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Looking Sideways at Your World Since October 2001

Last Build Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2016 02:41:21 +0000


Back in the USSR

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 02:41:21 +0000

The CIA has concluded that Russia worked to elect Donaldik Fyodorvich.

Now Donaldik’s rumored to be considering for Secretary of State the CEO of Exxon, a man who won an award from Putin after negotiating an oil deal with Russia.

So now we’re a Russian client state.

Learn from thy enemy

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 22:58:03 +0000

One thing I admired about Bush’s 2004 campaign was that he was unwavering in his messaging on Iraq. Sure, it was already turning into a disaster, but he just kept up 3 points: Saddam was a bad man, removing him made America safer, and it was part of the War on Terror. You might be [...]


Sat, 03 Dec 2016 19:10:03 +0000

Trump talked to the President of Taiwan on December 2, but since at least November 16 there have been news reports about Trump seeking to do business in Taiwan. Even if he hands the business over to his children, no reasonable observer could believe that he will be disinterested in the fortunes of business enterprises [...]

That’s where taekwando is from, right?

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 02:06:50 +0000

Donaldik Fyodorvich spoke on the phone with the President of Taiwan. This is, apparently, a highly unusual move, to say the least.

If you ask me whether I think Taiwan ought to be able to sit at the Big Kids’ Table, I will say that my personal opinion is yes. However, if you ask me [...]

“Know Nothing Party” taken to its most extreme

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 06:44:46 +0000

I think this video may be the purest expression of the fever swamp since Birtherism.

Meanwhile, Kevin Drum reports that Trump said crime in Cincinnati is at a 45 year high. The only problem is that the FBI says the exact opposite.

I have liberal friends expressing their shock that such a man could be [...]

Ladies and gentlemen, the President-elect of the United States

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 07:20:37 +0000

Kevin Drum’s comments on Trump’s latest Twitter outburst have me cracking up with laughter…until I remember that this shit is real.

I still wake up each morning thinking it can’t really be true that Donald Trump will be president of the United States in less than eight weeks. I mean, he’s…he’s—he’s a willfully ignorant crackpot. [...]

Hit where it hurts: Silver and Gold

Sat, 26 Nov 2016 03:14:13 +0000

There’s only one place where Donaldik Fyodorvich will face meaningful opposition, and that is the Senate, at least as long as filibusters exist. There are 33 Senate seats up for election in 2018, 23 of them are held by Democrats, 2 are held by independents who caucus with the Democrats, and only 8 are held [...]

Commercial syndrome

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 05:53:39 +0000

It occurs to me that the Trump Administration may be the most transparently corrupt in a long time, and largely because the man may not actually want the job. To explain what I mean, let’s contrast Trump with Cheney:

Aside from possible violations involving the secrecy of things like the energy task force (not so [...]

One vote at a time

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 23:08:54 +0000

There have been allegations that voting machines may have been hacked in several key swing states. The key to the argument seems to be differences in results between counties with certain types of electronic voting machines and other counties that used either paper ballots or optical scanners. 538 has cast doubt on the argument, and [...]

Good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 17:07:47 +0000

With all of the potential for conflicts of interest between Trump’s business holdings and his work as President, I’m sure that James Comey will consistently act out of an abundance of caution, and the House will have its investigative committees working at full speed. Right?

Um, right?


Unpopular college elective

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 03:05:35 +0000

A lot of people talk about the National Popular Vote Initiative as an end-run around the electoral college. In short, the idea is for a coalition of states with 270 electoral votes between them to enter into a compact that their electoral votes will go to the winner of the popular vote. I don’t quite [...]

Identify, please identify, If it’s me you want standing by your side

Sun, 20 Nov 2016 20:30:32 +0000

This NYT op-ed on identity politics has been making the rounds a lot in the past few days. I think we would do well to take it seriously.

Identity politics and celebration of diversity are not, prima facie, bad things. America’s diversity is indeed an achievement. It’s an incomplete achievement, because opportunity is not equally [...]

Electorally collegial: Coast is clear

Sun, 20 Nov 2016 19:46:41 +0000

Besides the practicalities of the electoral college and recounts, the other key question to ask is whether we want to allocate decision-making authority in that way. Inevitably, two arguments come up:

The first is political ancestor worship and a critique of democracy. Democracy has its problems, but any argument that invokes the problems of democracy [...]

Electorally collegial: Clearing the ground

Sun, 20 Nov 2016 07:26:05 +0000

This is the second electoral/popular split in my lifetime and the lifetime of many Americans. Depending on your (non-conspiratorial) interpretation of events in 1960 it may or may not be the third electoral/popular split in some people’s lifetimes. I think the electoral college discussion is worth having. The core question of the electoral college is [...]

Tell me what kleptocracy looks like! This is what kleptocracy looks like!

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 16:52:28 +0000

So, Trump’s business will be put into a “blind” trust that will be run by his kids. Who will apparently advise him in some capacity. And his daughter’s husband will get a security clearance to work in the upper levels of his administration. So there will be umpteen million opportunities for conflicts of interest. This [...]

The new era often isn’t

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 17:33:06 +0000

The closest that I came to predicting Clinton’s defeat is when I predicted that she will not be re-elected in 2020. Technically I was right about that! Anyway, in the conversation that I related in that post, a bunch of people from the liberal, educated classes all assured me that America has a new demographic [...]

Own goal

Sun, 13 Nov 2016 17:42:38 +0000

There are many reasons why Clinton lost, and in a close race everyone gets to debate exactly which thing swung just enough people in just the right state. I want to talk about “grab ’em by the pussy”, which seemed (for a moment) to be the end of Trump’s electoral viability. The liberal response to [...]

Electives in College

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 14:48:22 +0000

The electoral college was put in place by the Wise Founders to ensure that a populist demagogue could not assume office on a wave of public passion.

How’s that working out for us?

What’s surprising is that this is the first dynastic candidate to win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote.

Oh, smoke-filled room, where are you now? (Epilogue)

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 07:46:07 +0000

I don’t have it in me to process this and analyze it much, but two things:

First, I was wrong. My predictions were wrong. We’ll spend months or years or decades talking about why this happened, but whatever my mistake was, it was a mistake.

Second, I still can’t believe that “They” didn’t stop this. [...]

The masses are revolting

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 16:39:14 +0000

I agree with everything in this post. The problem with Trumpism is not that bigotry proved to unexpectedly appealing. The problem is that the bigots jumped from the passengers’ seats to the driver’s seat.

Some of you might read that as saying that the GOP elites aren’t really all that bigoted. Well, some of them [...]