Sunday, August 4, 2019

Nietzsche may have a point to consider about US

Another MassMurder by another White Man blaming Immigrants for...whatever, does it really matter at this point?

What drives me to depression is the "Cultural Christians" defense of the indefensible..."Stop making this about guns, people are dead, sad us, very sad, THOUGHTS and PRAYERS, so sad, bad people, evil people, naughty people, did I mention sad?"

Of course, it's video games, online culture, chat rooms, information hubs...those are the problems, and were said as much by the Governor's office of Texas, and the Lt. Governor who was sent to toe the line on Fox News.


That doesn't change the numbers...250..251..252...253 Mass Murders in 2019 alone?

as one Twitter user Professor of History at the Citadel, Micheal Livingston, tweeted

Do you hear about the Mass Shooting?
No, the other one
No, the other one
No, the other one

But what draws my ire, more than anything else, is the "Christians"

I know, I know, "not all Christians..." just like, "no true Scotsman..."

I even had one of the Elder's of my Church try that on me...and I really didn't want to gut him in front of our mens group, but I had to...not a proud moment for me.

"The World doesn't make distinctions of who is Christian and Who isn't...anyone who claims Christ as their savior, no matter how much they prove they are not, WILL BE labeled a Christian. We're stuck with them."We have a problem here in the US, a gun problem, all the Mass Murders have one thing in common...weapons designed to kill people.

But the other problem is we have a President who nurtures, encourages, and gives tacit approval of whole sale murder with this rhetoric at his "campaign" stops.

as I reread this I realized I need to bring my point it is this:

Apparently, "Christians" and non-Christians have abandoned reason, and no one, the world or otherwise should look to us for common sense, answers, or truth..."we" have murdered God (or all that we claim we hold dear) by our words, actions, and in-actions.
Nietzsche pointed out a key element about Christianity in Europe after the Enlightenment...though the Europeans used God's name a lot, their behavior said God was no longer a part of their thinking or lives...and Nietzsche wasn't above pointing that out...

"God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?"

Nietzsche...the son-of-a-bitch, after all these years, still points out the unholy truth about Christians...and the unfortunate part is we can substitute God for the Constitution, America, Truth, Freedom, whatever the topic we spill words for...we killed it, we killed it dead with our knives.

AND STILL, we have no intention of changing our words, or deeds

Nietzsche is right, we killed our God and gods, what else is left to us?

P.S. 253 Mass Murders...apparently there was another one last night



  1. Sheerakhan -

    Your post is right on. Great November 2016 article on Lawfare blog predicted the radicalization of mass murderers under Trump.

    Money quote from that article compares the MAGA Morons with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood that spawned Mohamed Atta and Ayman al-Zawahiri: "Trump campaign is also a broad political movement with dangerous undemocratic overtones, a conspiratorial worldview, and ambiguous relationships with a radical fringe that is also linked to violent and even terroristic offshoots." Unfortunately for all of that two and a half year old article has proved true.

    You have nailed it also. Would these apologists for white supremacist terrorists use the same-old excuse of violent video games and mental illness when speaking of al-Qaeda inspired gunmen like John Allen Muhammad, Nidal Malik Hasan, Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, or Omar Mateen?

    Forgive me though as I do have one extremely-tiny snivel. My eyes are bleeding with some of the font colors that cannot be made out against the black background. Perhaps we should change the background to matte white?

    1. Sorry...the rage inside came out in me...I wanted it to be jarring...the kaliedoscope of colors, fonts, dark,'s the world we live in.

      Art through words cannot convey the visceral anguish I'm soul wants to run to the mountains, but for some reason I must stay and see this through.

      one person at a time..."be the change, sheerahkahn, be the change you want to see."

      I'm trying, but i'm feeling a wee bit exhausted from the wholesale murder.

      Anyway, again, my apologies, and I will...minimize...future conveying art through colorized words.

    2. And now the alt-right, or more correctly the mainstream right, is caliming the Dayton shooter is a leftie. WTF is wrong with these people?

    3. pls forgive my reverse dyslexia - or maybe it is my fat fingers



    2. I saw that one as well and I doubt both the Brazilian and the Mexican figures.

    3. The Brazilian shooting was the Suzano School massacre in March. There were eight fatalities and 20 injured. Most were young teenagers 14 to 16. The two attackers were reportedly inspired by Columbine. But it is more likely they were copying the other Brazilian mass school shooting back in 2011.

      I am not aware of the Mexican shootings.

      In any case it would seem to be a western hemisphere phenomenon. I would guess the Utøya youth camp shooting and the Christchurch Mosque shooting were anomalies.

    4. Mexico has almost a civil war going on. It is guaranteed to have had some mass killings this year. The definition behind that graphic has to be biased to ignore that.
      Same with Brazil; much violence is going on in the Favelas.

      Excerpts from Wikipedia about Mexico in 2019:

      February 17: Five people have been killed and five more wounded after gunmen burst into a bar Cancun and opened fire.
      February 28: Two people were killed and 10 wounded in a shooting in Sofia bar in Cuernavaca, Morelos.
      March 9: An armed group bursts into a bar in Salamanca, Guanajuato) during government operation against El Marro, leader of the cartel Santa Rosa de Lima, dedicated to the theft of gasoline in Mexico. Fifteen killed, five wounded
      May 12: Eleven people, including an 8-year-old boy, are killed in a shooting in Chilapa de Álvarez, Guerrero, near Chilpancingo.
      May 26 Three police officers are killed and 10 people injured in a shoot-out in Zamora Municipality, Michoacán.
      July 21: Four people are killed and six are injured in an attack on a bar in "La Condesa," Acapulco

      I sure don't count to three for Mexico and such Wikipedia lists are usually not complete.

  3. Let's be very, very clear, sheerah.

    The people "blaming" videogames, evil, drag queens, mental illness...they are Republicans.

    The people standing athwart firearms regulation that would make it harder - not stop, anymore than drunk driving laws stop drunk driving, but make it harder the same way that DUI laws have made drunk drivers less common - are Republicans.

    The people who are denying the obvious point that the big difference between the places that have videogames and mental illness and social problems but don't have regular firearms mass murders and the one that does are that one's firearms laws...are Republicans.

    And the reason that nothing will change isn't in the's at the ballot box, where 40% of the United States is juuuuuust fine with a butchery every so often provided they can take their AR-15 knockoff to the range to pop some caps (and get their tax cut while they're at it...).

    The answer is simultaneously simple...and impossible. The "conservative" movement has to be surgically separated from the ammosexual gun-nuts. That's not going to happen. The Right needs every Jesus freak, every gun-humper, every Nazi they can find.

    So, meh.


    I've stopped pretending there's any way short of civil war to change this country. And that's not coming. We'll become a banana republic before we rid ourselves of our banana Republicans.

  4. US Wingnuts: The horrible scourge of mental illness has reaped another (checks notes) umm...lots of victims! Thoughts and prayers!

    The Rest of the Industrialized World: We have mental illness. We don’t have these mass murders.

    US Wingnuts: No! No! Wait! Videogames!

    TROTIW: Nope. Sorry. We have those, too. It’s your fucking gun laws.

    US Wingnuts: Wait! Wait! Prayer in schools! Gays! Economic anxiety!

    TROTIW: Christ, you really ARE that fucking stupid.

  5. John Marshal at TPM had a pretty good summary of the whole wingnut food chain back in June ( and pointed out that all this American Carnage as a feature not a bug of movement conservatism (meaning, of course, of conservative "Christianity" seeing as how they're joined at the hip...)

    Here's his nut graf:

    "This is a form of anti-pluralist Catholic political ideology most associated with quasi-fascist governments in Spain and Portugal and political movements in France (Vichy being the example in power) and other European countries. The basic thrust is a political vision that prioritizes hierarchical social cohesion and has the government takes a leading role enforcing traditionalist cultural and social values and keeping conservative Christianity as the taproot of the state. Church and state are both on the same team and working, collaboratively, toward the same end. The pluralist vision of the state most of us are familiar with, in which it is a semi-neutral arbiter between lots of different visions of how people should live their lives, is anathema.

    How this would all play out in an American context which is based on significantly different ideas about government is anyone’s guess. But the more immediate impetus and focus of these writers is a bit different. As others have noted, the idea is that the culture war and the related battle for an ethno-nationalist identity are simply too important, immediate and dire to have any time to worry about things like the rule of law or even democracy. Read through these different pieces and you’ll also get a strong feel for the priority of fighting, that these folks are driven by a desire to fight their liberal enemies on all fronts at all times and that this is the core of political action.

    So I'm not shocked that these supposed followers of the Prince of Peace are just fine with bloodyhanded atrocities, providing that they get what they want along with them; a government that supports their theocratic ideal, a government that works with them to kill liberal ideas like pluralism and diversity and reproductive "choice".

    If the means actual killing people? Hey, God will recognize his own, right?

  6. FDChief - Don't be too sure internal civil war will not happen. Lots of threats on the wingnut blogs now. And previously in happier days when Obama was President.

    I don't think it will amount to much. And it will be put down hard and fast. Just some whacko fringe trying to start a race war.

    If it happens I'm contemplating breaking out my old 12 gauge and go conduct a citizen's arrest on the local collaborationist overseer.

  7. "I've stopped pretending there's any way short of civil war to change this country. And that's not coming. We'll become a banana republic before we rid ourselves of our banana Republicans."

    What I fear is more people coming to believe this. Ironic in a thread ostensibly about mass shootings.

    I've thought a lot about another civil war in the US. It's worrisome enough to me that I've made sure my family all have passports. But my worry waxes and wanes.

    On one hand, most of the divided forces in the US lack much of a spine. For all the gnashing of teeth on keyboards and social media, very few people seem interested in actually putting skin in the game or building a movement. In our Dionysian age, few are willing to do more than virtue signal.

    If there is something remotely equivalent to the temperance movement, the civil rights movement, or the women's rights movement (of the early 20th century), then I don't see it. There's no organization, no strategy, no leadership, only angry tweets.

    But then I remember the passions of men (and it's mostly men) who are generally stupid and too willing to spill blood over honor or zealous conviction. The keyboard warriors that populate the vanguard of our culture wars could light a spark that grows quickly out of control and becomes an emergent force.

    But any future civil war will not be like the last one. States still wield significant autonomy in theory, but they are a shadow of what they were in the mid 19th-century and are now barely coherent political entities (though it is sadly amusing how partisans rediscover the virtues of federalism whenever the other side is in power). And our population generally has no loyalty to states. So a future American civil war will probably look a lot more like the Spanish civil war than our previous one.

    If it comes to down to living with political enemies or a civil war, then I will always choose the former. I hope and pray it never comes to that.

    1. It has already come to that, Andy. You just don't want to accept it.

      The civil war is already underway. It's just being fought in the legislatures and the courts (and the WalMarts and the shopping malls, but that's not where the real war is being lost).

      Despite overwhelming popular loathing for their goals of returning the United States to the political, economic, and legal conditions of the 1890s, the GOP is doing a heckuva job getting us there. Screened behind all the wah-wah noise about Guns and gays and scary brown people the campaign to eliminate the American society created by the New Deal and the Civil Rights Acts is rolling like Operation Bagration over Army Group Center.

      And how should people like me "compromise" with that?

      GOP: "Let's cut "entitlements" and "block-grant" all the stuff that's left of Medicare and Social Security to the states, who can't run a budget deficit so we can be sure they'll have grampa eating cat food in no time!"

      Me: "Wait! My grampa is going to be one of the people you're gonna throw out in the street! How about we compromise; we'll means-test some benefits and you give up some tax cuts and raise some revenue?"

      GOP: Not one step backwards! We'll give up our tax cuts when you pry them...nope! Fuck that! No new taxes!"

      Me: Wut? The? Fuck?

      GOP: "Ha! Suck it, lib!"

      Tell me I'm wrong. Show me where the "conservatives" have been all excited to help cooperate and fix the problems with medical insurance. Or infrastructure. Or firearms. Or inequity. Or...well, pretty much anything not involved in eliminating taxes and deregulating everything in sight.

      Or did I imagine the whole eight years where the Congressional GOP responded to an Eisenhower Republican president with a flaming middle finger?

      So it's all well and good to want some wonderful polity where, like the one Joe Biden dreams of, we liberals and the racist bastards can all get along by promising to compromise and only do a little racism and segregation. I want wonderful things, too.

      But how? How, when my fundamental, bedrock principles are "We're not going to go back to the America of 1889" and the "conservative" minority's offer of "compromise" is that we go back to the America of 1899, instead?

      As I said; we won't have a civil war, neither one like the one that began in 1860 nor one like the French or the Russian or the Spanish. Like I said - and like you said - we're all too busy scrambling to try and make ends meet and have actual lives. There will be no actual street-fighting.

      Why not? Because those of us who AREN'T scrambling - what in the actual banana republics they call "los dorados, the "golden ones", the "rich, the well-born, and the able" - they have all the time and money and interest in fighting the war that they're already winning.

      Perhaps the only bit of schadenfreude lot for me is that the sonsofbitches are also largely climate change deniers, and, as such, they're fucking the world for everyone including themselves. So in 10,000 years their new cockroach overlords will crawl in and out of the empty sockets of their crumbling skulls.

      Hopefully I'll get a smoke break in Hell so I can get one last derisive laugh at their hubris and folly.

    2. "Eisenhower Republican president"
      Obama was more right wing than Nixon.

      Nixon created the EPA and attempted both universal basic income and universal healthcare.

      Obama tuned the private health insurance market a bit and his AG let all white collar criminals of the 2nd biggest economic crisis ever (created by white collars) get away. His AG did also let all torturers get away - they weren't even only removed from the CIA.

    3. Nixon signed the EPA legislation into law because a Democratic Congress had the ability to override his veto and he knew damn well that the public was sick - literally and politically - of the polluting sonsofbitches gleefully dumping their shit in the air, soil, and water - just like modern Republicans hope they will be doing again, soon.

      Don't mistake that for Nixon WANTING an EPA or creating it. That trope that Nixon was an environmentalist is one of those things like the idea that Reagan wasn't racist that Republicans try to sell to get away clean.

      But as for Obama is letting the banksters and torturers off easy? True dat.

      Mind you, part of that was the he wanted the ACA, and knew that if he hung a couple of bank thieves and torturers from lampposts that the wingnuts would go utterly monkeyshit. He was foolish enough to think that by appeasing them on bank fraud and Iraq that they'd play ball with him on health care, but he was always stupid that way.

  8. "Tell me I'm wrong."

    Ok, you're wrong.

    How? I'm not sure how to explain it. To me, the viewpoints in your comments are so far out there it's like trying to explain why the sky is blue to someone who fervently believes it's green. It does not compute.

    In my view the GoP of today, as bad as they are, do not compare with what this country has dealt with before. The notion that they are so strong and dominant that only option to defeat their agenda is civil war (ie. killing Republicans until they submit) is both baffling and frightening.

    I guess I would say, if things are really as bad as you say they are, then why is no one acting like it? Where are the actions, where is the activism, where is there a movement? If we are actually living in an existential time of change, why is no one acting like it?

    And the irony is that if Hillary Clinton had been just slightly more competent, we probably wouldn't be having this debate at all.

  9. I'm also, my nature, very skeptical of self-serving partisan arguments. Those who are on a side always focus on the evils of the other side and how they are irredeemable, and how it's impossible to have any accommodation with them.

    Assertions are not enough. Claims that Republicans intend to lead us to some combination of the 1890s, 1920's or banana republic status are not materially different from those on the other side who claim the left wants and will lead us to a Venezuelan socialist dictatorship.

    1. Of course they are. Find me the leftish politician that is arguing for the workers to control the sources of production, or expropriating the wealthy (as opposed to, say, creating a national health service as featured in pretty much every other industrialized democracy, or returning the top marginal rate to the 90% it was in the Eisenhower Administration...)

      But it'd take me about ten minutes to find you a run-of-the-mill "Freedom Caucus" who will tell you the Lochner was wrongly decided and the real problem is that there's no mandatory prayer in public school.

      FFS, man...the current administration has responded to politico-economic troubles in Central America by expanding a massive chain of concentration camps! And THIS is just politics as usual.

      And why aren't people running in the streets with fire and steel? For the same reason nobody did in Frankfurt in 1937, or in Baghdad in 1988, or in Kampala in 1977. The same reason I'm not; we're too busy paying the mortgage and the phone bill. They're afraid of ending up in jail, or hurt, or blacklisted.

      And, ads I've said, this is not that much different from the LAST time we had open plutocracy in this country, and the only people fighting back were the labor unions - which have been gutted by years of post-Taft-Hartley hammering - and the Communists and Socialists - which, despite the lies you calmly repeat, have never been a genuine factor in US politics since the 1950s - and the muckraking journalists, which have been muzzled by media consolidation and corporatization.

      Where on the Left is the equivalent of the climate change deniers in the GOP who are pushing coal and petroleum?

      Where on the Left are the people who are denying a sitting President even the hearing to seat the Supreme Court justice of his choice?

      Were on the Left are the people arguing that Nazis are "fine people"?

      Where on the Left are people arguing that corporations are people and that money is "speech"?

      Where on the Left are people are people saying "government is the problem" and trying to deconstruct the regulatory state?

      No. Sorry. YOU'RE wrong on this. On the one side you have a moderately social democratic cluster of views, on the other a radical reactionary congeries that hates every change in US society made by the New Deal and the Civil Rights Era. And one of the big reasons they're winning is people like me, who are too worried about their next meal to go into the street to fight them.

      And people like you, who refuse to believe they ARE what they tell you they are.

    2. Welp, I lost a long comment I wrote (thanks Blogger), so I'll summarize:

      "And why aren't people running in the streets with fire and steel? For the same reason nobody did in Frankfurt in 1937, or in Baghdad in 1988, or in Kampala in 1977."

      The comparison of the US today with historic dictatorships as an explanation for why people whine and virtue signal on Twitter instead of doing actual work is...bizarre. Even if one believes the US is a comparable dictatorship (and, objectively, it is not), the argument that people fear political action (except on social media) is nonsense.

      "No. Sorry. YOU'RE wrong on this."

      As The Dude says, "That's just your opinion man." And you are entitled to and free to have it and I respect your opinions as legitimate and honestly given. But don't accuse me of being some kind of apologist or shill because I disagree with you.

      "And people like you, who refuse to believe they ARE what they tell you they are."

      Does that work for the Democrats as well? Because here's what the Democrats have told me about what they are recently:
      - 100+ cosponsors for a "medicare for all" bill that would nationalize health insurance and make any private insurance illegal. Is nationalization and banning private enterprise socialism or not? Vox says that Sanders' and similar plans "[have] no analog among the single-payer systems that currently exist. " So these are objectively NOT what other industrialized democracies have done.
      - Almost every (or maybe every, I forget) Presidential candidate raised their hand in the affirmative that illegal immigrants should have equal access to the fully-nationalized health insurance detailed above. Again, no other nation on earth does this.
      - Almost 100 cosponsors for a bill that aims to institute a WWII-scale national economic mobilization to combat what they call the near term existential threat from climate change. Most people don't seem to understand what a WWII-scale national mobilization actually means, but I'm pretty confident you do.

      Even left-wing analysis and think-tank outfits acknowledge that these proposals go way beyond what other industrialized democracies do.

      When it comes to these Democrats, am I really supposed "to believe they ARE what they tell [me] they are"? Are "people like me" deficient for being skeptical that 1/2 of the Democrats in the House actually support the mobilization of the bulk of the US economy to combat climate change?

      Look, you can believe what you want. If you want to believe that every stupidity coming from the GoP is truth and what they actually believe, well then the same standard should apply to Democrats in which case that makes them socialists.

      But I don't accept your framing. I don't believe Democrats (outside of the handful of usual suspects) actually support those measures. Certainly the American people don't.

      Instead, this is BS and tactical politicking and virtue signalling. If an actual bill came up in the House to allow illegal immigrants access to today's Medicare (much less some future Sanders-style nationalized system), it wouldn't come close to getting a majority of Democratic votes.

      You see, there is a difference between words are different than actions, which is my overarching point here.

      I'm skeptical of the teeth gnashing on Twitter and social media because it is not backed up by actual work or effort. And I'm also skeptical when politicians voice political support for some absurdity and then put zero effort into actually making it happen (and running away if they are forced to vote on it).

  10. The Jeff Epstein demise may lead us closer to that CW. The far right is saying the Clintons put out a contract on JE to keep what they perceive as Bill's pedo past from coming out. Count on that being amped up by Pootie's cyberpunks and their psychopathic fiction. I hope B&H still have secret service protection. Some whackos are probably planning street retribution via AR15 as we speak. A la Pizzagate's Ed Welch.

    The far left says Donny did the deed. Even my bride, a moderate Blue Dog Democrat and former Republican, believes Trump's wiseguy connections had a hand in offing Epstein.

    Some others are pointing out Mossad, or MI-6, or Columbian Coke Cartels.

    I love a conspiracy myself, but I'm leaning more towards suicide.

    1. I'm hearing some nonsense about this being a hit from "both sides" (but, that said, you'll note that the people tweeting about Trump's hit squad are fringe players on the Left, while the people tweeting about #ClintonBodyCount include...ummm...Trump)...but from everything I've read the real problem was that this facility is a shitshow (

      But, again...the real horror isn't that there were some people - both Democratic and Republican - who were using Epstein to commit crimes.

      The real horror is that there's an entire faction in our political system who aren't willing to peacefully cede power. Moscow Mitch, not the Tangerine Tiberius, is the real horror, the man who blatantly gave his political enemy the finger on the Garland nomination, who's ramming Federalist Society miniScalias through the confirmation process.

      Even more worrisome is this year's SCOTUS holding in Gundy v. U.S., where Thomas, Gorsuch, and Roberts effectively argued that the vast bulk of governmental regulation, of everything from grocery store weights and measures to CAFE standards, are unconstitutional is those regulations are not explicitly defined in textual law. Alito made in clear in his concurrence that he was willing to uphold the statue in question but was more than willing to overrule non-delegation as a governmental principle if it was brought before him in a different case, and Kavanaugh recused, but, honestly, do you think the guy who ruled in Agri Processor v. NLRD or SeaWorld v. Perez is gonna uphold a regulatory state he obviously detests?

      Epstein is a shiny pretty for the newsghouls. Meanwhile in the boilerroom of Congress and the state legislators the hard, gritty, unsung work of undoing the 20th Century goes on.

    2. And here's the GOP on the subject of guns alone:

      "Kavanaugh suggested that courts must look to “text, history, and tradition” to gauge the legality of gun control laws. They cannot deploy any kind of “interest-balancing test.” Unless a gun restriction is “longstanding,” Kavanaugh wrote, it is unconstitutional. This standard—which Ho cited favorably—would prohibit the government from experimenting with any new gun safety law. We would be stuck with the small set of regulations deemed “longstanding” by the courts. No matter how many bodies piled up, we would be helpless to protect ourselves against the butchery."

      But, as Andy reminds us, the notion that the GOP is crammed full of ideological nuts is as silly as insisting that Bernie Sanders is really Leon Trotsky!

    3. Yeh, Donny does pour love on conspiracies. Our Prez is Command Post Forward for Alex Jones crackpot theories and Putin's dezinformatsiya.

      The Slate article you linked to forgets to mention that Trump's budgets had put a longtime hiring freeze on the Bureau of Prisons. All fed prisons and correctional centers including the MCC in Manhattan where Jeffy was held are badly understaffed. And now Barr is going to investigate? The BOP is under his control! The metaphor would be putting a coyote in charge of investigating chicken theft. There should be an independent inquest.

      You are right about Moscow Mitch. Mitch and Trump and Jeff Epstein are all money launderers for Semion Yudkovich Mogilevich and other russkie mafiosi.

      Your comments about SCOTUS and Congress show that the presidential election is the 'shiny pretty' in the press. Real change can only come by retaking the Senate, and thus in the long term improving the composition of SCOTUS (and all federal judges).

    4. "Even more worrisome is this year's SCOTUS holding in Gundy v. U.S., where Thomas, Gorsuch, and Roberts effectively argued that the vast bulk of governmental regulation, of everything from grocery store weights and measures to CAFE standards, are unconstitutional is those regulations are not explicitly defined in textual law."

      There is a real problem here though - federal rulemaking and regulation have become shadow legislation. The point isn't to get rid of regulation, it's to stop Congress from delegating all its responsibility. And Congress does this more and more often to avoid political fights.

      Obviously, there needs to be a balance. Congress can't write a blank check, leaving everything to the bureaucrats and neither can it micromanage the executive administration of law. There is a legitimate argument (and decent evidence) that the pendulum has swung more in the "blank check" direction. And certainly, Presidents, who are unable to do what they want through normal legislative and political means, turn to creative regulations to do what they want by fiat. This is actually what Trump is trying to do right now in a few areas - this should not be a partisan issue.

      "But, as Andy reminds us, the notion that the GOP is crammed full of ideological nuts is as silly as insisting that Bernie Sanders is really Leon Trotsky!"

      Yes, that's exactly what I meant, you really have me nailed!! Your analysis of what you think I believe is really without peer.

  11. Andy - Regarding your 5:55 comment:

    I'm a bit skeptical of your 1st and 3rd examples that you said the Democrats told you. Did they tell you or did you get that from hearsay?

    As for the 2nd example an actual bill would never get to the floor unless forced by the Republicans.

    My take is those ten candidates that raised their hand were saying that there would NOT be ICE checks in emergency rooms. Which is basically the same as it is today. That was a loaded question by Ms Guthrie.

    1. Regarding that first example: I know of no country with Universal Health Care that outright bans private insurance.

      Regarding the third example: What I am hearing from the candidates and Congress is that the US should join with the rest of the world on the Paris Agreement and incentivize renewable energy. Even the most extreme plan to reduce fossil fuels I have heard is to take 16 to 24 years. Hardly sounds like a WWII style mobilization to me.

    2. Mike,

      For the first and third, I got that from what they've said and what actual legislation they've supported.

      The Jayapal Medicare-for-all bill in the House has 117 cosponsors:

      Sander's bill in the Senate has 14 cosponsors, including all the candidates running for President:

      Both make it illegal to offer private coverage for anything the government covers - which is everything in Jayapal's bill and almost everything in Sander's bill. Jayapal's bill makes any kind of private contract for any government service illegal, which indicates people can't even pay providers directly.

      No other comparable country does this to this extent. Canada comes closest since they make private insurance competition with the government covered services illegal, but the government plan only covers some things and and people still have out-of-pocket costs.

      Vox, the left-leaning analysis outfit, has several good rundowns on both plans. There are many other articles by the NYT, Vox, Slate and others about this debate in the Democratic party about banning private health insurance. I can't link everything here because of Blogger's comment spam filters, but they are easy to find.

      "Regarding that first example: I know of no country with Universal Health Care that outright bans private insurance"

      Yes, exactly, which is one reason why these proposals go way beyond what other countries do.

      "As for the 2nd example an actual bill would never get to the floor unless forced by the Republicans."

      I don't even think a bill has been introduced. But the point of bringing all this up is we can't assume that everything politicians say or claim to support is actually what they support, yet Chief is claiming (or at least suggesting) that must take everything Republicans say at their word and believe they are what they tell us they are. If that is the standard we're going to use to evaluate parties and politicians, then should be applied against all parties and politicians. But I don't agree with that standard. I think we can tell what is bullshit, what is signalling to the base, and what is an actual, achievable proposal that congresscritters would actually vote for.

    3. "What I am hearing from the candidates and Congress is that the US should join with the rest of the world on the Paris Agreement and incentivize renewable energy. Even the most extreme plan to reduce fossil fuels I have heard is to take 16 to 24 years. Hardly sounds like a WWII style mobilization to me."

      The Green New Deal calls for "a new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II" - that is a taken directly from the resolution. And it aims to make the entire United State carbon neutral in 10 years.

      It has 94 cosponsors. Read it yourself and draw your own conclusions:

      Here is Vox's analysis of it (again, Vox leans left, this isn't right-wing talking points):

      Finally, on the second item:

      "My take is those ten candidates that raised their hand were saying that there would NOT be ICE checks in emergency rooms. Which is basically the same as it is today. That was a loaded question by Ms Guthrie."

      Except the question wasn't about ICE in emergency rooms. It was pretty specific. And yes, it was a loaded question and didn't give the candidates, at that moment, a chance to give a more nuanced answer. And some of them (the moderates) walked-back that support later or said that illegal immigrants should only be allowed to buy insurance on the Obamacare exchanges - but about half of candidates actually do support giving illegal immigrants full healthcare benefits and Bernie Sanders wrote it into his M4A bill.

      Again, are we to uncritically take them at their word? That's the question I'm asking, not debating the merits of these proposals.

  12. Andy -

    1] On Medicare for All, I looked at your links on Jayapal & Sanders. Neither suggests that private health insurance will be outlawed. What am I missing? And no matter how many cosponsors she has there is still a lot of Democratic opposition to her plan, so much so that she felt she had to go to WaPo and write an OpEd about the opposition from her own party. For myself, I support Universal Health Care in any form. Why should old, retired 76-year-olds like my bride and I get Medicare when it is denied to children, pregnant women, or working age people that contribute to America's GDP? But I see no reason to do away with private insurance. From what I saw in your link Jayapal's bill did not other than for 'core benefits'. If she is going to define those core benefits she is getting much too wonky for me and most others. Just give us medicare for all. I'm healthy but my bride goes to just about any doctor or specialist she wants. None have turned down medicare. I think most Americans would be happy with that.

    2] On access to health care by illegals the arguments I hear are that first you don't want to start an epidemic by some illegal with Typhoid or Measles or Tuberculosis for example. Or a pandemic from some new & virulent Spanish Flu bug or something worse. Makes sense to me. And secondly why increase the cost of already ultra-expensive medical care by requiring extra screening measures? And thirdly in the ER example or even in a clinic or urgent care center, no way a doctor who takes his oath seriously, or a nurse, is going to delay care for a patient in pain.

    3] I believe the Green New Deal refers more to FDR's New Deal of the 1930s, and NOT for a WW2 mobilization. That lasted what, eight or nine years? And would have taken many years longer to lift us out of the Great Depression had not WW2 come along to supercharge industry. In any case neither I nor many other lefties are have signed on to AOC's GND, for example Senator Feinstein, the AFL/CIO, the Green Party to name a few. Although we all agree something must be done about global warming, whether it is the GND, or parts of it, or some other effort. For myself, I am not worried about any overreach of GND, which is just a draft resolution and not a proposed set of laws. But global warming is a looming crisis that is going to affect your grandchildren and great granchildren, and everyone else's also. The deniers led by Trump and Coburn and the fossil fuel lobby keep moving us backwards. We could have been well into the first phase of a solution without the deniers pushing:
    - phony claims of fake data;
    - conspiracy theories;
    - fake experts and denigration of real experts;
    - cherry picking of obsolete papers;
    - discredited ideas of the medieval warm period;
    - unworkable demands on more and more and more research;
    - exaggerating uncertainty;
    - bad logic and nonvalid reasoning and red herrings.

    1. Mike,

      1. The bills specifically prohibit any private insurance coverage for anything covered by the government plan. And since those two government plans are truly universal and are intended to cover virtually everything except elective procedures, then that effectively makes private and employer-provided health insurance illegal. The "core benefits" in Jayapals plan is intended to cover everything, even long-term and nursing home care, but the specifics would be left to HHS to decide what is "medically necessary."

      But the point is that both bills make any competition with government-covered services illegal. Here is the relevant text in Jayapal's bill:

      "(1) PRIVATE CONTRACTS FOR COVERED ITEMS AND SERVICES FOR ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS.—An institutional or individual provider with an agreement in effect under section 301 may not bill or enter into any private contract with any individual eligible for benefits under the Act for any item or service that is a benefit under this Act."

      Also, I agree with much of your comment. I would like to see some kind of universal government program - at least for the basics and/or catastrophic conditions.

      2. This is mostly about health insurance coverage for illegals, not health care. Illegals can still do what anyone without insurance coverage can do - use the ER or pay out of pocket. And the medical profession still has an obligation to treat people regardless of ability to pay. Some states (like California), have allowed illegals in benefit from state-run insurance programs. And there are other programs that give free or cheap vaccinations and such to anyone who shows up.

      I think anyone in this country deserves a basic level of care to include emergency services. But using tax dollars to fund comprehensive coverage for people here illegally is not a good idea IMO, it's not something that any other comparable country does (that I'm aware of at least), and it's not popular with the general public.

      3. No, the authors compare it directly to the mobilization for WW2. And so do proponents:

      I agree we need to do more to transform our energy sources, but the GND isn't it. And it has no chance of getting implemented - the political conditions that created support for mobilization in WW2 do not exist today when it comes to climate change and wouldn't exist even if the GoP weren't so hostile to it.

  13. Andy -

    As to your closing question about uncritically taking the word of politicians. Of course we should analyze their proposals and criticize when needed. No argument.

    We also need to understand that politicians, just like businessmen, engineers, and even military planners, will often put forth a "strawman" proposal to get discussion going on the subject to flesh out strengths and weaknesses, and perhaps doing some horse trading of specific line items before hopefully reaching a consensus.

    I've seen it done in many venues. Congress critters are no different. No way that Jayapal or Bernie is going to fall on their own sword if they do not get a bill exactly like they first proposed. Unless of course someone sneaks in a "poison pill" amendment. Which is a nasty habit that some politicians have. It is a trick I have not seen in the military or the business or engineering worlds.

    1. Trump floats strawmen also, but his technique is to use it as a "bait and switch".

    2. Yes, all I'm saying is the same thing applies to the GoP and Trump.

  14. Hi Andy
    I think the primary problem is that there are significant amount of voices saying...

    "Yeah, that, no bueno!"

    But for the GOP, which does have a lock on the Senate and Executive branch, and is now stacking the courts...they have turned a deaf ear to their own constituents, not just Democrats.

    Just today, Senate Democrats sent a letter to the SCOTUS, and essentially told them straight up, in paraphrased sort of way "clean your act up, or we'll clean it up for you up to, and including making adjustment's in the court."

    Now that's pretty hopeful, except...that's not a box I think we should open.


    And therein is the primary problem...doing something for something's sake.

    Too much of that is happening, and it's bad.

    I really don't want a civil war...but fuck me...there are a lot of...tacticool_ammosexual who are fucking itching for a fight.

    I thought it would die off, but it's getting worse, now.

    I fear 2020 will determine what kind of nation we're going to be...and more so...there may be a significant portion of the populace that will not sit idly by if their boy isn't elected, again.

    I would love to be called a worry-wart, and have it proved so...but right now

    I have concerns.

    1. Sheerakhan -

      There may be many idiots on twitter or other social media bragging about starting a CW if their idiot-in-chief is not re-elected. But 99 percent of those are cowardly blowhards. The few who try will quickly be put in cuffs and perp-walked to a judge, jury, and federal penitentary. A few diehards may end up being shot down like rabid dogs while firing their tink-a-toy plastic rifles at the gendarmes.

      Surely you know it will only be an 'insignificant' portion of the populace, if that, who will try to stage a coup or an insurrection.

    2. Yes, the GoP is stacking the courts - I don't like the judiciary dominated by one viewpoint, but it's important to remember how we got here.

      Democrats nuked the filibuster for nominees when they controlled the Senate during Pres. Obama's term and successfully packed many courts with liberal judges, flipping them from conservative to liberal. For the GoP, this is payback.

      With the filibuster gone, this is the new normal:

      - If the President and the Senate are controlled by different parties, little gets done and court vacancies build.
      - When the President and Senate are controlled by the same party, those vacancies are filled based on ideological criteria.

      It's going to eventually destroy the legitimacy of the judiciary. WASF

      Now, as you noted, a few Democrats are talking about court-packing as the next escalation they might try - which would be an even more stupid move and move us straight to CW/banana republic territory.


  15. Andy -

    The great majority of Obama's judicial appointees were confirmed by many Republican Senators as well as Democratic ones. See below. As a matter of fact many of Obama's Appeals Court picks and District court picks were confirmed by an overwhelming majority in the 70 to 90+ percent range. Hardly seems like packing to me. Yes there were a few exceptions. Republican Senators seemed particularly incensed about his picks for the DC court of Appeals. Does not seem to me that these judges were liberals if they got that many Republican votes. Most of Obama's picks were moderates - probably to the right of Ike and his judicial picks.

    But your WASF comment is correct.

    1. Mike,

      If that is true then why did Senate Democrats nuke the filibuster for judicial appointments to the lower courts? From what I remember, their justification was obstruction by Republicans to the President's nominees and I seem to recall that Senate Republicans did act that way.

      Rueters has a different take:


    2. Andy -

      The wikipedia article I linked to is well sourced. If those judges were so liberal then why did so many Republican Senators vote to confirm them. And the votes are public records.

      Even SCOTUS Jusices Sotomayor and Kagan got some Republican votes. Not in the 70 to 90 percent range like the others, but there were nine GOP votes for Sotomayor and five for Kagan.

      I like Reuters. It is absolutely great for international news. Being based in London, I'm not so sure how well sourced they are for US lib/con delineation.