picanhaPosted: November 3, 2022 Filed under: advertising, politics Leave a comment
had to search that on Wikipedia after reading this:
these days everyone’s an armchair David Plouffe but “picanha politics” seems like a winning strategy
Who runs Bartertown?Posted: July 18, 2022 Filed under: America Since 1945, business, politics Leave a comment
When he gets to Bartertown, Max is taken up in the tower to meet Aunty (Tina Turner). She tells him she wants him to kill somebody. Who? Master Blaster.
Master is a little gnome who rides around on the giant Blaster. Aunty explains that the energy to run the lights and electricity of Bartertown comes from the underworld, a horrible factory-like place where pig shit generates methane.
Max goes down to the underworld under the guise of a pig-shit shoveler. While there, he meets Master Blaster, who is determined to show him who really runs Bartertown. Master Blaster turns off the methane to Bartertown. Everything goes dark. Master Blaster calls up to Aunty. His demand to turn the methane back on is that she answer the question: Who run Bartertown? Reluctantly, she answers: Master Blaster. He makes her say it publicly, over the PA system. Who run Bartertown? Master Blaster. Once she’s said this he smiles and turns the methane back on.
That’s all pretty early in the movie, we haven’t even gotten inside the Thunderdome yet. And since the movie is called Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, we know we’re barely getting started.
Did sugar ruin us?Posted: January 26, 2022 Filed under: food, politics Leave a comment
Here’s an excerpt from On The House, the memoir by former Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner:
Cheers to this tweet for calling my attention to this, via Marginal Revolution. I got Boehner’s book and read it, and found it very illuminating in many ways (his harshest words are for Ted Cruz).
This is from The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, by Edward E. Baptist:
The creation of the first slavery complex, with its “drug foods” – sugar, tobacco, tea, coffee, and chocolate – stimulated Western Europe’s desire to seek out and consume still more resources. The massive Atlantic slave trade required ships, trade commodities, and new structures of credit, and growth spilled over into sectors less directly linked to sugar. Many in Western Europe began to work longer hours in order to get new commodities, in what is sometimes called an eighteenth-century “Industrious Revolution.”
(boldface mine). Other scholars have written about the connection of sugar to capitalism, power, etc.
What if sugar has all of our balls in a vice, to use Boehner’s phrase?
“The brain is dependent on sugar as its main fuel,” says Vera Novak, MD, PhD, an HMS associate professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “It cannot be without it.” Although the brain needs glucose, too much of this energy source can be a bad thing.
so we learn over here from Harvard Medical School. My wise dentist called my attention to this as we were discussing why TV writers’ rooms are stocked with candy.
What if we’re trapped in a loop of feeding our brains sugar, and our brains getting bigger and trapping us in a sugar addiction loop? What if that’s what’s really driving capitalism, the whole mess we’re in?
Consider the Biblical tale of the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve are chilling happily there, and God asks them but one thing: don’t eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. What if, instead of being a metaphor, this was meant literally? God was telling the first people don’t eat too much sugar, or your brains will get too big and you’ll ruin everything?
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
This is where it all went wrong. Recall that as punishment for this, Adam is cursed to work:
Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
And as for Eve:
I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Human labor is indeed very painful, and why? Because our heads/ brains are so big! Compare with a horse or goat, who can drop a baby and then scamper off, nbd.
Maybe humans never should’ve fucked with sugar, and Genesis actually contains a pretty straightforward origin story for the mistake that led to our predicament. Is it possible to observe the very mistake happening in chimps?
from Tao Lin’s blog:
Maybe our whole deal stems from being trapped in a species-wide sugar addiction.
Now that we’re stuck, we should at least get the good stuff!
AntwerpPosted: January 5, 2022 Filed under: business, politics Leave a comment
Authorities have seized 88 metric tons of cocaine stashed in containers from Latin America this year, nearly 10 times the figure in 2014. It is far more than any other European port, as traffickers flood the continent with so much cocaine that it may now be a bigger market than the U.S., according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
from “Inside Europe’s Cocaine Gateway: ‘A Repeat of Miami in the 1980s’ Antwerp, now the No. 1 port in Europe for cocaine busts, has seen a rise in gang violence and corruption” by James Marson in the WSJ.
The cash tsunami is distorting Antwerp’s economy, officials say, jacking up prices for real estate and existing businesses.
“Bad money drives out good money,” said Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever. “They will chase out honest people.”
Some companies are used to launder money, from restaurants to luxury car dealers. Far more widespread and pernicious are companies that undermine and disrupt the legal economy, said Yve Driesen, director of the Federal Judicial Police in Antwerp.
Drug traffickers buy restaurants or shops to give the impression that their fortunes derive from legal commerce. Front companies also use legal activities to hide their illegal drugs-related work. For example, a transport company that extracts cocaine from shipping containers could also carry out legal transport on behalf of multinationals.
“They will win contracts because their prices are lower than competitors,” said Mr. Driesen.
Other companies have popped up to service the criminals. Resellers of encrypted phones depend on drug gangs who are the only ones able to afford contracts that can cost thousands of dollars a year, officials say. Companies rent out luxury cars for the equivalent of $1,000 a day and more.
My reaction to this is: time to legalize it? It seems clear that Europeans want cocaine really bad. What we’re doing isn’t working. If we imagine legalization causes a massive spike in cocaine use, can that be worse than the warping effect of trying to defy reality? The most urgent cocaine related problem here in Los Angeles at the moment is people dying from cocaine laced with fentanyl. Would that problem be made better or worse with legalization? Honestly some of the high octane coffee people consume around me seems as mind-altering as cocaine.
You can’t put law on people if it’s not in their hearts
as a Florida law enforcement official once put it to me, in a conversation about Key West.
Recalling what former mayor of London Ken Livingstone said during a campaign in 2012:
Equally, because I have been around for a long time, I’ve also learned how much of what you are told is bulllshit. And when I hear so many people in the City say they’re all going to go [because of higher taxes], the simple fact is we really only have one rival, and that is New York. You are not going to have major banks in the City relocate to Shanghai because there’s a degree of political uncertainty, perhaps decades ahead. They are not going to Frankfurt because young men want to go out on the pull and do a load of cocaine and they can’t really do that easily in Frankfurt. So you need to have a dynamic city. Our only real rival is New York.
(Livingstone lost that election, Boris Johnson won.)
Politics, Oct 2021Posted: October 25, 2021 Filed under: America Since 1945, politics Leave a comment
- On Youngkin and Trump: “You can’t run ads telling me you’re a regular ol’ hoops-playing, dish-washing, fleece-wearing guy, but quietly cultivate support from those who seek to tear down our democracy.”
Uh, you absolutely can, it’s the entire playbook. Whether you should is another question, but I don’t even think you can argue it doesn’t work.
- On fatigue among Dems: “I know a lot of people are tired of politics right now. We don’t have time to be tired. What is required is sustained effort.”
I don’t think “sustained effort from you!” is a winning message for a political campaign. Often I spot sustained effort from my elected officials, but I don’t know what the effort is towards? Most often it seems towards “not doing anything that would upset existing power structures but while avoiding the appearance of giving up, while also fundraising,” which must be exhausting indeed, and is no doubt effortful, but is not effective at improving outcomes.
Anyway, that was former President Barack Obama yesterday in the Virginia governors race, where Terry McAuliffe, a guy who was a Democratic party functionary for like 30 years, who was chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, and already was governor of Virginia, is running on a program of… change? Keep doing the same stuff? The alternative is worse? Seems like the third, but I haven’t been on the ground in Virginia for a couple years.
Any Virginians with takes please weigh in.
Reedy, The Twilight of the Presidency: From Johnson To ReaganPosted: March 24, 2021 Filed under: America Since 1945, politics, presidents Leave a comment
former Nixon and Reagan aide has just told his Miller Center oral history interviewers a long story about the Nixon administration:
So, what is the moral of that story?
The moral of the story, I think, is in the White House people don’t realize the extent to which the President of the United States is forced to delegate enormous authority. You know how busy you can get during the day, try multiplying that by 100 times, 500 times. The pressures that come in are incomprehensible. So when he says, Do something, he usually thinks, Well, maybe it will get done. Most of the time, it doesn’t get done, but he says, Maybe it will get done. And he doesn’t have time to follow up.
He doesn’t have time to sit down and say, Ehrlichman, what happened with Anderson? And whatever Ehrlichman tells him, he may say, Well, Anderson wasn’t interested, which is probably what he told them. Now, he’s not going to pick up the phone and call me and say, What happened? and follow through on all this. You can talk to Dick Allen. Similar things happened to Dick Allen, in terms of he gave instructions to have Dick do certain things, and Dick was never told and then the President was told that Dick hadn’t done it.
There’s a wonderful book called The Twilight of the Presidency by Reedy. You ever read that?
In which he says, If you try to understand the White House—most people make the mistake, they try to understand the White House like a corporation or the military and how does it look, with the hierarchy. He said, The only way to understand it, it’s like a palace court. And if you can understand a palace court, then you understand the White House. I think that’s probably pretty accurate. But those are the things that happen. So anyway, I didn’t go back. So I missed Watergate.
Reedy’s book is fascinating, Reedy was himself Press Secretary and a special assistant to LBJ.
This is the bitter lesson we should have learned from Vietnam. In the early days of that conflict, it might have been possible to pull out. My most vivid memories are the meetings early in Lyndon Johnson’s presidency in which his advisers (virtually all holdovers from the Kennedy administration) were looking to him for guidance on how to proceed. He, on the other hand, felt an obligation to continue the Kennedy policies and he was looking to them for indications of what steps could carry out such a course. I will always believe that someone misread a signal from the other side with the resultant commitment to full-scale fighting.
Reedy argues that the presidency is such a powerful and weird job that in effect it always creates something of a monarchy, dependent on the personality of the (so far!) man.
When stories leaked out that Richard Nixon was “talking to the pictures” in the White House, it was taken by many as evidence that he was cracking up. To anyone who has had the opportunity to observe a president at close range, it is perfectly normal conduct.
The tone of Reedy’s book is pretty scholarly, but he’s also a skilled, entertaining presenter:
For many years, a corporation sold a popular mouthwash to the American people on the basis that it would inhibit bad breath. The slogan under which the product was merchandised – “Even your best friends won’t tell you” – meant that the subject was too delicate to mention and that a person could exclude the foulest odors without being aware of the fact. As far as the mouthwash was concerned, the slogan was somewhat misleading: not only your best friends but your worst enemies will tell you if you have bad breath. But the concept that “even your best friends won’t tell you” about unpleasant things applies with tremendous force to the president.
Reedy argues that, even in his boyhood, the President wasn’t really that important, or at least not a constant topic in national life:
For those who have lived long enough to have some political consciousness from the pre-Franklin Delano Roosevelt ere, there will be memories of local politicians who had far greater name identification than the president, even among educated people… the press spent very little time covering presidents.
What changed that? The radio, and TV cameras, and national level communication. Reedy mentions how the TV crews in the Johnson White House started keeping the cameras “warmed up,” a huge advantage that gave LBJ the power to give a TV briefing whenever he wanted. What would Reedy make of Twitter?
On the rise of Henry Kissinger:
When a crisis would break out anywhere in the world, Nixon would call his Secretary of State, who would promise to get “my people” together and report back. The president would then call Kissinger, who would give him at least ten answers before hanging up the phone. Presidents like answers.
Strange timesPosted: January 8, 2021 Filed under: politics Leave a comment
during the takeover of the Capitol by goons I went to see what Eric Trump, the President’s second son, had to say. Turns out it was his birthday so a graphic of balloons was going across his page on my phone
Napoleon meets MetternichPosted: January 6, 2021 Filed under: politics Leave a comment
In the course of a face-to-face meeting in Dresden in June 1813, Metternich, by now the Austrian foreign minister, reminded Napoleon of the appalling human cost of his wars. ‘In ordinary times,’ Metternich observed, ‘armies are formed of only a small part of the population. Today it is the whole people that you have called to arms.’ This was a matter also of ‘future generations’, he remarked, in reference to the extreme youth of many in the latest cohort of recruits who had perished on the Russian campaign. Napoleon made an extraordinary reply. ‘You are no soldier,’ he barked, ‘and you do not know what goes on in the soul of a soldier. I was brought up in military camps, I know only the camps, and a man such as I am does not give a fuck about the lives of a million men’ – ‘un homme comme moi se f(out) de la vie d’un million d’hommes.’ Metternich sometimes wondered how Napoleon did not shrink from himself in horror at the pain and injury he had inflicted. Here was the answer. A lasting peace with such a man was not possible. That the Napoleon who turned up to meet Metternich the day after this chilling exchange was the soul of amiability and charm merely confirmed his intuition.
Christopher Clark, reviewing Wolfram Siemann’s biography of Metternich, translated by Daniel Steuer, in LRB.
The Napoleon whom Metternich came to know resembled a Calabrian crime boss: tender to the point of indulgence with his family, formidably shrewd and utterly pitiless in his dealings with the wider world.
Must the history-makers be psychos? Reminded of the scene in Oliver Stone’s Nixon:
Politics and drama in ancient AthensPosted: December 16, 2020 Filed under: actors, politics Leave a comment
All art has a political dimension, but tragedy actually began life in fifth-century Athens as a political institution, locked into the structures of the state. The authorities appointed an official to train and pay the Chorus, the city preserved play scripts in its archives, and there was a state fund which poor Athenians could draw on for the entry fee. Tragedy was a form of ethicopolitical education for the city state as a whole, not just a night off for the toffs.
Wild. What if the US government paid for movie tickets? They probably should! We were pretty close to a merger like this during World War II I suppose, when they’d show the GIs Mrs. Miniver and stuff.
That’s Terry Eagleton reviewing A Cultural History of Tragedy: Vols I-VI edited by Rebecca Bushnell in LRB back in February. Cleaning out my files!
BJ and UrsulaPosted: December 10, 2020 Filed under: food, politics Leave a comment
Struck by how much the visuals of these two, Boris Johnson and EU president Ursula von der Leyen, look like a Black Mirror version of Trump and Hillary.
The group dined on a starter of pumpkin soup with scallops; a main of steamed turbot, mashed potatoes with wasabi and vegetables; and a desert of pavlova with exotic fruit and coconut sorbet. It was fitting that fish featured on the menu, given arrangements for fisheries is one of three outstanding sticking points in the trade talks, and particularly scallops, which were the subject of clashes between British and French fishermen in 2018.
source. Love the idea of pointedly serving someone fish.
Ursula von der Leyen is interesting. She has seven children? And maybe plagarized her doctoral thesis?
Von der Leyen’s father’s grandparents were the cotton merchant Carl Albrecht (1875–1952) and Mary Ladson Robertson (1883–1960), an American who belonged to a plantation owning family of the southern aristocracy from Charleston, South Carolina. Her American ancestors played a significant role in the British colonization of the Americas, and she descends from many of the first English settlers of Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Barbados, and from numerous colonial-era governors. Among her ancestors were Carolina governors John Yeamans, James Moore, Robert Gibbes, Thomas Smith and Joseph Blake, Pennsylvania deputy governor Samuel Carpenter, and the American revolutionary and lieutenant governor of South Carolina James Ladson. The Ladson family were large plantation owners and her ancestor James H. Ladson owned over 200 slaves by the time slavery in the United States was abolished; her relatives and ancestors were among the wealthiest in British North America in the 18th century, and she descends from one of the largest British slave traders of the era, Joseph Wragg.
Boris Johnson for his part has been getting away with stuff his whole life. As with the naughty schoolboys of my youth, I have a desire both to see him “caught” and punished and also to see him get away with it. He seems to thrive in the space where, like, a Dec 31 deadline looms, and there’s lots of technical details to work out, and he’s barely started.
Interested by this developing storyPosted: November 19, 2020 Filed under: politics Leave a comment
about a possible job for Pete Buttigieg in a Biden administration:
(from Politico, 10/22). Low on reward and high on risk. Sounds like a job for a hero who’s interested in taking on tough problems.
But it sounds like, reasonably enough, Buttigieg wants an easier, more fun job. From CBS:
Buttigieg, meanwhile, is under consideration for U.N. ambassador. Aides to the military veteran and former South Bend, Indiana mayor were told that some transition officials envisioned him serving as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. But the mayor made clear, along with his team, his preference for representing the U.S. before the world body or in another Cabinet position, two people familiar with the Cabinet discussions explained. A representative for Buttigieg declined to comment.
One factor in picking a VA secretary will be finding someone with experience managing large organizations, according to people involved in the transition. The VA is one of the largest federal departments and one of the largest hospitals systems in the world, requiring management of hundreds of thousands of employees.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens!
a haikuPosted: November 5, 2020 Filed under: politics, presidents Leave a comment
The interviewer is Jon Wiener, LA Review of Books, Sept 11, 2003
JW: Most pundits emphasized the unique and unprecedented qualities of the Bush v. Gore contest in Florida that ended the 2000 election – but you wrote that the events in Florida were “not entirely predictable, but entirely familiar.” What do you mean.
JD: It was entirely predictable: at the most immediate level, the election was that close because both candidates had run the same campaign directed at the same small number of people. Florida had a certain poetry to it; it was like a haiku of what the process had become.
The goal: being in powerPosted: April 6, 2020 Filed under: America Since 1945, politics Leave a comment
Baffled by politics in the last four years or so, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this Bagehot column in The Economist from 21 Dec 2019.
It’s probably behind a paywall for non-subscribers, but I’ll try and give the jist. In the 20th and (so far) 21st centuries the UK Conservatives have been in power for longer than any other party. Why?
It’s because the Conservative Party views their job as being in power. That’s it. That’s their meaning and their purpose. The Conservative Party is not guided by any principles or beliefs or philosophies. It may pretend to be, individual members may be, that might be part of the whole stew, but the job of the party is to be in power.
Evelyn Waugh once complained that the Tories had never succeeded in turning the clock back for a single minute. But this is exactly why they have been so successful. The party has demonstrated a genius for anticipating what Harold Macmillan once called “the winds of change”, and harnessing those winds to its own purposes.
They keep their eyes on the mission:
The Conservatives have always been quick to dump people or principles when they become obstacles to the successful pursuit of power. Theresa May immediately sacked her two chief advisers, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, after the party’s poor performance in 2017, whereas Jeremy Corbyn is still clinging on to Karie Murphy and Seumas Milne after Labour’s devastating failure last week.
Mr. Johnson keeps with this tradition:
He succeeded in this where Mrs May failed because he possessed the other great Tory weapons. He has been willing to sacrifice anything in the pursuit of office. Beneath the bumbling exterior lies a ruthless, power-seeking machine. His withdrawal of the whip from 21 colleagues (some of them close friends) in September made Macmillan’s “night of the long knives” in 1962 look tame.
When I try to think about American politics, it helps to imagine that the Republican Party understands its job: getting power, keeping power, staying in power. The issues are irrelevant as long as they serve this goal. That’s why various attacks about the absolute hypocrisy of “pro life”ideas, or pretend deficit hawkishness, or “small government” –> enormous bailouts whenever necessary, etc etc just don’t stick or have any meaning. You’re falling for the game if you fall for that.
Now, what the point of the Democratic Party is I’m not sure. It might be “losing nobly,” or something, as evidenced by the career of this longtime Democratic operative and summed up by this speech. Or maybe it’s “not appearing too extreme.” Or “making people feel ok about themselves.” In any case, it’s not as focused a mission, and it’s not gonna be as successful until it gets figured out.
Maybe the Democrats need to remember what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s supposed mentor, Saul Alinsky, put bluntly:
Horwitt says that, when Alinsky would ask new students why they wanted to organize, they would invariably respond with selfless bromides about wanting to help others. Alinsky would then scream back at them that there was a one-word answer: “You want to organize for power!“
Source on that.
cause a scenePosted: March 26, 2020 Filed under: politics Leave a comment
You’re the Speaker of the House, you’re eighty years old, two trillion dollars on the line, and the problem is someone might “cause a scene.”
The idea of “causing a scene worth thinking about!
When I read about UK or USA politicsPosted: January 31, 2020 Filed under: America Since 1945, politics Leave a comment
sometimes I’m just like, haven’t we seen this before?
America as casinoPosted: December 29, 2019 Filed under: America Since 1945, politics Leave a comment
Now we finally have a former casino operator as our President. It was inevitable. Gambling is really at the heart of America, IMO. Even in the ancient myths of the desert Southwest we hear of The Gambler. The thing is, this isn’t really a country, it’s a casino. Anybody* can come here and take their chances. Any immigrant to America was weighing the odds and taking a big chance. If you win big, congratulations, if you crap out that’s on you. Maybe that’s why we don’t have nationalized health insurance, and why we tolerate rule by billionaires. It’s a feature, not a bug. Social safety nets for societies. Casinos don’t have a safety net.
Before Trump, Bill Clinton might have been our most casino-adjacent president. He liked to describe himself as the man from Hope, but he was really from Hot Springs, a kind of local Arkansas Las Vegas from before the age of Southwest Airlines. His mother spent her time at the race track and the house where young Bill spent his time had “a bar on which stood a rotating cage with two huge dice in it.”
I’m not saying I love that America is more of a casino than a country, but let’s accept that reality. Maybe a winning political messaging could come out of something like “MAKE THE CASINO FAIR” or “A FAIR CASINO FOR ALL!” It’s hard to look around and not think the casino is at least a little rigged, or at the very least that current management is crooked.
Or how about CLEAN UP THE CASINO! or EVEN THE ODDS!
These are your only optionsPosted: August 21, 2019 Filed under: America Since 1945, politics Leave a comment
Shouldn’t you be allowed to vote for whoever you want?
I remember the anger at the people who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. I get it. I voted for Al Gore, I loved Al Gore, Al Gore is like my dream politician (boring experienced intellectual veteran centrist conservationist globalist). But the people who voted for Nader get to vote for Nader! Al Gore didn’t earn their vote. They don’t owe Al Gore a rotten fig. You can’t be mad at the people who voted for someone else for not cynically falling into line to vote for an establishment centrist they didn’t prefer.
Same deal with Susan Sarandon! She can vote for whomever she wants, cool for her for having interesting choices. You’re gonna blame her for Trump? Blame the woman who had an absolute slam dunk layup election on her hands, who had many advantages, enormous amounts of money, her husband was a very popular President of the United States two Presidents ago, for failing to convince enough voters to vote for her.
Dr. Jill Biden, in New Hampshire, says:
You have to swallow a little bit and say, ok, I personally like so and so better, but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.
If you check out the video you can also see Joe Biden’s first campaign ad, which highlights how “all the polls agree” Joe Biden is the best candidate to beat Trump.
Quit your thinkin’, voter, this one’s been decided for you. Who’re you gonna believe, your judgment or some polls we pulled together?
The whole premise of the Biden campaign makes me sick. This is a guy who was a weak, confused candidate who couldn’t stop himself from making stuff up and plagiarizing not just speeches but the family histories of other politicians when he was in his prime! And now he is… guess how old Joe Biden is.
Did you guess 72? 74?
Joe Biden is seventy-six years old! He will be seventy-eight if he takes the oath of office in Jan 2021. Eighty-two at the end of his first term.
What has Joe Biden done with his life? I get that he was Obama’s pretend best friend, but really, who is a person who in Joe Biden’s thirty-eight some years of public life he really helped? Uplifted?
(skimming his Wikipedia page)
OK I guess he did stand up for Delaware’s chicken farmers, Delaware’s banks, and in many ways benefitted the people of Delaware (by getting them federal taxpayer money). He was an advocate for Delaware, a state with a population of about one-quarter of the city of Los Angeles.
Where has he been on the big issues? He voted against the “good” Iraq War, the one we won, and for the bad one, the one that was a stupid, deceitful, horrible disaster from start to… finish? I guess it’s over? For us?
(Oh no wait we still have five thousand troops there.)
Joe Biden is sometimes said to know a lot about foreign policy but he was exactly wrong on the biggest American disaster of my lifetime.
Biden has said, “I consider the Violence Against Women Act the single most significant legislation that I’ve crafted during my 35-year tenure in the Senate.”
OK, well that is cool, but didn’t the same bill also eliminate higher education for inmates and create new death penalty offenses?
The argument I hear for Joe Biden is that white Rust Belt working class men, who are alleged to have cost Hillary Clinton the election in Wisconsin, Ohio, etc, like him. Well, I don’t know if that’s true, I am not a white Rust Belt working class man.
I do think that:
1) the group credited with “swinging” the last election is never the group credited with swinging the next one
2) it’s not my job as a voter to put myself in the hypothetical mindset of some possible swing voter in another state and attempt to pander to their whims in order to take out the current whim-panderer.
It’s my job to choose the candidate who I try and suss out has the best character, judgment, and policy understandings and preferences to be the President of the United States.
For a campaign to suggest anything else, to suggest five months before the first primary/caucus that voters should shut up and get in line, that this is your only option, is so insulting I can scarcely believe it.
We try not to be all negative at Helytimes, so in the interest of saying something nice about Joe Biden he does have a great smile.
George HW BushPosted: December 5, 2018 Filed under: America Since 1945, politics, presidents Leave a comment
Thought of this photo today.
(what’s David Gergen doing there? sometimes I’ve been that guy).
All posts related to any Bush.
Meanwhile in AustraliaPosted: November 29, 2018 Filed under: Australia, politics Leave a comment
It started when Greens leader Richard Di Natale called Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan an “absolute pig”, after the Senator said there was a “bit of Nick Xenophon in” Ms Hanson-Young.
“He’s an absolute pig. He should be booted out. He’s a disgrace,” Mr Di Natale shouted across the chamber. “You grub.”
An emotional Senator Hanson-Young said Senator O’Sullivan and conservative independents Fraser Anning, Cory Bernardi and David Leyonhjelm were “cowards” who had spent months levelling slurs at her.
“You are not fit to be in this chamber. You are not fit to call yourselves men,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
She backed the Greens leader for calling out Senator O’Sullivan’s “reprehensible” remarks.
“That is what real men do. Real men don’t insult and threaten women,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
Enjoy reading news stories about the goings-on in other English speaking countries, you usually have to fill in the gaps just enough to piece together what’s happening.
(thanks to our Sydney correspondent for the link and background)
Bannon as Bond villainPosted: September 26, 2018 Filed under: America Since 1945, politics 1 Comment
It’s not fashionable to even listen to Steve Bannon these days, and I don’t know why you’d invite him to your festival. But when I read or listen to interviews with him, I always feel I’m gaining insight. Much like a Bond villain, he seems to delight in revealing his plans. Consider a moment at 17:05 above:
Third is the deconstruction of the administrative state. It’s the reason Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are on the Supreme Court. They’re not social – they’re not about abortion or gay marriage, these people are about the Chevron exemption, they’re about deconstructing the administrative state.
I think he means Chevron Deference, which I had to look up. A lawyer friend defined it for me:
It emerged from a case called Chevron U.S.A Inc vs Natural Resources Defense Council:
Congress amended the Clean Air Act in 1977 to address states that had failed to attain the air quality standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) (Defendant). “The amended Clean Air Act required these ‘non-attainment’ States to establish a permit program regulating ‘new or modified major stationary sources’ of air pollution.” During the Carter administration, the EPA defined a source as any device in a manufacturing plant that produced pollution. In 1981, after Ronald Reagan’s election, the EPA, which was headed by Anne M. Gorsuch, adopted a new definition that allowed an existing plant to get permits for new equipment that did not meet standards as long as the total emissions from the plant itself did not increase. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental protection group, challenged the EPA regulation in federal court, which ruled in the NRDC’s favor. Chevron, an affected party, appealed the lower court’s decision.
Bottom line, the Court ended up ruling the EPA could make its rules and they wouldn’t intrude too much.
But wait one second: Gorsuch?
It was this woman, mother of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch!
How about that!
It gets a bit complicated after that and I’m afraid above my paygrade, but it seems Gorsuch The Son doesn’t care much for Chevron Deference. His tone on the topic tends to veer towards the sarcastic:
Under Chevron the people aren’t just charged with awareness of and the duty to conform their conduct to the fairest reading of the law that a detached magistrate can muster. Instead, they are charged with an awareness of Chevron; required to guess whether the statute will be declared “ambiguous” (courts often disagree on what qualifies); and required to guess (again) whether an agency’s interpretation will be deemed “reasonable.” Who can even attempt all that, at least without an army of perfumed lawyers and lobbyists? And, of course, that’s not the end of it. Even if the people somehow manage to make it through this far unscathed, they must always remain alert to the possibility that the agency will reverse its current view 180 degrees anytime based merely on the shift of political winds and still prevail.
One can’t but wonder: does any of this have to do with his mom?
Just think it’s interesting that Bannon says they don’t give a fig about social culture war issues. Remember that Bannon and Kellyanne Conway are more or less hired guns for the Mercer family, of Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund.
I wonder if Brett Kavanaugh will get through, or if they’ll have to find a different person to help dismantle the administrative state.
As always we welcome your comments!