100, Incompetence, US Survival, What ISIS Hopes, Santuary

  • This Week In Trumpian ‘Alternative Facts’, the Houston Chronicle explores the first 100 days, with a special focus on my President’s strained relationship with the truth.
  • Every two or three months, MyCue23 comes out of wherever he hibernates and produces a wonderful bit of wisdom at Random Thoughts. The seasons change and MyCue23 emerges to fascinate. This time, he explains why the first 100 days of our new national order are an artifice, why 100 is not a magic number, and how Donald Trump could become a great President but won’t.
  • Stinque, in a burst of optimism, believes the country may survive anyway. Hope springs from a combination of Trump incompetence and indolence.
  • There is a flip side to that logic. Jon Perr at PERRspectives is happy that ISIS seems to be going down for the count, getting tossed out of one geographic area after another, losing sources of finance, faced with a shrinking number of combatants as followers die and die and die, and leadership in flight, abandoning followers to their fate. Perr notes the only refuge that’s left: the hope offered by clumsy Trump policy and counter-productive presidential bluster.
  • Yay-y-y-y-y! Margaret and Helen, “Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting,” are finally back. Helen sees the election of our President as a signal that Oh Shit. The rest of the country just became Texas. She ponders a nation in which joking about assaulting women is no longer disqualifying.
  • Let’s get this straight. Part of what sanctuary cities want is to give even undocumented immigrants protection from crime. That means victims can call police without being turned over to immigration enforcement, so crimes get reported and solved.
    The Trump administration doesn’t buy it. Anyone with whom police come in contact had better be here legally. Period. Otherwise my President wants heavy penalties against those cities.
    Hard nosed, heartless, and kind of dumb. The very flower of contemporary conservative thought, excluding those conservatives who are my friends, or whom I know and kind of like, or whom I admire at a distance. Or T. Paine who is in a class by himself: qualifies as a conservative, one I like, one I admire, and who is also a long time friend. But other than those … you know.
    The Trump administration has established a propaganda agency. Victims can report crime committed by any immigrant here illegally, so President Trump can publicize the atrocities and put fear and loathing into the hearts of us vulnerable voters. All other crimes will go through routine channels, without special publicity. Thus all immigrants will get tarred for the crimes of any.
    Tommy Christopher finds a Trump wrinkle. The new web site guarantees that victims may call without fear. If callers are not in the country legally, they will not be investigated and deported.
    My President has established a sanctuary web site.
  • Newsweek asks if the more famous new First Daughter is actually the new Hillary Clinton. Frances Langum asks a few colleagues to be sure, and answers Hell NO! Seems like an emphatic certainty.
  • The Big Empty joins sensible folks in banging heads on hard, hard wooden tables as otherwise sensible Senator Elizabeth Warren manages to become “troubled” by the very idea of President Obama making a lot of money.
  • Yellow Dog at Blue in the Bluegrass doesn’t much like the idea of big tent ideological openness in the Democratic party. Democrats should share core principles. All core principles. And the list of those principles is long, very long.
  • The Moderate Voice points to a couple of points of light for Democrats. Republican held congressional districts in Virginia and Illinois may go Democratic. Main sign, at the moment, is the ease with which Democratic candidates are recruited. Okay, so it’s not what you’d call definitive, but we take hope where we find it, right?
  • Libertarian Michael A. LaFerrara at Principled Perspectives is for a woman’s right to an abortion but against a woman’s right to abortion services. Well, he has read everything put out by the late Ayn Rand.
  • Infidel753 finds a great video from a popular cable drama that dovetails eloquently with his own disdain for lazy shortcuts in logic. A fictional news anchor blasts our most beloved patriotic cliches. Highly entertaining.
  • Vincent at A Wayfarer’s Notes has been undergoing a difficult medical odyssey. I have to wonder if that informs his confrontations with the Bible, visiting evangelicals, and personal spirituality.
  • A close friend has issues with organized Christianity. She sees religion in general, and churches in particular, as a scam whose purpose is to impose control over those who can be manipulated.
    North Carolina pastor John Pavlovitz sees the extension of that manipulation to the internet, with an additional purpose: misogyny. Conservatives are telling unauthorized Christians that, in the eyes of God, they have no right to write.

Lets not forget. My President has proclaimed tomorrow as “Loyalty Day.”

Trumpworld Grab-Bag:
The Lost Art of Vetting

found online by Raymond

From Vixen Strangely at Strangely Blogged:

This is almost going to be too brief to be an honest to goodness “Trumpworld Grab-Bag” post, because it’s really just about three guys: Michael Flynn, Sebastian Gorka, and Carter Page. I have issues with the Trump Administration’s basic lack of sense on most issues, but the one that literally blows my mind the most is the national security thing. Trump says things that imply he’ll be very strong on national security, and then…

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The Worst 100 Days!

found online by Raymond

From Jack Jodell at The Saturday Afternoon Post:

COUNTDOWN: As of today, only 1,365 more days remain in this horrid administration’s term in office…

Saturday will mark the current President’s 100th day in office. President Donald Chump, the Liar-in-Chief, recently stated in one of his numerous preposterous Tweets, “No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, it has been a lot…”

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On Letting The Clown Out Of The Box

found online by Raymond

From driftglass:

For almost a quarter of century, a basic tenet of all Conservative media from The Weekly Standard to Fox News to Hate Radio to Breitbart has been the relentless delegitimization and demonization of the press, of Liberals, and of any president with a (D) after their name who attempts in any way to govern as a Democrat.

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Republicans and Hogs, the Tragedy of the Commons

In the early 1800s, Victorian economist William Forster Lloyd made a simple proposition that later came to be called the Tragedy of the Commons. We have experienced a variation in recent years as anti-government activists engaged in armed confrontation with the US government.

Lloyd did not envision confrontation, of course. The ivory towers in which economists dwell tend to be peaceful. Conflicts are usually between competing theories.

Lloyd took a look at cattle grazing in England and noticed a trend. When those cattle stood on ground owned by the same folks that owned the cattle, the owners tended to be careful about preserving their acreage. They would move cattle to different sections of land, after a time, to allow plant growth to replenish grazing areas. And they would limit their herds to a sustainable number.

But when common areas of ground, wide expanses owned by the community, were opened to grazing, all hell would break loose. Once a cattle-owner gets to a saturation point on land owned by that same cattle-owner, the incentive to grow the herd is overruled by the loss of land.

But there is not much incentive to self-limit on land owned by the community. The cost resulting from depleting the land is shared by everyone. Each cattle-owner gains a lot from increasing the herd, and loses just a little by depleting the land. The problem is that each cattle-owner loses when other cattle-owners increase their herds, if those herds graze on the common.

The Tragedy of the Commons refers to any situation in which the self-interest of each comes at the expense of all.

There are a number of possible directions William Forster Lloyd’s hypothetical community can take.

Citizens might rely on cattle-owners to self-regulate. If the owners recognize a common interest, they can form a common agreement. Each will graze this much and no more.

If there are just a few cattle barons, and they share all or at least nearly all of the common grazing, a means to detect violations might be all that is needed. If I catch you violating the agreement, the deal is off and all of us will suffer.

If there are a lot of cattle owners, or if the community itself is burdened with too much of the cost, some sort of enforcement and penalty is needed. If you violate the agreement, we will impose enough individual pain to overcome that individual incentive. When everyone backs off, everyone benefits.

If the non-cattle community interest is way greater than the combined interest of the cattle owners, the community may decide to impose an agreement. Families want a place to walk or picnic or fish. Perhaps the cost to the community of replanting is prohibitive.

There are actions that would meet the standards of other ideologies. The commons may simply be placed off limits to cattle. Or a fee may be imposed. In a libertarian world, the commons itself would be abolished and sold to individual owners. There is no Tragedy of the Commons if there is no commons. This is also becoming the preferred solution of Republicans.

The Tragedy of the Commons becomes the complex common problem of all when the commons is not easily divided but does affect everyone: for example the air we breathe or the water we drink.

Those are some of the problems in North Carolina, where the issue is hog farming.

I want to sit out in the front porch today but I can’t because of the spray.

Rene Miller, Warsaw, NC, interviewed by CBS News

Hogs used to be raised on small family farms. But the efficiencies of growth have overcome tradition. Huge mega-corporations with massive populations of hogs have a waste problem. They solve it by channeling hog sewage into mammoth cesspools lovingly known as lagoons.

It’s the way they get rid of their waste that’s really most problematic. The hogs dump their feces and urine on the floor. It goes under the hog house out to a lagoon.

Rick Dove, Water Keeper Alliance

North Carolina prohibits direct dumping of waste into rivers and streams. That sounds like it might work. But runoff from the land is pretty much unregulated.

When lagoons get full, hog factory farms don’t release the waste into waterways. They spray the sewage on fields as manure. That’s the spray Rene Miller complains about. Then it runs into waterways.

But it goes out to the lagoons and then they slop it on the fields. And then it runs off into these drain pipes they have underneath the fields and runs off into the ditches and then goes right down to our streams, creeks, and rivers. And it’s full of nitrogen. It’s basically untreated waste.

Rick Dove

Human nature being what it is, people often have a hard time letting go of ideology in the face of mere evidence. Those with a financial stake have an even harder time. When traditional conservative deregulation does not seem to allow for workable answers, it becomes easier to deny the problem exists at all.

This is not a recent human development. Big tobacco once financed an entire enterprise, the Tobacco Institute, denying scientific evidence linking smoking to cancer. Exxon is accused of similarly financing climate change denial, secretly funding contrived studies and fake organizations for decades, a purported campaign only recently revealed.

Factory hog farming in North Carolina is no exception to the eternal temptation. Problem? There is no problem.

I’ve never had a complaint from any of my neighbors.

Jeff Spedding, who farms for Smithfield Foods

Republican representatives in the state legislature are on record. Health problems as well as air and water contamination simply do not exist. Representative Jimmy Dixon speaks for many legislators as he is quoted in the Raleigh News & Observer:

These allegations are at best exaggerations and at worst outright lies. When you talk about spraying effluent on peoples’ houses and peoples’ cars, that does not exist.

Jimmy Dixon

In Rene Miller’s case, the neighboring farm corporation denied that manure spray over the fields across the road ever got close to her house, even when the wind shifted. That is, until she provided video evidence of the spray hitting her home.

Residents were there for generations before the massive corporate hog farms bought into adjoining properties. Now, those residents are fighting back. Several lawsuits have been joined by those affected. They are slowly winding through the courts.

The North Carolina legislature has recognized that there is a problem. House Bill 467 was introduced by Representative Jimmy Dixon and passed by the house. It recognizes the issue of complaints of foul odors, contamination, health problems, and quality of life.

The legislation does not attack the air and waste and health issues themselves. It attacks the complaints.

The law will severely restrict any future lawsuits against factory hog farms by distressed neighbors.

The Tragedy of the Commons is not about the tragedy or about the commons. For conservatives in North Carolina, the real tragedy is those who complain about the tragedy.

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Sinking Feelings

found online by Raymond

From Iron Knee at Political Irony:

Two new polls from Gallup and Pew Research are bad news not just for Donald Trump, but for Republicans in general.

The number of Americans who say that Trump keeps his promises has plummeted from 62% in February to 45% (a drop of 17 points). “Can bring about changes this country needs” went from 53% to 46%. “Is honest and trustworthy” from 42% to 36%. Gallup measured a total of six characteristics, and his rating went down in all of them. In fact, “Is a strong and decisive leader” is the only characteristic that is above 50% (having dropped 7 points from 59% to 52%).

And that’s the good news.

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Trump: Gov’t Will Fund All Essential Mar-A-Lago Staff During Shutdown

found online by Raymond

From The Onion:

WASHINGTON—Saying his administration was fully prepared in the event Congress does not pass a new budget by the end of the week, President Trump promised Monday that all essential Mar-a-Lago staff will continue to be funded during a government shutdown.

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