« On the view from under the bus | Main | Starlight and Gravity »

October 22, 2019

Comments

Lock Him Up.

A top aide to Rep. Devin Nunes has been providing conservative politicians and journalists with information—and misinformation—about the anonymous whistleblower who triggered the biggest crisis of Donald Trump’s presidency, two knowledgeable sources tell The Daily Beast.

Derek Harvey, who works for Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee, has provided notes for House Republicans identifying the whistleblower’s name ahead of the high-profile depositions of Trump administration appointees and civil servants in the impeachment inquiry. The purpose of the notes, one source said, is to get the whistleblower’s name into the record of the proceedings, which committee chairman Adam Schiff has pledged to eventually release. In other words: it’s an attempt to out the anonymous official who helped trigger the impeachment inquiry.

There will be a government shutdown in late November.

Solely to halt funding for heat, security, and other amenities in the U.S. Capitol to thwart impeachment investigations.

The shutdown will last months and months.

People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.

Conservatives and Republicans aren't people.

We don't need them.

One of the mysteries of the whole Ukraine deal, at least for me, is why the White House would release something which so obviously demonstrated that Trump was pressuring a foreign government to invent dirt on a political rival. But from the testimony** of Col Vindman and others, it's now becoming clearer. It appears that the entirety of what was said on that phone call, never mind in other communications, was so much worse that they just lost track of how bad what they put out actually was.

Definitely looking forward to the transcripts of that testimony.

** Actually just the opening statements. God knows what's in the testimony. Beyond the remarkable fact that the Republicans in the room haven't managed to find anything in Trump's favor to leak.

There will be a government shutdown in late November.

Solely to halt funding for heat, security, and other amenities in the U.S. Capitol to thwart impeachment investigations.

Won't work. There's nothing that requires the hearings to be held there. And several of the members are wealthy enough that they can afford to rent a room in a conference center.

There's also the detail that Congress' budget is seperate from the other bits. And there's no way even Republican members will inconvenience themselves and their staffs this way. Even for them, willing as they may be to hang other Federal employees out to dry, personal inconvenience is beyond the pale. Trump be damned.

Governments are people, my friend.

And people don't become saints when they enter government. They tend to act in their own self-interest just like everyone else. Sometimes that self-interest alines with the interest of their constituents or the country as a whole.

One of the mysteries of the whole Ukraine deal, at least for me, is why the White House would release something which so obviously demonstrated that Trump was pressuring a foreign government to invent dirt on a political rival.

Because they really don't believe they (meaning the top people) will be punished for it. And because "outrage the libs" has been a winning electoral tactic. Because much of what the national Republican Party wants to accomplish can be accomplished by the President (using the fourth branch of government, the regulatory agencies) or the President and Senate. Because most pundits' take on flipping Senate seats goes Alabama, Colorado, Arizona, Maine, and then gets really thin. Because Senators from states that would give the Democrats a majority in the Senate won't vote to kill the legislative filibuster.

But Michael, if they care that little, why not release the real transcript? Or, alternatively, just refuse to release anything and ignore any complaints, subpoenas, etc.?

But Michael, if they care that little, why not release the real transcript?

Because they passed the actual initial work off to staff, who are more cautious than the bosses. Justifiably so, as throwing staff under the bus is a long-standing tradition. Why, just last week, when the SCIF was stormed, and it became clear that the FBI might care about violations of federal law, US Representatives promptly said, "Not me, someone on my staff carried my phone into the facility and used it."

But it remains that case that government interference is often damaging.

To whom?

Every action and decision has unforeseen consequences. Refraining from acting or deciding has unforeseen consequences.

Government "intervening" is government doing what government is supposed to do. Governments exist to establish the basis - the requirements, the constraints, the privileges and responsibilities - attaining to public life in human societies. That is what they do, what they have always done. Doing some involves intervening - involves being an actor, for good or ill or neither in partiular, in the overall flow of human events and actions - for about a million definitions of intervening.

Government is one among many actors, all of the other actors could equally be said to be "intervening" in whatever the hell it is that's going on. What gives them the privilege to make decisions and act upon them - to "intervene" in the flow of events - while government's doing so is illegitimate?

People talk about government as if it is some alien force imposed on humanity from outside. It is not. It is a fundamental human behavior. It's one of the things that people do. In that, it's no different than, and no more or less legitimate than, any other human activity, whether that's exchanging things of value in a free market or anything else you can think of.

Some are better, some are worse. Some are profoundly good, some are profoundly bad. Same for families, businesses, neighborhoods, bowling leagues, whatever you like.

The point is to work to make the one you participate in one of the better ones. Bitching doesn't help.

Enough of this already, please.

"pertaining to", not "attaining to".

the rest, I stand by.

Government is one among many actors, all of the other actors could equally be said to be "intervening" in whatever the hell it is that's going on.

Unlike other institutions, government is the one that can "legally" compel you to do what it wants by putting a gun to your head.

For now, wrs.

For now I will just quote FDR's famous foursome:

Freedom of speech
Freedom of worship
Freedom from want
Freedom from fear

I will try to expand on this observation when I get time, for the the moment, just note that half of them are framed as freedom "from" something. Not freedom "to do" something.

Unlike other institutions, government is the one that can "legally" compel you to do what it wants by putting a gun to your head.

Of course, without government intervening, there is no "legally." So anybody can put a literal gun to your head.

And now what wj said.

It's just too damned bad--right?--when the goverment (which if it's functioning reasonably well is us, having first voted and then delegated to a subgroup of ourselves the carrying out of our intentions) puts a figurative gun to someone's head and says "stop pouring poison into the air we breathe and the water we drink" and "stop flooding the market with addictive pills and lying about what they do" and "stop grabbing millions of times more than anyone could possibly need for their own welfare while other people are dying of hunger." Oh, and also, "let's build some good roads and a few libraries and schools too."

Horrible stuff, that, to have to put up with under threat of a gun to your head.

what Russell said.
what wj said (don't let it go to your head :)).

Pro Bono should come out of the political closet and announce his anarchism proudly.

CharlesWT should actually experience some life or death 'private' power (and the actual distribution thereof) before repeating glibertarian shibboliths about the legal use of force.

On another, unrelated, topic. I want to open a grift operation targeted to wingnuts as their commonly asserted claim to "know how the world really works" seems to make them incredibly easy marks for con artists. So I'm looking for a good idea.

Thanks for your assistance.

And now what Janie said, at 04.16.

....should actually experience some life or death 'private' power (and the actual distribution thereof) before repeating glibertarian shibboliths about the legal use of force.

I keep wondering (like unto a broken record, I know) why devout libertarians won't look at what happens in practice when government goes away. We have a real-life example readily to hand: Somalia. What happens is that someone (likely several someones) sets up as a warlord. And is several times less congenial to libertarian visions of life than the government he replaces -- however bad it was.

But somehow libertarians insist that "that's different" -- without presenting any evidence that people elsewhere would behave any differently. Sigh.

On another, unrelated, topic. I want to open a grift operation targeted to wingnuts as their commonly asserted claim to "know how the world really works" seems to make them incredibly easy marks for con artists. So I'm looking for a good idea.

Bad news. Trump beat you to it.

Although, as a con man of long experience, he probably did it better than you could have managed. A "core competency" as it were.

Every action and decision has unforeseen consequences. Refraining from acting or deciding has unforeseen consequences.

I like this part of wrs.

Government is best when it represents the collective will of the people. The majority delivers ideas and action, but the Constitution respects the right of minorities (for specific reasons) not to be oppressed by the majority's program.

It makes a lot of sense.

Whereas private (money) control of the world means that we're back to being subjects of Fortuna.

It's nice to imagine that government (all of us) cares for our (each other's) basic welfare - translated: a decent standard of living, and that private money (luck [most wealth is inherited wealth], and a certain amount of know-how) takes the lead when it comes to excess and luxury. I'm okay with that.

But so many of the rich can't seem to get enough. It's unfathomable to me. Just have a nice house and maybe a boat, retire, go on trips, and take some classes. What else are you doing with all that?

I keep wondering (like unto a broken record, I know) why devout libertarians won't look at what happens in practice when government goes away.

Very few libertarians want government to go away, if for no other reason than you can't get there from here. Many libertarians would like government to set and enforce the basic rules of the game. Otherwise, stand aside and let the players play.

But governments tend to grow as long there's something to feed. Like a fungus, they creep into every nook and cranny until there's nothing left to feed on.

Just when you thought things couldn't possibly get more ridiculous:

https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/economy/news/107620/50p-brexit-coins-be-shredded-and-melted-down-britains-eu-departure

PS: I have had quite enough of "the will of the people" over the last 3 years

But so many of the rich can't seem to get enough. It's unfathomable to me. Just have a nice house and maybe a boat, retire, go on trips, and take some classes. What else are you doing with all that?

If only the house had a... billiard room. And each bedroom had its own full bathroom. And a place for the cook to stay. If it snows I'll need a four-wheel drive SUV, but they're so inconvenient for day-to-day, so the BMW. Best have an extra bay in the garage, just in case. Some days I want to sail, and some days I want to take six friends fishing. First-class is okay, but a time-share private jet makes things so much easier. The slower people in the language class were holding me back so I needed a private tutor. There is no end.

Years ago, I got to travel on the corporate jet a few times*. I can see how it could be addictive.

* One of the C-level executives would be going somewhere for a tech demo and ask who she should take along to ask questions.
"What kind of tech?"
"Don't know, really."
"Best take Mike, then. He'll come up with at least one question where they say, 'We will have to get back to you on that.'"

PS: I have had quite enough of "the will of the people Putin" over the last 3 years

Fixed that for you.

Michael Cain: If only the house had a... There is no end.

Yeah, but: what are you gonna do with your second billion dollars?

--TP

Haha. Thanks, Michael. Now it all makes sense.

Breaking news:The National Security Council’s top Russia official will leave his post. He is set to testify in the impeachment inquiry tomorrow.

Yes, some conspiracy theories actually turn out to be conspiracies.

But so many of the rich can't seem to get enough. It's unfathomable to me. Just have a nice house and maybe a boat, retire, go on trips, and take some classes. What else are you doing with all that?

It's really quite simple. Not to put too fine a face on it, it's a dick measuring contest. Nothing else. Combined with a little sense of insecurity ("Maybe I'm not really the greatest. What if someone noticed?!?!?") to juice things and it's off to the races.

,i> it's off to the races. it's off to the races.

Hmmmm. I guess.

Have to guess, because I will never learn that. Maybe I shoulda. Maybe I could have been a contender!

sorry for the html fail. Fail it is.

G'night all!

Maybe I could have been a contender!

But is that agonizing sense of insecurity really worth it? :-)
I'm guessing (I missed out as well) it isn't.

with Firefox comes "Pocket", which is a "hey look at these cool articles you could read!" thing. it puts links to these articles on new, empty, tabs. and 1/3 of them are all about how to be a better businessman and how to win and to dominate interactions and the secrets of the rich, etc..

and i hate all of that.

but i can see that if i was into them, that a million $ wouldn't be enough. i would have to dominate and improve and win until i had all the monies.

so i just read the stuff about science.

wj encapsulates Locke's 2nd Treatise on Government in two sentences at 3:55. And I never tire of FDR's famous four.

This isn't Stalinist Russia. We don't live under tyranny. Incompetence, cupidity, annoying bureaucratic bullshit, yes. It's a big country and not everyone wants the same thing, so inefficiency, at a minimum, is a given. Pretty much everything government does is benefiting somebody, somewhere, and by far not always in a corrupt sense. Your pointless annoying regulation is somebody else's lifesaver.

If the overall balance of cui bono seems out of wack, exert yourself to change it. You are not without resources.

When I ask libertarians what it is that they want to be doing that government is preventing them from doing, I'm always amazed at what small beer it is. E.g. good old Brett's incandescent chicken coop warmer. Or whatever the hell that dude's name was that mustered up the free-lance patriotic militia because the feds wanted him to pay for grazing his damned cows.

Imagine being some Bureau of the Interior agent's husband or wife and getting a call that your spouse wasn't coming home that night, because some asshole didn't want to pay for grazing his cows.

Maybe the stuff that bugs you is much more consequential, but mostly the stuff that people complain about with government is stuff that is actually useful to somebody, just not them.

Absent government - not the mythical 'night watchman' government of the libertarian dream, but the government we actually have right now - no small number of other actors would crush you like a damned bug and not think twice about it. And they wouldn't need a damned gun to do it, there are a hundred and one other ways for one bad actor or another to fnck you the hell up.

Government annoys the hell out of me every single day, and I'm glad it's there every single day. Funny, that.

YMMV

In other news, it would appear that, politically speaking, Trump is a dead man walking. Maybe not, he's had a pretty good track record of pressing his luck miles and miles beyond what he ought to have gotten away with. But hubris attracts nemesis, like night follows day. It's written in our freaking human souls.

All systems seek equilibrium. E.g. balance. If something cannot go on forever, it will stop. Stein's Law. Break it at your own risk.

Whatever happens to the man, it'll only be what he has brought down on his own head.

The 2019 World Series, summed up in a single quote:

"Getting my act together, and taking it on the road."

wj beat me to it. Wow, one for the ages.

JDT, over to you.....

(I cheated by typing during the final at bat. ;-))

While I can see the attraction of blaming Brexit on foreign interference, I think you're overestimating Putin a little bit to put it mildly - we have enough idiots of our own.

Oh, it *absolutely* was foreign interference!

As in, the intersteller cloud of Dumbf (27% of the mass of the universe! where have I heard that number before?1??) that our solar system has been passing through.

As Einstein apocryphally said: "There are two things I know are infinite: the Universe, and Dumbf. And I'm not sure about the Universe".

Government annoys the hell out of me every single day, and I'm glad it's there every single day. Funny, that.

Well said as usual, russell.

Pretty cool ending to the World Series. The Nationals bullpen held up and the Astros', against all assumptions, got lit up.

Looks as if the Deep State Nationals can win on the road.

Scary:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/10/trump-campaigns-halloween-event-was-nonsensical/601177/

I love that they place the press gaggle in a cage and then insult and throw cabbage at the reporters, even at there dumb dress-ups.

The press should return the favor and dress up like mass school, church, theater shooters with real ammo and make Gatling gun noises with their mouths.

Tonight, it's Karaoke Halloween at my local watering hole. We're asked to come as a dead celebrity. With a few minor cosmetic adjustments, I'm going as John Lennon. Will sing "I Am The Walrus", as well as one of the early Beatle hits, as yet undecided, and perhaps, "Nobody Told Me", from his last record ("Nobody told me there would be days like these")

Indeed. From the lips of one dead Founder after another.

Next year, if we repeat the dead celebrity theme, while specifying disembowelment as the cause of death, I'm going as the Republican Party.


their wears the "there" mask.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-nominee-cries-american-bar-association-letter

Jesus.

He whimpers and cries like a cornered ISIS leader, except we have the tape to prove it.

Bullies bully, and then they cry.

I guess we, being politically correct liberals, are going to have to have grief counselors on hand to calm the right-wing down prior to their mass executions.

I actually remember those days right after the 2016 election...the shock, the utter dejection, the denial, the anger. But I was drunk most of the time.

Then Marty reassured us that no matter what an asshole Trump is, there is only so much damage he could do....and that our democracy would survive.

And, given our traditional institutional barriers, I pretty much agreed with him.

Now? Well, I am not so sure. The GOP is enabling this president's criminality. They are trodding a dangerous road that cannot end well. They are denying the very political legitimacy of their political opponents, the Democratic Party.

This is the final straw in my pledge to never, ever, vote for ANY Republican candidate. The political institution of which they are a member, to which they have pledged their support, is something that must utterly be destroyed.

But then again, maybe Marty or McKinney will join in and tell me what I really think.

unsurprisingly, both the number of people self-reporting as Republican and the support for Trump among those people are currently within a point of where they were Nov 2016, according to Gallup.

nothing will sway them. they adore their corrupt deficit-exploding conman.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/jason-chaffetz-obama-would-have-been-impeached-under-standards-democrats-are-applying-to-trump

This was retweeted in my feed this morning. Nothing new here bobbyp. I am sure I will never vote for a Democrat, but I only have a few chances left. I also dont much care if Trump gets impeached.

He has now appointed a quarter of the federal appeals court judges, two supreme, rolled back all of Obama's executive overreach,created a business friendly environment while taking on the worst of Chinas trade issues, continued to isolate Iran and started the process of untangling us from being the world's police force.

As crude and unacceptable as his personal and Presidential behavior is I would be happy to see him get removed, as that would almost assure a Republican President next year. That's the one you should worry about. Our Democratic institutions seem to be holding up fine so far.

I'm not concerned with repeating back to you what you think.

like i said

I thought this was interesting. Up to forty-five minutes of uninterrupted questioning for Schiff and Nunes, rather than the usual five that everyone else is going to get.

https://www.vox.com/2019/10/31/20941811/most-important-democrats-impeachment-resolution

Rs might try to make the case that the Ds are pulling a fast one here, but Nunes gets the same latitude. Perhaps it will be the proverbial rope of sufficient length to hang himself with. He regularly comes up with some doozies. Not that it would bother the faithful, but others might notice. He's be smart to use a proxy, which is also allowed.

he'd better use a proxy. nobody's going to sit through 45 minutes of Nunes' streetcorner psycho ravings.

like i said

LOL

I read Marty's list and I ask myself "why is any of that good?".

We don't all want the same things. We don't think the same things are good or worthwhile, we have profoundly different values.

Trump will go sooner or later, and there will still be a large minority in this country who think all of the policy points Marty outlines are outstanding. Many of them will look back fondly on Trump. Maybe he'll even be some kind of weird elder statesman, like Nixon and Kissinger. Or everybody's favorite happy-go-lucky buddy, like W now that he can't do any harm any more.

Keep enjoying those tax cuts Marty!

1. He has now appointed a quarter of the federal appeals court judges, two supreme, 2. rolled back all of Obama's executive overreach,3. created a business friendly environment 4. while taking on the worst of Chinas trade issues, 5. continued to isolate Iran and 6. started the process of untangling us from being the world's police force.

In the case of item 1, he has appointed several judges whom the bar association considers unqualified, and one supreme who is probably an attempted rapist and a liar.

In the case of item 2, I cannot comment because I don't know enough (although my impression is that he has done plenty of executive overreach of his own - but as I say, I don't know for sure so feel free to ignore).

In the case of item 3, it is hard to see how this is going to be a business-friendly environment with the deficit ballooning to a trillion dollars, and growth stalling.

In the case of item 4, I believe that even some of his staunch farming supporters are starting to get a little worried about the effects of the trade war with China.

In the case of item 5, isolating Iran will almost certainly result in dire consequences, in the opinion of almost everybody in the world qualified to comment on this, which of course lets out Trump and his entire administration.

In the case of item 6, it will be interesting to see the results in the years to come of America's dereliction of its duty in helping to support its allies, and prevent the kind of human rights abuses (along with climate change) which will result in more mass movement of refugees.

I'm prepared to accept that the tax cuts issue is exaggerated in its influence on Marty's thinking, but I do believe that his (and many Rs') preparedness to believe that black is white and up is down, because the rightwing talking points say so, is the real problem.

"Nobody Told Me", from his last record ("Nobody told me there would be days like these")

JDT, I meant to say earlier, that thinking of this lyric suddenly made me think of the first verse of the poem Report on Experience by Edmund Blunden (wj, I think he used to teach English lit at HK U, weren't you there?)

I have been young, and now am not too old;

And I have seen the righteous forsaken,
His health, his honour and his quality taken.
This is not what we were formerly told.

The last verse goes rather religious and more optimistic, but personally I keep finding myself thinking, as the world goes to hell in a handbasket, This is not what we were formerly told.

In the last 8 presidential elections, the Republican party has won the popular vote just once. Yet it has a highly partisan majority on the Supreme Court. Marty thinks that's a good thing, I think it's a disaster. In particular, because of the far right bloc's desire to keep its party in power, it wrongly decided the partisan gerrymandering cases in the summer (Rucho v Common Cause), with an embarrassingly feeble argument. That was a statement that the Republican Party can cheat its way to permanent minority rule, and the Supreme Court will do nothing to stand in its way.

Marty is delighted to remain the welfare queen of voting power. He loves it when the government takes votes from Californians and gives them to North Dakotans.

(wj, I think he used to teach English lit at HK U, weren't you there?)

Nope. The only part of Asia I've been to is Japan. (Well, I did change planes in Korea.) Sorry, not me.

GftNC, I keep rewriting this but cant make it nice.

I find it beyond belief that our actions could be termed a dereliction of our "duties". We have every right to end a military venture in a part of the world we shouldnt be in and to use whatever diplomatic means we have available to help mitigate the downsides. Even if done poorly, it isnt our "duty" to stay.

If NATO, our allies, were there with us we could talk about abandoning our allies, as our allies have refused to support us time and again.

But defining us as the unfaithful ally is incredibly bold.

Sorry, not me.

Maybe dr ngo is who GftNC was remembering?

If NATO, our allies, were there with us we could talk about abandoning our allies, as our allies have refused to support us time and again.

So, because the Kurds aren't in NATO, they don't count as allies?

The Kurds gave up thousands of lives in the Syrian conflict. To our advantage, and fighting alongside our people.

We screwed them over.

I define us as the unfaithful ally. How bold of me.

Yes sapient, I think you're right and that it was dr ngo.

Marty,the US is not the only country which has had to shoulder such a duty, just the only one to so blatantly shirk it in recent history, and in defiance of its own longterm interests. And as for your allies refusing to support you, what are you referring to? This sounds to me pretty much a pure Trump talking point, unless you can give proper examples... (tomorrow that is, I'm off to bed, good night all)

there is no shit "conservatives" will not swallow so long as the shitter says it's good.

i give up.

Donald Trump is a craven scumbag of a human being, who has no regard whatsoever for the weight or responsibilities of the office he holds. He is a man utterly devoid of even the most rudimentary sense of honor, who appears to be incapable of anything other than the most grossly transactional connection to other human beings, preferably to his own advantage.

The (R) party, virtually to a person, have decided to support him lock stock and barrel.

You come here to argue in their defense, because of tax cuts, deregulation, and "business friendly" policies.

I'm sorry, but that us simply not a position for which I can summon any respect. FWIW.

here's Nunes, quoting from the case of Rubber v Glue:

That Rep. Devin Nunes serves as the ranking member on something called the Intelligence Committee has always been a contradiction in terms. The California Republican displayed his intellectual heft earlier this year by suing a fictitious dairy cow that was mean to him on Twitter.

Even so, what he said on the House floor during Thursday’s debate to authorize a formal impeachment inquiry was jaw-dropping. He railed about the sort of person who believes in “conspiracy theories” and relies on “defamation and slander,” who spins a “preposterous narrative” with “no evidence” and only “bizarre obsession.”

Surely he was describing one Donald J. Trump to a T?

On the contrary, Nunes applied these Trumpian signatures to Democrats. “What we’re seeing among Democrats on the Intelligence Committee,” he said, “is like a cult. These are a group of people loyally following their leader as he bounces from one outlandish conspiracy to another.”

fuck everyone who supports this fraudulent enterprise.

In the last 8 presidential elections, the Republican party has won the popular vote just once

The (R) party, due to quirks in our Constitution and the geographic distribution of different demographics, holds power that is not justified by the size of their constituency.

What cannot continue, will stop.

Better wise up. Sooner better than later.

I personally cant wait for Trump to be gone, the gop and conservatives wont be. My complete disdain for foreign wars will take a hit. In fact it is the single non gop basic thing that I agree with Trump on. Whoever replaces him is sure to go back to doing our "duty" at the beck and call if our allies.

Not that Trump has really made a dent.

Wise up to what? That the current system works just as designed? That the Democrats move further left daily? That the left keeps decrying the loss of our democratic institutions while openly complaining about the most fundamental institutions as "quirks"?

Our democracy is in no danger from Trump, it is from the Democrats trying to regain power st any cist.

Our democracy is in no danger from Trump

We have always been at war with Eurasia.

Fucking loony tunes.

the Democrats move further left daily

In a healthy party, whether it is basically liberal or basically conservative, the party moves "to the left" all the time. That's because the world changes. Constantly. And if you're healthy, you adapt to that.

Left and right basically differ in how big a steps they think best to take in the course of that adaption. I incline to smaller steps than most here, which makes me the local conservative.

But to insist that change stop, and that things return to some mythic Golden Age in the past (often, though not always, the speaker's youth . . . as he remembers it anyway)? That's not conservative, it's reactionary. And it's both unhealthy and impossible.

Our democracy is in no danger from Trump,

Of course, sometimes one can be wrong, not because of how enthused they are about change, but simply because they are delusional. And to see Trump as "no danger" to our democracy requires being delusional.

You can argue that Trump alone wouldn't be much of a danger. But he's not acting alone -- in the sense of without support. And because of that support, he is definitely a danger.

I personally cant wait for Trump to be gone

(to continue)...and I shall not lift a finger to make that happen, because I have my wingnut judges, my tax cuts for the rich, my putting the government's thumb on the scale favoring sociopathic "business" interests, stabbing allies in the back, state sanctioned religious bigotry, putting people in cages, suborning the Dept. of Justice to blatantly political ends, institutionalizing state warfare on organized labor, finding ways to legalize the denial of the vote to 'those people (cough, cough), killing people with patently absurd health care public policy, and crushing the middle and lower classes.

What's not to like?

But Clinton told a fib about a blowjob.

The "watchman state" in action, folks.

Jesus fucking christ.

Marty, when did your allies refuse to support you, other than in Trump's delusional ravings? (I know Harold Wilson refused to support the Vietnam War, but given your "disdain for foreign wars" presumably you approved of that, and anyway, that was a long time ago.)

GftNC,

How many NATO troops are in place to protect the Kurds from the Turks?

Marty, FWIW, Turkey is a NATO member.

Just as the US is. Which is why the question makes no sense.

For info on allies supporting us, check out Afghanistan. Which, be it noted, is the only time NATO's mutual defense has been activated -- and it was everybody else coming to our aid.

Yet the meeping is always about them not supporting us. Even though they've been fighting and dying. But I suppose that, for some, money is far more important than lives....

R's are traitors to democracy. They support dictators, and reject our alliances. Let's quit being coy. (And, of course, wj, I don't mean you. I mean people who support current R's in the White House and in Congress.)

Wise up to what?

That the power the (R)'s hold in national government is out of scale with the size of their constituency. And that the fuckery they engage in to retain and exercise that power is offensive.

What cannot continue will stop. What cannot be tolerated, won't be.

As far as "quirks" - the purpose of the Senate is to provide a deliberative body intended to counter what was anticipated to be the more volatile, and more democratically representative, House. To the degree that it is non- or counter-democratic, the intent was to prevent the rights and interests of regions and demographics that were naturally in the minority - e.g., at the time of the founding, the smaller states - from being overrun by their larger counterparts.

The purpose was not to allow minority interests to utterly obstruct the . actual will and interests of the people. Which is what the (R) Senate is engaged in now. It won't stand, and shouldn't. They will likely pay for it in the next couple of election cycles, and should.

The Electoral College is, actually, a quirk, and in the context of a literate and educated population with universal sufferage, it serves no useful purpose. We are a nation of people - "We the People" not "We the States" - and the POTUS is president of the people, not president of the states. The POTUS should be elected by popular vote. The EC needs to go. Sooner done, the better.

Our institutions hold because some number of people still exist in them that are willing to put themselves and their careers at risk to get in the damned way of Trump and the (R)'s. I'm not talking about the (D)'s, I'm talking about people like Vindman et al. The process you ignorantly persist in calling a "coup" is exactly the process of our institutions preventing the POTUS and his circle of corrupt hacks from subverting them for their own personal corrupt ends. The people and institutions that people like you ignorantly persist in calling the "deep state" is simply the state. It is the government of the United States, proceeding in a measured and deliberative way to show a fucking corrupt mendacious con-man the door.

More power to them, may they succeed. Sooner done, best done.

I doubt you know what "the left" even means in political or economic terms. You give no evidence of it here. The number of people in government who could accurately be called "leftist" can probably be counted on one hand. What you call "the left" is people trying to restore a balance that functioned quite well, for fifty years, in spreading the wealth of the nation relatively equitably, with all of the benefits that that provided.

The (R)'s have been doing their best to destroy that for the last 40 years. I despise them for it.

Yes, (R)'s and conservatives will still be around after Trump. They need to act as, and be treated as, the minority voice that they actually are. It's all they deserve, and all they should receive. They are on their way to forfeiting any legitimate claim to even that.

he has now appointed a quarter of all federal judges...

Good call with that....
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/trump-bench-james-ho-fifth-circuit.html

...it is from the Democrats trying to regain power st (at) any cist (cost).

What radical steps have Democrats taken that lead you to use the "at any cost" formulation? I hope there's something more radical than depositions and votes that you can point to, because depositions and votes aren't radical.

trying to regain power st any cist.

for example:

  1. soliciting / demanding the help of foreign powers for partisan electoral gain.
  2. throwing up barriers to hinder specific demographic groups from voting
  3. MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
  4. abandoning decades of pious "conservative" rhetoric in order to (literally) worship a corrupt sexual predator and bankruptcy fetishist just because he brings the judges to the yard.

frauds, every goddamned one of you.

Funny my corrupt sexual predator is your hallowed Bill Clinton, whataboutism at its finest. Merruck Garland is still a red herring, we are pretty successful at restraining the politicians on right to vote issues, and number 1 is just stupid. Investigating malfeasance by the VP and his son is not a lot different than what the Dems have been trying to do for three years. It's ironic they think the smoking gun is something Buden admits to doing.

So far in this thread I've been called looney tunes and told I'm ignorantly ignoring something, among other insults.

So if Turkey is a NATO member thus our allies cant stand beside us, how is it our "duty" to be there?

The Electoral College is, actually, a quirk, and in the context of a literate and educated population with universal suffrage, it serves no useful purpose.

From wikipedia:

The Constitution created the offices of President and Vice President, fully separating these offices from Congress. The Constitution established an Electoral College, based on each state's Congressional representation, in which each elector would cast two votes for two different candidates, a procedure modified in 1804 by ratification of the Twelfth Amendment. Different states had varying methods for choosing presidential electors.[2] In five states, the state legislature chose electors. The other six chose electors through some form involving a popular vote, though in only two states did the choice depend directly on a statewide vote in a way even roughly resembling the modern method in all states.

Let it not be lost on us how different the times were when the electoral college came to be.

More:

Voter turnout comprised a low single-digit percentage of the adult population. Though all states allowed some rudimentary form of popular vote, only six ratifying states allowed any form of popular vote specifically for Presidential electors. In most states only white men, and in many only those who owned property, could vote. Free black men could vote in four Northern states, and women could vote in New Jersey until 1807. In some states, there was a nominal religious test for voting. For example, in Massachusetts and Connecticut, the Congregational Church was established, supported by taxes. Though such tests and establishments were outlawed by the new federal Constitution, the constitution did not give the courts power to eliminate unconstitutional laws (Marbury v. Madison was not decided until 1803), and the Bill of Rights did not apply to state laws until the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1868.

Yet, somehow, we still have the electoral college. And the ratio of electoral votes that California gets to what Wyoming gets is far, far less reflective of their relative populations than any such ratio that existed in the early United States.

There's no good argument for it.

Funny my corrupt sexual predator is your hallowed Bill Clinton, whataboutism at its finest.

Y'all are good at it.

So if Turkey is a NATO member thus our allies cant stand beside us, how is it our "duty" to be there?

It's about not abandoning the Kurds who have fought and died in support of our interests time and again. What's so fncking hard to understand about that? It's a moral duty, not a legal duty.

1. I've been called looney tunes

Well, I was referring to the idiotic story lines you swallow and then regurgitate to us on a semi-regular basis, but if the shoe fits....

And it was

Fucking looney tunes,

for the record.

2. MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND
MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND

is not a red herring,

MERRICK FUCKING GARLAND

is the whole sordid story in a nutshell.

Talk about your slow-moving "coups".....

3. It's hard, I know, when you don't have the 3/5ths rule to bolster your overweighted representation any longer. But they're doing their best to reproduce it one way or another way. This is a footnote to the usual theme of wrs.

4. "Ignorance" is remediable, but apparently not always. If you don't like the pushback and exasperation, why do you bother to come here and spout these idiocies? No one else is convinced or even budged, and on your side you only dig in harder as the years go by. If you think anyone here is going to be enlightened by your Fox talking points you're delusional, and if you're coming here for the fun of it you sure have a weird idea of entertainment. But hey, you get what you ask for, and for that matter what you pay for.

Funny my corrupt sexual predator is your hallowed Bill Clinton, whataboutism at its finest.

he whattabouted.

"So far in this thread I've been called ..."

And I haven't even waded in yet.

Say thank you.

The day is young.

President Mitch McConnell nominated Neil Gorsuch.

Dems moving farther left every day? Not according to the data.

Actual ideological tracking done by poli sci:

https://voteview.com/parties/all

https://voteview.com/congress/house

Just in case anyone is interested in an actual visual representation.

Funny my corrupt sexual predator is your hallowed Bill Clinton

Who the hell is "hallowing" Bill Clinton?

The Electoral College, like many things in the Constitution, is an attempt at a compromise between parties with different interests.

The first idea was the Virginia Plan, in which Congress would elect the POTUS. That was seen (correctly) as compromising the separation of powers.

Several founders, notably Madison, preferred direct election. At the time the Constitution was written, every state had its own rules for who could vote, and the franchise was most restrictive in the slave-holding states. So they didn't want direct election, because due to their restrictions on who could vote at all, they would come out on the short end.

The EC was the work-around. Representation in Congress - including the Senate, which further skews the representation in the EC - was to be used as a proxy for the popular vote.

We no longer have state-by-state rules about who can vote. We no longer have a population that lacks education, literacy, and access to information. We no longer have a population in which most of the people can't vote in the first place.

There is no longer a useful purpose for the EC. It results, with increasing frequency, in people holding the office of POTUS who do not have the support of a majority of the population. It's time for it to go.

The failure to grant Merrick Garland a hearing was a plain abuse of power by the Senate Majority leader, justified by obvious, transparent ahistorical bullshit that McConnell pulled, hot and steaming, straight out of his ass. It was the most obvious and glaring example of the kind of crap that I am talking about when I say that it's time for (R)'s to wise up.

The (R)'s are free to double down on Trump until the cows come home. They have already paid a price for it in the House, and will likely pay for it in 2020. Whatever damage they do to themselves will be richly earned.

And FWIW, "ignorance" means a lack of information. It means that there are things that can be known, that you don't know. That is a simple description of a state of mind, not an insult. The point at which it become pejorative is the point at which the lack of information is willfully chosen.

Trump is a toxic, deliberately divisive, malicious, venal, mendacious, corrupt and corrupting SOB. Always has been, all his life. Getting his back and that of the (R)'s who support him because "hey, judges and tax cuts!" is behavior that I do not and do not care to understand.

Hard for me to say more without being actually rude, so I'll leave it at that.

The biggest move to the left in modern history was when the Dixiecrats bolted to the Republican party because civil rights suck. Addition by subtraction if you ask me.

The real problem russell is that you cant understand how much people like me dont want people like you, or people you like, to be in charge. Swallowing shit from you and Trump is how much. 52 trillion dollars moved from various sources to Democratic government control is a good enough reason.

The things that are good or ok are extra. Who is not in charge is what matters.

And the actual purpose of the EC, so big states couldnt dominate small states, is more important today than ever.

The real problem russell is that you cant understand how much people like me dont want people like you, or people you like, to be in charge.

The thing is, Marty, if there are more people like me than people like you, then people like me and/or the people I like actually are supposed to "be in charge".

People like you should get a voice and a seat at the table. People like you should not be driving the bus. It's not your right, you have no claim to it.

Get your fucking head around that.

Swallowing shit from you and Trump is how much.

If that's working for you, carry on.

The real problem russell is that you cant understand how much people like me dont want people like you, or people you like, to be in charge.

I don't think that's the real problem. I don't even think it's true. No one wants people they think are deeply wrong to be in charge. That's not big news. And it goes both ways.

In any case, anti-democratic practices remain anti-democratic, and generally don't appeal to people who like democracy.

You have no more right to be in charge, in fact, by the rules you have no right so far.

Get your fucking head around that.

People like you just want to change the rules to gain control, in most every endeavor in life I have little sympathy for people who whine about the rules being unfair.

And the actual purpose of the EC, so big states couldnt dominate small states, is more important today than ever.

That was one of its purposes. I don't know if it's more important today than ever, but I know the relative advantage afforded to smaller states by it is far great than it was when it came into being. Do the math. Wyoming v. California today and Delaware v. Virginia in the late 18th Century. That on top of equal representation in the Senate. That on top of the net inflow of federal dollars. Poor little states. Where's my violin?

...in most every endeavor in life I have little sympathy for people who whine about the rules being unfair.

Which says nothing about whether the rules are actually unfair, or whether pointing something out and making an argument against it constitutes whining.

You have no more right to be in charge, in fact, by the rules you have no right so far.

What the hell does this even mean.

People like you just want to change the rules to gain control

You have no idea what I want or don't want.

in most every endeavor in life I have little sympathy for people who whine about the rules being unfair.

Whine?

When the rules are unfair, we change the rules. We've done it numerous times. Nothing bad about it.

Perhaps you'd like only white men with property to vote? Or black people to be property? No? Then WTF are you on about.

When the rules are unfair or are no longer achieving a useful purpose, we change the rules. There are procedures - rules, if you will - for doing that, and we change them by following those procedures.

No fucking "whining" involved.

Trump sucks. The (R)'s suck for getting his back. When and if you get sick of eating shit because you're getting *their* back, maybe you'll revisit your support for them. If not, continue to enjoy your shit sandwich. I'm sure Trump and his pals will be happy to keep 'em coming.

And the actual purpose of the EC, so big states couldnt dominate small states, is more important today than ever.

Hamilton saw it differently.

https://www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/The+Federalist+Papers#TheFederalistPapers-68

he was more worried about the possibility that the rabble would choose someone unworthy of the office.

people who whine about the rules being unfair.

Sometimes the rules are in fact unfair, and if you want to petulantly call working to change them "whining," well, keep whining yourself. But when they get too unfair, the backlash can be ugly. Best stay out of the way when that happens.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad