Discussion:
The State of the Nation
(too old to reply)
Francis A. Miniter
2017-05-16 02:38:12 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
I keep hearing the voice of King Henry II saying, "Will someone not rid
us of this troublesome president?" Disclaimer: This is not a call for
assassins.

Every day it gets worse. Now he is glibly passing on highly
confidential information to the Russians so he can brag about what great
intelligence he gets every day.

And if anyone still thinks he is sane, they should read the 19 page
transcript of his interview with The Economist. He just goes on and on,
incoherently rambling and accidentally revealing how his staff
manipulated him into not terminating NAFTA, and by the way he tells it,
he still does not know he was manipulated.


Francis A. Miniter
Ingo Siekmann
2017-05-16 08:39:49 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Am 16.05.2017 um 04:38 schrieb Francis A. Miniter:
- snip
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Every day it gets worse. Now he is glibly passing on highly
confidential information to the Russians so he can brag about what great
intelligence he gets every day.
https://www.tickcounter.com/countdown/1611151200000/america-new_york/yodhms/FFFFFF3B5998000000FF0000/Time_Until_Trump_Leaves_Office

Try not to cry.

Bye
Ingo
Mike Burke
2017-05-16 09:01:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Francis A. Miniter
I keep hearing the voice of King Henry II saying, "Will someone not rid
us of this troublesome president?" Disclaimer: This is not a call for
assassins.
Every day it gets worse. Now he is glibly passing on highly
confidential information to the Russians so he can brag about what great
intelligence he gets every day.
And if anyone still thinks he is sane, they should read the 19 page
transcript of his interview with The Economist. He just goes on and on,
incoherently rambling and accidentally revealing how his staff
manipulated him into not terminating NAFTA, and by the way he tells it,
he still does not know he was manipulated.
Francis A. Miniter
Well, it's the wages of sin, Francis. Nemesis strikes again. Even at this
distance, it's beyond belief that the Democrats were so out of touch with
reality that they did not realise that Clinton was utterly toxic as a
candidate to anyone who was not a true believer, and that such a sizeable
minority were so disgusted with the political establishment that they
simply could not stomach the prospect of another four years of business as
usual. The incompetence and gross corruption of the Obama administration
was unlikely to be overcome by the very individual perhaps most responsible
for the worst of its failures. It's equally tragic that American politics
has sunk to such depths that neither party selected a candidate worthy of
respect. If your politics is similar to ours, and superficially there is
much in common, really decent people are vanishingly rare in politics at
any level. Spivs and urgers are the norm.

Why did the DNC corruptly rig things to take Sanders out of the race?
Because they know no other way, I'm sure. Although we'll never know, I
think Sanders (or just about anybody other than Clinton) would have beaten
Trump.

I have no brief for Trump and would cross not only the street but the
Pacific Ocean to avoid him, but his tenure is an opportunity for both major
parties to clean house. They would be very stupid not to do so.

But if Democrats continue to behave like spoilt brats, Trump will get a
second term and the Republicans will own the Supreme Court for a generation
or more.

Which raises the point: isn't it now obvious that the weaponisation of the
Judiciary is, in the long term, a very bad thing? Time to take judicial
appointments out of the hands of party politics altogether, methinks. How?
Not the foggiest idea.
--
Mique
Francis A. Miniter
2017-05-17 03:12:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mike Burke
Post by Francis A. Miniter
I keep hearing the voice of King Henry II saying, "Will someone not rid
us of this troublesome president?" Disclaimer: This is not a call for
assassins.
Every day it gets worse. Now he is glibly passing on highly
confidential information to the Russians so he can brag about what great
intelligence he gets every day.
And if anyone still thinks he is sane, they should read the 19 page
transcript of his interview with The Economist. He just goes on and on,
incoherently rambling and accidentally revealing how his staff
manipulated him into not terminating NAFTA, and by the way he tells it,
he still does not know he was manipulated.
Francis A. Miniter
Well, it's the wages of sin, Francis. Nemesis strikes again. Even at this
distance, it's beyond belief that the Democrats were so out of touch with
reality that they did not realise that Clinton was utterly toxic as a
candidate to anyone who was not a true believer, and that such a sizeable
minority were so disgusted with the political establishment that they
simply could not stomach the prospect of another four years of business as
usual. The incompetence and gross corruption of the Obama administration
was unlikely to be overcome by the very individual perhaps most responsible
for the worst of its failures. It's equally tragic that American politics
has sunk to such depths that neither party selected a candidate worthy of
respect. If your politics is similar to ours, and superficially there is
much in common, really decent people are vanishingly rare in politics at
any level. Spivs and urgers are the norm.
Why did the DNC corruptly rig things to take Sanders out of the race?
Because they know no other way, I'm sure. Although we'll never know, I
think Sanders (or just about anybody other than Clinton) would have beaten
Trump.
I have no brief for Trump and would cross not only the street but the
Pacific Ocean to avoid him, but his tenure is an opportunity for both major
parties to clean house. They would be very stupid not to do so.
But if Democrats continue to behave like spoilt brats, Trump will get a
second term and the Republicans will own the Supreme Court for a generation
or more.
Which raises the point: isn't it now obvious that the weaponisation of the
Judiciary is, in the long term, a very bad thing? Time to take judicial
appointments out of the hands of party politics altogether, methinks. How?
Not the foggiest idea.
Hi Mique,

I will mention a few points only. President Obama's administration was
actually the cleanest in decades. There is on Wikipedia an article that
tracks all the scandals in every presidential administration, at least
in living memory. Check it out. The Obama Administration was, by far,
the cleanest. In a hundred days, the Trump Administration has
outstripped every other one in numbers and seriousness.

Clinton was not a toxic candidate. She won the popular vote by 2.9
million votes. And she only lost three critical states, Pennsylvania,
Michigan and Wisconsin, by 78,000 votes, cumulatively, out of 14,000,000
votes cast. Why did she lose? Several things: (1) Many would not vote
for her simply because she is a woman. America is still well behind the
world in recognizing the competence of women. (2) Russian interference
at the Internet level with many fake stories (like the one that she ran
a child sex abuse ring out of a pizza shop in D.C., which led one idiot
to show up there with an assault rifle seeking to free the kids). (3)
Comey's October surprise. (4) She did not portray a warm personality.
She talked about things like education, while Trump screamed about
Mexican rapists. She stirred minds while he stirred emotions.

I am not quite sure what you mean by weaponization of the judiciary. If
you mean that Republicans appoint conservative judges and justices and
Democrats appoint liberal judges and justices, at least that leads to a
range of ideas in the courts. The Supremes seem to be able to live with
it reasonably well. And if you look at all of the decisions in any one
year on the Supreme Court (about 600 of them in any year), you will see
that the justices mostly agree most of the time. There are only a few
issues which bring out strong emotional disagreements.

For instance, the Court recently declined to take the North Carolina
voter ID case on technical grounds. It would only have taken four votes
to have the court hear the case. And there are now five conservatives.
But four votes were not found, and Justice Roberts, a conservative,
wrote the opinion declining the case.


Francis A. Miniter
Mike Burke
2017-05-17 11:47:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Tue, 16 May 2017 23:12:36 -0400, "Francis A. Miniter"
<***@comcast.net> wrote:

<snipt>
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Hi Mique,
I will mention a few points only. President Obama's administration was
actually the cleanest in decades. There is on Wikipedia an article that
tracks all the scandals in every presidential administration, at least
in living memory. Check it out. The Obama Administration was, by far,
the cleanest. In a hundred days, the Trump Administration has
outstripped every other one in numbers and seriousness.
What is the Wikipedia link to that, Francis? Not that I doubt that
it's true, at least numerically, but we may have different definitions
of corruption. I think Victor Davis Hanson's little list is a good
guide. It's a long list which I'll post a link to when I find it.

As I think I've often mentioned here, I would have voted for Obama in
2008, despite having serious doubts about his qualifications and
suitability. But by the time 2012 came around he was top of the list
of worst presidents in my living memory and that goes back to at least
Truman and bits of FDR. He started to lose me with his interference
in the Skip Gates case and had done irreparable damage by his actions
in the Zimmerman case. It only got worse after that.
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Clinton was not a toxic candidate. She won the popular vote by 2.9
million votes. And she only lost three critical states, Pennsylvania,
Michigan and Wisconsin, by 78,000 votes, cumulatively, out of 14,000,000
votes cast.
Which all serious commentators on both sides seem agree was due as
much as anything else to her total neglect of the rustbelt states in
her campaign.
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Why did she lose? Several things: (1) Many would not vote
for her simply because she is a woman. America is still well behind the
world in recognizing the competence of women.
Once again, VDH - among others - disagree. See here:
http://victorhanson.com/wordpress/how-to-blow-an-election-in-five-easy-steps/#more-10163

(2) Russian interference
Post by Francis A. Miniter
at the Internet level with many fake stories (like the one that she ran
a child sex abuse ring out of a pizza shop in D.C., which led one idiot
to show up there with an assault rifle seeking to free the kids).
That's one fake story that didn't make it to Oz or at least that I
saw. The main fake news I saw came from the usual US suspects, eg the
NYT, Washington Post and so on, the unbelievable bias of which
(omission of any stories unfavourable to Clinton) was so evident that
the NYT even came out with a pseudo-apology after the election for
misleading its readers and promising to do better.
Post by Francis A. Miniter
(3) Comey's October surprise.
Comey's October surprise was only possible because Clinton and her
team, particularly Abadin and Podsta, did everything illegal that they
were accused of doing and, no doubt, there's much still to be
uncovered. I agree the man is a dickhead who should have been fired
by Obama the moment he appeared on TV. I also agree with many
commentators that it's amazing that the sudden "school-of-fish" change
in direction by the liberal commentariat didn't break their collective
necks. Oh, the steaming hypocrisy. Trump fired him ugly, but his
being fired was unavoidable.

I don't believe that the Russians had anything significant to do with
trashing Hillary's chances. She did the crime., and the Russians
would have had nothing to contribute if she hadn't.

One commentator, perhaps the very conservative Diplomad 2 - a retired
FSO with 30-odd years in State, the latter few working for Clinton
whom he hates with a passion - makes the point that one of Comey's
major blunders was to allow himself to become a familiar media face.
He noted that FBI Directors since Hoover have made it a point to stay
out of the news, and he challenged anyone to think whether they could
name anyone other than Hoover as FBI Director until Comey. Many
Americans probably can, but I have certainly no idea.
Post by Francis A. Miniter
(4) She did not portray a warm personality.
She talked about things like education, while Trump screamed about
Mexican rapists. She stirred minds while he stirred emotions.
Don't you have any recollection of Benghazi, where she lied about the
cause, lied about why no action was taken to relieve the situation on
the ground, lied to the families of the victims blaming some poor
idiot for a trashy video that never saw the light of day outside the
US if it got out of his city or state. That alone apart from the many
other debateable foreign policy outcomes during her reign at State
rendered her a toxic candidate in my view and in that of many
commentators. Who could possibly trust her?

Don't you think that the doubts about the apparent (and in many cases
proven) pay-for-play abuses of the Clinton Foundation during her
tenure at State for her and her family's self-enrichment raise
questions of about her probity? Our ridiculous Foreign Affairs
department contributed something in the order of tens of millions to
the Clinton Foundation which nobody can find any evidence that the
money was spent as it was supposed to be. And then there's their
crony corruption in Haiti.

Bluntly stated, self-evidently the woman is a sleaze as was, and is,
her husband. That Bill was a fair average president is, I think,
beyond dispute, but neither he nor his missus should ever have gotten
within a mile of the White House. If other Presidents and their
consorts have been crooks, I can't think of any during my lifetime who
were ever quite so brazen. Oh, and spare me the argument that they
have never been convicted of any crime. From this distance, the
American justice system appears to be utterly corrupt, with only
ordinary people without political connections ever seeing the inside
of a jail. (Rare exceptions, eg Martha Stewart and Bernie Madoff.)

Sad to relate, that particular virus appears to be well-established
down here. My son is a lawyer and both I and my younger brother
studied law for some years. When I worked in a law office in the
early 60s, the Law Society and Bar Association practice rules
prohibited what was called "touting for business", meaning that
lawyers could not advertise anything beyond a change in practice name,
telephone number and address. Class actions as such were barred.
While I have mixed feelings about class actions, believing that
properly managed and controlled they give a voice to people who
otherwise could not afford justice, I think they have corrupted
lawyers and the law. (Current practice among the major class action
law firms down here has proven that the main, perhaps the only,
beneficiaries of such actions are the law firms themselves and their
underwriters. There's a book to be written about a recent case down
here concerning the victims of a major bushfire who one tens of
millions in a case but who have not yet, years later, received a penny
while the firm's principals have paid themselves the entirety of their
"costs" from the payout - in the millions, holding the unpaid balance
in their trust account far beyond any reasonable time while the
victims wait.)
Post by Francis A. Miniter
I am not quite sure what you mean by weaponization of the judiciary. If
you mean that Republicans appoint conservative judges and justices and
Democrats appoint liberal judges and justices, at least that leads to a
range of ideas in the courts. The Supremes seem to be able to live with
it reasonably well. And if you look at all of the decisions in any one
year on the Supreme Court (about 600 of them in any year), you will see
that the justices mostly agree most of the time. There are only a few
issues which bring out strong emotional disagreements.
For instance, the Court recently declined to take the North Carolina
voter ID case on technical grounds. It would only have taken four votes
to have the court hear the case. And there are now five conservatives.
But four votes were not found, and Justice Roberts, a conservative,
wrote the opinion declining the case.
I think it's wrong that political battles are fought in the courts.
What I would hope for is a system where the Congress makes the law and
the Supreme Court takes a more passive role in determining its
compliance with the Constitution. In this I am closer to, but not
entirely, the traditionalist stance. I think unconstitutional law
should be sent back to the Congress and/or State legislatures for
amendment, and that the status quo ante should persist pending any
such amendment.

As things stand, I think the American electorate focusses far too much
on what is perceived to be at stake or as opportunities to make law
by-passing the democratic process. The prospects of Rowe v Wade seem
to govern people's thinking far more than much more vital interests,
eg the economy, foreign policy and so on that the Federal Government
should be more concerned with. Personally, while I am pro-choice, I
think Rowe v Wade is a stinking pile of intellectual ordure exceeded
only by the recent gay case. Of course, on the other side, you have
the fear that Second Amendment rights will rip the guns out of their
hot living hands. Pure emotionalism and stuff all logic in either
case.

To achieve a less politically charged court is probably impracticable
at this stage, but I fear their will be a new revolution if something
is not done to reunite the tribes that the Obama administration has
done so much to drive apart. That alone will seal his legacy as a
disatrous president.

Hillary will only have provided 8 more years of the same or worse.

It's past time for a house-cleaning on both sides.

Mique

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Francis A. Miniter
2017-05-17 16:17:01 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mike Burke
On Tue, 16 May 2017 23:12:36 -0400, "Francis A. Miniter"
<snipt>
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Hi Mique,
I will mention a few points only. President Obama's administration was
actually the cleanest in decades. There is on Wikipedia an article that
tracks all the scandals in every presidential administration, at least
in living memory. Check it out. The Obama Administration was, by far,
the cleanest. In a hundred days, the Trump Administration has
outstripped every other one in numbers and seriousness.
What is the Wikipedia link to that, Francis? Not that I doubt that
it's true, at least numerically, but we may have different definitions
of corruption. I think Victor Davis Hanson's little list is a good
guide. It's a long list which I'll post a link to when I find it.
The Wikipedia article is entitled, "List of Federal Political Scandals
in the United States". It actually goes all the way back to the
beginning of the country,
Post by Mike Burke
As I think I've often mentioned here, I would have voted for Obama in
2008, despite having serious doubts about his qualifications and
suitability. But by the time 2012 came around he was top of the list
of worst presidents in my living memory and that goes back to at least
Truman and bits of FDR. He started to lose me with his interference
in the Skip Gates case and had done irreparable damage by his actions
in the Zimmerman case. It only got worse after that.
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Clinton was not a toxic candidate. She won the popular vote by 2.9
million votes. And she only lost three critical states, Pennsylvania,
Michigan and Wisconsin, by 78,000 votes, cumulatively, out of 14,000,000
votes cast.
Which all serious commentators on both sides seem agree was due as
much as anything else to her total neglect of the rustbelt states in
her campaign.
Post by Francis A. Miniter
Why did she lose? Several things: (1) Many would not vote
for her simply because she is a woman. America is still well behind the
world in recognizing the competence of women.
http://victorhanson.com/wordpress/how-to-blow-an-election-in-five-easy-steps/#more-10163
There were even women interviewed who said they could not vote for a
woman for president.
Post by Mike Burke
(2) Russian interference
Post by Francis A. Miniter
at the Internet level with many fake stories (like the one that she ran
a child sex abuse ring out of a pizza shop in D.C., which led one idiot
to show up there with an assault rifle seeking to free the kids).
That's one fake story that didn't make it to Oz or at least that I
saw. The main fake news I saw came from the usual US suspects, eg the
NYT, Washington Post and so on, the unbelievable bias of which
(omission of any stories unfavourable to Clinton) was so evident that
the NYT even came out with a pseudo-apology after the election for
misleading its readers and promising to do better.
The FBI and the rest of the intelligence community already publicly
stated that Russia used internet trolls to bias the country against
Clinton. There is clear evidence of that kind of tampering. (And they
tried it in France too, but with only a few weeks, they could not get
traction. Maybe the US should go to a shorter campaign period.)
Post by Mike Burke
Post by Francis A. Miniter
(3) Comey's October surprise.
Comey's October surprise was only possible because Clinton and her
team, particularly Abadin and Podsta, did everything illegal that they
were accused of doing and, no doubt, there's much still to be
uncovered. I agree the man is a dickhead who should have been fired
by Obama the moment he appeared on TV. I also agree with many
commentators that it's amazing that the sudden "school-of-fish" change
in direction by the liberal commentariat didn't break their collective
necks. Oh, the steaming hypocrisy. Trump fired him ugly, but his
being fired was unavoidable.
No sudden change of direction. Comey showed bad judgment in his October
statement, but it was clear that he was sincerely trying to do the right
thing and that he had agonized over the disclosure. So no one doubted
his dedication to trying to do the right thing.
Post by Mike Burke
I don't believe that the Russians had anything significant to do with
trashing Hillary's chances. She did the crime., and the Russians
would have had nothing to contribute if she hadn't.
She did no crime. Even the Republican House and Senate committees
(seven or eight of them) could not find anything criminal.
Post by Mike Burke
One commentator, perhaps the very conservative Diplomad 2 - a retired
FSO with 30-odd years in State, the latter few working for Clinton
whom he hates with a passion - makes the point that one of Comey's
major blunders was to allow himself to become a familiar media face.
He noted that FBI Directors since Hoover have made it a point to stay
out of the news, and he challenged anyone to think whether they could
name anyone other than Hoover as FBI Director until Comey. Many
Americans probably can, but I have certainly no idea.
Post by Francis A. Miniter
(4) She did not portray a warm personality.
She talked about things like education, while Trump screamed about
Mexican rapists. She stirred minds while he stirred emotions.
Don't you have any recollection of Benghazi, where she lied about the
cause, lied about why no action was taken to relieve the situation on
the ground, lied to the families of the victims blaming some poor
idiot for a trashy video that never saw the light of day outside the
US if it got out of his city or state. That alone apart from the many
other debateable foreign policy outcomes during her reign at State
rendered her a toxic candidate in my view and in that of many
commentators. Who could possibly trust her?
Actually, in the end, it became clear that the extremists did use that
video to whip up the mob so as to have cover for the attack.
Post by Mike Burke
Don't you think that the doubts about the apparent (and in many cases
proven) pay-for-play abuses of the Clinton Foundation during her
tenure at State for her and her family's self-enrichment raise
questions of about her probity? Our ridiculous Foreign Affairs
department contributed something in the order of tens of millions to
the Clinton Foundation which nobody can find any evidence that the
money was spent as it was supposed to be. And then there's their
crony corruption in Haiti.
Come on, now. The Clinton Foundation was a thousand times cleaner than
the Trump Foundation. All their finances are published. None of Trump's
are. And now the New York AG has closed down the operations of the
Trump Foundation, but will not let it dissolve until its criminal
investigation is completed.
Post by Mike Burke
Bluntly stated, self-evidently the woman is a sleaze as was, and is,
her husband. That Bill was a fair average president is, I think,
beyond dispute, but neither he nor his missus should ever have gotten
within a mile of the White House. If other Presidents and their
consorts have been crooks, I can't think of any during my lifetime who
were ever quite so brazen. Oh, and spare me the argument that they
have never been convicted of any crime. From this distance, the
American justice system appears to be utterly corrupt, with only
ordinary people without political connections ever seeing the inside
of a jail. (Rare exceptions, eg Martha Stewart and Bernie Madoff.)
Bill Clinton put the US on a balanced budget until the Bush tax cuts.
Post by Mike Burke
Sad to relate, that particular virus appears to be well-established
down here. My son is a lawyer and both I and my younger brother
studied law for some years. When I worked in a law office in the
early 60s, the Law Society and Bar Association practice rules
prohibited what was called "touting for business", meaning that
lawyers could not advertise anything beyond a change in practice name,
telephone number and address. Class actions as such were barred.
While I have mixed feelings about class actions, believing that
properly managed and controlled they give a voice to people who
otherwise could not afford justice, I think they have corrupted
lawyers and the law. (Current practice among the major class action
law firms down here has proven that the main, perhaps the only,
beneficiaries of such actions are the law firms themselves and their
underwriters. There's a book to be written about a recent case down
here concerning the victims of a major bushfire who one tens of
millions in a case but who have not yet, years later, received a penny
while the firm's principals have paid themselves the entirety of their
"costs" from the payout - in the millions, holding the unpaid balance
in their trust account far beyond any reasonable time while the
victims wait.)
Post by Francis A. Miniter
I am not quite sure what you mean by weaponization of the judiciary. If
you mean that Republicans appoint conservative judges and justices and
Democrats appoint liberal judges and justices, at least that leads to a
range of ideas in the courts. The Supremes seem to be able to live with
it reasonably well. And if you look at all of the decisions in any one
year on the Supreme Court (about 600 of them in any year), you will see
that the justices mostly agree most of the time. There are only a few
issues which bring out strong emotional disagreements.
For instance, the Court recently declined to take the North Carolina
voter ID case on technical grounds. It would only have taken four votes
to have the court hear the case. And there are now five conservatives.
But four votes were not found, and Justice Roberts, a conservative,
wrote the opinion declining the case.
I think it's wrong that political battles are fought in the courts.
What I would hope for is a system where the Congress makes the law and
the Supreme Court takes a more passive role in determining its
compliance with the Constitution. In this I am closer to, but not
entirely, the traditionalist stance. I think unconstitutional law
should be sent back to the Congress and/or State legislatures for
amendment, and that the status quo ante should persist pending any
such amendment.
Read Marbury v. Madison again. It sets out the necessity of a final
arbiter between the authority of the other branches. The Supreme Court
has been called "the least dangerous branch".
Post by Mike Burke
As things stand, I think the American electorate focusses far too much
on what is perceived to be at stake or as opportunities to make law
by-passing the democratic process. The prospects of Rowe v Wade seem
to govern people's thinking far more than much more vital interests,
eg the economy, foreign policy and so on that the Federal Government
should be more concerned with. Personally, while I am pro-choice, I
think Rowe v Wade is a stinking pile of intellectual ordure exceeded
only by the recent gay case. Of course, on the other side, you have
the fear that Second Amendment rights will rip the guns out of their
hot living hands. Pure emotionalism and stuff all logic in either
case.
To achieve a less politically charged court is probably impracticable
at this stage, but I fear their will be a new revolution if something
is not done to reunite the tribes that the Obama administration has
done so much to drive apart. That alone will seal his legacy as a
disatrous president.
Hillary will only have provided 8 more years of the same or worse.
It's past time for a house-cleaning on both sides.
Mique
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Francis

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