Alternate Scandals, Nunes, GOP, Government Help

  • This week’s note in Trumpian ‘Alternative Facts’ comes from vox where, in a single week, the Nunes memo exposed the anti-Trump conspiracy, previously secret FBI emails showed that Obama engineered a cover up of the Clinton email scandal, and Mark Warner met secretly with Steele to conspire on the dossier. Turns out that each story was debunked, but vox explains that truth no longer matters in Trump world.
  • driftglass doesn’t much care for Kevin Nunes, and he makes me laugh explaining why.
  • At The Moderate Voice has accurately summarized the philosophical underpinnings of today’s Republican Party.
  • Ted McLaughlin at jobsanger has discovered polling data on whether government does enough to help Americans.
  • M. Bouffant at Web of Evil links to efforts by religious leaders, this time Mormons, to cover up a domestic violence scandal. And a prediction that feminism will undo 10,000 years of recorded history. Which might be pretty good except, as he points out, recorded history doesn’t go back that far. I dunno. Do we count cave graphics?
  • Maybe market forces work? Jon Perr at PERRspectives documents corporate efforts to drive down health care costs while improving care for their employees. Health industry stocks went down at the news.
  • Once more into the breech. Libertarian Michael A. LaFerrara at Principled Perspectives tries again to defend the corrupt electoral college system of selecting Presidents. This time it’s that the founders realized that the passions of the majority need to be tamed. Actually, that was an argument for the Bill of Rights. The main argument for the electoral college was the need to preserve slavery.
    Choosing by electors makes about as much sense as choosing a mayor by counting how each street voted. Whoever wins on the the most streets becomes mayor. Did we ever get a more dispassionate result when the electoral college chose differently than the voters? Was Benjamin Harrison a taming of passion? George W? D-D-D-Donald Trump?
  • In The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser, Bruce pretty much rejects friendship with those with whom he has nothing in common and who he suspects have only evangelistic motives. Well, yeah. It can be kind of drag to be around those who see you as a target.
  • North Carolina pastor John Pavlovitz suggests that Jesus of Nazareth has been banished from conservative evangelical Christianity, but offers hope that progressive Christians are saving Jesus from extinction.
  • Our favorite Earth-Bound Misfit provides a most entertaining video of a frustrated car thief. Poor guy gets his due. Narration is great. Oh puhLeeeze watch this.
  • I kind of like science fiction, but I get irritiated when some important answer is suddenly provided by technological magic. I would, at least, like a story to present a premise, then build on it. Infidel753 takes a look at a common theme, outer space aliens who visit earth. He examines several possible reasons anyone from a distant world would bother with ours, and rejects each one. What would aliens want here?
  • John Scalzi at Whatever buys a new guitar, gets ticked at someone’s reaction, and provides a lesson in common courtesy. His advice? Don’t be a dick.

My Conservative Friend’s Funny Pictures

Barry Goldwater was an avid photographer. He got started as a kid when his mother showed him how to use a box camera. It became a lifelong passion.

He took pictures all over Arizona. Tens of thousands of photographs. He documented the ordinary life of native Americans and became an advocate. He took pictures of vast desert vistas.

When he was in Washington, he became a loud conservative voice. He was a bitter opponent of John F. Kennedy and what he stood for.

And they became close friends.

Kennedy was a frequent guest at the Goldwater home. Goldwater’s wife and kids later reminisced about Jack Kennedy’s visits. Barry and John enjoyed each other’s company.

In those days, political opponents could become good friends without betraying core principles. Ted Kennedy was sometimes seen sitting with elderly segregationist John Stennis of Mississippi, occasionally laughing softly together at some inside joke. Politicians back then were even known to enjoy ironic humor.
Continue reading “My Conservative Friend’s Funny Pictures”

Brownback’s Horrible Policies Might Save the Republic


Louis XIV almost certainly never said it. The phrase was attributed to him by his enemies precisely because it would have been an outrageous thing even to think. The words are still easily recognized today.

L’Etat, c’est moi

I am the nation

When we hear modern echoes identifying an individual with the state, no matter how faint those echoes, we still take notice.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus did not see much in Donald Trump’s State of the Union to applaud. So they didn’t.

Donald Trump reacted:

…even on positive news, really positive news like that — they were like death. And un-American. Un-American.

Failing to applaud my President is an insult to more than a mere individual. It is an insult to America.

I mean they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.

As it turns out, those African Americans, those Democratic members of Congress, were worse than un-American.

Can we call that treason?

The boisterous presentation, and the crowd reaction, may suggest the President was joking.

Of course. Or half joking. Or some other fraction.

He was not joking a few weeks before when, during a break from a golf outing, he spoke about the ongoing investigation into possible campaign conspiracies with Russia. He seemed explicitly to identify himself as a personification of the country. Any investigation into his own possible wrongdoing hurts, not him, but America itself. Here are his words:

Continue reading “Brownback’s Horrible Policies Might Save the Republic”