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


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


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


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….


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)


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

Monica Crowley: Plagiarist


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…


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


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


“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


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


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


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


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


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


Be clear on what one is defending.

A “Republic v. Democracy” Lexicon


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

Today in Bad Ideas: a 5% Tariff


A trial balloon hopefully made of lead.

Least Shocking Poll of the Year


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)


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


Colombia. A worthy choice for good reasons.  

Swamp Draining Update


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


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


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


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


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

Visually Tracking the End of the Campaigns


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

Today in Depressing Headlines


Via The Monkey Cage:  A new poll shows an astonishing 52% of Republicans incorrectly think Trump won the popular vote Clinton’s lead now exceeds 2.8 million votes (more than 2.1 percent of the total vote) and continues to grow. Many Democrats hope this fact alone might persuade Republican electors to reject Trump in favor of some […]

The Problems with Safe Zones


The president-elect has suggested that we will be able to create “safe zones” in Syria: “We’re going to build safe zones,” he told supporters at a rally in Florida. “We’re going to get the Gulf States to pay for the safe zones.” First, as a side note, what is it with Trump and the assumption […]

EC Scenarios

ec 2016

These are the possible outcomes (both probable and improbable).

More EC Fun


Via The Hill:  Over 50 Dem electors now demanding intelligence briefing More than 50 Democratic voters in the Electoral College are now asking for an intelligence briefing from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper over reports of Russian meddling in the election, according to a report in Politico. Fifty-four of 232 Democratic electors have now signed […]

EC Fantasy (Yet Again)


As we approach the vote, the fantasies keep coming.

It Just Keeps Getting Better: Perry to Energy?


Via Bloomberg News:  Perry Said to Be Trump’s Top Candidate for Energy Secretary Donald Trump has narrowed his search for energy secretary to four people, with former Texas Governor Rick Perry the leading candidate. People familiar with the president-elect’s selection process said two Democratic senators from energy-producing states — Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and […]

The Dunning-Kruger Doctrine


Apropos of my post this morning is this tweet I noted the other day: We’ve had the Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush Doctrines. But Trump’s will be the Dunning-Kruger Doctrine. — Paul Musgrave (@profmusgrave) December 3, 2016 To quote the President-elect:  Sad.  (Not to mention funny but really really not funny). (For further research).

Trump: “I’m like a smart person”; Doesn’t Need Daily Intel Briefings

Donald Trump Shrug

Good thing the world is a static, simple place…

A Photo for Friday: Color Tunnel

“Color Tunnel” 11/23/16 Birmingham, AL

Duterte’s Philippines


A chilling photo essay in the NYT: ‘They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals’ I had come to document the bloody and chaotic campaign against drugs that President Rodrigo Duterte began when he took office on June 30: since then, about 2,000 people had been slain at the hands of the police alone. […] I HAVE WORKED […]

More EC Fantasties


Another day, another EC fantasy,

Ben Carson to Head HUD


Via CNN:  Trump taps Ben Carson for HUD secretary Dr. Ben Carson will be nominated as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Trump transition team announced Monday. “I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development,” President-elect […]

Texas Elector Resigns Rather than Vote for Trump


His actions illustration how well the EC process is institutionalized.

Trump’s Tweet on “Illegal Voting” Encapsulates Serious Problems

Donald Trump Shrug

Those who voted for him thinking he would be guided or controlled by more sober individuals or that he would start acting presidential once elected: you were wrong.

Even More EC Fantasies



Electoral College Fantasies


No, the EC is not going to elect Clinton.

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