Friday, July 12, 2019

New rule

President Trump isn't allowed to bring up Article 2 unless he can explain what Article 1 says.

Also, I wonder if whoever keeps whispering "Article 2" in his ear, has told him about Article 2, Section 4. That is part of Article 2 too.

The easiest way to defeat Biden in the primary

I never wanted Sanders to run in the first place this year, so I am definitely biased, but I really think if the goal is to make sure that Biden is not the nominee, Sanders should drop out. I'm not sure where all of Sander's supporters would go if he left the race. I suspect a chunk would go to Warren, and the rest would spread out among the others. Biden, I suspect, would get very little Bernie people. Spreading that 13% would completely change the primary race. And because Biden's entire campaign is based on the delusion that he is a candidate who can draw a lot of support, if he falls out of the top tier, it could crater his entire campaign.

LATER: I guess I should have looked at the "second choice" polling before I published my uninformed suspicions. So much for the premise of this post:
Among Sanders's supporters, 26 percent said they supported Biden as a second choice, followed by Warren at 16 percent and Harris at 7 percent.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Does anyone really have a billion dollars?

Between Epstein and Trump I can't help but wonder if most of the "billionaires" running around out there are just faking it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

As expected

It would have been more fun if he stuck around and the entire Trump Administration would have to go out of their way to snub him at every event, but I guess he realized he couldn't do his job under these circumstances so I understand why he did it.

Let’s see how smart Acosta is

If our Secretary of Labor has half a brain and wants to survive, he will quietly drop this proposed cut.

Monday, July 08, 2019

There are no red states or blue states in the Middle East, just a GOP that has lost any sense that policy matters

The title of this article is that the middle east is now divided into "Red States and Blue States." But when you read the article it frames it as "Republican countries" vs. "Democratic causes":
It is now possible to divide the Middle East between “Republican Party countries” and “Democratic Party causes.” This is a phenomenon of at least the last decade, but it has become more pronounced during the Trump era. Aside from Jordan—there is almost no one in Washington who does not like King Abdullah—the lineups are clear: Israel, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia are Republican in the sense that the party’s leaders and voters are sympathetic to them or more sympathetic to them than Democrats are. At the same time, Democrats tend to identify with the Iran nuclear deal and the Palestinians.
Actually, all that is really going on is the Republican party is lining up behind the Middle Eastern autocrats plus Israel. It is really dumb to make it seem like Republican's blind support for these countries is anything like Democrats having "causes" in the region. Both parties have always had causes all over the world. For a long time the Republican's cause was anti-communism. During the Bush era the Republican's cause in the Middle East was spreading democracy (remember the "freedom agenda"?)

The normal thing for an American political party to have is a cause. Having a cause is part of putting together a coherent foreign policy. What is weird is that Republicans have abandoned all their causes and are no longer attempting a logically coherent foreign policy. Instead, they are insisting upon blind fealty to Israel and an assortment of authoritarian Arab countries whose only real virtue is their ability to flatter Trump.

(via Memeorandum)

Iran is not violating any deal with the U.S. after the U.S. declares the deal dead

The fundamental incoherence of Trump's position on the Iran deal is coming to the fore. Essentially his argument is the Iran deal sucks because it sunsets in just 15 years and that is too soon, so let's withdraw from the deal and make it sunset immediately.

Still, Trump got to tear up a deal negotiated by a black man, so I guess this still counts as a win.


I'm back, did you notice I was gone?

First I went to Night Vale, then North Night Vale (Desert Bluffs?), then Kansas City although I never entered Kansas nor any city.

Now I'm back, for just a month. I promise1 to post more until then, and maybe even post during my next trip. Who knows.

1- In fact, I promise nothing.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Looking for bright sides

As I mentioned last week, I am not totally convinced by the theory that adding a citizenship question to the Census would be a clear win for the Republicans. So if today's Supreme Court decisions had each gone the other way, I would be pretty happy. Unfortunately, that's not how they went.

The Court's decision to end any challenge of congressional districts on the basis of hyper-partisanship is going to be a disaster that will erode democracy. But I also think that if current demographic trends continue, Republicans are going to have a harder and harder time holding on to state houses, no matter how lopsided the lines are drawn. So it might not be long before hyper-partisan redistricting becomes something more available to Democrats than Republicans. It will be fun to watch the youngish conservatives Justices, like Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, suddenly change their tune if the tables turn after 2030.

The silver lining is these two are the last two decisions of the term. The Supreme Court will be in recess until October, and for the first few months they will mostly just be deciding what cases to take and hearing arguments from cases they already decided to hear. So we won't have any more terrible decisions for probably at least six months or so. And by that time any awful decision will be close enough to the election to give a boost of outrage to the liberal electorate. Of course, the Justices know that. So either they will delay announcing their most monstrous decisions until the October 2020 term or they will decided to forge ahead with their monstrousness and at least we get the boost of outrage.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Trump uses the same stupid playbook for everyone but Iran probably represents its limit

I am guessing that if Trump suddenly pulled a North Korea on Iran and started to be best buddies with the Ayatollah like he has been with Kim Jong Un that would be a bridge too far for many Republicans.

(Obviously I could be completely wrong. Trump has already crossed several bridges too far and the GOP is more behind him than ever. But few countries have been as demonized as Iran in the US press, and none have as many powerful parties pushing relentlessly for a US-Iran confrontation. I really do think becoming buddies with Iran would undermine Trump’s standing with his party like few other moves would.)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

How dare Iran do something to stop us from spying on them

Feel the outrage.

I wonder what would happen if the U.S. military detected an Iranian drone just off the coast of New Jersey (whether or not it was in international waters).

This is no way for an unpopular president who never got a majority to run for reelection

A second Trump term would be an utter disaster for the country and the planet. I firmly believe that so I don't think anyone who feels as I do can afford to not do everything they can to get him out of office. The stakes are just too high.

Yet, this article is really reassuring. A clear majority of Americans say they will "definitely not" vote for Trump next year and Trump has no plan at all to reach out to any of them. He's not even going to campaign for any undecided votes.

In a way I agree with part of Trump's strategy. Elections are not won or lost by convincing voters to vote for a candidate. They are mostly about generating enough excitement to get the candidate's supporters to turn out to vote. Trump's problem is that his base tops out around 40% of the electorate. He doesn't have enough to win unless the turnout on the other side is really dismal. And everything he does to excite his base--like holding fascist rallies--is as much a motivator to vote for his opposition as it is his base. Trump's antics are really good at generating outrage from both sides (both outrage against the President's perceived enemies on one side, and outrage against the President himself on the other). Outrage drives people to the polls. But if both sides are stirred up, Trump will almost certainly lose.