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Trump’s Word are Solace to White Supremacists


Solace emboldens and helps to mainstream.

Who Could Have Seen this Coming? (Trump and Racial Politics Edition)

Trump Shrug 2

Who could have predicted we would be where we are at the moment in terms of racial politics and the White House?

Veneration Creates Normalcy


I would recommend the following essay from Rose Sampley:  A Southern Woman Shares Her Story of Statues, Lies, and Listening. A sample: In fourth grade I took a field trip to Stone Mountain to see the faces of Jefferson Davis, Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson up close and personal. This is a very fond […]

What are we Honoring? (Looking to Statuary Hall)


Via WaPo:  The U.S. Capitol has at least three times as many statues of Confederate figures as it does of black people Consider this: In the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection there are three times as many statues of Confederate soldiers and politicians as there are statues of black people in the entire Capitol complex, according to records maintained by the Architect […]

On Gorka’s Expertise


In case you were not aware, via CNN:  Sebastian Gorka’s PhD adviser: “I would not call him an expert in terrorism” “I would not call him an expert on terrorism,” said Stephen Sloan, a retired professor of political science who spent much of his career at the University of Oklahoma. Though he said Gorka is […]

Schwarzenegger Provides Speech Trump Should have Given


Worth a watch:

A Photo for Friday: Keys to the Past

“Keys to the Past” August 2, 2016 Pike Road, AL

Lee v. Washington: It’s not that Hard


There is so much to write on the events of the last several days, but here is a quick response to the following from Trump: “So this week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the […]

An Unsurprising, yet Disturbing, Headline


On Trump’s anger.

David Duke on the Rallies and on Trump

Charlottesville Nazi Rally

And some comments on Trumps’ anemic rhetoric.

Trump’s Statement on Venezuela

Via CNN:  Trump says he won’t rule out military option in Venezuela Asked about the possibility of a military intervention in response to the mounting crisis in the country, the President said that is something the United States “certainly could pursue.” “We have many options for Venezuela. And by the way, I am not going […]

A Photo for Friday: Vanishing

“Vanishing” Memphis, TN June 15, 2017

Trump’s Foreign Policy Witlessness


Robin Wright asks the following in The New Yorker:  Why Is Donald Trump Still So Horribly Witless About the World? Of course, the unfortunate answer is that he has no interest in understanding the world, nor any real grasp of the job he currently has.  This is well summed up in this quote from the piece: […]

On Repeal of the 17th Amendment


Ignorance of history and process is a hallmark 17th Amendment repeal arguments.

George Will on Alabama and GOP Politics


On the special election for US Senate in Alabama

DJIA and Jobs Trend

Economy Heartbeat

Plus some comparisons of Trump/Obama and Trump/Bill Clinton.

A Photo for Friday: Feeling Groovy

One more from the July 4th set: “Feeling Groovy” July 4, 2017 Pike Road, AL

Parental POTUS


In regards to a report that President Trump personally was involved in drafting a misleading statement about Don Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyers and a number of other, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated: “The president weighed in just as any father would based on the limited information that he had.” Taking that […]

Can Kelly Fix the White House?


(I suspect the reader already knows the answer to the question). Jonathan Swan at Axios: West Wing wonders, can Kelly fix ‘culture problem’? One key questions asked is this: Does Trump let Kelly be a true gatekeeper, in the tradition of effective chiefs of staff? I.e. does all information flow through Kelly, or do certain officials, such […]

The President’s Understanding of Insurance

From a recent sit-down with the NYT: TRUMP: But what it does, Maggie, it means it gets tougher and tougher. As they get something, it gets tougher. Because politically, you can’t give it away. So pre-existing conditions are a tough deal. Because you are basically saying from the moment the insurance, you’re 21 years old, you […]

Kenneth Starr has Advice for Trump


Really, it is more of a plea (as published in WaPo): Mr. President, please cut it out. Tweet to your heart’s content, but stop the wildly inappropriate attacks on the attorney general. […] The attorney general is not — and cannot be — the president’s “hockey goalie,” as new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci described […]

Kobach and Voter Fraud


Via Politico (back in May): ’Kris Kobach Came After Me for an Honest Mistake’ When Kris Kobach, Kansas’ aggressive secretary of state, convinced the state legislature to give him prosecutorial power to pursue voter fraud, he said it was necessary to root out tens of thousands of undocumented aliens who were voting as well as tens of […]

Trump’s Degradation of Justice


Via Lawfare: Since assuming office, he has continued this assault. He fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to defend in court an order she believed to be illegal (a judgment that, as the acting attorney general, was literally her job to make). He fired the FBI director for not subverting an ongoing law […]

Headline Reaction (New Chief of Staff Edition)


Headline (via WaPo):  John Kelly, Trump’s new chief of staff, ‘won’t suffer idiots and fools’ Reaction:  This will end well.

Gary Cooper, Woody Allen, and Trump (Oh My!)

Donald Trump Shrug

Wherein Noonan writes an odd column that reaches the right conclusion.

An Informative Read on the Pardon Power


From Andrew Rudalevige at The Monkey Cage:  Here’s what you need to know about the presidential power to pardon.

A Photo for Friday: Red Glare

“Red Glare” July 4, 2017 Pike Road, AL

Recommended Reading: Exum on Civil-Military Affairs


On the topic of President Trump’s norm-busting regarding the military I would recommend the following from Andrew Exum in The Atlantic:  The Dangerous Politicization of the Military. He notes Trump’s transgression, but also the broader context in which his words and actions exist.  It is worth a read.  

One More Observation on the Self-Pardon Issue


It occurred to me after my post this morning:  the thing about the constitutionality of the self-pardon is that the only way to know with certainty if it is constitutional or not is for the SCOTUS to rule after the action is undertaken and challenged.  As such, the only way to have a definitive answer […]

More on Self-Pardoning


Lawrence Tribe, Richard Painter and Norman Eisen argue in WaPo:  No, Trump can’t pardon himself. The Constitution tells us so. They bases their position mostly on the following: The Constitution specifically bars the president from using the pardon power to prevent his own impeachment and removal. It adds that any official removed through impeachment remains fully […]

#SoMuchWinning Update


Via the NYT, Trump’s ‘Great National Infrastructure Program’? Stalled Infrastructure remains stuck near the rear of the legislative line, according to two dozen administration officials, legislators and labor leaders involved in coming up with a concrete proposal. It awaits the resolution of tough negotiations over the budget, the debt ceiling, a tax overhaul, a new push to toughen […]

More Norm-Busting by the President


More evidence the president does not understand his job.

Tweeting at the Framers (Impeachment Edition)


Political Science Professor Paul Musgrave tweets: That it’s not clear if the president can pardon himself is just another datum showing that The Founders Were Bad At Constitution-Making. — Paul Musgrave🗀 (@profmusgrave) July 22, 2017 At a minimum, it certainly is an example that despite popular conception, the document is not perfect.

Potential Pardons = Potential Constitutional Crisis


The pardon issue could be a serious inflection point.

Leaks: Truth is the Main Issue, not Legality


POTUS tweets: While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017 What is striking about this (and all past rantings about leaks) is that there is rarely a claim […]

An Appropriate Assessment of the Spicer Era


Don’t cry for Spicer.

Back When the Bush Administration Investigated Voter Fraud


The Trump administration is not the first to investigate the question of voter fraud.  The Bush administration did so as well and a little over ten years ago it reported findings: Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to […]

A Photo for Friday: Prattville in the Distance

“Prattville in the Distance” June 24, 2017 Prattville, AL

It’s as if it isn’t a very Good Bill…


…and that maybe the GOP leadership is showing their lack of seriousness or something. Via the NYT:  Health Care Overhaul Collapses as Two More Republican Senators Defect  Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas declared on Monday night that they would oppose the Senate Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, killing […]

How not to be a Dean


Via the LAT: An overdose, a young companion, drug-fueled parties: The secret life of USC med school dean During his tenure as dean, Puliafito kept company with a circle of criminals and drug users who said he used methamphetamine and other drugs with them, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. Puliafito, 66, and these much younger acquaintances […]

Speaking of the Pence-Kobach Commission…


Rick Hasen points to a link to the agenda of this week’s first meeting of the Pence-Kobach Commission.  As someone who attends a ton of meeting these days, and who sets a fair share of agendas, this reads like a meeting set because they need to have a meeting, not because they really know what they […]

Rick Hasen on our Voting System


A reading recommendation for anyone who missed it, Rick Hasen’s piece in the NYT:  Don’t Let Our Democracy Collapse. He concludes as follows, but I would very much encourage a read of the whole piece: The future is scary. Public confidence in the fairness of the election process is already largely driven by who wins and who loses. […]

Another Poor Attempt at Illustrating the Scourge of Voter Fraud


Another failed attempt to demonstrate the problems of voter fraud in the US.

Krauthammer on Don Jr.


I tweeted this link out yesterday, but if you missed it, it is worth a read: Charles Krauthammer,  Bungled collusion is still collusion The evidence is now shown. This is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. This is an email chain released by Donald Trump Jr. himself. A British go-between writes that there’s […]

Brooks on Trump Amorality


David Brook’s NYT column on Don Jr. is worth a read:  Moral Vacuum in the House of Trump He basic conclusion is as follows: That to me is the central takeaway of this week’s revelations. It’s not that the Russia scandal may bring down the administration. It’s that over the past few generations the Trump family […]

Shep Smith’s Days at Fox Numbered?


Granted, he has been critical of the administration before (for example, having strong words about the way the administration treats CNN), but something will have to give at some point, given the overall tenor of the station’s political coverage.  Via WaPo:  ‘Lie after lie after lie’: Fox News’s Shepard Smith has a Cronkite moment on Russia. […]

Challenges and Threats to Representative Government in the United States


Thoughts on the quality of our democracy.

A Photo for Friday: Warp Speed

“Warp Speed” July 4, 2017 Pike Road, AL

A Quick Russian Translation


Via the NYT: When the Kremlin Says ‘Adoptions,’ It Means ‘Sanctions’  This is likely obvious to anyone who is even passingly familiar with the situation, but this piece is worth a read for a detailed discussion.  It also should take away any thought that a discussion about adoption policy is as innocent or low-wattage as it […]

It Just Keeps Getting Worse for Don Jr.

Two powers

Inching towards evidence of at least attempted collusion?

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