Will #MeToo bring down Donald Trump? Daily Bullshit, December 11-16, 2017

Updates

  1. Originally published, December 13, 8:13 pm.
  2. December 14, 3:19 am:
    • Just so we don’t forget who the Wall Street Journal opinion writers are, Daniel Henninger accuses Democrats of adopting a “by any means necessary” (my apologies to Malcolm X) approach to politics to exploit Sexual harassment and assault claims.[1] If memory serves, the appropriate descriptor for Henninger is ‘absolute slime,’ and his article prioritizes politics over criminality, but we also need to understand how Republicans will frame their defense and this is a particularly boorish clue.
  3. December 14, 11:51 am:
    • James Hohmann sees Roy Moore’s loss in terms of a suburban rebellion against Donald Trump.[2]
    • And what about those social conservatives who stood with Roy Moore?[3]
  4. December 15, 4:24 pm:
    • Net Neutrality is dead, unless lawsuits that seem to me like a stretch succeed or a bipartisan effort to restore it that also seems like a stretch succeeds.[4]
    • The war between authoritarian populists and functionalist conservatives over Roy Moore’s loss is on but it in fact dates back (at least) to 2010.[5]
  5. December 15, 5:50 pm:
  6. December 14, 8:04 pm:
    • I was bothered by the way I initially wrote my commentary on Roy Moore. I was counting on the word ‘risk’ to evade an accusation of libel. But really, my language wasn’t strong enough or clear enough. So I tweaked it. I think this is much better.
  7. December 15, 6:41 am:
    • Citing Ed Rendell, James Hohmann thinks Democrats risk overplaying their hand in asking Donald Trump to resign as attention returns to “all the accusations of sexual assault against him [that] were out in the open before the 2016 election.”[6] “The American people knew this, and they voted for him anyway,” said Rendell.[7] Trump wouldn’t resign because Democrats asked him to anyway. But I do think that Republican functionalist conservatives do ultimately have the upper hand and that they will eventually realize they’d be better off with a President Pence. And, don’t hold your breath, but I think that Trump might resign in a still unlikely event he loses the support of his authoritarian populist and paleoconservative base (and understands that he has lost that support). Otherwise, I think Tim Kaine probably gets this one right: He said, “Look, he’s not going to resign. So let’s not play games.”[8] (Sexual harassment and assault)
  8. December 16, 11:53 am:
    • And what about those evangelicals supporting pedophiles, philanderers, sexual assailants, and rapists for political reasons? It turns out some, but clearly not all, of them have a problem with the hypocrisy while others suddenly remember about redemption (when it suits their political interests).[9] (Sexual harassment and assault)

Roy Moore

I thought I tweeted (but have failed to locate) something to the effect that Democrats should consider that a significant portion of Alabama’s voting population is more willing to risk voting for an accused pedophile than a known Democrat. As we can see in these articles, we can read a lot of stuff into Doug Jones’s victory,[10] but that remains the case.

Stephen Collinson, “Trump tries to minimize stinging defeat,” CNN, December 13, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/13/politics/donald-trump-senate-race/index.html

James Hohmann, “Six takeaways from Doug Jones’s stunning win in Alabama’s Senate race,” Washington Post, December 13, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/13/daily-202-six-takeaways-from-doug-jones-s-stunning-win-in-alabama-s-senate-race/5a30733c30fb0469e883fb64/

Sarah Jones, “What Roy Moore Did to the Pro-Life Movement,” New Republic, December 13, 2017, https://newrepublic.com/article/146274/roy-moore-pro-life-movement

Joseph Lowndes, “Roy Moore lost the battle, but he’s winning the war,” Washington Post, December 13, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/12/13/roy-moore-lost-the-battle-but-hes-winning-the-war/

S. A. Miller and Dave Boyer, “Republicans turn wrath against Steve Bannon after Roy Moore’s loss,” Washington Times, December 13, 2017, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/dec/13/steve-bannon-blamed-roy-moores-loss-alabama-senate/

Gerald F. Seib, “With Alabama Loss, Trump and GOP Face Political Reckoning,” Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/with-alabama-loss-trump-and-gop-face-political-reckoning-1513141779

Nate Silver, “Republicans Shouldn’t Assume Roy Moore Was An Outlier,” FiveThirtyEight, December 13, 2017, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/republicans-shouldnt-assume-roy-moore-was-an-outlier/

James Hohmann, “The suburban revolt against Trump continued in Alabama,” Washington Post, December 14, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/14/daily-202-the-suburban-revolt-against-trump-continued-in-alabama/5a31b01430fb0469e883fba4/

Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Baile, “After Trump and Moore, some evangelicals are finding their own label too toxic to use,” Washington Post, December 14, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/after-trump-and-moore-some-evangelicals-are-finding-their-own-label-too-toxic-to-use/2017/12/14/b034034c-e020-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html

Rod Dreher, “An Evangelical Crack-Up?” American Conservative, December 15, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/an-evangelical-crack-up/


Brexit

Philip Jenkins, “How Brexit is Turning into a Disaster for Ireland,” American Conservative, December 13, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-brexit-is-turning-into-a-disaster-for-ireland/

Bruno Waterfield and Oliver Wright, “Make exit deal the law before we talk trade, EU chiefs insist,” Times, December 12, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/a4ca5698-debb-11e7-872d-4b5e82b139be

Oliver Wright, “Davis rows back on claim that Ireland deal is ‘unenforceable,’” Times, December 11, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/ireland-warns-may-over-brexit-deal-wkkspj78x


Harbin Hot Springs

Elizabeth Larson, “Supervisors to consider letter from Harbin Hot Springs about rebuilding obstacles,” Lake County News, December 11, 2017, http://lakeconews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53528:supervisors-to-consider-letter-from-harbin-hot-springs-about-rebuilding-obstacles

Elizabeth Larson, “Supervisors consider issues with Harbin Hot Springs rebuild,” Lake County News, December 13, 2017, http://lakeconews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53562:supervisors-consider-issues-with-harbin-hot-springs-rebuild&catid=70:news


Jerusalem

Karin Laub and Zeynep Bilginsoy, “Abbas says UN should replace US as Mideast mediator,” Associated Press, December 12, 2017, https://apnews.com/73dd147b8c3246748211783baf502ebe/Palestinian-president-says-no-role-for-US-in-peace-process


Sexual harassment and assault

I’m thinking #MeToo might be what brings down Donald Trump. With Roy Moore’s loss in Alabama, Republicans may finally recognize that Trump is, if not an impediment to their agenda, an embarrassment who does not advance it.[11]

Martin Pengelly, “Nikki Haley: women who accuse Trump of sexual misconduct ‘should be heard,'” Guardian, December 10, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/10/nikki-haley-donald-trump-accusers-should-be-heard

Melissa Quinn, “3 Trump accusers recount sexual misconduct claims: ‘I wanted people to know’ what a ‘pervert’ Trump is,” Washington Examiner, December 11, 2017, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/3-trump-accusers-recount-sexual-misconduct-claims-i-wanted-people-to-know-what-a-pervert-trump-is/article/2643105

Griffin Connolly, “Fifty-Plus Female Democratic Lawmakers Urge Investigation Into Trump Allegations,” Hill, December 12, 2017, https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/female-democratic-lawmakers-trump/

Mark Galli, “The Biggest Loser in the Alabama Election,” Christianity Today, December 12, 2017, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/december-web-only/roy-moore-doug-jones-alabama-editorial.html

Jonathan Lemire, “#MeToo spotlight increasingly pointed at past Trump conduct,” Associated Press, December 12, 2017, https://apnews.com/e3b50b28fa73426799e6ac63839057fb

Ashley Parker, John Wagner, and Ed O’Keefe, “Trump attacks Gillibrand in tweet critics say is sexually suggestive and demeaning,” Washington Post, December 12, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/12/12/trump-sends-sexually-suggestive-and-demeaning-tweet-about-gillibrand/

Daniel Henninger, “When Donald Met Kirsten,” Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-donald-met-kirsten-1513210449

Rod Dreher, “An Evangelical Crack-Up?” American Conservative, December 15, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/an-evangelical-crack-up/

James Hohmann, with Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve, “Democrats risk overplaying their hand by pushing for Trump’s resignation,” Washington Post, December 15, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/15/daily-202-democrats-risk-overplaying-their-hand-by-pushing-for-trump-s-resignation/5a3343ee30fb0469e883fbd6/


Net Neutrality

“[FCC Chairperson Ajit] Pai and other opponents of the net neutrality rules said they have led to reduced investment in broadband networks — a point supporters dispute.”[12] I am still waiting for the opponents’ claim to be properly explained.

All I see here is that Internet service providers want additional power to throttle my content. The claim that net neutrality regulations reduced investment sounds too much like a tautology: Providers choose not to invest. They blame their choice on regulations. But we have no proof of what they would have done absent those regulations and no proof that those regulations impede investment or competition.

Instead we have a claim that they are not investing as much as they would have. And neoliberals, who rank fairness far below any other economic value, and who also see corporations, even monopolies, as virtuous while seeing unions as evil, adopt this claim as consistent with their mantra that regulation is bad.

But it all reduces to a categorical premise, which is, ‘regulation is evil,’ and which is supported, at best, by anecdotal evidence woefully inadequate for a categorical claim; and a categorical conclusion, which is, ‘regulation is evil.’ All this masquerades as an argument but it is in fact the simplest form of circular reasoning. I guess that’s too simple for many politicians to see.

Jim Puzzanghera, “FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules, a milestone for Republican deregulation push,” Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-net-neutrality-fcc-20171214-story.html


  1. [1]Daniel Henninger, “When Donald Met Kirsten,” Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-donald-met-kirsten-1513210449
  2. [2]James Hohmann, “The suburban revolt against Trump continued in Alabama,” Washington Post, December 14, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/14/daily-202-the-suburban-revolt-against-trump-continued-in-alabama/5a31b01430fb0469e883fba4/
  3. [3]Sarah Jones, “What Roy Moore Did to the Pro-Life Movement,” New Republic, December 13, 2017, https://newrepublic.com/article/146274/roy-moore-pro-life-movement
  4. [4]Jim Puzzanghera, “FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules, a milestone for Republican deregulation push,” Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-net-neutrality-fcc-20171214-story.html
  5. [5]S. A. Miller and Dave Boyer, “Republicans turn wrath against Steve Bannon after Roy Moore’s loss,” Washington Times, December 13, 2017, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/dec/13/steve-bannon-blamed-roy-moores-loss-alabama-senate/
  6. [6]James Hohmann, with Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve, “Democrats risk overplaying their hand by pushing for Trump’s resignation,” Washington Post, December 15, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/15/daily-202-democrats-risk-overplaying-their-hand-by-pushing-for-trump-s-resignation/5a3343ee30fb0469e883fbd6/
  7. [7]Ed Rendell, quoted in James Hohmann, with Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve, “Democrats risk overplaying their hand by pushing for Trump’s resignation,” Washington Post, December 15, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/15/daily-202-democrats-risk-overplaying-their-hand-by-pushing-for-trump-s-resignation/5a3343ee30fb0469e883fbd6/
  8. [8]Tim Kaine, quoted in James Hohmann, with Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve, “Democrats risk overplaying their hand by pushing for Trump’s resignation,” Washington Post, December 15, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/15/daily-202-democrats-risk-overplaying-their-hand-by-pushing-for-trump-s-resignation/5a3343ee30fb0469e883fbd6/
  9. [9]Rod Dreher, “An Evangelical Crack-Up?” American Conservative, December 15, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/an-evangelical-crack-up/; Mark Galli, “The Biggest Loser in the Alabama Election,” Christianity Today, December 12, 2017, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/december-web-only/roy-moore-doug-jones-alabama-editorial.html; Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Baile, “After Trump and Moore, some evangelicals are finding their own label too toxic to use,” Washington Post, December 14, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/after-trump-and-moore-some-evangelicals-are-finding-their-own-label-too-toxic-to-use/2017/12/14/b034034c-e020-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html
  10. [10]Stephen Collinson, “Trump tries to minimize stinging defeat,” CNN, December 13, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/13/politics/donald-trump-senate-race/index.html; James Hohmann, “Six takeaways from Doug Jones’s stunning win in Alabama’s Senate race,” Washington Post, December 13, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/13/daily-202-six-takeaways-from-doug-jones-s-stunning-win-in-alabama-s-senate-race/5a30733c30fb0469e883fb64/; James Hohmann, “The suburban revolt against Trump continued in Alabama,” Washington Post, December 14, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/14/daily-202-the-suburban-revolt-against-trump-continued-in-alabama/5a31b01430fb0469e883fba4/; Gerald F. Seib, “With Alabama Loss, Trump and GOP Face Political Reckoning,” Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/with-alabama-loss-trump-and-gop-face-political-reckoning-1513141779; Nate Silver, “Republicans Shouldn’t Assume Roy Moore Was An Outlier,” FiveThirtyEight, December 13, 2017, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/republicans-shouldnt-assume-roy-moore-was-an-outlier/
  11. [11]James Hohmann, “Six takeaways from Doug Jones’s stunning win in Alabama’s Senate race,” Washington Post, December 13, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/13/daily-202-six-takeaways-from-doug-jones-s-stunning-win-in-alabama-s-senate-race/5a30733c30fb0469e883fb64/; Gerald F. Seib, “With Alabama Loss, Trump and GOP Face Political Reckoning,” Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/with-alabama-loss-trump-and-gop-face-political-reckoning-1513141779
  12. [12]Jim Puzzanghera, “FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules, a milestone for Republican deregulation push,” Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-net-neutrality-fcc-20171214-story.html

Fiddling while the world burns: Daily Bullshit, December 4-8, 2017

So I’m finally catching up on the last few days, which have been extraordinarily busy for me. But it’s all nuts and the world seems like it is falling apart.


James Comey

The emerging difference of view between authoritarian populists and just about everyone else on Robert Mueller’s investigation is one example that makes it harder—much harder—to understand how the divisions in the U.S. can possibly be healed.

Sari Horwitz and Philip Rucker, “A bold new legal defense for Trump: Presidents cannot obstruct justice,” Washington Post, December 4, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/a-bold-new-legal-defense-for-trump-presidents-cannot-obstruct-justice/2017/12/04/b95cb262-d91c-11e7-a841-2066faf731ef_story.html

Kara Scannell, “WH lawyer told Trump that Flynn misled FBI and Pence,” CNN, December 4, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/04/politics/wh-lawyer-told-trump-flynn-misled-fbi-pence/index.html

Stephen Collinson and Maegan Vazquez, “White House turns to above-the-law political defense,” CNN, December 5, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/04/politics/trump-john-dowd-obstruct-justice/index.html

Stephanie Kirchgaessner, “Trump’s personal banking information handed over to Robert Mueller,” Guardian, December 5, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/05/donald-trump-bank-records-handed-over-robert-mueller

Peter Nicholas, Aruna Viswanatha, and Erica Orden, “Trump’s Allies Urge Harder Line as Mueller Probe Heats Up,” Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trumps-allies-urge-harder-line-as-mueller-probe-drags-on-1512748299


Muslim ban

Ariane de Vogue, “Supreme Court lets full Trump travel ban take effect,” CNN, December 4, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/04/politics/supreme-court-travel-ban/index.html

Lydia Wheeler, “Supreme Court allows full Trump travel ban to take effect,” Hill, December 4, 2017, http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/363183-supreme-court-allows-full-trump-travel-ban-to-take-effect


Brexit

Oliver Wright et al., “May fights to save Brexit deal after DUP veto,” Times, December 5, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/may-fights-to-save-brexit-deal-after-dup-veto-d5q9623wn

Laurence Norman, “U.K., EU Reach Deal on Brexit Divorce Terms,” Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-european-union-reach-deal-on-brexit-divorce-terms-1512716442


Ageism

Ruth Ray Karpen, “Anti-Ageism: The Next Big Social Movement,” review of Ending Ageism or How Not to Shoot Old People, by Margaret Morganroth Gullette, Tikkun, December 7, 2017, http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/anti-ageism-the-next-big-social-movement


Jerusalem

Michael Lerner, “Trump’s Arrogant Recognition of Jerusalem as Capital of Israel,” Tikkun, December 6, 2017, http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/32783

Felicia Schwartz, Dion Nissenbaum, and Rory Jones, “Trump Tells Arab Leaders U.S. Will Move Embassy to Jerusalem,” Wall Street Journal, December 5, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-tells-arab-leaders-u-s-will-move-embassy-to-jerusalem-1512497840

Times of Israel, “Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, starts embassy move,” December 6, 2017, https://www.timesofisrael.com/trump-recognizes-jerusalem-as-israels-capital-starts-embassy-move/

Jewish Telegraph Agency, “Palestinians burn US and Israeli flags in riots over Jerusalem,” December 7, 2017, https://www.jta.org/2017/12/07/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/palestinians-protest-jerusalem-recognition-as-hamas-leader-calls-for-new-intifada


Clintons

Even in defeat, these assholes can’t stay out of trouble.

John Solomon and Alison Spann, “Clintons understated support from firm hired by Russian nuclear company,” Hill, November 28, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/news/362234-clintons-understated-support-from-firm-hired-by-russian-nuclear-company


Move along, nothing to see here: Daily Bullshit, December 2-3, 2017

So you clicked on this despite the headline. Sorry, this really is just catching up on bullshit I’ve been archiving that’s hardly worth mention. At least for now.


Updates

  1. Originally published, December 2, 11:48 am.
  2. December 3, 11:10 am:
      • Donald Trump may have just confessed to obstruction of justice.[1] And yeah, it’s time to acknowledge those many who thought Trump would do himself in with Twitter. (James Comey)
    • December 3, 10:33 pm:
      • The Guardian assembles more reaction to Donald Trump’s tweet. It’s more of the same, except with the wrinkle that one of Trump’s lawyers took responsibility for the tweet, which seems to unanimously strike observers as not credible.[2] (It only gets worse on Twitter.) It looks to me like the lawyer was simply trying to introduce reasonable doubt about any ‘confession’ but I don’t know how much protection that might really offer Trump. (James Comey)

Tax cut for the rich

Nonpartisan analyses show tax benefits flow mainly to the wealthy with reductions of $34,000 a year for the top 1% while lower-income households see $50 tax breaks.

And while the corporate cuts are permanent, the individual rates — under the Senate version — expire in 2025, meaning most middle-income taxpayers would face tax hikes in eight years.[3]

And, oh yeah, the bill is still expected to add $1 trillion to the deficit.[4]

Congress’s nonpartisan scorekeeper, the Joint Committee on Taxation, announced yesterday [November 30] that the Senate GOP tax plan would add $1 trillion to the deficit — even after accounting for the positive impact from economic growth. “The tax committee projected the bill would raise economic growth by only 0.8 percent over a decade, a small fraction of what Republicans had projected,” Heather Long reports. “Some Republicans argued that the tax committee’s report just couldn’t be correct. Yet outside experts were not surprised by the results, which align with the view of many mainstream economists and several independent analyses.”[5]

Because trickle-down, which hasn’t ever—not even once—worked.

To me, this is barely even news. Of course the rich are taking care of themselves and of course they are doing so at everyone else’s expense. That’s what they do. That’s functionalist conservatism. That’s why we have capitalism and neoliberalism. And it’s shameless because they really believe they’re entitled to it.

James Hohmann, with Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve, “In pursuit of a tax bill, Trump’s GOP keeps violating more governing norms,” Washington Post, December 1, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/01/daily-202-in-pursuit-of-a-tax-bill-trump-s-gop-keeps-violating-more-governingms/5a20305e30fb0469e883f945/

Lisa Mascaro and Jim Puzzanghera, “After last-minute deals, the Senate narrowly passes Republican tax plan,” Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-gop-tax-plan-20171201-story.html


James Comey

Jared Kushner looks like the next to fall.[6] But even this isn’t really news. Because the real target looks like Donald Trump himself,[7] which is almost certainly why core authoritarian populists are so mad.[8] And yeah, that forecast that he’ll be out of office within a year (that’d be up in August) is still on track:

President Trump’s tweet suggesting that he knew former national security adviser Michael Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time of his firing has prompted ethics experts and political observers to question whether Mueller could probe the president for obstruction of justice.

Walter Shaub, the former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, said Saturday that Trump’s tweet would have been enough to end past administrations.

And Richard Painter, the top ethics lawyer during former President George W. Bush’s administration, said that Trump “could be Tweeting himself into an obstruction of justice conviction.”

Trump implied that he knew about Flynn’s false statements in a tweet Saturday.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies,” Trump tweeted.[9]

And that’s just what was pathetically easy—I suppose I could have just reproduced the entire fucking article—to copy and paste. The article has more experts saying essentially the same thing. And, um, not one saying anything else.[10]

Jonathan Easley, “Anger at Mueller burns hot on the right,” Hill, November 25, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/361610-anger-at-mueller-burns-hot-on-the-right

Dana Bash, Jim Sciutto, Gloria Borger, and Daniella Diaz, “Sources: Kushner was the ‘very senior’ transition member mentioned in court filing,” CNN, December 2, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/01/politics/jared-kushner-michael-flynn-russia/index.html

Jacqueline Thomsen, “Legal experts: Trump’s tweet could lead to obstruction of justice charges,” Hill, December 2, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/362964-ethics-experts-trumps-tweet-could-lead-to-obstruction-of-justice

Guardian, “‘Doesn’t make sense’: incredulity as Trump’s lawyer seeks to take blame for Flynn tweet,” December 3, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/04/doesnt-make-sense-incredulity-trumps-lawyer-john-dowd-take-blame-for-flynn-tweet

Jeffrey Toobin, “Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Sends Donald Trump’s Lawyers Scrambling,” New Yorker, December 11, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/11/michael-flynns-guilty-plea-sends-donald-trumps-lawyers-scrambling


  1. [1]Jacqueline Thomsen, “Legal experts: Trump’s tweet could lead to obstruction of justice charges,” Hill, December 2, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/362964-ethics-experts-trumps-tweet-could-lead-to-obstruction-of-justice
  2. [2]Guardian, “‘Doesn’t make sense’: incredulity as Trump’s lawyer seeks to take blame for Flynn tweet,” December 3, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/04/doesnt-make-sense-incredulity-trumps-lawyer-john-dowd-take-blame-for-flynn-tweet
  3. [3]Lisa Mascaro and Jim Puzzanghera, “After last-minute deals, the Senate narrowly passes Republican tax plan,” Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-gop-tax-plan-20171201-story.html
  4. [4]Lisa Mascaro and Jim Puzzanghera, “After last-minute deals, the Senate narrowly passes Republican tax plan,” Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-gop-tax-plan-20171201-story.html
  5. [5]James Hohmann, with Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve, “In pursuit of a tax bill, Trump’s GOP keeps violating more governing norms,” Washington Post, December 1, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/12/01/daily-202-in-pursuit-of-a-tax-bill-trump-s-gop-keeps-violating-more-governingms/5a20305e30fb0469e883f945/
  6. [6]Dana Bash, Jim Sciutto, Gloria Borger, and Daniella Diaz, “Sources: Kushner was the ‘very senior’ transition member mentioned in court filing,” CNN, December 2, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/01/politics/jared-kushner-michael-flynn-russia/index.html
  7. [7]Jeffrey Toobin, “Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Sends Donald Trump’s Lawyers Scrambling,” New Yorker, December 11, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/11/michael-flynns-guilty-plea-sends-donald-trumps-lawyers-scrambling
  8. [8]Jonathan Easley, “Anger at Mueller burns hot on the right,” Hill, November 25, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/361610-anger-at-mueller-burns-hot-on-the-right
  9. [9]Jacqueline Thomsen, “Legal experts: Trump’s tweet could lead to obstruction of justice charges,” Hill, December 2, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/362964-ethics-experts-trumps-tweet-could-lead-to-obstruction-of-justice
  10. [10]Jacqueline Thomsen, “Legal experts: Trump’s tweet could lead to obstruction of justice charges,” Hill, December 2, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/362964-ethics-experts-trumps-tweet-could-lead-to-obstruction-of-justice

Thanksgiving: Daily Bullshit, November 24-25, 2017

There is a new blog post, entitled, “Ummm, we need to talk. It’s about academic freedom.


Thanksgiving

My mother and I ate a vegan Thanksgiving meal on Tuesday and I went to Souley Vegan in Oakland on the day itself, but for at least some American Indians, it’s a “National Day of Mourning.”[1] I have previously commented on the holiday here, here, and here.

Savannah Maher, “For Many Native Americans, Fall Is The Least Wonderful Time Of The Year,” National Public Radio, November 23, 2017, https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/11/23/565437994/for-many-native-americans-fall-is-the-least-wonderful-time-of-the-year


James Comey

Even in defeat, Hillary Clinton remains a target for the right.[2] I realize it’s difficult to imagine an alternative outcome to last year’s election as anything but necessarily better than the train wreck that now occupies the White House, but try to imagine the scandals that would have ensued had she been elected. This is a woman who isn’t just dirty, who isn’t just an enabler for her husband’s sex crimes, but who wallows in the mud of neoconservatism and neoliberalism. And if the Democratic nominee last year indeed absolutely had to be a woman, it is surely an insult to the numerous other potential female candidates to posit that Clinton was the only possible choice. In truth, Clinton’s nomination was not about her being a woman but about her self-perception as entitled to the presidency and about her comfort with Wall Street. And it was never really about anything else.

Jonathan Easley, “Anger at Mueller burns hot on the right,” Hill, November 25, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/361610-anger-at-mueller-burns-hot-on-the-right


  1. [1]Savannah Maher, “For Many Native Americans, Fall Is The Least Wonderful Time Of The Year,” National Public Radio, November 23, 2017, https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/11/23/565437994/for-many-native-americans-fall-is-the-least-wonderful-time-of-the-year
  2. [2]Jonathan Easley, “Anger at Mueller burns hot on the right,” Hill, November 25, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/361610-anger-at-mueller-burns-hot-on-the-right

Robert Mugabe finally resigns: Daily Bullshit, November 20-22, 2017

Updates

  1. Originally published, November 21, 11:34 am.
  2. November 22, 11:11 am:

Zimbabwe

Gabriele Steinhauser and Bernard Mpofu, “Mugabe Resigns as Zimbabwe’s Leader After 37 Years, Parliament Speaker Says,” Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/zimbabwe-launches-impeachment-process-against-mugabe-1511279070


Sexual harassment and assault

I’m trying to remember that because I opposed Hillary Clinton,[1] I’m the misogynist here. Last year, I quoted[2] Liza Featherstone:

Hillary Clinton’s mudslinging and slut-shaming campaigns against women who claimed to have had consensual sex with her husband are well documented. In his memoir, George Stephanopoulos, quotes Hillary Clinton as saying of one such woman [Connie Hamzy], “We have to destroy her story.” Hillary biographer Carl Bernstein describes Hillary directing an “aggressive, explicit” campaign to discredit Gennifer Flowers, an actress who said she had a long affair with Bill Clinton. She referred to Flowers as “trailer trash.” In a tough 2008 essay for Slate, Melinda Henneberger and Dahlia Lithwick wrote that Clinton “consistently relates to and protects and stands with the oppressors in the gender wars … she invariably sees [Bill] as the victim, preyed upon by a series of female aggressors.”[3]

And, as if “offenses ranging from groping to exposing his genitals to rape”[4] were ever okay, James Carville said, “There is no doubt the ground has shifted between that time and now. There’s no question this is a different environment, probably for the better.”[5]

But oh yes, I’m the misogynist.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “Sen. Al Franken accused of inappropriate behavior by a second woman,” November 20, 2017, https://www.jta.org/2017/11/20/news-opinion/politics/sen-al-franken-accused-of-inappropriate-behavior-by-a-second-woman


Open access journals

[W]e are getting fleeced. The major scientific publishers enjoy profit margins in excess of 30 percent. Such profits are stratospheric, well over the average for every business sector of the Fortune 500. Publishers are getting rich on the backs of underfunded academic libraries and the unpaid labor of academics who serve as editors, reviewers, and authors.[6]

Then there’s “open access,” meant to solve this problem. However, this “does not eradicate the paywall, but instead moves the cost burden in front of researchers themselves”[7]:

[O]pen access is clearly not freely open to the scholars who are required to pay exorbitant fees to publish their results, often out of their own pockets. Graduate students who wish to publish two open-access articles a year in the journals of their choice might need to use more than a quarter of their annual income to do so, if they don’t have large grants to cover the fees. One journal that is exclusively open access required graduate students to provide copies of personal bank statements in order to be considered for a fee reduction. That same journal also has denied fee reductions to students who don’t have external funding and who earn less than $20,000 a year.[8]

All this is one aspect of a malaise that prominently appears in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. (Vitae is a project of the former.) It seems like everything is going wrong in academia, from the problem of adjuncts, to the neoliberal reduction of education to job training, to a renewed privileging of quantitative over qualitative inquiry, to arbitrarily delimited ‘disciplines,’ to violence stemming from national political polarization, to, here, publishing.

Andrew V. Suarez and Terry McGlynn, “The Fallacy of Open-Access Publication,” Vitae, November 17, 2017, https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1948-the-fallacy-of-open-access-publication


Unauthorized migration

We obviously do not know what Haitians will do as they lose temporary protected status.[9] I don’t see how one reaches a conclusion other than that the Trump administration is creating a new class of unauthorized migrants to scapegoat. And all I can say is that this antipathy toward the other is breathtaking and, to me, unfathomable.

Alicia A. Caldwell, “Judge Permanently Blocks Trump Order on Sanctuary Cities,” Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-permanently-blocks-trump-order-on-sanctuary-cities-1511234813

Alicia A. Caldwell and Arian Campo-Flores, “Trump Administration Ends Humanitarian Protections for Haitians,” Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-ends-humanitarian-protections-for-haitians-1511229004


  1. [1]David Benfell, “Updated (again and again and again): Damnation by faint praise: Sanders claims to be more electable than Clinton,” Not Housebroken, March 6, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/2016/03/06/damnation-by-faint-praise-sanders-claims-to-be-more-electable-than-clinton/
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Yes, Hillary Clinton must answer for Bill Clinton’s sexual assaults,” Not Housebroken, October 10, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/2016/10/10/yes-hillary-clinton-must-answer-for-bill-clintons-sexual-assaults/
  3. [3]Liza Featherstone, “Hillary Clinton’s Faux Feminism,” Truthout, February 28, 2016, http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/35006-hillary-clinton-s-faux-feminism
  4. [4]Karen Tumulty and Katie Mettler, “Abuse allegations have revived scrutiny of Bill Clinton — and divided Democrats,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abuse-allegations-have-revived-scrutiny-of-bill-clinton–and-divided-democrats/2017/11/17/3d1711c8-cba4-11e7-b244-2d22ac912500_story.html
  5. [5]James Carville, quoted in Karen Tumulty and Katie Mettler, “Abuse allegations have revived scrutiny of Bill Clinton — and divided Democrats,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abuse-allegations-have-revived-scrutiny-of-bill-clinton–and-divided-democrats/2017/11/17/3d1711c8-cba4-11e7-b244-2d22ac912500_story.html
  6. [6]Andrew V. Suarez and Terry McGlynn, “The Fallacy of Open-Access Publication,” Vitae, November 17, 2017, https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1948-the-fallacy-of-open-access-publication
  7. [7]Andrew V. Suarez and Terry McGlynn, “The Fallacy of Open-Access Publication,” Vitae, November 17, 2017, https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1948-the-fallacy-of-open-access-publication
  8. [8]Andrew V. Suarez and Terry McGlynn, “The Fallacy of Open-Access Publication,” Vitae, November 17, 2017, https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1948-the-fallacy-of-open-access-publication
  9. [9]Alicia A. Caldwell and Arian Campo-Flores, “Trump Administration Ends Humanitarian Protections for Haitians,” Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-ends-humanitarian-protections-for-haitians-1511229004

Apparently, there is such a thing as a ‘legal’ nuclear strike: Daily Bullshit, November 19, 2017

North Korea

On the possibility that Donald Trump might order an ‘illegal’ nuclear strike (currently thought most likely against North Korea), Air Force General John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, explains that “We’re not stupid people. We think about these things a lot.” And the product of all this deep thinking? “You could go to jail for the rest of your life.”[1] (Apparently, he undergoes annual training in the “the law of armed conflict,” which exists to rationalize inherently criminal acts.) The CBS News story[2] is the original here.

Jacqueline Thomsen, “Top nuclear commander: I wouldn’t carry out an ‘illegal’ nuclear strike order from Trump,” Hill, November 18, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/defense/361033-top-nuclear-commander-i-wouldnt-carry-out-an-illegal-nuclear-strike-order-from

Kathryn Watson, “Top general says he would resist “illegal” nuke order from Trump,” CBS News, November 18, 2017, https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/u-s-strategic-command-gen-john-hyten-resist-illegal-nuke-order-from-trump/


Zimbabwe

The Wall Street Journal seems unduly gleeful about Mugabe’s departure. This just looks like a handover of power between a tyrant and his enablers.

Gabriele Steinhauser and Bernard Mpofu, “Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Says Nothing of Resigning, Defying Expectations,” Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/zimbabwes-ruling-party-holds-talks-on-mugabes-future-1511088476


Robert Mugabe is deposed: Daily Bullshit, November 16-18, 2017

I had fallen behind and have only finally now caught up. A bunch of what appears here probably should have been updated into the last issue. But, look! It’s three days later. Time flies even when you aren’t having fun.


Updates

  1. Originally published, November 16, 12:58 pm.
  2. Now, only now, finally, caught up. November 16, 10:35 pm.
  3. November 17, 5:07 pm (not caught up):
    • In a specifically pragmatic and admittedly partisan argument that appropriately acknowledges my critical concerns, Kate Harding argues for excusing Al Franken’s one (but not more than one) transgression until the next election (under some fairly stringent conditions which I think Franken should consider).[1] Rod Dreher criticizes her partisanship as tribalist.[2] Pragmatism has let me down far too many times for me to prefer it to idealism, Harding is fairly explicit in choosing a utilitarian over a deontological ethical approach, and I remain deeply skeptical of differences between the two major parties, but Dreher’s argument relies, first, on a dubious—I’m not calling it false—equivalence between the cases of Roy Moore, whose alleged conduct was serial and, pretty much everyone agrees, vastly more egregious, and Franken. Dreher is cautious in his deployment of this equivalence so I’m not inclined to throw his argument out on these particular grounds. But Dreher also relies on a dubious equivalence between the Democratic and Republican Parties on women’s issues, which, first, coming from a traditionalist conservative, smacks loudly of hypocrisy; and second, ignores just about everything about the parties’ stances (not to be confused with actual performance) on these issues. Despite these shortcomings, Dreher makes a point that excusing Franken even temporarily is on a slippery slope to excusing Moore. I’m not sure he’s wrong and I’m not sure I would recommend accepting the risk that he might be right. (Sex panic)
  4. November 18, 11:34 am: It’s a morning for ‘rhetorical’ questions that are really stupid questions that we don’t want to just come out and say ‘yes’ to. (I’m once again caught up.)
    • “The uncomfortable question is whether Democrats then were guilty of the sin they accuse Republicans of committing now by continuing to support President Trump and Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, despite allegations of sexual offenses. Were they also putting partisanship and their desire to hold on to power above the principles they claim to hold dear?” Sorry, that’s not a question. We’re talking about the Clintons and mainstream Democrats who answer every progressive initiative with appeals to the “politically possible” while adhering zealously to neoconservative and neoliberal values. They are about absolutely nothing else besides power. If you need further evidence, consider that “when Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) — Hillary Clinton’s successor as senator from New York, a staunch backer of her presidential campaign and a talked-about presidential possibility — told the New York Times that by today’s standards, the “appropriate response” for Bill Clinton would have been to resign the presidency when his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky was revealed in 1998,”[3] longtime Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines labeled Gillibrand a “hypocrite” for having taken “the Clintons’ endorsements, money, and seat,”[4] which is not only to substitute an ad hominem for a substantive response but to highlight, as if it were a good thing, the Clintons’ power. (Sex panic)
    • I wonder about situations like the one now in Zimbabwe where a political leader is through, everyone knows he’s through, but he (usually, but not always, a man) hangs on nonetheless.[5] Does the man really imagine he can somehow rescue himself? And if he’s simply holding out for a deal (which often seems to be the case), Robert Mugabe is 93 years old. What, really, would a ‘deal’ look like for such an old man?
    • Is Donald Trump a hypocrite?[6] Give me a fucking break. (Sex panic)

Zimbabwe

I would not get too excited about the Army assuming power. Yes, everyone agrees that Robert Mugabe is evil. But it was the Army that kept him in power, even if it looks like—after all these decades—petty politics did him in.

Christopher Woolf, “How Robert Mugabe became Zimbabwe’s leader and clung on till now,” Public Radio International, November 15, 2017, https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-11-15/how-robert-mugabe-became-zimbabwe-s-leader-and-clung-till-now

Jan Raath, Harry Davies, and Aislinn Laing, “Tsvangirai urges Mugabe to step aside and allow elections,” Times, November 16, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/mugabe-crushed-by-his-own-strongman-v0pm3wk6m

Deutschewelle, “Zimbabwe latest: Robert Mugabe’s party leads calls for resignation,” November 17, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/zimbabwe-latest-robert-mugabes-party-leads-calls-for-resignation/a-41430225


Sex panic

I hate to call this a sex panic. As I’ve said previously, I think most of these allegations are probably true,[7] and I accept that unacceptable behavior is ubiquitous, but this is spreading like wildfire, too fast for credibility. On the other hand, if it takes out the entire political class, that wouldn’t be such an entirely bad thing.

Jordain Carney and Rebecca Savransky, “McConnell: Roy Moore should step aside,” Hill, November 13, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/360102-mcconnell-roy-moore-should-step-aside

Nell Gluckman and Brock Read, “Sexual Harassment and Assault in Higher Ed: What’s Happened Since Weinstein,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 13, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/Sexual-HarassmentAssault/241757

Avery Anapol, “Franken releases new statement, calls for ethics investigation of himself,” Hill, November 16, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/360697-franken-releases-new-statement-calls-for-ethics-investigation-of-himself

Athena Jones, “New George H.W. Bush accuser says he groped her during 1992 re-election campaign,” CNN, November 16, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/16/politics/george-h-w-bush-accuser-1992/index.html

Judy Kurtz, “Celebs call for Franken’s resignation,” Hill, November 16, 2017, http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/360690-celebs-call-for-resignation-jail-time-for-franken

Amber Phillips, “The six likeliest ways this whole Roy Moore saga could end, ranked,” Washington Post, November 16, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/11/16/the-five-likeliest-ways-this-whole-roy-moore-saga-could-end-ranked/

John Whitesides, “Two more women accuse Senate candidate Moore of sexual misconduct,” Reuters, November 16, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-moore/two-more-women-accuse-senate-candidate-moore-of-sexual-misconduct-idUSKBN1DG03R

Rod Dreher, “The One Free Grope Rule Returns,” American Conservative, November 17, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/gloria-steinem-kate-harding-one-free-grope/

Kate Harding, “I’m a feminist. I study rape culture. And I don’t want Al Franken to resign,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/11/17/im-a-feminist-i-study-rape-culture-and-i-dont-want-al-franken-to-resign/

Karen Tumulty and Katie Mettler, “Abuse allegations have revived scrutiny of Bill Clinton — and divided Democrats,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abuse-allegations-have-revived-scrutiny-of-bill-clinton–and-divided-democrats/2017/11/17/3d1711c8-cba4-11e7-b244-2d22ac912500_story.html

David Remnick, “The Weinstein Moment and the Trump Presidency,” New Yorker, November 20, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/11/20/the-weinstein-moment-and-the-trump-presidency


Hillary Clinton

Olivia Beavers and John Solomon, “Sessions weighs second special counsel to probe Clinton-related matters,” Hill, November 13, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/360219-sessions-considering-appointing-second-special-counsel-to-probe


Obamacare

Alexander Bolton, Peter Sullivan, and Naomi Jagoda, “Senate GOP tax bill will include repeal of ObamaCare mandate,” Hill, November 14, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/360327-thune-senate-tax-bill-will-include-repeal-of-obamacare-mandate


For-profit ‘schools’

Michael Vasquez, “Inside the Scramble to Save Ashford U.,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 10, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/Inside-the-Scramble-to-Save/241747


Muslim ban

Lawrence Hurley, “Appeals court lets Trump travel ban go partially into effect,” Reuters, November 13, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-ruling/u-s-court-lets-trump-travel-ban-go-partially-into-effect-idUSKBN1DD272


Brexit

I think we’re in Theresa May’s ‘denial’ phase, where she does not see what everyone else sees, that she is through. In her defense, however, I suspect a few will note that she’s survived defeats before and, possibly, lasted longer than anyone could have been expected to under these circumstances.

Anushka Asthana, “Parliament to have ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ vote on final Brexit deal, Davis says,” Guardian, November 13, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/13/parliament-to-have-final-say-on-brexit-deal-david-davis-announces

Dan Roberts, Lisa O’Carroll, and Kate Connolly, “EU business leaders tell PM: agree Brexit deal or face collapse in confidence,” Guardian, November 13, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/13/eu-business-leaders-tell-pm-agree-brexit-deal-or-face-collapse-in-confidence


Palestine

Wait, you might protest, you didn’t even know there was a peace plan. You have no idea what the substance of this plan is. And, ummmm, you would be right.

Yes, just simply right. There is no plan and I’ve not heard of any new substantive proposals. It’s to be negotiated (by whom, precisely, under what conditions?). Israel will retain the right to veto it. But Mahmoud Abbas is to accept a Trump administration plan regardless. Even though such a plan seems highly likely to be biased in favor of Israel.[8]

So now, smart guy, you tell me: What concern for Palestinian justice are the Saudis exhibiting here? And what interests are the Saudis pursuing? Ick.

Richard Spencer and Anshel Pfeffer, “Saudi prince orders Palestinian president to accept Jared Kushner’s peace plan,” Times, November 14, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/saudi-prince-orders-palestinian-president-to-accept-jared-kushners-peace-plan-xjdts8338


Uber

Jacky Wong, “SoftBank’s Uber Deal Shows Doubts About Ride-Hailing,” Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/softbanks-uber-deal-shows-doubts-about-ride-hailing-1510570476


  1. [1]Kate Harding, “I’m a feminist. I study rape culture. And I don’t want Al Franken to resign,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/11/17/im-a-feminist-i-study-rape-culture-and-i-dont-want-al-franken-to-resign/
  2. [2]Rod Dreher, “The One Free Grope Rule Returns,” American Conservative, November 17, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/gloria-steinem-kate-harding-one-free-grope/
  3. [3]Karen Tumulty and Katie Mettler, “Abuse allegations have revived scrutiny of Bill Clinton — and divided Democrats,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abuse-allegations-have-revived-scrutiny-of-bill-clinton–and-divided-democrats/2017/11/17/3d1711c8-cba4-11e7-b244-2d22ac912500_story.html
  4. [4]Philippe Reines, quoted in Karen Tumulty and Katie Mettler, “Abuse allegations have revived scrutiny of Bill Clinton — and divided Democrats,” Washington Post, November 17, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/abuse-allegations-have-revived-scrutiny-of-bill-clinton–and-divided-democrats/2017/11/17/3d1711c8-cba4-11e7-b244-2d22ac912500_story.html
  5. [5]Deutschewelle, “Zimbabwe latest: Robert Mugabe’s party leads calls for resignation,” November 17, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/zimbabwe-latest-robert-mugabes-party-leads-calls-for-resignation/a-41430225
  6. [6]Jonathan Easley, “Trump risks hypocrisy charges with Franken attack,” Hill, November 18, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/360984-trump-risks-hypocrisy-charges-with-franken-attack
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Affirmative consent is still a better idea,” Not Housebroken, November 12, 2017, https://disunitedstates.org/2017/11/12/affirmative-consent-is-still-a-better-idea/
  8. [8]Richard Spencer and Anshel Pfeffer, “Saudi prince orders Palestinian president to accept Jared Kushner’s peace plan,” Times, November 14, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/saudi-prince-orders-palestinian-president-to-accept-jared-kushners-peace-plan-xjdts8338

Affirmative consent is still a better idea: Daily Bullshit, November 12-13, 2017

Updates

  1. Originally published, November 12, 1:18 pm.
  2. November 13, 12:15 pm:
    • Add state legislatures and universities to the list of locales where powerful men abuse even powerful women.[1] That includes California.[2] (Sexual harassment and worse)
    • Fingers are pointing at Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, who, in a leaked letter to Theresa May, “complained of ‘insufficient energy’ on Brexit in some parts of the government and insisted any transition period must end in June 2021” as a critical Brexit bill is considered by Parliament and talks seem to be stumbling.[3]
    • In the Wall Street Journal (I’m highlighting that to acknowledge editorial bias), Cleta Mitchell and Hans von Spakovsky (who appear to be writing as guest columnists) suggest that the Clinton campaign may have violated campaign finance law in usurping the Democratic National Committee.[4] (Democrats)

Sexual harassment and worse

I comment on this in a new blog entry, “Affirmative consent is still a better idea.”

Alexei Koseff, “California Capitol averages three sexual harassment investigations per year,” Sacramento Bee, November 9, 2017, http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article179394116.html

Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard, and Alice Crites, “Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32,” Washington Post,
November 9, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/woman-says-roy-moore-initiated-sexual-encounter-when-she-was-14-he-was-32/2017/11/09/1f495878-c293-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html

Stephanie Akin, “Congress Took Three Decades to Come This Far, Sexual Harassment Victim Says,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, November 11,
2017, https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress-took-three-decades-come-far-sexual-harassment-victim-says

Katherine Mangan, “2 Women Say Stanford Professors Raped Them Years Ago,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 11, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/2-Women-Say-Stanford/241749

Taryn Luna, “Senate leader Kevin de León announces new complaint policy, moves out of his house,” Sacramento Bee, November 12, 2017, http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article184293838.html

Joanna Walters, “George Takei responds to accusation he sexually assaulted a young actor,” Guardian, November 12, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/11/george-takei-responds-to-accusation-he-sexually-assaulted-a-young-actor


Brexit

I’m wondering if it can be a real negotiation unless all parties are deeply concerned that they might fail to reach a deal. It seems we may have reached that point.[5] The question for me is whether we’re really past that point and all the shrieking is warranted.

Some contextual notes are important here. First, in Britain, newspapers are not expected to be and make no pretense of being impartial. The Times (which, along with the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Mail, is owned by Rupert Murdoch) is relatively conservative and would be expected to support Theresa May unless larger party interests are at stake. Similarly, though the Guardian tends to oppose neoconservative and neoliberal policy, it tends to align with the anti-Jeremy Corbyn Labour faction which makes similar arguments on electability to the mainstream (I’m liking Sarah Palin’s “lamestream” here) Democrats as they embrace neoconservative and neoliberal policy. So it is significant that the Times, which typically depicts Corbyn as a crank wearing a Maoist-style cap in its editorial cartoons, publishes an op-ed by Corbyn and it is unsurprising that the Guardian did not (I don’t know the backstory here or if Corbyn even approached the Guardian). And if Corbyn comes out of all this as prime minister, the Guardian will have a whole lot of egg on its face.

Reuters, “Forty Conservative MPs ready to oust May – Sunday Times,” November 11, 2017, http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-politics/forty-conservative-mps-ready-to-oust-may-sunday-times-idUKKBN1DB0UA

Jeremy Corbyn, “Halt the Brexit uncertainty, Mrs May, or go now and let Labour sort it out,” Times, November 12, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/halt-the-brexit-uncertainty-mrs-may-or-go-now-and-let-labour-sort-it-out-bk3qkjsc6

Toby Helm, “May faces defeat by MPs demanding meaningful vote on final Brexit deal,” Guardian, November 12, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/11/theresa-may-faces-defeat-mp-demanding-vote-on-brexit-deal

Caroline Wheeler and Bojan Pancevski, “Tory turmoil as 40 MPs say May must go,” Times, November 12, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tory-turmoil-as-40-mps-say-may-must-go-kkg3w6l89

Rajeev Syal and Jon Henley, “UK government tensions rise after leak of Johnson-Gove letter to May,” Guardian, November 13, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/12/uk-government-tensions-rise-after-leak-of-letter-to-prime-minister


Democrats

The purpose of joint fundraising committees is to allow more than one entity to collaborate in raising money and share in the costs. Each participant is subject to federal contribution limits. When the party itself is a participant, its committee (in this case the [Democratic National Committee]) normally handles accounting and financial controls. Not here. The Hillary Victory Fund was controlled by the Clinton campaign, with a campaign employee as treasurer and the fund’s bank account established at the Clinton campaign’s bank. According to Federal Election Commission reports, the Hillary Victory Fund has raised more than $526 million.

The DNC asserted its “neutrality” by also entering into a joint fundraising committee with the Sanders campaign. It raised a total of $1,000. And the Bernie Victory Committee treasurer was the DNC’s designee.[6]

Cleta Mitchell and Hans von Spakovsky, “Hillary Clinton, the DNC and the Law,” Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-clinton-the-dnc-and-the-law-1510521378


Democrats may be setting themselves up for another electoral wipe-out: Daily Bullshit, November 11, 2017

Sexual assault

Associated Press, “Weinstein’s impact: List of men accused of sexual misconduct,” Times of Israel, November 11, 2017, https://www.timesofisrael.com/weinsteins-impact-list-of-men-accused-of-sexual-misconduct/


Democrats

David Von Drehle, “Democrats, cut the cheer,” Washington Post, November 10, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/democrats-cut-the-cheer/2017/11/10/05c3ef24-c655-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html

Los Angeles Times, “A year after the election and Trump’s opponents still haven’t figured out why they lost,” November 7, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-election-anniversary-20171107-story.html


Hillary Clinton

Max Greenwood, “Judge dismisses lawsuits over Clinton emails,” Hill, November 10, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/news/359824-judge-dismisses-lawsuits-pushing-state-dept-to-continue-search-for-clinton


The Right scapegoats people of color and the poor. The Left scapegoats white men. Daily Bullshit, November 10, 2017

Democrats

I respond to Charles Blow’s column in a new blog entry, “Human lives and rights are only important when Charles Blow says they are.”

Charles M. Blow, “Resistance, for the Win!” New York Times, November 9 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/opinion/resistance-trump-virginia-republicans.html

Amie Parnes, “Despite wins, Dems face an identity crisis,”Hill, November 9, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/359527-despite-wins-dems-face-an-identity-crisis


Uber

Sam Schechner, “Uber Suffers Setback as U.K. Court Rules Its Drivers Should Have Workers’ Rights,” Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-loses-appeal-against-u-k-ruling-on-drivers-rights-1510313218