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Explaining Sweden: Trump’s TV Habits (Updated)

newsman

This (via TPM) may explaing Trump’s Sweden rant: turns out “what happened last night in Sweden” actually just means “last night I was watching Tucker Carlson talk about Sweden” pic.twitter.com/6z5pfOJ7Yv — Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) February 19, 2017 This does not, in my opinion, change the basic thesis of my post on this topic. Worst case […]

Trump: Fear-mongering in Florida

trump-rally

The President gathered supporters around him, and blatantly lied to them, so as to increase support for his policies.

We are, I Would Note Again, at the Start of Week 4

us-politics

Via Politico:  Trump reviews top White House staff after tumultuous start President Donald Trump, frustrated over his administration’s rocky start, is complaining to friends and allies about some of his most senior aides — leading to questions about whether he is mulling an early staff shakeup. Trump has told several people that he is particularly displeased […]

Secret Plans are the Best Kind of Plans

us-politics

Via TPM Livewire:  Top White House Advisor Claims Trump’s Wall ‘Will Pay For Itself’ “How are you going to guarantee that Mexico is going to pay for this wall?” Stephanopoulos asked. “They have said absolutely not, they will not pay for it.” “There’s all kinds of things we can do. I’m not going to make […]

Priebus in the Cross-hairs (Already?)

us-politics

Via WaPo:  Trump friend says Priebus is ‘in way over his head’ One of President Trump’s longtime friends made a striking move on Sunday: After talking privately with the president over drinks late Friday, Christopher Ruddy publicly argued that Trump should replace his White House chief of staff. “A lot of people have been saying, ‘Look, Donald has some problems,’ and I […]

Walls are not Unidirectional

us-mex-border

All the effects of a wall, given its cost, needs to be taken into consideration.

Trump and the Permanent Campaign

us-politics

If anything, Trump’s Twitter feed has been a good illustration of the fact that the President has not made a transition from campaign to government.  This is hardly a surprise, as it would seem that he understands the former, but not the latter.  Such antics, of course, have been evident in public pronouncements and, it […]

Rhetoric Matters: Trump and Iran

Iranian And American Flags

Trump’s combination amateur hour/tough guy approach is not going to make the world a safer place, nor will it advance US national interest.

Trump’s Defense of Putin

Vladimir Putin durante il discorso annuale all'Assemblea Federale

The President throws the US under the bus to defend Putin.

Today in Delusional Columns: Impeachment Fantasies

Trump And GOP Elephant

It is Trump’s party now. Impeachment is not coming.

“It’s working out very nicely”

us-politics

“You see it at the airports. You see it all over. It’s working out very nicely and we’re going to have a very, very strict ban, and we’re going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years.”-President Donald J. Trump. Here’s the thing:  either he doesn’t understand the […]

Elections have Consequences, Part 2

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  MP Zahawi says Trump order banning him from US is ‘demeaning and sad’ Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has said the executive order from President Trump bans him from the US and makes him feel discriminated against for the first time since he was a child. A British citizen born in Iraq, and […]

Elections have Consequences

us-politics

Via AFP: An Iraqi family was barred from flying from Cairo to New York on Saturday after US President Donald Trump signed an order restricting arrivals from seven Muslim-majority countries. […] Fuad Sharef, 51, and his wife and three children were instead forced to board a flight back to Erbil in Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, […]

One Week in…

us-politics

Via USAT:  Fact check: President Trump’s first week on the job During his first week in office, President Donald Trump made several false and misleading claims about the inauguration crowd size, voter fraud, the Affordable Care Act and other issues.

The Deep Significance and Importance of NAFTA

Flag_of_Mexico.svg

As with so many things, the President is demonstrating that he really doesn’t know what he is doing.

Putting Health Care Policy in Comparative and Philosophical Perspective

health-costs-money-stethoscope

The problem with all the replacement talk is that there is no evidence that the GOP pathways will work.

No Hispanics in Trump Cabinet (Not Much Diversity in General)

us-politics

Via the DMN:  Trump Cabinet will be the first in decades without a Hispanic member Donald Trump’s Cabinet is poised to become the first since 1988 without any Hispanic officials — sparking rebukes from members of the nation’s second-largest ethnic group — as Trump tapped former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue for agriculture secretary. This is not especially surprising. […]

Trump’s Approval Numbers not Very Approving

us-politics

Via CNN:  CNN/ORC Poll: Confidence drops in Trump transition Donald Trump will become president Friday with an approval rating of just 40%, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll, the lowest of any recent president and 44 points below that of President Barack Obama, the 44th president. Following a tumultuous transition period, approval ratings for Trump’s […]

Ethics Concern Raised over HHS Nominee

us-politics

Via CNN:  Trump’s cabinet pick invested in company, then introduced a bill to help it Rep. Tom Price last year purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer days before introducing legislation that would have directly benefited the company, raising new ethics concerns for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary. Price bought […]

Will Donald Trump be a “Legitimate” President?

Trump And GOP Elephant

The answer is pretty straight-forward.

Crowley’s Dissertation….

academic-book-glasses

Via Politico:  Trump Pick Monica Crowley Plagiarized Parts of Her Ph.D. Dissertation. An examination of the dissertation and the sources it cites identified around more than a dozen sections of text that have been lifted, with little to no changes, from other scholarly works without proper attribution. In some instances, Crowley footnoted her source but did […]

A Real Life “The Terminal” (of Sorts)

travel-suitcase

Via WaPo:  Colombia deports U.S. tourist who was stranded at a Bogota airport for three months.

Monica Crowley: Plagiarist

us-politics

Via CNN:  Trump national security pick Monica Crowley plagiarized multiple sources in 2012 book The review of Crowley’s June 2012 book, “What The (Bleep) Just Happened,” found upwards of 50 examples of plagiarism from numerous sources, including the copying with minor changes of news articles, other columnists, think tanks, and Wikipedia. The New York Times […]

A Photo for Friday: The Four Horsemen

“The Four Horsemen” January 4, 2017 Pike Road, AL

Trump Tweets about the new Apprentice…

us-politics

I saw these on FB and they were so bizarrely petty that I thought they were fake.  But, in fact, I found them on his Twitter feed: Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got “swamped” (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for…. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January […]

An Excellent Question (The New Love for Assange)

Julian Assange

What is the deal with the love-fest for Julian Assange?

Don’t Want to Live your Life Counting on an Impeachment Fantasy

Donald Trump Victory

Impeachment fantasies are the new EC fantasy.

Trump Faces a Confidence Deficit

us-politics

Via Gallup:  Many in U.S. Skeptical Trump Can Handle Presidential Duties As Donald Trump prepares to take the presidential oath on Jan. 20, less than half of Americans are confident in his ability to handle an international crisis (46%), to use military force wisely (47%) or to prevent major scandals in his administration (44%). At […]

All Hail the Virtue of the Oligarchs

us-politics

“Wealthy folks have no need to steal or engage in corruption.”  Larry Kudlow, in regards to Trump’s cabinet. I am not even sure where to begin.  One thought is that both Plato and Aristotle would have found this a laughable proposition–both thought that being governed by the wealthy would lead to ruin.  Beyond that, history […]

None of that “Uniter, not a Divider” Business, I Guess

us-politics

The president-elect tweets: Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2016

Trump Claims Special Knowledge of Hacking; Will Let us Know Later

Donald Trump Shrug

Trump’s populism, personalism, and irresponsibility are on display.

A Quote to Ponder

us-politics

Doing a little research and came across this: “The conception of political equality from the Declaration of Independence, to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, to the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Nineteenth Amendments can mean only one thing-one person, one vote”–Justice William O. Douglas, writing for the majority in Gray v. Sanders (1963). This was, interestingly enough, in the context of […]

A Photo for Friday: A Little Peace on Earth

Enough politics and unpleasantness, if only for a moment: “A Little Peace on Earth” December 25, 2016 Pike Road, AL

The Power of Partisanship

us-politics

The Atlantic‘s  It’s Not About the Economy is a disheartening, albeit unsurprising, read.  It is just another reminder that partisanship trumps facts and evidence, which helps explain the difficulties in our current political context. “People’s predispositions affect their factual beliefs about the world,” said Brendan Nyhan, a professor of government at Dartmouth College who has researched […]

Today in Constitutional Longshots

us-politics

There has been a sense of denial (in my opinion) by some on the leftward side of politics in the last month regarding Trumps’ ascendancy to the presidency and all that entails.  The most prominent examples were seen in various arguments and assertions about how the electoral college could/would forestall a President Trump.  Now Sam […]

Because we Need another “Republic v. Democracy” Post

american-flag

But just to mix things up, I won’t write it, but will instead link to Eugene Volokh in WaPo:  The United States is both a ‘republic’ and a ‘democracy’ — because ‘democracy’ is like ‘cash’ I often hear people argue (often quite militantly) that the United States is a republic, not a democracy. But that’s a […]

More on the “Republic, not a Democracy” Business as Linked to the Electoral College

constitution-preamble-quill-pen

Be clear on what one is defending.

A “Republic v. Democracy” Lexicon

Words

Concepts, basic applications, and even a bibliography! Merry Festivus, everyone.

Today in Bad Ideas: a 5% Tariff

money-compass

A trial balloon hopefully made of lead.

Least Shocking Poll of the Year

us-politics

USAT looks to 2020 and discovers: On the theory that it’s never too early to launch the next campaign, the new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll has identified an overwhelming front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. It’s someone entirely new. Literally. Not an identifiable person. Just “someone entirely new.” When that description was included […]

Another Example of Growing Nationalism (and the Putin Connection)

travel-suitcase

Via the NYT:  Austria’s Far Right Signs a Cooperation Pact With Putin’s Party The leader of the Austrian far-right Freedom Party has signed what he called a cooperation agreement with Russia’s ruling party and recently met with Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the designated national security adviser to President-elect Donald J. Trump of the United States. […]

Economist’s Country of the Year

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Colombia. A worthy choice for good reasons.  

Swamp Draining Update

us-politics

Via Politico, Trump sycophant, Newt Gingrich: “We’ve never seen this kind of wealth in the White House, and so traditional rules don’t work,” Gingrich said Monday during an appearance on NPR’s “The Diane Rehm Show” about the president-elect’s business interests. “We’re going to have to think up a whole new approach.” And should someone in the […]

Some Additional Thoughts on the Faithless

ec 2016

The number of faithless electors was both historical and trivial.

Massive Faithlessness in the EC

us-politics

Via CNN: Trump received 304 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 227. Seven “faithless” electors voted for other candidates, costing Trump two votes and Clinton four. Hawaii’s votes — three for Clinton and one breaking from the state’s results and supporting Bernie Sanders — were the last to be counted. I think I predicted 3, and […]

An Entry for “Dictatorship for Dummies”

Trump Nixon V

Trump will maintain some level of private security once in office.

The Ohio EC Ballot

us-politics

As tweeted by Secretary of State, John Husted: This is what an electoral college ballot looks like. pic.twitter.com/ZWsa7y8cEJ — Jon Husted (@JonHusted) December 19, 2016   It shouldn’t be too hard to see how this decreases the chances of faithless electors. And I am not being snarky or critical: the ballot structure reflects the prevailing […]

Yet Again: No Evidence of Voter Fraud

us-politics

Via the NYT:  All This Talk of Voter Fraud? Across U.S., Officials Found Next to None After all the allegations of rampant voter fraud and claims that millions had voted illegally, the people who supervised the general election last month in states around the nation have been adding up how many credible reports of fraud they […]

Trump’s EC win in Historical Perspective

us-politics

Some nice infographics at the NYT:  Trump’s Electoral College Victory Ranks 46th in 58 Elections

Visually Tracking the End of the Campaigns

us-politics

And interesting visual from Five Thirty-Eight:  The Last 10 Weeks Of 2016 Campaign Stops In One Handy Gif.

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