29 thoughts on “News/Politics 7-10-18

  1. The outrage machine is up and running for Trump’s “controversial” pick.

    ABC was blasting the “controversial” nominee before they were even announced. So yeah, it’s that kinda outrage, the false, manufactured kind…. 🙄

    But hey, no bias here, right?


    “The new Supreme Court pick is very “controversial,” whoever he or she turned out to be. That was the consensus of ABC’s Nightline. About 90 minutes before Donald Trump announced the name of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Nightline’s Twitter page blasted:

    Again, they didn’t have a name (or any news outlet for that matter), but this mysterious person was “controversial.”


  2. Look, but not too closely, especially if you fear the answer won’t be to your liking.


    “It comes to us from Alex Barasch, writing at the Washington Post. Barasch is an author who “identifies” as a male and isn’t engaging in the usual routine of sloganeering we so often see. (Examples include such nonsensical catchphrases as; “Sex is what’s between your legs. Gender is what’s between your ears.”)

    This piece purports to talk about an aspect of this subject which is actually quite important, that being the actual science behind transgenderism. Or at least that’s how the essay begins. The author covers a seemingly endless collection of scientific studies and theories, leading the reader to suspect that some “proof” of transgender identity may be forthcoming (or is at least on the scientific horizon). But those hopes are quickly dashed when she inserts the following disclaimer, warning that even if we could answer the question, we probably shouldn’t.”

    “Here’s the closing argument offered by the author which defines the reason that we should apparently talk about science in passing, but not peer too closely into the microscope.

    Both good science and good advocacy dictate that we’re better off acknowledging what we don’t know about ourselves than overstating what we do. It doesn’t help the LGBTQ community to pin our validity on what we might learn, if only we could scan the right brains or pinpoint the right genes — and if we trust the volume of the frontal cortex over what a person tells us about themselves, we deny them their autonomy and their humanity. Rather than waiting for firmer biological footing, those who really want to advance the cause should start by believing trans people when they speak up about who they are.

    There you have it. A several thousand word analysis which discusses various aspects of science which might be brought to bear on this question, leading to a dead end where we are instructed to simply stop asking inconvenient questions and “believe” people when they tell you something about themselves. If you take the time to go through all of the studies Barasch cites, they add up to essentially nothing that we haven’t covered here before. Highly dubious studies conducted in overly small sample groups providing inconclusive hints at best. The human brain is still a mysterious machine which defies examination on many fronts, but we’ve yet to see anything repeatable which somehow invalidates the existence of two genders, with the previously noted exceptions of the small fraction of the population with genetic anomalies.

    This is yet another example of how activists want this question treated completely different than any other debate in society. Show us the science is the rallying cry on so many issues. But when it comes to this question the peanut gallery falls largely silent. When you show us a doctor who can examine an unconscious, naked patient with no identification or witness with any knowledge of them and tell us with an even 51% degree of certainty whether they are transgender, get back to us.

    The author would instruct us to accept the premise that people “just know” something about their inherent “identity” in such questions. Well, sometimes the observer “just knows” something when they see it as well, but they can frequently turn out to be wrong. And, again, this is unique in the American debate landscape. There are no activists out there claiming that people suffering from Cotard’s Syndrome are actually zombies and should be treated as such under the law because they believe it so much. Nobody is suggesting that victims of clinical lycanthropy be allowed to roam the fields at night ripping the throats out of people because they believe they are werewolves. Yet there is precisely as much evidence out there that people actually do turn into wolves under the light of the full moon as there is indicating that a person born with a normal chromosomal structure, a vagina, a womb and ovaries, with zero signs of a Y chromosome anywhere in sight is actually a man.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Chait article in NY Magazine is long but interesting. The Tom Nichols Twitter chain makes a fair review of the article.


  4. I read the NYT opinion piece yesterday and before I even started I thought, “I bet he was one of Kavanaugh’s professors.”


    You know, we’ve got great law schools out here on the west coast. When almost every judge is from Harvard or Yale, is it any wonder what our Supreme Court ends of looking like?

    Comey would have been a major fight–and I’m not sure about the wisdom of having a young mother of seven working such an awful job–but at least she isn’t New England trained.



  5. A friend on Facebook says conservatives may not be as happy with Kavanaugh as they hope, writing:

    “By the way, you may be disappointed by Kavanaugh,

    I just heard that many Federalists, Cruz and other conservatives, opposed him because they are afraid he is another Souter. . .

    Also, it is rumoured that Kennedy was persuaded to retire by a promise that he would be replaced by Kavanaugh.

    I.e., he may just be another Kennedy. . .

    You might also be concerned that Roberts’ opinion that Obamacare was a tax, thus Constitutional, came from Kavanaugh.

    So, one thing Kavanaugh will not do, is to strike down Obamacare.”


  6. Being a Supreme Court Justice can be a really easy job, depending on how hard they want to work. Most justices like Scalia work pretty hard and write some opinions and edit their other opinions. On the other hand, Thurgood Marshall left all the writing to his clerks and sat around watching soap operas all day.

    I heard this story from one of Marshall’s former clerks who was also a Marxist and a professor of Constitutional Law at a top 15 law school.


  7. .. I’m not sure about the wisdom of having a young mother of seven working such an awful job…” !??
    I’m no feminist, but I can’t believe that’s a serious consideration. With the gobbledygook the 9 wise guys at SCOTUS have come up with lately, how hard can it be to say ‘don’t kill your babies, and marry only the opposite sex’ ?


  8. Manufactured outrage, a booming cottage industry, thanks again to Trump.

    You’re welcome! 🙂


    “In other words, it didn’t matter who Trump picked – this was always going to be the response.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree with a lot of the criticisms of Trump (although I don’t know why they’re so often phrased like petulant rantings), but the kneejerk anti-Trump hysteria over this SC pick is a whole new level. I would say I didn’t think that was possible, but I really knew it was.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Ricky at 9:33,

    Good. Now maybe Germany can get screwed instead of US.

    When the trade deficit is so out of balance, -$152,237,500,000.00 – a correction is needed, and long over due.

    You globalists might be OK with it, but don’t expect the rest of to believe that this is a good thing for the US.


    “The U.S. merchandise trade deficit with China set a record through May, hitting $152,237,500,000 for the first five months of 2018, according to data released Friday by the Census Bureau.

    From January through May, the Census Bureau reports, the United States exported $52,902,300,000 in goods to China while importing $205,139,800,000 in good from China.

    That means the dollar value of the goods the U.S. has bought from China so far this year is 3.87 times greater than the dollar value of the goods China has bought from the United States.

    Before this year, the largest merchandise trade deficit with China in the first five months of the year was in 2015, when it hit $148,499,390,000 in constant May 2018 dollars (adjusted using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator).

    The month-by-month U.S.-China merchandise trade numbers going back to 1985 are posted on the Census Bureau’s website.

    According to the Census Bureau, the last month that the U.S. ran a merchandise trade surplus with China was April 1986. That month, the U.S. exported $318,900,000 to China, imported $264,900,000 from China—and ran a monthly surplus of $54,000,000.

    In the 385 straight months since then, the U.S. has run a merchandise trade deficit with China.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. AJ, Merkel probably took an economics course or two while she was earning her doctorate in chemistry. As noted before, the truth about the economics of international trade is not intuitive.

    HRW said Canadians learn the stuff in high school, but most Americans do not learn about comparative advantage until they are sophomores in college. We spent several days on the subject. Apparently poor Trump’s bone spurs were giving him problems the week that subject was covered at Fordham.



  12. This may be helpful to Trumpkins and others who do not want to take the time to learn economics.

    When a country like Russia, Iran or North Korea acts up and other nations impose sanctions, do they punish the rogue nation by:

    A. Banning trade with the rogue nation; or

    B. Somehow forcing the rogue nation to trade with other countries?

    Do you understand? By trying to reduce US foreign trade by imposing tariffs, Trump is masochistically punishing the US. As to whether he understands what he is doing, your guess is as good as mine.


  13. “By trying to reduce US foreign trade by imposing tariffs, Trump is masochistically punishing the US.”

    Sure Ricky, and a -$152,237,500,000.00 trade deficit doesn’t punish the US…. 🙄

    Sorry, despite you thinking you’re the only one smart enough to grasp this, others get it, and basic Math just fine. And negative $152 billion dollars is never a good thing on any ledger. So good luck trying to justify it and convince others it is..

    Liked by 1 person

  14. AJ, Where do you think the Chinese get those dollars to lend to the US so Trumpers and Democrats can continue to get their goodies from the government while we are running $1,000,000,000,000 annual deficits?

    The economics of trade is not that hard. College sophomores have to learn it. The leaders of almost all countries other than North Korea, Venezuela and now the US understand the subject. I have been hoping that Fox and Friends will run an educational segment so that Trump and The Cult can catch up.


  15. Wildly out of touch.


    “The Anti-Trump Conservative Firing Circle Is Wildly Out Of Touch With The American Electorate

    Donald Trump, it turned out, read the conservative electorate much more accurately than the finest minds in Republican punditry. Their response is revenge.”

    “Anti-Trumpers’ High Public Profile Is Inflated
    The intellectuals Robinson attacks are also members of my clan. We may not live, as she suggests, in mansions, but we do breathe a rarified air—and we are very small in number. If we were to hold a national conference, we might fill a large bistro on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Thanks, however, to the work we do in the policy world and media, we have a public profile out of proportion to our numbers.

    Cosmopolitan conservatives have mistaken their outsized visibility in the media for indispensability to the conservative cause. The prevailing opinion among them during the election was not just that Trump was going to lose, but that he was going to deliver an historic defeat to the Republican Party.

    In summer 2016, I became a traitor to my clan, breaking with this consensus and publicly supporting Trump. Some of my associates let me know they considered my move morally indefensible. It soon became obvious that they saw themselves as valiant knights manning the ramparts on the citadel of true conservatism, guarding the one true creed until Trump self-destructed.

    After the debacle, the party would rebuild, and they would serve as the vanguard of renewal. They would be the ones to decide who would gain admission back into the citadel and who would wander forever in purgatory, repenting and pleading for readmission into the company of the good and responsible intellectual leaders of the conservative movement.

    But Donald Trump won. Trump, it turned out, read the conservative electorate much more accurately than the finest minds in Republican punditry did. He identified immigration, drugs, unemployment, and, yes, religious liberty as key issues that the media, the Democrats, and, to a certain extent, the Republican Party establishment were ignoring or downplaying. He wove his blunt positions on these issues into an ideology of populist nationalism.

    The conservative cosmopolitans refuse to credit this achievement. Instead, they recoil at Trump’s ideology and continue to serve as the self-appointed guardians of the conservative citadel.”


  16. If this is accurate, it’s game over. These two were the only hope Dems had of stopping the nominee.


    “The two woman GOP senators who seemed recalcitrant about supporting President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court are hinting they will be fine supporting Trump’s actual nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

    According to Politico, Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) and Susan Collins (R-ME) were far less confrontational after Trump’s announcement Monday night than they had been with the possibility of Judge Amy Coney Barrett joining the Court.

    Murkowski allowed, “Let’s put it this way: There were some who have been on the list that I would have had a very, very difficult time supporting, just based on what was already publicly known about them. We’re not dealing with that.”

    Collins said she wouldn’t compare Kavanaugh to Barrett, then added, “It will be very difficult for anyone to argue that he’s not qualified for the job. He clearly is qualified for the job. But there are other issues involving judicial temperament and his political or rather his judicial philosophy that also will play into my decision.””


  17. More bad news for Dems.


    “Although Democrats only need to pick up two seats to gain the majority in the Senate, they are struggling to control 10 states already held by Democratic senators. These states are now predominantly red states with voters who are strong supporters of President Donald Trump. They include Indiana, Missouri, Montana and North Dakota, all of which Trump won in 2016, while his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton couldn’t even win over 40 percent of voters in any of those states, according to a Politico report.

    Chances of flipping most states where Republican senators are up for reelection seems slim, with states like Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming most likely a solid GOP win, according to polling data by RealClearPolitics. Democrats’ only hope will be to replace GOP Sen. Jeff Flake from Arizona as he retires with one of their own, while simultaneously defeating GOP Sen. Dean Heller in Nevada.

    Midterm prediction polls show that in an effort to add two seats to Democrats’ existing 26, they will likely lose races in Nevada, Florida and Indiana, which will squash any chances of overtaking Republicans in the Senate races, according to the Axios and SurveyMonkey poll. The poll surveyed 12,677 registered voters from June 11 to July 2 with a margin of error of five percent.”

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The Senate may have realized it actually has authority to do stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Today it is China and Germany. Tomorrow it will be South Korea and France or Mexico and Canada or Chile and Australia. Trump and The Cult may be economically illiterate, but the rest of the world is not. Good for them. This is their century.


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