Link Roundup, 8/26/2018

From Politico: Democrats vote to limit power of “super-delegates” in nomination process.

From Time: Who will get McCain’s Senate seat and for how long?

From CNN: Trump invites QAnon conspiracy nutjob for White House visit and photo-op.

From The Atlantic: A look at the end of Trump’s Presidency.

From GOPLifer in 2016: The Agents of Intolerance Have Won.

23 Comments

  1. I must say, any comparisons made between Donald Trump and Richard Nixon, as in the Atlantic piece, are quite a stretch. The yawning chasm between the two regarding everything from history of public service, literacy, comportment, intellegence, fidelity, and yes, character aside, the foolish attempt to cover up a clumsy break in at the DNC headquarters so pales in contrast to the high crimes likely perpetrated by the current executive as to render any comparison simply facile.

    About the only character from the past I can conjure (weakly) for comparison is George III.

    1. George the third was a figurehead who was actually pushing for Parliament to add some “American” seats – but was ignored by Lord North – the Prime Minister

      The British Kings lost all real power when Charles lost his head – everyone after that was a figurehead

      Donald Trump is a bad POTUS
      But he is nowhere near as bad as Nixon!!

      Nixon’s treason to get elected cost a LOT of US servicemen their lives

      But his “War on Drugs” has cost more US lives than all of America’s wars put together

      Extract from – a story in “Quartz”

      The author, Dan Baum, opens the piece with a scene: he finds John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s former domestic policy advisor, working at an engineering firm in Atlanta in 1994. Baum, who is researching drug prohibition politics, starts to ask him “earnest, wonky” questions, before Ehrlichman snaps and gives him this elucidating quote:

      “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

      When Baum looked shocked to hear that, he writes. Ehrlichman simply shrugged.

      End of extract

      How many Americans has that killed? – It has got to be in the millions

      1. Duncan – First, I said there was but a weak comparison. George III was the worst (titular) leader I could name, and he was. Nixon didn’t get us into Vietnam, BTW. And the stupid War on Drugs has been supported by every administration since. In fact, Trump’s Attorney General, Idiotmittens Jeff Sessions, is trying to escalate it. An anecdote of a conversation with a (minor) advisor to the Nixon administration, is scant evidence to support your (outrageous) contention.

  2. I was home all day yesterday, getting ready for the first day of school. CNN was on, and I listened to hours of coverage of John McCain’s passing. While I didn’t agree with all of his policies, I always thought of him as an decent man who served our country honorably and with distinction. His death is a great loss for all of us.

    I came very close to voting for McCain in 2008…I had supported Hilary Clinton in the primaries, and was bitterly disappointed when she lost. I had nothing against Obama personally, but he seemed too inexperienced to me. However, McCain picked Palin as a running mate, so I returned to the Dem side for good. It is incredible to me that a man of McCain’s stature did not ultimately win the Presidency considering who our current President is.

    On another political note, I would like to hear your thoughts on the issue of donating to a candidate outside one’s district. I have always felt extremely squeamish about doing so, although I suppose that I’m being a little hypocritical because I donate to the DNC through ActBlue. But anyway, I’ve resisted donating directly to candidates who don’t represent me because it doesn’t seem right, to foist my choice on people who may not share my views but who will be constituents of whoever is elected. Outside money helped stick us with the feckless Scott Brown for 2 years, thanks a lot guys.

    But here’s the thing…I’ve been really, really impressed by what I’ve seen of Beto O’Rouke, and think that he could be a real up-and-comer in the Democratic Party. Not to mention the side benefit of ousting the awful Ted Cruz. I would like to give him some money, but I’m not a Texan, have no plans to ever be a Texan, so….yes? no? What are your thoughts?

    1. Great question.

      Ted Cruz makes decisions every day that impact you and your neighbors. There is no reason that decent people in Texas fighting to replace him shouldn’t enjoy your support. To hell with all that.

      That said, O’Rourke is already extremely well funded, with an excellent national profile. And there is very little hope that he’ll win. Your idea is great though, so I have a suggestion that we should perhaps all pursue if we can – adopt a candidate somewhere in the country in a competitive race.

      Let me suggest a couple that come to mind, but there are a lot of them this year:

      Amy McGrath, Kentucky’s 6th
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/22/us/politics/kentucky-election-mcgrath.html

      MJ Hegar, Texas 31st
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi6v4CYNSIQ

      Andrew Janz California 22nd (Devin Nunes’ seat)
      https://www.fresnobee.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/political-notebook/article217103665.html

      1. MassDem, I live on the opposite side of the country from you. However, the last two election cycles I have contributed small amounts through ActBlue to candidates outside of WA. Within the state I have been making some small monthly donations to candidates outside my district, largely because of Republican obstruction creating gridlock within the state. In 2017, I supported the state senator candidate that resulted in the D’s taking control of the state senate. This cycle I am donating to Kim Schrier in the 8th CD and plan on making donations to Carolyn Long in the 3rd CD and Lisa Brown in the 5th CD. My focus this cycle is for the D’s to take control of at least one branch of Congress and the House seems most likely. That would facilitate thorough hearings on both the Russian collusion and the corruption in the White House.

    2. An ostensible ‘victory’ for O’Rourke would probably be keeping Cruz’s MOV beneath 5 pts. Despite an impressive campaign, an honest-to-goodness win would probably mean Republicans would be facing the barrel of an electoral tsunami all across America, not just a sizable wave.

    1. Very though-provoking.

      I have always thought that the true parallel to the Holocaust was less the abhorrent system of slavery in the South, which was recognized in its own time for the evil that it was, and rooted out. Yes, we have yet to fully redress that wrong, but we do recognize it and have made some progress toward that goal.

      I have always felt that the true analogue of the Holocaust in U. S. history is our own genocide of Native Americans. We don’t talk about it, we don’t recognize it, but that is what it was. The way American history is taught, it’s as if the majority of Native Americans were raptured somewhere, and we were left with our “sea-to-shining-sea” country. Of course, that’s not what happened. So I think that as far as the essay is concerned, the author is right on the money. Given enough time, few people would care about their country’s past evils.

      1. Some of us in the far west are very much aware of the treatment / genocide of the Native Americans. In WA (smallest state West of the Mississippi) there are two major reservations and numerous smaller ones. The fisheries policies and many land use policies are heavily influenced by the Native American treaties. Even highway expenditures are influenced by those treaties, in that culverts and bridges can not block salmon migration. Currently, many culverts must be replaced because they block the migration routes.

        YES, I CONCUR!

      2. EJ

        Which native people lived where your house now stands, tmerritt15? I don’t mean which nation, I mean which individual human beings, and where do their descendants live now?

        I’m not trying to be sarcastic or trying to make a point; I’m curious as to the extent to which even a decent, well-meaning person such as yourself has tried to avoid finding out such things.

      3. Actually EJ, the area where my house presently stands was virgin forest until the 19th Century; it was not the site of a village. It was clear cut at some point during the later 19th Century and then our house was built circa 1910. There was probably 2nd growth forest at the time of development or possibly farmland or pasture. This particular area was generally considered to be under the domain of the Duwamish people, who never allocated a reservation and is not presently recognized by the Federal Government. Most of the members of the tribe joined other tribes and relocated to the Suquamish, Tulalip or Puyallup Reservations all near Seattle and all were part of the Coastal Salish. In general there were no fixed boundaries between the groups and they were all interrelated.

        I only know this because of the relatively recent development of Seattle and my general familiarity with the Native American history of the area. Not that I have studied it in detail, but I do have some interest in it.

      4. EJ, from what I’ve read, when Europeans moved inland from the East coast into the midwest they found large empty villages that are assumed to have been ravaged by disease. Disease that had been brought by previous visitors from Europe. Not sure if that’s the case on the West coast. And again from what I’ve read, property ownership was foreign to native Americans. So of course, no records would exist of who lived where, excepting for oral histories which would require a living story teller.

      5. That is correct – in general the Native American culture did not recognize property ownership. The culture emphasized that ‘the people’ were only caretakers. They were responsible for maintaining the land so that the land would provide for their successors as well as the other plants and animals. I have read speculation that this arose from a great famine in the past when the megafauna originally present on the North American continent became extinct, perhaps from over hunting.

        Again, I am not a scholar of Native American culture but this is a theme that is common whenever one visits a museum or has interaction with the culture. It is striking that there is also the admonishment to be good stewards of the land in the Bible as well as other religions.

      6. I might also mention that in many cases the Europeans including Americans deliberately gave blankets contaminated with smallpox to the tribes. In addition other diseases were introduced. It may not have been as bad on the West Coast, but there were very significant population reductions from disease epidemics such as measles, etc. Jared Diamond covers that well in ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’.

  3. RE: McCain’s passing

    McCain was truly a Lion of the Senate. Much of the time I disagreed with his positions, but he was truly an honorable person. He made mistakes, but would admit them and then work to rectify those mistakes. He did not disparage other people and did not take advantage of them. To me that is the essence of honor. So insofar as I am concerned, he deserves the epitaph he requested. “HE SERVED HIS COUNTRY WITH HONOR”.

  4. A sad day weekend, even though it was inevitable.

    On a truly petty note, I noticed that Trump ended his sympathy tweet with an exclamation mark. Does this guy, or whomever wrote it, have no empathy at all? How many statements about McCain will end with an exclamation point? One thing that I wish happened would never happen with someone of McCain’s character, but I can dream. Can you imagine if McCain had publicly switched to the Dem’s 4 or 5 days ago? The law dictates the Governor appoint someone of the same political party.

    Re: The Atlantic’s article discussing the end of the puppet tyrant’s presidency, the “presidency” ended and the dictatorship began some time ago, when the fascists in the House and Senate decided to protect him at all costs.

    Re: Who gets the senate seat, I imagine there is a non-zero chance that the fascists will go full-on craven and the governor will choose that slimeball sheriff for McCain’s seat.

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