Morning Ed: World {2017.03.22.W}

For The Conservative Online, Madhav Das Nalapat writes about the relationship between India, it’s politicians, and English.

A look at how Japanese mountain towns are dealing with depopulation, and millennials moving in.

What a horrible story. Relatedly, a critical look at our Post-WW2 occupation of Germany.

Beware the ghosts of the presidential residence of Brazil.

Is Poland going to become the South Dakota of the EU?

Visa-free travel to the EU has hit a roadblock, as the EU has suspended it due to the US denying the same to some EU countries. [Disregard, as others have pointed out it was a non-binding resolution.]

Well, if they do come here, at least they may have a decent skepticism of socialism, no?

Chris Beck argues that folks were too quick to dismiss Trump framing of Sweden as a country in trouble. The problem I had with the “Everything Is Great in Sweden” is if everything is great why are the Sweden Democrats ascendant and why has the government been acting the way it has?

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Will Truman is a former para-IT professional who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He is also on Twitter. ...more →

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231 thoughts on “Morning Ed: World {2017.03.22.W}

  1. Millennials in mountain towns: the US is geographically bigger, of course, so it might not work as well here, but this seems like a better solution than building “dorms” in SF or somewhere to warehouse 20-somethings working at lower-paying, “start up” type jobs.

    (Better in that it could help small towns, and better in that it’s probably more humane. I would have hated at 25 to wind up living in something like a glorified dorm and feeling like I was being subsidized by the “goodwill” of the city)

    (Though I suspect both the older residents of a small rural town and the Millennials would need to go through some attitude adjustments….then again, I’d welcome an influx of folks here who could support something like a natural-foods store or a restaurant that isn’t a fast-food burger joint)


    • The cultural gap between rural areas and urban areas in Japan might be a bit smaller than it is in the United States. I’m also not sure if American millennial are going to be into this.


      • I dunno. I’m a Gen-Xer but if I had been in the workforce at 25 (as opposed to being in grad school and living with relatives to make ends meet), I would have preferred moving to a small town and having a proper dwelling and opportunity over living in a glorified dorm with 100 other people my age.

        Then again, I mostly-disliked people my age; they were too loud.


      • I wonder if American employers are ready to go all in on telecommuting. My sense is that they collectively are still a bit wobbly about the idea: perhaps OK as a one or two day a week thing, but you gotta have that face time in meetings. Also, lazy employers conflate face time with productivity. Eliminate the face time and they would have to actually assess work product, which would be more work for them. Recall when the Yahoo CEO announced that there would be no more telecommuting. How would that work for the employee who is raising his family out in the mountains?


          • Same, because I suspect with tele-commuting type stuff with my job (e.g. teaching online) it would carry the expectation (at least in some people’s minds) of 24/7 access to me, and there’s no way in hell my job pays enough for that.

            I rarely even check my work e-mail on weekends. My students know that and most of them don’t get bent out of shape about it.


          • I’ve never had much in the way of separation between the two, so telecommuting combined with flexible hours are a big net win for me. If work can interrupt life at a moment’s notice, life should also be able to interrupt work at moment’s notice as long as everything balances out in the end. I’m much more sane now.


        • I don’t know how well this would work in many professions. Law firms need a place for clients to go especially in certain fields where there is a highly emotional situation. They also have an idea about what a law firm should look like and it is not my living room. We also need staff to help with mailings and filing because law seems to be behind the time when it comes to the whole going green thing. LA Superior Court doesn’t even do e-filing.


  2. War never changes, because humanity doesn’t. Regardless of the lies and the cover ups, soldiers behave like they always have. That you don’t see it or hear about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Tell yourself you sent them there for a good and righteous cause…and just look away when they come back broken.

    Visa free travel: That’s not what the article says. It’s a non binding resolution. Additionally: “The vote urges the revocation of the scheme within two months, meaning Americans will have to apply for extra documents for 12 months after the European Commission implements a “delegated act” to bring the change into effect.”


    • As the article says, such people have their uses in war. The trick is making sure you don’t get too many in one unit, which is only possible if you acknowledge that such people exist in the ranks, and you have a plan to manage them, if quietly.


      • Oscar,
        Because one pedophile isn’t going to do it if he doesn’t have guys to support him?

        If your plan to manage them includes never ever putting them in places of responsibility… (then you’re up on all the churches.)

        {and the guy in the story is so far way past “pedophile” and into psychopath territory. setting a girl on fire???)


          • Oscar,
            if we put pedophiles (the ones that actually go after people of approximate sexual maturity) as just one along a line of rapists, I think we’re going to see that there are a lot of people willing to cover for “that guy.” Or overlook things


            • Perhaps it’s different in the Army these days, but I remember an awful lot of training about how abusing the locals hurts us all, and that if the locals caught you, odds were good you were going to be their long-term guest. If you made it back to the ship, and the locals made their case, you’d face a court martial.

              And even if you managed to dodge those outcomes, you’d better hope word doesn’t get around on the ship, because that’s a great way to be the subject of a man overboard drill about 3 hours after you went into the water.


              • Oscar,
                You haven’t had a father offer you his 7 year old child for a wife.
                Abuse may read a lot different from “I pay your 14 year old daughter for sex”… dunno. Not my culture. (certainly, in Iraq, whoring is such an abysmal life-altering life choice).


                • Actually I have. Somalia was not a nice place.

                  I imagine that a complicating factor in the middle east is that Daesh and their ilk are known for raping women & killing whole families in horrific ways, so bad behavior by Americans can easily be blamed on radicals.


        • IMHO lower standards is a lot of it. Recruiters are under a lot of pressure to make quota, so there is an incentive to get them signed up & hope the bad apples wash out early, instead of filtering them out before they ever get in.


        • Damon,
          I honestly think that if one wanted to be a pedophile, that going into the military to do it is doing it wrong.
          There’s plenty of countries out there that basically live on having small children that Americans will pay to fuck.


          • Who says that he joined the Army to be a pedophile? He could just as easily have been a lout, put in a position of power, and drunk, and he took advantage of an opportunity.


        • Without more information, it is impossible to tell. Yes, the military needed more bodies for our conflicts and recruiting standards were lowered. However, we can’t tell if recruiting stands plated a part in this tragedy. The author seems more interested in piling up hyperbole and BS than really discussing how and why this occurred.


          • It’s pretty easy to pin ever instance of malfeasance, including this, including Manning, on a personnel system that needed warm bodies so badly not only were new accession standards criminally low, but also an inclination towards retention after people had visibly and egregiously fouled up.

            The army that got recruited in 2006-2007 was the worst army since 1968-1969.


            • The army that got recruited in 2006-2007 was the worst army since 1968-1969.

              According to whom, you? In terms of numbers there were more bad apples in the ww2 military given the wholesale draft of every able male. Then again, back in the day the NCOs could lay hands on you and correct the issue quickly.

              Besides, there still isn’t any evidence that this guy got into the army b/c of lower standards.


    • Worth reading on this issue is Savage Continent by Keith Lowe. The occupation of post war Europe and the settling of various little local and regional conflicts wasn’t nearly as clean as in the popular American imagination of it.


      • Hollywood made movies about World War II during World War II and the occupation during the occupation. My guess is that the clean and heroic image presented in these movies entered the popular imagination.


        • Social democracies not linked to extraction industries or at least better manage their extraction industries and the wealth they generate does better. Norway hasn’t collapsed after oil prices dropped. Non-extraction industry based Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and France are doing much better than Venezuela.


          • I think that’s Jaybird’s point, Lee. The Chavez model didn’t engage in enough diversified international trade relationships to withstand the revenue shock of declining oil prices. And somewhat ironically, perhaps, one of the theories behind SAs decision to keep the oil spigots open and prices low was to destabalize the Russian economy via the same mechanism: over-reliance on a single economic resouorce.


      • The fact that the state, the police force, and the military will not give up the tenets of socialism for a base capitalist system is just perpetuating the misery.

        It’s this constant use of force against a proven better system even after complete failure, that is so telling of the inhumanity of the control freaks in charge.


            • It seems like a win win to move the Venezuelans to Japanese mountain villages.

              Eta – I mean, the fusion cuisine alone makes the price of the plane tickets worth it.


              • Heh. That’s the thing though – other cultures with declining populations are a lot more welcoming of other races, even where that welcome is inconsistent. Europe basically has an open door as long as you don’t rape the locals, with the traditional caveat that some time in the next 150 years they’ll go crazy and slaughter all of the non-indigenous. Japan doesn’t want you. They’d rather build machines for industrial output and sex than let in non-Japanese.


  3. Ha, I remember a couple years ago, almost no one I spoke with in Britain knew what a right anarchist was:

    A few folks that departed my camp are pretty happy about the whole Trump election and change in direction. It’s really strange to see them all happy, I say “you should still be pissed off and angry an stuff” they say, “yeah, but we are getting what we want”.

    Damn it people!


  4. Nunes advancing Trump’s Obama wire tapping claims as interference against Trump’s Russia connections because of the today’s Manafort revelations?

    The weird thing to me is that whatever the motivation, it works against redeeming the Trump campaign.


    • Not to the True Believers and the malleable RW press. That’s who this is aimed at. Keeping the base riled and loyal. Of course every piece of cover up like behavior just adds more smoke and suggests fire but that isn’t relevant.


        • Yeah some is just abject panic. But it was very much meant to feed Rush and Hannity and the rest so they have continuing ammo for the fight. What will determine how well they survive whatever happens with the investigation is how strong their support among loud R’s is. If they lose their base R’s in congress will ditch them is there are serious findings. They are assuming, correctly i’d say, that even if there crimes found they can ride it out if they have base support.

          To keep the base on board through a string of embarrassing revelations they need constant spin. If not even hardcore followers will start to wonder.


          • But it was very much meant to feed Rush and Hannity and the rest so they have continuing ammo for the fight.

            If Nunes followed protocol with the info and submitted it to committee in advance of a press conference about which Trump could say “I feel somewhat vindicated” we wouldn’t be talking about this. It’s the fact that Nunes went to Trump with the info first, and with evidence which doesn’t vindicate Trump’s original allegations at all. At least as that evidence is currently understood.

            The whole thing stinks.


              • Oh, I agree that the Trumpeters are loving this. And it surely is red meat for Hannity to say, like the dumbass that he is, “I told ya so!” The weird part, and the part I’m fixated on, is Nunes. Why? Why do this? It undermines whatever useful role he could have otherwise played for absolutely no substantive political gain.*

                *Well, by conventional standards anyway. My own theory is that Trump, either by temperament or design, is a deconstructionist. In which case it all makes sense!


                • The political gain is protecting Trump. That’s it and that’s plenty. Nunes is going all in for protecting the boss. He was on Trump’s transition team. Yup the guy leading the investigation was on the executive committee for the transition. Every story about this should include that part in the first para.

                  It is amazing to see the contortions going on to explain away everything. A FBI investigation is turned into the Obama admin wire tapped Trump. Like i’m so old i can remember when worrying about a prez under a FBI investigation was bad thing. Okay all that means is i was alive last year…but still.


                  • Well, don’t forget, the recent talking point was “it’s preposterous to say that the FBI bugged Donald Trump!”

                    Switching to “sure, they bugged Donald Trump, but that should reflect poorly on Trump!” might come across as an insufficiently credible pivot.


                    • Yeah you got the Trumpet line down pat. Keep going. Ignore all the impropriety and facts that don’t fit ( like they hadn’t tapped him) and keep attacking.

                      You sure are teaching us a lesson in how to defend what you believe in or how to defend things you don’t’ believe in or …ummm….how to harangue people you don’t like or something or other.


                      • I think it’s important to be able to argue against the Trumpet line, Greg.

                        If you can’t, you might find that you’re not convincing people that you used to be able to count on voting for your candidate. Worse than that, you might not understand why.


                        • I’m fine with trying to convince people who are open to convincing. Most people are not open to being swayed especially on highly charged matters and where they have made strong public statements. The hard core Trumpets aren’t’ going to listen to me nor care about things like the glaring obvious impropriety of Nunes talking to Trump about info before going his committee, talking to a potential subject of the investigation in the first place and having been on his transition team. If people aren’t sure why those are wrong and want to talk about it, then i’m fine with that, but that isn’t who is around.


                    • Only for folks who aren’t paying attention, and only if things tilt substantially in Trump’s favor. Which is a pretty big gamble seems to me, given the trends of Trump’s approvals.

                      He’s burned thru a bunch of the political capital he once had, and his leverage points are diminishing.

                      Which is why Koz was so adamant about getting that wall built right quick, like yesterday…


                        • Yeah, he does actually. GOP CCers want to get re-elected, and if they begin to think defecting from Trump is a better path to achieving that goal he’s in big trouble politically.

                          Not too long ago I thought his strategy would be to advocate policies with broad populist appeal and leverage that sentiment against both parties. But frankly, he’s sucked at it. He’s just not up to the task. Instead, I think his current strategy is to increase the beatings til morale improves. We’ll see well that pans out…


                          • GOP CCers want to get re-elected, and if they begin to think defecting from Trump is a better path to achieving that goal he’s in big trouble politically.

                            Of course. I am uncertain that GOP CCers are as good at reading the sentiment of the country as Trump.

                            They could very easily be much, much better at reading *DONORS*… but something something Jeb something something 100,000,000 dollars…


                    • Well, don’t forget, the recent talking point was “it’s preposterous to say that the FBI bugged Donald Trump!”

                      Yeah, I agree with greg. You’ve already tipped your hand if you think that THAT is the recent talking point.


                      • What was the recent talking point? “Obama bugged Trump” or something like that?

                        And the response was “Obama didn’t bug Trump!”?

                        Is that a better way to paint the oh-so-recent argument?

                        With the position now being “Well, *OBAMA* didn’t bug Trump!”?

                        Well, I don’t think that that’s going to be a winning argument among any but those with partisan inclinations.


                          • Jaybird, you made our point. The headline and the first sentence of your linky say that Trump accused Obama, and not the FBI, of tapping his phones. There are all sorts of reasons the FBI would surveil communications engaged in by members of Trump’s transition team. For example, if they’re engaging in discussions with people who’s communications are governed by a FISA warrant.

                            Adding: and all of that would normally transpire without the President’s knowledge.


                            • Okay. Fair enough.

                              My argument is that focusing on “*OBAMA* didn’t bug Trump, only the FBI did!” will not be seen as a particularly strong argument.

                              If your argument is that it will be seen as a particularly strong argument, that’s great. I disagree that it will be.

                              If anything, I suspect that there are multiple entities taking a credibility hit with the new report and they include the enemies of Trump.

                              Only for folks who aren’t paying attention, and only if things tilt substantially in Trump’s favor. Which is a pretty big gamble seems to me, given the trends of Trump’s approvals.

                              We’ll see how big of a gamble it is.


                              • All you are doing Jay is figuring out how a Trumpet could spin things to ignore obvious issues. But that isn’t hard and those aren’t people who are amenable to hear what they don’t want to hear.


                                    • Attacking Trumpeters by pointing out that they’re Trumpeters is not going to change any minds.

                                      Are you a Trumpeter who won’t change his mind? I mean, you’re the one I was talking to, right? (Well, and greg of course.)

                                      Also, when did you become the arbiter on whether the term Trumpeter is an insult? I thought it was a perfectly neutral term, myself.


                                      • I am still in the place where I was the day of the election.

                                        “My gods are dead and my enemies are in power.”

                                        But, even now, I see a lot of stuff going down that is reason to be concerned about how Trump is not being beaten by these tactics (and how his opponents are doing damage to themselves rather than to Trump… or, even as they’re doing damage to Trump, it’s a pyrrhic kind of damage).

                                        But maybe you’re right.

                                        Maybe this will totally be a knockout blow to Trump.


                                        • If that’s how you view my comment then you have a fundamental misunderstanding of my position. I haven’t suggested that any of this is a knockout blow to Trump, nor am I hoping it is. In fact, that’s a page outa your own playbook where you repeatedly said and hoped during the primary that Trump wouldn’t make it thru the next media cycle. From your pov, each one of those things was a knockout blow! I’ve never held that view. From the beginning I’ve understood the motivations people hold justifying a vote for Trump and supporting what they view as an anti-establishment candidate. In fact, I think I’ve done a better job of anyone here – certainly you – expressing those folks concerns and election-based voting behaviors. So don’t lecture me about how I’m the one who thinks this is a knock out blow. It’s insulting to me, and ought to be insulting to you.

                                          What I am suggesting is that this scandal, for all your efforts to keep it alive as a meta-political debate insted of a factual and legal one, isn’t going away. It’s real, and facts have already and will continue to come into play in such a way that destibalizes the Trump admin. That’s the totality of my view on this, yet you think I’m somehow arguing something decoded by a fancy ring which is inconsistent with the actual words I write.

                                          I mean, I get that you like to keep your head in the clouds about all this stuff and engage in interesting game theoretic political outcomes given incredibly limited evidence, but don’t interpret what I write as being up in that space with you.


                                          • I must have misunderstood your discussion with Greg, then.

                                            For what it’s worth, I think that the scandal is similar to the election.

                                            It’s making Trump’s opponents frothy.
                                            It’s making Trump’s supporters frothy.
                                            What’s happening to swing voters? Are they being turned on or turned off by this?

                                            The discussion that you were having with Greg seemed to be about how bad this looked for Trump.

                                            I was disagreeing with that. I can seriously see takes that this is something that will not make those people in group #3 turn against Trump. It honestly strikes me as more likely than they turn against him.

                                            But, hey, only a Trumpeter would think such a thing, right?


                                            • At some point I spent a lot of time asking myself whether Trump was an evil genius with a knack for lying just well enough to enrage his enemies while making enough plausible deniability to come out of these situations intact or if he was just an impulsive idiot with a knack for failing upwards.

                                              The breakthrough came when I realized that the answer didn’t matter, because the effect is always the same.


                                                • I’ve not yet given up on trying to figure it out myself.

                                                  You and lots of other people. And that is unfortunate.

                                                  My more precise point is that what allows Trump to continually fail upwards is that his shtick, whether intentional or not, has evolved to do one thing: keep the focus on him, to keep people investing their confidence in him, to keep people hating him, to keep people trying to figure him out.

                                                  And the end result is that he stays in the spotlight long enough to extract value from a situation before leaving it worse than he found it. By the time most people figure this out, he’s achieved some meaningless buy symbolic accomplishment, declared victory and moved on.


                                                  • And the end result is that he stays in the spotlight long enough to extract value from a situation before leaving it worse than he found it.

                                                    Totally agree. If you distinguish the logic/motivations for his actions and decisions and focus exclusively on the outcomes everything he does seems to follow one central paradigm: that he extracts personal value from a situation and leaves it worse as a result.

                                                    Which is why I keep saying that either by temperament or design he’s a deconstructionist. One way or the other!, extracting his personal value always diminishes the value of institutions he operates in.


                                            • One thing you are missing is that i think Still and I are actually having a discussion about an issue and not just about how people will spin it. You want to talk about the spin. But whether there is an actual scandal and the facts and the investigation are the substantive matters i thought we had been discussing. Not everything is spin. In the end if the FBI finds serious criminal conduct that will do more to sway Trumpets than anything Still or I or you will ever say. If only sleazy but not criminal stuff is found than that is another thing and so on.

                                              FWIW in the polls Trump is doing poorly. He is strong with R’s but underwater with everybody else pretty much. Even Rasmussen has him underwater i believe. Sad.


                                              • FWIW in the polls Trump is doing poorly. He is strong with R’s but underwater with everybody else pretty much. Even Rasmussen has him underwater i believe. Sad.

                                                Surely easily defeated, then.

                                                2018 is just around the corner. Get the House, get the Senate, impeachment can happen within days of the new Congress settling in.

                                                Heck, if there’s a bad enough scandal, you might be able to cow the Republicans into impeaching him before the election!


                                      • I haven’t heard nor am i saying Trumpet as a negative. It seems like an obvious term and one that i’ve heard proud Trumpets call themselves. I mean come on…..the word just roles out.


                                        • It’s not that “Trumpet” is a negative.

                                          It’s that it’s a negative when used to describe someone who does not self-identify as a Trump supporter.

                                          Here, let’s make an analogy:
                                          “Why are you upset when I call you gay? There’s nothing wrong with being gay!”
                                          “Because I’m not gay.”
                                          “Why do you spend so much time (description of sexual act)?”
                                          “I spend time defending the idea that people might want to (description of sexual act), yes. That doesn’t make me gay.”

                                          I hope that helps.


                                          • Who are you even arguing with or against? Trumpet doesn’t even have the connotation that tea bagger did. Is this just a practice argument until something better comes along?


                                            • I thought I was arguing against your “defense” of using the term because you didn’t see it as a negative.

                                              I wasn’t arguing that the term itself was negative.

                                              I was disagreeing with your use of the term to describe me, personally.


                              • My argument is that focusing on “*OBAMA* didn’t bug Trump, only the FBI did!” will not be seen as a particularly strong argument.

                                I think it already is, since Trump’s claim was that Obama “tapped his wires” and not that the FBI did. People know that. In fact, the Trumpeters have wasted huge amounts of energy and capital trying to confuse people into thinking what you’re saying people already think is the case. But they don’t. They know Trump said Obama tapped his wires.

                                Trump’s favorables are dropping. The weight of opinion is consistently against him, even with people in the GOP. Folks like Hannity and Roger Stone look increasingly like trapped weasels. Investigations are happening…


                                • First off, Obama didn’t tap Trump. The FBI tapped people that Trump was talking to! So when Trump shows transcripts of the logs that involve him, he’s lying about Obama tapping his phone!

                                  I dig that you’re squaring this circle to your own satisfaction. I never doubted that it was possible to reach the conclusion you’ve reached.

                                  I merely suspect that you don’t see how this might not be a particularly persuasive argument to someone who doesn’t share your priors.


                                  • Personally I’ll be at least a little amused if we find out that in Trump Towers or Trump HQ an online appliance (not a microwave) was hacked/bugged by the FBI (not Obama) for the purposes of surveilling Manafort (not Trump).


                                    • I have no doubt that what “really” happened was that someone Trump adjacent was bugged by someone who was not Obama.

                                      Trump saying that Obama bugged him (Trump) is a trick he’s used to great effect before.

                                      Be wrong about the technical details of something but have the statement be somewhat interesting anyway.

                                      Sort of like his claiming to be against the Gulf War II from the beginning. “HA! He was only opposed to it starting in 2004!” is a statement that proves “against it from the beginning” was a lie, sure. Totally.


                                    • Personally I’ll be at least a little amused if we find out that in Trump Towers or Trump HQ an online appliance (not a microwave) was hacked/bugged by the FBI (not Obama) for the purposes of surveilling Manafort (not Trump).

                                      Trey (Kurt) Gowdy: Is it possible Kellyanne Conway, while holding her head inside a microwave set to “popcorn”, learned that Roger Stone knew Wikileaks had possession of hacked DNC emails days before they were actually released?

                                      Comey: Yes, that’s certainly possible…


                                      • That’s just dumb, the popcorn setting doesn’t work with the door open.

                                        But since you bring it up… isn’t the Occam’s Razor scenario that Stone and other Trump orbit hacks were being played by Wikileaks? I mean this CNN Breakdown doesn’t make me think “collusion” or give me any sense that the Trump team has a seat at the table…

                                        If I ask myself, “Does Putin hack the DNC and try to embarass HRC and ruin her dreams if {Jeb!, Marco?, Ted^ or John_} were the nominee?”

                                        The answer I always get is yes.

                                        The difference, it seems to me, is that Jeb!, Marco?, Ted^ or John_ would have had the good sense to stay away, disavow, *and* take advantage of whatever goodies tumbled out of wikileaks.

                                        So, if Mike Stone for prurient purposes knew that leaks were coming from the source where we all read them before we read them… we can Impeach Trump? If he saw the leaks before we all saw them? I mean, I certainly understand if the FBI uncovers a deep plot with Trump and Russian operatives collaborating, and all that… what’s the game plan if they just discover a Trump team that was watching along at home with early access?

                                        I’m just trying to figure out what the “best case” scenario is that makes Mike Pence President?


                                        • That’s just dumb, the popcorn setting doesn’t work with the door open.

                                          Info gleaned from the CIA hack is helpful there. I quote: “Initiating clandestine information transfers via advance MW tech requires that the door-latch registers as closed. In unique cases, we suggest that any ordinary kitchen tool designed for food-to-mouth-transfers by inserted into the latch (note: do this only when the door is open!!) to trigger the signaling device. In a pinch, a hair pin also suffices. Setting the clandestine MW device to “popcorn” should only invoked by tin-foil hat wearers.”


                                          • So in order for the meme to work we have to assume that the Trump team has CIA level hacking sophistication? And all the technical gear just lying around?

                                            I dunno man, seems like a lot to suppose just to make a meme work.


                                            • Dude. Like, everyone who’s anyone has a microwave and a fork in their kitchen.

                                              More seriously, tho, if you wanna go there, is the evidence: Flynn resigned because of Russia stuff, Manafort is maligned with and resigned due to Russia stuff, Sessions lied on the record about Russia stuff (double twice over when a third contact he didn’t admit was revealed), Roger Stone is in record admitting he knew about the DNC Wikileaks before they were actually leaked, the FBI Director has confirmed that the FBI is investigating the Trump admin re: Russia stuff, and the FBICIADOJNSA have all agreed that Russia interfered with the US election.


                                              • Yes, that’s what I’m asking… what’s the “Stuff?” once we get past the Russia part.

                                                That is, is the Stuff that they were colluding and involved or is the Stuff that they were being given materials that were given to the whole world, only a couple weeks/months(?) earlier? What stuff is the Stuff?

                                                As I say, I could totally see the Trump team getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar… that’s the kind of low-ethics stuff I would expect. Advance peek at illegally attained info about the DNC? Sure that sounds great, I could see them saying. In the end though, that still seems like a cookie-jar infraction. Maybe the lying with crumbs and chocolate stained teeth is what earns the spanking, but I’d keep my powder dry if we’re looking for more than a spanking.

                                                So, is that the bombshell? That Flynn and/or Stone definitely knew the Russians did the hacking and that they got advanced copies? Or are we thinking that Flynn/Stone were suggesting targets, editing emails, inserting fake ones, etc? Are we asserting that Putin was doing this because of Trump, or was Trump just the beneficiary of Putin’s desire to destroy Clinton?

                                                Because I can say today that I’d be surprised if they didn’t (stupidly) take early access; but I’d need to see evidence that they were somehow directing or managing the leaks with Russian handlers… maybe they were… but Flynn’s exit doesn’t suggest to me the latter even if I suspect the former.

                                                So yeah… that’s exactly what I’m asking – not because I don’t believe, but because I’m not sure what I’m supposed to believe.


                                                    • Do you want me to link to the stories implied in the ellipses? I will. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt here.

                                                      Adding: Also, regarding the “seeing where this goes” stuff. The last time you said that to me was when I first brought up the CNN story about Trump being briefed on Russian kompromat re: the Trump admin, its had to get rid of Flynn. So things are already “going” even if you don’t see it that way.


                                                      • No need, I think I’ve read yours and I’ve linked a couple myself.

                                                        Unless you’ve come across something really insightful that has good new information? I’m all full on speculation though.


                          • So the obvious point is was it Obama or the FBI with a lawful warrant who had a tap on people who Trump talked to.

                            There are others for whom the obvious point is whether Trump had a tap on him… and if they thought that the arguments of the past few weeks were of the nature that “Of course Trump didn’t have a tap on him” rather than “It’s incendiary that Trump would accuse the taps on him on Obama rather than on how they’re pretty standard procedure”, they’re going to see Nunes as Speaking Truth To Power.

                            But maybe you’re right.

                            Maybe people will focus on how it wasn’t *OBAMA* that tapped Donald Trump.


                            • You know there were people who felt Nixon got a raw deal and believed him. Those aren’t the people to try to convince or have a conversation with.

                              If people don’t hear that it was the FBI in the course of investigation then they dont’ want to know. They are busy sorting their “She’s a C**t.” shirts and calling her Killary. Give me someone open to discussion and i’m fine with that route.


                            • Trump was not tapped.
                              Information was collected after the election.
                              Trump was a topic of conversation, not a participant in the conversation.

                              This is what Nunes is telling us.

                              Please spin that into “The FBI bugged Trump.”


                              • So Trump was not tapped, just members of his transition team.

                                Obama didn’t order it, the FBI did it.

                                I am not certain that this argument addresses the… looking for a term… “emotional content” of Trump’s statement.


                                • Not members of his team. Foreign agents. If you’re talking to a foreign agent, you might get picked up.

                                  The weird thing is, by your logic, people are incentivized to call foreign agents so they can then claim they were targetted.


                                  • The weird thing is, by your logic, people are incentivized to call foreign agents so they can then claim they were targetted.

                                    That would make more sense if the people whose calls were listened to were likely to know that their phone call was being recorded.


                                        • “…among the people who aren’t tapped.”

                                          The number of Trump members “tapped” is the same as the number of OT writers tapped.

                                          The number of Trump members in conversation with foreign agents who were tapped is greater than the number of OT writers in conversation with foreign agents who were tapped.

                                          Now, we can assume an insidious plan to secretly tap Trump members.

                                          Or we can be logical and say Trump members — of their own volition — were in conversation with people who were tapped.

                                          Note: If you opt for the former absent facts, I’ll remind you of all the destroyed tapes of OT conversations.


                  • Well, if Nunes went all in protecting the boss, his days are numbered. He doesn’t have any credibility left to be politically useful anymore and is therefore dispensable. (Time to take out a life insurance policy, knowwhatImean?)

                    I forgot about that last comment you’re referencing. Who said that? Cruz?


                    • Several R pol’s and talking heads said how fugly it would be to have a sitting prez under an FBI investigation.

                      Nunes is still the head of the committee. I think the admin and Nunes will fight like mad to prevent an independent investigation. It will take a lot more than what we have seen for them to let someone independent in.


                    • Figuring out who to lock up will be the heavy lifting.

                      If the taps were on foreign parties then they were NSA or CIA, which are prohibited from retaining information on US persons unless it involves the threat of an imminent attack on the US.

                      If the taps were on US persons then they were FBI and the focus is back on Comey and a few others at the agency with close ties to Obama, Hillary, and Podesta.


                          • Hillary and Podesta are in there because Comey put Andrew McCabe in charge of investigating Hillary’s server. Terry McAuliffe and some people had earlier approached McCabe’s wife and encouraged her to seek office in the Virginia state senate, and Hillary’s circle gave her $675,000 dollars to run.

                            Wall Street Journal article

                            That stinks to high heaven, but indicates the clear possibility that higher ups in the FBI were beholden to Hillary’s people – who would want Trump to get wiretapped. Since McCabe was ostensibly investigating “Russian interference”, the rest would be easy.


                      • I believe that FISA warrants allow for the collection of the US side so long as the collection is incidental.

                        This longish post at Lawfare sounds about right to me.

                        If Trump didn’t want the FBI bugging Trump Tower, perhaps he could have declined the opportunity to sell apartment units to corrupt Russian oligarchs?

                        And why the hell is Nunes running his mouth to the press and the President without checking with Comey first?


                        • I think we’re outside of FISA warrants, as those would only apply if Trump was colluding with Russia to launch a military or terrorist attack on the United States.


                            • Nunes said the transcripts he had didn’t have anything to do with an investigation into “Russian interference”. That indicates that somebody was just Hoovering up everything.


                                • Not just legally obtained, but that American identities were in fact masked (obscured, as required by law). He was just clearly rather unhappy that he was able to deduce at least one of those identities via context.

                                  (I shall leave speculation as to why that deduction caused him to indulge in what seems like a public panic attack to the imagination, although I will note it is unlikely that he was surprised that — if one has sufficient context — to learn one can occasionally work out a masked identity).


                                  • If one has sufficient context…
                                    4chan did a training exercise like that once. Post a picture, dox the person.
                                    No name, no address, nothing but a single picture of the kid in his bedroom.
                                    And then they kept on trolling the poor kid, because he was really really weird.


                        • If they’re listening to corrupt Russian oligarchs, they’re not listening to Trump. They don’t get to wiretap an entire Manhattan skyscraper because a Russian mobster has an apartment there.

                          My chat buddy who used to work at the NSA for Air Force Intelligence (he was an airborne Arab linguist) just Skyped me with:

                          The entire thing is utter bullshit.. they were purposely being surveilled.

                          There was no “inadvertent capturing” of their conversations.
                          And it’s a fucking felony to divulge any personal identifiers unless there is a warrant for the surveillance and an actual crime was committed.

                          USSID 18 still applies to those assholes, no matter what they may try to say.

                          You can’t purposely record an American’s conversations unless you have a warrant or there is an imminent threat to American lives or US government property overseas.

                          He would know, because the instant he realized a US person was on the other side of the Iraqi phone conversation he was intercepting, he erased the tape.

                          USSID 18 (pdf)


                          • As I see things:

                            Trump: Obama tapped me.

                            Comey: No.

                            Nunes: A NSA staffer has leaked to me transcripts of lawful FISA wiretaps which catch Trump transition officials talking to non-Russian foreigners. [Actually, his comment isn’t even that clear. It could be that the transcript merely mentioned the names of Trump transition officials.]

                            Rest of the world: WTF is Nunes doing leaking about FISA wiretaps?

                            Jaybird — OMG IF YOU’RE EXPLAINING YOU’RE LOSING!


                            • And this just in from CNN:

                              The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, US officials told CNN.

                              Now that’s how you sweat people FBI-style. Who’s going to break first?


                              • And that’s why CNN has a worse reputation than The National Enquirer. I think “undisclosed sources” refers to Katy Perry’s twitter feed.

                                As the head of the NSA and CIA just recently testified, not only is there no fire to the story of Russian coordination or collusion with the Trump campaign, there’s not even a spark.


                              • I would swear that not too long ago you were complaining about liberals’ smug style.

                                Why you have relatively recently chosen to adopt such a smug style for yourself here in these comments is a mystery to me.

                                Yes, hard-core Trump fans will believe that the sky is green before agreeing that Trump’s tweets lack honesty. So what? There are a lot more players in the game than his core base and the few hundred thousand who tipped the election to him. The press itself is getting increasingly outraged. Moderate Republicans in the House and Senate will wonder about his coat-tails. Nancy Pelosi is developing plans for 2018 and 2020; I’ll bet that a lunatic President works to her advantage in both fund-raising and recruiting.

                                And even for the hundreds of millions of Americans who aren’t political junkies, maybe, just maybe, it is in the public interest for them to be aware that his own FBI Director — the top cop in whole USA — called the President a liar in sworn testimony. And that nothing Nunes said changes a word of his testimony.


                                • There are a lot more players in the game than his core base and the few hundred thousand who tipped the election to him.

                                  Oh, yes indeedy.

                                  The press itself is getting increasingly outraged.

                                  There are ways to do this well and ways to do it poorly and I suspect that the press is doing it poorly.

                                  For example: the recent Gorsuch hearings. Do you feel that you’d get what happened from a summary posted to (major news site) or would you kinda want to read the transcript to get an understanding of what happened?

                                  Moderate Republicans in the House and Senate will wonder about his coat-tails.

                                  I’ve no doubt about this. But I also want to know how possible it is that Trump could have these same Moderate Republicans primaried… More, to put a finer point on it, I want to know how possible the Moderate Republicans think it is.

                                  Nancy Pelosi is developing plans for 2018 and 2020; I’ll bet that a lunatic President works to her advantage in both fund-raising and recruiting.

                                  While I’m sure that she’s great at fund-raising, I’m not so sure that her record of the last few elections fills me with confidence at her ability to leverage those funds properly.

                                  There are ways to see the bang for her bucks over the last 4 or so elections as being positively Jebby.

                                  And even for the hundreds of millions of Americans who aren’t political junkies, maybe, just maybe, it is in the public interest for them to be aware that his own FBI Director — the top cop in whole USA — called the President a liar in sworn testimony. And that nothing Nunes said changes a word of his testimony.

                                  Sure it is in their interest to be aware of it.
                                  Are they learning it from media that they trust?

                                  Again, I don’t know how the next year or two will play out… but I do know that if the Democrats don’t do well in 2018, that’s an indicator that they don’t apprehend how the country is changing.

                                  Maybe they’ll win the House and Senate back, though.

                                  That’ll show Trump.


                                • (And I’m pretty sure that I’ve never used the term “smug style”. I was more interested in saying something like “That thing where you brag about putting coal miners out of work? Don’t do that. That’s bad.” which then resulted in people arguing against me as if I were saying that Clinton should have told pretty lies instead of bragging about putting coal miners out of work.)


                          • “A House member on the Intelligence Committee told CNN the communications in question were senior-level people talking about Trump, not Trump himself.
                            Nunes later told CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” that “President-elect Trump and his team were put into intelligence reports.”
                            “Clearly there is a lot of information in the reports that I’ve seen, which were dozens, that would lead me to believe that the last administration and numerous agencies had a pretty good idea of what President-elect Trump was up to and what his transition team was up to and who they were meeting with,” Nunes told Tapper.”


                            • And since such information isn’t supposed to be retained, and is useless as far as actually foreign intelligence stuff goes, it means someone was monitoring the Trump campaign for political reasons, just like Richard Nixon tried to do.


                          • They might have been lawfully acquired, but they can’t have been lawfully retained and the certainly couldn’t have been lawfully disseminated. Obama lowered the classification of them, but in so doing, under law, they would have to have been destroyed, not spread around multiple federal agencies.

                            What we have is a stack of felonies.


                              • How can the transcripts still be classified when they can’t even legally exist? They are 4th Amendment violations, on top of violating US intelligence laws. And that’s a problem.

                                Who authorized the surveillance? Who ordered someone to commit a felony by retaining a record of the conversations? Who committed a felony by spreading illegal documents across multiple federal agencies, and who committed a felony by leaking those documents to the press in an attempt to sabotage Trump’s Presidency?


                                • Why would they yank Nunes’s clearance? He gave the information directly to the President – who is allowed to know all things. That’s very different from Obama, who apparently authorized the spread of the wiretap information to federal agencies that by law aren’t allowed to see it, all in an attempt to sabotage the incoming executive branch of the United States.


                                  • “Why would they yank Nunes’s clearance? He gave the information directly to the President – who is allowed to know all things.”

                                    Nunes isn’t the President, and we don’t know how Nunes got the transcript, or how he transmitted it to the President; and both of those latter things are go-to-jail-illegal if you do them wrong.


      • Possibly, I would say it depends on why he is being filibustered. I know they are butt hurt over Garland but they look petty. Dems whine all the time about civility and then pull a stunt like this. It just show their hypocracy and makes me laugh.


          • No fear! I looked it up:

            Google defines civility as “formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech.”

            MW defines civility as “a polite act or expression.”

            I struggle to see how one Senator using a legal method of engaging the political process and other Senators opting not to stop him from doing so qualifies as ‘uncivil’ based on any reasonable definition of that word.


            • Do you workout? You’re good at moving the goalposts.

              There is nothing uncivil about the act of filibustering. Period.

              If you believe otherwise, make the case.


                • Garland didn’t get filibustered. He got denied a hearing.

                  Gorsuch got a hearing, and hasn’t been filibustered yet.

                  (Personally, I’m with ya about Dems not filibustering Gorsuch. Not because it’s uncivil – it isn’t – but because I don’t think it’ll hold up. So why play games?)


                  • So one is a legitimate reason and the other isn’t? Who gets to decide which is which? Whomever is losing?

                    No the fillibuster hasn’t happened yet but Chucky said he would. I really hope they do.


                    • Everyone decides on their own. And I’ve decided that denying a nominee a hearing is categorically different than (potentially) filibustering a vote on his/her confirmation.


                    • As a conservative, the legitimate reason is to follow the constitutional procedure; if the President nominates a candidate, the Senate should vote (hearings aren’t the point, they are the process). I’d have had no problem with a straight party-line No vote… even a party-line vote that said they were only voting No “on account of the nearness of the election.”

                      For bonus points they could have even said… if a Democrat wins, we promise to immediately hold (re-)hearings and a speedy vote on Merrick Garland.

                      That would have been pure politics, of course, but well within conservative principles… and even a little clever to insulate them against a President Clinton choice “worse” than Garland.

                      I don’t know why McConnel didn’t go that route and I think quite a bit less of him for not doing so.

                      Hoping that the Democrats filibuster Gorsuch to kill the filibuster is a weapon I’d rather not forge.


                      • Hoping that the Democrats filibuster Gorsuch to kill the filibuster is a weapon I’d rather not forge.

                        Justice Ages:
                        Kennedy: 80
                        Thomas: 68
                        Ginsburg: 84
                        Roberts: 62
                        Alito: 66
                        Sotomayor: 62
                        Kagan: 56

                        Points of interest:
                        Garland: 64


                        • Well no matter what happens to Gorsuch or who might happen to be President… I have no earthly idea what is going to happen when Kennedy shuffles off this mortal coil.

                          Hammurabi? Moses? Solon? Justinian? Probably wouldn’t make it through.


                        • As I mused on Commmon Law yesterday, “the process of selecting and confirming a Supreme Court Justice is hugely politicized. Such an environment seems the exact opposite of one in which the virtue of judicial integrity might be either prized or identified.”

                          Invoking the filibuster in response to an obviously intellectually and temperamentally qualified nominee appears, at least at first blush, to accelerate rather than counteract this already harmful phenomenon. That is particularly true if the invocation is likely to actually kill the filibuster in a situation like this, because it might be needed for real someday in the future.


                          • That is particularly true if the invocation is likely to actually kill the filibuster in a situation like this, because it might be needed for real someday in the future.

                            I spent some time looking for the news interview with the Democratic Senator (or Representive) who was giving an interview in which he seemed to hold the position that it may have been a mistake to get rid of the filibuster for a handful of things.

                            This is, like, after a whole mess of cabinet folks getting in with 52, 53, 54 “yes” votes.


                              • I’m not sure that there is a reason that we need it. That was the system until the Dems changed it. So maybe we should ditch it for all levels. The dems didn’t have the guts to it but will surely whine if we finish what they started.


                              • More fundamental question: Why do we need the filibuster at all?

                                Good question. One thing I wonder: if we didn’t have the filibuster would we see more or less party line votes?

                                My intuition is that over time we’d see more people crossing party lines which would bring partisanship back towards compromise on policy rather than intransigence regarding politics.


                          • Again, this is the kind of commonwealth and civility pleading that seems to put the Democratic Party (and the people that vote for them because they like Democratic policies) at a perpetual and structural disadvantage.

                            Merrick Garland was just as qualified as Gorsuch, perhaps more so and the GOP stonewalled him in complete disregard of typical convention and did so with impunity and without any negative blowback.

                            So what are Democrats to do when the GOP has gone off the rails. It seems like we are stuck in a dystopia where the GOP gets to break every rule in the book and we are expected to be civil for the commonwealth and this amounts to getting perpetually punched in the kidneys because of the civility tone police.

                            I also question what makes a Supreme Court Justice qualified or not. I’m a legal realist. Courts make ideological and partisan decisions. Republican appointed Supreme Court justices have frequently worked against policies that Democrats in both civil and criminal law and generally seem to favor the corporation and business over the consumer and employee. But if you just look at resumes, all the Supreme Court Justices are equally qualified in the sense that they all did really well at School, attended top tier law schools, and then practiced in the upper-echelons of government and private practice.

                            What makes a Justice unqualified?


                            • Was Harriet Meiers qualified to serve on the Supreme Court? I doubt that she’s unintelligent and I doubt that she got bad grades and she has an impressive resume for an attorney on her career track. Yet she was hooted down for not being sufficiently well-qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.

                              I don’t know what to say about the “structural disadvantage” issue: I think the Republicans did violate a norm of civil politics by refusing to vote on Garland’s nomination. That they appear to have not been punished politically is a failure of the body politic generally. This is a problem of a kind with the problem of the White House giving press credentials to fringe conspiracy theorists while shunning CNN. It is a problem of a kind with equating the tactical victory of the Republican Party with the generalized national interest of all Americans. It is a problem of a kind with demanding that Obamacare be repealed and replaced and not having anything remotely plausible to replace it with despite having had seven years to research and prepare the response. It is a problem of a kind with the President responding to a question about the very real governmental challenges he faces with a quip to a reporter to the effect of, “I’m President and you’re not” as if that were some sort of response. It is a problem of a kind to activists responding to confrontations about their violation of centuries-old norms by insisting “the rules have changed” after adopting an ideology of winning elections at all costs.

                              The problem is not that civility and comity in governmental activity are bad things. Indeed, they are necessary things. The problem is that a great many Republicans simply aren’t doing it. The question should be what can be done to make these Republicans start behaving themselves again?


                              • Harriet Meirers probably would have made an average Supreme Court Justice but IIRC it was the GOP that rebelled against her, not the Democratic Party. I seem to recall Reid finding her decent. But she did not have the formal qualifications that seem demanded of Supreme Court justices in terms of pedigree. Whether this is good or bad is another story.

                                As a general proposition, I agree that civility and comity are necessary but some thoughts:

                                1. Things are not that bad. We don’t have fist fights like other countries seem to have and we haven’t had Charles Sumner being canned on the floor of the Senate again.

                                2. The period between 1946-1994 might have been a rare example of bipartisan consensus and comity.

                                3. 1946-1994 might have had less consensus than previously imagined.

                                I also don’t know what will bring the Republicans to their senses but taking the higher ground does not work for the Democratic Party or their policy ideals. It seems that obstruction (combined with GOP incompetence and infighting) can give the Democratic Party victories or at least allow them to prevent really horrible GOP legislation from being enacted. IMO taking the high ground would just lead to the Democratic Party getting sucker punched.


                              • Current leaking is that McConnell may be considering eviscerating the filibuster for the AHCA. (See KDrum.)

                                So perhaps it’s time to recognize that we are in a parliamentary system with a presidential overlay, and for both parties to govern accordingly.

                                That said, the debt ceiling vote is coming. Also, while there’s been some talk about the President’s budget, I haven’t read much here about the Budget Control Act / sequester and I don’t have the expertise to figure out how it works. So how to bring back the Republican Party from the brink? Force them to govern on their own. Let them eat the hard votes necessary to keep the country running. Accept compromise only when it’s offered.


                      • I agree with all that March. I thought it would be better politics – especially at the time but fully generally – to allow hearings and an upperdown vote followed by the filibuster. But what you wrote makes me wonder about the scope of “advice and consent” as McConnell employed that doctrine. Seems to me a case could be made that denying hearings which start of the formal process by which SCOTUS nominees are appointed isn’t governed by that provision. Doing so certainly doesn’t constitute advice, and it only constitutes consent via a very stained interpretation of that word, eg., that “consent” includes impeding the formal process by which nominees receive hearings and committee votes rather than merely voting to appoint the chosen nominee.

                        Maybe we could ask Gosruch to tease out that distinction when he reaches the bench, as he surely will: “Does “consent” by the Senate include “obstructing the formal process by which Presidential nominees are evaluated and voted upon?”


                      • Sadly, when you vote a candidate down on a straight majority vote, it becomes a legend of hatefully partisan spite.

                        You know, like Bork. Who…had hearings, then lost a majority vote, but somehow became a symbol of vast injustice that even now certain people cling to bitterly.

                        Because really, it was just far worse for him to lose a majority vote than for him to have never even had a hearing, for almost a year.


                        • Well, Merrick’s rejection would have been partisan spite (hateful probably not)… and probably should be remembered as such. I’m not saying that politics don’t have consequences.

                          Some large number of folks would have seen that the politics behind voting down Garland were “bad” politics. And, they’d be entitled to that.

                          Now, I could certainly see it being managed through a highly political process where being Garlanded might have the same result as being Borked… but that people would see being Garlanded as perhaps a better way to conduct things.


                      • McConnel was thinking that the vote would harm his majority. Conservatives had a long-term strategy on packing the court which involves trying to create a norm that judges who are obviously qualified (Appellate Court Justices) should be affirmed without regard to their ideology, and Republican Presidents nominate youthful conservatives. This was a strategy to reverse Roe v. Wade and the only way that it could happen given that the pro-life position is a minority one. The Republican position is outwardly the virtuous one, and the Ds went along for awhile, but then saw what was happening.

                        I think Bush threw the strategy under the bus by appointing Harriet Myers; it was resurrected for Roberts and Alito, but Garland presses the point. Again, the longterm strategy is to accept Garland on the basis of qualifications only in order to justify the same treatment for their own candidates. So what’s happened? Possibilities: (a) Democrats are less and less likely to vote qualifications only, so the exchange of consideration won’t happen; (b) Republican strength at the Presidential level has declined, while strength in the legislature has increased; and (c) internal realization that reversal of Roe v. Wade, which supplies most of the justification for the long-game, is unlikely.

                        Garland was as moderate of a liberal as Republicans could ever wish, but voting on him raised serious questions about what Republicans should be doing on SCOTUS nominations and exposed Senators to backlash.


                      • “I don’t know why McConnel didn’t go that route and I think quite a bit less of him for not doing so.”
                        He was signaling that his coalition was worth supporting. He could very easily let Garlands nomination die in committee, but that wouldn’t send the same message. Ugly? Yes, but very effective. Much like Reid and the filibuster. Tit for tat, back through history.


                        • But Marchamaine is part of his coalition. Or was. He thinks less of him now. My guess, Aaron, is the coalition you think McConnell was appealing to is a different coalition than March is part of. The one that resulted in Trump. But Trump ain’t GOP.

                          So the whole theory doesn’t really make any sense to me.


        • notme,
          High chips stakes. If I voted for a Democrat, I’d want him to pull out the stops. That by rights should have been a seat nominated by Obama. That the Republicans did not put the Democratic Nominee to a vote for a year is beyond uncivil. It is detrimental to democracy.
          For you see, the next question is “If one year is fine, How about Two??”
          And then we get no judges in the courts because everyone’s being blocked.

          Yeah, this one deserves to be put down hard. Incivility is hardly the worst thing in this world. In certain situations I’ve been known to applaud it.


              • Sometimes, a tight focus on the terms employed results only in the message conveyed becoming diffused, and I believe this is one instance of that phenomenon in action.

                Now, I have read a number of Bork’s pieces, and I happen to disagree with him on a number of points.

                That said, the Bork hearings is when and where it became a sanctionable offense to be a respected conservative intellectual.

                I believe the defamation notme refers to here lies in the inversion of values inherent in arriving at a conclusion that being a conservative is somehow shameful.

                Instead, they got Thomas, whose every slight was bound to be papered over after the indignity that Bork endured.
                Had they gone with Bork, he would have been dead now, and replaced.
                Just desserts, I call it.


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