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Democrats Take Stock

Karen Handel Victory Speech

Some thoughts on the current state of the Democrats.

The Continued Action Hero Fantasy

us-politics

Representative Roger Williams (R-TX25) as quoted in the DMN (Ballfield ambush ‘might’ve been a little different’ had congressmen been armed, Texan says): “He had rifles, he had guns, pistols. All we had were bats and balls,” Williams said. “Frankly, if we would have been able to carry arms, it might’ve been a little different.” First, is […]

About that Trump as Caesar Thing…

us-politics

If you haven’t noticed it, here’s the story via the NYT:  Two Protesters Disrupt ‘Julius Caesar’ in Central Park and another version via BoGlo: Knives are out for theaters that bear the name ‘Shakespeare’.  The result has been a lot of sturm und drang on TV and online, and the pulling of sponsorships. In reviewing the various responses online […]

A Photo for Friday: Rain and Urban Light

“Rain and Urban Light” Bogotá, Colombia May 21, 2014

The Classy Mr. Cosby

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Via the AV Club:  Bill Cosby yells Fat Albert catchphrase as he’s escorted out of court. Nothing says “I am taking these rape allegations seriously” than shouted cartoon catchphrases.

So, no More Golf for POTUS?

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Forget the imperial presidency. Welcome to the indolent presidency.

Web Censorship in Turkey

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More examples of growing authoritarianism in Turkey via the NYT:  Turks Click Away, but Wikipedia Is Gone Wikipedia is just one of 127,000 websites blocked in Turkey, estimated Professor Akdeniz, who has led legal challenges against the Wikipedia ban and other web restrictions. An additional 95,000 pages, like social media accounts, blog posts and articles, are […]

Japanese Parliament Passes Law for Abdication

travel-suitcase

Via CNN:  Japan passes historic law to allow beloved Emperor to abdicate Imperial law decrees that sitting emperors cannot resign from their posts, but the one-off bill permits the 83-year-old to pass the Chrysanthemum Throne to Crown Prince Naruhito, the eldest of his three children. The piece also has an interesting discussion of the role […]

A Photo for Friday: Reds

“Reds” August 7, 2010

That Seems Like a Bad Idea…

us-politics

Via CNN:  Trump: I’m willing to testify under oath about Comey claims. “One hundred percent,” Trump said when asked about his willingness to deliver sworn testimony. (Of course, it also sounds like false bravado).

What does MIT Know?

intellectual-invention

Via Boston Magazine:  MIT to Trump: Stop Citing Our Climate Research If You Don’t Understand It.

“Covfefe” Explained! (Well, not Really)

us-politics

RedStateWatcher proclaims:  BREAKING! “Covfefe” Mystery Solved! President Trump Wins Again! After doing some research and using Google Translate, we found “Cov fe’fe” in Arabic means “I will stand up.” Except, the NYT reports:  No, ‘Covfefe’ Was Not Trump Speaking Arabic “Covfefe,” these people on the internet insist, is Arabic for “I will stand up.” That is […]

A Photo for Friday: “Forward?”

“Forward?” June 29, 2016 Sheffield, AL

The Least Self-Aware Statement Ever Made by a President?

us-politics

President Donald J. Trump, yesterday in the Rose Garden: At what point does America get demeaned?  At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?   We want fair treatment for its citizens, and we want fair treatment for our taxpayers.  We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us […]

Paris Accords Withdrawal: A Win for Bannon (and a Confirmation for Merkel)

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Via WaPo: The Paris pact was a particular passion for Bannon, who spent the past two weeks consumed by the climate deal, including working feverishly from the West Wing after returning early from Trump’s foreign trip, according to two White House officials familiar with the discussions. He pressed his case directly with the president — arguing […]

Mona Charon on the Gianforte Defenders

Writing at National Review:  Stop Making Excuses for Greg Gianforte’s Assaulting a Reporter But the age of Trump has corrupted a great many people and shattered norms. Those whose moral compass has long since been stashed in the bottom drawer defending the indefensible piled on to applaud Gianforte’s thuggishness. The Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell tweeted, […]

Well, the Human Body is Like a Battery…

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Via the Times of London: The distance between Donald Trump and his G7 partners was spelled out dramatically today when Theresa May and the leaders of Italy, France, Germany, Japan and Canada strolled the streets of Taormina, Sicily — while he followed in a golf cart. The six are planning to put pressure on Mr Trump […]

The Politics of Presidential Removal

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Some thoughts on presidential interruptions.

Underfunded Higher Ed

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Musings on the costs of college.

A Photo for Friday: Blue

A companion piece to last week’s shot: “Blue” January 26, 2014 Pike Road, Al

Montana’s GOP House Candidate Charged with Assault

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Via the NYT:  Greg Gianforte, Montana G.O.P. Candidate, Is Charged in Attack on Reporter The Republican candidate in a hotly contested special House election in Montana was charged with assaulting a journalist on Wednesday at what was to be a final rally in Bozeman on the eve of the vote. The attack brought police officers to […]

Max Boot on Fox News

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Max Boot has a scathing, but on point, essay on the state of Fox News at Foreign Policy that is worth a read:  The Seth Rich ‘Scandal’ Shows That Fox News Is Morally Bankrupt. If you are unfamiliar with the Seth Rich story, I recommend Dave Weigel’s The Seth Rich conspiracy shows how fake news still works. […]

Blaming “The Elites” is Simplistic and Misses the Real Problems

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#RulesMatter

The (non-)State of Syria

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A piece from Foreign Policy notes: Syria, after all, is today divided into no less than seven enclaves: the territory controlled by the regime, three separate areas of rebel control, two Kurdish cantons, and the Islamic State area. What is the government’s strategy to reverse this fragmentation, I ask? ”We have absolute faith that this is a […]

Noonan on Trump

us-politics

Peggy Noonan on the President’s staff: It is absurd to think the president can solve his problems by firing his staff. They are not the problem. He is the problem. They’re not the A-Team, they’re not the counselors you’d want, experienced and wise. They’re the island of misfit toys. But they could function adequately if […]

The Personnel Math that Gets us to Mueller

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If you have to have an acting attorney general as it relates to one of the biggest issues of the moment, you may have picked the wrong AG.

But, He was Such a Successful Businessman…

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Setting aside the legitimately debatable notion that Trump was successful in business, it should be becoming clear, for anyone who is being objective, that there are good reasons why electing someone with zero governmental experience is a bad idea.  Throw in not only inexperience but incompetence, ignorance, and immaturity and we get what we are […]

A Photo for Friday: Eye

Peering into the future? (Or something peering at you?). “Eye” June 23, 2015 Pike Road, AL This is really more a Halloween shot, but still seems approach for the times.

Putin Offers Transcripts of Trump-Lavrov Meeting

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The surreality of this week’s news continues to spiral, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to provided transcripts of the Oval Office meeting President Trump had with Russians Foreign Minister Lavrov and Ambassador Kislyak. WaPo reports: Putin offers to provide Congress with details of Trump disclosures to Russian envoys : Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday […]

Trump’s Tweets on Russian Revelations Appear to Confirm Story

Trump Twitter

Tweets this morning from POTUS seem to confirm the WaPo story about sharing info.

Report: Trump Revealed Classified Intel to Russian Visitors to Oval Office

us-politics

Via WaPo:  Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said that Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. […] […]

Today in Juxtapositions (Falwell v. Jesus Edition)

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Extolling an “eye for an eye” kind of justice is not in keeping with the ethics of Jesus.

Trump’s Law Firm and Russia

Trump Russia

Everywhere one turns, it seems, there’s Russia.

Trump’s Request for Comey’s Loyalty

us-politics

Via the NYT: In a Private Dinner, Trump Demanded Loyalty. Comey Demurred. As they ate, the president and Mr. Comey made small talk about the election and the crowd sizes at Mr. Trump’s rallies. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him. Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. […]

A Photo for Friday: Reflective

“Reflective” Pike Road, AL April 7, 2017

Some Really Good Questions about the Comey Firing

us-politics

First, wow (via WaPo): the private accounts of more than 30 officials at the White House, the Justice Department, the FBI and on Capitol Hill, as well as Trump confidants and other senior Republicans, paint a conflicting narrative centered on the president’s brewing personal animus toward Comey. To have that many person willing is pretty […]

Today in Poor Arguments (Health Care Edition)

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From a column in the NYT, What the Republican Health Plan Gets Right I learn from my patients every day about the benefits, limitations and contradictions of their health insurance. One charming 60-year-old with severe seasonal allergies insists on seeing me every few weeks this time of year, even though I tell her she doesn’t need to […]

Polling and the French Election

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Since a lot of people have had their faith in polling shaken by Brexit and the Trump win (which was not the error some have made it out to be, btw), I recommend the following from Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight: Le Pen Is Just A Gargantuan Polling Error Behind Macron. Macron’s advantage over Le Pen has been […]

Today in “You Don’t Say?” (AHCA Edition)

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Ross Douthat: But if the A.H.C.A. stands as the chief policy distillation of Trumpism, then the central Democratic argument in 2018 and 2020 should be entirely clear: Trump is not a populist but just another pro-plutocracy Republican, and everything his party promised you on health care was a sham. You don’t say? Snark aside, a […]

Today in “Please, No” (HRC 2020 Edition)

The headline of Michael Goodwin’s NY Post column is: Hillary’s election loss excuse means one thing — She’s running in 2020. Since I have seen this a couple of places, let me say:  no thanks.  Time to move on.  Perhaps in 2020 we could be spared form political dynasties altogether? (Truth be told, I cannot imagine her making another […]

Perhaps the Best Explanation of the AHCA

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Perhaps the best column I have read that attempts to explain the behavior of House Republicans is the following in the NYT by Peter Suderman:  The House Health Care Disaster Is Really About Taxes. Suderman writes: It’s unclear what health policy problem this bill would solve. Even for an opponent of Obamacare, it is difficult to […]

Today in “Asked and Answered” (NPV Edition)

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How close to success is the National Popular Vote initiative? (Spoiler alert: not close).

The Power of Primaries

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As usual, an attempt to explain congressional behavior brings us back to the issue of our basic institutions. The way we elect congress matters.

Loyalty Day

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Loyalty Day, as many have pointed out, is not some weird thing Donald Trump thought up.  It is an artifact of the weird things we used to do during the Cold War (and even before–it dates to the Red Scare of the 1920s) when we were scared of communism.  To me it is the kind […]

Today in “Asked and Answered” (French Election Edition)

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Ross Douthat asks:  Is There a Case for Le Pen? I answer:  no, no there isn’t. That concludes today’s edition of “Asked and Answered.” Side note:  because one can tease out things a politician has said that might be reasonable, or that one could see raising legitimate issues worthy of debate is not the same […]

“America’s Greatest Domestic Threats”

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Wayne LaPierre’s perverted view of the world in two sentences.

Least Credible Story of the Day

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Via The Hill:  Trump: ‘I couldn’t care less about golf’ “It would be much better if people would understand that I could go other places that I have. But then they hit me for relaxing. And I don’t want to be known as a person that relaxes because I am working hard and I am working […]

Least Shocking News of the Day

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Via Politico:  Democrats give up hope on striking a deal with Trump. The only semi-shocking aspect of that headline and story is the notion that there was any serious chance of their being deal-making between Trump and the Democrats to start with.

Line of the Day (Trump’s First 100 Days of Foreign Policy Edition)

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“Trump’s greatest foreign policy accomplishment to date is to go from massive beclowning of the executive branch to only moderate beclowning of the executive branch without the world blowing up.”–Daniel Drezner. Yup. Pretty much.

The First 100

Trump And GOP Elephant

An assessment of the 45th President’s first 100 days.

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