Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Looking Favorably at Street Protests

Some on the left are very pleased with the street demonstrations against Trump and his policies and executive orders.

I'm glad too.

But I have an advantage. I was politically cognizant in the late '60s and early '70s and I know what the likely result of years of constantly whining in public with a lot of drama and dress-up will be.

6 straight years of demonstrations en masse led to this: The election of Richard Nixon, 520 electoral votes to McGovern's 17.

So get out there lefties. Let the world see your indignation and righteousness. Something as serious a threat as Donald Trump as president calls for drastic measures and conduct beyond the pale. Turn it up to 11. Speak Truth to Power. Power to the People!


Monday, January 30, 2017


Travesty Indeed

I think I've heard the name Damon Linker before but I can't remember reading him ever. He is in high dudgeon regarding the recent executive order from the Trump administration regarding a three month ban on immigration etc. from seven countries. But if you have actually read the order, as I have, his outrage makes no sense, particularly its being aimed at our current President.

Money quote:

No, this executive order is abhorrent because the United States does not face a serious threat from terrorists originating in the seven singled-out countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan. How do we know that? Because there have thus far been no fatal terrorist attacks committed by people from those countries. None. Not one. Which means that the executive order isn't justified. At all. Not because such an order is inherently unacceptable, but because it isn't necessary under the present circumstances.

This alleged lack of necessity might be a valid criticism of Trump if Trump had picked the seven nations subject to the temporary ban. But if you actually look at the order, there is no mention of six of the nations involved (and Syria is mentioned but in a different context). So the President did not pick out these nations for the temporary immigration, etc. ban. I wonder who did?

Let's see if we can find the culprit. Here is the whole thing and what follows is the relevant part of the order:

... I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order...

Here is the relevant portion of section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), the 12th requirement for getting in to the United States:

(i) the alien has not been present, at any time on or after March 1, 2011
in Iraq or Syria;
in a country that is designated by the Secretary of State under section 4605(j) of title 50 (as continued in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)), section 2780 of title 22, section 2371 of title 22, or any other provision of law, as a country, the government of which has repeatedly provided support of acts of international terrorism; or
in any other country or area of concern designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security under subparagraph (D); and
(ii) regardless of whether the alien is a national of a program country, the alien is not a national of—
Iraq or Syria;

I believe the law started with only Syria being singled out in 2015 and the 6 other nations were added during the last year of the Obama administration.

So who picked the 7 nations mentioned in the statute? The Obama administration. Not Trump.

The Obama administration also changed policy and issued a regulation regarding Cuban refugees and immigrants just weeks before his term ended. Here is coverage of it. Here is Obama on what he did:

“Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, consistent with U.S. law and enforcement priorities."

Wonder if Mr. Linker objected to that unjustified "ban" on refugees and immigrants from Cuba? Were Cubans fleeing that Castro dictatorship a threat to us? But of course a Democrat doing it is wonderful; a Republican doing the exact same thing is the very essence of evil. Everybody knows that.

I'm beginning to wonder where the pollsters are finding 15% of the nation that approves of the news media. That seems way too high a number. I guess those are the people President Lincoln said you can fool all the time.


Saturday, January 28, 2017


Panic at the Democrat Disco

Many Democrats are having a hissy fit over President Trump's executive orders regarding immigration and refugees. One Democrat even referred to the Statute of Liberty (great gift, France! thanks) in his complaint. A lot of Democrats seem to think the poem by Emma Lazarus on the base of the statue is some sort of founding father document. They think that we must live up to the standards of the poem because that's who we are, or something.

I don't know. I've never been too keen on having: "The wretched refuse of your teeming shore" come here to live forever. Can't we limit immigration to nice people instead? I'm much less eager about it now that there are ISIS infiltrators yearning to breath free, just before they open up with AKs.

Are you eager for more wretched refuse?



A Report From Inside the Bubble

This piece from in The Week is rich, target rich. I was sucked in by the headline: There Will be Bloodletting in the Democratic Party; but it's not about a figurative civil war among the factions of the Democrat Party, it's about a figurative war by the Democrats against the horrible, horrible, no good Republicans. Earth to Ryan Cooper, that's been going on for some time now, you just choose to ignore it. I can find no information about Mr. Cooper. Where he's from, where he went to school, etc, are kind of a mystery. I do know he's in his early 30s. It's not mystery he's a lefty with the normal lefty blinders on. Target rich. Here we go. Big opening.

For many years, there has been a marked divergence in behavior between Republican and Democratic base voters. Broadly speaking, liberals want compromise, and conservatives don't.

Right. I see it a little differently. The Republicans, while in the minority, have been pretty ineffectual but at least tried sometimes to stop what they saw as horrible policy and legislation. The Democrats generally don't compromise at all unless they absolutely have to. And then their idea of compromise is the Republicans totally capitulating to their demands. They want lefty policy and legislation and nothing else. What was the vote count for the ACA, Obamacare, like? Oh that's right, all the Democrats voted for it and not one Republican voted for it. Roberta Flack ask where is the love? A normal person would ask here, where is the compromise? But of course, the left, in the bubble with other lefties and the group think they generate, always thinks that they are the angels of light and the Republicans are the idiots of evil. One might be able to tease out that very thinking from, well, every single word of this rather silly piece. Let's see.

Because the extremely poorly-designed American Constitution is constructed to require compromise, this gave Republicans a large advantage during times of divided government.

The American Constitution is brilliantly designed but it is a work of the extreme right, the founding fathers, so the left hates it, the right loves it. Mr. Cooper's criticism is therefore completely in sync with lefty group think, and it's completely wrong. Also, only a moron would think that being in the minority is an advantage to a political party's efforts to effectuate the policy and legislation it thinks is good. Former President Obama had a majority Democrat House and the Senate his first two years and, for a while, he had a filibuster proof 60 seat majority in the Senate. Not a lot of compromise occurred during that period. The Republicans were never even consulted about signature legislation. President Trump's party has a majority in our bicameral legislature but a narrow lead in the Senate (4 votes). I believe we'll get to 60 plus in the 2018 elections but that's nearly two years away. But that's important. Many more Democrat senators are up for election then than Republicans and ten of them are in states which voted for Trump. If the Democrats don't want to sink to having only 30 plus Senators, those 10 had better be rational, effective and honest for the next two years, and not just knee-jerk reactionary/obstructionists of the type Mr. Cooper is cheer-leading for here. But I digress. Back to the piece.

With President Trump, that is changing, and fast. He came into office losing the popular vote by the biggest margin ever, with a substantial assist from Russian spies and an even bigger one from the FBI, and now Republicans are seizing the chance to jam through a huge raft of horribly unpopular legislation. Ordinary rank-and-file Democrats are seething with fury, and demanding no compromise with Trump.

See, the Democrats are popular; their candidate won the recent popular vote for President by a huge margin. (Of course, regarding winning the White House, the national popular vote and ten pennies will get you a dime). And the Republicans only won because of outside help; the Russians and the FBI put Trump in the White House. He couldn't have won without that outside (and inside?) interference. It's just a fluke he's the president at all. The people of America love us Democrats and most people agree with us and it's only by cheating and nefarious interference that the Republicans win anything at all.(The fact that Democrats are in their worst position since the 1920s is apparently not part of lefty group think). And what the Trump administration and the Republican led Congress want to get done is of course "a huge raft of horribly unpopular legislation." Of course the Republicans desired legislation is horribly unpopular. The Republicans are horribly unpopular, and stupid and evil as well. That's how they gained 1000 elected offices at the state and federal level in the past eight years, by being horribly unpopular.

Anybody who's up for re-election is going to have to channel this energy. [of no compromise]

Oh, please don't put your energy into angry obstruction of everything Trump and the Republicans want. Whatever you Democrats do, don't do that. That would break my heart.

Senate Democrats are, most of them, extremely confused by this sentiment. They are the first target of liberal outrage, since they have to vote on Trump's Cabinet nominees. They don't control the chamber, so it mostly doesn't matter in substantive terms how they vote — but it's still a powerful symbolic act. (Though they could have come close to picking off the wretched Mike Pompeo as CIA director, since Rand Paul voted against him.)

OK, for a second there, Mr. Cooper was in touch with reality. Because of what former Senator Reid did to the filibuster of Presidential nominations, there was no chance that the Democrats would be able to block even a single Trump nomination without Republican defection. He got that right. But it's back to the bubble almost immediately. Voting against a nomination who is going to be confirmed is "still a powerful symbolic act"? Maybe in the bubble, you Democrats are all high fives and champagne for the symbolic act, but out in the real world, no one cares about ineffectual opposition. And where is the compromise in voting against a nomination? Isn't that what the horrible, horrible no good, stupid, evil Republicans do? Powerful symbolic act! I am laughing out loud at that, and I'm not laughing with you, Coop. And who is the CIA director now? Why, I believe it is the wretched Mike Pompeo. Let me check on Google. Here he is being sworn in by Vice President Pence. So yes, indeed, he is, powerful symbolic acts notwithstanding. I'm going to skip a bit of the piece about other powerful symbolic acts by the Democrats. Then there's this bit of comedy.

Democrats are stuck in an antiquated, genteel model of how the Senate is supposed to operate. The president needs to staff his Cabinet, and so back in the day, unless somebody was really terrible, the norm was that he should basically get to pick who he wants. And indeed, when Obama first took office, he got reasonable deference

OK, I'm laughing out loud again. I guess if you ignore the tone in the House and Senate by the Democrats ever since the horribly unpopular Republicans took back the House and Senate in landslide electoral "whuppins" during the mid-terms, you could call the Democrats' behavior in the Senate lately genteel; but you would also have to ignore Senate Majority Leader Reid's unfortunate decisions and statements (lies). I do commend Mr. Cooper for noticing that it's normal to defer to the newly elected President and let him have his cabinet picks, and for noticing that the Republicans acted normally for President Obama, powerfully symbolic no votes notwithstanding. Can he keep it up in the remainder of the piece?

But for the most part, Republicans mounted total procedural obstruction to Democrats and President Obama, and it only worsened as his presidency passed...They filibustered nearly every bill, even ones that would go through 100-0, simply to gum up the calendar and eat up precious floor time. They filibustered nearly every judicial nominee (until Senate Democrats scaled back the filibuster), to keep liberals out of the courts — and last year, when Antonin Scalia died, Senate Republicans refused to even consider Obama's Supreme Court nominee for an entire year, in hopes that Trump would be able to fill the seat. That has literally never happened before.

Eye. Speck. Beam. Perception. Mr. Cooper remembers Republican principled and ordinary opposition to what the Republicans rationally thought were bad policy, legislation and nominations. He seems to forget that the Democrats did every single one of these (with one exception) too, and often. But in the bubble, it's Democrats good, Republicans bad, and stupid. Mr. Cooper does give a nod to the Reid rule. He's pretty neutral here on something that will forever prevent the minority party from blocking any nomination on whom the majority party remains united. No hint here if he's mad at Reid for being so short sighted. I wonder what he thought of the filibuster rule before the former Senator nuked it for presidential nominees? Well, well, he did write about it then here and here's the money quote: "In reality, the Senate's vaunted traditions [including filibusters] are already near death. The question is who will kill them off first. The Democrats should get it over with, and get a bit of desperately needed governing done in the process." I'd say he was for it when it was the Democrats facing opposition. Of course, in the bubble, when the Democrats do it, it's good; when the Republicans do the exact same thing, it's bad. And the only reason no one has used the Biden rule before is because the criteria for its implementation, a Supreme Court vacancy in last year of a president's term of office, have peviously never presented themselves, at least since Biden's statement about his rule in 1992. That it hasn't happened before is not because the Democrats were just too noble to do it. It is former Vice President Joe Biden's rule. And he's a Democrat, I believe. OK, we're in the home stretch.

This has been a nihilistic, will-to-power struggle for years now, and obviously so. Republicans now control the whole government due to happenstance and the idiotic Electoral College, but they're not moderating their policies to the slightest degree out of some sense of decorum. Instead, they're going to ram through their agenda as fast as possible, and try their utmost to disenfranchise enough liberals and rig the election procedures such that America becomes a permanent one-party state.

Again, good that he notices the ordinary opposition which political parties have always employed. Here, however, it's all the Republican's doing and not the precious angles on the left. And again, Trump didn't win fair and square, it's the pesky Russians and Comey and the "idiotic Electoral College" that defeated Hillary. Bubble thoughts forever. Like the stupid (and racist) thought by the left that requiring ID to vote of every voter is voter suppression because of course the poor, downtrodden blacks in America, and only them, are utterly incapable of obtaining ID. Like the notion that making the boundaries of House Representative Districts beneficial to one party is only done by evil, stupid, horribly unpopular Republicans. Mr. Cooper seems to have no historical recognition that Gerrymandering is a Democrat invention (back then called Democrat-Republicans) and the Democrats created and still require the Gerrymandering of districts in states with sizable black populations so that there would be a black district here and there. No, that's not rigging election procedures; of course not, the Democrats are doing it. And again, the evil, stupid and horribly unpopular Republicans couldn't have gained all those House and Senate seats by fair means. Only a moron would think they won fair and square. Now the big finish.

Elected Democrats are going to need to ditch their usual cringing, timid, compromising ways if they want to have a chance at a political career in the future. Even fairly milquetoast liberals are crying out for some sort of firebrand to lead a ferocious, determined resistance. If, say, Tom Udall or Kirsten Gillibrand can realize this, their national profile will quickly grow.
But those who vote for Jeff Sessions to become attorney general might face a primary challenge instead.

I confess that I often think of the Republicans in the minority as "cringing, timid, compromising" so I guess it's universal that people interested in politics are down on their party's representatives who fail to stop the party in power every single time. I fervently hope the Democrats do get a firebrand leader, and that Democrats do indeed put up ferocious, determined resistance to everything the Republicans try to achieve. If the Republicans want it, it must be bad. I hope Tom Udall and Kristen Gillibrand do rise to lead the Democrats. I hope they replace all the Democrats who vote for Jeff Sessions for attorney general with even more lefty candidates. You go Democrats. Do your worst.


Thursday, January 26, 2017


Master of Lies

I'm going to examine closely an opinion piece by Nick Kristof which, for a change, is not nonsense about global warming or guns. Here is the piece in today's NTY.

First, a little history. Margaret Sanger, the lefty saint who started Planned Parenthood in order primarily to decrease the number of black babies being born in America, at least restricted her nefarious efforts to America. The Democrats, it seems, have more recently expanded them to Africa.

Also, the Mexico City Policy was first instituted by President Reagan in 1984 through executive order. The Mexico City Policy (the “Global Gag Rule”) required foreign NGOs to certify that they would not perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning using funds from any source as a condition for receiving U.S. funding. A highly debated issue, this policy was rescinded by President Clinton, reinstated by President Bush, and rescinded again by President Obama in January 2009. (All this according to the Kaiser Family Foundation). Now it's been reinstated by President Trump.

OK, let's get to Kristof's words of wisdom.

The most horrific chicanery involves Trump's new actions on women's health that will cause deaths around the globe....Trump this week signed an order that will cut off access to contraception to vast numbers of women, particularly in Africa. It will also curb access to cancer screenings and maybe even undermine vaccination campaigns and efforts against H.I.V. and the Zika virus. The upshot: Thousands of impoverished, vulnerable women will die.

None of that is true.

Here is the President's Memorandum on reinstating the Mexico City Policy in total. You will notice that it only addresses abortion and sterilization, specifically "coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization" and does not talk about ordinary contraception (condoms and IUDs, for example) in any way. President Trump's Memorandum refers to President Bush's reinstatement memorandum but here that is. It contains no provision whatsoever about ordinary contraception. A lot of lefty sites talk about some sort of subsequent expansion under Bush of the policy to include ordinary contraception. I can't find evidence of that anywhere; but I can say without fear of contradiction that nothing like that is contained in Trump's reinstatement or in any document it references. So there is no stopping of the U.S. supplying condoms, etc. and no stopping of U.S. funds for the NGOs that push for the use of condoms, etc. It's merely stopping American taxpayer money from being used to push or provide abortions as a method of family planning overseas.

So either Kristof is a liar or he has not read the document that has him all in a tizzy. I go with liar.

But here is the truth to refute Kristof's Fake News.

The Trump memorandum does not cut off access to contraception to vast numbers of women.
The Trump memorandum does not curb access to cancer screening.
The Trump memorandum will not undermine vaccination campaigns. (Lefties are actually doing that in America--haven't heard Nick complain about it).
The Trump memorandum will not undermine efforts against H.I.V.
The Trump memorandum will not undermine efforts against the Zika virus.

It's all lies from Kristof.

Let's push on to the animus underlying the left's desire to curtail births in Africa.

What are we doing pushing abortions in Africa?

What are the NGOs who are willing to forego their work for actual better women's health doing refusing to take federal money rather than give up providing abortions or advocating their use as a method of family planning? Are these groups, like International Planned Parenthood and the Maria Stopes outfit mentioned by Kristof, so enamored of abortion as a method of family planning that they are willing to forego what they call necessary funds rather than give up providing abortions or pushing their use? If the latter, then any African deaths from their reduced services falls squarely on the leadership of those organization and not on our President.

And if the latter is the case, then the decaying corpse of Margaret Sanger is smiling in her grave and racism on the left--the continued antipathy of the American left to black babies--is revealed once again.

UPDATE: Friend on the left Tony, finally got it through my thick skull that the "expansion" was that Bush's reinstatement only was for NGOs and Trump's reinstatement was for "all departments or agencies." Apparently that's a huge difference. But all any entity, that wants or needs American dollars to function fully, needs to do to get that money is not provide abortions or promote abortions as a form of family planning. If the department or agency not a "nongovernmental organization" can't let go of abortion, I still put the loss of revenue on them. I don't actually blame people for deaths they don't directly cause, as Kristof and Tony apparently do when it involves a Republican, but I can blame the actions of the department or agency holding on to abortion for the loss of American dollars under Republican policy not to support abortion with taxpayer money. The left only sees Republican responsibility.



Snark on Snark

There is an article from Breitbart that starts off even handed and then goes full snark by accurately describing the Democrats involved and accurately quoting them. It's pretty fun. But the cherry and whipped cream on top is how the contributor to Ace of Spades, J.J. Sefton, introduced it on that site in the morning links to articles. Wait for it.

Democrats: We Have To Derogate Americans In a Kinder, Gentler Manner


Wednesday, January 25, 2017



I just wanted to reach out to my friends on the left and congratulate them on their instant opposition, even resistance, to the nearly week old Trump Administration and encourage them to continue doing just what they have been doing.

Your name calling, threats, protests, marches and general participation in the modern version of two minutes hate have been wonderfully enlightening; and surely these all must be convincing the Trump supporters and fellow travelers of the errors of their ways and choices.

I urge you not only to keep it up, but to double down, expand your efforts, and protest even the most minute of Trump's faux pas and caddishness. People love it when you incessantly dwell on the paltry and inconsequential with such passion and vigor. It's such a rush.

Here is a fine example of what I'm talking about. Who among us won't carry to the grave this memory of Trump walking in front of the First Lady?

More of these, please.


Sunday, January 22, 2017


Memorable Movie Quotes

You know what happens when women get together on something? All kinds of shit you can't explain happens. But good shit. Mysterious, but good. Usually very good. Things get solved.

Snow (played by Jeremy Davies in excellent, but narrow focus, version of Stanislaw Lem's Solaris by Soderbergh).

I was reminded of it when I watched some video of the Women's marches yesterday.



The Long Dark Night of Fascism is Always Descending on the Right in America...

But it always keeps landing on the left*. Here is a full page, hysterical anti-Trump ad in the NYT a few weeks ago. It contained this statement.
By any definition, Donald Trump is a fascist.
Really? Here's one definition: A political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.

That's not what's happening. Calling President-Elect Trump a dictator before he entered office (as the ad did) is delusional under any definition.

Here's another: ...a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

Ah, "redemptive violence." You mean the terror and destruction inflicted by the Black-shirts in Italy and the Brown-shirts in Germany? Why yes I think that term from a definition of fascism is precisely that. So who are the Brown shirts of today? Republicans?

Let me make a relevant comparison: Here are photos of German fascists on November 9-10, 1938**.

Here is a photo and and a video from two days ago:

Who are the fascist thugs now? Republicans? Really?

Apparently, it was a lot less violent and destructive, yesterday with the women's marches. Good for them.

* (h/t many right wing writers particularizing Revel)

** I apologize to the millions affected by the Holocaust for trivializing it by comparing it to the puerile, meaningless destruction the left indulges in nowadays.


Friday, January 20, 2017


Ironic Poster of the Day

The guys who made and like this poster are the fascists. That's the non-Alanis irony. They are socialists who support a big, powerful government (statism) which controls the nation's businesses by taxation, regulation and threats of government takeover. And they take to the streets for pointless violence and destruction in order to cause the apolitical to cower. Classic fascism.

Here is a video of the left's reaction to the orderly transfer of power: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIqfVEqzSzU

But the Tea Party is the real menace to American peace and prosperity.

Reason #12,347 why Trump won.


Monday, January 16, 2017


There is None So Blind...

I hate to keep picking on Dahlia Lithwick at Slate, but she keeps writing stupid stuff (but wholly observant of, or rather subservient to, Democrat memes) so I have no choice in the matter.

Let's review actual history. In June 1992, current VP Joe Biden, then a Delaware Senator, said: “It would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is underway, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over." That's the Biden rule--a supreme court vacancy during the last year of a President's term must be delayed until the election is over. There are sites out there denying this happened but my source is the New York Times.

In November 2013, Harry Reid then Senate Majority Leader, ended filibusters of presidential nominees. It was specifically about blocking President Obama's nomination of a judge to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals; but the parliamentary vote to end filibusters (when Republicans considered this, it was called the Nuclear Option) was 52-48 with every Republican voting against the rule change. This is the Reid rule. I don't think anyone has tried to rewrite history about this. Not yet.

Ms. Lithwick clearly knows this history but her story, here, fails to mentions it, not even once. Not that big a surprise.

She is pushing the semi-delusional meme that the Democrats in the Senate have some ability to block President-Elect Trump's nominees, particularly his replacement of Justice Scalia, who died about a year ago. Here we go.

Last week, after nearly 300 days of Senate obstruction, Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court expired. President-elect Donald Trump says he plans to seat a new justice, who will be avowedly pro-life, by April. He plans to name that person within two weeks of his inauguration. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently explained on MSNBC that Democrats in the Senate plan to block any Trump nominee who isn’t in the mainstream. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has responded by warning, evidently without irony, that Americans will not tolerate such obstruction.

The obstruction, as she calls it, of course because it's the Republicans who did it, was merely implementing the Biden rule. We'll get to the irony of her position.

There is no rule or tradition that the minority party gets to obstruct the current president's nomination for the Supreme Court in the first days of a new administration. But Ms. Lithwick seems solidly behind just such unprincipled obstruction. You can just about hear her exhortations for Senator Schumer to block any nomination by any means necessary. Especially the yucky nominees.

But the rest of the piece is an abridged interview with an expert in negotiations. I'm not that interested in his answers; they are what you would expect from Slate, but let's look at the questions. She asks:

One of the things you have thought about is the relationship between cooperation and confrontation in negotiations. I think the concern Democrats have raised with me during the transition lies in the tension between those values: President Obama and the Democratic leadership are interested in an orderly transition of power and in good governance. Their opponents seem bent simply on seizing and deploying power. Is Democratic leadership just, well, doing it wrong?

Despite talking a good game of orderly transition of power in the first meeting between the incoming and outgoing presidents, Obama and the Democrats have dug in their heels in an unseemly combination of disbelief and disassociation. There's a little bit of tantrum-pouty poor losers too. They are talking about obstructing the nominations for cabinet posts. They are talking about blocking any Supreme Court nominee they don't approve of (not that the nominee is unqualified to be an appellate judge, just he or she rules the wrong way, according to the Democrats). But this planning means, of course, that the Democrats are planning to do just what Dahlia complains bitterly of when the Republicans employed the Biden rule last year. It's just when the Republicans do what the Democrats did first, the Republicans are only bent on seizing and deploying power, while the Democrats were little angels. Stevie Wonder could see this is hypocrisy of the highest order. The irony is that she doesn't see it at all. She later asks:

So did Schumer disadvantage himself by suggesting that Senate Democrats would, for instance, only obstruct the far-right nominees? That’s a “softer” position than, say, John McCain’s “no Clinton nominees for all four years” posture during the election. How do we recognize when norms of good faith have expired and that collaboration is pointless?

The people on the far right politically are the American Founding Fathers. Not the worst people to associate with (unless you are judging them from the extreme left, as Ms. Lithwick no doubt is). I would think that we have recognized when norms of good faith have expired and that collaboration is pointless. It's when the Democrats make up a new rule that destroys the good will of the Senate and makes it ever more partisan, like with the Biden rule and the Reid rule. That test won't cover all situations, but it is a good rule of thumb.

Should Senate Democrats bargain as though this moment is frozen in time or as if whatever tools they use now will come back to haunt them in future? I am thinking specifically about the use of the filibuster.

Little late to be worrying that Harry Reid's seizing power and upsetting centuries of Senate precedent, (for a few of Obama's nominations) is coming back to haunt the Democrats, now that they are in minority status, don't you think?

But the takeaway here is the hopeful sense on Ms. Lithwick's part that the Democrats can do anything to stop any of the nominations. Short of assassination, there is nothing the Democrats can now do to block them, and you only have yourselves, your Democrat leaders of the past, like Harry Reid and Joe Biden, to thank for this utter inability. Your futile belief that President-Elect Trump won't get all or at least almost all of his nominees approved in very quick order, is about to meet the wall of reality. Karma is one tough cookie.

Delusion for Dahlia and the Democrats, I say.

As Duncan Sheik sang decades ago, I know what you're doing, I see it all too clear.


Thursday, January 12, 2017


The Near Uselessness of Empathy

Empathy sucks. Sympathy is what we all should have for people who have had a rough go of it. Let me give you an example.

Somebody feels really sick and then vomits.

If I feel sympathy, I try to comfort the sick individual. I offer to get him or her water or take him or her to the doctor, if necessary. I am very attentive and try to make things better.

If I feel empathy, I vomit too.

How's that help anybody?



This is Rich

Here is Dahlia Lithwick, who was born in Canada in 1968, calling us Republicans racists for no reason. Yeah, this is just what we need, a lily-white Lefty from the Great White North who never lived a second under the Democrat manufactured and maintained Jim Crow abomination in the Deep South telling us about racism in America. I've forgotten more about the tail end of the Jim Crow period (1961 through 1965) than Ms. Lithwick will ever know. And what I know compared to Senator Jeff Sessions' knowledge here is pretty much a minnow compared to a whale. But let's look anyway at the stupider things she says (and they are numerous).

Sessions assured Graham that being called a racist was “painful,” and almost all of his witnesses in the two panels that testified Wednesday told stories of Sessions as a mentor, boss, colleague, and friend, someone who supported black colleagues and never whispered a racist sentiment. It’s an incredibly sweet and distillate version of political qualifications—the notion that if someone can work, consume Dairy Queen Blizzards, manage others, and never explode in a torrent of racial abuse, he is a civil rights warrior. These stories are entirely beside the point.
As Jamelle Bouie argues, what’s in a man’s heart is immaterial if, as attorney general, he is blind to the systemic and often unconscious bias that infects the lives of women and minorities he is meant to protect with the apparatus of our civil rights laws. And yet Sessions voted against hate crime legislation because, as he put it in 2009, “I’m not sure women or people with different sexual orientations face that kind of discrimination. I just don’t see it.”

OK, fellow Stanford graduate, racism is maintaining invidious discrimination based on a malignant animus against a whole race. A systemic and often unconscious bias against women, if any exists, would not be racism but misogyny. Try to stick to the subject. There is no good word for the hatred of homosexuals, etc. but it's clearly not racism. Sessions has explained his opposition to the stupid hate crime legislation and it is, as usual with him, rational and persuasive to the open minded.

But let's get back to the systemic and often unconscious bias against minorities (again, not exactly racism unless the minority is a race). Is Lithwick saying all Americans have this bias (I only have a Masters in English but I think that's what 'systemic' connotes)? So if I know that things have gotten so much better than they were in the early 60's because I've lived it, seen it as well as read about it, so that I don't agree there is any systemic bias against minorities, am I a racist like Senator Sessions allegedly is? What if I'm right, and race relations had improved from the end of the century of Jim Crow evil so that actual racism is now clearly taboo in our American society? Am I still a racist for disagreeing with Ms. Lithwick and Mr. Bouie? Even if I'm right and they are wrong?

He doesn’t see the impact his 86 out of 87 votes against abortion and other women’s health protections would have on women...

Not racism. (Is abortion "women's health protection"? What if the embryo is a female, as it too often is? Is that female embryo's health protected by an abortion? Seems like Ms. Lithwick went full Democrat meme there without really thinking it through). Moving on.

He doesn’t see...how his vote against taking the language of religious tests out of immigration law would hurt Muslims.

Not racism. Again.

Sessions doesn’t see racial disparity at all, which is, as his character witnesses each concluded, what makes the Democrats’ claims of racism especially corrosive. Of course, not seeing that racism exists is its own sort of blindness. To be determinedly race-blind on principle isn’t racism. But it sure isn’t neutral, especially at the helm of the Justice Department.

So the Democrats call Senator Sessions racist and the people who know him best say he is not in any way a racist and you defend the Democrats' slander by saying he's blind to racism, which you then say isn't racism. Did you miss all the classes teaching logic the philosophy department provided at Stanford? Certainly seems so. It gets worse.

I'll skip the idiocy about retiring the discrimination against Southern States in the Voting Right Act of 1965. Black voter participation in the Deep South has never been higher than in the last three presidential elections. If the racist whites (is it still all whites, Dahlia, even you?) are trying to suppress the black voter down there, they are doing a miserable job of it. I think it's easier to believe that there is no such effort. I'm aware blacks came out in force all over the country to vote for President Obama.

Republicans on the committee believe in the kind of racism that leaves you bloodied and pepper sprayed on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, but not in the sort that asks you to produce a voter ID in 2016, or closes every DMV where you might procure one.

We Republicans believe exactly that for the following reasons: The Democrats' crimes against the black and white advocates for equal civil rights near Selma in 1965 are a historical fact and the alleged "racism" inherent in asking all voters for identification does not actually exist. I think Ms. Lithwick might benefit from seeing this short, documentary.

[Republicans] reject the old-timey racism and still dispute the existence of the subtle, sometimes unconscious, and often systemic bias built into every brick of the prison industrial complex, and every word of our sentencing laws and felon-disenfranchisement statutes.

What? Do the sentencing laws, and statutes about losing civil rights due to felony convictions only apply to one race in America and not to any others? I just checked and these statutes apply equally to all Americans because applying to only one race would violate the 14th Amendment, passed overwhelmingly by Republicans and opposed overwhelmingly by Democrats. The fact that blacks commit more crimes per capita in America than any other racial group is not the result of there being prisons, sentencing laws, or laws regarding lost rights for a felony conviction. I don't know what is causing it, but it's not the laws. All in all, the imaginary systemic racism Ms. Lithwick and her ilk claim exists is so very subtle that it can only be detected by the most sensitive among us, which are the Lefties, of course.

Jeff Sessions will be the next attorney general, and conversations about race and racism will become ever more difficult, especially in public spaces.

You're not having much difficulty talking about it in print at Slate right now (you're just having trouble making any sense). What about Senator Sessions' becoming the Attorney General will make conversations about race and racism more difficult? This is as moronic, baseless statement. But here's the big finish, such as it is.

[Corey Booker*, attention whore] proved that one’s friends and colleagues and co-senators can testify that you have a good heart and a hearty love of Dairy Queen, and still fail to understand that this has almost nothing to do with the architecture of racial injustice our laws must attempt to dismantle.

What "architecture of racial injustice"? The prisons, sentencing laws etc. you wrote stupidly about above?

I think, and I believe this is sound analysis, that racism nowadays affects individuals and not organizations. It is a personal decision to hate or discriminate against or feel, unjustly, superior to a whole race. Of course there are people who think that way, but very, very few of them are Republicans. The Democrats continue to try to expiate the sins of their collective past by pretending the Republicans are now (and probably always were) the bad guys about race in America, and by inventing new forms of racism which don't actually exist.

In order to be able to live with their evil past, the Democrats now say: See, it wasn't just the bad old days when the Democrats exclusively owned slaves and exclusively were members of the Klan and exclusively created laws that created discrimination against blacks; there is just as much racism now as back then and the Republicans are the torch carriers of this racism now that they have magically switched racial animi and animae with the Democrats.

Ms. Lithwick is a fervent practitioner of this sort of delusion.

The takeaway from this terrible opinion piece is that the Left thinks the Right is racist, not because the Right has an invidious racial animus against blacks (they overwhelmingly don't) but because the Right doesn't think like the Left does.

*I met Cory Booker at Stanford about 16 years ago and talked to him for a couple of minutes after he gave a speech. He was a good guy and fun to talk to. But the times change and we change with them.


Monday, January 09, 2017


Meryl Streep

I didn't listen to the speech Meryl Streep gave at the Golden Globes. I didn't watch the presentation show. Who cares about the Golden Globes at all? But on the subject of alienating the viewing audience, I have something to say.

I disagree with the President-elect that Ms. Streep is an overrated actress. She is a very accomplished actress and it's rare someone like her is still getting roles at her advanced age (4 years older than I). Hollywood generally abandons lead women actors after a certain age, like 35. But lately in her career, like since The Hours in 2002, 15 years ago, her movies haven't been that good and they certainly haven't made any appreciable money for the studio/producers.

Generally a movie gets back 55% of the box office. There are sales of DVDs and money for showing a movie on TV; so there is a stream of income even after the movie leaves the theaters. But the budget of the movie generally doesn't include the money spent on advertising the movie. So you really have to double the budget in box office revenue in order to start making a dime. How's that been going?

I didn't research all her movies, just the ones it was possible I would see. Movies like Into the Woods had no chance and are not on the list.

Movie                           Popularity(Rotten Tomatoes)   Budget      Total Box Office (Box Office Mojo)
Ricki & the Flash                   43%                                 $18 Mil       $ 26,822,000

August, Osage County           65%                                 $37 Mil       $ 37,778,000

Lions For Lambs                    47% (27% critics)           $35 Mil       $ 15,002,000

Rendition                                62% (47% critics)           $27.5 Mil    $ 9,736,000

A Prairie Home Companion   59%                                $10 Mil       $ 20,342,000

The Hours                               84%                                $25 Mil       $ 41,675,000

So probably not the smartest career move to tell the huge number of people in America who love football (as I do) and MMA (which I don't) that you think their choice of entertainment sucks. I'm willing to bet the producer/studio executives who were thinking about using her in a movie yet to be made are not that happy with her spoken from the bubble political musings.

But how brave of her to voice her problems with soon to be President Trump! How unpopular her speech must have been with the other Hollywood types and the audience.*

*sarcasm (in case you're too literal)



The Current Stupidest Commercial

There is a Colgate commercial showing now on TV which does not promote the product (toothpaste) but warns against wasting water.

I am as anti-waste as there is. I am, for example, constantly turning off the lights my office mates have left on, even though the commercial landlord is paying for the electricity.

But the premise of the commercial is stupid on two levels.

First, when water runs down the drain it is not destroyed. We're not turning the water into its component gasses. It's still water. It's water that has flowed through the sewer but it's still water and we'll run it though the water treatment plants and dump it into the nearest river, for us it's the Platte River, where it will eventually flow to the sea (Gulf of Mexico). But along the way it will be useful. It's not gone.

Second, the people the commercial tells us don't have adequate sources of water (less than 10 liters per month, it says) are not going to get a shipment of the American water we've saved by turning off the taps while we brush. Whether we run the tap while we brush our teeth or not (and I do not) the thirsty people around the globe will still not have enough water.

It bugs me that Colgate is trying to make me feel guilty by their crudely manipulative virtue display. Turn off the tap while you brush because it's a good idea to use only what is actually helpful to you. Don't turn if off because people in regions of the world you'll never see haven't provided for their communal water needs sufficiently.

And don't think your wise use of water will help them in the slightest. It won't.

Finally, according to my bill, two and three quarters gallons (10 liters) costs $.007, not even a penny.


Sunday, January 01, 2017


Democrat Slogans

Say what you will about the intellectual ugliness of most posts at Slate, at least Lefties feel safe enough there to say what they really feel. And it is ugly. Take this for example. Money quote:

After Trump’s election, it is more or less impossible to believe that we are making meaningful progress. White liberals who woke up horrified on Nov. 9 weren’t horrified because the world had suddenly changed—we were horrified because the scales had finally fallen from our eyes, and we could at least see our unjust, racist, sexist country for what it is.
I'm no expert at politics, but I continue to think that the election slogan "Vote for us you unjust racist women haters" is not going to be very effective. So keep it up, L.V. Anderson and all of your ilk. You're doing great. Truth to Power! Hate the haters! Power to the people!

Maybe in 8 years there will be another thousand Democrats no longer in elected office.



Missouri River Type Thoughts

Usually New Year's Day is just another day for me, but for some reason today I'm feeling like the guy in the Anthony Newley song*:

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new year for us,
And I'm feeling good.

*Slightly paraphrased.

Newely with second wife Joan Collins in the 60s. Lucky bastard.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?