Saturday, February 04, 2017

Bloomberg: Donald Trump, Threat or Menace?

The impartiality of former New York mayor, former Republican, and full-time hoplophobe Michael Bloomberg is hard to impugn. Why, on their four-member Trump panel, he had:
  1. David “Axis of Evil” Frum (#NeverTrump, senior editor of The Atlantic),
  2. Michael Waldman (President, William J. “the Progressive Voice of SCOTUS” Brennan Center For Like Totally Nonpartisan Justice), and
  3. cross-eyed Clive Crook (see his avatar on Bloomberg), old-hand pro (…I mean, journalist), who once breathed, “Flies any angel more impartial than Ezra Klein?” and who despises WaPo’s Fact Checker for being unfair to Obama.

(Sample articles: “Obama’s Failing Was a Lack of Ambition”; “Beating Trump Won’t Mend America”; “Chavez Proves Democracy Isn’t Enough”; “Trump’s Corrosive Incompetence on Migrants”; and “Consider This: Trump Might Be a Good President.” The last conceded only given record low expectations.)

Crook simpers:

I took part in an Intelligence Squared debate last night, speaking for the motion, “Give Trump a Chance.” My partner, Gayle Trotter, and I were soundly beaten by David Frum and Michael Waldman. Here’s the link: I think you’ll enjoy it.

Our side, I’m afraid, was a house divided against itself -- an enthusiastic Trump supporter and me, who agrees with Frum and Waldman that Trump was a terrible choice and is shaping up to be a terrible president.

Gayle Trotter was, I am serious, the only Trumpista on the panel, and she only got national visibility about three years ago. Did I mention Crook was on her pro-Trump team? Really, given those advantages, how could she lose?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

CNN, Lemony Sticket and “Talcum X”

In order:
  1. Accused of being white??? Did His Immaculate Hands actually make that a crime?
  2. Legally black?? What the hell is that??
  3. Sexism? Rachel Dolezal and Shaun King got lit up the same way at the same time.
  4. Dolezal resigned as NAACP branch president, probably at their polite request. King is merely a columnist at a general newspaper: had his employer been an organization dedicated to black Americans’ welfare, he would probably have been removed as well. Lemony Sticket’s accusation of sexism (in favor of King) here is plainly below-the-brainstem.
  5. Shaun King is clearly a liar but this is secondary to his white-hating ways (so odd to type that). This high school “hate crime” was completely dismissed by the police in 1995: the injuries were “minor” and he did not have “multiple spinal surgeries.” Six witnesses said the “attack” was a one-on-one fight.
No white people care if Rachel and Shaun run around pretending to be black. Yes, we think that’s bent, but prosecuting it would only publicize a bizarre behavior. Black people care, but that’s little of my business.

No, what we care about is Shaun and Rachel publishing their fantasies about hate crimes, directed at them, as true stories. (Talcum X’s fake attack, and “... at least eight documented hate crimes targeted Dolezal and her children.”) This is fomenting racial hatred, inciting a race war and in a real country, they would both be hanged for faking hate crimes.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The GOP is the Stupid Party

Political and other horror-show aficionados will recognize this as the moment just before the beast gets up and takes a giant bite out of Our Hero:
History is not bending toward acceptance of big government, nor is it moving toward submersion of national identity into globalism. — Michael Barone
Sounds nice.

Sure he can change Obama’s executive actions with a quick stroke of the pen. But rule changes require justification following a Reagan-era court case mandating that regulation changes aren’t done on a whim. — McClatchy
Wait, what?

As noted before, the Administrative Procedure Act takes, not power, but responsibility away from Congress. But the Devil is truly in the details.

To pass a law, Congress must pass the same Bill in both Houses. In the upper house, 60 Senators must vote for cloture to try and pass a bill with 51 votes (or 50 Senators plus the Vice-President). Two-thirds of both houses must pass the law if the President vetoes, of course.

To compare: when the Executive branch wants to pass a law (sorry, “rule”) it merely publishes it and waits six months. That is all: the Civil Service appointees have the power to simply have their desired rules materialize.

Now, let us suppose Congress wants to oppose, or repeal, some of these Executive “rules.” To prevent the new rules from becoming law, the Congress must act within six months, a deadline Congress does not benefit from. If the Senate wants a law and the House disagrees, the House is under no deadline to stop the Senate. They need not even vote: sheer inertia would defeat the Senate. Also, the Executive only needs the support of 41 Senators to pass a law. Remember: the Senate needs 60 votes to meet cloture. Only then may the Senate try and gin up 51 votes against the new rule.

To summarize: the Senate needs 60 votes to pass a Congressional law. The Executive only needs 41 Senate votes to pass an Executive law. Sorry, rule.

But now we see the new wrinkle: the Pentarchy, that bloc of the U.S. Supreme Court which is the true, independent and sole sovereign power in America, has decided that even the President of the United States cannot change Executive laws without the permission of the Civil Service. The President, as a mere elected official, must meet certain anti-“whim” qualifications before le sacre droit exécutif may be altered in the slightest.

Neither you nor I know what this 1980’s case law is. That should sound familiar: “Who rules the country? People whose names you would not recognize; that is why they run it.”

And the National Review still trips its little dance:
Jonathan Chait’s ill-timed forthcoming book argues that “in the eyes of history, Barack Obama will be viewed as one of America’s best and most accomplished presidents.” CNN’s Fareed Zakaria recently offered a two-hour special concluding that America failed its president: “It remains unclear if the country was ready for Barack Obama’s vision.” — Jim Geraghty
They can’t both be right. But, of course, they can. Because all the Democrats, or any pro-Statist party, needs to do is wait. Merely wait, and all they could desire will be handed to them by the Senate Forty-one, the Pentarchy of the Court, and the all-powerful Civil Service.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Mystery Gang and the Spooky Miner ’49’er

The infamous pussy-spelunker of 2008, Andrew Sullivan has emerged to milk another load from the fatuous New York nomenklatura:
upended the two most stable democracies in the world
“Stable” can mean “stagnant.”
a supremely talented demagogue who created an authoritarian cult with unapologetically neo-fascist rhetoric.
It’s like Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln or FDR never happened.
This is now Trump’s America. He controls everything from here on forward.
… and Obama?
He has won this campaign in such a decisive fashion that he owes no one anything.
It was a close election, and he owes “we, the people.”
He will seek unforgiving revenge on those who dared to oppose him.
… Did we elect Trump or Albert Anastasia?
he can pick a new Supreme Court justice who will make Antonin Scalia seem like a milquetoast.
They will likely build a propaganda machine more powerful than Fox and Breitbart
The only sliver of hope is that his promises cannot be kept.
All of them can be kept. Tax rates are one part of America’s problem, another is the Federal Executive’s metastasizing, lawmaking bureaucracy. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme; Chile has a private retirement system that works quite well. We can create jobs.
But hope fades in turn when you realize how absolute and total his support clearly is.
And so there will have to be scapegoats — media institutions, the Fed, the “global conspiracy” of bankers and Davos muckety-mucks
All of whom will do better to cooperate with Trump than not.
his rankly anti-Semitic closing ad
doubtless civilians who will be targeted by his ranks of followers
And then there will be a terror attack
there will be a clash between police and largely black protestors after another unarmed black man is shot.
(Nostradamus, thou shouldst be living at this hour!) The Dallas police chief said it: “if you’re black, and you want black patrolmen, join us.”
Then he will reinstate Guantánamo and capture prisoners and torture them until the truth he wants is extracted.
A hard line against Islamic jihadi terror is perhaps the best way to secure Muslims in America. Everyone else living here wants to feel secure.
the institutions he will have to destroy to achieve what he wants — an independent Department of Justice
our scientific institutions, and what’s left of free thought in our colleges and universities.
Ah, yes, precious little of that Left. Pardon the pun. And what did Eisenhower say about “the scientific-technological elite”? We’re far down that road following Presidents Sullivan boot-licks.
We will need to march peacefully on the streets… nonviolent civil disobedience.
BWAHAHAHAHA!! To do that, you’d really need to destroy the Left!
We must transcend racial and religious division
Whatever you do, don’t call Obama.
we will have to resist partisanship.
Resist partisanship, reverse gravity, push the toothpaste back in the tube. Whatever it takes!
In a country which just elected and re-elected a black president — whose grace feels now almost painful to recall
Someone saw it coming a long time ago:
George Washington did not want us to have political parties. He lived just before the age of a Loyal Opposition. Something the Democrats never quite mastered.
A country designed to resist tyranny has now embraced it.
A country fed up with a worthless, even dangerous, political class has hired the strongest man available, a man with no military experience, whose power is one entirely of personality, to clean its public house. A man with riches, unimaginable in Washington’s day, to return to, who needs no more. Bless him, and all who follow him.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Identity Considered Harmful

An identity is a thing assembled by cops while they look for a perpetrator, and then pin on you in court. The creation of LGBT, thought at the time to be a masterstroke, has metastasized into demisexual/asexual/and the 57 terrible varieties; what was supposed to be booths in a restaurant turned out to be vines covering the floor of a dark forest with too many lost people in it.

We were likely better off before Magnus Hirschfeld, having just People, and then a few who engaged in “perverse” behavior, or sodomy or what have you. Yes, the criminalizing of some kinds of perversity was a giant pain, but we were free of the less concrete, but more widespread and dreadful, terror of identity.

My “identity” is so fragmented that it could never serve me as a key into a community. My identity is purely contingent: a driver’s license here, a job reference there. I’ve never really thought about my identity and that is for the best, I am sure. Milo Yiannopoulos said Feminism is Cancer. So is Identity.

p.s. Do black Americans have an identity? Yes, I think many of them do, and most would be better off without it. Almost all black Americans feel the need to identify (note: verb) with other black Americans for self-defense. This is sensible and patriotic (and sad, for me, but all too understandable), but once children in school denounce studying as “white” you very clearly have An Identity (noun), and identity turns out to be the bullies’ tool. I recommend to my fellow citizens that they maintain their group cohesion but firmly put down any “black identitarianism” among them.)

Friday, August 19, 2016

The New Mercantilism and the New, New Deal

Vox Day mentions Ian Fletcher and the New Mercantilism:
If corporate America pretty much has to make a profit by selling goods to Americans by Americans, this means that corporate America has an intrinsic interest in the productivity of Americans and in their ability to consume. Now, productivity plus consumption is prosperity, I mean, that’s pretty much all it is, so if you have an economy that’s set up that way then corporate America pretty much wants what the rest of us want, and for decades in this country, roughly from 1940 to 1975 there was an arrangement in this country where things were set up that way. It wasn’t perfect, but there was, broadly speaking, a structural alignment between what was in the interests of big corporations in this country and what was in the interest of the average American.
No, I can’t sign on to this. No “New, New Deal.”

America is set up to systematically screw the worker because Congress (95% Democrat-controlled), “roughly from 1940 to 1975,” took more and more money from workers and sold it back to older workers, collecting their votes “in kind.” It was a neat grift, but you can’t jack the rates anymore, and I cannot and will not endorse it. (“Employer-based” “health care”: same grift, different sector.) We need to undo the damage and return Americans to a competitive position by unf–king the system.

Yes, protectionism works in some areas. Defense plants must be built in the US. US agriculture subsidies should be paid out from the Department of Defense, since they protect us from dependence on foreign foodstuffs but D.C. loves denial, so the Ag Dept does it. A small tariff on goods entering the US is probably a good idea for tracking and to stabilize trade between nations. (If your sleeve is being tugged by a Liber-tard mooing about dem ebul $21 bn in ag subsidies, remember $112 bn, 80% of DeptAg budget, goes to SNAP, the new name for food stamps.)

Vox, you’re wrong; so is Fletcher. Yes, we need massive reform, but 85-90% of these wounds are self-inflicted. The GOP has failed all reform; they do not have the ruthlessness to win, or even set up a win.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Review: Republican Party Animal, the “bad boy of Holocaust history” blows the lid off Hollywood's secret right-wing underground

Title: Republican Party Animal
Author: David Cole
Date: 2014
Publisher: Feral House
Shermer suggested to me that we try a scientific experiment, gassing dogs in the manner the Jews were supposedly gassed at Auschwitz, using the type of cyanide gas that was available in 1944.

“You want to gas dogs?” I exclaimed. “We’ll be running Bow-wowschwitz” … when I recounted the conversation to my girlfriend, she came up with an equally good one: “Barkin’ Belsen.” All the same, I nixed the dog-gassing idea. All I needed was to have the animal rights people on my ass.

Republican Party Animal is, firstly, a very funny book; second, David Cole seems not the type to gas anyone regardless of leg count. Cole says he is 5' 6" and like many shorter boys he seems to have sharpened his wit early, telling us a story in the first chapter where he manages to stop a bully by reaching out with his charm. In many ways Cole is a very clever man, which make his serial stupidities more sharply disappointing. He has a good eye for the possible, an appetite for work and common sense in all directions but one.

In 2009, Cole joined Gary Sinise’s glee club for Hollywood conservatives, the Friends of Abe, and ran his own Facebook and IRL group, the Republican Party Animals, during the elections of ’10 and ’12. (Cole writes well enough that I found his election memories gut-wrenching.) The subtitle is misleading: there is little exposure of Hollywood conservatives unless you lived years under a tombstone, and still vote Democratic. His time as a fellow-travelling GOP operative is educational and interesting, but is the trailing half of Cole’s story from 1988 to ’94.

The young Cole was interested in the fringe groups who deny the mass slaughter of European Jews by the Nazi regime. While investigating their claims, Cole became a revisionist: someone who thinks the history books need to be revised with better sources, closer arguments and, often, reduced or modified claims. But Cole would learn the enlightened racial pieties of post-Brown v Board of Education America have lost little of the violent hysteria found in the age of Plessy v Ferguson: still foaming at the mouth and still too myopic to distinguish, say, Holocaust revisionists from Holocaust deniers. (Cole summarizes his views on the Holocaust in appendix A, freeing the book's body to be much more light-hearted. They seem sensible to me, but I am a purely amateur historian.)

It is impossible to detail this book without spoiling the best jokes or ruining the Greek tragedy; I will note only my reactions. First, as I noted, it is witty and mordant, sometimes in excess. Cole seems, on a deep level, utterly alone. When the Jewish Defense League is threatening his life, he is unable to muster the kith and kin that might have protected him long enough to retrench, defend, and avoid long years in the political wilderness. He seems short-sighted when it comes to matters of the heart which, I think, is one reason why he bites sometimes too deep.

As I wrote, outside of the famous secret that the GOP is free of campaign doctrine, political strategy and rudders, this book exposes only Mr Cole. He sounds at times like a semi-professional banqueter for the GOP, but his parties elevated morale, smoothed over online differences face-to-face, and reduced hair-splitting, political or organizational, by keeping people involved and moving. Cole’s missteps (most famously, the GOP funds spent on pole dancers under Michael Steele’s tenure) shrink beside these contributions.

Mr Cole confirms the grassroots’ suspicion that many GOP campaigns look more like ritualized suicide missions and fund raisers. Cole sees paranoia rising from real GOP setbacks, the feckless and distant Establishment, and a base powered mainly by frustration. For example, Cole is anti-abortion, but notes that any progress on digging out from under Roe v Wade is stymied by all-or-nothing candidates like Todd Akin, whose refusal to step down from the Senate race depressed GOP votes in more than Missouri. Republicans like to note the real minimum wage is nothing; we should take our own advice.

David Cole was a valuable asset to the GOP and could be again. His history is worth reading: the breathless conspiratard theories spun over the dissolution of the Friends of Abe evaporate once Cole describes how Sinise was the only animating force behind it. Mr Cole currently writes for

p.s. Amusingly, I note the Weekly Standard is now using the example of Akin, unpopular for his stated views on abortion in the case of rape, against Trump, popular for his stated views on many subjects. Such is war, you might say, but I contend: you may think it magnificent, but it is not war. (As always, I am required to note: Sarah Palin backed another GOP primary candidate; Akin was not a Tea Party error. And Bill Kristol should turn in his crystal ball.)