completely awesome, space opera/fractured fairytale/feminist manifesto.

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/k-eason/how-rory-thorne-destroyed-the-multiverse/

If nothing else, it's balm for our current political frustration and nihilism.

Nous, have just read the description of your wife's book. It sounds absolutely great, I may make an exception to my current policy of only buying secondhand books (because of the number I have been getting through). Thanks for the info!

Congratulations to your wife, Nous.

Campos over at LGM today:

Liberal democracy and the current incarnation of the Republican party cannot co-exist for much longer. One of them must be destroyed; and the Democratic party’s standard bearer needs to understand this above all.

Indeed.

Hoocoodanode?

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/08/768319934/senate-report-russians-used-used-social-media-mostly-to-target-race-in-2016

"The Committee found that IRA social media activity was overtly and almost invariably supportive of then-candidate Trump," the report reads. "The Committee found that the Russian government tasked and supported the IRA' s interference in the 2016 U.S. election."

The Senate committee found that the Internet Research Agency sought to harm Clinton and support Trump "at the direction of the Kremlin."

And the study also concluded that the IRA sought to focus on socially divisive issues like race to pit Americans against each other.

From "The report, written by the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee."

Richard Burr is making me think there's something of an ember of integrity left in the GOP.

shame i'm going to have to vote against him next chance i get. i need more than a spark.

Now you have a full blown constitutional crisis:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-100819/

Nixon got a bum deal.

That's (part of) the legal argument for why the Mueller grand jury materials should not be given to the House Judiciary Committee.

To which the judge responded, "Wow, O.K.". Because what the hell do you say to something like that?

This is basically the Roy Cohn playbook. Be the biggest prick on the block until your opponents just get sick of dealing with you.

Time to start throwing the book at some of these assholes.

Now you have a full blown constitutional crisis:

the sheer disingeniousness of the whole "he should be allowed to confront his accuser!" thing is really amazing. the idiot base is buying it, of course, but even the dumbest WH cabinet member must know that what the House is doing is not actually a trial. at this point, it's an investigation, and nobody in the history of the US has ever "confronted their accuser" and "called witnesses" during an investigation.

but, liars gonna lie, i guess. and idiots gonna idiot.

i mean... the disrespect Trump and his people show towards the American public is truly, utterly, astounding. they lie to us - supporter and detractor alike - every day, all day, about literally everything. they don't even bother with the truth. they don't care if we believe them or not. they have the veracity of a high school cheerleading squad. say anything, as long as it keeps the fans cheering.

if the Trump administration was a person, he'd be in a psychiatric hospital.

As russell points out, the Justice Department is arguing Trump’s bullshit in court on his behalf.
This is basically an attempt to say that while in office, the president is beyond the law. And I am not entirely confident that the current Supreme Court will disagree with that.

I posted about Carl Schmitt earlier on here. He was the jurist who argued to allow the Reich to install a commissar to oversee the (leftist) Prussian government.

John Roberts may be called on to decide if our nation is also to move down that Schmittian path towards authoritarianism. I am not at all convinced that he will choose to intervene and make the executive comply with the demands of congress.

There is nothing new under the sun. From the recent volume of the senate report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election:

(U) In a 1998 CNN interview, retired KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin described active measures as "the heart and soul of Soviet intelligence":

Not intelligence collection, but subversion; active measures to weaken the West, to drive wedges in the Western community alliances of all sorts, particularly NATO; to sow discord among allies, to weaken the United States in the eyes of the people of Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and thus to prepare ground in case the war really occurs.

silly OBL, he thought he could wreck the US by getting it to over-commit militarily. Putin showed that all you need to do is show enough Facebook ads to simpletons that they'll vote in someone so aggressively incompetent that he can wreck it from the top down.

Silly cleek. Don't you know Antifa and black people are the real problems?

Silly hsh. Don't you know that they are all one and the same (together with the gays and the feminazis)?

...it [the WH letter] appears under the signature of the chief lawyer of the White House, the letter reads like some combination of a deeply misinformed seventh-grader’s social studies paper and a rant from Sean Hannity, randomly tossing around terms like “civil liberties” and “separation of powers” without any apparent understanding of what they mean.

-Paul Waldman

All 7th graders should feel insulted.

Seriously, the letter reads like something that Trump dictated (being incapable of writing anything that long), someone edited for spelling and grammar, and then they found a lawyer who was willing to jeopardize his law license by signing it.

"Seriously, the letter reads like something that Trump dictated (being incapable of writing anything that long), someone edited for spelling and grammar, and then they found a lawyer who was willing to jeopardize license by signing it."

Speech-to-text into Word, autocorrect turned on, then "attach signature file".

Sure hope they're not using the same interface for communications with NORAD.

and then they found a lawyer who was willing to jeopardize his law license by signing it

i really expected more from a guy who represented both Laura Ingraham and Donald Trump before becoming Trump's other personal tax-payer-funded lawyer.

Well, some people get their kicks running around the streets at night pretending to be zombies. Maybe he's got all the money he'll ever need, and is merely indulging himself in playing a role. No accounting for taste.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the President of The United States of America:

But it was a very fine and very perfect letter.Absolutely.Absolutely perfect in every way.The Democrat kangaroos and pencil neck Schiff can only fail.We are not allowed to cross examine these liars and traitors, so we will not testify or respond to supreaneas.And i'll tell you this,Turkey better behave if they haven't already, because Erdrogan is a terrific guy...terrific.Did I tell you about Trump Towers in Instanbool?Yes, two of them.The best.The very best.Two of them...not one.And that Ivanka!I bet she's a nice piece of [email protected]@The very best.None better.But I am not a betting man.I am perfect and very up to speed.Always...and as I always say, we'll get around to it sooner or later...count on it.

From the steaming pile of manure in the White House:

Asked about the Kurds, President Trump said that the Kurds did not help the US during WWII or in the Normandy invasion/ D-Day....

It doesn't really matter whether they did or not. Either way, Trump is pretty much certain to be ignorant of the real facts of the situation.

Are we still a hegemon? Hope we're all good!

Are we still a hegemon?

Clearly not. We're a monarchy. (How else could you have a regicide?)

Of course there are genuine reasons behind Trump's Syria policy:
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/donald-trump-s-longtime-business-connections-turkey-back-spotlight-n1064011

my hunch on the future of the ISIS prisoners: Trump told E that he could just bomb the prisons.

Tee hee.

Two business associates of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani have been arrested and are in custody The two men, who helped Giuliani investigate former vice president Joe Biden, were charged with campaign finance violations, according to a person familiar with the charges. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman have been under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.

Telling list.

The. Best. People.

everything anyone needs to know about Trump, his family, his associates, and anybody within 5 miles of the guy, is this:

Trump is a crook.

The rest is commentary.

Giuliani...and his two paisans, Pasquale and Luigi, right?

Nah, it's Lev and Igor now....

Two Soviet-born businessmen...

Soon it will be Rudy's time in the barrel...

Soon it will be Rudy's time in the barrel...

Not until Mobster Barr is gone.

And here I was, just joking around. I didn't know Rudy's actual background (from Wikipedia):

Harold Giuliani [his father - jm], a plumber and a bartender,[22] had trouble holding a job, and was convicted of felony assault and robbery, serving time in Sing Sing.[23] After his release he worked as an enforcer for his brother-in-law Leo D'Avanzo, who ran an organized crime operation involved in loan sharking and gambling at a restaurant in Brooklyn.

D'Avanzo was Rudy's mother's maiden name.

Role modeling is so important...

this is Senator Burr's FB statement on the Syria horrorshow:

The Kurdish members of the Syrian Democratic Forces have been brave and stalwart partners in the fight against ISIS, and we should never abandon those who have fought beside us. ISIS may be debilitated and its territory dismantled, but the threat is not yet destroyed. Turkey’s actions will only empower our common enemy, further destabilizing the region and undermining hard-won gains. President Erdogan should cease his assault and withdraw Turkish troops from northern Syria immediately.

i feel like he's skipped over an important player in all of this. hmm.

Role modeling is so important...

Does make it clear how he can be so comfortable working for a crime boss.

Is Barr jealous that Meese got the medal not he? Or will it just spur him on, so he might be next?

are Oxbridge admissions more merit based than Ivy League "legacy" admissions? (Note that something like 40% of those Ivy Leaguers wouldn't get in on merit.)

Yes, and increasingly so. Princes and suchlike used to study at Oxbridge (or their bodyguards did): nowadays the less dim go to St Andrews. There is a thing where Admissions Tudors look favourably on the sort of polished ease evinced at interview by pupils from expensive schools, but much less so than previously.

But what about the question in the OP? How are we to change things so that the children of otherwise reputable politicians don't get rich out of the relationship?

How are we to change things so that the children of otherwise reputable politicians don't get rich out of the relationship?

Reputable politicians is almost an oxymoron.

And, as long as politicians have power and influence, people associated with them will attempt to ride their coattails. Any laws and regulations to prevent it will be circumvented.

How are we to change things so that the children of otherwise reputable politicians don't get rich out of the relationship?

What that basically requires is evidence that will persuade businesses that (indirect) bribery won't be rewarded. If there's no illicit return, executives will find better things to do with their company's money -- put it in their own pockets, if nothing else. But as long as they have a reason to think giving money to politicians' children will pay off, they'll keep doing it.

Any laws and regulations to prevent it will be circumvented.

Meet Finland: https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2019/05/europe/finland-fake-news-intl/

Somewhat OT

I confess to being somewhat baffled by the regularity with which these people deny saying/doing things when they have to know that they've left a paper trail doing exactly that:

Michael Pillsbury, one of Trump’s China advisers, publicly contradicted himself on whether he received information on Hunter Biden during a visit to Beijing shortly after Trump called on China to investigate the son of the former vice president. “I got a quite a bit of background on Hunter Biden from the Chinese,” Pillsbury was quoted as telling the Financial Times. Hours later, appearing on C-SPAN, Pillsbury denied making the comment. “I haven’t spoken to the Financial Times for a month,” he said. Then the FT made public a Wednesday email from Pillsbury, which included that quote.
Bad enough when you have documents (which could be subpoenaed) demonstrating that you're lying. But when you know that the people whose statements you're disputing have them? "Dumb" doesn't begin to describe it.

they're all frauds.

Any laws and regulations to prevent it will be circumvented.

The requirement is to make it more work and/or greater risk to be corrupt than it is to be honest. Perfection is not required.

I'd be happy with really freaking easy stuff.

If you are responsible for oversight of something - some industry, some activity - you can't go work in that field for at least five years after leaving your job. Immediate family members can't work in that field while you hold the position of oversight.

People in positions of public responsibility, elected or not, cannot receive anything of value greater than, let's say, $100, from anyone other than maybe immediate family. Full stop.

Full disclosure - name and amount of donation - of all donors to organizations the participate in direct political action. If you want to go really nuts, require all donors to such organizations to be natural (not corporate) US persons.

We don't need, and aren't going to achieve, perfection. What would be helpful would be something short of pigs at the trough.

If you want to go really nuts, require all donors to such organizations to be natural (not corporate) US persons.

Allow me to suggest that this is NOT going "really nuts". It should be one of the minimum requirements. Even before limiting gifts, etc.

There is a thing where Admissions Tudors look favourably on the sort of polished ease evinced at interview by pupils from expensive schools, but much less so than previously.

I'm very keen on the Admissions Tudors! Could they be some of the more dim princes?

It's the follow-up to Monty Python's "Tudor Porn Shop" sketch.

Tudor?

OK, so if it's a two-door, that makes it a coupe. And a coup is what it's claimed we are seeing now.

See! It all ties together....

https://twitter.com/nick_anderson_?lang=en

Is that the Tudor that tooted a flute, who tried to tutor two Tudor's to toot?

All those suggestions seem kind of pointless when you have unlimited campaign finance protected by the Supreme Court.

And how do you prevent someone being paid half a million dollars for a half hour speech ?

Genuine limitations on corruption depend as much on culture as they do on law.

Baby steps.

You can have unlimited campaign finance contributions, as long as the "public disclosure" is up to the task.

My proposal, which is mine (ahem) is to require candidates to be tattooed with the name/logo of their contributor, in a size proportional to the contribution.

GOP candidates would have to go around looking like Darth Vader, because of the mass of painful, all-encompassing tattoos.

Truth in advertising, one might call it.

On the ‘actually there is a problem’ front, Giuliani’s own attempts at self-enrichment are far more consequential:

https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/13/joe-biden-rudy-giuliani-2020-045163

The whole article is well worth reading, particularly for the way in which Giuliani is condemned by his own former advisor, but this is particularly salient:
In TV appearances, Giuliani has waved around an affidavit signed by the disgraced former prosecutor who swears he was dismissed because of the Burisma investigation. Unmentioned by Giuliani: the affidavit is filed on behalf of a Ukrainian gas magnate, Dmitry Firtash, who is employing two Trump loyalist attorneys to fight extradition to the U.S. in another corruption scheme.

An ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Firtash lives in Vienna, where Giuliani’s now-indicted associates, Parnas and Fruman, were headed on one-way tickets...
... and where Giuliani headed immediately after their arrest.


Messed the italics again.
Sorry.

Fixed -- wj

It's kind of relevant to the thread, I think, but in any case: I really like Elizabeth Warren's current strategy to try to hold Facebook and Zuckerberg to account before the 2020 election. Obviously, I would support any Dem I thought could beat Trump, and whichever Dem wins the primary, but this woman seems to me to be a really good candidate for POTUS. She's clever, has good values and plans to put them into action, has shown in the past she can get things done, and generally seems like a really viable candidate who lacks Biden's disadvantages (age, gaffe-proneness, disadvantage among African American women etc). I know she has some disadvantages herself, not to mention the misogyny thing, but if I were American I'd be a whole lot happier with her in the White House than Biden or Sanders. But, in russell's immortal formulation, a ham sandwich would do.

if I were American I'd be a whole lot happier with her in the White House than Biden or Sanders. But, in russell's immortal formulation, a ham sandwich would do.

As a (moderately) conservative American, if I were a Democrat I'd prefer Buttigieg or Bullock. That said, I'd definitely prefer Warren over Sanders -- we've had enough of cranky old white guys for the moment (says the cranky old white guy).

But yes, definitely a ham sandwich, if that's what's on offer next November.

i'm torn on Warren.

on one hand, she's very liberal. and while that doesn't bother me, it does bother a lot of people - at least in the abstract. so i wonder if that hurts her too much to beat Trump.

on the other hand, she is charismatic, and very smart, and relatable, and she's an excellent communicator. and that could potentially offset a lot of the liberal panic the GOP would try to inspire.

Biden, Sanders - thanks for your service. we got it from here.

For me, at the moment, the least unfavorable candidate is Tulsi Gabbard.

And, yes, enough of the old white people from the last century.

Warren is 70, so she's not actually young. But she has the energy and wit of a younger person.

She is an Okie, from a modest background, who made her way up in the world through grit and hard work. She's extremely intelligent and is well informed about pretty much any topic she has a position on. She was a conservative free-market (R) until her research into personal bankruptcy in the US drove her to the conclusion that the financial sector was actually kind of predatory, and our famous "free markets" were not quite that in practice.

She's a professor at Harvard, so strike one. She's made it clear that reining in Wall St is pretty much at the top of her agenda, which people who are profoundly unclear on the concept will read as "socialist", so strike two. Her tone in public speaking can be kind of tutorial, for lack of a better word - prior to her life in public service, she was a teacher - and some folks find that off-putting, so strike three.

Plus, Massachusetts, because everybody who doesn't live in MA just hates the hell out of MA. Hell, half the people who live in MA just hate the hell out of MA.

So, an uphill climb.

My initial thought about Warren running was no, please don't. My sense was that she would be much more effective as a Senator.

But I've been pleased to see how well she's done on the campaign trail. So, maybe I'm wrong.

I will not only vote for a ham sandwich in 2020, I'll vote for a past-its-sell-by-date ham sandwich from a vending machine in a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike if that is what the (D)'s cough up.

Ham sandwich, pet rock, Beanie Baby, trained seal, retired circus clown, used car salesman, dog trainer, cigar store Indian. All good.

I'll vote for whoever or whatever is in the POTUS column with a (D) next to its name. Just get that MF'er out of there before he breaks everything he hasn't already broken.

Warren would be more than fine with me. It's dead easy to paint her as Yet Another East Coast Pointy-Headed LIberal Do-Gooder, but somehow or other she actually appears to be connecting with some folks I wouldn't have expected her to connect with.

Maybe because, after all, she's an Okie from a modest background who earned her way in the world, and a former conservative (R) free-market cheerleader who saw the light. And, she does her damned homework.

We could do worse.

You are wrong about Strike One. It's this:
She is an Okie, from a modest background, who made her way up in the world through grit and hard work.

Consider all those folks who are heavily invested in blaming "Them" (variously defined) for their lack of success in life. She's a living, breathing rebuke to them. Because she started with as few advantages as they had, but succeeded anyway. The only ones more insulted are those who were born with the proverbial silver spoon, and still have barely avoided bankrupting themselves thru sheer incompetence.

You might also mention the grave insult taken by those who want to maintain their beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence. That she was willing to rethink her views is an insult to them as well.

Fortunately, even the combination may not be enough to get Trump past the post.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr2X4ty1ZVU

Some female FOX big-haired, leggy, cuck Ailes twirler anchor was predicting a second Civil War the other day, straling from me, comparing now to the 1850s.

It's later than she thinks, and Sherman will terminate her.

No used car salesman!

My initial thought about Warren running was no, please don't. My sense was that she would be much more effective as a Senator.

But I've been pleased to see how well she's done on the campaign trail. So, maybe I'm wrong.

Those were very much my thoughts on Warren, too.

That she was able to overcome the very public humiliation of the 'Pocahontas' attacks from Trump demonstrates a political resilience which will serve her well, should she get the nomination.

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