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October 15, 2020


Guthrie did very well indeed.

The format probably helped - I think the job is a lot tougher moderating a debate - but it shows how to deal with someone like that. Polite, but take no shit, and don't inhabit his version of reality.
The 'it's not like you're someone's crazy uncle' bit was her best moment, as it was both pointed and turned Trump's rhetorical techniques back on him, while not overstepping the independent moderator line.
And as Mary Trump pointed out, yes he is.


Sheldon Whitehouse issued a blunt warning to his Republican colleagues on Thursday, as he watched the Judiciary Committee ready Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination for the Senate floor.

There will not be two sets of rules for Democratic and Republican Senate majorities, Whitehouse vowed; the GOP decision to block President Barack Obama’s nominee in 2016 and approve President Donald Trump’s just days before the 2020 election will have consequences.

“Don’t think when you have established the rule of ‘because we can,’ that should the shoe be on the other foot, you will have any credibility to come to us and say: ‘yeah, I know you can do that, but you shouldn’t,’” Whitehouse said. “Your credibility to make that argument at any time in the future will die in this room and on that Senate floor if you continue.”...

If I were in charge of anti-Trump messaging coming out of those town halls, I'd be running non-stop clips of Trump calling a $421m debt "a peanut" and contrasting that with his decision not to do another stimulus because a $600 check is too much.

The "peanut" comment is like the "When you're a star, they let you do it" line-- a perfect distillation of his pathologies, and clear evidence of the very opposite of the alpha manliness he thinks he's projecting with that kind of BS.

The big question is: Have enough people, and in the right places, gotten hit hard enough over the head by his "presidency" in the midst of a pandemic to get the point of nous's juxtaposition, as compared to last time?

the very opposite of the alpha manliness he thinks he's projecting

What Trump doesn't, can't, grasp is that a real alpha male doesn't have to work at projecting anything. It's part of why he is so pathetic.

Trump calling a $421m debt "a peanut"

and only paying $750 in taxes because he's so rich

WaPo reads this blog: Trump, Biden and masculinity in the age of coronavirus:

President Trump boasted last week that he beat covid-19 because he is “a perfect physical specimen.” Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) distributed a video of Trump at WrestleMania, tackling and beating up a man with a coronavirus particle superimposed over his head.

“President Trump won’t have to recover from COVID,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) wrote on Twitter. “COVID will have to recover from President Trump.”

The president’s emergence from his bout with the novel coronavirus is being hailed by many allies as a sign of his physical strength — the latest chapter in the effort by Trump and his supporters to cast himself as the manliest of men, conflating masculinity and strength and engaging in a dispute of sorts with Joe Biden over the meaning of machismo.


In response to Biden encouraging Americans to wear a mask, Fox News commentator Tomi Lahren wrote on Twitter: “Might as well carry a purse with that mask, Joe.”

I'm not sure what there is to know about Trump that isn't already clearly and plainly knowable. The interview with Guthrie just confirms all of that.

Same for Biden, no surprises there. Just Biden being Biden.

I can't explain why people embrace stuff like QAnon. I can't explain why people vote for Trump, let alone celebrate him and think of him as (literally) god's gift to the nation.

Biden is something of a confabulating geezer. As have been any number of people who have run for and in some cases won the office of POTUS. Nobody on the planet could ever spin a yarn better than Saint Ronnie.

But Biden is also somebody who basically likes and respects people, and considers government an instrument for helping people and improving their lives. And, he knows his way around the institutions of federal governance.

Trump is an @ss, and a crook, and appears to be incapable of thinking about other human beings in any way other than how they increase his wealth or flatter his self-image. Preferably both. He demonstrates no significant understanding of the responsibilities and obligations of the office he holds. His political agenda is based on division, resentment, and a toxic sense of victimhood. He's a greedy, vain, pissy, thin-skinned chaos monkey.

So in November we will find out what kind of country we want to be. There might have been excuses for folks who voted for Trump in 2016, this year not so much.

For me, personally, the Trump years have been illuminating. Attitudes I thought we'd put behind us, I now see have just been laying around dormant, waiting for someone like Trump to come along and invite them back to the table. Not a surprise, necessarily, but definitely a heads-up.

Whatever happens, I won't forget any of this.

Attitudes I thought we'd put behind us, I now see have just been laying around dormant, waiting for someone like Trump to come along and invite them back to the table.

Kinda like herpes.

He demonstrates no significant understanding of the responsibilities and obligations of the office he holds.

You could have just stopped at "responsibilities and obligations". Those are concepts that he either doesn't understand or, more likely, utterly rejects when it comes to himself. (He may accept that other people have them with respect to him.)

Social Security 1935
Medicare 1965
Griswold v Connecticut 1965
Roe v Wade 1973
ACA 2010
Obergefell v Hodges 2015

Eighty years of progress, about to be unraveled one case at a time. (Well, it has already started, see Citizens United, the end of the VRA, etc.)

It's important for Biden to win this election, yes, but that's the beginning, not the end, of a long process. Barring an act of some deity other than the one that guides god's-puppet-lady Amy Coney Barrett's every move and thought, there's going to be a lot of damage done that will take decades to repair. Not to mention figuring out how to address the weaknesses that the past forty years, with their apotheosis in Clickbait, have revealed in our system.

The Federalist Society, the Mercers, the DeVoses, the Kochs...

When I was a kid, at least the country was sane enough so that the Kochs' father's John Birch Society was widely regarded as a bunch of extremist loons. No longer.

Anyhow, these people had a long-term goal, and they poured money and resources into it for decades.

With climate change looming, it's going to be all that much harder to counter their focus and purposefulness. "I don't belong to an organized political party - I'm a Democrat" (Will Rogers, I believe) - we'll see, or at least our offspring may see, whether the mountain range of small-money donations that feeds ActBlue can counterbalance the planet-sized piles of concentrated wealth that are destroying us in seventeen different ways.

I should have put the VRA in the original list: 1965.

What drives me nuts is that they're destroying the system that allowed them to generate their wealth in the first place. I guess they don't care about what happens after they're dead, so long as they can squeeze every possible dollar out of our economic system while they're still alive.

Well, maybe they care about being able to pass sh*t tons of money to their heirs without it being taxed. But that seems to be about it, though it's probably enough to last a few generations before the rot gets to everyone.

Barring an act of some deity other than the one that guides god's-puppet-lady Amy Coney Barrett's every move and thought, there's going to be a lot of damage done that will take decades to repair.

You mean an act of God like Mr. Justice Thomas leaving the Court (whether via retirement or, more likely, his demise)? If, hypothetically, he and say Alito kick off in the next year or two, the amount of damage that the remaining conservatives manage to do would be limited.

and only paying $750 in taxes because he's so rich

Poor guy sounds like he’s on his uppers.

Yeah, I know I'm the one who wrote about an act of some deity, but in real life I'm an atheist (or close enough) in this as in other ways.

Alito is 70, Thomas 72. Even one of them "kicking off" is highly unlikely, never mind both. Breyer, on the other hand, is 82. And unless the Ds take the Senate, Mitch will just go right on blocking any openings that come up with a D president. He promised it four years ago, I know of nothing that would force him to change his mind.

Just talked myself into more $ for Senate campaigns.........

My imagination is way over-taxed:


I'm still reading "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich".

At this point, it's light relief after each day of trump reality, but only because Hitler was so much more exceptional as a psychopath.

I guess more guns is the only answer for America.

I hate guns.

But I won a gold ribbon on the high school rifle team for marksmanship.

The question in my mind is, if the Democrats take both houses of Congress and the White House, is the first order of business in the Senate to get rid of the filibuster so they can pass legislation as they please? And is one of the first pieces of legislation election reform?

i wonder if there's broad Senate Dem support for killing the filibuster...

election reform would be awesome.

if the Democrats take both houses of Congress and the White House, is the first order of business in the Senate to get rid of the filibuster so they can pass legislation as they please?

I'm guessing that they will at least try first to pass legislation without getting rid of the filibuster. But if/when the Republicans demonstrate that they will oppose anything and everything, and can keep everybody in line to make that blanket opposition work, then the filibuster is history.

1. Eliminate filibuster
2A. Pandemic response
2B. Economic relief - funding to states, unemployment, etc.
3. New Voting Rights Act - include pre-clearance for all jurisdictions (if that would get around Shelby v. Holder, IANAL)
4. Healthcare reform
5. Federal Judiciary reform - Jack Balkin has an interesting proposal for regularizing Supreme Court nominations.
6. Infrastructure spending - separate it out from relief spending so headline $ number lower; include some items related to climate change issues.
7. Climate Change policies
8. Federal election reform - mandates and funding for things as granular as: national secure voting machine standard; # of voting machines per # of registered voters in a jurisdiction. Or national vote by mail for all Federal offices. National standard for vote deadlines, recount procedures, legal challenges, etc. Again, these would only apply to Federal elections, but the hope would be that states would not want the hassle of having different processes for Federal vs. state/local elections.

Dream a little dream tonight. . .

From last June:

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said last week that he is firmly opposed to getting rid of the 60-vote requirement to pass controversial legislation.

“I think that would be a huge mistake,” King said.

“If we didn’t have the 60-vote rule today, the ACA would be gone,” he added, referring to the 2010 Affordable Care Act. “Medicaid would be severely compromised.”

But there are also powerful proponents in the Senate Democratic conference who say the filibuster should be abolished if Republicans try to obstruct presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s agenda, if he were to win the presidency.

“If the Republicans think that they are going to be able to hold up the actions that need to be taken in this country by using the filibuster then they’re wrong. We’re going to have to fight them,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told The Hill last week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned Democratic colleagues Tuesday to think very carefully before signing onto the push to scrap the filibuster.

“If there are any responsible Democratic senators left who aren’t going to be stampeded by the hard left, they ought to take a pause and think about whether they really think it’s a good idea for the country to put the one institution that guarantees that America stayed in the middle of the road into the same place as the House,” he told reporters.

I have a lot of respect for Angus King. He was a popular independent governor of Maine for eight years a while back, and is now in his second term as an independent senator who caucuses with the Ds.) I'm not sure how I feel about the filibuster, it seems like a no-win situation. But I'm very sure there isn't a circle in hell deep enough for Mitch McConnell. The hypocrisy alone would net him seventeen eternities of eating brimstone for every meal.

Of course I have a lot of respect for Elizabeth Warren as well....

A Cleveland company that agreed to print absentee ballots for dozens of counties in OH and PA is 10 days late in getting them to voters.

The company's owners are Trump supporters and flew a Trump flag at their HQ.

of course.

Would even 54 senators be enough ?
There’s Manchin, King, and probably Feinstein to convince for a start.

50 would be enough for the 'nuclear option'.

50 vote to change the rules, 50 vote against. tie goes to the VP who would vote to change.

Quite, and if King, Manchin and Feinstein don’t play, that’s 49.

Or perhaps still more than 50, depending on how many of the Senate races which are currently (however, in some cases, improbably) toss-ups end up flipping.

Certainly things could still turn around. But unless they do, an epic blowout seems entirely possible.

I'm very sure there isn't a circle in hell deep enough for Mitch McConnell.

Amen to the nth degree.

I'm very sure there isn't a circle in hell deep enough for Mitch McConnell.

One, I want him punished in this life, since I don't believe there's a next one.

Two, McConnell is one of tens of millions of people - all GOP voters - who decided that the US must be destroyed for the crime of electing and then re-electing a Democratic black President.

I'm very sure there isn't a circle in hell deep enough for Mitch McConnell.

My fantasy ideal (because what else are dreams for?) is McConnell
1) voted out of office
2) reduced to grinding poverty
3) living in that condition for decades

Agonizing illness not required. But something chronic which contributes to 2) is a plus.

One, I want him punished in this life, since I don't believe there's a next one.

1. I keep having to explain myself..."hell" was a metaphor for just how evil I think he is. I too would like to see him punished in this life. Too bad he's too old to endure any punishment for very many decades. Besides wj's list, I would like him to have to function in a world where no one else acts like they can even see or hear tha he exists. He can be a non-person, and see how he likes it.

2. I agree that racism plays a role, but the GOP was trying to destroy the US, or at least any version of it that I would recognize as a civilized country, long before Obama was elected. See the Charles Koch article I linked earlier. See Gingrich and Reagan. Of course the obsession with undoing FDR's legacy, and what followed, has an element of race in it for a lot of people, the millions who don't want e.g. Social Security if it means black people get it too.

But I don't think the Kochs (again e.g.) give a flying banana about the race aspect of it. They just want to be even more obscenely, dick-measuringly wealthy than they already are. And part of being wealthy for people like them is a different version of the "I'll live under a bridge and eat a sparrow on a spit as long as the X or X or X in the next archway doesn't get the sparrow." The rest of us have to be as widely and deeply immiserated as possible, because we haven't worked hard enough, and generally aren't virtuous enough, to live in comfort and safety, unlike the masters of the universe. How will they keep proving to themselves how superior they are if there isn't enough inferior-ness to gloat over?

Shorter: it's always about race in this country. But it's never only about race.

Back to bed, what on earth am I doing up at this ungodly hour anyhow?

I don't believe McConnell, as an example of a certain type of ideological species, would recognize any variety of payback as punishment for what he has wrought for the norms of governance in this country, but would rather enjoy it and profit from it as any cheap store-front ideological martyr would.

Read this, if you can stomach it:


I keep thinking these ..... insert any of the insults I overuse .... these sad, defiantly ugly, exhibitionist pretties, immolating themselves like trump, are the sign of the ultimate burning out of the malignant, authoritarian right-wing conservative movement, and I include Putin among them, now wrecking the world, much as Charles Manson and the Symbionese Liberation Army/Patty Hearst are viewed now symbolically .... probably by dismissive simpletons .... as a kind of inevitable and seedy waterloo for whatever the radical cultural and political Left thought it was accomplishing in those days.

But, I'm not so sure. What we are seeing might be some kind of portentous, albeit pretentious beginning.

Q is running for political office, now.

If Anders Breivik could somehow run for office in Europe, what would happen?

How much room is there between Breivik and Orban, for example?

How much room is there between Dreher's self-enamored ravings about Weimar America and the embrace of Putin's depravity by the Russian Orthodox Church?

Or is Dreher along the lines of the Beach Boys' naive drummer, Dennis Wilson, unwittingly hanging with Manson's "associates" right up to the disaster, though Dreher is pretty cynical the way he teases and flirts his way through his political choices.

It's not like Dreher is a Stockholm Syndrome Patty Hearst and is going to go back to his normal life while living off the residuals from his books, is it?

He's playing a longer game. As is the female protagonist in the link.

She's addressed the European Parliament, for cripes' sake, and is now playing the outside agitator in Australia.

It took a Hitler to vanquish Weimar Germany's gender experimentation and the Other.

And even he was SHOCKED that he made such overwhelming, uncontested headway each malign step he took.

But our ham sandwich is going to ruin America.

I enjoyed and appreciatedthis piece regarding originalism. Scalia was such an intellectual fraud.

Read this, if you can stomach it

I read it, and was duly depressed and unsurprised. The confluence of ignorance, callousness, ambition, amorality and shortsightedness, and the power that social media etc gives to the people who possess these qualities, is profoundly worrying and upsetting. JDT is quite right; this stuff is just as bad and growing in Europe as in the US. Q-type conspiracy theories ditto (recent personal experience at one degree of separation confirms). Kaliyuga, perhaps. Eheu.


Coney Barrett, from her testimony before the Judiciary Committee as quoted here:

“The fact that there wasn't the Internet or computers or blogs in 1791 doesn't mean that the First Amendment's free speech clause couldn't apply to those things now,” she said. “It enshrines a principle, and we understand the principle as it was at the time, but then it's capable of being applied to new circumstances.”

A capsule definition of the "living constitution" approach to judicial reasoning, from here:

In United States constitutional interpretation, the living Constitution or loose constructionism is the claim that the Constitution and other constitutions, holds a dynamic meaning, evolving and adapting to new circumstances, without being formally amended.

I guess there's some daylight between those statements, but I have to squint pretty hard to see it.

Well, they *have* to go for a dynamic reading, so that the 2nd Amendment doesn't only apply to muzzle-loader flintlocks.

Oh wait, that would be if they had any sort of intellectual integrity. Never mind.

What we are seeing might be some kind of portentous, albeit pretentious beginning.

Q is running for political office, now.

I see those QAnon candidates as a sign that the GOP nationwide is going the way the California GOP did in the 1990s. Getting so loony that they can only win in the occasional backwater. Just takes a little more crazy to make the cut some places than others.

There are still some Republicans in the California legislature. Just not enough to have any substantial impact as a group. (Individual Republican legislators, if they are willing to work with others, can still make things happen.)

What stops Q from becoming the latest establishment GOP dogma?

They have no principles beyond Hate Teh Libz and Q is as good a rationale for that as any of the others they’ve had over the years.

Truth? Hah.

What stops Q from becoming the latest establishment GOP dogma?

They have no principles beyond Hate Teh Libz and Q is as good a rationale for that as any of the others they’ve had over the years.

Well, it makes Cleek's Law the GOP's official doctrine, rather than just the de factor doctrine.

GOP: "When you have lost everything else (thanks to our economic policies!) we'll make sure you still have liberal tears to keep you warm."



Don't think the subhuman conservative movement can't, or won't, harness this:


One of Barrett’s cases.

Do authorities have no duty of care towards inmates ? From a UK perspective, this judgment seems utterly unconscionable, barabaric.

There was a time when Kevin Van Ausdal had not yet been called a “loser” and “a disgrace” and hustled out of Georgia. He had not yet punched a wall, or been labeled a “communist,” or a person “who’d probably cry like a baby if you put a gun in his face.” He did not yet know who was going to be the Republican nominee for Congress in his conservative district in northwestern Georgia: the well-known local neurosurgeon, or the woman he knew vaguely as a person who had openly promoted conspiracies including something about a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles.

Trump is galvanizing right-wing violence and lock-her-up government terrorism against Michigan Governor Whitmer.

Since my son is for the time being in Michigan and favors and observes the Governor's restrictions on Death-cult, lawbreaking subhuman republican vermin, I'm taking the President's threats personally.

I don't how Biden is going to live up to the both sides do it expectations of the bullshit artists, but there are 26 Republican Governors out there who could use some malicious incentive-inducing threats against their policies from a freedom-loving tree-watering Democratic President who has 780 billion dollars of military savagery at his beck and call.

And this guy:


I predict things are going to get very creative when it comes time to hurt that cuck.

Maybe the pandemic-loving hack can run back to CNBC and let Joe Kernan and Jim Cramer resume sucking his dick on a daily basis.

Raise Kudlow's marginal tax rate to 100% and let it kick in on the FIRST dollar he defrauds from dupe filth.

May his business always be small, like his sadistic character.

May animal spirits feed on his viscera.

Obama was a tyrant!

Dear Inspector General Horowitz,

On September 3, members of a U.S. Marshals’ task force killed Michael Reinoehl, who was suspected of murder. A New York Times investigation casts doubt on whether the officers had legitimate grounds to kill Mr. Reinoehl. Based on accounts from eyewitnesses, the Times reconstruction of what occurred “raises questions about whether law enforcement officers made any serious attempt to arrest Mr. Reinoehl before killing him.” On October 15, Donald Trump stated, “We sent in the US Marshals, took 15 minutes it was over … They knew who he was, they didn’t want to arrest him and 15 minutes that ended.” We respectfully request you open an investigation to determine if an extrajudicial killing occurred in this case.

From a UK perspective, this judgment seems utterly unconscionable, barabaric.

Just wondering what kind of damages are awarded against the government in the UK. It appears that abuses happen in the UK, but my quick googling didn't offer up a result on whether money damages are paid by the government in the UK. I would certainly have been in favor of the corrections officer being convicted of rape, and liable for damages. (I know of cases of abuse in my state where there have been convictions.) Also, the officer would have been personally liable for damages. The problem with the government being liable for money damages (and the rationale for the sovereign immunity doctrine) is that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for the wrongs of people unless they're acting within the "scope of employment". That's a tricky question, and one that Trump is trying to use in a different way to evade discovery in the case brought by one of his victims. (He says that denying rape is within the scope of his employment as President.)

I'm not opining myself, but without a lot more research, I'm not sure that this particular decision is "barbaric," even though there should be a way for abused prisoners to obtain restitution or money damages, if even by a special fund.

Just for discussion, in contrast, the officers who killed Michael Reinoehl seem to have been acting under the authority of the government. They are more likely to be deemed having acted within the scope of their employment. (That's what it looks like to me, anyway.)

They knew who he was, they didn’t want to arrest him ...

Charitably, Trump was referring to local authorities.

from cleek's link about Van Ausdal:

“I’ve seen some mention of lizard people?” Kevin said, going through news articles to learn more about QAnon. “And JFK’s ghost? Or maybe he’s still alive? And QAnon is working with Trump to fight the deep state? I’m not sure I understand.”

this election year is not about policy. it's about insanity vs not-insanity.

I recommend the not-insanity option.

Do authorities have no duty of care towards inmates ?

I have no idea what prison is like anywhere else. In this country, I think the assumption is that being in prison will make you vulnerable to a variety of forms of violence.

We now have a small cottage industry of consultants who will help you prepare for life in jail, if you can afford them.

We also jail a lot of mentally ill people, which generally just makes them much more mentally ill.

We have our good points and our bad points. Our prison regime - at any level, federal state or local - is not one of our good points.

Charitably, Trump was referring to local authorities.

The local officers involved had been deputized as US marshals.

Our prison regime - at any level, federal state or local - is not one of our good points.

It wasn't one of our good points before. But since the fad for privately run prisons took hold, things appear to have gotten significantly worse.

Prisons themselves are barbaric, yes.

Here's a case from the UK about compensation being awarded for rape by prison staff.

On the one hand, the government accepts liability. On the other, the amount of the compensation is 100 times smaller.

... that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for the wrongs of people unless they're acting within the "scope of employment"....

I think that’s nonsense.
When you deprive someone of their liberty, you have a duty of care to ensure they are incarcerated in a safe manner. I wouldn’t claim for a moment that the UK is perfect in thus respect, but the law actually recognises that duty of care.
Just telling the mutt that sex with inmates is outside the scope of his employment does not meet that standard.

I don't know how Proud Boys and Incels are going to make a living now that they must find gainful work wherein the scope of their employment does not explicitly include rape and sexual harassment.

Especially now that show biz, prisons, the military and the priesthood have stricken those essential people skills from their job descriptions and employment contracts.

Looks like the Presidency of the United States is the only job left on the planet the poor slobs' array of talents are most suited for.

And the current lout in the office just hired the Judge who will keep it that way.

They are more likely to be deemed having acted within the scope of their employment.

maybe not exactly within.

Civilian eyewitnesses interviewed by Oregon Public Broadcasting and ProPublica and other public statements offer similarly inconsistent and sometimes conflicting recollections. They agree that they heard no warning from federal agents, and saw no flashing lights that indicated the arrival of law enforcement, just a fusillade that one neighbor likened to a scene out of the video game Call of Duty.

Reinoehl, 48, died in the street from gunshot wounds to his head and torso. The shots were fired by two Pierce County sheriff’s deputies, a Lakewood police officer and a Washington State Department of Corrections employee — all deputized by the U.S. Marshals Service and serving on a Tacoma-based fugitive task force, a common and standard procedure among local-federal partnerships. A U.S. marshal was also part of the team but did not fire.

Political campaigns should be required to hire jungle writers for their musical accompaniment.

The Beatles are very tight regarding how and when their original music is used (hardly ever), but I wonder if they'd look the other way if Trump blared this tune out our rallies:


Maybe Beck:


Jungle fits, but maybe jingle is better.

There's a duty of care required in the US too, and the decision itself applied Wisconsin law, so other states (or federal prisons) might have a different standard. Arguably the state met its duty of care by training staff to care for prisoners under standards that this guard didn't follow.

I think there should be a way for prisoners to be compensated for abuse suffered at the hands of prison guards (or fellow inmates, for that matter, since prisons should be protecting inmates from each other).

The decision itself is here.

The case has a bad result, but in trying to fix the law, I would focus on a prison's responsibility to supervise its employees who obviously have an unacceptable degree of independent access and power over prisoners. Whether or not they are acting within the scope of their employment shouldn't be the standard. It's possible that the lawyers for the plaintiff should have pursued a separate argument on that basis, but it's not clear that the state would have waived sovereign immunity to compensate the victim. It's bad law, for sure.

I'm not a fan of Barrett, but in this case the law should be changed.

I'm not a fan of Barrett, but in this case the law should be changed.

Well, opinions differ. (see also the comments thread).

Was this bad judging or bad law? And how would an intellectually honest "textualist" address this case?

The Wisconsin statute 895.46 reads as follows:

(a) If the defendant in any action or special proceeding is a public officer or employee and is proceeded against in an official capacity or is proceeded against as an individual because of acts committed while carrying out duties as an officer or employee and the jury or the court finds that the defendant was acting within the scope of employment, the judgment as to damages and costs entered against the officer or employee, except as provided in s. 146.89 (4), in excess of any insurance applicable to the officer or employee shall be paid by the state or political subdivision of which the defendant is an officer or employee. Agents of any department of the state shall be covered by this section while acting within the scope of their agency.

But I am no attorney!

Plaintiff's brief here.

The indemnification provision absolves the perpetrator from liability. In other words, if the prison official had been wealthy, the statute would have required the state to pay the damages instead of the prison guard, who would have gotten off scot-free.

That, in fact, is what the sexual assaulter in the Olson case (cited in the Plaintiff's brief) was trying to do. Although the jury in that case decided that a physician's sexual assault was part of his treatment of the plaintiff, thereby within the "scope of his employment" as a physician, it wasn't within the scope of his employment at a clinic (which would have shifted financial liability from him to the clinic) because he wasn't trying to further any purposes of the clinic.

I wish the prisoner-victim had gotten money, but don't think the decision is out of line.

So, in order to achieve fairer results for prisoners who are victims of sexual assaults and other abuses, the legislature shouldn't merely indemnify prison guards, but should impose a stricter standard on prisons for the behavior of their employees (who have the means to commit abuse), whether the employees are acting within the scope of their employment or not.

With climate change looming, it's going to be all that much harder to counter their focus and purposefulness.

With that in mind, add Massachusetts v. EPA to your list of cases. That's the whole foundation for regulating greenhouse gases under the current version of the Clean Air Act.

I'd be happy to see the filibuster fall to a couple paragraph change to the CAA that explicitly bring at least carbon dioxide directly under the umbrella. Methane is almost as important, but there's a lot to be worked out for how to approach regulation of livestock "emissions".

There’s Manchin, King, and probably Feinstein to convince for a start.

If we're making a somewhat longer list of Senators to worry about, you might add Tester, Bennett, and Sinema. If they win, perhaps Hickenlooper and Bullock. Same list of names, of course, for changing the size of the Supreme Court.

The prison guard that raped the pregnant teenager should be summarily executed.

The person that hired that prison guard should be summarily executed.

The person that hired the person that hired that prison guard should be summarily executed.

Now back to the yodeling llamas.

The prison guard that raped the pregnant teenager should be summarily executed.

Surely it would be more appropriate to just incarcerate that guard to a prison staffed entirely by guards who molest inmates. Execution, after all, is over so quickly.


"If you're a moderate Democrat or a liberal who knows that your party has gone totally off the rails, you have a moral duty to immediately stop this lunacy. You must, by law, join the Republican Party."

Bu... but... but, then, there wouldn't be two sides to do it.

Speaking of courts, I didn't even know (or maybe forgot, with all the other evil that he's brewing) that Trump was trying to end food stamps for 700,000 unemployed people. Grateful for Beryl Howell, DC District Court judge for striking this plan down.

The Trump appellate regime frightens me regarding these kinds of issues.

You must, by law, join the Republican Party

I love that "by law"! Just another example of the fact that he has no concept of what "law" actually means.

he has no concept of what "law" actually means.

Actually, he has a quite clear concept. It just happens to be totally wrong.

What he thinks it means is "You gotta do whatever I want!"

oh those Marxists

When Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple was told about the series of text messages sent to another city official last week, the Democrat said he noticed that the man, frustrated by the city’s mask mandate to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, had spelled out a graphic, specific threat to kidnap and kill him.

“He said he was going to kidnap me and slash my throat and he needed my address because I needed to see the hangman — me and everyone who, something about tyranny,” Whipple told the Wichita Eagle. The mayor indicated to the New York Times that the man also said he wanted to turn him into fertilizer.

He’s been watching Hamilton ?

OOOH! Y’know what, we can change that! Y’know why?


‘Cause I’m the president!

From the Wall Street Journal:


Despite the conservative, paranoid CCP authorities blowing their initial response to the pandemic (as America did initially with the "Spanish" Flu, "sending" .... a purposefully freighted word ... infected Americans abroad to spread the thing) would American Covid-19 sufferers and all of us trying our best to NOT to be infected by this current pandemic, despite the best efforts of the Republican Party to give it to us, and Trump's and his vermin's malignant cheering on of the spread of the virus and adamant, murderous refusal to institute nationwide testing and contact tracing to we, the "Christian" HERD, be better off in China, even in Wuhan at this very moment, instead of in fucking Michigan with its Supreme Murderous Court, or Wisconsin, or South Dakota?

Now, on the whole, the the Chinese Muslim Uyghurs would rather be in Philadelphia.

Or would they? Probably, but still, both countries have their conservative haters and murderers to contend with:



The demonstrators in Hong Kong would rather be in Minneapolis, or would they?


The substance of OTHER-hating conservatism comes in a rainbow of ideological flavors, but the base substance is consistent across the board.

I hate 'em all.

At least the virus is ideologically neutral when it comes to its killing.

I won't be vacationing in Wuhan any time soon, best to be safe, of course, and America probably wouldn't let me back in if I did, IF China would accept my now discredited and diseased American passport in the first place.

No, but America encourages me to visit South Dakota and breath easy all over my friends and loved ones on my return to Colorado.

What a sick fucking bunch.

He’s been watching Hamilton ?

Not a chance! Just waaaay too intellectual for him. (I'd bet on independent invention.)


For the Republican Party, this election is merely troop movement into position for Civil War, win or lose.

Don't listen to the strategic feints by the likes of dupe liars Sasse and Cornyn moving their cannons to the rear.


Please steal this election.

PLEASE, CCP conservative republicans, do your worst.

Their subhuman God votes as many times as he likes:


I love the masked Secret Service cordoning off the unmasked fangregation, as if there might be a Judas lurking among them to save the country.

Ah, well, there are slot machines in the narthex and threesomes were being planned during the service.

Here's five $20 bills, God. One day soon I will come to you and request a favor, and you will do me that favor.


See how his comb over is lit above the beatific smile. Like Beelzebub's halo as he ascends from his lair.


Every follicle says: "I'm going to kill every one of my fucking enemies."

Love him or hate him (and I'm not exactly a longtime fan) Michael Gerson can definitely turn a phrase. On today's GOP:

Years of complicity with Trump’s assault on American institutions is less like a bad haircut than an infected tattoo.
Although I hadn't realized that infected tatoos could metastasize.

Although I hadn't realized that infected tatoos could metastasize.

Flesh eating bacteria?

Raping while performing one's job doesn't count because it's outside the official job capacity.


Denying rape while performing one's job ... welp, that's an official part of the job.


This country is kinda full of crap.

Okay, so I knew all about Chuck Tingle and his epic owning of the Sad Puppies during The Hugo Wars, but I totally missed this ever more epic trolling of Epic Shrek himself:


I do not want to spoil your discovery of the book titles, or the delightful liner copy and disclaimers. You will have to seek those out yourselves.

Recently, from TPM

To turn Cookie Monster’s phrase on its head: it’s not a sometimes thing.

Anyone know what Cookie Monster's phrase is? Or is it that 'Me want cookie' is an all time thing?

lj -- https://www.spoonfulofcomfort.com/blog/7-cookie-quotes-from-cookie-monster/

This quote comes up on the search results page:

“Me Love to Eat Cookies. Sometimes eat whole, sometimes me chew it.”

But this one might be more relevant to the line you quoted from TPM:

“Sometimes me think, what is friend? And then me say: a friend is someone to share last cookie with.”

The TPM article is subscribers-only after a couple of paragraphs. Care to quote a longer passage? Or list more of the rats who are trying to leave the sinking ship? (If only I could believe it was really sinking....)

"He'll listen to scientists." Imagine living in a country where to a near approximation half the people are terrified of the prospect. No, don't imagine it, you'll get depressed.

The Great Moonwalking, long foretold, is beginning in advance of President leaving office or even losing office. We are now hearing that even some of President Trump’s most committed lickspittles and toadies were in fact anti-Trump all along, just working secretly, operating from the inside. To borrow the Catholic hierarchy’s usage, they were in pectore members of the resistance.

Last week we had Ben Sasse detailing all the President’s many transgressions in a campaign call he was sure would rapidly make it into the papers. Yesterday John Cornyn, one of the President’s most loyal Senate soldiers, announced that contrary to all appearances he has not in fact loyally supported the President at every turn. In fact he has opposed almost all of his major policy initiatives – just secretly. Cornyn cast himself as an abused wife who has only latterly realized there’s no changing Trump. “Maybe like a lot of women who get married and think they’re going to change their spouse, and that doesn’t usually work out very well.”

“I think what we found is that we’re not going to change President Trump. He is who he is. You either love him or hate him, and there’s not much in between. What I tried to do is not get into public confrontations and fights with him because, as I’ve observed, those usually don’t end too well.”

“When I have had differences of opinion, which I have, (I) do that privately,” Cornyn said. “I have found that has allowed me to be much more effective, I believe, than to satisfy those who say I ought to call him out or get into a public fight with him.”

Cornyn has a clear advantage but is in a competitive race with Democrat MJ Hegar. These statements were almost certainly driven by recent polling. I doubt it was Cornyn’s own polling directly but rather Trump’s. I suspect Cornyn’s internal polls show a real chance – not a likelihood but a real chance – that Trump will be overwhelmed in Texas. In those kind of 500 year political floods everyone can get washed away.

We saw this before, albeit in the far less extreme case of President George W. Bush. Bush was on the skids with the public almost from the moment he won reelection in 2004. He faced a Democratic wave election in 2006 and a second in 2008 when he was no longer on the ballot. As soon as he was out of office Republicans who had loyally supported almost every move suddenly decided that Bush was a proponent of something called “big government conservatism” that they’re never supported or had any truck with at all. It all happened on a dime and allowed Republican partisans to rebrand themselves as freedom fighters amidst the wreckage of their own creation in 2009 and 2010.

Cornyn is right about one thing: Trumpism is all or nothing. To turn Cookie Monster’s phrase on its head: it’s not a sometimes thing. You’re for or against. No one survives trying to find a middle position. We are about to see numerous Republicans attempting to rewrite the history we have all witnessed recently with such anguish, claiming they never supported Trump and in fact were secret opponents on the inside. If Trump loses Republicans will try to push the whole disgraceful history into the memory hole. Whether they will be able to sustainedly is another question because we all remember and also because President Trump himself, still a warlord controlling a broken GOP, won’t let them.


via LGM

All that moonwalking stuff makes me nervous, because I still think Trump, the court etc could pull it off for him. In which case the moonwalk for all his enablers would be more like the hokey-cokey.

Yes, I saw the Cornyn quotes and quietly vomited.

On the bright side, I can’t see that expressing such weakness will endear him much to Texas Republicans.

Thanks, lj. :-)

I'm with GftNC on the hokey-pokey, as we call it over here. I wish all these pundits would basically just shut up. There might be some satisfaction in having a bunch of Rs turning on Clickbait, but that's not even what they're doing, it's all for show, they don't give a damn either way as long as they get elected again themselves.

I know I've posted this before, but it's one of the best passages ever written about these people, even if it did come from the pen of George Will, so here it is again:

In life’s unforgiving arithmetic, we are the sum of our choices. Congressional Republicans have made theirs for more than 1,200 days. We cannot know all the measures necessary to restore the nation’s domestic health and international standing, but we know the first step: Senate Republicans must be routed, as condign punishment for their Vichyite collaboration, leaving the Republican remnant to wonder: Was it sensible to sacrifice dignity, such as it ever was, and to shed principles, if convictions so easily jettisoned could be dignified as principles, for . . . what? Praying people should pray, and all others should hope: May I never crave anything as much as these people crave membership in the world’s most risible deliberative body.

Of course, this thought train is beyond the comprehension of the Sasses and Cornyns and Collinses and Romneys of the world. If it weren't, they would all have stood up by now and said they wouldn't vote on a SCOTUS nominee right now, not even if it's after the election but before a Biden inauguration. Susan Collins apparently thinks she has threaded the proper line by saying she won't vote until she knows whether Clickbait is a lame duck president (my phrasing, not hers), but she thinks it's perfectly fine for a lame duck Senate to vote no matter who wins the presidency. That's the opening Miss Weasel Words has left herself, anyhow.

She is the perfect example of what Will says. With the Kavanaugh vote she was in a cleft stick: alienate her base and her big donors, or alienate all the crossover voters who kept her in office for so long. She made her choice. In two weeks we'll know if she paid dearly, or, hopefully more to the point, how dearly she paid.

There's an interesting piece in today's NYT headlined The Real Divide in America Is Between Political Junkies and Everyone Else. It talks about the hierarchy of concerns within, respectively, Rs and Ds who belong to the political junky class (comprising 15-20% of the population to which, I think almost by definition, we here all belong) and Rs and Ds in the rest of the population. The difference is stark, and important for Biden (if he should, DV, get elected) to take into account.



One side has some catching up to do.

That vermin dude in the video is roughly 65 miles from my son.

Good to know for future reference.

Meanwhile, right wing republican, now mainstream, scum politicians in Michigan are fighting this rule as well:


Well, then both sides should do it.

The Republican Party wants to count corpses, not votes, to decide who wins this election.

Cancel culture in Texas:


The scum who do this to their fellow humans call themselves Christians.

I can't say I'm surprised that Abbott and Co would do that to LGBTQ folks. That's right in their wheelhouse.

But the disabled??? Maybe they were having trouble reaching a new low -- admittedly a challenge for them these days -- and reached for some low hanging fruit.

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