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January 28, 2020

Comments

Remember this? :


Frost: So, what in a sense you’re saying is that there are certain situations and the Huston plan or that part of it was one of them where the president can decide that it’s in the best interest of the nation or something and do something illegal.

Nixon: Well, when the president does it … that means that it is not illegal.[4]

Frost: By definition –

Nixon: Exactly … exactly… if the president … if, for example, the president approves something … approves an action, ah … because of the national security or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of, ah … ah … significant magnitude … then … the president’s decision in that instance is one, ah … that enables those who carry it out to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they’re in an impossible position.

The (R)'s in the Senate are going to extend "national security" or "a threat to internal peace and order" to include "use the power of office to extort an alleged ally into announcing a fraudulent investigation in order to slander a political rival".

Rubio:

Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office.

Good to know.

Murkowski:

I have come to the conclusions that there will be no fair trial in the Senate. I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything. It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed.

Ironically, in the sort of nihilistic self-fulfilling-prophecy "if only we coulda done something!" sense, Murkowski's comment was apparently an explanation for why she was voting against witnesses.

To sum up:

Yeah, we know he did it. Yeah, it was bad. Yeah, the trial was a FUBAR clown show.

But what can you do?

Profiles in courage.

At long last, the light bulbs might come on for more folks to realize that the whole idea of impeachment and removal is not a matter of law, but a matter of political will. The trial of A. Johnson left him in office due only to a well placed bribe. Clinton escaped only because there were not enough GOP Senators to get to the 2/3's super majority (all Dem Senators voted "nay"). The Dem minority could not get Trump's conviction anywhere close to the super majority threshold.

Nixon was the anomaly...but those times, too, were an anomaly.

Murkowski (predictably jumps into the bucket of whitewash.

Got a title all ready for the book about this impeachment trial. Just need a good author.

Profiles in Cowardice

Special chapters on those, like Alexander, who are retiring (so they can't be primaried). And like Murkowski, who already survived losing a primary and winning as an independent (so she knows she could survive it again).

TBH, I'm glad to see a few (R) Senators at least publicly say yeah, he did it.

What I take away from all of this is - everyone who comes anywhere near Trump, gets to see their reputation and credibility turn to crap. Except McConnell, no harm done to him, we already knew what he was.

Enjoy your remaining time in office, Senators.

Let's get this mess done and then throw these bums out in November. Beginning with Bum Number 1.

In the meantime, I'm watching the countdown clock on TV: we leave the EU in 7 minutes. Truly, in both our countries, the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

For you folks in the UK, any estimate as to how long it will be before the economic (and other) damage starts to hit home? That is, are you probably seeing minimal damage until Johnson fails to deliver a new treaty by year end? Or does it start to noticably hurt sooner?

Regime cleavage it is.

I think many of the economic damage estimates are overestimated, wj, and there will very probably be some agreement ( though one that falls far short of what we have now) by the end of the year.

In terms of effects on the overall economy, I think the biggest risk is to the UK car industry, which exports a large percentage of its output to Europe. Trade barriers/frictions (and the next year’s uncertainty over what they’re going to be) are preventing investment in the UK.
Given the inevitable switch to electric vehicles, which is starting to happen now, it could utterly decimate our domestic industry.
A couple of current examples - Tesla quite probably have built its new plant in the UK rather than Germany without Brexit; BMW is considering building its electric Minis in the Netherland, not Oxford.
Nissan and Toyota will be faced with similar decisions over the next couple of years. Now that Nissan is merged with Renault, I think it almost certain their new EV factories will be in a France, not the UK.

Other sectors (notably farming) could be seriously affected, but that is the biggest near term economic risk, IMO.

Jeez:

Murkowski framed her vote as a brave one to protect the chief justice from a Democratic effort to “drag the Supreme Court into the fray, while attacking the Chief Justice.” She continued: “I will not stand for nor support that effort. ???

Democratic effort to “drag the Supreme Court into the fray, while attacking the Chief Justice.”

This is pretty clearly a response to this question from Elizabeth Warren.

Warren is my Senator, I generally support her policy positions and I thoroughly support the role she has carved out for herself as an advocate for working people. I think she's a great Senator, and I'm glad she's there.

All of that said, IMO that was a very poor play on her part. If you're in the middle of a trial, there isn't a lot of value in embarrassing or trying to score points off of the judge.

I make the same point about the comments Nadler made that several (R) Senators took exception to. I don't disagree with the substance, but if you're in a trial, there isn't a lot of value in making derogatory comments about the jury. Even if they're true.

What the (R)'s were looking for was any cover whatsoever to justify a "No" vote. On witnesses, on subpoenas for docs, on any point of procedure, and ultimately on removing Trump from office. No point in handing them a way out.

Regime cleavage it is.

Yes, and for what:

“Whatever you think of his behavior,” Mr. Alexander said of Mr. Trump, “with the terrific economy, with conservative judges, with fewer regulations, you add in there an inappropriate call with the president of Ukraine, and you decide if your prefer him or Elizabeth Warren.”

That's Lamar Alexander, but the economy / deregulation / judges trifecta is a pretty common mantra for Trump supporters. The "F*** your feelings" base is definitely a presence, but by themselves they wouldn't be enough to keep him in office.

It's the "hey, I'm making money, don't rock the boat" crowd that tips the balance.

The institutions and practices that make it possible for us all to more or less live together have been undermined. We no longer live by the same rules, and don't even recognize a common set of basic, fundamental facts.

People talk about civil war, but I don't think it will come to that. People whose mantra is "I'm making money, don't rock the boat" aren't going to want anything that disruptive. Not to say there won't be violence, we're already there. But I don't see actual civil war - organized, mobilized rival state violence - on the horizon. Just hostility, mutual suspicion, and pockets of anarchic vigilantism.

Too dark? Call me crazy. Although I do like the part where they wave the guys with the guns around the metal detector.

I see utter dysfunction, and the corruption and failure of public institutions. I see the destruction of the natural world in the name of making money and preserving our national "lifestyle". I see an increasingly rapacious and predatory financial sector.

I see a nation that is increasingly isolated, with an increasingly irrelevant place in the world.

Enjoy those tax cuts.

I hadn’t seen the Warren question, and I entirely agree that it was boneheaded grandstanding.
That said, it does not even begin to justify Murkowski’s principle free reasoning. Though it does account for it.

I also agree that Warren is a good Senator, though I have serious doubts about her as a presidential nominee, which this incident does nothing to allay.

That said, it does not even begin to justify Murkowski’s principle free reasoning.

I have serious doubts about her as a presidential nominee, which this incident does nothing to allay.

Agreed, on both points.

Hmm. I'm conflicted on Warren's question in the Senate. From the short-term point of view of "eyes on the prize" it's true it's not a good idea to antagonise the judge. On the other hand, given the almost certain outcome of the trial, and the recent history of the GOP's talking points being all about how illegitimate the process in the House had been, because no witnesses etc., I think she was trying to get a message across to the American people, a message that we all understand but 40% of them seem not to: that this is a fix and they're all in it together, and it needs cleaning up. But I agree, it's unlikely to have worked so was a bad idea. We'll just have to see how things develop for her, and what happens next with the whole Bolton saga, but personally I'm feeling pretty doom-laden about the whole thing (also post-Brexit), so I hope I'm wrong, and feel free to write this off as sheer pessimism!

Murkowski’s jab was a way to take a popular dem candidate down a peg.

...that this is a fix and they're all in it together, and it needs cleaning up.

It is important to never forget, never, never, never that Roberts would not be there if a partisan Supreme Court had not illegitimately handed the presidency to George W. Bush.

bobbyp: true enough.

According to Bloomberg Brexit has already cost £130 billion and this figure will rise to £200 billion by the end of 2020:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-10/-170-billion-and-counting-the-cost-of-brexit-for-the-u-k

As for mid- to longterm economic effects, that's obviously hard to predict, but there are certainly no economic upsides to Brexit.

It's important to realize that the UK economy has been dysfunctional long before anyone ever thought about Brexit - the damage that Thatcher and her successors have done is hard to underestimate. Even without Brexit we would be in big trouble.

"Murkowski’s jab was a way to take a popular dem candidate down a peg."

Yes, why bother straining our backs stooping to the republican/conservative levels of discourse, when republican/conservatives can simply declare we do it, while they destroy the rule of law and certify a despot.

As to Roberts, are his fee-fees damaged at all by trump's hundreds of obstructions of justice via Twitter, blatant withholding of evidence, witness tampering and jury threatening?

Or the insults to his jurisprudence after his Obamacare rulings:

https://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/gop-conservatives-angry-supreme-court-chief-john-roberts-obamacare-119431

But, yes, Warren's rhetorically squirting Roberts in the face with a seltzer bottle disqualifies her in all ways, as when Hillary came down with the flu in October/November 2016, but was accused, including in these pages, of lying to cover up whatever deadly, terminal illnesses raving conservative imaginations could conjure.

On Friday, we learned Richard Nixon was exonerated of all crimes, and Joe Biden was declared guilty of his.

No mention of the actual defendant in the trial, except recognizing he is guilty but all of the words of the useless fucking Constitution laid end to end can do nothing about it, and except to add "and all the wonderful things he does!"

But yes, Warren is questionable because she disturbed fake decorum by pointing out that America is now fucking bullshit all the way down.

Off to see the Wizard.

In fact, history shows (to counter points made here, including Janie's and others' perfectly justified disgust with my hateful rhetoric) that stooping lower than these fascists in rhetoric and actions is precisely how to defeat and destroy them.

When Lincoln relieved General McClellan of his command with the words "If General McClellan* does not want to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time," he decided to indeed stoop lower than the Confederacy and butcher more of them than us.

When Neville Chamberlain refused to call a spade a spade and stoop below Hitler's level rhetorically, he was accused of appeasement. It took Churchill to declare that we would kill more of them than us.

Yes, Lincoln and Churchill used elevated and felicitous poetic language, which was translated into slaughter and butchery for the enemy.

We're in a war. Declared by the enemy.

I'll address my harsh language in another comment today or tomorrow. No one will like it.

Nor should they.

But no hard feelings on my part toward anyone here. Decent people try to be decent, summoning their better angels, even in an indecent world.

Not me. But thanks for listening. I really am going to STFU, as I can't go back to merely damning John Jay and everyone who won't damn John Jay because John Jay ain't the problem.

*McClellan in his diaries: "I confess to a prejudice in favor of my own race, & can't learn to like the odor of either Billy goats or niggers."

I guess that might have accounted for something in his strategy of not confronting the mortal, traitorous enemies of America, The Confederacy."


People talk about civil war, but I don't think it will come to that. People whose mantra is "I'm making money, don't rock the boat" aren't going to want anything that disruptive. Not to say there won't be violence, we're already there. But I don't see actual civil war - organized, mobilized rival state violence - on the horizon. Just hostility, mutual suspicion, and pockets of anarchic vigilantism.

That is what the people who study these sorts of things have been warning about since the Threeper mess in C-ville.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/10/what-a-new-u-s-civil-war-might-look-like/

"With these characteristics in mind we can envision what a modern U.S. civil war might look like. More sporadic and unexpected conflicts but with fewer deaths. Factions sprouting like mushrooms, taking different forms but coordinated across invisible networks. Waves of information warfare. Chaos and an accelerated bazaar of violence with a healthy immune response from the local and national authorities. The outcome (and probable goal) would likely be a fragmentation of the republic into smaller, more manageable alliances, though it may just as easily harden an increasingly authoritarian federal government."

Sounds right to me. Prepare for functional, if not actual, Balkanization.

Beautiful if depressing piece by John le Carre, on the state of the world, when receiving the Olof Palme prize:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/feb/01/john-le-carre-breaking-heart-brexit?CMP=share_btn_link

JDT, you know I hope how much people here like and admire you. But when you say:

In fact, history shows (to counter points made here, including Janie's and others' perfectly justified disgust with my hateful rhetoric) that stooping lower than these fascists in rhetoric and actions is precisely how to defeat and destroy them.

you give no examples of when "stooping lower than these fascists in rhetoric" defeated or destroyed any fascists or other villains. And, as you correctly imply, it's only your rhetoric which causes the dismay here. Clearly, using it gives you comfort of a strange, bitter sort. But the discomfort caused to others is also strange and bitter, since you are (quite apart from the violent rhetoric) a polemicist of extraordinary talent and verve. Eheu, if as the song says "you can't have one without the other".

"you give no examples of when "stooping lower than these fascists in rhetoric" defeated or destroyed any fascists or other villains."

That's kinda the point.

My rhetoric is pointless, yet tiresome and discomfiting.

Yet, somehow, trump's and hannity's and limbaugh's is endlessly seductive and winning.

But they must be answered in kind and threat because, believe me, they believe we are the "v" word.

Much worse is required. If Lincoln had stood upon the ramparts and told the Confederacy he would fart in their general direction and they smelt of elderberries, fainting couches would have been crowded with the outraged for months.*

But killing the Confederacy? Well, now we're talking. Women and children, while watching their language, rushed to the hills overlooking the battlefields, set down their picnic baskets and parasols, and formed a mosh pit for the slaughter down below.

I can see the whites of their eyes.

Yet I must wait for the worst from THEM.

*I'm sure privately he hated up a shit storm rhetorically, while feeling guilty about it. Trump has no conscience, which IS his winning trait.

In fact, Trump wins .. and his minions ... because they know the rest of us are too decent to go as low as he does.

He counts on that. That's his modus operandi. "Watch this", he'll think to himself or to whatever temporary Gollum is polishing his shoes at the moment, "they won't see this coming, because they don't have the will or imagination to see it coming, just like Hitler invading Czechoslovakia."

As Bannon said, Trump doesn't give a shit.

That's how he gets it over on the rest of the world.

Psychopaths count on the world GIVING a shit.

Ah, it was irony! I see, I missed that despite the relative reputations of your countrymen and mine in the deployment of that valuable rhetorical device.

Their (Trump's, Hannity's, Limbaugh's) rhetoric works only because it appeals to the worst in people's natures. Yours doesn't, because it comes from a place which is intrinsically appealing to the best, but the cognitive dissonance between the rhetoric and its intellectual underpinning induces extreme discomfort in the hearer/reader and therefore, unfortunately, makes it ineffectual.

In fact, Trump wins .. and his minions ... because they know the rest of us are too decent to go as low as he does.

I don't believe this, but I do think he and the rot that is the Republican party should be taken dead seriously, just as was done in other fights that we won against fascists. Pretending that his supporters are decent people is not the ticket. We shouldn't call them the v word, but we do need to recognize that, yes, they're all too human - the worst kind.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/gunmen-some-in-masks-swarm-ky-capitol-for-2nd-amendment-rally

Get yer irony on here.

Umbrellas and sticks banned.

If I carry an umbrella to a demonstration against umbrella restrictions, I can be arrested, perhaps because I might poke someone in the eye with the thing in case a gunfight breaks out.

I agree that my carrying of an umbrella to such a demonstration might appear to threaten poking someone in the eye.

But if I, as a liberal, say "I suppose next you are going to ban hula hoops", yawning and some discomfiture will ensue among liberals.

But if a liberal says "I suppose next you are going to ban umbrellas at a gun rights rally", conservatives will say,"Yeah, what are you gonna do about it?", and finger the safety on their semi-automatic rifle in case it looks like rain.

But then those fatheads (those that I can see in the accompanying photos; I can't quite make out the fat fucks in camouflage, can you? They sure blend in, don't they) appear to be threatening me with varying degrees of gunshot wounds should I be meeting inside to discuss restricting the threat of gunshot wounds.

Kafka is too important of a writer to invoke here.

So, I'll just say that America under conservatism is now a dangerous lunatic and if I have to use an umbrella to kill it, I will.

"We shouldn't call them the v word, but we do need to recognize that, yes, they're all too human - the worst kind."

I'm getting to that.

GftNC: In terms of effects on the overall economy, I think the biggest risk is to the UK car industry, which exports a large percentage of its output to Europe.

I was thinking the biggest hit would be to the financial industry. With barriers, not to mention different rules, there would seem to be big incentives to move to, say, Frankfurt. And it's not like they have the kind of physical plants to shift that the car industry would.

That wasn't me, wj, I think it was Nigel. As I have often said, I know next to nothing about economics, but Nigel's comment seems reasonable to me, and so does yours.

Mea culpa, it was Nigel. Sloppy of me.

What is most impressive about that Kentucky 2nd Amendment is all those brave defenders of gun rights who are wearing ski masks lest someone learn who they are. Guess they know how unpopular their views are likely to be with their friends and neighbors.

...there would seem to be big incentives to move to, say, Frankfurt.

And part of it to Dublin. I understand that many of the algorithms and trading software are hosted in London because it's a few milliseconds closer to Wall Street than Frankfurt at fiber speeds.

Interesting to see that the GOP is now 100% in line with supporting Jury Nullification in support of traitors.

Maybe it should be applied to "disposing" of traitors as well.

Sauce, goose, gander.

But yes, Warren is questionable because she disturbed fake decorum by pointing out that America is now fucking bullshit all the way down.

That’s not what I was saying.
She tried to get Roberts to embarrass himself, and failed to do so.
I have not time for the guy, or his fake impartiality schtick and I couldn’t give much of a damn about Senate decorum. But this was weaksauce - and not even coordinated with her own side, who immediately walked it back.

It’s not a big point in the context of the whole sorry tale, but that was my reaction, FWIW.

I was thinking the biggest hit would be to the financial industry. With barriers, not to mention different rules, there would seem to be big incentives to move to, say, Frankfurt.

That was the fear, and I guess it’s still a possible risk, but the City seems to be remarkably sanguine about it (unlike the motor industry, which seems to be in a state of subdued panic), and is even encouraging the government in seeking more, not less divergence, as (given that we’re out of Europe) they think there will be compensations in not being subject at all to Brussels rules.

Some jobs have gone to Europe, to ensure a presence within the EU, but there are no real indications of a likely mass migration.
Again, I’m no expert, but that is my strong impression.

If London manages to remain a major financial hub, you will have dodged a bullet. The way Berxit looks (from across the pond) to be going, you will need all the breaks you can get.

My two bits on Brexit watching it from afar with more than a bit of curiosity is that it is far from certain it will be a disaster. Time will obviously tell. But the impact of splitting the world's 5th largest economy from the other 27 has to be such a difficult case of prognostication that I tend to think projections are pure speculation.

Most of the projections I have seen lean towards significant economic loss due to the concern of no-deal or bad trade deal with the EU. I'm not so sure that will be the case. It's in the EU's economic interest to have a decent deal with what used to be 15% of its GDP. Political interest is maybe different, but not economic. I'm thinking the UK is a big enough market/partner that I'd be worried about yellow vests if the deal were that bad for the UK because it would be correspondingly so (although to a lesser degree) to the EU. Johnson appears to be taking a bold, hard line on a trade deal.

And projections seem markedly more positive with a decent deal with the EU coupled with a US trade deal. That is a distinct possibility and I'm sure is the goal. Couple that with increased trade flexibility (including with the commonwealth) and maybe the UK nets out on trade. And that's just trade.

I did see the car business slow down partly due to uncertainty. wj is right on the need to keep London as a major financial center. I just don't see that going away though.

In the end, Brexit will be what the UK makes of it. It is a huge opportunity, IMHO, and if not done properly could be a disaster. I'm betting on the Brits to do well. But those Scots . . .

It's in the EU's economic interest to have a decent deal with what used to be 15% of its GDP. Political interest is maybe different, but not economic.

It is in my mind that it is very much in the EU's political and economic interest that it be seen that departing the EU has significant costs. Pour encourager les autres, if you will.

At minimum, any special considerations that the UK has negotiated within the EU will disappear. But also, the kind of considerations that non-EU countries such as Norway or Iceland have are also unlikely to be on offer. At least, not without the kind of balancing concessions that Johnson is unlikely to accept.

As for a UK/US deal, I won't be surprise if Trump loudly announces an agreement before November. But it will turn out to be, at most, an agreement in principle. Because working out trade deal details takes time, and because Trump and his people are basically massively incompetent at such things. (Although I suppose there is a chance Johnson will get a great deal by the simple expedient of writing the whole thing himself (figuratively speaking); if he flatters Trump properly, Johnson can probably get him to blindly sign anything.)

Pour encourager les autres, if you will.

Yes, there is certainly that interest. My point is that if you go too far you will antagonize your own people because it starts to significantly impact your own economy. I'm not convinced the people of the EU have the stomach long-term for no deal. The pissed off bureaucracy? Oh yeah. They underestimated the people once. Why not do it again?

No, I think it possible the car industry is could be pretty well screwed, and I don’t hold out much hope for any significant deal with the US. We already have a trade surplus there, most industries which deal with the US don’t think a deal particularly urgent, and any likely deal will have negative effects on our agricultural sector.

The EU doesn’t have to go very far. Don’t forget most of our auto industry is foreign owned, and even modest trade barriers are likely to see new plants built in Europe for preference. Without doing too much to hinder our importing (for example) German built Teslas.
The Canada style deal Johnson actively seeks is likely to have that effect.

Best of luck, EU readers, we're hoping for the best for you.

I'm sure that the London financiers have already worked out a way to move billions of pounds into Bitcoin, through the DarkWeb, out of Bitcoin, through Cyprus, into the EU and back again, as needed.

Money in 2020 is bits on computers, and will route around any obstacles.

Might be more flash-crashes, though. For mysterious causes.

"The idea that London might have a post-Brexit future as a kind of deregulated “Singapore-on-Thames” is one of the more curious notions to have emerged in the three and a half years since the UK’s citizens voted narrowly to leave the EU in the fateful June 2016 referendum."
Will the UK really turn into 'Singapore-on-Thames' after Brexit?: There’s little pressure among UK banks for deregulation – instead, France could be a bigger threat (Dec 17, 2019)

"The idea titillates Tories and terrifies European Union leaders. But such fears say more about the EU’s own vulnerabilities than they do about the U.K.’s desire — or capacity — to transform itself in that direction."
Singapore-on-Thames Isn't Going to Happen: Merkel and Macron are worried that the U.K. will slash taxes and regulations. But they should look first at their own competitiveness. (Oct 15, 2019)

"Guy Verhofstadt, the Belgian MEP and Brexit coordinator, tweeted that the European Parliament “will never accept the UK can have all the advantage of free trade, and not aligning with our ecological, health & social standards. We are not stupid! We will not kill our own companies, economy, single market. We will never accept ‘Singapore by the North Sea’!”"
Could the U.K. Become the Next Singapore?: What does the fear of "Singapore by the North Sea" say about the European Union? (Sep 30, 2019)

And yet, turning into a kind of Singapore was one of the attractive notions floated by some of the more rabid Brexiteers before the referendum....

From a paper published in 2017:

For the Conservative government a vision of a post-Brexit Britain, akin to a European ‘Singapore of the West’, has a particular allure. It would be typified by a business-friendly environment, low or zero corporation tax, low wages, weak trade unions and a temporary migrant ‘non-citizen’ workforce, largely without the protection of national labour laws (McTague and Guerrera, 2017). This free-market paradise colours Conservative Party thinking well beyond the ranks of the ‘hard Brexiteers’ in parliament. It is enthusiastically supported and argued for by Economists for Free Trade who are proponents of an ultra-liberal Brexit regime of unilateral free trade solely governed by WTO rules (Dowd, 2017). A ‘Singapore scenario’ as a model for post-Brexit Britain would appear to offer the congenial prospect of labour subordination, and its adoption would have significant potential implications for labour standards in a post-Brexit Britain.

I can't now easily find footage of politicians or influential rightwing think-tankers arguing for it before the referendum, but I certainly saw some on TV. So to depict this scenario as a fever dream by the EU, or remainers, even if saner heads prevail (not a given at the moment) is quite misleading.

Well, at least the Brexiteer conservatives shoot high with Singapore.

Our conservatives would like us (meaning not them, but us) to become the Marianas, shit wages, no worker protections and lots of women in the prostitution trade to be buggered cheaply by Republicans during their family values trade shows.

Well, at least the Brexiteer conservatives shoot high with Singapore.

Our conservatives would like us (meaning not them, but us) to become the Marianas....

A proper conspiracy theorist would note that there is less reason for Putin (backer of Brexit and of Trump) to do major damage to the UK. Once Brexit has damaged to EU, the UK is no threat to Russia. But the US will always be a threat to Russia, so maximum long-term damage is desirable.

Nice thing about conspiracy theories. They can be so plausible.
/fantasy. Or was it?

a business-friendly environment, low or zero corporation tax, low wages, weak trade unions and a temporary migrant ‘non-citizen’ workforce, largely without the protection of national labour laws

It's worth noting that this is not a description of a 'business friendly' environment, it's a description of a capital friendly one.

The fact that we find it difficult to distinguish the two speaks volumes.

I got kicked off twitter. Michael Moore was attacking Dems by tweet, digging up the old slanders against HRC and whining about how badly Bernie had been treated etc So I tweeted to him "If you are going to promote circular firing squads, you should start by shooting at yourself." I got the boot for advocating self-harm which is all kinds of ironic. Oh well twitter is a block hole of time wasting anyway.

Oh, wonkie! I know somebody who went through that. Don't give up on tweeting, but send us where to follow you! You'll be reinstated soon, I think, although I don't know what the process is.

I am so with you.

Some of the comments regarding economics: something that is currently and will probably continue to be important is "the virus". Yes, friends, the coronavirus is shutting down China for awhile. Unlike Wilbur Ross, this will be a bad thing. Put that in the cuisinart with Brexit. Hmmmm. Whatever.

Oh sorry: "Unlike what Wilbur Ross believes" I should have said. Ouch. Sometimes I'm such a disaster.

This is what we are up against.

The time will come when we shall have to put down the pearls, sell the fainting couch, stop punching down, and take up something with a bit more firepower.

Another bat out of Helena...

The time will come when we shall have to put down the pearls, sell the fainting couch, stop punching down, and take up something with a bit more firepower.

At that time, it would be best to have the federal government on our side. That is our task.

thank you sapient, but I think I will just let twitter go. I mostly used it for saying mean things to republicans. howver if you or anyone else wanted to exchange Instagram follows, i'd be delighted. I mostly post photos of chickens cats and books. https://www.instagram.com/lkoerber889/

Speaking of conspiracies, I can't access bobbyp's link. I get a message that as a resident of a EU state I am legally forbidden to do so. Does that affect the British here too or has Brexit freed them in that regard?

No, we've got another eleven months at least before we can read bobby's links. :-)

The Singapore thing is just risible. First off, it's a city state, not a country with a population well over 60m.
Secondly, something like 30% of the population (I think) are overseas residents - which would not go down well with the Brexiteers...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Singapore

Another EU battery plant announcement:
https://insideevs.com/news/396102/psa-group-saft-two-ev-battery-gigafactories/

There has been a notable absence of such for the UK, so far.

The critical decision will be by Nissan, which is apparently playing hardball with the French over the next generation of car plants - something that gives some slim hope to their UK operation.

Nigel @ 04.15: seconded on both points. Would be interested to read bobbyp's link.

And with the Singapore thing, I completely agree it's risible (not to mention undesirable in every way, those already mentioned and the fact it's a police state), I just wanted to make the point that some arch-Brexiteers had been excitedly raising it before the referendum.

Has Pompeo asked Trump to point out Ukraine on a map ... ?
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/feb/02/trump-kansas-city-missouri-super-bowl-tweet

Speaking of conspiracies, I can't access bobbyp's link.

A possiable explination.

"This past weekend, the one-year anniversary of the implementation of GDPR and, as has been made very clear recently, more has to be done to get it right. One area where the European Union’s data protection regulation is a problem is when it comes to US news sites.

42 per cent of US news sites, including titles such as The Chicago Tribune, still block European visitors from viewing their sites, according to Top10VPN.com. A further nine per cent of US titles are offering a limited service for people in Europe.

However, the number of US sites blocking EU visitors differs greatly depending on which state the site originates from. For example, 80 per cent of news outlets from California and Nevada are accessible to EU users, while 90 per cent of Nebraska’s news sites are blocked with the EU.

“It’s understandable that many US regional news outlets have taken the view that there’s not enough upside from incurring the expense of complying with regulations imposed from across the Atlantic, and are simply avoiding the issue altogether by blocking visitors from the EU,” said Simon Migliano, head of research at Top10VPN.com.

“Whatever the benefits to EU citizens from GDPR, it surely can’t have been the intention of EU lawmakers to restrict the flow of important information like this. As a consequence, not only are US travellers and expats prevented from keeping up-to-date with their local news, but journalists and researchers are also unable to access these valuable and diverse sources of information.”"
Over 40 per cent of US news sites are still blocked in Europe a year after GDPR (May 29, 2019)

Bobbyp's link was about Yet Another American Nutjob with an interesting interpretation of the Constitution. In this guy's reading, it calls for socialists to be imprisoned or shot.

I'm also not sure it's accurate to say that websites that refuse to serve content to EU IP addresses becayse they don't want to comply with the GPDR are "blocked in Europe".

They are blocked, but the blockage is not on the Euro end of the wire.

The article was brought to my attention here.

This guy is an elected official.

Makes you wonder.

Within bobbyp's link:

"He (Garcia) also proposed a bill during the 2019 session that would have had the state of Montana buy the Colstrip power plant."

Seizing the means of production and folding it into the "deep state" and financing via the pure "slavery of taxes".

I read my Marty.

Maybe Garcia got the Constitution mixed up with Groucho's "Das Margaret Dumont":

'Well, I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while."

No, wait, that wasn't it, and besides, Groucho may not have said it. But he would have "meant" it, unlike the Founders and their pronouncements in the Constitution, which have had all sorts of unintended consequences, such as a modicum of freedom for others besides the landed white male gentry.

Das Kapital, Volume One, Part Three, Chapter Seven:

"If we examine the whole process from the point of view of its result, the product, it is plain that both the instruments and the subject of labour, are means of production, and that the labour itself is productive labour."

There are rats, mice, lice, bedbugs, cockroaches, skittering centipedes, and unarmed, over-educated college boys like myself loose in the state of Montana who are better read than Garcia, and he is surely not qualified to ascend to our very human level of being and consciousness, let alone execute us.

Garcia ..... GARCIA?!

Better check his papers. I smell an anchor baby.

Garcia is three-fifths of the white man I am.


https://www.thedailybeast.com/man-who-bankrolled-brexit-boasted-of-wikileaks-backchannel?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/next-trump-crisis/605938/

There is some back story on the Colstrip thing. The Colstrip power plant and associated coal mining are a big chunk of the economy in that part of Montana. The biggest customers for that electricity have been out of state, and are now reluctant to buy coal-generated power (for both cost and political reasons). The Montana legislature looked at a variety of ways to try to keep the plant/mine up and running. Who introduced which bills was less important than just getting them to a place where their pros and cons could be considered. All state legislatures get at least a little crazy when large employers are shutting down. Montana wasn't as crazy as Wyoming, who faces similar problems.

Michael, your rational explanation vis a vis Garcia slightly misses the point.

Do you mean that when he's not threatening to murder so-called socialists, he practices socialism as a pragmatic approach to a few of life's difficult problems, like any reasonable person might.

If he committed suicide ... self-execution in the cause of principled justice ... his epitaph could be "The Constitution Made Me Do It".

"He (Garcia) also proposed a bill during the 2019 session that would have had the state of Montana buy the Colstrip power plant."

Government ownership of the means of production (presuming that includes the production of power) is the very definition of socialism.** And this from a guy who wants to kill socialists. Well, at least he won't have to look far for his first target.

** Not that I think he has the least idea what the word means. It's just shorthand for "people I don't like".

Conservatives and republicans prefer murder over any hint of bureaucratic socialism, how ever they define it, which they can't:

https://digbysblog.net/2020/01/trump-has-intentionally-rendered-its-pandemic-response-incapable/

From JDT's link:

I guess it comes down to their suspicion of expertise that denigrates pointy-headed science as some sort of elitist cabal that is trying to keep them down? Honestly, I don’t get it. Even if you are a hardcore libertarian public health is something that requires scale and coordination.
I think it comes down to this: "It can't happen here!" is a powerful enabler when your ideology collides with reality. Because, of course, it can. C.f. Trump, Donald J.

But, unlike the Chinese government, the US government probably wouldn't drag its feet for over a month while the virus spread. And arresting doctors who said anything a new and dangerous virus spreading.

But, unlike the Chinese government, the US government probably wouldn't drag its feet for over a month while the virus spread.

oh yeah?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-trump-administration-is-ill-prepared-for-a-global-pandemic/2017/04/08/59605bc6-1a49-11e7-9887-1a5314b56a08_story.html

if Trump and the GOP gave a shit about public health, they'd be acting like it.

the US government probably wouldn't drag its feet for over a month while the virus spread.

Willing to put money on that? As you may note from the link, the whole infrastructure for Federal response has been eliminated. So even making the heroic assumption that the Trump administration decides it wants to do something, how would it do anything useful?

Viruses are libertarians.

They repel all interfering regulation and the taxation to carry out regulation in the marketplace of freely transmitted viruses.

The Republican/Conservative Party IS the vaccination AGAINST vaccination by government, just as it is the only weather report permitted in the public sector regarding global climate change.

I've been enslaved via taxation and what little is left of the virtue-signalers in the deep state at the CDC and NIH to pay for efforts to develop vaccines against the Coronavirus and AIDs and EBOLA.

Clearly, the containment and remaining gummint efforts to cure these viruses is testimony to how much work needs to be done to get rid of all meddling, coercive government.

Like arsenic and other poisons flowing into the environment favored by republicans/conservatives, when will viruses see the promised land of dominant worldwide market share.

Kill the Deep State.

unlike the Chinese government, the US government probably wouldn't drag its feet for over a month while the virus spread.

That will depend entirely on who gets sick.

The Trump/Republican Party's 2020 Presidential campaign will feature, alongside its victory over the now fucking dead Rule of Law, the Coronavirus as two contradictory memes ... as a Chinese hoax ... AND as reason to demonize all less than human Asians hurtling themselves as an infestation onto our shores and into our markets.

It will be a repeat of the disease-carrying fag memes, the all niggers are Willy Horton memes, the watch out for those Soros-beholdened liberal cosmopolitan Jews memes, the towel-headed vaguely Arab, Persian, Middle Eastern terrorists are amongst us memes, and the out-of-control wetback dirty little Mexican invasions across our southern border memes used in all past Republican election campaigns to steal votes and rule over us without our consent.

It will a repeat of the treatment meted out to the Chinese railroad builders in the 19th century who, when racist exploiting American capital got done stealing their labor, were cast aside and demonized as a threat to pig fucker, racist, conservative America.

History repeats itself with relish. Again and again.

Why do I allow it to do that?

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2016/01/the-gop-is-a-failed-state-donald-trump-is-its-warlord.html

Biden can't win the election, because Joni Ernst, all-too-human, and therein lies the problem, steals elections.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/joni-ernst-gop-impeach-biden-wins-presidency

If a Democrat wins, whomever it is, they will be impeached the day after inauguration. More likely, they will be assassinated ... murdered by Joni Ernst's base before the Inauguration even occurs.

If a Democrat wins, whomever it is, they will be impeached the day after inauguration.

There is the little detail that, if a Democrat wins the Presidency, the chances of the Republicans retaking the House are nil. And without a majority in the House, they aren't going to ram thru a partisan impeachment now, are they?

(But does Ernst know enough about the Constitution to realize that?)

No, she doesn't.

But why is the Constitution even relevant now?

If it's irrelevant to a former, so-called American military officer, who claims to have been defending the Constitution with her "service" (my ass), than maybe WE had better consider it irrelevant when she becomes a Constitution-illiterate elected official running our government.

One who threatened death by gunfire to Obama officials who might cross the state line to facilitate Obamacare.

I believe them when they say, repeatedly, in every election cycle, that they will murder us should they not get their way.

As they tell us, their word is their bond.

As they tell us, their word is their bond.

Riiiiight. Just like Trump's is.
/snark

I hear that Rush Limbaugh has advanced lung cancer. FWIW, and to put to rest any notion that I am a good person, my opinion is that if there were a hell, there'd be anticipatory rejoicing therein.

Limbaugh was something of a precursor for today's Republican Senators. He does not at all (according to what I have read) actually believe the garbage he spouts. He's just an entertainer who has found a great, long-running, and highly remunerative gig, and is milking it.

precursor?

He is the template with more dittohead iterations among elected republican officials and his millions-fold fan base than Andy Warhol could have ever produced of his Campbell Soup Can paintings from his screen printing process.

"Fox News’ Sean Hannity responded on his own radio show: “I don’t think talk radio would ever be anything like it is, or I’d be here, if it wasn’t for all that Rush has done.”

May Hannity follow Limbaugh's precise poisonous, grifting, non-believing example in the manner and suffering and pain Limbaugh is about to go through, and he IS going to go through some things, baby.

Let's hope hopelessly that no medicinals or medical devices or expertise in any way funded or developed by the elites in government and with my tax dollars are used to try and save his ample, ungrateful ass.

Limbaugh: "I told the staff today that I have a deeply personal relationship with God that I do not proselytize about, but I do, and I have been working that relationship tremendously,” he said.

Working that relationship?

What a perfectly disgusting summation of the entire fake stinking conservative republican, but highly remunerative crypto-religious prosperity gospel.

Like God is a prostitute who can be worked with an extra twenty dollar bill for sex up the poop shute.

As it happens, I spoke with God not five minutes ago, on his way to the bowling alley where He drinks, and regarding Limbaugh, He saith: I'm the one who supplied the ampules of poison to Goebbels and his wife, Magda, Hitler's propaganda minister, and handcrafted the bullets to each that followed. As for this clump of mis-arranged but destructive molecules called Rush Limbaugh, if he burst into flames, I wouldn't put him out with untreated sewage. And any bullet I could supply to hasten his exit would be but one bullet wasted that could be used on the rest of Limbaugh's ilk."

Jesus Christ on a half-time greased-up stripper pole, we now have to look ahead to the great bullshit mourning for Rush Limbaugh. No doubt he'll time the end so he can lie in state (he's lied in every state in the Union, as it is) in the Rotunda in the week before next Fall's election.

Maybe the corpse of Chris Farley can play Limbaugh's corpse in the SNL sketch depicting the funeral.

Unlike Johnny Depp paying five million to have Hunter Thompson's ashes shot out of a cannon, I will pay nothing to have Limbaugh's ashes shot AT by a cannon.

I regret only that Limbaugh's presence won't further plague us so that he could live to see his Palm Beach monument to racism and hate (if he didn't actually believe the garbage he spouts, why the nationwide landfills ... the addled minds of 62 million deplorables to be precise ... storing that non-biodegradable trash) by the sea consumed by the rising waters.

I bet he's buried on higher ground, because he believes in the Resurrection ... his ... but would not want to reappear soaking wet.

I wonder if I'll be invited to give the eulogy at his memorial.

Get down on your knees, you fucker, and kiss the ground of the country with an entirely meaningless, bullshit Constitution and that allows you to stand and vamp anywhere but over a trap door with a noose around your neck on a gallows in a low-budget federal prison:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-appears-to-flout-his-own-rules-with-his-behavior-during-the-national-anthem-at-the-super-bowl-2020-02-03?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Trump keeps knocking items off the list of things Republicans have presumed to hold dear.

please proceed, President. it is the only good you're doing in the world.

s/presumed/claimed/

"The company believes that if rival carmakers face tariffs on the vehicles they sell into the British market, they would have a massive competitive advantage.

That would potentially allow them to increase their UK market share from 4% at the moment to 20%.

Nissan's Sunderland plant, which produces Qashqai, the Juke and the Leaf models, employs around 6,000 people and is a major employer in the north-east of England."
Nissan to 'pull out of Europe and concentrate on UK' in event of hard Brexit: Nissan will pull out of mainland Europe and instead focus on its UK plant if Brexit leads to tariffs on car exports, it has been reported.

data: Trump hits 94% approval among Republicans.

the days of "Not All Republicans" are over.

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