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A Photo for Friday: “Remnants”

“Remnants” November 22, 2017 Shelby, AL

Comparative Falsehoods: Obama v. Trump

Trump Obama Handshake

The difference is, dare I say, huge.

Meanwhile, in Rural Alabama…


Since Alabama is in the news, let’s shift our attention to the following from AL.com:  UN poverty official touring Alabama’s Black Belt: ‘I haven’t seen this’ in the First World. A United Nations official who tours the globe investigating extreme poverty said Thursday that areas of Alabama’s Black Belt are suffering the most dire sewage disposal […]

Senator Shelby on Roy Moore


Richard Shelby, the senior Republican Senator from Alabama: “I’d rather see the Republican win, but I would hope that Republican would be a write-in. I couldn’t vote for Roy Moore. I didn’t vote for Roy Moore. But I wrote in a distinguished Republican name,” Shelby said. “I’d rather see another Republican in there and I’m going […]

Even More Moore-Jones


An analysis with maps and numbers via WaPo:  What it would take for a Democrat to win Alabama.

The Death Toll in Puerto Rico


Some stunning numbers in an under-reported story from the NYT:  Official Toll in Puerto Rico: 62.  Actual Deaths May Be 1,052. The entire piece is worth reading and sharing.

Character and Candidacies


Political Scientist Greg Weiner makes an argument for character in the NYT:  The Scoundrel Theory of American Politics. there is also a novel and ominous concept of the statesman emerging in American politics, most clearly in the gymnastic contortions being accomplished to justify support for the Senate campaign of Roy Moore, the former chief justice of Alabama: […]

An Additional Note on Moore Support


To add to my post form earlier, I would recommend this column in the NYT by Quin Hillyer:  How Roy Moore Survives. He raises two key points that are worth highlighting.  The first, which I did not mention in my post, Alabamians have a deep-seated resentment about perceived out of state inference.  As such, the following is […]

The Moore-Jones Race


Explaining what Tuesday is likely to bring.

A Photo for Friday: “Broken”

After missing last week, the PfF returns: “Broken” November 22, 2017 Shelby, AL

Benghazi!! (Wait, What?): Tales from the State Department

Rex Tillerson

The ongoing destruction of the Department of State

And Amateur Hour Continues…


Via  WaPo:  The CFPB now has two acting directors. And nobody knows which one should lead the federal agency. President Trump and the outgoing head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau both named acting directors to head the watchdog agency on Friday, throwing its leadership into disarray. Legal analysts were split over whether the White House or the CFPB had authority to […]

Doug Jones’ Challenge


Via WaPo:  ‘Doug Jones’s problem’: African American voters not energized by Alabama’s Senate race. Jones’s campaign believes he can win only if he pieces together an unusually delicate coalition built on intense support from core Democrats and some crossover votes from Republicans disgusted with Moore. Crucial to that formula is a massive mobilization of African Americans, who […]

A Photo for Friday: “Spooky Bench”

“Spooky Bench” November 22, 2017 Shelby, AL

This Will End Well…

Today in “Not The Onion” via  WaPo, This man is about to launch himself in his homemade rocket to prove the Earth is flat: Hughes promised the flat-Earth community that he would expose the conspiracy with his steam-powered rocket, which will launch from a heavily modified mobile home — though he acknowledged that he still had much to learn about […]

On German Democracy

Angela Merkel

Negotiations over government formation is not a crisis.

Explaining Votes for Moore


Voters rank factors before choosing how to vote.

CBS Fires Rose


Via the NYT:  Charlie Rose Fired by CBS After Sexual Harassment Allegations. David Rhodes, the president of CBS News, told the news division in an internal email that Mr. Rose, a host of “CBS This Morning” and a “60 Minutes” correspondent, had been let go after allegations were raised “of extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior said to […]

Moore’s Bio Helps Bolster Credibility of Charges

This continues to be a highly credible story, and Moore himself has helped that credibility.

A Photo for Friday: “Another Beach Bird”

“Another Beach Bird” November 4, 2017 Gulf State Park Gulf Shores, AL

On Write-In Votes in Alabama


There has been some press speculation concerning a write-in vote in Alabama Senate special election. Here’s what the Secretary of State’s page says on the subject: When the candidate you would like to vote for is not listed on the ballot, you may vote for that person by writing his or her name in the […]

AL Senate Polls


Via AL.com:  Doug Jones takes lead on Roy Moore in new Senate poll. Louisiana-based JMC Analytics conducted the poll after allegations of sexual misconduct by Moore were reported by The Washington Post. The poll had Jones received 46 percent support in the poll to Moore’s 42 percent. With a margin of error of 4 percent, however, […]

An Analogy on Hierarchy (and the Lack thereof) in Party Behavior

football play

An attempt to explain the consequences of institutional design.

The Roy Moore Case and the Nature of US Political Parties

Roy Moore Gun

The Moore situation illustrates the nonhierarchical nature of US parties. This is nothing new.

A Photo for Friday: “Beach Bird”

“Beach Bird” November 4, 2017 Gulf State Park Gulf Shores, AL

A Photo for Friday: “Old Bridge”

“Old Bridge” June 28, 2016 Near Cleveland, AL

Democracy and Institutional Design I: A Basic Preface on Regime Type


The first in an occasional series.

Moore on the Campaign Trail


Via AL.com:  Roy Moore at campaign rally: ‘We don’t need transgender bathrooms, transgender military’. It took Moore less than 90 seconds of a seven-minute speech to again trumpet on some of the conservative values he holds. “We don’t need transgender bathrooms and we don’t need transgender military and we don’t need a weaker military,” Moore […]

The SSN Problem


Via ArsTechnica:  White House wants to end Social Security numbers as a national ID Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity czar, said on Tuesday that the government should end using the Social Security number as a national identification method. […] “The concept of a Social Security number in this environment being private and secure—I think […]

About the Uranium



A Photo for Friday: “Trailing Light”

“Trailing Light” June 28, 2016 Near Cullman, AL More info and photos by click on the photo.

Trump and the Autonomous Military


Via The Hill:  Trump: ‘My generals’ had decision-making authority on Niger mission. President Trump on Wednesday said he did not personally authorize the mission in Niger in which four U.S. soldiers were killed, saying “my generals and my military” have decision-making authority. Asked if he authorized the mission, Trump responded, “No, I didn’t, not specifically.” “I have […]

Three Quotes to Ponder from this Week


John McCain, George W, Bush, and Sarah Huckabee-Sanders had warning for us this week. We should heed them.

A Photo for Friday (Again, on Saturday): “Fall Yellow”

It is finally beginning to feel a bit like fall around here, so this seemed apropos: “Fall Yellow” November 21, 2012 Birmingham, AL For more about the photo, or to see more of my photography, click through on the image.

Trump isn’t Playing Multidimensional Chess (in Case you were Wondering)


President Trump in an interview with Sean Hannity this week: “The country — we took it over and owed over $20 trillion,” Trump said. “As you know, the last eight years, they borrowed more than it did in the whole history of our country. So they borrowed more than $10 trillion, right? And yet, we picked […]

A Photo for Friday: “One for the Money”

“One for the Money” January 1, 2016 Pike Road, AL For more info on this photo, or to see more of my photography, just click the image.

A Weak Defense of Extreme Gerrymandering


More thoughts related to Gill v. Whitford and the problem of extreme gerrymandering.

Skewed Majorities are Bad for Democracy


And even moreso when they are consciously created by the winner.

More on the Alleged Sonic Attacks in Cuba


Via the NYT:  A ‘Sonic Attack’ on Diplomats in Cuba? These Scientists Doubt It. According to the State Department, nearly two dozen diplomats at the American Embassy in Havana have been stricken with a variety of mysterious medical symptoms, including hearing loss and cognitive difficulties. […] Experts in acoustics, however, say that’s a theory more appropriate […]

The United Daughters of the Confederacy


Worth a read (via the NYT):  The Confederacy’s ‘Living Monuments’ The Daughters’ ambitious agenda was not solely focused on monuments. They sought to collect and preserve the artifacts of war, as well as archival material, which they believed would help tell a “truthful” history of the Confederacy. Indeed, what they collected often formed the basis of the first […]

A Photo for Friday (on Saturday): Untitled


Yesterday got away from me. “Untitled” October 17, 2015 Pike Road, AL These are in bloom again–some of my favorite wildflowers in this area.

Air Swamp


Via WaPo:  Nearly six dozen flights on charter, military or government-owned planes by Cabinet members, mapped. About a half-dozen members of President Trump’s Cabinet, past and present, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on charter jets, military planes and other government aircraft for travel that often could have been undertaken much less expensively on commercial aircraft. […]

Ceasefire with ELN Starts Sunday


Via Reuters:  Colombia’s ELN rebel commander orders ceasefire beginning Sunday The commander of Colombia’s Marxist ELN rebels on Friday ordered his fighters to begin a ceasefire this weekend as the group struggles through complicated peace talks with the government aimed at ending five decades of war. Nicolas Rodriguez, known by his war alias Gabino, told […]

A Photo for Friday: Untitled

Untitled June 11, 2016 Montgomery, AL

Some Thoughts on Today’s AL Senate Primary Run-Off


Some quick thoughts on Moore v. Strange.

A Photo for Friday: Every other one

“Every other one” February 4, 2016 Pike Road, AL

The Importance of Timing in Politics


Russell Berman makes an interesting point in The Atlantic:  How Democrats Gave the GOP One More Chance to Repeal Obamacare. the agreement that “Chuck and Nancy” reached with Trump may end up backfiring on Democrats in another way: It freed up time for Republicans to take one last stab at dismantling the Affordable Care Act. The […]

More on Trump as Independent

Trump And GOP Elephant

Independents don’t seek to shape party nominations.

A Photo for Friday: Pink Sky

“Pink Sky” July 20, 2017 Pike Road, AL

Trump’s Weird Threat to Colombia


More foreign policy amateurism.

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