Trump is an ass, Charlottesville edition, August 14-19, 2017

If you’re thinking I might have recycled my headline, you might be thinking of “Donald Trump is an ass, London edition: June 5-9, 2017.” And award yourself a gold star.

There is a new blog entry that I’d written while the news was boring, entitled “Why techies consistently get the social sciences wrong.”


Updates

  1. Originally published, August 16, 3:47 am.
  2. August 16, 7:00 pm:
    • When I initially published this entry, I forgot to mention my latest blog entry, entitled “Why techies consistently get the social sciences wrong.” It’s actually a few days old now because I just haven’t had much else to publish here.
    • Hillary Clinton, her supporters, and so-called “centrist” Democrats: We have you to thank for the term “alt left.” May you all rot in hell.[1] (Charlottesville)
    • Corporate executives who had hoped to help shape a pro-corporate agenda are re-evaluating the costs and benefits of participation in White House councils.[2] (Charlottesville)
  3. August 16, 9:45 pm:
    • It might be safe to say the corporate executives’ verdict on Donald Trump’s advisory councils is in: The reputational cost is high, the benefits are meager, and the councils have decided to disband.[3] (Charlottesville)
    • If Donald Trump follows through on his threat to cut off Obamacare cost-sharing payments, premiums would jump twenty percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office.[4] (Obamacare).
  4. August 17, 7:39 am:
    • At Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, Lindsey McPherson poses the question I had already answered below (see #5) and offers a broadly similar answer.[5] (Charlottesville)
    • I’ve added some overnight thoughts to my commentary (see #4) on Charlottesville.
  5. August 18, 5:01 pm:
    • Patrick Buchanan, a paleoconservative, defended the Confederate statues that the Left seeks to tear down.[6] (Charlottesville)
    • Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu is facing criticism for a tepid response to the antisemitism in Charlottesville.[7]
    • I don’t know Jon Michaels, but his article in Foreign Affairs denying the existence of the “Deep State” in the U.S.[8] suggests to me that the “Deep State” is in fact up to something, which is to say that Donald Trump should be very worried for his personal safety. (Donald Trump’s (un)fitness)
    • Some white Southerners apparently remain in denial of that the South fought in the Civil War to preserve slavery and white supremacy, continued to pursue the latter afterwards,[9] and are outraged at the linkage between their cause and groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.[10] (Charlottesville)
    • Even Robert E. Lee opposed Civil War monuments.[11] (Charlottesville)
    • At least for now, Donald Trump is backing away from a fight over Obamacare subsidies.[12]
  6. August 18, 10:41 pm:
    • Steve Bannon, who unexpectedly called up the Leftist Prospect and gave them an interview,[13] has been removed from his White House post,[14] enabling me to add more to my analysis under Charlottesville (see #1).
    • The headline on John Bennett’s story, “Trump Is Quickly Running Out of GOP Factions to Alienate,” seems a bit exaggerated, as the story itself indicates,[15] and as I discuss under Charlottesville (see #5).
    • Steve Bannon gave the neoconservative Weekly Standard an interview in the wake of his departure from the White House.[16] (Charlottesville)
  7. August 19, 4:55 am:
    • The ghostwriter behind Donald Trump’s Art of the Deal thinks he will resign by the end of the year.[17] (James Comey)
    • A Black historian challenges a prevailing narrative that Blacks will eventually overcome racism in the United States.[18] (Race)
  8. August 19, 1:20 pm: A couple of points I made under Charlottesville have been moved to new blog entries and more will follow. The new blog entries are “Authoritarian Populists, Paleoconservatives and Donald Trump” and “Forecasting Donald Trump’s demise.”

Charlottesville

A few comments are in order:

  1. This text has been moved to a new blog entry, “Authoritarian Populists, Paleoconservatives and Donald Trump.”
  2. I have repeatedly called for a breakup of the United States, for several reasons.[19] And to highlight the obvious, Trump is probably the worst possible president to ‘heal’ a deeply divided country, but it is premature to forecast a ‘new’ civil war here (assuming, contrary to Ta-Nehisi Coates, that the first one is over[20]) and I wouldn’t read too much into Robin Wright’s “sobering consensus” of thirty-five percent that it will occur soon—if you read her article, you find a much wider range of opinion among the experts she interviewed and I didn’t see a process for arriving at this alleged consensus figure.That said, none of my reasons for breaking up the country have diminished, and one of the experts Wright consulted, Keith Mines, is quite right to point to (her paraphrase) “entrenched national polarization, with no obvious meeting place for resolution; increasingly divisive press coverage and information flows; weakened institutions, notably Congress and the judiciary; a sellout or abandonment of responsibility by political leadership; and the legitimization of violence as the ‘in’ way to either conduct discourse or solve disputes.”[21] At the same time, I remember that this is hardly the first paleoconservative terrorist attack, that racist atrocities have a long history in this country and this one isn’t even remotely the worst, and as Eric Foner pointed out in Wright’s article, “We have strong gravitational forces that counteract what we’re seeing today.”[22]
  3. I am concerned that Trump’s base will come to be seen as “alt right” (paleoconservative) but, as Toobin correctly observed, “[s]uch people do not comprise the bulk of the President’s base.”[23] Indeed the bulk of Trump’s base is authoritarian populist, but on race, the two tendencies have a lot in common. In fact, too much in common. The risk I foresee is that authoritarian populists will perceive that their agenda, such as it is, has been undermined by association with the “alt right.” But I don’t see them turning on paleoconservatives; rather in their fury at being ‘cheated’ yet again, many may well embrace paleoconservatism and many more may well join right-wing militias. I’m really not seeing an upside to this situation. It’s bad.
  4. I wish that folks would drop some of their self-righteousness and ask why some whites fear being displaced in a more heterogeneous society. It couldn’t, after all, have any relationship to the “deaths of despair”—suicide and drug (or alcohol) abuse—or the still-low labor market participation rate, could it?[24] But I guess instead, we’re going to talk about the “alt left.”[25]That, largely, we don’t is another manifestation of something I’m noticing throughout the political spectrum: Folks believe they already know all they need to know about the other side, whichever side that might be. There is no curiosity, no inquiry, only demonization. That’s not a recipe for reconciliation and it adds to Keith Mines’s point above[26] (see #2). It’s easy to condemn the other side, particularly when they seem so incorrigibly hateful. But as you hate them—admit it, you do—they’re hating you and the question now is whether you can share a country with them and whether they can share a country with you. When your only answer is demonization, what you’re really advocating is the very thing they fear—their erasure.We haven’t been doing so well at not erasing folks. We’re doing it with the poor, the unemployed, and the homeless—all folks who are poorly placed to scream back. It isn’t just Trump who’s the bully here.Now maybe the wounds are so deep that we really can’t move toward the other side. Certainly I’ve felt that the differences are irreconcilable.[27] But what’s happening now is abusive. And if that is our only prospect for how we treat each other, then this is another reason the relationship needs to end.
  5. This text has been moved to a new blog entry, “Forecasting Donald Trump’s demise.”

Joe Heim, “Recounting a day of rage, hate, violence and death,” Washington Post, August 14, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/local/charlottesville-timeline/Robin Wright, “Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?” New Yorker, August 14, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/is-america-headed-for-a-new-kind-of-civil-war

Noah Bierman, “‘Alt-left’ charged at ‘alt-right,’ Trump says, again placing blame for Charlottesville violence on ‘both sides,'” Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-trump-blames-both-sides-for-1502828835-htmlstory.html

Vanessa Fuhrmans, “CEOs Rethink Alliances With White House,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/two-more-corporate-executives-quit-trump-advisory-council-1502830739

Jeet Heer, “Trump’s Racism and the Myth of ‘Cultural Marxism,’” New Republic, August 15, 2017, https://newrepublic.com/article/144317/trumps-racism-myth-cultural-marxism

Jeffrey Toobin, “Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, and Charlottesville,” New Yorker, August 15, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/donald-trump-steve-bannon-and-charlottesville

Emily Glazer, Sarah Krouse, and Elena Cherney, “Trump’s Business Councils Disband After CEOs Defect,” Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-business-advisory-council-to-disband-1502904005

Sarah Jones, “Liberals Helped Create Trump’s New Bogeyman, the ‘Alt-Left,’” New Republic, August 16, 2017, https://newrepublic.com/article/144361/liberals-helped-create-trumps-new-bogeyman-alt-left

Robert Kuttner, “Steve Bannon, Unrepentant,” Prospect, August 16, 2017, http://prospect.org/article/steve-bannon-unrepentant

Lindsey McPherson, “Will GOP Divergence From Trump Over White Supremacist Comments Last?” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, August 17, 2017, http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/will-gop-divergence-from-trump-over-white-supremacist-comments-last

Times of Israel, “Criticism mounts over Netanyahu’s response to US neo-Nazism,” August 17, 2017, http://www.timesofisrael.com/criticism-mounts-over-netanyahus-response-to-us-neo-nazism/

Fred Barbash, “Robert E. Lee discouraged monuments. They ‘keep open the sores of war,’ he wrote,” Washington Post, August 18, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/08/18/robert-e-lee-discouraged-monuments-they-keep-open-the-sores-of-war-he-wrote/

John T. Bennett, “Trump Is Quickly Running Out of GOP Factions to Alienate,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, August 18, 2017, http://www.rollcall.com/news/trump-gop-factions-alienate/

Peter J. Boyer, “Bannon: ‘The Trump Presidency That We Fought For, and Won, Is Over,’” Weekly Standard, August 18, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/bannon-the-trump-presidency-that-we-fought-for-and-won-is-over./article/2009355

Patrick J. Buchanan, “America’s Second Civil War,” American Conservative, August 18, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/buchanan/americas-second-civil-war/

Jay Reeves, “Southern anger: Nazis, KKK ‘hijacking’ Confederate debate,” Times of Israel, August 18, 2017, http://www.timesofisrael.com/southern-anger-nazis-kkk-hijacking-confederate-debate/

Michael C. Bender and Peter Nicholas, “Steve Bannon, Controversial Aide to Trump, Exits White House Staff,” Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/steve-bannon-leaves-white-house-staff-1503075345


Joe Arpaio

Stephen Dinan, “Trump ‘seriously considering’ pardon for Sheriff Arpaio,” Washington Times, August 14, 2017, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/14/trump-seriously-considering-pardon-sheriff-arpaio/


North Korea

In which Kim Jong-un displays greater impulse control than Donald Trump.[28]

British Broadcasting Corporation, “N Korea leader ‘briefed’ on Guam plan but opts to wait,” August 15, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-40931775


Obamacare

Stephanie Armour, “Health Exchange Premiums Would Rise 20% in 2018 If Subsidies Ended, CBO Estimates,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/health-exchange-premiums-would-rise-20-in-2018-if-subsidies-ended-cbo-estimates-1502821843

David Lauter, “Trump administration agrees to continue healthcare subsidy for now,” Los Angeles Times, August 16, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-healthcare-payments-20170816-story.html


Donald Trump’s (un)fitness

Jon D. Michaels, “Trump and the ‘Deep State,’” Foreign Affairs, August 15, 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2017-08-15/trump-and-deep-state


James Comey

“The circle is closing at blinding speed,” [Tony] Schwartz tweeted. “Trump is going to resign and declare victory before Mueller and congress leave him no choice.”

In a follow-up tweet, he added: “Trump’s presidency is effectively over. Would be amazed if he survives till end of the year. More likely resigns by fall, if not sooner.”[29]

CNN, “Tony Schwartz: Trump will resign,” WPIX, August 18, 2017, http://pix11.com/2017/08/18/ghostwriter-for-trumps-art-of-the-deal-says-president-will-resign/


Race

Donald Collins argues that “[f]or all the examples of African American success and American racism reduced, blacks are as far away from the ‘Promised Land’ as their great-great-grandparents were 150 years ago.”[30] I am poorly placed to challenge his essay and I don’t think I would be inclined to do so anyway. I will say two things: First, I share his frustration. Second, I think the question we ought to be asking even without necessarily embracing his thesis is, What do we do about it?

At more than a little risk of perverting Collins’ essay to support my own thesis (see Charlottesville, #2 above), I think a question is whether we accept a status quo in which, as Collins argues, the end will inevitably fall short of social justice[31] or we create a space where progress may be possible. My argument has been that progress is impossible when it is imposed and that the contention Collins sees as intractable[32] can only end where that end is freely chosen.

Which is to challenge the outcome of the Civil War. The curious point about that war is that it is possible to argue that both sides were wrong: The South was wrong to seek to preserve its “peculiar institution” and the North was wrong to seek to preserve the Union. I think the truth that underlies the denial that the South fought to preserve slavery[33] is that for the South, the end of slavery was not a free choice, that its participation in the Union is not a free choice, and indeed that white Southerners are a conquered people. I’m not sure that those of us in the rest of the country can ever fully grasp the impact of that. But I think the truth that co-exists with that reality is of an ongoing resistance to conquest that appears only most blatantly in right-wing militia groups and in right-wing terrorism. And no, I simply do not see how it is possible to overcome that resistance or how it is possible to make progress against that resentment.

Which is why I think we must undo that part of the Civil War’s outcome that said the Union will be preserved. Because that union (with a lower case “u”) might exist in law as the Union (with an upper case “U”), but I think it can never exist in people’s hearts.

Donald Earl Collins, “Have black historians been wrong all along?” Al Jazeera, August 16, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/08/black-historians-wrong-170816071925403.html


  1. [1]Sarah Jones, “Liberals Helped Create Trump’s New Bogeyman, the ‘Alt-Left,’” New Republic, August 16, 2017, https://newrepublic.com/article/144361/liberals-helped-create-trumps-new-bogeyman-alt-left
  2. [2]Vanessa Fuhrmans, “CEOs Rethink Alliances With White House,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/two-more-corporate-executives-quit-trump-advisory-council-1502830739
  3. [3]Emily Glazer, Sarah Krouse, and Elena Cherney, “Trump’s Business Councils Disband After CEOs Defect,” Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-business-advisory-council-to-disband-1502904005
  4. [4]Stephanie Armour, “Health Exchange Premiums Would Rise 20% in 2018 If Subsidies Ended, CBO Estimates,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/health-exchange-premiums-would-rise-20-in-2018-if-subsidies-ended-cbo-estimates-1502821843
  5. [5]Lindsey McPherson, “Will GOP Divergence From Trump Over White Supremacist Comments Last?” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, August 17, 2017, http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/will-gop-divergence-from-trump-over-white-supremacist-comments-last
  6. [6]Patrick J. Buchanan, “America’s Second Civil War,” American Conservative, August 18, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/buchanan/americas-second-civil-war/
  7. [7]Times of Israel, “Criticism mounts over Netanyahu’s response to US neo-Nazism,” August 17, 2017, http://www.timesofisrael.com/criticism-mounts-over-netanyahus-response-to-us-neo-nazism/
  8. [8]Jon D. Michaels, “Trump and the ‘Deep State,’” Foreign Affairs, August 15, 2017, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2017-08-15/trump-and-deep-state
  9. [9]David W. Blight, “The Civil War Isn’t Over,” Atlantic, April 8, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/the-civil-war-isnt-over/389847/; Ta-Nehisi Coates, “What This Cruel War Was Over,” Atlantic, June 22, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/what-this-cruel-war-was-over/396482/; Prachi Gupta, “Lynyrd Skynyrd decides it’s finally time to stop using the Confederate flag,” Salon, September 21, 2012, http://www.salon.com/2012/09/21/lynyrd_skynyrd_decides_its_finally_time_to_stop_using_the_confederate_flag/; Tony Horwitz, “150 Years of Misunderstanding the Civil War,” Atlantic, June 19, 2013, http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/06/150-years-of-misunderstanding-the-civil-war/277022/; Glenn W. LaFantasie, “How the South rationalizes secession,” Salon, December 19, 2010, http://www.salon.com/2010/12/19/lafantasie_south_secession/; Andrew O’Hehir, “Welcome to the new Civil War,” Salon, January 5, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/01/05/welcome_to_the_new_civil_war/; Jonathan Terbush, “Lynyrd Skynyrd calls Confederate Flag racist, prompts fan revolt,” Raw Story, September 22, 2012, http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/09/22/lynyrd-skynyrd-calls-confederate-flag-racist-prompts-fan-revolt/; Tracy Thompson, “The South still lies about the Civil War ,” Salon, March 16, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/03/16/the_south_still_lies_about_the_civil_war/; Chris Willman, “Lynyrd Skynyrd Backtracks On Comments, Proudly Lets Confederate Flag Fly,” Yahoo!, September 24, 2012, http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/stop-the-presses/lynyrd-skynyrd-backtracks-comments-proudly-lets-confederate-flag-003332446.html
  10. [10]Jay Reeves, “Southern anger: Nazis, KKK ‘hijacking’ Confederate debate,” Times of Israel, August 18, 2017, http://www.timesofisrael.com/southern-anger-nazis-kkk-hijacking-confederate-debate/
  11. [11]Fred Barbash, “Robert E. Lee discouraged monuments. They ‘keep open the sores of war,’ he wrote,” Washington Post, August 18, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/08/18/robert-e-lee-discouraged-monuments-they-keep-open-the-sores-of-war-he-wrote/
  12. [12]David Lauter, “Trump administration agrees to continue healthcare subsidy for now,” Los Angeles Times, August 16, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-healthcare-payments-20170816-story.html
  13. [13]Robert Kuttner, “Steve Bannon, Unrepentant,” Prospect, August 16, 2017, http://prospect.org/article/steve-bannon-unrepentant
  14. [14]Michael C. Bender and Peter Nicholas, “Steve Bannon, Controversial Aide to Trump, Exits White House Staff,” Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/steve-bannon-leaves-white-house-staff-1503075345
  15. [15]John T. Bennett, “Trump Is Quickly Running Out of GOP Factions to Alienate,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, August 18, 2017, http://www.rollcall.com/news/trump-gop-factions-alienate/
  16. [16]Peter J. Boyer, “Bannon: ‘The Trump Presidency That We Fought For, and Won, Is Over,’” Weekly Standard, August 18, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/bannon-the-trump-presidency-that-we-fought-for-and-won-is-over./article/2009355
  17. [17]CNN, “Tony Schwartz: Trump will resign,” WPIX, August 18, 2017, http://pix11.com/2017/08/18/ghostwriter-for-trumps-art-of-the-deal-says-president-will-resign/
  18. [18]Donald Earl Collins, “Have black historians been wrong all along?” Al Jazeera, August 16, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/08/black-historians-wrong-170816071925403.html
  19. [19]David Benfell, “A divorce for the United States,” Not Housebroken, December 14, 2009, https://disunitedstates.org/2009/12/14/a-divorce-for-the-united-states/; David Benfell, “‘Progress’ and the Union,” Not Housebroken, December 24, 2012, https://disunitedstates.org/2009/12/14/a-divorce-for-the-united-states/
  20. [20]Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Lost Cause Rides Again,” Atlantic, August 4, 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/08/no-confederate/535512/
  21. [21]Robin Wright, “Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?” New Yorker, August 14, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/is-america-headed-for-a-new-kind-of-civil-war
  22. [22]Eric Foner, quoted in Robin Wright, “Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?” New Yorker, August 14, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/is-america-headed-for-a-new-kind-of-civil-war
  23. [23]Jeffrey Toobin, “Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, and Charlottesville,” New Yorker, August 15, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/donald-trump-steve-bannon-and-charlottesville
  24. [24]Julia Belluz, “Why the white middle class is dying faster, explained in 6 charts,” Vox, March 23, 2017, http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/3/23/14988084/white-middle-class-dying-faster-explained-case-deaton; Anne Case and Angus Deaton, “Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century” [draft], Brookings Institute, March 23, 2017, https://www.brookings.edu/bpea-articles/mortality-and-morbidity-in-the-21st-century/; Andrew J. Cherlin, “Why Are White Death Rates Rising?” New York Times, February 22, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/22/opinion/why-are-white-death-rates-rising.html; Jefferson Cowie, “The Great White Nope: Poor, Working Class, and Left Behind in America,” review of White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, by Nancy Isenberg, Foreign Affairs, November/December, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/review-essay/2016-10-17/great-white-nope; Carol Graham, Sergio Pinto, and John Juneau, II, “The geography of desperation in America,” Brookings Institute, July 24, 2017, https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-geography-of-desperation-in-america/; Gina Kolata, “Death Rates Rising for Middle-Aged White Americans, Study Finds,” New York Times, November 2, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/health/death-rates-rising-for-middle-aged-white-americans-study-finds.html; Gina Kolata and Sarah Cohen, “Drug Overdoses Propel Rise in Mortality Rates of Young Whites,” New York Times, January 16, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/17/science/drug-overdoses-propel-rise-in-mortality-rates-of-young-whites.html; Paul Krugman, “Heartland of Darkness,” New York Times, November 4, 2015, http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/11/04/heartland-of-darkness/; Paul Krugman, “Despair, American Style,” New York Times, November 9, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/09/opinion/despair-american-style.html; Nigel Morris, “Spike in suicide rate in Europe and US linked to financial crisis,” Independent, September 18, 2013, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/spike-in-suicide-rate-in-europe-and-us-linked-to-financial-crisis-8822729.html; Tara Parker-Pope, “Suicide Rates Rise Sharply in U.S.,” New York Times, May 2, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/health/suicide-rate-rises-sharply-in-us.html; Lynn Stuart Parramore, “Crisis to Suicide: How Many Have to Die Before We Kill the False Religion of Austerity?” Alternet, April 16, 2012, http://www.alternet.org/story/155012/crisis_to_suicide%3A_how_many_have_to_die_before_we_kill_the_false_religion_of_austerity; Alana Semuels, “Is Economic Despair What’s Killing Middle-Aged White Americans?” CityLab, March 23, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/politics/2017/03/economic-despair-killing-middle-aged-white-americans/520554/; Yves Smith [Susan Webber], “Austerity Kills: Economic Distress Seen as Culprit in Sharp Rise in Suicide Rate Among Middle Aged,” Naked Capitalism, March 1, 2015, http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/03/austerity-kills-economic-distress-seen-culprit-sharp-rise-suicide-rate-among-middle-aged.html; David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, “How Austerity Kills,” New York Times, May 12, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/opinion/how-austerity-kills.html; David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, “Paul Krugman’s right: Austerity kills,” Salon, May 19, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/05/19/paul_krugmans_right_austerity_kills/;Josh Zumbrun, “The Economic Roots of the Climbing Death Rate for Middle-Aged Whites,” Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2015, http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/11/03/the-economic-roots-of-the-climbing-death-rate-for-middle-aged-whites/; Noelle Sullivan, “Neoliberalism Is Killing Us: Economic Stress as a Driver of Global Depression and Suicide,” Truthout, April 2, 2017, http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/40064-neoliberalism-is-killing-us-economic-stress-as-a-driver-of-global-depression-and-suicide
  25. [25]Sarah Jones, “Liberals Helped Create Trump’s New Bogeyman, the ‘Alt-Left,’” New Republic, August 16, 2017, https://newrepublic.com/article/144361/liberals-helped-create-trumps-new-bogeyman-alt-left
  26. [26]Robin Wright, “Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?” New Yorker, August 14, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/is-america-headed-for-a-new-kind-of-civil-war
  27. [27]David Benfell, “A divorce for the United States,” Not Housebroken, December 14, 2009, https://disunitedstates.org/2009/12/14/a-divorce-for-the-united-states/; David Benfell, “‘Progress’ and the Union,” Not Housebroken, December 24, 2012, https://disunitedstates.org/2009/12/14/a-divorce-for-the-united-states/
  28. [28]British Broadcasting Corporation, “N Korea leader ‘briefed’ on Guam plan but opts to wait,” August 15, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-40931775
  29. [29]CNN, “Tony Schwartz: Trump will resign,” WPIX, August 18, 2017, http://pix11.com/2017/08/18/ghostwriter-for-trumps-art-of-the-deal-says-president-will-resign/
  30. [30]Donald Earl Collins, “Have black historians been wrong all along?” Al Jazeera, August 16, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/08/black-historians-wrong-170816071925403.html
  31. [31]Donald Earl Collins, “Have black historians been wrong all along?” Al Jazeera, August 16, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/08/black-historians-wrong-170816071925403.html
  32. [32]Donald Earl Collins, “Have black historians been wrong all along?” Al Jazeera, August 16, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/08/black-historians-wrong-170816071925403.html
  33. [33]David W. Blight, “The Civil War Isn’t Over,” Atlantic, April 8, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/the-civil-war-isnt-over/389847/; Ta-Nehisi Coates, “What This Cruel War Was Over,” Atlantic, June 22, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/what-this-cruel-war-was-over/396482/; Prachi Gupta, “Lynyrd Skynyrd decides it’s finally time to stop using the Confederate flag,” Salon, September 21, 2012, http://www.salon.com/2012/09/21/lynyrd_skynyrd_decides_its_finally_time_to_stop_using_the_confederate_flag/; Tony Horwitz, “150 Years of Misunderstanding the Civil War,” Atlantic, June 19, 2013, http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/06/150-years-of-misunderstanding-the-civil-war/277022/; Glenn W. LaFantasie, “How the South rationalizes secession,” Salon, December 19, 2010, http://www.salon.com/2010/12/19/lafantasie_south_secession/; Andrew O’Hehir, “Welcome to the new Civil War,” Salon, January 5, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/01/05/welcome_to_the_new_civil_war/; Jonathan Terbush, “Lynyrd Skynyrd calls Confederate Flag racist, prompts fan revolt,” Raw Story, September 22, 2012, http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/09/22/lynyrd-skynyrd-calls-confederate-flag-racist-prompts-fan-revolt/; Tracy Thompson, “The South still lies about the Civil War ,” Salon, March 16, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/03/16/the_south_still_lies_about_the_civil_war/; Chris Willman, “Lynyrd Skynyrd Backtracks On Comments, Proudly Lets Confederate Flag Fly,” Yahoo!, September 24, 2012, http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/stop-the-presses/lynyrd-skynyrd-backtracks-comments-proudly-lets-confederate-flag-003332446.html

Who will be downwind from North Korea fall out? Daily Bullshit, August 8-11, 2017

Updates

  1. August 10, 2:46 am:
    • Donald Trump appeared to make his apparent threat to use nuclear weapons against North Korea a little less implicit[1] and Defense Secretary James Mattis joined in.[2]
  2. August 11, 1:15 am:
    • Donald Trump sought to tamp down any reassurances from his own administration that he might not launch nuclear war against North Korea, “saying his warning of ‘fire and fury’ against the rogue nation ‘may not be tough enough,’”[3] and I think the word ‘maybe’ might never have quite the same meaning ever again after his presidency.
  3. August 11, 11:57 am:
    • Donald Trump now says that “that ‘military solutions’ [are] ‘in place, locked and loaded’ should Pyongyang ‘act unwisely,’”[4] as if he was one to speak of wisdom. (North Korea)
    • Sami Karam argues that ‘cronyism,’ by which I think he refers to neoliberalism, was the true victor of the Cold War.[5] (Berlin Wall)

North Korea

I’ve had little to say on North Korea. I’ve tended to think the wisest course of action would be to ignore it, to (I probably need to be more careful with this metaphor) ignore the toddler throwing a temper tantrum, to recognize that strategy deployed so far has failed to mitigate the threat—assuming there is indeed a threat that actually amounts to more than some particularly over-the-top posturing that I guess serves some obscure purpose.

But then Donald Trump threatens to—I think this is a reasonable interpretation—turn the place into a nuclear puddle.[6] And North Korea promptly responds with—you guessed it—another threat, albeit one that may have been written the previous day.[7] So, ummm, yeah, I’m scared now.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump dismissed the idea he would broadly signal his intentions, telling reporters who had asked him about the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on North Korea: “I’m not like the other administration that would say we’re going into Mosul in four months. I don’t talk about it. We’ll see what happens. But I can tell you that what they’ve been doing and what they’ve been getting away with is a tragedy, and it can’t be allowed.”[8]

But scary as all these threats and counter-threats are, the whole situation still looks to me like a pissing contest.

Jordan Fabian, “Trump: North Korea ‘will be met with fire and fury’ if it threatens US,” Hill, August 8, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/345777-trump-warnsth-korea-it-will-be-met-with-fire-and-fury-if-it

Zachary Cohen and Euan McKirdy, “North Korea threatens strike on Guam,” CNN, August 9, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/08/politics/north-korea-considering-guam-strike-trump/index.html

Ellen Mitchell, “Mattis warns North Korea of ‘destruction of its people,'” Hill, August 9, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/defense/345908-mattis-warnsth-korea-of-destruction-of-its-people

Rebecca Savransky, “Trump intensifies rhetoric against North Korea,” Hill, August 9, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/345847-trump-nuclear-arsenal-far-stronger-and-more-powerful-than-ever-before

Jordan Fabian and Max Greenwood, “Trump: Maybe threat on North Korea wasn’t ‘tough enough,’” Hill, August 10, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/346087-trump-maybe-threat-onth-korea-wasnt-tough-enough

Ben Kesling and Louise Radnofsky, “Trump Warns North Korea ‘Military Solutions’ Are ‘In Place, Locked and Loaded,’” Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-warnsth-korea-military-solutions-are-in-place-locked-and-loaded-1502453110


Berlin Wall

Sami J. Karam, “Capitalism Did Not Win the Cold War,” Foreign Affairs, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2017-07-19/capitalism-did-not-win-cold-war” target=”_blank”>https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2017-07-19/capitalism-did-not-win-cold-war

  1. [1]Rebecca Savransky, “Trump intensifies rhetoric against North Korea,” Hill, August 9, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/345847-trump-nuclear-arsenal-far-stronger-and-more-powerful-than-ever-before
  2. [2]Ellen Mitchell, “Mattis warns North Korea of ‘destruction of its people,'” Hill, August 9, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/defense/345908-mattis-warnsth-korea-of-destruction-of-its-people
  3. [3]Jordan Fabian and Max Greenwood, “Trump: Maybe threat on North Korea wasn’t ‘tough enough,’” Hill, August 10, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/346087-trump-maybe-threat-onth-korea-wasnt-tough-enough
  4. [4]
  5. [5]Sami J. Karam, “Capitalism Did Not Win the Cold War,” Foreign Affairs, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2017-07-19/capitalism-did-not-win-cold-war” target=”_blank”>https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2017-07-19/capitalism-did-not-win-cold-war
  6. [6]Specifically, Trump said further North Korean threats “will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before,” which would seem to threaten something more severe than any of the horrific bombings of World War II. Quoted in Jordan Fabian, “Trump: North Korea ‘will be met with fire and fury’ if it threatens US,” Hill, August 8, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/345777-trump-warnsth-korea-it-will-be-met-with-fire-and-fury-if-it
  7. [7]Zachary Cohen and Euan McKirdy, “North Korea threatens strike on Guam,” CNN, August 9, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/08/politics/north-korea-considering-guam-strike-trump/index.html
  8. [8]Ben Kesling and Louise Radnofsky, “Trump Warns North Korea ‘Military Solutions’ Are ‘In Place, Locked and Loaded,’” Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-warnsth-korea-military-solutions-are-in-place-locked-and-loaded-1502453110

The vultures are circling over Donald Trump’s White House: Daily Bullshit, August 3-5, 2017

I should hasten to qualify my headline. Yes, I think Donald Trump’s days as president number far fewer than the full number in the length remaining in his term, and probably now less than a year’s worth. I am no longer seeing his presidency as viable—there’s simply much too much shit coming down and Trump’s style is simply too radical a departure from the norm to be defensible. But when I say the vultures are circling, that does not necessarily mean they will feed; it merely means they see something dying, in this case, the Trump presidency. It could be that the much-anticipated but increasingly unlikely ‘pivot’ actually happens and Trump starts behaving sensibly. And I suppose it still might be possible that Robert Mueller’s investigation will come to nothing. And it might be, in those cases, that he survives and the vultures fly off in search of other carrion. I just don’t think so.

And I should also hasten to add that I still have no clear idea of how the end comes. The 25th amendment remains a personal favorite,[1] now to be orchestrated by John Kelly, Trump’s new chief of staff. Which of course means that Trump’s removal takes on a distinct flavor of a military coup. I don’t think I see an impeachment emerging from this Congress unless Republican congresspeople reach a consensus that they are unable to pursue their agenda with Trump in office and that their ends would be better served with a President Pence. It’s also hard for me to see Donald Trump resigning. But in any of these scenarios, much depends on the limits of Trump’s self-delusions: Does he appeal a 25th amendment ouster to Congress? I think he would likely prevail but in this scenario he no longer has any credibility. Does he resign when confronted with impeachment or out of sheer frustration? I’m not sure his ego would allow it. Will, as a therapist suggested to me, his self-delusion enable him to spin a resignation as vindication or some sort of success? Or does the dissonance between his own grandiose or malignant narcissistic self-image[2] lead to suicide?

I just don’t see how this can go on. And the one lesson of my life is that if it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t make sense, and it cannot last. I think Trump’s presidency is no longer tenable.


Updates

  1. August 3, 10:39 pm:
    • Robert Mueller is following the money.[3]
    • The Republican-controlled Senate is restraining the Republican President Donald Trump from making recess appointments.[4] (Congress)
  2. August 5, 11:48 am:
    • David Lauter takes on the matter of Donald Trump’s relationship with Congress.[5] (Congress)

Robert Mueller

Evan Perez, Pamela Brown, and Shimon Prokupecz, “One year into the FBI’s Russia investigation, Mueller is on the Trump money trail,” CNN, August 3, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/03/politics/mueller-investigation-russia-trump-one-year-financial-ties/index.html

Jeff Stein, “There’s now a bipartisan bill to protect Mueller’s investigation from Trump,” Vox, August 3, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/8/3/16090436/mueller-trump-bill-senate

Murray Waas, “Top FBI officials could testify against Trump,” Vox, August 3, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/8/3/16084246/mueller-obstruction-case-stronger-trump-surrogates

Del Quentin Wilber and Byron Tau, “Special Counsel Robert Mueller Impanels Washington Grand Jury in Russia Probe,” Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/special-counsel-mueller-impanels-washington-grand-jury-in-russia-probe-1501788287


Unauthorized Migrants

Greg Miller, “Trump urged Mexican president to end his public defiance on border wall, transcript reveals,” Washington Post, August 3, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/you-cannot-say-that-to-the-press-trump-urged-mexican-president-to-end-his-public-defiance-on-border-wall-transcript-reveals/2017/08/03/0c2c0a4e-7610-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html


Uber

Douglas MacMillan and Newley Purnell, “Smoke, Then Fire: Uber Knowingly Leased Unsafe Cars to Drivers,” Wall Street Journal, August 3 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/smoke-then-fire-uber-knowingly-leased-unsafe-cars-to-drivers-1501786430


Congress

David Lauter’s newsletter[6] is absolutely worth reading in full but a lot of this really is that conservatives are not an ideological monolith, a point I beat into the ground with my dissertation,[7] but which folks across the political spectrum continue to refuse to heed.

Jordain Carney, “Senate blocks Trump from making recess appointments over break,” Hill, August 3, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/345261-senate-blocks-trump-from-making-recess-appointments-over-break

David Lauter, “GOP Congress and Trump: Can this marriage be saved?” Los Angeles Times, August 3, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-essential-politics-20170804-story.html


  1. [1]David Benfell, “A scholar tries to reprise Sokal’s hoax. And mostly fails,” (Supposedly) Daily Bullshit, May 21, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2017/05/21/a-scholar-tries-to-reprise-sokals-hoax-and-mostly-fails-daily-bullshit-may-20-21-2017/; David Benfell, “Donald Trump is an ass, London edition,” (Supposedly Daily Bullshit, June 9, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2017/06/09/donald-trump-is-an-ass-london-edition-june-5-2017/
  2. [2]Evan Osnos, “How Trump Could Get Fired,” New Yorker, May 8, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/05/08/how-trump-could-get-fired; George Simon, “Understanding and Dealing with Narcissistic Rage,” Counseling Resource, July 24, 2017, http://counsellingresource.com/features/2017/07/24/understanding-narcissistic-rage/
  3. [3]Evan Perez, Pamela Brown, and Shimon Prokupecz, “One year into the FBI’s Russia investigation, Mueller is on the Trump money trail,” CNN, August 3, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/03/politics/mueller-investigation-russia-trump-one-year-financial-ties/index.html
  4. [4]Jordain Carney, “Senate blocks Trump from making recess appointments over break,” Hill, August 3, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/345261-senate-blocks-trump-from-making-recess-appointments-over-break
  5. [5]David Lauter, “GOP Congress and Trump: Can this marriage be saved?” Los Angeles Times, August 3, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-essential-politics-20170804-story.html
  6. [6]David Lauter, “GOP Congress and Trump: Can this marriage be saved?” Los Angeles Times, August 3, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-essential-politics-20170804-story.html
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).

Donald Trump keeps on misfiring: Daily Bullshit, August 1, 2017

Obamacare

The Senate will instead be working on short-term fixes for Obamacare.[1]

Ricardo Alanso-Zaldivar, “Trump on tricky legal ground with ‘Obamacare’ threat,” Seattle Times, August 1, 2017, http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation-politics/trump-on-tricky-legal-ground-with-obamacare-threat/

Jordain Carney, “Senate Republicans brush off Trump’s healthcare demands,” Hill, August 1, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/344697-senate-republicans-brush-off-trumps-healthcare-demands

Rachel Roubein, “Senate panel to hold bipartisan hearings on healthcare,” Hill, August 1, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/344811-senate-panel-to-hold-bipartisan-hearings-on-healthcare


Golden Showers

Ashley Parker, Carol D. Leonnig, Philip Rucker, and Tom Hamburger, “Trump dictated son’s misleading statement on meeting with Russian lawyer,” Washington Post, July 31, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-dictated-sons-misleading-statement-on-meeting-with-russian-lawyer/2017/07/31/04c94f96-73ae-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html


Climate Change

Chris Mooney, “We only have a 5 percent chance of avoiding ‘dangerous’ global warming, a study finds,” Washington Post, July 31, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/07/31/we-only-have-a-5-percent-chance-of-avoiding-dangerous-global-warming-a-study-finds/


  1. [1]Rachel Roubein, “Senate panel to hold bipartisan hearings on healthcare,” Hill, August 1, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/344811-senate-panel-to-hold-bipartisan-hearings-on-healthcare

Will Joe Arpaio now get to try on some of his pink underwear? Daily Bullshit, July 30-31, 2017

There is a new blog post, entitled “Totalizing Donald Trump.”


Updates

  1. July 31, 11:55 pm:

Joe Arpaio

The man who called himself the “toughest sheriff in America” is now likely looking for leniency.[2]

J. Weston Phippen, “Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Convicted Criminal,”
Atlantic, July 31, 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/07/sheriff-joe-arpaio-convicted-criminal/535479/


Obamacare

Jacqueline Thomsen, “Mulvaney: It’s White House policy Senate keeps focus on healthcare,” Hill, July 30, 2017, http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/344513-mulvaney-its-white-house-policy-that-nothing-gets-a-vote-before


Republicans

George F. Will, “Trump is something the nation did not know it needed,” Washington Post, July 28, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-something-the-nation-did-not-know-it-needed/2017/07/28/8dc09ae0-7302-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html

Ken Buck, “The Republican Party is dead,” Denver Post, July 31, 2017, http://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/31/the-republican-party-is-dead/

Jennifer Rubin, “Does the GOP deserve to survive?” Washington Post, July 31, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/07/31/does-the-gop-deserve-to-survive/


  1. [1]Ken Buck, “The Republican Party is dead,” Denver Post, July 31, 2017, http://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/31/the-republican-party-is-dead/; Jennifer Rubin, “Does the GOP deserve to survive?” Washington Post, July 31, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/07/31/does-the-gop-deserve-to-survive/; George F. Will, “Trump is something the nation did not know it needed,” Washington Post, July 28, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-something-the-nation-did-not-know-it-needed/2017/07/28/8dc09ae0-7302-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html
  2. [2]J. Weston Phippen, “Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Convicted Criminal,”
    Atlantic, July 31, 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/07/sheriff-joe-arpaio-convicted-criminal/535479/

The desperate quest to ‘repeal’ Obamacare: Daily Bullshit, July 26-28, 2017

Updates

  1. July 27, 9:04 am:
    • Mr. Fish captures much of my feeling about Donald Trump’s decision to exclude transgender folks from military service (figure 1).
      Mr. Fish, July 26, 2017, Truthdig, fair use.

      Fig. 1. Mr. Fish, July 26, 2017, Truthdig, fair use.

      Which is all to say, I couldn’t care less: Warmongerers, transgender or otherwise, can go fuck themselves.

    • I have seen mention of a supposed “Better Deal” that Democrats will be running on. I have not seen anything of substance. Until I do, I will assume that this alleged “Better Deal” is more hot air, symptomatic of a Democratic Party focus on an “economic message” rather than economic substance. “Messages” don’t pay rent. Democrats, too, can go fuck themselves and, no, I still don’t think they’re any better than Republicans, who should also go fuck themselves.
    • The Judge in Waymo’s intellectual property suit against Uber has warned that Waymo has yet to show that Uber has actually used Waymo’s technology in its self-driving cars.[1]
  2. July 27, 11:49 am:
    • The so-called “skinny repeal” of Obamacare will include defunding Planned Parenthood, which may violate the Senate rules that would allow the measure to bypass a Democratic Party filibuster.[2]
  3. July 28, 3:17 am:
    • Perhaps you recall Samuel Gross, a University of Michigan law professor, telling Vox’s Sean Illing, “The fact that we’re even talking about [the possibility of Donald Trump pardoning himself] is a measure of how far we’ve fallen.”[3] No, not quite. This is how low we’ve sunk: The Boy Scouts are apologizing for Trump’s behavior at a Jamboree.[4]
    • Until the mother-fuckers threw defunding Planned Parenthood into their so-called “skinny repeal” of Obamacare,[5] I thought maybe the “skinny repeal” had a chance. I don’t think Planned Parenthood did the effort in—this was more a matter that the very fact they would throw something like that in despite a significant possibility if wouldn’t comply with Senate rules signaled that Republicans were working on ideology rather than engaging in a pragmatic exercise. And, in the event, they failed.[6] Idiots.
    • So this part is weird: A Republican opposed to single-payer introduced a Medicare-for-All amendment. Bernie Sanders called it a sham. Democrats said they wanted to see a final bill. It didn’t get a single vote in favor.[7] I think Democrats were making excuses: Obamacare was a means of bailing out the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries.[8] Single-payer isn’t, so I think Democrats will never actually pass it even if they come to power.

Austerity

Carol Graham, Sergio Pinto, and John Juneau, II, “The geography of desperation in America,” Brookings Institute, July 24, 2017, https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-geography-of-desperation-in-america/


Obamacare

Stephanie Armour, Kristina Peterson, and Michelle Hackman, “Senate Health Debate Rolls On After First Option Fails,” Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/senate-votes-to-begin-debate-on-health-care-bill-1501009650

Joe Williams, “Senate Rejects First Obamacare Repeal Proposal,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, July 25, 2017, http://www.rollcall.com/news/senate-rejects-first-health-care-repeal-proposal/

Jordain Carney, “Senate rejects repeal-only ObamaCare plan,” Hill, July 26, 2017, http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/343887-senate-rejects-repeal-only-obamacare-amendment

Peter Sullivan and Nathaniel Weixel, “Bare bones repeal plan gains steam in Senate,” Hill, July 26, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/344013-bare-bones-repeal-plan-gains-steam-in-senate

Peter Sullivan, “Senate Republicans plan to defund Planned Parenthood in ‘skinny’ repeal,” Hill, July 27, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/344133-senate-republicans-plan-to-defund-planned-parenthood-in-skinny-repeal

British Broadcasting Corporation, “US healthcare: Senate ‘skinny repeal’ bill fails,” July 28, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40750071


A new Cold War

“The American political elite has become unhinged,” [Russian senator Konstantin] Kosachyov went on. “It has chosen our country as a target or, more precisely, as a training wall.”[9]

Now Russians are calling it a Cold War.[10] This is not something I’d like to agree with them on. But it’s apparent that mainstream U.S. politicians in both major parties aren’t interested in being responsible and actually solving problems when they can just blame Russia instead. And it’s equally apparent they aren’t the least bit concerned about a renewal of the nuclear MADness that was a fixture during my childhood—maybe they’re confident that 1) they can all get in their bunkers in time and 2) they can outlast the ensuing devastation.

Lena Smirnova, “Moscow Hears Political Saber Rattling in Fresh U.S. Sanctions Vote,” Moscow Times, July 26, 2017, https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/russia-hears-political-saber-rattling-in-fresh-sanctions-vote-title-58509


Uber

Cyrus Farivar, “Judge: Waymo may be in “a world of trouble” if it can’t prove actual harm by Uber,” Ars Technica, July 26, 2017, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/07/ubers-ex-ceo-may-defend-levandowski-against-waymos-theft-allegations/


Boy Scouts

Ella Nilsen, “The Boy Scouts just apologized for the president’s behavior,” Vox, July 27, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/27/16051646/boy-scouts-apology-trump


  1. [1]Cyrus Farivar, “Judge: Waymo may be in “a world of trouble” if it can’t prove actual harm by Uber,” Ars Technica, July 26, 2017, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/07/ubers-ex-ceo-may-defend-levandowski-against-waymos-theft-allegations/
  2. [2]Peter Sullivan, “Senate Republicans plan to defund Planned Parenthood in ‘skinny’ repeal,” Hill, July 27, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/344133-senate-republicans-plan-to-defund-planned-parenthood-in-skinny-repeal
  3. [3]Samuel Gross, quoted in Jeff Stein, “The White House denies reports that Trump is looking into pardons,” Vox, July 23, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/7/23/16016704/white-house-trump-pardons
  4. [4]Ella Nilsen, “The Boy Scouts just apologized for the president’s behavior,” Vox, July 27, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/27/16051646/boy-scouts-apology-trump
  5. [5]Peter Sullivan, “Senate Republicans plan to defund Planned Parenthood in ‘skinny’ repeal,” Hill, July 27, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/344133-senate-republicans-plan-to-defund-planned-parenthood-in-skinny-repeal
  6. [6]British Broadcasting Corporation, “US healthcare: Senate ‘skinny repeal’ bill fails,” July 28, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40750071
  7. [7]Lydia Ramsey, “The Senate voted down a single-payer healthcare system — and there’s a specific reason Bernie Sanders opposed it,” Business Insider, July 27, 2017, http://www.businessinsider.com/senate-health-care-single-payer-vote-daines-amendment-2017-7
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Obamacare, the neoliberal consensus, and a kid fighting cancer,” Not Housebroken, May 11, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/2016/05/11/obamacare-the-neoliberal-consensus-and-a-kid-fighting-cancer/; my argument is based on Neil Barofsky, Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street (New York: Free Press, 2012); Brad Jacobson, “Obama received $20 million from healthcare industry in 2008 campaign,” Raw Story, January 12, 2010, http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/01/12/obama-received-20-million-healthcare-industry-money-2008/; Gaius Publius [pseud.], “Obama Got $20 Million from Healthcare Industry in 2008. Was Killing Single-Payer Part of the Deal?” Naked Capitalism, February 5, 2014, http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/02/gaius-publius-obama-got-20-million-healthcare-industry-2008-killing-single-payer-part-deal.html
  9. [9]Lena Smirnova, “Moscow Hears Political Saber Rattling in Fresh U.S. Sanctions Vote,” Moscow Times, July 26, 2017, https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/russia-hears-political-saber-rattling-in-fresh-sanctions-vote-title-58509
  10. [10]Lena Smirnova, “Moscow Hears Political Saber Rattling in Fresh U.S. Sanctions Vote,” Moscow Times, July 26, 2017, https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/russia-hears-political-saber-rattling-in-fresh-sanctions-vote-title-58509

The (not really) conservative case for single-payer health care: Daily Bullshit, July 25, 2017

Updates

  1. July 25, 8:55 am:
    • The Senate effort to (not really) repeal and (only maybe) replace Obamacare remains shrouded in mystery, even as the body is expected to vote on a motion to proceed with debate today (July 25).[1]
  2. July 25, 3:22 pm:
    • Mitch McConnell managed, just barely, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote, to ram a motion to proceed through the Senate, but still, no one knows what sort of health are bill can attract enough of a consensus to pass.[2] (Obamacare)

Single-payer health care

I comment on Chase Madar’s article in a research journal entry, “The (not really) conservative case for single-payer health care.”

Chase Madar, “The Conservative Case for Universal Healthcare,” American Conservative, July 25, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-conservative-case-for-universal-healthcare/


Obamacare

Noam N. Levey and Lisa Mascaro, “With Pence breaking a tie, Senate votes to begin debate on Obamacare repeal bill,” Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2017,
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-obamacare-senate-vote-20170725-story.html

Dylan Scott, “Senate Republicans don’t know what’s in their health bill or what it would do. They’re voting anyway,” Vox, July 25, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/25/16022564/senate-health-care-bill-vote-really-coming


  1. [1]Dylan Scott, “Senate Republicans don’t know what’s in their health bill or what it would do. They’re voting anyway,” Vox, July 25, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/25/16022564/senate-health-care-bill-vote-really-coming
  2. [2]Noam N. Levey and Lisa Mascaro, “With Pence breaking a tie, Senate votes to begin debate on Obamacare repeal bill,” Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2017,
    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-obamacare-senate-vote-20170725-story.html

Not quite an ‘intellectual history of the Right’: Daily Bullshit, July 22-24, 2017

Updates

  1. July 22, 12:20 pm:
    • Jeff Sessions probably did discuss the Trump campaign with the Russian ambassador.[1]
  2. July 23, 11:29 am:
    • [Sigh.] I guess I don’t get to ignore that Donald Trump may or may not but probably is considering pardoning himself.[2] Some things just really are too far over the top for me.
  3. July 24, 2:04 pm:
    • Jared Kushner disclosed a meeting with the then-Russian ambassador at a Washington reception,[3] leading mainstream media outlets to send out news alerts as if this were something important—but this doesn’t look to me like an occasion where anything worth worrying about could have occurred, which leads me to suspect journalists of trying too hard to make a scandal out of this. (Golden Showers)
    • Nancy McLean responds to her critics and is “dishearten[ed by] how many people are willing to criticize the book without reading it.”[4] It’s worth reading this just to see a textbook example for how academics should respond to criticism. (Capitalist Libertarianism and Neoliberalism)

Capitalist Libertarianism and Neoliberalism

Nancy McLean’s effort documents, at most, a part of the story of how capitalist libertarianism developed into neoliberalism. And it probably shouldn’t be regarded as much of a departure from other scholarly work, including my own: That capitalist libertarians developed an academic infrastructure to promote what became neoliberalism[5] and that this infrastructure served to help establish neoliberalism as a new political orthodoxy when Keynesianism was perceived to have failed[6] is hardly new. And no one who has watched capitalist libertarianism will be surprised that this occurred in part at George Mason University. What’s different here is a sense that capitalist libertarians recognized democracy as antithetical to capitalist libertarianism, and again, if one understands the relationship between neoconservatism, neoliberalism, and capitalist libertarianism, this isn’t really that striking a revelation: Neoliberals and capitalist libertarians understand the market as a more compelling expression of ‘democracy’ than politics. But McLean apparently believes that capitalist libertarians acted toward the political system with malice—again, this is not that radical a revelation when one observes the absolute disdain that capitalist libertarians, especially so-called ‘anarchocapitalists,’ hold toward government—and for this, she’s come under vicious attack, especially but not exclusively from (surprise!) capitalist libertarians.[7] I suspect they protest too much.

One thing has really stood out for me. For all the thousands of words that they have written, my critics still fail to engage the central message of the book: Leading libertarian thinkers concluded they could never win over the majority to their agenda. Therefore, they decided to achieve their utopia by attempting to radically change the rules of governance in order to change society.[8]

She could have cited Alfred Jay Nock’s ‘Remnant’ here (she’d just about have to in her book), which is all about the unpopularity of capitalist libertarian ideals and what capitalist libertarians were and, to a dramatically lesser extent today, still are up against.[9] I’m not going to say here that she is right—I still haven’t read her book—but what I have read suggests that her work is, at the very least, plausible.

Marc Parry, “A New History of the Right Has Become an Intellectual Flashpoint,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 19, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/A-New-History-of-the-Right-Has/240700

Marc Parry, “Nancy MacLean Responds to Her Critics,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 19, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/Nancy-MacLean-Responds-to-Her/240699

George Monbiot, “Missing Link,” July 21, 2017, http://www.monbiot.com/2017/07/21/missing-link/


Golden Showers

If the Washington Post is right, Trump would be entertaining a breach of historical precedent that could set off a constitutional crisis because there’s a serious possibility that a self-pardon would not be upheld in court. “This is theater of the absurd,” Samuel Gross, a University of Michigan law professor, told Vox’s Sean Illing. “The fact that we’re even talking about it is a measure of how far we’ve fallen under Trump.”[10]

So, allegedly, Donald Trump is extremely frustrated with “unrelenting press coverage of this whole Russian thing, much of it based on leaks that are coming out of various departments.”[11] While he may or may not have the power to pardon himself,[12] he certainly has the power to damn himself.

Carol D. Leonnig, Ashley Parker, Rosalind S. Helderman, and Tom Hamburger, “Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation,” Washington Post, July 20, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-lawyers-seek-to-undercut-muellers-russia-investigation/2017/07/20/232ebf2c-6d71-11e7-b9e2-2056e768a7e5_story.html

Katie Bo Williams and Scott Wong, “Republicans rally around Sessions after Trump criticism,” Hill, July 20, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/house/342964-republicans-rally-around-sessions-after-trump-criticism

Katie Bo Williams, “Trump launches all-out assault on Mueller probe,” Hill, July 22, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/343164-trump-launches-all-out-assault-on-mueller-probe

Jeff Stein, “The White House denies reports that Trump is looking into pardons,” Vox, July 23, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/7/23/16016704/white-house-trump-pardons

Rebecca Ballhaus, “Jared Kushner Details Russia Meetings, Denies Collusion,” Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/jared-kushner-releases-details-on-previously-undisclosed-meeting-with-russian-ambassador-1500890433


Jeff Sessions

Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Greg Miller, “Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show,” Washington Post, July 21, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-discussed-trump-campaign-related-matters-with-russian-ambassador-us-intelligence-intercepts-show/2017/07/21/3e704692-6e44-11e7-9c15-177740635e83_story.html


  1. [1]Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Greg Miller, “Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show,” Washington Post, July 21, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-discussed-trump-campaign-related-matters-with-russian-ambassador-us-intelligence-intercepts-show/2017/07/21/3e704692-6e44-11e7-9c15-177740635e83_story.html
  2. [2]Carol D. Leonnig, Ashley Parker, Rosalind S. Helderman, and Tom Hamburger, “Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation,” Washington Post, July 20, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-lawyers-seek-to-undercut-muellers-russia-investigation/2017/07/20/232ebf2c-6d71-11e7-b9e2-2056e768a7e5_story.html; Jeff Stein, “The White House denies reports that Trump is looking into pardons,” Vox, July 23, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/7/23/16016704/white-house-trump-pardons
  3. [3]Rebecca Ballhaus, “Jared Kushner Details Russia Meetings, Denies Collusion,” Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/jared-kushner-releases-details-on-previously-undisclosed-meeting-with-russian-ambassador-1500890433
  4. [4]Marc Parry, “Nancy MacLean Responds to Her Critics,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 19, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/Nancy-MacLean-Responds-to-Her/240699
  5. [5]George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, 30th anniversary ed. (Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2006).
  6. [6]Daniel Stedman Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2012).
  7. [7]Marc Parry, “A New History of the Right Has Become an Intellectual Flashpoint,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 19, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/A-New-History-of-the-Right-Has/240700
  8. [8]Nancy McLean, quoted in Marc Parry, “Nancy MacLean Responds to Her Critics,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 19, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/Nancy-MacLean-Responds-to-Her/240699
  9. [9]George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, 30th anniversary ed. (Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2006).
  10. [10]Jeff Stein, “The White House denies reports that Trump is looking into pardons,” Vox, July 23, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/7/23/16016704/white-house-trump-pardons
  11. [11]Chris Collins, quoted in Katie Bo Williams, “Trump launches all-out assault on Mueller probe,” Hill, July 22, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/343164-trump-launches-all-out-assault-on-mueller-probe
  12. [12]Carol D. Leonnig, Ashley Parker, Rosalind S. Helderman, and Tom Hamburger, “Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation,” Washington Post, July 20, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-lawyers-seek-to-undercut-muellers-russia-investigation/2017/07/20/232ebf2c-6d71-11e7-b9e2-2056e768a7e5_story.html

Obamacare lives: Daily Bullshit, July 19-21, 2017

Parts-Unknown.org is now live on the new server. While I’d managed to propagate the changes for myself, it could take a couple days for others to get the updates, which made my usual practice of blabbing about these entries on Twitter premature. So this entry was actually produced to go live on Friday, July 21—not before—even as I began composing it late in the evening on July 19.

Updates

  1. Unfortunately, my hopes for a seamless transfer have been dashed. Apache on the old server was misbehaving, so I’ve shut it down. You’re now getting the new site or you’re getting an error. Fortunately, the only other web services I’m running are a URL shortener at greybeard95a.com, which I think I can replace with a new instance at n4rky.me (this would actually be what I originally acquired the latter domain for although it’s been through some twists and turns since), and some stuff for the Human Science Institute, which is sufficiently low volume that it can move with only minimal disruption.
  2. Finally published, July 21, 2:59 am.
  3. Articles that should have been included in the original publication but weren’t, July 21, 12:54 pm:
    • The pay ratio between CEOs and ordinary workers still exceeds 300:1.[1] (Income inequality)
    • The Republicans still don’t have a consensus on health care and Donald Trump “ordering” them to reach one doesn’t make it so.[2] (Obamacare)

Obamacare

In our last installment, Mitch McConnell’s grand effort to pass a bill to (not really) “repeal and replace” Obamacare had crashed and burned. He then planned a vote on a “clean” repeal.[3] This, too, has now crashed and burned as three senators, all women who had had a lot to say about health care and who had nonetheless been excluded from the working group to draft the bill, announced their opposition.[4] But Obamacare’s supporters should temper their glee as Donald Trump appears inclined to withhold subsidy payments for insurance companies and could do so beginning as early as Thursday, July 20[5]:

[Donald] Trump declared that his plan was now to “let Obamacare fail,” saying Democrats would then seek out Republicans to work together on a bill to bury the Affordable Care Act. If he is determined to make good on that pledge, he has plenty of levers to pull, from declining to reimburse insurance companies for reducing low-income customers’ out-of-pocket costs to failing to enforce the mandate that most Americans have health coverage. . . .

Trump has considerable leverage to gum up the works of the Affordable Care Act. He could throw insurance markets into a tailspin at any time by cutting off the reimbursement payments to insurers, as he has threatened to do. He could further destabilize the markets by not enforcing the mandate that most Americans have health insurance.

And he could cancel advertising and other efforts to encourage enrollment under the Affordable Care Act when the annual sign-up period begins in November. A barrage of negative statements from the administration could project an official view that the health law is collapsing, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.[6]

And at least a few Republicans in the House seem to think a repeal effort can rise phoenix-like from the ashes yet again,[7] which may be so, but they still fail to explain how the conflicts that have so far plagued the effort can now be overcome.[8]

Rachael Bade and Kyle Cheney, “House Republicans in denial about Senate health care bill failure,” Politico, July 18, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/18/house-gop-obamacare-repeal-reaction-240671

Paul Demko and Josh Dawsey, “Trump threatens to gut Obamacare markets,” Politico, July 18, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/18/trump-obamacare-markets-subsidies-cut-240684

Tara Golshan, “3 GOP women were left out of the Senate’s Obamacare repeal effort. They just tanked it,” Vox, July 18, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/18/15991020/3-gop-women-tank-obamacare-repeal

Thomas Kaplan, “‘Let Obamacare fail,’ Trump says after Republicans’ health bill crumbles,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 18, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/latest-gop-health-plan-to-repeal-only-collapses/435208013/

Yasmeen Abutaleb and Richard Cowan, “Republicans meet late into night as Trump demands new U.S. healthcare plan,” Reuters, July 19, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-idUSKBN1A40UX


Golden Showers

Normally, I’m bored shitless by personalities but this might bear watching. In the Wall Street Journal, “[a]ccording to a business person formerly based in Moscow who has had dealings with Crocus Group, [Irakly “Ike”] Kaveladze is ‘a total straight shooter. Very easy to deal with. Very low key, gets deals done for the family, no fuss, no ego.’”[9] But in the Politico article, he is “a business associate of a top Moscow oligarch and was once the focus of a congressional money-laundering probe”[10] and he is portrayed as possessing “thousands of fake accounts in Delaware”[11] and numerous shell corporations.[12]

Rebecca Ballhaus, Byron Tau, and Aruna Viswanatha, “Special Counsel Is Investigating Trump Tower Meeting With Russians,” Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/special-counsel-is-investigating-trump-tower-meeting-with-russians-1500400598

Kyle Cheney, Darren Samuelsohn, and Ryan Hutchins, “Eighth person in Trump Tower meeting was linked to money laundering,” Politico, July 18, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/18/irakly-kaveladze-trump-tower-russia-eighth-man-240679


Muslim Ban

The new ruling handed the Trump administration a partial victory in the sense that the Justice Department prevailed in part of what it was seeking from the high court. But the operative version of Trump’s travel ban policy is now a far cry from what he originally ordered in January. The once-broad order is now subject to a slew of limitations and exclusions imposed by courts or adopted by the administration in the face of legal challenges.[13]

Josh Gerstein, “Supreme Court won’t let Trump travel ban hit grandparents,” Politico, July 19, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/19/scotus-wont-let-trump-travel-ban-hit-grandparents-240719


Income inequality

Lawrence S. Wittner, “How Much Is a Boss Worth?” Truthout, July 20, 2017, http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41318-how-much-is-a-boss-worth

  1. [1]Lawrence S. Wittner, “How Much Is a Boss Worth?” Truthout, July 20, 2017, http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41318-how-much-is-a-boss-worth
  2. [2]Yasmeen Abutaleb and Richard Cowan, “Republicans meet late into night as Trump demands new U.S. healthcare plan,” Reuters, July 19, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-idUSKBN1A40UX
  3. [3]Jordain Carney, “New GOP health bill lacks the votes to pass,” Hill, July 17, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/342447-two-more-gop-senators-defect-on-healthcare-bill
  4. [4]Tara Golshan, “3 GOP women were left out of the Senate’s Obamacare repeal effort. They just tanked it,” Vox, July 18, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/18/15991020/3-gop-women-tank-obamacare-repeal
  5. [5]Paul Demko and Josh Dawsey, “Trump threatens to gut Obamacare markets,” Politico, July 18, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/18/trump-obamacare-markets-subsidies-cut-240684
  6. [6]Thomas Kaplan, “‘Let Obamacare fail,’ Trump says after Republicans’ health bill crumbles,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 18, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/latest-gop-health-plan-to-repeal-only-collapses/435208013/
  7. [7]Rachael Bade and Kyle Cheney, “House Republicans in denial about Senate health care bill failure,” Politico, July 18, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/18/house-gop-obamacare-repeal-reaction-240671
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Conservatives and the effort to ‘repeal and replace’ Obamacare,” July 2, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2017/07/02/conservatives-and-effort-repeal-and-replace-obamacare
  9. [9]Rebecca Ballhaus, Byron Tau, and Aruna Viswanatha, “Special Counsel Is Investigating Trump Tower Meeting With Russians,” Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/special-counsel-is-investigating-trump-tower-meeting-with-russians-1500400598
  10. [10]Kyle Cheney, Darren Samuelsohn, and Ryan Hutchins, “Eighth person in Trump Tower meeting was linked to money laundering,” Politico, July 18, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/18/irakly-kaveladze-trump-tower-russia-eighth-man-240679
  11. [11]Mark Warner, quoted in Kyle Cheney, Darren Samuelsohn, and Ryan Hutchins, “Eighth person in Trump Tower meeting was linked to money laundering,” Politico, July 18, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/18/irakly-kaveladze-trump-tower-russia-eighth-man-240679
  12. [12]Kyle Cheney, Darren Samuelsohn, and Ryan Hutchins, “Eighth person in Trump Tower meeting was linked to money laundering,” Politico, July 18, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/18/irakly-kaveladze-trump-tower-russia-eighth-man-240679
  13. [13]Josh Gerstein, “Supreme Court won’t let Trump travel ban hit grandparents,” Politico, July 19, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/19/scotus-wont-let-trump-travel-ban-hit-grandparents-240719

A possibly pyrrhic victory as Mitch McConnell abandons effort to “repeal and replace” Obamacare: Daily Bullshit, July 17, 2017

Updates

  1. Originally posted, July 17, 11:10 am.
  2. July 17, 10:36 pm:
    • The hiatus has been delayed. I ran into a problem uploading my main database. Succeeding at this is crucial. And, in the meantime, news has crept in.
    • Two more Republican senators opposed the Republican effort to (not really) “repeal and replace” Obamacare, leading Mitch McConnell to scrap the vote and seek instead to separate the repeal from the replacement.[1]
    • I read it so you don’t have to: Some politicians think that Jared Kushner’s security clearance should be revoked.[2] (Golden Showers)
  3. July 19, 3:46 am:
    • The aforementioned hiatus is back on. The database that contains all my archives has now supposedly been successfully loaded (not by me). I’ve made copies of recent additions to the archive. I need to upload a fresh copy of the database for the Daily Bullshit. I will resume work on this tomorrow and hopefully everything will be settled by July 22.
  4. July 19, 10:59 pm:
    • Second-level technical support was able to overcome my issue uploading the database. The new site is live and if you are seeing this it is because the DNS changes have reached you. I expect to resume updates on Friday, July 21.

Obamacare

Jordain Carney, “New GOP health bill lacks the votes to pass,” Hill, July 17, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/342447-two-more-gop-senators-defect-on-healthcare-bill


Golden Showers

Katie Bo Williams and Jordan Fabian, “Questions grow over Kushner’s security clearances,” Hill, July 17, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/342120-questions-grow-over-kushners-security-clearances


Hiatus announcement

Note: This project has been deferred.

So it’s been slow for a few days anyway, with little hitting my radar screen as worthy of note (although I have yet to look at my mail today) so today’s the day.

Owing to 1) the uncertainty of my living situation,[3] 2) the fact that as time has passed my dubious technical aptitude has seemed ever further out of date and 3) the fact that my intellectual development has proceeded on a different path from technology, I am in the process of stepping away from self-hosting my domains. My blog, Not Housebroken, at disunitedstates.org, has already moved. My email is now being handled through Google’s G Suites.

But today’s the big day. I have already begun the move of parts-unknown.org, which is the really big one. The site will remain accessible, but at some point today, I will change the IP address and DNS hosting to point to the new server (which I’m also hoping will offer better performance). If all goes well, for a period of 48 hours thereafter, you will be able to reach the site, but whether you see the old one or the new one will depend on whether the DNS updates have propagated to serve you. During this time, I need to keep the content in sync, but I am subject to the same vagaries as you and the best way to do this is simply not to update anything at all.

In truth, if all goes well, I can speed this up a little bit because I control the DNS for the old set-up and I believe I can update the old DNS to point to the new server. And in that case, updates may resume a bit earlier. But good practice says to say, “two days,” and I’m allowing that and a bit more.

  1. [1]Jordain Carney, “New GOP health bill lacks the votes to pass,” Hill, July 17, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/342447-two-more-gop-senators-defect-on-healthcare-bill
  2. [2]Katie Bo Williams and Jordan Fabian, “Questions grow over Kushner’s security clearances,” Hill, July 17, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/342120-questions-grow-over-kushners-security-clearances
  3. [3]David Benfell, “To my friends,” Not Housebroken, April 7, 2017, https://disunitedstates.org/2017/04/01/to-my-friends/