49 thoughts on “News/Politics 10-6-18

  1. Spartacus needed to be called on it, so do the rest.


    “Kelley Paul is the wife of Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

    (CNN)An open letter to Senator Cory Booker:

    It’s nine o’clock at night, and as I watch out the window, a sheriff’s car slowly drives past my home. I am grateful that they have offered to do extra patrols, as someone just posted our home address, and Rand’s cell number, on the internet — all part of a broader effort to intimidate and threaten Republican members of Congress and their families. I now keep a loaded gun by my bed. Our security systems have had to be expanded. I have never felt this way in my life.”

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Well I guess I have to thank him….

    Thank you creepy porn lawyer.



  3. The leftist casualties of the Kavanaugh witch hunt. All hurt by self-inflicted wounds.


    “The Brett Kavanaugh drama is approaching its dénouement, which means we can now survey the damage to the institutions that tried to ruin the high-court nominee—his life, his career, his family. That damage is immense.

    The next time Donald Trump rails against the “fake-news media,” his words will resonate with a larger share of Americans than they did before most of the mainstream media decided to enlist in the Democrat campaign against Kavanaugh.

    The next time there is a critical judicial nomination at stake, congressional Republicans and the broader conservative legal ecosystem will be that much more dismissive of white-shoe gatekeepers such as the American Bar Association.

    Likewise, the credentialing mills that shape the worldview of the liberal elite will have that much less credibility among broad swaths of the nation.

    Trump didn’t force Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer to taint the New Yorker’s record for painstaking factual accuracy by publishing Deborah Ramirez’s baseless, uncorroborated allegation about Kavanaugh exposing himself to her. By Farrow and Mayer’s own account, Ramirez took days to meditate on the vagaries of memory and consult her attorneys. That should have been warning enough, never mind the complete absence of firsthand corroboration.

    The Ramirez debacle was self-made.

    Nor did Trump force Farrow and Mayer to return to the story days later by profiling the Yale alumnus who offered hearsay backup to Ramirez—only to have the alumnus’s own supposed firsthand source deny all knowledge of the alleged incident.

    That cock-up, too, was entirely avoidable.

    And it wasn’t Trump who dispatched Emily Bazelon—a Yale alumna who had declared her opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination from day one—to report a ludicrous story about a bar brawl at which the future judge threw ice. No, it was the editors of the New York Times who did that. They gave Bazelon a straight-news byline, though she had a long record of partisan and ideological grandstanding on court issues.

    That was a journalistic wound the Grey Lady inflicted on herself.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Reading Twitter yesterday following Collins’ speech was horrifying.

    I wonder how many people these posters represent, if they’re a vocal few or if an entire swath of the population truly has lost its head — and its morals. Talk about “hate.”

    I shuddered at the endless stream, constantly reloading with more, of comments surging forth, comments that were vile and downright scary.

    Apparently the left also has called for Collins to not have a peaceful moment in public, they will be harassing and hounding her wherever and whenever they can.

    What a mob.

    This overreaction and hateful behavior (I hope) has got to backfire on the Democrats come November. Right?

    Liked by 4 people

  5. @1:16 Gregory Mankiw’s specialty is macroeconomics, and unfortunately, these economists are too dismissive of political , cultural, and geographical realities. For example, consider what might happen if a democratic country such as the United States were to have its computer hardware manufactured in, oh let’s pick a country like communist China. And what if China were to place a tiny micro-chip in the hardware so they can siphon data from entities such as the CIA or DoD or even big businesses. You could end up with Navy ships bumping into frigates, or classified government data being handed to hostile governments, or trade secrets stolen, bank accounts being hacked and credit card numbers being stolen, elections being influenced…..the possibilities are endless.

    These are the types of human issues that economists never seem to concern themselves with. And for many years our elected elite in DC have not been all that concerned either. The Vice President’s speech to the Hudson Institute a few days ago made it clear that we finally have someone in the WH who is concerned about it now.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. DJ – I would like to believe that comments like those are made by the very-vocal minority. We have those on the right, too. 😦


  7. Debra, Cyber Security is a completely different issue than overall trade deficits or bilateral trade deficits. Everyone agrees that we should not buy our critical defense hardware or software from the Chinese, the Russians or the Iranians. We also need to make sure that none of our enemies use spies to “place a tiny micro-chip” in hardware made in Utah or Pennsylvania.

    Mankiw is dealing with a completely separate issue. Trump and many of his followers believe that overall trade deficits are “bad” and that bilateral trade deficits are “bad” This is hogwash.

    Mankiw explains how:
    A. Bilateral and overall trade deficits are neither “good” nor “bad”. For example, Great Britain ran constant overall trade deficits during the 19th Century when it dominated the world economically and militarily.

    B. Trump’s policies produce overall trade deficits.

    The focus on cyber security is a good one, but it shows how Trump’s use of “defense” as an excuse to impose aluminum and steel tariffs was also hogwash. We are not going to win the next war by making 10,000 B-17s or 30,000 Sherman Tanks.

    Buying toys and clothes from China or berries from Mexico or selling grain and beef to other countries will not negatively affect our ability to win a war. Protectionism will ultimately make us poorer and negatively affect our relationships with longtime allies. China is filling the void by expanding its trade relationships with countries around the world. This is also making them richer. Rich, well-connected countries generally defeat poor, isolated countries in wars.


  8. 3:55 So is Flake being made an honorary member of The Trump Cult?

    He clearly was the MVP of the hearings for two reasons:

    1. Who knows if Kavanaugh would have been confirmed without the FBI exoneration, Avenati’s debacle and other events of the last week.

    2. The last two weeks (including the Flake extension) have been the best two weeks for Republicans since the Inauguration. Trump has been largely invisible while the Democrats have been reminding folks how badly they can behave.


  9. Ricky, from the article @1:16 (bold mine):

    If our overall trade balance is positive, we are spending less than we are earning, meaning we are saving. If our overall trade balance is negative, we are spending more than we are earning. In the language of economists, we are dissaving.

    Whether a trade deficit represents a problem depends on whether our spending is prudent or profligate.

    Since you see no problem with our trade deficits, you apparently believe our spending is “prudent”. But if we are spending (which, according to Mankiw, includes investing) in such a way that we are not even producing our own computer hardware and software internally, then we are spending in a way that is anything but prudent.

    The example I gave @2:44 is a case in point. It was not a hypothetical example. We have already purchased hardware produced in China, used by the CIA and DoD, in which a microchip was secretly embedded. We still do not know the full extent of the damage.

    Our internal policies and our foreign trade policies are not unconnected, particularly in my example of technology. One serious mistake we have made in our internal policy is to make the labor market for technology precarious by outsourcing, thereby reducing our ability to produce internally. For years, companies have snubbed the American worker in favor of lesser skilled foreign workers in technology. It has been justified in the name of ‘freedom’, however, it has not made our country more free, but less. And our freedom becomes less secure as we lose the ability to defend it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Debra, We must separate cause and effect. He have a trade deficit because we don’t save and we spend a lot, not the other way around. Be it Chinese toys or American tattoos or extremely high-priced healthcare, I think you and I can agree that the spending of both the American people and our governments is anything but prudent.


  11. I admit it. I am going to miss this sort of stuff when he is gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kizzie, I hope you’re right but I will say that I see much more of this behavior on Twitter by the left than I ever do on the right. And so far conservatives haven’t started hounding lawmakers out of restaurants, forced to flee with their families.

    I do think in this time and place that the left is more badly behaved and more radical in its politics. Liberals probably are more vocal in general than conservatives as well, which is why it seems like there are so many more of them around us than there really are — and explains why they’re often shocked, SHOCKED, that there are any conservatives in their midst at all. 🙂

    Maybe part of it is where I live, but I remember noticing that through the years at the dog park, liberals will just come up to you and start chattering away at how awful conservatives are. I nod and smile then try to change the subject. They seem to have no clue that just maybe, maybe those they’re talking to may not be completely in agreement with them. It’s odd, really.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ricky, we will not agree about cause and effect. Buying too many Chinese toys or tattoos did not create our inept trade policies, nor did the American workers dispossessed of their technology jobs. But if you like, we can agree that many people could improve their money management skills, and big business and their elite cohorts in DC have taken shameless advantage with the full force of our elected officials behind them. I think things are beginning to change.


  14. So I see the Kavanaugh vote went his way and he was sworn in (?) — does that mean they’re bypassing a big public ceremony?

    That was some raucous chapter in our contemporary political history, and we’ve had some doozies in the past decade — this one’s probably not over yet, and it’s all part of the current trajectory. So often I wish I could read a history book 100 years into the future to get a better understanding of the overall context of this era we’re living through.


  15. But I will say I’m hopeful he will make a good justice (and I think he will).

    Oh, now I see a ceremonial swearing in is set for Monday. I missed the day’s news as I was out and about with a cousin this afternoon.


  16. Debra, I forget. Have you read Free to Choose by the Friedmans? You won’t agree with everything they say. I didn’t, particularly not at first. However, that little book will change the way you think about trade and government regulation and unions and education, among other topics. Best of all, it will give you a framework to analyze economic promises and arguments made by politicians of all stripes. The best parts of the book are the places where Milton and Rose demonstrate that the policies advocated by economic demagogues generally are most harmful to their own supporters.


  17. So this is what makes Twitter great! I was discussing 1960s baseball and the co-author of a new biography of Felipe Alou pops in to tell us about the book.


  18. Trump 2020! 🙂


    “Donald Trump may have never had a better time being President.

    Only a re-election party on the night of November 3, 2020, could possibly offer the same vindication for America’s most unconventional commander in chief as the 36 hours in which two foundational strands of his political career are combining in a sudden burst of history.

    Trump will become an undeniably consequential President with the Senate due to vote Saturday to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, consecrating the conservative majority that has long been the impossible dream of the GOP.

    On Friday, Trump had celebrated the best jobs data for 49 years as the unemployment rate dipped to 3.7%, offering more proof of a vibrant economy that the President says has been unshackled by his tax-reduction program and scything cuts to business regulations.

    While his 2016 election campaign was most notable for swirling chaos and shattered norms, Trump’s vows to nominate conservative judges to the Supreme Court and to fire up the economy were the glue for his winning coalition.

    The struggle to confirm Kavanaugh split the country, deepened mistrust festering between rival lawmakers and threatens to further drag the Supreme Court into Washington’s poisoned political stew. But Trump stuck with it and ground out a win.

    So he has every right to return to voters in the next four weeks ahead of the midterm elections to argue he has done exactly what he said he would do. He now has a strong message to convince grass-roots Republicans that it’s well worth showing up at the polls.”


  19. DJ – I agree that there do seem to be more liberal crazies than conservative crazies.

    For those on Facebook who were willing to comment on Kavanaugh’s qualifications and history rather than the accusations against him, the biggest complaints I have seen concern the fourth amendment, particularly with his support of the Patriot Act. (I think I read that he helped write the act. Is that correct? I did not look into it further at the time.)

    Hopefully, his conservative credentials will be of benefit to the Supreme Court. I am mostly glad to see him confirmed.


  20. Woodward’s book described how Tillerson, Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, Cohn and others staged an “intervention” with Trump at that famous Pentagon briefing where they had a series of experts explain how after World War II, the US established strong trading relationships around the world along with strong military alliances such as NATO and our Asian alliances. These adults tried to explain to Trump how trade made us wealthier, the alliances kept us free and those two efforts were bound together. Trump constantly argued with the experts and stormed out, prompting the “He’s a moron” comment from Tillerson.

    China understands the points made at the briefing and is moving quickly to exploit the diplomatic and economic void being created by Trump. China loves having Trump as the US President.


  21. We now have another Associate Justice on the Supreme Court who can read and understand the Constitution. Yet another of President Trump’s promises kept…

    It will be a long time before we see the SCOTUS legislate from the bench again. If the Left wants their agenda passed, they are now going to have to have enough votes in the Congress – not just the five on the Supreme Court.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. This book about Churchill has been highly recommended to me:

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Ricky at 4:08….

    Careful, all that spinnin’ will make you dizzy.

    Flake is still a traitor on borrowed time. His time is ending soon, thankfully.


  24. CNN news alert summary I just saw on my phone:



    Kavanaugh’s bumpy road to the Supreme Court was cleared by Republicans set on tilting the balance of power on the bench.

    Yeah, and that’s never, ever been done on the ‘other’ side?

    Liked by 3 people

  25. There is a lot of this going around.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Ricky,

    Govt debt/deficits work the same way. Its not an ideological question rather a cost benefit analysis. Sometimes govt deficits make sense.


  27. The Kavanugh mess won’t die down soon. When the Democrats have enough votes they will try to impeach him for lying under oath. They’ll leave Gorsuch alone bc he didn’t lie nor is he so partisan.

    Its interesting to read Kavanugh’s oped . He apologized for his tone and language at the hearing yet he was reading a prepared statement. His statement was a political event which he feebly tried to take back. As the lady from North Dakota pointed out; he demonstrated the wrong temperament to be a judge.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. We tend clump together with like minded people and then when exposed to an opposing viewpoint are shocked. For example there are crazies on both sides, its just hard to see the crazies on your side……we view them as passionate. (Kavanugh was either passionate or a snivelling emotional entitled wreck).


  29. HRW, Help me understand why the Left is so upset about Kavanaugh. The Ford incident was a classic he said/she said case from 36 years ago in which the other witnesses did not help Ford at all. The Yale dorm incident was not believable at all. If it had been true, there should have been supporting witnesses and the accuser’s own memory problems made her allegations highly suspect. The Avenati allegation was ridiculous. In fact it was so ridiculous that the Dems and the media’s embrace of it undercut Ford.

    Feinstein’s behavior was bad. As soon as she heard from Ford, she should have told her that if Ford wanted her allegations to be considered, she would have to be publicly identified and the allegations would have to be investigated by committee staff and/or the FBI. Raising Ford’s allegations at the end made the Dems look dishonest. The behavior of the other Dems like Booker and the lady from Hawaii has been even worse than Feinstein.

    Many of the Democrat protesters have been ridiculous, cursing and screaming and getting arrested. Most of the press has also shamed itself with biased coverage.

    All of this works greatly to Trump’s advantage. It allows Trump to correctly say that the Left is crazed. If Mueller finds something significant, will Republicans believe the media which has just shown itself to be biased? The Dems were set to take the House in a month, but now that may not happen. Trump may be a lying imbecile, but Never Trump conservatives are now saying, “The Dems are not only liberal, but they are also unfair and intellectually dishonest and they are spreading falsehoods in a desperate attempt to maintain the right to kill babies.”

    Liked by 2 people

  30. So far there are no bands of conservative hecklers chasing Democrats and their families out of restaurants to my knowledge. 🙂 May it stay that way. Some lines of common sense and simple human decency the we (I hope) won’t ever cross.

    I think the Kavanaugh issue will, in fact, die down. My take is that the left will be feeling pretty disheartened in the short term at least. For years they’ve used the Supreme Court to virtually pass “legislation” they couldn’t get through the regular channels. That option has been cut off for the time being, thankfully.

    Liked by 5 people

  31. I agree with Hume. This is a good job by Peter Baker of the NYT to summarize the whole story.

    The saddest thing is that the headline is true. In modern America, facts and logic aren’t enough. Kavanaugh had to get emotional and show his “feelings” to prevail. We must choose between Trump and his cult and the Democrats who right now seem to be much worse … or just stay at home and wash our hands of the whole mess.


  32. I thought the full court press would have been given to Gorsuch. It was Garlands seat after all. But Gorsuch appeared quite professional but Kavanaugh was not.

    1) He lied under oath. Not just black our and devil’s triangle but prior to the allegations he either lied or evaded the truth several times.

    2) He was partisan. The Republicans made this worse by failing to provide documents related to his time in the Bush admin. And Kavanugh confirmed this in his prepared statements.

    3) Previous rulings on abortion rights.

    4) Expansive view on executive privilege. There were other prolife conservative judges yet the Republicans insisted on Kavanugh. Opponents believed he was chosen to protext


  33. protect Trump.

    5) The hypocrisy of the Republicans. They were in a rush to confirm him before the election. The opposite of their actions in the Garland nomination.

    The Republican behaviour in regards to Garland is to many the beginning of the delegitimization of the Court. Grassley, Graham and McConnell’s behaviour during the process delegitimized the court even more. Kavanugh’s statement esp the “revenge of the Clintons” confirmed the lack of legitimacy.


  34. Post allegations
    1) Feinstein did blow it. The typical way to deal with allegations is to either report them immediately or if not desired by the “victim”, allegations are kept confidential. As a teacher I have a duty to report, I can’t sit on a report. I also make the child aware of this do they know their words have consequences. Those to the left of the Democrats also agree with me …. Feinstein.

    2) Booker has very little respect on the left. I don’t think this helped.

    3) Although many establishment Democrats weren’t happy to see Avainati but the left felt his client was legit just choose the wrong lawyer.

    4) The FBI investigation was seen as a sham. (the embrace of the FBI by Trump supporters was amusung), which is why Avainati’s client has legitimacy in the eyes of the left. They were also upset that the FBI didnt investigate perjury.

    5) Kavanaugh’s behaviour (and Republicans in general) at the hearings probably lowered his reputation so badly that his confirmation brings a stench to the court. That stench is why I think the Dems will try to impeach….its what their base wants.

    6) As a neutral observer, I saw an entitled spoiled rich frat boy.. and I think that’s what many on the left saw and it only increased their anger.


  35. DJ,

    Both sides harass in public places and both think their acts are legitimate. Currently, Democrat supporters believe they are fighting to preserve freedom and the Constitution. Thus any means are justified.

    Meanwhile,on the right, armed men invaded Starbucks to “protect” the second amendment. Pro life supporters will harass doctors, nurses and patients from entering clinics. A local doctor was shot by a prolife man from Buffalo. It was not uncommon in Ontario in the 80s and 90s for pro lifers to “out” doctors by protesting in front of his house or informing his neighbours.

    Dr. Ford had to move every few days for security purposes as she was constantly receiving death threats. Her address, email and phone number were posted on the internet as well as her friends where she might be hiding.

    Both sides have their crazies and both sides think the end justifies the means. But I’d be remissed if I didnt point.out the Republican party has normalized crazy. Aftet all they elected Trump.


  36. HRW,
    4. I’ve heard the line about Kavanaugh being there to protect Trump if there is fight with Mueller or another prosecutor. I understand that some liberals believe it, but that is the liberal version of Obama putting “tapps” on Trump’s phone. Roberts, Alito, Gorsuch and Thomas are conservative (some more than others), but they are not witless Trump stooges like Nunes. They are fine justices who will follow the law in any matter involving Trump.

    5. Double-Standard? Yes, but elections matter.

    1. More than other judicial nominees? Enough to warrant all this Democrat misbehavior?

    2. He did work for Little Bush and Starr. McConnell warned Trump that would make his confirmation more difficult, but what we have seen from the Dems has been ridiculous.

    3. Abortion? Yes, and that is what this is all about!

    Sometimes I think that people like SolarP may overemphasize the importance of the issue even though it is the great moral issue of the last century. The problem is that since 1972 it has been primarily a judicial issue affected only at the margins by elections. However, when we see the lengths to which the Left will go in order to block a 5th conservative Justice from being seated, it makes one think that SolarP is right and no amount of Trumpian idiocy, dishonesty, economic illiteracy or foreign policy buffoonery outweighs the fact that he has appointed two conservatives to the Supreme Court, not to mention the good lower court appointments.


  37. Shapiro was harsh but clever:

    In order for the momentum to shift back to the Dems, Trump needs to do something unbelievably stupid sometime in the next month. What are the odds?


  38. I don’t think its the level of “tapps” or puzzagate. Left leaning democrats believe the current Republican party is the party of Trump. And they elevate party over country. They also view Trump aa steps away from an indictment. Based on those premises its logical why Trump insisted on Kavanugh. Even Ben Sasse thought Trump should pick someone else ( one of the women on the short list)

    Although Ben Shapiro et al may view the behaviour of some activists as crazy, it did play well with the base. From the left, Kavanugh, Graham, Grassley and Trump look like crazy old men. Its a matter of perspective


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