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Monday, January 01, 2018

OTP 1 January 2018 - Athlete boycotts of White House didn’t start with Donald Trump — but he sure helped

Amateur teams began going to the White House as far back as the mid-1860s, while the first championship winning pro baseball team attended in 1925. That was the Washington Senators, winners of the previous year’s World Series. They were hosted by then-president Calvin Coolidge.

Teams that later followed include the Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers. The squad was on hand for the same ceremony in 1980 with then-president Jimmy Carter as baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates. In June 1991, the Penguins were the first NHL team to visit after capturing a title, meeting George H.W. Bush.

Bird’s decision to skip the visit in 1984 — usually consisting of handshakes and photo ops — is said to be the first snub of significance, even though he didn’t give political reasons.

 

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 01, 2018 at 03:22 PM | 1771 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: champions, politics

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   801. BrianBrianson Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:15 PM (#5600822)
The only thing IMO that would get that are incontrovertible proof that Trump knowingly colluded with Russia AND that said collusion included money changing hands.


Really? So if it was just taking Ukraine out of the GOP platform and a promise to lift gas/oil sanctions in exchange for hacking/twitter-milling, they'd be happy to go into 2018/2020 with (R)ussian signs everywhere?
   802. Traderdave Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5600823)
Really? So if it was just taking Ukraine out of the GOP platform and a promise to lift gas/oil sanctions in exchange for hacking/twitter-milling, they'd be happy to go into 2018/2020 with (R)ussian signs everywhere?


Crazy, but yes. That would not be enough to swing sufficient R Senators to vote to remove. Whatever else they are, the Repubs are committed to their brand.
   803. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5600824)
Yeah, he's a liar, and misogynist, and childish, and a giant hypocrite, and pretty much utterly contemptible in every way, but none of those are high crimes and/or misdemeanors as near as I can tell.
The only thing IMO that would get that are incontrovertible proof that Trump knowingly colluded with Russia AND that said collusion included money changing hands.
I'd agree with that. Proving Manafort got paid explicitly for the Ukraine plank, and that Trump has known about said payment since before firing Comey - that would do it. I am *not* saying that's what happened, I have no idea. But it is a believable scenario that would tip the scales towards impeachment for me, *if* it came to light.

So I'd put impeachment at 5% or less. More likely, but not much - maybe 10%? - is the idea that Trump's apparent propensity to raging actually strokes him out or otherwise invokes the 25th (for physical/medical reasons, not some ginned-up pop-psych Pence coup). He's an older guy, and that diet isn't helping.
   804. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5600825)
Thanks for the reply Ray. I think that the difference in our outlook here is that I think it is vitally important for the nation, its people, and frankly the world, to understand the facts on which our President bases his decisions, the opinions he holds, and the rationale underlying those beliefs


We have never gotten that from any president, ever, unless the president's true opinions and rationale happened to coincide with what the acceptable public version was.

We have gotten the truth if it happened to also be an acceptable public story. If not, we have gotten lies.

Ironically -- and I'm convinced this is absolutely true -- we have gotten more of a window into Trump's true thoughts, opinions, and rationale then we have ever gotten from any president before. His prolific and unique tweets provide a window to his inner thoughts. I don't think any serious person would deny that.

In one sense (as Andy's PolitiFact checker can tell you) Trump is the most dishonest president we've ever had. In another sense he's the most honest president we've ever had -- and it's not close. His tweets by and large tell us what he's thinking, and we've never had that sort of honesty and transparency from any president before.

(In fact this has hurt him in defending his administration's policies in court. Multiple courts have cited his tweets as evidence of his true rationale. Such as in the travel ban cases.)
   805. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5600827)
Sanctuary ordinances also tend to define lack of cooperation with federal agencies at a level that's arguably within their discretion. Most say that a locality will comply with actual federal warrants.

Some states seem to be moving well past that stance. California just enacted a law that purports to bar employers from consenting to Federal Immigration Inspections. That law seems likely to be invalidated on federal preemption grounds. Immigration is exclusively a Federal Government responsibility, and this is the flip-side of Arizona v. U.S., which invalidated state government efforts at enhanced enforcement as interfering with the federal regulatory system.
   806. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5600828)
I think that the difference in our outlook here is that I think it is vitally important for the nation, its people, and frankly the world, to understand the facts on which our President bases his decisions, the opinions he holds, and the rationale underlying those beliefs and not at all important to allow the veneer of such to mask what is really a prepared speech to an uncritical audience.


Ray clearly believes any media attempt to do anything other than pass through regime propaganda and press releases is "gotcha attempts." It's in line with his disavowal of anything resembling "truth" or "falsity," and not surprising. But folks should go into conversations with him on the subject with the facts in mind. He believes the media should be dissemination engine for regime propaganda.
   807. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5600829)
Crazy, but yes. That would not be enough to swing sufficient R Senators to vote to remove. Whatever else they are, the Repubs are committed to their brand.


This is true. A video of Don Trump, Jr handing the encryption keys to CIA and FBI servers over to Putin himself wouldn't get enough GOP Senators to vote for country over party.
   808. BDC Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5600832)
we have gotten more of a window into Trump's true thoughts, opinions, and rationale then we have ever gotten from any president before. His prolific and unique tweets provide a window to his inner thoughts. I don't think any serious person would deny that

Maybe not, but there's a point at which you don't want to hear about it. For instance, last night I dreamt that I impersonated a Canadian poet in order to try to get a free tour of the Bangor Zoo, but I doubt anybody wants more details of those inner thoughts.
   809. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5600835)
There's a strong effect where politically out of the loop people fix their voting patterns pretty hard when they're ~18. Trump making the GOP brand awful to current young people will hurt them in the long run (to some extent).


I agree with that, but in most respects that demographic was already lost to the GOP. Gay rights, drugs, transgender rights, climate change, and on and on there are a host of issues that even small government young people are very far apart from the GOP mainstream. I agree Trump exacerbates that and maybe fixes it even harder, but absent a shift* demographics look terrible for the GOP in the future.

* But of course a shift will happen, sooner or later. The us won't end up with a single monolithic party for multiple generations. How the shift will occur, who will shift and where, that I don't know.
   810. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5600836)
But she was the D, so that was that.


And around we go. SHE is not NEARLY as bad as HE. If YMV's, you're a Dancing Monkey.
   811. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5600837)
The Trump administration unveiled a controversial plan Thursday to permit drilling in all U.S. waters, including protected areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic, where oil and gas exploration is opposed by governors from New Jersey to Florida, nearly a dozen attorneys general, more than 100 U.S. lawmakers and the Defense Department.


At this point, I would imagine that very little additional offshore drilling would occur in the short term. Shale gas and shale oil is far more accessible on-shore and therefore cheaper. Exploration may take place, but large-scale exploitation won't happen while Trump is president.
   812. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5600839)
Maybe not, but there's a point at which you don't want to hear about it


That point is really really low for me. I don't care about Obama's innermost thoughts, Trump's, or really any leaders. Why should I?

I want ... first and foremost ... someone who is an effective leader and steward for American interests. Obviously what I think to be our best interests is colored by my own partisan leaning and other beliefs, but even so I would prefer a great leader I have differences with but is effective in leading my nation than a bumbling moron who agrees with me. And knowing the bumbling morons innermost thoughts doesn't help in the slightest.

I am voting for someone based on their qualifications, not on their entertainment value or the window they open to their soul.
   813. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5600840)
What would the practicality be of being able to prevent publication of a book written by a 3rd party that includes NDA-violating material? I mean, I would assume that a brief aside from Bannon wouldn't enable a book that is 99.98% based upon non-NDAed material to be blocked. Is there a proportion - 10%, 50%, 99% - of NDA-violating material that would potentially enable a publication to be prevented if the publishing party is not the offender, and the offender is not profiting from publication?

If Bannon violated a non-disclosure agreement, there might be a claim for damages as to his own book, but it would be difficult to prevent the publishing of the book since the 1st Amendment sets the bar quite high for such prior restraints. A claim against Wolff's book would be even more difficult, since he wasn't a party to any non-disclosure agreement. Again, there might be a claim for Bannon violating his NDA in talking to Wolff, or even libel claims against Wolff, but those are just damage claims, and IMHO, it would be highly unlikely that any court would enjoin publication.
   814. Zonk is One Individual Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5600841)
Impeachment would really damage the GOP - since they can't deny everything or use the disappearing President trick

I don't think it would be that big of a deal to the party as a whole. They'd get shellacked in one even-yeared election, but that might happen anyways. Two years later, there's still going to be the small-government-vs-large-government debate and Republican candidates will appeal to those who think D's are going too far. Look at the 2010 GOP comeback.

House impeachment might happen if the D's take the House, but for it to succeed they'd need a whopping 67 Senate votes. The Mueller probe would have to come up with more than just collusion and obstruction of that to get 67 conviction votes. Large scale money-laundering? Without 67 votes, impeachment is just a toothless censure.


Near(er)-term - I think folks are forgetting what a big part politics plays in impeachment. Even if they were to just lose the House - what good does keeping the increasingly unpopular Trump around do? Might as well cut out the cancer sooner rather than later, and just let the poodle pence placehold. Keeping the ~50% (whatever) of the GOP electorate on 'their' side only matters so long as it's truly a deciding factor (in primaries, GEs, whatever). A 2018 shellacking? The math changes.

I generally think Joe Trippi is an idiot - I still remain awestruck at how awfully he wasted the 2004 Howard Dean ATM - but I saw a clip of him last discussing the Alabama senate race (he was working for the Jones campaign) where he talked about how "tired" the Trumpians were... how their data showed that there is a real surge of nominal Trump 'supporters'/voters who are just tired of the chaos and nonsense and want it all to just go away. The danger is less "switching sides" than it is a lot of them getting bored with the crashing and burning reality show.... I like those approval/disapproval polls that track the 'strongly' - and that seems to be where the magic is, to me. Even while Trump's alligator jaws of approve/disapprove glacially grow - you can absolutely see much bigger movements in the strongly approve/disapprove -- and it ain't moving in Trump's favor.

So near-term - I think the day is fast approaching when enough of the GOP (and that's all it takes - "enough" - you don't even need a majority) decides to wash its hands of the menace and get to work rebuilding and cleaning up the mess.

Longer term, though - what I find more interesting is how Trumpism/Bannonism has rescrambled that classical "big government vs little government" divide. Trump's core fanboys don't actually seem to understand that divide or even if they do, actually seem to want the former over the latter. They don't want "mean" healthcare policy. They want big bucks spent on all manner of stuff. They don't particularly like this tax bill - and I remain convinced that despite all the wishful thinking by the Clappers of the world - no, a few extra bucks in their paycheck isn't going to change that math.

Perhaps this sort of rote, robotic "anti-liberal/anti-Democrat" ideology will continue to keep older generations on the GOP side... but I actually think - making it a much bigger problem for the post-Trump GOP - the bigger problem is that the GOP base actually wants what team blue is selling them, even if they persist in not buying from team blue ('because ewww! team blue!'). Not sure if it's possible for the Dems to actually re-market the product to ever appeal to them - there's inevitably a cultural component I see no way to overcome... but again, that cultural component has a generational shelf-life, too.

   815. dlf Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5600842)
We have never gotten that from any president, ever, unless the president's true opinions and rationale happened to coincide with what the acceptable public version was.

We have gotten the truth if it happened to also be an acceptable public story. If not, we have gotten lies.


I disagree - rather strongly - but as this is opinion rather than fact, I'm happy to allow you the last word.

Ironically -- and I'm convinced this is absolutely true -- we have gotten more of a window into Trump's true thoughts, opinions, and rationale then we have ever gotten from any president before. His prolific and unique tweets provide a window to his inner thoughts. I don't think any serious person would deny that.

In one sense (as Andy's PolitiFact checker can tell you) Trump is the most dishonest president we've ever had. In another sense he's the most honest president we've ever had -- and it's not close. His tweets by and large tell us what he's thinking, and we've never had that sort of honesty and transparency from any president before.


I'd quibble around the edges. We don't see his rationale as one understands that term generally - we don't know the factual information(*) on which he is basing his decisions or the logic leading from said information to the eventual opinion / decision. (Which is why I think it is important to challenge him on these matters via press questioning.) But as a larger point about the accessibility of his opinions I would certainly agree. He is providing an unfiltered and real time look into the opinions that pop into his mind (much of which I'd find truly frightening if it came from the President of my company let alone President of my country).

(*) And as you point out, much of the purported factual information that he states - and perhaps believes - is provably false.
   816. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5600844)
Ray clearly believes any media attempt to do anything other than pass through regime propaganda


This is your second trolling attempt on this topic. Try for a third.
   817. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5600846)
There are many people here who would be recognizable -- Andy, Ray, SBB, BDC, Sam, me (I think), OJ, YC, YR, BM, Good Face (at least if we're talking about politics; he's more sane in other areas), Morty -- but many others who all blur together in my mind into some sort of amorphous lefty blob.
I can't believe my throwaway line on my way out the door yesterday sparked about a hundred posts. But while the conversation has mostly moved on, I figured Bivens deserved a shoutout; he may be a lefty blob, but he's definitely not amorphous. And, yeah, in retrospect I'm sure there are a couple of others I could spot if their posts were anonymous. But, really, people should just use their real names; it would make my life easier, and that's really what this is all about, no?
   818. Shredder Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5600849)
A nice cease-and-desist letter from Jeff Sessions is not going to sway anybody at this point. He'd have to send in agents, and that means he'd have to hire and pay them, and if there's anything a Republican hates more than ganja, it's providing jobs for the takers :)
Don't think he's not motivated. This action has so many things Sessions loves. Authoritarianism, locking up brown people, and man, he really doesn't like pot:
One African-American prosecutor testified that Mr. Sessions had called him “boy” and joked that he thought that the Ku Klux Klan “was O.K. until I found out they smoked pot.

Mr. Sessions denied calling the lawyer “boy” but acknowledged or did not dispute the substance of the other remarks.
Sessions is the pipsqueak that never got invited to the parties with the cool kids, and made it one of his life missions to get back at them. He also hates black people.
   819. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5600850)
Feels like we've finally come to an inflection point, where I no longer worry IF the orange dumbass will be toppled, but when (and whether he, himself, actually does the toppling in some way).

Although zonk has repeatedly made clear that he doesn't care how Trump is removed from office, just that it is done, others are a bit more fussy about basic Constitutional principles. Zonk's screed (#784) suggests no grounds for impeachment other than Trump's perceived unpopularity. That won't cut it.
   820. Zonk is One Individual Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:53 PM (#5600851)
Ironically -- and I'm convinced this is absolutely true -- we have gotten more of a window into Trump's true thoughts, opinions, and rationale then we have ever gotten from any president before. His prolific and unique tweets provide a window to his inner thoughts. I don't think any serious person would deny that.


Here's the core of your Trump problem, Ray.

You seem to be operating under this foolish idea that the "true thoughts, opinions, and rationale" don't matter... some sort of weird, almost egalitarian - dare I say, an almost note-for-note reproduction of a leftist strawman - where the actual contents of those "true thoughts, opinions, and rationale" are all equal. Everybody gets a participation trophy! Everybody is a snowflake entitled to an equal safe space! No stupid questions! No stupid answers! If you have "true thoughts, opinions, and rationale" -- you pass the class; grading the actual substance, heft, and/or validity of such true thoughts, opinions, and rationale is terrible, awful anathema.

Doesn't work that way.

It's not a 'unique' window -- it's actually more that Trump's true thoughts, opinions, and rationale are so monochromatic stupid, lightweight, and narcissistic that it really boils down to a Homer Simpson brain thought bubble of a stick figure strumming one chord on a banjo singing "ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME".

Whether Obama or W, Reagan or FDR, Clinton or HW - their thoughts, opinions, and rationales weren't hidden... they were simply as complicated as the world - and leadership of the most powerful and successful nation on earth - demands.

When something is so obvious and single-celled simple -- it's not that we've gotten some rare viewing angle to see it.... it's that it's so obvious and simple that it doesn't require much to "see" it.
   821. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5600853)
But tell us again, Andy, how the lefties posting here don't massively outnumber the right/libertarians.

I love some of those names you put in some of those categories. Just to take one of the more obvious examples, when someone spends 99% of his time here railing against "modern liberals", I doubt if too many people would classify him only as "Sui Generis", even if he thinks Washington Redskins fans are kissing cousins to Hitler.
Without endorsing all of Ray's classifications, SBB is pretty sui generis. He may rant about "modern liberals," but he also rants about guns, religion, and economic liberty; you're not going to catch him at CPAC anytime soon. (Even though he supports Trump. Or perhaps because he supports Trump.) Of course, to classify him as anything we first have to pretend that he believes any of the things he says.
   822. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5600854)
Poor, poor lonely trumpkins.

Fact is that there are four Trumpkins - SBB, Ray, Clapper, and JE... two occasional Trumpkins in TGF and Perros.... and all the sane people of varied stripe, the majority of whom may well be lefties - but Trumpkins vs sane people is the easiest and most descriptive shorthand.
Jason is very much not a Trumpista. He may prefer to turn the focus on Hillary from time to time, sure, but unlike with SBB/Ray, it's not out of a desire to protect Trump. One might argue that it arises from a desire to protect the GOPe in spite of Trump, though. (And how can you say that TGF is an "occasional" Trumpista? He was a Trumpista before there was a Trump.)
   823. Zonk is One Individual Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5600856)
Although zonk has repeatedly made clear that he doesn't care how Trump is removed from office, just that it is done, others are a bit more fussy about basic Constitutional principles. Zonk's screed (#784) suggests no grounds for impeachment other than Trump's perceived unpopularity. That won't cut it.


Good for you, clapper... You're very much among those I want to see clinging to Trump to the bitter end such that the stain of Trump sticks with you till the end of your days.

Of course, those "basic Constitutional principles" are... well... pretty damn basic. It doesn't get much more basic than a couple sentences that amount to "It's up to you, congress, to define it and do it".

While I still want him gone as soon as possible, I'll very much admit that there's a small, perverse part of me that would be disappointed if your crew moved too quickly towards the obvious expediency of getting rid of the stain and starting the cleanup sooner rather than later.

I think there's plenty more damage Trump can do to you, your party, your reputations, and your ideology before he exits the stage... and the selfish part of me wishes very much to see the maximum benefit of that damage.
   824. Shredder Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5600857)
I guess a huge practical problem is how to devote enough federal enforcement resources to close down all the businesses. Maybe in the first few weeks of implementation in Colorado, but now it's lots of large states.
Also, you don't really need to shut down all of the legitimate (under state law) dispensaries. Raid a handful or two. Be sure to make a big show of it with lots of guns, break some stuff, throw some guys against the wall and shove those guns in their faces, maybe shoot a guy or two if they make a suspicious movement. See how long it takes for a lot of places to voluntarily close down.
   825. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:04 PM (#5600858)
Gotta love the irony of the "federalist" GOP tramping all over states' rights today with both marijuana and drilling policy. Looks like another "FU" to blue states honestly. California and most of the East Coast doesn't want offshore drilling.

It would be nice if the GOP had firm principles of governance other than "give to the donor class" and latent authoritarianism just waiting for a dinosaur like Sessions to come around.
   826. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:07 PM (#5600859)
Drawing by lots is brutal, no matter who wins. A legitimately tied election strikes me as a rare enough occurrence that they should re-run the race. Pretty much guaranteed to have a higher turnout, so the result would better reflect the will of the majority.

I think that's wrong on all counts. Special elections almost always have a lower turnout than general elections, and there is no reason to think it'd be different for the rare special election that resulted from a tie. A special election will also delay filling the seat, depriving the district of any representation for weeks or months. AFAIK, no jurisdiction mandates a new election in case of a tie, it's some form of drawing lots, cutting the cards, or a game of chance.
   827. Zonk is One Individual Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5600860)
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Never in the annals of political gossip tomes did I imagine a book could create this much fun.

   828. Lassus Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5600861)
focus on Hillary from time to time

- spit-take -
   829. dlf Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5600862)
I'm curious about two things related to the Virginia drawing of lots. First, I know that other elections have been decided in similar fashion, but has there ever been another occasion when the balance of an entire chamber resulted from it? Second, we know they put the names into film canisters to be drawn so the person making the drawing couldn't possibly feel the type on the page; where in the (digitally photographed, mostly by smartphone) world did they find a film canister?
   830. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5600863)
This is your second trolling attempt on this topic.


I'm simply repeating what you say, with clarity, Ray. How on earth would you square the idea that any interview with a president or politician that didn't submit questions for pre-approval and review was NOT bowing fealty to propaganda?
   831. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:13 PM (#5600864)
Also, you don't really need to shut down all of the legitimate (under state law) dispensaries. Raid a handful or two. Be sure to make a big show of it with lots of guns, break some stuff, throw some guys against the wall and shove those guns in their faces, maybe shoot a guy or two if they make a suspicious movement. See how long it takes for a lot of places to voluntarily close down.


I sort of agree, but honestly I think you and the others are missing the most important element. The single thing hobbling the legalized pot businesses is they are essentially cut off from most banking and other financial services. What Sessions action did was build that wall a bit higher and stronger.

Most financial services in 2018 come from entities that work across state lines or are otherwise regulated by the Federal government. If you (the Feds) go after the money then they can cut "legal" pot off at the knees quickly and easily. Criminals run their drug operations on an all cash basis and have huge difficulty legally disposing of the cash, Sessions is trying to make the non-criminal businesses operate under the same federal sword of Damocles and without the same profit margin.
   832. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:15 PM (#5600866)
To clarify, if I were to ask you to choose one of the four positions, which would you choose?

1. I believe change is both good, and immediately necessary.

2. I believe change is inevitable, and generally good, and we should manage that change in a manner that benefits society.

3. I believe change is potentially dangerous, and we should manage what change that comes in a way as to limit it's impact as much as possible.

4. I believe change is bad, we have lost our way, and we should take immediate steps to return to our previous proper state.
I would refuse to pick between those. I mean, I'm not sure exactly what you're contemplating when you discuss change -- change to what? To the economy? To the culture? To the laws? To something else?

With respect to the first two of those, I believe change is inevitable, but is neither good nor bad; it depends how it arises. It should be allowed to happen naturally -- rather than blocked or forced. Changes to laws, of course, can only be blocked or forced, since they are artificial phenomena to begin with.
   833. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:16 PM (#5600867)
Gotta love the irony of the "federalist" GOP tramping all over states' rights today with both marijuana and drilling policy.


The American right has never, and will never, be ideologically true to the concept of "states' rights." They are only, and have only ever been, interested in such ideas when it was convenient for their political preferences.
   834. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5600868)
The American right has never, and will never, be ideologically true to the concept of "states' rights." They are only, and have only ever been, interested in such ideas when it was convenient for their political preferences.


True, pointing out the hypocrisy of the GOP at any opportunity feels good tho.
   835. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:19 PM (#5600869)
I believe change is inevitable, but is neither good nor bad; it depends how it arises. It should be allowed to happen naturally -- rather than blocked or forced


I might be reading you wrong, but from what you say you think change happens and that it can be either good or bad, but in either case one should just let it happen?

"Yes, that change is evil, but let it happen."

I suspect I am misreading it though, so maybe you could clarify?
   836. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5600870)
I know that other elections have been decided in similar fashion, but has there ever been another occasion when the balance of an entire chamber resulted from it?

I haven't seen another example cited, but even if the Democratic candidate had won the drawing, the GOP would still have been able to organize the House of Delegates. Because a recount would be in order, the winner wouldn't have been immediately seated, and the GOP would have had a 50-49 margin to elect the Speaker, who could only have been subsequently removed by a two-thirds vote. Certainly better that it didn't come to that, but Virginia Democrats used a similar tactic in 1998, delaying the seating of 3 GOP members, to elect a Democratic Speaker.
   837. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5600871)
I would refuse to pick between those.


Of course you would, David. You're David. Pedantry and contrarianism is your *thing.*

As I recall, you self identify as a minarchist variant of the doctrinaire libertarian schools. As such, you hove somewhere between revolutionary thinking (libertarianism, like its forefather anarchism, is at heart a utopian theory) and basic (classical) liberalism. So I'd give you a 1.5 on this particular multiple choice.
   838. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5600873)

The fact of the matter is that, at least at this point in time, the Democrats are the party for fiscal responsibility. That hasn't always been the case and it may not be in the future. But, at least in 2018, a vote for a Democrat is a vote for a more balanced budget.
As an initial matter, I would note that the way to have a balanced budget is to have split government (ideally, R Congress and D President) rather than to support either party. But I would also note that you've identified two distinct concepts. Democrats may be more likely to have a balanced budget than Republicans, perhaps. But that's not the same thing as fiscal responsibility. To riff on Milton Friedman, a $5T balanced budget is not more fiscally responsible than a $2T budget with a reasonable deficit.
   839. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:24 PM (#5600874)
True, pointing out the hypocrisy of the GOP at any opportunity feels good tho.


I'm not complaining about it. Simply pointing out that this particular hypocrisy is built into the very fabric of the American right. I mean, it's all the way down at the underground wells from which the roots of that faction drink. The founding fathers of the American right - the Confederates - were against "states' rights" when that meant norther states could have their own laws about returning runaway slaves. They only embraced "states' rights" when it became clear that they were losing control of the federal apparatus and thus the tables of that power process were turning.
   840. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:24 PM (#5600876)
Bivens deserved a shoutout; he may be a lefty blob, but he's definitely not amorphous.


Aw, shucks. I'll return this faint praise by saying you're not a Dancing Monkey.

Actually, it's not faint praise. I appreciate anyone who isn't on the Trump train.
   841. zack Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5600877)
Whether or not the Feds do anything elsewhere, I'm sure they'll find a way to use this pot thing to step on DC.
   842. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5600879)
As an initial matter, I would note that the way to have a balanced budget is to have split government (ideally, R Congress and D President)


I'd flip that. D Congress, GHW Bush type R president would be best. A congress that is liberal in attempting to support the people, and a POTUS who is willing to say no if it's not a very popular and defensible idea.
   843. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5600880)
Jason is very much not a Trumpista. He may prefer to turn the focus on Hillary from time to time, sure, but unlike with SBB/Ray, it's not out of a desire to protect Trump. One might argue that it arises from a desire to protect the GOPe in spite of Trump, though. (And how can you say that TGF is an "occasional" Trumpista? He was a Trumpista before there was a Trump.)


You're giving Jason a pass here because of your friendship with him. I'm also friends with him and indeed he's on my softball team and I hang out with him a few times a year but I see no need to depart from reality. Jason defends Trump indirectly, by deflecting criticisms of Trump via whataboutisms. And he often defends Trump indirectly by speaking in general terms -- defending Trump's policies generally without speaking specifically of Trump. I don't think that makes Jason a bad person and I have no problem saying it.

(As to me I don't view myself as "protecting" Trump so much as I do combatting distorted criticisms of him.)
   844. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:30 PM (#5600881)
The Bannon story is such a yawn to me.
So, what you're saying is that you Don't Care™ about it?
That said, I'm happy to see what we see from it. Let the light shine in.

What I don't understand is why the left is salivating over the prospect of hearing what Bannon has to say.
Asked and answered. First, he was an insider, so he has firsthand knowledge of what he's saying. Second, he's on the record, unlike most discussions of what happens in this administration. Third, he's a Trumpista, so his criticisms can't be so easily handwaved away as unhinged leftyism or Clinton fangirlism or the like.
   845. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5600884)
To clarify, if I were to ask you to choose one of the four positions, which would you choose?

1. I believe change is both good, and immediately necessary.

2. I believe change is inevitable, and generally good, and we should manage that change in a manner that benefits society.

3. I believe change is potentially dangerous, and we should manage what change that comes in a way as to limit it's impact as much as possible.

4. I believe change is bad, we have lost our way, and we should take immediate steps to return to our previous proper state.


I would refuse to pick between those. I mean, I'm not sure exactly what you're contemplating when you discuss change -- change to what? To the economy? To the culture? To the laws? To something else?


I didn't participate in this exercise of Sam's because I found it simplistic and unlettered.

If I chose I'd pick #2 which would make me a liberal, but I doubt anyone here would see me as a liberal and I don't consider myself one, except on social issues I generally side with liberals (same-sex marriage, abortion, legalization of drugs, etc. -- although I get there from a distinctly different path.
   846. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5600887)
You're giving Jason a pass here because of your friendship with him.


Truth.

I'm also friends with him...but I see no need to depart from reality. Jason defends Trump indirectly, by deflecting criticisms of Trump via whataboutisms. And he often defends Trump indirectly by speaking in general terms -- defending Trump's policies generally without speaking specifically of Trump.


Also truth.

I don't think that makes Jason a bad person


False.

Jason defends Trump because Trump is perfectly willing to engage Jason's preferred militant policies in the Levant. Period. End of story. Jason supports Trump because he has realized that Trump is his best possible path to bombs falling on Tehran. He has put any concern or worry he had about Trump's fitness for office in the deep freezer having come to this conclusion.
   847. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5600888)
If I chose I'd pick #2 which would make me a liberal, but I doubt anyone here would see me as a liberal and I don't consider myself one


As I've told you numerous times - once again merely repeating what you yourself say about yourself - you wouldn't pick the correct label because you don't know #### about political theory. Things about which you "don't care" are by definition things about which you "don't know."
   848. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:35 PM (#5600889)
David re Bannon:

Third, he's a Trumpista,


At best he was (not is) but I don't even think he was that. It's becoming clear that Bannon viewed Trump as the best vehicle out there to get the US closer to Bannon's preferred agenda which is why Bannon signed on to the team but I don't think Bannon ever thought that Trump was lock step with him.
   849. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:37 PM (#5600890)
I love some of those names you put in some of those categories. Just to take one of the more obvious examples, when someone spends 99% of his time here railing against "modern liberals", I doubt if too many people would classify him only as "Sui Generis", even if he thinks Washington Redskins fans are kissing cousins to Hitler.

Without endorsing all of Ray's classifications, SBB is pretty sui generis. He may rant about "modern liberals," but he also rants about guns, religion, and economic liberty; you're not going to catch him at CPAC anytime soon. (Even though he supports Trump. Or perhaps because he supports Trump.)


David, obviously SBB would be thrown out of CPAC, but then he'd be thrown out of any organization from the Federalist Society to the Rotary Club after they'd listened to his rants for about 15 minutes. He truly is the crazy uncle you'd want to lock in the fallout shelter until a nuclear attack came along,** and that's not a partisan observation.

But I didn't deny that his style was sui generis, because hell, even though I've got him on ignore, when I see his comments quoted his words usually unmask his identity in the first sentence. Just note the "only" I put in front of that original comment. I'm not trying to attach him to you, and you're pretty sui generis yourself, but when he spends 95% of his energy attacking "modern liberals", then if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck....

Of course, to classify him as anything we first have to pretend that he believes any of the things he says.

I think he believes them in the same way that Trump believes the things he says: He's simply blurting out his resentments at those he sees as his enemies, and at least for that moment I'm sure he honestly believes what he's saying.

** At which point you'd throw a stick out the shelter door and tell him to fetch it.
   850. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5600891)
I would note that the way to have a balanced budget is to have split government (ideally, R Congress and D President) rather than to support either party.

I don't think that's necessarily correct. Lately, when one party wants to spend money on X, but the other party prefers to spend money on Y, the "compromise" has been to spend money on both X & Y.
   851. Hysterical & Useless Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5600894)
drilling could create hundreds of jobs.


And thousands with every cleanup!

In another sense he's the most honest president we've ever had -- and it's not close. His tweets by and large tell us what he's thinking,


Have to agree...though I'm not sure that the word salads we get are what is normally considered "thinking."

   852. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5600896)
At best he was (not is) but I don't even think he was that. It's becoming clear that Bannon viewed Trump as the best vehicle out there to get the US closer to Bannon's preferred agenda which is why Bannon signed on to the team but I don't think Bannon ever thought that Trump was lock step with him.


Bannon thought he could guide the moron. He underestimated the inner mafioso in Trump and his devotion to the Trump family brand.
   853. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5600897)
I believe Mueller will come up with a damning case against him for pre-POTUS money laundering & similar crimes, but even if a flipped House impeaches, that isn't enough to get a removal vote in the Senate.

The only thing IMO that would get that are incontrovertible proof that Trump knowingly colluded with Russia AND that said collusion included money changing hands.

The actual merits of Mueller's investigation are secondary. A sufficient number of the GOP in the Senate will vote to remove DJT from office if and only if they believe that Pence's chances at getting re-elected in 2020 are better than Trump's. I've been saying this for the better part of a year: when Mitch McConnell decides that it's in his interest to remove DJT, then there will be at least 18 GOP Senators willing to vote to remove him. Similarly, Ryan and Pelosi combined could rally far more than 218 votes for impeachment in the House if that's what they actually wanted to do.

So we'll see how the 2018 midterms go. But it's not outside the realm of possibilities that he could be impeached and removed from office by a lame duck GOP-controlled congress.
   854. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5600898)
David, obviously SBB would be thrown out of CPAC, but then he'd be thrown out of any organization from the Federalist Society to the Rotary Club after they'd listened to his rants for about 15 minutes. He truly is the crazy uncle you'd want to lock in the fallout shelter until a nuclear attack came along,** and that's not a partisan observation.

In other words, he'd fit right in at the National Libertarian Convention.
   855. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5600899)
Jason is very much not a Trumpista. He may prefer to turn the focus on Hillary from time to time, sure, but unlike with SBB/Ray, it's not out of a desire to protect Trump. One might argue that it arises from a desire to protect the GOPe in spite of Trump, though.

That's an accurate if somewhat charitable description. He'd probably be the first among us, even more so than Joe or zonk, to wish Trump would choke on a Big Mac and pass the baton on to Pence.
   856. Lassus Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5600900)
As long as it's come up again and I didn't answer the first time, in Sam's list I identify more with #1, but it seems to be more about personal philosophy than political theory for me, change as almost a manic necessity. Politically I'd place myself more at 1.5 but I'm not particularly like David, so. I'm not against a bunch of shit burning down, but I probably care more about the normal folk getting hurt by it so I can't agree with it in the current climate. Yet.
   857. Srul Itza Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5600901)
The downside to the Trump-Bannon falling out, is that is likely to impede Bannon's ability to support less-electable candidates in the Republican primaries. Even when unsuccessful, this helped to deplete the Republicans funds by forcing them into expensive contests.

I suspect, based on current comments, that he may continue his efforts by arguing that he is still helping Trump by attacking the McConnell wing of the GOP, and putting more "true believers" into office. But it will be harder for him to make this play.



   858. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5600902)
Borland soon learned that this wasn’t quite true. Nuance would pay her the same hourly rate—but only for the first three months. After that, she’d be paid according to her production, 6 cents for each line she transcribed. If she and her coworkers passed up the new offer, they couldn’t collect unemployment insurance, so Borland took the deal. But after the three-month transition period, her pay fell off a cliff. As a UPMC employee, she had earned $19 per hour, enough to support a solidly middle-class life. Her first paycheck at the per-line rate worked out to just $6.36 per hour—below the minimum wage.
Borland needs to speak with a lawyer; whether one is being paid piece rate or hourly, one is entitled to be paid at least the minimum wage.

From 2005 to 2015, according to the best available estimate, the number of people in alternative work arrangements grew by 9 million and now represents roughly 16 percent of all U.S. workers, while the number of traditional employees declined by 400,000.
So this kind of ruins the narrative. People are generally not having their "traditional" jobs being replaced with "alternative" -- a vague term that can mean lots of things -- work arrangements. Rather, people who have jobs are generally keeping them, but lots of new "alternative" jobs are being created to employ people who didn't have jobs before.
   859. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:43 PM (#5600903)
In other words, he'd fit right in at the National Libertarian Convention.


Naked Bears are people too.
   860. Hysterical & Useless Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5600905)
where in the (digitally photographed, mostly by smartphone) world did they find a film canister?


Every old pot smoker has a couple lying around.
   861. Lassus Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5600906)
He underestimated the inner mafioso in Trump and his devotion to the Trump family brand.

Maybe. I think it's more likely he underestimated how totally lacking in any critical purpose Trump had. Perhaps that's splitting hairs with your reason, but it seems a bit different to me.
   862. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:49 PM (#5600908)
(As to me I don't view myself as "protecting" Trump so much as I do combatting distorted criticisms of him.)


that's a misnomer.
   863. Lassus Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5600910)
So this kind of ruins the narrative.

Of employers finding ever-new ways to fuck workers until they bleed and cry? Not really.
   864. BrianBrianson Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5600911)
Borland needs to speak with a lawyer; whether one is being paid piece rate or hourly, one is entitled to be paid at least the minimum wage.


Not if she's an independent contractor, of course.

And if you're not even making minimum wage, you probably can't afford a lawyer, and the extended period of unemployment and no money between when you start suing them, and some hypothetical point in the future where you might actually get money out of them.
   865. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:51 PM (#5600913)
He'd probably be the first among us, even more so than Joe or zonk, to wish Trump would choke on a Big Mac and pass the baton on to Pence.


I don't want that. I want Trump humiliated and rendered toothless. He can choke on his fast food in 2020.
   866. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:52 PM (#5600914)
Wow, I just saw the presser today with Trump reading a pre-recorded message via screen. I need to go watch some Black Mirror to escape our present dystopia.
   867. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:52 PM (#5600915)
I think it's more likely he underestimated how totally lacking in any critical purpose Trump had.


I doubt that. Con man knows con men. Bannon knows what Trump is. He bet he could pry the aging don away from his family* by whispering tales of the Glorious Leader Who Saved America in his ear.

*to be clear, Trump has no loyalty to his actual family, only the Trump brand; that brand is uniquely tied to the spawn that carry his name, so he's going to stick with them over Bannon regardless.
   868. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5600916)
The actual merits of Mueller's investigation are secondary. A sufficient number of the GOP in the Senate will vote to remove DJT from office if and only if they believe that Pence's chances at getting re-elected in 2020 are better than Trump's. I've been saying this for the better part of a year: when Mitch McConnell decides that it's in his interest to remove DJT, then there will be at least 18 GOP Senators willing to vote to remove him. Similarly, Ryan and Pelosi combined could rally far more than 218 votes for impeachment in the House if that's what they actually wanted to do.

So we'll see how the 2018 midterms go. But it's not outside the realm of possibilities that he could be impeached and removed from office by a lame duck GOP-controlled congress.


Wait a minute though. By your statement you are crediting the GOP with a fine and ruthless sense of politics, wherein as soon as it is politically to their advantage the GOP will recognize it and will pull the trigger (so to speak). However, in this scenario the Democrats blindly hate Trump and no matter the advantage or detriment vote to impeach Trump.

Now I don't think it is nearly that simple, mind you, but it seems wrong to allow the GOP to recognize political advantage and not credit Democrats with any of the same agency. In theory, if this were just a game, Democrats would realize it was in their best interest to keep Trump around at the same time as the GOP realized it was to their detriment and would change their votes accordingly.

In your telling Democrats would either have to be high minded enough to be willing to forgo advantage and take it in the shorts OR they would be naive and not recognize the political situation and so would be outmaneuvered by the GOP.

Personally I think you are overrating the GOP political acumen and underrating the same for the Democrats (or perhaps way overrating their political altruism). I also think you are neglecting the fact that the Trump base of voters love Trump much more than they do the GOPe and will turn on those trying to impeach Trump like rabid weasels. It is not a huge group, but they are super reliable GOP voters that the GOP cannot afford to disillusion if they want to avoid being primaried and/or lose in the general elections.
   869. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5600917)
Borland needs to speak with a lawyer; whether one is being paid piece rate or hourly, one is entitled to be paid at least the minimum wage.

Not if she's an independent contractor, of course.
She wasn't. Not based on the description. She was an employee of Nuance. (For wage and hour purposes, she might also have been an employee of UPMC's. And keep in mind that for wage-and-hour purposes, the definition of employee is far broader, and the definition of contractor far narrower, than for other purposes, such as for taxation.)

EDIT: And reading to the end of the article, it makes that clear: "When the change came for Borland, she and her colleagues were never reclassified as independent contractors; she was just passed from one employer to another."
   870. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:54 PM (#5600918)
The downside to the Trump-Bannon falling out, is that is likely to impede Bannon's ability to support less-electable candidates in the Republican primaries. Even when unsuccessful, this helped to deplete the Republicans funds by forcing them into expensive contests.

I'm not sure about that. I think that the tide may turn on Trump within the true believers of the alt-right (aka, the basket of deplorables) as they put down their jars of glue and slowly realize that DJT is governing as just another shill for corporations.

The anger within the white working class that Trump fed on and what Bannon stokes is very real. It's going to be interesting to see which is stronger: the cult of personality or the anger against the system.

This is partly why I'm somewhat optimistic that the GOP will eventually turn on DJT: if he cannot hold onto the alt-right, then there's minimal downside to dumping him in favor of Pence. Every other faction of the party would prefer Pence to Trump; they just can't win in 2020 without the alt-right. But if DJT loses his base, why not try to piece together a more conventional coalition around a more conventional GOP candidate?

This post is by no means an endorsement of Pence (lest I be accused of being a conservative again). Just a perspective on what I think senior establishment figures in the GOP (i.e., the donors) are trying to weigh. DJT's only marginal value to the GOP is whether he is more likely to get himself re-elected in 2020 than an incumbent President Mike Pence.
   871. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5600920)
The anger within the white working class that Trump fed on and what Bannon stokes is very real. It's going to be interesting to see which is stronger: the cult of personality or the anger against the system.


I think you'll find skin color is strongest. Trump's base are racists. They aren't going to disown someone who confirms everything they want to believe.
   872. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5600921)
So this kind of ruins the narrative. People are generally not having their "traditional" jobs being replaced with "alternative" -- a vague term that can mean lots of things -- work arrangements. Rather, people who have jobs are generally keeping them, but lots of new "alternative" jobs are being created to employ people who didn't have jobs before.


No. Real jobs DECLINED by 400,000, which means none were being created. None to replace the 400k real jobs that disappeared, and none to employ the millions of new recent college graduates who matriculate into the workforce every year. This is WHY the gig economy - which is the friendly name for those "contracting jobs" being discussed - is growing so quickly. People who can't find real jobs have to drive for Uber.
   873. Lassus Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5600923)
I doubt that. Con man knows con men.

Fair enough. Probably also likely two Mafioso - what they ACTUALLY are, petty lying thieves, as opposed to the absent snapper's romantic honorable notions - can't be in the same room for that long without someone bleeding.
   874. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5600925)
[JE]'d probably be the first among us, even more so than Joe or zonk, to wish Trump would choke on a Big Mac and pass the baton on to Pence.

I don't want that. I want Trump humiliated and rendered toothless. He can choke on his fast food in 2020.


Couldn't agree more. I want to see Trump drag his entire Party of Convenience down with him, and let Pence join our last Indiana Veep in permanent retirement.
.
   875. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5600926)
Double post.
   876. Zonk is One Individual Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5600928)
He underestimated the inner mafioso in Trump and his devotion to the Trump family brand.

Maybe. I think it's more likely he underestimated how totally lacking in any critical purpose Trump had. Perhaps that's splitting hairs with your reason, but it seems a bit different to me.


IDK - I think there's also something to be said for how much of a childish baby Trump really is... my only experience with kids is via friends and family with them, but from what I gather - it is quite an exhausting and tiring experience. AND, at least you have the luxury of them growing up - eventually learning to use words to describe what they want, rather than incoherent squawlering.

To borrow from and add to former Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh's description of Trump -- Working with the president…was like trying to figure out what a child wants.

Except - with this child, he never moves beyond squawlering, you can't fall back on the exasperated "Because I said so", you can't just send him to his room without dinner, and he can actually fire you.

An empty vessel child only sounds like it would be a wonderful opportunity... I suspect the day-to-day truth is simply not anything like that. The level of patience, constant care-and-feeding, jiggling of the right keys, etc probably exceeds human capacity within a few weeks, if not days.

But hey...

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

That's the sort of leader Clapper's party thinks is not just the best, most appropriate choice - but wishes to defend to the bitter end.
   877. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5600929)
Hey! A double agreement.

I can't wait for "The President Show" to resume. They are vicious, more vicious in their portrayal of pence than of Trump. It's close. They both get savaged beautifully.
   878. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:04 PM (#5600931)
Personally I think you are overrating the GOP political acumen and underrating the same for the Democrats (or perhaps way overrating their political altruism). I also think you are neglecting the fact that the Trump base of voters love Trump much more than they do the GOPe and will turn on those trying to impeach Trump like rabid weasels. It is not a huge group, but they are super reliable GOP voters that the GOP cannot afford to disillusion if they want to avoid being primaried and/or lose in the general elections.

Couple of thoughts:

1) Actually I addressed the Democratic agency question by proposing that the GOP would do it in a lame duck session of the current Congress (i.e., when they control the agenda).

2) The Democrats grassroots would never forgive any House or Senate member who did not vote to impeach or remove DJT from office if it came to the floor, so nearly 100% of Democrats would support it even if they recognized the electoral peril.

3) A Pence re-election in 2020 would still be an uphill battle given that it's not clear how many "new 2016 voters" for DJT would not turn out for Pence (particularly in MI, PA, WI, etc). Of course it's also an open question how many of those voters will turn out in 2020 if DJT runs for re-election.


Keeping in mind what some of the competing objectives are:

a) Democrats want a fractured opposition party. The GOP leading the charge to remove DJT contributes to that.

b) At the same time, GOP want to maximize the chance of retaining the White House in 2020. At some point in the near future, replacing DJT with Pence may give them their best chance.

c) And the leadership of both parties want stability and a sane person as commander in chief. Replacing DJT furthers that objective as well.
   879. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:05 PM (#5600932)
As if Trump's lawyers didn't have enough time on their hands.....

Trump lawyer seeks to block insider book on White House

[...]

The letter by Beverly Hills-based attorney Charles J. Harder demanded the publisher, Henry Holt and Co., “immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book” or excerpts and summaries of its contents. The lawyers also seek a full copy of the book as part of their investigation....
This is a different, outside lawyer. Charles Harder is the guy who took down Gawker on behalf of Hulk Hogan Peter Thiel. (But he has lost plenty of such suits, too. And, as unsympathetic as Nick Denton was, he should've won his suit. Bad judicial rulings cost him.)
   880. Zonk is One Individual Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:05 PM (#5600933)
He'd probably be the first among us, even more so than Joe or zonk, to wish Trump would choke on a Big Mac and pass the baton on to Pence.

I don't want that. I want Trump humiliated and rendered toothless. He can choke on his fast food in 2020.


I....

Would need to think on it. Choking on a Big Mac does have a certain poetically proper flair to it, but it feels sort of anticlimactic.

Could he be naked on a toilet, receiving fellatio from Paul Ryan, when this death-by-Big Mac choking occurs? I might go for that.
   881. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5600934)
I'm not sure about that. I think that the tide may turn on Trump within the true believers of the alt-right (aka, the basket of deplorables) as they put down their jars of glue and slowly realize that DJT is governing as just another shill for corporations.


He's doing everything the hard right would have wanted, and then some.

Whatever his true motivations or beliefs or desires or goals are, as chief executive he is basically Sean Hannity's president. And his supporters love that. So I don't really see why they'd be disappointed. And as to the micro level of the "working class white" the best thing you can do for them is to improve the economy, and right now it's booming.
   882. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5600935)
I....

Would need to think on it. Choking on a Big Mac does have a certain poetically proper flair to it, but it feels sort of anticlimactic.

Could he be naked on a toilet, receiving fellatio from Paul Ryan, when this death-by-Big Mac choking occurs? I might go for that.


What about just choking on an overcooked T-bone steak, preferably after he's forgotten to remove the T-bone?
   883. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5600938)
Trump's lawyers have sent a cease and desist to Wolff's publisher. They are not only demanding that the book be stopped, but that an official public apology to Donald J. Trump be issued.

Against the legal might of the White House, Michael Wolff is running scared, tweeting "Couldn't be happier (obviously) with coverage of FIRE AND FURY."

More details from Wolff's book; after it's legally suppressed, you will be obliged to forget that you know them.
*In a meeting, Trump described Sally Yates, the former acting Attorney General, whom he'd fired after she refused to defend his original travel ban, as “such a cunt.”

*Guiliani and Christie “encouraged [Trump] to take the view that the DOJ was resolved against him; it was all part of a holdover Obama plot.”

*Trump's legal spokesman Mark Corallo said that he was quitting because, in his view, Trump had obstructed justice with the airplane letter. There's a full account of the letter's construction, placing Trump at the center of writing his son's "statement." Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post points out that this is certain to attract Robert Mueller's attention, and also that "by talking openly about the drafting sessions and including non-lawyers, there’s a good chance any [attorney-client] privilege was waived." The book contains a slew of leads for Mueller's investigation to follow, which is a shame for Trump who was told he'd be cleared and the case wrapped up before the new year.

*Nine major law firms have refused to represent Trump regarding the Mueller investigation.

*One of Trump's oldest associates, Thomas Barrack, told a friend, “He's not only crazy, he’s stupid.”

*Bannon celebrated the Paris Accord pullout, saying "Score. The bitch is dead." The "bitch" is Ivanka Trump, who was opposed to the move.

*Bannon is certain that Trump was personally involved with the Trump Tower Russian adoption/Hillary meeting: “The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these jumos [Russian officials] up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero.”

*Trump has claimed credit to his friends for engineering a Saudi coup and installing Mohammad bin Salman as Crown Prince.

*Trump is paranoid about having his food or toothbrush poisoned.

*“Trump liked to say that one of the things that made life worth living was getting your friends’ wives into bed.” He would pour poison into the wives' ears regarding their substandard husbands. Then he'd put the husbands on speaker phone, and try to entice them into talking about their wives sexually, or to agree to encounters with women provided by Trump, while the wives listened in.
Reportedly Breitbart has not "returned fire" against Trump because Bannon is convinced Trump "would eventually come around because Mr. Trump would need help with his base at a moment when his political muscle appeared to be on the wane."

In response to various people denying their quotes, the publisher announced that Wolff has many tape recordings, including of some deniers.

Copies of the book are being passed around the White House, with staffers fearfully checking the index to see whether they've been mentioned.

Mitch McConnell's staff released a GIF of McConnell grinning happily, with no explanatory text.

The Washington Post points out that Trump, who's already turned over a third of his staff in less than a year, will likely become more paranoid, isolated, and prone to outbursts since he can't trust anyone, but has fewer and fewer options for credible replacements. And those outbursts will lead to more leaks.

Referring to the numerous accounts of his childlike behavior and attention deficit personality, the Post also notes, "Instead of crowing about tax cuts, his aides are scrambling to discredit the notion that the president is bonkers. ...Meanwhile, another Trump meltdown leaves Republicans once again depressed, enervated and chastened. Somehow “But Gorsuch!” does not cut it as a justification for voting someone into office whose mental fitness is continually in doubt."

James Hohmann says it plain: "Try to picture Barack Obama declaring that David Axelrod had “lost his mind,” George W. Bush saying that Karl Rove “is learning that winning isn't as easy as I make it look,” or Bill Clinton's lawyers sending James Carville a cease-and-desist letter threatening “imminent” legal action."
   884. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5600940)
And as to the micro level of the "working class white" the best thing you can do for them is to improve the economy, and right now it's booming.


The economy is not booming for working class whites in Mississippi or Alabama or Michigan. It's booming for stockholders and corporations and mostly in coastal cities.
   885. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5600941)
focus on Hillary from time to time

- spit-take -


Agree. And he's become so angry about it as well. Well, from the posts others quote at least. Very tiresome.
   886. Lassus Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:10 PM (#5600942)
And, as unsympathetic as Nick Denton was, he should've won his suit. Bad judicial rulings cost him.

Exactly how many bad judges disagreed with you here?
   887. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5600943)
Go watch the presser from today Gonfalan, it's already happening as you predict.

I know I've said that this is theater of the absurd numerous times but today absolutely is the most bizarre, through the looking glass, dystopian thing I have seen this admin produce.
   888. Lassus Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5600945)
*Guiliani and Christie “encouraged [Trump] to take the view that the DOJ was resolved against him; it was all part of a holdover Obama plot.

re: #885, in fairness to Jason, there was a lot of this as well.
   889. Zonk is One Individual Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5600947)
Whatever his true motivations or beliefs or desires or goals are, as chief executive he is basically Sean Hannity's president. And his supporters love that. So I don't really see why they'd be disappointed. And as to the micro level of the "working class white" the best thing you can do for them is to improve the economy, and right now it's booming.


For them - it's really not... for such a man of the people and common worker, I'd think you'd know that.

Over the last 6 months or so - I've noticed a rather marked shift from my midwestern Trumpkins from "Yeah! Stick it to those snowflake liberals!" to complaints about hours being cut, not being able to afford the kid's braces, or the heat not working well and being unable to afford to have it looked at.

But - since I'm all about bringing people together, if you'd like their contact information to explain to them how the stock market is booming, Paul Krugman was wrong, and it's all great - let me know. They don't seem cheered by my suggestion that they simply dip into their rainy day money market account or rather than reinvesting quarterly dividends, using that money to solve the problems.... but I don't speak Trumpkin well, I know.
   890. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5600948)
See why I say TDS? There's absolutely nothing wrong with giving the subject of an interview the questions beforehand. It's only a problem if your goal is to play gotcha, rather than to actually extract information.
See why I say Trumpista, Ray? There absolutely is something wrong with giving the subject of an interview the questions beforehand. You still don't grasp that what you mistakenly call "playing gotcha" is actually the job of a journalist. You confuse reporting with stenography. And, no, the purpose of an interview is not merely to "extract information." You can use wikipedia for that. The purpose of an interview is also to find out what the subject of the interview thinks. If you tell him the questions in advance, then you only find out what his advisers and speechwriters and lawyers and such think.
Do you also think that interviews conducted via email are beyond bounds, Gonfalon?
Nobody thinks that an emailed questionnaire is a substitute for a live interview. And when such a questionnaire is used, it's disclosed that the answers were emailed; nobody makes it look like a sham interview.

Finally: You're drawing a false equivalency here, between an interview and a debate. Some would say that's... deranged.
Nobody who knew the meaning of the word would say that. OTOH, some would say you're dishonest, since you used the same nonsense about how it's an unfair "gotcha" to ask candidates tough questions at debates, too. Since debates as they are conducted today are actually joint interviews rather than head-to-head competitions like in debate club, it's a real equivalency, not a false one.
   891. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5600949)
Bill Clinton's lawyers sending James Carville a cease-and-desist letter threatening “imminent” legal action."

That one isn't totally unbelievable. Carville says some pretty batshit crazy things sometimes.
   892. Shredder Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5600950)
when Mitch McConnell decides that it's in his interest to remove DJT, then there will be at least 18 GOP Senators willing to vote to remove him.
If Trump's impeachment/removal was this nakedly political on McConnell's behalf, what motivation would there be for Democrats to go along with it? They'd be better off wrapping Trump around the Republicans' necks.

FWIW, I think impeaching Trump, from a political perspective, would be terrible for either party in control of the House. If Dems take it in 2018, it would be seen as purely political, and likely wouldn't result in Trump's removal anyway, and even if it did, it would leave Pence in charge. I can't see an upside. Sure there will be pressure from the left, but that can easily be quelled by reminding people that he's essentially hamstrung, and likely to be gone after 2020 anyway. The potential for backlash from overreach is too great.

On the other side, if Republicans keep the House, it's a likely indicator that Trump isn't as bad for them as everyone thought, so what's the point? But let's say it's mid 2019, Republicans have held the House, but serious sh!t really starts hitting the fan, and 2020 starts looking like a blood bath for the Republicans. They can try to impeach him then, but again, there's no reason for Democrats to help them. And furthermore, it would lay bare the war between the GOPe and the Trumpistas. The generic GOP congressman that votes to impeach Trump is screwed. He may get the support of 70% of his constituency, but probably close to 45% of that constituency are Democrats that still won't vote for him, and the other 30% will crucify him over their support for Trump. He'd get primaried and would almost certainly lose. It just doesn't make sense from either side.

The only way Trump gets impeached is if evidence emerges that leads to an actual, principled belief by members of both parties that Trump is actually guilty of something that disqualifies him from being president. A political impeachment isn't going to happen. It has to be principled. You can probably figure out the odds of something like that happening.
   893. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5600951)
What about just choking on an overcooked T-bone steak, preferably after he's forgotten to remove the T-bone?


Nope. It has to be junk food. McDonald's. KFC. Maybe a nice piece of chocolate cake. Anything that both comforts him yet reminds him that he's a pathetic slave to his uncontrolled id.
   894. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5600952)
Seems like the kind of thing that might have a chance of working in the UK, at least temporarily, potentially with a superinjunction thrown in. I would assume that under US law it's near-impossible to actually prevent publication.
If it were Bannon's book, you'd have a small chance at it. But an independent book by a guy who just quotes Bannon? Yes, there is a zero percent chance of preventing publication. Strike that. There's a zero percent chance of getting a court to block publication. You could, though, intimidate a publisher into not publishing.


EDIT: I've read the C&D letter that Harder sent to the publisher. As Ken White, a prominent lawyer / legal blogger (especially on speech issues) has repeatedly noted over the years, a hallmark of legal thuggery, as opposed to legitimate claims of defamation, is that the C&D letter simply whines about the fact that the speaker has been mean to him without actually specifying what is defamatory. This C&D letter has that in spades. Although the letter is 11 pages long, the whole thing simply makes general statements about the law. It does not identify a single defamatory statement.
   895. Zonk is One Individual Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:23 PM (#5600953)
Trump's lawyers have sent a cease and desist to Wolff's publisher. They are not only demanding that the book be stopped, but that an official public apology to Donald J. Trump be issued.

Against the legal might of the White House, Wolff is running scared, tweeting "Couldn't be happier (obviously) with coverage of FIRE AND FURY."


I feel like tantric sex Sting with this book thing...

Though, if I could offer a nickel's worth of free advice to Wolff and his publisher - they really ought to tell Donnie that in order to deliver the proper, official public apology - they ought to do it in prime time, on January 9 in what would be a YUGE ratings success... then have Bannon come out with a chair and clock Trump or something.
   896. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5600954)
Bill Clinton's lawyers sending James Carville a cease-and-desist letter threatening “imminent” legal action."


That one isn't totally unbelievable. Carville says some pretty batshit crazy things sometimes.

Carville might just suggest a friendly meetup in one of the more alligator-infested swamps of Plaquemines Parish.
   897. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5600955)
Trump won't be impeached. It's going to be a succession of days like yesterday and today, which might be far crueler to dumb animals.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on an orange face — forever. (Well, three years will seem like forever.)
   898. BrianBrianson Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5600956)
If there were enough (R) votes for Trump's impeachment and the (D)s didn't play along, their base would be torches and pitchforks within the hour. Given the chance, they can't say no. Whether it's good politics or not. Maybe if it was extremely marginal, a few could hold out. But if significant numbers of (R)s were going that route?
   899. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5600959)
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on an orange face — forever. (Well, three years will seem like forever.)


Yeah, and each time, hopefully, it would be a different figurative boot. No port in that #######'s storm.
   900. Zonk is One Individual Posted: January 04, 2018 at 03:29 PM (#5600960)
Go watch the presser from today Gonfalan, it's already happening as you predict.


Yeah - quite the beaut!

Breitbart should fire Bannon and nobody cares about the trash book.... welll... nobody except all the people that have already turned it into a gonzo best seller before it's even released.

So, so, so awesome.

Since I've given up on GRRM, it is nice to now have a release date I care about.
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