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Looking Sideways at Your World Since October 2001

Last Build Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2017 05:17:08 +0000


Here she come now singing “Comey! Comey!”

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 05:17:08 +0000

On the one hand, it has been noted that FBI Director James Comey violated protocol when he announced that they were investigating possible connections between Anthony Wiener’s laptop and Hillary Clinton’s emails. This has been interpreted by some as evidence of pro-Trump bias on Comey’s part. On the other hand, Comey seems to be in [...]

The Shallow State

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 06:32:42 +0000

Phil Ebersole has blogged a clip of Chuck Schumer warning Trump to not mess with the CIA. While I have no doubt that the CIA is a scary and occasionally competent organization, I’m no longer convinced that the “Deep State” means much in the US. Or, at least, I’m not convinced that it’s on the [...]

This is what kleptocracy looks like!

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 03:53:11 +0000

If one takes seriously enough the libertarian argument that government is inevitably a spoils system, then you either respond with some sort of principled limited government stance or you respond with “Yes. Yes it is.” This is the later course of action. And while this particular move applies specifically to the internal investigative processes of [...]

North Carolina _IS_ American democracy

Thu, 29 Dec 2016 02:58:15 +0000

There’s been much attention to a report arguing that North Carolina is not a democracy. I agree that NC is not a particularly good example of liberal, competitive democracy. However, democracy is not a singular concept; democracies exist along a spectrum of competitiveness, liberalism, etc. Illiberal democracy is not a new thing in America; ask [...]

The hashtag we need. The hashtag we deserve.

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 17:49:34 +0000

We need a hashtag that can communicate the problem with Donaldik Fyodorvich’s conflicts of interest. I propose #WorseThanSolyndra.

Impeach The MFer Already!!!!

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 06:40:07 +0000

He’s “encouraging” embassies to switch events from other hotels to his, and his sons are selling access to him.

He should be impeached around 12:02 pm on January 20.

Electoral College, Class of 1960

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 02:57:52 +0000

I wish that more people talked about the 1960 election and the ambiguity over Kennedy’s claimed popular vote win. The ambiguity has nothing to do with Chicago cemeteries and everything to do with Southern electors. Alabama and Georgia nominated split slates of electors, with some of them pledged to Kennedy and others planning to support [...]

But Syria-sly

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 02:37:36 +0000

My own view is that the US shouldn’t be involved at all in the mess in Syria. The most we should do is provide visas to refugees fleeing the violence. It’s easy to chide me with “Now, now, this is a terrible thing, don’t you want to stop it?” Of course I want to stop [...]

This ain’t what democracy looks like

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 04:39:27 +0000

Whatever you think about the allegations against Russia and/or the Clinton email scandal, it bothers me that the assertions of the FBI and CIA played such prominent roles in the election and perceptions of its legitimacy. I’d be quite happy if our next Presidential election involved neither FBI statements on a candidate nor CIA statements [...]

You tell em, Publius!

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 06:46:44 +0000

Federalist 68:

Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant [...]

You can’t un-summon the demons

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 00:41:31 +0000

The Republican Party has, since at least 1964, played to a certain base, and this year may be the culmination of that. A few days ago, for the first time, even Trump was booed by the base…for saying that he’s working well with Obama during the transition. The politics of resentment, of kulturkampf, these things [...]

It’s amazing misdirection. Really amazing. People tell me it’s the greatest misdirection ever.

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 17:23:01 +0000

I’m seeing reports from people who question the evidence for Russian involvement in the election. I’m not qualified to judge the facts here, though I have to wonder where the smoke is coming from if there’s no fire. But irrespective of what Russia did or didn’t do, it’s pretty clear what Trump will do: Trump [...]

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 [...]