"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Monday, November 11, 2019

Sometimes I think

Donald Trump is doing Alec Baldwin doing Donald Trump.  And everything is just a comedy sketch on late-night TV.

It's a more comforting thought than facing reality.


...what's amazing is that it isn't treated as a crack-brained conspiracy theory, or that it's just another news item, just another day in paradise.

Armistice Day 2019

It's funny how conservative you get over time. I've come to prefer "Armistice" to "Veteran's" to label the day, maybe because "Memorial Day" has been taken over as another day to have a spasm of declaring ourselves free because we resemble Rome (with its standing army) more than we resemble Athens (with its citizen soldiers called to battle only when the need arose).

Paths of Glory is the story for today. The story of a French general ordering a suicide charge by his own troops, and then issuing a order to shell his own troops to get them out their trenches and into the fusillade of machine gun fire that would surely cut them down like so many blades of grass.

That's the movie for today. "A voice says, 'Cry!" And I say: "What shall I cry? All flesh is grass...."

Which is the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Call the names. Call the names. Call the names.

As I May Have Mentioned

Rick Perry has never NOT worked for the government his entire adult life. Government service, especially in Texas, is notoriously stingy with salaries; and yet, Rick Perry is quite comfortably well off, if not "rich" by the standards of most of us who earn an honest living.

This story is a fine example of how that happened to him.  I've always said Rick Perry was crooked as a dog's hind leg.  Besides, isn't the biggest remit of the Energy Department to manage the nuclear fuel and facilities of the U.S. government?  It is, after all, the descendant of the old Atomic Energy Commission.

Crooked as a sidewinder....

Damn Straight!

Although I'm not sure a three-month supply can be accurately considered an "emergency supply."

I fall below that in my freezer, THAT'S the emergency!

Veteran's Day 2019

"The ceremony of innocence is drowned...."

"The blood swept lands and seas of red...."

Kurt Vonnegut, b. November 11, 1922, d. April 11, 2007.

I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

"The sudden silence was the Voice of God."

 Precisely so.

Why Doesn't the President Know?

Ah, yes, I remember it well....

When Ted Cruz first ran for the U.S. Senate, he claimed on his campaign website that the U.N. wanted to take away our golfs, and that Agenda 21 (remember that?) was going to be used by the U.N. to abolish America and establish a one-world government.

Nobody noticed. He got more attention for crazy when Trump accused his father of being part of the Kennedy assassination.

So I don't really know what difference four candidates who are QAnon is going to make, but hope springs eternal.  I guess.

"What Did the President Know?"

"And when did he know it?"

That was not a critique of Richard Nixon; it was a defense.  It was offered by Sen. Howard Baker, a Republican, trying to stem the rising tide of sewage and corruption spewing into the nation's homes through the televised Watergate hearings (speaking of which, how the mighty have fallen).  It didn't work, ultimately, and Baker was among the Senators who went to Nixon and told him his goose was well and fully cooked.  It was the wrong question then; it's the wrong question now.

The truly frightening issue with Iran/Contra was not that Ronald Reagan might have blessed the idiotic efforts of Oliver North & Co. (I'm still convinced Poppy was in that up to his eyeballs; the PR campaign he pulled off after losing the Presidency is still a marvel of lies and distractions), but that he was so clueless he had no idea what was being done in his name.  Carter was criticized (falsely) for keeping track of even the tennis court schedule at the White House.  Reagan went the other way, fecklessly (and probably physically) unaware (and incapable of being aware) of what was being done in his own Administration.

So which is it for Trump?  Reagan, or Nixon?  What did he do carries an equally important question:  what did he fail to do?  If he is so clueless he has no idea what's being done in his Administration, why isn't that grounds for impeachment because he is responsible for what happens, whether he's ignorant of it or not.  If he is the micro-manager he is supposed to be, perhaps we simply haven't penetrated the inner-circle of his criminal Administration because, as he proved in the Mueller Report (Mueller said this explicitly to Congress), the liars he surrounds himself with prove perjury works if nobody cracks.

Trump, after all, has yet to have his John Dean.

This really isn't about a badly plotted narrative where the mystery writer doesn't make it clear in the last chapter who the killer is, with no ambiguity and no chance of mistake in identifying the criminal. This is reality, and even criminal law, with its high bar of "proof beyond a reasonable doubt," doesn't require the absolute certainty we seek in fiction.  What Trump did is balanced by what Trump failed to do.  One is as damning as the other, as much an abuse of power as the other.  A President can abuse power willfully; he can also do it fecklessly, or even incompetently.  The President is not a King.  We are not stuck with him for four years, or eight, despite the fact he is manifestly incapable of fulfilling the role.  When the Cabinet and Vice President won't take action under the 25th Amendment, the Congress has a responsibility to do so under Art. II.

What did Trump do?  We can equally ask: what did Trump not do?  And why?

News You Can Use!

Gee, why would they want to focus on the whistleblower?


Now All We Need is Another Oliver North

It's the Ronald Reagan defense:  the President was too demented to know what was going on.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

First Two (guesses) Don't Count

Why ever would Iran be enriching uranium again?

Anybody? Anybody?

Which one...? the "dumbest one" again?

Forget It

You can't fix stupid. (And it's worse than Ms. O' Brien thinks. In context it seems Sen. Blackburn has confused Mark Zaid with Jesus.)

Deja Vu All Over Again

I had one criminal case in my law career, the price I paid for my Federal court license. Re-reading this Trump tweet I suddenly remembered it.

The charge was possession of a firearm by a felon. Our client insisted "NOTHING WAS DONE WRONG" because:

A) it wasn't his gun
B) the gun was in the package tray of the car
C) He was driving, as far from the gun as he could be while in the car.

He had been stopped on a traffic violation, if I recall correctly. He was a felon, there was a gun in the car, that violated federal law: voila, he found himself on the wrong end of a criminal charge with no defense to it.

"Possession" in law is not defined like "This gun is my possession." It doesn't mean ownership, merely custody and control. A gun in the car you are driving is in your custody and control. That is the beginning and the end of it. He had, as I say, no defense, even as he insisted as he was taken back to jail, "NOTHING WAS DONE WRONG."

Saying it loudly still doesn't make it so. Ignorance of the law is not a defense, either. My client was insistently ignorant of the law; it didn't keep him out of jail.

The Color of the Sky in Trump's World

I'm trying to think of a Congressional hearing where the witness' lawyer got to ask questions of other witnesses, especially if that witness was the subject of a Congressional investigation.  Or, since Trump keeps raising "Due process" and Rand Paul keeps raising the 6th Amendment, a criminal investigation where the subject of investigation gets to ask questions of witnesses under oath during the investigation.  Grand jury proceedings are secret, and the grand jury asks questions.  A witness can leave the room to consult with counsel, but that's the best they get.  The people being investigated don't even know what's being said about them in the jury room.  Trump, meanwhile, has been offered "due process," and refused it, preferring to stonewall (another mark against him) rather than be transparent. So.....
Several witnesses and thousands of pages of transcripts beg to differ.  Clearly there is "something" there.  As for the things Congress should be doing, why aren't you working on that, rather than going to football and baseball games and wrestling matches, and tweeting all through the weekend?
If you would release the transcript, we'd all be happy to read it.  As for nothing being done wrong, you couldn't even admit how badly you were punished by the NY Court for your fraudulent charity, a charity where you took money for children with cancer and spent it on yourself.  You haven't so much as acknowledged that (though the settlement did) and apologized for it.  Nor have you talked about how you cannot have anything to do with any charity into the future, without severe and restrictive government oversight.  You are not exactly the best judge of when "NOTHING WAS DONE WRONG!"

Maybe if you started doing something right, it would be easier to credit your complaint.

"My words but a whisper, your deafness a SHOUT!"

You know it's not true, because the man wasn't crying.

I've seen people in the grip of great mental distress: hallucinations, multiple personality disorder, Alzheimer's. But I've never come across anyone so delusional yet taken so seriously. Comments like this shouldn't be reported as news; they should be treated as the rantings of a broken mind, of a man who can't tell truth from fiction. But to do so would be a political statement itself. At least, that's the argument.

But is it a political statement to say the President tells this story over and over again, always in service to Trump aggrandizing Trump? The only news in that story is that Trump lied again. Practically the only news when Trump opens his mouth is that he's lying again, and that it's so obvious there can be no question about it.

Why is the burden of proof shifted to the person laughing at the naked emperor? Are we really so convinced he wears the finest clothes? Or are we more concerned that we will have to defend the obvious? Isn't it easier to pretend there are always two equal opinions for every question, and that any challenge is a judgment? And isn't any judgment a political act?

Or is it sometimes simply stating the obvious?

Still in the Wilderness of Process

The GOP's got nuthin'.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) on Sunday argued that President Donald Trump may not be guilty of a quid pro quo with Ukraine if he did not have a “culpable state of mind” when he allegedly tried to extort the country’s president.

Kennedy made the remarks while speaking to CBS News host Margaret Brennan.

“The quid pro quo, in my judgment, is a red herring,” Kennedy opined before agreeing that it would be “over the line” for Trump to ask Ukraine to conduct an investigation into Joe Biden.

But the Louisiana senator suggested that the president may be in the clear if he did not have a guilty “state of mind” while extorting Ukraine.

“I think this case is going to come down to the president’s intent, his motive, did he have a culpable state of mind?” Kennedy said.

“So, ‘over the line,’ does that mean impeachable?” Brennan wondered.

“Yeah, probably,” Kennedy agreed.

But not unless Trump's conduct meets a standard of criminality which doesn't apply in cases of impeachment.  Remember when we said the 6th Amendment doesn't apply to Art. II impeachment because the latter is not a criminal proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction? The only governmental entities with jurisdiction over Presidential impeachment are the House and Senate, and the Constitution clearly gives them the power to decide how to conduct impeachment hearings and impeachment trials, and no other entity, including the houses of Congress or the courts, can interfere with that process for each house of Congress.

Besides, impeachment is not a criminal proceeding.  Due process would require a right to appeal, and there is no appeal from eviction from office (it has happened, just never to a POTUS).  It also isn't decided on criminal grounds, but on grounds of breach of trust.  If the officeholder behaves in ways that bring disrepute on the office (this is basically what "abuse of power" means), those ways would encompass bribery, treason (the only crime defined in the Constitution), or other "high crimes and misdemeanors."  Like a felony conviction, it is a stamp of moral turpitude, of unfitness for the public trust (which Trump already reached in the charity settlement he had to agree to over the Trump Foundation.).  Trump isn't fit to serve on, or set up, another charity without strict oversight.  He's no more or less fit for public office, either.

Whether he has a "guilty mind," or not.

THIS is "Normalizing" Non-Normal Behavior

Just so you know what it looks like. Rarer than you think, but very, very plainly wrong. A/K/A "excusing the inexcusable."

May Your Wish Be Granted!

All your wishes:

"Few Witnesses"?

Pray, how many does it take? Is there a number below which it is not illegal or an abuse of power? Because that seems to be the new GOP "it's not about the process!" argument.

Same Song, Second Verse

Not everyone in the GOP is so stupid they don't realize this (June's, Jordan, Paul are notable exceptions). This is just another version of the process argument, but arguing over process is all they have. Rand Paul tried to argue the facts on MTP this morning. The Democratic representative from Connecticut who came on after him ripped Paul to shreds without breaking a sweat.

The GOP can't pound on the facts, so they're gonna pound on the table. Still.

I Want a Name When I Lose...

At Least She Got To Choose Her Doctor

Well, I assume she did. Probably loves her insurance, too.  Doesn't everybody?

Saturday, November 09, 2019

What's that story about chutzpah?

The kid who murders his parents then asks for mercy because he's an orphan?  Bolton can't comply with a Congressional subpoena, but he can write a book? His lips are sealed until the advance check clears?

I honestly expect the court to take judicial notice of this in telling Bolton to get his ass to the heating room instanter.

Money for...something

Medicare: because we don't want old people dying in ditches.

Social Security: because we don't want old people living on dog food.

See? Government does expect something for the money!

American Ahistoricism alive and well.

I wanted to be charitable and say Ms. Crowley was too young to remember a divided Berlin; but she was 21 in 1989. I was 21 in 1976 when I visited Munich, the capital of West Germany. Berlin was not on our itinerary, in part because of that wall. A wall put up by the USSR, which Putin remembers so fondly.

What is it about Russia, then and now, that Trump admires so deeply, an admiration his staff (Cowley is Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs for the Treasury Dept.) know to slavishly reflect?

And why are so few people asking this question?


I think not. And that's not a picture of Mark Twain, either.

It's not quite Advent

So it's a little early to go full "Magnificat" on Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg and Jamie Dimon, and their ilk.

But still, I like the sentiment:

My soul extols the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has shown consideration for the lowly stature of his slave. As a consequence, from now on every generation will congratulate me; the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name, and his mercy will come to generation after generation of those who fear him. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has put the arrogant to rout, along with their private schemes; he has pulled the mighty down from their thrones, and exalted the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, remembering his mercy, as he spoke to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever. (Luke 1:46-56, SV)

20 centuries later, that's still hardcore radical stuff.

And it would have stayed "classified" if not for that meddling whistleblower!

“The State Department decision, which hasn’t been reported previously, stemmed from a legal finding made earlier in the year, and conveyed in a classified memorandum to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. State Department lawyers found the White House Office of Management and Budget, and thus the president, had no legal standing to block spending of the Ukraine aid,” Bloomberg explained.

So the bank robber tried to steal the money, but the money wasn't stolen after all, so no harm, no foul.  Right?

I mean, the bank robber had no legal standing to take the money, but it ended up not being taken, so he's clear.  Right?

Also, this means the aid was blocked, until the State Department released it despite Trump's attempt to block it.  So the bank stopped the robbery despite the robber's efforts to take the bank's money.  But hey, no need to call the cops, we're all good here!  Right?

Actually, a bit of surprise

And yeah, there's this:
Just gonna let this run a little longer:

DC and NYC are not "real America," apparently.  Don't care much for that kind of nonsense; but MSM did report cheers AND boos, so that's something. And apropos of cheering and booing and approval ratings in the toilet (never above 50% since inauguration, and disapproval never below 50% since March 16, 2017), comes this:
There is a reason the GOP hasn't been releasing anything from those "secret hearings," and why Nunes submitted a laundry list of nonsense witnesses ); they know these public hearings are not going to go well at all.  Even, I'll bet, in "real America."

Quelle Surprise!

Nobody quite knew what Beto was going to do when he ran against Cruz.  But they were sure excited about his enthusiasm to do something, anything, except what Cruz would do.

Sometimes that's all it takes.

Giving "Snowflakes" A Whole New Meaning

"War on Christmas" is so passe.

Read the article, skip the video. All you need to know is in the article. Seems right wingers need any excuse to be victims.

Then again, how many variations on "American Democracy is done for!" am I gonna see based on what some minor fool of a public figure claims that is over run by the rest of us within 12 hours?

Are we all Chicken Littles now? Or just resembling that we most oppose?

I'm Old Enough To Remember

...when Ronald Reagan was selling "voodoo economics" that no serious person (like Poppy Bush; that was his term) thought should win the day.

It was a "coherent worldview" that Reagan was offering, condemned as incoherent at the time. Still, it worked, whether it should have or not. Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg may be annoyed by Elizabeth Warren, but she could do for the left what Reagan did for the right.

The pendulum is probably about ready to reach the other end of its swing. After all:

Friday, November 08, 2019

What Are The Odds....

... Trump thinks "absolute" means "forever."

Not just grounds for impeachment, but for criminal prosecution, too.
Some things it's better we don't know.
Yes, Virginia, there is always a tweet.
Bolton could tell you; but he won't.  Is he being a tease?  Or yanking everybody's chain/promoting his soon-to-be-written book?
Infrastructure week is always a week away.
Donny, we hardly knew ye.

So I Walk Into a Bank

and hand the teller a note declaring I am robbing the bank.  However, they thwart me by closing the bank windows and sounding an alarm, and I am arrested.

I asked for the money (illegally) and didn't get it, so money wasn't given it was properly withheld.  Am I still guilty of robbery/attempted robbery?

Signs point to "YES!"

Or is this the difference between "crime" and "white collar crime"?

(A better example occurs: I offer Nikki Haley a bribe when she's a public official. She doesn't take it, and calls the FBI. Am I guilty of bribery, while she's not guilty of taking a bribe? Yup.)

Picture. Thousand Words.

Remember that Fear about the Kentucky Governor's Race?

How it was going to lead to further decay of our democratic institutions?  Yeah, I think that's going the other way:

Republican Senate President Robert Stivers believes Gov. Matt Bevin should concede his loss to Democrat Andy Beshear if next week's recanvass doesn't significantly change the vote totals.

“It’s time to call it quits and go home, say he had a good four years and congratulate Gov.-elect Beshear,” Stivers said in a brief Friday interview at the Capitol.

It was Stivers who kicked off this tempest in a teapot.  Why has he changed his tune?  Nobody was in the parade behind him:

Stivers also said he has received numerous angry calls and messages from people accusing him of somehow trying to steal the election should Bevin contest the outcome to the state legislature.

These calls followed Stivers' response to a reporter’s question on election night about the procedure for a gubernatorial candidate to contest the outcome, he said.

Stivers said lawmakers don’t have a choice once a candidate seeks to contest the election, as "it’s a constitutional mandate.”

In the South we call this "crawfishing."

"For all the Republicans who scream and yell that we shouldn't overturn an election with impeachment and removal of the president, they should feel exactly the same way about overturning an election for the governor's race," said Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger.

Stick a fork in 'im, Beshear is done!

We Would Have Also Accepted...

Because he said this, too:
And this:
Cracked like an egg, I tell ya.  It's all just words to him, and he picks the ones he likes best, ignores the others.  They don't matter.  Only his words matter.

Reading the Internet

So the Lexington Herald Leader says this:

A growing number of Republican lawmakers are urging Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a fellow Republican, to either provide evidence of the voting “irregularities” he has alleged or concede Tuesday’s election to Gov.-elect Andy Beshear, who defeated him by 5,189 votes.

“The best thing to do, the right thing to do, is for Governor Bevin to concede the election today so we can move on,” said Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville.
But Slate has this:

Will the Kentucky Legislature assist Matt Bevin in stealing the governor’s race from Democrat Andy Beshear, who appeared to have won Tuesday’s election by about 5,000 votes? Ordinarily, I would consider the possibility preposterous. We do not live in ordinary times, though, and on Wednesday Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers raised the prospect that his institution, not the voters, could determine the outcome of the race. If Stivers and Republican Kentucky legislators were to make such a hardball move without good evidence that there were major problems with the vote count, the election would likely end up in federal court, where it is anyone’s guess what would happen. Either way, that we’re even discussing this potentiality one year before Donald Trump—who has repeatedly challenged the vote totals in his 2016 election victory—is set to face reelection is a wrenching sign for our already-damaged democracy.

This won't just be a Kentucky problem; this will provoke a national electoral crisis and mark the end of democracy as we know it!!!!!!!!!

Or not:

Nemes said he has not seen much support for an election challenge among his Republican colleagues in the House, largely because the governor has not backed up his claims. None of the lawmakers the Herald-Leader spoke to Thursday said they had seen evidence to support Bevin’s claims.

Evidence!  Haven't we learned by now that all evidence is just hearsay!  What about due process and the right to demand a different outcome because....well, because!?!  Besides, Slate has a quote from Robert Stivers!  Based on a post at Daily Kos!  Which has a link to a Louisville Courier-Journal article!  Which has a quote from Stivers' staff!  On Research!  None of which Slate explicitly mentions!  Because context doesn't matter!  Only FEAR!!!!!!!!!!

“There’s less than one-half of 1%, as I understand, separating the governor and the attorney general,” Stivers said. “We will follow the letter of the law and what various processes determine.”  

Stivers, R-Manchester, said based on his staff’s research, the decision could come before the Republican-controlled state legislature.

Yeah, it could, under the Kentucky constitution.  But it can't do it under Kentucky law:

Sam Marcosson, a constitutional law professor at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, told The Courier Journal that this language of the state Constitution suggests there must be procedure established by law for a review of a contested election to take place by the House and Senate.

“They can’t just make them up,” Marcosson said.

And the Kentucky House doesn't seem all that interested in it anyway.

Rep. John Blanton, R-Salyersville, is a former state police officer who said he has heard rumors of election problems but no hard evidence.

“The last thing anyone wants to do is overturn a constitutional election,” Blanton said. “We want the will of the people to be done.”
In a statement, House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, said the House will play no role in the election unless Bevin files a complaint. So far, Bevin has only asked for a recanvass, which requires county officials to check the results from every voting machine and recount absentee ballots.

“If he chooses to file a formal election contest, the House Majority Caucus will handle the matter in a legal, ethical, and appropriate manner that fulfills the requirements set forth by the Kentucky Constitution, statute and rules of the House,” Osborne said.

Besides, Stivers is already waffling:

“It is the governor’s prerogative to request recanvassing or file an application to contest the election, both of which will have a very high bar to succeed,” Stivers said. “If such a situation arises when the Senate’s involvement is required as prescribed by the Kentucky Constitution, our chamber will fulfill its requirements with the upmost objectivity and impartiality.”

The procedure, it seems, would be more a review of any evidence for overturning the election, rather than a coup d'etat by a rogue legislature bent on having its way, the people be damned:

Should Bevin contest the election, the legislature would form a randomly selected committee of eight representatives and three senators. The committee would look at any evidence of irregularities and make a report, which would be presented to a joint session of the legislature for a vote.

So far, any evidence of irregularities" seems to exist in the same realm as the evidence that Joe Biden helped Hunter Biden scam millions form Burisma while hiding Hillary's e-mails on a server in still at large in Ukraine.  And frankly, the Kentucky General Assembly sounds a bit more connected to reality than the GOP members of Congress in Washington:

“The proof isn’t that people were turned away, the proof is that you have to show fraud or irregularities,” Nemes said. “You can’t just go on a fishing expedition at this point, there hasn’t even been evidence of specific fraud.”

Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said it was “premature” for people to be talking about a potential election contest. He is “keeping his powder dry.”

“I believe members of the General Assembly should refrain from commenting because if there is one, we would be jurors,” Thayer said.

But you know, something gawd-awful could happen, so let's be preemptively afraid and beat the end of the year rush!

God bless the internet.  Without it, I wouldn't know what to worry about before there was anything to worry about.

"These are just words"

A)  He thinks he is the State.

B)  He has no idea what "treason" means, but he knows it's a "bad word," so he flings it about freely to shock and prove his courage.

C)  He doesn't care, or consider, that he's proving the lawyer's point.  Trump is the only person who matters.

And he doesn't know whether to shit or go blind:


"Never heard of him!"

A)  Of course he doesn't; that denial was only a matter of time.

B)  Why does Trump think this is any kind of defense?  The man was Ambassador to the EU.  It doesn't matter if he and Trump were school chums or complete strangers.  What Sondland knows is what Sondland knows.  Who Trump knows, or claims he knows, is wholly irrelevant.

So The Conspiracy Theorists Have a Conspiracy Theory about Who's Responsible for Their Conspiracy?

Yeah, that's the way to handle this!

I'm Going To Say....

...that nobody seems more alarmed by it?

Bloomberg Is Going To Need All That Money

So It's Very Likely This neither clever seriousness nor strategy:

And when Shakespeare had a character say, "The first thing we do is kill all the lawyers," this is what he meant:

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Wherever Did The Judge Get That Idea?

So Who's In Charge?

And what did we accomplish, aside from laying down for a tyrant and leaving Syria for Russia to replace us.

But really, the problem is whether a Latin phrase applies to someone's actions.

This Should Not Be Necessary

Then again:
Nowhere in that self-serving claptrap of a statement does he mention he was found guilty by a court, or that his charity was shut down under due process of law because of fraud and self-dealing. Nor does he mention the $2 million is a court-ordered penalty due to said fraud.

This man is not fit to drive a school bus. He is fit only to be expelled from office and stand trial on criminal charges.
And he admitted it:

I expected this with today's news that Bloomberg was filing to run in Alabama.  But we're still months away from Iowa, and this still means nothing.

Steyer has poured his own money into four states, and raised awareness of his name. Can he do the same in all 50 states? Texas, one of the most expensive states around for ad buys?  (It's a big state with several media markets.  California is the best comparison; no other state has so many large cities, or so much rural area.)  Most politicians come to Texas for money. Steyer would be coming to spend it.  And Texas is part of Super Tuesday.  He has to survive that, and then it's on to California.

Bloomberg faces the same hurdle, and he wants to leap-frog New Hampshire and Iowa.  How popular to you think Mike Bloomberg is in Alabama?

The leading candidates are the ones you hear about.  The correlation between state polls outside Iowa and New Hampshire, according to Nate Silver, is nearly exact.  There's little distinction between them.  Steyer isn't on the radar by that count, and Bloomberg?

It is to laugh.  Aside from the fact we get to test the popularity of billionaires with the Democratic primary voters:

I wanna see Bloomberg and Steyer go Bill Gates on Elizabeth Warren.  That should win them a state or two!

Yeah, right.
That's more like it.

Memory serves, from a time when Rick Wilson was still in short pants (!), that John Connolly had a shit-ton of money from donors and was sure to win the GOP nomination.  He arrived at the convention with all that money and 1 delegate.  1.  Connolly was not that popular outside of Texas, and probably tainted from his association with JFK (not the assassination, just from being associated with JFK.  The GOP crazy started much earlier than Newt Gingrich.).  Money can't buy you love; or a major party nomination.  Steyer and Bloomberg are going to learn that.

And, of course, the narrative is all:
Besides, I have to ask:
What GOP party leadership stopped Trump?  Eh?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Adding:  This certainly makes more sense than running for a nomination:


Alabama Has A President?

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is filing for president in Alabama, according to the New York Times.

The Real Question Is...

Does this scandal come down to who is the bigger idiot?

Texas, Our Texas

A) That's actually the Panhandle. Dallas is "north Texas."

B) Would be, except the Panhandle is deep red; South Texas is deep blue.

C) Temperature variants like this are really quite common this time of year.

Does Matt Gaetz...?

A) work in a mine?
B) a factory?
C) as a waiter in a restaurant?
D) in child care?

Anything involving actual physical labor of any kind? (From experience, we will accept catering.)

Asking for a friend...(and again, the Trumpesque lying)

Mirror, Mirror

With the exception of five years, I've lived in Texas my entire life. I've been a "liberal" my entire life, too. I returned to Texas more radicalized than when I left. And my vote has never been the prevailing political sentiment in this state; or any state, for that matter.

Who says it should be?

Houston and Dallas were conservative bastions in my youth, and I grew up in what is still deep red Texas (conservative Democrats then, but after the "betrayal" of Brown v. Board and the Civil Rights Act, etc., conservative GOP. The party name changed, not the politics.). Now the major cities if Texas are Democratic if not liberal, but state politics is still controlled by rural, not urban, voters. The Lege has taken to denying cities the power to do ad they see fit for their residents, based entirely on partisanship. I'd like to see that change and if people start voting in the cities, it will change. But until they do, I live in hope.

What I DON'T do is whine kill in public about unfair it is that people who don't vote like me, have control of the political process.  "Majority rule" means a shifting majority from time to time makes the rules, and those shift from time to time, too. It doesn't mean me and those who agree with me have the "right" to be a "majority" and to make the final set of inalterable rules.

And I think the truly I agreeable rule was who was a "minority," and who was not. That rule got altered some 60 years ago, and some have been trying to put it back in place ever since. That "hidden wiund6" refuses to stay hidden, and we won't let it heal.

We have met the enemy.  Guess who it is?

And No Freedom of the Press, Either!

Not that you know what "due process" means (you've tried hard to deny it to others, anyway. A little of the sauce prepared for the goose, gander?), but talk to your lawyers. You were offered cross-examination and other opportunities, but you preferred to obstruct the investigation. This is part of the price you pay for your groundless and absurd claim of "absolute immunity."

Suck it up, Buttercup.

At Least We Have "Trumpesque"

No, we don't have a term (yet) for distracting from one clusterfuck by referencing one of your other clusterfucks, but this is certainly Trumpesque.

Again, no, not what Sen. Warren said, but Bill Gstes' objection to her tax proposal that would make him pay $100 billion in taxes. Just for perspective, Gates is worth about $206.8 billion, and the tax he claims he would owe would leave him "counting" the remaining $6.8 billion. F. Scott was right, the rich ARE different. Most of us would have a hard time outliving $6.8 billion.

But the lie is so enormous, do exaggerated, so much if a piece with the bullshit that spews hourly from the POTUS, it marks that we haven't decided Trump's behavior is normal, but rather how much exaggeration we face from public figures, and his clearly so much of it is unacceptable bullshit, not mere hyperbole or even just "for effect." No, it's bullshit, and we're tired of wading in it.

Suck it up, Bill Gates. If being reduced to $7 billion leaves you counting your pocket change, your public image"Gates Foundation" suddenly is more clearly a PR clean-up operation than a motivated charitable effort. Weasel.


"The President doesn't have freedom FROM the press!"

There; I think that's what you meant to say.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Distracting From The Ukraine Clusterfuck recalling the Syrian clusterfuck.

Hobson's choice? No. We need a term for this. Something about being in a round room and trying to pee in a corner. Except with the connotation of being self-inflicted.

If The President Didn't Know

...what the words he was using meant, you must acquit!

(If Trump is too stupid to be a criminal, isn't he also too stupid to be President?)

It's a Defense AND an Excuse!

Is it just me, or does this not make any sense at all?

“We have the fact that they didn’t know the aid was held up at the time of the call and Ukrainians took no action to get the aid released,” he said. “None of that has happened. It’s all based on what someone told someone.”

Just before Jim Jordan said that, he said this:

“If one witnesses says there’s no quid pro quo but multiple others say there is, what do you do with that?” the reporter wondered.

“We’ve got the transcript where there’s no quid pro quo,” Jordan replied, referring to a White House memo that Democrat believe shows a clear quid pro quo.

Jordan added: “We’ve got the two people on the call, President [Volodymyr] Zelensky and President Trump saying no quid pro quo.”

What someone told someone is that Trump wanted a favor from Zelezny; that's in the "transcript" Jordan is talking about.  And Trump says there was no quid pro quo, which is precisely "what someone told someone."

This postmodernism as a political argument is making my head spin, and I used to do that stuff for a living.  At least it's better than Lindsay's "Trump is too stupid to be crooked" defense.  Or this one:

Let me keep it as simple as Sen. Kennedy wants it to be:  legal means it's in the national interest, and is done in a manner that it could be placed on a billboard, if necessary.  Illegal is when it is done in the political interests of the President (why else does he care about what Joe Biden got up to years ago in Ukraine?) and is so improper it inflames almost everyone who heard the call, or heard about it, and caused the counsel for the NSA to put it on a secure server so nothing about it could leak.  (And if would have worked, too, if not for that meddling whistleblower!).

Simple enough for you, Senator?