40-ish blend of the sacred and the profane un-easily co-existing in a drastically more compromised shell mourning the absence of my favorite muppet, Grover, from the latest movie... sniff.

Person #1779: 65 Posts

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  1. However .. (0 Replies)

    (hit ‘send’ accidentally… so let’s pretend this is just part of the previous comment, to which I am replying…)

    However complicit Nunes is, or is not, in the actual criminality, it’s entirely possible in his craven toadying up to Trump — in his all too hasty run to Papa Don to possibly ‘confirm’ his tweet that there WAS surveillance at Trump Tower — he has spilled the proverbial beans.

    Woolsely, let us recall, dropped a dime on Flynn last summer. So the FBI investigation into Flynn, we can assume, started there. Without dating to the beginning of the investigation, we can assume that at some point, the FBI began listening in on certain of Gen Flynn’s phone, email and other data communications… all as a likely normal part of their investigations into his criminality (and possibly treasonous behaviour). Obviously, too, the CIA, NSA and others, are likely constantly monitoring foreign nationals.

    Somewhere in all that listening, it seems to me, the CIA, the NSA and the FBI must’ve bumped into each other and, collectively, began to paint a larger portrait of the election, the Russians and the transition.

    Now, Nunes has confirmed, there is someone who presently works in the White House who was (and perhaps still is) under surveillance by the FBI.

    So, who wants to dispute the notion that the investigation into Flynn led to the surveillance of somebody who now works in the White House? To answer the initial question: if Flynn didn’t cover his tracks all that well, he may not have to cooperate with investigators; they may have all they need, or can get, from him, already…

  2. Just as... (1 Reply)

    I grant you this is a connection. Still, there are hundreds or thousands of suppliers who have a similar relationship to Luding. Not every one of those is part of a vast conspiracy of world domination orchestrated by Mr. Putin.

    It looks to me as though a LOT more evidence is needed before we conclude from this connection that Mr. Nunes is being unduly influenced by Mr. Putin or by Russia.

    .., in many cases, a deliberate lie is told to an honest man — who wishes it to be true: such a dynamic is necessary for the lie to “succeed….”

    In an analogous manner, any undercurrent of money-laundering requires a far more vast and encompassing array of legitimate (honest) enterprises to succeed. I tend to think that the aforementioned investment of Representative Nunes, who also strikes me as dumber than a bag of hammers, falls into the latter category. As a straight up investment, a winery doesn’t seem, particularly, either here or there… but as a front for money laundering — which is, I believe, the reason Putin, who’s personal worth is ‘offically’ negligible but ‘unofficially’ in the billions of dollars, would be involved — it’s not a solid investment. The last thing the launderer wants is ‘investors’ cottoning on to the notion that the business exists for cleaning someone else’s, illegally gained, profit.

  3. .... (0 Replies)

    The Founders were not originalists(3+ / 0-) View voters

    They deliberately used undefined and ambiguous terms like “cruel and unusual punishment” to create a living document.

    So, so-called originalism is not originalist, it is just fake piety about something.

    … It has nothing to do with what the Right feels (i.e. “piety”), but rather an invented obstruction to prevent the Left from making use of the ‘living’ part of the document to address the changing nature of the law and the people. Textbook definition of the word, ‘Conservative,’ actually…

    Conservatives are not going to spend the intellectual and cognitive energy necessary to address the changing nature of the law, the language and the people, rather they’ll declare victory in the original and simply resist changes to that. And, yes, I am saying the Lefts methodology takes more intellectual and cognitive (and, incidentally, moral) energies and abilities…. and courage.

  4. There was some, all too brief, talk of... (0 Replies)

    I certainly can. A longtime friend of the Clintons who sounds like Bernie on economics and is from a Rust Belt swing state. He’s an underrated presidential candidate IMHO.

    … Franken as VP. Sigh.

  5. I support... (1 Reply)

    Do you support lung transplants for lifelong smokers?
    If they are 40 years old? 65?

    … any necessary medical treatment that extends and/or enhances life and health.

    I DO NOT support the denial of medical attention for fiscal reasons, or indeed for any reason not having to do with a Doctor, or team of Doctors, considered recommendations, advice or directives.

    Is that clear?

  6. Why is it up to us? (0 Replies)

    Dems Cave on Gorsuch Hearing- Exactly Wrong Move


    The problem isn’t Dems having done anything wrong and therefor it’s the responsibility of the Dems to fix it…. The problem is that Mitch McConnel took a big steaming shit right on the constitution AND that everyone else — Including Judge Gorsuch — are trying to pretend it doesn’t stink.

    Judge Gorsuch could go down in history as a great and wise American if he declined to accept the position under these circumstances. That he does not betrays a grasping ambition distinctly at odds with the constitution he’ll supposedly uphold.

    So, I say, instead of playing all kinds of insider games and pretending this is more or less a normal day in the Senate, each and every true American in the Senate, whether they be D or R, should loudly and repeatedly ask “What the fuck is that awful stench?”

  7. Don't you see, that's WORSE. (0 Replies)

    They represent different things to different people. The display of flags gives people the opportunity to talk about the ideas those flags represent. If you calmly ask someone who has a rebel tattoo why he put it there, you might be able to tell him about other perspectives about what that flag means.

    There are two possibilities, both even worse than outright racism:

    First, Why in the world would you think that whatever secondary perspectives exist differing from the actual words and deeds of the actual confederates isn’t a personal form of ‘dog whistle’? I don’t believe there are other, legit, perspectives: they only have enough superficial legitimacy to act as coded speech.

    Secondly, if it was possible to have these sort of legitimate secondary perspectives (and I believe it is not), they would still be, by a long measure, secondary: squishy indifference to the deliberate acts and oppression minimizes the suffering and the victims… Can you imagine the message that sends to the descendants of slaves today? Of the descendants of people who fought and died in the struggle… on both sides!

    Good Ole Boy: “Uh, yeah… Ah’m awaya of the histree, suh, but fuh-git all dat. Don’t git all persnickety about all dat. My peh-sonal perspective… ah… Trumps all dat. I gits to say what it all means.

    No, you don’t. You lost that fight, pretty definitively.

  8. Irrelevant. (1 Reply)

    I think lots of people hoisting American flags are racists. Many of them, on the other hand, are just ignorant. Blissfully and willfully so, perhaps, but ignorant nonetheless.

    Ignorance is not a free pass to do whatever you want: pointing a gun at someone is a threat, whether or no you are aware it is or isn’t loaded.

  9. ... (2 Replies)

    … you first want to say that the right is absolute. Then you want to say there are elisions and corner cases that allow, or at least allow for different interpretations and wiggle room. Then you want to say that slavery isn’t the same as holocaust… sorta agreeing with the Germans in their efforts, but hoping not to let that application adhere too closely here.

    People can be proud of where they come from without endorsing every historical action.

    The question, Christopher, isn’t whether they can be proud, but whether that pride is either right, or righteous. Pride in a defining historical action overrides other concerns, because it is defining: The clear, forthright and overarching meaning of the Confederacy is antithesis: it existed solely and completely for opposition to the Union.

    The definition of the word ‘Nazi’ is ‘killer of Jews’. If, in Germany, you declare yourself a Nazi the state assumes you will, if given the chance, kill Jews. It doesn’t assume you’re celebrating some past historical artifact. It assumes you agree with what they did and will repeat the action.

    The definition of the word ‘Confederate” (in this context) is ‘slaver and rebel’. Neither of those things are allowed. You cannot support the Confederacy without which you support the defining characteristics of the the Confederacy which are distinctly, wholly and violently at odds with the defining characteristics of the Union. I do not, at all, think it either wrong or problematic in the slightest for the state simply to assume that you, in flying a rebel flag, are deliberate in your efforts to eventually incite insurrection and attempt to enslave another human.

  10. You would... (1 Reply)

    You absolutely do NOT in a free society presume that certain actions follow from certain words

    … uphold the ‘freedom of” part by denuding –that is to say, rendering entirely valueless — the “speech” part

    Suppose, for example, I say that Ted Bundy was the greatest person who ever lived and we should all follow his example and kill as many women as we can? Under your aegis that’s not a problem at all…

    Speech in support of the Confederacy is speech in support of what the Confederacy did. What the Confederacy did was deemed illegal and wrong. Therefore, speech in support is incitement to do something that was illegal and wrong.

  11. Yes. And... (1 Reply)

    but I think that actions, and not words or the display of symbols, are what should be prosecuted.

    … that’s the point. The Confederacy took the action of deliberate insurrection and attempted secession in defense of slavery. There is a clear, ineluctable, line between what they said and what they did. That’s the action. Anybody who repeats what they said can be expected to repeat what they did, if given a chance. Anybody who flies the Confederate flag can be reasonably be termed a traitor for flying a flag of an avowed — and defeated — enemy of the state.

    That, at the least, is my understanding of what happens in Germany: Nazi ideology leads directly to violent action against the state. It’s not the speech that is censored, it is the actions, that are the clear and undeniable outcome of the speech, that are prohibited and the speech is the clear marker of the action.

  12. Germany has free speech also... (1 Reply)


    Free speech is a pain in the ass sometimes, but it’s heart of our system.

    .. and Germany was, above, posited as the model to use. Perhaps it’s incumbent on us to recognize that the German experience… an experience our founding fathers could not have conceived when they recognized the freedom of speech… may have led them to more wisdom on the topic??

    In any event, I’m not entirely certain it is a free speech issue. I’m sure I don’ fully understand the German constitution, but my limited brief on them is that their ban on Nazi’s and Nazi symbols and imagery is, I believe, predicated on the idea that Nazi ideology and actions were specifically anti-democratic in word and in DEED : having actively taken advantage of an opportunity to overthrow the government, there is no reason to trust that Nazi’s are just another political faction who’ll play fair within the system: they’ve already demonstrated themselves to be insurrectionist and dedicated to the overthrow of the system. And, so, fair game, therefore, for governmental ban. I think, in the broadest strokes, the Confederacy can be seen in this light also… and that would satisfy me in shutting them down without running afoul of the 1st amendment.

  13. ah... ehrm.... you are 'right'... (0 Replies)

    Even the 2010 ACA went this way. If you are poor and had no insurance, it was great! I can get subsidized coverage! If you were already paying for health insurance, your costs went up, a lot, to pay for all these new insureds. And because we had to keep costs down overall, the coverage got worse.

    …in that something is not adding up.

    If the costs of the already-insured were raised to cover the cost of the newly-insured, what was the point of the government subsidies for the newly-insured?? From the point of view of the insurers the amounts, per patient are the same, tho the sources differ: for example, patient X (already-insured) contributes the total premium of M dollars… Patient Y (newly insured), contributes M’ and the government makes up the difference such that Y(M) equals X(M).

    The cost increase is real however, but has nothing to do with the number of new enrollees or the fact they are subsidized: it is derived from the fact that the newly insured and subsidized are one of the unhealthiest cohorts in the population: this is because of previous care denial. So the surge in price was expected, but also expected to level out over time as that cohort transitions from unhealthy to less-healthy and then to healthy.

    And it is precisely because RyanCare aims to allow insurers to arbitrarily dump patients to the curb that Ryan can present such a cheap plan.

  14. by hoisting you... (0 Replies)

    So how do you justify…(0+ / 0-) View voters

    …the last minute exclusion of prolife women from the march?

    … on your own petard in pointing out that any justification for the inclusion of pro-life women rests upon ‘identity’ in a manner you claim to deplore. So I don’t actually take it all that seriously as a question. Decidedly, it is more serious as an attempted wedge that rests exactly upon the assumptions of a certain, increasingly more fragile, patriarchal mandate that is at the heart of the proffer.

    And yes, that means exactly what you think it means: a ‘pro-life women’ is little more than a patriarch in drag.

  15. How about we unpack that...? (1 Reply)

    “Identity” politics assumes that people of the same physical appearance all think alike, or should think alike.

    I certainly think that all people should be against racism… but especially black people. By your definition black people shouldn’t axiomatically be against racism because it would mean they think alike…

    I certainly think that all women should think alike in the face of demonstrated oppression *against women.* Do you disagree with this?

    I know “Identity” politics when it excludes people.

    I think you’ve *identified* party politics. I’m a Democrat because the Democratic party excludes, deliberately, Republicans.

    The issue is the default: anything not explicitly designated a womens issue implicitly derives from a male centric point of view… So your refusal to allow women to choose their identity forces upon them your notions of identity. So you’re not arguing against ‘identity’ politics…. you are merely bemoaning the fact of your favored identity slipping and faltering in its hegemony.

    The “Woman’s March” regarding Trump assumes, incorrectly, that all women are, or should be against Trump.

    I certainly think everybody ought to be against Trump… but, just as certainly, I know that women have the most to lose from Trump’s ascendancy: It is the oppression of Trump, and the GOP, who have a problem with women, that is forcing women to assert their identity and not, as you would wish it to be, that assertion of identity that is the problem.

  16. ehh... (0 Replies)

    Small donors put a socialist in the Senate and nearly sent him to the White House.

    …I’m not really comfortable with normalizing the general idea that money == votes and even less so with the more specific notion that one source of money is better than another source.

    The saving grace of small donors, I guess, is the diffusion (dare I use the word ‘competition’?) of ideas such that unity only really happens in the broadest possible terms: the ‘wisdom’ of crowds is, strangely enough, both rather blunt and altogether squishy…. But individual donors, be they rich or poor, are equally likely, whatever the specific amount of their donations, to be wrongheaded on any given issue…

    And I find it clearly ridiculous that anything “nearly sent” Sen Sanders to the White House. He had a good run, but I don’t think he came nearly as close as you think he did, if he did come anywhere close, at all.

  17. to be honest... (1 Reply)

    There were buttons available that read “WOMEN for XXXX”

    I asked, “Do you have any for men?” No, they did not, but I was free to wear one in support.

    I’ve seen this movie. I know how it ends. Identity based politics/policy is a killer for Democrats running for office,

    … this, very much, reads like “MEN for XXX” is not identity politics whereas “WOMEN for XXXX” very much is…

    I think you have some unexamined assumptions about what “identity” and “identity politics” means to you. You should examine them.

  18. Why do you keep bringing this back to Clinton... (0 Replies)

    that to the rust belt voter of the voter in Pennsylvania, Trump’s or Clinton’s treatment of women was not on their radar.

    …??? It seems like a… well.. a fetish, with you. Knock it off.

    Certainly Bill Clinton wasn’t on their radar… but they didn’t get the news of Trump bragging about sexual assault in Pennsylvania? If they did get the news, and deliberately dropped it off their radar… that’s even worse!!

  19. If we really want to know what went 'wrong'... (0 Replies)

    I don’t see how you avoid the critical necessity of wringing our hands over 2016 from a what did we do wrong standpoint.

    … it’s the simple fact that Hillary Clinton wasn’t prescient enough to dis-trust the overwhelming poll numbers in her favor… or the newspaper endorsements… or the press… or any of the thousands of other public indications that she would win.

    Seriously. She was winning. She won the debates. Everybody was telling her she was winning. All indications were that she was winning. Her opponent believed she was winning. The GOP believed she was winning. Everybody believed she was winning… and by the time even an inkling of a loss was upon us, the last vote had already been cast.

    How, then, do you ‘wring your hands’ over the loss that came totally unexpectedly? How do we fault Hillary Clinton for not seeing behind the public reality that all of us believed in and expected? Can you fault her for not jumping in her time machine and looking into the future to see her loss… so that she could come back to our time, do a complete about-face upon a strategy that was, apparently, working but really wasn’t?

    And even if she could see the coming defeat… what would/could she have done differently? Go more Trump than Trump?

    Or if not wringing our hands, exactly, at least of doing a solid post-mortem. Unless you really believe that we’ve done that, and the evidence shows that we did everything exactly right, and we just have to wait for a better alignment of the stars?

    The post mortem isn’t getting done because the only possible answers aren’t palatable: 1) America still has a very lot of racists and sexists and/or b) politics isn’t deterministic. Lot of people here don’t even want to countenance either of those possibilities…. I don’t want to, myself, but I can’t avoid them: but your Lear quote has the answer: “the surfeit of our own behaviour”. It’s why we blame the stars and the moon, et al, because –deep down — we don’t like that the real blame lies within… and the farther away we attempt to put the blame, the deeper and more pernicious our sins…

    But, just like the stars and the planets couldn’t possibly have affected a different outcome if aligned differently, neither could Hillary Clinton have much changed the outcome even if she knew beforehand it was coming.

    The key to Donald Trump’s political success (sic) is the oft quoted phrase used by his supporters “He says what he thinks.” Yeah, he does. But what he thinks, stinks. But they agree with it. It mirrors what they think, which also stinks. And after a long run of dog whistles and sub-rosa gestures towards racism an out-and-out racist — and probably more importantly, an old-school sexist — was, for them, refreshing. The rest of us thought it was beyond the pale but were surprised to find, alas, it was not.

    Without agreeing that ’2016 turned out fine”, I think Christophers point is that, stripping away the constitutional overlay, and simply using the tally to measure us v them, there remains more of us than of them. And that is a comforting thought.

  20. again... you missed the point. (1 Reply)

    And Bill Clinton’s wife…(0+ / 0-) View voters

    ….with him in the White House? Please. Trying to play the marriage morality and treatment of women card here is not worth your time.

    Trump treats women cruelly. He does this independent of how anybody else treats women.

    This is *objectively* true about Trump: it doesn’t rely upon my biases, nor yours. It is not mitigated by anybody else’s behavior. Anybody who wants to see this does not have to look very hard. Those who do not see this are trying very, very hard not to look.

    Yet, women vote for him. Why? (You remember that, the original question… Why?)

    When I point out that actions of women in the recent election may have similarities to known psychological and emotional states your first response was to assert that I was making a feminist prophecy sotto voce. When called out on this, you reverted to a puzzled query that I was, somehow, making a statement about women and their husbands (which, for you, is a telling snippet of inherent contextualizing you did there…) when in fact I was making a statement about women and Donald Trump, now their President then a candidate.

    Now your response is “Look, over there, Bill Clinton and his penis!”

    Anything but to the point.

    Donald Trump is an abuser. If Donald Trump was left alone in a room with any women in America, I would fear for the physical and emotional safety of that woman… This, by itself, should disqualify him in the mind of the large majority of all voters and certainly the great majority of women. However, it does not. That’s not rational.

    Instead, it gets turned around and the number of women who voted for him turns out to be a minimization of his behavior and his attitude when in fact. .. Well, I’ll let you say something else now, probably to illustrate the point.