Saturday, January 20, 2018

Miscellaneous Musings:

Whose fault is the shutdown?

Consider the House vote. A resolution was passed 230-197 in the House to fund the government. The yes votes were 224 Republicans and 6 Democrats. Meanwhile the no votes were 11 Republicans and 186 Democrats.

Consider the Senate vote. 60 votes were needed to break a filibuster and 45 Republicans voted yes along with 5 Democrats. Meanwhile 44 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted no. There was one Republican who did not vote. When you remove McConnells no vote which was a parliamentary trick to enable for a fast revote later on, 46-4-1 for Republicans and 5-44 for the Democrats. Furthermore, even if all 51 Republicans voted yes along with the 5 Democrats, they still would have been 4 votes short of the needed 60.

Consider that President Trump would have signed the bill upon it passing the Senate if it had done so.

There is no way this can logically be pinned on the Republicans so...

#SchumerShutdown

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Friday, January 19, 2018

On the Probable Government Shutdown:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

There are too many conservatives who are really #clownservatards and incapable of recognizing a political gift when its given.

Case in point, those responding to a probable government shutdown with #releasethememo. There are too many Captain Ahab's on the #clownservatard front who have spent literally years (and sometimes decades!) predicting Obama and/or Hillary would be exposed, arrested, etc. These same folks now are stupidly kvetching about a memo they think will be another smoking gun in their long list of predicted (and failed!) smoking guns. Meanwhile, a political gift is about to be made of the sort that rarely comes around and they are sabotaging it with their latest white whale obsession.

For you see, usually when there has been a government shutdown, the Republicans have caused it and gotten boned politically as a result. However, what we have now is the Democrats pushing for one who have picked a hill to die on in DACA which even among those who support it is not a high priority item as a rule. (If anything its higher priority for those who do not support it!) The same Democrats who pitched reams of apocalyptic talk in 2013 about how social security recipients, children's health care, and a whole host of other vulnerables would suffer as a result of the prior shutdown are themselves pushing for a shutdown now. So either they lied about the effects of the last shutdown or they told the truth but would inflict all the supposed suffering on the same vulnerable for what? Not something that benefits Ma and Pa America in Peoria but instead for illegal immigrants. Yes the same Democrats who decried a shutdown over something that would have helped Americans in 2013 now will push for one to help illegals. The optics of that are politically disastrous for the Democrats.

But what do clownservatard white whalers do? They distract with the whole memo thing rather than get out of the way of their political adversaries willingly cutting their own throats! Rather than table the silly memo thing and let their opponents cut their own throats and hang themselves by owning a shutdown over helping illegals (read: something they would NEVER do for American citizens!) they are getting in the way of their opponents committing political seppeku with another #MobyDickMoment of the sort they have foolishly wasted time and energy on for years to get nothing out of it.

A tip: if there is anything to this memo, table the damn thing right now. Let your opponent cut their own throat tonight (or reveal to the DACAites that they are merely a political pawn and they do not give a shit about them if they refuse to shut down the government over DACA as they are claiming they would do right now!) and let the political fallout over this stunt wreck your political foes for several days first. Then if you must, chase the memo thing. But do not get in the way of your opponent willingly cutting their own throat first. Unless you want to lose yet again as you so often have on these matters over the years in which case, as you were.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

On Ethics, Principles, “Going Off the Deep End”, Etc.
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

The purpose of this note is to address something not a few folks have been saying to me in various and sundry ways as of late. My words will be in regular font. Without further ado...

Seriously...you're going off the deep end.

I realize the point I am raising is one that is uncomfortable for many of todays Trump supporters who yesterday criticized Obama (or Clinton) for the same sort of matters. But that is neither my problem nor am I going off the deep end unless seeking truth and consistency are now off the deep end. Are they?

I heard for twenty-three years from Republicans and conservatives that character was important, ethics mattered, and the Republicans go after past Democrat presidents on these matters. And even though I left the Republican Party more than twenty years ago, I still on some level respected Republicans for taking these stands and generally voted for them. Then one to two years ago, everything changed. Now ethical problems or problems in character are not beneath the president or to be frowned upon but indeed they are either to be ignored, have excuses made for them, or even (God forbid!) celebrated. What changed?

Ethics and principles either matter or they do not. Character and expecting a higher degree of ethics from presidents either matters or it does not. If it does not matter now, then those claiming it mattered when Obama and Clinton were president did not believe what they were pushing for so many years and they owe those men an apology.

That (to be blunt) means the Republicans and many Trump supporters lied through their teeth for more than twenty years on these matters only to abandon their long claimed positions when it was suddenly politically inconvenient for them to espouse them. So if they were a bunch of liars for so many years, why should I believe them now? Why should I believe or trust anything a Trump supporter says now which flatly contradicts what they were saying just a couple years ago? And once Trump is gone and the same folks who kicked long held conservative core principles to the curb recently suddenly start parroting them again, why should I or anyone believe them then?
Or to summarize all of this briefly:

Kindly explain to me how expecting ethical and principled consistency from folks is going off the deep end when it is what conservatives have done for DECADES until only very recently. Now when suddenly its inconvenient, these matters are (at best) ignored. 

With all due respect, folks who talk like this should take a long hard look in the mirror and consider what has been done.

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2011 Interview With Stormy Daniels: Trump Cheated On Melania With Me

I am sure the Moral Majority and Religious Right folks will find a way to say what was reported here was acceptable "because Trump" of course and presumably even though it happened before the #GreatMoralParadigmShiftOf2016, a dispensation has been retroactively granted to Trump by these folks nonetheless. And as the claim made by Stephanie Clifford (aka "Stormy Daniels") was corroborated by two named persons and the claimant herself took and passed a polygraph at the time of the interview six plus years ago, I trust that is enough probable evidence for those from the #EscalatedBurdenOfProof crowd which has really grown in number since January 20, 2017. But that is neither here nor there.

I do have one exit question though and it is this:

--Will the Moral Majority and the Religious Right folks ever apologize to Bill Clinton?

I mean the whole "but ethics and character matter" schtick: they obviously did not actually believe those things. (I base my claim on their subsequent actions and statements.) So they rightfully owe Bubba an apology if we take their current statements and actions as their real positions on these matters.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Where are you going I don't mind
I've killed my world and I've killed my time
So where do I go what do I see
I see many people coming after me

So where are you going to I don't mind
If I live too long I'm afraid I'll die
So I will follow you wherever you go
If your offered hand is still open to me
Strangers on this road we are on
We are not two we are one. [Dave Davies]

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On the "Escalating Standard of Proof" Position Taken By Many Trump Supporters:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

It is the considered opinion of your host that these folks are establishing a dangerous precedent implicit in much of what they are saying. I have seen claims of such-and-such was "never established in a court of law" or "there was no sworn statement" as if we cannot ascertain something or take as probable any claim not meeting said standards.

If we are going to now require sworn testimony on everything, then we have really moved the goalposts. (Heck, imagine if Woodward and Bernstein had needed sworn testimony from "Deep Throat" before they could do or say anything!)

I remind readers that the Supreme Court, in the case of Garcetti v. Ceballos ruled that government employees are not protected from retaliation by their employers under the First Amendment of the Constitution when speaking pursuant to their official job duties. So anyone from the WH who went on the record with claims with a sworn statement could easily lose their job!

This approach if institutionalized would ensure that there is no motivations to try and correct problems in government or elsewhere but instead would protect the status quo as well as abusers within the latter. I know many who make these claims never explicitly or consciously do that so I would simply recommend greater consideration of the implicit ramifications of this new standard that they few others have been advocating for as of late.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Inside the tense, profane White House meeting on immigration

Well well well...

"Three White House officials said Perdue and Cotton told the White House that they heard 'shithouse' rather than 'shithole' allowing them to deny the president’s comments on television over the weekend. The two men initially said publicly that they could not recall what the president said..."

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Briefly...

I have noticed that apologists for the Trump administration who are pushing the "lowest black unemployment numbers in decades" story as well as the 4.1% u3 unemployment figures now are many of the same ones who when Obama was in the WH were pushing things like "labour participation rate" (which has declined by .2% for blacks since Obama left the WH!) and the u6 unemployment figure (standing at 8.6%) which they once said were the *true unemployment figures.*

Gee, looks like some folks have been #MovingTheGoalPosts again to me!

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